Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Resurrection, Lurid and Hopeless in Argentina

Remember Father Karras' predicament in "The Exorcist"?  He had a battle to fight while losing his faith.  Well...let us examine another priest in a similar downfall.  Father Aparicio (Martin Slipak) is headed into the belly of the beast.  Is he being sent by God or his own delusion?  From Argentina, 2015's "Resurrection" is our latest 'ruin your day' horror film.
1871, Buenos Aires is almost dead.  A Yellow Fever outbreak is killing just about everyone.  Priests are rushing into the city as infected attempt to leave.  These brave, or faithful souls, believe it is their God given duty to bless the dying and the dead.  Hence Fr. Aparicio heads that way, as he believes God has instructed him to.  On the way, he makes a slight detour to his family's estate....he should have kept going.  He finds his brother, Edgardo (Adrian Navarro) almost dead from the plague and begging for a healer.  Edgardo wants no part of Aparicio's blessings.  Edgardo dies, leaving a wife and daughter.  These two have locked themselves in the family chapel convinced evil has also arrived at the estate.
Uh oh....Aparicio's sister-in-law (Ana Fontan) and niece (Lola Ahumada) die...or do they? Even after his niece dies, she comes to him...or is it a dream. Aparicio then contracts the fever and is spiraling down into delusion and fever.  The fever ridden priest continues to hear his niece call him and beg to be found.  Almost dead, Aparicion tosses away his faith and orders the family servant, Quispe (Patricio Contreras) to fetch a pagan healer (Vando Villamil).  Our healer has a price, which is quite ominous. As the delusional cleric opens graves and searches hidden passageways for his niece, he falls farther from his faith and embraces the evil which has overtaken the estate.
Is Aparicio's niece alive?  What peril will the healer bring to the estate?  Can Aparicio reclaim his faith and at least save his own eternal soul?  Directed by Gonzalo Calzada, "Resurection" is creepy and ominous.  The depiction of the plague infected is stomach churning.  Whether a statement about the dangers of losing faith, or a metaphor of the false hope of plague victims, this is a scary film teetering on a Poe-like ghost story and heavy social commentary about religion and civilization. Directed by Gonzalo Calzada, enjoy "Resurrection" on Netflix.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dinner, The Making of a Superheroine

Are beautiful super-heroines born super...or are they created?  Were Alice from "Resident Evil" fame and Selene from "Underworld" fame destined at birth to be the powerful babes we know them as? This is an important question, and perhaps a short 12 minute film, 2015's "Dinner," by the sultry Aleksandra Svetlichnaya may answer our query.
When first we meet Dylan (Svetlichnaya), she is a timid young beauty afraid of walking alone at night.  Seemingly scared of her own shadow, Dylan's imagination convinces her she is being stalked. Even worse she has an abrupt meeting with two nerdy strangers, Oscar and Hamilton (Joshua Kachnycz and Ricardo Segarra). All three have leaflets which they believe is a V.I.P invite to a cosplay party.  After some monster play, our trio head to where they believe the party is being held. A trap?  Perhaps a misunderstanding? Lured by a hungry zombie?
 Our unfortunate trio then find themselves in great peril.  Our cosplay nerds won't be much help against the monstrosity (Geremy Webne-Behrman) they meet.  With impending doom at the hands of a zombie creature, Dylan may be their only chance for survival.  But wait! Isn't she a frail, diminutive girly-girl?  Don't be fooled by her great looks and girly charm.....she just might be a Alice or Selene in the making.
 Exciting, fast-paced, with a very alluring protagonist, Ms. Svetlichnaya has made a refreshing horror short, available on YouTube. Humorous, but not at the expense of horror, "Dinner" is a terrific film chronicling the conversion of a pretty woman to the next kick-a#% super-heroine.  To view "Dinner" click on this link Dinner

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Midnight After, Wrath of David Bowie's Major Tom

A few short days before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, David Bowie released a legendary song about space travel. His astronaut was suspended over the Earth in a tin can of a spaceship as he remarked how blue the Earth looked.  What does any of this have to do with 2014's Hong Kong scifi/horror film "The Midnight After"? The answer may be an abstract one, especially considering the fellow who explains it to us is soon engulfed in mysterious flames and is left as a burning ember on the sidewalk.
A minibus with a group of 17 motley passengers departs central Hong Kong just past midnight.  After emerging from a tunnel, all traffic and people are gone. Four college students get off the bus and either disintegrate or explode.  The survivors are then in a horrific struggle to figure out what happened and where everyone went. The most colorful theory comes from a fortune-teller,Ying (Kari Hui) who believes aliens from a nearby star have started their invasion.  Chi (You-Nam Wong) receives a call from his girlfriend six years into the future asking where he has been for six years.  Oh yeah...strange noises received on their cell phones are decoded and indicate David Bowie's hit aforementioned song explains everything.
 So what is going on?  Aliens?  Time travel? A pandemic?  Oh yes, weird Japanese guys in gas masks seem to have occupied the city, but they are keeping their distance.  Wait...Japanese?  Perhaps the Fukishima disaster is playing havoc with our protagonists.  Under fear our survivors devolve and the results are pretty bloody.  Necrophilia, meat-cleaver carnage, spontaneous combustion, torture, and frying pan carnage rule. Confused?
 The answers are as abstract as David Bowie's music.  Perhaps "The Midnight After" is a metaphor for those who fled Hong Kong before the handover to China (I got that one on IMDB).  Great characters, a fair amount of gore, and a most fascinating predicament highlight this work, directed by Fruit Chan.  For those wanting easy answers, look somewhere else.  For those of us who like weird and abstract, see "The Midnight After" which now appears on Netflix.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Last Heist, Dog Day Afternoon goes Slasher

A gang of machine-gun wielding  bank robbers, a beautiful detective played by a favorite of this blog (Victoria Pratt of Mongolian Death Worm ), a hostage stand-off, and a serial killer who collects the eyeballs of his victims....yes! Lots of gory deaths dot this demented version of 'Dog Day Afternoon.' 2016's "The Last Heist" is more horror story than crime thriller, thanks to a serial killer who makes Dexter look like a mere jaywalker.
As far as plot...there's a lot here.  Paul (Torrance Combs) leads a well-armed militant group on a raid of a bank.  Taking hostages of the employees and customers, the group seeks to clean out the safety deposit boxes.  Uh-oh...the bank holds money from "The Cartel." Double uh-oh, cleaning out his box is a serial killer (Henry Rollins).  This fiend collects the eyeballs of his victims and stores them in his safety deposit box.  Paul's group seems to be made up of war-vets and a couple of them are quite attractive, including another one of this blog's favorite actresses, Kristina Klebe of  Killer Mermaid . As our gang ties up their hostages, Tracey (Klebe) is sent to open the boxes.  Oh no...the sultry Tracey will have her arteries slashed and eyeballs removed by our monster.
The bank's assistant manager, Danny (Michael Aaron Milligan) manages to notify 9-1-1, and Detective Pascal (Pratt) responds with two uniforms.  Now a stand-off ensues and Paul and his group realize they are being hunted and dissected  by our antagonist.  But wait...guess who show up? The feds...or peeps saying they are the feds...might they be "The Cartel"?  As eyeballs roll and blood spurts inside the bank, our mysterious feds plan a tactical entry.  Do you think this will go well?  The lovely Detective Pasacal realizes that the feds may not be legit, and must now act very carefully.  But wait...again!  Are there more bad guys than meet the still attached eyeball?  Not everyone is who he/she appears to be.
Will our heavily armed invaders prevail against the gruesome psychopath?  Will the lovely Detective Pascal survive the serial killer, the armed robbers, and the nefarious feds?  Are our robbers merely a Robin Hood type gang looking to rip-off the cartels, or are they just as evil?  Fast moving, gory to the max, and full of twists, director Mike Mendez has put together a neat horror/crime thriller.  Of course, kudos to the cast, who did a fine job.  Available on Netflix, treat yourself to "The Last Heist."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Night Brings Charlie, A Decapitation Gore-Fest

Charlie? Yep....a hulking slasher armed with a chainsaw, an ax, a saw, and various other pieces of menacing garden equipment.  Oh yes, Charlie's face was horribly mutilated by a chainsaw accident. His victims? You guessed it....attractive high school girls seeking pre-marital sex, or attempting to purchase beer without proper ID. The 1980s were teeming with low-budget slasher films.  In 1990, "The Night Brings Charlie" came out.....for this one, low-budget may be an understatement.
Bye Bye Shannon
 The first to fall is pretty Shannon (Jenny Tucks).  After being felt up by her boyfriend, she has her head sawed off her torso.  Sheriff Carson (Kerry Knight) knows his town is now in for some killer carnage.  Equally upset is the very grouchy, and eager coroner, Walt (Joe Fishback).  Walt has watched one too many episodes of "Quincy" and tries to spearhead the investigation.  Kids will be kids, and the local teens go ahead with their parties despite the decapitation...bad idea.  Horrors...no beer!. Walt's pretty daughter, Jenny (Aime Tenalia) and her best bud, Debbie (Robin Krasny) head to a liquor store to buy some.  Here, Debbie will be separated from her under-used head.
Charlie
Our killer, Charlie....presumably, then tries to find another victim and wanders to the home of a beautiful women.  No carnage here, but an opportunity for a long gratuitous shower scene.  As the decapitations continue, Walt and Sheriff Carson desperately search for the killer.  The enormity of the situation still hasn't sunk in on the cute..but very thick, Jenny. She accepts a dare to go over to Charlie's place at night and steal a piece of his property....what could go wrong?  Unaware that his daughter is walking into the den of a slasher, Walt lets his guard down.  No worries, an obnoxious biker gang is heading that way also to teach Charlie a lesson (don't ask). As Sheriff Carson puts together some clues he makes a startling revelation.
Biker Gang remnant
Can Walt and Sheriff Carson figure out what Charlie is planning and save the naive Jenny?  Is Charlie merely a misunderstood PTSD-laden, Vietnam war-vet needing some treatment at the VA?  Oh yes, there is that backstory.  For an ultra low-budget grade C film, the acting and gore in "The Night Brings Charlie" is very good.  Directed by Tom Logan and filmed near Orlando, Florida, this is a neat slasher film unseen by most horror fans.  Available on YouTube, enjoy "The Night Brings Charlie."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Giant From the Unknown, Finally a Good Giant Film

We haven't had a good Giant film in a long time....decades!  Steven Spielberg's Big Friendly Giant film is the newest one, and is a mere insult to anyone with a brain.  So let us return to 1958, when evil conquistadors were still on everyone's mind (...or was that Communists?) and take a look at "Giant From the Unknown."
A California mountain town is being terrorized by someone or something.  The cattle and stray hikers have been ripped apart by some fiend.  Sheriff Parker (Bob Steele), who never met a constitutional right he didn't harpoon, suspects Wayne (Ed Kemmer).  Wayne, a geologist, studies rocks in the mountains and hangs out in the areas of the mutilations.  Wayne's luck changes when his old archaeologist professor, Professor Cleveland (Morros Ankrum), and his sultry daughter, Janet (Sally Fraser) hit town.  After the sheriff yells at them, they befriend Wayne.  Of course Wayne and the statuesque Janet fall in love.  Cleveland believes the remains of an old Spanish conquistador lay in those mountains.  Seems this conquistador was a giant and was known by the Indians as The Diablo Giant.
As Wayne and Janet get closer and even exchange spit, the trio head into the mountains.  Uh oh, the giant isn't dead and has been awakened from suspended animation by a lightning strike. After our giant rips apart some more townspeople, it gets a glimpse of Janet in her state of nudity.  This is too much for the centuries old maniac, and he sets off to abduct the nubile beauty. The massive giant lets nothing stand in his way of his new found lust.  As posses and other poor saps are destroyed by this thing, Wayne must put aside his interest in rocks and don his knight in shining armor persona.
Will our giant be destroyed by his forbidden love?  Will the precocious Janet learn to keep her clothes on when camping in cursed grounds?  Will the Department of Justice impose a consent decree on Sheriff Parker?  Save yourself some hard earned cash and avoid the newest Spielberg garbage.  Instead, enjoy a classic story of boy meets girl, complicated by a lustful monster story.  "Giant From the Unknown" is available on YouTube.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Frozen Dead, Elsa vs. The Third Reich

Zimbabwe born Kathleen Breck is a lovely B movie actress. In her role as Elsa Tenney in 1966's "The Frozen Dead," she will lose her head and conquer the Nazis in the process.  Eisenhower and Patton couldn't totally rid the planet of the Third Reich, but a very heroic and cute Ms.. Tenney came at them from a different angle. Perhaps Ms. Breck's role doesn't possess the stature of Elsa Lanchester's role of the bride or Simone Simon's feline role, but those two actresses didn't defeat Hitler's war machine, either. Also, Ms. Breck's performance dwarfs Mila Kunis' in her trash-epic, "Jupiter Ascending."
Dr. Norberg (Dana Andrews) is an escaped Nazi scientist who is living in England, continuing his experiments.  He plans to revive thousands of high ranking National Socialists who were frozen just after the war.  Believing Dr. Norberg is ready to start these resurrections, General Lubeck (Karel Stepanek) arrives to supervise.  He is also an escaped Nazi living in England under false identity. Worse news, Norberg's niece, Jean (Anna Palk) and her friend Elsa arrive a week early from their university holiday.  Never good to surprise a mad scientist...as Elsa will now find out.  Needing a fresh human head to carry out the last stages of the experiments, the Nazis strangle pretty Elsa and take hers.
Now living in a wooden box in Norberg's laboratory, Elsa is no longer pretty, and a bit angry.  A side effect to this experiment is that Elsa has telepathic powers.  This becomes uncomfortable when Elsa begins communicating with Norberg's failed experiments, who are locked in a dungeon beside the lab.  Even worse, Elsa begins communicating with Jean, who believes her friend left abruptly.  As the disembodied head is hooked up to other body parts, some her own...but not all, she begins to plot.  Jean, meanwhile, has contacted the cops and has brought out much suspicion on Norberg's lab.  Norberg's Nazi friends believe Jean is now a liability and plan her demise.  I have left out the handsome Dr. Roberts (Philip Gilbert). Roberts was summoned by Norberg to assist in his experiments, but falls in love with jean (yawn!).
Can Elsa save Jean from the Nazi thugs?  Are the frozen dead Nazis a mere metaphor for the evil that always seems to revisit civilization throughout history? Okay....let's not go there. This is a weird one, and the ending is quite haunting.  "The Frozen Dead" is totally a B movie, but it has scares that will give you nightmares.  Available on YouTube, enjoy "The Frozen Dead."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rush Week, Booze, Dope and Bimbos....and an Ax Fiend

Booze Dope Bimbos....Beta Delta Beta, actually. The nickname is well deserved. During rush week at Tambers College, our fraternity will demonstrate why they keep getting de-certified by the college administration.  Oh yes...in addition to bad behavior, usually involving naked bimbos and cadavers, an ax murderer will chop up the sexiest coeds at this college. In 1989's "Rush Week" we will see lots of murders, naked coeds, and lots of gratuitous scenes concerning either a shower or nudes posing with corpses.
BDB is back. Lude, insensitive, and criminal, can a fraternity change it's stripes. No.  Hunk Jeff (Dean Hamilton) is the chapter president and his boys are steeped in pranks.  Oh yes, some shapely babes have gone missing (code for 'chopped up by a battle-ax').  Most notably, Julie.  Julie (Kathleen Kinment, once married to Lorenzo Lamas).  She is a model and met her demise after a photo shoot in which she posed nude with a med school cadaver.  The subsequent victims followed the same path. On the case is school reporter, Toni (Pamela Ludwig).  Assigned to do a story on rush week (yawn), she decides to investigate the missing coeds, instead. The pretty Toni quickly receives cryptic threats, but she pushes forward and develops some great suspects.
Uh oh....Toni falls in love with her #1 suspect, Jeff. A handsome guy, but he seems to disappear before each murder.  Oh well.....one must overlook certain homicidal behavior when love comes knocking.  Besides, this photographer (John Donovan) is a better suspect.  The models are all murdered moments after their photo-shoots.  Then there is the college dean (Roy Thinnes). He is a bit puritanical and doesn't appreciate pornography or beautiful coeds.  As Toni snoops, the killer begins stalking her.  After Toni confesses her love to Jeff, the handsome senior gets really weird.  Being the aggressive cub reporter that she is, Toni draws the attention of an amorous Jeff, the Dean, and the photographer...and they all converge on her.
Will Toni be able to get her story and live to write another one?  Are our suspects too easy, and might Toni be in for the surprise of her life...or death?  Is our fiend a bloodthirsty killer or a crusader against drugs, nudity and pre-marital sex on college campuses? Directed by Bob Bralver, who did stunt work in "Road House," "Rush Week" is a lot of fun and available on YouTube.  Made several years after "Animal House," BDB makes the Delta House seem like a house of worship.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Me Myself and I, Our Greatest Fear

What are we most afraid of?  Ignore the polls which suggest drowning and public speaking scare us the worst. Nope, not being mauled by a grizzly or dying in a plane crash, either.  The one thing that can do us the most harm, and indeed frightens us tons more than the previous referenced fears...ourselves.  Meosha Bean, who appeared on this blog last January (click on this link Meosha Bean ) has created, and stars, in a new horror short...."Me Myself and I."  In this film, Ms. Bean takes the fear we have of ourselves and moves it from an abstract point of view to something more literal.
A very pretty young lady (Bean) leaves  a small grocery store late at night.....perfect beginning for a horror film.  In a dimly lit parking lot, she gets a glimpse of a figure.  This is very unsettling to our protagonist.  It's not Jason Voorhees, Feddy Krueger, or Michael Myers.....nope, that would be too easy.  She is drawn to this figure and follows it.  But wait!  The it is actually a her.  Even better, could this her be...well, herself?  Eerie and unsettling...our attractive damsel gets closer for more answers. No more plot, as this feature runs just under seven minutes, and spoilers won't be found on this blog.
Ms. Bean is sensational as the star of this horror short written by Kinte Fergerson.  Sure, staying in the abstract would have pleased the fans of artsy-fartsy films at film festivals.  Fortunately, Mr. Fergerson and Ms. Bean did not allow a theme of "How do we really view ourselves?" to hamper this movie from delivering jump-out-of your-seat scares. To view this film on YouTube click this link Me Myself and I

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Red Headed Corpse, Love....Poe Style

Shot in Turkey, this Italian production is heavy on Poe influences.  1972's "The Red Headed Corpse," seems to have taken a plot from a romantic comedy, and altered it to make it a deranged voyage into the taboo and macabre.  What does every pseudo-man want?  A beautiful woman who doesn't speak, fawns all over him, wants sex constantly, and never questions him! Yeah...right!  This always works out.  Not!  Unfortunately for our protagonist, this dream girl develops a voice and some selfish wants. What follows is....well...madness.
John (Farley Granger) is a struggling artist.  One day he comes across some hippies.  These free-spirits smoke a lot of pot and give John a gift....a beat-up, damaged, red-headed, nude mannequin. After John spends some time with a prostitute, Mala (Ivana Novak), he gets an idea.  John returns to his flat and restores the mannequin.  To his mild surprise, the thing comes to life as a subservient sex-toy (Krista Nell).  Now this woman has lots of sex with John, and John uses her as a model for his paintings.  Now his paintings are fetching lots of lira.
Uh oh, our subservient babe turns into something a lot less obedient (Erika Blanc).  Instead of a magnanimous love slave, our red-head now wants every man within 100 kilometers.  She seduces every warm body she sees, and grows cold and antagonistic toward John.  Even men who see her in John's paintings track her down, and she is all too happy to reward them for their efforts.  John, upset that his gal has a will of her own....and a hundred other lovers, hits the bottle.  He created her....and now he has another idea.  Has our red-headed free spirit gone too far?  What has John decided to do to her? Is she even real?
Perhaps a ghost story? Or maybe a murder mystery?  Or a study into the crazed mind of a struggling artist who has fallen into insanity?  Directed by Renzo Russo (I love that name), this is a fine thriller. Erika Blank turns in a most seductive performance, and steals the show.  Like Edgar Allan Poe, our protagonist just can't deal with a beautiful babe who happens to be alive. So, for all of you that got stuck paying money to see "Mannequin" because your girlfriend wanted to see it....see "The Red Headed Corpse," you deserve it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Darkwave: Edge of the Storm, Trouble in Paradise

It just didn't go as planned. Nope, but for fans of scifi and horror, this is no surprise. New Earth...so much promise. Whatever angst and apocalypse our original Earth faced, the new place promised to be a utopia, I'm sure. Yeah, right. Hence, a science fiction short which is sure to win awards at festivals, 2016's Darkwave: Edge of the Storm . Directed and created by Darren Scales, this 24 minute short packs so much.  In a supreme compliment to a short film, I am eager to see the 90 minute full length feature leading up to it, and the 90 minute full length feature which this film sets up. Or even better, a BBC series.
Sarah (Nathalie Cox), her husband David (Robin Kirwan), and son Ben (Ben Shahin-Scales) are on the run...but from who or what? They are also searching....but for what? New Earth has broken down and the government is pursuing them, and anyone else who doesn't toe the line.  All seems hopeless to our protagonists....but wait! They come across a burnt out communications outpost.  As David gets the satellite dishes back online, Sarah is able to make contact with someone (I won't tell you who, but he's played by Shane Rimmer).  Both David and Sarah find out a little more about their frightful predicament before the outpost goes down again.  And Ben?  You'll see. What follows is an ambitious and epic story line featuring great scifi f/x.
 Lots of spaceships, apocalyptic landscapes, outer-space drama, and fine acting help make 'Darkwave' a wonderful scifi tale.  Darren Scales wasn't intimidated by a 24 minute time frame for this film, as a detailed description of the plot would suggest this film runs 120 minutes.  Visit their website (the link is included above), and be sure to find a way to see "Darkwave: Edge of the Storm," which will be released online on September 16, 2016.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Snow Creature, Horror of the Beauracracy

1954's "The Snow Creature" is a brutally honest horror film.  We are used to shrieking at the sight of machetes, gore, lunatics, and mutations in our horror films.  Truth be told, the horrors we face every day in actuality may be a bit more frightening. For instance...running into a nine-foot tall beast from the Himalayas...who hasn't done that? Dealing with government agencies who insist your paperwork isn't in order...eek!  Misinterpretations of customs regulations causing your experiments to cease....that gets me all too often.  So let us take a look at this horror film directed by Billy Wilder's brother, W. Lee Wilder.
An ill-equipped expedition heads into the Himalayas.  Dr. Frank Parrish (Paul Langton) is a botanist, who will quickly become a cryptozoologist.  Uh oh....trouble!  Soon after they begin their climb, the Yeti abducts the wife of Frank's guide.  The Sherpa know Yeti as 'the marauder of women.' As the wives of the Sherpa are usually homely, Frank insists on pursuing his quest to find Himalayan plants. The chivalrous guide, Subra (Teru Shimada) leads a Sherpa mutiny, and now Frank's expedition is a search and rescue effort. After the Yeti kills a pursuing Sherpa, the newly arranged posse corners the beast in a cave.  By luck, a cave in kills the Yeti's child and mate, and allows Frank to capture him alive. Frank has a bright idea (I guess he never saw "King Kong"), bring the Yeti back to Los Angeles and display him in a museum. What could go wrong?  Government regulations and over burdensome Customs regulations....another eek!
While customs officials at LAX try to figure out if the Yeti is a man or beast, the Yeti escapes from his refrigerator cage.  'The marauder of women' is then loose to maraud aspiring actresses and other California beauties in L.A. This is a welcomed change for the Yeti, who up to now has been limited to chunky Sherpa wives.  He eludes capture, but Lt. Dunbar (William Phipps) of the LAPD is determined to save L.A.'s women, and end the Yeti's reign of terror. As the U.S. Customs Department remains insistent on proper classification, Lt. Dunbar plods on.
Will our Yeti receive proper government classification?  Will proper classification increase the fees which Frank will have to pay for his find?  Will our marauder of women find love and fulfillment in L.A.? A minor B movie, "The Snow Creature" is a lot of fun for all of us who have been hampered by government regulation. Available on YouTube, enjoy "The Snow Creature."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Blood Frenzy, Is Wednesday a Damsel or a Psycho?

Remember Wednesday (Lisa Loring) from "The Addams Family"?  Strange kid....no doubt. Do you ever wonder what kind of adult she grew into?  Probably still strange.  Pessimistic. Critical. Easily excitable.  Psycho?  Who knows.  Well, 1987's "Blood Frenzy" gives us the answer.  In a very well acted, and gory slasher film, an all grown up Lisa Loring turns in a fine performance.
Okay...stupid idea #74....take your psychotic patients into the desert for a 'confrontation encounter session.' Not the stupidest idea of all time, and for a slasher film...why not?  The lovely Dr. Shelley (Wendy MacDonald) brings the PTSD, insane war-vet Rick (Tony Montero), the nymphomaniac nude skydiver Cassie (Lisa Savage), the alcoholic Crawford (John Clark), the grouchy lesbian Dory (Loring), Dave the pervert (Hank Garrett)and the frightened Jean (Monica Silveria) on this retreat.  The therapy will include yelling a each other,  except for Cassie.  Cassie will have sex with as many patients as she can, including Dory. What could go wrong?
The slashings begin. As Dory yells at everyone, Dave wakes up...or doesn't wake up...with his throat cut.  Our encounter group believes they are all alone in the desert...but are they? Everyone suspects Rick, the PTSD patient who keeps talking about his buddies who he saw blown up in Nam. For fun, the group yells "Incoming!" and watch him dive for cover.  As the throat slashings continue, and our group whittles down in number, Cassie begins seducing the females.  Everyone seems to have what it takes to be the homicidal maniac, except sweet Jean.  Uh oh....that either means Jean is next....or possibly the killer. As paranoia sets in, it is apparent that one of the group members is the killer...but how about Dr. Shelley?
Is our group really alone in the desert?  Is one of our psychos a psycho?  Will our nude skydiver, Cassie, finish this film in one piece (....that's an easy one, I'm afraid).  Directed by Hal Freeman, this is a terrific slasher film.  The ending has some semi-standard twists, but it is a lot of fun.  Available on YouTube, treat yourself to "Blood Frenzy" and see what became of Wednesday after she became an adult.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Open House, the Bloody Housing Market

As the housing market continues in a bust, it is only appropriate we look at a slasher film starring Adrienne Barbeau. Perhaps made before it's time, 1987's "Open House" is a gory slasher flick which makes a statement about the manipulated housing market and it's effect on those surviving outside the top one per cent.  With great death scenes, damsels in much distress, a menacing slasher, and of course Ms. Barbeau as a sultry real estate agent, "Open House" may put a halt on your desire for this market to pick back up again.
The hottest real estate agents in L.A. are showing million dollar mansions. Uh oh, someone is waiting inside the houses and slicing them up after they're done with their spiel.  Lovelies are being bludgeoned by a razor-laden baseball bat, hung, and decapitated. Our killer is going through extra effort to torture and humiliate his victims.  In one memorable scene, the very pretty Pilar (Christina Gallegos) is strung up, has her clothes cut off, and has wires attached to her implants before she is electrocuted. Uh oh...our killer is selecting houses from discarded real estate listings of Lisa Grant (Barbeau) Realty.
Lisa's main squeeze is Dr. David Kelley (Joseph Bottoms), who hosts a radio shrink show.  Our fiend begins calling this show extolling the virtues of his murders. The lovelier the real estate agent, the gorier the death.  All indications point toward a bloody final confrontation between the monster and Lisa, as he begins stalking her.  In one unforgettable scene, the killer decapitates Lisa's main competition while humiliating and stringing up a nude dominatrix (Roxanne Baird) in a mansion's hot tub.  Okay, perhaps that scene is more gratuitous than plot enhancing...but why not?  As the police and David enact a plan to identify and capture this beast, Lisa lets her guard down.  This is done at Lisa's peril, as our slasher seems one step ahead of his pursuers.
Will these killings effect the southern California real estate market? Is our villain merely an advocate for those seeking more affordable housing in major metropolitan areas (don't laugh....this film actually goes there)?  Our slasher and his killings are most horrific, and his victims are indeed lovely damsels.  Ms. Barbeau is terrific in this, as usual. Directed by Jag Mundhra, "Open House" is a gory, gratuitous, and ominous horror flick. Enjoy "Open House," which is available on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Gene, Psychopath in the Family

Today we take a look at another short film from England....2016's "Gene." In this one, lasting almost 11 minutes, be prepared to end your viewing experience feeling most uncomfortable.  Sure, a child with homicidal tendencies does this to us, however, this horror story is much more.  Every second of Nicholas Marc Padley's film has us expecting carnage and gore to suddenly pop out at us. Mind you, I'm not saying it will, but every second of this work has us on edge and expectant.
Brief on the plot, Gene (Jack Maw) is a fine looking lad that appears to be filled with evil. He has that look that says he wants to separate you from your intestines...you know that look.  Okay...so that is horrific enough, and in a 11 minute film, is there room for anymore?  Conventional wisdom says no...but in "Gene," there is much more. As our title character lurks, it is easy to see that everyone he meets is potential prey.  But wait!  Is Gene our only monster in this work?  As Gene's mother (Emma Wise) has a chat with Gene's school principal, we realize that something awful is about to happen. A short look at Gene and his mom's backstory help us realize this.
Every sentence uttered in this film is a building block to a terrifying conclusion.  A child psycho in the making? Too easy. Throw in another taboo or two, and "Gene" is a film that will leave you agape. This work is sure to rack up the honors at film festivals over the next year.  To find out more about "Gene," visit him on Facebook at this link Gene on Facebook

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sweet Home, Bad Idea in Spain

Stupid ideas have consequences.  Embarrassment and failure usually follow the folly of the dimwitted. On occasion, especially in slasher films, carnage and gore is what follows. Throw in young love, and yep....a regular nuclear holocaust will probably arrive. 2015's "Sweet Home," is a film that demonstrates this maxim.  In a plot line that could've began a romantic comedy, two lovers, secluded in an abandoned tenement building are about to face some monsters.  Yeah...like an abandoned old building is really abandoned....not in slasher films.
Alicia (Ingrid Grace Jonsson), a real estate broker visits an almost abandoned apartment building to question it's last tenant, an elderly man who refuses to move.  The real estate company wants him gone so they can demolish the eyesore, but the law is on the man's side.  Here is the stupid idea of the century....to seduce her loser boyfriend, Simon (Bruno Sevilla), Alicia brings him to the building where she has fixed up an abandoned apartment with scented candles, in hopes of engaging in pre-marital sex with him.  Uh oh, also converging on the space are three masked assassins, hired by the real estate company to exterminate it's last tenant.  They do their job, but discover Alicia and Simon have witnessed their visit.  Our trio then set forth in hopes of killing our economical lovers.
Bad news for the assassins.....our lovers go through them like crap through a goose.  Our Romeo and Juliet are not out of the woods yet, as back-up is dispatched. Instead of three half-wits, a monster arrives. A big monster of a guy clad in a gas mask and toting a really big ax, lots of acid, poison gas, and an attitude.  This fiend won't be so easy to out maneuver, and Simon and Alicia will need to become monsters themselves to survive and kill their new foe.
Can the authors of the stupidest idea ever in Spain recover and outsmart an evil maniac? Does having a few homicides (....okay, so they were in self-defense) under your belts....or lingerie...make the heart fonder?  Directed with a horrific edge by Rafa Martinez, "Sweet Home" is fast paced, and Alicia's spunk makes this a very inspirational film...to the horror lover. Available on Netflix, see "Sweet Home."

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nightmare Castle, Barbara Steele in Great Peril

Barbara Steele is one of the greatest horror film actresses of all time. She can be a beautiful damsel in great distress in one scene, then with the twitch of an eyebrow, turn into a demented fiend...although still beautiful.  In 1965's Italian horror shocker "Nightmare Castle" (aka "The Faceless Monster"), she excels in both roles. The English beauty worked in several horror films that ranged from Italian Euro-horror with Mario Bava to American slasher, in 1979's The Silent Scream .
Being married to a mad scientist has it's hazards, as Muriel (Steele) is about to find out.  Believing her husband has left on a business trip, she enjoys some steamy sex with the stable-boy (Rik Battaglia). Uh oh, Muriel's husband, Stephen (Paul Muller) doubles back and catches them doing the dirty deed.  He strings both of them up and tortures them with whips, a hot poker, electricity, and acid. Both expire, mercifully. Unfortunately for Stephen, he mis-read Muriel's will. The whole castle is bequeathed to her sister, Jenny (also Steele).  Jenny is holed up in a lunatic asylum and is as frail as she is insane.  Plan B is put into effect....Stephen marries her and brings her to the castle.
Complications and eeriness arise immediately.  For one, Stephen's maid Solange (Helga Line) is all of a sudden a youthful beauty, instead of an old hag...but how?  How did Stephen unleash youth onto this old woman?  The answer is startling, and will put Jenny in even greater peril.  Then, the diminutive and unstable Jenny starts manifesting Muriel's personality, fiery and insolent.  As Solange and Stephen plot Jenny's demise, Muriel's vengeful spirit begins to work.  To further complicate matters, Dr. Joyce (Marino Mase) comes to treat Jenny at the castle and falls in love with her. As an angry Muriel manifests through Jenny, then actually appears, a bloody fate will befall...well...you'll see.
Will the insane, but lovely Jenny, find love and happiness amidst the carnage that will transpire at her castle?  Will a homicidal mad scientist be able to out maneuver a vengeful ghost?  No one is safe in this European horror yarn, directed by Mario Caiano.  The torture scenes are difficult to endure, and so is the excruciatingly gory ending...but that's just how we like it.  This is one of Ms. Steele's best films, which is saying a lot.  Enjoy "Nightmare Castle" (the unedited 104 minute version) which is available on YouTube.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Heroines of F.U.R.Y., The Rape of the Super-Heroines

From our buddies at Secret Identity Films (the makers of Agents of P.O.W.E.R. and Heroines of S.W.O.R.D. ) comes 2015's "Heroines of F.U.R.Y." As with the aforementioned films, our feature today dwells on sultry super-heroines in tight, revealing costumes, attempting to save their city and the world.  On their way to doing that, our beauties are beaten, humiliated, and raped a lot...but all for a good cause.
Cosmic Girl
Cosmic Girl (Ashley Lane) is the newest super-heroine.  She visits Lady Victory (Halsey Rae) who equips her with a sexy costume.  So enamored with her new costume, Cosmic Girl goes home, climbs into bed with it, and proceeds to m@$#%&*&@# in a very elongated scene.  Uh oh, after a gratuitous shower scene, Lady Victory's home is invaded by Ilsa (Christina Verdos).  Illsa, after a long fight scene, overpowers Lady Victory, humiliates her and rapes our heroine in an extended scene. Double uh oh, Cosmic Girl flies into a trap and is captured by the butch Lady Roulette (Kristin Meed), who proceeds to string up our novice heroine, gropes her a lot, and tortures her.
Lady Victory assaulted
With two abducted super-heroines, Omega (Christine Ayers) assembles the rest of her super-heroines in order to find and rescue our beauties. The kidnappings are part of a plan by Lilith (Beth Lynn). Lilith is sort of a vampire, who drains the power from super-heroines, and their youth, and uses it as her own.  She has a great time groping and playing with her most prized play-toy...Lady Victory. The remaining heroines, are of course walking (..or flying) into a trap.  Starlet (Veronica Lynn) and Sunder (Mercedes Raquel), are subject to a weird hypnotism, where an evil bookie (don't ask) turns them on each other and has them engage in an extended lesbian love scene.  Meanwhile, Spyder (Krisa Kouture), clad in a tight, black suit appears to have gone to the dark side.
I could go on and on about the plot, but why?  Gratuitous to the max, and about an inch away from being porn, "Heroines of F.U.R.Y" no doubt appeals to our prurient senses.  No doubt, this will be a difficult film to advocate for in mixed company, however, after the final credits roll...you will have been happy to have seen it.  I'm guessing this film will be big in Japan.