Archive for the 'foreign' Category

Sep

Comments Off on Sonno Profondo (aka Deep Sleep)

Sonno Profondo
“You wish you’d never woken up.”

2013 – Not Rated – 67 Minutes – Brink Vision
Starring Luciano Onetti, Daiana Garcia, Silvia Duhalde – Directed by Luciano Onetti

There seems to be a small resurgence of the giallo films lately, which in my book is a good thing. In between the dozens of found footage and superhero movies, it’s always nice to see something a little different. This is where Sonno Profondo comes in. When I heard about this flick and saw the trailer, I was pretty excited. I needed to get my hands on this movie and let me tell you… it was quite the experience. It wasn’t what I expected or at the time may not have seemed to be what I wanted and I mean that in the best way possible. I won’t go too much into detail in this review, because any little detail could ruin the fun or surprise the film has to offer, so let me see if I can tell you enough to get you interested.

sp_2The sights and sounds are quite an experience right from the start. An almost rustic, hyper piano/jazz mix gets you on your toes, which is fitting for all the oversaturated colors, as we see from a killer’s point of view (and of course he is wearing black leather gloves), obsessing over some photos of a woman that he is readying to kill and we are shortly introduced to through a rather erotic masturbation scene. It wouldn’t be a giallo without some erotic sex appeal. At least she’s going out with a bang as she is brutally murdered. Shortly after her butchering, the killer receives an anonymous phone call… seems someone knows what he did and the person on the other line is threatening to kill them! A killer that is going to kill the killer… you don’t see that too often and it does offer a good cat and mouse chase later at a hospital once the killer in the black leather gloves receives some photos of his crime and a key to a locker at said hospital. What secrets does this locker hold or is it merely a decoy? We soon find out once another gloved killer, this time with vinyl medical gloves, appears and attempts to murder the… murderer.

After barely escaping, the black gloved killer mixes a mean cocktail of blood, whiskey and morphine pills as an attempt to commit suicide? Maybe? I dunno. Shortly, flashbacks play out, revealing the connections between the victim, the killer and the other killer and the childhood drama that plagues them. You’ll keep guessing to that rocking soundtrack until their is resolution.

sp_3Very, very rarely does the flick switch outside of one of the killer’s POV, nor are the killers seen without gloves on. I would say this is a parody, but it’s not played that way and it works in favor of the narrative. At first I thought it was silly, even laughed to myself that we never switched out of their POV or saw them without gloves, but as the movie went on, I couldn’t imagine it working without doing that. I can’t stress enough how important all the visuals are in the movie, between the lighting, the oversaturated colors and so on.

Normally, I’m not one for all the fake dirt and scratches film look that seems to present on every low budget film since Grindhouse came out in 2007, but it not only works here, it also feels like it’s absolutely necessary to the look of the film and the look is very important to a giallo. Everything here is presented in oversaturated, bright and vibrant colors, intentionally giving the film a larger, louder than life quality, almost a comic book like quality, as greens, yellows and reds pop right off the screen. Every element in the movie, colors, lighting, the score (by the way, one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a film), everything is important and absolutely crucial to the overall picture. If one of these things were done wrong, I don’t think the film would have worked. I feel like I am going in circles here, but Sonno Profondo is a true treat to see and hear. Everything mixes together so perfectly.

sp_4Of course, in true giallo form, there is some weird imagery and creepy dolls hanging about (that for some reason are full of blood). Come to think of it, the whole look of the film is very 70’s, from the furniture, the types of telephones they use, house decours, wallpaper and cars they drive. I’m no expert, but I would go out on a limb to say that this is about as authentic as it can get, which is impressive considering this is a low budget, indie film. Or maybe Italy still looks like the 1970’s.

However, this is the kind of film your average movie goer isn’t going to enjoy. I would normally say a short runtime that barely runs over an hour could hurt a film, but Sonno Profondo tells its story in this time and doesn’t overstay its welcome. There isn’t much in the way of a narrative and I could see how some would find that the majority of the film is from POV (like the recent remake of Maniac), it may turn off some. It’s not loaded with nudity or gore, but this film wasn’t made for them. Hell, it may not have even been made for giallo fans, but you can say for sure it was made for director Luciano Onetti himself and I think that’s what a filmmaker should set out to do: Make the film YOU would want to see.

Sonno Profondo isn’t a spoof or an homage to the giallo genre… it is a giallo film. Well, you could consider it an homage, but I would go one step further. It’s not just the look or the tone that make it a giallo film, it’s the story (or maybe a lack of) and how the whole thing is shrouded in a mystery that will leave you guessing literally until the last minute and when everything is tied up at the end and revealed and doing so without hardly any dialogue, there is a great feeling, genuine joy, from solving the mystery and excitement to see everything come full circle.

Sonno Profondo
Perhaps I’m leaving out a lot of plot or not saying enough, but believe me when I say that Sonno Profondo is something that you must see to experience. It will all make sense and you may enjoy this little throwback to the great Italian murder mysteries.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Mom always said masturbation will kill ya.
  • Whose eyes are we looking through?
  • To kill a killer.
  • Morphine cocktail.
  • Raising kids can be hard.
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Slashes, gashes and stabs spurting some thick, bright red blood.

4

blood

BREASTS

No nudity, but the film throws in some erotic sex appeal.

8

beast

BEASTS

Everyone in this film is a killer or a victim.

5.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer!

trailers

dripper
Dec

posted by admin | December 21, 2013 | 60's movies, foreign, Horror movies, Reviews by the Goon, screeners, Suspense

Comments Off on The Whip and the Body

The Whip and the Body
1963 – Unrated – Kino Lorber

Mario Bava has a unique way of building suspense, creating an eerie mood and combining it all into a bone chilling tale. His films mix that moody atmosphere filled with sounds of the night, illuminating objects with odd florescent lights and drawing tension out so thin, you could cut it with a whisper. If Dario Argento is considered as “The Italian Hitchcock,” then what does that make Bava? To be honest, Bava’s style is so unique, that there is no comparing him to anyone else. He’s just as important to cinema as filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick or Michael Bay… No wait, not that last one.

Let’s take a look at his Gothic suspense thriller The Whip and the Body for example. It’s not exactly your traditional murder mystery. You mix in a castle and a ghost… now it’s starting to sound like Scooby and the gang should be in this.

wab_2As the sun rises… or sets, either way the sky is fading from a dark blue to a purple as waves crash against a beach and then suddenly a castle appears atop of a cliff in the background! At first I thought it was a ghost castle or would play a part later on in the movie (hint: it doesn’t). So, hmm… chalk that up to continuity? We see a man named Kurt, played devilishly by Christopher Lee, who has returned home to wish his brother well on his new marriage to his own old flame, the smoking hot Nevenka. Something about that seems sour. Of course if you cast Christopher Lee, you may as well have a large neon sign that says, “I AM THE VILLAIN!” following him around. However Kurt doesn’t get the warm welcome he… or you… you know what, no one was expecting, especially the maid, Georgia. Georgia’s daughter fell in love with Kurt after he seduced her, so when he left, she had stabbed herself in the neck. His father, The Count, has also turned Kurt’s estate over to his brother Christian. He’s a vile, sinister and untrustworthy man, but regardless, Christian allows him to stay. Welcome home, Kurt!

So you say goth, sleaze and murder isn’t enough for you? Kurt reveals he knows that his cousin Katia is secretly in love with Christian, throwing the taboo of incest into the mix. He feels her pain, as he is still infatuated with Nevenka and plans to take her back. After all, women are property. But that’s not his only diabolical plan. After entering his father’s room via hidden rotating wall behind a fireplace (which is a total villain move, how can you not know this guy is evil?), he tell his dying father that he plans to take back his estate as well, who in turn tells Kurt that will never happen. Kurt then storms off in a very sophisticated and formal temper tantrum.

wab_3He huffs and puffs his daddy issues away to the beach where he finds Nevenka and brings up the good ol’ times, which seems to spark up some fiery passion, since he takes her whip and lashes it across her back (oh, so that’s where the title comes from!). Since he’s a sadist and she’s a masochist (this is starting to sound like a sitcom), they embrace and make love or “boink” on the beach. He leaves her there, unconscious and delusional for Christian and groundskeeper Losat (who reminds me of Smolkin from The Undead) to find. Kurt’s a “hump and dump” kind of guy. Yeah, things seem to be going according to Kurt’s plan, until somebody puts the kibosh on it by stabbing him in the neck with the same knife that Georgia’s daughter committed suicide with.

After putting Kurt to rest, the family decides they should probably find out who done it, with The Count being the prime suspect and he doesn’t take kindly to this accusation. To make things worse, Christian’s marriage with Nevenka seems to be falling apart as they have a lover’s spat. That night, Nevenka has a haunting vision of Kurt, brought attractively to life with the Giallo style lighting and eerie cinematography, as he lashes into her with the whip. Meanwhile, The Count is found murdered in the same fashion, stabbed through the neck. All signs for the murders point to Georgia, but her love for The Count would prevent her from doing such things. So who else could it be? Katia? The creepy Losat? Or as Christian is becoming to believe, the ghost of Kurt? Wait, what?! As Nevenka is becoming more seemingly delusional, seeing footprints and more visions of Kurt, she convinces Christian that it may not be a completely crazy idea. The ghost of his dead brother, coming back to haunt those that have taken from him, betrayed him and murdered him. Crazier things have happened (take the plot of Baby Geniuses for example).

wab_4As Kurt’s laugh echoes through the castle, Nevenka further spirals into insanity and Christian must find out what exactly is going on, as they chase a cloaked figure through the cold stone walls of their home. And seeing as how he can’t call the Ghostbusters, he’ll have to uncover the identity of the murderer and lay the specter to rest with the help of Losat to stop the madness!

The Whip and the Body is a dark and moody film, and I don’t mean primarily the tone. Kino Lorber’s new transfer from the original 35mm showcases this magnificent CMYK color palette, as they corrected the color and contrast, but seem to have left the rest of the print as is. Some of the darker scenes can seem out of focus and grainy, but for a print being as old as it is, it still looks pretty sharp. The overall look is something out of a lucid nightmare. The colors are lambent, vibrant hues of a Giallo film, all seemingly fitting the mood of the scene. Blues and magenta’s highlight the darkness and danger that lurk around the corner. The sound blasts through in true traditional 2.0 mono with either English, French or Italian dialogue (subtitles are provided). However, as beautiful as it is, you probably will grow tired of the string and piano theme that seems to constantly play. Also, another actor dubbed the voice of Christopher Lee in the English track, who as you all know has a very distinct voice, so it will throw you off at first. Unfortunately, no extras are to be found here, but just enjoy the damn movie, you brat!

The Whip and the Body
You don’t have to be a fan of Bava to enjoy The Whip and the Body. It’s a daunting tale of sadism and treachery, spun with murder and madness. This film is one of the prime examples to enjoy or be introduced to Mario Bava (possibly even giving some of you your first ” Bava Boner”). If that’s your bag, then pick up a copy of the Blu-ray or Christopher Lee will break in to your house in the middle of the night and whip you with your car antenna. Dude’s got issues.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • The Amazing Appearing out of Thin Air Castle!
  • Christopher Lee glare of death.
  • You don’t have to go to the South for some good ol’ cousin loving.
  • Pain in the neck.
  • Corpse burning.
  • Crazy castle.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Little bit of running blood and a burning corpse, but it’s more about the suspense.

4

blood

BREASTS

Daliah Lavi keeps her wonderful pair covered for the most part… mostly.

9

beast

BEASTS

When Christopher isn’t walking around like the menacing presence he is, Daliah Lavi is running around mad.

6.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “The Whip and the Body”!

trailers

dripper
Sep

Comments Off on Retard-O-Tron III

Retard-O-Tron III

Remember how awesome it was to make mix tapes for cruising around in your friends car during the summer? Each song would reflect your freedom, wild nature and reflecting back on the other good nights. Or the girl that you wished you could tell her how you felt, so you put together that perfect mix of songs about staying up late thinking about her, casual conversations and falling in love? Retard-O-Tron III is that mixtape for gorehounds, cheesy b-movie fanatics, cult fans, porn lovers, hardcore and punk aficionados alike.

So as you may have gathered, or if you have seen the other two films, Retard-O-Tron III is a clip show with a sleazy and vulgar twist. It goes far beyond just presenting clips from films. It splices them together, both video and audio of some of the raunchiest, nastiest, goriest and downright disturbing videos. As soon as you pop this thing in your DVD player, before you even play the feature, the graphic on the Main Menu alone should be a warning… or a welcoming invitation to the mad and macabre crowd.

The film opens up appropriately enough with several Japanese girls sitting in a circle, peeing into the air, like a pee fountain… no, not LIKE a pee fountain, it IS a pee fountain. This is all synchronized to the elegant and tantalizing music Beethoven, showcasing a prime example of mixed media art. If there was a ever to set a tone for a film, this would be it. Shortly after, we are introduced to a cooking show, Cooking with Merrill The Great Gourmet. Merrill is… a bit slow and seems to have somewhat of a temper. This is cut back and forth to throughout the film, but next we are shown what is probably the funniest mash-up I have ever seen and pretty damn gross simultaneously. Imagine if you had tuned into Britains Got Talent, there sit Simon and whoever the other two judges are, scowling and waiting for the next shtick. A beautiful woman enters the stage and presents her “talent”… blowing air out of her bunghole. What she does with it next though, let me just say that it displays the elasticity of the human rectum and does not look like it feels pleasing in the least bit.

There are also tidbits of opera singers, dubbed with belches and farts at one end of the spectrum and at the other it has porn clips with opera singing dubbed over it. A majority of the duration are karaoke videos that look like they would have been on a public access channel, various movies, like Terror Vision and Bloodsport, all fused with a variety of music from Kris Kross to Le Tigre and my favorite, scenes from Reb Brown movies Strike Commando and Space Mutiny (Reb makes anything awesome). This is the formula that follows, but you’ll still find yourself shocked and then laughing maniacally. You’ll feel sick, both mentally and physically, but it’s the price you pay.

The mixtape ends on a high note, various snip-its of Japan doing what Japan does to entertain and proving to the world why they are Japan and nobody else is or would want to be. If I had to describe the vibe to Retard-O-Tron, it would be like asking yourself after every scene, “What the f*#@ did I just watch?” It’s as if you tuned into a bizarro episode of Tim and Eric. As depraved as this may be, it’s hysterical. I felt nostalgic for my high school days when my friend and I would watch repugnant and farcical videos on sites like The Stile Project and Ebaum’s World. This is all edited by a man named Roelewapper, who is most likely a mad genius and we are all part of his experiment. So check out Retard-O-Tron III and visit the official site. Just bring a bucket.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • You’ll never see Britain’s Got Talent the same way again.
  • Reb MF’ing Brown.
  • Grumpy gourmet.
  • Japan.
  • You know what, the whole damn thing is a Roadside Attraction.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

There is some in the various clips.

9

blood

BREASTS

Here, there, everywhere.

10

beast

BEASTS

Everything you witness, especially Merrill, is a monster.

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer!”

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
Sep

Comments Off on Hausu

Year: 1977 Runtime: 88 min

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Writer: Chiho Katsura (screenplay), Chigumi Ôbayashi (original story)

Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo and Kumiko Ohba

After the massive success of Jaws, the suits at Toho contacted Nobuhiko Ôbayashi to develop a similar script. What they got was a ketamine fueled wet fart or, in common parlance, a screenplay both twisted and swarming with juvenile poo-poo humor. I cannot imagine the demented fever which destroyed the writer’s fragile grip on reality as he wrote this. Sweet Sweating Christ outside Mary Magdalene’s door! What ungodly torture to endure, even for a moment.

See. The mere mention of it brought me to a frenzy. I have to relax, there is more to tell.

The final product can only be considered a film only in the strictest meaning of the word. That is, it’s a collection of pictures, one after the other, playing at 24 frames per second for 88 minutes. Truth is, Hausu is something you experience, like love or LSD or a colostomy. Each has their allure, but rarely do they make sense. Even in retrospect.

Hausu is the story of a young girl, Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami), and her six friends who visit Gorgeous’ aunt over summer break. Gorgeous and her friends are named for their asset: Gorgeous is beautiful and fashion conscious; Prof is the smart one with glasses and her face in a book; Melody can play any musical instrument; Kung Fu is a master of martial arts; Mac is the fat, hongry one; Sweet is sweet; and finally, Fantasy is the overly imaginative one.

Aunt, who is never named, broods in her mansion on the hill, the titular house. For thirty years she has haunted the place, waiting—love never effectuated. She and her fiancé had made a pinky promise to marry once he returned from WWII. Because he never did the years of solitude twisted Aunt into a malevolent demon.

That ends the logical portion of the film. The rest is a hellish string of things-that-happen in Hunter S. Thompson proportions, if he were a Japanese school girl in a Jaws reinterpretation.

The madness experienced first hand by the girls is usually explained away as “an illusion.” I tend to agree with that assessment. How else would you explain disembodied fingers playing a piano, or a grown man transformed into a pile of bananas or skin falling away to reveal a new body of flame, a la Johnny Storm, or equality for all in the eyes of the law?

Never watch this film before going to bed. Strange and terrible things will stalk your slumber. I will speak of it no more because my blood runs cold remembering my dreams. I ask that you trust me on this.

I do not want to spoil the roller coaster ride, so I will just say this and be done with it: Hausu is the epitome of schizophrenic genius. The absolute best anti-drug propaganda I have ever witnessed. And, just for the record, as diametrically opposed to Jaws any film could be.

roadside attractions

  • killer mattresses
  • disembodied head biting her friend
  • painting projectile puking
  • awesome Kung Fu action
  • Monkey’s style musical montage
  • gratuitous
  • cat tossing action (but NOT to scare you)
  • hongry, hongry piano
  • Watermelon Man transformed into a skeleton because Mr. Togo likes bananas
  • house under six feet of cat’s blood
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Houseful

4

blood

BREASTS

Four. Exactly the right number for two naked women. A bit of sanity in the midst of the bedlam that is this film.

10

beast

BEASTS

Awful and depraved hysteria presented in hyper-unrealistic papier-mâché

8.0 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Hausu”

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 >>