Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Craven Sluck (1967)

Director: Mike Kuchar

Writer: Mike Kuchar

Starring: Foraine Connors, Bob Cowan, George Kuchar, Donna Kerness, Bocko

More info: IMDb

Plot: A bored housewife decides to kill herself. When the suicide attempt fails, she goes cruising for a new lover. She finds a young hipster in the park and they make plans for a rendezvous. But it appears elements both metaphysical and interplanetary are conspiring to keep her unhappy.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I wonder sometimes if shit like this is supposed to make sense.  It's a 21 minute arthouse flick filled with strange images...

beautiful women...

I said, beautiful women...

And hot bitches!!!

That's better.  The music is culminated from various places and it playfulness and quirkiness of it adds to the picture.  After watching SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS (1965) and THE SECRET OF WENDEL SAMSON (1966) I was ready to give up on this one. It's the last of three films on the FLESHAPOIDS DVD. I wouldn't mind hearing some director commentary on this but there isn't one.  Of the three films, it's the best; partly because it's more amusing but mostly because it's the shortest.  I recently came across a documentary on Kuchar.  Maybe that'll help me make some sense of his pictures.  Geez, I hope so.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Ed Brubaker

Composer: Henry Jackman

Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobe Smulders, Frank Grillo, Maximiliano Hernandez, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Stan Lee, Jenny Agutter, Garry Shandling, Gary Sinise

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In heroes we trust.

Plot: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Absolutely!

Great flick.  I like it even more than CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011).  Chris Evans does a bang up job as Caps.  And what's more, I really like this character more than any other in this universe except for Downey's fun as shit portrayal of that character.  I totally dig CA's dedication to do the right thing.  His eternal optimism is inspiring.  It's too bad we don't have this guy on our side in real life.  The entire cast does well with the fantastic story that's cool as shit how they're able to pull from the first film keep it fresh and alive.  LOVE IT!  It really makes me wonder how long they can keep this up, making these films fun and well-crafted from every angle.  I really hope Evans doesn't get tired of this role and leave it.  During the big ass fight at the end, am I the only one who heard the Wilhelm Scream but manipulated and slipped in very subtly?  I'm looking forward to seeing it again.  And I'll be listening.  If it is, it's one clever way of sneaking it in and I'd rather it be done that way instead of hearing it outright and taking me out of the film for a moment.  Damn, I hate that shit.

The Secret of Wendel Samson (1966)

Director: Mike Kuchar

Writer: Mike Kuchar?

Composer: Bob Cowan

Starring: Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Floraine Connors, Maren Thomas, Albert Salzano, Bob Cowan, George Kuchar

More info: IMDb

Plot: A young homosexual artist feels trapped in his life. He feels confused and ashamed about his lifestyle. Unlucky in love, and unable to sufficiently express his emotions, he must resort to seedy one night stands and callous flings. Eventually, the strain is too much and he starts to have a breakdown.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Meh. Experimental cinema is a funny thing.  It's made for art's sake but that doesn't mean dick when it comes to quality regarding the story, acting, structure, etc or even the film as a whole.  Sometimes it's just pretentious artsy fartsy masturbation, the excesses of an ego cut loose.  It can also be difficult to judge a film like this because we're almost fifty years removed from it and having the context of the mid 60s might play a big role.  As it is now, It's mildly entertaining. The pacing struggles sometimes and there's some strange imagery.  Some things make sense and others don't.  Could the director have had his head up his ass or did he genuinely have something to say?  I think it's the latter but it's certainly not interesting enough to want to try and figure it out.  One thing is cool and that's putting a sparkler in the barrel of a machine gun.  I'll have to try that sometime and experiment with strobe lighting.  That could be cool.  Then you'll be asking if I had something to say or was my head up my ass.  Either way...could be.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bad Milo! (2013)

Director: Jacob Vaughan

Writers: Jacob Vaughan, Benjamin Hayes

Composer:Ted Masur

Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Mary Kay Place, Claudia Choi, Toby Huss, Patrick Warburton, Erik Charles Nielsen, Peter Stormare, Kumail Nanjiani, Steve Zizziz, Jake Broder, Stephen Root

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Embrace your inner demon.

Plot: A horror comedy centered on a guy who learns that his unusual stomach problems are being caused by a demon living in his intestines.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

Well this one had a lot of internet hype that oversold the picture by the time I got to it.  I admittedly had higher expectations and on some levels it satisfied.  Marino does a great job as Duncan, the man with the shit problem that just won't go away and there is some great stuff revolving him, his mother and her much younger lover that hat me laughing out loud.  Peter Stormare is hilarious.  The more I see of this guy the more I love. Stephen Root slays me.  The cast does a great job and they're largely the reason to like it but there's something about spots of slow pacing that keeps this from probably getting a repeat watch.  It's playful and fun and a lot of the gags hit their mark.  It kind of reminded my of Frank Henenlotter's BASKET CASE (1982) which reminded me that I love that movie so much that it's a damn shame I haven't seen any of the sequels yet.  As for turd monster movies go, I'm going out on a limb, having not seen any until now, this is probably the best...or number 2 best.

Side by Side (2012)

Director: Christopher Kenneally

Writer: Christopher Kenneally

Composers: Bill Ryan, Brendan Ryan

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Lars von Trier, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Joel Schumacher, Dick Pope, John Malkovich, David Lynch, Dennis Muren, Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan, George Lucas, Richard Linklater, Barry Levinson, David Fincher, James Cameron, Danny Boyle

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A documentary about the science, art, and impact of digital cinema

Plot: Investigates the history, process and work flow of both digital and photochemical film creation. It shows what artists and filmmakers have been able to accomplish with both film and digital and how their needs and innovations have helped push filmmaking in new directions. Interviews with directors, cinematographers, colorists, scientists, engineers and artists reveal their experiences and feelings about working with film and digital. Where we are now, how we got here and what the future may bring.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The bad?  Keanu Reeves (also one of the film's producers) delivers the narration very slowly as if this film was being presented to children.  Really.  Other than that, it's great.  It's a wonderful presentation of how digital film making started and traces the progress over the past forty years.  It also compares what film has been able to accomplish and how the two have divided the industry.  There are loads of interviews of folks in many areas of film making - directors, cinematographers, editors, etc.  We get the pros and cons from both camps and we hear from folks who are die hard proponents on each side along with some who are on the fence and see the need for one or the other or both.  It's clear that digital is going to dominate but there is room for film; there always will be.  With technology developing at such a rapid pace, digital will be the medium for this century as photochemical film was for the last.  It's on Netflix streaming and it's definitely worth your 99 minutes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black Sabbath (1963)

Original title: I Tre Volti della Paura

Director: Mario Bava

Writers: Mario Bava, Alberto Bevilacqua, Ivan Checkhov, Marcello Fondato, F.G. Snyder, Aleksei Tolstoy

Composers: Les Baxter (US version), Roberto Nicolosi (European version)

Starring: Boris Karlof, Michele Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Mark Damon, Susy Andersen, Massimo Righi, Rika Dialina

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This is the night of the nightmare...

Plot: A trio of atmospheric horror tales about: A woman terrorized in her apartment by phone calls from an escaped prisoner from her past; a Russian count in the early 1800s who stumbles upon a family in the countryside trying to destroy a particularly vicious line of vampires; and a 1900-era nurse who makes a fateful decision while preparing the corpse of one of her patients - an elderly medium who died during a seance.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

If there's one thing you can generally say about Bava's pictures is that they look fantastic.  As a former cinematographer, he had a great eye.  I have a feeling that this horror anthology from Italy is going to be better the second time.  I'm almost ashamed that I've only just seen it for the first.  The first two tales are nice but really slow moving.  The third one is a real beaut.  They clearly saved the best for last, plus it's the one that features Karloff in the story and not just as the host who introduces them.  He plays a real bastard, too, making him loads of fun to watch.  The music is wonderful, giving each segment its own style and identity.  That's the Les Baxter score (I dig a lot of this guy's work).  I'd be keen to see the non-US version that has Nicolosi's score. 

Guns (1990)

Director: Andy Sidaris

Writer: Andy Sidaris

Composer: Richard Lyons

Starring: Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez, Bruce Penhall, Cynthia Brimhall, William Bumiller, Devin DeVasquez, Michael J. Shane, Danny Trejo

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Locked, Cocked & Ready To Rock!

Plot: A South American gunrunner uses an island in Hawaii as his base of operations. A squad of beautiful government agents is sent to put him out of business.

My rating:  4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The two previous Andy Sidaris movies I watched were pretty damn fun; stupid and ridiculous but fun as they were intended to be.  So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that Sidaris made a movie with Erik Estrada as the bad guy and Danny Trejo has his henchman.  It sounds like a winning combination, right?  

And then you throw in a few of these...

and a couple of those...

and boy, oh boy, does this look like a winner.  Nope.  It's pretty god damned boring is what it is.  It's an 85 minute ride to Snoozeville, USA.  This picture drags like crazy.  Did I mention Erik Estrada and Danny Trejo are the bad guys?

How do you fuck this up? Had Sidaris brought the sense of fun he had in HARD TICKET TO HAWAII (1987) and MALIBU EXPRESS (1985) to this picture it might have been a whole heck of a lot better.  He should have given Estrada some different direction because he's playing it too straight.  His was a role that screamed for overacting.  The one guy in the picture that hit all of the right tonal marks is this cat.

Michael J. Shane (as magician and assassin, Shane Abilene) was hilarious.  I'd almost recommend seeing this picture just for his performance.  It's not nearly as entertaining as the other two films I saw.  The corny jokes are fewer and the action scenes are less fun and cheesy.  Sure, there's the nudity but that only goes so far.  The biggest letdown is not getting to see an overly campy performance by Estrada in a film that would playfully support it. But this motorcycle didn't have a problem supporting these two from fucking.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sins of the Fleshapoids (1965)

Director: Mike Kuchar

Writers: George Kuchar, Mike Kuchar

Composer:  NA, cues lifted from other films

Starring: Bob Cowan, George Kuchar, Donna Kerness, Maren Thomas, Gina Zuckerman, Julius Middleman

More info: IMDb

Plot:  The survivors of a nuclear war are taken care of by robots called "fleshapoids." One day one of the fleshapoids runs wild, kills its "mistress," and hides in the home of a human female, for whom it begins to develop feelings.

My rating: 6/10

Will I wach it again? No.  

It's weird in that experimental 60s art film sort of way.  Filmed without sound, there's just music and the occasional narration. The dialogue is added as such...

As a film, it's OK.  It's interesting to watch but only up to a point.  I'm a music nerd so much of the fun I had was enjoying the various music cues lifted from other films and classical music. Fans of ALIEN (1979) will recognize the Howard Hanson cue (used during ALIEN's end credits) from his Symphony No. 2.  There's also one of Bernard Herrmann's themes from THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958).  And believe it or not, it's some of the music that hurts the 43 minute film in that some cues (Hanson's & Herrmann's mostly) are used repetitively, growing old pretty quickly.  The ending is about the best part where the girl gives birth to a wind up toy robot (legs are spread and a side view shows us the toy marching out from between her legs).  That was fun.  It's definitely a one-watch film for me but I'm glad I saw it...I think.

Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon (2005)

Original title: Seepage!

Director: Richard Griffin

Writers: Richard Griffin, Lee Smith, Andrew Vellenoweth

Composer: Daniel Hildreth

Starring: Andrew Vellenoweth, Tanith Fiedler, William DeCoff, V. Orion Delwaterman, Adam Jarmon Brown, Leigh Radziwon, Ben Chester, Patrick Pitu, Mary Ann Schaub

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It'll get under your skin...

Plot: A group of college students run afoul of not only a passel of insane, inbred rednecks, but also a humanoid fish monster bent on making chum of them all.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Last year when I was on my Nunsploitation kick, one of the last pictures I saw was Richard Griffith's unbelievably funny NUN OF THAT (2009).  I was so enamored with it that I started buying everything Griffith directed.   I've seen two more since then and they're not even close to inspiring as NUN.  This is one of them.  Woof.  I go into these shoestring budget pictures with lowered expectations anyway.  The acting is all over the place from good to bad, the pacing is slow in spots, the humor is broad, the makeup effects are actually pretty good, there's some nudity (yay, and believe me when I say it helped), the rednecks are stereotypes as if written by the folks at Troma, and the ending was kind of fun.  And like a lot of these, even when the ending is satisfying, it feels like forever getting to it.  An hour in it felt like we were about done but there was another half hour left. It's that kind of slow pacing that can really hurt a picture.  One of my friends who watched it with me really dug it.  But then he hasn't seen NUN OF THAT yet.  See, I know what Griffith is capable of and I realize NUN came a few years after this but then his MURDER UNIVERSITY (2012) suffered from drag and with that picture NUN was a few years behind him.  I'll give the guy credit for being very prolific and I'm sure he absolutely loves what he's doing.  I'm envious.  I would love to make movies.  He just had the gumption to pick up a camera and make it happen while I sit here watching them and getting upset with myself for not. Damn, I need to rectify that.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

Director: Mary Harron

Writers: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner

Composer: Mark Suozzo

Starring: Gretchen Mol, Chris Bauer, Jared Harris, Sarah Paulson, Cara Seymour, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, John Cullum, Normon Reedus, Dallas Roberts, Kevin Carroll, 

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Pin-Up Sensation That Shocked The Nation.

Plot: The story of Bettie Page, uber-successful 1950's pin-up model, one of the first sex icons in America, and the target of a Senate investigation (based on her bondage photos).

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I love the opening with the seamless mixing of the original footage of a busy city sidewalk at night with the 'special' magazine shop.  The 50s jazz score hits all the right notes and it's a great bam-zoom way to open the picture.  We stay in B&W through Bettie's early years as a teen, her days in New York City getting noticed by photographer, Jerry Tibbs (Carroll), and working as a fetish model for Irving and Paula Klaw (Bauer & Taylor).

They do some really neat magazine cover recreations with Bettie (Mol) moving within the cover and text.  It's a really neat effect.  That brief sequence is in color as is another showing a recreation of 8mm home movies.  Then the color pops the moment she goes to Miami to work with Bunny Yeager and it's stunning.

And what's remarkable is how gorgeously period the color is.  The folks behind this deserve a lot of praise.  From this point until the end, whenever she's in Miami we're in color.  Director Mary "AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)" Harron made a top notch picture here.  I almost forgot to mention Gretchen Mol's splendid performance.  One thing I've always loved about Bettie is how playful and happy she always looked.  Mol captures that look and feel perfectly.  She embodied Bettie Page and that's not easy.  What a fun picture.  Highly recommended.

The Holcroft Covenant (1985)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Writers: Robert Ludlum, George Axelrod, Edward Anhalt, John Hopkins

Composer: Stanislas Syrewicz

Starring: Michael Caine, Anthony Andrews, Victoria Tennant, Lilli Palmer, Mario Adorf, Michael Lonsdale, Bernard Hepton, Richard Munch, Carl Rigg, Andre Penvern, Andy Bradford, Shane Rimmer, Alexander Kerst, Michael Wolf, Hugo Bower

More info: IMDb

Tagline:Noel Holcroft is suddenly heir to one of the greatest fortunes in history.  Now, all he has to do is stay alive to collect it.

Plot: Noel Holcroft is a foreign-born American citizen working in New York as an architect. In Geneva he meets with a respected Swiss banker who tells him he has been designated to be executor of a huge 4 1/2 billion dollar trust fund designed to make reparations for the war crimes of the Nazis. Holcroft's father, who committed suicide in 1945, was a key Hitler financial advisor who became conscience-stricken about German war atrocities, turned against the Fuehrer, and covertly diverted Nazi funds to a secret Swiss account. Under the terms of the covenant Holcroft must locate the sons of his father's two associates so they can jointly activate their fathers' account. They battle the sinister forces seem to be trying to prevent them from signing the document as it is believed that it will be used to establish a Fourth Reich.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Aw, hell, no.

Wow.  This is downright embarrassing.  When you consider the talent surrounding this picture it's staggering that it's so undercooked and amateurish.  All of the screenwriters and Frankenheimer are far better than this.  There are some bright spots with some of the cast. Caine does a fine job as usual.  I guess you could say he comes off best.  And you've got two James Bond alumni with Michael Lonsdale and Shane Rimmer.  Nice.  And how about Mario Adorf?  Yes!  The music score is horrendous.  It's low-grade slasher horror synthesizer nonsense and most of it (it did get better in the last twenty minutes, really, it got better only in the final minutes of the picture) is pretty awful.

Probably the most hilariously bad scene is the press conference.  It's so unrealistic and goofily handled I couldn't help but laugh.  Where does the bad stem from?  Is it Ludlum's novel?  Is it that bad that it was this difficult to translate onto the screen?  It's a simple story made more complicated than it needed to be as if to take a paint-by-numbers kit and attempt to turn it into a photo-realistic painting or as if Bozo the Clown wanted to be taken seriously as an actor.  They tried too hard with too little and it's too bad for us.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)

Director: Andy Sidaris

Writer: Andy Sidaris

Composer: Gary Stockdale

Starring: Ronn Moss, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Harold Diamond, Rodrigo Obregon, Cynthia Brimhall, Patty Duffek, Wolf Larson, Lory Green, Rustam Branaman

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This Ain't No Hula!

Plot: Two drug enforcement agents are killed on a private Hawaiian island. Donna and Taryn, two operatives for The Agency, accidentally intercept a delivery of diamonds intended for drug lord Seth Romero, who takes exception and tries to get them back. Soon other Agency operatives get involved, and a full-scale fight to the finish ensues, complicated here and there by an escaped snake made deadly by having eating cancer-infected rats!!!

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

It's an Andy Sidaris flick.  I love stories with lots of plot. At one minute eleven seconds in...

BAM!  This guy knows how to make a movie!  He also puts in awful songs while people do mundane things like fly around Hawaii.  Get on with the story, damnit!

That's more like it.  Did someone mention plot?  Here's some more of it...

This picture is loaded with plot, bad acting, worse jokes and puns and more but most of it is pretty fun.  Check this shit out!

That scene alone (and don't forget about all of the plot in the picture, natural and enhanced) is worth buying this DVD set off Amazon for less than five bucks (12 freaking movies!!!).  The only issue, really, is there's too much story and time wasted between the, ahem, plot and kick ass action scenes.  Trimming this down 10-15 minutes would help.  It's a great flick to slap in for a party.  It's not the home run it could have been but is sure is a fuck load better than it deserves.  I dug it.  And another thing, for a guy who made a bunch of low budget goofy picture, he sure didn't skimp on imagination when it came to the opening credits.  He gets major points for even going the extra six feet to do something different.

Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writers: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick, Nechama Tec

Composer: James Newton Howard

Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein, Tomas Arana, Jodhi May, Kate Fahy, Iddo Goldberg, Iben Hjejle, Martin Hancock

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

OK, I liked that there's a good deal of non-English spoken by not just some of the smaller characters but by the leads Craig and Schreiber.  It sounded legit to me but then again I don't speak Russian or whatever.  The only thing I know is "moose and squirrel".  And Craig and Schreiber do a fine job in their roles.  But I couldn't help but feel throughout the entire picture that the real story was far more interesting than what's being shown on the screen.   The film makers probably had a hell of a time trying to keep the audience from being bored of shooting in essentially one location, the forest.  Then there's the Hollywood refugee look.  For folks who lived in the forest for months and years they sure didn't look it.  Everyone looked just right.  The hair, position of the clothing, hats, etc.  It looked like there was someone behind the scenes making sure things were in place...and there was, of course; it's just that we shouldn't think about it.  It's supposed to be invisible. The cliches are all over the place.  Largely, it was OK and just this side of dull.  It was hardly the compelling story it felt like it was trying to be. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mr. No Legs (1979)

Director: Ricou Browning

Writer: Jack Cowden

Composer: ???

Starring: Richard Jaeckel, Ted Vollrath, Rance Howard, Ron Slinker, Lloyd Bochner, Joie Chitwood, John Agar, Courtney Brown, Joan Murphy, Luke Halpin, Billy Blueriver, Jim Kelly

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Don't Cross Him or He'll Cut You Down to Size

Plot: Meet Mr. No Legs! Deadly professional hit-man for a drug syndicate... and a limbless cripple! With his cool wheelchair, armed with shotguns and shurikens, and his amazing kung fu skills he means trouble for everyone he confronts, even his own boss! Things get ugly when a unlucky drug dealer kills his girl by an accident, especially because the girl's brother is a cop! And No Legs apparently have his own plans how to take over the whole business.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.


What a great poster!  What a great tagline!  What a great idea!  What an amazing title!!!  Too bad it's slow as fuck and there's very little 'no legs' action.   Sure, Mr. No Legs gets a couple of lines but Mr. No Legs doesn't do jack squat until one hour in, leaving you 25 minutes left in the picture.  It's a great ass kicking scene but a picture sold to the public like it was deserves more.

8 minutes later he shows up at a warehouse to take care of the bad guys with his tricked out wheelchair complete with machine guns and ninja stars only to be gunned down dead within seconds?!?!  We've still got almost 20 minutes to go!  The music score is cheap and often feels out of place. I've seen this 2 or 3 times already and each time I think it's going to get better but it doesn't.  I REALLY want to like this film but when the titular character has less than ten minutes of screen time and he's barely being used to his full potential, you've got to question the film makers' salt.  Director Browning was previously known for working with animals, directing episodes of FLIPPER (1964) and GENTLE BEN (1967).  Take a few seconds and read about Ted Vollrath, the man who was Mr. No Legs.  He was an admirable man. 

The Garden (2006)

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Sam Bozzo

Composer: Jon Lee

Starring: Lance Henriksen, Brian Wimmer, Adam Taylor Gordon, Claudia Christian, Sean Young, Victoria Justice, Erik Walker, Ariana Richmond, Jennifer Lutheran, Rick Barker, Shawn Howell, Dale Gibson, Mike Watson, Tad Griffith, Danielle McKee, P. David Miller, Lonnie Partridge

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Armageddon is at hand and the final prophecy is about to be fulfilled.

Plot: A troubled young boy and his father on a road trip stumble upon a rural farm where the elderly owner has sinister plans for the both of them involving witchcraft and evil.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nah.

Neat little flick.  Lance Henriksen's doing a fine job; the rest of the cast, too.  The story might feel a little slow but as you get closer to the end it ramps up to a violent and bloody finale.  And it's not the ending that was fulfilling so much as the final act when things started to make more sense and the story was readying for the climax.  It's a nice picture with a score that creeps along in the background.  Anchor Bay released here in the States and the disc comes with a few extras including a commentary track with director Don Michael Paul.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Nekromantik 2 (1991)

Director: Jorg Buttgereit

Writers: Jorg Buttgereit, Franz Rodenkirchen

Composers: Hermann Kopp, Monika M., John Boy Walton

Starring: Monika M., Mark Reeder, Lena Braun, Jorg Buttgereit, Carola Ewers, Astrid Ewerts, Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Kathe Kruse

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Return of the loving dead!

Plot: A female nurse desperately tries to hide her feelings of necrophilia from her new boyfriend, but still has pieces of the corpse of the first movie's hero in her possession.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

This one picks up right where NEKROMANTIK (1988) left off.

Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001)

Director: Sam Irvin

Writers: Cassandra Peterson, John Paragon

Composer: Eric Allaman

Starring: Cassandra Peterson, Richard O'Brien, Mary Scheer, Scott Atkinson, Heather Hopper, Mary Jo Smith, Gabi Andronache, Jerry Jackson, Theodor Danetti, Lucia Maier, Constantin Cotimanis, Remus Cernat, Mark Pierson, Rob Paulsen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Evil. Terror. Lust.  Some girls really know how to party!

Plot: Set back in 1851 in the Carpathia Mountains of Romania, Elvira the Mistress of the Dark" en route to Paris with her maidservant Zou Zou for a can-can revue, stop for the night at a haunted castle owned by a certain Vladimir Hellsubus whose long dead wife bears an eerie resemblance to Elvira.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I really dig Cassandra Peterson.  She's sharp, she's a B-movie nerd and she's fucking hilarious.

OK, that, too.

Her comedic timing and sense of humor is tops.  She takes stupid, corny jokes and makes them funny.  Yeah, she's not for everyone's taste but, for my money, she delivers the goods.  I laughed quite a bit but the picture does suffer from a little drag now and then.  It could use some trimming for sure but at its core, it's a fun, sweet homage to the Roger Corman Poe pictures of the sixties.  The sets are amazing and the setting of mid-nineteenth century Romania is fantastic.  And how about Scott Atkinson's (as Dr. Bradley Bradley) superb George Sanders impersonation?  Holy shit was that fantastic! You can tell this is a labor of love for Peterson.  She sunk her own money into this when no studio would touch it.  They might have been right that this could be a hard sell to audiences but then I'm glad she made it anyway.  I should probably get my hands on some of her TV show episodes.  That was some really funny stuff.  She's super talented and it's a damn shame she's not still active with Elvira.  It's a wonderfully creative character that's so entertaining it should last forever, even past her eventual death.  They could do a TALES FROM THE CRYPT Crypt Keeper kind of thing.  I'll volunteer to work the metal rods to move her arms and shit.  Why not?