Aristede Massaccesi,Joe D'Amato,Fédérico Slonisco,Romano Gastaldi,he certainly had more aliases than one of the Manson girls.Whatever you choose to call the guy,he was obviously a director with an interesting body of work.Up until his death in 1999,D'Amato(what we'll call him here for now)helmed gialli,westerns,horror,porn,horror-porn,action,period pieces,really everything under the sun.In my opinion,he was at his best shooting pornography,but his small portfolio of horror films has generated an avid base of loyal fans worldwide,with this particular entry among most fan favorites.The Italian busta poster adorned my dining room wall for the past seven years,much to the chagrin of my ex-wife and later,to the delight of my ex-girlfriend!I gotta admit,there is something endearing about this movie,even if I still may not be able to put my finger on it after all these years. You'd think those giant headphones might have deflected the chop... A young couple is enjoying an afternoon at the beach with their mutt,the girl going for a swim while the guy lays back in the sand and rocks out to some disco broadcast over headphones slightly smaller than Terex Titan tires.Ironically he's too busy grooving to see her get pulled under,or hear her screams,OR see whatever is lumbering out of the frothy surf,dripping his girlfriend's blood.He gets a meat cleaver slightly smaller than a sheet of wood paneling planted in his skull.Meanwhile,a group of friends vacationing in Greece embarks on a boat tour of the islands for some much needed rest and relaxation.A nice enough oddball named Julie(Zora Kerova)hitches a ride with the two couples,as she plans to meet up with a pair of friends on one of the Aegeans herself.During the trip,she breaks out some tarot cards and gives readings for her new friends,but when the cards foretell doom for everyone aboard,she throws them overboard into the Mediterranean.When they dock for the night on one of the islands,they find the town mysteriously deserted,with no clues as to why,save for a woman who disappears into the shadows.Back on the boat,pregnant Maggie(Serena Grandi)who's twisted her ankle and stayed behind,is abducted by an unsavoury,unseen character who likes breathing heavily. Sprain your ankle? Soak it three times a day in a bucket full of seawater.The phony-looking latex head is an optional bonus. As the group investigates the abandoned buildings,they stumble across a bizzare journal that tells an awful tale of a hunger-crazed man who decided to start eating his family when food and contact from the mainland was cut off.They stumble into a hysterical blind girl,who's been hiding in a wine cask with a butcher knife for protection,who warns them that the grim reaper(Luigi Montefiori),the same oatmeal-faced cannibal from the journal, has murdered the entire population of the town and eaten them.Though blind,she has managed to stay alive all this time thanks to her keen sense of smell,knowing whenever this fiend approaches.Soon fate rings a ghoulish dinner bell,and one by one,the group is stalked,chopped,hacked,and munched by this madman until the mindblowing climax,which you'll have to see for yourself,if you have the stomach for it! What's for dinner tonight,Luigi? Liver and mushed wombs? Media Blasters did an admirable job in rereleasing this one in a two disc set,restoring two notorious previously cut sequences that I'll refrain from describing(hint:I've alluded to them in the screenshots,and even for a director noted for outrageousness,they're pretty friggin' outrageous!),and a whole slew of extras that any self-respecting horror buff will devour like so many baked lobstertails smothered in melted butter,kind of like your humble N dined on tonight at his father's place.Unfortunately allergic to shellfish,despite a lifelong affinity for such feasts,the violent reaction I tried to avoid by dummying up with Benadryl beforehand caught up with me,ending my Christmas Eve festivities prematurely,and nearly turning my toes up!Hope yours was more pleasant than mine,regardless.D'Amato followed this shocker up with Absurd in 1987,not technically a sequel,though Eastman/Montefiori insists that it is just that.Whatever the case may be,this entry is not bogged down by its shortcomings(the film score,one or two of the gore pieces)and is a true cult classic that must be seen to be believed.Don't let the average Wopsploitation score fool you.Get your hands on it! Ever famished,the grim reaper(Luigi Montefiori)namnams his own gutty-wuts.
As I watched my hulking baby,Trevor,devour his Christmas present last night,a full slice of seeded Italian bread,I courted the notion that the 1970's were indeed the decade of the giallo in Italian film.All the top genre directors churned them out,with the maestro,Dario Argento,surely at the top of the list.It's no surprise then,that jack-of-all-trades and father of the cannibal subgenre,Umberto Lenzi,added his two hundred lira worth with several gialli by the time the decade had passed.Lenzi tackled all sorts of subject matter in his heyday,with varying degrees of commercial and artistic(?) success,and it can be said that the Italian crimedrama/whodunnit was NOT cinematic kryptonite for the Grosseto native.His work in gialli was at least passable,lightyears ahead of movies like,say,Incubo sulla città contaminata(Nightmare City).Eyeball,aka/Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro is a decent viewing experience across the board,and I can also add,in the holiday spirit,that though lots of pretty young girls get snuffed, no animals meet a violent on camera demise in the making of said film!Merry Christmas! Martinez(Raf Baldassarre),the practical joker/tour guide, guffaws his way right into police custody. Alma Burton cancels her flight to New York to book a trip to Barcelona instead,where a tour bus full of people are taking in the sights,one of which being her husband Mark's(John Richardson) secretary,Paulette(Martine Brochard).Mark has also travelled to this Catalonian capital,to rendezvous with Paulette,and inform her of his impending divorce from Alma.No sooner than tour guide Martinez can drop a mouse at the feet of a young girl in the group for a flirtatious gag,the corpses of beautiful young girls start turning up one by one,all with missing left eyes.Burton recalls returning home a while back,and finding his wife,Alma,unconscious in the yard,clutching his bloody dagger from Vietnam in her right hand,and a disembodied human eye in the grass next to her.Hmmm,he may be onto something there...At the fun fair,another girl is found,dead,eyeless,and clutching a phony gag wind up spider in her dead hand,leading the local constabulary to take in the tour guide for further questioning.But the murders don't stop with his arrest. If you can't keep your eyes on the prize,at least try to keep them in their respective sockets. It's soon evident that the murderer may be one of the tour group itself,as a bloody red rain parka is discared by the killer at the scene of the crime,identical to the parkas that Martinez had handed out to the group during a patch of inclement weather.Meanwhile,Burton is contacted by his wife,who's booked a room at the Hotel Presidente,but when he arrives,her suite is empty save for the same bloody dagger he'd seen in her hand earlier.As the plot thickens so does the web of deception.Could it be the kindly Reverend Burton?Mr. Alverado?Mr. Hamilton who lovingly caressed his straight razor while gazing upon his sleeping granddaughter Jenny?Is it Mark's soon-to-be estranged wife Alma,in some psychopathic jealous frenzy?Or is there an unknown suspect with a hidden agenda for the murders?By the film's close,you'll have these and many more questions answered for yourself. It's not what it looks like,really.The priest(Georges Rigaud) is offering the servant girl money for...oh forget it.Your minds are prepetually gutterish,people. The cast is filled with all sorts of genre staples,from Rigaud who was in Horror Express,Lizard in a Woman's Skin,and All the Colors of the Dark,among many others,to John Bartha,who acted in Cannibal Ferox,Don't Torture a Duckling,and Violent Rome,to name a few.The list of female victims also contains some memorable names like Ines "Salo" Pellegrini and Mirta Miller,who gained popularity in a few Paul Naschy pictures in the seventies. The Spanish scenery is outstanding,and the soundtrack by master Bruno Nicolai is quite enjoyable,as always.That said,the gore is sparsely sprinkled throughout the story,but not necessary to keep the plot moving at a steady pace,which it does admirably.Not my favorite giallo of all time,not even my favorite Lenzi picture,but certainly a viewable hour and a half stroll down the yellow road waiting to be had.On the snow-laden Woplspolitation scale of excellence,it rates a respectable score of: Ignoring Ralphie's cautionary Christmas tale,Paulette(Martine Brochard)shoots her eye out.
Here's a lump of SOV coal for your stocking that's so mindnumbingly awful,it's almost surreal.It manages to consistently reek of dogshit in ways most filmfans didn't even think possible.The kind of movie you rented out back then,and ten minutes through you pause it to contemplate running back to the video store to rent something else before they close for the evening to salvage the night for yourself.Actually,it's the kind of movie your dad brought home when you sent him to "rent a horror movie" after he got done running errands with the car,after he saw the mid-transformation shot on the box,thinking he'd picked you a real winner.Oh,he did alright.This flaccid 80's were-cheapie makes "555" look like The Shawshank Redemption.It makes "The Ripper" look like Dog Day Afternoon.It makes "Blood Cult" look like...okay,I'll stop. When Eddie isn't "rocking you all night long" with Tyxe,he's bickering with his aunt over breakfast. The year is 1988.The hairstyle is the mullet.The local Colorado high school(?)/junior college(?) is plagued with what the authorities are calling "wild dog attacks".When the kids who look like they're pushing thirty years old aren't being decapitated during the full moon cycle,they hit the local club scene and rock all night long to the sounds of Tyxe,a band whose mere existence defies reason.There's hair metal guys,there's new wave guys,and they play cliche' metal(as defined by tunes whose titles are ripe with originality, like "We're gonna rock you all night long" and "Raised on Rock and Roll").They suck.Eddie is an angst-ridden mullethead who wears a leather jacket and sings for the band,when he's not ditching school occasionally or arguing with his aunt and uncle,who he lives with(and doesn't look much younger than either).At school,he and his bandmates scrap with the preppie/sporto population,who also rock the mullet like nobody's business.The one class everyone seems to take,deals with new technology involving something called computers.The prettiest girl in class,is a vapid blonde hairpig whose hair looks like a cross between Lita Ford and a nuclear explosion.She lost her boyfriend to the mysterious murderer one night when she refused to let him drive under the influence of sipping at some empty beer bottles,causing him to angrily walk home instead. Someone up there likes him.And someone wrote this script with their feet. In the class,one of the ancestors of today's computer dork fancies our hairpig heroine,and together,with the help of this... computer...they try to get to the bottom of these horrible deaths.By the way,it's a werewolf.But not just any werewolf,it's one who transforms in a carbon copy manner to The Howling or An American Werewolf in London(eight years earlier),facial structure stretching,hair growing out of the skin,fangs jutting out of the gums,canine ears popping out of head...only the finished product...well,it sucks.The whole mess culminates at the school's Winter Costume Ball,held on a full moon,of course.You know,I bet the werewolf is gonna end up on stage,and someone's gonna remark that IT is the best costume at the gala.Only it isn't even.The nerd melts down some silver into bullets,then gives 'em to uber-loner Eddie,who wan't even the werewolf afterall like we all thought,him being so distant...and mulletastic,and he plugs the beast with them,after it tears through the crowd on a bloody rampage.It was the computer teacher.At the local hospital,someone being treated for werewolf claw-slashes,transforms into a werewolf and attacks the nurse,leaving the path open for another lousy shot-on-video sequel we didn't ask for.Thankfully,they left it at that,took their money and ran like the fucking wind. An oversized heart,a rubberized lycanthrope,a working fast forward button.... I pondered at great lengths whether or not I should give this piece of shit zero B.W.'s,but eventually came to the realization that I found myself moderately entertained by the film's gaping ineptitudes,making it somewhat of a guilty pleasure.There are no footnotes here,no one went on to act in anything else,as if any of them could act in the first place...the whole cast looks like they put mullet wigs on a warehouse full of Keanu Reeves clones,and then handed them the most banal dialogue imaginable to over-deliver in wooden fashion.The effects are pretty bad,too,despite the on-screen pride the transformations are treated with.You can sit down to this,and remember everything you hated about the eighties,and love dissecting it all over beers and pizza.As such,I'll give it the marginal score of: Just $14.99 at Spencer's gifts,or wherever fine latex masks are sold.
Porn is like wine,the older the vintage, the better it is.But for a lot of folks, porn is also like having a retarded uncle in diapers,you like your uncle,but you don't talk about him if you don't have to.To each his own.I personally enjoy a good porno from time to time,and the line between arthouse indie flicks and good old fashioned fucksuckathons,though blurred by perverts like glass eyed Jess Franco and his out-of-focus zooms in the '70s,have been all but obliterated by current fare like "The Brown Bunny","Ken Park",and "Battle in Heaven",all of which make no qualms about displaying explicit sex acts onscreen.In the heyday of mainstream stroke flicks,this entry was top tier,boasting of the first XXX appearance of Ivory Snow girl,Marilyn Chambers,and after the high powered sexual kinks and hijinks she breezed through here,there wasn't a soap powder in the world that could clean this girl's reputation.As Audrey Rose used to say...Hothothothothothot! The Ivory Snow girl tackles different kinds of stains in her porno debut.
The film commences with two men entering a fast food place. The owner asks them about a mysterious matter. With considerable reservation, one of the two guys agrees to relate the sordid tale.Cue flashback:the two men,truck drivers by trade,are in a terrace next to a lake,telling each other stories, as an attractive blonde named Gloria(Marilyn Chambers) sits at a table nearby.Later the same woman is abducted.The truckers attend an exclusive sex club that night,only to be stunned by the evening's entertainment. When the blindfold is removed from Gloria, a woman welcomes her. After a relaxing massage, she is accompanied by 6 women dressed as nuns,onto a stage,in front of masked men and women of all shapes,sizes,and degrees of hairy. An emcee explains to the potpourri of perverts in attendance that the woman will be shown every pleasure imaginable. Porn isn't scary?Imagine coming home and seeing THIS witchdoctor on top of your old lady.
The 6 women first show the girl the pleasures of sapphic sex,prepping her for penile pentration by pro boxer Johnny Keyes,made up like some makeshift tribal witchdoctor(his toothy necklace would later become one of his porn trademarks).After a rollercoaster marathon of interracial intercourse,she takes to her knees to orally service a trio of trapeze chappies.While the audience voyeuristically view the raunchy debacle,they become aroused to the point that the entires affair progresses into a high gear free-for-all orgy.There's a whole lotta fuckin' n' suckin' going on,and not much of it very pretty. The owner of the fast food place asks what happened afterwards, but the men wisely plead the fifth. The greatest triple trapeze suck n' jerk ever filmed.
Raking in fifty Million boxoffice bucks on a five thousand dollar investment catapulted the little porno that could into all-time cult status,no small feat in the early days.Helping cement the film's success was participation by pro athletes like footballer Ben Davidson(in a non-sex role)and the aforementioned boxer Keyes.Fifteen crucial minutes of footage never made it out of the developing lab,and some twenty or so years later,Jim Mitchell murdered his brother/director Art with a gun.Chambers,19 years old in this performance, perpetualized her porn path well into the 1990's.Any entrepreneurial young ladies who'd fancy kidnapping me and forcing me to knock their collective bottoms out in front of an audience,I give you this:What the hell's stopping you.I'd imagine it shocked theatergoers back in 1972,and still packs enough cinematic carnality to titilate today.I give it a very reasonable wopsploitation score of: Make no mistakes about it,this is one GROOVY cumshot.
As the sound of jingle bells approach,I figured I'd throw my crew here a few newer morsels to snack on,in the holiday spirit.Let me kick this off by saying I'm a proud member of the pro-Wolf Creek camp,and I've run into an assload of people that stand diametrically opposed to that particular movie since its release.Personally,I thought Mclean's reinvention of the Crocodile Dundee type as a murderous sociopath was a minor bit of genius.His next work,stands as a suspenseful and enjoyable man vs. nature rollercoaster ride,with solid performances,excellent,realistic animatronic/cgi effects,effective gore,and packed with enough thrills for any discerning horror nuts out there.Thus far,those I've sat down to screen this little number have all come away with positive results.I think you just might,too. The floating smorgasbord,er,sightseeing tour embarks on its journey. Pete McKell(Michael Vartan) is a yank journalist on assignment in the northern territory of the Australian outback.As a change of pace from the leathery ciggie-smoking Abos and the sweltering heat,he decides to join a disparate group of holidayers on a river cruise through Kakadu National Park,headed by Kate(Radha Mitchell) the tour guide,and her faithful mutt.There's the quarreling married couple, the cancer survivor and her supportive family, the annoying and rotund camera junkie and the introspective widower(John Jarratt,the evil fucker from Wolf Creek) out to spread his wife’s ashes, all along for the ride.After an uneventful afternoon of swatting flies,bickering amongst each other,and watching salt water crocs piss away their last shreds of reptilian dignity jumping out of the water for raw chickens,Kate is alerted to what looks like a distress signal in the canyon rocks farther up the river just as they're about to pack it all in for the day.She decides to be a good samaritan and take the party off to search for the origins of the signal.I wouldn't do that,sweet'eart. High on the list of the last things you'd ever wanna see while swimming in the Australian outback. Before too long,our hapless holiday party finds itself landlocked on a tidal island that gets smaller by the minute,their sightseeing boat sinking on the shore due to an unseen underwater whap! from what has to be King Shit of Crocodile Mountain.When Kate's mates show up to tease her from their own boat,that same whap! flips their vessel over,and makes singular their cocky duo.Neil(Sam Worthington)deftly sheds his asshole status and valiantly tries to lead the people to the safety of the opposite shore before the rising tide engulfs the whole land mass.Revealed soon afterwards,the tourists have stumbled into the territory of a rogue crocodile of monstrous proportions,some 23 plus feet long(7 meters),and weighing over three tons.This giant isn't at all pleased with his new company,and has plans for each of them that involve a repetitious dinner bell.Will anyone survive?Will the croc give himself agita?The final reel will have you perched precariously on the edge of your seat until the final credits roll. 23 feet of 3 ton croc plus cocky Aussie equals this. This has to my favorite monster crocodilian flick since Alligator(1980) or Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive(1976),though it far surpasses either of those on every level.The photography is stellar,the camera is placed magnificently in every shot,showcasing the splendor of the giant country against the insignificance of humanity when it's been hopelessly lost inside it.I look forward to seeing a lot more from Greg Mclean,as the land down under has certainly upped its own ante in the grand scheme of the global horror picture.Get yer mitts on this with all speed,and throw it in,the emperor not only approves,but in this case,he highly recommends.On the scale,Rogue merits a solid: Hope that wasn't your throwing arm,matey.
You'd think by 1978 those gritty Italian documentary filmmakers would have exhausted the entertainment value of the African-based shockumentary.You'd think.Well,the Castiglioni brothers begged to differ,and with this extremely nasty entry,they pretty much closed the book for keeps.I'd searched for a good copy of this rare little ditty for years,and a few months back,I finally struck paydirt.Once I'd screened it for myself,I realized that,in this case,the hunt was definitely worth the time I invested.In the realism sweepstakes,it makes Savage Man,Savage Beast look like Saturday morning kid's fare.Be forewarned,this one's not pretty.I even had a hard time culling screenshots for the site,because I was about two violent sequences away from a sudden screampuke all over my monitor.That's saying something. Don't feel badly for him,he's not gonna need that anymore. After a lengthy segment where peckish tribesmen transform a dead pachyderm into eats for the whole crew(where by the climax,they're inside the carcass,knee deep in organs and blood,gleefully sawing away),the viewer realizes he or she isn't actually saying goodbye to the last savage,but instead saying hello to whole tribes of them,and about to embark on one of the most repugnant and vile viewing experiences of their lives.Before you can secure the nearest earl-bucket between your feet,we follow some belligerent tribesmen who've managed to spear some poor rival bastard right in the labonza.He lightly struggles on the ground as his entire midsection turns red,which must only piss off his enemies all the more,because they then saw his manhood off right on camera.One of his mitts gets the chop as well before the paisan filmmakers decide maybe we've gotten the picture.Generously,they then take care of those of us who've never seen a dog clubbed to death,skinned,and finally,cooked over an open flame.Thanks,guys. Add the Sybian orgasm machine to the list of African inventions,right next to peanut butter. The Castiglionis' draw parallels between the moon's surface and rugged African terrain,ritual scarification and breast reconstruction surgery,African mud hut sex and quarter peep shows.They also layer in some grisly Vietnam post-combat footage(the nastiest I've seen),the deflowering of young tribeswomen with wooden and stone dildos,male and female circumcision,the partial skinning and tribal dressing of a very dead tribesman,bloated and deformed,with more flies buzzing around his face than on a cannister containing Rob Zombie's Halloween.They bounce nonchalantly from tribe to tribe without ever really discerning which is which.Some are nearly completely nude,some wear western hats and sunglasses.One thing they share in common,is the ease with which they unflinchingly act out some seriously gross shit in front of the mediterranean cameras.When the end titles finally roll,you'll wish it was a whole helluva lot earlier. See,the tribesman in front is sick,and the one behind...uh,yeah. A test in intestinal endurance that the brothers really never explain the need for,this one outdoes every mondo documentary I've ever seen.For those of you out there that this sort of thing appeals to,and I worry about you if that's the case,here is your holy grail of nastiness.Back in the heyday of splatter,I pumped my fist with glee at the drive in screen during Savage Man,Savage Beast as a teenager.I must have lost my edge to a degree for such things in my old age by now.For those of you who still have that edge,you're gonna want to see this film,at least once.If you make it through twice,consider professional mental help.I rate it: How do you say "Bleeecccchh!" in swahili?
Underground icon and Queen of No Wave,Lydia Lunch has always been a pleasurable treasure to me.Whether she's screeching a minute's worth of lyrical disdain over noisy chaos,being fucked by a gun on camera,or at a podium reciting her angry barbed prose,I'm there,dudes.Hell,I'm shoving my way right up to the front,where I can drink it all in greedily.So naturally when she collaborated on this independent meisterwerk with R. Kern,one of my favorite NY filmmakers,I was right there at Kim's in the East Village to grab up the VHS all those years ago,and couldn't wait to bear witness for myself.Over twenty years later,it hasn't lost its edge,and remains an important film and an underground classic,to be sure. New York,Lydia Lunch,Super 8 film,it really doesn't get any better than this. Our heroine(villainess?)Lydia delivers a dreamy monologue over a bleak and grainy Super 8 portrait of the uncomfortable desires that consume her,be she awake or asleep.The thrill of being at the mercy of another's whimsy,and the genuine desire to be abused if only to feel alive at the moment of the abhorrent act itself,replacing the feelings of nothingness her character experiences when not being maltreated.To illustrate the all-consuming lust,she gets abused and roughhoused on camera by a cornucopia of seedy undesirables,of varying underground importance.In between these violent vignettes she caresses and strokes herself,sometimes bare-chested in bed,sometimes wrapped in a towel,longing for her next liason.The girl can't help it. The director,R. Kern,making a memorable appearance. The standout scenes play out thusly:R. Kern himself smokes a cigarette before placing both barrels of a shotgun between the girl's legs,which evokes arousal instead of the seemingly natural fear she should exude.Then Clint Ruin,a gritty-looking,pouty rail of a man,squeezes himself until he pulls the girl towards him and forces her to fellate him,only to push her away as the passion inside her grows.Suddenly she's being chased through a wooded area by none other than Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins himself!He chases her into a house where he pins her against the wall,kissing her roughly as a small blonde boy looks on.His affection turns rough,and the boy attacks Rollins with a knife,causing him to pick Lydia's defender up and plaster him against the ceiling.Lunch regains his attention by slapping him until he once again turns his violence on her,pinning her to the bed and beating her unconscious then leaving.The boy comes back into the bedroom and takes the opportunity to get a free look up her shirt.In the final sequence,Lydia combines sensuality and violence with an asian girl,caressing her body and kissing her before hanging the poor thing on hooks.Classic stuff. Clint Ruin,about to be a very lucky son of a bitch. Thanks to the folks at MVD,you can pick this and all the other Kern shorts up in one region zero set,Hardcore:The Films of Richard Kern, for under 25 bucks.The avant garde soundtrack by Lydia Lunch and Foetus(Thirlwell/Ruin)here is truly exceptional.Kern,apart from his photography and transgressive film shorts,has most recently done music videos for The Breeders,Unsane,Cop Shoot Cop,King Missile,and most recently,Marilyn Manson.He should take the directorial chair again soon,in my opinion.If you've yet to sit down to his visions,do it,whether you love them or hate them,I guarantee you won't be able to walk away without a definite opinion.I give Right Side the highest Wopsploitation rating: S.O.A./Black Flag frontman,Henry Rollins,pre-muscles and haircut,gets in on the misogynistic fun.
I ordered this the first time on pay-per-view last year while on vacation down in Texas,not expecting too much,as the cinema makes an annoying habit of painting the worst possible picture of skinheads to fill theater seats,don't they?Well,I was pleasantly surprised here.This is a film you owe at least one viewing to.It's an engrossing story about growing up in England in the early eighties,when everybody who was anybody threw on a pair of boots and braces.It captures the feelings,the music,the style,and throws it all up there on the screen without getting too preachy in either direction like you might think.The performances are all solid,especially newcomer Thomas Turgoose,who I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of in the future,and Steven Graham(Tommy from Guy Ritchie's Snatch).The emperor approves. Shaun(Thomas Turgoose) meets a crew of skinheads under the bridge.Ain't that always the case? Shaun is young British boy who's lost his dad in the Faulkland War,lives with his mum,and dresses in dated flared trousers,which causes rude boys at his school to take the piss out of him,forcing him to get into rucks and that lot.Even the Paki who runs the corner store gives him bovver 'bout reading the funnies without paying for 'em.Bollocks.One day,young Shaun meets a crew of skins in his travels,freshcuts led by a lanky fucker named Woody and his mate Milky,a Jamaican rude boy.Woody likes the lad,and takes him in,and before too long,shaves him up and even buys the boy his first Ben Sherman button down.Shaun's mum is a bit upset about his new haircut,but she appreciates the boys befriending her son and all that.At first,things is real ace,hanging out an' all that,Shaun even kisses a bird.But one night,their get-together is interrupted by one of Woody's old mates,Combo(Steven Graham),who went up for three and a half years,who pays the boys a surprise visit.Now Combo is an old head,from the days of '69,but jail has not only polarized him racially,but it's made him a bit nutty,really.Woody's crew don't stand for much more than having a laugh together,but Combo's out to change all that,innit he? Skingirls shave Shaun into the ranks.I could use a trim,girls?Eh? Combo splits Woody's crew down the middle,causing Woody and his bird Lol to keep their distance(Lol also hooked up with Combo for a drunken grope before he went down,back when she was a teenager adding to the awkwardness of the whole situation).Combo takes his troops to an NF rally out in the countryside,and before long,he's got the boys misspelling words like "nationalist" in spray-painted graffiti,noising up the Hindus,and even robbing the pisshead at the corner store,in the name of British Pride.While little Shaun is hanging St. George's Cross banners in his window,Combo pulls Lol aside on her way to work,and gives her a wooden box he made her while he was inside.She slags him down,telling him she's spent these past years trying to forget their hookup.Combo goes a little mental in the car,before looking up Milky,the rude boy,to score some weed and take the edge off.That night Combo gets the lads stoned,bonding with Milky,until the black lad's talk of his family and their closeness sends Combo off his nut,earning him a kicked in head.Young Shaun's a bit jaded after all this now,innit he? Combo(Steven Graham)expresses his nationalism with a machete. Usually I scrutinize subject matter like this with a (sharpened)metal comb,looking for discrepancies,and I have to report:this time around,I found none.It doesn't really side with the left-wingers OR the right-wingers,which for a movie of this type is a rare bird indeed.The accuracy of the subject matter is pretty close too,and you can take that from someone who's lived all of this for a long,long time now.A really good film,this.Even if you weren't a British bootboy in the eighties,you'll enjoy it.I give it a very solid rating of: Milky's taken a right kickin',innit he?
Call me a grit-eating freak over here,but I've always held Dante's lycanthr-opus in higher regard than Landis' "An American Werewolf in London".For all of Rick Baker's creature FX mastery,his four-legged moon beast came off like an angry teddy bear that moved like Angillas(from the Godzilla movies)in a wheelchair.Rob Bottin,given the work by Baker himself when he bowed out to work on American Werewolf, won the werewolf battle in my mind.Overall,Dante's flick was a bit funnier,paid more tributes to the genre,had stronger,more unsettling gore,and had a stronger cast.Which is not to say I'm not a fan of Landis' movie,I just think "The Howling" may very well be the best modern werewolf movie to date. Before there was Stargate for Robert Picardo,there was Moongate. Karen White(Dee Wallace) is a news reporter in contact with a sadistic serial killer named Eddie(Robert Picardo) who horribly mutilates women.They arrange to meet in a porn parlour beat-off booth on Hollywood Boulevard so that he can give Karen the scoop on why he kills.Eddie begins to transform into something before Karen's eyes,but is riddled with bullets by the badge boys in blue who have been tailing her.Her nightly bad dreams about the incident bring her to her headshrinker,Dr. Waggoner(Patrick Macnee)who suggests she and her husband,Bill(Christopher Stone) take a therapeutic vacation at his hideaway he calls "The Colony".In the meantime,Karen's friends Chris and Terry(Belinda Balaski,of Dante's earlier "Piranha"(1979))turn up evidence in Eddie's apartment that he might not have been barking up the wrong tree.Sketches of beast-men and women,wolves,and a retreat by the sea force the duo to delve deeper into Eddie's manias. At The Colony,Karen meets a colorful crowd of the Dr's patients currently staying there,including a grizzled old man named Erle Kenton(one of John Carradine's last roles) who tries to throw himself into the fire at a bonfire/pig roast the first night.Karen's husband is taken by the feral beauty of Marsha(Elisabeth Brooks),who wears animal skins and bone necklaces and carries herself like an alley cat in heat. As tempting as it may look,fellatio from Marsha(Elisabeth Brooks) might be a bad idea. At night,Karen is now plagued by howling wolves in the distance to go with her nightmares and husband's wandering eye.Bill goes hunting with the boys,gets scratched by some sort of wild animal, and bags several rabbits,which Marsha's hunchbacked brother suggests he deliver to their shack in the woods,so she can skin and cook them for him.Later that night he rendezvous with Marsha by a fire in the woods,where both turn into werewolves as they fuck.Back home,Eddie's body goes missing from the morgue as Terry decides to meet Karen out at The Colony.When she arrives at the doctor's office,she notices the similarities between Eddie's landscape sketch and the Colony itself.As she digs through the doctor's case files,she is interrupted by a snarling werewolf who abruptly picks her up by the neck and tears it out with one bite.Back home,Chris is stockpiling silver bullets from a curio shop(run by the one and only Dick Miller!)and heading out to the Colony himself.Karen stumbles upon Terry's mutilated body,and is greeted by Eddie,still riddled with bullet holes,who digs into one of them to give her a piece of his mind(literally)as he begins to transform into a werewolf.She throws acid in his face and escapes to find Chris has come to her rescue.Will they escape intact?Will they rid the countryside of murderous Wyle E. Coyote looklikes?Does Dick Miller deliver anymore one liners?You'll have to see for yourself... This coyote doesn't need ACME gimmicks to mess you up. Cameos in the film include Roger Corman,writer John Sayles, and the late, great Forrest J. Ackerman,holding issues of his own Famous Monsters(# 24 with Werewolf of London cover is clearly visible,har har!)in the bookstore scene.All sorts of visual gags and references to earlier were-movies are spread throughout the production,including characters named after previous werewolf movie directors,adding to the tongue-in-cheek appeal of the film.If you havent seen this by now,where the hell have you been for the past nearly thirty years??I bestow upon it my highest rating of: Crime is about to take a bite out of Belinda Balaski.