miércoles, 30 de diciembre de 2009


Debbie Rochon, that beautiful Queen of low budget horrors, plays a pregnant prostitute who gets a ton of shit from her boss, a pimp who’s such a huge asshole that he decides to give the poor woman a back-alley wire hanger abortion. He throws the mutilated baby in the trash can, but is rescued by the prostitute’s only friend, played by Don Ellis. The John takes care of the baby until he grows up to become Hanger, a mutilated freak of a huma nbeing who wants to do good, but people have treated him so bad that he just can’t adapt to normal society. Things get worse for him, as the man who killed his mother comes back and wants to finish off Hanger once and for all.

Parts black comedy, parts exploitation grindhouse flick, this is a definite step up in the productions of Plotdigger Films. Live Feed was a cool flick and Gutterballs was awesome fun, but this movie is definitely closer to a work of art than the previous two films. It’s mostly because of it’s excellent screenplay, which is able to mix it’s grindhouse ideas and goals with a really touching and humane point of view. Like Basket Case and Freaks, we’re able to feel real sympathy for the freaks in the film, even after they do some truly horrible things to each other. Must be the horror fan in me but I really liked the freak characters. The performances are also excellent, particularly Don Ellis, who steals the show here the same way he did in Gutterballs, playing one helluva mean son of a bitch who does evil shit but with good intentions. Nathan Dashwood, who played the obnoxious AJ in Gutterballs, plays Hanger, and he is able to give the character a lot of real drama and pathos, even under the heavy makeup effects. He’s also good in the vicious sequences.

Now, don’t get scared, this isn’t all sappy and tragic, after all, it’s a Plotdigger production so you get what you’re expecting. There is a ton of sick and violent gore, right from the beginning when poor Lloyd Kaufman (as a tranny) gets his cock roasted. The most cringe-inducing moments, however, are the wire hanger abortion, which is realistic to the point of being way too sick for anyone, and when one of the inbred workers starts fucking Hanger in his shit hole. That was pretty fucking nasty. We also get the uber-sexually explicit sequences that Gutterballs also included, strangely enough with the same actress, Candice Lewald. Here her sex scenes are much more erotic than they were in Gutterballs, with her staying on top of a table butt naked and masturbating with everything from a pen to a Hello Kitty vibrator. Wish I met an actress as brave as she for my movies! So yes, this movie is very explicit and very gory, but if you give it a shot, you might find something that, hidden beneath it’s mountains of grime, has a lot of heart. Another great production from Plotdigger Films, keep them coming guys!

Snow White And The Seven Dwarves

It’s hard to imagine that in the world of Pixar, a movie like this could still be able to get the hairs in your arms standing up, but it could. I recently bought the Blu-Ray, since my old VHS had been rotting away for a couple of years now. Yes, I hadn’t seen this movie since I was about 8 years old. So I watched it and was ready to get some glorious cuteness, but from the first frames I was caught in. This movie is one of the greatest animated films of all time, and there are a lot of factors that add to it.

I think the main attraction for me was the animation. It seemed very realistic and life-like, and my suspicions were correct, since they did use real actors as references. Still, there are animated sequences in this film that have not been equalled in anything since. Sequences such as when the Evil Queen turns into a witch, and the creation of the poisonous apple are incredibly done. I also fell in love with the characters pretty quickly. Although both Snow White and the Prince are pretty boring and one-dimensional, the Seven Dwarves were really well-written characters, particularly Grumpy, who is full of contradictions and acts like an asshole all the time. The music is also pretty good too, particularly the three main songs done by the Seven Dwarves. Whistle While You Work and Heigh-Ho is a classic, although I think more of the Gremlins singing along every time I hear it. More interesting for me was The Silly Song, which is hilarious and the animation that goes with it is excellent.

I was also very shocked to realize how dark this damn movie is. There is a sequence where the Witch actually makes fun of a dead corpse trying to get to water, then kicks the bones around. Holy shit! The witch is pretty scary on her own, particularly thanks to that laugh of hers, but that just made her out into even more of a psychopath. Then, after Snow White gets poisoned, she is basically lynched by the Seven Dwarves. I was really distraught watching this, considering most memories you have of these films come from your childhood and you barely remember the dark and scary stuff. Dario Argento always said this film was an influence on his Suspiria, and now I get it. The ending is a fluffy happy ending, but still, this is a great fantasy film, with a very beautiful animation and delightful characters. Don’t be fooled by it’s kid’s movie look, it really is a great film. And it might just scare the living shit out of you.

Ogroff The Mad Mutilator

Once in a while, a movie so terrible, so vile, so bad will come out and shatter everything that I believe in when it comes to cinema. I watch a lot of crap, as you might have noticed, but there are some things that are almost impossible to comprehend. One of these things is Ogroff The Mad Mutilator, one of the earliest slasher films to come out of France. France has become a hot bed of horror material, with films like Haute Tension, Martyrs, L’Interieur, Ils and Frontier(s). But this came many, many years before that, in the mid-80’s to be precise.

A mixture of Friday the 13th part II with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the story involves a psychotic backwoods killer, Ogroff, who has his own shed just like Jason and goes around killing people with an axe. He’s quite the character, both a villain and a hero, as he butchers innocent people and then killing zombies. That’s right, the movie also has zombies. No real reason is given for their existence, they just pop up and start doing their business thing, although it’s Ogroff who kills them and eats them, not the other way around. There is a lot of gore to be had, a ton actually, as our killer is a cannibal and nobody is spared, not men or women or children. There is also a very funny homage to the Burning, when one of the dudes cuts off the fingers of a zombie with shears, similar to the way Cropsy took out the campers in the famous river raft scene. It’s still very hard to comprehend, however. There are five lines of dialogue in this movie, at the most. The rest of the soundtrack is composed of a very droning music score that’s just as bad as the one in Chester Turner’s Black Devil Doll From Hell, and the movie is shot in very grainy 8mm stock, with all it’s dialogue replaced over. There is no continuity at all, not in lighting or in camera angles. It’s one of the shoddiest films ever made in the horror genre, and that’s saying a lot.

Although perhaps I’m being too unfair with the film. After all, I’m a no-budget filmmaker myself, and I know I’ve done stuff as bad as this. This is so bad, however, that it’s almost entertaining. Much like Boardinghouse and A Night To Dismember, these are movies that are so damn bad that they reach an almost hallucinogenic, surreal nature. For no reason, Howard Vernon (The Awful Dr. Orloff, Delicatessen) shows up in the end as a vampire cardinal and kills our lead. What the fuck was I watching?

The Day Of Love

When you think of Russian cinema, what do you think of? Eisenstein? Tarkovsky? Surely, not cliched rape/revenge masterpieces of shit! Well, every country is guilty of at least one, and Russia is no exception with this one, which is pretty by-the-numbers. The story involves a crime syndicate that is about to rob a huge shipment of trucks, but to distract the police, they decide to hold their own ‘love day’ where the teenage thugs that work for them will go on and rape every woman they can find. And so it finally happens, and they rape everything, particularly underage girls in fairs and department stores. One of the women that gets raped is you Christina, who just won a beauty pageant. As you can imagine, neither she or her family are very happy about it. Her dad and her stepfather, who have an uneasy relationship, decide to join together and commit some brutal 80’s revenge on the gang of thugs and their leader.

This movie has a lot of homages to 80’s action movies, particularly the ones of Silvester Stallone. In one scene, we see Christina and her friend watching the end of Cobra, when Stallone impales a guy and sends him to a burning furnace. Great death scene, of course, but here not only do they show it on the tv, but the parents do the same thing to the leader of the angry teenagers! I mean, is this a tribute or a ripoff? Well it’s always a ripoff unless it’s Tarantino, then the film geeks kiss his ass forever for imitating. Other deaths in this steel mill include a guy who gets choked by a machine, and another dude who has his arm crushed. Awesome stuff, but sadly that’s the end of the awesomeness when it comes to this movie. The rest of the deaths, particularly the one of the leader of the gang, is very anti-climactic and leaves you wishing for more.

The main negative point, however, comes in the rape scenes. They’re not explicit at all and, while we do get some breast action, it’s not very impressive. If there’s something that ever exploitation rape/revenge film should have is extensive nudity, and the filmmakers of this piece of crap decided to rob us of it as well. This movie is not worth recommending, as it fails in most of it’s exploitative moments, has little nudity and the violence can be seen in better detail in Stallone’s Cobra. So rent Cobra, then watch Savage Streets, instead of watching this piece of shit.

The Green Slime

This is one of the most ludicrous science fiction films I have ever seen. A Japanese/American co-production, the story involves a group of top astronauts who go onto a meteor to blow it up, since it’s on it’s way to a head-on collision for Earth. Believe it or not, the way it’s handled here is better than the way Michael Bay would handle the material in Armageddon. After destroying the meteorite, it turns out that there was an alien slime that has attached itself to the ship and it’s feeding on electricity, not to mention giving birth to some really grotesque-looking creatures with some of the weirdest screams in monster movie history. It’s up to our Ken and Barbie-looking heroes to destroy the menace before it’s too late.

The American connection is definitely shown in the movie’s actors. Robert Horton and Richard Jaeckel play our leads, and try in vain to upstage each other in showing which one of them is more heroic. It’s too bad since both actors have very impressive resumes, particularly in the acting department, appearing in many westerns and genre efforts. However, neither of them are very credible and are not very good at being able to come off as intimidating or heroic. Italian beauty Luciana Paluzzi is very good eye candy, but can’t really act here either, which is too bad since she’s very good in exploitation movies like 99 Women and Tragic Ceremony.

Most of this must have come from a lack of communication between the multi-cultural cast and the director, Japanese Kinji Fukasaku. Fukasaku was a pretty good director and his last film was his masterpiece, Battle Royale, but this movie is nowhere near as good as that futuristic child-killing masterpiece. We do get to see some good use of Japanese special effects, as there are many cool rocketships and space stations that, although they look like a model, they certainly have a lot of charm. If you like Godzilla movies, then you know what I’m talking about. The Green Slime monsters are also pretty cool, with their long tentacles and electric powers, and have one of the most interesting cries in monster movie history. So yes, this movie has it’s faults, but it’s also very entertaining, and for many of us, it holds a special nostalgic place in our hearts. It’s better than Armageddon, I promise.

Ebola Syndrome

Anthony Wong plays a really sick fuck named Ah Kai, an ex-con who makes the stupid mistake of having sex with the boss’ girlfriend. Trying to save his own ass, he goes and murders everyone in the house, even the almost-burning of a young child. On the run, he goes to Africa, where he rapes an African girl that gives him the Ebola virus. Strangely enough, he does not become sick from the thing. Instead, he becomes a living carrier, like the monkey in Outbreak, and goes around spreading the disease to everyone in Hong Kong, first by killing and infecting a gang of criminals and serving them as food for the restaurant, then by random casual sex. Will the police be able to get to him in time?

This movie is the epitome of the Cat III film, a rather brutal subgenre in Hong Kong cinema reserved exclusively for movies that cross the edge of bad taste. This one has it all. First, let’s start with our Ah Kai character. He’s one of the biggest scumbags in the history of cinema, a vain and self-serving psychopath who cares about nobody but his own. Anthony Wong is famous for playing sick fucks (The Untold Story, hello!) but here he goes even farther in his psychotics. Every woman he meets he sexually assaults, from the beautiful and willing, then raping a dying African girl (which gets him infected with Ebola) and then a woman who works at the restaurant he works in. It’s all in bad taste and it revels in it’s offensiveness. There is a lot of gore, if you have the original unedited version. The best examples of these are the opening when our ‘hero’ stomps a guy to death with a table, then cuts his girlfriend’s tongue out with scissors. The only scene that made me gag, however, was an autopsy sequence where the doctor is operating on a sick patient. All the guts and viscera look putrefied and rotten. Almost lost my lunch.

Of course, with a CAT III film like this, you really can’t take things too damn seriously. After all, we are talking about a movie about a guy who spreads the Ebola virus while he himself is immune to his effects. The movie has a lot of racist overtones, as most of the African people are seen as backward and idiotic, and the scenes in Africa look like they were obviously shot at a nature park. This isn’t really a negative thing, since it adds to the craziness of the material. This movie has it all: it’s un-PC, it’s violent, it’s full of sex, violence, gore and even black humor. It’s the best of Hong Kong’s CAT III horror cinema and comes highly recommended.

domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009

Tropic Thunder

This movie is great because it has a lot of dick and fart jokes. That’s all I gotta say about that.

Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre

I’m a big war movie buff, particularly those involving WW2, even if my all-time favorite would have to be All Quiet On The Western Front, which is WW1. I think the best war movies are those that are not interested in patriotism, but the ones that show not only what the war can do to the body, but the morality of a human being. Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, and Story Of A Soldier. Well, The Nanking Massacre falls into these films as one of the most brutal and realistic war films ever made, which is strange considering it was basically made to be Part 4 of the legendary exploitation series known as the “Men Behind The Sun”, where we are previewed to the Japanese atrocities done to the Chinese during the Second World War. The first one is really good, but two and three are real stinkers. This one, part 4, is pretty damn good.
The Nanking Massacre is based on the taking of the city of Nanking in China by Japan in the late 30’s, and the wholesale slaughter and rape of the city. What makes this movie so powerful is the fact that it’s completely grounded in reality. Every fact in the film is backed up by documentary footage and even photos of the massacres going on while it happens on the screen. We are previewed to crazy Japanese soldiers raping women and children (yes, children), families being slaughtered, a pregnant woman having her stomach ripped open and her fetus extracted with a bayonet, a kid thrown into a boiling cooking pot, and a grandma who sacrifices every member of her family to the fire, killing two soldiers in the process. The most disturbing aspect to me, however, were the competitions between the soldiers to cut off the heads of the Chinese people, each ranking themselves as heroes depending on how many heads they had cut with their Samurai swords. The biggest hero had taken 300. Most of the violence is done from the point of view of children, something Sam Peckinpah used to do with his films, and in the end we see two children walking through deserted Nanking streets with nobody in sight.

There’s really not a lot more I can say about this film. Like every good war film, it’s a movie that can really upset you or even ruin your mood if you watch it in the wrong state of mind, as you are previewed to things that really happened. In it’s defense however, I will say that this movie does more in showing what real war and slaughter is all about without resorting to cartoonish patriotism of a Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Dawn or other pro-Military propaganda of the sort. It’s a great film that should be discovered not just by exploitation enthusiasts, as it’s a legitimate work of art.

Cannabis Cannibal 2: Exodus

It feels really weird talking about this film, since in a small way I am a part of it, casting wise. But still, I feel my part is small enough that I can talk about it without feeling like I’m giving it blind praise. This is the sequel to one of the few true cult films to ever come out of my island of Puerto Rico, Cannabis Cannibal, which had it’s share of faithful audiences without the need for exposure or distribution. The story involves a group of idiots, led by Manny and El Sargento, trying to survive a zombie apocalypse where their weapons include guns, machetes and the smoke of marihuana. The sequel continues with the Manny and El Sargento character, as they continue to survive the apocalypse, meeting new people in the process.
Just like the first one, the sequel is hilarious, mostly thanks to the dialogue. I don’t know whether it was scripted or not, but it sure has an air of improvisational material that just makes it sound better than it could have, particularly coming from El Sargento who steals most of the scenes away from Manny, who sometimes seems like he’s just tagging along for no other reason than to stay alive. There are a lot of new characters but only a few of them really stand out: the “Hijos De Puta”, a Mad Max-style gang of post-Apocalyptic warriors, will bring a smile to anyone who has a passion for post-Apocalyptic movies like After The Fall Of New York and The Bronx Warriors, since they’re cut out of the same mold. I hope the director Franco someday releases action figures based on these three. The other character that really stood out was called Korintio, I believe. I’m not sure who played this person (remember, I just got back from the premiere), but he basically stole the show from EVERYONE in the film. His line delivery and improvisation is incredible and made him to be the best and funniest character in the whole movie. I could watch a whole film based on this guy! Too bad he’s in only one scene. I also have to give Franco credit for doing beautiful work of the slower scenes in the film, the stuff where we get to see the beautiful passages of Puerto Rico. Franco, you got a real eye for beauty and these are without a doubt the best scenes in the film. I’d love to see what you’d make with a slower-paced movie.

Now for some flaws. I’m not going to talk about the technical aspects such as image and sound since Franco knows they’re flawed as well. My main complaint is that the film doesn’t have the appropriate pacing the original had. Some scenes go on for far too long, and for the most part give out information that is not really necessary, the most obvious being the sequence in the car after they pick up the young woman from the religious fanatic. The scene felt like an eternity and could have used some trims. Also, what’s the logic in dropping a nuke in PR and the bomb not taking over neighboring island, Vieques? I mean, I know it’s a comedy and it’s not supposed to be realistic, but the characters look as if they don’t even feel the shockwave when they get to our little neighboring island. I dunno why but that really bothered me.
To finish it off though, this is a great comedy. It made me laugh a lot and even my sister, who hates DIY cinema, loved it. Those are my two cents, Franco, now do your part and review El Viaje! You owe it!

Singapore Sling

Our story involves a nameless private detective in the Sam Spade school who, I think, speaks only Greek. He is troubled, as he is searching for his long, lost love and what happened to her, while at the same time avoiding the police, since he has a bullet in his stomach. In his travels he is able to find hospitality in a home with two women, a mother who speaks French and a daughter who speaks English, who offer to help them. Soon we discover that these two women are nowhere near as nice as they seem, they’re actually two very disturbed and psychotic women, sexually frustrated and out for some blood. They play games with the detective, some sick, disturbing games, and the detective will soon have to find a way to beat them at their own game, if he thinks he has any chance of escaping.
Wow, where to start with this movie? I mean, I was not expecting this to be nothing more than a sick piece of shit, the type that I’m accustomed to when watching ultra-sleazy European horror flicks. And for the most part, it seems to deliver. For starters we have body parts and viscera flying all over the place in graphic, almost anatomical detail. But most of the sick stuff is of a sexual nature. I mean, the stuff they do to this poor Shamus is beyond anything I’d be able to take, from masturbating with food, forcing them to eat vomit, and even erotic regurgitation. Yummy.

But thankfully, this not only is a sick movie, it’s also a very beautiful film. Greek filmmaker Nikos Nikolaidis films it on 35mm black and white, and everything looks much more artistic and classy than a film like this normally aspires to. The rain looks beautiful, the dresses and set design look like something out of a period movie, and the blood and guts look black and dark, almost like motor oil. The performances from the actors involved are all great, particularly the two women, played by Meredith Herold and Michele Valley, add a strong dose of delirium, sex appeal and insanity to the proceedings. Their weird monologues about each other, switching between love and hatred, and weird flashbacks make most of the movie work. The ending will remind everyone of the classic Cannibal Corpse song, “Fucked With A Knife”, in one of the most what-the-fuck moments in the whole film.
Granted, there are a lot of ridiculous moments in the film. When the daughter reminisces about her incestual encounters with her father, the father is represented by a mummy, like the ones that came out of the Universal series. Seeing a mummy fucking Meredith Herold just looks weird. Still, this movie is one of the best films to come out of the underground, with it’s strong mix of perverse sexuality, dark humor, intense horror and the visuals of film noir, it comes highly recommended.

RIP Paul Naschy and Dan O'Bannon

A little late, I know, but there was no way I could forget
Jacinto Molina, aka Paul Naschy, passed away on November 30, 2009. He was a guy I grew up with, with his ultra bloody and erotic horror films. He was the most important figure of the Spanish horror film industry, and his most recent films, like Rojo Sangre, showed that the man still had it.
Movies I've reviewed on my blog with Naschy:

Some movies I recommend:

-Werewolf Shadows
-Curse Of The Devil
-Count Dracula's Great Love
-Horror Rises From The Tomb
-Una Libelula Para Cada Muerto
-Panic Beats

Dan O'Bannon sadly passed away as well, more recently on December 17, 2009. His influence is also huge on my life, being the screenwriter of classics like John Carpenter's Dark Star, Blue Thunder, Heavy Metal, Dead & Buried and Lifeforce, and with Donald Shusett, would bring life to films like Alien and Total Recall. He will always be known to me, however, as the man who gave us Return of the Living Dead.
Here's to Dan and Paul, hope both of you are resting in peace.

miércoles, 16 de diciembre de 2009

Ten movies to watch on Christmas

I know I haven't been doing as many blog entries as I should, but I have to admit that my life has been taking a rather positive turn lately. My first feature film, Bloodlust, is 85% complete, and the one that's coming after that, a bloody exploitation action film, is in it's creative infancy with a script that just might make it the most outrageous movie to ever come out of Puerto Rico. Not that that's a hard thing to do, considering how spineless the local movie industry is, but hey! You're not here to read about that shit, you're here to see what movies I watch on Christmas, don't you? Yes, Christmas is a beautiful time, where atheists like me reap the rewards of Christian beliefs in order to get presents and money for no work whatsoever. But hey, the movies are what keep me entertained, so let's sink our teeth into 10 Movies to watch on Christmas.
10. Black Christmas

Ah, what a perfect movie to start off the list. The late great Bob Clark directed one of the original slasher films, and it's one of the best. The story features a sorority in the middle of Christmas break, with a killer butchering the girls one by one. There isn't a lot of gore in this picture, but there's a whole lot of atmosphere and some very creative and hallucinogenic death sequences, from the girl choked on the bag, to the hook impaling of the drunken headmother, all with the psychotic POV shot of the killer giggling and crying and doing who-the-fuck-knows-what-else, all to the tune of Canadian snow-filled locations. Clark would go on to make another Christmas classic called A Christmas Story. Meh.

9. Let The Right One In

I know this isn't exactly a Christmas story per se, but ever since I saw it last year, I haven't been able to separate it from the Holiday. It's mostly due to the snow white landscapes and cold atmosphere throughout, which fits appropiately to the tale of a young boy and his vampire best friend, a story of love that puts the Twilight franchise to shame. It will be ruined in the future remake (called 'Let Me In', ugh), but this classic, atmospheric horror/drama is here to stay.

8. It's A Wonderful Life

Now here's a movie that spells Christmas all over the place. I know it's a cliche to mention this film, but sometimes people forget how good this movie really is. For starters, it starts off as a really bleak and depressing film, dealing with a man who wants to kill himself, and he is about to, until he's visited by an Angel who teaches him how much of a difference one man can mean to an entire town. It was Frank Capra's last masterpiece, and a bomb in it's day. Today it's an undisputed masterpiece, and a beautiful film that never gets old.

7. Silent Night, Deadly Night

This isn't a very good movie, not as a horror or Christmas flick. I'm not here to praise it or call it a classic, but since it's a movie I watch EVERY Christmas, I had to include it. The imagery throughout is all Christmassy, and the fact that the killer dresses in a Santa Claus outfit only adds to the atmosphere, chopping people for being naughty and screaming "Punish!" every chance he gets. We also get a topless Linnea Quigley getting impaled on reindeer horns. A topless Linnea Quigley is always welcome in my book.

6. Bad Santa

A comedy for people who hate Christmas and it's rampant consumerism, it's also a pretty hilarious movie filled with Christmas cheer and lots of ridiculously offensive, politically incorrect humor. I love it. I think it's Billy Bob Thornton's best performance, and the late Bernie Mac is surprisingly hilarious in his role as police chief for the mall. His scenes with John Ritter (two dead people, eech) are comedy gold. This one is not for the kiddies, but it will make you laugh like a little kid for sure.
5. The Shop Around The Corner
Another Jimmy Stewart movie! What the fuck? Yeah, this is actually one of the best screen romances ever. The plot revolves around two people, a man and a woman, who hate each other, but are also secretly in love with each other because they're pen pals without realizing it. Yeah, kinda far fetched, but it doesn't matter because the movie is great! Lubisch is able to bring some real beauty and romance into the proceedings, with great performances and a cool Christmas backdrop. The plot was later used in a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan comedy called You've Got Mail, and the less said about it the better.

4. Ikiru
This is the kind of film you have to be in the right mood for, because it can either fill your heart with you or destroy you. It's a very sad, depressing film about a man dying of cancer, who wants to do one last act of kindness before his death, by turning a dump into a public park for children and families to play in. Half the movie is from the man's point of view, and the other is after his funeral, as his co-workers discuss the man's life, and in some cases try to take credit for his work. The ending, with the man, played by Takashi Shimura (Seven Samurai, Godzilla), singing as he slowly freezes to death in the constructed playground he helped create, is one of the most beautiful, moving and saddest moments in the history of cinema, and it's very hard not to cry when watching it. One of Akira Kurosawa's best, and most underrated works.
3. Die Hard

John McClaine is trapped in a building with a group of thieves, and he's kicking ass all over the place. It's violent, bloody, funny and full of kick-ass action. It also takes place during Christmas, which makes it even cooler. The use of holiday songs like Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" just adds to the proceedings. Is this the greatest action movie of the 80's? Why yes, yes it is.

2. Gremlins

It's hard to imagine a movie filled with psychotic little monsters and a sad sequence that made us all realize that there was no Santa could represent a big part of our Christmas-watching tendencies, but it does! The place is full of snow, decorations and Christmas music abounds, although for the most part it's all going to get destroyed. Highlights for me include when the little bastards sing Christmas carols before sending Ms. Deagle to her flying death, and the creatures going nuts in a bar. Phoebe Cates is in this too, she's hot!

and finally, my favorite Christmas film is...
1. The Star Wars Holiday Special

Oh I can already smell the cheese! George Lucas really, really wishes this piece of shit didn't exist, but if you thought the prequels were bad, boy, hold on tight! You haven't lived until you see a bunch of wookies groaning and talking for minutes without subtitles, Han Solo and Chewbacca talking about the Christmas spirit, bad comedy from Art Carney, Bea Arthur as the manliest bartender in the galaxy, and, perhaps more disturbing than anything else, Carrie Fisher singing a Christmas song to the tune of the Star Wars theme. This random parade of WTF was obviously done for the check, but people like me watch this shit over and over instead of smoking pot, as it gets you high just from listening to it. Come on George, hurry up and release an official DVD or Blu-Ray! We're sick of having to rely on bootlegs!
Well, that's it. Hope you all have happy holidays and get some good shit for presents. Except if you're a Jew, then you're fucked.

miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2009

Entrails Of A Virgin

Oh Japan, won’t you ever learn? Of course you won’t, and thank God for that. And thank God for Synapse, for releasing this classic sleazy horror film from the land of the rising sun! The story deals with a group of sleazy fashion photographers who take a few models and makeup artist girls into a country house for fun and fucking. But soon, for no apparent reason, a naked dude covered in mud and with a huge penis starts slaughtering them all, one by one.
The film’s storyline is similar to Evil Dead, although this is nowhere near as good. It is however a pretty sleazy and slutty affair. Basically a horror porn, it features hardcore pornography and realistic sex scenes, only covered up by a blur thanks to Japan’s tendency of covering up the private areas downstairs on their performers. The sex can sometimes be very disgusting, and more than once the women spit out and choke on huge wads of semen. These long sex scenes are basically filler, and the movie could easily last half an hour if you trimmed them down. The deaths are all pretty gory however, so it makes up for it. We get a beheading by broken glass, a guy impaled by a lance, a dude who’s eye pops out after getting a hammer to the head, and my favorite, a woman who’s gone insane with sex, and after receiving a cumshot that looks more like a hose than anything else, gets the ‘ultimate fisting’, as the killer rams his arm up her joytrail and it ends up coming out of her stomach. Sam Raimi was never this ballsy!
The film is very well directed and the lighting is truly impressive, featuring a lot of good backyard shots. These are the ones that remind you the most of Evil Dead. Oddly enough, this movie is known more around the world as Guts Of A Virgin, and the director would make two more films in the series, both featuring the title of Entrails Of A Beautiful Woman. I have to review that one in the future. Anyway, this movie is gross and violent and pretty damn fun, just don’t watch it with your girlfriend unless she has an unusually strong stomach.


This is one of the less-remembered Vincent Price films of the 1970’s, and nowhere near as celebrated as the Phibes films, or the excellent Theatre Of Blood. Still, this movie, while inferior to these examples, is pretty good on it’s own. The film deals with a horror actor named Paul Tombs (Price), who’s become famous by playing a character named Dr. Death. One night, after a happy premiere, his fiancée is mysteriously murdered, beheaded, and Tombs is accused of the murder. So, he goes off to an asylum where he spends a couple of years, only to return and see that his horrific creation is alive and well in pop culture. With a new TV series planned, Tombs decides to return to the genre, thanks to the advice of his writer and old friend, played by Peter Cushing. But soon the murders occur again. Is it Tombs, or has somebody else put on the mantle of Dr. Death?
The movie is a juggernaut when it comes to the acting. Vincent Price is excellent in his role, bringing the same class and talent that he was known for. His scenes with Peter Cushing and Robert Quarry are an actor’s dream, and his solo monologue before commiting his ‘suicide by fire’ is nothing short of amazing. Peter Cushing is also excellent, although I felt that in the end he was over-acting quite a bit. It’s still really fun to see them both go at it in the final fight scene. There are a lot of beautiful women, the standout being Linda Hayden, famous for her naked role in Blood From Satan’s Claw and Taste The Blood Of Dracula, and she looks exactly the same here as she did on those movies. No nudity, sadly. Adrienne Curry (Clockwork Orange, Vampire Circus) is beautiful too, and for some reason she also looks beautiful to me after her deforming accident, looking like a New Waver long before there was such a thing. The murders are sadly nowhere near as entertaining as they were in Phibes and Theatre Of Blood, but they’re still pretty fun to watch, particularly the director who gets himself crushed by a mechanical bed.
The movie was done by AIP and Amicus, although it looks like something out of a Roger Corman picture, with the same kinds of lights and tinting cinematography. We get to see a lot of stock footage from old Price films, the best being the stuff from The Haunted Palace which features Dr. Death spliced in to look like he was a part of the movie. The ending’s burning finale is also a staple of Corman/Price’s adaptations. This is a very memorable and entertaining 70’s horror film that, although riddled with clichés, sports a good cast and is very entertaining.


This is one of the most famous films of the 70’s wave of made-for-TV horror movies, although personally I can’t imagine why, since I’ve never been a big fan of this particular picture. The plot involves a writer/scientist and her daughter who are looking to write a book about weird supernatural phenomena. They get a call into the desert where a cooky old man is keeping the skeleton of what he calls a demon. Soon, these demons start popping up in their more ‘alive’ versions, and soon they start killing people and kidnapping the scientist’s daughter. It’s up to the scientist, the sheriff and a group of bikers to stop the gargoyles before the gargoyles reproduce more and start their war against humanity.

That would have been a great story, but sadly we are only previewed to the first part of the storyline. It’s a low-budget effort, and it shows. The acting is typical of Television at the time. Cornel Wilde and Jennifer Salt are neither very memorable as the two leads, and William Stephens isn’t very threatening as a gun-toting police officer. More interesting is Scott Glenn (Silence of the Lambs) as the biker/hippie stereotype. The best acting comes from the leader of the Gargoyles, played by Bernie Casey, but sadly his dialogue is so cheesy and distorted that you can’t really take him seriously.

The film’s directing of the typical sedate style that plagues many of these made-for-tv films, never really having any energy or life, although there are some intentionally funny moments, such as the Gargoyle Butt Slap (if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean). The film’s most famous characteristic was the fact that the makeup effects were done by Stan Winston, and for the most part they’re very good, although to be fair the monsters remind me of the Japanese kappa turtle monsters. So yes the film has historical importance, and I understand a lot of people love it, but this movie can’t compare itself to better TV horror movies like Salem’s Lot, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, The Night Stalker and Dark Night Of The Scarecrow. To me, this was neither frightening, nor motivating.

The Story Of O

Just Jaeckin already had a huge hit with his adaptation of the erotic French novel adaptation, “Emmanuelle”, so he decided that the best thing to do was to tackle another famous literary adaptation, this time being The Story Of O, written by Anne Desclos. I’ve never read the novel, so I’m not sure how exactly faithful the movie is to the book, but I have to say that this movie was very surprising in many ways. The story involves a woman under the name of O (Corinne Clery, Hitch-Hike) who is head-over-heels in love with a young wealthy man named Rene (Udo Kier). Rene is a part of the s&m world, and wants O to become fully immersed into the world, becoming a slave for his friends and different clubs. O finds herself actually enjoying the beatings and humiliation, with her main conflict being the love she feels for Rene.
The sex in this movie is pretty explicit for a softcore movie, but I have to admit, I loved it. Corinne Clery is one of the bravest actresses of the 70’s, showing everything but the rainbow and at the same time being able to give a strong, emotive performance. I love the fact that she really gives herself completely to her masters, particularly to Rene’s friend, Sir Stephen (Anthony Steel), who ends up falling in love with her, a no-no in this type of situations. But of course, Rene then becomes secondary to O’s story and Stephen becomes the priority. She gets herself whipped, has group sex with women at his request, and even brands herself, first with a clitoris piercing and then with your typical cow branding. Ouch! Now that’s commitment.
Just Jaeckin directs this film in the same way he did his more famous film, Emmanuelle, featuring beautiful production design and an abundance of gold colors. The film isn’t as sexually explicit as Emmanuelle, but it really doesn’t need to be. This movie is good enough and erotic enough that it doesn’t need an Asian woman smoking through her vagina, although to be fair, that is always a fun thing to watch. It’s a great film and comes highly recommended.


Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill play a very unhappy, separated couple that just can’t seem to get along. Adjani’s infidelities don’t help much either. But soon, even her new lover can’t find her, as she disappears without giving a shit or telling anyone where she’s going. Adjani’s been living a double life, and it soon turns to murder. Yes, this is the basic plot of Possession, written and directed by Polish director Andrzej Zulawski. But even with such a simple-sounding plot, the movie defies all sorts of conventions. Is it an intense drama about marital problems? Is it a surreal masterpiece? Or is it a horror film? It’s truly a mix of all three, and then some.
The main drive of the movie is the performance by Isabelle Adjani, who’s performance caused a lot of controversy when the film came out. She’s intense and almost psychotic, but always with a hint of sadness. Such instances as when she’s cutting herself in the kitchen or arguing repeatedly with Sam Neill make you want to grab her and shake her, especially since Sam’s acting is making things even loonier. The most memorable sequence, however, is the famous ‘birth’ sequence, when Adjani starts having what looks like an epileptic seizure, akin to being in a one-woman moshpit, in the middle of the train station, all ending in the floor with many bodily fluids coming out of her body. It’s rather gross and hard to watch but very compelling at the same time. The rest of the performances are harder to stomach, but I blame this more on the surreal nature of the film. Sam Neill and Heinz Bennett are very good actors, but their performances are so over the top, particularly Bennett’s drugged moments, that make you wonder whether it’s part of the weird nature of the film or bad direction.
As a horror film, this is almost like a weird supernatural slasher, with Adjani bringing in men into her apartment to become victims of Adjani’s new ‘lovechild’. And what a lovechild it is, looking like a tentacled squid creature, oozing and pussing with it’s tiny eyes. It was created by Carlo Rombaldi, who made mechanical special effects for Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, ET (the real one not the porno one) and Alien, and ranks up there with these more popular creations. I dare you not to flinch when watching Adjani having sex with her monstruous creation. The ending is one of the most confusing I’ve ever seen, violent and weird, just like the rest of this film. It’s the kind of movie that takes more than one watching to truly appreciate, but when you get it, you’ll see it’s an excellent and different film that should be seen to be believed.

La Diosa Impura

Isabel Sarli’s films are definitely the most melodramatic sexploitation movies around, with exaggerated plots and huge indulgences of sexuality. I have reviewed a couple of them in this forum, so I knew what to expect, but suddenly I was surprised. Here is a movie that actually tries to be more than just a typical sexploitation movie, featuring a bigger budget and a better script, and not such an emphasis on sex. It still features the tragic love elements Sarli’s films contain, but not in the excess I’m used to. The first part of the film is the best, featuring Sarli as a beautiful young stooge who gets framed by her boyfriend (Armando Bo, the director and her husband) with stealing diamonds. So, she decides to go into hiding with a crazy drug-addicted painter to Mexico. Smart choice.
Here, the movie takes a more romantic step, with Sarli falling in love with the painter’s brother, who is an archeologist or a tour guide, I’m not sure which. While the two fall in love, the painter is trying to create the perfect image of Sarli. These scenes are by far the most demented, with the guy taking pills and mushrooms to become crazier, and imagining Sarli nude. These are the only scenes that feature Sarli in the nude, by the way, and it’s actually pretty artistic and nowhere near as exploitative as in the more famous work like Fuego, Carne and Insaciable. She’s got a better figure, too, a beautiful hourglass figure. I wonder why Russ Meyer never used her.
Eventually the mobsters show up but Sarli and her husband are able to get married and get some pity out of the criminals (only in the movies, folks). But she can’t help but be tragic, and after making love, what follows is the most epic suicide scene in the history of the cinema. Our heroine walks off into the beach and walks into the water to drown herself, all to the tune of the famous last song from the Tannhauser opera by Richard Wagner, more famous for being used in the Looney Tunes cartoon What’s Opera, Doc (“Retuuuurn, my loooove”). So yes, it features some of the typical melodramatic elements featured in the Sarli/Bo films, but the film is also better scripted and better produced, with every intention of making Sarli a powerful superstar, and she did. Only love can do that, folks, only love.