Friday, February 29, 2008

Reviews from the vaults... of my hard drive, part 5

Welcome to the fifth - and final - installment of stuff I reviewed a few years ago on another site; offered up in honor of the birth month of both the BMB site and this blog. (See here for the backstory on this.)

Thanks so much for playing along! And tune in February 2009 to see what kind of nonsense I come up with to celebrate our fourth birthday.

Snake People

(Eclectic DVD)

For those that maintain there could not possibly be a movie worse than Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter, Eclectic DVD unintentionally presents Exhibit A: Snake People; coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, one of the last movies Boris Karloff ever starred in. (I'm not saying his death is in any way related to the shame of being in this movie, but the facts are what they are.) I would like to think I went into watching this with an open mind, but what would be a more accurate statement is that I was hoping it would be good because I like the movie poster art and tag line (Voodoo rituals… on an island of evil!) and Karloff's in it. Even at the ripe old age of 33 I can be so naive. After watching the movie I can honestly say I still like the poster art and tag line and Karloff is definitely in this movie. (In fact he has two roles, he's the loving uncle of the movie's heroine and the male leader of the cult of snake worshippers.) Other than that Snake People's points of distinction are few and far between. Even the people responsible for writing the box cover copy were hard pressed to come up with good things to say about the film, or even any way to describe the plotline, offering only the following two sentences: "Boris Karloff's psycho-sexual '60s voodoo masterpiece co-directed by Jack Hill in an all new digital transfer. Tongolele's erotic snake-dance is not to be missed!!" Tongolele, she of the "erotic" snake dance, is the witchy female priestess yin to the evil Karloff character's yang. Not only does she boogie with reptiles, she can cause things to spontaneously combust by staring at them intently. (I know, how come there's no ring on her finger? She's obviously the most eligible black magic voodoo broad around for miles.) I probably could have stood to miss her dance but, truth be told, I am no connoisseur of snake dancing - erotic or otherwise. I did appreciate her overall kind of gothic Cleopatra look though. The pre-requisite Halloween costume-esque bikini top, belt with jangly stuff on it and those weird bracelets that go around the bicep offset her black liquid eyeliner and Lily Munster meets Lauren Ezersky shock of silver hair well. I think she could stand to ease up on the eyebrow tweezing but that's just me. She certainly did give the movie some zing, which it sorely needed. Sadly no amount of exotic gyrating could save this flick.

The Window

(Ghost Limb Films)

I got kind of an art school / European film type vibe from the brief description on the box ("Sights, sounds and other perpetrators haunt a New York City apartment dweller.") so I elected to write this review while watching it. Go for a more stream of consciousness kinda thing. Why? I don't know, I just thought it would make it more interesting… for me. Anywhoo, here we go. The setting: bleak. The dialogue: non-existent. The plot: I think they covered it in that box quote but since we're here I'll add a little detail. Man lives in apartment. Man hears noises in his apartment. Sawing, cats, the sounds of general unrest, that sort of thing. Man looks for noise. Finds nothing. Man closes window. Goes to bed. Noises persist. Then there is daylight. Noises are more pleasant. Typing this does seem to take my mind off how uninteresting the film is but my main thought right now is: seriously, I am not watching seventeen minutes and nine seconds of this. When I look back up, I see man has awakened. Man is hairy and in his underpants. His underpants are too small. I find them unpleasant. I type this to avoid watching it. Man hears something. I catch a glimpse of the man with some sort of bat like object in his hand; maybe it's a bat. I'm thinking he's gonna hit something with it… and I'm right. He hits a rat. The rat writhes. He covers the rat with a napkin or something and hits it again. Now he's throwing the rat out the window. I think I've seen enough.

The Orbitrons 2000

(Ghost Limb Films)

From the company that brought me the above film, The Window, which I didn't like too much, comes The Orbitrons 2000 - a film I liked a whole lot more. Judging by the box description again, ("From a world where women wear the pants…") I figured that would be the case. This, as the title implies, is more of a SCI-FI thing and, much to my delight, kind of a modern day Ed Wood movie in form, function and execution. Set in the gritty streets of Newark, New Jersey, the plot involves around a guy named Tom Kubosh. He just wants to be left alone to indulge himself in his favorite yearly ritual - masturbating in the cemetery where he first jerked off - but poor Tom's luck just ain't working that way. He gets hassled by the man on the way to the cemetery and, after getting his butt kicked by some donut & hooch loving pigs, it just gets worse. He witnesses a spaceship landing, sees zombies he knew from high school (presumably they were human back then) and uncovers a sinister plot about to be unhatched by evil space Goddess Starleatha. Will chaos rule the day? Will Earth survive? Will Tom live to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like riding his Harley and beating off in semi-public places? Brave B-movie fans that dare to track this down will just have to find out for themselves. Other points of note: this flick had a cool soundtrack by a bunch of bands I've never heard of, an unusual amount of exposed male genitalia in a non-porn film (an unusual amount being any; it was really just one penis being bared a few times - the Kommandant thinks it may have been a stunt cock but hey, stunt cock is still a lot more cock than you'll see in any major motion picture which is why I'm mentioning it) and the clothing was provided by Agatha Blois, who is also involved in a clothing line called Submission Inc., co-owned by my friend and neighbor Kim Montenegro.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alternative fuels and Satanic fools; new this week at the buffet...

This week The Kommandant buckles up for a ride with indie horror-comedy Blood Car.

While Bunny returns to the vaults of Hammer horror to get a taste of Taste The Blood Of Dracula.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Reviews from the vaults... of my hard drive, part 4

I don't know what the weather is like where you live today but here on the East Coast it is an icy, snowy mess. Or at least it is outside, where the Kommandant is currently salting our walk-way. I'm blogging from our bedroom at the moment so it's actually rather warm and cozy where I am.

Anywhoo, this weather seems like as good an excuse as any to stay in and watch movies that were made many, many years ago; or to waste some time surfing the internet and reading movie reviews that were written many years ago. With that in mind...

Welcome to the fourth installment of stuff I reviewed a few years ago on another site. (See here for the backstory on this.) This week's selection features no budget garage girls a go-go; a slice of late '80s slasher trash; and a film that would have fit right in with this week's Buffet menu selection. (Anything would have been a better choice than Velvet Smooth!)

Tune in next Friday for the fifth - and final - batch from the vaults; of my hard drive. Enjoy!

It's A Haunted Happenin'

(Amusement Films)

This is the newest offering from Amusement Films, a company that specializes in "no budget" flicks that this reviewer finds undeniably charming. The story here revolves around the Soultanglers, a trio of urban rocker chicks, and their quest to win the coveted first prize at the Ghouls A-Go-Go Battle Of The Bands - which just so happens to be an all female competition. (I can't believe Rodney Bingenheimer didn't hit on that idea first, and in real life!) The girls especially have their hearts set on beating out rival band the Darlings, who seem to think they've got the whole thing in the bag with their sugary sweet sound. If the Soultanglers have anything to say about it though, chops and knowledge of musical history will reign supreme over cuteness and knowledge of how to properly accessorize a '60s go-go outfit and the ladies will end their excursion riding off into the sunset with some sort of prize. (I think the prize is that they get to perform on the Ghoul A-Go-Go TV show.) Of course, as with any decent ascent to fame, there are a few twists and turns blocking their seemingly straight path to success. Like the fact that all of the girls have to spend the night in the contest-provided accommodations - i.e. a dark and spooky mansion. Realistically, even someone with a less than vivid imagination could probably think of a few dirty (or at least naughty) roads that such a plotline could take but don't go reaching for the hand lotion just yet. (Maybe after the movie when you're alone with your own thoughts.) Neither the Darlings nor the Soultanglers are that kind of girl group, and this isn't that kind of movie. Despite the fact that it would take less than ten minutes to turn the plot into one featuring a ton of lesbian sex, Haunted Happenin' is a bit more wholesome than most movies I've been sent for review. Not in the sense that it's made for children though, there are too many references that only people over a certain age (like voting age plus a decade) would get for it to be exclusively aimed at a younger audience. I'd liken more to an all ages Dickies show - it could entertain the whole family depending on who your family is.


(Program Power)

When I looked at this box cover, I was mentally transported back to the late '80s - AKA when I was in high school. Journey back in time with me for a moment, won't you? It's only for review purposes. Right now it's Thanksgiving eve 2003. Back in, say, 1987, what would I have been doing on Thanksgiving eve? If you said hanging out at a partially demolished abandoned mental hospital with my degenerate friends, consuming drugs or alcohol (or possibly if the mood was right and supplies were plentiful, drugs and alcohol) and listening to Slayer, you are correct. Thanksgiving did mark the start of something traditional for me & my friends though. While hanging out at a partially demolished, abandoned mental hospital can be a lot of fun in the spring and summer, and even into the fall, by December even the most die hard had to admit it was way too cold to spend an entire night standing around outside getting fucked up. So, what would a group of teenagers and "young adults" like us then set out to do on a cold winter weekend night? Pretty much the same thing we did at Byberry the rest of the year except we were at someone's house (basically any house where parents or other responsible adults were not plentiful) and we'd maybe add some kind of other entertainment - say a drinking game or movie - to the mix. And of course no other kind of movie existed to the male population of said group than the horror movie. (Maybe porn, but they generally did not watch that when the girls were around.) This was exactly the kind of movie that would win the vote at the video store, and in fact, I have already seen it, despite my desire not to. (I don't eat meat and the movie is about an old psycho pig farmer father and his grossly overweight, even more psycho, son who run a slaughterhouse. See, it's almost impossible for the two parties to have a shared interest.) Nonetheless, this may in fact be considered a classic to those guys I hung out with - most of whom are now men and I'd imagine own their own homes and have DVD players and would probably very much enjoy an evening of kicking back with some friends, possibly still with the drugs, alcohol, etc., and this movie. I on the other hand, just like then, tried to keep myself otherwise entertained until it was over.

Mean Mother

(Retro Shock-O-Rama)

I was a latecomer to the whole DVD thing; because I just didn't see the need for yet another piece of electronic equipment in the house, nor the things that go with it. Besides, the VCR still works just fine. Had I not started writing movie reviews for this site I may have held out even longer but I had to admit watching DVDs for review on my computer was a total drag, so I didn't say anything when my husband finally got sick of my procrastination on the subject and went and bought one on his own. Since then I have learned there is definitely an upside to the rise in popularity of the DVD format. For one thing, while the amount of older and more obscure films available on video is decreasing to make room for the newer technology, it would seem that DVD makers have embraced the old and obscure, resulting in a tidal wave of releases of films that have not been seen anywhere, really, in many a decade. Mean Mother, which has the distinction of being the first blaxploitation film I've ever been called upon to review for CFBC, is one of those films. Originally released in 1973, it follows the story of Beau, played by Clifton Brown. (According to the accompanying booklet, he was also know by the name Dobie Gray and enjoyed a career as a popular recording artist with two top twenty hits between '65 and '73.) Beau's a relatively laid back dude; your typical soldier AWOL from the war in 'Nam. He just wants to be left alone to smuggle enough illegal goods to have enough money to live happily ever after in Canada with his hot girlfriend but as we all know - life just ain't that simple. The man is never far behind and always has one eye out for someone, or something, to hassle. (If films prove to be mirrors of society, this was especially true in the '70s.) Mean Mother isn't that unique in the sense that there were a lot of films like this made around this time. Some of them went on to be famous / infamous films that people still talk about and reference today, like Shaft, Superfly, Hammer, etc.; some of them just kind of disappeared into the woodwork. Nonetheless, if you really want to get an education in exploitation, these lesser known titles are indispensable. For that reason, and because Al Adamson is just so f-in' kooky, I'll give this movie a thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Afros, macks and masked maniacs; new this week at the buffet...

Bunny & The Kommandant salute Black History Month with a quadruple dose of Bad Brothas & Mean Muthas featuring Blaxploitation non-classics Mean Johnny Barrows, Final Comedown, Lady Cocoa & Velvet Smooth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Reviews from the vaults... of my hard drive, part 3

Welcome to the third installment of stuff I reviewed a few years ago on another site. (See here for the backstory on this. And if you're getting bored don't worry - there's only two more installments left.)

This week's selection features a laughable attempt at blending two genres that never needed to mixed in the first place; a slightly depressing documentary about a porn star who really need to find another line of work; and bloodsucking pharaohs. In Pittsburgh no less!

Tune in next Friday for yet another batch from the vaults; of my hard drive. Enjoy!

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter

(Elite Entertainment)

Getting a review package from our lovely editor is always fun. You never know what's gonna be in there. I usually pause before I open the envelope to wonder what kind of cinematic offering, or offerings, it may hold. (Will it be a documentary about porn star or a weird Japanese "porno" that has no actual sex scenes? A gory zombie flick or a lesbian mummy movie? Yes, those examples are based on my actual CFBC reviewing experience.) It's always a crapshoot, and in the case of this particular movie some might say crap is the operative word, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I definitely laughed out loud when I opened this month's package and saw a copy of this DVD in my review pile because, not only have I already seen this exceptionally "special" (that's the polite word for something born with some sort of defect yes?) movie, we have it on video. As part of his quest to see every B-movie ever made, my husband bought a copy somewhere and we watched it one warm weekend night last summer. We thought it was hilarious (I will point out that we were a bit drunk when we watched it, although that really has no bearing on our tastes in cinema) and later lent it to a friend of ours who also has a taste for cinema that falls beneath the radar of the major movie houses. He reported back that he thought it was the single worst movie ever made, which prompted my husband to make the assessment that it's impossible there has never been a movie made that's worse than this. (An undeniably backhanded compliment if ever there was one.) They both have a point but I'm really no barometer to judge movies by. I offer this example to illustrate my point: I probably didn't have to watch this again in order to review it but, nonetheless, watch it again I did. I have to say I think I enjoyed it more the first time but still… the WORST movie ever made? I have to side with my man and say there must be worse movies out there… somewhere. Movie standards are totally subjective though. As for the film itself, I feel like you're all savvy enough to imagine the general plotline. Even if you're not, what you imagine it to be might end up being more logical than the movie's actual plot. Suffice it to say, the title rings true enough and during the course of the film, a character named Jesse James meets another character who is supposed to be Frankenstein's daughter. Actually that's not quite accurate, the evil doctor lady isn't Frankenstein's daughter, she's Frankenstein's grand-daughter - she says so herself in the first ten minutes - but who are we to dwell on such minutia? Besides, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Grand-Daughter just doesn't have that Hollywood feel so I think we can all understand why the powers that be decided to shave off that small five letter, one generation, detail for the sake of the greater good. Whether or not you wish to investigate this film any further is completely up to you.

Girl Next Door


In case you've never heard of Stacy Valentine, the subject of this documentary, she is an adult film actress; apparently famous enough in the industry to be dubbed a porn star. I occasionally review adult films and I have to admit I've never heard of her. But she does have a contract with VCA, and they are a major company, so I'll assume for the sake of the review that she is in fact a porn star, and not just a girl making porn movies. (Yes, there is a difference.) I can't figure out whether or not I've seen her on Howard Stern's E! show, which would be the clincher. But let's get back to the film. I am not familiar with the director either but as far as actual film making goes, Christine Fugate is clearly very skilled in the documentary format. The way it's edited is clean and linear, so it really does feel like you're getting a realistic snapshot of Stacy's life during the time she was filmed. Fugate also captures a number of moments where Stacy is really naked, if you'll pardon the expression, and in the type of film where there's one living, breathing subject as the focus, those are always the most telling moments. I like a good documentary myself but, in reality, a documentary is only as interesting as it's subject. Which is not to say Stacy Baker / Valentine does not have an interesting story (to an extent everyone has an interesting story) but it was hard to watch this. Particularly it's hard to watch this and not come away feeling like you wanted to call her up and say "Listen honey, this is not the life for you! Quit, get more therapy, go to school and learn a trade. Leave porn forever and don't look back! You'll be so much happier." It's not so much that I felt sorry for her, because she's clearly a grown-up who has chosen this career with eyes wide open, it's just kind of sad and painful to watch someone who seems fundamentally unhappy with herself kind of swimming against the current, trying to gain acceptance by doing something that is hard for most people to accept. So in that sense the film is kind of icky. Speaking of icky-ness, in addition to viewing the more normal events of Stacy's daily life (going to work, the trials and tribulations of dating in the industry, dealing with family & friends, etc.) the viewer gets "treated" to seeing some of the numerous trips to the plastic surgeon Ms. Valentine has made. (During the film we see her getting liposuction, a breast implant re-do and getting fat that I believe they sucked out of her ass injected into her lips.) I have to say those parts were fucking disgusting. Jesus! I had to close my eyes. Let me state now and for the record - if this is what it takes to be considered beautiful, I'd rather be ugly. I'd also like to point out that the otherwise lame soundtrack was bolstered by some tunes from one of my personal favorite chanteuses, Caynde Kane. (Who, coincidentally, has also spent some time in the industry. Now there's a documentary subject for Christine Fugate.) If you want a peek at the life of a porn starlet, Girl Next Door does deliver, but after seeing it I can't imagine myself ever enjoying one of Stacy Valentine's "other" movies. On the part of the director, I'd say the film is a success but maybe not for the subject. Although if the release of the documentary made her re-think her situation, I'd say it's the best movie she's ever made.

Bloodsucking Pharaohs In Pittsburgh

(Program Power)

Obviously a movie with a title like Bloodsucking Pharaohs In Pittsburgh is not going to be standard Hollywood fare; the word "bloodsucking" alone cries out B-movie, but when you pair the word "bloodsucking" with "pharaohs" - forget it. This B-movie has it's own special twist, as any movie that expects me to watch it all the way through should. It's a parody of a bunch of different genres all at once; the buddy cop flick… the '80s slasher flick (complete with Tom Savini on board supplying "special make-up effects," natch)... the black comedy… and so forth. It's a cult movie, and a cult movie parody. Is that high concept meets low budget or what? Not as memorable as, say, that John Holmes flick where he's a pimp who runs his cathouse under the guise of a pizza delivery service and all the girls wear hot pants and rollerskates to "deliver the goods to the customer". But, you know, what is? I've seen better movies than Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh but, honestly, I've seen a lot worse too. Despite it's obvious awkwardness and, um, challenging plotline, it had some funny shit in it and I did not feel the urge to reach for the remote every few minutes. If you want to rate a movie like this (badfilm, as I've recently heard it called; I'll also accept the term psychotronic) by it's kooky-ness, this movie is off the charts. It's a fucking thousand shades of kooky, and each one is colored with the blood of the undead.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Blood bays and mean machines; new this week at the buffet...

This week we set the wayback machine for the sleazy '70s for a double dose of video nasty.

First Giallo Biafra invites you to take a seat in the Trattoria Of Terror and dip your toes in Mario Bava's Bay Of Blood.

Then join Bunny as she buckles up for a ride with an obscure slice of Eurosleaze, Ricco The Mean Machine.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Reviews from the vaults... of my hard drive, part 2

Welcome to our second installment of stuff I reviewed a few years ago on another site. (See here for the backstory on this.)

One thing I really liked about writing for CFBC was, much like c14, Stacey never assigned a specific theme to her zine. Therefore, people sent all sorts of assorted crap there for review. (And, of course, I use the term crap with respect.)

In turn, she would send me all sorts of assorted crap to review - obscure old foreign films; recently filmed low budget indie flicks; documentaries; music videos... I never knew what might lie in the bubbly confines of my bubble mailer on any given month. Which was always fun. Even when the stuff contained in said package didn't seem like it would be particularly fun to watch.

This week's selection is a good example of this. Here we have an obscure piece of Eurotrash, an American made "no budget" indie flick and another in a long line of zombie movies made by people who spent way too much time watching George Romero movies.

Tune in next Friday for yet another batch from the vaults; of my hard drive. Enjoy!

Eerie Midnight Horror Show

(Sinema Diable / Eclectic DVD)

Eerie Midnight Horror Show is the second movie I've received for review on the Sinema Diable imprint. (I think they're exclusively distributed by Eclectic DVD, thus the reason Eclectic gets to have their name and address as the contact.) Rumor has it that SD is owned by Glen Danzig, AKA the one time frontman for Danzig, Samhain and the Misfits (make that the original Misfits, not that half assed crew that's touring and recording under that name today); AKA he who is short in sense of humor and stature but tall in bicep muscles, sideburns and attitude. Seems believable enough to me. I mean, if his former band's lyrics, song titles, imagery, etc. are any indication, he's spent a lot of time watching movies. Further, one can only assume that somebody with a real interest in a specific movie genre - say, horror movies - would start to seek out older, obscure, low budget or foreign films to feed their need when they've tired of Hollywood's offerings. Sinema Diable seems to specialize in old, obscure, low budget, foreign horror films so when you rhetorically ask 'who would be aware of a movie like this, let alone love it enough to be inspired to bring it to a larger audience?' and the answer is 'the ex-lead singer of horror punk band the Misfits,' it does make sense. If only the rumor he's in talks to play Wolverine in a big budget action movie was as likely to be true… that would have been so great. Anywhoo, deciding whether or not the world is a better place now that this movie is readily available is not my job. My job is to watch the movie and describe it to you, the loyal reader. I will do my best. Eerie Midnight Horror Show is a movie known by many names, or at least two other names, The Sexorcist and Tormented. Basically it's the story of an innocent young lady who, through no fault of her own of course, becomes possessed by an evil spirit that makes her do a whole bunch of fucked up shit until eventually a priest comes to her rescue and exorcises the pesky demon. Kinda like that other movie about an innocent young lady being possessed by an evil spirit you might be familiar with. In this film however, instead of the heroine being a decidedly un-sexy (no offense to Linda Blair) pre-adolescent, our heroine is a sexy twenty-ish Italian babe and you get to watch her prance around in a sheer flowery mini dress and rounded toe black leather t-strap heels. (Which are so completely back in style!) I didn't hear her say anything about anyone's mother sucking cocks anywhere, maybe it was lost in the Italian-to-English translation, nor did her head spin round and round but she did masturbate while licking the front door of her apartment (?) and much like every other exorcism / possession movie, she vomits a bunch and foams at the mouth and stuff. Then, after an hour and fifteen minutes or so of that the holy guy steps in. He takes some verbal abuse, says some mumbo jumbo and poof - no more demon. Good always prevails over evil, you see. Even in bad movies.

The Girls From H.A.R.M.

(Amusement Films)

Before even getting to the main feature I learned from the pre-movie trailer that the team behind this film also made a movie I've heard a lot of great things about (but haven't gotten to see yet), El Frenetico & Go Girl; so straight away I was looking forward to viewing The Girls From H.A.R.M. Plus, based on my interpretation of what is good cinema, any movie with shillouettes of crime-fightin' babes as part of their package design has got to be good. (Except perhaps that Charlie's Angels movie with Drew Barrymore.) And I was not disappointed. I'm not gonna re-count the plotline, cause I think if everyone out there reading this went and saw this movie, the world would be a better place. (Albeit slightly, it is just a movie after all.) Suffice it to say, you can expect lots o' good old kung fu action from cute girls in tight outfits plus, of course, the prerequisite twists and turns that come with a story about a gang of renegade, evil-stomping bad / good girls. (Note: these bad girls are actually quite innocent, even while kicking ass - this flick contains no nudity, no profanity, only the slightest bit of blood and the tiniest bit of sexual innuendo. Nonetheless, I imagine that at least half the men who have watched this movie got wood from one of the girls from H.A.R.M. Pornography is in the eye of the beholder, you know.) I prefer a low budget movie - Amusement Films likes to call it a "no budget" movie - to a major motion picture and I must say I enjoyed this particular low budget movie quite a bit. Even if you don't like low budget movies you might like this one though. Really. Would I steer you wrong? OK maybe I would, but I'm not now. This also deserves bonus points for a killer theme song and, although I'm guessing it was not intended to be this way, I loved the fact that one of the evil do-ers (Mr. Wahl, the head of Wahl Industries) was totally dressed like the guys in Mooney Suzuki. (You know: black suit, black shirt, slightly sloppy bowl haircut—everything except an instrument.) But I digress. It honestly warms my heart to think that somewhere out there in the world, as I type this, there are people making (or least planning) grade-A B-movies. I applaud them for it.


(Moodude Films/Eclectic DVD)

When I opened my review package for this month, I got a glimpse of the title before I pulled everything out so for a second I thought maybe this was a DVD related to the band Biohazard; who are, by all accounts, nice fellas but maybe not my favorite band to listen to. Upon closer inspection it became clear that was in fact a movie, a low budget horror movie at that; which, I'm sure, is also made by nice people, but maybe not my favorite kind to watch. Nonetheless, watch it I did. All 93 or so seemingly endless minutes. There's nothing wrong with Biohazardous per se, it's just not my kind of zombie movie. I like campy zombie movies that don't take themselves too seriously. Or zombie movies that are old. I appreciate the existence of Night Of The Living Dead trilogy as much as the next guy, but not if we're talking about the guys that made this. The problem is, they don't so much appreciate it throughout Biohazardous, as they do make a lot of vague and not so vague references to the films over and over until it's, um, over. The plot, while quite detailed, was pretty transparent; featuring all the stereotypical signposts you'd expect: the gated building where mysterious shit happens, the middle aged security guard who just wants to mind his own business in an effort to feed his family, the bored teenagers looking for kicks, and the nosy cops with nothing better to do than investigate the goings on of all of the above. (Gratuitous T & A was curiously absent however. Teenage sex is usually a given in any horror movie but these poor teenagers barely had time to get messed up, let alone get laid, before getting devoured by the undead.) At any rate, even though I wasn't crazy about it, I know there is an audience out there that would appreciate this special effect laden, bloody & gory, B-grade horror flick. I'm just not a member of it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Flesh merchants, crazy carnys and headless horsemen; new this week at the buffet...

This week join the Kommandant and hit the midway for a hapless hippy-ish double feature of Carnival Of Blood & Curse Of The Headless Horseman.

Then join Bunny and pull back the covers for a lingering, lascivious look at Skin In The Fifties.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy birthday to us!

As you may have guessed from the title of today's post, February 1st marks the anniversary of the day I launched the B-Movie Buffet into cyberspace. Therefore, if this day is to be viewed as the website's birthday, we are three years old today. Hooray for us! (Technically the BMB as an entity has a few birthdays; interested parties can read more on that topic here.)

Speaking of which, I probably should have had the forethought to save the Kommandant's review of Happy Birthday To Me for the occasion but I did not.

Anywhoo, as mentioned in that post mentioned in the earlier aside, the B-Movie Buffet started out as a column on a now defunct website,, before moving into the pages of c14 & relaunching to cyberspace. But what really inspired me to start writing about movies was my tenure at Candy For Bad Children. (Another defunct website.)

CFBC editor Miss Stacey Dawn & I met via her husband, the man known to the world wide web world as Sleazegrinder. (Who I met via our respective columns in Hit List, yet another now defunct publication.) When she first approached me about writing for her site she asked if I'd do some music reviews but, at the time, I was feeling burned out on writing CD reviews from c14 (and, actually, I still feel that way; but let's not get off topic) so instead I volunteered to review some movies. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Well, OK, it's not really important enough to be considered historical but I think, between this post and the previous ones on the subject, I've already covered the rest of the story.

Seeing as how the CFBC archive has disappeared from cyberspace, I've decided to post a sampling of the stuff I wrote for her in honor of the part the site played in the Buffet's existence and, of course, our birthday.

Tune in next Friday for another batch from the vaults; of my hard drive. Enjoy!

The Double-D Avenger

(Elite Entertainment)

I first heard about this movie when it was reviewed by the ever knowledgeable Dan "Dante" Taylor of Exploitation Retrospect fame in my humble publication, carbon 14; since then it's gained the official Joe Bob Briggs seal of approval, which means... well, I'm not sure what that means. Except now the man behind the Double-D Avenger, William Winckler, gets to see his film re-released on DVD with generally inane and annoying commentary from some faux redneck dude with a bolo tie as a "bonus." (Whatever; I'd imagine whoever WW is, he was more than thrilled when these ladies returned his calls - let alone agreed to appear in his film - so anything on top of that is icing and the rest of us can just ignore or appreciate the JBB part based on their own prejudices. I guess mine are fairly clear so we'll move on.) Obviously based on the title and the film's stars - for the benefit of those who don't know who Kitten Natividad, Haji and / or Raven De La Croix are, all three women have starred in classic Russ Meyer films and, subsequently, many a young man's fantasy - you know this isn't exactly Shakespeare. Unlike Up, which featured two of the three. (Kitten and Raven.) That wasn't Shakespeare either, but was structurally similar to Shakespeare. You know, with the Greek chorus and all. Nonetheless, given a choice between good ol' fashioned T&A and plays by some dead English dude, who wouldn't choose the former? I would and I love plays by dead English dudes! This doesn't exactly revisit the glory days of those classic breast-centric films but expecting it to do so is just expecting too much. It might also be a little too much to expect fans of RM's films to get equally excited about the prospect of seeing Kitten, Haji & Raven naked now that all three have a little more, um, life experience to their credit but thankfully everybody keeps their clothing, and thus their dignity, in check. Although the viewer does get to see the ever bubbly Kitten fellate a plastic banana (it's a long story and I wouldn't want to spoil the plot for you) which, dare I say it, might just do the trick for some of the males in the audience. If you're not looking to this film to give you a boner, just some mindless entertainment - and you like nudity free, bad joke heavy superhero spoofs - then step right on up to the Double-D Avenger. I don't really like those things but even I can't hate on this. Plus, I love Haji! (Cost of the DVD - well, for me it was free but you know where I'm going with this. Hearing her spit out witty repartee like "weef bin denzin ur phennties uff buss" for an hour - priceless.) The film's existence is proof positive of the American dream and it's general right to be is not to be denied. Not by me anyway.

Superstarlet AD

(Guerrilla Monster)

This time around the videos I got from the lovely Miss Dawn came courtesy her main squeeze, Sleazegrinder. There was no press kit or even a box cover with the videos though; so I went over to his site to see what I was in for. It was there that I saw him refer to Supestarlet AD as "the Ben Hur of lowbrow cinema." My curiosity was suitably peaked. (Even though I've never seen Ben Hur.) Could the film really live up to such a high expectation? There's only one way to find out. Five minutes into the film I had to admit, I really couldn't figure out what was going on. Ten minutes into the film I realized it really didn't matter. Films like this one are a rare and special breed and to some extent cannot be judged by the same standards used to judge other films. (I tend to call them "Something Weird" films, only because I have seen so many films similar in style to this that are distributed by the fine company of the same name; but I guess it could be categorized in a number of terms: psychotronic, exploitation, etc.) You cannot look at this movie and say, "You know, the lighting is poor. And sometimes I can't hear the girls talking very well." I mean you could say those things, but you'd just look like a dumb bastard. The movie was made for under 20 grand! We're lucky they even had so many prop guns and crap to throw around. They sure did have a lot of cool lingerie in this flick though. And enough false eyelashes, black liquid eyeliner and lipstick for at least two drag nights at Bob & Barbara's. (Excuse the Philly reference, insert name of your local bar that hosts your city's finest drag show instead.) So I guess between that & the cost of film we know where the budget went. I'd hate to re-tell the whole plot but I'll give you a teaser: the movie takes place in the future, in a place called Femphis, where all men are extinct. (Yep, even gay ones; which is apparently why there is no clothing—only lingerie—in the future. Levi Strauss was gay? No shit!) Only women, and the occasional caveman, have survived in this post-apocalyptic world and, in order to stay alive, they've banded together while segregating themselves by hair color into "Beauty Cults". The brunettes dubbed the Satanas, the redheads the Tempests and the nearly extinct blondes, the Phayrays. (Perhaps some kind of societal commentary or maybe just a reflection of the director's personal taste in women?) Ah, but not all is so black and white; or blond, brunette and red-headed. There are a few girls who want to intermix and mingle with sisters of varied hair color. Two of them, brunette cutie pie Naomi & her blond, strangely accented gal pal Rachel make up the Superstarlets. Of course to really be diverse, they need a redhead; which is just what they set out to accomplish—and you know what comes next. Wacky hi-jinx! Duh. Oh yeah, and they're also on a mission to view their grandmother's respective ancestral stag films. Do you even need any more encouragement to see this movie? I should think not.

Sex Friend Nurezakari

(Screen Edge)

Nothing says "what the fuck" like Asian cinema, am I right? A friend was over here the other day & posed the following question while checking out the box cover: "So... is this like... porn or what?" I hadn't watched it at the time so I said I didn't know. Having seen it, I'm still not sure. Compared to the American version of adult cinema, which heavily features people's genitals and "money shots", probably not. There are two quotes on the box cover; one states that the film is "a journey of enlightenment where it isn't just the road that's long and hard." I didn't see anything long or hard - unless they're referring to the plotline, which is long, and the subtitles, which are hard to read. (Note to whoever subtitles movies: white type is very hard to read when run over white or light colored background.) The other quote boasts that the film is "Bizarre, fascinating and kinky." I can really only agree to the first one, although I suppose by someone else's standards this could be considered kinky. Overall I found it kind of dull. It took a long time for the plot to move along and even when it did, it still didn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense. Apparently this flick is representative of a semi-obscure film genre known as Pink Cinema (basically an Asian version of sexploitation movies) but unlike, say, your Russ Meyer type sexploitation movie that has a lot of action - not necessarily meaning XXX action but just stuff happening in general - this one has a whole weird extended story involving a dead childhood friend, baseball and a lot of silence. Aside from that there are a couple scenes where people appear to be having sex but again, there's nothing that graphic just some naked boobs and the occasional shot of a guys butt. Weird? Yes. Fascinating? Sorry, but no.