Friday, August 30, 2013

Franco Friday #47 - Lucky the Inscrutable

Franco Friday #47 - Lucky the Inscrutable

You'll have to forgive me, folks. I am really getting burnt out on Jess Franco. My review two weeks ago was disappointing. I was disappointed in the movie and in my review. Ugh. Thankfully, that little angel named Jess came through with a cinematic shot in the arm called Lucky the Inscrutable. Let's get crazy.

Lucky the Inscrutable
AKA Lucky, el intrépido
Directed by Jess Franco
Ray Danton, Barbara Bold, Dante Posani, Dieter Eppler, MarĂ­a Luisa Ponte, Rosalba Neri
89 minutes

World class super spy/super hero/master of disguise Lucky the Inscrutable (played by Ray Danton) is hired by a secret society called Archangel to follow the trail of some counterfeit money in order to save the world's economy. Lucky teams up with a spy named Michele (Dante Posani) and off they go from England to France to Rome to Albania to wherever! Along the way they battle a vast array of double agents and soldiers armed with only their wits -oh, and guns and crazy spy gadgets.

If you are looking for a pop art-filled film with a ludicrous plot to make a great double feature with Mario Bava's Danger Diabolik or Franco's Kiss Me, Monster, then stop because your search is over. The spy spoof sub-genre is a tough sell for most viewers but this is easily one of the best I've ever seen. The first reel of this film is perfect for the short attention span crowd. It is filled with murderous thugs, spies, go-go dancing, people in crazy costumes, comic book panels and word balloons, and lots and lots of color everywhere.

Lucky the Inscrutable has not one but two cameos from Franco himself. One as an understandably speechless man with a knife in his back and then later as a tramp riding a train. Ray Danton is definitely having a blast. I like Dante Posani as Lucky's sidekick but I can't find any info on him. Rosalba Neri is so very young in this and is even more radiant than usual. The lovely Teresa Gimpera of Feast of Satan and Spirit of the Beehive is here too and the world is a better place because of that.

My one criticism is that this film loses a little steam before its over. It never becomes a slog or anything -trust me, the mile-a-minute jokes never stop- but the barrage of color and attention-grabbing visuals fall away about two-thirds of the way in and Lucky the Inscrutable suffers for it a bit. That being said, the cinematography by Fulvio Testi is always good and the score by Bruno Nicholai never fails to keep your foot tapping. He even gives Lucky his own theme song! So yeah, definitely give this film a watch sometime. It is weird and a lot of fun.

"What happened?"
"They've got my friend! If they've done him any harm, I'll get even with them or my name's not Lucky the..."
"The Inscrutable! Thank you!"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doomed Moviethon presents Fang Of Joy

I was hoping to have this out by Spring but hey, better late than never, right? I am VERY EXCITED about this. Check it:

Special thanks to my homies: Brad and Elizabeth Hogue, Scott MacDonald, and Jeffrey Canino for contributing to the zine. My wife LeEtta Schmidt for drawing the cover. And special thanks to Druid Lord and Orgasmo Sonore for agreeing to be interviewed.

Attention shoppers! Every issue sold goes towards the printing of issue two!

Order your copy here!

If you can't use eBay email me (doomedmoviethon[at] and we'll work something out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HTITDS Episode #36 La Due Horroro Obscurioti Italianono

What is up with podcasting anyway? Is it some kind of a thing? Yes, it is! Brad and I talk about two Italian horror films: Damned in Venice and A Whisper in the Dark. You can download and listen to the new episode right hizzy.

And, as always, you can find old episodes hiding in plain sight at the archives.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bloggin' Ain't Dead: Yellow Razor

So my good friend and cohort in all things Hello! This is the Doomed Show, Brad, has started his own blog. It is called Yellow Razor and I am excited about it. Good things to come. Go!

Check out Yellow Razor!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Franco Friday #46 - Devil's Island Lovers

Franco Friday # 46 - Devil’s Island Lovers

I’m going back to prison. No, not for mail fraud. Not this time! I am willingly returning to the big house to get my Jess Franco fix. I was pretty impressed with 99 Women so I’m hoping that another stretch in the pokey will do me good. Ugh, I’m not good at these slang words for jailhouses. Let’s do this.

Devil’s Island Lovers
AKA Quartier de femmes
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Andres Resino, Genevieve Robert, Dennis Price, Rosa Palomar, Josyane Gibert, Danielle Godet
81 minutes

Love is blossoming between Beatriz and Raymond (played by Genevieve Robert and Andres Resino). Isn’t that sweet? Well, it would be if they weren’t about to get totally shit on by a mercilessly cruel and unfair world. You see, Raymond was having an affair with Emilia (Danielle Godet), his godmother (I know, right?), and decided to break it off. Big mistake. Emilia is an evil beyatch. She plans to marry Colonel Carlos Mendoza (Jean Guedes), who has the clout to frame Raymond and put him in jail. But the evil plotting doesn’t end there. Mendoza is totally in love with Beatriz so hey fuck it, let’s put them both in jail on Devil’s Island for a murder they didn’t commit. A lawyer named Lindsay (Dennis Price) finds out about all of this and is determined to see that Beatriz and Raymond are set free.

This film’s cast is quite spectacular. I really like Genevieve Robert. She is simply stunning to look at, is instantly likeable the moment she’s on screen, and I actually gave a damn about her character. It’s nice to see Anne Libert (of Rites of Frankenstein) again. I am really, really head over heels for this actress. Rosa Palomar is incredibly intimidating as Senora Cardel, the warden (or is that wardeness?). Of course, no Franco film would be complete without Howard Vernon. He plays Colonel Ford, the warden of the men’s prison, but unfortunately, he plays it straight. Missed opportunity! Dennis Price looks terrible in this one but I did like his character.

Well kids, I will keep this short and sweet cuz there ain't no need when you revue a film as uncomplexicated as Devil's Island Lovers. This has all the usual content of a women-in-prison movie: lesbian overtones, revealing uniforms, ridiculous torture sequences, and catfights. Yet surprisingly, there is no nudity or long shower sequences. Whoa, really? Granted, I didn't need the nudity or the shower scenes, but this film really needed something to spice it up. There was some Franco weirdness from a bizarre torture device that I'm guessing was supposed to be some kind of sonic cannon but it was too little too late.

In the end, I guess I mostly enjoyed this movie but it has more than a few loose ends that don't get tied up at all. I can't believe I'm going to say this: This movie should have been longer! According to IMDB, this movie is supposed to be 97 minutes but the DVD, and all the other reviews I've seen have this clocking in at 81 minutes. That don't seem right! Despite feeling like it has a chunk missing, Devil’s Island Lovers does have some good going for it. The atmosphere is full of doom and gloom to go along with its bleak (though unsatisfying) outcome. And lastly, the score by Bruno Nicolai is great (as if he ever did a shitty score).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guillermo del Toro Report Card

Pacific Rim: A

Hellboy II: The Golden Army: B

Pan's Labyrinth: A

Hellboy: A+

Blade II: B-

The Devil's Backbone: A+

Mimic: C+

Cronos: A

Friday, August 9, 2013

Guest Blog: Franco Friday #45 - Devil Hunter

Hey gang, I'm letting Brad take over this week. I've been very excited for him to write one of these. Full disclosure: I initially asked Brad to review Oasis of the Zombies but I completely forgot and reviewed it myself. Feeling bad, I asked Brad again to review something else. In my defense, I didn't know what I was getting him into. Check this out:

Richard very kindly offered me my choice of one of three Franco films to review for his already legendary Franco Friday series. One of them I thought sounded good so I figured I'd leave it to Richard. He has watched some crap so if there is a chance that it could be good he should have the opportunity to watch it. Another didn't sound too promising and the third choice I actually had a copy of. So I went with it- 1980’s Devil Hunter.

Devil Hunter
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Ursulla Buchfellner, Al Cliver, Antonio Mayans, Antonio de Cabo, Bertrand Altmann
102 minutes

Al Cliver is the attraction here, in my mind anyway. The actor that Fulci affectionately (?) called Rockhead has always been a favorite of mine so I was excited despite not being a big fan of the cannibal series of the late 70's and early 80's. But Franco delivers in that department. A girl gets her labia ripped off and eaten. I was going to lead with that but then I remembered that Richard wants people to read his blog. Let's get into it shall we?

A model working in South America gets kidnapped by some yahoos wearing pantyhose on their heads. They hold her for ransom on a jungle island not realizing they aren’t far from some native cannibals that worship a character named The Devil who wanders around eating women. Her agent hires Vietnam vet Al Cliver to go get her, telling him he can keep 10% of the ransom if he comes back with the girl AND the ransom intact. Meanwhile they keep the model chained up and do very Franco-like things to her: beat her, cut on her, molest her, etc.

This is all intercut with scenes of natives doing their thing. Dancing around naked, playing drums, sacrificing girls to The Devil. The Devil by the way is an enormous African guy who at first we only see parts of, his eyes in particular. His eyes are giant and googly and appear to have eyelashes growing out of the eyeballs. That grossed me out more than anything. Well maybe not anything. We'll get there.

Al shows up to the island in a helicopter piloted by a retard which promptly gets blown up. The helicopter, not the retard. Seriously, this guy has the worst dubbing I've ever heard. It's a southern accent that goes above and beyond the usual to make southerners sound like a bunch of inbreds. He is also a Vietnam vet and picks the absolute worst time to have a flashback and go all worthless and weepy. The imdb plot synopsis says that Al Cliver goes into the jungle in true Indiana Jones style but this was pre-Raiders Of The Lost Ark. So now whenever I see Indiana Jones I’m going to say, “Boy, he is really Al Cliverin it.” And as I suspected, Cliver is the best part of the film.

The camera shots are nice, it isn't hard to make a jungle look like a jungle. We get p.o.v. shots from The Devil's perspective that aren't bad. The acting is ok while the dubbing is atrocious. Then there's all the prerequisite stuff: a ransom/ kidnapee trade off gone wrong, shootouts, members of the kidnap team being killed by the natives, etc. All of this is leading up to the big Al Cliver/The Devil confrontation.

Did I mention that The Devil is completely naked? That not only did Franco make this poor bastard wear eye prosthetics that surely made it impossible for him to see but also made him run around the jungle with his dick in the wind? And Franco doesn't shy away from showing it to us. I've only seen one other penis more than this guy's and that's mine.

So The Devil is about to throw the model over the cliff when Al comes climbing up and they have a fight. Al puts The Devil in a full nelson and his penis is flopping all over this place. It was one of the more surreal moments I've seen in a while. It looked like Al Cliver humping a giant, bug eyed, naked black dude. It WAS Al Cliver humping a giant, bug eyed, naked black dude till Al stabs a stick into The Devil’s mouth (!) and then launches him into the stratosphere. The End.

I recommend this film to Franco/Al Cliver completists, cannibal film fans and crazy people. My wife Elizabeth lost interest in the first 3 minutes so I warn you. It was also, at 102 minutes, way too long. To sum it all up, sometimes Al Cliver is enough. And sometimes, giant penises.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

HTITDS #35 - Joe D'Amato Retrospective Part 1

We just keep on recordin' yo. We cannot be stopped. Yo. Brad and I talk about the criminally underrated horror films of Joe D'Amato in the beginning of a 4 part series. In this first installment, we talk about two fun flicks: The Devil's Wedding Night and Death Smiled at Murder. Listen/download here!

For old episodes of the podcast, click here!

We love feedback too. Email the show: doomedmoviethon [at]

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lavalava Twist

Here is a music video that I wrote, produced, and directed (actually I just shot and edited it (the band did all the work)). This is Twisty Chris and the Puddin' Packs. Little known fact: I was their original keyboard player. Now they don't have one. I was that good (read as: terrible). So anyway, here is a video I made for them. Check it out and let me know what you think if you're feeling twisty.

More about the band here.