Feb

posted by admin | February 20, 2015 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Cult Film, Cult films, Guest Review, Horror movies

TV raised Angela Englert, so she’s a lot like one of those Junkion robots from the Transformers movie, including the Weird Al soundtrack. She loves genre stuff. She hates Oscar bait. Her party trick is reciting Dr. Loomis’s lines from the Halloween movies. You can follow her inevitable downward spiral on Twitter, @mechaangela.

This is a movie about sex. That’s not too surprising; most human endeavor is about sex – getting it, having it, cleaning up afterwards so you don’t get itchy or divorced. But this movie is really about sex a lot, more than most in fact, and it doesn’t try to be cute about it. If anything it tries to be cute about not being cute about it being about sex. But I digress. This movie is about sex.
We open on a yawning cavern in the face of a mountain with splashy script titles in Hammer Horror red (pantone 762) after someone hit the “horror movie soundtrack demo” button on a Yamaha keyboard. Nothing else happens for a couple minutes, but so mood, much ominous. This is clearly a very important hole.
Next, a Scottish Egon Spengler shouts for joy; in about 85 minutes, you’ll recognize this is Peter Capaldi, TV’s Doctor Who, but not yet. He’s too dewy and friendly. Peter is playing Angus, student archeologist and for my money, the real hero of this film, no matter if Hugh Grant is on the cover because he’s more handsome and famous. Angus dug up a huge skull of some kind, dinosaur maybe, and he’s never seen a horror movie because he’s really happy about it. Angus tells sisters Eve and Mary, who run the bed and breakfast he’s apparently excavating, and then they go to a party, like you do.
At the party, an ersatz Dexy’s Midnight Runners tell us the local legend of the D’Ampton Wyrm in song, while the locals act out the ritual killing of the wyrm — i.e. dragon, i.e. big-ass snake – with raucous line dancing antics. Hugh Grant joins the cast as James, the young lord of the manor, descendant of Sir John D’Ampton what slew the worm of legend. Then our couples pair off, and we follow Angus and Mary as they take a scary misty shortcut through the woods back to the bed and breakfast.
Mary relates to Angus how her parents disappeared taking this very shortcut home from the pub on a night very like this. (Boo!) Angus senses weakness and zooms in for the snog. Mid-snog, they catch sight of a long, silvery car snaking its way through the dark with dimmed headlights. Mood’s gone, Angus. They arrive back at the bed and breakfast to discover policeman Ernie, who’s pretty much the Andy and the Barney of this sleepy village, waiting with Mary’s Dad’s watch, recently discovered in Stonerich Cavern. That’s that hole we looked at for a couple minutes earlier.
At this point, Ernie goes to check out where Mary and Angus saw the spooky car. Strange cars at night must be a local ordinance violation or something. He’s instantly bitten by a snake and surprised by Lady Sylvia, Amanda Donohoe eating the scenery with fork and knife and a lot of tongue, who has returned to her estate after wintering…somewhere, doesn’t matter. Anyway, Lady Sylvia is wicked and sexy and would straight up short out Beavis and Butthead with all her dirty double entendres. She treats Ernie’s snakebite with her mouth.
The next day, Lady Sylvia sneaks into the bed and breakfast and steals the skull while Mary and Angus are searching for remnants of Mary’s dad, and I guess all the other guests are antiquing or something else pastoral and English. On her way out, she takes a moment to projectile spit venom onto a crucifix. When James finally brings Eve home after a night of “dancing,” Eve touches the venom and has a bad trip like gangbusters, full of over-saturated colors and Roman soldiers raping nuns.
Lady Sylvia, it will surprise no one, is the immortal vampire-like priestess of an ancient snake god cult that venerates the D’Ampton Wyrm, and she’s back to get the skull Angus found and sacrifice some dim blondes while she’s at it. You have to admire how fast she got on that skull getting thing. She must get snake god skull unearthing alerts directly to her inbox. (If I were Lady Sylvia, that would be a dirty joke.)
First though, there’s a fun scene where she seduces a boy scout with sacrificial results. Then she meets James, who seems a little suspicious, but then maybe he’s just mesmerized by her thigh high boots. That scene kind of meanders into her kissing him. Make with the snakes, movie. Come on.
James goes home and pretty much has clues to the entire mystery waiting for him in his luxurious bedroom suite. It’s like his house is one of those point and click computer games from the 90’s. Then he has a Skinimax-grade dream featuring Mary, Eve, and Lady Sylvia that doesn’t actually involve nudity, but somehow would be less sexual if it did. James wakens with a clue and…probably something else. He does have his randy butler give him his coffee in bed.
I won’t spoil the rest of it, but there’s plenty of snake charming, snake handling, snake spitting, snake splitting, snake biting, and snakebite sucking as James and Angus work to save their girlfriends from the mystery of Stonerich Cavern and its white worm. If you’re iffy on snakes, there’s only two actual snakes in it. One is unseen and the other is a pretty cute FX monster. It’s loads of fun, with plenty of dark humor, dirty wordplay, leather lingerie, and satisfying gory bits. For a movie with so much biting, it really, really doesn’t. You should check it out.

roadside attractions

  • Mouth organ AND bagpipe charming
  • Strategic mongoose usage
  • Neighborhood noise level violations
  • Angus keeps WHAT in his sporran?
  • Subtext as text
  • That’s a really big dildo
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

A respectable amount of limb lopping off and grody puncture wounds, but nothing that would make it hard to eat a Philly cheesesteak or anything.

7

blood

BREASTS

They’re not the only ones on offer, but Amanda Donohoe’s boobs are very well-documented in this film.

7

beast

BEASTS

The snake god is slightly less convincing than Kermit. His snake vampire minions are pretty freaky though.

7.7 OVERALL
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Feb

posted by Barry Goodall | February 11, 2015 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Starring a lot of nobodys doing a whole lotta nothing, Grim pretty much lives up to it’s title from start to finish. It starts off with a boring dinner party where some yuppies breakout their ouija board and accidentally unleash a satanic underground monster who grabs a dinner guest as a trophy wife. A pretty successful party otherwise. The hosts, Steve and Katie have some major guilt about Wendy’s kidnapping so they hire some amateur spelunkers to go exploring some nearby caverns explaining to them it’s for a “scientific study.” Never mind that people are being snatched from their living room by a cross dimensional half monkey/half lion beast, we’ve got some stalactites to photo!

After what might be actual vacation video of people endlessly walking in caves they discovers a living room recliner in the middle of a cavern covered in blood surround by skeletons (death by lazyboy.) Steve gets possessed by the monster and ties up Katie for a sacrifice while he bangs on a brass pot…and bangs…and keeps banging. Seems nothing can stop this big beasts with Koolaid vision from crushing skulls and chomping on faces. It’s probably just trying to stop that incessant banging noise. Katie is rescued but everyone totally ditches Wendy whom they find chained to the wall because she’s gone all batty. Yes I said batty…sorry it’s a cave pun.

Lacking proper Goonies skills they all start getting picked off one by one until someone decides to shine their flashlight directly in the creature’s eyes. The magic pennant they brought with them is pretty much useless now. Thanks for nothing Sky Mall.  They eventually lure the monster into a open well where it gets a healthy dose of sunshine turning it into a big hunk of rock that’s full of vitamin D. The dinner party couple escapes, but leaves their friend Wendy still chained up in the creature’s lair wondering what she did to make them hate her so much. I wondered the same thing about the director. Did I date his sister? Was he riding the bicycle I hit on the way to work? Paul Matthews why do you hate me?!! Barry Goodall says to check it out only if you enjoy Guantanamo Bay style waterboarding and endless cave exploring footage.

roadside attractions

  • Face chomping
  • animated bat attack
  • mind reading monkey beast
  • skull crushings
  • koolaid monstervision
  • continuous gong chimes
  • wall chain of soccer moms
  • magic pet rock
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

sure it’s a head crushing but really not as gooey as it could be!

0

blood

BREASTS

There’s too much cave exploration going on to get naked.

9

beast

BEASTS

A pretty nasty monkey/lion hell beast than can teleport through walls and possess people. Beat that Donald Trump!

1.2 OVERALL
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Jan

posted by deadman | January 18, 2015 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Reviews by Deadman, modern horror

Hello, again, folks! Let’s get into yet another installment of the Megaladon series that has plagued the airways for years. You know, cause there’s fans just hammering SyFy inboxes for another. Let’s see if we got all the proper ingredients for a movie that makes as much sense as going into the woods. TV stars searching for a paycheck? Yup. Props left over from the previous twelve SyFy movies? Can’t miss them. CGI that makes Jurassic Park look photorealistic? Oh yeah. Now we can begin.

So this little romp takes place, according to the movie, several places all over the world. Truth be told it’s just Google maps zoomed in on with some text over laid. I’m fairly certain you can see the watermark during at least one scene. Well, now that global warming has began melting the ice caps another Megaladon escapes it’s icy prison! Okay who let Al Gore pen this? And on top of that; how many of these sharks are frozen in these places? Did they have a shark convention in the arctic circle and were caught off guard by a sudden freeze?

Well after said 200 foot shark is released we’re greeted by an Angel and Stargate alumni to come and combat the situation with their version of a cliché voice activated semi-intelligent electronic butler and, you guessed it, a Mecha shark. Another 200 foot monstrosity made of materials that couldn’t possibly hold up to a normal shark’s bite, but is supposed to be strong enough to take on the great grandaddy of Bruce from Jaws. Science, folks!

After determining that this does, indeed, take place in both San Francisco AND Australia, by hiring actors who can sorta fake the accents, we get to the problem and how to solve it. Yes, even after everything has already been set up, they still feel the need to explain more. Shark attacks, ho! We have to make it the villain, don’t we?

After the same fleet that was in Bermuda Tentacles attempts to take on the Megaladon with no avail they deploy the Mecha shark, which also happens to contain the same cockpit as the one in the aforementioned movie. No, really, do a side by side comparison for a good laugh. Now if all that wasn’t silly enough for you get ready for the combat portion of the movie! They fire torpedoes, the shark dodges, wash, rinse, repeat. I want to know how a creature from thousands of years ago knows how, and why, to dodge underwater missiles.

More Google mapping and zooming! The villain in the movie apparently has apparently been causing all sorts of trouble, including an oil spill that is fixed by the Mecha ramming the pipe closed. That’s an actual scene, folks. Phone calls from a lady, who’s role or why she’s so important to the story is never explained, guide our team to figure out that the Megaladon is actually a bull trying to mate. A point which is hammered home with PG vulgarity that is almost comical to hear.

I wonder if the actor read these lines prior to filming or if he was just surprised with the script the morning of shooting? But that’s not the biggest of their issues, no! It seems we have a problem with the Mechashark malfunctioning and seeing everyone as a potential threat. And here I thought the three laws of robotics were keeping us safe.

Yes, it seems our Stargate alumni has managed to beach the malfunctioning machine in the heart of San Francisco. How does an artificial intelligence deal with that? Easily! It grows tank tracks covered in spikes! It proceeds to terrify a very empty city and a few extras who don’t seem to take their role seriously at all, and it all ends up in it chasing a small girl. You know, cause bad guy. But don’t worry, our ex-Angel star dives into the machine to divert it and lead it back to the sea. Another phone call from mysterious shark lady gives the military the idea to pit the Mecha and the Megaladon against one another. Because it worked so well the last time. Let’s head into the final scenes, folks.

I won’t write any spoilers, but the finally of this movie is just as silly as the rest of it. The directing is as funny as the rest of it, with low swooping shots, slow motion shots and attempts at dramatic angles that it’s easy to see that the person took their job seriously. The actors deliver their lines like they never rehearsed or did a read through, except maybe the morning of shooting while crying in their coffee. And the special effects and gore range from spilled ketchup to attempted dramatic deaths, one in particular which I didn’t understand, at all.

Don’t fret, folks, as long as Netflix still needs things to show, as long as critics need something to groan and yell at, as long as there is cheap CGI, SyFy will be there. Thanks for reading, folks. And, as always, stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Roaring Shark
  • Best Bluetooths Ever
  • Electronic Butler 2.0
  • No, Really, Why Did He Die?
  • Wrong Accent
  • Running Joke Attempt
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

3 – TV Friendly Fodder

2

blood

BREASTS

0 – I think maybe there was a bikini somewhere

9

beast

BEASTS

Recycling is good for the environment

4.3 OVERALL
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Jan

The Long Hair of Death
1964 – NR – 100 Minutes – Raro Video
Starring Barbara Steele, George Ardisson, Halina Zalewska – by Antonio Margheriti

Anytime something bad is happening in the world, it’s probably because of a witch’s curse and to get rid of it, you have to burn her on a cross. If she cries out for her maker and dies, she wasn’t a witch after all, but if she shrieks out hexes and curses those who wronged her, she is a witch, but she is burning, so the curse is gone! Everybody wins. Except the witch. These are all scientific facts.

But you better hope that witch doesn’t curse you and cry out for vengeance upon her execution. It will haunt you for the rest of your life, which will come to an end unexpectedly, just as you think you are on top of the world. The Long Hair of Death is such an example. It’s dark and shadowy trip down a cold, chilling hallway of treachery, murder and revenge from Antonio Margheriti, the director of cult classics like Castle of Blood and Yor, Hunter From the Future. Ok, that last one maybe not so much, but the guy knows how to create mood and tension.

lhd_2And what way better way to open up a movie? Count Humboldt and his rather douchy son Curt are burning a witch at the stake, but this isn’t your regular kind of tie-them-to-a-cross burning. It’s some sort of torcherous haystack maze that is set on fire! As the accused witch is trying to escape the hellfire, her hot daughter (no pun intended) Helen, played by the gorgeous Barbara Steele, is attempting to plead with the Count to save her by any means necessary… any, if you catch my drift. So while the Count is grinding on her, he promises her that her mother will be safe, but then Curt sets a torch to the maze and the old woman catches fire while her youngest daughter watches and she shouts curses on her tormentors. Jeez, the guy couldn’t even wait til morning to break his promise. Helen vows that she will have her revenge, but there may be a change of plans. The Count tosses her off a cliff and into a river, leaving her younger sister Lisabeth as the sole survivor. Helen is buried with the old witch’s ashes, which you know is going to be a combination more deadly than peanut butter and chocolate.

Some years pass and Lisabeth is now a young woman, being stalked by the even creepier Curt, who basically forces her into marriage. Of course, this is back in the day when you could just say you’re going to marry someone and claim them. That’s basically what happens, but even though she’s his wife now, he will never have her heart. He doesn’t truly love her and she hates him and they spend a good amount of time loathing each other and staring daggers as she plots her revenge against Curt while avoiding him. So, it’s your basic run of the mill marriage. Lisabeth begs for vengeance and vengeance she shall have!

lhd_3As the plague is claiming the lives of the villagers, Curt and his father stay safely in their castle until an old, familiar face returns! Could it be Helen? She certainly looks like her, but doesn’t act like her… The woman says her name is Mary and has been separated from her group. Upon seeing her face, the count dies from guilt and Curt greaves in Helen’s magnificent bosom. But don’t think Lisabeth doesn’t notice some other floozy making moves on her man! She soon becomes jealous and suspects Curt of adultery and she should, because he is totally hitting that behind her back. Even as Helen tries to leave, Curt goes as far as to poison a messenger sent out to find her party. Now, if that isn’t the sign of someone who loves you, I don’t know what is.

Deceit, treachery and murder are all part of this marriage (I guess each couple has to keep their relationship “fresh”), as Curt plots Lisabeth’s death and she patiently awaits for revenge, but will she ever get it? And why is it hard to advert my eyes away from Helen’s cleavage? Curt soon brings Helen into the mix, turning her against Lisabeth and soon paranoia sets in and there is nobody they can trust, not even the priest! Well, if you can’t trust the priest, then who can you? It’s a devilish story about getting even that leads up to an ending that will ring of The Wicker Man.

Talk about an exciting, little murder mystery! There are plenty of moments in the film where anything seems possible and you aren’t sure what’s going to happen, but you’re certainly there, wide eyed in anticipation waiting for it. Sure, you’ve seen this plot probably about a dozen times and maybe it’s the way it’s presented here, but it doesn’t feel old. Those Italians sure do know how to create some genuine suspense. It does take some time getting to the revenge, but everything is a slow build, so you have enough time to get to know these characters and despise them enough so that any type of revenge is justified, no matter how cruel and unusual it may be. And boy, does it get cruel and unusual.

lhd_4But that’s just the start. There is a lot of sexualization in the film and dealing into darker matters with rape and abuse, which may seem unheard of for films from the 60’s, but this is when European Gothic horror films were really starting to become just what they were meant to be; dark. Yes, there was a time when goth was more than whatever was trending down at the Hot Topic and The Long Hair of Death represents that. Presenting the spousal abuse, adultery, death and plague is some beautifully lit set pieces, highly contrasting the lights and shadows within the castle, something Italian filmmakers seem to have a knack for. The film has some seriously beautiful images.

And I have to give praise to the performances in the film. Curt is that villain you love to hate. He’s always up to something that will only further his desires while hurting someone else. Everything he says seems to be there to shine light on his greed, selfishness and his treacherous scheming. Even against his own father, who starts off as the most detestable person in the film, but later accepts his own fate. I did find it odd that Curt would later come to mourn his passing, especially after Curt admits to the reason behind the Count’s brother’s disappearance. Countering that is Lisabeth, the sympathetic female unwillingly caught in the middle of all of this. At times she seems a little weak, because you want her to extract the revenge, but that is lent a more supernatural hand. I also felt that her jealousy was a bit unwarranted, since adultery was met with execution back in the day and that could have solved her problem right there, but I guess she wanted to do it herself. And of course we have to mention the gothic bombshell Barbara Steele in a dual role. This woman does the unimaginable in an attempt to save her mother’s life as Helen and as Mary, she flaunts was she was born with and expresses what a sexual beast she can be.

For those of you always looking for the greatest quality out there, Raro really came through for you. The picture is sharp and smooth, although sometimes too smooth, delivering a pretty crisp picture with little leftover scratches. The same can be said about the audio, which seems to be flawless here. That score will get stuck in your head for days and both Italian and English dialogue tracks are here. I recommend the Italian track with the English subs, since the English dub seems to be a bit sillier and some of the dialogue is omitted, like an inner voice speaking to Lisabeth.

The Long Hair of Death
Sure, you could choose from one of the many Hammer Horror films if the mood strikes you for something gothic, but I say reach a little further for The Long Hair of Death. Something about it feels more natural than something in the Hammer series (not saying anything bad about Hammer), especially within the scenery. It’s a dreary good time that is remarkable to look at and will keep you in suspense as wave after wave of tension keep slamming into you.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Barbara Steele will steal your heart.
  • Curt, lord douche.
  • Murder, deception and betrayal! Oh my!
  • Gothic interior decorating.
  • Man, The Wicker.
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Nuttin’ but a rotten corpse.

6

blood

BREASTS

Two words. Barbara and Steele.

7

beast

BEASTS

Curt needs a mustache to twirl while lightening strikes behind him.

5.3 OVERALL
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Jan

posted by deadman | January 6, 2015 | Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Reviews by Deadman, Sci-Fi, modern horror

Ragnarok
Don’t you love being pleasantly surprised when you go into a movie expecting to be in pain the entire time and end up with a good experience? Me too! Oh my dear B-movie makers, you never cease to surprise me. What I thought was going to be a CGI-laden, generic-screaming-girl, dude-with-bad-catchphrase-saves-the-day attempt at a would-be monster movie, turned into a cool romp into Norse legends and a decent creature flick.

Ragnarok is a foreign movie about an archaeologist who has been studying runes, boats, coins and shells all in an attempt to prove that a certain tribe of Vikings sailed to a certain point in geography. Cool idea, but the best evidence he has is a few shells stuck to a boat that sank. I don’t know if I’d cut funding at that point, but I’d definitely have some second thoughts when all I’m given shells. What’s that? Foreshadowing so heavy that the viewer is practically bludgeoned over the head with it is missing? Say no more! Runes and their meanings, ho! And while we’re at it, let’s verify the title. The end of the world might not be figurative, but a literal incident that the Vikings were trying to document and warn the rest of the world about. Duh. Funding pulled. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to the next plot point.

rk_2Character development is now flying at us so fast that a snail on a salt trail could finish a 2K marathon first. Single dad? Check! Bratty spoiled teenager? Check! Enthusiastic young son? Check! Wait. We’re missing a trope. Oh. There it is! Best friend with the perfect piece of evidence to force the main character to do something stupid and endanger himself and his family? Checkity check! After chartering a boat with a guide and a survival expert to another part of the country, they begin their quest for the end of the world event. This whole time I’m asking where the money came from if his funding got pulled? And how did they put this all together in less than 24 hours? Seriously! I can barely go out to eat fast food without a three-day reservation! Also, if you’re going to go spelunking in dangerous caves in a part of the country you’ve never been and know nothing about, bring the kids! It’ll be fun!

After a short trek through generic woods number 4,612, our characters reach their destination: an island surrounded by a supposed ‘bottom-less lake’ where the event Ragnarok happened. With several camera shots that establish that there is indeed a monster looming in said lake, they set out to explore said island and find nothing! These guys are the worst archaeologists in history! Why do I say that? Because the young son finds the secret of the island, then the daughter finds remnants of previous inhabitants. Both of those finds aren’t that far from the camp they set up. Pulled funding now justified! After playing in the cave and finding some items, they’re robbed at gunpoint by the guide. Raise your hand if you saw that coming, folks. Yeah, me too. But wait, this is supposed to be a monster movie. Where’s the monster? Well, we get a rrreeeeaaaaallllllyyyy far away shot of the monster attacking said guide trying to get away. Now, back to that salt trail.

rk_3If horror movies have taught me anything, it’s not to go in the woods. The second thing they’ve taught me is never touch things that look like eggs! Seriously. Ask Sigourney Weaver what I’m talking about. Of course, the young boy takes one of the monster’s eggs that conveniently hatches shortly after and now we have the reason for the monster to chase everyone. Here’s where the movie gets kind of good.

We’re given glimpses of the monster, dramatic camera angles and bubbling water which all keep the thing off the screen, but the threat real. I happen to enjoy this method of using the threat of a monster. It builds a fear that the unknown is still out there and hunting the characters. It keeps the monster hidden for most of the movie, helping create a suspense most popularized by Jaws. By the time we see the monster, we’re more impressed and this movie follows that old formula very, very well. Kudos to the writer and director for successfully pulling this off.

rk_4It was established earlier on that Soviets inhabited the island and a lot of their stuff is still lying around, giving us our next set piece: an underground bunker. With the monster now revealed as a giant dinosaur snake… thing… we have several chase scenes, close calls and the final scenes of the movie. No spoilers, folks. But I will say, this little gem is worth a watch. With decent pacing, an easy-to-follow plot and an impressive use of a monster, I’d happily recommend this to anyone looking for old school formulas used with modern technology. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Everyone likes fries.
  • Don’t touch that.
  • How many times can you say ‘Duh’?
  • Bad tantrum timing.
  • Never yell.
  • That’s why you never yell.
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

A lot of tension, but almost no gore.

2

blood

BREASTS

None exposed, yet the ones there are ruggedly sexy.

9

beast

BEASTS

THAT is an original design.

4.3 OVERALL
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