Friday, April 18, 2014


Review books can be a tricky beast to review. How do you read it? Do you just cherry pick the reviews of films you want to read? Do you check on the films to see if you agree with their reviews? Do you just start at the beginning and plow though to the end?
This is doubly hard when you are a film reviewer as well. It becomes a game of how many have you seen.
Let's start with the good.
The book itself is beautiful. I assume it's made through CreateSpace and it shows what can be done with that particular Print On Demand process. Editor Aaron Christensen has done a fine job assembling so many reviews. At 313 pages this makes for nothing more than brief overviews, but it does give you an idea of what these movies are about. An appetizer of a review, if you will.
The logistics of getting all these reviewers in one place must have been a logistical nightmare and I applaud Christensen for getting that accomplished.
Now, my problems.
The title, the entire title immediately puts me into a mindset of  'Okay, lets see all these amazing pieces of cinema that I have never heard of.' It becomes a challenge as a film watcher to see how many of them I have seen.
The answer?
All of the ones I cared to see. Yes, there is a slim minority of films in this book that I have not seen. Why? Didn't want to. The older I get the less time I am willing to invest in films that I have no desire to watch. But, I have seen a lot of these.
The title shoots the book in the foot. Well, if book had feet. That might make it easier to read them. Just call for the book you want and it comes scurrying over to you. Convenient. And, a little weird. The title tells you these are overlooked and underrated films.
I want to give you a short list of films;
In what alternate universe are any of these films underrated or overlooked. The editor, in his introduction, tries to waffle out of this with a throwaway comment that if the reviewer felt that way it was okay to include it in the book. No, I think it might have just been better to change the title of the book. As I mentioned before, the title creates a mindset in the reader and with every movie that goes against that mindset the book becomes more and more irritating.
Add to that there are reviews that I feel miss the mark entirely. BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE, for instance, just doesn't seem to grasp what is going on. Martin is not the devil. Martin is an answer to a mother's prayer for her catatonic daughter. No devil would remove that torment.
The review for POSSESSION is too brief for such a bizarre, layered film.
I could continue, but you get the idea.
In the end I wonder who this book is intended for. True horror fans will have seen so many of these films that the title is going to annoy them again and again. Newcomers to the field might find it a useful book, but I can't speak for them. I've been in this game for far too long to know what that mindset would even look like.
HIDDEN HORRORS? NO, not really.
Also, I am not a fan of the cover.


Look at these!!! How cool are they??? I do loves me some Godzilla so you know they will have to be added to my collection. And the coolest part is that you can get them, maybe even for free!!! Just follow  this LINK and it will get you to all the details. Have fun and enter today!

Monday, April 7, 2014


So, since the place we are buying our new vehicle from couldn't manage to have it ready for the trip we were lucky that our delightful daughter in law, Tabbie, lent us her car. We also took her husband, my oldest, and my grand daughter, Coyanna with us. So, along with me, my lovely wife, Martha and my daughters, Delia and Dandelion, we hit the road, ready for adventure.
We fueled up at the nearest  Taco Bell for their new breakfast, which was amazing, and hit the open road.
We arrived without incident and got checked into our room. And then were off to get our weekend passes. We went into the dealer room and saw everyone before going out for dinner. I did make sure to get copies of A BULLDOG FOR CHRISTMAS and HAUNTED HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW from our good friend and film maker, Henrique Couto.
Dinner was at a little place on Pearl Road called Katherine's. It was amazing. I got the fried ocean perch with piergoies and cabbage soup. Very good. We then stopped at Ground Zero Comics which was cool, but nothing like our good old Fanfare back home.
The first real event we were going to was the burlesque show by a group called The Rustbelt Honeys. Yeah, they had sound issues and took forever and they broke the cardinal rule. Don't bad mouth someone who tried to help you with your sound issues for three hours. They did, I left and we will leave it at that.
After that the charismatic, Charles Band took the stage with his Full Moon Roadshow and he showed us lots of cool things and convinced many women to show us their boobies onstage. It was magnificent and we signed up for Full Moon Streaming on the spot.

After that we made out way to the little room to watch an independent feature that was called BUNNI. I called the ending, but it was still good and the lead villain was pretty cool visually.
Then came Bill Zebub's newest feature, Scienceless Fiction, a tirade about the over abundance of political correctedness that we currently live in. Expect a review in the near future.
That put us at a little over 3 in the morning so we went back to the room and passed out.
My oldest son that came with us, staggered in about five and proceeded to throw up in the bathroom, flushing his pass and glasses in the process.
Saturday morning was spent watching 42nd Street Pete's Hardcore Wrestling Hour. Always a great way to start your day. We bought many souvenirs, including movies from Bill Zebub and Tom Sullivan's amazing documentary INVALUABLE. He sighed it and drew a little deadite on it for me. So cool. The one and only Gerrit Graham signed my VHS copy of his movie THE ANNIHILATORS. He also gave me the following, amazing story;
It seems that when they were filming the Vietnam scenes there is the scene where his character trips a trap that sends a log with a spike in the end, swinging through the air and spikes the canteen on his head. Yeah, while the spike didn't touch him. the log itself whacked him in the head. A crew member came rushing up and said, "Man, I just saw your skull!" Luckily, there was a great plastic surgeon in Atlanta where they were filming and he showed us you couldn't see the scar. I could have talked to him all day, but so could many fans so I left him to be the awesome gentleman he is.

The one in the stocking cap is my youngest daughter. Yes, that's a giant, inflatable penis.

Then we went to listen to director, Kevin Tenney talk about his movies before they showed NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. We didn't stay for the movie having seen it so many times before.

After that we met up with my buddy, Stew Miller and we drove out to Parma for our obligatory White Castle run. Delicious as always.  
Then Rhonda Baughman and Nick Peron interviewed me for their Micro Shock website. That was pretty cool.
Then 42nd Street Pete introduced his Grindhouse panel with porn star, Serena. I have never been a fan or hers, but she seemed very nice. I just wished she knew what a microphone was for. She was impossible to hear.

At 8 that night was the reason to come to Wasteland. I am, of course, speaking of GHASTLEE'S NIGHT AT THE MOVIES. A. Ghastlee Ghoul, his amazing band, Splattertude, and a plethora of people made music, did games, had fun and had a wild time.

After that it was time to hang loose in the lobby and talk with people and absorb the vibes of Wasteland. We met Calavera and he/she seemed very nice. Someone screamed at us that Vagrancy Films sucked. It was fun.

Then, Martha and I saw THE PHANTOM OF PARADISE before turning in for the night.

Sunday morning we killed time at the nearby mall before going back to say goodbye to everyone before heading home. It was a great time and I managed to not let the unprofessional behavior of The Rustbelt Honeys not bother me...too much.
Thank you Cinema Wasteland for an other excellent weekend!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


So, this basically deals with a manned space flight to the moon. Unfortunately, the rocket experiences some difficulties and the pilot is forced to eject the manned capsule. He believes that the atomic engines were turned off by ground control. They thought he did it, but with the malfunction he was unable to make that happen. So, in effect, we sent a nuclear bomb hurtling into the void.
It makes contact with an asteroid belt and sends huge meteors right towards us dooming mankind for all time.
This was a pretty slow B&W sci fi pic. There is a ton of stock footage and when they do a animal stampedes it reminded me of that line in ED WOOD about the explosions upsetting all the buffalo. I thought the solution to the problem was both genius and a nod to anti war propaganda at the same time. If all the nuclear countries fired their missiles up into space at the same time they could take out all the meteors and save the day.
In the end it was a little long, a little dull and they spelled Mario Bava's name wrong. Mario Baja? Sounds like an Italian dune buggy.

Monday, March 3, 2014


For the Cult Cinema Drive in 200 Movie Box set I am currently working through I just pick a disc at random and go from there. Sure, it comes with a little booklet that gives a brief synopsis, but what would be the fun in that. I saw the title, DEATH RIDERS, and thought it would be pretty cool.
I was right, but not in the way I thought.
DEATH RIDERS is a documentary that chronicles the 1974 tour of The Death Riders Thrillseeking Motorcycle Show. You have a group of youngsters  no more than 20 going across the country from state to state doing what they do best.
Crazy ass stunts.
What makes a motorcycle jump or car crash even better?
Setting things on fire, that's what.
I would have been twelve when they came through Van Buren County. Yes, they show the fairgrounds sign in the movie. I probably saw something like this if not that show.
Very cool.
I did think it was funny that they manages to capture the true exploitative feel of the times with some nudity. How, you may ask? They did a show at a nudist colony. Sure, some of these people needed to put their clothes back on, but it was all in good fun.
Now, with stunts involving fire and motorcycles and cars you expect something tragic to occur.
Never happens.
The movie does open with a list of former members who lost their lives and in what stunt it was. That kind of makes you a little nervous when one of the new members does the stunt.
But, with all of this there is the one stunt that I can't believe they do at every show and there are a ton of volunteers for.
They do a motorcycle jump from a two foot ramp over people from the audience!
Sure, I know what you're thinking. That wouldn't be that bad. You can jump a few people pretty safely, right? But what if the ramp broke and you plowed right through those people on your bike? Plus, a few people would have been a comfort. The end of the film had one of the guys jump forty-five people.
Yeah, you read that right.
Forty-Five People.
In the end you get a documentary that feels so honest and pure. It is a perfect time capsule of 1974 through the eyes of master camerman Vilmos Zsigmond. Yeah, you read that right, too. The guy that gave us things like Sugarland Express and Close Encounters of the Third Kind spent a summer following a group of kids doing crazy stuff and got some great shots of it all.
This is a sweet film of a time that is lost forever and it shows how much fun people were having being crazy way before something over polished like Nitro Circus ever even thought of it.
This is my favorite film in the box set so far.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


So, been kind of busy. Yeah, I have sort of watched three more movies in the Drive in box set, let's do that first.


I realize the cultural significance of Mae West. I also realize that this was done at the very tail end of her career. when Timothy Dalton walks up to her and breaks into song I realized that I was in for a unique viewing experience. When Dom Deluise did a song AND dance number that confirmed it. This is one of those movies that must be experienced once. I would be surprised if you ever needed to return to it.

Nothing like this happens in the movie. Well, the car is there, but the ladies...nope.

BURN OUT (1979)

This is fifteen minutes of drama wrapped around a huge amount of funny car drag racing. I'm from Kalamazoo. We don;t do funny cars here. We like stock car racing and demolition derby. Nothing here for me and it was terrible.


A look at the making of porno flicks. It's treated in an artsy kind of way which is cool. Some of the photography of the outside stuff is breathtaking. Also, anytime you get Gary Kent as a police detective in a super sweet white turtle neck putting the porno makers down, it is always a good time. This was good. It deserves more people to be aware of it.

So, getting through the box set is taking a bit longer than expected, but I will watch all of them, I just can't make them the only thing I watch. Thanks for reading these and more will follow.


Divine Exploitation is going back to print! With friends of mine returning to print and the convenience of Create Space I see no reason why I can't do the same. I'm looking at a 50 to 60 page quarterly to start and bumping that up depending on submissions.

So, you want to submit to Divine Exploitation? And who doesn't, right? Just contact me here or, if you're one of my Facebook buddies you can get me there. Also is good.
What am I looking for?

Exploration of Exploitation films
Fiction (I have one rule about fiction. Short and sweet. Make it weird.

All of these submissions have one steadfast rule. Do your homework. Check for spelling, make sure you know what you're talking about. It will always be black and white so no color art. Got it? Good.

And now, I leave you with Ron Merchant art. Be amazed!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

VALERIE (2002)

VALERIE (2002) 

83 Minutes/Widescreen 
Directed by Jay Lind

Editor's Note: This is not part of the box set that I am currently covering. Still, an excellent film.

Valerie (Maggi Horseman) has been the victim of a violent rape in her own home. To deal with this, Valerie has become submerged in a fantasy reality where she is a vampire. To reinforce this there are a number of people being murdered in the small town she lives in. The police are baffled and the body count rises. To complicate matters Valerie is slowly blossoming into womanhood and all the anguish that can bring. Her best friend Lori (Mellanie Love) is dealing with her own sexuality and adding to the confusion with her overtly sexual advances towards Valerie. Along comes Jack Sickert (Jay Lind) whom Valerie feels a true connection with regardless of the huge age difference. Unfortunately, the vampire fantasy is bleeding over into her reality more and more until it becomes impossible to tell which is which. The key to the problem is the identity of her attacker. Whatever happened Valerie has blocked the face of her attacker. The fantasy world has put the face of a malevolent vampire on the rapist. Valerie must go past the fantasy, force herself back into the situation which caused the trauma. She has to unveil her attacker and deal with it to resolve her conflict before the fantasy envelops reality completely. 
VALERIE is the newest film by underground sensation Jay Lind. A Jay Lind film is a personal thing. There are many themes that he explores over and over again in his cinema. Suicide, fantasy vs. reality, death, art. All of these things are what makes a Jay Lind film rise above the norm. VALERIE is no exception. A huge assistance in the telling of this tale is his newest discovery, Maggi Horseman. She manages to bring a mercurial quality to the lead. At one point she comes across as a sweet, innocent girl with a terrible burden. Then she shifts to temptress and then back again to innocence. She handles this effortlessly making the film an enjoyable experience. 
Director Lind brings a haunting quality to the look of his film. From stark reality footage to color washed scenes of fantasy. When the two worlds begin to collide you can see certain aspects of the film begin to shimmer uncontrollably. We are along for the ride when the lines between vampire and teenager begin to blur. 
The film even manages to rise above it's basic horror storyline. We get a pair of girls that are out of high school, but unsure of where to go next. Just yesterday they were little girls and now the world expects them to be women. Lori's sudden urges of lesbianism throw Valerie deeper into her vampire mode. Perhaps the most haunting images is at the dance studio they both frequent. One minute they are doing their stretches. The next they are in a deep blue world of undead dancers. It emphasis the fact that whatever secret Valerie has locked up in her subconscious is slowly driving her mad. 
As is common with any Jay Lind film he has filled it with gorgeous women, especially Ms. Horseman who is unclothed for a better part of the film. The music varies between a techno funk during bar sequences to a haunting melody reminiscent of the old Universal monster movies. As a whole the movie reminded me of George Romero's MARTIN which was probably a direct influence on VALERIE. This doesn't make it derivative of the older film. Just a different, very interesting take on a familiar theme. Director Lind once again gives us an engrossing, haunting, personal film that gives us a glimpse into his personal world. VALERIE is how a vampire movie should be. Character driven, fascinating and unforgettable. 


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