Jun

Comments Off on Hell of the Living Dead

Tagline: They eat the living!

Year: 1980           Runtime: 101 min

Director: Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn) & Claudio Fragasso

Writer: Claudio Fragasson & Jose Maria Cunilles

Starring: Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay

There are any number of things that go awry that result in a b-movie: no budget, no talent in front of the camera, no talent behind the camera, no talent planning the film, etc., etc. There is no shortage of the preceding list which means there’s no shortage in b-movies. That’s great for the fans, and even better for us here on The Lost Highway, but the thing is, not all b-movies are “so bad they’re good.” That magic something that makes a bad movie entertaining is as elusive as Nessie and Sasquatch and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar.

Is it genius? Is it luck? Madness? A little column A, little column B, little column C? Like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

One avenue where I’ve noticed a high amount of success is where filmmakers ride the coattails of a more popular movie. The idea is simple: latch onto something that’s making money and exploit it with a cheap reproduction. Italian filmmakers in the 70s and 80s were particularly brilliant at capitalizing on this maneuver. Every genre is open to such exploitation, and infamous filmmakers were all too willing to slop something together for the fans lucre, I mean, enjoyment. Hell of the Living Dead sets the bar higher in that it tries to capitalize on three genres: zombies, cannibals, and natives (i.e. dark skinned people who are generally portrayed as cannibals) at once—and fails at them all.

There is no mistaking the je ne sais quoi of a spaghetti [fill-in-the-genre] film. Hell of the Living Dead reeks of it. One would think that in the light of such overwhelming ridicule these films received the filmmakers would call it quits after one, maybe two, flops. But no matter how far off the mark a exploitation movie landed, most of these filmmakers made many more schlock films. Unlike the specially designed javelin used to correct for Lamar’s limp-wristed throwing style, there is no correction possible for a Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso hot mess of a film.

Buddha be praised!

Word of Caution: because Hell of the Living Dead is a cinematic disaster of the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink calibre, it will appear I am having a hard time staying coherent. If you find yourself wondering, “What in the hell is he blubbering about?” don’t worry, it’s not because I’ve stroked out. That’s just the movie. Don’t think too deeply about the incongruities. Attempts to untangle the jumble will only cause you stress related injures. Allow the madness to wash over, and away, from you. The hollow feeling and night terrors will pass. The rocking, though, is permanent.

Hell of the Living Dead

The film opens in an industrial complex, a Hope Center. There are lots of white coat clad people with clipboards walking about with airs of important business. These are the world’s top scientists working on world hunger and stuff. How does flipping switches in what looks like a nuclear power plant solve the problem? No idea. Thankfully the movie exposits that the Hope Centers’ mission is to achieve Satiety, Peace and Good Happiness Stuff through the top secret project, Sweet Death.

Oh, Sweet Death, huh? Makes less sense than flipping switches, but OK. Interesting name though.

What’s more interesting is Sweet Death is a gas which kills people and then reanimates them as flesh eating zombies.

Uhm… I suppose “hope” has a special meaning in Italian that doesn’t quite translate into English.

One of the capsules has a meltdown during this flurry of activity, or as one worker puts it, “a routine spot check,” and Sweet Death gets out. The whole facility is infected. Another generation of idiots are removed from the gene pool, just in the nick of time. It’s not too bad though, this Hope Center is off the coast of New Guinea, which means there’s still a chance to keep this mishap under wraps. Keeping this PR nightmare quiet is important because most (third world) people are happy to have Mosanto, eherm, I mean, the Hope Centers in their countries, helping them with hunger and stuff.

(The movie says there are Hope Centers, i.e. more than one. It only shows the one. It hints of the others in moments of exposition that serve only to confuse and annoy the audience. Are they all working together? Are they independent? Who is paying for all this? Who knows.)

But not everyone is blind to Evil Corporate Big Brother Reich’s real plans. A band of know-it-all college hippies takes an American embassy hostage to expose the truth, man. What they get for all their planning and effort is a special Interpol commando team (SICT) with itchy trigger fingers. Wearing protective gear wasn’t part of their course at university, and they’re too smart to duck and/or get behind cover, so another generation of idiots are removed from the gene pool, just in the nick of time.

That concludes the unnecessary but entertaining portion of the film. Now that the film’s introduced SICT, on to the zombie action!

Because the Sweet Death outbreak is confined to New Guinea the UN sics SICT on it. SICT is supposed to… well… the movie never says. Mike, the SICT leader admits, when they finally arrive at the Hope Center, that he doesn’t know what their supposed to do. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

SICT flies INTO the country, where they then have to make their way cross country to the coast, then out to sea to the Hope Center. While this would seem to be as smart a lighting your pubic hair on fire to remove a lice infestation, it turns out to be a necessary contrivance. It’s only in hindsight that one learns that this lame planning is to pad out the film’s runtime. Without the cross country adventure the movie would run about 30 – 35 minutes.

None of the journey is necessary to the story. Actually, there’s not really a story, so tacking this scene on to that scene and another to this other one is as good a plot as Hell of the Living Dead offers. Cutting through the country is simply an excuse to pick up Lia and her cameraman, show some natives doing native things, and have the zombie attacks.

To add realism to the native scenes the filmmakers incorporated a bunch of footage from a documentary.  They did the same for establishing shots of traveling through the jungle. As you can expect the footage doesn’t match up. The editing is so bad that it doesn’t come close to fitting in with the original footage. In one scene there’s a kangaroo rat running through a desert that’s supposedly next to the Landrover as they’re driving through the jungle. In another scene we see natives canoeing in a wide river, but the commandos are in a thick jungle nowhere near water.

But it’s the sound dub for the animals that’s the tops. I thought there was nothing funnier than seeing a Kung Fu movie dubbed into Spanish. I was wrong. Hell of the Living Dead does one better, they dubbed different animal sounds for the ones shown. The best is a scene of what looks like storks dubbed in turkey gobbles. Priceless.

What would a 80s B horror flick be with out gratuitous nudity? Not a 80s B horror flick, that’s what. At least not an Italian one. As there’s only one woman, it’s Lia who has to show one for the team. Why she does so is classic horny teenage boy logic. The only way to get into the savages’ village is for Lia to go in topless and a vine g-string. Why? Because she lived with the tribe for a year. Uhm. OK. Does that mean she ran around naked save for a vine g-string that year? Is this what all women do, or just white women? Eh, who cares. She jogs ahead of the vehicles for a bit for some nice jiggle action. Bonus (for the extras playing natives that day): All the tribe members get to touch the naked white woman. SUH-weet!

Ultimately Hell of the Living Dead is to zombie movies what Taco Bell is to Mexican food. It will give you diarrhea and shaves an hour and a half off of your life. Yet, for some crazy reason, you keep going back for more.

roadside attractions

  • Hear the racism in lines like: “What kind of terrorist? Palestinian? Iranian? New kind?”!
  • Gape as the characters do while their close friends and co-workers and lovers are eaten by zombies!
  • Witness a vicious zombie rat attack!
  • Learn what the UN truly is: a big theatre with 12 people waving and throwing papers at one another!
  • Wonder why everything is contaminated and turning people into zombies except for our heroes!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Buckets of blood, black slime, and sundry goop.

2

blood

BREASTS

Lia, the sole woman, has to strip to get into the natives’ village.

10

beast

BEASTS

Loads of Poo-Faced™ Zombies.

7.33 OVERALL
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Jun

posted by deadman | June 19, 2014 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, modern horror, Reviews by Deadman

Comments Off on Big Ass Spider

big ass spider

Welcome back to another review from me, the Deadman. Before I begin I want to thank all the elders of losthighway.com for picking me to be an official reviewer. And now that I’ve proudly served my time in the dungeon battling radioactive weasels with nipple tasers and spartan shields I’m ready to get to it!

This time I’ll be reviewing another monster movie. Oh, cable. How you love to put out things that we can sit back and make fun of. This movie is proudly known as “Big Ass Spider.” Before I start ripping into this marvel I’d like to take a second and actually acknowledge that I LIKE this movie! Yeah. I actually ENJOYED this little run into the B-flick. I’ll give you all a moment to retrieve your collective jaws from the floor. Okay. Here we go.

One of my biggest problems with the usual big monster fodder is simple: these movies take themselves seriously. As if a bigfoot movie starring Donnie Bonaduci will surprise everyone and win an academy award or be nominated for an oscar. Yeah. However. This movie does what it’s cousin “Sharknado” does and that’s not take itself seriously. At all. The cliches are played up. The humor is there. The director lets the actors have fun with the rolls and allows the movie to be exactly what it should be: a fun little romp.

You gotta love a movie where one of the roles credited is “Girl With The Rack”. Now this whole movie is about….you guessed it. A big ass spider. Escaped from a military base and hidden away on a corpse of some guy we’ll never care about. Now that we got our premise let’s get to the rest of the cast. Though the movie, itself, revolves around three main characters, it does give us a plethora of people to wish a spidery death upon. The protagonist is a self-employed exterminator named Alex Mathis, who in his first few minutes of film gets bit by a spider. Clever, writer, clever. Thus prompting him to end up in the same hospital as our escaped killer arachnid. Convenient!

After escaping and biting some random guy EVENTS HAPPEN! Soon our main star is pressed into service to kill the eight-legged monstrosity in order to clear his hospital bill. I didn’t know healthcare worked that way. Hmm. Next time I wind up in the ER I’ll take my zombie hunting gear and try to strike a bargain with the mortician. But I digress. After picking up his sidekick, a mexican security guard with a lot of personality, our hero takes after the murderous creature. Several fruitless encounters later leads the third main character to be introduced. Her name is Lieutenant Karly Brant. AKA The love interest.

As you’ve guessed the love interest gal is part of the military and now we have set the stage! LET THE B-FLICK ACTION COMMENCE! At this point is where most of these movies lose steam, falling into failed character development or trying to set up a climax in long, drawn-out process. Big Ass Spider fights that web and fang! Instead of focusing on characters we will never find deep it lets the title character go completely Godzilla! First we trash a park, filled with delicious people, of course, next is a platoon of army folks! And our hero actually does prove his worth by rescuing Lt. Karly Brant. Where you’d usually go “Why didn’t he save anyone else?” this movie answers that by actually having him try to! Yeah! A B-Movie that covers plot holes!

There go those jaws again. Again where there should be boring character development we have the director using his best tool: IMPROV! There are more than a couple of scenes between Alex and Jose (The security guard) that actually made me laugh! I kept watching and thinking that there was no way this was scripted! Their humor is effortless and not forced at all. Which kept me in the film, I am not ashamed to say. Uh. Type. After a huge chase, exploding cars and a wrecked exterminator truck included, we find our climax at the heart of Los Angeles. The arachnid has now reached huge proportions and is now climbing a building while capturing humans to feed her soon to be hatched eggs. That’s right! Purpose to the destruction! I love little things like that. You know, plot points.

But lo, all is not well as Lieutenant Love Interest has gotten herself captured! With her own military unit threatening a nuclear strike to contain the incident Alex and Jose are now her only hope! As I said the cliches are played up. Ticking clock until nuke strike, a final battle between our heros and the hatchlings, and a boss battle to end all spider boss battles, the movie ends with a happy ending. I don’t want to give away any spoilers because I really do recommend this movie for a good night to have some laughs. It gets my thumbs up.

So there you have it. A B-movie movie worthy of being checked out. While it suffers from the same bad CGI that most others do it’s more than forgivable. The humor flows naturally, the spider takes the main stage, and it does a bit of a Tarantino at the beginning. I can’t stop giving kudos to the attitude the flick takes versus others of the same nature. B-Flick fans will have fun.

roadside attractions

  • Spider ass
  • Improv humor
  • Girl with the rack
  • Scream cam
  • CGI blood everywhere
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

While CGI there’s plenty to be had as well as other ooey gooeyness.

4

blood

BREASTS

10

beast

BEASTS

Spiders and spiders and more spiders! Who knew they could roar?

9.0  OVERALL
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Jun

Comments Off on Xtro

I’m starting to doubt this whole “aliens are among us” conspiracy theory going around lately. Sure, back in the day when ET was on lunchboxes and Alf was eating cats, I was more inclined to believe such nonsense, but now I call shenanigans. Occasionally we get a “credible” witness like a Walmart manager who is abducted in the parking lot or and old lady with glaucoma who saw blurry lights out by her woodshed. To me it seems like it’s mostly just drunk deer hunters in pickup trucks. Kardishains are actually aliens? Yes that’s believable, but drunk deer hunters who may have just shot their buddies in the face aren’t the reliable witnesses as you would’ve originally believed. They have consistently lied about deer they shoot and how many other hunters in the process (the averaged is 3). Why would I ever believe them if they claim to be probed by a 8 ft albino? So now whenever I’m approached by a old beat up pick up truck with a gun rack in back, I know that someone is about to tell me a lie. I say to that fellow, “Whoa there bearded stranger, you best sober up and we’ll talk about your alien encounter over a hot cup of joe.” and we share a good flavored coffee and laugh about the ridiculousness of it all. So remember, don’t trust drunk deer hunters when it comes to alien conspiracies but do trust sober pheasant hunters with bigfoot stories. They are most trustworthy people you can meet and will never steer you wrong. (except Dick Cheney)

xtroSpeaking of alien abductions, Xtro is yet another movie that further destroyed any extraterrestrial credibility left. Tony and his dad Sam are out in their backyard playing fetch with their dog when the fetch stick suddenly explodes in mid air and the dad is sucked up like a vacuum cleaner into a vortex of light leaving Tony wondering what happened to his stick.

Years later, Tony is still having nightmares about the abduction and rightly so. His mother Angela seems to be coping well, since she’s shacking up with a photographer named Joe and hiring a French live-in maid played by Maryam Dabo. That life insurance must have paid off nicely. Things are all set up for a outrageous romantic comedy, but then a meteor falls in the woods and some hairless alien dog oozes out of it. The gooey mutt finds a woman in a nearby English cottage and attaches to her face with an alien vacuum hose depositing mutant DNA into her womb. She awakens hours later with a hangover and a tummy the size of a Volkswagen which she spontaneously gives birth to the recently abducted Sam as a full grown man!!! Whoooaaa! No hot water, no warm towels, no epidermal. This could be the best pro abstinence video ever.

Sam is a bit bewildered also a bit colicky, so he steals some clothes after killing a tourist and tracks down Tony and his mom back in town. Rachel his wife smacks him upside the face, but he explains how he had amnesia for the past 3 years and is ready to be a dad again. She totally buys his story letting him move in and kicking Joe to the curb in no short order. So take note cheatin’ boyfriends, just claim amnesia and everything works out fine.

Things seem like old times with the family back together, but Tony catches his Dad eating his pet snake’s eggs and is chased into the street and given an alien hickie. Seems that Sam wants to turn Tony into his own alien hell spawn. Days later, Tony seems his normal bland self, but suddenly develops psychic powers to conjure midget clowns and giant GI Joe dolls to go on killing sprees. At one point, he even creates a black cougar. Yes that’s right, aliens love cats, Alf lied to us! After Tony kills his neighbor, he strings up his live-in French maid as a giant cocoon to lay gooey alien eggs in the bathtub. She’s a sort of inverted pez dispenser. xtroWhile all this is going on, Rachel and Sam have run off to a cottage to make the sign of the 2 humped back whale. Sadly in mid love making, Sam’s skin starts falling off which really destroys the mood. Rachel freaks and Sam runs into the woods to meet up with his alien peeps to talk about his crazy times as a Englishmen. Joe the ex-boyfriend shows up hauling Tony along for the ride but ends up getting his brain melted away by Tony’s alien sonic attack. Rachel runs screaming after Tony, who meets up with his dad who is now full on alien and they disappears into a beam a light abandoning his mother and thus ending the weirdest Pink Floyd video ever.

Not too shabby for an alien film if you ignore the midget clown and random black cougar attacks. I’m thinking the movie might have been actually made by real aliens but we may never know. The truth is out there. *fade away with x-files music*

roadside attractions

  • Exploding fetch stick
  • Frog tongue lashing
  • Snake egg eating
  • Mutant hickies
  • Snake smashing
  • Killer midget clowns
  • Killer giant GI Joe dolls
  • Random black cougar attack
  • Jello molds gone bad
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Lots of alien goo and ickiness to go around.

8

blood

BREASTS

Maryam Diabo, enough said.

9

beast

BEASTS

One crazy alien mutant with optional mutating son. midget clown, a giant GI-Joe, a snake, and a panther. Sounds like a late night L.A. party.

8 2 OVERALL
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Jun

Comments Off on Madman

Madman
1982 – R – Code Red
Starring – Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish – Directed by Joe Giannone

Ah, summertime. I believe Will Smith said it best when he said, “Every moment frontin’ and maxin’, chillin’ in the car they spent all day waxin’. Leanin to the side, but you can’t speed through, two miles an hour so everybody sees you.” This has nothing to do with this review, but man wasn’t that a good song? Especially in the summer?

Alright, now that the joke is out of the way, summer holds a special nostalgic place in most of our hearts. For me, going to camp was one of the most exciting parts. Getting together with all the other kids to play games, learning survival skills and telling spooky stories around the campfire. And let’s be honest, you felt so accomplished when they would slap a badge for that on your shirt, but instantly demasculate you with a baking badge. Nonetheless, I love the old feeling I get when I’m up late watching horror movies based around summer camp. Brings me back to a time when it was okay for adults to scare the living pee out of children.

One such tale is the legend of Cropsey. An actual story I’m familiar with since it was most popular in the upstate New York area, where I lived when I was young and went to camp. In a nutshell, the story is about a man returning to his familiar grounds and murder anyone who dares to camp there. Of course, this all depends on who is telling the tale, since, as with most legends, there are several versions of it, but this one seemed to be the most popular. So popular in fact, that someone decided to make a movie about and call it The Burning. However, another movie using the same tale was being made around the same time, but the good ol’ Weinstein’s beat them to the punch, so a small rewrite later, writer/director Joe Giannone unleashed Madman.

mm_2It’s the last day of camp as a group of kids are being horribly scarred for life by a ghost story that camp counselor sings to them as he prances around the fire. Chuckling at his amateur kid frightening skills, head counselor Max decides to one up him and calmly tells the children in the most trusting and soothing voice a supposedly true legend that will make sure no amount of therapy will ever help these children. That tale is the legend of Madman Marz, who murdered his wife and child with an axe, where he was shortly hung for his crimes (this was back in the day when lynching was encouraged… or the South), but his body had disappeared! Concluding, his name is never to be said above a whisper or else he would return to his sacred grounds and kill anyone who is present. So of course, the first thing the mouthy little punk Richie (who must’ve been a top contender for Mouth in The Goonies) does is scream his name and unnecessarily throw a rock an unknown amount of distance, which I’m guessing is at least half a mile away, judging by his solo march there later on, smashing out a window on a vacant house. This house seems so far off, it may as well have been Jenny’s house from Forest Gump. All have a good laugh as Max says his goodbye and goodnight to the kids, but Betsy (played by Dawn of the Dead‘s Gaylen Ross) disapproves of the story frightening the children, forever spoiling spooky campfire stories for everyone everywhere.

Betsy has a thing for TP and your guess is as good as mine as to why, since he snuffs her affection before they all return to their cabin. He quickly apologizes to the group about his outburst and to Betsy since it’s probably his last opportunity to hook up, as Max leaves to head into town to get supplies… and beer. Can’t forget beer.

But that’s not why you’re watching this movie. Camp cook and professional whiskey drinker Dippie is the first to fall victim, as Marz tears out his throat. I know we are all attached to this character and you’ll be in disbelief when you see him die, like when you saw Steven Segal die in Executive Decision. Still brings tears to my eyes.

What follows next is perhaps one of the most drawn out, semi-underwater, slow motion love scenes between TP and Betsy and lemme tell ya, you will be reaching for that fast forward button. It seriously drags out for several minutes, which normally wouldn’t be a bad thing, but Gaylen Ross keeps her puppies well hidden the entire time, while TP flexes his cheeks before climbing into the hot tub. While these two are contaminating the water, Madman Marz watches from outside. It’s about this time TP realizes he should probably check on the boys and notices that Richie is missing and goes out looking for him… alone… in the dark woods. Betsy offers to come with him, but he declines, as she sees a lumbering, shadowy figure darting around, but shrugs it off. I’m sure TP will be fine…

Did I say fine? I meant strangled and hung up like a pinata. To the actor’s credit, he really pulls of the excruciating pain that one must go through when being hung, as he actually choked himself by tying a rubber band around his neck! Now that’s “dead-ication.” Meanwhile, Betsy is back at camp complaining to Stacy that TP only wants sex when they realize he’s been gone for quite some time. Dave volunteers to go out alone into the woods to get killed next, bumping into TP’s body along the way and manages to dodge a few of Marz’s axe attacks before one finally manages to decapitate him. He was way in over his head anyway…

mm_3So now Stacy think TP is playing a joke (cause that’s what you did back then, play ineffectual pranks) and takes the car down to find everyone. Investigating something going bump in the night, she bursts in on the other two counselors, Ellie and Bill, about to bump uglies. She leaves them to their session of foreignication and has either very keen senses to where the others may be or this is the smallest wooded area in the world. She literally stumbles on Dave’s headless corpse (you starting to see a pattern here?) and runs back to the truck, but unfortunately the she has fallen victim to horror cliche #14: the stalling vehicle. Using all her mechanic knowledge, which I’m guessing is about none, she sticks her head right under the hood so Marz can cleverly jump on the hood to take off her head. That’s yer problem right there!

Bill and Ellie are hot on her heels searching for her when Ellie spots Marz standing over his trophy, which immediately sends her dashing toward Bill where she pleads with him to do the most rational thing; LEAVE! But what good is that? Bill suggests the most facepalming idea in history, to go check it out. Yes, go right toward the lumbering, superhuman maniac with an axe. Stacy’s body and Marz are gone when they reach the truck and oddly enough, neither of them see the blood splashed all over the front of the truck and decide to drive it back to camp, but if you recall, the truck does not start. Daves finds Stacy’s head in the engine and tosses it aside like an unwanted soggy melon and the truck starts (that’s got ‘er!) and they start to speed back to camp, but not before Marz rips Bill out of the driver’s side and snaps his back like a twig. After the truck crashes into a tree, Ellie runs back into camp and very cleverly hiding in the fridge. Seriously, if I were a killer (I’m not, I swear!), I would never in a million years think to check the fridge for my victims. Fresh ones anyway. That’s where you keep the leftovers. Unfortunately, it’s all for nothing. Once the noise quiets down, Ellie pokes her head out and checks the place out, only to be stabbed. The scene is really well paced and actually made me nervous!

Cut in between all this is the adventures of our young hooligan Richie, who has now stumbled upon the house he threw a rock at, which happens to be the home of Marz. After poking around a bit, he finds the dead bodies of all of the counselors in the basement. Good luck with therapy, kid!

So, if you’re doing your math correctly, this leaves lonesome Betsy, who is unaware that her friends have been brutally butchered. She’s making her rounds like a prison guard, which I’m sure all campers are familiar with that feeling, when she spots Ellie’s body and dashes off to grab a shotgun. Seems like the only smart characters in this movie are gossipy girls. Guys take note; just because your girlfriend talks constantly about makeup and their friend’s current boy toys, doesn’t mean she can’t properly load your hunting rifles and outgun you. Just ask Ellie, who managed to survive her stab wounds and creeps up to the door, who Betsy mistakes for Marz and blasts her friend’s face off. Whoops.

Betsy loads all the kids onto the bus and tells the eldest to drive the rest into town as she searches for her friends, which, remember, she has no idea are already dead. It’s probably a good thing a panicked woman who just emptied a double barrel 12 gauge shotgun at her friend’s head, probably isn’t in the best condition to drive a bus full of scared, jumpy children. Marz attacks the bus before they can leave, but retreats once the non harmful, padded door is shut on his hand and Betsy knows she has to end it once and for all, chasing him down to the house from before that Richie somehow managed to bust a window out from several miles away. After some creeping around, Marz attacks her, slashing her face open and impaling her on a hook Texas Chainsaw Massacre style, but happens to be packing a hunting knife, stabbing Marz who accidentally knocks over a candle, setting the place ablaze. Who knew her inner-pyro would come in handy? All for nothing though, as Marz escapes into the night.

mm_4Coming back from a long night of drinking, Max who is surprisingly not swerving all over the road spots Richie who is riddled with fear. Max asks the Richie what’s the matter, to which he exclaims, “Madman Marz… he’s real!”

To the movies credibility, it does pace the tension and build up very nicely. The scenes that build up to a characters death are drawn out to the point where you will be on the edge of your seat just waiting for something to happen and when it finally does in a glorious, blood splattered death, it pays off. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the scenes of the counselors interacting with one another. I would say it’s too close to real life, since they don’t really discuss anything interesting, but that’s what it is. Just conversations about things I don’t think people actually talk about or girls going on about guys and blah, blah, blah. Mostly, they serve as an excuse for one character to head out into the dark woods alone to find the previous character who went off into the dark woods alone, so at least at times it does get the plot moving along.

Also, for being a low budget horror film of the early 80’s, it does have some of the best atmosphere you can get out of a slasher. The scenes are dark and often backlit, filled with the wood’s cold fog that can make something as open as the outdoors feel claustrophobic and making Marz feel larger than life. Speaking of, Marz is a pretty interesting killer with a well developed back story. Some horror flicks take several sequels to build a character’s backstory and can’t even do as good of a job as this movie did in just a few minutes. I’m looking at you Saw! A sequel was actually planned, picking up shortly after the events of the first film, wherein Richie would be in a psychiatric ward and he and Max return to the camp ground to try and stop Marz, but sadly the movie was never made, most likely due to Madman‘s obscurity or maybe studios didn’t want to take a chance on a lesser known flick, since Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St. sequels were the ticket.

Madman
I like to find any reason I can to talk about this film, as I mentioned Madman is one of my favorite slashers. Sure it’s filled with a number of cliches, but it’s fun. Heck, I even did a video review of it, which you can check out here. So join me next time around the campfire to tell more chilling ghost stories… and bring S’mores!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • The legend of Madman Marz, as told by the most trusting man ever.
  • Riche, all star quarterback.
  • Dippie.
  • Girl talk.
  • Hanging around.
  • Car trouble.
  • She was shooting her mouth off!
  • Gaylen Ross is Drew Berrymore in Firestarter.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Decapitations, bone snappings, mutilations and throat rips that even Patrick Swayze would be proud of.

3

blood

BREASTS

Two sex scenes and no boobs… something is wrong here.

9

beast

BEASTS

Shove off Jason, make room for Marz!

6.6 OVERALL
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Jun

posted by Barry Goodall | June 9, 2014 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Guest Review

Comments Off on The GreensKeeper: A guest review by HMMadness

After seeing how many bad movies, remakes, reboots, and SCIFY Channel movies were coming down creating Anarchy, I realized you couldn’t beat them, so I watched them, and now hunt them down and watch what others won’t or can’t. Its my own way of either spreading the Anarchy or keeping a lid on it. Take your pick, its Madness…and as a large number of them consist of horror that is the name I choose, Horror Movie Madness or just HMMadness.

Holy Crap, this movie is stupid. I get B movies should be goofy and this one is even trying to spoof other movies like it and itself even, but it just does not work, as the acting and style is awful.

It had three directors and maybe that’s why it is as bad as it. We have Kevin Greene who gave us just this as a director, he was an actor/producer/writer on a movie called The Sorority.

Adam Johnson who who was also a director on a documentary called Train Days. Finally we have Tripp Norton who only has a director credit for this but was in the art department of movies like X-Men First Class, Anchorman 2, Zombieland, and many others…weird.

We open up with Allen Anderson(played by Allelon Ruggiero) dreaming, or is he. Then maybe another dream…Who knows. This leads into some of the lamest credits ever, the names are spaced between shots from the movie, like a bad sitcom or Soap.

We get some poor dialogue between Allen and his girlfriend Mary Katherine(played by Allison Kulp) about how he is just an assistant greenskeeper and doesn’t even have car, as he sold it to visit Morrison’s grave for inspiration in his screen writing? It tries to explain his dreams using Close Encounters mashed potato scene but his dumb pot smoking friends don’t get it.

We met some of his Allen’s friends, Rain Drop, Muffy, and Helmet Boy? They don’t really matter so we are not going to focus on them. At the country club we meet spoiled rich girls and some guys named Chaz, Chad, and Champ. We also met the head greenskeeper, Otis. The kids were to have a party at one girls house but her parents could not go on vacation but they have booze and crack already…what to do. They decide to sneak into the country club after hours to have the party, we get the back story of a greens keeper who was badly burned and seeks revenge on the club, he lives in a old shack in the woods and had maybe killed a man named Old Man Rivers…

We get some shots of what greens keepers do, planting flags, cutting grass, boring and not needed. We see that some of the guys of the club are both stupid and homophobic. One of them talks about how public television is full of “gay seeds” Look at Bert and Ernie and how Ernie eats cookies in Bert’s bed? Then the fact they wear saddle oxfords and turtlenecks. Plus look at Snuffleupagus? Thats all they say…

Some country club young, arrogant jerk is out golfing, talking on his cell phone and steps in a huge thing of water. He gets killed with a 4 iron by a greens keeper. We go back to the storage area where we see Otis taking off a greens keeper helmet and see what looks like red stuff on his shirt…

Then we see the rich kids again, this time in a car, out in public, with the windows rolled down, snorting coke….Wow….

Lets speed this up. I am not going to do every lame joke and tired thing. There is a sort of ongoing joke as different groups at times are watching a horror movie on tv that I think is called The Milkman, Allen comments on how yes you can make a few bucks on a original killer in a Milkman, with T&A, some weird kills and c list actors making 10 minute cameos but where is the ART! Sigh…

We meet the rest of Allen’s family at his birthday dinner, his mom who is a nagging know it all and his stepfather who runs the country club since Allen’s father died. Even marrying his mother but Allen can’t stand him. We learn next to nothing about him.

So the party happens and lot of people show up. Some of the guys are sitting around and the homophobic one says that of course Hendrix was guy, “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” That is gay”. The tennis pro also sneaks in while the gate is open with a young girl but head to the tennis court?

Allen tries to break up with Mary K but she says that would be dumb as their are guys who would walk across deserts just to eat the corn out of her waste(she uses a much stronger word) . Seriously?? Really?

Finally the Greens Keeper starts to make their move, killing the tennis pro by putting nails in the automatic ball shooter, driving a nail into his head. Drags the girl out out a bathroom stall and kills her. Other guy was drowned in the pool while blindfolded, another couple have sex on a golf cart even though her bathing suit is on the whole time.

Guy gets killed taking a leak, using a golf ball washer, girl killed by a thrown weapon of some kind and then maybe run over with golf cart, not really sure. Then we get more sexual stuff, out on a green, he swears to pull out and asks who is your daddy, they are offed by a post hole digger.

We see a guy climbing down off a lifeguard tower, with the Elena girl waving. Then we see shots of the pool and then the guy is just sitting on the tower again. Turns out to be a dead guy…so how he started to climb down is curious. We find Mary K tied to a tree with golf tees in her head, guess that killed her. Then we get the only non cliche, a girl escapes and hides while the killer runs past her, losing her. That,s unusual…

This leads to Allen, Elena, and a dude in a greens keeper outfit in the maintanice building, when the real killer shows up and gives their reason for doing it all. Its contrived and stupid, and we see what happens to everyone and why…

Avoid this movie, it really has nothing redeeming about it, it is not clever. It thinks it is but really it’s stupid and the jokes fall flat pretty much every time, I didn’t crack a smile even once. Some of the deaths were different or unique but they took forever to get there and the reasons behind everything was pointless. They tried to lead you one way and swerve you but if you pay attention you know that is not what is going on.

I hope they had fun making this movie as I had zero fun watching it. The hour and 20 minutes felt like forever.

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