Oct

posted by The Goon | October 9, 2013 | 60's b-movies, 60's movies, Drama, Reviews by the Goon, Suspense, screeners

Night Tide
1961 – PG – Kino Lorber

Tales about mermaids are often thought to be full of wonder and whimsy and giving credit to the music that plays during the intro to Night Tide, it’s understandable why you would think that. But don’t let the score fool you. This is a ghostly tale, about secrets, lies and murder. It will lure you in with a false sense of safety and will play on your innocence. Before you know it, you’re neck deep in panic, wondering if something foul is waiting for you. It’s a smooth, unemphatic transition, like night and day. You don’t notice until it’s too late.

A pre-cocaine fueled Dennis Hopper stars in a tale about mermaids and murder. Murmaider, if you will. Hopper plays Johnny, a sailor on shore leave. This brings him to a small Californian coastal town, where he walks a pier and finds himself inside a cool jazz bar. The local patrons in this scene are actually quite believable as what you would think of as “regulars.” Each person is distinctive, emoting a different mood. Like they are all actually there for different reasons and could tell you their story and you’d believe it. However, they all are moving their head in the same pattern to the music that it’ll make your neck hurt. That is until Johnny notices a striking young woman. He finally gathers the courage to go talk to her, but before he can make casual chit chat, the young woman is scared off by a slightly older looking woman, garbed in black, speaking in a foreign tongue. Like the drunk frat dude when the bar’s closing, Johnny dashes off to hound her. Just cause it’s time to quit it, doesn’t mean you can’t hit it, bro.

It’s interesting to look at a scenario like that in pretext. Although they exchanged about three lines of dialogue, this was considered charming or romantic, especially in the silver age of cinema. A young man would approach you at the bar, ask you your name, tell you that you are beautiful, buy you a drink and give you a kiss, sealing the deal. You were a couple after that. People saw this as romantic and I can see why. A man, tingling head to toe in fear with rejection, shakes his feathers and approaches that stunning girl and asks her name. Nobody does that now, unless it’s through social media. Otherwise it’s considered “creepy.”

night_tide_2Well, we got off track! Johnny walks her home, above the carousel, learning her name is Mora. The next day over breakfast, they seem to be fond of one another and to be honest, the chemistry here is really believable. Telling him she works at the carnival’s sideshow attraction, she invites him to a show where we are introduced to Sam Murdock, an old British Navy Captain. Johnny thinks something may be strange about him, so Mora tells him that she was rescued by him at a young age and adopted. This was back in the day when you could just pick up a random child and claim them as yours willy-nilly. Later that evening while Mora is dancing (either that or the worst wave impression ever), she spots that woman in black and faints. Things sure are getting weird.

Speaking of weird, Johnny learns from local girl Ellen that Mora’s ex-boyfriends have all died mysteriously. Even more mysterious, he spots the woman in black and follows her all the way to Captain Murdock’s place, who seems to be trying to replace his blood with booze. Before passing out drunk and snoring like Tom Arnold inhaling a bowl of hospital Jell-O, he warns Johnny that he is in grave danger as long as he is with Mora. Upon confronting Mora, she tells him that she is of Siren descent and will kill when the moon is full. Women, huh? Always trying to kill you during the cycle of the moon… I’m just gonna stop there. Johnny ignores this hogwash, but soon has a nightmare that she turns into an octopus and tries strangling him.

I bet you never thought you would see Dennis Hopper wrestle a Muppet octopus.

He awakes from this nightmare to find her standing under the pier, calling his name, standing in the way of the crashing waves as if she is trying to drown herself. She’s not tied to the pier, mind you, because most sane people get out of the way of that sort of thing simply by moving their legs and removing them from that particular danger.

night_tide_3The next morning, having slept on Mora’s floor to ensure her safety, Johnny goes to get those kinks in his back worked out by a masseuse. Things get “steamy” while Johnny’s butch, hairy masseuse, Bruno, works on his shoulders. There is nothing wrong with a man giving another man a massage, but it’s the exchange of dialogue once Captain Murdock pops his head in to say, “Hi” that makes this scene a bit awkward. The masseuse asks the Captain if he wants him to, “pound him later,” to which the Captain replies, “Now why would I forgo a pleasure like that?” The movie immediately brushes this dialogue off its’ shoulders and the Captain further feeds Johnny’s fear about Mora. Now, I have no problems with sexual orientation, but it seems out of context in this scene… even for the Sixties. Once again, I feel like I derailed this review. Let’s get it back on track, shall we?

It’s finally the full moon and Mora invites Johnny along for some scuba diving, which he doesn’t think is a good idea, but she manages to coax him into it. It almost proves to be fatal, as Mora removes his breathing gear and swims off. He makes it back onto the boat, but doesn’t see Mora come back up for air. Devastated as the days go by, believing that maybe she really is a mermaid, Johnny finally revisits the carnival when reading her name in the newspaper. Everything draws to a close when he visits Mora’s attraction, but not without a few ghastly twists and turns that, to be honest, you will not see coming.

Night Tide is a suspenseful voyage of perplexity, thick with atmosphere and dread. Dread that builds up like a violin string being pulled tensely, but will not break. I have to admit, it is strange at first to see Dennis Hopper not playing such an oddball character, but he does take this role seriously (but there is still that goofiness we love him for) and his attraction to Mora seems genuine. The two play off of each other so well, you could actually believe they are a new couple, still learning about each other, but in love. Not only that, but it’s a refined film to look at, with almost a perfect gray scale in every scene and objects pop out at you with such depth. Kino Lorber restored this from the original 35mm print and boy, does it show.

Night Tide
Go on leave from your job, rent a seedy hotel room, shack up with a mermaid on a full moon and grab your copy of Night Tide from Kino. Well you don’t have to do any of that, besides watch the movie, but if you’re gonna do it, you may as well go all out.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Non-hopped up Hopper.
  • MURMAIDER!
  • It’s Jazz, baby.
  • Mouth watering Mora.
  • Captain Cryptic.
  • Woman in black.
  • Nautical nightmares.
  • Masseuse innuendo.
  • Scuba sabotage.
  • Scooby Doo ending.
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

Octopus wrestling and gun play, but no ooze.

4

blood

BREASTS

Nothing bare, but you can oogle at Mora’s cleavage.

8

beast

BEASTS

Mermaids, a Muppet and a murderer!

4.6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

trailers

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Oct

Pieces
1983 – Unrated – Grindhouse Releasing

Grindhouse Releasing is responsible for distributing the most sadistic, trashiest, violent and perverted films known to man and that’s why we love them. There’s something about films filled with unnecessary gore and nudity that really captivate you. It’s like it fills an arcane void, satisfying your darkest needs so you won’t lash out at the public. Take the film Pieces, for example. It’s permeate with buckets of gore, murder, nudity and hokiness any everyday Samaritan who is about to detonate with rage could need.

It’s 1942 in Boston and although the Patriots pennant on the wall won’t exist until the 60’s, a young lad sits deliberating, solving where the next piece to his nudie puzzle should go. His mother enters and instantly starts slapping him like she’s Chris Brown and grabs a garbage bag (from the future apparently, since those weren’t invented until the 50’s) and tosses the puzzle in there. Like any rational young boy, he axes her to death, out of nowhere, severs the body with a saw, grinning away the whole time. This is just in time for the cleaning lady and the police to show up and find him, and his mother’s head, and call his aunt with a push button phone from the 70’s. Wow, you could call this a period piece… Period Pieces… ahem.

pieces_2Forty years later, a pair of black rubber gloved hands, presumably the young boy all grown up, starts to piece the puzzle back together. After a moment of that, the movie decides to show you a college girl on a skateboard crash into a giant mirror being carried across the sidewalk by two movers, which I thought they only did in cartoons. This scene is irrelevant to the movie, but it’s warming you up for what’s in store. Next, we see another young college girl studying on the grass, played by the same actress oddly enough (and no, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be the same girl) as someone covered head to toe in a long coat, scarf and fedora is doing some light gardening with a chainsaw. What other attire would be proper to garden in? Rather than cut down some branches, he decapitates her, spewing gallons of blood! Hope you aren’t squeamish, because it only gets better from here.

Have no fear, Lt. Bracken (played by the favorable Christopher George) is on the case, usually chewing on what looks like a Slim Jim. On campus, he meets with the dean, played by Edmund Perdom, who seems to be overly pointing the finger at the groundskeeper, Willard, a large oafish man, reminding you of Bluto from Popeye. He seems innocent enough, even if he is chuckling to himself while passionately cleaning a chainsaw. Overcompensating for something, Willard?

pieces_3This is when we are introduced to campus stud (the movie’s words, not mine), Kendall. He’s like if you crossed Steve Guttenberg with Richie Cunningham. The babes are on him so thick, he has to peel them off like wet bologna stuck to aluminum siding on a hot summer day. He’s about to secure himself a dip in the pool with some hot bitty, but someone dressed like The Shadow hacks her up. But as fate would have it, Kendall’s paths cross with Lt. Bracken, who recruits Kendall to be his “inside guy,” because it’s not like he has a whole station of cops who are paid to investigate and track down the murder suspect. Endangering the welfare of a college student for free is a better suited idea.

After much Slim Jim chewing, Lt. Bracken decides maybe he does actually need some type of law enforcement personal working undercover. He pairs Kendall up with Mary Riggs, played by his real life wife (say that five times fast), Lynda Day. Her resume boasts, Pro Tennis star/Cop, which I’m sure are two skills that are often used simultaneously.

On a side note, that would make an awesome show, Pro Tennis star turned Detective. It could be called Justice Served!

Anyway, it feels like several minutes since a woman has been brutally butchered, so while doing some solo aerobics one evening, random girl #3 gets the feeling she is being watched and dashes for the elevator. She hops on, along with a man shrouded completely in black clothes and hat, thinking nothing about that could be suspicious, until her arm is lopped off by his chainsaw. First a head, then a torso and now arms… what could the killer possibly be doing with body parts in a movie called Pieces?

The next night, or that same night, or it really doesn’t matter, Kendall, just having finished bumping uglies with some random skank, hangs one out for the ladies and spots Mary walking in the dark from his window. Mary can’t help but hear someone is creeping up on her. Just then, the assailant jumps out of the bushes and does Karate kicks at her! Terrified, she slowly backs up, just as the intruder doubles over with indigestion. This is when Kendall rolls up on his hog (wimpy dirt bike) and introduces Mary to his “Kung-Fu Professor.” He apologizes for his random lashing out of sporadic martial arts, blames it on some bad chop suey and goes about his night. Kendall gives Mary a ride home, hoping to get lucky. Nobody speaks of this scene again.

pieces_4By now, you may have caught yourself asking, “What the hell does that scene have to do with anything?” The answer is nothing. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but that’s a part of Pieces‘ charm. This scene was thrown in because apparently producer Dick Randall was working on a martial arts film with Bruce Lee imitator, Bruce Le and added that scene because… he couldn’t wait to show you his movie? There are a few other scenes that feel out of place, like the girl crashing through the mirror, but you already know you’re in for a wild ride.

To be fair that last scene did serve as a transition to another scene, as a reporter from earlier is knifed to death on a waterbed. I could have mentioned her earlier, but she goes by so fast, you barely notice. This is leading into the final piece of the puzzle, so to speak, as the chainsaw wielding maniac carves a young girl in half after a tennis match… which leads to one of the greatest reactions from Lynda Day, as she shrieks into the air and curses the villain with a clenched fist, like she’s auditioning for Super Friends. Interesting little tidbit, they actually used a pig carcass for the grisly scene! Well, that’s enough victims and this film’s been going on long enough.

Kendall works at digging through personal files with the police as Mary heads to the dean’s house. Everyone seems to be zeroing in on the killer, who has all the body parts he needs, but what for? Just wait until you see, as they reveal the killer to be… exactly who you think it is! Especially if you know your film history, this seems to be a bit of typecasting. Oh and I’m sure the ending will still surprise you.

Pieces
To reiterate what I said earlier, Pieces is the crowning example of what people generally think of when they think of Grindhouse or Drive-In Classic. The premise is basic, yet with its twists and filled with oddball characters making daffy choices, packing enough macabre imagery soaked in blood and exhibiting some fine 80’s T & A. You’ll chuckle at the dialogue and line delivery, as characters seem to be taking it perhaps a bit too seriously or not enough. And let’s not forget scenes that seem to come completely out of left field. It may leave you scratching your head at parts, but for the most part, you’ll be jumping back in your seat with disgust or laughter. In every definition of the word, it’s a riot. It’s exactly what an exploitation film is defined as. It’s worth every penny to see.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Extreme gardening!
  • Piecing the puzzle together.
  • Skinny dip massacre.
  • Give her a hand… or arm!
  • Half-off tennis players.
  • Campus Stumped.
  • Franken-woman.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Color this campus red!

8

blood

BREASTS

Topless option college. And a little something for the ladies.

7

beast

BEASTS

As if The Shadow with a chainsaw isn’t bad enough, you have to look our for Kung-Fu Professors and Willard.

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for Pieces!”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by Doktor | October 3, 2013 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Tagline: Where Fantasies are Real & Reality is Fantastic.

Year: 1978           Runtime: 105 min

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writer: Kinji Fukasaku (story), Shôtarô Ishinomori (story), Masahiro Noda (story), Hirô Matsuda (writer)

Starring: Shin’ichi Chiba, Vic Morrow, Philip Casnoff

I swear I intended to steer clear of sci fi for a few reviews, but this is Japanese Star Warsploitation. I couldn’t help myself. The movie is 90% Rent-a-Center versions of Star Wars characters, vehicles and music, but that’s what makes it so ALMOST actionable on copyright infringement grounds. And totally AWE-some!

The movie opens on Jillucia (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ah), a once beautiful and verdant planet. It’s peaceful inhabitants, the Jillucians (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ahns) were slaughtered by the evil Gavanas. The battle is described by a narrator, “The Jillucians were no match for the steel-skinned Gavanas.” Which is mostly misleading. Actually, the Jillucians were no match for the Gavanas’s laser burlets. Jillucians are pretty much the Tiananmen Square tank guys of space. Except the Jillucians are Tree Huggin’ Space Hippies™. And the tanks stopped for the Unknown Protester. And we still remember and care about the Unknown Protester.

With the Jillucians almost extinct, Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green lets loose eight Magic Space Walnuts™. They have a special tracking power which homes in on the Eight Heroes who will save Jillucia from the evil Gavanas. Once loosed, he realizes that it would behoove them to have someone go along to explain what in the hell the Magic Space Walnuts™ mean. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green chooses his granddaughter for the job. She and one brave volunteer jump in the Space Schooner and leisurely float off whichever way. They’re nowhere near fast enough to follow the Magic Space Walnuts™, so why strain, right?

Then there are some lovely scenes of the Gavanas, a race of war hungry Rent-a-Center Power Ranger Villains, being menacing. Glower. Ominous. Black. Oooooo. They’re angry because of their Emperor, Rockseia XLL (pronounced Rock-SAY-ah-X-L-L). Rockseia XLL is angry because of his confusing biology—his mom is a dude. Kind of like Eric Cartmen. Except Emperor Rockseia’s mom is a Native American Power Ranger Villain. And Liane Cartman is a crack whore. And, most importantly, we still watch and like Eric Cartmen.

Then some smashing scenes establishing the characters of the Eight Heroes. Rent-a-Center Princess Leia tapping on the window of her space ship to get the attention of passing Space Hot Shots. Space Hot Shots buzzing through an asteroid field running from the Space Police. A Space Vegas Show. Space General Garuda’s touching funeral for his personal robot, i.e. sending a junked robot into space in a Vikingesque funeral aboard an expensive rocket. Swimming through asteroid fields to catch Space Fire Flies. Et cetera.

Then there’s a bunch of moaning and groaning. The Eight Heroes don’t want to be the chosen ones. They throw/give away their Magic Space Walnuts™. Boo-hoo. Then they do want to be the chosen ones. Then some get their Magic Space Walnuts™ back. The one who doesn’t throws the Emo Pity Party™.  Then a couple of them get kidnapped. It’s a hot mess. Et cetera.

Eventually Emperor Rockseia XLL decides to go on a Space Road Trip™. They fire up the engines on Jillucia and head to Earth. At this point Jillucia becomes a Rent-a-Center Death Star.

At Earth Rockseia XLL destroys the moon as a warning to humanity that he means business. Wilzyx and millions of frolicking Orcas suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Powerful. Heart breaking. An inspiring scene to end all inspiring scenes.

If there’s a Rent-a-Center Death Star there has to be a Rent-a-Center trench run. Kinji Fukasaku ups the ante. Message From Space has two trench runs! The first comes when the Space Hot Shots go to Jillucia to team up with the Jillucians. The Space Hot Shots rig their ships to join, ala the God Pheonix of Battle of the Planets/G Force/Gatchaman, but much less cool. The main ship in this junkyard Voltron is a Rent-a-Center Ebon Hawk from KOTOR. When they approach Jillucia they split up, fly through a bit of the trench, then join back together before landing. What does this accomplish? Nothing. It’s not even particularly cool. So, yeah, why not?

The second Rent-a-Center trench run is the Final Boss Battle. It’s a mix of the rebel attack on the Death Star and Tron vs MCP. The Space Hot Shots fly through the exhaust port tunnel thing down to the reactor. There, they shoot the spinning thingie, stopping it, which uncovers the opening they have to target. Pew… Pew… Pew… Boom… Exploision.

Meanwhile, as the space battle is raging (i.e. before the pew… pew… pew…  boom… explosion), there’s the Rent-a-Center Vader vs Obi Wan fight. But this time Vader gets a mud hole stomped in him. It’s because Vader is played by a milksop and Obi Wan is played by Sonny Chiba. The problem is, because Chiba wrecks shop, there’s no touching moment where the old guy sacrifices his life empowering the next generation to seek their glory.

Oh, wait. There is that moment. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green deliberately misses the Space Schooner to Valinor. The Jillucians have one more Space Schooner in dry dock collecting Space Spider Webs. It’s so old that they have to literally crank start the reactors. While the suspense completely ruined my pedicure (I chew my nails when I’m nervous, a’ight), I’ll let you in on a little secret… They make it. Yay! You’re mani/pedi can thank me later.

Message From Space ends with is shot of the Jillucian Space Schooner flying past Earth propelled courageously by cheesy Spaghetti Western music. Toei Company, LTD really knows how to go out with a bang.

You can watch Message From Space in it’s entirety for free, here.

roadside attractions

  • Delight in the continual consumption of Space Tomatoes™!
  • Hearken to the music which sounds suspiciously similar to Leia’s Theme!
  • Marvel at the final 50 Jillucians! (Kinda shallow for a gene pool, innit?)
  • Witness Aaron the Space Hot Shot’s contribution to Haute Couture: Rainbow Suspenders!
  • Revel in the courageously “out” robosexual couple General Garuda and Beba Two (pronounced babe-AH 2)!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There’s a couple fist fights and a couple busted lips. Most of the killing is by laser burlets, but the effects are futurific.

0

blood

BREASTS

I don’t know if I should penalize the movie for this though. The movie came out in 1978, and breasts wouldn’t have been invented in Japan for another couple decades.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of groovy Power Ranger style villains.

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Message From Space”

trailers

dripper
Oct

In post-apocalyyptic America international border disputes aren’t settled with trade embargoes, they’re solved with giant robots and laser beams while guitars blasts “They’re coming to America” over the loud speakers. Yes, It’s Robot Jox the biggest game of rock em’ sock em’ robots ever made. This time it’s the Russians turn as the evil super power trying to steal our land and likely pipe vodka through Alaska, but not if team USA can stop em first. Gary Graham stars as Achilles, the cocky and illiterate champion robot jox who leads a team of trainee that like to yell out “Crash and Burn” whenever someone needs a high five. His killbot career is going well until a match against a Russian named “alexander” makes it the biggest U.S. Russian brawl since Rocky 4. Unfortunately there’s no training montage and Achilles accidentally crushes a crowd of fans while diving in front of a wayward missile.  Have we learned nothing from Nascaar accidents? Achilles retires in shame taking on a full time bar stool warming job at the local cantina drinking away his shame. Meanwhile a genetically engineered and uncomfortably manly looking pilot trainee named Athena is climbing jungle gyms while her classmates fall to their death . She and Achilles have some awkward romantic moments in the hallway so when he learns that Athena was selected to battle Alexander, he decides to come out of retirement to protect her.

RobotJoxAthena  is furious with Achilles for taking her spot so she kick punches his face and drugs him at his apartment and disguises herself in his space suit instead. He awakens later not very upset since that’s usually how his first dates go anyways. Meanwhile, his managing cowboy “Tex Conway”  is discovered by their team engineer rigging the fights for the U.S. to lose. Tex shoots him in the head but forgets he was being recorded so tosses himself off a balcony to his death, cowboy hat and all. Back in the battle arena, Athena is getting pummeled by the Russian robot and Achilles has to jump in and try to save her. After battling the chainsaw crotched mech, Achilles crashes to the ground and the two pilots have battle man to man in a Star Trek staff fight with some robot shrapnel. Achilles gives a speech about world peace and good sportsmanship which leads to an awkward fist pump as the two become best buds, I kid you not.

Obviously not a lot of plot to get in the way of the action. Basically it’s just 2 robots tossing rockets and lasers at each other while at some  point one of them gets dry humped with a crotch chainsaw. Definitely check this one out, I give it 4 out of 5 Pacific Rims.

roadside attractions

  • Referee smashing
  • Crotch chainsaw
  • Crowd smashing
  • Jungle gym of death
  • Flying fist of robot fury
  • Gratuitous use of the term “Crash and Burn”
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Not much gore in this one but plenty of heavy metal damage.

5

blood

BREASTS

No breasts shots, but we get some hinder shots in this one.

9

beast

BEASTS

Giant robots and a burly russian.

8.5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Robot Jox”

trailers

dripper
Sep

V/H/S/2
2013 – Unrated/R – Magnet

You either loved it or you hated it, but there’s no denying that last year’s V/H/S gave a fresh spin on the quickly tiring found footage genre. It gave it a primo, and mostly perverse, look and took the idea of the anthology and made it seem newfangled, like it was in the 80’s. It was a very pleasing mix of perversion, violence and short storytelling. So it would make sense that they would decide to do a sequel the following year, with bigger filmmakers names attached to the project. Now the burning question is, does it surpass its predecessor?

It opens up familiar enough, in POV, of a man (played Simon Barrett, baring his dong… ladies) cheating on his wife. This leads nowhere, mind you, but sets up our two leads who are private investigators, Larry and Ayesha in the bookend segment, Tape 49. We soon learn they have been hired by some woman to find her missing son, break into his apartment and root around for clues. The two person Mystery Inc. wastes no time as they reach their destination. They immediately hear a loud bang and pry open a window, shortly discovering a room littered with televisions and VHS tapes, a welcoming site to those who enjoyed the first film, no doubt. Larry decides to “Go and check” out the rest of the place, rummaging through notebooks (and oddly reminding me of the PS1 classic Resident Evil), leaving Ayesha to watch the tapes. And what could be one those tapes? Well, it’s not Veggie Tales.

vhs2_2The first segment, entitled Phase I Clinical Trials, stars You’re Next director Adam Wingard. He also directed this segment, a clever way of keeping the budget low. His character was in a car accident and receives an experimental robotic eye of sorts that would make the Six Million Dollar Man weep. The eye can record what it sees, so the company that built it can analyze the data (imagine the poor sap that has to sit through hours of footage of him playing video games or pooping). Soon, he begins seeing dead people around his house. A girl from the hospital tracks him down and reveals that she had a cochlear implant from the same company and could hear dead people. Between the two of them, Haley Joel Osment is a punk. The more they interact with the spirits, the more the spirits can appear and harm them… clearly, not heading toward a happy ending.

vhs2_3Next up is A Ride in the Park, which sounds innocent enough, but boy would you be wrong. A man named Mike is all set for a joyous bike ride in the park, hence the title, with his GoPro camera, when he comes across a woman who has been bitten by a pack of zombies. Mike is bitten on the neck and bleeds to death after fleeing. Shortly, another couple finds him and wouldn’t you know it, Mike turns and bites them. Soon, zombies are tearing through a youngster’s birthday party. Still beats having your dad drunkenly tell you how disappointed he is in you. Now, most of you know my stance on the current zombie pop culture trend: Their boring, uninspiring and just clones of the previous popular zombie flick, but The Blair Witch director Eduardo Sanchez along with Jamie Nash give it a spin that hasn’t been seen since possibly Day of the Dead. Their zombies retain some knowledge of a previous life, as Mike demonstrates throughout the segment and the ending is rather bittersweet after he gets a call from his wife.

Safe Haven, from the director of The Raid, is most likely the most disturbing of the bunch. Using the angle of a documentary crew, they are invited to interview the leader of a cult and learn more about their faith. It just so happens to be at the time when the cult commits a mass suicide and sacrificing one of the documentary’s crew member’s unborn child to spawn their God, which is more like Satan. I don’t know what that says, but this is the one that really brings the punch. The imagery is savage and with the leader of the cult dancing and singing wearing nothing but tighty whities, self mutilated, you’ll think twice about entering a place far from civilization. The ending is hiliarious, but also will give you willies.

vhs2_4 Last, but not least, we have Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener’s Slumber Party Alien Abduction. Of all the segments, this one is by far my favorite. It’s a group of teenagers building cardboard box robot costumes, something I’m sure we all did. No? Just me? They play cruel pranks on one their sisters and each other, all being filmed by a GoPro strapped to their dog. Just when things are getting tense between the two groups of adolescents, a thunderous boom and bright lights shock them. The power goes out and aliens are trying to get into the house, brilliantly lit with a strobe light and this is when you start getting scared… real fast. The aliens drag them outside and throw them into the lake and only a few make it out, fleeing for the remainder of the segment as they hide from the intruders, nearly being caught at every turn. This one will have you clutching your chest and calling for Elizabeth.

Finally, the movie closes on Tape 49 once our lead watches on a tape what exactly that loud bang was on a tape. After seeing what he saw, he’ll probably wish he had been watching hours of Kathy Griffin stand up.

Something you may have noticed about V/H/S/2 is it seems to be more constructed like a movie, using multiple cameras and different angles, but still using different forms of consumer style cameras to give that found footage feel. For the most part, the acting is a lot more solid, but it makes it feel less like home movies and more like… ahem, a movie. But it’s the way that the stories are constructed that makes it a solid anthology. Regardless of having a slightly more cinematic feel to it, V/H/S/2 is strong and relentless from start to finish. Unlike the previous entry, there isn’t a dull ho hum tale of the group.

V/H/S/2

V/H/S/2 is certainly on par, if not superior to V/H/S and a worthy successor. Here’s to looking forward to the third entry! Pick up your copy at Magnet’s website and for god’s sake, don’t break into a stranger’s house and start watching stacks of tapes! One of them could be a Bill Rebane film.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Start your movie with a little bit o’ donger.
  • Eye see dead people.
  • Happy ‘Death’day!
  • Singing in undies.
  • Papa of a demon.
  • Alien disco party.
  • Explosive migraine.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Every segment is covered in all kinds of guts, organs and plasma!

7

blood

BREASTS

It’s a requirement of each segment to bare some ta-ta’s.

10

beast

BEASTS

Ghosts, ghouls, zombies, devil and aliens. The only thing it’s missing is Santa.

9 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for V/H/S/2!”

trailers

dripper
Scream Prints
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About the Highway

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