Sunday, March 30, 2008

Zombi 3 Magic the Gathering Card

click to enlarge.
Magic the Gathering (c) Wizards of the Coast.

Chilling Classics #4/50 - Snowbeast (1977)

director: Herb Wallerstein
starring: Bo Svensen, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Logan

Made-for-TV. Words to strike fear into your heart. And it will be the only fear this snoozer generates. It even has those built in fade-to-black for commercial moments, usually after a decidedly un-cliffhangy scene ends. Bloated to maximum length to allow for more commercial spots, heavy on boring character development and light on snowbeasts, this one should help you fall asleep, no matter how stressful your day has been. Over-the-counter insomnia aids are wasting a golden opportunity by not releasing this on DVD. Sominex presents: Snowbeast. Warning: do not view this movie while operating heavy machinery.

To be completely fair, the Snowbeast costume doesn't look too terribly bad, what little we actually see of it. There are a couple furry paw shots here and there, and a fleeting glimpse of the monster's face at the pulse-lowering climax. Even after the beast has been killed, we never see it. Only a trail of blood and ruffled snow as the actors peer woefully over the ski slope, watching their careers tumble down.

About the only enjoyment you can derive from this is matching up each character and plot point with its correlating element from Jaws.

This clip makes Snowbeast look way better than it is.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Diarrhea of the Dead

Leigh Ann and I were talking tonight, and came up with the concept to have Grady on the toilet for a fake trailer. I'll be damned if someone else didn't already have the same concept. I must say, it's not exactly what I had in mind, but this is pretty funny.

Diarrhea of the Dead

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chilling Classics #3/50 - Bad Taste (1987)

Anyone remotely interested in my site should already be familiar with Peter Jackson's (Lord of the Rings, Dead Alive) first film - the story of an army of incompetent aliens who invade a small coastal town and pack the inhabitants in cardboard boxes for food. Bad Taste was shot over a period of years with Jackson's mates from work, and already demonstrates his considerable talent for practical special effects and the usage of models. Hilariously gory and filled with memorable gags, this is a bona fide cult classic, and truly doesn't deserve to be included on this collection where it resides alongside the likes of Oasis of the Zombies. I already own the restored Anchor Bay version, but this film doesn't really require a pristine presentation, so if you don't already have it - this is one of the hidden gems you'll come across within Chilling Classics.

Jackson himself appears in a dual role, both as one of the invading aliens and a member of the 'task force' sent to take them down. The performances all around are quite funny, taking into account that no one involved in the film was a professional actor, so far as I know.

From a man who keeps stuffing pieces of his brain back into his split-open skull cap, to aliens who are conveniently disguised as guys wearing all denim, to an extended cartoonish machine gun fight, to a sheep becoming the unintended target of a rocket launcher - there is something here for every B-movie fan.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chilling Classics #2/50 - Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon (1973)

aka the Mansion of Madness

Director: Juan Lopez Moctezuma
Starring: Claudio Brook, Arthur Hansel

Based on a short by Edgar Allen Poe, this was the first film directed by Jodorowski protege Juan Lopez Moctezuma. Moctezuma is probably best known for his surrealistic possession film, Alucarda. I saw Alucarda a while back and hated it. Mostly I just remember a possessed girl screaming at the top of her lungs.

This is not so much a horror film, as a strange journey through an asylum that is being run by the inmates, but there are some murders and a rape along the way. A journalist visits the asylum and somehow does not seem to realize anything is amiss, when it is completely obvious to the viewer. He walks by obliviously, idly chatting with the asylum director, as an inmate is chased and beaten with sticks by some of the other patients. Once the asylum's 'security' guards jokingly attempt to fling him from a rope ladder, he begins to catch on.

A friend and I were discussing how these seventies movies have some kind of inherent creepiness to them, almost in spite of themselves. Something about the look of the film, the washed out colors, the faded black tones. I don't know what it is. Perhaps it just reminds of watching some weird old horror movie on TV that creeped us out as children. To this day, I remember watching Let's Scare Jessica To Death with my mom and being freaked out by the red-haired woman rising Ophelia-like out of the lake.

In any case, the idea of a decrepit mental ward out in the middle of the woods is a little disquieting, and there are moments of uneasiness here. But like most of the movies in the Chilling Classics set, it suffers from a subpar transfer, that at times leaves you straining your eyes to figure out what is going on, and I ended up stopping this one at about the halfway point, only to skip through it a couple days later to complete this mini-review. This is a competently made film, but I found myself getting sleepy not too far into it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chilling Classics #1/50 - Devil Times Five (1974)

Director: Sean MacGregor
Starring: Leif Garrett, Sorrell Brooke, Gene Evans

Following a snow storm, a bus from the local mental ward overturns and five acutely psychotic children escape to prey on some vacationing couples at a nearby resort.

I must admit this one held my interest for the most part. There is some cheesiness here and there, but there are also some stylishly disturbing moments.

Most notable is the first murder of a man in a toolshed. The film switches to high contrast black and white, as the children beat him to death with hammers, a pitchfork, a chain and other blunt instruments. This is a nasty bit of work, and the entire sequence is shown in slow motion, making every blow the man takes seem more painful. One of the children is dressed as a nun, and the ghostly visage of her bringing a sledge hammer down is effectively eerie. Unfortunately the transfer is not too great, and it is very difficult to see exactly what is happening.

Also memorable is when the kids pour a bucketful of piranhas into a woman's bubble bath as one of them holds her underwater. All ridiculousness aside, it looks like they at least used real fish for the scene, and it is something you don't see every day in what is essentially a slasher film.

Normally, I find myself rooting for the bad guys, but, being proudly vasectomized, I wanted to see these little bastards get taken down, especially young Leif Garrett. Instead, evil seems to triumph in every instance, as the adults are always one step behind, even when the kids move in slow motion.

All in all, I rather enjoyed this obscure little bit of exploitative trash. It is another film I'd like to see receive better DVD treatment, though I doubt I would buy it anyway. Does that make me a hypocrite?

Exploring "Chilling Classics"

For my birthday I treated myself to this fine collection of 50 awful movies from Mill Creek Entertainment, available for less than $20. I plan to share with you this masochistic journey into this 12 disc set, hopefully with some mini- reviews and screenshots for each film. Some of them will undoubtedly turn into full reviews at some point.

Here is a listing of all the films included in the set. Feel free to contact me if you feel strongly about any of them.

Death Rage -1978 Yul Brynner
Panic -1976 David Warbeck
Memorial Valley Massacre -1988 Cameron Mitchell
Messiah of Evil -1973 Michael Greer
Medusa -1973 George Hamilton
The Blancheville Monster -1963 Gerard Tichy
Deadtime Stories -1987 Scott Valentine
Cathy's Curse -1977 Alan Scarfe
Scream Bloody Murder -1973 Fred Holbert
The Alpha Incident -1978 Ralph Meeker
The Bell from Hell -1973 Viveca Lindfors
The Demons of Ludlow -1983 Paul Von Hausen
Metamorphosis -1990 Gene LeBrock
The Cold - Carol Perry
Naked Massacre -1976 Mathieu Carriere
Hands of a Stranger -1962 Paul Lukather
Haunts -1977 May Britt
Gothic -1986 Julian Sands
Christmas Evil -1980 Brandon Maggart
Man in the Attic -1953 Jack Palance
Driller Killer -1979 Abel Ferrara
The Demon -1979 Cameron Mitchell
Horror Express -1973 Christopher Lee
Crypt of the Living Dead -1973 Andrew Prine
The Snake People -1971 Boris Karloff
Track of the Moon Beast -1976 Chase Cordell
Sisters of Death -1977 Arthur Franz
The Ghost -1963 Barbara Steele
War of the Robots -1978 Antonio Sabato
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter -1966 John Lupton
Oasis of The Zombies -1983 Manuel Gelin
Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon -1972 Claudio Brook
The Witch's Mountain -1972 Patty Shepard
The Bloody Brood -1959 Peter Falk
Deep Red -1975 David Hennings
House of the Dead -1978John Ericson
Revenge of Doctor X -1970 James Craig-written by Edward D. Wood Jr.
Slashed Dreams -1975 Peter Hooten
Bad Taste-1987 Peter Jackson
A Bucket of Blood -1959 Dick Miller
Virus -1980 Glenn Ford
Horrors of Spider Island -1960 Harald Maresch
The Milpitas Monster -1975 Douglas Hagdohl
The Legend Of Big Foot -1979 Stafford Morgan
Funereal Home -1980 Kate Hawtrey
The Devil's Hand -1962 Robert Alda
Lady Frankenstein -1971 Joseph Cotten
I Bury the Living -1958 Richard Boone
Silent Night, Bloody Night -1974 Patrick O'Neal
Drive-In Massacre -1976 Jake Barnes

Click the image to purchase this item.

The Antichrist (1974)

The Antichrist is now up and running. As one viewer has mentioned, you might not want to watch this one while eating, as there is some pretty revolting stuff. I'll probably get some negative feedback, but I cannot flinch away from my task. Anyway, don't blame me - I didn't write the script.

Also, I have done another overhaul on the website and have gotten rid of stupid Wordpress, so now I may actually want to post blog entries.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nightmare City (1980)

The review for Nightmare City is being posted as we speak. In addition I have some other news to report:

1. Vimeo. I have discovered another site to host my videos which allows me to post them with decent quality, and without having to abide by the ten minute restriction. In addition, my original DIVX files can be downloaded and saved for your future entertainment. These files will play with Windows Media or whatever you normally use. You can reach my profile here
I will still be posting videos to You Tube as normal, as they will get much more traffic.

2. I noticed that Voodoo Black Exorcist was for some reason encoded in 4:3 ratio, rather than 16:9, giving it an odd 'squished' appearance. This has been corrected, and a nicer looking version has been uploaded to Vimeo.