Archive for the '80’s b-movies' Category

Sep

Comments Off on Night of the Demon

Night of the Demon

How many Night of the Demon(s) movies are there? We’re all familiar with the 1988 film Night of the Demons and it’s sequel, Night of the Demons 2. There is a also a 1957 British monster movie Night of the Demon, but I’m talking about the 1980 killer Sasquatch flick with the same name. You think that may be confusing? And I have to ask, why call it that? They could have easily called it Night of the Sasquatch, but oh, maybe that would have been convenient. On a plus side, this is one of those infamous video nasties, although it seems to go unnoticed, even by a good majority of horror fans.

Like most good Sasquatch movies, this one is told in flashback form and I know the Charles B. Pierce classic Legend of Boggy Creek II comes to mind, but remember Chuck’s ‘squatch flick came 5 years later! Come to think of it, both are fairly (and suspiciously) similar at moments, although Legend of Boggy Creek II is far less violent… and features far too many characters wearing upsettingly short shorts.

notd_2The movie opens with Dr. Nugent, laying in a hospital bed, sadly not from cat scratch fever. Apparently that’s not a real thing, but his face, however, is covered from the mouth down as it seems to have been scorched off in a battle with the monster. But for a guy with no lips and first degree burns all over the bottom half of his face, he seems to be talking just fine about the Sasquatch deep in the woods that killed everyone and attacked him. So, we jump into the flashback machine and watch an old man get his arm ripped off. The point? To bring in his daughter, seeking the help of Dr. Nugent and the rest of his anthropology class. Now the plot gets rolling and they set out into the woods to find some answers, but it’s more like the answer finds them. Like a blood soaked Scooby Doo episode, the gang heads into town and questions the inhabitants to find the Sas’ and some woman being called Crazy Wanda, but they uncover a whole lot more.

Believe it or not, there is a lot going on in Night of the Demon than one would think. It doesn’t come across as convoluted, but rather magnetic. When the cast isn’t standing around in flannels spilling exposition, Dr. Nugent tells the class the legends of the creature and we get to witness the full blown red carnage. Most infamously, a biker stops at the side or the road to pee and has his dong ripped off! The camera does not shy away from this effect and will leave you groaning in pain as his newly opened wound spews blood like a garden hose. There are also some rather… silly tales, as one camper is twirled around in his sleeping bag, tossed like a bean bag and impaled on a tree branch. Sasquatch must’ve been Jason’s trainer for the sleeping bag scene in Friday the 13th Part VII! Another is when two Girl Scouts (who look a little too old to be in Girl Scouts) are for whatever reason packing knives, so clever ‘Sas grabs their arms and makes them stab each other. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘”Why don’t they just drop the knives?” Because then we wouldn’t have that scene, that’s why.

I have to mention the subplot involving a cult. Yes, this movie has about everything, so why not add a cult? About the middle of the flick, the gang interrupts what looks like a cult about to rape a woman. They later find that woman was Crazy Wanda, who they had been searching for. After some hypnotizing (apparently anthropologists need a hobby), they get Crazy Wanda to tell them about the cult and her past, but not why she doesn’t appear to have showered in some time. You see, years ago Wanda’s crazy dad use to beat her after she was raped by Sasquatch and had his mongoloid baby. In fear that her father may kill the baby and the baby-daddy, she sets her father on fire. And you thought the girls on Teen Mom had daddy issues.

notd_3Night of the Demon does have a surreal, spasmodic vibe to it, with the stories that Dr. Nugent tells feeling like a misplaced puzzle piece anthology of sorts. When Sasquatch is stalking his prey, rather than your usual wide POV shots, the camera adds a red vignette to the screen, leaving you feeling as if you are in danger. It could almost feel unsettling and along with the biker’s johnson getting ripped off, there was a disemboweling scene that landed this movie on the Video Nasty list. Yeah, you can show a young woman get raped by Sasquatch, but some dude’s willy gets yanked off… that is just too much, sir! And if that’s not enough, the lighting of the film is notably very Dario Argento-esque, accompanied by unnerving howling ambiance and the music almost sounds like simple synth, like it was lifted out of Don’t Go in the Woods or The Forest. This isn’t to say it doesn’t have the flaws you would expect from this kind of film, such as acting more stale than three year old Cheerios and questionable editing at times. I also remember them mentioning a preacher who had killed himself because he saw the Devil existed after seeing the spawn of Crazy Wanda and Sasquatch. I have to ask, if you’ve accepted and believe in God, doesn’t that mean you also believe that the Devil exists (after all, believing in one is acknowledging the other exists)? Then again, what do I know? I’m a Scientologist.

It’s an overlooked and possibly even unknown gem. I completely forgot about this film, until I saw it at a yard sale for a quarter (best damn quarter I’ve spent). Nobody seems to mention it, then one day you bring it up and then their reaction resembles something like, “THAT movie… Oh yeah… it’s awesome!” So, see the legend everyone seems to be keeping quiet about. Just make sure you pee before.

roadside attractions

  • Girl Scout knife fight.
  • Camper shot put.
  • Making baby ‘squatch!
  • Gut tearing terror!
  • Flannels!
  • Instant Biker sex change!
  • Ax’ing questions.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Limbs get ripped off, guts get ripped out, wieners get… it’s over the top.

5

blood

BREASTS

They were sure to give you a peek in the first ten minutes so you don’t turn off the tape.

9

beast

BEASTS

Killer Sasquatch, Crazy Wanda, Devil worshiping cult… all in the days work of an anthropologist.

7.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

Comments Off on The Fartiste (a.k.a. A Blast From the Past)

The Fartiste

Of all the bio pics and mockumentaries, you may think Spinal Tap or Walk Hard is the crudest, most far out of those genres, but I guarantee that you are wrong. You have not seen anything of that magnitude until you have witnessed the bizzaro comedy, The Fartiste. And do you want to know what shockingly sets these films apart from each other? The Fartiste is based loosely on real life comedian Joseph Pujol who was known on stage as Le Petomane, a man who could seemingly fart at will by control his lower abdominal muscles! How is this not more widely known?

We start the film by joining Le Petomane in Purgatory, where he is replaying all of the events in his life. By the by, Le Petomane is played by Michael Pataki, who you may remember as Nicolo Koloff from Rocky IV and Dr. Hoffman in Halloween 4! The guy actually has a modest resume, so it’s awkward, but at the same time intriguing to see such a versatile actor play a lead in such an absurd comedy. For some reason, the thought of someone narrating their life events from Purgatory reminds me of a Mel Brooks film. Which is an odd coincidence since Le Petomane is referenced in Blazing Saddles.

We start the journey of his life as he talks to his psychiatrist, uncovering the birth of his “talent” at a young age, where he would perform for all of the other school children. His act consisted of imitating instruments (the best being a tuba), mimicking animal noises and blowing out candles with precise accuracy. Of course this led to be taken advantage of as a young adult, getting underpaid. His arse to was later be arrested for arson, as he literally blew away an audience and the building with one of his farts.

Building his skill and stowing away in a Romanian boat, he was eventually hired by a man named Duvall to perform at the Moulin Rouge and yes, the real Le Petomane performed there! I think Moulin Rouge would have been better if Nicole Kidman was farting all those songs. Kings and queens would travel to come and see this act! However, he unintentionally inspires a man to go on a killing spree after the man hears the voice of God in Le Petomane’s farts, commanding him to kill. Once he is captured, they put Le Petomane’s flatulence to good use by creating the ‘gas’ chamber, executing the man. If that’s not poetic justice, I don’t know what is.

And finally, what would any good bio pic be if there wasn’t a career downfall due to arrogance. Even Le Petomane gives into womanizing, gambling and making questionable changes to his act (yes, even his act). The rest of the film, of course, is about redemption and regaining control of what he once lost. His legacy, even in real life, would inspire many artist to make plays and movies about his life.

fart_2Believe it or not, there is actually quite a touching story linked to The Fartiste a.k.a. A Blast From the Past. Produced by Frankie Ray (from Invasion of the Star Creatures) in 1987, the film was meant to be shown on comedy cable networks, but after disapproval from an investor’s wife, which ceased funding, which rushed the production and for it to be wrapped up quickly. Frank never showed the film to anyone, except for a few cast members. The film almost fell past obscurity and into oblivion… until a man, Chuck Harter, met Frankie Ray in 2000 and watched a dub made back in 1991. Chuck wanted to share the same humor he found in the film with everyone else. After some negotiations about half a year ago, Alpha Video agreed to release it. It’s that kind of fan dedication to a genre that makes me proud to be a part of the community.

You would think an hour long film about farting wouldn’t be charming, but you would be wrong. I have to admit, it grew on me, especially after reading the history of this film, one man’s passion to distribute it and recognizing the talent behind it (no pun intended… or is there?), realizing the incredible sense of humor they have and making a film, regardless of what folks may say. The Fartiste is worth a good laugh. It’ll bring back memories of farting on your little brother’s head. Or in my case, bad memories of my big brother farting on my head.

Pick up your copy of The Fartiste at Oldies.com

roadside attractions

  • Name the different fart variations.
  • Count how long you are in shock after learning Le Petomane was a real person.
  • Michael Pataki’s role of a lifetime.
  • Farting showdown.
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

No blood, but there is some havoc.

4

blood

BREASTS

Some old timies in dresses.

8

beast

BEASTS

Furious Flatulence!

5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this footage of the real Le Petomane… silent, but deadly!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

Comments Off on The Burning

the burning

It’s nearing the end of summer and one can’t help but feel a sense of whimsical and wonder as the days grow shorter and it starts to get a little colder. This is the time I like to visit the campgrounds… by watching a camp slasher film, of course. Sure the obvious picks are any number of the Friday the 13th films (minus Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason), but how about some other camp films? Something based from an old campfire tale told in parts of upstate New York in the 80’s… where I’m from and where I went to camp!

Now let me quickly tell you that story: You see, a maniac named Cropsey would stalk and kill people, much like the archetype boogeyman. It’s really that simple. Even more interesting, this tale has been popular since the 30’s, so upon researching it, I found that there isn’t even a Wiki page! Coincidence? Most likely. Of course this story will vary depending on which fable you read, but one thing remains constant: The revenge of Cropsey!

Which brings us to The Burning. The Burning was, strangely enough, being filmed around the same time another movie was being made about the Cropsey Maniac tale. Since The Burning came out first, that other film changed it’s story a bit and renamed its title to Madman. Anyway, it’s your classic camp tale about a maniac seeking revenge on anyone who comes back to the camp where he was nearly burned alive. Sounds pretty cut and paste, right? Well, yes actually, it kinda is. However as simple as the plot may seem, the movie shines through with excellent character development, fantastic gore and makeup, plus a soundtrack by Rick Wakemen! The Rick Wakemen of Yes. Not to mention the film is kinda creepy. So there’s that.

the burningThe movie opens up as several boys from Camp Blackfoot are plotting to scare the crap out of the caretaker Cropsey, because he’s kind of a douche. This prank, for whatever reason, involves a skull with worms and candles and wouldn’t you know it, it goes south and poor Cropsey burns. He’s burnt to a crisp. He’s burnt so bad, he scares an orderly at the hospital that everyone mistakes to be Lawrence Fishburne in an early roll (it’s not), much like that scene from Mad Max where his partner grabs his arm… yeah you know the bit. Anyway, five years go by and Cropsey is released from the hospital and what’s the first thing he does? Kill a hooker. You gotta keep that pimp arm strong as they say, I guess.

Meanwhile at camp, all the kids are playing ball, ogling over girls, you know kid stuff. Some of these kids include the very first acting rolls of Holly Hunter (in a very small role), Fisher Stevens (that “Indian” guy from the Short Circuit movies) and most bizzarely, Jason Alexander, with a somewhat fit body and full head of hair… I repeat, George from Seinfeld with A FULL HEAD OF HAIR. There is also the camp dweeb Alfred who is being bullied by the self appointed camp jock from Jersey, Glazer. Luckily, Alfred has Todd, the camp counselor, looking out for him. All is fun and games for the moment, but it doesn’t take Cropsey long to show up and start the body count.

The older kids go off on a canoe adventure of some kind and it doesn’t take long for camp stud Eddy to take his girl Karen out for a little swim. But since she won’t put out, Eddy sends her off crying and she runs into Cropsey. Unfortunately for her, Cropsey isn’t very good at consoling sad girls and mistakes wiping her tears with cutting her throat.

The next morning, they discover the canoes are missing and resort to building a raft, which responsibly, the camp counselors Todd and Michelle send a handful of kids off to find the canoes. Nothing bad could happen here. Now, what follows is such an intense and graphic scene, it originally had been butchered by the MPAA and earned this film one of the first spots on the UK’s Video Nasties list. So, you know it has to be good. Well, they find the canoes alright. And Cropsey is waiting inside and hacks and slashes them to pieces! Talking about this scene cannot do it justice. It is something that has to be witnessed.

the burningShortly, the raft drifts back to camp with the remains of the kids (so that’s what they put in the camp stew!), while Todd is searching for Alfred, who just witnessed Glazer and his girlfriend get butchered. Michelle heads back to camp on the makeshift raft for help. Todd faces his past (oh forgot to mention, he was one of the kids that accidentally burned Cropsey) and must defeat the maniac if he wants to save Alfred.

I can see why the censors had such a field day with this movie. These were actual kids being murdered and mutilated and it was shocking to see for the first time, especially with outrageous and amazing special effects by Tom Savini (who passed up Friday the 13th Part 2 in order to do this film). And I do have to add, these effects look spectacular on the Scream! Factory Blu-ray release! In fact, that whole transfer is one of the best I have seen. At one point when Cropsey is killing the hooker, you can see actor Lou David’s face shrouded with a black mask and sunglasses (hell, you can even see the reflection of the hooker in the glasses!). Now this begs the question; was Cropsey hiding his hideously burned face or were the filmmakers hiding the actors face to make it look shadowed? Hmm…

What else can you say? It’s a great summer time movie, with lots of blood, great special effects and a cool killer with some righteous music. So what are you waiting for? Summer isn’t over just yet. So pack your sleeping bag, an extra pair of undies and a copy of The Burning. And some Off. Mosquitoes are annoying.

roadside attractions

  • Fireball Caretaker.
  • “Scissoring” Hooker.
  • Ready. Aim. Fire. Run.
  • Jason Alexander with hair.
  • Jason Alexander mooning.
  • Raft mutilation.
  • Axe to the face.
  • Jersey Jock impalement.
  • Burned again!
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Buckets of blood, arms, fingers and melted flesh.

7

blood

BREASTS

Here and there and soapy.

10

beast

BEASTS

Cropsey! And Glazer.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the infamous “raft scene!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

Comments Off on Bloodsport

blood sport
Bloodsport (1988) is an interesting bit o’ film, as it is a better Street Fighter II flick than Street Fighter, which shares a star in Jean-Claude Van Damme. Bloodsport, unlike Street Fighter, actually features a fightin’ tourney, full of half-naked, sweaty dudes. Sure, Street Fighter has its share of half-naked sweaty dudes, but they ain’t fighting in a tournament.

If’n it’s fighters going toe to toe and working their way through a crazier bracket than NCAA Basketball could ever hope for, Bbloodsport montage splitloodsport is yer flick. All your really need to know is Bloodsport stars action b-movie favorite, Jean-Claude Van Damme. I could stop there, really, but I won’t.

Van Damme plays Frank Dux, an American who takes part in the underground, and illegal, martial arts tournament called the Kumite (for the Communications majors out there, that’s koo-me-tay, not koo-MITE). An early highpoint of the film is a flashback, which happens in the first, thirty seconds, give or take. We’re treated to a kid playing a young Van Damme, which is all kinds of great. The flashback continues for what feels like 47 minutes, and shows Van Damme growing up and training in the art of Ninjutsu. Van Damme suffers through one of the best training montages of the 1980s, including a scene where he does, brace yerself fellas, a complete split. Yes, with his legs.

There’s plenty of punching, kicking, and yelling to go around. Bloodsport doesn’t really have any dull moments. If someone isn’t yelling, they are punchin’ and or kickin’. Bloodsport is basically a ‘gritty reboot’ of Karate Kid if’n it was directed by guy who made Commando.

bloodsport splits

Revenge of the Nerds fans take note: Donald ‘Ogre’ Gibb plays Van Damme’s burly buddy. He’s a lovable pit fighter, which is the best kind, really. On the other side of the fighter spectrum is baddie Chong Li, played by the unmistakable Bolo Yeung (who plays a similar role in Enter the Dragon). You may not remember the name, but Yeung is one of those ‘Oh, THAT guy’ actors. And really, if Van Damme ain’t reason enough for you to take a gander at Bloodsport, Bolo Yeung as Chong Li sure as whiskey-fire is—even just to hear him say the classic line, “You break my record, now I break YOU!”

Tiger says, Bloodsport is a must watch for any martial arts movie fan. And for fans of watching guys act uncomfortable when Van Damme does the splits.


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

  • Complete Splits
  • Crotch Punches
  • Walled Cities
  • Arcade Game Showdown
  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Death Punch
  • Breaking Bricks
  • Man Boobs
  • Ninja Training
  • Van Damme Butt Shot
  • Blood
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

BLOOD is in the title!

4

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of man boob to go around.

10

beast

BEASTS

Chong Li, and the rest of the fighters, are pretty dang crazy.

8 OVERALL
dripper
Jul

Comments Off on Street Trash

arcade

At a simple glance or even a guess, Street Trash may seem like a horror flick about melting bums. Well, that’s only about twenty percent of the film. Although you may not know without having seen it, Street Trash is a busy little film, combining several plots together. It’s actually quite a complicated film, but manages to intertwine all these plots together while keeping it nice and tidy… and packing it with plenty of gross out moments and gore.

The homeless run wild like Hulkamaniacs led by the sociopathic Vietnam vet, Bronson. His gang of misfits that he calls ‘soldiers’ create chaos and terrorize civilians as well as other hobos, especially Freddy and his younger brother. His younger brother has taken a liken to the secretary at the junkyard, where the bums take refuge and beneath all that filth and grime, she has taken a liken to him too. But as fate would have it, local liquor store owner Ed finds a crate of expired booze called Tenafly Viper. Rather than aging like a fine wine, this nasty, foul liquid boils, bubbles and melts whoever drinks it into a glorious, gory, multi-colored florescent puddles of goop. All of this catches the attention of gritty, action cop Bill who wants to nail Bronson for these atrocities and clean up the streets. Hell, there is even a small sub plot going on involving James Lorinz (Jeffrey from Frankenhooker) as a Doorman who is ratting on his mafia boss after failing to see Freddy take his boss’s date back to junkyard and now he’s gonna get whacked! Believe it or not, it’s actually a pretty easy to follow, never distracting you and keeping you entertained the entire duration with the help of the cruel humor and gore.

ArcadeIt cuts back and forth between these stories for the major duration of the film, filling in the rest with bizarre antics of the derelicts, most of which is spent cursing and mumbling filth at Ed while they try to rip off bottles of booze. Other times, they are playing ‘Catch the Wiener’ with another vagrant’s… wiener or they are shoplifting at local grocery mart. The homeless are downright dirty in every meaning of the definition. Not only are they caked in dirt and probably feces (most definitely urine), but they are also mean and obnoxious toward each other and let me tell you… Street Trash reaches cruel levels of humor if you are sensitive to that kind of thing (luckily, we here are not and welcome it). Playing much like a Troma film, there are all sorts of racial and sexist humor as well as jabs at the elderly. Further pushing the offensiveness, they include a rape scene in which later, the woman’s corpse is found and with some comical music, the owner of the junkyard defiles it… after he was just trying to rape his secretary. It’s a classy movie, but it’s our kind of class.

The Special Meltdown Edition from Synapse presents all these nasty, but loveable pranks in an uncanny high definition transfer. All the carnage, all the gore and colors look beautiful and clean. It’s amazing how crisp a low budget film can look. The edges are so sharp, every fine little detail pops right out at you and this especially showcases the special effects. The audio has a 5.1 mix and it’s as decent as they get, although it’s obviously not like the surround mixes we are use to today. I say stick with the 2.0 mono it was recorded in. It sounds more natural and keeps that old school charm to it.

ArcadeAnd if you’re a fan of special features, hold on to your butts. This disc is crammed with ‘em. The Meltdown Memoirs is a two hour doc, showcasing everything and anything about the making of one of the 80’s best gross out films. Production, casting, special effects, behind the scenes stories… it’s all here and it’s like being a part of it. It’s that in depth. What really blew my mind about this is future X-Men series director Bryan Singer was a Production Assistant on the film! Who knew? I guess we all have to start somewhere. It just blows my mind. It’s like when I found out that J.J. Abrams did the soundtrack for Nightbeast. Of course you get the interviews, which are always interesting to hear, you also get bloopers and outtakes (which I love), and so you get to see what actually didn’t make it into the Special Meltdown Edition. But probably my favorite bonus feature on here is the original 16mm short the film. It’s definitely the backbone of what the movie was based from, although it wasn’t called Tenafly Viper in this. This all rounded off with some trailers and promo stuff, making all this worth any value.

See what I mean? A lot, and I mean A LOT, is going on in Street Trash and you never would have guessed given it’s just a low budget action/cop/horror/Vietnam drama/romance/retrospect look at the homeless movie, but give props where props are due. Director J. Michael Muro and writer Roy Frumkes fit all the pieces together to make it a solid, entertainingly disgusting, wild watch. This is like the Tetris of the film world. Its elements are odd shaped pieces that when put together correctly, form a solid line. This film literally has something for everyone and if you can’t find one thing to like about it, then there is something seriously wrong with you and your eyes and Bronson will find you and poke them out.

Save them pennies and buy a copy from the Synapse Website!

roadside attractions

  • Melting Hobos!
  • Adult take on ‘Hot Potato’.
  • Bulimic Justice.
  • Air Canister Torpedo Decapitation!
  • Filth, flarn, filth.
  • You know what, the entire 100 minute runtime.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Red goop, green goop, blue goop to purple and yellow You get it all as well as some guts and other body parts.

8

blood

BREASTS

Bush, boobs, butts and wieners. A lot of it.

9

beast

BEASTS

Whether it’s a gloppy puddle of vagabond mess, tough cops or crazy homeless Vietnam Vets, there is enough to make you pee your pants.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Street Trash”

trailers

dripper

About the Highway

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