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

Comments Off on Sexcula

Tremors

Sexcula is one of those rare movies where I didn’t know what to expect and when I saw it, it was nothing that I expected… although that’s not necessarily a good thing. For starters, Sexcula could be classified as porn or horror spoof (although not a comedy, at least intentionally), which should have been evident from the classy, vague tagline, “She’ll suck more than your blood.” I have no idea what they could mean… Not to say my expectations were high with this film.

It begins, strangely enough, with a scenic drive, accompanied by some soft, light hearted jazz. I notice that this was kind of a theme in the seventies. Anything to establish how mellow that generation was. Anyone ever seen The Touch of Satan? Anyway, it follows that stale formula of someone inherits a creepy old house and they find an old diary of the previous owner (I’m sure you’re more than familiar with it). So after some girl tells her boyfriend with some serious mutton chops that she, “Heard some stories that would curl your pubes,” about the house (classy dialogue, nothing short of poetry), they decide to go on a picnic and read from the diary. Come along, shall we?

As he begins to read, we learn that Dr. Fallatingstein (…really) created a man. This comes as no shock to the man reading the diary, by the way. Not as an incredible discovery in science or reading the ramblings scribbled in a book by a raving lunatic. Since I have it stopped right here, let’s take a look at the plot so far. A mad scientist that created life; sounds more like Frankenstein than Dracula to me. Oh, the guys name is Frank. Huh. I guess Sexenstein doesn’t sound as good. This reminds me of how The Howling 2 confused vampires with werewolves. I know it’s stupid to complain about acting in a porno spoof, but her line delivery is like a third grade reading aloud, trying to learn to read. I’m sorry, but I’m supposed to buy that this person can craft arteries, but can’t convincingly sell me on how ecstatic she should be that she just created life? Seriously, I’m not asking for an Oscar clip, but ANY emotion would do.

So she created man and what for? To have sex with, what else? Only problem is, he can’t get it up. And being a doctor, she clearly can’t help with this situation. Only her cousin, the Countess Sexcula can fix it (and yes, this is all the exposition). And so, we are surprisingly unexpectedly thrown right into the middle of a sex scene. The film actually cuts to her as she is halfway performing filatio. If you weren’t sure this was porn, like I was, considering this a rude awaking.

Sexcula spends the remainder of the film cutting back and forth between trying to have sex with Frank to out of place sex scenes. One of the most odd and probably the most unsexy thing in a film I have ever seen is when this film’s version of Igor, name Orgie (again… really?) tries to have sex with this robotic woman laying on a table in the basement, tied to some mad scientist concoction, when out of nowhere, a gorilla, or a man in a gorilla suit, chases Orgie and deflowers his buttocks. Okay, I have no idea what is going on. Were people watching this to be turned on or did the filmmakers think that the movie was getting too serious and needed some comic relief?

So back to the drawing board as the Dr. Fallatingstein and Sexcula try to figure out what’s wrong with Frank. They do this, of course, by “Putting more science into it.” Yes, actual line of dialogue. This is back when anything could be done with the vague description of ‘science.’ They do this by injecting him with sex cells. Huh, guess you learn something new every day.

Then there is this. Out of nowhere (seems to be a theme in this movie), there is a twenty minute sex scene, taking place during a wedding at a church. Even after it’s done, they rely heavily on this as filler, because it keeps cutting back to it. This brings to light all the production issues that plagued this movie, which is totally surprising that production issues were even a problem in porn spoofs. They try to add some narration over it, a desperate final editing trick to try and tie everything together. If you’re watching this for plot, like I was, do yourself a favor and disregard this part. The film will actually make more sense.

So guess how the movie ends? Sexcula ‘fixes’ Frank’s problem and everyone has sex. Everyone. Frank, Dr. Fallatingstein, Sexcula, Orgie, the robot chick, those other people from the other porn that were spliced in… the gorilla. It’s tugs at the heart strings and gives one a feeling of inner peace, like everything will work out and be ok.

This is one of those cases where the filmmakers know that their audience isn’t watching the movie for a plot and only for sex scenes, which is usually fine in this genre, but that’s where the problem is; the sex scenes aren’t sexy! So by plot and porno standards, Sexcula misses the mark, big time. One thing I can say positively about the movie is that the set design is actually pretty well done and very gothic influenced of the films it’s trying to knock off. The castle is dark and creepy, littered with dust covered machinery with wires everywhere hooked up to all sort of things. The lighting is like something out of a Giallo, with bright fluorescent color painting most of the scenes.

For being a porno, it sure didn’t feel like one. After all, aren’t they supposed to be sexy or arousing? This came off more as awkward and honest, kinda unappealing. Even for a horror spoof, there was nothing ‘horror’ about it, other than her name is a sexual derivation of Dracula… which is another misconception about the film. Sexcula actually follows the plot of Frankenstein closer than it does Dracula! Well I can say for certain this is a film that can deliver on its tagline.

roadside attractions

  • Mutton chop madness.
  • The names are punny!
  • Take a shot every time you think a different porno was spliced in.
  • Unsexy sex.
  • Monkeying around.
totals

0

blood

BLOOD

Not a single drop of that particular fluid… This movie doesn’t suck blood, but it sucks… yeah, you get the point.

7

blood

BREASTS

If there is one thing in this film, it’s certainly that.

4

beast

BEASTS

A gorilla, Orgie, seventies body hair and the acting.

3.6 OVERALL
dripper

I can’t find an appropriate trailer for “Sexcula,” so enjoy this Synapse Films bumper instead!

trailers

dripper
Jul

Comments Off on Suspiria

suspiria

Very few things come together so perfectly, mixing vibrant colors and vivid violence like Suspiria. Most films can’t hold a moment of tension, making you feel uneasy with every moment that passes on screen as you’re too terrified to move or look away and a soundtrack that is so fierce, it pierces your nerves, pumping your blood faster and faster. With Suspiria, Dario Argento tried something a little different, doing away with his usual murder mysteries and opted for something a little more supernatural, both in sound and vision. Deep Red may have put Dario Argento on the map, but Suspiria is what kept him there.

During the opening credits, before any visuals are shown, we are sharply jolted into attention by the hammering of a what could be a rusty steel drum and a shrieking woman accompanied by dreadful whispering. Right before there is any plot or visuals, Dario Argento welcomes you into his world with music from Goblin. This stringing, energetic music only amplifies the blood soaked carnage to follow, which is also more amplified than his previous work. Seriously, what follows, what you will see in Suspiria, will get under your skin.

Arriving in Munich, Germany from the USA on a dreary, stormy evening is ballet student Suzy Bannion (anyone else think of bunion? Yuck.). Upon arriving at the prestigious dance academy she was newly enrolled in, a young woman, an expelled student flees into the storm, shouting something inaudible. This young woman, Pat, takes shelter at a friend’s place in town, where she believes it to be safe. But how naive of Pat, as an intruder’s arm crashes through a window in the bathroom, grabbing her. Pat’s shouts alarm her friend, who frantically runs downstairs, pounding on doors for help. After an awkward cut (she appears in a different hallway), Pat is stabbed, exposing her still beating heart and has a cord tied around her neck. She crashes through the large stained glass ceiling, hanging her as the shattered pieces of glass impale her friend on the ground floor below. If you look up ‘overkill’ in the dictionary, it will say, “See Suspiria.” And this is just the opening…

HBTMBusiness resumes as usual the next day and Suzy starts getting settled into the school after meeting with Madame Blanc and the rather mannish Ms. Tanner and these two don’t seem creepy or suspicious at all… Speaking of suspicious, Suzy starts becoming dizzy and faints during a lesson. The doctor tells Suzy that she is to take medicated wine… medicated wine. Now I’m no doctor, but I’m fairly certain you don’t need a prescription for wine.

I should also mention that this school is full of the most pompous, snobbish girls you would ever cross. They only seem interested in money, whether it’s trying to manipulate money out of each other or boys with big… wallets (what did you think I was going to say). However, Suzy does meet one peach among all the rotten fruit, Sarah. The two become friends and room together. It’s also later this evening while preparing for dinner, it begins to seemingly rain (or drop down from the ceiling in masses) unwanted dinner guests; maggots. Hey, if you thought your school’s cooking was bad! This forces the girls to have the creepiest campout in cinema history (this entire scene draped in an alarming red light) as they all gather in the practice hall. Sarah over hears the nightmarish wheezing of the school’s director… who is not due to return to the school for several more week, so what is she doing there?

Further growing more suspicious of the faculty, Sarah tells Suzy Pat was her friend and they were gathering clues on this mistrustful staff. Suzy, in stylish Argento fashion, recalls clues in flashback form, recalling Pat shouting the words ‘secret’ and ‘iris’ amidst the storm before skeptically passing out. Sarah frantically tries to wake Suzy, informing her Pat’s notes are missing, but she decides to investigate anyway. This happens in time as an unknown figure starts to stalk her. Sarah flees for her life, believing she found shelter through a window in a dark room, but what is waiting for her on the other side will leave her, dare I say ‘tangled?’

HBTMBeing told that Sarah abruptly left the school, Suzy doesn’t buy that bologna and heads out to meet with her psychiatrist Dr. Mandel, who is played by the poorly dubbed Udo Kier (seriously, the dude speaks perfect English and they dub him with that generic white guy voice?). It’s interesting to note Udo received top billing and he’s just now making an appearance as we reach the final act of the movie. It’s not an unnecessary cameo, however. Dr. Mandel provides us with the biggest piece of exposition. It turns out the school was founded by a depraved Greek refugee who was, in all probability, a witch. Udo exits as his time is becoming too costly, so his colleague steps in to finish the dialogue with Suzy, informing her that the coven cannot survive without their queen. Thank you, Mr. Kier. Your check is in the mail.

The film’s conclusion has timid Suzy filling in all the blanks, recalling all the clues and discovering the truth behind this unholy academy. This eerie ending is actually quite frightening and unnerving to say the very least. Hope you have a change of drawers.

Suspiria is like watching a twisted, infernal fairytale come to life. Every scene is masterfully lit with electrifying hues of reds, greens and blues making the scenery seem like a character, but never crossing into the realm of cartoonish. It’s actually quite brilliant and adds to the moody and iconic sound of Goblin, whose score only heightens the level of terror. Suspiria is the kind of film that could have come off as unbelievable and ludicrous, but mixed with the aforementioned ingredients and Dario Argento’s sense of stylized and prodigious direction, everything plays out magnificently. It’s a film that without a doubt has earned its title as one of the most shocking and terrifying pieces of not only Italian cinema, but as horror cinema as well.

roadside attractions

  • High dive hanging.
  • Stained glass impalement.
  • Hallelujah, it’s raining maggots!
  • Medicated wine.
  • Creepy campout.
  • Razor wire rumble.
  • Which is witch?
  • Secrets, secrets and more secrets.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

More than Argento’s later works, but about as much as his earlier.

7

blood

BREASTS

If there were any bare breasts in this film, I’d be too afraid to look.

10

beast

BEASTS

Unknown assailants, monsterish servants, old hags, witches… and rich, snobby white women.

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie here!

trailers

dripper
Jul

Comments Off on The Ghastly Love of Johnny X

suspiria

Ready for a far out science fiction adventure? Well, here’s something groovy you may want to check out, dig it? Ok, I promise I’ll lighten up on the all the hepcat slang. In the spirit of the 1950’s, The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is homage to the black and white beatnik flicks, absurdly silly sci-fi films like Plan 9 from Outer Space and even musicals, like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Normally mixing this many genres can make a film incoherent or confusing, but here it seems to all blends together… like nice, old fashioned milkshake.

Beginning in the science fiction element, our title character Johnny X, full name Jonathan Xavier, is banished from his home world for being too wild and reckless, like his role model, the reckless rock star (possibly in the vein of Elvis) Mickey O’Flynn, played by, in the oddest casting choice, Creed Bratton from The Office. So as a punishment from the head councilman (played by Kevin McCarthy in his final role), Johnny is sent to Earth, until he can do a selfless act. But with an attitude like Johnny’s, what do think is going to happen next?

One year later, a drop dead gorgeous woman named Bliss abruptly enters a diner in literally the middle of nowhere and seduces the young man behind the counter, Chip and the two are about to take off… that is, until Johnny and his gang, The Ghastly Ones, crash the party. This is where the film jumps genres from beatnik to musical, but does it casually. You go along with the musical number, snapping along, as the singing provides exposition, as Johnny uses what he calls the ‘Resurrection Suit’. This suit gives him the ability to control others, but Chip manages to pull off some heroics and saves Bliss as they flee into the desert.

HBTMOverhearing what is going on, a patron at the diner by the name of King Clayton (played by the always favorable Reggie Bannister) who just so happens to be the manager of Mickey O’Flynn, offers a deal with Johnny: Help him with his ‘situation’ with Mickey and in return, he will bring back the soda jerk Chip and Bliss. And what situation would that be? Well, it’s not that he didn’t show up for rehearsal as the news previously had reported… turns out, King Clayton is in deep with loan sharks to keep his theater open and Mickey was gonna pack the house and pay the debt, except that he croaked the night before the rehearsal. So the idea is to get the Resurrection Suit back to reanimate the recently departed Mickey to put on the show. Could this be that selfless act that gives Johnny the ticket to go home?

Well as luck would have it, King Clayton is Chip’s uncle and along with Bliss, they walk right into the lion’s den, so to speak. Putting all grudges aside, leaving Bliss for his new girl (and gang member) Bobbi Socks, Johnny gets ready for the show. However, the sluggishly oaf and appropriately named Sluggo, in an act of independence, sabotages the suit and flees with the now reanimated Mickey and kidnapping Bliss along the way. Recruiting Chip into the gang, baptizing him as ‘Soda’, the two put their differences aside and head off to save Bliss, who Sluggo is demanding in exchange for the Resurrection Suit. And so begins the final battle. Will Johnny defeat Sluggo and save the girl? Will he get home? Don’t worry. All of these questions are answered in the final act.

Overall, the movie is an entertaining romp that those with love of retro cinema and serials will love. It also has some silliness that brings the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra to mind. It not only has a sense of humor, but you a splash of love for everything that is the 50’s. Director Paul Bunnell brings all together fantastically to bring you something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a throwback to those beatnik romps with greasers, gangs, dames, slime balls, dweebs, thugs, Martians and weirdoes… all in the name of love. It’s an adventure, it’s a musical, and it’s groovy. Check this one out. Dig, Daddy-O (Oh come on, I had to end on some cool slang)?

You can purchase The Ghastly Love of Johnny X here!

roadside attractions

  • Devo hat.
  • Soda shake romp.
  • Hepcats and dames.
  • Rock-a-billy zombie Creed.
  • World domination… with science!
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Nothing to really see hear, but that’s not what it’s about.

7

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of busty dames to oogle at.

8

beast

BEASTS

Sluggo and a zombie Mickey O’Flynn. Even the girls are deadly.

6.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer here!

trailers

dripper
Jul

Comments Off on Summertime B-movies

The Burning: chosen by General Relativity

Cropsey, protagonist slasher of “The Burning”, is a camp maintenance dude who is brutally burned in prank gone wrong. Written by Oscar-grubbing producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, “The Burning” is one of the archetypal summer camp slasher movies. Among the highlights, a brutally slow murder of a prostitute and incredibly swift takedown of about five kids on a raft using an absurdly sharp pair of hedge clippers. Also Jason “George Costanza” Alexander plays a a cool athletic bro, whose full head of curly hair is the envy of all campers and Fisher Stevens, of Short Circuit, plays a skinny weirdo. I can relate to Cropsey. When I was in 3rd grade, I attended Junior Chrono-scout camp. I was teased by the cool kids and jocks, probably because my interests skewed toward reading books about spacetime rather than pogs or yo-yos. One night, when I was out stargazing with my melvin friends, Ed Podgorski took my whitey tighty briefs out of my bag and threw them on the roof of the cabin. So I murdered him and his entire group of friends and I have returned to the Junior Chrono-naut Camp ever year on the anniversary to exact the same vengeance.

Friday the 13th: Part 3D: chosen by Die-Anne Takillya

To me, this is the best of the F13 franchise. Of course, I’m a sucker for cheesy 3D effects; after all, nothing says ‘good times’ like objects flying at your face… ahem.  But yes, this is the flick with some of the best kills: Harpoon gun to the eye, bare hands skull crushing, upside down male bisection right through the groceries, yikes!! Also, for my money, this one has the best old guy that predicts doom for the horny teenagers, I mean, he’s waving an eyeball around! Why don’t they listen? My only complaint about this one is the ridiculous side-story about Chris and her already surviving Jason once. Personally, I think final girl rules should have applied here, and she should have ended up taking a dirt nap, just like Adrienne King’s character in Part 2. But, we have to chase her traumatized behind around and she has not one, but two- count ’em: TWO! floating canoe hallucination-driven freakouts before the authorities drag her out of our lives forever. The hallmark of this one is of course Jason donning his trademark hockey mask, red markings and all. Other highlights include wormy boy getting the best of some rude biker punks, an excellent sweater knotted around the neck by Rick, Chris’ uptight yuppie boyfriend, and a pair of the biggest bongs I’ve ever seen. Let’s pack up and take a trip to Crystal Lake!

Madman: chosen by The Goon

Would you believe that Madman was originally based on the Cropsy Murders tale? No? Are you calling me a liar? Well, it’s true. But some other movie called The Burning came out first (heard that some Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander dudes were in it and that Tom Savini guy did the effects… might be worth checking out), so they had to tweak the story a bit. Madman takes place on the last day of camp and during a cautionary tale about the title character, Madman Marz, one of the campers shouts his name and so the hunt begins! Marz, a very large dude who stomps around ripping and bashing things apart, stalks the camp, picking off the stupid counselors one by one as they do stupid things. Have I mentioned they’re stupid? They follow the formulated clichés, which could turn you off, but luckily the film saves it with over the top, gory deaths. Madman takes course over one dark night, which helps keep the story flowing at a good pace and I have to mention how well lit this movie is. The blue hues, mixed with the ambiance of howling wind and creaking wood floors, give the film a calm, but alarming feel to it. Overall, Madman is an underrated slasher, most likely due to its seemingly simple setup… and hammy acting, but underneath that is a gory, interesting slasher flick with a lot to offer. During the film, you’re left with that ‘last day of camp’ sadness, because you found who you were, you made friends and now you’re leaving… because you are being murdered. Oh, don’t expect this film to end happily. Interesting enough, there was supposed to be a sequel, involving the two surviving characters, one of which was institutionalized, but it never came to be. Oh yeah, check out my video review for Madman!

Hotel Hell: chosen by Barry Goodall

There are a lot of reasons not to stay in  cheap motels in the south. Bed bugs, cross burnings in the courtyards or the possibility of ending up in the owner’s BBQ recipe just to name a few. Motel Hell instilled this fear in me at an early age and nearly made me go vegan. Well only briefly, but who really wants to move to Portland? It stars the amazing Rory Calhoun as the hotel owner Farmer Vincent. He and his crazy sister have been kidnapping tourists and grinding them up into their BBQ meat to sell to the townsfolk.  But a good BBQ recipe is all in the preparation and Farmer Vincent likes to plant his victims up to their necks first and then cuts their vocal cords so they sound like they’re gargling mouth wash. I think that keeps em’ from tasting too gamey. Silly at times and disturbing at others it’s one of the classic summer time b-movies. Also be on the lookout for a guy in a pig’s head with a chainsaw during the gratuitous “damsel in distress strapped to a conveyor belt” scene. Remember, it takes all kinds of critters…to make Farmer Vincents fritters.

Jaws: chosen by Tiger Sixon

Most horror films make ya scared of the dark, be it with mask wearing psychos, slime covered aliens, or zombie insurance salesmen. It takes a special kind of horror film to make you scared of the DAY, as Jaws does. Nothing screams “summertime” more than swimming on a crowded beach on a nice afternoon. In Jaws though, the screams of “summertime” quickly turn to “SHARK!” as a man-eating beast from the deep makes a snack out o’ humans. The shark ruins all kinds of summer fun: sailing, swimming, holiday trips with relatives you can’t stand, and more. With blood and beast to spare, Jaws remains a summer classic–and still keeps people outta the water.
Sleepaway Camp: chosen by DoktorSummer is a accursed mixture of the sublime and the horrific: beautiful girls in bikinis and screaming heat waves which melt pavement; three months off and nothing to do; summer camp. Summer camp is the epitome of the best and worst that summer has to offer, and Sleepaway Camp is the motion picture embodiment of summer camp. There are horny, idiot boys and snotty, mean girls. Creepy camp counselors and staff. Idiotic group games and activities. Awkward making out which reminds you of the time you secretly watched Daddy and second daddy making love. Wait, what? … And then there’s the really scary stuff, the things you get lifelong therapy for: short shorts and half shirts, on the guys. BLARGH! Best of all, just like boarding the bus to return home, Sleepaway Camp knows how to put innocent summer fun to an end with extreme prejudice. Choke on that, M. Night Shyamalan.

Jul

Comments Off on Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me

The movie industry hit it big in the horror genre with the now slasher legends Halloween and Friday the 13th. It opened a flood gate of imitators and wanna-be’s, many of which copied the formula too closely, leaving them to be called ripped offs. Not all of them, mind you. Some of these ‘rip offs’ managed to take the basic components of slasher formula and run with it, making their own unique film. Two of these films just happen to be Canadian! I mean, can you believe it? My Bloody Valentine and Happy Birthday to Me would slip out from their predecessor’s shadows and right into the radar of the MPAA.

Happy Birthday to Me, which seems like a silly little horror flick at first glance, is actually full of surprise shocks in this ‘who-done-it?’ mystery, chock full of violence and gore… which unfortunately the before mentioned MPAA had a field day cutting.

So meet Virginia, she smokes a pack a day, but wait, that’s me… Wait. Those are Train lyrics. I apologize. Allow me to restart. Meet Virginia, newly accepted into the elite ‘Top Ten’, a snobbish group of the richest kids at the Crawford Academy and I have to say… they are all douche bags. Every single one of them. Every night, the group meets every night at the Silent Women Tavern. This is where the film’s first kill comes in. One of the top ten, Bernadette, is nearly strangled in her car by an unknown assailant until she escapes from the vehicle only to have her throat slashed.

The rest of the Top Ten barely seems concerned that one of their friends never showed up (or is even present for the remainder of the rest of the film). After one of the Ten, Greg, causes a problem like the bro he is with another patron, the crew flee the scene to jump a bridge that they call ‘The Game.’ You can see the level of creativity in this group. Virginia shouts ‘Mother’ as the vehicle she is riding in jumps the bridge. Her only real friend, Ann, tries to stop her. Upon landing, she runs out of the vehicle and straight to her mother’s grave, boasting how proud she would be of her for finally being part of the exclusive socialite club. Clearly, we have a healthy individual for the remainder of this nearly two hour film.

HBTMVirginia sees a therapist, Dr. Faraday, who is clearly in his sixties and overweight, but that doesn’t stop him from wearing skin tight polyester button ups, proudly showing off his pasty, hairy chest (resembling if you put pubic hair all over bread dough) with a gold medallion dangling loosely. Because, let’s be honest. That’s who you want advice from when you are trying to piece a tragic childhood together that you can only remember fragments of. Which is what happens throughout the course of the film: Virginia assembles, piece by piece, what exactly happened to her.

Virginia’s father leaves away for business during the weekend of her birthday and while this is going on, members of the elegant Top Ten begin to die in horrible fashions. The creepy foreign exchange student (and I mean creepy. The dude breaks into Virginia’s room to steal panties) gets his face ripped apart by a motorcycle, Greg has his chest smashed by his own weight set, only after having an epiphany that the group is growing distant and Alfred… poor Alfred. Regardless of how creepy this individual may seem, the poor guy is gutted while trying to give Virginia flowers one night when she is visiting her mother’s grave. So, does this make her the killer?

The next day at the school dance, she brings home another member, Steve, only to skewer him through the face with a kabob, so yeah… I guess that kinda does make her the culprit. Loud and clear. Or does it? Well, trying to figure out what is going on, Dr. Faraday stays with her while her father is gone and I have to say, this is actually kinda creepy. You definitely get a sexual vibe from him. I know it’s probably supposed to come off as more of a caring guardian figure, but it doesn’t. Anyway, he fails to give her any answer, so she kills him with a fire poker.

During the movie’s climax, the day of Virginia’s birthday, Virginia finally pieces together her history, learning that her mother was a drunk and was having an affair. Her mother, after throwing Virginia a birthday party, which none of the Top Ten showed up to, drives straight to her lover’s house to confront him and we learn Virginia has a half sister. On the way home, Virginia’s mother flies off the bridge, drowning herself and nearly killing Virginia. After this revelation, the killer comes forward, just in time as her father comes home to celebrate her birthday.

HBTMThis all leads up to an ending with quite a unique twist. This twist unfortunately doesn’t have much of a build-up do to rewrites and can seemingly come out of nowhere, possibly turning the viewers head to the side as they ponder aloud, “huh?” This doesn’t it make it any less effective, however. In fact, the movie ends on a note of uncertainty and dread, all while Virginia sings “Happy Birthday to Me.”

Happy Birthday to Me seems like it may be a low budget hack and slash, but it’s actual a very sharp, studio film, directed by J. Lee Thompson, the director Cape Fear. Sure it follows pieces of your standard slasher formula and at times the characters seem quite dimwitted. The film will also suspend your sense of belief at times, but never loses its’ charm. If you’ve never seen this film, you’ll keep guessing as to who the killer may be and what secrets they are trying to hide as the Top Ten is massacred one by one, which is a shame this film was heavily edited. There were some very gory death scenes. It’s always interested me that an uncut version of My Bloody Valentine exists, but not Happy Birthday to Me. It’s a shame.

Also interesting to note, before the Anchor Bay release of the film in 2009 which had the film’s original score, the previous DVD release by Colombia Pictures, for some bizarre and inhumane reason, replaced the creepy score by Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin, in favor of some ear vomiting disco. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of that edition. That soundtrack is bad enough to kill you.

roadside attractions

  • Matching gloves and scarf.
  • Who’s the douchiest?
  • Motorcycle Face lift.
  • Bench pressed.
  • It ain’t brain surgery.
  • Have your cake and eat it too.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Total gore-fest… is what I would say if the MPAA didn’t butcher this film.

5

blood

BREASTS

Steamy shower scene… plus Greg pumps iron, ladies.

7

beast

BEASTS

Yo, that Virginia chick be mad cray-cray! And that ain’t all!

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie here.

trailers

dripper

About the Highway

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