Monday, February 27, 2006

Ghosthouse (1988) Umberto Lenzi - La Casa 3

About 400 signs showed up for me to put out by the freeway in the middle of the night for my night job. Does this mean less posts? Maybe not, cause I'm getting pretty quick at finding spots for these even in O.C. towns I don't know so well. Homework is pretty light too, though I will be getting into some time consuming video production soon.

A quick review now, before me and Cub dig into Bad Dreams in our next post.

This tape looks pretty lame, Ghosthouse, and it says it is directed by one Humphrey Humbert, but grab it if you can. It's an Umberto Lenzi movie (Cannibal Ferox, Eyeball, City of the Walking Dead) that is as good as it gets for the 80's with violent deaths and... dare I say it, the movie is even scary. For one the music that accompanies the killings is the creepiest since Deep Red, with a little cartoon voice muttering repeated words over and over again. For two, the little girl is creepy, but not as creepy as her clown doll, which is bigger than her. I think they stole this clown from the toy that the little boy fears in Poltergeist, though this one is almost human size. Without giving too much away I think I can explain to you that this clown is the source of all evil in the movie. The father, an undertaker, stole it from the deceased who explicitly expressed that they were to be buried with their clown toy. The cheap bastard evidently gave this as a gift to his daughter. Oh no.

Anyway, flash forward a bunch of years and teenagers are camping at the abandoned house where the parents and daughter met their unnatural deaths. You get the idea.

The clown does not move around on it's own, well maybe a little, but it's gonna freak a lot of you out, I promise. The deaths are violent. With the title La Casa 3, the Italians were probably trying to pass this off as the 3rd movie in the Evil Dead series which is called La Casa over there. There is a Ghosthouse 2 (1988), also Italian, though it is perhaps not very closely related to this movie. It is also known as Witchcraft or Witchery and I think I have seen it around.

There is no U.S. DVD of Ghosthouse. There is a UK DVD.

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See Ghosthouse. Make an audio tape of the toy's theme music and play it everywhere you go. Check out the poster, the girl has a little audio tape, Deep Red style.

another movie:

So you say "Fear of clowns is played out", well perhaps yes, but I must also recommend Clownhouse, the most immoral movie ever made. The movie is so-so, but if you know the truth behind it about and its director, Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2), then you know that it is a serious shocker. It's fucked up and wildly inappropriate, as are scenes in Jeepers Creepers 2, if you know this backstory. I am aware that the whole matter is very serious and I'm not making light of it, but not watching the movie won't change the past. Victor Salva served his time, whether it was enough time is politics, something I don't shy away from in this blog, but this time I will. It's another story for a different day. Look into it and discover one of horror's most disgusting dirty little secrets.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ten best punk/thrash songs with VIDEOS on youtube!

Horror fans, two reviews on the way, including a Nightmare on Elm Street rip-off from 1988 that you can't die without seeing.

Well, the ten best I found on actualy. See, I've been looking on youtube and finding that a lot of my favorite bands have videos. Who knew? Not me, I never had cable and if I did would probably just have been watching Poison videos at the time. Now I'm discovering tons of thrash videos. How exciting? Yes, and then dissapointing. This videos did not have the best of budgets and by todays standards many could be replicated with i-movie. What's worse, many of the videos lack creativity. I bring you, not a list of the best videos necisarily, but definately the best songs that had videos which I could find on youtube. Some are awesome, others less so.

Don't tell me Motorhead should have been number one or that I should have put Metallica on the list.

Warning! These videos play instantly, sometimes faster than they load. In order to avoid annoying interuption, I pause the video first and let about half of it download before playing through.

1. Anti-Nowhere League -
So What - I had this on a bootleg tape of British punk videos. This file I found on youtube is of pretty decent quality. Warning: you cannot play this video on cable TV!

2. Lawnmower Deth -
Kids in America - Ah, the thrash novelty cover. I'd already seen this on a Lawnmower Deth fan site. Good stuff.

3. Motorhead -
Killed by Death - A classic that all will love, I had it on a Kerrang! tape before Kerrang! became the teeny-bopper bullshit it is today. Video quality is pretty good and I knew this would be an easy find on youtube.

4. Cro-Mags -
Path of Perfection - Never saw this one before, but wow. 1) If you are a hardcore kid you probably love the Cro-Mags. 2) If you are a hardcore kid you will probably hate this video and 4 out of the 5 Cro-Mags albums. The explanation? Hardcore kids are douche bags. Forget the 108 reunion, the is krishnacore! File quality is not too good.

5. Tankard -
Space Beer - This shit is rare, never seen a Tankard tape or CD in a store. I want this album bad.

6. Youth of Today -
No More - Seen this on a tape with an older Royal Rumble on it. Not gonna say where that mystery tape came from, maybe from someone's psycho ex. Anyway there has been mutch talk in certain circles about this video. Too bad the file quality here is awful and does not do it justice.

7. GBH -
Give Me Fire - Never saw this before. I'm going to see GBH play this weekend. Video has potential, but is repetitive.

8. Gang Green -
Alcohal - I know there is another Gang Green video out there as well, this is worth a watch for thrash fans and party metal types, if there is such a thing as party metal.

9. M.O.D. -
True Colors - Love the song, love 'Gross Misconduct', the album. See Billy Milano give Slash the boot and rip on glam metal. Semi-funny vieo, could be a lot better, but good quality file so maybe worth a watch.

10. Crumbsuckers -
Trapped - This is what hardcore should be if you ask me. High energy video because of the crowd shots, not just a band in an empty room. Crowd shots go a long way and probably don't triple the video budget. Some of the other bands/directors should have taken notice.

That's ten - I'll post runners up later, including a thrash video with Leatherface in it and some Boston honorable mentions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I better watch it with my diary shit - plus the proto-giallo

This post has been sitting around in draft form for a few days now. I think I out-nerded a kid at school today and scared him with my knowledge of CED Selectavision Discs. Awesome. I was sick when I started the post and I'm getting worse day by day and running on no sleep.

horror: I skipped the Haunt X convention in Los Angeles. I could not figure out their schedule for shit and it looked like I would only be paying $25 for access to dealers' tables and stars eager to sell me $25 signed glossies.

One of the most shocking moments in TV history: El Duce on Jerry Springer. I saw this when it first aired so I've seen the bits that are not included. Duce came out and told the crowd that he and The Mentors rape underage girls on stage at their shows. Obviously he is so full of shit, but the Springer crowd are falling for every word in this "Rape Rock" expose. This tape shows the most tense moments as a woman confronts El Duce. Later on Gwar comes out and the show becomes very PG as they feed Springer to the Ragnarok monster on video. Don't let that take away from the heavy shit that goes down in this
clip. Note: the clip seems to get cutoff, well you can watch a little.

Later Duce asks the lady when exactly she was raped. She cites the date and he says "because I think you look kind of familiar". The crowd is too disgusted to even boo this one.

Says a commentor on You Tube, "That is fucking sick and so are you for watching it !!!!"

record shopping: It's been some holiday weekend, Flag Day, or something. I started it off by going to Disneyland in the rain and getting sick which sucks because I always say that vegans don't get sick. My mom is in town and I showed her Laguna Beach today which is by far the most attractive part of Orange County, at least that I have seen. I dragged her into the little punk rock record shop on the PCH and bought some bargain bin stuff cause I can't afford rare punk records. Can you? I tried to make small talk with the clerk, but it not go to well. He did not know anything about the CDs I was buying so I mistakenly tried tell him a little bit about them and I'm sure he did not give a fuck. Plus I mentioned the words "straight edge band" when I was talking about music so I surely became the subject of shit talk between him and the two fashionable dirty rockers who were shopping. I'm saying that they would or did probably talk shit right after I was out the door and just about any other kid talking about straight edge hardcore would be deserving of shit talk - so who can blame them? My mom talked the clerk up quite a bit, she is the master of small talk.

Back in the 90's we would boycott any record store that sold racist records and this store did have Skrewdriver shirts (and not from the "pre-racist" period for any of you record dorks wondering) and some white power record label t-shirts. I'd really like to ask what the fuck they are thinking carrying and displaying those, but you can't bring that stuff up when your near-60 year old mom is with you. She would probably worried that I would get shot, though I doubt I would be in any immediate danger. It's true though, everyone should put as must distance between themselves as possible between them and the white power movement, as if that is not a given. A lot of people in California have grown up with nazi classmates in their schools, but as a transplant to the area, that stuff is more shocking to me, but I digress. I would really like to know the history of that store. I think I should start by learning the name of it.

It all so fascinating because Laguna Beach is an extremely affluent town.

On to another subject: scene teens - spoken word douche bag
video brought to you by The Coalition.

I got a hold of the Sav-On Drugs version of Dario Argento's Cat o' Nine Tails, that is a big drug store chain where they often have bins of two dollar budget DVDs. It's not made by Sav-On, but it sure has some budget-looking packaging, perhaps the crappiest I've seen - from
Vina Distributor who also sell a lot of Spanish DVDs which cost a dollar more! I gotta find their version of Death Race 2000! Over at their site I saw all the DVDs that those guys put out and most were familiar since I've looked through the bin at many a Sav-On.

So how does this look? Ok. I've seen the Anchor Bay version and obviously that blows this away. Some of the dark scenes from the killer's p.o.v. at the beginning are hard to see on this Vina version and the DVD in general has a fuzzy look to it, reminding me of some of my oldest VHS tapes. The brutal train killing appears to be completely intact, but (spoiler) at the end when the killer slides down the elevator shaft with his hands on the cable, I guess that was to disturbing and got cut from this print some where along the way. I'm sure more is missing, but it's pretty funny to find Cat o' Nine Tails at the drug store.

Have you seen The Thorn Birds mini-series from 1983? Oh wow, I saw a lot of it this weekend lying sick in bed, but that's not all I watched. Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory (1962) sounds like a crappy movie, but the title is deceiving. It's actually a bit of a proto-giallo originally called Lycanthropus in Italy. I'm not wild about sanitary horror with no blood or sexuality, and that's what it looks like you are gonna get here with the campy "Ghoul in the School" theme song (probably added for the U.S. version) that starts this movie off, but put that out of mind because you can't take all the Euro-horror out of this movie. There is a lecherous professor who pays students for sex, a black gloved killer, and suicides. The movie is written by Ernesto Gastaldi who later wrote Torso, The Whip and The Body, and Blade of the Ripper. He wrote movies for Mario Bava, Antonio Margheriti, Umberto Lenzi, and Sergio Martino.

You can usually get this movie pretty cheaply. I think it's fallen into the public domain which makes the loud pirating warnings on that start off the Killer Creature disc seem pretty hypocritical since I doubt they pay the filmmakers anything.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

shit talker's paradise and The Flesh and Blood Show

No class today, but usually Thursdays are for TV engineering where we sit in a locked soundproof room and tape the show and shade the cameras. It's different from being in the control room, where the director, sound guy, and switcher, are all stressing the fuck out. Engineering is where you just kick back. Our professor pretty much told us that this is where you talk shit on the broadcast journalism and TV1 kids and their projects and hard work. Awesome. I was on the other side last semester and can only imagine what people said about the quality of my jobs on and off camera. I was jealous of those engineers.

I thought the control room was bad. In there you get the outbursts from the stressed out director. Lots of swearing cause they gotta put their name on this thing. Engineers are farther removed from the project and have nothing to do while the cameras are rolling but to watch the monitors. Better make sure that communications mic is off. If it is, speak your piece of mind. The professors told us, that when he worked for the networks, he once went on and on a big star and the God Mic was on. That's a mic that can be heard on the studio floor. Bad microphone!

So without class today I'll have time to give my rabbit a haircut. No more nasty dreads on Bun Bun. I bought a buzzer the scissors are too dull. As people in the know say, "Punk's Not Dread". For Bun Bun to look fashionable he's gotta clean himself up.

Watched a big box tape of The Flesh and Blood Show (1974) from the surely defunct
Monterey Home Video from Pete Walker who directed Schizo, The Confessional, House of Whipcord, and Frightmare. The Flesh and Blood Show is an interesting British film about a troop of actors called to rehearse for am improvised play. Rehearsals are in an abandoned theater built on a pier in a lonely seaside down. The director does not quite know who the producer is. How strange.

Actors and actresses couple off for sex and then get killed off one by one as expected. Lots of nudity here. The movie is great and takes a weird flashback twist at the end with Shakespearean dialogue (Othello, the more educated Cub tells me) and a tale of infidelity in the packed theater during it's prime, which coincided with a dangerous WWII bombing blitz.

My only complaint is that the movie did not have enough characters to really surprise us when the murderers identity is revealed. Just don't play 'Guess the Killer' with this one It's far too easy. No DVD of this movie too my knowledge, though Pete Walker's better know films are available in the EuroShock Collection.

After the credits, three previews came on for other Monterey Bay tapes. The Slasher Is the Sex Maniac, He Kills Night After Night After Night, and the butchered version of Joe D'Amato's Antropophagus, known as The Grim Reaper. I have not seen the first of these three titles and it supposed to be killer! Keeping my eyes open for The Slasher Is the Sex Maniac.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

photo class misery and the Dark Age of '87

Photo sure is frustrating. You guys almost got an angry rant last night filled with threats of violence, but this morning I feel better. This weekend it will be time for me to turn on my video camera, as I'm going to have to use some of the advanced features for some technical stuff. Shit!

I am most comfortable with editing now, the Final Cut class is a piece of cake. As for photo, you won't see me on the side of the stage taking blurry photos of hardcore bands. Band photography sucks and I think only girls do that anyway.

The last tape I watched was an Australia supernatural horror film called Alison's Birthday from 1979. Pretty budget, but they managed to get a whole mini-stonehenge up in this one. I enjoyed it very much and it may warrant a full review.

As always, I've seen a lot of stuff that I have not been able to write about. Stay away from Dark Age, another Australian movie, but it sucked to the max. Directed by Arch Nicholson in 1987, it's the tale of a giant croc. Could not tell what was the real croc and what was the fake, which is impressive, but then I'm no wildlife expert so maybe I'm just a fool and all of you are like "dumb wooden croc!". They do a car chase with the massive crocodile on the back of a flatbed trailer truck, but unfortunately it's covered by a tarp. Seeing the fake crocodile speeding down the highway could have a very memorable image, though people already compare this movie to Free Willy due to the on-land rescue mission of a sea creature. This is a salt water croc, so does it live in the sea sometimes? Anyway, cool how the conservationists, who don't want this bloodthirsty croc killed, are the heroes, and the poachers are the scum who get munched, but this is almost too Earth Day for even a militant vegan like me. You know how these 80's enviro movies can be - I'm all for the cause, but the preaching gets old. Almost funny subplot where Burnham Burnham has personal mystical ties to the croc, man, I hope I'm not being culturally insensitive to the Aborigines. Actually, this did work for me at the end when they bring his remains, in a ritual, to this very same killer croc who does escape to the way back wilderness - oops, I guess that was a spoiler! Burnham Burnham was also in Howling III: The Marsupials.

I swear I get the feeling that the whites in Aussie are the worst after this movie and Zombie Brigade. Self-hating whites in the Australian film industry? Animal liberation in the movies. It's never been done right. Never have I been less moved by animal liberation than in 28 Days Later. I've talked about this before, so enough for now.

I'm feeling a bit of fondness for Dark Age right now, thinking of the late Burnham Burnham and some of the movie's more sentimental moments. What's with me? I totally hated it and those better not be real crocs getting shot in the massacre scene! Yes the worst violence in this movie is against crocs and if the shotgun carnage is real, then it pretty much undermines the purpose of this film much like René Cardona Jr.'s Beaks: The Movie. If it was simulated croc killing, well, impressive FX then.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tough To Kill (1978) Joe D'Amato

I'm not wild about action films, but this is not really in action film. There is only one machine gun battle sequence. On the whole it's an adventure story in Africa filled with betrayal, racism, and cruelty - may the most hateful man win.

I grabbed this movie because it was in a clearance bin for $3 and it is a Joe D'Amato film. He is the director of Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and Emmanulle and the Last Canibals as it say on this DVD's cover, as well as Porno Holocaust, Antropophagus, Buio Omega, Black Cobra Woman, and a bunch of the Emmanuelle movies with Laura Gemser. He did not disappoint me with this trashy tale, which one imdb reviewer states "uses its badness to dig a filthy hole in the ground and wallow in it". There is literally some wallowing as one despicable soldier makes a young black civilian sit neck-deep in a concrete barrel of shit. He gestures that on three he will be running his sword across the top of the barrel and the young man is forced to submerge himself. The racist line that follows is equally vile and though it can be matched in offensiveness by many of the lines from the hardass Major who leads this group of mercenaries. I wondered for some moments whether these were anti-heroes and are we supposed to laugh along with their hateful lines, but then the movie throws a twist in there that changes everything and makes the viewer feel like a fool. I did not see the end coming, which is a testament to the point it proves. The last ten minutes of the movie are a joy to watch, but getting there is not consistently fun for the reason that this is a very uneven movie. The budget is very low, though it is shot in the Dominican Republic. There are very few effects, including gore effects, and most of the depravity is exhibited by the characters' actions and words.

The movie's most disgusting visual is the fat prisoner's eating of a cooked rabbit on a spit, where he stuffs nearly the entire carcass in his mouth in a display of greed - of course it is poisoned, he pays the price. I find it distasteful as I have a rabbit and would never let him be eaten, but you guys already know my stance on meat eating, if not, see
Farm Sanctuary.

Tough To Kill is recommended for a casual view. IMDB critics have said that the DVD version is poor quality, but I found it to be fine and it is WS.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dolly Dearest (1992) exactly what you think it is

First, pictures of me showing up on the internet again, now on a website (an older site, but I never saw it before) about how to be unique by looking like someone else - pretty funny writing on this site that takes a bit of a dig at everyone pictured on it. "If you don't resemble one of these ultra chic people on the right, then you, my friend, are not unique. You're neither cool nor special, the way they are collectively cool and special. So what sets you apart from these super stylish hipsters? THE HAIR, my friend, the's all in the hair. So you think this is a bit too superficial and that you're "cool" just because you have a "good personality?" Well nobody cares what's inside the package if the gift wrapping is ugly; especially if the bow is carelessly knotted together."

The pictures are all from the club where I met Cub. I swear we are the only 2 people who ever met there who got engaged. Every other hookup among the kids was doomed to fail due to the slutty times. I used to know a lot of the kids in these pics, but friendships do not last, oh no.

I'm on
this page and the caption for my pic reads "Not exactly the unique striped bangs, but unique all the same" and then there is another pic of me right below it with my friend that I moved to Hollywood with. These pics are getting close to 3 years old and now I think I look a strange in them.

Dolly Dearest came out after the first 3 Child's Play movies. For some reason I always avoided renting this one and it is pretty much brainless and irritating except for the doll effects and supernatural elements. Dolly herself, is pretty fascinating, with an expressive face and good puppet work, though Cub and I think that some on the long shots were done with a little person in a Dolly suit.

The story here, the spirit of the devil child from an ancient civilization has been disturbed by archeologist and has flown from the tomb and into the dolls at an abandoned factory. An American family, the father having bought the doll factory, moves down to Mexico. Actually all the dolls in the factory are possessed, but at first we only have to worry about one, the doll picked by the family's daughter, who also becomes possessed, drawing demons, speaking in the ancient language, and sounding like the Exorcist child. Of course the father thinks all of this is nonsense and refuses to move back to Los Angeles despite the mother's insistence. I really wish that at least one of the four family members, perhaps the nerdy son, who I could not stand, would have lost their lives to Dolly by the movie's completion. The only victims, besides a crushed archeologist in the movie's first scene, are the Mexican help, who I guess are more expendable. Unlike the mildly racist filmmakers, I found these characters more sympathetic than the ignorant and bold Americans who are down there to get rich with their third world Dolly sweatshop.

There are some good creepy moments, but there should have been more. Towards the end the dolls' faces turn ugly, in an Exorcist style, and I'm pretty sure one of them even levitates. See it for the Dolly action, but the movie has little else to offer.

Cub, how come I had to hold you tight, because you were so afraid of this little Dolly? Isn't that embarrassing?

No bear, you have it flipped around. It was me who had to hold you because you were terribly frightened and would jump everytime dolly would scuttle around or utter a sound. But I kept you safe.

How come you liked the nerdy brother? I hated his guts.

I liked the brother in the beginning but I have to admit and say you were right, I got totally annoyed with him by the end of the movie.

I hate pretending that horror characters are real, but don't you think that Chucky, if he ever met her, might have the hots for Dolly Dearest? Or for the whole pack of Dolly Dearests, if he was lucky...

Actually I think Dolly could kick his ass to tell you the truth. Plus , she is a tall girl and would not want some short short man.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

men armed only with words can commit genocide

A bit of off-topic crap from me. Up next will be a review of the killer doll flick, Dolly Dearest, but first, this:

A trip to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angles has taught me that words have power and that I have been very irresponsible with my language. Free speech, I'm all for it, but what if someone's incendiary words trigger violent outbursts that result in deaths, hate crimes, and terrorism? We have to take responsibility for our words if they are going to be read by the American masses.

What about this blog? I can still write what I want, right? I can, because my readers are smart. They know, that even though I may call for the death of admissions officers at a certain north eastern American college, that it would be in fact unwise of them to go drag these scumbags out onto the streets and beat them until the blood runs red. You see, we are all very bright. God may will the deaths of these people, but just because what we are doing what is right, does not mean that society is ready for these righteous actions.

My following is not huge, in fact, your numbers are so small, that the odds of their being even a single easily influenced and unstable fellow among you are quite unlikely. Now if I was on cable TV, or had a book on the best sellers list, and I published and posted maps to this school where the administration works hours each day trying to prevent me from becoming a financial success, an all out attack on these offices would surely place some blood on my hands.

Irresponsibility... the museum - and it was awesome - had a lighted bulletin that displayed news stories of dangerous words that are too current to actually be part of the exhibits. On the bulletin: the news that European newspapers are publishing cartoon pictures of the Prophet Muhammad with his turban being a bomb. It is an offensive cartoon and the world would be better of without it ever having being printed because of the violence that is a direct result of the reaction to it.

Of course with that attitude, do we have to police everything that might be controversial because it might provoke a bad reaction? No, the bomb cartoon is different for one big reason. It sucks. It's the dumbest cartoon I've ever heard of. "Let's see, I think Muslims are terrorists. What do they look like? They wear turbans! Who is the king of Arabs? Prophet Muhammad! What is a symbol of terror? A bomb! How can we combine the two? A bomb in the turban! Ha Ha Ha". This is like the first political cartoon a racist sixth grader would draw for the school paper. Even in the Midwest, or somewhere like that, the teacher would say, "now Billy, I know you want to make a point, but we can't publish this..." The drawing screams of hatred, and it's not funny no matter how twisted you are and how much you like to push taboos. The reason? Cause it's not sophisticated enough to be funny. If anyone can think it up, it's not funny. Funny people should make cartoons, people with talent, not just rudimentary drawing skills and a limited imagination.

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This cartoon is NOT the cartoon I'm talking about, it's just one I found in an internet search, but it proves just how unoriginal the crap I'm talking about is. At least THIS cartoon manages to poke fun at the "What Would Jesus Drive" anti-suv campaign at the same time, so it's far more sophisticated, but at the heart of it, it's still garbage.

Political cartoonists, why do you draw? To express your opinion which you surely believe is right. I no longer understand the point of preaching to the choir. No one on the other side is going to be won over by hateful and insulting drawings. You are not winning any converts to your cause. Maybe if you could be just a bit clever.

Next subject:

Can't a Muslim man get a break? This time it's the crazy protests over the cartoons. Protesting the cartoon is all well and good, but this is getting out of hand and if I was Arab I'd get sick of saying "I'm not like those crazy guys." Even in the movie Crash the Middle Eastern man comes of like a bastard and that's supposed to be an anti-racist movie. Michael Moore sold out Arabs to try to get people not to vote for Bush by showing how chummy Bush and certain Saudis are in an extended sequence. The message: Arabs are demons and Bush is in league with them. I know the movie was partially intended to stop the war effort, which could save Iraqi lives, but to use American Muslim-phobia to sell them on the deal is plain shitty. I plan to make a political cartoon of my own on this issue.

I'm sorry if I scared anyone with my militant talk at the begging of this entry. You see, I spend all day listening to punk rock records about insurrection and revolution, though I'm not stupid enough to think that any of these bands are going to take up arms or even attend a protest. They are two busy selling t-shirts and CDs so it's just a bunch of bullshit preaching with the bottom line being the money. Those pussies never do time while anarchists listen to their CDs in the car on the way to committing crimes against the government. Well maybe not anymore, punk is not very inspiring these days.

Right now I'm pissed because I keep getting warnings from the Homeowners Association about my mess down in the basement. I swear, if they both me once more, the people will rise up and head will roll. We will then put these heads on sticks for all to throw stones at.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

especially from the likes of you, yeah you

Look at this site - Movie Title Screens Page - where a man Steven Hill captured the title screen from all the movie in his DVD collection. I love title screens, and if I could screen capture one frame from every movie I review, 9 out of 10 times it would be the title screen. These can be as good as box covers for me. Steven Hill's collection is full of horror, so check it out.

Lets go off topic, some legal cases have fascinated me lately. They are not front page news, but you could take notice, if you've got a minute:

In a fake part of the war on terror - the part where we try to scare people so that we can control them... check out this paid federal agent who set some kids up for a big fall - see "Anna" in action
in some photos.

Also, check out the band Sodom, ready for war anywhere you want to send them. I think this is a newer promo picture.

Don't forget...

We're fighting a war we can't win
But it's a war we can't afford to lose
Corrupt officials play the game
And America's habit is to blame

is oil the habit we should really worry about? now I will chop out some lyrics...

But there's no way to stop the flow
Watch your children's habit grow

Intimidation is the game.
Cut them down they're all the same
Send them all to hell...

Friday, February 03, 2006

a serious critique of Alfred Sole's 1980 film, Tanya's Island

In those plentiful days when Amoeba Records in Hollywood was new in town and their used VHS section was absolutely massive, I had a rule that I lived by stating that I would pay no more than four dollars for a tape. The section was stocked so frequently that I could bring home small bags of videos twice a day and spend less than $20. I had more rules at that time. The movies were supposed to either come from respected horror directors, foreign directors, be Poe or Lovecraft based, or be exceptionally gory to have been banned at one point. Before I let these rules go, I turned down a number of tapes, some of which I regret passing up to this day. Tanya's Island was one of those tapes. It was going for a pricey $14.99, but after I read about it on the imdb when I got home, I started to fiend for it. Of course it was gone the next day at Amoeba.

Well now it's on DVD from the sketchy Substance label, who probably do not pay any royalties to anybody who made the film, but that does make it a cheaper purchase. The quality of the DVD is ok, not good enough to please most dvd-philes, but at least it does not cost the big bucks. Mostly with these low quality DVDs it's the dark night scenes that suffer, which is a bad thing for horror fans, but Tanya's Island is filled with mostly day time action. Full-frontal nudity in broad daylight.

I was pretty disappointed, but I did have very high expectations based on the general premises of a story where a naked women becomes the object of a rivalry between a man and a gorilla. I had heard that the man becomes more ape like and the gorilla becomes more human as the film progresses. Fascinating, I thought, but in the movie the transformations are extremely blatant, fast, and obvious. The man is named Lobo, which really sounds like an ape name to me - Bobo. Shortly after he discovers his ape nemesis, we see him scarf down a banana in a less than refined way. Before you know it, he is aping, no pun intended, the gorilla's every move.

On the other hand, I was not as sympathetic to Blue, the gorilla, as I should have been. Blue is gentle with Tanya, but he kills Lobo's pet pig. I do not think that Lobo loved the pig, I think he was just showing it affection in order to win favor with Tanya, yet the killing was wrong in that it hurt the pig. What's more, their are the ethical issue of killing a real pig in order to make this movie. No, there is not an on-screen killing, but I assume the pig's head was real - not a prosthetic, and it could have been the real head of the pig that acted in earlier scenes. I do not know if this is true or not, but my position is that killing a pig to make a movie is not worth it, nor is killing a pig to make a sandwich worth it. Animal life has value to me and I will continue to explore the use of dead animals and slaughter house byproducts for special effects in horror movies. Perhaps times have changed and these effects are less prevalent today. As I get more familiar with the industry I aim to find out. The issue is complex. Is it any more wrong to use pig's blood on camera than it is to have ham sandwiches at the craft services on the set? There probably has never been a movie made that did not have meat on set. These are issues that I, as a vegan, think about.

Back to my faults with this movie. Believability is not a huge issue with me since this is the horror genre after all, but in Tanya's island there were scenes that left me shaking my head. For one, Lobo builds a huge fortress by himself in seemingly no time. Blue's assault on the fortress, by throwing coconuts over the walls, only lasts a couple of minutes, but after the assault is over, the number of coconuts on the ground is so many that Lobo cannot open a door from within a cage in the fortress' courtyard, due to coconut buildup that is waist deep. There are so many coconuts there, that it would take a Blue with ten arms to throw some many over the wall in such a short time.

Blue then traps Lobo with his own fortress door, that Lobo can no longer move, but he must have been able to move it, when he put it in place as he built this fortress single handedly.

Tanya's behavior is a mystery to me. I see why she kept Blue a secret, as Lobo is an insanely jealous man and wants to shoot Blue with his crossbow from the get go. I see why she is disgusted with Lobo, as he rapes her, hits her, and imprisons her in a cage as bait to kill Blue, but I do not see (Spoiler Alert) why she suddenly turns against Blue except for the reason that it facilitates the twist in the plot where Blue then rapes Tanya.

- Ultimate Spoiler Alert - Then Tanya wakes up. It was all a dream, but what is this gorilla scratch above her breast? Endings like that can just kill a movie. Tanya's Island has what it takes to catch attention, but mistakes like these have left it in obscurity.

Directory Alfred Sole made the excellent Alice, Sweet Alice in 1976. I can find no interviews with him online except for
one regarding Veronica Mars, the UPN TV series that he is the production designer for.

Blue looks real and was made by special effects genius Rick Baker. With out Blue looking convincing, this movie would have fell flat on its face about twice as quickly as it did. I had assumed that he would be a white ape (I'd read that he has blue eyes), maybe a mythical creature or an anomaly. I think I also got this idea from the box cover where he is translucent and actually saw him as gray throughout the movie until Cub pointed out that he is brown and sure enough she was right. I have heard than there are black supremacists who believe that the white man is inferior due to his resemblance to the gorilla in the sense that whites have straight hair as do the great apes.

Those seeking the ultimate indecency in a movie of beasts are advised to seek out La BĂȘte (1975), aka, The Beast, from Walerian Borowczyk. It has been available on DVD for some time and within the last year a 3 Disc version was released. The opening scene where two horses have sex will probably be enough for some of you, but that's just the appetizer and just sort of sets the mood. I don't want to give anything away, but there is stuff in that movie that will make your jaw drop. Don't think you've seen it all. You have not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Evil Altar (1989) with Robert Z'Dar

I'd like to write a movie review this morning before I clean up all my bunny's dirty newspapers and stray turds, something that pisses him off because I guess he feels he put those turds there for a reason. I can only pray that he will drift off when I'm writing, and then if I'm stealth enough I can sweep up with waking him.

Evil Altar is an awful movie where I could not determine who in the cast was a teenager, a kid, a grown-up, a brother, a sister, a boyfriend, a step-mom, or a whatever. There are a bunch of important relationships making up the dynamic, but I just couldn't, or couldn't be bothered, to sort them out. From the start, with a coed baseball game, where I could not figure out weather it was little league or grown-ups playing. Then the father takes what seems to be his little boy hunting, but later after the baseball cap is removed, I see that this character is the female lead. If you think that this movie might be trying to challenge my preconceived assumptions about gender roles, it's not, it's just damn confusing. While trying shoot a woodland creature, the girl blows away a vagrant by mistake -not as funny as it sounds, who we already know to be the hired goon for the towns satanic priest. In fact the man is carrying a young black child in a sack at the time, but the father and daughter don't bother to rescue him, and once the town cop is on the scene, it's too late, for he too is in league with satan. The officer is played by Robert Z'Dar, Cordell in the Maniac Cop series.

If you are intrigued, don't be. It might seem like fun to watch a bad movie that borrows heavily from Nightmare on Elm Street and Phantasm instead of the usually plundered material from Halloween and Friday the 13th, but this is none the less a real bore. I'll share with you the two most amusing scenes. In one, the female target is watching TV and sees the news reporter get her throat slit by Freddy... I mean, the villain. We don't see the blood fly out of the television, but sure enough her shirts is splattered with the stuff. When her father runs to find why she is screaming, he does not believe her, insisting that the blood is "just pizza sauce" from dinner.

In the most amusing scene, a baseball flies in threw our heroines window and floats about, smashing up her room, and bouncing off of her somewhat gingerly as she screams in mortal terror. This scene is good for a laugh, but most of the movie will not entertain. For the most part we get bad dialogue and lots of tough talk from the movies male characters who all despise each other. The adults in this movie have mostly made deals with the devil, in a sense setting up their children to be punished for the sins of their fathers, giving this movie an unspoken Nightmare on Elm Street vibe where the disbelieving parents are responsible for creating Krueger through their past secret actions.

Are you familiar with the false horror stereotype, pushed by false horror fans and horror movie spoofs, that states that a black character is always killed first in horror film? I can't think of a movie where that actually happens (and you know I watch many genre pictures -tell me if you can name a single example), but Evil Altar was almost the one! Of course it turns out that the black child is still alive so once again the stereotype does not completely ring true. The child's father, a lawyer from the city who spends most of the movie trying to find his abducted boy, is by a mile the most sympathetic character, but still, even when he finally has to shoot his own possessed son at point blank range with a shotgun, Evil Altar fails to move the viewer. That scene worked a whole lot better in The Beast Within.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Would that the Roman people had but one neck!"

I'm thinking of sticking a bunch of mp3's on the blog, but that's only the half of what I'm thinking of doing. If I can deliver 75% of what I've got planned, you guys will at least be a little interested in the end results, though sorry, my plan is not to turn the blog into a porno page.

Here are some links as promised:

monster mash talks Inside Deep Throat and dreams of opening a classier type of strip club.

Strange O Vision - our new friend Ghost obsesses over the Nightmare on Elm Street series (I mean in deapth) Also 80's cartoons and live action sci-fi horror episodic shows like Monsters and Amazing Stories.

see you in the pit douchebag! - hardcore has gone done the tubes, tell
this kid to stop practicing, his scene is dead, the market went bust!

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