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Sep

Comments Off on Silent Night, Deadly Night


“Ho-ho… Uh-oh. Santa’s coming to town for a holiday chopping spree.”

As a young boy I remember the response to the “Silent Night, Deadly Night” ads displayed in my local grocery store’s video section. Parents quickly covered their kids’ eyes, complaints were made to the on-duty store manager, and little old ladies gave their pacemakers a Sweatin’ to the Oldies-like workout after seeing the movie poster, which showed Santa’s darker side.

Based on Paul Caimi’s popular college writing assignment entitled “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping”, this blood-covered gift of Yuletide terror was directed by filmmaker Charles E. Sellier, Jr., who is known for his religious documentaries, and also created the lovable mountain man on the lam, Grizzly Adams.

On his family’s way back home from a fun-filled evening at the looney bin, Billy suddenly comes down with a very bad case of Santaphobia, thanks to Gramps. While Billy is left to senior-sit his supposedly comatose grandfather, the crazy geezer briefly snaps out of freeze frame mode, and tells the young lad a Brothers Grimm-style tale about a vengeful Santa who collects bounties on the naughty. This warps Billy’s little mind faster than a Federation starship escaping a Klingon Bird of Prey. Soon, what seemed like the harmless ranting of a bitter and mentally unstable man, becomes terrifying reality when Dad (Jim), ever the good Samaritan, stops to help someone who appears to be the jolly ol’ elf himself. Now, wait a second. I know for a fact that Santa doesn’t drive his red car or anything with wheels while on duty. How do I know this? Well, it’s part of his Santa Employment Clause. So, where are his sleigh and reindeer? Also, this guy is able to fit his robust frame down small openings with ease, can deliver presents to children across the world in record time by using a sprinkle of X-mas magic, but we’re to believe he can’t get his car started? Even an elderly person with cataracts in a dust storm at night could see that this guy isn’t the real McCoy. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this. And by the time Dad gets a clue from the Clue Fairy, he finds himself on the wrong end of a loaded gun held by a crazed maniac, and by then it’s already too late for him and Mom. Well, at least he’ll be spared from opening another gaudy necktie, and she won’t have to look at another crappy, handmade dried macaroni X-mas wreath.

A valuable life lesson has been learned here: If you have an overwhelming desire to be a “do- gooder” around the holidays, make sure you’re in a public place with lots of people. For example, try volunteering at a soup kitchen, collect Toys for Tots, or participate in a food drive. But whatever you do, don’t stop for any strangers wearing Santa gear at night on X-mas Eve, especially on dark, abandoned sections of highway, because they are most likely killer nutjobs who are a few ornaments short of a fully decorated X-mas tree. And if it turns out you snubbed the real Santa, no big deal. The worst thing that’ll happen is you’ll probably be put on his naughty list for a year, and find a few lumps of coal in your stocking come X-mas morning, but at least you won’t be sporting a body bag.

Just when you think young Billy hasn’t been traumatized enough after he witnessed Anti-Claus brutally murder both of his parents, things go from bad to worse when he lands in a Catholic orphanage run by Mother Inferior, whose disciplinary methods are approved by the Medieval Punishment Association of America (the MPAA for short). When she isn’t punishing unique artistic expression like a heart-warming depiction of holiday carnage, or tying little boys to bed posts S&M style, she keeps would-be fornicators and young Billy in line with her trusty sidekick, a leather belt I like to call the “Holy Enforcer.”

After surviving his cruel sentence at the orphanage, a physically and emotionally scarred, but otherwise happy-go-lucky adult Billy leaves to pursue a lifelong dream of working in the wonderfully rewarding world of retail. In no time he scores a sweet position at the local hot spot, Ira’s Toys, which also doubles as a storage facility for leftover seasonal stock. The place is so run-down that I wouldn’t feel safe keeping empty boxes there. Even the roaches have picket signs. But, hey, everybody has to get their start somewhere. Gandhi didn’t just wake up one morning with millions of followers. Eager to please his new boss, Billy immediately mastered the fine art of stocking boxes, became a pro at punching a timecard, and showed off some mad skills with a box cutter. His future at Ira’s Toys looked as bright as Rudolf’s red nose, aside from that close call involving a smiling Santa decoration, which almost caused his psyche to unravel like a cat playing with a ball of yarn. Everything after that was really going well for the star employee, until he got promoted to store Santa. To be honest, the only reason why he got the promotion is because Mr. Simms (the dork who owns the store) had a last-minute “no show”, and needed to find a quick replacement. Later that night at the store’s X-mas party, everybody was enjoying themselves until, without warning, the holiday cheer quickly turned into holiday fear, as Billy became the Yuletide Avenger and declared open season on the “naughty.”

Most of the holiday-themed murders look very ordinary when viewed with the same eyes that saw the shower scene from “Psycho” or the prom massacre in “Carrie”, though there are still some screen exits worth mentioning. An example is the humorous death of what has to be the wimpiest door in cinematic history, which was waving a white flag after getting hit with Maniac Santa’s first ax blow. The Big Bad Wolf with half a lung and advanced emphysema could blow this door clear off its hinges without any problem. Next we have veteran scream queen extraordinaire, Linnea Quigley, showing off her boobtacular trophies before succumbing to rack-on-rack violence. Another really cool kill involves a middle-aged loser who steals a toboggan and becomes “the headless hoodlum” during a late-night joyride down a hill. Lastly, we have Officer Barnes, who gets a mid-dissection via an ax to the gut, and then takes more tumbles than a load of wet clothes in a dryer down a staircase. Unfortunately, like the door, the victims in the film don’t put up much of a fight, either. They’re not paralyzed with fear, just bad writing and directing.

While “Silent Night, Deadly Night” may not be the best entry in the holiday horror sub-genre, it isn’t the worst one, either. That distinction (which is nothing to be proud of) goes to its sibling sequel, “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.” So, start off the holiday season a little bit early this year by checking out this bah-humbug slasher with a glass of milk and cookies, and get in touch with your inner Scrooge.

Roadside Attractions

– Picturesque mountains of Utah
– Selection of heart-warming, but out of place X-mas songs
– Billy wearing an Obi Wan Kenobi robe
– Frosty the Headless Snowman
– Ira’s Toys named after producer Ira Barmak
– Various Halloween costumes
– Moon Goon
– Textbook left hook
– 80’s edition Mr. Potato Head
– Rapid fire flashbacks that may induce seizures
– Double-handed, competition style ax throw
– Babe kabob without the grill
– A killer ending

Rated 7.0 out of 10


Check out the trailer for Silent Night, Deadly Night

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Jul

posted by admin | July 26, 2008 | 80's movies, Comedy, Cult Film, Cult movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Elvira
“I don’t need a seat belt. I have my own built in air bags.”

Before there was the king of late night b-movies, Joe Bob Briggs, there was the hostess with the mostess, the queen of scream, the mistress of the dark, Elvira. Her sarcastic wit and b-movie knowledge was only overshadowed by her huge kuzungas (not sure about the spelling on this one!). Being the Joe Bob fanboy that I am, I still must admit that Elvira is much easier on the eyes than a Texan good ol’ boy in a bolo tie, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Elvira had her own self-titled comedy back in the late 80’s. She certainly had the best double features in film history, so it only made sense to bring them to the silver screen in “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.”

Cassandra Peterson plays the Mistress of the Dark, and if you passed Cassandra on the street, you’d never know it was Elvira’s alter-ego, as they’ve caked on so much Goth makeup it wouldn’t surprise me if Marilyn Manson was actually an impish database programmer from Milwaukee. Elvira is fired from her TV show one day when her Texan good ol’ boy boss tries to “manage her assets.” Elvira’s response is to clock him one. Soon after she learns that a long-lost aunt has died and left her an inheritance. Elvira sees dollar signs and hopes she can use the inheritance and make a new start in Vegas as a sleazy showgirl. Not exactly movin’ on up but every girl has got a dream. She heads across the country in her black “vampmobile” to Massachusetts–apparently where all the rich aunts go to die–but is considered a freak by most of the local townsfolk… Well, except every man and teenage boy within the city limits (even the ones flying over in planes are gawking).

The inheritance turns out to be an old run-down mansion that the Munsters would have proudly called their summer vacation home, so Elvira enlists the help of  some peeping-tom teens to help fix it up Bob Villa-style (only with more cleavage), and hopes to sell it to some poor schmuk  with poor eyesight. Elvira’s surviving uncle, Vincent, turns out to be a rookie warlock whose intent is to steal an ancient recipe book that’s been hidden there, so he can rule the world (or in his case, become even more British…either way it’s concentrated evil). How does a recipe book gives you evil powers, anyway?  Can a properly seasoned meatloaf control the fate of humanity? That might explain Betty Crocker’s rise to power.

To pass the time waiting for a buyer, Elvira puts on a b-movie/flash dance show at the local theater that ends with her getting tarred and feathered. She also laces a casserole for the town picnic with an aphrodisiac potion, and makes a dinner that nearly eats her new boyfriend, Flint McThickneck. He’s a big, burly fellow in plaid, straight from the Brawny paper towel ads, and has about the same amount of acting ability. But he does seem able to stumble through his lines well enough while staring at Elvira’s chest, so I give him points for that skill.

The townsfolk decide they’ve had enough of Elvira’s shenanigans at that Point, so they tie her to a stake in the Town Square for a good old community witch roasting–minus the potato salad. Using her super power decoder ring given to her as a baby, Elvira narrowly escapes under the cover of rain to do battle with the evil warlock, Vincent, and to retrieve the recipe book and make some delicious oatmeal cookies…of EVIL!!!!!! EVIL!!!!! Will Elvira’s huge knockers save humanity? Will her French poodle ever live-down the humiliation of having a haircut like Billy Idol? Will the British ever stop sounding pompous? Find out for yourself in “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.” Retroman says check it out, but watch out for spinning tassels, and always wear eye protection.

Keep an eye out for...

– Exploding gas stations
– Baby Avon callings
– Punk rockin’ poodles and mice, oh my
– Exxon sponsored flash dancing
– Demon spiced stew
– Cooking-obsessed warlocks
– Moral Club picnic orgies
– Casserole Viagra
– Community witch roasts
– Rambo-vira (she’s bringing out the big guns)

“Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow, Elvira” – Alabama

rated 8.3 out of 10 for the movie

 


Check out the trailer for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Jul

posted by admin | July 15, 2008 | Action, Cult Film, Cult films, Cult movies, Grindhouse, Kung-fu

Comments Off on Lost Highway Video Review Episode 2: Machine Girl

Jun

Comments Off on Frankenhooker



“When New York hookers have a slow week, they’ll often perform as street mimes for some extra cash.”

Back in Junior High science class we were forced to partake of the barbaric ritual of frog dissection. You’d think as a horror/sci-fi fan that I would be giddy in anticipating at slicing open a frog like some sort of evil mad scientist. But honestly real gore is well gross…I don’t like it…I don’t want to see it and I especially don’t want to touch it. The site of my own blood makes me queasy, changing my daughters diapers is it’s own horror show (by the way never feed your kids pork and beans and fresh fruit before bedtime.) So the thought of pulling out those little gooey frogs lungs in science class still makes me …oh…..ugh….wait…queasy..room spinning….

When watching a horror movie I know the gore is fake, the situations are fake and I’m in no immediate physical danger of loosing a limb or having my soul swallowed… well at least during the work week. If I ever happen to be stuck at a summer camp with a history of teenage mutilations rest assured then I’ll be calling for a cab to take me home immediately. If I’m ever faced with the situation of battling demon elves that I inadvertently let loose while reading from the scrolls of an ancient book..well then that’s just my own darn fault for majoring in ancient Latin. But real life gore, like removing the innards from a helpless tree frog ,is not my idea of entertainment nor is it educational. Given the opportunity, I might try to hook it up to a car battery and jump start that little Kermit back to life. Sure It’ll probably shoot him across the room in an amphibian ball of flames smelling like french fries but at least I tried to bring the little green guy back to life. I am nothing if but pro-frog.

Jeffery Franken faces a similar dilemma in the cult classic Frankenhooker. Jeffrey is a mild manner Jersey electrician who has just lost his fiancee, Elizabeth, in a horrific lawnmower accident. Blondes should not operate heavy machinery while thinking or standing in front of them. Jeffrey somehow sneaks away his fiancee’s head in a bowling bag I’d presume and preserves her in the spacesaver fridge out in the garage right next to to the frozen fish fillets. He also happens to dabble in electro-genetics so he devices a plan to bring Elizabeth back from that great lawn clipping pile in the sky. Through the process of drilling his own head with a craftsman power tool he devices the brilliant plan to develop a batch of jiffy-pop explosive-crack cocaine to use on a group of hookers. It just goes to show people get inspired in all sorts of different ways. So It’s a 4th of July fireworks display of exploding hookers parts giving Jeff an all you can carry buffet of left ho-vers to use for his Elizabeth 2: Electric Boogalo. Through a lightening storm Elizabeth is resurrected as a brand new woman in high heeled Franken boots, purple eye shadow and a pointed bra but instead of being the dimwitted blonde, she’s a crazed hooker monster (a mooker?) out to make some extra cash. The only problem is she keeps scaring away customers and the few that she does bag surprisingly explode from all her pent up sexual static-electricity. All Jeffrey wants to do is settle down and make little Franken babies with her so he goes off to try to rescue her from her new career. I can’t believe I never saw this movie as a teenager It’s truly a fine example of 80’s horror/comedy. There’s also a great twist ending with revengeful spare hooker parts and a pimp named Zorro… you had to know a pimp was going to be involved somehow but he’s not a fencing masked vigilante. So head on down to the video store, put your money on the table and proudly ask if they have Frankenhooker in stock. Some Assembly may be required.

Keep an eye out for…

– combustible crack ho’s
– girlfriend lawn mulching
– head drilling
– explosive hamsters
– extreme sexual static friction
– whiplash decapitations
– bucket of legs and breasts (and it ain’t chicken)
– body building pimps named Zorro
– revengeful spare hooker parts

“Wanna Date? got any money?”
Hey aren’t those the first and last questions you should ask on a date?

rated 9.1 out of 10 for the movie

Frankenhooker T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirts you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the Frankenhooker T-shirts


Check out the trailer for Frankenhooker

May

Comments Off on C.H.U.D.

C.H.U.D.

“Little Johnny didn’t sleep well that night. It may have been due to his new Hasbro’s Demon from Hell night-light.

When I was a young kid my biggest fears were 1. Having my parents continue to dress me in country western shirts and friction inducing corduroy pants for school and 2. That creatures living in the sewer would come up through the toilet and drag me down to their netherworld. Both of which give me bad flashbacks and why to this day I have yet to use a public bathroom in a rodeo bar. My older cousins would also say those giant green porta-potties were simply a means to transport the toilet creatures from one part of the country to another only furthering my phobias. Sure maybe it was a hoax on a gullible fashion-challenged kid or perhaps it was a part of a larger undercover government conspiracy to thin crowds at county fairs and racing events. The truth may never be known.

In the movie C.H.U.D., the director apparently suffered some of the same childhood dramas as myself and used filmmaking for his therapy. C.H.U.D supposedly stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Run for your lives! It’s an acronym movie title… oh the horrors! but wait it turns out that it actually stands for Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal which is the name of a secret government policy to dump toxic waste under the city streets of New York. Would New Yorkers even notice the difference…probably not, that is until a cute little dogs get mutilated and a photographer starts screening his calls…thats when the cops are called into action. Christopher Curry plays Captain Bosch…a good cop with a disturbing mustache who is trying to find out the cause of the sudden disappearance of his wife and dozens of homeless people in the city. He meets A.J. played by City Slicker Daniel Stern, a centaurian looking fellow who runs a soup kitchen and is occasionally out-acted by his enormous hair or stained shirts. A.J. (when will the acronyms end!) is convinced that his homeless friends are being snatched up by someone or something in the sewers like a demonic Leona Helmsley looking for a few new hotel servants. The captain isn’t convinced though until they discover a giant moon boot and a clock radio that also acts as a geiger counter…shoot I have those things in my basement and I don’t have a CHUD problem….yet. The clock radio lights up like a Christmas tree indicating something is moving towards them and then the something starts growling. They express mild concern in the possibility of a horrible mutant creature about to munch on their innards and casually head back to the surface to attend a board meeting, successfully diffusing what could have been a actual tense situation.

Meanwhile in what seems like a completely different movie, George Cooper played by John “made for t.v. movie” Heard is taking photos of his pipe-cleaner shapely girlfriend, Lauren, who complain about pimples on her butt and wants to have lots of babies. George is also trying to hunt down one of his other star photo models, a homeless bag lady whom he has to bail out of jail. She brings him down below the city streets for a tunnel of garbage tour and to show him a chewed up leg which resembles someone’s unfinished BBQ ribs dinner platter.

A plot finally tries to rear it’s ugly head but thankfully is squashed via long scenes of useless dialog and dull boardroom scenes that play right out of a community theater production. Where is the cannibalism!? Government and city officials deny the existence of the C.H.U.D.S. then Daniel Stern has a temper tantrum and throws a book silently across the desk and suddenly they starting telling the truth. Guantanamo Bay should take notice on these interrogation techniques.

The officials decide to destroy the mutants by attempting to gas the tunnels and seal off the manholes. Meanwhile the captain simultaneously decides to send in a squad of police officer armed with standard issued flame throwers apparently forgetting the devastating results of what happens when you light a fart only on a much bigger scale.

A.J. and George end up trapped underground as a few escaping mutants attack John Goodman dressed as a copy at a local Diner. The John Goodman sized-snack doesn’t seem to ruin their appetites and they continue their night of rampage. Luaren is also attacked by a C.H.U.D. in her apartment but her class on samurai sword fighting self-defense at the YMCA finally pays off. She then steals a police car with keys still in the ignition and hightails it to the diner to find out where her boyfriend is. The scapegoat government official will do anything to make sure the public doesn’t know about the mutants and attempts to kill all the witnesses including A.J. and George still trapped below the city streets. Always better to kill every innocent bystander then letting them know you were illegally dumping toxic waste.

C.H.U.D is pure 80’s horror cheese. The gory effects are great and the over the top acting made this an enjoyable afternoon movie between info-mercials about carpet cleansers and botox creams. So I say CHUD it out….and always be sure to check the toilet seat before sitting.

Keep an eye out for….

– professional phone screening
– elf-like neighbors
– canine lynch mobs
– standard police issued flame throwers
– mutant neck extenders
– extreme shirt staining
– epileptics with rambo knives
– boardroom theater shows
– coin eaters…keep the change
– lost moon boots
– ground chuck-o-legs
– clock radio’s with optional geiger counters
– aggressive pay phone collectors
– shower clogs
– highbeam eye-lights
– gratuitous use of the term “manhole”
– explosive bread delivery trucks

Name that CHUD

a. Chihuahua Hound Undersized Dogs
b. Communist Hungarian Urban Development
d. Contortionist Hiding Under Desks
e. Contaminated Husband’s Underwear Discovery
f. all of the above

rated 7.6 out of 10 for the movie

CHUD C.H.U.D T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirt you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the C.H.U.D. T-shirt

Watch the trailer for “C.H.U.D.”

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