Monday, November 28, 2011

Not Quite Hollywood : The Wild Untold Story Of Ozploitation (2008)

Watching this documentary on Australian exploitation cinema made me realize two things. The first being that maybe I haven't seen entirely to many movies because almost every title they speak of in this movie I have never seen and most of them I haven't even heard of. The second realization is that I am bound to see a lot more because this movie is fucking insane and makes Australian cinema in general look fucking nuts.

The film starts with the sleazy sexploitation films and makes its way into the horror genre and then into biker film territory and the car crashing mayhem of Ausy on the road films. Quentin Tarantino appears a lot in this film and speaks of Australia's influence on him. He admits to borrowing from many of these movies, one in particular being a scene from Patrick (one of the few films in the documentary I have heard of) which he would use in Kill Bill.

We get lots of bloodletting, car explosions, and action film violence which is displayed on he screen in quick clips from various different movies. Each looking more bad-ass then the last. Australians are crazy people who break bones, set themselves on fire and even die for their form of cinema and I think this is something that I am going to be forced to study a bit more.

99 Women (1969)

Jesus Franco delivers what looks like a A.I.P. women in prison flick way before Corman or Arkoff were dishing them out. We get a bunch of beauties behind bars who bare their breasts and beat the shit out of each other any chance they get.

Lucky for us the girls a allowed to wear their thigh high stockings in this women's hell hole. Herbert Lom who I remember best as the "impotent" judge and jury in Mark Of The Devil shows up as a sex maniac who likes to torture the nubile prisoners before groping them.

Typical of a Franco film the story is a bit on the weak side but the camera work is great and so are the locations. This thing goes under a million different titles but 99 Women is the most popular of the bunch and although there really isn't 99 of them Franco makes the best of what he has to work with and that of course is sex and violence. In the most memorable scene the girls attack a big python snake with a pocket knife and I say attack because they don't have the decency to kill it as if we were watching a Italian cannibal film. Instead they get staby-staby and cut huge chunks out of the snake and then send it slivering away all bloody and cut to bits. Damn Franco, you are one ruthless fucker.

Not my top pick for a women in prison flick or even a Franco W.I.P. flick for that matter but well worth the watch if not for anything else some nasty rape and snake violence. You might not want to watch it with your vegetarian girlfriend though because animals were definitely harmed during the making of 99 Women.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sleazemania (1985)

Exploitation and smut historian Johnny Legend (Teenage Cruisers) presents a one hour compilation of sleazy clips and trashy trailers ranging from the 1930's up to the 80's. Mr. Legend doesn't introduce the comp. which is a shame and for the most part Sleazemania is your run of the mill 60 minute time waster of filth and swill right out of the gutter. We do get a couple of great trailers and moments. My personal favorite being a overly sleazy trailer for The Smut Peddlers which I am yet to see but if the film is only a bit as good as its disgusting trailer it will be well worth my time. Another great trailer being the Young Seducers which I also have not scene but the title of the film is proudly pasted over a huge mound of pubic hair on the trailer which I thought was a very classy touch and got a great deal of laughs from me. We also have an incredibly awkward penny arcade stag film with three girls who are about as graceful as a 18 wheeler trying to make its way across two lanes of traffic in new york city.

Sleazemania works as a great filler between two trash films on a double bill or just some background viewing pleasure while consuming alcohol.

Anatomy Of A Psycho (1961)

This Juvenile Delinquent flick tells of a hoodlum named Chet who swears revenge on the authority figures who convicted and executed his older brother for murder. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because Chet's older brother was a delinquent who stole, beat people up and eventually killed a man and younger Chet now carries all those wonderful traits.

The best part is that Chet and his gang of hoodlums get their vengeance on the sons of the judges, lawyers, police and d.a.'s sons. They never actually physically hurt the ones to blame. Armed with switchblade knives with paper bags over their heads, these delinquents stomp on a kids face in one of the most memorable scenes. Chet also puts another kids face through a mirror and then sets fire to his house. Its a little hard to sympathize with the victims due to the fact that they are all a bunch of rich kids who fathers represent the law but Chet goes over the deep end and kills his friend Moe with a switchblade to the gut. Then he has the audacity to move into Moe's "Shack". That's right Moe lives in a shack. I don't know what the law was on paying taxes, rent or a mortgage on a shack back in 1961 but it seems to be the place to be.

Anatomy Of A Psycho has a cool rockabilly soundtrack, a bit of violence and excessive drinking. Broken bottles makes for knives and cigarettes are used for house fires. This movie could have taken off in a much more thought provoking direction when the father of one of Chet's victims could have had his chance for revenge but instead it sticks to being a good old fashioned cheaply made exploitation flick in the juvenile delinquent genre. "Your brother was a punk, killer and he still is a punk!".

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All The Way In (1984)

This is the very first porno film I ever saw in full and for that reason alone it will always hold a spot in my heart. I have no idea how many times I have seen it and am always ready for another screening and the best part is that it isn't even that good of a film. Directed by Bob Chinn who would later be remembered for his Johnny Wadd series, this cheesy 80's flick stars Candy Samples who I remember best from Russ Meyer's Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens. Candy plays Mrs. Fantasy whom runs a column in a dirty magazine called Ultra Flesh, not to be mistaken for the porno-super-hero flick of the same title staring Seka. Anyway Candy isn't feeling up to her normal nympho self ever since she fell in love with a man named Pat who left her high and dry. Ronnie the rocket Jeremy, Mai Lin, and Eric Edwards do their best along with many others to get the old Mrs. Fantasy back but only Pat has that magic touch.

Jeremy has the best scene in the movie where he manipulates young models into doing the dirty. Mai Lin has a couple of hot scenes herself and Candy's scenes... Well those are always a rough sit but that just makes the film all the more entertaining. As a added bonus Mr. Russ Meyer shows up for a cameo where he bumps into Candy Samples on a airplane. He looks down at her massive melons and says "Where have I seen those before?". The film also offers a tid bit of S&M in a scene that shows Samples without her mullet.

All The Way In is supposed to be a comedic drama with a sensitive love story but it doesn't come off that way. It comes off as pure comedy and the bad story makes the film even more funny. You're guaranteed to laugh!

Critters (1986)

Two years after the success of Gremlins, this silly 80's monster movie would hit theaters and get little kids to scream and parents to laugh. I suppose these midget monster movies from the 80's were one of the few trends that parents and kids could enjoy together horror wise.

These little fur-balls are an alien life form that come to planet earth to wreak havoc and of course snack down on some humans. These guys don't multiply with water but they do get bigger with each meal. They have razor sharp teeth and they shoot little dart like spikes from their bodies. Unfortunately due to the {PG13} rating Critters isn't overly violent or gory. We do get one dead cop, shoulder shredding, kneecap munching and a pretty cool transformation scene that is oddly reminiscent of the melting corpse in the canister from Return Of The Living Dead. This effect is the most gore we get out of the whole movie so enjoy it while it lasts. On the other hand we get a foul mouthed kid, a really shitty new wave band, a church shoot-out and a foul mouthed critter.

The director would go on to do a bunch of awful Hollywood flicks such as Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure and Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead. Yuck!!! While I could never bring myself to watch anything else from this director I remain a fan of Critters.

Dee Wallace who plays the mother in The Hills Have Eyes and Cujo once again will play the role of mother. I suppose her character is closer to that of The Hills Have Eyes because she definitely doesn't have the strength that she does in Cujo. She does take out one critter with a shotgun blast but eventually she gets one of those darts to the neck and is pretty useless through the rest of the movie. Wallace being my personal favorite of all mommy-scream-queens I enjoy her presence here.

Grab some beers and some junk food and pig-out with Critters for a Gremlins-esque ripoff from the cheesy 80's.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Herschell Gordon Lewis : The Godfather Of Gore (2010)

As far as all of the exploitation documentarys to come out in the past couple of years this one and American Grindhouse are my two favorites. Herschell Gordon Lewis being my all time favorite director, it is no wonder that I found this documentary to be so great. Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Brain Damage) took on this existing project and re-edits it to what is a 106 minute look into the sleazy world of The Godfather Of Gore.

The documentary starts at the begining in 1959 with The Prime Time and Living Venus. We step further and further into depravity with every title from the great H.G. Lewis. We get discussion on each one and the market value (or devalue) of each film and genre. Lewis of course being a major pioneer in all forms of exploitation, the nudist camp films were amongst the first with Daughter Of The Sun and Natures Playmates but of course it is the darker and meaner stuff that we all know and love the Godfather for. Scum Of The Earth is the one that sort of broke away from the nudie-cutie romps and came in the form of a mean spirted Roughie.

The same year Lewis along with the help of long time partner David F. Friedman would unleash his groundbreaking Blood Feast and introduce grissly gore to film goers. This of course is where the film gets really good. Two Thousand Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red, Gruesome Twosome and Gore Gore Girls all get their screen time and it is great to watch cult favorites talk about them while awesome poster art and bloody images play on the screen behind them. John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble) shares some of his Herschell Gordon Lewis collectibles with us and the great exploitation historian Joe Bob Briggs shares his thoughts, feelings and ideas on the works of Mr. Lewis. We even get some never before seen scenes from unreleased Lewis projects.

H.G. Lewis fans need to see this one and trash-film lovers should also check it out Just For The Hell Of It.

Thy Kill Be Done (2010)

Black Dynamite kicked our ass in 2009 and brought Blaxploitation back to theater goers and before that Black Devil Doll offended all the yuppie, p.c. idiots. Unfortunately as far as exploitation homage/spoof flicks go only Machete would get wide distribution.

In 2010 Greg Hanson dished out his own exploitation flick in a short 16 minute film. Shot on 16mm film Hanson's brand of bad taste comes in the form of a Nunsploitatin flick. A genre that seems to have been forgotten (or was it ignored). Beautifully framed Thy Kill Be Done shows plenty of talent and I personally couldn't help but wish there was a full length version waiting to come out.

The film opens up in church in which a 12 year old boy over doses on heroin before the priest and the entire congregation. The priest hits the streets and confronts a group of drug dealers and a bad-ass 70's style pimp who stabs and kills the preacher with his trusty switchblade. This means only one thing... Vengeance! and the revenge is acted out by three nuns.

We get an amazing Vietnam flashback complete with stock footage of bombs dropping spliced together with machete wielding nuns. We also get a Flying Guillotine homage (Complete with pope-hat hand dismemberment), Nail gun violence, Baseball bat violence (complete with achy-breaky skulls and a ridiculous moment where a bat is shoved down a mans throat), Neck snapping, Gun violence, Machete to the throat and some memorable quotes "Theres a bunch of Nuns down here... Their beating people up".

Its short, its funny and its just plain awesome!

Mario Bava : Maestro Of The Macabre (2000)

This hour long, made for television, documentary discusses Mario Bava and the impact he had on cinema. In Bava's 65 years on this earth he shot 72 films and directed 37 and almost everyone was influential in one way or another.

The documentary starts off with Bava's childhood and goes on to show how he was pretty much born into the world of movie making. It gets really interesting once they discuss Caltiki (1959) a monster film that Bava although uncredited directed the majority of the film.

Of course one year later Bava would release his groundbreaking Black Sunday. Directors such as Joe Dante (The Howling, Piranha) and Tim Burton (Mars Attacks) go on to explain how Black Sunday was somewhat of a cult classic from birth and they speak of the personal impact that the imagery had on them.

Samuel Z. Arkoff and Roger Corman were also very big fans of the movie and wanted Bava to come to America for a A.I.P. project but luckily for us Bava fans the directer denied the offer and continued his craft in his home country. However Bava did give Arkoff some distribution rights for the American audience and Black Sabbath is what he had to offer. The Amercian directors go on to explain how Bava was never really appreciated in America until his death but directors loved him. John Carpenter (Halloween, They Live), Burton, Sean S. Cunningham (Friday The 13th) would drive for hours to catch a Bava film in a drive-in.

The one thing that really surprised me is how Blood And Black Lace doesn't get any discussion. I found this pretty odd considering it is the second Giallo from the director who is responsible for creating the genre. On the other hand the movie goes into a brief history of the origins of the Italian Giallo and of course Bava's first entry in the category is spoken of (The Evil Eye).

The Whip And The Body with Christopher Lee shows up, Twitch Of The Death Nerve and Baron Blood are all touched upon but not Blood And Black Lace. They also spend quite a bit of time speaking about how badly American filmmakers have ripped him off over the years. The blatant plagiarism in Friday The 13th from Bay Of Blood or Alien from Planet Of The Vampires but apparently Bava never cared of felt any animosity. Everyone who knew him including his son Lamberto Bava (Demons, Macabre) claim that Bava never considered himself an artist and never even took himself seriously. He made movies for fun therefor he never cared if he made money or became famous. I'm sure the man would be pleased to know that people finally recognize him for the genius that he was. Bava's films are immortalized thanks to video and this documentary is a good watch for fans of Italian horror and Mario Bava.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bloody Christmas (2011)

Personally being a big fan of holiday horrors like Halloween, April Fools Day, Happy Birthday To Me etc? I couldn't help but be intrigued by Bloody Christmas, a new film from Long Island film maker Michael Shershenovich. Looking upon the seemingly countless Christmas horror flicks, Black Christmas, Don't Open Till Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night etc. Bloody Christmas definitely strays from the normal slash-em-up prototype. While not quite playing like a slasher and not necessarily taking itself overly serious Bloody Christmas turns out to be a rather unique experience. Sure it has its moments where the poster art could have claimed it was "Filmed in Slasher-Vision" but at times it almost plays like a Giallo film. Not necessarily in the sense that its a murder mystery but more from the stylish camera work from the director, cinematographer.

One scene that stands out visually is a dream sequence (or should I say nightmare) which was shot on 16mm that gets the audience inside a demented and damaged Santa Clause mind. I couldn't believe a independent film maker was able to pull off such an elaborate and stylized shot. On the down side there were scenes that don't quite hold up in regards to some of the more artistic moments and gives the film a bit of an unbalanced look.

The story follows a down on his luck, public access Santa Clause. He loses his job, his family, his home and eventually his sanity. Lets just say Santa has some bad ideas going on under that red hat of his. Meanwhile a child murdering priest is acting out his own form of vengeance in gods name. Its the oh so familiar "cleanse the world of its filth" tale but the overall message comes off a bit warped and twisted. Its never clear or not if Bloody Christmas is an attack on the church, consumerism or if the writings came from some weirdo Republican who wants to save the ideology of Christmas. Either way, once Santa and the priest cross paths it makes for an entertaining and Bloody Christmas.

Some of the presents that this Christmas flick has to offer is a child massacre filled with gun violence and hand grenades, a suicide in the bathtub that is oddly reminiscent of the opening scene from The Devil In Miss Jones. Mutilation by Christmas ornaments, A sleazy scene in a church involving a voyeuristic female teenager and a very young boy, naked breasts from porn actress Nova Lox. Graphic eye violence that is sure to give the average Lucio Fulci fan an erection, sour-milk-fu (in the vain of Combat Shock), burning corpses, violent broomstick beatings (complete with red stuff) and some pretty funny and memorable quotes "Santa WHYYYYYY??????".

Lloyd (The Toxic Avenger) Kaufman shows up for a cameo as a money hungry priest. We have Geretta Geretta who I remember best as the prostitute with exploding pimples in Demons as the grieving mother of a dead child. Steve Montague (Roadhouse, (Blitzkrieg : Escape From Stalag 69) plays Santa Clause and personal friend of mine and indie actor Robert Youngren takes on the role as the kiddie-killer-priest.

Fans of low brow independent cinema might want to check this one out. While it has its flaws it is certainly an entertaining work of art and mayhem that delivers the goods, from new and talented upcoming film makers.

A Clockwork Orgy (1995)

The porno parody thing has gotten out of hand with dozens of titles each month. It is getting so bad that different production teams are releasing their own versions of the same classic movie, sometimes only weeks apart (Halloween : XXX Porn Parody, Official Halloween Parody). A Clockwork Orgy on the other hand dates back to 1995 and when parodies were few and far between.

This thing is slightly upscale compared to most of the porno-spoofs that come out today. The acting is better then normal or at least from some of the actors and its obvious that the crew really did their homework on Stanley Kubrick's classic A Clockwork Orange. The wardrobe looks great and the slight play on words from the unique style of writing is brilliant. "I have a rather intolerable pain in the gashy-washy Mrs."

A Clockwork Orange being one of the biggest cult films ever made it is obvious that this pornographic version is bound to have a following of its own. The real downside to it all is the destruction of the musical soundtrack. Where in the original film the music adds so much to the visuals on the screen, the score in the pornographic version almost hurts the film. The electronic 90's music is annoying and amateurish and just doesn't suit the movie at all. Aside from the shitty score, the movie was shot on 35mm and doesn't look half bad. Of course it doesn't hold that gritty feel of the 70's and 80's porn but still looks better then the digital garbage they release today. Another problem with the film is yet again another reflection of the times. The girls all look so plastic. That of course being the look of the 90's but was always quite unattractive to me. Blond babes filled with silicone. They look great dressed up in their droogy gear but once they shed the clothes it really becomes a turn off.

A Clockwork Orgy offers up home invasion rape, bum-sex, anal sex, oral sex (complete with facials), funny dialogue,Watch for my favorite scene when one of the Droogs sits on a mans face. When they tell him to "Eat that pussy!" he replies (through a muffled voice) "I am". We also get some boot licking for all you weirdo shoe fetishists out there and some lesbian-fu as well.

Worth owning as a novelty if nothing else.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Night Of Bloody Horror (1969)

I love the poster art for this movie. First off it was filmed in Violent Vision and secondly it offers $1000.00 to family members who lose a loved one during a screening of this crap-tastic spectacle of cheesy violence.

Unfortunately the film itself doesn't match the greatness of its poster but us horror/cult/exploitation fans are used to that by now aren't we. The movie follows a young man with some serious mental health issues. After being released from a mental institution his headaches and nightmares come back ten fold. Luckily for us we know when he is having a mental breakdown with the help of the "Violent Vision". We get a silly looking effect that would be used in tons of these exploitation movies. Its the psychedelic spiral that we all know and love so much. Herschell Gordon Lewis would use the spiral in Something Weird and of course in She Devils On Wheels. Every time the hippie-delic spiral appears on the screen a murder happens and although we don't see the killers face the audience is lead to believe it is our psychopathic main character Wesley.

The film makers had some strange ideas on how to cut and edit a film. We get freeze frames for no apparent reason and while it doesn't necessarily hurt the film it doesn't help it either. The colors are soft and faded and the audio levels are a bit to low at moments. The 16mm film is pretty shitty and the framing per second almost comes off as 8mm or something that looks closer to video at times. On the other hand the weapon of choice is a axe and do get some brief but still entertaining gore scenes. A hand is lobbed off at the wrist, a axe is buried into the chest of a bikini clad, blond bimbo, we get an axe to the achy-breaky skull, a spike is driven through a woman's eye in a church confessional, some gun violence and a home collection of dead bodies that would give Ed Gein, Norman Bates and Leather Face an erection.

We also get a hippie-dellic garage rock band that causes quite a bit of violence on the dance floor, a slight bit of tit and shitty twist ending that is seen coming from miles away.

Night Of Bloody Horror isn't the worst hack-em-to-pieces movie ever made but if it played more like a true slasher instead of a mystery movie it would have worked a lot better. Only worth a watch if you get it on a dollar disc. This thing is proudly public domain. Watch William Girdler's Three On A Meathook for a very similar but slightly better time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SS Girls (1977)

What we have here is the second film in the Italian schlock director Bruno Mattei's filmography. The same year he would release a far superior Nazisploitation flick entitles Women's Camp 119 but that doesn't mean that this one isn't any good... Just the fact that Mettei's name is on it is usually an indication that the movie isn't going to be great but where they lack in production value they make up for it in sheer bad taste.

SS Girls also known as Private House Of The SS is no exception to the rule. It is incredibly sleazy and as tasteless as they come. Bruno Mettei is clearly ripping of Salon Kitty and holds back on the artsy-fartsy stuff. Instead he gives us a mean spirited genre flick about a Nazi commander who gathers "Ten of the most beautiful whores in Germany" and turns them into proper love slaves of the Third Reich. They go through a ridiculous training that is acted out in what has to be one of the weirdest montage scenes in cinema history. They practice their sex, sword play, more sex, aerobics, and even more sex. Of course they are whipped and beaten here and there and in the end of the montage they graduate to proper prostitutes. Then the story gets very choppy and jumpy and this might be due to the fact that I own a cut down 82 minute version and the full uncut version is 95 min. Apparently my print has all the sex and violence intact but I suppose it is they plot that took the huge beating in this case. Hey that's why we call them Movies From Mars, right?

Anyway, we soon end up in a brothel which is run by a psychopathic general who is obsessed with finding traitors and of course executing them. The general eventually goes power mad and views himself as the next fuhrer. Hitler himself is killed off screen and WWII comes to a end which means only one thing... A Nazi suicide party. We are treated to watching one Nazi kill themselves after another and it makes for some very high entertainment. Most of them shoot themselves in the head but one stabs himself in the guts and another shoots himself in the stomach.

Of course the main form of exploitation here is the sex and sex we get plenty of. Naked  Fräulein babes walk around with bushes blazing. We have kinky whip-fu, German Sheppard romance, Scar love, feet worship, ass worship, naked chicken fights, oral sex, rough sex, fat sex, hot sex and cold sex but the film also offers up gratuitous drinking, gratuitous spitting, stabbings, face slashing, gun violence and some really weird wardrobe.

Check it out for a totally awesome Nazisploitation flick from Bruno Mettei and nonsensical Nazi mayhem.

Johnny Cash Singing At His Best (195?-196?)

This compilation takes from about three different Johnny Cash concerts and splices together certain favorites. It is absolutely not a documentary, we don't get any interviews and we don't get any prospective. What we do get is a young Johnny Cash playing his guitar along with his band and of course Singing At His Best. The dvd also offers Johnny's infamous 1959 Elvis Presley impression. The dvd is worth owning for that classic stage antic alone.

The dvd sports a song list with some of my personal favorites. We get Guess Things Happen That Way
Pickin Time
Big River
I Got Stripes
Frankie And Johnny
Give My Love To Rose
Five Feet High And Rising

The only problem I had was the fact that it had to many of his gospel songs but considering I got the dvd for $2.00 I feel the movie is a nice addition to my collection.

Rivers Edge (1986)

Dennis Hopper was a very busy man in 1986. He played a vengeful, chainsaw wielding, cowboy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and a dangerous, gas huffing, villain in Blue Velvet but he would also take on the role as Feck in Rivers Edge, as a recluse, lunatic, murderer who has a strange connection to his pistol and his blow-up doll.

Besides Hopper is cult favorite, character actor, Crispin Glover. Glover plays a high school burn-out and delivers plenty of strange stylized acting that we all know him for. Glover is sort of the self proclaimed leader of the burn-outs. For some odd reason his clan of weed smoking, metal-head, morons listen to everything he says.

When one of Glovers close friends confesses to the murder of another friend and classmate he stops at no cost to protect his friend. The only problem is news spreads fast amongst these stoners and one of them doesn't feel like going along with Glover.

This movie stured up a bit of controversy upon its release due to its strange and intense subject matter. It portrays the children of the 80's as not only useless but dangerous in their nihilistic habitat. Morals, feelings and conscience are few and far between with these mixed up kids and it seems the only things they care about is sex, drugs and of course rock & roll. Except for the character of Glover who becomes obsessed with the death of his friend but he becomes obsessed with the idea of hiding the murderer instead of turning him in. Perhaps the creepiest part of Rivers Edge comes from a 8 year old character who witness's the crimes that his older brother is involved with and eagerly follows in his footsteps but his young fragile mind is more warped and dangerous then that of the older high school kids. The 8 year old does drugs, stays out all night, steals cars, robs houses, beats up the elderly, and is working his way up to murder.

The film offers a naked female corpse, a heavy metal soundtrack, lots of leather clad burn-out kids, nun chuck-fu, memorable quotes "Hurry your ass!", blow-up doll romance, and some gun violence.

The Rivers Edge is thought provoking, humorous, sad and at times creepy. It leaves the viewer questioning his own morals and the rest of humanity. Naturally its a cult classic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zombie Death House (1987)

The ultimate novelty flick for John Saxon (Black Christmas, Tenebre) fans. Zombie Death house is the one and only movie that Saxon would ever direct and its pretty bad (but in a good way). The same year Saxon would do A Nightmare On Elm Street part 3 : Dream Warriors but still found the time to do low budget shit-tastic flicks like Zombie Death House.

The story is about a ex Vietnam war hero who now is the chauffeur for a powerful crime lord played by Anthony Franciosa (Who would play besides John Saxon in Dario Argento's Tenebre). When Franciosa learns that his driver is having an affair with his young, blond, bimbo-girlfriend, he kills her and frames the war veteran for the crime. The chauffeur is sent to prison a.k.a. Death House where he will have to fight against a army of zombies. John Saxon is the one to blame for the undead epidemic. Saxon plays Colonel Gordon Burgess whom is experimenting with a new serum that turns a man into the flesh-eating, walking dead. The only problem is he is using the inmates as his guinea pigs.

Zombie Death House should get the reward for most gratuitous nudity of all time. While it doesn't necessarily have a huge quantity of naked flesh it makes up for it by having the most unnecessary naked flesh. In one of my favorite scenes we have a 30 second dream sequence which exists for the sole reason of showing Tane McClure's tits. We also get our share of the red stuff. A man has his achy-breaky skull crushed between prison bars (complete with splat), A man gets the electric chair and becomes an electrified-zombified, super-strength madman, we have dismemberment, multiple dead cops (complete with throat slashing and bullet wounds to the skull) "This pig deserves to die", Then we have a fat zombie chef who goes crazy with a meat cleaver when someone touches her Twinkies, A pick axe to the gut, shoot-em-up gun violence, car chases, drownings, decapitation, white-cotton-panty-fu, Dead Kennedy's on the soundtrack and some serious homosexual activity "Who do you think you're talking to, you little cunt? You bend over for Franco... Now you're gonna bend over for me!"

Personally not usually being a big fan of 80's movies, Zombie Death House could have been a lot worse. At least it tries to be a serious movie and isn't filled with awful jokes, except of course for the Twinkies scene. It offers up the blood and bare breasted bimbo's. The only problem is it seems to drag along after a while. Fans of this movie should definitely check out Shadow Dead Riot for a more modern and more sleazy zombies run amuk in prison flick.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Undertaker And His Pals (1966)

In the tradition of Blood Feast, The Undertaker And His Pals has to be one of the weirdest comedies ever made. Shot on a Ed Wood Jr. budget this hour long gore flick tells the tale of three bikers who ride around on their cycles in search of nubile female victims. They murder, mutilate and dismember the sexy 60's babes and serve the body parts at a shitty hole in the wall restaurant.

The Undertaker And His Pals never tries to take itself seriously. Instead it tries to be funny but usually fails. However it doesn't fail from being an excessively violent movie with over the top gore.

The great Herschell Gordon Lewis usually gets the credit for being the one American rebel dabbling in this territory but there were others along for the ride. This seldom spoken of movie was also on the drive-in movie circuit at the time. Its hard to believe that someone out there took themselves less serious then Mr. Lewis but this movie is living proof.

Although its real cult following mainly enjoys the blood letting, The Undertaker And His Pals does offer a few laughs, many of which come from scenes that are just to odd to not laugh. One of which being a scene where a girl fires a hand gun off at the vicious biker gang who just ran off with her friends leg. She pulls the trigger and thrusts her hips forward three times. Why she is humping the air is beyond me but it just adds to the strange entity that is The Undertaker And His Pals.

As far as the gore goes, we have a girl impaled on a metal spike, A screwdriver driven through a mans skull, a very nasty scene where a woman is beaten, bloody with a metal chain, which reminded me very much of Lucio Fulci's gory chain violence in Don't Torture A Duckling and even The Beyond. We have a meat cleaver to a mans achy-breaky skull (complete with lots of drippy red stuff), A women is chloroformed and cut open with a scalpel (Complete with entrails fondling), A man is rigged up to a pulley system and lowered into a vat of acid, We get some meat-grinding-fu in true Ted V. Michael's fashion, Motorcycle accidents and some fisticuffs.

Unfortunately we don't have any naked female flesh on display but we do get some 60's underwear and torpedo-tit bras. The film also offers a touch of racism, a touch of sexism and a whole lot of sadism. The Undertake And His Pals is A-O.K. in my book and makes for the perfect film to entertain (or confuse) your friends with. Why this thing is so obscure is beyond me... Fans of this movie should also get a kick out of The Corpse Grinders, Gore Gore Girls and Psychomania which is another flick about a leather clad biker gang of murderous psychopaths.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Vincent Price takes on the role of The Invisible Man in one of his first appearances on film. The Invisible Man Returns comes seven years after James Whale's  brilliant original staring Claud Rains and isn't quite as good as the first film but when are they ever? Although Price is recognized more for his distinct voice this wasn't the fact in 1940. Price only being in three films prior he had a lot to live up to in the way of Claud Rains unforgettable vocals. This would be like John Carradine trying to fill Lon Channey's shoes in a sympathetic monster role.

None the less The Invisible Man Returns is a good movie it just lacks in the style and pace of the original. Vincent Price plays a criminal who awaits his execution but escapes with the aid of the invisible concoction that got Rains into so much trouble in 1933. He surly goes mad after a while and becomes violent and irrational. He doesn't send a train full of innocent people crashing off of a bridge but he still has his way with some enemies and of course the police. We have an amazing climax on a coal mining coaster that ends with some gun violence and a man falling to his death in a cart full of coal. We also get a very familiar transformation scene right before the film finishes and this time we are left with a young, pre-mustache, Vincent Price laying in the hospital bed alive.

They also change up the Invisible Man's standard bandaged uniform. In one scene he walks around in a scarecrow's clothes and in one of my personal favorite moments he causes some terror hidden behind a gas mask which of course reminded me of My Bloody Valentine but unfortunately Price doesn't go on a murder spree with a pick axe as a weapon of choice.

On the down side the acting is a bit weak this time around and its hard to sympathize with the characters. There is a weak love story going on for a subplot and that isn't very interesting either. We do get a couple of cool gags. One involving the invisible man in a cloud of cigar smoke. We also have a cop who is beaten up, stripped and hog tied which is good for a quick chuckle.

Fans of the original should check this one out. Its not a bad sequel and the invisible character is just to hard to stay away from.