Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crankenstein's fuzzy memories of The Beyond


   This review is gonna be alittle different this time, since this film is so overly analyzed and reviewed I felt that I should make it more personal in a way that represents the pre-internet world. 
Seven Doors Of Death/ The Beyond (1981).
   It all happened in the most unlikely of places at BlockBuster Video! That rotting skull with the Creepshow style graphic called to me, it drew me in like a moth to a bugzapper and I had to rent it, but could not watch it alone, no way in hell that would happen! This was my second exposure to director Lewis Fuller, the first was Zombie at the tender "not mentally equipped yet" age of 9, secretly at a friends house in Long Island NY.
   
   Wait a second, Who? Let me pause for a minute!! 
This was the mid 80's and my only source for underground horror was Chas Balun by way of letters and packages and only he alone could answer this question about Mr. Fuller! Chas sent me an orange Zombie Holocaust postcard a few weeks later, because there was no internet, it didn't exist yet! I was stuck in Florida where only I and four other kids in middle school had any knowledge of rare gore trivia to turn too and none of these lunkheads knew the answer! So in retrospect (or future-tense) it seems "Hey look it up on Google dummy!" As I said before, no internet, no easy way to get this answer and I must retort, "No Fucking Google, Assclown!"

Pre-Google Technology

   Back to my big box review of 7 Doors Of Death!  Which was the only version of The Beyond available in my town! The edited version is not much compared to the supreme artform that is The Beyond or it's score for that matter. Walter Sear handles the reins of 7 Doors and came up with some yawn inducing borish sounds, completely removing the original score (some of it is still left I believe, its been awhile). Fabio Frizzi's brilliant original score of melancholy with stabs of electronic psychedelic freakout, living nightmare sounds makes you never want to hear that "other score" ever again. To his credit though I prefer the Walter Sear music for Dr. Butcher over Nico Fidenco's lazy one in Zombie Holocaust! 

   As far as bootleg tapes ordered from Chas Balun go, this is my third one (The first being Bad Taste then Meet The Feebles). The only way for me to find a copy of the full uncut version of The Beyond was through this underground tape trading system and so I paid my 20 bucks and awaited the videoshaped cardboard box that contained a grainy dupe with Japanese Subs. The Beyond would infect my subconcious for years to come and there's just no contest between 7 Doors and the orignal Fulci version! 7 Doors might as well be a big box doorstop (I still love that E.C. Comics style artwork though)! 
   The only version I could get at the time, a grainy dubbed from a laserdisc copy with awkwardly skewed subtitles won over my heart! The tape also had some choice trailers included (Boys From Brazil, The Ladies Club and Rage Of Honor). 
   So what are some key that knocked my brain for a loop? 
First off, that acid bath, chain whipping scene with the accused warlock: Schweick lasts under a few minutes in 7 Doors and in The Beyond methodically gruels on for a long time. I mean the grisley carnage keeps dripping and melting in suspended animation, until I almost wanted to look away, but couldn't, as that face bubbled and frothed!
   Another key scene in my memory that made me think, Ok! I've seen waay too much, but Dammit, let me see more! Like Dr. Edward Pretorious in From Beyond "I had to see more, more than any man has ever seen!"

   Emily the blind clairvoyant's seeing eye dog gnaws through her neck like a pile of shredded meat and blood shoots out like a faucet (c/o of Giannetto DeRossi's SPFX). In the other version it abruptly cuts off and comes off as laughable, but the viciousness in The Beyond is clearer. The uncut version kills the funny scenario of a seeing eye dog feasting on its blind owner! 
   The combination of witches,supernatural zombies and face eating spiders, takes The Beyond to the level of must see horror and its great to see it finally get recognition from critics the world over!
   It took a long time though and I find it hilarious that critics like Roger Ebert have to scratch their heads and try and figure out what people see in this garbage or Fulci at all! Those critics have to evolve with the rest of the world and now that exploitation films are taken more seriously as an overlooked artform, they are forced to acknowledge that aspect.
   The are so many theories as to what Fulci intended in the messages of The Beyond one of my favorites is that it's an atheist (Fulci's) view of purgatory, here's a really thought provoking commentary on Fulci's career LINK.
   If the film were unabashed garbage, would arthouse critics take it seriously? I doubt it, would they even try to piece together the metaphorical significance at all? Not likely! 
  I think Sage Stallone and Grindhouse Releasing deserve high praise for taking these forgotten masterpieces and bringing them to the forefront of mainstream audiences (I almost saw a screening in Miami, but I had no one to go with or a working car for that matter!) 
   Rotten Cotton and Blackest Heart Media also have championed the Fulci name and gotten the message out there in the public spectrum (and I'm not saying this purely because they let me write reviews for them once in a while)! I am truly in debt to to some of the great shit they've put out over the years.
   Fastfoward into a few years ago I actually had one of those funny brownie experiences with The Beyond and it wasn't fun. I was watching it on Turner Classic Movies (Sadly there was no Robert Osbourne highly acclaimed intro) and It started to veer into frightening territory, this was probably the only time I haven't enjoyed myself while watching this film! 

Rotten Cotton's genius marketing strategy

Friday, March 29, 2013

Interview With Shane M. Dallmann Of Deep Red


Crankenstein here doing my best Morley Safer impression again! here's an interview with Shane M. Dallmann, a man of many talents; he's a horror host, puppeteer and former writer for Deep Red. I am a huge fan of his "Hand It To Remo Column", So let's get going already with this interview!

1.You've mentioned that you are The Paul Naschy-file in the Deep Red crew, what are your top 5 favorites?
Way too many to whittle down, so many "classic" monster movies that bored Chas. silly with their lack of extreme gore appeal to me greatly (ASSIGNMENT TERROR for crazy fun, CURSE OF THE DEVIL for filmmaking excellence, etc.). The five juiciest DEEP RED Naschy titles? HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, THE HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE, PANIC BEATS, HOWL OF THE DEVIL, and that amazing valediction known as ROJO SANGRE, in chronological order.

2. How did you meet Chas Balun?
It was the late 1980s, and it was my first Fangoria L.A. convention. I was aware of Chas.'s writings (including DEEP RED, of which I had at least a couple of issues) but was looking at the books on his display table before I actually looked up at the fellow who was still unpacking something or other... he offered me a friendly greeting as I browsed some Argento merchandise or other, and it just clicked. I said "Now wait a minute... you're the man himself, aren't you?" He replied "No, I'm not Dario Argento... but I'm Chas!" The conversation just flowed after that--he was the first genre writer I'd actually met in person and there was so much I wanted to talk about... a couple of years later, I was at another convention bearing the manuscript of the Paul Naschy article that I'd just sent in to Fango, and Chas. asked "Is that something you'd maybe like to see published in DEEP RED?" As I hadn't yet heard back from Fango, I was in sufficient awe to nearly cancel the plans and give the article straight to Chas., but my sense of protocol won out in the end. It turned out to be a double victory: Fango accepted my piece and ran it as my first published work, but I also became a DEEP RED regular from then on, eventually contributing reviews, overviews, interviews (Guillermo del Toro!) and even a humor column ("Hand it to Remo" followed my obsession with cinematic hand-removal scenes and is, to this day, the first thing some of my readers bring up when they contact me on-line)!
3.What other rare films besides The Severed Arm did you introduce to the catalog?
Not too many--I was far more a rapacious collector than contributor, but I thought the uncut version of THE SEVERED ARM was sufficiently rare. I was also very pleased to introduce Chas. to a Fulci film he'd never even heard of before, that being THE NEW GLADIATORS (somewhere between the death of Media Home Entertainment and the film's eventual acquisition by Troma).
4.What are some underrated directors that should be included on the blog for future reviews?
Such a loaded question--I'll try to answer and then realize that it's already been covered or that I left someone out entirely. First and best answer right now: Scott Derrickson. He started with HELLRAISER: INFERNO (about as good as an essentially unrelated DTV series entry can be) and recently impressed the hell out of me with SINISTER.
5.What are some of the worst films you had to review for Deep Red?
Ah. I chose my own review material, so I never had to suffer unduly. If I wanted to review ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES as a "dog," it was still great for laughs. I got to blow the lid off of GREAT WHITE/THE LAST SHARK and THE NEW GLADIATORS simultaneously, I sparked "rabid" interest in the uncut version of RABID GRANNIES, but nothing was ever assigned to me as such. Chas. gave me (and others) free reign and free range, and the best way to pay him back was to always bring my full enthusiasm to what I covered for him.

6. I feel that Dario Argento has seriously taken a dive with his recent films, what other horror film makers should retire?
NOBODY should retire unless THEY think they should. Argento's been slumming, all right. Wes Craven has also done some unwatchable stuff in recent years, but he can still pull a nice surprise like RED EYE out of his hat. I couldn't stand John Carpenter's GHOSTS OF MARS, but THE WARD was more than serviceable. I review on a film by film basis, and I will never declare anyone to be at the end of the road because you just... never... know.
7. What films of recent years should get the Deep Red seal of approval?
Well, nobody needs me to introduce the SAW or HOSTEL movies, of course. I could talk to you for hours about recent films alone (such as the aforementioned SINISTER). Instead, I'm going to steer you to Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Welton's knowledgeable gorefests THE COLLECTOR and THE COLLECTION, which offer genuine suspense and surprises to go with the (now to be expected) torture traps... the sequel, in particular, grabbed my attention by immersing itself in Euro-horror visuals not limited to the "Argento Hotel" setting and seemed tailor-made to please me.
As always, the list goes on...

Thanks for the interview and Sorry we made you eat all those cigars!
     

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wild Beasts


Wild Beasts Directed By Franco Prosperi. Starring Lorraine De Salle (1983)
Review By Goat Scrote
Well, this is not a very flattering depiction of whatever city this is. There are piles of used needles in the gutters. The drain water froths with pharmaceutical contamination. Pranksters have talked about putting LSD in the water supply since the 1960s. What if something really leaked in the water that caused crazy behavior, ha ha, that’d be pretty trippy, right?
Our Animals are on PCP guaranteed!
Cut to: The city zoo.
                There’s a quote on the screen from someone named Francis Thrive, but the text is Italian. I'm so glad Google Translate exists. Let's see now, "...our folly overflows on things and infects innocent victims such as children or animals....” Okay, that’s grim, so of course I’m right on board with the sentiment but I’m not familiar with the source. This Francis Thrive person doesn't have a Wikipedia page, and therefore might as well never have existed at all. Is the internet making me intellectually lazy, or would my brain have turned into gelatin by this age no matter what? The movie keeps coming back to that sign with the cheetah. I should really be doing my homework, not watching obscure Italian trash. Huh, my mind is wandering already. Hey, look, a horse... horses are my favorite animals, they’re totally awesoMEAT CLEAVER TO THE HEAD! WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?!? Freakin’ Italians. Okay, the horse was already dead, and yes the zoo animals eat meat which has to come from somewhere. Everyday work with predators at a zoo is going to expose you to some pretty gross stuff, and I bet the filmmakers had plenty of this kind of material that they could have included.
Mr. Ed's greatest last role
              The animals at the zoo are acting funny, but that’s okay because they’re still secure in their cages… oh, until a bunch of PCP-crazed elephants bust through the walls and all the cage doors open. Well that makes perfect sense. The zookeepers wired all the doors together this way so that whenever there is a disaster, all the animals will be able to get out and use their special animal powers to aid in rescue efforts. I think this film highlights what might be a serious flaw in that otherwise-excellent plan. What if the zoo animals turn evil? I know, it’s hard to imagine a snuggly polar bear closing its jaws around the eggshell of your skull and crunching into the brainy goodness inside, but they have been known to do that sort of thing. It’s just a suggestion, I’m no expert, but if you’re going to build a super-fancy electronic door control system for your zoo, it might be better to design it so that the cage doors remain locked when something breaks.
Marshmallows would be delicious with those BBQ'd rats
A couple making out in a little car are set upon by a horde of rats that are hungry for human. Now, I happen to be a survival expert because I play tons of roleplaying games, I watch horror movies, and I was a Boy Scout. This is how I am qualified to make the statement that there is exactly one perfect weapon for this situation. Conventional firearms are useless. You could fire a pistol until its empty and then throw it at the rats, screaming as they rip the flesh from your bones. An assault rifle is going to make a lot of noise and chew up some of them but it won’t drive them back, and you’ll soon be overrun by a furry tide of bloodthirsty critters. A grenade will kill some of them but it’s liable to fling the plague-ridden vermin like shrapnel, and no one likes an angry rat coming toward their face teeth-first at 200 miles per hour. A molotov cocktail is better than a prayer, but those things are a serious hazard and you’re liable to set yourself on fire. No, there is only one perfect solution when several thousand rats are trying to kill you. Apparently the people running this city play Call of Cthulhu as well, because they are right there on the scene with flamethrowers. Hell yeah! Flamethrowers! Every movie gets better when there’s fire… oh no! I keep forgetting who made this. Real rats, real fire. So, yeah, animals were harmed during the making of this movie. I feel guilty but I keep watching anyway. It’s not like boycotting the movie at this point is going to change anything.
High Octane Orkin Man
Freakin’ Italians.
There's a pretty swell cheetah vs. car chase. This would really make a lot more sense if the animals were on meth, you know, but who cares. "Hey, look at that! She's not crazy, she's being chased by a cheetah!" Your shitty VW bug will not outrun this mighty predator of the savannah. Ouch, brutal motorcycle wreck. Hey, this is a pretty cool action sequence for an Italian movie. But where did the cheetah go? I wanted to see it go in for the kill.
Magnum P.I. Pet Detective
Soon we learn the answer to an age-old question which has troubled the hearts of humankind. If an elephant got into a fight with a commercial airliner, who would win? Answer: PCP elephant is victorious!
                The animals spread terror in their wake. Disasters are unleashed. The power goes out. Commuters are trapped in the subway while a tiger stalks them. Children at a dance class are hunted through a darkened building by a bear. People get crushed by elephants. Jackals and lions attack pigs, cows, and horses, which break out of their enclosures and stampede through the streets. The kids at the dance class start to freak out a little bit, and they have access to knives. Just as the animals start to come down off their “bad trip”, the kids attack the adults. The end!
                Oh yeah, there is a little bit of story drizzled throughout all this. It involves some scientists who work at the zoo, who are trying to understand why the animals have gone insane. There’s a subplot about the single mother scientist and her emotionally distant relationship with her precocious daughter, which is conducted mostly through tape-recorded messages to each other. I’m a sucker for a scientist-hero in a horror movie, but the scientist-heroes of Wild Beasts are unsympathetic. There are some reasonably well-made scary sequences, but much of the movie is terribly dull and nothing in it ever redeems the actual animal cruelty. It’s never fully explained how the PCP came to affect the zoo animals and the kids. I don’t really expect these movies to make much sense so that’s okay. I’m taking suggestions for good eco-horror schlock along the lines of Grizzly or this, but, y’know, better.

WATCH HERE
Nestles Quick/ Polar Bear mishap

The elusive FT quote

The only known cure for the comedown is B-12 and some Orange Slices


Theater of Guts 
Tribute Trailer

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Three Days Of A Blind Girl


3 Days Of A Blind Girl (Retribution Sight Unseen) Directed By Wing-Chiu Chan Starring Veronica Yip (1993).
   A very attractive woman (Veronica Yip) married to a doctor, has temporarily gone blind because of tension in her eye sockets. She has a maid, a cool sheep dog, and a nice home but as soon as they leave, Sam the Submarine (Anthony Wong is short pants and suspenders) shows up. He got his nickname because he fishes things out of the toilet! Is he a Chinese version of Bill Murray in What About Bob?,only if Bob was a perverted stalker who decides to prey on the family and rape them!  He whines about his wife withholding sex from him because he's a broke factory worker. Later on there's an important plot connection between the Doctor and Sam's wife, the motivation for his revenge.
 Wing-Chiu Chan, the director goes out of his way to also turn the viewer into a lecherous creep when no one is around, the camera perspective looms in as the wife pees then takes a shower. Sam, even hops in and does some creepy pantomime along her body, while she's unaware he's in the tub. He pretends it's someone else (since she can't see)! It immediately starts taking a dark twisted detour, almost like a more perverted Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn. This has got to be the worst weekend to temporarily go blind!
Peek A-Boo
   Sam is not there by coincidence and knows when her husband left for vacation and waited for the perfect moment to strike. He starts tormenting her about who would be on her cheat list (Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat, Ricard Gere)! Speaking of Gere a poor mouse gets stomped on by Sam. He even kills her dog and feeds her the meat! 
He's hung like a squirrel
   This is demented style Anthony Wong back in top form where he belongs! He's brilliant as a psychotic maniac! After she finishes the meal he yells at her for vomiting! 
   In Deep Red, Balun compared Wong's performance to David Hess, his sexual manipulation and forcefulness is similar to Hess in House On The Edge Of The Park.       
   Sam cackles like a tard as he watches cartoons and Veronica pretends to hyperventilate to get him out of the house. A stupid cop attempts to help and it doesn't end well, it seems for awhile that she will never make it out alive! Retribution's message is that men are all capable of infidelity and murder, in the end she realizes that it's better to not rely on them or become victimized. It does follow the storyline of the various films it emulates without blatantly stealing them and does a good job of keeping the suspense going, it's more in league with mainstream fare then underground,with the usual amount of Category III perversion. So check it out!
Another episode of HK Three's Company

My sight just came back!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lady Terminator


Lady Terminator (The Nasty Hunter or Queen Of The South Coast Of Vengeance) Directed By H. Tjut Djalili (aka Jalil Jackson). Starring Barbara Anne Constable (1989).
   It starts off with a Martin Sheen like voice over that says "The past should gather dust in recorded time". And lots of waves crash against a sex castle! What's that you say? What's a sex castle? just a castle that contains a venomous  superhorny seawitch, who can use her kegel muscles to crush your peen to smithereens!

Vagina muscles activate!
   Like an Indonesian Ilsa She Wolf of The SS, no man can satisfy her and live, some white dude accomplishes the impossible long enough for a snake to crawl away from her poon and turn into a knife!! The seawitch is so pissed off, that she swears revenge and vows to return as an asskicking leatherclad cyborg she-bitch in the future! 
Lady Robocop?
   Lady Terminator by itself is very original with siren mythology and witchcraft, did they need to re-enact a shot for shot re-eneactment of James Cameron's landmark film, YES! Of course they fucking did!! That's what makes this film so incredible! 
   An 80's playmate looking Anthropologist (Tania Wilson, played by Barbara Anne Constable) visits a dusty old library to start a thesis on the South Sea Queen. Barbara is very attractive, in real life she was a model from England, who appeared in Australian Penthouse, Yowza!
   She hops on a boat in a black bikini with a drunk captain who looks like a grizzled William Marshall. She's takes her research to the sea and after being offended says "I'm not a lady, I'm an Anthropologist"!  
  While down under scuba diving, she disappears, then reemerges strapped to a bed spread eagle as a magical snake slithers up her vagina (through her bikini, by the way)! 
BLAMMO!
I remember fondly when the same thing happened to Schwarzenegger (wait, that was something else)!
   Ok now comes the point where the film starts to re-create The James Cameron original. She encounters two "Americanized" punks who creatively swear and say outlandish things like "I should marry my fist, I use it so much"! These are some choice lines of dialogue. 
   She has sex with both of them and is now equipped with a part snake, part vagina that chews up dicks! Blue lightning starts flying out of her eyeballs and around the room, she is in full possession mode as the Sea queen's revenge takes over! 
Don Imus to the rescue
   I love over dubbed fake Americans in Foreign films, and LT has tons of them, all saying ridiculous lines! A popstar named Ericka shows up (she looks like a more attractive Asian Vanity). Her and a friend are chased around by Lady T in a mall and she kills a couple of women in the bathroom, she mysteriously has robot vision and uses an uzi. 
   It turns out Ericka is related to the defeater of The Sea Witch from the beginning and Lady Terminator is killing anyone attached to her. There's a massacre at a disco as LT keeps getting blasted with shotguns over and over and keeps getting up. Someone on the dance floor even says "Come with me If you want to live", that Iconic Terminator line and I swear, some of this was slightly borrowed for T2, but don't let James Cameron know! 
Another Eunuch! Ouch!
   Ericka hooks up with a fake Michael Biehn, well not really, he's just a regular cop and they get into a high speed chase with tons of gunfire. 
   Later on his stoned buddies show up, one of them named Snake has a processed mullet and a voice like a Ninja Turtle! 
   Lady Terminator smashes through the police station, cutting people in half with her car and pouring bullets into people wearing riot squad gear! 
Yum, Shredded Pork
   Ericka's grandfather shows up and attempts to destroy the sea witch with magic, but Lady Terminator turns his crotch into shredded pork! 
   There's an eye surgery scene that only exists to emulate the original Terminator! 
   After she is firebombed, her skin gets flayed off and she looks like a mummy with barbecued skin and hair and can shoot red lasers out of her eyeballs! Lady Terminator is a must see film and should be on those 1000 movies to see before you die lists, it's that amazing!! Check out this awesome interview with the star of the film! Here
Highly Recommended, a bonafide must see classic!
Barbecued Laser Cats

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Evil Dead Trap


Evil Dead Trap (Shiryƍ no wana) Directed By Toshiharu Ikeda (1988).
   Nami (played by Miyuki Ono) the news anchor antagonizes her audience by daring them to send in a hilarious video bordering on snuff,Bob Saget tried this at one point with frightening results. She receives a Videodrome inspired tape of a girl tied up and tortured, ending with a wicked eyeball puncture that includes Nami's image spliced on the end. She takes her media crew riding around in the country side, avoiding stray dogs and enjoying burgers. They all end up at a sinister abandoned factory. The Phantasm-esque/ Tubular Bells, piano theme is pretty great! 
   A cataract sunglasses wearing villain appears in the shadows, is he responsible for the tape? Is he leading Nami and her team to a trap (a copyright infringement ℅ Sam Raimi's Lawyer's style Trap)!? Not sure yet.
   It's not very clear to me why they are lurking around the abandoned factory and they should leave, but of course they stay! None of them are tracking anyone down, they just figure that "Hey this is the scary factory from that snuff video, Let's stay awhile!"
   Two of them even have sex (Wait this is Evil Dead not Friday The 13th)!                          
   There are some long shaky tracking shots like the invisible Candarian demon from said Raimi flick, but other than that this film is pretty original. 
   This factory has its share of creepy crawlies, including maggots that drop from the ceiling (Suspiria style) and snakes that seem to grunt instead of hiss. 
   One girl named Rei (played by Hitomi Kobayashi) is impaled with a bunch of sharp steel rods that shoot through the walls and kill. This is the type of media crew that apparently solve murders on their own and entertain the notion of meeting the snuff maniac instead of involving the police. 
  The snuff killer has an assistant who exclaims "I like to kill slowly, because its fun"! He has ugly sex with one of the girls in the backseat and they are both violently killed by someone in the shadows.
50 Bucks for that Poncho, That's outrageous!
  We see glimpses of the killer by way of a strobe light, he wears a full poncho raincoat with a face mask, similar to the uniform of The Prowler (1980). He uses spools of wire,steel rods and totally unconventional weapons for a slasher flick. 
  The killer confesses to having a split personality, one minute he's dressed in a suit, drinking from a flask looking for the real killer (like O.J.?), the next he dons the poncho and severs limbs. He's very skilled at setting steel wire traps that trigger weapons to detonate and at one point a poor female victim's head is crushed in a vice! 
  The killer leads her down a hallway and keeps saying a child is responsible for all the carnage. She also seems to know he's the killer, but doesn't bother to stop him, maybe she thinks a baby could be responsible and oddly enough she's not far off!
Pizza The Hutt Jr! 
   She's willing to kill all of her friends to get a news story like an Asian Nancy Grace! The ending is mind bludgeoning and I won't give it away, but it's really unexpected to say the least!
Synapse just started offering streaming of many of their titles, they are one of the best gore companies around today, get a free trial and check out what they have!
WATCH HERE!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Accion Mutante



 Accion Mutante (1993)
Directed by Alex de la Iglesia

Now here's a movie with a little bit of everything. Its a sci-fi, comedy, horror that involves mutants and kidnapping and has an around weirdness factor. Whatever genre it belongs to, it surely doesn't disappoint.

Should have taken a left at Albuquerque


A band of misfit mutants commit robberies on the rich and kidnap in order to get money and revenge on the beautiful people of the universe. Most of the time the crimes are botched due to the incompetence of the reject squad. For example, as the film opens up they accidentally put too much tape over one of their victim's mouth causing him to suffocate.(oops)
 
At first the goofy nature of the freak's bickering and the tongue-in-cheek "mission impossible" theme song put me off a bit. But after about 25 minutes or so this low budget oddity kicks into high gear, right after a wedding party massacre takes place.

Time for the "Electric Slide!"

"Honey, can you make my piece bigger?"

"I hate Vanilla!!!!"


The bride is the daughter of Orujo, a famous and very rich business man.She is taken by the freaks who are known to the media as Accion Mutante! With some casualties they take her back to the brain and the leader of their operation Ramon. Without giving to much away, greed becomes a factor among the team and their beautiful prisoner gets the Stockholm syndrome, making things more complicated. This is the kidnapping of all kidnappings, if the mutants can pull this one off they can all retire and live like kings throughout the galaxy.

"Get up before the Sand people get here!"


8/10 on the CULT-O-METER

Recommended 

Had a lot of fun watching this and would easily plop down some hard earned cash for a DVD or a Bluray SE. Don't miss this film if you get the chance. Director Alex de la Iglesia is still making movies today, 2010's The Last Circus is a 10/10!
Also order the T-Shirt from Rotten Cotton




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interview With Greg Goodsell Of Deep Red


Hello Theater Of Guts readers, Crankenstein here! it's an honor and a privilege to interview one of the head honcho's in charge of Deep Red Magazine, Mr. Greg Goodsell! He was a main typographer, contributing writer and reviewer since its inception in 1986. He is still actively writing and was recently included in a amazing book by John Szpunar called Xerox Ferox, which delves into the underground horror zines of the 90's (Blackest Heart,Sleazoid Express, Ecco, Splatter Times and of course Deep Red) check it out here 
1.How Did you Meet Chas Balun
How I met Chas. Balun: DEEP RED was available at my local comic book store and in issue #2 he gave a glowing review of Cecil Doyle’s Subhuman fanzine. I introduced myself in a letter offering my services and he said “Welcome aboard!” I would meet him at the Fangoria conventions in Los Angeles and we kept in touch. By 1991, I was working in newspapers and DEEP RED fell by the wayside, as he had been burnt out by various publishers (fill in the blanks). I said “Hey, I’m a typesetter!” He said, “Let’s get crackin’.” And so DEEP RED ALERT – along with other small press publications was born. Life is complicated, and Chas. Had health issues and I had personal problems in the 1990s, but we got back on the hobby horse a few more times – and then Chas. Lost his battle with cancer. Very sad.



2. How influential was Deep Red magazine globally? 
DEEP RED globally -- funny thing, there were lots of people who weren't into what Chas. and I were doing in the fanzine community. There were lots of people who thought Charlie was a little too high on himself at the height of DEEP RED. Jealousy, mostly. I get lots of compliments today on how the mag inspired others, but whenever you put something out there, there are people throwing stones. British fans were overly protective of their own publications.
3. What are some favorite films in the Deep Red catalog?
Favorite films championed by DEEP RED in the magazine -- not necessarily in Balun's bootleg stash, was COMBAT SHOCK. Truly one of a kind. He also turned me on to IN A GLASS CAGE, which in tone is similar to the "torture porn" genre, i.e. MARTYRS and A SERBIAN FILM. The tastiest morsel I got through Chas Balun's connections was a day-it-was-minted copy of NEKROMANTIK #2 -- which was highly sought after, but alas, wasn't that good a film.
4.What are some of the worst films you've had to review for Deep Red?
As I wrote about lousy horror movies in DEEP RED HORROR HANDBOOK, at the time – INVITATION TO HELL was the absolute worst. It got released on DVD and I recently watched it again and it was just as bad as I remember it. Nowadays, unbelievably bad movies like THE ROOM, DANGEROUS MEN, BIRDEMIC SHOCK AND TERROR are proudly displayed theatrically to snarking audiences. As I say in XEROX FEROX, if I were to write the book today AFTER LAST SEASON would warrant its own chapter.

5. What do you think of Chris Gore and that infamous Film Threat trash piece? 
Well what did YOU think of the Chris Gore Film Threat trash piece? One of the high points of my career was introducing Gore to Balun at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors. Balun picked up the squirming five-foot nothing Gore and threatened to kill him then and there! Beer flew everywhere! Best bar fight I’ve seen outside of a bar! BUT SERIOUSLY, Gore was selling unauthorized dupes along with everyone else. Why did he feel so high and mighty?

6. Who inherited all the bootlegs when Chas passed away? 
I don't know if Pat has them and what worth they would have as everything has come out on authorized Blu-Ray by now ...
7.What are some recent films that deserve the Deep Red seal of approval?
You know, I really can't speak for Chas.! We had differing opinions. I don't think Chas. would rally for such films as HOSTEL and MARTYRS. He enjoyed cathartic gore films, and not ones where you left trembling over the evils of humanity. He hated most of the stuff coming out of Japan. Can't speak for Chas.
8. Talk about censorship back in the 80's versus what people can get away with now in film? 
You can get away with anything in movies these days -- just don't expect a wide release. It's same as now. in the Eighties, horror films were trying to be more mainstream, and so they toned things back. There are a lot of extreme movies being made in the underground these days -- AUGUST UNDERGROUND, etc. But it's not necessarily a good thing.
9. Is it a coincidence that most of the films in the DR catalog are also on the video nasty list?
 Well, yes, Chas. made it his business to make sure that people denied access to movies -- made up movies relying on special effects, were made available to them! They were showing the Video Nasties every night at the Hollywood Silent Movie Theater for the month of October, and what was so striking was that the ONLY British film on the list -- the nasties were a U.K. phenomenon, remember -- was XTRO (1982). All the other Nasties were from the U.S. and/or Italy. I found that ironic as the films of British director Pete Walker , with their cannibal grannies and murderous priests were the very definition of "nasty," and they were excluded! On some level, the Video nasties phenomenon was in reaction to British horror and exploitation films getting short shrift in international markets!
10. What films did you and Chas Balun disagree on? Chas. disliked the films of David Lynch and gave BLUE VELVET a middling review. He also loathed Tim Burton, whose early films were actually pretty good. I don't much care for either Lynch's or Burton's recent output, so who know, maybe Chas. was prescient.

Thanks so much for your time Mr. Goodsell and everyone buy a copy of Xerox Ferox and support Headpress they are churning out some of the best exploitation horror books on the planet. You can visit Greg on Facebook and don't support Film Threat or Chris Gore!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Better Tomorrow 2



A Better Tomorrow 2 Directed By John Woo. Starring Chow Yun-Fat (1987).
      I realize it’s a little strange for me to review the sequel before the original and my first John Woo pick is this one, but hear me out, there’s a valid reason why! It all has to do with my painstakingly accurate representation of that Deep Red catalog and in Deep Red Alert # 1 from 1991 this was the first of many bootlegs obtained through subterranen channels. In Deep Red Alert (the very first issue I ever bought in High School) Chas Balun mentions that he was handed a copy by Robert Kurtzman, Make-up man for KNB and after leaving it on a pile of extreme horror tapes (to be viewed later), he was later inspired to sell bootlegs. So I felt that it was an important film to include, plus I can only get mellow after dwelling in the cold blue nauseating underworld of corpse sex and sycophantic Nazi antics and take a breather. So here goes!  
      Mr. Lung, Ho's former mentor is at his daughter's wedding, with Disney-esque waltzes and crystal chandeliers. Billie (or Kit) weasels his way into the Lung family and even attaches a bug to a model ship in order to hear his secret deals with shady business men. Meanwhile Ho makes a deal to intercept Lung and gets a free ticket out of jail.
      Ho & Kit are old friends and partners, all of these men seem to genuinely care for each other and their relationships are handled in a platonic way (always with gentle music playing in the background). This may be the inspiration for Ray Wise’s business hugs on Tim & Eric, but probably not.
      Mr. Wong gets plugged with a silencer by an assassin in shades, hiding in the sidelines; he deceives Lung (who is holding a snubnose) into thinking he committed the murder. Lung escapes on a Singapore cargo ship to NY. After Peggy is gunned down, Ho travels to NY to recruit his old partner's (who was killed in the 1st film) twin brother, played by Chow Yun-Fat.
      Some low class mafia jerks are complaining about the inferior fried rice, while punks carve their initials into the tables of his restaurant. They emulate Mark the character from the first film.
What tiny parents you must have.

      There's a brilliant poignant scene involving fried rice and race relations between Italians and Chinese, this is some classic John Woo right here!
Ko, Mr. Lung's rat bastard of a traitor friend, tells the Mafia of his whereabouts and it’s only a matter of time before he's a dead duck.
Assisted living gangster
       After Lung's best friend is murdered, he ends up in a mental hospital where they force feed him oatmeal, punch his vital organs and treat him like an animal! He's more catatonic and detached then ever!
       Thankfully Chow takes him under his care and helps out his poor uncle. He means a lot to Chow and there's a great scene, where an entire fridge is splattered around his living room in an attempt to get him to eat again! Chow's Chinese Restaurant is blown to smithereens by the mafia, but they later get shot up in a car fire. The digitally remastered gunshots are extremely loud and sound great!
       Kit stupidly finds himself in a desert late at night among twenty gangsters who proceed to hurl him full force against a bunch of cars, then shoot him.
       The scenes with Ken (Chow) and his uncle blasting away with heavy artillery, dodging death sparks and sliding down the stairs backwards while shooting is so much more entertaining then the other half of the film's storyline involving Ko & Ho (I read that there are a lot of arguing as to which storyline was more relevant between Tsui Hark and John Woo).
         Lung visits Peggy’s grave and everyone keeps mentioning how Ken looks like his dead brother Mark (from the 1st movie). They all plan to fuck up Ko and his crew, who are hiding blood money in paint cans (Los Pollo’s Hermanos style).  
        John Woo is sometimes like a HK Scorsese, using masterful cinematography and hyper violence! It's trigger happy action flick that never strays from that formula, which is fine, but don't expect anyone to bite into a genital sandwich (A classic Jing Wong style gag)! There's a reason John Woo never delves into that level of immaturity, he knows what mainstream audiences like and don't like and is a major influence on Tarantino's early thefts (like City On Fire for Reservoir Dogs, there's a clip of this in True Romance).
       There's a sting of melodrama among the hail of bullets and the last 15 minutes are a barrage of nonstop carnage. Ken casually with a nonchalant manor fires through walls and the bodies quickly pile up. In one grenade scene, Chow almost gets seriously hurt (in real life), you could tell he miscalculated. There's even a surprise axe and samurai sword battle as Ken and the sunglasses wearing assassin shoot chunks out of each other at point blank range.
You dare laugh at my artwork?
       The three films A Better Tomorrow 2 takes its soundtrack from are from 52 Pick-up (Gary Chang), Birdy (Peter Gabriel) and (Jerry Goldsmith) Extreme Prejudice and the rest from Leslie Cheung.
       Gore fans will not be satisfied, but Hong Kong action fans should be entertained and know what to expect from these hyper violent/ dramatic gun battle ganger flicks. There are a lot of these in the Deep Red Catalog and more Hong Kong action flicks to be reviewed later, stay tuned…

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nekromantik



Nekromanitk Directed By Jorg Buttgereit starring Beatrice Manoski (1987 )
                  I figured the time was ripe (pun intended) to tackle the German Citizen Kane of necrophiliac love love stories; Nekromantik. Jorg Buttgereit’s claustrophobic super 8 sensory onslaught infected my brain and twisted my stomach in knots. The only time we leave the dank apartment (which has chicken wire strew along the outside of the bed) is to hit the road and let me tell you! That Autobahn can do some irreparable damage to human flesh and twisted metal, that’s why Rob the tragic necrofile has the perfect job working in a mobile mortuary deliciously named Joe’s Street Cleaning Agency. His abusive but attractive partner Betty (Beatrice M) bathes in blood like Elizabeth Bathory and is a perfect mate for a deranged creep like Rob, who has a morbid museum of grotesque artifacts in their apartment. They include jars of eyes, tongues, fetuses, hearts, etc. I mean these are the perks of working in the road accident industry and Rob certainly takes his work home with him! Jorg entices us with some kaleidoscopic, psychedelic sexual imagery and some uncompromising geek show gore (That poor turned inside out rabbit shown backward and forwards is pretty unsettling)! But dammit, it has subtext and is a well orchestrated film, the first inkling into what necrophiliacs are like (at least the subject is treated with what seems to be authentic merit, who the fuck knows)? It doesn’t matter because no one else would dare breach the subject ever again!
Equal opportunity employer of Necrophiles

                   Although there is a small demand for such a disgusting fetish, I mean just look at Girls and Corpses magazine! (which has a fun and informative interview with Jorg! link right here: G&C (NSFW)
We think you're sexier now that you've died!

                  Once you get to the inevitable threeway (which is presented as a romantic spectacle, duh hence the title!) The revolting images of a corpse with a condom over a broom handle stuck in the crotch like a simulated erection! The surprise climax of eyeball in mouth then spit back out, begs the question: does Buttgereit have experience? Because this, invented or not, it’s image stands as a testament to the only connection anyone (Jefferey Dahmer and Ed Gein not included) in civil society, has of what truly goes on in the bedroom with a real corpse humper! Plus no real authentic necrophiliacs will come out of the closet and denounce it as “Hey that’s not what goes on, I will tell you what really happens”!!! Because they would immediately be incarcerated. That’s only half of the genius behind the filmmaker’s intention! It’s also why this film is despised and on a whole nother plateau of high concept art! It’s still banned in many European countries.

Better Safe Sex than Sorry Sex

                  So what else were you afraid to ask but now after watching this film know now? How about jealousy? Betty humiliates Rob after he gets caught steeling corpses from work and fired, decides to run off with the corpse!! This causes Rob to crumple into a pile of animosity and suicidal confusion. He is devastated after his two sex partners desert him and even worse he can’t perform unless his sex partner is dead! Up until that point everything was peachy keen and they both led a stable life (Ahem… I guess)!
I'm just a Smooth Operator..

                  So like any other proud Germanic weirdo, what does he do, but wrap his pet cat in a bag and smash it against the wall and then bathe in its innards. That’s totally fine and normal, nothing strange there? That’s a perfectly sane thing to do (in Rob’s twisted world). He can’t exist without a woman, who’s willing to bump and grind on slimy dead tissue (excuse me while I go throw up). Whew, back now! And so his life devolves into shambles and he even kills a hooker, than has sex with her dead body to satisfy his necro-lust.
Puff, The Magic Hooker

                  I can’t get through this review without mentioning the steak scene! The couple hangs the rotten corpse on the wall post coitus and they wait for it to make a ghoulish A1 Steak sauce, because German necrophiliacs prefer the taste! There’s a fascinating scene at a theater that in high school (when I watched this) was really impressive; a cinema is packed with a smoking and beer swilling crowd. At the time these kinds of theaters didn’t exist, but since have sprang up everywhere, then it was only a wonderful dream. The movie the crowd watches is a rape fantasy horror slasher.
The most German photo of King Crimson available
I hope my delicious tears have improved your dining experience
                  With all the controversy attached to this film you’d think everyone involved would have been drawn and quartered, not at all. Beatrice M went onto work for highly acclaimed art house director Wim Wenders (on Wings Of Desire) and Buttgereit is still creating in various ways and directing (He even does the commentary on The Combat Shock DVD along with his pal Buddy G)! The score has this candlelight dinner piano, which intentionally clashes with the gag inducing imagery. Often as I watched this, I would replace the audio with In The Court Of The Crimson King, King Crimson’s seminal album and at times it worked on a Pink Floyd/ Wizard Of Oz level! Try it out sometime.  
                   Yes the film poses more questions then answers but I think its one of a kind and worth checking out, just to satisfy answers of questions everyone was afraid to ask! You have to see it as a gore film fan, it’s required viewing, just bring a bucket to vomit in. Bon Appetite! 
RENT ON DVD 



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