With August about to dawn on us,I thought I'd say goodbye to July with a good old fashioned low budget independent horror comedy that fell into my lap courtesy of Massive Ego Productions,and wrter/editor/director,Emil Hyde,a personable gent indeed,possessing of the raw materials necessary to press ahead in filmmaking,and given the proper ingredients like a budget,some actors,skilled makeup effects technicians,I can easily see him going on to make memorable movie experiences that leave genre fans ranting long afterwards.Everybody starts somewhere,and I'm guessing this film marks Hyde's starting line to some degree,and to his credit,he has completed his first race,as it were,and the finished product is a likeable comedic romp with ample gore and surprisingly good digital visual effects contained therein. On the negative side,the budget really shows in some places,most notably the makeup effects which for the most part look like pre-bought Woochie latex appliances and foam rubber severed body parts from the local Halloween store.The acting,which I'm guessing is supplied here by family and friends and/or walk ons,falls a little flat in moving Hyde's original and funny script along from scene to scene.All-in-all though,I can't say I wasn't entertained. Just look at that mess. Forget about getting your deposit back now. Enter Tyler(Derek Dziak),the titular chubby landlord of an apartment building that happens to be frequented by a demonic duo,Rabishu(Rom Barkhordar),who's addicted to Hawaiian shirts and late night infomercials,and Lamashtu(Lori Myers),his bitchy hell-queen whose face closely resembles a fox terrier.Together they've been materializing at inopportune times and eating Tyler's tenants,usually before he can even collect rent out of the poor bastards.His sister,Amy(Michelle Courvais),a beat cop who's been conducting an extramarital affair(cunnilingus in a squad car is a kick I haven't tried YET) with her partner, as well as feeding local dirtbags to a crew of vampires(!) in exchange for money and valuables,is aware of the netherworldly couple,and helps her haunted sibling out whenever she can. "Skyyyyrockets in flight! Afternooon deliiiiight!" Donna(Erin Myers)shows up at Tyler's door one day,running away from an abusive old man and an unwanted pregnancy,looking for a divorce,an abortion,and cheap room and board after trying her luck at a fleabag motel full of hookers,johns,and drug addicted weirdos who rub danishes on their nipples,overseen by an acid-tongued manager(Emil Hyde himself)with an itchy trigger finger.After a romantic evening of karaoke at the local dive bar,our pudgy protagonist takes a shine to the troubled girl,which only complicates matters at home,where Lamashtu hankers to eat her unborn infant(!!!).How can Tyler keep Ribishu from buying useless junk with his credit card,keep the detectives off the bloody body trail,keep his sister out of trouble with the vampiric vagabonds,AND keep his new love interest off the menu?You'll have to find out what goes down in the knock-down,drag-out brimstone-baked finale for yourself.Contact the folks behind http://thelandlordmovie.com/ and score yourself a copy of this quirky horromedy.Remember,the more you support independent,original horror, the less you'll be wasting your time with brainless Hollywood remakes. These mirror-gashes are gonna do wonders for your eyes,sweetie! Despite its budgetary shortcomings,Hyde's film boasts of some impressive force fields,flaming portals to Hell,supernatural witchcraft battles,baseball bat beatings,broken bottles to the labonza,brain-ladeling,and obligatory limb-munching.You could do a lot worse than this one during the week,believe you me.Barkhordar has done acting and voice work in television and videogames while Courvais acts in the Windy City.Hopefully we'll be seeing more in the future from Mr. Hyde and company.Give it a shot,droogies. Whoa,maybe I should've stopped at four double-dipped blotters.
We've gone from dogs to dog shit today,folks, marking a truly historic day at Wopsploitation, the very first movie to merit a zero wop rating thus far.We've reviewed some pretty bad films over the past two years, but none so completely meritless that I've had to lay the golden goose eggs upon it.Until now.Not to be confused with the superior one wop film of the same title(which we looked at in November of 2007 here),make no mistakes about it, this is no remake,nor is it a sequel,hell,it's barely a horror movie by the loosest of standards.Director McCormick,who cut his teeth directing television,broke his teeth here over-utilizing jump scares,false scares and obsessing on closets and vanity mirror shots,all used minimally to full effectiveness by quality genre directors like John Carpenter in Halloween(1978).If they took an hour and a half long episode of Gossip Girl and made it into a bloodless,scareless horror film,this would be it.And if you're a horror fan who looks for that type of movie,you're on the wrong website.Afterwards,I actually reminisced about the original Prom Night(1980), wishing this chocolate ass-bundle were at least good enough to be as bad as that.It isn't, by any stretch of the imagination. "I'm scratching peace symbols in your tombstone, Donna!" Donna(Brittany Snow,who actually went on to act in Gossip Girl,mind you)comes home from a sleepover weekend with her black girlfriend,Tokenita(Dana Davis) to find that one of her high school teachers,Richard Fenton(Jonathan Schaesch),a dead ringer for Charlie Manson(where the hell do you teach,Fenton,Scumbag High?),has viciously shanked every member of her family in the labonza in a vain attempt to keep her close to him(?).He goes to a nuthouse and she moves in with an aunt and uncle.A year later,the painful memories of her family's gruesome deaths are put on the backburner,and she's preparing for her senior prom with her two vainly unsympathetic friends,unaware that Fenton has already escaped the nut hatch,murdered someone else,and donned their wardrobe,looking now like a less psychopathic Billy Bob Thornton.Before you can blink your eyes,Bobby(Scott Porter),a weird-mouthed kid who looks like the male equivalent of Kirsten Dunst, is knocking at Donna's door,and they're one typical limo ride montage away from the night of their lives.Fenton arrives at the hotel,shanks a cleaning woman in the labonza,scores himself her master key,foreshadowing a handful of bloodless murders on the horizon. I know how you feel,buddy.I had to sit all the way through this pile of shit. At the prom,the girls dance with their unthreatening effeminate dates to song after bad song(all with an overused and annoying toy piano effect) while Tokenita plans to win the Prom Queen title over an underdeveloped bitch character named Crissy Lynn.Oh she's bitchy alright,but not much more than our female leads so nobody cares.News of Fenton's escape three days earlier finally gets to Detectives Nash and Winn,two cops who couldn't find their own assholes with bloodhounds and a search party,and they warn Donna's caretakers and head to the prom themselves.Fenton shanks Donna's friends one after the other in the labonza(only Tokenita is lucky enough to get her throat slashed)with one of those cheesy knives that rednecks buy off of the Home Shopping Network at four in the morning,until after the cops have pulled the plug on the prom festivities,he corners her in the hotel room,only to fall for the same "hiding under the bed" ploy that she used on him a year earlier.The cops realize Fenton has assumed the identity of one of the hotel workers to leave the building and follow Donna back to her uncle's place,where Bobby is alone in her room,consoling her.Not like he'd wanna have sex with her or anything,it's only prom night,ferchrissakes.Fenton kills a cop and slashes the mealy mouthed boy's throat,before being pumped full of holes by Detective Winn just as he's upon his obsession.It's finally over.I mean,the movie. The goriest five seconds of the movie,submitted for your disapproval. I wasn't entertained by a single thing in this movie.Literally every aspect of it sucked elephantiasis balls from beginning to end.I'd rather sit through a chick flick than endure such a heavy-handed piece of shit like this ever again,and believe me,I'm pretty shellshocked from seven and a half years worth of awful chick flicks I've been forced to endure in the name of harmonious relationships of late.I'd advise McCormick to stick to CSI and House episodes,but unfortunately he's helming The Stepfather,to be released this October.If this film is any indication of what he's bringing to the table in his current project,avoid it like the ugly wallflower with canker sores on her lips at the dance.Congratulations,Prom Night(2008).You're not worth a single wop on the rating scale.You're a dance I wouldn't even go stag to. Billy Bob Thornton?!! What the hell are you doing here?
I've deprived the sexy young grogwenches at my local watering hole the extreme pleasure of seeing my ruggedly good-looking face for one night(at least...)to bring you another installment of B.W. goes to the movies,and as it's that time of week,we'll focus our lens on another cartoon that you probably wouldn't want your kiddies to viddy.'Course I couldn't focus my glassies on much of anything after this week's bonfire of irresponsibility,which included three bars,a case of Perroni,cod on the grill at Smith-tips' estate,and passing out sideways on the bed while listening to the local constabulary,lights a' flashing,grilling a suspect who wasn't me for a change.How sweet it is! This week's animated feature is another grim 'toon from the team responsible for Watership Down(1978),only this one is even grimmer still!The misleading poster promises adventure,but I must have missed it in between all the death,blood,and gloomy set pieces throughout.'Course I'm just the target audience the film's makers were looking for,as I enjoy a real bummer as much as anybody.If frothing war-crazed bunnies didn't grab you,director Martin Rosen and writer Richard Adams focus on two escaped test animals from a British laboratory where scientists secretly eff with bubonic plague behind closed doors!Sound like your kind of "buddy picture" too?John Hurt is on board to lend his vocal talents,as well as Patrick Stewart(as a Major near the end,if you listen carefully enough)and 70's Brit horror staple Judy Geeson as a chatty Pekingese.If Umberto Lenzi made cartoons in his heyday they'd probably look a lot like this. They don't come when you call, they don't chase squirrels at all... Rowf,a lab mix, is one of many dogs they experiment on at the Lake District animal research facility.Every day they throw him in a big tank of water,and every day he drowns real good.His friend Snitter,a fox terrier who's undergone experimental brain surgery,convinces him to break the fuck out like the measles before they end up on the business end of a shovel headed for the incinerator.After their daring escape amidst mobs of screaming monkeys and schitzy rats,the taste of freedom is bittersweet when they must regress to primal survival instincts in the dismal British countryside.Snitter has frequent black and white flashbacks to happier days at his master's side before he got pinballed in front of a moving car.Once the facility realizes the dogs have escaped,they attempt a cover up of the secret tests they've been carrying out using the bubonic plague virus,and set hunters upon the fugitive animals at the same time. Blowing your own face off with a rifle,a staple nowadays in animated features. While feasting on the local sheepherders' stock,they befriend a fox who teaches them how to get in touch with their wild roots in exchange for shared meals,but when the sheep start dropping with regularity,the authorities take notice.Off on his own,Snitter is about to befriend a hunter when his paw hits the trigger of the man's gun,effectively blowing the poor bloke's face off(!)and intensifying the pair's status as outlaws.The research center sends out their own hunter,hoping to end the negative publicity once and for all,but their secret testing involving bubonic plague leaks out,and the hunter falls off a cliff,ending up as a meal(!!) for the escaped mutts and their foxy friend.The government shuts down the facility,sending soldiers and attack dogs to sweep the countryside for the pair of pooches,and when the fox risks himself to throw the dogs off their trail,he is killed.The dogs make it to the shore,but find choppers and soldiers at every juncture, and when Snitter wades out into the ocean believing he can see an island ahead,Rowf follows soon afterwards with a flurry of bullets hitting the surf behind him.Both dogs,near exhaustion,paddle with the last of their strength against the tide,the hardships of freedom more satisfying than either one could have imagined. Rowf and Snitter weren't best friends to this poor son of a bitch. Rosen's screen adaption of Adams' book leaves out a lot of human interaction,choosing instead to cover the material through voiceover narration juxtaposed over the animals arduous journey.He also nixes the tome's happy ending where both dogs reach Snitter's original master,as in the film,he is killed by a car in the street,and the dogs' survival is unlikely on the screen,but makes for a much more powerful movie,in my opinion.As it stands,the director wasn't speaking out against vivisection, but was one of the first to bring the suffering of laboratory animals to light none-the-less.As for my thoughts on the subject,I feel any unneccesary pain and suffering to these creatures should be left out altogether,unless there are very definite medical advances to be gained for humanity by doing so.As a side note,one of my crazier ex-girlfriend's online nicknames was Vivesection(sp),adding to the foul taste in my mouth that I get whenever I say the word.Plague Dogs is another stellar film to add to your collection,an uncut region two disc with the disturbing gore intact plus extras is floating around,so get your hands on it.It comes highly recommended,with the highest scale rating possible: The doggie-equivalent to the ending of Thelma and Louise.
Phew, it's a scorcher out there today, hot enough to fry up a hunk o' scrapple on an old lady's ass.Thanks to the eco-friendly, nature runs amok, b horror movies of William Girdler back in the late seventies, the worst we have to worry about thirty years on is an uneven tan or heatstroke.Back in 1977, with everyone spraying their aerosol cans of Right Guard haphazardly into their smelly armpits, we were depleting the protective ozone layer, and allowing harmful ultraviolet rays through to the earth's surface,which with a little creative license could feasibly set all animals on a kill-crazy rampage against the human beings that cohabitate the planet with them.It COULD happen, or so says the preachy sprawling introduction to our entry this afternoon.Not to mention the dated habit of chucking your garbage out the window of your car while speeding down the highway back then,which brought a tear to the eye of many a native American in groovy public service announcements.And if you think the ignorant white man could make an Indian cry in commercials during the tumultuous seventies, wait til you see what Leslie Nielsen has lined up for them in this flick.In fact,this is the Leslie Nielsen acting clinic those of you who've tired of watching him plod away in slapstick comedy the past twenty-five years have been praying to the casting gods for.Wipe the sweat off your brow,look troubledly upward at the sun,and hike forward,little droogies. Before Leslie Nielsen was moonwalking at baseball games,he slung racial epithets at Native Americans with the best of 'em. Steve(Christopher George),with the help of his trusty native American pal(really Syrian,mind you)Santee,leads a gaggle of tourists up a mountain trail,for an exciting weekend of camping,foraging for wild radishes,and fending off dangerous wild animals,driven pazzo by the rapidly depleting ozone layer.Along for the hike are Terry(George's real life wife,Lynda),a young couple in need of therapeutic healing of their tocky relationship,a young couple that seems to be doing just fine,a whiny Jewish matriarch and her young son,a bird-watching nerd,an ex-football star dying of cancer,and a Wall Street ad exec named Jensen(Leslie himself).At the base of the mountain,the townsfolk are experiencing all sorts of nasty attacks by animals that normally don't seek out aggro,leading the military to roll in and declare martial law,evacuating the higher elevations.You know,where our hikers are currently stranded unknowingly.The troubled couple's weekend gets progressively worse when Mandy is attacked by a wolf,and when Frank leads her back down the mountain,she's attacked by a rowdy crew of hawks and vultures,causing her to fall off a ledge onto a fatally phony blue screen effect.Back on the trail, the party is being stalked by a wide range of animals,being annoyed by Mrs. Goodwin's kvetching and Jansen's hateful nicknames for everyone involved.Pretty soon,Jansen splits the party in two,questioning Steve's ability to lead the people to safety,hiking off with the young couple,the mother and her mollycoddled son. Don't sweat it, sister.That blue screen behind you oughta break your fall. While Steve's half of the hiking party is being attacked by cougars and wild dogs,Jansen's half is under attack by a shirtless,rain-soaked ad exec who loses his marbles,shouting,"You lily-livered PUNK!I'M running this camping trip!I take what I want and I give ya what I wanna give ya!And right now I want THAT!(pointing to Andrew Stevens' squeeze)C'mon,baby!" throwing women and children to the ground,skewering boyfriends on tree branches,and claiming terrified young girls as his prize in the name of chauvenism, before foolishly trying to bear hug a grizzly bear(!)and eating broken back death in the mountainous mud.What a tour de force by Nielsen.Is it any wonder he's fallen back on comedy since this performance?Jaw-droppingly incredible.In the forest,only Steve,Terry,and Santee survive the ecological onslaught by drifting down river on a raft,and elsewhere,Mrs. Goodwin,her son,and the prize girlfriend weather the storm by hiding out inside a wrecked chopper.By the time the smoke finally clears,men in haz mat suits are sifting through dead animals and men in the streets,rescuing the few shellshocked survivors and scratching their collective dome pieces over how to avoid pissing off Mother Nature in the future.Moral of the story:Be cool to each other,and the planet we live on,or we'll all be sorry,maaaan. Someone tell little Michelle it's the ozone being depleted, not Peter Pan peanut butter. This was Girdler's follow-up to his "Jaws with claws" success,Grizzly,the year before,which utilized much of the same cast and locations to earn top independent film of 1976 awards.He directed nine genre films,which included Three on a Meathook,Abby,Asylum of Satan,and The Manitou before losing his life at the age of 30 in a helicopter crash in the Phillipines.Christopher George went on to B movie success in such genre fare as Fulci's City of the Living Dead,Graduation Day,Enter The Ninja,Pieces,and Mortuary before he died of a heart attack in 1983.Lynda Day George worked in Pieces,Beyond Evil,and Mortuary,among several television roles before retiring from acting in the late eighties.Nielsen acted in Prom Night and Creepshow before moving on to an endless series of comedic roles,which he still churns out to this day,at 83 years old!This entry is pretty standard fare,but between some of the effects and Leslie Nielsen's outrageous contributions,you'll definitely enjoy it at least once.Day of the Animals rolls out its sleeping bag with two solid Wops on the almighty rating scale.You hear that,Animals?I take what I want and I give ya what I wanna give ya,you lily-livered punk! Simply the finest shirtless,ozone-loony Leslie Nielsen v. grizzly bear scene ever committed to celluloid.
Gotta hand it to George Barry.See, I'll get a ridiculous idea in my head, maybe share it with some friends so they can laugh about it, and maybe it's funny the next day too, if we're lucky.This guy spends five years and thirty grand producing a low budget movie in Michigan, based on an outrageous nightmare he had, it never sees the light of day, until someone bootlegs it from the video master in the eighties,and now over thirty years later, I can sit down in the luxury of Castle Wop and ridicule it for myself.I've had some pretty fucking stupid independent film ideas over the years; mystical viking statuettes that make people fight to the death over them, killer aborted foetuses screaming for vengeance with fleshy meathooks for hands...the list is long and embarrassing.One thing I can say,is that I've never set out to make a film about a bed that eats people. You know,it's almost a good idea,as a five or ten minute vignette in an anthology.As it stands though,a 77 minute poorly-executed exercise in surreal absurdity, it rates right up there with The Chooper, Blood Feast,Truth or Dare,and Hydra as one of those z-grade trash heaps that you laugh your way through,more stupid for it, but glad you did,so you can relate the ordeal to everyone you know,wearing it like a medal of dishonor.As rotten as this is,you're gonna wanna see it for yourself. "There it is!" "Where? Behind the bed?" "No,you fool! It is the bed!" A groovy couple are out on the standard date;breaking into an abandoned mansion,with a packed lunch consisting of a few apples,a bucket of fried chicken,and a bottle of wine.Must be their anniversary or something.Problem is, the ornate antique bed they're making out on is possessed by a demon who enjoys eating people.See, somewhere in the mattress is its stomach,which looks like a tank of yellow bicarbonate of soda,and when the bed gets hungry,the mattress spouts soap suds that envelop its meal-to-be,before the hapless victim falls into the yellow liquid and is digested.Behind a painting(translation:ink drawing) on the wall,a dead ringer for Cure frontman Robert Smith,complete with makeup,poofy shirt,and painted nails,is trapped for all time,sounding like a grown up Stewie Griffin providing color commentary into a microphone that's heavy on reverb.The demon himself does a lot of snoring and chewing into the same microphone,too.Only nobody can hear them but the viewer,apparently.There's a lot of painfully unfunny backstory of the bed's historical meals,only everyone it eats pretty much wears the indelible fashion stamp of the 1970s,no matter what era the meal is supposed to be from.So this ravenous bed has been swallowing sorry sons o' bitches for years,until when no one was braindead enough to lie on it,the mansion was finally abandoned.Enter these three wallflower chicks driving to the mansion's remains,two frumpy white girls,one dumpy soul sister,for whatever reason.They've packed a lunch of pickles and a bottle of wine.A film full of gourmets,this is. Where y'alls be goin at,baybuh! The bed scores itself some soul food. The bed eats one of the girls when she lies down for a nap,scoring itself some Pepto Bismol(!)out of her hand bag afterwards when it gets indigestion(!!).Next it begins eating the soul sister,who wakes up mid-meal and tries to escape,only to get lassoed by phantom bedsheets(!!!)and pulled back to the bed.The third girl,who we find out the bed is "afraid of" thanks to the chatty poltergeist behind the painting,is pushed to the brink of insanity after seeing the bed chow down on her nubian girlfriend.Her brother shows up on the scene,and tries to stab his way into the bed's stomach with a knife to go in and rescue the black girl,but the bed digests his hands(!),leaving him with two skeletal mitts at the end of his bloody wrists.Other than that,though,he's okay(!!).He tells his sibling to break the hands off(!!!),which she does.When the bed falls asleep,the spirit announces he can tell the girl how to destroy the bed once and for all(the bed only sleeps and eats,you couldn't have ever pulled this off before?),through some hokey figure eights carved on the floor and in the nearby field,and a pointless magic ritual,after which the girl dies,and the first owner of the bed arises from the dead(funny,she's pretty seventies-tastic,too),and teleports the infernal thing to the field,where the bed catches fire(translation: someone can pour gasoline all over it,and not burn down the historic estate in the process),the spirit behind the drawing dies with the demon,and is released from his worldly prison,leaving the viewer scratching his head.What just happened in the last seventy-seven minutes exactly?We may never know for sure. Even a demonic, people-eating bed turns to Pepto Bismol when faced with uncomfortable indigestion. If this sounds like an insane viewing experience,that's because it is.There are some mind-blowingly bizarre scenarios played out in front of the camera, somewhat straight-facedly at that.There are moments you'll be convinved that your glassies have just lied to you about, and some where you're laughing so hard you may need to stock up on adult disposable diapers beforehand to safeguard against leakage over.And it's thankfully got a relatively short running time.On the other hand,this is not a good movie,and it's arguably not even a bad movie.The actors are wooden and clunky when they're allowed to deliver lines directly(most of the time they speak into that aforementioned microphone introspectively,harder to flub lines that way,ya know),no one is attractive enough to focus upon long enough to care about,the entire mess is horribly dated,though the eating effects left me chuckling on more than one occasion.Watch it once,as I'll turn the bedspread just once on the rating scale for this lost oddity this time around... You fucked with the Death Bed, and ended up with skeleton hands, bitch.
I'd like to take a moment to thank the frequent visitors here at our wretched rectory of reviews,as you,my fiendish friends,are what keeps the haunted boat afloat in the moat!Ever gaining in popularity, and with this past week,the site enjoyed its most successful yet,and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.Bravo.You keep reading,I'll keep writing,trying to keep the movies diverse and interesting enough along the way,and keeping the lull in entries to a bare minimum.And don't hate me 'cuz I'm beautiful,just hate me all the more. Tonight's entry is both a rare treat,and one of the finer examples of Hammer vampire films, despite the downward spiral the studio was suffering in the 1970's.A highly enjoyable and original romp through the familiar bloodsucker fare of the day,packed full of the stuff Hammer movies are made of:red vino on tap,bountiful bare bobblers,and susperstitious peasants a' plenty,but what sends this flick acrobatically flipping over its competition is a surprisingly complex script,a fresh take that reinvents some of the nosferatu's supernatural abilities,and a menacingly good antagonist in Robert Tayman's Count Mitterhaus,who's been frequently argued,makes for a better villain than even Christopher Lee's Count Dracula himself!Strong words,indeed.Regardless of who your favorite Hammer vampire might be, Circus is a delightfully strange ride you'll want to take over and over again. What the fuck are you laughing at,Shorty? The people of Schettel,led by the schoolteacher,Mueller(Laurence Payne),barge into Mitterhaus Castle,to find the Count has not only sucked one of their children drier than a sandbox,but has also exchanged lust for lust with Mueller's wife who's hanging out knickerless,fangs for phallus.Kill the townspeople's kids,Mitterhouse,if you will,but never turn one of the men into a cuckold!They manage to stake the womanizing wurdulak,but not before the fiesty blooddrinker eighty-sixes several of them,in swashbuckling fashion,spitting a curse upon Schettel's children from his dying lips.The men take their belts off and teach Mrs. Mueller a lengthy leather-based lesson, burning the castle to the ground,and leaving her to drag the staked Count to the safety of the catacombs below.And all this before the credits even roll,hot damn!Fifteen years later,the sleepy little town isn't faring much better,what with the plague and all.The local doctor bravely rides off into the forest in search of medicine,past the armed men who guard against any potential carriers escaping the infected city limits,certain that the superstitions of vampires and their folklore are just that.Like any town beset with plague buboes and corpses by the wheelbarrowful,the people look for happiness that only a small travelling circus full of gypsy vampires can provide.Wouldn't you know it! Cat Scratch Fever was never like this! While the people marvel at erotic dance acts,and creepy midget clowns yukking it up with mute strongmen(David "Darth Vader" Prowse),never stopping to wonder how their jungle animals transform into flamboyant gypsies in pink shirts while in mid-air,or how the twin aerial acrobats change from human to bat back to human during their act(I might ponder the possibility these people are not what they seem,at least for a second!),their children are systematically targeted for blood revenge,with teen bobblers tumbling out,blood spurting every which way,and entire families torn to pieces by were-panthers in the forest!It seems the gypsy woman(Adrienne Corri) who heads the carnal carnival is really Mueller's wife(!),and her pink-shirted shapeshifting gypo partner,Emil,is blood-related to Mitterhaus!The townsfolk, enraged by the missing children, do the sensible thing:shoot the chimpanzee and tiger,and smash the creepy little midget clown's oversized head into a wall repeatedly(!!Hey,that's what I'd do,too.)!It all leads to a bloody and satisfying fight to the finish in Mitterhaus' catacombs,where Mueller unstakes the Count to stake Emil as he himself is bitten and killed,and his daughter's boyfriend uses a crossbow string to behead the awakened vampire(!!!)and save the day,amidst a floor full of bloody victims.Now that's entertainment. "Use your imagination,Mitterhaus!Cross...crossbow...don't split hairs!" Corri was the rape victim in A Clockwork Orange the year before,moving on to act in Madhouse(1974) and appear in a few Doctor Who episodes later on down the road.Corlan/Higgins did Flavia the Heretic,a host of movies, and a great deal of telly work for the BBC,while Tayman was last seen in The Stud(1978) opposite Joan Collins.Director Young did the excellent "Charlie Boy" episode of Hammer House of Horror,and continues to direct today.Hard to find in America for a number of years,in any format,if a copy of Circus materializes in your presence,reach for it immediately,as it'll become an instant favorite of yours.Personally,between this entry and Captain Kronos,I'm not sure which is my favorite Hammer vampire flick,as they're surely one and two,one way or the other.As the organ grinder comes to a halt and the torches are extinguished,I tip my top(Wop)hat three times for this carnival of coagulants,and bid you adieu for now. Emil(Anthony Corlan),a flamboyant gypsy were-panther/vampire, overemoting as he feeds.
Dust off your Tiger Fork,practice your internal breath control,and meditate upon another Saturday of wild and wooly wushu here,you pious bastards!There'll be time enough for girls later.This afternoon the high-kicking hijinks come from the superior cinematic skills of director Sun Chung,of Avenging Eagle fame,working with the legendary Shaws,and focusing his lens upon the boxing and dramatic skills of none less than the regal Ti Lung(Drunken Master 2,Five Shaolin Masters,Ten Tigers of Kwantung), and the impish favorite Fu Sheng(Heroes Shed No Tears,Heaven and Hell,Chinatown Kid),unfurling a tapestry of traditional wushu styles,long-awaited revenge,and noble martial heroes who befriend gambling vagabonds.Fix yourself a plate of sesame chicken,pour yourself a cup of tea,and read on.This one's gonna be good. Thrust and a miss!Lian-san's throat-piercing halberd misses its mark. Tuen Cheng-Tsin(Ti Lung)is the titular "Deadly Breaking Sword",a fighter who's honed his pugilistic skills to a level of perfection so potent,that he brings along coffins to each martial duel for his opponents,who to this point,die with an inch of famous sword broken off somewhere between their shoulder blades.His latest challenger,Lian-san(Chan-wai man) has a rep all his own,as "The Throat-Piercing Halberd"(I've pierced a few throats in my heyday with my own personal halberd,but I'll save those stories for another time)a man responsible for more than a hundred deaths.Both men injure each other,with Lian-san taking the obligatory inch of the breaking sword in the chest,but rather than dramatically slumping into the coffin that Tuen has prepared for him,he rides off,mortally injured,to call upon the skills of "The Killer Doctor"(Ku Feng),who with dazzling acupuncture technique,cheats death of another victim.Enter Xiao Dao(Fu Sheng),the "Little Dagger"(does everybody have a crazy nickname in this movie or what?)who has foolishly gambled himself away at the gambling house,in a half-baked attempt to clear his debts,now forced into living there permanently,serving the owner and his niece,who secretly has the hots for him.When Tuen majestically rides into town,a talented prostitute(aren't they all?)also appears on the scene,looking to hire the breaking sword to add the Killer Doctor to his list of vanquished opponents as revenge for letting her brother rot in a stinking cell in a neighboring town. Xiao Dao's not lucky in dominos OR dames. The hooker hires Xiao to try and lure Tuen to the brothel to hear her sobbiest of stories,but when Tuen proves too haughty("What a snobbish bitch!" he says),she turns to the Little Dagger to do her dirty work instead,her silver tails as a means of the young fool buying himself out of his debt.The niece does her best to keep Xiao grounded at the gambling house,eventually getting herself chucked down a well(!)when she burns his greenbacks!That'll teach ya,woman!Tuen and Xiao square off in the street with the Breaking Sword warning that the young man's martial skills aren't on par with the job he's agreed to do,and after offering to double Dagger's money if he doesn't fight the doctor,the two men become friends.Tuen breaks the call girl's brother out of the pokey,and then has the inmate finger his doublecrosser,leading the Killer Doctor to kill the poor bastard with accupuncture pins,signalling the showdown between Tuen,and newly revitalized Lian-san,whose hair has turned white and red,due to the side effects of the doctor's treatments.During their fight,the two men injure each other again,but when Tuen's sword breaks off in Lian's chest,the Doctor abruptly shoves accupuncture needles in the pugilist's back,giving him the martial power to finish the fight!Xiao Dao shows up,despite his friend's warnings,mocks Tuen AND Lian,and with his short dagger bests the zany-haired assassin until, in a moment of carelessness,is shanked in the labonza with his Throat-Piercing Halberd.Tuen takes this opportunity to bear hug the bastard from behind,pulling the needles out of his back with his teeth(!),and sending him off to meet his maker.He then takes the dead man's halberd and throws it fifty feet directly into the back of the diabolical doctor,killing him too.Xiao,mortally wounded,asks for nice clothes to wear in his coffin,and when Tuen reaches for his hand,misses,as his young friend dies on the street. Tuen uses his martial skill to teach Xiao a lesson in money management. All the elements of a Kung Fu classic are in place here.The breathtaking cinematography we've come to expect from Chung,the dazzling traditional fight choreography of Wong Pau Gei(not much wire fu going on here,Jet Li fans,you'll have to go elsewhere for your kung phoniness),and stalwart performances from both leads and both villains,respectively.Ti Lung was losing popularity prior to this picture,and I can't help scratching my head over that fact.The guy's fighting skills are superb,his acting is top tier,and his screen presence is undeniable,as always.Fu Sheng,on the other hand,was at the height of his own popularity,and showcases exactly why that was the case here,his slapstick and physical comedy on par with Jacky Chan,his lovable personality translating well once again on camera,and his fighting,top notch as well.All in all,if you're a proponent of the chop socky period piece,or simply a fan of great Shaw Brothers movies,you'll do well to pick up the region 3 disc and give it a chance.On the Deadly Rating Scale,this classic earns all four Wops,and is recommended viewing. The "finger game" I know involves the back seat of a vintage muscle car,a luscious concubine,and of course, yours truly.
Animated features on Wednesdays it is then, blame my sleep schedule.The weekly "bonfire of irresponsibility/BBQ" at Casa Smith-tips drained me this week for some unknown reason,causing me to retire ridiculously early last night.Even the best of 'em have off days, I guess.Once a week we'll be examining apropos animated features,which is to say,that which is NOT Bambi,although I've always had a soft spot in my heart for characters like Maleficent.They don't make broads like that anymore,boys.Tonight's entry is the big-screen adaption of a Richard Adams book,and was a box office smash in dear old Blighty.Hard mugs:mafiosi,skinheads,bikers,gangbangers,prison inmates...add bunnies to that list.That's right.Bunnies.After this cartoon,you might wanna think twice about getting your girlfriend a fluffy,cuddly little companion as an Easter present.It could be an Owsla-officer,or worse yet,General Woundwort himself.Eegads. Doom,blood,and death.Another cheerful prophecy from Fiver. Fiver is a meek little bunny who has premonitions of death,so when he passes the info on to his brother Hazel,the two rabbits gather as many of their kin as will listen and flee their warren,which happens to be on land scheduled for development, in search of greener pastures.The bunnies that stay behind eat steam-powered bulldozer death.While stopped to rest in a nearby field,Violet,the only female,is killed by swooping Hawk talons of retribution.And then there were seven.After narrowly escaping motorcars on a road made by man-things,a hunting dog,and an ossuary full of pissed-off rats,they meet up with a friendly bunny named Cowslip who invites them to enjoy food and shelter in his warren,which unbeknownst to them,is kept by a farmer who occasionally snares a bunny or two out of it,for digestive purposes.Fiver senses the danger,of course,and Bigwig,the burly officer rabbit of the group(!) mocks him before getting snagged in a snare,himself,which Hazel and cohorts free him from in the nick of time,just as he bleeds,froths from the mouth,and is surrounded by buzzing flies(You might wanna hold off on letting your younger kiddies viddy,obviously).Serves you right,clever trousers. Bigwig shows Hazel his first road pizza. The rabbits then plot to free a hutch of female rabbits from a nearby farm,outwitting a formidable dog/cat team who also take up residence there.They nurse an injured-but-chatty seagull named Kehaar back to health,and as a reciprocated good deed,the annoying bird agrees to search for female rabbits for their warren,returning with news of a militaristic warren named Efrafa,ruled by a chief rabbit named Woundwort,a miserable,bellicose bastard of a bunny with one blind eye.Bigwig infiltrates the warren's ranks,recruiting willing escapees,and through an insidious plot and with the help of the squawking seagull,the Watership rabbits manage to escape Woundwort and hop off to a pasture called Watership Down,a veritable bunny heaven.That is,until Woundwort finds them,bringing forth a bloody,foamy,death-ridden,fur-clawing,slashing incisor,bunny vs bunny,bunny vs cat,bunny vs mad dog fight to the finish.Does Woundwort punish the rogue bunnies for mutinizing his rabbit reich? Does Fiver see him dream warren come to fruition?Will El-ahrairah,prince of rabbits,be forever punished by lord Frith for his cockiness?Or does the black bunny of doom as prophesized in the genesis of life as passed down from bunny to bunny come for his due payment?You'll have to screen this one yourself to find out the answers to all these burning questions,and never look at Bugs Bunny in quite the same way ever again... General Woundwort,showing why he's a perennial favorite of kids everywhere. Though it might be a bit much for younger children to take,with a surprising amount of bunny-induced violence on board,this will most definitely make it to your list of favorite animated titles,if it isn't already.The afro-half of Simon and Garfunkel scored a hit with "Bright Eyes" from the film soundtrack,and the film spurred on a moderately successful animated television series,airing 39 episodes in Canada and the UK from 1999-2001,featuring vocal work from the likes of Rik(Young Ones)Mayall,Dawn(Saunders and French)French,Stephen(Young Ones)Fry and John(Alien,I Claudius,Elephant Man)Hurt reprising his role from the film.Next week we'll be looking at bleaker territory still,The Plague Dogs,in detail.As for the Watership warren,I find it best to bestow upon these bunnies a Wopsploitation score of the highest caliber,four wops,as I plan a Woundwort tattoo for myself,sometime in the future... When bunnies go bananas.
Think of British 70's also-ran, Tigon Studios,also responsible for Doomwatch and The Blood Beast Terror, as Hammer's brattish little brother(with less of a special effects budget).This entry was the studio's high water mark, for sure.With a cast of Hammer-heads that included Barry(Dracula Has Risen From the Grave)Andrews,Linda(Taste the Blood of Dracula,Madhouse)Hayden,and the last film appearance of Patrick (Witchfinder General)Wymark,lush British exteriors,atmospheric creepiness,a slight bit of the red stuff mixed in with a few naughty bits,and a nifty release title(in America it was known as "Satan's Skin"),it can't be all bad,right?Well it isn't as bad as all that,afterall.A Region 2 DVD with a coven's worth of special features exists,so possess it if it sounds like your cup o' tea!It's an original premise for ground that was being tread by a lot of films at the time,and it has just enough bite to occupy an hour and a half of your Wednesday evening,like a lot of lesser Hammer films,really!A shout out to West Chicago tonight as well,for still producing Otter Pops,which I've been squeezing into my yap for what seems like days now.This one goes out to Sir Isaac Lime,Little Orphan Orange,and Alexander the Grape... "Tito! Janet! Brush this dirt off of me and point me at that neighborhood full of children!". In rural England sometime during the 17th century, Ralph (Barry Andrews) discovers the half-decomposed remains of a "fiend".I noticed some papier mache,an eyeball,and a few worms.Eh,I guess that qualifies in some circles.Ralph fetches the visiting Judge(Patrick Wymark)to bear witness to his grotesque discovery which is already double live gonzos when they get there.The young master of the manor brings his bride-to-be to the house,where she's attacked by a shaggy claw from under the floorboards in the middle of the night,which effectively drives the bitch pazzo.As the nice young Bedlam orderlies escort the looney lass off to the squirrel farm,her fiance notices that her hand has somehow transformed into a claw.Already on the edge,he decides to spend the night in the attic where the events transpired the night before.While monkeying with the loose floorboards he's grabbed by that same offending hairy mitt,breaking free of the demonic grasp long enough to push a trunk over the problem area.Instead of bailing the fuck out like D.B. Cooper,he goes back to sleep,only to be awakened in the middle of the night by the problematic shaggy dagger-like digits clawing at his throat.He reaches for his trusty dagger on the nightstand nearby(I keep mine there,too),and stabs at the monstrous mitt,waking the Judge who bursts in to find that the young man has sawed off his own right hand.Spooooky. In the spirit of diversity,17th century England could use a Korean manicurist. A group of the local young people led by teen Angel Blake (Linda Hayden),no doubt because of her sinister crepe wool eyebrows of evil, are serving up Satanic shennanigans in the forest,reviving a coven of cataclysmal creeps bent on bringing back the beastie that Ralph dug up.Townspeople become afflicted with "The Devil's Skin",which entails a patch of crepe wool(over a sizable piece of mortician's wax in some more extreme cases)on the body part they will eventually remove themselves,causing said part to grow back(!)on the piecemeal titular evildoer.All sorts of evildoings,rapes,murders,and even temptation of the local priest cause Peter,the one-handed rascal,to ride off to London and fetch the Judge,who previously slagged off the wanton witchcraft.At this point,Ralph discovers that one of his legs is going all hairy,and Angel remarks that the hell-beast is complete,save for...yeah, a leg.At the ruins of an old church,the coven partakes in a groovy ritual,mesmerizing Ralph with a bobbler-heavy young girl until he's compelled to cut off his hairy leg for Satan(I've seen a lot of exotic dancers in my heyday,most of which could only compel me to give 'em a buck or two,so this girl is good,goddamn!),who's in attendance,hopping around in a hood(!!).At this optimum moment,the Judge jumps out in dynamic slow motion,clutching his two handed,Satan-slaying five foot long broadsword,killing the venemous vixen and impaling the one-legged demon,pole vaulting it into their ritual bonfire,which seems to have done the trick for good,God-fearing heathens once and for all.You'd think maybe it might take a bit more to dispatch the King of Hell than that,but hey,I didn't write the screenplay. When he's not busy damning souls for all eternity,Satan also heads the Itty Bitty Tittie Committee. I'd have posted a screenshot of the "devil" who makes his appearance at the end of this one,but you'd only be disappointed.There's the obligatory hood,some fur,and papier mache that somewhat resembles what Mummenschantz used to do back in the 1970s.The effects are a bummer,even for England,never a nation known for its special effects by any means.Despite these obvious budgetary shortcomings,you might wanna check this one out,and you might even enjoy it for its strong points.Next up here at Castle Wop,it's our first weekly Cartoon Tuesday,and we'll be examining appropriately twisted animation to commemorate.As for Tigon's effort,to avoid any unnecessary hairy patches springing up on your humble narrator,he'll graciously give the devil his due,a Wopsploitation rating of: Mrs. Brown's daughter makes a loverly sacrifice to the dark lord and master,thinks Herman and his Hermits.