Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Killer Crocodile, Environmentalists vs. Monster

Their hearts may be golden, but sadly, we end up cheering for the beast. From Italy, 1989's "Killer Crocodile." A pristine story might have enlightened us on the dangers to nature due to man's neglect and greed. Perhaps there is some of that in our monster film, but the prevailing message is that man is real stupid and deserves to be croc bait.  Sadly, Van Johnson is in this film as a corrupt judge, and lunch for the monster, but we will not mention him anymore as our memory of him should not be tarnished by this performance.
A 50 foot crocodile eats two fishermen and Conchita. The annoying Conchita was one of six environmentalists studying radiation levels in a swamp.  Her friends are so incensed at her demise they find the nearest town and demand the authorities do something about it.  At first the corrupt officials want nothing to do with an investigation as they are covering up illegal waste dumping in the swamp. Even the coroner classifies the death as a boat propeller accident. Finally, the corrupt townies relent and agree to go into the swamp and kill the croc. Now the kids are upset because the officials are going to kill an endangered species. Kevin (Anthony Crenna) is the leader of the ecologists and is indignant about saving the monster.  The two gals, Pamela (Sherrie Rose) and Jennifer (Ann Douglas)...neither attractive...claim man is at fault for Conchita's death, not the croc...right.
The croc continues to go through schmucks like crap through a goose, and the activists team up with a Quint-like figure, the hunter Joe (Ennio Girolami). After the croc eats another environmentalist, Kevin has a change of heart and now seeks to turn the thing into a purse. The strategy? Joe has a good one. Travel deep into the swamp and yell insults to the monster, as crocs are sensitive. I'm not making this up.  As Joe and Kevin team up, the croc continues to hunt townspeople, environmentalists, and of course his pursuers. As the shotguns, harpoons and explosions fail to slow down our toothy friend, the final confrontation will blow the ending to "Jaws" away.
Will the Green Peace rejects in this film set the environmentalist movement back a century? Is Joe's strategy of insulting the croc at all helpful in building up the self-esteem of the reptile community? Would Van Johnson ever regain his "Caine Mutiny" form after his performance in "Killer Crocodile." Cheesy Italian fun, no doubt, but as bad as this film is, the ending makes it a worthwhile experience.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sumuru, Spacebabes Galore!

Metal bra...feather bra...no bra...Sumuru! The lovely Alexandra Kamp has the title role in 2003's "Sumuru." You remember this sultry actress. Ms. Kamp was the scientist eaten by Antarctic bugs while taking an aroma bath in Ice Crawlers . In today's feature, she is queen of the space babes in much peril from a very buxom rival...and a dying planet. As exploitation goes, this one is a perfect ten with dozens of scantily clad soldier babes meeting their demise leading up to a galactic cat-fight between Sumuru and her Rhona Mitra look-a-like rival.
The vulnerable and nubile Sumuru
Major league hunk Adam (Michael Shanks) and his sidekick Jake (Terence Bridgett) crash land on Antares.  Bad news...seismic activity indicates the planet will blow up soon.  Good news...the orb is populated by thousands of sultry babes in metal teddies and all carrying weapons. Sumuru is Queen of Antares and as Adam first stumbles upon her, she is supervising a sacrifice to a giant snake (double entendre? Never mind). Also present at this ritual is the Godess Taxan (Simona Williams), the aforementioned Rhona Mitra clone.  The two beauties obviously hate each other, and Taxan believes she should be the queen.  Women!
Taxan and Sumuru
Taxan wants all men enslaved, while Sumuru is attracted to the hunk. The two ladies engage in war and Taxan takes the early advantage by murdering all Sumuru's beautiful guards. Sumuru is up...she returns, beats up Taxan and runs off with Adam.  Adam tells Sumuru that the planet is about to blow, and Sumuru knows where there is a ship.  As Sumuru, Adam, and Jake seek to free the men from slave labor and reach the ship, a humiliated Taxan, and her babe squad, pursue.  Much warfare will ensue and the beautiful will die horribly in conflict.  Of course, no surprise here, Sumuru and Taxan will have one more erotic cat-fight.
Sumuru and Adam
Why exactly did Adam and Jake come to this dying planet? Will Sumuru and Adam engage in pre-marital sex? Is the big snake a metaphor for...no, never mind. Will Adam and Jake be able to save all the surviving beauties of Antares?  Directed by Darrel Roodt, and based on Sax Rohmer's cult novels, "Sumuru" is  must see for exploitation/scifi fans.  Lots of cheesecake for the guys, and beefcake for the gals, this one will please everyone.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Atomic Submarine, Alien Octopus vs. Earth

They may be smarter and more technically advanced than we are, but invaders from space have one big disadvantage.  Yep...they're ugly...so there!  1959's "The Atomic Submarine" poses some great philosophical questions about the conflict of the quest for peace versus the quest for war.  When the alien space junk hits the fan, however, a more important question takes over.  Who is uglier...a one-eyed, slimy space octopus...or humans.  This could be debatable, except for the appearance of Joi Lansing...and her seductive demeanor answers the question pretty well.
As our film begins, hunk Lt. Commander Reef Holloway (Arthur Franz) is swapping bucketfuls of spit with the steamy Julie (Landing). Uh oh...duty calls.  He is summoned back to his submarine, the Tiger Shark, as ships in the Arctic Ocean are mysteriously destroyed.  The sub will be sent into the Arctic Circle to find out what is causing the carnage.  Also manned with brilliant scientists, the Tiger Shark soon wanders into the path of a weird undersea saucer.  This saucer, nicknamed 'the cyclops' by the sub crew, continues to sink ships in the icy waters. Commander Wendover (Dick Foran) orders his crew to engage the enemy, and the torpedoes are fired. The torpedoes are neutralized by the cyclops.
Alien octopus
Not to be denied, Wendover orders the Tiger Shark to ram the alien pest...which it does.
Now the Tiger Shark and the cyclops are attached and both sink to the bottom. A boarding crew from the sub enter the alien ship and Reef soon meets the alien pilot of the cyclops.  The two get into it pretty deep, and Reef tells the space octopus that his face is ugly.  The octopus responds, telling Reef he is ugly. One might argue this exchange isn't helpful in delicate inter-galactic diplomacy. When Reef finds out the octopus' plans for Earth and the reason it is sinking ships, he is horrified and indignant.  All out war will ensue, but does the Tiger Shark have the firepower to neutralize a space UFO?
Reef and octopus trade insults
Will Reef make it back to port so he can continue to suck face with the sultry Julie? Does the alien race have any equivalent to the stunning Julie? Is it xenophobic and judgmental for us to conclude that the ravishing Julie and super hunk Reef are absolute proof that alien civilizations are, as a whole, really ugly? This 1950s scifi flick is a lot of fun, posing many important and deep questions.  The monster is slimy and scary, and the plot is ambitious and loud.  Lots of things will go boom in this film, and the navy hunks aboard the Tiger Shark will please many of you.  Directed by Spencer G. Bennet ("Superman" and "Batman and Robin"), "The Atomic Submarine" is a perfect scifi/horror flick for B movie fans.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Machine Girl, Angry Japan High School Girl

You have to admire the spirit in 2008's "The Machine Girl." As opposed to the neutered American high school student, Japan's machine girl, a pretty high school gal, is someone we can cheer for. Forget about respecting all opposing points of view! Forget about finding peaceful ends to conflict! Forget about embracing enemies! Nope...if someone wrongs you...kill him!  Kill him, his dog, his family, all his friends...and everyone who reminds you of him! In fact, don't just kill him...dissect him and puree all his vital organs. That is the essence of "The Machine Girl." However psycho that sounds, there is something so beautiful about that logic.
The Yakuza murders Ami's (Minase Yashiro) brother. They also murdered Miki's (Asami) son. Miki hates Ami, believing she is from a family of murderers. The cute and capable Ami tried to prevent the murder but was delayed as she fought of an attempted rape.  Angry, Ami charges into the home of the Yakuza gang leader and his family.  Avoiding ninjas and Chinese throwing stars, she kills henchmen but is captured, strung up, and tortured. In spurting red blood fashion, her fingers are cut off, then her entire arm.  She'll escape and make it to Miki's auto shop. After a brief cat-fight, the ladies make-up and vow to kill the Yakuza responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. Miki's husband engineers a prosthetic arm...machine gun, actually...for Ami.
No time to prepare, the Yakuza ninjas invade the shop and cut Miki's husband into small pieces. Now armed with a machine-gun arm, Ami fights them off. Now our duo, after torturing a Yakuza henchman prisoner with a hammer and nails, find the new hide-out and head over there. A gory final battle is imminent.  Arms will be cut off, legs amputated, breasts will be pureed, torsos will be split open, all in the name of revenge.  Our gals must defeat the entire Yakuza family including the sultry matriarch...who just happens to have a drill-bra. Ouch!
Don't be fooled by the tame nature of this review, not two minutes ever go by with out an appendage cut off resulting in spurting blood, Japanese style. The torture and kills are quite graphic, and by the time the drill-bra does its thing...well...I take that back...it will surprise you.  Of course, not much about a drill-bra isn't new and unique.  For hardcore horror fans, this Japanese revenge tale will cook your sushi.  Enjoy "The Machine Girl" before perusing Victoria's Secret latest catalog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dogora, Space Monsters and a Femme Fatale in Japan

Akiko Wakabayashi is best known to American audiences as a beautiful Bond girl in "You Only Live Twice." Sultry and mysterious, she was one of the most famous actresses in Japan in the 1960s. Take this beauty, dress her in black, give her a gun and a double-crossing nature, and we have a perfect femme-fatale.  But wait!  Put her in a crime thriller or gangster film? That's not what Toho did...nope, Ms. Wakabayashi stars in this Japanese monster film, 1964's "Dogora" as a sultry femme-fatale. Do the two mix?  If Akiko Wakabayashi is the dangerous lady...who cares?
Kinda complicated, but well worth it. A jellyfish -like space monster takes out Earth's satellites, and the invasion begins.  Simultaneously, a gang of ruthless diamond thieves hit, or try to, Tokyo jewelry stores.  The thieves are perplexed as the stolen diamonds disappear shortly after the thefts.  Detective Kommei (Yosuke Natsuki) is on the case. Wondering where their stolen loot went to, femme-fatale Hamako (Wakabayashi) is sent to find them.  While avoiding Kommei, she pursues the mysterious Mark (Robert Dunham) who appears to be a newcomer in Japan's jewelry thief industry.  As diamond mines and stores keep getting hit, it is apparent that the culprit is not of this Earth.
Earth's coal supplies and diamond supplies are sucked up into the clouds by a mysterious force. This menace turns out to be a space jellyfish which will eventually suck up the entire planet if not destroyed. Japan's military is no match for this tentacled beast.  Hamako sees this as an opportunity to rip off her gang leader and flee with the diamonds. Okay...stop here. Slimy jellyfish space monster invades Tokyo, putting a cramp in a jewel thief gang's operation. The story is average, but add a sultry femme-fatale and a cool creature, and now we have something.
Will femme-fatale, turned damsel in much distress Hamako be able to evade a pursuing jellyfish creature and the gang she betrayed? Is that question a metaphor for the duality of the human-creature?  Will post-war Tokyo be sent back to the state it was in during the summer of 1945?  If Veronica Lake made monster movies, would her career have been extended. Fans of Toho monster films will enjoy "Dogora," and so will femme-fatale fans.  Get ready for an ending which brings the monster on a collision course with Japan's most notorious criminal gang, and enjoy "Dogora" (directed by Ishiro Honda- the guy who directed "Godzilla").

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blood Voyage, Insanity, Nudity, Drugs and a Meat Cleaver

In a great companion piece to the hit 1970s TV show "The Love Boat," we have 1976's "Blood Voyage." If the sickeningly sweet conclusions of that sappy TV show have you down, today's film will get you back on an even keel.  Lots of blood, nudity, vicious murders, and drug use are rampant throughout this chronicle of an unfortunate cruise from California to Hawaii.  Oh yeah, did I mention nudity.  Naked and nubile babes seems to be an obsession of this film.
Before the killing starts
Naked Carol (Mara Modair) is yapping with her stepdad on the phone while having pre-marital sex with a soon to be butchered deck hand, as the story begins. Her stepdad, the psychologist Jules (John Hart) will marry a young skank, the nude Jill (Laurie Rose) in Hawaii and demands Carol come along for the wedding.  Oh yeah...who else should we bring to a wedding? Right! How about a psycho-nympho pyromaniac addict! What could go wrong. The nude Amy (Midori) fills that bill.  Anyone else?  Well, weddings should be special. Enter the psycho Vietnam vet who still has flashbacks about murdering Vietnamese villagers. This would be Andy (Jonathan Lippe). When Andy gets to the boat he has pre-marital sex with Carol, and soon afterwards, the aforementioned deckhand is butchered.
Rare shot of a clothed Jill
The cruise begins. A meat cleaver wielding maniac begins his carnage.  Crew members are the first to go.  Suspects?  Everyone.  Andy is psycho and Carol has expressed a desire to murder her dad. Amy? No...why would we suspect a heroine addict who is also a pyromaniac and nymphomaniac?  Soon the murders reach the above noted cast, and the naked and beautiful become the naked and the dead. As Jill, Carol, and Amy prance around in bikinis...or totally nude...the guys are able to enjoy lots of pre-marital sex and drugs. The death count will be high, and blood will flow generously.  Just who is the killer, and will any non-maniac be alive as the end credits roll.
Rare shot of a clothed Amy
Will the nude Carol, the nude Amy, and the nude Jill put on some clothes as the killings intensify? Would we have enjoyed "The Love Boat" more if either Doc, Isaac, or Julie were done in by a meat cleaver?  Just where does a nude damsel hide a meat cleaver? Fast-paced and violent with gratuitous scenes aplenty, "Blood Voyage" will definitely float your boat.  For added viewing pleasure, watch this one nude.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mutant Hunt, Psycho-Sexual Mutant Cyborgs!

From Full Moon's Grindhouse Collection comes straight to VHS, 1987's "Mutant Hunt." We have mutant psycho-sexual cyborgs, a mercenary, an exotic dancer/bounty hunter, a dominatrix femme fatale, and a mad-scientist.  Perfect! Written and directed by Tim Kincaid, "Mutant Hunt" is a realistic and gritty view of 21st century New York City.
Darla, Cyborg, and Riker
Mad-scientist Z (Bill Peterson) injects Inteltrax' cyborgs with a narcotic from the moon called 'euphoron.' Now he controls these psycho-sexual cyborgs which he plans to sell to third-world armies in order to change the balance of power on Earth.  Nubile scientist Darla (Mary Fahey) escapes when Z sends the fiends after her.  She reaches Riker's (Rick Gianasi) apartment where he is engaged in pre-marital sex with a pleasure droid (LeeAnne Baker).  The cyborgs follow and kill the naked pleasure droid before the hunk Riker takes them out with a crossbow and table lamp.  After Darla tells him about Z's plans for world domination, Riker recruits trusty exotic dancer/bounty hunter Elaine (Taunie Vrenon). Elaine is pretty useless and will always have to be saved by a man...until she starts blowing up things.
Dead pleasure droid
Back at Inteltrax, the evil dominatrix Domina (Stormy Spill...really), another evil scientist also plots. She has a newer breed of cyborg which she will inject with a massive amount of euphoron. Domina is a bit more selfish than Z. No world domination for her...just plain old carnal pleasure with her created hunk. As Z and Domina apparently get the jump on Riker, Darla, and Elaine, a violent final confrontation will occur. Our exotic dancer Elaine will blow up a lot of stuff and still need rescuing.
Will Domina's cyborg convince everyone to make love, not war? Has Elaine's efforts set the plight for women, to gain respect in the 21st century, back to the 1800s?  Will Domina realize that her Dominatrix skills might be more effective against Riker than her nympho-cyborg?  "Mutant Hunt" is a fast-paced entertaining jaunt through the futuristic pre-apocalypse New York.  No film has ever captured the ethos of the Big Apple better than this movie.  For some nice cyborg carnage, enjoy "Mutant Hunt." Oh! One more thing...why do pleasure droids always fare horribly in these films? So sad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, Cannibal Sexploitation from Italy

In the interest of good taste, we will not mention the gratuitous acts of exploitation of 1985's "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" {GRATUITOUS LESBIAN RAPE} except in a subliminal sense. Sure, this Italian film, shot in Brazil, has plenty of gore, nudity, and pre-marital sex {GRATUITOUS NUDE SHOWER SCENE} to fill 90 minutes, but the subtleties of the plot are what we are looking for.  Cannibalism, super models in great peril, nubile young ladies at the mercy of whoever comes along, and jungle carnage will float our boats today.
Supermodels in a plane crash
A professor and his sultry daughter Eva (Suzane Carvalho) land in Brazil to grab another flight to Dinosaur Valley to study fossils {GRATUITOUS GROPING OF A SUPER-MODEL}. Also arriving is Kevin, a paleontologist and major league hunk. After Kevin gets a nice long look at Eva naked in the shower, the sexual tension between them increases. Also grabbing the connecting flight are an ex-Green Beret (Milton Rodriguez) and his grouchy {WET T-SHIRT GRATUITY} has-been wife (Marta Anderson). Oh yes, Monica (Maria Reis) and Belinda (Susan Hahn) are two fashion models.  After saving Monica from a groper, Kevin earns some passionate sex with her {GRATUITOUS BAR ROOM FIGHT}.
Kevin, Eva, and Belinda
  The flight takes off and crashes in Dinosaur Valley. {PRE-MARITAL SEX IN DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS}.  Sadly, Monica dies on impact.  {GRATUITOUS SUPER-MODEL CROTCH SHOT}. The Green Beret takes command and is incompetent. {MACHETE CARNAGE}  Betty will get eaten by leeches and drown in quicksand, and the cannibals begin hunting down the survivors.  Kevin and Eva continue to bond and kiss a lot and have pre-marital sex. {HEADS ON SPIKES CARNAGE}. The cannibals capture Eva and Belinda and strip them, but Kevin saves them. Escaping from cannibals doesn't solve their problems as they are then captured by some psycho miners, and that is where our surviving supermodel is lesbian raped. {BIG SNAKE CARNAGE}.
Belinda's rape
 Can Kevin save the gals this time? Will Belinda survive being the girl-toy of a psycho jungle lesbian?  {MORE GRATUITOUS PRE-MARITAL SEX}. The cast is very good-looking and usually nude and the gore is flowing.  "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" will please Italian horror fans, drive-in movie fans, exploitation film fans, and of course horror {HUMAN HEART EATING CANNIBAL CARNAGE} fans. Directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini, don't miss this one. Warning...keep in mind...this will be one of those films you should not discuss in mixed company.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Head, but no body

We've all done it. In our secret laboratories, deep in our basements, we have dabbled in human experimentation.  Sure, finding subjects are difficult.  The hindrances encountered in securing human subjects among people who will not be missed, are numerous.  Sanctioned by no medical school or government, our experiments (without federal funding), will never be appreciated the way they should. For all of us basement genius', branded mad-scientists by a puritanical society, here is a film for you...1959's "The Head" (made in West Germany).
Ood, Irene, and Abel 
We've all done it, but in 1959 this was a big deal. Professor Abel (Michael Simon) decapitates a dog and keeps the head alive for weeks. Next step...a human!  On cue, Abel gets a mysterious visitor, Dr. Ood (Horst Frank). Familiar with Abel's experiments, Ood is just the guy to, not only to keep a human head alive, but to attach it to a new body.  Remember, this is 1959, and many of you basement genius' have already done this with annoying neighbors.  Enter Nurse Irene (Karin Kernke). She is a doll...from the neck up, that is.  This unfortunate hunchback, with a heart of gold, has been promised by Abel, surgery that will cure her hunchback.
Abel's heart gives out, and now Ood must act...and he does.  Now Abel is back...at least from the neck up.  Now a disembodied head, Abel is not happy at his new predicament.  Ood, on the other hand, is in mad-scientist (excuse this judgmental term) paradise.  With Abel's head attached to a machine, and complaining non-stop, Ood plots an operation for Irene.  First, Ood visits a strip club and finds an exotic dancer, Stella (Christine Maybach).  Unbeknownst to the virtuous Irene, she is about to get a stripper's (excuse me, dancer's) body. As you can imagine, difficulties will arise. As Abel continues to complain, and heads and bodies keep filling up swamps, Ood goes to work.
Irene's new body
Will the virtuous Irene come to like her new scandalous body?  What of Stella's head?  Will her head have any chance of being attached to Abel's old body? Okay, now I'm getting silly.  For those of you who love mad-scientist flicks, "The Head," directed by Victor Trivas, is for you.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Escape from Galaxy 3, Sequel to Starcrash

I bet you didn't know "Starcrash" has a sequel.  Sometimes titled "Starcrash 2," 1981's "Escape from Galaxy 3" isn't really a sequel.  Sure Belle Star is in this (played by Sherry Buchanan), and so is a Marjoe Gortner clone (Fausto Di Bella), but this movie more resembles a porn film than a cheesy scifi offering.  Made in Italy, this Italian rip-off chronicles the conversion of a major league spacebabe into a major league space nymphomaniac.
Oraclon (Don Powell), an evil warlord, destroys King Ceylon's (Chris Avram) peaceful star-ship. The Princess Belle Star (Buchanan) and Captain Lithan (Di Bella) escape in a shuttle and find refuge on an Earth-like planet.  Hiding from the pursuing evil warlord, Belle and Lithan are strangers in paradise.  By the way, did I mention Belle's leotard?  Quite stunning...half nude with starfish embroidery covering up her private parts...worth the price of admission.  Yeah, yeah...back to the plot. The people of the planet initially fear Belle and Lithan as they seem to have supernatural powers.  They warm up to our great looking duo and, in their primitive ways, have a lot to teach their new friends.  Like what?  Sexual intercourse!  These primitive people do it all the time, but Belle and Lithan have no knowledge of it.
After a gratuitous nude waterfall shower and swimming scene, one of the primitives makes his move on the naked and nubile Belle.  Pre-marital sex follows.  Belle exchanges her leotard for a most revealing toga like thing.  Belle tries to teach Lithan about sexual intercourse.  First she tries to seduce him, then has some of the primitive babes try.  Then she demonstrates by having more pre-marital sex with primitive men.  Uh oh...Oraclon has found them.  As Lithan finally gets it, and engages in the dirty deed with Belle, the evil warlord begins his attack.  Belle has an idea.  With her new power of seduction and sex, she feels equipped to face off against Oraclon.
Will our space-nympho succeed in disarming the strapping Oraclon.  Will Belle shelve all her primitive suitors and give herself exclusively to the Marjoe Gortner look-a-like? There are space-ship battles, laser battles, and planets exploding, but "Escape from Galaxy 3" is really a soft-core porn film of the Italian variety.  Lots of nudity and seduction will guide you through an epic space saga which is a lot more fun than the preachy and stuffy "Star Wars" franchise.

Razor Bastard, Extreme Graphic Horror

Remember the box art we used to admire at the video stores?  I know you do.  As a teen, we wandered into the horror section and chose our videos based on the allure of the cover art. "The Slumber Party Massacre" and "The Mutilator" were two of my favorites.  Extremely violent scenes, with a healthy smattering of violence, gore, and forbidden suggestion fed the interest of reserved teens. When Paul Johnson created his comic crime-fighter Razor Bastard, that video store art was an inspiration. Somewhat modeled on the cover of a slasher film, Razor Bastard is meaner and scarier than any Jason or Freddie.
  The first Paul Johnson comic I read was "Razor Bastard: Year of the Boar." Extreme horror, plus some Anime, plus a smattering of Film Noir anti-hero, and a large dose of violent eroticism best describes this graphic novel. The spurting violence of Japanese horror films follows our deranged, and homicidal hero to the land of the rising sun.  Both running away and also on the tail of a monstrous nemesis, Razor Bastard will go through Asian skanks like crap through a goose on his way to inflicting gory judgment on another monster.
Next up "Razor Bastard: Rise of the Dick Machine."  What is a dick machine?  It's big and will cause more than a wince to female readers of Mr. Johnson's extreme work of horror.  Born of a violent gang rape, this fiend has revenge in mind. Enter Razor Bastard, where the monster he seeks will draw him into the path of the dick machine.  With mad-scientists, murderous cops, and the evil monster, the carnage that explodes at you through this story won't only be delivered by our anti-hero.
These two Paul Johnson created comic books are vivid and explosive in delivering violent stories and gratuitous gore.  Reserved and subtle are two terms absent in any description of these works. Then again, so was much of the cover art of slasher film videos we admired back in the 1980s and 1990s. For those who like their horror loud, red, and unapologetic, check out Paul Johnson's "Razor Bastard" works.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

King Dinosaur, Bert I. Gordon Epic

1955's "King Dinosaur" isn't the first Bert I. Gordon flick on this blog.  As his initials state, this movie-maker likes his monsters big. Previously on this blog we looked at Empire of the Ants and Food of the Gods which extolled us of the dangers of fooling around with Mother Nature. Perhaps not as spectacular, as far as special effects go, "King Dinosaur" was Gordon's first big animal horror film. In a day where CGI and other computerized f/x bore the discriminating moviegoer, the works of Mr. Big himself are a refreshing treat.
Okay, get this...a mysterious planet enters our solar system and takes orbit near Earth.  Scientists determine the planet has a similar atmosphere as ours and send four scientists there in a rocket-ship. Guess what! The four scientists are all great looking...two babes and two hunks. They land and go to work immediately in this paradise.  Pat (Wanda Curtis) the chemist and Ralph (William Bryant) the doctor swap a lot of spit together and grope passionately.  Meanwhile, the grouchy zoologist Richard (Douglas Henderson) and geologist Nora (Patti Gallagher) do most of the work.
As Ralph and Pat continue feeling each other up, they let their guard down.  As a result, Ralph is nearly eaten by a crocodile and seriously wounded.  As Ralph recovers, our quartet fight off a giant ant, and big snake.  Meanwhile, as the two lovebirds continue making goo-goo eyes together, Nora and Richard make there way over to a nearby island.  Here...all hell breaks loose. This couple is soon beset by a Tyrannosaurus-Rex (okay, so it looks like an iguana, just go with it), and more so-called dinosaurs.  Our nymphomaniacs stop to breathe and see Richard's flare and rush over to help.  Their arrival is met by more Bert I. Gordon menaces including a gargantuan armadillo. I know, pretty horrific.
Will our amorous duo keep their hormones controlled long enough to rescue Nora and Richard? Will the ice-bucket Richard and nubile Nora take hints from their two colleagues and start a romance of their own?  Giant armadillos, big snakes, and huge lizards?  Does Mr. Gordon have a weird metaphor in mind? "King Dinosaur" is a lot of fun and an infinitely better film than "Rogue One."

Monday, May 8, 2017

Humanoids from the Deep, Monster Rapists

When the green gill-man grabbed Kay, the beauty in the white swimsuit, and brought her to his lair, perhaps we wondered what it had planned for her. "Creature from the Black Lagoon" left that question up to our imagination.  Our imaginations did not have to work too hard as we had a pretty good idea what the creature wanted from the nubile and shapely marine biologist.  In 1980's "Humanoids from the Deep," Roger Corman left nothing up to the imagination.  Nubile bikini babes raped by grotesque humanoid sea monsters is what we get.
Peggy (Lynn Theel) is the first bikini damsel to meet an ungodly fate. After her boyfriend's face is ripped off by the monster, she has her bikini ripped off, and is then raped by the awful creature. Our creatures have converged on a salmon fishing village looking for mates, and they have good taste.  Experiments up river to increase the size of the fish may be the culprit. Fish are getting scarce and fishermen are dying mysterious deaths in this village. Jim (Doug McClure) is suspicious that some nefarious actions by the cannery may be responsible. Becky (Lisa Glaser) is next. In a weird scene with a ventriloquist dummy (don't ask), she is gang raped by our fiends.
As the body and inter-species rape counts increase, Jim is joined by Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) a sultry, but mysterious scientist. Susan and Jim go looking for the things and find their lair.  After Jim kills a few of the humanoids, he and Susan find Peggy, encased in slime, naked and unconscious. As they barely escape alive, having rescued the bikini damsel, Jim and Susan must warn the town. With the Salmon Festival coming up, in which the new Miss Salmon (Linda Shayne) will be crowned, the monsters will converge. After all, the humanoids from the deep see beauty pageants as their dating services. 
Will the newly crowned Miss Salmon keep her purity?  What horrors did Peggy endure? You'll see. Will the local yokels be able to grab their shotguns in time from the backs of their pick-ups and fend off a monster attack? Horror/sexploitation at its best, "Humanoids from the Deep" caused some controversy upon release.  The film was accused of misogyny and seen as a potential trigger for sexual violence against women.  Roger Corman reminded his critics that he hired a female (Barbara Peeters) to direct.  This explanation may be considered week, as Ms. Peeters did not include the rape scenes when she filmed the story, and was furious when she found out they were added in later.   

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Los Angeles Overnight, Film Noir Carnage

Shooting a Film Noir film in 2017 has challenges, many seemingly insurmountable. For one, Los Angeles has changed. The connotations for 1940s L.A. are different than the ones from 2017 L.A. CGI, color, and IMAX are thought to be in high demand, and the moody, dark-lit shots that made "Kiss Me Deadly" famous are eschewed.  Enter Guy J. Jackson (writer) and Michael Chrisoulakis (director) and their creation, 2017's "Los Angeles Overnight." Like the down-and-out private eye, we meet an actress wannabee who doesn't seem to have a prayer in the big city.  Oh yes!  The city!  Though in color, the scenes of L.A. are non-glamorous and enhance the moodiness and desperation of the plight of some very interesting sorts.
In perfect Coen brothers style, lots of plot devices are thrown at us...and yes...they will converge.  An inept robbery of a malicious crime-lord starts our story.  Enter the hard working Priscilla (Arielle Brachfield). The pretty redhead can't land an acting part and waits tables at a failing diner.  With money problems accumulating, she catches a dark break...or is it?  She overhears the masterminds (I use the term loosely) chatting, and figures out where their stash is.  In desperation, Priscilla seduces the hunk mechanic Benny (Azim Rizk) to assist her in absconding with the stolen loot.
Uh oh, Priscilla isn't a criminal, and getting away with this theft probably won't happen.  With a new BF and no more money problems, and inspiration from a hypnotist (Peter Bogdanovich), our budding actress flowers.  Her career takes a right turn and her new attitude is attractive to movie makers. Eek! Here comes Wooks (Julian Bane), the aforementioned crime-lord. He wants his cash back and kills lots of people to get it.  His homicidal goons lead him on a trail that may take him to Priscilla. But before that can happen, lots of blood will be spilled.  However evil Wooks is, look out for his wife, Abelie (Ashley Park).  She is stunning, and makes a perfect Film Noir femme fatale.
The seediness and desperation of those 1940s Film Noir films is captured perfectly in "Los Angeles Overnight." Once again the city of angels puts forth a dark, crime drama that were that genre for almost two decades.  Ralph Meeker, Alan Ladd, and Veronica Lake would be proud at what Mr. Chrisoulakis and Mr. Jackson have delivered. So if you like your films dark and moody, with lots of carnage...definitely take in "Los Angeles Overnight." Look for this film on Video on Demand this November.
For more information about "Los Angeles Overnight" take advantage of these links:
LA Overnight Trailer
LA Overnight on Facebook
LA Overnight on Twitter

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Truth or Dare, The Goriest Game on the Internet

The blood and guts, and maybe an eyeball, flow in this one...to say the least.  What is the worst deed you have ever undertaken?  Would you admit it in a game of Truth or Dare?  Probably not. After all, who would know?  You got away with it right?  Right!  Unless Derik shows up.  Who is Derik?  A psycho?  Maybe.  Judgment personified?  Now we're talking.  Or maybe that part of our own subconscious that yearns to confess our deepest darkest secrets, no matter how taboo.  2013's "Truth or Dare," starring, directed, and produced by the multi-talented Jessica Cameron is our feature today. Warning...the truth can be ugly...disgusting...and quite gory.
What a bunch of playful college kids.  The Truth or Daredevils. These great looking twenty-somethings put out a live internet program, loosely based on the risque parlor game Truth or Dare.  The program is quite scary, seemingly capturing some very violent and fatal instances.  No worries, everyone is all right after each episode.  Enter Derik (Ryan Kiser).  Our psycho. Intruding into our daredevils game, he is a purist at heart.  The games will now be real.  Heavily armed and prepared for blood and guts, he takes out the game's leader (Jesse Wilson), and starts calling shots (literally and figuratively).
Our playful peeps are now violated, butchered, tortured, and humiliated. Derik knows them all too well.  When he forces them to play Truth or Dare, he skips the obligatory "Who do you have a crush on" queries and hits them with questions that force his captives to reveal the darkest aspects of who they are. Jennifer (Cameron) seems to fare the best...but just wait.  The sultry Courtney (Devanny Pinn) will endure a fate far worse than death.  The secrets revealed during the truths, and the deeds committed during dares, may have you asking if psycho Derik is a mere manifestation of the true selves of his victims.  Warning.  The gore will be thrown at you pretty quickly, and just when you think that it cannot get any gorier than the past scene...well...you'll be very wrong.
What is taboo in a horror film?  Jessica Cameron isn't concerned with that question as she shatters the taboo.  Perhaps the ultimate horror isn't in the blood and guts, but a reality that we all avoid thinking about.  What if we all got what we deserved?  Think about it, especially when you watch "Truth or Dare."  What if judgment awaits us before we reach the pearly gates?  What do we deserve?  Are you sure no one knows what you did back in 1997?  Perhaps.  This film is finely acted, and high on energy.  Whether a good old fashioned psycho horror story, or a pertinent warning to us impure souls, "Truth or Dare" is a must see.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Frogs, Kermit and Friends vs. the Filthy Rich

Not just frogs, but also crocs, snakes, centipedes, tarantulas, turtles, and birds!  Back in 1972, when "Frogs" was released, pollution was a major social cause.  Remember the Indian who cried when seeing garbage littering the fruited plains?  Pesticides and discarded Coke cans touched our social conscious. What if nature fought back? The answer is dramatized in today's film...in very icky fashion.
Plantation patriarch, Jason (Ray Milland) invites his closest relatives and friends to his annual July 4th celebration on his island estate.  The guests come as they desire to be kept in Jason's will.  Jason loves his Louisiana compound and keeps it critter free with pesticides and poison.  Enter, don't ask how, Pickett (Sam Elliott), a photographer doing a shoot on pollution.  He is invited to join the celebration, making the very pretty blonde Karen (Joan Van Ark) happy.  The two hit it off.  Uh oh, the critters are acting strange.  Frogs are trying to kamikaze through the windows and snakes are hanging from chandeliers.
The carnage starts in icky fashion. Jason's maintenance man is found face down in a snake pit, and one of Jason's nephews is overwhelmed with tarantulas as he treks through the swamp.  The kills get ickier and ickier.  More family members are done in...some by lizards...some by leeches...some by crocs...some by turtles.  As Pickett and Karen make more goo-goo eyes at each other, the two realize that it is time to get out of Dodge.  But wait!  The reptiles and their friends don't want them to leave, and now they seem to be at the top of the food chain.  As escape attempts end in carnage for the humans, our two lovebirds must come up with a better plan to escape a slimy demise.
Is the critter rebellion confined to Jason's island?  Can true love survive this icky threat?  Would a more practical recycling program have helped avoid this predicament?  The kills are...well, let's use that word again...icky.  Both Elliott and Van Ark provide some nice eye candy in this weird horror story directed by George McCowan.  "Frogs" is one of those films which will get you scratching at imaginary itches for days to come.