Hello Fellow Movie Fanatics!!!!

I have written reviews of Horror and Exploitation Films for years, sometimes using pseudonyms, for various websites and magazines for years and decided to use this blog as a place to collect some of these reviews as well as write new ones!  Everyone who knows me calls me a “walking dictionary” of not only Pop Culture in general, but Horror / Exploitation / Grindhouse type of films in particular… so in connection with my radio show, Nightwatch, I thought I would start this blog to shine some light on movies you may have never heard of, and maybe warn you of a few others you might want to avoid.  Some of my reviews will be pretty straight forward, while others are more “tongue in cheek” depending on my mood when I write it… I normally like to write my reviews with a large amount of humor – so keep this in mind as you read them… anyone familiar with me from the radio show may be surprised at this side of me, while others will hear my voice right away as they read… The main thing is that this is all suppose to be fun… and like anything else, this is not the final word on any film, just one nerds opinion.

There are 3 different numbers under the films. The first one in is for gore amount on a scale from 1-10, the next one is for sleaze amount on a scale from 1-10, the last one tells you how good a movie is overall on a scale from 1-10.  Enjoy The Reviews!

Eerie Midnight Horror Show

Eerie Midnight Horror Show

Continental Video – 1975 – Unrated – 85 mins

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… Why is Todd watching some film that sounds like a third-rate rip-off of “Rocky Horror Picture Show?” Well the answer is easy. That is only a title given by a U.S. distributor, but this film was originally known in Italy as L’Ossesso and released here as The Tormented, The Sexorcist and the lame-oid title above. This one has a bit of everything in it and so I cannot resist. Yep, you guessed it, we’re strapping on the big ones and heading back to Eurotrash country again this month. This one is a mid- to late 70s epic of sleaze. We’re talkin’ trashola classic here – and you will know why…

OK, Stella Carnacina stars as this kinda cute but not really brunette girl named Danilla who specializes in restoring old, run-down statues and other artwork.

The movie starts with Danilla and some guy going to a an old, abandoned church to pick up a strange life-size crucifix statue with some guy on it that looks kinda like David Hasselhoff without the afro. Danilla talks too damned much right here with a bunch of art critic types and we get some background stuff that does not matter really cuz it has no real bearing on the plot. Danilla thinks the statue is groovy and insists she works on it as soon as possible. They take it back to her art studio and sit it on a huge table. They figure the figure on the cross was made from a tree cuz he’s all one piece of wood and they take him off the cross and leave him on the table.

Next thing is Danilla going home that night to see her swinging parents are throwing a party where everyone dresses badly and dances worse. We get some real bad 70s funk music and lots of shaking butts. Here we meet Danilla’s Mom and Dad. Her Dad is in a card game, and her mom is trying to pick up some guy that looks like Joe Namath from the KC Chiefs! Soon Mom and Joe shamble off to a bedroom and she takes off her bad clothing and Joe says “You’re a gorgeous piece” and he grabs some roses and beats her naked body with ’em, leaving scratches. Mom not only is one sick chick, she needs to put her bad fashions back on. But I do know for a fact that this scene is important to the plot because Danilla sees her Mom and this guy going at it and leaves the party to go back to the art studio.

Now is when the plot really kicks in. Danilla is working on some painting of an old guy that I think might be someone famous, like maybe Col. Sanders or something. The statue starts breathing and stuff, but she doesn’t notice until the cross that he was on, now leaning on a wall, bursts into flames. Then the David Hasselhoff wanna-be statue comes alive and jumps off the table and tears off Danilla’s bad dress and they go into the mating ritual of the double humped goosenberry beast on the floor, if you know what I mean, and someone turns on a giant fan cause the scene must be getting too hot and lightning flashes and we find out it was a daydream Danilla was having while working… or so we think.

Danilla then freaks out about her daydream and calls her boyfriend who looks like a bad Robert Redford and they meet and she tells him her Mom is a freak that belongs in a sideshow and some other junk. He takes Danilla home and she climbs a million stairs to get to her bedroom only when she reaches the door she figures it’s a good time to freak out and go to town on herself, if ya know what I mean. I am not sure why, but these 70s Eurohorror/trashola flicks always have to have the girls get crazy and make like Madonna on themselves. Anyway, next thing her parents hear her and run to the room to see her flopping around on the bed like Linda did in the Exorcist. I am not sure if her bed is sitting on a bare electrical wire, or she just does the Madonna thing REAL good if you know what I mean, but she sure flops around like a crazy woman. While she flops, she scratched her stomach with her fingernails for no reason, but I am sure this is also important to the plot.

The parents talk to the boyfriend or something and decide to all go on vacation because they figure poor Danilla has just worked too hard. On the trip, Danilla has another daydream, only this time along with David Hasselhoff wanna-be guy we also get some witches in white make-up that look like some goofy Goth Rockers and only wear capes and they all put Danilla on the cross and they hammer her hands down. We get some pretty cool spewage here, and the effects are OK for an old movie. Then they get to her feet, but since he only has one spike left, he makes her cross her feet so he can nail em both. Some more groovy splooge effects and she screams a bunch and the witches all say some strange stuff in Latin or something and then they drink some kool-aid from goblets and Danilla wakes up again. Now she is in her bed, but she is totally freaking out and the parents run in and are mad because they have no Ritalin for her to take and they call the doctor. Danilla grabs her Dad by the head and clobbers him like she was Mr. T or someone. The Dad blames the Mom for being a twisted side-show freak. Then the doctor finally shows up. Danilla spits some green stuff out and they have all just watched “The Exorcist” so they know they gotta call a priest up and get some fast prayer action goin’.

The priest arrives and meets Danilla and she gets even wilder, thrashing around even more and banging the bed against the wall and sounds like she’s singing Marilyn Manson songs. They drag her out of the house and take her to a big church with some nuns running around. She gets meaner now with red eyes and spews up some more green goo. Then Danilla says all kinds of rude things and cusses a bunch. Her Robert Redford boyfriend finally shows concern. Danilla tries to seduce him and the priest because David Hasselhoff tells her to do it but nobody listens to her because they remember that she throws up green stuff. Then Danilla starts wailing on the priest like she is in a WWF grudge match and kicks his butt a while and the priest finally remembers he is a priest and starts praying and stuff and she spews more green stuff, only this time it’s got some insects in it and stuff so we can all get grossed out… These guys knew to keep things moving and to keep the plot important we had to make the spewage grosser each time! In his last breath, the priest drives out David Hasselhoff and his evil minions and Robert Redford comes in and picks up Danilla, who is no longer possessed and they go home. They just leave the dead priest there I guess because the film ends on a freeze frame of Danilla.

Now as you can tell, this is a great Exorcist rip-off with enough crapola sleaze factor to keep the plot fresh and fun from Italian director Mario Gariazo. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys nice family entertainment, with some religious overtones, or just for people who like rose whippings, Madonna imitations and bad fashion. A classic.

5 / 8 / 8

Chopping Mall

Chopping Mall

1987 – Lightning Video – 77 minutes – Directed by Jim Wynorski.

We go to the mall this month and catch some carnage with killer robots. Roger Corman’s company Concorde put this one out. It starts with some jewel thieves getting caught in the act by some robots and the bad guys get wiped out. The 3 robots look like the one in Short Circuit mixed with a Cylon from the old Battlestar Galactica TV show. We find out that the opening is actually a promo film for the robots that is being shown to some people at a big meeting where the robots are introduced. They are being used in a local mall to do security after hours starting immediately. Paul Bartel and Mary Waranov show up here and Mary says the robots are the Three Stooges.

The next scene we meet the characters, some mall workers, one being Kelli Maroney. The other one is Barbra Crampton who was the girl in Re-Animator that was in the scene that gives the term “head” a whole new meaning. Both girls have some bad 80’s hair and so does their friend who is also with them but I can’t remember her name. They are planning on staying in the mall after hours for a party. Anyway, a huge thunder storm id brewing outside and the building gets hit and it shorts out the computer and messes up the robots. They kill some guy in a control room.

After some plot transpires the mall is closed down. The girls talk about it in a locker room (!) while getting cleaned up after work then they go to find the boys that invited them to party. Two normal guys and a nerd. All with bad 80’s hair, the nerd having a serious Clark Kent image problem going on. They all finally get together and bad dancing ensues. We’re talking utterly horrible Dance Fever/Soul Train drop-outs here. While the kids all party, the robots start their patrol. When we get back to the kids, they are already all split up and looking for places to get nookie.

Barbara Crampton hums a goofy song and strips to keep the plot going and her boyfriend gets all excited. They find a bed and jump in it. The nerd and Kelly Maroney sit in a TV department and watch bad sci-fi movies together and she gets all goofy and acts scared. Then there’s some plot that tries to get in the way of the story, but a few more nude scenes won’t let it happen. Then Barabara Crampton screams “You’re The King” a few times and laughs. Then we get to meet some janitors who are cleaning up. One is played by Dick Miller, one of my fave actors. He bitches about kids messing up the mall and a robot attacks him. I like Dick Miller a great deal. He calls the robot an SOB and says he should be scrap metal. Then he gets fried like a grilled cheese sandwich. More important to the plot sex scenes. One of the guys, the jock one, goes to a vending machine after a bit of fun with his girl (who also shows her acting talents to propel the plot) and also gets killed by a robot. His throat is slashed. His girlfriend like the box-of-rocks she is, goes to find him and the robots shoot Star Wars type lasers at her as she runs away. The other kids all hear her scream and run to the big windows and see the robot chase her and blow her head off. This is a great scene, one of the best head exploding scenes ever. The kids all panic now and run away into a store room.

The robots (all 3 of them) shoot through the glass and chase the kids, firing lasers at them. Lots of stuff blows up, and as you know, massive explosions are ALWAYS important to the plot in a movie like this one. The girls all climb up into the ceiling and through the air ducts like in “Demons.” Barabara Crampton says the robots wanna “French Fry” them. She freaks out and gets all emotive and screams that she needs out of the air ducts. The two guys run a different direction to try and draw the robots away from the girls. They find a gun store like in “Dawn Of The Dead” and the nerd takes the lead because he has seen “Dirty Harry” 21 times! There’s a big showdown and one robot is wasted. Lots more laser fire and stuff blowing up and Barbara and the other girls jump down out of the air duct.

The girls and the guys all have the same idea, to fight back against the robots. The guys try and make some bombs and the girls, in another part of the mall, are chased by the two robots. They find gas cans (with gas!) and Barabara gets shot by a laser. It hits the gas can and we get a cool fire stunt where the hall blows up and Barbara catches on fire and flops around, finally looking like a burnt Totinos PIzza. Now this is a great actress, when the plot slows down she always does stuff to keep it moving, first that strip and now playing with fire. Good job, Barbara, we love ya! Anyway, the guys rush to help the girls and soon they are all chased by the two robots. They trick them into an elevator and then cut the cable. The robots plunge to their doom, only they don’t die from it. Then we get some talking parts that don’t matter, then the robots show up again and we get more chases with lasers. One guy sacrifices himself and traps one robot, electrocuting it, thus shorting it out. I think starting the sprinklers would have the same effect, but that is not how it goes.

The last robot starts taking people out until only Kelly Maroney is left. he chases her all over. She breaks a glass spider case and the spiders climb all over her. I would have to wet myself at this point if I was her. Finally Kelly defeats the robot by showering it in paint and setting it on fire with a flare. Big explosions happen here, I’m talking fourth of July here. Big finale. get the ‘smores! The explosion wakes up the nerd and he and Kelly hook up and smile.

I really liked this one. It had some cool fire stuff, explosions, some gore and not a hell of a bunch of plot to bog down the story! I say rent it or buy it soon

4 / 5 / 7

Legend Of The Wolf Woman – Werewolf Woman

The Legend Of The Wolf Woman

United Home Video – released in 1977 – 70 Mins.

This one is a strange low budget flick…Spanish made in the late 70’s so you know what we’ere talking here – we’ve got a one way ticket to Trash City. You know you are in trouble when a movie starts with some crazy woman doing a bizarre voodoo ritual dance where she turns into a strange chick with hair glued on her and some bad fang action happening. For a cool werewolf face they glue some brown hair on her nose. Pretty soon she is flopping all around on the ground like she has fire ants chewing on her butt or she’s having a twitch fit or something.

Then the lady wakes up and we find out she was having a weird dream and her name is Daniella and her ancestor was suppose to be this dime-store werewolf. So we get some dialog and then Daniella looks at herself in a mirror and gets kinda freaky with herself if you know what I mean and then she crashes out – only when she is about asleep, a lizard starts crawling up her legs and this is a big lizard. I have no idea what the hell this means. Next thing we are in a hall and she is watching people make out through a cracked door. She gets all freaky on herself again at this point because I am sure, in some way, it is important to the plot. Then Daniella wanders outside and sees a chick in the field who looks just like her, only with a bad wig and as dress from the cast of Titanic, and this is her ancestor. Then some guy wanders along and they romp but she hears the voice of her ancestor and bites him leaving a big, bad, gross hickey. Then she wakes up again and a doctor is examining her. He has to be sure and check her vulnerables, if ya know what I mean, because again, it is important to the plot.

Now here is where Daniella starts in with that mode of acting known as the vacant stare, a method the great Chesty Morgan perfected in all two movies she made. They take her to a hospital and we get some bullcrap dialog for a while and then her buddy comes to see Daniella, only she just shows this friend, some brown haired girl, her vulnerables and starts flopping around on the bed like someone plugged it in to 220 volts. She calls some nurses whores and stuff then a lesbian patient sneaks into her room at night. I can see how this scene is important to the film as a whole… it shows us the werewolf lady has no problem tearing up a guy or a girl and she is not prejudice against any sexual persuasion. Hell, this movie is PC all the way!

Then she escapes and the film twists into another area.. We get some talking from guys with Steve Austin hair styles, then next thing we know, Daniella is in another place with different characters and she has abandoned her vacant stare… she seems rather “spunky” in this part. Pretty soon she is biting another stooge who tries to romp with her. Then we get scenes like “Love Story” as we see Daniella and her new boyfriend frolic on the beach. Now here is where I start to lose interest. See, everyone knows that when you make psycho-vacant stare werewolf lady movies, ya gotta keep things moving. Ya gotta keep the sappy love scenes out of it. It’s like halfway through the guy who made this, a dude named R. D. Silver, started watching crummy romance movies, or he found a girlfriend or something.

But he finally gets back where he belongs when these three goons break into the “love cottage” and try and rape Daniella. You know what time it is: Big Bad Wolf Mama-mania. Now it’s revenge time for Daniella. She gets mad. She gets bad. She gets hair on her nose. there’s finally some gross stuff as Daniella goes cannibal and then she starts thinking about doing that same twitch voodoo dance as her ancestor – I guess human meat makes you wanna boogie. Then the cops come and catch her. Then the end credits roll.

Now, this one is an OK time waster as long as you don’t mind the Steve Austin look alike talking people scenes. I would recommend it to trash lovers and people with girlfriends with hair on their nose. Not great, but very bad in a good way. I say give it a shot if you’re bored or if you get wild during full moons.

3 / 7 / 8

Up Smokey! Russ Meyer’s Chainsaw Massacre… almost

Up Smokey

Family Home Video (damn!) – 97 minutes – year unknown – directed by Rudd Meyer

Next up, we have “Up Smokey” directed by Russ Meyer. The film starts with a crazy naked chick sitting in a tree played by Kitten Natividad, who seems to always be in Russ Meyer movies. She seems to basically be the narrator of this fine flick. After the credits we cut to a castle with some german guy getting whipped by an Indiana Jones wanna be The German guy looks like Hitler (!) and some Asian women come in and sit on his head and the German guy tries to talk but can’t.

Next scene we cut to a tree where two lesbians are having a special meeting and one does some tongue exercises, if ya know what I mean. Then one of the women drives off in a big rig. Then we cut back to the Hitler guy as some gloved maniac throws Piranha fish into the tub with him and blood fills the water and ol’ Hitler thrashes around like someone threw an electric clock in the water and then he dies.

Now the naked girl from earlier comes back on and spouts some lines like “Choosing, comparing one with another..” and “A misty phantom of passion wallowing in the sea of carnality.”. I have no idea what the hell this means. But when she is done talking we meet a sheriff and he is driving along and tries to pick up a hitchhiker with huge garbonzas, only she isn’t ready to accept a ride. Then we get some shots of the killer, I guess it’s the killer anyhow, wearing a black leather sex mask and eating a banana through the zipper mouth part. I am sure that this is either symbolic or very important to the plot. More Naked woman talking follows, telling us about something but I kinda tuned her out as she has a tendency to ramble.

Now we cut to a diner where our Indian Jones guy is working. I guess that being Indiana Jones is his hobby and this is his real job. He watches the sheriff pull over a girl with a big afro and she follows the sheriff to his car and they work out driving violation if ya know what I mean. She makes him blow the toes out of his shoes. Then he goes into the diner and acts like nothing happened and we get some more BS dialogue. Then everyone starts coming into the diner, including some axe guy that orders double chili with honey mustard. Then the hitchhiker girl walks in and they hire her to help out in the diner.

Next thing I know, we cut to the sheriff in some bedroom with a girl dressed like Pocahontas. She bounces around the bed and grabs a light that hangs over head and shocks the hell out of the sheriff and herself then runs away naked into the woods. Then the hitch hiker waitress comes over and looks at the sheriff and sees his vulnerables and says “you’re all read, you’ve been screwing that damned Indian.”  Then we get that naked tree girl talking some more, only this time she’s go-go dancing while talking in a lake someplace. She says all kinds of strange stuff that makes no sense.

Meanwhile back at the diner, the place is packed and Indiana Jones is very happy about the business, but he thinks someone is a killer. Then the axe guy shows up all pissed cuz someone stole his axe. So the diner people find him another one and he celebrates by slamming the table and screaming “beer! beer!” until the hitch hiker girl decides to do a dance for everyone. Bad jazz plays on the jukebox and she starts doing some bizarre dance, Now, I figure this must be some special fertility dance of the axe gods or something because the axe guy gets all worked up and grabs her. Pretty soon he throws her onto the table and starts making the double slamming flamingo with her right there. Everyone starts cheering in the bar. Indiana Jones sees this and thinks it’s really disgusting and we cut to the sheriff speeding to the diner with Lone Ranger music playing. The sheriff jams an axe in the axe lovers back and blood sprays out. Then the axe dude rips the axe out and slams it into the sheriff so he can see how it feels. More blood spews then the axe guy grabs Indiana’s girl and the hitch hiking waitress and kicks out a wall and leaves. Then the sheriff yanks out the axe and gets up. He is mad at the nasty red stain on his shirt and grabs a chainsaw from off the wall. Indiana follows him as they pursue the axe freak.

Indiana is madder than ever after he notices his white pants are dirty. The sheriff catches the axe freak and says “Rosebud!” as he slams the saw into the guy. Blood goes everywhere and the saw pops out the axe freak’s back. Then the sheriff and the axe dude fall off a cliff and the girls sob a second then start fondling each other and soon they are working out them tongues. Indiana finally comes along and sees them and smiles and says “Aw shucks.” Then the hitch hiker goes home and takes a shower and some gloved maniac with an axe comes in and tries to kill her only she pulls off her mask and she turns out to be one of the lesbians we only saw in that one scene at the beginning. I have no idea why she is the killer. Neither does she. Pretty soon both girls are naked and fighting in a lake and they talk a bunch while fighting to try and make sense out of all of this. They fail.

Finally, the naked tree girl comes back and says some crazy stuff, including “cocoa!” a bunch while she flops around on a fallen tree and dances around and finally has sex while finishing telling the story. The end credits roll and my mind is still reeling. What a crazy, screwed up movie! It had FOUR epilogues! I have no idea why, but it just kept going and going. I never drink and have never taken a drug, but I figure the world might seem like this movie if I did. This was one massive party for me watching… and I bet most people who love Grindhouse type movies would love it like I did.  If you happen to drink, then please get sauced major big time and watch this one twice in a row.

5 / 10 / 8

Ilsa – The Wicked Warden

Ilsa – The Wicked Warden
American Video – 93 mins. (various copies have different running times) – Unrated

OK freaks, this one is for you! I tell you when you pop this sick puppy in the ol’ VCR it’s time to wallow in the trash… yep, we’re talking scuzzorama, a sleazola classic – in other words… this one is gonna be a fun one!

Dyanne Thorn stars as Ilsa (originally Wanda) in this Jess Franco trash masterpiece and she does so many horrible things to people that it’s hard to know where to begin! Ilsa is a sadistic chick who runs the show in some demented prison camp or something. The movie starts off with a shower scene where Ilsa gets in a hot bath and some women guards watch. After about twelve shots of her pouring water on her chest out of a sponge, the chicks in the showers start fighting and Ilsa offs the girl who started it.

Next thing we know this crazy chick decides to get herself thrown into Ilsa’s prison cuz it was her little sister who Ilsa nailed from the shower. With the help of some goofy doctor with a Clark Kent voice she ends up on the inside and face to face with Ilsa. First thing she gets hosed down and they make fun of her body a while cuz she has a forest on her if you know what I mean and I am sure you do. Then some dumb ass girls sing french nursery rhymes while others knit. Then we get to see Ilsa get a massage. Now at this point I was getting a bit bored of this “notorious” film. I had no idea where it’s bad reputation came from. It was typical Eurosleaze from Franco.

Then the trashola hit the fan. We find out that Ilsa has some interesting hobbies like lesbo torture, home-style acupuncture with sewing needles, lobotomies, spankings, shock therapy (you won’t believe where they attach the electricity) while she films it, whippings, brandings, beatings, snuff movies and even cannibalism. Never a dull moment in the Ilsa house. We are subjected to so many scenes of barbaric depravity I thought for a minute that I was watching a damned K-Tel “Best of The Bitch” compilation! It was at this point that I realized there was not one shred of plot OR decency in this movie, lucky for all you drive-in trash lovers! One prisoner says “You filthy bitch pig vampires! I will tear off your tits!” then Ilsa whips her ass like a redneck at a rodeo for an hour and then they cut on her some. As you can tell, this one has something for the whole family. Then in the middle of the film, we are treated to some crazy arty sex scene with Ilsa and some guy that isn’t in any other part of the movie! Then it’s back to sadism and trash for a bit until Ilsa finds out that this chick is the sister, then you can guess what happens…Yep, it’s time for a showdown in sleazeland!  Grab the popcorn!

It all ends with the prisoners getting pissed and acting like zombies and tearing Ilsa apart, complete with gore and even some cannibal chow-down action going on! This part of the film really grosses you out… and that means a lot compared to what was before it! All in all, I must say this one will offend almost everyone… and if offbeat, sleazy trash classics like this are up your alley, then search for it and find it – but I warn you, it sure ain’t pretty!

7 / 9 / 10

Attack Of The Beast Creatures

Attack Of The Beast Creatures
Western World Video – Unrated – 83 Minutes

I dug deep and found this very rare little splatterfest to review for this month, and though it may be hard as hell to find, it is a cool little low budget oddity that surprised me.

OK, the film starts off with a ship sinking, kinda like a Z-Grade Titanic deal, during the opening credits. The amateur actor survivors all row a boat to a nearby Island. Before you can say “Gilligan,” these castaways are convinced they are all alone on the Island… only we know different because we get some hand-held POV shots that are suppose to be someone watching from the nearby bushes.

Next we get some people screaming at each other for a few minutes kinda like on the WWE nowadays cuz they save all the actual WRESTLING for Pay-Per-View and just yell a bunch on free TV,and this one old man character is like Archie Bunker, only an amateur version.

Director Michael Stanley has set this film in the 1920’s and one character is a flapper. The plot starts to bog down here so Archie Bunker gets thirsty and decides he needs a drink, only when he bends over and takes a swig of the lagoon, it eats his flesh off in a cool gross out effects scene. Face melts, hands drip, gooey slime and blood pour everywhere. We’re talking first class chunk blower here. The rest of the flick zips along at a fast rate from here on out as crew members off-screen throw these creatures at the cast that look like that Zuni demon doll thingie from Trilogy of Terror with all the big sharp teeth that chased Karen Black all over. Same kinda thing except different. These demonic little dudes ain’t dolls and they hunger for a lot more than Karen. We’re talking absolutely no plot from this point on, just some great scenes of people getting attacked and swarmed on by these creatures. I haven’t seen flesh eating swarms of little killers like this since Piranha! I could go on, but I don’t wanna ruin it in case you are lucky enough to dig it up someplace.

I will say that the director and screenwriters must have done some way crazy drugs and watched Gilligan’s Island before making this thing… Original and way off the wall.  A true surprise!

6 / 8 / 2