Wednesday, December 23, 2015
So the ghost of Billy Chong's dad shows up and tells him he's been murdered and to seek vengeance for him. You would think he coulda done that for himself being a ghost and all but I guess there's rules or something. Unfortunately the fellow who murdered him has a wizard/magician assistant so Mr. Chong employs a gang of other ghosts to help him in his quest for revenge. This leads to a big kung fu battle where Dracula shows up and fights for the bad guys. Then there's some bland sex scenes where a couple get their hearts cut out. Finally a bunch of prostitutes? throw washcloths? (sanitary napkins? towels?) at our wizard's face which messes him up. Sadly this description sounds a lot more exciting than the actual movie plays out since there's a lot of drag time in between anything of interest happening. I've tried watching this one a bunch of times in the past and without fail I either pass out from boredom or give up which is not a very good sign. Of course it doesn't help that every public-domain print I've seen of this is a real ugly looking pan-and-scan mess but even still I can tell this is no classic of the genre.
Billy Chong did star in a similar movie called KUNG FU ZOMBIE in 1981 which I recall being slightly better and more entertaining than this one so maybe I should give that one another watch.
This trailer hates spelling words correctly!:
Monday, December 21, 2015
This is director John Waters favorite Christmas movie and also one of mine. One part slasher movie, one part psychological drama dealing with one man's strange obsession with Santa Claus and all things Christmas. There's so many great weirdo elements that make this one stand out from all the more generic holiday horror flicks of the time including our wack-a-doo Santa Harry's big books of good and bad children, his use of treetop stars as weapons not to mention the flying van/sled that Harry rides around in! There's also a very TAXI-DRIVER-esque vibe to many scenes with Harry emoting to himself in seasonal joy before going off on some violent escapade. Strangely this movie didn't get the mass outrage that SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT did over depicting a killer Claus. Perhaps that's because the advertising budget wasn't as high here and it played more seedy Times Square showings and the typical public morons just weren't as aware of it. Would make a nice holiday double feature with SILENT NIGHT but this one is definitely a higher quality/better made film that actually seems to have a message buried under it's bizarre veneer about how screwed up the modern world is even on Christmas. AKA YOU BETTER WATCH OUT and TERROR IN TOYLAND
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Not to be confused with the 80's Metallica album of the same name, this American kung-fu flick, that seems a lot more like a Thai kung-fu flick because that's where it was shot, kinda reminded me of the movie RAZE which came out this same year and was a film with a bunch of women kept prisoner and forced to fight to the death tournament style. In this one you get a bunch of highly-skilled assassins in the same situation. This works a bit better in the action and martial-arts departments and is a little less SAW-like than RAZE was. Also a gang of ninjas show up and it was cool seeing Gordon "MASTER KILLER" Liu featured as the main bad-guy, still kicking ass in 2012! Overall while it's a pretty slim plot the title is fairly accurate in that almost everyone gets offed and I've seen way stupider kung fu flicks.
Metallica before they became lame old greedy people!!:
This starts out with cgi snowflakes. Perhaps this is where I shoulda turned it off. What a shitty way to start your movie. From there we get William Shatner as a DJ. His inserted bits are amusing even though at times they just reminded me of those Priceline commercials that he did. Then it's on to the main stories in what's sort of a modernized version of a CREEPSHOW anthology deal. It's a brand-new horror film so of course 90% of it deals with stupid ghost-like things happening, possessions and a shaky camera. The best of these stories, to me, was the main wraparound one which consists of Santa himself battling it out with a bunch of zombified-elves and that evil German-Santa Krampus character who is uber-popular this year for some bizarre reason. Of course even this one has a bunch of really awful cgi-fx thrown in that takes you right out of the experience and places you abruptly in video game land. The other main problem with this is, unlike something like CREEPSHOW which shows the stories sequentially, this jumps from one tale to the next right in the middle of the action. I assume this is supposed to feel fresh and innovative except it comes off as disjointed and a little jarring. It worked for PULP FICTION because there was some excellent editing involved and characters that you cared about. Not so much here. If you are starving for holiday horror entertainment give it a look. Just don't expect anything mind-blowingly great despite how overly-hyped this seems to be getting.
Friday, December 18, 2015
While technically this is not a very well-made movie and it looks like it was shot on video even though I guess it's actually 16mm and I'm fairly sure this never played in a theater anywhere but instead was released straight to video, this still gets high points from me for being such an insane mess of a movie. The plot concerns a little creature made by the Nazis who is brought back to life to mate with the daughter of an old Nazi fellow who raped his other daughter to create the perfect bride of the elf! Confused yet? Luckily along comes Dan 'Grizzly Addams' Haggerty as a disgraced former detective kicked off the force for being an alcoholic mess to help save our heroine from being diddled by this ugly little troll(who we almost always see from the waist up since he appears to be a hand-puppet of some sort). The title is a lie since there is only one elf-monster and even that monster is usually referred to as a troll or a gremlin which shows what films the makers were attempting to emulate. Incest, Nazis, bad-accents, exploding cars and shitty FX with a monster who stabs Santa right in the balls. If you enjoy badly done trash-cinema that's so bad-it's-great this should be on your holiday watch-list.
This slasher flick from England reverses the more standard killer Santa Claus plot and has a killer going around hacking up anyone wearing a Santa, or Father Christmas, outfit. It has a little of everything you need in a movie like this including quite a castration, some bare boobs, exploding presents and quite a bit of blood. Caroline Munro shows up to sing and dance for us in one scene while a Santa has his faced hacked up. Edmund Purdom, who I know best from the classic stupid Italian slasher PIECES, plays a creepy Chief of Police here. While not the greatest slasher it does have a semi-giallo vibe which is cool and I do find myself watching this one around this time of year. This most likely because there's so few other halfway decent Christmas horror flicks to watch.
Cool poster! Woulda been cool if this actually happened in the movie:
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Jackie Chan stars and directs this sorta-remake of Frank Capra's POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES(which itself was a remake of Capra's earlier movie LADY FOR A DAY). Having never seen the original I can't say how it compares but I'm pretty sure Glenn Ford and Bette Davis don't do quite as many acrobatic kung-fu moves in that one. Mr. Chan does his usual comedic-style ass-kicking in this one. Overall it's pretty silly with Jackie going from being a lowly poor immigrant to becoming the leader of a bunch of mobsters really quickly and then helping out some poor lady who sells roses. It's also way too freaking long at over 2 hours(there is a half-hour-shorter dubbed version available which might make it a slightly better watch). The fight scenes and action set-pieces are, as usual in Jackie's films, pretty spectacular but I'm not sure if getting through all the dramatic or super silly stuff to view them is worth the effort. Still I'm sure this is a better pick than any of those stupid RUSH HOUR movies. AKA MIRACLE and MR. CANTON AND LADY ROSE
It's a toss-up whether this is the most bizarre Santa Claus movie ever or if it's that Mexican one where he fights the devil. This one's definitely less watchable as a film with the plot consisting of a sweaty Santa stuck on a Florida beach trying to get his ass back to the North Pole. There's a bunch of kids, various farm animals and even a guy in a gorilla suit that give pulling his sled out of the sand a try and fail miserably. Then right in the middle of the movie Santa tells us a lame story about Thumbellina. Which to make things worse is a musical! There's also another different version where it's the slightly less boring but equally lame Jack and The Beanstalk tale that gets inserted in(also with musical bits). Finally after all that crap a guy in a shitty Bunny suit shows up on a firetruck with no ice-cream at all. While I wouldn't give this a high-rating for solo viewing it is a great tool to use to astound your less adventurous friends with or just to clear a room of lame-asses.
I recently caught the Rifftrax version of this in the theater and their quips did help make the repetitious nature of the film a bit less mind-numbing.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
I dug the early Jackie Chan comedy chopsockey flicks he made back in Hong Kong but then he made it big in Hollywood with those awful movies with that imitation Chris Rock fellow so I gave up on him. Well apparently he sorta went back to his roots with this. It was filmed in Japan and might be the best acting that Chan has ever done since it dispels with the comedic elements that people in America know Mr. Chan for and is actually a super dramatic film. The story is reminiscent of SCARFACE with a Chinese immigrant(Chan) coming to Japan and surviving by infiltrating the underworld. Eventually rising up and becoming part of the Yakuza and leading his own group of mobsters including some crazy-looking punk rocker drug addicts. It's certainly strange to see Chan murdering people and appearing in a sex scene but those things do happen here. He never really becomes as totally evil as I was hoping for but that didn't really take away from the other epic qualities the film has going for it. If you're an old-school Chan fan looking for something a bit different check this one out.
Jackie did make a few earlier films where he did some more dramatic style acting, things like HEART OF THE DRAGON and CRIME STORY, but I have yet to view those.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
So this is a sorta-remake of Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN where two guys each make a deal to kill the others wife. Except it's like a late-night Cinemax version of that movie if it was directed by a fellow who usually directs porno's. A few porn stars do show up along with some very brief appearances by stars in their twilight years like Yvonne "Lily Munster" DeCarlo and Cesar "The Joker" Romero. Also Maniac Cop himself, Robert Z'Dar plays a rapist tough guy in one of his earliest appearances, so that's something. This one has a couple of chuckles, a strange homosexual rape scenario that plays out and real cop-out of an ending. It also has a few dream/fantasy sequences to try and fool the audience and I hate those! Overall the payoff makes this one probably not worth the effort of watching it.
There's a different cut of this film on the DVD I have titled THE WIFE CONTRACT but I'm not sure if I want to sit through this thing again to see if it's possibly any better. I believe the only difference is that the celebrity cameos are not in this version which at least might make it slightly shorter.
One of our main "heroes" has quite the Magnum P.I. look going on:
A bunch of hippie weirdos beg for money, drop acid, protest the Vietnam War, sing and groove at a disco and have artistically-filmed orgies. They're led by a rather un-charismatic leader who whines about "The Man" a whole lot. From the title, trailer down below and cover of the DVD I have of this I figured this would be more of a blaxploitation kinda deal, and there are a couple of black characters, but that angle never really gets explored much. It's really a dull mash up of boring documentary and bad musical with a large dollop of uninteresting drama thrown in. Also there's not much in the way of a plot. We do get the stereotypical 70's downer ending but even that is done pretty blandly here. I think the only point in this film I even got slightly excited was when the lead singer of this kooky hippie band shouted "Kick Out The Jams!" but sadly it was not followed by an MC5 cover song. Mostly a very forgettable watch. The only positives were that the cinematography and editing looked surprisingly good for such a low-budget film. AKA SIGN OF AQUARIUS, WAGES OF SIN and LOVE COMMUNE
This poster is a lot closer to what the actual film is like:
On the bottom of a double-bill with an excellent biker flick:
And on the top of a bill with some blaxploitation flick I've never even heard of:
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Not to be confused with the shitty Uwe Boll-directed video game movie from the 2000's with the same title, this is the 80's sorta-slasher flick starring the stellar line up of Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau and Jack Palance as a nutty psychiatrist and two psychopaths respectively. I think the main thing I like about this is that it plays mostly like a slasher movie but it's very atypical of the genre primarily because there's so many kill-crazy psychos running around. The other big plus is there's a punk rock club where The Sic Fucks are always playing which is pretty sweet. Strangely enough the guy who played the nutty character of Murdock on THE A-TEAM is one of the few sane people here as a doctor trying to protect his family from a bunch of kooks on the loose. There's also a killer who wears a hockey-mask before Jason found his, small but perky naked boobs and that huge Baldie from THE WANDERERS as a monstrous, backbreaking, child-molesting hulk of a nut-job. A great crazy 80's horror flick with a great soundtrack.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
I know there's some stupid new movie about a talking turkey killing people, called THANKSKILLING PART 3 or something like that, but if we ignore that crap this is the world's only Thanksgiving slasher movie. Also it was made in the 80's when real slasher movies were produced. It's pretty standard and not at all exceptional except for a couple of things. Our killer here is BODY BY JAKE fitness guru Jake Steinfeld who plays a muscley nutso creep with a mullety afro who shoots PCP into his tongue and then goes on a slashing spree. He's all around pretty absurd especially the part where he dives on a car hood crushing a guy to death. The second and even more ridiculous thing is a character named 'Mistake' who goes around in white-face looking like the singer from The Addicts playing his electric guitar with an amp strapped to his back. He's supposed to be really annoying to everyone else in the film but since everyone else is so dull I found him to be a real highlight and really one of the few things that sets this movie apart from the billions of other slashers from this decade. So make this part of your Thanksgiving tradition if you're a slasher flick fan. AKA SLASHER IN THE HOUSE
Rock n Roll!:
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Bela Lugosi plays a very Dracula-ish vampire fellow named Tesla who manages to keep coming back throughout the decades even after getting a stake through the heart. The coolest part to me is that he has a werewolf servant! Unlike most wolfmen though this one chats up a storm and stays in his wolf-form even during the day with no full-moon in sight! Also he doesn't seem all that tough or scary, almost getting his ass kicked by a couple of regular humans at one point, which is unfortunate. I think I just like the idea that he's such a helpful ghoul. Eventually Bela/Tesla has no more use for or silly hairy friend and he gets to play the redeemed hero bit. There's also a bunch of boring parts with regular boring people that wasn't all that interesting. Basically this is a weird Columbia Pictures version of a Universal monster movie which if they made it woulda most likely been called DRACULA MEETS THE WOLFMAN. I can't help but think they would have probably done a better job and for sure the Wolfman would have had some better makeup but this is still an interesting old B-movie monster mash-up.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
So this was a pretty cool fake trailer for a fake movie that was created for that fake Hollywood exploitation movie GRINDHOUSE that Tarantino and Rodriguez spewed out a few years ago. That's quite a bit of fakeness going on! The idea to make it into an actual feature seems kinda silly to me so I've put off actually watching it up until now. The movie itself just plays more like a newer Troma film than anything from the 70's or 80's which I assume was the original idea. There is plenty of blood and gore with heads being ripped off and people being ridiculously smashed to bloody pulps over and over which I'm sure will make the little children smile. At a certain point in the film everything starts to feel like some kinda weird fantasy film and then finally these two medieval MONTY PYTHON-esque armored villains show up and the total cartoonisation is complete. Watching Rutger Hauer star in this is also a bit sad considering that he's so above this kinda thing but I guess good for him getting a paycheck to not really act all that much and just be covered in fake blood and gore for a while. While it's OK for one viewing I doubt I'll ever need to re-watch this and like most newer films trying to look like older better cinematic experiences it's fairly forgettable and doesn't come close to reaching that goal.
The best part of this movie is the opening credit sequence because it's the theme from MARK OF THE DEVIL which is a classic!:
This works way better in it's original 2 minute version!:
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Tomisaburo Wakayama would go on to play the main character in the LONE WOLF AND CUB movies. But before that he portrays this naughty monk here who likes to gamble, bang prostitutes and not take any crap from anyone. This movie is clearly inspired by the ZATOICHI films in the way they play and since Wakayama's brother, Shintaro Katsu, plays Zatoichi in almost everyone of those films he even resembles him quite a bit. Of course the difference is that our wicked priest here isn't blind and instead of a samurai sword he mainly just uses jujitsu to fling his opponents around. There's even one scene where our hero pretends to be a blind masseuse in case anyone missed all the other less obvious references. Just like Zatoichi this gets pretty heavy with the melodrama but it all ends with heads being smashed like ripe melons at the hands of Mr. Wakayama so that's a pretty good payoff. Worth a look for Zatoichi fans. AKA PRIEST KILLER and THE EVIL PRIEST.
There are a few other movies starring this wicked priest character but how many in the series seems to be a little unclear. From what I've seen it looks like there were 5 official films.
Rudy Ray Moore's movies are all pretty amazing but by the time he got to the end of the 70's and made his 5th and final feature film he decided to change things slightly by throwing in a strong anti-drug message into the mix of silly kung fu revenge and proto-rapping. Rudy plays the title character whose nephew Bucky freaks out on some angel dust. This part is obviously the basis for the set-up in the 2009 BLACK DYNAMITE film. Carol Speed also shows up to play his sometimes girlfriend? Rudy also seems to be trying really hard with the dramatic acting this time out with varying degrees of success. You have to love him for being so dedicated to a role while wearing silver high-heeled shoes and some outfits that could possibly make Freddie Mercury blush. The fashions are one of the big highlights. The disco music is ok but the main tune played gets a little repetitive after a while. It's a shame Mr. Moore didn't really get to star in any more similar films after this one but I guess the 70's were his decade to shine. AKA THE AVENGING GODFATHER
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Not as good as the first BLACK MAGIC film, or even the 5th one, this one, re-titled as REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES when it originally played in the U.S., still has some crazy elements that make it a good watch for lovers of the bizarre off-kilter world of Asian strangeness. It starts off with a fake rubbery crocodile eating a lady and from there goes on to get all magical with an evil wizard fella who has a whole room full of slaves that he's cast some nasty spells on. There's zombie-like ladies with huge nails in their heads, a good wizard who rips his own eyeballs out, gaping wounds that spit out loads of worms and other disgustingness(oh and of course nutty kung fu fighting!). It would probably be a better watch if any of this stuff made any kind of sense but I guess you can't always get that from these more insane Shaw Brothers movies. One strange element of this is a very 80's hip-hop sounding tune played in a nightclub that the Beastie Boys would "borrow" for one of their songs.
Beastie Boys getting a little Black Magicy!:
I think I'd first seen the trailer for this on the old BEST OF SEX & VIOLENCE VHS tape way before seeing the whole movie but I knew I had to search it out from that. Rudy Ray Moore returns to do some early example of rapping, do stand-up and kick lots of ass in this sequel to DOLEMITE. It's the rare example of a sequel being technically better than the original with everything from the wonky kung-fu(Rudy even flies a bit) to the ridiculous rhyming turned up just a little bit more. Evil white people get massacred in sped-up fight sequences, thunder and earthquakes happen when Rudy gets busy with the ladies, there's gun-fu and lots of time is taken up with nightclub routines. Ernie Hudson(the black Ghost-Buster) shows up in an early role and we get to see a totally bare-assed Moore on display. Good times unless you're not a Rudy Ray Moore fan in which case you stink and you will hate this!
One of the greatest blaxploitation flicks and one of the greatest blaxploitation trailers!:
Rudy Ray wants you!:
Sunday, November 15, 2015
If you have an aversion to seeing people shove needles in their arms this might not be the film for you. If, however, you can appreciate a dark look at 1980's New York City junkie subculture then give this one a look. It's mostly a documentary about John Spacely, who was a heroin-addicted punk who lived on the lower east side way before it became a big shopping mall for rich snobs like it is today. He eventually ended up dying of the AIDS in the 1992. There's also some reenactments of criminal activities here and there to liven things up. It's a pretty cool/gritty look at drug abuse and people generally making bad life choices. It does get a little slow in parts but I think this just adds to the artsy quality of the whole thing. This has got to be the most artsy-fartsy thing Troma ever released. AKA GRINGO
'Wildman' Steve was a 70's stand-up comedian in the mold of a Redd Foxx or Rudy Ray Moore. He showed up in Moore's film PETEY WHEATSTRAW, THE DEVIL'S SON IN LAW a year before this and I guess that gave him the idea to try and make his own version of that movie. While Steve is not quite on the level of Moore, and this movie is basically an even lower budgeted version of his films, there's still a few laughs to be had here and this is a pretty damn entertaining watch if you dig the blaxploitation genre. The story is obviously sorta based on the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN TV-show except instead of a pilot the Steve here is a wino who is given "bionic" powers by an unscrupulous midget mad scientist along with his flashy pimp sidekick and cohorts. There's a few super silly sex scenes complete with naked black boobs and ass, jokes right out of a DOLEMITE movie and an ending that doesn't really make much sense but OK. The only negative thing I will bring up is the soundtrack is super-generic and coulda used a shot of some funk. But besides this it's just always great to find a 70's blaxploitation flick that seems to have been lost for a long time and isn't crap. Thanks to Vinegar Syndrome for doing god's work and releasing this! Check it out! AKA SUPERSOUL BROTHER.
The comedy stylings of Wildman Steve!:
Sunday, November 8, 2015
This movie comes pretty close to being totally amazing. It's got so many cool trashy elements thrown together. There's a monster on the loose, a mad scientist(though I guess maybe he's actually a mad psychiatrist since he never really seems all that scientific), a pervy hunchbacked assistant and women(and one guy) kept in cages in a makeshift dungeon. There's decapitation, axe murder, bloody whippings, snake hi-jinks and a lady's legs chopped off so her body can fit in a trunk. The one big problem though is the pacing of this thing is super slow. The other thing is they never show the monster running amuck. They just flash some wiggly worms on the screen. Which, unless the monster, who sounds like some kinda bobcat/jaguar creature, is actually just a bunch of stupid worms, is pretty lame. There is a sorta BLOODSUCKING FREAKS-vibe that runs through the film with all the torture and whatnot so if you're a 70's trash-fiend give this one a look. AKA HELP ME...I"M POSSESSED! and NIGHTMARE AT BLOOD CASTLE
Big box VHS!!:
Friday, November 6, 2015
When I picked up the VHS of this I looked at it quickly and assumed it was some weird re-titled version of SHOGUN ASSASSIN. If I looked closer though I woulda realized that the actor(or actors since I think there's more than one guy) playing the main character, Itto Ogami, isn't the same as in that film. The reason for this is that this is actually an edited-together version of a few episodes of the 70's TV-series LONE WOLF AND CUB. Of course it woulda also helped if I knew that there even was a TV-series. Having never seen the show I can't comment on how good or bad it is but watching it here it doesn't look all that great. This version anyway is like watching a crappier remake with no blood and that was one of the great highlights of the original! The movie also seems to go on forever with lots of talking and familiar scenes. If you've seen SHOGUN ASSASSIN before there really is no reason to sit through this one.
This is a pretty entertaining Russ Meyer flick. It also helps that the movie is only about 70 minutes long which keep things moving along rapidly without much lag. Meyer has a distinctive style of sexploitation movie which you can tell by the super-stylized acting and ultra-wacky pretty cartoonish scenarios. This one deals with a nympho lady called Vixen. There's quite a bit of racism concerning the one black biker character, stupid politics with an Irish commie weirdo plane hijacker and lots of nudity and extra-large boobs supplied by our main character(Erica Gavin). One lesbian scene seems to have been made to shock people and I imagine that woulda worked way better back in 1968. This scene is followed closely by a steamy incest scene which I don't think will ever not be at least a little shocking. Also the use of words like sambo or nigger will certainly shock all the pearl-clutching p.c.-zombies of today way more than your average citizen in the insane 60's. So thank you for Mr. Meyer for bringing the sleazy goodness!
In the U.K. this played on a double-bill with another of Meyer's big boob films:
Thursday, November 5, 2015
I was raised up, as a young man, on a steady diet of Pro Wrestling and monster movies. So when I picked up an issue of Fangoria magazine back in the early 80's and first read about these Mexican lucha libre monster movies it blew my fragile eggshell mind. This one here specifically seemed like one of the wackiest things ever put on film and is clearly the highlight of this weird genre for me just for it's sizable monsterrific value. You get a mad scientist, his evil hunchbacked dwarf assistant and a whole gang of unruly monsters including a mummy(La Momia!), a wolf man(El Hombre Lobo!), a Frankenstein monster(or Franquestain!), a vampire(El Vampiro!) and a couple of his ladies. There's also a weird-ass cyclops thing who's basically a stand in for The Creature From The Black Lagoon. He even gets a scene where he hangs out at the bottom of a lagoon even though he doesn't appear to have much of a swimmer's body or do much there besides leer on with his goofy flashlight eyeball. The weirdest monster though is this big-brained fellow who also appeared in the earlier Mexi-horror flick SHIP OF MONSTERS(which also had a very similar Cyclops monster now that I think about it). In this movie he just stands around, does nothing and is never even referred to! It seems very odd to me that a giant-brained Martian could just carouse about in the background going unnoticed but that's just what happens! Another awesome thing is that even though this film seems to have been made for kids there's a few moments of bright red blood being spewed and also a scene of a little boy whose parents are murdered by The Wolf Man right in front of his eyes! The soundtrack is pretty sweet and the wrestling scenes never drag as they sometimes do in these Santo flicks. In fact one of the wrasslin' bouts turns into a pretty sweet monsters vs. wrasslers battle royal! The only two bad points I will mention are the horrible confusingly shot day-for-night scenes and the old-timey musical numbers that look like they were pulled out of an older movie when Santo hangs out at a nightclub. Besides this though this one is a great kitschy ride!
Weird-ass speeded up Benny Hill-esque intro!:
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
I've heard a few people claim that this Spanish version of DRACULA, shot at the same time and on the same sets as the original, is the superior version and I can kinda see why they would say that. Right off the bat though Bela Lugosi is way better as the title monster than our Spanish fellow here, whose strange facial features kind of remind me of Andy Kaufman from time to time. The rest of the movie does seem to play a bit better, the ladies all dress a bit skimpier and even though it's about a half hour longer it seems to move more quickly than the original. Of course having seen the other DRACULA so many times this most likely just seems fresh in comparison and perhaps if I grew up with this other version I would think the opposite. Either way though it's worth checking out at least once for old-school monster kids.
Supposedly this may have not been the only classic Universal monster movie that was shot this way and there might have been alternate Spanish version of others. If so none of those others seem to have survived but I sure would dig seeing a classic Spanish FRANKENSTEIN!
When kung-fu fans bring up classic Shaw Brothers films this one(aka FIVE DEADLY VENOMS) is usually right at the top of their list of favorites. While I do find this movie entertaining I'm not sure if I'd actually rank it all that high. That probably has more to do with how many other great movies the Shaws churned out over the years than with the quality of this movie. Off the top of my head I can think of AVENGING EAGLE, FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS and CRIPPLED AVENGERS as a few that I would rank higher and have re-watched more than this. I think VENOMS gets such high points because it was shown so often back in the day when Saturday-afternoon TV was full of all the classic fu-flicks. It's also full of murder, mystery and lots of action with some crazy animal-based fighting styles. I think maybe I just don't care as much about the characters in this one as I'm supposed to. Still a solid martial-arts classic worth a watch for real fans.
The best part of this flick is the intro of our bad-ass title characters!:
If you told me there was a movie about a strange adopted fellow who has an obsession with Charles Manson and every piece of minute trivia surrounding the Tate/LaBianca murders, I would think that someone may have stolen my diary and written a screenplay based on it. Luckily though, since I do not have a diary (or a brother, which the main character in this film does), I can see this is all just a big weird coincidence.
The movie itself is pretty strange. It's classified as a dark comedy but nothing very funny happens. The subject matter is obviously dark but I can't really see this appealing to too many horror fans outside of those who need to see everything Manson-related. The killer from SAW(Tobin Bell) does show up as a modern-day Manson-cult member but I don't imagine many SAW fans would care much about that. Overall it's basically a very overly dramatic drama about familial/societal relationships which throws a twist ending in to tie it all up. It also goes a little too Hollywood-shticky(like most new movies) for my personal taste but maybe if you have low enough expectations and like unfunny comedies you might be able to tolerate this.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
While this has never been my favorite of the classic Universal monster movies, due to it's slow-moving action and stagey feel, it's such an iconic film, thanks mainly to the performance of Bela Lugosi, that even all the negatives are swept aside and it's historical significance shines through. Dwight Frye is also quite awesome with his signature laugh as the bug-eating servant of Mr. Dracula, Renfield.
I was happy I got the chance to view this in an actual theater along with it's Spanish version last night and the main thing I realized in this setting is how quiet the film is. I mean besides the opening titles there's no soundtrack at all so the audience got to enjoy the sounds of the retarded Hollywood movie playing next door as well thanks to the piss-poor construction of your modern-day shithole multiplex theater. But even this couldn't take away from the experience of watching on of the most influential horror classics.
Re-release poster from 1947:
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
This is the 25th Godzilla film and pretty much dismisses all the movies except for the very first one(which is what most of these Godzilla flicks of the 2000's have done). It keeps Godzilla as the bad-monster and switches King Ghidorah to a good-monster. In fact all the monsters except for Godzilla are these magical guardians of Japan. Big-eared monster Baragon also shows up even though he gets no title credit, guess it was too long already. The director, Shusuke Kaneko, made all the 90's Gamera films, which are pretty awesome and he does a similar job here with bringing the action and changing the story enough to make it interesting. Sadly it seems some Godzilla nerds don't like anyone fucking with their characters at all and many of them hate this movie because it's not the same exact plot as most of the other films. If you're not a nit-picky jerk though and just a fan of big stupid monsters(actual rubber-suit monsters not cgi-abominations!) fighting and killing innocent people you might enjoy this for what it is.
Monday, October 19, 2015
I picked up a weird nondescript VHS with this title and a badly drawn picture of a dude with his brain sticking out a while back just because I was curious as to what the hell it could possibly be and also because it was only $1. Turns out it's a re-titled version of Al Adamson's 1971 epic BRAIN OF BLOOD so I feel I got my moneys worth. I also feel that this is one of Adamson's better efforts and it's just strange enough to make for a decent time-waster. You get Angelo Rossitto as the evil midget assistant, a big mutant-faced retarded gentleman named Gor, women kept in chains in the basement/dungeon and actual bloody scenes of heads being sawed and brains being worked on by surgeons to help gross you out! There are certainly parts that drag a bit but for an Adamson flick it's not the worst you could do.
There's a bunch of aka's for this besides BRAIN OF BLOOD including BRAIN DAMAGE, THE CREATURE'S REVENGE, THE UNDYING BRAIN and my personal favorite THE OOZING SKULL!
Shown on a double-bill with what I think is that Filipino horror flick also know as THE BLOOD DRINKERS: