Zeegrade Reviews

Zeegrade Reviews
Movies for scumbags.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Meateater (1979)


     Theater is pronounced (thee-uh-ter) according to the dictionary — not (thee-ate-her).  Those who use the latter sound like uneducated rubes.  Thankfully, our star Mitford (the hopelessly lame yet likeable Peter Spitzer) wasn't trying to portray a sophisticated intellectual.  Every time he says the word — and, it's a lot — I want to karate chop him in the neck.  The title of this film is more than a little misleading.  The three minute intro seemingly sets the stage as a raggedy, scarred, old man alone in a projection room of a derelict theater is watching a silent Jean Harlow film when he spies a rat and digs in:

Tastes exactly like Taco Bell.  Weird, huh?

So, I'm sitting there thinking to myself: This must be the Meateater.  Technically, yes he's The Meateater.  The end credits refer to him as thee Meateater.  However, his level of devouring meat does not in any way surpass the other characters in the movie, nor does he display any peculiarities that would define him solely on his consumption habits.  You might as well have assigned him the moniker "Airbreather" because whatever you called him, it bears little relevance to the title.  This is a movie about eating though, make no mistake about it.  Every scene seems to have somebody stuffing there maw with something.  No one more so than the bovine Lt. Wombat who crassly orbits Mitford's universe like a rogue moon.
     Mitford comes home from work and calls his wife, Jan out to the front yard so he can complain to her about his dead-end job.  Why this conversation didn't take place inside is one of the many odd segments that gives this movie some character.  Mitford is a shoe salesman.  A shoe salesman that is away nine months of the year.  Where the fuck is he selling these shoes?  Mars?  His luck is about to turn because sitting in the mailbox is a letter from his real estate broker, Mr. Knuckle (I know, right?) that his low bid was accepted and that Mitford now owns the Crest Theater.  This is a dream come true for Mitford and despite his wife's reluctance that he quit his job and move the family to another town she acquiesces.  I'll be honest with ya...I'm actually pulling for the poor bastard!
     Mitford signs the deed at Knuckle's — who's in the middle of eating — office making it official.  He asked why the Crest closed down considering it was the only theater in town.  Knuckle gives him the skinny:

video

Pornography, damn you!  The close-ups on each mouth really drives it home, ya think?  Mitford assures Knuckle that he'll run only the most sterilized family-fare movies so as not to offend the working class provincials. They begin the process of cleaning up the theater and prepping it for reopening on Saturday.  While Mitford is away Jan hears noises coming from upstairs and thinks it must be a rodent infestation.  That same day she sees an older man standing in the lobby and when she talks to him he tells her — in a VERY exaggerated stutter — that he lives across the street from the theater and that they mustn't open it again.  Jan goes to answer the phone and when she returns the man is gone.
     Mitford needs to hire a projectionist and Raymond arrives in his office for an interview.  To bad he seems more occupied with Mitford's daughter Jeannie's ass:

 "Your daughter loves anal?  Sorry, just projecting."

If that isn't enough to creep out his prospective boss Raymond's "qualifications" leave even less to be desired.  His experience is limited to watching movies.  That doesn't worry Mitford one bit as he hires him anyway simply based on the notion that Raymond will try really hard.  With that finished, it's time to open the theater again!

Yep, sounds perfectly wholesome.

Raymond, sporting a cool Conan the Barbarian comic book shirt, stumbles around the projection room trying to get the movie ready.  It must be a pretty boring town because the theater is packed to see this documentary about — what else? — eating habits of animals.  Two eyes peer out from the darkness and then a hand attaches a cable to some wires sticking out of a junction box labeled "projector".  When Raymond goes to change the reel he's electrocuted along with a surge burning the rest of the film.  The crowd goes apeshit even though it sounded like the movie was ending anyway.  Mitford and Jan rush upstairs to break the current coursing through Raymond's body.  When the power is shut off an eerie scene is backlit from behind the theater screen:

To everyone's dismay, it was not Neil Patrick Harris.

Seeing this, the audience goes fucking berserk and storms out of the theater.   This is the most goddamned sensitive town in America!  The police arrive to investigate the matter.  Enter the Wombat!

A turkey leg was hidden in his mustache.

Wombat and his partner Mulligan resemble shady used-car salesmen rather than cops.  While investigating the back room where the hanging man was found, Wombat notices the old man who lives across the street loitering in the hallway and he gruffly asks what the hell he's doing out there, sorta scaring him away.  Perhaps you should question him?  A man was just murdered for fuck's sake!  Mulligan cuts the hanging man down and they send the corpse to the lab for an analysis. 
     Two corpses and a ruined Grand Opening later, Mitford tells Jan that they have to reopen the theater despite the unfortunate events.  He chalks up Raymond's death, ironically, to a kid that didn't know what he was doing — a fact Mitford willfully ignored.  He leaves for the police department to see if the hanging man was identified.  While washing dishes, Jan looks up and sees the old man that lives across the street staring back at her through the window.  The old man scampers off.  Agitated, Jan goes across the street to confront the oddball.  He's not home but the front door is unlocked allowing her a look inside.  There's a picture of Jean Harlow on the wall.  Jan returns to the theater and finds the man sitting alone in the balcony.  She threatens to call the police for spying on her.  He tells her that his brother worked here and starts going on about getting burned in a fire and a man named Crawford.  He skulks away crying about "Ben".  Jan investigates the projection room seen in the opening credits and sees that it's decorated with pictures of Jean Harlow.  One picture in particular grabs her attention because it bares more than a passing resemblance to her daughter Jeannie.
     Mitford tells Jan that the hanging corpse was identified as Crawford, the former owner of the Crest.  They argue about reopening the theater even with everything that's happened.  Wombat is called over to the house for some back story as to why the old man is obsessed with the the theater.  The shot is framed perfectly:

"I love your new golden dragon head with rainbow hair!"

Wombat tells them that the old man is Noah Whateverthefuck.  I can't make out his exact last name but I'll get to that later.  Noah's brother, Ben was a projectionist at the theater and he perished in a fire there which pegs him as The Meateater in the beginning of the film.  Wombat asks Jan if she wants him arrested and she declines.  Fuck almighty, she murdered that roast!
     Mitford's incredulity over Jimmy Dean's sausage is put on the back burner because today the theater reopens!  A hopelessly dopey kid gets dropped off by his parents with strict orders to be out front by 8:30.  He has other plans:

"Bitches know I got game!"

The plan is to pay for his ticket and let his hoodlum friends in the back door.  Knuckle stops by to offer his support and decides to stay for a wiener.  Jan really know how to sell those dogs!  Dopey kid finds the back door locked and is attacked shortly afterwards by Ben.  He's tossed down a stairwell while the audience laugh like jackals at two rhinos fucking.  This is why people hate the suburbs.  It's almost time for Jeannie's date and she treats a rotund patron very rudely at the concession stand.  They run out of cups so Jeannie ventures upstairs to ask Mitford where she can find more.  Along her way to the projection booth Ben subdues her.  He takes her back to his Jean Harlow shrine.  Meanwhile, the parents of the dopey — now deceased — kid wait impatiently out front.  They go inside and with the assistance of Jan's son Ricky, search the theater for him.  They don't find him.
     With the evening finished and both parents believing that Jan left on her date, the family is off to the ice cream parlor.  On their way back they break into song:

video

I think it's pretty clear that Oscar Mayer partially funded this film.  When our trio of songbirds return home they find that Jeannie's date has been waiting for her for the last two hours.  Mitford, Ricky and the date go and search for her when Jan comes to a frightening realization while on the phone with the police.  She leaves a note telling Mitford that Jeannie never left the theater.  Jan's right of course as Ben insists that Jeannie is Jean Harlow reincarnated.  While trying to flee him she runs into the corpse of the dopey kid who is strung up by his feet.  Jan arrives in time to thwart Ben's amorous intentions on Jeannie.  As they both try to escape Noah arrives.  A tension-free chase begins through the theater until Noah finally catches up to Ben.  Ben retreats to the roof where Noah follows him.  He begs his brother, "no more" however, one glimpse of Jeannie emerging from a hallway cues him to push his poor brother to his death.  The fall appears only a few feet yet...

Did he fall from space?

Fuck me!  That fall wouldn't even have killed him let alone shatter every bone in his goddamn body!  Mitford arrives in the aftermath and the family flees the theater.  Mitford's dream is over as the screen pans to a window in the now closed Crest Theater where the flickering of the movie screen shows a Jean Harlow movie being played.  
     Great ending, huh?  All Noah wanted was his brother back and what does he get for it?  Splattered across the floor like a ripe cantaloupe.  How exactly did Ben manage to avoid detection after all those years?  You mean to tell me that after the fire not one person searched for his body?  Did they think it was incinerated and give up after five minutes?  His "burns" weren't even that bad — just one side of his face.  He could have had a pretty normal life back in society even with his scars.  Talk about blowing shit out of proportion.  Noah and Ben have a last name, though it's hard to make out because both times when Wombat says it he's got food in his mouth.  Yet, the end credits list him as "Noah Webster" — the same as Mitford's family! 
     I gotta admit that I felt bad that Mitford's dream failed miserably and that he had to go back to selling shoes.  The Crest Theater was in operation in Monrovia, California up until it was condemned the same year The Meateater was filmed there.  For a small budget film this had plenty of local charm it you give it an honest viewing.  Mitford's quirkiness and Wombat's bull-through-a-China-shop performance are worth the price of admission.  This was the one and only performance by Arch Joboulian who plays both Noah and his burned brother Ben.  He actually does a serviceable job compared to other one-and-done "actors".  Somewhere in this forgotten film is a message about our relationship with food but fuck if I know what that missive is.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the all-you-can-eat buffet. 

    

Monday, March 16, 2015

Breeders (1997)


     Back in the mid-Eighties gay porn director Tim Kincaid (a.k.a. "Joe Gage") tried his hand at going mainstream by directing a few small budget direct-to-video films.  Unsurprisingly, they were all wretched.  Amongst his short resume of work that didn't involve male-on-male sodomy was the 1986 science fiction/horror movie Breeders which haphazardly told the tale of an alien that rapes Manhattan's scarce supply of cocaine-snorting virgins.  Virgins, I might add, which he keeps in a pool of space jizz in an abandoned subway tunnel.  Flash forward over a decade later and imagine my surprise when browsing the aisle of my local Blockbuster I came across what I thought was the aforementioned Kincaid abomination repackaged in an updated VHS box.  One glance at the comely female actresses on the back and I knew immediately that this was no Kincaid film.  Would I feel the same after watching it?  Well...
     This Breeders is directed by Paul Matthews who seems apt to pass the gloomy hillsides of England as American backdrops.  I actually watched his first effort, 1995's Grim, years later on an episode of TNT's homage to my kind of movies, "Monstervision" — hosted by the always entertaining and informative Joe Bob Briggs.  Grim was an abysmal film about a group of spelunkers that encounter a monster in a cave that was summoned using a Ouija board.  Breeders would be his second consecutive film centered on underground beasts.  Seriously dude, give it a rest. 
     The movie begins with a meteor crashing to Earth courtesy of the PlayStation quality CGI graphics during the opening credits.  Emerging from the rubble is our rather decent looking alien and his gorgeous, skin-barring, unwilling accomplice with an unsightly facial scar:

Despite the scars, I'm still turned on.

This "Space Girl" as she's so creatively referred to is Kadamba Simmons who starred in Matthews' first film, Grim.  More on her unfortunate story later.  Lucky for us, our alien beast happened to blast through the campus street of an all-girls college.  A college that seems to employ only three people:

The janitor actually teaches pre-med.

 The handsome looking cat is our hero, Ashley (Todd Jensen, the not quite cyborg cop in Cyborg Cop) along with Jack the JANITOR as it's emblazoned on his back and the college principal (shouldn't she be a dean instead?) Roper, who has a very difficult time trying to maintain her American accent.
     Let me address this here and now.  This is supposed to take place in Boston even though it was filmed on the Island of Man located in between Britain and Ireland.  Not once does anyone try to inflect the fakkin' annoying Bostonian accent that — and I'm just throwing darts here — seems pretty goddamn prevalent in the Boston area!  To say that certain American traits were lost in translation to director Matthews is an understatement.  For instance, the gas refinery is run by "Boston Gas".  The Boston Police drive a squad car that says "Highway Patrol".  Speaking of the police, Swiss-born actor Oliver Tobias portrays Detective Moore as a Dirty Harry/William Munny/mafioso hybrid.  It's fucking bizarre.  Then there's that basketball scene.  Ho-lee shit!
     Back to the story.  Ashley takes a shard of what he thinks is part of the meteor that crashed nearby when in actuality it was a piece of the meteor that our Space Girl "rode" on.  He's not the only one to snatch up pieces of the valuable space booty as it has become quite the rage for the young ladies to wear them around their necks as makeshift jewelry.  I guess NASA just doesn't give a fuck about investigating this.  Things just keep getting better for Ashley as he strikes up a not-at-all inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his students, Louise played by blonde cutie Samantha Janus.  I gotta hand it to Matthews, he knows Janus' strength and employs it well:

 Only gave her a B+ that year.  Fucking chauvinist.

During the above scene, Louise returns to her dorm for the evening when Ashley alerts her that she forgot her panties.  She tells him to save them until next time.  He obviously can't wait:

Art teacher.  Alien hunter.  Panty sniffer.  Hero.

Jack, who also is having sex with Louise's roommate Myra (The fuck is going on at this college?) gets knocked off by the alien.  Myra, looking for Jack whom she loaned $300, ends up getting kidnapped by said alien while Roper, who witnesses the whole thing, gets hit in the head by a forcefully closed door, knocking her out.  That same night Ashley spies Space Girl and chases her down and tackles her when she is pulled into the ground by the alien, slicing his side with claw marks.  Detective Moore is called to investigate the missing individuals and makes Ashley his prime suspect. He refuses to believe that a monster is responsible for this because Roper, for some fucking reason, refuses to confirm Ashley's story.  I guess large, bloody claw marks is not considered evidence.  What I would like to know is with a dead janitor and an injured principle and art teacher who is working at the fucking college?
     Detective Moore decides to send his "forensic team" to investigate what is going on underground.  There is nothing scientific whatsoever applied by this group of bungling assholes and petty douchebags who are armed to the teeth but lack the the collective intelligence to run a fucking Taco Bell.  The alien has the last member cornered when he decides to ignite a fuel line in hopes of killing them both.  It fails.
     Back at the dorms the women that wore the makeshift jewelry of the meteor shards have suddenly become mindless savages under the control of the alien.  They start making their way to his underground fuck palace.  This includes Louise, who Ashley confronts after his interrogation by Detective Moore.  Louise seems to have the upper hand until Space Girl comes to his aid:

video

You catch that wardrobe malfunction?  Space Girl tells Ashley to rip off the necklace.  He does and she returns to her senses.  Easy huh?  Well not so much for the other poor girls as the pair return to the underground hideout and remedy Louise's classmates with shotgun blasts to the abdomen.  After their carnage it comes to Ashley's realization that the women are being controlled by the shards.  Louise wonders who they killed to which Ashley coldly replies, "They were already dead".  Try telling that to a judge Ash. 
     The lovers come to rescue Space Girl but not before Louise is knocked unconscious when they fall into the alien stronghold in the depths of the sewer.  Space Girl tells Ashley the purpose of the women is to carry his eggs.  That's carry — not impregnate — something the movie makes sure to stress to the viewer so that we are aware that there was no intergalactic coitus between the alien and the women!  The alien needs the women to act as incubators so his species can survive.  Along the way Ashley makes a wild assumption that even though normal ammo won't work, somehow shotgun shells stuffed with fragments of the meteor shard will do the job.  Where he got this from, I don't have the faintest clue.  At one point Louise tells Detective Moore to avoid eye contact with the alien so as not to be hypnotized.  Okay, this movie is clearly making shit up as it goes.  Anyway, the alien is dispatched by getting dropped into water that's on fire (don't ask, just keep moving) and Ashley, Louise, Detective Moore and Space Girl escape.  Their celebration is short-lived as multiple alien meteors make their way into Earth's atmosphere.  Who knows. Maybe they're enrolling in the Humanities courses at the college.  
     First, let me start with the positives.  The alien looked pretty badass:


and so did Samantha Janus' constantly erect nipples:


After that it's all downhill.  This was a remake of Kincaid's 1986 work, albeit, with far better looking women.  At least Kincaid stayed true to the seedier aspect of the premise by implying that the alien impregnated the women personally.  I guess Matthews wanted to take the high road and make a shitty b-movie with class.  The first twenty minutes started off promising, even adding a rather gratuitous shower scene for good measure.  The rest of the movie however is quite a bore.  It's a tedious buildup to the eventual showdown and the payoff once you get there is definitely not worth the price.  One other thing — Paul Matthews the director needs to fire Paul Matthews the writer.  Here's why:
  • Traveling by meteor seems really inefficient.  How do you steer it?  What if it crashes into a star?  Speaking of crashing, how the fuck does the alien always survive?  
  • What was the motivation for Roper to not tell Detective Moore about the alien?  Was she worried about enrollment next year?
  • If the shard necklaces controlled whoever wore them then why didn't the alien put one on Space Girl?  Was that his special side piece?
  • What exactly was Space Girl's purpose?  She seemed to be able to come and go as she pleased.  If she really wanted to escape why did she mockingly laugh at the cops when they found her then attempt to help one later?  What the fuck Kadamba? 
  • Removing the necklace from Louise brought her back to her senses but the same thing couldn't have helped the other girls because they were "already dead".  Why?  Was there a time limit?
  • Where did Ashley get the idea that the very same shards that gave the alien power over the women would somehow hurt him in exchange?  
  • When the fuck did the alien suddenly become able to hypnotize anyone by looking at them?  It certainly didn't work on the cops or Roper.  
  • What exactly happened to the alien?  The "water" was on fire before he landed in it.  Why was it lit to begin with?  Was it butane?  Is that why the refinery exploded?  It was established earlier with the "forensic team" that the alien was immune to explosions.
  • Finally, how did the alien species even survive this long if every time a new one is hatched it devours its parents?   
Sadly, Kadamba Simmons would be murdered the following year by her former Israeli military boyfriend who believed she was possessed by demons.  Simmons gained some notoriety in her native England for her high profile relationships with Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and boxer Prince Naseem Hamed.  Guess she really had a thing for assholes.  Janus, now Samantha Womack, would take her sensitive nipples and Cadillac ass and star in various British television shows.  She can currently be seen as the mother of young hoodlum-turned-British agent, "Eggsy" in Kingsman: The Secret Service.  As for star Todd Jensen, he seems to still find jobs here and there though it's clear his peak was definitely in the mid-90's.  Kinda like me. 






















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!

video

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!