Monday, June 30, 2014

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Don't Look In The Window, Don't Speak Ill Of The Dead,Breakfast at Manchester Morgue, ETC, ETC...). 
Directed By Jorge Grau, Starring Ray Lovelock (1974).

Back in the days of dusty old bootlegs, Skunkape lent me a shitty dupe of this movie that was covered in a thick fog of VHS haze and Japanese subs. I couldn't really enjoy the film, which is one of the first ever influenced by Night Of The Living Dead. According to Jorge Grau, some Italian investors elected him as the man that would bring NOTLD to the world "in color" even before Dawn or Zombi 2. There's never been a moment when Italians weren't trying to capitalize on some cult hit or blockbuster and I'm grateful for that! They took the same political context of Dead only this time blaming the agricultural dept. for the zombie plague. 
   The version I'm reviewing is the souped up classic Anchor Bay one (back when that label meant something). Blue-Underground has since re-issued it. The print is head and shoulders above that horrid video I had seen long ago, before DVD's existed. 

Holy out of date product placement Batman!

   George the Hippie (played by a bearded Ray Lovelock) is first seen riding around metropolitan London on his motorcycle, as a freewheelin' streaker girl runs across a busy street. He bumps into a whiny redhead named Edna (Cristina Galbo) and hitches a ride with her through the lush countryside. They don't really get along and sort of bicker at each other throughout the duration. George is kind of a snotty arrogant prick and later on gets bitch smacked by Arthur Kennedy, who plays a grouchy hippie hating sergeant. 

In the future everyone will play metal detector golf

   A high pitched sonic wave meant to control parasites emits from a giant red machine and starts to jostle the dead, it even makes newborns homicidal! I love how the zombies have these zonked out red irises, which were created by Lucio Fulci's main effects man Giannetto De Rossi. That was one of the main reasons I had to track down this film, which was incredibly rare at the time. When De Rossi's involved you're pretty much guaranteed an all out splatter-rama! There's one incredible effect toward the end with a secretary whose breasts and stomach contents get pulled open and devoured like a giant sack of Taco Bell Economy Meat! 

Taco Bell now serving Menudo Rojo

   Manchester Morgue has the vibe of a Hammer Film and the countryside creepiness reminds me of The Blind Dead or Jean Rollin. It was actually filmed in London in the historical grave sight of Robin Hood's pal Little John. 
   Fernando Hilbeck is Guthrie the first lumbering corpse we see first or the Bill Hinzman (NOTLD) figure, he constantly looks soaked and on the verge of catching hypothermia. 

Lane Meyer would you mind if I took out Beth now?
   Another character that soon becomes a worm feast named Martin (Jose Lifante), has the gaunt features of Vincent Schiavelli and Argento. He has thick brows and a chicken bone nose. His wife has even worse problems, after she cooks up a spoon for a nice heroin shot, she gets rudely interrupted by a ravenous zombie.
   After Guthrie caves in Martin's brain with a rock, the next morning the cops show up. The bitchy Irish sergeant (Kennedy) is a panic attack waiting to happen and becomes the proverbial bug up everyone's ass. 
   I remember being bored to tears by this film as a teenager but now after re-evaluating it, it's still a little tedious but a very intriguing film. 
   There's a suspicious mortuary truck filled with freezer coffins that seems too strange to ignore.

New Wonka designed coffins
   There's a hilarious bit of dialogue between George and the angry hippie-phobic Sergeant that was used for a sound clip on an Electric Wizard song. Nick Alexander (Al Cliver's disembodied voice) also plays one of the cops.
   George says the dead only walk in "bad paperback novels", ironically his name is George but doesn't mention the Romero films. The zombie mythos is different in this film, they can reanimate other corpses by blood contact and die by fire, not brain destruction. 
   To try and prove to Edna that there is no real undead threat, fucktard Lovelock proceeds to enter a mausoleum bursting with corpses. They all spring to life of course as both main characters get locked in with the creaky, raspy groaning deceased. Aside from the zombies, the townspeople seem to have some mental problems going on with them as well.  
   We don't get any real gore until the last 40 minutes, so make sure you stick around for the big payoff, it's worth every penny!

Stop poking me in the ear, tiny lady on my shoulder!

   I believe this film paved the way for Lucio Fulci, the undead seem too familiar for it to not be influential, this is 1974 after all. Zombie would hit the grindhouses five years later and there are a lot of elements that would eventually become the norm for exploitation films. There are a few disembowelment scenes sporadically paced to keep the momentum of the blame on the irresponsible Gov. causing the ecological problems and the finale is another major nod to NOTLD.
   Ray Lovelock started off in Italian Crime films like Emergency Squad, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (one of Ruggero Deodato finest moments) and Almost Human, working with Umberto Lenzi. After he appeared in this, he went onto to Autopsy with Mimsy Farmer and avoided horror roles until he wound up in Murder-Rock in 1984.  
   Jorge Grau would go onto to other non-horror projects but will always be remembered for this film. If this film had never been made, someone else in Italian exploitation would've certainly come along and attributed the George Romero original. I'm sure Fulci would've still gone onto what he does best. Manchester Morgue remains one of the best early examples that would inspire others to continue and create more gruesome zombie spectacles, this one just paved the way for everyone else!

OMG! These horse guts are scrumptious 

Can you help me reach that whiskey?

Oooh, those stairs are very steep!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Faceless Directed By Jess Franco, starring Telly Savalas (1987).

If you've read enough of this blog then you may be able to tell, I don't like Jess Franco (you might say I suffer from Franco-phobia). I mean he produces some major boring shit and it's a miracle if I can stay awake through any of his films. My distaste for his work started with Vampyros Lesbos (1971), I thought there may be something wrong, there's that ultra groovy score, hot lesbian babes, so why am I so bored out of my mind? An inner struggle began that led me to believe I had probably started out with the wrong entry into the Jess Franco mythos. So I attempted to watch The Awful Dr. Orloff with similar sleep inducing results, but I finally hit paydirt with The Bloody Judge, Skunkape over-sold Bloody Moon (which I half liked) and Portuguese Nun (which was an excellent film). There's so much output in the Franco cannon that even a jaded narrow minded snob like me is bound to find a lucky egg in the chicken vending machine!


    It took me 5 tries before I was able to stomach Faceless, I would eventually succumb to a Franco induced fit of narcolepsy--his movies have that effect on me. I'm still not sure if I really enjoyed this very erotic French version of The Bold and The Beautiful with Telly Savalas and Caroline Munro, but it sure was entertaining and smothered in a copious layer of sleaze!
   It opens with the cheesiest George Michael ripoff stylings of Vincenzo Thoma, his abysmal tune "Destination Nowhere" is played so much throughout the film that it makes you want to go under the knife for a lobotomy.

OK Liz Renay I hope you enjoy your new face

   Helmut Berger (Beast with a Gun, Salon Kitty) is the mad surgeon "Orloff" archetype, Dr. Flamand. Franco has remade his own Orloff film so many times it's hard to tell if he's stealing from himself or Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face. While in a parking garage, Frank (Berger), his wife (Christiane Jean) and Nathalie (played by the stunningly attractive Jean Rollin regular and former porn star Brigette Lahaie) get attacked by a disfigured former patient. Acid is thrown at the doctor but it narrowly misses him and splashes onto his wife's quickly dissolving face! This becomes the major plot device of Faceless, which involves a musclebound brow-less henchman carrying a high powered brain drill, kidnappings and former Nazi's goose stepping in to help the wacky Doctor's wife achieve a full blown face transplant.

Do you know if this office has a bathroom?

   Telly Savalas's fashion model daughter played by Caroline Munro is captured by Flamand's helper Nathalie, who lures the sexy drug-fiend into her limo with cocaine. Munro ends up in a rubber room and gets raped by Gordon (Gerard Zalcberg), a brainless lunkhead with no eyebrows. One patient at the clinic gets a hypo shoved into her eyeball, I was scratching my head as to how they achieved that effect, it looked very realistic!

She was like that when I got here

Chris Michum (who has his father's exact werewolf hairline and forehead) is sent on the case to track down Telly's daughter. I'm always glad to see Robert Michum's sons appear in the most decked out euro-trash, Chris's brother was even in Amir Shirvan's Hollywood Cop
   Howard Vernon makes a cameo appearance like he does in every Franco film, playing--who else--but Dr. Orloff! He tips them off to a Nazi surgeon who will perform the operation. There are some hidden nods to art-house fare sluicing around in this pile of flashy grime. The Nazi surgeon is played by the Anton Diffring from the 1960 classic Circus Of Horrors, which is a deliberate bit of inspired casting!

They pay me in Bologna sandwiches and Coffee off the craft services table

   It all ends on a sour note as all the Aryan surgeons rip through innocent facial tissue and toss the used female corpses away like Der Weinerschnitzel wrappers.
   We've reviewed another film, Mansion Of The Doomed that basically reinvents the Eyes With Out a Face plotline. I won't say I liked that one more than this, but at least the criminals were given their just desserts! The ending in Faceless is pretty hardcore and very cynical, all the guilty surgeons toast to their own success and get to celebrate! The people that attempt to shutdown the Nazis ultimately fail and Franco leaves it open ended, but don't look for Faceless 2: The Search for more Cocaine anytime soon!
   The Shriek Show Dvd looks flawless and vibrant compared to the third generation dupe I had to suffer through in the 90's. This film was meant to be seen with all its high glossiness intact. I enjoyed it for what it was this time, a trashy slick piece of entertaining schlock.


He's a sleep farter, it's a major problem

Once you date Joe Spinell, you're ruined for life 

the illegitimate son of Jason Alexander and Lou Ferrigno

Scrape up these meat trimmings and sell them to Arby's 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cannibal Terror

France / Spain, 1980
Dir: “Allan W. Steeve”/Alain Deruelle

Review by Steve Fenton

EL LAGO DE LOS MUERTOS VIVIENTES / a.k.a. ZOMBIE’S LAKE and L’ABIME DES MORTS-VIVANTS / a.k.a. OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES were the worst two Eurociné horror flicks ever unleashed, right? Wrong! Being of the ever-optimistic opinion that even the very worst Continental cannibal gutmunchers have at least one thing going for them somewhere – heck, even Joe D’Amato’s awful DEMONIA / a.k.a. EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD had a couple of good scenes, dammit! – I decided to give CANNIBAL TERROR a friendly spin. A former associate of mine had challenged me to watch this film (“film” is a tenuous description at best): despite fair prior warnings that it was an unmitigated piece of merde that made even those aforementioned examples of sub-cinematic pond-slime look like daisies by comparison. At the very least, my ex-associate assured me, “It’s gory as hell!” Oh well, here goes nothing, I guess…

Step Aside it's time to make El Sabroso Human cracklins

The opening theme is an ear-itatin’ salsa / big band variation of “La Bamba.” This is repeated later on as an end-theme, but initially accompanies familiar tourist board-approved travelogue footage (presumably shot somewhere in either the south of France or further south down in Almería, Spain?) and an excess of actors wandering idly about or participating in mundane non-action: which includes chattering on phones, manicuring their nails and mixing cocktails ad nauseam. A ‘major’ early scene that introduces our main if positively motley cast is set in a sleazy bar where a sub-psychedelic instrumental ditty drones from a jukebox like an agitated, over-amped mosquito. The same whining chord is repeated over and over (and over and over) again, as if running on a tape-loop.

At least melt some cheese on it first, then roll it up in a burrito shell

At last, a bunch of scratchy, dog-eared stock aerial footage of jungle-heavy tropical islands (no doubt these same inserts were also borrowed by Umberto Lenzi’s cannibal opuses too) announce a jumpily edited segue into some no doubt cannibal-infested ‘exotic’ clime. Exactly where is tough to deduce. Anyway, our little heroic family of mighty whiteys drive their jimmy well off the beaten track into the wilderness. From what is presumably the closest thing to a bona fide ‘rain forest’ that CANNIBAL TERROR’s producers could scout for a stand-in jungle location on the French Riviera, ‘savage cannibals’ (note quotes) emerge, evidently hungering for human meat (or perhaps just some take-out escargot?). Basically, this film’s backdrop is a rather sparsely-wooded area – peppered with fir trees, no less – and a bargain-basement tribal village set whose anthropological authenticity wouldn’t fool a four-year-old, even if their parents didn’t have a subscription to National Geographic. The cannibal clan itself is an unlikely conglomeration of multiracial (and almost exclusively male) extras. These are usually heavily made-up with facial greasepaint, as if in hopes of obscuring the fact that Orientals and Hispanics, blacks and whites are all represented in their numbers (perhaps there may have been some details buried in the untranslated French dialogue which I may have missed). In several shots, a scrawny looking Caucasian spear-chucker sports sideburns that would have rivalled those worn by Elvis during his Vegas period. Another guy in heavy warpaint and a drop-handlebar mustache seen peeking from the vegetation looks a lot like Tom Savini!

Or Peter Criss

In spite of their unabashedly unconvincing appearance, these cannibal terrorists cart off our heroes’ native woman guide, whom they then disembowel and devour in short order without even so much as a garnish or finger-bowl in sight. Adding to this unrepentant addition to the ranks – accent on the rank – of grungy gutcruncher exploitation, we have one girl’s purely gratuitous nudie scrubdown in an outdoor washtub (a similar scene occurred in ZOMBIE’S LAKE, so you might say some sort of Eurociné oeuvre was developing; then again, you might not). After rinsing off, the starlet is dragged off kicking and screaming to be roped and raped by a degenerate scumbag in the bush. This scene is accomplished with such ludicrous phoniness that it’s hardly very offensive, as it should be, but instead is only embarrassingly inept. More so due to the actress’ dogged insistence on sobbing and wailing oh-so-professionally, as if convinced she was actually involved in a real film (presumably this starlet was ‘giving it her all’ for what she hopefully assumed would be her ‘breakout role’ or something).

have you got any floss?

Pacing (Hah!) descends to new lows of sluggishness, heavily dependent on meaningless filler. 52 minutes and counting… when oh when are those Heinz 57 cannibals gonna chow down on this uncharismatic, unlikable cast and put both them and us out of our misery? Remains of chomped-up victims are found in the ‘jungle’ as our heroes and a safari of white hunters and military types dressed in mix’n’match hand-me-down bush fatigues hunt the lost cannibals. While we are on the topic of forest fashion here, it should perhaps be mentioned that leading lady Silvia Solar opts for the more practical cotton summer dress and matching high-heeled pumps ensemble for her taxing excursion beyond the fringes of civilization.

Oh good it's time for my self immolation C-section

CANNIBAL TERROR’s nonexistent effort to convincingly create the illusion of a dense tropical locale might be considered audacious, if it wasn’t so utterly pathetic. Badly spliced antique inserts of mismatched crocodiles and other wildlife, as well as pudgy or anorexic extras who often appear painfully self-conscious in their loincloths (and so would you if you were in their sandals). Seldom has European trash cinema looked so cheap.

I know this is an overused cliché, but CANNIBAL TERROR is assuredly one of the all-time WORST movies (n)ever made. It was fun to write about though, and sometimes that helps one to endure a film.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Unseen

The Unseen (1980)
Starring: Barbara Bach, Sydney Lassick
Directed By: Danny Steinmann (also directed "Savage Streets") 
Review By: "Machine Gun" Kristin

**SPOILERS! Just about everything is given away!**

"The Unseen" is a very strange, 1980s film, although the time it's set in seemed vague to me. It was made in 1980, but elements of it felt more late 80s. Then again, some other details, such as the character's clothing, felt more late 70s. The very pretty, but sometimes gaunt looking Jennifer (Bond girl and sometimes Giallo actress Barbara Bach) is a reporter covering a ho-hum story in Solvang, California she's going through a break up with her injured football player boyfriend (Doug Barr).
Her camera operator sister (Karen Lamm, who in reality was married/divorced to Dennis Wilson from The Beach Boys) and friend (Lois Young) can't find a place to stay after a hotel error, they drive further away to Los Alamos. There, they find an odd looking, non-running hotel turned museum. It's run by Ernest Keller (verteran character actor, Sydney Lassick) and his so-called wife Virginia (Lelia Goldoni) who constantly wails and moans with a low slumped sad look on her face. Ernest offers his large house as accommodations and they bravely take him up on his offer instead of opting to sleep in the car. Which of course, is what they should have done!

Mini 'Junior" type creature in background

Abandon all hope errr....right now

Pants are optional in Solvang

These pretzels are making me thirsty! 

   It's strange that this somewhat mainstream movie hits many uncomfortable notes. Ones such as chicken killing, peeping toms, abortion, incest, near castration and mongoloids. Yep, that's right mongoloids! Or just one anyway chained up in the basement named Junior (Stephen Furst, Flounder from "Animal House"!). He's the monster staring up through the floor vents in the house, taking the girls under with him. In that aspect, I could see similarities to Fulci's "House By The Cemetery" with its basement dwelling creatures taking their victims from the floor above them. There's also bizarre similarities to "The Goonies" (1985) character, Sloth. In the beginning of "Unseen", there's a figure in the background that actually looks like Sloth, or maybe it's supposed to be a Ray Harryhausen type creation. Was Sloth's character based on "The Unseen's" Junior? It makes you re-examine Sloth's origin. In "The Goonies", Anne Ramsey's character says that he was dropped on his head as a baby which resulted in his disfigurement. Oh really? Hmmm....  

Sloth and Mongoloid Flounder: separated at birth?

This was a decent movie, I was kept guessing what the hell was going on that's for sure. It's nice that it had a good payoff and a disturbing trip to the outcome. The tone was weirdly comedic but the content was so gross and weird it was hard to laugh at much at it. I think it'd be a good double feature with "Pin", with the weird family secret type of theme connecting those two.

Scarves are a bad idea, it's not even cold out! 

Ahhhaha I got my cigarettes!

I stole a ciggie from Sydney

  Dated January 9, 1980

Watch The Trailer HERE

Watch "The Unseen" HERE

Check out my Etsy shop.  I make and sell a lot of weird one inch buttons and also sell vintage clothes. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alien Prey

Alien Prey (Prey, le zombie venu d'ailleurs, Zombie Came From Elsewhere). Directed By Norman J. Warren Starring Barry Stokes (1978).

As a child there were certain videos on the shelf that freaked me out! Alien Prey was definitely one of them, it has the perfect ghastly VHS box. I mean what the fuck is going on-- a massacre orgy, a ravenous creature that feasts on entrails and menstrual blood? That disturbing image has haunted the dark recesses of my mind for awhile and worst of all, it was always front and center at the video store (since it's in the A's), close to Faces Of Death, Demented and other 80's taboo tapes that made me question what kind of sick depraved creeps would watch such a film. That era was shrouded in misunderstanding and Christian moral majority propaganda and as a kid, I was attracted and repulsed by the horror section. When I grew up of course, I turned into one of the sickos that enjoyed the sleaze and rampant gore. I became obsessed with everything I'd witnessed in various horror sections and made it my goal as a film snob to track down every weird oddity that scared me and see what the fuss was all about. Or just to confirm if what I had seen was more clever marketing than substance. You must remember too, there's no way you could be inconspicuous about your choice of a rental (you'd have to take the blood drenched sex porn up to the counter and face the scrutiny), or even worse, the judgement of other parents and kids, who would look down at you for watching such utter trash! 
Ugh, excuse me madam I'll just put this back in the adults only shelf.


   Now everyone's seedy videostore is Youtube or various streaming sites (some category III films have even been uploaded to porn sites)! You should still support vital DVD companies as well! The virtual world has none of the guilt and stress associated with visiting your local videostore and sadly, the fun is also gone. I mean I'm still flabbergasted that Netflix has monopolized and wiped every physical video store off the planet when they have no idea what they are doing! This isn't a tirade against the future (me being a luddite and all), it's my opinion on the film in question: Alien Prey, that cover has gotten under my skin for quite a while and gave me a mental rash--remind me to get that looked at! 

This Jerky/ Malt Liquor flavored floss is doing wonders for my fangs

  A U.F.O. has dropped a visitor that can clone people immediately, he looks like one of the dudes from The Bay City Rollers with vampire fangs. We first encounter the alien after he kills a couple making out in the woods (where else right)?
The setting is 70's London, two birds (one butch, one nubile) hear about flying saucers on the radio, all of this by the way seems very 50's to me like most space alien sci-fi.
The two main girls Jo and Jessica are vegetarian lesbians in love, who live out in a pastural countryside cottage. I know Jessica played by the adorable Glory Annen from an Ozploitation and Skin-A-Max staple called Felicity. That film opens in an erotic shower scene at a convent, I almost busted the tape rewinding it over and over, but who wants to read about that? 

Just stop it Crank, you're embarrassing us all!

   The being (played by Barry Stokes) has taken on the form of Anders Anderson, a turtle neck sporting guy with a mod haircut, the couple take him in and make him tea. He came up with his stupid name while stammering to think of something quick and is on a mission to chow down on some human "protein".
   Jo (Sally Faulkner) seems to despise men, but Jessica wants to branch out and meet other people. When Anderson starts to show his true form, it's hilarious, his features resemble an angry teddy bear with red eyes and a black nose. As he chases down two cops and eats them, the most amateur sounding casio Intellivision type music plays.
I'd imagine on his home planet, he lives among a race of teddy bear men (or The Berbils from Thundercats).

BZZZZZ Return to your home planet for snuggles Anderson

   The pacing in this film would bore some to tears, it crawls along like a melodrama and doesn't even seem like a horror film (there's that genius marketing at work, nice job). I can handle this kind of pacing and Prey is a nice little underrated film even though sometimes it tries your patience. 
   I'm not surprised that Salvation/Redemption re-released the film on DVD, it has similar qualities to Jean Rollin (who I'm a huge fan of), but is not even in league with that phantasmagoric style. 
   When Jo has a tantrum over her chickens being eaten by Anderson it's really funny, she bleats out a shriek while having a conniption fit. Some of the best scenes are when he tries to eat random animals or downs hot tea, not knowing it will burn his mouth (so much for superior intellect, ya dumb alien)! They celebrate after he pounces on a fox that the girls believe killed the chickens and they dress him up in makeup and give him champagne.

Ashton Kutcher?

   The cover unfortunately is the money shot, so definitely stick around till the end. Had I not expected it, I would've been pleasantly surprised, but since I knew it was coming all along, it kind of sucks that they gave it away. The director Norman J. Warren came out of the British scene of 70's post Hammer and Amicus Films with auteurs like Peter Walker. Warren also made Inseminoid and Satan's Slave. According to an interview he did for, the knife that Jo carried was real and the black swamp where all three of the actors nearly drowned was genuine fear, because some of them couldn't swim! There's a nice plot twist at the end, besides the one you know is coming and even though you get the whole she-bang on the cover, I still recommend the film. Warren does alot with a shoe string budget, a minimal cast and its worth seeking out even if it's a little tedious. 
Fandor is currently streaming the uncut pristine version,don't watch the grainy squiggled one on Youtube.

video store photo taken from a very cool site called

Also Available from Fandor (get a free trial)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shameless Promotion: Lost Weekend Video

LOST WEEKEND, a legendary San Francisco Videostore is in danger of closing and needs your help.
   If you live in California or near the Bay Area, you should support them! Fuck Netflix and streaming (for now), get back in a time machine and help out one of the last video stores because as we all know they are a dying breed!  
   We here at TOG are guilty of being shills for Amazon (it's almost impossible to avoid) but almost half of this site has reviewed many impossible to find rare Asian films that I would've never heard of if it weren't for guys that paved the way for the lazy, spoon fed, internet zombie generation that we've all rapidly evolved into!
   Here are some films that I was exposed to byway of this store, when there were zero formats available, I'm talkin exclusively on VHS ONLY!

Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains: The only copy you could find before the ridiculous Lou Adler kept it in his vault and threatened to never unleash it.

Massacre at Central High: This title is still very rare and was the first time I'd ever heard of the concept of nerds turning psychotic and killing their own kind.

Bad Ronald: No Warner Archives existed yet, no one would touch this with a greasy rake back then, only LWV.

   OK I didn't frequent the store that much but I do live in Oakland and it's a bitch to return them (I had to take a train and everything)! Those were the ones that made a huge impact on me. But I still went out of my way because you couldn't find them in uber cool California where people take everything awesome for granted. TOG is a place for cavemen and luddites to scream at the state on how the internet is destroying Video stores and Bookshops.

   Lost Weekend sells T-shirts as well (I just saw a cool George Romero/Ramones parody logo) and a rare Klaus Kinski fighting Herzog shirt. So please help these guys out if you can, LWV has been around since 1997 and on WEDS everything is 2 bucks, go out and support them.
This concludes our shameless Telethon preachiness and I wouldn't bother if I didn't believe in brick and mortar videostores and hate how Netflix has monopolized everything. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Superstition (1982) d/ James W. Roberson

 photo Superstition_zps381d21f9.jpg


Hey ho, Theatergoers, here's another unrated eighties low budget gore-nucopia from the guy who lensed such horror efforts as So Sad About Gloria (1975) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), famous to me for it's indelible trailer, found at the outset of so many video cassettes I purchased and rented during that glorious era. Otherwise, it's a pretty ordinary vehicle for gory witchery and standard haunted house-ishness, with a few inventive death sequences thrown in for good measure, that might set it apart from others of its bracket, in the critical eyes of discerning hardcore genre freaks.

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If you cook a rubber head in a microwave, will half of it taste like real meat?

   After a pair of teenage pranksters get done in (one's cut in half by a window, the other gets his disembodied domepiece microwaved like a Hot Pocket), we're introduced to Revs. Maier (Stacy Keach, Sr.) and Thompson (James Houghton), who are attempting to renovate the old church-owned place for the next set of victims, errr...tenants, Father Leahy and family, amid the scrutiny of a police investigation led by one Inspector Sturgess (Albert Salmi). There's a sketchy caretaker named Arlan and his witchy gypo of a mother, Elvira, living on the property and arousing suspicion when a police officer mysteriously drowns in the pond while tailing the violent mute. A strange little blond girl turns up all over the place, as a handyman lynches himself in the elevator shaft, while Maier gets impaled to his chair by a runaway circular saw blade.

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"Id cross myself, but I can't afford to lose the fingers...", gurgles Rev. Maier (Stacy Keach, Sr.).
Through Thompson's crack research skills we're treated to a flashback, in 1692, where we meet a vengeance-minded witch condemned to drown for her crimes in the very pond outside the house (jeez, that explains a lot), and a priest is later squashed in a wine press to further illustrate her seriousness. Back in the eighties, Leahy's blonde daughter swims with a severed hand, much like the one she uses to slap the sass out of her brunette sister's bitchy face further down the road. Wives get tossed around by invisible, dark forces like so much pizza dough, pretty heads get impaled on stakes, an English translation of Malleus Maleficarum turns up, as does an improbable sub-basement chamber with obligatory odorific cadaver, and of course, it all wraps up with a twist ending, just the way they used to.

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"Shut your bitchy mouth!": 500 mg of  palm o' granite is a certain cure for sudden sassmouth outbreaks.

James Houghton, who had appeared in things like More American Graffiti (1979), went on to write several episodes of popular television horror anthology, Tales From The Darkside. Billy Jacoby/Jayne of "Bloody Birthday"(1981) fame also shows up here, as do Stacy Keach, Sr. and longtime television staple, Lynn Carlin, who horror fans will recall from her excellent performance in Bob Clark's Deathdream (1972). Maylo McCaslin was a soap opera star and the former wife of Willie Aimes. We'll go right ahead and call this one a two Wopper. Give it a look.

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Sheryl (Maylo McCaslin), suffering from a killer migraine, stakes out a nap for herself.

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Crank here: thanks again B.W. everybody reading this, you are required to visit WOPSPLOITATION at least everyday, it's informative and searingly funny. We here at TOG are honored to have such a talented writer on board!


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