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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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

THE SHE-CREATURE (1956)


 So according to this movie, if I understand it correctly, mankind has evolved from these creatures that look like a mix between THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and an insect or maybe a crab.  The one in this movie is a female so, of course, it has big boobs.  This sounds pretty ridiculous but the monster looks kind of cool for the era it was made in and she is pretty neat while slapping people dead with her big crazy claw-hands but unfortunately she never chops off any heads like my fav 50's monster THE MONSTER FROM PIEDRAS BLANCAS(which is another creature this She-Creature resembles).
 For a cheap American International Pictures monster movie this one has a pretty convoluted plot about a hypnotist who can bring manifestations of a person's past lives to physical reality.  It also could have used a little more monster action and a lot less talking about how dumb the whole idea of this hypnotist having actual powers really is(we already know that!) and the whole love triangle sub-plot is not particularly exciting either.  The wacky butler whose bow-tie flies off when he gets excited was unexpectedly goofy.
 If you're a fan of stuff like THE WASP WOMAN or any of the other quickly made 50's AIP monster flicks this should work for you.  I did like how the movie ended with "THE END" followed by a big question mark but as far as I know there was never any GROOM OF THE SHE-CREATURE made.  This title was used by Cinemax in 2001 for a movie that was supposedly an homage to this but it has a very different plot and I've never seen it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968)


 I picked up a few of these Hammer Collection movies cheaply on VHS recently and have been working my way through them.  Not being a huge fan of Hammer studios in general most of the stuff has been at least mildly entertaining but this one is probably my least favorite so far.  It's a little surprising since I've only heard good things about this and have even seen it near the top of a few people's lists of favorite Hammer flicks.  I did like the silly Satanic rituals on display and it all seems shot well enough. Maybe it's just the fact that Christopher Lee plays the movie's hero that throws me off.  I mean the guy is so great at being the evil villain!  Why didn't they cast him as the head of the devil-cult?  Was Peter Cushing too busy for this good-guy role?  I think that would have made the movie a bit more entertaining to me.  Another thing that stood out in a bad way were the terrible special FX, especially the scene of the giant magical tarantula attacking which looked really awful but I guess I should be happy that it wasn't some CGI cartoon crap.  Also speaking of magic this movie relied on lots of magic spells and whatnot which I found pretty dumb.  I probably won't be watching this again anytime soon but if you're a real Hammer fan apparently it's wonderful. A.K.A.-THE DEVIL'S BRIDE


Monday, December 26, 2011

FEMALE JUNGLE (1955)



 If you ever wanted to see Jayne Mansfield make out with Lawrence Tierney this is the movie for you.  Mansfield is featured here in her first movie, Tierney, best known to Tarantino fans as Joe from RESERVOIR DOGS, plays a heavy drinking detective(meanwhile in real life he was a heavy drinking actor) and as a bonus you get John Carradine as a classy fellow who wears an ascot.  It's mainly for these three that this movie is worth checking out and they all do a pretty decent job but overall it's a pretty standard film-noir-ish murder mystery about a guy running around strangling gals.  Luckily it's only a little over an hour so you don't have to waste too much time with it.  I was also a little disappointed that this wasn't a women-in-prison picture since the title seems custom made for that kind of sleazy flick.

Monday, December 19, 2011

SUE PRENTISS, R.N. (1975)


 This porn flick starts out strangely enough with one of my favorite 70's porn actors Bobby Astyr coming up from an underground expedition with a few other guys covered in muck.  Apparently there was a big epidemic of giant alligators living in the New York City sewer system back then and porn stars were sent down to take care of this problem.  From there our heroes get decontaminated and fucked and sucked by a bunch of nurses including Annie Sprinkle who I best recall from making love to a burn victim in one of Nick Zedd's short films.  Also eating Chinese food leads to a big orgy.  After the weird opening scene it all gets pretty typical and, even with Mr. Astyr's amusing crazy ramblings, is only worth watching if you want to see a few chubby chicks and some hairy guys rolling around.

CAT PEOPLE (1942)


Producer Val Lewton is responsible for a bunch of neat little 40's horror flicks like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and a few Boris Karloff titles. He's probably one of the most famous producers in classic horror films and this is my fav from his filmography. This is the kind of movie I hated when I was a kid because it deals more with characters relationships and not enough monster action but watching it as an adult I can appreciate the subtlety and subtexts that are apparent throughout the movie. Most of the reviews I've seen for this over the years point out the comment that it makes on the sexual repression of women and a woman's fear of her own sexuality but to me this movie always seemed like a thinly veiled metaphor for a lesbian who tries to become a member of the "straight" world and since it was made in the 40's this couldn't be made very clear without it being censored out of existence. Of course this might not have been the original intention at all and I'm just putting a modern spin on it. Either way it's all done with a really noir-ish, moody atmosphere and you do get a little cat-lady monster action in the big finale.
There was a sequel to this made a couple of years later and a remake in the 80's. I've never seen either one but I remember the trailer to the 80's version playing on TV when it first came out and it seems like they had no trouble embracing the sexual ideas only hinted at in the original.  Gotta check that out sometime.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

PICASSO TRIGGER (1988)



Working my way through the Andy Sidaris box set in chronological order I think HARD TICKET TO HAWAII is my fav and this one is probably the worst so far. By this point Sidaris' formula consisted of teaming up two hot chicks as secret agent types, a bunch of explosions, gun-fu, an overly convoluted plot, exotic locales(a good excuse to go to places like Hawaii and Las Vegas no doubt) and top it all off with plenty of naked chicks. This one also has a Fabio-look-alike kung-fu guy, a Michael Jackson/Billy Blanks-looking fellow who doesn't do much of anything and a little blood-spillage. You also get some really lame striptease vignettes from our lady heroes, Hope Marie Carlton and Dona Spier, and a bad-guy's eyes get poked out THREE STOOGES-style. Not the worst thing you could watch but it coulda used more craziness to put it over the top.
 Nine more films to go in this set. Watching them together would be way too repetitive but at least that's a lot of boobies left to go!



Fabio-Fu in French!:

SCREW BALLS (1983)



 Whereas the 1970's were the high-point for horror films the 1980's really were the high-point for stupid teen sex comedies.  It really only seems natural since most of the horror films were just comedies in disguise anyway that this would be the era to go to for cheap laughs and naked boobs.  There were 70's T & A flicks but they didn't perfect the simplistic formula until movies like PORKY'S and guys like the writer of this, Jim Wynorski, started churning them out.  Watching this Canadian filmed movie today it feels like it was made on a different planet.  It's so cheaply done and also riddled with insensitive sexist jokes that no one would ever give this a major release today looking like this.  It's also brilliantly done in giving the viewer exactly what you want from a movie like this.  Why this film is set in the 60's I'm not sure since that never really seems to fit the look or feel of anything going on.  Our gang of heroes cover all of your expected stereotypes including a preppy, a nerd(if you ever wondered what the lead singer of THE TOY DOLLS would look like with his cock stuck in a bowling ball here's your chance to find out), the new kid, the jock and a fat guy named Jerkovski(who naturally can't help jerking-off everywhere).  You also get a big-boobed stripper scene, a girl who deep-throats sausages for fun, teddy-bear humping, strip-bowling and characters named Purity Busch and Bootsie Goodhead and it all takes place at T & A High.  What more could you want from a dumb teen flick?
 Director Rafal Zielinski went on to make LOOSE SCREWS(a.k.a. SCREWBALLS II) and SCREWBALL HOTEL because apparently back in the 80's you could make a living spitting out really dumb flicks.



Upskirts!:

Friday, December 16, 2011

DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)


 DAWN OF THE DEAD has almost always been there in my life. It started out as movie I had just heard about from my older cousins. They were lucky enough to have actually seen it during it's initial run at a local drive in theater. It was spoken of with awe and disgust having apparently caused at least one cousin to vomit all over the place due to the unexpected gore quotient. Hard to believe it now but this movie was groundbreaking in that category at the time. I only dreamed of the day I would get to see this notorious classic having to make do with just fantasizing over the pictures in my well read FANGORIA magazines and making up my own story-line in my little deranged head. It's strange to think back about a movie that was etched in my mind as a classic before I even saw it. Finally somewhere in the 80's we got a VCR and this had to be one of my first VHS rentals and all my dreams came true.  The movie turned out to be something that even surpassed the insane film I had imagined it would be.
 DAWN as well as being a classic horror-filled follow up to director George Romero's original zombie flick, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, works equally well as an action flick and also just as a gross-out gore flick. There's not too many other films I can think of that mix action, blood and spookiness together and work very well(also there's a bit of humor thrown in here and there but not enough to make you groan like almost every horror film made after the 1980's got going). You get tons of kills, including intestines ripped from stomachs, glorious 70's super bright red blood splattered everywhere, machete mayhem, shotgun blasts, kid zombies getting whacked, a kick-ass biker gang, a chopped-off zombie skullcap, machine-gun hi-jinks etc, etc... any real horror fan already knows all this stuff.
 Having recently watched the Dario Argento producers cut of this flick I have to say I prefer Romero's version a bit more since he mixes the use of library music with stuff from the band Goblin a lot better and it seems to have been edited in a more linear way. That might also just be because that's how I grew up seeing the film and it's what I'm used to. Either way it's still the high-point of the whole zombie film sub-genre for me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1974)



 I've owned this movie for years on a cheap-ass dollar DVD and just now managed to make it through the whole movie without falling asleep. I think maybe I should get a medal for this. If you haven't figured it out yet this movie is really slow going. On the surface it has a lot of things going for it. For one it was released in the magical cinematic year of 1974. Some of the greatest horror and exploitation films ever came out this year. Another positive is Mary Woronov who is in a ton of great Roger Corman flicks and is one of my personal favorite actresses. But even her greatness, along with John Carradine, who doesn't really do much here, don't really make this film worth seeking out. I will give the film credit for creating a really creepy atmospheric mood and if you watch it alone at 3am it does give you a bit of a spooky feeling thanks mostly to the whispering murderer here. There's also a couple of giallo-esque moments with a black-gloved killer who gets a couple of bloody kills in but it's all kind of spread out among a bunch of boring and confusing dialogue scenes.
 I've seen people give this movie credit for inspiring Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS which I guess is based on the phone calling killer's weirdness but it seems kind of stupid to say one was copied from the other since they both came out around the same time and even if this is true Clark made a way more entertaining film.  Check that one out for a real holiday slasher classic and only watch this if you're a cheap DVD buying gentleman like myself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

RASPUTIN: THE MAD MONK (1966)



 Christopher Lee gets to play a villain a little bit different than the Dracula's and Frankenstein monsters that he normally did in this one.  Here he plays a monk who seems to have some supernatural healing and hypnotic powers as well as being a nifty dancer.  I like the way this film starts out since old Rasputin is portrayed basically as a long-haired drunken part-animal  who then turns into a bit of a woman-beating rapist.  After this he's kicked out of his monastery and goes about climbing the social ladder using his charms and spooky powers.  We're never really told exactly what the hell his powers really are so basically he's just an evil dude.  The rest of the movie pretty much plays out like the more typical Hammer films of this time with the monster doing naughty things until he's tricked into getting himself killed.  Not the best or worst from Hammer but an OK time-waster and you get a hand chopped off, acid thrown in the face, a slit-wrist suicide and just about the most G-rated sex scene I've ever seen.
 Director Don Sharp would go on to make the great zombie biker flick PSYCHOMANIA.  RASPUTIN was released in America on a double-bill with THE REPTILE and you got a free clip-on beard.  Not sure how that was supposed to protect you from Rasputin but that's the gimmick they went with.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BLACK CANDLES (1982)




 This Spanish movie is mostly just a bunch of soft-core sex scenes interrupted occasionally by some talking about Satanism.  The only really memorable scenes involve a portly fellow having a large sword shoved up his ass for knowing too much about the devil group and one that even tops that where a lady fucks a goat in a barn because that's the kind of kinky bestiality shit Satan is into.  The goat-fucking scene is cut from the VHS version I have of this but if you need to see it uncut it's right there on YouTube for all the kiddies to watch.  Unfortunately this isn't quite enough for me to recommend anyone else sit through this flick unless devil-praising, artsy euro-porn really turns you on.
 The story goes that director Jose Ramon Larraz was trying to push the envelope in Spanish exploitation films with this after the death of Spain's leader Francisco Franco.  You see Franco didn't like sex in films very much and he tried to keep things pretty clean while he was in charge.  So what Larraz did here is jam-pack his film with sleazy sex and talk of the devil.  I can appreciate the effort but unfortunately even the director himself didn't really like the way this film turned out since he disowned it after it was released and didn't like to talk about it.  Larraz earlier on did make a pretty decent lesbian vampire flick in England called VAMPYRES which you're better off watching than this.

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 (1987)


Caught this last night in a cramped little theater in Brooklyn full of loud obnoxious drunken and/or pot-smoking hipsters and mutants and that's probably the best way to watch this sequel to the notorious controversial holiday classic. Almost half of this movie is comprised of a bunch of flashbacks to the first movie so watching them back to back is probably pretty pointless. It's also pointless trying to understand how Ricky, the little brother of the original Santa Claus-killer, who's telling us these tales, knows exactly what happened since he's not even present in most of the flashback stuff. The new material is also pretty similar to the first since it's just little brother Ricky going nutso, finding a Santa suit, murdering attempted rapists, his girlfriend and her creepy ex-boyfriend and ironically enough, for me anyway, a guy who talks loudly in a movie theater. The main difference is that it's supposed to take place in December but everything looks very Spring-like outside.
 The most memorable scene, and popular YouTube clip, has our hero/villain shooting some suburban slob putting out his garbage cans while yelling "garbage day!" that delighted the weirdos and brought the house down last night. So if you think you would enjoy a stupid 80's Christmas slasher flick where overbearing nuns are just about equally as naughty as serial killers then have a couple of beers so you can drown out the worst acting you've probably ever seen and check this out.



Happy Garbage Day everyone!:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

GODZILLA VS. THE COSMIC MONSTER (1974)



 One of the sillier Godzilla flicks.  Not quite as silly as that one where he does flying dropkicks and teams up with a giant robot(this movie here) but pretty close.  In this one some aliens who look like they came from THE PLANET OF THE APES build a giant robot Godzilla(MECHA-GODZILLA!) to take over the Earth, or at least the Japanese part of the planet.  There's a giant floppy-eared dog monster named King Seesar and the spiky-backed monster from GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN(Angilas) shows up and gets his jaw broken in a bloody battle.  There's also a couple of secret agent/spy types running around and a lot of unintentional comedy.  This looks like it might have been one of the cheapest Godzilla movies ever made since everything looks especially super fake from the awful monster costumes(besides Mecha-Godzilla who looks pretty neat) to the Halloween-masked ape aliens but I think that's what makes it such a memorably awful film and a great throwback to my childhood of watching these movies on the 4 o'clock movie every day during Godzilla week here in New York.
  Watching this more recently in a theater was an interesting experience especially when myself and the group of friends I was with were told to not be so loud during the film.  I guess having a good time during a silly film is insulting to hardcore Godzilla fans.  What a bunch of assholes.  Maybe they should start showing these movies in churches where theses morons can sit in silence and enjoy their rubber-suit wrestling matches in peace.

This movie was originally released in the U.S. as GODZILLA VS. THE BIONIC MONSTER until THE BIONIC MAN T.V. show producers sued over the use of that word:


and later on it was rereleased as part of this monster-rific triple bill:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ROCKTOBER BLOOD (1984)

                                     "The ultimate Rocktober blood and gore show!"

Oh ROCKTOBER BLOOD you're so stupid. What you have here is a really bottom-of-the-barrel slasher flick that mixes a little heavy metal in with a confusing story of a lead singer maybe coming back from the dead and killing ladies. Being a fan of stupid slasher flicks in general this one is even a little too crappy for me. The main problem is the story-line which makes no sense but it's also not helped any by the strange pacing of the film and the not-so-good acting. On the surface you have all the elements that you need, gratuitous nudity, bloody slashings and even a super cheesy rock band thrown in for a few chuckles. Also there's a neat climax where a head is chopped off a gal and tossed into the audience in the middle of a concert(that's a great trick that more bands should try to emulate). Unfortunately all these things don't make this one very easy to sit through. I'm sure there were better metal slasher flicks in the 80's, maybe something like TRICK OR TREAT, oh no wait that sucked also, OK just stick with my personal fave dumb rockin horror flick HARD ROCK ZOMBIES and ignore this crapfest.


Cheese Rock!:

BLOODY CHRISTMAS (1999)


A stupid but amusing short French flick about a Christmas tree gaining sentience and seeking revenge on an unlucky fellow.  It's all in French but that doesn't matter because you would have to be a complete imbecilic moron to not understand this movie.  There's a sequel out there also.  There's also a similar but way better and way gorier Canadian short film called TREEVENGE about chopped-down Christmas trees getting their vengeance that may have been influenced by this.  You should definitely check that one out if you dig this at all.


"Bloody Christmas" by silviasegarra

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

THE IMPOSSIBLE KID (1982)

"Goddamned midget!  He's beginning to get my goat."

If you enjoyed the exploits of Filipino midget star Weng Weng in FOR Y'UR HEIGHT ONLY then you have to catch this sequel for more wacky adventures of secret agent 00.  More insane stunts from our little guy including some death-defying tight-rope walking, using a bedsheet as a parachute and a crazy mini-motorbike jumping over a cliff bit as well as all kinds of kung-fu/chop-socky antics.  One thing that did get on my nerves with this one is the repetitive use of the Pink-Panther theme as well as a couple of other musical cues that show up over and over again until you want to stick chopsticks in your ear-holes.  But if you can overlook that you will get to see the amazing spectacle of a 3 foot tall man beating the living shit out of full-grown bad-guy terrorists.  Speaking of our terrorists their leader wears a nifty hood like a true super-criminal and they're not above sneaking around in awful drag get-ups so that's something.  Other highlights include our little hero getting stuck in a birdcage after being captured, Weng getting all the chicks he can handle and the action-packed finale where Weng gets his hands on a machine-gun that's bigger than him and runs around killing mother-fuckers.
 A sequel titled LICENSE EXPIRED is promised in the end credits but I'm pretty sure that one was never made and that's a damn shame.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (1971)


 The 5th film in the Paul Naschy Wolfman(or El Hombre Lobo) series is, along with FURY OF THE WOLFMAN, one of the ones I've probably seen the most times.  It was always the most accessible starting back when it was on a cheap-o VHS tape and later on when it ended up on every horror movie 10, 20 or 50 pack DVD set.  So solely for nostalgic reasons it might be my fav.  Having caught this recently in a theater it remains a fun if not creaky old throwback to the days of the great Universal monster mashes.  In this one Naschy comes back to life again(after dying in FURY) and hooks up with some ladies, as he always does, and then later on runs into a vampire chick who likes to spread her undead disease around.  Also one of the zombies from TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD shows up in one scene for no real reason. You get plenty of bare barrel-chested Naschy here, since he loves to show-off his awesome pecs so much, and of course some hot women turned into bloodsuckers.
 These Naschy werewolf flicks are all somewhat similar so you know what to expect going in and if you can dig an updated version of the classic monster movies of the 30's with some boobs and blood thrown in then you're in for a good time.  I tend to enjoy these Spanish films more than their duller British counterparts made by Hammer films just because they always have a crazier feel to them and a slightly more chaotic vibe.  Check it out for some neck-ripping, blood-drinking, head-chopping thrills. AKA WEREWOLF SHADOW and BLOOD MOON

BIG BAD MAMA (1974)



 This Roger Corman-produced boobs/car-crashing/gangster classic is an all around good time for fans of trashy drive-in flicks from the high-point of this type of cinema.  The movie is jam-packed with cult movie stars and a few more mainstream types.  Of course you get Angie Dickinson looking very hot as Mama and one of her 2 super hot daughters is the great Robbie Lee from SWITCHBLADE SISTERS and the other one is Candy from THE CANDY SNATCHERS.  Mama's two main love interests are Tom Skerritt from ALIEN and Captain Kirk himself, Mr. William Shatner.  The legendary Dick Miller also has a fairly large role as a bumbling cop out to stop our criminal heroes in their misadventures.  I also spotted the late great director Paul Bartel boogieing down in a party scene.  With a cast like that it would probably be pretty hard to not have something at least mildly entertaining and I think this one just has a great vibe going through the whole movie that it's hard not to have fun watching it.  It also doesn't hurt that it's full of pro-feminist sex and shoot-outs.  It's interesting that all the people we're supposed to root for in the film are on the wrong side of the law and people get shot and killed but it's all done with such a comic-book/cheesy feeling that you never get too worried that things aren't gonna work out even when they don't.  There was a sequel in the 80's by Jim Wynorski but I don't recall much about it.  Might have to check that one out again soon.

 

GOODFELLAS (1990)


 Most people would probably go with THE GODFATHER as the greatest mobster film of all time but this is the one I would choose and I've re-watched it way more times than Francis Ford Coppola's epic.
  What can you say about this movie?  Everyone and their Uncle Nickie knows this movie inside and out and probably quotes it on a semi-regular basis.  Martin Scorsese re-invents and perfects the gangster movie and it's all based on actual events.  He also proves that he is one of the most important American filmmakers ever.  Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci would both go on to become walking parodies of their on-screen personas partially due to the popularity of this film.  Ray Liotta would go on to have his brains eaten in that Hannibal Lecter movie and Mr. Scorsese would go on to pretty much remake this a few years later as CASINO and that movie was also just about equally amazing.  In this one you get an iconic kitchen knife stabbing, a foot shot off and plenty of beatings and shootings to go around.  Also interesting and unique is the way the voice-over narration jumps from one character to the next giving you differing points of view to create a believable world of criminal hi-jinks.  Martin Scorsese's mom shows up playing Pesci's mom which is one of my favorite scenes just because it seems so silly in the middle of such a deadly serious course of actions.  Easily one of the best films to come out of the awful decade known as the 90's.  If you haven't seen this yet what the fuck are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ROLLING THUNDER (1977)


Written by the man who gave us TAXI DRIVER, Paul Schrader, this tale of a Vietnam Vet returning home after being a prisoner of war and finding his life not what it once was is up there with movies like DEATH WISH among the top 70's revenge flicks.  Things start out slowly and build up to a typically action-filled finale but in-between we get an interesting look at a man who basically considers himself dead and just going through the motions of life as things unravel and just get worse and worse.  I think it's thanks to the slow build-up that I get sucked into this movie every time I watch it.  Tommy Lee Jones plays our main protagonists war-buddy who is more than happy to help him out when the shit hits the fan.  Jones is pretty awesome as he tell hookers he has to leave to go kill a bunch of people and star William Devane does a great job of showing emotions without use of much dialogue to do it.  James Best(Rosco P. Coltrane from THE DUKES OF HAZZARD show) shows up as a bad-ass who's not above sticking a fellow's hand down a garbage disposal just for a few stupid silver dollars.
 As everyone already knows Quentin Tarantino named his production company after this movie which is pretty cool.  Too bad that company doesn't exist anymore.
 I caught this in the middle of a horror marathon yesterday and even though it's not a horror film at all it was the highlight for me.  I say check it out for some hook-handed, sawed-off shotgun, revenge-filled entertainment.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: A FAMILY PORTRAIT (1988)


This never really seems like a proper documentary but is in actuality just a bunch of interviews edited together with the actors who played the cannibalistic, psychopathic family in the original TCM.  It's a really low-budget looking thing with the guys just sitting around and bullshitting for about an hour.  It was probably way more interesting to people back when it came out then it is now since most hardcore horror fanatics have probably seen at least a few of these people at one of the ten-thousand horror conventions that take place every year.  There's only so many times you can hear someone tell the same stories before it becomes tedious.  That being said though this does give anyone who might not know everything about this film a good look behind the curtain at what it was like to shoot in a house full of rotting meat in the peak of a Texas summer.  Doesn't look like much fun really but what they created will live on forever(or until we all blow ourselves up anyway) so I guess it was worth it for that.  This is probably kind of obsolete now since there are better-made actual documentaries on a few of the releases this movie has received on DVD but back in the VHS days I thought it was kinda cool.

THIS LADY IS A TRAMP (1980)


Samantha Fox (not to be confused with the 80's pop singer of the same name) stars here as a rich lady who tells her filthy, sex-filled life story and we get to experience it all in flashback sequences.  These include her playing under-aged in the first bit with pigtails and a lollipop so we know she's just a little girl, a live sex show where we get Ron Jeremy's classic sucking-his-own-dick gag and a lady that ties her pussy-lips in a knot(classy stuff here), a silly s & m scene and then some more standard 70's style, pimply-assed hump and moan scenes.  Gloria Leonard shows up with a huge Afro which is weird and R. Bollla from CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST plays a rich man who Fox snags for a husband and then cheats on right on their honeymoon.  While this isn't the best example of a great 70's porn it's a decent enough time-waster and director Chuck Vincent, as usual, puts out an entertaining flick.

Original trailer:  http://1oldporn.com/Tramp.htm

Saturday, November 26, 2011

THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970)


Produced by Roger Corman and made by AIP studios this is a tale of ancient monsters in a small town.  The movie isn't a complete waste of time but it is really slow in getting to anything good.  The good bits are the weird 60's style psychedelic scenes and the really silly tentacled monster, at least those parts are entertainingly bad.  There's also some brief, fleeting nudity when our monster rips the clothes off one of it's female victims before killing them.  I think that's very nice of him and as a viewer I thank him.  The rest of the movie is filled with lots of talking about the Necronomicon and other HP Lovecraft-inspired stuff. As with most Lovecraft adaptions this one is apparently not very true to his original story.  Star Sandra Dee is a weird choice for this film since before this she was known for starring in GIDGET and other all-American wholesome roles like that. I really only knew her from being mentioned in that song in GREASE.  Here she seems kind of stupid but I think she's supposed to be a sort of naive tool of evil or something along those lines.  The video box I have of this talks about her having a nude scene but I musta missed it because all I saw were some scantily clad scenes.  It's also a little weird how the VHS box makes it seem like it's some kind of Devil-worshiping movie cuz it isn't at all.  There's been a few other DUNWICH remakes over the years but I've never seen any of them and would imagine if they're similar to this, but without the groovy 60's vibe, I can skip them.

AMERICAN BOY: A PROFILE OF: STEVEN PRINCE (1978)



 Besides all the well known, super successful, mainstream movies director Martin Scorcese has made over the years he's also made a bunch of interesting oddball short films and little documentaries on various subjects.  This one is about the guy who played the speeded-up gun/drug-dealer in TAXI DRIVER.  If you're as obsessed with that film as I am this is an interesting look at the actor behind that role.  This guy has led some life from being a road manager for Neil Diamond to being a junkie to just getting into all kinds of general strange hi-jinks.  He seems like the kind of guy you would want to hang out with and have a few beers.  In the movie's most insane bit he tells a story about blowing a guy away with a 44 Magnum that's really unforgettable.  It's also interesting to note that Quentin Tarantino stole the scene of Uma Thurman being shot up with adrenaline to the heart from this guy's real life.  Has that guy ever had an original thought?
     In 2009 there was a sequel to this by another filmmaker with something titled AMERICAN PRINCE but I've never seen that one.

This movie was considered lost for many years but apparently a bootleg was floating around because it's out there now:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

MEMPHIS HEAT: THE TRUE STORY OF MEMPHIS WRASSLIN' (2011)


 There was a magical day I recall from when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old when, thanks to my dad, I first saw a Professional Wrestling match on TV.  Already being a huge fan of comic book superheroes and monster movies this seemed like the most amazing sport in the world to my young mind.  Some of these wrestlers seemed like true monsters to me back then.  Guys like George "The Animal" Steele, "King Kong" Mosca, Andre The Giant and Killer Khan sure didn't look like any actual human beings I ever encountered in real life.  Growing up in the New York City area in the 70's and 80's I was really only able to see the WWF programs and didn't get to watch stuff from other areas until we got cable later on.  I did know about Memphis and the other promotions from all the magazines that were around back then but never got to see much of them.  It was a different world before the internet made almost every obscure little thing accessible. As the 80's went on wrestling became more of a cartoon and it lost whatever credibility it had for me from those early days but sometimes it's fun to look back and remember how awesome it all seemed at the time.  It's funny how the 80's were also the decade that horror films became excessively cartoonish.  I guess it was something in the air.
 This documentary is a really well done look at a local promotion that was more popular in that area than anything else at the time and I think even if someone doesn't know much about wrestling they would enjoy it for some of the insane stories that are told.  Going from the 40's up until modern times it hits on such disparate things as the carnival days, race relations back in the old days, insane wrestling fans, greedy promoters, midget-wrestling, Andy Kaufman and tons of other wacky stuff all told by the people who went through it.  If you are, or ever were, a wrestling fan this is something you will want to check out.


You can buy it here: http://www.memphisheatthemovie.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

99 WOMEN (1969)


While there had been women in prison movies made before this one, since the 50's and probably before that, prolific sleaze director Jess Franco has to be given credit here for making one of the first truly grimy women-in-prison flicks that set the standard for what was to come in the 70's. While it never reaches the sleazy heights of the Roger Corman produced stuff that came later like CHAINED HEAT or even Franco's own ultra slimy BARBED WIRE DOLLS it kind of sets the template for those flicks and a hundred others.  You get chicks in long shirts with no pants practicing their lesbianism, a limping Herbert Lom from MARK OF THE DEVIL as the rapey warden, a large snake getting fucked up by a pocket knife and then some gang rape happens when our prisoners escape and run into some male prisoners from a neighboring prison who just so happen to be escaping at the same exact moment.  The only thing missing is the obligatory shower scene.  These gals seem to be way too dirty for that.  Check it out for historical value or just skip ahead to BARBED WIRE DOLLS if you're a real hardcore sleaze-hound.  There is a French release of this film with hardcore sex scenes inserted and a few different cuts with more or less explicitness depending on what country it's from.
 AKA ISLE OF LOST WOMEN, PROSTITUTES IN PRISON, ISLAND OF DESPAIR, WOMEN'S PENITENTIARY XII and THE HOT DEATH

"Whisper to your friends that you saw it":

TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA (1970)


After Clint Eastwood made all those epic westerns in Italy with Sergio Leone he came back to Hollywood and pretty much played the same character here for a few years before going on to Dirty Harry and all that stuff.  Some of his American westerns were really good but this one is only so-so.  It doesn't have the down and dirty grittiness of Leone's pictures or anywhere near the stylish direction.  Director Don Siegel, who's most famous for the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, does pull off some beautiful shots using the Mexican landscape unfortunately plot-wise the movie drags quite a bit during the mid-section of the film.  It seems like endless scenes of our two heroes just riding around and talking take place.  If you make it to the end there is an all-out battle scene with limbs getting chopped-off, swords getting stuck in faces and other assorted bloody fights but it's a long sit to get there.  Co-star Shirley Maclaine went on to make mainstream garbage that probably won a bunch of awards and also became some kind of a koo-koo nutso proponent of psychic-powers who claims to be able to talk to ghosts and that sort of thing.

"Mr. Action himself!":

CRITTERS (1986)


I was never really a huge fan of the movie GREMLINS but obviously a lot of people were because it was such a huge mainstream hit in 1984 that it spawned countless awful rip-off films.  Everything from GHOULIES to HOBGOBLINS to TROLL to MUNCHIES to this piece of crap were spewed out in hopes of keeping peoples interest in little stupid and/or cute monsters alive.  The main problem I have with most all of these movies is they're all just bottom of the barrel comedies thinly disguised as horror or sci-fi flicks.  This is also the problem with a large percentage of horror/sci-fi films in general cranked out in that horrible childish embarrassment of a decade known as the 1980's.  While a few of these stupid GREMLINS clones might be worth a watch for a cheap laugh or two( TROLL for it's Sonny Bono appearance and GHOULIES for being a total shameless copy of the Joe Dante flick minus the feel-good family bullshit parts) this one can be skipped without worry of missing anything worthwhile.  How this movie went on to spawn 3 sequels is astounding.  I guess it just goes to show where peoples minds were at 30 years ago.

Fucking puppet monsters!:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SATAN WAR (1979)


Not to be confused with STAR WARS, this movie starts out with a crazy psychedelic opening sequence which reminded me of the opening of the Japanese ULTRA-MAN show and then becomes a sort of pseudo-documentary about Satan or demons or something like that and then morphs into a really awful AMITYVILLE HORROR rip-off.  It's really bad, there's no gore or nudity and the music is more grating than terrifying.  The movie is one of those so bad that it could be hilarious if it didn't go on for so long.  The movie itself isn't even very long, this segment lasts only about an hour, but it sure does feel like it creeps along.  A cross keeps turning upside down, a chair comes alive and attacks a lady, a coffee pot shits itself all over the stove, a bunch of other stupid stuff happens and finally a guy shows up in a black robe walking around with a big knife.  As terrible as this is I'd still rather watch it again than ever have to sit through one of those boring PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies.  The weirdest thing about this is that after this main story is over there's a whole different sequence involving voodoo dancers for no reason at all unless this was at one time a movie reenacting strange things from around the world in various parts.  I have no idea if there's a longer version out there but I don't care that much to find out.  Sally Schermerhorn and Jimmy Drankovitch, the stars of this, never worked again and the director, Bart La Rue, never directed anything else so I guess that's a good thing.

The whole movie plus a longer intro than the VHS tape!:

TREEVENGE (2008)



Before he made HOBO WITH  A SHOTGUN director Jason Eisner did this silly, but gory as hell, short about Christmas trees getting revenge for being chopped down, stuffed in people's stupid homes and decorated in a gaudy fashion.  It's filled with really obnoxious people you can't wait to see knocked off and a liberal use of the theme from CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.  There's gratuitous eye-violence, tree on man rape, baby killing and all the things that would make Christmas movies more enjoyable to your average gore-hound.  Of course it's all really dumb and absurd but because it was shot so well it works for me.  Watch it at your next family gathering this holiday season, I'm sure they'll love it.

CABOBLANCO (1980)


If you've ever watched the classic 1940's film CASABLANCA and thought to yourself "This movie is OK but I wish there was some Charles Bronson ass kicking scenes" then this might be the movie for you.  In my ongoing quest to watch every movie with Bronson in it this one is a little odd. It's not really a straight forward action flick and it's not the typical revenge flick that we normally got from Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson throughout the 80's. It's more of an adventure/drama film with bits of action thrown in here and there where we get Mr. Bronson in more familiar sequences beating up Nazis and that sort of thing. The main thing that makes this interesting is getting to see Charlie actually act outside of the one-dimensional characters he normally got to portray. It's also the last time he would be given that opportunity since after this it was all about those Cannon films-produced DEATH WISH sequels and clones.  The downside to this particular flick is that most of it is really talky and way more mainstream Hollywood-like than anything I would ever recommend anyone watch. It exists solely as an oddity for Bronson fans like myself although I think it's probably his one film that my grandma probably would have enjoyed more than the others.

Monday, November 14, 2011

BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA (1974)


Director Sam Peckinpah was responsible for what, in my opinion, was the greatest American western ever made, THE WILD BUNCH. With that film he helped usher in a new type of violent cinema that would help propel the 70's towards the ground-breaking decade it became. It pushed the envelope and it also commented on the value of honor and staying true to your word. It also blurred the line between hero and villain. There were really only subtle degrees of morals and/or circumstances separating both groups. But that was in 1969 when the envelope needed to be pushed forward, by the time this movie came around in '74 it probably all didn't seem quite as fresh. When released GARCIA was trashed by critics and was a box office flop. That's a shame because while there are a lot of similarities between this and THE WILD BUNCH I think it's a strong film on it's own.  The Mexican/western setting, star Warren Oates and the slow-mo shoot-outs are a few of the obvious similarities. Here Oates portrays someone who, as the film goes on, slips deeper into madness as things unravel. There's also the Mexican General from BUNCH as a similar Mexican big-shot. He always makes such a great sleazy looking character and Peckinpah used him often for exactly that. There's also no real hero here just a portrayal of a man who ends up with nothing left to lose so he becomes a desperate creature. Kris Kristofferson also shows up as a rapist biker which is something you don't see every day and some of the scenes with Oates talking to the titular head in a bag are pretty humorous. While this never reaches the high points of its predecessor it still works for me as a classic piece of cinema made by a true master.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MONDO FORD (2000)


This is a short spoof of not only Mondo movies but also wacky conspiracy theories in general.  If, like most sane humans, you find people that are obsessed with conspiracy theories to be insane lunatics that should seek mental help immediately you will probably find a few laughs here.  The film is made to look like it was created in the 60's and the narration is just some snippets of a "Learn To Speak Italian" album which I think makes it even crazier.  You get aliens, Bigfoot, and even the Loch Ness Monster showing up to enjoy the JFK assassination plot goofiness.  This originally played as part of the Tromadance short film festival and is part of that DVD.  I've never seen any of the other shorts on there and buying Troma DVDs is a risky business that you should partake in at your own peril so be warned.

BARBARELLA (1968)



This is probably one of my favorite sci-fi movies.  At least as far as non-serious, goofy, comic-book inspired sci-fi movies go.  This here, along with DANGER: DIABOLIK(which also starred John Philip Law), is probably among the best representations of what a comic book would look like if you were to transfer it to a film screen.  Everything is brightly light and oddly colored and since this was made in '68 everything seems very psychedelic and it's probably a good film to drop acid to before watching.  The whole movie is just jam-packed with weird things that would only exist together in the comics.  You get an angel, a pleasure machine, crazy-ass non-aerodynamic looking spaceships, killer birds, killer dolls with teeth, robot assassins, orgasm pills(exaltation transference pellets actually), wacky 60's pop tunes and Jane Fonda looking her absolute hottest ever!  Way hotter than in those stupid aerobics videos my mom used to watch.
 Fun facts:  80's band Duran Duran took their name from the power-mad villain in this.  There was some talk of a remake starring Rose McGowan a while back but I think that's been cancelled.  I'm sure it would be pointless and horrible.  Director Roger Vadim had stated that he wanted to make a sequel at some point but now that he's dead that seems less likely.  This film was originally released unrated with a "mature audiences" warning and then later on re-released with a PG-rating.  I'm not sure what the differences are since every version I've seen of this, except for a few TV-showings, has Barbarella's boobs on display right there during the opening credits but not really any other nudity to speak of just lots of different hot outfits.

Friday, November 11, 2011

THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH (1974)


This is a movie I first saw when I was probably about 7 years old. They used to play it on TV quite a bit in the late 70's no doubt due to the fact that it stars "Rocky" Sylvester Stallone and "The Fonz" Henry Winkler. Of course they're not actually playing their more well known characters but when I was 7 I didn't really know any better. To me back then this was like watching an early adventure of two of my childhood heroes teamed-up together in the same gang. It was kind of like seeing Superman and Spider-Man together. That shit was just awesome to my younger self! I also recall being slightly traumatized when Fonzie gets hit by a car. For some reason I remember him dying in this movie. He doesn't, he just ends up with a broken leg but I probably turned the movie off in horror after his accident. Re-watching this movie now I think it's a little too talky and more about relationships than gang rumbles but Stallone does a pretty decent job in one of the lead roles and it's all really well shot. I also couldn't help but compare it to the way better similar movie THE WANDERERS which sort of deals with some of the same themes as this. The other negative thing is a lot of the music in this seems more like 70's versions of 50's songs than anything genuinely from that era. Still it's an interesting look at two big Hollywood stars given a chance to actually act before they became big names and stereotypes of themselves.

This song sums everything up really well!:

REVOLUTION (1968)


This isn't a very good documentary or even a very watchable film.  It's a tough to get through rambling look at hippies in the late 60's in San Francisco without any narrative or much of a point of view.  It's sort of like a shorter, crappier version of the movie WOODSTOCK except the hippies come off as way more annoying in this.  They basically seem like air-headed homeless people begging for handouts like bums.  Full of naive platitudes and they all just look like they smell bad.  The "squares" interviewed also seem pretty stupid and are typically judgmental pricks, so I'm not sure who I'm supposed to side with here.  The music is OK if you're into bands that jam on endlessly.  There's way more interesting and informative docs out there about these times that you should watch before this one.  I would also recommend dropping acid and staring at a wall for a more exciting trip.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BLOOD DINER (1987)

 
"armed with a meat-cleaver in one hand and his genitals in the other..."

As a general rule I don't like a majority of the silly 80's horror movies that they spewed out because they're mostly just really fucking stupid and seem to have been made for retards which would describe pretty accurately people who love that horrible decade.  There are a handful of exceptions to this rule.  This movie is one of them.  Originally shot as a sequel to the legendary HG Lewis' BLOOD FEAST making this movie a serious piece of cinema would have been really dumb and unnecessary.  This movie is also pretty similar to the early works of Troma studios in that things happen in a fairly chaotic manner.  You get naked aerobics, pro wrestling nazis, zombies, a talking brain in a jar, lots of cool 50's tunes and tons of ridiculous over-the-top gore.  You also get a lot of stupid joke scenes which would probably turn off many hardcore horror fans but I still dig it enough to have re-watched this movie a bunch of times over the years and always find myself entertained enough to go back again and again.  It's also way better than the official sequel to BLOOD FEAST that Mr. Lewis came out with a few years back.

CAT O' NINE TAILS (1971)


I can appreciate the first two films of  Dario Argento but they've never really been my favorites from his body of work.  I think DEEP RED is the movie where he really hit his stride full force and made some really good films from then on up until around THE STENDAHL SYNDROME after which he turned out some pretty hacky stuff.  This one is Dario's second film and it's probably closer to a Hitchcock film and is way less graphic than most of his other bloodier giallos.  There is a guy who gets smushed by a train so that's something to watch for.  It features Karl Malden as a blind man who likes to do puzzles.  Now I remember Mr. Malden as the American Express guy who made all those commercials telling me "don't leave home without it" so maybe that's why I find it so hard to buy him as a blind guy who hangs out with a little girl and solves crimes in his spare time.  The soundtrack is by the great composer Ennio Morricone but it doesn't really stand out much and seems sorta bland.  Another major problem with this film is it's generally pretty boring and you kind of have to pay attention if you want to follow the plot so it all seems like quite a chore for little pay-off.  Still it's better than the crap Mr. Dario is making currently and it is available on a dollar DVD so maybe it's worth watching if you're on a low-budget and aren't too picky. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

JUST BEFORE DAWN (1981)



 As far as slasher flicks go this has always been one I've really dug.  Directed by the great Jeff Lieberman who also did the equally great killer worm flick SQUIRM and the LSD-crazies epic BLUE SUNSHINE, I first encountered JUST BEFORE DAWN playing at a horror convention in a little conference room.  The two people I was with got up after about 30 minutes of stalk and slash goodness and left in bored disgust.  That made me like this movie even more because clearly those people were not as cultured as I and could not appreciate the simplistic elegance of this ode to backwoods breeding mishaps.  Seeing this more recently on a big screen as part of an all-night horror marathon just reinforced my positive vibes towards this film.
 What you basically get here is a FRIDAY THE 13TH rip-off predictably set in the woods with a group of campers/victims.  The one main drawback is there are only about 10 people in the whole movie so your body count is obviously not very high but it makes up for that by having a family of inbred weirdos running around and one final kill scene that's totally over-the top ridiculous.  You get some boobs, some nasty crotch violence, a totally out of place disco-dancing scene, that guy who ran the camp in SLEEPAWAY CAMP as a Crazy Ralph character and a goofy killer who laughs like Muttley from those old Laff-A-Lympics cartoons.  You also get George Kennedy as the standard ineffectual sheriff character who talks to his plants and horse and only decides to do something helpful after people start showing up dead.  There's also a sort-of twist ending that you can pretty easily figure out before it happens.  You can do much worse than checking this one out.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

One time this clearly insane paranoid fellow informed me that the modern-day craze of zombie popularity was some sort of warning from the powers that be that soon mass segments of the population would become shambling messes due to radiation-leaks or some other such man-made catastrophe. If this was true, which it obviously isn't, this would make director George Romero some sorta all-seeing prophet since the guy basically invented this genre right here. Also zombies were pretty popular throughout the 80's and I don't recall any living dead epidemics back then but what do I know?
  At this point there's not a whole lot anyone can say about this milestone horror epic that hasn't been said before a million and one times. This movie has been picked apart by scholars and idiots alike.  People have ascribed it a social significance that seems to have been mostly unintentional by the filmmakers and every serious horror fan would have to admit that this film was the starting point of a new era in horror.  An era that would be marked with increasingly graphic and horrific elements in film that mirrored our own societal ills quite a bit more relevantly than something like THE BLOB or THE WOLFMAN ever set out to.  70's horror for all practical purposes starts right here and movies that came before, for the large part, instantly seemed quaint and hokey in comparison.  I've probably viewed this movie as much as possible without my eyes falling out of my head and it always entertains on some level.  From an old cheap-ass VHS tape I had, to MTV's midnight Halloween showings, to this being on almost every cheap-ass horror movie DVD set, this film is inescapable.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It is due in part to it's public domain status that this film has gained it's legendary reputation.. It changed scary movies form being about giant bugs and  martians to being about gore and human monsters. We are the monsters. If there's any more truthful statement than that in horror movies I don't know what it could be. Or as John Carpenter likes to say it's the horror "out there" vs. the horror within all of us. This, along with THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, are the two films I've seen the most in my life.
 The one thing I have noticed, the more times I watch this film, is how my sympathies in this movie have shifted from the Ben character to that of Mr. Cooper.  Sure it's easy to like Ben, he's the hero, he seems to do almost everything right and keeps his cool.  Cooper on the other hand is almost the stereotypical uptight family man and although it's never explicitly stated we're led to assume that he's probably some kind of a racist as well.  The problem is after viewing the movie so many times you realize that Cooper is right about the basement being the safest place and about all the barricades set up not really being strong enough of a defense against all those zombies.  The way I figure it, if they just listened to him in the first place everyone would have been way better off.  Maybe if he wasn't such a nervous, sweaty balding man he would have gotten the respect he deserved.  Of course this would not have made quite as entertaining a movie and I suppose we have Ben to thank for this film going on to influence every zombie film made after it. Of course I'm also looking at the film from 2013 and not 1968 which I think would skew my view quite a bit taken out of the social/racial-context that it was created in.
 This spawned 2 different series of films including Romero's Dead trilogy and writer John Russo's way goofier RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD series. This was officially remade in 1990 by Tom Savini but also served as the blueprint for just about every zombie movie made after it.
Update 10/25/13: I saw this as part of a Rifftrax show recently and while they could riff on some of the goofy old-timey elements and dubious acting of some of the cast here and there, even these goofballs couldn't do much to elevate the depressing ending and note of doom that this classic wraps up on.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

HAUNTEDWEEN (1991)



Most people think that slasher movies died when the 80's came to an end but unfortunately, even before SCREAM came along in '96 and we got a bunch of shitty/smart-ass/self-aware Hollywood-ized slasher flicks, there were still a bunch of low-budget hack and kill movies being pumped out by maniacs and/or stupid people. This one here is about as low-budget as you can get from a shot-on-video killer on the loose tale that hits every cliche of this, already by this time, completely worn out genre. The FX consist of some fake blood being thrown on people and the rest of the budget seems to have gone towards Halloween masks and a van that gets shot and instantly explodes. The grating background music sounds like it's from some kind of an instructional video. This was filmed in Kentucky using locals who I'm assuming weren't actual actors of any kind. The fact that they gave this thing a feature length running time is astounding. Most of the time is filled with a bunch of unimportant dialogue which dares you to sit through it. I was also a little bit disappointed that the title didn't refer to a ghostly possessed penis.  The positive things I will say about this is there are a couple of attractive ladies who do have the decency to at least get their tops off before being butchered and there's a nifty sequence where our masked killer puts on a show of killing people in a haunted house that sorta reminded me of a shitty version of BLOODSUCKING FREAKS but I'm not sure if it's worth sitting through this whole thing just for those couple of bright moments.  There is a HAUNTEDWEEN II promised after the credits but thankfully I don't think that ever happened.

Believe it or not Hanks here with the extra stupid accent is actually our hero:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SON OF SAM (1977)


This movie is a really big mess!  It starts off with a pre-credit sequence that lists a bunch of serial killers and then we get a full song by some 70's lounge singer named Johnny Charro and then we get a sorta-proto-slasher movie.  The main problem with this movie is it appears to have been patched together by some very inept filmmakers.  There's weird cuts, lingering shots of nothing, inexplicable use of slow-motion, weird freeze-frames for no reason and just strange editing choices all around.  In addition the acting is down there around BLOOD FEAST levels.  It's overall a tough movie to sit through without feeling like you might lose your mind before it's over.  Probably the weirdest death scene has a fellow who gets slashed up by being strangled with a telephone cord?  This movie also really doesn't have anything to do with the real life "Son Of Sam" David Berkowitz and originally had the more boring title of HOSTAGES.  The print I viewed didn't have the "ANOTHER" in the title like every poster seems to. The cool-looking poster is definitely the best thing about this whole movie!



Monday, October 24, 2011

SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009)



I've had this movie sitting on my to-watch pile of DVD's for a long time now.  I kept putting it off mainly because all I've heard is how terrible this movie is and what a disappointment it was coming from Mr. George A. Romero, the man responsible for basically creating the modern-day zombie movie as we know it.  Another scary thing is that this is a sequel to DIARY OF THE DEAD which I also didn't feel was a very good film except for maybe the opening scenes of dead people starting to rise.  For the most part after watching this one I would have to agree that this movie is, as expected, just basically not very good.  It sorta reminded me of that scene in DAWN OF THE DEAD where a biker gang has a pie fight with zombies and what it would be like if you stretched that out for 90 minutes.  Except in that scene I always thought that at least the bikers were cool(and it would probably make an entertaining film if we followed them around) and in this no one was in any way cool or interesting and I didn't care about anyone.  Every character is pretty much an asshole and nothing seems to be very serious.  Also there's a completely distracting use of bad CGI for every little spurt of blood that makes it even more cartoonish.  Also why was the island set in the old west with horses and stuff?  Also why was everyone on this island Irish?  Also was this supposed to be a comedy cuz it's barely a horror film?  Also, and most importantly, is Romero still capable of making anything worthwhile?  It's looking pretty doubtful at this point.  While there are way worse zombie films out there considering this one was made by someone who, at least at one time was capable of making classic horror flicks it's all pretty sad and only slightly better than your typical bottom-of-the-barrel, no-budget backyard-made zombie crap movie.

BARFLY (1987)


"Your mother's cunt... STINKS like carpet cleaner!"

Having been a huge fan of Charles Bukowsi's writings since I was a stupid teen this movie has been one that I've probably re-watched more than any other in the drama category.  It's a movie that I love for it's depiction of a mostly crazy yet completely individualistic person.  This person is, of course, just a thinly veiled personification of  Mr. Bukowski himself.  It's this personal touch that gives the movie such a strong resonance and deep feeling and also moments of complete absurdity.  If there's any negative aspect to this film it would probably be the all too Hollywood feeling that many of the scenes fall into.  The fight scenes are the most unrealistically staged looking things that you would expect to see in your typical American action film and some of the characters and their actions seem very cartoonish but regardless of this the movie never fails to entertain me in the many viewings I've given it.  The main credit has to go to Mickey Rourke who shows his acting abilities that place him up there with actors like DeNiro and Pacino in portraying a person most people would call a loser but I think in many ways he's better than most of the plastic people we worship in this sick society.  It's too bad Mr. Rourke wasn't born a decade earlier when there were more quality films being made that he would've fit right into.  Rourke would go on to win awards for his starring role in THE WRESTLER, which I think is a great film also, but he really should have won something for this also. It's also a great film to watch while drinking excessively.  There was a sorta-remake made of this in 2005 with Matt Dillon called FACTOTUM but you're better off sticking with the original.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

THE WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (1964)


"Maybe that stupid mummy has fits and undresses.  Who knows what he has beneath his clothes?"

The sixties were a decade chock full of silly superhero comic book movies.  I woulda thought it was all Batman's fault but that goofy show hadn't started yet and Mexico was already pumping out these wrestler/superhero flicks.  They were mostly masked wrestlers but also, like in this one, a few lady wrestlers starred.  I guess it kind of goes along with the women's lib movement starting up at the time since you get scenes of ladies throwing men around and generally kicking their asses.  In addition to this we get an evil Asian bad guy(who looks way more Mexican) named The Black Dragon in the dubbed version, judo girls, a goofy comic relief guy and best of all a mummy(who doesn't really show up until the last third of the movie).  The mummy's origin is all told with stock-footage from 1957's THE AZTEC MUMMY which would be used a few more times over the years.  This mummy character seems to also be half vampire since he can turn into a bat and a spider and is afraid of the sun.  Why this is I'm not sure.  Maybe if you take a vampire and mummify him this is what happens but I don't recall that ever being clarified.  Overall this is a fun goofy flick but only for lovers of really bottom-of-the-barrel silly Mexisploitation.  There was a re-edited(with 60's pop music) version of this titled ROCK 'N ROLL WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY but I recall that being really awful.  The wrestling women here had appeared together prior to this in DOCTOR OF DOOM where they fight a guy in a KKK hood and his gorilla henchman.

Apparently there was a shortage of Asians in 1960's Mexico since our judo chicks also look suspiciously Mexican:

Friday, October 14, 2011

EXECUTIONS (1995)



This is a strongly anti-capital punishment, made for video, documentary which looks at methods that people have used around the world to kill other people in the name of justice.  It is a really good historical look at the barbaric practices of humanity even if it is completely slanted to make you hate the death penalty in all forms.  We go from the guillotine in France to Nazis in World War II to Communists in China and Russia to the electric chair in America and on to the lovely practices of beheading in the Middle East amongst other places I probably never want to travel to.  The most memorable and shocking clip here is of a man in Lebanon who is shot multiple times(including in the face) and somehow keeps breathing.
Personally in theory I think the death penalty makes perfect sense.  I mean if someone kills someone I care about taking them out seems logical.  The grey area comes in when we give the power of vengeance to a government that will undoubtedly misuse it.  Also leaving the power of life and death in the hands of an angry mob(as is shown here with middle eastern stonings and such)  is an even worse idea.  So while I agree with the basic concept of an eye for an eye when put into practice it's a pretty hard thing to justify in a societal structure.  I also think, despite what is argued in this video, that lethal injection doesn't seem like that horrible of a way to check out and it would definitely be my preferred method if I had a choice.
I think this would probably appeal to fans of mondo-movies and stuff like FACES OF DEATH even though it's not quite as gory, features actual footage and is way more thought-provoking than just your typical shock for shock's sake gore vid.  There was an EXECUTIONS II that came out the same year as this.

BOGGY CREEK (2010)



My recollection of the original 70's THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK, from catching multiple TV showings about 30 years ago, is a little foggy but I do recall it being a sort of pseudo-documentary thing about a Bigfoot monster in a swamp in the Southern U.S.A. Sort of a feature length episode of IN SEARCH OF... without Leonard Nimoy's great narration. It was sorta spooky and atmospheric, at least from what I remember as a kid watching it. This movie here doesn't seem to have anything to do with the original recipe. It's not a remake and it's not a sequel(there already was a sequel in the late 70's). I guess it's what the cool kids call "a re-imagining"(which means they just stole the title). This movie basically plays like a crappy slasher flick complete with uninteresting characters that you don't care about. I do generally love slasher flicks and I also do generally love Bigfoot movies but this mash-up isn't what I hoped it would be(NIGHT OF THE DEMON still holds the crown in that mixed-up genre). I noticed one of the young fellows in this just seems to be here to show off his 6-pack abs and dreamy good looks(too bad I don't know any 14-year old girls into horror movies I could recommend this to). Our featured crazy-psycho slasher is a tall hairy monster with sharp fingernails. He also likes to eat people but only a little nibble(to show who's boss I guess). Also he doesn't kill women, he takes them back to his secret Bigfoot lair to screw and make more Bigfoots. I'm not sure what the lady Bigfoots do but this movie isn't worth thinking that much about. It's also probably not worth wasting your time on watching unless you prefer horrible pop music, shitty modern editing(shaking the camera a lot) and boring kill scenes to go with your slasher/monster flick. Another thing that pissed me off was the non-ending where nothing is really explained. I would give this movie one star for starring an actor named Texas Battle. That name is awesome! I gotta go back and re-watch the original sometime to forget about this.