Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Nov

Class of Nuke Em' High

Listen, I’m all for alternate energy sources….wind, solar, hydro, trapped souls, heck even moon shine will run my lawn mower, but let’s just take nuclear off the table ok? IT’S NUCLEAR. It’s a little atomic bomb that never stops exploding and if there’s one thing b-movies taught us is that nuclear and nature don’t mix. We’ve already seen swarms of radioactive ants and giant spiders attacking teenagers making out in convertibles. All this just because they took a little roll in some radioactive goop, and what about that so called “Amazing Colossal Man?” Yup, nuclear blast made him grow 60ft., lose all his hair and now he has to wear a giant diaper! Oh the humiliation, and let’s not forgot Godzilla, the first nuclear powered pet lizard. I say keep nuclear where it’s safe, in flying Deloreans and missile defense systems.

class of nuke em highSpeaking of going ballistic. We’re heading back to school with  “”Class of Nuke Em’ High.” It’s the heart warming tale of what happens when nuclear power meets teenage love and what to do with mutant sewer babies. Tromaville High School sits conveniently next to a nuclear power plant where the class motto is reading, writing and radiation but after a minor plant accident some atomic stew seeps into the water supply and makes the students go nuts-o. A rabid geek starts spewing green goo and tosses himself through a window to end up a puddle on the sidewalk while the school is being over run by former honor students who call themselves “the Cretins.” They’re a bunch of Mad Max rejects who sport gymnastic size nose rings and sell radioactive marijuana to maintain their hair gel supply. Warner the class putz, and his dizzy girlfriend Chrissy try some of the weed at a indoor pool party and  proceed to do the horizontal mamba without a safety net. In the after glow, Warner fantasizes he has an 8 ft. tent pole in his pants. The kind they warn about in those viagra ads and Chrissy dreams that her belly is blowing up like jiffy pop but it turns out she really is pregnant with a baby tadpole that she spits out in the toilet. Why didn’t they show these types of films in those abstinence classes?

class of nuke em highThe mutant tadpole travels through the basement pipes and lands in a barrel full of radioactive waste where it grows into a giant gooey porcupine. Warren whose been thinking a lot about baseball is hormone raging and is sporting some bad acne. He takes out some of his frustration by throat punching a few Cretins who just smacked down a grandma crossing the street. Meanwhile, some shmucks in devo-radiation suits show up with gigercounters to get their arms gnawed off by the basement mutant. Chrissy is taken hostage by the surviving Cretins back at the school where Warren fights them on motorcycles. The monster decapitates a few just for the kicks (extreme hallway safety monitoring!) Warren rescues Chrissy from it’s tentacles and shoots it in the eye with it with a makeshift laser gun resulting in a psychedelic laser light meltdown. Pink Floyd music not included. Most of the faculty are dead but at least the students will get a nice extended summer vacation while the radioactivity hangs around for the next 200 years or so.

Barry Goodall says go enroll for Class of Nuke Em’ High. It may end up killing you on the inside but you’ll glow on the outside.

roadside attractions

  • Geek melting
  • Crotch smashing
  • Atomic weed
  • Heads roll
  • Upchucking mutant tadpoles
  • 25 gallons of green goo
  • Punk Hitler on motorcycle
  • Mutant porcupine impalement
  • Urinal-fu
  • Tentacle-palooza
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

More green goo than blood but we’ll count it.

9

blood

BREASTS

It’s Troma. It’s required.

9

beast

BEASTS

mutant tadpoles, porcupines, raging radioactive teens and honor students.

9.1 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Class of Nuke Em’ High”

trailers

dripper
Oct

If the title doesn’t capture your attention, then something is wrong with your neural net processor (that’s brain for you laymen). Presented totally uncut, The Dorm That Dripped Blood (a play on the title The Room That Dripped Blood, perhaps?) at the surface appears as a copycat slasher, mostly emulating Friday the 13th and Halloween, but it has more substance than that. The relationship between the characters is well developed, the atmosphere is dark and moody like a fall evening, the score sounds like a small orchestra (which sounds overplayed and you kinda wish they went for a simple keyboard/synthesizer score to play the scenes for subtly) and the special effects are great and gory!

Believe it or not, this movie is set during the Christmas season, although you could easily miss that since there is no snow or holiday music, two things that are associated with that time of year. You may think that is irrelevant to the plot, but what better way to clear out a college campus, all but a few students that are staying to clear out a dorm before demolition, a very unfortunate situation… and they haven’t even realized they are being stalked by a killer!

Dorms that dripped bloodThe movie opens right up with someone being chased and murdered, which is a way to catch your attention, but then we jump into a party with Joanne, who is growing distant from her boyfriend Tim. Our heroine Joanne is joined by her friends, all playing a somewhat stereotyped role to the slasher genre. You have young, naïve Debbie who is played Daphne Zuniga (who would later go on to be in Spaceballs as the Princess), Bryan the possible love interest, Craig the wise guy and Patty the frightened one. I know in any other movie, you would be able to guess their roles and what order they die or who lives, but The Dorm That Drips Blood does something a little different with them.

The caretaker Bill is also present, but doesn’t really interact with the group of kids. Only to inform them that one of his drills is missing… hmm… Also stalking around the campus is local weirdo John Hemmit who looks like he should be searching the dumpsters for a comb instead of garbage. Speaking of garbage, Joanne befriends Bobby Lee Tremble, a local salesman buying tables from the college and also hitting on Joanne. It doesn’t matter that Bobby Lee is tied to another woman, another woman that we only see in a scene later on just so we can get the obligatory breast shot, he is all about seeing Joanne again.

The film paces its kills a good pace. Not too early, not too late. Almost like we are be treated to a three course meal. Rather than wait until the end of the film to cross off its characters, The Dorm That Dripped Blood not only starts with a tame kill, but shortly after the beginning, one of our characters parents are brutally murdered by a nail bat and strangulation and then proceeds to run over their child’s head! And yes, you will see the aftermath of it. Lesson learned, never help out your friends at a college when everyone else has gone home. The goriest and best looking kill by far is when one of the characters gets a power drill (Oh hey, that’s where that went!) to the back of their head. You see the drill crack and rip apart the back of their skull and spray blood all over the room. Another one of the cast is boiled alive and another is hacked to pieces. It’s a movie that goes for intense, brutal kills that are played out rather than quick cuts shying away from the violence, like most slashers at the time.

The Dorm that dripped bloodThe film will also plays with the ‘who done it’ aspect, but does it subtly, so you keep guessing, but you aren’t overwhelmed by the mystery. I honestly kept guessing and changing my guess. Was it Tim? He’s seems angry enough. Maybe it’s Bryan. He has the hots for Joanne, but that would be too obvious, so maybe it’s that weird guy? He’s so bizarre, but that’s what they want me to think. By the time you find out who the killer is, it doesn’t really make sense, but when they give you the reason, it doesn’t really pay off. Because the killer loves her? It’s perhaps the most typical thing about this movie and it feels like such a copout, but the dark and unexpected ending makes up for it and leaves one reminiscing about the ending to Bob Clark’s Black Christmas.

Synapse released the Blu-Ray/DVD combo, which is the uncensored Director’s cut called Death Dorm. From a technical standpoint, at times, the blacks look washed out with blues or yellows, but it’s not overwhelming. Edges look sharp, objects pop out and a lot of the noise and grain is cleaned up. They left enough of grain and blacks in the film, so it still feels dark and alarming. The only audio mix, however, is 2.0 mono (I personally prefer this for older horror films rather than remixing it in 5.1) so it has that very radio sound and feel to it. You can even listen to the score isolated! It does have some special features, such as audio commentary with Directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter, a few interviews with crew members, trailers and in traditional Synapse form, a reversible cover (the original US artwork entitled Pranks).

This is film is surprisingly overlooked and I would put it up with the greats like Twitch of the Death Nerve and Black Christmas. There are few dull moments, something is always happening and you believe the relationship between these kids. The dark, twisted ending was a nice surprise and I urge everyone to see this.

roadside attractions

  • Batter up!
  • Road Rage
  • Driller Killerer
  • Simon or Garfunkle?
  • Bobby Lee, the Man of Men
  • Human Stew
  • Black Christmas Syndrome
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Smothers it on think, like if there was some kind of butter gravy.

6

blood

BREASTS

Just one, but it is initializing and glorious.

7

beast

BEASTS

The killer isn’t the only creepy dude on campus, bro.

8.5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “The Dorm That Dripped Blood”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by Barry Goodall | October 9, 2012 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movies, Podcast

Join the Lost Highway mutant gang (Barry Goodall, The Doktor, and Giallo Goon) as they discuss the 1982 slasher classic, Pieces. Listen with the player below, or use the Download link to save a copy of the MP3 to your computer.

Download the Podcast
Subscribe to the podcast Feedburner Feed

Available in iTunes

Sep

Year: 1977 Runtime: 88 min

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Writer: Chiho Katsura (screenplay), Chigumi Ôbayashi (original story)

Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo and Kumiko Ohba

After the massive success of Jaws, the suits at Toho contacted Nobuhiko Ôbayashi to develop a similar script. What they got was a ketamine fueled wet fart or, in common parlance, a screenplay both twisted and swarming with juvenile poo-poo humor. I cannot imagine the demented fever which destroyed the writer’s fragile grip on reality as he wrote this. Sweet Sweating Christ outside Mary Magdalene’s door! What ungodly torture to endure, even for a moment.

See. The mere mention of it brought me to a frenzy. I have to relax, there is more to tell.

The final product can only be considered a film only in the strictest meaning of the word. That is, it’s a collection of pictures, one after the other, playing at 24 frames per second for 88 minutes. Truth is, Hausu is something you experience, like love or LSD or a colostomy. Each has their allure, but rarely do they make sense. Even in retrospect.

Hausu is the story of a young girl, Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami), and her six friends who visit Gorgeous’ aunt over summer break. Gorgeous and her friends are named for their asset: Gorgeous is beautiful and fashion conscious; Prof is the smart one with glasses and her face in a book; Melody can play any musical instrument; Kung Fu is a master of martial arts; Mac is the fat, hongry one; Sweet is sweet; and finally, Fantasy is the overly imaginative one.

Aunt, who is never named, broods in her mansion on the hill, the titular house. For thirty years she has haunted the place, waiting—love never effectuated. She and her fiancé had made a pinky promise to marry once he returned from WWII. Because he never did the years of solitude twisted Aunt into a malevolent demon.

That ends the logical portion of the film. The rest is a hellish string of things-that-happen in Hunter S. Thompson proportions, if he were a Japanese school girl in a Jaws reinterpretation.

The madness experienced first hand by the girls is usually explained away as “an illusion.” I tend to agree with that assessment. How else would you explain disembodied fingers playing a piano, or a grown man transformed into a pile of bananas or skin falling away to reveal a new body of flame, a la Johnny Storm, or equality for all in the eyes of the law?

Never watch this film before going to bed. Strange and terrible things will stalk your slumber. I will speak of it no more because my blood runs cold remembering my dreams. I ask that you trust me on this.

I do not want to spoil the roller coaster ride, so I will just say this and be done with it: Hausu is the epitome of schizophrenic genius. The absolute best anti-drug propaganda I have ever witnessed. And, just for the record, as diametrically opposed to Jaws any film could be.

roadside attractions

  • killer mattresses
  • disembodied head biting her friend
  • painting projectile puking
  • awesome Kung Fu action
  • Monkey’s style musical montage
  • gratuitous
  • cat tossing action (but NOT to scare you)
  • hongry, hongry piano
  • Watermelon Man transformed into a skeleton because Mr. Togo likes bananas
  • house under six feet of cat’s blood
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Houseful

4

blood

BREASTS

Four. Exactly the right number for two naked women. A bit of sanity in the midst of the bedlam that is this film.

10

beast

BEASTS

Awful and depraved hysteria presented in hyper-unrealistic papier-mâché

8.0 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Hausu”

trailers

dripper
Sep

posted by Doktor | September 2, 2012 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Comedy, Review by Doktor

Tagline: We’ll make your engine run hot.

Year: Runtime: 99 min

Director: George Mihalka

Writer: Richard Zelniker

Starring: Michael Zelniker, Carl Marotte and Karen Stephen

The year was 1980. The 70s were officially gone, but not far enough to persuade caucasian men into thinking white fro’s were NOT cool. Arcades were stocked solely with pinball machines. And most importantly, women wore their short shorts up past their navels, making a paradise of moose knuckles and buttock cheeks.

Into this nirvana came the movie Pick-up Summer, a teen-age sex comedy that breaks from most expected plot points and tropes in the genre. Originally it was titled Pinball Summer, but changed because there is far more pick-up, and I mean this quite literally (more later), than pinball. There is a bit of pick-up, read: hooking up, but the act of physically sweeping one off their feet way out numbers any getting together.

One of the most disheartening omissions is the lack of sweater meat. Sure, there is titillation in the form of nipples visible through flimsy t-shirts, but only three scenes of full on bazooms. What’s worse, two of the three scenes are quick flashes.

Sex comedy sans boobs?

The biggest departure from the genre is the lack of the outsider/loner/geek who has to challenge the dashing stud at the fad competition highlighted, in this movie’s case pinball. There’s no initial challenge where our hero fails. There’s no training montage to build up the hero back up. And though there is a final showdown, it’s hard to make a game of pinball exciting. It’s like an ugly contest. You can’t get excited about the competition. You feel sorry for the winner. And, at some point, you realize that you simply don’t care.

Instead, what this movie does offer is an hour and twenty minutes of rivalry building, in the form of two sets of idiots stealing a trophy from one another. The trophy they are taking from one another is half of the prize for winning the pinball tournament. The other half being a date with the Pinball Queen, the dream of all young girls. I understand that this is a small town, and a comedy not to be taken seriously, but really, fighting over a trophy? And Pete, the owner of the arcade, is really worried about it being stolen? What, he can’t afford to replace this piece of crap trophy?

Oh, and just to make sure the audience hates everyone in the film, there’s a liberal amount of unwarranted pranking. You would be hard pressed to find a film with kids more deserving of getting viciously murdered than these jerks. Where was Mike Myers, Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger?

Everyone in this movie—the teens, the adults, the cops—are all best described as a “shower of bastards.”

Then there’s the new fangled pinball machine, Arthur: The Talking Pinball Machine. This is the creepiest piece of technology since Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nothing says fun like, “Hey! Don’t tickle me there!” coming from a pinball machine painted to look like Ronald McDonald’s lecherous uncle.

Why would you want to watch such an cinematic abortion? There’s a few reasons. First, there’s a smashing drinking game you can play. (I’m quite fond of the maxim, “The more you drink, the better the film gets.”) Every time someone gets picked up, drink. You can use either definition, getting with someone or sweeping off their feet. The latter will get you good and drunk. Just don’t play this game if you’re going to be driving. I don’t want to be responsible for any DUI’s.

Second, although this movie is a far cry from from what you would expect from a film of this genre made in the 80s, the fact that it does stray so far off corse makes it fun to watch. Fun in a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 kind of way. You can’t help but sling snarky comments at the screen as you watch this film. Go on, try it.

Third, there are quite a few scenes with extras, some of which where obviously there as extras, some just happened to be in the area, or “production value”. It’s fun to watch what these people are doing, partially because of what the camera is focused on is so retarded, but also because there’s some very funny stuff happening, most unintentional. There’s a few scenes where the fourth wall is broken. There’s people who don’t know what the hell they’re supposed to be doing. Better still, in the dancing scenes, the people who are dancing (and I use that term lightly) are only barely doing so. Tonic-clonic seizure comes to mind.

The best background hijinks is during the gym scene. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say this, it is intentional. Despite the filmmaker’s best effort to make a bad comedy, this is pretty funny.

Finally, there’s some unintentional bromance. Greg and Steve spend a little too much time together, during which they get too close for way too long. And then there’s the biker dry humping his fellow— enough of that. You get the idea. With all the touchy-feely tom foolery this film should have been called Grab-ass Summer.

This film isn’t bad enough to be remembered among the greats (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Manos Hands of Fate, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park) but it is entertaining enough to watch, especially if you’re in a nitpicking mood. It seems counter intuitive to say, but it’s the fact that it strays from the genre that makes it worth your while.

roadside attractions

  • Pressed ham to impress the ladies
  • Futurific talking pinball machine
  • Pinball championship
  • Funny pervert flasher
  • Teen-age boy turning down sex
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

None. But there is a lot of ketchup, which in b-movies is the same thing.

7

blood

BREASTS

Not nearly enough for the genre, but Joy Boushel makes up in quality where this film lacks quantity

9

beast BEASTS

Everyone in this movie is a monster.

7.0 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Pick-up Summer”

trailers

dripper
ZombieWorks
join our mailing list
* indicates required

About the Highway

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