Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Killer Crocodile, Environmentalists vs. Monster

Their hearts may be golden, but sadly, we end up cheering for the beast. From Italy, 1989's "Killer Crocodile." A pristine story might have enlightened us on the dangers to nature due to man's neglect and greed. Perhaps there is some of that in our monster film, but the prevailing message is that man is real stupid and deserves to be croc bait.  Sadly, Van Johnson is in this film as a corrupt judge, and lunch for the monster, but we will not mention him anymore as our memory of him should not be tarnished by this performance.
A 50 foot crocodile eats two fishermen and Conchita. The annoying Conchita was one of six environmentalists studying radiation levels in a swamp.  Her friends are so incensed at her demise they find the nearest town and demand the authorities do something about it.  At first the corrupt officials want nothing to do with an investigation as they are covering up illegal waste dumping in the swamp. Even the coroner classifies the death as a boat propeller accident. Finally, the corrupt townies relent and agree to go into the swamp and kill the croc. Now the kids are upset because the officials are going to kill an endangered species. Kevin (Anthony Crenna) is the leader of the ecologists and is indignant about saving the monster.  The two gals, Pamela (Sherrie Rose) and Jennifer (Ann Douglas)...neither attractive...claim man is at fault for Conchita's death, not the croc...right.
The croc continues to go through schmucks like crap through a goose, and the activists team up with a Quint-like figure, the hunter Joe (Ennio Girolami). After the croc eats another environmentalist, Kevin has a change of heart and now seeks to turn the thing into a purse. The strategy? Joe has a good one. Travel deep into the swamp and yell insults to the monster, as crocs are sensitive. I'm not making this up.  As Joe and Kevin team up, the croc continues to hunt townspeople, environmentalists, and of course his pursuers. As the shotguns, harpoons and explosions fail to slow down our toothy friend, the final confrontation will blow the ending to "Jaws" away.
Will the Green Peace rejects in this film set the environmentalist movement back a century? Is Joe's strategy of insulting the croc at all helpful in building up the self-esteem of the reptile community? Would Van Johnson ever regain his "Caine Mutiny" form after his performance in "Killer Crocodile." Cheesy Italian fun, no doubt, but as bad as this film is, the ending makes it a worthwhile experience.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sumuru, Spacebabes Galore!

Metal bra...feather bra...no bra...Sumuru! The lovely Alexandra Kamp has the title role in 2003's "Sumuru." You remember this sultry actress. Ms. Kamp was the scientist eaten by Antarctic bugs while taking an aroma bath in Ice Crawlers . In today's feature, she is queen of the space babes in much peril from a very buxom rival...and a dying planet. As exploitation goes, this one is a perfect ten with dozens of scantily clad soldier babes meeting their demise leading up to a galactic cat-fight between Sumuru and her Rhona Mitra look-a-like rival.
The vulnerable and nubile Sumuru
Major league hunk Adam (Michael Shanks) and his sidekick Jake (Terence Bridgett) crash land on Antares.  Bad news...seismic activity indicates the planet will blow up soon.  Good news...the orb is populated by thousands of sultry babes in metal teddies and all carrying weapons. Sumuru is Queen of Antares and as Adam first stumbles upon her, she is supervising a sacrifice to a giant snake (double entendre? Never mind). Also present at this ritual is the Godess Taxan (Simona Williams), the aforementioned Rhona Mitra clone.  The two beauties obviously hate each other, and Taxan believes she should be the queen.  Women!
Taxan and Sumuru
Taxan wants all men enslaved, while Sumuru is attracted to the hunk. The two ladies engage in war and Taxan takes the early advantage by murdering all Sumuru's beautiful guards. Sumuru is up...she returns, beats up Taxan and runs off with Adam.  Adam tells Sumuru that the planet is about to blow, and Sumuru knows where there is a ship.  As Sumuru, Adam, and Jake seek to free the men from slave labor and reach the ship, a humiliated Taxan, and her babe squad, pursue.  Much warfare will ensue and the beautiful will die horribly in conflict.  Of course, no surprise here, Sumuru and Taxan will have one more erotic cat-fight.
Sumuru and Adam
Why exactly did Adam and Jake come to this dying planet? Will Sumuru and Adam engage in pre-marital sex? Is the big snake a metaphor for...no, never mind. Will Adam and Jake be able to save all the surviving beauties of Antares?  Directed by Darrel Roodt, and based on Sax Rohmer's cult novels, "Sumuru" is  must see for exploitation/scifi fans.  Lots of cheesecake for the guys, and beefcake for the gals, this one will please everyone.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Atomic Submarine, Alien Octopus vs. Earth

They may be smarter and more technically advanced than we are, but invaders from space have one big disadvantage.  Yep...they're ugly...so there!  1959's "The Atomic Submarine" poses some great philosophical questions about the conflict of the quest for peace versus the quest for war.  When the alien space junk hits the fan, however, a more important question takes over.  Who is uglier...a one-eyed, slimy space octopus...or humans.  This could be debatable, except for the appearance of Joi Lansing...and her seductive demeanor answers the question pretty well.
Julie
As our film begins, hunk Lt. Commander Reef Holloway (Arthur Franz) is swapping bucketfuls of spit with the steamy Julie (Landing). Uh oh...duty calls.  He is summoned back to his submarine, the Tiger Shark, as ships in the Arctic Ocean are mysteriously destroyed.  The sub will be sent into the Arctic Circle to find out what is causing the carnage.  Also manned with brilliant scientists, the Tiger Shark soon wanders into the path of a weird undersea saucer.  This saucer, nicknamed 'the cyclops' by the sub crew, continues to sink ships in the icy waters. Commander Wendover (Dick Foran) orders his crew to engage the enemy, and the torpedoes are fired. The torpedoes are neutralized by the cyclops.
Alien octopus
Not to be denied, Wendover orders the Tiger Shark to ram the alien pest...which it does.
Now the Tiger Shark and the cyclops are attached and both sink to the bottom. A boarding crew from the sub enter the alien ship and Reef soon meets the alien pilot of the cyclops.  The two get into it pretty deep, and Reef tells the space octopus that his face is ugly.  The octopus responds, telling Reef he is ugly. One might argue this exchange isn't helpful in delicate inter-galactic diplomacy. When Reef finds out the octopus' plans for Earth and the reason it is sinking ships, he is horrified and indignant.  All out war will ensue, but does the Tiger Shark have the firepower to neutralize a space UFO?
Reef and octopus trade insults
Will Reef make it back to port so he can continue to suck face with the sultry Julie? Does the alien race have any equivalent to the stunning Julie? Is it xenophobic and judgmental for us to conclude that the ravishing Julie and super hunk Reef are absolute proof that alien civilizations are, as a whole, really ugly? This 1950s scifi flick is a lot of fun, posing many important and deep questions.  The monster is slimy and scary, and the plot is ambitious and loud.  Lots of things will go boom in this film, and the navy hunks aboard the Tiger Shark will please many of you.  Directed by Spencer G. Bennet ("Superman" and "Batman and Robin"), "The Atomic Submarine" is a perfect scifi/horror flick for B movie fans.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Machine Girl, Angry Japan High School Girl

You have to admire the spirit in 2008's "The Machine Girl." As opposed to the neutered American high school student, Japan's machine girl, a pretty high school gal, is someone we can cheer for. Forget about respecting all opposing points of view! Forget about finding peaceful ends to conflict! Forget about embracing enemies! Nope...if someone wrongs you...kill him!  Kill him, his dog, his family, all his friends...and everyone who reminds you of him! In fact, don't just kill him...dissect him and puree all his vital organs. That is the essence of "The Machine Girl." However psycho that sounds, there is something so beautiful about that logic.
The Yakuza murders Ami's (Minase Yashiro) brother. They also murdered Miki's (Asami) son. Miki hates Ami, believing she is from a family of murderers. The cute and capable Ami tried to prevent the murder but was delayed as she fought of an attempted rape.  Angry, Ami charges into the home of the Yakuza gang leader and his family.  Avoiding ninjas and Chinese throwing stars, she kills henchmen but is captured, strung up, and tortured. In spurting red blood fashion, her fingers are cut off, then her entire arm.  She'll escape and make it to Miki's auto shop. After a brief cat-fight, the ladies make-up and vow to kill the Yakuza responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. Miki's husband engineers a prosthetic arm...machine gun, actually...for Ami.
No time to prepare, the Yakuza ninjas invade the shop and cut Miki's husband into small pieces. Now armed with a machine-gun arm, Ami fights them off. Now our duo, after torturing a Yakuza henchman prisoner with a hammer and nails, find the new hide-out and head over there. A gory final battle is imminent.  Arms will be cut off, legs amputated, breasts will be pureed, torsos will be split open, all in the name of revenge.  Our gals must defeat the entire Yakuza family including the sultry matriarch...who just happens to have a drill-bra. Ouch!
Don't be fooled by the tame nature of this review, not two minutes ever go by with out an appendage cut off resulting in spurting blood, Japanese style. The torture and kills are quite graphic, and by the time the drill-bra does its thing...well...I take that back...it will surprise you.  Of course, not much about a drill-bra isn't new and unique.  For hardcore horror fans, this Japanese revenge tale will cook your sushi.  Enjoy "The Machine Girl" before perusing Victoria's Secret latest catalog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dogora, Space Monsters and a Femme Fatale in Japan

Akiko Wakabayashi is best known to American audiences as a beautiful Bond girl in "You Only Live Twice." Sultry and mysterious, she was one of the most famous actresses in Japan in the 1960s. Take this beauty, dress her in black, give her a gun and a double-crossing nature, and we have a perfect femme-fatale.  But wait!  Put her in a crime thriller or gangster film? That's not what Toho did...nope, Ms. Wakabayashi stars in this Japanese monster film, 1964's "Dogora" as a sultry femme-fatale. Do the two mix?  If Akiko Wakabayashi is the dangerous lady...who cares?
Kinda complicated, but well worth it. A jellyfish -like space monster takes out Earth's satellites, and the invasion begins.  Simultaneously, a gang of ruthless diamond thieves hit, or try to, Tokyo jewelry stores.  The thieves are perplexed as the stolen diamonds disappear shortly after the thefts.  Detective Kommei (Yosuke Natsuki) is on the case. Wondering where their stolen loot went to, femme-fatale Hamako (Wakabayashi) is sent to find them.  While avoiding Kommei, she pursues the mysterious Mark (Robert Dunham) who appears to be a newcomer in Japan's jewelry thief industry.  As diamonds mines and stores keep getting hit, it is apparent that the culprit is not of this Earth.
Earth's coal supplies and diamond supplies are sucked up into the clouds by a mysterious force. This menace turns out to be a space jellyfish which will eventually suck up the entire planet if not destroyed. Japan's military is no match for this tentacled beast.  Hamako sees this as an opportunity to rip off her gang leader and flee with the diamonds. Okay...stop here. Slimy jellyfish space monster invades Tokyo, putting a cramp in a jewel thief gang's operation. The story is average, but add a sultry femme-fatale and a cool creature, and now we have something.
Will femme-fatale, turned damsel in much distress Hamako be able to evade a pursuing jellyfish creature and the gang she betrayed? Is that question a metaphor for the duality of the human-creature?  Will post-war Tokyo be sent back to the state it was in during the summer of 1945?  If Veronica Lake made monster movies, would her career have been extended. Fans of Toho monster films will enjoy "Dogora," and so will femme-fatale fans.  Get ready for an ending which brings the monster on a collision course with Japan's most notorious criminal gang, and enjoy "Dogora" (directed by Ishiro Honda- the guy who directed "Godzilla").

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blood Voyage, Insanity, Nudity, Drugs and a Meat Cleaver

In a great companion piece to the hit 1970s TV show "The Love Boat," we have 1976's "Blood Voyage." If the sickeningly sweet conclusions of that sappy TV show have you down, today's film will get you back on an even keel.  Lots of blood, nudity, vicious murders, and drug use are rampant throughout this chronicle of an unfortunate cruise from California to Hawaii.  Oh yeah, did I mention nudity.  Naked and nubile babes seems to be an obsession of this film.
Before the killing starts
Naked Carol (Mara Modair) is yapping with her stepdad on the phone while having pre-marital sex with a soon to be butchered deck hand, as the story begins. Her stepdad, the psychologist Jules (John Hart) will marry a young skank, the nude Jill (Laurie Rose) in Hawaii and demands Carol come along for the wedding.  Oh yeah...who else should we bring to a wedding? Right! How about a psycho-nympho pyromaniac addict! What could go wrong. The nude Amy (Midori) fills that bill.  Anyone else?  Well, weddings should be special. Enter the psycho Vietnam vet who still has flashbacks about murdering Vietnamese villagers. This would be Andy (Jonathan Lippe). When Andy gets to the boat he has pre-marital sex with Carol, and soon afterwards, the aforementioned deckhand is butchered.
Rare shot of a clothed Jill
The cruise begins. A meat cleaver wielding maniac begins his carnage.  Crew members are the first to go.  Suspects?  Everyone.  Andy is psycho and Carol has expressed a desire to murder her dad. Amy? No...why would we suspect a heroine addict who is also a pyromaniac and nymphomaniac?  Soon the murders reach the above noted cast, and the naked and beautiful become the naked and the dead. As Jill, Carol, and Amy prance around in bikinis...or totally nude...the guys are able to enjoy lots of pre-marital sex and drugs. The death count will be high, and blood will flow generously.  Just who is the killer, and will any non-maniac be alive as the end credits roll.
Rare shot of a clothed Amy
Will the nude Carol, the nude Amy, and the nude Jill put on some clothes as the killings intensify? Would we have enjoyed "The Love Boat" more if either Doc, Isaac, or Julie were done in by a meat cleaver?  Just where does a nude damsel hide a meat cleaver? Fast-paced and violent with gratuitous scenes aplenty, "Blood Voyage" will definitely float your boat.  For added viewing pleasure, watch this one nude.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mutant Hunt, Psycho-Sexual Mutant Cyborgs!

From Full Moon's Grindhouse Collection comes straight to VHS, 1987's "Mutant Hunt." We have mutant psycho-sexual cyborgs, a mercenary, an exotic dancer/bounty hunter, a dominatrix femme fatale, and a mad-scientist.  Perfect! Written and directed by Tim Kincaid, "Mutant Hunt" is a realistic and gritty view of 21st century New York City.
Darla, Cyborg, and Riker
Mad-scientist Z (Bill Peterson) injects Inteltrax' cyborgs with a narcotic from the moon called 'euphoron.' Now he controls these psycho-sexual cyborgs which he plans to sell to third-world armies in order to change the balance of power on Earth.  Nubile scientist Darla (Mary Fahey) escapes when Z sends the fiends after her.  She reaches Riker's (Rick Gianasi) apartment where he is engaged in pre-marital sex with a pleasure droid (LeeAnne Baker).  The cyborgs follow and kill the naked pleasure droid before the hunk Riker takes them out with a crossbow and table lamp.  After Darla tells him about Z's plans for world domination, Riker recruits trusty exotic dancer/bounty hunter Elaine (Taunie Vrenon). Elaine is pretty useless and will always have to be saved by a man...until she starts blowing up things.
Dead pleasure droid
Back at Inteltrax, the evil dominatrix Domina (Stormy Spill...really), another evil scientist also plots. She has a newer breed of cyborg which she will inject with a massive amount of euphoron. Domina is a bit more selfish than Z. No world domination for her...just plain old carnal pleasure with her created hunk. As Z and Domina apparently get the jump on Riker, Darla, and Elaine, a violent final confrontation will occur. Our exotic dancer Elaine will blow up a lot of stuff and still need rescuing.
Domina
Will Domina's cyborg convince everyone to make love, not war? Has Elaine's efforts set the plight for women, to gain respect in the 21st century, back to the 1800s?  Will Domina realize that her Dominatrix skills might be more effective against Riker than her nympho-cyborg?  "Mutant Hunt" is a fast-paced entertaining jaunt through the futuristic pre-apocalypse New York.  No film has ever captured the ethos of the Big Apple better than this movie.  For some nice cyborg carnage, enjoy "Mutant Hunt." Oh! One more thing...why do pleasure droids always fare horribly in these films? So sad.