Saturday, July 30, 2016

Flight 7500, A Haunted Airplane?

Movies where really hot stewardesses fight evil have done well on this blog.  In Quarantine 2 the sultry Mercedes Mason battles a zombie virus on her flight. In Crocodile 2 Heidi Lenhart plays a beautiful stewardess battling a giant reptile and an evil rock band.  In Loaded Guns  the ravishing Ursula Andress battles an Italian crime syndicate in various states of undress. So today, clad in alluring red stewardess outfits, Leslie Bibb and Jamie Chung battle supernatural ghostly forces in 2014's "Flight 7500."
Laura (Bibb) and Suzy (Chung) are two hot stewardesses on Vista Pacific 7500. Both these women have issues with their men...this isn't insignificant.  They welcome aboard some great looking passengers, all with serious life issues causing much angst.  Oh yes, also welcomed aboard is a weird man (Rick Kelly), carrying a mysterious wooden box.  In a very disturbing scene, our weirdo dies....and weirdness permeates our flight to Tokyo.  Unexpected turbulence and a mysterious bout of decompression almost doom the flight.  Laura and Suzy evacuate First Class, leaving our corpse all alone.
Uh oh!  Our corpse is missing, and his ghost is making some appearances. As the passengers begin getting scared, Suzy, Laura, and four passengers decide to figure out who exactly the deceased was...the immediate answers they find are startling.  As mysterious doom befalls a couple of misbehaving passengers, our heroic stewardesses make some more horrific discoveries.  In unlocking a macabre mystery, Laura, Suzy, and everyone else on Flight 7500 must confront their own choices and selves....the results here will be mixed.  Will Flight 7500 make it to Tokyo?  Who exactly was the deceased? Can our sultry stewardesses defeat paranormal forces?
This film is heavy on the psychological horror, and is sort of an Asian horror flick. Directed by Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge), and featuring a great looking cast, including Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Nicky addition to our Ms. Chung and Ms. Bibb, this is a perfect film to download for your next international airline flight. Flawed perhaps, but a creepy ghost story, nonetheless.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Island Claws, Moby Dick Watch Out!

No doubt, Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" is a flawed work of literature.  The would be classic story was finally perfected by the creature!  That's right....the creature from the Black Lagoon himself....Riccou Browning.  After terrorizing sultry babes in white swimsuits, the creature wrote 1980's "Island Claws." Yep, the sight of Gregory Peck mounting and harpooning the white whale left us all wanting more.  Fear not, the creature, in "Island Claws" gives us a much more rewarding spectacular....Robert Lansing mounting and harpooning a giant crab.
The beautiful Jan (Jo McDowell, a Cheryl Ladd look-a-like) arrives on a Florida island to study Dr. McNeal's (Barry Nelson) crabs.  All right, cut it out! Get your mind out of the gutter.  The good doctor, in order to fight world hunger, is playing around with crab DNA to make the species bigger, so more people can dine at Red Lobster.  Uh oh, the island's nuclear power plant, run by Jan's dad just happens to have some sort of accident. Double uh-oh....the crabs start acting funny and seek out humans to devour.
As some unfortunates fall prey to hordes of crabs, a giant one also starts wreaking havoc. Most on the island are too drunk to put two and two together, but after Jan is almost eaten by the creatures, she and her new beau, Pete (Steve Hanks) start investigating.  Meanwhile, Moody (Lansing), after some of his friends are picked apart, also starts snooping.  As Jan and Pete fall in love, and we are treated to a spirited harmonica and banjo duet featuring Lansing...our giant monster converges on the population base.  Will our crabby monster eventually find the nuclear power plant? Will the perky and vulnerable Jan don a white swimsuit to fight the beast (remember who wrote this film)?
In a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of way, "Island Claws" will surely please. If you found Gregory Peck's Ahab annoying and judgmental, you will enjoy Robert Lansing as the usually drunk barkeep as he tries to save this pitiful island from monsters. Available on YouTube, take a look at "Island Claws" with a couple of robot friends.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Island of the Burning Damned, Aliens and a Slut

The island of Fara is about to be invaded.  A beautiful, sweaty seductress looking to ruin marriages is headed there.  Oh yeah, so are aliens. In 1967's "Island of the Burning Damned" (aka "Night of the Big Heat"....really), directed by Terence Fisher, this quaint British isle will endure a nymphomaniac's desire....and an invasion from space.  Throw in Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and we have a neat science fiction tale.
The temperatures on the isle of Fara are abnormally high this winter.  Global warming? I doubt it...see, the thermometer is reading 109 degrees.  A weird, and very rude scientist, Godfrey Hansen (Lee) arrives on the island and is tight lipped.  Also arriving is the beautiful and sweaty Angela (Jane Merrow).  Both head to the pub, The Swan.  Hansen gets a room to set up his lab, and Angela reports to Jeff (Patrick Allen).  Jeff is a writer, and a grouchy one....there is a lot of moodiness in this film.  Uh oh....Jeff is alarmed that Angela is his new secretary, as Angela is the slut (not my term, but she is referred as this repeatedly throughout this film) who Jeff bedded in London.  Angela just won't take no for an answer.  Oh yes, not only are the temperatures, literally and figuratively, heating up, some islanders are being charred to death.
As the radios and electricity fail, and the liquor is ruined (that's it, war!), Jeff confronts the weird scientist.  Oh yes....our happy-homewrecker confronts Jeff and his wife (Sarah Lawson), as well. Neither of these confrontations go well.  Hansen tells Jeff of his theory about aliens using Fara as a landing base for a future invasion of Earth...and Angela sweats some more in either a bikini or an unbuttoned blouse. As more humans are fried, Hansen makes some startling discoveries about the mysterious invaders. As Angela continues to sweat, Jeff and Hansen come up with a plan to defeat their invaders. The two enlist more survivors and act...but is it too late?
Will Angela's promiscuous nature doom her to a burning fate?  Will the moody Hansen and unfaithful Jeff be able to work together to save the planet?  As always, seeing Cushing and Lee together on screen is a pleasure.  Seeing the sweaty and scantily clad Jane Merrow on the same screen, is also a pleasure, though in a different way.  "Island of the Burning Damned" will please fans of campy British horror or scifi.  Available on YouTube (beware, I had to click on two different links to see the entire film), enjoy this scorcher.  To order the BluRay DVD of this film click on this link Classic Direct

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Revenge of the Creature, An Old Monster Never Dies least the classic Universal monsters don't.  All aboard the Rita II with Captain Lucas (Nestor Paiva), and back to the Black Lagoon! An important sequel that will answer many questions...most importantly, can any 1950s actress rival Julie Adams in a white swimsuit?  So watch out Jacksonville....the horrors of the Amazon are on their way! From 1955, let us examine "Revenge of the Creature." Oh by the way!  Clint Eastwood has a nice, non-credited role in this one.
After the aforementioned voyage captures our gill man, the monster is brought to Ocean Harbor Oceanarium, near Jacksonville.  Held in captivity for tourists to ooh and aah over, our monster is not happy...and lonely.  The bane of his existence, Joe (John Bromfield), the man who captured him, continues to taunt him.  In addition to being a great tourist attraction, the gill man (Ricou Browning) also attracts the attention of the science community.  On cue, Professor Clete Ferguson (John Agar) arrives...and so does a sultry science student, Helen Dobson (Lori Nelson).  These two will, of course fall in love....much to the consternation of the love-struck gill man.
As our two lovebirds delve into the tank to attempt to tame the monster, our gill man goes goo-goo eyes over Helen and her white swimsuit.  The gill man's hormones go crazy and he breaks his chains and escapes...terrorizing the park and coastal Florida while doing so.  With Helen continuing to wear that white swimsuit, our creature decides not to return to the Amazon, but pursue his new love interest...can we blame him?  Believing the gill man is headed back to Brazil, Clete and Helen let their guard down as they continue their romance.  Bad move, as the gill man continues to pursue his goddess, determined not to let any mortal get in his way. As our fiend emerges from the depths once again, all of Florida is in peril.
Does the gill man have any chance to replace Clete as the object of Helen's desires?  If so, what will their offspring look like?  Oh yeah, this isn't a Roger Corman film. Perhaps not as Freudian and deep as the original  Creature From the Black Lagoon  this sequel is still a lot of fun.  Maybe we can discern a message about the dangers and evils of putting wild animals in captivity, especially with the developments at Sea World this past year, but this movie serves us best when taken as a perfect horror film for the summertime.  Oh yes.....the answer to that all important question...well...lets just say if you prefer blondes, Ms. Nelson will edge out Ms. Adams....if you prefer brunettes....Ms. Adams prevails.  This film is offered in great quality on YouTube.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Road Games, Serial Killer Drama in France

We know they're coming.  Those weird twists that make horror films so scary.  Knowing they're coming can serve to make these twists predictable.  Not here, though.  2015's "Road Games" is a quirky gem which throws a lot at us.  In horror films, skinny dipping and pre-marital sex will get you killed....unless the maniac is the one doing it.  We're never sure who the killer, or killers, are, and who the victims are...or will be.
Jack (Andrew Simpson) and Veronique (Josephine de la Baume) are two really great looking hitch-hikers.  They meet by chance in rural France as Veronique escapes from an automobile of a pervert and Jack plays her knight in shining armor.  Uh oh...neither one of these wanderers seems legit.  Jack doesn't have any bags, and his story about why he is in France is weak. Veronique? She is practicing writing a signature of a name which graces her, or someone else's, passport.  Now they hitch-hike together, only to be picked up by the weird Grizard (Frederic Pierrot).  Grizard reminds them that a serial killer is chopping up people along these rural roads and strewing their body parts over the countryside.  He invites them to his home for the night...and Jack accepts.  Veronique tries to tell Jack this isn't a god idea...he should have listened.
The good news....the sultry Barbara Crampton plays Mary, the madame of Grizard's estate.  The good news ends here.  Mary is weird and has some bent attraction for the younger Jack.  Grizard attempts to keep his two new friends at the estate longer, but both Jack and Veronique are creeped out by Grizard and Mary's eerie behavior.  Oh yes...the killings continue, as we get glimpses of a killer disposing of bodies nearby.  Is Grizard or Mary the Killer?  In fairness to our hosts, Jack and Veronique are just as weird, perhaps one of them is the killer?  But wait!  Enter a weird neighbor who collects road kill'll see.
Every character has their deviations from sanity, but just who is the killer?  Ms. Crampton is terrific, and we never know, until the end, if she wants to protect....or kill.  Directed masterfully by Abner Pastoll, and shot in France and Kent, England, "Road Games" is a neat horror film available on Netflix.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom, Agoraphobic Horror

Take Roman Polanski's "Repulsion" (our film of the month).  Now add lots more spice and kick it up a few notches.....and now we have 2014's "The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom."  Also add some great gore by Michele Mulkey, a louder and more worldly protagonist (...not that anything was wrong with Catherine Deneuve), and a whole bunch of people we actually feel we know, and we have a glorious Indie, low-budget, horror flick. Written and directed by Mark Dossett, with a tour-de-force performance by Shannon Scott, "The Torment of Laurie Cullom" is a must see for Indie-Horror fans.
After a horrific rape, Laurie (Scott) is reduced to a helpless agoraphobic.  Like zombie films, the safety of the indoors is always invaded by the outside evils.  Seemingly functional in her home, the outdoors reduces Laurie to a shriveling mess.  The indoors seem safe, after all, there is a fiend out there who is killing young woman. This film takes place in the 1980s and Laurie is almost too comfortable in her new reality of MTV and soda addiction.  Uh oh...slowly her safety and remaining sanity are invaded.  Is there an intruder in the house or is Laurie merely hyper-paranoid?  The incidents get more intense as night falls and she watches horror films.  Her pleas to the sheriff (Dossett) are met with some skepticism, even after a battle with a menacing reptile.
Completely on edge, the invasion, or hauntings, of outside forces get more intense for Laurie. Horror film fans will see Mark Dosset's homages to "Repulsion," "Jaws," and "Halloween."  These are appropriate references as insanity, nature, and slashers seem to be converging on our beautiful damsel.  As helpless as Laurie appears, she will have to muster up courage and eschew her agoraphobic tendencies to do battle with murderous tormentors, real and imagined.
Everyone involved in this film were first-timers.  This is amazing because the acting by Ms. Scott is sensational and the direction of Mr. Dossett is first-class.  From the equipment used to shoot, and the economical strategies to secure appropriate sets, this is totally a low-budget film with big budget scares and acting. The spiral downward into fear and paranoia, captured brilliantly by Ms. Scott as Laurie, is the core of this slasher film.  Of course, gore, a slasher, and other horrors are added in, which is fine with all of us.  "The Torment of Laurie Cullom," will satisfy and  scare all you out there. So..if you found "Repulsion" a little too ethereal or vague....consider this film a "Repulsion" for real people. To download or stream this film click on this link Torment of Laurie

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Literature Review #17: Candy and other Nightmares

Who is Candy?  Unfortunately for her, as for many of us, all glory is fleeting.  Once a beautiful blonde seductress, now reduced to a bluish-gray corpse with protruding bones and receding skin. Murder will do that to a gal.  Throw in vengeance and revenge, and perhaps our sexy nymphomaniac can turn the tables on the living and solve a decades old murder.  "Candy" is the anchor story of a horrific collection of short stories by Rod Senter.  A ghost (...a violent one, I may add) story that will make you squirm, is a fitting end to this septet of stories.

Depending on what makes you tick, there is a story in Mr. Senter's book that will speak to you....probably in the middle of the night.  I live in a county in Virginia which endured the most casualties of any county during the Civil War.  Four major battles were fought here.  When this book opened with a paranormal investigator visiting a bloody Civil War battle field, I was hooked.  But wait!  Like all of Mr. Senter's stories, he delves past what is easy.  Sure, ghosts will appear, which is frightening enough...then...a twist...and something more horrific than dead spirits.  This is also true in the story "To Die For."  I won't say much of this story, but it asks a fascinating question.  Would a G.I. at Normandy, if alive today, be pleased at what has transpired since the end of World War 2? The answer is sobering and perhaps will cause some thoughtful introspection about who we are and where we are going.
These stories are quirky and Mr. Senter will reverse the spin on many horror maxims we hold today.  For example...are deranged stalkers always evil?  To what extent can we have relationships with the dead?  Gory, terrifying, and deep, Mr. Senter's works will stick with you either in the form of nightmares or nagging questions, too uncomfortable to ponder...until now.
Need a book for the beach this summer, and romance novels just don't cut it? Or perhaps you have a long airplane flight coming up.  "Candy and other Nightmares" is a must read for all of us that want our horror with an edge to it.  "Edge" may be an understatement, but it is safe to say that the works in Mr. Senter's book are hardly predictable and don't fit into a mold.  To order this book, click on the following link Candy

Monday, July 18, 2016

Darling, Insanity and the Devil

Murder...mayhem....gore....carnage....ghosts....Satan.....insanity....yep, all ingredients in 2015's "Darling."  An over simplification of this story would compare it to Roman Polanski's "Repulsion." Writer and Director Mickey Keating ("Pod") has crafted a creepy tale of a young lady spiraling down into madness and murder.  Perhaps influenced by both Mr. Polanski and David Lynch, this is one that will have you squirming.  But wait!  Is she spiraling down into madness, or is she already there as our story commences?
Madame (Sean Young...yep, the beauty from "No Way Out") hires a young lady to be caretaker of her New York City mansion while she is away.  The lady, referred to as Darling (Lauren Ashley Carter) exudes professionalism, an air of refinement, and perhaps a breeze of the unstable.  Madame accidentally tells Darling that the previous caretaker, also a young lady, threw herself to her death by jumping off the balcony.  Once alone, Darling finds a locked room...never good.  Then the noises start, mixed in with some weird voices.  Just like Catherine Deneuve in the Polanski classic, Darling seems to lose control of reality.  Does the mansion's sordid reputation have anything to do with that? Perhaps, as the locals know the mansion as a place where a previous owner attempted to conjure up Satan.
Okay...enter Henry (Brian Morvant).  After a chance meeting with him, Darling pursues him like a hungry pit bull after a lamb chop.  Who is Henry?  Darling knows...which will not serve him well. Is Henry really who Darling believes him to be?  Either way, Darling will inflict a most gruesome fate on this poor chap that will have you turning your head.  Is it Satan or is it madness?  Exactly who is Darling?  Is she merely a victim of the evil ghosts of this mansion?
Filmed in black and white, with a haunting score, "Darling" is a most captivating film.  Doom, evil, and a lurid sense of where this one will end up keep the viewer mesmerized.  The acting and direction are terrific, kudos to Mr. Keating and his cast. What every fan of these types of films knows, beware of the sweet diminutive ones, they're the ones that....well....just watch this film to find that out.  "Darling" is available on Netflix.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Pack, Cujo and Company invade Australia

They roll over.....they eat the mortgage banker.  They fetch....they eat the police.  They shake hands....they eat sheep farmers.  They play dead....they make you dead.  Dogs!  Wild, feral beasts roaming rural Australia. eating all that gets in their way. From the Land Down Under, we look at 2015's "The Pack."  I hope you have had your rabies shots.
As our story opens, a husband/wife pair of sheep farmers are ripped apart by this fiendish canine pack.  Unbeknownst to the Wilson family, the evil dogs are headed their way.  The Wilsons' have fallen on hard times and Adam (Jack Campbell) has just found several of his herd mauled.  To make matters worse, an evil banker (Charles Mayer) has visited them and advised his bank will foreclose on his land.  Justice is bloody, and when the banker leaves he stops his car in the woods to relieve himself...bad move.  Adam must also deal with his teen-age daughter, Sophie (Katie Moore) who hates the farm and wants to move to civilization.  Just because they're teenagers, doesn't mean they are wrong.
The dogs converge on the Wilson property that night.  Adam's betrothed, Carla (Anna Lise Phillips) is a veterinarian, and loves to save animals.  She will have to reverse her ways now as the vicious dogs invade their land and house.  Oh yes...Adam and Carla also have a cute little boy, Henry (Hamish Phillips).  Early indications suggest that little Henry may be part of the solution in defeating this enemy.  Short on ammo, thanks to cute Henry, knives and fireplace pokers will have to suffice...yeah...fat chance.  Brains and cunning by our humans will be called for if they plan on surviving this night.
During this film, we're not always cheering for the humans, but we are pulling for the Wilson family. Who will win this epic battle? If the Wilson's do prevail, will they forever be taunted by Sophie? Sure to please cat-lovers, and perhaps a warning to dog-lovers, "The Pack" is on Netflix.  Nicely directed by Nick Robertson, fans of Australian horror will want to see this film.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Invitation, ...Don't Accept It!

We've all been to them. Those awkward dinner parties.  You arrive and immediately see your ex-spouse, your ex-girl/boyfriend, the priest you confessed to when you were a teen, your mom, and your 3rd grade teacher.  Something inside you does not allow you to leave.  Don't feel so could always be worse.  Hence, 2015's "The Invitation." Throw in a mysterious cult, a dead child, and....well, let me stop before mentioning some spoilers.
Bill (Logan Marshall-Green) and the sultry Eden (Tammy Blanchard) divorced after the tragic death of their young son. Neither coped well and Eden married Dave (Michael Huisman), a hunk from her grief class.  Eden and Dave plan a dinner party and invite some old friends, including Bill and his new gal, Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi).  Okay....stupid on Bill's part for accepting...but here we go. As the party begins it is obvious that Eden and David are weird.  They have just returned from some type of encounter session in Mexico.  These two talk lots about letting go of grief and negativity and being content.  They even give their guests an AMWAY type presentation on their group, which creeps everyone out. Time to leave, one would figure...but no!
Uh oh....Bill is suspicious.  In his paranoid and depressed state, he notices stuff others do not.  He used to live in the house with Eden and sees that bars have been placed on all the windows and Dave has locked everyone in. Kira and the other guests believe he is delusional, and there are indications that he is.  Even the crazy can be right, however.  When Bill discovers some more videos of a cult leader kept on Dave's laptop, he decides to act.  He better act fast as it appears that Eden and Dave have a game plan which will be enacted soon.  Oh yes, in addition to the old friends, our weird couple has also invited a couple of friends from their "group," the totally insane Sadie (Lindsay Burdge) and the homicidal Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch of "The Walking Dead").
However slow this film seems at the beginning, worry not...carnage and gore will arrive.  What do Eden and David have planned for their guests?  Even if Bill is correct, is he capable of preventing it, or getting the other guests to realize the peril?   Every guest is a hunk or a babe and they all are in mortal danger. Unless they believe a crazy guy, they may not survive.  Available on Netflix, enjoy "The Invitation," directed beautifully by Karyn Kusama.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Majorettes, So Pretty....So Dead

Sluts! Teases! Flaunting their bodies! Only one thing to do....send a slasher after them.  Yep...1987's "The Majorettes" is our feature today.  Dancing around in  skimpy, satin blue costumes....our damsels hardly stand a chance against a puritanical maniac. Yep, I know what your thinking...a totally predictable slasher film in which the clean cut majorette who doesn't engage in pre-marital sex survives.  Well.....lets just say that this film doesn't follow the norm.
Our film opens with a gratuitous dance routine by our blue leotard clad babes and quickly moves to a gratuitous locker room and shower scene.  Then the carnage begins. The very promiscuous Nicole (Jacqueline Bowman) is sliced up with her date as they were about to engage in pre-marital sex.  When another majorette has her throat cut, after a gratuitous changing into a bikini scene, in the family pool, it is apparent that the killer is using these killings as a religious purification rite.  Suspects are plenty....a puritanical pastor, a creepy peeping-Tom/janitor, an evil nurse presiding over the home of Vicki (Terrie Godfrey), a voluptuous majorette, an unstable quarterback who dates one of the majorettes...etc.
More gratuitous locker room and shower scenes ensue, and Jeff's (Kevin Kindlin) gal, Judy (Sueanne Seamens) has her throat cut after a nude shower scene.  Ahhh, remember Helga (Denise Huot), the nurse.  If Vicky dies after her 18th birthday (don't ask), she inherits the family fortune. Oh yes, Helga dispatches her drooling son to off Vicky.  More gratuitous shower and locker room scenes ensue, and Vicky is now being converged on by a myriad of evil forces.  BTW, an evil, satanic, drug motorcycle gang has hit town, and their leader wants to rape Vicky, and he heads her way.  Stop!  You won't believe the last 20 minutes of this film.  Who dies...who survives...and what transpires.  Let us just say Machine guns...knives...explosions...lynchings...more explosions....and dozens of deaths will all occur in these few minutes.
Will Vicky survive all the evil that is sent in her direction?  Of all the above mentioned suspects, may another majorette be responsible for the gore and carnage? A gratuitous sexploitation slasher film with lots of throat slashing, no doubt, but "The Majorettes" turns into something that will please die-hard "Rambo" fans.  Directed by Bill Hinzman (the zombie that attacks Barbara in "Night of the Living Dead"), this film is available on YouTube.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Humongous, Crush....Kill....Destroy!

That's exactly what it does.  What is it?  The product of an unspeakable act (vicious rape).  Throw in some great looking college age kids, though very annoying, and we have a typical 1980s slasher film. 1982's "Humongous" may have little to separate it from lots of other films of this genre, but it is ambitious with the gore and kills, and the rape scene that opens the film is brutal.  Our monster is quite humongous, and cannibalistic, which won't serve our babes and hunks too well, I'm afraid.
Beer Commercial Model
Ida (Shay Garner) is viciously raped by a drunk guy on her family's island on Lake Ontario.  Born of this horrible act, is of course, a huge, monstrous, mutant fiend.  36 years later, the island is deserted...actually not quite 100% deserted.  Enter our obnoxious protagonists. Sandy (Janet Julian) is a beer commercial model and her BF is Eric (David Wallace) are the only two likable ones.  Oh yes, Eric's sister Carla (Janit Baldwin) is also a good sort, but it's obvious from the onset her life expectancy won't be terribly long. Donna (Joy Boushel) is Nick's (John Wildman) GF....and very slutty.  Donna likes to show off her breasts a lot and flirt with everyone except Nick....can you guess her fate.  As our gang sails Lake Ontario, engaging in pre-marital sex a lot, fog and Nick's idiocy get their yacht wrecked and they beach on on the aforementioned island.  There they meet Bert (Layne Coleman), who has already wrecked and will be Donna's new object of desire.
The No Longer Pretty Carla
Once on the island, they are quickly stalked by the mutant. We cheer as Nick meets a painful end. Despite her shapely build, we then cheer when Donna assumes room temperature.  As the hunks and babes dwindle in number, our beer commercial model shows she has brains.  Together with her BF and Carla, they attempt to take the fight to Mr. Mutant....this will yield mixed results. Our trio will be horrified when they see what their nemesis does with their dead pals.  When running and screaming fails to produce positive results, Sandy comes up with a plan so far-fetched...that it just may work.  No spoilers here, but I always knew beer commercial models were smarter than they are given credit for.
Donna, a minute before her demise
Will Sandy survive and land a big contract with Coors?  Born of a vicious rape, does our monster have special plans for Sandy ( of Roger Corman films will know what I'm talking about)? What does the fiend have planned for his groceries....I mean corpses?  Directed by Paul Lynch (Prom Night), fans of 1980s slasher films will love "Humongous."  Perhaps predictable, but good acting and gore f/x make this one worthwhile.  "Humongous" is available in YouTube.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pandemic, The fall of L.A.

L.A. is gone in this film, 2016's "Pandemic." The good news for you west coasters, the City of Angels did outlast New York City.  Witness to it all is the very pretty Rachel Nichols, who last time she was mentioned in this blog, was having her head caved in by Zoe Bell ( Raze ). With scenery right out of "Fear the Walking Dead," we have an eerie depiction of a once great city devastated by a zombie virus.  Dark, gory, and heartbreaking, "Pandemic" presents a horrific view of the last days of civilization.
NYC is dead. All available personnel, especially doctors are whisked to L.A...which isn't quite wiped out.  Dr. Lauren Chase (Nichols) is a surviving doctor and is immediately put on team 314 at a L.A. military base.  The offending virus seems unstoppable, though some breakthroughs have been made. Team 314 is immediately tasked.  They don their containment suits and are sent into L.A. to find survivors, and also the missing Team 313.  Also on the team is Gunner (Mekhi Phifer), an infantry guy who's wife was on team 313.  Wheeler (Alfie Allen) is the not so ex-con, who comes across as part psycho, the team's driver.  Finally, the pretty Denise (Missi Pyle) is Team 314's navigator.
Supposedly those infected and manifesting Level 1 symptoms can be cured.  The gunshots heard from the base's Level 1 hospital suggest otherwise.  Uh oh....Lauren has motives other than finding Team 313 and survivors. No matter, Team 314 is encountering mostly Level 5 infected (homicidal, cannibalistic, mutants).  You can probably guess the fate of Team 313, and Lauren decides to attempt to find her husband and daughter in the L.A. suburbs.  This won't be easy, as the fate of the suburbs is even more disastrous than L.A.  As Team 314 loses cohesion, and personnel to the cannibalistic fiends, Lauren finds unexpected help in the search for her family.
Will Lauren find her family?  If she does, will they be zombies?  What is Lauren's dark secret (...oh yes, and it's a doozy) that might endanger the lives of any survivor she comes in contact with? Not the feel good film of 2016, especially for Californians, but an effective scifi/horror yarn, nonetheless. Directed by John Suits, and featuring terrific performances by Ms. Nichols and her co-stars, "Pandemic" is a great catch on Netflix.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Before You Go to Bed, Euro-Horror will make you Squirm

 Wow! It has been over 50 years since Roman Polanski made us squirm with his film "Repulsion." Catherine Deneuve turned in a most un-glamorous performance that had many of us ever ready to cover our eyes.  Mr. Polanski doesn't have many heirs in film-making, but today we will meet Frederik von Luttichau.  "Before You Go to Bed" needs our help, and this blog is excited to work with Frederik to get this film made.  Unlike most of the boring superhero films hitting the theaters this year, Frederik's chiller has a very modest budget.
A young man, not nearly as pretty as Ms. Deneuve (although, who is?), may be losing touch with reality.  On a weird night, our protagonist (von Luttichau) believes he may not be alone in his flat. His journey is a creepy one, and his eventual fate seems ominous. Is there someone, or something behind the shower curtain?  What does he see in his mouth as he brushes his teeth?  Like Mr. Polanski's film, you, as well as the protagonist, will undertake a journey into fear and paranoia. Remember!  Just because we are paranoid, does not mean that something isn't stalking us (either in our minds, or for real).
 This film demands viewings at many film festivals. Take my word for it, "Before You Go to Bed" will pile up the awards and accolades. Before that can happen, cash is needed for grading, sound, music and submission fees.  This is where we can all help.  Click on this link Before You Go to Bed  to view the KickStarter page.  Once on the page you can view an unsettling trailer, and meet Frederik.  Also, after viewing this page you will realize that any modest gift, even a dollar or two, will go so far in the completion of this horror short. those of you who yearn to see more Roman Polanski horror films, "Before You Go to Bed" is a work you will want to be associated with. Also, look for updates on their Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bigfoot vs. Zombies, The War that had to be Faught

Once each generation a film comes along which demanded to be made.  2016's "Bigfoot vs. Zombies" (directed by Mark Polonia) is one such film.  No doubt a metaphor for so much that ails human civilization today, BvZ has something for all of us.  As evidenced by the cheesy gorilla suit sufficing as the bigfoot costume, BvZ is low-budget and campy, but aren't we all.
The Wyoming County Body Farm is about to have a zombie outbreak.  The cause? Dr. Peele (Jeff Kirkendall) has created a potion that is supposed to help the corpses decompose.  Of course, Peele's creation has a re-animates the dead.  Uh oh....this body farm is situated in the middle of bigfoot's hunting ground.  The bodies rise from the ground and a pretty nature photographer (Greta Volkova) will be the first eaten. Quickly the zombies all rise and start eating body farm staff.  Amidst the initial survivors are the ever amorous Renee (Danielle Donohue) and dweeb delivery guy Ed (Dave Fife).  As the carnage begins, these two engage in pre-marital sex as their co-workers are either eaten or turned into walkers.
Our survivors seem to have run out of hope...but wait!  Duke (Ken Van Sant), a big game hunter joins them.  Unfortunately, while picking off the un-dead, Duke runs out of ammo.  Will luck never cease: bigfoot (Steve Diasparra) develops a crush on the ever amorous Renee. Bigfoot then fights with all he has to protect the promiscuous lab clerk and her survivor buddies. This won't be an easy endeavor for our enigmatic ape-thing as the persistent un-dead keep coming.
Will bigfoot deliver his new love from this ominous danger?  How about the other survivors who aren't as pretty as the frisky Renee?  Bigfoot is an obvious metaphor for the regular schmucks who make this world work (...maybe not), and the zombies are a metaphor for the establishment elites who exploit the good peeps (...this is a stretch, actually).  In any case, "Bigfoot vs. Zombies" is clearly the most important film of this millennium (....well, more important than "Jupiter Ascending," anyway).

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Heir, Creepiness Transcends Generations

A demented retelling of the biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac? Something taboo from a Lovecraftian mind?  Or the horrific anti-Father's Day tale from an angry single mother?  No on all counts, but something more horrific.  2015's "Heir," from Fatal Pictures is an uncomfortable short horror film (14 minutes) that is making the rounds at festivals and accumulating award nominations.  With terrific acting and brilliant direction by Richard Powell, this frightening tale hooks us within seconds and then stays with us.
Paul (Matteo D'Avino) and his dad (Robert Nolan) are at the end of a most uncomfortable drive. Immediately the viewer knows that they are going somewhere that will have terrifying consequences.  An apparent loving father, our protagonist is burdened.  We soon find out why.  Paul is told they are visiting an old college friend, Dennis (Bill O'Berst,Jr.). We know that Dennis is not an old friend, but someone (...or something) more ominous.  A loving father would never harm his son....right? Our poor dad is obviously torn between the love of his son and participating in something that is ungodly.
 The uncomfortable and tense nature of this film tells us so much.  Our dad, Gordon, is only masquerading as a doting father.  In reality, he is a monster.   Instead of the protector he should be, Gordon is sacrificing his son to a pure evil fate.  The meeting with Dennis confirms all of this, as nothing about Dennis tends toward goodness. This story could be horrific if it remained in the realm of the figurative....instead the evil faced by so many children is given solid form and the slimy monsters and peril just behind the door are brought alive.
What evil, which awaits Paul, could be worse than death?  Is there any escape? A monster film, no doubt, but the scariest aspect of "Heir" is what it is a metaphor for.  Produced by Zach Green, this award winning effort should be widely seen in our society which seems to have abandoned the charge to protect all children, no matter the cost. For more information about "Heir" and other works from Fatal Pictures, click on this link Heir

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Rogues' Tavern, A Deadly Night

A gang of ruthless jewel thieves? A mad scientist? An oddball fortune teller? A suspicious invalid? A wild animal? Which one is the killer?  Or perhaps the fiend's identity is a bit more ominous. From 1936, "The Rogues' Tavern."  This 70 minute gem may best be described as a no frills Agatha Christie type mystery.  With lots of quick wit and very politically incorrect exchanges, this film is not only a fast-paced mystery, but lots of fun to view.
Jimmy (Wallace Ford) and his beautiful fiance, Marjorie (Barbara Pepper) arrive at the Red Rock Tavern believing a Justice of the Peace is there who can marry them.  He's not.  In attendance at this quaint inn, on a very dark and very stormy night are some very suspicious individuals.  By the way, Jimmy is a police detective and his bride-to-be is department store detective.  Perfect, because in no time at all, the murders begin.  Two schmucks have their throats ripped out by a wild animal...or so it appears.  Gloria (Joan Woodbury) tells fortunes with her deck of cards and she keeps drawing the Ace of Spades (death card).  Suspects?  A dog, of course, and a bunch of peeps that look like they are due back for questioning.
Why is everyone at this inn?  Most of the guests were summoned by letter by a chap named Wentworth (Arthur Loft). When Wentworth arrives we learn that he has no knowledge of those letters.  Uh oh again....more murders.  Our detective tandem is smart.  Jimmy figures out the dog is innocent, and Marjorie learns more about the guests....and the seemingly sweet proprietors.  As the storm continues to rage, the doors and windows of the place all escape.  Oh yes, a weird scientist peers in at them as a little boy spies on his ant farm.  When the jewel thieves realize Jimmy is a detective, he and Marjorie now must survive a murderer and a bunch of thugs who don't want to go back to prison.
Who is the killer?  Why are these peeps being offed?  Will Marjorie and Jimmy ever find their Justice of the Peace and begin their life as husband and wife?  The dialog is risque for 1936, and at one point Marjorie utters, "I feel so poetic, I could make love to a snowman."  I'm not sure what that means, but it reminds me of one of my favorite lines when Jason Statham, after receiving a fruity drink with lots of garnishing, says "You could make love to an orangutan in this." Available on YouTube, directed by Robert F. Hill, this is one that still entertains 80 years later.