Leone, Castellari, Fulci, Corbucci.All Italian directors who helped bring the 'western all'Italiana' phenomenon to prominence in the sixties, ameliorating a then exhausted American film genre with a gritty realism and artistic flair absent from most of its prior yank counterparts.If there's any type of spaghetti western renaissance on the horizon, The Scarlet Worm, Michael Fredianelli's film, the subject of tonight's review, will have been vanguard in the occurrence.Worm is an exigous budgeted tour de force of nickel-plated Peacemakers, fried egg titties, and gloriously gory squib hits reminiscent of the dustiest classics of the genre, carried out with inventive camera movement and the cleverest of scripts as penned by David Lambert; fleshed out in front of the lens by an apt cast, headed by newcomer Aaron Stielstra who's nicely complimented by genre vet Dan van Husen.Brett Halsey, who's no stranger to cult films himself, also makes the scene, ironically acting next to Ted Rusoff(who used to provide English language dubbing for Halsey's Italian work) for the very first time.Masterfully assembled with few visible flaws, Worm just might be the most satisfying fun I've had watching an independent movie of any genre in what seems like ages, despite having the ever-present "Property of Wild Dogs Productions" burned into my psyche after having to forcibly draw my eyes away from it throughout the entire running time of the project.I wasn't about to pawn cheaply zeroxed ten dollar bootlegs of it on Times Square in the first place.Honest injun.Coulda just flashed it on the screen every ten minutes and still got your point across, guys.Just sayin'.I plan on scoring a proper copy upon its scheduled release on December 6th(make up yer damned minds already, lads), anyway, just as every last one of you woprophiles oughta, that is, if you're a stickler for unusual and original cinema that'll leave you talking afterwards.Without freeing too many felids from their burlap prisons about it, the whole sordid affair unfolds this here way...
Looks like 'Walker, Texas Ranger' finally met his match... Aaron Stielstra is Print, a hired killer who looks like he just might be the bastard love child of Borat and Daniel Plainview, recalls his stylistic and much ballyhooed icing of a young cattle rustling scalawag(he colorfully stuffs the young feller's naked post-mortem cadaver into the cow's belly!) that he catches in the act at the behest of one Mr. Paul(Brett Halsey), an elderly gent in a long standing feud with John Love's hired help after the old man ended up with his heart cut out over some dame. Print, who likens himself to Monet when disposing the town of gruffy undesirables, runs a fine barber shop with his old friend Hank Olive(Kevin Giffin), who was also employed as one of Paul's hired guns in his prime, but had long since lost his nerve and taste for killings.Print, on the other hand, doesn't understand Hank's evolution, and slags it off as the behaviour of some kind of a skirt-wearin' Mary, and not the least bit masculine, though he has grown weary of the bloodshed himself, fixin' to create his final crimson masterpiece and get out while he still can.Meanwhile, a flat-faced Dutch brothel owner named Kley(Dan van Husen) uses barbaric tools of exorcism to rid one of his whores of an unwanted pregnancy, as his associate Gus(Eric Zandivar) looks on, reading Latin bible verses and clinging to a set of rosary beads.Paul asks Print to take on a ranch hand named Lee(Derek Hertig) and teach the young guttersnipe in the ways of man-killin', giving the killer the opportunity to paint his masterpiece in righteously snuffing Kley for killing the girls' babies "in the fuckin' womb".Kley explains his gruesome work away to a cogitative Gus, citing Old Testament passages concerning Nephilim and the extermination of a half human/half demon race for the greater good of humanity, and claiming that the filthy drunks, opium addicts, and killers who frequent the brothel could only be capable of creating demon babies(!).Hallelujah, brother!
Out of ten gallons of hat come fifteen gallons of brains. A failed ambush of Print by the Love boys results in the discovery of a couple of dead gunslingers, naked and propped against each other with wildflowers behind their ears, by Love's other men.A vengeful Mathis(Mike Malloy) calls Print a fucking turd for his latest "poem".Lee proves to be a mannerless rapscallion, even tuning up a helpless shopkeeper's daughter with a flurry of fists for asking why he was wearing a dress....while he's wearing a dress(!).Print threatens to pluck one of his eyes out.Hank points Mathis and the Love boys towards Kernville and Kley's establishment, where Print and Lee are posing as a father-son team looking to rid the junior of his pesky cherry and seeking employment with the Dutchman, as well.Print proves his value to the pimp when the Love boys barge in, looking to settle the score, instead ending up as more fertilizer for the valley that Print calls "The Devil's Crotch", the final resting place for most of the varmints on the wrong end of his gun barrel.While Lee takes a foolish shine to a whore named Annabelle(Rita Rey), Kley explains the biblical/biological phenomenon of "The Scarlet Worm" to Print, who finds the old man providing sexual release more than sin to his paying customers, and that only God himself can eradicate sin.Hmmm, nobody told him there'd be food for thought prior to his latest assassination.After time draws closer to the inevitable execution, Lee warns his favorite slut to vamoose until the dirty deeds have been accomplished, unaware that whorehouse gossip will carry the information directly back to Kley himself.What follows is an action-packed, blood-soaked finale, relentless in its assault upon the viewer's senses right up until the final credits.I reckon y'all oughta folla yer inner urges to mosey out an' purchase this one and have a look-see how it all wraps up in the end.You'll be powerful glad you did.
"Look at me! I'm-a ridin' sidesaddle! I'm-a ridin' sidesaddle!" Genre-wise, the venerable Halsey has appeared in everything from Twice-Told Tales(1963) with Vincent Price, to Lucio Fulci's Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio(1988) over the years, and everything in between(even a gig as John Abbott on The Young and the Restless).van Husen has equally impressive genre credentials, working with directors like Franco on Killer Barbys vs. Dracula(2002), Herzog on Nosferatu the Vampyre(1979), and even Tinto Brass on 1976's Salon Kitty.Associate producer Mike Malloy, who cameos as an intolerant trigger-happy cowpoke that eats lead-based abuse on camera for his troubles and provides marksmanship skills in the film, also happens to write for Nigel Maskell's excellent Italian Film Review, as well as the criminally neglected Tough and Gritty site online.Fellow producer Eric Zaldivar who brings the rosary-clutching, moustachioed character of Gus to life on screen, also writes pretty mean dirty parodies of pop tunes(not unlike this guy over here) when he's not obsessively immersed in ressurecting the cult classic 3D westernComin' at Ya!.Be sure to fully support all of their endeavours online religiously, as they're diamond geezers with immense talents, the lot of them.From the instant they hyperlinked me to the trailer, I knew their project had all the markings of something special and anxiously awaited a look-see of my own at the finished project.Needless to say, it didn't disappoint in the least, and judging by the four wop score it earned itself tonight, I had to love the dadblasted thing.You will, too.Highest recommendations.See it...on December 6th!
Kley(Dan van Husen) and Gus(Eric Zaldivar) viddy a brutal punch up together.
Ah, the Manhattan House of Detention.I can still smell the rancid bologna and taste the "juice"(translation:flavorless blue filth dosed with salpeter).I fondly remember my two strip searches and bunking next to water bugs so big, I could hear their heart pulsating over the screams of a cracked out Russian tourist cuffed to a cell door.Of course, nowadays its called the South Tower of the 'Bernard B. Kerik Complex' there on White Street, but for me, it'll always be 'The Tombs'.It is in a single cellblock here that is the focus for tonight's entry, the big screen adaption of a workshop production by Miguel Piñero while incarcerated at Sing Sing for armed robbery that went on to win the 1973-74 New York Drama Critics' Award for Best Play, as directed by Robert M. Young, who most recently helmed several episodes of the Battlestar Galactica reboot.Named after the prison slang for a paedophile, the film is a claustrophobic study of the hardships of life on what you might think was the lowest rung of the social ladder, but there are always lower depths to sink to, and justice dealt by urban throwaways often differs greatly(and violently) from the mainstream societal version.The film features Bruce "Willard" Davison in what might be the seediest performance of his career; one particular monologue so balls-out grimy, you're guaranteed to be itchy afterwards.Also on board are Piñero himself, singers Curtis "Superfly" Mayfield and Freddy Fender, Joseph Carberry, Juan Guzman, and Bob Maroff, who most will remember as a mafioso caught in DeNiro's sights in the bloodsoaked Taxi Driver finale a year earlier.Mayfield, who leads one fuck of a hokey prison singalong in the film, also provides a soundtrack full of memorable soul gems like "A Heavy Dude" and "Need Someone To Love" over the movie's jive-heavy dialogue, toilet paper knuckle wraps, and obligatory jailhouse male-on-male grab-assing in the showers.The whole production's every frame is hopelessly anchored to the seventies, but still manages to pack several solid shocks to the system, none-the-less.As it stands, Eyes remains one of my favorite prison dramas, fileable somewhere between Scum(1983), Cool Hand Luke(1967), and Chopper(2000).That reminds me, I owe somebody a review of that one...
Unless God's selling some good dope, this cat ain't havin' none of that bullshit. The fragile harmony(extremely loose usage of the term here) inside one of the cellblocks in Manhattan's 'Tombs' is disrupted by the incarceration of one Clark Davis(Bruce Davison), a nervous middle class honky that may or may not have done something terrible to an innocent little girl on the outside.Shunned by the pick-coiffed Ice(Nathan George) and the black homeboys, the homo-amorous Paco(Shawn Elliott) and the Rican inmates, El Raheem and the pro-black militants, and even Longshoe(Joseph Carberry) and the white minority, Davis is publicly chewed a brand new shitter by Mr. Nett(Bob Maroff), the resident hack who looks forward to the new prisoner's inevitable transfer to Sing Sing, where the men know what to do with 'Short Eyes'.With Davis in general pop, none of the daily rituals hold the same joie de vivre for the inmates.Cupcakes(Tito Goya) is on the fence about being lusted after by half of the cellblock, Pappy(Curtis Mayfield)'s Cumbaya-ish day room singalong hits a sour note when Go-Go(Miguel Piñero) plants a DIY shiv in his bunk, sending him to the hole(earning him a later broken arm and spirited punch up from the whole block), and even Raheem's usual vitriol-fueled anti-white tirades barely merit a toilet paper-wrapped fisticuff from Yacub-spawned Longshoe, bringer of nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine diseases that he, no doubt, is.Hell, even the cockroach race doesn't feel the same.Only the level-headed Juan(José Pérez) is willing to ask Davis whether the pending inhuman charges against him are without merit or not, and soon enough, he wishes he'd never asked.Davis confesses that he's not sure if he molested the little girl in question, but spares no detail in confessing a sordid lifetime of kiddie fiddling to the disconcerted young latino.
I think Freddy Fender took that "Wasted Days, Wasted Nights" thing a little too seriously here. After hearing of Davis' predatory park habits("the little black and Puerto Rican girls were the easiest...") and the real possibility that he might beat the rap and hit the sidewalk to ruin more innocent lives, Juan is burdoned with internal conflict concerning the teary-eyed pederast.Unthinkably, he finds himself taking the tyke toucher's back in a cellblock pow wow against everybody else, even his own people, with the effete Cupcakes even calling for a piece of the incarcerated cat himself, while staving off Paco's sudsy man-love vows in the showers.Juan's reluctance to rush to judgement is not shared by anybody on the block, including the hacks, and he's quickly vetoed by all.A group of the inmates snatch up Davis and spread him out along the day room table, amidst his sobbing pleas and threats to snitch.Raheem is given the impromptu razor shiv as executioner, but despite his innate hatred for all things white, he is ironically unable to bring himself to take the man's life.The Irishman Longshoe has less difficulty in carrying out the penalty phase for Davis' misdeeds, slicing his throat in one comprehensive slash.Nett watches, satisfied, as Davis chokes to death on his own blood, half-heartedly calling for medical assistance after he's sure the predator isn't going to recover.After a half-hearted verbal slap on the wrist from Mr. Allard(Bob O'Connell), it's business as usual on the block, as Cupcakes is released amidst shouts of ownership that echo through the halls.Life goes on, even in jail.
"Heyyyy, that ain't the Loofah, Paco(Shawn Elliott)!!" After a series of documentaries for Nat Geo and tonight's drama, Young went on to helm the 1986 Farrah Fawcett rape-revenge vehicle, Extremities, as well as the aforementioned Galactica run, five episodes over five years(2006's Unfinished Business and 2007's The Son Also Rises among them, for my roomie and fellow Starbuck advo, Doc).The enigmatic Tony-nominated Piñero allegedly doled out the forty large he earned from tonight's feature to the books of incarcerated pals, and lived on the street, listing a pay phone number as his office contact, scoring roles as several unsavory prison types in movies and television before shuffling off his mortal coil in 1988 due to liver disease.Crazy.Carberry was a familiar television face, himself, also landing roles in the big screen version of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, as well as the pro-Am Chuck Norris feature, Missing in Action, and even Speed.Dedicated woprophiles'll remember Bob O'Connell as the thrift store owner that dimes out Susan Sarandon while she's peaking face in Avildsen's joe(1970).As far as prison pics go, Short Eyes is powerful, thought-provoking stuff, an unexpurgated peek into life as those on the outside rarely glimpse, and a solid cult classic that scores three wops on the ratings scale.Seek it out, I'm pretty sure it'll leave its mark on you.Recommended.
Clark Davis(Bruce Davison) seems to have something stuck in his throat.His hand, I'm guessing.
Having to regretfully decline my invite to the Hoboken International Film Festival this past June due to unforeseeable(translation:suspended license) transportation hassles, I missed out on screening tonight's entry, which nabbed nominations for Best Actress and Best Screenplay(to go along with an official selection in the New Filmmakers New York 2011 Spring screening series, and a nomination for Best Screenplay in the '09 Queens International Film Fest, no less) upon its premiere in Sinatraville, I had no inkling as to how much I was gonna savour basking in the indie glow of its witty brilliance when I'd later check it out.Every once in a while, I'll get a film with a solid foundation that exceeds my expectations going in, reaffirming my faith in moviemaking, and it's safe to put God's in the top tier of that bracket.It's like Shakespeare if Romeo kept severed body parts in canning jars full of alcohol and Juliet was a prostitute that was abused by her stepfather...in other words it ROCKS!Not since Gorman Bechard's Psychos in Love(1987) has there been such an efficacious blend of black humour and horror elements packed into one indie feature, I'm here to tell ya.Directors Licata and Charles artfully weave solid on-camera chemistry between its romantic leads, writer/co-producer Josh Folan and Jessica Kaye, around picturesque Big Apple locales in spinning an engulfing and original alt. yarn of love and its oftimes dark extracurriculars.The lush shot selection and filming style might remind some viewers of a hip Supernatural/Vampire Diaries-esque CW series, but this is better than any of that small screen peeper fodder by leaps and bounds.From a genre perspective, the miniscule budget may have sent any chance for quality gore set pieces up in flames, but these guys still manage to pepper their project with a few sparse bloody bits, none-the-less.Overall,I dug it like a robust male Nemesiidae that burrows a y-shaped silk funnel with a wishbone trapdoor into the scorched African soil.Trapdoor spiders are God's creatures too, afterall, so don't give me backsass about my analogies, brats...
Blood spattered blonde, duct tape, plastic tarp, flathead screwdriver...all the ingredients to a magical evening. We first meet Jon Smith(Josh Folan) as he's inviting an appetizing young blonde in for a nightcap(translation:get roofied, duct taped, and shivved in the labonza repeatedly with a flathead screwdriver over a plastic tarp).Jon's what you might call a 'serial killer'.Then we meet Delia(Jessica Kaye) as she tries to tiptoe out of an abusive situation while her scumbag stepfather(Adam Barnett) snores over the drone of late night tv.That doesn't go too smoothly.As Delia clumsily moves into her sparse new digs, Jon is busy preserving a severed hand he's hacksawed off of his latest vic.Delia calls her younger sister to demystify her disappearance and to remind her that she will be rescued from her dismal living arrangements just as soon as possible.Jon is also a barrista, and while he's succouring cityfolk with their latte needs, she strolls in and catches his eye.When she vollies his 'What would you like?' with a witty retort listing everything but coffee, his existence of sociopathy and homicide are changed forever.He goes home and places the hand in a jar on his shelf of trophies from his victims, imagining that he's strangling her.Okay, he may be changed, but he's not rehabilitated.He strangles a cheap streetwalker to death with a wire on a park bench.Meanwhile, Delia's turning a fat, balding, middle-aged trick, giving him a lubed handy-ending.Delia's what you might call a 'prostitute'.Back at the coffee shop, the starcrossed duo start to connect, but a call from her sister and one from a potential john put that idea to rest momentarily, but she later puts his initial reluctance to ease and talks him into taking her out for drinks.While the convo flourishes at the bar, Delia's sister slaves subserviently for her tyrannical stepfather.A prolonged goodnight on the stoop has Jon asking himself why Delia isn't dead yet.A hardbodied latina callgirl with a propensity for booger sugar and a head caved in by a meat tenderizer isn't quite as lucky.Back slinging frappucinos at work, he finds himself smitten with Delia when she doesn't stop in.
I don't blame her.For me, the mirrored ceilings are the best part. He hand delivers a cold coffee to Delia and asks, "What if I was some deranged serial killer?", to which she replies, "What if I was some deranged serial killer??" You gotta admire this chick's spunk.Cue:Impromptu romantic night on the town montage, complete with skill crane prize and bucket o' movie popcorn.We're then given insight into Delia's stepfather, Sean's workday, riding trains from New York to Philly and back again.Some rough phone convo leads to her thoroughly dominating a morbidly obese and effeminate anti-gay john in a mini-thong(Ha!), who she inanimately rides, shouting at him, "That's right! This is my fuckin' ass!" while staring at the mirrors on the ceiling.I dunno, she's a keeper in my book.After her unfulfilling trick, she calls Jon, who's decided to ditch his murder-trophies and paint over the blood-spatter, all for Delia's sake.Awwwwwwww.She plans to retrieve her younger sister from her negative environs, when Jon surprises her with a phone call for homemade dinner at his place.They fuck like a pair of howler monkeys hopped up on German libido drops, and she forgets her prior obligation to her sister, who gets raped, and opens her veins in the tub, Nerva-style, directly afterwards.Ooops.As Jon presents her with breakfast in bed, she realizes her faux pas and leaves coldly, telling him matter-of-factly, "Care about me?!!You don't know me." While he painfully pines for her company, she discovers her sister's bloodless body floating in the tub.Brokenhearted, he drowns his sorrows at a local bar, and scores himself a righteously hot bar pig to take home and, uh...well, maybe, choke to death?As he leans back to admire his own handiwork, Delia appears over his shoulder, having seen it all(!).And when you score yourself a copy of this one, you'll be able to find out what happens in the barking mad finale, as I'm not about to ruin it for you.
"Where'd this hickey come from, girl? Oh yeah, I gave you that." Shot over sixteen days in March of 2010 for just under 25 large after the filmmakers scored completion and distribution funds from an IndieGoGo campaign at the start of the current year, the film boasts of an equally impressive soundtrack that adds to the homicidal ambience, with work turned in by California sonic bobby-sox rockers extraordinaire, Des Roar, as well as Molotov Elysian, Car Stereo Wars, Ajar, and The Dangerous Maybes.Needless to say, very choice, indeed.The sexy Jessica Kaye, excellent here as the troubled Delia, has most recently turned up on One Life to Live, while logging credits in Veronika, Decides to Die, and Sostoyanie, as well as extensive stage work off-Broadway.Signore Folan, also stellar as Smith, the sociopath with cartoon hearts in his eyes, has appeared in the lead in Episode 50, which is slated to premiere at this fall's Toronto After Dark Film Festival, as well as scoring a three year gig on All My Children.Together with co-producer Matt Jared, he's succeeded in creating a movie very unlike most of the standard tenets of Hollywood fare, and one that's pretty damned entertaining, at that.I look forward to seeing future projects from these talented young artists.Visit their website here, check out their Facebook here, and their Twitter here, and tell 'em Big Wop sent ya.It's nice to know people still know how to put a good movie together, for serious.On the scale, God's brings home three wops, and like Ramondi's Jap thug tells Chuck Norris about his raped, dead girlfriend, in Forced Vengeance(1982), is "verrrrrrrrry good."Highly recommended.
"Can't I even strangle a drunken bimbo in peace?!!"
Tonight we'll focus our glassies upon a gloriously grim bit o' business from across the pond, in a similar (erupting)vein as genre fare such as Paranormal Activity and [rec], which owes as much to the style of all things Lovecraftian as it does to the artwork of comic legend Berni Wrightson, in drawing solid scares from the indescribable things that might lurk just outside the light, there in the dark.Adroitly handled suspense, decent makeup effects, and solid acting, especially from Alderson, who plays the titular O-apostrophe pettifoggered by ornery organisms from elsewhere, are all peppered throughout this psychological jump scare-analia, another solid effort overall from the Brits, and not a quotidian moment in the entire motherfucker, I thought, for serious.Of course, for those coming into this one expecting levitating scousers being pelted by holy words n' water while they blaspheme in dead languages and spew soul-bile, you cats are shit outta luck, as there's precious little(translation:none) of that here.The premise is deceptively simple, with few instances of autochthonousity(where the eff did I pull that fifty center from?Dammit, I'm noooiice with the funky palabras, yo), but efficaciously played within its low budget limitations to make for an amiable excursion into the abhorrence that may or may not exist outside one young man's unbalanced mind.I found myself coming away from the screening(albeit, a very zooted one) with a fondness for the movie, known as 'The Torment' in its native U.K., and its visible enthusiasm, as I'm sure a lot of you woprophiles will also do, if you're genre-weary of the same ol' shambling zombies, franchised sociopaths, and glittery vamps, and if I know anything about movies at all.Come on now.
8" x 10"s of this print, entitled "Sweetheart, I'd never show all my buddies!" are available in the lobby for a nominal fee. Kate and Alex(Zoe Richards, Nicholas Shaw) are a pair of twenty-something lovers who share a modest flat and a rather mundane relationship in The Great Wen(they all look that way from over here, these days...), until, that is, Alex's comfort zone of telly-after-dark and takeaway is suddenly invaded by a late-night visit from his best mate from college, David(Giles Alderson), who's distraught over being cuckolded by his girlfriend, Anna(Francesca Fowler), and in need of some quality bro time thereafter.The pair graciously sacrifice the living room couch to the heartbroken third wheel in an attempt to raise his spirits but things start to go badly faster than a lead-pawed cheetah in a rocket car straightaway.David's erratic behaviour leads Kate to thumb through a blank book Anna had given to him with future hopes of becoming a children's tome, where she notices odd sketches of otherworldly unshapely rascals who we'll hitherto refer to as 'the unsexy', that've been causing him torment of late, and increasingly neurotic psycho-babble scratched upon the pages.He confesses that 'the unsexy' have been materializing in the shadows, plaguing him, and stalking his every move whenever the sun inevitably sets.It's soon apparent that no hiding place is secure from these hulking, writhing mockeries of humanity when he notices that they've tracked his disturbed ass to his mate's flat, squishily tussling about and banging on the door like macabre encyclopaedia salesmen from Hell, overstocked with boxes upon boxes of the 'Unpleasantries' volume.Like a fourteen year old Calvin Klein underwear model Nancy that just stumbled into bible camp, these folks are in for it, alright.
"Jog on, bell end, I'm well-stocked on hydrocephallic heads as it is!" Kate and Alex, inexplicably listless in picking up and gettin' outski like any sensible couple would have done ten minutes in, soon find David sleepwalking in their bedroom nurturing some dubitability on Kate's part on allowing her boyfriend's maladjusted mate spend another night in their place, with the catatoniac obviously depriving himself of sleep and becoming increasingly aggro with them.Is the titular possession of a hellish nature or simply the onset of mental illness?Whatever they believe the case to be, it doesn't seem to necessitate the procuring of outside help, even after David tells them that Anna has fallen prey to 'the unsexy' herself, and a frantic cell phone call reaches her lifeless voice mail.Suddenly, pressing their luck outside with the misshappen abomo's doesn't seem nearly as dangerous.The events that transpire in the final reel are gonna remain classified for now, as I'd rather see all of you experience them for yourselves, preferably with the lights all out during a spirited electrical storm one coming evening, with the windows open, curled up on a couch alone, though you can always share the terror with a significant other, too.I promise I won't tell anybody what a sissy coward you really are.Well, not frequently, anyway.Sorry, my own personal demonic imps made me type that last bit, and unlike O'Reilly's, I have to battle to keep mine in...
David(Giles Alderson) continually brings bad things to light. Prior to Possession, Cull worked as writer on the cult BBC tv hit Urban Gothic, the only one of the two directors with another imdb credit.I hope that changes for them soon, I'd definitely watch anything else they came up with.Alderson is tits in purveying on screen-pazzo, and unsurprisingly has no less than nine upcoming film projects in various stages of production.Watch for him.The loverly Zoe Richards, who has two upcoming credits, also turns in a good performance.Makeups were handled by Paul McGuinness, of Nanny MacPhee Returns and Johnny English Reborn fame, who also portrayed one of the monsters. Nothing entirely exceptional, but not without merit, either.Possession materializes from another plane of possibility, slithering to the edge of where the patio light reaches into the blackness, and earns a decent two wop score on the rating scale.Give it a shot, kids!
The O'Reilly Factor claims another victim.Full story, tonight at eleven, only on MSNBC.
After promisingly favorable beginnings, David Morlet's Mutants somehow manages to run out of gas along a patch of well-traveled road; sputtering to a customary genre finish, and earning the dubious distinction of being the first of the French New Wave of horror films that I've checked out that really didn't grab me at all.I've been pretty vocal lately about just how fucking clapped out I am with the whole overly recycled zombie/infected subgenre-crutch these days, and unless somebody's biding their time in unveiling a brilliant and original take on said subject matter, I vote for laying them to rest for a few years or more, already.I never thought I'd see the day when I'd grown totally weary of pasty-faced corpses with wicked custom contacts and horrible prosthetic dentures biting hapless idiots in the throat, but we've passed that historic day by about a month at this point.France, no reprievesies for you either.Don't get me wrong, Morlet utilizes his camera to full effect, building loads of creepy winter atmosphere at the outset of tonight's entry, but by the time his more-than-a-little Descent(2005)-ish beasties snag themselves some camera time, it's mostly the same mundane survival horror we've been force-fed for the past decade or better now.Couple that with the film's mendicancy for fake-looking computer generated splatter, and you've got l'horreur médiocre pour des débutants as a result.You might be on the other end, reading this, and dismissing my words as disharmonious analysis from a benumbed, sleep-deprived cine-snob, but you'd be wrong... and you'd probably be one of those cat/kittens who wrongfully groove on otiose fecal matter like Chud II:Bud the Chud(1989), too, wouldn't ya.
Pulverized by an ambulance into cgi roadkill.Oh laboured irony. As the French countryside is immersed in winter climes, so is it also besieged by an unknown virus-borne mutant holocaust, from which two scientists, Marco (Francis Renaud) and his expectant lover, Sonia (Hélène de Fougerolles), speed towards the safety an army base on a snowy mountain road in an ambulance with a black female soldier named Perez (Marie-Sohna Conde) and an infected patient as passengers.After a power struggle results in a dead black female soldier with a bullethole in her face-piece, a dead infected patient, a nearly empty gas tank, and an infected Marco with painful hot lead in his labonza, Sonia is forced to transport the dying father of her unborn child to the NOAH base, where the cure is being developed, her damned self.She seeks refuge in a huge abandoned facility nestled in the elevations, where she can remove the bullet from Marco's belly, assess their situation, and perhaps, catch a breather, if she's lucky...She's not lucky.Marco's condition progressively worsens as he's helplessly morphed into a homicidal mutant with rodent-like features, bald pate, and an extra set of nostrils.Hey, what the hell, air is free, right?Sonia realizes her lover's time is borrowed, and as he degenerates further, she must come to terms with the sobering truth that she's going to have to kill him sooner or later, or he'll be instinctively forced to do her, instead.As his hair and teeth fall out, he grows increasingly more aggro towards her, until, in lieu of the lethal injection she's unable to bring herself to administer to him as he pleads for death over mutation(le poulet du jaune!), she locks him up in a cage in the basement as a consolation prize after a transfusion of her immune blood proves less than successful.
"He looks in my mouth and then he starts to glooooaaat.He says my teeth are O.K., but my gums got to gooooo." Soon afterwards, she's gunbutted in the mush by Franck(Nicolas Briançon), an opportunistic survivalist, who, with his girlfriend, an incapacitated bitten guy, and a creepy, silent machete-wielding chromedome along for the ride, intercepts the desperate woman's emergency radio broadcasts, demanding the keys to the ambulance outside and medical treatment for his gnawed-upon chum, who relates to her,"The cannibals attacked, and we ran like faggots."Hey, at least he's honest.The muted baldie notices the teeth marks in her lower back, and figuring her to be infected, attacks her.She explains her immunity, and together, they sneak off to his former hiding place with the working radio, and while he fends off drooling mutants with his machete, she gets the message out over the airwaves, but not before the mutants do her French bastard assistant in.Just when your head is about to fall back against the chair in nap position(for about the fifth time), the mutants come pouring out of the forest en masse and descend upon the compound, eating all of the demanding intruders with much cgi blood-based alacrity.When one of the mutants looks to dine upon the scientist, she's momentarily spared by her former boyfriend-turned-rat-lookin'-sumbitch, who battles the rival mutant and kills him.She manages to escape through a vent to the barbed wire fence-enclosed yard outside, but the rodential Marco soon follows suit.He sniffs the overwrought woman like an animal, but when he shows a propensity for gnawing at her pregnant belly, she's forced to knock him into a pile of barbed wire, where he gets hopelessly snagged.Finally, she's able to bring herself to brain the fucker with a section of pipe, causing a shower of cgi blood to bring the unspectacular, derivative thing to a close, as the NOAH base helicopter turns the rest of the mutants outside the fence into hamburger with automatic weapon fire.Credits, s'il te plait...
And the 2011 winner for Best English Subtitle goes to... As I said earlier, the cinematography is impressive, as is the director's use of color and mood, and the soundtrack mixing ambient music and rock stabs isn't at all garbage, either.Performances by de Fougerolles, Renaud, and Briançon are all pretty solid, as well.I only wish I hadn't seen twenty-five movies almost exactly like it beforehand.It doesn't take a film major to see Morlet's obvious love for all things Danny Boyle/Neil Marshall.The pacing slows to a crawl mid-movie to establish the 'love n' hope in the face of difficulty and danger' angle(yaaaaaawn), and though it perks up quite a bit in the final reel, it's too fucking late by then.I can't consciously add Morlet's name to the list of French heavy-hitters until he crafts a better flick.On the scale, Mutants transforms into a mediocre two wops; nothing special to see here.
Ooh, looky, more cgi.Right click.Scroll down.Delete.
...and then there's the wrong way to mix kung fu, horror, and comedy.Let's give Eternal Films and director Li Chao a little credit for something, though.With tonight's review, they failed epically.As a Billy Chong fan for decades now, I couldn't help but be embarrassed for the guy to have lent his name to this.Three years earlier, he scored himself a kung fu horror-comedy hit with Kung Fu Zombie(1981).He obviously should have quit while he was ahead.It's no wonder he returned to Indonesia afterwards to salvage his career there.After a porcelain bomb of this magnitude, it's remarkable that he was even able to do it.Grave is kinda like reinvisioning Ghostbusters(1984) as a kung fu flick centered around one impressive martial arts expert with a crew of incompetent fuck ups, a supporting cast of orange belt forgettables, Woolworth-level Halloween costumes, special effects that'd get trumped by a high school production of Mary Poppins, and an overall budget of, I dunno, how much you have on you right now?
The problem that Chong, aka/"The Bruce Lee of the 80's", frequently faced in his movie career, squaring off against unworthy opponents, having to rely on camera trickery to make the fights seem interesting, is never more glaringly apparent than right here.Though Lo Lieh has always been a fantastic cinematic villain, and he turns in an appropriately demented performance here, he's simply too old to keep up with Chong's hyper-flexibility and acrobatic style.Add an insultingly fucking ridiculous plot to the mix, and you're in the neighborhood, alright.
Place onion, garlic, and two hearts of humans killed at the point of orgasm with Worchestershire sauce or marinade into wok, cook with magic for thirty seconds or until they break down into a bubbly red paste... A narrator tells us that this is the seventh month of the lunar calendar, where the dead rise from their graves, and on the 14th, townspeople make offerings to the ghosts, or visible fishing line, that clumsily lifts pineapples and fried chicken into the air, and ghostly green hands.Whichever you wanna believe, man, it's all good to me.Pissing all over the notion of staying indoors while the listless dead walk the earth, Chun Sing(Billy Chong) gung fu-trains out in the courtyard, no superstitious 'fraidy cat he.A ghost that drops in on him gets wicked kicked upside the head and knocked over a wall.Incredulous, the ghost says "Whoa!", and reveals himself as the spirit of Chun's pop, urging him to bring a blood vendetta against the dirty mischiever what sent him to Hell(he bribed his way back to earth to visit his namesake).He tells his concerned mother that he's off to get revenge.Cut to two kung fu wizards gliding across the ground in the midst of an epic sword match, complete with shoddy fireworks, over a fabled book of magic.The baddie spits poison into the eyes of the righteous pugilist, blinding him before introducing his tai chi blade to his labonza.Chun stumbles upon the body before the evil wizard can score the magic book from it, and, pissing all over proper crime scene etiquette, buries it in a shallow grave right then and there.While hollowing the earth, the pommel of the sword he's using comes loose and reveals ...the magic book(didn't see that coming).He puts it back in the sword, leaving it near the grave.Wait.What?Meanwhile, the victorious black wizard prepares a magic spray derived from two human hearts, stolen at the point of orgasm(he cooks it down in a wok), which he spits all over Kam(Lo Lieh), one ruthless-assed motherfucker looking to become impervious to all weapons.For now, though, he's just fucking gross with blood all over him.The wizard tells his two cronies that he needs another two human hearts in three days to finish the process.
Wait, what's Dick Cavett doing here, and why's he dressed like Dracula? Chun shows up at Kam's crib with the tale of his father's ghost, kicking the asses off of all of his bodyguards and demanding that the murderer reveal his father's burial spot, give away all his money, and finally, kill himself.Kam declines, allowing Chun to go knuckles up with his magical lazy-eyed wizard, instead.After losing two rounds to the magician, due to his uncanny ability to make himself be seen through a kalaidoscope lens(which apparently makes him unhittable and his blows unstoppable), the young expert surmises, after also having to put the spinning wheel kicks to some undead zhosts(zombie-esque hopping ghosts), that there must be some magic behind all of this.Remember that book of magic you discarded earlier, mamalucco?Yeaaaaaah, that one.After meddling with the dark arts inside a courtyard yin/yang, Chun calls the attention of some nearby ghosts, who happen to be listening for magical activity with a bamboo antenna jutting out of their coffin.I'm not shittin' ya.Aligned with the living dead(and a hunchback), he revisits Kam, who's wizard summons two demons in black and white dunce hats with impossibly long tongues, on the defensive.Chun incinerates the duo with cheap laser effects that shoot from the book itself, forcing the wizard to retaliate the only possible way at this stage:throw a handful of American cash into the air, and as it magically catches fire, call Count Dracula to come to your aid.One effeminately sassy Dick Cavett-looking vampire with dimestore fangs and cape screaming, "I'm coooooooommmmmmiiiiiiing!!" while flying in on visible wires later, Chun is forced to resort to the old standbys(crosses and garlic)to thwart the pint-sized blood drinker in his tearing apart of the zhosts.Will the young martial expert somehow manage to vanquish Count Dracula, the evil wizard, and Kam in completing his blood vengeance and returning his chi to perfect balance?You'll have to do the unthinkable, and see it for yourselves to find out...
If that's his contract that Chong is holding, he should have burned it while he had the chance. There's a lot of you who eat up low budget craptaculars like this one as if they were deep-fried s'mores and you were E. Wilford Brimley in the throes of a sugar diabeetus attack(I'm occasionally that motherfucker in question myself when it comes to rotten flicks).You might find yourselves guiltily digging this, in that case.If you're a Hong Kong snootmeister who grooves on only the finest martial epics, you'll feel soul-raped by the time this ejercicio en el absurdo draws to a close.So it's your call.From a technical standpoint, this is embarrassingly hokey shit that's difficult to endure.On the scale, it merits but a single wop, for the Chong presence alone.
Billy Chong uses poor old Lo Lieh as an escalator.
Until very recently, it was perplexing the fuck outta me that German cult director and art-splatter maestro Jörg Buttgereit has only made four genre films since the year I graduated high school.For those of you unfamiliar with that particular time period: Budd Dwyer sucked on a gun barrel on live television, Klaus Barbie was sentenced to life in Lyon, France, and Rita Hayworth, Andy Warhol, and Lee Marvin got up from the table of life and cashed their collective chips in. Back then I used to say I'd never make it to thirty, now I can proudly boast of having some band tees older than some of you youngbloods out there... Anyway, I was instantly in Buttgereit's corner after screening his notorious classic, Nekromantik, for the first time(despite the unwatchable bootleg),and my admiration only grew leaps and bounds with each successive project he'd done.Then, just like that...nothing, for a long time.Thankfully, my two favorite Nordish libertines over at Soiled Sinema covered that base with an excellent, in-depth interview with Buttgereit a while back that you really oughta read when you get the chance.Make room for me on the Nekromantik 3 bandwagon, fellas(and a little extra for the two petite brunettes that'll be flanking me at all times...).
Tonight's entry, stands as his last genre film to date, which is a pity, because it rules over lesser serial killer-based efforts of the day(Natural Born Killers,Kalifornia, for example)like a Green Machine among Big Wheels.Buttgereit packs a wealth of sociopathic mayhem into a running time that's just over an hour, and the conservation proves highly effective, while lead actor Florian Koerner Von Gustorf as the titular Schramm resembles a tattooless, less perverted(!), friendlier(!!) version of my buddy Rich(some of you less fortunates may have caught a glimpse of the Texas beltbuckle over the years).There's a deliberately hokey effect or two on board, but really, what's not to like about a movie who's tagline is a quote from Carl Panzram?
Florian Koerner Von Gustorf as Lothar Schramm as Texas Rich. Over some persistent knocking from the prostitute(Monika M) next door, we meet Lothar Schramm(Florian Koerner Von Gustorf), semi-conscious and bleeding all over his floor after tumbling from a ladder while painting over some blood splatter on his walls.Earlier, he was visited by two door-to-door Good Book advocates who invite themselves into his flat for a coffee and a cognac, and to share in their religious awakening.Too bad their martyred saviour didn't forewarn them about "The Lipstick Killer".Schramm ventilates the male zealot's throat with a steak knife, dousing everything in a hearty arterial spray, before thumping his female counterpart's dome with a hammer in brutal slo-mo.He strips the corpses naked and suggestively poses them around the apartment, snapping Polaroids.It is their blood he's trying to conceal when he takes his tell-tale ladder flopper.Lothar is haunted by recurring neurotic hallucinations of marathon runners, running through a forest, and waking up to discover his right leg has somehow bloodily detached itself during the night.Hate when that happens.Two elderly businessman-type Johns arrange for a clandestine gash-for-cash trade off at their distant mansion with Schramm's next door hooker.Uneasy about working outside of her apartment, she approaches Lothar about driving her there and waiting outside to ensure her safety.When he agrees, she rewards him with an innocent peck on the cheek.Able to hear her conducting business through the walls, he takes care of his own needs by putting the blocks to a small inflatable rubber fuck toy, which he thoughtfully rinses out directly afterwards.
With his relationship with the Foot People irreparably damaged, Lothar took to making acquaintance with the Hand People, instead. He imagines himself ballroom dancing with the girl while enveloped in smoke.He drives her to her big money trick, and while waiting in his cab, he envisions himself in a dentist's chair where a troublesome molar is yanked out, followed by one of his eyes(!).She returns with a weird tale of priceless nineteenth century furniture, old men in silk dressing gowns, and being watched while she undergoes a sort of positional interview.Well-paid for her efforts, she agrees to return, remarking that she's done far worse things for a fraction of what these gents have paid her.We see Schramm doing sit ups and push ups in his tighty whities, which are mysteriously blood-stained in front.As he fantasizes about rubbing a woman's stocking-upped gams, he stretches his foreskin on the counter top, marks it with a lipstick, and drives several nails into it(!!).That'd probably explain the bloody drawers.The whore takes Lothar out to dinner and when she holds out the cash to pay, he envisions how she got it, from a balding john.They walk home through a darkened street, past a troubled young man who shoots himself in the head.She comes in for a nightcap, but Lothar slips a mickey into her cognac, and she's soon unconscious and being stripped.Schramm wakes up the next morning to a tentacled cunt with teeth(!!!) under his bedsheets, while the roofied whore awakens unharmed under a blanket on his couch.We then see Lothar's fatal ladder accident, spurred on by his leg-based neuroses, followed by the girl impatiently knocking at his door.When Schramm doesn't answer, she decides to go to the mansion without him.The cab driver imagines himself standing before an Aryan-looking Jesus, complete with crown of thorns, who angrily strikes him.Finally, we see the whore, hopelessly bound to a chair, and gagged, with a look of terror in her eyes...
You guys playing Dorothy Stratten v. Paul Snider again? We'll have hit the three hundred thousand hit mark here at the Wop by the time you're reading this, definitely good to see the genre nuts dropping in with regularity over here.As always, you keep reading, and I'll keep writing.Schramm runneth over with ironic plot twists and dark humor; unpleasant and repugnant yet unrepentant in delivering a bird's eye view into the sociopathic mind.It's probably not the strongest of the director's work to date, but it's certainly praise-worthy none-the-less, with at least one of his trademark moving camera shots on board to please the sticklers for technical brilliance out there.If you're into Buttgereit or serial killers you'll probably dig the shit out of this one as much as I do.I saw the special edition dvd recently going for nearly fifty greenbacks online, but I'm pretty sure you could find it cheaper than that if you do your homework(my copy was snared for frags bucks in one of those massive video clearance outlets on a stellar Indianapolis get-laid-cation I took a while back).On the scale it merits a solid three wops.See it!
Tried this once, but my dick bent the nails.That's not entirely true.I threw my back out trying to reach all the way out to the crown...
For some, director Peter Jackson signifies recent big budgeted blockbusters like King Kong and the live-action Tolkien series, but for me and the merry hometown band of genre buffs I grew up with, it all started the fateful night we snared the VHS of tonight's entry from the new release shelves.Fact is, even if the portly New Zealander had never gone on to win multiple Oscars or direct the huge movies that he did, he would still always have a place on my top list for his breakthrough genre films, starting with his pioneer effort here: a sublimely absurd shoestring-budgeted horror/sci-fi comedy romp seasoned with lunkheaded gags and accentuated by countless ambitious and bizarre gore set pieces reminiscent of the Python boys at the top of their game.That the director responsible for scenes depicting gobbling spoonable grey matter from the open skull cap and the chugging of a punch bowl full of chunky, lime green, intergalactic earl would later bag Academy Awards in the first place kinda boggles my mind to a minor degree, now that I'm thinking about it.Even more disruptive to my think-putty is the fact that Jackson produced, edited, created special effects, handled alien makeups and gore, and played multiple roles in tonight's review, as well as his directorial credit.From his very beginnings, he established his competence in all aspects of filmmaking; from fleshing out all of the hilarious events that transpire in front of his camera sans script(!), to producing a well shlocky genre cult classic, coherent as all fuck despite the beggar's cup budget he had to work with.Ain't no two ways about it, droogies, Peter Jackson's always been a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
Daring Derek(Peter Jackson) of A.I.D.S., wardrobe by Tom Baker Clothiers, Ltd. When the populace of sleepy, coastal Koihoro("Eat hungrily" in Maori, nice one Petey!) inexplicably goes missing, the scene of the crime is quickly set upon by A.I.D.S., and by A.I.D.S. I mean the Astro-Invasion and Defense Service(and perhaps, a little tasteless eighties humor, as well), aka/"The Boys":Barry(Pete O'Herne), Frank(Mike Minett), Ozzy(Terry Potter), and Derek(Peter Jackson), a motley group of wisecracking, violent prone chappies chosen to protect Earth(and the Moon)from potential threats from space, which, in this case, entails the curmudgeonly Lord Crumb(Doug Wren) and his hydrocephalic henchmen who've been patrolling the galaxy for the next big interstellar fast food craze.The boys come equipped with a muscle car full of weaponry that'd make Charlton Heston ruin his action slacks with throat yogurt stains, and when Derek captures one of the bastards, a mentally impaired rascal named Robert(also Jackson, rocking a signature beard), he plans to torture some answers out of him on a sheer cliff, unaware that his pounding of a bayonnet through the bottom of the alien's track sneaker has caused its cries of pain to alert a gaggle of his pals to come to the rescue.Barry tries to warn him of the impending danger via walkie talkie, but he's a Derek, and Derek's don't run.He manages to mow down the majority of homicidal e.t.'s with an Uzi, but Robert has freed himself during the melee, and after a struggle on the steep cliff-edge, he boots Derek in the yarbles, sending him plummeting to the rocky beach below.He groggily awakens to realize the fall has split his skull open(!) and tossed a slimy bit of his brains onto the ground(!!).After a pratfall or two, he shrugs off the would-be fatal injury, shoves his brain(and a bit of gravel) back into the gaping headwound and ties it off with his belt(!!!), driving off to meet his partners, who've located the alien base of operations in the nearby Gear homestead, in a ridiculous Beatlesmobile.
Robert(also Peter Jackson), the cranially-challenged coadjutor from the macrocosm, digs brains with a spoon, catsup optional. Meanwhile, the aliens have abducted a mild-mannered charity collector(Craig Smith), who's slated to be the main course that night for a celebratory dinner marking a successful culinary discovery: homo sapiens, a taste sensation when coupled with 'Reg's eleven secret herbs and spices'.Not in possession of glowering digits, these bastards have just wiped out a small town, packing and stacking its former denizens in bloody cardboard boxes, and most likely have their sights set on bigger things...Christchurch...Wellington....maybe even Auckland.Yeah well, that wouldn't be so bad. A pleased Lord Crumb calls for a toast, which entails flipping Robert upside down and filling a punch bowl with steaming chunky vomit, which Barry, disguised as one of the ranks, is forced to imbibe with the others.He likes it.In rescuing the collector, apple taped into his yap, soaking in a fifty-five gallon drum full of ingredients, the boys unleash a paramilitary ammo-powered bloodbath upon the interplanetary interlopers, with the hail of bullets causing the aliens to cast off their human disguises, revealing their true alien form(judging by the pot bellies and duck asses, they don't think too highly about exercise).With all of his subordinates pushing up daisies and Ozzie about to fire an rpg into their home, Lord Crumb raises anchor on the residence, which turns out to be their mothership, also disguised.The ship spins out of the atmosphere as the launched rocket-propelled grenade hits a sheep with baaaad luck(sorry) in a nearby field, instead.What Crumb hadn't bargained on, was a psychopathic chainsaw-wielding Derek stowing away on board."Suck my spinning steel, shithead!" he shouts, as he launches, saw blade first, into Crumb's domepiece, splitting him wide open and burrowing through the poor bastard's body before exiting through the alien leader's prolapsed asspipe(!!!), exclaiming that he's born again(nyuk, nyuk), before donning the empty skin and letting the ship's autopilot take him directly to their home planet.Boy, are those guys in for a rude, four-eyed awakening.
"John, I think you've just backed over Stuart Sutcliffe..." Packed with loads of low budget thrills and frenetic energy you'd be hard-pressed to find in one of Jackson's recent works, Taste is an enjoyable and funny introduction to one of the most talented directors in the film trade today, fought over by three distribution outfits at Cannes, and bagging itself the Gore Award(Ho, ho, ho, Le Gore! Sacré bleu!) at 17th Paris Festival of Fantasy and Science Fiction.Music Video Distributors released an unofficial bare bones disc of the film(the one I've got) before Anchor Bay set the record straight with a two-disc special edition(the one I haven't, obviously).The original Magnum vhs boasted of cover art that featured an alien flipping us all the bird, but was soon switched to the familiarly British two fingers "up yours", which isn't at all any less rude when you think about it.On the scale, Taste scores an impressive three wops, a true cult classic you've gotta see at least once...
Take note, this is quite possibly the finest cranio-rectal Roto-rooter-by-buzzsaw ever captured on film.