Monday, January 26, 2009

A Polish Vampire in Burbank

Here's a little gem produced on a budget of just $2500, and one which has gone on to earn over two million dollars from home video sales and cable television. At times, the production value suffers, and the budgetary handicaps become very obvious, but even so, they've really stretched the limits here and produced something that far outshines their restraints.

This film is the story of Dupah, the Polish Vampire, who has never bitten anyone in his life because he feels that his fangs are too small. His family grows tired of supporting him and eventually send him out on his own finally "hunt" successfully in the city.

Dream Sequence:

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Though there are plenty of references to giant piranha here, you hardly ever see them and when you do, they're of normal size.

They do however make bird noises every time you see them. Really. They combine loud bird screeches and parrot calls and that's just the noise the fish are shown to make... it's ridiculous.

There are a few little dialog gems though, so it does get a little credit for that.

"The fish, sir! They're eating the guests, sir!"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Machine Girl

Machine Girl is a Japanese action/horror film about a highschool girl, Ami, who's life gets flipped, turned upside down when her family is attacked by another family of ninjas/Yakuza. She loses an arm in the process. Soon after she decides to go for her revenge, so she gets a bit of Evil-Dead-style arm enhancement gadgetry and goes to work.

These sorts of things aren't for everyone, but seeing the cover is probably enough to decide one way or the other. Either you're on board for machine gun arms, drill bras, and enjoy a good 20 foot arterial spray... or not.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'd assume Robert Rodriguez must've liked the idea too since he made his own and called it Planet Terror.

Available on Amazon: The Machine Girl

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slime City

This turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I picked up this DVD because it was cheap and had an amusing case. I was also intrigued that this was an 80's creature/slasher film that I'd somehow never even heard of. Now that I've seen it, I'm not sure why there's not a bigger following for it.

The story is oddly captivating, and once things really get going, we eventually reach a great final climax. The last 10 minutes or so are just wonderful, with the main character turning into a monstrous zombie, attacking his girlfriend, being decapitated, and then attacking again sans-head, with the severed head attacking on its own.

The movie makes constant attempts at gore, but doesn't really arrive there in the usual way. It certainly has a distinctive repulsion-free style of body mutilation, and often ends up looking more like the effects department from 90's era Nickelodeon studios provided the trademark slime... but all of this somehow works.

If you'd like to pick up a copy of the DVD, the director sells them himself. They're $10, including s&h, and come signed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Howling 3: The Marsupials

While the story setup (about a reluctantly werewolf-y woman trying to run away from that side of herself, leaving her family, being found by a couple of guys on a park bench, etc.) is something I remember seeing almost verbatim in an old Creepshow magazine, that's not all that unusual in these kinds of movies and the little things they add really make this their own. The whole idea of were-marsupials for instance, including a couple of marsupial births... leading to marsupial killer women with little hairy babies peaking from their pouches... Yes, that's as great as it sounds. How many horror movie fight scenes contain shots of monster fetuses? Hmm... After I wrote that I did actually think of at least 3 other movies that contain monster fetuses... which is equal parts surprising and not. But you know what? All of them are pretty good.

One of the real strong points of this film is that it perfectly balances the right amount of craftsmanship and attention to detail and at the same time not taking itself too seriously. The makeup effects aren't half-bad. Presumably they didn't really have to go all out with this, as though if they made the monsters real enough you'd find yourself having were-marsupial nightmares and considering the possibility that they might be around every corner. The idea is just silly. Yet they really made the things surprisingly detailed. There really is nothing like a trio of nuns with comically convincing Tasmanian tiger snouts.

In a nod to Troll 2's "Nilbog," the name of the were-marsupial town that Jerboa, the main character is from, is FLOW (Wolf, backwards).

This one really seems to have found the right formula for an entertaining and watchable humor/horror film. My only criticism was that it starts to drag a bit towards the end as though they had to make sure every little possible present and future problem for all the characters gets resolved. After the "ending" firefight, the movie goes on a little awkwardly for another 15 minutes or so showing the characters lives as they progressed through the next decade or so from there.