Thursday, July 30, 2015

Queen Kong, She's the Queenie for my Weenie

Rula Lenska!  The symbol of glamour and allure in the U.K. In the late 1970s, Alberto VO5 used her as the spokesmodel for their shampoo.  U.S. audiences were confused.  Ms. Lenska began the commercial, "I'm Rula Lenska..."  Americans collectively responded..."who?"  Perhaps if our film today did not get tangled in legal disputes, and actually had a theatrical release in theaters, we Americans would have known who Rula Lenska was....and purchased more Alberto VO5 instead of that green goop....Prell!  1976's  "Queen Kong" is sure to offend.  Poking fun at Jews, Catholics, Queen Elizabeth, Jimmy Carter, Playboy, Ronald Reagan, Gays, consumerism, etc., if you are easily offended, stay away.
Having the exact (...well maybe not entirely exact) same plot as 1933's "King Kong" doomed this film to the court rooms, which it never would prevail.  Too bad.  From the opening when we hear the "Queen Kong" jingle which includes lyrics like, "...She's the queenie queenie for my weenie," and "...grab a Honda with Jane Fonda," we know we have a quality film.  Luce Habit (Lenska) is sailing to deepest Africa to make a film.  With an all babe crew, she needs to find a leading man.  Enter poor and destitute Ray Fay (Robin Askwith).  All he wants is to hustle for a joint.  Luce abducts him and the ship (Liberated Lady) sails.  In Africa, a tribe of bikini clad babes headed by a luscious queen (Valerie Leon) spot Ray and demand he be handed over.  The tribe needs a male sacrifice for Queen Kong.  If you remember "King Kong," you know what follows.
Yep, Ray will be grabbed by Queen Kong out of a giant wedding cake and giant monsters will be fought by gorilla and Luce through the jungle.  One monster battled is a perverted rose bush which will grope Luce and members of her babe crew.  Back in London, Queen Kong will serve as a symbol of chained women everywhere, and inspire the women of the U.K. to throw off their metaphorical shackles imposed on them by a male dominated society.  Queen Kong will start by shedding her bra and panties imposed on her by English censors, and the women follow.
The most eagerly anticipated film of 1976 was the remake of "King Kong" which starred Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.  A week after that film came out, Americans were greeting it with a collective yawn.  The remake offered nothing new on the tale, and thrust preachy and self-righteous characters on us.  In "Queen Kong," however silly, a deep dive into the controversial subject of redefining a woman's role in modern society took place.  With satire, and some neat role reversal, important questions were posed....unlike the "King Kong" remake. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Demon's Rook, Zombies and Demons Eat Georgia

Lucio Fulci type Italian horror invades the kudzu infested countryside of Georgia.  Written and directed by it's star, James Sizemore, 2013's "The Demon's Rook" will throw lots of intestines and other internal organs at you in this very gory flick. Low-budget all the way (just the way we like them) but never lacking in energy, and disembowelment carnage.  Red necks, rave types, and Goth- like women all serve nobly as victims of the hungry fiends.  So...if the watered down zombie flicks of the last couple of years have you down, here is a film to cheer you up.
Little Roscoe has an imaginary friend who visits him at night.  Of course....the freind is not imaginary. In fact, Dimwus (John Chatham) is a demon who lures Roscoe into his corner of Hell after evaporating the boy's parents.  Many years later, Roscoe (James Sizemore) emerges from the ground. Uh oh....he;s followed by three cranky demons who are hunting him.  The three demons immediately spread bloodshed.  First they turn a red neck into a slave demon and he chomps up his two buddies. Then they possess a group of campers, making them rip each other apart.  Lastly, they resurrect the corpses buried in a cemetary and set them loose on the Peach Tree State.  The zombie horde makes its way to Eva's (Ashleigh Jo Sizemore) home where they rip out her dad's intestines.  Eva was a childhood friend of Roscoe and she is all grown up now.
Unlike many damsels in distress, Eva has fight in her.  She grabs her rifle and pick-up and flees the undead horde.  To her surprise, she meets her childhood pal on the road and the two have a spunky reunion.  Roscoe, in great psychic fashion, tells Eva where he was.  Apparently, the evil demons keep watch over imprisoned more evil demons.  The more evil demons escape and chase Roscoe back to the surface world and are bent on killing him.  Trust me...this all works on the screen.  With Eva's help, Roscoe begins hunting his hunters.  While this bloody chess match is occurring, the fiends rip out many organs and faces of somewhat innocent victims.  In one bloody good scene, the horde invades the Bovine Fantasy Invasion concert.  Some good tunes follow.  Roscoe is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to prevail, and Eva will demand to help him...but does she know what that will entail?
No spoilers here, but nudity, gore, and guns will dominate the last half of this film.  Need you know more?  Both James and Ashleigh Jo Sizemore are terrific.  Ashleigh Jo's character is a breath of fresh air as she continually leads with a rifle, right cross, or whatever spunk is handy.  This DVD is reasonably priced on

Sunday, July 26, 2015

One Dark Night, Rotting Corpses chase Babes in Tight Jeans

Ahhhh...the 1980s! After "Halloween" hit the theaters in 1978, a horror movie a week would follow.  Unlike today, when these types of shows are straight to DVD, these low-budget scare-fests would open in major movie houses.  Many of these films were ignored by audiences and savaged by critics. Still, these treasures did have a loyal following.  Most of us who sneaked into these Rated R films were in junior high or high school.  The appeal? Gore and beautiful chicks.  In 1982's "One Dark Night," we have a film only admired by these pimply faced movie connoisseurs. What geeky teen would not want to see rotting, maggot infested corpses overpower babes in tight pants in order to rape and eat them?
There is a lot in this plot, so we'll just hit a few of the highlights.  Raymar is a Russian psychic vampire.  He picks up attractive young lady hitchhikers and scares them to death in his apartment.  One day, cops and coroners flood his apartment and find six dead babes and Raymar...also dead.  the apartment is a mess as kitchen utensils are stuck in the wall.  See, Raymar mastered telekinesis and believed that he could suck out the energy of the girls after he sufficiently scare them.  With the psychic energy, Raymar believed he could rule life and death.  Meanwhile, Julie (Meg Tilly) wants to join an elite club of cool babes at college.  The Sisters wear satin windbreakers and tight jeans and are totally cool.  Carol (Robin Evans) is the head Sister and has a special initiation for Julie.  BTW, Carol believes Julie stole her BF.  The two other Sisters, Kitty (Leslie Speights) and Leslie (Elizabeth Daily) will assist Carol.
Here is where our two stories meet.  Raymar is entombed in a mausoleum.  Julie's initiation has her spending the night in that same mausoleum.  What could go wrong?  Well it does!  Raymar beats death and while Julie is locked in the facility, he animates all the corpses.  Unfortunately for the Sisters, they sneak back into the mausoleum in order to scare Julie, unaware that the reanimated corpses are horny and hungry.  As the dead converge on our lovelies, there is hope.  No...not Julie's BF...he's useless.  Raymar's daughter, Olivia (Melissa Newman) is also psychic and races to the mausoleum knowing Raymar has deviant plans.  Will she be in time to save the Sisters?
Rotting corpses and beautiful damsels in much peril rule "One Dark Night." Ignored by most critics in 1982, us geeky teens who had no girlfriends did have an appreciation for this horror flick.  Meg Tilly as the clean-cut Julie would go on to much fame, and us geeky teens would grow up to rule the world.  An interesting note about this film, Olivia's husband was played by Adam West (Batman). This film is available on YouTube.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dark Summer, A Creepy Tale about a Creep

Internet bullying can have fatal results.  We have all seen the news stories of vulnerable teens committing suicide after internet predators prey upon them.  In 2015's "Dark Summer" we have a horror story which appears to be about the terrible results of internet bullying....or is it?  Be warned, this is a dark film which has no interest in making you feel good.  What begins as a slow psychological thriller, will conclude as a frightening gore-fest.
High school creep, Daniel (Keir Gilchrist), will spend his summer under house arrest,  He has been fitted with an ankle bracelet, and has had all his computer devices seized.  During the school year, he developed an infatuation with classmate, Mona (Grace Phipps), and hacked into all her social media. His obsession with her was extreme, and the resulting judicial action did nothing to quell it.  With the help of two friends, Kevin (Maestro Harrell) and Abby (Stella Maeve), he rigs some devices and is again, prowling for Mona on social media.  Uh oh....the strangeness starts. As Daniel is about to call Mona on Skype....she calls him.  After delivering a cryptic message, she blows her brains out while Daniel watches helplessly.  Kevin and Abby try to comfort him, but even after death, Daniel is still obsessed with Mona.  The good news...whatever he rigged up, the cops are unable to prove Mona was on Skype with Daniel at the time of the suicide.
Weirdness then arrives in Daniel's home.  Mysterious messages, perhaps from the other side, come across Daniel's devices.  Weird visions and hallucinations torment our creep.  Even in death, Daniel is all into Mona, breaking Abby's heart as she is in love with him.  Abby and Kevin come across as very decent kids, and we plead with the screen.."Please, don't let anything happen to these two." Mona's ghost arrives and she is after revenge (...or is she).  Mona also displays a hostility toward Abby which manifests in a bloody and macabre chain of events.  As Kevin and Abby investigate Mona, they make some shocking discoveries suggesting that Mona might be anything but a victim.  However creepy this film is during the first 60 minutes, the last 20 will have you squirming.
Was Mona a poor victim of internet bullying?  Is Daniel the creep the judicial system says he is? Will the sweet Abby be able to compete with her dead classmate for Daniel's affection?  Malicious ghosts, weird haunts, surprising gore,'ll see, grace this flick which is available on Netflix. "Dark Summer," is definately not the feel-good movie of 2015. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Devil's Rain, Satanism takes Hollywood

Scientology has taken Hollywood.  Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and John Travolta are just some of the A-Listers who espouse the rantings of L. Ron Hubbard.  However maniacal the tenets of this so-called religion may seem, it is not the first cult that has taken Tinseltown  by storm.  Today's feature, 1975's "The Devil's Rain" boasts Anton LaVey as its technical adviser.  Mr. LaVey, who died in the late 1990s was America's favorite satanist.  He was a regular on talk shows, especially the Phil Donohue Show.  From 1965 to 1975, Mr. LaVey was a Hollywood darling, and a frequent guest at A-List parties.  Several starlets, including Jayne Mansfield and Elke Sommer,  even bragged of their relationship with LaVey. Today....Mr. LaVey is all but forgotten, but thanks to "The Devil's Rain," we can reminisce about a time that Scientology didn't rule Hollywood.
The Preston family is cursed.  Responsible for stealing a holy book for satanists, the Prestons are pursued unmercifully by satanic priest, Jonathan Corbis (Ernest Borgnine).  Today, the modern day descendants of the Prestons still hold the stolen volume.  After the abduction of most of the Preston family, including Mrs. Preston (Ida Lupina) and Mark (William Shatner), Tom Preston (Tom Skerritt) is called to action. Him and his psychic wife, Julie (Joan Prather) find their way to a ghost town where Corbis rules Satan's minions.  There, Tom must come face to face with Corbis.
Tom may be spunky, but Corbis has the wisdom of the last 300 years. Joining our hero is Dr. Richards (Eddie Albert). He brings a tinge of intellectualism and reason to this clash. Unfortunately...when satanists are in the picture....reason leaves the house. Though the minions seem like easy pushovers, they are eyeless, Corbis has some aces to play...most notably...he has abducted Joan, our psychic damsel.  Tom must now save his wife, who has been tied to an altar, and defeat Satan and his minions.  Oh yes..Tom also has the opportunity to free all the souls under Corbis' power. Will Tom prevail over the forces of evil?  Is Tom's war on satanism merely a stunt to get Scientology into Hollywood?
The ghost town proves to be a very atmospheric setting for this film, filmed in Durango, Mexico.  One ironic note: John Travolta had a bit part in this film.  Mr. Travolta, today, is an influential force in Scientology, which has replaced satanism as Hollywood's favorite religion.  Unlike Scientology, LaVey's satanic beliefs were above board.  He published books about them and spread his wisdom on any media outlet that would listen to him.  In contrast, Scientology is veiled in secrecy, and hardly above board.  See "The Devil's Rain" and be reminded of a good old Hollywood where good and evil were both visible without ambiguity.    

Monday, July 20, 2015

Attack of the Beast Creatures, Hungry Mini-Witchdoctors

Remember the witch-doctor doll that spelled Karen Black's doom in "Trilogy of Terror"?  Picture an uncharted island occupied by thousands of these little buggers.  All about a foot tall, razor teeth, long black hair, red faces, and ghostly white eyeballs...and all very hungry for human flesh.  Once again we visit the state of Connecticut for today's film, 1985's "Attack of the Beast Creatures" (...a bit redundant, I'd say).  Filmed in Fairfield, Connecticut and set on a mysterious island near Greenland, we cannot go wrong with a toothy creature (...or beast) story.
1920: Heading to London, an ocean liner sinks in the north Atlantic.  Ten survivors in a lifeboat         make it to an uncharted island that looks a lot like Fairfield, Connecticut.  The horror begins right away, as a crew member, exploring the island finds a pond containing what he believes is fresh drinking water.'s little practical jokes!  The water is actually a pond of acid and we get to see the man's face melt off in all its bloody glory.  John (Robert Nolfi), a handsome, semi-intelligent crew-member then leads the survivors into the island to explore...not a good idea.  Believing the island safe, they leave a wounded man on the beach...he will soon be eaten right down to his skeleton.  Then the attacks start.  Hundreds of little red men charge.  They are a foot tall and love to bite.  Two of the women, dressed like 1920s flappers, are very vulnerable, as our little beasts (...or creatures), aim for their breasts and upper thighs.
The attacks are in short bursts but come every few minutes.  Each time our team emerges bloodier and weaker.  Cathy (Julia Rust) and Diane (Lisa Pak), two pretty flappers, scream a lot, but their screams can't save the senior members of the party as the beasts (...or creatures) pick the weakest ones off first.  As the buffet line heads back to the beach, they will have to look out for traps set by our hungry natives. Gore and carnage will rule their trek as each human is usually beset by at least three or four of these beasts (...or creatures)  during each attack.
Will any of our castaways make it off the island reasonably intact?  The beasts (...or creatures) are cute and vicious.  The gore is red and flowing.  Low-budget, but energetic, "Attack of the Beast Creatures" will entertain any horror movie fan, and is available on YouTube.  For those seeking a shipwreck movie, and "Titanic" just didn't do it....see "Attack of the Beast Creatures."  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Schoolgirls in Chains, Psychos Humiliate Damsels

1970s drive-in fare! 1973's "Schoolgirls in Chains" (aka "Come Play with Us" and "Abducted") usually was the B feature in sets of B movies.  Offensive to popular social norms trying to dominate during the Nixon Administration, woman's libbers were no fans of this hybrid of "Psycho" and "Mother's Day." The title is accurate,  For the most offensive kind of exploitation, in an era when people are just looking for a reason to be offended, here is a movie for you!  If you want to meet the good peeps from your human resources department at work, just extol the virtues of today's film while your co-workers heap praise on "Ant-Man."
Sue (Merrie Lynn Ross, pictured above) is abducted off the side of the road by two brothers. Frank (Gary Kent) and John (John Parker) are two mama's the style of Norman Bates.  John is retarded and his loving mother wants him to have toys to play with....hence him and his brother kidnap babes.  The damsels are chained in the cellar and John plays with them at will.  He leads them out of the cellar in a dog collar and his favorite game is Doctor.  He strips them, probes them, pokes them and drools over them.  Also chained in the basement is Stevie (T.R. Blackburn) who is near death, and the perky Ginger (Suzanne Lund).  Sue tries hard to escape but is killed in humiliating fashion by Frank.  The girls are threatened to behave...and if they don't...they'll be brought to see Mama.
However twisted these boys are, a backstory explains their anti-social tendencies.  Their mama always told them that pretty young girls should be put in cages, and also had frequent sex with Frank. Unfortunately for Ginger, Frank is sweet on her.  In a difficult scene to watch, John leads her to the house in a dog collar and Frank rapes her....his only conquest other than his own mother.  Getting greedy, the boys abduct Bonnie (Cheryl Waters).  John does his thing and plays doctor with her.  Not liking the role of a play-toy for a drooling freak, Bonnie looks for an opportunity to escape, but will she have the same fate as Sue?  ....and what does Mama ultimately have planned for these schoolgirls?
If you liked "Asian School Girls" (reviewed on this blog on July 9, 2014) and "The Abductors" (reviewed on this blog on June 11, 2014), "Schoolgirls in Chains" is a film for you.  Available on YouTube as "Come Play with Us," this film will seem refreshing in a politically-correct world.  Be careful, however!  If you praise this film in decent company (e.g. church or employment), you will likely be ostracized.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Price, Horror from Geekout Films

In a special entry today, we gaze at the the first film by some dynamic filmmakers in Texas.  Geekout Films has posted their first film on YouTube, and though it is only 20 contains so much.  Vampires, zombies, slashers, murder, mayhem, legend, and twists galore await the viewer.  Written by Alana Edgin and Matthew Esquivel (who also directed) and produced by Vidal C. Rosa, "The Price" uses fine acting and the flat Texas landscape (near Midland, I believe) to deliver a vicious story which pays homage to some of our favorite horror films.
Emily (Sierra Suttles) is doing a project.  She has found some footage of a university news crew. Unfortunately for this crew, they are missing and no one seems eager to find them.  The crew, from what we can initially surmise, headed out in the Halloween season in three different directions.  One team investigated the mystery of a lady ghost...another sought the answers of a still missing abducted girl...and lastly, a couple of real cynics visited the home of a healer, who is also played by Ms. Edgin (....she claims to be able to bring the dead back to life).
Though their hearts seemed to be in the right places, evil forces are about to play havoc on our news crews.  In respect to the brilliant young men and women who made this film, I will refrain from any spoilers....but gore, scares, and some shocking plot twists cascade at the viewer in rapid fashion.  Only twenty minutes in length, a full description of this plot will have most believing this is a 100 minute film.  Whether it be a first time effort, which this film is, or a tenth time effort, "The Price" is an effective chiller.  The chilly and flat landscape around Midland is used perfectly to enhance the ultimate themes of this film, including...there's nowhere to run!
However contemporary the setting is, this film takes on a Gothic look, which is quite effective. Mr. Esquivel and Ms. Edgin are to be congratulated, though they had a lot of help.  A lot of fine actors and actresses put heart and soul into this venture.  Anyone desiring to fund young filmmakers should take a look at "The Price" and the amazing talent of the peeps who made it all possible. I eagerly await their second film...and so does this blog.   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Faust: Love of the Damned, Steamy Comic Book Horror

Today we look at a superhero that never caught on.  A hybrid of Hell Boy, Wolverine, and Freddy Krueger....Faust escapes from Hell after being turned into a demon in order to extract a most gory revenge.  From 2000, "Faust: Love of the Damned" will exhaust and give you much more than the price of admission.  Graphic carnage, decapitations, severed limbs, rape, BDSM, and orgies are thrown at the viewer in rapid succession.  So if GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE, GRATUITOUS NUDITY, GRATUITOUS BONDAGE, and GRATUITOUS GORE are your cup of tea, stay tuned as we discuss this film.
As John (Mark Frost) is seducing his girlfriend, Blue (Jennifer Rope), the Russian mob invades their apartment and ritualistically kills her.  Convinced he has nothing to live for, now, John walks to a bridge in order to commit suicide.  There he is met by M (Andrew Divoff) and his seductress, Claire (Monica Van Campen).  M makes a bargain with John.  In return for John's soul, M will give him the power to exact revenge on the mobsters.  John agrees and with his new clawed hands, he slices and dices the entire mob.  M then uses John for more mass killings, but when John balks at a mansion after ripping apart 19 guests, the cops arrest him and bring him to a mental hospital.  There he is under the care of Dr. Jade (Isabel Brook).  He falls in love with her, but M doesn't have patience for incomplete jobs.  M then abducts John from his padded cell and buries him alive and sets his sights on Jade.
Meanwhile, Claire, the seductress, plots to betray M and take over his evil empire.  Uh oh...John escapes from Hell after being turned into a demon and returns to Earth to destroy M.  Lots of M's minions stand in John's way ( he is Faust).  After slicing and dicing all of the thugs, M captures Jade. In a scene bound for the BDSM hall-of-fame, Claire dons a leather dominatrix outfit and whips a nude Claire into submission.  Gratuity will be the order of the day in this film.  With city hall, the police, and every criminal enterprise in M's control, Faust will have a challenging time getting to M and rescuing Jade.  He better hurry, as M has a ceremony planned that will end with Jade impregnated by Satan.  Will Faust kill M and save Jade?  Will his demon side win out, spelling doom for Jade, even if she is rescued?
Every aspect of this film is loud.  The acting, gore, and special effects are over-the-top.  This film is based on a graphic novel, so the exaggeration of action is completely appropriate.  Even the nudity is exaggerated, as you will see in one very gratuitous scene featuring Claire.  By the time the orgy of sex and slashings occur near the end of the film, you will be sensitized to the blood and nudity.  Available on Netflix, not for everyone, enjoy "Faust: Love of the Damned."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Let's Scare Jessica to Death, Ghosts and Vampires in Connecticut

As Norman Bates reminds us, "..we all go a little mad sometimes."  No one knows this better than the protagonist in today's film from 1971, "Let's Scare Jessica to Death."  Jessica (Zohra Lampert) actually went a lot mad, and landed in a psychiatric asylum.  Like Bruce Willis, she saw dead people. But now she's better....or is she?  The bad news, if she is better, what she is seeing will be more deadly than her insanity.  Creepy to the max, patrons at 1970s Drive-Ins still have nightmares about a few of the scenes in this film.  Filmed, and set in Connecticut, the cast of this film were driven from set to set in a gotta like that!
Jessica, Duncan (Barton Heyman) and his buddy, the proverbial fifth wheel, Woody (Kevin O'Connor) are moving out of New York City.  The brilliant idea is that NYC is not conducive for Jessica's recovery, and an old, run-down  farmhouse in the country will be.  A few problems are immediately seen by the viewer.  The family car is a hearse, and Jessica stops at all the cemeteries to trace gravestones.  She should have taken up scrap-booking. Uh oh....even before they arrive at their new home, the voices start.  Creepy ones, beckoning Jessica.  She is the only one who hears them and she dare not mention them, for fear that she will land back in the loony-bin.  She is also the only one to see the mysterious lady in white, who usually appears by the lake by their home. Oh yes...the house they move into..a sordid past.  A hundred years earlier the lady of the house drowned in the neighboring cove and the body was never found.  Town legend:  The lady is a vampire stalking anyone who sets foot near the lake. 
The voices continue, and get more frequent.  As they move into their new home, they find a squatter, Emily (Mariclare Costello). No worries that Emily is a spitting image of the woman who committed suicide 100 years ago.  Jessica's visions continue, and she keeps them to herself.  Only Jessica is suspicious of the townsfolk, as most of them wear bandages on their neck.  Clue perhaps?  As Jessica unravels, Emily makes a move for Duncan and Woody, further isolating Jessica from any safe haven.  Bodies begin to turn up, but when Jessica brings help...the bodies are no longer there.  Whatever is beckoning Jessica is emanating from the cove, which is the source of some of the most chilling scenes you will ever see.  Is Jessica going insane...again?  Are there vampires in Connecticut?  Is Connecticut's inferiority complex to their neighbors in New York a source for insanity?
Absent sudden shock-scares, the imagery captured in this film will keep you awake at night. Everything about this film is unnerving including the musical score.  However prevalent this film was at drive-ins, it is difficult to find now.  Fortunately YouTube has a good quality cut of "Let's Scare Jessica to Death."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Orloff Against the Invisible Dead, Europe's Favorite Mad Scientist

One of the most infamous deleted scenes over the past 20 years is from 2000's "Hollow Man."  In that film, director Paul Verhoeven originally included a rape scene in which Rhona Mitra is brutally stripped and raped by an invisible Kevin Bacon (this scene can be found on YouTube).  In that complete scene, we see the rape and then the very humiliated and broken Ms. Mitra as the invisible being leaves her, knowing she won't be able to call the police.  This same scene first hit the silver screen 30 years previous, but was not deleted.  This brings us to 1970's "Orloff Against the Invisible Dead."
Insanity! Grave robbers! Creepy crypts! Naughty maids! Gothic castle! What more could we ask for? Dr. Garondet is summoned to Orloff's castle.  No one in town will bring him, as everyone fears Orloff (Howard Vernon).  When he arrives he finds two servants, and realizes that the maid (Evane Hanska) sent for him, but she is too scared to tell him why.  Then he meets, Cecile (Brigitte Carva), Orloff's daughter.  She tells the doctor of an unbelievable tale.  Cecile believes she is being stalked by an invisible fiend.  The doctor then barges into Orloff's lab and meets the mad scientist and the invisible creation. The two doctors square off and Orloff tells Garondet about his creation.  As he explains his experiments to Garondet, it is apparent that Orloff demands loyalty.  When he finds out that his maid summoned Garondet, he gives the maid to his creation.  Unfortunately for the maid, the creation rips her clothes off and subjects her to a fate worse than Rhona Mitra's. Unlike "Hollow Man," this scene is not cut.
Orloff isn't entirely magnanimous. He needs human blood to continue his experiments which will someday yield a master race which can rule the world.  Now Garondet is a prisoner and apparently out of luck.  Oh yes..his only hope....Cecile?  Well apparently she died six years ago and lost all her sanity when she woke up in her crypt as grave robbers were pulling off her jewelry.  Cecile's story is a gruesome one which contains lots of nudity, blood, and revenge.  As the film vaults to it's wild conclusion, the exact nature of the invisible man is shown.  However brutal the rape scene appeared, when we find out the true identity of the invisible nymphomaniac, the scene becomes horrific.
Fans of the Dr. Orloff films may believe this one is the least in the first half.  The second half of the movie went places that U.S. cinema wouldn't even go three decades later.  This is a French film directed by Pierre Chevalier, and eroticism is mixed with horror with shocking results.  Available on Netflix, see "Orloff Against the Invisible Dead."    

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Last Days on Mars, Zombies and Microbes Attack

Sometime in the near future we are able to put all of our differences aside in the spirit of harmony and peace.  That is the good news.  Nation embraces nation as the collective wisdom of the human race can be used for good.  Space exploration excels as we visit distant worlds in search of where we came from.  All good.  Yep!  About as good as Chamberlain and Hitler signing a peace treaty.  We all know what happens.  World peace on Monday...carnage on Tuesday...infection and cannibalism by the week-end. Hence 2013's "The Last Days on Mars."
Eight nations join forces for a Martian expedition.  Uh oh...none of them saw John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars."  As we know, those that don't learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. The six-month mission is in the final day with only modest discoveries.  But wait!  The Russian suddenly discovers a bacteria...Life!  Through some carelessness and a cave-in, Marko (Goran Kostic) and his international GF (Yusra Warsama) get infected...and immediately turn into homicidal fiends.  Apparently they are no longer human and can survive on the Mars surface without suits.  After gaining entry into the base, they begin a murderous journey at the expense of their former mates.  International cooperation out the airlock, the bodies accumulate..and eventually turn into Martian zombies.  
The handful of survivors must think fast to repel the invasion, avoid infection, and get off Mars.  Vincent (Liev Schreiber), a claustrophobic engineer with a proclivity for panic attacks, is an unlikely hero.  He joins forces with the very cute, Lane (Romola Garai) and together are able to figure out what they are up against...which doesn't serve to cheer them up.  Kim (Olivia Williams), a scientist with no bedside manner, knows the score and figures out that the victims of the zombies...become zombies themselves. Even worse, the bacteria is in the air, so everyone inside the lab may eventually be infected?  Battles against the infected will occur inside the lab and on the Mars surface.  The gore will emerge as intestines emerge from gut wounds, and this science fiction story turns into a horror story.
The acting is terrific as we instantly like the combo of Mr. Schreiber's Vincent and Ms. Garai's Lane. Both flawed, and very human, these two characters are ones we can relate to. As the monsters invade we find ourselves pleading to the screen for these two to survive.  Made in Ireland, "The Last Days on Mars" is now available on Netflix. With weak, family-friendly science fiction films hitting the screen this summer and fall, enjoy this bloodbath of Martian zombies and killer microbes.    

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mutant War, Even the Ugly Must Procreate

"There use to be eight million stories in this city, now its down to one," laments our hero 10 years after the apocalypse in 1988's "Mutant War." 1980s post-apocalyptic films always are welcomed on this blog.  With no CGI anywhere, this film is refreshing in using Ray Harryhausen effects for some crazy creatures (over-sized bugs and toothy dinosaurs).  Complete with a wise-cracking hero, who drives a Mad Max type hot-rod, fitted with laser cannons, "Mutant War" is a lot of fun and the top grossing movie ever to hit the screens in Japan [GROSS EMBELLISHMENT].
Harry (Matt Mitler) is scavenging for liquor and Playboy in a wasteland which was formerly a great city.  10 years ago, he was the hero of a war which repelled an alien invasion.  Unfortunately, the neutron bomb used to kill the invaders, also eventually killed most humans..or turned them to ugly mutants.  He meets Spider (Kristine Waterman), and the two become friends.  Spider seeks to save her beautiful sisters who were carried off by mutants.  Unfortunately for the surviving women on Earth, the mutants are cannibalistic rapists seeking to procreate.  Harry agrees to help Spider rescue the babes, and together they plot to infiltrate their compound.  Uh oh!  The mutants are led by Rex (Cameron Mitchell) who seeks world domination.  Rex desires to breed an army of mutants, hence he needs to keep capturing fertile young women.
 Another problem...the compound and surrounding wasteland are infested with huge bug/dinosaur type creatures.  Oh in most apocalyptic wastelands, the surviving humans also pose great peril for our protagonists.  At first, Harry and Spider rescue Beth (Deborah Quayle), and she introduces them to her tribe.  Now Harry plots to return to the mutant lair and find Spider's sisters.  Twists and turns abound and a mysterious spaceship carrying an ominous visitor enters the friend or foe?
Can Harry save the remnants of the female race from rape at the hands of monstrous mutants?  Will Rex' goal of conquering the world prove a bit too ambitious for his own good?  What advances in cosmetics and hygiene will be invented in the near future that assist women in remaining beautiful 10 years after the apocalypse?  This movie is first class 1980s B cinema.  Available in great quality, in it's entirety on YouTube, enjoy a film less preachy than the newest Jurassic Park bore. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Missionary, Fatal Attraction meets The Church of the Latter Day Saints

...don't let them in!  I don't care how clean cut and handsome they appear, any stranger who knocks on your door....don't let them in!  Psychos who find God....are still psychos.  Hence 2013's "Missionary."  Dawn Olivieri ("American Hustle") is stunning as our damsel in much distress as she gets entangled with a Mormon missionary who has a deranged view of the teachings of Joseph Smith. This is not a Mormon hating film, as the Mormon Church is also a victim of our psycho today. After 25 years in law enforcement, I can tell you that strangers we willingly allow into our homes will murder more Americans than Islamic terrorists this year.
Katherine (Olivieri) is vulnerable.  A beautiful single mom, she is having money problems.  Her mother just died, and her job at the salvage yard doesn't pay her enough to buy her son the athletic equipment he needs to play school sports.  Her ex?  His job doesn't afford him money or time to help out.  Like a miracle...two Mormon missionaries arrive on bicycle one day.  Katherine's son immediately takes to them, and Elder Kevin (Mitch Ryan) helps him with some football moves.Vulnerable and lonely, Katherine and Kevin end up having wild sex (...probably not sanctioned by any prophet).  10 years his elder, Katherine regrets the encounter, though they will hook up again and again.  Uh oh! Ian (Kip Pardue), her ex, returns, and he is a changed man.  Katherine falls in love with him again, but Kevin is convinced that his fantasy about marrying Katherine is Mormon revelation.
As Ian and Katherine give their marriage another try, Kevin is unhinged (...understatement!).  As our psycho begins to get more violent, Katherine does some research into her cute indiscretion...and she finds she is in deep s**t.  The delusional Kevin becomes homicidal, and anyone he perceives standing in his way...he sends them to eternity in most gory fashion. The last half hour will turn into a gory slasher flick, as Katherine, her family, and other missionaries are put in mortal danger...not all will survive.  
The sun can shine even through a dirty window....but the window Elder Kevin displays is more than just is dark and demented.  The delusional theology practiced by him will spell carnage for many around him...perhaps Kevin is a terrific metaphor for our times.  Ms. Olivieri is alluring as a seemingly helpless damsel who man's up for the fight of her life.  Available on Netflix, let this film serve as a warning..."Don't invite strangers in!"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Beyond the Time Barrier, Babes and Mutants in 2024

From 1960 comes today's movie, "Beyond the Time Barrier."  1960! What a time in our history.  The U.S. and Soviets battle for space...Terrific B sci-fi movies still grace the movie houses...the hopefulness that graced our country following WW2 begins to give way to fear and hostility.  Perhaps the creators of this movie saw it all coming.  Be warned, this is not a cheery propaganda film, but a sci-fi work which turns dark and horrific.  Robert Clarke portrays test pilot Major Allison, and Darlene Tompkins plays Princess Trirene from the future, and together they engage in a steamy relationship that is the backdrop for a tale of apocalypse.
1960: Major Allison takes his plane 100 miles above the Earth's surface for a test flight.  Egads!  He gets up to 500,000 mph, and as you can imagine, returns to Earth 65 years into the future.  The airfield is in ruins and so is the neighboring city.  He is captured by survivors and brought to their subterranean city.  The leader, knows as The Supreme (Vladimir Sokoloff)  and his right hand man, The Captain (Boyd "Red" Morgan) believe him a spy.  Lucky for Allison, The Supreme's granddaughter, who has ESP and can read thoughts, takes an instant liking to him.  This appears to be Allison's lucky day.  Every man 65 years into the future is sterile and mute, and Princess Trirene needs a mate to help the human race propel into the future, The two get along famously, but danger lurks.  Outside the gates, mutants desire to penetrate the subterranean city in order to eat the men and rape and eat the women.  By the way, all the women are babes adorned in outfits right out of the "Star Trek" TV series.
Allison is inquisitive, and meets some prisoners.  These prisoners are scientists and they include the shapely Cpt. Markova (Arianne Ulmer).  They warn Allison not to trust his hosts.  They explain to Allison a great plague occurred in the 1970s and made everyone mute and sterile.  Uh oh...The Supreme implores Allison not to trust those prisoners.  The scientists believe they can send Allison back to 1960, which will allow him to warn everyone, thus averting the plague.  Allison wants to go home, but can the scientists be trusted.  Keep in mind, Markova is from the U.S.S.R., not an ally of the U.S.  No spoilers here, but be warned, double crosses abound putting Allison and Trirene in mortal danger.  Will Allison be able to return to 1960?  Will he decide to remain and procreate with Trirene (...and she is very tempting, see picture below).
However cheesy and sappy this film appears to be....don't be fooled.  Eventually, the wondrous elements of the science fiction genre will give way to horror and a very dark conclusion.  As mentioned above, when the mutants do get in, cannibalism and rape will be introduced into the plot. Trirene is stunning in her futuristic outfits, and also in a skinny dipping scene.  Available on Netflix, take a look at "Beyond the Time Barrier."

Friday, July 3, 2015

Literature Review #13: Discovering a Legend

When Gaston Leroux wrote "The Phantom of the Opera," he had penned a magnificent love story doubling as a horror tale.  We gasp at the beautiful Christine's journey to fame and her relationship with a specter of mystery and peril.  The beauty of her work, contrasted with a pit of darkness only enhances Christine's journey.  Perhaps Mr. Leroux would cringe at any attempt to de-emphasize the horror in his work.  He knew that in all the metaphors contained in Revelation....the real fires of Hell are lit by man's eternal separation from God.  Fay E. Simon has written a fictional story exploring Mr. Leroux's inspiration in writing "The Phantom of the Opera."  In "Discovering a Legend," Ms. Simon presents a plausible course of action Leroux may have embarked on in researching "The Phantom of the Opera."  Let us explore "Discovering a Legend."
As all great stories, "The Phantom of the Opera" is based on some truth.  Hence Mr.Leroux researches the legends of the Paris Opera House in order to come to an understanding of a great unfinished love story.  Putting on his detective hat, Leroux combs police reports and is able to track down Christine..the object of the Phantom's desire.  His subsequent interviews with the tortured soul (now an elderly woman) pulls the reader into deep thought.  With a pure heart, many years previous, Christine's prayers were answered...but not how she figured they would be.  The Angel of Music intervened in her life.  One must be guarded in their prayers, as many times these answers to prayers can be frightening.  Is Christine a victim of the Phantom?  In Ms. Simon's story, Christine is a victim....but not of the Phantom.  
In this story, Leroux will interview not only Christine but also her estranged husband and other fascinating characters who have guilty knowledge of the Phantom.  The discussions are heartbreaking as Ms. Simon allows us a glimpse into the tortured soul of a man forever separated from God.  The beauty which he has mastered (music) and has been delivered to him (Christine) fails to deliver any type of he not only has been separated from God, but has willingly rejected Him. However much a villain the Phantom may seem, Ms. Simon's tale also emphasizes grace and forgiveness.  With those two virtues in mind, perhaps everyone of us is a villain to some extent.  Don't dark as this story may seem ( does human existence, on occasion), Ms. Simon delivers hope.  With all the angst inflicted on our tortured Phantom, is forgiveness possible? A great question, not easily answered...especially when applied to our own lives.
 No spoilers here, but I will say Leroux's investigation has an ultimate goal of finding the Phantom.  The assumption is that the Phantom died...but did he?  In addition to the Phantom's fate, just as important to the reader is Christine's fate.  Will she ultimately come to terms with her past, and in some way find redemption for her ultimate rejection of the Angel of Music?  Read "Discovering a Legend" to find out, but be warned....Ms. Simon has a journey for you to embark on before the questions are answered.  One final note, my good friend, Berk Balkac, who happens to be the most dynamic comic book artist around, created the three illustrations above (see more of him at ).
You can read this story at:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine, A Convent of Orgies and Slashers

From Italy comes a heart warming love story set in the midst of the Spanish Inquisition.  Set in Seville (Spain), 1974's "The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine" is an erotic jaunt through an era gone mad.  Suppressed by the Spanish Inquisition, Spain is engulfed in theological paranoia.  Forbidden love, and sexual taboo, however, are rampant at the local convent where beautiful young women have been sent by their parents to get their daughters away from undesirable boyfriends. What could go wrong?  Madness and sexual desire will explode in this Sergio Grieco film (loosely based on a Victor Hugo story).
Lucita (Jenny Tamburi) has been sent to the convent after she fell in love with an excommunicated heretic, Esteban (Paolo Malco).  Hunted down by the Inquisition, a wounded Esteban makes his way to the convent where he seeks Lucita.  Hidden by a benign stable-hand, Esteben convalesces while scheming to rescue Lucita from a nun's existence.  Lucita is able to help Esteban heal, however, her room mate Josefa (Bruna Beani) learns her secret.  Josefa blackmails Lucita claiming she will not tell the Abbess (Francoise Prevost).  Josefa demands that Lucita have a lot of lesbian sex with her as payment for not ratting to the Abbess.  Lucita agrees and they get right down to it.  Uh oh....Josefa is stabbed to death shortly after the blackmail, and Lucita is accused.  Now Lucita is a prisoner in the convent sentenced to death by Father Onorio (Corrado Gaipa).  Now Esteban must rescue his love. gals out there take note.  If your main squeeze really loved you, he would be prepared to do what Esteban does in hopes of saving Lucita.  Esteban seduces the Abbess (head nun) and has a night of wild sex with hopes of her agreeing to assist in freeing Lucita. Like most pre-marital sex, the consequences of this wild night are horrific.  No spoilers here, but what follows is madness, murder, and heresy.  As we will now find out, lesbian orgies are routine at this convent...and so is murder.  Unfortunately for Esteban, the Abbess is actually a black widow type figure, seducing men, killing them, and depositing them in a mass grave.  Can Esteban rescue Lucita?  Is the fact that both our lovers had wild sex with nuns an indication they are a perfect match?  Do nuns really look like the babes in this film?
The ending of this film is shocking.  The fate of this convent is right out of an Edgar Allan Poe story. The eroticism present in 1970s Italian horror is present in "The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine" in full force.  Available on Netflix, not for the whole family (...which is the way we like it), see this 1970s Italian classic.