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A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!

A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!
Recommended for devolved primates only!

Monday, June 27, 2016

KING KONG ESCAPES (1967)


 A really ugly-faced version of King Kong takes on a goofy-ass Robot Kong who is controlled by an evil Dr. Who. The plot revolves around making these big apes dig up some precious element which is dumb. This is basically a Godzilla movie without Godzilla in it. It's also a sort-of sequel to KING KONG VS. GODZILLA though they never refer to that movie so maybe it's not. It was also produced by Rankin & Bass who did all those animated Christmas specials and stuff like MAD MONSTER PARTY and this movie was a tie-in to their KING KONG cartoon show which makes sense because this is a very cartoon-ish film. Mecha-Godzilla would show up a few years later which I assume was inspired by Mecha-Kong here. Good for a laugh if you're a big stupid monster fan.


Turkish style!:



Sunday, June 19, 2016

INVITATION TO HELL (1984)


 Out of all the horror directors that have been given the label of "Masters of Horror" Wes Craven has always been my least favorite. I mean since the 70s the man never really entertained me with much of anything that he did. I know this puts me in the minority amongst horror-nerds but it is how I feel whenever I watch his stuff from the 80s and beyond. This here TV-movie is a great example of what a truly hacky director he really was. It stars Robert Urich, who I believe is primarily remembered for his television work and his acting style is very fit for those types of shows, as the dad of a very schmaltzy BRADY BUNCH-ish family that includes Punky Brewster(Soleil Moon Frye). He gets a job working for this creepy company headed by Susan Lucci, from that ALL MY CHILDREN soap opera, who may or may not might be the devil and bad things start happening. The movie plays out like a VALLEY OF THE DOLLS/INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS mash-up and Kevin McCarthy even shows up as Urich's boss to drive this comparison to the later film home. Also of note(to me anyway) is the appearance of Nicholas Worth, who was the killer from the slasher semi-classic DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE as the big tough-guy sheriff here and Michael Berryman, from an actually good Wes Craven film in a tiny part. The insane ending involving a flame-throwing/laser-shooting astronaut suit worn by our hero as he descends into hell to rescue his family and the part where we get to see Punk Brewster doing a Linda Blair EXORCIST-imitation almost make this worth watching, it just takes a really long time to get to these ridiculous parts and you could probably find way better TV-movies from the 70s to watch instead.
 There's also a British film from 1982 with this same title which I have never seen but it look like it's at least got some gore in it so maybe it's decent?




Monday, June 13, 2016

SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA (1978)



 Whereas most every other kung-fu movie (at least all the ones that were made in Hong Kong) portrays Japanese as evil, sneaky no-good-nicks and Chinese as mostly virtuous heroes this one has a bit of a more "we're all just humans, can't we all just get along"-message. It starts out with the tale of a Chinese man who gets married to a Japanese lady and then proceeds to argue with her all the time about whose culture is better. This half of the movie plays almost like a rom-com and is a little strange for a Shaw Brothers film. It does end up in more standard territory for most of the last half when some of your more typical bad-guy Japanese fellows show up to challenge our main character(Liu Chia-Hui aka Gordon Liu) to a duel. From there things do end up on a surprisingly tolerant note(Surprising to anyone who knows the volatile and brutal history between China and Japan anyway.)
 This one is worth a look for martial arts lovers who want something at least a little different than the standard.

 AKA CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA:


and HEROES OF THE EAST:

Friday, June 10, 2016

THE MACK (1973)



 It's a toss-up between this and SUPERFLY as to which is my all-time favorite blaxploitation flick. What I think makes these two special is that they delve deeper than your average urban action film from this era and touch on some societal issues. In this case the main struggle is between two brothers that represent a couple of different avenues black folks saw as paths out of poverty in the 70s. One is the way our main character Goldie(Max Julien) travels and involves the criminal life involving pimping whores and robbery. His brother prefers the militant approach in a clear reference to The Black Panthers. There's also the more usual evil white cops, evil Italian mobsters and fellow pimps that you can't always trust that show up to round things out. There's many great funky tunes, so many great lines and scenes in this. Many of those involve Richard Pryor who was clearly very messed up while acting in this but also involve some very realistic barbershop and Player's Ball bits which give this film a more documentary-like feeling to go along with it's epicness. A guy gets locked in a car's trunk with some nippy rats, a pimp gets dynamite shoved in his mouthpiece and a fatman od's on battery-acid! Overall this a great gritty classic that conveys a time and place that is long gone but will live on forever through these works.


Re-released as THE MACK AND HIS PACK:


Egyptian Mack!: 

One of the all-time great double-features!:






Monday, June 6, 2016

THE FOUR RIDERS (1972)


 This kung fu flick directed by Shaw Brothers Studios' famous Chang Cheh(director of a bunch of the best Shaws' all-time classics) starts out a bit slow but is worth sticking around for when it gets down to bone-breaking action. It's definitely a unique setting for a martial arts extravaganza with it taking place in(and being partially filmed in) Korea right after the end of The Korean War involving some vets trying to get on with their lives. Gangsters, hookers and a groovy bar with go-go dancers apparently make this very difficult to do. The 4 main heroes here are supposed to represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but not being a biblical scholar myself I'm not sure what significance that really has to the overall film. What I did appreciate though was the great fight scenes which included a guy getting his scalp ripped off, a prostitute taking a dart in the eyeball and lots more chopsocky action  sequences that take place in some unusual settings. AKA STRIKE 4 REVENGE and HELLFIGHTERS OF THE EAST





Saturday, June 4, 2016

THE GATES OF HELL (1980)



 I had an opportunity to view this at the drive-in last weekend, the way God intended, and seeing it on the big screen under the stars is really the best way to view something like this. Like most of director Lucio Fulci's 80s gorefest this one doesn't really make much narrative sense and is more of a spectacle showing off some crazy fx. The most noteworthy of which, to me, is the intestines puking scene which I guess technically isn't even a special effect since they just had an actress vomit up some some sheep intestines which seems a pretty hardcore way to treat your actors. There's also a great super-realistic head-drilling bit, a hanging priest, the horror of being buried alive, bleeding eyeballs, maggot-rain and lots of zombie hijinks. While the movie is technically a zombie film you don't get the usual gut-munching and these ghouls prefer ripping heads apart which means they must be pretty friggin strong. I have read that Mr. Fulci didn't even want zombies in this at all and was going for a more supernatural horror vibe but the producers insisted so they could make this part of his "zombie" trilogy which includes the movies ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND even though they don't really have much connection besides these creatures appearing in them. While for my money HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is Fulci's best from this period they are certainly all worth a look for gorehounds and 80s horror creeps. AKA CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD

 




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

TRUCK TURNER (1974)


 From the amazing soundtrack, thanks to star Isaac Hayes, to the gun-fighting violence to sweet pimp attire and bums fighting in the streets this one is one of my all-time favorite examples of classic blaxploitation. Not only is Hayes great in the starring role Yaphet Kotto does a great job of being a bad-ass. It plays sort-of like a black version of STARSKY AND HUTCH except that show didn't come out yet so maybe it's the other way around. Also of note is STAR TREK's Lieutenant Uhura(Nichelle Nichols) as a take-no-shit Madam who also dons some great 70s threads ans Scatman Crothers as an old-timey pimp. It's too bad Mr. Hayes didn't go on to star in more of these types of films but I guess he gave us some classic tunes instead.


Nice Italian painted poster!:

Played on this classic double bill!:

Monday, May 23, 2016

THE CHILD (1977)


 This one has some great creepy atmosphere, some ghouly monsters running around, some decent gore shots and a creepy little girl. It sorta plays like an American version of a Jean Rollin Eurotrash film. On the down side it's super slow, has some really clunky acting going on and nothing is ever really explained. The monsters seem like they could be created from the little girls subconscious but that's just a guess she also might just be good at raising wacky-looking corpses from the dead to get revenge on people who piss her off. An interesting oddball flick that's maybe worth watching once if you like off-kilter 70s horror stuff. AKA ZOMBIE CHILD and KILL AND GO HIDE




Italian title(HOUSE OF THE ZOMBIES):

Sweet gory poster!!:


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP (1969)


 Very strange movie here. There's this talking brain in a jar who controls this doctor who sends out his monstrous experiment, who wears sparkly platform shoes and likes to play music for naked ladies, to capture various couples, some hippies in an orgy, a coupla lesbians and a stripper. From there our titular Dr. Humpp fills them full of an aphrodisiac and extracts "bodily fluids" from them while they're screwing in order to keep himself alive. Oh and he also has an army of robot-like henchman to guard his castle and dispose of the bodies he's used up. What the point of all this is I'm not totally clear, something about finding the key to immortal life or something. For a movie that's chock fulla so many bizarre things it does drag a bit and it's runtime seems a bit long. On the other hand it's so strange that you kinda have to at least watch this one once just to say you did. It kinda reminded me of a more sex-filled AWFUL DR. ORLOFF and if that sounds good to you give it a look.
 This was originally released in Argentina under the title THE VENGEANCE OF SEX with way less sex scenes(17 minutes or so of them) which were inserted by the American distributor to make it an "adult" film. This would probably make the film flow a lot better.






Monday, May 16, 2016

AUTOPSY (1975)




 I probably would like this movie more if it had a different leading actress. Mimsy Farmer looks fine and maybe it's not even her fault but usually the roles she's in tend to irritate me in some way or another. In this one she has loads of dreams and hallucinations and freaks out constantly. Another thing I tend to hate is when a movie starts blending reality with fantasy and we're supposed to keep track of what's real and what's in the mind of a koo-koo nutjob lady. This film I suppose is technically considered a giallo but it strays from that and just seems like a very strange murder-filled film that I couldn't totally get into or find myself caring much about the characters. I have only seen the old VHS-tape version of this so there's probably a few juicer parts missing but from what I saw I'm not really in a huge rush to view this again for a while. On the positive side though there is plenty of nudity, sex and sleaze and some gory bits in the morgue which make this an interesting movie to watch in your backyard while nosey neighbors try out their peeping skills. AKA CORPSE, THE MAGICIAN and THE VICTIM. There's also a cut version titled TENSION.






EDGE OF THE AXE (1988)


 Out of all the gazillion 80s slasher flicks this one is right down there towards the bottom. The death scenes are decent enough and they do deliver the axe-violence that we're promised with the title but in-between these parts are a lot of boring bits where everyone is a jerk and our main character, Barton Faulks, is a nerd who is obsessed with computers(which may have been slightly more exciting in 1988). The killer is also fairly generic with his plain white mask and the big reveal at the end seems pretty dumb. To put a rotten cherry on top of all this the music on the soundtrack is insufferable garbage. Stick with the early 80s slashers for less dull bloodshed.
 This movie was an American and Spanish co-production but I would have never guessed that by watching it since it comes off as a standard U.S. direct-to-video flick(though it probably at least had a theatrical release in Spain). Also I woulda never guessed the  director of this was Jose Ramon Larraz(using his Americanized pseudonym Joseph Braunstein) since back in the 70s he made VAMPYRES which is quite a stylish, good-looking film and there's nothing at all stylish about the look of this thing. Jack Taylor does show up in a small part which shoulda clued me in that there was a Eurotrash connection here.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 (1981)


 So this one pretty much negates the whole premise to the first movie since now Jason Voorhees actually exists which means his mom was killing all those people in that other movie for no reason whatsoever. Of course following some sort of cohesive plotline was never really all that important with this series and that starts right here with the first sequel. Jason wears a sack on his head like The Elephant Man, a double murder/shish-ka-bob killing is ripped off from Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD and it's all pretty similar to the first movie. They also get rid of the final girl from the first movie, Adrienne King, and Crazy old Ralph, Walt Gorney, giving that film even less importance. This pretty much sets the standard with the next film giving Jason the final touch when he finds his hockey mask. Pretty standard slasher given more importance than it probably should have just because it's part of this very popular(with horror freaks anyway) series.

 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE (1995)


 Prime example of why 90s Hollywood cinema is garbage. I'm pretty sure the only reason anyone has ever viewed this film is to see Alyssa Milano doing her first nudie scenes after being Tony Danza's little sweetheart on WHO'S THE BOSS?. So I guess if you just wanna fast forward through all the stupid boring parts go ahead or just watch those clips online like a smart person. Being a masochist I did view this whole movie and somehow managed to stay awake while doing so. It's quite boring. There's a lame-ass vampire who I guess is bi-sexual because he transforms into a horny Jennifer Tilly at one point to make out with the male lead. Milano plays a virginal girl at first but then becomes sort-of a lesbian before it all ends. The plot concerns our dumb vampire trying to get Milano to fall in love with him. Why he doesn't just bite her and get it all over with really quickly I'm not sure but whatever. Don't watch this unless you like bad 90s fashion, shitty soundtrack music, dull characters and a dreaded TWILIGHT-like romantic theme. AKA THE NOSFERATU DIARIES: EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE
 There was a remake in 2012 because I guess there's a law now that they have to remake everything that was ever done before.