Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lift to Hell, The Ghost of Revenge

From China, a ghost story! Yeah, yeah, we'll have our obligatory references to ancestors and water, but we can ignore those. Ghost stories from Asia are always so spooky. Throw in a really old hospital, hunk doctors, beautiful nurses and we have a demented 'General Hospital' type plot. Okay, maybe not, as the plot in this one is hardly standard soap opera, but one that lends itself to murder and carnage. Hence 2013's "Lift to Hell" (aka "18 Floors Underground"), directed by Jingwu Ning.
Nurse Ma (Qing Yang) is a haunted soul, that much is ascertained from her facial expressions. She'll leave her shift late at night, hop into the elevator and it all begins. Exactly what happened to this veteran nurse is not so clear, at least in the early part of this film. The elevator will drop to sub-level 18 (a neat trick, as this hospital only has two sub-levels. Her body will be found as the lift then returns to the lobby. Uh oh, the old and insane former doctor, Hu (Hongxiang Cai) will be next. Both these unfortunate souls received correspondence stating "Today it is your turn." The very dashing Dr. Lin (Blue Cheng-Lung Lan) is curious. He has seen a ghost while spying on  his sultry nurse girlfriend, Bai Jie (Chrissie Chau). The very educated peeping-Tom witnessed a ghost follow Nurse Ma into the elevator.
Lin begins asking questions and investigating. Vengeful ghosts are not amused by the curious. The beautiful Bai Jie emerges as a stunning damsel in much distress as indications suggest the ghost has a connection with her. But wait! Is she a damsel in much distress or is her relationship with the ghost something more conspiratorial? It doesn't take Lin long to trace the victims back to an awful incident at the hospital back in 1985. Doctors and nurses who were in on the decades old travesty aren't faring well, as you can imagine. As Lin plows further into the past he realizes that those he is most close to are in mortal danger. As we visit the past through flashbacks and the creepy sub-level 18, our ghost friend closes in on more of the guilty.
Will Lin end up on the ghost's list of enemies? Is the beautiful Nurse Bai Je in mortal danger, or is she someone to run away from? What did happen in 1985, and is there a connection to Dr. Lin...even though he was only an infant back then? Dr. Lin and Nurse Bai Je make a very attractive couple and we desire them both to survive the malicious specter. Yep, it is a 'sins of the past will come back to kill you' type plot.  Fans of Asian horror may find this one a bit tame, but the plot may creep you out next time you visit a hospital. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, The Death of Grizzly Adams

Give them diversity classes, anti-bullying lectures, and psychotropic drugs...good luck. At risk youths (aka juvenile delinquents) will most likely get worse and become adult maniacs. The only sure fire cure is to send them out into the wilderness and let them battle deadly monsters. Then if they survive (a big if), they may rehabilitate. We've seen this of late in Ticks and Sabertooth . Today we look at 2013's "Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan." This horror tale is sure to make all you folks in Minnesota wince.
As our story begins it is 1864 and Paul Bunyan (a monstrosity of a man, played by Chris Hahn) takes Grizzly Adams (Dan Haggerty) and shreds him on a logging table saw. He also rips apart the inhabitants of a Minnesota logging camp. Present day! Ms. K (Kristina Kopf) is a social worker who will bring five 'at-risk' yutes into the wilderness. Also tagging along is the drill sergeant-like corrections officer Sgt. Hoke (Thomas Downey). The at-risk gang features some great looking kids including the amorous Trish (Jill Evyn) and hunk Zack (Jesse Kove). These two will waste little time getting naked and attempting pre-marital sex...can you guess their fates? Not long after reaching the woods and beginning a hike, the kids find a bull's horn, not realizing it was Paul Bunyan's memorial to Babe the Blue Ox.
With the memorial desecrated, Paul Bunyan, now 25 feet tall, grabs a large axe and starts hunting down the yutes and Ms. K. Oh yeah...Sgt. Hoke will be cut in half (east to west) and Trish will be cut in half (north to south) too. Now on the run, Ms. K must figure out how to survive and battle a monster. But wait! CB (Amber Connor) is one of the at-risk kids and she is a spitting image of Paul Bunyan's old sweetheart, Marybelle. However homicidal, old Paul still has a soft spot for this beauty. Whatever affection he may hold for Marybelle, Paul and his axe continue to menace and dice the teenagers.
Will Paul Bunyan reclaim his lost love after over a century and a half? Will Ms. K, a diminutive social worker, be able to turn herself into a ruthless monster hunter? Will CB's refraining from pre-marital sex on this hike save her from being cut in half? The gore and creature effects highlight this film which many of you might have seen on the Syfy Channel. Directed by Gary Jones, "Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan" is a neat monster flick with some great looking, albeit doomed, characters.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Contamination .7, Emanuelle vs. The Trees

Laura Gemser mesmerized men...and women...as the exotic beauty 'Emanuelle.' Her allure and beauty seduced many a man...and women...in her films. Alas, when her husband died Ms. Gemser left acting and emerged a costume designer. One of the first films she designed wardrobes for was 1993's "Contamination .7" (aka "The Crawlers"). Though filmed in Utah, this is really an Italian horror film, directed by Fabrizio Laurenti and Joe D'Amato. Perhaps not the best film ever made, with some sub-par acting, but this movie is better than "Ready Player One" and every actor in it is better than Mila Kunis.
The beautiful (okay, she's kinda mousy and her facial features are too big for her face) Josie (Mary Sellers) returns home to her small mountain community from the big city. Obviously a failure, she runs back to her old beau, Matt (Jason Saucier), a failure who didn't leave town. Oh yes, the nuclear power plant is dumping waste into the woods. Oh, the trees are soaking it up. By the way, the workers at the plant and townspeople are smartly clad in an assortment of colors and styles. The nubile Susan, fleeing a rapist runs into the woods and is grabbed by tree roots who squeeze her to death and infest her formerly beautiful body. Dr. Taylor (Bubba Reeves), the smartly dressed drunk power plant scientist, tries to warn the power plant officials about the radiation and realizes he has run into a major cover-up conspiracy.
The roots continue to attack. They entangle two smartly dressed assassins, a dapper woman feeding her horses, a sophisticated clad drunk, and a handsomely clad deputy in a graveyard. The mousy Jodie, in a very cosmopolitan looking wardrobe, teams up with an appropriately clad Matt. The two find an investigative reporter, who is also smartly dressed, and Dr. Taylor and this quartet will lead a rag-tag, but well dressed, posse of townspeople against the monster tree roots. All out war will break loose, and even Paula (Jaymzlinn Saxton) the town whore, modestly clad in prostitute garb, will grab a shovel and help out. Many will die, but the effort will be heroic.
Will Josie and her enlarged facial features be able to lead the smartly dressed mountain community against the radioactive monsters? Will the radioactive tree roots spread out of Utah and infest all of the Pacific Northwest? Could this film have ever been made but for the expert costume design of our favorite 'Emanuelle,' Laura Gemser. In defense of this film, though the first hour is slow and awkward, the last 30 minutes are fast-paced and filled with stylish shirts, blouses, and trousers. Enjoy Ms. Gemser's wardrobe efforts in "Contamination .7."

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Heart, Presented by Movie Massacre

Horror comics have a burden not easy overcome. The story must be scary and so does the artwork. Sure, one needs great talent to draw a horrific fiend or some gratuitous gore, but the exact shades of color, almost surreal quality of the figures, and a backdrop that enhances the spooky surrealism must all be meshed to add the exclamation point to the horror experience.  My buddy Attila Kiss is one such artist that delivers all of this in horror comics. With the assistance of Marie Philippova and Greg Woronchak, the short (20 page) story "The Heart" is delivered in a style that will give the weak of heart nightmares. In this blood curdling tale, irony will be delivered in blood soaked story-telling, not for the faint-of-heart (Ha, there, I mentioned  'heart' again).
The story spirals into horrific terror from page one. Deep in the German wilderness, Daniel has committed a murder of biblical proportion. The results will yield a secret criminal society bent on preying on anyone who wanders into their domain. Throw in some gratuitous homicides...perhaps some ritualistic abominations, and then the dame. Ah Susanne! Daniel is in love, and Susanne is all too willing to...well, you'll see. In horror, marital bliss and love often take unexpected turns and when babies are born...no spoilers here, but we'll skip ahead.
Years later, the Nazi horror is moving through Europe. An evil goddess/seductress needs a heart for...well, you can figure that one out. Her schmuck Lothar, who desires sex with her, is just the guy for the assignment. Now on a mission for a heart, our schmuck seems to be an eternal failure. He is an opportunist, and now he may have a line on a heart which he can dig out of its rightful owner and bring to his deity/love. Murder for ritualistic and courtship purposes never goes smoothly and our homicidal, cultist Lothar may have some uncomfortable surprises in store for him. What results is a horrific ending to a terrifying story, taking place in setting gone mad.
 The artistic effort in this comic book, matched with an extremely horrific story makes "The Heart" a must read. Every frame is relentless in delivering scares. For more information on "The Heart" presented Movie Massacre  visit the below listed link:
Movie Massacre
The Heart book on Amazon

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor, Mutants and Foreplay

The 1990s was a dreary decade for films. The only saving grace for movies lodged in straight-to-VHS spectaculars. Hence today's film, 1990's "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor." Okay...this film is set forth with some great quotes. First, as the sultry Dr. Nancy (Katherine Romaine) rubs up against handsome geneticist Dr. Michael (George Gerard) in a lab full of space mutants, he gets amorous...and she tells him "Please dear, not in front of the mutants."  What happened? Well a few minutes later, explaining what happened in the lab to a 'clean-up' crew, her quote is "He was working on one of the mutants and it bit him." Rule number 7 in a genetics lab containing space-mutants, and we all know it, is never make-out while mutants are not secured. Let us not be too hard on the very pretty Dr. Nancy, as this is a lesson we have all learned the hard way.
The Talos Corporation is experimenting with alien DNA from another planet. The aforementioned scientists, Nancy and Michael, believe their experiments will cure all disease and enable the world population to live together in harmony and peace (yawn!). The evil Dr. Viallini (Marcus Powell) has a better idea...create a weapon that will kill whole populations (yes!). While feeling each other up, Michael gets bitten by a toothy mutant and his metamorphosis quickly begins. In no time at all, Michael will be a slimy, fanged creature with tentacles that spits out alien balls which bite and urinate on earthlings. The new Michael, not as amorous as the old Michael, then starts eating Talos employees including a security guard. Uh oh, that unfortunate security guard has two beautiful daughters, Sherry (Tara Leigh) and Kim (Dianna Flaherty). These nubile babes head over to Talos when their dad doesn't come home.
In cover-up mode, Dr. Viallini calls in two henchmen to kill everyone, everything, and get rid of evidence. This will be a daunting task as the former Michael gets loose as do the other toothy mutants. As the two daughters sneak into Talos, the facility goes into quarantine mode...no one gets out. In no time at all, the creature is hunting the two damsels and even the henchmen...and everyone who remains in the building. The creature is slimy, big, and will remind you of the fiend in "John Carpenter's The Thing." Oh yes...Dr. Nancy? Well, you'll see, but it will be very sad. As the two perky and attractive daughters run from the mutants, they become very resourceful, and...well, again, no spoilers here, but a war will be fought that could determine if we survive as a species.
Will the amorous Dr. Nancy put her hormonal needs aside for a few minutes and join the war against her former boyfriend-turned-mutant? Will our toothy creature seek intimacy with Dr. Nancy, just like it did when it was Michael the handsome geneticist? Will the cheerleader-like Sherry and Kim be able to craft a battle plan that will save Earth from mutant creatures? This is a good one and may be one of the best films ever to come out of the 1990s. Directed by Glenn Takakjian, "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" is a powerhouse scifi/horror epic.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Playing With Dolls: Bloodlust, Metalface Goes Reality TV

This is the sequel to "Metalface." Yep, where "Metalface" was the experimental phase... 2016's "Playing With Dolls: Bloodlust" has moved the insaniac to the exploitation phase...reality TV! Sadly Cindy (Natasha Blasick) from the original film is nowhere to be found. The beautiful Ukrainian had an ambiguous fate in "Metalface," but her absence in this one suggests she was torn to pieces. No worries...the sultry Swedish/Latvian actress, Karin Brauns, graces this Rene Perez film. Will she survive a fiend and her 15 minutes of fame in reality TV?
Saved by the bell...or cell phone. Just before Stina (Brauns) accepts a job exotic dancing at a strip club (while her four-year old child waits in the car), her phone rings offering her a gig on a reality show. She accepts, as does the ultimate skank Nico (Elonda Seawood) who is anxious to show her breasts to America, the dimwitted ex-soldier Magnus (Colin Bryant), and the intellectual-wannabe Rodrigo (Andrew Espinoza Long). The show? Survive a slasher film. Uh oh...not really a show but pure reality. Brought to a remote wooded location, Metalface awaits. Controlled by an evil rich guy, the watcher (Richard Tyson), he sets his fiend loose on the quartet. Nico is so happy to dance around, tease the camera with promises of nudity, and shower. Can you guess how long she will last or the chances of her dying with her clothes on?
Stina, our buxom exotic dancer (are there any other kinds?) emerges as our favorite and best candidate for final girl. Uh oh for Metalface, Magnus shows an ability to realize what is really going on. Nevertheless our monster uses sledgehammers, hacksaws, and other logging equipment to inflict pain and torture before death. He already has a collection of nubile babes who he has reduced to dissected torsos. Seemingly outmatched by the evil hulk, Stina plods on...screams a lot, does some gratuitous dancing, and plays the damsel in much distress really well. Now Metalface falls in love with her, but his way of showing it may be worse than a tortuous death.
Is Stina really the only survivor? WIll Stina be impaled and loved by creature and displayed on several different trees? How about Magnus, will he emerge as a hero, or foil to the evil Metalface? If Stina does survive, will she have to answer to Social Services for leaving her toddler in the car while she goes into a strip-joint? Receiving only a 2.5/10 rating om IMDB, "Playing With Dolls: Bloodlust" is a fine horror/slasher film with a terrific antagonist team. After all, this low rating should be considered a badege of honor by Rene Perez, as his films are far superior than Spielberg's dreadful "Ready Player One" or Mila Kunis' disaster "Jupiter Ascending."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Metalface, Naked and Afraid

A sultry super-model type women runs for her life through a snowy forest, clad only in a glamorous, white negligee.  Chasing her is a psycho, clad in blood stained clothes and a leather mask attached to his head with barbed wire...oh yeah...he's wielding a sledgehammer.  Who says there is no great writing in the movies anymore? This beautiful scene, which would have sent Siskel and Ebert to a madhouse, highlights 2015's "Metalface" (aka "Playing With Dolls").
Metalface
As our films begin a nubile lass (Alanna Forte) is chased through the woods by the above mentioned Metalface (Charlie Glackin). She'll be caught, tied to a tree with barbed wire, and tormented with a jagged knife before being impaled by a crowbar. Her limbs and head will be separated from her torso and her heart...well...you'll see. Uh oh, these remote woods are teeming with cameras and some weird rich guy (Richard Tyson) is watching all these festivities. As the beauty is carved up, the rich guy orders "we need another girl." Enter Cindy (Natasha Blasick). She is down on her luck big time and everyone in her life wants to have sex with her for money...she is a beauty. No matter, when a mysterious job offer arrives she jumps all over it...big mistake.
Victim #1
Cindy has taken a job as a caretaker over an abandoned luxury cabin deep in the California mountains. No cell phone...no internet...no vehicle. She has no clue that the fate that befell the above mentioned beauty waits for her. As she relishes her solitude by trying on sexy clothes, dancing provocatively, and taking baths, she is unaware that Metalface is in the house watching her. Our fiend is on orders not to kill her...yet. Metalface watches and fantasizes about her. Metalface has plans for her and may not be able to resist temptation to wait. As Cindy dances some more, takes more baths, gets drunk and gives us gratuitous nude hot tub action, Metalface's hormones just can't be controlled. When a cop shows up our rich evil guy gives Metalface the order to kill everyone!
Cindy in an alluring negligee
Who is this rich guy and why is he watching beautiful women get cut up by Metalface? Where did Metalface come from and will he find the love that has so eluded him throughout his existence? Cindy will run through the Shasta Mountains clad in a sexy white negligee...will this inspire The Discovery Channel on a new survival show? Ms. Blasick as our damsel in much distress is striking but she shares the limelight with the horrific Metalface, who rivals Jason as an unrelenting and menacing fiend. Don't be fooled by the 2.6/10 IMDB rating, as "Metalface" (directed by Rene Perez) is a much better film than "Jupiter Ascending" or "Ready Player One."