Archive for the 'Cult Film' Category

Sep

The Nest
1988 – R – MGM

Bugs, cockroaches specifically, are often considered to be “gross” or “icky” by the laymen. Yes, they’re creepy, they’re crawly and feared by the population. People will crush them with a book or whatever blunt instrument they have nearby. And yet, we idolize them. Countless numbers of toys are molded in their image, constructed like statues to honor our insect gods and Halloween is their day, as their image is molded into tasty treats for the little kiddies to eat. Thousands of movies feature them as the star, but always as the villain. Seems like those pesky cockroaches can’t catch a break. Fear and loved simultaneously, can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. They always seem to be causing problems, like in the not-so-smash-hit-feature, The Nest.

nest_3Take the small island of North Port, for example. Talk a about a big bug problem! Sheriff Richard Tarbell not only has this issue to deal with, but also the fact that he’s a stereotyped small town, 80’s sheriff. His mop haircut blankets a good portion of his head and apparently they only had the budget for half a uniform, since he’s always wearing jeans. A lot of movies in the 80’s dressed their local police up like they found a handful of Sheriff’s tops at a thrift store, but couldn’t find the pants. Oh and what would our cliched Sheriff be if he weren’t in cahoots with Mayor Elias’ daughter, who just came back and the reason they broke up was because she left? Oh and his current girlfriend works at the diner, because that’s the only other occupation in a small town. Haven’t you ever seen Squirm or the remake of The Blob? Luckily, he has his oddball exterminator friend, Homer, who I swear belongs in a video game. Seriously, the guy bops around on a busted moped, wearing glasses, a Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts. Tell me you don’t see this character somewhere in Grand Theft Auto. Anyway, Homer has been noticing that his gas isn’t killing these roaches. Something different about these ones.

This is where the evil corporation, INTEC comes in, who are in cahoots with Mayor Elias. All we know for now is that INTEC is doing “stuff” and the mayor is getting money. Hey, good enough for me. Actually it turns out they have been experimenting with breeding mutant cockroaches! And why? Um… science? Huh, usually you only get either an evil corporation or mutants of some kind. Most movies can’t contain both an evil corporation and mutant bugs, but this movie grabs them both by the horns, throws them in a blender and shouts, “Suck it, society! I’m man enough for both!”

I digress.

Anyway, why exactly is INTEC making super mutant cockroaches that are impervious to gases and chemicals? Well, at first it sounds clever, but then when you think about it, it’s actually kind of stupid. You see, they bio-engineered a hybrid of cockroaches that would eat other cockroaches and then die off. See what you did there? As you read that, you went, “Oh…” which quickly turned to, “ehhh, huh?” INTEC sends in the foxy and diabolical Dr. Hubbard to keep an eye on the Mayor to make sure he doesn’t pull any fast ones. But, like every evil corporation that decides to play God, their experiment goes wrong and these cockroaches get the desire to eat meat! Whether it’s animal or human, it’s on the menu. Not to mention, these cockroaches seem to take form of whatever they devour, much like The Thing in… um, The Thing. This actually results in some pretty spectacular effects, for the most part.

nest_2Aside from a few chewed up animal carcasses, we get to witness the birth of a cockroach and cat hybrid. Now, nevermind the logistics of how an animal would be reanimated back to life after being eaten by bugs or if it’s the cockroaches working as a group to form this new species (think of the Constructicons from Transformers), just marvel at mother nature’s abortion as it gets squished by a bookshelf. And that’s not all! The mayor himself gets gobbled up to save his daughter. Although in retrospect, his sacrifice was pointless, since they both could have escaped to the same room, so I don’t see why he needed to lock himself in the bathroom. Well, if he didn’t do that, how else would we be able to show you a man turn into a giant cockroach? Remember Jeff Goldblum’s transformation scene in The Fly? If you don’t, consider this a refresher course.

Before the mayor “bugged out,” he managed to call in some sort of airstrike using gas, which would most likely kill everyone on the island. Homer and the Sheriff rush to fix the town’s lighthouse to signal the planes, but they are running out of time, as the roaches seem to be coming from everywhere. Like in Aliens, Hudson said it best when he said, “It’s a bug hunt!” So our heroes go to find a queen and destroy it. Upon searching the cave, they found what they are looking for and what they find is, again, similar to the Blair Monster from The Thing. Only this queen cockroach/human/skeleton/gloppy thing is… kinda silly. Gotta say. Well, let me back up a bit. It’s actually pretty cool, until it starts moving. The thing hovers around like someone is pushing a really fat person around in a wheel barrel and for being something that is supposed to have more than a few legs, it doesn’t move very organically. Luckily, the film’s saving grace for this monster is when it bites the top of Dr. Hubbard’s head off. Girl, she was all cray cray anyway.

This was done in the days when everything was done practically, before the lifeless CGI. Sure it’s easier, but just seeing thousands of live cockroaches, scurrying on the floor and up peoples legs. You can imagine hundreds of tiny, cold little legs tickling your skin and that horror you feel as you look to see dozens of cockroaches. It’s that feeling you know those bugs are real that send the shiver down your back and question the tickling feeling it’s getting. The film has plenty of those gross out moments, filled with plenty of blood and organs (especially the eyeball popping scene) and the monsters are actually pretty grotesque.

The Nest

A worthy contender to other bug movies, like Slugs, it’s also interesting to note that the film’s producer was Julie Corman, wife of Roger Corman! Making sanguinary, low budget gross out flicks must be a Corman tradition that I hope continues. Check out The Nest, now on Bluray from Scream! Factory and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Sheriff spit take.
  • Bug-O-Cam.
  • Cockroach Cafe.
  • Take a shot every time there is a subtle rip off of The Thing, The Fly or another Sci-Fi bug movie.
  • Mayor Roach!
  • Cat-roach!
  • Homer…
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Critters get eaten, eyes go popping, guts go splatting, gore goes everywhere!

3

blood

BREASTS

There’s a few busty ladies in this one.

10

beast

BEASTS

Evil corporation mutant-genetically engineered super cockroaches and their devil hybrid! Sign me up!

7 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

trailers

dripper
Sep

Night of the Demon

How many Night of the Demon(s) movies are there? We’re all familiar with the 1988 film Night of the Demons and it’s sequel, Night of the Demons 2. There is a also a 1957 British monster movie Night of the Demon, but I’m talking about the 1980 killer Sasquatch flick with the same name. You think that may be confusing? And I have to ask, why call it that? They could have easily called it Night of the Sasquatch, but oh, maybe that would have been convenient. On a plus side, this is one of those infamous video nasties, although it seems to go unnoticed, even by a good majority of horror fans.

Like most good Sasquatch movies, this one is told in flashback form and I know the Charles B. Pierce classic Legend of Boggy Creek II comes to mind, but remember Chuck’s ’squatch flick came 5 years later! Come to think of it, both are fairly (and suspiciously) similar at moments, although Legend of Boggy Creek II is far less violent… and features far too many characters wearing upsettingly short shorts.

notd_2The movie opens with Dr. Nugent, laying in a hospital bed, sadly not from cat scratch fever. Apparently that’s not a real thing, but his face, however, is covered from the mouth down as it seems to have been scorched off in a battle with the monster. But for a guy with no lips and first degree burns all over the bottom half of his face, he seems to be talking just fine about the Sasquatch deep in the woods that killed everyone and attacked him. So, we jump into the flashback machine and watch an old man get his arm ripped off. The point? To bring in his daughter, seeking the help of Dr. Nugent and the rest of his anthropology class. Now the plot gets rolling and they set out into the woods to find some answers, but it’s more like the answer finds them. Like a blood soaked Scooby Doo episode, the gang heads into town and questions the inhabitants to find the Sas’ and some woman being called Crazy Wanda, but they uncover a whole lot more.

Believe it or not, there is a lot going on in Night of the Demon than one would think. It doesn’t come across as convoluted, but rather magnetic. When the cast isn’t standing around in flannels spilling exposition, Dr. Nugent tells the class the legends of the creature and we get to witness the full blown red carnage. Most infamously, a biker stops at the side or the road to pee and has his dong ripped off! The camera does not shy away from this effect and will leave you groaning in pain as his newly opened wound spews blood like a garden hose. There are also some rather… silly tales, as one camper is twirled around in his sleeping bag, tossed like a bean bag and impaled on a tree branch. Sasquatch must’ve been Jason’s trainer for the sleeping bag scene in Friday the 13th Part VII! Another is when two Girl Scouts (who look a little too old to be in Girl Scouts) are for whatever reason packing knives, so clever ‘Sas grabs their arms and makes them stab each other. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘”Why don’t they just drop the knives?” Because then we wouldn’t have that scene, that’s why.

I have to mention the subplot involving a cult. Yes, this movie has about everything, so why not add a cult? About the middle of the flick, the gang interrupts what looks like a cult about to rape a woman. They later find that woman was Crazy Wanda, who they had been searching for. After some hypnotizing (apparently anthropologists need a hobby), they get Crazy Wanda to tell them about the cult and her past, but not why she doesn’t appear to have showered in some time. You see, years ago Wanda’s crazy dad use to beat her after she was raped by Sasquatch and had his mongoloid baby. In fear that her father may kill the baby and the baby-daddy, she sets her father on fire. And you thought the girls on Teen Mom had daddy issues.

notd_3Night of the Demon does have a surreal, spasmodic vibe to it, with the stories that Dr. Nugent tells feeling like a misplaced puzzle piece anthology of sorts. When Sasquatch is stalking his prey, rather than your usual wide POV shots, the camera adds a red vignette to the screen, leaving you feeling as if you are in danger. It could almost feel unsettling and along with the biker’s johnson getting ripped off, there was a disemboweling scene that landed this movie on the Video Nasty list. Yeah, you can show a young woman get raped by Sasquatch, but some dude’s willy gets yanked off… that is just too much, sir! And if that’s not enough, the lighting of the film is notably very Dario Argento-esque, accompanied by unnerving howling ambiance and the music almost sounds like simple synth, like it was lifted out of Don’t Go in the Woods or The Forest. This isn’t to say it doesn’t have the flaws you would expect from this kind of film, such as acting more stale than three year old Cheerios and questionable editing at times. I also remember them mentioning a preacher who had killed himself because he saw the Devil existed after seeing the spawn of Crazy Wanda and Sasquatch. I have to ask, if you’ve accepted and believe in God, doesn’t that mean you also believe that the Devil exists (after all, believing in one is acknowledging the other exists)? Then again, what do I know? I’m a Scientologist.

It’s an overlooked and possibly even unknown gem. I completely forgot about this film, until I saw it at a yard sale for a quarter (best damn quarter I’ve spent). Nobody seems to mention it, then one day you bring it up and then their reaction resembles something like, “THAT movie… Oh yeah… it’s awesome!” So, see the legend everyone seems to be keeping quiet about. Just make sure you pee before.

roadside attractions

  • Girl Scout knife fight.
  • Camper shot put.
  • Making baby ’squatch!
  • Gut tearing terror!
  • Flannels!
  • Instant Biker sex change!
  • Ax’ing questions.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Limbs get ripped off, guts get ripped out, wieners get… it’s over the top.

5

blood

BREASTS

They were sure to give you a peek in the first ten minutes so you don’t turn off the tape.

9

beast

BEASTS

Killer Sasquatch, Crazy Wanda, Devil worshiping cult… all in the days work of an anthropologist.

7.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

The Fartiste

Of all the bio pics and mockumentaries, you may think Spinal Tap or Walk Hard is the crudest, most far out of those genres, but I guarantee that you are wrong. You have not seen anything of that magnitude until you have witnessed the bizzaro comedy, The Fartiste. And do you want to know what shockingly sets these films apart from each other? The Fartiste is based loosely on real life comedian Joseph Pujol who was known on stage as Le Petomane, a man who could seemingly fart at will by control his lower abdominal muscles! How is this not more widely known?

We start the film by joining Le Petomane in Purgatory, where he is replaying all of the events in his life. By the by, Le Petomane is played by Michael Pataki, who you may remember as Nicolo Koloff from Rocky IV and Dr. Hoffman in Halloween 4! The guy actually has a modest resume, so it’s awkward, but at the same time intriguing to see such a versatile actor play a lead in such an absurd comedy. For some reason, the thought of someone narrating their life events from Purgatory reminds me of a Mel Brooks film. Which is an odd coincidence since Le Petomane is referenced in Blazing Saddles.

We start the journey of his life as he talks to his psychiatrist, uncovering the birth of his “talent” at a young age, where he would perform for all of the other school children. His act consisted of imitating instruments (the best being a tuba), mimicking animal noises and blowing out candles with precise accuracy. Of course this led to be taken advantage of as a young adult, getting underpaid. His arse to was later be arrested for arson, as he literally blew away an audience and the building with one of his farts.

Building his skill and stowing away in a Romanian boat, he was eventually hired by a man named Duvall to perform at the Moulin Rouge and yes, the real Le Petomane performed there! I think Moulin Rouge would have been better if Nicole Kidman was farting all those songs. Kings and queens would travel to come and see this act! However, he unintentionally inspires a man to go on a killing spree after the man hears the voice of God in Le Petomane’s farts, commanding him to kill. Once he is captured, they put Le Petomane’s flatulence to good use by creating the ‘gas’ chamber, executing the man. If that’s not poetic justice, I don’t know what is.

And finally, what would any good bio pic be if there wasn’t a career downfall due to arrogance. Even Le Petomane gives into womanizing, gambling and making questionable changes to his act (yes, even his act). The rest of the film, of course, is about redemption and regaining control of what he once lost. His legacy, even in real life, would inspire many artist to make plays and movies about his life.

fart_2Believe it or not, there is actually quite a touching story linked to The Fartiste a.k.a. A Blast From the Past. Produced by Frankie Ray (from Invasion of the Star Creatures) in 1987, the film was meant to be shown on comedy cable networks, but after disapproval from an investor’s wife, which ceased funding, which rushed the production and for it to be wrapped up quickly. Frank never showed the film to anyone, except for a few cast members. The film almost fell past obscurity and into oblivion… until a man, Chuck Harter, met Frankie Ray in 2000 and watched a dub made back in 1991. Chuck wanted to share the same humor he found in the film with everyone else. After some negotiations about half a year ago, Alpha Video agreed to release it. It’s that kind of fan dedication to a genre that makes me proud to be a part of the community.

You would think an hour long film about farting wouldn’t be charming, but you would be wrong. I have to admit, it grew on me, especially after reading the history of this film, one man’s passion to distribute it and recognizing the talent behind it (no pun intended… or is there?), realizing the incredible sense of humor they have and making a film, regardless of what folks may say. The Fartiste is worth a good laugh. It’ll bring back memories of farting on your little brother’s head. Or in my case, bad memories of my big brother farting on my head.

Pick up your copy of The Fartiste at Oldies.com

roadside attractions

  • Name the different fart variations.
  • Count how long you are in shock after learning Le Petomane was a real person.
  • Michael Pataki’s role of a lifetime.
  • Farting showdown.
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

No blood, but there is some havoc.

4

blood

BREASTS

Some old timies in dresses.

8

beast

BEASTS

Furious Flatulence!

5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this footage of the real Le Petomane… silent, but deadly!”

trailers

dripper
Jul

arcade

At a simple glance or even a guess, Street Trash may seem like a horror flick about melting bums. Well, that’s only about twenty percent of the film. Although you may not know without having seen it, Street Trash is a busy little film, combining several plots together. It’s actually quite a complicated film, but manages to intertwine all these plots together while keeping it nice and tidy… and packing it with plenty of gross out moments and gore.

The homeless run wild like Hulkamaniacs led by the sociopathic Vietnam vet, Bronson. His gang of misfits that he calls ‘soldiers’ create chaos and terrorize civilians as well as other hobos, especially Freddy and his younger brother. His younger brother has taken a liken to the secretary at the junkyard, where the bums take refuge and beneath all that filth and grime, she has taken a liken to him too. But as fate would have it, local liquor store owner Ed finds a crate of expired booze called Tenafly Viper. Rather than aging like a fine wine, this nasty, foul liquid boils, bubbles and melts whoever drinks it into a glorious, gory, multi-colored florescent puddles of goop. All of this catches the attention of gritty, action cop Bill who wants to nail Bronson for these atrocities and clean up the streets. Hell, there is even a small sub plot going on involving James Lorinz (Jeffrey from Frankenhooker) as a Doorman who is ratting on his mafia boss after failing to see Freddy take his boss’s date back to junkyard and now he’s gonna get whacked! Believe it or not, it’s actually a pretty easy to follow, never distracting you and keeping you entertained the entire duration with the help of the cruel humor and gore.

ArcadeIt cuts back and forth between these stories for the major duration of the film, filling in the rest with bizarre antics of the derelicts, most of which is spent cursing and mumbling filth at Ed while they try to rip off bottles of booze. Other times, they are playing ‘Catch the Wiener’ with another vagrant’s… wiener or they are shoplifting at local grocery mart. The homeless are downright dirty in every meaning of the definition. Not only are they caked in dirt and probably feces (most definitely urine), but they are also mean and obnoxious toward each other and let me tell you… Street Trash reaches cruel levels of humor if you are sensitive to that kind of thing (luckily, we here are not and welcome it). Playing much like a Troma film, there are all sorts of racial and sexist humor as well as jabs at the elderly. Further pushing the offensiveness, they include a rape scene in which later, the woman’s corpse is found and with some comical music, the owner of the junkyard defiles it… after he was just trying to rape his secretary. It’s a classy movie, but it’s our kind of class.

The Special Meltdown Edition from Synapse presents all these nasty, but loveable pranks in an uncanny high definition transfer. All the carnage, all the gore and colors look beautiful and clean. It’s amazing how crisp a low budget film can look. The edges are so sharp, every fine little detail pops right out at you and this especially showcases the special effects. The audio has a 5.1 mix and it’s as decent as they get, although it’s obviously not like the surround mixes we are use to today. I say stick with the 2.0 mono it was recorded in. It sounds more natural and keeps that old school charm to it.

ArcadeAnd if you’re a fan of special features, hold on to your butts. This disc is crammed with ‘em. The Meltdown Memoirs is a two hour doc, showcasing everything and anything about the making of one of the 80’s best gross out films. Production, casting, special effects, behind the scenes stories… it’s all here and it’s like being a part of it. It’s that in depth. What really blew my mind about this is future X-Men series director Bryan Singer was a Production Assistant on the film! Who knew? I guess we all have to start somewhere. It just blows my mind. It’s like when I found out that J.J. Abrams did the soundtrack for Nightbeast. Of course you get the interviews, which are always interesting to hear, you also get bloopers and outtakes (which I love), and so you get to see what actually didn’t make it into the Special Meltdown Edition. But probably my favorite bonus feature on here is the original 16mm short the film. It’s definitely the backbone of what the movie was based from, although it wasn’t called Tenafly Viper in this. This all rounded off with some trailers and promo stuff, making all this worth any value.

See what I mean? A lot, and I mean A LOT, is going on in Street Trash and you never would have guessed given it’s just a low budget action/cop/horror/Vietnam drama/romance/retrospect look at the homeless movie, but give props where props are due. Director J. Michael Muro and writer Roy Frumkes fit all the pieces together to make it a solid, entertainingly disgusting, wild watch. This is like the Tetris of the film world. Its elements are odd shaped pieces that when put together correctly, form a solid line. This film literally has something for everyone and if you can’t find one thing to like about it, then there is something seriously wrong with you and your eyes and Bronson will find you and poke them out.

Save them pennies and buy a copy from the Synapse Website!

roadside attractions

  • Melting Hobos!
  • Adult take on ‘Hot Potato’.
  • Bulimic Justice.
  • Air Canister Torpedo Decapitation!
  • Filth, flarn, filth.
  • You know what, the entire 100 minute runtime.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Red goop, green goop, blue goop to purple and yellow You get it all as well as some guts and other body parts.

8

blood

BREASTS

Bush, boobs, butts and wieners. A lot of it.

9

beast

BEASTS

Whether it’s a gloppy puddle of vagabond mess, tough cops or crazy homeless Vietnam Vets, there is enough to make you pee your pants.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Street Trash”

trailers

dripper
Jul

I’d been hankering for a movie where an amish guy kicks around a demon who looks like a reject from a 80’s hair band and by golly, Warlock came along and did just that. Julian Sands stars as the pony tailed warlock who’s about to be put to death in 17th century Boston. Just before he’s going to be hanged, and burned over a basket of live cats, Satan shows up and zaps him into a time tornado to the 1980’s. His mission, to find some super witch book called the Grand Grimoire that can destroy the universe and every living Back Street Boy ever in existence. Well at least he’ll find some decent hair gel there. Julian’s not off the hook just yet because a furry witch hunter called Redferne (Richard E. Grant) has followed him through the time portal packing all sorts of witch-bustin’ goodies.

The Warlock crashes into a apartment owned by a waitress named Kasandra (Lori singer). She lets him stay for the night but In the morning, he chows down on her roomates tongue sautéing it and cursing kasandra to age 20 years a day. That is gonna be hell on her plastic surgery bills. Redferne with a major case of jet lag finally shows up but he’s still on medevil time and The warlock has already taken off. Redferne and Kasandra use a bit of his blood to make a witch compass that points uptown where the warlock’s been talking to satan through a hack psychic. He rips out her eyeballs and uses them for GPS to track down the missing pages and Redferne and Kassandra end up chasing the flying warlock all over the countryside. They find him in an Amish farmhouse where Redferne harpoons him with a weathervane and a Mennonite helps locks him down with some chinese finger traps. The Warlock escapes of course (if only the amish had a taser!) and hops a plane back to an old Boston cemetary. The same cemetary where the corpse of Redferne holds the final pages of Grimore in his boney little hands. So it’s a battle to save the universe in a demon/fur trapper cage match on holy ground! One of the better witch on the run films, Warlock had some great fx for the time and it maybe the best flying British witch movie since Mary Poppins. Definitely check it out and don’t forget to bring the anti-warlock salt.

roadside attractions

  • Finger hacking
  • Grave robbing
  • Eyeball spiking
  • Tongue frying
  • Weather vane harpooning
  • Fat guzzling
  • Freefalling warlocking
  • Eyeball GPS
  • Extreme insulin injections
  • Gerriatric mini-skirts
  • Toe and thumbscrew
  • Rawhide chewin’
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

a decent amount of bodily leakage mostly from the eye sockets

0

blood

BREASTS

No nudity but there is a lot of fur.

9

beast

BEASTS

1 demonic possession of Satan, 1 warlock,  and a a large amount of beards

9.5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Warlock”

trailers

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Scare Bears
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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 >>