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

posted by Barry Goodall | August 7, 2011 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on City of the Living Dead

Tagline: The Dead Shall Rise and Walk the Earth

Year: 1980 Runtime: 93 min

Director: Lucio Fulci

Writer: Lucio Fulci (story & screenplay) Dardano Sacchetti (story & screenplay)

Starring: Christopher George, Catriona MacColl and Carlo De Mejo

This is one of those movies that makes you scratch your head and grunt, “HUH?!?”

First and foremost, as the name suggests, this is a zombie film. Fulci, like Romero, knows his way around the genre. At least one would think. Both men have done their fair share of films in the genre, not to mention they were friends. Besides, it’s not a very complex style of film.

Zombie Types

There are different forms of zombies. Voodoo, nuclear waste, government bacterial/viral research gone awry and sacrilegious to name a few of the most popular.

This film falls into the last category. The zombies are released when a priest hangs himself in a cemetery. What’s more, for some reason, a troop of monkeys is also released. We never learn wither they’re from—the local zoo or hell. Regardless, if you listen you can clearly hear their calls. Oooooooo, spooky. Nothing sets the mood like night, fog and the wild calls of monkeys.

Zombie Characteristics

Most zombies have fairly straight forward attributes. They moan, they move slowly (or fast in more resent films), they are decaying, they eat brains, they infect others by biting them and they are killed by destroying their brain/removing their head.

Fulci’s zombies follow the established convention in but one aspect, they move slowly. Otherwise, they sound like Aslan after a swift kick in the love spuds, they can teleport, they look like they’ve got monkey-poo smeared on their face (maybe that’s why the monkeys were cut loose), they only scalp their victims (pulling off the backs of their heads), their bite does not infect others and they can be killed by stabbing them in the stomach with a pointy stick. Alternatively, they can be killed in mass when Suicide Priest is stabbed in the crotch with a wood picket.

Zombie Infection

How does one becomes a zombie, you ask? Normally, as noted above, by being bitten. Yet Fulci changes the game significantly. There are two ways one can become a zombie.

First, Suicide Priest can cram a handful of wormy monkey feces in your face. Secondly, Suicide Priest can use his “evil eye” on you. This is particularly interesting because it causes one to cry blood and vomit up one’s intestines. And, as a nice final touch, if you happen to be a white women, it also performs a negro-plasty, turning her hands into those of a black man. I can’t help but pick up on a slightly racist undertone here. I mean, black hands do the dirty work? The phrase “cotton-pickin’ hands” comes to mind.

Whereas Fulci took some interesting liberties with the genre, the characters are a mostly boring lot, with the exception of the Rent-a-Center Bob Ross, psychologist. This guy isn’t fazed by anything. I’m sure psychologist face some pretty horrible stuff in their day-to-day affairs, but this guy is cold as ice. Here’s but a few of the things he’s a witness to but just blows off:

  • random dead bodies appearing/disappearing
    • monkey-poo faced zombies
    • walls bleeding
    • teleporting Suicide Priest
    • Suicide Priest’s hex vision causing bleeding eye syndrome
    • millions of meal worms blown into room, particularly into his face, porno money-shot style

The ending is most perplexing. Bob Ross and Mary, the one woman with the hero’s death exemption, make it out of the tomb of Suicide Priest and find little John-John, the child with the hero’s death exemption, waiting with the police. Overjoyed that someone has survived John-John squeals and makes a bee-line for them. His run goes slo-mo and Mary starts screaming blood murder. Yet, there’s no zombies or Suicide Priest lurking about. The only thing I can figure is she’s freaked because she realized she’s John-John’s only living friend and might have to adopt the brat.

roadside attractions

  • Opening a coffin with a pick-ax to save the person inside from being buried alive
  • Self-inflating blow-up sex doll.
  • Rent-a-Center Archie Bunker patron at local bar.
  • Painting of a “happy little” rhinoceratopus.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

10 Buckets. Coming out of eyes, throwing up intestines, scalped victims.

0

blood

BREASTS

This is the biggest HUH?!? of them all. You should stop on a pair of breasts with every other pan of the camera. Lucio, what were you thinkin’?!?

10

beast

BEASTS

Loads of Monkey-poo faced zombies.

9.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “City of the Living Dead”

trailers

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Jul

Comments Off on “The Manster” a.k.a. “The Split” Rest Stop Edition

Tokyo is being terrorized by a crazed beast. But this time it’s not Gojira, he needed to use up some vacation time and took the day off.

A deranged scientist (aren’t they all that way in these movies) has finally run out of family members to do experiments on and he really needs a new lab rat to continue his “important” work. Conveniently, a “dumb as a stick” writer shows up at his house to do an article about him. Not long after arriving, the mad scientist who’s also known as Dr. Suzuki offers him a drink that’s been laced with a “ruffie” and after a couple of sips he passes out. Jeez! What a lightweight. While Larry (that’s the guy’s name) is unconscious Mr. “I can give you a great deal on a boat, atv, car or motorcycle” Suzuki shoots him up with some kind of genetic experiment, similar to those govt. flu vaccinations.

The mad scientist, who also earns extra cash as a pimp on the side doesn’t want his petri dish on two legs to leave Tokyo, so he keeps him busy by serving up plenty of ho’s and Saki. He even offers Larry his prized egg roll, an assistant named Tara. A day or so after the injection strange things begin happening to Larry. He goes from being a mild mannered Professor Klump type of person to an abusive womanizer who runs around assaulting random women. I think he’s been hanging around Charlie Sheen too much. Then late one night after getting his fill of the Geisha buffet, Larry goes home and discovers a nasty looking rash on his shoulder. That what he gets for not using some kind of protection. Luckily, for him the rash goes away but then an eyeball sprouts out of his shoulder. Hey, aren’t “third eyes” supposed to appear in the middle of the head? Well, it probably got lost trying follow Map Quest directions. Anyway, things continue to get worst when other symptoms start showing up like a hairy palm and finger nails that grow as long as Wolverine’s claws. Now, I just checked out Larry’s symptoms on Web MD and I was wrong, it’s not an STD. Maybe, he’s going through puberty again???

Well, I’m not to sure what’s goin’ on here, but the movie starts to get Tom Cruise jumpin’ on Oprah’s couch freaky when a little shrunken head sporting some bad looking teeth (must be British) pops outta Larry’s shoulder like a stripper bursting from a big birthday cake. And before you can say double trouble, the crazed duo are destroying public property Chris Brown style and murdering various people on the street using the Ripper’s as in Jack the Ripper’s MO. Soon the police are hot on their trail like Wynona Ryder after a shop lifting spree. But after awhile Larry tires of the freakshow life style and decides to call it quits with his new BBF. Apparently, two heads aren’t better than one. That’s a real shame. They seemed so happy together. Counseling isn’t an option as Larry quickly splits with his other half using a tree trunk like a crowbar to pry himself apart. Well, at least they won’t have to pay for divorce attorneys. A newly single, and back on the market Larry watches from a distance as the Trog wannabe steals his girlfriend Tara and they both take the Nestea plunge into a volcano. Then the credits immediately roll for what has to be the fastest ending that I’ve ever seen in a movie that still has me wondering if the director ran outta film?

Half Man, Half Monster, a 100% pure B-movie cheese.

Roadside Attractions:

– A double-header villian
– Random murders
– 1 crazy scientist
– 1 scorned wife
– Extreme Saki drinking
– Supersized lee press on nails
– Plenty of DIY make-up effects
– 1 eyeball on the shoulder gag
– 1 hairy palm
– Creepy Thermin music
– Geisha girl bloodbath
– A head sprouts out of a shoulder
– A guy wearing a hokey gorilla costume


Unfortunately, a trailer isn’t available even though this movie is in the public domain.

Jul

posted by Barry Goodall | July 17, 2011 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Warriors of the Lost World: Rest Stop Review Edition

Tagline: “The Rider” must destroy the evil Omega Force.
Year: 1983 Runtime: 92 min
Director: David Worrth
Writer: David Worth

Starring: Robert “The Exterminator” Ginty, Persis “Star Trek” Khambatta and Donald “Halloween” Pleasence

Italian. Post apocalypse. Motorcycle with more plastic additions than Joan Rivers’ face.

Normally I wouldn’t need to say anything else ‘cos surely you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’ve seen Mad Max, you’ve seen all the post apocalypse movies. This movie is interesting because somehow, despite it’s Ultra-Low budget of $13.68, David Worth got some “name” actors.

Robert “The Exterminator” Ginty

I know that Italians liked a tough, slow-talkin’ hero, but Ginty is slow like that “special” cousin you were forced to include in whatever games you’re playing when his family came over for the holidays. At best he’s a Rent-a-Center Barry Bostwick, though, truth be told, I’m just being nice. His delivery is the auditory equivalent of maple syrup passing through a coffee filter. I had to tweeze my lengthier nostril hairs to keep awake whenever he said anything.

Persis “Star Trek” Khambatta

She’s the exotic love interest, which I suppose works. She’s no Bea Arthur, but I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating samosas. She is out of place though. See, her father, whom she’s on a mission to save, is as white as a mayonnaise sandwich. Plus, she comes from a group of toga wearing Greek wanna-bes.

Donald “Halloween” Pleasence

Original Doctor Evil. Seriously. The only difference in Pleasence’s character and Mike Myers’ is Pleasence doesn’t have the monocle scar. Also, he wears a glove on his left hand to accent his “Bob Dole” arm.

Finally, I would be remiss if I left out Speedcycle

This is the high-tech ride that The Rider rides. It’s graphical user interface is a 3” TRS-80 screen that displays everything it says. I suppose it was necessary to do so, for the viewers to understand what it was squeeking, because the voice unit sounded like Orko on helium.

Roadside Attractions:

  • Within the first 10 minutes of the film, The Rider, the super bad-ass, is shot three times, once in the head.
  • To add insult to The Rider’s injuries, promptly after escaping the headshot, Speedcycle, in auto-pilot, drives head on into a cliff.
  • Healing flashlights. They can remove even the toughest of Louisiana Hot Sauce Blood applications.
  • Gratuitous cars driving off cliffs and exploding.
  • WORST. SHOTS. EVER. Watch the trailer clip below to see exactly how people can miss even while driving point blank close to one another.
  • Cave C.H.U.D.
  • Cave C.H.U.D. are the bouncers for Club Utopia, a spandex and stud club.
  • Mega Weapon: a huge dump truck, painted black, with a useless anti-personnel flame thrower set about 12’ up.
  • Warriors style gangs: Kung Fu Dudes, Nazis, Femmes, Hill-Billies and 80’s Punks.

trailers

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Jul

posted by Barry Goodall | July 10, 2011 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Rock n’ Roll Nightmare: Rest Stop Review edition

Demonic muppets take over a Canadian farm house rented out by Satan and only John Mikl Thor can break their lease on evil. In what  arguably might be Canada’s worse export since Celine Dion, Rock n’ Roll Nightmare takes big slabs of steroid fed beef and tries to stuff them in sequined jump suits much to the horror of it’s viewers. John Triton (Thor) is one such metal meathead whose love of rockin’ out is only matched by his love for Weight Gain 2000. He drives a pimpin’ van to a secluded farmhouse where baked hell spawn have already killed a family and stuffed them in the oven like spare frying pans. Along for the ride is his slow witted band and some newly weds celebrating their honeymoon, but they just end up washing all the band’s dishes and getting eaten by a greasy skinned hellbeast. If only they’d gone to Niagara Falls instead. After a few ear bleedin’ rehearsals, midget demons start running all over the farmhouse chewing on people’s neck and causing a ruckus. John seems oblivious to that fact since he’s been  busy writing bad love songs and  grooping his girlfriend in the shower…a difficult scene to endure considering Thor had the bigger breasts.

After the rest of the band members are picked off, John is left alone to face off with Belza “Bub” in a cage match show down when he suddenly transforms himself into a glamrock angel in a speedo whose supposed to send Satan back to his netherworld, a Hell apparently even worse than Quebec. it’s revealed that all the band members including a handful of groupies were just made up in John’s thick head in order to distract the demons and get the devil to reveal himself. This also begs the question, who was John ardvarking in the shower with earlier? Shudder as you ponder that possibility.

Barry Goodall says get your studded leather thong on and get ready to jam with Rock n’ Roll Nightmare…oh, and always have some talcum powder on hand to avoid schaffing. Now that’s a real Rock n’ Roll nightmare.

Roadside Attractions:

– Deadly ninja demon starfish
– Phallic muppets with nicotine addictions
– Overcooked oven demons
– Coffee luggies
– Extreme hickies
– Keyboard transvestites
– Deformed dog faced dwarfs
– Studded thong battle gear
– Monster cop a feels
– Possessed chicken drum sticks

if I was in a Canadian metal band I’d probably have to imagine groupies in my head too.

trailers

dripper
Jul

posted by Barry Goodall | July 3, 2011 | 80's movies, Bad movie, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on R.O.T.O.R.

Tagline: Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research
Year: 1988 Runtime: 90 min
Director: Cullen Blaine
Writer: Cullen Blaine (original idea), Budd Lewis (screenplay)
Starring: Margaret Trigg, Richard Gesswein and Jayne Smith

I recently decided to get outside of myself and give something back. I visited the elderly at a local assisted living community and performed stand up comedy. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

My audience was a crowd of perhaps a dozen men and women in the recreation room. I don’t think the staff told them about my “show” because more than a few of them were cutting their eyes at me when the orderly turned off Wheel of Fortune abruptly and introduced me.

I started off with a classic:

“A blind man walked into a bar.” I paused for dramatic effect. “What? Don’t take that tone with me,” I kidded, looking around the crowd, “he was blind for goodness sake. What’dya expect?”

I think one of the two that could hear me chuckled. The rest were a mix of whistling hearing aides and wheezing, staring blankly at me like a dog that I had just tried to explain 401k benefits to.

It was at that moment that I truly understood just how much of a subjective beast humor is.

To make matters worse, for years I have tried to explain the value of b-movies to people through mocking them. I’ve often heard, and used, the phrase, “it’s so bad, it’s funny.” Yet, humor being what it is, so bad, it’s funny means different things to different people.

Then I watched the Rent-a-Center Terminator film, R.O.T.O.R. Suddenly, life, the universe and everything all made sense.

R.O.T.O.R. is a movie that exemplifies the description: so bad, it’s funny. And thanks to this deliciously retarded movie, I think I can finally give a bulleted list of exactly what that means. This list barely scratches the puerile surface of this film, so as to not spoil the whole film. This is one film you have to experience to fully appreciate.

With all that said, R.O.T.O.R. is the type of movie…

…where a hyper-intelligent cyborg scientist, Dr. Capt. Coldyron (they couldn’t decide which sounded cooler so they used both), lives on a cattle ranch, which he runs by himself. I suppose cyborg science isn’t as demanding as it sounds. Nor is cattle ranching. When the cows come in to feed in the morning, he goes out and half-ass blows up tree stumps with his explosive lasso.

…that has the hero, Dr. Capt. Coldyron, wear sunglasses, but only while inside or at night. You can always tell him from the other dufuses in the movie ‘cos he’s the one with the bloody shins.

…that uses lines like the following to sound “scientific”:

“Good vibrations to it’s molecular tonality you can utilize.” and

“How does the chassis [of the robot] animate without gears and motors?” Which is answered with, “This chassis has been given a prime directive.”

…that use the following exposition to explain how to defeat R.O.T.O.R.:

“To combat pure will you’ll have to use purer logic. You will have to let yourself fail. Use your failure against him. Your failure is his failure. Your weakness is his weakness. Then, and only then, can you do something.”

“Great, except I don’t know what any of that means.”

“Let’s hope you never have to find out.”

…that uses the following line for, uhm, I have no idea (it’s a boyfriend talking to his girlfriend as they drive home):

“Look at’choo. You look like you got both eyes coming out of the same hole.”

…that has music “written and performed by Larry’s Dad”

…that is set in Dallas, TX. Come on, really? Dallas, TX doesn’t even want to be set in Dallas.

Being a movie about a futurific cyborg killing machine, here are R.O.T.O.R.’s finer features. R.O.T.O.R. can:

  • easily push through neatly rowed chairs.
  • with slight difficulty, push open both glass doors, on double glass doors
  • unclip velvet rope that is sectioning something off
  • use “sensor recall” vision to see into the past
  • reach menacingly at women inside cars, drive-up photo booths, and other easy to enter places
  • move much slower than Romero zombies when chasing the ingenue
  • easily be stopped by honking your horn
  • suddenly suffer from molecular memory degradation when in the climactic hand-to-hand fight with an extra meaty woman causing him to put away his gun instead of just shooting her
roadside attractions

  • At the beginning, we’re supposed to believe the stock footage is that of an “eye in the sky” news chopper, describing the local traffic. The traffic is light and flowing smoothly, yet the voiceover is saying its a mess, backed up for miles.
  • Everyone in the film delivers their lines as if the director doubled their dose of rhino tranquilizers.
  • Smooth janitor who uses the guaranteed pick up line: “Look at these cheeks. I must be Indian, or a sissy.”
  • Towards the end, look for Dr. Steel, a cyborg chassis scientist and the manliest women in all of Houston, TX, and that includes the offensive line for the Texans, complete with a Pepé Le Pew gray streak mohawk.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Plenty of the redstuff to go around.

10

blood

BREASTS

none, nothin’, notta, zilch. oh the humanity!

0

beast

BEASTS

R.O.T.O.R and Dr. Steel

7.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “R.O.T.O.R.”

trailers

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