Thursday, November 29, 2012

Halloween III : Season Of The Witch (1982)

Most people really do not like this movie. Those who out right hate will always say "Halloween 3 sucks. Michael Myers isn't even in it". Then you get the ones that kind of like it who say "It shouldn't be called Halloween but it works okay as a stand alone movie". I'm really bored with both of these statements and the truth is I think I like the movie even more because it angers Halloween fanatics.

I like the original Halloween as much as the next guy but Halloween III : Season Of The Witch is good campy fun and if it wasn't called Halloween I think it would have been a bigger hit.

I think this was a simple case of a marketing scheme gone wrong. As if someone said, hey Halloween and its sequel were such huge hits the name alone will sell the movie. This probably worked initially but I think it really hurt the film upon its video release. Halloween series or not I like the movie and always will and for all those who say it sucks because Michael Myers is not in it they are wrong on both levels. Season Of The Witch is cool and Michael Myers is in it. There is a scene where Halloween is playing on t.v. and there you go. There is your fucking Michael Myers. Now you have to come up with a new argument!

A Pagan cult plans on killing the children of America on Halloween night as a sacrifice to the stars. Conar Cochran, the leader of the cult hides up in a factory where they mass produce Halloween masks and ship them out all over the world. These are not just any Halloween mask they are made with pieces of rock from Stone Henge and electronics and of course something evil. The masks are electronically on a frequency with a trendy television program for children that will take place Halloween night. All of the trendy American kids want a mask so they can watch their Halloween show in style. That is of course until their heads explode and worms, snakes and gross looking bugs will pour from their split open skulls.

Is it believable? Not so much but it sure is a fun watch. Season Of The Witch is pretty gruesome at times. We have multiple decapitations, a woman's face is split in half, two fingers are shoved into a mans eyeballs and his face is ripped apart, we have robots that spill greenish/yellow Phantasm style blood, a man is burned alive in a suicide scene, car explosions, bad early 80's computer graphics and a very memorable song that is played through out the film. The great Tom Atkins (Night Of The Creeps, The Fog) plays the hero and John Carpenter regular Nancy Kyes also shows up as a bitchy, nagging wife.

For me Season Of The Witch is a classic horror flick and a great choice for younger kids to pull off the shelf at Halloween time. For a kid this movie is pretty damn creepy and as an adult you have to appreciate it for its camp value. For a good time with exploding children's heads check this one out that is if you can get past the fact that it is part of the Halloween series.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekend With The Babysitter (1970)

What a disappointment this one was. I recently came across a Sexploitation flick from Crown International called The Babysitter and I loved it. When I learned the director did a follow up in the following year called A Weekend With The Babysitter, I couldn't wait to see it. We have the same director and the same leading man in the Daddy role and although the leading lady has the same name of Candy it is a totally different actress.

Well to make things quick and simple the follow up was a complete mess and to call it a follow up doesn't even seem fair. Weekend With The Babysitter really has nothing to do with the first film other then Daddy is put in the exact situation with a young hippie babysitter. His wife is a bitch and he certainly is not getting any sex. Well that is at least until he meets Candy.

Weekend With The Babysitter does have some nudity here and there but it totally lacks all the sexiness that was in the first film. In fact this movie really doesn't try to be a sexploitation flick at all. Actually I don't know what it is trying to be. It almost seems as if the director was using this film to complain about the demands of the studios. "There is always someone to tell you that there is not enough sex in your movie". This time around Daddy is not a lawyer so we don't have all the cool biker exploits and revenge from the first film. Instead he uses the babysitter to help him have some incite to how young people live so he can make a honest movie. Well who cares how these assholes live and who cares about honesty. This movie fucking sucked and it is a damn shame because the 1969 movie was just awesome.

They throw in some kind of anti junkie sub plot. With a dip-shit for a bad guy who hooks losers on drugs so he can basically verbally abuse them. A man gets thrown from a boat and has the propeller chop him to bits in true I Spit On Your Grave fashion. We also have a lesbian scene and what has to be the worlds lamest biker gang in cinema history. To make things even worse these ass-hats have the balls to talk bad about all the cool Hells Angels movies. "I ride a motorcycle and I don't beat up old ladies" Well maybe if you did beat up some old ladies I wouldn't mind watching the fucking movie. Its amazing how this film feels it is strong enough to knock exploitation movies and then when it is finished it was a nightmare to sit through it.

Skip this movie. For a better time with more sex and more violence and a much better plot just stick with the real Babysitter. That one will get your blood flowing.

Race With The Devil (1975)

Race With The Devil is a strange little {PG} horror flick from the 70's. It almost seems as if it were a made for television movie. If it weren't for the foul language at times it could totally pass as a made for t.v. flick. They even go as far as to blur out the female nudity in one scene which is very weird because I can't really see Race With The Devil really appealing to a female audience, so why not throw the men a bonus or a boner for that matter.

Peter Fonda (Easy Rider, Wild Angles) and Warren Oats (The Wild Bunch, Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia) pack their wives and hit the road in their big mobile home camper for the vacation of their lives. The plan is to go from Texas to Colorado but the trip becomes a trip from hell as they are terrorized by blood thirsty satanic killers.

Race With The Devil is a classic example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fonda and Oats are getting good and drunk and talking about whatever when they witness a Satanic sacrificial offering. The only problem is that the Satanists know that they were witness to the murder and now it is a case of sweep and clear. All witnesses must go.

This movie is alright as a time passer. Most of the runtime is eaten up by car chases and stuff like that. We get all the cool car explosions that one would expect from a film like this and more. In one amazing scene a car flips at high speeds somewhere around 19 times. Trucks crash through barriers and fall off bridges and we basically just have a bunch of crazy stunts and vehicle destruction. Fonda fanatics will be happy to know that there is some motorcycle shenanigans and Warren Oats takes a nasty spill off a bike in one scene. Race With The Devil also offers up quite a bit of shoot-em-up mayhem with shotguns being the weapon of choice but we also have stabbings, a puppy is strangled and hung up as a warning. We have fun with fire, hillbilly bar fights and just about everyone in the world seems to belong to a Satanic cult.

In my personal favorite scene we see Peter Fonda wrestle with killer rattle snakes. Watching Fonda smash the shit out of rattlers is always high in entertainment but the film really could use some help in other areas. As I mentioned Race With The Devil is rated {PG} which is always a bit of a let down but even more importantly is how far fetched it all is. These vacationers travel from city to city and everywhere they go they are taunted by more members of the Satanic family. Everyone from librarians to police officers are all part of the cult and I really just do not buy into all of this. Then there is also the fact that the victims never decide to just go home. They are so dead set on continuing the trip that they are willing to die? To say the very least the movie is far fetched but luckily for me I can put some of these things behind me and just indulge in the car madness and Satan worshiping exploits.

A good time waster and braincell waster as well. If you are looking for a more believable tale of the same sort then you should of course stick with The Hills Have Eyes which would come out two years later and use cannibals rather then Satanists.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Babysitter (1969)

Okay that's it. I am officially depraved. I absolutely loved this movie. Its not as if The Babysitter was overly trashy or disturbing because I have long ago surpassed this form of sexploitive smut but I think it was how sexy I thought the movie was which I found so strange.

The Babysitter has elements of a Bikersploitation film but also tries to be romantic and sexy at the same time. I guess it was shooting for a Billy Jack Born Losers type thing but focuses less on action and revenge.

A vicious biker gang comes up with a plan to get their murdering friend out of the tank by black mailing the prosecutor of his legal case. It just so happens that the D.A. has been cheating on his wife with a teenage babysitter. His daughter is a lesbian and the biker gang has pictures to prove it. However all the biker stuff is very minimal and the main story focuses on the cheating husband and the teenage blond beauty.

While The Babysitter is really nothing more then a fantasy film for married men with lustful thoughts it is very affective. The film sucks you in and places you under a trance while you watch the bare breasted hippie chick seduce an older man. Shit, why do I like this film so much? Its not as if I am a 50 year old man trying to boink The Babysitter while the wife is away but yet this one really pulled me in.

There is enough nudity to keep the average sleazoid happy for 75 minutes or so and we are treated to some knife violence, lesbian sex, violent hair cutting and some silly 60's go-go dancing. The dialogue is cheesy most of the time and we do have quite a bit of over and under acting depending on the actor but this one just seems to fly by.

The director would do a movie called A Weekend With The Babysitter in the following year which seems very similar in plot. I am yet to see that one but if it is half as good as this movie I am sure it will be getting another good write up.

Invisible Invaders (1959)

If you crossed The Invisible Man with Night Of The Living Dead and had Ed Wood doing the narration you would end up with something like this. Of course Invisible Invaders came a good ten years before George A. Romero's classic gut munching zombie flick but one can't help but be reminded while watching this 50's monster-rama flick.

Invisible Invaders comes from exploitation madman Edward L. Cahn the man who directed It! The Terror From Beyond Space, Shake Rattle & Roll, Zombies Of Mora Tau, Dragstrip Girl and over a hundred other crazy titles. It stars John Agar and John Carradine and did I mention there are zombies?

Invisible Aliens come from the moon... Yes thats right, the moon to give the people of Earth a warning. The Earthlings have 24 hours to surrender or they will be annihilated by an invisible enemy. How do you fight an enemy that you can not see? Well the people of Earth being the stubborn morons that they are do not listen to the warning from outer space and within one day all of the nations are on fire and crumbling at the feet of the Invisible Invaders.

I suppose Invisible Invaders would have been a pretty boring movie if we could not see the aliens at all. Lucky for us these creatures from the moon enter dead bodies and roam the Earth. John Carradine shows up as a walking corpse and for this reason alone the movie gains some points on the cool-meter. You know you want to see a zombie version of John Carradine. Early on a zombie Carradine threatens that the people of Earth will be killed by dead men. "The dead will get up and kill" Sound a little familiar? Aside from Mr. Carradine John Agar shows up in a silly little space suit and rides around on the top of a white work van and shoots at the living dead.

Invisible Invaders also comes complete with some of the dumbest weapons I have seen in a movie since The Blob. We also have gratuitous use of Geiger Counters which always adds to every 50's monster movie. In one scene John Agar shoots a man in the head with a pistol and yes I did say he shoots a man not a zombie but for me this stuff all comes secondary to the stock footage of warfare, burning buildings and natural disaster. This is what really makes Invisible Invaders worth watching. The stock footage is extremely affective and almost helps us look past the overly cheesy Beast Of Yucca Flats type narration.

On a down note the film does tend to slow down a bit towards the end and we are cursed with very obnoxious sounds. The ear piercing sound effects are likely to kill the viewer and or wake the dead but this is a small price to pay for the over all insanity that is Invisible Invaders. A weird little time waster from the 50's.

Squirm (1976)

Squirm has everything in the world going for it. First off its a 70's movie. Secondly its a Jeff Lieberman movie. Plus it is a nature gone wrong flick and worms go ape-shit crazy and eat people. What more could you ask for?

Squirm is good gory camp at its finest. Some would put the film down due to its low budget. Others because of its bad acting and most would probably deem it stupid and the film is all of the above and that's why we love it, right? Squirm is the first full length feature film from Jeff Lieberman (Blue Sunshine, Just Before Dawn) and for those familiar with Lieberman's early work it offers all of the goods and doesn't hold many punches.

A small town is hit by a devastating storm which leaves the hillbilly towns folk without electricity. Little do they know that instead of being sent to their homes the electricity is running straight through the damp ground from a power line which was knocked down in the storm and thanks to Willie who owns a worm farm we learn that electric brings worms to the earths surface. Up from the soil millions of worms will emerge to make humans their meal. Awesome!

In one of the most memorable and ridiculous moments Roger a pervy dim witted hick has his face half eaten by worms. Instead of fighting for his face he attacks a man who he is jealous of and he delivers the brilliant line "Now your gonna have the worm face". Try to sit through this scene without laughing and you might self implode. Roger continues his wrath of vengeance up until his dying breath all the while being eaten alive by worms. Some of the other squirmy treats involve a man who has his guts eaten by the slimy creatures, a dead cop, a dead waitress, a dead mother, disappearing skeletons and a two story house which is filled to the brim with worms.

Unfortunately the cast members are all pretty ugly including the leading lady who takes a bath with some of the critters but the sister character really takes the cake. She is supposed to be some kind of a dope smoking, hippie wanna-be when it is obvious that she is nothing more then some dumb redneck and I wouldn't be surprised if she was a product of incest. The amazingly ugly cast just heightens the viewing pleasure of Squirm. If the worms don't make you Squirm maybe the females will.

Most Squirm fans would probably agree that Squirm would go great as a double bill  with the 1980's splatterific classic Slugs and it certainly would but the film would also go great with William Girdler's nature gone wrong flick Grizzly which was released the same year.

There is something about the films of Jeff Lieberman that always remind me of William Girdler. I was never able to exactly place my finger on it but there is something about the pace and mood that flows through both of the directors films which forces me to link the two together. Both directors have never really gained the deserved recognition and are remembered by most as b-movie directors who make wacky cult films. Maybe I am just crazy but for me there is some kind of genius to these films.

Get some friends together and run this one with Grizzly or Slugs if you have no imagination. Or better yet do a triple feature. Now that is a night worth remembering.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)

Mothra is back and this time she will take on Japan's most feared monster Godzilla. I always love trying to explain these movies. They are just to insane for words.

Tokyo is hit with a violent storm and a giant egg washes upon shore. A group of greedy business men buy the rights to the giant egg and they drain a part of the ocean to incubate the giant mysterious egg. I guess greed pisses Godzilla off and he is resurrected from beneath the earth which once was covered with water. Godzilla throws a hissy fit and destroys a bunch of shit. Then the people of Tokyo are visited by two twins whom stand about four inches tall. The twins inform the people of Tokyo that the egg belongs to "The Thing" which I guess is the Japanese way of referring to a giant monster moth known as Mothra.

I don't know why Mothra hangs out with these small twins. If I were Mothra I would be a bit annoyed by being called a "Thing". Anyway, of course the people do not give Mothra's egg back and this makes The Thing really pissed off. So Mothra comes over for its egg but Godzilla fucks everything up. Mothra and God go to war and Mothra pretty much kicks the shit out of God but Mothra is old and sick and uses to much energy in the fight against Godzilla and just sort of kicks the bucket but that's okay because Mothra's egg is about to hatch. Out from the egg pops two giant baby larva. There is no way that these babies are gonna beat Godzilla right?

Well I guess looks can be deceiving because these little monsters can really fuck shit up. One of them bites into God's tail and apparently causes a great deal of pain. Next they shoot a spermy like substance from their mouths which act like a giant spider web and Godzilla gets all tangled up.

Mothra Vs. Godzilla is ridiculous as usual. You really need to have the attention spans of a child to enjoy these things. Lucky for me I was blessed with a childish mind and find Mothra and Godzilla to be pretty damn fun.

See a giant moth fight a giant lizard. See giant eggs and giant caterpillars. See singing twins that might have been created by Dr. Pretorious from Bride Of Frankenstein. See the Japanese soldiers come up with the brilliant plan to catch Godzilla in a net. See Godzilla's head catch fire. This one even comes complete with some blood in a scene where a man has his nose smashed in during a fist fight. Its all here in Mothra Vs. Godzilla. Its good, dumb, fun!

Quiet Days In Clichy (1970)

I have to admit this movie makes me feel a little bit like a fake. Personally not being much of a reader I have never read any of Henry Miller's novels. While I certainly know who Henry Miller is I have to admit that I am more familiar with his image and interviews which can all be found on the Internet then his actual writings. Yet Quiet Days In Clichy is one of my all time favorite Sexploitation movies.

This Danish film offers a very minimal plot but stands strong as high art in trash cinema. This overly sleazy sexploit follows two piss-poor writers Joey and Carl who indulge in the finer things in life such as sex and binge drinking. They make it a point to sleep with as many women as possible and morals come secondary to their sexual decadence. The two men find themselves in a bit of trouble when they find a 14 year old girl aimlessly walking the streets. They become aware that the girl is a bit slow in the head to say the least and they also are aware of her age but this doesn't stop Joey and Carl from exploiting her youthful body in every way possible. She becomes the men's personal sex toy and they await punishment. "All her brains are in her cunt"

The 14 year old retard only eats up a small part of the runtime and there are plenty of other women who will bare it all in Quiet Days In Clichy. The film is loaded to the brim with naked female flesh and yes there are a couple of swinging dicks for added trash points but there is more to this film then sex sex sex. There is almost a poetry that flows through the film. A interesting and unique philosophical message. Yes its perverse and many would consider it depraved but there are moments of monologue that really punctuate the film and bring it to another level making Quiet Days In Clichy something a bit more then your average Doris Wishman sleaze-o-rama. "Better venereal disease than a moribund peace and quiet." The film has this beautiful nihilistic feel to it. Joey and Carl live by their instincts and the consequences and repercussion do not really enter the men's minds. That is at least until it is to late.

Another thing that makes Quiet Days stand out so much is how the story is told. Yes there are long moments of monologue but for large portions of the film nobody is speaking and I am not just talking about the sex scenes. Plus the film is not entirely in English. I would say only about half of the film is spoken in English but this doesn't really keep the viewer in the dark because texts sprawl across the screen explaining what is happening. Yes I said texts not subtitles. Almost as if the characters should have bubbles coming from their heads explaining what they are thinking, like a comic book. "Those were the days when the air was filled with cunt"

In one of my favorite scenes we see Joey going to sleep hungry. He has no cash because he gave it all to a hooker "The woman he loves". We watch him toss and turn as garage rock blares on the soundtrack and images of food spew across the screen. He wakes up in a frenzy, suffering from starvation, he roams the city streets looking for a hand out. He finds nothing and resorts to eating out of the garbage. He washes the garbage down his throat with some wine and goes back to sleep with a satisfied smile on his face. This all of course being a metaphor for his lifestyle and the trashy women in his life which keep him satisfied. In another scene we see Joey eat bread from a toilet bowl. Some of the other trashy delights that this film has to offer is a bathtub orgy which reminded me a bit of Denis Hopper's American Dreamer, sex scenes play like rape scenes and an amazing soundtrack by Country Joe. You have to hear this theme song to believe it. Its dirty!

Quiet Days In Clichy is the perfect experience for anyone who can dig a little bit of art with their sexploitation movies. Even for those like myself who are not familiar with writings Henry Miller.

The Fog (1980)

I have no idea how many times I have seen this classic. I first caught it on television as a kid. Then on VHS, then on DVD. Its one of those movies that everyone owns, so if you go to a friends house who has a slim movie collection you might be stuck putting this one on again. I was even lucky enough to see it on the big screen some time back. All these years later The Fog still works. Its a classic! Its The Fog!

Remember when John Carpenter was still cool? Halloween, Assault On Precinct 13. Even Carpenter's 1978 made for television movie Someones Watching Me was good for a scare. Well The Fog wasn't exactly the last good film in the directors career but it is closing in on the end. After The Fog John Carpenter would go on to do Escape From New York, The Thing and then Christine in 1983. From 83 on his films would get worse and worse but this just seems to be the trend for great American horror directors from the 70's. Wes Craven, George A. Romero and many others would all go the same way.

The Fog on the other hand continues to impress me to this day. It is genuinely creepy and holds a very good story. Yet it is not overly graphic. Almost all of the violence takes place in a thick fog which leaves a lot to the imagination. Usually this is a disappointment but it works perfectly in this one.

The Fog is a ghost story. It tells of a group of men who were betrayed, robbed and slaughtered by the new settlers of Antonio Bay. 100 years later the victims come back to Antonio Bay. They roll in with a thick fog and take revenge on the town. Like most super natural movies from this time many of the things that happen are confusing and don't make a whole lot of sense. Things catch fire for no explained reason. Clocks stop and electronic devices go ape shit. For me this is the only down side to the movie. I was never able to just say okay its a ghost movie, it doesn't have to make sense. I always want an answer. This is just a small flaw in a great movie. It doesn't hurt the film much.

The Fog comes complete with a great cast. We have Adrienne Barbeau who I remember best as Billy from Creepshow. "Just call me Billy. Everybody does." Barbeau plays the host of a radio station which is stationed from an old light house where she can warn the people of Antonio Bay which way The Fog is rolling. Hal Holbrook (Rituals, Creepshow) plays a priest who must answer to the vengeful walking dead for the sins of his ancestors. Janet Leigh (Psycho, Touch Of Evil) shows up along side her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and the cult icon Tom Atkins (Night Of The Creeps, Halloween III : Season Of The Witch) shows up as the drunken lover-boy of Jamie Lee. You also might recognize some other John Carpenter familiars such as Nancy Kyes who's character goes by the name of cough... cough... Sandy Loomis.

A strong plot, memorable characters and zombie-ghost-pirates make The Fog the classic that it is. We have sharp objects shoved through eyeballs, swords through torsos a dead priest and plenty more. Due to the lack of visual graphic violence and nudity I always recommend The Fog as a great horror movie for parents to show to their pre-teen children who are interested in horror movies. Why this movie got a {R} rating, I am not really sure. I feel that it should have been {PG-13}. I have not seen the 2005 remake and I don't want to. The Fog is a childhood favorite and we all know that the remakes of the 2000's are awful.

"I don't know what happened to Antonio Bay tonight. Something came out of the fog and tried to destroy us. In one moment, it vanished. But if this has been anything but a nightmare, and if we don't wake up to find ourselves safe in our beds, it could come again. To the ships at sea who can hear my voice, look across the water, into the darkness. Look for the fog."

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Perfect Brat (1989)

I think The Perfect Brat was nothing more then Tom Byron's attempt to prove to everyone that he is not a 16 year old boy. Tom Byron rocks a mullet and a sweet mustache and an earring. He also tries to act like somewhat of a bad-ass and it is totally ridiculous because the subject is a pretty soft one.

The title really has nothing to do with the movie and if it does I am not sure who the brat is. Maybe it is Tom Byron. Anyway, Byron plays an alcoholic who has been going to new meetings with his girl. They are taught that it is more healthy to fuck then it is to drink but being born and raised in New York, theSTD capital of America, I am not sure how true this is. Well that is really it as far as the paper thin plot goes. Tom Byron gets drunk, Tom Byron gets laid and um well thats just about it.

The Perfect Brat is pretty much a perfect piece of shit and unless you really want to see Tom Byron with a 80's mustache and doing his worst acting job of all time I would say don't waste your time. I guess its still better then the fuck-tapes that people watch these days but who is to say? After all, shit is in the eye of the beholder.

Edge Of The Axe (1988)

This late 80's Slasher comes in just a step above the average shot on video crap from this time. There is nothing very memorable to speak of with the exception of one semi graphic murder scene in which a street walking female is chopped into over and over again with an axe.

Edge Of The Axe tries its best to be interesting but fails miserably. The characters are boring. The dialogue is boring, the story is boring and there just is not enough axe-em-up mayhem to keep the viewer happy through all the bad romance scenes which eats up most of the run time. You would think due to the cool poster that Edge Of The Axe is going to be a pretty trashy slasher but this just isn't the case. The film focuses on the love lives of two couples and some of the females aren't all that bad to look at but the film doesn't even have the decency to offer up and naked flesh. However we do have a character who looks a lot like Jim Carrey which is kind of interesting I guess because no matter how bad Edge Of The Axe is, it is still better then anything that Hollywood boy Jim Carrey has ever done. We also have a case of life imitating art here. Edge Of The Axe could be considered a sci-fi movie if you wasn't because it predicts the Internet, Its pretty funny to see this early version of a fictional Internet, all of which is in Dos Prompt.

It also comes to a climax with a twist ending. I would have preferred a twisted ending but hey maybe its to much to ask for some mindless violence in my slasher flicks. The pile of 80's slasher films is pretty damn big. If you pass this one by you really wouldn't be missing much. However the German title for this one is pretty cool. Axolution.