Somebody found live footage of Septic Death?
They've discovered a cure for restless wiener syndrome?
There's a new cheese we can try?
I've found some pants I really like and don't have to take off every few minutes, much to the horror of everyone around me?
The flavor called "grape" has officially now been changed to "the flavor known as grape that real grapes taste nothing like"?
A cave painting of Jesus and Mohammad tongue-kissing was just discovered and we don't know if that will fix all the world's problems... or intensify them?
Thigh-high Uggs are the next big style for sorority girls even though they don't appeal to anybody else?
They've finally defined yogurt?
The surgeon general declared that we don't have to eat our peas although it'd be nice?
Haley Barbour finally admitted that, all those times, it wasn't actually the dog that did it, and all along it was him, him and his big ol' nasty ass?
Nope. None of those things. It's just another movie review post. Yay.
Aguirre, The Wrath of God (C, 1972) aka Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes. It’s Apocalypse Now, 16th century style, in this classic first collaboration between director Werner Herzog and actor/madman Klaus Kinski, which got so troubled that Herzog had to get Kinski to finish it practically at gunpoint. Despite that nightmare, they made five more films together, and Herzog made My Best Fiend, a documentary about their love-hate relationship. A group of conquistadors searching for El Dorado, the fabled city of gold, undergoes a mutiny and end up under the leadership of unbalanced (mentally and physically -- Kinski walks as if one leg is shorter than the other) Don Lope de Aguirre, a megalomaniac whose fanatical expedition grows more bizarre the further into the wilderness it goes. Kinski ends up completely mad on a raft full of corpses and about a hundred little monkeys (who supposedly bit him). It’s really artsy at times (Herzog likes to form shots that look like paintings and then hold them a long time) but it’s well done, and Kinski (who really was crazy at that point) is convincingly psychotic, degenerating more as his quest does. The difficult conditions of the shoot (which required a large cast and small crew to live on rafts in the middle of nowhere) adds plenty of realism. Plus, it’s got monkeys. You can’t really go wrong with a movie that’s got monkeys.
Whole freakin' movie:
Bonnie’s Kids (C, 1973) Twenty-two year old Ellie blows her stepfather away with a shotgun while he’s trying to rape her slutty fifteen year old sister, Myra. They hit the road and go live with their uncle. While Myra exploits and then fends off her lesbian aunt, Ellie gets a job as a model and then takes off with a private detective who’s been hired by mobsters to pick up a package full of cash. A black and white hit-man team (possibly Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction inspiration) are after them, and kill a young newlywed couple by mistake. Ellie ends up killing a cop and they have to hide out in the desert, where things grow more desperate. Myra is left with an ironic ending. Sleazy crime drama like they don’t make anymore, is sometimes a little slow but isn’t badly made and has gritty sex and violence and some good-looking females.
Oddly, the only footage on YouTube I could find was a clip that a foot fetishist put up because there are shots of Ellie pumping a car's gas pedal. But, it's better than nothing. Thanks, weirdo! :)
Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (C, 1973) A man’s wife dies after swearing she’ll return to him, and he becomes obsessed with facilitating that feat. HE goes to mediums and other charlatans, meeting disappointment each time until he meets Doctor Death, a theatrical mystic who’s discovered a method of transferring the soul of a freshly-deceased person into another dead body, thus reanimating it. Dr. Death has extended his own lifespan for generations with this practice, but lately he’s been experiencing technical difficulties; he can’t command souls into some bodies, and when a street thug stabs him in the stomach, the guy’s face gets melted off by a spray of blackish goo. Dr. Death’s methods of killing off his subjects aren’t always nice; he axes one, bleeds one to death, and saws one woman in half (with assistance from a volunteer from the audience, played by famous Stooge Moe Howard in his final role). Dr. Death persists in trying to resurrect the dead wife, even though the husband’s had second thoughts about the doc’s methods and wants him to stop. Luckily, the movie’s played pretty straight (and even has a little not-bad gore), but it’s still hokey, mostly due to the hammy performance by John Considine as the Doctor (it’s vaguely Phibesian). Somewhat silly but worth checking out.
I couldn't find any footage from the movie, but here's a wrestling match where "Dr. Death" Steve Williams fights Jerry Only from the Misfits! Okay, that's weird....
Hunchback of the Morgue (C, 1972) aka El Jorobado de la Morgue, The Rue Morgue Massacres, The Hunchback of the Rue Morgue. Paul Naschy is a much-abused hunchback named Gotho who works in a morgue, amputating parts of corpses for medical students to dissect. He’s mocked and tormented by everyone around him, from the medical students to rock-throwing children in the streets, yet he’s very kind-hearted when it comes to Ilsa, a girl who’s dying of tuberculosis. He brings her flowers every day, and when she dies he kills the medical students who were about to dissect her and takes her body to an old dungeon. He has to fight off rats that gnaw on her corpse (the most famous scene, since Naschy allowed himself to actually be attacked by the rats, and a bunch of live rats actually got set on fire). Naschy turns her body over to a mad scientist who’s been experimenting with resurrecting the dead, and he promises to bring her back to life, but Naschy has to supply him with bodies… including live ones. But all the doctor creates are monstrosities that eat people, and Naschy has second thoughts. One of Naschy’s best films, with him pulling out a sympathetic performance amidst all the lurid, morbid, gory events. The gore’s pretty graphic, including decapitations, disembowelments, and laboratory tanks overflowing with pulsating guts. Despite that, the movie also knows when to show restraint, keeping the worst monster hidden in a room, roaring horribly and making you wonder what it looks like (until the end, anyway, and even then it’s not a total disappointment). Classically trashy Spanish horror.
Here's the trailer:
And a clip:
Night of 1000 Cats (C, 1972) aka La Noche De Los Mil Gatos, Blood Feast. A rich playboy (Hugo Stiglitz, whose character is called “Hugo” just to keep things simple) picks up women by flying around Acapulco in his helicopter, wearing big sunglasses. He seduces one housewife by parachuting a doll to her daughter. Once he has a woman he takes her to his castle for sex, strangles her, and then with the help of his mute Tor-Johnson-esque servant, uses them to maintain both of his collections: one is made up of severed heads in jars, and the other is a pit filled with hundreds of house cats who are fed their flesh. (The bones are burned in an incinerator, but they’re always wrapped in a package so they wouldn’t have to compromise the budget by going out and buying skeletons). Most of the film is tedium in which we watch the copter fly endlessly around the city, or Hugo sitting around in ritzy settings with the women while camera tricks and fancy editing try desperately to convince us that it’s interesting. The psycho isn’t very far-sighted; he leaves himself without help by killing his servant for beating him at chess, and doesn’t realize that having a vast herd of cats trained to eat human flesh could have a downside. Director Rene Cardona Jr. tries hard to give this some style and his failure to do so provides some amusement, although he skimps on the gore more than you’d expect him to if you’d seen the uncut version of his Survive. The DVD and every videocassette version I’ve ever seen runs just over an hour, meaning half an hour has been cut out (what that consists of, I don’t know -- if it’s more helicopter footage, then good riddance), but the story retains coherency, and contrary to the usual case with edited films, you may be grateful it’s not longer. Might make a good double feature with The Corpse Grinders.
Scene that I sure hope they used a fake cat to film:
Seventh Moon (C, 2008) A likeable young couple on their honeymoon in China get lost in the backwoods in the middle of the night. Their tour guide disappears and when they return from searching for him the car’s covered in blood. They decide they better get the hell out of there, but they start seeing scrawny naked albinos running through the woods. In a panic they get the car stuck and have to continue on foot. They find a house, but no one inside will help them, and even try to call the things to come get them. Trying to help a wounded man they find on the road ends up in more trouble for them, and soon they’re on the run with dozens of these wheezing pale grey things chasing them. The filmmakers do a good job of setting up intense situations and wringing maximum intensity out of each of them, keeping it both scary and creepy. The filmmakers are also not afraid to leave some things unexplained, which is good; too much understanding can take all the scares out of a monster.
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The (C, 2005) In a small Texas town populated almost entirely by trashy ignorant assholes (I think I’ve been there!), Tommy Lee Jones (who also directed) hires an illegal Mexican immigrant named Melquiades Estrada, and strikes up a friendship with him. A border patrol guard with a reputation for excessive brutality (Barry Pepper, who was the sniper in Saving Private Ryan) shoots and kills Estrada (Estrada was shooting coyotes and Pepper thought he was shooting at him). The police are unsympathetic (especially Dwight Yoakum, who can act like a prick onscreen better than just about anybody) and bury Estrada in a pauper’s grave. Tommy Lee doesn’t accept this situation and abducts Pepper at gunpoint, makes him dig up Estrada’s body, and -- after wrapping it up in salt -- carry it back over the border to Estrada’s hometown for re-burial. Not only do they have to evade police by taking hazardous back trails on horseback, they have to contend with the stench of the corpse and ants that are swarming over it. It’s a strange trip, where they meet a blind old man who wants them to shoot him, run afoul of some rattlesnakes, stop over with some Mexicans, and end up at an unusual destination. Slowly-paced, existential film with lots of nice scenery and a sense of the quasi-mystical. It feels like Tommy Lee Jones wanted to create a tone similar to Slingblade while invoking the mystical Western ideas of El Topo, but keep it based in reality. It’s a little too slow and uneventful to make it gripping in a narrative sense, but it’s high-quality filmmaking and stays interesting even though not much actually happens. It was bound not to be a hit; how can you get word-of-mouth on a film whose title most people can’t even pronounce?
Apparently you can watch the whole movie at a link found here.
Trick ‘R Treat (C, 2008) Creepshow-style anthology looks even more surreal since Halloween appears to be a lost art that no one does anymore. Four somewhat-interconnected stories all take place on the same Halloween night. In one, a demented school principal deals with a problem student and helps his annoying son (“Charlie Brown is an asshole!”) make a Jack-O-Lantern. In another, some trick-or-treaters leave Jack-O-Lanterns for the spirits of crazy kids who were drowned in a schoolbus. The third story has some werewolf girls doing what comes supernaturally, and in the last a grouchy old man is visited by a pumpkin-boy-thing. None of the stories are particularly clever -- in fact, they barely even count as a “story” in some cases -- and the attempt to adopt a Pulp Fiction narrative structure isn’t very successful, but the film does have some creepy visuals (when they’re not too dark to see) and a very Halloweeny atmosphere that makes it worth checking out… especially in late October.