Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rob Zombie's Halloween II



It's been a year since Michael Myers attacked Laurie Strode, her friends and family in Haddonfield, and the killer, motivated by the mental manifested menacing mother that committed suicide when he was a child(..also we see the image of Michael as a wee little lass), returns to finish what he started. Loomis, an egomaniacal greedy toad in tailored suits, is on the touring circuit promoting his new book which reveals the identities of Laurie, Sheriff Brackett and his daughter Annie. Laurie is having recurring nightmares of her brother(..including a harrowing "hospital visit")and is pretty much an emotional wreck, attempting to embark on a whole new life for herself, tattooed with a more grunge appearance, living with Annie and Sheriff Brackett, befriending 'goth girls' she works with at a pop culture store. Loomis decides to return to Haddonfield for extra "sizzle"("Bad taste is the petrol that drives the American Dream")regarding his book, and this decision will cost him dearly as he will intend to right the wrongs caused by his greed. Meanwhile, Michael will butcher and dismantle practically anyone within his path, leaving quite a body count after all is said and done.


Rob Zombie decides to further explore psychological territory(..the "method behind Michael's madness")showing how Michael is influenced by his mother(..Sheri Moon Zombie looking like Otis Driftwood, circa House of 1000 Corpses, in a long white dress)and this white horse she's often leading around. We also see the young Michael(..portrayed by Chase Wright Vanek, in a bad decision by the filmmakers in replacing a far superior Daeg Faerch)with mother as the film continues. Scout Taylor-Compton is dressed down from the suburban image from the other film and is mostly presented in a frantic state of either terror or this quivering mess of bad nerves. Loomis, in this film, has evolved into a contemptible character, seeking glory and fame, oblivious to the destructive nature his tell-all book will cause those within it. He's seen often clashing with his agent over what to say during his many conferences and forums discussing his novel. Brad Dourif(..whose performance is the real bright spot of the film)thankfully returns as Sheriff Brackett as does Danielle Harris as his daughter Annie. Harris, given yet another underwritten role, does impress, I felt, doing what she could with what little is given her.


Tyler Mane proves again to be a damned scary Michael Myers, and his menace is ratcheted up even further. When he attacks somebody, it has an extra ferocity and Michael, when he stabs a victim, repeatedly buries his knife into torsos with an absolute vengeance(..this time, Michael even grunts as he slams that blade into bodies, seeming to stop, only to continue some more). Not only does Michael stab folks, but he often bashes a face in with his boot heel, pummels a stripper into a mirror, throws a victim through his car's windshield, breaks a club owner's arm(..with a bone protruding), strangles a girl, sticks a hunter to the deer antlers attached to his truck, and other delightfully bloody carnage.


The opening surgery of Laurie is pretty grisly as is the many aftermath shots of damaged bodies once Michael gets through with victims. The style used in shooting the action and characters doesn't change, the camera moves in that documentarian style that has been a fixture of his since The Devil's Rejects. There are these loud sound effects that Zombie uses to add impact to Michael's vicious agenda towards destroying his chosen targets. Almost no one is safe once they enter his tragectory. There are lots of visual treats for music and horror buffs such as an Alice Cooper poster on Laurie's wall, The Moody Blues Nights in White Satin tune playing on television during the hospital sequence, all kinds of homages during the Halloween Party sequence with those in attendance wearing various costumes, some cameos including Caroline Williams(Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)as a doctor, Margot Kidder as a psychiatrist, Howard Hesseman(WKRP in Cincinnati) as the owner of the store where Laurie works, and Weird Al Yankovic(..as a guest on a talk show who rattles Loomis' cage a bit). Daniel Roebuck has the "funny scuzzball" role this time around, as a strip joint owner who enjoys his Red Rabbit success, basking in a commercial where he's donning a Frankenstein costume(..Rob was able to get the movie in there, even providing Roebuck with the line "jolly green giant" in regards to his dick before hoping to bang an employee), as "Big Lou", and his fate isn't pretty.


I was indifferent(..to put it mildly)towards the whole "mother / young Michael" psychological angle, although, conceptually, I admired Rob's desire for something original and unusual in regards to what fuels Michael's rampage. But, I didn't like the kid so everytime I saw him, it annoyed me and after about two times, I wished no longer to see Sheri Moon either. Yet, they keep returning time and again..


In regards to Zombie's way of shooting, I'm not one of those who cries out in anger at establishing shots where we may not see all the action within the frame. RZ has mentioned how he doesn't wish to dwell on lingering violence, framing gratuitous displays of knife penetrating flesh. Sound effects do that for him, with us instead viewing Michael's handiwork.
As far as "eye candy", I love these evocative uses of light beaming through branches and trees as Laurie moves through the wilderness after watching a beloved gal pal give up the ghost, with Michael in hot pursuit. And, there are plenty of asthetically pleasing shots of an ominous Myers from afar(..and up close)effectively capturing Tyler Bates massive frame. Also, Zombie uses a technique where an attack on certain females is shot to no music, just Myers breathing and the piercing sound of his knife slicing. Lots of blood, too. The more, the merrier as far as I'm concerned...never can have too much blood.


While, I can't say I was blown away by this sequel, slasher fans might enjoy the plethora of violence on display. I wasn't keen on Compton costumed in her goth uniform..to me she remains a suburban teen playing dress up, and her ascension into madness, through the angle of Mother and Michael wishing to recruit her officially into the family, didn't exactly win me over(..not that Zombie has to)either. I was amused at the ways Zombie uses fuck. Laurie can't get enough of the word, and there's even an eye chart on her wall with it on display. Even a sticker on her mirror(Wake the fuck up). Every character gets a crack at the word, making it their own. Prepare for plenty of Zombie trash humor(..such as the necro-sex convo between paramedics transporting Michael to county jail, hitting a cow which allows their prisoner a chance to escape)..it wouldn't be a RZ film without it.


As you might've read elsewhere, nothing of Carpenter's film remains, this is Zombie's movie all the way. I think it's geared towards a new generation / audience, which means those who admire JC's film might resist this one. One thing I believe is certain, Tyler Mane was a great casting decision and his Michael Myers is a real menacing figure. This is a dark, dark film.


Besides the psychological angles occuring in Michael and Laurie, the film is very much a slasher in the traditional sense. Saying that, I'm truly happy Zombie provided Dourif with a meatier role in this film, and Zombie was able, for better or worse, provide the Laurie character with more to do than she had in the previous movie.

Friday, August 28, 2009

House


Ding Dong, you're Dead




When I was a kid, I used to watch Steve Miner's House on a regular basis. It just had this appeal to me because of it's essential ingredients that attracts me to horror. It was a haunted house movie of sorts. The film follows the adopted "the house is evil" formula where those who live within a residence slowly succumb to it's benevolent grip, feeding from their fear and anxieties, needing their lifeforce to continue to thrive. I was watching House again tonight for the umpteenth time and was reminded, for some ungodly reason, of Dan Curtis' spookfest, Burnt Offerings, in how horror novelist, Roger Cobb(William Katt)falls under the malevolent spell of the house he grew up in with batty aunt who hung herself("the house beat me"), with plenty of ghastly creatures(..something perhaps out of a Lovecraft adaptation)attempting to drive him over the edge. While Burnt Offerings hasn't much in common with House, it dealt with the house inhabitants falling prey psychologically(..and physically)to it's evil influence, unable to combat it's control.


In House, Cobb goes through a series of encounters while battling the lurking forces which wish to send him off the deep end, including a close call with police. For a period of time, Roger's new neighbor believes he's bonkers and seeks to "help" him, calling the police after Cobb blew a hole into a hideous hag monster which was impersonating his soap opera actress wife(Kay Lenz). Cobb is able to successfully avoid any trouble with them, and, in my truly favorite scene in the movie, commence to burying the beast..in pieces all throughout his yard! I just love the music applied to this scene, it somehow adds some good natured humor to such an outrageous situation, all those holes dug up in the back yard, hacked creature parts buried, and filled with earth.


Miner injects Vietnam recollections within the film(Cobb is working on an autobiography of this time in his life)to set up the slam-bag finale as Cobb contends with a zombie Richard Moll, as Big Ben, an injured soldier he was friends with in Nam. Ben carelessly left his body open to gunfire due to his fearless nature and Cobb wouldn't adhere to his commands of killing him. So Ben is carried away by the Vietnamese to be tortured and proclaims revenge. This will tie into a seperate story arc concerning Cobb's missing son, "kidnapped by the house" and this unfortunate event has left Roger a broken and tormented man. It led to his divorce and truly haunts him. It's all part of this grand design of the house to "defeat" Roger by driving him mad, and it hopes, suicide.


There are a number of gags I thoroughly enjoy that are incorporated within the film such as the really ugly monsters, the oft-used Carrie "jump scare" where we see Cobb's son playing as a hand emerges from the ground, Moll's rotted(..but gargantuan)corpse in tattered fatigues with his skeletal frame starting to show, this winged creature Cobb encounters as he descends within the "other world" to find his son(..it snatches away his shot gun, spinning it like a gunslinger before firing it off at Cobb, which kind of reminded me of Sam Raimi's nutty Army of Darkness, and I was kind of persuaded that this was perhaps a homage to Harryhausen), and that swordfish on the wall(!)as it flops around before Cobb shoots a big hole through it. I mustn't forget the scene where garden tools are chasing after Cobb, either.


The cast is a stellar one. Katt(..who effectively shows his withering mental state the longer he remains in the house, as Cobb), George Wendt(..as nosey neighbor who means well and is legitimately concerned for Cobb's well being, soon realizing himself that there unspeakable horrors within the house), Moll, of course, and Lenz(..who is stuck with a rather minor part, but is able to muster up an impression anyway)all adding a ton of wealth to the rather goofy plot.
And, lest I forget, the wonderful poster art for the movie, one of my all time favorites, this rotted hand pressing the doorbell. Quite perfectly morbid and beautifully establishes the tone of the movie the viewer will be involved in.


House is one of those movies that is near and dear to my heart because it successfully, to me, fused comedy, horror, and drama, allowing itself a freedom to toss at us off-the-wall ideas and images. It has it's share of flaws(..such as Cobb's all-too-easy rescue of his son, or the numerous escapes Cobb finds out of the "other world", not to mention his son, alive and well, just a little filthy), but they little bother me for the number of crazy, oddball anecdotes seen throughout that offset them. I will say that it seems as if the filmmakers just stockpiled a list of bizarre situations pitting some unfortunate character against the supernatural.




Katt, like Jeffrey Combs or Lance Henriksen, is part of that fraternity of B-movie actors that, despite the absence of quality in the movies he stars, I'll always watch a flick if his name is in the title. We horror fans are a loyal brood who never forget the stars we grew up watching.

Zombie Honeymoon
















I'm pretty sure the unadorned will enter their viewing of Zombie Honeymoon expecting a zom-com with bizarre flourishes of outrageous goremedy. I think anyone who does will be disappointed for I felt that Zombie Honeymoon was quite dark and really rather sad.
My heart ached for Denise(Tracy Coogan)who must deal with the horrifying fact that her new hubbie(Danny, portrayed by Graham Sibley) has become infected with zombie-ism after some undead diseased person arrives from the ocean on the beach of their relative's beach house, vomiting a black oily substance in Danny's mouth. Danny was actually dead for ten minutes before rising from his bed to the surprise of Denise, his physician and nurse. Arriving home elated, Denise discovers, to her horror, that husband Danny is eating one the neighborhood joggers(..a heavy man with a weak heart).






The film focuses on how Denise must deal with Danny's unstoppable hunger for human flesh, an impulse he can not restrain himself from. Even their best friends Nikki(Tonya Cornelisse)and Buddy(David M Wallace)aren't immune to his uncontrollable urges for human meat consumption.





As Danny attacks whoever at random, it's only a matter of time before the police will tie the flesh-eating murders to him. Meanwhile, Denise must decide whether to leave Danny or remain by his side despite the threat endangering her own life.





The violence is here and it's not as humorous as we are accustomed to.. instead the zombie-ism afflicting poor Danny is a terrible circumstance affecting a couple who really love each other.
Before Denise found out about Danny's "extra-curricular" activities, they decided, spontaneously, to quit their jobs and move to Portugal. The move, though, will be a pipedream as Danny's serious condition spirals out of control as his body / health slowly deteriorates.





There's one really disturbing scene, using sound effects effectively(..slurping and snacking), showing Denise's reaction to Danny's feeding frenzy in the other room, attempting to shield out the unpleasant meat-eating noises by cuffing her ears.





I think Coogan is really good in this movie, and director David Gebroe's film often hinges on her response to the crisis as it continues. The flesh-eating is particularly grisly and Sibley gives Danny a feverish intensity as he tears into startled victims who do not have a chance to defend themselves as he pounces upon them. Some of the scenes featuring limbs / body parts(..chewed into or to be disposed of) cry out PROSTHETIC, but a great deal of the zombie gore scenes are gruesome enough to elicit a response I think.





I decided to watch this based on some impressive word-of-mouth(..seems to be a cult hit)and I appreciated how Zombie Honeymoon tackled old material adding a human element so often missing(..or, for a better word, lacking), but I think the performances of the leads has a lot to do with my reaction to the movie. I think what ultimately rings true is the tragedy at the heart of the movie and how, despite what Danny does, their love doesn't shatter into a million pieces as would be expected.

I think the lasting images to be remembered are Danny's often blood covered face and his sickly state which worsens with Denise powerless to help him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stuck


I'm quite amazed that Stuart Gordon's Stuck has recieved such little fanfare from his usual audience(..or horror fans in general) for it deals with a really unbelievable situation that could've been easily resolved yet wasn't.

Stuck features a grisly state of affairs for this really poor soul who gets hit by a drugged out(..on ecstasy) nurse driving wobbly on the road after leaving a club. He goes through her windshield, is bleeding all over her passenger side seat, is trapped, unable to hardly move, has a broken leg (..with a bone protruding from his pants leg), and needs serious attention. Yet, this nurse, who seems unconcerned for his condition as much as how informing the proper authorities or hospital would affect her potential payraise, leaves the injured and bleeding man stuck in the windshield..if he is to survive, this man will have to escape as she plots to have him "put away", asking help from her drug-dealing gangsta boyfriend who brags about his abilities to get rid of people.

Stuck is among the new films featuring director Gordon's metamorphosis from a fantasy supernatural filmmaker to a more story-character driven story-teller whose works are more grounded in realism, yet dealing with really dark subject matter containing brutal acts and uncompromising people who commit them. King of the Ants, Edmond, and now Stuck are directed in a more gritty, unpleasant fashion, with Gordon adopting the "shakey-cam" approach as if someone is following them, shooting faces up close, capturing emotions of the characters as a plot unfolds. I think Edmond is the most disturbing and thought-provoking, showing the evolution of a man fed up with his everyday same-ole same-ole routine, while King of the Ants shows this kid who had the misfortune of aligning himself with nefarious characters. Stuck, on the other hand, deals with a major decision and we watch as the repercussions snowball until the intense, very eye-opening conclusion.

I never felt Stuck even attempted to provide an ounce of sympathy for Brandi(Mena Suvari). She is positively selfish and fears for her own welfare instead of the endangered life of a victim who begs for assistance, simply wanting to be removed from his current predicament. Yet, time and again, she interferes with his goal to get away. If he is able to escape, will he tell the authorities about the one responsible for his belated aid? She's not willing to jeopardize everything and so Brandi instead schemes to have him done away with so that this "bum"(Stephen Rea's Thomas Bardo is down-on-his-luck and was looking for refuge when crossing the street, Brandi's drives into him)would no longer pose a threat to her career or life.

Gordon's Stuck is quite Hitchcockian and seems too difficult to believe would happen so when I learned that this movie was based on a real event, it floored me that such a person could just leave a man to die. Thankfully, Gordon's movie has compassion on Thomas Bardo, but he goes through absolute hell and it's gruesomely detailed by Gordon who is a wizard at making the viewer uneasy(..like when Thomas must pull the windshield wiper blade from his stomach, with little wiggle-room to spare or when he must splint his broken leg after finally dislodging himself). This man doesn't deserve this kind of horror which makes him a very sympathetic figure. The Hitchcockian aspect that comes into play has instances where , throughout the movie, Bardo is almost saved, such as the Mexican kid who hears him inside Brandi's garage, Bardo's blowing the car horn as a Taxi driver offers Brandi assistance(..she, to halt the blowing, clunks Thomas over the head with a block of wood!), a dog who sneaks into the garage through a hole(..in pure Gordon fashion, the dog licks the broken leg's bloody wound!)returns to her owner with blood on her mouth, and Bardo's near escape(..after an incredible prolonging trial of getting into the front seat, splinting his leg, crawling out of the car, and moving ever-so-slowly to potential safety) before Brandi and lover Rashid stop him.

The story is so simple yet I found myself gripped throughout the relatively short running time(the version I watched was around 80 or so minutes)because I always wondered how Brandi could continue to squirm her way out of the inevitable..I mean seriously, how could this girl possibly worm her way out of as difficult a situation as this?! And, I rather found myself amused at how Gordon kept toying with the viewer by offering up a series of potential rescues, with poor Thomas on the cusp of retreat, always returning to possible doom.

Suvari, to her credit, "glams down", burying herself into this unflattering character, in cornrows, with a rather foul mouth, not even flinching when boyfriend, Rashid(Russell Hornsby)talks of his violent career. The character Brandi is seen on the job temporarily and we get a glimpse into how important such a promotion is to these nurses who work in the field of taking care of the older population, the demands from both the elderly and hospital administrator(..played by Gordon's wife Carolyn Purdy, effectively bitchy as always), which take their toll.

It's interesting, too, how Brandi and Thomas relate in terms of the inhospitable world they find themselves. That desperation which motivates Brandi to commit her cruel deeds without guilt, and how Thomas will not die, a thorn she cannot remove.

Great little movie, I think, and an example of how the horror genre isn't as dead in America as is often spoken. There's a startling interratial sex scene between Suvari and Hornsby which is rather surprising, showing how Mena was committed to the part. The crash is pretty powerful stuff and I think one of the most jarring "body through windshield" impact scene I've witnessed.

In regards to the violence, the nasty flesh wound, for which Thomas must slow the bleeding, is really icky as is the eyeball pencil stabbing. I thought the finale(..such a wonderful sense of delightful irony in one of those "turn the tables" scenarios)was particularly fascinating in a variety of ways, from the standpoint of how both Brandi and Thomas respond to a development which changes everything around.

Highly recommended, if my opinion mattered for squat, that is.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Resident Evil:Extinction



Imagine all the royalties Romero rightfully deserves when movies such as Resident Evil:Extinction come to theaters. I think movies such as this don't even try anymore to hide the fact that they are inspired by Romero's influential zombie series.

I am still amazed that Resident Evil yielded a trilogy. It was horrendously ridiculed by both critics and zombie fans. It seems the only ones who liked the first film were fans of the game.

Director Paul WS Anderson(..whose movies I admittedly like)is always the subject of ridicule..labeled a hack or filmmaker incapable of directing an original work(..despite the fact that Event Horizon has some pretty original content, exploring fascinating themes, with some really creepy nightmarish imagery)he's always singled out as a Hollywood mainstream filmmaker of crap, long on style, short on substance. Another director treated this way is Renny Harlin, with several movies that I also enjoy others berate passionately. Anderson wrote the screenplay for Extinction, allowing Highlander director Russell Mulcahy take the filmmaking reins for this outing.

There's really nothing that spectacular about Extinction, and the plot itself isn't as ambitious as the other films in the series. Basically, it's a post-apocalyptic zombie flick further addressing Umbrella Corporation's designs on finding a serum for the plague sweeping topside as the suits and scientists conduct their experiments and board meetings within their underground facilities deep below the earth's surface. We follow Alice(Milla Jovovich)as she assists a convoy traveling through the barren wastleland of Arizona, searching for other possible survivors and needed supplies to sustain their journey, led vigilantly by their boss, Claire(Ali Larter). They secure locations, set up a perimeter to rest, wake up and prepare for another long day. During a routine stop at what was once a desert motel, the convoy encounter crows who became infected while picking dead bodies clean across the area. This is where Alice, discovering that her abilities have evolved to the point where she can actually set up forcefields which shield her from danger(!), lends the convoy a helping hand by incinerating the massive flock using a torch left abandoned after the operator was snatched by flesh-eating zombies.

Alice found a book with details regarding possible safe zones and the author of it(..found in a room accompanied by a host of flies, having hung himself)mentions that Alaska is free from infection, isolated and pure. Convincing those who survive the crow attack that this is a better option that continuing down desert highways with no hope in sight, Alice will join the convoy as they make their next stop at what was once Las Vegas, now buried under sand with a few recognizable buildings still visible poking up. They, this time, are greeted by an endless array of zombies(..they were "drafted" by an evil scientist, more on him in a moment)barraging the group from a tunnel, released by Umbrella to kill off the convoy so that the scientists could retrieve Alice.

Umbrella scientist Dr Isaacs(Iain Glen)has about perfected a serum using the blood of Alice, while arranging test programs using her clones, hoping that eventually one of them will achieve the same level of excellence as their "mother". He wishes to capture Alice, staging the Las Vegas attack in order to do so. Alice has been able to successfully evade Umbrella's satellite grid, but when she joins up with the convoy, they are able to track her(..Alice's powerful abilities to move objects register on Umbrella's radar). We even see how Umbrella is able to "turn her off" by simply commanding the satellite to shut Alice down..we also see, though, how she has progressed to such a state that Alice can short circuit those programs "installed" which makes such commands. It's only a matter of time before Alice will confront Dr Isaacs who has rebeled against Umbrella authority, injecting himself with way too many doses of serum after being bitten while attempting to escape in a helicopter once she uncovered their location. Morphing into a practically unstoppable mutant monstrosity, Alice will have her hands full with the "new and improved" Isaacs who seems impervious to any kind of attack, his wounds healing in a matter of seconds.

Pretty loaded cast includes Oded Fehr(Carlos, Alice's love interest,returning after Resident Evil:Apocalypse), Larter, Ashanti(..who doesn't last very long), Mike Epps(..the one who secretly hides the fact that he was bit by a zombie), and Linden Ashby(..as a cowboy, Chase). Spencer Locke is K-Mart, a girl Alice bonds with and Christoper Egan is Claire's tech-wizard, Mikey who operates communications and security cameras. Iain Glen is appropriately smarmy and cold-blooded as Isaacs.

In actuality, Extinction only really has two major action sequences. I personally found the attack on the convoy by zombie crows rather unintentionally hilarious, but the Las Vegas sequence, on the other hand, was pretty cool. The CGI is really, really lousy, particularly the aforementioned crows once they form a swarm flying into van windows or charge towards their prey...never at all convincing. When Isaacs, as the monster at the end, kills a nagging bureaucrat, these extending tentacles are laughably awful, specifically where a face's eyeballs are poked out.

The zombies are deteriorating shells, baked and cooked by the hot sun, no human fresh meat to feast on has slowly starved them. The zombies kind of resemble undead lepers with dark soulless eyes. Milla gets to combat the zombies with wire-fu, equipped with two curving swords which inflict some serious damage. She's basically a female Rambo, getting a chance to obliterate those that threaten her, and looking really good while doing so. Not to limit her abilities to hand to hand combat or sword play, Milla gets to fire off some rounds as well(..even allowed a chance to pop a zombie's skull using a crossbow).

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Sister of Ursula










Euro-smut from director Enzo Milioni(..who also wrote this sordid trash) featuring another one of those crazy, naughty plots the Giallo genre is noted for.






The setting is a coastal resort where all kinds of debauchery occurs in rooms throughout the place. Two sisters arrive for a vacation and not long after a series of murders break out, the psychopath using a phallic weapon to heinously penetrate female victims, mostly sexually active women linked to the wife of the resort's proprietor.






Dagmar Beyne(Stefania D'Amario)has a difficult time with her deeply troubled sister Ursula(Barbara Magnolfi). Ursula has never recovered from the suicide of her pianist father(..he killed himself after a nervous breakdown left him impotent, losing his wife because of this was the icing on the cake)and still seems to believe he's alive and well. It also seems that Ursula has a type of supernatural power, in both clairvoyancy and telepathy. Anyway, other sub-plots include Roberto(Vanni Materassi), the resort's proprietor and his attempts to keep a low profile around the murders so that tourism wouldn't be effected, and dealing with his wife, Vanessa(Anna Zinnemann)is even more difficult as she wishes to have a divorce from him(..she has a major stake in the resort, to the shagrin of Roberto who's quite devoted to the place). Filippo(Marc Porel;Seven Notes in Black)is a heroin addict who remains a mainstay around the resort, and a vehemently jealous lover of the star lounge singer, Stella Shining(Yvonne Harlow). Jenny(Antiniska Nemour)is a tramp who sleeps around with Vanessa igniting Roberto's rage.
The killer often arranges(..through payment)for the female victims(..who have no idea what is about to happen to them)to stage sexual acts with others, watching behind a curtain, or in the background.






Breaking the routine, the killer startles a teenage runaway couple(..who couldn't get a room in the resort) in the middle of passionate sex, slicing the young man's throat, before slapping around the girl, finishing her off with the phallic weapon.






The killer likes to deliver a few whacks across the faces of female victims before the grisly vaginal violence, which takes place off-screen. Director Enzo Milioni only acknowledges the eyes of the dildo assassin, while showing maybe a gloved hand or a blurred shadow of the weapon. As far as the violence, director Milioni only shows the aftermath, a glimpse of dead naked bodies bleeding from their vagina, strewn out in an unpleasant fashion.






The movie wallows in sleaze, with plenty of Stefania D'Amario undressing slowly, or using a necklace to fondle her naked flesh. There's a rather decent twist regarding Porel's Filippo, his true identity and how it affects Roberto. There's an emerging sub-plot regarding smuggled heroin and how it ties to the resort. All this extra story merely works as a means to provide potential reason for why the murders are happening, but a Giallo regular should realize who the killer really is. The visual gimmick regarding the eyes(..how Milioni darkens the entire face of the killer, except the eyes)is overused, particularly when he/she is standing in a lighted room facing the victim.






Barbara Magnolfi, I thought, had a fascinating face and her character has quite the volatile personality..you just never know when Ursula might snap. Quite moody and bitchy, and I could understand why sister "Daggie" would tire of her incessant griping. The location is positively stunning and well utilized by Milioni particularly one knock-out scene where he positions the camera afar from the balcony of the resort overlooking the water. To Milioni's credit, he gives us an all-too-brief lesbian sequence as the killer looks on.






As exploitation, I think it works(..again, re-iterating the raunchy antics of many characters who stay at the resort) but I'm pretty sure Giallo fans will be less impressed for the story doesn't yield any amazing developments, and the violence is subpar(..this I understand due to the type of violence used against the victims).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

NEKRomantik


As I was watching Jörg Buttgereit's NEKromantik, I questioned to myself how people come to a decision to make a film regarding necrophilia, featuring a pitiable loser who collects body parts, fantacizing about the skinning of a rabbit. I can't just dismiss it as grotesque folly, because the example of Ed Gein changed the very way we looked at depraved behavior and morbid activity, in regards to the desecration of the dead.

I can't say I enjoyed a single moment of NEKromantik for if I had found anything within the plot entertaining I'd probably seek out serious counseling. I guess it could be looked at as a dark comedy for the very thought of someone making it with a rotted corpse, using a sawed off pipe(..with rubber on the end)as it's member, is hard to look at in a serious way. I'm sure there were quite a few really dark moments in Ed Gein's private live with his dug up bodies, bones, skulls, skin, organs, the works, spread across his less-than-humble abode as a warped kind of decor.


Perhaps, the film is a parable of one incapable of existing in the real world for it's cruel towards him(..he's often mistreated and ridiculed)and how his only true satisfaction is his obsessions with all things dead.


The film focuses on a deeply disturbed soul, Robert Schmadtke(Daktari Lorenz)who has started working for a "clean up crew" who remove dead bodies from areas when called upon. He hides certain remains for his home collection where he stores eyeballs, hearts, and other organs in jars of fluid. We are startled to find that he has a lover, Betty(Beartice Manowski)who embraces his sickening hobby.

Jörg Buttgereit sets up a devious scenario showing a man picking apples from his backyard tree, shot in the throat by a drunken neighbor who was firing off at birds in the sky. The neighbor, panic-stricken, buries the body in a pond, and the corpse will be chosen by Robert as a sexual play toy for Betty(..and himself, Yechhh!). The corpse is oozing slime and the face has practically rotted away, revealing the teeth and one remaining eyeball(..which Robert actually sloshes around in his mouth, for heaven sakes!). When they are through with it, for the time being, the corpse is put up against a wall, bowls nearby to hold the blood and fluid which dribble from it. While Robert is away at work, Betty reads books naked to it, and, I assume, fucks it. When Robert's supervisor advises his employer to get rid of him, these circumstances don't go over well with Betty, who leaves him..with the corpse in tow! The scene is quite a memorable one for Robert looks over and sees the corpse's stain on the wall where they would leave it when not molesting it.

The rest of the movie follows Robert as he attempts to find some sort of gratification, lonely and lost without Betty. He goes to a slasher flick which doesn't satisfy, strangles a prostitute(..she laughs at his inability to get a hard-on for which he reacts violently), achieves an erection with the dead body of the whore he just murdered, and decides to end his miserable existence in quite a shocking finale.

I felt the film is built to repulse with it's taboo-shattering subject matter and acts of repellant sexual deviancy. Robert is presented as pathetic, goalless, and strange, barely uttering a word the entire running time, looking down at his feet, with an inability, it seems, to function with other people in a normal way. He seems unable to fit into society and his abnormal conduct makes him relatively unappealing to the outside world. Interesting, how Robert seems so similar to Ed Gein, now that I think about it.

Jörg Buttgereit's film retains a haunting quality due to it's low budget photography and low-key direction. The material, as unpleasant as it is, is presented in a matter-of-fact fashion, with Robert's activities not judged or frowned upon.

I wouldn't recommend this to anybody..I'd be afraid the mob would come after me for NEKromantik is the kind of movie that would certainly classify as entertainment for the truly demented, a one-of-a-kind experience few, I imagine, would wish to have again. Animal lovers BEWARE for there's some truly revolting violence towards a rabbit and cat. The scenes featuring body clean up(..and Robert's fantasy working over a dead body as it correlates with the rabbit being skinned)are pretty strong stuff. I've seen my share of deranged shit, but nothing as perverse as NEKromantik. If ever a film deserved to be included on the notorious Video Nasty list, this one does, because it delivers the nasty goods that warrants such a distinction.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Metalstorm:The Destruction of Jared-Syn



A pretty destructive word is often used for director / producers like Charles Band and that is hack. It's an abusive term which describes someone influenced by particular popular mainstream works, seeing an opportunity to cash in on another's materialized vision. But, I think Band genuinely loves the various genres that often are associated with his work and that enthusiasm shows in all of his first films, although most of them are considered terrible, stigmatized as "the worst films ever made." I look at Band as America's version of the Italian filmmakers influenced by the popular United States films such as The Road Warrior, The Terminator, Robo-cop, Star Wars, among others. In Band's Metalstorm:The Destruction of Jared-Syn, I think you can see an amalgam of various genres from The Road Warrior to Star Wars to even 2001:A Space Odyssey(..something at the very end which looks like a homage to the Stargate sequence when Jared Syn escapes into another dimension with our heroic ranger in hot pursuit).


Band's film primarily takes place in a desert mountainous area where a laconic journeyman ranger, Dogen(Jeff Byron) pursues a powerful and manipulative leader, who poses a threat to the entire planet's inhabitants, Jared-Syn(Michael Preston). Jared-Syn has in his possession a dangerous crystal which can actually "steal lives" from those who oppose him(..or just for the hell of it since the guy is pure evil). The daughter of a prospector seeking crystals of worth is executed by Jared-Syn's half-human, half-robot son Baal(R David Smith)due to a "treaty violation"(..he hadn't known that the treaty was dissolved due to Jared-Syn's desires to rule over all)..the daughter, Dhyana(Kelly Preston, quite lovely in an early role)seeks revenge and will join forces with Dogen to find and kill Jared-Syn. But, Jared-Syn is able to kidnap her, holding Dhyana as bait for Dogen who must find someone with knowledge on the evil ruler's whereabouts(..a cavernous lair deep within the bowels of a mountain). That someone is a former "seeker" and warrior named Rhodes(Tim Thomerson)who will reluctantly tag along with Dogen to find Jared-Syn. Many adventures lie ahead including their narrow escape from sand creatures(..basically hand puppets with fake teeth), the discovery of a statue containing a crystal mask, and the people of the gigantic titan, Hurok(Richard Moll), a breed with only half a face(..there's definately some very interesting make-up work on Moll among others in this movie). Soon Dogen will get his chance to confront Jared-Syn, attempting to convince those in attendance of his goal to dominate as complete dictator over all the world.


There seems to be a hell of a lot of plot, and I'm sure Band did everything under his power to include as many influences as he possibly could within an 80 minute running time. You get the typical explosions as those who drive on the desert roads of this world operate vehicles made of metal with sliding doors..gismos and gadgets of pretty colors particularly stylizied within Dogen's vehicle. I enjoyed the location work and Band features vehicles of the villains moved off these long cliffs exploding into flames as they roll repeatedly.


There's an action sequence I enjoyed where Dogen and Rhodes greet Baal's men rudely by driving into their base camp(..amusingly, it was Baal looking for Dogen)with plenty of subsequent abuse to his men and vehicles. The later portion of the film is particularly unsatisfying because the title doesn't deliver what it promises..a destruction to the very one causing the conflict and strife. It's obvious that Band's intentions were to make a sequel, but he should've pondered the possibility that such a scenario would not be accomplished. I'm the kind of person who wants to see a story-line settled and The Destruction of Jared-Syn leaves us hanging off of cliff, holding on for dear life..and we continue to hold on with no help ever to arrive.


Thomerson proves here in his short screen time just why Charles Band would later devote a series to him, and you also see the evolution of that kind of grizzled, dependable, knowledgable, reliable, wise-cracking heroic, noirish loner who has been through the trenches and doesn't (normally)take shit from anybody. A scene-stealing tough guy who, in Metalstorm, saves Dogen's life multiple times.


Kelly Preston doesn't figure highly into the plot like I thought she would, but her Dhyana is set up more as a damsel-in-distress and pawn in Jared-Syn's game with Dogen than the hero's tag-along through the perilous situations. She's quite a sight for sore eyes, particularly since she's the only woman in the film.


Moll establishes here a very likable presence with an elastic face even under some heavy make-up that distorts his appearance, and his height is well utilized to add a menacing quality, particularly effective in a fight scene with Dogen, in a pit, towering over his opponent, seeming to have a distinct advantage.


Baal's human cybernetic being is quite a creation for he has an arm that extends these metallic claws which shoot out a green substance stabilizing the victim, sending whoever it is into a paralyzed state, rendering them a weakened vessel, putty in Jared-Syn's hands(..somehow the substance has the ability to propel the victim subconciously into Jared-Syn's hidden lair where he's able to immobilize the one selected for termination, removing his lifeforce). Cool scene, in slow motion, where Dogen jerks that metal arm right out of it's socket, wires and gushing fluid resulting. Half of Baal's face is covered by a metal plate, as well.


Byron is pretty much modeled after those quiet and determined heroes who wish to carry out their mission, the straight-man while others steal the spotlight. Preston, as the villain, is rather theatrical as a more comical type of nemesis, looking super-duper in his costume(..with it's detailed muscular chest plate and pecks)..all the costumes for the various characters are quite colorful and unusual.


Perhaps Metalstorm is lacking in quality of those films it mimics, but I thought it had some appealing qualities, mainly an energy and joy that is often present in low budget filmmaking. To close, there's a scene that had me grinning from ear to ear for I imagined it was always a dream of Band's to stage an old fashioned spaghetti western stand-off and shoot-out between the hero and two "futuristic gunslingers" and it's one of the best moments of the film, I believe.

Eye of the Tiger


A Gary Busey Vigilante Movie pitting him against an army of biker dirtbags for their responsibility in the murder of his wife and trauma of his daughter..if that doesn't give a B-movie action fan a hard-on, nothing will. But, alas, Eye of the Tiger isn't quite the satisfying experience it could've been, and this particular revenge actioner doesn't rise above the obvious cliches that often accompany the genre.

Busey stars as Buck Matthews, a recently parolled convict(..put away behind bars by a corrupt sheriff portrayed by Seymour Cassel, really laying on the slime for this real piece of work)and Vietnam hero, who rescues a nurse from being raped by a pack of biker scum(..they have a reputation for this sort of activity). In retaliation, the biker gang explode through his home, murdering Buck's wife with him severely pummelled and subdued enough where he's unable to save her. Buck's daughter is so traumatized, she's shocked into silence, a kind of self-induced coma, her eyes staring in a daze. The worse thing this group could've done was wage a war with Buck, for vengeance will be his. Thanks to someone who owed him a favor, Buck is sent an armoured truck, bullet-proof, equipped with firing capability, including bullets and bombs. Buck will, first, make strategic attacks, picking the bikers off, little by little, with the big finale featuring him raiding their heavily guarded fortress, seeking his daughter who had been kidnapped right from her hospital bed. Assisting him(..albeit reluctantly)is JD Deveraux(Yaphet Kotto), a Sergeant of the town who plans to vacate in a few days, operating his Spearman plane from the air, dropping sticks of dynamite onto the biker's compound.

As you might often see Eye of the Tiger labeled, indeed this film features ludicrous plot problems. Seriously, would a town allow their sheriff to be this corrupt. I mean he practically wears his crimes like the badge pinned to his chest entitling him to serve and protect. The biker gang, led by Blade(William Smith, one of the more recognized heavies in the 70's and 80's;particularly memorable on television in the 80's), just disrupt the peace and operate their drug-running operation without any resistance from law enforcement and the desert town community sit idly by without voicing any concern. Buck's wife is killed, his house ransacked and destroyed, even his daughter lifted from the hospital without the sheriff's department lifting a finger to see that justice was sought for such heinous crimes.

But to be honest, the plot is developed this way just so that Buck can seek violent justice, pitted in a corner with no other alternative since the sheriff, his true rival other than Blade, will not help him. Cassel plays his sheriff one way, and that's as an underhanded asshole abusing his power, almost a dictator ruling over the town, repressing any vocal outrage which might exist. A funny scene has an intensely pissed off Buck infiltrating a bingo parlor game, seeking volunteers to stand up to their sheriff, with no takers..no uprising will occur within, so the plot will further establish that Buck will have to take matters into his own hands.

To enjoy a movie like Eye of the Tiger, you must accept some unbelievable situations such as the bikers interrupting the funeral of Buck's wife, driving by pretty much implicating themselves and the sheriff just grins! Another scene has a few bikers dropping off the casket featuring his wife's body at his doorstep! And, the idea that Busey could just drive through such a well guarded compound, snatch his daughter from a tower, get back into his truck, and drive out stretches credibility to the maximum degree. We are treated to the typical "face-off" between Buck and Blade as those who weren't killed watch in interest as the two exchange blows. One question I always asked myself is why the bikers allowed him to remain alive for such an extensive amount of time anyway. You'd think they'd realize the trouble he could cause.
Kotto is a welcome presence, exuding effortless charisma, providing at least one ally who will back up his pal, and Busey gets to play hero for a change which was nice to see. Busey, to his credit, really pulls it off, gaining our sympathy, but, honestly, it's pretty easy to root for him when you realize just what kind of vermin he's up against.

Wonderfully 80's, Eye of the Tiger, the film's title, capitalizes on Survivor's hit song, and I can just imagine those who come up with the idea to name the movie this with such enthusiasm seeing the marketing possibilities. The movie isn't as exploitative as it could've been, which might be a good thing because many aren't that keen on seeing the bikers raping female victims they pursue. It's also nowhere near as violent as these films often are, featuring mostly the hostiles dropping to bullets and explosions which hurl them in the air in slow motion.

There are two "highlights" including a beheading Herschell Gordon Lewis would've been proud of and the unappealing use of vaseline and a supposed stick of dynamite(..stuck up the ass of a biker in order for him to reveal key information Buck needs regarding where his daughter's being held)which should recieve howls from the attended audience.

Seedpeople



I remember when I was a youth, entering a local movie rental(..back in the good old days when my town had four of these and the VHS boom was in full swing)I saw a huge display sign inside for a movie called Seedpeople. That was a memory that returned when I come across it while pursuing the title of another science fiction / horror flick. Like the cover of the poster one often sees circulating the internet for the film, it had the three official monsters you see when watching Seedpeople.


If you are familiar with the little alien monster creature feature series Critters, you might recognize the traveling capability of one of the seed-beasties in Seedpeople for it "tumbles", rolling in a quick speed towards potential victims, before springing open to reveal it's hideous face. One of these creatures actually takes flight while the third crawls across the ground using it's arms(..this was actually protrayed by a performer, in the monster suit, who doesn't have legs). The trio of creatures look like either puppets or heavily designed monster suits, so I'm sure many will giggle when they make their first(..and later)appearances.


The plot uses the oft-filmed Invasion of the Body Snatchers formula. Alien seeds, which look like meteorites, are discovered by an alcoholic botanist, Doc Roller(Bernard Kates)who cultivates them, unknowingly unleashing the creatures on his sleepy town of Comet Valley(..appropriate name, isn't it?). At full growth, the creatures can actually "morph"(..or, maybe transform is a more accurate term)into the human hosts they invade, with the designs of digging up a "cone"..this cone is actually the organism which houses an army of seeds which would mean a devastating take-over of Planet Earth.




Visiting geologist, Tom Baines(Sam Hennings), a former resident, plans to study the uncovered "meteorites", while taking a look at the engravings within a cave actually drawn by a past civilization who perhaps watched the cone land on the earth. Tom re-awakens an old fling with former girlfriend, Heidi(Andrea Roth), who operates a bed-and-breakfast, where he holds a room for a temporary period. Soon Tom is joining forces with "loony" Doc Roller, who is running around with ultra-violent lights as costumes to protect himself along with a loaded gun. Heidi is looking after her niece, Kim(Holly Fields), who claims that her housekeeper, Mrs Santiago(Anne Betancourt)isn't who they think she is. Soon Kim's father, Frank(John Mooney)becomes "infected" with the seed, and eventually the entire town is prey to alien seeds. It'll be up to Tom, Doc, Heidi, and Kim to either escape or attack the evil forces at work to take over the world. Dane Witherspoon is Deputy Brad Yates, who carries a torch for Heidi, providing the plot with a little love triangle.

A major plot development is Doc's discovery that ultra-violet light actually "removes" the mind control power of the seed-creatures, a most important weapon used against the invaders late into the film.

The film is obviously shot mostly on sets and the monsters / effects were designed / created by John Carl Buechler's workshop. The plot affords the filmmakers a chance at a smaller scale story-line within the confines of this California area(..the perfect place to start an invasion) and uses a narrative device(..it's told in flashback by Hennings, who is strapped to a gurney in some operating room as this agent probes his testimony regarding the "seed people")to reflect upon what has caused Tom to be in such a frenetic emotional state, panic-striken and worried for human-kind.


It was also cool that Charles Band is re-viving the Full Moon releases for dvd, and Seedpeople actually featured an old "Video Zone" showing some behind the scenes footage of the film's making. Video Zones were located at the end of Full Moon features so that you get a first hand look at the behind the scenes interworkings of a movie being made..way before this technique was utilized by the dvd market.


It's obvious that the film's reputation will be ultimately judged on the monsters within the film, which are more akin to what you might see in a low budget Roger Corman creature feature..that means, many will laugh their asses off at how unconvincing they seem compared to the Computer Generated Graphics age we are now in.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grizzly Park


I was anxious to see if Grizzly Park would follow the typical rules these kinds of movies often do..you know, group of kids, on a camping trip, falling prey to someone or something, one by one, individuals(..or in a duo)seperating from the pack, scurrying off to get high or laid, or whatever, encountering a hostile threat.
While Tom Skull's film(..he wrote and directed it) features "disposable teens", dispicable teen scum you yearn to see perish in the worse possible ways, there's a dark humor that runs rampant(..I felt that Skull specifically / deliberately wrote for these characters to be as morally sickening as possible) with a delightful twist I thoroughly enjoyed..a wonderful wink if you will for those who were patient and tolerated these loathesome cretins(..many a product of wealth who committed their deeds for materialistic avarice)for the duration.


The essential, simple plot has these teen felons forced into community service, despite the fact that all of them committed crimes which warranted far worse punishment. We must endure 80 minutes with these people as does austere, reserved Ranger Bob(Glenn Morshower, who is able to pull this role off with such ease), who we can tell represses his ill feelings for this brood of deplorable delinquents. Ranger Bob(..pronounced with scorn and vile by his group)must lead them into his California State Park to pick up trash, among other duties for their various crimes. Once deep within the woods, two of Bob's stupid kids decide to take a "short cut"(..according to one of the teen's GPS tracking devices which he doesn't read appropriately)in order to beat the others to the camp site a few miles ahead. They get lost and soon become fodder for a wolf and bear. Well, one of them gets caught in a trap designed(..we are led to believe)for wolves, while another attempts to run from a white wolf coming towards her. Hanging upside down, the other has nowhere to run as a bear growls as supper is prepared.



Meanwhile, Bob has the others getting adjusted to their temporary cabins as he decides to seek out the two who fled from the pack. This leaves the kids alone to do chores assigned to them(..they, of course, aren't too keen to follow), and soon the killer bear greets them in a not so friendly fashion.


As I was mentioning above, the film punishes us for an insufferable 80 minutes with these kids before the bear turns them into mincemeat. The upper half of a head is taken off in one bear strike with tongue still wagging. The latino girl is crawling on the ground(..after the bear scooped her from a ladder she was attempting to climb), with the lower half of her body gone, tattered intestines strewn out. Arms are pulled off as two girls attempt to pull their friend from the clutches of the bear(..he also has a "skin flap" which reveals that the bear has sliced open the side of his head with the flesh, hair still intact, hanging apart from the skull). Bob also finds half a victim's face, the only remains left of the person attacked.


The funniest scene has this rich prick, who got a 15 year old drunk, forcing her into a form of asphyxiophilia, leading to her comatose condition(..according to him, they were fucking with plastic bags over the heads for a little extra kick), which is the reason he was serving community service..his wealthy daddy got him out of a jam..being pulled through a window by a bear's arm after establishing what he thought was their safety(..in this storage shed).

Skull doesn't change from what other directors often do in these kinds of "animals attack" movies..actors and the real bear never appear on screen together at the same time, with Skull using editing and a fake arm with a claw reaching up to grab victims(..they are whisked away out of frame, later shown in a devastated state). The worst use of this effect was when a female is attacked by the wolf..it's terribly unimpressive a scene, and not very believable.
The teen characters are pure stereotypes and their reasons for being in the community service program will perhaps cause you to root vocally loud for their deaths in the most vicious way possible.


I caught this on Chiller channel, so I'm guessing it's a possibility those who watch Syfy on a regular basis should see it on the Saturday or Sunday line-up eventually. It's no great shakes but the finale(..which certainly answers a question regarding whether or not a girl's boobs are in fact real or fake)offers a nice surprise which should delight gorehounds.
I'm not sure what was left out of the broadcast for the movie on Chiller, so Grizzly Park could contain nudity and profanity. I'm not sure if there was any extra violence too graphic for television, but what Chiller allowed was actually strong stuff in regards to public consumption.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laserblast




















I recently watched a movie produced by Charles Band called Laserblast and realized how much I enjoyed watching Kim Melford's handsome(..yet melancholy)California teenager respond to his attackers by blowing them to smithereens with an alien blast gun. I mean I just reveled in watching this guy blow shit up. It was like the director had an opportunity to live out his wildest dreams, equipped with the proper means to blow up anything he so wished. A mailbox, Star Wars billboard, gas station, cop car, a desert tree, a couple of other sweet rides owned by a bully who continually heckled him(..and Eddie Deezen, was this guy's partner..no shit, Deezen was a fellow bully!), even a hippy giving him a ride. That was a hilarious scene..the way Milford just blasted this guy right out of the driver's seat and through the door! Haha!


I'm currently hung up on the score by Joel Goldsmith and the great Richard Band. I keep going over the opening and closing credits just to hear the score..it's really catchy and I find myself humming it when I'm washing dishes or making my daughter's bed. The score really, along with the stop motion aliens created by Dave Allen(..I love this guy's contribution to Charles Band's productions, especially the cool robots you later see in Robot Wars and Crash and Burn), is the best thing about the movie.


The plot I found worthless unless you except the revenge angle where a boy, given an opportunity to attack those that constantly bother him(..such as a rotund deputy who basks in the thrills of writing the kid tickets), slowly transforms into a hideous alien version of himself thanks in part to this pendant necklace left over after the previous owner was disintegrated into ash by the alien lizards at the beginning of the movie. Whenever Milford has it on, he turns into, I guess, the alien owner, and goes apeshit, blasting everything in sight such as a pinball machine. Milford hunches over as if his back is weighted down with an anvil, swinging his laser rifle in the air in celebration, understanding the adreniline thrill of having such enormous power.


I was reading into the back story of the attractive leads, Milford and his girlfriend of the picture Cheryl Smith. Both are dead, and rather young to boot. Smith's life is certainly such a tragedy. I haven't seen a great deal of her 70's exploitation work(..although, I plan to), but knowing that her end wasn't exactly the way we wish to die, my heart kind of broke. She's so pretty and sweet in Laserblast, quite petite and soft-voiced. Just a darling. I imagine she probably succeeded in the 70's because of these traits visible in Laserblast. Milford died so young, and even though I know nothing of his other work, it kind of saddened me to see his fallen character with Smith draped over him as the credits rolled, pondering how both would leave in such tragic circumstances.


I was rather flummoxed at the fact that both Keenan Wynn and Roddy McDowell would agree to accept roles so undervaluable, meaning very little to the overall film, despite their status, even if the Hollywood establishment, by this time, had written them off. They deserve more than what is shown in this film. I read somewhere(..maybe imdb)that Wynn shot his scenes like in a day or something. Kind of a bummer that Roddy is like in and out of the picture within a matter of minutes..any kind of actor could fulfill the requirements of such a role, due to the fact that the doctor is so meaningless to the overall plot. Still, we get a good car explosion(..one of like six, I think)so all is well.




















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The Boogens - Intro

While I must admit that as a monster movie, The Boogens (1981) doesn’t quite measure up (its monsters aren’t particularly menacing ...