Sunday, February 28, 2016

And you thought Count Dracula was creepy...

The Monster Club (1980)



“Why I’m not a stranger, I’m a clergyman”. 

That doesn’t exactly sound comforting these days, does it?

Homicycle


*/*****

Sometimes a fun title is nearly all you have. Oh, you can get a mileage out of a title. A LOT. I have always imagined there’s the bell that rings in the minds of those who want to put a movie out there for a type of audience. “Well, let’s see if we can make a movie…we sure have a title!”

Then you watch the movie. Well, at least the title was something because the movie sure as fuck wasn’t. The film’s official running time is about 70 minutes. Take out a rock stage performance, opening credits, closing credits, and a repeated opening scene closing the film (!) and you might have 45 minutes worth of “real” movie. This film is built as a throwback grindhouse type of movie, but ultimately, it is sour grapes. It is a film where the cast looks like they emerged from a Lloyd Kaufman/Michael Herz casting call. Some rough looking folks show up to populate this no-budget supernatural vigilante revenger.



There’s not a lot of plot here. A married couple is besieged by a kinpin’s posse resulting in the husband getting a gun pointed right at his face, the result a cold-blooded murder. So the wife wants Brock, the kinpin, put in jail…but his connections keep him out of jail and away from proper justice. Since the justice system can’t put away Brock and his goons, the wife’s dead husband will make damn sure to mete it out instead. His arm literally bursts from fresh burial cemetery ground signaling his resurrection, seemingly motivated by the mourning of the woman who loved him and is lost without him.

What does he do? He gets on the biker gear and helmet, and shows up to get revenge on Brock and his scumbags in an unnamed city. Hence, the title.
 




With names like Rat, Diesel, Scary, Chains, Slug, and Tiny as part of the kingpin’s gang (Peter Whittaker is so unbearably wretched, he’s almost amusing, doing his very level best to emote vile scumbag), you know what you are in for. The undead killer on the motorcycle might have some reaching back to Psychomania (1973; also known as The Death Wheelers). His methods of execution (nailgun, knives, machine gun, stick handle to a plunger) have been "executed" in other far better films (with low budgets themselves), and the attempts at humor might fit for fans of Shot-on-video shit where obvious ad-libs are the rule of the day. There are precious few locations, most in cramped rooms, and having to adjust to fit within the limited funds what special effects could be afforded (the simulated animated gunfire and blood from head wounds are excremental); this is an exercise in futility.


I do think the director’s intentions were a noble cause in the name of bringing love to the exploitation movies of old. But the budget is obviously crude, the murder sequences are underwhelming to put it mildly, and the exhausting public domain intermission advertisements (notoriety linked to drive-ins) in the middle further lengthen the time further emphasizes that Homicycle is a short film stretched to 65 minutes. If there is a silver lining, the rock song at the end and the film’s synth score is rather catchy.

Too bad everything else reeks.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Macumba sexual: Entre Acte



I guess I look at Obongo as a type of spectre that doesn’t haunt as much as pleasure and arouse Alice. Alice will be out on a terrace, naked on a lawn chair, asleep and vulnerable, with Obongo’s hands crawling up her body looking to drive her wild, even masturbating her during the process. Outside of the fantasy dream is resort proprietor Jess Franco peeping on her from on the other side of a door leading to the terrace. She startles out of her sleep to find him, not Obongo, looking on, immersed in his voyeurism.



tribal statues and the whole cultural milieu Jess exploits effectively

One of Jess' many shots of the location

As is typical, Romay naked and sleeping


Room with a View


 They Call Him the Peeper






Well, if you really like ’83 body Lina Romay, then this film gives you your money’s worth. She’s naked A LOT. And even when she’s not naked, she’s scantily clad. Jorts and tiny bikinis are it. She’s actively involved in sex with Wilson (and her entourage, a man and woman who accompany her as slaves to her sexual whims) or intimately making out whenever the film calls for it. And there is Franco’s camera enjoying it all. The film cavorts with Wilson and Romay, delighting in their lusty antics. One scene has Wilson and her slaves tongue-pleasuring Romay as she takes it all joyfully.








One bizarre scene doesn’t even involve Romay. Wilson forms a symbol important to her in the sand right in the middle of the desert, finds a white artifact buried within the circle, gives it a licking, and briefly her slaves dildo her with it! Franco doesn’t spend a lot of time on the scene, getting the point across and moving on. Since Romay isn’t involved, it seems Franco doesn’t feel the desire to hold much attention to the scene.




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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 ...