Thursday, August 28, 2014

La Setta (1991)

“La Setta” (1991, aka “The Sect”, aka “Demons IV: The Sect” aka “The Devil's Daughter", directed by Michele Soavi, screenplay by Dario Argento, Giovanni Romoli, and Michele Soavi.)

     If you’re only ever going to watch one Michele Soavi movie it should be "Dellamorte Dellamore"/"Cemetery Man" (1994). “The Sect” is not in the same league. It’s good but not great. It is stylish and has a lot of positive qualities that help balance its flaws. If you're in the mood for a visually pleasing, slow-burn supernatural horror-thriller and you don’t need it to make an awful lot of sense, this ought to do the job. There’s creative camera work, vivid use of colors, some cool sets, good special effects, and plenty of weird atmosphere. The story is the weakest part. It’s more than a little a bit convoluted, the ending is nothing special, and it runs too long (about 109 minutes in the version I saw, 125 minutes in the Italian version).

     This is yet another one of those movies that was released under the "Demons" banner in some markets, but is in no way an actual sequel to the "Dèmoni" films. All of that shouldn't stop you from giving it a try, though, especially if you've enjoyed any of Michele Soavi's other directorial work. "La Chiesa"/"The Church" (1989) , the third "Demons" movie, is Soavi's actual contribution to the series… that of course, and his role as a silent, metal-masked villain in the first "Demons" (1985).  Unlike those films, "La Setta"/"The Sect" isn't a monster movie, it's a Satanic cult story, an Italian take on the Beelzebaby subgenre.

Beezlebaby incubator wombs sold separately 

     Performances range from adequate to excellent. Kelly Curtis from “Trading Places” (1983) plays the main character. The consistently superb Herbert Lom plays the central villain, and he definitely brings the creepy. Lom is one of the few actors I've ever watched who stole scenes out from under Peter Sellers (in the "Pink Panther" series)! Horror veteran John Morghen plays a character named Martin Romero, a little reference to George Romero and his film "Martin" (1976).

Mmm.... Marzipan barrel 

     There's a very good, atmospheric musical score by composer Pino Donaggio. He composed music for a number of Brian DePalma's best films, including "Carrie" (1976) and "Body Double" (1984). He also scored Dario Argento's "Trauma" (1993), Joe Dante's "Piranha" (1978) and "The Howling" (1981), as well as a ton of other movies, and he is still working his magic in 2014. Also worth noting for music nerds, he wrote the song "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" ("Io Che Non Vivo") which was performed by Elvis Presley, among others.

     There's a lot more talent packed into this movie than you might expect.

     It’s California, 1970, and there’s a horrifying evil threatening the land… hippies! This fiendish bunch of breast-painting, dope-smoking, clock-smashing, guitar-playing layabouts threaten civilization with their brand of patchouli-scented tie-dyed fun. Guitar-guy is playing along with America’s “Horse With No Name”. This is absolutely the easiest guitar song in the world and can still be played even after you've had eight fingers amputated and up to 70% of your brain scooped out. True fact. It seems worth pointing out, given the sorts of things that are about to happen to guitar-guy.

Damon otherwise known as Marlie Chanson

     A blurry prophet-from-the-desert figure (Tomas Arana) comes marching out of the heat. His name is Damon. They all sit around at dinner misquoting “Sympathy for the Devil” at each other and talking about how, like, profound the Rolling Stones are, man. It's so cosmic when Jagger says that part where he says, you know, what's nurturing you is the puzzle of my game, man. Hey, does anyone have some carob chips or some of those macrobiotic brown rice crackers? I've really got the munchies, brother.

Fucking Italians!

     Later that night Damon brutally murders the hippies just as any rational, decent human being would be morally obligated to do. The way things are presented it seems at first like they might all be having wild sex. That moment of ambiguity highlights the way horror movies conflate sex and death while making a bit of a dark inside joke about it, as well. The whole peacenik camp, children included, has been sacrificed to Satan. Damon has a posse, it turns out, and they’re something like a cross between the Manson family and the Hell’s Angels, a “faceless army” of biker-cultists willing to kill at his word. They have connections to a powerful Satanic hierarchy from "the old country,” and the higher-ups have a mysterious long-term master plan.

Official Spielberg Temple of Doom torn out heart Tchotchkes 

     The story shifts to Frankfurt, Germany, in 1991. A family man (John Morghen) stalks a woman to her home to assassinate her for betraying the cult. A pickpocket on the subway discovers the Satanic killer has a human heart in his pocket, wrapped in the victims golden cross bracelet.  When the cops cuff him he jerks one of their guns into his mouth and forces the trigger down… he won’t be a witness! I wonder if Satanist martyrs get special perks in Hell, like a bowl of ice cream once a century or something?

     The story shifts focus yet again and we finally meet the main character, Miriam (Kelly Curtis). She nearly hits a sickly old man with her car, and lets him stay at her house for the night. The old man, Moebius (Herbert Lom), has some kind of medical condition that requires him to drip a red liquid into his eyes from time to time. He soon rewards Miriam's compassion and generosity by taking a big crawly insect from a box he carries and letting it wiggle up her nose while she sleeps.

Bunny Hugglewugs

     Miriam has a nightmare while the bug is, presumably, burrowing into her brain. This sequence is short but pretty impressive. It did evoke the feeling of a dream, with its irrational form and the unpredictable way distance, perspective, and tone shifted. In the dream Miriam is in a field of bright poppies. She hears the cries of a baby and follows Rabbit into a forest full of wind chimes, to a naked, partially unseen person tied to a tree. Miriam struggles with the ropes and even tries to chew the captive free. She collapses on her back after she uses all her strength to pull apart one of the knots. Her feet are impossibly far away from her across the grass, and the unknotted ropes stretch away to the tree, now far off in the distance. Something travels up the length of her dress. A brutal-beaked bird bursts from her bodice (say that ten times fast). The bird rips wounds into her throat and she wakes up to find things have gone topsy-turvy in the real world as well.

Check out my impression of Brion James in Blue Sunshine!

     The old man has trashed the place and collapsed. The phones are down, so Miriam drives away to a neighbor who is also a doctor to get help. As soon as she is gone the old man stands up and carries his brown-wrapped package down to the basement. He opens a secret passage to a strange basement chapel, with a big spiral window and reveals a secret well leading down to a water-filled tunnel. He sets the box of bugs on fire and throws it in, then pulls the cover back into place. Miriam’s pet rabbit (named Rabbit) watches the whole thing. Moebius collapses again and tries to takes his medicine. Rabbit hated him from the start, and knocks the medicine down into well then cavorts victoriously atop his corpse. Just before he dies, Moebius pulls a handkerchief over his face like a shroud. Miriam and the doctor, Frank (Michel Addate), return and discover the passage opened by Moebius and follow it to the chapel, where they find the dead body. The authorities take the cadaver away but Moebius isn't finished spreading mayhem, not by a long shot.

Argento's homage to Monty Python

     Something is brewing in the water under the house, and it's in the pipes. I really like the short sequence where the camera travels from the well in the basement through the pipe system up to the house. Blue slime leaks from the kitchen plumbing. Miriam drinks some of the water, and there are traces of slime inside her glass. An Asian woman breaks in and tries to steal the burial shroud that Moebius had over his face. The thief is caught in the act but escapes.

Regular basketball is for pussies

     Rabbit is watching TV, and changing channels with his little paws. Demonic possession has never been so dang cute! Even the sweet-natured pooch in "Devil Dog: Hound of Hell" wasn't this adorable. Michele Soavi appears briefly as a magician on the TV while Rabbit is channel-surfing. A news story reveals that Moebius Kelly was an expert on Satanism who disappeared. Rabbit spends most of his time lurking menacingly.  Honestly, I'm not quite sure what's going on with Rabbit… he starts acting unnatural pretty quickly, but it's not clear which side he's on, exactly. He kills villain Moebius but he also attacks Miriam's allies. Still, it's pretty impressive that they managed to make Rabbit seem even a little bit sinister.

Don't clean your tub with a Toilet Duck 

     Miriam is a teacher, and a girl in her class draws the insect that Moebius put up Miriam’s nose. The girl later needs a ride home and as a result Miriam meets the girl’s mother. The mother studies an insect that has been extinct for 10,000 years which would lay eggs inside a woman’s brain, and the babies would eat the brain for nourishment. This is not sounding good for poor Miriam. It’s the same bug which we know is living inside her skull, and she swoons and passes out at the sight of it.

One of the Real Housewives needs to get back to the Plastic Surgery operating table

     Miriam’s friend Kathryn (Mariangela Giordano) stops by and finds the handkerchief left by Moebius, miraculously imprinted with his face like an an anti-Shroud-of-Turin. The shroud clings to her and tries to suffocated her, but she is rescued by Cheryl. This could have been really corny but the death shroud attacks are very well-done and creepy. Kathryn flees the house in a rush. She then picks up a random trucker, and we can see that she brought along a blade. His friends hear some strange noises and run to the scene, and unexpectedly, the trucker is stabbing Kathryn to death with her own kitchen knife. He’s horrified when he realizes what he’s done. For once, the Devil really did make him do it.

Sissy Spacek in the Italian version of The Shining

     Miriam’s goldfish are dead, eaten from the inside by the blue worms in the tap water. Miriam responds to this discovery by taking a long bath, soaking in the murky, wormy, fish-killing water. Yikes. Something is definitely not right with her. Soon she gets an impossible phone message from the dead Moebius. He says that he left his diary at her house. This bizarre message is followed up with a call that Kathryn is in the hospital dying from her injuries. Later the corpse gets up and attacks her, blames her for the death, and then cuts its own throat shouting “I’d die for you Miriam!”

Help! I forgot how to swim

     She goes down to the morgue with her doctor friend, Frank, for reasons that I was never quite clear on. Frank finds an “unknown” sealed metal coffin there and opens it… with a can opener! Ha! It shoots corpse-juice in his face at first and it’s a pretty gross scene. Inside is a soup of fluids with body parts floating in it.  The old man’s corpse has disappeared, I guess?

I've fallen down, someone call me a cab so I can get to the set of the latest Hellraiser sequel

     Back home the phone message and the shroud are also gone. Frank gives her a sleeping pill and while she snoozes he finds the diary of Moebius. The bunny has its eyes on him, and Frank doesn’t notice that there are blue worms wriggling in Miriam’s ears. Frank is busy examining the weird pipes running through the house, and following a diagram in the diary he makes his way to the weird satanic chapel with the shaft and the spiral window. The diary falls into the shaft and he climbs down after it. The death shroud surfaces in the water and seems to look at Frank like a face. He hears voices and follows a side tunnel the exits into the outdoors in a strange, rather pretty wetland.

     Damon the biker-cult leader, now much older, turns up again. He’s performing some kind of ritual along with a bunch of other cultists gathered around a tree under the full moon. Damon uses giant hooks to pierce their sacrificial victim all around her face. The cultists reflect moonlight on her with mirrors and call out to Shub-Niggurath, the black goat with a thousand young, a reference to one of the unspeakable alien gods of HP Lovecraft’s horror fiction. I guess this is sort of legit. Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan and showman of PT Barnum proportions, included two “official” ceremonies in his 1972 book “The Satanic Rituals” which call on the creatures invented by Lovecraft. If you didn’t understand that LaVey was a prankster before… well, now you know. Occultism is a wacky business.

OK who invoked me, I was about to retire to my chamber with some chamomile tea and a savory biscuit 

      To demonstrate just how zany black magic can be, Damon tears the victims face off with the hooks and places the skin onto the dead body of the old man. Moebius instantly sits up and points directly to Frank’s hiding place. Frank flees and climbs back up the shaft to the house. At the top the bunny attacks him and sends him back into the water. The death shroud surfaces and wraps around his face. I know a bunny and a hanky don’t sound very threatening, but this movie manages to make the scene work. Even so, you can't help but giggle when you think about it. Death by bunny-bite, falling down an open manhole, and choking on a handkerchief… what an embarrassing way to die.

Rip Taylor got drunk on Night train again 

     Frank shows up at Miriam’s front door acting really weird, not dead after all. He has a kitchen knife and he’s going to “save her” from her “destiny”. She locks him out, so he upgrades to a pickaxe and starts hacking down the door Jack Torrance style. She gets to her car and drives away, but Frank leaps on board and causes a wreck. Later Damon and his toughs find Frank, who dies in a car explosion.
Oh Shit, did I forget to set my DVR for Masterchef again?

     Miriam stumbles back home, where the resurrected Moebius is waiting for her.  He and his cohorts inject something into her nose and she wakes up, still drugged, in the Satanic chapel in the basement. A giant heron-like bird flies up out of the well, and she falls backward into a nest of ropes. The shadow of the bird can be seen changing into a man, who starts having sex with her, but when she opens her eyes it is the bird from her dream pecking at her throat.

Dar, is that you calling me, Oops I flew into the wrong movie again!

     Afterward, the Satanists salve the gaping wound in her neck. The cultists drop a whole lot of heavy jive on Miriam all at once: Darth Moebius is her father; Every detail of her life from the beginning has been arranged by the cult; Her basement contains a doorway to Hell; And she is going to be Satan’s baby-mama. Then they lower her into the water of the Hell-gate. There are women down in the water with her, midwives for the Antichrist. As an eclipse of the moon occurs, down in the water she gives birth to something. It is born “in the caul”, with the amniotic sac still intact (a traditional folkloric omen that a child will have spiritual powers).

Yippie, Now I've got the last hummel figurine for my collection

     Moebius offers her the chance to raise the child, but when the right moment arrives, Miriam shoves one of the Satanists down the shaft to bounce off the walls and die. Then she goes grabs the baby and runs. The bikers chase her to the site of the burning car where Frank died, and one of the bikers is set aflame. Miriam flings herself and the baby into the fire, and Moebius follows. They wrestle in the flames and end up resembling a crispy charcoal briquette. Impossibly, the firefighters discover a live and naked Miriam inside the charcoal. She believes the child protected her from the flames because he loved her. Sure, I guess. Miriam sees a bird of prey flying by, different from the bird which attacked and raped her… perhaps the spirit of her child? I never did figure out what the rabbit and bird motifs throughout the movie signified exactly, but oh well.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Point/ Counterpoint Review: Frozen Scream

Tonight on TOG'S critics battle we've got a real stinker, a torrential diaper that Mary Whitehouse and her army of Conservative chuckleheads deemed worthy for the Video Nasty List. We've invited Webberly Rattenkraft, the resident fact expert over at CREEPY KOFY MOVIE TIME, my favorite local California horror host program. Even though there's a big TV star in our midst, that doesn't mean punches will be pulled--fuck that shit! As you'll soon find out however, NO ONE in their right mind could honestly like this movie! It made me wish I entered the carbonite chamber and became frozen forever.
 This is our third critics battle, a very special one, because this time it's mutant vs. rodent--two commentators enter the arena--no one wins!   

FROZEN SCREAM Directed By Frank Roach, Starring Renee Harmon (1975)

CRANKENSTEIN: The only movie where it's acceptable to start with a poem read over stock footage of the sea is Lady Terminator and this ain't it!

Sorry, I was busy working on my research paper for Anthropology

WEBBERLY: Oh, Lady Terminator. Where are your sultry terminating skills when we really need them? Nothing could improve this movie like having Lady Terminator stride into the room to terminate the shit out of everyone in sight, starting with the goddamn narrator. More about him in a bit.

Arghhh I'm Harry Reems' stunt cock!

CRANK: A googly eyed hunchback, fishes victims out of a pool carries them around on his back. All of these non sequiturs happen during the credits!
Hey, slow down director we've got an hour to kill!
Tom Girard a tan sweater wearing wienie keeps getting prank calls and goes to investigate, but he gets jumped by out of work porn actors in black cloaks! They inject him with mysterious needles. If the second half is as berserk as the first, we're in for a real blast!


WEBB:I have to admit, the black pointy hoodies lend a festive Ray Dennis Steckler air to the proceeding. This movie would be at least 66% better with the Lemon Grove Kids involved.

OW! my face, these Botox injections were just administered

CRANK: His wife Anne is down at the hospital and everything she says is over explained by Sergeant McGuire, a narrating detective. The audio sounds like it was recorded while they were running the film and gives it an extra bit of unintentional hilarity. 

WEBB: How bad is the sound recording? So bad that I'm still not convinced that the actor playing McGuire and the narrator claiming to be McGuire are the same person. Now, I can't prove that the actor was so traumatized by his experiences on set that he refused to come back and do the voice-over so they had to call in a sound-sort-of-alike, but does any other theory make any kind of sense? No. Therefore I am right.

HAHA Too late to turn back now!

CRANK: Lil Stanhope (any relation to Doug, the Beatle hating comedian)? Her bad accent sounds like Ariana Huffington doing the audio for a Charlie Brown holiday special.
When I went to film school they tried to brainwash me by saying don't over narrate everything that's happening on the screen, this clumsy movie breaks all the rules. Gradually you begin to realize nothing in this piece of shit makes any sense at all, abort, abort!!!
Audio collides into narration and stumbles into supreme awkwardness, if you find this irritating and not an advantage then don't watch this movie, you're gonna have a bad time!

WEBB: Most of the people in the movie read their lines they're like a casting agent prompting the seventy-fifth auditioner of the day, but not Lil Stanhope. No, she just sounds like she memorized her lines phonetically and has no idea what she's actually saying.

CRANK: This film should've been on the Audio Atrocities list not the Video Nasty one!
Sven the mad doctor sounds like he was dubbed by a guy that says "jive turkey" a lot, but sadly never does. One of the doctor's hooded goons splits a girls cranium with a hatchet (her eyelids move underneath the blood splatter).
 Down at the beach a cult chants "love and immortality" and we see a nipple pop out, don't expect more nudity cause you aint getting any!

You think that's a nipple, but it's really a big hairy wart.

WEBB: I should probably confess that I really didn't pay close attention to FROZEN SCREAM, but that's hardly my fault. The thing is like attentional Teflon. You try to look at it, and your brain just slides right off, whoosh! I remember the jive turkey guy clearly, though, and wish the movie had been about him fighting drug dealers or ninjas or maybe ninja dealers. Maybe that wouldn't have been much better, but at least it wouldn't have been this movie.

 CRANK: The score is not all that bad--Hey there's a positive! Sometimes it sounds like the synthesizer is trying to recreate a car accident by going WARRRRRRRMMMMMMMMPPPPPHHHHHHH. It must be the same kind of instrument that Ferris Bueller had when he fooled everyone at school!

Abe Frohman, the Sausage King of Chicago is behind the frozen zombie plague 

WEBB: I bet Ferris Bueller was actually a frozen zombie. Remember his clammy palms? Classic sign. You shake hands with someone who's got clammy palms, odds are very good that he's a frozen zombie. Stab him, just in case.

CRANK: I cannot believe that director Frank Roach didn't return to the mental institute where he should've remained. He managed to escape in 1984 to film something called Nomad Riders! Renee Harmon (who played Lil Stanhope) went onto Van Nuys Blvd., The Executioner 2 (not the Duke Mitchell one, the Chris Mitchum one) and even showed up in something called Lady Street Fighter (with Liz Renay). All the other actors died of embarrassment or got jobs at the DMV. 

Not to be confused with Lady Terminator!

WEBB: Was it ever proved that Frank Roach wasn't just 10,000 cockroaches all crammed together in a people suit? Because that would explain a lot. I tried to get 60 Minutes interested in an expose, because if there are bugs running around trying to make movies the American people need to know about it, but the producer I met with wouldn't even get off the phone long enough to talk to me. He just kept screaming that a giant rat had broken into his house and would the police please hurry up. Hollywood types can be so rude. I was thinking of taking it to Jerry Springer, but that guy's house is like a fortress. What the hell is he so worried about?

Only a  gutless wimp would be afraid of a giant punk rodent

CRANK: Good Point Sir! and as for appearing on a trash talk show, I'm sure Maury would hook you up!
   I've heard that there's a worse VIDEO NASTY called Miss You Hugs and Kisses with Elke Sommer, I shudder at the thought of ever sitting down ludovico style in front of that monstrosity! On all the message boards, they talk about the "plot" like it's easy to figure out, we both agree that there is ZERO PLOT! According to it defies analysis or understanding and they warn not to spend any money on a bootleg DVD or Video of it! 

WEBB: Did you know Elke Sommer was in THEY CAME TO ROB LAS VEGAS? That's the second time that movie has come up today, which usually means I should go watch it, except it's not on Netflix so I guess I'm outta luck. On the bright side, those few minutes I just spent researching it were minutes during which I wasn't thinking about FROZEN SCREAM at all. Gotta look at the positives.

It looks like they got Weng Weng's brother Steve Weng to appear

CRANK: I did have a blast watching it chatting on the Creepy Kofy Face Book page with a bunch of pals who watch the show every Sat., because it was a laugh riot. I highly recommend viewing it heavily medicated with friends who can appreciate bad movies, because this film lowered the bar to infinity.
Thanks Webb for joining me tonight on this debate and keeping the ravenous fans of your local horror host show satisfied while the show was on hiatus. 

WEBB: And in return I thank you for the platform from which to vent my movierage. I second the recommendation for movie medication, because without some kind of mental armor to cushion the blows, this movie will leave marks on your psyche, and nobody wants a psyche that's all scuffed and weeping.

Thanks again and next time bring some Cavegirls!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kris Gilpin's Unearthed Works: M 3-D THE MOVIE

This was originally printed in Subhuman, an incredible zine created by Cecil Doyle, which Kris frequently wrote for and thanks to Greg Goodsell, here comes another edition of "The Unearthed Works of KG". Apparently all of the back issues were bought up by Lux Interior of The Cramps for a hefty sum and have been kept out of the public eye, until now. More to be transcribed, dusted off and re-animated later, stay tuned! 

There was a long line standing outside the Nuart "art" theatre at Midnight waiting to see the world's first 3-D hardcore porn epic, M3-D! The Movie, which was bering shown in "Deep-vision". "You'll duck when John Holmes cums on screen!" proclaimed the lurid flyers and ad mats (which of course. LA's mainstream newspapers refused to run). Directed by "Norm DePlume" (chuckle), this was also hyped with the legend, "Scene you'll never see on MTV!"
   MTV should sue. This piece of grunt has not a thing in common with the musical cable channel; the distributors apparently simply ripped off their call letters in hope of attracting (and duping) a youthful crowd.
   The glasses which were handed out were the better kind, sporting red and blue lenses instead of the inferior, uniformly grey ones. It was a decent crowd for a Midnight show (the theatre had just shown a double bill of Manhattan and The Apartment). Since Subhuman (or TOG) is not afraid to stoop to the lowest level of human degradation (and since I have always enjoyed the pure-schlock, William Castle-ish gimmick of cinematic 3-D), I donned the cellophane spectacles and hoped for Cody Nicole inside.

Does this chair make my ass look fat?

   The first tip-off came right at the start when the film began with a title card M3-D! The Movie, which had been spliced into the front of the print. Next came names like John Seeman and Bill Margold, people who haven't made fuck films in years, which meant that this movie (I know not its original title) is actually somewhere around 15 years old. It was however, originally shot in the three-dimensional process, though the photography was gaudy and washed-out, making it look almost like a black & white movie. The disturb hadn't even bothered to strike a fresh print, and this one was full of tape splices. The credits listed "Ann Nonymus" as a co-writer, The Lucious Lickers as composers (Available on scratchy 78s") and they'd even spelled John "Holms" name incorrectly.

Sadly, the popsicle twins didn't make an appearance

   With a dipshit musical theme ("La-la-la-la-laaaaa!"), the story skips all over the screen, beginning with three Roman assholes bouncing on a trampoline (the first stupid 3-D effects in the film). The funniest line in the whole flick comes after one of these stooges kicks a large fruit on the ground ("Oh Melon of Troy!"), and why was it they'd have people act like total schmucks (complete with embarrassing overacting) in the name of "comedy" for these early shitters? Were they making slime for readers of Hustler of Highlights? We then cut abruptly to the Dandy Candy Co. (run by a guy who keeps forgetting his bogus British accent and his assistant named Miss Breastworthy), which is given seven days to save itself from eviction. They are saved when some liquid drips on a bunch of lollipops which,when licked give folks the horn. Meanwhile, the three dolls pop in and out of the picture, saying they are looking for "the Fellatio Mines".

I want my STD!

   The audience was at first dumbfounded, as usual, then soon began laughing at the film (as opposes to with it);some guys in the audience were getting drunk on something and started hooting at the action on-screen. During the most effective 3-D cum shot, someone yelled, "Run for your lives!!!"
And all went apeshit when the infamous Johnny Wadd mounted some poor girl ("It's Alive!!" "Eat it!!" "Cornhole!!")
   The dialogue was along the lines of: "They're suckers for those lollipops!" (She: "I love wine; on the other hand, port makes me fart") And, "Gee, Wilbur you know you don't need a lolly to score with me". The uninspired 3-D FX included nets, wooden boards, record albums, brooms, mailing envelopes, eggs, telephones and even garbage being thrust in front of the camera lens.

ARGGGHHHHH, I cannot unsee so many revolting pairs of genitals!

   Typical boredom set in half-way through this cum flick, and I heard a couple behind me say "What the fuck are we doing here at 1 A.M.?!" They spent the remainder of the movie guessing who they thought on screen were now dying of AIDS.
   We had all been lured in by the ad, which was much more effective than any "effect" they pooted out in the film. So beware won't you?

  Suckered again!

So Ya feel cheated by a shitty 70's porn do ya, what did you expect?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Werewolf And The Yeti

The Werewolf And The Yeti (Night of the Howling Beast) Directed by Miguel Iglesias, starring Paul Naschy (1975). 

This film has a reputation for being one of stupidest of all time and is the prime example of just how ludicrous and hypocritical the Video Nasty list was. It is fun to see what they deem offensive though and "Sharky" one of Hollywood High's number 1 fans convinced me that I should give this trashter-piece a closer look. God help us all, for what terrors I'm about to unearth onto the internet. Needless to say if you plan on watching this yourself, keep your expectations on the level of the deepest darkest basement. Don't watch the Youtube version it's broken and censored.

you forgot the "D"

   It begins with extra loud wind noises as Paul "Wolfman" Naschy, lookin' like Chewbacca on meth, slaps around some skiers out in the snow. The animated credits float over his mugging face. I can't imagine that even in the non-dubbed version anyone besides hardcore Naschy fans could take this one seriously, but then again I'm not in that sect of devotees. 

 Naschy playing a character named Waldermar is an expert Nepalese speaking archeologist, who sees photographic evidence of Yetis and agrees to travel into the frozen tundra to capture the rare beast. The Winter Sasquatch picture looks suspiciously like the famous Patterson-Gimlin one.   

Sheesh, this parka is alittle too snug

   This is my third Naschy flick, I enjoyed what I'd seen and I know to watch what I say around ravenous fans of the Spanish wolfman, because alot of them (oddly enough) have no sense of humor. I'm not going to pull punches though and so far the best I can muster up about the film is that the goofy dubbing is mildly amusing. The Yeti scares the shit out of some locals and they refuse to join the expedition for fear that "the demons of the red moon" will strike!
   The local Nepal musicians play a song over a religious rite that sounds like a honking strangled goose. This is the ultimate in moronic behavior as far as the Video Nasty list goes, maybe those Brit's had lycanthrophobia or were scared of that ugly dog on the video box. 
The Spanish wolfman accidentally stumbles into a strange cave for shelter. This turns out to be the worst place for him to end up, because he encounters a gaggle of wolf-babes who attack and bite him. Then a full moon rises in the sky and you can guess what happens next!

I dunno about you but mine tastes exactly like Oscar Meyer Bologna

   The transformations are of the stop motion Lon Chaney Jr. type, which are always good for a laugh. Practically all the the secondary characters are stupid hunters that add nothing to the plot aside for quick easy wolf meals!

I swish the marinara around in my cheek before I spit it on the pizza fuggetabout it!

   The werewolf sometimes has long Spock ears and looks like he has a mouth full of tomato paste after a snack. 
   All of a sudden a Khan shows up with backne, he has a harem of babes and thinks the Dr. (I'm guessing the wolfman is also a doctor as well as an Archeologist) will help cure his back problems. This is where the gory back transplant for the Khan scene shows up, you could inject whatever elements from more entertaining horror flicks and this wolf diaper would still stink!

   I'll say this for this film, I like the snowy locations--there's a positive!
   It starts to get like a very special episode Kung Fu as a bearded medicine man surrounded by candles agrees to help Naschy with his wolf-itus. 
   I'm still waiting on that Yeti, there's this evil Khan character who threatens to take over the entire second half. Even if this film is a total waste, I'd be slightly satisfied if at least there is a monster mash at the end.

  OK, they deliver a piss poor day-for-night monster battle in the lowest light conditions possible, I mean it looks like to shadows chasing each other (I can't tell who's the Yeti and who's the wolf)! It ends on a happy note, which is good for them but shitty for everyone else, especially the "Yeti", who we never get to actually see, well we see him for a split second! Even if you're the kind of horror fan that can tolerate the most tediously dull shit, you'd be hard pressed to find something to latch onto here. Or maybe I just don't get Paul Naschy, I want to like him and know there's another film I've yet to see that's alot better then this wolf dump! 


Don't forget about me, I'm still here!

  Special Thanks to Bruce Holecheck for posting this rare VHS cover for this film on his site


Saturday, August 23, 2014


Hellhole Directed By Pierre De Moro, starring Mary Woronov (1985).

I've been wanting to see this sleazy exploitation flick ever since I saw the glorious review on which was sadly shutdown for copyright infringement. Mark Johnston ran an extremely popular bootleg company called Shocking Videos (which was brought down by the film Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle, here's the NY POST article on the subject) 

   I found a lot of information about rare films on that site in the early 2000s and it's kind of dumb that they are now gone for good! I am ecstatic however to report that Scream Factory has bought the rights and will be releasing a legit version of this lost "women in prison" oddity very soon. There are pros and cons to bootlegs though and for me, it was a positive when Anchor Bay released Class of 1984. That newest version packed with interviews and extras decimated all the inferior VHS copies and dupes cluttering up the market. Until the restored one is available though, buy a DVD copy from, the best place to find underground hard to find cult films.

  The film starts off with Judy Landers, who I fondly remember as the sexy blonde on the cover of Stewardess School. She's a complete tease and you'd be hard pressed to find Landers to ever take her clothes off in a movie (even in dopey sex comedies or in the case a WIP film where its totally appropriate). She's like David Cross on Arrested Development--a "never nude"! 

the only known almost topless photo of Judy

   It has a creepy Ray Sharkey who looks like a tiny Frank Zappa trying out for the Village People, he plays a psycho named Silk (hee hee, Oh man what a stupid name)! 
Silk strangles Susan's (Landers) mother to death, while he sings "London Bridges"! He's the size of a kitchen witch and that dumb-ass bimbo daughter, runs out of the house instead of helping her mom out! She falls and succumbs to amnesia (Oh! how convenient, since this leads to the set up in a metal institution)! 

Rob Halford and Freddy Mercury made me in a petri dish

   The awkward dialogue and unnatural manner these characters talk and behave seems intentionally over the top. Aaron Butler wrote this two years after he scripted Chained Heat, which in my mind is the ultimate WIP film. This non-prison, correctional facility is similar to the one in Human Experiments (only all the girls are as foxy as Linda Haynes, which is pretty rad)! Director De Moro made only three films to his credit, one of them being the bungling 70's smaltz-fest Savannah Smiles (which was apparently the inspiration for the dead porn star's namesake).

   Richard Cox (Cruising, Seizure) plays a friendly doctor and secret journalist, who tries to protect Susan from Silk. The lowlife's advantage is that she is so brainless that she will have no recollection of the murder from the beginning. While the doctors are nursing their blue balls, rush snorting dykes are lezzing out and being harassed by the rapey henchmen. 

I hope nobody tosses a lit match at our Aquanet saturated hair 

   Mary Woronov looks good as the lesbian Dr. Fletcher who's in charge of the mental hospital known as the "Hellhole" and if you don't get the Spinal Tap song stuck in your noggin there's something wrong with you. It has tons of naked girls (including an all out fuzz-fest shower fight with zero Nair in sight)! 

Do you think I enjoy having a catchers mitt for a face?

   One of Doctor's henchmen is Rob Z'Dar with his rubber mask face and extra large lantern jaw. "Ilsa She Wolf Of The SS" star Dyanne Thorne shows up in a weird fake Liz Renay costume as one of the crazies, possibly to retire from torturing women and let Woronov to do the job for her and inherit her sadistic role. 


   Most of the actors in this are pretty great, but Landers is horrid, she cannot act for shit, it doesn't really matter because she's pretty hot! The lunatic women from the Hellhole gang up on Dr. Fletcher and give her a taste of her own venom, which is a direct homage to Blood Sucking Freaks. The fight scenes between Richard Cox and Z'dar deserve better lighting--I mean you can't tell which actor is which--we don't even get a bulging jaw shadow of that famous profile! Hopefully when the Scream Factory edition comes out, the audience will be able to decipher who's who. 

UGH... bad hangover, I need some black coffee

    Hellhole's sleaze factor is pretty high, somewhere between Reform School Girls and Chained Heat, those looking for campy scuzz will have lots to chew on!  
   The adjacent brick and mortar sinister building is the "Hellhole" where they take already suffering mental defects to have their brains permanently eroded. All forms of unsavory medical science experiments are conducted by way of needles that induce seizures and chemical lobotomies,they all satisfy Dr. Fletcher's "sexual hangups". Marjoe Gortner (Starcrash, Food of the Gods) plays a moralistic back alley surgeon who reluctantly assists Dr. Fletcher, but is against it. Gortner's real life is more interesting as a former "child evangelist" and struggling B-movie actor than this tepid role.

Gawd, stop harping on my kinky fixation with murder!

   Judy "the never nude" stumbles around in a daze through most of the duration, did she secretly get a lobotomy in a deleted scene, I think so. There's a ridiculous scene where Susan is strapped to a gurney and wheeled around as mental retards paw at her bra and she hardly makes a sound! Later on the journalist (Cox), breaks her out of a rubber room and once she puts on a nurses outfit, no one notices that she's a prisoner-- it's completely ridiculous! But it all kind of makes sense in this ultra campy environment.

Now no one can find me in this brilliant disguise

   One of Russ Meyers left over ex-wives Edy Williams plays Silk's main lady Vera. The rodent like vermin hops into a mud bath with Vera and another girl and goes "Hey Let's make a sandwich, I'll be the baloney, hoo haa"! 


   In reality, Ray Sharkey, turned to heroin and contracted AIDS in 1987; was in denial about it then went ahead and infected several women. Nice guy! Oh well he's dead now, so rest in peace creepo! As far as his career goes, this is the only thing I've ever seen him in. He comes off like a Brooklyn street hustler in a classic rock dimestore outfit and is the standout performance in this film.

They don't call me SUPERFUZZ BIGMUFF for Nuthin'

   I wish the lighting guy wasn't half asleep though and most of the film is lit by a bare bulb or a constantly flickering fluorescent light. Possibly, once the legit DVD comes out, they will do some color correction and make it less dreary-- plus they have to get Mary Woronov to do the commentary! This film is half as good as Chained Heat, only to make up for lack of Linda Blair, they bombarded it with tons of star power and sleaze. It totally works in a clumsy sort of way and is froth at the mouth entertaining! (Update: as of recent news, Hellhole will not be released by Scream Factory, which is a shame. Hopefully some other brave company will put it out).



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