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A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!

A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!
Recommended for devolved primates only!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

THE NEW KIDS (1985)


 Kinda weird to see Lori Loughlin as a high-school kid here since I really only know here as Aunt Becky on FULL HOUSE, which came just a couple of years later, but if you want to see Aunt Becky, and her brother(Shannon Presby as Loren, who not only has a girl's name in real life but also in this movie!!)), get brutalized, almost raped and almost burned alive by a gang of rednecks and then gets some sweet vengeance then this is the film for you. Director Sean Cunningham, best know for FRIDAY THE 13th, does a decent enough job here in what is basically a dramatic thriller with some very slight horror elements(mostly involving a pitbull who rips out necks) here and there. While it may have worked better for me as a full-on rape/revenge epic it's all a little too tame for that and the super-80s soundtrack can be quite grating at times it's still done well enough and all the actors, including Eric Stoltz and James Spader(as our main hillbilly psycho-bully) do a really good job with what they're given to do. As a bonus it ends with a very slasher-movie-esque stinger that sorta hints at a sequel that never happened.



                                                 The more boring U.S.A. poster:


                                                   AKA STRIKING BACK:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

THEATER OF BLOOD (1973)


 Vincent Price overacts his ass off in this tale of a Shakespearean actor who fakes his own suicide and then goes about getting bloody revenge on the critics who gave him scathing reviews throughout the years. He's assisted by his daughter, Diana Rigg(that lady from the old British AVENGERS program), who wears some ridiculously unconvincing disguises as she tries to pass for a man several times. His vengeance consists of using deaths from various Shakespeare and improvising a bit when necessary. You get a few quite gruesome moments for such a classy flick(classy because it was filmed in England where people seemed classier to me anyway) including decapitation, a dude stabbed to death by dirty bums and a guy's heart ripped out of his chest. I imagine this would have been one of Price's favorite roles to play because he gets to do so much over-the-top stuff here, including my favorite the super-gay, afro-wearing hair-stylist, so that's fun to watch. There's obviously some similarities with the plot to the DR. PHIBES films but I think I like those better since this one has a long runtime(almost 2 hours) and towards the end you certainly feel it. I've also seen this film, and PHIBES, blamed for the "torture-porn" crap like SAW that came years later but that's like comparing pizza to a pile of dog-shit. AKA THEATRE OF BLOOD(classy spelling!)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (1972)



 The animal-run-amok genre reaches it's ridiculous zenith right here with this story of mutated giant rabbits that get a hankering for ripping folks(and horses!) apart with their big buck teeth. They do a good job, in the poster and trailer, of hiding the fact that the movie is actually about big killer bunnies by giving it this title that uses a term for rabbits that no one has used since ancient Rome. I guess the average film-goer in the 70s wouldn't waste their money on such a ridiculous premise but that really is the sole reason for checking this one out. I mean it's almost like they tried to find the cutest animal they could, outside of some kittens or puppies, and then try to make them seem ominous by adding some lion roars and and foaming mouths. They did give this one an all-star cast which includes PSYCHO shower-gal. Janet Leigh and Dr. McCoy from STAR TREK(DeForest Kelley) because even though this is obviously stupid idea for a movie everyone involved still gave it their all to pull it off as much as possible unlike something  more modern like SHARKNADO or MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS which I have no idea why anyone would bother watching since the filmmakers can't even be bothered to attempt to make a real movie so why should I care?


       
       
  Germany and Austria weren't as careful in hiding what species the cuddly killers were:


Elvis Lepus double-feature!!:


Just as scary as a rattlesnake!!:



Monday, August 7, 2017

THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG (2007)


 If you've been amazed by the antics of the world's smallest secret agent, Weng Weng, in films like FOR Y'UR HEIGHT ONLY and THE IMPOSSIBLE KID, then you owe it to yourself to check out this in-depth search into the true-life story behind this incredible little fellow. While I had been warned that Weng's experiences weren't all happiness and stardom I think the film does a good job of not being bogged down in the negativity and bitterness of his treatment and does a balanced job of showing how Weng should represent overcoming ridiculous odds to make something of yourself(or maybe in this case not to feel too exploited by greedy bastards that prey on the weak!). While most of the film works to shine light on some obscure film history (and Imelda Marcos' insanity!) it all ends on a very sentimental note.
 One of the saddest things to me, with no silver-lining, in this whole movie was finding out that a majority of crazy Filipino cinema has been lost to the ages due to shitty storage practices and general lack of interest. In fact it seems that most of Weng's films don't exist anymore which really makes those few that we can see even more cherished(at least by insane-cinema lovers like myself).


Sunday, August 6, 2017

SHE FREAK (1967)


 As a big fan of the weirdo 1930s film FREAKS it's hard not to also love this 1960s re-interpretation. The great David Friedman, who stopped collaborating with the great director HG Lewis a couple of years before this, wrote, produced, and even appears in, this tale of a poor desperate waitress who gets employed with the traveling(although they seem to only travel around one area of Florida where this was filmed) carnival/sideshow. The only problem is that she vehemently hates all the freaks who comprise the "freak show". You get a midget, snake-fondling, some burlesk(yes, they spell it that way!) strip-teasing, blood, a whole gaggle of monstrous-looking folks and, if you've seen FREAKS before, you know it all has to end with some good old-fashioned revenge and a quote from the bible about "vengeance is mine, sayeth the lord".
 While this movie is generously filled with padded/boring scenes of amusement park rides being assembled/disassembled that might put you to sleep the rest of the runtime is engaging enough for lovers of the weird side of cinema and for what's basically a remake they make it different enough from the original that it's not pointless unlike almost every remake made in the last 25 years.
 AKA ALLEY OF NIGHTMARES and FREAKS! There's also a recut version titled ASYLUM OF THE INSANE which apparently had some 3-D scenes added to it which sounds like a pretty awesome idea to me!




                                                   Every woman can be a She Freak!!!

On an amazing quadruple bill with an added "S"!!:

Monday, July 31, 2017

BLOOD FEAST (1963)


 The movie that introduced the world to graphic, splattery gore! Director HG Lewis moved over from nudie-cuties into the world of the ol' ultra-violence and lowbrow cinema was never the same.
 I got a chance to view this at a drive-in theater over the weekend and that is the perfect way to watch this since it's how it initially made its impact on unwary patrons. While not the greatest movie in the world  by a very long stretch, its historical significance cannot be denied. The characters are all dumb as dirt, the plot, about an Egyptian caterer who's also a serial-killer trying to appease an ancient Egyptian god, is pretty thin and the acting is either over-the-top or just plain awful but for hardcore gorehounds this is ground-zero and just plain old goofy, grand-guignol fun.
 This is part of a loose "gore trilogy" by Lewis which includes 2000 MANIACS and COLOR ME BLOOD RED. AKA FEAST OF FLESH





With that Italian vampire flick!:


The whole "blood trilogy" together with LOVE GODDESSES OF BLOOD ISLAND under an alternate title. A great night out at the drive-in!:




Friday, July 28, 2017

STRAY CAT ROCK: WILD JUMBO (1970)


 This is the 2nd in the Stray Cat Rock series and the first hour or so of it kinda meanders about as we follow the exploits of a gang as they get into fights with the rival rich kid gang, piss off the police by showing their bare asses on the beach and drive around in their jeep. There's also one crazy member who loves guns and old-timey swimsuits. Then for the last half-hour it morphs into a heist film where those guns come into play and we get a very WILD BUNCH-esque ending complete with a machine gun. Also Charles Bronson shows up on a billboard for Mandom cologne.
 Having watched the 3rd film in this series first and being blown away by it I'm still trying to find another one that matches that film in intensity and while this one is quite stylish and has a similarly great soundtrack I think it lacks in the plot for a lot of the run-time. There's still 2 more films in the series that I need to give a chance.
 The director here, Toshiya Fujita, would go on to direct the 2 LADY SNOWBLOOD movies with Meiko Kaji, who stars here also.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CAPTAIN OF COSMOS (1983)

                                     "How can you bite a lady's rear-end like that?"

 This Korean animated(and pretty badly animated at that!) feature came out originally in 1979 but the dubbed version wasn't released until the 80s. Most of the film is fairly typical stuff with a hero battling some evil alien-types(including a huge green-skinned robot that looks like a Frankenstein monster). The one thing that did stand out to me is our hero's sidekick who is a little boy robot who bites ladies on the ass if they refer to him as a mechanical being and not a real boy. Sadly this only happens once and the rest is rather dull space battles and people getting zapped with disintegration rays. There is some really odd dubbing in the English version which is good for a few laughs if nothing else.
 There are supposed to be references to the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM show where various characters are just recycled but I've never seen that program so it's all new to me. There were a few bad guys that looked like various SPIDER-MAN or DAREDEVIL villains from the 70s comic books to give this thing a real international rip-off flair. AKA JOHNNY DESTINY: SPACE RANGER and JOHNNY DESTINY: SPACE NINJA(The producer of this, Joseph Lai, was also responsible for a gazillion of those cheap-ass retitled composite ninja VHS movies throughout the 80s like GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR , NINJA THUNDERBOLT etc.)




                                                                 Ass-biter!:

The Southern California Motion Picture Council must've had a bad year: 



Saturday, July 22, 2017

THE DAY OF THE WOLVES (1971)


 In addition to THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE this looks like a big inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS in that it's the tale of a gang of anonymous gangsters(who each get a number here instead of a color like in R.D.) gathered together to pull off a big job. In this case the job is ransacking a whole town and splitting with over a million dollars. On the other side of the law we get a sheriff who's being forced to turn in his badge by a corrupt city council who turns into a real Rambo character when the shit hits the fan.
 All in all this is a really good heist flick despite having an obviously very low-budget for some of the action scenes attempted and is definitely something Tarantino fans should give a look at.

Comes complete with wonky hippie folk theme song!:



Thursday, July 20, 2017

SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (1972)



This is one of those made-for-T.V. movies but it's from the 70s so that's not necessarily a negative thing. In this case the most of the movie plays out like a mystery with some decently creepy atmosphere involving a young gal(Pamela Franklin) trying to solve her sister's murder that was made to look like a suicide. Then it all just ends with some fire in a fairly uninspiring manner.
 This might only be of interest to fans of the CHARLIE'S ANGELS program since 2 of the ladies from that (Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd) appear here a few years before that show launched. For fans of better 70s television horror this seems pretty skippable. Great title though!
 For some reason there was a remake of this in 2000 starring Shannen Doherty which was also made-for-T.V. but watching anything on television from the year 2000 is something I don't have much interest in. 



ACROSS 110th STREET (1972)


 Great soundtrack(including the classic title tune that was reused in JACKIE BROWN amongst other places), great dialogue and a cool plot about some gangsters getting ripped off and murdered and all hell breaking loose in Harlem as a result. It's like if you took a classy mobster flick and added a helping of blaxploitation and mixed it all up into a standout 70s epic. All the actors here, including Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto and Anthony Franciosa are perfect in their respective roles. My personal favorite Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas dons some sweet vines before the shit starts to get really heavy. We get an offscreen castration, lots of gun-fu and a bunch of 70s-style racism. A great example of why the 70s were the high-point of cinema and even a seemingly simple crime-drama can be a thought-provoking(besides the obvious racial questions raised there are ponderings on age and suicide brought up) piece of art.




This version of the theme song, that's on the soundtrack, is actually different, and better, than the one that's actually played in the opening of the film:




Italian style!:


and Japanese style!:



Sunday, July 9, 2017

DIE! DIE! MY DARLING (1965)


 Tallulah Bankhead was a big deal back in Hollywood's golden age but more so for her stage acting and being a real character than any big movies she was in. I know of her mostly from her appearances on TV in things like I LOVE LUCY and the BATMAN program. She also was allegedly a very free spirit when it came to sex and nudity way back before the hippies came along and made that kind of stuff a little more culturally acceptable.
 After WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? was such a big hit a lot of these older female stars found roles in horror (or thrillers as this one is more of) films and this is Tallulah's. The character she plays is about as far removed from what I know of the real Miss Bankhead in that she's a super religious nut who kidnaps her late son's fiance and holds her captive until she see's the light. Murder and catfights ensue. Tallulah does a great job as expected since you kind of feel sympathy for her character even though she's a really terrible person. Sadly this was her last film appearance but she would go on to be The Black Widow on BATMAN so that's a pretty cool ending. AKA FANATIC






The Misfits added an extra "Die" cuz that's the kinda guys they are!:




MANIAC (1963)


 Not to be confused with the 80s slasher movie or that 30s movie where they rip out a cat's eyeball, this is the Hammer studios MANIAC. The movie starts right out with a dad getting some sweet revenge with an acetylene torch after his daughter is attacked(and apparently raped but this is 1960 so this is never made all that crystal clear) by some creep. Unfortunately he takes things too far and is thrown in an asylum and branded a "maniac". Then for a long time it becomes a boring love triangle story between our maniac's wife and his daughter and some American dude. Then it gets weird when the imprisoned maniac's wife convinces her new lover to break her husband out of jail and he agrees to this for some bizarre reason? This part made very little sense to me. It all ends with a few twists and that's nice and all but I think my main problem with this is that the guy who's dubbed a maniac seems pretty justified in his initial revenge. I mean sure you shouldn't torture anyone with a welding torch but the man's daughter was just viciously attacked. Who wouldn't be a tad peeved off over this? Then this American fella comes along and hits on his wife and daughter?  This villain doesn't seem all that bad of a guy to me in his initial reaction and on the other hand this American doesn't seem like much of a hero in the story.  Hammer would head into mostly more monster and gothic stuff after this and that seems to have been their strong suit and a better idea than trying to do their version of PSYCHO.



            On the bottom of a double-bill with a William Castle directed Hammer remake: