Archive for the 'Cult Film' Category

May

posted by Doktor | May 18, 2012 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, Cult Film, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on The Alien Factor

Year: 1978     Runtime: 80 min
Director: Don Dohler
Writer: Don Dohler
Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith and Richard Dyszel

Because The Avengers is the bestest movie in the history of forever and all future times, I am required by law to have at least one line about how it compares to the film I’m currently reviewing. Here it is:

The Alien Factor and The Avengers both share the exact same first four letters. After that they are pretty much the same, but different. Despite all the high-tech hoobajoobs, at their core both movies are about heroes and monsters. I’m certain Joseph Campbell would agree that these movies are just different sides of the same coin.

Let’s look at the monsters and hero in The Alien Factor to see how similarly different they are to those in The Avengers.

Background

In The Alien Factor, there’s an alien zoologist, and because we never really get his name let’s call him—purely at random—Lowkey. He’s collected three space animal-monsters for the space zoo back on his home planet, which is in space. On the trip back he decides to celebrate with a few space brewskis. Next thing he knows, the Earth is right square in his flight path. He tries to correct, but his space reflexes are diminished by 23.45678%. If they were only down by 23.45677%… No use in crying over spilt space milk.

Also, the sun was in his eyes.

When the space ship crashes the containment shields stop working. The containment shields were keeping the three space animal-monsters from escaping. Oh, and the ship’s exit door was unlocked and opened. So, early one morning in 1972 an unsuspecting little town in Maryland was the new home for a Infersyce, a Zagatile and a Leemoid.

The Bad Guys aka Space Animal-Monsters

The Infersyce. A humanoid insect monster with an exoskeleton that looks suspiciously like a dress. It’s weakness is high frequency sound waves pumped out of sweet Alpine 20″ woofer. How one manages to get power and audio signal way out in the middle of the woods where the Infersyce is preying on the people is another story, one the movie never bothers to tell. We’ll have to chuck it up to space science.

The Zagatile. A considerate Wookie/Ant hybrid alien monster. I describe it as considerate because when it attacks the Sheriff and Mary Jane, it claws very lightly, though menacingly, at the widow rather than break into the house. Whereas regular bullets have no effect, a syringe bullet (and I mean that literally) penetrates its hide like greased goose diarrhea.

The Leemoid. Or perhaps it was a Nimoy. I get them two mixed up. Whatever. The Leemoid is the final “Boss” monster. It is a translucent claymation LizardSnakeMan, half lizard, half snake, half man. The only way to defeat him is by swinging a stick in its general direction. Once it realizes what you’ve done, it falls down dead.

The Good Guys aka The Townsfolk

Young Lovers #1. First, there is the couple making out in a secluded field, far out of town. The bottle of Strawberry Hill swirling through their hormone-driven bodies makes them blind to the Infersyce, ever so stealthily crunching through the dry hay towards them. The synthesized cat screeching music swells. The horny boyfriend gets got. The girl makes for the safety of the woods. Thanks to off screen teleportation, i.e. not writing the scene, she eventually ends up at the doctor’s office in a state of shock.

Young Lovers #2. In a completely different part of the woods, this time by the pond, the other couple is enjoying the romantic setting. Or at least the guy is, trying to set the mood. The girl isn’t having any of it. She decides to enjoy the seclusion of the woods, alone. All by herself. No one there to “protect” her. Naturally, a space peron startles her, despite his hot pecks—she stumbled on him while he was sunbathing. He chases after her, trying to apologize. She runs into the path of a speeding motorcycle. She’s tossed into the ditch, smearing Louisiana Hot Sauce on her face. The motorcycle got a nasty scratch that couldn’t be buffed out.

Haut Young Studs. The three Haut Young Studs sport the best of 70s hair fashion: first, Bock Sampson hockey hair; two, bushy white-boy fro; and third, greasy black mane with a Charlie Manson goat-tee. They’re not just lookers, but thinkers. Hockey Hair argues against the Sheriff’s orders that they not go out looking for the monsters with: “Come OH-win” (commonly pronounced come on). Brilliant!

The Law. Not to be out shined in the intelligence department, there’s Sheriff Simpleton and Deputy Dufus. Deputy Dufus moonlights as the city’s meteorologist, and is a damned fine one at that. Here’s a sample forecast, “They’re calling for 5 or 4 inches of snow tonight.” That’s also the exactly right ratio of people who are having not math very good making skills.

The Childrens. I don’t know what’s in the water in Maryland, but these kids are weird. They frolic the snowy fields in slow motion, about a foot apart, tossing a beach ball to one another. While that’s awkward, the really disturbing behavior is when they discover the Leemoid’s victim’s dead body. They stand and gawk, not once poking it with a stick. WTF?

The Drunk. Every small town has the happy-go-lucky drunk. Alcoholism, and to a lesser extend farts, will always be funny. The Drunk is a complex character, each one serves a different purpose. For The Alien Factor, The Drunk serves to kill runtime, i.e. make filler to pad out the movie to roughly 90 minutes. He mostly eats peanuts and sips his beer. All the while we get to listen to two rocking hits from the Fru-Fruity John Pertwees. The Drunk goes home to drink some more beer and read Monster Who’s Who—more filler. Then a noise draws him down into the basement. Though Drunk, he’s not stupid. He prepares by grabbing his gun. Carefully he makes his way down, eyes peeled, reflexes sharp and on point. Fumbling slowly out of a dark corner, the Zagatile sloths up on The Drunk and kills him.

No one builds tension (behind your eyes, commonly known as a headache), like Don Dohler.

B-MOVIE SURVIVAL TIP: When you’re confronted by a monster in your basement, and you have a gun, and it is pointed at the monster, which is SLOWLY advancing towards you, SHOOT! Even if it’s yourself.

The Reporter. Local reporter, Ms. Dufus, no explicit relation to the deputy, goes out for her big scoop on the aliens armed with a half gallon can of gasoline. Why gasoline? Because Deputy Dufus suggested that it MIGHT be possible to kill the aliens with fire. Even if we’re willing to forgive her momentary lapse of reason, she still has a major problem. When attacked, she drops the gas can and runs off. I don’t know if she doesn’t understand the idea behind a Molotov cocktail, or forgot you need to open the can, slosh the gas on the target and then ignite the gas, but the result is the same. The can of gas was a complete waste. It was a really nice can, too.

The Mayor. He’s your typical bureaucrat. Only interested in the money that will be generated by an impending entertainment center, Mayor Poopooheimer shafts the law, the citizens, and ultimately himself, by trying to keep this whole space animal-monster thing quiet. He dies a fitting death when the Zagatile sneaks up behind him and smears his face with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Good riddance.

And finally…

The Hero. Ben “Space Animal-Monster Hunter” Zachery. He is the ultimate combination of awesome. Forged from cold, hard steel that is Bob “Happy Little Cloud” Ross and titanic might of Zap “Canadian Hero Extraordinare” Rowsdower, he is truly a wonder of nature. He’s also a space foreigner, the very same one who was catching some sun earlier. Enigmatic and dangerously handsome, Zachery is a mans man, and every woman’s dream.

So, as you can see, The Alien Factor is pretty much The Avengers. The real difference is the moral, which is: Not everything that’s ugly on the outside is ugly on the inside, except for this movie, which is ugly through and through.

roadside attractions

  • Sparkly Space Powers
  • Synthesized Space Music
  • Space Aliens
  • Space Ships
  • Lurleen the Bartender
  • Snow Tires
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Sadly, there was much wasting of Louisiana Hot Sauce. To Cajuns this film marks a dark, dark day in cinematic history.

5

blood

BREASTS

None. Having seen the possible candidates, this is a very good thing.

10

beast

BEASTS

The best that “no money” can buy.

7 OVERALL
dripper
Apr

Comments Off on It’s Alive

It's Alive

“Parenthood”, a word that conjurs up all sorts of images in the pre-breeder’s imagination. A mom carrying some frozen pizza rolls with a screaming kid clinging to her sweatpants, or it’s the dad with the t-shirt that says “This is the roof to my tool shed” as he’s tossing kids into the back of a truck telling them to “go limp” if they hit anything. For some it’s fond memories, for others nightmare fuel and while the thought of a mini drooling poop maker of your very own is a bit scary, it can’t be half as bad as what the Davies family have to deal with in the 1974 cult classic “Its Alive.”

It’s been 12 years since their first child was born and the Davies finally get the chance to pump out another one, but this time it’s killing surgeons and wiping out the nursing staff. Yeah, this kid is either going to grow up to be a mass murder or a medical malpractice lawyer. No real reason is given to why the baby is a deformed killer but there’s talk of pollution, prescription drugs, and that binding crotch area of 70’s leisure suits.

John P. Ryan plays Frank the proud daddy. His happy days of fatherhood are soon snuffed out when he realizes his new born son is a cannibalistic mutant and will probably be talked about around camp fires for years to come. His wife played by Sharon Farrell goes completely bonkers after giving birth to the hell spawn but still wants to protect her mother lovin’ mutant. Maybe she could feed him some raccoons while it watches Barney reruns in the basement.

Frank’s life soon begins to unravel as his boss fires him from their PR firm so they can still maintain a “fresh wholesome image.” Nevermind all those swingers parties and cocaine hookers. His wife is pretty much off her rocker by now and Frank has to send their other non-mutant but still dimwitted son Chris over to their friend Charley. He’s hoping this whole killer baby thing is going to blow over so he tells his buddy to keep it on the down low about the little mutant brother. Chris would be so jealous. Frank has no intention of playing daddy and tracks the todler down at a school for some show and hell right after it tears through a lactose intolerant milkman and a cage dancing go-go girl. The baby escapes and the press continue to hound the family while some mad scientists are hoping to try to study it (or to create a master race of mutant killer babies, because that’s what scientists do.)

Chris ditches Charley’s house and runs back home finding his new brother locked away in their basement vowing to protect him and play endless games of “Chutes and Ladders.” That’s just before Charley bust in and gets his neck chewed into a pound of ground chuck. The infant flees into the sewers and Frank chases after him with a shotgun. He finds the baby hiding in a tunnel but totally wusses out when it puts on the sad puppy dog face and has to wrap the infant up in a blanket to sneak it home. Unfortunately the cops are waiting just outside so he hot potatoes the kid to a nearby scientist which it attacks and they’re both shot and killed by trigger happy cops. We’re left with the police informing Frank and his wife that another mutant was just discovered in Seattle thus finally revealing how grunge music was born.

Barry Goodall says go check out “It’s Alive.” It’s the sort of movie they should show in all those reproductive health classes to scare kids into abstinence. “And remember folks, don’t forget your baby’s feeding time or you could lose a finger.”

roadside attractions

  • Multiple throat rippings
  • No crying over spilt milk
  • Non-swinging dead cat
  • Sewer baby attack
  • Surgery room massacre
  • Monster baby cam
  • Go-go dancer ankle assault
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Multiple throat rippings and an entire hospital team gets massacred. There’s more milk in this film than blood though.

0

blood

BREASTS

None…zippo, natta tatta. Not even a mutant breast feeding.

7

beast

BEASTS

Just one little blood thirsty ankle bitter but he does plenty of damage. Somebody should get this kid a pacifier.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “It’s Alive!”

trailers

dripper
Mar

posted by admin | March 23, 2012 | 70's movies, B-movies, Cult Film, Grindhouse, Review by Tiger Sixon

Comments Off on Women in Cages

From the trailer

Women in Cages continues The Big Doll House’s proud cinematic tradition of showing women behind bars (and the ‘trilogy’ was completed with the mashup-sounding, The Big Bird Cage). Although, there are very few real cages to be found. Jail cells, sure. Holes in the ground, yes. Cages, at least in the style familiar to birds as I hoped to see, were nowhere to be seen.

What Women in Cages does have in abundance is one of the Three B-movie B’s: Breasts. They are everywhere, like Bronies at a cosplay convention. You see breasts in the first few minutes, and you don’t really go more than about 22 frames before seeing another pair, or five. Breasts in Cages would be a more apt title. Actually, no. Breasts A-Go-Go would be even better (See also: Breast Friends, Bosom Buddies, Boobpocalypse Now).

Women in Cages still

The plot, such as it is, has a lady blackmailed with drug possession, and she’s sent to a hellish women’s prison by a judge with a robot voice. The judge ain’t really a robot, he just sounds like one (like the voices in my head). The sound quality, or lack thereof, is nothing short of hilarious. Some scenes sound like they were recorded with a garage sale Strawberry Shortcake Tape Recorder, and then buried in a damp basement for five years. Then there is the music. It seems to be on its own schedule, and starts and stops whenever it wants, no matter what is going on in the scene. Also on its own schedule are the ‘day for night’ shots—the lighting shifts more often than a NASCAR driver.

The prisoners are under the iron heel of the Matron Alabama, played by a young Pam Grier. When Grier ain’t seducing her female charges, she is torturing them in ‘The Playpen’ (which ain’t some kinda Thunderdome arena as I first hoped). One scene in particular brings new meaning to the phrase “fire crotch.”

Speaking of crotches, Women in Cages features some of the best cinematography ever. At least in regards to covering up a lady’s lower regions. Yes, a well-placed candle, bottle, book, or what-have-you always seems to take the spot of honor. Breasts, and behinds are displayed proudly, like medals of honor, but genitals are covered up like the Russian Moon Landing. The placement and framing of these items is nothing short of inspired.

Fire crotch in Women in Cages

But, the plot ain’t all whips, boobs, and cat fights. There is plenty of hilarity. A junkie is promised a fix if she can kill her cellmate—and she’s more inept than a blindfolded Saturday Morning cartoon villain (but with less facial hair). I half-expected her to yell, “Curses! Foiled again!” at times.

Women in Cages is ridiculous, over the top, and cheaply made—three of my favorite things (after whiskey, Smaller Wonder reruns, and whisky). Grier is reason enough to watch this film, and is quite the stand-out. As the Matron, Grier is as brutal and merciless as The Phantom Menace on an infinite loop.

Tiger says, give this one a watch, if only for the history lesson in exploitation films of the early 1970s. Women in Cages is a relic of its time, and it has an important, ageless message: Don’t do drugs in the Philippines.


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 fights
  • Poisoned sandwiches
  • Torture
  • Acid throwing
  • A cock fight
  • Two blondes
  • One redhead
  • Sweaty ladies
  • Shives
  • Rats
  • Snakes
  • Leeches
  • Shock treatment
  • Day for night hilarity
  • Crazy sound
  • Short skirts
  • Creative crotch coverage
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Between cat fights, torture, and guns, there is plenty of blood to go around. .

10

blood

BREASTS

There are so many breasts, that if this movie was in 3D, you would poke an eye out. Hell, both.

10

beast

BEASTS

While not a beast in the ‘scaly monster’ sense of the word, the Matron is beastly in how she treats her charges at the prison. Don’t let the Matron’s good looks and seductive charm fool you—she is one tough customer.

9.0 OVERALL
dripper
Mar

Comments Off on Near Dark: A Guest Review by Corey A. Jones

My name is Cory A. Jones, and I’m writing this guest review for “Near Dark”. I’m a writer for metal-temple.com where I review Heavy Metal albums. I’m also a filmmaker of almost a decade. You can check out my comedy web-series “Carl’s House” on youtube, and you can send me a line at acidunlimited@gmail.com if want to leave any feedback.

Y’know what cheeses me off? As if the “Twilight” saga hadn’t sissified the vampire genre enough; the new DVD cover of “Near Dark” makes it look like some cheap knockoff of America’s favorite Vampire chick-flick. What better way to completely sell short one of the last decent Vampire flicks from the ‘80’s.

Near Dark has 2 things in common with Twilight; There’s Vampires, and there’s a love story. That’s it. Beyond that, there’s no comparison. Twilight has stupid pansy vampires, and stupid pansy werewolves who can go out in daylight and play stupid pansy vampire softball. Or Whatever. But let me ask you this question: If Twilight is so great; does it have Bill Paxton running around slashing throats with his boot-spurs? No? Well then it deserves less of my attention than a pimple on a giraffe’s scrotum.

So this story revolves around Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), a wannabe cowboy who tries to get some nookie from Mae (Jenny Wright) and ends up being turned into a vampire. He tries to run home after his car breaks down and ends up being kidnapped by Mae’s vampire kin. The group wants to kill Caleb, but decides to try and make him “One of us” after they realize that he’s turned undead.

Eventually Caleb helps them escape a run-in with the law and becomes their new member, and they set about wreaking havoc until they end up kidnapping Caleb’s little sister which forces him to choose his real family or his vampire crew. Notable performances include 3 (!) members of the ALIENS cast; Lance Henrikson as Jessie the vampire leader, Jeannette Goldstein as Jessie’s busty vampire girlfriend, and Bill Paxton as Severen the vampire family’s resident nutcase.

There are all kind of things that make this movie watchable, but not many that make it memorable (aside from anything Bill Paxton does in the movie). The movie is Directed by Kathryn Bigelow who would end up marrying James Cameron and making movies like the stylish Y2K conspiracy movie “Strange Days” and most recently  “The Hurt Locker” which got her one of those snazzy Oscar awards. The James Cameron connection is obvious in this movie because of the cast, and because of familiar lighting style of Cinematographer Adam Greenberg who was also the DP on the “Terminator” movies.

It was a pretty enjoyable vampire flick that should be seen by anybody needing an introduction to what REAL vampire movies are all about. Just be sure to show that person Leif Jonker’s DARKNESS (1993) first because that is a much better example. The Vampire meltdown is that flick outdoes this one by lightyears.

Roadside attractions

  • 3 cases of Vampire Barbecue
  • Shotgun Fu
  • Boot Spur Fu
  • Jeannette Goldstein Cleavage
  • 1 cigarette smoking, pistol brandishing, Child abducting 12 year old
  • 1 Bar brawl
  • Bill Paxton roadkill
  • two motor vehicle chases with crash n’ burn
  • 7.5 out of 10

    Check out the trailer for “Near Dark”

    trailers

    dripper
    Dec

    Comments Off on Night of the Comet

    Night of the Comet

    As Pa Sixon used to say, “Does this look infected?” Wait. I mean, “Christmas ain’t about bein’ with people ya like. It’s about bein’ with family.” And bein’ with family is a main theme of the 1984 post-apocalyptic-zombie-horror-romance-comedy, Night of the Comet.

    Christmas is around the corner for sunny California and Santa, or perhaps maybe the Krampus, is bringin’ one heck o’ a gift: a comet. We learn it is, more or less, the same comet what knocked out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Shoot, ya don’t a comet for that—just feed ‘em some of Ma Sixon’s tuna surprise served at room temperature. While everyone is partying about the comet (because I guess that is what you do in California when home owners and mortgage insurance liabilities don’t matter because the Apocalypse is coming), Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) is stuck workin’ at the local movie theater—which involves beating a mysterious high score on Tempest and scoring with the projectionist in the booth (to use the film’s vernacular, “making it”). Ah, to be an 18 year old girl in the 80’s again.

    Night of the Comet

    Back home, Regina’s mouthy little sis, Sam (Kelli Maroney), gets slapped around by her step mom—who is throwin’ a comet party of her own. One problem: once the comet arrives, everyone outside is turned to dust. And those what ain’t turned to dust, are turned into zombies. Regina wakes up after a night o’ lovin’ to find the streets filled with piles of dust, and a dash of occasional zombie. A tender moment ensues when Regina finds Sam, now (thankfully) clad in a cheerleader outfit. In an effort to find survivors, the pair goes to the local radio station (which has more neon lights than a Blade Runner convention in Las Vegas). At the station, they meet future Star Trek Voyager regular, Hector (Robert Beltran). That’s right, Commander Chakotay comes to the rescue.

    Uh, sort of. As we learn, the girls’ dad is in the military–he trained the pair how to fight and use guns, so they can handle themselves (although Sam wishes Hector would handle her).

    Night of the Comet

    Because the film was made in the ‘80s, we are treated to a shopping montage set to a non-Lauper version of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, while Regina and Sam have the run of the mall. This was a requirement for most ‘80s films, along with Steve Gutenberg. Meanwhile, there is a secret underground group, with a maze for a logo, keeping tabs on survivors. They decide to bring a few back to the base, and hilarity ensues. By which I mean, stuff gets blown up.

    Deep down, Night of the Comet is about family: two sisters are on their own and realize, despite pissin’ each other off from time to time, they are all they have. The girls also realize they need to stick together with Hector if they want to survive (and Regina hopes her and Hector really stick together), and form a new family o’ sorts.

    While fairly tame by today’s standards, there is enough blood and violence to go around, and Night of the Comet leans heavily toward the goofy side of the post-apocalyptic meter. Night of the Comet, like any quality b-movie, is a campy, blood-soaked hoot. Give this one a watch–just don’t forget yer hairspray and leotard.


    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

    • neon lights
    • leotards
    • cheerleading outfit
    • sunglasses at night
    • shopping montage
    • zombies
    • future star trek actors
    • retro video games
    • exploding cars
    • blood stealing
    • keyboard whacking
    • big hair
    • bloody wrenches
    • secret bases
    • MAC-10s
    totals

    6

    blood

    BLOOD

    Not too bloody, but plenty it when it counts.

    5

    blood

    BREASTS

    While we never see Sam totally topless, she gets down to a bra in one scene, and jumps up and down in a nighty in another.

    10

    beast

    BEASTS

    Lots of zombie action, including kid zombies.

    7.00 OVERALL
    dripper

    Check out the trailer for “Night of the Comet”

    trailers

    dripper

    About the Highway

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