Saturday, February 29, 2020

Literature Review: Claudia Jennings by Eric J. Karrel

Who is to blame for this tragedy? How you answer that question may be a mirror into who you are as a human being. An American tragedy played out, largely in the 1970s, and its status as an enigma today may be an indication of a society wrestling with its own identity. Claudia Jennings...Playmate of the Year for Hugh Hefner's Playboy, queen of the B movies, and human being. Yes she was a human being. She had a loving family and friends who continue to heap praise and thanks on her for her kindness and empathy. Only today do we have a comprehensive story that you can refer in order to understand the truth about Claudia. Today we look at Eric J. Karrel's biography of this enigma, Claudia Jennings.
You know the end of the story, a horrible car crash on a southern California road results in Claudia's death. It's too easy to fill in the details with stereotypical lore. Beautiful Midwestern gal goes to Hollywood and gets hung up on drugs, fame, and bad men. Now, Eric Karrel gives us the real story. Claudia was a tragic figure who to this day elates many of us B movie fans who enjoyed drive-in classics such as "'Gator Bait," and "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase." Unlike the irrelevant A-listers of today, the genuineness and love radiated by Ms. Jennings is captured so beautifully in this magnum opus work.
Karrel interviews dozens of Claudia's friends and acquaintances...and family members. Haters and detractors? There are few and tend to by of the tabloid nature looking for a story that just wasn't there. Claudia touched so many of the heavy hitters of the 1960s and 1970s movie, songwriting, and celebrity core of Hollywood.  Thanks to the author you will meet them and hear their actual recollections and testimonies of the ill-fated actress.  The accounts range from such heavyweights as Roger Corman to Maureen McCormick (Marsha on "The Brady Bunch"). Her lovers are also in here and if you are bent on believing this Playboy centerfold was a slut, gold-digger, and airhead...well, just read this book. Karrel's work doesn't serve to portray Claudia as Mother Teresa, but does present a comprehensive study of a human being who loved, made mistakes, was wronged, and lives on today because the magnificence of her talent and beauty.
Karrel received wonderful access from Claudia's family, a tribute to his sincerity and honesty which comes out in this book. For fans like me who still admire the beauty of the sultry actresses of the 1970s, it would be easy to write a book oozing with the boyhood crush we had on them. Karrel's work avoids this pitfall and presents all the information and testimony...good or bad. Claudia Jennings (or Mimi, as her family knew her as) has a new friend in eternity...someone who has finally told her story. Someday...way into the future, she may get the opportunity to thank Eric J. Karrel for being her voice. To read Karrel's Claudia Jennings: an Authorized Biography click on the below listed link.
Claudia Jennings on Amazon

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cybernetic Showdown, Mutants in Manitoba

Just when you were thinking we haven't had a good post-apocalyptic-mutant movie lately, Ian Russell brings us 2019's "Cybernetic Showdown." Yep...a mutant invasion set in the former dominions of Canada is put on film for all of us to enjoy. In a really low-budget film, we have a techno-thriller, meshed with a spaghetti western, meshed with a Roger Corman scifi effort. In a comic book type landscape, with dashes of Monty Python humor, we will see an epic story through the eyes of a larger than life detective reminiscent of a Dirty Harry...okay, a bargain basement Dirty Harry.
A great calamity has befallen mankind and all the major cities have been reduced to rubble.  Moscow is gone...New York is gone (that part has already happened)...London is gone...and even Moose Jaw ceases to exist. A walled city has sprung up as an oasis in the apocalyptic wasteland... New Winnipeg. This walled city is civilization's last hope and a short-handed police force is charged with killing mutants that seek to invade. Leading the law enforcement effort is Detective Jimmy (Tyhr Trubiak). He has a bionic arm, witty and biting one-liners, and a sad backstory.
As the mutants are organized and controlled by a demented holy man, The Friar (Tyler Glennon), Jimmy goes through mutants like crap through a goose. Jimmy is a haunted soul as his fiance was taken by the mutants and exposed to a fate worse than death. Uh oh...Jimmy is lured into the wasteland as The Friar sends his minions to conquer and kill everyone in New Winnipeg. Now Jimmy must play catch-up and unfortunately will find out some horrific realities about the true nature and purpose of the mutant invasion. Limbs will fly, heads will be decapitated, and blood will spurt as Jimmy's ire knows no bounds.
Just what is The Friar's ultimate plan for his mutants? If Jimmy does prevail, what will his new role be in New Winnipeg? Will the latest apocalypse cause the Winnipeg Jets to leave Canada one more time? This is a neat low-budget effort with some imaginative special f/x and animation thrown in. The comic book, or graphic novel, style of this film keeps it fun and ambitious. For some great apocalyptic wasteland fun, enjoy Ian Russell's "Cybernetic Showdown."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Help Me... I'm Possessed!, Lovecraftian Pulp!

Nubile babes strung up in their undies and groped by insaniacs! A mad-scientist into torture and dissection! A weird hunchback with an ax! A tentacled monster tearing apart anyone it meets! Yes, today we have 1974's "Help Me... I'm Possessed!" We have a lot here in this film directed by Charles Nizet, including a H.P. Lovecraft story, though without the glitter of the ones featuring Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs.
Dr. Arthur Blackwood runs a lunatic asylum in the desert. As the film begins, a babe and hunk are making out near Blackwood's asylum/castle and are torn apart by some tentacled menace. At the asylum, a weird hunchback cuts up a formerly beautiful blonde and shoves her in a little box. Blackwood has several loonies locked in cages and subject to his experiments. We meet a very pretty nurse in white, Eleanor (Blackie Hunt). She is devoted to Blackwood but isn't up to speed (yet) on what he is doing. Oh yes, Blackwood's sister, Melody (Lynne Marta) is a lunatic but appears peaceful. Uh oh...she has a pet that lives in the caves in the desert. When Blackwood wants someone killed, he sends Melody to let her pet out.
Surprise! Blackwood's wife Diane (Deedy Peters) arrives. She is also clueless but after the sultry Eleanor, dressed in white meets a gory demise, she becomes suspicious. Eleanor was finding out too much. Blackwood also lets Melody's monster loose on two deputies. Meanwhile, a beauty is strung up in her undies in Blackwood's lab by another lunatic. Blackwood decapitates the guy and locks the beauty in a coffin with a poisonous snake. Uh oh...this experience gives Blackwood a sexual thrill...really! Now Diane begins snooping around and reports her findings to the sheriff (Jim Dean). As Diane finds out everything, she will confront her mad-scientist husband setting up an ending that H.P. Lovecraft would have loved.
Exactly what are the goals of Dr. Blackwood's experiments? What is that tentacled menace and why does it have a connection to Melody? Why do nubile babes always find themselves stripped and strung up in dungeons in these types of films? Not that we're complaining. This is an energetic and ambitious tale that might be termed gratuitous and prurient. Not that we're complaining. For some drive-in type fun, watch "Help Me... I'm Possessed!" directed by Charles Nizet.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Trackman, Eyeball Collector in the Subway

From Russia, a gratuitous tale of a pick-axe wielding maniac. Shot in Moscow it is nice to see that our comrades there were also influenced by "My Bloody Valentine." Instead of a mine in Nova Scotia, this film is set in abandoned subway tunnels under Moscow. Take heart...the pick-axe is the same...and in 2007's "Trackman," our fiend also has a flamethrower...and he collects eyeballs!
Stupid Russian criminals come up with a fool proof plan to pull off a bank robbery and getaway. We've heard that before. Grom (Dimitriy Orlov) leads the idiots into the bank. Guess what...a bunch of heavily armed cops just happen to be doing their banking at the same time. A shoot-out occurs, two cops are killed and the robbers run out with the loot, a policeman hostage (Igor Shavlak) and two Russian babe bank employee hostages, Olga (Yuliya Mikhaylova) and Katya (Svetlana Metkina). Part two of the brilliant plan, disappear into a shaft leading to abandoned subway lines. Now in the subway, our crooks will soon find out that a Chernobyl survivor, turned mutant, lives there. One by one, the robbers and hostages are hunted down and have their eyes plucked out.
Olga and Katya are dolls and run for their lives clad in some nice heels and tight get-ups. The fiend, or trackman (Alexsey Dmitriev) gets a look at Olga and her shiny pantyhose and falls in love. Unfortunately, he doesn't like Katya and her heeled boots and keeps pursuing her. Grom, however, falls in love with Katya and will try to keep her alive. As the pick-axe and assorted surgical tools make minced meat out of the intruders, one of the gals will meet a very sad fate. Now armed with a flamethrower, as well, the trackman seems to have all the advantages. Grom, who probably has never had a bright idea since Communism died, must smarten up if he plans to preserve Katya and both of her eyes.
This is a gory one and Olga's death is very difficult to her legs really captivated us. Is this film a metaphor for the deterioration of public transportation in Moscow since the Berlin Wall fell? Does Olga's death make this  film a misogynistic parable about the evil influence of alluring Western fashion trends which Russian women gravitate to? Or, is this Moscow's attempt to show the West that they too can make a film of the caliber of "My Bloody Valentine." Brutal and gory, "Trackman" is a terrific Russian slasher film, directed by Igor Shavlak.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bachelor Party Massacre, Guys and Strippers Die Horribly

Why do dancers die so horribly in these films? Perhaps in a misogynistic society where male domination insists on ladies of the night and denying them collective bargaining rights,  this is just inevitable. Nurses and stewardesses don't die this horribly and in this great a number... okay, so maybe they do. But stewardesses and nurses are unionized so at least they are smartly dressed when they are slashed and dissected. Today we take a look at 2006's "Bachelor Party Massacre," directed by Schumacker Halpern Overdrive (really). This film has a humongous kill total, and no stripper... er exotic dancer will fare well.
A sultry blonde murders her dad and his exotic dancer mistress and is sent away for life. After a bloody escape she descends on the town of Alpine and in a very gratuitous slashing scene, cuts up pretty blonde stripper Val (Lesley Patterson). Val was going to work a bachelor party so the killer takes her place. Addison (Michael Capes) is a hunk who is engaged to Lisa (Kate Huffman). His three amigos are throwing him the party at a closed down bar. Carl (Joshua Breeding) is his brother and Mark (Kyle Powers) and Paul (Eric Von Doymi) are his buds. After meeting them we desire that this quartet die horribly.
Two strippers arrive, Erin (Zoe Taylor) and Jennifer (Jamie Marie). They strip and do a lot of lap dances. The killer is also present and she will get busy. Her kills are bloody and vomit inducing, literally. Mark will die first in a pile of his own vomit. The beautiful killer has a big knife, an ax, and will also use a stiletto heel as a weapon. The beautiful will die in humiliating fashion and the hunks will be... well, you'll see. The body count will sky rocket quickly, just in time for Lisa and Carl's wife (Monica Marie Johnson) to show up. The more the merrier for our killer who is hearing voices and wants everyone to die with much gore.  As strippers and hunks fall, our sultry slasher gets more unwound.
Is there no end to the disrespectful and misogynistic depiction of ladies of the night in our movies? Will our sultry killer be stopped by any of the hunks or their wives? Would nurses or stewardesses fared better against the insane blonde than our ill-fated exotic dancers? This is an ambitious horror film with a few more kills than usual. For a nice time on movie night, take in "Bachelor Party Massacre."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Witchcraft, The Return of the Hag

She's back! Like anyone who has one really wants them back. No one, unless you belong to some deviant Satanic want them back, but then again, you like drinking chicken blood. From 1964 we have "Witchcraft," a Hammer-like horror film starring Lon Chaney, Jr. In this haunted tale, the sins of us in the present just beg the return of a 300 year old witch. Directed by Don Sharp, "Witchcraft" is atmospheric, spending much of its time in a cavernous old mansion and an unending family tomb.
Okay, Bill Lanier (Jack Hedley) isn't a bad guy, but his partner, Myles (Barry Linehan) is. The two have the contract on developing their old English town by adding modern homes and strip malls. Alas, Myles orders the centuries old graveyard the name of progress. Bill has nothing to do with this decision but incurs Morgan Whitlock's (Cheney, Jr.) wrath. The Whitlock's have been buried in this cemetery for centuries and all the graves are disturbed. Uh oh, Vanessa Whitlock (Yvette Rees), a witch who was buried alive (by the Laniers') 300 years ago, crawls out of her grave. She's back!
Vanessa goes to work right away, leaving voodoo dolls on her victims. First Myles...she'll drown him in the bathtub. Then the Laniers' must pay...after all, the Laniers' of 300 years ago buried her alive. In fairness...she had it coming. Ah so cute, Bill's son Todd (Dabid Weston) and Morgan's daughter Amy (Diane Clare) are sweet on each other. These two don't understand a centuries old feud...but they will, soon. Uh oh, a sacrifice is needed by a Satanic cult, which is mandated by Vanessa, and Bill's very pretty wife Tracy (Jill Dixon) will do the trick. As Vanessa and Satanists set their sights on the pretty (but obviously not a virgin) Tracy, Bill will have to come up on speed on Vanessa and the Whitlock's thirst for revenge.
Will Bill be able to save Tracy from grouchy Satanists? Will Amy and Todd's love for each other temper an ages old hatred the Laniers' and Whitlocks' have for each other? Will the centuries old Vanessa stop killing Laniers' long enough to put on some make-up, buy some fashionable clothes, and perhaps start enjoying the 20th century? This film is a neat English horror film complete with creepy graveyards, family crypts, and ominous curses. For a neat Friday night date movie catch "Witchcraft."

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Savage Abduction, Exploitation and Violence Galore

Be warned! This is a brutal one in bad taste. If that could offend you...stop reading now. Nubile teen babes put upon by a biker gang and sex maniac. I told you...but had to read on. In drive-in style we delve into a gritty exploitation thriller, 1973's "Savage Abduction" (aka "Cycle Psycho" and "The Bloody Abduction of Sarah Ridelander"). Two nubile teen-age gals will undergo unimaginable horror with barely a chance at survival.
As our film begins, Sarah (Marga-Jean) is brutally murdered in her bed by serial killer Harry (Joe Turkel). This fiend not only stabbed her to death, but he raped her corpse. Uh oh...Harry is not alone in this awful act. He was hired by Sarah's husband, Dick (Tom Drake). Dick is a rich lawyer who decided to off his wife, and Harry was an available hit-man. Dave gets away with it as the cops don't suspect him, so what could go wrong? Witnesses and accomplices never age well. Harry decides he wants two nubile gals so he can rape, torture, and dissect them. The psycho calls his old pal Dick. This is Harry's deal for Dick...get me two babes suitable for rape and dissection and the cops will never have to know you hired me to kill your wife.
Blackmailed, Dick just gets into it deeper. He hires a biker gang, The Savage Disciples, to abduct two babes. Chelsea (Steve Oliver) is hesitant to take the job, but he's a fiend too and acquiesces. Enter two babes, fresh in L.A. from Omaha...Faye (Kitty Vallacher) and Jenny (Tannis Gallik). These two, upon hitting L.A. don mini-skirts and go-go boots and decide to see some of the city. They are quickly abducted by The Savage Disciples. The two teens are held captive at the biker pad, either locked in a closet or tied up. They plead to be let go, but their captors have been promised a lot of money for them. Hearing two dames have been secured for him, Harry readies some rope, saws, and more surgical tools. As the girls are helpless to escape, Harry and Dick head over to collect the goods.
Do Jenny and Faye have any chance at escape? Just what does Harry have planned for his hacksaws and surgical tools? Okay...stupid question. Does Dick really believe that after this blackmail transaction that Harry will leave him alone? No humor or cute plot devices here...the gals are in'll see. Certainly "Savage Abduction" isn't a film you will gloat about at your book club or Lions Club meeting, but admit it...something inside you is telling you to find it on YouTube.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Undead, Nubile Babes and Witchcraft

In what appears to be a predictable tale of witch trials in which nubile babes are put in much peril, Roger Corman throws in some neat twists to make this one...a little different. Most importantly, 1957's "The Undead" gives us some great 1950's cheesecake, more specifically, Allison Hayes and Pamela Duncan. These two beauties will be pitted against each other and we can only hope for a gratuitous cat-fight. The allure of the evil witch, Ms. Hayes, and the nubile lass, played by Miss Duncan, may be the highlight of this tale that becomes a complex tale of irony.
Streetwalker...okay, whore, Diana (Duncan) is picked up by mad-scientist Quintus (Val Dufour). He doesn't want sex, but pays her hypnotized. The beauty lays on the couch and Quintus goes to work. After learning from Buddhist shamans, Quintus is able to send Diana back to a past life, where she was on trial for witchcraft. Arriving in the past, Diana is now the nubile Helene who is set to be executed. Now Diana is a voice in Helene's head and instructs her on how to escape. Using seduction, and she is quite capable of that, she escapes.
Now on the run, the very sultry Helene hides in a coffin...with its corpse. As the horse-drawn hearse starts moving, she and the corpse rapidly rub up against each other. Okay, enter Livia (Hayes), a knock-out of a witch . Livia needs Helene's head in order to gain Satan's favor...oh yes, he's in this (Richard Devon). But wait! Back in the 20th century, Quintus realizes his little experiment may change history and he follows Diane back to the 17th century. Now Quintus meets Livia and Satan and tries to collect Helene/Diana. But wait again! Helene's predicament has yielded some surprising dichotomies. The beautiful Helene has a choice to make and the results of her choice are steeped in irony. As Diana must choose between the man she loves and death, her choice won't be as easy it may seem.
With the sultry Livia desiring Helene's head, and Helene desiring the love of a brave knight, the two babes are in store for some surprising twists. Will the twists faced by Helene and Livia still enable them to partake in a wild cat-fight? Is the life of a 20th century prostitute preferable to that of a 17th century beauty, slated to be executed for witchcraft? Is this film a Roger Corman sermon explaining the misogyny of the 20th century being just as profound as 17th century misogyny? This is a good one that gets quite complex. However complex, the allure of Ms. Duncan and Ms. Hayes will keep you glued to the silver screen. Enjoy Roger Corman's "The Undead." 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Venus in Furs, Sultry Revenge From the Grave

Jesus Franco didn't have to contend with ISIS...probably a good thing. As James Darren has passionate and juicy pre-marital sex with Maria Rohm, images of erect mosque spirals are super-imposed on the heated action. As the two moan and groan, the Muslim call to prayer also echos. A scene reminiscent of the train going through the tunnel in "North By Northwest" when Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint go at it. With heated this Franco film, is ghostly revenge and erotic methods. Today we look at 1969's "Venus in Furs."
Wanda (Rohm) appears at a jet-set party of millionaire Ahmed (Klaus Kinski) in Istanbul. Jimmy (Darren) is the hired help, tooting his trumpet with the band. Wanda is ushered into another room and Ahmed and her begin sucking face. Uh oh...the sultry Olga (Margaret Lee) and the pervert Percival (Dennis Price) show up. Percival beats and strips Wanda as Olga wields a whip and uses it repeatedly on the mysterious siren. Humiliated, Wanda is then jumped on by the perverse trio and sacrificed with a ceremonial dagger. She'll wash up dead on a beach soon...and our story really begins.
Jimmy is now tooting his horn in Rio and loving nightclub singer Rita (Barbara McNair). The two are crazy about each other until Wanda shows up. Uh oh...she's supposed to be dead. Much to Rita's frustration, Wanda and Jimmy commence a torrid love affair. Uh oh again, Percival is also in town and Wanda will pay him a very erotic and deadly visit. After a gratuitous make-out scene between Wanda and Olga, the ghostly vixen will then pay an equally erotic visit to Olga...can you guess her fate. Now Wanda heads back to Istanbul where Ahmed still practices ancient rites. The love-struck Jimmy follows and the two have more pre-marital sex. Now Wanda seeks to complete her revenge at the same time as she falls madly in love with Jimmy.
Is Wanda really dead? If Wanda is really a ghost, is Jimmy really cheating on Rita? After disposing of Olga in an act of erotic revenge, will Wanda turn her attention to Rita in a more 'claiming your territory' act of violence? This is a horror/mystery heavy on eroticism and Maria Rohm's ghostly allure is this film's major asset. For some intriguing plot lines and alluring performances, see "Venus in Furs."

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Varsity Blood, Cheerleaders and Jocks Die Horribly

Beautiful cheerleaders die horribly, but not before providing gratuitous shower scenes, gratuitous strip scenes, gratuitous scenes in pink undies. Hunk jocks die horribly, but not before some gratuitous ab shots, gratuitous grunt shots, and after groping and feeling up the aforementioned soon-to-be-dead cheerleaders. In 2014's "Varsity Blood," director Jake Helgren brings us back to classic themes and plot devices from 1980s slasher films. Today we look at this morality tale that show us what could happen to you handsome and pretty youngsters if you drink alcohol, do drugs, and engage in pre-marital sex...or take a probing shower in front of the camera.
The nubile and perky Hannah (Lexi Giovagnoli) arrives in town after the horrible death of her dad. She immediately makes the cheer squad at high school. Her backstory isn't the only sad one. A year earlier the beautiful cheerleader Ginny (Chloe Evans) was killed, and the other cheerleaders may have been responsible. Uh oh...Hannah doesn't know this and when Ginny's boyfriend escapes from a lunatic asylum, he heads back to town. The pretty Diane (Elle LaMont) will be the first to go as she showers in the locker room. A tomahawk wielding Aztec priest finds her and offs her. Okay, Tina (Natalie Peyton), the head cheerleader arranges a Halloween party at a secluded abandoned house...bad idea.
Beer and drugs will be supplied by the football jocks and Hannah must disobey her weird mom (Debbie Rochon) to attend. Hannah's boyfriend Blaine (Blair Jackson) is a two-timer and Hannah will dump him at the party, enabling the seemingly clean cut Jeff (Wesley Scott) to move in. Also moving in is that Aztec priest. The fiend also has a bow and arrow and as Vickie (Taylor Moessinger) and Peter (Manuel Chapa) have pre-marital sex in the bed of a pick-up, he slaughters them. As beer and drugs permeate the party our Aztec priest goes through cheerleaders like crap through a goose, and jocks too. Pretty Heather (Elyse Bigler) will have the most heartbreaking death. The pretty blonde will get a pitchfork in the gut after varsity heroics. As Hannah and Jeff team up to save their pals, the Aztec priest seems unstoppable.
Who is this Aztec priest and what connection does he have to the cheerleading squad? What tragedy befell Ginny last year, and are the rest of the cheerleaders doomed to fall to someone's twisted revenge?  Will there be a final cheerleader or is no one too beautiful to die? There is plenty of cheesecake and beefcake in this one, and most of them will die horribly. With much gratuitous cheerleader scenes, illegal drinking and drug use, and beautiful teens behaving badly, the Aztec guy may be an angel of morality...or not. For a terrific slasher film, see "Varsity Blood."

Monday, February 10, 2020

Rave Party Massacre, Machete Wielding Fiend in 1992

You remember the horrors of 1992...don't you? Oh come on...the killings in have to remember those? No!?! Well how about the little boy and the dog that got gunned down? What!? You don't remember? Oh come on! People were dying in the streets! Well, just go with it, as does 2017's "Rave Party Massacre" (aka "DeadThirsty"). This bloody slasher flick, which utilizes an ax and a machete, is steep with irrelevant political commentary that will bore you, but also rife with gore and gratuitous enjoy this Jason Winn film.
Skipping all the 1992 politics, let us focus on the slasher film. The very perky and scantily clad Rachel (Sara Bess) and her dolt boyfriend Branson (Jared Sullivan) are arguing as they arrive at a rave party at an abandoned hospital. Immediately they down ecstasy and Rachel begins dancing and having sex with a stranger Thomas (Pedro Paulo Ferreira). Fair is fair, Branson begins dancing and feeling up a stranger, Clare (Melissa Kunnap). Rachel in her sexy get-up is indeed the belle of the ball. Fast forward, they all wake up the next morning dazed and confused...and Rachel is panicked to be in a draw in the hospital's morgue.
Uh oh...a masked man carrying a machete is following them. Then they meet Phillip (Evan Taylor Williams)...he doesn't fit in with the rave crowd, but he is the only one with a brain. Doesn't matter, they'll split up (always a good idea) and one by one fall victim to the machete and ax wielding maniac. Blood will flow freely and the gore will be steeped on high as the idiot ravers, obvious victims of the cruel George H.W. Bush Administration (that will be thrown in a lot), will be chased and cut by one. As the nubile and scantily clad Rachel keeps running and screaming in utter horror, our fiend seems to have some twisted method to his madness.
Just who is this masked fiend, and what does he have against ravers (other than the obvious stuff)? Who is this guy Phillip, and will he enjoy pre-marital sex with either Rachel or Clare? Is George H.W. Bush's 1000 Points of Light the true killer here (don't laugh...this film goes there)? It is terrific to see a modern day slasher film that utilizes machetes, axes, and throws gallons of blood at us. For a good time, ignore the social commentary and enjoy a good slasher film, "Rave Party Massacre." 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, The Great Claudia Jennings!

Claudia Jennings!!! Yes!!! Alas, an  American tragedy, but an eternal gift to B movie and exploitation fans. 40 years since her untimely and tragic death, she lives on. You may best remember her from "'Gator Bait" but in 1976's  "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase," we see Claudia as a femme- Burt Reynolds in drive-in form. She'll be nude a lot, have some orgy scenes, traipse through Texas in neat cars, carrying dynamite, robbing banks, and always looking sultry. Perhaps an improbable plot, but no more improbable than Jeffrey Epstein committing suicide in his cell.
Candy (Jennings) busts out of prison and immediately grabs some dynamite to use to rob a bank. She gets away with lots of money and gives it to her family so they can pay their house off. A modern day 'Robin Hood'? Nope. Now on the run she quickly picks up Ellie Jo (Jocelyn Jones). We first meet Ellie Jo while she is nude in bed and she'll be nude a lot. Ellie Jo sees Candy as the woman she seeks to be and convinces Candy to adopt her as a partner. The two will now pull off bank heists with the dynamite and every cop in Texas is now looking for them.
All goes well and this is starting to resemble a 70s Burt Reynolds film. The gals will have lots of pre-marital sex and be nude a lot. There will be a hot tub orgy and Candy will even have sex while buying dynamite. Uh oh...the gals continue robbing banks and the cops are getting more serious... their pistols have been holstered and the shotguns are now wielded. Instead of a Burt Reynolds film, now our femme-fatales seem to be in a "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" type film. You know what that means...the Bolivian army certainly does. The gore creeps in, people begin dying horribly, and the cops are not smiling. It is apparent that Texas and their law enforcement are done playing the patsies, and Candy and Ellie Jo sense the coming carnage.
Will Candy and Ellie Jo go down like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid in that aforementioned film? Are these two sexy bandits too pretty to get blown off? Is the desire to see the establishment humiliated a theme, big in the 70s, back visiting us here in 2020? Claudia Jennings is sultry and her personal story is captivating.  Ms. Jones is a sultry counterpart to Ms. Jennings, and this film is heavy on action...heavier on cheese...and a terrific love letter from Ms. Jennings to all her adoring fans. Do yourself a gratuitous favor and see "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase," directed by Michael Pressman.
To read a biography of Claudia Jennings, read Eric Karell's book, available at this Amazon link  Claudia Jennings

Thursday, February 6, 2020

UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine, An Army of Mutants

Be all you can be! Or, be all you can be with the injection from a mad-scientist. A little bit of this top secret serum and you too can be the ultimate killing machine. Sure, you will go totally psycho...but just think of dead enemy troops littering a desert battlefield. Hence 2006's "UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine." After all...isn't war madness? Okay, in "The Bridge on the River Kwai," war is madness...but in "Apocalypse Now," its horror. Combine these two great war films and we have a 3.1/10 rated on IMDB gem.
Four desperate enlistees don't bode well for America's readiness. Waylon (Mac Fyfe) is a petty criminal. Buddy (Stephen Arbuckle) is a welfare loser. Carrie (Erin Mackinnon) is a runaway. Zoe (Victoria Nestorowicz) is a crack addict. The U.S. Army isolates these winners immediately and sends them to a top secret research facility where they will be..."altered." Major Blevins (Michael Madsen) heads the project. Two mad scientists will commence the experiment, Dr. Stroheim (John Evans) and the sultry Lena (Deanna Dezmari). The scientists will inject the four schmucks and turn them from losers to...well...ultimate killing machines.
Oh yeah...they won't be the first test subjects. Sgt Dobbs (Simon Northwood), a decorated veteran suffering from PTSD has already been injected. Dobbs then turned into a killing machine who rips heads and faces off army privates at this secret facility. As the kids arrive, Dobbs escapes and starts his homicidal rampage. The kids begin showing results immediately and look like they also may be becoming homicidal killing machines. As Dobbs continues his bloody rampage, the four former-losers also escape and prowl the facility's corridors looking for heads to rip off. Now the army men and scientists in the facility are in danger. But wait, Dobbs has a crush on Lena...will this mean she will be impregnated by the beast...or crushed.
What will happen when Dobbs meets his four new comrades in arms? Does Major Blevins and the mad-scientists have any doomsday plan for the facility to be enacted if the test subjects rebel? Are the five monsters at the facility a fair representation of the U.S. military's continued war on the losers of life's lotteries? Okay, that last question was out there...I admit. Directed by David Mitchell, enjoy a monsters-out-of-control-at-an-underground-lab thriller in "UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine." 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Shiver of the Vampires, Pseudo-Porn Vampire Flick

Kuelan Herce and Marie-Pierre Castel may be the real stars of this 1971 Jean Rollin flick. The two beauties play servants to a family of vampires. Under their spell, the scantily clad, and often nude, vixens frolic nude together, jump into bed nude with men, feel each other up, and fantasize about real men. Under the spell of two former vampire hunters, turned vampires, they serve loyally, readying tombs for vampire rites, sometimes giving their own blood, and allowing vampires to grope them. Alas, these two playful muses take us through a very erotic French vampire tale.
Newlyweds Isle (Sandra Julien) and the milquetoast Antoine (Jean-Marie Durand) are off on their honeymoon as they stop at the castle of Isle's cousins. Uh oh...the cousins are dead and the castle is occupied only by the two aforementioned babe servants. Uh oh again, they're not really dead...they are merely former Van Helsing types who are now vampires. The couple stay at the castle and Isle shows no interest in sex with her husband. Enter Isolde (Dominique). Nude a lot and emerging from grandfather clocks and chimneys, the lesbian vampire moves Isle to take all her clothes off and let the vampire feel her up ad bite her. The two cousins emerge (Michael Delahaye and Jacques Robiolles). These two weirdos love groping the servants and desire Isle to join their vampire family.
Isolde scolds the two male vampires letting them know they are inferior to her. The duo responds by ripping off her robe and raping her...she doesn't seem to hold this against them. Now Antoine, realizing Isle is under their spell, must fight for his bride. The vampires seem to have the upper hand but Antoine makes the sultry servants an offer they may not be able to refuse, Oh yeah, cousin Isabelle (Nicole Nancel)...she'll emerge as a blonde beauty (not a vampire) and immediately be offed by some of the weirdest breast carnage you will ever see.
Will Antoine be able to co-opt the loyalties of the the sultry and naughty servants and turn the tables on the vampires? Will the two naughty servants stop feeling each other up and turn their attentions to the neglected Antoine? How about Isle, will she emerge from the vampire spell and be able to fight for her life? This is a naughty one that appeals to the prurient interests of those who like their horror erotic. The two servants steal the show and give this titillating film a playful feel.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Bride, 'Til Death Do Us Part

This 1973, you know is going to be a good one. Sure, I'll post this review of "The Bride" under that title. However, it is also known as "The House That Cried Murder," and "Last House on Massacre Street." Perfect drive-in titles. Unsettling, to say the least, this one will make you squirm and perhaps offer a stern warning to screen your potential spouse carefully. One never knows when homicidal mania or masochism will rear their ugly heads...especially in marriage.
Okay, Barbara (Robin Strasser) is so in love with David (Arthur Roberts). When we meet them they are frolicking through the fields as corny love music plays. She brings him to the house she is having built for them. They intend to get married. Uh oh...we sense he isn't as in love with her as she is with him. Barbara's dad (John Beal) doesn't like David, he says "He stinks!" They get married anyway and at the wedding ceremony she catches him about to have extra-marital sex with his old flame, Helen (Iva Jean Saraceni).Barbara flips out, grabs some big shears and tries to carve up David. He's bloodied and her dress is stained blood...but no one dies. She shrieks like a banshee and drives off, only to go missing for the next two weeks.
In those two weeks, Helen and David move in together and live as husband and wife...though they aren't. Barbara's dad is also David's boss, who claims he doesn't know why Barbara drove off. No one saw this display except Barbara. Dad appears to know more than he is letting on and hints at Barbara's criminal insanity. Weird phone calls then unsettle David and Helen then some bloody reminders appear signaling Barbara is close by and not happy at what she is watching. As Barbara, or someone (or something) goes after Helen, both cheaters are now horrified. Barbara is unmerciful and lures David to her unfinished house is pretty icky what happens next.
Blood will spatter, axes will be swung, corpses will...well, you'll see. Just where did Barbara go for two weeks and what is her plan for revenge? Will the happy-homewrecker Helen escape Barbara's wrath? Just what does Barbara's dad know and why hasn't he fired David from his firm? The ending is shocking and perhaps for adulterers and breakers of marital vows, the fate that awaits is worse than death. Directed by Jean-Marie Pelissie, "The Bride" will cause you to squirm and maybe hold your spouse a little tighter for fear that...well, you'll see.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Play. Pause. Kill., Text Mayhem

The 21st Century! Everything is pretty much instant. With a few clicks on your phone you can have all your Christmas shopping done. Even better, a dull evening at home on a Saturday night can be taken care of with a few texts, to other peeps who also text. The era of instant gratification, sadly, doesn't apply to everything. Or does it? Hence we look at David Teixeira's 14 minute horror short, "Play. Pause. Kill."
The beautiful Julie (Anasthasia Czajka) writes screenplays. At the moment her brain isn't communicating with her pen and the words aren't flowing. She is nubile, a bit insecure, and taking a brave step as she picks up her smart phone. What is this brave step? She begins texting Henry (Lucas Dutilleul). Her  willingness to let her guard down alarms us as she seems to allow Henry to intimidate her into inviting himself over. What does she know about Henry? Not much, but he promises to bring over wine and a horror film in order to turn her inspiration on again.
In need of inspiration to finish her screen play, Julie awaits her mysterious guest. He arrives, perhaps, a little too quickly for comfort. Now he's in. He's handsome in a forbidding way, almost taboo. He has no trouble taking control in someone else's home. Now Julie may seem to be in a bit of danger...but is it real danger, or more of the kinky nature? The wine is opened and the seduction and danger flow with that red wine. Uh oh...all is not what it seems and the horror that unfolds will have you squirming.
Just what are Henry's intentions? Does the nubile Julie have a prayer of regaining control of the moment in her own home? What inspiration will be provided, and to who, during this twisted evening? David Teixeira does a masterful job yanking us into a horrific whirlpool in which our sympathies and impressions are teased and manipulated. Also, you gals will will be so attracted to Mr. Dutilleul and his forbidden performance. You guys will swoon over the sweetness of Ms. Czajka. For an alluring and shocking short horror film, enjoy "Play. Pause. Kill."