Friday, May 31, 2024

Hideout, Criminals, Demons, and Ick

Alas, another film that won't get much love.  These dark ones with no humor, wit, or likable characters rarely do.  For fans of real horror, you may want to put this on the top of your list. Possession, inept thieves, severed body parts, compound fractures, and some taboo suggestion weave nicely into a tale that reinforces the maxim "Crime Doesn't Pay."  Today we look at 2021's "Hideout," directed by Kris Roselli.

The liquor store robbery goes south. A shoot-out ensues and the clerk is killed, and mean robber, Reed (Chris Wolfe), is seriously wounded. Brother and sister, Kyle (Bryan Enright) and the cute Sarah (Katie Lyons) tell Rick (Eric Francis Melaragni) to drive off the main roads.  He brings them through tall cornfields to an out of the way farmhouse.  Amazingly the woman of the house, Bee (Janice LaFlam) lets them in and removes the bullet form an unconscious Reed.  Rick goes missing on his way to collect a First-Aid kit.  His fate will be cleared up eventually. Now enter the beautiful Rose (Audrey Kovar). Rose is a strange one.  Bee takes a liking to Sarah...seems Sarah reminds her of herself many years ago...never a good thing in these films.

Okay, Rose and Bee act strange.  Rick is gone.  Kyle and Sarah get the creeps.  Kyle has weird dreams and they are gory. Reed wakes up and is all homicidal, you'll see.  Rose seems unafraid of these creeps. Ironically, the creeps seem very afraid of the creepy and beautiful Rose.  Rose likes talking about the devil and pulls out a voodoo doll.  You guessed it, our villains are not good at picking up hints as to when it is time to leave. Kyle seems to wade in and out of some sort of weird possession.  Sarah finds out some very uncomfortable truths about her brother. The gore will cascade into the plot.  Bones will break, Body parts will be severed. Then a weird snake and intestines scene will gross you'll see. Okay, no more.  This one will make you squirm and keep you uncomfortable.

Taboo and ominous, nothing in this film will be heartwarming or make you value the human plight. Who are Bee and Rose, exactly?  Does Sarah have a shot at being the final girl?  Is there a nice catfight brewing between Rose and Sarah?  If you are in the mood for a dark one, "Hideout" is one for you.  Be warned, experienced horror fans may see where this shocker is going. Fear not, the imagery and extreme nature of exactly what is happening will make this a worthwhile view.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Splinter, Icky Porcupine Parasite Things

Jill Wagner.  What a babe.  Even more important, we liked her.  Almost 20 years ago car commercials still had babes doing commercials for them.  Jill Wagner did some for Mercury.  Kate Walsh did some for Cadillac.  They were babes.  We wanted to see them. As the Post-Modern Era has taken hold in America, beautiful women we loved seeing seemed to have been outlawed in media.  Now we have beasts and deviants.  Sure, Brie Larson does Nissan ads today, but we don't like her.  Ms. Wagner was very likable. So, even though Jill Wagner's appeal has been censored by Post-Modern tyrants and their media, we can still see her movies.  Today we look at 2008's "Splinter," directed by Toby Wilkins.  Perhaps if Ms. Wagner gets piercings, stupid tattoos, shaves her head, and adopts left-wing causes she'll get more gigs.

Polly (Wagner), an outdoor-type babe takes her dweeb boyfriend Seth (Paulo Costanzo) camping. He is such a dork and she is such a babe.  Still, she desires pre-marital sex with him under the stars. Uh-oh, escaped killer Dennis (Shea Whingham) and his strung out girlfriend Lacey (Rachel Kerbs) are on the run and need a car.  They come across our cute lovebirds, pummel Polly, and carjack them.  Uh-oh, they run over a porcupine-type parasite that used to be a puppy.  The car is disabled and the monstrous splinter thing chases them to a gas station.  Lacey does not quite make it as she is attacked by the gas station attendant (Charles Baker), who is now a splinter thing.  Now Lacey is too.  Dennis, Seth, and Polly now lock themselves inside as the two porcupine creatures desperately try to get in.

Though scared, Polly looks great with her shorts and halter top.  Dennis is thinking the same thing we are...what is she doing with Seth, the dweeb? Well, Seth is a genius.  Chicks dig that!  Okay, so this is not true...these are the movies.  Uh oh again, Seth has been infected as he was stuck in the finger with a splinter monster's needle.  He is unsuccessfully fighting off infection.  The cops are on their way.  Don't get your hopes up...the policewoman will be decimated horribly by the creature. Now the splinter things ramp up their efforts to get in.  As Dennis slowly succumbs to the infection, Seth comes up with an idea.  Not a good one...but it's something.  The gore will be intense.  What happens to Lacey, the policewoman, and the gas station guy will blow your mind.

Will Seth be able to protect the purity (okay, the word 'purity' is a stretch, I admit) of Polly as the splinter things converge? Will the sultry Polly have occasion to grab a sawed-off shotgun or a flamethrower?  Will babes ever return to favor with left-wing Hollywood and media, or are we going to be stuck with grouches like Brie Larson every time we see an automobile or beer commercial? Flush the Post-Modern Era down the toilet and bring back the Jill Wagners of the world!  See "Splinter," a horror film released just prior to the scourge of Post-Modernism.     


Monday, May 27, 2024

Dark Windows, Slasher or Ghost?

From Norway we have another one that won't get much love. No humor. Dark. Sure to depress. Unlikable characters. But...I gotta say...the last 20 minutes is incredibly worthwhile.  Any confusion as to what happened during the first hour of the film will disappear as the last act flashes on the silver screen. Either way this ending will be a downer.  Still...there are some babes in the film that we hope survive, but in Norway...babes always die horribly.  Actually, I just made that up...but it sounded good.  Today we look at 2023's "Dark Windows," directed by Alex Herron.

Ali (Grace Binford Sheene) dies in a car accident.  Her three buddies survive.  At the funeral reception, Tilly (Anna Bullard) is treated like a criminal.  She was driving the car when it ran into a tree.  Her buddies Monica (Annie Hamilton) and Peter (Rory Alexander) are also there and support Tilly. Sadly, Ali's family is very hostile and not coping well.  The action line is Tilly drove the car into a tree and Ali died.  Of course, flashbacks suggest something different. Ridden with guilt, Tilly is now on psyche-meds. Monica brings Peter and Tilly to an old family mansion in the woods to get out of Dodge.  Tilly is not able to move on and Monica is eager to move on. Peter reverts to being an alcoholic. Then the fun starts. Voices...Ali's voice. A weird shrine to Ali keeps appearing. Then even weirder stuff.

Even worse, Monica is making moves on Ali's old boyfriend.  Then the haunting, or mayhem ramp up. Ghostly voices beckon Tilly.  Horrible reminders of the deadly crash.  Peter hits the bottle more.  What really happened the night of the fatal crash is revealed.  The original action line does not hold up.  Then the intruder.  He's mean and unrelenting.  The film will dive into almost torture porn.  Suspects?  Everyone, to include family members, one of these three teens, Ali's old boyfriend, or is it some delusional trip brought on by recently prescribed psyche-meds?  All will be revealed in bloody and sadistic fashion.

What did happen the night of the crash?  Is Ali back from the dead?  Are all Norwegians harboring dark and deadly secrets?  A light horror film and a vicious reveal. In a film that captures the true ethos of Norway, and the reason why Swedes have nothing to do with their grouchy neighbors, "Dark Windows" is one that may make you think long after the end credits about mourning, death, and revenge. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Alice in Terrorland, Rula Lenska as The Red Queen

Rula Lenska!  The Alberto VO-5 babe from the 1970s!  Remember her gravelly voice when she extolled, "I'm Rula Lenska!"  The proclamation left no doubt that she was indeed Rula Lenska...and you were not. Also in the 1970s this icon did her magnum opus, "Queen Kong." Who ever thought she'd be in a 2023 horror film that scored a 2.3/10 rating on IMDB?  Looking and sounding much like Robert Morley, she turns in a less dramatic performance than her portrayal of a feminist explorer in the aforementioned gorilla classic. Today we look at "Alice in Terrorland," directed by Richard John Taylor.

Alice (Lizzy Willis), a nubile teen survives a house fire that kills her parents. After great effort, social services finds her "grandmother." Now Alice is sent to live with Beth (Lenska), her grandmother at a mansion called...Wonderland. The dark dreary place holds family secrets. You will figure out the big ones, like the redheaded grandmother is actually The Red Queen. Beth poisons Alice's tea to make her sick and hallucinatory.  As Beth reads her Alice in Wonderland, Alice nods off and goes on psychedelic trips in which she meets the characters in the Lewis Carroll classic. First, she'll meet the rabbit (Steve Wraith).  By the way, all the characters she meets are either serial killers, torturers, or perverts. It should be noted that many critics believe Lewis Carroll was of that ilk.

As Beth keeps feeding Alice poisoned tea, the characters she meets get more hideous.  She'll meet the walrus (Rikki Kimpton) who abducts children and puts them through a meat grinder before eating them. Eventually Alice gets enough clues about The Red Queen to realize her grandmother is her. Now, trying to put clues together from malicious characters who seek to disembowel and murder her, Alice must mount a strategy to fend off the Red Queen and emerge from Wonderland whole and with sanity.

Will Alice escape the clutches of The Red Queen? Hey, wasn't this the plot of "Resident Evil," too? Will Rula Lenska's friends from America still visit her in the crumbling old mansion? Just how loyal is this film to the real persona of Lewis Carroll? Take a ride into 1970s nostalgia and meet up with the Alberto VO-5 babe, Rula Lenska, and see "Alice in Terrorland."      

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Back Road, Disgusting to the Max!

What do you get when you cross "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with "A Serbian Film"?  Right!  You get 2021's "Back Road" directed by Andrew Pizzo. In the two aforementioned horror films, experienced horror fans realized that much of the gore and scares were from scenes that were highly suggestive. When Franklin was chainsawed in the wheelchair, or when the doctor delivered the baby...there was no blood...or no rape on camera. In our film today...nothing is suggested.  Hence halfway through this cabin in the woods story, what happens to the pretty Leslie (Amanda Livezey) is all captured.  In fact, it may be the most disgusting scene ever put on film.  Unlike the two aforementioned films, Mr. Pizzo's film is indeed a morality tale.

So what happened to Leslie the slut halfway into this film. No spoilers here...see for yourself.  The nubile Madeline (Rachel Keefe) is taking her sometimes lover and sultry best friend Zoe (Megan McGullam) to a remote cabin in the woods.  Unbeknownst to Madeline, Zoe has invited her former boyfriend Fox (Erik Searle), Fox's new GF Leslie, and the hunk Dwayne (Jason Maga).  Fox will bring a lot of cocaine for the group. Madeline is not happy about Fox but is hot on Dwayne and seeks pre-marital sex with the hunk. Zoe probably seeks pre-marital; sex with everyone in the group, and also to sniff a lot of "blow." Uh oh, the great looking quintet runs over a little boy on a back road in some hillbilly haven. Thinking no one saw them, they do away with the body and continue to the cabin. 

Once at the cabin, the friends bicker.  They are guilt-ridden because of their killing of a little boy. There will be no time for grief.  Leslie, disgusted by the behavior of Fox and friends, runs away. She'll be immediately captured by half-wit hillbillies and...well, you won't believe what they do to her.  Now the hillbillies led by the sadistic father of the dead boy, Charlie (Bryan DeSanto), hunt the hunks and babes.  Oh, what they have planned for the babes is so will make you squirm.  The beautiful will suffer unimaginably and the hunks will be useless.  What unfolds will be very reminiscent of the Tobe Hooper plot in the 1974 classic, although this last half of the film will have the brutal judgment of vengeance and revenge forming a twisted and bloody morality message.

Will the clean-cut Madeline have what it takes to be a final girl in this film?  Just what does happen to Leslie and will she be so fortunate as to be given a quick death by Mr. Pizzo?  Did I even mention the skanks in the tent doing a threesome with a camper before biting his John Thomas off?  I guess I forgot to mention that scene.  If you are at all curious, see "Back Road."   

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

King of the Lost World, King Kong in the Amazon

Stunning stewardess Gloria (Eliza Swenson) is having a bad day. Her plane crashed in the Amazon and she's stuck in a tree.  The sultry air hostess screams for help and King Kong wanders over and eats her.  So sad. Alas, this is the epic story that inspired "King Kong" and "Jurassic Park," given to us by the Syfy Channel and The Asylum. Stewardess-sploitation, monsters, cheese and beef galore, and a nuke. Today we look at 2004's "King of the Lost World," directed by Leigh Scott.

The airplane crashes in the Amazon and a bunch of survivors are on the beach.  These include hot stewardesses and other babes and hunks. Ed (Jeff Denton) and John (Rhett Giles) emerge as leaders. The duo and other survivors figure on trekking into the jungle to look for the rest of the airplane, activate the radio, and call for help. Pretty waitress Dana (Christine Rosenberg) and babe photographer Rita (Sarah Lieving) will join them with stewardess Natalie (Amanda Ward). Also joining them is a government spook, Challenger (Bruce Boxleitner). They'll find a lot of airplanes.  Apparently hundreds of airplanes have wrecked in this section of the jungle.  On their way to their own plane, the survivor team will be attacked by giant spiders, man-eating plants, and weird natives. 

Ed will take sole lead of the group when John is killed by a giant scorpion...happens. Now Dana gets real sweet on Ed. Wait!  Our spook friend seems to know something. Then the weird natives capture our survivors, strip the women, feel them up, and grope them. Ed is prepped to be sacrificed to bird monsters. Steve Railsback enters the plot as a lunatic. Then we meet the chief's (Chris Anglin) harem, all sultry stewardesses from crashed flights. The other stewardesses, now tribeswomen, grope and lick Dana and force her and Natalie to become part of the harem.  Remember King Kong?  He's back.  Now King Kong and the bird monsters prep for an attack.  

Can Dana, now a harem wife, save her new boyfriend, Ed?  What is the secret Challenger knows?  Did the weird natives make a big mistake offering a sacrifice to the bird monsters instead of King Kong?  This might be one of the finest films ever made.  The cheese and beef factor are high and so is the ickiness of many of the monsters.  Then of course, King Kong is in this film. For pure fun, gratuitous monster and sweaty babe in the jungle action, see "King of the Lost World."  

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The House on Tombstone Hill, Psycho Old Lady

Today we look at a Troma offering. Sure, a psycho old lady may not pack the wallop of a Freddie or a Jason, but we have one even bloodier than any Freddie film or Jason film.  Guts will pour out. Limbs will be severed. Faces will be slashed. Torsos will be cut in half. Hunks and babes will be impaled or done in with the blade of a circular saw.  Oh yes...blood will spatter, just like in those Japanese horror films. Today we look at 1989's "The House on Tombstone Hill" (on TubiTV as "Dead Dudes in the House"), directed by James Riffel.

College aged hunks and babes converge on an old mansion way out in the wilderness. The place has long since been abandoned ever since the crazy old lady there axed some schmuck. Mark (Douglas Griffin) has bought the place to restore it.  His nubile GF Jamie (Sarah Newhouse) is very supportive, though his buddies are crude and determined to drink beer. Uh oh, one of the hunks destroys a gravestone in the front yard bringing back the old lady and her axe.  They'll meet her soon. They enter the house and are intimidated by all the work that must be done. Mark will meet the old lady first and be slashed by her...he dies...but comes back in the form of a smart-ass homicidal zombie. One by one, either Mark or the old lady kills the hunks and babes.  Each corpse comes back as one of these malicious ghouls.  Even if they have been cut in half or had a limb severed, the things put themselves back together and stalk the living.

Bob (Victor Verhaeghe), the crudest of the hunks, emerges as leader of the group.  He crafts a circular saw blade weapon which will quickly be commandeered by the undead.  The old lady and her new minions goes through these hunks and babes like crap through a goose.  Ron (Mark Zobian) grabs a golf club and uses it nicely...though killing something that is already dead will prove challenging.  When the numbers of the hunks and babes diminish, two kids with nothing to do with anything  decide to sneak into the house.  This will be a veritable gore-fest.

Not for the weakest of stomachs, but this 1980s horror film maximizes the gore and blood.  Just who is this old lady and what does she want?  Will any of the babes in this film stand-out in such a way that they may earn the title of "Final Girl"?  Is the fact that none of the characters are likable an indication that no one will survive?  Bloody and vicious, see "The House on Tombstone Hill" if you can take the extreme gore.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Arena Wars, The Longest Yard on Steroids

I should say, the Burt Reynolds one from the 70s, not the remake. Saying that we have a wild one from Michael and Sonny Mahal. Gratuitous violence, gore, death row Hijinx, and governmental corruption spin a tale of what our country (and maybe western civilization, in general) is devolving into. Greed, immorality, and narcissism has infested our institutions that were once the hallmark of what America is.  Celebrity and fame (add in social media) has replaced virtue, love, and kindness.  Mercy is out the window and replaced by a psychopathic ethos.  Today we look at the prison horror film "Arena Wars," directed by Brandon Slagle. This movie will be available on June 26.

In the year 2045 a streaming spectacular called Arena Wars pits a team of death row inmates against the the psycho-ist of the psycho-ist. A team of seven juiced and altered murderers (whose crimes include bombing Yankee Stadium, cannibalism, murdering the U.N., etc.) are undefeated. If the death row inmates overcome these devils, they would have earned their freedom.  This never happens as the death row teams are usually shredded. Uh oh...the show may be hitting a ratings lag. Enter a U.S. Marine serving a 200 year sentence, Luke (John Wells). You'll see, but he represents a nifty plot device for the show sure to boost ratings.  He'll be matched with a bunch of other death row inmates. Early on the CEO (Kevin Hager) of the corporation responsible for Arena Wars emerges. He is a slimy sort with his own motivations.

Sadly, when the movie opened, Perez (Robert LaSardo) and his team put up a good fight but were shredded in the third round. Perez was a why think Luke can do any better?  You'll see. Luke and his compatriots go into the arena with only their fists as the team of killers has blades, chainsaws, machetes, knives, and baseball bats infused with spikes. Calling the action are our two favorite ring announcers played by Michael Madsen and Robert Donovan. Blood will splatter, insides will be cut out, and inmates will die horribly.  But wait!  Luke has some added motivation to prevail...and our CEO buddy has a vested interest in assuring this won't happen.  Social commentary, will be presented as a mirror we can all look into as we ask ourselves if we are enabling the dystopian setting of "Arena Wars" to become tomorrow's reality in America.

While the Burt Reynolds film from 1974 is a statement of possible exploitation and corruption of a specific societal institution, this film is wider in scope and encompasses our entire culture and where it is going.  Why is there a vested interest from the big media corporation for Luke to die horribly?  Can this marine inspire his team to overcome unbeatable odds?  So who exactly is Luke and why is he so special?  The Mahal brothers have given us another gratuitous, bloody, and very entertaining film.  Every actor and actress brilliantly presents an absolutely psycho and dangerous persona for us the audience. Fast paced and with plenty of graphic violence, "Arena Wars" will put manhood back into all you guys who are forced to watch Hallmark movies with your spouses. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Roadkill, Who is the Psycho

Ah...Caitlin Carmichael.  Who is she?  My question exactly...then I saw this film.  Her midriff carries this horror/slasher film.  Thank you so much Ms. Carmichael for not getting a bellybutton ring or tattoos, as your midriff is quite admirable. So sweet.  She'll be in great peril ion our film today, 2024's "Roadkill," directed by Warren Fast.  Wait...the lovely midriff...I mean Ms. Carmichael...will she be in peril, or...well, you'll see.

Hitchhiker (Ryan Knudson) is hitchhiking. He looks like a serial killer.  We get his horrific backstory, and imagine that story made him into a serial killer.  Then midriff, I mean driver picks him up in a souped up red Chevy Nova.  She has a great midriff, short shorts (tight), and a tight shirt. The nubile lass should know better...unless...well, you'll see.  The two stop at a gas station for gas and murder.  Wait!  Who murders who?  Great question.  Whoever did the murder, and we assume it is either midriff or hitchhiker, the other one did not see the bloody act.  They continue on their drive.  Now the sheriff (Fast) and his deputy (Trenton Hudson) are on the case.  They solved the highway hunter serial killing case four years ago.  Did they, though?  Could the killer be back?

The duo stop at a diner and guess who the waitress is.  Danielle Harris!  Oh please, don't let her get murdered.  There will be a murder and once again, the question of who did it is a bit ambiguous. Now we the viewer begin to suspect midriff...then a few minutes later, we think its hitchhiker.  This will go back and forth.  A family will be murdered.  Okay, we begin to get a clear understanding of who the murderer is.  Whichever one it is we also begin to suspect the murders were justified revenge.  Now the duo can't help but kill...but will all the murders be justified?  Will they turn on one another?

Twists and turns galore.  Midriff and hitchhiker both becoming quite menacing.  We pull for midriff because she is such a doll.  Then we pull for hitchhiker because midriff is also evil.  Both are evil.  Still, indications suggest they aren't as evil as their victims, or the victims of whichever one is the killer.  Wait!  Is there another killer?  A lot of fun, this one is, and if Danielle Harris survives this one, we will give it ten out of 10 spoilers here.  Did I mention Ms. Carmichael's midriff?  Impressive.  See "Roadkill," and see if you can figure out who the killer is before the end credits.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Dark Parasite, Slimy Green Parasites Infest Italy

From Italy, we have a good one.  I know...the geniuses who rate films on IMDB only gave this one a 2.3 out of 10 star rating...wusses! If Stanley Kubrick had made this one or if the cast represented marginalized communities to a greater degree, they would have given it a 8.8 out of 10 star rating. Still a film about alien parasites dwelling in an underground bunker under Italy is a subject that we have been waiting for in film. Today we look at 2023's "Dark Parasite," directed by Luca Boni and Marco Ristori.

Meteor showers rain over Italy. Just like in "Day of the Triffids," they leave some alien Hijinx. A slimy green parasite is now part of the Italian landscape, and it finds an underground home. Meanwhile, Abraham (Aaron Stielstra) is a thug masterminding a heist. Of what? That is a mystery. He recruits two unsure thugs to help him, the pretty Nikita (Desiree Giorgetti) and her BF Mark (Michael Segal). Neither of these cohorts is a killer, but Abraham is.  The heist goes down. No one was supposed to get shot. Abraham and even Nikita open fire and all the mobsters are mowed down.  Our trio gets away with a mysterious briefcase.  Part two of the plan, hole up in an abandoned house in the inner city and wait for the syndicate to show up to collect the briefcase and pay the trio.

Uh oh, the large house has a basement that connects to a mysterious underground bunker. In the bunker fungus like parasites have taken over.  They infest humans, make them their drones, and collect other humans. Eventually the humans blow up and spew green slime everywhere. Happens. Now our three thugs get lured into the place and what happens to them won't be pretty,  They'll meet Willie the Whack Job (William Gambini). Willie, a whino in life...and a mean monster filled with green slime in death.  Other parasites, in the form of giant slimy slugs also prowl around.  Yes, you guessed it, a queen parasite has a master plan for the thug trio.  Even worse is what the queen parasite has planned for Nikita.

Just what was in the briefcase that our trio may have risked everything to steal?  What are the parasites doing in the underground bunker below the streets of Italy?  Is this film a thinly veiled metaphor for what happens when European Union policies suppress any peace and diplomacy in favor of a failed Green agenda?  Perhaps this film is the ethos of today's Europe.  In any case, for a slimy parasite horror film, "Dark Parasite" is a pretty good take.   

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Scream, No Drew Barrymore in This One

No...not that one.  This is the 1981 film entitled "Scream."  That Barrymore chick is not in this one, thank Heavens.  That over-rated teen "horror" film only annoys us real horror fans.  Let is examine this 1981 film which will serve as the magnum opus for Woody Strode.  He plays a cowboy in this one.  Okay, he's a cowboy who keeps telling tales of the sea. Okay, I grant it, his role in this one is fraught with confusion and ambiguity...but in defense of this film...Drew Barrymore is not in it. Now, let us look at a confusing and seemingly pointless Byron Quisenberry film...again, however much you don't want to like this movie...Drew Barrymore is not in it.

Three rafts full of tourists, none of them seem to go with anyone else in the raft, float down a river.  The two guides bring them to a ghost town where they will spend the night. I guess the zip-line excursion filled up quickly.  At the ghost town, the lovable Alvy Moore is hung by some ghost.  So sad. The killings continue.  There will be a beheading with a scythe.  Always gotta like decapitations with scythes... something so French about those.  Give this film subtitles and you'll be excited to have seen it.  One by one the tourists are killed.  We like Lou (Joe Allaine).  He's pudgy and no one else likes him.  Because we don't like any of the characters, we like Lou.  He even wears a Houston Oilers hat.  Remember Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini?  Lou does.

The surviving characters will yell at Lou and give him cross eyes when he eats beans.  More killings.  Rudy then gets bold and gets coffee at a shack across the street.  Oh, here it comes...Woody Strode arrives on horseback with tales of sailing around the horn (...of Africa, I guess). He was a sailor for 40 years and his captain liked him.  Wave bye bye to Woody Strode...he'll leave.  Not loving this plot?  I bet if Stanley Kubrick's name were on it instead of Byron Quisenberry, you'd be heaping praise on this film as an arty plunge into our very souls. The scythe will strike again...very European, will make you feel smart for watching it.  Okay, no spoilers here.  Did I mention Woody Strode as the cowboy?

Be heartened that this horror film is very loyal to the book.  Is Woody Strode's cowboy a mirror for the duality of humankind as it plays out in this metaphysical existence we call life?  Is this film the long awaited sequel to Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"?  Is there a more fitting tribute to the Houston Oilers and all the great players that played for them, including Zeke Moore? If you do decide to watch the 1981 "Scream," you will be heartened to know that Drew Barrymore is not in this.  


Thursday, May 9, 2024

Twice Dead, Ghost, Creeps, and Old Love

Jill Whitlow! we all gasped.  The babe sorority sister with the flamethrower and the formal gown...the stuff legends are made of.  When the creep jumped in her mouth at the end of "Night of the Creeps" wee all were heartbroken. What an awful way for this nubile beauty to meet her demise.  A year or two later she would have another shot at surviving a horror film.  Won't be easy. A jealous and possessive ghost may have something to say about this.  Today we look at 1988's "Twice Dead," directed by Bert L. Dragin.  

Back in the 1930s, screen actor Tyler Walker longs for the love of his life, Myrna (Whitlow). Alas, she ran off with some guy named Cates, leaving Tyler to mistakenly sign his mansion away and ultimately he hangs himself. Decades later, a family moves in. Scott (Tom Bresnahan) is a hunk high school kid and his lovely sister, Robin (also Whitlow) is also a high schooler. Okay, seems Robin and Scott are ancestors of the long lost love, Myrna.  Oh yes...Tyler's ghost still haunts this mansion.  Scott and Robin will run afoul of a gang of goons at high school.  The gang wants to invade the mansion. One gang member, Crisp (Jonathan Chapin) seems to take an unusual interest in Robin.  

Tyler's ghost seems to want to protect Scott and Robin.  Yep, he has figured out Robin is the spitting image of his lost love.  The gang gets bold and plots a home invasion.  The first attempt is a seemingly gory failure, thwarted by Scott's ability to create special f/x.  This will lead to a great line about the penisaurus, you'll see.  The second home invasion will see the gang members getting the drop on Robin and Scott.  Robin's chastity will be threatened, and now Tyler will get more involved.  What follows is intense gore and blood spatter.  As this is happening, Crisp takes Robin into Tyler's study and is seemingly possessed, but so is Robin.  Bits of bone and brain will fly, banging gang bangers will fry, and Tyler the ghost will mount a motorcycle.  Wild!

Will Jill Whitlow fare better in this one than she did in "Night of the Creeps"? Will Tyler reclaim Myrna in the form of the nubile but alive Robin?  Just what is behind Crisp's weird attraction to Robin?  This is a good one with a very gory ending.  For some terrific 1980s horror fun, and a good second half of a double feature with "Night of the Creeps," see "Twice Dead."

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Rattlers, Snakes Get Vicious

So what do we hunger for when we have a film about a horde of deadly snakes converging on civilization?  Yep.  The proverbial nude and lathery babe in the bathtub scene.  You know the scene.  The babe has her eyes shut and a warm cloth over her face.  Mr. Bubble hides her private parts.  Then out of the drain comes a slithery killer.  So much metaphor in a babe and snake scene.  Kudos to Celia Kaye!  The babe actress gives us this performance in today's film, 1976's "Rattlers," directed by John McCauley.  Incidentally...what happens to a nubile actress after doing s gratuitous bath scene?  Right again!  A bigwig Hollywood moviemaker marries her.  Celia Kaye would become Celia Milius as John Milius ("Red Dawn") would marry her after the least for a short time. the Mojave Desert, rattlesnakes turn uber aggressive.  Two children are feasted upon by the toothy things.  More attacks.  The snakes seem to go out of their way to kill.  This is apparently uncharacteristic of these venomous beasts.  Enter Dr. Tom (Sam Chew, Jr.), a snake expert from the university.  The local sheriff calls him in to consult.  Tom is kind of a dweeb, and nothing about him indicates he has any brains, Still, he'll be matched up with a grouchy babe, Ann (Elisabeth Chauvet). Tom needs a photographer, don't ask why, and Ann the Grouch seems to be the best one around. She's a babe but the women's libber is quite annoying.  All you divorced guys will pray she gets snakes. The two enter the Mojave in search of the nest.  The idiots won't find it.

More attacks.  The aforementioned babe in the tub gets does a farm family. Tom and Ann happen across a little, but covert, army base run by the insane Colonel Stroud (Dan Priest). At first the army will be helpful.  Then it turns out that Stroud oversaw the burying of cannisters of a deadly nerve gas. The gas was Stroud's invention, a bio-weapon intended to be used on the Vietcong.  Tom and Ann will fall in love, which is kind of yucky.  This film needed one of those intimacy coordinators the new films have now. The snakes get more aggressive.  Stroud gets more insane. Well, that's enough for now.

Will the grouchy Ann get what all you divorced guys hope she'll get?  Will Tom develop a dose of manhood and give Ann a good...well, never mind that.  Will the snakes defeat the U.S. Army and move into Vegas just like the Raiders and Athletics did?  If you don't like slithery snakes you won't like this movie.  For nubile babes in much danger (in the tub), see "Rattlers," and perhaps see what did in the Women's Liberation movement.   

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Underwater, Kristen Stewart vs. the Sea Monsters.

Oh, please!  May the sea monsters win!  Will we ever forgive Kristen Stewart for those twinkling vampires?  No!  Of course not!  An A-List celebrity in a very un-sexy role. You'll see.  Oh, what Roger Corman could have done with B-List talent and one-twentieth the budget.  Still, we have nice sea monsters in a claustrophobic setting.  Oh!  Guess what!  Forget Kristen Stewart...get a load of Jessica Henwick!  If you don't know who Ms. Henwick is...well, you are in for a treat.  Today we look at the big-budget 2020 horror film, "Underwater," directed by William Eubank.

Give this one credit. It gets right to the point. As the film begins a mining colony in the Mariana Trench (35,000 below the surface) is collapsing in on itself.  Most will die.  Norah (Stewart), a mechanical engineer, survives and makes her way through leaky and collapsing sections of the structure to find breathable air and escape pods. She'll find corpses and a few survivors including the very scared Emily (Henwick). She'll also find Cpt. Lucien (Vincent Cassel) who put many of the survivors on the few operating escape pods.  Bad news...the part of the structure they are in is fast losing integrity and the gang of six must put on robotic diving suits, walk along the bottom of the trench, and reach a part of the structure with functioning escape pods.

Unlike many horror films...this one is fast-moving.  We don't have to wait for this drama. The drama turns to horror when the monster, excuse me, monsters arrive.  They are slithery and toothy.  A whole species has come up out of the place where the facility drilled and are now birthing, mating...and feeding.  Emily is real scared and looks great being scared.  We desperately hope she will survive, though being sixth in the credits bodes sad.  Now Norah and her mates are fighting off the creatures and trying to reach the last part of the facility that may have escape pods to bring them to the surface.  The monsters are grouchy and hungry...and seem to multiply at a great rate. 

Claustrophobic and ominous.  There seems no hope for our few survivors.  Will any of the six survivors survive until the end credits?  Will Emily ditch the bulky robotic diving suit and show us a nice string bikini?   Will director William Eubanks give us sea monsters that twinkle?  Oh, what Roger Corman could have done with this script.  Saying that, Mr. Eubanks and cast do a fine job and instead of comparing this to a Corman film, we can see the cast and crew paying homage to the type of film we thirst for.  See "Underwater," and enjoy monsters and the nubile and wet Jessica Henwick.    

Friday, May 3, 2024

Delirium, Shell Shocked Vietnam Vet Shreds babes

We call it PTDS now.  Instead of sending these beset vets to insane asylums and making movies about their anti-social deeds...we give them support dogs (often at taxpayer expense).  Many of us long for the days when we used to call it "shell shock" or "battle fatigue."  Those two terms came from the first two world wars...wars we won.  Now that America loses all its wars...we call it PTSD...just an observation.  In 1979, PTSD was not yet an industry.  Thus today we look at 1979's "Delirium," directed by Peter Maris.

Charlie (Nick Panouzis) kills and murders during his stint in Vietnam.  After a Vietnamese prostitute questions his manhood, he flips out.  He'll be medically discharged, sent to an insane asylum, and escape.  Now he is recruited by Stern (Barron Winchester) top help kill rapists and murderers on the U.S. streets. Uh oh...with issues regarding his manhood, Charlie engages on his own personal vendetta...against beautiful American women.  He'll try to rape them and murder them.  He'll kill the pretty Jenny (Pat Knapko) by impaling her with a spear through a door.  Her roomie, Susan (Debi Chaney), is a babe and will give us some gratuitous bath and shower scenes.  Charlie is now on the run.  He runs...rests...meets a beautiful dame...murders her.  A never ending pattern just like U.S. wars in far off lands.

Susan is able to help police identify Charlie.  This alarms the organization that was going to hire him.  This vigilante society made up of psycho army officers has a pretty long record of kidnaping fiends who get off on technicalities and killing them. An investigation into Charlie by two great detectives, Paul (Turk Cekovsky) and Larry (Terry TenBroek), lead them to some of the group members.  With Susan's help, Larry and Paul close in on the cabal.  Now Stern orders Susan murdered.  Oh, Charlie keeps running across dames.  The army veteran uses pitchforks, drowning, or meat cleavers to off them.  Now Susan is in mortal danger, not from Charlie, but from the secret society that seeks to clean the streets of St. Louis.  yes, St. Louis was a s**t hole back in 1979, too.

Would Charlie have learned computers and to recycle instead of raping and murdering if given a support dog?  However unstable Charlie is, is he more likely to win a war for us than the current recruits entering into today's military?  Is the secret society's inability to murder a dame clad in high-heels and sundresses (or totally nude) through the entire film a good explanation as to why the U.S. can't win anymore wars?  Ms. Chaney is radiant and refreshing as the damsel in much distress who always seems to avoid being murdered.  See "Delirium," and enjoy a flick that probably appeared on drive-in screens when it came out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Horsemen, The Apocalypse Draws Near

It's coming!  Or is it?  The final days are here!  Biblically speaking, we are in the final days.  An accurate understanding of the Bible suggests that me and you do not know when this day is.  To suggest otherwise is heresy. This speculation, however, makes great movies.  Today we have a gory one.  A taboo one.  One that will make you squirm.  Let us take a look at 2009's "Horsemen," directed by Jonas Akerlund.

Detective Breslin (Dennis Quaid) is a homicide detective.  As our film begins he is summoned to a very gory and ritualistic murder scene.  He knows that this won't be the last one.  It won't be.  These murders seem to be done by a gang.  Drugs are utilized to incapacitate the victim and the victim is kept alive to undergo unimaginable torture and disembowelment.  This is the last thing Breslin needs.  Having just lost his wife a few years back, he is struggling, and doing an awful job, at reconnecting to his two boys.  Hardly a family man, Breslin is summoned to an expensive house where a mom has been suspended on hooks and...well, see the movie, but it is disgusting!  He must then console the three children, the oldest one is the very pretty Kristin (Ziyi Zhang).

Breslin puts two and two together and gets his Bible out.  He finds a connection between the killings and Revelation 6.  The four horsemen of the apocalypse are introduced into the plot.  The question, which biblical scholars discuss, is now an important one for Breslin...who are these four horsemen?  Uh oh...the answer to this, in Breslin's world, will be shocking.  Even worse, the killings continue...and did I mention...they are sooooo gory?  Meanwhile, Breslin fails repeatedly at connecting with his two sons (Lou Taylor Pucci and Liam James). 

Just who are the four horsemen as far as Breslin's police investigation shows?  Are the horsemen really heralding an apocalypse?  Is our good detective in danger of becoming one of the victims?  Experienced horror film fans will catch where this one is going, though it will still be a shocking film.  Not the feel good film of 2009, but ominous and horrific, all the same.  See "Horsemen" and don't use this film to learn about what John penned in Revelation.