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

Aug

Comments Off on Bloodtide

Bloodtide, AKA Demon Island, AKA James Earl Jones Needed a New Water Heater, is pretty much The Creature From the Black Lagoon Greek Holiday. An American tourist, played by Martin “Sweep the Leg” Kove of Karate Kid fame, goes looking for his lost sister in the Greek isles. What’s the worst that could happen?

The film actually starts all the way back in ancient Greece, when Larry King was just learning to shave, and the folks on the island are in the middle of a virgin sacrifice. And no, they ain’t tossing her to Gene Simmons, but rather some kinda critter in the water.

Fast-forward to the always-whacky 1980s, and Kove, with bikini-clad wife in tow, is island hoping around Greece looking for his estranged sister, who musta not gone to my high school, because she is a virgin. Kove finds a Greek island where throwing cats is a type of greeting and Cousin Balki is nowhere to be found. Jose Ferrer (the Emperor in Dune) runs the show, and he subjects Kove and his wife to the island’s clumsiest waiter, in hopes of scaring them off.

But Kove will not be turned away by any waiter, no matter how clumsy (as long as he ain’t trained by Mr. Miyagi, I s’pose). Kove finds his sister, who splits her days between hanging with island’s nuns and a very drunk James Earl Jones—and at this point in the film, one wishes they were as drunk as JEJ. It would only improve things. But JEJ, being a talented actor, is not content to just sit around and drink, nah, he quotes Shakespeare. A lot. Character depth: he has it.

Why is JEJ on the island? It ain’t the cat throwing or Jose Ferrer’s mustache keeping him there. Treasure. He has found a sealed door in an underwater cave. Because, nothing bad could be behind a bricked up door in a secret, underwater cave on a secluded island.

After JEJ’s Shakespeare filled demolition, an eerie mist flows out of the cave. No big deal, right? Wrong. Something nasty was hidden in that cave, and it wasn’t the Little Mermaid. What hath Darth Vader wrought?

Speaking of mermaids, we’re treated to a “beach day” scene with blondes in bikinis. Thank you for the distraction, Movie. The high point of this scene involves melons, no, not the kind in the ladies’ bikini tops—watermelons. JEJ demonstrates the correct way to prepare said melon: “You don’t cut watermelon with a knife!” he says, before punching the doomed melon open like it was an Ewok’s head.

While all this melon punching is going on, Kove’s sister begins to lose it. She has been working on restoring an old church painting of a guy fighting a monster, and keeps finding older versions under each layer. The first new layer is a guy fighting some kind of fish monster, but the next layer, shows an anatomically correct fish man attacking a woman—and let’s just say he is “standing tall” in the painting.

Forty-two minutes into the movie, give or take, we get our first kill and it is very Jaws-like. We also see our monster—which looks like a sea horse man. And it ain’t the last kill either. The bodies start piling up all over the island, and only the sacrifice of a virgin can quell the beast’s hunger. Kove won’t stand for such a thing, and neither will JEJ. But, the most terrifying part of the film is yet to come: Kove and his sister—his SISTER—share a rather passionate, touchy-feely kiss. This marks yet another JEJ film where the relationship ‘tween a brother and sister is a bit, to use the Facebook jargon, “Complicated.”

The first 40+ minutes of the film are rough, but JEJ’s over-the-top, drunken Shakespeare scenes are amusing (as is the watermelon punching scene). The monster is pretty creepy, even though you don’t see it too much, and the use of a real Greek island makes for a great location.

But the real gem here is the beach aerobic scene with one of the leading ladies. A drinking game could improve this film: take a drink whenever JEJ quotes Shakespeare, and forsooth, you’ll be in the same mindset as his character forthwith.


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

  • Cat Throwing
  • Clumsy Waiters
  • Shakespeare Quoting
  • Jaws Shots
  • Blondes in Bikinis
  • Beach Aerobics
  • Virgin Sacrifices
  • Watermelon Punching
  • Floating Feet
  • Rope Used as a Belt
  • Naughty Monster Paintings
  • Awkward Brother-Sister Kissing
  • Water Monsters
  • Blood in the Water
totals

3

blood  

BLOOD

It takes awhile for the blood to show up, but when it does, there is plenty of it.

2 blood  

BREASTS

Sadly, bikini tops cover the only breasts in the film.

 

3

beast  

BEASTS

Bloodtide’s beastie takes its time showing up, but it is one of the more unique movie monsters, even though it looks like a giant sea horse with an overactive libido.

3.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Bloodtide”

 

 

trailers

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Aug

posted by Barry Goodall | August 7, 2011 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on City of the Living Dead

Tagline: The Dead Shall Rise and Walk the Earth

Year: 1980 Runtime: 93 min

Director: Lucio Fulci

Writer: Lucio Fulci (story & screenplay) Dardano Sacchetti (story & screenplay)

Starring: Christopher George, Catriona MacColl and Carlo De Mejo

This is one of those movies that makes you scratch your head and grunt, “HUH?!?”

First and foremost, as the name suggests, this is a zombie film. Fulci, like Romero, knows his way around the genre. At least one would think. Both men have done their fair share of films in the genre, not to mention they were friends. Besides, it’s not a very complex style of film.

Zombie Types

There are different forms of zombies. Voodoo, nuclear waste, government bacterial/viral research gone awry and sacrilegious to name a few of the most popular.

This film falls into the last category. The zombies are released when a priest hangs himself in a cemetery. What’s more, for some reason, a troop of monkeys is also released. We never learn wither they’re from—the local zoo or hell. Regardless, if you listen you can clearly hear their calls. Oooooooo, spooky. Nothing sets the mood like night, fog and the wild calls of monkeys.

Zombie Characteristics

Most zombies have fairly straight forward attributes. They moan, they move slowly (or fast in more resent films), they are decaying, they eat brains, they infect others by biting them and they are killed by destroying their brain/removing their head.

Fulci’s zombies follow the established convention in but one aspect, they move slowly. Otherwise, they sound like Aslan after a swift kick in the love spuds, they can teleport, they look like they’ve got monkey-poo smeared on their face (maybe that’s why the monkeys were cut loose), they only scalp their victims (pulling off the backs of their heads), their bite does not infect others and they can be killed by stabbing them in the stomach with a pointy stick. Alternatively, they can be killed in mass when Suicide Priest is stabbed in the crotch with a wood picket.

Zombie Infection

How does one becomes a zombie, you ask? Normally, as noted above, by being bitten. Yet Fulci changes the game significantly. There are two ways one can become a zombie.

First, Suicide Priest can cram a handful of wormy monkey feces in your face. Secondly, Suicide Priest can use his “evil eye” on you. This is particularly interesting because it causes one to cry blood and vomit up one’s intestines. And, as a nice final touch, if you happen to be a white women, it also performs a negro-plasty, turning her hands into those of a black man. I can’t help but pick up on a slightly racist undertone here. I mean, black hands do the dirty work? The phrase “cotton-pickin’ hands” comes to mind.

Whereas Fulci took some interesting liberties with the genre, the characters are a mostly boring lot, with the exception of the Rent-a-Center Bob Ross, psychologist. This guy isn’t fazed by anything. I’m sure psychologist face some pretty horrible stuff in their day-to-day affairs, but this guy is cold as ice. Here’s but a few of the things he’s a witness to but just blows off:

  • random dead bodies appearing/disappearing
    • monkey-poo faced zombies
    • walls bleeding
    • teleporting Suicide Priest
    • Suicide Priest’s hex vision causing bleeding eye syndrome
    • millions of meal worms blown into room, particularly into his face, porno money-shot style

The ending is most perplexing. Bob Ross and Mary, the one woman with the hero’s death exemption, make it out of the tomb of Suicide Priest and find little John-John, the child with the hero’s death exemption, waiting with the police. Overjoyed that someone has survived John-John squeals and makes a bee-line for them. His run goes slo-mo and Mary starts screaming blood murder. Yet, there’s no zombies or Suicide Priest lurking about. The only thing I can figure is she’s freaked because she realized she’s John-John’s only living friend and might have to adopt the brat.

roadside attractions

  • Opening a coffin with a pick-ax to save the person inside from being buried alive
  • Self-inflating blow-up sex doll.
  • Rent-a-Center Archie Bunker patron at local bar.
  • Painting of a “happy little” rhinoceratopus.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

10 Buckets. Coming out of eyes, throwing up intestines, scalped victims.

0

blood

BREASTS

This is the biggest HUH?!? of them all. You should stop on a pair of breasts with every other pan of the camera. Lucio, what were you thinkin’?!?

10

beast

BEASTS

Loads of Monkey-poo faced zombies.

9.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “City of the Living Dead”

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About the Highway

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