Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The End of the Dang World (?)

My fellow moviethoner, Nafa, has contributed a review for a film from a genre that I am truly terrified of. Disaster movies freak me out! I just can't handle that shit, yo. Anyway, click here to check out Nafa's review of the miraculous miracle that is 2012: Doomsday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ladies of Giallo # 9

Ida Galli AKA Evelyn Stewart, you magical lass!

Things are a little hectic for me this week but I will be around sporadically. That's a promise.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The indie slasher flick, Hatchet, got some crazy hype when it was making the film festival circuit and the teaser trailer certainly helped build that hype. I was eager to see it but then when the DVD showed up at Wal-Mart, I just shrugged my shoulders and kept on shoppin'. Then the lukewarm fan reviews started rolling in and I really put this one on the back burner. The other night, as I was going through my Netflix queue, I saw that Hatchet was available to watch online. I figured, "What the hell, let's do this!"

First thing I noticed was that stingy old Netflix only had the R-rated version. Sigh. What the fuck, dudes? I decided to just deal with it and if I really loved the flick, I'd pick up the dang unrated version somewhere. Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), Hatchet falls somewhere between the hype and the lukewarm reviews. I liked all of the characters, the gore (even in its trimmed form), the fast pace, and the swamp setting. I don't think that Victor Crowley (played by Kane Hodder) will become the next horror icon or anything but he certainly is an impressive baddie. So I say walk but don't run to check this one out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art vs. Entertainment, Part 1

When I have a strong negative reaction to a film nowadays, I just assume that I'm doing something wrong. Time and time again, I revisit films that I hated with the first viewing and found that they clicked the second time around. However, when it comes to art films, I have two thoughts: 1. I hate this shit and 2. I will NEVER sit through this shit again. At one time, my favorite movies were indie dramas and all manner of artsy fartsy nonsense. It wasn't until that fateful day while watching Fellini Satyricon that it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to become reacquainted with my old friend, the horror film. I wanted the decapitations but none of the boring shit that came with them.

You see, my need for horror went dormant during the 90s when good horror movies were hard to find. Had I known about genres like Euro-crime, spaghetti westerns (other than Leone), giallo, yakuza, etc. I might have been okay. But no, when the 90s rolled around, I retreated into the worlds of Kevin Smith and Wes Anderson to fulfill my hipster toilet humor emo (?) needs. I also delved into the worlds of Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman for... I don't know... my boring European crap needs. It was horror all along. Horror was always there, waiting for my triumphant return.

This brings me to Attraction AKA Nerosubianco by Tinto Brass. Now I enjoyed Deadly Sweet and found that its artsy diversions refreshing especially since late 60s gialli can sometimes be a little dry. But Nerosubianco, a syphilis-ridden nutsack of a movie, tested my patience through most of its running time. Now it is not a total loss as you'll see when you read my review but damn, I was really not into this one. I'll be reviewing Brass's The Howl soon so there will most likely be another tirade against pretentious junk again. Get me a bumper sticker that says "I'd rather be watching Gialli."

So yeah, in my review for Nerosubianco, you'll see my prudish side shining like a repressed star. I don't think I'm old fashioned or particularly skittish about sex films, I just don't care about them. I really don't care about films that break sexual taboos, especially ones that are now 40 years old. These flicks look very silly years later when it's all just a bunch of grubby hippies showing their (not so) goodies to the world.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Urband Legend

So my wife LeEtta and I were watching Urban Legends: Final Cut on cable the other night and we were both woefully disappointed. As the ending credits for the ridiculous sequel came up, we decided to break out the original Urban Legend to correct the damage. This is such a great slasher flick and is more than just a guilty pleasure. Australian director and composer Jamie Blanks went on to do Valentine, another slasher flick which apparently got all kinds of chopped up by the MPAA, Storm Warning (which I haven't seen yet), and a remake of Long Weekend called Nature's Grave here in the States. Hmm... This needs more investigating.


So yeah, I love Urban Legend. It is quite dated in its 90s-ness with a pudgy-faced (and a million times cuter than now) Tara Reid as a campus sex-advice radio show star whose death by axe is strangely bloodless. Alicia Witt is amazing in this and I love to watch her be terrorized by an axe-wielding murderer or any other kind of murderer. She needs to do more horror, obviously. The show is stolen by Rebecca Gayheart who turns out to be the killer. Her portrayal of a revenge-obsessed psycho makes life worth living.

The Sequels:

Some more Jamie Blanks:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tomie: Replay

Yo, when I say "Tomie is mine", I mean it, yo. I'm off to a bad start this morning. Oh shit, it's afternoon already. Dang! Does anyone have a new or used starter for a 1978 Ford Thunderbird? Does anyone out there want to buy a 1978 Ford Thunderbird? Let me know. So I wrote about Tomie for Doomed Moviethon. Check it out if you are so inclined. And I really, really hope you are so inclined.

Are we cool? Okay, good. Watch this:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday Night's Double Feature

I think I may have set some kind of precedent last night for totally fucked up double features. First, my wife, our friend Shelly (a frequent moviethon guest), and myself watched Big Man Japan which is easily one of the weirdest films I've ever seen. Part droll documentary, part giant kaiju movie, and completely surreal, Big Man Japan is a tough one to beat in terms of insanity. But then I followed it up with my totally uncut bootleg of Brain Dead (AKA Dead Alive), Peter Jackson's best film. Throw in some cheap but amazing Chinese food from China Star on Fowler Avenue, a lot of Mountain Dew and oh yes, you have a magical night.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Syndicate Sadists

"Get lost, you cheap harlot!
One thing that Umberto Lenzi (Seven Bloodstained Orchids, Violent Naples) knows how to do is make awesome crime films and Syndicate Sadists is no exception. What makes this film different from the tons of other flicks of its ilk is that it is actually fun and lighthearted (no rape scenes!). Tomas Milian (Almost Human) plays Rambo, a no-nonsense bad ass motherfucker who takes a stand against the thugs that killed his rent-a-cop brother. Familiar Italian faces include Luciano Pigozzi of Blood and Black Lace, Evelyn Stewart of Case of the Scorpion's Tail, and Joseph Cotten of Baron Blood. The ultra funkay soundtrack by composer Franco Micalizzi is truly a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dante Tomaselli Trailers

I'm still eagerly awaiting the completion of Dante Tomaselli's next film. This guy's movies are seriously bent and visually stunning. I don't care if it is The Ocean or Torture Chamber (which I just read about), either way I am freakin' psyched.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Go Near the Park

Hey now, when I signed up for this... um... assignment, I was told there would be no 12,000 year old cannibal duders. And now look at what we got here: CANNIBAL DUDERS! I just ate a chocolate muffin and drank a big old Mountain Dew. Do you honestly think I am in any kind of a state to deal with this shizzie? Okay? Good. I'm glad we settled that little dispute. Here is my review for Don't Go Near the Park. It is one of them there Video Nasties!

And I just can't resist posting this one:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy Fortune Teller (The Shoot)

I was so nervous before shooting Crazy Fortune Teller that I broke out my SCTV DVDs. Lola Heatherton and Johnny LaRue helped me chill. Why was I so freaked? I figured that nobody would show up or worse, nobody would have a good time. I told the gang to show up around 7:00pm. Hillary (who plays Lonely Zombie) showed up first in this great early 80s Debbie Harry getup (she ended up being the best dressed person in the film) and also brought a bottle of wine.

Next Margeaux (Madame Tatyana) and Ryan (Dr. Ignatius Shoehammer) arrived. Margeaux accessorized herself almost to the breaking point with her outfit. I put Ryan in a lab coat and one of my hats. Then Nafa who played the role of master cinematographer showed up along with Matt (Lottery Zombie) and his wife Rubis. The only missing person was Roy (The Priest) who was working 'til midnight and would show up for his big scene which was added to the screenplay at the last minute. I kept thinking, "no way we're gonna go that late!"

So we got started. Filming with my old Sony Hi8 camcorder, the shoot was great. There was lots of laughing and multiple takes galore. However, we didn't really run into any stumbling blocks until we got to my scenes. When I wrote The Devil's dialogue, I went way overboard and gave myself too much fucking nonsense to spout off. So everyone had to wait while my wife LeEtta coached me through each freakin' sentence. Short term memory, what happened to you? Things went well after that with the zombie attack. It was hot as blazes in the apartment with the lights and all of the extra human beings around.

Suddenly, it was midnight. We had worked for hours on this thing and we were very close to being done. I put on "Pump Up The Jam" (I didn't have "The Power" by Snap) for the dance party in hell sequence. I'm sure my neighbors were less than pleased by this but things got even more insane when Roy showed up. We put him in Nafa's priest costume and had him rush in to almost save the day. From the hallway leading to my front door, Roy burst in yelling his line at the top of his lungs. First shocked silence and then laughter as we quickly did a couple more takes and ushered him back into the apartment before somebody called the cops.

And that is pretty much it. I've been told that everyone had a good time and I am crazy grateful to all my friends for agreeing to waste precious hours of their lives with me. Things turned out great with one small exception: I accidentally pressed the date stamp button right before the dance party and Roy's big scene. So "Aug 30 2009" is burned into that footage and will take some monumental digital effects to hide/remove. Oh well, at least the bulk of the movie was spared from that embarrassing indignity.

Dr. Shoehammer meets Madame Tatyana.

Shoehammer in peril.

Uh oh, uh oh, here comes the hammer.

The devil shows up and talks endlessly.

"You dang jerk!"

"Robots will kill you!"

So right now, the film is not edited or complete in any way shape or form. I still need to put together all the music and sound effects as well. This may take a while but bear with me, it will happen. I did do a rough cut to see what I had but the whole project still needs a lot of work.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ladies of Giallo # 8

Good things come in threes and here's three giallo ladies for the price of none for ya. Read the article here and let me know what y'all think. I'm probably going to get some breakfast soon. Labor Day is good. Take care, you lovely people.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Legacy

The Legacy
Directed by Richard Marquand
Released: 1978
Starring Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, Roger Daltrey, John Standing, Ian Hogg, Margaret Tyzack, Charles Gray, Lee Montague
Running Time: 102 minutes

Margaret Walsh (played by Katharine Ross) and her boyfriend Pete (Sam Elliott) run an interior design firm in San Francisco. They are invited to come to England to work on a project. Everything is very hush hush but the money is too good to refuse so they agree to the project. In jolly old England, they meet Jason Mountolive (played by John Standing) who invites them to stay at his mansion after they have a little motorcycle accident. Turns out he is this really ancient duder with some black magic powers and a coven of six people that Margaret is the newest member of. Suddenly, everyone starts dying in mysterious ways and yeah, that's the plot.

This horror movie has the lavish sets but not the gothic feel. The tone is further hampered by its romance novel whimsy. Sam Elliott is great and all and a gratuitous butt shot never hurt any actor's career, right? But he just seems completely out of place in every scene. I can't say I'm all about the Katharine Ross (The Stepford Wives) either. The rest of the cast is pretty stellar with lots of familiar faces from British cinema. Charles Gray from Rocky Horror Picture Show shows up, looks very suspicious and speaks in that insanely cool voice of his before dying spectacularly. Roger Daltrey makes the most of his death scene by taking it to comic proportions.

The Legacy has been avoiding me and now I see why. However, 1970s horror is alive and well in this one as the ancient evil gets hip to the Me Generation. There are some great moments and a couple of cool death scenes but much of this film is pretty bland and impossible to take seriously (which is normally a good thing). British director Richard Marquand would go on to bigger and better things but it's hard to believe this looked all that good on his resume. In the hands of a Spanish or Italian director with less than half the budget, we could have had something really special here. The ending is definitely interesting and makes evil seem like it could be pretty fun if you just keep on smiling.

Good luck getting past the wretched opening song. It's a big old 70s sub-AM turd called "Another Side of Me" by Kiki Dee. Some foolish mortal decided to include the credit sequence with the song up on Youtube. Bless/damn that person.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness

Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness
Directed by Tim Ritter
Released: 1986
Starring John Brace, Mary Fanaro, Bruce Gold
Running Time: 87 minutes

Mike (played by John Brace) works very hard and doesn't appreciate his wife's adulterous ways. He goes stark raving mad and starts mutilating himself in a game of truth or dare? with an imaginary ho-bag. Mike ends up in an insane asylum where instead of getting better, he mutilates his face and then makes himself a copper mask (which moves like it was made out of rubber). Somehow, our beloved hero escapes with a cache of weapons at his disposal and goes on a killing spree.

This 16mm garbage wonder was filmed (then transfered to video!) in Palm Beach County, Florida. The gore is cheap but good and there is a high body count. There are some actual stunts and even an exploding shack. Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness starts off promisingly enough with a great opening credit sequence and a keyboardy death rattle soundtrack. John Brace's performance as Mike is totally unhinged and fun as hell to watch. The plot takes a little while to take off but this indie horror film turns out to be way better than I thought it would. Bury your expectations and give this cheapie a chance. Holy living fuck, that closing song is priceless!

Is Mike upset?

Yes, Mike is very, very upset.

Effective time management in action.

Why comedy cops? Because fuck the viewer, that's why.

See, I thought the scenery looked a little too familiar! When that Palm Beach Gardens firetruck showed up, well I started getting a little homesick. The outside of that insane asylum looks suspiciously like the community college I attended. Wow, nice.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ugh Hey Wow Yeah Um... Life

Hey gang. I'm going to be taking a break this week from the blogginz to work on writing and other projects and stuff. Mostly I'm just depressed and need to go stew for a while. Don't worry though (I know you're totally not worried), I'll probably be here on Friday night to blab about something silly.

Here's Betty Hutton to soothe my soul: