Thursday, April 30, 2009

WTF Britain?!?: Garth Marengi's Dark Place

England is a really weird place. They call elevators 'lifts' and eat 'spotted dicks.' What is wrong with those people! The only thing weirder than their nomenclature and eating habits are their shows. Take for example...
To get a little back-story on the show, you need to look back to the 1980s and at one famous author: Roald Dahl. The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made his own Twilight Zone-esque show called Tales of the Unexpected. Nobody really followed it in the United States, but that did not stop a bunch of comedians from parodying it.
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It's not that simple though. You see, the show is portrayed as a revisiting of Garth Marengi's show from the 1990s. Garth is not a real person though. Confused yet? Keep up, people. Garth and the cast inter-cut the show footage to explain the problems/fun they had making it. Oddly, the female lead of the show does not appear in the 'modern footage.' They never quite explain it, though I imagine that has to do with the show not getting more than six episodes.
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What is the show about? Garth is the head doctor at a hospital that is rife with weird happenings. It is run by Dean Lerner, who is played by the show's producer...who is played by an actor. It also features a Spanish doctor who is always dubbed for no reason. The female doctor is a bit quirky, at one point having psychic powers related to her period. No, really. The setting is very weird. At one point, they show the female doctor and the Spanish one coming back from what looks like fencing practice. Throughout the show, people often travel from one side to the other via a jeep. What?
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The series was short, but strange. One show is about Garth protecting an eye-ball monster due to repressed feelings over the death of his grasshopper-esque son. Another has an outbreak of a Caveman virus throughout the hospital that is definitely not related to the green-glowing water. There are also numerous jokes throughout the show where Garth (in character) talks about random Garth Marengi novels and how they are better than people think. The lack of subtlety is intentional, for sure. I can only imagine what they would have done with more than a half-dozen shows.
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Is this show for everyone? Clearly not. The humor is weird, barely-explained and often hard to understand. It is one of those shows that really speaks to people who enjoy obtuse or complex humor...mixed with puns and sight gags. The jokes about the show-within-the-show are often just as funny. Enjoy the series in its entirety right here. The show has spun off into Man-to-Man with Dean Lerner and numerous stage shows. It's funny, misunderstood and completely insane- enjoy.
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More British shows to come. How does another obscure parody show sound? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Forgotten Sequels: Son of Frankenstein

I could make at least a week out of this stuff, you know. I could do Son of Lassie, Son of Zorro, Song of the South, Son of Sinbad. Wait, one of those was wrong, wasn't it? Anyhow, if you want to know just how pervasive this odd titling idea was, I have three words for you: Son of Flubber. 'Nuff said.
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As a result, I am going to end this baby strong. I bring you the oft-forgotten, but famously parodied sequel...
A lot of people don't remember due to a little film called Bride of Frankenstein. This film really deserves some attention for its casting, interesting story and notable adaptation into parody.
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Victor Frankenstein's son is coming home from America to settle the family estate. He arrives in town and is not exactly popular. The town council does not want him there, although he had nothing to do with the re-animation studies of the past. His young wife and son do not like all the attention. One of his biggest detractors is the town constable, who lost an arm in an attempt to stop Adam (the monster's actual name). He runs across Ygor, who is still alive, though just barely. You see, they hung the guy (played here-on-out by Bela Lugosi), but he live...just with a mostly-broken neck.
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Curiosity gets the better of our young hero (with a little prompting by Ygor) and he begins to study dad's notes. He begins to think that he can do it better. Hopefully, the town and his family don't find out about this. Oh crap, they do.
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Okay, let me get the obvious thing out of the way now. This is nearly the exact same plot used later in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. From the son returning, to the one-armed sheriff and even down to that damned mustache. Much like The Inglorious Bastards is to Top Secret, this is a nearly-forgotten film that has a more famous parody. They also have solid film-making in common as well. With the latter, a pseudo-remake will hopefully help the film's notoriety.
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To cut a long story short, he creates a new monster, which escapes and befriends his son. When the town finds out, they naturally get pissed and become all 'torch-wielding mob-like' again. He manages to calm them down when he too turns on the monster since his son is in danger. Thanks to a little hinting, he finds the monster and swings at him Tarzan-style, kicking him into a pit of boiling oil as Ygor flees. The End.
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This is honestly a good movie. It is a different experience to watch it after having already seen Young Frankenstein for sure though. Thanks to that crap movie Van Helsing, all of the old Universal horror films are on DVD once again- including the Son of Dracula. It deserves more attention for its solid film-making, respect for continuity and strong storytelling. Check this out along with the other sequels such as Ghost of Frankenstein. More on them later.
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No more sons for now. I think it's time to turn my WTF scale to another country across the pond. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Forgotten Sequels: Son of Kong

We saw how Dracula's son (maybe) continued the legacy of his father, but still failed to figure out to, you know, not die in the end. Maybe another son will do this better. Let's find out in the sequel to a true classic...
Yeah, this was a popular way to do sequels back in the day. Don't get me started on how many different 'So-and-so Son of Hercules' films there are out there. Sufficed to say, when you make a film called Son of Cleopatra, you've milked the series to death. What a painful way to go.
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This film decides not to change the setting. Hurray for continuity! Oh wait, this only lasts a little while. Hurray for a little continuity, I guess! Actually, the film is a solid, direct sequel that has a story idea that would sort of be stolen later by Ghostbusters 2. No, the son of Kong does not fight red, alien goo. You're thinking of Son of Blob, who is red, alien goo.
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In the wake of King Kong's arrival in New York city and near-destruction of said city, the man who brought him there is a social pariah. He is ducking lawsuits from those injured, people looking for interviews and the city trying to get him to pay for damages. He quickly leaves the city with an old friend on a steamer.
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They arrive in Morocco and, naturally, go off to see a show. They spot a young lady performing there and think that she is quite hot...I mean, talented. But their talent scouting does not go without issues. Some dubious businessman that our hero and his friend had done business with in the past are hanging around and want to do business with her as well. Suddenly, this film is turning in Be Cool- not really the best thing. Since this is a mainstream film made before 1966, we get a scene with fire. Of course!
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Sufficed to say, the girl's dad is killed, her home is burned down and she has nothing to live by. Naturally, she joins the two strangers on a trip to a mysterious island to find a mysterious beast. Why not? At this point, you're wondering why I haven't talked about the titular son of Kong. There's a reason- he has not shown up yet! Over forty-five minutes into the film and not a glimpse of him yet. This is not a movie for action junkies, so much as plot junkies.
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To cut a long story short, they get to the island and discover a large, white ape. I think Kong's wife was sleeping around, people! He shows up just in time to save them from a dinosaur. Just one though. Obviously, the stop-motion budget was not huge in this movie. The monster and ape battle as Skull Island's foundation begins to shake apart. Why? Good question. Our heroes escape and the monsters disappear. So much for Son of Kong 2: Electric Boogaloo.
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Is this a good movie? Honestly, yes. It is not best to be compared directly to its precursor though. The movie is an interesting experiment in putting plot over action and effects. So yeah, most people are not going to like it. The movie deserves a little bit more attention than it gets though...which is none. Give this movie a try if you want to see how a direct sequel can dare to be different. If not, rent the classic film King Kong. It is great.
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You want more sons? Okay, I'll give you the big daddy of them all. Stay tuned...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Forgotten Sequels: Son of Dracula

Every guy wants to have a boy grow up to be like him, even monsters and killers. This has been proven to be very true by a slew of films from the 1940s. That's right- we're going back to the WWII Era, people. Are they the greatest generation of sequel-makers? Let's find out in the first review in the series...
An interesting note: Dracula's Daughter actually precedes this movie. Plus, this is an actual sequel to Tod Browning's classic film. But, this doesn't fit the theme that I established. Screw you, equally-good film that I will talk about later!
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The film takes the old setting of London (you know, the one from the book) and eschews that for the Deep South. Taking place during the good old days (as documented in Birth of a Nation) and before the bad days (as horribly-skewed by Birth of a Nation). A new man comes into town from out the country. That man's name: Count Alucard.
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Before the anime nerds attack me, let me set the record straight. This 'clever' disambiguation of the Dracula name originated in this film. Do you feel smarter yet?
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The story here is pretty simple. Dracula's heir shows up, romances a young debutante and angers a rich guy. In his attempt to kill the Count's son, he inadvertently kills his lady. It's a bit of weird science, since this happens due to the bullet going through our villain and hitting her as well. That is almost plausible, but still a bit silly.
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Let me address the weird and historic parts. Dracula's son is played by Lon Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney Sr. (of Phantom of the Opera) was originally supposed to play the part, but died. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. If Chaney Jr. is the actual son of Dracula here (it is never really addressed), why does he look nothing like Bela Lugosi? To make things worse, this film came out just before House of Dracula, which re-cast (and re-animated) the Count as John Carradine. His son David would go on to play- wait for it- Dracula in Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. My head hurts.
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This movie does give us a couple cliches that live on. Aside from the 'Alucard' part, this is also the first film to feature Dracula floating dramatically and turning into smoke. While not one of the biggest Dracula effects, it is notable.
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Is the movie good? Yes. It is not a classic like Browning's film, but it is a solid film. The atmosphere is good and the pacing is well-done. You will not be bored by this movie. You will be confused about whether he is really the son of Dracula though. Don't relegate this to B-movie status solely on its title alone though.
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If you think he was a good son, wait until you meet a bigger, hairier one. Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Cartoon for Old Men: Kid Notorious

Cartoons are usually a simple matter. You either get a big macho hero, a young lad or a pretty girl and put them in some sort of peril. That's just children's cartoons though. Shows marketed at teens and adults can get weird. For example...
Kid Notorious
Sounds simple enough, but it is not. This is a show based on a caricature of a real person- a celebrity to boot- that is produced by said person. Confused yet? We're just getting started.
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Robert Evans was a huge name in the 1970s. He produced movies and you may have heard of a couple. Chinatown, Black Sunday and Marathon Man, just to name a few. But this show came out in 2003. Why the big wait? Good question.
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The show is basically about him being a big Hollywood producer. The irony of this is that he was not so hot around this time. He had a falling out with some people and some personal issues that had side-tracked him. In the lead-up to this show, he had produced such blockbusters as Jade, Sliver and The Cotton Club. Ouch.
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His supporting cast was weird too. Niecy Nash (the black lady sheriff on Reno 911) played his old-timey black maid. Okay, sure. His best friend Slash (Guns n Roses guitarist) was played by, well, Slash. I don't see the connection, but, sure why not. Most episodes also featured Kid's girlfriend Sharon Stone, who is not played by herself. Well, you can't have it all.
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What is the plot about? Well, it's about everything. One episode has him fighting a Saudi oil sheik, another has him fencing with Leonardo DiCaprio (voice impersonated) and yet another has him trying to kill Kim Jong-Il. No, really. In that one, the C.I.A. hires him to go there as himself, since Kim is a big fan of the live-action Popeye film that Evans produced. I wish I could make stuff like this up, but I can't.
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Did the show last? Well, no. It was marketed at adults and teens, the latter of which were not alive when Evans was a household name anymore. Good planning, guys. It lasted a run of 9 episodes and never came back. It goes on the giant list of Comedy Central shows that only lasted one season like Strip Mall, Stella, etc. It was a very quirky show, so it's appeal was strange and limited.
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Want more forgotten sequels? That's what coming up next. Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ohhhh....Creep out!: Creepshow 2

After picking apart one stupid story in Creepshow, I want to ream two tales from Creepshow 2. Seems fitting enough. Let's start with...
Old Chief Woodn'Head
This suffers from a similar problem that Something to Tide You Over does. I don't mean the pun title, though this is not exactly a great one either.
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The film introduces us to an elderly couple (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) who run a dime store in what is nearly a ghost town. Notice how they hired another actor from Naked Gun films here, but, thankfully, he is not the villain. That role is played a cocky young man. For no apparent reason other than 'they can,' him and his friends decide to rob the place. During the course of this, they kill both old people.
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An investigation ensues, but, being the sheriff's son, nothing comes of it for our villain. Cue the magical anthropomorphism of the wooden Indian statue on the front porch. Want to guess what happens to the young men? I didn't think so.
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So how did the Indian come to life? How did it have any ability to move- what with no muscular system or anything? How did it sneak up on several people and kill them? How did a story like this get out with no back-story or explanation? Ohhh, I know. It's magic; you don't have to explain it.
The Raft
A group of attractive co-eds drive off into the woods to go swimming in a 'swimmin' hole.' They get on a movable dock and let it float out into the center of the lake. They pay no attention to the giant, floating black ooze coming their way.
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The mysterious monster cuts the rope holding their raft to the shore, trapping them. Well, they are not trapped until they decide to let the thing slowly come over to them and surround them. They could have gotten away in the five minutes or so it takes to get there.
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Surrounded on all sides by the vague, oozy monster, they panic and argue. That's healthy. One-by-one, they die in gooey, sticky ways. The worst one is when someone gets pulled into the water by the beast, not realizing that the slots between the planks are, you know, there. One of them tries to swim away- finally- but still gets eaten. Nice try.
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Where to begin? First off, who is that freaking stupid? You see an unnatural ooze coming your way and do nothing? You can't think that anything bad could happen from this? Plus, what is this monster? They don't say. Why is it there? They don't say. What is the message of this story? Don't ignore industrial pollution, I guess.
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In closing, does it kill you guys to explain anything in movies like this. As dumb as it is, stupid stuff like Jason coming back to life in Part 6 is explained. Nothing is explained, but we are supposed to just accept it. Doing films in short form is not an excuse to be lazy idiots. Explain things!
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There is actually an official and unofficial version of Creepshow 3. Should I dare watch either one? We'll see.
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I have some Mondo fun in mind for tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ohhhh....Creep out!: Creepshow

For my 100th post, I thought that a special treat was in order. Having covered so many weird, obscure films, I thought you might appreciate a closer look at a weird, well-known film. It actually makes less sense when you analyze it deeply. Let's really get in close and take a look at the anthology film known as...
This film is a classic, bottom-line. But one of the tales is immensely full of holes and features some really underdeveloped, well, everything. It's called...
Something to Tide You Over
To begin with, starting a horror tale with a pun is not that good. You don't see a story like The Pit and the Pendulum called 'Swing By For Dinner' or 'A Slice of Death,' do you? I didn't think so.
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The story begins with a man waking up to find himself buried in the sand by the ocean. An eerie man finally makes his presence known. That man is...Leslie Nielsen. Wait, what? I can understand why the star might like to play something different- this being right after Airplane and it's sequel- but why would you hire him? It makes as much sense as hiring Dan Akroyd for the intro to Twilight Zone: The Movie.
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Leslie explains that he found out about our hero and his wife having an affair. You don't double-cross Mr. Magoo like that! He sets down a television and explains that all will be made clear when he reaches the other side of the island. He plugs the thing in and drives off, leaving a long cord in his wake.
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First off, it's explained that he is very rich. I get that. I can see how one might buy a really long cable for something like this, but one miles long? Does any store sell one for such a purpose? Maybe CostCo, but that is pushing it.
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Evil Leslie Nielsen finally hooks the two TVs together and our hero can see his gal pal in the same fate as him on the other side of the island. The man's evil plan is to make them watch themselves slowly die with the imminent tide. Slowly but surely, this happens. Of course, this is Stephen King, so you know that our tale does not end here.
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Later that night, the two corpses begins to crawl from the ocean and towards the villain's house. What did this? Good question. Maybe the Re-Animator lab is on the next island and they dumped out their old chemicals. They never tell us. This is the best that the guy who gave us Silver Bullet and Christine could do.
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As he comes from the shower,- ooh, water again, so clever- they break in to his house. Slowly...and I mean slowly...they approach him and kill him. Wow, it was all so ironic how they killed him after he killed them. Wait! No, it's not. This story makes no sense.
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Detective stories are always written backwards- you solve the problem and then write the build-up. Maybe Stephen King should have tried this tactic here. It is neat how you get a creative killing, but, when you have no common sense to back it up, it all feels shallow- no pun intended. Let's not even get into any more about casting the star of Spy Hard and Repossessed as your devious villain and the guy from Cheers (Ted Danson) as your protagonist.
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Honestly, the rest of the film is quite good. There is a bit of suspension of disbelief in there at times, but it is better handled than here. Now, Creepshow 2 has two different tales with curious story elements and stupid writing to them. I'll tackle those tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rip-Off Cinema: Aenigma

One last stop over in Crazy Town, Italy before we return to normalcy. Nah, I'm just kidding. We are never returning to normalcy. We will be going to a different location in Crazy Town though after I finish my review of...
This is one of those films that draws a lot of comparisons to other films. This is usually compared to Carrie, though that is an inaccurate comparison. It is incredibly similar to Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2. To those of you not familiar with this film- which came out in the same year as Aenigma- wait for my video review. It will come...eventually. Prom Night 2 actually rips off Carrie in a lot of ways, so there is still a point there.
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The movie begins briskly with a young girl being set up on a date with the local stud. They pull up to a secluded spot and begin to kiss. Suddenly, we see that two other cars are watching- the pervs. No, these are actually her classmates who are setting her up. When they pull the trigger, the victim panics and runs. They chase her- always staying behind her, despite her only being on foot- until she accidentally gets run over. Oops.
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As her comatose body begins to show alpha wave activity, a new student shows up. A Spider-Man comic-style quick-comparison shot explains that she is the host for our victim/villain. After meeting up with all of her classmates, her first act is to shamelessly flirt with the gym teacher. She does this by splaying her legs out at him during stretches. Subtle. She discusses going to see him that night while he paces. Whilst checking himself out, another him bursts through the mirror and chokes him to death. Holy Freud, Batman!
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Her path of vengeance goes in a pretty straight-forward manner, but her methodology is anything but. One girl is actually smothered to death by snails after earlier discussing how they eat snails in mourning. Which part of that is stranger to you? Another girl is choked to death by a statue in a museum comes to life. Which psychic power allows you to re-animate a 7,000 lb statue again? My favorite one is the girl who is first scared by seeing headless bodies in every room she goes into. As she backs up near the window, her Top Gun poster turns into the image of our killer and she falls to her death. Does Tom Cruise endorse this murder?
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To say that this movie is strange is to say that the French sort of like films about red balloons. The question does come up though: who stole from whom? Is 1987 the release date of Aenigma or the home video release? It is not above the Italians to steal movie ideas (Black Cobra, Starcrash, too many others to list), but neither is it above the U.S. to steal movie ideas (The Ring, Quarantine, too many others to list). Unlike Prom Night 2, this movie is not quite as dated in the 80s, which is both a detriment and a charm. Plus, it lacks the presence of Michael "Splinter Cell" Ironside. It is not a terrible film, but it is also not for everyone. That describes most films you'll see here though.
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Tomorrow will be my 100th blog post. I've decided to analyze a long-running horror anthology series and their weird stories. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun With Fulci: Don't Torture A Duckling

A little-known fact is that Lucio actually made dramas and giallo films before venturing into zombie territory. One of those films was...
Italian films like this are known for their oblique titles that are hard to decipher. This is definitely one of those. Even still, I only sort of get it.
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The film begins with a mysterious man killing a child in a rural Italian village. Well, to be honest, you don't really see it. That actually goes for most of the 'shocking events' in this movie. Is it a budgetary thing? Maybe. I think it has more to do with cultural sensitivities though. I tell you this to not scare off those afraid of the subject matter and not to overly-encourage those that may actually love it. Weirdos.
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Everyone in town is very sad and also very upset. They want to bring the killer to justice before another kid bites the dust. Oops, too late for that. A local woman and a priest seek to decipher the mystery. They come across a lot of people that are suspicious, which is weird given that the town has a population of about fifty people. They catch a man who confesses to the latest crime. Well, movie over.
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As it turns out, he is a crazy man who did nothing. Oh well. The mystery continues to elude them as another child is tragically killed. You may want to pick up the pace, people. The title line finally comes into play as the lady gives a Donald Duck doll to a local girl. The girl later goes missing and the doll is missing it's head. This is the real tragedy people! The death of children I can take, but the desecration of a Disney icon is entirely another matter!
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One crazy-looking woman is suspected of the crimes and beaten in one of the film's two violent and bloody scenes. The crescendo of the attack is a whipping of her face with a steel chain. Yowza! Of course, she is innocent. Eventually, the girl figures out that it is the priest that has done the crimes. He is haunted by childhood memories that have driven him insane. He has a showdown with the woman and is inadvertently pushed off of a cliff. This causes him to turn into a mannequin as part of his head is scraped off by a nearby rock during the fall. Yowza again!
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Is this movie good? Well, it is, actually. It is not great when compared to other giallos of the era like What Have You Done to Solange? I realize that I have mentioned this movie before, but you will learn why in a later review. The film has a dark subject matter, but a manageable tone. Given this film's reputation, it is often compared to the non-classic Who Can Kill A Child? This is definitely better and doesn't promise what it cannot deliver. Is that too much to ask? If you like European mysteries, give this one a rental, even though I just told you the whole story.
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As luck would have it, I got another Fulci movie in today. That means a big finale. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fun With Fulci: Zombi 3

After the debacle of Sodoma's Ghost and it's non-ending, we have nothing to look forward to but positive improvements. Well, unless you consider that this movie was only half-directed by Fulci. I'll explain in my review of...
First off, for those of you without the intimate knowledge of Italian film history, a bit of history. When Romero's Dawn of the Dead was released in Europe, it was called Zombi. So when Fulci made the iconic Zombie Flesh Eaters, it was retitled as Zombi 2. Why? Good question. Maybe it had something to do with famous Italian director Dario Argento producing (read: funding) Romero's film. This set continuity on its ear just in time for Fulci's follow-up film. That is how we got Zombi 3. Pencils down, class.
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Incidentally, this film is not really a sequel in any way. It is just another zombie film.
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The film proper begins at a government lab where scientists are making a bio-weapon. This never leads anywhere bad in film. A bunch of rebels attack...just because they feel like it and someone steals the canister of disease. He makes a run for it into the jungle, but is shot and killed. The object is pierced as well and the toxin floats into the air. Good thing the island is empty and free of people otherwise.
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As it turns out, the island is a tourist destination and is full of people. I'll spare you the character back-story- as minimal as it is- and just tell you that a bunch of random people end up together. They continually get attacked by zombies and their numbers slowly whittle down. There is some creativity in the zombie attacks, including zombie birds and zombies that attack in water. Considering that this claims to the third film in a series though, I expected more. Another problem comes up as well.
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As explained in the DVD's Special Features, Fulci had made what the studio called a 'good 45-minute zombie film,' before departing over creative issues. They called in a new director to help fill it all in. He did not have most of the original cast though, so he had to improvise. What he created is a subplot involving the government sending in a 'cleaning crew' to wipe up the mess. These men run around in white Hazmat suits and wield flame-throwers. Every once in a while, they pop in between zombie scenes or exposition. To say that they feel artificial is an under-statement. Would I rather watch a short film about zombies instead? I don't know.
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The most iconic part of the film is the other subplot involving the island's radio DJ. He decides to hole up in his tower and continue to report on the spreading plague. His role turns out to be entirely for exposition throughout the film up until the end. As the remaining heroes make their escape, his tone changes to that of embracing the zombie plague. A slow twisting shot reveals that he has transformed. That or he covered his face in pie. How he managed to keep doing his job while zombified is one science's wonders...or lazy screenwriting.
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This is a decently-entertaining movie, but lacks the imagery of Zombi 2 and the obvious social message of Zombi/Dawn. The intrusion of a second and third plot hurt the movie a little. I do applaud the creativity of how they filled in a movie without most of the cast though. Just don't do it again. I have seen both Monster A-Go-Go and They Saved Hitler's Brain, so, you can trust me when I say that it just does not work. If you like the genre, you may be forgiving. It will certainly not convert anyone though.
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A little more Fulci to go. The next film addresses a problem that, frankly, nobody ever thought about. Stay tuned...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fun With Fulci: Sodoma's Ghost

I've already given you a little background of the Godfather of Gore in the last segment, so let's jump right into the review of...
Way back in the 1940s, a bunch of Nazis have camped out in a French farmhouse for a nice night of sex and drugs. See, those guys were not all bad. In the midst of their orgy,- which was being filmed with a giant, awkward camera- the whole place is bombed into the stone age. End of movie? No, it is only the beginning...

A bunch of young students go out in the French countryside for a day of fun. You know what I mean. After a bit of bickering, they end up at the same farmhouse. Conveniently, the key is still under the mat and they go inside. When they discover food and booze, they decide to stay the night. Meanwhile, they continue to not get along all that well.
They attempt to leave in the morning, but find that their car doesn't work. The group ends up staying the day, beginning to see some weird stuff in the meantime. Oh yeah, they still don't get a long. One of the guys likes to drink in excess, one girl likes the idiot and another girl likes the girl who likes the idiot. How will they resolve this? When will someone just die already?!? Oh, there we go.
The majority of the scares and frights in the movie come from generally-weird imagery alone. One of the girls has bloody sex with a Nazi and a guy goes off and plays Russian Roulette in exchange for a chance at some German poon-tang. Smart guy. The amount of nudity in this portion almost makes up for nothing freaking happening! We finally get the dissolving man shown earlier around the hour plus mark. None of this matters because, wait for it, it was all a dream. Or was it? All I know is that the house disappears and all the group survives...even the guy who already died. Thanks for wasting my time, Lucio.
I wanted this movie to be good; I really did. The movie has major promise and simply fails to deliver on it. Much like the Dolph Lundgren film Detention, the film refuses to kill any of its tiny cast. There is good atmosphere at times, but it is ruined by cutting back to the bickering 'teens.' The ending pretty much takes all of the steam out of it as well. If you want real sultry Nazis, check out the Ilsa series or the film with an iconic title S.S. Love Camp. You did better Lucio and I'll show it...eventually.
Next we get another zombie film. Italy made Zombie films?  Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fun With Fulci: The Black Cat

Lucio Fulci was a very strange man. This Italian auteur was both a dreaming Director and a work-for-hire one. These would sometimes come into conflict, but still his career thrived for over twenty years. Oddly, forgetting to take his insulin- or not wanting to anymore, as some claim- would do this man in during 1996.  He has left behind a legacy of strange shit though. This film is one of those...
Getting the obvious out of the way, this is not an adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe story. Well, it sort of is, but it isn't. That is the best I can do to explain it, honestly. Just read on and see.
*
The film begins with a couple going off to have sex. This just tries to start off in a unique way, huh? They go off into a strange little park building and begin to do the deed. Suddenly, a black cat wanders over and uses leverage to lock them in. Then, I kid you not, it damages the heater, causing hot steam to flow into the room, using up all of their air. The pair suffocate and die. Is that unique enough for you? I haven't seen this level of animal ingenuity since Frogs.
We learn throughout the film a bit about the cat. Obviously, it is no ordinary tabby. It all has something to do with a guy dying and his soul taking over the body of a cat. It would not really help if I even began to explain how this happened or why he was killing people. Fulci movies- as you will learn in the next few days- exist in their own sort of reality where logic has ceased to exist. You simply go along for the ride.
One of the oddest scenes to me involves the reporter character running afoul of the cat. He is walking down the street at night and the film gives us lots of angle shots to show us the animal following him. After properly ratcheting up the suspense, the animal leaps down onto the man and begins to claw at his face. They cut away and the man is found dead. Did he die of those wounds? Is he allergic to scratches? Is he just the weakest man ever and was simply unable to pull the 10lb cat off of him? They never say.
Honestly, as far as fake Poe adaptations, you can do far worse. As much as I joked about the film being weird, it is entertaining. It will never make sense, but it will entertain. As you will see with Fulci, that is not always the case. Check it out if you like weird-ass stuff. Thankfully, Lucio found time between making Zombie films to produce this.
More obscure Fulci on the way. Nazi ghosts, zombie D.J.s and Donald Duck. Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spanish Huh-ror: The Brainiac

The Spaniards have had a love-hate relationship with us. On one hand, they hate us for stuff we've done (wars, etc). On the other hand, they love to make strange movies that entertain us. Today's film is an example of this. I can say with all honesty that this is one of the most insane concepts I have ever seen. It is...
The Brainiac
No, this is a not a movie about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs fighting monsters. Although, I do want to see that movie. This is actually something even more bizarre and random. To give you an idea, let's jump to 15th Century Spain...
*
Our villain is being put on trial for heresy. At least he's adamant about his innocence. Oh wait, he's not. Not only does he brag about being a warlock, but he shows his powers off. After making his chains disappear, he uses his powers to see the identities of his masked judges. Then, for some reason, he allows himself to be killed. It was a good plan up until the end.
*
As he dies, a comet is passing by the Earth. I'm sure that will play no part in the story and is just there for effect. Roughly 350 years later, the comet passes by the Earth again. Our villain reappears, achieving what the Hale-Bopp cult failed to. He appears completely normal right now, but that will soon change.
*
Realizing what year it is eventually, he begins to track down the descendants of the judges. He wants revenge in the worst way. Arranging a party in the town- they all still live there, I guess- and gets to see them all again. One by one, he kills a good bunch of them. He reveals his true form there and, holy crap, is it weird. As part of his transformation, he pulls people's brains out with his Gene Simmons-esque tongue. What else can I say?
*
The movie does fall into the same cliches and conventions of the genre. The men are macho, the women faint and supporting character are ineffectual. You even get the 'lab burning down' scene to boot. The movie has no other tricks than showing you the monster. But, in fairness, what else do you need?
*
This movie is highly recommended to any fan of the bizarre and fantastic. It is a one-note movie, but that note is great. I like this movie a lot. Unlike other films with insane premises,- Blood Freak, Monster A-Go-Go- this movie is consistent throughout and, you know, entertaining. Don't piss off a warlock or bad things will happen to you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Real Danger of Drugs: Scary Movie 2/Evil Bong

Drug use has always been a part of our society. Horror films have always been a part of our society. See where this is going yet? Oddly, the mix of them has been very minimal as a whole. For the most part, you have gotten drunken idiots running into monsters, from Blood Freak to Freddy vs. Jason. A couple have crossed over this line though for humor's sake. Well, they claim it is humorous.
Scary Movie 2
This Wayans Bros classic (in the TNT sense that any film over 2 years is a classic) features the youngest brother as a stoned loser. Okay, so he's playing himself again? Got it. As part of the parody of Poltergeist, the young man is attacked by a killer plant. But this is no Hickory or Elm. Yeah, it's exactly what you are thinking. A killer pot monster.
*
This was only an ancillary monster though. You want a main villain that's drug-related? Okay.
This movie is by Full Moon Entertainment, the people that brought us Puppet Master vs. the Demonic Toys and Gingerdead Man. If you already have given up on this being good, you are a smart man. This film also stars Tommy Chong, fully completing the joke without even saying anything.
*
If you think that this movie cannot go anywhere but up from this crap, you are wrong. Just look at this and this before you feel like correcting me. Even if you want to view on the grounds of 'it is satire, so it does not have to make sense,' this is bad. Come on, Tommy, you can do better.
*
Wait, no you can't. Carry on. You know, I did all of this without mentioning the ridiculous blood-sucking turkey from Blood Freak. Aw crap, I just did!
*
More insane and ridiculous monsters to come. Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WTF Japan?!?!?: Eko Eko Azarak

Like the sun itself, this series returns yet again. Japan's craziness continues to come to our shores like red tide. This is...
This is yet another manga adaptation into film. You guys can try a little harder over there, can't you? I'm just saying...
*
The film begins with another kid being killed at a High School that is getting a strange reputation. Apparently, five mysterious deaths in one place tends to do that to you. This happens right around the time that a brand new student enrolls. She quickly earns a reputation as a witch, which is questionable at times and obvious at others.
*
I should mention that there is a subplot involving a molesting teacher and a bit that leads up to some light sapphic activity. It is nothing like Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. The Undead though, unless you consider how superfluous it is here too. I like to picture this movie's script being put through an assembly line. We have murder, schoolgirls and Satan. What else is missing? Soft-core lesbianism, of course.
*
The actual plot involves a bunch of students being forced to retake a test after school. Their teachers goes off and gets killed, leaving them free to misbehave. Their fun is ruined by the realization that an evil force has trapped them inside the school. A number magically appears on the chalkboard that happens to be the number of students left. "Oh my God, we're trapped in a mish-mash of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer and Detention! Run!" That plan only ends up getting more of them killed. The best laid plans of men...
*
After numerous people die, our witch hero finally manages to do some good. Better late than never. She manages to save the day...for those left and leaves the school. So, after being given almost no back-story and having just as much given later, the movie ends. I guess we don't really need to know anything about our protagonist, apparently. The End.
*
Basically, this movie plays out like a Japanese version of Buffy with just as much necessary lesbian activity in it. Overall, it's not really that bad. My only big problem with it is that the story is so derivative. I'm not a Japanese film connoisseur, but even I have seen similar plots in Attack Girls' and Yo-Yo Girl Cop, not to mention Stephen Chow's Fight Back to School films to some extent. In addition, the tone is a bit erratic. You get humor at times, pure fright and flat-out gore in others and angst in others. Pick a tone, please. This film has actually spawned two sequels and a prequel- which is labeled as Eko Eko Azarak 2- in the ensuing years. If we have six Leprechaun films, why not?
*
We'll return to Japan later. For now, we get to look at some odd movie monsters. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forgotten Sequels: Curse of the Fly

I loved flies so much that I decided to do another review. Amongst film sequels, this one is right up there with Ben in the forgotten column. It is...
This one needs a little lead-in as well. The original Fly movie is about a scientist who accidentally teleports with a fly in the chamber. His death is tragic, but the details untold to his son. This leads in to Return of the Fly, where the son meets the same fate. Put a sign on the door or something, people! I give you all of that, even though it helps very little here. Ha!
*
The film begins with a woman escaping a sanitarium and running around town. So does she become a fly or something? She meets up with a young man, who falls in love with her. Desperate to protect her, he marries her and takes her to the family estate. In hindsight, this is a bad idea.
*
His brother lives there and has been experimenting with similar technology. His work, however, has lead to a barn full of Dr. Moreau-style monsters that resemble the large beast in The Brain That Wouldn't Die more than they do humans. It's never quite clear how this is happening though, but just go with it people!
*
Right now you're thinking 'why is this a fly sequel' and 'why does this guy answer his own questions aloud?' The latter is because I'm crazy, but the first question is answered thusly: they are descendants. The characters are the grandsons of the original scientist, although this movie is not set in the future like it should be. Time is relative here.
*
The uncle comes back into the picture, having teleported in from Quebec. He stirs up trouble, wary of her interference after he has had so much. Of course, this movie exists as a series of unknown issues. They don't know that the lady is crazy and she doesn't know that her husband has some screwed up DNA. The movie gets pretty strange near the end, finally introducing the mutants, fusing two of them together and ending with tragic family death. You don't get the same giant fly head creature this time, but, what you get is still strange. Not quite dinosaur/human/fly strange though.
*
Honestly, this film is not all that bad. It is not as good as The Fly or as entertaining in a camp way as The Return of the Fly. It is closer in tone to 1986's The Fly than anything. Ultimately, it is more of an homage to your cliched 'mad scientist makes a monster that is clearly not Adam and is killed by it' films that littered the 1930s - 1950s. Should this really be a Fly movie? Not really. It may actually stand better on its own, since it would not be compared to either original films and not have built-in story expectations. If you like weird, black-and-white movies, you may want to check this out. Fox lovingly-released the original trilogy a year or so ago.
*
No more insects. Instead, by popular demand, an old standard comes back. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Forgotten Sequels: The Fly II (1989)

So many films come out every year and yet, so many are forgotten over time. I would like to give a little due to some of these films. They're not always good, but they are consistently interesting. The first subject is...
Let's get this part out of the way. Despite what people may think, The Fly was actually a pretty long running series as a whole. You had the first THREE films (i'll cover the last one next), the remake and ITS sequel. Yeah, most people forget about the new Fly 2 more than they do the old one. The film is barely 20 years old too, which is the sad part.
*
A quick recap for those who did not see the Cronenberg film or forgot. Jeff Goldblum tried to make a teleportation machine. When he went in, so did a tiny little fly. Slowly but surely, our hero begins to transform. After much chaos and death, he dies, but not before getting his girlfriend pregnant and leaving a video diary. His kid is born and it resembles a larvae. Crap.
*
This film begins in a way that almost makes you wonder if it is a sequel. That title makes you think so, but the dramatic setting change and time-jump make you unsure. Basically, the kid was taken away, the mother died in child-birth (how convenient) and the child was raised in a lab. His home is basically The Truman Show, just with a more sinister edge.
*
He is constantly being tested without ever having the reason explained to him. On the plus side, he does have dog and a new love interest in Daphne Zuniga. While not the biggest name in Hollywood, you may recognize her. Life is good, save for the nagging feeling of being lied to and all those fly hormones running through him. He hooks up with Daphne, since it is a requirement of any film from this time. But you don't care about that.
*
You care about this. The whole movie builds up to the son testing another machine and fully bringing out his fly side. He transforms into a hideous monster and, just like Jaws II or Aliens, he spends a lot of time on screen. The thing resembles a fly, albeit by way of a dinosaur. Really though, this is a case of creativity over-powering common sense. The monster looks neat, sure, but he also looks nothing like he really should Laugh all you want at the original Fly and Fly 2's makeup, but it was fairly logicial. This one does spit acid and melt someone's face off though.
*
Ultimately, The Fly II is not all that inventive. It all boils down to boy-meets-girl, boy-kills-villain and boy-dies-tragic-death-while-mutated. There is nothing all that terrible about it, nor is there anything all that great about it. The blood effects and mutations look cool, but, given that they hired the F/X director of the last movie as the actual director here, this comes as no surprise. The film is entertaining, has good acting and has face-melting. Of course, so does Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'm just saying.
*
If you thought this movie was weird, wait until you see Curse of the Fly. Stay tuned...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Special: The 'Naked Gun' Curse

Comedies are fun business, except when they are cursed. I'm sure you all know at least a little bit about the "Poltergeist" curse and "The Exorcist" curse from the media. A more curious one has come to light this year though.
The Curse of the Naked Gun Movies
For those who don't know, the Naked Gun movies were a spin-off of the sadly-unsuccessful Police Squad TV show with Leslie Nielsen. They made three movies and a fourth has pretty much been teased ever since. Only one small incident in 1994 has really stymied those ideas. Let's begin with the first victim...

Ricardo Montalban
He outlasted the curse for a while, but, tragically, died this year. He lived a long life full of fun, family and Planet of the Apes sequels. Interestingly enough, he is actually tied into another curse that I will cover later.

Robert Goulet
The lounge singer did some limited acting in his time. He is most famous to my generation as being parodied on SNL by Will Ferrel. Many years after being the villain in Naked Gun 2 and 1/2, he died as well.

Anna-Nicole Smith
The youngest of any of the curse's victims, she also starred in the most recent movie- Naked Gun 33 and 1/3. Incidentally, these are 'funny' titles, so don't think that I skipped 31 movies. She died in the last couple of years, right after her oldest son did. The curse is spreading!

So, three movies and three victims. All they have in common is playing villains in Leslie Nielsen movies. Maybe we had better keep an eye on Andy Griffith and Miguel Ferrer.

Well, that's it so far. I can't help but feel that I missed something...
Ah well, I'll think of it later. More curses coming in the future. Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mondo Week: The Devil's Sword

We've reached the end of the road people. While Mondo Macabro will always be a part of my life,- I gots to have more Indian horror- this is the last update day. Well, until I do another one. Never say never in this business when you can watch...
This movie is basically a sword-and-sandal movie, mixed with a lot of Wuxia (the flying Chinese people movies) and fantasy. Since it comes to us from our brothers in the Eastern hemisphere, we can get a guarantee of cultural weirdness as well. Good stuff.
*
Okay, so there is this evil Crocodile Queen. Before you ask, she is NOT a crocodile herself. Given this kind of movie, there was a chance, I know. She is just their buxom, evil and horny leader. Fortunately, this film is saved from fetish notoriety due to her lust for MEN and not humanoid reptiles. Now that we're spared from that imagery...anymore, let's get to the real meat of the film.
*
If you like flying, flipping and hand lasers, this is your movie. The plot involves the evil Queen's attempt to get the film's macguffin 'The Devil's Sword.' It is all-powerful and looks badass, so, naturally, everyone else wants it to. Our hero is a very manly man who kills with ease. In his way are three dangerous assassins. This should be a walk in the park for him.
*
This movie is not only action packed, but trippy as all hell. Aside from having a guy with a sword fight crocodile men, you get witches, weird spirits and skeletons. It also teaches gravity just who is the boss around here! In a way, this film is a mix of Conan the Barbarian and El Topo. Of course, I don't like the latter at all (bye bye, indie cred). However, the crazy 'I don't know where I'm going, but I like it' feel of the cult film is there. If you can take the insanity and survive the experience, you will be better (and crazier) for it.
*
Well, we now return you to my normal crap for a while. Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mondo Week: Don't Deliver Us From Evil

We haven't had any faux lesbianism in a while. We also have not had any killer children thus far either. Let's fix both oversights with...
This is one of those rare films that was shocking in its own time and really still is. Joining such film as Caligula and Cannibal Holocaust is a unique honor. In addition, this is made by a French director, so you would expect some classiness. Not so much.
*
Another quick note. I made a joke about there being 'faux lesbianism' in the movie. To clarify, the closest you get in physical contact is this. There is talk about it, but no follow-up. Given how young the leads are, this is a given. The point was made with just the idea of it being around. Also, this is based on the same real-life crime that Heavenly Creatures is, just made in 1971.
*
Two girls walk into a Church and one of them wants to be a Satanist. Bad joke, but adequate set-up to the film. Two Catholic schoolgirls who are not related, but act like sisters, share a bond of disdain with their strict upbringing. They rebel in subtle ways like stealing 'smut' from the attic and more overt ways like doing their own Satanic mass. The girls live in nearby countryside manors and spend all the time they can together.
*
The movie is subtle about getting 'full-on strange.' It escalates slowly but surely. The brunette goes a bit crazier than her blond friend does though. She starts out by killing her gardener's birds one-by-one. Why? Good question. This is actually in 'retaliation' to the gardener attempting to have sex with her friend...after she flashed her panties at him for several minutes and consented. Good moral system, huh?
*
"Don't Deliver" does take some major deviations from the real-life case. For one thing, the mother is never a 'threat' to their happiness. As a result, she is not a target for elimination or death. Instead, this comes to a random man that they come across. After enticing him with her ways,- including dancing around in her underwear- the man makes a move and is killed in 'self-defense.' The clues begin to lead to the girls, which leads them, in turn, to make their final, decisive move.
*
As an art film, this film is full of unique imagery and creative storytelling. It definitely will not be for everyone with though. What with the nubile young girls acting sort of evil, the men being thoughtless-pigs and there being a scene of two girls turned into human candles. For what it wants to be, it is quite strong. Whether you choose to like what it wants to be is up to you.
*
One last one to go and it's a doozy. Who has the best sword? The Devil does. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mondo Week: The Killer Must Kill Again

Let's keep the pace a little lighter today with some rape and murder. Today's movie is a giallo, but a long-lost one. Let's check out...
First off, I just have to say how much I love the title. That is all.
*
The movie begins with, shockingly, a murder. Our killer has just taken out another victim, but a concerned citizen picks up a lighter he left at the scene. He's going to turn it into the police, right? Nope. He's actually a poor, cheating husband who wants his wife killed. He uses this as incentive to get him to do it. Nice guy.
*
After a little 'friendly-time' with his wife, he goes off to establish his alibi for her impending murder. Hey, at least he did it in this order and not the other way around! Her death is not a quick one, as she proves to be quite feisty. Soon she ends up quite dead and put in the trunk of a car.
*
All goes well, except for the fact that car- with body in tow- is stolen by a young couple. They head off to the coast while the killer and the husband make plans to cover. The evil man chases them, while the philanderer decides to play up his innocence. During the trip, the movie teases you a couple of times with people possibly opening up the trunk. Good stuff.
*
They arrive at an abandoned house and go inside. All the while, the guy has been pressuring his lady to 'give it up to him.' She does not like all that talk and just wants to spend some time with him. After one last 'subtle' attempt, he leaves in search of food that she requested. Along the way, he comes along a buxom blond with car trouble. He gives her a ride and then she rides him. Ha ha ha innuendo. Wait, that was far less subtle.
*
While the guy is out getting sucked (into an affair), the girl is being stalked. The killer gets there and is mad that the car (and body) are gone. He ties her up and takes off her pants. In case you had not gathered, this is no kids film. Eventually, the guy gets back and is attacked. Way to save the day, buddy.
*
The blond is outside with the car and finally discovers the body. Unfortunately, it is at the same time as the killer comes back. She gets violently killed. This movie teaches you not to sleep around with strangers. Although, the guy escapes with only some scratches. As for the nice girl, well, let's just say that her first time was not pleasant and she did not enjoy it. The killer who must kill again gets killed by the girl who he tries to kill. Try saying that one time fast.
*
This movie is gritty, realistic and refreshing. Like any genre, the giallo genre was flooded with wannabes. For every classic like What Have You Done to Solange, you get subpar stuff like Black Belly of the Tarantula or bad ones like Lizard in a Woman's Skin. Like M, this movie is a neat twist on the genre that is often forgotten by fans. Thanks to Mondo Macarbo, we can all bask in this films glory. It's not the best movie ever, but it is a damn good giallo.
*
We ain't done yet. We have a trip to Indonesia and a stop in France still ahead of us. Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mondo Week: Tarkan vs. The Vikings

Let's get away from the salacious and dip back into the surreal. Mondo Macabro has set itself as one of the few companies to release GOOD DVDs of Turkish movies- I'm looking at you, Seytan. Let's check out...
To give a little history, Tarkan was a very famous comic character in his native land a la The Phantom or Prince Valiant. This was enough to get him a film in the pop cinema hay-day there.
*
The film quickly introduces Tarkan and his wolf, who he loves more than his own people. I know what you're thinking after the last few films, so let me just say that there is no bestiality in here. Our Hun hero is off to visit his lady friend, but their encampment is attacked. In the battle, our tough hero is wounded and his pet dies. It's young pup is alive and nurses him back to health.
*
The villains are an interesting group. You've got a Viking leader- who looks a lot Conan's friend from his cartoon show- who has joined up with a Chinese Princess. Why? Good question. The problem is that nobody can remain loyal. The Princess betrays the Viking (Tora) for Tarkan, but can't remain loyal to him. It's all very confusing, so let's focus on the action and absurdity.
*
Basically, if you have seen any good Sinbad movie, you have seen what this movie has to offer. That does not mean that it is bad by any means, just predictable. Of course, it does have its strange moments. The curious thing is how they portray Tarkan's battle prowess. He spends the majority of the movie going into battle and getting beaten. While one could argue that heroes thrive through adversity, this film overdoes it by the fourth or fifth failed rescue attempt.
*
The best parts of the movie are the bizarre ideas it has. First off, the barely-explained team-up of the Chinese Princess and the Vikings. It's interesting, but weird. Second, the 'torture' scenes of the women captured by the Vikings. They are just plain weird. Lastly, there is the monster. Throughout the film, they build up the idea of the Vikings' evil monster used to sacrifice to. Once you see it, well, the reaction is different. It is just freaking stupid looking. Good stuff. You can even see it in action here.
*
Is this movie good? Not by any means. It is silly, low-budget and has a ridiculous plot. Of course, to me, those are all positive traits. In spite of itself, the movie is fun and stupid. Pulp fans will have a good time with this, as well as the informative documentary and the less-entertaining film The Deathless Devil that comes packed on one DVD. Thank you, Mondo Macabro.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mondo Week: Panic Beats

Now that the lesbians and the crazy people are gone, let's take a trip to Spain. One of the million Paul Naschy films out there is...
Paul here was the Jesus Franco of relatively-good Spanish horror films. Unlike the artistically-challenged auteur, his films at least feel professional. Both Spaniards did make films that were just freaking strange though. This is the case today.
*
This movie is basically a horror/soap opera, mixed with some ghost story and slasher elements. Wow, that sounds simple, right? Yeah, it's a big mess of a plot. It's not terrible though, just hard to decipher. Speaking of hard to decipher, check out the opening of this movie.
*
A naked woman running through the forest. Okay, interesting choice. We quickly learn that she is being chased by a man in armor on a horse. Sucks to be her, evidently. In true horror movie fashion, she trips and is attacked by his flail. Her death is so violent that it triggers the title screen.
*
We cut to the present where Paul is taking his wife out into the woods. We learn that she is very rich and he is most assuredly not. Paul- looking a lot like John Belushi here- gets a flat tire and is attacked by bandits. Wow, this is the exact same scene from Werewolf Shadow, except you are the one in peril this time. That's very clever, pal.
*
The gist of the movie is that Paul's wife has a heart condition and needs some R&R. They go to Paul's family estate which is allegedly haunted by a ghost- the villain from the beginning- and features a painting of our hero as Vigo the Carpathian. As time goes by, the wife begins to get scared frequently and nearly dies. It all climaxes in the visage of our ghost villain appearing and pushing her over the edge. Bad luck. So, how do you feel, Paul?
*
Oh, you're happy, because this was all part of a plan to kill her off that you made with the maid. But, she doesn't like you either and plots your death with a mysterious man over the phone? Bad choice, Paul. Despite hearing her do this later on, he still falls prey to the 'toaster in the bathtub' trick.
*
The finale of the movie is chock full of violent deaths and crazy ghost appearances. It ends with our mischievous and malicious heroine attempting to leave the estate. However, the real ghost rises from his grave and gives her a violent death. Every good person and bad person dies. The End.
*
Yeah, this is another interesting recommendation. Those who can stomach the retro gore and frequent nudity may enjoy it. Much like Dario Argento's 'Opera,' the film is very dark in tone and does not end in the most happy of ways. Naschy himself even admits this in the interviews packed onto the Mondo Macabro disc. This is a less accessible Spanish horror film than say "The Loreley's Grasp" or "Return of the Evil Dead." It's worth a rental for those who think it sounds interesting.
*
Four more movies to go. Will we see sex traps, Satanic ceremonies and scientific shibari? Probably. Stay tuned...