Monday, May 26, 2014
This is a pretty slow-moving Abominable Snowman flick. There's lots of talking and mountain -climbing. Luckily it's only about an hour long. The monster looks pretty decent for a 50's guy-in-a-goofy-hairy-suit deal. This is director Jerry Warren's first picture and he would go on to make more crappy movies like FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND and TEENAGE ZOMBIES. There's someone named Rock Madison given star billing who apparently doesn't actually exist but it is a cool name. The very similar ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN came out a year later and had way better actors in it. So I guess if you had to watch one, that might be the way to go unless you can appreciate crap.
This is probably only really entertaining if you're already a fan of Andy Kaufman's bizarre comedy/performance art stylings. As far as being any sort of actual documentary it fails miserably since it gives no real facts about the former TV star and never strays from the imaginary world that he created. It would also help if you're a pro-wrestling fan since most of the footage deals with Andy's time down in Memphis feuding with Jerry "The King" Lawler as the inter-gender wrasslin' champion. Unfortunately this program, which was released by Rhino video(at least the version I have), only seems to have a limited amount of footage and some of the stuff they reference isn't even shown. This must be why it's only around 60 minutes long, but if you are a hardcore fan of Kaufman's it's a fun show to check out plus the DVD-release of this comes with the equally confounding but amazing short MY BREAKFAST WITH BLASSIE which co-stars my favorite 70's/80's wrestling manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie.
Andy giving the people of Memphis some helpful hints:
Saturday, May 24, 2014
By the 2000's theses movies had left far behind the ultra-goofiness of the 70's good-guy Godzilla and gotten a bit more realistic. They did keep the guy-in-a-suit monster but upped the look of pretty much everything else in the FX department by using some basic CGI but not overdoing it like every American movie of this decade did. This is the 27th Godzilla movie but it's really only a sequel to the original '54 film. They also reference MOTHRA and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS(at least one of them) so I guess technically it's a sequel to those as well. In this one, which is sorta/kinda a remake of the '75 and '92 movies with Mechagodzilla, a new robot-Godzilla is built around the bones of the original black & white monster and used to defend Japan against the king of the monsters. It's decent enough as far as these movies go, with the building smashing and monster grappling action, but it ultimately feels like there's no real ending to the film. Watch it only if you're a G-fan, which if you are I'm sure you already have.
The cool thing about THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK is that it was shot in a pseudo-documentary style way before those sorts of things became nauseatingly overdone. For this sequel director of the original semi-classic, Charles B. Pierce, decided to ditch all that and just tell a regular Bigfoot tale and throw a bunch of flashbacks into it. He also decided to give himself the starring role and have his son co-star. I guess it's cheaper than getting actual actors that you have to pay. There was already a BOGGY CREEK II that came out back in '77(aka RETURN TO BOGGY CREEK) but Pierce didn't have anything to do with that and decided to ignore it in his numbering system. In fact this whole project was a response to Pierce not being included in the first sequel. I have not seen that particular film yet but I know it stars Mary Anne from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and Kimberly from THE FACTS OF LIFE so that seems like a must-see to me. This BOGGY CREEK II is kinda forgettable except towards the end when a lecherous smelly-looking mountain of a man, who conveniently lives in the swamps, enters the film. Also Bigfoot, or The Creature as he's referred to here, has a little kid creature. The whole Bigfeets family is not something you see in many of these films.
Also this is a pretty good MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 episode, so watch it on there if you have to. AKA THE BARBARIC BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK PART II
The best thing about this might be that it gives legendary character actor Jack Elam top-billing. Best known by most people as that crazy, bug-eyed doctor who keeps injecting himself in CANNONBALL RUN. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything else that gave him such a starring credit. Unfortunately he isn't really the star of this. That would be two college boys/knuckleheads on a mission to study the swamp monster/Bigfoot creature referenced in the title(One of these two, Dennis Fimple, would go on to play the grandpa in HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES). Bigfoot shenanigans ensue and things get crazy. This would probably make a good double-feature with THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK since they both deal with the same hairy creature. Also they're both good examples of hicksploitation meeting bigfootsploitation.
When I was a teenager I had a poster of this movie hanging on my wall but never bothered actually seeing the movie. I think I assumed it was a crappy TV-movie so I didn't bother. Back then if it wasn't a slasher movie or a zombie gore-epic I probably woulda been disappointed anyway.
AKA DEMON OF THE LAKE
Friday, May 23, 2014
Paul Naschy makes a better Wolf-Man than he does a Dracula. This makes sense since he played El Hombre Lobo so many times and the most famous vampire of all only this once. Also his body-type is more fitting for a raging, hairy monster than a blood-starved undead Count. This movie isn't a complete waste though. There is a considerable amount of blood-letting and naked boobs. The story doesn't always gel though. Like for instance why does Dracula have such shitty command of his subjects? Shouldn't he be able to kick their asses really easily, being the king of the undead and all that? Besides these strange battles with his vampire chicks and a roving lunatic(Renfield?) character the movie ends on a really silly note with Drac getting all suicidal with himself over his girlfriend. How goth! But as far as Eurohorror goes I guess you could do worse.
This movie has a shit-ton of aliases including COUNT DRACULA'S GREATEST LOVE, DRACULA'S VIRGIN LOVERS, CEMETERY GIRLS, DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE, THE GREAT LOVE OF COUNT DRACULA and my favorite, CEMETERY TRAMPS.
Elvira digs it!(kinda/sorta):
Sunday, May 18, 2014
This along with CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and all their various sequels ushered in a new era of monster movies which led to stuff like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine becoming popular and THE MUNSTERS being a hit TV program. So these films are historically important and are basically remakes of the old Universal monster flicks but with some ultra-red blood thrown in and much more British-ness. As I kid watching these movies on TV I found the parts without Drac to be a real drag but now I can appreciate the building of tension and atmosphere a lot more. Christopher Lee portrays the title monster and while he's no Bela Lugosi he's certainly more athletic and cuts a pretty imposing figure. AKA DRACULA and DRACULA 1958
There's a slightly longer Japanese cut that was released a couple of years back that I've yet to see.
As far as I know there are three of these "Crippled Masters" flicks starring these two fellows(one with little flipper arms and the other with worthless spaghetti-legs). The first one is probably my favorite since it tells their origin and show them getting their arms or legs chopped-off or made useless. This one does add a pet chimpanzee to the mix which is always cool to see. Unfortunately something bad happens to that cute little guy. Also there's a lot of drag throughout the run-time when no crippled-fu or ape-hijinks are taking place. Worth a look if you wanna see something offbeat or if you're some kinda weirdo cripple movie completest. AKA CRIPPLED HEROES
The third film is titled FIGHTING LIFE and came out the next year.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I always disliked this film because I own it in a triple pack VHS set along with THEY CALL ME TRINITY and TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME and this was the worst movie out of those three and seemed like it didn't really belong. Also it's a horrible full-screen transfer of the film. Watching it again recently it wasn't as bad as I remembered it being. For one thing it has a pretty awesome cast. Besides Terence Hill and Bud Spencer you also get Woody Strode, Lionel Stander, Victor Buono and in a rare heroic role, George Eastman as a deaf, mute fellow with dyed-blonde hair with the unlikely name of Baby Doll? The story itself concerns Hill getting mixed up with a circus(which includes a bunch of midgets and Strode on the trapeze) and getting some help by Spencer and Eastman in getting revenge against some evil mining company. The whole thing still does feel like an slightly inferior version of the "official" Trinity movies but this actually came out before those films and I suppose it isn't bad as a predecessor. Just don't watch it on VHS. AKA BOOT HILL, TRINITY RIDES AGAIN(even though he didn't actually ride yet!), BOOT HILL: TRINITY RIDES AGAIN and THE MAGNIFICENT TWO.
I guess in the German version Woody Strode balances jugs on his head:
More commonly known as HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, this version has a tacked-on title and some horrible music with some warbling woman to start things out. Mario Bava is the director and it's pretty fitting since Hercules, played by Reg Park, travels to the underworld of Hades to get some magical fruit or something and while there encounters a few monsters including a stone-monster that looks like Tobonga from FROM HELL IT CAME and some, what I think are, zombies or maybe skeleton ghosts of some sort. Bava uses some interesting colors here, which is something he would become pretty famous for later on in his horror flicks. Christopher Lee plays the man bad-guy and gets to wrestle(get tossed around by) Herc in the big climactic battle which is pretty wacky to see. Pretty standard swords n' sandals flick mostly of interest to Bava fans who want to see his earlier work. AKA HERCULES VS. THE VAMPIRES(I don't recall any vampires?), THE VAMPIRES VS. HERCULES(maybe those zombies were vampires?), WITH HERCULES TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and HERCULES AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
A Hercules double-feature! Bring the kids:
Monday, May 12, 2014
I think this one might be my favorite out of the Sonny Chiba 'Oyama Trilogy'. It definitely seems like the most outrageous of the three even though Mr. Chiba doesn't fight any animals. Instead he ends up in a wrestling ring involved in some ridiculous battles with masked grapplers and also takes on the mobsters who control the fight racket in Okinawa. Apparently in this version of pro wrestling it's perfectly OK to rip your opponent's eyeballs out, cripple them and generally do whatever the hell you want to win the match. Crazy stuff! There's also a rip-off/homage to that mirror fight scene in ENTER THE DRAGON. In fact the whole movie is kind of a take-off on that Bruce Lee classic. You also get a suicidal alcoholic hooker with a heart of gold and a gang of homeless street kids. I love movies with roving gangs of criminal children!
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The most memorable thing about this movie is the scene, which gives the movie it's title, where Sonny Chiba has a bare-knuckles fight with a bull. The rest of the movie is the, probably mostly fictitious since it was based on a comic book, story of Masutatsu Oyama, who was a karate teacher who trained Chiba amongst others. Apparently his ability to kill bulls with his hands is sorta true though since it was filmed. Whether these bulls were drugged up or otherwise incapacitated before facing Mr. Oyama I'm not too clear on. Ultimately It's an OK violent martial arts trip but not up to the legendary level of THE STREET FIGHTER.
This was released in America as CHAMPION OF DEATH and followed by KARATE BEARFIGHTER where Chiba fights a bear and finally KARATE FOR LIFE which rounds out the trilogy. Unfortunately I don't think there was any animal fights in the last chapter but I have yet to see that one.
Footage of the real Oyama fighting?(dancing around with?) a bull. Animal huggers probably won't like this but it's a much fairer fight than the animal would get in Mexico:
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Andrew Prine, best known to me as that crazy guy from BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD, takes on a lady vampire who lives, appropriately enough, on Vampire Island. It's a fairly standard Eurohorror flick also known as HANNAH, QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES that drags on at times but is chock full of atmosphere and feels very much like a Paul Naschy movie that forgot to put Mr. Naschy in the film. Speaking of the Spanish El Hombre Lobo, my biggest disappointment with this film is that they reference a werewolf helper of Hannah's that just turns out to be a hairy caveman-looking dude. Heads do roll and there's at least a little blood (if you watch the uncut Spanish version) but you'd probably only really like this one if you're a Eurotrash completest. AKA YOUNG HANNAH, QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES
This Youtube version looks great but is unfortunately censored of it's gorier bits:
Inspiration to sleaze rockers The Hookers!:
Monday, May 5, 2014
The 80's were really dumb times and this movie here is a perfect example of just how dumb they were. It starts out with a ninja on a rampage on a golf course taking out golfers and about a bazillion cops. Then when he's finally almost dead after taking 3 zillion rounds of ammo at point blank range he decides to possess a chick who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, of course, she now has magical ninja skills and beats up would-be rapists and all those cops that dared to shoot at our ninja ghost guy. That is until, 80's martial arts video favorite, Sho Kosugi shows up to kick ass. As dumb as kung fu movies from Hong Kong can be I think it's only the ones intentionally made for children that could top this in terms of sheer dumbness. Still it's an entertaining watch as long as you don't take anything serious.
Apparently the first two chapters of this are 1981's ENTER THE NINJA and 1983's REVENGE OF THE NINJA which also had Sho Kosugi in them but, from what I recall, I don't think there was any EXORCIST-rip-off shenanigans going on in those.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
My first question here is why is the Asian girl named Arab? My second question is why the hell would they skimp out on the gore FX? I know this was shot back-to-back with PART 2: UNHAPPY CAMPERS, which I haven't seen in a while, but I don't recall them cutting away from the violence in it like this. Maybe this Shout Factory DVD that I caught a screening of last night was a cut version of the film but I can't imagine why they would release something like that in this day. Anyhow the movie does deliver on everything else you would expect from a FRIDAY THE 13th rip-off 80's slasher flick. You get gratuitous nudity, completely stereotypical cartoon characters as victims(black rap fan, white metal dude, Spanish gang-banger guy, hick gal etc.), an exceptionally slim plot, just about everyone gets killed and there's even some blatant racism thrown in to offend any overly sensitive types who are stupid enough to watch this. It also has a halfway decent heavy metal soundtrack including Canadian knuckleheads Anvil.
There were 2 more films in this series with Part IV being a horrible clip collection kind of thing and Part 5(RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP) being at least mildly amusing.
Friday, May 2, 2014
There's a few different versions of this movie out there. The one I watched was dubbed into English but there's also another one that has an extra stupid "comedy" dub-job by Troma films. I don't think I need to see that one.
This movie is pretty much wall-to-wall fighting which includes lots of kung fu and when that's not going on we get a bunch of lady wrestling action. It gets very repetitive after awhile and the dramatic bits in between aren't all that interesting either. Luckily things get super violent and bloody towards the end with an acid face-wash, multiple stakings with sharp bits of wood, eyes gouged out and bloody beatings with spiked knuckles. Also since this was made in Indonesia we get lots of gratuitous Barry Prima kicking ass complete with exploding flying stars! So if you want a fight flick that doesn't make much sense but delivers with the bloody goodness I guess this will do. AKA MAD FIGHTERS
There is a FEROCIOUS FEMALE FREEDOM FIGHTERS PART 2 which also has Barry Prima in it, of course, but I have no idea if it has anything to do with this movie.
Dumb Troma trailer:
As a general rule pretty much any movie with the warning DON'T right there in the title is usually worth checking out. This movie's great because it's just chock full of insane homicidal mental patients. In fact the majority of characters here are all completely koo-koo. There's really only one female nurse who comes along that seems in any way normal. They also throw in some bloody murders and lots of creepy atmosphere. This is a great recipe for a 70's classic. The only downside is that it gets a bit talky in the middle section. There is a basement but not much actually goes on down there. Also this is public-domain so it's available on all those cheap-ass DVD sets of 50 horror films or whatever so it's easy very to find at no cost. AKA THE FORGOTTEN, DEATH WARD #13, DON"T GO IN THE BASEMENT & THE SNAKE PIT
Director S.F. Brownrigg went on the next year to make another DON'T flick, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! which I don't think I've seen yet.
They took the "only a movie" tagline from LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and even threw some of that movie into their trailer:
Played on a double-bill with the Mario Bava classic TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE:
and also with Paul Bartel's PRIVATE PARTS:
I like to imagine this movie was an inspiration for the Ramones:
Thursday, May 1, 2014
They probably shoulda called this one I WAS A TEENAGE VAMPIRE to go with the other two AIP teen monster flicks of the time. The vampire chick here gets her powers in a pretty weird way for a vamp. One of her teachers is doing some kinda science experiment to eliminate atom bombs, I think? Somehow she uses some kinda hypnotic voodoo to turn our main gal into a bloodsucking creature that does her evil bidding. This is supposed to show how man is a more destructive force than an atomic blast, I think? It's all very convoluted and of course has nothing to do with Dracula. There's not much that's all that different from the other two more well known(TEENAGE WEREWOLF & TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN) flicks but it's an OK watch if you want to catch a genuine 50's drive-in double-feature spook show kinda deal. They also shoehorn in a song about puppy love. AKA BLOOD OF THE DEMON(Canadian title) & BLOOD IS MY HERITAGE(British title)
"Stimulating young girls beyond any reasonable control"(pretty sure I've heard that same line used in a porno trailer before):