Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Wild For Kicks" (1960) d/ Edmond T. Greville

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We'll see June off with a real vintage rebellious youth scorcher from the Brits, full of hep cats with acoustic guitars, chicken on the railroad tracks, "Hogs of the Road", and jazzy now birds who striptease for kicks. Many people have tried to finger the cause of the vein of delinquency rampant in the youth of the era, and the subsequent rise of subcultures like the Teds, Mods, Skins, Punks, etc. but maybe living for the moment, to the fullest, testing one's boundaries, reveling in the thrills, doesn't require investigation at all, since it's just the nature of the beast in question. But it sure makes for great exploitation fare, like tonight's movie...

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See! Plaid Shirt (Ollie Reed) go over and out, Dad.
Besides being a few letters away from being a flamboyant Hollywood Square, Paul Linden (David Farrar) is a retired British architect returning home to his sixteen year old daughter Jennifer (Gillian Hills), with his new French trophy bride, Nichole (Noelle Adam) in tow. Jenny is not much for bonding with her young stepmother, and would much rather sneak her ass out to the local coffee house, and surround herself with the  kick-craving "In Crowd" of beatniks who think drinking and fighting is for squares, as led by Dave (Adam Faith), who lugs around a guitar he doesn't play and often interrupts the house band, breaking into lip synched pop tunes that are waaay out there, Dad. Plaid Shirt (Ollie Reed) suppresses ( he desperately dives across a floor for a bottle of gin, only to get scolded by the straight-edgers) his desire to get knackered in keeping with the beatnik code and dances like one of those inflatable sky dancers you see flailing around outside used car dealerships, while Dodo (Shirley Anne Field) slings catch phrases of the day in a posh accent and doesn't mind a good necking party. Nichole, who's already familiar with the beat scene from her time in happening Paris, tries to bond with her stepdaughter, who, in the spirit of teenage rebellion, declares an all-out smear war on the well-meaning blonde.

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I say, ra-ther good show getting out of that restrictive clobber and putting your exotic naughties on display, eh wot?
When Nichole shows up at the aptly-named Off Beat Cafe' and embarrasses Jennifer in front of her bohemian peers, she is recognized by an old washed-up-on-the-beach stripper named Greta (Delphi Lawrence, uncredited), leading the little bitch to investigate Nichole's seedy past at the near by gentlemen's club, as run by Greta's unscrupulous flesh peddling beau, Kenny (Christopher Lee). Armed with the knowledge that her loving stepmother may have turned a trick or two in the rough spots, Jennifer goes jihad for kicks, partying in caves, racing in the dark on rear projected country roads that are under construction, laying her head on the rear projected railroad tracks with a train approaching, holding a striptease party in her sprawling estate, and even returning to the strip joint for an employment consultation with Kenny, who unforgettably exclaims, "Someone down there likes me!". If he's willing to allow a sixteen year old to enter his adult business in the first place, how far is this touchy feely chicken hawk willing to go? You'll find out when you sit down to screen Wild for Kicks for yourselves. I'm over and out, dad.

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"Cor, I've left me shift in Bristol!"
Gillian Hills, who also appeared in Antonioni's Blow Up (1966), you'll recall as one of the penis-pop-lapping devotchkas that Alex encounters while browsing music in A Clockwork Orange (1971). Adam Faith, who does provide two of his bubblegum tunes for the soundtrack (Field also sings "It's Legal"),  would turn up as the lead in 1971's short-lived Budgie series, and later in McVicar (1980) with Roger Daltrey of The Who. Farrar would give up acting just two years later. Diane D'Orsay and Pascaline also deserve mention for some choice on camera clothes-losing, sizzlingly sexy and provocative for their day, I'm sure. Overall, you won't do wrong to check this one out, with its wall-to-wall laugh out loud dialog, outrageous dance moves, and enticing eye candy. Three wops, among the best of its rabble-rousing kind. Recommended.

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"Pack your bags, my child. I've got two tickets to Inappropriate-ville right here.", coos Kenny (Christopher Lee).
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

"The Geek" (1971) d/ ?, "Erika's Hot Summer" (1972) d/ Gary Graver

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Tonight, I figured we'd gaze upon a double dip of exploitative shorts from the seventies, one's a forty-seven minute Bigfoot porn from San Francisco, the other's a sixty-five minute showcase of buxom brunette bombshell Erica Gavin, of Russ Meyer (Vixen, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) fame, courtesy of Gary Graver, the cinematographer-turned-porn-director (as Robert McCallum) who supplied such carnal classics as 3 AM (1975) and The Ecstasy Girls(1979). Neither of tonight's films is particularly effective or well-executed, but Erica's monumental assets are always easy on the eyes, under any circumstances. And to call The Geek a bad movie is tantamount to calling Sophia Loren good-looking, retaining a nanoparticle of entertainment value with it's cheap, laughable fun.

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"Oof! I can't tell where your dirty nipple ends and the carbuncle begins..."
After some cunt with a posh British accent provides us with a half-baked sasquatch (or, as he's also known for this particular stag loop's intent and purpose, and nowhere else, "The Geek") back story narrative, three pairs of unsavory-looking couples (Ric Lutze, porn performer and longtime partner of sex queen Rene Bond, is in there somewhere) pull up in a white Volkswagen mini bus, backpacking over flat, rolling hills (and flat stock music), looking for Bigfoot and not afraid to whip their ugly hippie junk out on camera and have graphic sex that's as unsexy as it is repugnant to behold. As if the smell couldn't have gotten any worse, the titular horny Geek makes the scene, only he's less sasquatch than he is lanky hillbilly moonshiner in a fur coat with shoe polish on his face, hands, and feet. Of course, that doesn't stop him from fumblingly showing a couple of the hippie broads the joys of interspecies rear penetration. Not even Bigfoot can maintain an erection in this mess. And if you thought the sex sucked, wait 'til you get a load of the climactic fight scene between hippie menfolk and a three-times-horny Geek that makes a vintage Santo punch up look like Drunken Master II. "Someday I'm going to get that filthy animal!", exclaims one of the wounded campers, no less a filthy animal, himself.

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What an autographed copy of La Sexorcisto might have cost for a White Zombie groupie back in '71.
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and our second feature...
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During the intermission, where the ordinary lumber off to the concession stand for greasy snacks, watered down soft drinks, and those glow-in-the-dark footballs for late night sporto/meathead fun on the beach that they sold back when Kojak was king, and the extraordinary would be tagging into backseat dibs on bong packin'/sixer crackin'/honeydip mackin' action during the second feature, I just figured I'd take the opportunity to tell you that we offer zero of the aforementioned distractions of yesteryear here, as a movie review blogsite, and not an actual seventies style drive-in theater. Just to avoid any confusion...

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Nevermind chuckling at the checkers, Wop'd drop the dimples between those swollen pimples.
The cooling calm of the ocean's rushing tide often inspires Erika (Erica Gavin) to strip naked and stretch her ample-assed curves in the sun, to the strains of a poor man's Bobby Gouldsboro, crooning a folky guitar tune about the brunette with epic ba-zooms. Then there's the resident cocksmith/erotic photographer named Steve (Walt Phillips) whose boobs out-style leads to several loose Lucys easily seduced into giving up the caboose, with hilarious X-rated piped-in pillow talk, to boot. When Erika socks it to him, though, her earthy pussy nearly blows the cat's mind, leaving his stable of go-go gals-on-the-side feeling less than appreciated, under the circumstances. The whole groove gets abruptly disturbed before the credits can roll, by a trademark seventies downer ending.

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With those natural buoys, aquaphobia was only a fear ongoing to Erika's lovers.
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Friday, June 27, 2014

"Titan Find" (1985) d/ William Malone

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Four years removed from 1981's Scared to Death (and prior to his House on Haunted Hill remake (1998), and Feardotcom (2002)...two toilet bowl sinkers that we won't rub it in too much about here at the Wop, at least, for now...), director William Malone once again reiterates his unquestionable love for Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), with this low budget rip-off of said movie, starring television regular Stan Ivar, Wendy Schaal, who provides the voice of Francine Smith on Seth MacFarlane's animated hit, American Dad, and Ferris Bueller's dad himself, Lyman Ward. Cult icon Klaus Kinski also returns to space here, putting his stamp on the picture by delivering some archetypal Kinski tomfoolery on camera.

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Ashton Kutcher gets the change done at the shop...details at eleven.
When a crew of scientists that apparently don't know each other on a first name basis lands on Titan, a moon of Saturn, to document some artifacts believed to be two thousand centuries old (that's the date they put on it, and I'm too wasted to tackle the math), their ship detects that a rival German spacecraft has already landed in the cavernous crater, forcing Davison (Stan Ivar) to touch down sneaky-like on the outer perimeter, which naturally collapses, leaving their spaceship in a state of utter and complete fuck. An inspection of the German crrraft by space suited search party sees Susan (Marie Laurin), who really does look like Ashton Kutcher in drag, get snuffed by unseen slitherer, after which Bryce (Diane Salinger) gets felt up by the lone survivor of that failed mission, Hofner (Klaus Kinski), who offers oxygen, bombs enough to blow up the elusive beast, and a space-campfire tale about how twenty-two Deutschlanders stumbled upon this ancient metaphoric collection of butterflies, but not all of the butterflies were dead, nor were they all friendly, as they were to tragically find out. He then grabs Bryce's ass and is set upon by a space-zombified Susan.

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"You vill come vis me to mein crrrrraft...I promise not to suddenly grasp your breasts. Maybe your ass, yes?"
Meanwhile, with the oxygen running out back on the American ship, Davison, his tech support/ squeeze Sladen (Wendy Schaal), and Ferris Bueller's dad watch helplessly as their crew mates are whittled down, one by one, like a nice chunk of Balsa, before their very eyes. Before too long, zombies in Members Only-esque space suits and throbbing latex bladders on the sides of their headpieces are tricking unsuspecting folks into wandering into that damned engineering sector, where the prop-fiend lies in wait among cobwebbed neon and flashing lights. Zombie-Hofner terrorizes Sladen, who can't seem to draw a bead on any of her dialog marks afterwards. She suggests that they try electrocuting it, a la a sci-fi movie about a space carrot she once saw (The Thing, perhaps?), but the xenomorph-ish killer proves harder to kill than Steven Seagal, just like a hundred more impressive aliens, in a hundred more effective movies. With the selfless sacrifice of Ferris Bueller's dad, helped by Hofner's explosives, Davison and Sladen are free to escape to Earth in the German ship with Bryce, lost somewhere (I didn't write it), and perhaps learn each other's first names in less-stressful surroundings...

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Exploding heads were big in the eighties. Don't get any meninges on your boat shoes, dude.
I'm sure Kinski's wandering hands were a mere flash of the great artist's improvisational talents (Ha!), and not anything you'll find in the script. Kinski's not on screen for long, but still manages to deliver the most coherent acting performance in the whole movie. The already choppy pacing is slowed to a crawl by perfunctory delivery of a script, derivative as a Broadway bootleg to begin with, by most of the other actors on board, and to a screeching halt by ten minutes of inanimate rubbery alien that looks like Giger's design if it was tackled by a Chinatown knock off street vendor. One wop for Klaus. Approach with caution, if at all.

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He secretly wished Jennifer Grey would have refrained from the raspberry preserves before recognizing him at the 20th Anniversary Ferris Bueller reunion.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Psycho-Circus" (1966) d/ John Moxley

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Though tonight's movie, a German/British thriller/whodunit from the man who brought you the excellent City of the Dead (1960), doesn't nearly contain the atmosphere of that earlier film, there are enough twists and turns, red herrings and double crosses here to keep the viewer engaged right up until the final reveal. What's more, you've got Christopher Lee as a hooded lion tamer, the ever-creepy Klaus Kinski lur-kink about in ze shadows, the delectable Margaret Lee, and the equally scrumptious Suzy Kendall. And if you smoke half as many cigarettes as I do, you'll revel in amazement at the number of actors with hardcore tobacco-stained fingers in this movie. I can't ever recall seeing anything like it. On to the story, after this next cigarette. Sorry, force of habit...

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"...and then I make you unconscious in ze het.", hisses Manfred (Klaus Kinski).
After a daring and elaborate armored car robbery in broad daylight on London Bridge, no less,  nets a gaggle of thugs a quarter of a million pounds in stolen loot and a murder rap, a phone call from the anonymous boss sends a suitcase full of notes to a deserted farmhouse, but the bag man takes a circus throwing knife in the back for his attention to detail. Meanwhile, back at Scotland Yard, Inspector Elliot (Leo Genn) traces some of the stolen cash to Barberini's Circus, on winter hiatus nearby, and goes undercover as a press photographer to solve the case. A lanky wank of a lion tamer named Gregor (Christopher Lee) who was mauled in the facepiece by lions and wears a dramatic black hood to hide his hideous scars, conceals the suitcase away under the big cats' cage for safe keeping, but is he the criminal mastermind and calculated murderer we've been looking for?

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Gina (Margaret Lee) shouldn't be snooping around by the lion cages in the dark.
...Or could it be carnal-minded cutie, Gina's knife-throwing beau, Mario, whose short fuse over her continued infidelity grows shorter all the time? Could it be Mr. Big (Skip Martin), the half-pint blackmailer with one dwarfish ear to every trailer door? Maybe it's Manfred (Kinski), who ducks in and out of the shadows long enough to zmoak a zigarette? Is it the owner, Barberini himself, spurred on to criminal misdeeds by a mountain of debt? Perhaps it's the ringmaster, Karl, who is driven to find his own father's killer, and harbors some unhealthy lust for both Gina and Natasha (Suzy Kendall), Gregor's sensual young protege. Suspects begin turning up dead, one by one, each by throwing knives with a distinct silver triangle, from a set once used by the greatest knife thrower the world had ever come one, come all, to the most dangerous show on Earth, where nobody is who they seem or even claim to be, and the bounds they'd push for greed's sake are limitless, as you'll gather for yourselves after the final reel.

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"I'm the Bob Fosse of lion tamers!", exclaims Gregor (Christopher Lee).
Though Lee stays hooded for three-quarters of the movie, his stature, ridiculous bullwhip gestures, and booming voice are an unmistakable giveaway from his first moments on screen. He looks as though he had a blast making this one. Kinski, though perhaps underutilized here, is effective and memorable, as always. The only negative I drew from the experience was repetitive footage of dirty circus animals, obviously not having the same great time the cast and crew might have had, being led through metropolitan streets, crammed into cages, and forced to act for the cameras against their nature. Go ahead and call me an old softie. I dare you. Three wops on the rating scale, and a solid recommendation.

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"I'd pay a significant amount of this money for a sturdy toehold right now..."
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

R.I.P. Eli Wallach

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                     12/07/15 - 06/25/14

"The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant" (1971) d/ Anthony M. Lanza

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Back in 2011, I mentioned tonight's review in passing while covering the other 70's double domed horror flick of note, The Thing With Two Heads (1972). Though that particular interracial pair up of Rosey Grier and Ray Milland was certainly a fucking scream, by anybody's standards, tonight's is a polycephalic drive-in style punch up par excellence, with a cast headed up by cult fave Bruce Dern as Roger, the scientist with a Frankenstein complex-come-lately, and Pat Priest of The Munsters fame as his neglected wife. If that's not enough for you, how about the late, great Casey Kasem, dressed like he lost a bet, as Roger's smooth-voiced pal, Ken. Still not convinced?

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"Look at these balls...where's those bananas you told me about...who the hell is this guy on my shoulder?"
Roger Girard (Dern) is a scientist that's been honing his head transplant skills in a private home laboratory with the assistance of  the wheelchair-bound Dr. Max (Berry Kroeger). He shows his progress to his pal and fellow doctor, Ken (Kasem), and by "progress", we of course mean two-headed rabbits, snakes, foxes, and monkeys. Roger fully expresses his intent and purpose to expand his addahedtomy("add-a-head-to-me") experiments to human subjects, and none of this flusters Ken one bit. He is alarmed when Roger's caretaker's son, Danny (John Bloom), a giant hillbilly simp with brute strength, nearly cleaves his head off on the porch. "This is an axe, Danny. It's used to chop wood and nothing else.", states Roger, matter-of-factly. Yeah, there are gonna be some problems down the road with this big lug, I can see it.

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"....Giant two headed hillbilly strangling two people to death at once...You don't see that every day."
Cass (Albert Cole) is a bug-eyed, lip-licking, rapist/murderer on the loose, and when he finds himself terrorizing the folks at Dr. Girard's spot, killing Danny's father, and nearly adding Roger's wife to his growing list of victims, he's rewarded with fatal gunshots for his psychotic anarchy.With Danny in shock over his father's death, and the unhinged killer dying, Roger does what any man of science would do, in his stead: why, graft the disturbed dome onto the hulking hayseed's shoulder, of course! With Danny's retard strength at his command, Cass shows his gratitude for the new lease on life by rampaging through the countryside, smashing in biker's heads with rocks, strangling hormonal teens at makeout point, by the two's, that sort of thing. Such ludicrous goings on call for a suitably ridiculous and entertaining finale, and this one delivers.

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Just five years later, and it looks like Marilyn Munster (Pat Priest) is out of her monster phase.
Director Lanza also helmed 1967's The Glory Stompers, while also having edited two Arch Hall, Jr. vehicles, Wild Guitar (1962) and Nasty Rabbit (1964). Give me some vintage exploitative Bruce Dern like Psych-Out or Hang 'Em High(both 1968), and you'll hear no complaints from me. Big John Bloom would go on to appear as "Gor" in Brain of Blood, Frankenstein's monster in Dracula vs. Frankenstein (both 1971), as well as the murderous alien-in-a-flannel-shirt in The Dark (1979). He also scored  genre credits in Al Adamson's Angel's Wild Women (1972), and The Hills Have Eyes Pt II (1984). A lot of people prefer Thing over Transplant, but I'm not one of them. This drive-in classic merits three exploitative Wops, and is recommended.

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"Danny doan' wanna keyull nobodah! Danny wanna lookit Hee-Haw!"
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Skins" (1994) d/ Wings Hauser

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Here's a rarely-seen exploitative oddity from the mid-nineties that was written, directed by, and stars one of my favorite bad guys of the eighties, 'Ramrod' himself, the one and only Wings Hauser. Of course, he also croons a tune, "Walking on the Right Side of the Devil", for the production, but it pales in comparison to his unforgettable "Neon Slime". Also singing (sort of) her way through a co-starring role is Linda Blair, of "The Exorcist"(1973) fame and "Exorcist II: The Heretic"(1977) infamy. She gets 'em out, here, too, and it's always a good time, whenever she does do just that, in my estimation.

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"Fruit cocktail?? Thanks boys, but I'm watching my figure...", laughs Bentz (Cole Hauser).
A gay kid named Marjoe (!) gets fagbashed by a gang of skinheads and left to die, naked and spray painted in an alley. His mother, Maggie (Linda Blair) pollutes the air in honky tonk dive bars with something vaguely resembling singing, while his father, Joe (Wings Hauser), an alcoholic ex-cop, spends his nights knackered in Mexico, while the skins brazenly terrorize Hollywood Boulevard, kicking over trash cans, slamdancing to the house band (the singer says "Oi!" a whole lot) at their elaborately decorated clubhouse (Nazi stencils, swasti-curtains abound, and even a dramatic hulking floor-stika) and spray painting the obligatory swastikas over Walk of Fame stars, those bald-headed bastards. When Maggie travels down to Mexico to enlist her drunken sot of a husband, he calls his own son a fag(!!) before finally agreeing to dry out and get involved.

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"I'll climb outta this jumpsuit if you're bringing something like this to the table..."
When Joe's first attempt at drunken payback goes miserably wrong at the clubhouse (the leader, Bentz, played by his real life son, Cole, beats him bloody then pisses on him...jeez, that must have been a fun shoot), he makes a teary-eyed vow to his wife and recovering son to turn things around, by cutting off the hooch, and repeatedly stumbling up a steep hill while dressed like Richard Simmons, being cheered on by his flamboyant son at the top, in one of several montage sequences. Meanwhile, the skins are raping the female half of an interracial couple, and later getting off the hook when the girl is too intimidated to finger the responsible eggheads. Maggie, impressed by Joe's sweaty efforts and improved relationship with Marjoe, gives her husband a piece of montage-pussy, as a reward. At the climax, Joe turns the usual Hollywood Boulevard rabble into a lynch mob, jogging down the middle of the street with bats and weapons to the clubhouse, where they take it to the bellicose bootboys, in a pro-wrasslin' style free-for-all. The reunited family walks off, arm-in-arm, while Bentz, who ducked out on the beating, and his rottweiler move on towards a whiter, brighter future...Skins 2? Never happened.

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"Can I marinate both of these in neon slime?", ponders Joe (Wings Hauser).
Besides Wings and Cole, the film also features Wings' partner/wife, Cali Lili Hauser as the skinheads' punky plaything, and his daughter, Bright Hauser, as a "Young White Angel", sieg heiling in a swazzy armband, and reciting "America, the Beautiful". It's nice to see families working together like this. Interestingly, Cole would again portray a skinhead gang leader just a year later in John Singleton's lifeless imbroglio/ethno-wank, Higher Learning (1995). As far as skinhead-related movies go, this one's not as engaging as 16 Years of Alcohol (2003) or Romper Stomper (1992), but it isn't quite as mephitic as cine-turds like Pariah (1998) or Greydon Clark's legendarily laughable Skinheads (1989). Still, it's closer to the latter two than the former, with unintentional laughs galore and Linda Blair's bountiful bobblers. There's a region 2 dvd out there, should your curiosity win out. Two wops.

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The one at the front, giving it the mouth, but at the end of the night, we'll all shout...
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Vampire Cop" (1990) d/ Donald Farmer

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From the guy who gave you Demon Queen (1986) and Cannibal Hookers (1987) comes this no-budget SOV vampire opus that's tit-heavy with the heavy tits of cult face, Melissa Moore, who you might recall from things like Sorority House Massacre II (1990) and The Invisible Maniac (1990), lots of spurting stage blood and prop fangs, and a cameo from none other than Mal Arnold, who apparently hadn't learned a thing about acting in the nearly thirty years since he first graced the screen as H.G. Lewis' homicidal Egyptian caterer, Fuad Ramses, in Blood Feast (1963). Chances are, you won't mistake this movie for Herzog's Nosferatu.

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I haven't seen that much hanging ham since I walked past the slaughterhouse that time.
...So after seeing a sleeping blonde dreaming of an acid-washed denim-wrapped arm (it's 1990 all day) reach down to silence her and some prop fangs,  there's a bikini contest at a club full of mulleted mooks and meatheads shaking their asses and then this vampire cop named Lucas (Ed Cannon) interrupts an abusive guy forcing himself on a skinny redhead, tearing his shooter hand off and giving him a bloodless neckbite for his troubles. The dreaming blonde (I'm not sure if her dreams constitute nightmares, save for the viewers themselves) turns out to be a reporter named Melanie (Melissa Moore) who's in cahoots with Lucas; their hotel room sabbaticals packing less heat than the Larry O'Brien Trophy Ceremony this past week.

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"This was my only role ever!", hisses Lucas (Ed Cannon) of Vampire Vice.
Anyway, lots of dialog is lifelessly delivered by embarrassingly dressed people on depressing-looking sets, some of these people may or may not be drug dealers seeking vindication by kidnapping a prying Lt. Ryan (Mal Arnold), who's getting too close to their operations with his live news commentary, and off-camera chainsawing him up like so much firewood, which his squinty, hesitant line delivery reminds one of at times. There's a featureless finale where Lucas pits his Party City vein-drainers against these polluting palookas, one of which goes vampire himself, and gives a slo-mo plastic-toothed kiss to Melanie before Lucas can overpower him, ending up in a lackluster flaming latex-y sunlight purge and a news report that Joe Dante more effectively showed you nine years earlier. Eject.

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"Garbage compactor-cam, after all these years you've caught up to me..." says Fuad Ramses, errr..Lt. Ryan (Mal Arnold).
I probably picked this one up during my storied rental run at Gateway Movieland Video on morbid curiosity born from the words of Michael Weldon's Psychotronic magazine, long-time staple food for my brain, and the opportunity to revisit a guy like Mal Arnold, whose on-camera ineptness kept every kid in my neighborhood in stitches in the early eighties during my parlor screenings. Whatever the case was, it still wasn't worth it. Flesh-wise, it didn't dent the armor of Cinema 309's selection of sin of which I was well familiar with by then, and my ample blood supply from superior underground lenses of the likes of Buttgereit and Peter Jackson (then) remained monopolized, as one might expect. One might also expect the paltry score of a single Wop on the ratings scale for Vampire Cop, and they wouldn't be wrong in doing so. Skip it.

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"Look at me, I'm Dee Wallace!", exclaims Melanie (Melissa Moore).
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Voices of Desire" (1972) d/ Chuck Vincent

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While on the subject of Sandra Peabody/Cassell a few reviews back, you may recall my remark that her engaging and tragic turn as Mari Collingwood in Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (1972) probably stands as the classiest production she ever acted in, when you look at some of the sweaty softcore sexploitation she left behind, in comparison. Some stuffy moralistic drapes would include tonight's review in the latter column, the first feature from prolific porn director Chuck Vincent (as Mark Ubell here), a grainy, scratchy, choppily-edited documentation of the former actress' assets shot the same year as Last House, available directly from those exemplary film folks at Something Weird.

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Anna (Sandra Peabody, as Liyda Cassell) derives masturbatory manna from a bunch of grapes while she fellates a banana.
We meet a shaken Anna Reed(Peabody) as she relates her unbelievable story to a city detective, flashing back to the first time she heard those mysterious voices, breathing heavily on a pay phone, no less. Talk about getting your dime's worth. The walk home isn't any less strange, with mismatched foley footsteps, whispered beckons and brief images of a guy wearing a hangman's noose as a neck tie and a chick getting c.t.f.o.ed cut in for good measure. At home, her magazine time is interrupted by the pesky voices, who, combined with footage of a pair of average-looking folk copulating on a black backdrop, possess one of her hands that strips her naked so she can writhe around in bed with a bunch of grapes in her crotch as she gives a nearby banana a blowjob while awkwardly rolling an apple around on her ass.

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You're so tiny and adorable. Can I put you in my pocket?
As she tries to duck out on her horny inner voices, she's drawn instead to their house of origin, where, after drinking a glass of the house wine, she goes into erotic spasms, and gets stripped and shrimped on camera by a couple of greaseballs by black candlelight. Her gross hippie piggies get a thorough once over while an orchestra plays and psychedelic lights flash. A groovy simulated threesome follows, with a brief lesbian sequence and obligatory orgy scene hard on it's heels, then the house's occupants all menace her with butcher knives, followed by a red-tinted fake romp with some dude with a mustache. There's always at least one in these movies, isn't there? She escapes to tell the tale to the detective, who tries to put it all into perspective for her, then is influenced once again to run (she runs like a gimp with a dump in her panties, for the record) back to the house, as a romantic piano plays in the background. Makes sense.

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"After I pop my cookies on your belly, will you wear my Mood Ring, baby?"
Make no mistakes, Chuck Vincent's work in adult films is distinctive, with an experimental, arthouse feel unlike many of his straight forward porn peers of the era, and his unmistakable flair is evident here, with the use of classical pieces in the soundtrack, sprawling, picturesque exteriors shot guerilla and filled with magnificent metropolitan architecture, and weird insert shots. It doesn't hurt having a little sweetie like Sandra Peabody to focus your lens upon, either. If light fiddle-fodder for the raincoat crowd was the only kind of gig that the pixie-esque Peabody/Cassell was getting offered, no one could blame her for walking away when she did, for more fulfilling climes. Overall, Voices is a curious piece of vintage forty-deuce sexploitation, worthy of a pair of Wops on the scale, and definitely worth checking out if you're an admirer of Sandra (who isn't?).

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While you're in a walkies kinda mood, cupcake, Scranton's only one hundred twenty-eight miles away. Just sayin'.
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