The Lost Highway's B-movie Reviews and Cult Films
Dec

posted by Doktor | December 26, 2016 | 80's b-movies, Feature, Holiday films, Horror movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on The Twelve Slays of Xmas: The Second Slay

Season’s Grievings from your friends here at The Lost Highway. 2016 has been a difficult year. We lost Professor Snape, Admiral Ackbar, and even Alf. We watched as the United States of Earth was divided down the middle in a vicious election which still threatens to end in a nasty divorce. There were devastating natural disasters and Russians hacking. It’s been a real bummer.

And now to compound things it’s the holiday season, the worst wonderful time of the year. “While everybody else is opening up their presents, (others are) opening up their wrists” because “the suicide rate is always the highest around the holidays.” (Kate Beringer, Gremlins). In light of this year’s events, and the weight of the holiday season, what’s a mutant to do?

This Xmas we decided to put together a little gift to answer that question, a list of advice gleaned from the reel world of b-movies. We watched twelve Xmas themed movies and learned twelve valuable lessons to help navigate life.

The Lost Highway proudly presents: The Twelve Slays of Xmas.

The Second Slay of Xmas: Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

Ricky, Billy’s (Silent Night, Deadly Night) little brother, escapes prison and goes on a killing spree thanks to an overconfident psychologist, Dr. Bloom. Bloom’s hubris has him believe he can interview a vicious serial murderer alone. Wrong! Never go it alone. Ever.

No matter how maximum the security, security is never adequate to stop a determined serial killer, especially one who comes from a family of psycho killers. So for the love of God keep the guard in the interview chamber with you, and if possible, have the guard armed with the weapon trained on Ricky (or whomever) the whole time!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for The Third Slay of Xmas: Feeders 2: Slay Bells

Watch the trailer for “Silent Night, Deadly Night 2”

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Dec

posted by Doktor | December 25, 2016 | 50's b-movies, foreign, Review by Doktor, Walk Thru

Comments Off on A Walk Thru Santa Claus (1959)

Today is Xmas, the most wonderful time of the year: a time when everything is perfect, when all boys and girls are well behaved, when man loves his fellow man (and woman, etc, etc.), when dogs and cats snuggle together in peaceful harmony, when fruit cake is a delicious confectionary treat, the time of the year when one’s soul cannot help but sing at the beatitude of the day. Or is it the worst wonderful time of the year: a time when everything is horrible, when all boys are girls are devils, when man loathes his fellow man (and woman, etc, etc.), when dogs and cats fight viciously for dominance, when fruit cake is a chunk of disgusting, the time of the year when one crawls into the darkest of corners and prays for death?

For René Cardona it was the latter. Granted, it was the late 1950s, a simpler time all around, and Cardona was in Mexico, which was a land in an unparalleled Golden Age, all of which likely influenced Santa Claus, also known as Santa Claus vs. The Devil, to fall on the happy-go-lucky side of the spectrum. Or maybe the world really is a candy cane dream in the waning days of the year. Whichever end of the spectrum your feelings on this matter fall into join me for this month’s walk thru where we’ll see if Santa Claus is naughty or nice.

Open: Crystal & Gold Space Palace

High above the North Pole, way out in space, is Santa’s crystal and gold Space Palace. Within, Santa cackles madly as he arranges his nativity scene but soon remembers that he has to make presents for “good children” of the world. He tells the nativity scene as much, and that he mustn’t be late, to which it replies, “…,” because it’s NOT REAL. Undisturbed by this psychotic episode, Santa heads straight to his Hammond Organ to play a jaunty Xmas ditty. The organ has a built in video feed to “Toyland”, Santa’s sweatshop, erhm… toy factory. (Despite being the late 1950s, a time before trophies for all for simply participating, Santa’s P.R. team suggested the name Toyland. Toyland tested well, especially considering all the laborers are small children).

As Santa mashes away at the keys we watch the equal opportunity enslavement at Toyland. There are children from: Africa (half naked, bones in hair, banging drums—Toyland’s equal in conscripted service but still very backwards where race is concerned), Spain, China, England, Japan, Orient (Arabs), Russia, France (whom get special treatment, i.e. names other than “Hey, You”: Evette and Pierre), Germany, Italy, Caribbean, South America (Brazil and Argentina, the only countries in South America), Central America, USA, and finally, Mexico.

Hey, isn’t Mexico part of Central America?

SHUT UP!

Actually, to suggest this is a sweatshop is my cynicism. Actually, the children aren’t working at all. Toyland is a big room where they’re forced to stay in their ethnic groups and sing traditional songs from their respective homelands.

After all the different groups have finished their lamentations, the children bring Santa a devil toy. The doll has fireworks built into its buttocks which, when lit, causes it to spin around.

Cut to: Hell

In Hell all the devils are interpretive dancers, spinning around wildly like they’ve got a bottle rockets jammed in the buttocks. Wow! Here I was thinking this was going to be a sugar-coated, white-washing but this movie really nails Hell.

Thankfully, after only a few seconds, Lucifer has had enough and calls an end to this dancing tomfoolery, sending all the demons away in a flash, that is, all but Pitch, his chief demon. Lucifer has a special job for Pitch. He is to go up to Earth to cause a mother loving ruckus, Wu Tang Style. Should he fail again (how exactly is he chief demon if he fails all the time?) he will not have hot coals for dinner, he will be served ice cream—chocolate ice cream.

Ah, GAWD! The devil truly is vile.

Cut to: Earth, Mexico City

A cackling animatronic Santa Claus gyrates in a store window, outside of which is a throng of people, mostly children, staring in at all the wonderful things they are too poor to afford. Among the unwashed mass are five children of particular interest: Good Little Boy, whose daddy is rich but negligent, Lupita, whose mother is poor but loving, and three rude boys, the Bad Brothers, whose parents are… ?

Pitch magically produces three rocks from the ground and gives one to each of the Bad Brothers. Without any prompting, and despite the large crowd to witness them, the hooligans throw their rocks through the store window. One hits the animatronic Santa, another slices and hits a Salvation Army bell ringer, the third goes so far off the mark it breaks the Earth’s atmosphere, rockets to Santa’s palace, ultimately hitting Santa in the forehead.

Cut to: Magic Observatory

Santa’s “Magic Observatory” houses the specialized spy gear he uses to look and listen in on anyone on Earth: the Ear-o-scope, the Teletalker (which knows everything), the Cosmic Telescope, and the Master Eye.

First Santa checks on Lupita. She’s wandering around the market with her mother taking in the festivities, dreaming about a dolly of her very own. As luck would have it, one of the vendors is selling dolls, and as she picks one up to hug, squeeze, and love, the vendor is swarmed by customers. Lupita starts to walk away with the doll but before she walks too far off she returns it. Santa is pleased and the narrator remarks, “If you’re good, somehow you’ll be rewarded.”

Ah, there’s the sugar-sweet reality!

Cut to: Good Little Rich Boy’s House

Next Santa invades the dream of Good Little Rich Boy with the Dream-o-scope. Good Little Rich Boy is dreaming of his Xmas presents. Huge gifts so big they dwarf the Xmas tree. Rich people get extravagant presents so naturally Good Little Rich Boy’s gifts are… his PARENTS!?! Awww. Good Little Rich Boy only wants their love, not more things. You’re such a good little Good Little Rich Boy! Again, Santa is pleased, though a little sad. He sighs, “A dream is a wish that the heart makes.”

Ugh. The movie is laying on the sweet so bit thick my cavities were hurting.

The touchy-feels do not last too long, because before Santa’s helpers could roll their eyes, Santa turns his gaze to Lupita.

Cut to: Lupita’s One Room Shack

Lupita is lying on the bed, shivering. Her family is so poor they don’t know how to use the blanket. After watching Lupita twitch uncomfortably for a while, Poor Father finally covers Lupita with his jacket. Pitch appears bedside and blows on the sleeping girl, one hopes to influence her dreams. Although I know this film was made in a simpler time, watching a man in red tights blow on a small girl trying to sleep triggered me something fierce.

In her dream Lupita is the center of a nightmare world thick with smoke-machine fog and populated with creepy adult-sized, dual-faced dancing dolls. The dolls swirl around Lupita. If this is Pitch’s idea of tempting Lupita to steal a doll it’s not working. She can hardly see what is happening; her head is only slightly above the smoke. If she were able to see what was happening it would scare her off of dolls for good.

Cut to: Under a Bed

Santa turns his attention to the Bad Brothers. They’re speaking so softly he has to employ the Ear-o-scope, which in the preceding scenes was the Dream-o-scope, but… whatever. They are making nefarious plans which include breaking their neighbor’s window in order to steal his toys. They “could” be good and get toys from Santa legitimately, but there’s no fun in that. Instead, they decide to write Santa a letter and lie, saying they’ve been good so they can get presents. What they don’t realize is Santa is snooping on them. Disgusted by what he hears, Santa uses the Cosmic Telescope to amplify his voice so he can tell them that he has heard they’re scheming.

Cut to: Montage of Children Writing Letters

Good Little Rich Boy is writing a letter to Santa asking for time with Mama and Papa. Another boy wants a little brother although he’s sitting at the dinner table with three other boys and two girls. A third boy, in bed in the orphanage, wants a Papa, or maybe a Mama. A fourth boy dressed like a businessman, sitting behind a big desk, asks for some toys. (Finally, a child asking for toys. Come on, Cardona! Even in a sappy world children want toys.) Then a little girl asks for a red ball—a big, red ball—and some shoes. Last, and very much least, the Bad Brothers are composing their letter about how good they’ve been and in return they want “everything.” Not only are they bad, their not very bright. Santa JUST told them he knew what they were about. Well, at least their consistent.

All the letters written, the sifting-through-the-letters-at-the-post-office montage starts. Letters to Santa are thrown in a big chimney which shoots them directly to Santa’s Space Palace a la pneumatic tubes, sans the tubes. Santa sorts the letters into one of three boxes according to the letter writer’s standing: a box for the good children, a box for the bad children, and a box marked Paris for the children who want little brothers or sisters.

Paris?

Cut to: Merlin’s Workshop

Santa drops in on Merlin.

Wait. Merlin?

Merlin, we are told via the narrator, is Santa’s most devoted helper. Santa needs Merlin to makes a powder to knock out the children and give them happy dreams. (Remember, it’s the 1950s, and this behavior was not suspicious at all.) Merlin bumbles around, refers to himself in the third-person, by name, reciting the recipe for the sleep powder as he makes it: one urn made of copper, nickel, uranium, plutonium, and platinum; add 8 scoops of rose colored pollen of moon flower; 9 scoops of pollen from Lazy Yawner flower; 4 scoops of red pollen from Morpheus plant; powder from the Papalusa Grata (space butterflies); and finally take the mixture and urn and freeze with the Light Blue Flame of Frozen Fire. Viola, Kiddie Roofie Powder.

Merlin also gives Santa the Flower to Dissapear, incase the knockout powder isn’t sufficient. One sniff to disappear. One sniff to reappear.

Cut to: Blacksmith’s Workshop

Santa drops in on the blacksmith to get the golden key to unlock all doors.

Cut to: Santa’s Gym

Santa hits the gym to work on his gut. He has to make sure he’s slim enough to fit down all those chimneys. His ”work out” consists of 5 seconds on a belt-driven belly shaker machine. Though satisfied after only seconds, he goes to the test chimney and, yep, he’s trim enough to fit, with even some room to spare.

Take that, Science, what do you know!

Cut to: The Sleigh

The children have finished making the toys, or singing, or whatever it is that they have been doing. Now they’re gassing up the reindeer and cleaning the sleigh to make it more aerodynamic for the long space trip to Earth. Speed is of the essence because Santa has to return to the Space Palace before sun up. Fun Fact: sunlight turns space reindeer into dust. Granted, the sun never “sets” in space, but…

SHUT UP!

Cut to: Space

On the way to Earth Santa almost crashes into the moon.

Hey, I thought Santa lived in space above the North Pole.

SHUT UP!

Cut to: Earth

Good Little Rich Boy parents leave him at home alone with the intent of not returning until the morning. The Bad Brothers are lying in wait, ready to whack Santa when he lands on their rooftop. Lupita is watching the people in the street outside her shack’s window.

Santa’s first stop is Mexico City. In fact, he never leaves Mexico for the rest of the movie, but that makes sense because Mexicans are God’s chosen people, why would he go anywhere else? At the first house Pitch pushes the chimney so Santa can’t get into the house. This is no problem because Santa just goes down to the front door and uses the Master Golden Key. While fidgeting with with the door Santa wakes the two boys who live there, necessitating he drug them before he proceeds to put out their gifts. When he finishes he has to use the Flower to Dissapear to transport back up to the sleigh since the chimney is not an option.

Hey, wait a minute. Since when did the Flower to Dissapear do that?

SHUT UP!

At the next stop Pitch lights a fire in the chimney to block Santa’s entry that way. He also heats up the door knob so Santa will burn himself if he tries that work-around again. Pitch does not realize Santa’s watching his machinations from the window and just sneaks in that way. While Pitch is preoccupied keeping the door knob hot, Santa shoots a dart in Pitch’s buttock using the cannon toy he was leaving for one the little boy of the house.

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Ho, ho, ho! Yule shoot something out, kid!

Cut to: Good Little Rich Boy’s House

Good Little Rich Boy plays the piano as his mother suggested should he should find himself lonely. Well, he plays for 5 seconds. Then he slumps his way over to the chair in front of the fire where falls asleep thinking about all his toys but how all he wants is his parent’s love.

Tough luck, kid. Although Santa knows what’s troubling you, all he is bringing you is more toys.

Before he leaves, Santa uses his Inception power to pass a message into Good Little Rich Boy’s dream, i.e. he wakes Good Little Rich Boy and says, “Your parents definit— well, they probab— that is, I’m pretty sure your parents like you alright. Don’t think about how they’ve got better things to do than spend time with you. Look at this! Here are some toys!”

Cut to: Neglectful Rich Parents at The Club

Neglectful Rich Parents are served the special, ham-fisted cocktail called “The Cocktail of Remembrance”. The waiter is familiar. Big belly, jolly, long white beard, he reminds Neglectful Rich Mom of someone from her youth. Oh well, bottoms up.

“Oh, Snap! We left our pre-teen child at home alone. We’re horrible parents.”

Ho, ho, ho! Yes. You are.

Cut to the Bad Brothers’ Rooftop

The Bad Brothers are lying in wait for Santa. Pitch is firing them up, not that he needs to considering they are already hatching their evil intentions.

Santa shoots by in fireball form, never setting down, never giving the boys a chance to realize their plan. The boys tire quickly waiting for Santa, whom they don’t realize has already passed them by, and turn in for the night. Inside they find their shoes filled with coal. Wow! Santa can magically drop off gifts to people without leaving the sleigh. Nifty.

Hmmm. That raises the question, why doesn’t he do that at all the stops?

SHUT UP!

Well, at least the Bad Brother will be warm tonight by the fire of the coal. Thanks Santa! Not so fast though, boys. The night’s still young and Pitch is furious at missing another opportunity to cause mayhem. So he sets the Bad Brothers against one another. If Pitch cannot get Santa he will get a grudge match out of the Bad Brothers.

Cut to: Another Stop

While Santa is delivering the toys, Pitch tries to steal the sleigh. Unfortunately he can’t get it started. Even if he could, Santa always locks down the reindeer antlers with The Club. Still, Pitch is determined, so he stows away, lying in wait for Santa’s return. As Santa leaves for the next stop, Pitch cuts the bottom of Santa’s bag, emptying the Kiddie Roofie Powder and the Flower to Dissapear.

Cut to: The Final Boss Stop

Pitch is waiting anxiously because he knows Santa is powerless without the Kiddie Roofie Powder and the Flower to Dissapear. At this house he will finally get satisfaction. Pitch looses a vicious Boxer dog, Dante, on Santa. Santa barely escapes by running up a tree.

With Santa’s trapped, Pitch goes through the house waking everyone, warning them there’s an assassin in the yard. He also influences a couple of the sleeping family members to call the police and fire department.

Back in the tree, Santa calls to Merlin for help. Merlin advices Santa to use a cat toy to distract Dante. Dante chases after the cat, allowing Santa to escape, but just barely. The family, the cops, the fire department, the ambulance, and some random people all show up as Santa flies away. Though there’s no flames, the firemen randomly spray a corner of the house which hits Pitch, dispersing him in a puff of steam.

Though Santa has escaped Pitch’s final trap safely it is almost daybreak and Santa has one final stop! Yet, if he does not head home the toy reindeer will turn into dust.

Oh no!

Cut to: Lupita’s One Room Shack

Meanwhile, the Flower to Dissapear falls to the ground at Lupita’s hovel. It does not matter that it has because it’s never mentioned again. For some reason Cardona just wanted to mention the Flower to Disappear one last time. You’d think Santa would stop to pick it up since Lupita’s shack is the final stop, but whatever.

Besides, the Flower to Disappear fell to the ground several scenes back, nowhere near Lupita’s. What’s up with that?

SHUT UP!

Inside, Poor Father has just made it home. He was out all night but found no work.

Really? Looking for a job, overnight, on Xmas eve/Xmas day. That’s your story? Poor Mother believes him. Moron. This is why you’re family is poor.

Unable to sleep in the presence of such stupidity, Lupita wakes. She tells Poor Mother and Poor Father that Santa left her a gift on the stoop in her dream. She goes out and finds a pretty doll. Somehow Lupita now has a magic connection with Santa which allows her to narrate what he is doing, namely returning home.

Cut to: Space

Once again in fireball mode, Santa rockets towards his crystal and gold space palace.

The End

Moral of the story: Santa Claus was very, very bad.

roadside attractions

  • HEAR! Pitch mispronounce Dante as dan-TEE!
  • WONDER! why Santa’s flight to Earth goes past Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn when the Crystal & Gold Palace is in orbit above the North Pole!
  • MARVEL! that any toys are made in a factory of children who sit around singing all day!
  • FORGET! the rest of the world! Santa only visits Mexico!
  • QUESTION! if we really want Santa to have all the intrusive powers of observation, even if he does bring us toys!
totals

2 blood  

BLOOD

None of the spurting variety, but Pitch does take a dart in the butt.

0 blood  

BREASTS

Come on! This is a film for the childrens!

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Interpretive Dancing Demons, Adult-sized Dancing Dolls, and Vicious Attacker Dog

 

OVERALL 4
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Watch the trailer for “Santa Claus”

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Dec

posted by Doktor | December 25, 2016 | 80's b-movies, Feature, Holiday films, Horror movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on The Twelve Slays of Xmas: The First Slay

Season’s Grievings from your friends here at The Lost Highway. 2016 has been a difficult year. We lost Professor Snape, Admiral Ackbar, and even Alf. We watched as the United States of Earth was divided down the middle in a vicious election which still threatens to end in a nasty divorce. There were devastating natural disasters and Russians hacking. It’s been a real bummer.

And now to compound things it’s the holiday season, the worst wonderful time of the year. “While everybody else is opening up their presents, (others are) opening up their wrists” because “the suicide rate is always the highest around the holidays.” (Kate Beringer, Gremlins). In light of this year’s events, and the weight of the holiday season, what’s a mutant to do?

This Xmas we decided to put together a little gift to answer that question, a list of advice gleaned from the reel world of b-movies. We watched twelve Xmas themed movies and learned twelve valuable lessons to help navigate life.

The Lost Highway proudly presents: The Twelve Slays of Xmas.

The First Slay of Xmas: Silent Night, Deadly Night

Billy became a serial killer because of Santa Claus. That’s right, good old Saint Nick drove Billy bug nut crazy. Well, sort of. Really it was Billy’s family. Had the family not taken a trip to the nut house to visit Grandpa life would have played out differently.

It is believed that holidays are about spending quality time with family. This is a recipe for tragedy. Don’t do it. Family is horrible. Why subject yourself to that nightmare? Stay at home, safe and sound in your pjs, snacking on peppermint sticks and watching the late, late, late movie!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for The Second Slay of Xmas: Silent Night, Deadly Night 2.

Watch the trailer for “Silent Night, Deadly Night”

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Dec

posted by admin | December 3, 2016 | Feature

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“Created in the ancient mists of time by the Viking god Loki, four musical demons have left carnage and horror in their wake as they’ve traveled through the centuries, using the vibrations of music as a conduit across time and space. Now, as the harmonic horrors attempt to reunite and bring about the end of the world, can a cop, a hooker, and a warrior from the past defeat these evil spirits before the music stops … forever? A combination of paean and parody, the music-filled EYECATCHER Video production, “Instruments of Evil”, pays homage to the low-budget exploitation (or “grindhouse”) films of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, while also poking fun at their notorious excesses and absurdities. Fans of low-budget, B-movie madness will find enjoyment here, but be warned: not only tunes get stuck in your head!”

BUY THE MOVIE HERE!

IoE_Screenshot_With_VECTOR_Text

Watch the trailer to “Instruments of Evil”

 

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posted by admin | December 2, 2016 | Feature

Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why We Love Horror Movies

horror

It’s a Rush!

The best place to watch a horror movie is on the big screen. The action is larger than life and the story is far more terrifying when the audience collectively screams in response to the killer’s evil deeds. In part, this is why we love to watch horror movies. The adrenaline rush that comes from watching scary movies is enormous. The tension builds, one by one minor characters are murdered in horrible ways, and we wait on the edge of our seats as the plucky female lead (usually, but not always), squares up to a final confrontation with the deranged killer/evil monster.

The Shock Factor

We love to be shocked and horror movies feed our morbid curiosity for the macabre. Think about how many people stop to stare at the scene of a road traffic accident and you will start to understand the appeal of a horror movie. We can’t help but watch, even though we find it disturbing.

Thrill Seekers

Watching a horror movie is like taking a ride on a frightening rollercoaster, only better: the journey is horrible and the ending a real high, but unless you binge on cola and popcorn, you won’t throw up on the way. This is why many people love to go and see horror movies. They are the thrill seeker type, the ones who love to ride on the world’s tallest rollercoaster, or who are first in the queue to try a bungee jump.

Exploring our Subconscious Fears

Horror movies play on our subconscious fears. Freud would have had a field day analyzing schlock horror slasher movies where promiscuous female characters are brutally slain and the virginal lead always lives to fight another day. Indeed, Freud firmly believed that horror films were a visual manifestation of the collective unconscious. Personally speaking, I don’t dream about chainsaw killers, but I’m sure some people probably do.

The Entertainment Factor

Ultimately, we love going to see a horror movie because it’s entertaining. Most people wouldn’t pay money to watch a film of people being tortured and murdered in real life, but they will happily queue up to see Hostel or a similar film in this genre. We like movies because the good guy wins and the bad guy invariably gets his just desserts in the end. We also like it because we can go home, safe in the knowledge that what we have just seen on the screen is fictional.

People are drawn to horror films for many reasons; it’s rarely black and white. Tell us why you love watching horror movies below.

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