Then, on the other hand, you've got this one, a softcore SOV throwback to obscure Bigfoot porn of the seventies, from the guy who previously brought you a couple of episodes of Creepy Canada. With delectable dishes like Angie Bates, Albina Nahar, and Lynzey Patterson among others, all willing to get out of those cumbersome clothes and right down to the softcore nitty gritty for the camera lens with men, each other, and monsters, all in high def, mind you, you may be willing to overlook the production values, wonky CGI, and acting that's often stiffer than the wild man of the woods' interminable wood, which you'll also get to see here, in case you happened to be wondering.
"Do you think Audrey Hepburn started like this?"
After a late night lesbo lake tryst is interrupted by a peep tommin' cryptid, Prudence (Angie Bates) decides that snapping the definitive Momo photo will land her the degree in Cryptozoology (ha!) she's been striving for. Then it's off to the ...ahem... nudist colony where the mythical beast has been spotted for Prudence and her friends Veruca (Albina Nahar) and Mike (Michael Slade) for some sex-soaked squatchin' of the frequent order, which lo and behold, seems to draw the horny hominid out of hiding more effectively than, say, banging a drum and calling out, "Ook! Old buck friend, Ook!" or hanging salmon from fishing line up a tree, or some such shit. The titular, sorry, Prudence is as sweet, as promised, afterall, as evidenced by her mid-day diddle on a blanket under the warming rays of the sun, with a small vibrator she keeps in her thermos(!), sweet enough to keep a pair of avid monster hunters from noticing the low rent lake monster momentarily relieving itself of its inherent shyness behind them. That's sweet, alright.
"Ohhh baby, pretend to give it to me...just like that!"
At the Cottontail resort, a hippie named Flower (Heather O'Donnell) who runs the joint/someone's backyard, aids our aspiring adventurers by pairing them up with her assistant Ginger (Lynzey Patterson), the dame we'd already seen all of when she saw the 'squatch at the outset, which leads to several more pairings, these of a more personal flesh-slappin' nature. While the amorous almasty looks on from the wings/treeline, he heists electronic equipment from the group while they grope, and eventually develops a connection with our lead heroine, who comes to an understanding about the hairy brute and his origins. But mainly she just comes. A lot. With guys, with other girls, by herself. It doesn't matter. By the time the end credits roll, you'll appreciate her obsession with involuntary pelvic contractions nearly as much as she does. Is it that time already?
Somewhere, just off-camera, the fluff girl had a heart attack.
Sure, the suit is half a step up from the expensive wall at Party City in October and none of the jokes or gags could pull a snicker out of me while twin brunettes tickled my ass with a feather , but if you're going into this one looking for realism or comedy, you're barking up the wrong tree, Fido. It's all about the naked nubiles on display, and maybe I was just zooted balls, but these ladies' natural assets looked especially good to me, God damn. A refreshing change of pace from the plastic, artificial Barbie look the adult industry seems to favor these days. If they had the courage to bypass the softie crowd and make a hardcore feature, I'd have been hard pressed to slap another Wop upon this puppy, for sure (and head for the nearest box of tissues, knowing my appetites). As it stands, though, Prudence earns a deuce for its eye candy, and it's worth a look just for that.
"Yeah, I see your tits. What about those wimpies you promised to make me?"
Remember the first time you saw a "found footage" style horror movie? Most folks can recall their fiftieth at this point in the copycat sweepstakes we used to call a horror genre. Found footage cannibals. Found footage zombies. Found footage daikaiju. Found footage demonic possession. Found footage Leatherface. Uncle, already. Tonight's review is a Bigfoot twist on the style, though not even the first one, as I believe 2012's Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes owns that dubious distinction, if I'm not too A.M-delirious to say for sure. One thing Willow Creek can boast of, is being the only Bigfoot-based found footage film directed by Shakes the Clown. From the first time I read about this one, I was already well curious to see it, being a long time proponent of hairy hominid-based horror flicks, but the driving force behind my desire was the fact that I'd never laughed at anything I'd ever seen Bobcat Goldthwait in, as far as I can remember. The high pitched screech thing he always seemed to be doing only ever got on my nerves. So, if comedy isn't the guy's strong suit, maybe he's a natural for horror? Open-minded I try to remain at all times.
Look, it's a couple of goofy tourists documenting their dinner for posterity, my favorite...
We meet Jim (Bryce Johnson) and his girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) as they embark on a road trip to Bluff Creek in California, the secluded location off of the Klamath River where would be adventurers Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin bumped into and briefly filmed an adult female Sasquatch that's been dubbed "Patty" over the years, or Bob Hieronimus in a monkey suit that was intricate for it's time, depending on who you talk to. Either way, Jim is thoroughly convinced that several local disappearances can be attributed to angry wood boogers, while Kelly is merely along for the ride to provide skeptical smartassery and generally break his balls as he attempts to document the entire experience for a personal film project, a life long dream he's had. Women. If you weren't so damned adorable and delicious...
"Pete, hand Sasquatch the level, would ya, fer cryin' out loud?!!?"
At first, like a pair of hit-starved YouTubers they film on the side of winding mountain roads, providing documentary-style narration and in-camera edits as they question local Indian women about personal encounters, hear portly cryptozoologists cackle Bigfoot songs as they fumble over acoustic guitars, eat massive Bigfoot burgers at a tourist trap in Willow Creek, but as Kelly's teasing drives Jim to take the project further in seeking out the Bluff Creek river bed where the 1967 film was shot, they encounter interference in the form of angry country folk who tell 'em to g'wan an' git while they still can. Refusing to am-scray in the face of backwoods adversity, Jim hikes his girlfriend into the deep forest anyway and it isn't long before the signature wood knocks and high-pitched screams join the clueless campers, clearly in over their fool-heads already. While trying to vacate the premises in haste, Jim manages to get them lost, even stumbling upon the historic river bed, complete with giant footprints in the mud that look awfully fresh. Men. You gotta love us. It all wraps up much like one might predict it would, at least I know I called it during the coming attractions. Actually, as the cashier was handing me the bag with the disc inside and my change, but hey...
The Yacumos have the tent surrounded but we're gonna keep film-...sorry, wrong movie.
I dunno, maybe I'm tougher to please than I originally thought, but if you're gonna do a Bigfoot movie in my estimation, the opportunity arises these days to hire stellar FX artists to whip you up the most realistic, believable suit you can afford, for the film's big money shot, if there is a big money shot, that is. Bobcat felt the movie didn't need one, for whatever reason, probably in sticking as close as possible to the wildly popular Blair Witch bargain mold. With no real pay off to speak of after building admirable levels of tension in the tent sequence (unless the nekkid hillbilly chick turns you on, of course), the ending seems a little flat and cheap for a horror movie. Mainstream chimps might be satisfied with the fifteen minutes of general concern that preceded, but like I said, I'm probably tougher to please than the average cymbal smasher that Hollywood targets with these things. The potential was definitely there, but unrealized in the end, unfortunately. Overall, it's still worth seeing. On the scale, two Wops will have to do for Zed from the Police Academy gang's directorial debut.
"Look over in the treeline...I think I see Egg Stork from 'One Crazy Summer'..."
If you thought last night's review sounded slightly weird, just wait 'til you wrap your minds around tonight's movie, a 1983 Shaw Brothers tale of kickboxing and mysticism as directed by Asian horror king Kueh Chih Hung, of puppets and wind up toys passed off as special effects, a soundtrack that borrows directly from Flash Gordon (1980) and Phantasm (1979) among others, and then there's Johnny Wang Lung Wei as a paraplegic with extraordinary range of motion in his limbs...look, I'd never be able to document all the lunacy within Sze To On's bizarre screenplay in a mere intro paragraph, nor would I ever attempt such a blatant impossibility, without first undertaking my own introspective spiritual journey, involving lots of early 70's era Amboy Dukes, a gas mask full of Dutch Treat nuggies, and a special lady I know who does this thing I'm especially fond of, without ever using her hands. Sidetracked again...
In this episode of Black Magician vs Food, we'll hear Somjai Boomsong query, "Are you gonna eat that?"
After brutal Thai boxer Bu Bo ("Bolo" Yang Sze) leaves his brother Chan Wing (Wang Lung Wei) permanently crippled in a kickboxing match, Chan Hung (Phillip Ko Fei) is visited by the spirit of his twin brother (Elvis Tsui), who just so happens to be a dead Taoist Abbot striving to attain immortality despite the witchcraftian interference of a pesky Black Wizard (that looks like an Asian mash up of magician Doug Henning and eighties wrestler Ultimate Warrior), who's highly salty and vengeful over the murder of one of his disciples/ pet bat, who's been reduced to a hopping wind up bat skeleton by the monk's gung fu magic. When Hung (who pukes a live eel into the bathroom sink one evening, mind you) decides to assist the Abbot, who's been poisoned by eye needles, manages to dispatch the responsible Wiz in a dizzying, often nauseating hail of WTF, three of his students take up the cause.
"This egg could use a Glade Air Wick. For real, it smells in there."
From here on out, it's colored lights, detached floating heads strangling folks with dangling veins and muscle sinews, pillowy Asian bobblers squashed up against glass, cyclopean lo-fi laser-shooting poodle demons, hydrocephalic monster puppets hatching out of goopy Alien rip-off eggs, wind up spiders that might have left even Fulci himself snickering, gaudy-yet-mystical locales in Thailand and Nepal, troops of attacking crocodile skulls, Saran wrapped suicide by kukri knife, and nude sorceresses reanimated by the sewing of corpses into dead crocodile carcasses and group eating/regurgitating/re-eating of rotten fruit, 'nanner peels, maggot-ridden chickens, entrails and assholes, with the gross blend all stuffed into the woman's mouth. The final magical showdown sees Hung's ears and nose infiltrated by fuzzy demon caterpillars while he's held down by a pair of skeletal arms, but he somehow manages to strip the sorceress of her flesh, causing her to melt into a blue puddle full of maggots. I could elaborate further, but you get the idea. Hung defeats Bu Bo somewhere in there, too, but with everything else going on, you probably won't notice.
"I'm alive!!! That last chewed up chicken shitter you put in my mouth must've done the trick..."
You'll recognize Ko Fei from things like Seven Man Army (1976), The Killer Meteors (1976), Bandits, Prostitutes and Silver (1977), and The Dragon, The Hero (1979), though he dates back to the studio's early days with roles in The Deadly Duo (1971) and The Water Margin (1972) as well. The muscle-bound Bolo/Yang Sze has had a long career in action films, squaring up against everyone from Bruce Lee to Jean Claude Van Damme over the years. Be forewarned, if you've got a working gag reflex, this movie will test it often. And if you're getting zooted while viewing (couldn't blame ya), you're probably gonna wanna skip the munchies phase afterwards. In a sub-genre known for its propensity to turn gross in a moment's notice... Seriously, this movie is like the Star Wars of gross Asian shit. Not for everybody, Boxer's Omen scores a WTF deuce on the rating scale.
"At least my good fashion sense remains intact!", notes Wing (Johnny Wang).
What if Ray Dennis Steckler decided to make Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972), with a lower budget, in a dilapidated amusement park in Pennsylvania, while tripping his face off on a sheet of blotter acid? You might end up with something like tonight's review, a regional Nixon-era horror movie shot mostly in Willow Grove Park in Montgomery County, a northern suburb of Philadelphia, that stars none other than everyone's favorite midget with a spastic colon, Herve' "Tattoo" Villechaize, Jerome Dempsey, and Daniel Dietrich, who you may remember as Givens, the television manager who demands that out-of-date supers remain on the air in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978). You may remember him, but nobody'd hold it against you if you didn't. The same goes for this movie, which recently resurfaced from the murkiest depths of obscurity when a single print that allegedly briefly played the drive-in circuit down south, was discovered in an attic somewhere.
"Comeouttathatcaravan, yedertyshiiteinabucketye, an' bringyerstones!"
When Vena (Janine Carazo) and her parents gain employment in a carnival that's run by Mr. Blood (Jerome Dempsey), a vampire that strongly resembles Kelsey Grammer, and overseen by a mustached guy in a cape named Malatesta (Daniel Dietrich), they quickly realize that they may be in over their heads when a family with a bratty little girl goes missing after riding the Tunnel of Love together, a broken pair of glasses and some stage blood being their only legacy. Mr. Norris (Paul Hostetler) wears a moth-eaten bathrobe, drinks bottled beer in the family trailer, and plays with his .38 snub nose, while Mrs. Norris (Betsy Henn) never takes the curlers out of her hair. Outside the trailer, there's a community of cannibals in theatrical makeup that watch vintage black and white horror movies in the catacombs below the park, when they're not beheading foolish pot smokers looking for a late night ride on the roller coaster. You've also got a gypsy fortune teller with an Adam's apple, a cross-eyed Richard Harris lookalike who skewers unsuspecting patrons with a garbage sticker, a guy named Bean with a hook for a hand (not really), and a dwarf named Bobo (Herve' Villechaize).
A Man on Horse: Looks like Richard Harris got lost on his way to MacArthur Park in the dark and ended up in Needle Park instead.
Mr. Blood has a sudden change of heart, and decides to help Vena escape, before extracting some blood from a vein in her arm and drinking it from a bottle like some Cherikee Red. The Norris' venture out of the trailer (he in his shabby bathrobe, she in her curlers) to look for their daughter, first setting the caravan on fire to alert the police in neighboring towns (!), while Vena experiences odd day-for-nightmares involving mylar sheets, plastic, and the groovy frame of a Volkswagen Beetle hung upside down from ceiling chains like a weird porch swing/ car accident. Her boyfriend Johnny (Paul Townsend) finally shows up to look for her, just as Blood is extinguishing the smoldering remains of her parents' trailer, and when he later grasps Malatesta's neck while seeking the truth, the proprietor's head turns into bubble wrap and a wig. Everybody dies eventually, and in the end we see Malatesta riding the parachutes with other paying customers, who may or may not get eaten by the cannibals afterwards. Who can tell for sure...
"Very considerate of you cannibal carnys to lay plastic sheets down before devouring me..."
At the time of filming, Willow Grove Park was known as Six Gun Territory, the name it went by until it was closed in April of 1976. The mall that was later erected in its place has a merry go round inside it (the ride, not the 90's clothing store for douchebags). According to the film's official website, the director Speeth went on to shoot experimental films and documentaries, and his footage has appeared in television shows like America's Most Wanted, NightLine, and Final Justice. American Zoetrope finally released the bizarre-assed movie on DVD, for those who dig their horror with little rhyme (provided by Villechaize in his thick French accent, naturally), less reason, and heavy with hippie-soaked psychedelia. Though the acting reeks of a Ren Faire somewhere, the edits look like they were made with a circular saw, and there are no attractive, nude, blood-covered girls to speak of, you might find the whole thing interesting under the right circumstances*. One wop.
When you're taking a break from evil, nothing beats riding the parachutes.
Tonight's review, a supernatural kung fu comedy from director Liu Chia Yung starring the likes of Hsiao Ho, Chang Chan Peng, and Fu Sheng, has only been on my "to see" list for the past thirty years, having been unable to score a copy anywhere until the glorious advent of all region dvd players finally made it and many other Shaw Brothers films accessible to long time Western enthusiasts like myself. As one would expect, this is a weird and wild ride, packed with cereal-faced zombies, hopping ghosts, spiritual posession, lazy eyes, foot moles, broad physical slapstick comedy, lo-fi special effects, and Chinese mysticism that pre-dates Ivan Reitman's own Ghostbusters by nearly two years, or, in other words, a must-see for any self-respecting fan of martial horror-comedy. Still not convinced? What if we threw in Wang Lung Wei in a friggin' eye patch? Yeah, thought that'd do the trick...
Fu Sheng, at his dramatic finest, as you can clearly see here.
After a man (Lung Tien Chiang) commits suicide with poison over his unrequited love for a beautiful young newlywed (Lily Li), his spirit returns from the afterlife during a bungled grave robbing by a group of starving bumpkins, who are interrupted by a wounded whistleblower (Chang Chan Peng) fleeing the armed henchmen of a corrupt Qing official (Wang Lung Wei) known as "the one-eyed general", who's trying to kill him before he can transport evidence of his treachery to a nearby judge. The vengeful ghost kills the young woman, whose ghost enlists the services of a phony Taoist magician's young assistant (Hsiao Ho), who happens to be the whistleblower's cousin, leading him to also unwittingly involve himself in the deceased woman/ghost's plan to foil her ethereal murderer before he can give her twin sister (also Lily Li, of course) a similar fate. The titular fake ghost catchers bring in an extravagantly garbed and perpetually unlucky opera performer with nine lucky moles on his foot(Fu Sheng) and carry along the female ghost in a paper spell inside an umbrella for the ride. Nope, not a typo.
"Let's see Linda Blair pull some shit like this off!"
The actor only agrees to help the young men if the female ghost will help him to be more successful at gambling, leading to expectedly ludicrous results at the local gambling house with a lazy-eyed casino owner (Tu Shao Ming), who even has a lazy-eyed mistress. Meanwhile, the plotting, murderous general only has one eye. You with me, so far? One eye captures the whistleblower and tortures him for the whereabouts of the secret list, but the woman's ghost possesses him, making him impervious to blows, weapons, and even flaming sticks of incense, which he chews menacingly (!) before escaping the general's clutches. At the climax, a trap is set at an abandoned house by the judge and the ghost catchers who defeat and arrest the general and his men when Li's ghost again possesses Peng, who subdues One eye while fighting like a Shaolin wooden marionette. Fu Sheng poses in ornate traditional marriage drag as Li's twin sister afterwards, as part of the set up for Lung's ghost, who naturally isn't about to give up hauntings and murders without a knock down, drag out fight to the finish, complete with wire work, lighting fx, cheap horror masks and makeup, and a goodly dose of gung fu magic, luckily for all of us watching from our seats. See for yourselves.
...and Johnny Wang as the evil One-Eyed General. Joke pretty much wrote itself.
1982 was a busy year for Fu Sheng, who showed up in My Rebellious Son, Cat vs. Rat, and The Brave Archer and his Mate all in the same year as this effort, and his appearance here is mostly in a supporting comedic role, with few fights to mention, but he's freaking hilarious throughout the damned thing, so we'll let that slide this time. On the other hand, the acrobatic Hsiao Ho, who never really received the spotlight he truly deserved, is excellent here, and Sheng's younger brother, Chang Chan Peng, who retired from acting altogether after completing Wang Lung Wei's This Man is Dangerous in 1985, has some equally impressive fight scenes, and it can be argued that his possessed wooden man routine vs. Wang here, rivals or even bests his brother's similar sequence (on a physical level if not a comedic one) in Liu Chia Liang's Legendary Weapons of China, which was also released in 1982, coincidentally. A good time to be had, for sure, and three Wops on the scale. See it now!
(Not very)Special make up tip # 7783: Apparently, ghosts like their Cream of Wheat with strawberry preserves mixed in.
Next, we'll look at Los Ritos Sexuales del Diablo, a 1982 offering to the dark lord and master from Spanish sleazemeister Jose Ramon Larraz, the director responsible for famous fiend fodder like Vampyres (1974) and Symptoms (1974), and later, things like 1987's Rest in Pieces and Edge of the Axe (1988), under his favorite pseudonym, Joseph Braunstein. Like much of his body of work, tonight's review, also known as Black Candles, is packed to the gills with deviate sex and nudity, and though this is a relatively bloodless effort for him, save for one wince-worthy on screen demise that we'll touch upon later, the sex is degenerate and vulgar enough to make your skin crawl at certain points, if that's the type of thing you groove on, and this is coming from a guy who's nothing to sneeze at, himself, in the sackmaster sweepstakes. Let's get on with the review while I get the ol' ego under control (with a whip and chair) over here...
"Pins and needles, needles and pins, have yourself a heart attack while you're hitting the skins (you bastard.)!"
After seeing a poor balding bastard's ticker conk out during a mid-day romp with a sexy young finger licking witch, due to a mysterious pair of hands wielding a sizable pin and voodoo doll over some titular black candles elsewhere, we're introduced to the dead fuck's sensuous sister, Carol (Vanessa Hidalgo), who's smoking body and attention to detail of the garter belts and silk stockings variety bring me great pleasure, and who's husband Robert (Mauro Rivera) looks like the result of gene splicing experiments involving Greg Brady and 70's porn dick Jamie Gillis, as they arrive at her brother's cottage in a secluded corner of England as guests of her mysterious sister-in-law Fiona (Helga Line), who happens to dig black candles and framed prints with sinister subject matter, and also, peep tomming their constant fuck sessions through a concealed hole in the wall behind a painting, and also, Satan. The other locals all seem to think ol' Scratch is swell, too, as evidenced during a black rite in a barn involving the aforementioned finger licker and a goat. Scratch that one off of my bucket list of things to see. Oh, and before I forget, Carol and her late brother were ankles behind the ears kinda close, to add to the "Did I just see what I just saw?" vibe going on at this pad.
"Just give me another minute in here, I'm pinching off another Phish album!"
It doesn't take long for middle-aged Fiona to sock it to Robert, who's only too happy to spread it around in the family, and he's soon participating in her coven's black magic orgies, where you'll see a tubby out-of-favor Satanist receive punishment in the form of a sword up the ol' wah-zoo. One of the hired help/Satanists/goat wranglers heists a gaudy necklace out of Carol's effects and she's soon the subject of the circle's sex magicks herself, as conducted by a creepy guy with a cocaine pinky claw and a priest suit. The new Satanic Robert fancies some fartbox action from his unwilling wife, who pairs up with several of the witches for lesbian loving in the name of Lucifer, who, though he never shows up here, has to be impressed with the effort. In the end, we see the couple arriving at Fiona's under the exact same circumstances. All merely a dream...or was it? Only Larraz (and Lenzi, perhaps) knows for sure.
"I'm gonna stay over here tonight, baby, if it's all the same to you, your busy wallpaper has spoiled my boner."
You'll remember Helga Line from her genre work in titles like Horror Express (1972), My Dear Killer (1972), and Exorcism's Daughter (1971) opposite Paul Naschy. Hidalgo appeared with Lilli Carati in Italian comedy, C'e' un fantasma nel mio letto (1981). Though the effective, throbbing soundtrack is credited to Cam, I swear I can hear elements of Marcello Giombini's work in Gariazzo's L'ossessa (1974) throughout the damned thing. I swear I can. This one's heavy on filth and flesh, and though I wasn't always entertained by Larraz's disturbing images, the outrageous dialog and lovely actresses assets on display kept me engaged right up until the end credits. If you're as twisted as I am, you'll enjoy it, too, though I wouldn't advise those sensitive or easily offended readers/viewers to seek out a copy, because you probably wont enjoy it in the least. Two wops. Approach with caution.
"Oh Billy, when it comes to Satanic hay rolls, you're simply the G.O.A.T.!"