Second drafts are overrated

These look pretty sloppy to me, but I'm postin' 'em anyway. Sometimes raw is good. I'm not sure now's one of those times, but, given the subject matter of some of the films, I think raw's appropriate. Before we go to that, though, I've gotta share a couple YouTube links to some vids I found featuring Lemmy from Motorhead.

This one is pretty amazing. Lemmy plays Ann Landers and answers letters written in by people with problems. Some of it is hilarious ("A couple of months ago I lost my virginity. That was bloody careless!") but when Lemmy reads a letter from a raped-and-pregnant-and-desperate 15-year-old girl he gets pretty serious and sincere. It's strangely... touching, especially coming from a guy with Lemmy's image.

And this one is from a pissed-off Lemmy. Some asshole in a crowd threw a couple of coins taped around a razor blade at him and slashed his hand open, and it got infected and he almost lost it, so he has a message for all future crowds. Again, it's unusual to see Lemmy being serious and even stern, but, ya can hardly blame him.

Anyway, I found 'em intriguing. Hope you did. And now, here we go...

Burning Dead, The (C, 2004) Likeable shot-on-video amateur horror flick about a guy (who looks a lot like a blonder Jim VanBeeber) who's been traumatized by the fire that burned most of his neighborhood. He has returned to visit his cousin (who still lives there) as part of his therapy to deal with the nightmares and hallucinations (burned-up zombies coming after him) that plague him. He meets old friends (including an ex-girlfriend who's got an accent as slow and Southern as muscadine jelly) and has little episodes where he goes nuts (such as when he almost brains his cousin's toddler son with a hammer -- they're mad at first, but then insist he stay!). His cousins also start seeing the zombies, and he remembers that the fire started because of his involvement with some Satanic figure, who apparently won't leave him alone unless he kills the Southern girl. The story gets pretty corny and the special effects are variable, but it keeps your attention pretty easily, and the cast is likeable. Their acting talent isn't so hot, but they're game, and they don't seem to be dirtbags the way a lot of these no-budget filmmakers come across. The ending is about as laughably hokey as it gets, but the movie's got a way of getting you to cut it some slack. Filmed in Tennessee, I think.

Doomsday Machine (C, 1976) aka Armageddon 1975, Doomsday, Doomsday Plus 7, Escape From Planet Earth. Another of those sci-fi movies from the late 60's (when this was filmed) set in one or two rooms (supposed to be the interior of a spaceship) with lots of colored lighting. When China develops a doomsday device, an American Venus probe becomes a sort of Noah's Ark, with the male and female astronauts on board supposed to breed and rebuild the human race. Even in a crew of seven humans there's still strife, though, and one couple get lots to decompression when a hatch opens (the scene of the people flailing around on wires with blood coming from their eyes is absolutely hilarious to me for some reason), and there are also some mechanical problems to contend with. The destruction of earth appears to be accomplished by shining a red flashlight on a ball of tinfoil, and there's stock footage of tidal waves and spaceships. There's a typical scolding for mankind and a warning to change our ways. Incredibly cheap and static, but kinda likeable if you can stay awake.

Whole movie online.

I Hate You (C, 2004) Norman is a middle-aged stand-up comic who's obsessed with being remembered forever. Since his material (mostly about killing and death) is mediocre, he decides his best chance for fame is by being a serial killer, like his idol, Jack the Ripper. So, he goes around murdering whoever's handy... but his career as a killer is nearly as frustrating as his comedy career, because he can't seem to get much press. Norman's act gets so hostile and misanthropic that his club fires him, so he loses focus, but keeps killing people. Norman's material isn't particularly funny but it is intelligent and has some legitimate points. Other comedians are shown between the killings, and they're not bad, either. The killings aren't terribly graphic or realistic, and this isn't much as a horror movie, but as an experimental, artsy-on-the-cheap-side indie film, it's surprisingly good. The acting is pretty great, too. Runs about an hour.

Summer of the Massacre (C, 2004) Apparently making really stupid and derivative horror movies with your home video camera isn't a strictly American pastime. That's somehow reassuring. This desperate-to-remind-you-of-Texas Chainsaw homemade slasher fest appears to be British, and deals with a van full of college kids who travel out into the boonies. They start running out of gas and find a babbling lunatic at an abandoned gas station (judging from the graffiti the Brits hated Bush even more than we did). They get away from him but run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, where (after an eternity of indecipherable heavily-accented talking) a clumsy maniac in a leather mask and a tie, named Hammer Head, stalks them all with a hammer. He binds one dead guy to a tree with Saran Wrap for some reason (to keep him fresh, I guess?) Then he nails a girl's hand to another tree, but she gets loose. That doesn't really matter, though, since she runs so slowly he can catch her while carrying the corpse of her friend. He ties her up in an abandoned farmhouse, then goes after the others. It's amazing he can catch anybody, because he's always stumbling, falling down, forgetting to hit anybody, and getting beaten up. He's the Wile E. Coyote of masked maniacs. And he yells wordless noises constantly, and at one point gets stabbed in the eye with a corn cob! The whole second half of this consists of constant chase scenes, and there's a room full of dismembered limbs, but really, you're not going to miss much if you watch this one on fast-forward scan. And you're not going to miss a whole lot more if you skip it completely. Strangely for a film from England, the opening credit text is so borderline-illiterate it looks like the product of an English-as-a-second-language class.

Behind-the-scenes footage

Teacher, The (C, 1974) aka The Seductress. A cute high school teacher (Angel Tompkins) is being stalked by a creepy disturbed Vietnam veteran named Ralph (played by Anthony James, the world's most sinister actor), but she's got the hots for one of her students, named Sean (Jay North). He's the timid type, though, and would rather fool around with his van. Ralph is also after Sean, because Sean witnessed an accident in which Ralph killed his own brother, Sean's best friend. Tompkins seduces Sean and takes him out on her boat, which sends crazy Ralph to put on a snorkel and wet suit to spy on them. They go out to dinner and there's Ralph again in his big ol' yellow shirt. You know this can't be heading anyplace good. This is pretty tame for an exploitation film, with only a little nudity and some very discrete sex, but it does give Anthony James a great opportunity to do his creepy sleazeball thing. His character's so spooky he drives a hearse and keeps all his stuff in a coffin! The annoying "Teacher theme" can be heard far too often on the soundtrack.

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