Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Most kung fu flicks have a pretty simple story-line usually involving a guy getting trained by an old kung fu master to get revenge for something. This movie takes the opposite track by having the most convoluted plot possible. I think what basically happens is an island kingdom is overrun by some bad-asses and then the descendants of the island get revenge. It's kind of hard to keep who's who straight though since their's about 7 billion characters. The worst of which is an annoying chubby red-nosed/ass-faced little boy wearing pigtails. At least I think he's a little boy though he could be a dwarf of some sort since he does have the facial features of an ugly old shrunken-apple headed woman. The best characters are a couple of old beardy wizardy martial arts masters who can punch you from across the room and make stuff explode. There's really not much to recommend here unless you enjoy hurting your head trying to figure out what the hell is going on or you just dig weird stuff.
Lots of narration:
Monday, July 29, 2013
50's B-movie junk about astronauts who discover a group of women who live on the dark side of the moon. They all wear tight catsuits which was probably a little risque back in '53. Originally shown in 3-D this is a dumb but fun movie that reflects the clunky zany 50's style with nutty dialogue and insane science and it's only about an hour long so you don't have much time to get bored. Amazingly this was never featured on Mystery Science Theater since it seems like the perfect film for them to have ridiculed. This was sorta remade as QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE a few years later and I think I liked that one a little bit better since it was in glorious color and starred Zsa Zsa Gabor. There was also an actual remake titled MISSILE TO THE MOON in '58. Also this clearly inspired a whole slew of horny women in outer space flicks. AKA ROCKET TO THE MOON
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Filmed in 1966 and released in '70 his might be the worst thing Ed Wood ever had anything to do with. Allegedly Mr. Wood wrote the screenplay for this tale of a Frankenstein-like scientist, who isn't named Dr. X, that goes to Japan to create a Venus flytrap monster who can walk around and eat puppies but I'm not sure if Wood's involvement has been verified or if it's just a popular myth. Either way this does seem like something Wood would have written. This was shot at Toei studios in Japan and the monster suit does look like something you might see in an episode of ULTRAMAN. The film itself moves at a snail's pace and it's a long 95 or so minutes. You do get a hunchback assistant and more importantly topless Japanese diving gals thrown in for no reason at all except for us to ogle.
Strangely the print with the Dr. X title mistakenly has the credits to MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND for some reason so don't expect John Ashley to show up. This movie has a bunch of AKA's including THE DEVIL GARDEN, THE DOUBLE GARDEN, BODY OF THE PREY, VENUS FLYTRAP and THE REVENGE OF DOCTOR X.
This has nothing to do with the 30's DOCTOR X movies but I guess they dug the name.
The plant-monster has a snack:
The VHS release of this made it look like you were getting some kind of bloody slasher flick which unfortunately you weren't at all:
I first saw this film at 2 a.m. on a TV airing back when TV stations actually played strange things in the wee hours. It's the classic superhero story of a masked wrestler/secret-agent/superman who takes on an army of robot-men. He also has an Indian mystic for a sidekick who teaches him all kinds of neat tricks like levitation and breaking shit with his mind like CARRIE. This is basically an Italian take on the Mexican lucha-libre film with a few sprinkles of James Bond-like antics thrown in for added excitement and it's way more enjoyable than any of those shitty computer-game graphics superhero movies being shit out these days.
The alternate title for this is SUPERARGO AND THE FACELESS GIANTS and it's actually a sequel to SUPERARGO AGAINST DIABOLICUS which is an equally strange yet goofy fun flick that I would totally recommend to fans of the 60's BATMAN series or just anyone into weird world cinema.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Drunken monkey kung fu has got to be the silliest of all kung fu styles. And for that reason it has to be my favorite to watch onscreen. In this Shaw Brothers epic they do make it seem at least fairly effective.
Our hero here makes some bad decisions when he gets to drinking which ends up in him getting his hands smashed with clubs until he's all crippled up. Luckily enough he just so happens to run into a guy named monkey who acts like a monkey and would make the perfect student to teach his mad monkey style to. This is a pretty dumb movie and it's also a bit long at almost 2 hours but it is amusing if you want to see guys jumping around like primates while kicking ass. On a down note an actual pet-monkey gets swung around on a chain and smashed to death. Hopefully this was a special effect but you can never be too certain with these Asian flicks.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Mario Bava takes the giallo and twists it around to bring us this tale of a homicidal(or as he refers to himself: a paranoiac) designer of wedding dresses. It has all the style and trappings of a giallo except that we're told right up front who the killer is. The only real mystery is why he became a psycho in the first place and also when will he get caught. There's also some "ghost"-like shenanigans with a victim showing up to haunt our meat-cleaver wielding star but don't worry this isn't a typical stupid ghost story and I'm pretty sure this is all just symbolic of his growing lunacy. While it's not the best Bava flick or the goriest thing he ever did(released in the U.S. with a PG-rating) it's still worth checking out for the stylishness, groovy soundtrack and wanton bride-hacking.
Monday, July 22, 2013
I feel like the success of this film was largely responsible for the onslaught of all those Satanic films that came out throughout the 1970's. So it's got that going for it. Also it's just an amazingly iconic film with a bleak ending(which was also pretty much the norm for the next decade or so). Everyone in this movie does an amazing acting job. There's nothing graphic shown but the psychological-horror aspects of this film have really never been topped since. Looking back at it today it's hard to imagine a world where a film like this is a huge success. In what is probably the only example of an academy award going to someone that actually deserves it Ruth Gordon won for best supporting actress. Typically Mia Farrow wasn't even nominated.
This was produced by William Castle but is pretty unique in his filmography which mainly consists of way more light-hearted and schlocky stuff. Castle makes a Hitchcock-like cameo appearance.
There is a made-for-TV sequel, LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY but it doesn't look very good.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
This is a weird giallo. It starts out with a guy who's seemingly dead except he can still see and hear everything going on around him. Since he has a bunch of time to kill laying around the morgue he tries to figure out how the hell he came to be in this position. So most of the movie is one big flashback and we pretty much know how it's gonna end up. Besides just the strange story structure there's also a big crazy sex orgy full of rich people towards the end for added bizarreness. While I wouldn't say this is the most exciting giallo flick(there's not much blood,the murder scenes are pretty dull and overall it's more of a thriller than a horror flick) it's at least done differently and it has a pretty bleak ending which I always appreciate.
After watching this and WHO SAW HER DIE?, both by director Aldo Lado, I find this director's films to be at least interesting and thought-provoking even if they aren't the most super entertaining things I've ever seen. WHO SAW HER DIE? was basically about how screwed up religion can be and this film is about how the upper class of society can bury those that oppose it(and in this case quite literally). I still need to see his LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT-rip-off flick NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS which I've heard nothing but good things about. AKA PARALYZED
Monday, July 15, 2013
This has got to be the oddest Charles Bronson film. This is a British film where Bronson plays an almost 40 year old American man who marries a 16 year old English schoolgirl played by Susan George. It's not his best film by far, basically being a lighthearted romantic comedy type of thing, but it might be worth checking out just for it's completely bizarre plot. George does a strange little kid voice throughout the film and wears lots of mini-skirts. There's really nothing very graphic going on but I imagine if this film was made today everyone involved would be brought up on charges of promoting pedophilia or something deviant like that. The director, Richard Donner, went on to make a bunch of big Hollywood stuff including that 70's SUPERMAN movie and more importantly THE OMEN. AIP brought this movie to America re-titled it LOLA and maybe confused a few people into thinking that they were going to see LOLITA.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Pretty standard giallo from Italy. The twist here is that the killer starts off killing children before moving on to some older victims to cover his(or her) tracks. Fortunately there's only annoying kids for the first 30 minutes or so(unless you count the little twerps on the soundtrack). It's overall a little slow-moving at times and it took me a couple of viewings before I figured out some stuff but that's probably just because I'm stupid. The ending is a bit PSYCHO-inspired and the score by Ennio Moricone is bizarre, repetitive and annoying all at once. It stars George Lazenby who's best known for having played James Bond in one film. There's definitely better giallos out there but at least this one has kids getting offed which is something a little unique.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I first viewed this New York-filmed sexploitation flick in a bar with no sound making up my own plot in my head as it went on and I think I may have enjoyed it more that way. This is only technically a sexploitation since the actual sexiness quotient is pretty low. One unique thing about this one is that we get a sexy Asian lady in a prominent role which is pretty rare in these American-made 60's sex romps. Also there might be a gay character but I'm not sure since it's kind of ambiguous. Unfortunately there's also very little nudity or sex and people just argue a lot or drop acid. Towards the end it almost turns into a giallo as people get bumped off. The title comes from one, pretty dull, scene where our main guy is tripping out and envisions a statue coming alive. There are some cool shots showing off New York's lower east side in the 60's but that's not really enough to recommend this. The director, David Durston, went on to make the amazing, gory LSD-zombie movie I DRINK YOUR BLOOD which is much better than this.
Monday, July 8, 2013
This might be a mildly amusing gross-out thing if it was a short film but as it's about 70 minutes it feels like a gruelingly unwatchable waste of time. I wouldn't even call this a movie in any way unless someone wildly shaking a camera while women act like they're being tortured or rolling around naked or vomiting is considered a movie in some way. If you just want to see some extreme gore scenes there's way better made stuff out there like the Japanese GUINEA PIG series for one thing. Highlights? here include eyeballs being gouged out and fondled and naked vagina on display. Also a guy pukes into a mug and drinks it. I have drunken friends that I've seen inadvertently do this trick and they weren't even being filmed. Unfortunately the thing that might make you sickest, if you can make it through this crap, is the unstable shitty nervous-Nelly-style camerawork and not the dumb gore or puke. Apparently this is part of a vomit/gore series but I have no plans on bothering with the others if they're anything as remotely headache-inducing as this.
Even at 2 and a half minutes long it's pretty annoying!:
Slaughtered Vomit Dolls clip by Horrornewsnet
So there is a torture dungeon in this movie. It appears for one scene and then is quickly forgotten about. Most of this film is focused on tedious dialogue followed by the occasional violent outburst. A guy gets crucified at one point, there's decapitation and someone gets staked like a vampire even though he wasn't a vampire? A middle-ages period piece directed by crap-legend Andy Milligan and shot on scenic Staten Island this plays more like horribly-done Shakespeare than H.G. Lewis and I can't imagine there's too many fans of this one. It's hard to say which abomination is Milligan's worst but this might get my vote. Then again it might just be whichever one I've watched most recently. It's probably a clear sign of insanity that I keep going back for more. AKA DUNGEON OF DEATH
Before watching this I assumed it was some sort of ghost movie. Perhaps I was mixing it up with that Nicole Kidman movie with the similar title that I have no desire to ever see. This is a little more in the psychological-horror category and is also the sort of film that's hard to say much about without giving away the little twists it has. It also kind of reminded me of a spooky episode of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. While it's not a complete waste of time, it has some slight shades of PSYCHO mixed with THE BAD SEED, I did find it hard to actually care too much about any of the characters here besides maybe John Ritter's and that's only because he goes on to become Jack Tripper! The little kid here is not all that likable, the adults seem really dumb and as people get killed off no one seems to think of investigating the cause of death of any of them which probably would have made for a very short film. On the plus side a baby gets snuffed which is something you don't see much especially in a PG-rated film. Folks that are into bloodless more dramatic type horror films might dig this more than me and you can safely watch it with grandma without worrying about any boobies popping up.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
This is a Coffin Joe horror-compilation flick made in Brazil. Coffin Joe himself doesn't actually appear except to give a spooky voice-over speech before the credits and act like a ghost. He was the producer and director though which he would have to be since, as far as I know, no one else in Brazil at this time was making movies like this. It starts of with a story about a doll-maker and his sexy daughters who get molested and then get revenge by pulling their attackers eyes out and shoving them in some dolls. Then a tale of a necrophiliac stumble-bum who undresses and fondles(or possibly has sex with? it's not very explicit) a freshly murdered young bride. These are basic enough and nothing special but when we get to the third story all hell breaks loose as this creepy professor tries to prove that love doesn't exist by inviting some guests over and showing them some piercing, cannibalism, a gal getting acid thrown in her face, general sadism and masochism and other vile unsavory acts. While I'm not entirely sure how this disproves the emotion of love it does make for quite a visual and a great way to end your film freaking and grossing people out. Ya gotta love Coffin Joe for his balls out approach!
There was also a Coffin Joe comic book series with this same title:
Thursday, July 4, 2013
While I am a big fan of the 70's as a decade in general I am not a huge fan of disco. I'm especially not a fan of bland generic-sounding disco and that's unfortunately what a lot of this stuff sounds like to me. This film is filled with stupid scenes of disco dancing and terrible music. In addition to this terror it's also a horror/comedy-spoof, one of the most dreaded of all sub-genres! As in just about every other spoof-type film no laughter is evoked by anyone with half a brain, just a realization that you are wasting your time watching anything like this. The reason I watched this and the only reason to watch this at all is to see the great Brother Theodore who wasn't in nearly enough films and isn't really in enough of this one either. He does get to give a speech and utter the classic line "where there is death, there is hope" so that's a plus in a film without much else going on to recommend it. In addition to Theodore, John Carradine appears as Dracula in an embarrassing performance uttering lines like "If I'm dead why do I have to pee-pee?". Lily Munster(Yvonne DeCarlo) plays his wife so at least they got to cash-in on their past glories.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Classic karate flick starring Sonny Chiba as an anti-hero who just kinda becomes the good guy when the mafia gets on his ass. That is the main thing to love about this film is that our bad-ass morally-blurry main character Terry Tsurugi can one moment be selling a female into drug-addicted prostitution and the next saving a lady from some no-good mobsters. He's a bastard but we're still on his side, well mostly anyway. A throat gets ripped out, teeth get punched out, eyes get gouged out, a skull gets cracked while we see the killer blow via x-ray and lots of dirty fighting goes down by the guy we're supposed to root for. While not as fancy or dazzling as your typical kung fu flick this is a more basic style of combat and it's one of the iconic performances in the ass-kicking genre really only topped by Bruce Lee and few others. There were a couple of direct sequels one of them pretty good and the other one not so much and a bunch of off-shoot SISTER STREET FIGHTER movies.
Hong Kong cannibal tale supposedly based on a true story about a guy who knocks off everyone that pisses him off and cooks them up in some lovely "pork" dumplings. I know I'm watching a horror film that gets the job done when I'm in a theater and people walk out in disgust at the events on display. The scene that pushed these particular folks over the edge when I viewed this recently involved rape and some chopsticks shoved in a very uncomfortable area on a lady. The scene that used to bother me the most involved the butchering of some young children but maybe that's just cuz I can relate to being a kid way more than being a lady. These kids here are kinda high-pitched and annoying so I guess it wasn't as big of a loss at it coulda been. One of the oddest things(although not as odd when you see a lot of Hong Kong films from this era) about this movie is that the tone shifts from horrific violence to goofy police hi-jinks all throughout the film, sort-of reminiscent of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT in that way. There's also some parts where we almost feel some sympathy for this mass-murdering maniac when he finally gets caught and beaten on a daily basis by cops and prisoners alike. Luckily there's more flashbacks to remind us of what a walking shitbag this guy really is. Definitely a must-see for gore-freaks or anyone looking for a movie from the 90's that isn't horrendously awful but horrendously disturbing to some. Check it out just don't invite your overly-sensitive girlfriend/sister/mom/aunt/daughter or grandma to watch. AKA BUNMAN: THE UNTOLD STORY & THE EIGHT IMMORTALS RESTAURANT: THE UNTOLD STORY
90's grunge-ified trailer: