Saturday, June 30, 2018

Tourist Trap, The Rifleman Meets Skinny-Dippers

We all remember Chuck Connors as the star of some great 'Old West' TV shows, "The Rifleman" and "Branded." Before there was Larry Bird, Mr. Connors helped the Boston Celtics to the 1946 NBA championship, and a few years later, this 6'5" giant would play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here's some good NBA trivia to stump your friends with; who was the first NBA player to be credited with breaking a backboard? You got it...Chuck Connors. Fans of slasher films will also remember this great man as star of the 1979 slasher classic, "Tourist Trap."
Weird old guy with a rifle Slausen (Connors) tends to his abandoned western wax museum. His fortune is returning as he comes across three nubile skinny-dippers in his pond, Becky (Tanya Roberts), Molly (Jocelyn Jones), and Eileen (Robin Sharwood). Their BF Jerry (John Van Ness) is tending to their broken down Jeep, and other BF Woody (Keith McDermott) has already been killed by Slausen's magic wax puppets. No matter, the Jeep is broken down and the gals and Jerry see Slausen as strange but harmless. Ha! Slausen is happy to see pretty girls as he has an affinity for them. Oh yes, Slausen's puppets can move on his command and even kill.
The fun starts when the gals get curious and the sultry Eileen starts exploring...bad move. She'll be overwhelmed and overtaken by Slausen's army of wax mannequins and she will be turned into one. We then meet the pretty Tina (Dan Jeffory). So sad. The pretty Tina will be turned into a wax mannequin as the tied up Becky and Jerry watch in horror, knowing their fate may be similar. Slausen and his brother, who may be a wax puppet, intend to make all the great looking people stranded at the museum their drones.  Slausen is more interested in the pretty gals and soon we find out why. Slausen's history is horrific and could spell excruciating doom and horror for the babes. As the puppets display a talent for marksmanship and knife throwing, the fate of "Charlie's Angels" star Tanya Roberts will be very sad.
Will anyone survive Slausen's mad plan? Will beautiful women ever smarten up and realize if they skinny-dip in these films, the slashers will find them? Does the very talented Chuck Connors deserve to have Tanya Roberts as his plaything? "Tourist Trap" is shocking and horrific and Mr. Connors steals the show as a weird old madman. For one of the first films from the Golden Era of Slasher Films, enjoy "Tourist Trap," directed by David Schmoeller.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Curtains, Actresses Sliced and Diced

You're a beautiful young lady desiring to make it in the movies. What would you do? Would you die for that opportunity?  Would you sleep with Harvey Weinstein? Yuck, disgusting...who would do that? Better yet, would you kill for the chance to star? If you would kill, who would you kill? That's an easy one...all the other nubile actresses trying out for the same role. Would you use a knife? Gun? Sickle? Flame-thrower? Today we have a slasher classic from 1983..."Curtains."
Samantha (Samantha Eggar) believes famous director Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon) is about to cast her in his next great film. Jokes on her...she's over 40, so naturally he does what any man would do, commits her to an insane asylum. Samantha won't take this well, and she'll get really angry when Stryker invites six beauties to his country estate for a casting call for the role she believes is hers. Samantha (no longer nubile, and over 40) escapes, which will probably have bloody consequences in this plot. The carnage starts immediately after the escape. Just after passionate, role playing pre-marital sex, the sultry Amanda (Deborah Burgess) is gutted in her apartment, hence she won't make the casting call. The other five actresses arrive and so does our escaped lunatic, albeit...middle-aged lunatic.
Then there is the classic 1980s slasher scene in which Christie (Lesleh Donaldson)  gets it. You remember the scene. After pre-marital sex with Stryker, Christie dons her ice skates and heads to a frozen pond to practice. This is where a masked, sickle-wielding maniac decapitates her. Her head will next be seen in Brooke's (Linda Thorson) toilet. This will shake up the nubile Brooke, who also wants the role, that she will then have pre-marital sex with Stryker...can you guess her fate? As the actresses decrease in number and are turned into leaking or decapitated corpses, Samantha, who is over 40, continues to make a play for the coveted role.
Is the insane asylum escapee (who is over 40) Samantha the killer, or is that too easy? How about one of the nubile, and well under 40 years of age, actresses? Could one of them also be a maniac? Is Stryker's mansion big enough for two psycho-maniacs?  Did Harvey Weinstein model himself after Stryker? "Curtains" is classic 1980s slasher and contains some nice and ominous kills. Unfortunately for many of the beauties in this film, they will in fact die for the role, but can you guess who the 'final girl' will be?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Snake Island, Our Slithery Friends Attack

Cobras, Mambos, Adders and more! Thousands of them! Today's film just screams for Nastassja Kinski, a babe who was able to tame the serpent.  2002's "Snake Island" will have you checking under the covers before you go to bed this evening. Warning...it's icky. When a door opens, a snake pops out. When a corpse is found, a snake crawls out of its mouth. When a beautiful women undresses, a horde of snakes arrive. If snakes terrify you...this film will stick with you for a very long time.
Jake (Wayne Crawford, who also directed) heads a tour group down an African river. Their boat will be disabled as the passengers must fight off an invading snake. Now they are stranded on Snake Island. Uh oh...the resort lodge on the isle seems abandoned and the castaways must make do. Malcolm (William Katt) isn't too upset, this was his destination as he is a writer looking for an idea for a novel. Even better, Jake has his two sultry hostesses, Ronnie and Lisa (Nicola Hanekam and Dawn Matthews) open up the bar. Upon further examination, Jake and Malcolm find another employee, quite dead and with lots of snakes crawling out of his mouth. They are discreet as there is money to be lost with bad publicity.
As the night arrives, the music and booze take over. Ronnie and Lisa will shed their tops and engage in a seductive lesbian dance. Two hot newlyweds (Milan Murray and Jason Kennett) will sneak back to their cabin to consummate their wedding vows. Oh yes, Jake pairs up with beautiful tourist Heather (Kate Conner) for some gratuitous skinny-dipping and pre-marital sex. Oh yes, Heather is a sympathetic character though everyone in this film, including the snakes (you'll see) calls her a b@#%h. In force, the fiends attack. Lisa will get it during a gratuitous shower scene and Ronnie will get it...well...she'll be quite helpless in meeting her awful demise. Our honeymooners? The snakes will take a liking to some kinky lingerie in their attack on them. Now Jake, Heather, and Malcolm learn the history of the island and the fate of the previous tourist party.
As Malcolm and Jake come up with a wild plan for escape, the snakes dance to the music, insult Heather, and slither in for the kill. Are the demises of Ronnie and Lisa symbolic of Eve's deadly transgression in the Garden of Eden? Just how many orifices will the snakes penetrate in their victims? After seeing Heather skinny-dipping, do the snakes have special plans for her? Perhaps a highly symbolic film, more likely just an icky horror story, "Snake Island" will have enough jump scares and repulsing kills that should satisfy any fan of that famous poster of Nastassja Kinski and the big snake (go ahead...Google it).

Sunday, June 24, 2018

So Sweet, So Dead, Moral Avenger vs. Giallo Women

So sweet? Hardly. Nope, sluts and fornicators, all of them! Hence the theme of 1972's Italian horror film "So Sweet, So Dead." Alas, to be a beautiful woman in an Italian horror film is to be stripped, humiliated, and cut to shreds with a razor...or scissors...or knife, so sad. As the woman's lib movement gained steam in the 1970s, so did the "cut women to pieces" movement in European cinema. Related?
Naked, quite dead, and all cut up, the formerly beautiful Florina lies in her own blood with photographs of her having extra-marital sex. Inspector Capuana (Farley Granger) is on the case. Florina was the wife of a military general and the guy she was having sex with? We don't know, as the faces in the photographs have been scratched out, perhaps to protect the innocent. Yes, Italy has a "Moral Avenger" and lots of sultry wives will die similarly, always after extra-marital sex. Bad news for Capuana, the husbands of these cheating women are all politicians or members of Italy's elite class...and they are not talking. The killings continue and the media is mocking the police for their inability to catch the killer.
Usually naked or in states of undress, these cheating women seemed lined up to die quite horribly. Suspects? Oh sure. We have a necrophiliac-minded coroner who just loves corpses of beautiful women. Jealous husbands? Perhaps. How about jealous wives...or even better, since this is an Italian horror film, a jealous lesbian lover of the victims? Pushing it perhaps, but you get the picture. Uh oh, more women are cut up, and more photographs are strewn over the crime scenes. Double uh oh, Insp. Capuana's wife, Barbara (Sylva Koscina), is quite lovely and lounges around in states of undress. We all know the fate of these types of women in Giallo. When the killer seems to be heading in Capuana's direction, our good Inspector comes up with a plan that is either quite genius...or suicidal.
Is the lovely Barbara in fact a fornicator? Is the Moral Avenger a twisted ploy by the Catholic Church to instill morality in Italian marriages?   Are the killings a great conspiracy of the elite Italian masculine class to clean away inconvenient mistresses? To see a beautiful woman in this film is to see a future corpse and the misogynistic themes in this film are rampant. The timing of this film, put against the social movements sweeping across western civilization in the 1970s are likely more than a coincidence. We've come a long way...wait...there's that Harvey Weinstein guy...perhaps we haven't. Directed by Roberto Bianchi Montero, for some erotic Giallo, see "So Sweet, So Dead."

Friday, June 22, 2018

Ice Road Terror, Dinosaur in the Arctic

The native people of the Arctic...we call them Inuit. That is, unless a toothy dinosaur is chasing us, then we call them Eskimos. Political Correctness goes out the window when behemoth reptiles are pursuing. Syfy Channel's 2011 offering "Ice Road Terror" shows us the sad plight of these fine people. They'll be gobbled up like a Doberman gobbles up Alpo. With some cheap CGI (or maybe some of it is cheap animation), a Jurassic war will ensue in the frozen tundra.
A diamond mine in northern Alaska has been wiped out by a monster. After using dynamite to blast another entrance, a grouchy prehistoric monster emerges and rips most of the miners to bloody shreds. Enter two rival ice road truckers, Jack (Ty Olsson) and Neil (Dylan Neal). These two hunks agree to take a shipment of explosives up to that same mine, unaware that a beast awaits. What would the frozen tundra be without a babe...enter Rachel (Brea Grant). She is an environmental scientist dispatched to the mine from Washington, DC. The mine needs her approval to stay open. She joins our hunk duo and will fall in love with Jack.
Bad news for our trio, they reach the mine and find body parts all over the place.  After finding two schmuck survivors (they won't last long), they are beset by the ugly monster. Barely escaping, our gang gets into their 18-wheelers and speed south.  Our lizard-monster pursues and eats the two miners, leaving Neil, Jack, and the lovely Rachel as the only survivors.  More bad news...the creature burrows under the ice and swims to the fleeing trucks and ruining the road over the lake. The two hunks and one babe then flee into the Alaskan wilderness, pursued by the ugly thing. Running out of places to hide, the three must make a stand and plot a strategy to fight this seemingly unstoppable thing.
Does our cold, but attractive trio have a chance against a ticked off monster? Is the annihilation of all the Inuit (...or Eskimo) peoples in this film a mere metaphor for the treatment they endure from imperialist invaders throughout the world?  Will the sultry Rachel and hunk Jack be able to heat things up a bit, even as they are beset by a monster?  Fans of Syfy Channel films will love this one. The acting is quite good and Brea Grant is a far superior actress than Mila Kunis or Rachel Adams! For some fun from the great white north, enjoy "Ice Road Terror," directed by Terry Ingram. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sabretooth, Xena: Warrior Princess vs. Big Cat

To have seen Vanessa Angel on the screen is to remember her. Many of you might remember her as a buxom lifeguard in "Baywatch." The blonde beauty was cast as "Xena: Warrior Princess" before Lucy Lawless. Unfortunately Ms. Angel became ill and was not able to fly to New Zealand, hence was replaced.  This British actress didn't suffer from that missed opportunity as she remains a very busy actress in movies and TV.  In 2002 she played a sultry mad scientist in "Sabretooth."
Casey the ice-princess
Mad scientist Catherine (Angel) has cloned a sabretooth tiger. Why? Who cares! The beast eats a janitor and escapes when the truck transporting it crashes. This is bad news for Sean (Todd Jensen) and Amanda (Allie Moss). This sexy couple, in the throes of a night of sexual intercourse, will be interrupted. Sean will be eaten by the monster, and Amanda...well...lets just say she won't be sexy anymore. More bad news for five campers led by the very beautiful Casey (Jenna Gering). Casey is leading a party which includes her former lover Trent (Josh Holloway) and a few youths who will serve as tiger bait. Also hitting the plot is Thatcher (David Keith), a big game hunter who will join Catherine and two colleagues in search of the out of control experiment.
The formerly pretty Amanda
Catherine wants the thing captured alive as the patent on it may be worth billions. Meanwhile, after feeding on Sean, and ravaging Amanda, the sabretooth starts hunting the campers. Casey is the only camper not desiring pre-marital sex which earns her the moniker 'ice-princess.' The creature starts feasting on the more amorous of the campers as the hunting party closes in. As the female talent in the camping party is eaten, Trent seeks to win back Casey, as she is still alive.  When Thatcher gets close to the big cat, the evil Catherine sabotages his hunting efforts in order to preserve her cloned patent. Now, in an attempt to save the ice-princess and other survivors, Thatcher must rely on primitive weapons and evade claws and Catherine's greed.
Catherine in a cat-fight
Will Thatcher save Casey and anyone else? Will Casey and Catherine fight the cat, or engage in a vicious cat-fight? What will be Amanda's fate...as the beast must have plans for her?  Vanessa Angel and Jenna Gering are the high points of this film as both these actresses are captivating. Even though Catherine is an evil mad-scientist, we do hope this 'Baywatch' lifeguard survives, only because she plays to the camera well. Directed by James D.R. Hickox, enjoy "Sabretooth," which earned a 3.4/10 rating on IMDB (yes, this rating is described as "better than anything Harrison Ford has done in the last 30 years).

Monday, June 18, 2018

Stinger, Scorpions on a Sub

Daniella Kimber (nee Vesterlund) is a Swedish beauty. As far as actresses go, few are more interesting. Beauty pageant finalist for Miss Sweden and survivor of the U.S. airstrike on Tripoli in 1986, this sultry thespian was sponsored by Muammar Al Qadhafi for an exclusive riding club in Libya. Ms. Kimber is also an honorary citizen in the Kingdom of Badagry in Nigeria. However, she is also a princess in this blog as we will see her stripped naked by a monster scorpion, stung and raped by same insect, and reduced to a sad sack of scorpion larvae...no longer beautiful. Hence 2005's "Stinger." Oh yes, this film received a 1.9/10 rating on IMDB, which translates to "better than anything George Clooney has done."
The USS Newark nuclear submarine is missing. Little does the navy know, the sub's crew were slaughtered by monster scorpions hundreds of feet below the ocean surface. As the sub is discovered months later, some marines and the sultry Dr. Carly Ryan (Michelle Meadows) are sent to recover its top secret cargo.  Also sent is Ellie (Kimbers). Ellie's purpose in this mission is kept secret but she'll strip a lot, show off some alluring undies, and have pre-marital sex before a monster bug ravishes her. Carly works for a scientific firm that has created monster scorpions to replace soldiers on the battlefield. I have to admit, I've tried this in my basement lab.
When the crew arrives at the sunken sub, all the sailors are dead and infested with scorpion larvae. Carly is of little help and the monster army attacks our marines.  Oh yes, Carly's ex is also part of the scientific team. He and Ellie (Richard Froelich) have been offered millions to kill the marines and Carly and retrieve some scorpions. As Carly screams a lot and has her t-shirt ripped off by amorous bugs, the USMC starts fighting back.  Surprises abound, and one or two of them are quite horrific. With Ellie out of the picture, all hopes of a cat-fight between her and Carly are dashed, but is Carly's virtue at risk from these amorous scorpions?
Will anyone survive the scorpion war on this submarine?  Will Carly emerge un-soiled by her bug nemesis? Will the Swedish beauty, gang raped by scorpions, risk being type-cast as insect bait in future films?  Directed by Martin Munthe, this effort from Sweden is gratuitous, claustrophobic, and icky. Though her fate was quite disgusting, Daniella Kimber endears herself to horror film fans all over Sweden, Libya, Nigeria, and America with her role as the doomed vixen. Avoid any George Clooney garbage and enjoy "Stinger." 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bleading Lady, Scream Queen vs. Psycho

Fans of Jason Statham and his 'Transporter" films will not want to miss today's film, 2010's "Bleading Lady." Okay, so the films have very little in common, but for gratuitous gore and nudity and a sultry damsel in much distress, this is the film for you. Fans of slasher films have always been interested in the actresses who play the scream-queens, and unfortunately for the scream-queen in this film, one of her fans takes an intense interest in her. Rape, torture and humiliation may be the goal of our psycho, but scream-queens have fight, and we'll see it in this one.
Don (Dan Ellis) is a professional driver. As our story begins, two hunks and two babes he is transporting annoy him and he cuts them to pieces with a machete. They were annoying, so we don't hold this indiscretion against him. His next job is to transport the world's most famous scream-queen, from a lodge to the movie set every day. Riversa Red (Sindy Faraguna). Riversa has starred in over 100 straight to DVD slasher films including "Thong Massacre" and "Floss of Death" (I gotta find those DVDs). Don is obsessed and sees himself as her protector. Uh oh, Riversa has a stalker. Don hates Luke (Nathan Durec), the director, and now sets out on a mission to...well...to kill and save Riversa from the amateurish film she is making...or something like that.
As the film is shot, and it is a good one, we see bodies cut up (in the film within the film) and actresses in gratuitous nude scenes. Sienna (Erindera Farga) is a scream-queen wannabe, and Don is not about to let her replace Riversa in the circuit. Don proceeds to intercept Riversa's boyfriend and decapitate him.  More homicide and then Don enacts his master plan. He will hijack the film and torment the entire cast and crew. Sienna, Luke, and many others will meet horrific fates which include castration, stabbing, and being buried alive. As Riversa sees the carnage unfold, she sees the humiliation and torture heading her way. Now she must fight the ultimate slasher, but this one in real life.
What does Don have planned for Riversa?  Can Riversa use any of the moves from her role in "Thong Massacre" to repel the evil psycho?  With the demise of the sultry Sienna, did Don actually do Riversa a favor, that is if she survives?  Oh yes...twists will abound in the final 15 minutes and Riversa's peril will be more horrific than described above. Gratuitous gore and nudity are piled high and the actors and actresses do a fine job. Written and directed by Ryan Nicholson, "Bleading Lady" (aka "Star Vehicle") is a far superior film than 2011's "Drive" with Ryan Gosling.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Guest Review: Tokyo Ghoul by Chris BFlix

I'm a colossal fan of the two season anime series released by Funimation in 2015.Groundbreaking artwork plus awesome anime action equals cult classic. Now known for its not so Naruto narrative making imitation knockoffs nauseous! The nerd in me naturally got nervous to hear news of a live action adaptation to the big screen. Was director Kentaro Hagiwara going to pull off fittings 2 seasons in to 1 movie? The answer is yes. . .
Rest easy everyone because not only did he succeed in doing so, he also surpassed fanboy expectations by a sizable margin. In a cinematic journey to get lost in he reflects on a mirror image of the manga as well as capitalizing on the true to its roots aspect. Frame for frame precision allows cgi sequences to take a life of its own. Refreshingly down to earth dialog, classy kills, grade A gore and mesmerizing makeup FX that made me forget about its animated origin. Starring Masataka Kubota best known for his role in Attack on Titan. Masataka plays (Ken Kaneki) a brainy college kid who is brutally bashful at his best when balls deep in a good book. A life altering date of fate turns Ken into half man half Ghoul.
The Japanese underworld is crawling with creatures disguised as people. A local coffee shop is run by a group of misfit monsters. Some are turned and most are born into the life. The band of beasts reluctantly takes in Ken exposing him to the harsh reality of their ways. Meanwhile a task force is spawned to pursue and bring down ghouls. Heading up the CCS is a good cop bad cop duo. The rookie by the book and the get it done by any means vet. Its kill or be killed especially when it comes to this epidemic. a fight for what is right weather its human life or ones that go bump in the night. Our lead character goes from bookworm to badass all the while capitalizing on his new found abilities. As relationships form character growth is taken to unpredictable heights!!! How will Kaneki and a new found hunger for human flesh make him a better person? Well let's just say a social pecking order puts Ken at the top of the food chain.(so to speak lol)

 I'm @chrisbflix a new guest of the emporium thanks for reading.


Chris Bflix is a buddy, and neighbor of mine. He is a movie maker and soon will complete his slasher epic “Bobby Box-cutter.”

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bus Party to Hell, Orgasmic Blood Orgy

The winner of the Taaffe O'Connell Award, as presented by Zisi Emporium for B Movies, is...Selena D! You remember Ms. O'Connell, the actress who was raped by a giant worm in "Galaxy of Terror." This award is presented to the actress who goes above and beyond to endure the most gratuitous and humiliating death imaginable, in a horror film. In 2017's "Bus Party to Hell," Selena D. will be stripped, have human blood smeared all over her, have a huge python inserted into her through her mouth, be sliced open in her belly and have the python removed through her gut along with her entrails. She will then be decapitated and eaten by Satanic cannibals...what a way to go!  This death captures the essence of this film directed by Rolfe Kanefsky.
Bikini model Kimberly (Devanny Pinn) is stripped and ripped apart by mummies...but let us not dwell on the pre-story. Jumping ahead, a bus load of schmucks believe they are being driven to The Burning Man Celebration in the desert. Little do they know, their bus driver has been slain and satanist Joan (Sadie Katz) has taken her place. Also on the bus is pretty teen Lara (Stefani Blake), who is escaping from a groping old-fart. Okay, as Joan mows down Tara Reid, she takes the bus into the orgy grounds of a devil cult. There, satanists attack and rape. Most of the riders will be beheaded, raped and eaten by large breasted Satan-chicks, we all know what that is like. Several survivors will then barricade themselves in the bus.
As the Satanists sacrifice the large breasted Selena D., and Ivy (Shelby McCullough) and Lara engage in passionate lesbian sex in the bus' latrine, our film is now in full force. The evil ones are eager to lure the chosen one off the bus, the problem is no one on the bus knows who that is, not even the chosen one. While waiting for the chosen one, large breasted satanists engage in more lesbian sex while covered in blood. Nudity, pre-marital sex, and disembowelment will be rampant on the bus and outside the bus as satanic magic plays havoc with the survivors, who are dwindling in numbers. Ivy and Reese (ViDonna Michales) emerge as the best chance for our survivors. Tarantulas, snakes, lizards, and scorpions will have a role in Satan's plot to kill all the survivors, but remember Lara? The cute blonde, who is naked through much of this film, as is every character with breasts, just may hold the key to either survival or ruination.
Gratuitous and gory, this film is a must see for fans of this blog. Michael and Sonny Mahal probably made this film with my blog in mind, and we are forever indebted to them. Sure, there might be hesitation to discuss this film at a book club meeting or a Lions Club dinner, but "Bus Party to Hell" has it all.  Though she meets a tragic end, in which she will end up in many pieces, Tara Reid displays an energy and an unstableness in her portrayal of Darby that sets the tone for the entire film. So ignore the flop that is "Solo," and see "Bus Party to Hell." If you should ever meet Selena D., please share this review with her.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Shallow Grave, College Girls Slaughtered

The brutality of some of the horror films of the 1980s caught the attention of self-proclaimed morality policemen. Tipper Gore (the wife of Al Gore) was such one clown. When her husband ran for the nomination against Michael Dukakis, Mrs. Gore dropped the cause like a Cincinnati Bengal receiver drops a touchdown pass. Hence 1987's "Shallow Grave" went unnoticed by any government committee. The brutal slaughter of helpless college girls after humiliation and torment make this tale a bit more harder to take than some of the other 'playful' slasher films of the era.
During a very gratuitous shower scene, a nubile college babe (Kimberly Johnston) will be humiliated and horrified by a prank of four of her classmates. The four offenders will be called to the headmaster's office and read the riot act. Basically, they get away with it and pile into a red convertible and head to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. These silly flirts are only interested in college guys and alcohol, but their lives will change...and so will their lifespans. When their car is disabled in rural Georgia, Sue Ellen (Lisa Stahl) will head into the woods to relieve herself. Bad idea as she will then witness the naked sheriff (Tony March) murder the naked Angie (Merry Rozelle). Now our four coeds become hunted.
Poor Rose (Donna Baltron). She has just stripped down to her panties to sunbathe near the disabled convertible and will get a bullet to the head from the maniacal sheriff. Cindy (Just Kelly) will also be slaughtered as the sheriff's rage begins. Now the lovely Sue Ellen and Patty (Carol Cadby) are on the run. Now framed for the murders of their friends and Angie, our sultry duo are hunted by the whole town. Their fate will be tortuous and heartbreaking, but can they survive an evil sheriff and false murder charges? As the immature flirts are turned into damsels in much distress, we the viewer are now pulling for their survival.
Not the feel good film of 1987, but this gratuitous and brutal story will please fans of those who like their horror with an edge. Both Sue Ellen and Patty are quite stunning and the torment that will befell them will be hard to watch. Playful and silly for the first half hour, to ominous and brutal in the final hour, "Shallow Grave" (directed by Richard Styles) is a surprising gem from the 1980s.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The New Girls, Vampires Eat North Dakota

Vampire vixens! Kate Beckinsale, Rhona Mitra, and Natassia Malthe have played them so well. Beautiful women of the night has been an important plot device in modern vampire films. Exotic settings have also accompanied these beauties, Berlin, Paris, and Fargo...wait...Fargo! Okay, it's not big budget, and perhaps B grade is a bit of a stretch, but the C grade "The New Girls," from 2009, is a terrific and ambitious vixen-vampire warrior film. The movie may have flaws, but in the case of this Sonny Fernandez creation, those flaws only enhance this pristine and violent horror epic.
Three babes hit Fargo...okay, stop your jokes. I know, what do you call a beautiful woman in Fargo? A tourist! That's not funny, I've been to Fargo and it is filled with babes. These vixens just so happen to be centuries old bloodsuckers, looking for fresh blood for their diet.  Instantly they feast on male college kids. Svletlana (Liz Docktor) leads the trio, she is beautiful, sly, and very deadly. Lenore (Casey McMillian) is the blonde babe, and perhaps the most level headed of the three. Then there is Renai (Kim Haarman)! Oh she is sweet. She is so sweet that if you are diabetic, don't watch this film. As the monster-girls settle into an old mansion, Fargo's male population takes instant notice, and many will assume room temperature real fast.
Uh oh...the very sweet Renai will fall in love with the loser Ben (Cody Tergesen). Ben is a loser in the mortal world and when the stunning and very sweet Renai falls in love with him, he can't believe it. Ben figures there is a catch...and there is.  The very sweet Renai is a bit impulsive, and against the wisdom of Lenore and Svletlana, she plots to turn Ben into a vampire. Meanwhile, Will (Justin Kavlie) puts two and two together after many of his pals are either drained of blood or turned into bloodsuckers, becomes the Van Helsing of the prairies. Will does his research, grabs some wooden stakes, holy water, garlic, and a few other believers and sets off to destroy the ungodly babes. Beware, the babes are smart and take an early advantage in this battle. Uh oh for the babes, the sweet Renai's puppy love for the loser Ben may provide a vulnerability which  Will can exploit.
The blood will fly, necks will be ripped open, and Fargo's snow will be stained red. Can the sweet, but toothy, Renai find an eternity of happiness with a loser with the personality of a hockey puck? Does Van Helsing wannabe Will have a prayer to defeat a nemesis that has been battle hardened over centuries? The monsters are seductive and the heroes are dorky, but likable in "The New Girls." This action-packed horror yarn has energy and sweetness. For an alternative to the summer bore-a-thons, like "Solo," find "The New Girls" and enjoy an alluring film experience. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Literature Review: Criminal Zoo by Sean McDaniel

I was there. "...100, 99, 98...." They never get to 97. The inmate's last quote is this series of numbers. Because he mumbles these numbers, the press can't hear him and will report that he was praying.  A few seconds will pass, "97" is not uttered. He's asleep, but still with us. The anesthetic was the first injection, the second one will be a bit more...permanent, shall we say. Three unknown blokes stand behind a white curtain, each handling a valve.  The order is given and the trio turn their valves. Two of them will release a deadly poison into the inmate's bloodstream, while the third will release nothing. Each of the three will have plausible deniability they participated in an execution. Within 10 minutes, the warden will announce the time of death. A very humane end to a creep who caused so much torture, humiliation, carnage, and homicide. He deserved much worse for the pain he caused, hence Sean McDaniel's Criminal Zoo.
Mr. McDaniel introduces us to Samuel Bradbury. Samuel is evil. He believes himself a deity, mutilates his victims. and possesses no guilt...yep, he's a serial killer. Everything we read is given to us through Samuel's point of view. The details of his murders takes this shocking novel into the extreme horror category, but don't confuse this work with a shock-book. The story is poignant to who we are as a culture, and more importantly, where we are going. Today's death row is akin to the Saint Regis Hotel in Singapore as compared to a futuristic punishment for these fiends. I might say futuristic, but not much into the future. In Mr. McDaniel's future, America appears to have become a bit more liberal, and the death penalty is a abolished. Unfortunately for the Samuel Bradbury monster, America has not become more compassionate.
The death penalty has been replaced. Homicidal monsters are now sent to maximum security isolation for mental torture...then to the Criminal Zoo. In this sadistic zoo, citizens can pay to have an opportunity to interact with these, now bound, killers. The interactions are usually filled with torture and mutilation...yep, the tables are reversed. Some may claim this is a perversion of the biblical maxim ..."an eye for an eye." However sordid Samuel's existence was before his arrest, after several killings (which we read about in graphic detail), we almost feel sorry for him. As our sympathy appears to bubble to the surface, we ask ourselves how we can feel sorry for this monster. Perhaps Mr. McDaniel is reminding us where an otherwise civilized society can head if blood curdling evil becomes rampant. Yep, the sympathy may not be for Samuel, but for the loss of purity and innocence that guides our nation through a Constitution and privilege.
Samuel's ghastly fate was indeed deserved. However horrific this killer's homicides were, the reaction of good people may be the most horrific part of Criminal Zoo. Though the good people who paid to interact (torture and mutilate) the fiends were justified in their actions, certainly this mode of punishment will change them forever. Law abiding society is allowed to cross a line and in a sense, more monsters have been created. As I was acquainted with death row a few years ago, it was apparent that the inmates had any free will in them drained by a monotonous daily routine. With the abolition of death row in Mr. McDaniel's work, the monsters can only fantasize about the return to that more humane punishment.  The criminal zoo in this novel touches on the figurative and metaphorical descriptions of Hell in our Bible and great literature. God may be more humane than this new brand of punishment, but we certainly are not. For some shocking and graphic horror in which the true monsters may be in our own mirror, read Sean McDaniel's Criminal Zoo. By the way...these questions I pose in this review? The deeper you learn of the criminal zoo, these queries are addressed and the answers will horrify you!
To order this book on Kindle, click this link Criminal Zoo

Friday, June 8, 2018

Black Mountain Side, The Perils of Discovery

"Aha! We found it!" The sounds of discovery...precious. In horror films these words are followed by oohs and ahhhs, but in short time the screaming starts. Yep, you found it...or did it find you? Or better yet, did it want to be found? You rescued a little mystery for the world to see...a real scientific breakthrough. In a classic horror film theme, some things should stay lost...hence 2014's "Black Mountain Side."
They found it! Found what? Not important. Canada's northern most scientific outpost, located in the mountains, is isolated from civilization. The crew unearths an ancient structure built by a long gone civilization.  What happened to that civilization? Enter Professor Olsen (Michael Dickson). He is airlifted in to help figure out what this thing is. His expertise will only increase the mystery. This setting almost mirrors Outpost 31, from "John Carpenter's The Thing." There is even a Giles (Marc Anthony Williams). Alcohol, old video games, and games of chance occupy the staff's time. Jensen (Shane Twerdun) emerges as the sanest of the bunch (...that is not saying much), and he drinks like MacReady did in the aforementioned film. There is a radio which connects them to Canada, but that won't last.
Okay...isolation is a prevalent plot device. Then the weirdness starts, not including the weird structure that hovers over this plot. A cat is slain in a ritualistic manner. The radio stops working. The intern, Wells, gets sick (Steve Bradley). The cold (which reached negative 50 degrees), an increasing eeriness concerning the ancient structure, voices and apparent insanity converge on our protagonists. When it is revealed that a parasite has entered Wells body, a Lovecraftian horror also enters the plot...think octopus! Horror begets gore, as the crew must axe off Wells' arm. More gore and carnage will follow as Olsen witnesses all those around him losing any connection to reality. But is everyone going insane or has the outpost been invaded by an evil force that everyone but Olsen sees?
Doom and dread are woven into this story. You will have to ask yourself if the antagonist is otherworldly or in the psyche of flawed humans.  Watching this film evolve is horrifying as we are on the look-out for something emanating from a mysterious monolith, human deterioration, and perhaps a tentacled menace growing inside the unfortunate team. "Black Mountain Side" will creep you out and have you thinking about what you just saw days after the end credits roll. Beautifully shot in British Columbia (Cameron Tremblay, a producer and director of photography), this Nick Szostakiwskyj story is one that would please fans of "The Thing" and H.P. Lovecraft stories.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Apex-Predator, Bigfoot Shreds Hunks and Babes

Tara Kleinpeter is the beautiful Sharon in 2012's "Apex-Predator" (aka "Night Claws"). The buxom survivalist (who wears her shorts well) is tough and will take no abuse from any man. She even shuts down two weapon-wielding macho-men in her camp, as she leads tourists through the wilderness teaching survival techniques. Don't let her sultry looks betray you, she'll take you down and hog tie you the first time you try to take advantage of her. Sadly, Bigfoot will carry her off and eat her an instant after she puts down a macho-man. So unceremonious of a demise for this very strong female character. Alas, perhaps she should have stuck to scrap-booking. Surprise and shock rule "Apex-Predator," as no character is above being torn apart by our Sasquatch friend.
Two naked teenagers (Chelsea Rowland and Garrett Hines) engage in pre-marital sex in the woods. Yeah, like this will go well! Along comes Bigfoot and the two teens are now in several pieces, no longer amorous. Sheriff Kelly (Reb Brown) and his sultry (there's that word again!) deputy, Roberta (Sherrie Rose), figure they have a psycho-maniac on the loose. But wait. The sultry cryptozoologist, Sarah (Leilani Sarelle) sent by the president, informs them Sasquatch is the culprit. Roberta gives Sarah, adorned in a tight blouse, tight jeans, and alluring boots, the evil-eye, but the Sheriff allows her to tag along. With a monster on the loose, the aforementioned Sharon takes two bickering couples into the woods. Also headed into the woods is a psycho Bigfoot hunter (David Campbell) and his henchmen.
Bigfoot continues his quest to rid the world of nymphomaniac teens. As teens get naked and then pureed, Bigfoot also sets his sights on Sharon and her party. This survivalist party will not fare well. Though Sharon's death will be quick, and in mid-sentence, Cindy (Alissa Koenig) will endure torture and humiliation at the hands of her sadistic husband, the demented hunters, and Bigfoot...so sad. Of course, the sheriff and Sarah, and the jealous Roberta lead a posse into the woods to search for the killer.  But wait!  Is the killer a Bigfoot...or something more human? You'll see.
With all the naked, nubile babes in the woods, may Bigfoot have another use for them other than to fertilize the ground?  How about Cindy? Her good looks suggest that she will be ravaged and torn apart by Bigfoot, but may she actually survive?  Is Bigfoot the real danger to the sheriff and his posse, or may there be something else going on? Here's one more, will Roberta and Sarah engage in a knock-down, drag-out cat-fight?  Surprises await and sadly, don't get too attached to any character, as no one here is too good to die. For some Bigfoot fun, see "Apex-Predator," directed by David A. Prior.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Night of Terror, The Maniac and Suspended Animation

Pre-code Hollywood!  Risque at the time (the 1930s), but this era of cinema now seems quite tame. In 1933's "Night of Terror," in which Bela Lugosi actually plays the good guy, one may ask why this film is classified as pre-code.  Sure it came out in 1933, but usually the pre-code qualifier suggests partial nudity or women traipsing around in undies.  None here though...but wait! Perhaps the Harvey Weinstein scandal may offer some clues as the lovely Sally Blane is sexually harassed unmercifully, grabbed, and put in much peril.
A maniac (Edwin Maxwell) jumps into a convertible occupied by two young lovers who are necking.  He slashes both of them to death.  These unfortunates bring his kill total to 12 and now he escapes through the woods to the Rinehart Estate.  At the Rinehart mansion, Arthur (George Meeker), a mad scientist to be, is conducting experiments in suspended animation. Arthur is engaged to the Rinehart daughter, Mary (Blane). Uh oh, Blane is sucking face with a reporter in the back of a limo. Her kissing partner? Tom (Wallace Ford), a fun chap. Where Tom treated Mary to a date and a movie, Arthur implored her to stay home and read the stirring book Adams Life Among the Fossils. Like many of today's A-list actresses, Mary pretends to be offended by Tom's advances.
Okay, the maniac goes right to work.  He begins murdering Rineharts'. First Mary's dad (Tully Marshall) gets knifed. The trusted servant, Degar (Lugosi) acts as Mary's protector, as does clairovoyant maid Sika (Mary Frey). They both adore Mary. Cold fish Arthur, ignoring the danger goes forward with his experiment which will have himself buried in a grave for eight hours. Useless dolt! As the maniac goes through Rineharts' like crap through a goose, Sika conducts a seance hoping for answers. She'll get a sharp answer in the form of a knife in her back. As Mary becomes the object of the killer's quest, Tom rushes back to the mansion to plant more kisses on the blonde beauty.
Can the amorous Tom save Mary from the maniac and her weird mad scientist wannabe fiance? Will Mary ever be honest with herself and give into her lusts?  Exactly who is this maniac? As far as the maniac goes...you'll hear plenty from him. Sally Blane's portrayal of a blonde tease may speak some uncomfortable words to today's hyper-sensitive climate coming out of Hollywood.  For a politically incorrect view of a modern news story, enjoy "Night of Terror," directed by Benjamin Stoloff.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Tenant Who Lived Downstairs, Insaniac in the House

Billed as a comedy, 2017's "The Tenant Who Lived Downstairs" may be a whole lot more. In an era where being judgmental may be the vilest of sins, those of you who will seek roommates soon, even at college, may learn a few lessons from this eight minute short. That weird look in the eye, after all, may merely be a look of content in some lesser known cultures. That blood soaking his shirt may merely be spilled nail polish, yeah that's it. We shouldn't always assume the worst in people. After all, even Jack the Ripper deserves a fair shake.
Joel (Joel Wetterstein) has saved the day. He has found a roommate. Ryan (Ryan Carl Rowley, also the writer and director) moves into the apartment and looks at the other roomie, Matt (Matthew Bridges), as a doberman views a lamb chop. Joel misses all the nonverbal cues, which may be a fatal mistake. Forgive me for being judgmental, but Ryan has that look in his eyes. The look of a psychopath. Matt is spooked, but Joel is happy that Ryan will be able to contribute to the monthly rent payment.  Priorities! A Sherlock Holmes once told Dr. Watson, ..."you see but you do not observe." Hey, if the rent gets paid, its all good! Unless you wake up in several pieces (which is a fetish for some Japanese businessmen I'm told) .
This short runs eight minutes, so no spoilers here. Perhaps a comedy, but some good life lessons can be gleaned for all you young people out there.  The acting is first class, Mr. Bridges as the frightened, Mr. Wetterstein as the denier,  and Mr. Rowley as the psycho (...there I go, being judgmental again) all play their parts to perfection. For eight minutes of comedy and horror...and some poignant lessons on the importance of nonverbal communication, see "The Tenant Who Lived Downstairs."
To view this short film, click on this link Frank in the Cage

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Essex Spacebin, H.P. Lovecraft does Southend

Just beyond what we can see, perhaps in another dimension, someone or something beckons. Yes, H.P. Lovecraft had a field day with that assumption. Of course, his protagonists were brainiac scientists or academics, but in the real world, perhaps those with the 'third eye' are schmucks like you and me. David Hollinshead and Phil Thompson may earn the label of blue-collar H.P. Lovecrafts' as they have given us 2016's "Essex Spacebin." Before putting on this film, know that there are no throw away scenes or lines, everything is significant. Like a Guy Ritchie film, this is one you'll want to watch again.
Lorraine (Lorraine Maltby) may have a special calling. Sure, she is no Euro-babe, or sultry astronomer, but she believes she has an inside track on a 'stargate' ...or portal to another dimension, shall we say. The very-non-sexy marketing exec for Starburgerz will embark on a costly journey to this stargate, or to an insane asylum. Yep, her mom Caryl (Caryl Griffith) gave her a key. This key belonged to Lorraine's dad, a scientist who might have worked for the CIA and who might have invented Agent Orange. Hardly one to sit about and watch the world...or galaxies go by, our plump (understatement) heroine is proactive. With the guidance of galactic guru, the pot-head Hogan (Hogan Cooper), she plods forward to seek the elusive portal in Southend, after all, the sands of Southend's shoreline built the great Egyptian pyramids (just go with that).
No spoilers here, so I'll cut the plot description short. It is easy to see Lorraine as as tragic protagonist and to feel sorry for her. After all, she and the rest of her kinfolk have always lost life's lottery. As working class blokes, the social structure in the U.K. offers them no hope to escape a rough grind of day-to-day survival. Perhaps this hopelessness has driven her to insanity in her Quixotic quest for the impossible. But wait!  Might she be on to something? Might there be a stargate in Essex, just waiting to take some chosen ones to another, more advanced dimension? Is Lorraine a lunatic or 'The Chosen One"?
Again, just like a Ritchie film you'll be introduced to a lot of significant characters. Whether it be director Philip Thompson as Lorraine's hubby, or the sultry Emily Wyatt as a sadistic insane asylum nurse, they are all integral to this wild story. This film may initially seem a sci-fi comedy, but we really feel for Lorraine's plight, not the quest for a stargate, but the quest for relevance and meaning. The ending? Ha! You'll see, but it is a wild one. Do yourself a favor, and undertake a search for a portal to another dimension, not with H.P Lovecraft, but with a couple regular guys, and watch  David Hollinshead's  and Phil Thompson's "Essex Specebin."
Essex Spacebin is on Amazon video (free for members) and feel free to explore their website by clicking on this link Essex Spacebin
This film is also available on DVD and BluRay in the U.S. and U.K., and the world, and can be ordered on the above website.