Thursday, April 17, 2014

Promotion Alert: Cool Ass Cinema Post

Hello Guts fans, as you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of Cool Ass Cinema and Asian Cult Cinema in general. So when I was asked to contribute something I jumped face first into the concrete, or reviewed the film Prophecies Of Nostradamus from 1974. Check it out over here and make sure you visit CAS at least every other day, lots of informative content and good times!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Evil Come, Evil Go

Evil come Evil Go Directed By Walter Davis, Starring Cleo O'Hara (1972).
There's nothing more lurid and entertaining as when the porn industry decides to delve into the horror circuit. Bob Chinn, the inspiration for Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights joins the ranks of Roberta Findlay, Ray Dennis Steckler, Ed Wood and Harry Reems in Demented. Chinn was the producer of this film and even brought along his main studhorse, Johnny Holmes as the A.D. and rotten inept special effects guy. 
   On the recent Vinegar Syndrome Special Edition, they mention how Chinn came up with the idea for the script over a raw hamburger he received from a dingy restaurant.
   A psychotic redheaded vixen is just like "The Blues Brothers", on a mission from God to decimate the entire male populace for the crime of lust (well the first part is like the bungling Belushi/Ackroyd duo at least). 

Hey Yawl, Paula Dean in her salad days

   We see flashes of exposed organs covered in syrupy blood from her first victim, as the soundtrack plays corny banjo music and then her maudlin theme song, as she strolls along the beach. Don't Evangelicals have all the fun?
   Sister Jane Butler (O'Hara) seems to hop into bed only to jab a switchblade into your back at the moment of climax. Her second victim has some choice dialogue saying  "Gimme head, that way your mouth is full, so I don't have to hear your yackin"

I want a Bean Feast and a Snozberry !
 The actress who plays the title character looks like a rundown version of Tina Louise.
She brings out an accordion and plays for pocket change among the scuzzy streets. Her message "God is love, not Sex" is about as logical as the Westburo Baptist Church.
   She meets a girl at a hotdog stand who's also a religious nut that takes her in off the street and gives her a place to stay.

Rejected album cover for TAD's 8-way Santa
   The poor dope is so gullible that she submits to her warped religious mission and even bows to her as if she's her new personal savior!
   Sara strips the zaftig girl naked and elects her as bait, just how "The Children Of God" used to practice with flirty fishing, only this time leading drunks in bars down the path toward the slice of the knife.

I apologize profusely for my penis, madam 

   They interrupt a picnic sex scene with people that have the kind of bodies that would fit in an early John Waters film, I mean really fucking hairy, thankfully though, the sex is strictly softcore.

Eugene Levy can dig it, you don't want to see him ball

   Sara jane's sex helper Penny (Sandra Henderson) is vampish with a giant bush and the clowns she screws are hideous. But it's all part of the divine plan to eradicate the male species, so of course she's on board.
   There's heavy amounts of room tone that I'm hoping Vinegar Syndrome erased from the print (a prestigious copy was not sent over to the TOG headquarters).
   It turns out the vamp even sells out her former girlfriend and there's a lesbian sex/ suffocation scene. The film abruptly ends at a picnic, maybe they ran out of money? 
   I must admit, I like Walt Davis' style of ugly people in hideous settings splashed with the cheapest special effects available and up until this film had never heard of him. I tend to skip Something Weird softcore like Deep Jaws or The Dicktator, because I usually want to be able to live with myself the next day, but who knows I may check out more stuff by this schlocky director. 
Lots of Fun, Highly Recommended!


Monday, April 14, 2014


Rituals (The Creeper), Starring Hal Holbrook Directed By Peter Carter  (1977).
There's all kinds of mystery surrounding this title in the Deep Red catalog, but I confirmed with Greg Goodsell that this is the right Creeper VHS tape from the catalog. I'm a little skeptical because its described as a "British thriller with psychic overtones", in an effort to tackle anything related to the Deep Red universe, it must be included and I will most likely review The Wes Olsen film The Creeper, which was also referenced in the "now" incredibly expensive book by Stephen Thrower, Nightmare U.S.A. I'm still kicking myself over not buying that dog eared copy at a Virgin Megastore close-out sale!

Not starring Hal Holbrook

   This is a Canadian Deliverance knock-off that starts off like a very special episode of "old grumpy physicians in floppy hats" with Hal Holbrook. If they had made a sequel to Creepshow with only the Harry Northrup character, would he take a fishing trip to the same lake he dumped off Fluffy the demonic tasmanian, snaggletoothed beast in the crate and let it devour more agitators, most likely! 

We're gathered here today for the Paddington Bear convention

   Anyway Holbrook and his old codger doctor friends take a stressful trip through the Ontario wilderness. They trudge through murky waters and as they pose for pictures yell CHEESE in unison, loud enough to start a possible avalanche or awaken disfigured patients seeking revenge in the forest! The doctors repeatedly mention how the indians believe the moon bumped into the earth and chose this place as a magical spot. Are they nervous that Chipewa spirits are going to haunt them? 
   They bitch at each other over their surgical skills and do some aggressive "male bond" chanting. All the characters are on edge from the minute the film starts and the next morning, after their boots are stolen, they resume the rage. 

You mean I could've stayed at a Holiday Inn Express?

   You'd think a team of rich doctors would have a luxury resort or at least a fancy cabin to snuggle up by the fire with some brandy, but here they are totally roughing it. I don't even think they pitched a tent! 
   Is a pissed off Navajo going to scalp the shit outta these quacks or a deranged hillbilly going to make an appearance, with all the Indian warnings, that's the way they set it up.
Then a talisman shows up, that spooks all the men, a severed deers head with a snake attached. A Mrs. Voorhees type figure is watching them between the twigs and leaves (and this movie actually came out before Friday The 13th). 

Mike Tee Vee is back, flying around in a million tiny pieces

   A hive explodes with bees and it runs everyone hurling toward the river--who tossed it at them--could it be nature unraveling and threatening to crush these goony specialists, probably. No suspects turn up yet and the music stings never alert the audience, because they sound like "After School Special" melodramatic shit. A shrouded figure shows up amidst the bees and they all figure out that someone is now stalking them. After one character dies, his brother laments "He was such a gentle boob", that really cracked me up, when it shouldn't have! 
 Another tard, steps in a bear trap that's underwater, while trying to test out the shallowness of a brook. They actually float one pal on a stretcher through the raging river and he gets more annoying and delirious then Roger "We got this by the ass", the Swat team Zombie from 1978's Dawn Of The Dead

I may be annoying, but at least I had more of a career then Scott Reiniger

    Everything is leading them into a trap or a demonic ritual. I haven't wanted a character to die more in a film since Franklin from the original TCM. Marty (Robin Gammell), the guy with the broken leg babbles on like a guy with dysentery of the mouth, I wish they would eat him. Holbrook always does a great job in the acting dept. and becomes more agitated and grouchy as each friend dies off. They start to believe that the predator (a human, not "Alien Whoopi Goldberg") has a plan for them. He even leaves a severed head stuck on a pike-- which Holbrook proceeds to hurl off the mountain like a caveman!

Trust Bosley for all your hair implant needs

   Hal degenerates into a drooling,feral madman as he drags his dead friend around the barren plains. The hidden manipulator even drives him to start killing his own friends (well one victim who is half dead, is strangled so he won't suffer anymore). Mitzi played by Lawrence Dane (Scanners, Of Unknown Origin) is the only surviving friend of Holbrook's and he becomes sick over his irrational behavior. 

Is there an orthodontist in the house?

   It all ends with a stand off, more decoys and tricks, as the creep responsible drives the last two friends against each other. Holbrook tries to cauterize his fatal wounds as his friend burns to death outside. His last words are "Shut Up, Shut Up, Don't Panic"! 
   Though this film is infuriating, tedious and slow paced, I still recommend it and I have no idea why! It's strangely compelling, even though its kind of dull, the acting really outshines the mediocrity. Give it a whirl and see what you think! This film is still in public domain so check it out on Youtube before it disappears, this SPECIAL EDITION version even has some of the actors, like Lawrence Dane discuss this careers as well as what went on during the shoot and its very entertaining. In the Stephen King book "Dance Macabre", he mentions this as a rare gem to look out for, that bit of free advertising certainly worked for Evil Dead.

This film will give you the same effect of drinking a case of skunky Moosehead Beer

Sandy "Mac's Mom" Martin makes a very special cameo appearance

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vermilion Eyes

D: Nathan Schiff
Run Time: 123 min.
Distributed by: GOOD LUCK…
Review By David Austin

One of these days, all of us will wake up to the bitter realization that the world in front of us is nothing more than a macabre joke. If there is a God, we exist merely as chew toys for a higher power that enjoys watching us suffer. Friends, lovers, even entire families will disappear once the final screw gets turned – which it undoubtedly will…AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

            Nathan Schiff’s heretofore-unseen magnum opus Vermilion Eyes is a film about that feeling. The absence of virtually all hope, the death of love and the silent anguish of the individual crying out for sanity in a world slowly losing its’ collective mind. Shot for peanuts on the back roads and woods of Great Neck, Long Island, Vermilion Eyes is shockingly ahead of its’ time and may possibly be the most transgressive, subversive, and disturbing piece of work to come out of the late-80’s new wave of splatter. Combat Shock references may pop up, and it’s well-known that Schiff and Buddy G have an affinity for each others’ work…but even in the harsh depiction of Staten Island, Buddy G’s film displayed a faint glimmer of hope amidst all of the chaos and destruction. In Vermilion Eyes, the only emotion evident through the abundant video noise is a never-ending howl of existentialist pain. Tread very carefully here, folks. Once seen, you will never forget this film.

Shot for Circus Peanuts in Long Island

The Man (a searing, intense turn by Schiff regular John Smihula) is an average working stiff with a predilection for grisly true detective magazines and photographing death scenes and car crashes. All around him, the few people he interacts with and meets on his dark night of the soul embody a death wish far greater than life. The blind, the drunk, the bitter, the alienated – nobody is safe. Is it reality or is it just a figment of a very disturbed imagination? Vermilion Eyes doesn’t give you as a viewer any easy answers or allow for cheap, pat resolutions. In this world, the only predetermined path for all of us is a brutal and senseless death. Only in death are we free from the pain of living, the pain of loss, and the destruction of innocence…which definitely figures into the plot by the end of the film.

Just wait this Corn Beef and Cabbage is gonna be scrumptious

            Schiff’s earlier films (Long Island Cannibal Massacre, They Don’t Cut The Grass Anymore) were completely innocent splatter flicks, low on production value and high on enthusiasm. With Vermilion Eyes, Schiff announced himself as an artist, the virtual embodiment of the Cinema of Transgression, and perhaps the deepest-thinking auteur in indie horror. Peers such as Peter Jackson or Jim VanBebber may have had an easier time entertaining an audience, but Vermilion Eyes does not exist to entertain…the determination to disturb and appall is great with this one, but behind it all is a very deep message about loss, love, faith, spirituality, and redemption. It’s eerie in a way how VE (shot in 1988) prefigures the French Extreme of directors such as Gaspar Noe and Catherine Breillat. One can also see elements of the future of directors like Todd Haynes or Lars Von Trier scattered throughout this backyard epic.

Critics Scmitics, I have at least another 30 minutes to ice some human waste

That said, this movie isn’t going to please everyone, especially in its’ current state as a cut (98 minutes from an actual runtime of 123) 5th-generation bootleg. Some critics (namely Michael Weldon of Psychotronic Video) have already railed on about how Vermilion Eyes is “nothing more than a guy killing women for 2 hours.” Is he right? Yes and no. While pieced together as a collection of scenes emboldening an ideology, don’t expect Murder-Set-Pieces. Schiff has a loftier goal in mind – By disturbing his audience, Schiff puts the viewer in the uncomfortable position of recognizing his or her own inadequacies and failings in his characters. They are people like us, fellow marionettes of tendon and veins, who exist for little more than painful and gruesome death. Is that what it all leads to? Maybe…maybe not, your guess is as good as mine.

My airbag didn't work
        Sorry, I’m pussyfooting around the issue – Nathan Schiff is a man I consider my friend, and I adore the guy and his contributions to the horror/gore landscape. However, this film has hit me in a place that very few films ever could. While I may find this to be refreshing, others may not care for such levels of deep introspection. This is less a film than it is a cry from the unconscious…a howling miasma of beauty and pain. This is the dark end of the street…Enter if you dare.

They call me Vermilion mouth

I've got a sinus infection

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Igor and the Lunatics

Igor and the lunatics Directed By W.J. Parolini, Starring a bunch of nobodies (1985).
After trudging through the muck and slime of utter doldrums (e.i. Bloody Wednesday) I needed to take a break and watch something that I knew would cleanse my brain palate, something classy or category III. I knew I would at least not feel like I had metaphorically crushed my own balls in a vice again and could look at myself in the morning without utter hatred for mankind.
   Then why the hell am I watching a B-rate street gang (or not yet formed garage punk outfit) feature by the brain trusts over at Troma? Two reasons, Rick Sullivan's "Gore Gazette" review made it sound so retarded that it became a must see flick and Troma had a trailer that was hard to beat, I mean the narrator did a little fancy pants voice inflection when he said Lunatics, why, what's the deal?
   I know I'm in for some more torture but just call me Albino from Mark Of The Devil's bitch because I'm goin to bite the bullet, whatever happens, happens! No turning back now!
I hate you John Fogerty, but I love you Captain Beefheart

   The opening is better than three Italian Warriors/Escape From NY ripoffs put together, well maybe not, but the music sure is snappy!
A topless girl is strapped to a giant sawblade and cut in half as a dude getting ready for a Charles Bronson look-a-like contest awkwardly tucks his wife in and leaves.

Next week I have a Donald Sutherland look-a-like contest to go to

   The wife wakes up and reads a letter that paints a grisly picture of his involvement with a groovy Manson-esque cult. Paul is the leader, but Igor constantly tries to upstage him. Paul uses mind control to subdue his followers and they act like hall monitors if someone is seen in town without permission. The pastural locations and amateurish acting work in its favor, I mean yeah its a shitty movie but I enjoyed it. Igor out of the hippie cult followers was the most untamed (he kind of looks like a hippie version of Bruce Brand, the drummer from Thee Headcoats).

want some fried chicken?

   They rewind the sawblade scene again (which eats up twenty minutes) so they can show it splitting her naked body in half, it was a decent effect. Igor wears out his welcome very fast and may be the most hammy actor I've seen in awhile. The fuzz show up and attack the hippies when they throw punches goofy whipcrack sounds clickity clack.

Hold on, let me drink some more annoying juice
   A baby is left behind and the former cult member continues to bring us up to date as Paul and his group (who so far haven't been called The Lunatics) get out of jail. Igor takes a scalpel, guts a black female victim and offers her fried chicken. The actor that plays Igor goes out of his way to be antagonizing and stupid beyond comprehension, my only hope is that he put this on his acting reel and was laughed out of every agency in town.

this painting sucks
   Mary-Ann the red-haired wife from the beginning, gets stoned and has a nightmare about Igor and one of her pals starts off a joke "What's the difference between a duck…" and never finishes the punchline, it was infuriating! 
   Tom Turner is seen on TV condemning his former cult past, he rents a car at Budget and hits the road to revenge. 
   Mary-Ann's house gets broken into by the baby left behind from the beginning. This movie takes all these sidetracks in order to show screaming middle aged women being chased or cut up by stupid Paul and Igor, there's no one here to like or care about.
See the belt goes down here, not up there

   I'm not surprised to see that no one ever worked again in this film. The way the story evolves is clumsy, they might have pulled it off had more competent talent been involved. 
   I only wish the frothy mouthed hippies from I Drink Your Blood fought Igor and the lunatics, they would've wiped the floor with them.
   Mary Anne does a decent job of beating Igor to a pulp, which was my favorite moment, he's one of the least likable characters in recent memory.
   These are the kind of blood thirsty hippies that take to murdering their own like ducks to water. I mean yeah they deserved it and I guess the only way to move on is to literally kill your past. The ending, which takes place in a famous 80's fake Japanese restaurant was totally random and I remember it featured on some of the VHS box covers. So keep your expectations low, drink a six pack and make sure there are some friends around for you to crack jokes with and you might even like this trash.

I'm so baked

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bloody Wednesday

Bloody Wednesday Directed By Mark G. Gilhuis, starring Raymond Elmendorf (1987).
The crawl in the very beginning talks about a supposed coffee shop massacre, but in reality it was a "Mcdonalds Mcmassacre" in San Ysidro California in 1984 by James Oliver Huberty. 
  Huberty went on a mass killing spree proclaiming he was out hunting humans, his family later on, tried to sue Mcdonalds claiming their Chicken Mcnuggets and working around poisonous metals fueled his psychotic rage, you can read about it here

The real born loser, before the massacre

   The James Huberty in this film is called Harry Curtis (Elmendorf, who's only role besides this was a bit part in Project X). Harry snaps at his mechanics job and immediately after goes into church naked and spooks everybody enough to get a psychiatric evaluation. His brother attempts to check him into a mental institution where cliches are the order of the day. Curtis says "You can't take the heat get out of the kitchen" and the female doctor responds "The whole world is a kitchen"! He is dangerously unstable and since the psycho ward is over crowded, he gets to stay with his brother. The stock music and the film quality all resemble a lame Tales From The Darkside episode. 

Teddy doubles as a bullet proof vest

   This is one of those Deep Red catalog films that I pretty much detested, even though it was slightly watchable. Among films I'm going to have to watch tied down ludovico style are Mistress Of The Apes, She Beast, The Worm Eaters and The Creepers by Wes Olsen. I'm not sure why they are in the catalog other then to sell rare tapes that you couldn't see anywhere else at the time. This one should remain lost and is still in public domain. The screen writer Phillip Yordan also penned the haphazardly clunky Night Train To Terror, Johnny Guitar and really missed the mark with this shit. 

   Mr. Curtis sees imaginary street punks and screaming girls pounding on his door late at night, his teddy bear talks back to him and says "you can't hold a job"! Imaginary snakes and bellboy ghosts visit him at night, he starts off bad and gets progressively worse. Things turn stalker-ish after Harry climbs over the wall of the head of the psychiatric hospital's house and once inside, she dances around in a Stevie Nicks type dress while he plays piano. 
Total eclipse of the fart

   Reality and fantasy are completely blurred and Harry (who reminds me of Lance Kinsey the guy that plays Proctor in Police Academy) is not a very convincing psycho. 
   It's hard to tell if the punks that chase him are real or a delusion, but its not uncommon for nutcases to blame their problems on the youth of today.
   At any rate he sets up a kangaroo court using a "Dirty Harry style 44" and uses his teddy bear as the hanging judge! This scene was the most entertaining for me so far in this dull mess.
   The punks later show up in a bar and react to being held hostage by a man with a gun and a teddybear, then they are apparently real. The film tries to make it seem like the street gang ordered him to kill random strangers at the restaurant in the finally and takes the Death Wish model, that punks are inherently evil and must be stomped out like the plague. 
   Harry begs for his job back and then causes his boss to go ape shit after he paints a customer's car red white and blue. 

Thanks punkers for setting me up with this nifty gun

   His wife stops by and does a little striptease for no reason, while she takes a bath he goes in and drowns her.
    The bellhop who acts like the bartender in The Shining gives him terrible advice. This movie is in very bad taste when you think about how its based on a real incident (at the time one of the highest death tolls in the United States). It's in league with those atrocious serial killer biopics that used to litter the shelves of Blockbusters across America, when those existed. It shouldn't be represented as a document of the actual case, since nothing in this film follows any of the details of the original case! The director was never seen or heard from again and with good reason. Why is it so offensive to me that he would try to capitalize on a mass shooting that happened a few years ago and not even bother to get the facts straight. Take for example The Executioners Song which followed the case to the letter and made Gary Gilmore seem like the white trash scumbag that he was. The film makers here don't have the brains to pull off a decent biopic so they stole random shit seemingly by flipping the channels, adding whatever appeared on TV at the time. A total waste of time!

I like my human face egg sandwich over medium please


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Scream Bloody Murder

SCREAM BLOODY MURDER (1973, aka "Claw of Terror" aka "The Captive Female" aka "Matthew", directed by Marc B. Ray, screenplay by Larry Alexander and Marc B. Ray)
Review By Goat Scrote
    If you thought Norman Bates had Mommy issues, just wait until you meet Matthew. Actor Fred Holbert delivers some chilling moments as Matthew, an obsessive, hook-handed psychotic with a talent for slaughter and an Oedipus complex that puts Oedipus himself to shame. I'm actually somewhat surprised Holbert never showed up in any other film roles. His co-star Leigh Mitchell (playing both his mother, Daisy, and the prostitute, Vera) has some good scenes as the kind-hearted, down-to-earth object of Matthew's malignant lunacy. He leaves a pretty major pile of bodies in his wake. The murders are unpleasant, although the whole "gore-nography" tag line on some of the posters is overstating things quite a bit -- it doesn't even approach any of the 1960s H.G. Lewis gore originals. There's blood, to be sure, but no spilling viscera or spurting fountains of the red stuff. "Scream Bloody Murder" never moves into splatter territory. The most disturbing things usually happen just off-camera. The horror is effective because the action being suggested is gruesome, and because Matthew himself is such a creepy and unwholesome character. There's a fair amount of sex and nudity going on and yet it's not even slightly explicit. There's nary a breast or buttock in sight, even in the most revealing scenes. There's also a current of very, very dark humor in the movie that I appreciated. Overall I liked "Scream Bloody Murder". It's weird, sleazy, and full of madness and murder.
The alternate poster
    The movie has some visually impressive moments, especially for a low-budget late-70s psycho-killer grindhouse flick. (Yes, I'm being serious. Quit giggling, this is art, goddammit!) The bloody effects are not that great. A lot of the filmmaking is pretty standard for this kind of thing, which is to say, "very bad". On the other hand there's some frenetic camera work in some of the kill scenes that helps make them intense despite other weaknesses. Matthew hallucinates repeatedly through the movie, and these warped, shifting, color-filtered scenes visually convey the terror of his psychosis. There are some creative, well-composed, surprisingly sophisticated shots that are just plain cool to look at, often making use of reflections in TV screens or mirrors. The final shot in particular is nifty. If you're any kind of a film nerd the last few seconds are worth watching purely for the visual image, even if you've got absolutely no interest in the rest of the movie. Director Marc B. Ray has a most peculiar resumé. He only directed this film and a soft-core nudie picture called "Wild Gypsies" (1969), but went on to write episodes of "The New Mickey Mouse Club" and "Kids Incorporated", among other things. It's a weird business!

All his rage stems from not being accepted by The New Mickey Mouse Club!

    The movie starts off pretty viciously and keeps up the sustained nastiness. Young Matthew intentionally runs down his father with a tractor but accidentally crushes his own hand in the process. He is sent away to a mental hospital and his hand is replaced with a hook. Years later, he reads a letter from his mother and becomes angry when he finds out she is planning to remarry. The next thing you know he is out of the hospital walking down the street. It seems that he escaped but it's never made clear. If he was released, then that decision was a little bit premature!

nobody fucks my mom but me!

    He returns home and the marriage has already happened. Daisy's new husband is a really nice guy as it turns out. Matthew's motives for squishing his father soon become crystal clear as burning jealousy over his mother rises to the surface. He wants to possess her but can't tolerate sexuality, so he wants her to remain unsullied by the touch of other men. He spies on his mother and his stepfather making out. Matthew lurks, thumping an axe on the ground menacingly. Pretty soon he's thumping the axe into stepdad instead. When Mom finds this scene, Matthew insists that she "hated" the touch of her husband and that the two of them are free to be together now. Mom sobs that she really loved the guy, including his nasty ol' penis, which really cheeses off Matthew. He shoves Mom away and she cracks her head on a rock. Matthew weeps tears of blood over her corpse. Oedipal stigmata?

    Man, and I thought my fights with my parents were bad. Thank you, "Scream Bloody Murder", for putting it all into proper perspective for me… sure, we occasionally manage to carve out a chunk of flesh here or there, but at least we haven't killed each other yet. Anyway, Matthew heads out of town and hitches a ride with a nice couple of newlyweds. They stop to splash around in a creek. Matthew hallucinates that they are his mother and stepfather, so he bashes in the man's brains with a rock. He gives the freshly-widowed damsel his familiar spiel about why he "had to do it" and drowns her when she refuses to accept his impeccable logic. This comes just moments after he promises "I would never hurt you," a phrase he repeats to several characters. Once you hear Matthew say those words it's a pretty sure bet that you are dead meat.

Take off that wig mom, I know it's you
    He hitches another ride and manages to avoid killing this one. Matthew arrives at a boxy yellow house and meets a foxy red-headed painter, Vera, who looks just like his mother with different hair. His interpretation of her abstract painting is awfully revealing, and she really ought to notice just how "off" this kid is… I mean, he basically comes out and summarizes the plot of the movie: "It's about an axe murderer with serious Mommy and Daddy issues."
    Vera also turns out to be a popular prostitute. When she takes a customer home, Matthew spies on them and hallucinates his mother again. He stalks her customer for a while, and they talk out their issues like mature adults. When peace talks break down the kid slashes the poor guy across the face with Vera's painter's knife, slits his throat, and dumps his corpse off a dock.
    Matthew convinces Vera to let him call her "Daisy". If only she knew why! He also tries to convince her to give up hooking, claiming that his family is incredibly wealthy and that he will take care of her every need. He decides that murder is an expeditious way to back up his lies and sets out to collect some of the finer things in life. He knocks on the door of a nice home and and manages to get invited in by exploiting his handicap. Damn, Matthew's little self-inflicted mishap not only gets him the best parking spaces, it makes home invasion a breeze! The rest of us have to work really hard to get into strangers' houses to kill them. It's just not fair, is it?

I've been taking Aarp self defense classes

    He grabs a cleaver -- It's funny, but I think Matthew only uses the hook as a weapon once or maybe twice through the whole movie -- and chops up the kindly caretaker who was foolish enough to let him in. When he goes after the old lady who owns the house, she fights back with a walking stick in each hand and pummels the bejeezus out of Matthew. Badass granny! I loved this part. Still, he's young and healthy and more than a match for her. Her dog just sits and watches murder number seven without even barking… some friend YOU are, Rover. The dog obediently climbs onto the kitchen butcher block on command, and Matthew decapitates her with a cleaver, just out of view. What the hell, did he think the bitch was going to rat him out to Vera or something? Matthew's karma was looking pretty bleak before, but this pretty much guarantees that he'll be reincarnated into something truly vile, like a tapeworm, or a urinal cake, or an American Idol winner.

OK Matt, I pooped on the carpet and bit the couch like you ordered

    Matthew shows Vera/Daisy his genuinely awesome stolen car and drives her over to the hijacked mansion. When she still refuses to move in with him and give up prostitution he starts to lose it and Vera finally figures out that he's completely nucking futs. She ends up accidentally tumbling down the stairs. Good news! He gets to keep his surrogate Mommy now, and the best parts is she isn't dead, just unconscious. She wakes up tied to a bed and gagged.

Down at the Sunrise Market, Circus Peanuts are on sale!

    He goes on a crime spree to get her gifts and groceries. The sequence where he robs one person after another and takes everything he wants is pretty amusing. I would love to read the local newspaper headlines the next day. Between the super-sweet roadster he drives and his hook-hand, it doesn't seem like Matthew could keep a low profile for very long. Worst of all, the "shopping spree" just ends up with Matthew even more upset. When Vera doesn't melt with adoration in response, he delivers the best line of the movie: "See what I do for you! I get groceries and clothes and art stuff and kill people! And do you appreciate it? No! N-O."
    During dinner he threatens to cut out her tongue and forces her to eat while she sobs miserably. Later he leaves her tied up watching TV. Soap operas! Matthew truly is a monster. This is possibly the most grueling scene of torture in the film! Vera wiggles out of her chair but with hands and feet still bound, she has to hop around. She almost manages to get rescued by a door-to-door salesman. Then she hops to a phone, gets the gag out of her mouth, and dials with her face. Matthew arrives just in time to stop her.
Oh shit, a rotary phone!
    Someone knocks on the door and the girl gets stowed in a closet with a pile of corpses. Thank goodness this wasn't released in Smell-O-Vision. Matthew answers the door and hey, will you look at that, it's Angus Scrimm, The Tall Man from the "Phantasm" series. Here he plays a doctor making a house call on his elderly patient and has the bad fortune to find the corpse-closet, with predictable results for Mr. Scrimm.
BOOYYYY!!! that hook is no match for my brass balls
    Matthew blames Daisy/Vera for the problems, of course. Throughout the whole ordeal, Matthew can't understand why she isn't grateful for all the nice things he's doing for her. At one point he tries to make her paint while he holds a rope looped around her neck. "I feel like a dog on a leash!" Matthew really is a creepy, disturbing guy, a sort of precursor to Annie Wilks from "Misery". About the nicest thing you can say about him is that he's not a rapist… which, in fact, turns out to be his downfall.
    When Vera figures out just how sexually hung up Matthew is, she starts using sex as a weapon by showing off her naked body. She manages to get him into bed after a great deal of coaxing. He starts hallucinating that she is his mother, more bloody and macabre than ever. He starts choking Vera but she flees down the stairs and flings open the front door, Somehow Matthew is already there, ready for her. He shrieks and slashes open her throat vertically with his hook, which is a pretty gory wound, although I suspect that in reality it would be a whole lot messier than what they show.

we just rented a basement loft together
    This last-second interception hardly seems possible and certainly deserves more of an explanation than just "poof, there he is!" Massive plot hole, or gaping plot hole? You be the judge. I guess Matthew must have learned how to teleport from the bear in "Grizzly", or maybe the bear learned it from him since "Grizzly" came out years later. If we feel like giving the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt we could point out that Matthew pretty much completely loses his grip on reality from this point forward. It's plausible to me that in reality Vera got away clean and what we see is a representation of Matthew's psychological state. He is facing up to the impossibility of complete union with a perfect mother figure, thus he has symbolically slain that mother figure in his mind.
    Or maybe I'm over-thinking it, and it's just a really lazy twist.


    The loss of replacement-Mommy drives Matthew even deeper into insanity. He is taunted by hallucinations of his dead mother and flees into a church where the black-hooded figures of his victims surround him. He kisses the specter of his mother and blood pours out of his mouth. He slashes open his own belly seppuku-style with the hook (weak effect, little more than some red paint on his belly) and crawls to the altar to die. In the final shot the camera floats backward away from the corpse along a seemingly endless procession of pews, which is really a very cool little bit of film.



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