Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rejuvenatrix, Brains!

Today, a modern retelling of The Wasp Woman . A bit more stylish, less campy, and a whole lot gorier, 1988's "Rejuvenatrix" is a bloody fable about the fear of aging.  Hair growing out of our ears? Leaving our turn signal on 100 miles past our turn? Perhaps, for every year that ticks away, our proximity to death increases.  Either way, when a brilliant scientist has a serum that will reverse the aging process, the results are all too predictable to horror film fans.  Perhaps Nicole Kidman and Madonna will get the memo on this in the near future.

Ruth Warren (Jessica Dublin) is an actress 25 years past her prime.  She hooks on to Dr. Ashton (John MacKay) who is inventing a serum to reverse the aging process....like this will actually go well. Though Ashton and his nubile assistant Stella (Katell Pleven) want to test the stuff on lab rats, Warren pressures Ashton to inject her.  He does, and now Ruth regains her youthful looks and calls herself Elizabeth (Vivian Lanko).  Uh oh, the looks don't last and Ashton is forced to make more and more serum.  Here lies the problem, he needs brains to extract the necessary ingredients for the serum.  At first he hires a ghoulish guy to bring him cadavers...from where?  Don't ask.
After every injection, Elizabeth regains her youth, but...you guessed it.  She needs more and more serum more often.  Now Elizabeth discovers, as she turns into a hideous monster, that she hungers for brains.  The monster attacks, slices opens skulls of the living, and dines on still pulsating brains (do brains pulsate?).  As Dr. Ashton works on a synthesized formula, so Elizabeth won't need fresh brains, it is apparent that our monster likes killing and eating brains.  After all, would yu settle for a synthesized wine?  As the pretty Stella loses her scalp (...and brain), Ashton, perhaps too late, realizes that Elizabeth is now a monster.
Will Dr. Ashton eventually be on Elizabeth's menu?  Can today's past their prime actresses glean valuable lessons from today's story?  Isn't this a good time to remind ourselves that beauty is more than skin deep?  Gory, and carnage filled, "Rejuvenatrix" is a film that will turn your stomach.  Perhaps a sage warning...when a new and improved Botox is released...run!!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Pit, Homicidal Adolescent

No matter how uncomfortable and taboo this film is, the ending is classic.  Yeah, it goes places where polite people don't like their films to go, but hey...if there is bloody carnage involved, we can forgive the film-makers.  Nudity, gore, and child-murder through the eyes of an adolescent 12 year old boy. Today we look at 1981's "The Pit" directed by Lew Lehman.
Jamie (Sammy Snyders), an awkward 12 year old is coming to grips with his sexuality.  In school he is frequently punished for his stash of nude girly photos.  He has a sultry mother (Laura Press) who is sexually molesting him.  As his parents leave for Seattle, they find a babysitter to stay with him...the nubile and bubbly Sandy (Jeannie Ellis). Jamie immediately falls into lustful love with Sandy and never misses a chance to see her nude in the shower or in bed.  Uh oh...Jamie has a Teddy Bear that goads him to doing some weird things.  Double uh oh, Jamie finds a pit in the woods with four monsters in it.
With no friends, Jamie befriends these creature.  He begins feeding them, first candy bars, then raw meat from the butcher shop, then folks who antagonize him.  He will feed them a little girl, and old woman in a wheel chair, then Sandy's beau, and more.  As Sandy refuses Jamie's advances we wonder if she will be fed to the creatures. Empowered, Jamie, with assistance from his bear, starts peeking in windows at nude women.  Are the creatures a mere metaphor for Jamie's raging hormones? As Sandy turns into a damsel in great distress, and perhaps a menu item, Jamie's homicidal tendencies increase, and the creatures get fatter.
Perhaps this film needs to be attached to modern day anti-bullying campaigns. Instead of an ineffective emoji on our smart phones, bullies can be told they will be eaten by monsters.  In any case, this film is not for everyone, and won't be discussed in polite company, but fans of this blog will have a certain affection for it.  Oh yes...the ending...you'll love it...see "The Pit."

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Urge to Kill, Gratuitous Sex and Horror

A dominatrix, a submissive, and BDSM! Gratuitous shower scenes!  Gratuitous nudity!  Gratuitous hot-tub scenes! Threesomes!  Foursomes! Wild and gratuitous cat-fights! Mud wrestling! Okay, the acting is pretty bad, but does that even matter?  Today we take a look at 1989's "The Urge to Kill" (aka "Attack of the Killer Computer").
Bono Zorro (Peter Gordeno) is a seedy record producer with deviant sexual desires.  When Melanie (Sally Ann Balaam) struts into his studio one night to share her demo tape, he brings her home for some kinky pre-marital sex.  Oh yes, Bono shares his apartment with his computer SEXY, which controls the entire place, from plumbing to electricity.  Bono tries to get his GF Jane (Sarah Hope Walker) over for a threesome...and guess what...Sarah is up for it.  In the meantime, Melanie calls her stunning lesbian lover (Maria Harper) over, also for a threesome . With Bono out for a minuter, the two sexy lesbians get it on and SEXY goes to work.  Melanie will die in the shower when SEXY fixes the shower head to shoot out acid, and her lover gets lasered to death on a tanning bed.
When Jane and Bono return the gals are nowhere to be seen.  Disappointed, Jane calls her two pals, the dominatrix Tiga (Tiga Adams) and her submissive Susan (Joanna Breck) for a foursome.  The two leather clad BDSM gals arrive and hot-tubs and sex take over the plot for awhile.  These two will meet similar fates, leaving Bono and Jane to try to survive against a jealous SEXY.  STOP!!!  That's enough...you get the picture.  Psycho computer, gory deaths and deviant sex.
Will either Jane and Bono survive?  Given that Jane is Bono's #1 GF, does SEXY have an especially excruciating death planned for her? Is the misogyny in "The Urge to Kill" symbolic of Silicon Valley's sexism and disrespect for women as embodied in their newest computer technology? Or, is "The Urge to Kill" an orgasmic fantasy of the BDSM culture?  This is a sordid and wild one, and the prettier the gal, the more horrible the death.  I know you all will be repulsed by this film, but if you are curious...check "The Urge to Kill" on YouTube.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Most Dangerous Game, Not Quite King Kong

Almost "King Kong, which would premier in 1933, but 1932's "The Most Dangerous Game," one might say, birthed the classic gorilla flick.  Like "King Kong," this film stars Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong.  Both these films had David O. Selznick, Merian Cooper, and Ernest Schoedsack involved in the making and production.  Also, like "King Kong," this film has also been re-made, but even more frequently than the gorilla epic.  In fact, readers of this blog may find the plot of today's feature a bit familiar.  Both Turkey Shoot and Awaken , which have been reviewed on this blog, are terrific rip-offs of "The Most Dangerous Game."
Bob (Joel McCrea), a big game hunter, is the only survivor of a shipwreck.  The wreck was no accident. The evil and eccentric Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) lures ships into a coral reef near his island, with the intention of sinking them.  Survivors who make it to his island are welcomed into his castle, treated with much hospitality, and then set loose for the Count to hunt.  Bob arrives and meets some earlier castaways including the lovely Eve (Wray) and her brother Martin (Armstrong). Eve warns Bob that the other survivors were taken out hunting by the Count and never returned.
You guessed it, the Count is bored with animals and now seeks the most dangerous game...man! As Eve and Bob snoop around, looking for Martin, they find the Count's trophy room and the severed heads of his human kills.  The game is on, our evil host sets the two budding lovebirds loose on the island for a hunt no one has ever survived.  But wait!  Bob is no ordinary prey.  He is an expert hunter himself, and instead of behaving like prey, he and Eve will also turn hunter.
Faye Wray is stunning and will be wet a lot as her clothes are gradually torn to shreds...not that we care about this.  For 1932, this film is very gory, showing a graphic shipwreck with sharks eating passengers, and also the aforementioned severed heads.  Will Bob and Eve have a chance to cultivate their love?  Will Count Zaroff be fair in his hunting methods? If she survives the hunt, will Eve emerge as the diminutive wallflower she was before the hunt?  Treat yourself to one of the most re-made films in cinematic history, catch "The Most Dangerous Game" on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dark Age, Another Aussie Killer Croc Film

One might argue that 1987's "Dark Age" is merely another Australian crocodile film, which offers nothing new.  That would be unfair.  Yeah, I do admit that much of this film may be interpreted as a cheap rip-off of "Jaws."  Entire scenes seem to be lifted out of Spielberg's expensive rip-off of "Moby Dick."  However...would you rather see a gratuitous rip-off of "Jaws" or a rip-off of "Silkwood"?  For horror fans, "Dark Age" is an interesting film which inspired many plot devices in those made-for-Syfy films.
Okay, a 25 foot Australian saltwater crocodile starts eating everyone...including a cute little aboriginal boy. An evil monster to some, but to a wise old Aborigine, Oondabund (Burnham Burnham), it is a deity.  In fact Oondabund has some sort of psychic connection to the thing.  Enter a park ranger, Steve (John Jarratt). He is in charge of monitoring the croc population and is real stupid. He will have lots of numb-skull ideas.  Also enter the beautiful anthropologist, Cathy (Nikki Coghill). She is Steve's GF and always reminds him how stupid he is and how awful he is. The chemistry between Steve and Cathy will remind you of the Diet Coke and Mento experiment. They have lots of passionate pre-marital sex, and afterwards, instead of a cigarette, she yaps to him about how he mistreats her and never wanted commitment.  We can only hope she becomes gator bait!
As tourist dollars are jeopardized, Steve and Oondabund hatch a really stupid idea...and ironically...Cathy likes it.  This will entail capturing the monster alive with tranquilizer darts.  Yeah...tranquilizer darts always work out well in these films...almost as good as Ouija boards. The croc will eat more Aussies and eventually a small reward sends every gun-toting, beer guzzling Aussie after the thing.  As the idiot Steve and his aborigine pals set out on their plan, some local-yokels grab axes, shotguns, and harpoons and follow.
Will Cathy get eaten?  Is the monster croc really a god?  Are anthropologists all hot, or is this a sexist plot device put out by B horror film makers for exploitative purposes?  Directed by Arch Nicholson, "Dark Age" has lots of kills, which we usually cheer at.  Not a masterpiece, but still better than any Meryl Streep film.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Frankenstein's Island, Bikini Babes vs. Frankenstein

All well respected literary journals agree that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was a near miss on being considered a great classic.  the Oxford Review of Literature quotes, "...perhaps a more drastic plot device to anchor this story to the sublime. Bikini clad Amazon women, for example, is just what Shelley's story thirsts for."  So in 1981, "Frankenstein's Island" was released in order to fill out Shelley's horror story and perhaps convert it into a timeless classic.  After all, is there any film plot in which very alluring bikini clad women, who run and jump a lot, will not enhance?
So here we go!  Four guys, riding a hot air balloon (don't ask) are blown off course. They land on a mysterious island occupied by babes wearing leopard skin bikinis.  They run around, dance, jump up and down, and charm snakes.  The four guys immediately befriend their potential mates.  But wait!  Mutant goons emerge and hunt down the girls.  The girls are brought back to a secret lab run by Dr. Frankenstein's granddaughter, Sheila (Katherine Victor).  Oh yes, a crew of sailors, captained by Clay (Cameron Mitchell) are also discovered.  Sheila keeps Clay alive as his blood is needed for transfusions.
The bikini babes dance and run some more, and we learn Sheila is in touch with Dr. Frankenstein's spirit in order to channel life itself and to cure death...or something like that.  As mutants grab more of the bikini clad babes, the lovelies team up with our balloonists, grab a big machine gun, and attempt a rescue and destroy mission on Sheila's lab.  In preparation for this, the bikini babes dance and jump around some more.  As the final battle approaches, guess who appears from a cave?  Yep, the Frankenstein creature himself.  I stop here, but is there really any more one needs in a plot?
Will the nubile bikini babes prevail against the creature, Sheila, and the mutants?  Will we be treated to any cat-fights among the bikini clad babes?  Gratuitous and exploitative, "Frankenstein's Island" is highly praised in the halls of the Oxford Review of Literature."  A guilty pleasure indeed, however, Mary Shelley would have been well pleased.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Slaughter of the Vampires, The Romance of the Vampire Tale

From Italy, we have a vampire tale which will appeal to fans of romance novels.  1964's "The Slaughter of the Vampires"  (aka "Curse of the Blood Ghouls") is equipped with flowery language, a big castle, a waltz in the ballroom, and a hunk prince-type fawning all over the vulnerable, buxom lady dressed in white gowns.  Don't fret guys, this film has a really attractive leading woman, lots of vulnerable cleavage action, and some vampires. Directed by Roberto Mauri, probably for the benefit of his wife or GF, let us take a look a neat Gothic horror tale.
As our tale begins, a vampire (Dieter Eppler) and his babe vampire wife are fleeing angry townsfolk. The vampire gets away, but his wife is skewered with a dozen pitchforks.  He gets out of Dodge and finds himself back at his old castle where he sets up his coffin in the cellar.  Times change, and so do real estate deeds, as Wolfgang (Walter Brandi) and his buxom wife Louise (Graziella Granata) have moved in.  On their first night they throw a formal ball and all the ladies are dressed in ornate ball gowns.  Our vampire awakens and wanders upstairs and is immediately captivated by Louise's cleavage....er, beauty.
Game on, he puts Louise under his spell and bites her in her bedroom.  She'll become his vampire bride.  Wolfgang, clueless that he is, needs help.  He fetches Dr. Nietzsche (Luigi Batzella) from Vienna.  Yep, nothing new here for the good doctor.  He knows exactly what they're dealing with, and begins a war against the vampire.  He better hurry as everyone in the estate is in danger of being bitten, from the beautiful governess to the groundskeeper's little daughter. The hungry fiend, and his new bride set their sights, or fangs, on anything that moves....and has cleavage.
Gothic and melodramatic, this is still an enjoyable film during moon-lit evenings.  The women, living and undead, are stunning, and the men who protect them are handsome and over matched. Available on YouTube, if you guys want your GF or wife to watch a horror film with you, try "The Slaughter of the Vampires."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hell High, Revenge of the Homicidal Educator

Teachers aren't paid enough.  We trust them with our most precious asset, and still ridiculous athletes make hundreds of times more money than them.  How can we blame these heroic educators if they go a little crazy sometimes?  In 1989's "Hell High," we meet a biology teacher who goes a little crazy. Warning, this is a weird and awkward film, but the last 30 minutes are worth waiting for.
As a little girl, cute Brooke accidentally murders two nymphomaniac teens (who among us hasn't had similar indiscretions in our youth?).  In fact, the two lovebirds end up impaled on lots of rusty spikes.  18 years later, Brooke (Maureen Mooney) is a high school science teacher.  Even better, no one knows she skewered two unfortunates years ago. Unstable, Brooke is harassed by a quartet of sadistic teens.  Dickens (Christopher Stryker) is the leader of the gang, and he's a weird one.  Queenie (Millie Prezioso) is the lone female in the group, and quite the tease.  Jon Jon (Christopher Cousins) is an ex- jock who has been adopted by the weirdos.  Smiler (Jason Brill) is the fat, obnoxious idiot that rounds out this team.
Our quartet decides to follow Brooke home one day and pull an awful prank on her.  These antics get out of hand and Brooke will be sexually assaulted by both Dickens and Queenie.  Yep...you guessed it...she snaps.  Thinking Brooke's dead, our juveniles let their guard down.  Bad move.  The previous unstable, and now psycho teacher, clad in lingerie, embarks on a most gory path of revenge.  Lots of gore will follow as impalement and crushed skulls will rule the last few minutes of this film. Warning, psycho Brooke will consult Gray's Anatomy as she inflicts carnage on one of the fiends.
Is "Hell High" good therapy for millions of teachers who must put up with the abuse of society's little darlings?  Is Brooke's treatment of four of her students a metaphor for America's education system relying too heavily on the standardized Standards of Learning tests?  Okay, that one is a reach.  Feel free to fast forward to the final 30 minutes of this film for some squeamish fun.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Brain Eaters, Slimy Parasites Conquer the World

Icky, slimy, hissing parasites are our villains today.  In 1958's "The Brain Eaters," we have a mix of "Night of the Creeps" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."  Though a B movie from the 1950s, many might choose to read lots of social commentary into this film.  Let them, but I suggest you just have fun and enjoy the little creatures, arrogant hunk heroes, a couple of damsels in distress, and...here's the surprise...Leonard Nimoy!  Yes, Mr. Spock himself is a major part of this exciting science fiction/horror offering.
An alien space craft apparently crash lands in Riverdale, Illinois.  The bad news is immediate as several murders then occur in this usually sleepy town and even more citizens, including the mayor, go missing.  To make matters worse, the U.S. Congress gets involved and Senator Powers (Cornelius Keefe) arrives to lead the investigation.  Square-jawed scientist, Paul (Ed Nelson) studies the ship, but no clues can be found.  He teams up with the mayor's secretary, the lovely Alice (Joanna Lee), who screams well, takes lots of notes, and makes coffee.  The invasion has already started as tiny parasitic insect type things are roaming the town, attaching themselves to the townsfolk and turning them into subservient and violent drones.
As the film progresses, everyone in the town seems to have been taken over by these little buggers, and now they want Alice to join them.  At this point in the story, we are introduced to another damsel, the fair Elaine (Jody Fair).  She's real pretty, screams well, but has no bearing on the plot.  As Paul and the Senator begin to understand what they are up against, twists manifest that offer many surprises about the evil invaders.  Now our team must figure out a way to blow up the ship, kill all the monsters, and save the remainder of the world.
Is our alien ship really from outer space?  Will our fiends get to Alice, and if so, will she be able to scream?  With Senator Powers in town, will ridding Riverdale of these alien parasites give way to an invasion of parasites from the U.S. Senate?  "The Brain Eaters," low-budget as it is, turns into an exciting horror yarn, and eventually we do see lots of the monsters.  Oh yes!  In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I have not mentioned Leonard Nimoy's character, but you'll see lots of him in the second half of the film.  Enjoy "The Brain Eaters," available on YouTube.  

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Bay of Blood, Mario Bava on Greed

Former Miss France and Bond Girl, Claudine Auger, absolutely owns the camera in any film she is in.  In 1971's "A Bay of Blood" (directed by Mario Bava), she will also attempt to own everything else by way of murder.  To be fair, everyone in this film is a homicidal maniac, so what is a little murder among murderers?  Unfortunately, this is an Italian horror film, hence Ms. Auger isn't too beautiful to die horribly.  Will she survive a plethora of seedy characters?  Should she?
Renata's (Auger) step mom, the Countess, is murdered by Renata's dad.  Uh oh, her dad is then instantly murdered, as well.  Now the fun starts.  The Countess owns the bay and everyone wants it so they can make a fortune developing it.  A lawyer (Chris Avram) rushes to the bay with his mistress, the beautiful, but soon to be dead Laura (Anna Maria Rosati).  Renata and her husband, Albert (Luigi Pistilli) also rush to town with a plan of killing everyone they meet who might have claim to the bay. Oh yes, Simon (Claudio Camaso)!  He is the illegitimate son of the Countess, and may be in the will. When Renata confronts Simon, she finds her dad's body in his boat as his face is being eaten by an octopus (a metaphor of what awaits us all?).
As Renata and Albert search for the will, they find the bodies of four youngsters who wandered into the Countess' mansion with the intention of skinny-dipping and pre-marital sex. No time for mourning, Albert and Renata begin their murderous plan, and kill without hesitation or emotion. The lawyer and his mistress have a similar plan, but there's isn't as good as Renata's. As more bodies pile up, or are thrown into the bay, Renata and Albert seem to have an upper-hand on the quest for the bay.  However, when everyone in the film is a murderer...well...you'll see.
Fans of the "Friday the 13th" franchise will see much in this film that inspired some of Jason's kills. The body count is enormous in this film, as it seems to take an Agatha Christie plot and inject it with a lot of steroids.  Will anyone survive to take possession of the bay?  Will Ms. Auger and Ms. Rosati engage in a cat-fight? Did this film also inspire the 1977 Shelley Winters monster classic "Tentacles."?  Fans of Italian horror will love this film, as well as fans of Jason and "Friday the 13th." Enjoy!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Venus Flytrap, The Mad Botanist of Japan

Oh to be a botanist trapped in the body of a rocket scientist.  Many of us have suffered with this injustice of human existence.  This form of identity disorder can drive an intelligent man mad...or insane.  It happened to Victor Frankenstein (believing he was also God), and it will happen to our scientist in 1970's "Venus Flytrap" (aka "The Revenge of Doctor X").  Oh yes, this masterpiece was written by Ed Wood ("Plan 9 from Outer Space").
Our aforementioned rocket scientist, Dr. Bragan (James Craig) is stressed out.  Sending men into outer-space is just not satisfying him.  At the urging of his Japanese colleague, he accepts an invitation to vacation in Tokyo.  On his way to his Pan Am flight, he stops by a swamp and uproots a Venus Flytrap as a travelling companion.  Ignoring the pretty Asian stewardess, he begins to bond with the thing, like any good botanist would.  Upon landing, he is greeted by a beautiful Geisha girl/lab assistant, Noriko (Atsuko Rome).  She is at his service!  What does Bragan desire to do in Japan?  See Mount Fuji?  Bathe with monks?  No!  Find a deserted mountaintop lab where he can create a brand new species of carnivorous fauna.
Noriko sets him up, and the two go to work.  Bragan needs a carnivorous sea plant to splice with his flytrap.  With the help of several topless Japanese beauties (don't ask, just enjoy), he secures the species.  Now, with some electricity from lightning, a bit of human blood, and vitamins, he creates a monster that desires blood.  This creature, a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Jolly Green Giant with boxing gloves, soon becomes too big and hungry for Noriko and Bragan to control. Now it is loose on Japan, and the buffet begins.
Will the beautiful Noriko and Dr. Bragan figure a way to stop the bloody rampage of the huge vegetable?  Will the aforementioned topless Japanese beauties be served up as an hors d' oeuvres? Will Dr. Bragan ultimately meet the fate of most mad scientists, and be devoured by the monster? This is a fun one, and is almost a carbon copy of 1931's "Frankenstein," except this one has more topless Japanese babes in it.  For an important cinematic experience, see "Venus Flytrap."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keep My Grave Open, Love and Murder Among Siblings

Incest is a very uncomfortable subject...even in this blog.  Throw in murder and insanity and now we have something we can be more at ease with.  In 1977's drive-in classic, "Keep My Grave Open," we meet one very sick and demented insaniac...or is it two sick and demented insaniacs?  Be careful of the plot twists that play out, they are a bit more complicated that you would originally figure.
The nubile and perky Lesley (Camilla Carr) lives on an expansive Texas horse farm with her husband...er...brother, actually.  She refers to him as her husband, as the two are, shall we say...intimate.  Don't wander onto the farm, as neither of these siblings like visitors.  Visitors who do test the boundaries of their privacy are skewered by a large sword by...well...that's part of the mystery. As Lesley continually seduces her husband...er...brother, we are introduced to the eeriest love-making scenes in film history. As Lesley's sexual needs increase, her insanity does as well.  As more schmucks are impaled on the horse farm, our nubile anti-heroine gets more ambitious.
As a sword-wielding maniac finds prey off the farm, a desperate psychiatrist attempts to get Lesley re-committed to an asylum...this won't go well.  But wait!  Is there a brother?  Twists and turns may suggest there isn't.  If the brother doesn't exist, or is dead, what is the backstory on him?  Don't jump to too many conclusions before this film concludes, you'll see why.
As far as backstories go, every one we are let in on is creepy and perverted.  Camilla Carr plays the seductress very well, but because of her proclivity toward incest...and maybe homicide...we see it as horrific and not alluring.  For fans of 1970s drive-in fare, this film will please.  Demented and perverted, no doubt, but if you want a romantic comedy, you wouldn't be reading this blog.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell, Need I Say More?

Not much is known about the lovely Dori Courtney.  She made several films from 1989 to 1991 including 1990's "Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell."  In that classic, Ms. Courtney plays a blonde bimbo sorority girl.  We first cast eyes on her as she steps out of the shower, naked and wet, and for several minutes stands there nude goo-goo eyeing another blonde beauty. Next, she arrives at a mountain cabin and immediately strips and has pre-marital sex with some frat boy.  Next, she is nude in the hot tub, with some frat boy.  Finally, she is skinny dipping in a stream when a creature carries her off, naked, wet, and screaming to be sacrificed to an evil deity.  Sadly, Ms. Courtney's film career ended shortly after those scenes.
Dori Courtney
So here goes, frat boy hunks and sorority babes head to a mountain cabin for partying and pre-marital sex.  The owner of the cabin, Ray (Doug Koth) has just been possessed by an ancient Indian deity, and now he is a monster hunting for fresh blood for his master.  Lots of pre-marital sex, and nude hot tub action ensues, and the creature stalks the college kids. Belinda (Courtney) is first, as her skinny dipping will be interrupted by the fiend.  The evil deity will be much pleased with this full figured sacrifice.  Sarah (Lynette McBrearty), the only semi-clean-cut gal, will be next.
Both will die horribly
Most of the hunks and babes will get carried off by the monster and presented for sacrifice.  Writer/ Director John McBrearty seems to pay special attention to Belinda, probably because of her proclivity to be nude and wet a lot.  Oh yes, to complicate this plot, an escapee from a chain gang has wondered into these woods and he wants to strangle a sorority girl.  As the handsome and beautiful fall, a gun nut, and a heavily armed frat (Shawn Player) kid attempt to take the fight to the evil god.
As we have recently witnessed all the self-glorification of the Academy Awards, and a plethora of stuck up and silly actresses, we salute Dori Courtney, who actually made films we want to watch.  So instead of paying top dollar to go to a film critics say you must see, watch the very enjoyable "Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell" on YouTube instead.  After all, we all must remember the maxim of the USC Film School, "...when in doubt, go to the naked, loose, and wet."

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Dead Are Alive, Psycho-Sexual Horror from Italy

Oh those Etruscans!  They came...they stayed for awhile...they disappeared.  Damn those lousy Etruscans!  Who are the Etruscans?  Glad you asked.  According to 1972's "The Dead Are Alive" (L' Etrusco Uceide Ancora), they are a fashion conscious race of ancient Italians who are very prudish when it comes to fashion.  This Italian horror film, directed by Armando Crispino, has dozens of twists, many over the top, and more suspects than the Corleone family.
In order to fill in some historical blanks on the vague Etruscans, Jason (Alex Cord) excavates an ancient Etruscan burial ground.  This is usually not a smart move, and in this case an ancient demon Etruscan deity may have been awakened.  The initial victims?  Need you ask?  Couples attempting pre-marital sex are bludgeoned to death by one of Jason' archaeological tools.  Interestingly enough, the women were all clad in short shorts and go-go boots.  Apparently this offended the Etruscan god as the women are stripped of their boots and fitted with red pumps.
As the killings continue, as no one in Italy will refrain from pre-marital sex, the police believe Jason is their man.  In fairness to Jason, a plethora of likely suspects are thrown at us.  Nikos (John Marley), an eccentric conductor who wants to be married to Myra (Samantha Eggar).  Oh yes...Myra! She might be married to Nikos, but might be in love with Jason (don't ask).  The killings continue and paintings inside the Etruscan tombs indicate their god is angry and looking for more virgin...er...female sacrifices.
Did Jason unearth an angry demon deity?  Is our prudish killer merely an Italian sex-maniac? Is the demon Etruscan god a metaphor for an out of control Italian fashion industry?  This is a deep, involved Italian horror story.  Every few minutes a new suspect is introduced, usually a statuesque Italian babe.  In a very misogynistic Euro-horror tale, the blood and sex will keep you entertained.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Houseboat Horror, The Burning-Lite

The Burning is one of my favorite slasher films, and if someone wants to rip it off....great! This is preferable than ripping off "Ordinary People" or "Silkwood." In 1989 the Aussies produced a straight to VHS effort called "Houseboat Horror" with plot elements straight out of The Burning and kills straight out of the "Friday the 13th" films.  Not entirely original, but still satisfying.  Death by spear-gun, a horribly burned maniac, and lots of great looking victims grace our feature today.
A lame rock band and a film crew head to Lake Infinity to film a music video.  Remember those days when MTV still showed music videos?  Of course the locals at Lake Infinity are hostile to city peeps and a creepy gas station attendant warns them of impending doom.  Our buffet line of musicians and crew ignore the warnings and rent a few houseboats on the lake.  Lots of drinking, burping, pre-marital sex, and skinny dipping will occur, sealing the fate of many of them.  Oh yes....an almost too good backstory. Many years ago a film crew arrived on Lake Infinity and lots of carnage and death occurred including the burning of a child.  Where is that child now? Yep...you got it.
One by one....sometimes two at a time, our annoying musicians and crew are butchered.  Some very imaginative murders include a babe having a horseshoe shoved into her eyes and a producer having his head sliced open in north-south fashion. Are these slashings at all related to the carnage of yesteryear? That's an easy one. Our geniuses never realize that they are becoming an endangered species as they are usually too drunk or stupid to miss their friends and colleagues.  As our burnt fiend makes an appearance, he raids the houseboats in bloody fury. Will anyone survive? Does anyone deserve to survive?
Filmed in Victoria and directed by Kendal Flanagan and Ollie Martin, this really low-budget effort is worth a look for the gory kills.  Also, if you want to see the silliest music video ever made....it's in this film. Available on YouTube, see "Houseboat Horror."