Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Dec

Comments Off on Black Christmas (1974): Rest Stop Review Edition by Donna Bleed

A Norman Bates Family Christmas

A Norman Bates Family Christmas?

Making my holiday cookie deliveries around Lost Highway I ran into The Doktor, and we got to talking about our favorite holiday movies. Naturally, Black Christmas was at the top of both our lists, but there was a problem. He thinks the 2006 remake is the better film, while I stand steadfastly by the 1974 original. We decided to go head-to-head and run it by you fine folks. You decide which is better, judging by our 3-B breakdown and critique of each film.

Black Christmas (1974) opens at a sorority house all decked out for the holidays. There is a creepy POV of someone climbing into the attic. Downstairs, the girls are in the Christmas spirit, except Barb (Margot Kidder) whose mother decides to run off with some man rather than see her daughter on Christmas. She returns to the party, and the phone rings again. Apparently, the house has been plagued by an obscene caller, and boy is he a doozy. The call is frightening. I’m serious; if I got a phone call like these gals got, I would not only change my phone number, but I would smash the phone the call came through on into tiny pieces, then pour gasoline over the tiny pieces and set them on fire.

Anyway; after the first call, Claire goes upstairs to finish packing, but doesn’t quite make it, because some psycho wraps a dry cleaning bag around her head. Next thing we see of her, she’s dead in the attic in a rocking chair. The house mother Mrs. Mac comes home, and the girls give her an ugly housedress as a gift. They all scatter to the four winds while Mrs. Mac finds one of the eight thousand bottles of whiskey she has hidden around the house and starts a-guzzlin’. Claire’s dad shows up looking for her; Jess reveals she’s in a family way and wants an abortion and her boyfriend, Peter, doesn’t like that idea; the psycho goes to town. Phone calls, killing Mrs. Mac with a hook and pulley, stabbing Margot Kidder with a crystal unicorn, cop killing, implied murder of a little girl, killing Phyllis offscreen, rampaging through the house and scaring Jess half to death; making her so crazy she thinks it’s Peter and she beats him to death with a fireplace poker.

Why do I think it’s better than the remake? Simple-there is no reason for this dude to be torturing and killing these girls. NONE. We don’t know who he is, aside from thinking his name might be Billy (He screams this name repeatedly during the phone calls), and we don’t know what he wants or what set him off, or why he chose them and not the house down the street. We’re just as much in the dark as poor Jess is at the end, running around and trying to defend herself.

But, let’s get down to brass tacks:

Blood: I’d say about 2 quarts blood. There’s not a whole lot of onscreen violence, and we only see the aftermath of a couple of the killings.

Breasts: No breasts, which is surprising given when this movie was made. The girls are wholesome, aside from Jess, whom we know has been making the sign of the epileptic wombat with Peter, which has resulted in her being knocked up.

Beasts: 3 beasts: Margot Kidder- A drunken wreck until her untimely demise. Not pretty, and a sign of things to come. Mrs. Mac- This woman is so ugly, when she was born, the doctor slapped her momma. Last, but not least, Billy- Psycho extrodinare.

Roadside Attractions:
Dry-cleaner bag-fu, hook and pulley-fu, fireplace poker-fu, crystal unicorn-fu, obscene phone call-fu

3cheese

trailers

dripper
Dec

posted by admin | December 22, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Holiday films, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Satan Claus: Rest Stop Review Edition by Doktor

Satan Claus

If one more kid asks me for a Zuzu Pet...

This is a very dark film. I mean that quite literally, not that it was brooding and evil. It was either a.) filmed in dark-o-vision (i.e. with the lens cap on) or b.) zombie Ray Charles was the director of photography. Or, perhaps c.) both. The lighting is so bad that for most of the 61 minutes you can’t tell what is going on.

From what I could hear, that might have been for the best. The story was terrible, but the acting…

The acting left my heinie feeling violated and in desperate need of a very hot shower. I implore the actors in this film to pick up a copy of The Room and study it, thoroughly. There is much you can learn. After which, get anything starring William Shatner. Please don’t skip ahead and go straight for Shatner. You’re not ready for that. Please, take small steps. I don’t want you to hurt yourselves.

I will say this, the one kernel of corn in this turd in the punch bowl, was the Rent-A-Center Mrs. Cleo. I dubbed her Mrs. Chloe ‘cos don’t know what her name was, Mom-mom or something uhm-tarded like that. I was too busy comforting myself with the gentle swaying that is the Autistic Rock while counting all the toothpicks in my kitchen.

In conclusion, if you’re finding it hard to pass that clump of cheese fondue from your work’s Christmas party, this is the movie for you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Dec

Comments Off on Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2


Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Welcome to the Second Annual Holiday Movie Review by Drive-in Dan and Mrs. Drive-in Dan. Now, I heard a lot about how I just “took over” last year’s review of “Christmas Vacation”, so this year I am going to sit back and keep my mouth shut. Really. I will. I promise. Dan, dear, take it away.

Drive-in Dan: All right, woman. You sure you’re gonna be able to keep quiet for this one?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear.

Drive-in Dan: *Sigh* Uh-huh. We’ll see. But I love you. O.K., here we go…

Filmed on a budget of a Britney Spears weekend shopping spree, this abomination of film making was made by a group of first-time hacks-for-hire, who proudly wear this cinematic scarlet letter, even though the movie industry and legions of horror fans shun them.

After his older brother (psycho Santa) gets slayed at the conclusion of the first film, Ricky, psycho Santa’s baby brother, has an ax to grind with the naughty and continues to spread the family brand of holiday fear. If you haven’t seen the first movie that’s O.K.–because this “sequel” has about 40 or so minutes of footage from the first movie in the form of flashbacks to get you caught-up. The production value takes cheap to whole new low, as it would make a flea market look like a Macy’s. Starring Eric Freeman (Ricky), who is the greatest eyebrow actor to ever appear onscreen, some in the horror community consider this film to be the “Troll 2” of holiday movies. The acting by everyone in this thing is so bad, the performances should be considered a criminal offense.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetie? Can I interject something here?

Drive-in Dan: Yes…?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Now, I must agree with you. That Eric Freeman’s eyebrows are a force to be reckoned with. I mean seriously–those things should have had top-billing for the movie! At the very least, their own line in the credits! Did they get their own trailer on the set during the shooting? And what was with that girl taking a moment to gulp before she was about to get killed? Run, girl, run! Don’t just stand there and gulp, waiting for the nut-case to do you in!

Drive-in Dan: Dang it, woman! Can I continue here?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear. I apologize. Carry on.

Drive-in Dan: Anyhow, you have to wonder how many “writers” (I use the term very loosely) it takes to throw together a screenplay for a sequel in six hours using the script and half the footage from the previous movie. Believe it or not five. Five writers.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honestly, someone should question what in the world that Pringle lady did as the script supervisor. This thing was a piece of…

Drive-in Dan: Woman!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Shushing. Sorry, dear. Keep going.

Drive-in Dan: I’ve made a list of the good stuff for you to check out so that you don’t have to waste your time with the entirety of this shoddy film. Here’s the list:

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetie?

Drive-in Dan: (annoyed) Yes…?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honey, I don’t have the list.

Drive-in Dan: (through clenched teeth) That’s because there ISN’T one. There is no dang list of good stuff in the movie, because this movie is a big piece of reindeer poop marinated in Elf urine. If you’d let me get through this dang review, that would become apparent!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Oh. Yes, dear. Sorry. Keep going.

Drive-in Dan: Little Ricky is lucky enough to get adopted, but he apparently suffers from “chromophobia”–the fear of color. Ricky’s problem is with the color red…as in the color of Santa’s suit and just about every other dang thing at Christmas. The first incident of this we see is when he’s on the street with his adoptive mother, and while she is talking to a friend, Ricky has some kind of “episode” when a red cloth is thrown over a chair in a store window. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the nuns he kept seeing on the street, or the Omen-ish music that accompanied them as they virtually floated off the ground, in and out of the stores. He had such positive experiences at the hand of Mother Superior at the orphanage. What a fine woman of God she was… Uh, yeah. Anyhow…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetheart? Are you going to talk about the part with–

Drive-in Dan: Dang it, woman… I’m getting there!

Ricky grows up and gets a job as a dishwasher, because his adoptive father died, and his adoptive mother had no money to send him to college, so he had to work to pay his own way. Life’s rough. While confronting a loan shark in the alley behind where he works, Ricky has another “episode” when the loan shark pulls out a red handkerchief. Seriously, somebody put this guy in a ring for a bull fight. Ricky impales the loan shark with an umbrella from a trash can and leaves him in the alley. And then it starts to rain…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Well at least he had an umbrella over him to keep him dry.

Drive-in Dan: Woman, he was dead! The umbrella was through his body!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, but at least he was a dry corpse! Now hurry up! I have to go check my Christmas cookies and mix up the icing to decorate them!

Drive-in Dan: Fine. I have to go see a man about a horse–too much holiday nog. You wanna jump in the driver’s seat while I go take care of this?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Certainly, dear. I’ll move us along until you get back.

So, any-hoo, all of this is part of Ricky’s flashbacks as he’s telling his life story to shrink #13 who’s come in to talk to him in jail. The shrink pulls out a photo of a pretty blonde. Ah, Jennifer. The only thing Ricky ever cared about. So then we see flashbacks of Ricky with Jennifer. He flips-out when he sees Jennifer’s ex, Chip, in front of Jennifer’s house by his red Mustang, talking about how he and Jennifer got busy in the back seat. Uh-oh. Not only do we have a red vehicle in this picture, but Ricky also thought Jennifer was a virgin when he’d slept with her. Tsk-tsk. So, he zaps Chip–literally–with a jumper cable from the car battery to the mouth. Jennifer is stupid enough to stop, take a moment, and gulp as she realizes she’s about to be killed (if you are not screaming at the television for her to RUN in this scene, you have way more patience with people than I do), which gives Ricky a chance to yank the antenna from the car and strangle her.

Well, wouldn’t-cha know it, a cop sees the whole thing and pulls a gun on him. Ricky gets the gun away from the cop and kills him, and goes on a rampage through the neighborhood. Oh, sweetie–you’re back.

Drive-in Dan: Yes. Where are you?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: I was just about to talk about “garbage day.“

Drive-in Dan: Oh, O.K. So, anyhow, Ricky goes around shooting people like he’s at the O.K. Corral, including a guy putting out his trash. But before Ricky offs him, he (and his eyebrows) deliver the classic line, “Garbage day!“ This is probably the best-known scene from the movie. Heck, it’s the only known scene from the movie.

So, back to real time in the jail, the psychiatrist Ricky was talking to is dead as a dodo, slumped over the tape recorder, and Ricky is gone. He has one more ax to grind…with Mother Superior. Mother Superior we learn had a stroke, is retired, and living alone. Of course. She is confined to a wheelchair, and has some nasty boils on her face. What the heck kind of stroke did she have? Yikes! She looks like she got on the wrong end of an exorcism.

Of course Ricky finds her place with no problem, and naturally her house has the weakest doors known to man. Wet tissue paper would have put up more of a fight. He hacks his way in in no time…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Oh, sweetie, this is the part with the flying nun!

Drive-in Dan: What?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: This is the part where Ricky gets into her house and Mother Superior pulls a “Flying Nun” routine to get upstairs in the blink of an eye. She must have flown, because not even an able-bodied person can get upstairs that fast.

Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear, you’re right. This is the part. Anyway, Mother Superior is now upstairs and has barricaded herself in one of the rooms. Somehow, she is able to move a fairly solid and heavy piece of furniture–remember, she’s in a wheelchair–to keep Ricky out even more. But he hacks through that wimpy door, too, and Mother Superior goes wheeling around the upstairs, and flies down the stairs (well, actually she falls when Ricky pushes her, but she gets down quick!). The cops and Sister Mary pull up outside and Sister Mary goes inside and finds Mother Superior at the dining table. But she won’t respond, and as Sister Mary touches her to snap her out of it, Mother Superior’s head rolls off and hits the floor. But there’s no blood. Not only did Ricky execute a precise surgical cut even though he swung the ax overtop her head like he was about to chop some kindling but he also cauterized the wound too. What a swell job! Sister Mary faints, hits the floor, and the cops shoot Ricky outside.

They couldn’t even end the film with a newly-shot scene. Now, granted, the shot they did use was more effective in this movie than in the original, but they still lifted it from a dream sequence in the first film. Sister Mary comes to, and when she opens her eyes, the severed head is right next to her on the floor, and she screams. This causes Ricky to open his eyes. I guess all those gunshots weren’t that serious after all. Or maybe he deflected the bullets with eyebrows. Who knows what happened? But it looks like he’ll be back for another sequel.

The writers were actually proud of the fact that they banged the script out in about as long as it would take to watch a mini “Law & Order” marathon. And that apparently meant they didn’t pay much attention to continuity. In this film, we learn that the Santa shot at the orphanage in “Silent Night Deadly Night” wasn’t Father O’Brien, but old man Kelsey, the janitor. That’s quite a difference. The janitor instead of the priest? Oh, and then there’s the part where Ricky as a little baby remembers the night Killer Santa murder his parents even though he was so young he couldn’t tell the difference between topsoil and strained carrots. Man, you gotta love shoddy writing and directing. Well, at least they got the part about him being deaf right.

Michael Armstrong does create a really creepy snyth-tastic score. And makeup effects artist, Christopher Biggs (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child”), manages to pull off some impressive-looking makeup effects even though the movie had a tiny budget and a really short shooting schedule (10 days). But a couple of positive things can’t save this “sequel” from making my Top 10 Worst Movies of All Time. This movie really should have been called “Silent, but Deadly” because it’s a real stinker.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honey, speaking of stinkers, did you break wind?

Drive-in Dan: No.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Goodness, what IS that awful smell?

Drive-in: Yikes! It just hit me. It smells like a Sumo Wrestler took a dump on a burning tire.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: OH, MY COOKIES! My Christmas cookies! Now, look what you’ve gone and made me do–I’ve gone and burned my cookies!

Drive-in Dan: Woman, how is this my fault? You’re the one who has to go and bake…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: I’ve gotta run, everybody! My cookies are burning! Happy holidays, y’all! Dan, get the fire extinguisher! I know it’s not a real Christmas until it’s a fire hazard, but that’s supposed to be with LIGHTS, not cookies! Jiminy Pete… We’ll see you next year, everyone! Dan! Get in her with that fire extinguisher; we have a SITUATION here!

roadside attractions

  • 1 impaling by umbrella
  • 1 electrocution via jumper cables
  • 1 strangulation by car antenna
  • 1 exploding car
  • Random people are shot with a handgun
  • Attack of the flashback
  • Extreme wheelchairing
  • Boobies in distress
  • 40+ minutes of recycled footage
  • Eyebrows gone wild
totals

1

blood
BLOOD

Not a lot of the red stuff. I’ve seen more blood when I nick my face shaving.

-5

blood
BREASTS

5 boobies in peril and a whole lot of random skin. We give this section a negative rating because we don’t like seeing boobies in violent situations.

7

beast
BEASTS

Six if you count the flashbacks from the first movie and Mother Superior

1.5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2”

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Nov

Comments Off on “Humanoids from the Deep”

humanoids from the deep

“Humanoids from the Deep” or when “good fish go bad” is your typical story of goldfish meets girl, goldfish falls in love , girl harpoons fish ending a short torrid affair. Get Rob Reiner to direct and throw in Matthew McConaughey as the misunderstood gill man and you’ve got yourself a blockbuster.

The town of  Noyo is just about to open a cannery despite the rash of recent dog homicides and the protests of a lone Indian, Johnny Eagle. After a long speech about littering, a very drunk Slattery (Vic Morrow) shows up to give Johnny and his dimwitted friend Tommy a smack down at the town dance. humanoids from the deepHe also follows them to a secret tribal meeting about stopping the cannery and putting up casinos as far as the eye can see. This infuriates Slattery, so he and his goons do a boat-by Molotov cocktail bombing just as someone inexplicably yells out “cornbread!” Yes cornbread, the source of all tribal hostilities since 1872.

A slimy sea creature crashes the party killing anybody not wearing a plaid shirt in a sailor vest. Then it hitches a ride on a pickup truck that goes Kamikaze off the side of a bridge exploding into a ball of flames. Free fish fillets for everyone.

Soon even more fish men are roaming the neighborhoods peeking in windows and stalking potential shower victims. Kids on the beach start showing up dead or getting assaulted by slimy mutants with Gordon fish sticks despite spring break still being months away. A stunned ventriloquist dummy is the only survivor, but he ain’t talking.

Dr. Susan Drake arrives in town after discovering her genetic salmon experiment maybe causing all the ruckus. She’s not only a renowned fish scientist, avid photographer but also holds the state record for eating the most clam chowder.  Susan takes provocative  pictures of skeletons in funny poses and gives a power point presentation on how the slime ball mutants are just genetically altered tadpoles that ate bad seafood. Johnny, Susan and Jim (Doug McClure) take out a fishing charter to try to hook some of the deep sea mutants to study back at the lab. They find a whole school of them sunbathing on the beach doing their best Joe Cocker impersonations. With fish rifles in tow they wipe them out pretty quickly,(it’s just like shooting fish in a barrel) and discover one of the surviving girls resting in a nice seaweed spa wrap. She’s also just been impregnated with one of the mutant fish spawns giving whole new meaning to the phrase “the seafood lover in you.”

humanoids from the deepEveryone heads to the salmon fish festival that night which of course turns into a bloody massacre. Hordes of horny fish men show up killing town folks, knocking over corn dog stands and basically ruining a perfectly good night of polka music. Still, despite all the maiming and mutant assaults it’s still a pretty tame party as far as New England fish festivals go. Nobody even got shanked for a halibut.

Susan figures the best way of getting rid of the fish men is to deep broil them with some zesty lemon seasoning so she douses everything with gasoline and torches it up with a flame thrower. It kills all the fish men and in the process destroys most of the docks and the towns fishing industry…. but the smell is delicious.

Roger Corman continues his winning streak of making b-movies that give us plenty of beasts, breasts, and blood. He even throws in a subplot about industrial espionage just for a distraction between all the bouncing beach melons and mutant shagging. Retroman says “go fish” but be sure to leave your ventriloquist dummy at home. They’re well known to attract mutants.

roadside attractions

  • Flammable fish fillets
  • Seaweed breasts
  • Amish boat drivers
  • Face-chowing, extreme plaid
  • Monster-beach bingo
  • Shisk-a-dogs
  • Hawaiian shirt-fu
  • Exploding boats
  • Horny fishmen
  • Emergency mutant c-sections
totals

9

blood
BLOOD

Fountains of it, gushing like an oil well in the 1850’s.

9

blood
BREASTS

Shoot I lost count. It was hard to keep up. I guess I’ll have to watch it again.

9

beast
BEASTS

More horny mutants than a frat house during rush week.

9.2 OVERALL
dripper

“Visit Noyo, a nice place to visit but don’t bring your poodle!”

Check out the trailer for “Humanoids from the Deep”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by admin | October 30, 2010 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Halloween films, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on “The Room” Rest Stop Review Edition

oh the horror of the room!The Room is THE text book example of the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” To see just how this works, let’s break it down into its component parts.

Acting = suck. None of the acting is good. Some is less terrible than others, but that can also be said of cancer. The best of the bad acting falls squarely on Tommy Wiseau. From his odd “American” accent, to his stilted delivery, to his misshaped face, it’s a smorgasbord of stinky green cheese.

Music = suck. Watch the love scenes with the subtitles on. First, you’ll thank me for giving you something other than Wiseau’s deformed, naked buttocks to look at. Second, and more to the point, you’ll see lyrics that even horny teenagers instantly recognize as terrible.

Story = suck. There’s supposed to be some kind of moral, I think. Something about not being able to trust people. It’s touted as having “the passion of Tennesee [sic] Williams”. By that I’m assuming they are referring to the fact that it’s gay, but that’s not cool. What’s better are the many unceremoniously dropped plot points. It’s not just small ones that come and go in a line or two. My favorite would have to be the mother who causally mentions she’s dying from breast cancer. It’s dismissed rather flippantly and then it’s never brought up again. Ever.

Title & Poster = suck. As a title, The Room would have you think there is something significant about a particular room, that it takes place in one room. Nope. The film is set all over, different rooms, the roof, the park, the coffee shop, etc.. Also, with a name like The Room, why is the movie’s poster a close up shot of Tommy Wiseau?

So, if we add it all up, Suck + Suck + Suck + Suck = (and you don’t need a Ph.D. in preventative mathematics to work this out) Suck, right?

Wrong.

I know. I know. It’s seems impossible. I believe it has something to do with transubstantiated quadruple negative transference, that is, all the suck aspects of this film, mixed together, transconfoobalates into AWE-some! I have racked my brain trying to figure this out, and will continue to do so for years to come but, even with all of my Science, I have to admit that in the end it’s all magic in a box.

Part of me desperately wants to believe Wiseau is a genius. That same part of me believes with the right amount of discipline and practice I can be a Jedi.

One way or the other, for those of us who are fans of the cult/late, late, late movies, Tommy Wiseau is our new champion, and The Room is his magnum opus. It’s also his only movie, but that’s just a silly little technicality. So keep your eyes on Wiseau, ‘cos he is very much the Edward Wood, Jr. of our time.

Now you too can experience the terror of “The Room” in the classic style of a Rocky Horror picture show event for your Halloween movie night or any night for that matter. This handy “oh hi dandy” participation guide will make your next movie event that much more vaguely european. Hurry before you get cancer!

The Room Audience Participation Guide (PDF)

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