Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Deathwish Club (Aka Gretta)

Deathwish Club (Aka Gretta, Carnival of Fools, The Darkside to Love), Starring Meridith Haze, Directed by John Carr. (1983). VHS cover taken from bruceholecheck's site 

So here we go again, in a painstaking effort to review everything associated with the cheesy sleazy jigsaw puzzle that is Night Train To Terror, TOG brings you Death Wish Club aka Gretta! Until Scream Your Head Off surfaces, this will be the last nail in hodgepodge coffin of new wave tards and Bull from Night Court zaniness. This is available as a DVD extra on the Vinegar Syndrome disc and on Fandor.

I've become a Fandor junkie (or a devout Fandorian), ever since Skunkape got in that accident where the porn mob broke his haunches for downloading an unreleased  copy of Frankenpenis 2: The Search For More Lube! Poor ape, everybody send him a Halmark card! Sidenote about Fandor, make sure you visit my pal countfink's page for brilliant and hilarious short reviews of movies you need to check out. Link here.

All I remember from the snippets re-edited into the other movie were the adorable babe who plays Gretta, she looks like Caroline Munro's sexy teenage sister. Also a Lionel Richie looking dude who turns into a puppet and a lesbian who resembled Dave Foley (who may or may not be the protagonist), read on for more info.

This film offers a lot of scummy carnival locations, a hokey voice over, lots of sex clubs and adult book stores.  Glen (Rick Barnes) becomes obsessed with the title character played by Meridith Haze after seeing her in a stag film and quickly tracks her down. The horny way Gretta behaves, with her really crass, lewd and obnoxious mouth seems tailor made for an 80's Dark Bros porn. This movie has no hardcore penetration, just occasional gratuitous beaver shots. 

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The gay stereotypes that surface are pretty offensive and belong in a Troma flick. The narrator guy starts off by saying psychical love bores me and acts like Little Richard in that he wants to see people have sex while he watches like some kind of cuckold. By the way the VHS cover looks like a fake Robin Williams is aping James Bond or an unreleased Atari game staring Bill Maher as a secret Leisure Suit Larry agent.

I'm trying to recreate that banana porn that's haunted crank all these years

George buys off Gretta at a carnival shoving dollars down her shirt, she seems like a hot-tard and at one point squeaks "I'm a fish" while naked in the tub. She also likes to play the piano in a club without pants, she's pretty goddamn adorable actually. The whole plot line apparently is based on a story by Erskine Caldwell but from what I've dug up, it hardly resembles the source material.

The female title character uses Glen, who's sickly infatuated with her even though she's still loyal to George the narrator. They all hang out at a rundown psychic friends network or "The Death Wish Club". You'd think Charles Bronson would at least take a break from killing punks with poison canolli's or Wildey handguns to make a special guest appearance!

Sowy Chawliey only grade A tuna!

One black dude played by Mark E. Ridley is all decked out in a Prince Purple Rain style get up. I feel like Michael Steele, the chairman of the RNC dressed this way in the 80's. I was really pissed off when this character didn't transform into a puppet as he gets electrocuted like in the re-edited version! When you compare both films however, they just fade out before the latex gore animatronic corpse with chattering teeth, which disintegrates into a headless puddle shows up. They also left the claymation fly out of another scene. I'm confused by why the fuck they even left those great parts out?

Glen I guess is a mortician, they establish that halfway through the movie and just think this one wasn't attacked with scissors and re-edited like Night Train! Everything abruptly shifts gears during the second act. The main bitchy protagonist it turns out is the lesbian Dave Foley! Her knew alter ego is Charlie White wearing a bowl haircut wig, she has the same goth look as man servant Hecubus from that Satanic Horror show with Simon Milligan from The Kids in the Hall.


The dialogue in the second half tries to be all film noir (gimme a steak and a bourbon!) and for some reason the male alter ego of Gretta doesn't remember that she's a female. Glen's fucked up plan is to rape her and hopefully she'll recall that she's not a man! I mean that's mind bogglingly offensive but yes it does happen! He even attacks a blonde in bed without realizing it's not his object of lust and of course she's totally fine with it. Stupid Glen goes to all kinds of ridiculous lengths to trigger her memory. What I don't get is why he even wants to turn her back, she was the worst! I guess you could chalk it up to the fact that it was based on a hardboiled pulp novel, I dunno.


Practically everyone that worked on this film were never seen or heard from again, check milk cartons readers and let us know if you find them. I know this is in bad taste but what the fuck do I know about "good" taste, I think Haze should've gone into porn and at least given 80's adult audiences their hardcore fantasy of seeing Caroline Munro get all kinky, she could've had a nice career, oh well! If you're a total NTTT completist go for it, all others play Pokemon Go and fall off the nearest shark infested pier.


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