Saturday, December 27, 2008


Picture "Clan of the Cave Bear" or "One Million Years B.C." set instead in a past much more like the Flintstones... only the jokes are actually pretty funny. That is Caveman.

I've heard some strong criticism of the effects in this film, but I've got to say, these are the best claymation dinosaurs of any caveman-themed romantic-comedy I know of.

To top if all off, it stars Ringo Starr in quite possibly his best artistic contribution to date.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

While most of the storyline might be something out of a soap opera, aside from the aliens and giant growth thing... the cast actually delivers impressive performances and are part of what makes this movie a hit still today.

Pretty much the only negative thing I have to say about Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is that the famous movie poster / video cover promises a little more than the film actually delivers. There are no scenes with the giantess destroying cities and the like... if there had been then this would probably be up there with the Godzillas and King Kongs.

Aliens Gone Wild

When I came across this in a North Carolina thrift store and saw the name "Aliens Gone Wild," I bought it without even glancing at the back. I believe I paid $4 for it, any more and I might have gotten disappointed. This is not the "Aliens Gone Wild" movie I was imagining.

A couple of minutes in, I found out that this was actually meant to be a highlight reel from some of Full Moon's alien-based movies in the past. Except at 3 hours long... it's a lot more than just the highlights. You actually almost see enough to follow some of the stories for the films, but because they basically just jump around to the action scenes, you miss all the rest and just get exceptionally unsatisfying versions of a bunch of different alien movies.

It's kind of like watching one of those movie trailers that gives away every plot twist and scare shot in the movie... only there are about a dozen of them back to back, and they're all about 15 minutes long.

The only redeeming qualities are the few extras and the fact that Full Moon has such a large catalog represented here, it's bound to lead you to a movie that you'd actually like to see. That's not quite enough for me to suggest this to anyone else though.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I picked this one up on a whim one night as I was wandering around town waiting on someone. I believe it was $5 and I saw it was distributed by Troma, so I figured I'd give it a shot... and I'm glad I did.

This is a fun movie that passed my expectations completely. It's shot in black & white film, and the first time I watched through most of the movie, it was silent as well (I was still mounting and setting up my speakers). But this was fitting, as the main character's face stays so extremely expressive that he looks like an old silent-film actor for most of it.

The characters are likable and interesting. Time is actually spent developing them without resorting to drawn out flashbacks or unnatural conversational asides to force plot progression.

Often, this movie feels like a microbudget student film or something, but only in ways that improve it's execution. Actually, if Luis Bunuel had made an 80's slasher movie as a film student, this might've been it.

Sadly, this was the director's only film, it would've been interesting to see what else he could've come up with since his first one turned out to be so excellent. It's definitely worth searching out.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sex Madness

Like "Reefer Madness" only with syphillis. Fun!

Much of Reefer Madness' cult status today stems from the fact that people like to gather around and enjoy the "reefer" while being told how horrible it is.

For some reason, the same sort of syphillis parties just never caught on...

Full Movie:

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

"Hooray for Santy Claus!"

Full Movie:

(Embedding Disabled)

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness is a film about a drug dealer who lures kids to her apartment's daily party to smoke "reefers." A studious friend of one of the regulars winds up getting addicted to the drug and gets caught up in a wild series of marijuana-assisted shenanigans. Jazz dancing, reckless driving, hit and runs, suicide, murder and sex are all shown as results of smoking in the film.

Reefer Madness is a little more than just a simple propaganda film though; it's plot is actually pretty highly developed.

Surprisingly this film is still quite entertaining. The 30s view of marijuana is laughably inaccurate to the truth and the story of the schoolkids who get caught up with the drug is pretty interesting. This film definitely won't be winning any awards but it does offer us an amusing look at how marijuana was perceived seventy years ago.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Man with the Screaming Brain

Man with the Screaming Brain is Bruce Campbell's directorial debut. It is a 50's sci-fi-themed oddity, filmed in Bulgaria, in which a businessman gets mixed up with a strange ex-KGB taxi driver who eventually kills him. This of course makes him a perfect test subject for a local mad-scientist who's wants to transplant parts of his brain into a test subject.

Everything about this film seemed to somehow be simultaneously better and worse than I expected. The characters are ridiculous, but I didn't find any of the actors performances unbearable. The movie seems to try to be a clever mockery of 50's sci-fi, ends up mostly failing at that and doing bad slapstick instead, but then somehow works on a different level as a sort of weird meta-mockery of itself.

Be sure to watch for the Vespa explosion. It's the finest usage of special effects in a vehicle crash, ever.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Piranha 2: The Spawning

This movie doesn't waste any time, the very first scene jumps straight to some film-firsts with an underwater, skin-diving, shipwreck exploration, sex scene... which quickly ends with the pair getting eaten by simulated piranhi.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Slumber Party Massacre

The first of 3 films in the series. Slumber Party Massacre is a pretty formulaic 80s slasher... only the killer uses a huge drill.

In all of the movies, there are social issues addressed, usually involving feminism. The film goes out of its way to put women in classically-male roles. Keep an eye on the construction crews, the telephone repairman, etc... All sorts of little touches like that can be seen througout the series.

Zombie Lake

Here, the zombie make-up consists of actors whose faces are painted green with latex paint. Since several are seen in the lake itself, a lot of the paint is, at all times, washing or falling off in pieces...

And the paint only extends to their faces. Their hands are usually still fleshtone.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the zombie attacks are even worse. The victims scream half-heartedly for a few seconds, then just look bored and look around absent-mindedly while they're being chewed on by the zombies.

At one point, a man's explanation of the lake and how it came to be filled with nazi zombies lasts about 1/3 of the movie.

This one is just painful to sit through on all levels.

Sorority House Massacre 2: Nighty Nightmare

A Lower-end movie in the "massacre" series... Maybe a little more in the way of random gratuitous slasher-film nudity, but less of everything else.

The sorority house is supposed to be a place where a man killed his family, and this is illustrated by stitching the death scenes and most of the end of Slumber Party Massacre into a completely different storyline in which 2 or 3 of the girls and their coach are the killer's wife and daughters.

When you get to the shower scene, listen for the weird squeaking sound effect added every time the soap touches her. Unfortunately, funny little things like that are the high points of the movie.

One Millions Years B.C.

Be forewarned, there is basically no dialog in this film. This isn't a problem for me, but with American audiences today that won't even deal with subtitles... I'm aware not everyone might not be up for an hour of silence.

You do however get to see some great dinosaur/etc stop-motion effects, Harryhausen-quality stuff. There's also the best use of an iguana to simulate a dinosaur that I've ever seen, an effect that I never expected to see done successfully.

This is also the film that this much-used clip of a claymation t-rex fighting a tricerotops comes from. Very good, classic stuff.

Slumber Party Massacre III

Not quite as absurd as the 2nd, in which the driller-killer uses a drill/electric guitar, but it's still just a drill with a 3 foot drillbit. Victims almost have to volunteer to be killed by that thing.