Friday, September 25, 2015
This movie was actually finished two years ago and was supposed to be released last year but didn't hit screens until yesterday so, of course, I had to get out there and see it. If you told me back in the 80's that at some point in my lifetime I would see a major release of a cannibal movie to theaters in the U.S. I woulda never believed ya but here it is. The film itself is a super-gory, fun watch if you're a fan of the 80's grindhouse Italian gut-munchers. The one real down-spot for me was the inclusion of some terrible-looking cgi-ants but besides that I can't say anything bad about this. Most of the characters here put themselves in such a stupid situation that you don't feel very sorry for them even when the most horrific things are happening to them or around them. The obvious but timely and appropriate anti-social justice warriors message comes through loud and clear which is nice. As far as where this fits in the cannibal film genre I would say this isn't the best one but for a new movie it's amazing and it's equally amazing to me that it was made at all and is definitely worth supporting. Sadly since so many "horror" fans seem to have a personal grudge against director Eli Roth for some reason I'm not sure how successful this will be. I'm hoping it at least spawns the sequel that is promised in it's after-credits sequence.
Monday, September 21, 2015
This one is more of an interesting curiosity than actually any sort of a good movie. It's kinda(but not exactly) a CARRIE rip-off starring Carrie's mom(Piper Laurie) as a lady in the 1950's who runs a drive-in theater that shows ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN a lot. Oh and she also may, or may not, have telekinetic abilities that she uses to murder gangsters from her past who snuffed out her boyfriend back in the 30's. This part wasn't exactly clear, as many things are in this film, because it also may be her creepy mute big-eyed daughter doing all the killings or maybe it's just an old gangster ghost running amuck. It all gets totally insane by the end so that's something. There's also a couple of scenes with Ruby's daughter which would put this in the EXORCIST-rip-off category as well.
I caught this at a midnight screening recently and it was tough making it to the end without snoozing but maybe it works better for folks who are more into the whole supernatural creepy thing. I will say this movie works well in creating a very spooky atmosphere if nothing else.
Not to be confused with the more well known 80's John Woo-directed Chow Yun Fat film with the same title, this is a story dealing with these 3 little kids who grow up in a circus and two of them become kung fu masters and really good at throwing knives. Oh, and the other one becomes a pretty lady and a nightclub singer. That's the backstory anyway the main plot concerns political corruption, sneaky Japanese drug smugglers and lots of ass-kicking, throwing people through walls and breaking kung fu school signs. I really like this Shaw Brothers flick mostly because for a majority of the film I was never 100% certain whose side I should be on. The main character who's presented as the hero is super honorable but at the same time he's being used by nefarious forces while his buddy that he grew up with is just trying to do his job of apprehending criminals. This leads to some conflict of course. I enjoy grey areas in these types of films. Of course I also dug all the bloody fights and samurai sword battles. AKA SACRED KNIVES OF VENGEANCE
Sunday, September 20, 2015
This is a great example of slasher movie that actually came out before HALLOWEEN kick-started the avalanche of similar films. It all starts out with a flurry of bloody, graphic murders of various women, including porn star Kelly Nichols, using various implements of destruction found in your average toolbox. The first third of this film is super sleazy mixing a bathtub masturbation scene with Miss Nichols, other assorted scantily-clad females and graphic bloodletting. From there it does slow down a bit but is still a great watch thanks to the batshit-crazy acting job of Mr. Cameron Mitchell who goes from kidnapping young girls to singing silly songs about about lollipops all the while never failing to convey that he is a complete wack-job psycho barely hanging onto sanity. This has to be my all-time favorite performance of Mr. Mitchell's and I'd recommend any grindhouse aficionados check it out if they haven't already.
I got a chance to view a slightly-aged 35mm print of this last night on a weird double-bill with the 80's nutso monster/ghost/zombie movie SPOOKIES which was quite the experience.
The film ends with a claim that this movie is based on a true case from the 60's which I'm willing to bet is a big load of horse-crap.
There was a remake of this, directed by Tobe Hooper, in 2004 that wasn't particularly good and was basically a remake in name only since it had a very different plot.
The 'mystery movie' aspects of this are pretty laughable since Mitchell is so bad at wearing a mask that you can see most of his face under it for a large part of the movie:
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
While SLEEPAWAY CAMP is a fairly standard slasher-flick on the surface it does have some great goofy characters(Angela's mom being the goofiest, who seems like she just escaped from a John Waters film, but also pretty much all the adults at the camp who overact like maniacs!), original kills(beehive in the shitter, curling-iron in the vagina, pervy gross pedophile boiled in water etc.) and of course the super memorable ending which they spoofed on that ROBOT CHICKEN show. This all goes to make this one of the grimy, sleazy classics of this low-brow horror sub-genre as far as I'm concerned. It spawned 5 sequels of varying entertainment value(part IV, consisting mainly of a bunch of footage from previous films, being the worst) and there's supposed to be a remake in the planning stages which, based on almost every other remake in the last 20 years, I'm sure will suck. Stick with the original for a stupid bloody good time!
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The Shaw Brothers studios made the best kung fu movies. Everyone who's into martial-arts flicks(and is intelligent) knows this. They always have the best fighting, crazy stunt-work, inventive weapons and they usually throw a little blood in there also for added spice. This one has what on the surface seems like a pretty simple plot about an assassin who's brought in to stand trial for killing a bunch of folks from a rival clan. It starts off with some hooded killers massacring people and from there it spirals off and makes this simple set-up a bit more complex by adding about a billion characters to the story. It probably woulda helped if I had a scorecard of some sort to keep track of everyone and what clan they belonged to. While it's not a bad movie, since I don't think the Shaws really made any outright awful films, I feel like it gets filled up with more plot than is really necessary for a movie of this type but If you're sick of the more simplistic chopsockey flicks this might be for you.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
I know of director Lee Frost mainly from his early nazi-sploitation flick LOVE CAMP 7 and also THE BLACK GESTAPO, THE THING WITH TWO HEADS and a couple of other weird-o exploitation "classics". I didn't know until recently that he also directed a handful of pseudo-documentaries/mondo-movies in the 60's. This one deals with some strange rituals all over the world including a voodoo gathering, some Germans getting off watching Nazi plays, a Japanese massage parlor that uses eggs instead of lotions, a trip to Fredrick's of Hollywood to look at ass-less underwear, "peace-creep" hippie protesters and other various peeping-Tom/hidden-camera spectacles. Right from the opening shots there's tons of multi-ethnic boobs on display and each set gets it's own theme music which is nice. There's also a creepy sense of probably illegal voyeurism that runs throughout. It gets a little slow towards the end when it gets bogged down following some Arabian slave-traders and that's where I started to nod off but overall an interesting obscure curiosity that I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to see in a theater the way pervs of yesteryear woulda viewed it.
One interesting footnote to this is the way Frost seems to use older footage from some of his other movies and inserts it here in a good job of editing. He even manages to come up with excuses for why some of the scenes are in black & white and others are in color.
This preview is pretty much the whole movie cut down to 7 minutes:
A couple of the Lee Frost mondo-flicks all mashed into one delightful preview!: