...at Spectacle and it is yet another movie I know absolutely nothing about. Based on the trailer, I would say it has something to do with vampires, and seeing that it's a Spanish horror from the 70's, I'm going to guess that your going to see a fair amount of skin in this one. It's not like the kids over at Spectacle are ever going to let the Midnite crowd down. If that doesn't give you enough reasons to check it out, head on over to the IMDB entry to see what others have to say.
IMDB says -"A young husband's sexual fantasies frighten his new wife and cause her to seek advice from Carmilla, a descendent of Mircalla de Karnstein. Carmilla seduces the young bride and forces her to commit gory acts of mutilation."
Hmmmm....for some reason I feel like I've heard this story before. Could it be because their are several European productions, mostly from Spain, about the story of a vampiress named Camilla? I could be wrong(I'm not)but it looks like a popular subject matter in Spanish exploitation horror.
Fun Facts(or shall I say fact, because their is ony one on IMDB.....The Anchor Bay release of the film is in English, also dubbed in English to clean up the Spanish accents of the actors attempting English throughout. It is not likely that a Spanish language version of this film exists.
Friday, July 1st at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
I haven't been to a Troma party since the NYC premiere of Poultrygeist a couple years back, but I can tell you one thing, Lloyd Kaufman knows how to throw a fucking party. I'm pretty sure that I have missed several Troma events since then. This is NYC, the home of Troma Studios and the basis for the fictional community of Tromaville. So I'm going to try my damndest not to miss this one, especially if the Toxic Avenger is going to be around for that perfect portrait to plaster on my Placebook Page...um..I mean Facebook page (sorry, got caught in the moment). I guess I should probably tell you why Troma is coming to Brooklyn. Tomorrow night, for ONE NIGHT ONLY, Troma Studios is going to be giving NYer's the first sneak peak of it's family fun classic Mother's Day(1980), brought to you in HD in a director's cut. Oooooooooooooo!!!! And it's FREE to boot.
reRUN says -"Lovin' sons always do what their mothers tell them to… even if it’s to KILL!!! The Troma Team is proud to bring you Charles Kaufman's MOTHER'S DAY, the 1980 indie horror classic which redefines the term "family values." This stylish, horrific and darkly humorous film is a worldwide favorite, a celebration of gore and depravity in the spirit of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and IGOR & THE LUNATICS and certain to offend the weak of heart. When three beautiful young women set out for a relaxing weekend retreat in the woods, they unwittingly stumble upon a sadistic band of backwoods yokels. Taken prisoner by the insane matriarch and her demented sons, the women are forced to fight back using anything they can get their hands on. Heads roll, blood spurts, and genitals are mutilated as the women use myriad objects to do battle with Mother's loving sons. Their MOTHER'S DAY will leave you feeling frightened, amazed, and downright disgusted!"
Did you know that...Shot across the lake at the same time the original Friday the 13th (1980/I) was being filmed.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22nd a 7pm ReRun Gastropub Theater(Next to ReBar) 147 Front St. at Jay St. Dumbo, Brooklyn
The Man From Hong Kong(1975)was one of the Aussie first movies I sought out when I first became interested in the Ozploitation genre. If I remember correctly, It was the trailer for Not Quite Hollywood that sparked my interest even though it would take me a couple years to see the documentary. I figured it was a good starter movie to immerse myself into the genre, since I was already a seasoned professional with Kung-Fu love. I looked at it as a winning situation in screening. How bad can a movie be starring Jimmy Wang Yu, former Shawscope star and international dickhead extraordinaire? The answer was NO WAY IN HELL could it ever be considered anything but a classic to those of us who are fans of genre cinema. Not only are the martial arts scenes primo, which was my initial draw, but the action was non-fucking-stop and I couldn't keep my eyes off the damn screen. Fights, car chases, and explosions up the wazoo.....The Man From Hong Kong met every expectation I had and then some. I find it to be one of those action movies that I have based all others on since I first watched it a couple years back.
And now you New Yorkers who have never seen it can experience the same enjoyment I have, because it's screening at Spectacle Theater tomorrow at Midnite.
IMDB says -"It's 1975. A time of funky pants. Muscle cars. Ridiculous sideburns. Porn-star moustaches. Bruce Lee still rules the world of action movies (despite being dead), and I haven't even been BORN yet.
Sydney. Jack Wilton (The Laze) is a bad-ass crime lord with a penchant for cravats, orange velvet sofas and all things Oriental. Under the cover of his legitimate import/export business, he runs an international drug-smuggling outfit with connections in Hong Kong. Two federal narcotics cops, Grosse (Hugh Keays-Byrne, Toecutter from Mad Max) and Taylor (Roger Ward, Fifi from - er - Mad Max) manage to catch Win Chan (Sammo Hung), a member of this Hong Kong connection, following a well-staged--yet amusingly pointless--fight sequence atop Uluru (sorry, Ayers Rock). Chan is to be extradited, as soon as he testifies against Wilton. But the Aussie cops hadn't counted on the extradition officer being a certain Inspector Fang Sing-Ling (Jimmy Wang Yu), of Hong Kong Special Branch ("What's so special about Special Branch?" you ask? Watch the movie and find out!). Fang is a loose cannon, to say the least, and is intent on bringing down Wilton's entire operation himself, no matter how much of Sydney he has to destroy in the process."
Did you know (thanks to IMDB)....According to the DVD Audio Commentary and the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), the fight scene atop of the elevator between Wang Yu and Brian Trenchard-Smith allegedly involved real fisticuffs, the punches thrown at the latter allegedly being real punches. Reportedly, the two had a strained relationship during the shoot. As Wang Yu is credited as a co-director in some prints, as such, this movie represents an instance where a film's rival two directors have literary fought it out on the set.
Saturday June 18th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Besides the classic standards (Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street), I'm not as well versed in the 80's slasher films as most of my compatriots in the horror community are. I don't think this makes me any worse of a person, but there are a shitload of trashy slasher flicks out there that I could have been renting in the 80's instead of the same kung-fu flicks over and over. Over the last several years I have been a bit obsessed with Giallo, and because of this interest I have found myself going back and watching the slashers I didn't get a chance to see 20 years ago. One I have been meaning to see for a long time is Slumber Party Massacre(1982). Not as much for it being a missed part of my movie-watching childhood. but more for the fact that it's a Roger Corman production, and I love the shit out of that guy. Thankfully Spectacle Theater is giving it a Midnite Screening this Friday, so not only do I finally have an option in front of me, I have an option with beer, popcorn, and a big screen.
Spectacle Theater says -"One of the great vintage cocktails of 80s horror is mixing in Roger Corman's school of budget filmmaking with some feminist horror and you come up The Slumber Party Massacre. 1982 brought many classic genres films, and the first of The Slumber Party Massacre trilogy is definitely one of them. This film starts out looking like your standard exploitation flick with gratuitous shots of T&A captured in a high school girls' locker room. Some middle-aged maniac with a jean jacket and an overly phallic drill is killing off these nubile LA suburban specimens as they frolic around during a slumber party one evening, doing the usual hijinks that middle-class girls do like smoke pot and eat pizza. The psycho killer's identity is never a mystery and his motivation is never really clear, except that he loves his female victims.
What makes this film unique in slasher film lore is that not only was it written by a feminist, but helmed by a young lady who turned Steven Spielberg's offer to edit E.T. She certainly chose wisely by accepting Mr. Corman's offer to make her directorial debut with The Slumber Party Massacre, a vintage 80s slasher horror film with gory kills, cheesy dialogue and future Scream Queen, Brinke Stevens, but that makes it much more satisfying than today's post-modern, ironic attitude towards Reagan-era horror fodder. Damn Hollywood if they ever decide to do a remake! -- EME"
Did you know:Rita Mae Brown wrote a screenplay for a parody of teen/slasher flicks and titled it "Sleepless Nights". However, when she submitted it to the producers, they filmed it as if it weren't a parody and retitled it "Slumber Party Massacre". As a result, the movie displays a lot more humor, both intended and unintended, than others of this genre.(courtesy of IMDB)
Friday, June 17th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
"Dude, we're gonna spend the afternoon watching Critters and House."
"Critters sucks, but I think House is cool."
"What do you mean Critters sucks? It's a classic 80's horror comedy."
"Critters is nothing but a poor man's Gremlins."
...and so went the brief conversation I had with my roommate/best friend Nate as he was leaving the apartment on Sunday. I was in shock. How could one who loves schlock as much as I do have hatred for the Critters? It baffled me to no end. Whatever. I let the haterade spill and continued on with the only plans I had for Sunday...to watch two of my favorite horror-comedies from the year 1986 with my best girl. A plan which was executed perfectly. Gremlins rip-off??? Please....
Critter(1986) is one of those 80's movies I assume everybody has seen, but then I realized not everybody is a fan of goofy sci-fi, or even from the same generation as myself, so let me break it down for you. The Critters, aka The Crites, are an extraterrestrial species that can be best described as carnivorous tribbles with huge appetites. Sounds cute, right? Not so much with these toothy, little furballs. Not only do the crites eat everything in sight, edible or not, but the more they eat, the bigger they get. You could say everything they eat goes straight to their hips, and I don't believe they actually have hips. Like tribbles, the cute doesn't last long once you realize they are more of plague than possible plaything. Chances are that this is probably why several of the little, furry fuckers are being held captive on a prison by the galactic powers-that-be. Unfortunately, crites aren't as base as you would think and they actually have the ability to solve complex problems, like stealing a space vessel for escape and headed towards earth. Thankfully, the Crites are being tailed by Ug and his parner, two faceless bounty-hunting bipeds who can take on the facial features of any human they contact to better blend in on alien worlds. Unfortunately, Ug can't get to Earth fast enough to stop the Crites from tormenting a small rural community and we get to see just how destructive 8 little furballs can be.
Obviously, the movie Critters would never have existed if it wasn't for the commercial success of Gremlins, but I wouldn't go as far as to call it a rip-off. Nate's "Poor Man's Gremlins" is a more accurate description. Either way, I don't care. I first saw the movie in theaters way back when, and have probably seen it a dozen times since then, I'll probably see it a dozen or more times in the next decade. I do admit that the older I get the cheesier the movie becomes, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I live for cheese!
I realize the most of the special effects in the movie revolve around mediocre puppeteering, but that is just one of the things that makes Critters more of a comedy than the actual sci-fi horror that it was intended to be. Other things include the Johnny Steele music video and Dee Wallace's over-the-top acting ability. The screaming-in-horror that women can do kept me in tears for the latter half of the movie. Completely ridiculous! I'm actually wondering why Dee wasn't cast in every slasher movie of the 70's and 80's based on her scream alone.
We all know that New Line Cinema were never a company for the high brow, so those of you who were disappointed after the first time you watched this classic should have known better. New Line Cinema and movies like Critters, Killer Klowns, and Night of the Creeps set the bar for comedy-tinged horror and sci-fi during the 80's, and you can still see the influence such films have on movies of the same vein today. So before you, or somebody you know, rants and raves about how much movies like Critters are shit, think about the source of these films and those they might have influenced in the future.
I knew it wasn't going to be long before Spectacle started kicking out the kung-fu flicks, seeing that they have been nailing down the Midnite market for a while now. Hopefully it won't be long now before we start seeing some spaghetti western action. Tomorrow night, avenge your master or father, with psychedelics, in Williamsburg with a Midnite screening of The Boxer's Omen(1983).
Spectacle says - "This is one of the strangest, most hallucinatory visions ever put on film, from the legendary Shaw Bros. Epic horror by way of martial arts action, kung-fu mystery, tinged with Buddhist mysticism and nightmarish psychedelia. Hoping to avenge his brother - paralyzed in the ring by a Thai gangster - and lift a centuries-old family curse, a Chinese boxer travels to Thailand and joins with a band of fighting monks in a supernatural odyssey fraught with crazed wizards, ghosts, monsters, rabid bats, and the reanimated corpses of fully naked women."
Saturday June 11th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Every couple of weeks, Spectacle Theater screens a Midnite Movie which I know little to nothing about, and The Story Of O(1975) happens to be one of those movies. Maybe it's because I'm not schooled properly in XXX, maybe it's arthouse, who knows? What I do know is that whoever is doing the programming for the Midnite schedule knows their shit, so I wouldn't pass this up if I had Friday night free.
Spectacle say -"Beautiful fashion photographer "O" (Corrine Clery) is deposited by her lover at a bizarre château retreat in order that he may discharge a personal debt owed to his step brother. There, marked with a branding iron by her new ‘master’, she submits herself to all manners of bondage and sado-masochistic perversion, only to eventually to realize the infinite power of her feminity. Reactions to Jaeckin's sumptuous adaptation of Pauline Reage’s controversial novel range from moral outrage (and masturbatory indulgence) to lengthy, academic study on it’s feminist (or misogynistic) implications. A milestone of cinematic (and BDSM) eroticism, the film was an art house sensation in 1975."
...and now for some random trivia courtesy of IMDB:Was originally to be directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky and produced by Alan Klien. (Klien had funded Jodorowsky's two previous pictures El topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973)) However, Alejandro bailed on the film leaving Alan with the problem of finding a replacement, which he never did. After much trouble with trying to get it off the ground, Klien sold the rights. However, the ordeal spawned a 30 year feud with Jodorowsky and resulted in Klien withholding the rights to El Topo and The Holy Mountain, blocking them from being distributed. The feud was finally settled in 2005.
Friday, June 10th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
After seeing Not Quite Hollywood(review here) a couple months back, I decided it would be in my best interest to watch as many "ozploitation" films as I could get my grubby little hands on. So far, the quest has been pretty successful. I could probably do better if I weren't A)so lazy, and B)put my other cinematic interests aside for a long while. Since I don't see myself going through a severe personality change anytime soon, it's just going to have to remain this way. So my Path to Oz is also going to end up being the Path of Least Effort, because that's how we do...Man!
Like many attached men in the world, I occasionally like to share my movie watching experiences with the one I love. Since Mary doesn't share the same love for action/adventure that I do, I wanted to pick a film she would like. Fact: Chicks like vampires. There is just something about pale skin and eternal suffering on earth that really pulls at the female heartstrings. My girlfriend is no exception. This is a girl who secretly watched the first two Twilight movies in secret and refused to tell me for fear of ridicule. So getting her to watch a vampire movie takes no twisting of the arm. So this made Thirst(1979) pretty easy choice for us. Not only do I get to fill my ozploitation quota, but I get to enjoy it with my favorite person.
Kate is the last living blood relative of the infamous Lady Bathory. Being a modern women, this means very little to her, if anything at all. Why would it? Kate isn't exactly the type of women that screams blood-hungry mass murderer. Looking at her, you're more prone to think "holidays in Paris" rather than "bathing in the blood of virgins". Unfortunately, not everybody thinks that. As it turns out, there are people in the world that care about Kate's lineage more than she wants to know, and this is why Kate gets kidnapped. It turns out that Lady Bathory was responsible for the founding of a cult of blood suckers, who like to think of themselves as a "brotherhood". This "Brotherhood" has been pulling strings behind the scenes for centuries, as you would expect any secret society to do, and as vampires have moved beyond attacking villagers in the dead of night. The 70's vampire has ditched the hunter/gatherer lifestyle and followed in humanities path with a more agrarian/industrial lifestyle. Not only are humans, known affectionately as "blood cows" farmed for there life-sustaining fluids on premise, but the Brotherhood has also perfected the art of mass production for market gain. There is even a filtering process not unlike pasteurization.
It doesn't take Kate long to figure out what's going on, and she's not having it. I mean, really, what kind of person would want to be given eternal life and treated like a god? After an escape attempt or two, Kate is put through a rigorous "conditioning" to help her see the brighter side of her captor's lifestyle. Will she finally succumb and take her place amongst the blood-sucking elite?
If you read the IMDB reviews of Thirst, you'll see a good amount of "not your typical vampire movie" type of commentary. My question to them is, what is typical? If a person's idea of typical is Bram Stoker's Dracula, then I would have to agree. This is not your typical vampire flick, but how many of the memorable vampire films are? Lost Boys, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Hunger..to me these are the most memorable vampire films, and they have nothing to do with the regurgitated-many-times-over story of the Count. Unless a person has watched nothing but Universal Horror knock-offs their entire life, I have a hard time following the idea of a "typical vampire flick"
Thirst was memorable and different, but I'm not going to hold it to the highest regards like I do the three films previously mentioned. Yes, it's a different take on the vampire mythology, but is the concept of farming humans for sustenance really that original? Maybe if you've never seen a sci-fi or dystopian movie in your life, but for those of us that have, the concept is nothing new. Thirst was also quite the slow burn, or as some reviewers like to say, moody and atmospheric. If you just pulled a 10 hour work day, this is probably not the movie to sit down and relax with, unless you plan on falling asleep to it. It doesn't take long to figure out what's going on, but it feels like forever before you feel like something is actually happening. When shit does go down, pay attention. Especially when it concerns Henry Silva and a helicopter.
I would recommend Thirst to those fans of horror who have more of an affinity of The Shining than those who have seen all the Saw films. Thirst is the kind of movie you sit down with a loved one over a bottle of wine to watch, maybe two couples. For those of you party screeners, Thirst is going to be a bad choice unless you want to clear out a room oir arranging a slumber party. It's just not that type of movie.
Since I have written incessantly about my love for the 70's drive-in spectaculars and how it pertains to my day-to-day, I decided to take the first paragraph to say something different. You may have noticed the written format of this entry is different than previous review entries. I have decided to take the first section of each review I write to highlight those that were most important in the making of each film. I do this not only to give you, the audience, the reference points, but to also highlight each of the artists other works related to the types of cinema both you and I enjoy. Frequently I find films to watch based upon the IMDB of another film I enjoyed. Instead of taking the time to look it up yourself (which you should still do) you can just link up from the entry. Let's make it easier for all the parties involved...
It was only a matter of time before I got a hold of the van fetish/culture classic Supervan(1977). Despite the fact I have never possessed a license in my life, there is just something about automobile related drive-in cinema that makes my day, especially when it's van related. Up until this day The Van was one of my favorite 70's car comedies, and then Supervan drove through my living room. I know there has to be van flicks I'm missing. If you know of any, leave a comment.
Clint is a free spirit, or rather I should say a freewheelin' spirit. Even though he has close to zero back story, it only takes seconds to realize that he can't be held down by constraints of mature society or, um, his bad ass mechanic father. With nothing but a van and a CB radio, Clint is off to Kansas for the 2nd Annual Bicentennial Van Freakout of 1976 (did I say that right?). Not far along the way he rescues Karen from a rather rapey situation involving some gnarly bikers, but not without a loss..his prized van the Sea Witch. How and the hell can Clint go the the Freakout and win $5,000 without a vehicle to do it in? Thankfully Clint and Karen are able to make a pitstop at the lab of Bob Boz, who happens to be something of a mad scientist. Bob works for Karen's Rich father T.B Trenton, and just happened to milk a shitload of money out of him to create the van of the future, the solar-powered Vandora. Unbeknown to Mr. Trenton, Boz is lending the Kit of Rolling Breadboxes to Clint so he can win the competition. When the rich windbag finds out he is not too happy, especially when he find out that our hero has been doing the deed with his estranged daughter.
After seeing the trailer, I expected Supervan to be a less funny and a little more sci-fi than my previous experience with van-culture films, The Van. What I ended up getting out of it was far more than I foresaw, yet still equally as cheesy. The humor, as well as the script, in Supervan was less juvenile and more coherent the that of The Van. I had a harder time following The Van and it's elementary-school editing, but I have stated over and over again that vulgar and sexual humor is my cup of tea, and it had plenty of it. While Supervan was much easier to follow,and the acting was a couple steps ahead, the humor stayed closer to PG-13. Even though the boob shots and fart jokes were minimal, There still is nothing like seeing the real Charles Bukowski fondling the winner of a wet t-shirt contest. That by itself made up for the lack of smut.
Even though the humor was more mature, it still only got a couple of giggles from me. I would like to think it is most likely because of the generation gap, but I'm pretty sure the writers just weren't so suited for the Funny. I look at other films of this era and laugh my ass off, so I know it can't be the time period. I wouldn't call the humor a complete flop, but for those of you out there looking for Animal House you are going to be utterly disappointed. The funniest part of the movie, as far as I'm concerned, are the subjects that are supposed to be slightly serious, like the van itself. Even today, solar-powered vehicles are incapable of reaching speeds of 90 MPH, so the idea of one existing 35 years ago is moronically hilarious to me. Maybe the writers were optimistic enough to believe such a thing was right around the corner. Nowadays we would call that type of thinking naive.
Other enjoyable points to the movie:The Hulk smoking weed with Spock,mustaches,enough bellbottoms to clothe the US Navy and motherfucking vans. Let's not forget my reason for watching this 70's cheese....the vehicles. Like The Van, there was plenty of stock footage of airbrushed exteriors and shag interiors. Seeing these one-ton works of movable art make me yearn for a time before my own coming of age. Before the Aids virus and the height of the drug war. Whatever happened to van culture? I can only assume it so strongly symbolized the carefree "me-me-me" attitude of the 70's that the angry-and-coked-up of the 80's just threw it away. Who Knows....?....
Just as I was in the process of taking a hiatus from disturbing rape/revenge grindhouse classics, Spectacle has to go and show one of the classics this Friday for their Midnite Movie. Seeing as it has only been a couple months since I watched the original for the first time, and frankly have seen enough of these types of movies to last me for the next few months, I will not be attending. It doesn't mean you don't have to, though. For most of you exploitation aficionados, I Spit On Your Grave(1978) is old news and is probably something you first watch in second grade as a primer to Cannibal Holocaust. For the rest of you trash newbies, Grave will either disgust you, bore you, or both depending on the level of depth you look into a film. Regardless, if you haven't seen it, tomorrow night is a good time to do so. Besides, no genre-film nerds repertoire is complete without seeing the original at least once.
Spectacle says -"How often does a supposedly trashy, exploitation film, a perfect example of the rape/revenge subgenre, get its biggest defense from a feminist horror film scholar? How often do you get the chance to see Buster Keaton's grand-niece, defiled and humiliated, wreck serious Medieval revenge (‘70s style) on country bumpkin, scum bag tormentors?
Camille Keaton gives an unforgettable performance as Jennifer Hills, a New York City-based writer who journeys up to the woods of Connecticut to focus on her work, only to be attacked by a gang of white trash pigs and left for dead... until she licks her wounds and gets down to business.
Banned in a dozen or more countries and described by critic Roger Ebert as a "a vile bag of garbage without a shred of artistic distinction," Meir Zarchi's notorious and reviled film also received lengthy coverage (and praise) in Carol J. Clover's seminal feminist study, “Men, Women, and Chainsaws”.
It may be one of the most appalling motion pictures ever made, but it is also a grossly misunderstood one."
Friday, June 3rd at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn