I watched the Slumber Party Massacre trilogy last night. Nothing out of the ordinary (you know: boobs, powerdrill killings, bad dancing to 80s music) but part 2 did have a scene in which the heroine was attacked by a roast chicken and the chick with the giant exploding zit on her face was pretty cool too.
Director: Luigi Cozzi (a.k.a. Lewis Coates)
Starring: Lou Ferrigno, Sybil Danning, Brad Harris, William Berger, Gianni Garko
This 80s version of Hercules as purveyed by Italian shlock master Cozzi is a piece of bad movie heaven. As the titular character (pun intended) former Mr Universe and Incredible Hulk Lou flexes his pectorals and lifts up a lot of heavy stuff while the supporting cast romps about in the campest costumes you’ve ever seen. Lots of heavy duty dubbing and cheesy special effects. Lou battles a range of exotic opponents including a giant locust made of Meccano, a kung fu yeti and stock footage of a bear. Sybil Danning finally has a co-star whose boobs are bigger than hers.
When: Friday July 25 2014 @ 8.00pm
Where: Astor Theatre 1 Chapel Street St Kilda
Tickets available at the door
If there's a better 80s rock musical than "Voyage of the Rock Aliens" I haven't seen it. Pia Zadora (one of the greatest non-singing, non-dancing, non-acting stars of all time) plays a trashy midget whose mega-mulleted boyfriend won't let her sing with his band - probably because he's heard her sing. Fortunately some aliens invade Earth and invite her to join them for several stand-out musical numbers. At the end everyone was attacked by a giant mutant squid but the bald guy from "The Hills Have Eyes" attacked it with a chainsaw and saved the day. Everything about this movie - the tinny synth riffs, the 80s fashion statements, the general air of ineptitude - was sensational. 97 minutes of my life simply flew by.
Last night I watched "Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf" and it's everything I'd heard it was: BAD! But whereas all the reviews didn't like it I thought it was AWESOME. All the actors were TERRIBLE (even Christopher Lee), the werewolf make-up looked REALLY FAKE, there was a SHITHOUSE punk band, every third character was a DWARF and Sybil Danning kept ripping her boobs out and had a werewolf menage a trois. I cannot believe this movie has been around for 28 years and last night was the first time I saw it.
I watched "Island of the Fishmen" last night and it lived up to ALL my expectations. Despite being described as "more fish than man", the fishmen (a type of fish/human hybrid) looked just like men wearing fish suits. Some of them had eyeballs that rolled around and some of them didn't and they regularly jumped out of the water and killed people. The cast did an excellent job of taking everything very seriously. Barbara Bach was especially good, particularly when she walked into the ocean to feed the fishmen their special fishman food and they all starting feeling her up. She didn't look for a second like she was going to crack up while I was all over the lounge room floor. The exciting finale featured everyone running away from stock footage of an erupting volcano. Another masterpiece made by Italians.
All the best movies cram as much as they can into the shortest possible running time. Based on that reckoning "The Devil's Kiss" is one of the greatest movies ever made. A devil-worshipping medium teams up with a terminally ill scientist and a rapist dwarf to create a Frankenstein zombie that strangles the entire cast. Chuck in a fashion parade (featuring giant platforms and bell bottom jumpsuits), a voodoo dance routine, a seance, boobs, bush, mucky sex and running and screaming and you've got 90 minutes of red hot entertaiment. Made by a guy from Andorra. Who knew a micro-nation could produce this kind of genius?
I love it when a movie started life as a title and you can bet that's exactly how "The Gingerdead Man" came about. The spirit of an executed serial killer is mixed into a batch of dough and comes out of the oven a killer gingerbread man. If you've ever wanted to see a biscuit fire a gun, stab someone or run a guy over with a car this is the movie for you. It was so good I ploughed my way through the entire box set which included "The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust" and "The Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver" in which the GDM hopped into a time machine and went back to the 70s to wreak havoc at a roller disco. As trilogies go this shits all over that Three Colours stuff.
You have so not lived until you've seen "Mistress of the Apes." A woman miscarries after crazed junkies run amok at a hospital so she goes on expedition to the Congo and is impregnated by a missing link ape man. This insane waste of 85 minutes has a lot going for it (i.e. boobs, over-acting, a guy in a gorilla suit, bestiality) but goes right off the metre when the heroine gobbles up a banana to the tune of a funky song called "Ape Lady."
The major selling point for this movie is the main character: a nude lady vampire from outer space. She’s not of this earth, she’s a vampire and female and she’s totally naked – for the entire movie. Rather than sucking her victim’s blood she sucks out their life force, leaving behind shriveled-up carcasses, all the while wearing not a stitch of clothing – which is probably how they get around in outer space. The novel on which the movie is based features a nude lady vampire from outer space only at the beginning but the makers of the movie knew better and she’s nude all the time. There are lots of hammy performances, zombies and monsters and a score by Henry Mancini but, really, for fans of unearthly, undead, undressed women, there’s no better movie in the entire universe.
Any Karen Black movie is cool but when her co-stars are Lee Majors, Margaux Hemingway, Marisa Berenson, James Franciscus and a school of deadly piranha fish on strings you've got a classic. "Killerfish" depicts what happens when jewel thieves (Karen, Lee and James) get mixed up with a bunch of models on a fashion shoot (Margaux, Marisa and a comic relief fat guy) and their boat is marooned by a hurricane that detroys a dam (a fabulously terrible special effect) leaving them at the mercy of the titular terrors. Lots of blood, skeletons, explosions, terrible dialogue and screaming. Karen has an excellent freak-out scene and Amii "Knock On Wood" Stewart sings the theme song. Best film I've seen in ages. Made by Italians.
Lucio Fulci has a lot of fans but I don't think it's because he's a good director. He just makes entertaining shit. In "Voices From Beyond" a sleazy businessman dies after he's fed broken glass (a great blood-spewing sequence) and then comes back as a "voice from beyond" to help his daughter find out who did it. The rest of the family all had terrible dreams from which they woke up really sweaty screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I think in the end it turned out everyone did it but I wasn't really paying attention. I was too distracted by the blood and the boobs and the maggot-faced corpse and the zombies (it wouldn't be a Fulci film without 'em) and the baby-stabbing and the eyeball omelet and Stelvio Cipriani's disco funeral music. The excellent cast of not-quite-good-looking actors who played the guiltiest people you've ever seen really helped. Made by Italians.
"Alien From The Deep" is an "Alien" rip-off made by Italians so, of course, it's excellent. A pair of greenies sneak into a nuclear power plant on a volcanic island (not a better place in the world the build one of those) and find themselves running and screaming from a giant radio-active yabbie. Lots of pus and goo and killer cobras and Charles Napier shooting an infected member of staff in the head because "Nothing spreads quicker than fear!"
What is it (given all the cinematic evidence to the contrary) that makes some well-meaning people think their zombie loved ones can be cured? I was watching "Return of the Living Dead 3" and the zombies and guts were fantastic but the hero gave me the shits. "Oh, baby! You're eating everyone's brains but we can fix you!" It's morons like this that give zombie movies a bad name.
I was feeling a little bit down the other night so I watched "The Demons" and it picked me right up. A witch gets burned at the stake and her daughters are put in a convent. Next thing you know they're hooked up with the devil, rolling around in the nude and rooting EVERYONE including the poor Mother Superior who jumps off a six foot balcony and kills herself. A BBL (boobs, bush, lezzing) extravaganza, the highlight of which was the unforgettable "virgin testing" scene. The person who invented nunsploitation should be canonized.
If you've always wanted to see a British-made spaghetti western starring one of the worst actresses of all time look no further. In "Hannie Caulder" Raquel Welch gets raped by a trio of beer-bellied bandidos and decides to get revenge by becoming a gunslinger and killing them. There's quite a bit of blood, an excellent cod-Morricone soundtrack, Diana Dors in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as a brothel madam and the rapists (Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Strother Martin) are played for laughs! The great star pulls out all the dramatic stops and produces a performance resembling Clint Eastwood crossed with Miss September.
In the first five minutes of "2019 After The Fall Of New York" there was a terrible miniature set of NYC (post-holocaust), a bum playing a trumpet that sounded like a synthesizer and a voice over narration informing the viewer that only one fertile woman was left alive in the whole world. After that it was pus-faced mutants, kung fu cyborgs, troglodyte dwarfs, ape people, spaceships, demoliton derby, decapitations, eye transplants, a fortune-telling clown and former convicted drug-smuggler and fashion model Michael Sopkiw as the hero. Made by Italians. Another work of pure genius.
There were quite a few boring bits in "Bug" but the good bits far outweighed them. Cockroaches that shoot fire out their arses emerge from the centre of the earth and set fire to cars, some buildings and a cat. Bradford Dillman (the pre-Nicolas Cage Nicolas Cage) gives one of his best performances as a nutcase scientist whose wife gets set on fire while deciding what to have for dinner.
The plot of "Nothing Underneath" required some attention but it was worth it. Someone wearing black gloves was bumping off 80s fashion models with a pair of scissors and Donald Pleasence (as an Italian cop) and a forest ranger had to work out who it was. Boobs, bush, blood, lezzing and modeling to "One Night in Bangkok" were featured and the power drill climax was very exciting. The killer was a psycho lesbian with big 80s hair who jumped out a window with her dead girlfriend. The dead girlfriend (whom she'd murdered) was the twin sister of the forest ranger and they shared a psychic link. Like I said it required attention. Suspension of disbelief came in pretty handy too.
It took some doing but I made it through "Evils of the Night" mostly because I couldn't believe what I was watching. Vampire aliens who feast on horny teenager blood employ a couple of psycho mechanics to find their victims. What might have been an ordinary bad film is pushed into the realm of "What the fuck!" thanks to the casting of John Carradine (Dracula), Julie Newmar (Catwoman) and Tina Louise (Ginger from "Gilligan's Island") as the aliens and a bunch of over-the-hill porno stars as the "kids." There were quite a few pop songs that were bad even by 80s standards and Aldo Ray couldn't remember his lines because he hadn't read the script.
In "The Video Dead" zombies crawl out of a haunted TV set and create havoc for an cast of serious non-actors. Excellent zombie make-up and gore and the lead guy was really mincy and had a lisp. Made for about 50 bucks but you've seen worse made for more.