Monday, July 25, 2016

Led Zepplin Played Here

Led Zepplin Played Here. Directed By Jeff Krulik (2014). 

Every so often we like to branch out and take a break from the usual gore and cat 3 flicks that we celebrate here over at the TOG headquarters. This is a very special case because I received a copy of this film after inquiring about buying a DVD (when does that ever happen)? The director graciously hooked me up so I figured why not mention it here, who cares if it's non horror, it's worth your time. 

I love the films of Jeff Krulik, there's nothing like them. They capture all kinds of snippets of brilliant weirdness lurking in the dark corners of any town U.S.A. The most legendary example that made him world famous is Heavy Metal Parking Lot of course. I ordered that VHS directly from the director long ago, bought a copy for my brother-in-law and tried to convince anyone that would listen to check out his short films because I think they're brilliant!

Some of my favorites besides HMPL are I Created Lancelot Link, Meet Fan Boy with Rock Savage hanging out at a vintage Spencer's Gifts, Neil Diamond Parking Lot and an episode of Joe Franklin where he presented himself as a theatre critic to get interviewed on the show. Most of these films are on his Youtube channel or Vimeo.  

Krulik's style is just a nostalgic hodgepodge of irresistible psychosis that totally resonates with me. His latest film is Led Zepplin Played Here. And if you're like me, a "meh, I don't get em type Zepplin fan", there's still tons of mind candy to gnaw on. I just never appreciated the band and think of them as car commercial fodder but what do I know?

The commitment in interviewing every rocknroll personality connected to an unassuming high school gymnasium where tons of legendary bands played along with the mudshark lunatics (aka Page,Plant, Bonzo and Jones) is astounding. No one really believed it happened because it just seems too ridiculous that a ginormous band would play for gas money in a tiny gym at the Wheaton Youth Center in Maryland and that's the premise. 

Nixon in-hog-ural protestors 

There's tons of interesting rock and roll collectors that showcase their obsessive memorabilia and it's fun to check out all the rarities. Lots of eyewitness's illustrate the time period like Skipp Groff, who helped start off Dischord Records and Mario Medious who was a promo guy for Atlantic Records. I liked how Sharon Ward Ellis, the manager of the Wheaton Youth Center during the early 70's talked about how horrible and idiotic Iggy & The Stooges were. She mentions how he smashed a jar of peanut butter down his pants and seemed really high (of course he was)!

The Zepplin show coincided with the epitome of square-ness, the inauguration of Richard Nixon. Krulik does a good job showing the juxtaposition of establishment verses the counter culture youth and the power that classic rock music had (and hopefully continues to have over the rebellious spirit). He really travels all over to gain different perspectives on the story and finally lands in front of the band themselves to confirm the mystery at The Kennedy Center. Unlike Nick Broomfield or Michael Moore it's not an ambush or an embarrassing display staged for a cheap stunt, he engages with Jimmy Page and the famous guitarist actually seems overjoyed to talk about the past. It's funny but I've never actually heard Jimmy Page's voice, its very high! All I can think of is how silly he must sound talking about how rad Aleister Crowley or Tolken are. I highly recommend the film it's a blast even if you're not "a get the led out" type music fan. There's an issue with the music rights (these songs are super expensive) but hopefully this film will be available soon.    

The director getting closer to solving the mystery

I'd like to thank Mr. Krulik for sending me this screener and if this film comes to your town certainly check it out. If you're a fan of solid, highly entertaining rock history make sure to catch it when it plays at a film fest near your town.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

UH-OH Show

Directed by H.G. Lewis. Starring Joel Wynknoop (2009)

Reviewed By Michael Hauss

If the name Herschell Gordon Lewis wasn’t involved in this film, chances are slim to none that I’d ever given it a try. But since the legendary Godfather of Gore wrote and directed this, I was all over it like Faud Ramses at an Egyptian feast. Add in the fact that Joel Wynkoop, one of the finest low-budget film personalities ever, is in the cast, just added to the lure. The story is about a late night cable television game show called The Uh-Oh SHOW (USA, 2009), where contestants play for ridiculously exotic prizes, if they answer the questions correctly unlimited wealth awaits, get the questions wrong and uh-oh, they have to spin a wheel to determine which part of the their body will be cutoff by Radial Saw Rex. The show’s creator Fred Finagler claims that the contestants are only actors and the violence is not real. When a local reporter Jill Burton’s boyfriend goes on the show and never comes home, she begins to snoop around the show for answers.

Forget pulling the strings, pull my finger!

The Uh-Oh Shows host Jackie and his girlfriend/co-host Champagne become disillusioned by the blood and gore and when the show is to be spun-off from their late night cable station to a network station, Jackie protests to Fred, who has both Jackie and Champagne fired from the station. Fred decides to host the new show himself along with his co-host Coco, the new show is called Grim Fairy Tales and is gore heavy stories involving the classic fairy tales as their basis, including Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Jill with the help of the co-host turned prostitute Champagne and Jackie, who has become a condom salesman, works to expose the going-ons behind the game show and the new Grim Fairy Tales show.

Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family is appalled that H.G. Lewis is dressed like Jambi

The film is a comedy-horror film that really lays on the gore and lingers on it way too long. It’s basically two movies in one and shifts gears from the The Uh-Oh Show to the Grim Fairy Tales, and loses all momentum in the transition. The first part of the movie under the game show guise kept me mildly entertained, but the second half of the movie was such a big switch from the first half, I become bored and reached for the remote a few times. It’s almost as if H.G. Lewis had two different ideas for movies and tried unsuccessfully to weld them together. While the acting is fine, as is the direction, the issue ultimately is with the script and the shifting of gears. I found some things to like in the film and the premise of people doing insanely stupid things for monetary gains or notoriety is definitely a subject that reverberates in this current age of social media and reality television.

Is that limburger I smell or a dimestore Divine ripoff behind me?

Herschell Gordon Lewis along with David Friedman released in 1963, what is now known as the first gore film, that film BLOOD FEAST, would open up a few veins in the violence on screen department, exploiting the relaxing morality standards, that the allowance of nudity in the late 50’s  had helped loosen up. Lewis with Friedman and without would make films until 1972, when the Godfather retired from film making to become an author on many highly successful books on advertising, even running his own direct marketing firm. Lewis was strictly an exploitation filmmaker, his most famous films include BLOOD FEAST, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS, SCUM OF THE EARTH, COLOR ME BLOOD RED, THE GRUESOME TWOSOME, THE WIZARD OF GORE, SHE DEVILS ON WHEELS and THE GORE GORE GIRLS. Lewis made a return to directing in 2002 to helm the film BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL YOU CAN EAT, which was an entertaining and effective horror-comedy. The cast for the Uh-Oh show includes Brooke McCarter as Jackie, McCarter is best known for his role of Paul in the film THE LOST BOYS. The stunningly beautiful Krista Grotte, stars as Champagne and currently stands at twenty-three credits on her resume, all being in low-low budget productions, including the film LAZARUS: APOCALYPSE which included Evil Ed himself Steven Geoffreys in the cast. Joel Wynkoop plays the over the top psychopath Fred Finagler in the film and he has a massive amount of credits, he’s probably best known for his roles in many of Tim Ritter’s films, including the insane portrayal of Angus Lynch in the Ritter film CREEP. Other Wynkoop appearances in Ritter films include TWISTED ILLUSIONS, TRUTH OR DARE?: A CRITICAL MADNESS and KILLING SPREE, among others. Lloyd Kaufman makes an appearance in the film as a pimp, Kaufman is best known for his association with the low budget film company Troma. (Don't forget Lloyd was also the production manager on the ultra high brow flick My Dinner With Andre-Ed)!

The film is a sometimes fun gory diversion, a low-brow, low-budget over the top movie that suffers from a non-cohesive plot and it's attempts to push the limits of taste to the edge. Like most of the films Lewis has written or directed, the plot development is always second to the gore. H.G. Lewis is an American original who helped change the look and the face of horror forever. Long live the Godfather of Gore! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Brain of Blood

Brain of Blood (The Oozing Skull, The Creature's Revenge, The Undying Brain) Directed By Al Adamson, Starring Angelo Rossitto (1971).

The first Al Adamson flick I was impressed by was Satans Sadists, it's mix of clownish bikers and inept clumsiness made me think where has this director been all my life? At the time I had a nerve shattering attention span and could put up with almost any kind of garbage and laugh it up. The older I get the less I can tolerate. Besides Nurse Sherri, which at times I was laughing so fucking hard that it's ridiculous-ness won me over. Since this film is in the DR catalog and I recently reactivated my Fandor account it's back on the agenda.

Regina Carrol who looks like a 70's porn version of Nancy Sinatra is the first thing we see. In reality she was Al Adamson's wife and died very young at the age of 49 from cancer. Adamson's death was seriously grim too, he was missing for weeks as his live in contractor Fred Fulford ran up weird charges on his credit card and was charged with murder. Eventually the director's remains were found underneath the cement where his jacuzzi was installed over. A very tragic end to schlocky director who's left us with some trash classics. Anyway back to the review.

Al Adamson (R.I.P. 1929-1995)

I recognized Zandor Vorkov, the Latin dude who played the goatee sportin' Dracula in Dracula vs Frankenstein (this was his only other known role before joining the private sector, maybe he works at Arbys now, who knows)?

Reed Hadley plays Amir, he's got one hell of an underbite, he's also sick and needs an operation. I wonder if it's a brain transplant? The graphics that go along with the credits as usual in a Sam Sherman / Al Adamson production are pretty fucking nifty and colorful. I have the feeling they are the best part of what's about to unfold. Amir the toothy leader is dead, wrapped in what looks like a tinfoil corpse shell (maybe they want to seal in his juices)!

let's carve off some of these human trimmings for Arby's version of The Yumbo

Angelo Rossito veteran of the stage and screen plays a tiny surgeon. The first thing I ever saw him in was Freaks where he gets spit on by the evil blonde bitch played by Olga Baclanova who drank from the lovin cup. He's been in a million other things ever since like Mad Max 3: Beyond The Thunderdome. I recently found a letter in Fangoria by Forrest Ackerman that mentions Rossito's former co-star Johnny Eck the half boy was robbed and pinned down by the assailants. He set up a fund to help him get back on track after that traumatic incident.

Verne Troyer is a total pussy

Surgeons hack into a round white melon as the most crimson looking poster paint splashes out, I feel as if I can hear Bob Ross softly intone "Let's use it for the landscape on this field of happy little trees". The operator's sticky bloody fingers click a camera, in what looks like an abandoned Dentist's office, maybe this will be explained later. A guy with ginormous mutton chops and a sweaty paunchy face prowls inside an apartment as the brain surgery resumes. The mutton paunch fellow is strangled and tossed off a fire escape by a bulbous headed freak, maybe he's related to the guy from The Brain That Wouldn't Die?

Angelo Rossito goes down to the mad surgeon's dungeon and taunts two girls chained to the wall, he wears a golf cap with a frilly ball on top. He draws blood from a female who looks to be about 12--it's a little unsettling.

Mohamed keeps acting irritated and offended by all the proceedings. Maybe he's tired from just acting in the last Al Adamson monster mash. He gets ejected along with Bob, an Adam West looking Dr. played by Grant Williams of The Incredible Shrinking Man fame.

So far, my fav characters are Gor, the retarded monster who sits on the ground playing with toys and the overly loud and giggly Rossito. John Bloom (not the Joe Bob Briggs one) plays Gor, he has quite an impressive resume and was born with acromegaly the same affliction that Andre The Giant, Rondo Hatton and Ted Cassidy all share.

Jeff Garlin as Sloth's brother Troff

Cinematic Titanic or the MST3K leftovers lampooned this one, but since I don't care for Joel or Dr. Forrester, I didn't see it. It's gotta be better than this flick though.
Gor is strapped to the table, I like how you can see his hair beneath the moldy cold cuts glued to his face that try to pass for creature makeup! In a ridiculous flashback they show how two jerks (one looks like he's escaped from the Spahn ranch) and a beer bellied galoot pour car battery acid on Gor's face.

Fake Nancy Sinatra returns, her and the fake Adam West guy almost look like Christian fundamentalists all decked on in shimmering white outfits. Next up is a roof top chase-- there's so many non sequiturs it seems like they didn't even have a script. I value this kind of schlocky trash and it's on that cusp of fun yet frustrating, it was unusually entertaining to me.

You've wound up in a Christian Science operating room, so you're fucked!

Gor revolts against everyone and escapes the Dr.'s lab with Tracy (Carol). The makeup on his face looks pretty hokey as if half his mug was smacked with a clump of steel cut oatmeal and toilet paper.
That reminds me I gotta pick those up at the grocery store.

I hope my Alymer is still in the bathtub when I get home

The title is very misleading, there's a brain shot for maybe 15 min and most of it revolves around a subplot that's nonexistent and oddly political. Gor who is suicidal and Tracy split the scene and drive off. Angelo as the cackling dwarf wears an Andy Capp style hat, when shoves one guy down a short flight of steps he seems very proud like he accomplished a lot that day! Everything about this movie is terrible and inept but it's really fascinating for some reason. It's available on Fandor along with other Adamson junk.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cannibal Man

The Cannibal Man (La semana del asesino)
Directed by Eloy de la Iglesia, starring Vicente Parra, Emma Cohen, Eusebio Poncela, Charly Bravo (1973)

- Reviewed by Richard Glenn Schmidt

Tagline: “When the butcher goes berserk…”

The Cannibal Man opens with slaughterhouse footage which is –oh, how can I put this- agonizing to sit through. Onscreen animal violence is one of my least favorite things from the world of 1970s cult cinema so I’ve been avoiding this film for many years. However, I’m a meat eater and sometimes I’m not a total hypocrite, so I’ll get off my high horse and give this film a pass on the animal killing. At least I finally learned where hamburgers come from!

The film stars Vicente Parra as Marcos, a lowly slaughterhouse worker at a meat processing plant who vaguely masturbates in his free time while his rich gay neighbor Néstor (Eusebio Poncela) living in a high rise apartment spies on him through his skylight. The dizzyingly cute Emma Cohen plays Paula, Marcos’s girlfriend and I suddenly don’t understand why this isn’t a sex comedy. Clearly, Marcos has no problems until one night when he accidentally kills an uptight cab driver.

Bleccch, why didn't you floss after you scarfed that gyro?

Paula tries to appeal to his conscience but Marcos doesn’t want to go to the cops. He has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide about being poor and he just knows the cops won’t believe his story of self-defense. When she decides to break up with him over the whole manslaughter situation, he strangles Paula to death and hides her under the bed. Now he’s a criminal mastermind!

Marcos’s brother Esteban (Charly Bravo) shows up and he confides in him about what he’s done. Esteban wants him to go to the cops too? Thanks for having my back, brosef! Instead of taking his sensible brotherly advice, Marcos bludgeons Esteban to death with a wrench. Now his brother’s fiancée Carmen (Lola Herrera) shows up and yep, you guessed it, he kills her too. At this point, I completely side with Marcos. Buncha damn busybodies be makin’ shit hard on this totally relatable dude!

how many licks does it take to get to the center? The world will never know!

Now Néstor wants to hang out with Marcos in the middle of the night so that he can awkwardly flirt with the clueless duder. They go for a walk and end up at a café together. Néstor, the walking thesaurus, keeps using highfalutin language that’s probably going to get him killed. They get harassed by some cops but once they hear that Néstor lives in the fancy high rise apartment, they change their tune and move along.

And this is different from our wedding night, how?!

Now Carmen’s father shows up wondering where his daughter is. He demands to see her and Esteban but he ends up finding their corpses and the business end of Marcos’s meat cleaver instead. Marcos gets the idea to start disposing of the bodies a piece at a time by shoveling them into the meat processing machine at the slaughterhouse.

Because Marcos is so sexy and so irresistible, Rosa (Vicky Lagos) the waitress at the local cafe wants him pretty bad. She makes him breakfast and then “accidentally” spills milk on his pants just so that she can help him rub one off- oops, I mean rub it off. This chick is so horny that I’m surprised she didn’t burst into flames during this scene. Now Néstor returns for some more homoerotic tension because that should settle things right down. No wait, what’s this? Some “nightswimming” with his gay pal actually makes Marcos smile! Ohhhhh!

   Is that milk on your pants or are you just happy to see me?

Thanks to a promotion at work, Marcos gets harassed by his former coworkers in the street. Wait a minute. He hasn’t killed anyone in like 20 minutes and these guys actually kind of deserve to get slaughtered. What gives? Hilarity ensues at the café when Rosa serves him soup made with meat from his work. Knowing that there’s a chance that his former girlfriend he’s chopped up is likely in the broth, Marcos gets a little green around the gills.

Later, Rosa comes over and they get it on. Her post coital reverie is short lived because she starts to suspect that Marcos has corpses rotting away in the tiny craphole he calls home. So bashes her dang head in. It isn’t long before the stench is too strong even for Marcos to put up with and he just sits pathetically outside his place. Néstor comes to the rescue and invites the poor schlub back to his place.

back off bitch that's for my glaucoma! 

While speaking metaphorically to Marcos, Néstor nearly gets himself killed. He survives by dumb luck, having no idea just how much danger he’s in, and accidentally convinces the guy to turn himself in to the police. The film ends how it began with Néstor watching Marcos longingly through his binoculars while the police are presumably on their way. My dreams of steamy gay lovemaking were never realized but at least Néstor didn’t end up on the pile of bodies!

Whoops, I took the face loaf out before the ding

This odd and subversive little satire was disguised and marketed as a cannibal horror film which is hardly surprising because films like this don’t just pop up out of nowhere. Getting funding for something this strange is much easier when you can push it on the drive-in crowd with some salacious advertising. Atlas International Film, the distributors of The Cannibal Man, were responsible for bringing the public such arthouse classics as Tombs of the Blind Dead and Mark of the Devil. While director and writer Eloy de la Iglesia is about as subtle as a hand grenade with the film’s themes, he definitely packs a lot of violence and macabre thrills in to keep things from getting too pretentious. Co-screenwriter Antonio Fos is no stranger to grimy, tense, paranoid, and very sweaty films. I highly recommend you check out he and de la Iglesia’s other collaboration, The Glass Ceiling (1971).

An overhead shot makes the modern setting of Madrid look eerily desolate like somewhere in Egypt. Marcos’s dingy shack looks like it was made out of leftover parts and it’s one of the few remaining shanties surrounded by nice new apartments that someone earning his wages could never even dream of moving into. This disparity of wealth distribution is just a small clue of the director’s intentions. The horrors of modern life, class struggle, rampant homophobia, the Franco regime, and probably even the meatpacking industry are all put on trial here.

It’s especially telling when Néstor claims that he wants to help poor Marcos. Even though he has literally no clue what’s really going on in his life, this upper class dingbat wants to save the day. It’s also entirely possible that Néstor just wants to get into Marcos’s pants but hey, what can you do? Talk about exploiting the proletariat! But in the end, he’s back up in his tower looking down on the little poor people below, ineffectual as always. Néstor is a positive character despite all this (I mean, when he’s not scoping out young boys playing soccer with his binoculars) in that his presence in Marcos’s life causes a not at all vague homosexual awakening that ends the killing spree.

I’ve got something else you can put in your mouth.

My only complaint about The Cannibal Man is that it takes a little too long to wrap up. There’s a montage of Marcos walking through the city streets that feels completely tacked on. Other than that, I was really glad I finally got around to this film. I love the English dubbing but based on what I’ve seen of the original Spanish track, it takes some of the seriousness off the proceedings. Exploitation maestro Dick Randall handled the dubbed version and kinda botched it though I’ve seen much worse. The minimal and haunting score by Fernando García Morcillo (Night of the Sorcerers, The Witches Mountain) is fucking fantastic. Whenever there’s about to be some creepy badness, this weird backwards glockenspiel sound happens and it’s just chilling. The music when Marcos and Néstor go swimming together is the most effective piece in the film. It’s sweetly tragic melody makes me want to swim with Néstor too!




Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Secret Life Of Jeffrey Dahmer

Secret Life Of Jeffrey Dahmer Directed By David Bowen, Starring Carl Crew (1993).

Now that the infamous Wisconsin necrophile or Ed Gein of the 90's is long dead, bludgeoned to death in prison, we now know every piece of ghastly info about these horrific crimes--maybe too much. There's at least 10 different fictionalized renditions of the Dahmer story, a bounty of repulsive gratuity preserved for the masses to pick over like vultures.

But in 1993, hardly any biopics were available, considering that the cannibal deviant had just been apprehended and this movie came out moments before all the severed body parts had yet to be removed from the icebox! Someone had to take the bullet (or sip the drug induced can of Bud) before anyone so that's what David Bowen and Carl Crew decided to do. In my estimation there hasn't been a more effective or realistic accounting of what actually went on. Yes, the editing is totally shitty and the film is clunky and cheap but it's all handled in a revolting stomach charmingly accurate way that doesn't gloss over any of the details. The film makers even go out of their way to dedicate the film to the victims and their families. Which is kind of funny to think they'd believe those that survived would want to watch an exploitation film showing their lost relatives being eaten and or dismembered.

not that many topping options for an on the go cannibal like me at Little Caesars 

In high school I was pretty obsessed with all the weird details about this case that kept surfacing each week. I even audiotaped a tabloid interview with him that wound up in my guidance counselor's desk, it's kind of embarrassing and got me in a lot of psychiatric trouble (as if I needed more of an excuse for the moronic school board authority to think I was mentally unstable). Hey I guess you could say it was the 90's, whatever that means!

By all means finish that stupid Lena Dunham New Yorker article

One aspect that almost all versions of the story leave out is how Dahmer kept a VHS copy of The Exorcist 3 playing repeatedly and wanted to emulate Brad Douriff's possessed character while drilling holes into his victims heads. This film does show him baiting different dudes with promises of 150 bucks if they'd just take some Polaroids and hangout at his apartment and pouring acid into their earholes.

If you watch the Jeremy Renner version from 2002, it makes him seem like a lonely misunderstood gay man who's never shown eating human flesh, dissolving carcasses or doing anything remotely like the serial killer he's portraying. It's offensive because it seems to deliberately skip over all the facts and wants you to have sympathy for Dahmer, it's a real slap in the face. In the early 2000's there were tons of those cheapie serial killer fictional account movies cluttering up the shelves. They were annoying to see and I never really gave any of them a chance, mainly because I'm not a serial killer fanatic (obviously, otherwise you'd see more films of that type reviewed here). 

two guys can't sit here and enjoy champagne coolies, I thought this was America?

I'd been meaning to check this one out ever since I read the review in Psychotronic and saw the director and actor of this film on Geraldo, which there's zero evidence online that this interview ever occurred, I'd really like to watch it again.  

Secret Life, which is currently streaming on Fandor, shows how Dahmer as a youngster always had the overwhelming compulsion to murder and would constantly drink to suppress the urge.
In the beginning, he seems to have remorse after bashing in a workout buddy's skull with a weight and dumping the body. It's kind of funny how he does all this stuff under his Grandmother's nose, who even mentions she smells something rotten. Later on in his ghetto apartment he gets into a shouting fight with a neighbor who also mentions that the smell is driving her up the wall. You'd think he'd invest in some incense or a yankee candle! 

I'm totally down with Yo MTV raps!

Carl Crew's version of Jeffrey Dahmer is constantly plagued by contrition but I never felt sympathy for him and he obviously enjoys committing these crimes on a warped sexual level. It's pretty funny how he's seen wearing a She Devils On Wheels shirt, which I'm pretty sure came from this one catalog that Skunkape and I used to order from which also sold a poster of a man with elephantiasis of the balls.

Yeah that's right Skunkape totally had that giant balled freak poster in his closet

There's a lot of scenes with Jeff feeling guilty and regretting these murders but he still goes through with the ritual and at one point drills a hole in a victim's head and pours acid into his brain to try and create zombies. He also cuddles with human skulls (which he paints and adds glitter) and other rotten appendages. All of this disturbing shit stems from the insecurity that his captive will try to leave the apartment and they all end up in his collection or in his stomach.

I'm working on my bowling stance 

Most of his victims are taken away from various gay bars to his creepy apartment, but one dude that follows him home is not interested in beer. There are not that many intentionally funny scenes, most of it is played off in a grim manner but one scene cracked me up. This one guy just won't fall for the old drug laced brew that works to over power each victim. Instead he snacks on human meatloaf that Dahmer says is just "gamey venacin" and finally drinks a soda that gets the job done.

No thanks man, too young, I only eat beefy black dudes

He starts to get increasingly more sloppy and is begging to get caught, the narration talks about how he just wants it all to end. I liked how after awhile he goes from guilt to enjoying his bloodlust with examples of him sneaking up on a deaf victim with a powersaw and giggling or shoving a still awake guy into a barrel of acid that makes him scream "My feet are on fire"! 

I told you grandma that yucky smell is my steak-um sandwich

For a cheapie Intervision release this one has got some quality but I think it's due to the source material, if SledgeHammer had been a true story maybe that would've elevated it. Actually that aforementioned flick is pretty incredible, I got pretty wasted and live tweeted about it. The Severin DVD has commentary, which I'd be interested in listening to. This one is probably the greatest version of that other Wisconsin cannibal's story.


Saturday, June 25, 2016


Directed by Boaz Davidson. Starring Barbi Benton (1981).

Reviewed by Michael Hauss

I purchased this film for one reason and one reason alone. That being the woman who helped get my young nuts into gear is in it. Barbi Benton, was one of those in a long line of former Playboy playmates who tried to take their naked talents and transform them into a career in entertainment. Benton tried to succeed both as a singer and an actress, but never achieved any fame in either, but she did stay relevant for years manly of course because she was Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend and it was his millions paying for those no talent career attempts which kept her pathetically relevant for way too long.  

You're just jealous Mike because you weren't invited to our rapey shindigs  

In this film, also called HOSPITAL MASSACRE she can’t change her facial reactions, either her acting talents were less than ever imagined, or maybe her face was so tightly stretched from plastic surgery that it did not respond anymore. Well regardless she’s surrounded by a cast of actors who ummm, well one guy (Bill Errigo) who plays a janitor does look a lot like the dude Kramer from Seinfeld and another who looks like Dr. Phil (Den Surles). 

Boaz almost put me in Lemon Popsicle as Huey's wingman

So Barbi plays a character named Susan Jeremy who as a kid on Valentine’s day finds her friend David hanging dead from a coat rack and some snotty ass twerp named Harold looking in the window grinning. You see Harold had delivered a Valentine’s day card to Susan’s door and ran after knocking and looked in the window to see David and Susan laughing and David wadding the Valentine’s card up and next thing you know poor little David is hanging from a fucking coat rack. 

Don't get up, I'm totally fine

The film moves ahead nineteen years and Susan is all grown up with a daughter of her own, a nasty ex-husband, a new boyfriend, and she’s rocking out those classic polyester suit ensembles from the eighties and large hair. She has to go to the hospital to pick up some test results and as she makes her way, the film throws a bunch of lame scares at the audience, but does not build any tension or suspense and the scares just come across as feeble attempts.

As poor Susan goes up to her appointment on the 8th floor on the elevator she notices a man with what looks like blood on his face and something red starts dripping on her shoe, the man awakens and is shown taking a bite out of a hamburger with too much ketchup and looks over at Susan and says Happy Valentines day, and then when she goes to the ninth floor instead of the eighth, which is being fumigated, she's met by three men in gas masks and one tells her to get out before she's deloused. Then suddenly the power cuts off on the elevator and with the looks of someone mustering up a major large bowel movement passage, her plastic looking face grimaces up and you can tell she is acting her ass of. 

Keep those botox injections comin, I can handle it

So some deranged killer is killing off doctors, nurses and even the dude who looks like Kramer, (he gets his face eaten off with acid) he’s changing X-rays (hence the title) and medical reports to make it look like she has a terminal illness and to assure that Susan is kept in that hospital. Eventually Susan must undress and be examined by some random doctor after her doctor disappeared and what she lacks in acting ability, she makes up for in her abundant breast and as the editor of this blog noted, her rather large nipples. 

I need that Chinese Balm that Jackie Chiles told me not to use for these coffee burns

Susan is put into a ward with three old women that includes an obvious man dressed as an old lady and another bitter ass hag who plays the spoons and tells the other two that she (Susan) maybe "young and lovely on the outside maybe, but old and rotten on the inside. All her bones are decaying and her organs are all rancid and her blood is malignant as slime." Well, so we have a whole list of suspects including her psychotic ex-husband, Harold from her childhood, various doctors, the cheeseburger eating wine swilling wino who follows along after Susan or possibly the kind handsome doctor named Harry (Charles Lucia), whose name is a shortened form of Harold. So you figure it out...

You've heard of Dr. Giggles, let me introduce you to Dr. Fribble because that's my fav Friendly's shake

The film never builds any tension or momentum. Some of the scenes are illogical and make you ask yourself are these people fucking stupid or what. The acting is atrocious and the music sounds like something lifted from some 1970’s movie of the week. The continued use of cheap scares is absolutely annoying and are really used in the place of proper tension building. A truly amateur affair all around, but I must say that when Barbi Benton went into full out scream queen mode, she wasn’t half bad and her fun bags must have helped to amplify that most impressive scream of hers. The Shout Factory release boasts a beautiful print, that looks wonderful despite its obvious low budget origins.

Few notes of interest, Elizabeth Hoy who plays the young Susan in the film and Billy Jacoby (Billy Jayne) who plays weird young Harold both appear in the far superior BLOODY BIRTHDAY (USA, 1981) as two of the three children who go on a killing spree. The director Boaz Davidson has a whole mess of executive producing credits and twenty-six directing credits on his resume including a directorial credit on the famously inept comedy GOING BANANAS (USA, 1987) and the legendary LEMON POPSICLE Series. Benton's only other exploitation film appearance is in the fun fantasy romp DEATHSTALKER (USA,1983), where she plays the character Codille and fares much better acting wise than she did in X-RAY. This film was of course most noteworthy for being a Golan-Globus production for their famous or infamous film company Cannon Films. The film was based around a holiday, this one being Valentine's day as was the vastly superior MY BLOODY VALENTINE (Canada, 1981). The year before Cannon had distributed the holiday themed slasher film NEW YEAR'S EVIL (USA, 1980).


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Peak Of Putrefaction By Graham Rae


By Graham Rae

In July 1988, the first album by English hardgore death metal band Carcass was released, Reek of Putrefaction. I loved it the minute it came out, and listened to it constantly. A messy, psychotic, riotous death-vomit of an album, it had a cover with photos of real dead people on it, which is pretty tacky and horrible, really, but when I was 18 I was much more accepting of such stuff. Subterranean woundsounds and screaming, sludgy vocals; magic. And as for song titles like Psychopathologist, Manifestation of Verrucose Urethra, Oxidised Razor Masticator, Genital Grinder, Vomited Anal Tract, and Excreted Alive…ah, poignant lifesick teenage poetry! I sneaked a wee ref to their second album, Symphonies of Sickness (the original cover of which is a photo somebody with their head split in half with an axe upside down; had to ask the band what it was), into my released-next-month novel Soundproof Future Scotland, just as a…salute.

Their first extreme mutilation sonic splatter platter fit right in with my teenage love of extreme music and movies and books (the month after this album came out I would discover Nekromantik; I was reading early Clive Barker and splatterpunk stuff at the time), and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I met one of the band, Bill Steer, in Edinburgh at The Venue, after a Napalm Death gig, and remember him as being a shy teen (he’d be around 19 at the time; he’s 3 months younger than me) who stood looking at the floor as he talked with his long fair hair covering his face. The band knew my work from Deep Red, and I gave Shane Embury (whom I recall supplying with bootleg splatter videos back in the day) an encyclopedia of serial killers to get into the Grindcrusher Tour when it was in Edinburgh on November 11th, 1989.

Lee Dorian, Bill Steer, Shane Embury, Mick Harris

This tour was run by the record label Earache, and featured the bands Morbid Angel (Shane gleefully telling me to watch out for their guitarist’s spot of self-mutilation at the start of every gig “to get himself going”), Bolt Thrower (who always seemed to be playing every other week in the late 80s at The Venue, a now-sadly-defunct great wee, well, venue, by Waverley Station in Edinburgh), Napalm Death and, of course, Carcass. They showed a huge screen with real dead bodies on it behind them as they played. Subtle. Who said theatre was dead, eh? Steer told me at the time that Psychopathologist was one of his fave Carcass songs, after I casually mentioned that it was one of mine.

Bill Steer

I recently sat down and listened to Reek of Putrefaction on headphones, and started to write about it as a Facebook post after it had been on for about 10 minutes. All of a sudden I found myself writing a transcription of what the album sounded like to me, finishing when it did. I just love sitting writing fast and automatic and without thinking or editing, one take straight through, gutterly stunconscious, and the wordspurt below is what came out. So, enjoy. Must admit, I’d love to hear the band re-record this with today’s technology. And do listen to the album if you like old school sonic mayhem. At the time this came out, there had been nothing like it in the history of music, and it was cutting fucking edge. At that cutting edge still cuts today.

jeff walker, bill steer and ken owen


You know the GREAT thing about this album? The engineer totally messed it up when it was being recorded, so it sounds, apparently, completely wrong. But I think the poor recording actually ENHANCES it. It's a lumbering, shambolic sludgy noise puddle just splashing and slashing in all directions at one, barely staying together tunewise, with beautifully horrible strange adipoceric oases of music bursting through the skanky prurient filth, precise carved gutter-guitar and bass and drum-beaten howling islands of comprehensible sound, split seconds of linearity, moments of clarity, pterodactyl screeches of too-high earache guitar, wallowing in insane unprecedented death-blood-horror-gorged baths of guts and psychosis-purebred sonic madness, gleefully revelling in vile human misery, unstoppable death train on greased tracks, modern band cannibals round a campfire neon-illuminated by guttering windblown flesh-smelling flames with blood and gore dripping dementedly down their human-masticating chins, empty split carcasses of dreamy bellyful food comas, charges of the tired-of-light brigade, two-sec guitar so-low solos firecrackers of vague competency screaming up from the hollow caustic depths of maggot-ridden despair to disappear, horrific serial killer grunts and groans of curious volition murdering notes and tunes and civilised grace and sanity and dignity and elegance, replacing them with a long-lost primal earthy banter fury, skinsoundpounding thunderground breakbeats, broadcasts from an advance snarling musical camp of slaughterhouse laughter, manic depressing maniac skilling sprees, howling and licking the headphone-covered ears with malicious seditious hatefueled glee, bloodburps of absolute pure fury purity, running running running towards some ruinous glutted end point of terminal anthropophagous velocity, chewing up and spitting out all olde-worlde music and tunes and notes and stanzas and swansongs, the certain death of the old and rebirth in a fiery sanguinary bloodflood of placenta and amniotic songstorm to fly new and bruising and disturbing round the confused-listener room, semi-coagulated half-hard symphonies of sickness slipslapsplatdripdropping off the inhospitable hospital table to pool in advanced-brilliance-glittering depthless shallow mudblood puddles of band guignol, temples of doom and despair and decay and disease and dis-ease and dementia 13 ways until a never-coming next Tuesday, always winding up new blinding modes of wreckspression, sanity suppression, inexactly tabulated recordings of a tense dense terse new expressive chaos and murder of thousands of years of senseless consensus morality and reality, intimate intimations of reality, threats of sensitive violence, soft sibilant blood-hisses in the wailing despairing ear, inexorable push-and-shove-to-the-front of the terminus line, lemmings over the cliff of permanent extinction, extinguishing anguish in one swift knifestab of killing joke trajectory, rollercoasters of death crashing and gushing guts and graphic gore all over a once-funhouse-rejoicing theme park of now-contaminated atmosfear, random instrumentals muscling to the front of the aural house to be bleeder of the pack rats hoarding nothing but holocausts of infinite destruction, deathpurr shockrockability crashing and burning all over eighteen tons of superhighways of album-and-crashing sex deaths, final deep death metal breath and


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