Friday, August 24, 2007

... - looks good

Toxic Zombies aka Bloodeaters (1980) screening at Grindhouse Film Festival

I’ll be quick. This movie is one of the most dull that I’ve seen at Grindhouse. It is also one of the most low budget. However, the movie is a labor of love (as I like to say) with one man acting as director, editor, producer, writer, and as the male lead. With that in mind the movie is quite an accomplishment. Charles McCrann, I wish I could congratulate him, but he was murdered on September 11th in the World Trade Center bombing.

This film has recently come out on DVD. It may be something that you readers would enjoy. For me, I’d say seeing it with an audience really helped. You could show anything to the Grindhouse crowd and it would go over well. People are there to have fun. My guess is that I would not make it through all of Toxic Zombies at home, but then again I’ve had my fill of zombie films. I’ll take this one over any of the new ones – which I continue to bash to anyone who will listen.

The FX were pretty entertaining and the blood certainly flows. The marijuana field is never shown. Creating a fake marijuana crop - not in the budget. I could do without the dude who played the retarded kid (I could do without the character at all – good for laughs from this non-pc audience), but he was spot-on compared to the 25+ yr old woman playing \the role of the little girl. She sucked. Believability: zero.

I skipped out on Man from Deep River as I said I would. Before Toxic Zombies they showed previews for Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, The Vampires’ Night Orgy (looks like a mess), 1974’s Cannibal Girls (looked unfunny), and Satan’s Cheerleaders.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Toxic Zombies

Grindhouse Film Festival is tomorrow at the New Beverly. They have hardly promoted this one, no flyer, the new bev site says TBA, no bulletins, but I guess the movies are Bloodeaters (aka Toxic Zombies) and The Man from Deep River.

I’m not gonna watch Man from Deep River, déjà vu… I wrote about why before when it screened fairly recently, but Toxic Zombies, playing first, should be fun.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

another one

The Celluloid Cesspool – they just put up screenshots of Land of the Minotaur, which is actually the most recent film I watched at home.

Why has my blog gone out of favor? As long as I’m still on one blog-roll I will prevail!! The posts are not as frequent, nor are they as good, but I’m not done yet. I got shit on my mind.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Revenge of the Dead and Beyond the Door double feature at the Egyptian

I was all stressed out and cracked-out-acting at the show as I wanted to go out afterwards to a club downtown. Fortunately the Egyptian is not prone to the lags that occur regularly at my beloved New Beverly Theater. When they said they were “behind schedule”, they were 3 minutes behind. Everything ended before midnight and that was with an unexpected appearance by Beyond the Door director Ovidio G. Assonitis who was in town from Italy to record a commentary for the Beyond the Door’s upcoming DVD release.

I have a Revenge of the Dead tape that I bought at Amoeba about five years ago and plowed through about half of. Amazingly I retained next to nothing of that movie and when seeing it on the big screen I only recognized the big abandoned building. The visuals are prettier on the big screen – I know I found the video version unattractive. The music rocks. Surprisingly the title card in the theatrical version read “Revenge of the Dead”, and not the original title, Zeder. This Pupi Avati movie was deliberately incorrectly market as a zombie film on tape and maybe in the theaters as well. At the screening, the sound cut-out for the last few minutes and through the closing credits. I though this was deliberate. No.

This movie is far from perfect and got scant applause from the theatergoers. It’s been available on DVD for some time, which surprises me as it seems like the type of movie that would fall through the cracks.

Assonitis spoke briefly saying that the Beyond the Door DVD should help found Beyond the Door III, which already exists (1989) and he should know, he produced it. I actually reviewed that strange film in this blog several years back. Of course Mario Bava’s Beyond the Door II (1977) is the best of the series, but it really is completely unrelated.

Beyond the Door was unsuccessfully sued by Warner Brothers for visual copyright infringement. Assonitis said there is no such infringement, but The Exorcist is clearly copied. That’s too bad because the movie would stand on it’s own without the rip-offs, but I guess that is what audiences wanted to see – and did see. The host stated that pretty much anyone over 35 in the theater had probably seen this movie and a guy in one of the floor seat said “it was a huge hit”. I don’t know.

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The story is awesome and fairly original, even different from Rosemary’s Baby, which Assonitis cited as an influence. It was a very satisfying movie to see in the theaters.

Asked about the state of horror in Italy, Assonitis said it was “horrific”. It seemed like he was going to leave it at that, but then he said that Argento makes a movie every once in a while.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Egyptian at the Egyptian

One thing nerds make certain is that, while the missing reel concept in Grindhouse is funny, theaters, no matter how dilapidated, did not used to show movies with missing reels. Collectors do end up with prints with missing reels, but you might not think these prints would be screened, but yesterday at the Egyptian the print of Frankenstein Created Woman was missing so much footage that a missing reel could be to blame. Though this was the “UK version of the film”, I highly doubt that there is a cut of it that leaves out the transformation, as featured on most posters for the movie. No scene where Playmate Susan Denberg wears her white tube top appeared on screen. This movie was not edited for content.

Other scenes were chopped or cut short. I suspect damage to this print would be the reason why, though the print looked great when intact. I’m not pissed about this or even annoyed, I just find it fascinating. Frankenstein Created Woman (Terence Fisher 1967) played after the earlier Hammer film, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), and what a difference three years makes! Frankenstein makes the Mummy look like, well, an artifact. This Mummy movie suffers from the absence of either Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. It’s one of the more obscure and forgotten Hammer titles, still not on DVD. The movie is not at all unwatchable, but it could really use a harder edge. The audience reacted most audibly to the affair Jeanne Roland is involved in (cheating on the male lead) rather than the Mummy’s attacks and the villain’s speeches. I think that says it all.

If I’m wrong about the missing reel in Frankenstein, pleased let some nerd come to this blog and correct me.


I did not specify in the last post that the Troll 2 screening was over on the west side at the Nuart.

Also, the night I attended The Devils and Blood on Satan’s Claw screening at the Egyptian I missed a Last American Virgin and Fast Times at Ridgemont High screening at the New Beverly. Members of both casts were supposed to be on hand with Eli Roth moderating a discussion. Does anyone know how this went down?

Read an advance review of The Invasion here – I saw the God-awful preview before Skinwalkers.


Read Chunklet

Read Gawker – they say they just got back from LA.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

long post – read it all! Skinflutewalkers, B+C, Troll 2, Blood on Satan’s Claw…

I’d already read the bad reviews of Skinwalkers and even watched the trailer (which is something I do only when I have no intention of ever seeing the movie), yet tonight I went to it. First of all, thank you Culver Plaza Six for selling $6 tickets, unheard of in LA! The cheap price made this shit easier to swallow. Friends asked me to go see this at the last minute tonight. My buddy works in the industry and just wanted to see how poor filmmaking can be and still get a national release. Well thank you After Dark films for lowering bar and delivering shit. We’ve got these asshole’s ugly “Horror Fest” billboards all over town. Their promo that runs before the movies, the one with the Godzilla-sized goth girl walking through a city, is the gayest thing I’ve ever seen. Then grabs one of their billboards off of the top of a building… unreal.

Skinwalkers sucks. Did you know? There is not a single person who likes it in the whole fucking world so I don’t need to state my case. This has to be a few tiers below the
Blood & Chocolate movie a ripped on for 4 or 5 posts.

Last night I was out with some friends hitting up Hollywood clubs and found out to late (I was the driver) that
Troll 2 was playing at a midnight screening. What’s more, Claudia Fragasso was flown in from Italy at the last minute – I found this out today. While I love Troll 2 and am glad to see it getting attention, unfortunately I’m told that there were far to many comedy bits (stand up comics and a slide show?) and crowd interaction games preceding the movie. Cut the shit, we want the show. I guess during the Q+A people asked Fragasso how he made the “worst movie ever made”. He said, “whatever, you people don’t know anything about making movies…” and he’s right, they don’t. All they know how to do is watch dvd’s, get fat, and scratch their balls. Disgusting slobs. Fuck em’.

The Egyptian Theater is doing some horror and fantasy month. Last weekend I walked down there and saw
The Devils (Ken Russel) with The Blood on Satan’s Claw. You know, I lot of men dig Braveheart and Glatiator and jerk off to that shit, but they should really be watching The Devils if they wanna see a political speech delivered with some impact – that movie pulls no punches – truly one of the best films ever made.

Blood on Satan’s Claw is far better on the big screen than on vhs. Great sets and landscapes. Internet research has told me that the plot is full of holes and characters dropping in and out since it was converted from an anthology screenplay to a feature-legnth story. I can see that. Still, there are a few dumb moments that cannot be explained. If the floorboards in your haunted attic were rising up on their own, would you stick your hand down through the crack? If then your arm was grabbed by the furry claw of Satan, would you retreat to the bed and immediately go to sleep in that very same room? Such antics had the audience engaged in unintentional laughter. Also funny, the illustration of the grinning beast in the ancient book of witchcraft. That one got 3 or 4 unintentional laughs, but I wasn’t laughing at the end of the movie when the demon actually looked like that stupid sketch. What a burn.

Taking a girl on a date to the 3-D pornos at the New Beverly may have been a bad idea and it may explain why the girl and I are no longer hanging out now, just a couple of weeks later. Sadly the theater was almost empty and the patrons may or may not have been mostly perverts. Awesome movies though.
Playmates in Deep Vision 3-D is up there with some of the better Zucker movies when it comes to jokes. The final scene in Playmates, sex on a bed in the wideopen hills, is absolutely beautiful, one of the most amazing things I’ve seen on the big screen. Director Stephen Gibson must have gotten lucky though, because on the Wildcat Women, made later, he sucks, wow. That’s a very violent and nasty movie, if you are wondering.

They gave us “Deep Vision 3-D” glasses with the same logo on them that is shown on screen during the credits. Obviously these glasses are very old. What warehouse have they been sitting in for all these years?

Get your ass out to the New Beverly Cinema for some shows.