Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Impulse"(1974)d/William Grefe'

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It's a sexy Thursday evening, folks, you can smell the pungent reek of primal lust in the air tonight.A woman's ample, heaving busom rhythymically quaking in a sparkly tube top stretched to the limits by the dinosaurian dimensions of her twin D's to a mid-70's disco bassline laid down by some cat with a caucasian natural 'fro, dressed in some outta sight polyester jumpsuit that'd make George Jetson piss Rosie the Robot into short circuitsville, culminating in a spirited twenty-five minute ham-slamming romp in the backseat of the Cougar behind the club.Solid, baby.Can you dig it?
Any movie directed by Grefe is usually an entertaining one, and when you've got The Shat on board as a sweaty-as-balls, sleazy-as-fuck murderous con artist-cum-gigolo decked out in only the most painful polyester fashions of 1974, well...you're in for a pants-pissing hootenanny, aren't ya.Adding to this Shatnerthon of epic hammy proportions, Grefe enlisted exploitation vets William Kerwin, formerly a H.G. Lewis splatter era leading man, and Harold Sakata, best remembered as the bowler-chucking James Bond Villain,"Odd Job" and a game cast of extras, not excluding Marcy Lafferty, who was later overwhelmed by hairy mygalamorphs in Shat vehicle Kingdom of the Spiders(1977), and oddly enough overwhelmed by Billy himself from 1973 to 1996 in what stands as his longest marriage to date.Tonight's entry suffers from countless gaping flaws in both logic and filmmaking, but Shatner alone is worth the admission price, delivering an unintentionally hilarious, classically hammy study on violent mental illness the likes the cinematic world may never see again, if it's lucky enough.Forward!
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William Kerwin went from "long, hard ones"(cases)in Blood Feast, to "long, sharp ones"(Kitana swords) in Impulse.
Via inept black and white flashback,we get a miserable World War II era-slice of the childhood misery that shaped Matt(William Shatner)into the post-credits scuzbucket he grew up to be.Matt's mother,a drunkard in a nightie,serves up booze-soaked gash to the Sarge(William Kerwin),a hooch-hopped soldier who wants the boy's first birds and bees lesson to include his mom as the demonstration fuckdoll.The young Shat-to-be runs him through on a kitana blade for his troubles.Fast forward to present day Matt, a belly dancer-ogling, cigarillo-smoking hot shot, who's just burned his last bridge with Helen,an aging sugar mama who's been footing all of his bills, who he promptly chokes the fuck out of in her own car on the edge of a cliff in broad daylight("Big...tough...broad,aren'tcha!" he says beforehand).With her cadaver floating inside the car he dumps into the nearby drink, Matt wisely chooses to relocate in a hurry.We then meet Ann(Jennifer Bishop), single mother to pubescent clepto Tina(Kim Nicholas), who's soon to accept a ride from Matt wearing a checked blazer left over from the Love:American Style wardrobe rack where the professional chiseler wings a Doberman padding through suburbia with his car and drives off, sucking on his pinky like a pork-based precursor to Doctor Evil("Dogs...lick their wounds...they...clean 'em real good." he explains to the young passenger).When her mother meets him at her clothes boutique,where you can also buy cigarettes apparently(I never got to enjoy smoking during that era.I'm nearly finished completing my Bobby DeNiro Taxi Driver quick-draw sleeve gun that shoots packs of smokes, though.), the lonely young woman is no match for his corny bravado and deafeningly loud wardrobe.
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"I ever...show you the...scar...I got from Spock's nerve pinch, baby?"
It's soon painfully evident that Tina is the only one impervious to Matt's over-the-top snake oil salesman bit, with a particularly easy hotel desk clerk(Mrs. Shat herself) and Ann's Maude-esque friend Julia friend quickly falling prey to his charlatanic charms.After Matt pyshcotically spazzes out on a woman who bumps into him with two arms full of balloons at the carnival("Fat... people like you oughta be ground up... and made into dog food!",he barks) ,Tina tearfully bears witness to the interloper running the pantsmeat to her mother in a hotel room,then dispatch his former associate,Karate Pete(!)(Harold Sakata)after what has to be the single slowest car chase through a working car wash ever filmed.When hanging him(!!) doesn't work, Matt simply gives him the Pasolini treatment(!!!), driving over him repeatedly with Tina hiding in the backseat.Matt corners the young eyewitness on her way to school,exclaiming that nobody'd believe a crazy little girl who talks to her father's tombstone in the graveyard.Then he threateningly points at her, pre-dating DeNiro by a few years, before driving off.In an insane headscratcher of a climax,Matt manages to jack ten large off Ann for phony investments, telling her he's flying off to Jamaica for a few days, which roughly translated from psycho means,"I'll be heisting all of your best friend's money and killing her too,so don't bother me."Tina watches Matt stab Julia in the labonza for recognizing the dark circle makeup he'd applied to his eyes, officially signalling his batshit craziness the rest of the way, then she's dramatically chased through a funeral home.While he's trying to drown her mother in the fishtank, she ironically skewers him on a sword, bringing him full cycle.Her mother shushes her ear-piercing shriek(you shanked him,what's he supposed to look like,kid?) as they walk past his lifeless body in fetal position on the floor,cuing an echo-heavy analogy Matt had made about being a puppy left out in the road.Explains everything, doesn't it.
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You just don't see a good high-speed car chase moving slowly through a car wash anymore.
We covered Grefe's earlier cult classic,Stanley(1972),last month,so check that out if you haven't already, ferchrissakes.Though nothing that would crack your conventional Top 25 of the seventies(perhaps a Top 50 70's cult classics list,methinks),there's simply too much mint stuff occurring within tonight's frame to not snag yourself a copy of it immediately if not sooner, especially if you're a Shatnerphile of some degree, on top of your well-documented terminal genre addiction.I think we're gonna have to have a Top Lists week here at the Wop sometime in February, since I've always highly dug reading you guys' faves n' rappin' about 'em afterwards.Right now, we've just got too many damned movies to get through.On the scale,Impulse scores a solid double wop,and belongs in every self-respecting woprophile's movie collection, bar none.Seek the effer out, boys n' girls.
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"Pinky swear you'll...never dime me out, Tina."
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Jennifer's Body"(2009)d/Karyn Kusama

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I guess some people out there dug Juno.I dunno.I saw the damned thing at a second run theater with my then-girlfriend for a buck and still felt like I got ripped for my money, pretty much.The things you do to get laid.It was written by this ex-stripper chick,Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar and twenty other awards for her skills on the movie, which ended up grossing some one hundred forty million dollars at the box office.Next on her to do list was to write and produce this movie, an allegedly dark comic horror showcase for the wet dream of teenaged American boys everywhere, Megan Fox.So the finished product is Fox-heavy fap-fodder with a limp and uninspired horror theme all packed with teen irony and written in some sort of hokey teen dorkspeak, decipherable only to the giggly pubescent sleepover crowd and probably Cody herself, and palatable only to teen boys who haven't discovered the joys of surfing free porn sites for days at a time.For anyone outside those miniscule target audiences,Body is like watching a feature-length episode of a spooky Disney show geared towards kids with frags simulated sex and lazy cgi gore thrown in for some reason.Amanda Seyfried, who you'll remember was Tom Cruise's little girl in War of the Worlds, has grown into quite a bug-eyed nerd, which works well in this production.KNB/MPC handled the effects, which range from hardly noticeable to pretty impressive in one or two instances.I picked it up the other day just for something new to watch, with precious little enthusiasm going on, and whattaya know, it lived down to my expectations.In Kusama/Cody's defense, pulling off female empowerment and adhering to time-tested horror conventions while recalling airs of Heathers(1988) at the same time is no easy juggling act,especially when your movie is named after a Hole tune on the Reeks of Kurt Cobain...errr,Live Through This album to begin with.I sat through it, just the same.After all these years, what's another hour and a half, right?
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Whiny hipster douchebags steeped in man-scara and guyliner? Yeah. Great.
Needy(Amanda Seyfried)has run the gamut from introverted dork with Peter Lorre eyes to violent mental patient stewing in solitary confinement.Through flashback, we see that Needy's been best friends with Jennifer(Megan Fox), a popular flag squad knockout, since they were children.The vapid brunette harlot drags her wallflower pal out to a show at a nearby dive to see Low Shoulder, an indie douchebag band, when the place mysteriously catches fire, causing several patrons to eat flaming deathballs.In the melee, Jennifer ends up in the band's van, later turning up at Needy's place in the middle of the night, splattered in blood and spraying black spiky vomit out of her yap all over the kitchen floor.Of course, the next day at school, Jennifer slags her friend's concern off, acting as though nothing happened. Meanwhile the burg is overwhelmed by the numerous townspeople eating it in the fire, and Jennifer beguiles the school's meathead football captain, who she eviscerates in the forest, where the woodland creatures feast on his lifeless leftovers. Thanks to Jackanory-esque rumors of bravery during the fire, Low Shoulder gains popularity locally, offering to play a charity gig during the spring formal.A month later we find Jennifer looking like scrambled eggs until she decides to feast on the school emo, Colin, her best pal Needy receiving a blood curdling premonition as her boyfriend Chip pops her coochie with a wrapper on his fapper.
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I dug this particular sequence pretty heavily, I cannot tell a lie.
Jennifer then fills in her girlfriend on the events that transpired the night of the fire.The band, in a ploy to sell their souls to Ol' Scratch in return for fame and riches in the music industry, sacrificed Jennifer in the woods, believing she was the virgin necessary for the half-baked ritual...
...of course, Jennifer hadn't been one of those since Radiohead first decided to be pretentious, so instead of snuffing it at the end of a knife blade, she became a succubus, sneaking off and eating the foreign exchange student, Ahmet, like so much curry.Makes perfect sense to me.After researching the school library's throrough occult section(!), Needy tells Chip the whole story, which he naturally believes zero of, being more interested in adding to their four minutes of interrupted coitus.She dumps him on the eve of the formal, to protect him from her flesh-crazed friend, but when he goes stag hoping to run into Needy there, he finds himself seduced by she of the stumpy toe-thumb clan.By the time Needy makes the scene,she finds her bff chowing down on her beau's neck in the swimming pool.Jennifer escapes,but Chip, mortally wounded, cashes his chips in on the spot.Needy breaks into Jennifer's room with a tile cutter, getting bitten in the process but finally dispatching her once and for all.J's mom comes in to find her daughter dead with Needy holding a bloody knife on top of her, sealing her fate within the judicial system.Back in solitary, Needy discovers that when Jennifer bit her, she transferred some of her dark power to Four Eyes.Makes perfect sense to me.She breaks out, hitching a ride(from Lance Henriksen, of all people!)to a Low Shoulder show, where she pays the girly boys back for their earlier treachery, one hundred fold.Cue titles.
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Daaaamn, she drank your bee eff's throat sauce, bitch! So whussup!
On a positive note, if your old lady has a heart filled with contempt and hatred for all things horror, this might be the movie one you can sneak onto her screening schedule with little or no silver-tonguedness necessary.Of course, if you have to tiptoe through the tulips with the gal concerning something as trivial as movies, you're in big fucking trouble before you're even outta the gate, in my estimation.Then again, being a spineless jellyfish trumps being a lonely son of a bitch every single time, so what the Hell do I know, right? However you wanna chew it, the taste remains the same, unfortunately, and I can't see tonight's review making the top ten lists of anybody who counts.Or anyone that doesn't, even.Or top hundred, really.One wop.
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"You ever see "Pirahna Part 2:The Spawning", little girl?"
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Satan's Children"(1974)d/Joe Wiezycki

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May the Ancient Ones joyously rend the bastards over at Something Weird Video limb from limb for uncovering such a strange and wonderous lost regional drive in piece of seventies shit as tonight's entry, kiddies.I love you SW guys, seriously.Don't let the $38.50 budget fool you, this is one twisted flick, indeed.For a movie that's brave enough to bring to light Satan's(or the filmmakers?) inherent hatred of queers, there sure seems to be a lot of repressed underpantsin' going on here.Shot on a shoestring in Gibsonton,Florida(don't most of the country's sideshow people own a big trailer park down there?and didn't Lobster Boy get popped in that same trailer court in the nineties?) by Wiezycki, a Tampa television director with a burning desire to make real movies.I haven't had a chance to catch his one earlier film,a blaxploitation flick, so I can't say whether or not he ever succeeded in doing so.I'm laying my money on "Fuck,no."...at least until his movie landed under the woproscope here at the Wop!Lead actor(?) Stephen White looks like what you might get if you smashed Gary Oldman and Danny Bonaduce together and then sprinkled the result with homo powder and put it in tighty whiteys for three days worth of shooting.If you think his sexual orientation is foggy, wait 'til you see the local gay-hating Satanists.The whole thing feels like it's a frame away from turning into some skeevy seventies gay porn, which it thankfully never does, still managing to maintain a creepy enough "groovy communal atmosphere" to keep viewers interested until the ghetto-assed final credits roll.
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You'll be lucky to get a pinky's worth with a head like that, sister.
After some credits roll over a bogus-assed drawing of the dark lord and master the film's producers must've snagged off my fifth grade art teacher,we're introduced to effeminate teen, Bobby Douglas(Stephen White), who has it real rough, man.He's got like, yardwork and chores to complete before he can groove in his room to tunes under the influence of some shwaggity dirt weed.It doesn't help that his ballbusting fuckfaced sister Janis(Joyce Molloy...who am I kidding,none of these names were ever uttered again in film)takes potshots at his manhood and waves her panty purse in his face every chance she gets.After some dinner table foot-crotchin' backfires, she sings to pop about Bobby's funny bag of tobacco he's got stashed, forcing him to blow the clambake or forfeit his nugs to dad.He wisely splits the scene, but not before telling his father to "Go to Jesus H. Christ Hell!", a place most foul, indeed.At a local bar, Bobby barely avoids the lecherous advances of a lonely old queer, only to end up naked and hog tied in the back seat of a car full of homo hillbillies who gang rape him and leave him for dead on the side of the road.Luckily for him, his punched out carcass is discovered the next day by some nearby Satanists awkwardly huddled together and playing Keep Away with a volleyball.Yeah, that's what I said.Interim cult head,Sherry takes a shine to the abused boy amidst dissent from her fellow lispy Satanists who claim that the Devil has no time for queers and losers.Sherry also strings up a female cultist in her drawers for having lesbian desires.Okay, so these guys are Straight-anists.
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Now that's what these creeps call a Saturday night mobile ass party.Deliverance on wheels.
By the time Simon, the actual moustachioed leader returns to the compound(from cleaning out Sears of its backstock of the fall men's line for 1973, seemingly), some of his people have been hanged for treason(praying for Simon's return to what looks like a State Fair stuffed animal version of Baphomet,sewn together by dirty kids in a Singapore sweatshop, hanging on a wall), forcing him to have Sherry buried up to her head outside and covered with honey so that the ants will feast on her flesh.Eventually.You've got enough time to run to the concession stand for that Nardone's pizza and fries you've been crying about since the intermission, relax.Bobby escapes the enclosure in his tighty whiteys and flees the devil worshippers into the swamp.One cultist fries himself on an electrified fence(off-camera,you kiddin' me?)and two other of Simon's thugs drown in a dug out pool of about one hundred fifty dollars worth of oatmeal.I mean, quicksand, of course.He makes it back to the homestead to brain his old man with a bottle, score with his own sister, tying her up and throwing her in the trunk of a car, while he drives back to the scene of his earlier rape, serving up buckshot justice to the over-zealous fruits and sawing their heads off(off-camera,c'mon!).He saunters back to the Satanists with a sack full of severed heads to show Simon, who no longer doubts the boy's sexuality or nature.The cultists nail Janis to a cross and hoist her into the air, while performing groovy rituals all around her.Bobby takes the horse-mouthed Sherry to bed for some more awkward-looking, forced kisses. Hail Satan!
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Drain the stage blood from the animal-shaped papier mache bags for the ritual!
Kudos to SWV for unearthing such a weird,little flick, released on a special edition double feature dvd with site fave William Girdler's first effort,"Asylum of Satan", which we'll no doubt be looking at in the future here.Though Children is certainly not good by anyone's standards, I think it's undeserving of the negative tags for the film's supposed anti-gay slant I've seen a lot of knee jerk 'netters pin on it thus far.So yeah,Gibsonton,you're not only the winter getaway for sideshow performers, you're also the birthplace of tonight's movie.You might wanna work on some new tourism draws one of these days, as much as I'd love to check you out sometime.I may not be one of your Ectrodactyly-afflicted, pincer-having rascals, but they say great physical beauty can be a flaw, as well, you know.One wop.
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Weep not,my children.She was crucified by a hatchet face long before they hammered her up.
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"Amityville II: The Possession"(1982)d/Damiano Damiani

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Tonight we'll examine by far the tits-iest of an otherwise pretty piss-weak series. To be honest, as much as I wanted to like it, the original never did much for me over here.Now, tonight's entry on the other hand, is a horror horn o' plenty.Produced by Dino DeLaurentiis, directed by Damiano "A Bullet for the General" Damiani, and Carpenter alum Tommy Lee Wallace handling the script(Dardano Sacchetti had a hand in it,too) with Burt "Rocky" Young dishing out vituperative belt-driven abuse at every juncture to a family that includes long-time rotten actress, Rutanya Alda, eighties easy lay, Diane Franklin, and Jack Magner as the rebellious walkman-toting(wasn't this supposed to pre-date the original movie somehow?)elder son, Sonny.Of course, this is a cinematic supernaturalization of the actual DeFeo family murders based ever so loosely on the Holzer novel Murder in Amityville.The whole demonic possession defense angle might not have worked for Ronnie, Jr., who's serving life for the slayings, but it sure does make for a disjointed, continuity-free, yet entertaining hour and a half in this case.
The excellent possession makeups, handled here by genre vet John Caglione Jr., are more than a little derivative of maestro Dick Smith's work on The Exorcist(1973), but effective none-the-less.The soundtrack, probably the only high point in the '79 film in my estimation, is again tackled by Lalo Schifrin, and from the sounds of it, he put his shoulder into it, Barnaby Jones-style.Interestingly, the vast majority of the movie was filmed on a set in Mexico, with the familiar Dutch Colonial exteriors again coming from the Toms River,NJ residence that doubled for the original Long Island house in question in the first film.
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Impending Burt Young Belt-o-palooza in four...three...two...
We meet the Montelli's as they happily move into their new Long Island home, well, except for antisocial patriarch Anthony(Burt Young), who's more concerned with serving up belt leather to his eldest, Sonny(Jack Magner), for not directly following his mother(Rutanya Alda) to the new house.At first, it's hard for the family to notice that the house is haunted over their own dysfunction, with Sonny and Trish(Diane Franklin) teetering on that incestuous line siblings rarely cross(outside West Virgina,anyways), while Anthony is avoiding church, beltwhipping his two youngest kids for an awful wall mural that paints itself, or pushing pater-driven palm-law in his submissive wife's face.Before too long, a presence makes itself known to Sonny via hellish suggestions through his Walkman(Back in the day, I could barely get mine to play my Ted Nugent "Scream Dream" cassette, I want a refund, Sony.)and soon crucifixes are being covered up by lengths of fabric, 12 gauge shotguns are floating about the place, moving men(including Danny Aiello's late stuntman son) are pelted with mud and flies in the secret room/basement tomb,priest's sprinklers spit blood instead of holy water, and Sonny's paying late night visits to Trish's room.It takes Trish all of two seconds to decide to lose her nightie in front of her own brother, even after he produces a heisted pair of her panties he's obviously been whiffing at on the side, for added kicks.And with Father Adamsky(James Olson) off on a fishing trip with Father Tom(cult icon Andrew Prine), Sonny takes it upon himself to butcher the entire family with a shotgun one evening.Satan doesn't take vacations, priest.
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Greg and Marcia's relationship goes from "keen" to "creepy".
Adamsky's awful premonition comes one bait cast too late, and he arrives at the house just as the bodybags full o' dead kiddies are being carried out.Despite protests from his holy higher ups, the priest somehow convinces a detective(Moses Gunn) to allow him to try to exorcise the demons from the boy, but out of police custody at Adamsky's church.Sonny doesn't even display very telling signs of possession in front of the detective, he just instantly buys all of it for some strange reason and releases a multiple homicide suspect to the priest's care with little more than a forced gun butt k.o. to cover his tracks.At the front steps of the church, Adamsky gets fist-slammed in the back for his efforts, with the young murderer retreating back to the Amityville house for a final boffo showdown between good n' evil...or at the very least, several minutes of a priest searching a darkened house for the boy, and pleading out loud for the demon to release his soul from its infernal clutches.The hellspawn puts up a slight battle, blowing all the windows in the house with bursts of flame then symbolically revealing itself through the peeling off all of Sonny's outer levels of flesh, sort of like an orange from Hell.Adamsky convinces the demon to enter him instead(gee, where have we seen that trick before?),and the boy re-enters police custody with Father Tom's approval.As for Adamsky, he's got throbbing veins and swelling boils on his face and arm the same way Sonny did early on in the picture.Probably should have had a backup plan, padre...
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If you're experiencing a priaprism, blurred vision in one eye, or blood oozing from your sprinkler, stop taking Cialis right away and call your healthcare provider.
Olson went on to score a role in 1985's Commando and some television parts before dropping off the radar around 1990.As for Rocky's brother-in-law,Burt Young hasn't slowed down for a second, working steadily in television and film all along.Eyyyy-YO, Pau-lie!The over-the-top Alda does mostly television these days.Diane Franklin's early propensity to break out the teen bobblers seems to have paid off judging by the vast body of acting work she's done since this, her second feature.She was definitely a cute lil' thing,for sure.Caglione Jr.,who cut his effects teeth on Henenlotter's Basket Case, has worked on everything from Amityville 3-D and C.H.U.D. to Dick Tracy and The Dark Knight, scoring two Oscar nominations for makeup, and winning one.Like I said earlier, this is pretty good stuff compared to the other Amityville flicks, especially the more recent direct-to-video dollar grab shit they've put out recently.On the scale it scores two solid wops.Look for it.
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In my neighborhood, any demon that happened to be the same color and texture as uncooked sweet sausage would be stuffed into a casing already.Just sayin'.
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"Yeti"(2007)d/Paul Ziller

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The people behind the original made-for-television movies being churned out for the Sy Fy Network are nothing, if not consistent. Add Yeti, which was apparently known as Raksha:Curse of the Snow Demon at one point, to the over-brimming list of z-grade genre fare the station unapologetically serves up on a regular basis.Yeti makes 1977's Snow Beast,a Jaws ripoff tele-pic starring Bo Swenson, look like Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years,and its...ahem...director(used loosely here), Paul Ziller, makes Troma's Lloyd Kaufman look like Steven Spielberg.I'm exaggerating here, right? Unfortunately, no, I'm really not.Everything about this production is laughably bad.Everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.Dom DeLuise's oldest son, Peter, once had a flourishing career on television's 21 Jump Street at the end of the eighties.Johnny Depp was also on that show, now earning a staggering seventy-five million dollars a year in movies.Peter's in Yeti.Ed Marinaro was once a rising star on hit series Hill Street Blues at the outset of the eighties.His co-star,Daniel Travanti won two Emmys and a Golden Globe.Ed was in Yeti.
Doc n' I set out to get through this travesty last night, with the aid of a sizeable helping of Nagasaki Devil's Food cake to blur the lines of difficulty in undertaking such a task.Having personally sat through ten whole minutes of it the day I picked it out of a WalMart five dollar bin(the movie should be given away free in boxes of trash bags as "starter garbage"), I should have known better.Unintentional laughs followed.Ninety minutes worth.My roommate's annoying habit of repeatedly bringing up the "time remaining" display made perfect sense for once.How much longer.Okay,how about now?
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Marc Menard as...Peyton Elway. Oh, you clever writers!
The "State College Grizzlies" are a collegiate football team(whose colors are brown-on-brown and whose gear looks to have been purchased at a flea market)flying to Japan for a bowl game,when their cgi plane crashes in the Himalayas(or Canada) during an electrical storm.The survivors(those would be the people still talking and moving, usually with some sort of blood appliance somewhere on their faces)include Peyton Elway(Marc Menard), the hot shot quarterback, Sarah(Carly Pope), the one girl not impressed with Elway's sub-Photo Shop level sports magazine articles,and Kyra(Elfina Luk), a dreadlocked Asian whiner, all look pretty comfortable arguing in light hoodies and short sleeved polos for people that have crashed into the caps of a mountain range permanently covered with snow and below the freezing point temerature-wise most of the year.So they huddle around a fire about the size of the right front grill on your stove and bicker about cannibalism amongst themselves.Two sportos venture out into the elements looking for the plane's radio, but they find the cave of the fearsome Yeti instead.While one jock is instantly a goner, the other, more resilient meathead fractures both his legs in fleeing the murderous creature,using both the plane's radio and his dead buddy's severed forearm as makeshift leg splints.Back at the fuselage, three energy bars aren't providing the daily caloric intake these sportos need to maintain physical excellence,so Peyton waltzes over to the line of frozen bodies with a shard of glass and comes back to the fire with six perfect,bloodless cube-chunks of spam and a sheet of metal from the wreck to fry them up on.Quarterback, hell, this guy's a surgeon.
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In a pinch, a rubber severed arm makes a handy splint for a broken leg.
Inexplicably, the oriental shitlocked hippie sets the frozen bodies on fire to keep her friends,who turned to cannibalism after all of one day of being stranded, from eating them(explain to me again how cooking flesh renders it inedible,please?), and the titular snowman with a prostethic sagital crest like an Italian floor vase from making off with them to its lair,sub-video game level cgi Hulk-hopping through the white stuff.The "rescue team" consists of Peter DeLuise and some brawd with a terrible eastern bloc accent.When they zero in on the survivors' coordinates, they pitch a tent in the snow and catch some z's instead of radioing for more help, or trying to actually reach them, god forbid.Garcia, of the imaginative leg splint clan, returns to camp, only to get blasted in the eye with a flare gun by Raven, the self-centered dick who's been hoarding the chocolate bars for himself.The yeti converges on the kids, who throw a snowball at it before eating snowflakes and death at the three fingered latex gloves of the infernal beast,who skirts Sarah back to the cave for some spooning(!).Peter DeLuise gets beaten to death with his own severed leg, and there's a makeshift yard marker-turned-spear chained to a huge boulder used to pull the creature off a cliff to its death that'd have Wile E. Coyote green with envy.Except there's two of them, and the one that got buried in stock avalanche footage moments earlier, well yeah, he's finally dug himself out.The movie's over, but the headache remains.
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How do you say "obviously fake" in Tibetan Sanskrit?
Ziller has thirty-four films, mostly made-for-television, under his belt,including such gems as Polar Storm, Ice Quake, Iron Golem, and Beyond Loch Ness. Here's hoping he someday figures out how to do it properly.Bad acting, piss poor effects and lazily crude cgi sequences, limp dialogue, inane story, it's all here promising you an embarrassing hour and a half of your life that you'll never get back, and if that sounds palatable somehow, then you'll understand the single wop rating I've bestowed upon it, as more of the same SyFy pulp they've been steadily pouring us for years now.It's not actual juice, nor is it healthy for you in any way, but once in a while, it's kinda fun going down.One wop.
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When you get done beating him with his own disembodied leg, could you hit me with it a few times for watching this?
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"The Dark"(1979)d/John "Bud" Cardos

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Nothing says seventies sci-fi quite like a nifty pair o' lazar beam eyes(dig the old dramatic spelling there, would you?).Why, you could even take a script that originally focused on a supernatural, demonic entity doin' the snuffin' off of folks, that might be helmed by a genre vet like, sayyyy...Tobe Hooper, fire him, bring in an old stunt man-turned-director like Bud Cardos, of "Kingdom of the Spiders" fame to complete it halfway through, with the mentality that the film would be better served with a more sci-fi tinge, to compete with all the recent space alien-based box office hits of the day and slap together a last minute patch job cash grab and wheel away with 'barrows and 'barrows of long green before audiences even realized what hit them.All it needed was some lazar beam eyes.Kids grooved on those, didn't they? Just like action slacks and Supertramp albums.
You could almost imagine Ed Montoro and Dick Clark, the producers of tonight's entry, discussing the direction this film was about to go in, and how everyone involved would be better off for it.Only, things didn't exactly go according to their plans.Neither man ended up blowing a silver platter worth of nasal confectionaries with six half-nude Solid Gold dancers in the Studio 54 bathroom due to this movie's release, it's safe to say.They ended up with a lethargic, muddled, uninteresting, sloppy mess that would have died completely forgotten if the folks at Shriek Show didn't emptyheadedly roll out the red carpet and give this gas-filled toilet bowl floater the special edition dvd treatment nearly thirty years later.Naturally, genre hungry fans unfamiliar with the title, pre-order the disc with hopes on high,then see what they've actually been conned into buying, then drop it off at the local dvd Buy/Sell/Trade for about a dollar and a half worth of store credit, where the disc is eventually picked up by Uncle Wop, who's familiar with it, for about four bucks.I endure the thing yet one more time(after enduring it in the cable box days at least two or three times),cull my screenshots,and throw together my review, so that nobody else makes the same mistake the early bird dvd buyer did.The more I think about it, four bucks is pretty steep for what's served up here...
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Lazar beam eyes! The kids'll think it's outta sight.
Santa Monica residents start turning up mutilated and beheaded(off camera,of course, how this PG fare ever merited an R from the MPAA remains a mystery), one a night, thanks to a powerful, unknown entity the local press has dubbed "The Mangler".Detective Mooney(Richard Jaeckel)gets a hot tip from an eccentric, elderly psychic named DeRenzy who's seen visions of one of the unearthly killer's next victims,a young, nameless, would-be actor she met briefly at a groovy boat party.Mooney laughs off her prophetic warnings, and chooses to threaten an author named Warner(Bill Devane),the father of the first victim, who he'd sent to prison years earlier, instead.Warner looks like a skeevy piece of street crud, rocking a headband, Foster Grants, and bellbottoms while zipping around town in a convertible Corvette thanks to his writing skills, and vowing to one up the police task force with his own amateur investigation.The kindly old psychic goes home and has a stroke for her troubles.Then there's Zoe Owens(Cathy Lee "That's Incredible" Crosby),a television reporter with unrealized dreams of covering a hard news story, and her dissuading producer(Keenan Wynn) who tries to keep a lid on the sensational crimes unfolding before their very (non-Lazar)eyes.The cops have nothing.Even a conference with a pathologist(Casey Kasem) produces no results, other than identifying the skin color of the murderer. That'd be grey, for the record.
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"Yeah, this is Warner(Bill Devane),whattaya mean my masculinity checked out the second I put this robe on??!!"
Warner plods around his digs in the gaudiest sissy bathrobe ever committed to celluloid, before pitching an impromptu partnership to the the reporter, who not only grooves on the idea of combining resources with the pug-faced ex-con, but also gives him some pussy for God-knows-what-reason along the way.Huh?? Maybe it was Corvette rides.Meanwhile the cops fumble over a growing number of crime scenes, talking about beheaded victims who were clearly disintegrated by ocular rays of some sort. Perhaps Lazar beam eyes.Plot continuity? We don't need no stinking plot continuity.Warner and Owens visit the psychic, who's been lying around her devastated flat in stroke-throes for what seems like an hour now,just in time to hear her twisted yap struggle with her earlier prophecy about the unknown actor again.If they can manage to hunt down this young man, they'll eventually come face-to-face with the murderer himself.Some ninety pointless minutes later, in a warehouse surrounded by policemen, they get their wish.The killer(John Bloom)is an eight foot tall, long haired, grey-faced alien, who happens to be wearing a flannel shirt, jeans, and work boots for some unexplained reason.The cops' bullets have no effect on the space invader-turned-construction worker(?), who shoots lazar beams from his eyes.After several minutes of lazar explosions and gunfire,Warner casually strolls up to the thing and sets it on fire, causing it to explode into nothing.In the end, even a narrator comes in and explains that not every alien encounter will make sense, exactly the way this one didn't.
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Well,there you have it. Keep your squamous epithelium based with underlying lamina and keep reaching for keratinocytes.
Cardos, who, in his stunt heyday, played one of the junkyard bullies in Psych-Out(1968), went on to direct ten motion pictures, and we've already covered the only real noteworthy one here.Devane, who's probably best remembered for his work on Knot's Landing, works steadily in television to this day,and the same goes for Crosby,who never really made the leap to the big screen herself.She could probably lay most of the blame on this movie.The late Jaeckel saw a lot of genre action as a favorite of William Grefe' and Billy Girdler, acting in fare like Grizzly,Day of the Animals,and Mako:Jaws of Death.Seven foot four inch Bloom, who got his start in exploitation icon Al Adamson fare at the outset of the seventies with titles like Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Brain of Blood, and The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, before getting a chance in mainstream movies like Bachelor Party and The Great Outdoors, passed away twelve years ago this month at the age of fifty-four.Sadly, tonight's movie can't be a high point in the career of anybody involved.On the scale, one single wop, and that's only because I'm kinda zooted, and feeling generous-like at the moment...
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Watch out for those lazar beams, coming from the eyes! He's got lazar beam eyes!
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"Trick 'r Treat"(2007)d/Michael Dougherty

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So, I avoided all prior posi-hub-bub about tonight's review on the interwebs,
as per usual, and threw it on the emergent pile of "to see" flicks delicately balanced on the sculpted head of my Beethoven bust next to the comp; a future screening somewhere in the cards, but nothing I was hastening to see anytime soon.I'm usually wary of anything that generates a huge buzz before I get to check it out for myself,and usually,I'm justifed in avoiding it like that plate of beets my mother never got me to even so much as stick a fork in at the dinner table.Firstly, I'm a finicky guy with selective tastes here in the autumn of my summer years, and secondly, I've always enjoyed the feeling of discovering good movies quite accidentally, on my own.Being the movie guy is rarely what you'd think it is.When somebody does suggest a movie that I end up liking, that'll be their ice breaker for the next twenty-five years when I see them in public."Hey B.W.! Remember "My Bodyguard"(1979)? Remember I suggested that one to you?" "Yeah. We were ten years old, or something. Good job. Shame KISS' The Elder film plans fell through for Chris Makepeace, eh?" "Who?" "...yeah, nevermind, dude."
Well, anyway, tonight's review lives up to the hype for once.A welcome throwback to comic booky horror anthologies like Creepshow(1982), where the interwoven shorts are tied together by a sackheaded trick or treating imp named Sam,and transpire on the same Hallowe'en night.Built off of director Dougherty's earlier short effort, Season's Greetings, but plans for a theatrical release in '07 tanked, suffering the ignominious direct-to-dvd fate some two years later, instead.It's a shame, too, as this one could have definitely done some box office damage through word of mouth the way sleepers often do.As it stands, it's bound to become required annual October viewing for any genrehounds looking for a goodly portion of sinister seasonal scares at the bottom of their treat bags that may or may not require an x-ray for good measure beforehand.Onward!
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If there was any kind of justice in the world, that'd be Seth Rogen's head there.
After the female half of a young couple gets her head removed for blowing out a jack o'lantern too early, Charlie(Brett Kelly),a rotund neighborhood downer with an afro gets caught stealing trick or treat candy from the porch of his principal(Dylan Baker),only to find that the educator has removed most of the treat from the batch, poisoning it and killing him. Wilkins inhumes the young corpse in his backyard amidst the neighborhood racket of barking dogs and nosy neighbors before retiring to his house to carve a jack o'lantern with his young son, Billy, except the festive decoration turns out to be the young fatso's severed head. "Let's make a scary face this time.", the boy says. Judging by those zits and that afro, their gruesome work is half-done already.Meanwhile, a group of prank-playing teen bullies has a whopper lined up for Rhonda(Samm Todd), the four-eyed neighborhood idiot savant, revolving around the legendary "School Bus Massacre" where embarrassed local parents paid a bus driver to drive their disturbed, abnormal kids off a cliff into a quarry many years ago, but as these things often go, Rhonda leaves the pranksters to be eighty-sixed by the waterlogged waterheads at the quarry base when one of the girls mistakenly kicks a jack o'lantern into the water, and rides the elevator back up to safety amidst the kids pleas and screams.
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Load 'em on a bus just for laughs, Down a winding road stepping on the gas...
Next, a gaggle of promiscuous bubbleheads badger their reserved friend, Laurie(Anna Paquin), about her status; a twenty-two year old "virgin", but when a hooded figure drops from a tree in on the girls' fireside party in the woods, and the figure is revealed to be a bloodied and broken Principal Wilkins(who's been killing random girls with vampiric dental implants in town, by the way), the viewer can soon throw conventional virginity out the window.The girls are all werewolves who portray women of low moral fiber to snare unsuspecting horny male victims for their moonlight ritual,and this marks Laurie's first time.She peels off her human skin and joins her lupine sisters in their firelight feast.Then, Kreeg(Brian Cox),Wilkins' next-door neighbor and choleric old malcontent, is paid a visit by Sam(Quinn Lord) when he unthinkably scares away trick-or-treaters.The tiny visitor proves to be a jack o'lantern headed demon imp under his sack disguise, who terrorizes the old man, cutting and slashing his legs with an oversized pumpkin-shaped lollipop.When he stabs a candybar lying on the desperate senior citizen's chest as he tries to dial 9-1-1, he decides to sate his hunger for candy instead of vengeance, and leaves. Later, Kreeg answers the door for trick-or-treaters only to be greeted by the undead quarry kiddies, who he had snuffed years earlier as a bus driver.Comic book pages reveal his fitting fate as the credits start to roll.
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Now you're gonna be face-to-face,And she'll lay right down in her favorite place.Laurie(Anna Paquin)wants to be your dog.
All these seminal punk references, where is my mind tonight, folks? Dougherty hasn't helmed anything since tonight's entry, but he has written stuff like Superman Returns and X2, as well as lowest genre denominator direct-to-video crap like Urban Legends:Bloody Mary.Plans of a sequel have been kicked around, but we'll see whether they materialize or not.You might remember Paquin as Holly Hunter's daughter in 1993's The Piano or perhaps as young Jane Eyre in the 1996 production, but most readers know her as Rogue from the X-Men movies.Dylan Baker appeared in both the Spider Man sequels and an assload of television.Brian Cox is an Emmy winner with a long and impressive list of film and television credentials that I don't feel much like citing here, as I'm jonesin' for a cigarette right now.Treat is an excellent genre anthology that'll please most viewers,and oughta stand the test of time as such.On the scale, it gets three big wops in its treat bag.Check it out.
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It's my suspicion that any derision from All Hallow's tradition within Sam's(Quinn Lord) line of vision ain't a very good decision.
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"Murder Set Pieces"(2004)d/Nick Palumbo

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Long before the advent of glittery teen vampires and cgi blood,there was a time where if you were lucky enough to carouse a halfway adequate horror section in a mom n' pop video store in the mid-eighties, the possibility of stumbling across an independently produced slasher shot on video that served up half naked brawds' boobs slapped in gallons of stage blood, screaming their fool heads off as they fell prey to a sinister misogynistic sadist and precious little else, was not only a real possibility, but one looked upon favorably by fans(male AND female, in some cases) of the brutal and extreme relative of the slasher movie, the splatter movie, as pioneered by gore's godfather, Herschell Gordon Lewis, back in 1963.Forty-one years later, a director named Nick Palumbo effectively took the subgenre in as radical a direction it could possibly go, with the production of a controversial film called Murder Set Pieces.Where Lewis' inept gore effects consisting of animal entrails and mannekins draped with red paint add to the camp factor in his dated fracturepieces, Palumbo instead enlists underground gorenographers extraordinaire,Toe Tag Pictures, to fill his frames with envelope-pushing, gut-wrenching, grue-soaked brilliance, as only they can, resulting in the uncut version of the film being an endurance test for even the most jaded viewers of such unsettling subject matter.Several genre cameos are in place, with Gunnar Hansen and Edwin Neal of TCM fame, Tony "Candyman" Todd, and even Vogel himself lending their presences to the production .Women of ages ranging from pre-teen adolescents to twenty-something erotic entertainers graphically snuff it before Palumbo's lens, which unapologetically documents the heinous crimes for all to see.A zealous pro-feminist like Alan Alda probably wouldn't endorse this movie very enthusiastically at all.Lucky for you ravenous readers, that pussy doesn't work here.
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Frankly,I'm all set to murder some of that with my piece, myself.
See, there's this photographer(Sven Garrett),a teutonic aryan-esque German body builder with some sideburns boisterous enough to make even this guy a little jealous,who snaps erotic photos of scantily-clad she-Vegasites by day,but due to an abusive German Hausfrau of a mother and family ties to the notorious Schutzstaffel, nighttime is another story. The line distinguishing uber und untermenschen is clearly drawn on the wrong side of women, who he sees as playthings to be used with other playthings,like knives, saws, and even custom dental implants with protruding nails and screws for serving up that unpleasant hickey that takes more than a day to fade.Where the SS of yesteryear were satisfied mostly by goose-stepping up and down the square amidst flying party and battle standards to roars of approval from the parade-going volk, this psychopath grooves on torturing and murdering chicks, sometimes several at a clip. At first, thinning the herds of half-dressed hussies n' hookers seems to satiate the sadist, who offers final blood-drenched wisdom in native Deutsch tongue to his hysterical duct taped and hog tied prey before extinguishing their life-flame in the privacy of his secret basement workshop, which is littered with body parts, entrails, human skulls,and megalomaniacal grue-drenched murder photos scrapbooked haphazardly on the walls.It's when he begins dating Charlotte (Valerie Baber), whose nosy little sister's protective creepectomy skills drive him from prostitutes, strippers, and stroke shop patrons,and into the heart of the local populace of so-called morally upright citizens for his murderous mementos.
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Stalking in a stocking, a porn store robber(Fred Vogel)interrupts folks stroking, before abruptly croaking.
While Charlotte's sister, Jade(Jade Risser), begins to act on her gut feelings about her sister's aloof and uptight new beau, he's chewing limbless trunks, scoring fellatio from disembodied heads in his car, and cutting a woman's(his own mother's?) throat in front of her screaming infant, who waddles hysterically over to her lifeless body, covered in blood.The photographer even impales Jade's schoolmate in a public restroom on a lengthy butcher's blade while her unsuspecting father swings his other child feet away.He inquires about a snuff movie called "The Nutbag"(Palumbo's earlier effort)to a porn store clerk(Tony Todd) just as masked hold up men burst in and begin plugging porn-pandering patrons with hot lead before getting shot the fuck up by our Aryan antagonist,who ignores the clerk's sudden words of praise and puts rounds in him as well, before casually strolling out.When Charlotte finally inevitably goes missing herself, Jade turns into a sort of amateur teen sleuth, uncovering levels of homicidal viscera that would have Nancy Drew running screaming for the nearest needlepoint class or sock hop.She pays him a visit as he entertains female company, this time,repeatedly running a buzzing chainsaw over what used to be a chick's domepiece,and a life/death struggle between the massive sadist and the tiny detective unfolds,with a brutally slashed Jade wandering through the desert in a state of shock in the finale, and the photographer upon a bus headed towards new climates, new models, new victims...
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My Little Evisceration, twelve inch butcher knife sold separately.
I've glanced over a number of so-called "horror fans" voicing their sour grapes over this movie(the R version, methinks...What kind of real horror fan would settle for the truncated version of anything if the uncut were available to them?Just saying.), most of which have entirely missed the point in my estimation.Palumbo certainly displays the skill-set necessary to be a top provider in the horror sweepstakes for years to come, and his update on hateful,misogynist stalk n' slash eighties fare like Maniac(1980), Don't Answer the Phone(1980), or Don't Go In The House(1980) was exactly what it needed to be, as your humble N sees it.Plenty of attractive nakey vics(the brunette stripper at the club was off the chain, Nicky!), plenty of impressive spurty red stuff, well-framed 35 mm shots, and engaging soundtrack provided by Notorious death metal shredlegends,Necrophagia, Zombi, and Giallos Flame as well.You'll recognize Risser all grown up in Fred Vogel's last effort,Sella Turcica,and spot Vogel,his wife Shelby,Cristy Whiles,and Jerami Cruise all in cameos within.Palumbo follows this up with the upcoming The Last Gas Station, currently in pre-production (track it here).I, for one, look forward to seeing what this transgressive and talented artist offers us next.Three Big ones upon the scale for a job well-done.
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A little off the top, sides, front, and back, as performed by a graduate of Sweeney Todd's Barber Institute.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Possession"(1981)d/Andrzej Zulawski

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I've had some pretty dismal relationships in my day in the quest for the perfect blend of fierce loyalty, unquenchable sex-fire, and slight insanity(can't avoid the I word when you're talking women, can you?), but I've got the feeling that even if you combined all of the most rotten relationships I've ever had into one caustic,abusive black nightmare, it'd play like Rock Hudson and Doris Day compared to whatever the hell Polish exile director Andrzej Zulawski went through during the making of tonight's entry.When Vestron released it in America on vhs years ago, they snipped some forty-seven minutes out of the original one hundred twenty-seven minute running time.That's not fucking peanuts.And for an art film from which Zulawski achieved his most widespread international success, permeated with emotional aggression and allegory of a bombastically pulverized marriage and its ghastly byproducts seasoned with horrific gore, coital demons, and a release poster that pre-dates Japanese tentacle porn by a few years, it's safe to say the vast majority of filmgoers walked away from the experience scratching their domes in confusion.If you're looking for a brilliant intellectual dissertation on the film from ol' Wop, you'll have to catch me between lattes in Soho sometime.I just know Big Z captured some truly memorable sequences on film and pulled unbelievable performances out of Adjani and Neill(Adjani especially, she might put you off dating for a while once you've seen her here).Probably not the optimal viewing choice for anybody about to start a new whirlwind romance, but then again, in my twisted mind, it kinda is.
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Anna(Isabelle Adjani)grinds herself some handburger.
Mark(Sam Neill) resigns from his work for the secret service, to return home with a suitcase full of greenbacks to his wife, Anna(Isabelle Adjani)and young son in Berlin. Almost instantly,he notices his strikingly beautiful mate exuding strange airs; their son Bob being cared for by Margie,who refuses to divulge names or addresses of any guilty male factors involved in the sordid affair.Several increasingly violent and brutal domestic battles ensue,with Anna's erratic behaviour ultimately leads to her matter-of-fact confessions of infidelity dating back a year already, with a flamboyantly self-absorbed middle-aged German named Heinrich(Heinz Bennent),who believes he's attained the highest levels of sexual zen through ballet training, guru mysticism, drug use, and, of course, fashion, all while living with his mother(!), clearly besting the previous record for not leaving the nest held for thirty-eight years by my cousin Phil.The two men have themselves a punch up, with Mark ending up on the wrong end of an embarrassing beating at the hands of the intellectual sissy.Fed up, he breaks camp, leaving his family to sort themselves out on their own, but when enveloping guilt(and a nervous breakdown)brings him home, he finds the situation has degenerated further than he could have imagined, his boy dirty and neglected, his aloof wife often nowhere to be found.
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To say Mark and Anna have a rocky marriage is like saying Sharon Tate's crib could have used a Swiffer on Aug 9th,1969.
To further complicate matters,Mark is astounded to discover that Bob's teacher, Helen, is identical in appearance to Anna(perhaps because it's Adjani with different colored hair and contact lenses,but what the hell do I know?),and begins a sex-free relationship of innocence and purity with the doppleganger.On the polar opposite end of the spectrum, things get progressively worse with Anna projecting her harrowing sense of helplessness through blankets, electric knives, and meatgrinders, culminated by a mind-blowing flashback sequence in the Berlin subway station, where she goes apeshit with a bag of groceries, screaming uncontrollably while whipping the bag's contents against a nearby wall, writhing and spasming jerkedly, and oozing blood and fluids from every orifice in her convulsing body.No Midol in those groceries, honey?When she disappears again, and a distraught Heinrich with slighted ego is not her destination, Mark hires a detective to tail her on her new path of self-destruction.A dirty, sparsely-decorated, out of the way love nest holds the terrible truth for all interested parties, leading up to a finale packed full of blood, bodily fluids(and parts), tentacles, fucking, murder, and death.If that hasn't sparked your interest to see this one, you might wanna check your pulse to make sure it hasn't stopped altogether.
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After getting six shades of shit kicked outta him by a guy doing this,Mark(Sam Neill) gets his guy card pulled indefinitely.
As of this writing, I've never seen any other Zulawski films, mostly French in origin and directed at the arthouse crowd, but I fully intend on doing so before the smoke clears.His mastery of the medium is blatantly on display in this Cronenbergian effort, using camera angles and movement,and even sound to disorient the audience for his own complex ends.According to the dvd commentary from the director himself,despite the critical praise for her amazing performance,Adjani allegedly attempted suicide after viewing the finished film.Once you've seen the movie(where it doesn't seem like her character is having a breakdown,but the actress herself is doing so) yourselves, you'll realize that's almost a logical conclusion to such a project.The effects work by Carlo "E.T." Rambaldi,who's also been resonsible for such genre work as Profondo Rosso(1975), Una lucertola con la pelle di donna(1971), and the head mechanics behind Alien(1979), among others, are startling and brilliant.This movie, beautiful and depraved, isn't for everybody, and certainly not something for the usual Freddy Krueger fanboy, and as such, I can only award it two wops on the scale, even if my personal feelings about it are much, much stronger.
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Isabelle earned herself a French Oscar in 1981 for this performance,barely edging a Japanese lady who fucked an octopus onscreen.
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