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.