Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Jun

necronomicon

Women, am I right? They always be shopping! I mean, how many purses do you need, lady? I have one wallet and that works just fine. But I guess it’s the consumer mentality of having the latest and greatest. In Slink, it’s these fabulous designer handbags that people are just dying to get their hands on!

Meet Dale, who runs the local tanning salon. Only at this place, the only memberships they have are lifetime… which isn’t very long! After a patron shows interest in applying for a job, Dale talks it over with his wife Joan, who decides it’s probably best to murder her instead. “We could offer her a free tan first!” exclaims Dale, before her head is belted in with a hammer, showcasing the film’s subtle dark humor.

Cut to our protagonist Kayla, discussing with her friend Lindsay that Lindsay’s sister has the hots for Kayla (sounds like that would be quite an interesting sub plot…). Further in the discussion, we learn that Kayla’s uncle Arlo has recently passed and she travels to the small town of Wickenhaven to gather Arlo’s ashes from probably the most odd funeral home directors who seemed like they escaped of the set of Twin Peaks. Upon inquiring where she could buy a charming local gift (damn Yankees), she is told to try the nearby Virgin Leathers, which happens to be owned by Joan and I’m sure you can guess what kind of material those purses are made from…

brainstormKayla, along with her dope smoking friend Courtney, arrive at Uncle Arlo’s only to find that someone else is there… someone claiming to be their Aunt May, who looks might fine for being an Aunt (Peter Parker, eat your heart out!). Trying to connect with the girls, Aunt May reveals that Uncle Arlo may not have died from natural causes, but instead he was murdered. Now it was at this point, I noticed that the characters all talk with that ‘Valley Girl’ accent, which I found to be a bit annoying, but not distracting. Just a personal opinion, but not one to hinder my viewing experience.

Anyway, this is when Kayla heads over to the tanning salon, where Dale, who just killed a young girl and cleaned it up just in time, is friendly enough to let her tan for free. Of course, I’m sure she wouldn’t have agreed to it if she had known he’s in the backroom taping the sessions and giggling to himself. Always read the fine print, sister. This is when Courtney gets a phone call from her father who tells her that they don’t have an Aunt May and he’s coming to get to the bottom of everything! It doesn’t take long for him to arrive and confront her, but his accusations may be premature and Aunt May tells him that she is Arlo’s half sister (uh, you buying that?). Well this is when all the crazies come out, as Aunt May calls Dale and talks about a “big surprise” for the girls.

This is where the movie throws in some real dirty, but welcomed, sleaze. While Courtney is sleeping, Aunt May, barely dressed, climbs on top of her and suffocates her with a bag. There goes the film’s only stoner. But the intensity doesn’t stop there. Kayla goes back to the tanning salon the next morning for another session. He tricks her into rubbing this poison all over herself by telling her it’s a new tanning oil, which I’m sure something like that in no way smells viciously toxic. Once Kayla passes out, she is handed off to the skilled Aaron, in charge of skinning all the girls. By now you’re beginning to see this family come together and true characteristics shine, reminding one of the Sawyer’s from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Well if you’re going to be a villain, you should damn well play it good. Aunt May stops by the house in the morning, telling the girl’s father that they turned Arlo into a purse. Then what ensues is a silly, but short fight, resulting in him getting stabbed. But what of Kayla? She wakes up in time, saving her own skin right before she is, um… skinned. Fighting for her survival, she runs from Aaron, who puts up a pretty good chase and I have to say, it looks like both actors take some abuse during this chase. Will she escape? Will she survive?

This brings the film into its finale, which I have to say kind of ends abruptly. It doesn’t exactly resolve itself, but instead sets itself up for a sequel or it just ends with no intention of concluding or continuing. Or perhaps the filmmakers wanted to intentionally leave it that open for the sake of ‘just because’ and instead make the viewer think that true evil is always out there.

Slink is without a doubt one of the better independent films out there. It’s dark and violent, with a little bit of humor, but not too much to make it come off as silly. The music is very well done and pretty catchy. There are solo, creepy synths, dance-pop and almost orchestral music. However, as nice as these songs are all done, at times certain types of music don’t seem to fit. But, that’s a minor gripe and in no way will remove you from the movie.

If you are looking for a film with that 80’s sleazy video store rental vibe to it, then Slink is for you. Everything from the dialogue, drug use, bizarre characters, sexual overtones, T & A and even the premise is never too much or overbearing and distracting. You’ll feel reminiscent of smaller films like Unhinged or Deranged. Even with a few flaws, Slink is greatly entertaining for the 80 minute runtime. So, watch this throwback that I dare call a ‘modern day grindhouse.’

Be sure to check out director Jared Masters other work at the official Frolic Pictures website!

roadside attractions

  • Hammer time.
  • Bag Hag.
  • Comb-over Creep.
  • T & A Buffet!
  • Swinging Sounds of Survival.
  • Tanning Tape Sessions.
  • The Skinning Son.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Plenty of victims filleted.

9

blood

BREASTS

Plenty! Whether they are breathing or not is another story.

8

beast

BEASTS

It’s like a Bevery Hills version of The Manson Family.

7.7 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for Slink!

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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Jun

Often called “pink films” (another term for soft-core Japanese porn… think Cinemax after 12 a.m. in Asia), the Nikkatsu Roman Porno series put out over 700 titles between 1971 – 1988! Proof the porn industry was certainly booming! Although, calling these titles “porn” is like calling circus peanuts “candy”. These pinky films were called “thrillers” for a reason; often having a dark or twisted plot, while throwing in some sex and sleaze to keep them “pink”, while censoring the man’s junk. On a side note, I realize the subject of rape isn’t a joke and it’s very touchy and can be difficult to write about. So when you see I’m making a joke, please know that it’s about the characters or a reference, not on the actual subject itself.

Let’s take a look at Female Teacher Hunting. If I had heard the title, I would have figured this to be an 80’s Linnea Quigley flick about some backwoods, hairy guy hunting down a school teacher in the Deep South. However, the tale is a little more complex than that (but I did get the 80’s part right). Two high-schoolers, Midori and Daisuke, enjoy a little skinny dip in the school’s pool, but when Midori’s uniform is found in the pool the next day, Daisuke’s teacher Sakatani accuses him of rape. His defense is by telling her that rape isn’t as easy as she think… not the best defense, but he means someone would have heard her scream.

It instantly elevates to uncomfortable levels when Daisuke, ashamed, storms off to find Midori, and forces sex on her in the radio room with the microphone on for the whole school to hear (where’s the FCC when you actually need them?). He then drops out of school and that’s about as much school as you see. Sakatani spends some time on the coast having an affair with a married man, who happens to be writing a report about rape, taking a break from his wife and daughter. Ah, a vacation from all responsibilities.

blackbagWhile this is going on, Daisuke just so happens to be at the same coastal town, taking refuge with a bar owner after accidently spilling some drunkards bottle and getting pummeled. Not only does the bar owner take him in, he shares his girlfriend with him, in which the film shares with us the saddest threesome in history. Ladies, you know those stories you hear about a three-way being every man’s dream? Well, let this prove you wrong.

But this film isn’t necessarily supposed to be erotic. The three main characters come off as troubled convincingly, especially Daisuke. You feel sympathetic toward him during the film and then you feel disgusted toward him at the end. Sakatani seems to be the one you despise the most, accusing Daisuke of rape and having an affair with a married man. She comes off as the film’s villain, but she really isn’t all that bad. As I stated earlier, the sexual element of the movie is not necessarily for arousal, but to actually support the emotions of characters and move the plot along. You get a sense of wrongness while it’s going on and as the before mentioned three way, it’s supposed to come off as sad and pathetic. I guess that only leaves Midori as the film’s only innocent character that you feel terrible for, since she is mixed up with these other hooligans.

Female Teacher Hunting is a short ride, just a little over the one hour mark, but in that time it does get its story across and remain erotic. The DVD transfer from Impulse (the erotic driven division of the great Synapse Films) looks very good, given the films thirty year old age. Edges look smooth, colors look nice. Nothing looks washed out or soft, unless it was done intentionally. Although, the only audio option is 2.0 mono Japanese, English subtitles are provided with no distraction. However, if you are looking for extras, you’ll find this one is pretty bare, only including a theatrical trailer and some liner notes from Jasper Sharp.

As far as the “pink” movies go, you’ll find Female Teacher Hunting to be different that what’s expected of this genre of film. It’s more drama driven, using the sex scenes as a sad and depressing display of character development as they spiral down into their own self destruction. Fans of this genre looking for hot and steamy sex scenes may want to resort to going to the curtained rooms in your video stores, since you won’t find what you’re looking for here.

Check out other flicks in Impulse Pictures catalogue.

roadside attractions

  • -Sex Scene Shot Game!
  • -Also, take a shot every time you feel depressed for trying to get aroused.
  • -Think happy thoughts.
  • -Did this ruin the ’sexy teacher’ fantasy for you?
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Very little after some fighting, but this isn’t a gore flick.

9

blood

BREASTS

Lots, although most of the time not in the context you want.

6

beast

BEASTS

No monsters, but the characters themselves are somewhat monsterly.

6 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Female Teacher Hunting”

trailers

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May

Welcome to the small town of East Stackton, a town loonier than the inhabitants of Summerisle. Of course that isn’t something that they openly promote. Sure they aren’t the friendliest folks to welcome city folk with open arms, but dammit, they know how to throw a surprise party, although you may not want to be the guest of honor…

And this is where our main man Carol comes in (hey, Carol can be a guy’s name too). You see, Carol is nosing around in these parts for his company, House and Home. They send him to all the locations to see if their stores are profitable. Not wanting to stick out like a sore thumb, Carol slaps on novelty state-shaped belt buckle and does his best to blend in. It’s that mentality that most city folk have; thinking that by slapping on a cowboy hat, people will believe you are actually from Texas. Inside the store, he meets with the manager Ned and all seems well. Carol steps outside to chain smoke and briefly eyes a pickup truck carrying a large ornament of some kind on the bed. He thinks nothing of it and continues to smoke his non-name brand cigarette, his favorite kind.

Bored of staying in his hotel room, Carol sets out to grab a beer with the good ol’ rednecks of… whatever state East Stackton is in. Everyone stares at him as he enters, no doubt blending in with that authentic belt buckle of his (man that keeps coming up. I wonder if it will play a part later?). He’s quick to make friends with the bartender, Kelly. She shares an awful lot of information with him about her dad’s hardwood store being run out of town and him dying. I’m sure this will in no way come back in the movie, so let’s move on. Carol is rushed out of the bar by the brute, chest thumping Cody and back to his hotel where he finds the bloody corpse of a possum nailed to the door, surely a welcoming basket from the community.

Well, the next morning isn’t any better for Carol. He finds that his car is missing and this is also what starts my favorite Carol characteristic in the movie: Cursing to himself under his breath. It seriously is funny every time he does this. Only thing he can do is call the Sheriff, who is on his way once he is done washing his squad car. You gotta have priorities. And as you can guess, the Sheriff and Carol don’t seem to agree with one another and we have ourselves a classic case of small town Sheriff vs. the city slicker. It’s an old fashioned duel, but always seems fresh when you see it.

On his second visit to the store, again stepping outside to chain smoke, Carol has a more eventful day. Following a trail of blood like a one man Scooby gang, he follows it to a dumpster to find the corpse of Cody with a hammer lodged in his forehead. I guess they won’t be able to make up over some drinks any time soon. He tells Sheriff Charlie all about it and in typical fashion, the Sheriff takes him downtown, leaving the clean up to Ned. Yep, Ned also happens to be a deputy. Hey, everyone is holding down at least two jobs now-a-days. Times are tough.

blackbagSheriff Charlie isn’t pulling the wool over Carol’s eyes, no sir. Carol is starting to seem suspicious of the town, as he spots the mean mugging mayor. This guy looks like he’s in a nasty mood and talks to the Sheriff about a ceremony that everyone is expecting Carol to be at. They tell him how excited they are to see him there later, which naturally, creeps Carol the hell out. Feeling like he’s losing his mind, Carol wanders out into traffic to almost get hit by a truck, but Kelly pulls him out of harm’s way. The two go back to her place for coffee and a chat about House and Home being the worst thing to happen to the town, but it’s cut short by the Sheriff taking Carol back down for more questioning… even though Sheriff Charlie never asked him any questions before (Carol does point this out).

This is where the film gets darker real quick. The Sheriff pushes him out of the squad car in front of all the town folk, where they welcome him and chloroform him. Jeez, they went from friendly to hostile in about a second flat. He wakes up to a stage, seeing two large wooden X’s (ah, so that’s what was on the truck) with a man hanging upside down on one. The mayor, dressed like Lord Sadler from Resident Evil 4, cuts the man’s throat during some chanting. His blood spills on the ground opening a gateway to Hell, and I kid you not, Satan appears! Yes, Satan makes an appearance in this film! Carol manages to cut himself free with his belt buckle (so I guess it did come in handy after all) and escapes to be rescued by Kelly. Turns out she was on to the town’s plan of raising the Devil, which I hope she would after living there for several years! Not like it’s a huge secret around there. The film doesn’t end there though. Kelly stops the truck and reveals her ulterior motive…

For running under thirty minutes, I had a good time watching East Stackton. For starters, it’s beautiful to look at. The cinematography is excellent, using good depth between the characters and the background, allowing them to stick out. Speaking of the characters, these actors are top notch. Short films usually make the mistake of either trying to cram too much character background in a short amount of time or not enough. Think of it like The Three Bears story. East Stackton is Baby Bear; it’s just right. Carol, of course, sticks out as the best since the camera is constantly on him. He’s written with humor, so instead of watching him mindlessly putter around, he makes snide comments or exclaims profanity. It’s hysterical. You feel bad for all these things that are happening to him, since he’s innocent, but he never comes off as pathetic. There is some gore, since I know you’ve been wondering, and it’s done very well. There isn’t a lot of it, but when there is, it’s pretty to look at. Speaking of pretty, the Satan effect is done well. I think it was a mix of puppet and CG, but it’s not on the screen for very long. And although this seems like a plot you’re familiar (Wickerman, anyone?), it’s one that is still enjoyable and even if you’ve seen this kind of film before, you want to see where they are going with it.

East Stackton is available for digital download at their website for only $5. It’s worth every penny. So, mosey on down to them parts and give it a watch, ya hear?

roadside attractions

  • -Playing possum.
  • -Belt Buckle Bonanza.
  • -Slippery Sheriff!
  • -Mayor Mayhem!
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Splatters, a throat cut and a ‘hammered’ body.

5

blood

BREASTS

You get come nice cleavage, plus Carol has his shirt buttoned down just enough, ladies.

9

beast

BEASTS

East Stackton itself is a beast, plus they raise the Devil.

7 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “East Stackton”

trailers

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May

posted by Barry Goodall | May 23, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Barry Goodall

brainstorm

What if you could record all your brain activity on tape for anyone in the world to experience? The same smells, tastes, even emotions just as you felt them. Sure you could experience things like skydiving without ever having to leave your couch. Or scale the Himalayans while riding the bus. But then there’s that stench filled cab ride you had last week where your friend threw up on your docker pants. Now a total stranger can enjoy that too. You could even eat a glazed donut burger and still technically be Vegan thus keeping your hipster street creed… because much like your hipster street cred, it’s all in your mind.

brainstorm In 1983’s Brainstorm, Christopher Walken plays Dr. Michael Brace an eccentric scientist who hangs out with his Chain smoking lab partner Lillian (Louise Fletcher.) Most of their day is spent poking monkeys and wearing wired up space helmets while playing with robots. Normally this is where government grants go to die but one day they discover they can actually record a persons memories on laser tape. It’s the Facebook of the future.They decide to take the invention on the road and record everything they can find with a lab tech wearing a recording helmet. There’s racing cars, going down a waterside, having sex, trying out some equestrian (not necessarily in that order.) Things you could have never experienced yourself without the aide of “TECHONOLOGY!” Their boss loves the demo tape but then boots from the project so it can be packaged up and sold as a home console and to military contractors.

Michael with some free time on his hands uses the new invention for some couples therapy. His wife Karen, played by Natalie Woods is just about to sign the divorce papers until he makes a memory tape for her showing all the good times from their marriage. Scrapbookers eat your heart out. Meanwhile Lillian has a heart attack back at the lab but records her death for scientific study and likely some smut sections at a Thailandese video store. The tape is put under lock and key while the government also takes over the technology to use it for “peaceful military purpose.” Peaceful in that they’ll peacefully torture and brainwash any suspecting commies they can hook it up to. Michael’s son accidentally tries one of these brainwash tapes making him wacko so Michael goes on a crusade to destroy the project once and for all. His robot war knowledge comes in handy as he hacks into the lab computer causing the robots to go on a rampage smashing the brainstorm assembly line. He then gets access to his lab partners death tape so that he can experience some extreme chest pains and the ending to 2001: A space odyssey. While plugged into the death tape at a pay phone, his wife shows up, they hug and he mumbles something about the stars, the Wright Brothers and needing more cowbell. Wow, the hippies were out in full force on this one folks. Barry Goodall says get plugged in with Brainstorm so that you too can experience a couple hours of brainwashing torture.  Let’s just hope that Apple or Google doesn’t make one of these things anytime soon.

roadside attractions

  • DOS Intrigue
  • interactive all you can eat buffets
  • giant brain helmets
  • virtual ardvarking
  • interactive chimpanzees
  • multiple heart attacks
  • Lost IMAX footage
  • chainsmoking lab technicians
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

just a nose bleed

5

blood

BREASTS

Virtual nookie stuck on loop

2

beast

BEASTS

Just a chimpanzee

2.7 OVERALL
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Check out this trailer for “Brainstorm”

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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 >>