Monday, October 10, 2016


Some of you may be aware that I now reside in the location of HILLBILLIES IN A HAUNTED HOUSE and a few Altman films aka Nashville! At this very week I'm actually making my escape from the suburbs of Franklin, a white privilege, Disney-fied conservative utopia to a more Liberal, diverse location, fingers crossed things turn out better! I used to live in Oakland but am confined here for awhile until it gets less expensive in the Bay Area. Enough of my yakking though lets boogie!

Ahhhh-- LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET, what can I say, I love this flick! If you haven't read my review from a few years ago click this link. It's mind boggling to me that this scuzzy, surrealistically unpleasant lowbrow flick played at The Belcourt theatre, I was out of my skull excited, but did anyone else appreciate it? I'm not entirely sure; let me rundown all the things that went on that night worth mentioning. 

There was a super fun theme related drink called "It's Only A Drink", hearkening to the Wes Craven tag line, which was also borrowed from Dave Friedman and H.G. Lewis' trailer for COLOR ME BLOOD RED (which went "It's just a picture, keep telling yourself"). 
Like my Humanities teacher once said, "The best artists steal but no one notices"!

The first time this movie was broken down, analyzed and eviscerated (like Nancy Palmer on the operating table was) in the infamous Deep Red Horror Handbook. Chas spoke about how it was required viewing, convincing me to order the bootleg in high school, which in turn warped Skunkape's mind when I let him borrow it. Let's be crystal clear if it weren't for Balun raving about it, not many would've heard of this movie. That's why Barrel Entertainment got him to record one of the most legendary commentary tracks along with Roger Watkins (both are sadly deceased now and the world is worse off)! Later on that led to the DVD which is now out of print. That commentary session was moderated by John Szpunar, author of Xerox Ferox and the upcoming book "Blood Sucking Freak, The Life and Films of Joel M. Reed. "

In the pre-internet days everything surrounding this ghastly alleged snuff film was all still speculation because no one knew that Terry Hawkins (Roger Watkins), the main actor was also behind the camera until he revealed this on a message board in the early aughts. 

So here's what went down, I hit the road with my LHODES Rotten Cotton shirt (CLICK LINK TO BUY ONE), which everyone was knocked for a loop--half impressed and slightly weirded out that I was such a diehard fan. None of the kids that worked there had seen the film yet, but I convinced them that it was "gnarly as fuck" and depressing! The dude at the candy counter wondered if it was similar to an Argento film and I said "No, that's too glossy, think more grimy". I bumped into a new friend that I had made last week during the last midnight screening named Chad R., who was the only other person who got there early enough to catch the pre-show of whacked out trailers and related short films. 

Both of us in an empty theater instantly reminded me of the time I saw the afternoon premiere of NIGHTBREED at the Coral Springs Mall theater in Florida. The guy seeing the Clive Barker film yelled "WHAT TIME IS IT?" from the last seat all the way against the wall and it spooked me a little, I'm fairly certain he bailed after that. 

I go well with those Red Lobster cheddar biscuits 

They showed a silent surrealistic foreign short that I didn't catch the name of, which had close-up shots of statue faces (similar to the opening of Dead End St. perhaps)? Next a tripped out Satanic acid soaked propaganda short called "Virgin Sacrifice," which actually steals footage from the last midnight movie I watched "I DRINK YOUR BLOOD", another favorite of mine. Then came an extended prevue for THE WIZARD OF GORE (as a split second tribute to H.G. Lewis, R.I.P.).

Two cute girls in front, who had a Manson/ hickster thing going on, I couldn't tell, it was dark. One quipped that she thought Roger Watkins' acting style was on the level of Tommy Wiseau--now that's one of the most off base comments I can fathom in reaction to this, but that's what my ears picked up.

The slice and dice overdubs and especially the genuine slaughterhouse footage caused one of the females to throw up her hands in a "Gimme a fucking break" sort of motion and then she mentioned that she is a meat eater. I'm guessing she felt hypocritical at that remark.


The print that Vinegar Syndrome presented had some noticeable differences from the bootleg version and the restored out of print DVD. First of all the Ken Fisher digging into the entrails went on a lot longer in the beginning and at the "operation table" portion. The music during Terry's seduction of Nancy Palmer was groovy and lightened up the moment, it's called Cybernetic Fast. The wah-wah guitar almost gave it a cheesy 70's porn vibe, which is in total contrast to the frenetic darkness that envelopes this entire freak-out.

Is it inappropriate if i sing I AM YOUR DENTIST right now?

Two dudes behind me, who had giant tubs of popcorn cackled a few times, I was actually delighted to see this noticeable response and I gotta hand it Trashville theater goers, you have more of a sense of humor than the "pindrop" silence I've endured in the past during a few 80's slashers like MANIAC and THE BURNING at a screening of my favorite SF theater The Castro, I hate to say. Don't fret Oakland buds, I'd still saw my own foot off with a rusty hacksaw to live in the Bay again!

I still think the party scene with the hunchback, minstrel show and kid bringing out the whip on a pillow like a hotel mint is uncomfortably hysterical--it's just very surreal. Roger Watkins is a student of surrealism and takes this shit seriously, but he pretty much is a speed freak porn director who branched out and created one of the nastiest horror flicks imaginable and totally nailed it! Besides Joe D' Amato who else can claim that title? On the big screen, I did notice profuse chomping at air, open maws and it seems like all the actors were zonked out on heavy drugs, I wonder if this level of commitment would've existed without it? The chanting was more audible to me and I forget how the dialogue is repeated and kind of goes in waves of "I'm making a movie, I'm directing this fucking MOOVVIIIEEE". The last 40 minutes are almost excruciatingly hostile and disturbing, everyone seemed captivated until the last eyeball was popped. The thumping bass of the heartbeats were seriously loud!

I didn't let any of the snarky comments ruin my experience and it was fun to see people's reactions and I can't wait to check out the next midnight show which is THE GREASY STRANGLER (which looks like if Todd Solonz tried to do a porn parody of FROM BEYOND). Looking forward to that!


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