Archive for the 'Exploitation' Category

Jun

Comments Off on Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)

Deep Red

Dario Argento, also known as the Italian Hitchcock. Not because he is a white, overweight, sexual deviant harassing his stars, but because he understands what makes a horror/thriller really good: suspense. The man really knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat (or in my case, a cheap, broken futon) and when it builds up until it can’t build up anymore, it knocks the breath out of you and kicks you back, but you come back for more. It’s a rush. Furthermore, both Hitchcock and Argento’s stories focus on a protagonist who is trying to solve a murder on their own. There’s something people don’t do anymore. Nowadays people just call the police. Boring.

I thought it would be appropriate if we took a look at the film that put Dario Argento on the radar, Profondo Rosso a.k.a. Deep Red or The Hatchet Murders (yeah, Italian films usually had at least eight or nine different titles). The movie starts off heartwarmingly terrifying enough with a struggle between two characters we can’t see, until one of them is stabbed to death and we hear a child scream, over a creepy child’s tune. It’s a familiar set up, but it’s Dario Argento’s execution throughout the film that makes this shocking and unique.

The LampThat was just the title credits, by the way. The film follows pianist (tee hee) Marcus, who one day heading home after visiting his friend Carlo, who has some rather odd jokes about rape and is involved with a transvestite (because, why not?), witnesses the death of a medium, Helga Ulmann. Earlier that day, Helga was using her sweet Professor X type powers (ok, they weren’t that cool) and begins to hear that child’s tune we heard at the beginning. Upon reading into this, she fingers a dark and twisted mind in the audience and then in a very stylish (and later to become Argento’s trademark) POV shot, that person gets up and leaves the lecture to kill Helga for being ousted. Or maybe they really had to pee.

Anyway, Marcus fails to save the medium and remembers a painting of several faces missing from the apartment, which will come into play later. But for now, we are introduced to what is probably the Italian film industry’s favorite occupation, reporter. This reporter, Gianna, is played by Daria Nicolodi, who will go on to collaborate with Dario Argento in many other films. She’s one of those no nonsense, women’s lib kinda girl (by the way, we here at The Lost Highway are down with the whole Women’s Lib thing…). Marcus can’t let go of this mystery. He searches for Carlo to ask him what he remembers from the night of the murder and we meet Carlo’s mother, who makes Angela’s Aunt from Sleepaway Camp look subtle and sane. Later, Marcus hears that same tune, only he is able to save his own skin. He and Gianna decide to look into this tune with the help of psychiatrist Dr. Giordani, who was an associate of Helga’s. This brings them to writer Amanda Righetti, who is murdered before Marcus can talk to her, but she leaves a very clever message written on her bathroom wall that is uncovered when Girodani later visits the crime scene and steams up the room (I just read how bad that sounds…)!

The LampThis turns out to be unfortunate for him, however. He basically put a giant bullseye on his back and partakes in what is one of the creepiest scenes to involve a doll. Perhaps influencing the Billy puppet from Saw, a two-foot-something puppet runs out from behind a curtain scaring the poop out of him! His reaction is that he is quite startled, but I think I would have screamed and ran around setting fire to the room. Meanwhile, Marcus and Gianna continue their end of the investigation in a deserted house, with plenty of close calls and thrills, tying all the previous clues together, bringing them to more clues. Only this time, the clues seem to point at Carlo as the culprit, who stabs Gianna and holds Marcus at gunpoint… but he couldn’t have been the killer, could he? Marcus was talking to him when Helga was killed. Hmm, further and further down the rabbit hole… It’s now in the final act that Marcus remembers what was in that painting he saw: The face of the killer! But who could it be? So many odd, colorful characters that it could be.

The movie concludes nicely, tying up all loose ends while making it look good, all in a grisly, gory, good old fashioned death scene with plenty of blood and gore. Deep Red doesn’t skip in that department, so all you sickos can get your fix here.

All of this stretches out over a two hour run time, which does seem a bit long for this. Being one of Dario Argento’s earlier works, as good as the suspense and tension is, it can feel drawn out. Deep Red definitely takes it time getting from one point to another, which can turn off some viewers (although they certainly would be missing an excellent movie). And if you are watching the Director’s Cut that Blue Underground put out back in 2007, the dialogue goes from English dubbed to Italian dubbed with English subtitles, since a fully dubbed Director’s Cut does not exist, it can be distracting to those who don’t want to read their movie during certain scenes.

Deep Red is intense, shocking and violent. It’s a mystery that will keep you guessing and you’ll get excited with each clue toward to reveal of the killer. No matter how many times I see this, sometimes I forget who the killer is and it’s like I’m watching it for the very first time. So, turn off the lights and lock the doors, and watch one of the more suspenseful movies from the 70’s. But, get the hell out of there if you start to hear any creepy children’s music.

roadside attractions

  • Take a shot every time you hear that children’s tune.
  • Take another shot every time there is atrocious dubbing.
  • Shaved with Glass!
  • Tranny Troubles.
  • Dolly Dearest.
  • Steaming up the bathroom.
  • Elevator Decapitation!
  • Pianist.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

For a giallo, you see plenty of hacking, slashing and even a decapitation!

4

blood

BREASTS

Closest we get is a tranny and a psychic in robes.

8

beast

BEASTS

A tranny, a psychic, a pianist, a reporter and a crazy killer.

7 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie here.

trailers

dripper
Jun

Comments Off on Female Teacher Hunting

Often called “pink films” (another term for soft-core Japanese porn… think Cinemax after 12 a.m. in Asia), the Nikkatsu Roman Porno series put out over 700 titles between 1971 – 1988! Proof the porn industry was certainly booming! Although, calling these titles “porn” is like calling circus peanuts “candy”. These pinky films were called “thrillers” for a reason; often having a dark or twisted plot, while throwing in some sex and sleaze to keep them “pink”, while censoring the man’s junk. On a side note, I realize the subject of rape isn’t a joke and it’s very touchy and can be difficult to write about. So when you see I’m making a joke, please know that it’s about the characters or a reference, not on the actual subject itself.

Let’s take a look at Female Teacher Hunting. If I had heard the title, I would have figured this to be an 80’s Linnea Quigley flick about some backwoods, hairy guy hunting down a school teacher in the Deep South. However, the tale is a little more complex than that (but I did get the 80’s part right). Two high-schoolers, Midori and Daisuke, enjoy a little skinny dip in the school’s pool, but when Midori’s uniform is found in the pool the next day, Daisuke’s teacher Sakatani accuses him of rape. His defense is by telling her that rape isn’t as easy as she think… not the best defense, but he means someone would have heard her scream.

It instantly elevates to uncomfortable levels when Daisuke, ashamed, storms off to find Midori, and forces sex on her in the radio room with the microphone on for the whole school to hear (where’s the FCC when you actually need them?). He then drops out of school and that’s about as much school as you see. Sakatani spends some time on the coast having an affair with a married man, who happens to be writing a report about rape, taking a break from his wife and daughter. Ah, a vacation from all responsibilities.

blackbagWhile this is going on, Daisuke just so happens to be at the same coastal town, taking refuge with a bar owner after accidently spilling some drunkards bottle and getting pummeled. Not only does the bar owner take him in, he shares his girlfriend with him, in which the film shares with us the saddest threesome in history. Ladies, you know those stories you hear about a three-way being every man’s dream? Well, let this prove you wrong.

But this film isn’t necessarily supposed to be erotic. The three main characters come off as troubled convincingly, especially Daisuke. You feel sympathetic toward him during the film and then you feel disgusted toward him at the end. Sakatani seems to be the one you despise the most, accusing Daisuke of rape and having an affair with a married man. She comes off as the film’s villain, but she really isn’t all that bad. As I stated earlier, the sexual element of the movie is not necessarily for arousal, but to actually support the emotions of characters and move the plot along. You get a sense of wrongness while it’s going on and as the before mentioned three way, it’s supposed to come off as sad and pathetic. I guess that only leaves Midori as the film’s only innocent character that you feel terrible for, since she is mixed up with these other hooligans.

Female Teacher Hunting is a short ride, just a little over the one hour mark, but in that time it does get its story across and remain erotic. The DVD transfer from Impulse (the erotic driven division of the great Synapse Films) looks very good, given the films thirty year old age. Edges look smooth, colors look nice. Nothing looks washed out or soft, unless it was done intentionally. Although, the only audio option is 2.0 mono Japanese, English subtitles are provided with no distraction. However, if you are looking for extras, you’ll find this one is pretty bare, only including a theatrical trailer and some liner notes from Jasper Sharp.

As far as the “pink” movies go, you’ll find Female Teacher Hunting to be different that what’s expected of this genre of film. It’s more drama driven, using the sex scenes as a sad and depressing display of character development as they spiral down into their own self destruction. Fans of this genre looking for hot and steamy sex scenes may want to resort to going to the curtained rooms in your video stores, since you won’t find what you’re looking for here.

Check out other flicks in Impulse Pictures catalogue.

roadside attractions

  • -Sex Scene Shot Game!
  • -Also, take a shot every time you feel depressed for trying to get aroused.
  • -Think happy thoughts.
  • -Did this ruin the ‘sexy teacher’ fantasy for you?
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Very little after some fighting, but this isn’t a gore flick.

9

blood

BREASTS

Lots, although most of the time not in the context you want.

6

beast

BEASTS

No monsters, but the characters themselves are somewhat monsterly.

6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Female Teacher Hunting”

trailers

dripper
Jun

Comments Off on Father’s Day: Rest Stop Review Edition

Tagline: Sons, lock up your fathers… vengeance arrives on… Father’s Day!

Year: 2011 Runtime: 99 min

Director: Astron-6

Writer: Astron-6

Starring: Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Amy Groening, Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski

Father’s day is officially over but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget your old pop. Thanks to Astron-6’s touching memorial to fathers everywhere, you can appreciate the old man everyday for the rest of forever.

The best description of the absolute coolness that is Father’s Day is: Disturbing horror comedy with more bloody ding dongs than the Hostess factory.

Speaking of bloody ding dongs, this is a Troma film. We all know that Troma movies engage in a certain amount of fart jokes, naked women and morally disturbing images. Astron-6 manages to not only deliver on all of the above, but also manage to make a, I’m almost afraid to say it, throughly entertaining cross-over hit. All the rape and penis mutilation muddies the water a bit, but I really think this can be a solid movie.

Father’s Day is presented as a cheesy Late, Late Movie being aired on The Aston-6—a local access channel. Visually, though, it is a bad-ass Quentin Rodriguez style film: car chases, strippers, hand-held camera work, shotgun blasts to the face, gritty film, the works.

Whereas most of the time the film goes over the top, it also can be very subtle. There’s a scene at Chelsea’s (Amy Groening) kitchen table after Twink’s (Conor Sweeney) friend Walnut (Garrett Hnatiuk) was murdered. Chelsea, Twink and Ahab (Adam Brooks) are making plans to take down the Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdock). There’s blood all over the table, and as they talk you can just hear their arms scraping as they pull away from the sticky mess. Pure class!

I refuse to ruin the movie by giving away too much, but I have to point one small detail out that I only got after multiple viewings. Ahab’s jacket is a character in the film, and at one point is given a voice, Goliath, from the Sunday morning show Davey and Goliath. The real treat is where it is that the jacket gets that particular voice.

This film as been making the rounds and if it comes to your town, it is a must-see at your local cineplex. If you missed it, the four disc, limited edition DVD is scheduled for release June 26, 2012. Do yourself a favor and get on it!

Roadside attractions:

  • extreme overkill: shot with pistol, shotgun up the butt, beaten with brick, head stomped flat, thrown off dam
  • extreme nudity: male and female
  • commercial interruption for Star Raiders, the Late, Late, Late movie
  • maple syrup
  • tasty berries
  • toxic berries
  • fathers

For more on Astron-6, check out our interview with them.

trailers

dripper
Jun

Comments Off on Daughters of Darkness

You thought you were so edgy, in your black makeup and hair dye.  Listening to the Sisters of Mercy and The Cure, clutching your Sandman comics.  You watched “The Hunger” over and over, repeating that first scene when Bauhaus plays the club where David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve go to seduce their next yuppie bloodfeast.  You thought it was the hottest, sexiest vampire movie ever.  Then you got old, put that black makeup away, traded in Gaiman for “Twilight,” and collected like 600 cats.

Well, put down that copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” bro, because I have a movie that will get that blood boiling again, for drinking.  Forget “The Hunger,” Daughters of Darkness is the greatest lesbian vampire movie ever.  I defy you to find a more erotic and pretentious vamp flick.

And no, “Vampire in Brooklyn” does not count as erotic no matter how strongly you feel about Eddie Murphy’s mullet.

Newlyweds honeymoon in a depressing and ominous concrete hotel in Belgium.  They are deeply in lust, but the groom (John Karlen of “Dark Shadows” and “Surf Ninjas”) has some seriously complex mother issues and refuses to let the bride meet his “family”.  They meet the simmering Countess Bathory (played with a magnetism rivaling Marlene Dietrich by legendary French actress Delphine Seyrig).  Strangely, the hotel manager swears he met the Countess as a child and that she looked the same then as she does today.  The Countess drives around in a hotrod and is accompanied by a sexy lady-Renfield sporting a pageboy and an ominous red ribbon around her neck.  The Countess becomes obsessed with the young couple, for food, probably, but also maybe for sex?

An odd mix between Euro art house pretension, with the obligatory Freudian shots of ocean waves banging against seawalls, and the grindhouse mandate for boobs, DoD is like “Twilight,” if it had been directed by a sexually depraved and heavily inebriated Stanley Kubrick with Dario Argento as his cinematographer.  The movie looks ravishing, saturated in unsettling browns and reds.   The MILFy Countess is mesmerizing.  Despite a muddled and bizarre story structure (seriously, though, there are boobs and lesbian vampires so why are you even following the plot), this is a hidden 70’s trash gem.  Check it out, and you will compelled to pull out that old “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” 7’ and reapply the black nail polish.

The Lessons from “Daughter of Darkness”:

-Never trust anyone in a neckerchief.

-So you think your neighbor at the resort might be a thousand year old vampire who feeds on the young to attain eternal life and she wants to seduce you?  Just go with it.

roadside attractions

  • Lesbian Vampires, obviously
  • Long shots of oceans representing lust (or maybe fascism?)
  • The color red
  • Absolute lack of sparklepires
  • Soviet brutalist architecture
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

Not particularly gory, unfortunately. But everyone wears a lot of red.

9

blood

BREASTS

How is it that nubile blondes in 70’s exploitation flicks can shower without getting their hair wet? PS – Lesbian vampires, duh.

7

beast

BEASTS

While the film is ambiguous when it comes to the whole “is she actually a vampire?” business, Lady Baths is probably one of the best aristocratic-style bloodsuckers I’ve seen.

8.9 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Daughters of Darkness”

trailers

dripper
Apr

Comments Off on The Gestapo’s Last Orgy: A Review by Giallo Goon.


A victim of his own personal torment, The Giallo Goon (also called Goon) forces himself to watch some of worst and sleaziest films known to mankind, like some sort of sick, demented science experiment. He’ll upload videos of him warning others about these films, mocking them in a sarcastic and satirical manner in some weird attempt to save his own sanity, although it’s very possible that has been gone for some time.




With a title like ‘The Gestapo’s Last Orgy’, you’re probly thinking ‘Family Fun Entertainment’, right? Well, I guess that would depend on your family. If you’re family is a bunch of drooling, stark raving mad lunatics,then yes. Yes it is a family fun film. Also, it boasts as being ‘The sickest entry in the Nazisploitation genre!’ Let that set the bar of expectations for the film.

The movie opens up as our main characters, Nazi (or ex-Nazi since this movie is told in flashback form) Conrad von Starke and former Jew Prisoner Lisa (that kinda looks offensive written out) as they share a tender moment and this is their wholesome, beautiful story of how they fell in love… ahem. As they charmingly frolic through the old campsite (that also seems offensive written out) and reminisce. And they certainly don’t hold back on the ‘last orgy’ thing as the following scene is a bunch of naked Nazi soldiers are ordered to rape a group of Jewish prisoners, but not to give them pleasure. But, by now you’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘Hey, how come the Nazi’s aren’t speaking German or have German accents?’ And you would be foolish to think that. This scene also features a slide show of a woman eating and smearing herself in a man’s feces, but that’s the lighter side to this scene. We should probably just move on.

The following wholesome scenes include an inmate who is disfigured by other inmates with forks (Oh yeah… apparently this is also a ‘women in prison’ type of movie), another who is fed to dogs because she is having her menstrual cycle and plenty of more guards having sex with inmates. Hey wait, where are you going?

But this is also where we see Starke become interested in Lisa because of her unbreakable spirit. Nothing he does to her, or the other prisoners, seems to bother her. She just stands motionless with a stone cold gaze. Maybe she is in shock that she said ‘yes’ to this film. Not even a dinner scene where the German Officers main course is the prisoners (Cannibalism too? Man, this movie has everything!), but they even set fire to a prisoner and have an orgy? I did warn you, it’s even in the title. Lisa’s torture and humiliation continues and she attempts suicide, but is saved by a doctor and we learn why Lisa is there, what she did and about her family. It’s actually a pretty compelling moment in the midst of all the horrible images and scenes going on.

Starke finally admits he has fallen in love with Lisa and she has fallen for him. She wears a belt made of scalps from former inmates as a sign of affection. Much cheaper than a ring! She gives birth to a baby only to have it taken away and killed (because why not? Just in case something in this film hasn’t offended you) since a ‘half breed’ would have no place in the new world according to Starke. This brings the movies conclusion as we see Starke attempting to make love to Lisa, but she removes a revolver from her purse… GASP! What happens next.

I would say we could make a drinking game out of this. Like, every time you are offended by something, but then the bottle would never leave your lips and you would drown yourself. And for the record, regardless of this story being about how a couple met, this isn’t a good date movie. I should know, but hey! How was I supposed to know this sort of thing repulses 99% of the population? Maybe if it starred Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston… Either way, this film does contain enough offensive material to make even a sex offender blush, but underneath is brutal revenge flick blending together several genres. So if you can stomach it, check it out.

roadside attractions

  • Germans with English accents
  • Cannibal Cookout
  • Dog Meat
  • Wieners and Buns!
  • Women in Prison massacre
  • Goose Steppin’ Nazi-o-Rama
  • Femme Fatale Revenge
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

You get some blood. You get some guts (quite literally).

9

blood

BREASTS

Nearly a moment doesn’t go by, but probly not in the way you want to see them.

8

beast

BEASTS

Chock full ‘o Nazis!

6.00 OVERALL
dripper


About the Highway

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