Archive for the 'Guest Review' Category

Feb

posted by admin | February 24, 2010 | 50's b-movies, Guest Review, Horror movies, Sci-Fi

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AerykAeryk is a delicate fondue of Cajun and Viking stock, with all the subtly, grace and refinement of a high colonic. He indulges in all night orgies of sex and violence with the likes of Sex With The Headless Corpse of the Virgin Astronaut. His iTunes library is named Bad Mother F***er despite the fact it has the Bangles Greatest Hits. He reads comic books, writes incessantly and he fancies himself The Lovable Rascal.

Probably most disturbing is his propensity to write about himself in third person, needlessly.

and now Lost Highway is proud to present on a silver platter Aeryk’s review of “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”

Tagline: Alive … without a body … fed by an unspeakable horror from hell.

Year: 1962 Runtime: 82 mins

Director: Joseph Green

Writer: Rex Carlton (original story) & Joseph Green (original story/screenplay)

Starring: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniels, Adele Lamont

What You Expect:

Science, the kind with a capital S, and not just ‘cos it’s at the beginning of the sentence.

What You Need to Know:

The science side of sci fi is usually worse than the fiction, but this is exponentially more the case when one is talking about 50’s – 60’s movies. In these stories anyone who wears a white coat majored in Science. Back in the Way Back When there wasn’t the specialization that has killed the Scientist today.

What [The Brain That Wouldn’t Die] Delivers:

The movie begins black. A woman’s voice pleads, “Let me die. Let me die.” This flooded me with sweet memories of the day I was born. No, I don’t mean to suggest I remember my birth, ‘cos I don’t. My father filmed the birth, or, more correctly, he thought he was filming it. Actually, he was filming the inside of the lens cap. He did manage to get some beautifully haunting audio of the miracle. Watching it years later, I believe I was 7 or 8, it was much like the beginning of this film.

Unlike my birth, the filmmaker removed the lens cap. It’s to an O.R. with two doctors (father and son) working feverishly to save a patient. Sadly, the operation doesn’t work. Dr. Father says, “I should have known the instant we wheeled him in this wouldn’t work.” This was completely obvious ‘cos there wasn’t any equipment in the O.R. Even Unga Bunga Cavemens™ had incense and herbs and leeches. What did they expect? Where they going to “look” him back to life?

Since the operation was a bust, the son asks if he can do it his way. Uhm, mysterious, but ok. To seal the deal Dr. Son says, “He’s dead. I can’t do any harm.”

To which, Dr. Father sighs, “Fine. Do whatever you want.”

HUH?!? I know people tend to turn a blind eye to things when it’s family, but “do whatever you want?” It’s a good thing the guy died.

After the surgery Dr. Son gets a frantic message that he’s needed at the weekend cottage. Dr. Son and his fiance rush off. The road to the cottage is treacherous, full of slow curves and rolling hills. Along a straight stretch of highway, Dr. Son somehow loses control of the car, launching it off a cliff. Or, that’s what the filmmakers wanted to film, but what actually happens is he meanders slightly to the right, BEFORE the tight curve, and bumps into the guardrail.

Cut to: the rocky cliff they were driving along magically transforms into a soft grassy slope down which Dr. Son starts rolling, having been thrown from the car.

Cut to: Another magic transformation into a different hill, where he comes to a stop. He quickly jumps up and runs AWAY from where he had crashed. Somehow makes it back to the car.

Ah! The power of cheese.

But, wait, it gets AWE-some! When Dr. Son makes it back to the car his fiance’s hand raises from in the burning car, shakes dramatically, then fall back. Dr. Son takes off is jacket and, rather than reach over the side of the car, as it was a convertible, WITH the top down, he reaches through the broken windshield and tosses his coat in. I would have been cornfused, but nothing else made sense. Why should this?

Why would he toss in his coat, you ask? Only to have the best thing ever happen. The writhing hand hands back the coat all wrapped up with something in it. Her HEAD! Yes, her decapitated body wrapped its head in the jacket and handed it back to him. Rather than worry about her death, or spaz, or just die, she used her last few seconds to neatly pack her head and hand it off to the man she loved. They don’t make womerns like that any more.
In the weekend cottage Dr. Son has set up a lab where he’s been using stolen limbs from amputees to perfect his serum, some magical concoction that is supposed to allow transplanted limbs and organs to play nice with one another. In several failed attempts he had managed to graft arms on to his apprentice, only to have them shrivel up into useless claws. His biggest mistake, and the reason he was rushing to the cottage, is the Frankenstein monster he created from all the limbs and organs he’s stolen. When he takes his girl’s head to the house, it’s the serum that allows the head to live in little more than a baking tin full of tomato juice and clamps. It would seem to me that this is a fantastic feat for Science, but what do I know.

Not content with just a head for a fiance, Dr. Son decides to go looking for a replacement. To his benefit this is also the Good Ole Days™ when a trip to the local burlesque show was the place to brought your girl for a romantic date. Or, if you’re single, the burlesque was a great meet up. ‘Cos that’s where all the single ladies were to be found. And if that weren’t enough, the dancers literally fight over you.

When the burlesque doesn’t turn up any winners, and a body beautiful contest only turns up the second best looking body, Dr. Son decides on a pin up model who was disfigured by a former lover, leaving her bitter against all men. By disfigured I mean he mashed some silly puddy on her face, which is easily covered by her hair. A terrible, terrible tragedy.
Blah, blah, blah. Takes her to the cottage. Blah, blah, blah. Slips her a roofie. Blah, blah, blah. Time for surgery. The only thing better than Dr. Son’s Science is his logic. As he’s preparing the body, the head tries to talk him out of his insane plans. Her arguments fall on deaf ears. His retort, “Is it a crime to want to keep you alive? Is it a crime for Science to jump ahead by years?”

UHM? Yes it is, ‘cos you’ve been stealing limbs and body parts for secret experiments and you’re going to kill an innocent girl for her body. But, again, what do I know. I’m not a Scientist.

-Burlesque Show
-Body Perfect Show
-Burlesque Cat Fight
-Bikini Fotoshoot
-Conehead Toxie
-Marble Catching Fire

6.0 out of 10

Check out the trailer for The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

Nov

posted by admin | November 21, 2009 | 60's b-movies, 60's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review

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Daniel WiltshireDaniel Wiltshire has been a fan of movies for as long as he can remember, but it was the prime-time movie theme weeks on local independent TV stations – while growing up in the ’80’s – that first amped his interest in classic sci-fi, horror, and suspense pictures. “In any given week there’d be a roster of alien invasion movies, monster movies, Hitchcock movies…seemingly anything. When you’re that young, there are no old movies. Everything is new, and I was easily hooked.” Some examples of the beginning of what would grow into an ever broadening spectrum of movie interests, are his memories of seeing two wildly dissimilar pictures; CITIZEN KANE (“I watched it because I thought the beginning was spooky.”) and the 1976 killer earthworm movie, SQUIRM (“The main thing I remember were these worms coming out of a shower head. I haven’t seen it in 25 years, but it’s still a pretty vivid image.”)

Daniel explains, “It often takes a few years for me to re-watch even some of my favorite films, because I’m always on the hunt for titles I haven’t seen before. I’m always looking for my next favorite movie. Aided by my personal “drug of choice”, Turner Classic Movies, I’ve learned that the more movies I see, the more I realize how little I’ve seen.”

Daniel has a background in cartooning, and works in video production as an animator / After Effects artist. Lost Highway welcomes Daniel to our desolate roadway and now we bring Daniel’s review of “The Wild Wild Planet”…

Wild Wild Planet

THE WILD WILD PLANET is one of those late-night movies that I stumbled upon a couple of years ago and immediately thought to myself, “What the…?!”  Shot in Italy, and released in 1965, it has made the rounds for decades as a sort of late-night movie staple.  Part swingin’ 60’s time capsule, and part unintentionally goofball science fiction, the WILD WILD PLANET is unlike any movie I’ve ever seen.

In the distant future, manly space-cop Mike Halstead is uncomfortable with all these newfangled technological marvels being developed by Dr. Nurmi, the top hot-shot chemist at uber-corporation Chem Bio Med.  Human organs being cultivated in laboratories for transplantation just isn’t “natural”, says the man flying around in a space ship and holstering a laser pistol.  But really, it’s not just the organ transplant thing that sparks his distrust.  Dr. Nurmi has also been putting some smooth dance moves on his main squeeze, Lieutenant Connie Gomez, and he doesn’t like that one bit.

Wild Wild PlanetMeanwhile, Mike and his team at Space Command are trying to solve the disappearance of thousands of prominent citizens.  What he doesn’t know is that the mysterious kidnappers – A claque of attractive, tall-haired women, each paired with a mute, genetically modified mutant – are shrinking down their victims to a sixth their normal size and transporting them via briefcase for experimentation.  Everything does not go flawlessly though, for midway through their shrinky-dinking of a Space Command professor, the abductors are interrupted by his shrieking granddaughter, so they flee, leaving behind their victim, merely half his normal size.  And by “half his normal size”, I mean…a dwarf actor with the doctor’s haircut and mustache.  Genius!

The kidnappings continue.  There are witnesses to some of the abductions, but strangely, no one seems to ever be in much of a hurry to actually…describe the kidnappers.  Sometimes the key to good police work is to just state the obvious:  “Bald guy.  Sunglasses.  Black hat.  Giant rubber trenchcoat!?”  Really, it’s not that difficult.  Nevertheless, the police manage to stumble upon two of the kidnappers, and a space-car chase ensues where they quickly crash their car in a terribly unconvincing miniature model fireball.

Rummaging through the wreckage, the police retrieve a briefcase containing some of the shrunken kidnapping victims.  Mike and his team now have the clues he needs to solve the conspiracy.  A conspiracy originating from an experimental lab on space station Delphus, which, coincidentally enough, is the same place his girlfriend went for her vacation for some reason or other.Wild Wild Planet

It should come as no surprise that Mike was correct all along to be suspicious of Dr. Nurmi. The whole plot leads back to the mad scientist’s secret base where Mike and his team uncover Nurmi’s plans to create a race of perfect supermen, (Yeah, that always goes well.) as well as a superfluous plan to genetically fuse himself with Connie into one perfect he/she “bi-sapian”(!).  The guy is truly off his nut.  It should be remembered that the number one clue to realizing someone’s a mad scientist is to note if their most common exclamation is “You FOOL!”, as in “You FOOL!  You dare thwart my plans?!” or “You FOOL!  These eggs are much too runny!”  It’s a giant red flag.

Anyway, after an interrupted transplant procedure, a hall of mirrors fake out, a judo fight melee between space-cops and mad-scientist lackeys, it all culminates in a flood of liquified human remains that looks like frothy, un-refrigerated, strawberry Jell-O.  The loopy plot, coupled with the candy-colored Jetson’s-style sets, and cityscapes straight out of a 60’s sci-fi pulp magazine, THE WILD WILD PLANET manages to be a strangely memorable movie.  Not particularly good mind you, but memorable.


– Judo fighting, female kidnappers
– Low speed bubble-car chases
– Stay-Fresh Mutant storage lockers
– 1 Billy Barty-ized Professor
– 3 Obi-Wan Kenobi-style vanishings
– 2 “helium head” put-downs
– 2 space-cops driven to hysterics
– Butterfly inspired interpretive dance
– Human “scraps” wheeled around on a TV tray

3 out of 10

Check out the trailer for The Wild Wild Planet

Aug

posted by admin | August 15, 2009 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review, Horror movies

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Syrin of CinemaLost Highway would like to welcome the Syrin of Cinema, Krysha Syrin as a guest reviewer to Lost Highway. “My attraction to B-movies started merely a year ago, after entering college. After attending what was to later become a weekly movie night at a friend’s house, I realized how much I missed the silver screen. We watched Grindhouse and I was intrigued. I wanted to know the inspiration behind the film, the history of the bygone grindhouse generation. Weeks upon weeks of researching and interviews later led me to the true fans of the trade. Before I knew it, I was grabbing a Netflix subscription, scouring video stores, and getting my hands on all the B-movies and exploitation films I could.

Between attending classes and working towards a degree in Creative Writing, my spare time is spent viewing all sorts of films and trying to entice everyone I know to do the same.” You can check out her website as well as follow her on Twitter.

hobgoblins

At first glance, Hobgoblins appears to be a strange off-shoot of Gremlins. Look again. Hobgoblins is a quirky mix of bad puppetry, bad acting, and an explosion of the 80s crammed into 90 minutes of non sci-fi torture.

The plot, should you ever find yourself forced to scrape one up off the bottom of this barrel, consists of a senile janitor named McCreedy who sends his interns off to their doom by trusting them to follow instructions and not investigate an unlocked, green-glowing vault. His latest janitorial protégé, Kevin, manages to free a “great evil” which McCreedy had tried to warn him about in sentence fragments but failed do to his senility.

Kevin attempts to correct his wrongdoing by wrangling up the Hobgoblin with his ragtag crew. Amy, his girlfriend with exceptionally high morals; Daphne, who thinks “morals” are a brand of condom; Daphne’s boyfriend, Nick, a war vet who probably got discharged for smuggling out grenades; and Kyle, female in-training.

At some point or another, the entire crew falls prey to the Hobgoblins cunning trickery, resulting in their arrival at Club Scum and the inevitable progression of the film further, much to any viewer’s dismay.

– Thugs
– Loose women
– Frigid women
– Spandex pushed to its limits
– Mortal Kombat: Garden tool edition
– Puppet-induced hallucinations
– Flailing
– Van rocking
– Extreme parking
– War flashbacks
– The plot (and let me know if you find it)

2.5 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Hobgoblins

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