Tuesday, December 28, 2010
There's really only one giant spider in this invasion and god is it a fucking silly looking thing. It looks like a hairy Thanksgiving day float that they added some absurd giant pipe-cleaner legs to. It doesn't help that the thing moves about as slow as a turtle and never seems to be in any way capable of catching anyone. So you mostly get a bunch of smaller hairy tarantulas and a couple of hand puppet-sized ones that look like they escaped from The Muppet Show. The creatures are supposed to be from outer space so maybe that explains their strange appearance. A pretty silly movie that seems even sillier since it stars, as the bumbling sheriff, Mr. Alane Hale Jr. Yes, the skipper from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND is our comedy relief but really most of the movie is comedy relief. Besides our sitcom king we get a whole town full of redneck stereotypes to laugh at. A good waste of time if you're in the mood for some stupid giant monster action.
Monday, December 27, 2010
At least the music is groovy:
Saturday, December 25, 2010
"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."
John Carpenter was one of the best directors throughout the 1980's. It's too bad the quality of his movies went on a pretty sharp decline as that decade ended. This one was made right in his best period and although it's not a horror film it's still one of my favs. I've seen it at least 10 times now and I always find it entertaining. There's not a whole lot of other action type films I could say that about. The strength is in the amazing cast. Of course you have Kurt Russell doing his cool mother-fucker anti-hero act, Donald Pleasence as the president, Isaac Hayes as the bad-ass bad guy, plus Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Tom Atkins and Adrienne Barbeau's awesome cleavage! On top of that you have a simplistic but highly effective soundtrack by Carpenter. If you forget the crappy sequel I think this one still holds up, especially when compared to the sorry excuses for entertainment that current action films are.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
A pretty much plot-less look at high school hi-jinks in the 1970's. Stars a young Robert Carradine as a wild and crazy hot-roddin', football playin', horny school kid. He steals this other dude's girlfriend and they fight throughout the movie. Also some pranks are pulled on a rival school, there's a food fight and we actually do have a couple of scenes with girls and pom-poms. A really lighthearted film that never even approaches anything serious and can be amusing if you're in the right mood for it. The main downside of this thing is the lack of nudity. I'm not sure if the DVD I have is some PG-rated version or not but it was quite lacking in the boob department which is not what you would expect from a movie like this. The other bad thing is cult movie fan favorite Rainbeaux Smith is pretty much wasted in a small role. The ending is straight out of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE with the big chicken race and even that is pulled off with only the slightest tease of any real tragedy happening.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Super smart ants vs. scientists in the desert. The poster says they get all wise from alien interference but I'm pretty sure in the movie it's more of an ecological thing. Then again a lot of stuff is left up to the viewer to figure out. A good example of serious 70's sci-fi and it really straddles the fence between art film and exploitation. In many parts it feels like your watching a nature documentary. Slow moving but well done though it does have a weird-ass ending that also doesn't explain a whole lot. I miss the days when science fiction was as nihilistic in tone as this. Almost everything now is just a stupid action movie dressed up as sci-fi. Thanks STAR WARS! If you have an ant-phobia this might be the scariest movie ever.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
You would think that a movie named PSYCHO SHARK might be full of people getting eaten by a shark. Or at the very least the threat of being eaten by a shark. Unfortunately you would be wrong. For the first hour there's nothing but some large breasted Japanese girls frolicking on the beach. While that's nice to watch even that becomes boring after an hour and then we get a psycho guy who stabs gals and feeds them to a shark. So the movie coulda just as truthfully been called PSYCHO GUY but the shark does finally show up in the last few minutes and eats everyone. The shark is a typically shitty looking cgi monster the size of 2 or 3 whales put together and he can jump out of the water 50 feet in the air. Shame on you PSYCHO SHARK for having one fucking shark attack and trying to pass yourself off as a JAWS rip-off.
The only scene worth watching in this whole stupid mess of a movie:
Chock full of ultra-lame, Stacey Q synth-pop tunes which include ear-achingly awful romantic ballads this pseudo-teen comedy screams 1980's. The plot is about a nerdy dork who finds a time portal and goes back to prehistoric days. He spends most of his time there trying to bang the titular cave-girl. Unfortunately she's not 50 feet tall as the poster promises also the cave-people are not animated characters, but that's probably a good thing. Also she must have invented some sort of cave-hairspray since her hair always looks perfectly puffy and 80's-ish. The movie starts out with some slapstick and gratuitous nudity but ends up being more of a romantic comedy, which is just unbearable. There's a threat of cannibalism which they never follow through on. I guess I can't expect CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST when I'm watching a lighthearted romp such as this. This was part of an 80's teen sex comedy DVD box set or I would probably toss it.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
This one is supposed to be the world's first abominable snowman flick. It is probably also one of the world's worst snowman flicks. Everything from the shitty costume(just a tall guy in a furry suit that kind of looks like footy pajamas with his face clearly visible) to the super slow pacing(you see the same scene of people climbing a mountain over and over until you drift softly to sleep) to the stupid KING KONG rip-off plot(but we don't get the monster climbs something tall and gets shot off it and takes a big fall ending!). Only mildly interesting for historical reasons.
The not so thrilling conclusion:
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Ever since experiencing A SERBIAN FILM I've been on the lookout for anything similarly messed-up from that country and this movie keeps getting mentioned here and there as an example of another mind-blowing slice of Eastern European madness. While not as insane as A.S.F. this is a similar story of how fucked up things are, or at least were in the 90's in that country. The similarities are that there's porn and there's snuff and it's set in a place that I never want to be stranded in. Of course there are a lot of places in America like that also. While this one never gets down to the offensive lows of children being abused like it's nastier follow up it does have some bestiality, a goat killing, fun with a chainsaw, self-mutilation, oddball sex acts and lots of general snuff-related nastiness. My favorite scene is probably where our porn gang gets raped in the woods by a bunch of dirty old men. At first, as you would expect, it's pretty horrific but by the end the old men are laughed at by our nasty perverts and it just about ruins their good time. Very strange. Overall a pretty engaging nihilistic adventure to feed your black little soul with if that's your trip.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
"Some of us sprang a little bit further than others"
Growing up in the 70's by the time I got to actually watch Chiller Theater on Channel 11 here in New York horror host Zacherle was long gone. I have seen some of his old tapes, which didn't look like they were kept in the best condition but were fun to see anyway and his appearance in Nick Zedd's GEEK MAGGOT BINGO, which was odd to see but cool as well. But anyhow Zach hosts this made-for-VHS-tape compilation of old time horror B-movies and recreates his old show for anyone who didn't get the chance to catch him back in the 60's. His shtick as always is silly and fits well with the absurdity of the clips shown. You get tons of stuff including Lugosi, Karloff, Ed Wood, radiation monsters and even a bunch of Abbott and Costello thrown in. It's too bad not much of Zach's older stuff has survived but this one's definitely worth checking out for monster kids of all ages.
I never knew there was a live-action Betty Boop until watching this.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Pretty standard 80's comedy that might be of interest to horror movie fans due to the fact that Christopher Lee plays the head of the college in it. It is kinda weird to see Lee trying to be funny. He gets hit on by a transvestite in one of the few semi-humorous scenes. You also get SHAFT star Richard Roundtree as the coach of this team of misfit tennis players that include your stereotypical gay character, a psycho guy (played by Donald Gibb who was also the crazy guy, Ogre, in REVENGE OF THE NERDS), a wacky Spanish guy and a few preppies. Plus there's Mariska Hargitay, daughter of Jayne Mansfield, who's a big deal on some modern TV show I could care less about. For an 80's movie like this there isn't very much of the expected nudity or even anything all that funny going on. If you find tennis matches thrilling this might be for you but I found the whole thing to be pretty uninteresting and unfortunately typical of the era it was made in.
This old 60's sexploitation flick is pretty close to more modern day porn in that there really isn't that much of a plot, just a bunch of scenes of a woman being used and abused by various people around Hollywood as she tries to work her way to the top. There's a weird scene where her clothes are auctioned off and then her boss hits her 'cuz she didn't let the winner of the auction have his way with her. Most of the scenes don't even have that much drama though and are just excuses for more nudity and soft-core sex. Not that there's anything wrong with that if black and white humping turns you on. There's also an audition with a big-boobed stripper who was either pregnant or had quite the beer-belly which was kinda gross but maybe some folks are into that kind of thing. My favorite bit is the climax where our heroine/poster-child for female victimization is chloroformed and then used in a weird orgy/gang-bang while some DOORS-rip-off music plays, everyone is covered in shaving cream and a guy in an ugly monster/gorilla mask fondles her lovingly. Now that's a party!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
A look at the history of exploitation films that focuses on some of the big names like Roger Corman, Sam Arkoff, Dave Friedman, Harry Novack, Doris Wishman and a few others. The main focus is really AIP Pictures and stuff that you can find on Something Weird Video. It never really goes too deep and leaves out some important names. For example-How can you talk about the history of sexploitation movies and not even mention Russ Meyer? But besides a few glaring exceptions like that it's an entertaining overview of the flip-side of Hollywood and a look at the battles people had to fight back in the day to even get their controversial films shown. Of course if you actually went in-depth about everyone who had anything to do with B-movies from the 30's up until the 70's this film would be about 20 hours long so it's decent for what it is attempting to do and has all the expected cool clips and interview segments.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Director Cirio H. Santiago was responsible for a ton of exploitation flicks throughout the the 70's and then a bunch of cheap-ass action epics that went straight to video in the 80's and 90's. Shot for pennies in the Philippines most of them aren't all that great but they must have made money for someone cuz he never stopped churning them out until he died in 2008. This one was made for Roger Corman's New World Pictures and was co-written by cult actor fav Dick Miller. It's sort of a mash-up of a kung-fu and blaxploitation flick that comes of as a crappier version of Pam Grier's FOXY BROWN. You get a little blood and some boobs(including a cool topless-fu scene by star Jeanne Bell). Bell's acting and fighting is pretty awful but it fits in well in a trashy film of this type. The plot is your basic brother is killed now I must get revenge type and it plays out exactly how you expect it to. Not the worst or best of either of the genres it's part of. Check it out for the great giant afros though.
If there was such a thing as a feminist kung-fu flick this might be it. The story starts off with a young lady trying to convince some monks to teach her Shaolin style kung-fu. Apparently these are sexist monks because women can't be taught but eventually she finds one old monk who teaches her some crazy shit like how to stretch her arms like Dhalsim in that STREET FIGHTER game and how to break giant boulders with her skull! This causes our heroine to grow a mustache for some reason and then everything just keeps getting weirder as the story goes on. There's a guy who fights standing on his hands, a bunch of invisible men, a guy in white-face with a swastika on his forehead like Charlie Manson and a guy with elongating legs(which is actually a guy fighting on stilts which is pretty amazing). My favorite part is the anti-male rant by star Polly Shang Kwan. Unfortunately it's one of those kung-fu flicks that's so stupid you can feel your I.Q. dropping as you watch it. This was filmed way back in '77 and then released here in '81 as FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL and also as DON'T BLEED ON ME then re-released on VHS as KUNG FU HALLOWEEN which makes no sense and then finally re-re-released by The Wu Tang Clan under this title on the VHS that I own which also makes no sense since it's all about Shaolin with no mention of Wu Tang at all. For hardcore chop-sockey fans only or just fans of really dumb stuff.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
A fairly decent blaxploitation movie that I had actually never heard of until recently. It stars a bunch of people that I also have never heard of. This one is supposed to be set in the 50's but it seems to have a much more 70's vibe to it with its awesome funky soundtrack, prominent sideburns and also the fact that you can spot a few 70's-era cars here and there. It also seems to have been much more influenced by THE GODFATHER than any pimp movies of the time. The story is about a black "godfather" type name Pasha who is trying to keep control of his empire and has to deal with the Italian Mafia, dirty cops and slimy politicians. It's not great but it does have some entertainingly weird elements like Pasha's main enforcer who is a tall killer tranny henchman/henchwoman who likes to beat people into a bloody mess with her/his high-heels plus there's this one song titled "Nigger Rich" that they play while counting money that's pretty hard to get out of your head which could be a bad thing. The couple of gore scenes were also something that I didn't really expect from a movie like this so that was cool. This was supposedly re-released under the amazing title GET NIGGER RICH ON NUMBER 666 but I don't think you're ever going to see that DVD in Best Buys. Not the best of its genre as the middle section seems to drag for a while but check it out if you dig blaxploitation flicks at all.
This trailer makes the movie look way more exciting than it is:
Monday, December 6, 2010
I've read descriptions of this one calling it a blaxploitation version of THE MUMMY. Well that's only sorta true since the mummy creature himself is from Africa but overall it doesn't have much of a blaxploitation vibe to it plus some of the "black" folks look like white people with a really dark spray-on tan. Filmed in Spain in '73 as BLOODY VOODOO and released here in America in '75, this is a pretty dull version of the Karloff Universal classic with some African rituals thrown in to explain the monster. I guess they hoped people would think this had something to do with THE EXORCIST from the re-titling, which it doesn't at all. It has some very odd opening scenes with a voodoo dance with dead chickens and a very fake-looking decapitation and then for some reason we are in outer space as the titles are presented over shots of astronauts and moon missions and then finally we are on a cruise ship where most of the movie takes place, it's kind of a hodge-podge of images that comes off as a complete mess. This mummy doesn't wear the classic bandages either his face just turns into a sludgey-looking mess when he gets in a murderin' mood. There's one funny scene where he kills a girl in front of a mirror while we clearly see the cameraman there filming the whole thing. There's not much blood as most of the kills are by strangulation and only a little nudity so you could probably find something better to do with your time than wasting it on this and if you want to see a real black exorcist rip-off go watch ABBY.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Good documentary on the history of "grindhouse" and exploitation movies and movies in general. The film takes you from the sleaze in the very first motion pictures ever made, right up to that Tarantino/Rodriquez Hollywood flop(which turned the word "grindhouse" into a trendy thing for wannabee-hip assholes to say). This is probably the best and most comprehensive look at these types of movies as they hit on almost every sub-genre in some detail. Of course you could just buy a bunch of books on the subject and learn a whole lot more there but for the less literate-minded among us this is fairly informative. You get comments and stories from a bunch of folks involved in the world of outrageous cinema like Ted V. Mikels, Jack Hill, Joe Dante, Bill Lustig and narration by Robert Forster. It moves along quickly and is edited together well. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in the history of the types of movies that played on 42nd Street before it became just another Disney-fied shopping center.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
"Who's here? I'm here. You're here."
Al Pacino's finest work! I got a chance to check this out on a big screen last night and it was a great way to watch a film that I had only seen on my old murky VHS tape. Even though the film print was a bit scratchy here and there it looked awesome on a real movie-screen the way God intended it to be seen. Protested by gay groups, William Friedkin's CRUISING has been a controversial film since it was first released. Personally I love this film as the sleazy look at a subculture that I know next to nothing about. Right up front we are told that the events depicted are not meant to represent all homosexuals but a small subset of the population and what a wacky group it is. You get tons of scenes of very masculine(non-stereotypical at the time) gay men with crazy 70's mustaches boogieing down at underground nightclubs with public blow-jobs, fucking and even a greasy fisting scene. Amongst all this insanity is Al Pacino as an undercover cop looking for a deranged killer. The amazing thing is that Friedkin shot these scenes at real clubs using actual patrons at the time just doing what came natural to them and although it does, today, come off as some type of bizarre Village People convention it does convey a trip into a scary underworld pretty convincingly. Joe Spinell puts in a good job as a dirty cop and you also get the killer from Charles Bronson's 10 TO MIDNIGHT as a very weird leather-daddy/transvestite character. Plus you get a song by great L.A. punk band THE GERMS. The whole movie is wrapped up in a way that leaves it ambiguous enough that we're not entirely sure what really happened and even who the real killer is and that ambiguity seems to be the central point of the film. The movie supposedly contains subliminal messages of hardcore gay porn inserted at certain points. Not sure what effect that was suppose to have but I do have a strange desire to go out and buy me some snazzy leather pants.
All the hip-hop asshole/ wannabe gangsters can keep SCARFACE and mainstream Amerikkka can keep all his Hollywood garbage after that(where he basically just played a parody of himself anyway). For my money this is the high-point of Pacino's career. It's too bad Mr. Al seems to disagree. I mean I assume he disagrees since he appears to be embarrassed by this film and never comments on it in interviews or anywhere. Apparently the original version of this film was over 140 minutes long and that version was forced to be cut down to the 100 minute cut we have now before it was released. This seems to be a major point of disappointment for many of the people involved. Unfortunately those cuts look like they were destroyed but it would be pretty amazing if somehow that lost footage is found and a truly complete print of this was made available. There are so many great performances besides the lead. You get Nancy Allen who would go on to become INDIANA JONES' girlfriend as Pacino's girfriend here, Joe "MANIAC" Spinell as a self-hating homosexual cop who specializes in gay-bashing, Paul Sorvino who would go on to be the boss in GOODFELLAS as the boss here, Gene Davis who would go on to be that crazy naked killer in 10 TO MIDNIGHT as a not-quite as crazy cross-dressing homo-prostitute and pretty much everyone right down to the leather-clad gay bar Village People look-a-likes. Everyone works amazingly well and I'm sure it's thanks to Mr. Friedkin's direction. Of course the man also made one the greatest horror films of all time THE EXORCIST so it's not very shocking that he knows what he's doing here. The guy knew how to create mood and tension and it's a shame that this film was a pretty big flop when it came out and set his career back at the time. The public wasn't ready for a film like this 30 years ago. This movie was picketed at the time of release by gay-rights groups for defaming the homosexual community. I can see there point but the movie, as stated right in the opening, isn't supposed to represent the whole gay community anymore than your typical boob-filled slasher movie represents the morals of the mainstream straight community. There's also at least one decent gay character in the movie. This might also be the only R-rated film to feature a fisting scene. You also get a memorably bizarre scene where a black man in a jockstrap appears in the middle of a police interrogation, leather drag queens, bloody gay serial killing and an amazingly totally 70's New York City setting. There's nothing I can really say bad about this movie besides maybe the unclear ending and I think that even works in it's favor at least for me. It keeps everything from being neatly summed up and simplified. This is a movie I've seen many times and I've enjoyed it every time.
The Pacino dance!:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This is supposed to be a comedy/slasher yet the title is the only thing even mildly funny and even that is debatable. What makes people think they can just videotape themselves and their friends hanging out goofing around and then release it like anyone who doesn't know them or their friends would want to sit through something like that? This is by far one of the worst things I have ever seen. So fucking annoying I feel like every actor was daring me to keep watching them with all their antics. This piece of crap starts off with some white kid doing an impression of a black man from THE LITTLE RASCALS-era and the humor stays at about that level throughout the whole thing. They have a stereotypical Italian guy(which I kind of feel is the way people see me whenever I venture out of New York) a hillbilly, a metalhead, a gay guy and a bunch of other people trying to be funny with their zany line delivery. I don't think I have ever been drunk enough in my life to even get a chuckle out of any of this crap. Even the killer sucks! He fucking raps and cracks lame jokes while he kills these assholes! Yuck! If every annoying character was killed in the first 5 minutes and that was it this would still be totally unwatchable and this film is 75 minutes! Ouch! There is only one bit that is watchable and that features the one hot chick they managed to get showing her boobs and taking a fake facial. Of course you could also just go watch your average porn flick and avoid all the other terrible bits. If you can get through all this without wanting to punch your screen you're a better person than me.
Tony Danza is the boss! What a bunch of jackasses:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Full Moon Entertainment have cranked out a shitload of horrible movies throughout the 80's, 90's and they're still going today. They have, arguably, a worse track record than Troma when it comes to awful productions. I mean I can say that at least a few Troma movies appealed to me when I was younger, Full Moon's stuff never really did at all. I mean how many times do you need to see them remake the same basic movie about killer puppets or killer dolls? It seemed like director Charles Band had quite an insatiable little person fetish. Now no one loves midgets more than I do but when you get even smaller than that it gets a little strange to me. The main appeal of this here movie is that it features a rich wacko madman, who happens to have a tiny, little, shrunken, Beetlejuice-style head. But that's not the cool thing, the cool thing is that he has an all female rock band that he keeps in a cage. They get shocked whenever he wants to hear them rock out. Who wouldn't want that? Plus he also has a midget servant which is just icing on the cake. Now it also features stupid little dolls cuz it was directed by Band and that's what turns him on. If you can ignore that silliness you get some blood, a brief boob flash, weird, kinky s & m games and a bodygaurd who wears clown makeup. So while this one might be barely watchable for the weirdness it's still just another in a long line of fairly crappy silliness.
If you ever thought to yourself "wouldn't it be cool if Ron Jeremy played Leatherface" then this might be the movie for you. In this shot-on-video story of cheerleaders vs. a crazy cannibal you get the porn legend looking like Leatherface wearing a welding helmet for some reason(he never does do any welding though). The positive things about this are the good-looking cheerleaders(which bring us boobs and lesbianism) and it seems to have been filmed well enough for what it is(this was shot on video but then put through a filter process to make it look like film). Overall though it's extremely stupid and would probably have appealed to me a whole lot more when I was around 10 years old because that's the level of humor throughout. I did get a chuckle out of Jeremy/Andre throwing his hands up like someone scored a field goal every time he succeeds in killing his victims by throwing a large knife into them. And that's about all you can hope to get from this, a couple of chuckles here and there and then long stretches of wishing you were watching something better. You get a Pam Grier "Foxy Brown" rip-off character, a hillbilly narrator that reminded me of Uncle Jesse from THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, completely stupid supernatural powers from the killer and an annoyingly shitty nu-metal soundtrack. I'd say skip this one unless you are some kind of weird-ass Jeremy fanatic or just want to see something a little too retarded even for me.
Monday, November 29, 2010
More of a voyage to the beach of hot blonds with clam-shells on their boobs but I see what they were going for. While Director Peter Bogdanovich would go on to direct way more serious films, like THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, this was his debut feature film which he made for Roger Corman's American International Pictures. What you have here is a cut and paste job using footage from VOYAGE TO THE PREHISTORIC PLANET and a couple of older Russian sci-fi films. Some new footage of Mamie Van Doren and her group of sexy inhabitants of what's supposed to be Venus were shot to spice things up and Bogdanovich does the voice-over narration. The dinosaurs and lizard-men they encounter look like they were made by Sid & Marty Krofft which just adds to the ultra-cheesy feel of the whole thing. For some reason astronauts from a lot of sci-fi movies of this time period always come off as real jerks to me. I mean they crack jokes, clown around and generally act like the most obnoxious, pompous American stereotypes. I was kinda hoping at least a few of them would wind up burning alive in hot lava but unfortunately I don't think this was ever meant to be anything even remotely serious. Check it out for the ultra-wacky factor alone.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The controversial 1980's Guinea Pig series of gore/horror films from Japan are good examples of what happens when you give splatter-happy, gore-hound, sicko's the films they want minus any story to get in the way of the disgusting spectacle of torture and bloody dismemberment. At least the first few films could be described that way but by the time it got to this 4th entry they started getting a bit more experimental with the nauseating acts. This one is basically the tale of an artist who finds a mermaid in a sewer and and brings her home, keeps her in a bathtub and while she slowly dies there(because every idiot knows you can't keep a mermaid in a bathtub!) he paints her using the colorful puss from her festering wounds as paint. As a bonus there are lots of gooey night-crawlers and other worms exiting her body also. So if that sounds like something that would turn you on or if you just want something to gross your friends out with this might be a suitable choice. Personally I find this entry pretty boring for long stretches and also pretty silly especially when compared to the first two films which play like pretty straight forward reenactments of snuff films. I know these films only exist to disgust and shock and I guess in that context this one works well enough just don't expect any profound work of extreme art.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Besides some of Brian DePalma's films, this one always seemed to me to be the closest thing to an American made Giallo film. It has the crazy camera shots, mysterious killer and gory yet stylish murder scenes. I generally love movies with anti-social little girls with problems and in this one our main gal Alice isn't very sweet at all, in fact at one point a detective remarks about how nuts she really is. Although she may be a bit nutty she seems to have somewhat valid reasons for being a little off with her getting the blame for everything and her cute little sister(Brooke Shields) getting all the praise. Of course my favorite character of this film is the absurdly obese, sweaty mess of a man, Mr. Alphonso. Played by the rotund, over-acting powerhouse Alphonso DeNoble, who unfortunately only appeared in 2 other films before I'm guessing his heart exploded! (both by director Joel M. Reed: BLOODSUCKING FREAKS & NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES). This Mr. Alphonso has to be one of the most disgusting displays in film history as he seems to never change his piss-stained underpants and lies around all day in his apartment full of cats. You can almost smell the scent of urine waft off the screen while viewing him. It is truly an unforgettable performance! This is also the first theatrical film of young Brooke Shields who's filmography is full of stuff that I don't care about very much. Although, not having been raised Catholic, I might be missing some of the religious(or is it anti-religious) significance of the film I still say check it for a good slice of 70's giallo-esque horror.
A.K.A. HOLY TERROR:
Michael Findlay who working alongside his wife Roberta was responsible for a bunch of low-budget sleazy 60's epics designed to be shown on New York's 42nd Street and then forgotten about. KISS OF HER FLESH is the third film in their "FLESH" trilogy and is the culmination of the whole lurid revenge-fueled tale. Everything seems to be amped up in this final rampage of the killer, Mr. Jennings, as he takes out women just because they're women. You see Mr. Jennings' wife cheated on him and that just drove him over the edge and turned him into a woman hating, kill-crazy, nut-bag who vows to kill every woman in the world! A pretty lofty goal but he had a good run of three movies at least. The inventiveness and absurdity of the weapons and killing methods used is always amusing and in this one our misogynist psycho uses a blow-torch, acid douche, electrified earrings, a lobster claw and even his own poisoned sperm! The sex scenes are unexpectedly graphic for this era also with vagina on display and an almost hardcore looking simulated blow-job bit. The whole thing does play like some long lost slasher movie with sleazy sex thrown in and I kind of feel like this is what William Lustig's MANIAC would have looked like if it was filmed in 1968 instead of 1980 and that's why I enjoyed it so much. If you're looking to watch some depraved entertaining weirdo flick that played back when the phrase grind-house actually meant something this would be one I would suggest.
This is some weird cut version of the film, SOMETHING WEIRD has the uncut version on DVD:
Monday, November 22, 2010
I first saw this very bizarre movie on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and this is a perfect example of a movie that's really difficult to watch on its own without the help of wise-ass robots. You start off with endlessly boring scenes of driving and then you meet characters played by what must be some of the worst actors ever filmed. The character of Torgo is especially hilarious and extra strange with his stilted speech, weirdo goat-legs and shimmying walk. The story is a pretty simple one about a family that gets lost and ends up at the house of a cult that worships Manos!(the god of darkness or hands or dark hands or something like that). The father acts like a jerk most of the time and the mom seems like a pain in the ass so you don't really care what happens to these annoying creeps anyway. One absurdity leads to the next and thankfully it all ends in a little over an hour. You get totally non-sexy cat-fights with ladies in nighties and also a severed, exploding, flaming hand thrown in for added excitement. I would recommend only the MST3K version of this otherwise you're just asking for time to stand still. Director Hal P. Warren was a fertilizer salesman and this was, thank god!, his only movie.
"I am Torgo":
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Also know by the utterly amazing title of THE BIG TITS DRAGON: STRIPPERS 5 VS. ZOMBIES, this is sort of a Japanese version of ZOMBIE STRIPPERS but since it's Japanese it's way more wacky. Like that movie though this features some porn stars taking a stab at acting in an actual movie. Well sort of an actual movie if you count shot on video stuff full of CGI as a real movie. CGI blood usually pisses me off but in these types of movies (MACHINE GIRL, TOKYO GORE POLICE etc.) it fits the absurdity of them since they're all big cartoons of violence anyway. You get zombie-sushi that flies around and attacks people, intestines that turn into raping tentacles, perverts eating sushi off a naked lady and lots of weird spectacles like that. As usual in Japanese cinema the goth stripper turns out to be the "bad guy" since anyone who's into underground culture or not part of the mainstream is always the force of evil but maybe I'm reading too much into a movie where zombies play a game of ping-pong with an eyeball. Some of the scenes were shot in 3-D but the version I saw didn't have any of that. The one bad thing is that for a movie titled BIG TITS ZOMBIE there isn't a major amount of nudity which is weird but still boner worthy if you're into scantily clad Asian strippers that don't really ever strip. Check it out if you dig the new wave of extremely stupid Japanese gore flicks.
The Big Titty Dragon!! Why isn't stuff like this playing at my local multiplex?:
A young John Ashley(who would later on go to the Philippines and fight monsters there in those Blood Island movies) stars in this 50's updating of the Frankenstein story mixed with teenage drama. This typically goofy monster flick features Dr. Frankenstein's grandson making monsters. Their are actually two monsters for the price of one in this one. One is a teen gal who gets slipped a spiked drink and then gets all pasty-faced, grows some goofy-ass giant eyebrows, bug-eyes and stalks the neighborhood all the while wearing nothing but a bathing suit and robe. Frankenstein also builds another female monster from dead bodies of stupid teens. This creature, which looks quite masculine, is quite the looker with sort of a Two-Face from BATMAN look. Her outfit appears to be some kind of Martian workout track suit. She/he/it walks about town doing a version of the robot dance and karate chopping people that get in the way which just looks fucking ridiculous. This thing is only 75 minutes long and unfortunately a lot of them are exceedingly dull minutes full of talky-talk scenes but there is some monsteriffic action hare and there and actually some blood on a few victims which is rare in these oldies. Should be fun for hardcore monster fans for nostalgic reasons if nothing else.
An early Pete Walker horror film made after his successful run of British sexploitation films of the 60's. Like those films this one has some good looking ladies and lots of nudity on display. This movie is often cited as being an early example of the slasher film genre and it is that although it's a relatively blood free version. The story involves a group of actors who are stalked in a theater by a mysterious wack-a-doo nut-job. I found this film as a whole not really all that engaging and kind of slow through most of its running time. I feel like Walker was just getting his footing here and would go on to make much better more graphic works throughout the 70's. There are some clever bits and even a little twist ending thrown in. My main problem is probably the awesomely graphic title which doesn't convey the restrained nature of a film where most all of the murders take place off-screen. Check out his later titles for more blood and sleaze filled good times.
The killer's flashback sequence was originally in 3-D:
Great character actor Michael Moriarty star of 80's horror films like Q and THE STUFF wrote a stage play titled HITLER AND CHRIST MEET DEATH AT THE PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL which in turn became this artsy-fartsy indie movie. What it basically consists of is 70 minutes or so of two bums who believe they are these two respective historical/biblical characters having theological conversations about death, sex, life, good and evil and all that kind of heady stuff. Sort of like a super serious, downer, bizzarro-world version of Kevin Smith's CLERKS. Now while this might appeal to folks with religious questions about the nature of forgiveness(would Jesus forgive even Hitler himself?), I found the whole thing pretty dull and plodding and the completely incongruous ending has the Jesus character attacking Mr. Hitler(who prefers to be called Attila?) with bolts of electricity which just doesn't make any sense at all. Moriarty, as he usually does, gives an interesting performance as an insane delusional man who may or may not be Der Fuehrer but a feature length film with 2 people talking just isn't my idea of entertainment but the title is great. If they ever remake this one with some kung fu gorillas I'm all in.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
There was a time when the younger generation was feared by the older one. A revolution against old out-dated ways of thinking was in full swing, the old values that had been held onto as examples of what was good with America were crumbling away. It was in this atmosphere, where people feared their own children, that a film like JOE was spawned and probably hit a familiar chord with audiences of the early 70's. This film basically encapsulates and puts a face on the struggle, at the time, between conservative and liberal forces and the old vs. the young. Peter Boyle is great, as always, as the title character who sets the template for Archie Bunker in his racist/bigoted views. His rambling diatribe of hate speech("look at this shitting music") when we first meet him in some crap-hole bar is amazing and I love to play just that scene completely out of context for friends and unsuspecting guests. It's always a hit and leaves people with that "what the fuck did I just witness"-look. This was also Susan Sarandon's first film and we get to see her naked in a bathtub which is a nice little treat. Seen today this movie will certainly not have the same resonance it did back in the days of hippie marches and free love orgies due to the dated nature of lots of its scenes but it's a nice view back to a time when the youth had something that hasn't been seen by anyone in a long time, the power to actually change things and the fear that set loose. All in all it's a fine example of a unique smack-taking, Easter-orgy lovin', junkie-abusing, hippie death trip of a film.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
In some type of subconscious fit of masochist excess I keep watching the films of crappy sleaze-film maven Doris Wishman. I know that they will never be all that good but I keep watching no matter how boring or stupid they are and this is one of the dumbest and also pretty boring to boot. This one involves a man named Arthur who gets a penis transplant from his buddy that was apparently a murdering rapist, who only killed women with cheap gold earrings and then Arthur himself becomes a murdering rapist, who only kills women with cheap gold earrings, because of the demented penis or is it a haunted penis? Well either way it's bad news for Arthur. Why does he get a penis transplant you might ask? Well his buddy was a hit with the ladies so naturally it was his magical penis that turned all the women on or something like that. The whole movie really doesn't make any sense. Arthur blackmails the doctor into performing the ridiculous operation and then when he realizes he's a homicidal maniac he turns around and blames the doctor like it wasn't his own idea in the first place!? Plus you don't even get to the penis transplanting stuff until about an hour or so into this so most of the film consists of soft-core sex scenes which pad out a majority of the running time. Of course this will not stop me and I will be watching more Doris soon enough(DEADLY WEAPONS or maybe the original SATAN WAS A LADY) and keep hoping for the best but knowing she will keep crushing my dreams of quality smut.
Stupid drama while some Doors rip-off band plays on the soundtrack and then Arthur meets a prostitute while Doris shoots fire escapes and other random inanimate objects:
Made back in THE 60's in Argentina this sexploitation classic was banned in its home country for its lewd sexual displays(consisting of star Isabel Sarli's tremendous boobs and hetero plus homosexual slutty antics). A favorite of director John Waters(no doubt due to its similarities to Russ Meyers films) and you can see where Divine was inspired with the amazingly pouty and gyration-filled performance of Ms. Sarli. I find it amazing in reading more about Sarli that she was, in real life, a quiet Catholic gal who hated doing nude scenes but only did them to help out her lover(director Armando Bo) and I'm sure her assets helped sell many tickets. If this little factoid is true then I would rate this as one of the greatest(and maybe campiest) performances of all time. I also feel that in addition to the obvious sex for sex's sake there is a, surely unintentional, feminist message throughout the film. I mean Sarli's Laura character seems pretty content with her life of sleeping around and enjoying continual lesbian romps with her maid up until the point where she gets married to a man who wants to possess her completely. This being the 60's and being South America this theme isn't explored very fully and relegates any lesbianic tendencies of hers to being unnatural urges brought on by her insatiable "sickness". After viewing this you will likely have visions of Latino boobs dancing through your head and as an added bonus the theme song "FUEGO!" will also be stuck in there for a while. Watching this today it all comes off as a hilariously campy film that was made with what I'm pretty sure at the time of filming were somewhat serious intentions, at least as serious as a film primarily made to show off a woman's huge breasts can be.
John Waters introduction:
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
John Carradine, a bunch of bikers and a few rednecks star in what may be one of the first Bigfoot movies of the 70's and what also might be one of the dumbest Bigfoot movies ever. In this one Bigfoot is the head of a whole family of Bigfeet and they kidnap big boobed girls to mate with. They try to rip-off KING KONG with some unconvincing shots designed to make Mr. Foot look way bigger than he is. What makes it extra stupid is the rubber masks and flea-bitten costumes all the creatures wear. It's kind of a cool idea to have bikers fighting against Bigfoot but these aren't exactly the toughest looking bikers or the scariest looking monsters I've ever seen. With its intentional camp factor this whole film seems just one sliver away from turning into the 60's BATMAN TV show. Haji from FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! shows up in a small part. I think my favorite part of this is the far-out soundtrack. Only check this one out if you dig extra goofiness in your garbage cinema.
"Try to be patient with her, Stravos, she's only an amateur and a woman"
Early Spanish monster/adventure movie(released here in American on a double bill with Mario Bava's KILL BABY KILL") about a group of cave explorers who set loose an invisible, blood-drinking, screeching dinosaur. Saving money on any monster FX this movie instead contains a bunch of invisible footprints and silly stuff like the scene where the prehistoric beast is hit with axes and then they appear to just float through the air for a while. The cast includes Soledad Miranda who would go on to star in a bunch of Jess Franco sex romps like VAMPYROS LESBOS before dying in a car crash.and the debut of Ingrid Pitt who would go on to star in some Hammer lesbian vampire movies. Although as expected this is cheesy and badly dubbed in places it does somehow manage to be kind of creepy in places as well. When the group lock themselves up in a house it even has that NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD feel to it. Despite it's absurd premise I found this to be a watchable waste of time for trash film fans.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Bigfoot, along with UFO's, The Bermuda Triangle and The Loch Ness Monster were super popular subjects throughout the 1970's. There were tons of movies, books and TV shows dedicated to these and other stupid, easily-explainable mysteries but I suppose those were different times when people wanted to believe in the existence of scary monsters and magical beings like Evel Kneivel for example. This made for TV documentary about Bigfoot (here called the Manbeast!) is basically just an overlong version of the 70's TV show IN SEARCH OF... without the Leonard Nimoy narration(this one is narrated by professional animal and monster hunter Peter Byrne). In fact this thing was based on a book titled IN SEARCH OF MYTHS AND MONSTERS so there ya go. Directed by Nicholas Webster, who is best known for the holiday gem SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, all the actual "encounters' with the Manbeast are recreated here with people in cheesy costumes(by Rob Bottin who would go on to do the much superior FX work on THE THING among other big films) and told in such an earnest way that everything seems so very silly. Check it out if you dig 70's TV or just Bigfootsploitation in general covered in lots of unintentional cheese.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
"This film is dedicated to those who are disturbed by today's lax moral codes and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment"
The problem with a lot of England's horror movie output from the 60's and 70's is that they were very restrained in comparison to their counterparts in Italy and other parts of Europe and as a result come off as pretty boring to most audiences today. English director Pete Walker was one exception to this rule though in that his films dealt with some pretty sleazy subject matter and contained enough violence and nudity to satisfy most lovers of lurid cinema such as myself. HOUSE OF WHIPCORD is a good example of this in that it's sort of a women in prison film but not in the typical sense. This prison is being operated without any consent of the state and is run by a former warden who was fired for cruelty and a retired judge. They deal out punishment and even executions with no authority to do so. There's a clear anti-capital punishment message contained here that I think is delivered really well. While classier than many of the bottom of the barrel women in prison movies that would come later it still contains enough whippings, dirty naked prisoners and enough of an overall crazy tone to make for a good time. This along with the also recommendable FRIGHTMARE are the only two Walker flicks that I've seen so far but there's a few more I want to check out.
Back when I was a kid before we had a VCR, and before we had cable, local UHF stations were my main source for obscure horror films, WWF wrestling, The Uncle Floyd Show, weird Japanese cartoons and other assorted strange stuff that the main stations never showed. If you fiddled with the antennae just right you could find a whole world of bizarre programming that most people didn't give a shit about. One late night I tuned into a Connecticut station to find a strange white-haired, bearded man wearing a cowboy hat sitting quietly in front of a live studio audience reading a bible and puffing on a big cigar while some band, decked out in used car salesman suits, played some pseudo-religious jazzy number. The man would stop reading occasionally to yell at me and any other viewers, insane enough to be watching this at 1 in the morning, for not sending him money for his church then he would yell at his band to play the same song over and over again. That was where I discovered Dr. Gene Scott and whenever there weren't any worthwhile trash films airing I would end up watching this clearly unhinged, so-called man of God terrorize and threaten people into coughing up some dough for Jesus. Although I never sent Scott any money I feel I should thank him in some way for the hours of entertainment back then and also unintentionally for my views on the insanity of religion today. In this documentary, director Werner Herzog lets Scott tell his own story and doesn't add any narrative at all. Not sure if this would appeal in any way to an audience who doesn't know anything about Scott prior to viewing it but for me it was a trip down memory lane to a time when I had nothing better to do with my life than get yelled at on a Saturday night by God's angry man.
Spanking monkeys for Jesus, fuck the FCC!: