Everything has sucked majorly huge balls lately. Half of the time we can’t muster the give a shit to watch a movie let alone sit down & bang out a bunch of stupid fucking words. We wanted to pull off a joint retrospective and recap what’s been flooding our eye sockets but as usual I roll in a day late & a few reviews short. Duane meets his deadlines so his crop is up first. Those last three whining & bitching reviews? All mine.
I love you sluts like cancer. *kisses* – Jocelyn
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) – Akira Kurosawa’s quintessential samurai epic speaks for itself. As influential and universally lauded as it is, I found myself coming away from it a tad deflated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a magnificent film in all aspects – from the robust character development to Kurosawa’s innovative and spectacular camerawork Seven Samurai is one of the most imitated films in cinema for very good reason. The inherent humor sprinkled throughout – albeit sparsely – took me out of the film at times, and I wish that the carnage/violence was more ostentatious, but considering the year it was released I suppose those gripes are somewhat unfair. The 207 minute running time might be slightly daunting for many viewers, but this is a film that demands to be viewed in one sitting so take that into consideration if you’re one of the few who have not spent any time with this one yet. In my opinion, it’s a tad overrated, and doesn’t hold a candle to Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri. Regardless, this is essential viewing.
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) – Whoever in holy fuck decided that this was the best horror film of 2014 should have their head examined. I suspected this was going to be a disappointment given all the hype and it definitely was. I’ve seen only a handful of films from Australia that didn’t suck and this one surely didn’t change my opinion on the matter. There’s an interesting premise – a widow reads her son a strange storybook that invokes a supernatural boogeyman that terrorizes her household – but the performances by those involved hinder any attempt to truly appreciate that. Also: the fucking kid is one of the most irritating little trolls I have ever suffered. I was ready to put my boot through the TV about 5 minutes into his wretched wide-eyed caterwauling and incessant mewling. If writer/director Jennifer Kent’s goal was to provoke the viewer to thoughts of paedocide then well done! HATE. Avoid this vastly overrated piece of shit at all costs.
The Devil’s Men (aka Land of the Minotaur) (Kostas Karagiannis, 1974) – Donald Pleasence (Halloween II) and Peter Cushing (The Beast Must Die) playing opposite each other as a priest and devil cult leader is pretty much a no-brainer for awesomeness. When a group of archaeologists go missing at the hands of an evil cult, a local priest enlists a private detective to aid him in putting a stop to the evildoers once and for all. Pleasance and Cushing are always on their game and the performances from the supporting cast couldn’t be better. The Devil’s Men is an exceedingly watchable film full of foreboding scenery, ogle-worthy cheesecake, and human sacrifice. You can’t really go wrong here. Look for Jane Lyle and Jessica Dublin in Nico Mastorakis’ wonderful little sickie Island of Death as well! Fair warning: the theme song will get stuck in your head for weeks. Genre fans should seek this one out ASAP.
Hannah, Queen of the Vampires (aka Crypt of the Living Dead) (Julio Salvador, Ray Danton, 1973) – Andrew Prine (The Centerfold Girls) butts heads with Mark Damon (Byleth – El Demonio Del Incesto) in this story of an ancient vampire imperiling a nearby village after her tomb is unearthed during an archaeological dig. Television model Teresa Gimpera (Night of the Devils) is gorgeous as Hannah the vampire queen, but was plainly not hired for her acting prowess as she doesn’t utter a single word – all she manages to do is change her lipstick constantly. Prine and Damon both do a fantastic job as is expected, and the film exudes a wonderfully creepy atmosphere. With a shocking finale and some unconventional trappings Hannah, Queen of the Vampires proves to be an underrated and charming film.
The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber, 1976) – The director of classic blaxploiter The Black Six returns to give us this flaccid tale of an abused woman who can’t seem to separate reality from the horrors she suffered as a child, culminating in a spree of murders and mutilation. While that all sounds great, The Witch Who Came from the Sea has little to offer in terms of sleaze, shocks, or even murder. Had the film followed through with any of its promises it could have been a wholly different affair. However, since much of the mayhem occurs off-screen, there’s very little plot to speak of and the ending is a nonsensical jumble of failure, making The Witch Who Came from the Sea a tedious exercise at best.
El Vampiro y el Sexo (aka “The Vampire & the Sex” – René Cardona, 1969) – This is a film with a rich & interesting history and let me just go ahead & say that it’s the best Santo film I’ve ever seen. Actually, wait. It’s the best Santo film that YOU will ever see. I promise.
So, this is actually a super rare little beast. It’s the same film as Santo and Dracula’s Treasure only this one has some sweet softcore scenes added to better appeal to the European market. Also this version is in rich, glorious color while the tame version is black & white. The plot is pretty much identical to The Aztec Mummy – Santo invents a time machine, sends his hot girlfriend back to a past life where she hooks up with Dracula (& his bevy of bare-breasted beauties! There is so much gorgeous tit flesh on display you will DIE) & discovers his hidden cave full of awesome treasure.
Santo & the gang go back in time to save sexy-pants from getting staked & decide to try snagging said treasure…only wait! A hooded bad guy has been watching (through the window, no less) what’s been going on this whole time so he takes his gang of thugs back in time to try to defeat Santo & steal Dracula’s treasure. There’s tons of wrestling, tons of nonsense, typical Mexican humor (they patented the “scaredy-cat getting thrust into danger” plot point) lots of loose ends & more gorgeous women, naked breasts & tit sucking than you will ever see in any Santo film in your life. This is it, kids. The HOLY GRAIL – the one & only sleazoid Santo film ever made & if you consider yourself a fan on any level you need to track this baby down & give her a spin. My eyes were glued to the screen from the moment I pressed play; it packs so much wow-factor that my mouth was literally hanging open.
Dig if you will the picture: Imagine a long line of gorgeous 60s beauties with all that makeup & big hair…naked save for sheer robes as Dracula slowly moves down the line branding them all with his bat-ring, only first he has to remove each peignoir as the camera zooms in allowing us to admire each big, beautiful set of tits. Oh, God, I’m fucking hard just thinking about it. God damn, I love this movie. God damn, I love tits!
Night of the Demons (Adam Gierasch, 2009) – Who can pass up a bloated & irritable Edward Furlong in a shitty remake of a classic 80s horror flick? It’s not even so much a remake because the only thing it shares with the original is the title & basic concept. Gierasch put his own spin on things while paying homage to the original (Linnea Quigley cameos in her famous pink tutu & panty shot, there’s a play on the infamous nipple/lipstick scene, nods to costumes of original characters, etc.) but the film suffers from phoned-in acting & too much shitty CGI. The hokey sped up cam bullshit severely detracts & leaves you feeling like you’re trapped inside the worst 90s nu-metal video ever.
Everyone knows of my love affair with the female form & most notably my tit-obsession, but the boobies in this film were so blatantly let’s-get-the-teen-boy-market-by-putting-all-the-girls-in-slutty-Halloween-costumes it was just pretty gross. There’s a certain charm to that kind of mentality when it’s something vintage but to be pulling that bullshit in this day & age reeks of a total disrespect for the audience. Story-wise, I guess it wasn’t terrible & there were a few gross-out scenes that were kinda fun. I also appreciated the hot demon-sex action which (obviously) included anal. The main doe-eyed blondie from Freddy vs. Jason reprises her role as final girl & manages to maintain her confusing aura – meaning that I feel mild sexual arousal laced with disgust that’s peppered with annoyance.
Also! If you’re going to try to pay homage to the Angela/Bauhaus dancing scene… either go balls out or don’t bother. Not only do they butcher the fuck out of Black No. 1 by Type O Negative but Shannon Elizabeth moves like a drugged horse & the “erotic” crescendo plays out timid & stilted. I’m not entirely sorry that I watched this but a revisit is not in my future.
Hellgate (1989; William A. Levey) – Imagine a movie that boasts not only its “star power” but also its “hunky leading man” in the form of Horshack (Ron Palillo – Welcome Back Kotter, Friday the 13th Part VI). I’ve never seen a movie try so hard to spin shit into gold. First of all he’s fucking 2’4” and sashays around like he’s tasted more than his fair share of balls but inexplicably every woman he comes in contact with falls in love with him — including the resurrected undead daughter of some dude who runs a ghost-town. I know, what?! But wait, it gets much, much worse!
In flashback (I wrote backflash first, FYI) they show her get killed by this marauding biker “gang” & the dad manages to find a magic crystal (uh huh) & he gets the bright idea to bring his beautiful daughter back to life but not without testing its powers first! He experiments by reanimating a giant turtle that bites his face all up which he mends with metal plates. This fucking hunk of shit couldn’t be more senseless. It bounces back & forth from the 50s to the 80s & each era looks the same. Surprise, the acting is atrocious. There are a handful of tits on screen but they’re either hack-job cockeyed implants or the kind that could’ve just as easily been on a 12 yr old boy. The sole surviving biker gears up for some revenge & they do nothing but continually pan back to him sharpening the same axe for what feels like an extremely painful 30 minutes. When it tries to be funny it’s infuriating, when it tries to be scary it’s stupid. Hatred actually crystallized in my body during the 91 minute runtime; no amount of vodka will allow me to drink this experience away. Fuck this piece of shit.
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