Monday, February 19, 2018

Nightmare Concert (A Cat In The Brain)

Some of you zits and zombies prefer horror offerings from other countries-Germany, France, Japan, China and even of Spanish areas where Bloody Moon and Pieces come to mind. So do I. Any and all of these outer countries have films that are memorable and surprisingly gory, but Italy most of the time (for me personally) takes the cake. Unless were talking about Germany or France of course. Then we would have to mention The Burning Moon or High Tension. But that's not what were here to focus on right now. Were here to focus on a definitive splatter-fest from one of Italy's finest. Lucio Fulci's Nightmare Concert. Or Cat In The Brain. Which ever title you prefer, the film stays the same-and it's a grandiose tapestry of blood, gore, Fulci loosing his mind, a woman getting strangled with piano wire and a cat literally in a brain. But it's much more than just a bunch of very violent events all strung together. It's about letting your work get to you. It's very healthy for your physical and mental state to have time away from whatever it is you do for a living, and I think Lucio did a great job presenting that in this film. Even though it is somewhat out of the context of reality, there have been many times in my work life where I felt like I had a cat in my brain, and it never seemed to go away. Two tickets for Key West? Hell yeah, let's get out of here. 

Well, there's a cat-and it's in a brain. So it's already lived up to it's title and it's only been the first two minutes. Bravo.

In the mood for cooked, seasoned flesh? Anyone? Ah, you vegan bastards.

Sadistic cannibalism is such eloquently messy work.

The buzz of a chainsaw can get to you after awhile.

Damn, Italian women are sexy. That's why I married one.

Fulci, you're losing it man. Keep it together.

Everything these actors are doing has to be real.

I never thought I would see the physical embodiment of a, ehem... "pocket pussy".

Bitch slapping must be an Italian tradition.

Dead women love hitching rides on merry-go-rounds.

Cock blocked by some jackass across the alley. Getting laid can never be easy, can it.

Letting your work get to you mentally is something I think that happens to pretty much everyone. And if it can happen to Lucio Fulci, than it can happen to you. I didn't watch this as a warning, I watched this because I knew it was going to be a thrill ride full of gore, violence and Italian angst-and that's more than enough to deflate any of my personal aggression I may or may not have against my employer. Even as an artist there are still throes of depression and frustration, and I believe that Cat In The Brain was Fulci's outlet for such feelings. As a fan and reviewer I can say without a doubt that sitting through this film is basically like listening to one of your favorite metal albums-headbanging and destroying anything in your path for some normalcy. Except in movie form. It all happens in your head, and that's where it should stay. I also need to mention that I'm somewhat allergic to cats as well. So this isn't going to work. Guess I need a larger supply of Benadryl next time. This dander is killing me.      

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cellar Dweller

There are many great examples of midnight monster cult classics, but Cellar Dweller is one that I pretty much never hear or read anyone talking about. C'mon guys, get with it. Right when I placed the dvd in my player and saw Jeffrey Combs on the screen drawing some comic book frames, I already knew that this was going to be an enchanted ride full of dark magic, attractive women and a decent helping of gore on the side. The make-up, costumes and special effects are amazing as well and sucks the viewer right in. Now the print I have on dvd is pretty dark in some spots and makes me wonder if Scream Factory just used a transfer from a beat up VHS of this film they had just lying around-I am also aware that this has been put onto blu-ray, so hopefully the transfer on there is cleaner and brighter so you can see everything the way it was meant to be seen. Basically, J. Combs plays the famous comic book cartoonist Colin Childress who ended up burning up his home and his studio in an attempt to kill off the Cellar Dweller whenever he used the book of magic he had to make it seem more real or authentic. Some-odd years later, the property is transformed into the strangest art institute and the cellar where he did his work is closed off because it's "haunted by Childress' spirit". That's where Whitney comes in. That's where you come in.

Man, Jeffrey Combs is everywhere.

Being a comic book artist would be killer.

Heavy is the axe we wield against the foe of daily life.

Concierge's always creep up on you.

Dark art is still art. Art is still dark. She doesn't get it.

Angst? It looks like you took some water colors and slopped them on a piece of printer paper.

What the hell kind of art institute is this?

I have more fun drinking than screaming at the wind.

Never seen a mop wetter.

"I'll hang you up by your eye lids and wrench out your fingernails one by one." Damn, that's some brutal shit.

Give me a break, give me a break-break me off a piece of Amanda's arm!

Cellar Dweller is for sure a great entry into the horror genre from the late 80's. It's a tad lighter on the gore side of things (there still is some, just not as much as you would expect) and probably one of the best scenes in here is when the cellar dweller just outright smacks one of the art institutes students heads off. Great fun. There's the annoying Phillip played by Brian Robbins who, somehow becomes the love interest of Whitney by the end (why do the annoying, ugly guys get the hot chicks?) and the arch enemy of Amanda. Her and Whitney have a past and there is a sub-plot of her and the woman that runs the art institute are trying to ruin her reputation by way of making a fake tape of her plagiarizing Amanda's art. Even though she's not a comic book artist. Once this boiled head stew finally simmers down, you get a pretty fantastic 80's monster flick that warrants the cult following that it has garnered. There's always a cellar to be a dweller in-except killing people, I'm just going down to get some wine. Bring the cheese and crackers. This party is going to be out of control.           

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Camp Blood 4

There's a segment of my brain that kind of just wants to melt down because of movies like Camp Blood 4, and then there are other ones that just bubble up in frustration and pure hatred and anger because somehow these fecal shit-shows make it past the planning stages of film making. I don't get it. And what makes me laugh manically even more is that the Camp Blood franchise has 6 or 7 seven entries in it, and I can only imagine each one being just as crap-tastic. Let's put it this way zits and zombies-Camp Blood 4 isn't a movie. It's what happens when someone with a camera wakes up one morning, turns it on and just starts pointing it at everything and anything to make themselves feel like they are making a movie. That's really all there is to this film besides the thickest film padding I've ever seen, which consists of the main females in this picture combing their hair, doing their make-up and walking around the area they live in for huge chunks of time. Probably 20 minutes or so, at least twice. Every scene drags the viewer through the mud waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy longer than it should and I actually paused the movie probably 3 or 4 times in between to see if this vomit bag had finally dried up.

Oh man. The opening is very similar to Loony in the Woods. I already want to castrate myself.

  How could you run over a hot chubby chick like that? Unacceptable.

Dear God, a clown mask.

Shawn C. Phillips?! The almighty Coolduder? Hell yeah!

It's so damn dark-I can't see anything! Why is the screen so fucking black?

I hope all of this padding will amount to something.

 Holy dog turds, is anything ever going to happen in this fucking movie?!?!?!

What is up with the print of this movie? Every other scene is so goddamn dark you can't fucking see anything.

If this asshole with the clown mask is the killer, he's so damn lame. There is nothing intimidating about this guy.

Besides being an absolute mess, I never actually saw Shawn C. Phillips any where in this movie. So that was a huge let down for me. Without having what little star power it was said to have, I conclude that this "film" shouldn't be called Camp Blood 4. I should have been titled "Watch young women go thrifting after combing their hair and putting on their make-up". Quite literally the first two acts of Camp Blood 4 is just that-random chicks combing their hair, doing their faces and going shopping at random locales. I'd rather masturbate with hot bacon grease straight from the pan than ever acknowledge that this anal evacuation ever existed. Am I afraid of clowns? After watching this, I don't think I'm afraid of much of anything anymore.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Things (1993)

As an avid Bleeding Skull! fan, when they first posted the review of a film called Things, I initially thought it was the Canadian disaster from 1989. But no. I have since found out there are multitudes of horror flicks with the title Things from different years, and they are all completely different. How was the one from 1993? This question is always left up to the viewer, but I will spew my opinions. By any and all stretch of the imagination, this is not a good movie. It just isn't. But I was entertained, and that's all that matters. There are many elements that make up Things (1993)- cute 80's girls in lingerie, a jackass with a hat that calls himself "The Black Mayor", domestic abuse, plenty of violence and gore encased inside one of the absolute worst wrap-arounds for an anthology film I think I've ever sat through. This film is pretty mean spirited when you look at it from afar, but that really doesn't make this difficult to watch. It's for sure a picture you can absorb because of how utterly absurd the two stories are. If I chose which story I liked better, I would lean more towards "Thing In A Jar" just because there is more gore and more of a bizarre tone to wade through than the first offering. 

Ha, ha, ha! Dean Cain's fucking fruity brother!

These chicks are stuuuuuuuuuupid.

I can't describe how lame and awkward these guys are. I just can't.

Dingy rooms for dirty girls.

"What a fucking dump."

Who cares about Tulip-Daisy is damn hot!

Mayor Black isn't black, but he has a black hat so therefore he's Mayor Black.

A piece of shit with teeth.

Why was looking in the fridge supposed to be scary?

The Mayor bites it!

Does Leon have a tattoo on his ass?! 

If you are into SOV or just garbage horror in general, Things (1993) will whet your whistle. These are the dreams that trash cinema are made of, and this particular piece of celluloid was both highly entertaining and extremely pointless at the same time. There was absolutely nothing to pull away from this film, but these types of movies are just there to kill brain cells. They don't exist to win awards. Although this one could get one for "the most domestic violence in the span of twenty minutes" but that would just be insulting and amateur. And we don't want that. We want hot 80's girls in their underwear getting eaten by a burrito you ingested and shat out yesterday that somehow grew teeth and can crawl on the floor. That's the level we are at. That's the level we want to stay at. I want eggs and hash browns for some reason. Breakfast for all.          

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blood and Lace

I didn't realize how perfect it was to watch Blood and Lace a few nights ago with everyone being so rape-happy, as well as all of these grown men getting caught with kiddie porn on their pc's. It seems like now it's almost becoming some sort of bizarre trend to come fourth about someone that "touched" them (mainly in Hollyweird) with someone accusing someone else of these acts pretty much every damn passing day. It's getting old. I'm sick of hearing about it. But just as those stories and headlines are starting to yellow like the paper they would be printed on if not for digital media, it's older grindhouse/horror flicks from the 70's like Blood and Lace that remind me that the past tends to always repeat itself with a vengeance. Apparently in the kiddie porn/rape department. This film is chock full of very strange and just downright wrong sexual innuendos that have to do with grown men wanting to have sex with Ellie (our main girl) albeit even with her character being 18 in this situation-the men that would try to partake in such activities have to be at least in their 40's, if not even older than that. Pretty much the entire run time consists of awkward scenes where it seems like pretty much all of the adult characters that work at the Deere orphanage home have leanings toward such sickening desires. Hide under the bed sheets. Carry a hammer.  

Hammer with a P.O.V. That's different.

The quietest murder I've ever witnessed.

Damn. Mother's Day must have been a bitch of a holiday.

You found it buddy. The hammer.

Umm... the detective is leaning towards being a pedo. I hope it's hammer time for him soon.

Oh boy, it's Uncle Leo!

Impeccable aim sir, but did the kids hand really have to be severed?

Ellie is going to be trouble. You better be ready.

No one steps into their room for a "nice cup of tea".

Fence shadows always add a layer of suspense.

Man, is everyone a fucking pedo in this film?!

I never thought I would be rooting for Freddy Krueger's fat brother, but now is the time for him to show up.  

Blood and Lace is probably the only movie that I know of where a hammer is a character in and of itself-it even has it's own point of view which adds some sort of personal texture to people getting whacked. Everyone that gets killed in this film is by a hammer (brutally I might add) and for good reason. The people that run the Deere Orphanage Home are all just sick twisted bastards and I don't blame Ellie and the detective at all for what they do in the final act. Shut that place down. There are consequences for trying to escape the orphanage as well-Ellie finds a girl in the attic that has been tied to a support beam for days and hasn't had water or food for the duration as punishment, and you even see Mrs. Deere in one scene drinking water right in front of her to torture her even more. Upon first viewing, Blood and Lace is absolutely off the wall and presents a hefty helping of modern warnings about people not being what they seem. Watch it again though-revenge tastes sweeter than that piece of pie you ate the night before. Just make sure you wear a flannel and defend yourself with a hammer. Harvey Dent, anyone?   

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dead Calm (VHS)

As a collector, I never really tell anyone what I'm looking for for my shelf because I want the thrill of the hunt for myself. It sounds selfish, but the ultimate thrill of finding that "movie I've been looking for" for a while adds to the overall experience, but sometimes friends and family tend to try to help out with the cause, and any input is always appreciated. My friend John found the film Dead Calm for me on VHS last week at a Goodwill when he was off from work, and told me the cover art just looked like "something I need to see". He had never heard of it. I had never heard of it. But it featured Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane-and that's all I needed to know. My initial thought was that he stumbled upon some lost SOV gem that I had never heard of, but it ended up being an actual horror/thriller that was handled by Warner Bros. and that's further from what I had expected. The main reason why Dead Calm is so amazing and so tense is because everything that happens in this film could actually happen. 

Sam Neill is a boss.

Can't find your family, eh sailor?

Jesus, the weight of that tragedy is just... to damn much.

I don't think I could be on a boat for that long.

He wants that taste for adventure-John Ingram style.

Going aboard that boat is probably not in your best interest.

She's going down sllloooooooooowwly....

This has to be a worst case scenario of "curiosity killed the cat".

You're going to be pumping the water out of that boat for a long time, bro.

Come on, Rae. Dude's a creep. Throw him overboard.

What the hell is going on in the main hull, a Nine Inch Nails concert?!

About 90% of this film is Rae vs. Hughie (Kidman vs. Zane) on the boat that her and her husband were sailing on for a very long winded vacation after a terrible incident in the family. John decides that it's a good idea to investigate the boat that Hughie came rowing to their boat from, and all sorts of horrible things start taking place, making the film more and more intense as time progresses. I'm not going to spoil anything that happens in this film because you truly need to watch this zits and zombies, but let's just say that the very end of Dead Calm is every bit of dead and the complete opposite of calm. There is no opening for any sort of sequel (and I'm surprised there never was one) and even if there was, I don't think a second installment could even touch this outing. There were also plenty of times where I thought John was going to drown, and for me personally is absolutely terrifying because I have a pretty bad phobia of any body of water that's deeper than what I can stand upright in. Put your snorkels on, zits and zombies-these waves are coming.     

Monday, January 29, 2018

Red Christmas

I'm always up for a good holiday horror flick that ruins the spirit of Christmas. Well, for me personally, it makes things more festive and enjoyable. There are really great ones like Santa's Slay, Christmas Evil, Silent Night-Deadly Night and Rare Exports. Then there are ones on the opposite side of the spectrum which make you wish it was just the new year already. That's where Red Christmas comes in. I really wasn't expecting this offering to be great considering most of the reviews about this I read ending up being mostly on the negative side, but my Christmas horror taste had to be satisfied, so I decided to dive right into this one anyway. And man was I ready to drink when the closing credits started rolling. The only really great things I can muster about Red Christmas are that Dee Wallace's performance as the mother trying to keep her ridiculously fractured and dysfunctional family together for Christmas is absolutely top notch and some of the kills are fairly gory-although they employed CGI instead of the better looking practical effects. Other than that, getting hammered on some holiday nog would have been a much better experience than sitting through this for some lousy notes. Man, I guess I really do have to suffer for my art.

Abortion is a heavy subject. I'll just leave it at that.

Jerry is the highest functioning person with down syndrome I think I've ever seen.

What, are these two Christian snobs or something?

Spiking the punch. Yes sir.

What a shocker. The priest is a voyeuristic pervert.

I would react the same way if some assclown just started peeing on me.

  There's no way that anyone I didn't know would be allowed into my house during Christmas.

Enough family drama. Can I just see some people get killed already?

Well, wishes do come true. Now I have to go listen to "Chopped in Half" by Obituary.

 Plan B looks good right about now.

The final 40 minutes of Red Christmas ended up being an insane mess lights, sounds, colors and some of the worst cinematography I think I've burned my retinas with in quite some time. Most of it was just people in the family running around and through the house trying to get away from Cletus as he offs them one by one in some of the most boring and cliched ways imaginable. Most of the editing and camera work during this period in the film is really jittery and jarring, and I mostly just ended up with a headache when it was finally over. Some of you probably dig Red Christmas, but I had a hard time swallowing this pill. I wanted some rib-eye. What I consumed instead was a very dry, flavorless pork chop that was over cooked and under seasoned. Better luck next time, Craig Anderson. I hope your next film is filleted to perfection.