Thursday, December 27, 2007

PANIC (1976)


The box actually says that the flick was made in 1983, but I'm gonna go with the IMDB date instead. Especially since the flick was originally titled BAKTERION. So, we get this scientist type that has these experiments blow up in his face and he turns into a bloodthirsty monster and goes on a rampage slaughtering people. Enter Captain Kirk. No, not William Shatner. The character's actual name is Captain Kirk and he is played by none other than David Warbeck. Kirk is there to destroy the threat before time runs out. When time runs out they are gonna nuke the town to make sure that the contagion doesn't spread any farther than necessary.
Kind of odd since the creature comes into contact with quite a few people and they never get infected. Oh well, what ya gonna do?
So, with the time growing nearer and nearer, Kirk is forced to obtain a substance known as Necron gas. Bullets don't harm the monster so it is a last resort. The scientist type's assistant (played by blonde euro goddess, Janet Agren of EMERALD JUNGLE fame) thinks that she can cure the doctor. She even manages to communicate with the beast, but Kirk is having none of it. He manages to slaughter the monster and the bomb is not dropped. All is well for the survivors.
This isn't all that bad a flick. It's always good to see Ms. Agren, although she remained clothed throughout which was kind of a disappointment. warbeck is always good in the macho hero role and this time is no exception. The story just kind of moves from slaughter to slaughter with little rhyme or reason. Just enough time to eat up the running time and make sure that we get plenty of shots of the goopy monster and the crappy blood effects that he wreaks across the small village.
In the end it is a modest monster flick that serves it's purpose. To entertain

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Yup, the kids have torn through the wrapping paper and are already showing signs of getting tired. That'll teach them to get up at six in the AM. Anyway, just spent an hour playing RESERVOIR DOGS for the Playstation 2 and it is a blast! Happy wishes of yuletide joy to all on this glorious day and if I had one wish, okay two wishes because the first wish really only has to do with world peace and such, but the second wish would be for someone besides myself to get a copy of LABIOS ROJOS (Pictured above) and subtitle it for the masses. Being the first of the series of films concerning the Red Lips Detective Agency I think that6 it is a pretty important flick. In the meantime I have decided to learn Spanish and get it done on my own.
I'll be back with more movies from my Chilling Box set in the near future.
Peace out!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

THE DEMONS OF LUDLOW (1983)


In the tiny little town of Ludlow, they are celebrating their bicentennial. To help commemorate the event the relative of the founding father of the town has sent a piano to the town as a gift. Unbeknownst to anyone in Ludlow, however is the fact that the piano is more than it seems. It houses the spirit of Ludlow and he has come back to the small town for revenge.
As I started watching this I saw the director's credit was for Bill Rebane. Bill Rebane? Why does that sound familiar? I dashed to the handy dandy internet and soon had my answer. Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake also known as Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell, which is the version that I have. My God that movie was horrid! What chance did I have with this one.
Actually, it went pretty well. I love stuff that is shot in Smalltown, U.S.A. and this was shot in Wisconsin where every town is pretty damned small. The basic plot is what I mentioned above. The film has a creepy, grainy look to it that helps with some of the weirder aspects of the flick. I especially like when the townspeople are being attacked that every so often a weird looking, glowing hand would appear to help in the carnage. No explanation, but it was bizarre enough to be enjoyable.
Now, the one thing that does worry me is that this Chilling box set I have also has a film called THE ALPHA INCIDENT seems that Rebane directed that one as well. I could be in for some big trouble with this Rebane fella.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

DEVIL TIMES FIVE (1974)


Man, are those kids creepy or what? Seems that they were on their way to a asylum for looney kids and the bus gets into an accident. The driver gets knocked out and there is the kids' opportunity to escape. There's a nearby house full of three couples and a handyman. The kids make a beeline for the place and they get a chance to whack their keeper before he spills the beans.
It isn't long before they start dispatching the people one by one. At first, the grown ups think that there's a killer on the loose. It's waaaay too late before they figure out the truth and by then, well the grown ups are screwed.
There are some interesting kills; a woman set on fire, death my swing that has a machete in the front of it, but my favorite would have to be when they drown the big titted bimbo and drop piranha in the bathtub while she struggles to survive. Very inventive.
Now, here's the weird part. The big tittied bimbo I mentioned, yeah her name is Carolyn Steller and she is Leif Garrett's mother. Also Dawn Lyn who you might remember better as Dodie on MY THREE SONS, is Leif's sister and the daughter of the aforementioned Carolyn Steller. Kind of a weird flick to involve the whole family in. Especially when Carolyn is thrashing in the tub buck naked and her own daughter is dumping live piranha on her. In defense of the piranha, they looked a lot like blue gills to me.
In true 70's exploitation schlock we get a downer, non ending, but I gotta admit. The murders were creative, the kids were creepy and probably the weirdest thing is that the only motivation that these kids had was that they were crazy. No radioactive sludge made them this way or being the offspring of aliens, these kids were just bug nut crazy.
This is another one from the Chilling 50 pack I got. This was a good one.

Friday, December 7, 2007

NIGHT FRIGHT (1967)


Not to be confused with FRIGHT NIGHT, this little gem comes like a blast from the past from the sixties. Unfortunately, see that really cool monster on the cover? Yeah, he ain't in it. As near as I can tell it's a rubber mask on a gorilla suit. And why can't I tell? Glad you asked.
It seems that when they were filming this they decided to opt out of using any extra lights. If God given light wasn't good enough they weren't going to use it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of this flick that takes place at night. Unless there's a close up and those are some of the most bizarre day for night shots I've seen short of an Ed Wood flick.
The movie concerns itself with a secret project from NASA called Noah's Ark. They shot a bunch of animals in a rocket into space. When it went beyond the moon something horrible happened. Seems there's something out there that mutated some of the creatures. Now the rocket has crashed to Earth and one of the creature's is on the loose killing kids at their make out place called, are you ready? Satan's Hollow! Yeah, kind of a dead giveaway that this wasn't the place to get some action. Local Sheriff John Agar chews up the scenery in his attempts to stop the creature before it kills again.
I wish the movie wasn't dull, but director Jim Sullivan edited MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE for crying out loud! There are some good moments in the flick. The scenes in the little coffee shop are pretty retro and John Agar is always cool to watch. The scientist type who explains the premise to us because, yeah right, they ha the budget to show a rocket ship. Is classic old school sci fi scientist type. He has the drink in hand and pipe lit while looking at the impression they made of the monsters' footprint. Classic.
My favorite bit was a scene where the creature is out in the woods and the music swells all scary like and then the camera zooms in as we get a musical stinger. Unfortunately, the scene is so badly lit that all we get is a black screen! Hilarious. In the end, this is a fun little time waster at a little more than an hour. I got it for a bucks with a second feature called SISTERS OF DEATH. I'll have to watch that one next.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE STINK OF FLESH (2005)


I discovered the other day that if you don't pay your Netflix bill you can still watch movies with their watch now option. I saw this little ditty on the list of available flicks and decided to give it a go. Now, when I watch these flicks it's not the best conditions. I'm wearing headphones and using my computer monitor and sitting upright in a chair. Not my favorite movie watching position.
THE STINK OF FLESH made me forget all of these discomforts...almost.
STINK OF FLESH gives us a world after zombies attack. Our main character is Matool, played to perfection by Kurly Tlapoyawa. A mean Mexican with padded fists for pummeling zombies and a huge hammer and these two foot nails that he uses to drive into zombie foreheads. Pretty effective way of killing a zombie if you don't mind getting uncomfortably close.
Anyway, Matool saves a young thing and runs for cover where he runs into an old man and two young kids. Things go bad and the old man, the young girl and one of the youngsters don't make it out.
Thankfully, Nathan is driving around looking for some strange dick for his wife Dexy. Seems that even in a apocalyptic world some people gotta lead an alternative lifestyle. Nathan is no saint either. He's got a fine, naked zombie chained up in the toolshed for a little necro romance from time to time.
Throw in a trio of army guys, one who is bit up pretty bad, Dexy's sister Sassy who has a twin joined on her stomach, just a ugly little face really and the fact that there is a new breed of hyper zombies who move fast and think faster and you have got one strange little movie.
Add a wicked soundtrack and you have a little cult flick in the making.
...except for the ending.
Yeah, it amazes me how I can be so involved in a flick that when, suddenly, the closing credits start to roll that I think that I must have hit a chapter stop or something. No such luck. The movie wasn't over and it ended anyway.
This is a two year old flick so you've either seen it or you haven't, but I'll put up a spoiler warning anyway.


SPOILER WARNING!!!!!


Okay, Matool and one of the army guys are fighting over who gets to stay and keep Dexy for their very own. The other two army guys die as does Sassy who gets shot accidentally and Nathan gets chomped by his zombie girlfriend.
remember I said earlier that only one of the youngsters gets chomped in the beginning? Well, the other kid never talks and wanders around the house and looks out the windows. And somehow manages to released Nathan's zombie girlfriend from her shackles without getting bit???? Something is missing here. Anyway, Dexy and the boy are in the house unaware that Nathan is zombie chow and Matool and the army dude are fighting while being surrounded by zombies and when they see how many of them there are they run for the house.

THE END.

WTF??????????

Dude, you made a wicked little independent flick here. The characters are well fleshed out. The acting ain't bad and the effects work. It's more original than a lot of zombie flicks. Why didn't you end your movie? Really, this was the deal breaker for me. I really can't recommend this movie based solely on this fucked up answer of an ending.
Go watch something else.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PIMPIN' MY STUFF

Howdy all! My new chapbook, ATTACK OF THE CREATURES FROM THE UNKNOWN is out! A full color, wrap around cover by the one and only Linc Polderman. Signed and numbered limited to 100 copies. Get yours now. makes for an excellent Christmas gift for those on the hard to buy for list. Only 10 dollars postage paid! Make payments to Paypal at dwaltzwriter@yahoo.com or send me cash, check, money order or something really cool in trade to;
Douglas Waltz
1915 Douglas Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49007
Anyone ordering it gets a free copy of the newest issue of the print version of this blog. That's right! Another issue of Divine Exploitation is coming for Christmas! If you just want the issue of Divine send along two dollars postage paid for that. It is also available for trade. A wicked cover by Stew Miller featuring the insane crew over at Low Budget Pictures.This is one cool issue of the zine that has been around since 1988.
Now, I know what you're thinking; What is this whole ATTACK OF THE CREATURES FROM THE UNKNOWN about? Well, last year I did a chapbook (The first in a series of five) entitled BRUCE LEE VS. ILSA, SHEWOLF OF THE S.S. IN THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE(still on sale I might add for a measly seven bucks). My buddy and cover artist Linc Polderman came up with the idea of doing a series of chapbooks. This story originally appeared in the anthology, PARASITIC SANDS and it seemed like the perfect story for chapbook treatment. It's basically a riff on the whole B Movie attack of monsters kind of thing on the shore of Lake Michigan. It's meant to be taken that way and any attempt at logic will show huge plot holes in the narrative. If you're a Roger Corman or Al Adamson fan then you will love this story.
And finally, what's up next for the chapbook series? The title says it all; THE PENULTIMATE MACHINATIONS OF FU MANCHU will be out next year and it looks to be the craziest of the series so far.
So order stuff now and frequently. As a bonus, check out the ultra cool banner from the cover of ATTACK OF THE CREATURES FROM THE UNKNOWN that Linc Polderman had made for me. Sweet!

Friday, November 9, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO SEVERIN FILMS AND BLUE UNDERGROUND


Two of the finest companies releasing long lost flicks on the DVD market today would have to be Severin Films(www.severin-films.com) and Blue Underground(www.blue-underground.com). Being a huge fan of Jess Franco they release more and more of his product. Severin gave us the wonderful one two punch of MACUMBA SEXUAL and MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD. Not to rest on their laurels they put in another one two performance with THE SEXUAL STORY OF O AND THE INCOFESSABLE ORGIES OF EMMANUELLE. This is Franco at his sleazy best. Blue Underground has given us fantastic presentations of Franco films like VENUS IN FURS, THE BLOODY JUDGE and THE GIRL FROM RIO.
Now, here is my one and only complaint;
It is obvious that these discs are being manufactured with people like myself in mind. Dyed in the wool, genuine Franco fans. Really, there are those who love Franco and those who hate Franco. I doubt that these are being produced with the Franco haters in the crowd. That being said, we need longer bonus materials on these discs! You're already there. You have Franco discussing his films and he loves to talk so what is the problem? Really each of the aforementioned features needed at minimum an hour to cover what we were watching. And we know that Lina Romay is there constantly at his side so, get her in on it as well. OF all of them MACUMBA SEXUAL was one of the more satisfying looks behind the scenes, but it was too short!
Pack the discs! Make them a double disc if you have to. We don't care and we'll pay the money for them. Previous releases should prove that.
So, Severin Films, Blue Underground, thank you for what you do, but take this heartfelt plea into consideration with your, hopefully, upcoming releases of more gems from the Franco filmography.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

AMERICAN LIFE NETWORK


So, recently we upped our cable through Charter because I wanted BBC America. Along with it we got a plethora of channels that I will never watch, but this one caught my eye. Their daytime programming is pretty much disposable claptrap that I will never watch, but primetime, ah that's different.
I have caught episodes of TIME TUNNEL, LAND OF THE GIANTS, BATMAN, GREEN HORNET and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. They are shown in their entirety and they are as much fun as I remmeber seeing them the first time. Now, those huge box sets of these shows seem a little less important. Tonight is RAT PATROL, COMBAT! and TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH. I can hardly wait!

THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKESTEIN


have you ever had one of those movies that you know for a fact that you have seen and then discover that you haven't? Yup, happened to me and it was THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN. Jess Franco's wild and woolly look at the Frankenstein legend. In this case the monster is painted silver. Why? No idea, but it makes for a bizarre visual. I was truly excited when, in the opening credits, it showed Jess Franco playing his character Morpho. I had never seen him play this part that is so much of his little world. Then he gets killed in the beginning of the film! Only Franco would tease us like this.
Lina Romay plays a gypsy girl and while it has nothing to really do with the film she is breathtakingly gorgeous in this part. She was made to play a dusky gypsy girl. Anne LIbert as the blind bird woman with the bizarre screeching radar that she uses is magnificent to watch. A voluptuous, dark haired beauty that adds to any Franco film. Howard Vernon as Cagliostro chews up the scenery and makes for a magnificent villain.
I have seen a lot of Franco flicks and this one takes the cake. It has it's own sense of logic, we get to see what composer Daniel White looks like, it's just a fun film all around. I didn't like that all the nudity was consigned to alternate scenes in a separate part of the DVD, but it was still nice to finally see a flick that I thought I had watched and never did.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

MISCELLANY

No, it's not a movie title, it's a way to address the fact that I haven't posted in a while because I have been too busy. What I thought I would do is play change up. I thought I would do capsule reviews of the flicks we have all seen in the CHILLING 50 Pack. You know, the ones that we have all seen a few times and I probably won't watch again anytime soon. Sound like fun? Good. Let's get busy shall we?

BUCKET OF BLOOD

This Roger Corman comedy caught me the first time on Shock Theater when I was young and impressionable. Because of that I thought the entire idea of killing things and covering them with clay was more than a little sick. Having revisited the flick over and over again I have become more and more comfortable with it and can appreciate Dick Miller's fantastic acting in this classic piece of low budget cinema.

DEEP RED

This is Argento at his best. And that one scene at the end that if you haven't seen it this will ruin it for you. You that have seen it know what I mean. I jump every time that damned axe busts through the window.

I EAT YOUR SKIN

When I picked up the recent I DRINK YOUR BLOOD release it had the beginning of this feature as an Easter Egg. Why they didn't include the whole flick, I have no idea, but it made me go look for it. I found it in the dollar bin and I must say that I thought it was ten times more entertaining than the Manson Family Meat Pie Hour ever was. The monsters with the buggy eyes especially were gruesome. I could imagine my twelve year old persona watching this through clutched fingers late on a Saturday night on Shock Theater. Good stuff.

LADY FRANKENSTEIN


Currently, we are discussing this one over at Eurotrash Paradise along with a slew of other flicks. I like the flick and it gives what it advertises, lots of boobies and monsters. A true slice of Eurotrash goodness that deserves a serious look b y any true fan of the horror genre.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

HORROR EXPRESS (1973)


How can you go wrong with a film that stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and scenery chewing by none other than Telly Savalas? The answer is that you can't. Christopher Lee plays a scientist who has made an amazing discovery in ancient caverns. It looks like a primitive man. He brings it aboard a train and with Peter Cushing in tow, they soo find out that Lee's specimen is far from dead. And he is not what they think he is.
I have to give HORROR EXPRESS props for what it is. Horror movie with a monster on a train. You don't get a lot of these. TERROR TRAIN immediately comes to mind, but that was a slasher flick and in HORROR EXPRESS we get a real live monster.
The train adds a sense of claustrophobia that you wouldn't have gotten with any other scenario. Lee and Cushing are at the top of their game and it's fun to see them not as Dracula and Van Helsing. You still have master of the props, Cushing and Lee is at his most distinguished.
And Telly Savalas doing his best crazed Telly Savalas.
More than this would ruin what is a truly great film of it's time. This is one to definitely pick up and watch. Fun for the whole family!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

THE DUNGEON OF DR. DRECK (2007)



I realize that I said I was reviewing the fifty flicks in my Mega Pack I got recently but, it's my blog and I make the rules. So, suffer and enjoy a review of a flick that you must watch.

THE DUNGEON OF DR. DRECK
2007
Starring Michael Legge and Lorna Nogueira
Written and Directed by Michael Legge

I have been addicted to a cable access show for quite some time. I am speaking, of course, of The Dungeon Of Dr. Dreck. Michael Legge infuses the horror host genre with new life as he and his undead cheerleader, Moaner (Lorna) introduce us to the finest public domain horror that money can buy. And, while the movies are definitely a welcome blast from the past, it’s Dr. Dreck and his wacky crew that make the show.
Now, we get all of Dr. Dreck that we want.
In The Dungeon Of Dr. Dreck we get the beginnings of the show. Dr. Dreck is a down on his luck mad scientist who has recently brought a cheerleader back to life. He has to deal with her and her undead cravings as he tries to find financing for his macabre experiments. The opening sequence is a dead on, hilarious homage to George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead.
Eventually, Dr. Dreck and moaner hit on the idea of doing a show on the local UHF channel. They want to do a DIY self surgery kind of thing, but the station manager has a better idea. He notices that a rival station is getting all the sponsors because of their horror host show. He thinks that Dr. Dreck and Moaner would be perfect. After all, they can’t really be a REAL Mad Scientist and zombie, can they?
Unfortunately, the local darling and resident evil woman of that particular channel is Louise Morgan who has a huge block of time that deals with cooking and whatever else tickles her fancy. She does not want to give up her airtime for a couple of degenerates who show old horror flicks. And she will do anything to stop them, even murder!



As I said at the beginning of this review I have been a fan of the show for quite some time. I was really looking forward to the movie. We had even sent lab equipment for the film and my kids have written letters to the show which they love to watch. When it arrived we were hit with a storm and lost power. There was no way we were going to be able to watch this movie. When the power stayed out for another day we knew that we needed to stay somewhere with power. I can’t sleep if it’s too quiet and I discovered that went for the rest of my family as well. We went to the church and camped out in the basement. This was a perfect place to watch The Dungeon Of Dr. Dreck. We all cheered at the opening credits when we recognized the lab equipment we had sent being used in the titles. We all screamed with delight when we had been given credits, and official doctorates, at the end of the ending credits. We had all been involved from a distance with this and it was fun to watch what we had done which wasn’t a lot.



Now then, how was the movie?
It was fantastic. It reminded me of the old days of UHF programming where the local stuff was more personal and more fun to watch. I was reminded of Saturday nights with Shock Theater coming from the local ABC affiliate and then afterward tuning into the neighboring state of Indiana where they had Double Creature Feature. It gave me pleasant memories of my childhood.
It was a funny concept taking a real mad scientist and a zombie and injecting them into a realm of make believe a.k.a. television. The true sign of a successful film would be that it was in black and white and none of my children minded one bit.
Of all the characters in the film, our family gave big yells of delight to Stu the animated rubber rat. Stu is one hilarious rodent and could pull off his own spin off show. Something to think about Mr. Legge.



So, in the end, we are given truly classic comedy that is fun for the whole family. And did I mention the gimmick glasses that you have to wear during the showing of the classic film. 27 SPOOKS? I didn’t? Well, it is cool to see and the glasses do indeed add a dimension of weird to an already pretty weird movie.
Good job, Mr. Legge. Now, it’s time to go. It’s Saturday and here at The Waltz Compound that means another journey into…THE DUNGEON OF DR. DRECK!
This film is available for sale at;
http://home.comcast.net/~sideshowmike/
GET YOURS TODAY!!!

WITCHES MOUNTAIN (1972)



Sorry for the delay folks. Between being worked to death at my real job and falling off my bike (see www.douglaslanawaltz.blogspot.com for details) Things have fallen by the wayside here at Divine Exploitation. I'm still working my way through the 50 pack of flicks so lets get on with it, shall we?
WITCHES MOUNTAIN opens with a woman coming home and finding a wig stabbed near the driveway. Then she finds her cat murdered and a little girl comes along and tells her that she was wrong for getting a cat. They go in search of something called Fritz and the woman decides that she best cut her losses by setting fire to the little girl and this Fritz that we never see.
Cut to titles.
Wow! What an opening. The woman, Carla, I think, goes to her boyfriend Mario to say that she needs him to go away on a vacation with her. He doesn't want a vacation so he calls his boss and gets an assignment on the next plane out. Mario is a photographer. and soon he's at this mountain taking pictures. He spots out star, Patty Shepard as Delia (Hey! It's my daughter's name!) and soon has topless pictures of her. This makes them immediate friends and Delia decides to drive up the mountain with Mario for his assignment.

Unknown to either of them, there is a coven of witches that don't like company and they are headed right into the midst of them.
This was a low key, but fun flick. The plot is nonexistent and the interaction between the two leads is great. Mario has a mustache that must be seen to be believed. He's the handsome face on this review. Not the wonky eyed fella. He's the hard of hearing innkeeper that warns them not to go up the mountain.

I liked that there was only music in the picture when necessary, not a lot of atmospheric mumbo jumbo that might have detracted from the cinematography. No real surprise since the director is primarily a cinematographer who has worked with everyone from Jess Franco to Amando deOssorio. This print is a public domain print so it's a little murkier than I would have liked, but twelve bucks for fifty movies. What are you going to do? Other than that it came across as this quiet little flick that if it had been filled with more crotch shots could have passed for a Franco flick.
Thanks to all my readers and I will be sure to be around more often. Next up will be HORROR EXPRESS.
Stay Twisted!

Friday, August 17, 2007

WAR OF THE ROBOTS (1978)



Blame Star Wars. After the success of that minor, little film, the space opera genre went berserk. This is one of the More horrifying examples of that particular sub genre. The basic plot is that these Fabio look alikes in silver lame' kidnapped a professor and his lovely assistant. They send a squad of people after the aliens to get the professor back. Our captain really wants the assistant back as he has the hots for her.
When they get to the planet to rescue them the last thing they want is rescue. Seems the professor is ruling the planet with the assistant who is now the empress. (???) Not a lot of explanation is given. We are given dog fights in space with some of the worst animated laser blasts known to mankind. When the crew uses blasters we hear a noise, but don't see anything. There are these funny, day-glo swords that try their damnedest not to look like lightsabers and have metallic clinky noises when they strike anything.
The whole thing is a certifiable mess. Even Antonio Sabato Sr. (No, not his son, that's a completely different guy) can't save this mess. The running time said 77 minutes. It felt like four hours and it just kept dragging on. Perhaps director Al Bradley, really Alfonso Brescia, has discovered a way to slow down time.
All in all it was just no fun and kind of painful to watch. I really doubt I will ever watch this again. Ever!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

THE REVENGE OF DOCTOR X (1970)





Also known as The Double Garden (What a lame title for a flick!) and a slew of other names, The Revenge of Doctor X is the one that was on the disc so, that's the one we're going with.

Dr. Bragan (James Craig) is a scientist for NASA. He has burning both ends of the candle for so long that he is frazzled. His assistant suggests that he take a trip to Japan to study his passion, botany. On the way to the airport he has some car trouble. The guy that runs the nearby station happens to raise snakes, but it isn't the snakes that interest our good doctor. He spots a venus flytrap. The station owner isn't interested in selling the plant, but hands the Doc a shovel and a box to get his own plant.

Doc takes the plant to Japan and sets about splicing it into a monster with another plant that exists only in Japan. Lucky thing he was vacationing there, huh?

Did I mention his female assistant? Nice looking oriental woman. The film has a few of those. When the Doc goes scuba diving he gets the help of a bevy of topless pearl divers. Really the high point of the film.

Well, one thing leads to another and it doesn't take long before the monster is on the lose. Seems that our Doctor made the damned thing so it could walk. It doesn't take long before it's terrorizing the villagers and eating little children. Doc decides to confront the monster in a final battle.

See, this doesn't sound so bad, does it? Unfortunately, the movie drags. It takes more than half the flick before he even starts working on the damned monster and when he does, it is laughable at best.

The true winners of this flick would have to be the aforementioned naked women and the lead actor. He screams and shouts most of his lines. And with a script by....ready for it? Edward D. Wood Jr. That's right, good old Ed Wood penned this train wreck of a flick and in the hands of director Kenneth G. Crane (Monster From Green Hell) it doesn't get much better. I remember catching this on an afternoon when I lived in Plymouth, Indiana. It seemed a little better at the time. I must have been drinking.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

BAD TASTE (1987)

I couldn't believe that a Peter Jackson flick is in the public domain. That's how these 50 packs work. They take a bunch of public domain movies, build a basic theme for them and slap them all together. Don't get me wrong, I love these things, but I never expected to find this one in there.
I decided last night to watch this one with the kids. They were reluctant at first. They saw the Chilling movie box and immediately groaned. I could hear their choruses of
"Aw, not another crappy movie of Dad's!"
I assured them that this one was done by the guy who made King Kong and Lord Of The Rings. This seemed to placate them a little. They still didn't seem all that enthused. The two girls ran off in search of other forms of entertainment. The boys were too lazy to move and sat through it. It didn't take long for the gore to hit and the boys were riveted. By the end with the big assault on the house, I had all four of them watching the thing and having a really good time. It was nice to share with them a flick I had seen 20 years ago on the big screen. They thought that Jackson as Derek was hilarious and they even asked me if there was a sequel where Derek landed on the planet of the aliens and started kicking butt. They were sad when I told them no, but it sure sounded like a good idea for a flick, didn't it?
Ah, as for my review for this particular flick? Yeah, it's been done to death, we've all seen it and it's been commented on so often that anything I might add would be outdated and futile. You don't get a review with this one, just happy memories of the corruption of my lovely children.
Now, sod off!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

NAKED MASSACRE (1976)


My apologies for the small image, but this was really the only one I could find. If anyone out there who reads this can suggest something I can use to capture images from DVD on my computer please get in touch with me at this blog. Also you may notice the name on the poster is different than the name of the movie. Well, there is no poster of Naked Massacre that I could find so we are stuck with it's original title.
Naked Massacre tells the tale of one Cain Adamson (quirky, biblical name, there ain't it?) It seems that Cain is fresh from Vietnam where he tried to kill himself with this wicked switchblade that his buddy Jimmy gave him. Seems that Jimmy was also porking his wife back home in Wisconsin in the good old US of A. Cain is not all that fond of women. So, he leaves Vietnam to arrive in downtown Belfast. I know, I shook my head, too. Why in the Hell would you pick Belfast? Well, Cain seems to have realized his mistake and is trying to get a boat out of town. Problem is he has no cash. enter a house with eight nursing students. Cain figures he can bust his way into the house and steal some cash from them. easy in and easy out, right? Wrong. Once he's surrounded with that much woman around him he starts to lose it. especially since one of the girls looks like his whore of a wife back home. From then on it terror and bloodshed as Cain proceeds to make the title of the movie, Naked Massacre, not Born For Hell, live up to it's name. See, I get screwed a lot on movies with these lurid titles. Barn Of The Naked Dead is the first to come to mind. Sure it had a barn and there was some dead, but what was it missing? That's right...naked. At least this time I got what it promised. But, I got much more. More than I really wanted. I expected lurid exploitation and I get a man who is completely insane terrorizing and slaughtering a group of women. It might be one of the more disturbing things I've seen in a while. And it didn't need a bunch of high tech special effects to pull it off. Setting it against the all too real violence of Belfast gave the film a gritty, realistic feel to it. I knew I was in trouble from the opening of the movie.
Our lead is walking along the docks and asked for his papers by a military man. Then the next scene is in a church. everyone is singing and the scene makes for a relaxing one.
Then the side of the church explodes, killing a few of the people inside. It comes out of left field and jolts you into a feeling that you have no idea what will come next. Definitely, a stand out movie that manages to rise above it's trashy title.
Now, if I could get someone to help me out on that program so I could get some still pictures for this blog. HELP!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT (1976)

So, were at the second flick in the chilling movie pack and all I can say is WOW! This is a documentary about a guy named Ivan Marx and his hunt for the ever elusive Bigfoot. Marx supposedly got exclusive footage of the beast back in the 70's and it is some of the most famous footage of the beast. It has been called a hoax by many experts and it does, indeed look like a guy in a really bad monkey suit. The quality of the pictures are so bad that it only seems to add to the feeling of the hoax. Now, Marx only had a few minutes of this footage so the rest of the 77 minute running time is a lot of nature photography and Marx' droning narration.
This flick reminds me of those Sunn Classics like In Search Of Noah's Ark and it's ilk. I liked the grainy 16mm feel to the entire proceedings and you do see a side of 70's America that has vanished from the country and it works really well as a cinematic time capsule. The truly horrific scene would have been of these two squirrels. They are playing on a dirt road and kissing and being cute and then one gets hit by a car. The other one tries to drag the wounded one off the road to safety to no avail. Then the hawks show up. The wounded one manages to crawl to hole to safety narrowly escaping being a bird's lunch. The only way they could have gotten this shot would have been to chase the wounded squirrel with a camera. I think the squirrel was running from them instead of any bird that never shared a shot with the animal. If you like nature footage then you will like this flick. Any wild animal you can think of in North America is represented here.
Listening to the narration you can hear a man who started out being one of the best trackers in the world and then got consumed by this obsession with Bigfoot. You can even hear him lament about having to rely on second hand information to track this elusive beast. A tracker prefers to work with what's in front of him, not what people tell them so you can feel for this man's increasing sense of frustration.
Overall, the film seems disjointed. One scene runs into another fro not apparent reason. My wife, Martha said it looked like this guy did a nature documentary, added the Bigfoot shots and then did an entire narration to loosely link the Bigfoot plot line with what we were watching.
I would have to agree with her.
Ivan Marx died five years ago and the secret of his footage died with him. Most experts agree that it is fake, but his widow, Peggy Marx insists that what he filmed was real. Ivan Marx even made a sequel called BIGFOOT, ALIVE IN '82 where he is assaulted by a Bigfoot and has to shoot at it to save himself and his wife.
This is the only documentary in the 50 pack and it is definitely odd enough that it warrants at least one viewing. The bizarre, disjointed imagery of a nature documentary coupled with the constant, droning narration of a man who has lost it make for fine viewing.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

DRIVE IN MASSACRE (1976)



It seems that there's a drive in in California that used to be the site of a carnival owned by a guy named Van Heusen. He tore the place down and built a drive in in its place. Van Heusen eventually left to retire in Hawaii. To run the joint while he enjoyed his retirement, Van Heusen had one of his former barkers, Austin Johnson, run the drive in. Johnson hated the job.

Then the killings started. The opening scene of a couple making out is interrupted when the guy decides he needs to watch the beginning of the picture. As he he reaches out to grab the speaker, a sword slashes down and takes off his head. His girlfriend starts to scream and she is cut short by a sword through the neck.

Well, now the cops are worried. They can't have someone using a sword to whack the patrons of the theater. But who could be the killer? The manager, Johnson doesn't care about his customers. He thinks they are the scum of the earth, but he loves to take their money. Could it be Germie, the odd little fella whop picks up the place and used to be a sword swallower in the carnival? Maybe it's the pervert who parks next to people while they are making out and smacks his meat around outside of their cars? The red herrings are pretty thick in this flick, but they start dropping as quick as the slaughtered theater patrons.

Both of the cops on the case seem to be members of the Joe Don Baker School of acting and we have a hard time believing that either of them could catch a cold.

There are a few plot points that seem a little fuzzy. The major one is rthat the killer whacks the second couple and leaves the sword behind. This doesn't seem to stop him from killing again. Exactly how many swords does this looney have? And, while we're on the subject; Who thought of swords. These are big, heavy civil war cutlasses. Not an easy weapon to use in the first place and it seems out of place in the film. I think it might have been more interesting if the killer had used various things around the drive in the kill people. You know, strangle them with the speaker cord, drag a body to the swing set in the front, cool stuff. Hell, the snack bar alone has ten or eleven forms of lethal just lying around. But instead we get a sword.

The effects are passable for the time period. A movie that concerns itself with a California drive in in the 70's comes across as a little chaste with only one magnificent set of breasts and not for very long I might add.

This is the first of the 50 flicks in the box set I mentioned earlier in the blog. As a start it was okay. Cheesy, but not quite cheesy enough. I will give the producers props for the ending. Pure exploitation and a good way to play a flick that was geared for the drive in.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

CHILLING 50 MOVIE PACK


It finally arrived! I was totally unprepared for the design of this thing. What they did is make a DVD case like you expect, but then they have the front secured with Velcro and when you open it it has twelves stiff, cardboard sleeves that give a brief description of each movie. I do not have a lot of these already so I keep my promise and review each and everyone of these bad boys. And for those of you keeping score, here's the list of flicks;


THE ALPHA INCIDENT

BAD TASTE

BELL FROM HELL

THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER

BLOODY BROOD

A BUCKET OF BLOOD

CATHY'S CURSE

THE COLD

DEATH RAGE

DEEP RED

THE DEMON

THE DEMONS OF LUDLOW

DEVIL TIMES FIVE

THE DEVIL'S HAND

DR. TARR'S TORTURE DUNGEON

THE DRILLER KILLER

DRIVE-IN MASSACRE

FUNERAL HOME

THE GHOST

GOTHIC

HANDS OF A STRANGER

HAUNTS

HORROR EXPRESS

HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND

HOUSE OF THE DEAD

I BURY THE LIVING

I EAT YOUR SKIN

JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER

LADY FRANKENSTEIN

LEGEND OF BIG FOOT

MAN IN THE ATTIC

MEDUSA

MESSIAH OF EVIL

METAMORPHOSIS

THE MURDER MANSION

NAKED MASSACRE

OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES

PANIC

THE REVENGE OF THE DOCTOR X

SCREAM BLOODY MURDER

SHOCK

SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT

SISTERS OF DEATH

SLASHED DREAMS

SNOWBEAST

TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST

VIRUS

WAR OF THE ROBOTS

WEREWOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY

THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN.

Now, I'm not doing these in alphabetical order. I'll do them as the mood approaches. Some of them, like Argento's DEEP RED that has been written to death will get a much shorter entry unless I can come up with a unique slant. So get ready for tomorrow folks.

This will either be fun or torturous. For now I'm going with fun.

Gotta go!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Quick Note


For my birthday I got some cash and have purchased various things. There are two things that have not hit the comics stores yet, but I will get them when they do. One is a comic called The Mice Templar. I'm a huge Templar Knight freak so I must have this comic. The other is Marvel reading my mind again and releasing a Devil Dinosaur omnibus. This will be the most awesome thing ever. I can hardly wait.

In other news; I bought one of those 50 packs of flicks recently and as soon as it arrives I will begin the watching and reviewing of each and every flick in the set. Sound ambitious? Yup, sounds that way to me to. What was I thinking? So, sorry for the lull.

Go here to read my other blog


douglaslanawaltz.blogspot.com


Seeya!


Friday, June 22, 2007

MOONSHADOW

I remember back in 1985 I was a severe Marvel Zombie when it came to comics. I even bought a lot of their Epic line which was the Marvel equivalent of the Vertigo that DC has. Anyway, Moonshadow tells the tale of ...well Moonshadow. Seems that his mother, Sunflower, was kidnapped by these creatures known as The GL'Doses. The picture shows one of these on the cover. And, no it's not the kid with the flute, it's the big roundy thing. Seems that the GL'Doses operate without rhyme or reason. They travel the galaxy and once in a while they kidnap creatures and place them into their intergalactic zoo. It is here that Sunflower finds herself. After being there for a while she also finds herself getting married to one of the GL'Doses. The honeymoon is a quick one, the marriage is consummated and nine months later Moonshadow is born. Now, the zoo is not a very friendly place. Most of the creatures there look at Earthlings as some sort of pariah so Sunflower, Moonshadow and their cat, Frodo spend a lot of time by themselves. Moon's discovery of a neighbor, Ira leads him to discover things that most people would never want to know. Ya see, Ira is a six foot tall furball with a bowler for a hat and a rabbit tail. He is also a hedonistic madman. Moon craves his friendship so much that he brings him acres of porn from his huge library. Moon's father gave him a complete intergalactic library and Moon absorbs the romantic literature of Earth. His view of things is highly romanticized.
Then his father reappears and tells him it is time to leave the zoo. On a ship called The Decrepit the crew of Moonshadow, Sunflower, Frodo and a very unhappy Ira are propelled into the void.

And the adventure begins....

Vertigo was kind enough to release a quality trade paperback of the original twelve issue miniseries in 1998. The one problem with reading this series is the prohibitive cost. The trade paperback is forty bucks and the price on the back issues from Marvel is prohibitive as well. Does that mean you shouldn't read this? No. This is epic storytelling at it's very best The story by J.M. DeMatteis is both funny and heart wrenching. This is on a level with the best of Neil Gaiman. Add to that the watercolors of Jon Muth and you get a comic book experience that borders on true art and transcends comic storytelling that still has to be surpassed.

Maybe you could con your local library into carrying this. Most librarians would love to have something this pretty on their shelves and I don't know about your library but the ones here in Kalamazoo have quite a few comics on the rack lately. I think this a good thing.

Regardless Moonshadow is one of those things that I would consider must reading for any true comic aficionado. Oh, and one last caveat;

For some reason, Vertigo released the trade paperback with a one shot sequel to Moonshadow that explains what happened to Moonshadow after he was done spinning his tale. It's superfluous and meaningless. While the very end of it was a neat concept the execution left a lot to be desired and was vastly inferior to the original series.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

PRIMEVAL

Sure, I realize that this is a relatively new flick for me to include in these pages, but it fits so well into the exploitation mode that it isn't even funny. First, came the advertising campaign that led you to believe that it was some kind of serial killer flick. Then, you discover it's a giant croc flick and it's based on fact. To make it even more interesting, we get some local political intrigue as well. What it boils down to is this;
Our lead reporter hot shot Tim Manfrey (Dominic Purcell from Prison Break) has screwed up a story real bad. This forces him to go with wildlife journalist Aviva Masters (Brooke Langton) after a giant, 25 foot croc that the locals in Africa have taken to calling Gustave. Seems he's been a naughty boy and now the newspaper that Tim works for has a plan to capture the damned thing. Of course, Gustave lives in an area of Africa that is a political hot spot with a civil war going on. The leader of the rebels even has the stones to call himself Little Gustave. So, Tim And Aviva, along with token black guy Steve Johnson (Orlando Jones) are off to Africa to catch a croc. Along the way they pick up expert tracker, Jacob Krieg (Jurgen Prochnow). Why is it that there are never any black expert trackers in Africa? Instead we get psycho German guys all the time. Are they breeding there after being left behind in Africa during WW2? Beats me.
Anyway, a lot of people were pissed when this thing played like a serial killer movie in the previews and then turned out to be a killer croc flick. All I have to say to them is learn your history.
In the old days the preview of a film could rarely have anything to do with the actual film. You went because the advertising campaign was cool and you hoped the flick could live up to it's name. Sure, a lot of the times this didn't happen, but you watched the flick anyway.
In the case of PRIMEVAL, it was pretty good. For a few reasons. It took real life events and copied them into a pretty standard plot. But then it added the flavor of the war torn country as a backdrop. One minute you're trying to escape from a giant croc and the next you're getting shot at by both sides of a civil war. This gave it a sense of reality that you don't get in your killer animal flick. Usually, these flicks center solely on the giant critter and that's all you get. In this case, it's just a part of the story.
In a year of remakes, blockbusters and nonsense it's good to get a flick that just delivers a solid piece of exploitative entertainment.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

KILLDOZER!!


I will have to admit that I never read the novella that this movie of the week was based on by Theodore Sturgeon. I read the comic book that was based on the movie, but I'm pretty sure that that doesn't count.

Anyway, we have a crew doing construction on an island off the coast of Africa. Pretty obvious that it's the coast of California, but who are we to quibble? So, this meteor crashed onto the island and has been there for quite some time. Since this flick is called KILLDOZER you know it won't take long before this huge bulldozer hits the rock from space and then this alien entity takes over the dozer and man is it pissed! Clint Walker is phenomenal in his role as the foreman of the crew. He thinks there's a rational explanation for the dozer coming to life...for about a minute. Sure, the first guy getting whacked, Robert Urich, by the way in one of his first roles, could be a coincidence, but when it proceeds to chase people with no one driving, he gets on board pretty darn quick that something is horribly wrong here. Neville Brand is, well he's Neville Brand so you get that and it's always fun to get Neville Brand in a flick.

There are some terrible lapses in logic in this flick. The token black guy tries to escape from the onslaught of the machine by crawling into a metal drainage pipe. Metal drainage pipes are tissue paper to a bulldozer and this one is no exception. The big battle between the dozer and a steam shovel is pretty awesome because you know they didn't have any special effects going on. It was two guys banging this giant equipment together and making a lot of noise.

And how can this giant thing manage to sneak up on so many damned people? Are construction guys just stupid or is this just a failure of my suspension of disbelief to launch properly? whatever it is, this is just campy and cheesy enough to work very well regardless of the above mentioned weirdness.

I can't believe with all the retro stuff coming out on DVD that ABC hasn't gotten off the pot and released more of these things on DVD. They could make a set with this and DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and SATAN'S TRIANGLE and that creepy one with William Shatner and the house full of kids out in the country. ABC made some awesome made for TV flicks back in the day and it would be a good time to bring those puppies back for all of us to enjoy.

On a final note; I will be reading the novella that Killdozer is based on and I just learned that there's a band with that name. I'll have to check those out and get back to everyone and see how they are.
Oh, and the dozer never talks regardless of what the comic cover at the top says. Although that would have been pretty cool if it had a scratchy, spooky kinda voice.

More later.

I'm outta here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST

Okay, I have seen my share of weird before, but this may take the proverbial cake. I know what the picture to the left says, but I saw it under the nom de plume of JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST. Seems that there's a knife wielding maniac in the town of Mescal and he's slashing up the small amount of hookers in town. He started with Travis Mescal, the son of the founding father of the town, but now just likes to slice and dice the ladies.
The townsfolk are sick of it and call in private eye Burns, played by the magnificent Jeff Cooper. He brings his high brow detective skills to town and sheriff Jack Elam, that's right I said Jack Elam, wants none of it. Of course, after the two of them have a fist fight they are the closest of friends and decide to team up to find the killer. What follows may well be the most convoluted plot in the history of film and when all is said and done there is very little, alright nothing, to do with Jack The Ripper.
What can I say? Sure, this flick is a muddled mess, but we get Jack Elam and Jeff Cooper. Jeff Cooper! Is there nothing this man can't do? From the fighter who learns the true secrets of the universe in CIRCLE OF IRON to the uber wise mystic from Mexico in KALIMAN. Now he's the detective in a western hunting down a killer in a small western town. The man is the ultimate example of cool even in this piece of dreck.
The director, one Larry G. Spangler is probably more famous for being involved with the God awful LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY and it's sequel THE SOUL OF NIGGER CHARLEY with the one and only Fred Williamson. It was a time when Blaxploitation was in full bloom and the establishment knew it and made as many rip offs as they could muster in a short period of time, regardless of how bad they were.
So, in the end JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST, while unique for trying to be a western slasher flick, fails miserably. There is minimal blood, although the slit throats look pretty good, no boobies which is an abomination when it comes to slasher flicks, but we get Jeff Cooper in all his glory. The sad part is I could not find a decent picture of Mr. Cooper anywhere on the net. Go get Circle Of Iron or Kaliman to see how cool this guy was.
I did find that it funny that the killings stop the minute Burns gets to town and the whole thing lapses into a western for a while with some subplot about the local saloon owner trying to be sheriff and then it jumps back onto the slasher aspect at the end to get it done with. Oh, and the end? You will never see this particularly twisted finale coming. Not a chance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BLOOD SONG

It was the 80's and the slasher genre was running rampant throughout the land. This was a good thing in that I really liked slasher flicks. There was a little mom and pop video store where I would rent a video player and tapes from and on this particular occasion I was going over to this girl's house that I wanted to jump so I thought I would rent some scary flicks to help that along. Long story short, it didn't, but BLOOD SONG was one of the flicks and it sort of stuck in my head.
Recently my oldest son got me some flicks for my birthday and one of them was a four back entitled Blood Something or other and it had Blood Song on it. Hurray! I could watch it again and see if it measured up to my memories.
I was rather surprised that it did.
The basic plot gives us young Marion played by the incredibly hot Donna Wilkes. She was hot then, the young lady seems to have dropped off the planet. Anyway, she gets in a car accident and has a rare blood type so she gets a transfusion by this guy Paul Foley, who happens to be psychotic and now that his blood is in her he can track her down. Seems that blood transfusions lead to some sort of psychic link. This is bad for Marion because this cat is waaaaay messed up. Seems that he has this flute that he plays that he had given to him by his dad many many moons ago. And he always plays it before he kills. Now, whenever he kills Marion sees it happen in her dreams and she realizes that he is getting closer and closer to her and that she will be his final victim. Armed with this knowledge she tries to get help to no avail. Her father, the fantastic character actor Richard Jaeckel, thinks she's just a slut and the cops don't believe her. Even her boyfriend thinks she's a little goofy. So, Marion has to take things into her own hands in a final showdown that may leave her sanity ravaged.
I know, it sounds a lot like a lot of other slashers flicks that came out of the 80's but this one has that one thing that will make it rise above the mediocre. Okay, two things. One, it's very well directed. The actors are all believable, the gore is minimal, but it keeps moving along, but that doesn't matter because of number two. The second thing that makes this a film worth watching is the fact that the psycho, Paul Foley, is played by none other than...FRANKIE AVALON!!! I have no idea why he decided to do this flick, but he is fantastic in it. He comes across as a man trapped by his own insanity and is in pretty damned good shape too. You see it's Frankie Avalon, but have no problem believing that he is Paul Foley. Just a great flick with a bowl of popcorn on a warm summer night. The haunting flute music will bore into your very soul. Okay, not really, but this is a shining example of what was good about the slasher genre.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

DEVIL DOG: THE HOUND FROM HELL


I have friend in England named John. John finds the most amazing things on DVD. Because of him I have a copy of Killdozer, Bad Ronald and now this cinematic wonderment. Television in the 70's was a fantastic thing that may never be redone. DEVIL DOG is a fine example of this brand of film making. Helping the film out is the fantastic directing of the recently departed Curtis Harrington.

Waaay back when I used to stay up late on Saturdays to watch Shock Theater. It was my first exposure to a lot of movies and, if the wind was right and the sun spots didn't interfere, I could get channel 28 and catch Double Creature Feature out of Mishawaka, Indiana. Ah, those were the day. Before all this new fangled technology so you can program your own double features at your leisure and pause it whenever you want. It was better forcing yourself to miss sleep and become friends with coffee at a young age so that things like INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN and a truly creepy flick called NIGHT TIDE. This was before I had an inkling of who Dennis Hopper was and the grainy black and white photography of that little film kept me up for many a late night. I have the late Curtis Harrington to thank for such truly scary thrills. In DEVIL DOG he continued to impress me.

Seems there's this coven of witches that have summoned a beast that must be born of a dog. They pick a German Shepherd named Lady and it isn't long before R.G. Armstrong is out peddling a pack of demon dogs. Is it a coincidence that Richard Crenna and his wife Yvette Mimieux lose their dog Skipper? Seems he was run over by a black station wagon just like the one the devil worshippers had in the beginning of the film. Coincidence? I think not. Of course Richard and Yvette have the two adorable children played by Witch Mountain alumni Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann. The new pup doesn't take long before bending the children to his will and then Crenna's wife falls to the dog's charms.

And the list of victims continues to grow; the maid, the neighbor and his dog, the guidance counselor at school. Finally, Richard Crenna gets the drift and decides to take matters into his own hands. He makes an emergency trip to Ecuador (???) to discover the origins of the hound that is taking over his family. And old shaman explains that he is one of the chosen ones who can defeat the dog and return it to the depths of Hell from whence it came.

Now, there are a lot of things wrong with this flick. Richard Crenna taking so long to accept the demonic origins of his kid's dog even though it tried to chop his hand off early on with an upside down lawnmower. Even though that would be impossible because the mower would stall, I would have dropped that damned mutt off at the dog pound before you could say boo. And sure the effects when the dog becomes the Devil Dog, which is only twice because, well because the effect is horrible. They put horns and what appears to be a feather boa on the poor dog and managed to get him to bark once. It's the worst kind of back screen projection to make the dog appear huge and it comes across as super cheesy. And, probably because of the television budget most of the action takes place at the family home. Even the trip to Ecuador was stock footage airplane and what appears to be a waterfall somewhere in California. The rest was just set pieces. But, you know what? With all these things the flick works. It gives another take on the devil and in the 70's the devil was hot. We get it under the innocent guise of the family pet. Another plus is Yvette Mimieux is without a doubt drop dead gorgeous in this movie. Especially in the really tight, high riding 70's pants. Oooff!! Media Blasters did a great job with the transfer from what must be old television film stock. It could have used some better extras, but who am I to complain? Although Kim and Ike doing a commentary would have made this a must have DVD. Ah well, I can dream can't I?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

STARLITE DRIVE IN THEATER DOUBLE FEATURE

BCI releases a lot of flicks on DVD. I think they may have struck gold with this little endeavor. They take two classics of the drive in era and package them like a drive in experience. Sure, there are other companies that do a better job, but these guys are packaging stuff that actually reminds me of the good old days of drive-ins.
First up is THE POM POM GIRLS. Directed by Joseph Ruben, this little slice of high schoolers life is actually a pretty realistic portrait of kids from the 70's. Having been a kid in the 70's I can tell you we did a lot of the joyrides and drinking and sex that is prevalent in this flick. And, while there are some laughs and some gorgeous cars in the flick, it isn't really a comedy. Robert Carradine (REVENGE OF THE NERDS) plays Johnnie, a hot head who is always ready for a scrap from the arch rival school. I thought it was amazing the shots that Ruben gets in this flick. Especially when the kids hijack a fire truck and visit the rival high school to hose them down during football practice. There is so much going on in this flick that would never make it to the screen today that THE POM POM GIRLS stands as a historical record of what the 70's were actually like. Sure, it's a little pumped up because it's a movie, but it hit pretty close to home for those of us that were there. I was amazed to see that director Ruben is responsible for some pretty solid mainstream work as well. From SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY to THE GOOD SON, this is a guy who makes a solid, Hollywood picture that has legs. All of his filmography probably plays every day on any cable channel somewhere in the world. Not bad for a guy who started out with drive in fare like THE POM POM GIRLS.
The second feature is called THE VAN although it should be called CHEVY VAN because the song by Sammy Johns plays pretty much non stop throughout the flick. While there are a few returning cast from THE POM POM GIRLS it is lead Stuart Goetz who steals the show. Most people will remember Stuart from that episode of The Brady Bunch where Marsha eats a football and then her nose swells up and the cool guy, Doug, won't take her to the dance. Charlie, however, played by Goetz is the good kid who sees Marsha for what she really is and not just a pretty face. Those of us who have recently caught Maureen McCormick in VH1's Celebrity Fit Club do realize that Doug had the right idea because after all these years, Maureen MCCormick is going to be remembered for that pretty face that has turned into an alcohol soaked parody of herself. Anyway, Charlie..uh, I mean Stuart plays Bobby and Bobby has just graduated from high school with one thing on his mind.
Getting a custom van. Now, once again, I was around for this particular phenomenon and I'm kind of sorry that it didn't have better legs. Thousands of people drove these wild customized vans with cool artwork aribrushed on the sides and shag carpeting and a water bed in the back. Bobby is no different and gets the van of his dreams. He basically uses it to get girls and it seems that all he has to say is that he has a van and women are falling all over themselves to get into Bobby's pants and his van.
Of course, the inevitable happens when Bobby meets the girl of his dreams and she could care less if he has a van. In between Bobby has lots of adventures, works in a carwash managed by the one and only Danny DeVito and keeps one step ahead of a gorgeous blonde's jealous boyfriend who also has a custom van and is ready to throw down with Bobby at a moment's notice.
THE VAN is sort of the opposite of THE POM POM GIRLS. Where the director of that went on to other things and a few of the cast members continue to work, THE VAN cast and crew weren't so lucky. The director, Sam Grossman only made two pictures in his career; this and a sci fi flick called STATIC. And while Stuart Goetz is making a suitable career for himself as a television music editor he ain't burning up the silver screen. The only one in THE VAN to do anything with themselves would have to be Mr. DeVito.
Both the flicks bring back the feel of the drive in and the times they were made. BCI has managed to create a suitable cinematic time capsule for an era from a while back that just seems like yesterday to a lot of people.

Friday, May 4, 2007

My Apologies

It has been over a month since my last entry on this blog. Things have been busy. I have a new issue of the print magazine coming out in June and I'm producing a horrorfiction zine and a comic book as well. Like I said busy. I was going to cover some of that ground, but decided against it...for now. I have something else stuck in my craw and have decided to unleash it here. My good friend, Curt Purcell, who has the excellent blog, The Groovy Age Of Horror (www.groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com) also seems to be fed up with the current state of affairs as well. I have to thank him for saying what he said and that he was sort of an inspiration for what follows this brief introduction.
Have a nice day, folks.

Don't Be A Sheep!!!
I have said this many times and I mean it. Do not, for any reason, be a sheep. Do not be a mindless follower of anything. Even Jesus encouraged his followers to question everything. Listen to what you want to listen to, read what you want to read, watch what you want to watch. We live in America and every day we are losing some of our basic rights. The First Amendment is being attacked everyday. The documentary PORN KING from Blue Underground www.blue-underground.com is a fine example of our rights being attacked. I encourage everyone to watch this film. Go to www.noumbrella.org and read about that powerful short film. Buy it, too. The government has us where they want us. Complacent sheep.
Gas prices are so high it's not even funny anymore. The government blames it on refinery overhauls and the war and that it's easier to make gas in the winter than the summer (?????). We let them walk all over us. Explore different modes of transport. Use less gas and watch them fall over themselves trying to make up the profits they lose. The oil companies are making record profits. They are gouging the average American out of their hard earned dollar.
Hollywood produces multi million dollar pieces of dreck while true innovators in cinema are being left behind to scrape for pennies and hold down day jobs. Michael Legge, Mike Watt, Chris Seaver and Rock Savage to name a few.
Don't Be A Sheep.
I say it a lot and have decided to put my statement on merchandise. My lovely wife, Martha was quick to point out that if a lot of people buy this merchandise that they are becoming a different kind of sheep, but sheep nonetheless.
I see what she's saying, but I kind of hope that it sends a different message. One where we decide that what we have is worth defending from the fat cats who control this wonderful country of ours. There is a small percentage of those people in charge. Less than one percent, but they dictate our behavior? I don't think so. When will they realize that if every person who was tired of being beaten down by the big wigs just picked up a stick and smacked someone in charge on the head that the person in charge would look like strawberry jam in a short period of time? There are so many more of us than there are of them. Why do we let them do this to us?
In the film 300 (I know, I was spouting off about independent film a minute ago, but I really liked this flick) King Leonidas realized that Xerxes was a madman. Xerxes was proclaiming himself as a god and absolute ruler over all of the world. Leonidas knew that was horseshit and was not afraid to say so. Even when he was with just three hundred of his men at Thermopylae he knew that they were doomed. He also knew that history would remember them and they would stand as an example of people who knew that something was wrong and gave their lives to prove their point.
I am not advocating murder and senseless violence. That's the government's job. What I am advocating is revolution. Revolution in everything. From the way that the public school system is failing as a whole to our democratic government being a place where people get wealthy. People who are supposed to be fighting for our inalienable rights as American citizens and that among these rights are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life? Our young people dying in a war that we can not win. I was little when Vietnam was here, but you think we would have learned our lesson and not done it again. Liberty? Tell that to Don Imus. Don't agree with what he said? Fine, that is your right. Telling him he can't say it ...WRONG!!! The pursuit of happiness? Prices out of control, mega marts taking over the wholesome mom and pop stores of yesteryear, cars made of plastic and dangerous, no pride in work because most of the things we buy is made in other countries. Not too happy a picture, is it?
The only answer is revolution. Revolt against the things that make you grit your teeth. Stand up for things you believe in with all your heart. Make a difference in the life of a stranger by doing something against the grain. Stand up and be noticed.
Don't Be A Sheep!
If you go to www.cafepress.com/dontbeasheep you can get that slogan along with a great piece of artwork from local artist Stew Miller on it. Wear it proudly. I didn't jack up any of the prices on the stuff there to make a profit. It's all Cafe Press base rate. And a percentage of all profits are going to charity.
I can't emphasize how important all of this is. It gets hard and people, myself included, get tired of fighting such an uphill battle. Take time for yourself. Enjoy the company of your friends and family. recharge those batteries and then get back up to the front and fight.
It's the only way.
Don't Be A Sheep.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

THE VIDEO WORLD OF JESS FRANCO!


I have undertaken the task only a madman would think of. I decided that the recent output of Jess Franco has been given short shrift. To rectify this matter I am starting research which will culminate in a book that concerns itself only with his shot on video projects. So, From Tender Flesh to Snakewoman. I am also considering the inclusion of Killer Barbys since it's sequel is in this list. So, indepth profiles of each film and discussion of the under lying meanings behind this crop of work. Couple that with using his past films as a springboard for what he has been making lately and it should be fun. It means watching a lot of flicks though and that could be dangerous, especially where Jess is concerned. So, if you don't hear from me from time to time, that's where I am. Locked in my room watching Jess Franco films. Could be worse, trust me.

Now, on to this installment of Divine Exploitation!

Last year, for my birthday my oldest son, Seann took me to best buy to get me some DVD's. He got me a four pack called BLOOD BATH 2 because it had a copy of BLOOD SONG with Frankie Avalon. truly an underrated entry in the slasher flick genre. Anyway, next to it was a DVD set entitled HORRORLICIOUS. Nine flicks for about 6 bucks! How could I go wrong?

Here's what the six bucks got me;

GOTHIC - That's right. Ken Russell's twisted epic that supposedly chronicles the reasons behind Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly's reason behind writing Frankenstein. Personally, I'd rather watch LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM again, but it has some wild surreal touches.

THE DEVIL'S NIGHTMARE - I swear that when I was growing up that the owner of The Portage Drive In owned a print of this flick. He showed it every year with a different title! The beginning shot in sepia tone of the Nazi stabbing his baby daughter in her crib sets the mood for this flick of a demon who wipes out travellers to a castle and she does it according to the seven deadly sins. The guy playing Satan still creeps me out to this day.

THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK - We get David Hess at his Hessiness. Watch David torment a group of partygoers. Watch David chew the scenery with the best of him. I do admit that the twist ending got me good the first time, but after that it just doesn't work.

BLOODY PIT OF HORROR - Ahh! Mickey Hartigay as The Crimson Executioner. I swear that this flick is the template for all those recent forays into torture horror like HOSTEL that have been coming out lately. Except this one is good. Mickey could give David Hess scenery chewing lessons.

HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND - Creepy spider monsters, creepy spider guy, lots of hot, curvy models all shot in some creepy ass black and white. I don't think it would have been quite as bizarre in color.

SISTERS OF DEATH - Five sorority sisters come back together to share a dangerous secret. And someone is killing them for it. This one works pretty good and it's twist is one of those where you keep saying, "Naw! That can't be what is going on." And then it is. Worked a lot like an old ABC Movie OF The Week and a lot of those were pretty good.

TERROR CREATURES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE - Ah, Barbara Steele! Barbara Steele in black and white which is far better. That woman was meant to be viewed in monochromatic. And the tale set in an old hoary castle is quite interesting to boot.

THE NIGHT SHE AROSE FROM THE TOMB - Probably better known as THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE, this bizarre tale tells of a man who is slowly being driven to madness by his dead wife. Or is he? And the interesting thing to me on this one is that he is whacking women in the beginning of the film, but by the end he comes out as the hero of the flick. Truly a WTF? moment in Eurotrash cinema.

THE VAMPIRE'S NIECE - Known as FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD this vampire flick stars Anita Ekberg and her two magnificent assets. When Anita inherits a castle she finds more than she bargained for in this atmospheric flick that had played in more theaters under more different names so you were always guaranteed to see it more than once.


There ya go kiddies. Nine really good flicks in pretty good shape I might add. Maybe not pristine prints, but watchable and in the end that's what really matters.

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