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

posted by Barry Goodall | July 6, 2012 | Feature, News, Shopping

Comments Off on Welcome The House of Mysterious Secrets

We’d like to welcome to our advertising family “The House of Mysterious Secrets.” HOMS offers some of the coolest horror merchandise including shirts, toys, books, magazines, comics, music and more. Check out their latest exclusive Phantasm shirt below.
Another House of Mysterious Secrets Exclusive shirt! Very limited print run and only available here! The Tall Man from the iconic film series Phantasm is death personified! The dark figure which haunts your dreams and nightmares! He can never be stopped!
Jun

Comments Off on The Prince of Darkness

prince of darkness

I have to come right out and say it: Whoever doesn’t love John Carpenter can go to hell. Hell. Hmm… interesting, because Prince of Darkness has lots to do with hell, which is obvious in the title. Now that I think about it, how does one become the Prince of Darkness? Is there a ceremony? If Satan is the Prince of Darkness, then who is the King of Darkness? Jerry Lewis? Val Kilmer? I didn’t realize Hell was a Monarchy. And if that’s the case, does that mean all the countries like Canada, England and Australia are going to Hell, while the good ol’ USA goes to Heaven? Yeah! Score one for ‘Merica!

With my trusty, ice cold, watery beer(s) at my side, I fight for Good and attempt to put Prince of Darkness in its place… my DVD player.

Prince of DarknessSo, right away we see some old Priest doing what old people do, die, as he lets go of a box. But what’s in it? This is when we meet our cast of characters who are suppose to be students at a college, but they look more like the parents of the students. Just how old are these supposed ‘kids’? But, the main character, Brian (Jameson Parker), really bothers me. It’s not his acting or anything. It’s that his mustache is uneven. Seriously, just look at it! Every time he is on screen, I just stare at it and stop paying attention to what is going on. I got off topic there for a second. I would blame the booze, but… look at the thing when you watch this. Anyway, they are taught by Professor Howard Birack played by Victor Wong, and I think he teaches some sort of Physics class when they are approached by a John Carpenter regular Donald Pleasance playing  a Priest trying to protect the world from evil… a role I’m sure we’re all familiar seeing Donald Pleasance in. The Priest, Father Loomis (I guess he gave up being a doctor and became a father) is seeking their help to investigate this room and a mysterious cylinder in the basement of the derelict Los Angeles church. The cylinder looks a lot like this thing I bought from Spencer’s Gifts, but it’s no toy. It is, as they later find out after a theology student, Lisa, translates some text from the old book, the Devil. Yes, the Devil is a weird swirling green, gooey thing. Who knew? I always thought he was like some dude with long hair and a coat or a beast of some kind, but nope. Turns out, he’s a nothing more than a party favor a stoner buys to stare at for hours.

Prince of DarknessIn a well paced manner, bizarre things begin to happen and people start to die. This is when the movie starts to get creepy. One character gets impaled with a unicycle by a homeless Alice Cooper (imagine having that engraved on your tombstone) and another is stabbed to death with scissors by a homeless Adrianne Barbeau. Not to mention, this student also comes back from the dead to deliver a message in the most nightmarish vision: His voice is distorted as he tells them to “Pray for Death,” then falls to pieces as little black bugs scatter everywhere! Not only that, Satan in his liquid form, sprays a few of the students in the mouth (mostly by one of the students regurgitating the liquid in to each other’s mouths) to possess them. When they are possessed, they literally stand around and just stare blankly. It freaks me out, their expressionless faces. Another one of the students, Kelly, forms a bruise which is actually a marking. She eventually becomes host to Satan, and as the group discovers, whose goal is to bring forth an ‘Anti-God’…something more powerful than Satan! My guess is that it would be Charlie Sheen.

By now you’re probably wondering why they don’t leave the church. It’s because Satan has himself an Army of crazy homeless people on guard twenty four hours surrounding the place! It seems like Satan has himself a better army than Canada.

While all this is going on, the remaining survivors are having weird dreams that are just down right unnerving. They play like old school VHS tapes as a distorted voice warns them of the impending doom, hoping that they will be able to alter the events and prevent the Apocalypse. But do these kids (again they seem so young and not at all like they are 30 year olds), their professor and Donald Pleasance have what it takes to stop the Devil from bringing the Anti-God into our world and prevent the end of everything as we know it? Well, since it’s a John Carpenter movie and it’s the second movie in his “Apocalypse Trilogy”…

It disappointed me to find out that when this movie first came out in theaters, it bombed. Critics and fans disliked it, but luckily in the past decade, it has a newfound appreciation and some even say it’s almost as suspenseful as The Thing, which I believe it is. The pacing in this movie is very well done and it never feels like there is a dull moment. The atmosphere and the possessed characters are truly unnerving and frightening and you get a sense of isolation (again, much like The Thing) since they are trapped inside a church. Even the concept of Satan in liquid form is pretty cool. May not be the best interpretation of him, but it’s pretty creative. Prince of Darkness is a good example of why I love John Carpenter’s work. He gets horror. The only thing I would have changed is that friggin’ mustache on Jameson Parker’s face.

roadside attractions

  • Uneven ‘stache
  • 40 Year Old Students
  • Liquid Satan
  • Alice Cooper
  • Gaysian
  • Pizza Face
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Good ol’ fashioned sprays and splats!

3

blood

BREASTS

Butterface cleavage

9

beast

BEASTS

Hobo’s, Minions and Satan himself.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer from “The Prince of Darkness”

trailers

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Jun

posted by Doktor | June 23, 2012 | Interviews

Comments Off on Dialogue from the Dungeon: Astron-6

After reviewing Father’s Day I had to track down the filmmakers, Astron-6, and talk with them about their first feature-length film.

WARNING: There be spoilers here.

Doktor: Can you give a little background on the group?

Adam Brooks: We were friends.  We made a bunch of short films together.  We have overlapping sensibilities regarding horror, comedy, nostalgia and absurdism.

Conor Sweeney: Matt and I have been making shorts together since high school, and the rest of us met through the Winnipeg Short Film Massacre, which Jer [Jeremy Gillespie] ran every Halloween.

Doktor: With Father’s Day you’ve made a Troma movie that’s cool much like Quentin Tarantino made exploitation films cool. What experience do you want to bring to your audience by using the Late, Late, Late movie genre of films, even going so far as to have commercials and station identification as part of your film?

Adam Brooks: We’re bringing our authentic childhood experiences to the viewer, and I’m sure many viewers can relate.  I didn’t grow up watching exploitation films in grindhouse theaters, I grew up finding many of these movies on late night TV or renting them on Beta or VHS.  We loved Tarantino/Rodriguez’s Grindhouse, but it would insincere for us to make a Grindhouse spinoff.

Conor Sweeney: We wanted to bring back and parody the warmth and weirdness of cable TV that doesn’t really exist anymore. When we were up late at night as kids watching cable access TV, it always felt like you stumbled on a channel nobody else knew about. You would see some weird movies, and the commercial breaks would be off putting and jarring. We wanted Father’s Day to feel like the kind of movie that you would see and then question whether or not it was a dream the next morning.

Doktor: As this was a group project, did each one of you writer/develop your own characters? What was the writing process like? Overall, would you say it’s easier or harder to write in a group?

Adam Brooks: Me and Matt wrote a loose draft, Conor and Jer changed it, added to it, removed bits, Steve wrote an ending, then we all passed it around and around, each editing it, and changing, and adding, until in the end it was one big mess of none sense.

Conor Sweeney: Not really. We all wrote each other pretty equally, but I know I would change stuff that someone else wrote for me that I hated and didn’t want to say. Writing as a group led to the chaos you see onscreen, which I say as a compliment to the movie, but I don’t think any of us want to work that way again. Whatever we do next will be far more regimented.

Doktor: Ahab is a very recognizable reference. What was your intention in naming your main character Ahab?

Adam Brooks: He’s called Ahab because he IS Ahab.  He is a man overcome with revenge.  Things don’t work out well for people like that.

Conor Sweeney: There’s so few people named Ahab in films. I could honestly count them on one hand. What we wanted to do was finally give voice to those who share his namesake.

Doktor: On the subject of Ahab, Ahab’s coat is a character in and of itself. How did this bit of anthropomorphication come about?

Adam Brooks: When we shot the scene in Twink’s apartment, I didn’t want to wear the coat because it was too hot.  The coat is basically made of some kind of unbreathable plastic, and under those hot lights, with the fake blood, I was uncomfortable enough.  I DID want to wear the coat later in the film though, and we discussed it late one night after one of our 20-hour shooting days.  We were all punchy and goofy from exhaustion and the idea of the coat as a character made us all laugh.  It is maybe the stupidest joke in the movie but I love it.

Conor Sweeney: Exhaustion. To shoot a crucial scene in the movie, we needed to be in one spot for hours and hours of shooting time, and Adam didn’t want to wear his coat because he was right beside a heater. He took it off knowing it would throw off the continuity because he’s wearing it in the next scene, so in our tired state we started throwing around ideas about how the jacket could return. When you’re exhausted, stupid and bizarre things become funny, so a talking coat is now in Father’s Day. I think it’s a great gag.

Doktor: I interviewed Lloyd Kaufman and he said he made suggestions about your script but you ignored them, ‘cos you were smart. What were some of the rejected suggestions?

Adam Brooks: They were all suggestions of a type of humor that clashed with what we were going for.  References to Lance Bass, kicking and punching girls in the vagina, tampon jokes, etc.

Conor Sweeney: The suggested and ignored notes turned Twink into an extremely homophobic and unfunny caricature. Some ‘Scary Movie’ type jokes like  Father John saying “nigga please” after his sermon, Sleazy Mary getting kicked in the crotch and then bleeding everywhere, fart and shit jokes, etc.

Doktor: What was it like working with Troma, i.e. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz?

Adam Brooks: Next question.

Conor Sweeney: Haha….uhh….

Doktor: God and the Devil are the same person, which is absolutely brilliant. Can you talk about how that idea came about?

Adam Brooks: Thanks for the SPOILER ALERT!  Jeremy and I were talking it out on the phone during the script writing process and we came up with that.

Conor Sweeney: We wanted a part for Lloyd, and we knew where the movie was going so he was a good choice. I didn’t come up with it though, I’m not sure who did.

Doktor: Did you have Lloyd Kaufman in mind to play God/Devil from the beginning?

Adam Brooks: Yes.  It’s a bit of a play on George Burns in Oh God You Devil where Burns played both God and The Devil.  I loved that movie when I was a kid.

Doktor: On your site you’ve made a number of trailers for films. Did you consider any of the other films when you went to make a feature length film? Are you planning on developing any of them now?

Adam Brooks: We didn’t choose Father’s Day as the trailer we had always wanted to turn into a feature, Troma chose it.  They were torn between Fireman and Father’s Day at first.  If it were entirely our choice we would have gone with something totally original instead of expanding on one of our shorts.  There are no plans to develop any of those shorts into features, though… maybe a Fireman movie someday… probably not.

Conor Sweeney: I would rather make something entirely new, although Matt and I have written a screenplay for a feature length version of H.I.Z.. Though I guess that’s not a trailer. We have a lot of ideas.

Doktor: Filmmaking is hell. It’s amazing that films with multiple millions of dollars get made, much less low-budget labors of love. What was the best part of making this film? What was the most heartbreaking? How did you overcome this to bring the film to fruition?

Adam Brooks: When you go through a shitty experience, a tragedy, or any suffering with somebody else you often look back with some sort of fondness.  You laugh with each other and say – ‘Remember how awful that was?  We almost died! Ahahaha!’  The further away I get from any of these painful productions the more fondly I look back on them.  Having said that, Father’s Day is still pretty fresh in my memory.  It was a lot of suffering, pain, anxiety, outrage, etc.  The city tried to fuck us, locations people tried to fuck us, producers yelled at us, casting agencies wouldn’t help us, minor actors were constantly failing to show up.  We made no money.

Conor Sweeney: Making this movie was a nightmare. We were physically injured, there were many arguments, much ego clashing, there was no co-operation from the City of Winnipeg, locations fell through regularly, we would shoot for 20 hours at a time and we haven’t made a dime. Having said that, I look back at a lot of it pretty fondly, and in twenty years I’m sure we will even more-so.

Doktor: Part of the beauty of this movie is the wildly inventive plot, especially considering that most films are either remakes, relying on name recognition, or have a “gritty reality” to en audiences. Can you speak about why you decided to take such a chance?

Adam Brooks: It was the only opportunity available to us at the time.  I’m personally not very interested in remakes and/or sequels but that doesn’t mean I would turn down the opportunity to be paid to do one.  If I was offered the chance to make Wrong Turn 5 or remake some dumb horror movie and get paid, I would take it.  I believe it is possible to do it well.  I think Wrong Turn 5 could be made into a good movie… 99.9% chance it WON’T be but it’s always possible.

Conor Sweeney: We knew that if we were to get any recognition for this cheap, cheap movie that we would need to do things that nobody else is doing. We threw every genre convention in and took the movie in every direction that it could logically go. Conceptually there was no conscious decision to take a chance or be edgy with the plot, it’s just the kind of movie we’ve always made, only longer.

Doktor: Because we’re a insatiably greedy I have to ask, what’s next for Astron-6?

Adam Brooks: We shot a short called Breaking Santa, which is the third and final act in our Santa trilogy.

Conor Sweeney: Somebody find us a producer.

Jun

Comments Off on Father’s Day: Rest Stop Review Edition

Tagline: Sons, lock up your fathers… vengeance arrives on… Father’s Day!

Year: 2011 Runtime: 99 min

Director: Astron-6

Writer: Astron-6

Starring: Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Amy Groening, Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski

Father’s day is officially over but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget your old pop. Thanks to Astron-6’s touching memorial to fathers everywhere, you can appreciate the old man everyday for the rest of forever.

The best description of the absolute coolness that is Father’s Day is: Disturbing horror comedy with more bloody ding dongs than the Hostess factory.

Speaking of bloody ding dongs, this is a Troma film. We all know that Troma movies engage in a certain amount of fart jokes, naked women and morally disturbing images. Astron-6 manages to not only deliver on all of the above, but also manage to make a, I’m almost afraid to say it, throughly entertaining cross-over hit. All the rape and penis mutilation muddies the water a bit, but I really think this can be a solid movie.

Father’s Day is presented as a cheesy Late, Late Movie being aired on The Aston-6—a local access channel. Visually, though, it is a bad-ass Quentin Rodriguez style film: car chases, strippers, hand-held camera work, shotgun blasts to the face, gritty film, the works.

Whereas most of the time the film goes over the top, it also can be very subtle. There’s a scene at Chelsea’s (Amy Groening) kitchen table after Twink’s (Conor Sweeney) friend Walnut (Garrett Hnatiuk) was murdered. Chelsea, Twink and Ahab (Adam Brooks) are making plans to take down the Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdock). There’s blood all over the table, and as they talk you can just hear their arms scraping as they pull away from the sticky mess. Pure class!

I refuse to ruin the movie by giving away too much, but I have to point one small detail out that I only got after multiple viewings. Ahab’s jacket is a character in the film, and at one point is given a voice, Goliath, from the Sunday morning show Davey and Goliath. The real treat is where it is that the jacket gets that particular voice.

This film as been making the rounds and if it comes to your town, it is a must-see at your local cineplex. If you missed it, the four disc, limited edition DVD is scheduled for release June 26, 2012. Do yourself a favor and get on it!

Roadside attractions:

  • extreme overkill: shot with pistol, shotgun up the butt, beaten with brick, head stomped flat, thrown off dam
  • extreme nudity: male and female
  • commercial interruption for Star Raiders, the Late, Late, Late movie
  • maple syrup
  • tasty berries
  • toxic berries
  • fathers

For more on Astron-6, check out our interview with them.

trailers

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Jun

Comments Off on Bloodstalkers

What is it about the deep south that brings hapless victims and mutants together like old people to casinos? In “The Bloodstalkers,” it’s that constant state of weird, Florida. I Blame it on the humidity, an obsession with tree fruit or senior prescriptions seeping into the water supply. There ain’t no nekkid face eatin’  in this one, but I do have  suspicion the director had been snortin’ the bath salts one too many times.

Mike (Jerry Albert) is taking his wife Kim  down to the Everglads to check out a cabin he inherited. Along for the ride is  Danny (Ken Miller) a poor excuse for a used car salesman along with his stripper girlfriend Jeri (Celaa Anne Cole.) Yes, the same Celaa Anne Cole who shoke her shiny future  hinny in Space Mutiny.

While driving the backroads, they stop at a local gas station hoping to find some breathable polyster jackets and trucker hats. Instead they’re warned by a crotchety store owner to “stay away from them woods…ya varmits” ok he didn’t say “ya varmits” but I swear he threw in a “horn swaggle and a “dang nabbit” in there somewhere. Mike and friends laugh it off so they can get quicker to their deaths and ask for directions from a roadside deaf mute who makes popping noises with his tongue (sorry ladies he’s already taken.) Like a redneck Onstar, he points them to an overgrown trail leading to their shack in the swamp but their brady bunch station wagon gets stuck and they have to hoof it on foot.

There’s quite a long time before any killing so we learn about Mike’s post traumatic Stress disorder, Kim’s love of denim and how Jeri is a really bad stripper ever since becoming a nun. Ok I made up that last part but it was still more interesting than their actual story. Mike takes a skinny dip with Kim to get away from Danny and Jeri’s constant dry humping on furniture so they relax in a swamp hole behind the cabin. Lots of backwoods nookie and 70’s folks music before Kim catches a glimpse of a furry man hanging out on the deep end of their oozie jacuzzi. Mike doesn’t see it (likely due to how dark this film is) so they head back to the shack to dry off leaving the swamp sasquatch to throw mud pies at their car.

Later that night, Jeri is attacked by a furry hand  through their window trying to coop a feel, but Mike scares him away with a mini-pistol he won in a crane game. Jeri goes  into catatonic shock and Mike in a bold heroic move leave everyone at the cabin alone and heads back to town for help. Along the way he get hassled  by some drunk Miami Dolphin fans and meets the town’s minister who tells him the truth about the cabin, sasquastch and recites entire book of Leviticus.

Ken hightales it back to the cabin while a church choir sings his action theme music only to find his wife and friends murdered and left in humorous poses. Yet another mass mime homcide. The town sherrif shows up late to let Ken know those rednecks in town were actually poachers and the cabin is where they kept the goods but Ken is too busy workin’ up some tears over his impaled girlfriend to care.  One of the poachers dressed in a monkey suit shows up for a one man game of shotgun roulette while the rest of poachers take down the sheriff. Limbs are chopped, bell bottoms are soiled and Mike has to walk back to town alone since everyone he knows and loves is dead… but hey it’s the 70’s so he’s still mello.

Barry Goodall says track down Bloodstalkers for some deep hurting cajun style. It might make you wish the south did secede.

roadside attractions

  • scythe to throat
  • multiple axings to various body parts
  • shotgun to chest
  • mute redneck GPS
  • swampwater skinny dippin’
  • neck and hand choppin’
  • a creepy shirtless Ken Miller
  • Brady Bunch stationwagon
  • Baptist choir killer theme music
  • Rednecks poachers in ape suits
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Wait for it….wait for it…

7

blood

BREASTS

Skinny dippin’ C cups and some cleavage on display. But nothin’ to write home about. Wait, that would be a weird thing to write home about.

5

beast

BEASTS

The Bloodstalkers who really aren’t sasquash but merely unshaven Floridians. Go Dolphins!!!

5.0 OVERALL
dripper

They should heed the warning of the old swamp rat, kerwin … “That’s Bloodstalker Country … nobody can survive out there overnight!.”

Check out this b-movie survival tip from “The Bloodstalkers”

trailers

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