Saturday, August 17, 2019

'80s Trash: Slaughterhouse Rock

An American Freddy Kreuger on Alcatraz with Sodoma's Ghost.  That's a confusing lead-in, no?  This is Slaughterhouse Rock, an '80s Horror Film with a great Title and few new ideas.  It does manage to remind me of many other Films that are better (and also a Fulci Film that isn't).  The Plot involves an evil spirit, a famous Prison, lots of killing, possession and a Soundtrack by Devo.  I'm certainly up for one of those!  The other notable Musical Performer here is Toni Basil, who I last saw playing a Prostitute who took LSD in Easy Rider (R.I.P. Peter Fonda).  I won't lie- this Plot is a bit of a crazy mess.  It comes to us from the Director of those two DTV Kickboxer Sequels recently.  Why couldn't I get the Greek Director who did The Lobster?!?  It's a weird, weird Film that I just have to break down for you...
A young man has weird dreams involving some sort of killer and various situations like being burned alive.

Wait- is that not normal?  Uh oh...
This coincides with the mysterious death of a Rock Band shooting a Video at Alcatraz.  We find out later that they accidentally released it.

Roddy Piper once trained there to battle Hogan, but the spirit was enough not to mess with him!
His nightmares get bad enough that a Teacher notices them.  She turns out to be into Mysticism and know the source of his bad dreams- an evil spirit in Alcatraz.
His friends are concerned, but just think that he might be crazy until this happens...
Off to Alcatraz!  Let's do at night when it's empty too, that will save on the Budget!
They go and, naturally, get separated.  The Spirit kills the older Brother and takes on its form.

So now our killer is just a guy with sharp teeth.  Aw, that's it?
We get an exposition dump from the ghost of Toni Basil about it being a Confederate Fort or something and this guy being evil.  Do you believe and/or care?
The American Werewolf thing comes in as the ghosts of his friends keep popping up to taunt/help him and show off their death wounds.

Weird, but not original.
To make a long story short, the survivors burn down the underground church and the spirt is vanquished.

I'm summarizing, but it's not that neat and clear.  The End.
A weird and silly Film that tries to be creative...while also copying.  As noted, the Film apes many ideas from other Films.  The dreams- Nightmare on Elm Street.  Ghost friends- American Werewolf.  Plot involving evil Ghost/Spirit at a Fort- Sodoma's Ghost.  There's nothing too unique here on the surface.  Below that, we get a nice Setting, good Mood and overall good Production Values.  It has some really good Practical Effects- always a bonus.  It still suffers from all of the usual Slasher Tropes like Plot Armor and the like.  It's a bit too experimental at the end as the action is split between our Hero going through a dream, while the two survivors fight the evil brother-looking-creature.  They are supposed to be connected, but it is not that well-explained.  Slaughterhouse Rock is perhaps an overlooked Horror Film.  It's not original, but it can be fun.  Now let me go check out the latest George R.R. Martin Book...
Next up, more fun from the '80s.  I might go Horror or I might not- wait and see.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Poor Bastards of Cinema: I Eat Your Skin

A Film about Zombies should have some death in it.

I Eat Your Skin- a Film about Zombies in an Island off of Miami- fills that quota.

Our Hero sees one of them and tries to get some help.
The only one nearby is this Fisherman.
He asks the guy to lead him to the nearest Village, but they run afoul of, well, the same Zombie.
This Zombie uses a machete (since this was Filmed before the 'Zombies don't use weapons' trope) and chops off the guy's head!
This guy somehow lived in peace with the Zombies, but dies within 5 minutes of meeting our Hero.

The lesson- don't greet Tourists.  Even if you don't get killed, it never ends well.

Next time, a recent Animated Film turns a key death into one of these.  I might as well include it!  See you then...

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lost in Translation: Monster From Green Hell

A silly Movie deserves a pretty silly poster.

This one is about Giant Wasps, so it definitely qualifies.
Let's see what so Green about this Hell...

This one sure is silly and not even accurate.

It seems to feature killer Caterpillars, not Wasps.

Here's the original...
Did it naturally fade from age?  Probably.  It's alright- I got it covered.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

DCE-Hulu: Swamp Thing- 'The Anatomy Lesson'

As we all near the end, let's just enjoy what we can here.  The penultimate Episode is here...
After last Episode, Swamp Thing is not in a great place.  That's in the literal sense, although he will be there emotionally by the end.
Ian Ziering is awoken from his Coma by the mysterious 'man' who cursed him.  He sees a possible future that needs his help.  Will he rise to the challenge?

Incidentally, Ian has a new Film coming out with Zombies in a Tidal Wave.  So much for whatever rub this might have given you!
Dr. Woodrue has plans to take Swamp Thing apart to cure all sorts of diseases.  What else will he find?
What is Mr. Sunderland's big plan?  Will it work?

To find out, watch the Show.
A damn good Episode to nearly close out the Series.  Obviously, I wish that it wasn't the semi-final Episode.  Hearing the talk about how the Producers had a 3-Season Plan is so sad.  Add in the fact that an underperforming (for me) show like Titans is getting a Season 2 and this one hurts.  Try to focus on the positive, self!  This Episode features some big moments (which I won't SPOIL), some good character moments and the start of something that would probably mean more if there wasn't only one Episode left.  Who knows- maybe they can use these Characters on any of the other Shows.  What is really nice about this Show is that the Villains aren't one-note or cartoonish.  Dr. Woodrue has a very natural reason for doing what he is doing.  Sunderland seems to feel legitimate hurt at any betrayals.  They are as human as the good guys- what a concept!  The whole Episode ends on a nice and epic moment that I can't wait to see how they pay it off.  Things are going to be good (and sad) next time!  Just for fun, here's the Comic Teaser for comparison...
Next time, the final Episode of the Series.  Will it go out with a bang or a whimper?  See you then...

Friday, August 9, 2019

My Crazy Youth: The Cryptkeeper Teaches Kids to Respect...Ants?!?

With a scary Film full of scary Stories marketed towards Teens coming out, I thought it would be fitting to do the same.

In typical Mondo Bizarro fashion, however, mine is a bit different.

Mine comes from a Show I *sort-of* remember.  It was a weird attempt to make a version of a Horror Show for Kids.  It's...
A Cartoon version of Tales from the Crypt?  Why not?!?

With a few Dozen Episodes to pick from, I chose the 2nd one.  Why?  It fits my quasi-bug Theme (and is super-silly).  It's...
A pair of Brothers mess around with Ants at a Picnic and then are shrunk down to Ant-size, God?

Seriously, it's just a random cloud and magic bolt of energy through a magnifying glass!
They quickly learn that actions have consequences as they run afoul of the same Ants who they victimized moments ago.

I feel like this might make a better Movie than an Episode, no?
The pair are shown how the Ant World works and they realize how interesting it is.  Were they dicks?
In the End, they learn that the Ants shouldn't be picked on.  They get returned back to normal size via the same Deus Ex Machina.

How is this a Tales from the Crypt Tale again?
A simple moral for a weird cartoon.  Hey kids, don't be an asshole to Ants!  Unless, of course, they are in your kitchen and then it is instant death!!!  Seriously though, how is this a Tales from the Crypt Story exactly?  At best, it's a Twilight Zone tale.  I like the idea and all.  There's just something strange about this whole thing.  A Horror Show gets neutered as a Cartoon if you're making it for the Saturday Morning crowd.  If there was an HBO Cartoon and they 'went for it,' then I'd be all in.  As it is, this is more Tales of the Unexpected than from the Crypt.  I get the idea of trying to expand your market, but this feels like a step in the wrong direction.  Case in point: the other Episode I watched.  In it, two kids break into a creepy Mansion to steal stuff and buy a bike.  They are chased by Monsters- including a Werewolf, Vampire and an Adam/Frankenstein's Monster.  Ultimately, they just escape with zero damage.  That...sure made sense.  I might do more of these if something especially goofy happens, but its otherwise an inferior version.  They lost the actual scares, but kept all of the puns.  Yea?  Seriously, who looked at THIS and thought 'Cartoon for kids- of course!'
A weird product from a weird time.  In hindsight, is this any weirder than Mortal Kombat's Cartoon Show though?

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Poor Bastards of Cinema: I Drink Your Blood (Part 3)

Just when you thought it was safe to give yourself Rabies, I'm back for one more trip to the Well.

I Drink Your Blood is full of the crazed Cultists killing random people for the crime of living.
They eventually expand their rage quota to include Snakes...
The Leader has found a Snake Farm (in a 96% empty town, why not?) and the Owner does not take kindly to him refusing to pay that quarter!
Strangely, he tries to run the second the guy looks at him and gets grabbed.  Why the sudden fear?

Oh and this Extra does laugh when his dentures come out.  Yes, they do use that take.
As Hulk Hogan can tell you, the Sleeper Hold is deadly-tough and...I guess killed this guy.
A man was killed for wearing a onesie and just existing.  One of those is fair, but not the other!

The moral: spell words correctly on your sign.  I mean, it's your Snake- spell it right!

Next time, I move on to the 2nd half of the double-bill.  Should you help us gringos?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

'50s Trash: Monster from Green Hell

An obscure little gem or something that you should leave in the brush?  This is 1957's Monster from Green Hell, a Sci-Fi Horror Film.  I like the Title.  I saw the Film.  I like the Title still.  The Plot involves a Region of Africa, which means we're going to get lots of old-timey Racism.  I won't linger on it- much- but know that it is there.  The Plot involves giant bug, presumably the ones that come before the tiny ones who will one day rule the Earth.  On the plus side, the Dung Beetle will be perfect for working retail!  The Director of this only has 4 Credits, one of which is The Manster- joy.  One of the Writers worked on many TV Shows and I Married A Monster From Outer Space.  The other Writer has multiple TV Credits as well and wrote a Film called Desert Hell- he has a type!  Let's not waste any more time (since the Film does enough of that) and read on...
Deep in Africa, a certain region (don't bother with a name- it's fake) is dealing with new people coming in and one other little thing...
Giant Wasps!

These hilariously-fake creatures have the ability to scare away Stock Footage and somehow not be noticed by people outside of the area.
While the Film focuses mostly on some guys studying Radiation causing growth in Animals, the 'meat' of the Film is really the bug attacks.  They're gloriously-silly!
Seriously, you have to feel for the Actors here...

Some guy is holding up a foam rubber bug head, while another has a claw puppet (or two).  The poor Actors have to 'die' at the 'hands' of this thing.
For all the fun that the silly bug stuff is, we get way too much of the boring people.  They narrate CONSTANTLY too, as this is one of those Films which thinks that the Audience is made up of morons.

No, you're thinking of the people that enjoy Transformers Films!
To get the Film to 70 minutes, they get attacked on the way by a bad Tribe of people.  There's the old-timey Racism again.

Oh and the reason for the Title is that the Wasps are in 'Green Hell,' a Valley.  How they are ONLY there is anyone's guess.
To make a long story short, they throw grenades at giant wasps and accidentally jump-start a Volcano to kill the beasts.

It's less interesting than I make it sound.  The End.
Not all B-Movies are made the same.  Think about the premise- Giant Wasps are on the loose!  It sounds dumb, but fun.  To be fair, it can small doses.  The problem is that everything around the silly F/X Shots is pretty dull.  It is FULL of Narration that does little for anyone.  In the Story, it takes them ages to get to the titular Green Hell.  On that subject, why would 'Natives' with no concept of Judaea-Christian Religion name a place 'Hell' in the first place?  It's like how the U.S. said that an Iraqi Soldier was known as 'The Wolf of Baghdad,' despite said area not having Wolves!  There's so much padding here, since they can clearly only do so much with the model bugs.  It's kind of a shame really- it shows so much potential for hilarity.  If you're looking for more obscure '50s Films to watch, this one qualifies.  As far 'So Bad its Good' Films, it's not as 'good' as Plan 9, but it's also not as bad as Orgy of the Dead either.  I hope that helps.  Speaking of helping, I love how this actual Promo Art for the Film couldn't make it look less silly!
Next time, I go back the 1980s for some shlocky fun.  No more giant insects though (probably).  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

DCE-Hulu: Young Justice: Season 3, Part 2 (UPDATED 8/17)

As people are getting back into the Show due to Part 2 dropping, it's about time I said something.

Let's see what the second half has to offer.

As before, each Episode gets a short summary and the Post will update as I cover new Episodes...

Episode 19: Elder Wisdom
A PR Battle goes on between the Outsiders and Lex Luthor (also a real battle).  Will the Parents of some teammates help?  Oh and a big secret is revealed that will change everything!!!

Thoughts: Good action and continuation of the overall story.  Nice character moments as well.  Seeing the Heroes go above and beyond in a different way is a nice hook and a callback to Episode 9.  Is a desperate Lex even more dangerous?

Episode 18: Early Warning
The Outsiders expand their presence by trying to stop a Meta Factory in Cuba. Can they stop a Villain that was once part of The Light? Did they try too much?

Thoughts: A good Episode that brings back an old Villain (set up back in Episode 7!) and gives focus to Characters that needed it. Seeing another classic Leaguer that was missed was a bonus too. Good stuff and far better than my last focus on Cuba with a drunk Movie Star trying to save it.

Episode 17: First Impression
Beast Boy makes a pitch to have a public Young Justice Team. They find a place to stay, but quickly get called into action! The group must face a literal relic from their recent past to prove themselves to a new market in a new way.

Thoughts: An exciting Episode that feels like a big shift. Seeing the team go public is a turn that has been coming for a bit. It is nice to see the pay-off not get dragged out so long as to make it meaningless. They picked a good time to 'pull the trigger' on this Plot Point and I want to see where it goes next!

Episode 16: Illusion of Control
Thanksgiving has come to the Show. In one place, a gathering of family and friends uncovers some hidden drama. In another place, a festival of peace and togetherness is targeted by some Villains.

Thoughts: A strong Episode. It has some nice villains, showcases some forgotten characters and moves many Subplots along. It doesn't truly stands on its own, however, as it does more to build up the long-term story.

Episode 15: Leverage
The first mission for the new Members is complicated by 3 Villains working for a familiar group. More simmering issues for Beast Boy as he tries to balance his fame and heroism. In Taos, new Metahumans (like Livewire) try to find meaning.

One big reveal happens as well!

Thoughts: A strong Episode that lets them bust out the Stealth Suits. The Action is fun, but this is more about build up for future intrigue. Seeing the group battle notable Villains is always nice.

How can you not love an Episode featuring a militant French Gorilla?!?

Episode 14: Influence
In Space, some Justice Leaguers (including Guy Gardner!) make a dangerous discovery.  On Earth, the new recruits officially join up and people working for Darkseid engage in a proxy war against the League via 24 Hour News.

Thoughts: The part in Space was neat, giving us bits of action from people we don't see much.  The parts on Earth are neat for different reasons.  The 'long game' stuff with Darkseid has me intrigued.

Of course, I'll always miss Tim Curry as Godfrey.
The Show is back and I'm happy!  The Series has always tried to walk a very careful line.  At its weakest, the Show would feel like you're only getting part of the Story/Action.  We'd hear about the Justice League fighting some Villains, but only see the Team doing something else.  At its best, the Team's adventures can stand on their own and *also* supplement the bigger narrative.  So far, they are doing good with that balance.  We get to see big Heroes like Wonder Woman and Superman.  We get Episodes highlighting Geo-Force, Halo and Terra.  We get to see teasing of the bigger issues- like what Lex is up to or what Darkseid's big plan entails- while we get the main Narrative.  Little things keep you coming back for more.  If they can keep the scale of the Show big when they need to and small when it needs to, I'll keep watching happily.  Kudos for digging deep into the DCU to bring us the Rocket Red Brigade (even if they look like Warhammer 40K Models)...
This Post will reappear as I watch more Episodes.  I want to space them out, as I am in now rush to run out of new content.