Friday, December 23, 2011

DRAGON CRUSADERS 2011




So, there I was bored and unemployed, scrolling through the unwieldy Netflix app on my Wii. I spotted this thing and it wasn't the dragons that got my attention. It was the Templars. USually, I just watch these things to see how badly they get it wrong.
Luckily for me, that didn't happen.
Dragon Crusaders tells of a small band of Templar Knights. I assume since they are on the run from the king's men that this is the king of France and it's shortly after the trials for heresy. Our intrepid band of holy men have been on the run for while.
Then they come across a village being attacked by pirates. What they don't know is that the pirates have captured a cute little witch and locked her aboard their ship. She has begun a chant of a curse that says that if a man has spilled blood and sets foot on the deck of the ship they will become gargoyles.
Fortunately, our Templars are pure of heart, well, sort of. None of them change immediately, but they will change. Unless, they can find the sorcerer that penned the grimoire that the witch took the curse from. Yeah, that would be The Black Dragon and when he's not a wizard, he's a dragon and he has more dragons to boot.
With the odds stacked against them the Templars, the witch and a fighting maiden Aerona who has sworn to protect the withc make their way to the lair of The Black Dragon.
I really expected nothing of this, but with Cecily Fay as Aerona who makes Xena look like a girl scout and Dylan Jones as the leader of the Templars, John. This became a movie that took its 90 minute running time and ran with it.
Sure, you could complain about the CGI, but it's no different from the rubber monsters when I was a kid. This is more than effects. This is a group of people who have sworn an oath to defeat this curse and nothing will stop them from accomplishing this task.
In other words, this was a good movie. I hear about The Asylum and how people talk down about them, but this was well done. They used some great locations to make it work and the acting was spot on.
Dragon Crusaders is one of those movies I'm glad I took a chance on and will tell everyone they should check it out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HOLIDAY DVD ROUND UP!

We here at Penguin know you love to give DVDs as Christmas presents. Luckily for you I have many suggestions to make it a Merry Christmas!

THE LANDLORD



Tyler has a little place with three apartments to rent. Renting is easy. Keeping the tenants alive when you have a pair of 5000 year old demons haunting the place, is a different matter. A fun little flick!

HORROR EXPRESS



The classic prehistoric alien on a train with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas flick gets the BluRay treatment from Severin. This is the best this movie has ever looked and this is the version that your weirdo relative wants for Christmas.

MAKE BELIEVE




A documentary that follows six teens all following the same dream; to be crowned Teen World Champion by Master Magician Lance Burton. If magic is good enough for Neil Patrick Harris, then it's good enough for me.

DOLPHIN TALE



Dolphin with a busted tail gets a new one to swim into your hearts. Isn't this the same basic premise as HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON? Only that one had vikings and dragons. Here we get Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd. I smell a ripoff!


A CINDERELLA STORY:ONCE UPON A SONG



So, a sequel to the Hilary Duff flick without Hilary Duff? I think executives love that there is no author to pay for this story that has already been done better.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS


The classic Rankin/Bass cartoon gets the Blu Ray treatment. This is gonna seem pretty pricey for a flick that runs 24 minutes. And no DVD combo? What the?

THE SMURFS HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Now this is better! Two Smurf holiday specials on one disc. We get Tis The Season To Be Smurfy along with The Smurf Christmas Special. With the recent popularity of The Smurfs with the feature film, this should fly off the shelves.

FROSTY'S WINTER WONDERLAND

The Bride of Frankenstein sequel to the original Frosty special. The kids get together and make Shelly Winters for Frosty so they can all have adventures together. This time they have managed to tick off Jack Frost so, look out! At 24 minutes, this should have been put in a double disc set with Twas The Night BEfore Christmas.

AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK/THE ABCs OF LOVE AND SEX AUSTRALIA STYLE!



These two new releases actually won't hit the shelves until January so they would have to be late Christmas presents. A pair of Mondo style looks at sex and perversion in the land down under. Save some of that Christmas cash for these two releases.

TOM AND JERRY'S FUR FLYING ADVENTURES VOL. 3



Normally, I would tell you how I feel about all these repackaging and double dipping, but it's Christmas so I won't. It's a cat trying to kill a mouse kids! Fun times are had by all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse (1972)

Being a big fan of Jess Franco and liking Dr. Mabuse movies this seemed like a win/win situation.
What we have is a Dr. Farkus (Jack Taylor) who is attempting to get the plans for a death ray from a nearby research facility. The only problem is that the plans are encoded and worthless. Now he needs to go after Dr. Orloff (Siegfried Lowitz) to learn how to decode the plans before he has to answer to his superiors.


Andros (Moises Augusto Rocha), is Farkus' muscle. A demented scar faced man who looks like some form of brain surgery has gone horribly wrong. His handler is the evil Leslie (Beni Cardoso) who sends him after the scientists daughter.


As far as Franco films, this is a good one. The music is fun. The concept that they steal plans they know are worthless, but do it anyway is hilarious. Add to that the local cops are cowboys complete with hats except for the chief who, played by Franco, looks like he just came from Italy and you know Franco is poking fun at the whole thing.


There are people who say that Farkus is actually Mabuse, but I would have to disagree. I think that Farkus is working for Mabuse. Throughout the film Farkus is constantly bemoaning the fact that if they don't get the plans and the decoding device that they're lives are worthless. It suggests that Farkus is working for someone else. Perhaps Mabuse?


I have no reason not to believe that Franco would make a Mabuse movie without Mabuse. In The Unconfessable Orgies of Emanuelle he makes the titular character more of a secondary character in that film so why not eliminate any screen time for Mabuse in this one? Makes perfect sense to me.
The television print I watched is pretty fuzzy, but the only one available. The newly added fansubs that surfaced recently were a Godsend for those of us that do not speak Spanish.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Got A Dog?

You might want one of these


http://mjsmonkeyfistdoggietoys.blogspot.com

KALAMAZOO HORROR FEST

October 21st, 22nd, 23rd. Kalamazoo, MI. Campus Pointe Mall in the Video Hits Plus building. Peple attending:


Zach Galligan (GREMLINS)
Fred Williamson (DUSK TO DAWN)
MINK STOLE!!!


and so many more.


From 10AM to 7PM all three days.


Warlock Video will be there to do a blast from the past.


So many reasons to attend.


Only ten bucks a day!


So, you'll be there, right? Yeah, that's what I thought.

REVIEWS OF MOVIES I HAVEN'T SEEN

I haven't done one of these in a while so, let's take a look at the films heading our way this week

First up is THE THING. I truly love Carpenter's film so, there is that remake worry, but we all know this is a prequel. The problem with that is we know what happens to all the people in the first base camp. No surprises here and it's hard to root for a group of people that we know are already doomed. The hot girl from Scott Pilgrim is going to be in it so there's your reason to watch this.

FOOTLOOSE is proof that there is zero originality in Hollywood. I won't be going to see this and I hope you do the same.

THE BIG YEAR. IS it too late for Steve Martin to be funny again? I would really like this to be fun. Stupid, laugh out loud fun. We'll see.

ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS. Oh, I mean REAL STEEL with Wolverine in it. Yeahhhhh, maybe when it hits cable.

DREAM HOUSE. Isn't this just AMITYVILLE HORROR? I've already seen that one. Josh Brolin's dad and Superman's girlfriend were in it. I didn;t see either of them in the previews so I'm gonna pass.

WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? has Anna Faris in it. Has she shown us her jumbly wumblys yet? Yeah, she's gonna want to do that before she gets leathery and scary looking. This looks dumb.

That's about all I can force myself through this time. I would like to mention LA PIEL QUE HABITO. A new film with Antonio Banderas that deals with some creepy themes and looks to be a Cronbergian delight. Search it out and watch it. As soon as I am able I will watch this.

Watch a good movie this weekend. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that will happen at your local multiplex.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SHOCK FESTIVAL




Picked up this three disc set at Cinema Wasteland last week. It's trailers, trailers and more trailers. The fun part is the fake trailers. See Stephen Romano did this book called, interestingly enough, Shock Festival. It's a book of movies and their ad campaigns that never existed. Sounds like fun and when the price goes down I might get one.
In the meantime, I got the box set. Put out by Alternative Cinema, this is the tour de force of trailer compilations. I have watched my fair share of trailers and am used to some repetition, but not this time. Lots of fun filled trailers as well as the fake ones being truly entertaining. Throw in a disc of music and stuff and you have what might be the best compilation I have ever seen.
The unfortunate part is that there are movies of actual trailers that I am going to have to hunt down and watch.

DAMMIT!

Friday, October 7, 2011

WARLOCK HOME VIDEO




The yester years of shot on video or SOV as it is popularly known, is back with a vengeance. Alternative Cinema released their new feature, The Basement, on big box VHS. The craptastic slasher flick 555 is back in the land of big box, even if it is waaaaay over priced.
And then there's Warlock Video. A blast from the past with a huge slate of films on the horizon.
This is what is released so far;

DIE B QUE



Some kids decide it's time to party and have some grilled meat. Except this grilled meat has different ideas. Chock full of extras and available in the big box format or the loaded with extras DVD, Die B Que embraces all that is sick and wrong about the SOV flicks of the late 80's. There is no way you can afford to miss this flagship title of Warlock Video.

DEATH O LANTERN



When a psycho in a jack o lantern mask decides to start killing the locals its up to a group of movie geek kids to bring him down. Filled with the streaming gore we have come to expect from the flick of this time period, Death O Lantern does not disappoint. Also available in the DVD and VHS formats.

AMERIKILL



Bask in the glow of the early work of film maker Chris LaMartina. When a psycho in a robe and a Jester mask descends on a quiet little town, he has one thing on his mind; To kill everyone! Creative kills and a compelling storyline that has one of the weirdest twist endings of all time, Amerikill is definitely something that needs to be on your movie shelf. And you can have it in both DVD and VHS formats.

DEATH METAL ZOMBIES



Just let that name roll off your tongue for a moment. Revel in the sounds of the syllables as you say it. Zombies chew up the death metal scene as a special song, when played, turns the death metal kids into gut munching undead. Combine a soundtrack jam packed with some of the most off beat death metal of its time with girls willing to show us their goodies and you have a classic back from the SOV grave to amaze us all. And you should know by now what formats this comes in.

EVIL NIGHT



When a bunch of frat boys pull a prank on Jimmy they unleash their worst nightmares. Jimmy develops demonic powers and wades through them with a path of destruction like none seen before. Original kills, a creepy clown mask and that 80's veneer of SOV makes for a classic back thanks to Warlock in both DVD and VHS.

There you have it folks. The return of SOV with many more on their way to amaze and disgust you. Can your heart stand the shock of...WARLOCK VIDEO.


Check out the details at WARLOCK VIDEO

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stuff to Read.

What's that? You're stuck somewhere you don;t want to be and forgot a book, but have Internet access? I have some good new for you!
Go here for some scary, sick fun and chase away those boredom blues.

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Think Geek Holster



See that thing right above this? Pretty cool, huh? It's a Geek Holster. It goes around your waist and leg. You can get a right sided or left sided one. Or both for the uber geek. The lovely Martha got me one of these for my birthday this year. My birthday is June 25th.
I'm going to wait while you do the math to see how long I've had this thing.
Now, I am certainly no man of action, constantly on the go. I'm pretty sure we can all agree on this. I do ride my bike, take the stairs whenever possible and things like that while wearing the holster. But, it ain't like I'm a full time stunt man or firefighter or something.
In the short period of time that I have had it the Velcro on the larger pocket is gone. Just gone. The smaller pocket is also starting to go. That one worries more because there is no back up locking strap like on the larger pocket.
I wrote to Think Geek and told them of my plight. They agreed to an exchange if I supplied them with the receipt and various other information.
I do not have any of this stuff.
For $39.99 plus shipping I thought this would be a higher end kind of product. Sadly, I am mistaken.
Originally I was going to post this on my Dougservations blog, but then I considered something.
More people read this one. If I want the most people to get this valuable information on a product that I have raved about, this was the logical place to do that.
So, in conclusion, the Think Geek Holster is a cheap, piece of poorly made crap.
Don't bother.

The Thing: Some Thoughts On The New Film

I love The Thing. For the juvenile amongst you, insert your snicker here. I have read the John W. Campbell story. The original with James Arness as a giant, malevolent carrot still gives me the creeps.


I have seen the John Carpenter version more times than most people would admit and it is probably one of my favorite flicks. The Playstation 2 video game plays like an epic sequel to the film.
In other words; I Love The Thing. If you need to snicker again, now would be an appropriate time.


So, this sequel/prequel thingie.
What about that?
Well, they aren't trying to make a duplicate of the Carpenter flick so, that's a good thing, right?
Kind of.
See, with a prequel we already know what's going to happen. The Norwegian camp is a charred husk in the beginning of Carpenter's flick. Heck, it's an abandoned wasteland in Howard Hawk's original vision. None of the people in this flick are going to make it out alive.
And, if they do, then it's a cheat.
An unforgivable cheat.
All that being said; Am I going to see this flick?
Yeah, probably.
The true downside of the movie will be it's reliance on CGI effects. Rob Bottin's spectacular, practical effects didn't need it. Sure, they didn't exist, but I'd like to think he wouldn't have used them.
Now, why would I watch it?

Here's your reason:



I doubt she's going to show much skin, but I like her in whatever she's in. Death Proof, Scott Pilgrim...you get the idea.
Besides, it doesn't violate my rules of remakes and I love a good horror flick in the ice and cold. I think it's because I live in Michigan.
Go figure.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Murder Mansion



I bought the Chilling Mega Set a while back and decided to leaf through and see what I might have missed. The Murder Mansion (1972) is a clever little film even if the description of the film leads you to think you're getting something else.
A group of various people, caught by a thick fog, all wind up at the same deserted mansion next to a graveyard. You get the old, married couple, a hip, young couple who have just met, a hot rodding, hard drinking douchebag, a frightened young woman and their hostess for the night. The hostess owns the mansion, but does not live there. The fog trapped her as well.
But all is not what it seems.
A Spanish/Italian co production, The Murder Mansion or La Mansion de la niebla as it was originally known, is an atmospheric, tight little thriller. It takes a while to warm up, but when it gets going this is a fun flick. I did make the joke to the lovely Martha about halfway through that for a movie with murder in the title, the murdering was conspciously absent.
I would like to mention the guy on the motorcycle. The actor is Andres Resino  and he rides that thing everywhere! Through snow and sleet and fog. It was the snow that fascinated me the most. No where in America have I seen people use a motorcycle as transportation during the winter.  Why not? Sure, there might be control issues on ice, but clear streets abound in the winter. Why don't we use this fuel efficent form of transportation more often?
I'll bet as gasoline gets more expensive we will see this more often.
As for the movie; a well done, atmospheric thriller that once it gets going pays off in spades.  


 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NETFLIX, WHAT THE %$!@#$!

Okay, many moons ago we got a Wii. We had wireless so we were able to get Netflix Instant, or whatever they call it.
Who is in charge of this???
Last night we watched Return Of The Living Dead.
Very cool.
Then I thought it would be fun to watch Part 2.
No chance.
BUT THEY HAD PART THREE?!?!?
If you have a series of films I can understand having just the first part. But the first and third part? That makes zero sense.
It's bad enough that the navigation for Netflix is atrocious, but things like that make them look bad.
OF course they don't care because they are the only game in town. They had no issues when they hiked up their prices for the poor saps who still get the red envelopes and didn't care. So, why are they going to give one, solitary crap what I have to complain about.
Unless a lot of people complain.
Yeah, not gonna happen.
People are sheep and will ignore this. In reality, Netflix probably saved me because I remember Return Of The Living Dead Part 2 as being a truly awful film.
But, Netflix?
Let me decide.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DC Comics 52

Right up front I want to explain that this might be a long post. I'm going to give my opinion on all 52 new titles from DC Comics, right here. I will sprinkle some pretty pictures along the way.
Go get a beverage.
Ready?
Good, here we go!

And they are all number one so I'm not typing that 52 times. Keep up willya?

Justice League - Um, this looks dumb. Where the Hell is my Justice Society? Dumbasses!
Wonder Woman - Art looks great. Probably won't buy it.
The Flash - Looks kinda stupid.
The Fury of Firestorm - Pass. I'd rather read Nova.
Captain Atom - Looks stupid. Pass.
Green Arrow - Um, this storyline ain't doing it for me. Pass.



The Savage Hawkman - Now we are talking! Taking Hawkman to his roots with some wicked art. Buy!
DC Universe Presents - Starting off with Deadman is a step in the right direction. Buy, for now.
Mister Terrific - Didn't he lose his intelligence recently? Pass.
Action Comics - Short sleeves and jeans?? PASS!
Superman - Red underwear gone and what looks like armor on his shins?!? Pass.
Supergirl - I like the idea that she doesn't like humans. I'll check it out.
Superboy - PASS!
Batman - Ancient Conspiracies? Um, pass.
Detective Comics - I want to see if they remember that he is a detective in this comic so, I'll check in for a couple of issues.
Batwoman - I always liked me some BAtwoman. I might get this.
Batman: The Dark Knight - Pass!
Batman and Robin - This should be a fun title. It doesn't look fun. Pass.
Batwing - No. Looks really stupid.



Batgirl - Barbara Gordon is back! I'm sold. Buy!
Nightwing - Nope.
Catwoman - Nope.
Birds of Prey - Uh, uh.
Red Hood and the Outlaws - Forget it.
Green Lantern - This might suck more than the movie.
Green Lantern Corps - I'm gonna have to check the first couple of issues to see if they get Guy Gardner right.
Green Lantern:New Guardians - NO!
Red Lanterns - HELL NO!



Justice League Dark - This looks so damned cool. Buy!
Swamp Thing - Will have to check it out first.
Animal Man - Check it out and then decide.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. - You know I'm getting this one.
I, Vampire - Blech! No.
Resurrection Man - Um, no. Looks stupid.



Demon Knights - Medieval tales of The Demon. I am so there!
Stormwatch - I think I threw up in my mouth a little right there.
Voodoo - Why does she look like Elektra???
Grifter - No.
Suicide Squad - I am always intrigued with Suicide Squad. I'll see how it does.
Deathstroke - No.
All-Star Western - Jonah Hex dovetailed with Gotham City and Amadeus Arkham? Sounds pretty good in my book.


O.M.A.C. - I'll check it out. I hope it's good.
Blackhawks - Not WW2? Not interested.
Men of War - A modern day Sgt. Rock??? No way!
Teen Titans - Pass.
Static Shock - I like the cartoon, but I don't see shelling out money for the title.
Hawk and Dove - One of my favorite twosomes. I hope they don't screw it up.
Blue Beetle - Not Ted Kord? Not interested in the slightest.
Legion Lost - Not a fan of Legion of Super Heroes.
Legion of Super Heroes - See above.

So, if you are keeping score, I'm willing to stick my neck out for about a dozen titles. I know that some of them will fall by the wayside, but that's not a bad average of books.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cue The Meltdown.

I want to show you something.





Recognize it? Yeah, the only answer is yes. Sam Peckinpah gave us one of the most intense films of all time. It is, above all, a study in character. It shows a division of the classes and what happens when you play with fire.
It is an intense film and once seen is hard to forget.

Now, I want to show you this:


Before we begin, I would like to caution readers that I have no intention of censoring any sort of profanity that comes from this.

You have been warned.

See, Martha and some of the kids and I went to see The Smurfs this afternoon. Yes, I said The Smurfs. Don't judge me.
Anyway, as I went to refill our soda before the movie started I saw the second poster up there at the beginning of this article.
Before I knew what happened I managed to stop my hand for reaching for the poster. Reaching for it to tear it from the wall, shred it and piss on it right there in front of the gaggle of children that were off to see The Smurfs.
I commended myself for the control I exercised and went back to see The Smurfs, which was delightful. I will see it again when it comes to video and would see a second one.
On the way out we had to pass that damnable poster again.
Remakes should be remade for the following reasons.

1. Technology has advanced so far that the special effects would actually improve the film. This is not always true. The Day The World Stood Still is a perfect example of this exception.

2. The original is an ancient silent film where some dialogue and updating couldn't hurt. Once again, this is not always true. While I like Herzog's Nosferatu, I still watch the original more often.

3. The film is based on literature first. In this case it is a re imagining of another medium. This is not a remake, ever.

Now, let's examine Straw Dogs.

Does the film require new, flashy special effects? No. Is it an ancient silent film? No. IS it a work of literature? Well, unfortunately, yes. It's based on Gordon Williams novel The Siege of Trenchers Farm. Because of that it does fall within the rules that I set forth.

You know what?
Fuck the rules!
This is Straw Dogs! This is one of the greatest films of all times. Dustin Hoffman is so great in this flick. This is a no holds barred punch to the jugular whenever you watch it. When the film is over you have been there, side by side with Dustin Hoffman as he fights what he believes to be the fight of the righteous.
I am getting sick and tired of all these fucking remakes. Time to show these idiots who's the boss.
Recently, Stephen Bissette called for a boycott on all Marvel Comics properties that are based on the works of Jack Kirby. Jack Kirby's children got shafted recently in a court decision and Bissette feels that the only way to show Marvel who is boss is to boycott anything that Kirby touched in the Marvel Universe.
Good for him.
Now, I am calling for a boycott on all remakes.Especially this abomination that dares to call itself Straw Dogs. If no one sees it or God knows what is next down the pike, then maybe we can make a difference.
Unless they are shooting for a tax break or something.
Then we are screwed.
Also, I'm still watching the Fright Night remake.
Sorry.



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ruby LaRocca

I had this genius idea to write an article about Ruby LaRocca. Don;t know who she is? Tough! I was going to scan pictures from my collection of films with her in them. I was going to put up all this titillation concerning Ms. LaRocca. It would be a great article.
Then I asked myself a question.
Why?
Why are you doing this article?
Well, see there was an event in November. An incident where Ms. LaRocca was injured and suffered brain damage. She is relearning to walk and talk and stuff. Having met her at Cinema Wasteland once it was heartbreaking to me that something like this would happen.
She is going to chronicle the event on her own blog to explain what went down. What? You want a link to her blog? Stop being so lazy and find it already. If the Internet made it any easier the human race would be extinct in a week.
So, I decided that this needed to be something...different.
So, ladies and gentlemen, without any further ado, this is what Ruby LaRocca means to me.
Deal with it.
I started my career as a film reviewer with Cult Cuts. I will always be with Cult Cuts. They understand that I will watch anything and probably give it more of a fair shake than anyone else.
I became an expert in sexploitation films.
Around the same time Seduction Cinema came into being. Seduction Cinema did softcore spoofs of Hollywood flicks. Things like Playmate of The Apes, Spider Babe, Lord of the G-Strings...you get the idea.
Ruby LaRocca was in a lot of these films, but I was more interested in Misty Mundae. Not really all that interested in Ruby.
Then came Dr. Jekyll and Mistress Hyde.
This film means a lot to me for three reasons.
One, it showed me that Tony Marsiglia was a director to be reckoned with. I have been proven correct on that more than once since seeing this film. Anyone interested in true exploitation cinema needs to watch everything that he has made.
Two, it showed me that Misty Mundae was more than a pretty girl with little boobs. She could act.
Three, that Ruby LaRocca was suddenly on my radar.
Here was this beautiful girl, full of life, vibrant and with that little smirk that showed the devil inside of her. At the end of the film where she is dressed to the nines and the only sane person left after Jekyll's experiments, Ruby is a force to be reckoned with.
But that wasn't what did it.
Seduction Cinema is famous for the sheer amount of extras they put on a DVD. For Dr. Jekyll and Mistress Hyde it was a behind the scenes thing where Ruby and Misty just hung out and did stuff when they weren't making the movie.
It was fascinating to watch.
That was all I needed. Then came the list of movies;
THE DEVIL'S BLOODY PLAYTHINGS proved she could play sheer evil.
BIKINI GIRLS ON DINOSAUR PLANET showed she could do old school slapstick.
SHADOW: DEAD RIOT put her with some B movie heavy hitters and she held her own.
ZOMBIE CHRIST she put some class in Bill Zebub's epic.
A lot of people watch these videos to fixate on a particular actress and the whole lust thing rears it's ugly head.
Ruby was never like that.
I saw a bright, funny, intelligent woman who knew what she was doing and took it in directions that no one would have conceived of.
Do you know of anyone else who would be in ORGASM TORTURE IN SATAN'S RAPE CLINIC?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
So, anyway, Ruby's brain got hurt. I saw a YouTube video interview she did and it broke my heart.
Sort of.
Because she's still here with us and she's still Ruby.
That's a good thing.
Monica Puller should be given a sainthood and a medal for making sure that the sheer delight of Ruby LaRocca is still here with us.
Anyway, thanks for reading. Sometimes us film reviewer folk need to vent and tell you what is going on in the real world.
So, speaking of the real world...
Ruby has huge medical bills and needs to be able to continue with all of her therapy and whatnot. They have an online auction of art and cool stuff.
Go HERE to check out the cool stuff. Buy something or donate. Your choice.
So, no pictures, no video, nothing but this uber geek telling you what is up. What is going on in the world and what you need to do to help someone who deserves so much more than that.
Get out of here already.

  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NIGHTMARES (1980)


Also known as Stagefright and, no, not the Soavi film. This tells the tale of a little girl who watches her mother die in a horrible car accident and she is scarred forever. Flash forward to her twenties and she is psychotic. Acting in a play she decides to whack everyone in the play. She uses shards of broken glass to do the deed and is very fond of stabbing people while they are naked.
The film is shot like a giallo, but one where there is no doubt as to who the killer is. It makes the big reveal at the end seem kind of humorous.
Also, I don't care how crazy you are, there is no way to shove a piece of broken glass through a theater seat into someone nd kill them. Even wearing gloves, that glass would shred your hand.  The film is filled with nudity and blood. Not a lot of gore.
This is one of those films that would have done better with a different title and waited a couple of years. Mindless slasher films filled the mid 80's and this would have done really well in that environment.
Probably the best aspect of this Severin release would have to be the commentary with director John D. Lamond and Not Quite Hollywood director, Mark Hartley. When Lamond was first approached by backers for a film he told them he had a script ready and gave them a brief synopsis. He was making it up as he went. On his next meeting he brought a script which was a script for The Exorcist with the title page torn off and replaced with one with Nightmares on the cover.
Listening to Lamond tell of his exploits in making Nightmares is infinitely preferable to watching the film without the commentary tends to be dull and predictable viewing.
Just the commentary makes this a film worth watching.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And at Penguin Comics...

http://penguincomicsnet.blogspot.com/2011/07/dvd-round-up.html

BLOODY BIRTHDAY (1981)



Ah, thank you Severin. I can remember when this was released and it's good to see it get the awesome treatment that Severin gives its releases.
Bloody Birthday gives us the concept that three children that were born in 1970 under an eclipse would be heartless killers becuase of some sort of astral configuration.
Now, eleven years later, it's their birthdays and all Hell is breaking loose. Joyce (Lori Lethin) starts to realize that things aren't right when people start dropping like flies. When someone gets too close to what is going on they are killed. The little girl sets up her father, the town sheriff, to slip and fall on a skateboard, but whne he steps over it, she lures him into the yard and one of her demonic accomplices bashes his head in with a baseball bat.
This is a classic slasher flick that I really do not like the ending of. These are children that will always be like this and the things they did required a much more violent retribution. They so did not get what was coming to them and that bothered me a little.




The film looks great. Lori Lethin looks great and she gives a great interview as one of the bonuses on the DVD.
There is also a featurette on slasher flicks as well as an audio interview with director, Ed Hunt.
And, finally, Julie Brown does like three strip teases topless in the flick and this is back in the day when she was young, cute and just really freaking stacked. That alone is worth the price of the DVD.















Sunday, July 3, 2011

Double Feature at The Waltz Compound

Double Feature at The Waltz Compound has taken a new twist with Netflix through our Wii. We have thousands of movies at our fingertips.
This is what we settled on last night.

MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID



I'll admit that I watched this for no other reason than Debbie Gibson and Tiffany's catfight. Sure, the CGI is horrid, but being raised on Corman flicks with a cavalcade of horrid special effects, this wasn't all that bad. The Asylum did a good job with this flick. I loved how Tiffany's second in  command, Angie (Kathryn Joosten) did such a great job as a hard boiled park ranger.
Also, when the creatures attack an event at the everglades, Angie tells everyone with a gun to start shooting and more than half the people whip out guns.
This is fun, pure and simple. I watched it with Dan The Man and we laughed a lot.



Next up was...

RUBBER



I saw a trailer for this a while back and thought it looked good.

Yeah, then we watched it.

Seems there is this homicidal tire that rolls around and uses psycho kinetic powers to blow people's heads off.
During all of this there is a group of people are watching and commenting on the action using high powered binoculars.
The movie tries to blur the lines between reality and fantasy and in the long run just fails horribly.
At the beginning one of the characters who is aware that he is in a film tries to explain to people watching that it is one of those 'no reason' movies. We are told that there is no reason for a tire to animate, roll around and kill people.
Yeah, there is really also 'no reason' to watch this thing.
Too bad I thought it looked pretty cool.
In the end it seemed more like they were just trying to manufacture a cult film. Yeah, that never works.






Tuesday, June 28, 2011

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE MONSTERS



K. Gordon Murray was good at one thing. He would buy fairy tale/kiddie flicks from foreign markets, dub them into English and release them on the American theater circuit. His release of Santa Claus in 1959 probably gave generations of kids nightmares. All of the films were slightly demented because, in actuality, they were never meant for an American audience.
None moreso than this little flick.
It seems that The Big Bad Wolf and The Ogre are at a trial for not being able to destroy Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb. The Queen of the Monsters, who looks a lot like Disney's Maleficent had decided that they will be tortured and executed. Even Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb think this shouldn't happen to even a monster and with the help of Stinky the Skunk, they set about freeing the monsters from the other monsters. This brings the wrath of the Queen upon them and they have to doge monsters galore while continuing their quest.
The interesting thing is that this is a musical. Unfortunately, you will never hear singing this horrific in your entire life. Flat and out of tune doesn't stop this horribly dubbed atrocity from singing it's little heart out.
Sure, the costumes are primitive, but since it's a kiddie flick you sort of cut them some slack.
I think it's hilarious that the Good Fairy changes Tom Thumb to a normal sized kid about halfway through the flick. I'm sure it had more to do with budget constraints than story line. Plus, her magic wand is festooned with sparklers that give out halfway through the scene and the actors tend to shy away from the blazing contraption.
This is a truly bad and fun flick with all these monsters chasing these little kids through some surrealistic woodland it promises to give a new generation of kids nightmares that will scar their psyches forever.
Yay!


Monday, June 13, 2011

DEATHUMENTARY



DEATHUMENTARY


2004 - 82 Minutes/Fullscreen

Directed By Arch Stanton

VHS Screener Provided by Alex Petrosian

Okay, before we get into the actual review, I have a few things to go over here. On initial viewing of DEATHUMENTARY, I found a film that was pretty good. When I checked the tape listings, all I had was the title and the running time of the flick. I went back to the flick and got some more info. You know, the director's name and the main cast. After that, I decided to go to the Internet to see what I could find. Because, as I said, I liked the movie. But there was nothing there about the movie. A big fat zero in the massive world of the Internet. I decided to check out the director, Arch Stanton, and see what I could find out. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was an alias for Jim Wynorski. Jim has done some stuff directly on video before, so it wasn't a stretch to think it could have been him. Then I found the note that accompanied the film. It was written by an Alex Petrosian. Now why would someone use an old Jim Wynorski alias for their project, especially when it’s being submitted to festivals? There was an email address, so I decided to contact the director via email. No response. This put my bullshit antenna up at this point. Why wouldn't someone playing their flicks at festivals admit to making this film? After all this footwork, I came to a decision: This is a Jim Wynorski film. I have no idea why he wouldn't put his name on it. Probably because there are no tits in it. Maybe he wanted a film festival audience to see it first. Whatever the reason, it is a good movie. Let's get into it shall we?



DEATHUMENTARY chronicles the teenage angst of Danny (Ryan Thomas Johnson). He is one of the geeky, high-tech losers at high school. Danny is madly in love with one of the most popular girls in school and has a habit of ticking off the school bully at every turn. His buddy Vince (Jessie Patrick) is always there for a really bad idea and his friend Lily (Emily Sinclair) is one hot girl who is madly in love with Danny. Of course, he can't see this, being all wrapped up in his teenage angst, the popular girl, and all. His life is pretty aimless. That is, until he videotapes the shop teacher giving a power tool demonstration.



The demonstration goes horribly wrong and the teacher ends up minus a limb and his life. Of course, it has all been captured on videotape. Enter video entrepreneur Seymour (Leland Crooke). He makes a fortune on a series of FACES OF DEATH rip offs and Danny's footage is just what his next instalment needs. Danny has no problem selling the footage and it is then when he comes up with a brainstorm. There are people in his life that make him miserable. Why not whack them and get it on tape? That way he gets rid of all the pains in his ass and makes some cash on the side. Sounds like a good idea. Right? It doesn't take long before the cops catch on to what is going on and Danny becomes a hunted man. Seymour has a plan to get the last of Danny's footage and then make it look like the kid went over the edge. A little self-defense and making sure it's all captured on video for the world to see, and Seymour has the ultimate instalment of his series. Unfortunately, Danny is a bright boy and has other ideas.



DEATHUMENTARY is a wonderful film. It is played a little tongue in cheek. Sure, it has the gore of a slasher flick, but it also has the hi-jinks of a high school comedy. Couple that with the general derision towards those FACES OF DEATH types of Mondo Mockumentary Entertainment and the moment where Danny is actually talking to us while his friend Vince is left clueless, and you've got cinema worthy of cult status. Sure, it's shot on video but so many projects are nowadays, which means it takes a great story to rise above the medium. DEATHUMENTARY is one of those movies. The acting is above average, while the camera set-ups and editing are both competent. This is another reason that I suspect that it's a Jim Wynorski flick.



As I mentioned before, there is nothing about this production anywhere. It seems like a lost film that someone is ashamed of. I hope not, because this is a real good time and I would recommend it to any true fan of the genre. It isn't often we get smart filmmaking on a slim budget.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Double Feature At The Waltz Compound

Another lazy Sunday with a house of sickos and it was time to get some black and white exploitation up on the screen.



First up was Devil Girl From Mars via my good friend, Michael Legge and his alter ego Dr. Dreck with another episode of The Dungeon of Dr. Dreck. It's summer time so the gang is at the drive in up to their usual hijinks. Throw in some vintage ads and an old school Looney Tunes with Beans (that's the character's name.) and Devil Girl From Mars never looked so good.
When you get a statuesque woman wearing a lot of vinyl bondage clothing who says she is from Mars and has the robot to prove it, you know that next thing she's going to do is take our men for breeding stock. Seems that Mars had a war of the sexes and the ladies won. Now, they have no way to repopulate.
I love the big, clunky robot in this flick and his disintegrator beam. The Martian chick ain't bad neither.



After a trip to the drive in I needed something a little sleazier.
Teenage Gang Debs fit the bill.



So, did Jack Hill watch this thing before he made Switchblade Sisters? Seems that Terry is the new girl in Queens, straight from Manhattan. She gets hooked up with Johnny, the prez of The Rebels and all is cool. Well, almost. Seems Johnny has a little thing about carving his chicks with his initials. Yeah, Terry ain't having none of that so she waves her feminine parts into the vicinity of Nino, Johnny's second in command. She puts out so he'll kill Johnny and take over the gang and she don't gotta get carved up.
See, Terry has a little problem;
She's freaking nuts!
She also wants to take over the gang and won't stop until she has eliminated all the competition.
This was a gritty little flick with zero nudity and stylized violence. It also has the song 'Black Belt' which might be the best reason to sit through this. After West Side Story and Switchblade Sisters, this seems a little weak even if it might have been before 'Sisters' and after 'West Side'.



Plus, I saw the ending coming from a mile away.
Another great double feature in The Waltz Compound.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DOUBLE FEATURE AT THE WALTZ COMPOUND

 FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS

Man, that should win for just the title. Plus, how can you not like something that starts with angry villagers battling a...caveman?!? Yup, it's internationally acclaimed actor, Boris Lugosi, as Ook, the neanderthal man. Of course the villagers kill the beast which gives Dr. Frankenstein all the more reason to bring him back to life. Also, he's got another monster named Goliath. Both of these monsters are pretty okay, but they don't get along and the villagers really don't like the idea of monsters in their neck of the woods.
This was the Something Weird Disc that had a couple of shorts with strippers dancing with guys in rubber Frankenstein masks. Pretty cool stuff.



MANTIS IN LACE

Man, does this Lila chick like acid or what? She trips the first time when she takes a john to her hovel after stripping and it makes her crazy. She stabs him in the back with a convenient screwdriver before finishing him off with a handy cleaver. Sure, this plot is thin as it gets, but it has that look of the time frame. The two detectives on the case, Steve Vincent as Sgt. Collins and James Brand as Lt. Ryan, have a great rapport and Stuart Lancaster is in it! Of course he is wasted in the part and gets whacked by Lila, but any Stuart Lancaster is better than no Stuart Lancaster.
I thought it left too much unresolved at the end. The cops shot the guy she was with because he had a gun and thought it was a set up. And, to be fair, he did shoot first. Then they just handcuff Lila and throw her in the back of the car and drive off.
I always like films that show the streets of yesteryear and this is no exception. They have to check all the go go clubs to find their killer and the storefronts are a blast from the past.
Best part of the movie;
Lt. Ryan shows Sgt. Collins an earring off the first victim and mentions that he had boots and a flowered shirt. Sgt. Collins doesn't miss a beat.
A hippy, huh?
Hilarious!








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