Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Divine Exploitation...The Book

When I decided to do a Print On Demand book of my zine I had no idea what I had bitten off. I would put in reviews, art, interviews, something with Linnea Quigley and my long piece on Jess Franco's A Virgin Among The Living Dead. I have 112 pages done with just reviews and a few of the interviews done as well. In the end the book looks like it will be a 300 page behemoth. That works for me.

Here's the cover;


This was done by Ron Merchant back in the day of print. I have no idea where Ron is and miss him terribly. He so got the whole Divine Exploitation idea and was fearless, unafraid to offend, well everyone.

Stew Miller gave me this fantastic bit of art;



I liked this so much that it is the header for every section of the book. It has that kitchen sink feel that I always tried to achieve with Divine Exploitation. One time I wrote about Spider Man cereal. Why? I really liked it. It was like Lucky Charms without all the damned marshmallows.

Then Linc Polderman gave me what will be the back cover. A lot of people like to put words on their back covers of their books. Yeah, I don't see that happening;








I know what you're thinking; 'Doug, when will the book see release?' I have a definite answer for you. November 7th 2013. Why? Simple. In 1988, twenty five years ago I did two things. One, I made this zine that has mutated into a website. It has been an epic 25 years of fun. The other thing? My oldest son, Seann will be 25 on that date. Really the better of the two things I created. 
So, as it gets closer to a release date I will have prices locked down and a page count. I have plenty of time to get it done. Five months for what is essentially a big, pretty reprint book. I will have signed copies available for anyone who asks at no additional cost. 
Stick around this should be fun.

P.S. This May we are shooting our second film, ATTACK OF THE KILLER CYBORGS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.  Wheeeeee!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

BABYSITTER MASSACRE 2013



The newest film by Henrique Couto goes back to the very roots of 80's slasher/splatter films. This is a time frame that is near and dear to my heart so, if it is done badly I tend to release my fury upon those responsible.
That being said to preface this review, Mr. Couto may now breathe easy.
The basic premise is of a group of girls that put together a babysitters club when they were younger. One, extremely cold Halloween night all of the girls decided it was too cold to trick or treat. Except Bianca (Marylee Osborne). She wanted to go out so her friend went with her. Then a white masked killer took her friend and Bianca ran for her life.
Seven years later and she is now been ostracized by the group, except for Angela (Erin R. Ryan). It is Halloween and they are planning a reunion of the babysitters club.
Someone else is also planning a little reunion.
The white faced killer from seven years ago is back.
No one is safe.
There are two kinds of slasher films. The basic, unstoppable killer type and the one that is more human. The one that has some God awful motive in the twisted sense of the word. Those are fun because you can try and guess who the killer is.
I did, but not until I was supposed to. Well done, Mr. Couto.
The gore set pieces are incredible to watch. I was most fond of the boiling water on the head that resulted in some wicked bubbly skin effect. It looked seamless to me and having been a burn victim, pretty spot on. Fingernail pulling always makes me squirm and it was at this point that I realized that the foley work was excellent. Not too big of a surprise as Mr. Couto's years of experience as a musician would lend itself well to this particular aspect of film making.
We drove 600 miles round trip to see this movie. We always go see Henrique's world premieres. It's just a thing that is done at The Waltz Compound. And we have yet to be disappointed.
Oh, and the most important part of a slasher movie is two fold; Boobs and Blood. All I can say is that Mr. Couto embraced the formula and both of these requirements were met with spectacular results.
Really.



My final plea with Henrique would be for him to visit another genre that worked so well in the 80's. Action films. Marylee Osborne would be the perfect star for a cheeseball action flick and it would be so very, very cool.

Monday, April 8, 2013

CINEMA WASTELAND APRIL 2013 REPORT

Our weekend started with a little drama as I was under the idea that I had prepaid for thee room. Their website sure made it seem that way to me. Yeah, I was wrong. And Super 8 were jack holes about the entire thing. Add that the security thingie on the door was snapped off and the sink was clogged with coffee grounds and that we had to move rooms, made for a foul taste in my mouth.
We decided to not let this bother us and went in  search of food. We discovered a little out of the way place called S&M Delicatessen where we split a spinach feta pie and a pepperoni calzone that were both out of this world. Just amazing. And the hummus that came with the pie was delicious.


After that we went to check out the collection of movie trailers in movie room 2. It was Prevues From Hell 2 and my buddy Dan Taylor is in it so that was a good way to start the day.
We didn't stray too far and watched a new film SHE DEVILS A GO GO. Hot Carl was the funniest part of the movie and it was a lot of fun.


After that we were off to Movie Room 1 where Jamie Rose, Chris Lemmon and director Jeff Lieberman discussed the classic JUST BEFORE DAWN. Chris Lemmon was very funny. Unfortunately, the problem with his microphone seemed to haunt the entire show. I love my Wasteland and after 23 shows will always go, but the microphone cutting out started to become annoying. Chris Lemmon made it fun though.


After that Jack Sholder introduced his movie, THE HIDDEN and his talk was great. Unfortunately, my camera cut out and I didn't get all of the video I would have wanted. That and he had the crappy microphone.
That did it for us for the night we went back to the room for pizza. Unfortunately, Leonardo's didn't answer their phone so we got Domino's. Still good pizza for late night.
 There was also much visiting with people in the dealer rooms that day.
The next morning Martha took her traditional 'Epic Shower' which lasts forever while I went back to the dealer room to say hello to many people who I won't name drop here.
Then it was time for one of my favorite times at Wasteland. 42nd Street Pete's Hardcore Wrestling Hour. My God that stuff is brutal. Especially the razor blade board match where this poor bastard got suplexed onto the board. Gross! Yet entertaining.
Later in the afternoon it was time for the main event, for me anyway.
A showing of SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE and afterwards a panel with Debra De Liso, Joe Johnson, Brinke Stevens and killer Michael Villella. They were fantastic and I could have listened to them all day. Michael is a method actor and he decided to use an animalistic approach to his behavior in the film. Which animal you might ask? Peacock. watch it again, it works. And his famous 'I Love You' line? Yeah, he made that up. Such a good time.


Aftre that it was my other favorite thing at Wasteland. 42nd Street Pete's Grindhouse. Pete and Wasteland promoter, Ken Kish talk about the classic days of Wasteland. Their special guest was stunt man extraordinaire, Gary Kent. Having read Gary's book Shadows & Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood I was excited to meet him in person. It was one of the best Grindhouse panels of all time. I even got to have my picture taken with Gary and buy his awesome movie, The Pyramid, which I shall review here at a later date.


Then it was time to break for dinner before we went to see Kelli Maroney introduce Chopping Mall
. It is amazing how she looks the same. I was a little mad at people with fat heads who kept getting in the camera range, but I did get the audio for all of her talk so I was happy about that.
And then it was time for the ultimate part of Wasteland.
A. GHASTLEE GHOUL'S NITE AT THE MOVIES!!!!!!! (Insert applause here)
We get a performance by Ghastlee's band, Splattertude. There are games and trivia. I even got a cool t shirt for Dandelion out of Lou's underpants! Always a lot of fun.
Then another tradition is to watch whatever movie Bill Zebub has brought with him to Wasteland. JESUS, DAUGHTER OF GOD did not disappoint. Part three of his unoffical Jesus trilogy, this one deals with a burlesque stripper quantum leaping into the body of Christ. Sex, hijinks, aikido battles and really cool slow motion fly by in the next 90 minutes and  make for a really funny film.
Then it was time for sleepy.
The next morning we slept a little late so no free breakfast for us. Instead we feasted at Denny's and then came back to get a few more souvenirs, say goodbyes and watch JUST BEFORE DAWN as a last hurrah to another excellent wasteland.
And, if that wasn't enough, we then winged our way to nearby Oberlin to have food with the awesome Tim Paxton and his sister Heather and lady friend Cara Romano. We went to a cool place called The Feve and I got their burger they named after themselves. They were huge. We talked about, well everything and then it was time to wing our way home to the drab city of Kalamazoo until October when we shall again trek to the most magical place in the world...
CINEMA WASTELAND!!





Saturday, April 6, 2013

JESUS, THE DAUGHTER OF GOD (2012)



I have liked Bill Zebub movies for a very long time. My first exposure to him was the original THE WORST HORROR MOVIE EVER MADE. He hates that I still own my copy. Then along came the only convention to go to. Cinema Wasteland. Bill Zebub is always there; showing his films and selling his wares. Before you take me for a blind fan, last year he showed his newest film, DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE. Yeah, I went back to my motel room and slept. I didn't care for it.
But, his Christ movies always entertain me. ZOMBIE CHRIST was epically funny. JESUS, TOTAL DOUCHEBAG also is quite entertaining. Now, using a little quantum mechanics, the basic premise of the TV show, Quantum Leap and a lot of slow motion camera work, JESUS, DAUGHTER OF GOD, is born!
The basic premise has a Go Go dancer (Scarlett Storm) stumble on a Quantum Physicist (Bill Zebub) who has created a device that puts her back in time into the actual form of Jesus.
Her one, true disciple, Peter (Also, Bill Zebub) sticks by her through thick and thin as she uses her new found abilities to change the course of history and try to make the world a better place.
This movie is hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. The female lead is so cute and her delivery makes me giggle. Just a great performance. Bill is always good in his movies and, while his slow motion battles are unflattering to every female figure, it still works.
 think the Bill Zebub deserves a second, mre in depth look now that we have the third film. I see that coming in the future.
Meanwhile, I leave you with this;

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My meeting with Jess Franco

It was many moons ago in the faraway land of Chicago. My beautiful wife, Martha agreed to travel with me with our three very small children and do nothing, but wait for me. I had the schedule for the RezenHed convention that Jess was to appear at. We were late. I figured I would see Jess for a few minutes and that was it.
I was wrong.
I forgot the time change and actually arrived before the panel was to begin.
Then I spotted him smoking with Lina Romay.
I froze like a geek in headlights and made my way to the room where the panel was going on.
I managed to ask a few mindless questions and he answered all of them.
Then I realized he was going to be in the convention hall and had a table. I got him to autograph a picture and Lina did the same for me. They both talked to me for a while and I gushed like a fanboy about A Virgin Among The Living Dead. He answered all of m y questions and seemed genuinely happy that someone liked a movie of his so very much. I bought a VHS of Franco trailers they were selling that I still have and he autographed.
It was because of that meeting that I arranged an interview with him and it was done in a weird way. Remember it was the late 90's.
I typed out a list of questions with huge spaces between each one. I mailed the questions to him, he wrote his answers and mailed it back. (And, yes, I still have the list).
I remember every minute of that time like it was yesterday. We all got our pictures together and none of us smiled. I know I was nervous, but it was funny that we all have such stone faces. I have to look for the picture. I know it's around the Waltz Compound somewhere and I will post it here.
I am so very grateful that I got to meet him. I could have listened to him talk for days.
But, I had the world's best wife in the entire world with a fan full of infants in downtown Chicago.
I had to go with my bag of signed photos and video tapes and know that I had finally met one of my favorite directors in the world.
Goodbye again Unca Jess.
I'm off to watch A Virgin Among The Living Dead...again.

Goodbye Jess



A little over a year ago I had to say goodbye to the one and only Lina Romay. Now, her beloved joins her in the hereafter. I have a bigger thing in my heart that I want to get on internet paper and that will take more time than I have right now. Next week probably when I have lost this huge lump in my throat that threatens to turn into sobs. everyone knows that my favorite Franco movie is A Virgin Among The Living Dead. I think I'll watch it tonight.
I won't miss him because he left me so many movies that I adore and he is in so many of them. I can see him as much as I want to. I will miss the fact that he is no longer in the same world as me. I realize that I am a selfish bastard when it comes to things like that, but I don't care.
All I know is that he's gone and it makes the world that much of a dimmer place.

The web site TWITCH had this to say;

Jesús "Jess" Franco - director of nearly 200 films, father of the 1960s Spanish horror boom and father of several generations of filmmakers - has died in Malaga of heart complications, at the age of 82.

I don't think you could find a post-1970 horror filmmaker who doesn't know Franco's work or hasn't been influenced by him. From The Awful Dr. Orloff and Vampyros Lesbos to The Mansion of the Living Dead, his work was outrageous, bloody, sexy, gory, creepy, and crossed just about every line imaginable - some that even today's horror filmmakers wouldn't dare put a toe over. 

Making films in Spain in the 1960s wasn't easy. Censorship rules imposed by the fascist government meant that horror films were rare. But some changes to policy (made in part to help Spain's economy through foreign investment and international co-productions) allowed Franco to make his first horror picture, Gritos en la Noche, in 1961. This not only introduced the world to that sinister madman Dr. Orloff, who would kidnap and cut up women to his and the audience's terror and delight, but also unveiled Franco's particular brand of narrative, reconstructed from classic horror and gothic tales, combining terror and eroticism. His gaze has been called one of the sadistic male, but it is entirely self-aware and self-reflexive. 

In his films, both men and women (such as in Miss Muerte/The Diabolical Dr. Z) are equally capable of the most vicious crimes and daring sex. While other horror filmmakers at the time kept sex in the background, with Franco it was front and centre - what Angel Sala (director of the Sitges Film Festival) calls a "bizarre and disturbing eroticism". Franco himself would deny that he was being original; he saw his own work as merely one part of a great era. However, his work was considered highly dangerous by the Spanish Catholic Church, which likely only increased his popularity. 

But between himself and fellow Spaniard Paul Naschy, they created the Spanish horror boom of the late 1960s and early 1970s, though Franco was always modest about his work. Many great actors would work with him over the years, including Christopher Lee (with whom he worked on Count Dracula, which Lee has always said was his favourite of his Dracula films), Klaus Kinski and Jack Taylor. Once censorship ended in the late 1970s, Franco was free to get even more bizarre and bloody, and continued to make his particular brand of so-called 'B' horror and exploitation films, and even some soft-core porn, often under an alias, well into last year. He was also an accomplished musician, and wrote music for a number of his films. Really, his work is so prolific that it is impossible to sum up. Luckily, much of it is available on DVD, and several books have been published on him and his influence. 

His wife and long-time collaborator Lina Romay passed away last year. I'd like to think that now they are making even more incredibly outrageous films on another plane of the universe. 

I appreciate them for such kind words. The major news sites had nothing to say.
Typical.
Jess wasn't for them anyway.
He was for us.
Goodbye Unca Jess.
I will miss you.

Monday, April 1, 2013

SOMETHING WEIRD: TEEN TURMOIL TRIPLE FEATURE

These Something Weird Triple Features are such a blast. You have no idea what you are in for. That being said, let's dive right in!



GIRL IN TROUBLE (1963)

Small town girl, Judy Collins knows that she doesn't want to go straight from home to life cooking and cleaning for her beau, Johnny. She wants a taste of the big city so, without a word, she packs a suitcase and heads on out to New Orleans.
Unfortunately, Judy is not very good at this and twists her ankle. along comes a night in shining armor in the form of a sleazebag with a car. He offers to give Judy a lift to the big city and the minute she nods off he puts the violent moves on her.
She bashes his head in with a rock and takes off in his car. Now she's in the city and has the specter of murder looming over her pretty head. Her job slinging hash gets her no where fast and the job at the lingerie store quickly reveals itself to be a front for a prostitute house. After she gets raped, of course.
Then she finds her calling at a dance hall, but Johnny is searching for her.
GIRL IN TROUBLE starts with our title girl being hauled off to the hospital from an overdose. It is there the voice over starts and we get the story of Judy Collins. It was a nice twist for the big city NOT being New York for a change.
It's a snapshot of a New Orleans that doesn't exist anymore. These films play more as exploitative time capsules than anything else. With a low budget you use reality as your set dressing and this is no exception. I was amazed to discover that Tammy Clarke, who plays Judy never did anything else. She is so pretty in this movie. Some of her hair style choices leave a lot to be desired, but figure and face wise, she is extremely attractive.
Director Brandon Chase is probably more well known for his producing skills, giving us the epic Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). But this is an adequate little pot boiler. A little stingy with the nudity, but it still does what it is supposed to do. Scare the crap out of young girls who try to leave their man back at the farm. Although this one might have the most upbeat ending of this particular sub genre.






A GOOD TIME WITH A BAD GIRL (1967)

John Cabot's (Vincent Van Lynne) plane is having a time of getting back to The Big Apple. His private jet sets down in Las Vegas where, at the same time, young Susan (Susan Evans) has finally broken the chain of foster home to foster home and has a little money in her pocket and ready to make her way as a big girl in Sin City. John is happy with Vegas. Even his room has it's own swimming pool. He calls his wife to get her to come out to the desert, but she complains that she has her gardening club to attend to.
It isn't long before John and Susan meet over her winning at slots and the electricity flies through the air. She thinks he is really 'groovy' and soon they fall into bed together. When she tells him that her eighteenth birthday is next week he offers to get her a present. Apparently seventeen is legal in Vegas. Soon they hit the night life and have different ideas of what is a good time. He wants a nice restaurant, she wants a hot dog. He wants to catch a show, she wants to catch a STD at an orgy. He leaves her to her own devices and when they realize this will never work, he heads back to The Big Apple to run his financial empire while she trolls the main drag of Vegas for older men...for now.
Susan has that page boy hair cut and button nose that, coupled with a nice figure makes for pretty cute stuff. It's a Barry Mahon flick so you get a lot of naked women dancing for no other reason than, well their naked. He even uses a jiggling butt to signal that the picture has come to an end. That would work for a nudie cutie from this time period, but this picture ends on a much heavier note. John basically leaves Susan with a few bucks and the hotel room and is on his merry way. When we see Susan last she is climbing into a fancy car with an older gentleman.
This movie has some classic Vegas done on the cheap. A skyline that hasn't existed for decades unfolds before our eyes and it is fascinating to watch. Like a lot of Mahon movies there are scenes that go on forever. The one of a couple using one of those electric vibrators that ends in something resembling a suction cup goes on for what seems eternity. There are close up scenes where we know we are looking at patches of skin from a smooth woman's body and an overly hairy man's body. What parts? Beats me! It was too close.      
Better than GIRL IN TROUBLE in it's believable story, but looks terrible in comparison.



BAD GIRLS DO CRY (1963)

Chronologically smack dab in the middle and looking like it came from the forties is our final feature of the threesome. The other two had some over dubbing occur in the mix, but nothing like this baby. Sally Downs (Misty Ayers) is fresh in town. What town? Not sure. Anytown USA according to the voice over. It seems Sally was supposed to meet a friend and see if city life was made for her. He friend bailed so, Sally was on her own.
She quickly found a job at a diner and then got a gig doing modeling. Did I say modeling? I meant lured out to suburbia to a house that was a front for a whorehouse where she got beat and drugged and forced to service clients.
Then she met a young man and it was love at first sight. He vowed to get her out no matter what the cost.
The dubbing in this would give Doris Wishman a headache. When there are two people talking we get a shot of the person not talking while the other person is a voiceover. And back and forth it goes with no one's mouth moving. To call it surreal would be an understatement.
The lead girl, Misty Ayers is very pretty, but after whatching her dress and undress, preening for the camera we get bored pretty quick. Also, no nudity. I hear you screaming out there, but it's true. Not a frame of any female pulchritude to be seen anywhere. I question the release date of the movie. It comes across as if they all knew they were making a silent film. There is over exaggerated movements, wild hysterics in front of the camera and that infernal dubbing I mentioned.
For you trivia freaks out there I want you to know that the director is none other than Sid Melton. For those of you asking, 'who?' I direct you to the classic TV comedy Green Acres. Remember the Monroe Brothers? He was the actual brother as we all know that his other brother, Ralph was actually a girl. Melton made two flicks 35 years apart. His other effort ...And Call Me In The Morning with Frank Sinatra Jr. I have yet to see.
This one was a surreal doozy and the entire disc would make for one great party DVD.
For extras there are audio ads for exploitation films while we are regaled with a gallery of old, sordid movie magazines.
There are trailers for Bad Girls Don't Cry (A completely different movie than Bad Girls Do Cry), Bad Girls Go To Hell, Prowl Girls and The Diary of Knockers McCalla (Yeah, you know I'm watching this one)
Finally we wrap up with a short that shows us what Bad Girl star Misty Ayers does in her non movie making time. A wonderful, erotic striptease that shows off more than she shows in the movie.
This was a stuffed to the gills bad girl extravaganza and worth every cent.




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