Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Thirty Day Horror Challenge, Wopsploitation-Style...

I love a good horror challenge as much as anybody, but everytime I sit down to do one of these challenges, the categories are either too repetitive(serial killers and slashers, occult, supernatural, and Satanism, etc., etc.) or too vague, and seem to bank on the participant-in-question having only seen a sparse handful of movies in their short, miserable lives.I promised one of our avid readers here at Wopsploitation a while back, that I'd whip up a more inclusive horror challenge, with a wider range of categories over the thirty day period, and several cigarettes and Gordon Lightfoot albums on the headphones(I'm kinda mellowed out over here atm, whattayagonnado) later, here you have it.The rules are simple, just pick your favorite horror film for each day. However, you can’t pick the same horror film more than once(Gods forbid, you have to actually think about a few of the categories!).I'm looking forward to see what you all come up with...So let’s get horizontal, baby. This is the 30 Day Horror Film Challenge, Wopsploitation-style!
Day 01 – Your first horror memory:

It might not be my very first, but it's one of my strongest from the era.
Day 02 – Your favorite eco-horror film: Kingdom of the Spiders(1977)
Day 03 – Your favorite 80's slasher:Mil gritos tiene la noche(1982)
Day 04 – Your favorite modern werewolf film: The Howling(1980)
Day 05 – Your favorite Bigfoot-related horror movie: Night of the Demon(1980)
Day 06 – Your favorite vampire movie:Daughters of Darkness(1971)
Day 07 – Your favorite horror movie death:

NOTHING compares to this. You hear me, bitches?? Nothing.
Day 08 – Your favorite horror anthology:I tre volti della paura(1963)
Day 09 – Your favorite 'golden age' classic horror film: The Wolf Man(1941)
Day 10 – Your favorite psychological horror film: The Reflecting Skin(1990)
Day 11 – Your favorite horror/sci-fi blend: Terrore nello spazio(1965)
Day 12 – Your favorite toxic/nuclear mishap-based horror movie: C.H.U.D.(1984)
Day 13 – Your favorite horror comedy: Island of Death(1975)
Day 14 – Your favorite zombie film: Zombi 2(1979)
Day 15 – Your least favorite Argento movie:Trauma(1993)
"Halfway there, no quitting now, ya milquetoast pantywaists!"
Day 16 – Your favorite "scream queen":All-time? Barbara Steele.Currently? Danielle Harris.Take your pick.
Day 17 – Your favorite horror film remake:Last House on the Left(1972)
Day 18 – Your favorite Italian cannibal movie: Cannibal Holocaust(1979)
Day 19 – Your favorite British horror movie not produced by Hammer:Dog Soldiers(2002)
Day 20 – Your least favorite film by your favorite genre director: Zombi 3(1988)
Day 21 – Your favorite "Mad Doctor" horror film:
C'mon, this is pretty impossible to beat...
Day 22 – Your favorite independent horror film :Halloween(1978)
Day 23 – Your favorite made-for-TV horror film:Don't Be Afraid of the Dark(1973)
Day 24 – Your favorite (non-Dracula!) Christopher Lee horror vehicle:The City of the Dead(1960)
Day 25 – Your favorite Japanese horror film:Guinea Pig 2:Flower of Flesh and Blood(1985).Bet ya thought I was gonna say Ringu...
Day 26 – Your favorite makeup FX specialist/team:Giannetto De Rossi
Day 27 – Your favorite guilty pleasure:Blood Freak(1972)
Day 28 – Your favorite "trick ending":Carrie(1976)
Day 29 – Your favorite Gothic horror movie:The Legend of Hell House(1973)
Day 30 – Your favorite horror film of all time:Dellamorte, Dellamore(1994)

Monday, May 23, 2011

"CHAOS"(2005)d/David DeFalco


Photobucket Frank Black: Peter, why are you here?

Photobucket Peter Watts: The Millenium group takes an interest in certain types of cases.Copycat murders...and B-movie rip offs of cult classics. What do you feel about this one, Frank?

Photobucket Frank Black: ...Obviously this is a thinly veiled take on the Stilo gang back in the early seventies.Just look at that one sheet.

Photobucket David DeFalco: Hey, the original was unrealistic and hard to watch!

Photobucket B.W.: What are you doing directing movies? Shouldn't you be piledriving your cousin Vinnie outside his neoned up Camaro somewhere on Dekalb Ave?

Photobucket Peter Watts:"Lui che perfora tutte le madri..." He who gouges all the mothers.What are you doing here.

Photobucket B.W.:Weren't you in "The Stepfather"(1987)?So this guy thinks he outdirected this guy(remember, we're talking making movies here, not a steel cage match).I'm not even a huge Craven fan really, out of his twenty-nine directorial efforts I liked all of four that I've seen: Last House, Hills Have Eyes, Deadly Blessing, and Swamp Thing(If that was a batting average, mind you, Craven'd be sent down to the minors indefinitely).I'm fully aware that Craven's film was a remake of Bergman's Virgin Spring(which was, in turn, based upon a Swedish ballad from the thirteenth century), but it was a ground-breaking cult classic, not a derivative piece of unimaginative, hardened dog shit like this mess turned out to be.Mind the stench, as we examine more closely...

Photobucket Jordan Black:What's a 'steel cage match', Daddy?

Photobucket Frank Black:Nevermind, sweetheart.Go upstairs and finish packing for Grandma and Grandpa's.

Phyllis and Mar-uhhh, Emily(Chantal Degroat) and Angelica(Maya Barovich) looking to score some gras...errr, Ecstacy at a rock con...ummm, rave.

Photobucket B.W.:Way to dodge your parental responsibilities, Frank.She's been packing for granny's house for three seasons.You're gonna end up spending all your Millenium cash on psychologists couches for your daughter when she's a teenager.

Photobucket Frank Black:Whoa.You can see that?

Photobucket B.W.:Actually, I see you paying the bills in low-budget Bigfoot movies for the better part of this decade, but that's another story.

Photobucket Peter Watts:In 1972, the sadistic, criminal exploits of Krug Stilo, "Weasel" Podowski, Sadie, and Junior Stilo shocked and horrified audiences worldwide; the brutal murders of Phyllis Stone and Mari Collingwood as seen through the documentary-style lens of Wes Craven have provided horror fans with an all-time favorite for forty years and running.

Photobucket B.W.: Weren't you in "Pin"(1988)?"CHAOS"(2005) is the exact same story dumbed down for the next generation, with Kevin Gage as a watered-down, racist Krug with a shaved head and a taste for human nipples, Sage Stallone, forgettable as the Junior character, Kelly KC Quann as a sort of phony cheese-trash version of Sadie with badly drawn-on tattoos, and Steven Wozniak as an even more forgettable Weasel character.Instead of a rock concert, it's a rave in the woods.Instead of a bumbling sheriff, we get the obligatory white racist variety, and Emily/Mari(Chantal Degrout) happens to have mixed race parents this time around.

Photobucket David DeFalco:It's the most brutal movie ever made!

Photobucket B.W.:Do you look like that on purpose? The murders are realistically brutal, and choicely executed, granted.But overall, it's pale in comparison to Craven's original, and even as a straight up slasher, doesn't really break any new ground.I hate when I'm biding my time waiting for chicks to get hack n' slashed, and I found myself doing just that during this movie.But you know what really blows my mind about "CHAOS"(2005)?

Photobucket Frank Black:...that I live cement, I hate this street.Give dirt to me, I bite repent.This human form where I...

Photobucket Peter Watts:Who the hell is this?

Mastectomy.You're doing it wrong.

Photobucket Frank Black:...wrong Frank Black.

Photobucket B.W.:Come back to reality, Frank.It's never the wrong time for The Pixies.

Photobucket Lucy Butler:YOU...You son of a bitch...

Photobucket Frank Black:The base sum of all evil, Lucy Butler.I knew she'd turn up here.

Photobucket B.W.:...base sum of all crazy stalking bitches, more like.One twenty-five minute elevator interlude five years ago and she thinks I belong to her.Hit the bricks, baby!

Photobucket Lucy Butler:Won't you please come back to the house, Master?I've got a new dirty teddy and tape of muzak I want you to experience for yourself...

Photobucket B.W.:Get the hook, sister.If I wanted to hang out in a locked room and carve daily notches in the wood panelling, I'da never left my parents' place.
No wonder you're having difficulty passing stool, there's a knife lodged up yer keester, young lady!

Photobucket Lucy Butler:Are you sure about that?Muzak version of Hot Chocolate's "Every1's a Winner" on indefinite repeat...and the teddy's sheer.

Photobucket B.W.:Well, maybe we oughta wrap this case up afterall, boys.

Photobucket Peter Watts:What does "CHAOS"(2005) merit on your rating scale, B.W.?

Photobucket David DeFalco:Four wops! It's so brutal!

Photobucket B.W.:Shouldn't you be posing down shirtless in the LA County Morgue for the dvd extras or something?

Photobucket Frank Black:I see a low score.Probably zero if it wasn't for the gore effects.One.One wop.

Photobucket B.W.: This is who we are, brother.

Photobucket Peter Watts:A private consortium that the FBI subcontracts out to?

Photobucket B.W.:Your mother, too, Watts.

[fade to black]

[end titles]

CHAOS(Kevin Gage) wants you offa his lan'.G'wan, git.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cummin' Soon: for June

As we usher in another scorcher here in our fifth year and running, we'll be blowing the lid clear off of the sexy pressure cooker here in the cult kitchens of carnage and callaloo.We'll throw some sequels under the woproscope, as well as some Italian fantasy, Times Square grindhouse classics,Dracula in Jersey,Chinese gung foolery, Japanese splatter-porn, and guest she-blogger extraordinaire, Camiele White'll be playing Point/Counterpoint on some genre fare with yours cruelly.Hopefully she'll take it easy on me.We'll also kick off a long awaited 30 Day Horror Challenge, Wopsploitation-Style, for you eager woprophiles to participate in.Strong n' long, loud n' proud as always here at the Wop, because I couldn't do it any other way, and you wouldn't have it any other way, face it.

Here are some of the titles you can look forward to reading about:

Welcome Home, Brother Charles

William Girdler's Three on a Meathook

Dracula's Last Rites

Island of the Fishmen

Leatherface:The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

The Exterminator

Ip Man 2

Martial Club

My Young Auntie

The Re-Animator

Return of the Living Dead

Cannibal Ferox

Guts of a Virgin

...and more so long as I can manage to maintain a steady level of professionalism despite my propensity and inborn need to party my balls off on a regular basis.Hey, you guys never gave Hemingway or Burroughs grief about the multiple back-perched simians they battled with, and prayin's for church, as Johnny of the fancy driving gloves n' goggles clan once pointed out to his drape sister Barbara in a black and white Pittsburgh graveyard many, many moons ago.Mr. Cooper mighta thunk that the cellar was the safest place to be, but it's penthouse only here at the Wop(save for those moments we take to revel in the gloriously seedy, of course) and that's just 'cuz you guys are the best readers anywhere on teh entire interwebs.You keep readin', I'll keep writin'.

Wicked as Always,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Star 80"(1983)d/Bob Fosse

The story of Playboy's 1980 Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten is a sad one.The natural blonde knockout with the face of cherubic epiphanies and the body of Messalina had her meteoric rise cut tragically short at the age of twenty by her estranged husband and manager, Paul Snider, a small-time low life, who spent his days hustling, pimping, and organizing promotions at clubs in Vancouver before sinking his fetid talons into the part-time Dairy Queen worker he used to refer to as "his rocket to the moon".Two motion pictures were born out of the sordid tale, "Death of a Centerfold"(1981), a made-for-television feature starring cult scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis as Dorothy, and this effort from Bob Fosse, the writer/actor/choreographer/director responsible for iconic mainstream movies like Cabaret(1972), Lenny(1974), and All That Jazz(1979), which starred Mariel Hemingway as the young starlet.Hemingway even went as far as breast augmentation surgery before shooting started, but later claims she didn't do it for the film's sake.Director Peter Bogdanovich, who began an affair with Dorothy shortly before her death, is referred to as "Aram Nicholas" in the film, though Playboy founder/publisher/CCO Hugh Hefner is portrayed by film vet Cliff Robertson.Hef later sued the film's producers and Bogdanovich, frowning upon the negative chicken hawk vibe his character exudes in both the movie and the director's book on the subject.Though I've yet to receive my first invitation to the Mansion over here, I'll never shit on the dude, as his eye for beauty certainly coached me through those difficult years of puberty.As for tonight's entry, Hemingway fails to capture Sratten's drop dead gorgeous looks, and the whole production would've been a dud, were it not for an amazing, over-the-top Eric Roberts, who's tangible cinematic sleaze is so thick here, you might find yourself getting itchy just watching him.Let's boogie.
"Even if ya don't shign the conshent formsh, I can shtill forge yer shignature, Charlie..."
Innocent high school sundae-slinger, Dorothy Stratten(Mariel Hemingway) crosses paths with street-level shyster Paul Snider(Eric Roberts) while putting in a shift at Dairy Queen, and is instantly swept off her feet by his constant attention and lavish gifts.He proudly takes her to her prom garishly garbed out in a powder blue frilly tux, jealously shanking one of her ex's in the leg-meat with a pocket knife in a dance floor crowd.Before too long, Snider's snapping nude polaroids of her in seedy motel rooms and sending the finished product off to Playboy magazine, against the wishes of Dorothy's mother(Carroll Baker), later even forging her signature on consent forms.Hugh Hefner(Cliff Robertson) is instantly taken with her unique look, inviting her to become a centerfold for his magazine, and giving her a job as a Bunny in his club.Snider starts siphoning positive energies and cash flow from his host/girlfriend, buying expensive clothes, cars, and houses for himself while trying to make in-roads at the mansion, where his sleazy veneer is apparent to just about everybody.As Dorothy's star continues to rise, appearing on television shows and scoring bit parts in movies, her male counterpart becomes more codependent on her, eventually pushing her into a hasty marriage, amidst the protests of Hefner and company.Soon, Snider realizes he isn't a passenger on her bullet trainride to success, and his floundering business endeavors(Hey, I dug the cool fuck-bench he built) leave him bedding whores on broken promises and even taking Dorothy's little sister out, for... future business possibilities?Ahem.
Mariel as Dorothy Stratten vs. the real Dorothy Stratten.No contest.
Dorothy finds herself in a swirling vortex of raw emotion, realizing her husband/manager is a small-time hood, yet feeling surrounded by similarly-minded Paul clones behind every camera and fake smile, and somehow, maintaining a twisted sense of loyalty to Snider.All this comes to a head when she's interviewed by film director Aram Nichols(Roger Rees), who casts her in his latest movie.Snider grows more and more possessive and jealous as she's forced to spend long hours on the film set, where she and the director find themselves entering into a torrid affair.As she grows closer with Aram, she puts distance between she and Paul, moving in with Nichols and filing for divorce from Snider, who's hired a private detective to spy on her and bought himself a shiny new shotgun.Hmmmm.Despite pleas from Nichols for Dorothy to stay away from Paul, she gives in and arranges to see him at their former residence, which Snider has morbidly decorated ceiling to floor with pictures, posters, and cut outs of his ex.She offers him half of her worth in exchange for the divorce, but Snider is too beside himself with self-loathing and bitterness to agree to any amiable breaks.He begs her not to leave, threating to commit suicide while mistaking Dorothy's concern for pity or charity, which angers him even further.He becomes furious when Dorothy starts disrobing, fucking her roughly before putting the shotgun barrel to her head and squeezing the trigger.He props the naked and lifeless Playmate of the Year up on his custom fuck-bench and penetrates her again, before turning the gun on himself, and spraying the photo-covered walls with brain matter.A flashback shows the innocence and charm of the starlet during an earlier interview as the credits begin to roll.
"Sho that'sh the way it'sh done around here, ishn't it??!!"
Coincidentally, the final murder-suicide scene was filmed in the actual bedroom where the events took place.Though the real-life Paul Snider must have been one fuck of a turd to deal with, I'm forced to see director Peter Bogdanovich in the same grimy light, as, after Dorothy's death, he married her little sister who was twenty-nine years his junior eight years later.Cut from the same cloth, methinks.Roberts, on the other hand, does a bang up job as the selfish Snider, exaggerating his gestures and expressions for the camera as only he can, and ultimately providing the most entertainment of anyone involved.A fascinating story, handled relatively well by Fosse, using the same style editing as his efforts "All That Jazz" and "Lenny", and a must-see for any genre fans if mainly for Roberts' incredible performance.On the scale it earns a solid two big ones.Look for it.
Yeah, leave the Swiffer in the kitchen, I don't think it's gonna cut it this time.
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