Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Beyond The Grave (2010)

Beyond The Grave (2010)
Director: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro
Stars: Rafael Tombini, Alvaro Rosa Costa, Ricardo Seffner



 An unnamed Officer drives through a post apocalyptic (but beautiful) world where the seven gates of hell have opened up and zombies walk the Earth. He's on the hunt for the Dark Rider, a serial killer with strange and evil powers.These two are on a collision course for a final duel, but will good overcome evil?

 I've always been fascinated with horror films from other countries. This Brazillian effort is less a horror film (though there are horror elements) than it is a bloody fantasy arthouse film. Now this isn't a bad thing, because I wasn't sure what to expect. Anyone can throw blood and gore at the screen (and has), but this film does it only when the story calls for it...which is pretty refreshing.

 The cinematography by Melissandro Bittencourt is fantastic. They make the most of their small budget by filming in some downright beautiful locations. This really offsets the violence nicely. The acting is very good and the dialogue scarce at times. 

 The makeup effects were really well done. All practical, and the zombies looked nice and dead. The gore was disgusting, and you can't ask for anything more out of your gore. The music though, is one big highlight. Very prog rock/Goblin like with a touch of Brazillian mixed in. I'd listen to that soundtrack nonstop.

 If there were anything that bothered me about the film is that it drags in places. For a 90 minute film, the slowdown needs to be at a minimum in my opinion. And while I love the references, I think there was a bit too much taken from Stephen King, most notably Randall Flagg. But honestly, these were minor quibbles to me.

 The movie is up on Hulu for free if you'd like to judge for yourself. Overall I think it's extremely well made film, with fun characters, great locations and awesome music.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Top 10 Underrated Horror Films - The Final Six!

 Since it's almost Halloween, I decided to not keep you in suspense and give you the last six underrated films.

6. Sweet Home (1989)

 A television crew go to the creepy old mansion of a dead great artist to find several frescos that he had hidden in his home and film the restoration. But they don't realize until too late that the ghost of his wife is still in the house, and she's pretty pissed.

 A fun, atmospheric ghost story with likable characters, this one ends up on my list because I enjoy when several different types of horror mix together. A sort of "peanut butter in my chocolate" kind of deal, only more like "your severed gory torso in my haunting" way. Several awesome FX effects (by Dick Smith!) and a compelling story makes this a winner. 

 Fun Fact: There was an Nintendo game based on this film that was a heavy inspiration for the Resident Evil series!



5. Masks (2011)

 In the 70's a guy creates this revolutionary acting technique, one that's suppose to make you better than Brando, Streep, and Pauly Shore combined. People die trying to learn it and the guy vanishes.

 Modern day acting student Stella gets invited into a world class acting school. You'll see right off she really isn't very good, but somehow she gets invited to learn this super secret technique and things get dark as fuck quickly.

 It's obvious there's a big nod to Suspiria in this German film, but it creates it's own spooky atmosphere. It eases you (and Stella) into the horror, but once it does, it doesn't let up. The actress playing Stella is really good, and seeing some of these people die is very gratifying. 

 This one seems to be very hard to find in the US, but if you can find a way to see this, by all means do.



4. Midnight (1982)

 John Russo has had some hits and misses (sadly more misses than hits), but when he hits, he fires on all cylinders. While this is a typical "young people drive their van to places they should never go and die" kind of flick, Russo doesn't try to make it classy and instead rolls this movie around in the dirt and grime and make it as sleazy as possible. Let's check out the grindhouse checklist...

 Creepy perverted stepdad played by the boss in Reservior Dogs? Check
 Evil santanic family? Check
 Hapless young folks getting killed in dragged out ways? Check
 Some sweet sweet revenge? Checkmate!

 This is one of those movies you need to watch when you want to take a shower afterwards for getting so damn down and dirty. It's not particularly gory, but the atmosphere sure as hell makes up for it. 


3. Spider Labyrinth (1988)

 Man is sent by his employers (a college) to get some research papers from a professor. After meeting the Professor and his wife, the Professor is murdered. When the man asks about the wife, we learn the Professor wasn't married!

 So we begin a long strange trip for answers, and what the man finds at the end...a spider cult. Of course. It's ALWAYS a spider cult.

 There's some Wicker Man touches in this film, and that's never a bad thing. Combine that with some imaginative and stylish kills (the death with a maze of bedsheets come to mind) and the always beautiful cinematography that our Italians horror overlords are capable of, and you got yourself one heck of a good time. This is one I fully "blame" my wife for getting me into.


2. We're Going To Eat You (1980)

 Agent 999 comes to this run down town on a secluded island in search of a wanted bandit. Little does he know that he's entered a town chock full of them there cannibals and they got their eyes on his thighs as their next meal!

 It's incredibly hard to mix horror and comedy together and not make it look stupid. It can either go  Shaun of the Dead or Saturday the 14th. This one goes for the former far more often. We got a clueless detective, a thief who ends up in trouble far more often than he is stealing, a crazy dictator like Chief, and a giant ugly Syphilis having  drag queen who looks way too much like the love child of Andre the Giant and Giant Baba.

 There's tons of gore in this, with people getting sawed in half, knives landing in all sorts of heads, ripped out hearts, and a loose limbs or twelve.

 Fun Fact: This movie was a not so subtle jab against Communism!


1. The Dead Next Door (1989)

 I'm sure this is a surprising pick, and judging by what I've read online, one that really seems to polarize people. But I feel it's vastly underrated.

 Yeah, let's be honest, director JR Bookwalter has made some not so good films. But this movie feels different. I know people will say because Sam Raimi pumped money into it to get finished (took over 4 years to make) or that Bruce Campbell dubs over TWO of the voices, but I feel it's not that at all.

 There's a real "throw as much of the money onscreen as possible" feel in this super 8 classic. Yeah, it suffers from the low budget acting bug, and I'm not a fan of naming characters after well know horror folk (takes me out of the film) but it makes up for it in other ways. Here's my check list of positives for this movie:

- Excellent pacing. Most low budget films have no concept of this.

- Good running time. There's no reason for your no budget zombie film to be hours long. The 84 minute running time is perfect.

- Unexpected deaths. I hate that in most films, you know who is going to live or die. You don't get that here. Anyone is a throat rip away from death.

- Great gore. You expect gore in a zombie film. Outside of a couple of goofy (but forgivable) shots, the gore effects in this are well done.

- The cult. Adding in a zombie Jonestown kind of cult was very clever, and a good way to introduce adversaries to the Zombie Squad

- It looks like everyone is having a great time...especially the zombies (mostly locals from Ohio)

 Bookwalter just ran an indiegogo campaign and appears to be putting out a new blu-ray of Dead Next Door. Anyway, this is one any lover of low budget films need to check out.



Friday, October 16, 2015

Top 10 Underrated Horror Films: The Evil and Amityville 2

Today's picks turned out to be an inadvertent Andrew Prine double feature. If that's good or bad, I'll leave that up to you.

8 - The Evil (1978)

This is one of those movies that I would see the trailer for on multiple trailer compilations, and it looked gloriously cheesy. When I finally got to see this film, it certainly didn't disappoint in the cheese department, but it was also highly entertaining.
Richard Crenna, his wife Joanna Pettet, his buddy Andrew Prine, and a few others come to this old building to turn it into a new clinic. Unfortunately, the house is a bit of a bastard, and before you know it, it's lighting up humans like cigarettes, giving its own shock therapy, and at one point even attempting ghost rape. 

Crenna does a great job of playing the doubting lead, while his more believing wife Pettet knows some bad shit's going down. The atmosphere is suitably creepy, and the kills, while not imaginative, are certainly startling.

One thing I noticed was that the girl played by Cassie Yates is killed by having her throat ripped out by her own German Shepherd. Now I can't say for sure, but it's very similar to the scene in Suspiria when the blind guy gets his throat ripped out in the middle of an city square. I wonder which film Fulci decided to see to get the same death by guide dog scene in the Beyond.

If you can overlook the ridiculous ending with Victor Buono, you'll enjoy this slice of 70's horror cheese. The full movie is on Youtube under House of Evil, but here's a nice trailer to get you started.



7 - Amityville 2 (1982)

Wow. Whereas the first film was to put bluntly, dull as a documentary about teaspoon collecting, this one just says "fuck it, let's creep the hell out of everyone". How did they do that? One Jack Magner.

Magner, playing Sonny Montelli (a thinly disguised version of Ronald DeFeo Jr), reaches a level of pure creepiness that hadn't been seen since Tom Basham in the Psychopath (1973). The way he leers after his sister (played by the lovely Diane Franklin) even made MY skin crawl. 

The story is a awesome mixture of the DeFeo murders retold, mixed in with some blatant Exorcist touches. This wildly dysfunctional family moves into the perfect house. By perfect I mean the best possible place in Long Island to be possessed by your Walkman. Burt Young is the abusive dickhead father, and there ain't no Rocky to save his ass here.

Father Adamsky (James Olson) senses something terribly wrong with the house, but fuck that...it's time to go hang out with Andrew Prine for the weekend. He comes back from the trip to find the whole family dead, and a distraught Sonny saying he doesn't remember.

You've got demon possession, you got incest, and you have one of the most unsettling and realistic looking scenes when Sonny kills his family. Seriously, I dare any of you to watch that particular scene and not be like "whoa".

This one is also on the Youtubes, but you don't have to take my word for it (Reading Rainbow music plays).



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Top 10 Underrated Horror Films: Dead and Buried and Occult

It's been a few months since I've written anything here. A combination of having a new job, working on a new video project, and generally being burnt out is the reason for that. But it's October, and if you can ignore the fucking Christmas shit already being put up in stores, you know that October is when you wanna be scared the most.

Now here at Wide Weird World, we tend to focus mainly on the bad. It's easy to find and you all seem to like me bursting a blood vessel to some SOV crap. But for my annual horror list, I'm going to take a cue from last year's list and focus on the underrated. Last year it was underrated characters. This year, we focus on those films that may get overlooked when discussing good horror.

Of course these are only my thoughts and opinions, and yours may vary. Some of these will be known to you, some may or may not. Outside of one film, I've stayed away from sequels. Also due to time, it's only going to be a top ten list. You may flog me later...call me.

10 - Dead and Buried (1981)

I've talked about this film a few times over the years. I used to be a big fan of zombie films, but quite frankly I'm burned out by em. If they aren't some shit done for $32 and a six pack of Icehouse, it's the same shit regurgitated and spit into our mouths like birds being fed. This film, while it is a zombie film, really turns the genre on its head.
A photographer passing through gets more than he bargained for when the townspeople tie him up and set him ablaze. But even though this guy dies, a few days later, he's discovered pumping gas at the local gas station! How is that possible? And does it have something to do with the creepy mortician? Spoiler: It does.

The hero in this film is the local sheriff, and he's someone that most of us can identify with. Which makes what happens in the film even more disturbing...and a touch depressing.



9 - Occult (2009)

 Koji Shiraishi is one of my favorite directors in horror. I'll stop total strangers on the street to tell them about Noroi: The Curse. I had to buy a filing cabinet to store all my restraining orders.

Occult I think is his next best work...although not without some minor flaws. This is a mockumentary about a mass murder that happened on a bridge. Two people died, one guy was seriously wounded, and the killer jumped off a cliff never to be found. As the story goes on, the seriously wounded man, Eno starts to experience what he calls "miracles". 

Strange things are recorded on tape, and the documentary crew (with Shiraishi playing himself) are a little concerned about Eno. Once Koji finds out what Eno's plan is, things go really fucking dark.

Some of the effects are a touch goofy, but this is an engaging story, and there's once scene in particular towards the end that is just "holy shit." The whole film (with subtitles) is on YouTube so I fully recommend you check it out.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Candy Colored Nightmares S2E1!

Today has been an exciting day here in Cult Film land. In addition to getting 1000 likes on Facebook, we have a brand spanking new season of Candy Colored Nightmares for you all! In this look into the dreams of Alabaster TNT, we see a somewhat brutal mashup of celebrities singing. It's as bad as it sounds but hey, there's bonus Thor for you all! Enjoy!





Friday, April 3, 2015

Six Movies You Must See of Robert Z'Dar

I had planned to write about my favorite six comedies, but I was extremely saddened to learn that Robert Z'Dar passed away this past Monday. When I say he was one of my favorite actors, I don't mean just for cult films. I mean he was legit one of my all time favorite actors. Many days I would bug my wife about watching one of his films, and because she loves me (and is a fan of his as well) she'd oblige. She's a keeper, that's for sure.

So I decided to take a quick look at six movies with Robert Z'Dar that you should take a look at.

Blood Money/Killer's Edge

I reviewed this one here, but a quick synopsis for you all...Wings Hauser is after bad guy Robert Z'Dar, but he doesn't really want to because Z'Dar saved his life in 'Nam! There's action, a guy who looks like a cartoon Tony Curtis, Z'Dar blowing shit up with a rocket launcher, and so much more. So take your drunken Wings and watch the fun. Oh and Karen Black is locked in a room for the whole film. Bonus.




Samurai Cop

Most of you reading this already know about Samurai Cop. It's a Lethal Weapon ripoff with a sometimes wigged Matt Hanon and his partner Frank taking on a Japanese gang led by a gloriously mulleted leader. His right hand man of course is our beloved Z'Dar. Robert looks good with a beard here. I wish he'd kept it for other roles.



Final Sanction

In this AIP "classic" Z'Dar plays the biggest and baddest Russian taking on America's best Ted Prior to see who has the better country. I guess ticket sales weren't good (or they were all watching Rocky take on Drago) because they fight in an abandoned army building. It's one of the few times that Z'Dar turns out to be a good guy. A good Russian in the 80's? Don't be Reedickulus!




  The Night Stalker

No, not the Kolchak series (or TV movies), but the 1987 film starring Charles Napier in one of the very few leading roles for him. This is also one of Z'Dar's first movies, and I bet the reason why he got the Maniac Cop role. I don't know why filmmakers try to make him Japanese though, it's not like he looks remotely asian.

This movie only had one clip on Youtube (and that one was only of Napier) so I ripped this scene myself to share to with you. You're welcome.




Maniac Cop Series

I'd be dumb not to mention his best loved series of films. Sadly, I'd have to admit to only seeing the first one. But I really liked it. I mean, Z'Dar, Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins...what's not to love. The other two seem to be a bit goofier (and I'm not much of a Robert Davi fan) but any film that has a dead cop ressurection is worth looking into.





The Galactic Video Review Adventure Magazine

OK,OK, so it's not really a movie per say.  If you want another movie, see Hell Comes to Frogtown 2, where he takes over the Sam Hell role made famous by Roddy Piper. I wanted to talk about this 40 something minute video because it shows exactly why I loved this guy. Here is a lame video talking about video games and accessories, but Robert Z'Dar does everything in his power to have a good time with it. He's mugging, acting goofy, laughing uproariously at absolutely nothing...in short, he's playing an insane space captain. And I love it.

As a treat, here's the entire video from youtube. RIP Robert Z'Dar...and thank you for all those hours of entertainment. God bless you, man.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It's Wide Weird World of Cult Film's Third Anniversary!

I have to say, when I started doing these reviews, I thought it would end up like most things I work on...I'd get gung ho for a while before someone threw a foil ball and I'd go chasing it. But here it is, three years later, and I'm still subjecting myself to some of the oddest films ever made. Of course in some sick way I love it, but then again, any man who would willfully watch several Nick Millard films can't be legally declared sane either.

I'm still working on my list of favorite comedy films, I thought it'd be cool to put together a list of my favorite reviews from the over 300 posts I've done. 





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Getting to Know Me - My 6 Favorite Horror Movies

This week (specifically March 19th) marks the three year anniversary of the Wide Weird World of Cult Films, and I thought I'd spend the next couple of weeks celebrating by letting you take a glimpse inside my brain and see what movies ended up shaping this slightly pudgy man before you. Since most of you love horror, I thought it only fitting that we start there...and going to go old school here by listing SIX of my all-time favorite horror films (in no particular order).


Pieces

This is hands down my favorite slasher. Take two parts George (Christopher and Lynda), throw in a dash of Bluto from Robert Altman's Popeye, center it with the "It Stinks" guy from Pod People, and throw in generous portions of nudity and mostly bad gore, and you have one of the most insane viewing experiences of your life. Bonus Jack Taylor included.



                                  


Burial Ground

This movie may have the barest of plot (along with the barest of ladies) and zombies that look like failed plaster life cast subjects and you have Burial Ground. There's a real sense of dread watching this, and I don't mean because it's bad. You know these schmucks are doomed, and we have to watch every uncomfortable moment of it. There is some good gore in this, and some grisly deaths, but the main reason to see this movie can be explained in two words...Peter Bark





My Bloody Valentine

Oh Canada, you land of glorious horror. This film picked up where Friday the 13th left off and went after a holiday filled with love and torn out hearts. The deaths are the highlight of this film,even more so now that the gorier deleted scenes have been restored. You really need to see that goofy comic relief fully have his head pop off and his body tumble to the ground in uncut glory. I laugh every time.

Another plus is that I've interacted with Paul Kelman (who played TJ) on facebook, and he is one cool sumbitch.






Dead And Buried

This film may be the most original use of zombies ever. They aren't brainless monster out for an all you can eat human buffet, but average looking citizens who just happen to murder people. Oh but it's alright because the friendly mortician will just fix em right up so they can join the town! These zombies are much more terrifying to me than the other kind, and Jack Albertson (in his final role) seems to relish playing an evil mortician playing God. The scene where he's performing his reconstruction magic is a true highlight.




City of The Living Dead

Geez this list makes me out to be some sort of undead enthusiast. I couldn't have a list of my favorite horror movies without something from Lucio Fulchi's trilogy in it. Now for the longest time The Beyond would have been my pic...and I'm still a huge fan of it, but over the years this one (also known as the Gates of Hell) has edged it out slightly. I wish I could say it's because of the plot, or the terrific acting, but in reality it's because I enjoy the deaths just too damn much. Three brain squeezings, a drill through the noggin, and a woman showing us the way her insides work in a way that Slim Goodbody never thought to make this a seminal gore classic.




Frailty

This one may be a bit of a surprise after I listed bloodfest after bloodfest, but this movie doesn't get nearly the love it should. The idea that God sends messages to folks saying "Hey yo, these folks are demons. How about I show you where there's a good axe to be found and you go chop em up for me...OK?" is something that fascinates me. Plus who wouldn't want God to blur out your face on video cameras? It sure would keep people from knowing how often I visited Big Pete's House of Sex Meats.



Next time I'll take a look at a subject that some people say I'm good at, and others wish I would stop...comedies!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison (2010)

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison (2010)
Director: Joel Gilbert
Stars: The Beatles, William Campbell 

Conspiracy theories always seem to amuse me. Well you haven't seen a Bigfoot, so you can't disprove that they exist and invented rollerblades to escape being noticed, can you? I thought not. I don't believe aliens are the root cause of everything, I don't believe the Shining is about Indians landing on the moon, and I don't believe Barry Manilow had anything to do with 9/11, but man there sure are a lot of people who do. Maybe not Barry. We can't smile without him.

What I'm trying to say is I think most of these people are well meaning (sometimes not so well meaning) kooks. This also goes for the decades long rumor that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and a double has been playing him ever since. How preposterous, I thought. You're speaking out loud again my wife said. Sorry, I muttered. So like most rational folk, I thought it was a bunch of hooey.

Until I saw this documentary.

The sheer amount of evidence this film presents overwhelmed me. How they managed to cram it all into two hour and still tell a tremendously true story boggles my brain. So many things that didn't fit were put together some some gloriously fucked  up jigsaw puzzle where every piece was a new design. My eyes have been opened dear readers, and I have become the Eggman.

Things I Learned From Paul McCartney is Really Dead

- Learn about that terrible night when an argument between Paul and John Lennon turned into the horrific car crash that decapitated a superstar and could have created massive suicides.

- Those harmless "lookalike" contests could have much more sinister intentions than you'd like. I bet there's an ever rotating group of David Cassidy lookalikes ready to go at a moments notice. The Cassidy Army awaits!

- How Rita, the only other person who knew what happened that night, is changed via plastic surgery. When she later tries to blackmail the boys, the MI5 try to kill her, but only succeed in getting her leg amputated. They wouldn't hear the last of Rita, now going by the name Heather Mills!

- The sheer talent of John Lennon as he proceeds to turn every single Beatles song into a memorial for his lost friend and bandmate.

- Finding just the right phrases so that when played backwards (they'd give a clue Paul was dead) is not an easy task. I tried it and all I got playing backwards is "Dan Rather is Connie Chung". 

- I'm kind of surprised every album wasn't entitled "HEY EVERYONE, PAUL IS DEAD! HE'S FOOKING DEAD EVERYBODY!" Guess it'd be hard to put pictures showing he's dead on the cover.

- You have to give William Campbell some credit. Not only did he gleefully erase his identity to become Faul by having tons of plastic surgery, but he also didn't seem to mind that his bandmates were constantly calling him a fake and making him do shit on album covers to help corroborate that idea. But Lennon was murdered after telling Faul a few weeks earlier that he planned to tell the world what happened. That sneaky bastard!

You can watch this film on SnagFilms for free! Here's the trailer:





Oh, by the way, this is a mockumentary, and Paul is very much alive. Ringo however is a Bigfoot.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Custom Fridge Art for Sale!

Hi friends. As some of you know, I like to dabble in what I like to call "fridge art". This is art made specifically for someone to hang on their refrigerator. I've designed a few pieces which seemed to be popular and had questions like "How can I get one of those?" and "Why are you eating dinner at our house!?"

"Are You Ready for the 13th?"


 Well now you can own one of these beauties!


For the low low price of FIVE dollars...yes, FIVE DOLLARS, you can own one of these beautifully made pieces to hang on YOUR refrigerator door.

"Blue Velvet"

"Crunchberry Blues"

"Not So Great Muppet Caper"

"Playing With the Ghouls"

"Parting of the Orange Drink"

"Leaked Sloth Nude"

"Keep an Eye Out For Ya"

"Did I Do That?"

"Tarman's First Birthday"
Now if these don't interest you, don't worry. For the low low LOW price of TEN DOLLARS, I will create a custom one of a kind piece just for YOU. Do you think Picasso charged that much? Hell no!

If you are interested in purchasing one of my pieces, please email me at fridgeart4you@gmail.com. Paypal accepted. And if you buy a piece, by all means take a picture of your fridge and send it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

White Cop (2014)

White Cop (2014)
Director: Jake Myers
Stars: Ben Kobold, David Liebe Hart, Liz Harvey

From time to time, I have people wanting me to review their movie. I've always been a bit hesitant because while I do love getting screeners (yay free!) there's this little part of me that needs to hold back if I hate it. Yes, the guy who took a dump on Nick Millard over and over again is someone who doesn't want to be a total dick to people only wanting reviews of their film.

So why did I decide to review this particular film? I saw the trailer and it actually appealed to me. Also I'm a fan of public access stuff and David Liebe Hart is a veteran of public access  due to his Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show.

This spoof of action films stars Ben Kobold as Kip White, a cop trying to take down the European Drug Cartel after they kill his partner and best friend. When he loses his badge he joins up with a new vigilante group to fight the cartel and end the rampant drug use of Stamp, which you can't mail but will send you to a far away place. Y'know, cause yer all fucked up.

Things I Took/Learned From White Cop

- The main character kind of alternated between hilariously inept and overwhelmingly annoying. Maybe it's because of the script (which wasn't bad at all, just a bit uneven), but Kobold does a good job overall.

- The flashback to Kip and his partner frolicking together is quite homoerotic and pretty damn funny. Who hasn't put two straws in their drink to share with his best friend...anyone? Please?

- I like that among all the insanity, there was a character (Dr. Wilder) who saw that Kip is a complete basket case. Of course it doesn't change one thing, but it's nice to see.

- I don't know about you, but I get leery whenever a tv reporter comes up to me in a bar and starts giving me pep talks. I've been on the news one too many times without my pants on.

- If you love 80's style synch music (sometimes called New Retrowave) then this film has you hooked up via the band Lazerhawk. I love that kind of music, so it's a big plus. I play it when I drive to the store. I like to pretend I'm Tubbs.

Overall, I really liked this movie. There were some plot points that got left unanswered, but for once I don't wish to spoil the movie. The look of the movie was very professional and there were traces of those by gone 80's action cop movies scattered among the comedy. The comedy hits far more than misses due to a good cast. I'm just happy to find a recent movie I didn't hate with a passion. That's the biggest thumbs up you can get from my cynical ass.

Plus David Liebe Hart is the mayor. I'd vote for him.

Here's the trailer for those of you who don't just take my word. Shame on you. I'm not hurt...I mean I am a little.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cathy's Curse (1977)

Cathy's Curse (1977)
Director: Eddy Matalon
Stars: Alan Scarfe, Beverly Murray, Randi Allen

Having the reputation of a bad film "expert" (and I use that term as loosely as possible), there are films I hear a ton about. Films like Abby or The Visitor. Cathy's Curse was another one I've heard a ton about...none of it good. But I feel like I need to watch these films, so that you may be spared the pain. Some call me a saint, but most call me a moron.

The beginning shows a little girl and her father driving along when the girl makes daddy swerve out of the way of a fucking rabbit and guess what? Car catches on fire and they die. Did Thumper help them out while they roasted alive? I don't think so.

Cut to however many years later, and a family moves into this groovy old house. The family consists of a dad whose hair looks like a wig put on sideways, a mother who hysterically cries out half her lines, and Cathy, the poor kid who ends up cursed. You can tell she's cursed because she doesn't say much, and the dog hates her. There's also an alcoholic caretaker named Paul and the world's laziest housekeeper.

Cathy finds an ugly ass doll, and if you've seen any number of these films, you know that any dolls left in a house should be immediately burned or sent to someone you hate. Before long, Cathy's making shit break, talking weird, and terrorizing ugly old psychics. Oh, and mom is a total nutcase.

As far as possession films go, it's pretty standard. What makes this stand out amongst all the other Exorcist type ripoffs is that it makes no sense plot wise. Mom's going nuts, Dad's a clueless fucking putz who is oblivious to it all, and it's never explained why the fuck Cathy is possessed and what the evil spirit's mission was. If it's to make shit appear and hang out with drunk old caretakers, well live the dream you crazy bitch.

Things I Took/Learned From Cathy's Curse

- The print I saw was incredibly bad and made everyone look like the color of that sawdust they put on the floor to cover up puke. Come to find out, that's the best print anyone has. Might be for the best.

- Love it when Cathy breaks a bowl and the housekeeper picks up like two or three pieces before saying "there's, that's better". No, let's ignore the thirty or forty large chunks of sharp bowl laying on the ground. That's why you got terminated. By terminated I mean she got thrown out a window. 

- The mom in this film does everything in her power to make the focus on her. From the first scene where she shrilly tells her husband that she's had a nervous breakdown (I'm sure it came as a shock to him) on, she's shown to be batshit insane. Yeah, you may be right about your kid being in danger, but flailing your arms around and having to be institutionalized probably doesn't help your case.

- If your kid starts randomly disappearing and reappearing all over the place, continue to scold them as if nothing is happening. Show them that just because Satan is helping them, YOU are the one in charge.

- You haven't lived until you see a drunken old man and a bratty possessed kid mock a psychic for no good reason. It's how I get rid of those pesky Publishers Clearing House people. I can't cash that giant check, so stop it!

- Satanic devil magic tricks #52: If you walk into the cold lake, when you're pulled out you'll be dry as a bone! Ta-daaaaaaa!

- You know someone is evil when their face turns into a pizza. That's the devil's favorite food. He hates anchovies though.

- This movie's on numerous public domain sets (and also on youtube), but this is one of those movies you need to get a group together to riff on. This scene alone is worth the price of admission and a six pack of cheap beer.

"Extra rare piece of shit" is a terrific insult to call a medium.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Avalon (1989)

Avalon (1989)
Director: Michael J. Murphy
Stars: Rob Bartlett, Abigail Blackmore, Patrick Oliver

It's been a while since I've done a review, so I went into my vast collection of films to pick something suitable. My eye was caught by Avalon, a low budget sword and sorcery flick that has a lot of ties to the King Arthur legend...sort of. 

While I was watching, I kept noticing how familiar Merlin looked, until it dawned on me that this was the same guy who played the killer in one of my most popular reviews, Bloodstream. So I looked up the director of that film, and lo and behold, it's the same guy!

The movie's heroes are Owen, a slightly pudgy Conan type, Clotilde, which isn't some sort of disease but a maiden, and Keiran, the world's worst thief. They all seek the mysterious island of Avalon for different reasons and are helped along by Merlin.Yes, that Merlin. Sometimes as an old man, most of the time as a young warrior. Avalon is ruled by Morgana, not of the kissing bandit variety, and her band of average looking women (and a couple of goofy eunuchs). 

Can our heroes defeat Morgana? Will Clotilde find her missing love? And what the hell is Old Gregg doing on the island? He's got a mangina.

Knowing it's a Michael J. Murphy film, I immediately know that the budget is around forty pounds (or thirty in wildly inaccurate US dollars). However, there's a real charm in this movie. The sets are pretty imaginative, and despite all the flaws this is a pretty fun eighty minute time waster. 

The whole film is up on YouTube for those who wish to venture forth to Avalon.

Things I Took From Avalon

-Never carry golden apples around. You'll almost die in a small puddle of water and then watch your buddies juggle those now normal apples right in front of you. I can stand almost dying in 3 feet of water, but juggling? No way!

- They really missed out not having the Old Gregg looking monster drink Bailey's from a shoe.

- Druids are a bunch of assholes led by a guy doing a bad Jesus cosplay wearing a Christmas wreath on his head. I bet Stonehenge was just a building they were too stupid to finish. 

- This movie has some of the funniest fight scenes ever seen in a sword and sorcery flick. Everyone is trying so hard to neither hurt each other nor break their fake weapons that it comes off like Renaissance Fair outtakes.   

-Merlin becomes a wizard whore by sleeping with the Lady in the Lake in exchange for Excalibur. 

- Gotta admit I liked the reverse motion on the chains moving around. Very smooth.

-Gotta also admit, that Michael J. Murphy is equally as bad at doing stop motion animations. The herky jerky dragon being solid proof of that.

-We get some boobs in this, and that's cool, but please space out your love scenes a bit more. having three, almost four, one right after another just made me a little ill.

-Bit disturbed to see Merlin peeking through a wall at Owen having sex with Morgana (whom Merlin used to love). His grunting and only seeing him from behind makes me think he's pulling his own little sword. I'm surprised he didn't put his penis through the hole like in Porky's.

- As disturbing as that was, it pales when Merlin realizes he hadn't slept with Morgana but one of her laughing lady friends. His response to that? He sexually assaults her. Rape ain't magic Merl...it's simply wrong.

- As disjointed as the plot got, I really enjoyed this film. I'm now on a quest to seek out Michael J. Murphy's other films. I hope there's no wizard rape in them.

YOU'LL GO BLIND, MERLIN!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lord of Tears (2013)

Lord of Tears (2013)
Director: Lawrie Brewster
Stars: David Schofield, Alexandra Hulme, Guy in a big ass Owl mask

I had been hearing about this one for a while, with all the sites creaming their pants over how great this was. So I decided to give it a shot, despite my understandable reservations about watching newer movies.

Far as I can tell through the 8 million quick edits and the ambient noise turned on and left on, a guy inherits a house from his dead mum, but in her letter she says NOT to go back to the house. Despite having gone crazy there as a kid and trying to drown himself, our hero goes to the house like the fucking idiot he is.

He runs into Eve, an American gal who's just hanging around the house. Before long they get romantic and things seem great...until the Owlman shows back up. Seems the Owlman is the one responsible for our hero's trauma as a child (or is he?) and it seems he's picking up right where he left off in the guy's adult life as well.

Will our hero find out what to do about the Owlman? Will Eve be able to help? Will a person with the IQ of ragweed not be able to figure out the "twist"? I think you all know the answer. There were plenty of tears, but they all came from my fucking eye sockets.

Things I Took/Learned from Lord of Tears

- The cinematography here is quite good. Gavin Robertson did an excellent job with the material he had to work with.

-I admit, the Owlman outfit is pretty damn good, and there were a couple of moments when I got honestly freaked out.

-This now ends the positive portion of this review.

- Nothing ruins a movie like a bad script, and this is the very definition of a bad script. It's riddled with cliches and tropes and tries to pass itself off as original.

-Hey filmmaker. the whole point of ambient sound is to create tension, when you have it playing THROUGHOUT THE FUCKING MOVIE then it's just annoying fucking noise that makes it hard to hear the actors...not like they are saying anything worth listening to.

-Nobody wants to see someone dance for 10 minutes. It's not erotic, it's not haunting, it's not scary, it's fucking BORING. As shit.

- Why is this guy having dreams about his Jesus-looking friend chopping his dad up and covered in blood? I don't have dreams about the fat guy who walks down my road every single day fucking a dog in the middle of the road while jello smears his chest...and I've tried.

- We know you want this Owlman to be Slenderman, but he looks like he's going to a Robert Palmer video while finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.

-When Eve is revealed to be a ghost (big shock) she ends up terrorizing our hero not by trying to kill him, but by jumping on his bed and playing with his fucking curtains. So she's basically going to annoy him to death. 

-I'm aware of how harsh I'm being to this film, but I hate this blatant PR bullshit I see from major sites who just basically cut and paste the filmmaker's written press release and then proclaim it "the future of horror." I may be an asshole for trashing this, but I'm an honest one at least. I'm not creating fake accounts to give glowing reviews on IMDB like these people seem to be doing. I just want to be entertained. Girls Gone Dead and Potpourri are recent films that did that. This and The Cloth are ones that make me wish these people would be forced to film an apology for the poor fucks like me who expect a decent film and got this beautifully filmed piece of shit.