Sunday, October 19, 2014
Not that the earlier GHOULIES movies were all that serious but this one goes full blown comedy. It actually starts out like an action movie with a hot leather-clad kung fu chick killing police officers and from there we get some Satanic shenanigans. After that some Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden-impersonators show up and we know it's all just a big goof. The original Ghoulies only show up for one scene and stick around for what seems like 30 seconds and then split. This, of course, is a flashback to the first movie since the 2 Ghoulies here just look like midgets in shitty Halloween masks. The other ridiculous thing going on is these two demons from hell talk. They did also talk in Part 3 but here one of them talks in full jive mode which I don't recall happening in that one. So yes this is the worst of the Ghoulies films, it was made in the 90's so that's to be expected, but for some reason I still prefer it to those shitty CRITTERS movies. We are promised a GHOULIES IV PART 2 at the end, fortunately this never happened.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
John Waters' commentary on the "typical" American family? Of course in Waters-land that includes a 300-pound cross-dressing man(Divine) as the mom, a filthy, flatulent, porn-theater owning dad who's also sleeping with his secretary(Mink Stole), a glue-snorting foot-fetishist(and foot-stomping) son and a constantly go-go dancing daughter who's dating Dead Boys lead-singer Stiv Bators who plays a greasy punk with the awesome name of Bo-Bo Belsinger. In addition to these insane characters you also get the always wonderful Edith Massey as 70-something year old obese "debutante", who can always see the silver-lining in any cloud no matter how big or small from alcoholism to murder. Divine's sadistic mother and 50's idol Tab Hunter as a romantic Romeo. Hunter even gets to make out with Divine which is something I'm sure he never envisioned in his wildest dreams doing when he started back in the 50's. Jean Hill also shows up for a bit where she proceeds to hijack a bus, chomp on a tire and smack Bators around. If you like insanity, no one touches Waters as the king of off-the-wall antics. The man pretty much embodies what is the punk-rock aesthetic and amazingly did so before punk rock really even existed.
I got a chance to experience this the way it was originally released in full Odorama last night with scratch and sniff cards as big as your face and a full crowd which totally added to the enjoyment of the film.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
"Who cares for Heaven or Hell? In the depths of the unknown we seek out the new!"
I love films about evil little girls. Stuff like THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE and all those EXORCIST-rip-offs are just awesome! This one deals with a couple of gals who pledge their lives to Satan and they go about doing bad stuff just cuz it's fun. It also has a really amazing totally nihilistic ending which is the way all great movies should go out. I feel like there's also some subliminal ideas about lesbianism and just growing up in general but that's for more intelligent people than me to decipher. I just enjoy the film for it's embracing and exploration of taboo subjects including underage rape and molestation(the girls here are actually not underage but they do look it), criticism of organized religion and showing seemingly innocent-looking females as actual human-beings capable of horrible deeds which includes poisoning some sweet little pet birds, setting wildfires and ultimately murder and self-immolation.
This film was based on a real-life murder case in New Zealand involving some young teenage gals and was also used as the basis for Peter Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES which I really need to rewatch one day since I remember very little about it but I'm sure it doesn't reach the sleaze or even artistic-level of this French shocker.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Although I love director Lucio Fulci for his gore-filled 80's romps, this here might be one of my least favorite giallos. I mean there's only one murder throughout the whole movie and much of the film is filled with dream-logic and if there's one thing I hate in films it's dreamy interludes that just take up time. On the positive side this does lead to a memorable scene where a giant duck flies overhead and that's something to see. Also you get another dream where some dogs are split open with their guts hanging out and hung up like some gruesome puppets. I recall reading somewhere that Fulci had some legal problems and had to go to court for alleged animal cruelty which is pretty amazing since, regardless of how gross they look, these are obviously not real dogs. Overall there's plenty of nudity and other various great visuals to look at even if the whole movie never makes very solid sense and it moves along fairly quickly for a murder-mystery with almost no murder in it. OK, so maybe this isn't my very least favorite giallo but it's definitely not one of my favs. Fulci-fanatics seem to really enjoy this though so check it out if you're one of those. AKA SCHIZOID
This was reissued under this less artsy very much more blunt title:
French people like boobs on their VHS tapes!:
Saturday, October 11, 2014
After years of watching this on VHS and later on DVD as ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST(which really should have been called something like CANNIBALS AND ZOMBIES HOLOCAUST) I finally got a chance to see a battered 35mm print of this 80's splatter classic on the big screen with a surprisingly packed house of maniacs and misfits. The great thing about DR. BUTCHER is that it takes cannibals and adds in some zombies(although these zombies are more of your classical voodoo-style maulers(one fella even uses a knife as his weapon of choice)than the more modern gut-munching variety) and of course you get the titular mad doctor(Donald O'Brien) on this crazy island of madness. The gore is plentiful and guts are spilled. In one amazing scene the great Ian McCulloch(who was also the star of Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE, which is a movie this borrows quite a bit from) creatively uses an outboard motor to make mincemeat of a zombies cranium. All in all a great film to catch with a crowd of gorehounds, especially, as in this case, in a theater that serves food during the movie. I mean who wouldn't want to munch down a nice greasy burger while on the big screen cannibals similarly munch on some human entrails? Good times!
Another added attraction at the screening I attended was STREET TRASH writer and producer Roy Frumkes, responsible for the strange opening title sequence on the American released version of this film, who was there to regale us of tales of 42nd Street and how they had a flatbed truck driving around back in 1980 made up as a Butchermobile to advertise the movie. Amazing!
Played back in the day on a "twin terror" bill with an Italian crime film:
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
This is a real creep movie! I mean I guess pretty much any movie that deals with necrophilia can be classified as that but this one has an especially creepy vibe that runs throughout it. The soundtrack by Goblin definitely helps set this mood. The story concerns a fellow whose fiance dies so he decides to dig her up, embalm her and keep her around. He also goes out and meets new gals(I guess since his corpse-lady isn't so hot in the sack) that he brings home and ends up murdering in various ways. Luckily, or maybe not?, he has a super-creepy maid who helps him get rid of these extra bodies. If you're into stuff like NEKROMANTIK, this is probably the closest to that film that Italian cinema got with a similar subject matter(at least that I'm aware of). So if you're in the mood for intestines being spilled and corpses being fondled check it out. AKA BLUE HOLOCAUST & BURIED ALIVE
Thursday, October 2, 2014
One of my favorite character actors William Smith stars in his first biker movie as Angel, a guy who rats on his fellow bikers, The Devils Advocates(which is also the name of the biker group in THE LOSERS and maybe some other similar films), and spends most of the film doing what the title says. You get some of the staples of the biker flick including a barroom brawl, rape, lots of riding and other assorted violence. The soundtrack, including Tammy Wynette, could have been a lot better with some more rockin' Steppenwolf or psychedelic tunes. Overall the film runs along pretty smoothly until you get about 3/4's of the way through when it gets really bogged down in Angel's relationship with his old lady and heavy drama ensues.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
This is the 4th movie in the German SCHOOLGIRL REPORTS series with a snazzy English title thrown onto it. I've only seen these first 4 films so far but I think as the series go on I like the films more and more with this one being my favorite so far. This has a little bit of everything you could wish for in a pervy 70's sexploitation film. It starts out with a teacher banging one of his underage students, another guy posing as a doctor to get multiple underage gals naked and fondled, a High-School prostitution ring and even a brother and sister(Christina Lindberg) incest romp. The standout bit though has to be a totally racist part where the only black gal at school gets set-up and gang-raped because all her white girlfriends are jealous of her exotic looks. The amazing thing about this scene is it, along with pretty much everything else that happens in the movie, seems to be played for light-hearted laughs. Either that or watching this film in 2014 it's hard to imagine such a clearly voyeuristic exercise to have been made with any kind of earnest educational intent. Either way though this is a real amazing bit of exploitation cinema that would soon be made extinct due to hardcore porn. Amazingly they would go on to make a bunch (8 or 9?) more of these SCHOOLGIRL REPORT flicks up until the late 70's so I guess at least in germany softcore was still a somewhat viable genre. AKA SEX EDUCATION, BARELY INNOCENT, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT PART 4: WHAT DRIVES PARENTS TO DESPAIR
Monday, September 29, 2014
With this title you might assume this would be a very sleazy documentary about dirty-movie maker Joe Sarno. You would only be kinda right since just like many of Sarno's films this is actually a bit classier than that. It's really partly a love story about the relationship between Joe and his wife of many years, Peggy(who was in attendance when I viewed this theatrically). And it's also a view of the way adult movies changed from the sexploitation-filled 60's into the hardcore, show everything 70's. These later penetration-filled epics, which look like classic films in comparison to the overlong loops being churned out today were not what Sarno was all about though. His vision was more about turning on the audience by using a more subtle approach and it seems like he really wanted to make art films but ended up doing what he had to in order to survive the changing times. Swedish filmmaker Wiktor Ericsson really does a great job here presenting the whole story behind the filth including commentary by John Waters, Annie Sprinkle, Jamie Gillis and others and also sadly chronicling Mr. Sarno's last days to ultimately create a surprisingly touching tribute to one of the classier directors in a sleazy business.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
This kung-fu movie set in San Francisco manages to be completely wacky and totally boring all at the same time which I think is quite a feat to pull of. The story involves Bruce Lee-look-a-like, Bruce Li, playing a guy named Bob who attempts to teach some Chinese kung fu but runs afoul of those evil white-people, and also some dirty Asians, who don't like this idea. It's all loosely based on Bruce Lee's real-life story of setting up a school in the U.S. but I doubt the real Bruce spent all his time having martial-arts battles with gangsters in the streets. I mean guns did exist in the 1970's but apparently this film takes place in some alternate dimension where they were never invented. It's all really dumb, there's a little kung-fu boy who uses nunchucks and it all ends in a big orgy of violent chop sockey. Try any of the other hundred Brucesploitation flicks instead. AKA BRUCE LEE'S SECRET, STORY OF THE DRAGON, A DRAGON STORY and HE'S A LEGEND HE'S A HERO
Not to be confused with the 50's giant bug movie of the same name this is a Shaw Brothers kung fu flick also known as SHAOLIN MANTIS about a fellow who infiltrates his enemies clan and lots of drama and political intrigues ensue. He also eventually marries the daughter of the leader of these "bad guys" so there's even more drama going on there. Being more of a fan of far-out action sequences this one does drag quite a bit and feels a bit long at times. The fighting scenes though are typically good Shaw Brothers stuff and Gordon Liu shows up in a way-too-brief role as a monk who looks just like his character from MASTER KILLER. Another thing that drags this one down a lot for me is the confusing ending that seems to come out of left field where I was left not really too sure who the good guys and bad guys were supposed to be. While moral-ambiguity isn't always a bad thing in martial arts movies it sure made it hard to figure out who I was supposed to be rooting for to be successful throughout the movie.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Following up his disgusting classic epic CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST director Ruggero Deodato churned out this nasty little flick which is obviously an Italian riff on LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. It uses that film's star creep David Hess to full effect and is quite the ride. It also has it's own flow to it though and seems to comment on class issues and male-bonding. Of course these themes are enveloped in a rape-filled sadistic tale of two slightly unhinged mechanics who end up in a house full of upper-class types. Bloody violent antics ensue. The other psycho, who's really more of a slow-witted follower, is played by Giovanni Lombardo Radice of MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY and THE GATES OF HELL fame. Also from ..DIE SLOWLY Lorraine De Selle is here as a potential victim of our two malcontents. Throw in one big plot-twist for a finale and you have an uncomfortable but interesting watch for horror/violent-thriller fans.
Hess himself considers this the 2nd part in a sort-of trilogy with LAST HOUSE.. and HITCH HIKE making up parts 1 & 3 and although the stories aren't related in any way he is basically playing the same character in each film so I guess that makes sense.
This trailer may have been made by a slightly dyslexic person: