Thursday, June 30, 2016

Stitches, Are We Happy...or Dead?

When I lived in Maryland, my family and I attended a traditional Baptist church that decided to go the contemporary way.  Gone was the choir, and in was the praise band.  Also, in order to reach the mentally deranged among us for Christ, was a clown ministry.  Children were frightened to tears and parents decided to skip the worship service and hang out in the gym.  In 2012's "Stitches," Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux) remarks, "Not every party ends with a dead clown."  Too bad....gone are the days of Bozo.  In today's paranoid society, most of us conjure up images of Stephen King's fiend from the novel "It" when we think of clowns. Let us take a look at a gory offering from Ireland, "Stitches."
Stitches (Ross Noble) the clown, a very rude sort, shows up drunk at 10 year old Tom's birthday party.  The smart-alec kids taunt him and cause an accident which results in a very bloody demise for Stitches.  Six years later, the kids are now very attractive high school students, and Tom (Tommy Knight) is on meds because of the shock at his 10th birthday party. With his mom out of town for his 16th birthday party, Tom's pals arrange for a party at his house.  Practically the whole school shows up...and because of a weird, magical clown rite, Stitches busts out of his grave.  As we all know, a clown cannot rest if he left a party unfinished.
16 year old Tom is very insecure and his childhood crush, Kate has blossomed nicely.  Kate and Tom are still sweet on each other, and it is very cute.  Their goo-goo eyes are quite the contrast to the revenge Stitches is about to dish out.  Drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex permeates this party, which seals the fate for some great looking kids.  The resurrected Stitches goes after some bullies first, as he rips the limbs off Paul (Hugh Mulhern). Paul's hot GF (Roisin Barron) will meet a similar fate at the hands of Stitches' umbrella. As Kate and Tom try to rekindle their relationship, Stitches goes through Tom's pals like crap through a goose on his way to our two lovebirds. As Tom figures out his tormentor has returned from the grave, he has a mad-cap idea on how to defeat him.  This plan will take him and Kate into the evil clown lair where their chances of success are unknown.
Will Tom kill Stitches, on purpose this time, and win over the beautiful Kate?  Is Stitches a mere metaphor for the dumbing down of churches, and many other pillars of western civilization, in this new millennium?  The kills are incredibly gory, and also quite humorous.  Many might be reminded of the "Leprechaun" franchise as they witness the wit of our monster here.  Direction by Conor McMahon, and terrific acting, especially by Mr. Knight and Ms. Devereux help make this a must-see horror-comedy.  Available on Netflix, enjoy "Stitches."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Starship Invasions, This Dwarfs Star Wars

In 1977 "Star Wars" hit the movie screens.  Hammer favorite Peter Cushing had landed an important role in this over-rated, preachy epic.  Not to be out done, another Hammer icon, Christopher Lee would land a role in the classic scifi film, "Starship Invasions."  With cheesy space battles, beautiful space babes (Star Wars had none of these), scenes of a bloody apocalypse, and more space babes, "Starship Invasions" delivers an enjoyable film without the corny marketing and arrogant fan base.
Okay...Cpt. Rameses (Lee) commandeers a spaceship fleet from a dying planet. He needs to find another planet to conquer so his people can move there. He finds Earth.  Him and his very shapely first-mate, Sagnac (Sherri Ross) start planning.  Earthlings are abducted and their sexual practices are studied.  Going ther extra mile, Sagnac has sex with males in order to understand our species. Rameses then puts the conquest plan into action, and it is a good one.  Step one, destroy a base the benign League of Races (LAR) has set up on the ocean floor.  The LAR has come to Earth and ensures they will not be harmed by malignant civilizations.  Rameses and his peeps visit the LAR base pretending to be a research team.  The base is manned by lots of space babes clad in white leotards, some androids, space skanks, and wimpy diplomatic space dweebs.
After having sex with the beautiful Gazeth (Victoria Johnson), Rameses and Sagnac kill everyone including all the babes....and sadly...Gazeth. Rameses then turns on a machine that causes Earthlings to kill each other and commit suicide.  As the Earth's population dwindles, two LAR aliens enlist the aid of Duncan (Robert Vaughn).  Duncan is a UFO expert and he and the LAR survivors must find a way to stop Rameses, or the entire Earth population will be wiped out. As Rameses entire fleet speeds to Earth, Duncan helps the LAR to get their one remaining ship back on-line.  Even if successful, the odds are still against the forces of good.
 Will our heroes overcome and defeat the evil Rameses?  Is Rameses misogyny a metaphor for the evil forces in our world that seek to destroy civilization?  (.....yeah....probably not) Both Mr. Cushing and Mr. Lee landed scifi roles in 1977, and because Mr. Lee chose "Starship Invasions," Mr. Cushing would suffer from an inferiority complex the rest of his life.  Epic in nature...apocalyptic in tone....gruesome in spots...and lots of space-babes in peril, enjoy "Starship Invasions," which appears in great quality on YouTube.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Venom, Snake up the Pants

Are you happy to see me, or is that a snake up your pants? Ah, the proverbial question. In the case of Oliver Reed in 1981's "Venom," it is a snake.  Not an ordinary snake....a black mamba...the most venomous and aggressive snake known to mankind.  It bites die quickly. Mix this plot device with a bunch of know-it-all criminals who have one of those fool-proof plans to net millions. Yep, a plan in which nothing can go wrong.  We all know how that goes.

Because of a chain of weird events, 10 year old Philip (Lance Holcomb) brings home a black mamba snake from the pet store instead of a harmless house snake.  Uh oh...he gets home just as Jacmel (Klaus Kinski) attempts to kidnap him.  Jacmel has help, two servants, the chauffeur (Reed) and the lovely maid Louise (Susan George).  However lovely Ms. George is, she will be turned into a gray, twisted, contorting corpse-to-be when our snake leaps into her face and bites away.  So we did get a gratuitous glimpse of her in her underwear in the first few minutes. Oh yes...these kidnappers...even though they all have European accents, they are idiots.  Their fool proof plan was obviously drawn up by ....fools.
Uh oh, Dr. Stowe (Sarah Miles), a toxicology babe, figures out the mistake and sends the cops to the boy's house to collect the snake....just as Jacmel and crew begin their perfect crime.  Now there is a hostage stand-off...bad guys and predatory snake inside and the London cops on the outside.  Our snake finds the air vents and moves through the house with ease.  Cmdr. Bullock (Nicol Williamson) has set up an iron perimeter and Jacmel behaves like a cornered wild does the snake. Have you ever seen anyone bitten by a black mamba?  I guess we all ain't pretty. If you think it's awful that pretty Ms. George was bitten in the face...well...just wait and see where Mr. Reed is bitten....a true attack against good old fashioned virility.  As our snake racks up the casualties, and Cmdr. Bullock remains unbending, the crazy...and stupid...Jacmel gets desperate.
Perhaps we can look at this film as a pre-cursor to the recent Brexit vote, with the mamba a metaphor for an independent Britain....or perhaps not. The cast of this film is terrific, also featuring Sterling Hayden as the grandfather.  How many films do you remember in which you cheered for the black mamba?  "Venom" is suspenseful and the kills are painful and tortuous.  I love films when the evil and stupid get exactly what they deserve.  Available in great quality on YouTube, see "Venom."

Friday, June 24, 2016

Crawlspace, Mad Doctor vs. Beautiful Women

What do sultry young women do when alone in their apartments?  They pay bills, answer emails, clean counter tops, and fold laundry.  However, in the world of old guys who make movies, these women prance around in lacy lingerie, engage in erotic role-playing, and have pre-marital sex with a different guy each night.  The film industry's portrayal of women is demeaning, no doubt, and it does give impressionable young men a warped sense of the opposite sex.  Enough of this sermon, let us turn our attention to 1986's "Crawlspace."
Carl Gunther (Klaus Kinski) is a super of an old apartment building.  He has a secret past that concerns Nazi Germany and his homicidal stint as head of surgery at an Argentina hospital  Carl rents his apartments to beautiful women and crawls through the air ducts and spies on them through vents. He also keeps a gal in a cage in his torture chamber/dungeon/laboratory as a pet.  He sees all sorts of erotic shows from his tenants.  Lori (Talia Balsam), a beautiful, clean cut woman leases one of the units.  She is not like the other tenants...she doesn't engage in pre-marital sex and is not afraid of rats (...this will end up being big). She bonds with her neighbors, Sophie (Tane McClure) a beautiful blonde pianist, Harriet (Barbara Whinnery) a slut from Dixie, and soap opera actress, Jessica (Carole Francis).
All of her neighbors are into the aforementioned pre-marital sex.  This is too much for our Nazi peeping-Tom, as he usually kills the poor saps and preserves some of their body parts.  After the guys are all dispatched, he turns his attention to the ladies, and their deaths will be incredibly tortuous.  But wait....Lori is different.  She is smart and...did I mention....not afraid of rats.  Oh yes, she has not engaged in pre-marital sex. Instead of prancing around in seductive undies....Lori studies...Prude! Will Lori's virtue save her from the evil Nazi fiend?  What of these rats (hungry ones, too) I keep mentioning? Will the intellectual Lori turn the tables on the misogyny present in these 1980s horror films?
Mr. Kinski is perfect as our monster, and everything about his character oozes evil.  Filmed in Rome, direted by David Schmoeller, and produced by Charles Band, "Crawlspace" is a creepy pseudo-classic with some nice gore and a beautiful cast...though many of them will meet awful ends.  Available on YouTube, enjoy "Crawlspace."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

White Slave, The Blonde Babe vs. The Headhunters

Before the Olympics commence this summer in Rio, the International Olympic Committee will subject the athletes of the world to sexual harassment training.  The IOC will also supply the athletes with 45,000 condoms.  Whether these two facts are related is anyone's guess. We can figure lots of pre-marital sex will occur in the Olympic village in the spirit of international understanding.  If the IOC were smart, their harassment training would include the screening of the 1985 classic "White Slave" (aka "Amazonian" or "L' Esclave Blonde").  This Italian exploitation film, set up the Amazon in Brazil spells out what will happen to the guilty parties in a sexual encounter: The man will have his face bitten off by insects and the woman will be sent into raging rapids sans paddle.
This is the Catherine Miles Armstrong (Elvire Audray) story. Cathy, an English babe, is taken prisoner by headhunters during a boat ride up the Amazon.  The fiends decapitate her parents and hold the heads as trophies, much to the consternation of the lovely Cathy. Our protagonist is spared because Umukai (Will Gonzales) is sweet on her.  As prisoner, the shapely Cathy will endure torture and humiliation by the men of Umukai's tribe and be raped and humiliated by the tribe's women. With  nowhere to go, the alluring Cathy is given free reign of the village, but no clothes.  The nude Cathy is now the object of desire of most of the men in the tribe, but Umukai wins out, killing the other finalist.
Despite Umukai's victory, the vulnerable Cathy cannot stomach him as Umukai is the one who beheaded her parents (I guess she never had cultural diversity training in England). The more she prances around naked, the more intense Cathy's desire to avenge her parents death grows. As our very tanned heroine begins to fall in love with the savage hunk, her plans for revenge are complicated.  Will the increasing amorous Cathy allow Umukai to have pre-marital sex with her?  What of her plans of vengeance?
This endearing love story is delivered simultaneous to lots of jungle carnage and gore.  Cannibalism, gators eating limbs, more decapitations, the eating of tree slugs (yuck!), spears and arrows into eyeballs, and more decapitations keep our love story a bit spicy. So as the world's best athletes seek to avoid STDs and sexual harassment in Rio this summer, perhaps a viewing of "White Slave" (available on YouTube as "Amazonia") will also help them be culturally sensitive to the head hunters of the Brazil Amazon.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Battletruck, The 21st Century Apocalypse

I love how 20th century films depict apocalypses in the 21st century!  For example, in today's masterpiece, "Battletruck" (aka "Warlords of the 21st Century"), Detroit is on it's last mind...bad example. Anyway...what better post-apocalyptic hero than Michael Beck.  Sandwiched between "The Warriors" and "Megaforce" is this 1982 near classic.  Our stern-faced protagonist will try to save the good peeps of an apocalyptic wasteland against an evil, armor-plated 18-wheeler.
The cities are a mess after the apocalypse and survivors live in barren wastelands.  Colonel Straker (James Wainwright) commandeers the aforementioned battletruck and has set up a garrison by a healthy fuel depot.  Straker loves killing the peaceful, looting their villages, stealing their food, and raping their women.  Uh oh....Straker's gal has escaped.  Corlie (Annie McEnroe) is put off by being his sex-slave, and is found by Hunter (Beck).  Hunter, on motorcycle, takes Corlie to his methane (chicken s#$t) farm.  He then deposits her in Clearwater.  John Ratzenberger from Cheers is the mayor there...but all is not good.  Straker wants his gal back and invades Clearwater....raping and pillaging along the way...but Corlie escapes.
Through torture, he learns that Corlie has fled back to Hunter.  Straker sets his sights on the chicken s#$t farm and declares war on Hunter. Hunter isn't content on being a victim, and he declares war on Straker and his minions.  Can't we all just get along?  Not in these films.  Hunter has an improbable plan....fix up a VW bug with armor plates to take on the 18-wheeler with armor plates.  Perhaps improbable, but when a pretty woman who has survived the apocalypse is at just may work. An explosive conclusion awaits and Corlie will discover who she will re-populate the planet with....a hot cycle hunk or a grouchy old misogynist.
1980s schlock all the way, but lots of fun.  Directed by Harley Cokeliss and heavy on Mad Max type chases, explosions, and senseless killings, "Battletruck" is available on YouTube.  A man's movie all the way...which is fair as it is likely men will cause the looming apocalypse.  This film may be one of the finest movies ever made in New Zealand.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Space Probe Taurus, Sexual Harassment in Space

You gotta love those 1960s campy scifi B movies!  We don't do enough of them on this blog, but today we will look at 1965's "Space Probe Taurus." A space ship, a space babe, an alien, creatures, meteor storms, and macho spacemen...a terrific recipe.  Oh yes, the aforementioned space babe is Francine York.  Despite the fact that she spends the entire film on a cramped space rocket, we do get a gratuitous bikini scene of her, and lots of deep, passionate kissing.
The Hope 1 space vessel picks up where the Faith 1 failed.  It is searching for new planets to colonize.  The crew: Colonel Hank (James Brown) is serious and all business, Dr. Lisa (York) is a serious biologist.  Lisa and Hank are at odds as Hank does not believe a woman belongs on a space ship.  Let us not forget Dr. John (Baynes Barron), a wise guy with an inappropriate sense of humor, and Dr. Paul (Russ Bender) the old guy with experience.  Right out of the gate, our crew find an alien vessel and Hank and John board it.  They meet a slimy alien guy and blow him away.  Hank and Lisa spar some more as they quickly forget about Earth's first contact with an alien life form.
After a meteor shower damages the Hope 1, our crew crash lands on a planet.  Uh oh..they overshoot a land mass and are now resting on the ocean floor, beset by giant crab creatures. As our crew waits for the engines and computers to regain power, Hank pays a visit to Lisa in her lab.  Lisa, busy pouring liquid from one test tube into another is annoyed at the chauvinistic Hank.  Hank then grabs her, pulls her close without being invited to and plants a hard wet one on her lips.  Lisa pulls away and shows anger, but Hank does it again, this time with more Lisa is in love.  While Hank continues to make Lisa tingle, John dons SCUBA gear to explore the ocean and adjacent land mass, not realizing monsters await.
Is Hank right?  Is there no place for women in space?   Will our crew survive the sea creatures and escape from this planet?  Being kissed like no man has ever kissed a woman before...will Lisa forget about her test tubes and slip into a more revealing space costume?  This is a fun one, and those who like political incorrectness will be refreshed by the interplay between Lisa and Hank.  Enjoy "Space Probe Taurus," which is available on YouTube.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sexy Cat, A very Sexy Killer

1973 was one of the best years for movies.  "The Exorcist," "High Plains Drifter," and "American Graffiti," were just a few of the masterpieces to grace the silver screen during the last full year of the Nixon Administration.  Spain's contribution to this artistic moment is a very gory, and erotic "Sexy Cat." Silly at times....trashy....seductive....and always gratuitous, "Sexy Cat" has everything fans of this blog will go goo-goo over.  Lots of black leotard and leather booted actresses (some victims, others suspects), a hunk private-eye, the obligatory gore and nudity all are delivered in typical Euro-trash fashion.
Sexy Cat is a comic, now being made into a film.  The heroine is a killer, and has a new victim every time another comic book hits the rack.  Uh oh, the original creator of this strip has been murdered and Karpis (Beni Deus) has stolen the story and is due to make millions.  Not so fast, Mike Cash (German Cobos) was hired by the deceased to prove that Karpis stole the idea.  He pays a visit to Karpis, who attempts to buy him off, and meets Martha (Dyanik Zurakowska) who is all too happy to give Mike the dirt on Karpis....and also to seduce him.  After some pre-marital sex in the dressing room, the two make arrangements for a more intimate setting.  Too bad for Martha, the real life Sexy Cat finds her inconvenient.  A poisonous snake is used to murder Martha.  Uh oh....both murders are right out of the Sexy Cat comic books.
Mike gets close to several beautiful women who have dirt on Karpis...but Sexy Cat seems to be reading his mind.  When he visits Carla Glove's apartment for some more pre-marital sex, and dirt on Karpis, our killer has already asphyxiated a very erotic death scene.  Uh oh...the beautiful Sugar (Maria Villa) has landed the part, much to the dismay to several other voluptuous she next?  All of the babes behave as if they have murder in their blood.  Is Karpis involved? Is the real life Sexy Cat an embittered actress?  May Mike be involved, after all twists are common in these European slasher flicks?  Or is there something more devious and weird controlling the plot?  Lots will be thrown at you in this Spanish gem.
Director Julio Perez Tabernero makes sure a beautiful babe is always on the screen, either killing, seducing, or dying.  Perhaps this film can be considered sexploitation, but the story is a good one, and would be more appropriately labelled an erotic, slasher film.  Available on YouTube, start your summer off with a score of stunning European women (many will die unfortunately), and a nice murder mystery.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cheerleader Camp, Short-Skirted Lovelies Butchered

Okay, I know.  1988's "Cheerleader Camp" is the predecessor of 2011's "Cheerleader Massacre 2" (click on this link to see that review Cheerleader ).  After all, without the robotic creatures, "Cheerleader Camp" is almost the same film.  Fans of "Cheerleader Massacre 2" (...and who isn't) may guess at the plot twists of this 1988 film, but this older film still holds many surprises and lots of gratuitous scenes.  Also known as "Bloody Pom Poms," our film today is a terrific slasher film with some comedic elements....and lots of gore.
Alison (Betsy Russell) has issues.  Her desire to be beautiful and perfect is giving her some weird dreams...or are they visions.  The pretty high school cheerleader will accompany her team to a cheerleader camp where they will compete against other squads.  Alison's boyfriend is on the squad, Brent (Leif Garrett).  Uh oh, Brent has eyes for any pretty gal that walks by.  Alison senses Brent's two-timing.  All the cheerleaders at the camp are perfect tens...except for rival Suzy (Krista Pflanzer), who is a 12. During a gratuitous sunbathing scene, Suzy tosses her bikini top, beginning a very gratuitous competition.  Brent is hooked by this vixen.  When Suzy is found in her cabin with her blood drained, we begin to suspect Alison.  Alison can't remember where she was when Suzy was killed, and as other cheerleaders are pureed, her memory gets sketchier.  Her friend, the mascot Cory (Lucinda Dickey) wants to believe Alison isn't the killer, but has many suspicions.
When Alison won't have pre-marital sex with Brent, Brent turns his attention to Pam (Teri Weigel). Poor Pam, also a team-mate of Alison, will soon have a hedge-clipper shoved through her head. As the murders occur, we are treated to some gratuitous scenes featuring pre-marital sex, cheerleaders dressing, more bikini shots, and more nude shots.  As more and more beauties are slain, only Alison has a motive to kill each of them.  An ax, a meat-cleaver, garden equipment, a bear-trap, a gun, and a van will all be used to remove any competition or difficulty that may come into Alison's path.  Is Alison the psycho...or is that too easy?  As the end of the week-end creeps closer, a queen will be crowned to compete in a Miss Cheerleader Pageant.  If Alison is not crowned, will the winner also be mangled?
Gratuitous is the operable word here, but neat kills and gore are not sacrificed. The cast is most attractive, unfortunately many of them will also be bloody corpses before the end credits.  This film was released in the late 1980s, during the end of the golden age of slasher films.  No matter, whether a demented morality tale, or a bloody horror film, "Cheerleader Camp" satisfies on so many levels, especially if you never made your high school cheer squad. This film is available in good quality on YouTube.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Madman, More Camp Counselors into the Blender

Yep....Gaylen Ross did make another good movie after starring in "Dawn of the Dead." 1982's "Madman" may be on a lower budget, a bit less ambitious, but still a memorable slasher film. Ms. Ross (aka Alexis Dubin) only appeared in four films, but to horror film fans, she is a legend. Though less apocalyptic than Romero's "Dawn," "Madman" may have a fate just as ominous to Ross' counselor character.  However standard this slasher film is, the ending (which won't be revealed here) sets it apart from other slasher films that have predictable conclusions.
A bunch of camp counselors are enjoying their last night before the parents arrive to reclaim their children.  A campfire tale spells out the relevant backstory: A madman (Paul Ehlers) took an ax to his wife and children.  The townspeople believed they hung him from a tree, but the next morning only a broken rope hung from that tree.  Years later....does he still roam the woods?  Yep.  Betsy (Ross) is spooked by the story which interferes with T.P.'s (Tony Fish) ability to get in her pants.  Oh yes, no one utters the madman's name, as that would waken him and send him on the warpath again.  Idiot Richie (Tom Candela) does the honor and yells "Madman Martz!"  Game on.
The counselors do anything they can to draw the fiend's wrath. With lots of under-age alcohol consumption and pre-marital sex, our counselors have no clue what awaits them.  When T.P offers a corny apology to Betsy, the two engage in a weird hot-tub ballet before their carnal relations. Meanwhile, Martz begins his deeds. When the staff, one by one, enter the woods to search for a missing counselor....Mars decapitates them.  As Martz accumulates a collection of corpses...but for what?...he sets his sight on the remaining counselors who haven't ventured into the woods. While most of the deceased, and ripped apart, counselors are brought to Matz' basement, poor Stacy (Harriet Bass) is shoved into the engine of a pick-up.  Figuring out that she is dealing with a psycho, Betsy arms herself with a shotgun and prepares to do battle with Martz.
Enough said about the plot.  However routine the above description seems, the final 15 minutes will hold a few surprises and one or two "OMG!" moments.  Directed by the late Joe Giannone, "Madman" premiered at theaters at the height of the slasher-film craze.  A morality film, no doubt, but also a classic campfire tale.  Available on YouTube, enjoy "Madman."

Friday, June 10, 2016

On the Brain, Women, Watch Out!!!!

What's on your mind? Grocery shopping? Office politics? School? ....or perhaps a menacing parasite that causes homicidal behavior!  In "On the Brain" (available on DVD on July 12th), it's the latter.  In true icky fashion, the worm like parasites are literally all in peoples' heads. In a classic horror movie theme, the big time cop, who leaves the big city to take over the chief (or sheriff) job in a small, peaceful town, finds blood, guts, mayhem, and horror.  This career move has the same consequences as teens having pre-marital sex.  Part medical thriller, part zombie flick, and all horror, "On the Brain" is a quirky and ominous tale.  Though the social commentary is there for anyone to uncover, this film works at delivering the scares with some neat characters.
Sheriff Kelly (Danny Hansen) is new in town.  Hired by a domineering Mayor (Sharon Frederickson) who always reminds our protagonist that she is in charge.  Somewhat neutered by the mayor, Kelly is ill equipped to deal with the carnage that is ready to rain all around him.  A few minutes into our film, it begins....and then keeps going.  Men of this small town are turning into ghoulish monsters and pummeling women to death.  Fortunately for Kelly, his GF is the town doctor, the very pretty Mariama (Shenik Taylor).  As more and more men turn into fiends, and more and more women assume room temperature, Mariama starts putting two and two together,  Uh oh....the answers she comes up with are hardly comforting.
Mariama has to work fast, as being a female in this small town isn't carrying much of a future. Her findings are putting her into a collision course with the mayor.  Uh oh...the mayor believes her new sheriff, Kelly, brought something evil with him from wherever he came.  However noble Sheriff Kelly is, he is a male, and all men are pigs!  No wait, what I meant to say is that all the men in town are susceptible to turning into zombie-like killers. From a male perspective (...we need to be fair), women don't exactly make life easy for us men, and when a former flame, Anne (Amy Waller), shows up to claim her dead husband, Kelly's job becomes more difficult.  Once scorned, Anne is on the warpath, and Mariama is a bit jealous.  Is Mariama a good enough doctor to figure out what is going on, and stop it?  Is the sheriff man enough to fight off whatever has infected all the other men?
Incredibly fast paced, as bodies pile up in gory fashion, "On the Brain"  doesn't let up.  We do get the sense that our sheriff and his pretty doctor friend are in a race against against a speedy clock. To order the DVD for this film, click on this link DVD or to find out more on Facebook, click on this link Facebook .  So whether you believe all men are indeed ghoulish pigs, or you believe that women complicate any situation they interfere in, "On the Brain" (skillfully directed by Kevin Van Stevenson) has something for you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Silent Scream, Pretty Coed in much Peril

Rebecca Balding ("The Boogens") is that pretty coed, the perky Scotty.  Peril? Oh yes. When this film came out, just after "Halloween" began the cavalcade of slasher films, both Siskel and Ebert were incensed at Scotty's plight, as another woman was shown stalked, helpless, and at the mercy of some psycho.  Wearing nothing but a loose bathrobe, fresh from some passionate pre-marital sex, gagged, bloodied, and all four limbs spread tied-up, she is at the mercy of psycho Barbara Steele.  Even worse, unless a brainless hunk can save her, poor Scotty will assume room temperature.  Let us take a look at 1979's "The Silent Scream."
Desperate for housing as the college year begins, Scotty finds a room in an old house by the sea.  Three other students have already moved in; Doris (Juli Andelman), the very rich Peter (John Widelock), and the hunk Jack (Steve Doubet).  Oh yes, the rooming house is run by the very creepy Mrs. Engels (Yvonne De Carlo) and her weird teenager son, Mason (Brad Rearden).  The Engels are prudes, which is bad news for the always provocative behaving Scotty.  Uh oh...someone else is in the house...locked in a secret attic room.  After Scotty moves into the room once occupied by Victoria (Steele), whoever is in that room goes nuts ('s Victoria).  This begs the question, why has Victoria been locked away?  Victoria busts out of her attic cell and is now able to move around hidden crawlspaces and spy on all four roomies.
Victoria isn't just a peeping-Jane... she is also a knife wielding maniac. She begins butchering the tenants as Scotty and hunk Jack fall in love and engage in pre-marital sex.  Scotty's moaning even provides great cover for one of Victoria's killings. Whoever Victoria is, and whatever her past held, Mrs. Engels and Mason are her guardians, and will do anything to keep her presence secret.  This is more bad news for Scotty, as the mad Victoria abducts her and tosses her around like a toddler's toy.  Now Scotty is at her mercy.  Will hunk Jack step up and save the helpless damsel?  Oh yes, we have two cops in this plot, played by Cameron Mitchell and Avery Schreiber)....but we'll skip their roles in this film.
Will Scotty's pre-marital sex with the hunk spell her doom?  Who exactly is Victoria?  Does our helpless damsel have what it takes to grab the bull...or the horns and help herself escape a perilous predicament?  Violent, exploitative, and horrific, "The Silent Scream" was heavily criticized for demeaning women, and making a buck off putting them in much peril.  No matter, it is a terrific slasher film, and very hard to find.  Currently this film is on YouTube, but in poor quality.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre, Inmate Babes vs. Sharks

We have all waited for so long for someone to create a film that blends the elements of "Women's Prison Massacre" and "Sharknado."  Wait no more! 2015's "Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre" is here.  Directed by one of this blog's favorites, Jim Wynorsky (Chopping Mall), this film satisfies on so many fronts.  Instead of summarizing all the gratuitous scenes here, I'll intersperse them throughout this review in a subliminal manner.  So if you like beautiful women, shark carnage, and cat-fights...hold on for a great ride.
Fracking in Arkansas opens up a portal connecting swamps to a vast undersea happens.  Prehistoric sharks instantly begin feasting.  Uh oh, a chain gang from the women's prison has arrived to clear stumps from some ...{Gratuitous wet t-shirt scene}... swamp land.  Anita (Cindy Lucas), Michelle (Christine Nguyen), Shannon (Amy Holt), Sarah (Skye McDonald), and Samantha (Tabitha Marie) are all beautiful (more beautiful than Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman in "Papillon"), shapely convicts clad in shorts and tight tops.  Don't get too attached to Samantha, as she will be the first to be eaten as she washes in a stream.  Uh oh....Anita's lesbian lover, Honey (Dominique Swain) arrives to spring her.  Honey, clad in red leather pants and a tight top gets the jump on the guard, Carl (John Callahan), and commandeers ...{Gratuitous Lesbian Kissing}... the van. Honey brings the, now four sexy inmates, and Carl to a house in the woods.
Meanwhile, Detective Peterson (Traci Lords) and her ...{Gratuitous Cat Fight}... sidekicks end up on their tail. At their hideaway ...{Gratuitous Bikini Scene}...Honey and Anita bully their sexy hostages as Carl remains tied up.  Uh oh....Sarah decides to explore the woods.  Poor Sarah, she will die of blood loss after having her leg bitten off.  Now the girls and Carl figure out they are being stalked ...{Gratuitous hot-tub scene} sharks.  Double uh oh, these fiends can swim through sand and dirt and encircle the hideaway ...{More gratuitous cat-fighting}...  Here is where it gets good.  Michelle ...{Gratuitous hot-Asian with Machine Gun scene}...finds a stash of machine guns, and her and Carl take charge.  Now machine gun wielding Michelle and Carl lead the babes in an escape attempt.
Michelle emerges as our favorite in this film as her proclivity to get into cat-fights and wielding machine guns are the stuff cheesy graphic-novel heroines are made of.
Will Michelle's heroism land her an ...{Gratuitous lesbian make-out scene}... early parole...if she survives, that is?   Will Carl and his babe prisoners overcome these freaks of that they have machine guns?  "Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre" is much fun, and titillating.  Do our lovebirds, Anita and Honey, have any more tricks in store for Carl?  All the actresses are quite stunning and Mr. Callahan is terrific as the guard.  For lots of fun, check out this film.  I guarantee you it is an infinitely superior film than Johnny Depp's newest Alice in Wonderland movie.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Don't Answer the Phone! ...a good idea even with no psycho

Today we largely view slasher films as harmless fun from our youth. At worst, enjoying them is a sign of our immaturity (...forgive us for not fawning over "The King's Speech").  However, back in the 1980s, critics put forth a harsher criticism of these films.  Though Rated R, much of the slasher film audience was under 18.  Intellectual critics and do-good social crusaders like Tipper Gore, claimed these films would cause young boys to grow up as misogynists in an a society already hostile to females. Decades later, here we are.  Most of us aren't violent and Tipper Gore abandoned the cause by the late 80s.  Today's feature, 1980's "Don't Answer the Phone" was a poster child for these critics and crusaders. Victims in this flick were young women, mostly professional, who were stripped, humiliated, strangled and a guy (an army vet) with dominant woman issues.
A pretty nurse (Dale Kalberg) arrives home, strips, and is then attacked by Kirk (Nicholas Worth). He rapes her in all her orifices, bites off one of her breasts and pours candle wax on her (I'm sure Tipper Gore wasn't pleased).  She's Kirk's fifth victim.  But wait...Kirk is getting bold.  He begins calling Dr. Lindsay Gale's (Flo Lawrence nee Gerrish) radio show.  After each murder, he calls.  Dr. Gale, a strong, independent woman (can you guess what Kirk wants to do with her?) is creeped out by these calls and after Kirk murders a prostitute while on the air with her, she goes to the cops.
Detective McCabe (James Westmoreland) is actually a good cop.  He finds clues and is able to close in on Kirk.  Uh oh....that is because Kirk is getting too confident and he begins to attack women in broad daylight. In one scary scene, he scams his way into the apartment of a young beautiful actress, offs her and then does the same to her room-mate. Realizing he has left many clues, Kirk believes the time has come for his capstone event....the attack, humiliation, and rape of Dr. Lindsay Gale.  Oh yes....through twisted circumstances,  McCabe and Gale become lovers, and engage in pre-marital sex. By the way, the rapes occur after the victim dies.
Does Kirk look like Al Gore?
 Will Gale's pre-marital sex with McCabe seal her fate as Kirk's last victim?  Are  Kirk's murders a metaphor for the plight of strong, liberated women in western culture?  Has the misogynistic sub-genre of slasher films become mainstream in today's Hollywood offerings?  All good questions to argue over.  Violent and hard to watch at times, "Don't Answer the Phone" is vicious and hardly as playful as either "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" (...two of the most famous slasher films from that era).  Nicholas Worth's performance as a monstrous maniac is fabulous.  Good luck finding this gem, as I had to buy a used DVD.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Empire of the Ants, Joan Collins before Dynasty

Before her iconic role in "Dynasty," Joan Collins graced a Bert I. Gordon epic, 1977's "Empire of the Ants."  Horror film fans will be more impressed that Pamela Susan Shoop also graces this film.  Ms. Shoop's death scene a few years later in "Halloween 2" goes down as one of the most famous demises in slasher film history.  You will recall Ms. Shoop played the naughty nurse who is drowned in a hot tub's scalding water by Michael Myers. A morality scene no doubt. Based on a H.G. Wells story, let us look at "Empire of the Ants."
Marilyn (Collins) lures potential buyers to her new beach resort development.  Most notable of the cast are Coreen (Shoop), a vixen who goes through married men like crap through a goose.  Also, her soon to be prey, Joe (John David Carson). Robert Lansing plays a boat captain who brought the peeps to Marilyn's resort.  Uh oh!  A barrel of radioactive waste washes up on shore and is soon feasted upon by ants.  The waste works fast, as the ants, now six feet long, begin feasting on Marilyn's potential customers.  As some retirees and construction workers fall victim, Marilyn and a handful of survivors run...but to where?  Coreen fends off a rape attempt by a soon to be corpse, and attaches herself to Joe.  Our captain takes the lead and leads our crew to the river.
The river seems to be safe from the water-fearing monsters, but that won't last.  In one heartbreaking scene, Christine (Brooke Palance, daughter of Jack) is dissected by the vermin as her two-timing husband just watches.  But wait! Our captain has led them all to civilization...Fort Pierce, Florida. No spoilers here, but I know you know this is too easy.  Waiting for them in this quaint beach town is something more ominous and horrific than large insects. The captain, Coreen, and Joe will have to brave monsters and the slimy Marilyn if they seek to survive.
I know what you are asking. Is this a better film than the 1950s classic, "Them"?  Well... I'll put it this way..."Them" didn't have Pamela Shoop playing a vulnerable damsel.  Will Coreen's immoral lifestyle spell her doom? Did Joan Collins get her inspiration for her "Dynasty" role (Alexis) by studying the monster-queen ant?  This gem is available free on YouTube.