Jan

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher
2012 – Not Rated – Sledgehammer Films

Gather ’round these here parts and mosey on up to the campfire to hear the legend! There’s something people don’t seem to do anymore; tell ghastly stories and fabled legends around a burning campfire, trying to scare the mud out of each other’s britches. With how constantly connected we are now, the equivalent to camping would be watching a movie on your iPad, sitting around a campfire Blu-ray from your couch. But enough of about my unbridled hatred for the 21st century and all your precious modern technology; let’s be reminded of a more simple time, when chilling stories were told and hear the tale of a time when people were proud to live off the land, provide for themselves with what the Earth gives them and forage for their own food… even if it’s trespassers! Let’s hear the tale of Carl Henry Jessup… Let’s hear The Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher!

lothb_2The set up makes it appear to be a cut and paste slasher, but I assure you, Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher is anything but. It’s easy to get that impression from the start, as an old man tells three wide eyed children this probably not so age appropriate spooky tale about a butcher and his meat, long pig (would you like to take a guess as to what that could be?). This scene reminds me of the opening to Madman, which is a good thing. When Carl isn’t stating is political propaganda or scaring local whippersnappers off of his property (which you do not want to trespass on), he’s passing the time by cooking his meat (no, that’s not an innuendo) with his half-sister, Rae Lynn (Theresa Holly here does a stellar job), or taking swigs of moonshine out of the jug with his friend Billy Wayne, who’s about as trust worthy as he appears to be. This guy seems like he’s just one strangled hooker away from making the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Yup, Carl sure knows how to live.

lothb_3Of course, his life isn’t all gravy. Speaking of gravy, he sure does miss his Pop’s gravy (again, not an innuendo) ever since he killed his wife then himself back when Carl was a boy, passing on his butcher knife. Rae Lynn does her best to fill in the lonely void by cooking and cleaning, but it’s just not enough. Haunting visions of a demon (called Sam Bakoo, but I can’t recall if this if ever mentioned) in his sleep wake Carl up that not even his decaying, skeletal girlfriends can help him get back to sleep. He decides to take drastic measures to bring back his parents by offering his blood and soul to the Devil, but that soul ain’t worth no damn. What is a man with a worthless soul to do?

Well, killing trespassers is one thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s stabbing young lovers or disemboweling the director dressed up as a drunk hick, they have no right being on his property! And besides, a man’s gotta eat. Each victim meets (or should I say “meats”) their end by Carl’s knife, as he guts them and cuts them up for meat and stringing it up from the ceiling in the basement, which his darling half-sister Rae Lynn cooks for them and Billy Wayne on occasion. Speaking of Billy Wayne, he is one available bachelor if you can believe it. He takes an interest in Rae Lynn and even asks her out on a date ever so elegantly. After one of the most sexiest montages I have ever seen of Rae Lynn trying on different dresses, they spend some time… somewhere in the woods (it doesn’t have to be specific), but the date quickly goes sour after Billy Wayne sucker punches poor Rae Lynn. But hey, she shouldn’t tease a man like that!

lothb_4While this is going on, Carl is seeing the ghost of an unknown young girl, Jesse, who tells him that his blood line is cursed and urges him to bury the knife. Could she mean that literally or is this one of them metaphors? Carl looks at this as a second chance and possibly a way to stop these haunting visions that look like they are out of a goth band’s music video. If I thought I was constantly envisioning Prodigy music videos, I would do anything to make them go away too. It’s also at about this time Rae Lynn stumbles across all Leatherface like decorations in the house, asking the burning question… how did it take her so long to see any of this?

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher reeks of 70’s and 80’s exploitation drive-in films and it smells wonderful. It has that certain atmosphere of dread in the wilderness, secluded in the open, yet there is a false state of serenity as you here the nearby creek babble and the insect population sings like a choir. The sometimes out of focus, fuzzy look, complete with dirt and scratches over the film gives it an aged look without making it too faux. However, there were times when I found the filters to be overbearing. For example, on occasion, there will be an orange burn mark in the upper left corner of the screen, varying in intensity, but at times it seems to be too intense and going on a bit too long (this never took away from my enjoyment of the movie though), which I did find to be a tiny bit distracting. Even the audio sometimes has a muffled sound to it at times. It’s these elements that remind me of films like Don’t Go in the Woods and The Forest. There’s a reason this won six awards, some from a genre new to me, Hixploitation and the enchanting actress Theresa Holly gets a well deserved award for Best Actress and I would even call her the Independent Movie Scream Queen.

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher
Best Retrosploiation Film? You betcha! It’s been awhile since we’ve seen something like this (or at least done well) and it’s welcoming to be reminded of cult camp movies that remind you of warm summer nights with possible terror lurking somewhere in the woods. Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher is an alluring, gory bio pic. Joaquin Montalvan certainly is a man who can do it all; writing, producing, directing and even doing the cinematography. This man is the reason this movie looks so damn good, so credit where credit is due. Of course, the rest of the cast and crew is great as well. This is one of the most engrossing independent films I have scene in a long time, so I would highly recommend giving this a watch, ya hear?

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Ghost stories ’round the campfire.
  • Swigging out of moonshine jugs.
  • Like father, like son.
  • A lover’s spat.
  • Sandwich wrapped fresh demon.
  • Ask a restaurant if they serve ‘long pig’.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

You get that there pretty red stuff and sum guts slopping ’round.

6

blood

BREASTS

Theresa Holly’s montage is something for the guys to oogle at, while Billy Wayne competes by walking around with his shirt unbuttoned most of the time.

9

beast

BEASTS

I would not recommend trespassing on the Jessup’s place!

7.6 OVERALL
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Jan

posted by The Goon | January 13, 2014 | 90's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Reviews by the Goon

Martial Law
1990 – R – CBS/FOX

There isn’t a problem in this world that can’t be solved with a roundhouse kick, that’s what I always say. Oily faced waiter that screwed up your order? Roundhouse kick him so that he crashes onto the table next to you, sending the plate of spaghetti that snooty rich man was eating flying into the air and plopping right on his head. Jerk on his cellphone while driving cut you off? Follow him home, roundhouse kick him through his front door and then mutter a cool one liner like, “Long distance fees… applied!” as his family stares at you wide eyed in shock. If any film has taught me that, it’s Martial Law. No, not the TV series starring overweight action star Sammo Hung, I’m talking the balls to wall, star studded cast early 90’s movie!

Chad McQueen (Yes, the douche bag from The Karate Kid) “stars” as Sean Thompson, a cop who doesn’t play by the rules! As if there is another kind of cop in a 90’s action movie. Actually, he plays fairly close to the rules, but with a spin of his own. So I guess you could say he’s a cop who respects the boundaries he’s been giving, but will occasionally slightly walk abroad to the fine line of right and wrong without making it too questionable, but there was probably a more tasteful approach to resolving the situation.

ml_2Right when the movie starts, a hostage situation or a robbery… some sort of crime, has already taken place. I have to be honest, I kinda zoned out within the first few seconds. Two minutes without a martial arts fighting and you expect me to pay attention? Blasphemy! The bad guys start getting hungry and crave cheap, mediocre take out pizza from the local product placement, Domino’s. The delivery boy expects a tip, which the bad guys decide to pay… in bullets! But before they can fire any rounds off, the delivery boy proves he is a delivery man by round-housing all their weapons out of their hands and dropping these scumbags to the floor. Turns out this delivery man was none other than before mentioned Sean Thompson, enforcing justice through the L.A.P.D.’s new unit, simply called Martial Law (Hey, that’s the title of the movie!). This unit is so badarse, they are authorized to use their martial arts skills on all perps who so much as even blink at them.

Joining him on the team is Billie, played by none other than 80’s/90’s karate babe, Cynthia Rothrock and also, um… I think that’s it and quite frankly, I don’t think you need anyone else on this team. These two take on the seedy underbelly of dirty… probably Los Angeles after Sean’s lil’ bro-bro gets in cahoots with the crime kingpin of the city, Dalton Rhodes, played by David Carradine who is apparently trying to make amends for starring in Future Force. Dalton runs a “Cartel for Hire” business (and I have to wonder what his business cards look like) and when he’s not loving crime and doing crime stuff, he’s boosting cars more sophisticated than Nic Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds. And to round off how diabolically evil he is, Dalton is the last known practitioner of dim-mak, better known as the touch of death technique! Come to think of it, wasn’t there another David Carradine movie and something about the touch of death? Hmm, must be escaping my mind. Anyway, the most genius part about this whole thing is that Dalton is running his operation out of a dojo that he also uses to recruit thugs! That is almost a Bond level evil crime lord stint. This way, either all of your hired goons are going to be enthusiastic punks who can twirl some nunchucks or forth grades, so nobody would punch them.

And from here you can fill every scene with 90’s thugs (mesh tees, sleeveless jean jackets, high top sneakers… you know the kind) as they try to stop our crime fighting duo and fail miserably. But not before spewing out lines that they are going to “rough them up.” I’m sure you’re aware of this formula; Bad guy spews tough line, hero spin kicks bad guy and finally hero regurgitates a cringing one-liner so cheesy, it’s fermented. But really, would you have it any other way? Sean tries to help out his brother Michael, but the two have a meltdown in one of my favorite movie cliches of that time, the “Stay out of my life!” cliche. Sure, every movie in the 90’s did it, but when it happens, you’re always glad it did. Once Dalton is informed that Michael’s brother is a cop, he’s put to a test of loyalty and it ends pretty much how you think it would…

ml_2It’s a 90’s Martial Arts/cop movie, so of course boils down to a battle between “that guy from Kung-Fu” and Steve McQueen’s son. We all know good always triumphs over evil in these flicks, but let’s face it; we’re not watching these movies for their plots. We want to see some damn fine quality martial arts! And if there so happens to be a babe in the film, then that makes it even better and nobody delivered both of those features better than Cynthia Rothrock. And let’s be honest. That’s why we are watching this movie. The martial arts and stunt work is actually very well done and quite impressive and the plot was like someone pushed the cop movie cliche button, only falling short of the always favorite “guy-who-dies-with-only-two-days-left-to-retire” cliche. It’s a great little action flick that’ll get you up out of your seat and screaming at your television when baddies are kicked around by our two stars. I was generally rooting for them throughout the duration and wanted them to continue branding their justice!

It’s always great to revisit an era where everyone knew some sweet Ninja moves and it was the way to solve every problem. If you feel like being nostalgic for the early 90’s, in a land where violence and one-liners were the answer to every problem, then order some take out and rent Martial Law from Blockbuster (I don’t foresee those closing anytime soon…). It’ll make you think twice before stiffing the pizza delivery guy on his tip.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Large pizza with sausage and drop kicks.
  • Cynthia Rothrock rocking.
  • David Carradine touching fools to death.
  • You mad, bro?
  • I think we can all agree that everyone does indeed want Kung-Fu fighting.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

It’s no gore fest, but if you say that to this movie’s face, it will drop kick you in the jaw.

3

blood

BREASTS

No boobies, but Cynthia Rothrock is hot as ever.

7

beast

BEASTS

You couldn’t pack more martial arts into this film if you had the jaws of life.

5 OVERALL
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Dec

Nightmare City
1980 – Not Rated – Raro Video

Zombies, zombies and more zombies. No matter which direction you pivot your head, there they are. Bland. Dull. Boring. Far outlived their lifespan (they are undead after all, har har). To me, they all blend in together, offering nothing new, exciting or even entertaining to the sub-genre. I’ve made this argument a hundred times before, so I won’t rehash it again. Of course this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a zombie trend. In the 80’s, we saw a boom from Italy, flooding our film market with imitators and clones. But there was undeniably a certain charm and originality to them that today’s zombie films seem to lack, be it good (or bad) makeup effects, bizarrely odd characters or even seemingly intentional insane plots.

Let’s look at Cannibal Ferox director Umberto Lenzi’s zombie romp, Nightmare City, also released here in the States as City of the Walking Dead (not to be confused with Fulci’s City of the Living Dead). I remember first seeing this movie at the local video store in the big box, with the topless woman, half her face ripped off, under the City of the Walking Dead title. Although these mutants or creatures share characteristics of zombies, director Umberto Lenzi claims it’s not as much as a zombie movie as it is a “radiation sickness movie.” I already did a video review for this film on Goon Reviews, so I’ll do my best not to repeat myself. By the way, WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW HERE! Now that the shameless plug is out of the way…

nc_2We start this puppy off like most Italian horror films, by establishing shots of a city (D’oh! I already repeated myself). It’s totally irrelevant to anything in the plot, not like you never know what city you are in, but you are in a city. But within this city is uncanny reporter, Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz). Dean is just waking up in time for his big interview with a scientist for whatever reason you would interview a scientist for. Now, remember this scene, because it may just come back…

Once at the airport, a military plane does an emergency landing as security personal and Dean line up outside the plane. Nobody seems to be responding to the calls for them to step out, which brings up my next question: Why the hell does airport security have machine guns? I can’t get a stick of gum through security, but these dudes are toting fully automatic weapons? Well those guns might come in use, because once those doors open, a swarm of radioactive infected mutant people (we’ll just simply call them zombies from here on) rush out and start to kill everyone! And by that I mean, they slash at the soldiers from about six feet away and they jump back. Ever watch a group of kids pretend to fight because they are playing superheroes or something? Anyway, Dean just stands idly by, looking bored until he realizes, “Oh we should probably leave.”

There is actually something these zombies are doing that you may have noticed is quite unique from other zombies. Yeah, they are using weapons and running! How about that? If there is one thing you have to give this movie credit for, it’s that it tried to do something different with a genre that even they knew was going to quickly become mundane. It’s a breathe of fresh air, as it actually gives this nonsensical film an (at the time) original spin.

nc_3Dean wants to alert the area of this atrocity, which is a clever and rational thing to do, but the man, General Murchison specifically, censors him like communist Russia and Dean is immediately suspended from work. And you thought you were having a bad day! Meanwhile on the opposite end of the spectrum, Major Holmes (Mel Ferrer) is about to “hit that” when he’s alerted of the crisis and put into action. Looks like a cold shower for you this morning, Major. At ease!

It’s just like the authority to be late on the action. The zombies bust in to the TV station, which is totally convenient to move this somewhat of a plot along. While the military is figuring out what to do and calling their loved ones, Dean heads over to the hospital to save his woman, since he’s a man of action. Even with the zombies killing everyone in the hospital, Dean still manages to save her in a heroic, muscle bound brute fashion as they get away in a Volkswagen Beetle. Get outta here, ‘69 Dodge Charger, ya schmuck… make way for the new muscle car!

The remainder of the film is actually quite redundant. The various characters are taking shelter, trying to stay alive, but alas failing to do so. Dean and his wife find themselves holed up at various locations, each time she vomits out nonsense women’s lib and the evil of mankind. I’m not saying women’s lib is nonsense, but trust me… you do not want this woman speaking for your cause. However, Dean is always spared from these self indulgent speeches as zombies always seem to attack and the two flee to the next location to repeat this tired process. It would be boring if it weren’t for the unintentionally amusingly, stupid decisions that these characters constantly make. Seriously, they make Gomer Pyle look dignified and subtle. You will feel like you’re stuck in a loop, kinda like Groundhog Day, but instead of reliving the same day with the freedom to take what you previously learned and do as you please, you have to watch the same scene over and over and over…

nc_4They finally wind up at an amusement park (Zombieland nods, perhaps?) where guess what? That’s right! Zombie attack! Only this time, Dean takes the fight over flee and scoops up a machine gun and grenades (GRENADES!?!?) and mows down zombie after zombie Rambo style, one arming, using the “spray and pray” method. As he and his wife climb to the top of a roller coaster, Major Holmes arrives in a chopper to try and rescue them. As the two make their way up the ladder, Dean’s wife falls and plummets to her death, smacking every poll on the way down in perhaps one of cinema’s most hilarious death scenes. But, this film does not end the way you think it would. Not even close… hint: Think Phantasm.

Raro Video once again restores a classic from the original 35mm and let me tell you, this is the best it will ever look (until there is a new way to transfer in the future). After comparing it to the Anchor Bay DVD release, this new HD transfer has less grain and the colors and contrast look quite good. Everything looks very crisp, which is unfortunate for the special effects, as it seems to highlight how terrible they are and reveals every flaw. The audio is 2.0 and you get both English and Italian. Although it’s stereo, it sounds pretty good and everything sounds clear as rain, which is more than you could ask for. However, if you’re looking for special features, I’m afraid you won’t find much as far as quantity goes, but quality wise, there is a rather excellent interview with Umberto Lenzi from 2000 that runs almost an hour long. I found it to be informative to watch. Other than that, you get both Italian and American trailers, which to me look identical. This is all packaged underneath an old fashioned, but still cool slip cover (which the film Demon Queen stole the image for), which reveals the classic artwork you are probably most accustomed to. Overall, a well packaged transfer worth the investment (you’re welcome, Raro… when can I expect my check?).

Nightmare City
For all the negative things I had to say about Nightmare City, at least it’s pretty damn original and fun. It’s not your typical zombie film, offering more intelligent “undead” that wield weapons, make semi-rational decisions and run. Fans of average, run of the mill zombie media may not find enjoyment in the film, but I suggest you put away that Walking Dead chubby every seems to have, take a risk and watch something different, such as Nightmare City. The gore isn’t necessarily excessive, but there is a decent amount. The acting is exactly how good you would expect it to be (although a lot of that is to blame on the almost early FMV game style audio dubbing) and although the plot is downright silly and, let’s face it, it is a stupid movie, you will find yourself having a good time, whether you are laughing at it for one or two of the various reasons you should be, I think you will be pleasantly pleased with Nightmare City.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Mild mannered reporter, Hugo Stiglitz.
  • Runner up for worst zombie makeup.
  • Mel Ferrer or Tommy Lee Jones?
  • Ninja Doc!
  • Blood drinking zombies.
  • Women’s lib and coffee talk.
  • Best amusement park ride ever!
  • The nightmare truly is a reality. Harsh.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

There is a decent amount of the ‘bright red bonanza’ as well as few other spectacles, like a head explosion.

5

blood

BREASTS

What would an aerobics class be without boobs?

8

beast

BEASTS

Running zombies are a scary thing, regardless of how stupid your characters are.

6.6 OVERALL
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Dec

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

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
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Dec

posted by Barry Goodall | December 18, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Ya know what sticks in my craw? That I can’t tell the difference between most of the Baldwin brothers. It’s like a family of doppelgangers. Sure we all know Alec was one of the dead guys on Beetlejuice who talked about his Schweaty balls a lot, but the heck if I can keep the rest of the family straight. I think There’s Stephen, William and…uh… Tito, Jose? They all just sorta blend together especially if you move your head really fast. It’s just a big blur of hair gel and sly grinning. Oh, I’m sure some of them made a good movie here or there, but you could drop any one of them in and switch them out like wiper blades. Nobody would even notice the difference. Heck, I’m not entirely sure that Alec isn’t just punking us into thinking he even has brothers. Maybe he just pretends to be one of them when he wants to play WORDS W FRIENDS on an airplane. Like the Baldwins, I feel much the same way about Return of the Living Dead films. The first one pretty much set the bar for the zomb-coms everywhere. I mean who can forget Linnea shakin’ her money makers on a tombstone, but the rest of the sequels are pretty much the same film over and over. In fact Return of the Living Dead part 2, even has the some of the same actors, James Karen and Thom Matthews. They still play two dimwits who whine about getting turned into brain eating zombies. Excuse me, that already happened in the first film! It’s like the casting director never got the memo that the entire cast getting wiped out in a nuclear blast.

Anyhow, this time around an army truck full of canned zombies accidentally bounces one out the back into 12 year old Jesse’s backyard. He and some neighborhood bullies pop one open causing some green gas to seep into the nearby cemetery. And like everyone knows, when you got green gas around tombstones you get zombies (though it does keep the weeds down.) The Undead break out of mausoleums and start clawing their way up throughout the dirt for a big zombie rave. Seems the only people it town that know about it are Jessee, his areobicizing sister and their cable installer but they all keep the hard thinking to a minimum. Meanwhile all the zombie folk have started brain munching up and down main street and eating runaway pets. A couple of grave robbers Joey and Eddy run into the gang who steal their van and decided the best course of action is to scream a lot and argue. They head to the hospital with their neighborhood doctor just as Joey and Ed begin to show signs of the zombie-flu. Joe eventually goes full on zombie and chases down his girlfriend to an empty church so he can eat her “spicy brains” because he “loves her.” it’s a very tender moment and a weird way to get engaged.

The remaining survivors try to lure the zombies with a hansel and gretel trail of brains bits back to the power station. Their plan is to hose them down and barbecue the dead folk like pulled pork sandwiches with the electric grid. It’s rare to see so many dead people harlem shake. ROTLD2 has Plenty of great f/x zombie action that make up for the cheesy slapstick including a girl punching a zombie through the face and a zombie getting cut in half and still managing a decent moonwalk. Highway honors go to Marsha Dietlein for uttering the great line “they’re ugly and they’re dirty and they’re dumb and I don’t even care if they are dead, they’re not touching me.” now that’s a girl with high standards. I’ll give this a 2 1/2 out of 5 brain pans anyways with an extra half brain pan for the Michael Jackson cameo. Barry Goodall says, dig yourself up a copy or just check out part 3,4,5…doesn’t really matter just don’t open up any more dang army containers.

roadside attractions

  • Areobicizing zombies
  • Stab through the chest
  • Face smashing
  • Severed heads
  • Screwdriver through the head
  • Mom chomping
  • Pet snacks
  • Severed hand jive
  • Shot gun to the groin
  • Half a zombie dance
  • Death by electrocution
  • Chin removal
  • Brain trails
  • Eye popping
  • Multiple screw driver impalements
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

lots of yellow puss and green goo but not much of the red stuff. Must be the embalming fluid

0

blood

BREASTS

None. This could be the first family friendly zombie film ever.

9

beast

BEASTS

100’s of zombies and a Michael Jackson impersonator.

7.2 OVERALL
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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 >>