Zeegrade Reviews

Zeegrade Reviews
Movies for scumbags.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Werewolf of Woodstock (1975)


     It's almost Halloween so let's get into the spirit of my favorite holiday by taking a look at a rare miss from Dick Clark who produced this steaming pile that is worse than the bad batch of brown acid passed around the same historical festival in 1969.  Shot on video, this soap opera about a cranky lycanthrope's hatred of hippies and loud noises is so awful — and I mean awful in a "Why was this even made and who is the poor fucker I'm going to have to kill to stop this from ever happening again?" way — that I'm shocked Dick Clark didn't have every copy of this abomination bundled into a rocket ship and shot into the sun. 
     Woodstock has ended and Bert is still pissed off that all the rock-and-roll shenanigans took place in his back yard.  He does what any rational individual would do to prove that his personal values are superior to these free-lovin', drug addled youngsters by demolishing an empty stage during a severe lightning storm:

"I AM THE EPITOME OF SANITY!!!"

Not surprisingly, this does not turn out well.  Bert is struck by a lightning bolt just as an employee of the electric company warns him about the dangerous storm.  Fast forward an unspecified amount of time and Bert is bandaged from head to toe and is now in bed rest — in his own home!  You would think with the severe burns he suffered that it would be more beneficial for him to stay in a hospital, but then again, Werewolf of The Burn Center doesn't really roll off the tongue smoothly.  Inexplicably this charge of electricity causes him to become a werewolf.  Unless he's some new form of goddamn Pokemon, I don't get the correlation between lightning strikes and lycanthropy — otherwise Lee Trevino would have been ripping the throats out of livestock years ago.  Anyway, this movie goes through some serious mental gymnastics in an attempt to explain his transformation.
     Thrown into the mix is a beatnik rock band (starring a young Andrew Stevens) looking to record an album in an abandoned Woodstock shack in hopes of landing a record contract.  How they think this will somehow transpire is never really hashed out.  Signing talent is...like...so bourgeois man!  On their first night, Dave (Stevens) chases off Beckie's dog who quickly becomes Bert's first victim when he emerges from his bed:

Bert transforms into the next door neighbor from Goof Troop.

Thus begins Bert's reign of terror.  Well, actually I would consider it more a brief period of mild annoyance.  
     Filling out the cast is Lt. Martino who is a caricature of every eye-talian cop, even going as far as including and absurd scenario where he's making homemade spaghetti sauce in the middle of the fucking police department.  If only this was made a few years later you could have him scream "It's-a-me, Mario!" in every scene.  Joining him are two "special youth" officers from Los Angeles, Kendy (which always sounds like "Candy") and Moody (Michael Parks - Planet Terror and Deathproof) which is quite a coincidence considering the exterior shots of Woodstock look exactly like Southern California.  
     Beckie, because she was born without a penis, is captured by Bert and held captive in an abandoned shack by a bridge that Bert used to retreat to when he was younger.  This seems rather odd considering he didn't hesitate to kill her dog and issue this fatal beatdown of the local doctor:

"How's this for out of pocket!"

Time is limited and so, apparently, was the budget.  A plan is devised by Moody and Kendy along with a reluctant Martino to lure the werewolf into a trap by having the band play loud music while the police "hide":

Nope, can't see 'em.

     The ruse fails and Bert gets away — by carjacking a man's dune buggy!

Another stereotype perpetuated on the Werewolf-American community.

Bet you didn't think there would be a car chase in a werewolf movie, didja!  The movie comes to its anticlimax when Martino, who must have been a sniper, shoots Bert from the top of a power plant tower causing him to fall to his death. 

He died how he lived.  With Adam Curry's hair.

     I usually like to add a video to my reviews just so that the reader can get an idea of the film I'm describing.  For some fucking reason I couldn't pull anything off this copy.  You didn't miss anything besides some truly wretched storytelling.  What makes this fucker such a humorless bore is the fact that it's played straighter than a NPR news report.  You would think with a silly premise like this that they would have more fun with the subject matter but no chance.  I'm sure that as soon as the final cut was in the can the director rented a motel room and hung himself.  Nothing redeemable about this movie.  You either get rocks in your trick-or-treat bag like Charlie Brown or a copy of this candy corn filled shit log.   Come to think of it, either one is still better than the killjoys that would roll ten pennies in plastic wrap and hand those out for Halloween.  Fuck those assholes. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Supersonic Man (1979)


     Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon had quite the ambivalent career when it came to the type of films he helmed.  Two of his movies, Pieces (1983) and Slugs (1988), were both hard-R gore fests that, in my humble opinion, Simon really seemed to excel at.  Then there was his attempts near the end of his trade in what I can only describe as bland, vanilla-horror: The Rift (1990) and Cthulhu Mansion (1992) which I addressed in length before.  These films aside, Simon actually began his vocation directing cheap knock-offs of popular American pictures.  One of these movies, the laughable E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial clone: Los Nuevos Extraterrestres gained popularity here in the States when it was broadcast on an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" under the litigation saving title, Pod People.  Which brings us to the kryptonite-filled Superman imposter Supersonic Man.
     Not content with purloining the concept of one popular film, Piquer starts his movie a la Star Wars as our hero is introduced to the audience, asleep aboard his starship.  The larceny perseveres when Supersonic's galactic gigolo — whose outfit seems eerily similar to The Flash's — uses this parting phrase to end his transmission before pimping him to planet Earth:
"May the force of the galaxies go with you."
 Why not just go up to George Lucas' house and kick him in the balls?  You would have been waaaay ahead of your time.  Supersonic comes to life (he was dead?) and flies into deep space shown above in the credit snapshot instead of...I don't know, WAITING UNTIL YOUR FUCKING SPACESHIP GOT IN THE VICINITY OF EARTH'S ORBIT?  
     Earth's inhabitants, specifically the men, are "employing their intelligence in a most dangerous manner" like the assholes responsible for "The Big Bang Theory" or voting for the Green Party.  The planet is in danger of being destroyed and Supersonic has been tasked with preventing it.  He's warned to use his superpowers only "in discretion and when the truth requires it" — something our hero will toss right out the window. 
     Earth is, indeed, in trouble.  The fiendish Dr. Gulik (played by b-movie god Cameron Mitchell who chews the scenery into a fine powder) has kidnapped Professor Morgan with the slowest fucking robot ever:

 "You're capture will commence in approximately forty...five...minutes."

The Professor's response when he comes face-to-face with this mechanized oaf:
"What kind of tomfoolery is this?"
Tomfoolery is better suited if a bunch of neighborhood kids kicked in his door and threw water balloons at him.  A walking soup can that shoots flames is definitely in the "you gotta be fucking kidding me" category.  
     Adding to the all-around oddness of this film is the fact that our "hero" is portrayed by two different actors.  Former Tarzan tumbler Jose Luis Ayestaran as the titular Supersonic and Antonio Cantafora — sporting a mustache that must disappear during transformations — as Supersonic's alter ego, Paul:

 
By the way, every time Paul transforms into Supersonic we have to endure the same awful song complete with "flying" that probably inspired The Pumaman the following year:

video

Dr. Gulik's plan —whatever the fuck it is — needs the cooperation of Professor Morgan.  In order to secure it he intends on kidnapping Morgan's daughter, Patricia.  Here Supersonic saves her from a pair of Gulik's henchmen in far and away the goofiest scene in the entire movie:

video

Forget for a moment that Supersonic lifted a steamroller MADE OUT OF WOOD and ask yourself what exactly would cause their car to explode like that?  Did they have a barrel of moonshine in the trunk?  
     The bulk of the film consists of Dr. Gulik's pompous speeches to Morgan who stands there like a teenager who just got caught drinking a beer by their parents.  Gulik's plans are foiled along the way as Paul uses his questionable standards to try and get into Patricia's panties in between berating her on her Supersonic fixation.  Paul is supposed to be this enlightened being sent to our planet to help us and yet he uses his moral superiority to totally fuck-up a bar by beating the shit out of half of the innocent patrons that just got caught up in a fight.  During a dinner date with Patricia he actually transforms into Supersonic so he can STEAL A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE:

"Korbel?  Fuck it, she ain't that hot anyway."

     Supersonic Man at least seems aware of its ineptitude and doesn't try to play it too straight.  A recurring theme between Paul and a bloodhound toting "Borracho" (Spanish for drunk) rallying against the evils of liquor wears out its tiring welcome quickly.  Cameron's hammy performance as Dr. Gulik is made all the more enjoyable by the dubbed British accent given him.  I would suggest a drinking game involving every scene that consists of Gulik's smarmy discourses with Professor Morgan, however, you would die of alcohol poisoning about midway through the film.  Steal yourself some cheap booze and prepare for some super-sized cheese. 





    

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Zeegrade Update


     Been very busy lately at work.  It's hard begging for change at the Interstate on-ramp during these summer months.  I use most of my "earnings" on Big Gulp refills.  My ex-wives have demanded more alimony leaving me little time to devote to my movie collection — a collection that has been gathering quite a bit of dust these last few months.  But fear not.  I have recently gotten back into an old, bad habit and viewed a Superman knockoff from Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon (Pieces, Slugs and Pod People)...Supersonic Man!!!

The girls in high school used to call me...hey wait a second!

Yeah, that's a fucking action figure flying through space.  See you real soon. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Curse IV (1988)


     I know what you're thinking.  How the hell are there four Curse movies?  First, calm the fuck down — I'm not the one responsible for this.  Second, these four films have nothing to do with one another, not unlike the Beyond the Door series.  Besides, Curse IV was originally a film called Catacombs that was released in 1988 and doesn't make sense in terms of series chronology:
  • The Curse (1987)
  • Curse II: The Bite (1989)
  • Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991)
  • Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (1988)
By the time Catacombs got a release here in the U.S. it was already 1993 and a decision was made to change the title and make it the unofficial third sequel to the original 1987 movie that was a take on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" and directed by David Keith, a.k.a. Jack Parkman:

David Keith in: The Joey Belle Story

     For over four hundred years the Abbey of San Pietro has held a secret in the catacombs underneath the building.  Besides the plumbing done by non-union labor they have, trapped within a cell, a demon that has possessed Thudarr the Barbarian:

 "There will be no Talos worship in our abbey Nord!"


The dude is locked away behind a door that has been sealed with a sigil.  Fast forward to the Abbey circa late eighties where Elizabeth, an American teacher, has been invited by Brother Orsini to inspect the said catacombs.  Her arrival causes a bit of a disturbance with the strictly male abbey which includes Father John (Timothy Van Patten — Salami from The White Shadow or as most bad movie fans recognize him: Max from The Master I & II featured on Season 4 of Mystery Science Theater 3000) who, like Elizabeth, is also an American drawn to the monastery for unknown reasons.  Wouldn't you know it, a loose block from the wall covering the sealed door just happens to  slide apart allowing one of the monks to remove the sigil form the fucking door!  A bad case of nosebleeds ensues.
     This is rather an eccentric cast that populate the Abbey.  One of the monks listens to soccer matches on his Walkman while Brother Timothy "adopted" an attractive farmer's daughter named Antonia who has premonitions of the future.  Brother Timothy uses this time to introduce Elizabeth to one of his favorite local sayings:
"The devil can touch you and leave his mark, just so long as he doesn't steal your soul."
What the fuck?  What kinda fucked up town are you living in where that creepy motto gains popularity?  In what situations would you say something like that?   "Hey Mario, there's not enough olive oil for my bread!  Well, you know Luigi, the devil can touch you..."  Anyway, Antonia storms off after telling Brother Timothy that somebody will die today.  She's right.  The dickhead monk that removed the sigil "God's light" is held against his will in what appears to be a freshly dug grave and is buried alive:

 The irony was not lost on the monk that his favorite game was Dig Dug.

     Some details are gathered during a conversation between Brother Orsini and Father John.  Seems John has been experiencing a crisis of faith and is looking for a purpose before continuing with the Lord's work.  Give yourself about forty-five minutes John.  Elizabeth and John finally meet after she walks into the monk's dining room causing a bronze cross to fall off a shelf.  The introduction is short lived when Orsini arrives to take Elizabeth to where the Abbey miracle took place.  Something finally smashes through the wall during a fire-and-brimstone sermon from the humorless prick, Brother Marinus.  Orsini and Elizabeth arrive in the miracle room:

 "Why yes, it is disturbingly life-like!"

More on our third guest later.  This "catacomb chapel" was the site of where the first Prior had his sight restored by a bright light which would defy any scientific explanations since they are far under the church.  Orsini remarks that the other brothers don't like coming down into this room.  Yeah, no shit.  He gives Elizabeth a cross necklace to wear that inspires serenity.  This movie inspires serenity so much I need nap.   Brother Marinus brings to Orsini's attention that the sigil that kept the demon locked away is missing and that it will certainly make its way to the catacomb chapel.  Orsini remains skeptical about the Abbey's tale of a locked demon in the catacombs.
     John keeps company with Brother Terrel who is literally on his death bed.  Terrell admits that he wishes that he had sex when he was sixteen to a girl Dolores he really liked.  Instead, he looks forward to — and I'm not fucking with you — "great sex with God" upon his days in the afterlife.  Wow.  Orsini is down in the catacombs when he hears demonic bellowing in the distance.  He's brought to the now open cell of the demon, a skeleton still shackled to the wall, when suddenly he receives two deep scratches on his face.  As he stumbles out of the cell he sees a double of himself floating dead on top of the tiny catacomb stream.  He falls dead of a heart attack.  With Orsini dead Marinus immediately assumes the mantle of Brother Superior.  Not surprisingly, he's a total cunt. 

"Tea is for heretics and fags!"

     John and Elizabeth visit Antonia and she tells them something in Italian.  John does his best to explain the translation that one of them has been touched by the devil and the other will die.  Good morning to you too sweetheart.  Brother Timothy retreats to the catacomb chapel to indulge in a Snickers bar — again, I'm not fucking with you.  That must have been the final straw because, in one of the most bizarre and ballsy scenes ever, Jesus comes to life to murder the chocolate loving monk!

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If you're gonna die for a candy bar at least make it a PayDay.  Marinus moves quickly to bar Elizabeth from the Abbey.  He meets with John and confides with him the secret of the demon sealed in the catacombs of the Abbey.  Marinus takes him to the door that was originally sealed and requests that John aid him in the exorcism ceremony that took place four hundred years ago.  John doesn't appear to believe him and wants no part of it.  Marnius visits the burial chamber where the skeletons laugh at him.  
     John goes to see Brother Terrel when he finds him missing.  A monk tells him that Marinus brought him down to the catacombs.  John finds Terrel lying on a sacrificial stone.  He tells John that he's dying and might be having sex with God soon.  This fucking guy won't stop!  Terrel warns John that Marinus has become corrupted and before he can finish that very monk stabs him in the back.  John wakes up back in his bed.  He runs to Terrel's room to find the old Brother dead.  Elizabeth returns to the catacomb chapel and finds Brother Timothy:

He died for your caramel and nougaty sins.

Antonia trots her way to the chapel and finds Elizabeth kneeling in front of the crucified Timothy.  When she stands up and faces Antonia her eyes are black as night.  She laughs demonically and uses some sort of wind attack to knock Antonia unconscious.  The demon then reiterates that women are not allowed here.  Fucking prude.  
     Marinus chews the scenery with all his satanic battling gusto before John storms in and tells him to stop this at once.  He makes his way down to the catacomb chapel where everything has returned to normal except for the demonic Elizabeth standing on the ceiling.  The demon claims to be Satan which John denies.  A wind attack gives him a bloody lip.  He pleads with Elizabeth to not let the demon control her.  Marinus enters with a knife made into a cross.  Why would a church own something like that?  The demon rips the knife out from his hands and then beats him to death with more invisible punches.  John reaches for the holy mirror that restored the first Prior's sight but is felled by a couple of phantom punches to the gut.  Elizabeth straddles on top of him and turns into the blond man that was sealed into the catacomb at the beginning of the film.  The demon continues to beat John while mocking his faith.  For some odd reasons he asks if John has had enough and when he answers yes, just sort of walks away without finishing him off for some reason.  The demon looks at the lifelike crucified Jesus and suddenly remembers the exorcism four hundred years ago.  He becomes scared and tells John no when the priest takes the mirror and reflects the "Light of the Lord" on him:

Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.

What the hell was that?  He had him dead to rights but decided to give him an opportunity to defeat him by leaving a priest next to a table with a bunch of holy fucking relics on it!  You would assume the living incarnation of evil would be a little, you know, smarter.  Anyway, the light builds brighter then fades away leaving Elizabeth alive and unscathed.  
     Elizabeth, John and Antonia leave flowers on the burial ground of one of any number of monks that died during this movie.  Brother Timothy's "favorite saying" is played indicating the streak of gray in Antonia's hair as being "touched" by the devil.  She walks away and John and Elizabeth enter the Abbey.  One assumes, a very empty Abbey.  
     Not much to say here.  This is definitely in the category of white bread horror.  The violence is tame, there's no nudity and the only scene of worth is the murdering Jesus scene.  There has never been anything compelling by Timothy Van Patten to establish himself as leading man material.  This movie is no different.  He's more a part of the boring collective whole rather than a single hero we can root for.  This is strictly for Curse completists (if such people even exist) only.  Being bored to tears does qualify as a curse though, so you got that going for ya. 
     









Saturday, March 22, 2014

Black Candles (1982)


     Also known as Los ritos sexuales del diablo (The Sexual Rites of the Devil) however, I prefer the title originally released here in the States:

"So, this has nothing to do with Pottery Barn?"

Carol arrives in England with her husband Robert to find out the details of an inheritance after her brother's death while banging a hot broad way out of his league considering his male pattern baldness.  They become the guests of Fiona, Carol's sister-in-law, in a spacious countryside mansion which tries desperately to evoke the same atmosphere of Spanish Gothic horror films of the 1970's.  They arrive at said mansion where the power is out, allowing Fiona to give us what we've all been secretly waiting for:

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!

That's the extent of our titular items as they play no other part except as something to be stuck in one of the many bodily orifices that make themselves available throughout the film.  Only the dullest of blades would fail to understand the crux of the film less the ten minutes into it.  Fiona has pictures hanging on the wall that are reproductions of the demons listed in the 17th Century grimoire, The Lesser Key of Solomon, adding that she's interested in "only certain angles" of demonology and that many persons of importance have made pacts with the devil.  She makes a comment about her brother discovering something before his demise but doesn't elaborate further.  Robert seems unreasonably accepting of these odd decorations.  Why not just have Fiona introduce herself to Carol as a Satanist that murdered her brother with black magic?  I mean...what the fuck Black Candles?  Are you that desperate to get to the nudity already? 
     This movie certainly isn't shy when it comes to full frontal.  It's just too bad that most of these women are as comely as Satan's pockmarked ass.  Fiona masturbates after watching Carol and Robert fuck through a peephole.  Later that evening she has an inappropriate dream of herself walking through the woods, wearing only white lingerie, as her deceased brother follows:

I can see plenty of bush...behind her.

As if the dream wasn't disturbing enough, Carol fantasizes that her brother — channeling Hunter S. Thompson in his sunglasses and cigar — takes their sibling love to the next level.  A begrudging Fiona finally gives in and joins the family "reunion".   Waking from the dream, Carol heads downstairs when she sees a bearded man staring back at her.  Fiona convinces Carol that she must have been dreaming it and gets her back to bed.  Later Fiona berates the bearded man who is not only a priest but...A SATANIC PRIEST!  The priest goes into exposition about how they had to kill Carol's brother and blah, blah, blah.  Less than twenty minutes in and any pretense of mystery is exposed faster than Carol's shapely breasts.  
     The Satanic coven — which includes Fiona and her neighbors — are a mishmash of petty thieves (the maid) and Snidely Whiplash baddies (the Satanic priest) that prove their devilish devotion by engaging in every combination of  sexual deviancy you can think of.  Lesbianism, sodomy, orgies and yes, bestiality.  Seems the devil's secret to turning us away from God is goat cum.  Here, the maid explains to some dolt why this specific jizz is so important to their unholy plans:

video

The goat fucking commences as the hot broad who was with Carol's brother the night he died is the unlucky recipient of Old MacDonald's harem of domesticated studs.  Who the fuck thinks this kind of shit up?  Fucking Europe, man.  (Shaking my head disapprovingly)
     There really isn't much else to explain here.  Black Candles doesn't bother with building up any tension or suspense between the characters especially since the plot is fully revealed so early into it.  Robert quickly turns to the dark side and the Satanists, when not screwing, engage in some of the most banal and frivolous conversations ever recorded. These are devil worshipers that not only gave up their souls but their backbone as well.  Besides, does this look like a scary bunch to you?

Brace yourselves for...SATANIC CUNNILINGUS!

"Would you like some Earl Gre..er, I mean SATANIC TEA?"

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SATAN!

"Knight to c3 — Oh shit, I mean SATAN TO SATAN!"

     The coven plans to wed Carol to Satan on the Autumn Equinox.  She's got a nice figure but, that mug of hers!  Woof!  By the time butterface is told the truth — the man that tells her gets a sword up his ass as punishment — you'll already have turned this off and streamed porn on the internet.  For those of you unfortunate to stick around until the end you're treated with the lamest gimmick ending in the book: It was only a dream!  See, now you got fucked too!












Thursday, March 13, 2014

Monster Dog (1984)


     The one thing about Claudio Fragasso that really pisses me off is that this talentless cocksucker thinks he's actually a competent director.  This guy consistently churns out shit films, one after another, and if you ask him, a la his commentary on the Zombi 3 DVD after he replaced the late Lucio Fulci, this wine-soaked hack actually thinks he improved the film when he took over!  Troll 2 -- widely considered the worst film of all time -- was actually the piss-flavored frosting on his shitcake career.  Monster Dog was filmed during his "prime" and by prime I mean Fragasso was at his maximum suckage level.  
     Starring Alice Cooper as rock star Vincent Raven who returns almost twenty years later to his creepy childhood home to record his new music video.  For some inexplicable reason, his lines are dubbed over by another actor.  Why?  I guess Alice acquired a thick accent sometime in the early eighties.  Vincent's house has been left under the care of the elder Joss? (it's hard to hear the exact pronunciation) that he hardly remembers what he looks like yet harassed endlessly for him to make malts.  Joss is preparing a tray of sandwiches and orange Fanta for the arrival of Vincent and his crew when he's greeted ominously by this pack outside the front door:

Which one is the Monster Dog!  DAMN YOU FRAGASSO!

     It isn't long before Vincent is stopped by a police roadblock due to the "mad dogs".  What kind of fucking town is this?  Shouldn't Animal Control be handling it?  Is this Indiana?  Sheriff Morrison lets them through after reminiscing about Vincent's prolific bladder (don't ask) and warns them again about the dogs that have already killed five people.  Somewhere, Michael Vick is watching this movie with clenched teeth and both fists tightened so hard they start to bleed.  As he's leaving the Sheriff reminds him that the town hasn't forgotten what happened to Vincent's father.  Back in the camper, Vincent doesn't want to talk about it when asked by his girlfriend Sandra what the Sheriff was referring to.  I'm just dripping with sweat from the suspense.  Sheriff Morrison -- who's so fat that he could feed every dog withing a twenty mile radius -- and his deputy are mauled to death by this perturbed pooch:

"Tell that motherfucker Cesar Millan he's next!"

     After being warned countless times about mad dogs you would think that any interaction with them would be avoided at all costs, right?  Well, that kinda logic is for normal people.  Vincent hits a dog on the foggy road and proceeds to jump out of the camper to check on its condition.  One of his crew, Frank, tries to console him by saying that it wasn't his fault.  These fuckers are now responsible for seven deaths including the sheriff and deputy!  Where's your sense of revenge?  Before Vincent smashes the dog's skull with a rock, Frank sees what appears to be a bloody person walking behind some bushes.  Turns out it's a bloody old man who tells them that now that the fog has lifted "he" will command the hounds and that they will all die.  The crazy old man wanders back into the woods just in time to be seemingly killed by the dogs.  Vincent goes off to fetch him, ARMED TO THE TEETH:

Luckily, the Monster Dog's weakness was a loose hex nut.

The Monster Dog pops up and they quickly high-tail it the fuck outta there.  Sorry old man.  At least there's sandwiches and orange Fanta waiting for them back at the house! 
     The crew make it to Vincent's childhood home and they all act as if they're not being hunted by  pack of murderous dogs.  Vincent wanders the house looking for Joss who is nowhere to be found.  Vincent sees that it's a full moon (gasp!) and investigates the house again after he grabs a shotgun that is covered in so much cobweb that it must have been left there during the Bronze Age. Vincent explores the large house and I'm suddenly reminded of a certain survival horror game:


video
     
In the meantime while the rest of the crew stuff their faces, Angela has a strange feeling that the warning the old man told them was right and that they are in danger staying here.  Later that evening she has a vivid dream (her t-shirt has "DREAM" emblazoned on it) where she wakes up next to the corpses of her friends and the old man chasing her through the house telling her that Vincent will kill her.  She doesn't believe him and searches for Vincent whom she finds in a rocking chair facing away from her.  When she places her hand on his shoulder he hops up and reveals his face:

  "Hey man, can I bum a square off ya?

She awakens screaming, waking the rest of the crew.  When Vincent asks what's wrong Angela glares apprehensively at him.  It was a dream.  Didn't she read her shirt?  Angela tells him that he changed into something and killed everyone in the house except her.  Vincent asks her what he changed into and she replies "a werewolf".  Judging by the pic above I'd say a werewolf with severe depression.  Everyone has a big fucking laugh...except Vincent. 
     Sandra finds Vincent later that evening in the same rocking chair that Angela saw him in her dream.  This time when he turns around he's still normal.  Vincent is reading a book about the "scientific realities" of werewolves which provides as evidence a picture of Lon Chaney in the 1941 film, The Wolf Man:

Claudio Fragasso: ever the stickler for historical accuracy.

I guess all of the myths and theories dating back to the 15th century were too deep of waters for Fragasso to wade into.  Vincent tells Sandra that whatever they saw in the woods when they went to look for the old man was anything but normal.  She doesn't believe in werewolves and sites the fact that because he's a rock star and can board a plane and travel anywhere within hours as her proof.  Hard to argue with a sound theory like that.  Vincent decides to come clean and tell her that twenty years ago a pack of wild dogs with above-average intelligence killed a bunch of families.  The town blamed Vincent's father for the deaths because of his "heart affliction" that caused him to go a little feral when the moon was full.  It didn't help his cause when the townspeople found him covered in blood next to the mutilated corpse of a calf.  He was murdered by an angry mob that stabbed him with pitchforks then set him on fire.  Sandra heads to bed but not before looking at a creepy painting of a young Vincent and his parents accompanied by a beastly dog hiding in the bushes beside them.  
     On to more pressing matters.  There's a music video to shoot!  Vincent and his crew record the video for his song "See Me In The Mirror":

    It's like a gothic version of "Thriller" minus the molestations.

During filming Angela sees a bloody form pressing against a window that eventually breaks through the glass and comes crashing down onto the set.  It's the corpse of the caretaker, Joss.  The rest of the crew go upstairs to investigate leaving a distraught Angela alone who sees the old man that has been haunting her in her dreams.  She wanders outside the house.  Vincent elects to go look for her while Sandra calls the police.  Suddenly the lines are cut and a band of misfit townies armed with guns are looking to reenact the murder of Vincent's father twenty years ago:

The bane of any pack of intelligent assassin dogs.
     
The makeshift posse pulls up to the house as Vincent's crew packs to leave.  One of the men tells Sandra that he knew Vincent's dad and asks if they could let them in until Vincent returns.  Every word is dripping in sarcasm and yet Sandra still let's them come in.  The cumulative IQ of this town must be below one hundred.  A moment later, one of the men shoots the tire of the camper as the others subdue Vincent's crew.  The leader of the gang tells Sandra that he has a silver bullet intended for Vincent's heart.  She realizes that these are the same men that killed Vincent's father and the leader confirms it and adds that it was their mistake for letting his son go without thinking he would be a werewolf as well.  Sandra still doesn't believe this despite the literal bodies of evidence she's encountered in the last twenty-four hours.  
     Vincent finds Angela crouched down in the middle of nowhere.  He takes her back to the house while Angela tries to tell him about her vision.  He doesn't listen.  They arrive back at the house and the posse leader is waiting behind the locked front door with his pistol ready to shoot Vincent in the heart as soon as he opens it.  They both bang on the front door for someone to let them in when Vincent tells Angela to wait here.  One of the posse flings the door open and the leader shoots Angela in the stomach thinking it was Vincent.  She dies in Sandra's arms.  The posse pursues Vincent as the leader tells one of his men, Ed to kill the rest of the crew.  Ed, of course, takes a simple process of simply shooting the remaining four crew members and decides to draw it out by speculating on the sexuality of Frank.  Vincent is chased onto the roof of the house that consists of a chicken-wire fence enclosure.  A pack of wild dogs makes it way back to the front of the house.  Thankfully, Ed tells Frank that he has to kill him instead of just pulling the trigger and gives Sandra enough time to stab him in the foot with a fireplace poker.  Frank takes the shotgun from Ed's hands.  Frank stops Sandra from hurting Ed because "they're not killers".  Obviously, neither is Ed.  
     Back on the roof, one of the posse turns around to find Vincent aiming the barrel of the shotgun at his chest.  He shoots him.  Frank heads out the front door to look for Vincent when he's mauled by the pack of dogs:

 Frank never told anyone about his kinky dog fetish.

The funny thing is that the pack consist of a wide variety of dogs.  It's almost as if Fragasso just rounded up any dog he could find and told the cameraman to focus on the German Shepard rather than the smaller breeds.  It really looks silly.  Back upstairs, Vincent gets the bead on another member of the posse.  He calls to him and when the man turns around...HEADSHOT:

 Vincent's shotgun only had a 7% chance for a critical.

The leader comes firing from a hallway and Vincent shoots him as well.  Downstairs the pack of dogs swarm through the house and attack Ed who, in an attempt to defend himself, somehow manages to light himself on fire when he smashes a lamp into one of the dogs.  Engulfed in flames, he drives through a window.  Stop, drop and dive through a window?  Frank is still getting mauled as Sandra tries to get a clear shot.  The dogs stop attacking as a bloody Frank lay dying on the floor.  A werewolf (or is it Monster Dog?) rips open the front door and it brought its own back-lighting:

Did the entire fucking moon follow him to the doorstep?

Jordan (a crew member I hardly got a name for) takes the shotgun from Sandra and opens fire.  When he's out of bullets he decides to beat it to death with the butt of the gun.  Sandra and Marilou (another inconspicuous crew member) flee upstairs with the dogs in pursuit.  The werewolf or Monster Dog drags Jordan out the front door while Sandra and Marilou are trapped in a bathroom.  The monster-dog-wolf-whateverthefuck smashes its head through the door and Sandra decides to go out in the hallway to stab it with a pair of scissors.  Instead Vincent grabs her arm and tells Marilou to follow him.  
     The three lock themselves in a bedroom.  Marilou accuses Vincent of being the Monster Dog (she actually uses that phrase instead of werewolf) because the beast and Vincent are never together.  She starts pounding on his chest until collapsing into his arms in a sobbing fit.  Sandra wakes up later that evening and decides to step back out into the foyer where she sees Vincent surrounded by the pack of dogs that seem to be subdued by his command.  Sandra approaches him and Vincent is amazed that the dogs are all calmed down.  Am I to believe that he of all people would be shocked by this considering what he knows about his own father?  He tells her to wake up Marilou so they can leave now.
     The three get into the car driven by the posse when Vincent discovers that there are no keys for the ignition.  Vincent and Sandra go back to the house to see which one of the four bodies has them.  Marilou is left in the car.  Sandra finds the keys but Vincent is ambushed by the leader who, not only was still alive, but stayed in the same spot as Vincent shot him at!  I assume he knew that Vincent would eventually return to him, no?  Oh yeah, this is logic according to Fragasso.  Sandra takes a risky shot with a sawed-off shotgun and kills the leader.  They race to the car, start the engine and drive off.  Sandra, thinking it's over, asks Marilou a question.  After she's met with a moment of silence, Marilou's corpse leans over the front seat startling Sandra and Vincent.  Suddenly, Vincent is bit by the Monster Dog from the back.  

 Must of been hiding in the cup holder.

Come on!  So, they didn't see this enormous fucking monster dog in the back seat of the car along with Marilou's body?  Vincent yells for Sandra to open the door and jump from the vehicle.  She does.  A car crash is heard followed by a gunshot.  An injured Sandra makes her way back to the vehicle which is flipped upside down.  Marilou's body lays on the ground but Vincent is nowhere to be seen.  She stumbles along until somebody grabs her.  It's the old man that was harassing Angela and he tells her that Vincent's dad bit him in the neck and now that he bit Vincent, he will be the "new king in the house of the dead forever".  Where in the fuck is he going with that statement?  The old man keels over.  I have to say that the more disheveled Sandra gets, the sexier she looks:

Milk my bone monster doggy style!

She finds Vincent who hands her the shotgun and tells her to shoot him before he transforms.  Vincent begins to change into either a Monster Dog or Sloth from The Goonies.  You decide:

"I needz muh Moutin' Dew!"

After watching him continue his painful transformation, Sandra finally decides to end his misery just as he's about to attack her.  She collapses in sadness realizing that he wasn't crazy and knew all along about his family curse.  A montage of the film follows along with the song "Identity Crisis" that accompanied the video at the beginning of the movie in case you forgot what you just watched for the last one hour and twenty-two minutes.  
     I understand that you need a certain amount of suspension of belief while watching some films but this one needs you to undergo a lobotomy to enjoy it.  After all the abuse that the old man endured while as the Monster Dog I don't get how he could be killed by a single gunshot after he bit Vincent.  If he loses his power by biting another person in the neck then, by that very reasoning, wouldn't Vincent still be alive after Sandra shot him?  Whatever.  Alice Cooper does a pretty competent job for a first-timer and the dubbing somehow makes it work.  I guess the reason why this is dubbed is that originally the film was released specifically for a Spanish audience, titled Leviatan


 When it was released on the VHS market here in the States the original dialogue was missing, hence the dubbed Alice Cooper.  I also enjoyed Victoria Vera that played Vincent's girlfriend Sandra.  She has a natural beauty that becomes quite striking as the film proceeds.  Vera would remain a staple of Spanish television well after this film.  As for the film...it sucks.  Scant gore, no nudity and not very muchi n terms of engaging storyline or cinematography.  However, you wouldn't know it by reading the various eight to ten star reviews from the collection of ignorant dumbfucks that populate IMDb.  This "Dog" should immediately be put down...and Fragasso too while I think about it. 



    

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)


     At least Obelisk Motion Pictures showed some introspection and made this their one and only film.  I don't get the fascination with the word "obelisk" as that's also the name of the lifeboat that carries our survivors somewhere in the North Atlantic in 1920.  It doesn't help that the beginning credits are interspersed between the incessant bitching and moaning aboard the Obelisk.  One credit caught my eye that caused me to wonder where their priorities lie...

FUCK YEAH!!!

 I'm not sure if the sun didn't work during filming or if they smeared tar over the camera but this is one of the darkest movies ever.  How do you fuck this up considering there isn't even a cloud in the sky?  Anyway, the S.S.Dildo washes ashore where they are immediately spied upon by the tiny inhabitants: the eponymous "beast creatures" which seems kinda redundant if you ask me.  After a dopey twat accidentally mistakes Mr. Bruin as being dead the rest of the passengers make an attempt to go inland to find water for the sick man.  Despite the fact that there are ten people on this boat the characters are so vanilla except the selfish old prick, Mr. Morgan, I can't really establish who I should be pulling for to survive.  Hey, fuckit!  Kill 'em all for all I care!  And I don't.  If ever there was a scene to describe the bulk of the film, it's this:

video

Are you riveted?  They should have named this Island of Perpetual Hiking instead.  How fucking hard is it to establish that they are making their way inland?  Probably a few seconds, no?  And what's up with that fucking music?  Watch in amazement as our heroes walk slowly through a Connecticut forest preserve!  Thrill as they troll public restrooms looking for homosexual sex!  See Mr. Morgan get sodomized with a tree branch!  This reminds me of another movie I absolutely loathed called Slashed Dreams that substituted hiking as filler throughout the film.  I addressed it long ago on a video here.  After what seems like centuries one of the cardboard cutout actors discovers a little stream.  When he sticks his face in to take a drink it's immediately burned off:

Finally, no more hiking!  Sweet death embrace me!

Looks like a possible case of Wisconsin well water.  One down, I have no fucking clue how many left.  The remaining survivors don't seem too heartbroken over the death but ironically a fight breaks out over who should pick berries.  Go figure.  They do love their berries in this one:

Attack of the Berry Pickers

I've seen concrete monuments move faster than this.  After about twenty five minutes I figured out that John Trieste seems to have become the standout leader of this group (not hard considering the trees have more life than these characters) and if there is a said attack of any creatures it needs to kick itself in the collective ass and happen soon. 
     John and Case return to the boat to check on the dying Mr. Bruin when Case instead discovers a bloody skeleton.  How they determine that this is, in fact, Mr. Bruin is not known.  Maybe John has x-ray vision.  The pair decide to keep this grisly discovery to themselves, grab the supplies from the boat and return to the others.  John must have short term memory because he tells Phil later that evening about Mr. Bruin's corpse eaten clean to the bones.  
     A staggering thirty-two minutes pass before I finally catch a glimpse of the supposed attack.  One of the ladies on watch awakens Case when she sees these peering out from the woods:

The inside of a theater showing a Tyler Perry movie. 

Suddenly the sleeping castaways are being attacked by the tiny terrors as they seemingly drop from the sky.  They really seem more a nuisance than an act of terror as it appears most of the survivors can easily pull the ankle-biters off their bodies and throw them.  After suffering some bites and bruises, John tells them they should get supplies together and get off the island.  Which brings me to my observation concerning these so-called "beast creatures".
     When someone uses the word "beast" I automatically think something large and formidable like Godzilla or Chris Christie in a buffet line.  An action figured sized nibbler is a lot less than a beast:

Help!  This squirrel is raping me!!!

The rest of the film's forty minutes follows the same formula.  Hike a little.  Get attacked.  Hike again.  Get attacked.  They even throw in another acid bath.  Director Michael Stanley's storytelling is like a drunk guy farting into a campfire.  He definitely has a grasp of the tedium of island exploration though.  In the end, John and Cathy are rescued off the island by two sailors passing by in a row boat when one of the men asks what where those things.  The movie ends with John and Cathy staring down and saying nothing.  Yeah, that about sums it up.