Zeegrade Reviews

Zeegrade Reviews
Movies for scumbags.

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. 



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bell From Hell (1973)


     Run for your lives!  It’s a percussion instrument from Hades!  I wish I had some insight as to why this movie is titled like this--there is no evil bell terrorizing anyone--but there is plenty of praise heaped on this odd Spanish flick filmed near the end of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s reign.  Ironically, the original director, Claudio Guerin, died on the last day of filming when he fell from a bell tower constructed for the movie.  Juan Antonio Bardem, uncle of Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) stepped in to complete it.  This is an extremely shoddy transfer of the film with most of the dubbed dialogue almost inaudible.  I’ll try my best to relate what I watched, so here goes…
         John completes a plaster cast of his face on his last day as a patient in a sanitarium.  He believes was wrongly institutionalized by his aunt Marta (Swedish actress Viveca Lindfors, Exorcist III) in order to steal his inheritance.  The gist of Bell from Hell is figuring out if John is pursuing his probationary release bent purely on revenge or if he is, in fact, mentally deranged.  This film attempts to walk a very fine line when it comes to that, however, his actions, in my humble opinion, will appear to vindicate his aunt.  He visits Radaghast the Brown who lives in the forest with a mute teenage.  There, they trade cryptic barbs about the hand dealt John.

 Can you spot the filthy hobo?

John returns to the very large house he shared with his mother who committed suicide and one of the first things he does is get a job at a cattle slaughterhouse.  He quits shortly afterwards, giving the ominous reason to his employer that he’s “learned enough”.  Reminds me of my brief time working at UPS.
     John rekindles his estranged relationship with his aunt by scaring her guest into thinking Marta’s three daughters had died and that she’s been waiting for years for their ghosts to return.  When his cousins actually appear in the flesh, emerging like phantoms from a foggy morning, the guest flees in terror.  John’s attitude towards his three lovely cousins is equally murky.  The eldest cousin, Teresa still harbors resentment towards him and in a flashback it’s insinuated that he was initially committed after supposedly raping her.  So far I‘ve heard very little to make me want to sympathize with our lead.  Esther happily greets John while the reserved Maria sits silently until John leans in for a uncomfortably long kiss.  Before he was put away Maria posed for some nude artwork which adorns John’s bedroom to this day.  Yeah, that’s not creepy. 
     When your sanity is called into question the last thing you should do is confirm it by playing cruel jokes on the same townspeople that believe you’re insane.  First up is a neglected housewife that John frightens into unconsciousness when it appears that he rips his own eyes out of their sockets as punishment for putting a microphone in her bedroom:
 The results of seeing Joy Behar naked.

He carries her into her house, removes her panties and places a note on her chest telling her that he couldn't help himself.  Next, Don Pedro--the husband of the woman he just “raped”--is tricked into handling his penis as John attempts to urinate while he wears double arm casts.  After he’s all zipped up John removes his arms from the casts and calmly tells Don Pedro that this was all part of a bet he concocted with Pedro’s wife.  He adds that the note he left on his wife was only a joke too.  This guy is about as complicated to figure out as a two-piece jigsaw puzzle. 
     Back home in his basement, John prepares a gurney table as well as various medical cutting instruments while visions of his short time at the slaughterhouse are interspersed.  He moves to a bed and then various chairs, rigging each one of them with tape for the mouth and rope to bind his victim.  A sound system runs throughout the house playing an annoying version (Is there any other kind?) of Frere Jacques which John switches over to creepy organ music that he accompanies with his piano.  This guy is quickly reaching Scientology-levels of insanity.  There’s a ring at the front door and when John opens it his wheelchair bound aunt and three cousins are standing there. 
     Marta makes a snide comment about having him committed for keeping the house exactly as it was when he uses this opportunity to ask her about some large transfers of money each month out of his account and to the institution with most of it going to a Dr. Junquiero.  He asserts that she is basically bribing the hospital to make sure he stays there so she can have the entire inheritance.   Marta dismisses the accusation and tells him it’s merely the cost of his treatment.  She reminds him that his mother made her the executor of the will.  As if on cue to prove she’s correct, John presses a key on the piano that causes the creepy organ music to play as he snatches a large candleholder and begins dancing with Esther. 
     It’s clear that Esther is enamored with her handsome cousin and while they are in his backyard she asks him point blank if he was lovers with Maria.  John confirms it.  She then brings up Teresa accusing him of rape.  He confirms that too.  Esther draws the only conclusion possible and assumes that she must be next.  In his defense, his cousins are all beautiful women, but they’re still your cousins dude!  In the meantime, Teresa pushes Marta through the house when they enter John’s room.  They see the nude pictures of Maria and exit it thoroughly disgusted.
     In a scene that could have inspired the gonzo performance of Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau, the guests share a dinner table with all forms of wildlife as John feeds a monkey from a bottle.  Afterwards while they are gathered in a room together, John goes into some exposition about how he ran away from his mother’s money and traveled through Europe.  He complains that it was the rough treatment after he was found again by the lawyers and the psychiatrists that made him into the disturbed man he is today.  John offers to give everything over to Marta if she would give him his passports and allow him to disappear.  Despite Teresa’s prodding, Marta refuses stating that they would be held legally responsible should something happen to him.  
     John wheels Marta out back for some small talk when the latter becomes sleepy.  When she’s fully asleep John dons his beekeeper outfit, wheels his aunt by the frame hives, sprays her with something and lets the bees loose.  He returns to the house and ties up Esther who believes this is just another of his games.  She realizes something’s wrong when he tells her that in every tragedy there is an easy victim and she’s the one.  Next, is Maria who is waiting for John, semi-naked, in his room.  He violently attacks his former lover and binds her.  Last is Teresa who is watching and old film of themselves when they were children.  John accuses her of lying about him raping her.  She says nothing.  He then attempts to rape her and my or may not have succeeded.  I really don’t give a fuck at this point.  As she appears to be buttoning her shirt John knocks her out with the telephone. 
     Naked, gagged and bound with leather straps on their hands and feet the three cousins are hung like cattle on a meat hook:

Of all the scenes to skimp out on lighting!

Just before he is about to cut into Teresa's flesh, he has a flashback of cows being slaughtered.  He stops what he's doing and starts turning over the tables and gurneys until the doorbell snaps him out of it.  It's the Don Pedro's wife and she slaps John across the face for his prank on her husband.  She asks if he really did rape her and John tells her no and that at midnight the next evening he will apologize to her husband.  While this happens the girls free themselves and escape.
     John realizes his cousins escaped and runs outside to check on Marta.  She's gone and somebody attacks him during and evening storm.  In the next scene John is tied up and will be used as a counterweight for the new church bell.  When it rings for the first time, John will be hung by it.  Don Pedro completes a wall covering John from the outside.  The first service to commemorate the new bell arrives and after some trouble ringing it, they finally get it to work.  Esther becomes very upset.
     Don Pedro prepares for bed that evening when he sees a light go on and a shadow pass by a window in John's place.  Not believing that John could possibly be alive, Don Pedro enters the house and sees what appears to be John playing the organ.  He bashes his skull in only to discover that it was a plaster fake (so, he knew at the beginning this would happen?) and begins laughing maniacally.  Suddenly, someone pushes his head into the fishtank and holds it there until he drowns.  the forest hobo that John spoke with at the beginning is shown walking away from the property while the sound of John's motorcycle is heard driving away. 
     If you look up this film on the internet, more likely than not you'll find a positive review waxing poetic about the Gothic atmosphere, stylized cinematography or the fine performances of its capable cast.  I won't argue against any of these points except that it's too pretentious for its own good.  What was the point of his relationship with the beggar in the woods?  Why did he target Don Pedro and his wife when they had nothing to do with stealing his inheritance?  How did he know to make a plaster mask of himself so many days before his death?  Was he psychic?  Again, the copy was horseshit and the dialogue almost nonexistent, however, I couldn't muster enough interest to care about John's mental state or not.  Part of Mill Creek's "Chilling Classics" collection.  Skip this one.  Better yet, skip the whole fucking DVD it's on. 
   


Saturday, December 28, 2013

College Bowl Season! - Ghetto Trash Apparel Bowl


     It's college football bowl time and today is a match-up personifying the pinnacle of Assholedom:  Notre Dame football playing in Yankee Stadium. I settled in to watch this useless bowl game sponsored by a company that makes ugly hats worn by gang-banger wannabes in the suburbs.  Oh snaps!  Do u playz 4 da Decepticons?  There are too many programs who struggled for mediocrity being showcased nationally now that seventy teams get the chance to play in the currently thirty-five bowl games.  Considering that there are 125 teams in the FBS, more than half make a bowl game regardless of performance.  There's no better evidence of this than opponent of college football's most overrated team in history.  Here's some "highlights" that put Rutgers in a bowl game:
  • A 6-6 overall record, going 2-5 in its last seven games!
  • No wins against a team with a winning record
  • One of the six wins came against FCS Norfolk State who went 3-8
  • Finished 3-5 in their own conference
It's clear that Rutgers was pretty undeserving of a bowl game based on these results.  To be fair, there were six other teams with only a .500 record that were rewarded for equally unimpressive seasons.  My point isn't how bad Rutgers is but rather why such a school that bathes itself in "history" and "prestige" would accept to play in such a lower-tier bowl game against an inferior opponent?  It's because the Notre Dame head coach, who is a purple-faced, student murdering cunt, needs to end the season with an easy win.

"GET THAT FUCKING CORPSE OFF THE PRACTICE FIELD!"

     It's bad enough these fucking frauds hacked their way into the BCS Championship game giving hall of fame cocksucker Nick Saban another title for what turned into a practice scrimmage against third-stringers but it's another to think that this team deserves to be part of the National Championship "conversation" year-in-and-year-out when it schedules fucking daisies like Navy and Purdue every year.  Regardless of what I think, you would expect Notre Dame to blow the doors off of Rutgers, right?  The score at halftime: tied at 13.  A team that every year has one of the top ten recruiting classes in the nation, including a number three ranking going into this season, can only manage to score thirteen points against a team that gave up at least fifty points in three games this year.  Not surprisingly the ESPN enablers came to the defense of college football's protected class and made every excuse imaginable for their poor play including the "not playing up to your opponent" bullshit.  Notre Dame accepted this invite and they knew damn well who they were playing.  The question is why didn't they accept another game with a team more their supposed caliber?  It's because their 2-11 record in bowl games since 1994 proves to the college football world who they really are.  Fighting Irish?  More like Fleeing Chickenshits. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)


     There really is no way to describe the visual pain that encompasses this incoherent dreck.  Like many other b-movie fans, I first became familiar with this legendarily awful film thanks to The Agony Booth's long review back in 2002.  Reading about it and attempting to sit down and watch this is two entirely different experiences.  This reminds me exactly of another film, Monster a-Go Go, which is made even worse as a stand-alone movie without the aid of Mystery Science Theater 3000's witty comments.  It literally has to be seen to be believed.  After finally securing a copy in 2003 I watched in slack-jawed disbelief at what is quite possibly the black hole of children's films. 

Florida has not received presents since.

     Santa is left on the beaches of Southern Florida and supposedly abandoned by his ungrateful asshole reindeer.  His sleigh is buried in approximately one inch of sand which must seem like an insurmountable task that is above his pay grade.  What's remarkable is that something so simple as landing on a beach in a warm weather climate is enough to throw Santa's centuries-old routine into the toilet.  After sitting on his ass and bitching to himself without ever once trying to get his shit together he decides to use his NSA-like powers to snoop in on the local kids' lives and put them to work in what I can only identify as some form of psychic slavery.  Here, Santa employs some of his unscrupulous tactics through the song "Woe as Me":

video

His song is heard by every child it seems within a five mile radius.  Not only do they hear it, but they are frozen momentarily in time by it, including this future genius who is filmed jumping off a roof with a patio umbrella:

"This seemed plausible in theory!"

Along with these two boys beating the shit out of each other:

 Santa declares: "Two kids enter, one kid leaves."

 And Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer with the latter getting MAULED BY A RACCOON:

"Just roll with it kid.  Film ain't cheap!"

All the while the children are assembling a festive song is played in the background that sounds like a bunch of drunk kids blowing into kazoos.  Not even ten minutes into this and I already have the pistol inserted into my mouth. 
     The kids' plan is to try and find an animal to drag his sleigh out of the sand.  Santa contributes an exaggerated yawn and some more complaints about making his deliveries.  Lazy cocksucker.   First up is either a man in an ape suit or a possible Florida State football recruit.  Next is a stubborn donkey that the two children try to manhandle into position while Santa does his best Monday morning quarterbacking.  Seriously dude, shut the fuck up!  An extremely pissed-off pig follows after that, with no success.  A girl arrives with a sheep and Santa JUMPS INTO ACTION:

This has all the makings for a very dirty limerick.

While visions of sheep buggering danced in Santa's head, another boy brings a cow to his aid.  It stands there like a statue instead.  Santa playfully pats the cow on the ass as it saunters off.  Can you imagine this fucker on Noah's Ark?  You'd have every animal on the planet born with a white beard.  Finally, a little boy brings what should have been the first--and only--animal to get his sleigh out.  A horse.  The kid is literally punching the damn horse in the neck, trying to get it to back up.  PETA would be going absolutely apeshit over this movie.  When even the horse turns into a failure Santa does the next reasonable thing and gathers the kids back around for...STORY TIME!!!
     Here, at the twenty-one minute mark, the movie completely changes gears.  A teenaged girl, wearing an outfit made from a picnic table blanket, walks around an amusement park.  After a montage of her riding some of the attractions she enters Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Land" where Thumbelina is playing.  The teenaged girl enters the building and suddenly Pirate's World presents is splashed on the screen.  Thus begins Thumbelina:

What happened to Santa?  I'M IN THE DARK HERE!!!

     I'm not going into great detail on this part.  It appears to me that "Pirate's World" held a contest and the winner got to be the star of this junior high level production of Hans Christian Andersen's tale of a pint-sized girl trying to flee getting raped by a scary looking amphibian:

More evidence for David Icke.

 Sadly, this takes up a whopping one hour out of the one hour and thirty-five minute running time!  Wouldn't it make sense to call it Thumbelina - Starring Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny?  At least Pirate's World seemed like a decent amusement park while it was open.  Kinda reminded me of a similar park that was knight-themed when I was young called "Kiddie Kingdom". 
     Santa relates the moral of the story to the kids, telling them to "never get discouraged" despite the fact that he has been doing just that the entire fucking time.  Am I to believe that the kids sat for an hour on the hot sand and listened to Santa tell them the story of Thumbelina?  My kids can't sit still for a whole minute let alone an entire hour!  The kids start jabbering and a rather thick girl shows her dog to Santa.  Inspiration crashes through the audience like a tidal wave and the children run off while Santa curses the sun for doing it's job.  He strips off some of his bulky clothing and accepts dying of heatstroke when a siren is heard.  Whipping around a corner at three miles per hour:

"I'll be there in just under a week Santa!"

the Ice Cream Bunny has arrived!  I'm not sure if he drove the thing down from Jacksonville or not but this slow ride is prolonged into another sight-seeing tour through Pirate's World.  It truly is a bizarre sight to behold as this poor guy has to try and drive the vehicle, clearly not designed to carry all these kids, while wearing this goofy outfit.  Would you trust your child in this scenario?

"I'm tryin' to tell ya I can't see a fuckin' thing!"

The groupthink continues as the kids break into a song about helping Santa and saving Christmas from this monumental fuckup.  Was there a chorus written specifically for this very occasion or is it just supposed to be something spontaneous?  Either way it just seems kinda odd.  Appearing from an odd time warp, the crew turns the very same corner I screen captured above.  If this Bunny has ice cream, I have yet to see any.  They finally complete their continental drift pace and arrive on the beach.  Santa recognizes the Ice Cream Bunny, his "old friend".  Then why didn't you call him in the first place!  A very one-sided conversation ensues with the Bunny who, besides an extremely creepy wink of his right eye, cannot communicate at all.  Perhaps he has prewritten messages stashed inside the ice cream he appears not to possess.  

Suddenly, Batman Vs. Superman seemed like a stupid idea.

What little dialogue exists is drowned out by a goddamn dog barking.  The FBI would have a hard time trying to decipher what the fuck anybody is saying in this steaming pile.  The narrator, whom is supposed to be talking directly to us, is the worst culprit of this.  Was a rag stuffed in her mouth?  Santa asks Bunny if they can make it in time and without given him a moment to contemplate the situation answers in the affirmative for him.  The annoying kazoo band is back with their eardrum raping version of "Jingle Bells".  Bunny starts up the vehicle and Santa pleads that he will try to get all the gifts delivered in time.  Don't you think a special case can be made for these kids?  I'm sure if somebody had to lose out on some presents this year it's those savages in the Middle East or those pagan Commies in China.  Regardless of Santa's worthless promises, him and Bunny drive off, abandoning the very sleigh he earlier said he couldn't leave behind considering it had ALL THE FUCKING PRESENTS IN IT!

"I left the what?  I can't hear anything over the dual exhaust!"

The kids wave goodbye, along with a stupefied Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, and return to Santa's sleigh.  Adding to my perplexion, the sleigh suddenly disappears.  The narrator mumbles something about it returning to the North Pole.  Are you fucking kidding me?  If it could return on its own all along then why didn't Santa just do that to begin with?  Why is this the most retarded children's film ever?  We have a one minute plot stretched out into thirty five with a completely unrelated story stuffed into the middle to break up your impending insanity.  This is why people drink more during the holidays!  I'll spare you the obligatory "coal for a present" joke and just plead that you avoid this movie at all costs.  There isn't even any ice cream in it. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Elves (1989)


     Sentenced to VHS purgatory, Elves is one of the nastiest films centered around the worst goddamn holiday ever.  Kirsten and her two friends conduct a pagan ceremony in the middle of the forest dedicated to the "Virgin of Anti-Christmas".  Thankfully, Kirsten provides us with a sketch, including that the inspiration for her art-deco boobs came in a dream:

No SS bolts shaved into her pubes?

Their ritual is cut short when Kirsten cuts her hand on the glass bowl containing the candle.  Her blood seeps into the ground, sprouting a tiny hand while the three girls unknowingly return home.  
     Kirsten's homelife is anything but pleasant.  First, is her physically abusive German (hint, hint) grandfather who greets her with two slaps to the face.  He owns strange, paranormal books and forbids Kirsten from entering the forest.  Second is her evil cunt-of-a-mother who in over-the-top gusto, takes every dime out of her personal savings account as punishment for taking her grandfather's book.  Her sadism doesn't end there, but more on that later.  Lastly, is Kirsten's foul-mouthed pervert younger brother, Willy who delivers this incestuous zinger after spying on his sister as she gets out of the shower:
video
Sadly, we never get to see said tits.  Later that evening, Willy is attacked by the elf or what our tiny gentleman described as "a little fucking ninja troll".  Now THAT would be a great title!  Kirsten runs to his aid along with her evil mom who thinks the scratches on his back came from Kirsten's cat Agamemnon.  The next morning the crazy bitch throws Agamemnon in a sack, drowns it in the toilet and buries it.
     Meanwhile, down-on-his-luck Mike McGavin--a tired Dan Haggerty (The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams) who appears to have stained his hair thanks to his chain smoking--is looking for a job and turns to an old acquaintance for work at the very store Kirsten works at.  Lucky for Mike there's going to be an opening soon because the current store Santa loves oral a wee bit too much.

"May I stuff your meat stocking?"

The degenerate Santa is taking a cocaine break when the elf stabs him repeatedly in the groin with a knife.  Later that evening the elf digs up the corpse of Agamemnon and frightens Kirsten when it bangs on the window with the cat's dead body.  When describing it to her grandfather, Kirsten calls it a troll.  That's fucking twice now!  I don't see any goddamn arrows and long flowing blonde locks on this bastard!  Anyway, after Kirsten returns to bed her grandfather starts yammering about an elf to Kirsten's mother who informs him that she was responsible for killing Agamemnon.  The spirit of Christ just oozes from this family.  
     
Dan Haggerty summed up in one photo.

     Mike is offered the job of store Santa while engaged in a battle with Kirsten over whose-life-sucks-the-worst.  Haggerty must have struck a deal in his contract that allowed him to smoke in as many scenes as possible.  It's revealed during his break that Mike used to be a detective when he recognizes a rune cut into the floor not far from where the previous Santa was murdered .  He was probably fired for attempting to smoke his partner.  Back at Kirsten's home, her grandfather meets with a kraut and his two henchmen.  The kraut spouts off about resurrecting elves and that Kirsten is the key to birthing the new order and that things are proceeding regardless of his feelings for his granddaughter.  
     After work, Mike goes to the library to look up what exactly the rune was that he saw back in the store breakroom.  Of course, he's directed to section 666 which even he finds absurd.  He finds two pages partially torn out and says something to himself about Fitzpatrick and Taft University.  Kirsten sneaks her two sex-crazed friends, Brooke and Amy, to the now closed store thanks to the latch that Mike taped shut on an exit door.  Mike returns to the store and his makeshift bed along with the elf.  Joining them on their midnight excursion is the kraut and his henchmen who kill three douchebags looking to score with the girls.  The alarm is sounded and dumbass Amy, thinking it's the guys, decides to greet them dressed in a white negligee:

Amy's Secret: Pray he's not a boob man.

Kraut and his henchmen get on Amy's elevator and shoot her in the head when she doesn't cooperate.  Mike's lucky day continues as he finds Kirsten amongst the gun section as the kraut arrives.  While Mike trades shots with the bad guys, Brooke accidentally stumbles onto Amy's corpse while trying to escape on the elevator.  This sends her into a panic and soon she comes face to face with something so silly it defies belief anyone would be frightened of it:

"Don't laugh!  Rudolph jizzed in my eye!"

The elf, minus the Santa hat now, stabs Brooke twice--instantly killing her.  Uh, I'm no doctor but I doubt that is a automatic life-ender.  The sound of the police arriving scares off the kraut and his henchmen. 
     The next morning a detective goes into exposition with Mike about how he drunk his job away when he was a police officer.  Did he roll up the alcohol and smoke it by any chance?  He give Mike the obligatory twenty-four hours to clear his name and prove that that the elf he saw was real.  The store manager arrives and fires both Mike and Kirsten.  Mike takes Kirsten home and attempts to explain what happened that evening to her mother.  Kirsten once again calls it a troll.  Mike calls it a troll as well when he describes it to the grandfather.  That's at least the sixth time it's been called that.  Make up your fucking mind movie!  Mike notices the same rune on a book underneath the Christmas tree.  When he presses the grandfather for more information he's told to leave before the police arrive.
     It's Christmas Eve and Mike heads to the university to ask Dr. Fitzpatrick about the rune.  Fitzpatrick tells him that these two-foot elves were originally saved by Noah and put on his Ark.  The rune is actually an elvish symbol.  As if their biblical rescue wasn't enough to swallow, Fitzpatrick adds that the Nazis were also interested in elves as well and that if he wanted to know more to contact Doctor O'Conner at his home. 
     Back at home Kirsten thinks for a moment that she has gained sympathy from her mother but that devolves quickly into another fight.  Kirsten wishes she was dead and her father was alive.  Her mom responds by telling her that her father is alive...it's her grandfather.  Yep, there's that Christmas spirit again! 
     Mike arrives at O'Conner's house just in time for a Christmas Eve feast:

 "Do you mind if I smoke your tree?"

O'Conner is upset for being disturbed at his house but goes into story mode anyway.  First, the Nazis tried to use the elves as tiny assassination teams.  Second, and yes it get's more absurd, is they genetically altered the elves sperm to produce the master race.  This can only be consummated on a Christmas Eve with a virgin.  What a coincidence!  Is this really an appropriate conversation to have in front of two little girls?
     Grandfather explains to Kirsten that the reason he impregnated his own daughter was part of the inbreeding program meant to produce the perfect female, namely herself.  She still can't handle the reason and runs off to her room.  Meanwhile, mom is having a mental breakdown in the bathroom.
     Mike is being followed when he goes to use the (what else?) car cigarette lighter.  He bangs on the dashboard and then the glove compartment when a bomb falls onto the floor.  He rolls out of the vehicle just in time before it blows up.  The man following him inspects the scene and is blindsided by Mike.  How does Dan Haggerty sneak up on you?  After a few punches to the face, he tries to question him.  He asks where Kirsten is.  Wouldn't she still be at home where you last left her?  The man doesn't answer and instead swallows something that causes his mouth to foam and then die.   
     Back in the bathroom, Kirsten's mom gets into a bath.  She's enjoying the water on her perky boobs and some music when the elf pushes the radio into the bathtub, electrocuting her:

"I can't listen to Blurred Lines one more fucking time!"

Mike arrives at the house and determines that Kirsten's grandfather was a Nazi.  No shit dude.  Grandfather admits everything to Mike then adds that the apocalypse would happen if the elf impregnated Kirsten.  The kraut arrives and all hell breaks loose.  The henchman is shot, grandfather is shot and Mike tangles with the old kraut.  Kirsten and her brother run into the woods.  Mike is shot by the kraut's terminator henchman who's like eight feet tall.  The kraut chases after Kirsten and Willy in his jeep.  Kirsten goes back to the same spot in the woods where the film began.  The kraut arrives and tries to soothe Kirsten by telling her how much he loves her...that is until he's shot by the elf.  Kirsten gets her leg stuck in the hole that the elf originally emerged from.  She sends her brother to retrieve a red crystal from their house that her grandfather said can defeat it.  Willy returns with the crystal and it's up to Kirsten to figure out what to do.  The crystal has a very sharp edge so the obvious thing would be to stab the little fucker with it.  Well, logic is not this movie's strong suit and the ending proves that as she stabs the ground where the elf came from, all the while calling it a faggot.  The elf slowly melts away in one of the the most obnoxious deaths in movie history leaving Kirsten and Willy alone in a snowy forest at sunrise.  The credits role over this dandy:

Abortions rose 1000% after this film.

     Nothing celebrates the holidays like a film about incest, Nazis and a town where everyone is an asshole.  This really is a film that wallows in sleaze and I love it.  I do, however, have two minor complaints.  First, if you are going to talk about "big fucking tits" I better get to see big fucking tits!  Second, make up your fucking mind.  Was it a troll or an elf?  Seriously, it's not that goddamned hard.  It certainly fit the troll mold except for the pointy ears.  It's not like you absolutely had to title the film Elves anyway.  Besides there was only one elf instead of multiple elves that the title implies.  Dan Haggerty smokes so much in this movie that I believe I got lung cancer by watching this.  Grab some spiked eggnog and enjoy.