Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kris Gilpin IMHO Dept: 2 Larry Buchanan flicks

Crank here, I may have already covered Mistress of the Apes, but my pal the legendary Deep Red, Draculina, Subhuman scribe Kris Gilpin has actually hung out with Larry Buchanan himself and got the dirt on what went down in banana town, if you get my drift! If you don't know what I'm referencing, that's OK me neither. Anyway read on.

2 B-boobs from Buchanan!": By Kris Gilpin 

 Mistress Of The Apes bubblegum cards

Jenny (Hell Night, Stage Fright) Neumann stars in our beloved schlockmeister Larry Buchanan's Mistress of the Apes (1979), which he wrote & directed & is available on an appropriately named CheesyFlicks.Com DVD.

She leads an African expedition in search of her hubby, and one of the bad guys is Stuart (Batman Returns & 5 other Buchanans) Lancaster, who gets kicked in the balls by the stunning Barbara (The Student Nurses) Leigh.

Early, ape-suit & ape-man make ups are by Rob Bottin & Greg Cannom (!), and they are cheap (natch) but effective. The D.P. is Nicholas Josef (Dolemite & 2 more Buchanans) von Sternberg, son of famed director Josef von Sternberg (!).

This is really more of a "tit flick," for which the sexy Jenny & Barbara gladly give them up, than an adventure flick & just to make it B-sier, L.B. put cringe-worthy, shit songs in here which go, "Ooo ooo, eee eee! She's an ape lady, she's the Mistress of the Apes!" & "Ape mother, ape lover, she's a Mistress of the Apes!" check out the vid here
It's all quite cheesy indeed & anyone in interested in the R-rated L.B. epics should check this one out...

2) Beyond The Doors (Down on Us). 

10 years later, Buchanan wrote/directed a crazy music-conspiracy epic called Beyond the Doors (alternative, better title: Down on Us), about how Tricky Dick & the Feds conspired to kill & cover up said murders of Hendrix, Joplin & Jim Morrison. This thing is so amusing & stunningly boring both at the same time, it makes for a funny party flick.

Gregory (his only film) Allen Chatman is OK as Jimi, he has his speaking & voice mannerisms down alright. Riba Meryl (she had also played Joplin 2 years earlier in the TV show, Throb!) also seems OK as Janis (I wouldn't really know tho, as I could never get into her vocals & I loved The Doors musically, but Morrison frankly never did anything for me as a singer/poet) & Bryan Wolf mumbles and stumbles around as a constantly moronic, stoned-out Jim Morrison (ha) & apparently, the actor had this credit, his only acting part, too, removed from IMDb (ha!).

how did he sing so low with balls in a vice?

Ubiquitous character actor Sandy (Hogan's Heroes, Buchanan's The Loch Ness Horror) Kenyon is the evil Head Fed (to his son: "I told you, no n----r music when I have guests in this house!") & Stuart Lancaster has a cameo as a disgusted cabbie (to Janis: "I ain't got a rug on the floor of my cab, I got linoleum, that's for puke from people like you assholes!"). Almost interestingly, this has Buchanan's only penis shot in a film (I think, the DVD-A copy I have is so blurry it's hard to tell), there are more breasts here & F bombs, and Nick von Sternberg shot this one, too.

 photo tumblr_nbgl8okypz1r745vdo2_500.gif
what me worry?

Unfortunately, the 2-hour running time (an eternity for a L.B. flick!) is padded out by crappy, unending Hendrix/Joplin/Doors knock-off numbers, when there should mercifully have only been one song each in the film representing each group, I can't imagine sitting thru these Shit Songs with a fast-forward button in a theater! And Buchanan's staging of Woodstock takes place in a darkened room, not on a field during daylight (ha!). And I was stunned to see what looks to be the only slow, dolly shot the director ever used for one of his films (!), during one of the popcorn-run-inducing musical numbers.

Ending with the Tricky Dick (followed by George W. Bushit, followed by the Trumprick...) quote, "When the President does it, that means it not illegal!" Down on Us is a goofy/campy snicker fest, if you can just stay awake thru those deadly musical fillers!...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dark Waters

Dark Waters (Temnye vody) Directed Mariano Baino, starring Louise Salter (1993).

I decided to pick this Lovecraftian Nunsploit shot in the Ukraine from the catalog. No, it’s not the Japanese Dark Water by Ringu director Hideo Nakata, which was remade with Jennifer Connolly. In fact, I actually liked this one more. The Baino film, which is his debut, starts off on a blasphemous note as a priest is drowned and then impaled by a cross, while a nun is mysteriously pushed over a sea side cliff. I'm stoked to see what heavy metal wackiness will erupt forth next like the spirit of Nyarlathotep. No that’s not a typo because this one takes place in the briny terrain of an Innsmouth-like cult, minus the inbreeding and the fishy lips. This is all deliberate and Mariano was very much influenced by Lovecraft. He was also a big fan of Graham Masterton, the genius behind one of my all time favorite schlocky Indian backne midget demons The Manitou!   
A cracked Flavor Flav style Pazuzu-ish medallion is placed in a keep sake box by the nuns,
left there for some predictable foreshadowing later.

What time is it? Time to drop a shit ton of LSD

The last mainstream disparagement toward those punishment craving nuns I can think of was the “Shame” dungeon sister featured on the Game of Thrones religious cult.
The score is very Boswell sounding, which works out pretty good.
Down in the depths of a cave there’s flaming crosses and flagellant nuns, (meaning cloistered bippies whipping themselves for sexual kicks not those with bad gas)!

I'd be cautious around that open flame during pork and beans night at the convent

Louise Salter, a British actress all decked out in sexy red leather is eager to reach the island of the eyeless creepy nuns, she's there to lower the boom and cut their funding after the death of her father, who was a big supporter of their satanic shenanigans. Little does she know they have some wicked plans for her and it gets worse, considering there's devious connections between her parents and these horrid bitches.
This film is extremely wet and European, it's always raining and the characters all speak in a gruff Eastern block-ish dialect, the kind that warms the frigid cockles of the alt-right Putin lovin suck ups. One loony aboard the vessel feasts of entrails and looks as if he sorely regretted taking the 20$ for this shitty bit part acting gig!

In the catalog, Chas mentions the shopping cart Sam Raimi “shakey cam” and the atmospheric set design, I think this director is pretty talented and besides DW, he’s only put out short films.
These eerie nuns seem to never catch any ZZZZ's, they stay up all night with torches walking around from dusk till dawn. Some of them act like the blind dead, wearing robes and lunging forward to strangling the shit outta anyone within reach. Elizabeth has one tripped out freaky nightmare showing a crucified nun with a withered face and candy corn teeth who levitates forward behind two cackling bug eyed kids.

OK kids smile for school picture day!

It must be a bitch to charter a boat, (Fuck that shit, I would've fashioned a Gillian's Island one out of bamboo to escape this claustrophobic dump)! That aspect sort of reminded me of The Wickerman.

It gets worse after it turns out this little pirozhki has family connections to these island hags and her chickens all come home to roost or something, I was slightly confused there's an "unbearable lightness of being" amount of metaphorical subtext. I guess I shouldn’t keep bringing up Russian references, (that last one was Czech by the way), because this director only filmed in that location because it was the financier’s idea--Mariano is Italian. He mentions this in an interview with comingsoon.net.


Nuns still have no fun like the Mercyful Fate tune goes and what's worse they are pyromaniacs!
Definitely stick around for the bat shit crazy ending where the main character’s mutant naked twin makes an appearance and the Pazuzu puzzle piece grants her the fortitude to yank out nun guts and chew them up like snausages! I think I need intense therapy now! Even though this one is like a Catholic Innsmouth with a Sentinel (1977) type element, it’s more original, super weird and worth seeking out. There's a new special edition DVD with commentary and a featurette which seems cool, because I heard that they apparently filmed near radiation infected landscapes and the flaming crosses almost demolished the set. Worth a shot, check it out!


Monday, January 30, 2017


Images Directed By Robert Altman, Starring Susannah York (1972).

Here at the TOG coven we like to branch out arthouse independent style and get snobby, I mean as I've mentioned before in the realm of Deep Red, Herzog and Deodato are connected, that's just how it goes-- accept it. I mean yeah, one auteur has mellowed out considerably and just made one of the soft-balliest documentaries about the Internet that I've ever seen in my life and the Italian grampa is doing his version of Wal-Mart greeter, but whattya want anyhow? People get old and their brain deteriorates, it's even happening to me and I'm only 40.

This film has been on my radar ever since I saw 3 Women, loved it and wondered if Altman was capable of pulling off a decent horror film. I got what I wanted out of this one and more, it’s a thoroughly fascinating psychological horror drama that scared this shit outta me at 2 in the am! I suggest you watch it during the day or don’t hang with The Rutles at one of those fancy tea parties while it's on.

it's all there in black & white clear as crystal, legalize fizzy lifting drinks!

Almost everything about it shouldn’t be frightening at all, like the fictional realm of unicorns, seeing yourself naked holding a cute dog, Rene Auberjonois, the guy from Benson/ Deep Space Nine and most effective of all John Williams and Stomu Yamashta's music. When has E.T. or Yoda’s main fanciful music dealer ever accomplished the fear and dread that permeates this tale of a woman’s rapidly dissipating sanity. Sometimes the score gets frenetic and reminds me of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre one, with the terrifying clanging and banging.

It begins with Susannah York’s character babbling about unicorns and bullshit and she’s abruptly interrupted by what sounds like her own voice on the phone. York played Superman's mother in the first two films and won an academy award for They Shoot Horses Don't They and even best actress for this film, tragically she died of bone marrow cancer at 72. 

There’s an undercurrent of Lynchian mindfuckery that just made my skin crawl and it seems to have slightly influenced Lost Highway, years later when Robert Blake’s ghostly figure tells Bill Pullman's character to call his house to see if he's on the phone.

call 555 SLUT, I hear she puts out

The whole film is really unsettling and makes you anxious (and I’m on all kinds of meds so this film isn’t good for me)! This film was never in Deep Red Magazine, but just like The Beguiled, it has a heavy amount of eeriness hidden in an unassuming way and that film was covered before in a chapter by Steve Bissette. It has this foreboding dread like Don't Look Now, which I think would make a snazzy double feature.

thanks Bravo's 100 scariest moments for ruining this ending and fuck you Andy Cohen.

Cathryn rolls down a beautifully lush hill, the location is a majestic and yet dreary Ireland, as the camera focuses in on a dangling ornament on the rearview mirror, she drives forward completely asleep at the wheel. That image seems to deliberately nail it—right? I mean the car is driving but no one is behind the wheel, it's like a beautifully shot pun.

I hate when my Uber driver nods off

The spooky French man played by French Connection actor Marcel Bozzuffi who haunts her, often transforms out of her husband mid conversation or once while they’re kissing. Is he real, a former boyfriend or a figment of her eroding sanity, this figure does mention that he’s a ghost and she attempts to kill him a few times. I love when she hits him in the forehead with a rock (it looked uncomfortably real to me) and he bleeds all over the kitchen.

The last film that creeped me out this way was The Entity, which always makes me uneasy and weirded out. The moments when Hershey’s character resigns to the fact that this paranormal force will never leave her side and can’t be stopped or trapped left me with a cold unnerving feeling. Another level of madness that's very subtle is that the actors and characters names are switched around, for instance Cathryn is the real name of the little girl who plays Susanna (and Susannah is called Cathryn in the film). Altman seems to wanna drive me crazy with that sentence!

you think that's distressing, here Dr. Phil is wearing an Altman mask!

One character, named Marcel who’s a supposed friend of her husband is a lecherous rapist and constantly paws at Catherine. Often you can tell when her hallucinogenic madness gets to more of a boiling point because the music gets scarier and the mysterious French man leers behind the people that are physically there. At certain moments it’s hard to tell which one is really there or if it's an image from her mind. It's never revealed until the end but your brain starts to connect the dots. You can never really trust what’s happening and it makes you suspicious of everything--it made me incredibly anxious. The book "In Search of Unicorns" was published on its own, wouldn’t that be great if some kid at a thrift store got a hold of it and wanted to see if there was a movie and involuntarily delved into the world of arthouse Criterion snobby shit via Altman? Let's hope that actually happens. There are many theories as to what occurs and which metaphors are present or invented but those are usually a drag to read. I suggest you don’t listen to what the critics have to say before hand and go in with zero expectations. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


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