Normally, I'd post my resolutions for the coming new year,2011,poised to lay the boot in on 2010 and usher in a choice new opus for woprophiles everywhere,right here,but frankly,I don't plan on changing the formula all that much,kids.It'll be business as usual here at Wopsploitation,in its fourth sexy year and running, with loads of new and old genre flicks under the woproscope,desperate pleas for sexual release,dripping with carnal frustration,from your collective mothers,a guest writer or three,and the obligatory eye,candy for you bitches out there.Tonight's much appreciated and highly rad piece of Wop-art comes from reader Heather the Celt,who had to be distraught in placing red in the bottom third of this tricolor flag(the ONLY one!),instead of orange.I appreciate your sacrifice,honey.Anyway,see you guys in 2011,and exercise some restraint in ringing in the new tonight,don't get yourselves killed or arrested.I can't really warn you any further than that without making a left turn onto Hypocrite Ave,so I'll refrain,instead.Late.
To the untrained eye,tonight's review might resemble a mostly forgettable amateurish and dated exercise in fantasy,but to anybody who cut their teeth on horror in the seventies,Equinox is a brisk joyride of wild stop-motion animation,mythical beasts and demons, a collaborative launch pad for gifted artists involved and a definite inspiration for later and greater things to come(see:Sam Raimi).Anyway,let's see you borrow sixty five hundred bucks from your grandfather and come away with anything as remotely in the bitchin' ballpark as this historic film.Long before culture staples like Star Wars came along,Equinox was one of the more effective examples of couch glue I could possibly recall,because when it showed on television,a late night regular for years,I wasn't moving off of our gaudy couch in the parlour until it was over.There's genre goodness in nearly every frame,blown up to 35mm from 16mm with ten plus minutes added for theatrical release in 1970,though the original seventy minute 1967 cut is also included on the definitive dvd release from Criterion.You've got stop-motion work from animation icon Dave Allen,you've got mattes and cel animation from the legendary Jim Danforth,and Dennis Muren,who would later work with George Lucas on Star Wars,handling much of the effects photography,production,writing,and directing,with Jack Woods writing and shooting new sequences with the principal cast years after the fact,and even turning in an unforgettable appearance as the rape-minded park ranger with caterpillars for eyebrows within.If that wasn't enough,the coup de grace for any young horror nut in attendance was a voice cameo from Forrest J. Ackerman,of Famous Monsters of Filmland fame.So let's step through the dimensional gate and get it on,shall we? Forwards! This drape(Edward Connell) is about to get an other dimensional yabba-dabba doo. A reporter visits the lone survivor of a strange series of events that occurred a year and a day earlier,in the asylum he's called home ever since.By listening to a taped recording of David(Edward Connell)relating the story to a doctor,we learn that he and his equally square pal Jim(Frank Boers,Jr.),accompanied by dates Susan(Barbara Hewitt) and Vicki(Robin Christopher),had set out to make a day of it,fried chicken picnic in the woods and all,before visiting Dr. Waterman(Fritz Lieber...yes,that Fritz Lieber),a college prof doing some secretive research work from a secluded cabin in the forest.A forest ranger named Asmodeus(Who's the town mayor,Beelzebub?)keeps a watchful eye(from under a huge spirit-gummed pile of crepe wool the average movie goer couldn't mistake for an eyebrow on their worst day)on the picnickers who are shocked to find Waterman's cabin pulverized worse than Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder reading British-accented dialogue,explained on a reel-to-reel recording by the doctor himself to have been committed by a tentacled errr,ummm quadropus? after Waterman started performing spells and incantations from an ancient bible of occultism he had discovered.You know,that's a lot like the ancient bible of occultism our heroes score themselves from a maniacal old man while exploring a nearby cave,which is in turn snatched up by Waterman himself,as he is chased by a colossal tusked simian that tosses his ass(or an unreasonable clay facsimile) around like an Irish newlywed. Taurus,your horoscope for January,1970:Avoid makeshift spears wielded by squares. The human v. nether region ape square off ends with Taurus getting skewered by a drape-driven spear, but its corpse,along with Waterman's,dissipates into the everywhere right before square eyes.Asmodeus breaks himself off an eyebrow-heavy,camera lens slurping,hypno-grope on Susan, but is driven away by the girl's crucifix before he can put the Satanic blocks to her.After examining the hellish tome,David fashions some protective symbols from the book out of twigs for the gang,who get separated again.The ranger confronts Jim and reveals his true identity,demanding the book in exchange for riches beyond his wildest dreams,but is thwarted by the young man's makeshift symbol necklace.The gents are then chased through an invisible dimensional door by what looks to be Fred Flintstone's giant blue cousin,and while on the other side,Jim is mesmerized and trapped by Ol' Scratch,while the horned one takes his identity in an attempt to snag the book,after which the gals flee from Asmodeus in his alternate form,a flapping bat winged,red skeletal demon who abruptly kills the chicks with his oversized claws.Realizing David might feel left out,the hellspawn blocks out the skyline as a reaper-esque harbinger of doom,announcing that the last square standing will die in exactly a year and a day from then.Flash forward to the asylum,where neither the reporter nor the doctors believe a lick of David's wild tale,and even jack him for his crucifix he's been clutching for the past year and a day.As the reporter leaves the hospital building,he's passed by someone or something posing as the now-dead Susan walking in,to fulfill the prophecy issued by the beast.My CROSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! A twist of Asmodeus' ring and the forecast quickly turns to rape.Yeaaassh. Woods,who picked up his only directorial credit here,went on to edit sound and foley effects on films like The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear,Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,and Critters 2,as well as television shows like The A-Team(boy,that show's coming up a lot lately here at the Wop,eh).Muren has gone on to do effects work on everything from the Star Wars series and Close Encounters of the Third Kind,through to Flesh Gordon and War of the Worlds.Allen has handled visual effects in genre classics like The Howling,Twilight Zone:The Movie,and Caveman.The laughing old man in the cave was played by Muren's grandfather who put up most of the money for the budget,as well.Boers,Jr would later be known as Frank Bonner,who made his name in the late seventies sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati as Herb.Sci-fi writer Lieber wrote episodes for television genre fare like Night Gallery and Moment of Fear.I remember being more than a little pissed off when Wizard Video released the chopped,big box VHS of this as "The Beast" in the eighties,and feeling redemption when Criterion finally did the film justice in the past few years.If you don't have it already,snag a copy,ferchrissakes.They don't make 'em like this anymore.On the ratings scale,Equinox clutches its cross as three Big Wops materialize out of nowhere.See it. In the eys of a five or six year old monster-crazy kid,the buck stops here.
We'll sidewind again tonight with another cautionary cold-blooded creature feature steeped in vengeance and characters whose outrageousness is only surpassed by their butterfly collars.This movie reminds me of a certain nutbag character I worked with years ago who nightly pushed for me to ignore the safety of my then-family and purchase rattlesnakes,cobras,and vipers for whatever reason,citing his own house full o'venemous snakes while asking me to overlook the highly-publicized fang-driven death one of his hooded harbingers of horror had caused sometime earlier.I never was much of a snake guy,to be honest with you.I've owned a couple over the years,but we never got on too famously,and asking the likes of me to wrangle ornery pit vipers with hemotoxic venom is like dunking an injured Michael Moore in steak sauce and making him backstroke the Amazon River.Probably not the brightest idea ever thought. If you remade Willard(1971) and replaced the social ne'er-do-well caucasian with a shellshocked,paleface-hating native American who recently scrambled his grey matter like a hummingbird egg in Vietnam,then switched the rats for rattlers,you'd have cult director William Grefe's Stanley wrapped in your coils,a standard issue eco-thriller that got an assload of late night television mileage thereafter,and one of my favorites of the era.Grefe generously ladles on the exploitative ingredients like an apex sous chef with his roux-heavy Bechamel,substituting lunacy for believability(Chris Robinson is Seminole like C.Thomas Howell is black) at every taste,until the groovy broth belongs on the breakfast menu at Bedlam. "Keep your skin sheds outta my firewater,Stanley!" Enter Tim(Chris Robinson),a Seminole 'nam vet whose recurring migraines and disdain for Whitey have him living in a shack full o' snakes on an island in the Everglades swamps.He ekes out a meager existence milking venom from his expectant rattlesnake couple,Stanley and Hazel(She wears a floral headband),for research purposes at a local hospital(screenwriter Gary Crutcher has a cameo as a doctor),and supplies snakes for a washed-up-on-the-beach,over-the-hill stripper to incorporate in her dated burlesque act.When he does ride into town in his rickety pick up,he lets Stosh slither around freely on the bucketseat.His slipping grasp on reality becomes even more tentative due to an unscrupulous and cartoonish clothing don named Thomkins(Alex Rocco),who preens over his unimpressive physique in the mirror,constantly pumping one pound dumbbells from inside a robe stolen off the set of Maude,when he's not making creepily inappropriate comments to his own overdeveloped teenage daughter(who passes the time by fucking all of his hired help) by the pool.Thomkins,who had Tim's father whacked while his son was off fighting a war, sends off his comic book henchmen to poach snakes for a new line of snakeskin belts he has planned,but when the thugs try to lean on the indian for his cooperation,Tim and Stanley have other plans...Tim's stripper pal invites the karmic police when drunk on stage,she bites the head off of one of her hissing stage props,and the indian piles snakes upon her and her manager/husband while they lie asleep on the couch,effectively removing them from the equation forever. "Shnakesh?" You can always count on a good one liner when it's belched by the town drunk. Then,after Thomkins' boys run afoul of the Seminole while poaching snakes in the swamp,and Stanley bites one of them on the ass for his troubles,the businessman enlists the services of a freaked out,indian-hating hippie named Psycho(Yeaaaah,muthas!) to oversee the thugs' covert operation and ensure the indian's wrench is kept clear of Thomkin's lucrative illegal machinery.While the men are hunting snakes,another encounter with Tim and Stanley ends with both henchmen sinking in quicksand with the rattler watching from the bog surface.Meanwhile,Psycho,zooted on inhalants,wanders off into the swamp and stumbles upon Tim's shack,where he finds Hazel and her newborn rattlers resting in elaborate beds that the indian has built for them.Grooving on the violence,Psycho smashes the juvenile snakes with his gun butt(onscreen!)and blows the head off of their mother,to boot.Tim arrives in time for a sloppy punch up,and Stanley puts two fangs to Psycho's neck before the crazed bigot can force his owner's head under a humming outboard motor.Tim then fills Thomkins' pool with writhing snakes that he doesn't notice before diving in,sealing his own fate in screaming seventies slo-motion.Tim kidnaps Thomkins' daughter and takes her back to his shack for apparent rape and servitude-through-enslavement,which the girl seems to be alright with(!!),but when the indian's last marble bounces across the floor,and he starts rambling about hating humanity and the desire to be a snake instead,he orders Stosh to bite the hysterical honey,and when the snake refuses,Tim starts offing his own snakes in a completely bat-shit bananas boffo finale,setting his own shack on fire in the process,then being repeatedly bitten by his rattling pal as the girl escapes.Cue groovy,sombre,eco-friendly,hippie folk ballad and the end credits. Does this one even need a smart-assed caption?C'mon,look at it... Grefe,who has had a long,storied career helming such genre fare as Sting of Death,Mako:The Jaws of Death,Death Curse of Tartu,and Wild Rebels,is pretty proud of tonight's effort,and along with star Chris Robinson,who went on to act in several soap operas,has recently screened the movie publicly with q n' a and autograph sessions thrown in for attending genre nuts.Alex Rocco,who was in Florida to advertise his work in the yet-unreleased Godfather movie at the time,had an inborn fear of snakes,only agreeing to dive into the pool during filming if it was filled with rubber snakes.Grefe instead put live snakes in the water and filmed Rocco's hilarious mid-air reaction,which is a definite hoot for any lip-reading woprophiles that might be in attendance.An entertaining ride,to be sure,despite the on-screen killing of some snakes that might have a hypocritical org like PETA clucking,that you can pick up on special edition dvd,loaded with extras,thanks to BCI/Navarre.On the scale,two solid wops. Groove on that righteously reptilian psychedelic snake toss,maaaan.
Tonight's review is dedicated to our newest she-reader from down on the Rhine,Anni,tattooed n' fine,with a taste for crime.An extra-succulent serpentine shocker from the outta sight seventies just for you,baby.One of the last double-bills from Universal(bring 'em back,boys,the theatrical horror experience in this country needs a shot in the arm),sharing the marquee with Nathan Juran's The Boy Who Cried Werewolf the same year,Kowalski's fried slice of exploitation gold is a dated and groovy exercise in throwback genre staples like the assembly line mad scientist with total disdain for his fellow humans and a god complex a half mile wide,coupled with moviegoers natural fear of snakes to make for ninety-nine minutes of entertaining fright fare that ran regularly on late night television for years afterwards.John Chambers transformation effects in the finale are surprisingly effective for the time period,and the production,which was nominated for Best Sci-Fi Film two years later,is comprised of solid shlocky efforts from screen vets like Strother Martin and Heather Menzies,and Dirk (Battlestar Galactica,The A-Team)Benedict as the silver screen's very first college-student-into-King-Cobra. ...Comes Kristina(Heather Menzies),a horny hedonistic herpetologist heading headfirst into hooded,hissing horror. Ah,the glorious seventies,when men of science with a twisted vision of the future could freely mix humans with reptiles in the privacy of their laboratories,and when the theory results in genetic failure,he or she could very easily sell the skewed mockery of life to the nearest sideshow with little interference from the local podunk police force and carry on in the direction of progress.Such a man is Dr. Stoner(Strother Martin),who dabbles in mad science when he isn't wrangling King Cobras in his front yard for a handful of buford onlookers and a can full of tips.His daughter/assistant,Kristina(Heather Menzies)is ready to look past the cold-blooded reptiles and wrangle the pants python of a real man if he'll look past her giant glasses and nerd lab coat.The elder Stoner relies upon the nearby university for research grants and unsuspecting guinea pigs,and when his latest assistant,Tim,tranforms into a scaly,whimpering beanbag instead of the king cobra with human intelligence the good doctor was hoping for,it's the sideshow for Tim,and the drawing board for Stoner.That's where oblivious college swat,David(Dirk Benedict)comes in.Looking to earn some money and extra credit,he unwittingly volunteers to assist Stoner in the lab,becoming the next in line for the doctor's king cobra venom injections,which,given in regular intervals will eventually metamorphosize the subject into a highly-evolved king cobra with human intelligence,apparently.Hey,I didn't write it. Dr. Daniels(Richard B. Shull)considers cryptic clues,then is crushed by a colubrid. While Kristina is shedding her awkward shyness and clothes to go skinny dipping with David(who's shedding his own skin,due to the injections),her father is eliminating nosey colleagues like Dr. Daniels(Richard Shull)from the university,by trapping him in the cellar with an enormous,hungry constrictor,and brainless sportos like Steve Randall(Reb Brown),by slipping unfriendly when wet black mambas into the shower with him after the jock douche accidentally kills the doctor's favorite pet boa while trying to sneak into Kristina's upstairs digs through the open window.Earlier at the fair,Randall's hijinks earn him a bite(!)from David,when his neanderthal approach doesn't impress the female snake handler.When David and Kristina get their fuck on,it speeds up the boy's metamorphosis timetable,forcing Stoner to send her away to pick up an imported reptile at the train station while he completes the procedure.When the snake never arrives,she makes a pitstop at the fair to see the snakeman,overcome by the horrible realization that it's her father's former assistant,Tim,and a similar fate awaits her new love interest.Meanwhile,David has transformed into a twenty foot long poisonous snake with blue eyes.Dr. Stoner,his work completed,squares off against his other cobra in the pen,and gets the living shit bit out of him by the hooded devil,an opprobrious fate for such an advanced mind.As Kristina arrives on the scene with the authorities,who shoot the cobra in the pen,she watches helplessly as the serpent formerly known as David battles to the death with an ornery mongoose,letting out a freeze framed scream,as was standard protocol for such movies back then. "...for instructions in reptilian/human hybrid,press eight with your biforcated tongue..." The late Kowalski helmed genre classics like Night of the Blood Beast(1958) and Attack of the Giant Leeches(1959),before enjoying a long career in television,directing everything from Perry Mason and The Untouchables to Baretta and Diagnosis Murder.Strother Martin,who died in 1980,will always be remembered for his fine work in films like Cool Hand Luke,Slapshot,and the original True Grit with John Wayne,although he did put his stamp on genre films like Nightwing(1979) and Up in Smoke(1978),as well.The beautiful Menzies,who broke into film in 1963's The Sound of Music,scored memorable genre turns in Joe Dante's Pirahna(1978) and tonight's review,as well a myriad of television roles.Dirk Benedict will always be remembered as the original,much less sexy Lt. Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica,and Face from The A-Team,although he's done an ocean of other film and television appearances over the years.I don't know about you guys,but 70's horror like tonight's entry is just what the doctor ordered for me,most of the time.I'll always break out discs like "Sssssss" when that particular mood strikes me(and it does,trust me).On the ratings scale,tonight's review rears back and spreads its hood,displaying a decent score of two wops. "I'm over the Orange Julius idea,fellas.Could somebody just pick me up a few frozen lab rats instead?"
More often than not,when a cinephile turns to the arthouse for entertainment,he or she is surprised to find a plethora of exploitative imagery and transgressive subject matter,often handled in less than discreet fashion.Such is the case with author and first time director,Catherine Breillat's 1976 entry about the sexual coming of age of an over-developed fourteen year old girl on summer holiday with her parents.The controversial artist deals with the material in ultra-realistic portrayals,often crossing over into the realm of Georges Bataille's literary pornography with abstract sexual images emblazoned into the viewer's subconscious.The critics were mixed about the graphic production,which was banned in many places for nearly a quarter century.Most audiences weren't ready to stare directly at a vulva displayed on the big screen,methinks.Fille,translated to "A Real Young Girl" in English,achieves cinematic weirdness fairly easily,but fails to evoke any substantial emotion,really.It's too weird to succeed as a drama,lacking of enough eroticism to work as sex film,and not funny enough to be labelled a comedy.If you go in with hopes of being weirded out(slightly)and little else,you might revel in the film's odd streak.Young vixen Charlotte Alexandra's ample wares are always at least partially on display within,but never free of the awkwardness that comes with going through puberty in the public's watchful eye.Yeah,that sounds about right.For Crispin Glover-esque odd birds and the most discerning of cerebral perverts only. You're just sayin' such things to impress me,baby... Alice(Charlotte Alexandra) is an introverted,derisive fourteen year old girl returning home via train from a French boarding school for the summer.Becoming bored almost instaneously and curious about her newly pendulous hamurabbies and nether regions,she shows an affinity for yanking down her drawers and sitting spreadeagle in a field and remembers that magical time at school she locked herself in a bathroom stall after hours and pissed all over the floor,playing with her feet in it.Alice also rides around town on her bicycle,flashing her knickers at anybody half interested in a peek.The quirky,moody teen keeps a journal,when she isn't out introducing her nubile young body to tactile sensations with some broken eggs,hot dripped candle wax,freshly picked ear wax,her own vomit,urine,and blood,or simply buggering her own asshole with a sun tan oil bottle.She also spends inordinate amounts of time staring at pop stars on television,and at her father's new hire at the sawmill,Jim(Hiram Keller),who's got enough of a steady flow of quim on a silver platter at the local carnival to pay much mind to the foolish young girl,who fantasizes about being bound spreadeagle to the ground by barbed wire while her male obsession tries to force a live earthworm into her pussy.When he can't achieve penetration with the segmented megadrile,he breaks it into writhing pieces and places them on her pubic mound instead.Gee,I hope it doesn't turn weird at all... Nothing symbolizes a growing girl's aching loins like a decaying dog corpse washed up on the beach. With Jim uninterested,Alice flirts with a gang of rockers at a local bar,only to have the leader later chase her down on his motorcycle to pull her dress up so that he can get a glimpse of that which all men constantly strive for.Eager to do some more flirting,she rides a tilt a whirl with a businessman who breaks out his custard cannon to show her as they spin at high speeds.When she gets home,she goes over to kiss her father who's been watching television,only to find he's got his fly down and his little French cazzo out.She flashes her goodies at Jim,who accompanies her to the beach where they masturbate in unison in front of one another.Jim unloads his salty suzie in his mitt,then wipes it on Alice's dress,with the girl bitter that conventional coitus wasn't happening next.She verbally spars with her mother after discovering her father's infidelity to his wife,and while both parents scrap it out,she's heavily pressured by a suddenly very interested Jim to give her virginity to him.Before he can take the girl's virginity though,he is shot by one of her father's shotgun traps rigged to keep interlopers out of his garden,and dies.Alice is unfazed by Jim's death,and more concerned for her impending return to boarding school,instead.That's it. If squirmin' earthworm sections placed on your mons pubis turn you on,get yourself evaluated,for real. Breillat's entire film catalogue that followed tonight's entry all showcase explicit sex and violence,so it's no wonder the best-selling novelist scored herself a position as cinema professor at the Euro Grad School? Just wow.The gorgeous Alexandra worked with cult director Walerian Borowczyk on his Immoral Tales two years earlier,her final film work coming the following year opposite Sylvia Kristel in Goodbye Emmanuelle(1977).The soundtrack was provided by the late Mort Shuman,who wrote the melodies for American rock n' roll hits like Viva Las Vegas and Marie's the Name(of His Latest Flame)for Elvis,Turn Me Loose for Fabian,and A Teenager in Love for Dion prior to his score work in France.If strange high brow pornography is your bag,you'll probably want to get your hands on Fille,which was finally made available in an unexpurgated version in 1999.Rest assured though,it's a weird ninety-three minutes.On the ratings scale,Fille flashes its panties to the Emperor,who holds up two wops in return. Now that's an English subtitle if I've ever seen one.
Tell me you wouldn't go see this.Props to the Douginator,Doug Taylor,author of The Chronicles of Caledon,for crafting a one-sheet worthy of framing on the bedroom wall of every mother worth her incurable nymphomania out there.Get yer narrow asses over to the Douginator Online Magazine website while yer at it,and check out the man's uniquely flavoured braincandy for yourselves.His site'll also be available in the Wopsploitation blog roll below,for those of you too knackered on eggnog to figure out embedded hyperlinks...
We've arrived just hours before the winter sun's ignited on Christmas day,folks,and Big Wop still doesn't know A)what day it is,B)who Jesus was,or C)what prayin' is.How can I be saved from the eternal grave?As long as the authorities don't stumble upon Kris Kringle's jolly cadaver I've covered with a tarp in the backyard 'til the ground softens up a bit,I should be right as dodgers.The fat Marxist fuck misstepped into one of the spring traps I set under the X-Mas tree,then ate one of my calebas curare Christmas cookies and washed it down with a tall glass of arsenic milk before turning his toes up sometime this morning.You thought I had forgotten that morning in 1975 when you put groovy-patterned polyester curtain pants under the tree with my name on them,didn't you,Claus.The last,fatal mistake of Saint Nick.I buried a steak knife in his labonza,just to be sure.I hope Doc doesn't notice it missing.I'd hate to be digging lime pits 'til spring time rolls around... In the past,seasonal flicks like "Miracle on 34th Street","It's A Wonderful Life",and "A Christmas Carol" were widely regarded as the must-see movies when the Christmas season rolled around every year.With 2011 right around the corner,it's fitting that an offering that dates from my generation that comes from one of my favorite genre directors has effectively replaced those earlier films as the top Christmas movie of all-time.If you haven't seen it by now,where the hell have you been the past twenty-seven years?Ted Turner only runs a brisk twenty-four hour marathon of it every single year,yet failing to tarnish the film's innocent,shining brilliance for even a second.The period piece helmed by Bob "Black Christmas" Clark,and penned by author/raconteur,Jean Shepherd,has successfully harnessed a bit of the magic that surrounds the holiday season,achieving timelessness in the process,a live-action Norman Rockwell painting bursting with beautiful simplicity and bittersweet imagery.A masterpiece if ever there's been one. Beware:Scut(Zack Ward),of the despised yellow-eyed Farkus clan. Nine year old Ralphie Parker(Peter Billingsley)is possessed with one obsession for the upcoming Christmas holiday:scoring himself a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock,and "a thing that tells time",as he would so poignantly write in a future essay for school.The only problem is,the gargantuan odds are stacked against the bespectacled tyke.Being a good boy is a monumental task when you and your younger brother Randy are terrorized daily by yellow-eyed Scut Farkus(Zack Ward)and his green-toothed toadie,Grover Dill,and your old man(Darrin McGavin)spews obscenity so thickly it filthily floats over Lake Michigan to this very day.Ralphie's overbearing mother(Melinda Dillon),who wraps Randy so snugly in layer upon layer of winter clothing that he can no longer move his arms or get up from the snow after falling down,has already vetoed the BB gun request,grimly warning,"You'll shoot your eye out!"The old man has enough holiday headaches of his own,guarding the Christmas turkey from the Bumpus' freeloading bloodhounds next door(and sneaking a taste for himself whenever his wife isn't looking,bonafide golly turkaconis freak that he is),guarding his tantalizingly garbed leg lamp(translation:important award)from his scheming wife,eternally battling with a stubborn boiler in the basement,and a younger son who refuses to eat what's on his dinner plate unless he can pretend to be a piggy in the hog trough with it. "Bumpuses!Sons o'bitches!"A bonafide golly turkaconis freak's best laid dinner plans are soon thwarted. Just when it looks like curtains for Ralphie's dreams of winging bad guys with spectacular hip shots;he utters the f-dash-dash-dash word in his father's presence while changing a tire,earning him a bar of soap in the mouth,he spouts a mile of obscenities while turning the tables and bloodying the Farkus boy,his amazing Christmas present essay earns a C-plus,and a reprisal of his mother's eye-loss sentiment from his teacher,as well.He goads his schoolmate Schwartz into sticking his tongue to a frozen flagpole in the school courtyard on a triple dog dare,and is ultimately denied by a department store Santa who echoes his mother's eye-warning before shoving him down a decorative sliding board with a boot to the face.When Christmas morning arrives,the last present he unwraps turns out to be his holiday holy grail,and when he runs out in his pajamas to play with it,amidst protests from his mother that are extinguished by the old man's admittal to having one just like it as a boy younger than Ralphie,his first shot ricochets and hits him directly below his eye,knocking his glasses to the snow.As he desperately feels around for them,he pulverizes them with a foot,then whips up fake tears and a fantastic fable about a rogue icicle smashing the glasses and causing the welt.Meanwhile a horde of Bumpus hounds barge into the house and make off with the family's turkey,forcing an impromptu dinner at the local Chinese restaurant,the only place open on the holiday.The family snickers at the Asians' inability to sing Christmas carols in Engrish,then enjoy a hastily prepared duck,head still attached.The film ends with Ralphie sleeping soundly with his trusty air rifle close by,in what would be remembered by the grown up narrator(Jean Shepherd)as the best Christmas ever. Ralphie(Peter Billingsley),pink nightmare/deranged easter bunny variant. From the first time I saw Story,visiting my buddy's place in New Jersey,I instantly connected with the movie,as most people do.Nearly every vignette within,I could relate one or more of my own to,minus the pink bunny costume,of course.The feelings of an era that passes with no prior warning,that if you're lucky enough,you'll experience vicariously through the eyes of your own kids as they repeat the rituals themselves.A view of the immediate world through an innocent child's eyes and imagination,and really,what could ever be better than that?Without trying to condescend too much here(or a seventies Coca-Cola commerical),if we retained that same wonder and amazement for just a bit longer,kept it unspoiled by the harsh realities of life and the world around us,perhaps it would be a better place for all of us to cohabitate in.Movies may come along to better capture the feelings of a changing society with ever-changing values and rituals,but for your humble N,none will say more to me,personally,than the cult hit from 1983.One of the best ever,and certainly the best holiday movie ever,in my opinion.Four wops and the highest recommendation. "You'll shoot yer eye out,kid!",warns a safety-minded department store Santy.
If we were discussing film over pints o'noggin nectar at the hive,and you happened to ask,"Hey B.W.,What nation has consistently churned out the most solid genre efforts in the past decade?",there's really only one answer I could,in good conscience,give you.Heavily influenced and certainly inspired by the glory days of mother Italia(Dove vadalo, il mio paese, il mio amore?),the French currently hold sway over the horror throne.While countries like America seem content in rolling in the filth of their own shoddy remakes(and other countries recent hits,using the limp argument that most Americans can't be bothered to read subtitles.Sadly,this is probably true,and judging by the fact that Yogi Bear made sixteen million this past weekend at the U.S. box office,most Americans wouldn't know a good movie if you beat them to death with the cannister it came in.),France has been the model of cinematic consistency,regularly bringing solid efforts to a world stage.To the "New Wave" of filmmakers that wave the Bleu Blanc Rouge,I say:Je salue les rois français et je suis aimable pour leur or de cinéma. Tonight's entry is one of the strongest pieces of evidence towards that sentiment yet.Co-directors Bustillo and Maury have certainly added their names to the growing list of French genre masters with their very first effort,a tension-filled exercise in solitary fear that serves up top tier grue by the ladleful.Powerful performances are given by the two leading ladies in roles I highly doubt we could ever expect to see top Hollywood actresses agree to portray.The camera is wielded brilliantly here,and the lighting is as much to blame for the distressing tone the viewer is assaulted with throughout the picture.I can only imagine further great work from these gentlemen,and I eagerly await their next morbid masterpiece.If you haven't seen this one yet,stop here,and get your hands on it immediately,because I'm forced to reveal spoilers in the synopsis,and you're gonna want to experience Inside completely free of prejudices,trust me.Allons-y avant... "Is that La Chapelle Grand Cru?Funny,I didn't order womb service..." A woman's voice comforts her unborn child,who floats peacefully in amniotic fluid before a sudden blow turns the liquid red.Inside a car that's been totalled,a bloodied pregnant woman named Sarah(Alysson Paradis)groggily comes to,still seatbelted into the twisted wreck,with her lifeless passenger/husband by her side.Months later she undergoes a final ultrasound of the child on Christmas Eve,with a planned induction of labor scheduled for Christmas Day.The young widow gives the house keys to her boss at the park so that he can pick her up in the morning.The incapacitated photographer retires to her flat for an uneventful evening of picture developing and rest,when she's visited by a strange woman(Béatrice Dalle) in the night,who claims to have broken down up the road,but when denied entrance reveals she knows micro-details about Sarah's personal life,causing the disturbed young woman to phone the authorities.She takes some blurry pictures of the dark figure who spiderwebs one of the windows with her fist before disappearing back into the night.The cops come round to give the premises the once over,and inadvertently let the woman in under their noses.Once Sarah collapses in her bed and dozes off,the woman emerges from the shadows with a jar full of alcohol and a large pair of fabric scissors,with which she begins to puncture the expectant mother's navel,waking her from her slumber in a sudden panic,as the woman slashes her across the face with the shears.She locks herself in the bathroom amidst the screaming,kicking tantrums of her crazed attacker just outside the door.The bloodied mother-to-be and her unborn son are safe...for the moment. Did anybody see where I left the good pair of scissors?Wegman's has some good coupons in their Sunday circular. The woman's frantic attempts to gain entry to the bathroom are interrupted by Sarah's boss,who she invites in for a drink,posing as his employee's mother,but when the girl's real forebearer arrives and goes upstairs to check on her daughter,she's accidentally skewered through the carotid artery by a hair pick,red neckspray painting the hallway walls as she sputters to the floor,dead.Meanwhile,Sarah's gap-toothed keeper slays the boss,running him through with scissors before finally impaling his face through a pillow.When a squad car with three officers and an rioting muslim perp they've arrested arrives for a late-night check-in,some heavy duty things go down.The woman garter stitches one cop's eye and throat with an impossibly long knitting needle before blowing a second cop's grey stuff all over the bathroom just as he reaches Sarah.She rewards the battered mother-to-be by crucifying the woman's hand to a wall through a hole in the bathroom door with her scissors.The third cop hooks his nervous arrestee to a leash and gives him a riot gun and flashlight as they rush in to investigate the commotion and gun shots inside.The woman flips the circuit breaker and steals the riot gun,sending a brain-smashing rubber round into the cop's head from point blank range,then stakes the teenager through the face with her scissors.In the ultimate cat fight between the desperate ladies,some serious wince-inducing damage is inflicted by both women.The pregnant victim gets lambasted with a toaster and soccer kicked around the kitchen floor before blowtorching her attacker's grillpiece as she lights a cigarette with an aerosol can.She fashions a pipe and butcher knife into a makeshift telescoping spear to hunt for the flame-deformed bitch in the shadows,only to learn that the woman was in the other car in the accident,also pregnant,but ultimately losing her unborn child as a result.The riot gunned lawman,blinded and brain damaged from the shot,rises from the ground and mistakenly attacks Sarah in his deranged delirium,but the woman rushes to her aid and stakes him through the chest with Sarah's spear.The cumulative effects of the evening's mad events sends Sarah into labor on the steps,exclaiming that the baby is stuck,earning her the recipiency of a d.i.y. caesarian section with shears,courtesy of the burn-scarred intruder,amidst tearful pleas for mommy.Finally,we see the battle-wounded psycho comforting the newborn's cries in a rocking chair on the crime scene,as the lifeless eyes of his mother look endlessly forward from the stairs. Quite possibly the finest makeshift aerosol can flamethrower scene since Island of Death(1975). The buzz around the internet on tonight's feature is wildly positive,and rightfully so.The brief intra-womb cgi sequences throughout are pretty well-done,and the gore effects also achieve technical brilliance on a level of realism matched by few in the industry,even today.The tributes to genre classics like Halloween(1978)and Black Christmas(1974) are subtle and well-played.Bare-knuckle tension gives way to over-the-top ultra-violence in a blend that should leave genre fans happily spent as the end titles roll.Bustillo,Maury,and Dalle pair up once again in Livide,scheduled for release in the new year.Jaume Balagueró,director of the highly original and entertaining REC(subsequently ripped-off by Hollywood with Quarantine)has mentioned having the desire to in turn remake tonight's entry,doing away with much of the gore in favour of focusing on the terror of the lead actress' pregnancy.Let's hope he doesn't do it.Inside stands as a wet dream for any horror fanatic worth his eighties slashers.A perfect four wops and the highest recommendations for it from yours cruelly. So...can I call you again?Haha,sorry.
While you're out scrambling and clawing your way through the twisted mass of human lemmings this Christmas season,shopping for trinkets and doodads to appease your Emperor,you may repeatedly ask yourself:What do I buy for the guy who has EVERYTHING?And you wouldn't be unjustified in pondering this to yourself,or even to a crack team of researchers either.But honestly,no one knows a one-of-a-kind helluva guy like B.W. like this two-thumbed rascal right here.So,return that fifty-pack of horror dvds you hurriedly picked up at the local truck stop,and let Wopifex Maximus show you how to bring the devilish smile upon the face you've come to know and love,here during this most glorious time of year. I:Cars Though I'm not opposed to a nifty Italian sports car fresh off the assembly line,a fully restored and customized Mercury Cougar 1967-1970(Eliminator or XR-7 package is a plus)in black or red would most definitely trump that Atari 2600 I got from Santer back in 1980. II:Choice Taxidermy Nothing says,"Ti adoro,Stefano..."like a rad dangerous animal's decapitated dome mounted on wood and screwed to the wall above my waterbed.I love this thing,and frankly,it just may come in handy during rough sex if those teeth are as sharp as they look,I could simply leave the straight razor on the nightstand.Kodiak bear and adult male lion are also good options. III:Roman/Italian Busts n' Statues Though I obviously share a deep spiritual bond with Emperor Gaius and Benito Mussolini,you'd still be looked upon favorably if you hooked up,say,Tiberius or Nero,or Gabriele D'Annunzio.I'm easy like a Sunday morning over here. IV:Electric Chair Always wanted one of these.At this point it doesn't really matter if the thing is,or ever has been functional,I just think I could do some serious brainstorming with my ass parked in one. V: Clothing Brutus,Levi's,Ben Sherman,Three Stroke,Pit Bull,Fred Perry,Doc Marten,Lonsdale,and Rotten Cotton pretty much makes up the majority of my vast wardrobe,so stick within those guidelines and you'll be right as dodgers by me.I've been eyeing up custom Detroit Red Wings jerseys too.Just sayin'. VI:Retro Coolness Any genre-related 70's merch I'm especially fond of,as a guy who regularly strolls down Memory Lane,since it's not only great tasting,it's also good for you.Of course,if your two foot high Bandai 1995 Burning Godzilla Super Premium Final Form is taking up too much space in your pagoda,ship it on off to the kid over here.I'll give it the TLC it so desperately needs. VII:Guns Like every red-blooded male on the planet,I derive great pleasure from shooting and blowing things up,and though forty grand for an MP5 might be just outside your price range(donating plasma might help you get to where you need to be,just sayin'),I'm always happy to wield a Mac 10 or 11,or a post-ban AK-47,in compliance with the state's fine gun laws.You've got a friend in Pennsylvania,Pennsylvania. VIII:Skull-themed Brassies I'm big on skulls and err,ummm...paperweights,so you can imagine how rad I would think you are if one of these puppies turned up under the X-Mas Tree/Festivus Pole(whatever Doc decides on throwing up,I stand behind). IX:A Good Woman Hahaha,good luck findin' one of these elusive beasts anywhere.I had to end the list with one totally unrealistic wish,just for the sake of comedy. Well,that just about covers it.And if you get pinched trying to lift the Caligula bust from the museum in Leeds,do us both a favor,and keep my name out of it,for fuck's sake.Happy Hunting!
Tonight we're putting the X back into X-mas here at the Wop,by covering the granddaddy of vintage porn flicks,a glorified feature-length departure from the standard "loop" of the day,produced by made members of the Columbo crime family for roughly twenty-five grand in Miami and New York over six days in January of 1972.Actual box-office returns on the controversial ground breaker may never be known for sure,though the film has easily earned over a hundred million worldwide,and possibly,much more than that,as its Mafia-controlled release ushered in a brief upper middle class flirtation with pornography in the mid-seventies.Its "star",Linda Lovelace,wrote four(!) different biographies,claiming her appearance in the film liberated her as a woman in the earlier books,then crying rape in the latter two,claiming she was forced to perform several of the explicit sex acts within the movie with her abusive psycho husband Chuck Traynor holding loaded guns to her head.I wouldn't rule it out of the realm of possibility,as Lovelace displays some pretty obvious bruising on her body throughout the film,which was deemed obscene in New York,of all places.The moustachioed Harry Reems was convicted and later acquitted of obscenity charges due to his contributions to Throat,which was banned in certain areas,and played daily for sixteen years straight at one theater in Portland,Oregon,of all places. Whether you see the late Lovelace,who died in 2002 from injuries after crashing her car into a cement post,as a victim or an opportunist,the most famous porn star of them all is the only thing worth looking at in this entry,by a long shot.Everyone else in the movie is frighteningly hideous enough to make the average porn enthusiast swear off the stuff forever,ferchrissakes.From a technical standpoint,the movie sucks,pardon the pun,with shadows and reflections of cameramen completely visible in shots,flubbed lines and porno cliche' jokes,and a supporting cast ugly enough to make people in Kansas City jealous.Linda,on the other hand,is a veritable porn pioneer;shaving her pussy,doing onscreen anal,and her titular fellatial skills at a time when none of these things were commonplace in adult movies.She,alone,is worth the price of admission. "So when will your son Joe be coming home,Mrs. Dirt?" The inventively named "Linda"(Lovelace playing "herself")is experiencing sexual frustration,during an era of sexual freedom and female empowerment,that reaches truly epic proportions.She confides her boudoir dilemma to her homely friend,Helen(Dolly Sharp),asking her how to harness that most elusive animal,the female orgasm(back when there was only one type.Let's all have a hearty belly-laugh at the dated material.Wuh-Hah hah haaaaah.).Her unattractive skeezoid galpal does what any good friend would do in such a situation,and schedules a good old fashioned fuckfest,but after some spirited ham-slamming and yap-ramming...and cigarette smoking(sex and cigs have an eternal bond that your humble N would never ever try to break),Linda is still at square one,bereaft of the quim earthquake your collective mothers are forever scratching at my bedroom window for.Helen then suggests a visit to Dr. Young(Harry Reems),who,upon examination of the young woman,surmises that her problem lies in a rare birth defect,indeed.Linda's clitoris is not underneath a skin hood atop her vaginal orifice,but down the back of her throat instead.She lashes out at the doctor."What if your balls were in your ear?",to which he replies,"Well,I suppose I'd hear myself coming."Wocka wocka.Who wrote this dialogue anyway,Fozzie Bear? That fingertip is one of the smaller things Linda stuffs in her yap here. Dr.Young,in between constantly putting the blocks to his nurse(Carol Connors), estimates that it'll take a custard cannon no less than nine inches in length to reach her female joy buzzer,and wouldn't you know it,he just happens to be packing that sort of weaponry in his own pants.With Young's tutelage,she hones her fellatio skills to a razor edge on the doctor's mustard missile and finally has that orgasm that she's been looking for,complete with bells,whistles,and possibly the single worst title song in movie history.Deeep throat,don't row the boat,don't get your goat,that's all she wrote(great lyrics)as vocalized by a bobcat with his nuts slammed in a beartrap.Riz Ortolani obviously didn't work on the soundtrack.Linda,freed from the binds of her sexual prison,offers to marry the doctor,who instead hires her as a physio-therapist(translation:whore to suck and fuck all his male patients),documenting her carnal progress along the way.A whole lotta fucking follows before the end titles promise,"The End,and Deep Throat to you all" at the sixty-one minute mark.Move over,Spartacus. As sexy as smoking is,it can't negate that bouffant hairdon't.Or that curtain. Lovelace,who fucked and sucked a dog on camera a year earlier in the aptly titled loop,Dog Fucker(1971)and later taught Sammy Davis,Jr.(!) how to deep throat her husband(!!) at a drunken Playboy mansion party(both of these factoids are so skeevy,I'm getting itchy just typing them),went on to star in the softcore sequel,Deep Throat II(1974),and the exploitative Linda Lovelace for President(1976),before completely falling under the cinematic radar for keeps.The late mob-tied director had a long career in porn,with such upscale titles as The Devil in Miss Jones,The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue,Maximum Head,and Splendor in the Ass under his belt before he passed away two years ago.Reems,who was championed by celebs like Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty,apart from his legendary porn career,also provided the hardcore inserts in 1970's Bacchanale,was an extra in Klute,starred in 1973's 42nd Street staple,Forced Entry,and shared the spotlight with Chesty Morgan in 1974's Deadly Weapons.Carol Connors,who also enjoyed a lengthy career in fuck flicks such as Erotic Adventures of Candy and Candy Goes to Hollywood,was also an extra on an episode of CHiPS and in 1982's The Concrete Jungle which starred Tracey Bregman and Camille Keaton.Throat really isn't much to look at these days,but for its historical importance and lead "actress" colorful career,it merits two wops on the ratings scale. There's more short n' curlies under the trademark Wop than a barbershop floor in East Orange,New Jersey.