After you guys hit the Wop for a best ever record week, I've gotta put some tainted candy and an extra razor blade apple in your treat bags for the effort tonight, kiddies.And what better reward is there, than to cover the granddaddy of grindhouse movies from the Italian potentate of poor taste, Umberto Lenzi.A movie so multitudinously rotten that it embarrassed Johnny Morghen, an actor who had no problem amorously coddling a blow up doll on screen for Lucio Fulci, and known for suffering ultraviolent deaths in genre movies.In tonight's review, also known as "Make Them Die Slowly"(the title I caught it under at the drive in back in the eighties), Lenzi goes easy on Johnny, chopping his hand off, removing his dick with a machete, and extricating his brains after truncating his skull with said blade.Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for animals that appear in front of Lenzi's lens here, as he certainly doesn't shy away from the sadistic cruelty that often befell wildlife in the cannibal subgenre in its heyday.If that sounds too heavy for your karma, you'll probably want to stop reading here and wait for the next review.Also succumbing dilatorily here are Italian genre vets Lorraine De Selle, Zora Kerova, Danilo Mattei, and Robert Kerman, aka/ seventies porn dick, R. Bolla, who seemed to turn up in every one of these pictures back then.Lenzi's screenplay is chock full of marvelously insane dialogue, set to a dated-yet-funky soundtrack provided by Donati and Maglione, while the abundant on-screen splatter is deftly handled by maestro Giannetto De Rossi.The original advertisements boasted of the film's being 'banned in 31 countries', though you'd be hard pressed to find it censored anywhere these days(besides tolerant Britain, of course), let alone being outright banned.Call it what you will, but it definitely rates as a cult classic.Man, I can still remember the queasiness in my stomach from the front seat of my old man's '79 Impala like it was just last night... After 100 grand of their dope money disappeared, Pigface gets a different type of shot than the one he was looking for. At the outset, we see a junkie whose quest for horse leads him to the Manhattan apartment of one Mike Logan(Johnny Morghen), only to meet verbal abuse and roughhousing at the hands of two mobsters who Logan has cheated out of a hundred grand("A hundred grand!OUR hundred grand!From OUR dope!") before skipping town.The gangsters issue a message of impending retribution to Logan through "Pigface" that he'll never receive, seeing as how they shoot "Shitface" dead in his tracks before he can ever pass it on.Meanwhile in Paraguay, Rudy and Gloria(Danilo Mattei, Lorraine De Selle) are two siblings planning an excursion with their friend Pat(Zora Kerova) into the green inferno of the Amazon River basin to prove Gloria's theory that cannibalism not only doesn't currently exist, but in fact, has never existed among the primitive tribes; a European myth perpetuated to justify colonization of the region by covetous land barons.After one of the guides chews a phony-looking butterfly on a wire(a bad prop and a bad omen at the same time), a jaywalking iguana causes Rudy to get their jeep stuck in a nearby bog(naturally blowing the engine) forcing them to hoof it through the perilous rain forest.After stumbling across a couple of dead booby trapped savages, the group arbitrarily bumps into two desperate westerners, Mike and Joe, who claim they've been set upon by cannibals.Joe's been shivved by one of the angry primitives, while Mike is blowing through cocaine like Stevie Nicks at Eric Clapton's housewarming party, as he relates the sordid tale of how they ended up in such a predicament after their get-rich scheme of panning for emeralds with a Portuguese guide turned sour and their guide ended up bound to a stake, having his genitals removed and eaten by hungry practitioners of anthropophagy.Looks like man eats man isn't bullshit afterall, is it, Gloria? "...A hot-pussied little whore, who arrived down here looking for freedom, a victim of Puritanical breeding, seeking release for strange new feelings." When Gloria goes missing, Rudy stumbles upon a small village of indios where the group is forced to hole up due to Joe's infected wounds, worsening by the minute.Mike shares his nostril candy with the formerly puritanical Pat, and after balling her, suggests that making an indio girl might be a kick she could really groove on.When she refuses to cut the frightened young native, the coke-raging pusher plants some hot lead in her himself.In the throes of a fever, Joe confesses to Rudy and Gloria that Mike's wild yarn about cannibals wasn't exactly accurate, and that Logan killed the Portuguese(really one of the local tribesmen) himself, while zooted on Bolivian marching powder, causing the natives to resort to brutal aggression in retaliation.Rudy and Gloria realize that the indios won't split hairs when it comes to their vengeance, and every white will pay for Logan's drug-fueled misdeeds.Mike and Pat sneak off on their own as the males of the tribe return to find Joe's lifeless corpse and soon splay his innards into a raw feast.Eventually, all of the group is captured and locked in a bamboo cage(that Logan had used earlier to instill fear in the locals) to watch as the tribesmen seperate the drug dealer from his third leg via machete and one of the cannibals pops it into his mouth and chews it like Bubblicious(!).After they cauterize his cock-stump(!!), they move the prisoners to another village where Rudy makes a break for it, hiding in a swampy pool from the hunting party until some ravenous pirahna nibbling his open wounds give him away.One poison dart later, and then there were three.An indio-with-a-heart-of-gold(how cliche'!) tries to help the girls, but Logan digs his way out of the bamboo prison and cuts their escape rope before bounding into the jungle.He's almost able to flag down a plane containing a rescue team, but he's abducted again, and his hand is chopped off for his troubles.The cannibals force Gloria to watch as they suspend Pat in mid-air via tit-hooks(!!) to bleed to death and remove the top of Logan's head using a primitive brain-surgery table, eating his brains afterwards(!!!).Gloria barely manages to escape into the dense undergrowth thanks to the aforementioned kind indio(who eats booby-trap death for his troubles) and is rescued by a pair of trappers.Back in New York, Gloria has written a book called Cannibalism: End of a Myth, effectively covering up all the horrors she'd witnessed. Johnny Morghen loses his organ. I had six or seven new horror reviews laid out for you guys, to end Wop-tober with an appropriately horrific bang, but alas, my busy social life(...you know, like people on television always seem to have) seems to have temporarily gotten in the way of my good intent.You know me and my sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.Fret not, kids, I'll work them in sometime during November.As is the case with most entries in the cannibal subgenre, pre-PETA, tonight's review is laden with a lot of unnecessary animal cruelty and death that'll turn off a lot of individuals.From a tech standpoint, Ferox is a pretty rotten movie, as evidenced by the single Wop rating, but it remains a grindhouse legend none-the-less, and one of my favorites at that.The ridiculous dialogue and over-the-top gore'll have you rolling in your seats.Grab the Grindhouse Releasing extra-packed deluxe edition disc.Oh, and Happy Halloween, as Dan O'Herlihy so memorably said back in '83... Pat(Zora Kerova) has had it up to the tits with cannibals already.
We're gettin' so close to Hallowe'en here at the Wop that it's bound to file a Protection From Abuse Order against us.We didn't hit you, Samhain, you fell down, you got that?!!Now where's my Hungry Man Buffalo chicken strips, you ingrate!If you're into movies about beefy, balding, misogynist Vietnam Vets who look like Divine out of drag, strangling helpless half-naked women and getting into heated psychotic arguments with the friggin' mirror, (and really, who isn't)then tonight's review will fit you like a glove.Sleazy with a drawn out s, this one, showcasing the dramatic chops of one Nicholas Worth, who scored himself a Sitges Award for his memorable study of murderous sociopathic behavior here.He manages to pull off one of the more entertaining on-screen psychos I can recall seeing, while being given a veritable landscape of hookers, junkies, and otherwise useless broads to choke the fuck out, aided, in part, by one of the more bumbling investigative teams ever committed to celluloid.Hell, even the female lead protagonist, as portrayed by Flo Gerrish, is vulnerable as all Hell and needs a man to save her ass.No, I did NOT write the screenplay for this one, in advance, smartasses.Phone's relatively bloodless for an eighties stalker pic, but what it lacks in graphic violence, it more than makes up for with shameful levels of seedy filth, making it perfect as a minor exploitative classic of the day; kind of a gutter level psychodrama ripe with stereotypes and epithets, and reeking of stale sweat, cheap perfume, and even staler cigarettes.Not something I'd recommend to everybody, but certainly nasty enough to fit the specialized bill for genre madmen(and women) out there.If you're hunting it down, remember, you're gonna want the rare Bci / Eclipse uncut version disc(which I've seen go for thirty bucks or more), and not the more recent Rhino release that has more than its share of disgruntled buyers complaining about the expurgated cut within.Forwards! "Why, yes.Yes, I do happen to love the nightlife and boogieing on the disco rooouuuuund, oh yea." Enter Kirk Smith(Nicholas Worth), a bulky, sweaty, balding Vietnam vet-turned-photographer whose multiple deep seated neuroses and psychoses spur him to use his trade to locate nubile and helpless young victims; Kirk digs raping and strangling chicks with a coin in a nylon stocking a lot.He's also got an affinity for tearfully arguing at great lengths and out loud with his deceased abusive stepfather and sounding like a bull getting a prostate exam while he's meatheading it up on the weights in the mirror.All of Kirk's victims seem to be patients of local radio personality/psychologist, Dr. Lindsay Gail(Flo Gerrish), who he frequently phones himself, to halfheartedly confess his many mental shortcomings and sexual manias to, usually in a hispanic accent so phony it'd make Tony Montana sound like an indio.Investigating the sordid sex crimes are Lt. McCabe and Sgt Hatcher(James Westmoreland, Ben Frank), the two washed-up-on-the-beach detectives morally bankrupt enough to stand a chance of cuffing the cretin.On the side, Smith slides pervy photos to plenteous publisher and purveyor of pornography, Sam Gluckman(Chuck Mitchell) for cash, while keeping his juicier crime scene snuff shots for his own...ahem, personal use.Kirk baits a cheap hooker into a fleabag hotelroom to indulge in some quality vein candy of the speedball variety, calling Dr. Gail and forcing her to be an auditory witness to his crime when he slays her afterwards, brutally bottling her black pimp in the dome in escaping in the nick of time.Hatcher and McCabe correctly surmise that Gail is their big connection in cracking the strangler case.Meanwhile, Smith flexes shirtless in the mirror with a beer, ramblingly mocking the defeated pimp in a derogatory black accent and proclaiming himself the best(!).The cops sieve through the seedy underbelly of the redlight district, searching for the wounded pimp who's seen the strangler's identity, but when they raid his brothel(where whores are dressed like schoolmarms and nazi officers scolding a john wrapped in plastic!) they inadvertently feed him bullet-death in the ensuing coke-soaked fire fight, effectively wiping out their lone eyewitness.Doh! "See what those kids did to my club?" says Porky(Chuck Mitchell)...oh wait, wrong movie. Dr. Gail proves ineffective in thwarting a client's suicide attempt, while McCabe succeeds by forefending the doctor's evasive approach in favor of no nonsense action hero-esque straight shooting.The bleeding heart liberal psychologist can't help but be enamored of him after a display like that.Meanwhile, Smith has weaseled his way into the home of a beautiful model(Pam Bryant) under false pretenses of a photo shoot, but the girl is visibly taken aback by some of the...more candid eight by tens in Kirk's portfolio, to which he roughly rhetorts:"You beautiful chick! You love it!", before abruptly snuffing her candle(not to be mistaken for the candle he often inserts into his victim's vagina after penetrating her post-mortem...blech).He's surprised by her housemate, whom he also speeds off to join the choir invisible, but foolishly leaves his glossies at the scene of the crime, after lumbering off to pray at his morbid apartment shrine.Armed with the incriminating photos(which Hatch takes a few of, himself, for his own...ahem, personal use), the cops put the touch on Gluckman, who fingers Smith as the photographer-in-question.The detectives then somehow raid an accountant's office by mistake(!).Smith has already abducted Gail, of course, slapping her around like an autistic alphabet reciter(wow, that was heavy) while confessing that he once killed a puppy after it dropped a deuce on the floor, and he, himself, suffered from bed wetting 'til he was eighteen years old and also, "ass problems"(I think my roommate Doc might know something about that).The cops manage to bust in, in the nick of time, and stop Smith from adding Gail to his ever-burgeoning list of victims, while McCabe empties his gun into the strangler's back, as he falls limply into the pool in slow motion(Signore Deodato, are you reading this?)."Adios, creep." he adds, as the movie ends. "Remember, angelcakes...the safe word is 'sesquipedalian'..." I'll be damned if this movie doesn't remind me of a cleaned up remake of the Mentors' "Fuck Movie"(1987) without the crass cartoons and executioner hoods, or Lustig's Maniac!(1980) without the gore effects.Hammer never took the director's chair again after tonight's review.Hardcore genre-erds(you like the way I combined those two for you there?) will immediately recognize Worth as Bruno, Arcane's muscle-headed crony who takes the serum and unwittingly shrinks into a midget, chasing girls around the dinner table in Wes Craven's Swamp Thing(1982).Craven also claims working with the bass-voiced actor, who made a career out of bodybuilding and playing criminal henchmen before passing away in 2007, was one of the highlights of his career(!).Westmoreland, who was once known as "Rad Fulton"(!!!) in the business, has enjoyed a long career in soap operas and television roles, as well as a turn in the 1966 underground classic, The Undertaker and His Pals.Check out Phone for yourselves, it's a step above(or below) the usual stalker flicks of the eighties, and you'll probably find yourself snickering at Worth's mirror rants as much as I do.Two Wops on the scale.I'm trying to cram as many horror reviews in before the end of the month, but with the holiday upcoming, we'll have to see how many I can rip through before I pass out in my toga, as usual. "You'll never get any money from me, cow! Just cause you got them big udders don't mean you're somethin' special. Get the hook! Go fuck yourself for all I care. YEAH! Go fuck yourself!!"
Like most genre enthusiasts, I fully recognize Tobe Hooper's crowning cinematic achievement, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as one of the greatest horror movies ever made.It's just the erratic shit he followed it up with that I've gotta take issue with.With TCM, he took a high and outside pitch and sent it deep into the upper decks for an uncontestable grand slam.His 1981 offering, The Funhouse, which was ravenously hyped by most horror zines of the day, is closer to a sputtering ground out back to the pitcher.I've noticed a lot of people out there seem to hold fond memories of this one, but it's a fucking mutt, plain and simple.I remember coming away from my first viewing feeling betrayed by all the advance press and leaked photos of Rick Baker's special extreme cleft deformity makeup, having just endured a lethargic, scareless, and mostly bloodless turd.After a few pay-cable viewings and a half-hearted vhs rental in the eighties, I buried the lackluster experience in the darkest recesses of my mind until the technological breakthrough of dvds forced me to re-examine the damned thing, hoping I was overly critical towards it, or perhaps a different cut of the film would change my mind.An emphatic "Cazzo no!" would be the case.On the positive side of the coin, Hooper provides some decent old fashioned atmosphere and suspense in a classic carnival setting dressed with creepy vintage animatronic figures and surreal lighting that's reminiscent of Argento in spots.On the other hand, the cast leaves me pretty flat, apart from perhaps Sylvia Miles and Kevin Conway, as a skeevy fortune teller and sideshow/funhouse/stripshow barker, respectively.Also, the story, as novelized from the screenplay by horror fiction icon Dean Koontz under the pseudonym Owen West, takes something like eight and a half hours to finally kick into high gear, and once it does, it leaves me thinking there ought to have been more.More scares, more gore, more of a body count, more focus on Baker's makeups...but there isn't. I'm suddenly compelled to whip myself up a pair of fried eggs for some reason... After Amy Harper(Elizabeth Berridge) gets her titties rubber knifed in the shower by her prank-loving brother Joey(Shawn Carson), she not only renegs on taking him to the carnival(you know, the one where two little girls' dead bodies turned up at last year...) on Saturday, but also vows to exact memorable revenge upon his gruesome little ass for his mischief, before venturing out on a first date with a grease monkey named Buzz(Cooper Huckabee) who can't even pick her up at a decent hour, ferchrissakes.They pick up Liz and Richie(Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin) and pass around a quick jibber, as Joey climbs out of his bedroom window, determined not to miss the carnival and a perfect opportunity to spy on his older sibling.Buzz wins Amy a stuffed animal and explains his unfunny dancing duck joke to her at the top of the ferris wheel.Amy discusses her troublesome virginity with Liz in the bathroom, when they're interrupted by a over-zealous bag lady(!) who reminds them that God is watching them.Joey gets a ride proposition from a toothy creep who points a shotgun at him.Meanwhile, inside the sideshow, Buzz marvels at a lip-licking cow with a cleft palate and another with a parasitic twin growing out of its face, no doubt, two of the 'eighteen worst mistakes that God ever visited upon man', this movie excluded.Before leaving, Richie drags the double date into a separate tent that contains a mutated baby floating in a lighted jar that momentarily puts a damper on their cannabis-based hijinks.The funhouse barker(Kevin Conway) puts a chill up Amy's spine with his monologue before the group ducks into the magician's tent, as Joey finally makes the scene, dumping a sack of change at the ticket booth.After smoking another discreet pinner(these kids know how to party) behind the tent, the group decides to check out the hooch-slugging fortune teller, Madame Zena(Sylvia Miles), who tells Amy a tall, dark stranger will enter her life amidst her friends' pot-induced giggles("Don't come back or I'll break every fuckin' bone in your body!", she later warns).Richie suggests that both couples stay at the carnival after closing, spending the night in the funhouse.Probably not a good idea, dude. "Ewwwww, Rasputin's penis!I'll give you a buck if you take it outta the jar and tug it like a bell rope!" Joey watches as the funhouse cars that contained his sister and her friends return to the mute operator in a Frankenstein mask outside without the prior passengers inside as the carnival shuts down for the evening.The couples notice gaps in the funhouse floorboards that reveal an office below, where the wheezing mute in the Frankenstein mask has solicited Zena(100 bucks for Sylvia Miles?C'monnnn.) for sex.While Zena administers a handy to kick off the action, Frankie prematurely pops his cookies, and when Zena refuses to refund him his money, she gets choked the fuck out for her thriftiness.While the gang beats a hasty retreat for the (locked, of course)exit, Richie jacks all the samoleans outta the office cash box, earning the masked mutant a hearty beating at his own hands(!), to the glee of his barker/father("You really did it this time, didn't ya?!You killed one of the family!"), until he rips off the latex to reveal a severely deformed, blood-curdling cleft-grill and red eyes.Richie carelessly drops a cigarette lighter through the spaces in the floorboards, alerting the carnage-crazy carnys to the intruders upstairs.At this point there's a whole lotta walking around in the dark, until finally the funhouse power is turned on suddenly, as the barker tries to goad his misshapen son into doing one last bad thing for him so they can bury the bodies and go fishin', like they used to.Richie gets lassoed with a noose and hung in front of his panicked pals as the surrounding props once again come to life, the stolen money floating down around them like so much confetti.Buzz blindly swings an axe down into an oncoming ride car, only to discover his blade planted in Richie's dome instead, with Liz hysterically chasing afterwards and falling through a trap door in the floor, later to be killed off-camera when she plants a dagger in the monster's back.After dispatching the gun-wielding barker by skewering his hayseed ass on a sword, Buzz is, in turn, taken out by the murderous freak, leaving only Amy to fend for herself against it in the dark and foreboding funhouse.Just remember, it aint over until the mechanical fat lady sings, which, in this movie's case, probably should have been directly after the opening credits... "Sorry, kid. You must be this hideously deformed to ride this ride." Hooper was approached by no less than Steven Spielberg to direct his E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial(1982), but was too busy working on this movie at the time.He'd team up with the director a year later on the wildly popular Poltergeist(1982), though it's been argued that Hooper had precious little to do with the finished product, as Spielberg directed the actors, designed storyboards, and cast the movie on his own, but was unable to direct another movie while still immersed in E.T. due to a clause in his contract.In between all of that, he was also replaced in the director's chair(translation:quit) by Piers Haggard on the 1981 Oliver Reed/Klaus Kinski thriller, Venom.He would eventually direct Lifeforce in 1985.Berridge would go on to play Constanze Mozart in Amadeus(1984), while Huckabee, who'd scored genre roles in The Pom Pom Girls(1976) and The Curse(1987), has enjoyed a long career in television.On the scale, Funhouse gains a single Wop, not being very much fun at all. "Hit yerself, you ugly thing!"
Though I'd often read about about tonight's review in reference books and vintage horror mags, I'd never gotten the opportunity to actually see it for myself until excitedly stumbling upon a tattered 1982 Columbia Home Video vhs copy for sale at an outlet in Delaware, setting me back a couple of bucks back in the nineties.That something like eighteen minutes had been excised from the pan n' scan print and it having been excruciatingly dubbed for laughs didn't really have any bearing against my desire to see the film, the last big screen portrayal of Dracula(referred to only as "The Count" here) by iconic cult legend, Christopher Lee, nor did my unfamiliarity with the movie's other star, Bernard Menez, who, it turns out, had an earlier go at blending horror and comedy with a Hammer co-star, in 1974's obscure Tendre Dracula, alongside Peter Cushing playing the Count himself for the only time in his long career.Appearing alongside Lee and Menez here are the Breillat sisters, Marie-Hélène and Catherine, the former being the wife of director Molinaro, while the latter was a controversial writer/director in her own right, helming the sex-charged Une Vraie Jeune Fille(reviewed here) among others.To say whatever it was they set out to accomplish with the film was thoroughly depredated with an embarrassingly unfunny-as-fuck dub by nose candy-fiends from Dekaub Ave, failing miserably at recreating dated celebrity voices(The multilingual Lee, for example, delivered his lines in English, then provided his unmistakable booming voice for the French and English dubs, which the video version avoids altogether somehow) oblique storyline, and extensive incoherent guillotine cuts, might just be the understatement of the fucking year.The result is a horror-comedy that's painful to sit through and flatter than Audrey Hepburn's A cups, unaugmented by a fistful of Kleenex.Until I finally see an uncut French print of the film, I'm forced to say this: Dracula and Son, tu débites que des conneries sale éspece de grosse je-sais-pas-quoi.If that's not very funny to you French-tongued Woprophiles, then it's a perfect description, really.Onwards. It stands to reason that Dracula's French offspring(Bernard Menez) might indeed sound like Tennessee Tuxedo... After a cartoon intro that wouldn't look out of place as a Schoolhouse Rock episode, we turn to the year 1784 in eastern Romania, where a lady of breeding(Marie-Hélène Breillat) travelling by coach as driven by two cossack-types with Brooklyn yiddish accents(all together now, ha...ha...ha...)is whisked away from her stranded ride by the emissary to the Prince of Darkness, Juan Miguel Roberto Jose Fidel Martinez del Morto(aka/"Jim"), to the Count(Christopher Lee)'s castle, where she marvels at his organ(the musical instrument)while screwing in his coffin and becomes his bride, bearing him a male heir who gets rocked to sleep in a mini-coffin by his vampiric nanny, Brunhilda.Dracula's bride is transformed into smoldering cinders by the rays of daylight when she overdoes her first night out breaking in her new fangs, leaving the Count to deal with his mischievous son(he bowls a human skull into his mother's urn and drinks blood between transfusions while locking his nanny out of the castle as the sun rises) on his own.One hundred and twenty years go by without Victor(Bernard Menez) claiming a victim, obviously due to his lesser stature, false moustache, or perhaps its because he sounds exactly like Maxwell Smart.Over time, Dracula's castle is turned into the People's House of Pleasure and Proletariat Dancehall.With their parlour crawling with dancing Romanian pinkos, Dracula and Son make for Paris on a ship in the coffins of two French sailors, unaware the men are to be buried at sea.On the shores of a beach near Paris, Victor gets kicked in the face after a particularly humorless exchange with a gaggle of ruffians beating the piss out of each other, while his father turns up in a fishing net aboard the Cucaracha, and after hearing the Mexican fisherman exclaiming, "Mira! Mira!" wonders,"Fools!Don't they know vampires can't be seen in mirrors?".I'm gonna give you a minute to change yer piss-pants now... I don't know about its effect on vampires, but I sure find it repugnant enough. After a whole laughless bit with Victor trying to find shelter from the sun while avoiding the swishy advances of a French homo who ends up about to get fag bashed by two old Jaques-types, we see the Count bite the neck of a blow up doll.Victor gets a job in a hospital morgue and robs blood banks for sustainance(yaaawn), then his father gets mistaken for Christopher Lee(!) while stalking a victim earning himself the lead role in a low budget horror movie called 'Blood of the Vampire'.He bites a chatty co-star and fools her into opening the door during daylight hours to stop her incessant yapping.He and Victor are reunited at the airport among a small group of paparazzi who goad over the Count's Gucci coffin-bag.The duo go coffin-shopping for Victor and he dreams of being his father on the movie set, repeating takes of the same sequence over and over doing dated celebrity voice impressions like W.C. Fields and Jimmy Cagney.Meanwhile his father spots the reincarnation of his lost love in the beautiful young Nicole(also Marie-Hélène Breillat), who's seemingly only interested in using his likeness for a toothpaste advertisement(yaaaaaaaawn), but after the lame gag-laden game spit by young Victor, she runs to the Count to prove her love to him.A jealous Victor continually cock blocks his old man until the Count throws his alarm clock out the window and goes to Nicole's pad.Victor chucks his old man's designer coffin-bag out the window and when he agrees to do the toothpaste commercial, he's shamed on set by the Count, causing Victor to pack up and split.Young Dracula manages to bed Nicole while posing as his father and discovers he can travel during sunlight hours and has regained his reflection.Nicole draws open an early morning curtain while Victor and the Count argue about his new humanity and the old vampire is reduced to ashes.Five years later, we see young Dracula and Nicole have raised a pair of children as they discover their young son has some pretty sharp eye teeth.Yeah, it's finally over.Roll credits. Sir Chris's grill says it all here, doesn't it? I shouldn't like to think about how many times I've actually sat all the way through this fetid sac du merde, due to the many copies I've ripped for buddies in years passed, but whatever the number is, it's too fucking many.In fact, any individuals hurt by my penchant for occasional meanspiritedness and cruelty can point to my viewing this movie as the starting line for my antisocial behavior, no doubt.I can only recommend this to Christopher Lee completists and those few champions of unfunny comedies(I'm usually among their number, just not here.), and even those will be visibly disappointed by their viewing experience, I'd wager.Until a definitive uncut French language print turns up in a Vichy bunker-turned-coffee shop someday, it's just one wop on the scale for Dracula, and his son, considerably less.Avoid like a Yes album. Can't blame him, I'd be biting that neck myself.
"Screams and moans and bats and bones, teenage monsters in haunted homes. The ghost on the stair, a vampire's bite.Better beware, there's a full moon tonight!" as crooned by horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr. during the title sequence of tonight's review is but a mere hint at the lunacy in store for viewers who sit down to this cult classic, as directed by the man responsible for such jazzy numbers as 1966's Blood Bath and Mondo Keyhole, as well as later grindhouse black-taculars like Coffy(1973) and Foxy Brown(1974), the one and only Jack Hill.Shot for just over sixty grand in twelve days at the Smith Estate in Los Angeles four years earlier(the original producer went belly up somewhere along the line), Baby boasts of a stellar cast comprised of a drip-dry Chaney, Jr.(a rarity if you pay any mind to the old stories), Carol Ohmart, soap opera regular Quinn Redeker, bug-eyed comedian Mantan Moreland, and cult fave Sid Haig in an early turn, among others.Don't let the black and white film stock fool you, woprophiles, this one's crazier'n droppin' blotter acid in Manhattan on Halloween with Gary Busey chaperoning over you.For serious.Interestingly enough, the film was 'rediscovered' in recent years, spawning a modest three year tour as a musical(!) whose soundtrack was the last project recorded at the late, great Buck Owens' Bakersfield recording studio.An independent remake of the film was planned in ought-seven, but never seems to have gotten off the drawing board(you know how I feel about remakes in the first place, so yeah, good!).I think I first got turned on to this one as a surprisingly entertaining mid-week shot in the dark back in the VHS rental days, though I definitely frowned upon the keeping of mutant relatives in the cellar.Mine lived directly across from me...Ba dum bump. Girls out there who play "Spider", give yourselves +2. Living in a bedraggled estate on the end of town are the three adult progeny of the Merrye family, the sole bloodline cursed with a genetic disorder that causes one to mentally and socially regress rapidly down the evolutionary ladder the older they get, as evidenced by the cellar full of inbred cannibalistic mutants sentenced to darkness and shadows, that the children call aunts, uncles, and cousins.The Merryes make the Addams Family look like the fucking Patridges, is what I'm saying here.There's Virginia(Jill Banner), who's sixteen going on six, nicknamed 'Spider Baby' for her affinity to eat bugs and tie people up like a spider's prey with ropes and slash and stab them repeatedly with two sharpened kitchen knives.Whenever she plays 'spider', some sorry son of a bitch meets his maker.Elizabeth(Beverly Washburn) displays a child-like innocence side-by-side with tartareous brutality while her mute brother Ralph(Sid Haig) uses the dumb waiter for transportation and is a sexually aggressive baldheaded moron(I've heard one or two brawds describe me the same way, no worries).The siblings, who's dead father's remains are kept upstairs in a bedroom(Virginia gives him goodnight kisses!) are looked after by the oafish Bruno(Lon Chaney, Jr.), a chauffer/chaperone who vainly tries to keep their madness to a minimum.One day, Bruno returns from his errands to find the slumped body of a black messenger(Mantan Moreland)suspended in the window, Virginia's latest 'spider' playmate.He chastises the unhinged teen like a toddler in the sandbox before relating the news of the impending arrival of two distant relatives claiming to be the rightful heirs to the Merrye legacy.You know, I'll just bet that some hilariously disturbing hijinks are about to ensue... Tocar!Tocar!Quien es? Tiny fucked a stump. Peter(Quinn Redeker) and Emily(Carol Ohmart) arrive at the mansion, with a lawyer(Karl Schanzer) and his assistant(Mary Mitchel) in tow, to assess the property, insistant on staying, despite Bruno's best warnings about the family's dangerous mental illness, convinced the siblings' lunacy is merely an act to drive them away.Shoulda listened to the big goon while you had the chance, folks.After sitting down to a delectable dinner of mushrooms(only the non-poisonous variety, handpicked, of course), spiders, bugs, and grass(!), with the main course provided by Ralph, who killed a local stray cat just for the occasion(!!), Emily does her best to maintain a cool exterior unmarred by the contents of her stomach, while Peter incredibly puts forth compliments on the delicious meal(!!!).Everything really goes to Hades in a handbasin when Bruno leaves the 'kids' to their own devices so that he can run an errand.Really, Bruno?The dead messenger's disembodied ear in a matchbox kept by Spider Baby wasn't screaming "Watch these psychopathic lunatics like a hawk!"?The girls murder the lawyer, dumping his corpse in the cellar to be devoured by their even further deranged relatives, while Emily shows off her figure in a black neglige, which sets off Ralph, who's been peeptomming her, to chase then make shithouse rat-crazy love to her(!), bringing her own case of Merrye's to the surface and causing her to go homicidally nympho in the process.Bruno returns home to find the bloody aftermath with cellar-dwelling relatives running free, and realizing the family's terrible secret will now go public, his control of the siblings forever lost.He sets off some dynamite and blows the entire estate, himself and all crazy Merryes included, to kingdom come, with only Peter managing to escape the blast.As at the outset, he smugly relates his horrible tale to the camera, boasting that the mental illness known as Merrye's Syndrome was never seen again thereafter, though his daughter, who more than resembles Virginia, is seen lovingly admiring a spider in its web.A question mark appears on the end title card. "It isn't nice to hate." quips the caretaker, Bruno(Lon Chaney, Jr.). It's pretty rare that a film with a mordant storyline successfully handles it with such humorous delight and twisted flair, but tonight's review is surely one of them.Even the more gruesome moments are executed with an off-camera class, probably adding to the deliria abound in the movie.Chaney, Jr. is genuinely warm and likable as Bruno, giving the best performance of the latter half of his film career, I'd argue.The pixie-esque Jill Banner was tragically killed in a car accident by a drunk driver in 1982 at the tender age of 35 while developing scripts for Marlon Brando.I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit knowing Redeker spent long years portraying Rex Sterling on Young and the Restless, but it is what it is.Ohmart you'll likely remember as Vincent Price's treacherous wife in 'House on Haunted Hill'(1959), but she had a long running career on television, as well, also appearing in 1974's Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe.Haig, long a cult celebrity and familiar antagonistic face in b-movies and television, has been in damn near everything and has no less than five new movies in production at the time of this writing.Well, shit the bed!Spider Baby stands as a cult classic of the ages, and optimum viewing for genre fans as All Hallow's Eve draws ever nearer.On the scale, three solid Wops and a strong recommendation. Would aaaaaaand...would.Yes.
It gives me great pleasure to painstakingly peruse through one of my fave Fulci flicks of all-time for you here, tonight, a deliciously bleak and violently misogynistic giallo, oft-shrouded in a swirling vortex of conservative controversy over its frank portrayals of violence against women.I shouldn't have to mention this, but such aggression towards chicks is only cool during zesty boudoir roleplay between two consenting deviate adults.Don't kill anybody.Now that we've gotten that outta the way, back to tonight's review.Papa Lucio also co-wrote the De Angelis production, known internationally as "New York Ripper"(as opposed to the Pennsylvanian variety), with Dardano Sacchetti and two others, hiring the late maestro Francesco De Masi to handle the soundtrack duties, while Rosario Prestopino, Franco Di Girolamo, and Maurizio Trani tackled the uber-graphic splatter effects abound in the film.To dress his grim stage this time around, Fulci enlisted the talents of Jack Hedley and Howard Ross, as well as familiar Italian names like Andrea Occhipinti, Alexandra Delli Colli, Zora Kerova, and Daniela Doria, while saving cameos for director Michele Soavi and himself, as always(this time he's the chief of police).Fulci's seedy vision was set upon almost immediately by censors' razor blades worldwide, with an uncut version still unavailable in puritanical Dear Old Blighty(even Blue Underground's bluray and Shameless Films releases have at least thirty-two of the nastiest seconds excised from their respective prints).In being a giallo that sinks unflinchingly lower into perversity than most others of its ilk, Ripper also stands as a cinematic record for all-time of the grittily glorious Forty-Deuce in midtown Manhattan, its porn parlours and grindhouse theaters now a mere memory for those who may have trudged its dirty sidewalks regularly(ahem)during the era.Don't judge me, you dicks... Must be a cadav-rador retriever.Sorry, kids. At the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, an old man's dog fetches the disembodied, decaying hand of a murdered hooker instead of the stick he threw, leading Lt. Williams(Jack Hedley) to interrogate the ex-streetwalker's busybodied landlady, who claims she eavesdropped on a phone conversation a week earlier between the whore and one of her johns, who spoke like a duck.Meanwhile, a young bicyclist(Cinzia De Ponti) looking to vandalize the car of an angry motorist aboard the Staten Island Ferry, instead bumps into a mysterious stranger who quacks like a duck as he guts her like so much human tilapia with his trusty switchblade, leaving her eviscerated body in the vehicle for authorities to discover on the other side.After catching heat from the chief(Lucio Fulci) for leaking the threat of a serial killer to the newsmedia, Williams is informed that someone sounding like a duck called and asked to speak with him.Williams enlists the services of Columbia University's own leading psychotherapist, Dr. Davis(Paolo Malco), to help profile the brutal woman-hating murderer on the loose in the Big Apple.That night, a raincoated well-to-do New Yorker(Alexandra Delli Colli) watches a live sex show while tape recording the lovemaking sounds of the couple on stage, while in turn being watched by an eight-fingered undesirable(Howard Ross) who's sitting in the same row.Backstage, the female performer(Zora Kerova) takes a broken bottle from a quacking assailant to her vagina, and is slit open long ways, to her abdomen.Yiiikes.Williams is awoken from the arms of a prostitute named Kitty(Daniela Doria) by a phone call from the quacking ripper himself, confessing that he's struck again.Elsewhere, Dr. Lodge(Laurence Welles) approves of his wife's latest tape recording, settling in to listen to it, as she takes advantage of their open living arrangements to be goaded and sexually harrassed by young hispanics who big toe her pantiless pussy at a bar in a bad neighborhood. Quack!Quack!Quack!Quack!He broke a bottle and stabbed up her crack. On the subway, Fay Majors(Almanta Keller) struggles to avoid the creepy advances of the same eight-digit creep from the stroke parlour, only to be attacked by the titular fiend in a dark alleyway, getting her arms and leg slashed in the process.Her boyfriend Peter(David Bunch) is surprised to hear that she imagined him to be the switchblade bearer in her groggy delusions when he visits her in the hospital the next day.Lodge's wife has taken up with the pervert with the incomplete mitt for some hotel room-based sadistic sex when she overhears a radio deejay talking to the 'New York Ripper' while describing the scumbag who's fallen asleep and left her tied to the bed(!).She manages to free herself and slip out unnoticed, only to be gutted by the real killer for her troubles.Williams and company are sure this porn-addicted Greek lowlife is their man, despite Davis' reservations that he doesn't fit the highly intelligent profile that he's built for the Ripper-at-large.Williams receives another phone call from the killer, who boasts that he's about to dedicate a murder to the lieutenant.The police trace the call to a remote phone booth where a two-way radio has been strategically placed, as the Ripper takes a razor blade to Williams' frequent trick, Kitty, splitting her nipples and midsection open before bifurcating her open eyeball with it(!!).Williams arrives just in time to find her mutilated body, but too late for the killer.When the eight-fingered pervert turns up eight days dead, a victim of suicide by suffocation, the authorities deduce that he couldn't have been the killer, since Kitty bought the farm only four days ago.We're then introduced to Suzy, Fay's boyfriend's daughter from a previous marriage, who suffers from a rare bone malady that has caused doctors to amputate her left arm and right leg.The cops speed to Fay and Peter's place, where duck-like phone calls are received and overheard.Fay slashes her beau with a kitchen knife, causing him to start quacking maniacally(ah-HA!), but before he can add her to his growing list of victims, Williams blows most of his grillpiece away with a well-placed bullet.In the ambulance, Davis explains Peter's underlying hatred for promiscuous women, since his ailing daughter would never be able to grow up and enjoy such freedoms herself.From the hospital bed, a tearful Suzy calls out for her daddy to answer the phone... Waxing or laser removal might be a less painful option.Just sayin'. I can still remember my next-door neighbor showing up at my patio door with a freshly rented Vidmark pan n' scan VHS tape, and the two of us heartily laughing it up at the quacking, in between gasps at the visceral midsection jabs dearest Lucio took at his audience in delivering radical blame to the very genre medium he happened to be working in here.Ripper is by no means a very nice movie, but it is extremely well-made(perhaps too well) and a neccessary evil for collectors of such savage cinema.Ignore the film's many nay-sayers and detractors, lacking the hindsight to see where Fulci was going with this one, and check it out for yourselves.You'll probably like it nearly as much as I do.On the scale, New York Ripper earns three vividly gory B.W.s, truly a one of a kind film as realized by a master of exploitative cinema.Highly recommended. "La violenza è arte italiana!"
We've got a real fucking gem for you, the eagerest of woprophiles, to feast your glassies upon tonight, kids.An Italian exploitative classic and original BBFC-certified 'video nasty' as helmed by Enzo Castellari's dad(!), that mixes two subgenres(cannibals and zombies, though the powdery, Moe Howard-wigged natives do all of the glorious gut-munching here) with often hilarious results.In a mad rush to emulate Fulci's Zombi 2 and Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust all the way to the bank, the film's producers hastily slung together some mind bogglingly uber violent, cheap-looking gore(as provided by Maurizio Trani and Rosario Prestopino), naked thrills(as frequently served up by Alexandra Delli Colli), some identical shooting locations to Fulci's earlier film, and a cast comprised of regular genre names like Ian McCullough, Donald O'Brien, and Sherry Buchanan around a slapdash Fabrizio DeAngelis script(?) and Nico Fidenco score.Two years later, Aquarius Releasing slapped two and a half minutes from an unfinished 1977 anthology project entitled 'Tales That'll Tear Your Heart Out' onto the beginning, re-edited the film for pacing, replaced the score, whipped up a gloriously demented one sheet based on a photo of Salvador Dali(!), and changed the title to the familiar Dr. Butcher, MD, and the rest, as the late, great Chas Balun would say, is chunk-blowin' history.I remember picking up the Paragon VHS at the long gone General Radio outlet in Wilkes-Barre and thinking to myself, "Look at this, this has to be a fucking masterpiece!" as I greedily drank in the screenshot of the split-wigged cannibal on the back of the box while my father coarsely grilled one of the salespeople about a non-existent porno section.We Monteforte boys know how to live, that's for sure. Apply more chicken gizzards to this patient's midsection, nurse... After various body parts start disappearing from cadavers and turning up in the hungry gullet of a local immigrant hospital worker, who, upon screeching discovery, makes with an impromptu swan dive out an upper floor window only to break an arm off on the concrete below like the cheap mannekin he was, no doubt, in life.It just so happens that one of the morgue assistants, the oft-nakies Lori(Alexandra Delli Colli) just happens to be an anthropology buff(what are the chances.), and as such, she pinpoints the origin of the late heart-chewin' rascal to be Asian(Molucca, to be precise), and with the crack detective work of Dr. Chandler(Ian McCullough), the duo unravel the mystery of some primitive symbolism found at the anthropophagal crime scenes, which have extended past their own place of employment and into any surrounding hospitals that have unfortunately hired on any Moluccans of late.They enquire about the term 'Kito' to Lori's colleague and top anthropologist, Professor Stafford, who relates that it's not only the name of an island where the mythical cannibal god of the same name existed, but also the residence of a primitive tribe who comprise the 'Sect of Kito' that worships him through blood sacrifices and cannibalism.Lori finds her pad rummaged through and her ceremonial Kito dagger's been ruthlessly ganked.Call the cops? Meh, call the tourism agent.I'm sold, book the flight, baby.Joined by Susan, George(Sherry Buchanan,Peter O'Neil), and a dusty Jeep-driving guide, they track down Dr. Obrero(Donald O'Brien), a world famous surgeon who's apparently content playing doctor for the natives in a jungle Hell, and who assigns the aptly-named Mulotto(Dakar) and four bearers to Chandler's expedition into the green inferno to Kito, at the opposite end of the archipelago.Lori, shagged from the flight, strips down to knickers n' tits for a refreshing shower, unaware she's being spied upon by a powder-pussed cannibal in a Moe Howard wig, who's cruel, primitive, and absolutely unwilling to accept any form of civilization, just outside her window.Cue annoying, dated 80's synth stab. "You call that an eye gouge, you turkeyneck? Wait'll I get ya in the ring!" Lori returns from her shower to find a maggot-ridden human head and Kito symbol scrawled in blood under her bedsheets.After finding a well-mown patch of lawn grass in the dense jungle to set up camp in, one of the bearer's screams interrupts the party's campfires that night.The next day, Susan shriekingly stumbles across his mutilated remains in the grass, a Kito symbol spraypainted on a nearby tree.These mugs don't muck about.One of the porters tries to make a break for it, but unwittingly springs a bamboo spear trap on himself, as the approaching cannibals slit his throat, drinking the arterial spray, before gutting him longways and eating his innards raw.That night, Lori's forced to split the wig of a peeping cannibal outside her tent as the last porter takes a fatal bamboo harpoon to the labonza.The next day, the wily flesh-eaters lassoo a screaming Susan with a red satin sash-lariot and carry her off into the bushes.In the melee, George gets fish-gutted against a tree, as hungry natives pluck both his eyes out and eat them.The others are about to suffer the same fate, when an oatmeal-faced zombie with soundstage echoed groans appears and scares off the gut-munching primitives in the nick of time.The three survivors make it to Obrero, who points them to a rubber dinghy that's guarded by another cheap-looking zombie, who Peter de-face-ifies with an outboard motor(!).Afterwards, he and Lori find another zombie wearing Susan's bloody scalp like a toupee.Meanwhile, the scalpless Susan is about to have her jugular vein opened by Obrero, who's been secretly creating an army of mindless zombies by placing the brains of the living into the bodies of the recently dead all the while.It figures, man.When Susan's incessant screams annoy the good doctor, he removes her vocal cords(!!).His mad dreams of playing God are rudely interrupted by the cannibals, who have declared Lori their queen after stripping her naked and painting juvenile hippie flowers all over her and placing her naked ass in a primitive stone spreadagle-contoured fuck table, descending upon the doctor and his zombies in a climactic orgy of bad makeup and cheap ultraviolence as flames engulf his crazed work and credits roll. Wop's diagnosis:Wind knocked out. For years I made do with the German Dragon dvd release, which includes a nifty inlay card with meaty collage and 53 movie filmography for Girolami spanning 30 years (layed out over a shot of Delli Colli in the fuck table, mind you), extended/deleted scenes, and a trailer, until I stumbled upon the recent Media Blasters/Shriek Show disc(superior transfer for such a piece of shit, bravo, boys!) for less than what I'd pay for a pack of smokes in Manhattan, at a video clearance outlet.That's really what tonight's movie is, folks, eight bucks worth of Italian exploitative goodness that's sure to please gorehounds and genre nuts alike.If you're going in for substance or quality, you're bound to be highly disappointed.Still, the American one sheet has to be considered one of the best of the fabled era, so give yourself +2 if you've got it framed on the walls of your digs.On the scale, of course, Holocaust is another one Wopper, but when has that ever stopped you from checking it out?Track it down... Don't worry, sweetheart, it only hurts sliding in the first time...
Tonight, we explore the colorfully gothic pioneer effort by the late barrel-chested Spanish writer/actor/director Jacinto Molina, or Paul Naschy, as he's globally recognized; the man who carried the baton of lycanthropy in the horror reel-ay of the seventies and eighties.Originally released as "La Marca del Hombre-Lobo"(The Mark of the Wolfman, por supuesto), then repackaged for American audiences in glorious 70 mm Chill-O-Rama 3D by Sam Sherman, who inserted a groovy bleeding animated pre-title sequence into the film that explained the total lack o' Frankenstein in the flick, despite the misleading title.Though there's no Tall, Green, n' Sewn-together-out-of-corpses to be found, fans of cheesy horror can rest assured there's still plenty for them to wrap their glassies around here, not excluding:climactic werewolf v. people, werewolf v. werewolf, and even werewolf v. vampire battles that all seem to transpire upon classically eerie locales, and even a hint of the grue and sexuality that viewers would find buckets n' knickersful in the later film chronicles of Molina's tragic hispanic, Waldemar Daninsky.Naschy's werewolf, besides having a propensity for awkwardly leaping upon his victims, was a damned sight more brutal than the lycanthropic portrayals of earlier actors like Lon Chaney, Jr., Henry Hull, or Steven Ritchie(!), borrowing more from Oliver Reed's snarlingly memorable turn(I think, anyway), with goopy blood seemingly ever-dripping from his plastic dimestore fangs(!!).The whole sordid affair has been lovingly restored on dvd by the fiends over at Shriek Show/Media Blasters with extended and deleted scenes(from the original Spanish cut of the film), trailers, interviews, tv spot, easter eggs, and still gallery.If you're too high brow to include shlocky fun of the highest order in your snooty movie shelves, and you're too much of a skirt-wearin' Mary to slam your own head in the refrigerator for me(I fucking hate most snoot-bags), then just rent this one out and give it a shot, it might leave you howling, if only for the wrong reasons... Just tease the head, baby.You know how I gotta have it. After some nonsense about the Frankensteins being cursed for their crimes with the mark of the werewolf, and thus, becoming Wolfsteins, we're transported to a masquerade ball as held at a count's mansion, where a swarthy stranger decked out in a red Robin Hood outfit strolls up and cockblocks the countess' boyfriend while telling her that he's none other than "His Satanic Majesty" himself.No, he's really Waldemar Daninsky(Paul Naschy)in flashy disguise, and all of her sex is belongs to him now, plix.The countess and her less barrel-chested beau, Rudolph, decide to explore castle ruins near Waldemar's digs, but he cuts their Scooby Doo antics short with long-winded legends about the silver crucifix-staked corpse of Lord Wolfstein located in the family crypts.Daninsky then invites a gypo couple to seek refuge within the walls of the abandoned castle.As gypos often do, they repay his kindness by pilfering wine and attempting to rob the tomb of the lord of the manor.You remember, the one with the dagger eternally shanked into him?Probably a bad move.No sooner than the greedy tramps can pull the blade from the remains, they're set upon by a vicious werewolf.Faced with the murder of a couple of fellow aristos, the Count organizes a hunting party for the lycanthrope now terrorizing the land that consists of Waldemar and Rudolph, who's nearly wolf-bitten in the ass, but saved in the nick by his new pal, who, unfortunately, isn't as lucky.Suddenly grateful, Rudolph speeds the pentagram-scarred Daninsky back to his pad, for to chain his ass up before the full moon rises.Yeah, I 've got a funny feeling those chains'll never hold him once he goes all Shaggy D.A.... That's right, Waldemar(Paul Naschy).It's the turtleneck dungeon for you. Once the lunar rays hit Waldemar, he turns into a snarling bundle of crepe wool fury via psychedelic bleeding screen effect, making short work of his shackles and even shorter work of two unfortunate peons nearby(the male gets his monkey ass handed to him, throat ripped out in the process, then set afire like a pile of debt collectors notices at one of Smith's Bonfires of Irresponsibility).The countess searches for her new love interest, despite the disapproval of her old love interest, only to find him chained up in the dungeon and pleading to be eighty-sixed before he treats anymore peasants like Rodney King on a Friday night bender.They discover some forty year old letters from Wolfstein to a Dr. Mikelhov(Julián Ugarte), concerning a cure for lycanthropy, while rummaging through the castle study.They contact the good doctor, who agrees to help the ailing Daninsky, but when he arrives with his wife under the cover of some timely, atmospheric fog, he helps to chain the poor bastard to a dingy dungeon wall instead.Rudolph is seduced n' tapped by the doc's wife, and the countess suffers a similar fate at the hands of Mikhelov, who also chains Lord Wolfstein into the cell with Waldemar.Doctor, my balls, he's a sassy aristo-vampire, and so's his old lady!Both prisoners transform into werewolves and square off in a Spanish dungeon deathmatch that proves fatal for the hairy lord, who gets gnawed on like a moldy strip of teriyaki beef jerky by the younger, more virile crepe wool-face.The next night Waldemar stakes Mrs. Mikhelov betwixt the chest circles, but as he's about to likewise oblige her blood-drinking husband, he's got the nerve to rise from his coffin.There's an artsy slo-mo sequence contrasting the vampire's grace and the werewolf's brutality, after which the wolfman does the poor man's Dracula like a roid raged barbarian a'snatch-pursin' Granny Clampett.The countess then helps her love to store some hot silver in his chest, freeing him from both the curse and his tragically short lifespan.Roll the credits... "Jou wan' soam o' dis, ese?Doan choo know I'm lobo?!!" Naschy would follow this effort up with 1970's Assignment Terror and The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman in 1971, La furia del Hombre Lobo(1972), Dr. Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo(1972), Curse of the Devil(1974), Night of the Howling Beast(1975), Night of the Werewolf(1981), La bestia y la espada mágica(1983), Licántropo: El asesino de la luna llena(1996), and finally, the direct-to-video Tomb of the Werewolf(2004), all with some incarnation of his Waldemar Daninsky character.He died on November 30th, 2009, at the age of 75, after a long career in genre film spanning 100 films, while enjoying an unexpected resurgence in popularity.Predating the vampire-werewolf battles of the Underworld series by several decades, tonight's entry won't make anybody forget those movies, but it is a good, empty-headed time to be had for fans of lycanthropy-based horror movies and b-movie bad/goodness.On the scale, don't let the single Wop score fool you.Add to your query, you know you wanna... "...derecho entre los melones!Ayiiiiii!"
There's really no mistaking the difference between a film by maestro Mario Bava and one directed by his son, Lamberto.I think you know where I'm going here.Tonight we'll be looking at one of the latter(we'll never run out of movies to review here at the Wop, never, you hear me?!!), and not one of Lamberto's crowning cinematic achievements, either.Known alternately as "Monster Shark" and "Devil Fish", tonight's muddled-but-ambitious aqua-giallo, partially penned by Luigi Cozzi(and Dardano Sacchetti and Sergio Martino and Lamberto Bava and...), as evidenced by the inclusion of his obligatory 'Stella' character, predates the SyFy 'original', "Sharktopus", by twenty-six years, for those of you out there that happen to be keeping score on this sort of thing.In the end, though, it's just another Italian Jaws rip-off afterall, made more laughably rotten by a Velveeta-laden soundtrack as realized by Guido and Maurizio DeAngelis, a corrugated cardboard cutout creature created by Ovidio Taito, and a second unit director named Mattei(yeah, him).Still, you might be able to make it all the way through this one if, like me, boobs, blood, bad acting, and an extra hokey ratiocination are what you oftimes groove upon, as there are plenty of all of those to keep it entertaining throughout. "Arggggh! That thing is making off with my new Bruno Magli's!!!" A couple enjoying a leisurely cruise(in a toy boat launched in an aquarium in certain establishing shots, mind you) at sunset is interrupted by the rubbery suction cups of a tentacle arm that vigorously smashes their boat and kills them off-camera.Dr. Stella Dickens(Valentine Monnier) feeds dolphins and researches them scientifically, as evidenced by her clipboard and pencil she's carrying around.Uhhh, "do tricks for fish", check.At the same time, the Coast Guard helicopter has spotted the pre-credit boat wreck, sending screeching rescue divers to rummage for survivors.Meanwhile, Dr. Hogan(Lawrence Morgant), a marine biologist who never met a pop top can of beer he didn't like, is picking up strange sounds from a sonar buoy he's towing behind the "Seaquarium", his not-so-cleverly-named research ship.The divers pull a legless corpse from the murky water via rescue harness, as Hogan's boat is suddenly attacked, with Dickens' dolphins schitzing out at the exact same moment.The autopsy of ol' legless proves inconclusive, as the sheriff(Gianni Garko) tells his 'roid-ripped deputy to photograph the body.Hogan later tells Dickens that the sound he captured on his equipment during the boat attack resembled a voice, and then, a "terrifying sound filled with hate"(he must've recorded the sound of my first stretch of the morning).Enter Peter(Michael Sopkiw), the resident electrician who's about to vacation in New York with "three beautiful women"(Electricians get all the pussy) when Stella pulls up on her motorcycle and flirtingly begs him to build a Santa's Naughty or Nice-sized list of electronic equipment instead, to the chagrin of his sensual mulatto/terrone-esque assistant/lover, Sandra, who's watching in the wings.Wow, a lot of shit's going down in this one, too bad, none of it is any good... Washed up on the beach...sorta like Pamela Anderson these days. Let the makin' out commence(cue:Mad Magazine flexi-disc, you know you've still got yours...).At West Ocean International, named after Professor West(William Berger), of course, Dr. Davis indiscreetly makes out with West's wife Sonja while elsewhere, Peter goes the tonguey route with Sandra, only to get roughed up by some henchmen who smash the hi-tech equipment he'd been burning the midnight oils to finish for Stella."They smashed the converter...You work all night and they smash it to bits!", he says.Meanwhile, a scuba diver who's just been harrassed by stock footage of various different shark species gets chewed up but good in the prehistoric yap of our titular monster shark, while a W.O.I. lab assistant has also mysteriously turned her toes up.The sheriff decides that its a murder alright, investigation notwithstanding.Another body is discovered on the pier, and some highly detailed plaster casts are made from the bite wounds that reveal one mutha of a toofus.Peter, Stella, Bob, his beer cans, and Sandra set off on a sonar-heavy boat to search for the monster, and after Bob chucks his empty into the ocean(kind of odd behaviour for a marine biologist, eh?)and the creature plays chicken with the bottom of the ship, appearing as a glorious eight-bit graphic on Peter's scope, Bob throws more cans into the water, and the crew celebrates capturing the monster's noises on their equipment.The lone survivor to this point flatlines at the hospital, causing the doctor to defibrillate him eleven times in rapid succession before stating that "fear" killed him(yeah, that or the 165 thousand volts you just sent through him...).Cutting through a bible's worth of banal dialogue and sub-plots that go nowhere fast, the creature is, to quote Dr. Davis, "A marine monster, almost indestructible*. And whose genetic characteristics are as fearsome as the white shark's. A gigantic octopus with the intelligence of a dolphin, and as monstrous as a prehistoric creature." *(unless there's an electrician with flame throwers around) "Now that you're all gathered around, and I've delivered my last words, I can die dramatically." Bava, who's credited as "John Old, Jr." here, followed this uncomprehensible garbage up with the ever-popular cult classic Demoni(1985), then Midnight Killer, and Demoni 2 the following year.Sopkiw was a mid-eighties staple in Italian genre films, appearing in Sergio Martino's 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York(1983), Bava's Blastfighter(1984), Nudo e selvaggio(Massacre in Dinosaur Valley)(1985), and of course, this mutt.Berger, who worked with Bava's father on 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto(1970), enjoyed a long career in genre films, appearing in everything from Sabata(1969) and Keoma(1976) to Franco's Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun(1977) and Porco Mondo(1978), before passing away in 1993.I shouldn't have to say too much more about this one, you know what you're in for, and whether or not you're going to enjoy it at all.Technically speaking, on the scale, it's a One Wopper, all the way. Let's hear you say "mutated proto-dunkleosteus tentacles" five times fast.