Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best Friends (1975)

Another bad one from Crown International. This one is about two best friends Jesse & Pat. They both plan a road trip with their soon to be brides and they are like one big sappy family. Actually the first half of this movie is so incredibly sappy that its a bit painful to sit through. We usually end up watching Jesse and Pat rolling around on the floor together with no shirts on and giggling like school girls. Its a bit homoerotic at times. Anyway, its not long before Pat's true colors start to show. He is jealous, manipulative and pretty crazy all around. Pat decides he is not going to marry his girl and he makes up his mind that Jesse is not going to marry his... Pat will not let anything step between him and his best friends good times even if it means someone has to die.
Best Friends takes a positive turn once we see how nutty Pat really is and the movie had potential to be alright but it holds back and overall disappoints. Best Friends has its share of flesh but the bare breasted girls on display aren't much to be desired. We also get an attempted rape, some fist fights and really shitty go-go dancing. Best Friends was so close to becoming a revenge flick. You can feel the nastiness that wants to come through but instead it chooses to stay tame and lame.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

As far as all the horror movie remakes go, I suppose this is probably the only one I enjoyed. It was directed by Alexandre Aja who previous feature was Haut Tension. Haut Tension was far superior to this American remake and pretty much everything else that came out that year. However Aja still managed to put a different spin on the classic 1977 film and send it in a new direction.
The original Hills Have Eyes was about a family of inbred cannibals living up in the hills in a desert and feeding on families who drove by. Wes Cravens version was of course way better but at least Aja tried to make the remake interesting. This time the cannibalistic family were the victims of radiation from the tester bombs dropped by the American military but their deformities turned them into a sort of mutant super strength race. (Silly, I know) At times it is kind of suggested that we should sympathize with the mutants but its a little hard to feel sympathy after we watched them rape an innocent girl, shoot a mother, burn a man alive and steal a baby.
The 2006 remake does have its share of blood and guts and I suppose that is where the movie appealed to me. We get to see a man blow his head off with a shotgun, a dog is gutted, a bird has its head ripped off and the blood is drank from the decapitated body, we get stab wounds, gun wounds and a awesome scene where a guy has a American flag pole shoved through his neck. Scenes like this give the movie a very anti patriotic feel but I suppose the message can be interpreted differently by different viewers. I however felt that the movie doesn't portray America in a very nice light. Before the movie is over we also get a pick axe through a eye, a man has his fingers chopped off, we get to see someone trapped inside a meat locker filled with dismembered limbs in a sort of homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we have mutant singing, baby tossing and a guy is blown up and then hit in the face with a axe.
Aja chose to keep Wes Cravens booby-trap ending but if you remember correctly the 77 version ends pretty abruptly. The remake has a ending that is slightly more gratifying.
If I had it my way, classic films would not be remade but its a cruel world and I have deal with my favorites being ruined over and over again. If you're looking for a remake that doesn't totally suck, this is the one. Its got the gore, the rape, the cannibals, the revenge and it dared to be a bit different. Now if Alexandre Aja goes back to France and doing his own movies we will be in business.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hated : G.G. Allin And The Murder Junkies (1994)

This documentary follows G.G. Allin the all time madman of rock & roll and his band the murder junkies right to G.G.'s death. The movie starts off explaining how G.G. just finished up a three year stretch for assaulting a young girl and he chose to skip parole and go on tour with his band for this documentary. While the band is on tour we have the great privilege of watching G.G. beat himself and his fans to a bloody mess. We also get to see him roll around in his own shit (yes his feces), rub it on his face and eat it. Sometimes he throws it at his audience and others he might masturbate with it. Some call him a maniac, others call him an artist. Whatever your view is on the man, you cant ignore him. We also get to see him drink a prostitutes piss and puke all over himself, get a blow job from a man. We watch him stick a banana up his ass, throw chairs and other foreign objects at his audience and eventually we see him in his casket.
The film states that G.G. Allin a performer with a message to a sick society. I don't think anyone can argue that statement. G.G.  himself states in the film "My message is a message of rebellion. Its the message of the streets. I take the streets and I put it on the stage.". Hated is the best documentary ever made about G.G. Allin and anyone who is a fan of his music/message/mission should have seen it. For those who are not into G.G. the documentary would surely shock them and they will likely either seek out his music or they will be pleased he is dead by the films final.

Gore Gore Girls (1972)

Herschell Gordon Lewis is my favorite director and this is my favorite film he ever did. It was also the last film he would do until about 30 years later when he put out his sequel to his classic Blood Feast.
Gore Gore Girls is extreme as trashy exploitation movies get with its constant spectacles of over the top sex and violence. Any idiot can see that the title of the film is a play on words and the movie shows strippers and Go-Go girls being murdered and mutilated in great detail. The violent gore scenes depicted in the movie go so for over board that by the time the killer is done mangling a face, it looks more like a shag carpet covered in chop meat and red paint.
The most memorable scene follows a girl home after a hard day of stripping to circus stock music and being attacked by crazy feminists with signs that say things like "Quit With Tit!" and "Women Right On!". Well anyway once shes home she takes a cucumber out of the refrigerator and then has her throat slit by the black gloved killer. She falls face down on her kitchen table and the killer pulls her sheer panties down with a fork and smashes in her ass with a meat tenderizer until her ass look like raw chop meat and she eventually dies. We the viewer are not able to tell if she died from her throat being slit or her ass being beaten and smashed into a bloody mess. However the tasteless scene doesn't stop there. The killer then pours salt and pepper on the dead strippers ass wounds. Next her eyes are ripped out of her face with a fork and then squished with the fingers concealed within the black gloves. Fluid spews from the eye balls and the fork is then rammed into the eye socket and left there like a piece of art. The scene ends with a closeup of the cucumber on the kitchen floor covered in blood.
Then we get a scene where a girl is fondling herself in front of a mirror while obnoxiously blowing bubbles with her bubble gum. She is hit in the back of her head with a hammer and her bubble turns bright red as it fills with blood. During the 81 minutes of blood and breasts we also get to see a girl have her face burned to a crisp with a iron. She also has her eyeballs removed from her face. Another girl has her nipples cut off with scissors. The first nipple appears to be shooting milk and the second one looks like its spraying chocolate milk. Only in the warped mind of the great H.G. Lewis could you get this kind of stuff. We also get to see a girl being pushed from a window and cracking her head open on the concrete. Then a truck drives by and runs over the girls head leaving her brains on the street.  Theres also a scene where a girl has her face pushed into a pot of boiling french fries.
Henny Youngman also shows up in this movie and makes a bunch of dumb jokes but I personally find the main character Abraham Gentry to be much more humorous. He is conceded, rude and his acting is just plain bad. We also get a character named Grout, who sits at the end of a bar and paints faces on various fruits and vegetables and then smashes them. Gore Gore Girls is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again and it never gets old. Its funny, its bloody and its just plain filthy. Lovers of trashy, sleazy, gory, exploitation flicks will love it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Death Riders (1976)

Death Riders is an interesting documentary about a group of young men, ages ranging from 17 to 23 who travel the country and perform death defying acts. These men blow themselves up with dynamite, crash cars at high speeds, jump motorcycles, flip cars and all sorts of other insane stunts involving moving vehicles.
Death Riders opens up with a text stating that this film is real and all of the stunts within the film is real and many people have lost their lives performing these stunts. Then it states "This film is dedicated to all of those who lost their lives performing these stunts".
During the 90 minute or so documentary we do see some accidents and some of the Death Riders are hurt and even hospitalized. However the point of this film is not to watch people being mangled. If that is what you are looking for, not only should you seek help but you should also find another movie. On the other hand Death Riders is a intense look at young men who live their life to the fullest in a time where this sort of thing was acceptable entertainment. Americans just don't go to the town fair and watch maniacs blow themselves up with dynamite anymore. Instead they sit home and watch Jackass, a group of young men who hit each other in the nut-sack. During the hour and a half run time, you really start to feel close to some of these guys and its a big thrill watching them perform some of these acts. I also really liked some of the music in this one. Its pretty much all country but its down right nasty, gritty country. One of the better songs was done by someone who goes by the genius name of Tommy Cash. The song is called Broken Bones and its just as bad-ass as the Death Riders themselves.
The Death Riders also travel around with a clown named Squeak. Squeak helps keep the "Thrill shows" entertaining and moving along at a nice pace. He does the same for the movie with silly acts and some black-face makeup. The camera work is also pretty impressive for a low budget documentary. This ones perfect for anyone who likes dare-devils and car crashes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Goonies (1985)

Everybody has a childhood favorite, a movie that sort of defines their youth. A movie that no matter how many years go by, you still remember all the lines. For me that movie is The Goonies. This movie played repeatedly on my VCR when I was a kid and I'm sure that to this day even my parents would remember every line due to the amount of play it got. Most of the movies that I watched a lot as a kid I wouldn't want to sit through today but The Goonies is the one that holds up for me and I believe it has the same affect on most kids who were growing up in the 80's.
Looking at the film now it sends me back in time to when I was a young kid sitting around with my best friends and chuckling at "the truffle shuffle" or Sloth and his wiggling ears. I think I laugh even harder as an adult then when I was a young preteen.
Its also hard to believe that this is what was considered a kids movie back in the 80's before everything was politically correct. The kids say the word "shit" constantly in the movie and they also talk about sex dungeons, drugs and they make jokes about sex. These lines would never be in a movie for kids today. Aside from some of the crude talk out of the mouths of young boys there is also a lot of death in the movie. The movie opens with what is supposed to be a suicide and then theres corpses with bullet holes in their heads. Not to mention the film is filled with skeletons and I could see this movie even scaring a young kid today. I guess the times were different and I watched as they changed gradually and didn't notice the regression of quality in films. It makes sense that there are a lot of scary scenes because The Goonies is from the same director that did The Omen (1976). He also did a bunch of other big hits from my youth like Superman but I couldn't care about those movies today. The Goonies stands out and doesn't even feel dated aside from the gratuitous Cindy Lauper and some cheesy 80's lines like "Jerk alert". In one scene the older brother says "I'm gonna hit you so hard that when you wake up your clothes will be out of style". That's pretty 80's too.
Still The Goonies is the ultimate adventure as far as a kids movie goes and I feel bad that the younger generation has nothing better then Sponge Bob to watch today. It doesn't matter how old I get, I'm still gonna grab my best deformed , retarded friend in a Superman shirt and sit back and enjoy The Goonies.

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Its very rare when a sequel comes even close to the original but Bride Of Frankenstein is slightly better then the first Frankenstein movie or at least as far as the production value goes. It opens up with a singer, a poet and a writer sitting around a fireplace while a lightning storm rages outside. The writer is no other then Mary Shelly or at least the character is supposed to be Mary Shelly and the three artists are discussing her story, Frankenstein. In other words they are telling the audience that the original movie was just a story and the writer is sitting in front of us. We then get some flashbacks and a quick recap of the original film and the mayhem that the Monster unleashed on the village. We see the original ending with the Monster throwing Dr. Frankenstein from the old wind mill tower and then going down in flames with the crumbling mill. Next we cut back to Marry Shelly and she assures us that the story doesn't end there. Now normally this could outrage an audience. Its almost like a cop-out but once Mary starts telling her continuation of the story the viewer almost immediately forgets that we are hearing a story. It continues right from the end credits of the first film. The Monster falls into a sort of water well and Dr. Frankenstein is rushed home. The Monster continues its murderous rampage and the first victims in the sequel are the parents of the little girl that the Monster drowns in the lake. First the Monster drowns the father and then he throws the mother into the water well and she lay mangled on the rocks.
The Monster then takes to the woods and finds refuge in a old blind mans house. The Monster is still played by Boris Karloff and his performance is even better this time because the roll allows for it. The blind man and the Monster become friends and the Frankensteins Monster learns to talk. Its not long before some hunters find the Monster in the blind mans home and a typical torch wielding mob brings the Monster in.

The Monster is chained up in an old dungeon but its not long before he breaks free of his chains and is yet again on the lose. All the while we have another mad scientist named Doctor Pretorious who is trying to convince Dr. Frankenstein to take on a partnership with him. The Monster and Pretorious meet in a old crypt and the two hit it off pretty well. Karloff gives the great lines "Frankenstein made me from the dead. I love the dead, Hate the living". Dr. Pretorious soon realizes what must be done. The Monster needs a mate and Dr. Frankenstein needs to create it. It will be the Bride Of Frankenstein.
Dr. Pretorious uses the Monster to kidnap Dr. Frankensteins wife and hold her ransom until the bride is created.
The Bride Of Frankenstein is more morbid then the original with more murders and lots of depressing talk of the dead. "What we need is a female victim of sudden death" Young girls are being killed for the fresh body parts needed to create the Bride. We have rocks crushing men, people drinking and talking with corpses. When we finally get to the scene where Dr. Frankenstein is going to bring life to the Bride we have some awesome effects for the time. James Whale does a good job improving but yet keeping the same atmosphere of the original. Lightning strikes the corpse and sparks fly everywhere. Dr. Frankenstein played by Colin Clive reenacts his famous "Its alive!" scene then we have the tragic ending. Everyone and their half retarded sister knows how this one ends so there is no need to go into all of that but lets just say the Monster chooses suicide and takes the ones he loves with him. "We belong dead!"
Its amazing to me that they were making better monster movies in the 30's then they are today. The stories of these old movies were incredible and there is just so much more feeling to the film all together. The camera work is excellent in the Bride and the special effects were great too. Today we have so much cgi we can't even tell what we are looking at and the camera shakes all over the place making causing a headache before the films over. Bride Of Frankenstein is a true classic and a true classic never goes out of style.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wild Riders (1971)

Wild Riders also known as Angels For Kicks (I think I like the later title better), crosses two genres. Its a rape/revenge, biker exploitation flick about two losers named Pete and Stick who are kicked out of a motorcycle gang for raping and killing a young girl. The gang tells the sadistic duo that the gang is heading in one direction and that they should head in the other. Well Pete and Stick do go their own way and its a pretty nasty road they chose. The two bikers plot out a home invasion on two girls. Pete is the brains of the pair and stick is pretty much animalistic moron. First the bikers play nice. Pete gets it on with the nympho home owner, who's husband is out of town while Stick goes pretty much ape-shit when he sees a frog statue.

 The frog sends Stick into a fit of rage and he takes the less willing woman by force and the whole time he screaming and ranting about how he doesn't look like a frog. After Stick rapes the girl he assures her that he is a good guy and he says "we both have a lot in common because we both have parents and I would really like to meet yours". The he tells the beaten and raped woman that she can take a nap because he's not such a bad guy. Once Pete and the nympho find out what happened Stick defends himself by saying "She told me I look like a frog". Pete of course sympathizes with Stick and its a pretty rough ride for the girls from here on in.
Wild Riders is by all means not a good movie. The plot is all over the place and things seem to happen for no apparent reason. The girls have plenty of opportunities to escape and don't take their chances. Instead they try to get away in the most hopeless situations. Then we have a strange mix between sex scenes and rape scenes and it really makes the movie come off as a mess. However exploitation fans should at least feel semi entertained with the excessive violence a rape. Wild Riders has a decent amount of flesh, three rape scenes, lots of woman smacking, gratuitous pot smoking, two strangulation's, gun wound to the gut, a spike through the gut followed by drowning, beatings with classical instruments and a gory eye mutilation scene.
The director of this goes by the name of Richard Kanter and he has a short but sleazy director's filmography. He would later go on to do a personal favorite hardcore porn film of mine with Kay Parker and John Lesslie called Untamed. The two villains in this one surprisingly were the opposite with lots of credits to each of their names but the one that they were in together was Blood Mania which I am also a fan of.
Wild Riders is worth a watch for true fans of trash cinema. Everyone else might be annoyed by the lack of plot and just find it offensive.

The Mack (1973)

The Mack is easily one of the best Blaxploitation flicks of all time because not only does it work as a great exploitation flick but its an excellent film all together. It stars Max Jullian as Goldie. Goldie is released from prison and decides to get right back into the world of crime. This time Goldie is going to get into the pimping business and he is gonna have the best looking bitches and hes gonna be the meanest most cold blooded mack on the block. Goldie moves up quick (to quick) in the pimp world and its not long before everyone is coming down on him. The police, the pimps, the crime lords and the black revolutionary's are all on his ass.
Goldies mother is eventually killed and The Mack goes to war with those he feels are responsible. Richard Pryor plays Slim, Goldies main man. Together Goldie and Slim take out any pimp, pusher or cop who get in their way of vengeance. In one of the most memorable scenes Goldie and Slim make a pimp "stick" himself with his own knife. "Go on nigga, stick yourself." They force the pimp to stab himself over and over again and then they tie him to a chair and stuff dynamite in his mouth and blow him to bits. In other scene they stuff a pimp in the trunk of their pimp-mobile and drive him around town. The only thing is the trunk is filled with rats.

Don Gordon who is one of my favorite actors from films like Out Of The Blue, Slaughter and The Last Movie plays the corrupt cop in this one and he has some very memorable moments. The best probably being a scene where he fondles a big fat black woman and compliments her and degrades her at the same time. He compares her to an elephant. Talks about how he loves her big arms and her big thighs. "Its something a man can hold onto." There's a animal in the jungle, its very tall and has skinny legs and a skinny neck. Its called a giraffe. You cant trust a giraffe because it can sneak up on you." Don Gordon says that you can only trust a fat woman because an elephant cant sneak up on you. Its one of those scenes that has to be seen to be believed. The scene also shows up in True Romance and its understandable because its replay value is pretty high. The Mack has its share of offensive moments like the one I just mentioned but it also has its emotional scenes. Especially the ones involving Goldie and his mother. Max Jullian's performance is so believable in these emotional scenes that is hard to believe he didn't become a big star after this movie. Unfortunately he has very few credits to his name and non of which can match the excitement of The Mack. Jullian also does some pretty emotional scenes with Blaxploitation veteran Carol Speed who some might remember as the possessed church-girl in Abby. Carol Speed also has her spot in other exploitation greats like Disco Godfather, Bummer and The Big Bird Cage but this time she plays Goldies childhood friend Lulu. In the earlier part of the film Goldie and Lulu share many of the same dreams but its not long before Goldie becomes a money hungry scumbag.
The Mack has its share of action, emotion and racial tension and to me its one of the most serious Blaxploitation films ever made. There is also a bit of humor and comedy thrown in, with pimp picnics and the "players ball" which is basically a big pimp convention but apparently these are all things that really happened, Many of the pimps in the film were real life criminals at the time and it shows its authenticity and realism in the movie. These guys look, act and talk like pimps. Some of the actors were actually killed in real life before the film was even finished.
So don't be a "vicious ass piece of jelly" and check out The Mack, you poobutt motha fucka!

Back To The Beach (1987)

If you like the old Frankie & Annette beach flicks like Beach Blanket Bingo or Bikini Beach you might enjoy this 80's recap as one last look at your favorite beach guy and doll. I however couldn't stand it and felt I was being tortured throughout.
Frankie and Annette are retired and have a teenage son named Bobby. Frankie is a car salesman, Annette is a house wife and their son is a rebel adolescent punk rocker with a bad attitude. Bobby is probably the most entertaining aspect of the film, with his cheesy lines and his general discontent with his parents. The family decides to take a vacation to California and get Back To The Beach. The beach is filled with young punks, blond bimbos, muscle men and cheesy new wave kids. Frankie takes on the leader of a surf gang in a surf duel for control of the beach.
Back To The Beach also stars Lori Loughlin who most would remember from the terribly annoying t.v. show Full House. Well at least we don't have to deal with uncle Jessie in this movie. This stupid 80's beach party homage flick is filled with all kinds of absurdities from pajama parties with a old washed up Annette, who some how still manages to be attractive, to a lame ska band who performs a painful song called "The Jamaican Ska". Dick Dale & His Del-Tones shows up and performs a really bad 80's version of California Son and then there is some purposely funny, but kind of embarassing Frankie "The Big Kahuna" surf scenes.
The Highlight of this movie was probably watching Mr. Pee Wee Herman perform the classic Trashmen song Surfing Bird. Skip the movie and watch Pee Wee get down with some surf rock.

Dressed To Kill (1980)

Dressed To Kill is pretty much an Americanized Gialo and fans of Italian horror will easily see where Brian De Palma got his influence from. Dario Argento and Mario Bava mainly come to mind while watching this one but most of Argento's more graphic stuff hadn't come out yet. Dressed To Kill was released 1980 and Argento's Tenebre wouldn't come out for another two years which makes sense because De Palma didn't go for a gore flick. Instead he went for truly scary movie with very stylish camera work. Deep Red and The Bird With The Crystal Plumage were probably the two main influences for this mystery/slasher flick. Looking back now, I wonder if Argento borrowed from De Palma for Tenebre in the scene where the camera moves up the building and in and out of rooms and windows with very little cuts. If you watch the cinematography in the art museum in Dresses To Kill the camera work is similar.
Dressed To Kill is about a transvestite with some deep emotional problems who is slashing up the women that excite he/she sexually. A prostitute who witnessed the first murder teams up with the victims teenage son to track down the killer. There is a few twists in the plot but in the end when everything comes together it really makes for a genius film.
The fact that Brian De Palma chose to make a film in a genre that is mainly only done in Italy instead of doing a American style slasher really shows that the man is an artist and has enough confidence in himself to know the audience will still be pleased. I'm just glad Argento didn't decide to do a hockey masked serial killer movie. Dressed To Kill has one graphic murder scene in a elevator. The black gloved, wig wearing tranny slashes into Angie Dickenson (Big Bad Momma). First a nasty gash through her palm as she tries to defend herself and I believe that Lucio Fulci might have found inspiration in this scene for his 1982 Gialo, New York Ripper. The tranny killer then straight razors into Dickensons throat and leaves the bloodied corpse in the elevator. Angie Dickenson also shows quite a bit of flesh in this one and there is a pretty nice masturbation scene with her in a shower.

Most Horror fans would remember Nancy Allen as the girl who gives John Travolta a blowjob in Carrie. Well she plays the hooker Dressed To Kill and she shows a bit of tit too. Aside from walking around in sexy lingerie, Nancy Allen does do a good job. Allen add's tension to the cat and mouse chase scenes. One in particular takes place on a subway train and there is a group of black men chasing her from car to car. Nancy believes the killer is on the other end of the train and has no where to go. More often then not Dressed To Kill uses jump scares and although they are very affective in this movie particularly, it would have been nice to get a bit more gore. Aside from the nudity and the nasty razor scene in the elevator, Dressed To Kill offers a pretty cool strangulation scene. A bullet wound, lots of cross dressing, including a nurses outfit. We get a car chase scene and some graphic talk about sex changes.
The main thing I liked about Dressed To Kill is that it can appeal to mainstream movie goers and still please the more jaded cult film fanatics at the same time. Although De Palma went for a Italian style murder mystery, it is still a horror flick and not a thriller.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For A Few Dollars More (1965)

This is Sergio Leone's follow up to A Fist Full Of Dollars and a very good one at that. For me this is the weakest in the trilogy but only because I feel it gets a bit slow at times. It still has that Leone style that revolutionized westerns forever.
Clint Eastwood is back as the man with no name and this time he crosses paths with Lee Van Cleef. Eastwood and Cleef both play bounty hunters and they are both after the same man. The man they are hunting is a vicious criminal named Indio and there is a 10,000 dollar reward on his head. Eastwood and Cleef butt heads at first and they have one of all my all time favorite duels in any western. Its a hat shooting duel where they shoot the hell out of each others hats and send them flying through the desert air. I know this doesn't sound like a very entertaining scene but when Sergio Leone is director and you have Ennio Morricone's music playing over it, it really makes for a great piece of cinema. Once the two bounty hunters hats are full of holes and they both realize how dangerous the other is they choose to team up and take on Indio and his gang together.
We get a fair amount of shoot-em-up gun violence in this one but I personally feel the shoot outs in the first flick are slightly more entertaining. Klaus Kinski also appears in this one as a hunchback in Idio's gang of bandits. The final showdown is an excellent set-piece and will later be mastered in the third film in the trilogy The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Unfortunately nobody laughs at Clint Eastwood's mule in this one but its still an amazing flick from the king of spaghetti westerns.

Behind The Green Door : The Sequel (1986)

The Mitchell Brothers release their sequel to the classic Behind The Green Door 14 years after its release. Its also the last film the Mitchell Brothers would do. Its easy to understand why The Sequel doesn't really appeal to many people but I am some what of a fan.
It opens and ends with a weird, almost disturbing looking puppet explaining what we are about to see. In the beginning we are on a plane with some very strange characters. It is all shot P.O.V. style from what is supposed to be Missy Manners character Gloria's perspective. The dubbing is so bad it makes a 70's Hong Kong kung fu flick seem like Shakespeare. The plane has a crash landing for no apparent reason other then maybe for cinematic value and entertainment. Everyone on the plane is fine and we follow Gloria home where we will eventually see her face. Gloria puts on a VHS copy of the original Behind The Green Door at the same time as her neighbor and we get a quick masturbation scene from both parties.
Its not long before we enter the strange familiar swingers world from the original film and some of the scenes are almost reenacted. However this time there will not be a long artsy cum shot sequence because Behind The Green Door : The Sequel almost plays as a public service announcement. The aids epidemic of the time is brought up over and over again and everyone is wearing condoms, latex gloves and using dental dams. What we do get is another swinging trapeze bar sex orgy. A 400 Lb. woman being manhandled. A Transsexual that is way more disturbing then the one in the original. We get a man with the lower body of a horse, Statues who come to life for a swinging good time. They even reenact the dive into the vagina scene.
All in all The Sequel can't even be compared to the originality of the first Green Door but it still manages to be weird and artsy enough to keep my attention. The Sequel is worth owning in my opinion, it just lacks the freshness of the 72 classic.
Check out Behind The Green Door : The Sequel. You can wear a condom and sterilize your body but remember, you're still filthy in your mind.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blood Of The Beasts (1949)

Animal lovers might want to skip this one because its a pretty nasty flick. Blood Of The Beasts is a 20 minute documentary about a slaughter house in France from director Georges Franju who would later go on to do the great Eyes Without A Face. This is a odd one because it is a down right shocking look at animals being slaughtered and mangled and it is all shown in great detail. The camera holds nothing back as the narrator speaks over the ghastly footage. However aside from being a shocking gross out flick there is a sense of art to it. It's almost like a early Mondo flick in the sense that the narration is suggestive in a sort of sarcastic way.
Durring the 2o min. of hell we have a horse who gets a sort of pick axe to the head and then is drained of its blood and skinned alive. The horse is then sawed in half by a man who looks like he might be a serial killer. We then have some cows being ripped apart and a bunch of sheep are decapitated with one hell of a sharp knife. The butchers cut the heads off and throw them across the room and the heads land in a big pile. Blood Of The Beasts has thick steam that comes from the blood soaked ground. It must have been cold during the filming and the steam is from the rivers of blood that these men work in all day. I am not exaggerating either, These men stand ankle deep in blood.
This early shockumentary almost smells of death and it isn't the easiest of sit through but its a great little flick to gross your friends out with., especially if there are any vegetarians in the room.
"I strike you without hate because man needs to eat every day."

Maniac (1980)

The other night I was lucky enough to catch my all time favorite slasher on the big screen with a brand new print. William Lusting was there as well and hearing him share his thoughts and memories on the film and New York City in general was amazing. Lusting gave one of the best Q&A'a I have ever attended and I have gained even more respect for him in the end. He is a down to earth man who shares many of the same views that I do and he hasn't forgotten his fans.
Maniac has to be one of the most violent Slasher flicks ever made. Just look at the poster and you know you are in for a nasty treat of gore and brutality. William Lusting himself says that when he and Joe (Frank Zito) Spinell decided to do a horror film. They made a pact right from the beginning to make "a true 42nd street picture with no apologies". Id say they kept true to their plan and Maniac deserves the cult fame that it has. Lusting also said that for years the MPAA kept the infamous "Maniac poster in there office's and when new film makers would come in with promotional artwork ideas they would point to the bloody poster and explain that this is a prime example of what is not acceptable.".

Viewing the film in the theater, I was unable to tell if certain scenes looked different because it was a new print or if it was just the fact that it was on the big screen but certain scenes looked a bit different with much more detail. For instance the classic scene where Frank Zito blows off Tom Savini's head in the car had so much detail that I have never seen on my DVD prints. I sat with mouth open as I watched pieces of brains fall from the roof in the cars interior. For anyone out there who worships head-explosions in film the way that I do, they need to see this movie on the big screen. If it comes to a town near you, make sure you do not skip it.
Another thing that I have never noticed before is that we have some true 70's XXX actresses in here. One of which is Sharon Mitchell from Lusting's previous adult feature The Violation Of Claudia which some how I have not seen yet but its one of those movies that I know I will get around to eventually and it will probably have a spot in my hardcore collection in the near future. Sharon Mitchell has so many credits to her name, many of which are nasty little films (Water Power and Taming Of Rebbecca) that could only have been made in the sick 70's.

William Lusting also explained that the motivation for Maniac, aside for his love for horror movies it was more just the times in general. He said that with Maniac he was doing nothing more than captivating the times. The late 70's was a time where we had some of the most prolific serial killers. Although he mainly molded the character of Frank Zito from The Son Of Sam, he found inspiration from these real life monsters who were impossible to avoid. The papers were filled with the real life horrors of true maniacs and the awful crimes that they commit. Lusting says he found inspiration in Gacy, Gein (of course) and even Bundy which I don't see much in the film but I wasn't about to argue with the man. Lusting also explained his love for NYC even the dark side of it. He said that he and Spinell usually would stroll down 42nd street and just watch the madness going on around them. One of my favorite things he said was "New York City used to have a lot of character and they took it all away. Every city needs a red light district and that was 42nd street. Now when I pass by I just want to vomit." Basically Lustings environment created Maniac and it was art imitating life and so on. Apparently this one is on its way to being remade and Mr. Lusting has nothing to do with it. First they destroyed the city that I was to young to even know. Now they just destroy the films that found their inspiration in that time and place.

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

Eyes Without A Face also known as The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus comes out of France in 1960 by a director named Georges Franju. At the time Franju was mainly known for his documentaries. His first big hit was a documentary about a slaughter house in France. The film was called Blood Of The Beasts and the shocking footage was something that society just couldn't ignore. This would become a staple pattern in Franju's body of work. A mix between the artsy-fartsy and shocking imagery would make him stand out from the rest.
Eyes Without A Face is the story of a deranged doctor named Genessier or Faustus depending on which version you are watching and his daughter Christiane who lost her face in a car crash. Dr. Genessier blames himself for his daughters disfigured face because he was behind the wheel during the accident. The brilliant yet mad doctor will stop at nothing to repair his daughters damaged face.
Through most of the movie we never get to see the Christiane's face. It is either hidden from the camera with slick angle's or it is covered with a blank white mask with no facial features. Only the eyes are visible which comes off rather creepy, hence the title. Even with the lack of any facial features Christiane's eyes and body movements say a million words. The audience can feel her pain, her anger and her sorrow. Christiane's scarred face is shown more then once in the film. The first time it is through a blurry lens but the viewer can easily see that her face is not a pretty sight. The next time we see her unmasked is in a series of stills which show that her latest surgery was a failure and her flesh is rotting away.
Her father keeps her locked in the house so he can perform numerous operations on her face. Dr. Genessier is abducting pretty young girls off of the city streets and chloroforming them. Once the girls are knocked out the mad doctor cuts off their face with the help of his female assistant. The real money shot takes place in one of these surgery scenes. First the doctor draws an outline on the victims face and then with a scalpel and various other surgical tools he removes the face. The camera doesn't cut away as the doctor pulls the face off and this makes for a pretty nasty scene, especially for 1960. There is nothing campy (or H.G. Lewis) about the gory images. They come off very realistic and its disturbing even by today's standards.
The other big gore scene involves a man having his face mangled by a pack of viscous dogs. I have a lot of respect for the stunt man who pulled that scene off. Eyes Without A Face also supplies a scalpel through to the throat and a girl who throws herself through a window and comes fatally crashing down on the pavement. Criterion Collection has a very nice DVD print of this. Way better then the old VHS copies that were circulating back in the VCR days. The DVD also has Blood Of The Beasts as a bonus short feature. Worth a watch for anyone who likes a hint of art with their gore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eraserhead (1976)

People have been gathering amongst themselves since 1976 discussing this god of a cult film. What does it all mean? Is usually the topic, since the film doesn't really have a any sort of straight forward message that the audience can follow easily. Instead its a bunch of strong images strung together and it makes for an amazing piece of visual art. Eraserhead is filled with metaphoric imagery and I am not about to put my personal incite on the films meaning. However I will praise Eraserhead for what it is... A cult film that deserves its audience for its weirdness and its ability to keep people talking.
Eraserhead is truly one of the great independent cult flicks of all time and it is so out there that it almost seems to have no time or place. The setting is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is the strange images that flash before the viewers eyes.
The movie follows a man named Henry who just found out that he is a father. His baby is a weird mutant that looks like something you would find in a butcher shop. The baby eventually splits open and spews blood all over itself as a sort of foam bubbles out from its insides. Another very memorable moment is a diner scene with Henry and his girlfriends family. Henry sits there in a awkward nervousness as he family goes about their normal routine. Its impossible to tell who is weirder. Is it Henry or his girlfriends family. His girlfriend goes into random hyperventilating fits followed by crying while her mother brushes her hair and her grandmother appears to be a corpse as she just sits in the kitchen frozen. Mom puts cigarettes in grandma's mouth and uses grandma's limber hands to toss the diner salad. Dad runs around ranting about plumbing and his knees. I can't help but relate to the weirdness of this scene. I feel like I have had to sit in on some very strange diner parties with ex girlfriends families. Once everyone sits down for diner dad asks Henry if he will cut the chickens up but these aren't normal chickens. They are about the size of a human fist. When Henry tries to cut into the first chicken the legs start to move on the dead animal and blood shoots from its ass onto the plate. We also get some strange song and dance from a girl with what I like to describe as cauliflower cheeks. Theres also a strange decapitation scene with lots of blood and weird little creatures being splattered against the walls. The creatures look like a cross between the monsters in Fiend Without A Face and fetuses.
Eraserhead is perfect for anyone who likes strange art flicks and doesn't necessarily need a story that is spelled out for them. Take a journey into David Lynch world and check out Eraserhead.

Burnout (1979)

No this movie is not about pot-heads. Its about drag racers and it is one of the most boring movies I have ever sat through. For 90 minutes we are forced to watch guys in shinny suits and helmets race their nitro burning funny cars and there is nothing entertaining about it. Each race lasts from anywhere between lets say 5 and 8 seconds and the rest of the time we are watching the racers burn rubber or Burnout as the title says.
There is one of the smallest subplot's going on in here and its about a spoiled brat who's rich daddy wants him to take over the family business. The spoiled brat wants to be a drag racer and that's what he becomes.
Please don't make the same mistake as me. Avoid this movie at all costs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eating Raoul (1982)

Heres another great one with cult couple Paul Bartel & Mary Woronov. This time they are a happily married couple. Or at least sort of happy. Or maybe not at all. They are both stuck in a small apartment working dead end jobs. They are behind on their bills and they don't quite fit in with the rest of society. Paul and Mary feel they are surrounded with filthy perverts and criminals. All they want is to be able to open up a resturaunt in the country and escape from the city and the human garbage that dwells within. Everything changes for the prude couple when they accidently kill a swinger (with the old frying pan to the head trick) who tried to rape Mary. While going through the dead perverts pockets they realize that he is loaded with cash. They soon come up with an idea to put an add in the personals as sexual fantasy makers, or prostitutes if you will. The couple has no intentions of actually performing any sexual acts with their clients. Instead they decide to make a profession out of killing and robbing them. After all this will help them get the restaurant that they want and in their eyes they will be doing society a favour at the same time.

Eating Raoul touches on all sorts of sexual perversion from S&M to role play, from swingers to bestiality. We get midgets, bondage, a silly hippy-dellic sex scenes, a swingers party massacre, bare breasted women including Mary Woronov which never seems to get old. We get Nazi fetish and lots of frying-pan-fu.
My personal favorite scene involves Paul Bartel picking up supplies at the local sex shop and being belittled by the sleazy clerk behind the counter. Don Steele also shows up in here who is known for all his roles in Roger Corman flicks and this time he's naked.
Eating Raoul is campy fun all the way through and it doesn't take itself serious. It also has a very sarcastic tone to it and doesn't show moralists in  a much better light then the sexual deviates. There really aren't any good guys in this one and those are always my favorite kind of movies. If someone was to tell me they were looking for a comedy that dared to be different and had a raunchy side to it, this would be at the top of my recommendations. So climb into your latex suit, lube yourself up and have a swinging time with Eating Raoul. Its as fun as a frying pan to the head!

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Jeff Lieberman is one of those directors that puts out very entertaining work but its hard to tell if there is any talent there or not. He's better known for his killer worm movie Squirm and the incredibly strange Blue Sunshine about hippies who were given bad acid and turn murderous. Lieberman's films usually have a odd pace to them and they almost feel like some aspect is missing but you just can't pin point what it is. For me its hard to tell weather or not this is intentional or not but the weird pacing and awkward scenes help add to the creepiness of his films.
Just Before Dawn has the same strange feel to it. This early 80's slasher is basically a Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff. Five kids venture deep into hillbilly territory for a camping trip up in the wooded mountains. Right from the beginning they reject all warnings (after all it is a slasher flick) from towns folk who speak of killers and demons up in the woods. They even bump into George Kennedy (who played the old man in the Old Chief Wooden Head segment of Creepshow 2) and he delivers a great line "At least tell me where you heading so I will know how to fill out the report when you don't come back.". Well the kids don't listen to Mr. Kennedy either and eventually they start getting knocked off one by one in slasher fashion by a fat, machete wielding hillbilly who squeaks and giggles during the kill scenes.

The killer always seems to be in more then one place at a time and it throws us off as the viewer and adds to the strangeness. Eventually we find out that there is actually two killers and they are inbred brothers who look identical. We also have a strange hillbilly family running around with shotguns and yelling at anyone who comes on their land. We get a few cool slash-em-up scenes and a bit of very unattractive tit. One of the better murder's shows a man having a serrated machete shoved through his crotch and then the killer saws up to his lower back. We also get a machete to the hand, a machete through the gut. One guy is pushed off a cliff and another is shot with a riffle but the most memorable scene is probably the mouth fisting scene. A guy is suffocated with a fist shoved into his mouth and down his throat. It really is a odd moment.
There is no doubt about it. Texas Chainsaw Massacre had a lot of influence on this movie. Everything from the kids driving trough redneck territory in their camper to the demented hillbilly families. Jeff Lieberman yet again makes a weird entertaining horror flick with what can be style or just dumb luck. Either way Just Before Dawn is pure slasher fun and shouldn't disappoint any fans of the genre. So pull your sister close and check out what happens when kin folk keep it in the family for a bit to long with Just Before Dawn.