Monday, September 29, 2008

CANNIBAL TERROR (1981)


In the annals of the sub genre of cannibal gut muncher flicks, this may very well be the bottom of the barrel. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Lets synopse, shall we?
Seems these three hoodlums kidnap a young girl and hold her for ransom. When they get wind of the cops they head for the jungle to hide out. Of course, it's a jungle full of cannibals and things go from bad to worse very quickly.
Sounds typical, doesn't it? Let's run a few things down, shall we?
First off, half of the cannibals are white and some are sporting some lovely hairdos inspired by Elvis complete with sideburns. First time ever I saw cannibals with sideburns. Doesn't really work for me. You can tell that most of the actors were winging it and not in a good way. Most of the ad libbed scenes are painful to watch and none of them have any idea how to just do some business in front of the camera. It came across on the level of an elementary school play. A really crappy elementary school play.
None of the women are that attractive and you kind of wish they would keep their clothes on.
During one of the slaughter scenes there is no attempt to disguise the pig carcass they are splitting open. I mean the woman wasn't that attractive to begin with, but she wasn't a pig.
With all of this negativity all I can say is that Watching Cannibal Terror was one of the best times I have had in a while. It's really so bad it's good. All the aforementioned stuff was met with howls of laughter at The Waltz Compound. My favorite scene was where the old man lead the criminal who raped his wife out into the jungle and tied him to a tree. Then he whistled for the cannibals who were just out in a field crouched down. When they heard the whistle they came running. I think they were channeling Lassie for this scene and I almost lost it. Definitely a high point in the flick.
And while I keep mentioning the word jungle throughout because, as we all know, cannibals live in jungles, yeah this was more of a forest. It looked like they shot the damned thing in Michigan!
Add to all of this the best Easter Egg ever; a ten minute interview with Jess Franco where he confesses to writing Zombie Lake, makes this one of the best discs I have seen in quite some time. The entertainment value coupled with the historical significance of the Easter Egg, makes this one of the most important DVD releases this year.
The good folks at Severin Films must be commended to bringing this obscure classic to light. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go. Time to watch this puppy again. I need a good laugh.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Rare Musical Interlude

So, yesterday, Martha and I went to The Redrum. What's the Redrum you may ask? well, in the nearby hamlet of Comstock there is this place called The Lamplighter Inn. It's mostly a banquet hall where I have been one time for my friend Steve's wedding reception.
Now, I am back because my buddy Shawn Rainier and his band SXX are there to play, but they are not alone. Along for the ride were The Luminous, Killing For Sport and Seizure Lake.
Martha and I went not knowing what to expect. Certainly running into one of my old work buddies from Ameritech was the last thing on my mind. But, there was Brian. He looks the same and remembered me even though I have much more beard and a lot less hair.
Anyway, that was cool and then we went into The Redrum. The entire place was a blast from the past. The wallpaper was that gold metallic look with the red velvet patterns on it. All the pictures on the walls looked like they belonged in the mansion of a Resident Evil game. In other words, it was cool.
Two things about the place that torked me off were the one urinal that had a loose pipe so that if you flushed it it sprayed water. Not cool. The other thing was the douche bag bartender that I accidentally handed a five spot and a single to pay for a Diet Coke and he pocketed the whole thing. I used to be a bartender and that was a douche bag thing. If and when I go back he will never receive another tip from me again.
But, let's hit the bands shall we?

First up was The Luminous. Three kids with a ton of energy from Grand Rapids. The three piece was wailing and they call themselves Grunge, experimental punk, but I think a better description would be...The Luminous. Definitely a unique sound and I would go see them again if they played in Kalamazoo or the surrounding areas. Here's their MySpace page so you can go and get a taste. THE LUMINOUS

Next we had Seizure Lake. This band threw me off because the lead singer was this nice looking blonde who really didn't strike me as someone who could blast us with the guttural growls of speed/death metal that came from her vocal cords. The band gave us an awesome set and afterwards she was handing out free CDs. I took one and we listened to it on the way to church this morning. It sounded much better than their live set, but that wasn't their fault. More on this later. Check out their tunage at SEIZURE LAKE

Then there was Killing for Sport. Probably my least favorite of the night. That doesn't mean they were bad it was just that I had already had that type of music with Seizure Lake and I thought they did it better. One thing I will give this foursome is that they have tremendous energy and they look like no other foursome I have ever seen. A group of four of the most different looking guys you have ever seen in your life. I couldn't believe they were the band! Anyway, here's their site if you want to check out their sounds. KILLING FOR SPORT.

Finally, we come to the reason I was there for the night. SXX! I hadn't seen them since Martha and I braved the wilderness and drove to Hastings in a snowstorm. It had been too long. My one true regret is that it's not the original line up. We still have Shawn and Rich, but no Phil and I really like Phil's guitar work. They have these two new guys and while that is fine, it's just not what I want because I am spoiled to the core. That being said, they did an awesome job and played a couple of my favorites. And, anyone closing their set with a kickass rendition of Ace Of Spades is always good in my book. Here's where you can dig one of my favorite bands. SXX
One last gripe concerning the sound. The Luminous, Seizure Lake and Killing For Sport all got a shot in the foot due to the sound guy. I know this because Seizure Lake sounded so much better on their recording and SXX is able to rise above the crappiest of sound men because of the time they have played together. I think that might have made a big difference in the overall vibe of the night.
In the end it was four bands for five bucks, a bargain anytime and a fun time to be out on the local music scene.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

LAST HOUSE ON THE BEACH


From director Franco Prosperi who gave us classics like Addio zio Tom, we get this riff on the whole Last House On The Left.
Sister Christina (Played by Florinda Bolkan, of Lizard In A Woman's Skin and probably best known around here as Flavia in Flavia The Heretic) takes girls in her charge up to a remote house where they are rehearsing A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then three bank robbers show up when their car breaks down and the sadistic games begin. Sprinkled liberally with lots of rape and nudity, the film really doesn't cover any new ground. There are a couple of slow motion scenes that pop up for no real good reason and play stupidly in the process.
The climax comes super fast and all is wrapped up in a nice neat bundle at the end. The even end the film with the same shot they used to start the film. I liked that part because it was like the entire incident was incidental in comparison to the ocean and the seagulls that fly over it. It seemed to trivialize the murders and rapes and the situations of mankind in comparison to the bigger picture. Another disjointed thing, at least for me, was the repeated habit of people speaking to one another and the scenery changing in he process. And I don't mean like they are moving while they are talking. An prime example would be one of the robbers (Ray Lovelock) is speaking to one of the girls on the beach. She says her line, the shot switches to him and the scene has obviously changed locale. He responds to the question even though it is obvious that they are now on the balcony overlooking the beach. No time has passed in the question and response, but they have moved a good 500 yards. Weird, huh? If it was done on purpose, Bravo, but I have the feeling it wasn't. Some of the film looks like it was edited with a chainsaw with some truly awful cuts where you can tell the film didn't match up properly from shot to shot.
Does that make it a good film overall. No, not really, but Severin must be commended for bringing the film to light and in such a gorgeous print. While the film does nothing to rise above it's sub genre it is a prime example of cinema of it's time and deserves to be preserved and watched at least once.

POLONIA DAY IS ON THE WAY!!!


A quick reminder that Sept. 30th is National Polonia Brothers Day. Who are The Polonia Brothers, you might ask? Only two of the best indie directors out there. They can make a movie with negative money that is fun and entertaining. Go to imdb.com and check out their credentials. On the 30th be sure to have a couple of their movies around to watch and get some snacks and tasty beverages as well. It will be fun for the whole family. Do it! I'll be back on the 30th for an additional reminder.

THE MISFITS SUCK!!


Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with the group's musical abilities. I mean they suck on a more personal level.
Let me explain.
So, Martha, my friend Robert and I decided we were going to The Orbit Room last Saturday to watch what I thought would be the best line up of all time. Motorhead and The Misfits. There were some other bands there as well, but it was these two that made me so excited.
So, we got the tickets and I was checking directions to The Orbit Room the day before the concert and what should I see on the website? The Misfits have cancelled. Now I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt so, I checked their website to see what the reason was behind the missed performance.
This is directly from Jerry Only;

For the sake of our loyalty and dedication to all our fiends, the Misfits have chosen to withdraw from the lineup of Volcom’s 2008 tour. The Misfits have always held an incredibly high standard of performance and quality in everything we do. Our fans expect this and deserve it. I will not compromise their expectations for any amount of money, prestige or fame. I apologize for the inconvenience and will reschedule performances wherever possible throughout our upcoming tour this October.

What a lame non excuse!!! If you don't want to disappoint your fans..show up for the show already!!!!
Needless to say, they did not show up, but Motorhead was fantastic, Valient Thorr was insane and a lot of fun and I discovered a new band that I like called ASG. There was another band there called Year Long Disaster. They sucked, musically this time, not personally. I don't know them personally so it would be hard for me to say.
All in all the concert was great. I got to see Lemmy! That alone was worth the price of admission. What would have made it better would have been that icing on the cake known as The Misfits, but, no. They decided to be lame ass pussies and not appear at a show where some people paid good money and spent a lot of gas money to get there. Way to go Misfit. I'm sure that will endear you to the fans from the great state of Michigan in the future. Like you guys can afford to piss off anyone in the first place. And I discovered that the band gets eight grand for each stop on the tour. Eight grand! May i someday be so famous that I can turn my nose up to eight grand.
I would like to apologize to my readers for taking so long between posts. I wish I had an excuse, but I've just been busy. I'll be back more often for more goodies from the realm of exploitation to amaze you with. In the meantime don't forget;
THE MISFITS SUCK!

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