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

Jul

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
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Check out this trailer from “Street Trash”

trailers

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Jul

I’d been hankering for a movie where an amish guy kicks around a demon who looks like a reject from a 80’s hair band and by golly, Warlock came along and did just that. Julian Sands stars as the pony tailed warlock who’s about to be put to death in 17th century Boston. Just before he’s going to be hanged, and burned over a basket of live cats, Satan shows up and zaps him into a time tornado to the 1980’s. His mission, to find some super witch book called the Grand Grimoire that can destroy the universe and every living Back Street Boy ever in existence. Well at least he’ll find some decent hair gel there. Julian’s not off the hook just yet because a furry witch hunter called Redferne (Richard E. Grant) has followed him through the time portal packing all sorts of witch-bustin’ goodies.

The Warlock crashes into a apartment owned by a waitress named Kasandra (Lori singer). She lets him stay for the night but In the morning, he chows down on her roomates tongue sautéing it and cursing kasandra to age 20 years a day. That is gonna be hell on her plastic surgery bills. Redferne with a major case of jet lag finally shows up but he’s still on medevil time and The warlock has already taken off. Redferne and Kasandra use a bit of his blood to make a witch compass that points uptown where the warlock’s been talking to satan through a hack psychic. He rips out her eyeballs and uses them for GPS to track down the missing pages and Redferne and Kassandra end up chasing the flying warlock all over the countryside. They find him in an Amish farmhouse where Redferne harpoons him with a weathervane and a Mennonite helps locks him down with some chinese finger traps. The Warlock escapes of course (if only the amish had a taser!) and hops a plane back to an old Boston cemetary. The same cemetary where the corpse of Redferne holds the final pages of Grimore in his boney little hands. So it’s a battle to save the universe in a demon/fur trapper cage match on holy ground! One of the better witch on the run films, Warlock had some great fx for the time and it maybe the best flying British witch movie since Mary Poppins. Definitely check it out and don’t forget to bring the anti-warlock salt.

roadside attractions

  • Finger hacking
  • Grave robbing
  • Eyeball spiking
  • Tongue frying
  • Weather vane harpooning
  • Fat guzzling
  • Freefalling warlocking
  • Eyeball GPS
  • Extreme insulin injections
  • Gerriatric mini-skirts
  • Toe and thumbscrew
  • Rawhide chewin’
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

a decent amount of bodily leakage mostly from the eye sockets

0

blood

BREASTS

No nudity but there is a lot of fur.

9

beast

BEASTS

1 demonic possession of Satan, 1 warlock,  and a a large amount of beards

9.5 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Warlock”

trailers

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Jul

Happy Birthday to Me

The movie industry hit it big in the horror genre with the now slasher legends Halloween and Friday the 13th. It opened a flood gate of imitators and wanna-be’s, many of which copied the formula too closely, leaving them to be called ripped offs. Not all of them, mind you. Some of these ‘rip offs’ managed to take the basic components of slasher formula and run with it, making their own unique film. Two of these films just happen to be Canadian! I mean, can you believe it? My Bloody Valentine and Happy Birthday to Me would slip out from their predecessor’s shadows and right into the radar of the MPAA.

Happy Birthday to Me, which seems like a silly little horror flick at first glance, is actually full of surprise shocks in this ‘who-done-it?’ mystery, chock full of violence and gore… which unfortunately the before mentioned MPAA had a field day cutting.

So meet Virginia, she smokes a pack a day, but wait, that’s me… Wait. Those are Train lyrics. I apologize. Allow me to restart. Meet Virginia, newly accepted into the elite ‘Top Ten’, a snobbish group of the richest kids at the Crawford Academy and I have to say… they are all douche bags. Every single one of them. Every night, the group meets every night at the Silent Women Tavern. This is where the film’s first kill comes in. One of the top ten, Bernadette, is nearly strangled in her car by an unknown assailant until she escapes from the vehicle only to have her throat slashed.

The rest of the Top Ten barely seems concerned that one of their friends never showed up (or is even present for the remainder of the rest of the film). After one of the Ten, Greg, causes a problem like the bro he is with another patron, the crew flee the scene to jump a bridge that they call ‘The Game.’ You can see the level of creativity in this group. Virginia shouts ‘Mother’ as the vehicle she is riding in jumps the bridge. Her only real friend, Ann, tries to stop her. Upon landing, she runs out of the vehicle and straight to her mother’s grave, boasting how proud she would be of her for finally being part of the exclusive socialite club. Clearly, we have a healthy individual for the remainder of this nearly two hour film.

HBTMVirginia sees a therapist, Dr. Faraday, who is clearly in his sixties and overweight, but that doesn’t stop him from wearing skin tight polyester button ups, proudly showing off his pasty, hairy chest (resembling if you put pubic hair all over bread dough) with a gold medallion dangling loosely. Because, let’s be honest. That’s who you want advice from when you are trying to piece a tragic childhood together that you can only remember fragments of. Which is what happens throughout the course of the film: Virginia assembles, piece by piece, what exactly happened to her.

Virginia’s father leaves away for business during the weekend of her birthday and while this is going on, members of the elegant Top Ten begin to die in horrible fashions. The creepy foreign exchange student (and I mean creepy. The dude breaks into Virginia’s room to steal panties) gets his face ripped apart by a motorcycle, Greg has his chest smashed by his own weight set, only after having an epiphany that the group is growing distant and Alfred… poor Alfred. Regardless of how creepy this individual may seem, the poor guy is gutted while trying to give Virginia flowers one night when she is visiting her mother’s grave. So, does this make her the killer?

The next day at the school dance, she brings home another member, Steve, only to skewer him through the face with a kabob, so yeah… I guess that kinda does make her the culprit. Loud and clear. Or does it? Well, trying to figure out what is going on, Dr. Faraday stays with her while her father is gone and I have to say, this is actually kinda creepy. You definitely get a sexual vibe from him. I know it’s probably supposed to come off as more of a caring guardian figure, but it doesn’t. Anyway, he fails to give her any answer, so she kills him with a fire poker.

During the movie’s climax, the day of Virginia’s birthday, Virginia finally pieces together her history, learning that her mother was a drunk and was having an affair. Her mother, after throwing Virginia a birthday party, which none of the Top Ten showed up to, drives straight to her lover’s house to confront him and we learn Virginia has a half sister. On the way home, Virginia’s mother flies off the bridge, drowning herself and nearly killing Virginia. After this revelation, the killer comes forward, just in time as her father comes home to celebrate her birthday.

HBTMThis all leads up to an ending with quite a unique twist. This twist unfortunately doesn’t have much of a build-up do to rewrites and can seemingly come out of nowhere, possibly turning the viewers head to the side as they ponder aloud, “huh?” This doesn’t it make it any less effective, however. In fact, the movie ends on a note of uncertainty and dread, all while Virginia sings “Happy Birthday to Me.”

Happy Birthday to Me seems like it may be a low budget hack and slash, but it’s actual a very sharp, studio film, directed by J. Lee Thompson, the director Cape Fear. Sure it follows pieces of your standard slasher formula and at times the characters seem quite dimwitted. The film will also suspend your sense of belief at times, but never loses its’ charm. If you’ve never seen this film, you’ll keep guessing as to who the killer may be and what secrets they are trying to hide as the Top Ten is massacred one by one, which is a shame this film was heavily edited. There were some very gory death scenes. It’s always interested me that an uncut version of My Bloody Valentine exists, but not Happy Birthday to Me. It’s a shame.

Also interesting to note, before the Anchor Bay release of the film in 2009 which had the film’s original score, the previous DVD release by Colombia Pictures, for some bizarre and inhumane reason, replaced the creepy score by Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin, in favor of some ear vomiting disco. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of that edition. That soundtrack is bad enough to kill you.

roadside attractions

  • Matching gloves and scarf.
  • Who’s the douchiest?
  • Motorcycle Face lift.
  • Bench pressed.
  • It ain’t brain surgery.
  • Have your cake and eat it too.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Total gore-fest… is what I would say if the MPAA didn’t butcher this film.

5

blood

BREASTS

Steamy shower scene… plus Greg pumps iron, ladies.

7

beast

BEASTS

Yo, that Virginia chick be mad cray-cray! And that ain’t all!

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie here.

trailers

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Jun

posted by Barry Goodall | June 24, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Barry Goodall

The Outing

At what point in history did the Genie become a giant smurf clown with the voice of Robin Williams?  According to middle eastern legend, the genie or Jin is supposed to be a mischievous demonic spirit that would trick you into taking a salt bath with a pack of cobras or get your friend to pee on a electric fence all due to a poorly worded wish, not some wise cracking Jack Nicholson impersonator with a talking parrot. Sure there’s been truly horrifying genies before like Sinbad or even Shaquille O’Neal in Shazaam but none have really captured that  level of creepy factor. Thankfully, movies like The Lamp aka The Outing bring us that more traditional Jin, a demon full of hate and evil… just like Barbara Eden did back in the 60’s.

Being an ancient genie trapped in a lamp for thousands of year gives a Jin a lot of pent of anger and cramped legs so when one is accidentally released by some burglars in an old lady’s house, it’s got a lot of killing to catch up on. Once free, the genie chops down two of the crooks pool party style while giving an axe to the noggin’ of another. Their hopes for finding the old lady’s treasure are pretty much nixed at that point. The cops show up, find the magic lamp with a matching bracelet and give them to the local museum…. yet another missed Antique Road Show opportunity. The museum curator puts them in an office supply room while his kleptomaniac daughter snags the bracelet to accessorize her flashdance sweatshirt. The jewelry is obviously cursed with the demon’s spirit, a sort of extreme friendship bracelet that causes Amy to become possessed herself. We know it’s demonic possession denoted by the glowing eyes and her deep man voice. Her friends don’t seem to notice or care and she easily convinces them to stay the night at the museum for some free after-hours tours and gruesome death and the hands of an ancient demonic spirit.

The LampThe genie starts offing her friends one by one. Not even a opera singing security guard can stop the carnage nor would we want it to really. There’s spear impalement, snake bites in a bathtub, death by a mummy, and a particularly gruesome twitch inducing neck twister. Up to this point the demon we see is mostly just smoke and red Kool-aid vision but It finally makes an appearance just as the budget runs out appearing to be a green alien puppet on roller blades. The Genie can snap guys necks but can’t seem to open doors (door opening obviously not covered in the genie handbook.) It pursues Amy’s dad whom she accidentally wished dead earlier during an argument and Amy must try to stop it before it kills him and possibly takes over the world through badly worded wishes. Birthday wishers everywhere best beware!

Barry Goodall says to give the Lamp a good rub down and always make sure your evil lamps are properly sealed from demonic leakage. This is really the film “Night at the Museum” should have been.

roadside attractions

  • Double axe to the noggin’
  • Locker room-fu
  • Opera singing security guards
  • Snake bite bath
  • Spear through the gut
  • Mummy-fu
  • Headcrush fu with optional rotation
  • Antique Roadshowing
  • Levitation and strangulation combo move
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Plenty of carnage but only during museum after hours.

8

blood

BREASTS

What the film lacks in a cohesive plot is made up for in gratutious nudity.

5

beast

BEASTS

1 mean-lean genie machine.

7 OVERALL
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Watch the entire movie here.

trailers

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Jun

necronomicon

Jeffery Combs plays HP Lovecraft, the infamous horror writer that just learned a bunch of shape shifting Hari Krishnas have a copy of the famed Necronomicon. It’s a first edition, mint condition, so he rushes to their monastery and finds it stashed in a secret library ontop of a grated fish tank. Yes, a fish tank that holds non other that Cuthulu…possibly…or could just be a very large Koi fish. It’s hard to tell. These  guys have some weird food fetishes. HP quickly starts copying some of the stories from the pages onto his notepad to give us his 3 tales of cliff notes terror.

The first installment revolves around Edward De LaPoer (Bruce Payne) who just inherited a creepy ocean front hotel. Despite having never seen the Shining he travels there with his realty agent while reading a letter about his uncle Jethro tragic death. Years ago Jethro’s wife and son were both killed in a boating accident near the hotel, or the idea of being married to a man named Jethro was simply too much for his wife to bear.At the in-home funeral Jethro  throws a bible into a fire and the mourners flee his house Necronomiconnevering getting to sample the free buffet. A fish person in a Gorton fisherman raincoat shows up and gives him the necronomicon muttering how “he wasn’t alone” and then slips him some Long John Silver Coupons before disappearing into the night. Jethro figures out one of the zombie spells in the book reanimating his wife and kid but this time they’re squid face demon fish with glowing eyes. Distraught he throws himself off the balcony killing himself and thus ending what must have been a really long letter. Back in the present, Edward wants to revive his dead wife Clara too so he finds the Necronomicon hidden in the wall and performs the same ritual as his Uncle tried. Because if it don’t work right the first time, try ,try again. While resting in his bed Clara shows up later that night, creepy, drenched, and a little horny. she tries to do the nasty with him but then goes all sea demon monster on him so he cuts off her tentacles with a sword ending the worst date night ever. This ticks off a sea monster she was attached to which slowly crawls up from the basement just in time for Eddie to drop a chandler on it’s eyeball. And somewhere Aquaman sheds a tear.

After this little fish tale, we get stuck with a story about a reporter who’s investigating some unsolved murders near an apartment building. He meets a residents who tells him the story of Emily Osterman, an abused woman on the run from her slacker boyfriend or possibly that cop that played in Alien Nation. The old boyfriend shows up to smack her around some more and a pale mad scientist (David Warner) pushes him down some stairs and sucks his spinal fluid out like a milkshake. Turns out, Dr. Madden has been using hobo’s spinal fluid along with a bit of black magic from the Necronomicon to keep himself alive and kicking. The side affects are that he can’t go into the sun, talks with an accent and can’t eat real food, so obviously he’s turned British. The old doc does the nasty with Emily on the lab table and we finally witness the real “shocking horror” described on the back of the DVD cover. “my eyes! my eyes!!!”

Emily flees the next day from the house since the jealous and psychotic maid threatens to kill her. Months later Emily returns with news of her pregnancy from Dr. Madden whom she gets to see one last time before he melts into a big pile of melted goo from his lack of spinal Gatoraid. David Warner’s hair still stay perfect the whole time he’s melting, now that’s acting.

Necronomicon

The 3rd and final tale goes for the jugular when a police officer goes in search of her partner who was just kidnapped by a murder called “The Butcher.” She discovers a married couple living in a nearby warehouse who claim to know his location but the husband also claims his wife’s an alien so not sure she should really count on them as “reliable witnesses.” They trap the officer in a pit where she fends off a bunch of Mynocks from that cave in the Empire Strikes Back. One of the wombats sounds just like her missing partner’s voice which we know just can’t be because he just showed up as a gooey zombie right next to her. The classic ”take my brain and put it a bat so my body can be a zombie” switcher-roo! She wakes up later in the hospital and that freaky couple are still there hanging around claiming to be her parents. This might make sense if the mom wasn’t missing her eyeballs and sporting a fetus tummy tucker. Yikes, yeah it gets weirder folks. Bone marrow sucking aliens, amputations and walking corpses make this the best of the 3 stories, or at least the goriest.

Barry Goodall says checkout Necronomicon: Book of Dead for some cheap thrills, but be sure to bring it back before the overdue fees kick in. Cuthulu knows where you live and he’s bringing sushi.

I can’t believe they haven’t made the necronomicon into an e-book yet.

roadside attractions

  • Hari Krishnas cotorntionist
  • extreme lip pulling facelifts
  • tentacle fu
  • jacuzzi morgue storage
  • melting faces
  • squid face family time
  • talking wombats
  • fish demon eye impalements
  • alien Amputations
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

You’re gonna need a mop

2

blood

BREASTS

Do squid breasts count?

8

beast

BEASTS

Cuthulu, squid people, fish faced mutants, wombats. This movie practically has scales.

8.7 OVERALL
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Watch the entire movie here!

trailers

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