Friday, July 21, 2017

To All a Goodnight, Santa Shreds the Beautiful

As a bikini babe in 1984's "Up the Creek," Jennifer Runyon enthralled millions of teen boys. Still a stunning actress and producer today, Ms. Runyon also played in her share of horror films, including 1993's "Carnosaur." Today we examine a classic slasher film in which our blonde beauty portrays a very clean-cut final girl, 1980's "To All a Goodnight." Oh yes, I almost forgot...the screenplay of this film was created by Alex Rebar.  Mr. Rebar played the title character in "The Incredible Melting Man."
Santa and his ax
Christmas break has come for the lovelies at an exclusive all girls finishing school. A quintet of babes are remaining at the school for the break. Nancy (Runyon) is a very pure gal but her buddies are a bit more promiscuous.  Also remaining is Mrs. Jensen (Kiva Lawrence), the housemother. The girls invite their rich boyfriends, who arrive by private plane...must be nice. As the gals plan, we get some very gratuitous nude and lingerie shots of Cynthia (Lisa Labowski). Her and her beau will be slaughtered by a maniac, and neither will be missed. The boys arrive and foreplay begins, as will pre-marital sex and beer drinking (Pabst Blue Ribbon...seriously!..these rich kids are gargling with PBR?). One of the gals, Trisha (Angela Bath), an alluring sort with a seductive British accent will have her throat cut by a slasher clad as Santa Claus on her way to getting more PBR.
Shower head
As the kids fornicate, Nancy roams the cavernous sorority-type house sipping on a glass of milk. Our Santa slasher will decapitate more of these rich kids with either knives or axes, and the virgin Nancy will bond with the geeky virgin Alex (Forrest Swanson). The two make a cute couple and one could see them both finishing off a whole gallon of milk.  Oh yes, the creepy gardener who carries around hedge clippers warns the virgin Nancy that evil is about and she should pray. As more babes and hunks are skewered or torn apart, our killer finishes off one schmuck with an airplane propeller (Yes!).
Two virgins
Will Santa instill a sense of morality in this unfortunate finishing school by wasting all of its fornicators? Couldn't the makers of "To All a Goodnight" land a deal with Heineken instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon?  Will the virgin Nancy and the virgin Alex succumb to Santa's ax, or de-virginize themselves?  With lots of great kills, some gratuitous nudity and gore, "To All a Goodnight" is classic 1980s slasher fare. This Christmas, instead of the preachy and annoying "Polar Express," watch a film you actually want to see..."To All a Goodnight."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Brides of Blood, Mutant Plant Rapist

Ah the Peace Corps! Travel to exotic lands and help the unfortunate natives. What could go wrong? Civil War? Famine and disease? Cannibals? Perhaps, but in 1968's "Brides of Blood" our noble warriors of altruism are beset by radioactive mutants, man-eating banana trees and a very amorous and misogynistic mutant humanoid.
Alma
Our Peace Corps team is about to land on Blood Island. Dr. Paul Henderson (Kent Taylor) is preparing his test tubes for experiments. Jim (John Ashley) is reviewing his plans to build an irrigation system for the hapless and very superstitious natives. Carla (Beverly Powers), Paul's wife, is having very rough sex with a swarthy, young crew member. Don't be too hard on Carla, Paul is a cold fish.  Upon landing, our trio witness the natives performing a ceremony which entails throwing the severed and torn body parts of native babes into the sea. We should not be judgmental, but Paul, Jim, and Carla are unsettled by this display.  You guessed it, the babes are sacrificed to some evil god who rapes them and tears the women from limb to limb. Perhaps a metaphor for the female plight in a very paternalistic culture.
God monster accepts virgin sacrifice
Okay, Jim grows quite close to Alma (Eva Darren), an island girl. As Paul and Jim help the natives and Paul finds mutant specimens of crabs and fauna, the god-monster continues to rape and shred babes. The trio accept the invite of Esteban Powers (Mario Montenegro), the handsome and exotic plantation owner at the opposite end of the island.  Carla does everything she can to bed Powers. Powers is served by a team of midgets...don't ask.  As tentacled trees try to eat Carla, she is often rescued by Jim or Paul. No cause for alarm here...mutants will be mutants. Uh oh, Esteban appears to be suffering from a mysterious malady and Carla is really wanting extra-marital sex. See what's coming?  Uh oh, Alma is selected to be the next sacrifice and her beau, Jim, is willing to go to war with the natives to rescue her.  Carla is willing to brave the man-eating banana trees to have sex with Powers.
Carla finds a taker for sex
Will Alma's virginity end in sprays of red and internal organs? Will Carla find carnal pleasure with Powers, the midgets, or something more un-godly?  Will Jim's war for Alma's virtue start a conflict which will be deadlier than the god-monster?  This is a good one, and the gore and nudity are front and center.  Made in the Philippines and directed by Eddie Romero and Gerardo de Leon, "Brides of Blood" is pure gold for fans of horror exploitation films.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Corrupt Half, A Japanese Ghost Story American Style

We all love those Japanese ghost stories. The ominous women coming back from the dead seeking revenge from some past evil deed. In life, the antagonist was beautiful and vulnerable...in death, ominous and creepy. Hair covering her face and a homicidal attitude always makes this specter seem invincible. Throw in some young, good-looking protagonists and the Japanese have hit on timeless horror themes.  Wait...enter Rod Wess!  This isn't a Japanese film, but one from Colorado. Later in 2017, "The Corrupt Half" will be screened at various film festivals around the world (hopefully that includes Japan).  If the Japanese can scare you with tales of Geisha women, pagodas, and bamboo...well...Rod Wess will creep you out with tales of ghosts in town-homes, laptops, and pretty women.
Alas, pretty damsels don't fare will in this film. Natalie (Ashley Abendschein) has committed suicide...or has she?  She was young, nubile, and in love.  Her evil sister pushed her to do the ultimate deed...and now Natalie is back. When the dead return, it is never good. The carnage starts before we meet Ashley (Kendra Buck) and Sarah (Felicia Tassone). The two unwitting babes move into the town-house and find a laptop and HDTV have been left. Natalie begins to communicate with us the viewer immediately and fills us in on her story...at least part of it.  Her suicide won't be the last at this address as Natalie goes to work on Sarah's vulnerable boyfriend, Scott (Danny Bohnen)...he'll off himself in Sarah's bedroom.
No spoilers here, but the suicides continue as Natalie picks her victims to work her evil on.  Very pretty Jodi (Mariah Salazar), a horror blogger, tries to help...but Natalie isn't into good Samaritans and Jodi's fate will be horrific.  But wait!  Is Natalie really evil?  Or is there something else on the other side seeking vengeance? As our two protagonists are hurled further and further into otherworldly terror, Natalie's actions become more bold and her true intentions are revealed...and they are even more terrifying than revenge.  Will our beautiful duo survive long enough to have a house warming party? What did happen to Natalie and is she really the evil antagonist that decimates fair young ladies?
Fans of Japanese horror will be right at home in Rod Wess' "The Corrupt Half." The actresses are fantastic and the menacing spirit will pop up in your nightmares. Revenge and vengeance are great themes in ghost stories, but this one is a bit more complicated and eerie...you'll see. Oh yes, the fate of the horror blogger Jodi has put me on edge, so I leave you with a warning...see "The Corrupt Half" and if you are a horror blogger, it will be at your own peril.
"The Corrupt Half" link on IMDB The Corrupt Half on IMDB
Trailer on YouTube Trailer for The Corrupt Half

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Victims!, Damsels Tortured and Humiliated

In the first two  minutes of this film, even before the credits, a beautiful woman arriving home is axed in the face, a nude woman in bed is chopped up with a meat cleaver, and a perky brunette is stabbed several times by a transvestite while walking down the street. Again, this all occurs less than two minutes after the the film begins. Awful exploitation I know and these scenes do nothing else than promote misogyny...awful! Tasteless and without any redeeming value, I give you 1985's "Victims!"
Four nubile geology students (Ava Kaufman, Ann Richardson, Geri Schlessel, and Pam Richards) head to the desert to study rocks and go skinny dipping. Susan, Janet, Lisa, and Debbie dress like hussies (not my word, but an old prude who catches a glance at them) showing a lot of skin and jiggling their wares catch the eyes of two psychos, Peter and Eric (Robert Axelrod and Lonny Withers). These two sex maniacs follow our quartet into the desert and watch them frolic, strip, and skinny dip.
The perverts then make their move. Janet will be injured avoiding a rattlesnake, but the real horrors are about to begin. Peter, holding a rifle, takes Debbie and Lisa. He orders Debbie to strip and for Lisa to then perform lesbian sex on her. Meanwhile, Eric rapes Susan while Janet watches helplessly. With her bikini back on, Debbie makes a daring move that could turn the tables on her tormentors.
Will our quartet of beauties survive this ordeal? Will Debbie's bold move lead to the castration of the psychos? How could any sane human being even think of watching this sexploitation trash? I only watched this film for scientific purposes.  As awful as this film is, it is infinitely better than the Mila Kunis disaster, "Jupiter Ascending." Enjoy...I mean avoid at all costs...though it is a better take than any George Clooney recent film..."Victims!"

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Scared to Death, The Birth of Syngenor

Syngenor was a sequel? Who knew? 1990's Syngenor had a beginning, just like the titular creature. Ten years earlier the lesser known "Scared to Death" shocked movie audiences...at least the sparse audiences that saw it. Syngenor, to refresh your memory, is short for Synthetic-Genetic-Organism...in other words, it is a life form created in a laboratory. Those of us who have created life in a lab know the challenges faced by the evil corporations undertaking these experiments.
Jennifer meets the Syngenor
The cops believe they are looking for a serial killer...boy are they wrong. As the film begins a slimy creature rises out of the sewer and finds its way to the home of a babe who just happens to be prancing around naked, and then in lingerie. She is torn to shreds by the thing. Pretty coed Janine (Pamela Bowman) will be next as the fiend beats her to a pulp and rips off her leg. The cops are mystified as the carnage continues. The boring and dimwitted Ted (John Stinson) is a former cop who had to resign because...well...we don't know exactly but probably had to do with a psyche eval. He hesitantly agrees to help the cops find the killer. Ted doesn't do much work on this case because he meets the sultry Jennifer (Diana Davidson). They grow close and have steamy pre-marital sex. Don't get too attached to her because as soon as the Syngenor grabs her, french kisses her, and drains her spinal fluid, she is reduced to a drooling lunatic. No big deal, Ted finds another babe.
The Syngenor gets ready for a French kiss
The other babe? Sherry (Toni Jannetta)! She used to work for a mad-scientist at an evil corporation that created the monster. At first Ted doesn't believe her, but after the Syngenor rips apart a pretty roller-skater (Joleen Porcaro) and messes up Jennifer, he changes his tune. As the Syngenor rips apart some more babes and sewer workers, Sherry is able to lead Ted to its lair.  But wait!  Uh oh, the creature doesn't always kill...nope...it has other uses for humans.  No spoilers here, but the last half hour of this film will chill you pretty good. Intending to kill the Syngenor, Ted and Sherry, who have no plan...by the way, make a horrific discovery.  This discovery will demonstrate that there are fates worse than death.
A fate worse than death
Will Ted ever visit the drooling Jennifer in the psychiatric hospital? Is Sherry's knowledge of the Syngenor experiments sufficient for her to figure out a way to kill it?  What terrible discoveries made in the Syngenor's lair will change the game plan of Ted and Sherry?  More low-budget than its 1990 sequel, "Scared to Death" is just as vicious and ultimately more creepy.  Directed by William Malone, this is a horror film that should not be missed by fans of the 1980 monster film.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ekimmu: The Dead Lust, Fascination American Style

Jean Rollin's Fascination is an arty and subtle trek into surreal vengeance. Andy Koontz' "Ekimmu: The Dead Lust" is a loud and bloody intrusion into the demented mind.  Both films are erotic and horrific. Rollin's film is enhanced by a beautiful and subdued classical-type score. Mr. Koontz, who crafts his own score, is aided by an ominous and pounding melody. Both filmmakers delve into the taboo. Both Koontz and Rollin send us the same warning, when beauty and allure come calling...RUN!
Beth and Sarah
Beth (Chloe Francis) and Mike (Ethan Hoyt) are so cute. Young lovers, totally drawn into each other. Knowing this is a horror flick, we fear for them.  From the outset a menacing demon (Nina Tomica) sets her sights on them.  This demon seems to mock their plight and soon asserts herself in between their wills.  In addition to Beth and Mike's love, something else is going on, and it is gory and horrible. Murder and mayhem...but who are the victims and killers? Enter Sarah (Carissa Becker). Who is she? A victim? Perhaps.
Demon
Sarah's entry into the lives of our young lovers isn't by chance. Sarah has her sights on sultry Beth...but why? No spoilers here. Also enter Steven (Jeff Argubright). He pursues Sarah with a vengeance. Does he want to kill Sarah, and if so why? As helpless and vulnerable as Sarah seems, Steven pleads with Mike to beware and avoid her at all costs. Too late!  Just when you get hold of where the plot is going, the intensity and gore are turned up several degrees. As our aforementioned demon seems to strengthen her foothold in Mike and Beth's lives, Steven's desperation to capture Sarah intensifies. Where does this leave our lovebirds?
Sarah
Will Mike and Beth survive the onslaught of evil and gore and continue their torrid love affair? Will demonic forces and monstrous killings put an end to young love? Just who is Sarah and what are her intentions for the nubile Sarah? Indie filmmaker Andy Koontz has crafted an intense and bloody tale of fate, demonic intrusion, and...well...you'll see. For you young lovers out there, there is so much for you to learn, take "Ekimmu: The Dead Lust" as a warning. Chilling, vicious and blood curdling, this film will seduce and scare the pants off you.
Official Website Ekimmu Website
Facebook Ekimmu on Facebook
Twitter Ekimmu on Twitter

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Revolt of the Zombies, The Undead of Cambodia

In the 1970s, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge swept through Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. The Khmer Rouge murdered a few million peaceful Cambodians to set up an anti-western civilization utopia. Anyone who Pol Pot saw as a threat, which ended up being anyone with schooling, were butchered along with their families. Fearing Pol Pot might set his sights eastward, the Vietnamese needed to act fast. Fresh from a victory over the Americans, the Vietnamese army rolled into Phnom Penh and drove the Khmer Rouge into the wilderness toward the Thai border. The 1970s were not a decade of justice and mass murderer Pol Pot was tried by the United Nations and would die peacefully under house arrest. In 1936, the horror of the killing fields had not yet occurred, but Cambodia contained another, more classic horror...zombies! Hence 1936's "Revolt of the Zombies."
Cambodian zombies at the front
To help defeat Germany in The Great War (World War 1), the French bring a brigade of Franco-Cambodian troops to fight on the border with Austria.  The Cambodians have been turned into zombie fighting machines by a demented monk and are immune to German bullets. The Cambodian undead then shred the Germans.  Realizing this battle tactic could spell doom for the human race, the French send a team to Cambodia to find the secret of the zombies and destroy it. Captain Louque (Dean Jagger) is a handsome officer on this mission who falls in love with the general's daughter, Claire (Dorothy Stone). Uh oh, after the two fall in love, Claire discards Louque for the more callous Grayson (Robert Noland). Scorned and humiliated, Louque comes up with an evil plan.
Love triangle
On his own accord, Louque sneaks in to the temple in Angkor and discovers the secret of turning men into zombies. He ends up turning all of Cambodia into his zombie slaves and threatens to kill Grayson unless Claire marries him.  As the death count mounts and a peaceful third world nation again falls to French interference, there seems no stopping Louque.  The beautiful blonde Claire has only two weapons...her sex-appeal and an undying love for the brute Grayson.
Louque turns Cambodians into zombies
Will Louque successfully harness his power over Cambodia to marry the fair Claire?  Is this film a metaphor for western European chauvenism over the free will of the fairer sex? Is this movie a pre-cursor to the anti-western sentiment in southeast Asia which led to the expelling of the French? Cambodia is a beautiful country but even today danger lurks. The remnants of the Khmer Rouge survive near the Thai border. Let us hope these fiends do not find the secrets within the temple at Angkor. For a nice companion piece to "White Zombie," enjoy "Revolt of the Zombies," directed by Victor Halperin.