May

posted by Doktor | May 18, 2012 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, Cult Film, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Year: 1978     Runtime: 80 min
Director: Don Dohler
Writer: Don Dohler
Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith and Richard Dyszel

Because The Avengers is the bestest movie in the history of forever and all future times, I am required by law to have at least one line about how it compares to the film I’m currently reviewing. Here it is:

The Alien Factor and The Avengers both share the exact same first four letters. After that they are pretty much the same, but different. Despite all the high-tech hoobajoobs, at their core both movies are about heroes and monsters. I’m certain Joseph Campbell would agree that these movies are just different sides of the same coin.

Let’s look at the monsters and hero in The Alien Factor to see how similarly different they are to those in The Avengers.

Background

In The Alien Factor, there’s an alien zoologist, and because we never really get his name let’s call him—purely at random—Lowkey. He’s collected three space animal-monsters for the space zoo back on his home planet, which is in space. On the trip back he decides to celebrate with a few space brewskis. Next thing he knows, the Earth is right square in his flight path. He tries to correct, but his space reflexes are diminished by 23.45678%. If they were only down by 23.45677%… No use in crying over spilt space milk.

Also, the sun was in his eyes.

When the space ship crashes the containment shields stop working. The containment shields were keeping the three space animal-monsters from escaping. Oh, and the ship’s exit door was unlocked and opened. So, early one morning in 1972 an unsuspecting little town in Maryland was the new home for a Infersyce, a Zagatile and a Leemoid.

The Bad Guys aka Space Animal-Monsters

The Infersyce. A humanoid insect monster with an exoskeleton that looks suspiciously like a dress. It’s weakness is high frequency sound waves pumped out of sweet Alpine 20″ woofer. How one manages to get power and audio signal way out in the middle of the woods where the Infersyce is preying on the people is another story, one the movie never bothers to tell. We’ll have to chuck it up to space science.

The Zagatile. A considerate Wookie/Ant hybrid alien monster. I describe it as considerate because when it attacks the Sheriff and Mary Jane, it claws very lightly, though menacingly, at the widow rather than break into the house. Whereas regular bullets have no effect, a syringe bullet (and I mean that literally) penetrates its hide like greased goose diarrhea.

The Leemoid. Or perhaps it was a Nimoy. I get them two mixed up. Whatever. The Leemoid is the final “Boss” monster. It is a translucent claymation LizardSnakeMan, half lizard, half snake, half man. The only way to defeat him is by swinging a stick in its general direction. Once it realizes what you’ve done, it falls down dead.

The Good Guys aka The Townsfolk

Young Lovers #1. First, there is the couple making out in a secluded field, far out of town. The bottle of Strawberry Hill swirling through their hormone-driven bodies makes them blind to the Infersyce, ever so stealthily crunching through the dry hay towards them. The synthesized cat screeching music swells. The horny boyfriend gets got. The girl makes for the safety of the woods. Thanks to off screen teleportation, i.e. not writing the scene, she eventually ends up at the doctor’s office in a state of shock.

Young Lovers #2. In a completely different part of the woods, this time by the pond, the other couple is enjoying the romantic setting. Or at least the guy is, trying to set the mood. The girl isn’t having any of it. She decides to enjoy the seclusion of the woods, alone. All by herself. No one there to “protect” her. Naturally, a space peron startles her, despite his hot pecks—she stumbled on him while he was sunbathing. He chases after her, trying to apologize. She runs into the path of a speeding motorcycle. She’s tossed into the ditch, smearing Louisiana Hot Sauce on her face. The motorcycle got a nasty scratch that couldn’t be buffed out.

Haut Young Studs. The three Haut Young Studs sport the best of 70s hair fashion: first, Bock Sampson hockey hair; two, bushy white-boy fro; and third, greasy black mane with a Charlie Manson goat-tee. They’re not just lookers, but thinkers. Hockey Hair argues against the Sheriff’s orders that they not go out looking for the monsters with: “Come OH-win” (commonly pronounced come on). Brilliant!

The Law. Not to be out shined in the intelligence department, there’s Sheriff Simpleton and Deputy Dufus. Deputy Dufus moonlights as the city’s meteorologist, and is a damned fine one at that. Here’s a sample forecast, “They’re calling for 5 or 4 inches of snow tonight.” That’s also the exactly right ratio of people who are having not math very good making skills.

The Childrens. I don’t know what’s in the water in Maryland, but these kids are weird. They frolic the snowy fields in slow motion, about a foot apart, tossing a beach ball to one another. While that’s awkward, the really disturbing behavior is when they discover the Leemoid’s victim’s dead body. They stand and gawk, not once poking it with a stick. WTF?

The Drunk. Every small town has the happy-go-lucky drunk. Alcoholism, and to a lesser extend farts, will always be funny. The Drunk is a complex character, each one serves a different purpose. For The Alien Factor, The Drunk serves to kill runtime, i.e. make filler to pad out the movie to roughly 90 minutes. He mostly eats peanuts and sips his beer. All the while we get to listen to two rocking hits from the Fru-Fruity John Pertwees. The Drunk goes home to drink some more beer and read Monster Who’s Who—more filler. Then a noise draws him down into the basement. Though Drunk, he’s not stupid. He prepares by grabbing his gun. Carefully he makes his way down, eyes peeled, reflexes sharp and on point. Fumbling slowly out of a dark corner, the Zagatile sloths up on The Drunk and kills him.

No one builds tension (behind your eyes, commonly known as a headache), like Don Dohler.

B-MOVIE SURVIVAL TIP: When you’re confronted by a monster in your basement, and you have a gun, and it is pointed at the monster, which is SLOWLY advancing towards you, SHOOT! Even if it’s yourself.

The Reporter. Local reporter, Ms. Dufus, no explicit relation to the deputy, goes out for her big scoop on the aliens armed with a half gallon can of gasoline. Why gasoline? Because Deputy Dufus suggested that it MIGHT be possible to kill the aliens with fire. Even if we’re willing to forgive her momentary lapse of reason, she still has a major problem. When attacked, she drops the gas can and runs off. I don’t know if she doesn’t understand the idea behind a Molotov cocktail, or forgot you need to open the can, slosh the gas on the target and then ignite the gas, but the result is the same. The can of gas was a complete waste. It was a really nice can, too.

The Mayor. He’s your typical bureaucrat. Only interested in the money that will be generated by an impending entertainment center, Mayor Poopooheimer shafts the law, the citizens, and ultimately himself, by trying to keep this whole space animal-monster thing quiet. He dies a fitting death when the Zagatile sneaks up behind him and smears his face with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Good riddance.

And finally…

The Hero. Ben “Space Animal-Monster Hunter” Zachery. He is the ultimate combination of awesome. Forged from cold, hard steel that is Bob “Happy Little Cloud” Ross and titanic might of Zap “Canadian Hero Extraordinare” Rowsdower, he is truly a wonder of nature. He’s also a space foreigner, the very same one who was catching some sun earlier. Enigmatic and dangerously handsome, Zachery is a mans man, and every woman’s dream.

So, as you can see, The Alien Factor is pretty much The Avengers. The real difference is the moral, which is: Not everything that’s ugly on the outside is ugly on the inside, except for this movie, which is ugly through and through.

roadside attractions

  • Sparkly Space Powers
  • Synthesized Space Music
  • Space Aliens
  • Space Ships
  • Lurleen the Bartender
  • Snow Tires
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Sadly, there was much wasting of Louisiana Hot Sauce. To Cajuns this film marks a dark, dark day in cinematic history.

5

blood

BREASTS

None. Having seen the possible candidates, this is a very good thing.

10

beast

BEASTS

The best that “no money” can buy.

7 OVERALL
dripper
May

posted by Tiger Sixon | May 6, 2012 | 60's b-movies, 60's movies, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

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Evil Brian From Outer Space - Starman

Take three episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, one episode of Dragnet, the first twenty minutes of a Star Trek episode, toss them in a blender, add a dash of LSD, and hit MIX. The end result would give you some kinda idea about what the hell Evil Brain From Outer Space is like. Maybe.

Similar to Devil’s Dynamite, Evil Brain From Outer Space is edited from several different films, in this case the Japanese series, Super Giant. As a result, the WTF Factor is off the chart. According to Professor Wikipedia, Evil Brian From Outer Space was allegedly edited from nearly three hours of footage, down to a sparse 78 minutes. The final product is a Spirograph of tights, masks, aliens, mutants, robots, evil plans, secret lairs, and child sidekicks.

Evil Brain From Outer Space - Mutant

And the cherry on top? It is also dubbed, giving us such classic lines like “The news is excellent!” and “You must always use them!”

Our hero, Starman, is sent to Earth, in a ballet costume, by some kinda ‘robo-council’ to find the titular brain. I think. There is some kinda brain in a jar, who is pulling the strings of crime, giving orders to different groups of baddies. The brain, as the title suggests, is indeed from outer space. And apparently evil. So, Starman, with his antenna headgear and stuffed undies, comes to save the day. I think. Speaking of undies, Starman and his leotard-clad foes feature, uh, ‘well defined’ areas south of the equator. In some cases, there is very little left to the imagination, and makes me glad this weren’t in 3D.

Evil Brain From Outer Space features just about every cliché villain you can name: One-legged man? Check. Evil scientist? Check. Guy with a hook? Check. Doctor with a scar? Check. Crazy-wheelchair-bound-doctor-who-is-faking-it-and-has-an-eagle-on-his-shoulder? CHECK. Let’s not forget the sub-plot of a pair of kids trying to locate the bad guys, so they can…um. Locate them, I guess, as Starman does all of the actual work, what with the punching, the kicking, and the prancing.

Evil Brain From Outer Space - Starman

If you have the time, and an open jar of moonshine, give Evil Brain From Outer Space a gander. This concoction of random scenes, wacky characters, and ballet costumes makes for quite the interesting spectacle. Just keep yer eyes above the belt.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Ballet Costumes
  • Leotards
  • Tights
  • Prancing
  • Brain theft
  • A brain in a jar
  • Model boats
  • An eyeball belt
  • Negative flash frames
  • Visible junk
  • A one-legged man
  • A man with a hook
  • A man with an eagle on his shoulder
  • Secret passages
  • Secret lairs
  • Mutants
  • Aliens
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

While there is plenty of fighting, it is pretty PG.

0

blood

BREASTS

This is a fairly kid-friendly film, so the ladies keep the tops on.

10

beast

BEASTS

Evil Brain From Outer Space features some of the most bizarre monsters I have seen, save for the time I went shopping on Black Friday.

5.0 OVERALL
dripper
Apr

It's Alive

“Parenthood”, a word that conjurs up all sorts of images in the pre-breeder’s imagination. A mom carrying some frozen pizza rolls with a screaming kid clinging to her sweatpants, or it’s the dad with the t-shirt that says “This is the roof to my tool shed” as he’s tossing kids into the back of a truck telling them to “go limp” if they hit anything. For some it’s fond memories, for others nightmare fuel and while the thought of a mini drooling poop maker of your very own is a bit scary, it can’t be half as bad as what the Davies family have to deal with in the 1974 cult classic “Its Alive.”

It’s been 12 years since their first child was born and the Davies finally get the chance to pump out another one, but this time it’s killing surgeons and wiping out the nursing staff. Yeah, this kid is either going to grow up to be a mass murder or a medical malpractice lawyer. No real reason is given to why the baby is a deformed killer but there’s talk of pollution, prescription drugs, and that binding crotch area of 70’s leisure suits.

John P. Ryan plays Frank the proud daddy. His happy days of fatherhood are soon snuffed out when he realizes his new born son is a cannibalistic mutant and will probably be talked about around camp fires for years to come. His wife played by Sharon Farrell goes completely bonkers after giving birth to the hell spawn but still wants to protect her mother lovin’ mutant. Maybe she could feed him some raccoons while it watches Barney reruns in the basement.

Frank’s life soon begins to unravel as his boss fires him from their PR firm so they can still maintain a “fresh wholesome image.” Nevermind all those swingers parties and cocaine hookers. His wife is pretty much off her rocker by now and Frank has to send their other non-mutant but still dimwitted son Chris over to their friend Charley. He’s hoping this whole killer baby thing is going to blow over so he tells his buddy to keep it on the down low about the little mutant brother. Chris would be so jealous. Frank has no intention of playing daddy and tracks the todler down at a school for some show and hell right after it tears through a lactose intolerant milkman and a cage dancing go-go girl. The baby escapes and the press continue to hound the family while some mad scientists are hoping to try to study it (or to create a master race of mutant killer babies, because that’s what scientists do.)

Chris ditches Charley’s house and runs back home finding his new brother locked away in their basement vowing to protect him and play endless games of “Chutes and Ladders.” That’s just before Charley bust in and gets his neck chewed into a pound of ground chuck. The infant flees into the sewers and Frank chases after him with a shotgun. He finds the baby hiding in a tunnel but totally wusses out when it puts on the sad puppy dog face and has to wrap the infant up in a blanket to sneak it home. Unfortunately the cops are waiting just outside so he hot potatoes the kid to a nearby scientist which it attacks and they’re both shot and killed by trigger happy cops. We’re left with the police informing Frank and his wife that another mutant was just discovered in Seattle thus finally revealing how grunge music was born.

Barry Goodall says go check out “It’s Alive.” It’s the sort of movie they should show in all those reproductive health classes to scare kids into abstinence. “And remember folks, don’t forget your baby’s feeding time or you could lose a finger.”

roadside attractions

  • Multiple throat rippings
  • No crying over spilt milk
  • Non-swinging dead cat
  • Sewer baby attack
  • Surgery room massacre
  • Monster baby cam
  • Go-go dancer ankle assault
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Multiple throat rippings and an entire hospital team gets massacred. There’s more milk in this film than blood though.

0

blood

BREASTS

None…zippo, natta tatta. Not even a mutant breast feeding.

7

beast

BEASTS

Just one little blood thirsty ankle bitter but he does plenty of damage. Somebody should get this kid a pacifier.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “It’s Alive!”

trailers

dripper
Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 13, 2012 | Feature

There’s a special place in our heart for Jason and his machete here at Lost Highway. In honor of our favorite ticked off goalie we’re offering some amazing Jason homocider t-shirt from our advertiser T-shirt Bordello. Get them while you can. Also in this post we got more Vorhees goodies with the 13 masks of Jason (technically 14) and the 13 best kills.

trailers

dripper
Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 11, 2012 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Review, Sci-Fi

General Relativity is a visitor from the 31st Century.  As a Level III Chrononaut, the General is a mid-level civil servant in the Time Enforcement Commission, which basically means he has to fill out a million forms every time one of you tries to go back to hunt a dinosaur or give AK-47s to the Confederates or whatever.   And no, he can not explain to you why John Connor looks completely different in every single Terminator movie, so don’t ask.

Aristotle.  Plato.  Confucius.  Descartes.  Swayze.  These philosophers laid the foundation for all modern thought.  At least that is what we learned in the Preston-Logan Spacetime Academy.  From Red Dawn to Road House to the indomitable Point Break (which in 3020 was named the greatest movie ever made by the Lundgren Council for the Arts), Swayze’s streak of profundity was unmatched by any 80s star.  In these mystical masterworks, Patrick Swayze was committed to the principles of an undefined and vague Tao of manly badassedness.  Unlike the others on the list of Great Minds, Swayze could nail a bodacious roundhouse kick.

Steel Dawn” is unfortunately not a sequel to Swayze’s 1984 classic “Red Dawn.”  Rather, Steel Dawn is one of those post-apocalyptic westerns released in the wake of the success of “Road Warrior.”  It has most of the touchstones for that genre: mutants, primitive weaponry, lots and lots of desert, and hairstyles out of an 80’s hair metal music video.  The hair in this movie is a special effect.

We begin with the nameless Nomad (Swayze) performing a headstand at the top of a dune in the middle of a desert.  He is communing, because that’s what Swayze does.  Cthulhu-faced mutants emerge from the sand wielding car maintenance equipment and attack him.  Swayze kills them all using a fighting style I can only describe as “Dirty Dance Fighting.”  The principal technique associated with this obscure martial art is to execute a number of unnecessary somersaults and pirouettes before you spin your aluminum foil sword a few times.

From this promising beginning, I hoped that mutants would be the main villain of the film, just as they are in real life.  Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is pitifully lacking in mutants.  The real bad guys are humans rejected from a Mötley Crüe casting call and banished to a Pat Benatar music video.  After the members of Faster Pussycat kill Swayze’s master, Swayze wanders the desert looking generally irritated.  Or maybe he’s just tortured.  Or constipated.  Or tortured by constipation.


Not that he lacks a reason to be irritated, especially after he meets a woman named Ke$ha ( played in amazing crimped hair by Swayze’s real life wife Lisa Niemi).  Swayze befriends her son who is played by Jake Lloyd from “The Phantom Menace” and who gains an alarming amount of weight as the movie goes on.  Water is premium in the desert, and Ke$ha wants to build an aquaduct.  This is basically “Chinatown” but with characters named “Tark” and swords made of silver plastic.  The bad guys are after the water.  But Swayze, using somersaults and head-kicking, will teach them, and us, important lessons about man’s search for faith….

No Swayze film would be complete without his signature esoteric analects.  In this regard, “Steel Dawn” is an undiscovered treasure.  Now, presented without context, the lessons from “Steel Dawn”:

“Promise never to misuse this knowledge.  Before you fight you must first learn to meditate.”
“What’s the matter, never seen a grown man naked?”
“You shouldnt play with sharp objects.”
“A man needs his exercise.”
“I attract violence!”  (That is not the only thing you attract, dude.)
“You talk too much.”

roadside attractions

  • Patrick Freakin’ Swayze
  • Cthulhu Sapiens Mutants
  • Somersaults
  • Pirouettes
  • Tinfoil Swords
  • Sand
  • More Sand
  • Obscene Aquanet Abuse
  • Proto-Jake Lloyd
  • Wind-Powered Go-Carts
  • Fighting with Staves
  • Water Politics
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Although Swayze wields a menacing tinfoil sword, he mostly prefers to kick people in the face.

4

blood

BREASTS

There is a little tease of Swayze pecs while he’s bathing, but I was underwhelmed. Swayze and Brion James (of Blade Runner) stumble into some groupies while they are raiding the hair metal bad guys’ hideout, which is an abandoned Guns ‘n Roses concert stage, but no one seals the deal.

2

beast

BEASTS

Needz moar mutants!

3.0 OVERALL
dripper
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