Saturday, December 31, 2011
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
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
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
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.
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
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!:
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.
Friday, December 16, 2011
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.