Sunday, March 30, 2014
Satan was super popular in the 70's and this here is another example of the fear of Satan creeping into your life. In this one a hooded Satanist cult perform human sacrifices in caves by spiking people or burning them alive. These parts are pretty exciting, unfortunately there's a whole bunch of other parts in between this where we just have people hanging out in the desert and not much of anything interesting happens. Maybe if this wasn't a PG-rated horror flick it woulda been more memorable. I did like how things are wrapped up at the end and completely undersold as the sheriff just refers to the mass of human-butchery as a bunch of foolishness. I'd say watch the 1975 William Shatner/Ernest Borgnine classic THE DEVIL'S RAIN instead of this for a better time with a Satany group of weirdos. AKA DISCIPLES OF DEATH(this is also the name of the cult)
Apparently this played in Texas on a double-bill with another really obscure horror(or is it a western?) flick:
Harry Reems does his best interpretation of Charles Bronson in this sleazy porno take-off on DEATH WISH. Of course in DEATH WISH the focus is mostly on revenge. In this the focus is split between scenes of rape, torture and murder and scenes of regular old sex(the worst parts of the movie!) and bits where Reems is trying to find the killer of his fiance. The killer is a disgusting piece of work played by Zebedy Colt(also the director here) who acts like a little boy(who's really into bondage games) one minute and then a whip-happy sadomasochistic adult the next. He beats the shit out of his victims, slices people up with his sword-cane and even castrates one unfortunate black fellow. There's also one actress(Deanna Darby) who shows up in this, playing one half of a bi-sexual couple, who might be one of my favorite porn actresses ever! She come complete with bruises all over her body and a big scar across the belly. She has a great scene where she gives Mr. Reems the idea to seek vengeance for what has happened to him. Of course she tells him this with a face full of his cum which I would find way more encouraging if it happened to me. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST star R. Bolla is also here as a cop in a smaller part.
I got to experience this in a theater on glorious 35mm film last night and while it wasn't the best made thing it was certainly a memorable ride into lowlife porno-land.
I take all my important life decisions from sluts in bars!:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
There's a lot of long boring stretches in this one by cult-movie favorite William Girdler but I still find it a pretty good 70's gore flick. It's kind of like a crappier version of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE( both were based on Ed Gein's antics). You do get decapitation, death by pick-axe, shotgun mayhem and exactly what the title promises which is often a rare thing with these kinda movies. There's also a long interlude where some 70's rock band jams. Of course it's tough to live up to the awesome title but you could do worse if you're looking for some cheap bloody thrills.
This might be one of my favorite trailers ever! What great narration!:
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Outside of FREAKS, this might be one of the purest forms of exploitation cinema ever. The star of this film is a deformed fellow who suffered from acromeglia named Rondo Hatton. Now the thing that makes this so exploitative is that they just took Hatton's real life story and tweaked it a little bit and turned him into a murderer and came out with this story of an ugly wronged man seeking vengeance on a society that fears him. By the time this movie was over I felt pretty depressed, mostly because Hatton, or The Creeper as he's called here, is treated like crap throughout this movie but is still portrayed as the villain of the film. He even manages to make friends with a blind gal at one point and even that ends in betrayal. Of course on the bright side at least ol' Rondo was able to make a few bucks pretty much just playing himself as a back-breaking/strangle-happy killer before he died of his ailment(which was shortly after making this movie) though this movie was released after he was already dead so I'm not sure how much he made anyhow. So while this isn't the most uplifting thing you could watch it is an interesting relic from the good old days when filmmakers would pretty much exploit anything terrible. AKA THE BRUTE(why they didn't just call it THE CREEPER, since that's what the villain is called, I'm not sure)
Pretty as a picture!:
Monday, March 17, 2014
Director Cirio H. Santiago made crazy action and exploitation movies in The Philippines all the way through the 70's and on into the 2000's. By the 90's I'm pretty sure most all of his stuff, like this movie here, went direct to a video release(at least here in America they did). This movie mixes martial arts(there's a tournament backdrop) with a revenge plot(Cat Sassoon looking for her sister's murderers) and rolls it all up in ample nudity including multiple shower scenes and even some topless kung fu which is one of the best types of kung fu there is. I've never seen any of the other Cat Sassoon movies, mostly just because they're from the 90's which is never a good sign, but if they're as wild and naked as this one I might have to give them a chance.
Got to watch this in a theater yesterday which is probably a pretty rare opportunity and it's definitely an entertaining watch with a crowd of bad movie lovers. AKA KICK ANGELS
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I guess you could call this Martin Scorcese's dry run for GOODFELLAS. They both deal with gangsters but this one feels like a much more personal film dealing with religion, morality and the code of the streets. Also the gangsters here seem pretty amateurish compared to the big-time grand-theft criminals in his later films. This movie also is less violent and really works mainly due to two things; an amazing soundtrack and great dialogue. Seeing this recently in a theater from an actual film print the soundtrack was the major highlight. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Abel Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT which also stars Harvey Keitel, borrows at least one song and has a similar ending to this. Both films work equally well though and this one has to get extra credit for creating the modern-day mobster film.
THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH was technically Mario Bava's first giallo but this one from the following year does things a lot better. For one thing this is in color which Bava famously uses to his advantage. Lots of bright reds help tell the tale of a white-masked maniac who tortures and kills folks. It's as if Alfred Hitchcock attempted to make a slasher movie. You get a ladies face burned, a clawed out face and other homicidal slashings which were probably pretty shocking in '64. While I can't say this tops BAY OF BLOOD as my favorite Bava it's a good watch and certainly laid down a blueprint for guys like Argento to follow.
Get your emotions lacerated!:
I've seen this called Jess Franco's version of Ken Russell's THE DEVILS but it doesn't really have all that many similarities with that and is really just a kinda crappy nunsploitation movie. Since it's a Franco you get a lot of sex scenes thrown in which manage to stall the plot a bunch and take away from the story which is about a couple of twins who turn out to be the daughters of a witch that was burned at the stake but it does add lots of boobs and euro-bush! It turns out witches actually do have magical powers in this so I'm not sure who the good guys are supposed to be. Howard Vernon might be one of the few characters who seems to have any good intentions. While morally-ambiguous plots are usually a plus for me this one is a little too much of a muddled mess for me to really get into it. Also Franco had already made the superior BLOODY JUDGE with Christopher Lee which kinda makes this feel a bit unnecessary.
The version I watched of this seemed to be an uncut version that jumped from English to French a lot so I'm thinking that a shorter cut may actually work better but I don't think I wanna watch this again to find out. AKA SHE-DEMONS & THE SEX DEMONS
You're mother was a witch:
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
While this title might make you think you will be getting something pretty gruesome this movie is pretty tame, even for the 50's. There are a couple of surgery scenes with a little of the red stuff but that's about it. Apparently a few of the more graphic shots were cut out by censors before this was released(which wasn't until 1963). The main story concerns Boris Karloff as a doctor who's trying to invent anesthesia which isn't really all that exciting of a concept. Also since alcohol clearly exists in this world people musta known that numbing pain was very possible so it seems so strange that everyone laughs at this idea of ol' Boris'. One neat thing here though is that you get a fight between Karloff and an evil Christopher Lee which is kinda like watching two Frankensteins fight it out. In addition they throw in a sorta-KING KONG ending which I always enjoy(and this time it's a great big fat guy which makes it extra special!). So while this isn't an essential watch at least it's acted well.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
The original MR. VAMPIRE from 1985 I remember as being a pretty good wacky kung fu/horror thing with those hopping vampires. It was a big hit in Hong Kong so, of course, they shot out a bunch of sequels and rip-off films and this is one of those(in some places this is even titled MR. VAMPIRE 5). In this one they manage to turn up the wackiness factor. You get stuff like a little boy, who's supposed to be a ghost, whipping his little cock out and pissing all over this bumbling idiot that he and his fellow little kid ghosts just beat the shit out of. Another guy getting his dick pulled like a rubber band and a guy who vomits because he sees a pair of tits. While these things are all amusing on their own in short clips within the movie itself nothing that happens makes a whole lot of sense. Yes this is one of those kung fu movies that will hurt your brain if you think too hard about it. Another negative thing is for long periods there's no martial arts or any other kind of action going on and really bad comedy skits take place. Then when some fighting breaks out it's usually that super comedic stuff anyway. I think I will have to go back and re-watch the original MR. VAMPIRE to try and get this out of my head.
On the DVD I own of this it's called CHINESE VAMPIRE STORY on the case for some reason but MR. VAMPIRE 1992 on the actual movie.
This is the third movie in the "stray cat/alley cat" series and it's the only one I've seen so far. I'm really looking forward to checking out the other four films in this though since this one is pretty awesome. It's the story of a Japanese girl gang, a gang of racist nationalists who ride around in jeeps and beat up "halfbreeds", a "halfbreed" guy who's looking for his long lost sister and other assorted gangster-types including one fella who dresses just like Pee Wee Herman. It's a really high-energy kind of flick that uses great camera movement in conjunction with some great musical cues to accentuate it's story. There's go-go dancing, female singing groups, lady knife fights, gang rape, an impotent gang leader rockin' some Elvis glasses, wanton gun play and sleazy Americans. The whole thing kinda plays like some Asian version of a 50's juvenile delinquent movie. One of the odder things I find when re-watching this movie is the complete absence of any actual authority figures. I mean people get beaten to a pulp by a mob and instead of perhaps reporting this to the police they head on over to the local rock club to get patched up. Another odd thing is the ending which I'm not sure makes a whole lot of sense but it is action-packed which is actually a good way to describe this film overall.
Back in the 80's the world had not yet been saturated with the glut of terrible, cash-in, soulless remakes that we currently have so when stuff like the THE THING or THE FLY came out everyone didn't wretch in terror at the idea of a remake. Also those movies were around 30 years old by the time they were remade and not something that was solely redone for the purpose of inserting white or black American faces into a foreign-made film from the year before. Basically what these 80's remakes accomplished was to update the practical FX work and put a new spin on something very familiar. This particular example might be the last time Hollywood did a halfway decent retread. Not that this movie is perfect. It suffers from typical late-80's cheesy dialogue and some of the FX are a bit clunky(on the flip side some are actually done really well) but it's basically just a gorier version of the original. It even takes place in a small town that has a very 50's feel to it and has the "no one listens to the teenagers" device used a bunch in that era. While it might not be up there with THE FLY or THE THING I still think this is worth checking out for horror fans from back in a time when remake didn't automatically equal forgettable garbage.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
This is Doris Wishman's transsexual documentary and it's the weirdest film of hers that I've yet seen. You get tales of sexual confusion from various trans-gendered folks, lots of naked she-male types getting prodded by a weirdo doctor and a bloody show-stopping look at an actual sex-change operation that will have you squirming in your seat. I think technically this was supposed to be a sexploitation film, hell even ol' Harry Reems shows up in one sexual reenactment scene, but I can't imagine anyone outside of the lowliest deviant getting any sort of sexual thrills out of this. Also as far as educational value is concerned I imagine it may have meant well at the time but there's so many unintentional laughs to be had here that it's hard to take too much of what's being said very seriously. I'm not sure who I would recommend this to except creepy degenerates looking for something exceptionally strange.
There was a different cut of this released originally back in '72 as STRANGE/HER.
The year was 2002 yet Doris Wishman thought it would be a good idea to make a nudie-cutie just like it was the 60's again. Some might say this shows that she never really grew artistically as a director and while that is most likely true I think it also shows how she stuck to a singular vision and didn't let the times change her style and for that I appreciate the insane works of Miss Wishman.
This movie was shot on video, which of course always looks far inferior to film, so to make up for this, and save a few bucks I'm sure, Doris threw in some jarring scenes from older actual films. The sight of a nerd peeping through a keyhole only to see some old black and white 60's lesbian action is quite bizarre to say the least. All the Wishman trademarks are here; terrible acting, random shots of inanimate objects, scenes that look very much like some home movie footage. It might seem sad that this was one of Doris' last movies and it's so super amateurish but even with all the negative elements(no money, no film, no actual actors) working against her she managed to make a terrible movie that entertains in it's own way. Alcohol and trash appreciation helps immensely with this entertainment value. Look for a postcard with Chesty Morgan on it, TV's showing old roughies and plenty of boobs.
AKA DESPERATE DESIRES
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This is advertised on the DVD as being Al Adamson's first fright film but it's not really a horror film of any sort. It's actually about a jewel heist that goes wrong which leads to some mobsters terrorizing citizens in search of their missing treasure. There is a bit of blood and a character who is a murder-happy, woman-hating psycho but I would put this more in the thriller category. There's also a few fairly dull scenes of singing and go-go dancing. It's an OK watch overall just for what it is but nothing spectacular.
From what I can gather the original version of this film, without the go-go dancing and singing, was released as ECHO OF TERROR. Later on large scenes from this were used by Adamson in BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR with John Carradine which is a bit more of a horror deal about zombified killers.
Monday, March 3, 2014
The title of this was also used for this book on Eurowar flicks that I haven't read yet but it looks pretty bad-ass!:
Sunday, March 2, 2014
As far as Chinese kung fu/monster/superhero revenge films with rape in them go this might be my favorite one. It was made by the legendary Shaw Brothers studio, it's pretty sleazy and there's lots of nudity involved. The plot concerns a crippled fella who gains the ability to transform into an oil-covered monster who looks like the Micheline man and screams a whole bunch at the top of his lungs whenever he appears. This is certainly not a quiet kind of film that you can sleep through. The cool thing about this film is that pretty much everyone who gets killed in it deserves what they get since our monster is also a sorta superhero character who just seeking to avenge the wronged. If you want to see what is one of the Shaw's most insane movies check this out.
The creature here is loosely based on the old legend of "The Oily Man" who's kinda like the Malaysian version of Bigfoot if Bigfoot was covered in grease and stole young girls. There were a couple of Oily Man films made there back in the 50's but I've never seen them.