Archive for the '70’s b-movies' Category

Mar

Comments Off on Frightmare

Frightmare
1974 – R – Redemption Films
86 Minutes – Starring Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith – Directed by Pete Walker

Let’s be all serious for a moment and think; does censorship really protect us? Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, the UK was severely bringing the hammer down on horror films, believing they made sadists, psychopaths and bullies out of the everyday normal Joe. The solution? To excise all sex and violence out of the film, often leaving the final cut incomprehensible. I recently talked about My Bloody Valentine and how the R rated cut of the film’s finale left you puzzled as you saw Axel running away holding his arm. But what you didn’t see was him sawing his own arm off, thus explaining why he was holding his arm. So maybe it wasn’t always incomprehensible, but you certainly were left with a product that was lackluster and taking away elements as to why you are watching the film. In horror’s case; the aforementioned sex and violence.

The BBFC (now apparently at it again) became so notorious for this, that horror films unjustifiably became targeted and heavily censored or downright banned just because of the fact that it was a horror film! Whether it was advertising (via posters or reviews) or because a filmmaker became notorious for having made controversial horror films, it would seem that the BBFC would demand severe cuts or ban the film without actually having taking a look at the film. Now, we know this doesn’t keep the material out of the wrong hands, like children, but that’s a different topic for a different day.

fm_2After years pass, possibly many years, this controversy can actually work in favor of the film. Take Frightmare, for example. Although never a Video Nasty, I always heard so much controversy about this film and all the graphic content that got it banned, so in my head I built this movie up to be an exploitation film filled with blood, guts, nudity and every other fun filled nightmare that I could think of. However, if you’ve seen the film… Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that content makes a film good, but you can see how controversy can create a different movie in your head.

Frightmare opens in a black and white sequence during 1957 as a straggler happens upon a farmhouse. He’s welcomed inside, all shot in POV and within moments, a good chunk of his face has been removed and the assailant, now revealed to be Dorothy Yates, is institutionalized in the following scene for having butchered and eaten several people along with her husband Edmund, who had been faking his insanity so that he may be locked up with his wife that he loved so much. Ladies, how many of your guys would take that vow?

Cut to present day 1974 where the daughter of Edmund from a previous marriage, Jackie, is having dinner with some friends all while her stepsister Debbie is out causing a ruckus at a bar. She’s what you would call a “wild card” or “hangs out with a rough crowd.” Don’t believe me? She and her rowdy friends, a biker gang with The Monkee’s style haircuts, beat a bartender within inches of his life just for not serving her a drink for being underage. That’ll teach you to obey the law!

fm_3Dorothy and Edmund have also been declared sane and released, living back in their remote farmhouse. Now, I’m no expert, but wouldn’t they be under probation of some kind or under supervision temporarily? Or maybe I’m wrong and convicted cannibals are free to roam willy nilly once they get that stamp of approval. Jackie puts her love life on hold and keeping her family’s secret to the persistent Graham, who looks like a British Peter Parker, to keep an eye on her father and stepmother. Edmund tells Jackie that he fears Dorothy is already lapsing and up to her old deeds and he has every right to be, because she is. It doesn’t take Dorothy long before she is luring in loners without families or loved ones with tea and tarot card readings that result in their (most of the time) off screen deaths. I have no idea how she fooled such clever doctors.

After several visits from the fuzz, Jackie has had it with Debbie and demands she leave, but newly psychiatrist Graham tells Jackie she needs to be more caring to her sister, because if there is one thing that girl needs it’s negative reinforcement for her bad behavior. But Debbie is beyond a simple scolding, as she claims to have “found” the barkeep from the fight dead and has stored him in her trunk. It’s actually pretty sneaky, since you aren’t sure whether or not Debbie is directly involved in his death, but soon all suspicions are laid to rest, as she has a secret of her own…

Coming home from work one day, Edmund discovers Dorothy in the midst of one of her murders and although he’s shocked and terrified, vows to help her cover it up. Because of his loyalty, Dorothy lets him in on her little secret, that she has been having a little help with her murders from her daughter! Hey, you may as well keep it in the family. Edmund comes to the conclusion that Dorothy will never stop, but Jackie will be a thorn in their side. Hmm, what are crazed murderous cannibals to do?

fm_4After learning of Dorothy’s illness, Graham sets out really figure out what is going on, so I’m sure he will be alright. Jackie heads out to the old farmhouse to bring things to a close, but she may already be too late and discovers the shocking and grisly truth that Dorothy is still murdering… with a little help. Now lacking protection from her father, Jackie is walking into a trap and she may not make it out alive!

After viewing the film, you may have noticed that there is quite a lack of gore. Most of the bloody effects are an aftermath, someone’s face sliced halfway off, but there are a few scenes of Dorothy stabbing someone to death. This is what I meant earlier about a film’s censorship unrealistically boosting your expectations, as I went in expecting murder and mayhem, but what I got was actually a mild, violent filled, shocking and suspenseful tale of a cannibalistic woman that is very well paced. In a way, it reminds me of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It doesn’t need to show you graphic details, but lets your mind make it up for you. Even though most of the butchering is never seen and we never actually see her eat anyone (the implication is more scary, but clearly not as grotesque), Dorothy is a well developed and truly frightening antagonist. Every moment on screen, you are never sure which way her personality is going to take her, so much so, that I was expecting her to kill Edmund at any moment.

As usual, Redemption did a stellar job restoring the film from its original 35mm prints. Although slight discoloration and grain is present, the overall image quality is clean and sharp, revealing beautiful detail to the visceral imagery. As for the audio, there isn’t a whole lot you can do with something that’s 2.0, but it’s never muffled and the dialogue is clear and understandable and really, you can’t ask for more. It’s almost impossible to restore a forty year old film without some remaining damage, but Redemption manages to make it the best it will ever be. On a special features note, there is an interview with director Pete Walker as he recalls the film and talks about how the censorship was a help to the publicity, a look at the work of Sheila Keith, the actress who played Dorothy, a trailer and a commentary track.

Frightmare
If the sight of pulling out intestines, eating splines and feasting upon the organs of people, as blood spews like a faucet isn’t your thing… then you’ll probably enjoy Frightmare, as I’ve said, it doesn’t show much gore, but rather pulls the punches in the suspense. Although not quite living up to its famous controversy, Frightmare is still a bloody good time that’s good for a scare with plenty of secrets.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • My Step Mother is a Cannibal next on Maury.
  • Not the WB Sister/Sister that you remember.
  • Some death with your tea?
  • For England, they have some nice teeth.
  • Husband of the year.
  • Driller killer.
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

Some squirts, some sprays and some eyeball removal.

5

blood

BREASTS

Jackie sports some cleavage making you want to see more.

8

beast

BEASTS

Debbie will break your heart and Dorothy will eat it!

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Frightmare!”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by Doktor | October 3, 2013 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Message From Space

Tagline: Where Fantasies are Real & Reality is Fantastic.

Year: 1978           Runtime: 105 min

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writer: Kinji Fukasaku (story), Shôtarô Ishinomori (story), Masahiro Noda (story), Hirô Matsuda (writer)

Starring: Shin’ichi Chiba, Vic Morrow, Philip Casnoff

I swear I intended to steer clear of sci fi for a few reviews, but this is Japanese Star Warsploitation. I couldn’t help myself. The movie is 90% Rent-a-Center versions of Star Wars characters, vehicles and music, but that’s what makes it so ALMOST actionable on copyright infringement grounds. And totally AWE-some!

The movie opens on Jillucia (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ah), a once beautiful and verdant planet. It’s peaceful inhabitants, the Jillucians (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ahns) were slaughtered by the evil Gavanas. The battle is described by a narrator, “The Jillucians were no match for the steel-skinned Gavanas.” Which is mostly misleading. Actually, the Jillucians were no match for the Gavanas’s laser burlets. Jillucians are pretty much the Tiananmen Square tank guys of space. Except the Jillucians are Tree Huggin’ Space Hippies™. And the tanks stopped for the Unknown Protester. And we still remember and care about the Unknown Protester.

With the Jillucians almost extinct, Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green lets loose eight Magic Space Walnuts™. They have a special tracking power which homes in on the Eight Heroes who will save Jillucia from the evil Gavanas. Once loosed, he realizes that it would behoove them to have someone go along to explain what in the hell the Magic Space Walnuts™ mean. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green chooses his granddaughter for the job. She and one brave volunteer jump in the Space Schooner and leisurely float off whichever way. They’re nowhere near fast enough to follow the Magic Space Walnuts™, so why strain, right?

Then there are some lovely scenes of the Gavanas, a race of war hungry Rent-a-Center Power Ranger Villains, being menacing. Glower. Ominous. Black. Oooooo. They’re angry because of their Emperor, Rockseia XLL (pronounced Rock-SAY-ah-X-L-L). Rockseia XLL is angry because of his confusing biology—his mom is a dude. Kind of like Eric Cartmen. Except Emperor Rockseia’s mom is a Native American Power Ranger Villain. And Liane Cartman is a crack whore. And, most importantly, we still watch and like Eric Cartmen.

Then some smashing scenes establishing the characters of the Eight Heroes. Rent-a-Center Princess Leia tapping on the window of her space ship to get the attention of passing Space Hot Shots. Space Hot Shots buzzing through an asteroid field running from the Space Police. A Space Vegas Show. Space General Garuda’s touching funeral for his personal robot, i.e. sending a junked robot into space in a Vikingesque funeral aboard an expensive rocket. Swimming through asteroid fields to catch Space Fire Flies. Et cetera.

Then there’s a bunch of moaning and groaning. The Eight Heroes don’t want to be the chosen ones. They throw/give away their Magic Space Walnuts™. Boo-hoo. Then they do want to be the chosen ones. Then some get their Magic Space Walnuts™ back. The one who doesn’t throws the Emo Pity Party™.  Then a couple of them get kidnapped. It’s a hot mess. Et cetera.

Eventually Emperor Rockseia XLL decides to go on a Space Road Trip™. They fire up the engines on Jillucia and head to Earth. At this point Jillucia becomes a Rent-a-Center Death Star.

At Earth Rockseia XLL destroys the moon as a warning to humanity that he means business. Wilzyx and millions of frolicking Orcas suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Powerful. Heart breaking. An inspiring scene to end all inspiring scenes.

If there’s a Rent-a-Center Death Star there has to be a Rent-a-Center trench run. Kinji Fukasaku ups the ante. Message From Space has two trench runs! The first comes when the Space Hot Shots go to Jillucia to team up with the Jillucians. The Space Hot Shots rig their ships to join, ala the God Pheonix of Battle of the Planets/G Force/Gatchaman, but much less cool. The main ship in this junkyard Voltron is a Rent-a-Center Ebon Hawk from KOTOR. When they approach Jillucia they split up, fly through a bit of the trench, then join back together before landing. What does this accomplish? Nothing. It’s not even particularly cool. So, yeah, why not?

The second Rent-a-Center trench run is the Final Boss Battle. It’s a mix of the rebel attack on the Death Star and Tron vs MCP. The Space Hot Shots fly through the exhaust port tunnel thing down to the reactor. There, they shoot the spinning thingie, stopping it, which uncovers the opening they have to target. Pew… Pew… Pew… Boom… Exploision.

Meanwhile, as the space battle is raging (i.e. before the pew… pew… pew…  boom… explosion), there’s the Rent-a-Center Vader vs Obi Wan fight. But this time Vader gets a mud hole stomped in him. It’s because Vader is played by a milksop and Obi Wan is played by Sonny Chiba. The problem is, because Chiba wrecks shop, there’s no touching moment where the old guy sacrifices his life empowering the next generation to seek their glory.

Oh, wait. There is that moment. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green deliberately misses the Space Schooner to Valinor. The Jillucians have one more Space Schooner in dry dock collecting Space Spider Webs. It’s so old that they have to literally crank start the reactors. While the suspense completely ruined my pedicure (I chew my nails when I’m nervous, a’ight), I’ll let you in on a little secret… They make it. Yay! You’re mani/pedi can thank me later.

Message From Space ends with is shot of the Jillucian Space Schooner flying past Earth propelled courageously by cheesy Spaghetti Western music. Toei Company, LTD really knows how to go out with a bang.

You can watch Message From Space in it’s entirety for free, here.

roadside attractions

  • Delight in the continual consumption of Space Tomatoes™!
  • Hearken to the music which sounds suspiciously similar to Leia’s Theme!
  • Marvel at the final 50 Jillucians! (Kinda shallow for a gene pool, innit?)
  • Witness Aaron the Space Hot Shot’s contribution to Haute Couture: Rainbow Suspenders!
  • Revel in the courageously “out” robosexual couple General Garuda and Beba Two (pronounced babe-AH 2)!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There’s a couple fist fights and a couple busted lips. Most of the killing is by laser burlets, but the effects are futurific.

0

blood

BREASTS

I don’t know if I should penalize the movie for this though. The movie came out in 1978, and breasts wouldn’t have been invented in Japan for another couple decades.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of groovy Power Ranger style villains.

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Message From Space”

trailers

dripper
Sep

posted by Doktor | September 21, 2013 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Star Odyssey

Tagline: It’s Exactly Like Star Wars, Only Different

(Actually, there wasn’t a tagline so I supplied one worthy of the film.)

Year: 1979            Runtime: 103 min

Director: Alfonso Brescia

Writer: Alfonso Brescia, Massimo Lo Jacono, Giacomo Mazzocchi

Starring: Yanti Somer, Gianni Garko, Malisa Longo

All artists want to make money on their art. One way that filmmakers achieve this is by riding on the coattails of a more popular, and lucrative, film. For examples see: Roger Corman, The Asylum, or any Kung Fu film starring Bruce Le, Li, Lei, Lea or any other permutation of the spelling of Lee. Star Odyssey is a Spaghetti Star Wars film.

Like all good b-movies there was something within the first thirty seconds that let me know this was a winner: the supporting cast credits are alphabetized. Sort of.

  • First title card:
    • Al Elliot
    • Caty Water
    • Joseph Thorne
  • Second title card:
    • Phil Browne
    • Tony Forster
    • Phil Shelby
    • Frank Weber
  • Third title card:
    • Max Right
    • Robert Egan
    • Steve Jordan

See what they did there? They couldn’t decide on whether to alphabetize by first name or last. Ah, man. If they couldn’t figure out that trivial detail…

Star Odyssey is the story of evil Lord of the Universe Kress who has purchased the Earth in a Space Auction™. Little does he know that the humans of Earth are not going to be taken into slavery so easily, not if Professor Morrie has anything to say about it.

As I mentioned at the top, most of Star Odyssey is in some way a Rent-a-Center version of Star Wars. The most egregious being the characters and Mental Force™.

Characters:

  • Lord Kress: Rent-a-Center Darth Vader without the helmet. Looks like his face was caught in a waffle iron.
  • Professor Morrie. Rent-a-Center Obi Wan Kenobi. Can use Rent-a-Center version of the Force, Mental Force™.
  • Hollywood: Rent-a-Center Luke Skywalker. Lieutenant in the Space Military. Sweet mustache (Actually everyone in the film has a sweet mustache. Who was the casting agency, the police department?) Aside from that a total doofus. Always posing. Seriously. Hands on his hips, chest puffed out, posing. This guy makes the actors in the old Doctor Who shows look like Marlon Brando.
  • Dirk Laramie: Rent-a-center Han Solo. Also has Mental Force™ so I guess he’s part Luke, too.
  • Irene: Rent-a-Center Princess Leia. Dirk/Hollywood love interest. Also a plot device allowing Morrie to get kidnapped at just the right wrong time.
  • Tilt & Tilly: Rent-a-center C3PO’s. Male and female, respectively. Product of a drunken night threesome between a retarded Cybermen, a teletubby and Howard the Duck. To top them off, quite literally, is a Xmas tree star. Lurv struck idiots. All they do is complain like a bitter old couple.
  • Space Aryans™: Rent-a-Center Storm Troopers. Lord Kress’s minions. Gold Space Suits with Prince Valiant hair. They’re actually androids. They fight with Rent-a-center light sabers. Well, not really fight. They are terrible swordsmen. They have one move: over-the-head strike. This attack is instantly parried and then they’re cut down with a gut/back slash. EVERY SINGLE ONE!

Mental Force Powers:

  • Persuade – great for suckering simple minded idiots into doing your bidding, which includes getting Hollywood to help with Morrie’s scheme.
  • Telekenesis – great for cheating a Space Plinko™.
  • Telepathy – great for opening one particular door on Kress’s ship.
  • Feel Presence – great plot device to make Kress aware of Morrie.
  • Xray Vision – great for cheating at Space Poker™.
  • Net – great plot device to hold Kress’s ship from leaving while finishing off the secret weapons.
  • Acceleration Disrupt – unnecessary plot device. Kress’s fighters are faster than Earth’s fighters. Morrie uses this to slow down the enemy’s ships to even the field.

What they should have borrowed was a book from the library on how to write. And edit. Right in the middle of collecting the team, the movie goes off the rails. I think the editor dropped the script and put it back together out of order. Scenes that should have come earlier are thrown in willy-nilly:

  1. Introduce Dirk at the Space Casino™ playing cards. He uses the Mental Force Xray Vision™ to read the other players cards. Oh, so this is why Dirk was in this heretofore random place and why these heretofore random guys want to beat him up for taking their money.
  2. Space Command freaking out because the automatic defense systems do not work on the UFO (which is pronounced OO-fo). Space Commander calls for an analysis of the video to determine what the UFO’s made of in the hopes there is some way to fight it. Oh, so that’s how they know what Kress’s ship is made of.
  3. Lords of the Universe Space Auction™. Kress purchases the Earth for $100 million credits. Oh, so that’s what Kress meant when he mentioned that he bought the Earth.

They probably could have edited it back together properly, but that would cost money, and they had already gone over budget, $13.78, on the make-up for the Lords of the Universe. Instead it’s just back to the regularly scheduled program like nothing just happened.

As for the story, the plot revolves around Morrie and his team coming up with a weakness in enderium. Enderium is the indestructible space material of the future that all of evil Lord Kress’s ships are made of. Can they do it? Yeah. Duh! Morrie has an intelligence which puts him “two centuries ahead of everyone” on Earth. Kress is only a “couple hundred centuries” more advanced that Earth. Pssssshhh! He doesn’t stand a chance. And before you get all bent out of shape that I’ve spoiled the movie, I haven’t. The magic is all about how they get there. And I’ll do you one better ‘cos I’m such a nice guy. You can watch the whole movie here for free.

Oh, and your welcome for the earworm in the main photo above.

roadside attractions

  • Hear dialogue that tells what is happening before your very eyes! It’s exposition-irific!
  • Marvel at the Rent-a-Center R2D2, Jeeves, the idiot savantobot. A 50 gallon garbage drum with dryer vent arms that mostly serves drinks from its breast compartments.
  • Wonder at the Space Warden’s™ orgasmatron executive desk toy. No explanation as to what it is, what it’s doing, or why it’s doing it.
  • Listen as the music cycles between parking lot carnival organ grinder and 70’s PBS after school special.
  • Thrill at the futurific computer sound effects straight out of Pong™.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

No blood. But they did’a hav’a da budget fo’ da special defects’a.

0

blood

BREASTS

This is REALLY sad for a 70s Italian film. They, of all people, know better! I wept.

10

beast

BEASTS

I don’t know which was more gruesome, the Lords of the Universe or the Space Aryans™ or the “heroes”.

6.66 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Star Odyssey”

trailers

dripper
Jul

Comments Off on Sexcula

Tremors

Sexcula is one of those rare movies where I didn’t know what to expect and when I saw it, it was nothing that I expected… although that’s not necessarily a good thing. For starters, Sexcula could be classified as porn or horror spoof (although not a comedy, at least intentionally), which should have been evident from the classy, vague tagline, “She’ll suck more than your blood.” I have no idea what they could mean… Not to say my expectations were high with this film.

It begins, strangely enough, with a scenic drive, accompanied by some soft, light hearted jazz. I notice that this was kind of a theme in the seventies. Anything to establish how mellow that generation was. Anyone ever seen The Touch of Satan? Anyway, it follows that stale formula of someone inherits a creepy old house and they find an old diary of the previous owner (I’m sure you’re more than familiar with it). So after some girl tells her boyfriend with some serious mutton chops that she, “Heard some stories that would curl your pubes,” about the house (classy dialogue, nothing short of poetry), they decide to go on a picnic and read from the diary. Come along, shall we?

As he begins to read, we learn that Dr. Fallatingstein (…really) created a man. This comes as no shock to the man reading the diary, by the way. Not as an incredible discovery in science or reading the ramblings scribbled in a book by a raving lunatic. Since I have it stopped right here, let’s take a look at the plot so far. A mad scientist that created life; sounds more like Frankenstein than Dracula to me. Oh, the guys name is Frank. Huh. I guess Sexenstein doesn’t sound as good. This reminds me of how The Howling 2 confused vampires with werewolves. I know it’s stupid to complain about acting in a porno spoof, but her line delivery is like a third grade reading aloud, trying to learn to read. I’m sorry, but I’m supposed to buy that this person can craft arteries, but can’t convincingly sell me on how ecstatic she should be that she just created life? Seriously, I’m not asking for an Oscar clip, but ANY emotion would do.

So she created man and what for? To have sex with, what else? Only problem is, he can’t get it up. And being a doctor, she clearly can’t help with this situation. Only her cousin, the Countess Sexcula can fix it (and yes, this is all the exposition). And so, we are surprisingly unexpectedly thrown right into the middle of a sex scene. The film actually cuts to her as she is halfway performing filatio. If you weren’t sure this was porn, like I was, considering this a rude awaking.

Sexcula spends the remainder of the film cutting back and forth between trying to have sex with Frank to out of place sex scenes. One of the most odd and probably the most unsexy thing in a film I have ever seen is when this film’s version of Igor, name Orgie (again… really?) tries to have sex with this robotic woman laying on a table in the basement, tied to some mad scientist concoction, when out of nowhere, a gorilla, or a man in a gorilla suit, chases Orgie and deflowers his buttocks. Okay, I have no idea what is going on. Were people watching this to be turned on or did the filmmakers think that the movie was getting too serious and needed some comic relief?

So back to the drawing board as the Dr. Fallatingstein and Sexcula try to figure out what’s wrong with Frank. They do this, of course, by “Putting more science into it.” Yes, actual line of dialogue. This is back when anything could be done with the vague description of ‘science.’ They do this by injecting him with sex cells. Huh, guess you learn something new every day.

Then there is this. Out of nowhere (seems to be a theme in this movie), there is a twenty minute sex scene, taking place during a wedding at a church. Even after it’s done, they rely heavily on this as filler, because it keeps cutting back to it. This brings to light all the production issues that plagued this movie, which is totally surprising that production issues were even a problem in porn spoofs. They try to add some narration over it, a desperate final editing trick to try and tie everything together. If you’re watching this for plot, like I was, do yourself a favor and disregard this part. The film will actually make more sense.

So guess how the movie ends? Sexcula ‘fixes’ Frank’s problem and everyone has sex. Everyone. Frank, Dr. Fallatingstein, Sexcula, Orgie, the robot chick, those other people from the other porn that were spliced in… the gorilla. It’s tugs at the heart strings and gives one a feeling of inner peace, like everything will work out and be ok.

This is one of those cases where the filmmakers know that their audience isn’t watching the movie for a plot and only for sex scenes, which is usually fine in this genre, but that’s where the problem is; the sex scenes aren’t sexy! So by plot and porno standards, Sexcula misses the mark, big time. One thing I can say positively about the movie is that the set design is actually pretty well done and very gothic influenced of the films it’s trying to knock off. The castle is dark and creepy, littered with dust covered machinery with wires everywhere hooked up to all sort of things. The lighting is like something out of a Giallo, with bright fluorescent color painting most of the scenes.

For being a porno, it sure didn’t feel like one. After all, aren’t they supposed to be sexy or arousing? This came off more as awkward and honest, kinda unappealing. Even for a horror spoof, there was nothing ‘horror’ about it, other than her name is a sexual derivation of Dracula… which is another misconception about the film. Sexcula actually follows the plot of Frankenstein closer than it does Dracula! Well I can say for certain this is a film that can deliver on its tagline.

roadside attractions

  • Mutton chop madness.
  • The names are punny!
  • Take a shot every time you think a different porno was spliced in.
  • Unsexy sex.
  • Monkeying around.
totals

0

blood

BLOOD

Not a single drop of that particular fluid… This movie doesn’t suck blood, but it sucks… yeah, you get the point.

7

blood

BREASTS

If there is one thing in this film, it’s certainly that.

4

beast

BEASTS

A gorilla, Orgie, seventies body hair and the acting.

3.6 OVERALL
dripper

I can’t find an appropriate trailer for “Sexcula,” so enjoy this Synapse Films bumper instead!

trailers

dripper
Mar

posted by admin | March 29, 2013 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon

Comments Off on Sssssss

sssssss

You gotta love any film with a title consisting of just one repeated letter. Sssssss (1973) is on that list, along with XXX and…uh…AAA: The Movie (the towing scenes are GREAT).

That’s seven S’s, kids and don’t you forget it. As the row of S’s suggests, Sssssss is about, you guessed it, snakes. Now, y’all might think a b-movie about snakes like this would be just chuck full of puppets, garden hoses with googly eyes, or toy snakes. Wrong. Sssssss prides itself on using real snakes. Real venomous snakes no less, like the Black Mamba and the King Cobra. In fact, there is a big disclaimer at the front of the film stating the use of real snakes—and you can tell they are real. This film was shot in the 1970s, and fake snakes looked like fake snakes back then.

Fans of The A-Team and the original Battlestar Galactica, take note: Dirk Benedict is the young star of this here feature. And I do mean young—he looks straight outta high school. Benedict gets the gig as crazy snake doctor Strother Martin’s assistant (only three S’s? Lame). Martin has a filmography longer than an anaconda, and is perhaps best remembered as the “Failure to communicate” guy from Cool Hand Luke (he’s also in Slap Shot and The Wild Bunch).

snake milking sssssssMartin has other companions too, mainly his daughter, played by Sound of Music‘s Heather Menzies, and his “obedient serpent” Harry. Yes, obedient serpent. Harry is prone to drinking whiskey throughout the film, which is worth a watch on its own, and I’m sure inspired Nickolas Cage’s performance in Leaving Las Vegas.

The awkward snake lingo doesn’t stop with obedient serpent, either. Lines like, “I’ll milk you tomorrow,” and “Put your finger in there,” slither throughout the film. In addition to Martin’s hilarious snake-speak, Benedict suffers through a few crazy hallucinations scenes—complete with stock footage of volcanos and other weird stuff.

sssssss

Two scenes really stand out, however. Actually. Three. First, is a scene where Martin has a duel with a King Cobra. A real King Cobra, no less. Sure, there’s some creative shooting and editing going on, and probably a puppet shot or two, but it is still impressive. Second, there is a scene involving an alleged ‘snake-man’ at a freak show. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say it is down right creepy. Third, and this is something really special, is the skinny dipping scene with Benedict and Menzies.

Don’t get your hopes up. Instead of seeing what nature gave the pair, laughable graphics of huge leaves are superimposed over anything questionable. It is a sight to behold.

Sssssss is a hoot and insanely entertaining, so give it a watch—but ya might wanna pass if’n ya suffer from a fear of snakes. I’m lookin’ at you, Dr. Jones.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Toothless Mechanics
  • Creepy Profs Hitting on Students
  • Killer Snakes
  • Transformations
  • Hallucinations
  • Green Skin
  • Sideshow Freaks
  • Slo-mo Snake-shower-scene
  • Snakes Drinking Whiskey
  • Dancing Girls
  • Leaves Covering Naughty Bits
  • Squeaky Snakes
  • Real Snakes
  • Confusing Venomous and Poisonous
  • Dirk Benedict Biting People
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There isn’t too much blood throughout the whole film, but things do get nasty here and there, especially with the snakebites.

2

blood

BREASTS

The carnival scene features a top heavy dancer in a skimpy outfit, but she keeps covered up. There is implied nudity in the skinny dipping scene.

10

beast

BEASTS

Snakes, snakes, and more snakes. There are snakes everywhere. It is like Showgirls, but with snakes instead of dancing girls.

6.66 OVERALL
dripper

About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>