Friday, March 30, 2018

Dark Forest, Slasher Seeks to Gut Damsels

A pure slasher film! The 1980s had a thousand of these. "The Burning," "The Prowler," and "Terror Train" graced our movie houses decades ago. As the 1990s arrived, slasher films were on their way out. Movie houses would not show them so some of the best efforts in that decade went straight to VHS. Then the new millennium arrived...VHS gave way to DVD. Still, with a little bit of effort, modern gems can be found and 2015's "Dark Forest" is one such gem. A psycho killer wielding an axe and a big knife, beautiful damsels, and some gory kills. This Canadian low-budget film sports some other qualities we may not have been looking for. The actors and actresses do a fine job and the characters grow on us so when they are destroyed...we actually are sad.
Two quartets head into the woods for some week-end camping. All great looking, of course. In one party are Sally (Alyssa Wyspianski), Kim (Genevieve DeGraves), Frank (Jesse Laing), and Henry (Graham SIlver). The second quartet will consist of Emily (Laurel McArthur), Michelle (Veronica Ternopolski), Francine (Jalen Desloges), and Jolene (Weronika Sokalska). Big problem, Emily has a very abusive and controlling husband, Peter (Dennis Scullard). Peter is driven into a frenzy after Emily joins her friends and heads to the woods. A homicide or two later, Peter pursues with dissection as his plan.
What follows is much carnage, gore, and death. Peter, in very gory fashion offs two lovers (Stefanie Austin and Corey Malone) parked near the woods. A knife in the head and a throat cut later, Peter reaches the campsite of Sally and her buddies. This is heartbreaking. Kim and Frankie emerged as a very cute couple and what Peter does to them...well...very sad. Henry and Sally will incur Peter's wrath next. Henry is kind of a jerk but Sally is quite a babe so when she goes, we're not happy. This was mere practice for Peter, as his real prey is his wife Emily.  Peter's goal isn't just to gut Emily but also rip apart her buddies who took her camping. This won't be overly easy for our psycho as these girls have attitude and Emily...well, she might be more than a mere damsel in much distress.
What torture and gore does Peter have in store for Emily and her pals? What has made Peter into such a maniacal killer? What dark occurrence in Emily's past has equipped her to take the fight to Peter? There will be gratuitous axe and knife carnage! There will be gratuitous bikini scenes! There will be a blood soaked final scene! For a low-budget slasher film that is well made with fine acting, enjoy "Dark Forest" (directed by Roger Boyer).

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Trouble is My Business, Private Eyes, Dames, and Murder

Such a sweet gal....Christina (Cloris Leachman). Her fate, a tortuous one, couldn't have been her fault. Filled with hopes and poetry, this lady ends up hanging naked in a warehouse with henchmen gawking at her corpse. What those henchmen did to her...well, use your imagination. Her death gives Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker), a flawed man at best...a seedy private eye at worst, a chance. Mike knows he's a heel, but with Christina's death...a chance for redemption. Believing Christina entrusted him with her eternal virtue, Mike is charged. Doing right by this sweet girl, who is now on the other side of eternity, trumps everything else including the nuclear annihilation of Los Angeles. Yep, 1955's "Kiss Me Deadly" may be the perfect Film Noir movie. Modern day film makers are incapable of making a film that could hold a candle (...or a small nuclear spark) to it. But wait! Let's not speak too soon, hence Tom Konkle's "Trouble is My Business," to be released in a few days.
Katherine, "...a face that would launch a thousand ships, and a body that would bring them back," walks into private eye Roland Drake's (Konkle) office. She has a job for him. Loud and violent pre-marital sex follow, and in the morning Drake wakes up in a pool of Katherine's blood. Katherine may be a dame, but her sister is a dame and a half, hence Jennifer (Brittney Powell) walks in. Jennifer hires Drake to find her missing dad...and Katherine, of course. No sex yet, that will come, but gun fighting and throat slashing will also be present at this loud and violent first meeting. Drake is a disgraced private eye, probably responsible for a sweet girl's why would Jennifer and Katherine want to hire him?
Yep, loud and violent...a theme is developing.  Drake also searches for redemption. He almost saved Christina....excuse me...Nadia (Ksenia Delaveri).  He is blamed for her demise, a sweet girl she was. The Russian mob, a huge diamond, and police corruption all stand in Drake's way as he searches for the missing peeps, and tries to protect the sultry Jennifer.  Uh oh, Detective Tate (Vernon Wells) is on the case for the LAPD. He would love to see Drake in pieces. With Jennifer in his life, Drake gains purpose again. As Jennifer reveals herself to be quite dangerous, Drake is only drawn further into the spell she casts.  As the plot progresses it is apparent that Drake's redemption holds the key for fighting an evil that has enveloped 1947 Los Angeles.
The comparison to "Kiss Me Deadly" might not be a fair one, but it is the film that I kept thinking of while watching "Trouble is My Business." Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell had a nuclear spark going that could power a city for a week or make it a crater in an instant. Vernon Wells conveyed dread and evil so well that every time he was on the screen we saw the blood and carnage before it actually happened. Will Drake find Jennifer's dad and sister? What horrors occurred that resulted in Nadia's death that propel Drake to the role of a white knight on a crusade? Can Jennifer, the sultry blonde vixen, be trusted? The dark corners of Los Angeles and femme fatales are plot devices that seemed to have died with the film noir era of the 1950s. Thanks to Tom Konkle (star and director), "Trouble is My Business" has given Film Noir a much welcomed rebirth.
For more on "Trouble is My Business," click on the following links:
Official Film Site
Trouble on IMDB
Trouble on iTunes

Monday, March 26, 2018

Blade of the Ripper, Sultry Damsel With a Blood Fetish

She's say the least. After all, she is played by Edwige Fenech. She is the unfaithful wife of an American diplomat in Vienna. She likes her sex rough. Rough, in fact is an understatement. She likes it bloody. To really turn her on and get her juices flowing, beat her to a pulp, bloody her mouth and ravage her. Even better. Get a knife or some sharp object and cut her up so the flowing blood greases the skids during passion. Okay, who thinks of this stuff? Right! Easy question. Italians! Today we have an Italian horror film, 1971's "Blade of the Ripper" (directed by Segio Martino).
A psycho killer is killing beautiful Euro-babes with a razor. As the film begins he slices up a prostitute in Vienna. Enter Julie (Fenech) and her diplomat husband (Alberto de Mendoza). He arrives to take a job at the American Embassy. Right away, Julie seeks extra-marital sex. Her most recent sex partner, Jean (Ivan Rossimov) enjoyed...and so did she...beating her to a pulp and cutting her during sex...and he wants her back. Enter the handsome George (George Hilton), international rich-guy. He pursues and she gives in...lots of extra-marital sex will result. Oh yes, the maniacal killer continues to strike, killing a babe in the shower (Pouchi). This babe had just engaged in a gratuitous cat-fight at a party Julie attended in which her paper dress was ripped off by another Euro-babe, who's paper dress was also ripped off (don't ask, just enjoy).
Double Uh oh, Julie gets a mysterious phone call from someone who claims to have photos of her and George in the throes of sexual passion...and what photos they must be! Blackmail! No problem, Julie's nymphomaniac Euro-babe buddy Carol (Conchita Airoldi) offers to go meet the fiend. Bad news for this blonde beauty...the blackmailer is also the razor slasher and Carol will die horribly. The sex fiend razor killer is busy and continues his carnage. Julie, the skank that she is, leaves her diplomat husband and runs off with Euro-hunk George. As the killer then attacks a sultry stewardess (Marella Corbi) the plot takes a surprising twist that will leave Julie in much peril.
Do women really have fetishes of being beaten to a pulp and cut in order to have passionate intercourse while bleeding profusely? Or, is this phenomenon a fetish for men, to believe a woman wants that in order to excuse deep-hidden misogyny? this just a neat vehicle to exploit Edwige Fenech's nudity and talent? Back to the story....who is the killer and what does he want with Julie? Does Julie have a secret fantasy to be cut up by the fiend's razor? Could Julie, herself, be the killer...or maybe her husband?  "Blade of the Ripper" has plenty of gratuitous nudity and blood...usually in the same scene. Edwige Fenech is a natural for the role of the sexually twisted Julie. For some terrific horror/exploitation of the Italian fashion, see "Blade of the Ripper."

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Roller Blade, Skate Naked or Die

Three sultry nuns are captured by mutants, stripped to only their thongs and roller blades, and forced to engage in a naked cat-fight to their death. If this is offensive to no further. If that's not enough, after a daring rescue, this trio of nuns will be put through a cleansing ritual by their mother superior in which they will enter a hot tub together (nude, of course) and rub each other all over. Ah, the world is good again. Can you believe 1986's "Roller Blade" only received a 3.0/10 rating on IMDB?
During the second Dark Age in the City of Lost Angels, a mutant warlord, Saticoy (Robby Taylor), dominates this apocalyptic wasteland.  His band of mutants are bent on abducting beautiful babes on roller blades for rape and humiliation.  Their only opposition is an order of beautiful nuns on roller blades, clad in thongs and habits (which fall off) called the Holy Rollers. Enter the beautiful blonde Hunter (Shaun Michelle), an assassin for hire.  She is hired by Saticoy to penetrate the nun's mission and steal a sacred crystal.  She convinces the nuns that she wants to join them and warrior nun Sharon (Suzanne Solari) takes her under her wings and trains her. The plan goes off perfectly and Hunter absconds with the sacred crystal. Now, the brunette beauty goes after the blonde Hunter and the crystal. By the way...all of this takes place on roller blades.
Santicoy (Robby Taylor) now tasks the sultry Hunter to kill the whole order of sisters. Remembering how kind Sharon was to her, Hunter now betrays Saticoy. Now our fleeing beauty, clad in a skin- tight white body suit, fends off Saticoy's henchmen as she also flees the steamy Sharon, who is clad in a skin-tight black body suit. Sharon's pursuit of her blonde nemesis won't be easy as she will be captured, put in bondage, and targeted for death by the mutant king. The exciting conclusion will take place as Sharon peels off her body suit and goes forward in all her nakedness.
What does the luscious Hunter plan to do with the crystal? If the nubile Sharon catches up to Hunter, will there be a gratuitous cat-fight, or an even more gratuitous love scene between the two?  Will roller blade and thong clad women fighting evil emerge as the new symbol of woman-power in today's misogynistic Hollywood?  This is a good one and sure to please you more than the new "Jumanji" film or the dull and preachy "Molly's Game." For some gratuitous fun and an experience you won't be able to share in polite company, enjoy "Roller Blade."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Axe to Grind, From Scream Queen to Slasher

Ah, the evolution of a scream queen.  Nude, vulnerable, afraid, and on the run...the scream queen has served the slasher genre so well. Often times they are axed, torn in half, tortured, humiliated, knifed, stripped of their clothes, burned, decapitated, impregnated by monsters, gutted, etc. Many times they are the lone survivor and quite capable of offing a monstrous killer. The actresses who portray them have served horror films with honor and good humor. Debbie Rochon is one such actress.  Beautiful and quite capable of being the victim or the final girl. As the years have gone by, Ms. Rochon is beautiful as ever, and now takes her turn...not as a victim...but as the fiendish slasher. Today we look at 2015's "Axe to Grind."
Debbie (Rochon) was a hot commodity in B (...or C) horror films. She hitched on with a producer, Peter (Matt Gulbranson) who fed her roles and fame. Debbie got a little older, and before she knew it Peter threw her out. Peter's preferences are 20 year old skank actresses. Wanting to rekindle her glory days Debbie returns to see Peter. After axing his new GF (Tawny Amber Young) to pieces, she enacts an evil plan. With Peter bound and gagged, Debbie hijacks his newest slasher film, "The Bayou Butcher." By the way, I'm not even mentioning the blood soaked and taboo backstory attached to this plot...but it is so good.
Debbie arrives at the abandoned insane asylum and meets the cast. Convinced that the three young actresses have bedded her man, Debbie intends to chop them to little pieces.  The voices in Debbie's head then guide her to bloody carnage.  The very sultry actresses will start dying horribly. Nikki (the very lovely Dani Thompson) will engage in a gratuitous cat-fight with Debbie and it will not end favorably for the full figured actress. More  gratuitous cat-fights will occur, but Debbie brings an axe to the fingernail and hair pulling contest. Debbie doesn't just want to kill these beauties, she wants to torture them and make them scream. Uh oh...Debbie might have help.  The voices in her head are quite persuasive, but is there another force inside the asylum eating up all this axe carnage? Delilah (Paula Labaredas) seems to be Peter's current skank...and it looks like Debbie has something special planned for her.
Will any of our scream queens survive Debbie's wrath? Will the silicon implants fly as freely as limbs and heads? Has Debbie ruined her chances of rekindling romance with Peter? Everything about this film is gratuitous and we can classify it as horror sexploitation. Yep, "Axe to Grind" would have been right at home in Italy in the 1970s. You know those films, the more beautiful, the gorier the death type film. Kudos to all the actresses, they will meet tortuous and horrible fates here, but they all play their parts to perfection.  Directed by Matt Zettell, "Axe to Grind" is a lot of fun.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Crater Lake Monster, Land of the Lost at the Drive-In

Everything about this film is underwhelming. Actually, the dinosaur effects are pretty fun, but as far as drive-in fare, audiences were very disappointed. 1977's "The Crater Lake Monster" no doubt appeared at drive-in theaters all around the country with some entertaining films which contained gore and nudity. Roger Corman could have done wonders with this story, but instead we have an effort which would only appeal to fans of the 1974-76 TV show "Land of the Lost." So...if you, as a boy of course, had a crush on Holly (Kathy Coleman), you would have enjoyed this dinosaur epic.
A meteor crashes into an Oregon lake unleashing a plesiasaur...or is it a platapusosaur...or a pladisodon...doesn't matter...big dinosaur. It starts eating people right away. We meet Sheriff Steve soon after. He finds his way to a cafe where a buxom, mini-skirted waitress (Susy Claycomb) serves him coffee.  If this was a Roger Corman film, this waitress would have found her way to the lake, engaged in pre-marital sex with her boyfriend, the dinosaur would have arrived, eaten her boyfriend, and impregnated the nubile coffee server. Alas, this isn't a Roger Corman film and we will never see the sultry server again.
As the monster eats cattle and an assorted variety of schmucks, Steve teams up with two scientists, Dan (Richard Garrison) and the pretty Susan (Kacey Cobb). Susan will also not be impregnated by the beast. As they look for the thing, the alcoholic-magician Ross (Michael F. Hoover) and his sultry wife Paula (Suzanne Lewis) arrive in town. Ross, in a moment of sobriety will fight off the thing with fire and Paula won't be impregnated by the thing.  Now on the offensive, Sheriff Steve rounds up a mentally challenged posse to either kill it, or as the scientists desire, capture it an study it (...this always go so well).
Will the crater lake fiend find love in Oregon? Will any of the nubile babes in this film do anything remotely interesting? Could this film have been juiced up with slestaks added in a plot device? Not all is lost here, as the creature effects are a lot of fun, and we do find ourselves cheering for the pre-historic antagonist.  Directed by William R. Stromberg, "The Crater Lake Monster" is cheesy fun, in a MST3K type of way.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Outpost 11, The Thing Does Steampunk

"Ahhhh! Spiders! Get 'em off of me! GET THEM OFF OF ME! Please!" The rantings of a lunatic. One can seem so normal one moment, then poof! Apparent insanity reduces some to driveling madmen clawing at imaginary insects. This can happen to the best of us. It is futile to try to convince the future mental patient that there are no spiders on him, but heavy duty drugs can be administered. Isolation and paranoia can bring this madness on...or perhaps an acute connection to a reality that no one else sees. For all we know, the spiders are really there. Hence 2013's "Outpost 11," directed by Anthony Woodley.
In an Antarctic listening post three soldiers listen for radio signals during England's war with the 1950s? Yep, this is an alternate reality...or alternate history I should say. They seem cut off from merry old England and any other semblance of civilization. Their post is powered by a mysterious steam machine which occasionally develops a squid-like parasite. Mason (Luke Healy) is in command and his temperament seems sane and measured. Albert (Joshua Mayes-Cooper) is the young soldier who is not cut out for war. Then there's Graham (Billy Clarke). A lifelong soldier who only knows war, and realizes that much has passed him by. The strangeness begins immediately. A rabbit blows up, the alert light is set off, and spiders seem to make their way into this lonely outpost.
After a cryptic message is received, the isolation and paranoia are joined by mystery and dread.
A suggestion that an attack is imminent, or that the war has been lost, sets off Graham. His hallucinations (...or are they hallucinations?) convince him that Albert is a spy for the spiders. Mason goes to investigate a neighboring outpost only to find insane carnage. Meanwhile, the ominous steam powered energy machine looks as though it has ominous plans for its three human subjects.  As Graham's insanity increases and Albert's cowardice does the same, Mason's discoveries will be quite horrific.
Exactly what does a spider invasion have to do with the Engilsh-Russian War of 1950? What is cooking inside the ominous steam reactor in the outpost basement? Will any of these three chaps escape with their sanity in place? At very least, the props in this film could inspire some neat jewelry designs for Goths, but fans of David Lynch films (like "Eraserhead") will find more to grab onto than that. Deep, dark, and open to much interpretation, enjoy the very creepy and unsettling "Outpost 11."

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ozark Sharks, Syfy Does Family Ties

The best shark movies have all taken place in Arkansas. Who can forget the 2015 classic Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre ? Leave it to the Syfy Channel to capitalize on this, which brings us to today's feature...2016's "Ozark Sharks." Perhaps a thinly veiled metaphor of the horrors the Clinton family unleashed on this nation, or a demented retelling of the hit TV show "Family Ties," this film fills a need for all of us. Heartwarming and exploitative, "Ozark Sharks" (directed by Misty Talley) may be a great alternative to any Herman Melville fish story.
While playing in an Arkansas lake, some great looking college babes and hunks are pureed by a shark. Dawn (Ashton Leigh), an impressive bikini babe, is the only survivor.  Enter a Colorado family. They arrive in the Ozarks with grandma to enjoy a family vacation. As teen age daughter Molly (Allisyn Ashley Arm) takes grandma to the lake, brother Harrison (Dave Davis) and Molly's BF Curtis (Ross Britz) visit the bait shop. In a scene that will warm all of our hearts, Grandma is eaten by a man-eater in a foot of water. Only in mild shock...well, maybe not in shock at all, Molly races to the bait shop to inform her brother that Grandma is no more. Jones (Thomas Francis Murphy), the bait shop owner is pumped. This guy has been preparing for the zombie apocalypse and is eager to go shark hunting.
The siblings realize their mom and dad are out on the lake fishing and desperately try to find them. Along the way, Harrison rescues bikini babe Dawn, and Jones takes arms Curtis and Molly for a war against killer fish. Apparently six sharks have moved into these lakes in the Ozarks. More bikini babes will be eaten, so will a fisherman and some assorted schmucks. Now heavily armed, and with the sultry Dawn on the team, the ticked off family sets out on their rescue and destroy mission. The war will have its casualties and be quite explosive.
Will our siblings in peril defeat the horde of man-eaters? Will the sultry Dawn survive or meet the same fate as dozens of other bikini babes in this film? Is "Ozark Sharks" merely a cheap exploitation flick showcasing scantily clad bikini babes in much peril, or a serious man versus nature film? Not that there is anything wrong with exploitation film highlighting bikini babes...after all, if we want serious man versus nature stuff we could watch reruns of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. For sheer Syfy Channel fun, enjoy "Ozark Sharks."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Strip Nude for Your Killer, and Everyone Else

Strip nude for your killer, for your heterosexual lover, for your lesbian lover, for your bosses husband, for your boss, and anyone else who wanders onto the camera. Hence 1975's "Strip Nude for Your Killer," an Italian horror yarn directed by Andrea Bianchi. As so many of these types of films, we will have lots of sizzling fashion models in much peril and always nude. Sadly, their survival prospects here are negligible.
Evelyn, a sultry fashion model {NUDE ON OPERATING TABLE} dies during an abortion. That night, her doctor is gutted. Fast forward to a health spa where Carlo (Nino Castelnuovo) meets Lucia (Femi Benussi). The two will hit it off {NUDE IN A SAUNA} and have pre-marital sex in the steam bath. Carlo, a fashion photographer, brings Lucia back to his agency and agency boss Gisella (Amanda), takes a liking to Lucia {NUDE DURING LESBIAN SEX}. Gisella hires beautiful models and as a condition, they must all have sex with her while she beats and humiliates them. Magda {NUDE ALWAYS} (Edwige Fenech) loves Carlo and always have pre-marital sex with him. Bad news, the killer strikes again killing mostly beautiful models. The {NUDE WHILE DYING} models are gutted and have their breasts cut off.
Gisella's fat husband also buys it {MERCIFULLY NOT NUDE} after he tries to rape Doris {NUDE WHILE RAPED}. Meanwhile Carlo shows some misogynistic tendencies, but this only turns on Magda {NUDE ALWAYS}. As more models drop from this cursed agency, Magda {NUDE ALWAYS} has more pre-marital sex with Carlo as the two try to solve the mystery...before they end up dead {NUDE WHILE A CORPSE}. Uh oh, the sultry lesbian Gisella may be being blackmailed and Magda {NUDE ALWAYS} and Carlo are on to it. As more models {NUDE ON A MOTORCYCLE} catch the eye of the killer, the suspect pool gets smaller and smaller.
Could Magda {NUDE ALWAYS} or Carlo be the killer? Is Gisella's violent and domineering treatment of her models a motive for the killings? Would this film be worth anything if everyone stayed fully clothed? {NUDE IN A DARKROOM}. "Strip Nude for Your Killer" is Italian horror sexploitation at its nudest level. The ending will be typical, but the deviance and taboo of it will leave a mark on the purist of nudes. For lots of blood and gratuitous nudity, catch "Strip Nude for Your Killer."   

Monday, March 12, 2018

Tokyo Gore Police, Sultry Policewoman vs. Monsters

The sultry Japanese actress Eihi Shiina has made quite an impression on this blog. She has appeared in some of the goriest films included here. Last October Audition was featured. In that very uncomfortable film, Ms. Shiina dissects her male lovers. She also appeared in Helldriver , which I reviewed in 2014, a film which...well...its gory! Today we look at 2008's "Tokyo Gore Police" in which Ms. Shiina plays a very beautiful Tokyo policewoman charged with tracking down genetically engineered monsters. Unlike "Audition," Ms. Shiina's victims all deserve to be pureed in this one.
Many years ago Ruka (Shiina) watched her policeman dad get his head blown she is all grown up, and a policewoman. The Tokyo Police have been privatized and an elite unit, which Ruka belongs, is charged with hunting "engineers." Engineers? A mad-scientist has injected genes of evil men into schmucks to make them evil killing machines. Here's the good part...when one of these engineers is wounded, they grow a deadly weapon out of their wound. For example, when a guy is castrated, after the spurting blood ceases, a machine-gun grows out of the groin. For females...when one prostitute is turned, her...well...her you know...turns into an alligator head...chomp chomp!
Ruka hunts these creeps very well and at the same time looks for her dad's killer. What do these two quests have in common? You'll see.
But wait! The evil force behind the engineers has special plans for Ruka. As a fellow with no scalp and a battleship turret in its place hunt our sultry policewoman, Ruka and her sword decrease the engineer population. Betrayal and heartbreak torment Ruka as her zeal for revenge increases. Appendages are severed and fly through the air, weird gizmos replace them, and the blood spurts endlessly, a most gory final confrontation awaits.
Why was Ruka's father killed, and by who? What devious plan does the evil geneticist have for our sultry policewoman? Is "Tokyo Gore Police" a warning to the Japanese people against the evils of privatization of government services? Be ready to turn your head as the gore is thrown at you continuously. For my Japanese friends...if Sony or Honda take over the police force, you will be well served just to submit. Enjoy "Tokyo Gore Police," directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Bullet Head, Cujo vs. Reservoir Dogs

Man's best friend. The dog! Loyal companions just looking to love us, even though we don't deserve that devotion. Then some slime bag like Michael Vick comes around and perverts that relationship. A year in prison was too good for Vick who returned to his pampered life in the corrupt NFL (National Football League). Many of the dogs he exploited were put down, but the NFL took great care of Michael Vick...quite an injustice. I for one am happy to see the NFL falling from grace, hopefully their downward descent will continue. Hence, a film from 2017, currently on Netflix, and from the dog's point of view, "Bullet Head."
Plot line #1: Three schmucks crash into an abandoned warehouse after their getaway driver dies of bullet wounds. This trio just pulled off a big robbery and figure they will hole up in the warehouse until the heat dies down. Ah, but in these films, abandoned warehouses are never abandoned. Plot line #2: Michael this film it is Antonio Banderas, has trained a killer Pit Bull. This warehouse is the arena for the dog fights. Banderas has bred a killing machine, but like any great athlete, careers end in defeat. After sustaining mortal wounds, Banderas orders some idiot to execute the pooch. The joke will be on the idiot. Unbeknownst to Banderas, Cujo (not really his name) isn't quite ready to die, and he eats his would-be executioner.
Okay, Walker (John Malkovich), a philosophical thief, Stacy (Adrien Brody) a romantic thief, and Gage (Rory Culkin), a junkie think their safe from the dragnet occurring all over the city. They'll get a rude awakening as our favorite Pit Bull sees these three as invaders and entrees on the buffet line. The dog is unmerciful, and the three must also wrestle their personal demons in battling the pooch. Wait! Is our killer dog really pure evil? As our three thieves get in tune with their human sides, an opportunity for survival might be opened.  Uh oh, maybe not, as Antonio Banderas shows up with a machine gun. His prize winnings from the dogfights are also hidden in the warehouse.
Which is more of a peril for our three thieves, the dog or the machine gun? Is the dog really the evil monster Antonio Banderas has made him into, or is their a chance for redemption? Is Antonio  Banderas' character a metaphor for Michael Vick or Roger Goodell. This film is flawed, but is interesting in that the dog's point of view is championed by director Paul Solet. Sometimes it takes context to figure out who the real villains are. Enjoy "Bullet Head," and avoid Roger Goodell's NFL.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Battle Drone, Mercenaries vs. RoboCop Monsters

As the #MeToo movement becomes more about exploitation and publicity rather than the pursuit of justice and equity in Hollywood, it is important for all of us film enthusiasts to remember the horror which has been exposed over the past year. Revelations about Harvey Weinstein opened our eyes to an injustice we have conveniently chosen to ignore. The fat ugly monster we call Harvey Weinstein is only the tip of a bloody iceberg that has claimed the honor and virtue of so many actresses and actors. No story bares this out better than Natassia Malthe's account of her rape at the hands of Weinstein. Brutal and heartbreaking as it was, Ms. Malthe endures and remains a top-notch actress (and a favorite of this blog). The horror she will face in 2017's "Battle Drone" will be ominous, but pale in comparison to the real life terror she faced at the hands of a Hollywood Slime-ball.
A deadly mercenary team is hired by the CIA to overthrow a brutal dictator. The team is headed by Riker (Louis Mandylor), considered a traitor for his actions in Afghanistan. Riker's most notable cohorts include Val (Malthe) a sultry sniper with plutonium bullets and Dax (Jason Earles) a psycho who likes murder and torture. There is a condition the CIA imposes...Riker's people must be matched with several CIA operatives to complete the mission. First stop...Chernobyl! Don't ask. There it becomes apparent that there is no mission and Riker and company were sent there to walk into an ambush.
Bad news...two Bio-Synthetic Shock Troops await...think RoboCop with a demented attitude. Riker's smart and after the things inflict heavy damage, mostly on the CIA guys, he has a heart to heart with the CIA team leader, the sultry Agent Hayes (Dominique Swain). Hayes was ignorant about the double-cross and now fights with the mercenaries to survive. All looks hopeless until Val plugs one with one of her plutonium rounds and after some nifty combat, the team believes they have won. Ha! Not so fast. International arms dealer Karl (Michael Pare), working with the CIA, is eager to show what his drones can do. He then unleashes an army of them to wipe out Riker's team. Refusing to be a victim, Riker's strategy is to hit them hard, not run. As Riker's mercenaries take the battle to these high-tech monsters, the fight becomes a fair one.
Will Agent Hayes and Val have an opportunity for a nice cat-fight? Will Ms. Malthe's Val survive (Ms. Malthe's characters die a lot in her films)? Will Riker be able to prove his innocence for the war crimes he's accused of and in the process be able to woo Agent Hayes? This is a comic-book on film and is so much fun. Ms. Swain and Ms. Malthe are great eye-candy and terrific femme fatale type characters. Oh yes, the aforementioned Dax? He's quite the'll see. Available on Netflix, see "Battle Drone" directed by Mitch Gould.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Savage, Bigfoot and Forest Fires

Anna Enger is a stunning young actress. Her lineage, half Norwegian and half Filipino is an exotic combo that may remind some of Natassia Malthe (half Norwegian and half Malaysian). Sadly, in many of Ms. Malthe's films she meets tortuous demises, and in 2011's "Savage" we are pulling for Ms. Enger to survive. To survive, Ms. Enger will have to dodge forest fires and an angry Bigfoot. Throw in a Quint like hunter, an abusive husband, and an older version of Dale Cooper type park ranger, and this film, suitable for the Syfy Channel, has more appeal than one would imagine.
Out of control forest fires have displaced Bigfoot (Jack Harrison) from his natural habitat...and infuriated him. This is bad news for a dozen firefighters looking to preserve the Georgia woods. Bigfoot will go through these firemen like crap through a goose, and also a responding deputy. Enter park ranger Owen (Tony Becker). He loves coffee, even the instant kind. Owen and his wife (Lisa Wilcox) are expecting a baby any day, but Owen heads into the woods to look for the firefighters. Bad timing for the sultry Gabrielle (Enger), as she and her abusive ex-Marine husband arrive and trek deep into the woods. The sizzling newlywed sports signs of abuse and her husband is obviously running from the law. Also enter geek-cryptozoologist Dale (Shane Callahan), who hires crusty old hunter Jack (Martin Kove). Jack has a history, and a bloody one, with Bigfoot.
All these peeps will converge as the forest becomes smaller. Too bad for them...Bigfoot will also arrive. Our moody fiend will not spare anyone, if he can help it. The apparently helpless Gabrielle will have to man-up and she will look great wielding a shotgun. But wait! Is crusty old hunter Jack as capable as he claims? Is the diminutive and helpless Gabrielle as diminutive and helpless as she appears? Will ranger Owen be in more danger from Bigfoot, or from the assorted people he has come into contact with.
Mr. Kove, Mr. Becker, and Ms. Enger do a fine job in this so-so horror film. Their performances make this film a worthwhile take. We can only hope that Ms. Enger's career takes on some similarities to Ms. Malthe's career. Who wouldn't like to see her as a leather-clad vampire vixen? For the weenies out there that find allure in a beautiful woman holding a baguette, this film isn't for you. For real men who like women holding firepower...well, the shotgun wielding Gabrielle will surely please. Fans of Syfy films will love "Savage," as it is so much fun...especially the loud ending.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Wired to Kill, Short Circuit meets Mad Max

Nothing like a cute robot friend to accompany us through an apocalyptic wasteland.  Worry not, this little mechanical buddy isn't quite out of the classic Ally Sheedy film "Short Circuit," as it tends to leave lots of carnage in it's wake.  Today we take a peek at 1986's "Wired to Kill."  As is usually the case, the pure of heart are tormented in plague infested lands, but can brains rise above the evil that infests?
After the great plague of 1992, safe zones that were set up and quarantined are now areas free from law and order and beset by psycho gangs. Teenage babe, Rebecca (Emily Longstreth) finds lodging with a kind family.  She hits it off with teenage genius Steve (Devin Hoelscher).  Steve creates music and is an electronic and computer whiz.  Uh oh, before Steve can seduce Rebecca, a psycho gang converges on this merry home.  Eventually Steve's grandmother and mom will be killed or maimed, and Steve's legs will be pulverized.  Instead of cowering, the now disabled Steve will plot revenge.
As our apocalyptic wastoid gang plots to eliminate Steve and the fare Rebecca, our heroes build a high-tech robot, Winston.  Winston is able to infiltrate the gang's compound and begins causing havoc.  At first, Winston ruins drug deals, but it does plant bugs so Steve and Rebecca can listen to their plans.  Eventually Steve and Rebecca fit Winston with armaments and are able to cause carnage within the compound, and Rebecca is able to provide them heroine laced with battery acid.  When the nubile Rebecca is captured and tortured by the gang, Steve must ramp up his and Winston's efforts to wipe-out his tormentors.
What will our gang do to Rebecca?  Can Winston be fitted with a small nuclear device?  Can we agree that writer/director Francis Schaeffer has accurately depicted, however metaphorically, the 1990s?  This is a standard film but for many subtleties.  In the hospital scenes an endless loop over the loud speakers reminds all patients that they have the constitutional right to sue their doctors, courtesy of the HHS.  Then at the jail, an endless loop reminds all criminals and miscreants that they have the right to sue the police, also courtesy of the HHS. For a cute film, with a mean robot, that warns us where we might be headed if most of us become semi-mutant, plague infested insaniacs...see "Wired to Kill."

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Vampire of the Opera, Nubile Dancers in Great Peril

Picture it!  A couple dozen sultry dancers clad in revealing togas, short nighties, or see-through lingerie. They must dance and dance hard. In a maddening cadence our beauties contort and pulsate to heavy music. Bare legs kick high, and cleavage is thrust violently at the camera. If they stop, a bevy of vampire babes will devour them. The dancers are driven mad by the music and their erotic dance moves. Nymphomaniac and lesbian tendencies creep in to the madness. The equally scantily clad vampire babes are hungry and won't be denied.  Okay, let us take a look at an Italian film from 1964, "The Vampire of the Opera" (aka "L' Orgie Des Vampires").
The very buxon Julia (Barbara Howards) runs through an old theater pursued by the vampire Stefano (Giuseppe Addebbati). Clad in only a see through negligee, this beauty will be chased down in a puddle of water and bit by the fiend. Wake up! Yes, only a nightmare. Waking up screaming, Julia is comforted by fellow scantily clad, nubile actress/dancers. Uh oh, this theater group arrives at their theater, and it is the same one in Julia's dreams. See, Julia may be the reincarnation of Laura, the lover of Stefano the vampire. Stefano loves her and has also sworn bloody revenge on his former lover.
As Julia falls deeper into Stefano's spell, the gals start acting strangely. Rosanna will make out with some guys, some fellow actresses, the vampire, and the bevy of vampire brides. Other beauties will turn lesbian and make out with each other. The closer Julia becomes to taking the role of Laura, our gals only act out more. As Julia's peril increases, empowering Stefano, the vixens must dance continuously or be drained of their blood. Still under Stefano's spell, Julia attempts to save her friends, but the spell may turn her against these babes.
The dance numbers are intense and the music is loud and hypnotizing.  The toothy menace rushes towards the necks of actresses like a doberman to a lamb chop.  Will Julia save her nubile buddies? Will Rosanna and Julia engage in an erotic make-out/cat-fight romp? Will any of the guys in this film do anything remotely significant? Quite erotic and violent, "The Vampire of the Opera" will send anyone who watches it to the showers. Directed by Renato Polselli, this film is gratuitous times ten.