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

Comments Off on Halloween III: Season of the Witch

When I was 9 years old I went to a overnight birthday party at my buddy Dave’s house. We had the typical birthday activities during the sunlight hours, tag, kick the can, and army. We also consumed large amounts of sugar and caffeine… ya know to “keep us frosty if Charlie ambushed us.” At night we settled down in the basement for watching a movie on his vintage big screen TV.  His older brother had his girlfriend over and they decided we were all going to watch a horror film. Keep in mind the most scary thing I had seen up to this point were some old Gumby and Pokey episodes, so imagine my excitement, and fear when I heard it was “R” rated. It’s like being told you were being allowed to play with the big kids but they’re going out to play chicken with a train. So they slapped the VHS tape into that vintage  top loading VCR deck we began to watch “Halloween III: Season of the Witch.” Unfortunately I watched most of the movie while covering my face with the sleeping bag, but what I did see was forever etched in my psyche. To this day I still don’t wear a Halloween mask, and I always check the back for a Silver Shamrock badge…you know, just in case.

I decided recently to watch it again for the first time since then. I can’t imagine any parent letting a bunch of 9 year old kids watch this film but hey it was the 80’s. We drove giant cars with no seat belts, nobody wore helmets, and everyone ate steak with butter for dinner. So in honor of our website relaunch I bring you my review of my very first horror film. Also a big thank you to Davey’s big brother for helping turn me into the big twisted weirdo that I am today. Don’t worry Joey, I’m sure the recent charges won’t stick, and you’ll be making bale soon.

“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” decides to forgo any box office logic, and kick Michael Myers to the curb for this round of terror. After raking in the money with the first 2 films they decided on no Jamie Lee Curtis, no Donald Pleasence and no escaped psycho from the mental ward on vengeful killing spree. Nope, now you’ve got to worry about Halloween masks that turn your skull into jello mush ( just when I was getting over my fear of the rubber band masks snapping me in the eye.)

Halloween III: Season of the WitchTom “It’s my Diet Plan” Atkins plays Dan Challis a divorced doctor who likes impressing the ladies with his well formed mustache and plaid shirts. Late one night a stranger clutching a Halloween mask is brought into the ER shortly after nearly getting crushed by a K-car. He’s spouting gibberish about how everyone is going to do die, it’s the end of the world, about how Oprah foretold it. Unfortunately nobody listens and he gets his eyes gouged out by a Mormon in a rental suit… an apparent victim of poor health insurance. Dan chases the killer back down to his parked car where the guy drenches himself with gasoline and lights his polyester suit on fire. The cops later blame it as a drug induced suicide but is more likely from his deep shame of owning a Chrysler. Dan finds it all a bit too coincidental…a Halloween mask, Mormons, Chryslers.. it’s all obviously apart of an evil mass murder conspiracy that must be investigated. Dan’s investigative skill mostly involves him sitting at the bar watching TV and drinking beer at least until Ellie, the daughter of the recently eye gouged shows up. Remembering her from the hospital, he invites her to go check out the mask makers hometown. That’s a sorta creepy first date.

They drive out to “Santa Mira”  home of Silver Shamrock masks, where the leprechauns run free and  the shamrock milkshakes flow like wine.  The town folk are your typical Midwesterners… creepy, cold to the touch, and don’t take kindly to strangers. Ellie and Dan suspect there might be some shady dealings going on when a lady at their hotel gets her face burnt off by one of the mask’s electronic badges, a victim of botched home laser hair removal. The body is then whisked away in a corporate van by a gang of lab coats faster than you can say corporate lawsuit. Dan, and Ellie decide to visit the heavily guarded main factory outside of town where she was supposedly taken. Inside they meet the Bossman Mr. Cochran, a charming Irish grandpa type who surprisingly isn’t drunk but does have an insatiable thirst for death and pagan sacrifices. He takes them on a quick tour of the mask assembly line along with a family of annoying Corn Chuckers who eventually get locked up in a sound proof test room. The  mask the kid is wearing inevitably goes Chernobyl causing snakes and other icky things to crawl out of the kids noggin and kill the parents. It’s a Pepsi taste challenge gone horribly wrong.

Halloween III: Season of the WitchEllie is kidnapped later that night while back at the hotel and Dan gets the smack down by some robot thugs when he tries to save her. Mr. Cochran. In typical bad guy fashion explains his evil plans to Dan blabbering on about how they’re pagan druids chipping out demon pet rocks from a wedge of Stonehenge and they’re putting a little piece of that evil in each mask to sell to millions of kids. “We’re slashing prices on possessed mask and passing the killings onto you.”

Dan must escape the evil clutches of the corporate Cult so he can warn the rest of the world before a commercial plays that night triggering the masks kill switch. This would cause millions of kids heads everywhere to blow up like  pans of Jiffy Pop and who wants that cleaning bill.  Dan gets dragged, punched, kicked and covered in robot goo and eventually ends up tied to a chair and forced to watch horror movie marathons all night long…as if that’s some sort of bad thing. Nevermind about a few rugrats getting their heads liquefied, there’s a zombie marathon on!!

Having been a good 27 years since I seen this film it’s doesn’t really hold up on the scare meter as much as I remember but it’s still an impressive horror flick. Yeah, I know I’m in the minority on this one as a lot of horror buffs pan it as the worse in the Halloween series. Seriously? Did you see the one with Busta Rhymes? Also you’ll dig the amazing soundtrack from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth. Retroman Steve  says check it out and always store your druids in a cool dark place.

Who knew hospital crime scenes were such great places to meet chicks.

roadside attractions

  • 1 eye gouging
  • 1 ear drilling
  • Short circuiting kill-bots
  • Disembodied attacking hands
  • Snake cricket combo kill
  • Whine-o-neck snapping with blood gysers
  • Combustible robot Mormons
  • Extreme laser oral surgery
  • Druid Cultist Inc.
  • Vaporizing old guys
  • Robot grandmas
  • Bionic goo
  • Stonehenge rock carving
totals

7

blood
BLOOD

mask kills and robot goo.

6

beast
BEASTS

kill-bot Mormons in rental suits

7

blood
BREASTS

minus a point for Tom Atkin’s butt

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

trailers

dripper

Apr

posted by admin | April 3, 2010 | News

Comments Off on Lost Highway gets a Makeover

After much blood, sweat, and tears with most of the emphasis on “blood” we’ve finally launched the new design for Lost Highway. No ribbon cutting ceremonies, no media event or talk show tours, just the knowledge that someone somewhere just opened a can of beer in our honor and for that we say thank ya.

This new website is bigger and bolder and dare we say more “webbier” than ever before with a brand new look. We hope that you’ll get hours of enjoyment from it ….mostly in clicking feveriously on banner ads or buying boxes full of swag from our store. If you do however find yourself hating the new design or having any other negative thoughts, then we suggest you burry those feelings deep deep inside. You don’t want us to make you wear the clown suits again.

Roadside attractions

– Larger new format easier for senior citizens to read, it’s pet friendly and it looks great on an iPad.

– New 3B’s rating system showing our complete disregard for accurate arithmetic.

– A new Highway Hotties section which features b-movie girls, scream queens and other ladies of horror. Start your letter writing now.

– Gratuitous advertising and links to buying crap…because someone has to pay for my new solid gold mercedez.

– The same great snarky reviews you come to expect from us but now with more Ginseng and Riboflavin.

Mar

posted by admin | March 31, 2010 | Uncategorized

Hacked By ./MalingSendal

Mar

Comments Off on The Last Rewind: A Tribute to Video Vault



It seems like every day I hear or read about a company either filing for bankruptcy or closing its doors for good. And to be honest, most of the time I really don’t care, as many of the businesses are just “mass appeal” stores that have been run into the ground by greedy corporations who have long since lost touch with their target market. Well, yesterday I learned about one business closing, a cult video store named “Video Vault” that really hit close to home for all of us here at Lost Highway. Unfortunately, a lot of factors such as limited parking, high rent, moving to a new location, a crappy economy, and the digital download age are to blame for its demise. It really makes me wish that Video Vault could come back from the dead like Jason Voorhees does in those “Friday the 13th” movies, and slaughter the competition. But unfortunately that won’t happen. In our world, this kind of loss is the equivalent of finding out that one of our favorite actors and/or directors has just passed way.

So let me tell you a little bit about Video Vault. This little gem of an independent video store was started by movie aficionado John McCabe in the mid 80’s, when video stores were about as popular as drive-in movie theaters were back in the day. Seeing an independent niche market video store like Video Vault today (2010) in a major metropolitan area would be about as rare as seeing actual music videos playing on MTV. Anyway, it didn’t take long for Mr. McCabe to make a name for himself by specializing in rare, hard-to-find films that he proudly claimed were the worst in town. Now you’re probably scratching your head at the part about having the worst movies in town. But trust me, that claim is very accurate considering he carried bottom of the barrel films like “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” If I had to describe Video Vault to someone who had never heard about the store, I would say that they are the cinematic version of The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA), and I mean that as the highest compliment. Bad movies were their area of expertise, their little niche in the cutthroat movie rental business. The films that many forgot, or couldn’t care less about, John McCabe cheered and celebrated, along with the legions of loyal patrons. For 25 years Video Vault continued to stay in business against all odds, even though video formats changed from VHS to DVD, the independent video retail market began to go the way of the dinosaurs, and the once eclectic tastes of movie renters unfortunately became more and more mainstream–in other words, watered down–and mind-numbingly generic. And even though I haven’t been to Video Vault for several years now (because I moved out of the area), I still remember my first visit there.

I recall being very impressed, yet at the same time a bit overwhelmed by their large selection of VHS videos that covered a variety of different genres and sub-genres. Their previous location (the one that I’m familiar with) had several rooms filled from wall to wall with thousands upon thousands of videos. It was like I had just gained full access to someone’s prized and personal movie collection. You could’ve easily spent the whole day there going through all of the b-movie gems that they had to offer. And did I mention that the staff was always friendly, very knowledgeable, and ready to offer up their movie recommendations if you were having trouble choosing a movie to rent? The whole atmosphere was just so refreshing and pleasant. Whenever a customer walked through the door they were greeted like an old friend, whether it was their first time stopping by, or if they were one of the “regulars.” To me that personal touch really made an impression, and that’s probably one of the many reasons why they were in business for so many years. And if you couldn’t find a particular film in the mountain of movie titles, chances are owner John McCabe would have been able to track it down for you. Try getting that level of customer dedication and service at Blockbuster, or any other generic corporate movie rental chain.

It’s a real shame that this b-movie Mecca has to close. I just really hope that Video Vault will live on in some form after April 2010, so that the current and new generation of cult film buffs will still be able to meet, talk alternative cinema, and help each other find the next “it’s so bad, it’s good” movie experience. Please be sure to express your support to the wonderful folks over at Video Vault by clicking here and saying hi, or wishing them well in their future endeavors.

Mar

Comments Off on Lifeforce

There’re two certainties in life..death and taxes. And unless there’s itemizing going on in Hell, I suspect death is a bit less time-consuming. Yes, it’s tax season once again so that means it’s time to gather those crumpled receipts from the shoe boxes and try to remember how little money you had before you didn’t have any money. It’s kinda like you’re being forced to give a loan to that crazy uncle that says he needs the cash for groceries, but you know he’s just going to blow it at the race track, always betting on the horse with emphysema. Still you hope you might find a loophole somewhere and get some money back: “Could I actually write-off dog grooming?” “Is beer deductible?” “If I get my wife pregnant, can I claim the kid this year?” These are just some of the questions you might ask, but you can take comfort in knowing your cash will go to good use in the community. It will be invested in deserving projects such as the secret underground testing labs where they train monkeys how to open pickle jars. Large portions will go into technology investments like $12,000 coffee makers for Area 51, or eco-food preservation. Maybe they can finally fill in that big pothole they call the Grand Canyon with some of the money that’s left over. I’m counting my receipts and checking them twice because if the IRS Fairy ever does ever visit me at night, I want her to leave me a nice little tax return, and not pimp slap me and steal my wallet again.

lifeforceSpeaking of life-sucking vampires: Mathilda May may have induced many boys into puberty in the mid 80’s when she gallivanted around as a naked space vampire vixen in “Lifeforce.” A giant evil-looking space thistle is discovered in the tail of Haley’s Comet, and instead of just nuking it and asking questions later, a group of curious, dim-witted astronauts decide to go check it out. While inside they find a bunch of giant dead space bats floating around, and 3 naked people frozen in display cases. Is anyone in the crew mildly concerned for their safety yet? Nope. So they decide it’s an even better idea to haul the aliens back to Earth in their cargo hold.

Months later a rescue shuttle from Great Britain’s bustling space program is sent up to intercept the now adrift shuttle. Much to their horror they discover most of the crew burned beyond extra crispy. An apparent fondue party gone horribly wrong. Fortunately, the space nudists are still well preserved in their see-through tanning booths, and they swiftly get hauled down to London to be studied at a minimum security community college. Suffice to say alien shenanigans occur, as the formerly freeze-dried alien girl wakes up and starts making out with strangers, sucking out their lifeforce like soda through a straw. She then goes streaking through the hallways, distracting everyone with her space melons, only being confronted briefly by a security guard with the lure of a potato chip. No one can resist the fever for the flavor of a Pringles. Once free she goes on a London whirlwind hitchhikers tour of soul suck-i-tude, with her consciousness jumping around between bodies in an attempt to recharge her lifeforce batteries.

Meanwhile back in the lab, her first victim, now shrunk up like a used Capri Sun bag, gets up from the autopsy table and starts attacking the doctors to absorb their soul juice. Tom Carlsen (Steve Railsback), the only survivor of the doomed space crew, suddenly shows up back on Earth in a mercury escape capsule (he must have been stuck in traffic), and he’s debriefed by a NASA British agent, who learned that he has a psychic connection to the female alien. They decide to hypnotize him to learn of her whereabouts, because that’s what NASA does best. His unique powers give Tom a Google Earth street view of license plate #’s, and he soon learns she’s traveling with a poor sheep herder in a Volvo. It’s as if the DMV suddenly became omnipresent.

Lifeforce

Along with a Special Air Service operative and a wormy little doctor named Professor Fallada, they track down the partially possessed people, using them as a sort of compass to her main squeeze, a balding British doctor played by Patrick Stewart. They decide to pimp slap around Captain Picard for a while, and then pump him full of more narcotics than are in Mark Maguire’s butt cheeks, thus trapping the alien’s consciousness in his body. On a flight back to London, the space chick escapes via some nasty nasal discharge, materializing in front of them, and then crop dusting the whole of downtown London with her space vampire electric mojo. Warning: Side effects of vampire mojo may include dizziness, vomiting, and turning into an undead zombie who sucks out human souls.

Your typical zombie plague occurs, putting London in a quarantined war zone, while Caine and Carlsen race to destroy the source, and try to stop the vampire ship that’s attracting souls like flies to a bug zapper. It all leads up to a big showdown in a citadel with naked vampire chick, a Conan sword, and a whole lotta cheap special effects.

Tobe Hooper, after his little stint with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, decided to make this sci-fi/horror movie, and it never quite decides if it’s an alien film or zombie film. Maybe it’s just an excuse to have a lady walk around naked for a half hour. Either way it’s a win-win. Retroman Steve says check it out and remember, only store your vampires in official Gladware containers. They help avoid freezer burn and lock in freshness.

roadside attractions

    • Giant space thistles
    • Soul powered light beacons
    • Explodo vampire-zombies
    • Freeze dried space bats
    • Patrick Stewart pimp slappin’
    • Extreme sinus drainage
    • Multiple face suckings
    • Multiple impalements
    • Capri Sun soul bags
    • Death by flare pistol
totals

7

blood
BLOOD

blood fountains through nostrils

8

beast
BEASTS

plenty of zombies and space vampires

9

blood
BREASTS

half the movie is a naked vampire chick

9.7 OVERALL
dripper

Lost Highway is proud to partner with Crackle.com in providing you the ability to watch “Lifeforce” online for Free! Check out the link to launch the website and video.

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