Friday, February 15, 2019

Haunted Hollywood, Revenge of the Silents

An important and often ignored era in Hollywood came to an unceremonious end. About the time of "The Great Depression," talking pictures started showing. The silent films, and their stars, could not compete. Some stars made the transition...most did not. Did the great talent of the Silent Era deserve to be packed away and forgotten? Hence the 2012 Charles Band film "Haunted Hollywood" (aka "The Dead Want Women").
The sultry silent actress Rose Pettigrew (Jean Louise O'Sullivan) throws a ritzy party at her mansion to celebrate the release of her newest film. She sneaks away into a secret dungeon room with three of her perverted friends, the great western actor Sonny Barnes (Eric Roberts), comedic actor Tubby (Nihilist Gelo), and handsome actor Erik (Robert Zachar). These four partake in a weird orgy as two nude flappers are brought in (Jeanie Marie Sullivan and Misty Anderson). As everyone gets 'satisfied', Rose is brought the news the studio has dropped her contract as talkies are the new thing. Upset, Rose kills everyone in the orgy and slices her own throat.
Present day, Reese (Jessica Morris) and Danni (Ariana Madix) are two beautiful realtors getting Rose's mansion ready for sale. No one has occupied it in 80 years...yep...haunted. Soon, the two beauties are visited by the ghosts of Sonny, Tubby, and Erik. The trio are menacing and won't let our realtors leave. Also appearing is one of the nude flappers. They chase the realtors, catch them, and bring them to the dungeon. The trio need the women for a rite that will bring Rose back to life. Torture and humiliation are endured by Reese and Danni, but it will soon get more dangerous for them. As daggers and guns make it into the festivities, the realtors get desperate and their fate begins to look hopeless.
Will Reese and Danni figure out a way to escape their tormentors? What will the return of Rose mean for our beautiful realtors? Is this film a mere metaphor for the out-of-control real estate market in southern California? This is a decadent film and the fate of our realtors may not leave you smiling. "Haunted Hollywood" will appeal to prurient tastes of horror film fans, as the actresses in this film are all sultry...and perhaps ill-fated...you'll see.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dead Cert, Vampires vs. Strippers

Okay...sorry! Vampires vs. exotic dancers. The tag line is just a gratuitous attempt by me to haul in new readers. To be honest, the above mentioned bout was hardly a conflict as the stripp...eh, sorry...exotic dancers were pretty much decimated with ease by the toothy menaces. They either died horribly or became brides of some eastern European prince of darkness. Heavy on gratuity and gore, 2010's "Dead Cert" may be what we get when we mesh Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" with vampires...sans Brad Pitt and Jason Statham.
Freddy (Craig Fairbrass)runs an honest business in London, The Paradise Gentlemen's Club. Booze, loud music, and the best looking stripp...eh, sorry...exotic dancers in England. All is good. The...eh, exotic dancers are happy, customers are happy, and Freddy and his really sultry wife, Jen (Lisa McAllister) are happy. Then a Romanian businessman (aka Vampire) arrives in town with an offer Freddy won't be allowed to refuse. The vampire, Livenko (Billy Murray), with deceit, supernatural efforts, and savvy business acumen, wrestles the club away from Freddy. Immediately, Livenko goes to work on the stripp...eh, exotic dancers. Most of them will become brides of the night. A Van Helsing figure arrives and fills Freddy in on the deceit he was victim of. Mason (Steven Berkoff) has been chasing Livenko for years and is determined to end his reign of terror.
Freddy learns the hard way, and at the cost of many friends and much blood, that Mason knows what he is talking about. Ticked off that a bloodsucker stole his club and his stripp...eh, exotic dancers, Freddy plans a full scale attack on Livenko and his vampire minions. Exotic dancer cat-fights will brighten up this not too original plot line. Stay tuned for Freddy's sultry wife, Jen...she'll have an epic cat-fight with Livenko's main vampire bride (Jennifer Matter).
Blood will spurt, stilettos and fishnets will  fly, and wooden stakes will render cold justice in this war between an honest businessman and the minions of the undead. Will the virtue of the exotic dancers be upheld by Freddy? Is a horde of exotic dancer/vampire women such a bad thing? If Livenko is successful against Freddy, will the ever increasing London zoning regulations rid England of this vampire army? Directed by Steven Lawson, "Dead Cert" isn't entirely original, but the action and gratuitous nature of the plot and settings makes it a worthwhile film.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Cyborg X, Danny Trejo and Machine Gun vs. Cyborgs

It was such a beautiful thing. Danny Trejo, armed with a fully automatic machine gun spewing a gazillion rounds per second. Approaching him is a really mean looking Cyborg doing the same to him. Something will have to give. Oh...these cyborgs...horrific. All muscle and very evil looking, but instead of arms, these fiends have either machine guns, shot guns, or circular saws. To kill them one has to shoot them a bazillion times...all this is so scientific.
99% of humanity was wiped out when the government introduced a cyber virus into the main computer of a defense contractor. The result...all its drones and cyborgs, invented to fight wars, start murdering anything with a heartbeat. A ragtag group of survivors man a remote Nevada army base. Lt. Spears (Eve Mauro) discovers that the CEO of that defense firm, Killmore (Rocky Myers) is still alive. At first everyone wants to find him and kill him as Killmore is blamed for setting the machines on humanity. Spears has a better idea...capture him and make him explain how to kill all the machines. This will have to be a rescue mission as it appears Killmore is a prisoner of the mechanized monsters...or is he?
The rescue operation is a bloody one and some are killed, but Killmore has been retrieved. Killmore, a very handsome hunk, convinces them he is on their side and has some ideas of neutralizing the machines. Bad news, the machines figure out their whereabouts and attack. With so little manpower left, Spears and Killmore decide they need to hit the things at their core. A suicide mission perhaps, but time is not on their side. Oh yeah...Danny Ttejo wards a lot of the cyborgs off with machine guns. Spears gets sweatier, loses garments, and shows more cleavage as the film progresses, Killmore loses his shirt and flexes more upper body muscles to match Spears' continued sex-charged appearance.
Will the very sultry Spears and buff Killmore save the world as they continue to shed clothes? Will these two engage in pre-marital sex with each other, or will amorous cyborgs be their next partners? In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, is there a babe for Danny Trejo?  The plot isn't too original, but both Killmore and Spears look really good as they sweat, bleed, and shoot guns. For some mindless and very gory post-apocalypse fun, enjoy "Cyborg X."

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Unlisted Owner, A Hammer, Some Paint, and a Bloody Sickle

Ahhhh...to find that perfect fixer upper! So exciting and financially reasonable. A lot of work must be done...remove the popcorn ceilings, new granite counter tops, knock down a wall for an open concept, all new appliances, and ship-lap. Uh oh, our film today wasn't created by Chip and Joanna Gaines, rather the terrific horror film-maker Jed Brian. After the ship-lap, we'll need mops to sop up the pools of blood, a broom to sweep up the severed limbs, and a crime-scene restoration company to remove the corpses. There are so many reasons why really big houses in great neighborhoods are so fantastically priced. Hence 2013's "Unlisted Owner."
The Roths' move into a beautiful fixer upper. So sad...through Chloe's (Chloe Benedict) eyes we see glimpses of her beautiful family being butchered. The house has a bloody past and a campfire backstory will let you in on that history. As the crime scene still smells of blood and bodies are loaded into the meat wagon, six friends plot their next youthful indiscretion. Jed (Brian) will man a camera to chronicle what happens next. He has a hot GF, Andrea ( Andrea Mills), her BFF Haidee (Haidee Corona), Griffin (Griffin Groves), Tyler (Tyler Brian), and Gavin (Gavin Groves). The evening will include a lot of alcohol, probably some marijuana, drunk driving, and probably some pre-marital sex. I know...where's the skinny-dipping?
Why skinny-dip if you can sneak into the above mentioned house/crime scene and have your party there? Great idea! This always goes so well. There is even a promise that two more vixens will show up. The cops have a suspect for the murders, so what's the danger? Veteran horror fans know the answer to that silly question. Whatever befell the Roth family, and perhaps whatever was responsible for the carnage in this house many years ago, isn't thrilled by giggly youngsters prepping for an orgy. Our six protagonists will face a terror that will seek to cut them to pieces. Jed Brian creates an evil force that seems to transcend a mere psycho in a cursed house plot as the fiend will get quite aggressive and swing a bloody sickle.
Will any of our misbehaving youngsters survive? Will Andrea or Haidee emerge as final-girls? Is this film Jed Brian's thinly veiled metaphor for the increasingly unaffordable  Ohio real estate market? This is a bloody one and its ominous tone won't bode well for the peeps entering the house. After putting up some ship lap and taking down the popcorn ceilings, make sure you choose a wallpaper or paint in which you can easily clean blood off. For a low-budget slasher-fest that will change the way you watch HGTV's "Fixer Upper," see "Unlisted Owner."

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Billy the Kid Versus Dracula, Vampire Bites The Old West

No one film captures the historical accuracy of both 'the old west' and central Europe's famed vampire better than 1966's "Billy the Kid Versus Dracula." Gritty, realistic, and thought provoking, our film today provides us all with biting commentary about our daily struggles on this mortal coil we call life. There is no doubt, if Bram Stoker were alive today, this is the film he would recommend that captures the true essence of what he was trying to get across in Dracula. Okay...perhaps I've over stated the importance of this movie...slightly.
Dracula (John Carradine) arrives, on a stage, in the 'old west.' He immediately bites a very pretty German immigrant, Lisa (Hannie Landman) and a pretty Indian squaw (Charlita). The Indians blame the white man and massacre the stage allowing Dracula to assume the identity of a Mr. Underhill. Meanwhile, Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney) is going straight and has a legitimate job as a foreman on a ranch. Ever smooth, Billie is engaged to the daughter of Mr. Bentley, killed on the stage, the lovely Elizabeth (Melinda Casey). Uh oh, Dracula arrives at the ranch with the intention of biting Elizabeth and making her his bride.
Having never laid eyes on her uncle, Dracula is able to convince Elizabeth he is her uncle. Now that her parents were massacred by Indians, Dracula tells Elizabeth he is now her guardian. Uh oh...Billy talks to some witnesses to the massacre and figures out the guy who arrived at the ranch is a vampire. Elizabeth, of course, doesn't believe Billie and Dracula is set to move in on her. As Billy tries to figure out a way to combat the bloodsucker and Elizabeth's doubt, Dracula finds ways into her bedroom and jugular. Impervious to bullets, Billy better figure out a way to slay the undead creature of the night.
Will Billy be able to save Elizabeth from becoming a vampire bride? Will Dracula find he blends in the 'old west,' or is that Frankenstein's domain? Is this film a thinly veiled metaphor for the viciousness and inhumanity that was 'the old west'? For a lot of campy fun and a traditional vampire/western film, check out "Billy the Kid Versus Dracula."

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Needlestick, Hospital Massacre

Hunk doctors...pretty nurses...EMTs...patients....all massacred without mercy. Yes, another hospital drama in which few will fare well. This time, the carnage will all be in the name of science. When a mad scientist is coming up with the secret of eternal life, there is no sacrifice too big. Even better...Lance Henriksen is the mad scientist. Hence today's feature, 2017's "Needlestick."
Okay, leaving out so much, here's a skinny of the plot. Dr. Crick (Henriksen) is a cardiologist on the verge of coming up with a serum for eternal life. Human experimentation, not always with great results, mandates he works in secret. Everett (Michael Traynor) is a nerd doctor and he is in love with a sports bra clad nurse, Marie (Katie Savoy). She demeans him every chance she gets and we secretly hope she...well..you'll see. As Crick begins performing unauthorized heart surgery on the senior surgeons at the hospital, pretty Sarah (Jordan Trovillion) recovers from heart surgery. She is also grouchy and happens to be suicidal. Oh yes, pretty doctor Ginny (Alara Ceri) also demeans everyone and now we hope her and sports bra clad Marie take each other out in a bloody cat-fight.
By the way, one more minor point...Crick has created a monster. Ross (George Pogacich) is a serial killer who, thanks to our mad-scientist, is indestructible. Ross is sent out with a trusty syringe which he uses to murder everyone in the hospital except for the above mentioned PMS women, Everett, and Sarah. This quartet must survive the monster and Crick's plan for them. As sports bra clad Sarah and Ginny continue to yell and demean each other, Everett, and Sarah, Ross goes through the hospital personnel like crap through a goose. The dames better get an attitude adjustment or the four survivors will be skewered.
What is Crick's plan for the three remaining members of the hospital staff and the suicidal grouch? What is Crick's connection to the monster Ross? Will the world really miss the PMS sisters, the nerd doctor, and suicidal Sarah if Crick dissects them in the interest of harnessing eternal life? This is an ambitious one and seeing Lance Henriksen as a mad-scientist is always a beautiful thing. "Needlestick," directed by Steven Karageanes, is a vicious horror film that will warm your heart...before it is dissected.   

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Demolitionist, The Femme Robocop

A rip-off of "Robocop." Perhaps. In fact, the plot to 1995's "The Demolitionist" is a mirror image to the plot of 1987's "Robocop." Still, this film is one we can all appreciate for one unique difference. Instead of Peter Weller killing massive amounts of seedy criminals, we have Nicole Eggert ("Baywatch"), clad in a nice tight black catsuit, killing massive amounts of human of deprivation.  Nothing against Peter Weller, but Nicole Eggert brings in a different kind of appeal.
Mad Dog Burne (Richard Grieco) escapes from the electric chair, not before murdering the warden, guards, reporters, and assorted witnesses. Now he's loose and reclaiming the city's largest criminal enterprise. Undercover policewoman Alyssa (Eggert) has penetrated his gang, clad in an alluring tight black leather outfit. Uh oh, Mad Dog finds out she is a cop and tortures her before killing her and stringing her up. The mayor (Susan Tyrrell) is upset as the rise in crime hampers her reelection efforts. Enter Professor Jack Crowley (Bruce Abbott) with his Lazarus project. Yep...you guessed it...the Baywatch babe is brought back to life and is indestructible.
She's set loose on the city's criminal element and mows down scored of deviants with high-powered weapons and grenades. Sadly, betrayal and a determined Mad Dog start her undoing. As the media turns on her, so does the mayor and the police force, and now Professor Jack is ordered to scrap the Lazarus Project. Jack has grown to like Alyssa...after all, she is played by Nicole Eggert, and together the duo plan one more heroic, but far-fetched, attempt to kill Mad Dog and his entire gang.
Nicole Eggert plays the role well and mows down hundreds. I left out large elements of the plot, but if you say "Robocop," you have an idea of those plot devices. This is a vicious one and Alyssa will go through punishing and humiliating torment in her quest to kill Mad Dog. If you found "Robocop" a bit over-rated and preachy, enjoy Nicole Eggert in "The Demolitionist."