Here's a direct command from your beloved Emperor himself.Instead of tossing down twenty samoleans on Rob Zombie's latest bowel movement committed to celluloid, go directly to the Convict Grade website and order yourself a copy of the first book by author Azrael Paul Damien.In today's society where true horror is a valuable and rare commodity, oftimes we as ravenous aficionados are forced to turn to other mediums to score a pure fix that leaves us sated,and more often than not,that medium is the written word.I've heard tell that anyone who'd put stock in anything that I've got to say probably lacks proper motor skills let alone the ability to read, but I shrug off such outlandish claims like dandruff flakes(which I haven't had to worry about for many moons,believe me).I know you guys love a well-crafted terror tale as much as I,and that's why I'm beseeching you to give Convict Grade a read.Besides, if you order your copy directly from the website, you'll get yours signed by the author himself, and that's always nifty when you're out-pretensing your high falooting coffeehouse chums with the latest tome in your library.Yeah,put Georges Bataille back on the shelf,we all know you have it.I'd also like to think that we as the horror community support and embrace that which is refreshing and new,as Damien's first outing certainly looks to be. Nevermind the peepers,scary is the allergic reaction I'd have to that freaking panther Az's got in his mitts. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy of the book over here,and I'll devour it in one sitting for sure,to be followed by a full review some time next week here at Wopsploitation,of course.So do the fright thing,and pick up yours ASAP.I've become pretty chummy with APD of late, he's certainly a good guy that deserves your support,as well as a very talented word-turner(frankly,I'm a little jealous of the former male model-turned-book authoring son of a bitch,but that's a good thing,right?)in his own right.Such is the will of the senate and the people of Rome.
Should be returning to the regular grind here shortly,I've been busy tapping out my first screenplay,and frankly,I'm pretty excited about it.All I'm gonna say about it at this point,is that it's a modern American giallo with some really strong character studies,and loads of inventive shocking deaths. I'm a huge fan of the late Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead series(Tombs of the Blind Dead,Return of the Evil Dead,Ghost Galleon,Night of the Seagulls) starring the Knights Templar zombies.Now that I've gotten that out of the way,my conscience is clear to talk about Malenka,his first foray into the horror genre,released under a multitude of aliases since 1969.In fact if you watch one of his later horror ventures then follow it up with this number,you'll probably be scratching your head as to how someone with such a clear vision and grasp on cinematic atmosphere could be responsible for writing AND directing such a fucking boring movie.His campy attempts at humour peppered throughout the overly long running time are less funny than the American dub/cut of Dracula and Son(1979),and that's no easy task,friends.Anita Ekberg spends half the movie looking like a top heavy Shirley Temple,avoiding the flaccid fangery of her uncle,who has to be in the top five least threatening vampires of all time,with his mouse shoulders and turtleneck.Hell,he even gets knuckledusted by a skinny Italian guy.Strength of twenty men,my ass. "I'll check out this bacteria culture once I've finished my Lucky Strike." A Roman model named Sylvia(Anita Ekberg) is two weeks from marriage to her fiancee, a handsome young doctor named Pietro(Gianni Medici),when she receives word that she's inherited a castle and Countess title from her late mother."Something fantastic has happened to me!" she relates to Pietro and Max,his stereotypically goofy Italian sidekick.Funny,but I've never heard anybody use the word fantastic when receiving news that their mother just died but hey,I liked mine.Sylvia leaves her boyfriend behind to travel to the family castle,stopping to imbibe a frothy beer at the pub,and freaking out the townspeople when she announces that she's the new Countess.If only they could see the baloney curls she's gonna give herself in the next scene,then they'd know what true terror is.At the castle, she's greeted that night by Count Walbrooke(Julian Ugarte'),who shows her a younger,sexier painting of herself in a brunette wig,and informs her that it's her granny,Malenka,a woman roasted at the stake for dabbling in the black arts,forever cursing all descendants to an eternity of vampirism.He then forces her to write a "Dear Pietro" letter to her squeeze,informing her that she carries the family blood,and is doomed to drink the red stuff,too. This vampire could use a good impaling,if you catch my drift. Pietro and Max,apparently not hindered by a closed work schedule,set off for the castle because,well,you know,one letter from a broad telling him it's all over written in her handwriting isn't usually enough discouragement for the average guy,right?Just as they arrive in the village,they're forced to examine boob-heavy anemic grog wenches,which the local doctor slags off from behind his ever-filled stein of booze.Meanwhile,Sylvia bears witness to strange behavior from her uncle,who enjoys chaining up fellow vampire,Blinka(Adriana Ambesi),and whipping her into submission.He tries forcing his niece to drink a goblet of his blood,and in one of the more convolutedly messy finales I've seen in a long time,demands that she drinks from her fiancee who's chained barechested to a post,while two female vampires catfight with a torch.During this hair-pulling extravaganza,which the Count is so mesmerized by that he fails to notice Sylvia freeing her beau from his chains over a several minute period,allowing Pietro to sock the effeminate blooddrinker in the mush,knocking him into a chair,where he is jabbed with a burning stake in the labonza.The papier mache covered skeleton burns.The couple returns to Rome,with Max revealing that Blinka has transformed him into a vampire,happily chasing a screaming grog wench during broad daylight over the end credits.Uhhh,yeah. "Mr. Carradine! This hardly qualifies as a script reading!" De Ossorio's original script played out like a precursor to a Scooby Doo episode,with Sylvia's scheming uncle using the vampirism curse as an excuse to get his hands on her inheritance money(and he would have done,if it wasn't for you meddling Italians!),but the producers balked,forcing the director to shoot real vampire sequences,which probably adds to the on-screen confusion that's abound here.As for Ekberg,the former Swedish sexbomb of the 50's was forced to toil in an assload of b-movies throughout the sixties and seventies,with Killer Nun(1979) and Cicciabomba(1982)(aka/the incredibly titled Fatty Girl Goes to New York)among her later credits.There's no blood to mention here,no thrills,no shocks,not even a laugh to be found.Depressing,really.I wouldn't recommend this title to anyone save for de Ossorio or Ekberg completists,and even then,with ample pre-warnings attached.Malenka gets staked through its limp heart with a scale rating of: A 150 year reign of terror ends in flames and papier mache.
It's certainly hotter than Bob Guccione's cut of Caligola(1979) out there this past couple of days.Perfect weather to plop your ass on the nearest couch and catch up on the latest horror movies in the comfort of an air conditioner.The parlour downstairs has no such air conditioner,so the suffering I'm feeling elsewhere in the house is just as apparent in the room where I screen movies.Insert the appropriate joke about "hot,sticky,and sweaty" here if you like,but you bastards oughta know the lengths I go to get new reviews up for you on a regular basis.I'm sweatin' like John Wayne Gacy in Boys Town over here.But...I won't let the humidity hold back today's horror hit for the ghoulish gourmets out there who hunger for all things homicidal.Let's get to it. In the resurgence of horror recently,one nation that has proved a force to be reckoned with HAS to be France.Just when you thought the French were too busy lining up to see Jerry Lewis in Hardly Working to check out Lucio Fulci or Tobe Hooper back in the eighties,the Blue Blanc Rougers have churned out some top notch horror of late,proving they were indeed paying attention.For those of you who wondered what it would be like if you took Texas Chainsaw Massacre,set it in France,and made the killers a family of nazi cannibals,ponder the thought no further.Xavier Gens has already fleshed out your idea with his nasty little film. You won't be throwing any petrol bombs with that hand again,will you,pinko? Yasmine(Karina Testa)has a lot of problems.She's pregnant from her ex-boyfriend Alex(Aurélien Wiik),who along with his two pals Tom and Farid have been peacefully protesting in the streets since an unnamed ultra right wing candidate has been elected president.And by peacefully protesting,I mean petrol bombing,shootouts with the riot police,and generally making a nuisance of themselves.Is it any wonder that their left wing hijinks have gotten Yas' bro Sami bleeding out from a fatal bullet to the labonza?Alex and Yas try dumping Sami off at the hospital,planning to meet up with Tom and Farid on the frontier afterwards,but Sami shuffles off his mortal coil on a gurney while alerted constabulary chase Yas out the automatic doors.Meanwhile in the other car,jibbers are rolled and passed,virginity jokes are made,and before too long, the two socialist stoners find themselves at a hostel on a desolate country road.Didn't you guys ever see the OTHER movie about hostels??It seems the place is run by a couple of broads and a creepy muscular bald guy named Goetz who combine efforts to forcefeed their invalid mother(the slop pours out of a tube jutting out of her neck!).After small talk,casual sex,and the aforementioned gross-out dinner,our anti-heroes are questioned at gunpoint by Karl,who not only doesn't seem to like the left wing rioting going on in the city or "little ragheads" like Farid,but he's also a crack shot with a rifle,blowing Tom's hand to ribbons after Goetz swings for the fences on his chin and ribcage with a lead pipe.The two escape in their car with Goetz in pursuit,who runs the boys off the road and over an embankment near a mine opening. If I had a Deutschmark for everytime this guy says,"Meine Ehre heißt Treue!",I could fund my own eugenics program. When Alex and Yas show up at the hostel,they're driven by the girls to a sinister looking cottage,where we're introduced to the rest of the family,led by exiled SS officer Von Geisler(Jean-Pierre Jorris),who lectures his children in racial purity when he's not dining on untermenschen or feeding them to deformed,retarded offspring of young girls he's kidnapped for the very purpose of preserving the white race.Much man-munching,head-splattering,tablesaw bissecting,jugular chomping,neck axing,carcass gutting,and heiling hijinks ensue from this point.Do the nazis enforce their iron will upon the hapless fugitives?Do the petrol-chucking pukes manage to survive the Aryan onslaught,and if so,will they ever call a law enforcement official a "fascist pig" after facing horrible death at the hands of the REAL thing,complete with a pen full of pigs(insert rimshot)?I'll let you guys check it out for yourself to answer these and other nagging questions that may arise...you know,like the new dawn over a glorious new fatherland! Yeah. To your domepiece. For all the mind-blowing gore and French nazi-cannibal creeps abound in this shocker,director Gens very nearly blows it from atop a decidedly leftist soapbox,the size of which you'd only expect to encounter in a Hollywood movie these days.No matter how grotesque he makes his antagonists,between their pure blood theories,human feasts,and graphic murder streaks,his protagonists are still out in the street,rioting and causing destruction,pistol whipping cops,and being domestic terrorists.I wanted to kill the lot of them myself five minutes into the movie,so sympathy was something they weren't gonna get from little ole me.For me,I'm exhausted with the whole concept of inbred cannibal families by now,and I could go a few years without seeing more diabolical nazis,too.Don't forget to demonize scumbags like Stalin,Castro,and Guevara on the big screen once in awhile.Didn't they kill enough people for filmmakers' tastes or lack thereof?Luckily for Gens,there's enough brutality,tension,and red stuff from beginning to end here to keep the finished product satisfying.Politics aside,this one is thoroughly enjoyable,and merits a scale rating of: She's trashed after bashing the fash,but in the government Yas(Karina Testa) has met her match.
Papa's not neglecting you over here,he's simply completing a screenplay, horrifying in nature,and sending it off to interested parties forthwith.And of course,drinking,grilling,and squeezing the maximum amount of goodness out of these lazy,crazy,hazy days of summer.I'll be back at it in a few days,so check back for updates.Drop me a line and let me know how YOU'RE spending your summer,too,cuz I'd sure like to know!
Welcome to August,bastards.Get your summer partying in while you can,'cuz fall is around the corner.I,for one,am applauding the late arrival of wifebeater weather here in the northeast.I've got no reservations over flexing the tattooed tittie muscles for you broads out there who like your men violently intelligent.As you already know,the sweltering heat isn't gonna slow down the emperor over here,I'll keep serving you up the finest cult classics that you may or may not have seen,but ought to have,and today's brings back a lot of low budgeted memories for me and my droogs,for sure. Our first sacrifice to Augustus Caesar was a late night mainstay,playing every two months or so on WOR Channel 9 in the New York/New Jersey area back in the mid to late seventies,which made it an instant target for ridicule for the crew growing up back then.Taking a pitifully cheap hour long feature called "Teenagers Battle the Thing",allegedly made twelve years earlier in 1963,adding endless logging footage,and brushing the cobwebs off of Dennis Kottmeier who played the science teacher in the original film to segue from the newer groovy seventies classroom insert to the original cheapie,all to cash in on the crypto-craze of the day,seemed like a feasible option for the filmmakers.It all reminds me of a somewhat crass saying of late about polishing turds.Buckle up, kiddies, here comes a doozie. "Class,this drawing in no way represents the crepe wool and papier mache paste job that we're gonna have the balls to label "Bigfoot" later on in this picture..." Mr. Whitmore(Augie Tribach)who's been giving a groovy series of lectures to his class on the supernatural(and monsters like the "great-ah white-ah...shark")brings in a jug-eared former science teacher-turned-expert on the Bigfoot phenomena,Roger Mason(Dennis Kottmeier),to stop the hippies from snickering in their seats over the subject,and more importantly,to tie-in the awful film he took part in back in the early sixties.With scripted dialogue on the podium in front of him,he recalls the harrowing field trip that left two of the female drapes, who were along for the extra credit, to spend the rest of their days in a mental hospital.We can only ponder the fate of the other squares who tagged along to unearth Indian artifacts,but it couldn't have ended sexily for them.Also along for the archaeological picnic is Bill Wyman's less musically inclined namesake(Bill Simonsen),who opted out of a life of groupies,drugs,and rock and roll in favour of prayer sticks and eoliths.After discovering a chiseled prehistoric tool while chompin' sammitches with the squares at the picnic table,Wyman,Mason,and the boys climb a sheer rock face only to stumble upon a burial site for an early ancestor of man imbedded in the ledge.The clay-caked mummy they find inside the smoky cave draws a chorus of "Gosh!","Gee!",and "Boy,I'll say!"'s out of the flat-topped students,before being whisked off to a museum for tests and research by top men in the archaeology field.Just kidding,sensibly,he lets the high school teacher and his teenage students hoist the thing out of the cave on a gurney into the back of a pickup truck where they take it to a shed. "Worry about your marijuana-induced orgy after class,you little hippie dirtbag!" One square couple decides to rough it through the citrus groves to the general store for a bottle of orange pop which costs 13 cents(!!),slightly less expensive than the allotted budget for the bigfoot suit we're about to see.Norman,the pop-drinker,goes out to check on the mummified man-ape,which bursts out of its clay-prison(off-camera,of course)and shambles off into the lemon groves,echoed nasally snarling on a soundstage somewhere.The kids return from their store trip directly,not having made out or had anything remotely resembling sex(I've been calling them squares for good reason,ya know),and the reunited would-be adventure seekers set off looking for the local pot-bellied sheriff.Meanwhile,the ancient anthropoid manages to off a sixties broad,breaking into her house through the window,its menacing papier mache face snarling and moving directly into the camera.That'll teach you to gossip on the phone late at night,lady.Sadly,this would be Bigfoot's only victim,apart from roughing the fat sheriff up a bit the next day in the orange grove,as the teacher and his posse of drapes douse the beast in two buckets of gasoline and set it on fire with a flare,remembering the science class Mason gave on the flammability of crepe wool and cheap papier mache earlier in the semester.Bigfoot burns like a marathon runner's athlete's foot,and the crowd stands idly by and watches,none of which look particularly terrified or mentally distraught over the whole ordeal.I wish I could say the same for anyone viewing at home... Bigfoot or Marty Allen after a rough weekend in Vegas? You decide. There's been talk for years of an alleged "special edition" dvd being released,loaded with extras and featurettes on how the whole awful mess came to be in the first place,but as of this writing,it seems to be just another urban legend.You can pick up bare bones discs from a number of companies,I chose Retroflicks personally,but I seriously doubt there's much of a difference in print quality wherever you turn(and even if there was,would it even matter for a film like this?).Nobody from this carwreck went on to any semblance of a movie career that I know about,thankfully.Make no mistakes,this is a horribly made piece of shit that will have you laughing from the hokey pre-credits sequence through all the added filler right through to the dated and awful film itself.Few movies can boast of rottenness of this magnitude,making it quality entertainment for all the wrong reasons.Whether you're a Bigfoot nut,a horror buff,or a lover of bad movies,you owe it to yourself to screen a copy asap.On the scale,Curse limps off into the lemon groves with a dismal score of: Two buckets of gasoline and a flare and the orange and lemon groves are safe once again.