We've covered some of the best examples of the slasher sub-genre over the past five years here at Wopsploitation.This ain't one of 'em.I clearly remember the first time I endured tonight's feculent lump of cinematic guano, as a rental at D's Video on Main Street of a burned out shell of a once-prosperous mining town some folks liked to call Pittston.We all had made our movie choice for the evening, and Splatter U, unfortunately, was mine.Faces of Death 2 must have been rented out already.I'm guessing some of my boys back then that I haven't talked to in over twenty years still hold having to endure Splatter U against me.I don't blame them.I don't liken the production of a slasher flick to be as difficult as something like, say, auto-neuropathology, or some shit.It's a simple formula that's been xeroxed by hundreds of movies over the years, and you'd have to be pretty worthless to fuck it up.Take a cold-blooded psychopath, throw a couple of hot naked chicks in front of the camera who can scream worth a shit(dub them in afterwards if they can't), and dump gallons of blood all over them.If you don't have any competent actors, don't write a dense screenplay worth of Shakespearean dialogue for them to flub on-camera.Really.Or, simply just do the exact opposite of what the makers of Splatter U did.Thanks to the folks at Elite, whole new generations of genre fans can eagerly take home this brainless waste of seventy-eight minutes and hate themselves for doing so afterwards.There's a quote from Rick Sullivan, of Gore Gazette fame, on the back of the dvd case that says,"THE MOST TERRIFYING MOVIE OF THE YEAR!".I think they must have edited that down from,"This inept dogshit is the farthest thing from the most terrifying movie of the year..." or something. "Arggghh!I've been stabbed in my latex tittie appliance!" At the outset, we see a pair of feet(one is bare, so he's obviously a lunatic) as the man they belong to picks up a knife.Titles."Two Forty Three P.M. William Grayhan, paranoid schizophrenic, is discovered missing."Two guys in scrubs(orderlies or doctors, it doesn't really matter) search for the nutbag in what's supposed to be a psychiatric facility, when he pops out and shanks one in the junk, heisting his uniform in the process.Titles."St. Trinian's College, three years later".A female professor gets shivved in the milkwagon.More titles."Next semester, yesterday."Good one, guys.New instructor Julie Parker(Francine Forbes) arrives at the single room full of thirty-something non-SAG extras we're supposed to believe is an Ivy League catholic community college.I'll give you a minute to catch your breath.Enter a whole lot of badly dressed, moronic characters with laughingly bad hairstyles exchanging lifeless dialogue and bad jokes.One's a pre-Tiffany flameheaded broad with a halfrullet(1/2 afro, 1/2 mullet)and one's a drunk meathead priest with the libido of a bunny with a bloodbomber that theorizes that his failure with women runs concurrent with their menstrual cycles.Some others walk into and out of the story in the same scene.It'd almost be confusing if the whole rotten affair wasn't tranquilizing me already.Julie's not entirely uneasy on the eyes, but she's got this annoying habit of keeping her clothes on at all times.More banal dialogue and stale jokes.“A weird thing happened, a girl said she was skipping class today. Has that ever happened to you?” Skipping class is weird? I skipped whole fucking semesters. Don't blame him, he's just a clueless collegiate ginger. When the fuck is something going to happen here?Not yet.There's a crappy party sequence(the kind of gathering that you're ashamed for everyone attending)full of off-beat eighties caucasian-style dancing to a band that never made it past the town picnic level, in their designer Sassoon and Jordache jeans, leading to more forced conversation.Julie's landlady sucks, one of her students is knocked up(must be a 'change of life' baby), and a fellow prof fancies taking their relationship past the professional(you know, in the exact same way he was dating the previous instructor who got iced).Zzzzzzz... When random students finally start turning up shanked or scalped, Julie's suspected by the paraplegic principal, Father Janson(Dick Biel), who seemed to be pretty cool with her taking the vacant teaching position before he told her about the previous prof with the perforated pillow.This leads Julie to do her own investigation into the murders.Not a bad idea, since she seems to be the only character remotely concerned that there's a killer loose.The wheelchair-bound padre/prinicipal turns out to be the escaped lunatic on the bloody spree.Anyone who hasn't fallen asleep a few times since the opening title sequence could figure that one out.He kills Julie.He gets caught and put back where he belongs.It's finally over. "I think we're alone now, and the beating of our hearts is the only sou-ound." Just as a pile of shit will eventually decompose, director Haines, who has a cameo here as pipsqueak priest, Father Perkins, went on to further hone his craft with Class of Nuke 'Em High(1986) for Troma.Lloyd Kaufman was a creative consultant on tonight's review.It's all starting to make sense now.The likeable Francine Forbes who doesn't deserve to have this movie on her résumé, later became Forbes Riley and enjoys a career in television to this very day.One wop on the ratings scale, and not a good-bad score, to clarify for you woprophiles out there.This one's bad-bad. Sitting in an empty corner of a white room = Insane asylum.
Few real-life people have inspired more box office screams than the legendary 'Butcher of Plainfield', Ed Gein.Without Eddie, there would be no "Norman, bring me my chair!", no "Look what your brother did to the door!", no "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."One of the more accurate cinematic accounts of his monstrous deeds came in 1974 when uncredited producer Benjamin "Bob" Clark handed the directorial reigns of tonight's review to Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen, who he'd worked with on Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things(1972) and Deathdream(1974), after deciding that the script was too distressing for his tastes.The film, considered lost for years after its initial release on the drive-in circuit, marked the beginning of a long and illustrious career in special make up effects for a young Tom Savini, who shared the grue duties with writer/co-director Orsmby.The movie turned up as half of a MGM Midnight Movies double bill dvd with Motel Hell(1980), and then a lush 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition popped up five years later in Germany, which restored a notorious brain-scooping sequence ommitted from U.S. prints, offering an anamorphic widescreen print, a booklet, and a slew of excellent documentaries and extras(Of course, I had to have both, genre snob that I no doubt am).A grim black comedy benefitting from an effective star turn by Roberts Blossom as "Ezra Cobb, the Butcher of Woodside" and Carl Zittrer's creative use of The Old Rugged Cross hymn as a moody instrumental throughout, Deranged remains a must see cult classic for horror-hungry woprophiles and true crime buffs alike.Forwards! "I thought SpaghettiOs were yer favorite, Mama!" An onscreen narrator(Leslie Carlson)sets us off on our journey into the psychosis-ridden mind of one Ezra Cobb(Roberts Blossom), a backwoods shut-in whose world revolves around his domineering, bed ridden, bible thumper of a mama(Cosette Lee) who warns,"...the wages of sin are syphilis, gonorrhea, and death!" and rants about "sluts with pus-filled sores".She finally turns her toes up one fateful day as he's spooning hot green slop down her throat, geysering blood from her nose and mouth which Ezra flaccidly tries to spoon back into her deceased yap.A lonely year later, he decides to rescue his mother from the coffin she's spent the last twelve months rotting inside.He's pulled over by a policeman as he's bringing the stench-drenched wench back to the farmhouse, downplaying the foul odor as from a slaughtered pig and later apologizing to her decayed cadaver for calling her a hog(!).A year long dirt nap has taken its toll on Mrs. Cobb's grill-piece, leading her faithful son to study taxidermy and embalming, robbing random graves for spare parts to preserve and repair her worsening condition after a neighbor explains the concept of newspaper obituaries to him.At the behest of his mother/own twisted mind, he agrees to meet up with Maureen Selby(Marion Waldman),a portly local psychic and long-time friend of his mother's, who they both trust because she's fat(!!).When Maureen uses a hokey seance as an excuse to hurl her tonnage at Ezra, he panics and shoots her in the face through a down pillow.Soon, Cobb is exhuming more corpses to keep his mother company, and for making soup bowls out of their skulls and drumheads and clothing out of their tanned and stretched skin.Creativity has no boundaries when you're mentally insane. Ya got yer Cobb-wear that's made of embalmed ladies, a heart in a frying pan and lips on a string... A bartender named Mary(Micki Moore) tickles Ezra's fancy, and when she turns down his amorous advances, he slashes her car's tires, then shows up offering her a ride and tire change with no romantic implications whatsoever.Instead, he takes her back to the farmhouse, tying her down to a dining room chair amidst his collection of putrefying trophies, proudly showing her his handiwork and even donning a human skin mask himself before she breaks loose, tossing the brittle bodies at him in attempt to escape.He finally propitiates her minor revolt by braining her in the skull with a human femur.Next, general store clerk Sallie Mae(Pat Orr)becomes Ezra's object of obsession, and while his neighbors are off hunting, he wings the young innocent with a .22 in broad daylight while she's working, and throws her unconscious body into the back of his truck.On the ride back to the farmhouse, she regains consciousness and jumps out, leading Ezra on a wild goose chase through the surrounding woods before he finally dispatches her with another shell.As Sallie has gone missing, the authorities deduct that Ezra was the last customer in the store, and a posse races to the Cobb farmhouse to rescue the poor girl.Meanwhile, Ezra has strung Sallie's body up like a freshly killed deer, gutting her appropriately to the delight of his mother's wishes.When the group arrives, they find Ezra sitting among his morbid collection, giggling uncontrollably, another one for the rubber room.The narrator tells us that a few nights later a similar posse gathered itself up and burned the Cobb farm to the ground. One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn't belong... Co-director Gillen spent most of his career playing small roles in Bob Clark's films, most notably, the department store Santa in A Christmas Story(1983) before passing away at the tender age of 53.Though most of you will remember Alan Ormsby's cornea-searing seventies wear and obnoxious demeanor in Children Shouldn't, he makes a bald wigged cameo here in a picture frame as Maureen Selby's dead husband.Harvey Keitel(!) auditioned for the role of Ezra.I'll give you a few minutes to visualize the impersonation of how that went that I'm currently embarking on...Deranged remains one of the most accurate screen depictions of the sordid Ed Gein story to date, heads and tails above Ed Gein(2000) and the embarrassing direct-to-video Ed Gein:Butcher of Plainfield(2007) with the laughingly miscast Kane Hodder portraying Eddie as a muscle-bound meathead.Uhhh, fail?Though more humorous than scary, Deranged maintains an eerie mood throughout, and scores three big ones on the scale.Necessary viewing. # of blood-drenched milkwagons in "Deranged": Two big ol' good 'uns.
Tonight's entry, also known as "Rosemary's Killer", is an early eighties slasher helmed by Joe "Friday the 13th:The Final Chapter" Zito;a long-time favorite for many whose ultra-realistic gore effects by FX maestro Tom Savini(some of his best and most brutal work ever)are the real draw for any self-respecting genrephiles out there.I should probably state for the record here that this one isn't one of my favorites of the slasher sub-genre.For me, the humdrum, cookie cutter plot drags along behind like a bum leg for the most part, and any alleged suspense mentioned in passing discussion of the film eludes me completely.Without Savini's trademark flair for explicitly gruesome death, Prowler would find itself rubbing shoulders with flaccid fare like Final Exam(1980) in the slice and dice sweepstakes of the time period.From 1978 until around 1985, Savini was the unchallenged grandmaster of gore, and his unparallelled and inventive on-screen snuffs here only solidify that status.The cast includes Farley Granger of "Strangers on a Train" fame, as well as legendary silver screen tough guy, Lawrence Tierney, but few others worth mentioning.Some tension and pacing to pair up with the atmospheric setting and moody score by Richard(Dont Go in the House) Einhorn might have vaulted Prowler into the upper eschelon of splatter movies, instead of the plebeian standing it ended up with.Onwards. Ya fork around, ya get pitched. Grainy newsreels show the 1945 return of allied troops from Europe, one of which is a jilted sumbitch who receives a "Dear John" letter from his sweetheart, Rosemary, who's given up on her soldier boy in favor of a more readily available lover close to home.The GI serves up broken-hearted vengeance to his ex and her new beau at a graduation dance in Avalon Bay with the help of a trusty pitchfork, leaving a single long-stemmed red rose in her blood-stained hand.Thirty-five years later, Major Chatham(Lawrence Tierney) has ensured that the town has remained grad dance-free since the tragic night his daughter's life was lost.Thanks to current high school graduate, Pam MacDonald(Vicky Dawson), the superstitious streak is about to be broken, as she relates her plans to the local sheriff(Farley Granger).He warns her that someone has committed a robbery and slain a young man in nearby Columbus, and that he fears the killer plans to return to Avalon because of the dance.Then he leaves town to go fishing.Huh?Pam expresses concern about the homicidal possibilities first to Mark(Christopher Goutman), the deputy left in charge, then to her abhorrent girlfriends, Sherry and Lisa.Equally concerned, Lisa flashes her worried bobblers at the wheelchair-bound major in the house transverse to them.Meanwhile, someone gears up in his combat uniform, complete with shotgun, bowie knife, and shotgun.Hmmm, I'll betcha those'll come into play later on...While Sherry showers, her boyfriend Carl unexpectedly makes an early appearance, expecting some pre-dance aqua sex, but as he undresses in the dark bedroom, he's grabbed from behind by someone who plummets a bayonnet into the top of his skull with such force, his eyes go white. Accupuncture.The prowler(Peter Giuliano) is doing it wrong. Suddsy Sherry is surprised not by Carl, but the fatigue-garbed killer, who shanks her labonza with a pitchfork, leaving a red rose on her lifeless form.At the dance, Lisa drunkenly cats around with Pam's date, culminating in a clumsy spill on her dress that Pam returns to the dorm to change out of, failing to notice the two corpses in the bathtub.She catches an unnerving glimpse of what looks like a soldier, and is grabbed by Major Chatham during her escape, but she breaks free to find the deputy.Mark investigates the dorm, finding only wheelchair tracks(how about those bodies upstairs?).He reunites with Pam, and the two investigate Chatham's place, finding an old scrapbook revealing Rosemary was the major's daughter killed thirty-five years earlier.They return to the ill-fated dance, warning teacher/chaperone Miss Allison of the lurking prowler, and she advises the boogieing students to hold off on splitting until the perpetrator has been arrested.Lisa, who's decided upon a late night swim, gets kicked in the grill and eats bayonnet-throat-death for her troubles.When Miss Allison looks for her, she gets bayonnet-necked herself.Mark and Pam receive news that a grave at the local cemetery has been desecrated, but when they arrive, it's Rosemary Chatham's grave that's been excavated, and a very dead Lisa has replaced her in the coffin.At the Chatham house, the deputy gets kayed the eff out, leaving Pam to square off against the killer.After a tension-free hide and seek, we discover that the sheriff is the killer, who Pam dispatches with a nuff-gooey shotgun blast to the chin.The next day, she returns to the dorm and stumbles upon Sherry and Carl's bodies in the tub(somebody finally found these dead rascals) and imagines Carl coming to life to reach out for her.Yeah, boo. The killer gloats as he aerates her throat and that's all she wrote. The uncanny resemblance of tonight's entry to Mihalka's My Bloody Valentine(1981) is only reinforced by the mere months between both films' theatrical releases.Of course, Valentine is a superior film and a much better ninety minute investment, but that's a no-brainer.I'd only recommend tonight's review to slasher completists and hardcore Savinisti out there.Worth a look, but keep a ready finger on the FFWD button on your collective remotes.Two wops. Nobody exploded a prop head like Tom Savini in the eighties.Nobody.
Our feature tonight is an epic documentary concerning everybody's favorite incarcerated-for-keeps nutbag, Charlie Manson, as pieced together by Zeena LaVey's husband and ex-frontman for goth outfit Radio Werewolf, Nikolas Schreck, and once called the best documentary ever on the subject by Film Threat magazine.I'm guessing they've never taken a gander at Robert Hendrickson's Manson(1973) in making such a bold claim, but there you go.As it stands, Schreck's film is pretty entertaining; a mixture of interview footage from San Quentin, stills, news footage, and updated treks to several keynote locations in the media-induced Manson legend.In the proper mental state to make heads or tails of the often hilarious proceedings found within yesterday afternoon, me and the Doctor sat down to screen my copy, with much laughter and repeated rewinds to follow. The thing about Chuck is he's a lot like Kurt Vonnnegut's cuckoo clock in Hell from 'Mother Night'.He'll make perfectly logical sense for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, then jump sanity barriers two seconds, then make sense for two hours and one second, before jumping sanity again for two years.Frustrating to follow, but a riot to look at once in a while.And in Superstar, he dusts off his crazy hat and wears it from start to finish. Uncle Charlie, still trippin' face twenty years later. The scraggly old acid-soaked beatnik with beard and fingernails by Howard Hughes is released from his shackles and interviewed by Nick Bougas, a true crime nut and longtime friend of Manson's and the man ultimately responsible for such shockumentary classics as the Death Scenes series, Murderers, Mobsters, and Madmen Vol.1-2, and even Sinatra: An Unauthorized Biography of the Legend.Bougas stays off-camera for the most part, asking questions that vault Manson off into lengthy harangues about his own innocence, A.T.W.A.(Air, Trees, Water, Animals), the environmental group he was immersed in at the time with Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good(aka/ "Red" and "Blue"), Jesus Christ, Satan, Adolf Hitler, the flawed justice system, and even his jailed co-conspiritors.For every thoughtful insight he makes on any subject(and he makes a few, believe it or not), he often drifts quickly into lysergic-born psychobabble and frenetic, flailing arm gestures and funny faces, taking the piss out of his own arguments before any viewer ever could.Director Schreck intersperses grainy news clips and poor quality video footage whenever Manson slips too far from the real world, with varying success.The Spahn Ranch is shown to have disappeared completely due to fire, with only a few rusty automobile remnants marking the site.The video camera also travels into the desert where Manson and company once retreated from society, stripping cars into gun mounted dune buggies, as evidenced by junked vehicles with chipping psychedelic paint still baking in the sun and full gas cans still camoflaged in the rocks. "Haaaaaaaannnnnnh!" Charlie demonstrates some Manson Fu for the cameras. Schreck also documents remote desert cabins the 'family' once occupied, with Charlie's John Hancock spraypainted and dated in the wooden door.Manson's ties to the Satanic Church, Straight Satans motorcycle club, and the neo-nazi Universal Order are discussed, with vague coincidences played up for the camera.Mansonite Susan Atkins is shown to have participated in Anton LaVey's stage show as a nude vampire in a coffin before joining Manson, and Manson's ties with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson are also touched upon(The Beach Boys even recorded Charlie's "Cease to Exist" as "Never Learn Not to Love" on their 20/20 album), though Manson's introduction to record producer Terry Melcher, who lived at Cielo Drive in the home later owned by Sharon Tate is not, for some unknown reason.Schreck also seems content to paint Manson as a misunderstood visionary villified by the media,and though that is certainly arguable to a degree, I think Charlie is neither a wronged prophet nor a devil with supernatural powers to ensnare innocents looking for direction in life.He's more like a career petty criminal who was unfortunately released into an age where free love and gurus were commonplace, and perhaps took the hippie decadence a little too far on a few tragic occasions(Hinman, Tate, LaBianca,et al).Interestingly enough, while Schreck is wrongly giving credit to Manson for the rise of the skinhead cult(which predates any Manson and co. head-shaving hijinks, btw), a crowd shot flashes across the screen with what looks to be none other than Chubby Chris, ex-frontman of British Oi band Combat 84, sieg heiling while wearing the obligatory White Power fist t shirt.Sorry, to any "Spirit of 69'ers" who might take offense to that, but it is what it is. If I had a dollar for every time Charlie says,"Ya dig what I'm sayin'?", I'd build 'The Charles Mansion' for myself. The soundtrack features some interesting music from jailed Mansonite, Bobby Beausoleil, from a soundtrack he'd done for filmmaker Kenneth Anger's "Lucifer Rising", as well as excerpts from Anton LaVey's "Satanic Mass", Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki's "Apocalypsis", and some of Manson's own compositions off of the "Lie" and "Completion" albums, although the music often drowns out the softspoken Schreck's narrative a little too often for my liking.Whether you're curious as to where this wacky cat is comin' from, dig? or you just groove on his mile-a-minute insanity, Superstar delivers a seldom-seen insight into a man who's spent most of his life behind bars and never quite got getting along with others right, leading him to his current housing at Corcoran State Prison; in his 64th year in the prison system.Four wops and the highest recommendation.Snag a copy! “...You might say I'm kinda like Satan.”
Our main course this evening, a delightfully rotten and rare blaxploitative Exorcist rip-off from the man responsible for The Manitou(1979) and Day of the Animals(1977), the late William Girdler.Served upon a gilded platter for your unwavering approval then, a golden turd known as Abby, the only Exorcist clone to ever be pulled from the theaters, after AIP maven Sam Arkoff caved to pressure from a Warner Brothers lawsuit, even after a similar suit against Film Ventures' Beyond the Door(1974) proved ineffective.As a result, Abby plummetted from a profitable first theatrical run to an urban legend of sorts, rarely seen but often discussed.Luckily for proponents of such fare, the movie finally turned up as half of a budget double feature dvd with Magdalena(1974), yet another Exorcist rip-off, from a company called Music Video Distribution in 2007.Granted, the print stinks, but then that's a vast improvement over the shoddy eye-straining, tenth generation, ghostly VHS-ripped bootlegs that had floated around for ages beforehand.Girdler might have had himself an original horror movie on his hands had he chosen to explore the possibilities of the actual Nigerian Yoruba religion, or its trickster deity, Èsù, but he went for the quick, exploitative buck instead, as was par for the course of his entire filmography.Lovers of inept schlock can rejoice over his hasty decision to copy Friedkin's hit, as his total failure on every level is often unintentionally hilarious stuff, making for a pretty good time for anybody interested in watching it.Like trying to reproduce the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with a chunk of drywall and a paintball gun... Who's a black archaeologiss wiff a pith helmet dat juss don' miss?Garnet Williams(William Marshall)!Can you dig it? We meet Dr. Williams(William Marshall) as he's rappin' with his students in a park about an upcoming trip to Nigeria, and learn through badly delivered dialogue that some of his students have been grooving on the Yoruba religion of that region themselves, recently.To compliment his doctorate and his PhD(!), the funky world-travellin' humanitarian/archaeologist receives a going away present from the group:a hulking silver cross necklace that's just outta sight,baby.Cut to a Nigerian cave where Williams-in-pith helmet discovers a hollow ebony vessel decorated with carvings of the deity Eshu, which the doctor recognizes by "hair in the shape of a cock's comb" and the "erect penis"(!!).He unwittingly opens it, unleashing the contents upon he and his hapless colleagues, when a vengeful wind machine throws them around the cave amidst a frame-flash of a nappy headed, green latex grillpiece, all sneering away an' sheeeit.Meanwhile, Dr. Williams' son Emmitt(Terry Carter),a minister,and his wife, Abby(Carol Speed) are moving into their new home, bequeathed to his church, with the help of Mama(Juanita Moore), her brother Cass(Austin Stoker), a detective, and Emmitt's deacon, who's a dead ringer for Urkel from 'Family Matters'.Through lots of God-inspired banter, we learn Abby is a certified marriage counselor, on top of being involved in a youth program, and junior choir work.Hurry up and possess this bitch, Eshu, before I toss my cookies.A cold wind blows through that night, shaking the furniture and slamming doors.The next morning, Abby's shower takes on added sexual dimensions, as we see her shadow enveloped by a massive phantasmal apparition.The entity toys with her in the laundry room, and again while she and her mother prepare some chicken(It's Kentucky, what did you expect?) for a social function at the church.The bloody poultry suddenly turns her on(!!!), and she's soon writhing about, flicking her tongue around and slashing her own arm with the knife. I'll give you a few moments to fully drink this screenshot in... Emmitt takes notice of Abby's behavior, when, clad in a towel and trying to initiate some in-out with his spouse, a gruff unfamiliar voice tells him that she isn't his ho, and then she pulverizes his junk with a well-placed kick, bouncing on the bed and laughing as he writhes in pain on the floor.During a pre-marital counselling session, she's overcome again by the demon, tearing open her dress in front of the uninterested-looking couple, and exclaiming, "I’m gonna take ol’ long George upstairs and fuck the shit outta him!”, and when Emmitt drags her upstairs(“My God, Abby! Whatever possessed you to do a thing like that?!!?”,he says with a straight face), she tosses him on the bed, slapping the piss out of him and laughing maniacally, before raping him off-camera.After Abby is hospitalized for testing(you know, the same ones Linda Blair had to undergo a year earlier), Dr. Williams returns from Nigeria, causing the young woman to break out of the hospital, bitchslapping anyone who gets in her way("I'm goin' home, bitch!" she exclaims, as she throttles a nurse).After throwing Emmitt and his dad into the walls at the homestead, Abby takes her husband's car and drives downtown, looking to score some real action.The minister runs out into the road and carjacks an older white woman(!), which the detective Cass somehow sweeps under the rug.Abby sataically seduces some soulless homeboys at a disco(and a white guy whose A game consists of W.C. Fields impersonations...seriously), as evidenced by Emmitt's car rocking rhythymically with smoke billowing out of the windows when the preacher and cop finally locate her, and Dr. Williams preparing for the inevitable exorcism right there at the discotheque(!!).Garnet's giant silver cross causes the woman to flee in slo-mo across the dance floor, dripping white foam, levitating, and sprouting furry eyebrows.Williams notes that she is possessed by a minor deity impersonating Eshu, and throws on a daishiki, mixing christianity with Yoruba to cast out the demon, ultimately causing the disco ball to explode(!!!) as her body is freed and the demon is trapped inside the wooden vessel.Abby and Emmitt embrace, despite the fact she's forgotten to take her possession eyebrows off.We then see the couple leaving on vacation, apparently free of criminal charges for the murders Abby committed earlier in the film(not to mention the priest's carjack).Nice. "I’m not your ho! Shit, you ain’t got enough to satisfy me!” jeers a possessed Abby(Carol Speed). Marshall will be best remembered by genre fans for his participation in Blacula(1972)and its sequel, Scream, Blacula, Scream!(1973).Girdler followed this one up with Asylum of Satan(1974),and his second foray into blaxploitation, 'Sheba, Baby'(1975), starring Pam Grier(generally believed to be her worst effort of the era, well done, Billy!).Though Abby only scores one wop on the ratings scale due to its clearly visible ineptitude, it's never boring, and there are a lot of laughs to be had should you choose to check this one out for yourselves.Worth a look. Nigerian sex demon or Lou Ferrigno after a night of base-piping. You decide, baby.
What would the Devil do if he had control of your earthly body and a death grip on your immortal soul?If we were asking this question to the makers of tonight's entry, you'd most likely spew inordinate amounts of obscenities, masturbate chronically, and throw yourself sexually at anyone who happened to pass you by, pausing occasionally to tear out your own hair and eat it.Demonic possession?Sounds more like standard protocol for regular Wopsploitation readers to me.Minus the hair-eating business, of course.I grew mine out for months over the winter, the first time in almost twenty years, and all it managed to reaffirm was my inborn hatred of the stuff.Never mess with a winning combo, like ol Wop and an eighth of an inch of hair, is what I'm saying here.On to cinematic biz as usual, folks. Offhand, I couldn't tell you which movie Italian filmmakers loved to rip off more, Jaws(1975) or The Exorcist(1973).I guess the important point to be made here is that tonight's review falls into the latter category, although as a film with many titles, it was even re-released as The Eerie Midnight Horror Show, though Tim Curry poncing about in drag is nowhere to be found here, woprophiles will have to be satisfied with a horny wooden facsimile of Ivan Rassimov horizontal bopping his way back to life, and/or a thorny Lucretia Love doing some interesting things to an FTD Art of Love Valentine rose bouquet in the sack.I love Marcello Giombini's score, with its witchy Latin chants and female choruses over effectively moody incidental strings.Despite being a rip-off of Friedkin's earlier film, Gariazzo's effort still manages to pack a few solid chills, boast of a solid cast of Italian genre regulars, and most importantly, entertain on a couple of different levels if you're in the right mindframe for it. "For a 15th century woodcarving, that's a pretty uncanny likeness of Ivan Rassimov..." Danila(Stella Carnacina)is a beautiful and very groovy broad who digs art restoration that's summoned by one of her professors to a fifteenth century church(that had been deconsecrated two hundred years later due to the ungodly sex orgies its clergy and congregation were partaking in...sounds like the Limelight!)where she chooses to restore a life-sized crucifix housing an eerily lifelike wooden statue of one of the thieves that found himself crucified next to ol' J.C.(psst, this isn't gonna go well for you, sweetheart).Her affluent parents throw an outta sight seventies party, to which her mother Lucia(Lucretia Love), who's been humping a particularly sleazy dirtbag(Gabriele Tinti) on the side, has the audacity to invite her lover.Lucia's not even concerned with discretion at this point, as Daniela walks in on her being violently whipped with thorny rose stems while indulging in some sadomasochistic sextracurriculars during the bash.Danila cuts out early to her studio at the university to do some late night painting, when the nearby wooden figure(Ivan Rassimov) starts breathing and springs to life, raping the dumbstruck woman by the warmth of the massive crucifix, which has appropriately caught fire.Afterwards, she finds herself completely alone and unmolested as before the nightmarish vision, but sufficiently freaked the eff out over it, so she splits back to her parents' apartment building, where she's haunted by the sounds of an extra set of footsteps and an otherworldly voice whispering her name.She's inexplicably overwhelmed by sudden baser ruttishness over the spooky events and masturbates like a fucking champ. "...and to see you cuts me like a knife...I guess eeeeeeev'ry rooooose has its thoooorn!Harder!Harder!!" Before too long, Danila's hands are exploring her own body like she was Howard Carter dusting off Amen-tut-ankh's mummified grillpiece in the twenties, and she's desperately trying to persuade any passing cock to come give her the spirited hammering the devil seems to look favorably upon at this point, causing her parents to momentarily cease their openly adulterous dysfunction long enough to hire ample doctors and headshrinkers to examine the poor fuck-starved pawn of Satan.Of course, modern psychology has no answers for why she's trying to seduce her own father (or a priest, for that matter), or why she's suddenly displaying Christ-like stigmata wounds in her hands and feet and being plagued by dreams of her own crucifixion at the hands of Satan himself(Rassimov again).One doctor even prescribes a glass of warm milk to the possessed lass for her constant masturbation(!!).The church is called in eventually, and a spectacular good v evil showdown ensues between the horny lass and the exorcist, one Father Xeno(Luigi Pistilli), at a convent in the mountains.Tangibly incensed over the rapid decline of her former picturesque beauty during the rite(her eyes fill with blood and her lips chap as she spouts froth from her possessed pucker), she whips the tits off of the clergyman with a length of chain.In the end, Xeno somehow drives the fervently fiendish presence from Danila as tell-tale green vomit billows from her mouth, collapsing dead himself at the denouement of the devilish ritual.Credits. Danila dreams of getting nailed.Sorry. Not as over-the-top in the depiction of demonic possession as similar Italian fare like L'antichristo(1974) or Malabimba(1979), tonight's review still has enough outrageous dialogue and exploitative thrills to merit at least one viewing, or more, if this sort of thing is your cuppa(it's mine, of course).Alpha Video offers a budget release of the bare bones-ish variety, although a slightly more cleaned up print is out there if you're obsessed enough to track it down.On the scale, L'ossessa scores two wops.Worth a look. "Lo avete comprato biglietti di Subsonica?!!? Ti amo papà!!!"
If you know anything at all about the late Bruce Lee, international martial arts movie superstar, you know before developing his Jeet Kune Do style, or the "way of the intercepting fist", he studied traditional Wing Chun kung fu under the grandmaster of that particular style, a quiet little old fellow named Ip Man.If you're having trouble imagining just how adept at the pugilistic arts the guy who taught Bruce Lee had to be, wonder no further, thanks to the semi-biographical cinemagic of director Yip Wai-Shun.If you only see one kung fu movie for the rest of the year, this one has gotta be it.With Jackie Chan's portly pal, Sammo Hung, an action star/director in his own right, on board as the fight choreographer, and star Donnie Yen, who'd already appeared with Michelle Yeoh in a Wing Chun origin picture of the same name in 1994 directed by Yuen Woo Ping, starring as the Chinese aristocrat responsible for the propagation of Wing Chun to the outside world, Ip is an amazing ride, packed with jaw dropping fights and the raw nationalist emotions evoked by the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, and subsequent Chinese misery under the jackboots of the Japanese Imperial Army at the time.To be honest, I haven't paid much mind to recent kung fu fare outside of Chan/Biao/Hung, and wire fu has always been a drag to me, but this flick opened my eyes towards the new wave of martial arts movies.Naysayers will cite the glaring historical inaccuracies in the story, but face it, hairsplitters, it's not a documentary, it's a movie, and a kung fu movie, at that.In fact, Ip is arguably the best kung fu movie since Liu Chia Liang's Drunken Master II(1994).Yeah, it's that good. Master Liao's(Chen Zhi Hui) phoenix eye fist doesn't compare to Ip Man's(Donnie Yen)Wing Chun. 1930's Foshan is a bustling community of competitive southern style kung fu schools, but the most skilled martial artist in the region is top Wing Chun proponent Ip Man(Donnie Yen), an unassuming, independently wealthy man with a wife and small son, who couldn't be bothered with taking in disciples or opening a school for himself.His wife, on the other hand, is often frustrated by the frequent duel challenges that interrupt their family life.His latest challenger, Master Liao(Chen Zhi Hui), sits down to dinner with Ip and his family before being rendered humble and helpless by Ip's close quarter locks, grabs, and devastating rapid fire gaitling gun multi-punches.Though Ip vows to keep his hasty pummelling of Liao a secret, the match is witnessed by a young local retrieving his kite from Ip's property.His commentary causes a commotion in town, forgotten when a group of cocky northern style masters stroll in looking to challenge all the masters in Foshan.Their leader, Master Jin(Fan Siu-wong) brutalizes most of the other school's teachers, planning to open his own school in the area, when a local waiter reminds him to be the best, you have to beat the best, and in Foshan, that is Ip Man, of COURSE.Lin rudely barges into Ip's home, using insults and character attacks to spur the man into a duel, which Ip's wife even agrees to, so long as her house remains in one piece.Unarmed, Lin's northern fists and kicks are easily countered by Master Ip, and when he frustratedly draws his sword, Ip wields a feather duster to embarrass the young hothead, and return the region's martial pride and respect as Foshan's hero...that is, until the Japanese invade in 1937. Master Lin(Yu Xing),a zealot from the north, gets (feather)dusted up by Master Ip. Under the tyrannical rule of the imperial army, Foshan is thrown into a dark period of hunger and poverty, with Ip forced to seek gainful employment as a coal mine coolie when his family finally runs out of priceless antiques to pawn for sacks of rice.General Miura(Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), an expert karate practitioner, sets up an arena where Chinese can fight their hated Japanese masters and winning a match means a sack of rice for your family.Ip's friend, "Crazy" Lin(Xing Yu)agrees to fight the general with two others, and is beaten to death in the process, leading Ip to volunteer for the next day's matches.He watches Sifu Liao catch a bullet in the head when he fails to defeat three Japanese at the same time, and requests not three, but ten black belts(!) to fight when his turn comes up.With his dead Chinese friends in mind, he violently breaks and batters the ten experts in a matter of moments.After he helps his friend Chow Ching-chuen train his cotton mill workers in self-defense when Master Lin and his gang reappear looking for easy payoffs through bullying, he has a rematch with Lin and easily defeats him, warning him afterwards never to return again.Miura grows impatient while waiting to see Ip's flawless skills in action, and when Ip thrashes a group of his soldiers when they harass his family at home, he sends more to the cotton mill to voice his threat:Either Ip teaches Wing Chun to the Japanese army or he will forfeit his life.Not only does Ip refuse the offer, he challenges the general to a duel, which the military leader cannot refuse due to the impending Japanese humiliation if he did so.The general sets up a ring in the town square, where both men square off in front of the whole province.Ip promptly uses Miura's limp body as a makeshift Wing Chun training dummy in front of the cheering Chinese masses, spurring Miura's deputy, Sato to shoot the victorious expert.A melee ensues, during which Chow and Ip's wife gather up the wounded hero and flee to the less dangerous climate of British-owned Hong Kong, where Ip would famously teach his kung fu to many famous disciples, one of which being the movie star, Bruce Lee.But that's another story... This black belt karateka will be taking a lengthy sabbatical from kicking with that leg, courtesy of Master Ip. Sammo was chosen as fight choreographer due to his earlier works, Warriors Two(1979) and Prodigal Son(1982), both films detailing the creation of Wing Chun kung fu.Director Wong Kar-wei vocalized his intent to do a biopic on Ip Man himself, but it spent ages in development hell while producer Raymond Wong's effort here, had full consent from Ip's sons in researching then recreating elements of Ip's life.A sequel, Ip Man 2, which we'll be examining here at a later date, was released two years later.As for this movie, everything's in place for total satisfaction from martial arts movie enthusiasts, and I can hardly envision anyone screening it and disliking it.On the scale, it merits a perfect four wop score and comes with my highest recommendation.You won't be disappointed. You don't wanna meet either of those cinder block triphammers up close.
The subject of tonight's fully-focused foray into film deals with sins; in particular, the seven capital vices, most objectionable to those looking to conduct their lives in a christian manner, or the seven top whoppers on my weekend "to do" checklist come most Fridays.Of course, I'm joking here.Why wait until Friday when you've got five perfectly good weekdays to get your balls-out sinnin' in?Seriously. Tonight's Belgian-Italian co-production is a vintage hunk o' gruesome gothic goodness that I first bumped into on late night tv when I were a younger Wop, much younger than today.Although I heavily dug the lighter television edit of the movie back in the 'footie pajamas on the living room couch' era, I much prefer the unedited and gloriously sleazy print of this throwback Eurotrash that's readily available on disc from a number of companies these days.This one has enough going for it to keep you entertained the whole way through, I'd surmise:A foreboding castle,red-headed succubi(if her carpet doesn't match her drapes, at least the castle wallpaper matches the bedspread),mysterious Barons who dabble in alchemy(for the philosophy, not the gold) and the dent-headed fish-eyed servants who answer to them, skeletally creepy balding Frenchmen who dress like the Grim Reaper, libidinous Euro sex kittens, guillotines and iron maidens, and even a tour guide whose on camera eating habits just might put you off of food altogether, not to mention an appropriately groovy, fuzztone guitar-heavy soundtrack from Alessandro Alessandroni, who you might remember as the whistler from Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western scorework.Lovers of this sort of thing(you know who you are) should already be hunting a good print down as we speak... I've got an SS ceremonial dagger just like this one, and I've only stabbed several babies...a few?None!Never stabbed one baby with it at all!Haha. It is Berlin, 1945, and as stock footage of allied air raids lay siege to the sepia-toned flashback castle and its goose-stepping German inhabitants, a high-ranking officer(whose uniform is conspicuously missing the tell-tale armband with the big black spider of racial superiority on it.You know, the swasti-something-or-other...)waits impatiently as his wife dies in childbirth, giving him a daughter.Unacceptable for whatever reason, this leads him to clear out the place, and hastily baptize the baby before labonza-shanking it with his SS dagger(!).Whoa, heavy.In present day 1971, a tour bus carrying seven querulous sinner-types finds itself at said German castle after taking directions from a wisp of a French creep burning things on the roadside.There's the guide, who's a lip-smacking glutton, a money-mad married Mädchen, her adulterous spouse, a cantakerous old coot, a sex-charged brunette, a blonde that's as hot as she is lazy, and a would-be priest in training, all looking for a night's lodging within the Castle Rhoneberg walls.The Baron(same baby-stabbing nazi from the intro)welcomes them in and allows his divot-grilled manservant, Hans, to show them to their rooms, which he does, never forgetting to relate each room's bloody history to its occupant beforehand.Their dinner, already peppered with the Baron's gruesome family history(the first-born daughter of each generation must be given over to the dark lord and master for services rendered to a Rhoneberg ancestor),denying ever having had a daughter himself.Then Lisa(Erika Blanc) shows up.With her flame-hued locks and skimpy outfit that'd have Vampirella telling the bitch to cover up a bit, this chick could just be the murderous succubus we've been waiting for. "If I showed you one of my oatmeal cookie-sized aereolas, would you think I was a succubus then?" Like a greased pig over slippery nipples, the guests fall prey one by one to their respective trademark vices;a cat is found impaled on a torture device in the attic(thou shalt not be finnicky, Morris)while the Baron shows the greedy Mrs. Foster his nifty basement alchemy lab.Meanwhile Mr. F takes on the lustful Corinne(who's already eaten at Regine's Y before dinner)in the attic, and the adulterous duo's fuck noises rouse the crotchety Mason from the confines of his room.Lisa, on the other hand, sets her Satanic sights on Father Sorel, pondering her succubusness while flashing her nipples at the chaste young man, who resists.She then teleports herself into the kitchen where the guide overindulges himself and vomits up some poisoned wine as he dies.Next is Mrs. Foster, whose desire for gold gets her buried in a small mountain of precious flake.Corrine finds herself inside an iron maiden while Mr. Foster loses his head to the guillotine.Old Mason, she shoves out an upstairs window onto a bed of knives.Regine gets squeezed by a rather puny looking costrictor in bed, leaving only the would-be priest still breathing.Sorel plants his rosary on Lisa's grill, leaving a holy open sore that buys him enough time to hightail it out of the castle, only to run into the devil himself(Daniel Emilfork).He strikes a bargain with the gaunt-looking fellow, trading his soul, a tough one to come by, indeed, for the six that he's already collected.The priest awakens the next morning to find all the guests alive and ready to depart for less-gloomy climes.Remembering his pact, he stays behind with Lisa,and watches from the top of the castle as the tour bus swerves to avoid an oncoming truck on a narrow road down the mountain, plummetting off the sheer cliff and exploding on impact.Oh, sweet irony. Mr. Foster(Lorenzo Terzon) momentarily marvels at the weaving skill with which the head basket was made. The deliciously diabolic Blanc appeared in Mario Bava's Kill, Baby, Kill(1966), as well as Lenzi's Così dolce... così perversa(1969), La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba(1971), and even Lamberto Bava's Body Puzzle(1992), in her storied career in genre films.The wafer-thin Daniel Emilfork will probably be best remembered as Krank in The City of Lost Children(1995), although I also recall him in Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe(1978), a movie I found myself watching a lot, strangely enough, as a kid.Tonight's review, with no less than fourteen alternate titles(!), found it's way into my collection as half of a double-bill release from Tgg Direct, though I hear the Image "Redemption" disc intro full of fake guts and bloody boobs is something of a hoot.On the scale it scores a solid three big ones, and provides the perfect gothic puzzle piece on genre movie night.Check it out. "We couldn't even afford sturdy spikes to get impaled upon when we were your age!"
To be certain, entirely too much time has passed here at the Wop since we've examined another effort by Antonio Margheriti aka/Anthony M. Dawson, the prolific Italian genre-master, a long-time favorite of mine, and tonight's entry oughta effectively right that wrong.An atmospheric blend of both giallo and classic gothic horror, with enough seventies Euro-flesh, brilliant cinematography with beautifully framed shots and Bava-esque color filters, and solid performances from a stellar cast of cult regulars to sate the belly-rumblings of the most gluttonous genre nut.What's more, the folks at Blue Underground have rendered all those shitty heavily-chopped VHS prints we've had to make do with for the past thirty years or so, with a long-needed gloriously uncut anamorphic print that's bound to rock yer socks.You'll recognize Venantino Venantini, the chap who introduced Johnny Morghen's grillpiece to a drill press in Fulci's Paura nella città dei morti viventi eight years later, as well as Jane "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" Birkin and then-husband Serge Gainsbourg, Anton Diffring, and even the late Hiram Keller(or "Earthworm Jim", as he was known in Une Vraie Jeune Fille) among the game cast, with typically mint score provided by maestro Riz Ortolani.The story goes something like this...
These must be the same rats that attacked that city baby.(Whoa, G.B.H. reference) We begin with an undetermined accoster snuffing the life out of an anonymous gent within the walls of Dragonstone, a massive Scottish castle and ancestral home of the MacGrieff clan.His lifeless cadaver is dumped in the catacombs where the rats immediately proceed to snack on his face(!).The current Lady of the castle, who's having difficulty keeping up the creepy old citadel, finds a ray of hope in the unexpected arrival of the daughter of Lady Alicia(Dana Ghia), Corringa(Jane Birkin), who she plans to pair up with her reclusive oddball son, Lord James(Hiram Keller).James is a weird one alright, having allegedly killed his own baby sister as a tyke, never leaving the castle, painting in his room, and tending to his caged pet orangutan.Wait.What.James' apparent madness is treated by resident doctor, Franz(Anton Diffring), who also sleeps with Lady MacGrieff, and when the good Lady's back is turned, Suzanne(Doris Kunstmann), a sexy Franch teacher who was brought to Dragonstone to seduce James.After offending all the guests at the dinner table, save for the village priest(Venantino Venantini), James spurs Alicia and her daughter to beat a path for the front door the next morning, except someone sneaks into her room that night and pillow-smothers the old dame.Lady Mac convinces Franz to falsify the death certificate and Corringa to remain as a guest at the castle, though talk of the family curse, which states that any MacGrieff that dies at the hands of a relative will return from the grave as a vampire, soon grows more serious in tone.
...and this must be the same pet orangutan..wait, that's just an Italian in a bad monkey suit. Suddenly, things take a turn for the peculiar, as the titular family cat pounces on Alicia's coffin at the funeral, spurring Lady MacGrieff to seal the pesky feline in the tomb with her sister, and when a servant returns that night to free the beast, he discovers an exploded, empty coffin and is given an extra mouth with a straight razor for his troubles.Cousins James and Corringa take to the sheets to get reacquainted(blech) while Franz asks a bare-boobed Suzanne,"Are you excited by all the blood that's been flowing around here?"(I've gotta use that one sometime), before getting unexpectedly cockblocked by the good Lady, who threatens to throw him out as he threatens to spill the beans if she does so, but the orange tabby appears, signaling an untimely, bloody end for the doctor-turned-gigolo.Someone does in James' orangutan(also named James btw),and Franz turns up in Lady Alicia's death box, while Corringa finds Lord James' cufflink at the crime scene.The plot thickens.Suzanne makes a lesbo play for Corringa as the police investigate Dragonstone for clues as Lady MacGrieff herself is implicated in one of the murders.With people dropping like flies and/or adding themselves to the seemingly endless list of suspects at every juncture, and the supernatural possibilities being discussed, the killer is finally revealed in the final reel.I won't spoil it for you woprophiles here, but let's just say it's none of the above, and the only thing missing is the familiar "I would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" line, and the flowery-stickered Mystery Machine full of teenage sleuths and their Great Dane.
Heeeeey, you're leaking neck sauce all over my new Trussardi's! Margheriti followed this one up with a slapstick comedy(!), Schiaffoni e karate(Hercules Against Karate) and Flesh for Frankenstein.After breathing heavily on pop records and her appearance here, Jane Birkin has gone on to score herself roles in no less than eighty(!!) films, including the excellent Hercule Poirot vehicles, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun.Venantino Venantini, on the other hand, has more than doubled that output to date, with appearances in three Emanuelle movies, La bestia nello spazio, La ragazza del vagone letto, Cannibal Ferox, and Apocalypse domani among his prolific genre work.Diffring, long known for his despicable Nazi characters,and remembered by genre fans for The Man Who Could Cheat Death, Circus of Horrors, and the never-released Jerry Lewis clusterfuck, The Day the Clown Cried among others, allegedly died of AIDS in 1989.Wrapping it up, Seven Deaths is classic stuff, and recommended viewing.Three wops.
Anton Diffring, champion grab-titter for 1973.