Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cool Stuff(s) I Have

While packing up the library on Sunday, I stumbled upon yet another awesome thing I have. (Thanks, LeEtta!)

And something from LeEtta's comic collection that inspired my Hideshi Hino fandom:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Happy Blogday, Baby!

(Yours truly in my 14th year of life.)

5 years ago, I decided to take over the world of blogging. After a cavalcade of useless posts (over 600!), I can't seem to figure out how to stop myself. Through this platform, I met some really cool people that are just rad as hell and keep me going. If you are following this blog and have been for years or if you're just tuning in, thank you! THANK YOU! You are so awesome that it hurts. Like really hurts.

I guess now is a good a time as any to announce that I'm moving again (in the real world, not the blog world) so it will get a little quiet around here during that process. This should be the last move for a long, long time if you know what I mean. But don't worry, my good pals over at Hello! This is the Doomed Show helped me get a bunch of new episodes in the can that I will be doling out during my absence.

There will be more fun stuff this summer. Dats a promise. Like what? Well, I'll tell you. The second issue of the Fang of Joy fanzine is coming along. I know you're going to dig that. I'm also continuing work on my Giallo Meltdown book. And my band, GYROJETS, made a short film that will tinkle your fanny. No, I mean, trickle your flapper. Tackle your familiar? Yeah, that's a lot of fun stuff. So anyway, take care, my friends. See you soon.

Here's me ruining people's eardrums with my pal Markky recently:

Monday, April 21, 2014

H!TITDS Episode #47 - Nightmare City

The old Doomed Show is back and this time Jeffrey and I talk about Nightmare City from top to bottom and all doughy Hugo Stiglitz parts in between. No, not that Hugo Stiglitz. We be talking about the original Hugo Stiglitz! Dang! Listen to the episode.

Check out the always huge archive.

And check out Jeffrey's rad blog. You'll be glad you did.

The opening song in this episode is "Doomed Moviethon" by The Prople. Check them out too, damn it all to hell.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ghost Pizza

My band wrote a spooky song about a spooky topic: haunted pizza. The results are pretty chilling.

Listen here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Melvis Files Part 2 - Paradise, Hawaiian Style

And we're back. So my wife and I are kind of watching but mostly re-watching all of Elvis's movies. I'm going to be randomly reviewing them as we go along, especially when they are weird or just very, very special. Check out Part 1 if you missed it.

I've never taken a Valium before but I believe that Paradise, Hawaiian Style from 1966 is exactly what it feels like to take one, maybe. In this nearly plotless travelogue, Elvis plays Rick Richards, a pilot fresh out of the Air Force that starts an island-to-island helicopter taxi/sightseeing service in Hawaii with his pal Danny (played by James Shigeta (Die Hard)). Of course, Rick is a horny fool with a girl on every island and pretty much screws up everything. And there's a love interest in the form Suzanna Leigh (Lust for a Vampire) and a goofy kid character as well: Danny's daughter Jan (played by Donna Butterworth).

Rick's other love interests are irritating at best and are played by Marianna Hill, Irene Tsu, Linda Wong, and Julie Parrish. They act sexy and then angry. There you go. Hill gets the most screen time but her character is such a jerk that you just want to beat her to death with a cocoanut. Fans of obscure horror films, like myself, will slap their foreheads with this bit of trivia: Marianna Hill starred in the weird and wonderful apocalyptic zombie film, Messiah of Evil in 1973.

Overall, I really dig Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Unfortunately, there's no guitar porn (one of the band members has a pretty cool looking hollow body electric but that's about it) and the kid character may get on your nerves though she wasn't a deal-breaker. The main thing I noticed is how relaxing all of the scenery and most of the music is. It just lulls you into a happy state with only the machinations of the story occasionally getting in the way.

Standout scenes:

An air hostess (that's what they called them back then!) says the title of the movie in the first 2 minutes.

Elvis flying a helicopter with a pretty girl and a cockpit full of mentally disturbed dogs.

Monday, April 7, 2014

H!TITDS Episode #46 - Amok Train

My good pal Jeffrey is back guest co-hosting the show and we are headed back into the Italian horror craziness like a choochoo train of craziness. We are talking about Amok Train AKA Beyond the Door III. Come on over and listen to our bafflement mixed with mostly equal amounts of joy and pain. Listen here!

Be sure to check out Jeffrey's awesome blog: Nessun Timore.

And please peruse the back catalog of the show. There are some real gems in there, y'all.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Franco Friday #56 - Killer Barbys

Holy crap, I am getting desperate. It's been really hard for me in terms of picking what Franco film to review next. I don't want to delve into all the pornos and I'm tired of all the psychodramas that are actually just pornos with lots of angst. So I settled on this little gem(?) from the 1990s, an era of Jess Franco that I am totally unfamiliar with. Are you ready? I'm not. 1 2 3 4!!!!

Killer Barbys
AKA Vampire Killer Barbys
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Santiago Segura, Mariangela Giordano, Aldo Sambrell, Charlie S. Chaplin, Silvia Superstar, Carlos Subterfuge, Angie Barea, Billy King
87 minutes

While out on tour, a band called The Killer Barbys run into some trouble when their van breaks down out in the middle of nowhere. They get help from a man named Arkan (played by Aldo Sambrell), who brings them to the castle of the 100 year old Countess Freguenmans (Mariangela Giordano) AKA actress and singer, Olga Lujan. What The Killer Barbys don’t know is how utterly screwed they are because the Countess is actually a vampiric creature that needs their young blood to stay alive.

There is also a crazy legend of a satanic monk who tormented and killed a lot of little girls. He fell in love with a woman and tortured her to the brink of death. Then with a potion made of his blood and semen(?), saved her at the last minute. To this day, his image sometimes appears and disappears on the side of the castle. Sure! Why not? And I simply cannot talk about this movie without mentioning Baltasar the idiot (played by Santiago Segura) and his two dwarf minions (his “children”?) that help Arkan carry out his plan by slaughtering the band members. Could he be the satanic monk himself?

Much to my surprise, I love this film’s atmosphere right out of the gate. Great lighting and smoke machines combined with extravagant sets make this an attractive film to look at. The copy of Killer Barbys I have is pretty dark so some of the outdoor nighttime scenes were kind of lost on me but other than that, the film looks great! The sequence of the band playing in an old concert hall reminded me of Franco’s heyday filming jazz bands and nightclub scenes except with more moshing.

Much like his 80s splatter efforts like Faceless and Bloody Moon, I think Franco decided to just give the people what they wanted and we all have to suffer for that attitude; partly because “the people” are idiots and also because Franco didn’t have a clue what in the hell they actually wanted. Maybe this is Franco trying to relate to 90s audiences and the rest is a happy(?) accident. Take for example, the ubiquitous bad sex scene. The idiotic couple who stays in the van, going at it for hours (presumably) while the same Killer Barbys song plays over and over, is one of the dumbest and least inspired things I’ve seen in his filmography.

One of the things about this movie that impresses me is all the bizarre shit that happens. The script, partly in Spanish and partly in English, is terrible and is peppered with some seriously bad jokes. How much of it is meant to be taken seriously? Who the hell knows? The band drives around in their van, rocking out to their own music. That’s pretty hilarious. In one scene, an unseen someone is singing out in the swamp. It sounds vaguely like Rick Springfield. When one girl gets beheaded, her severed head calls Baltasar a son of a bitch. I think that was meant to be funny. After killing one of her victims, the Countess rolls around on his naked body, gibbering like a dang loon. I don't think that was meant to be funny. But it is.

Italian horror fans will no doubt recognize Mariangela Giordano from Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, Giallo a Venezia, and several other sleazy classics. Spanish character actor/director Santiago Segura has since gone on to do a series of comedy crime films playing Torrente, a private detective that excels in bad behavior and getting into ridiculous situations. He was also in Alex de la Iglesia’s The Day of the Beast. Veteran actor Aldo Sambrell was in more spaghetti westerns than I care to delve into at this moment. Duder was prolific. As for the rest of the cast... the less said, the better.

Damn it, I like Killer Barbys! It is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but I found it kind of fun. The acting from all of the band members is awful while the rest of cast (who are actual actors) do a decent job with the material. Some of the gore is pretty cool (the rotting yet living corpse of the Countess) and some of it really, really low budget (the bodies hanging up around the castle). Surreal, trashy, and astoundingly stupid, this is one of Franco’s craziest films that I’ve seen; yet I’m not sure if I can exactly recommend it. Franco fans may get a kick out of Killer Barbys but the uninitiated will want to pass on this one. Where the hell did that steamroller come from anyway?

“I think the axel is broken.”

“What the fuck do you know!?!”