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July 26, 2015

Movie Review: The Creep Behind the Camera (2014)

Directed by Pete Schuermann

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

In cult film fandom, there exists an echelon of maverick filmmakers who get their outlandish projects done in spite of a lack of money and no real discernible talent. Far, far, far removed from the studio system, upstarts such as Herschel Gordon Lewis and Edward D. Wood Jr. whip up colorfully inept motions pictures that people still treasure to this day.

There is a dark side to all of this admirable gumption and verve, however. The making of any independent feature film, from Sundance favorite to shot-on-video zombie epic is fraught with broken promises and unpaid bills. Case in point: Friend and bad movie director extraordinaire Larry Buchanan, for all of his old school charm and gentility broke quite a few eggs to make his omelet. To this day, actors on his Grade-Z stinkers such as Curse of the Swamp Creature (1967) have quite a few horror stories to tell – unrelated to the horror stories the films themselves were trying to tell! Just ask actor Francine York, who starred in the aforementioned Swamp Creature  … but that is a story for another time.

This dynamic is illustrated profusely in the quasi-documentary Creep Behind the Camera, the story behind the many-named Arthur Nelson, the cracked auteur behind The Creeping Terror (1964). Imminently familiar to the readers of this Web site, The Creeping Terror is about a vaguely phallic walking carpet monster that eats a few people and disrupts a dance down at the union hall in a small Californian town. Atrocious as it gets, the entire soundtrack to The Creeping Terror consists of narration from Wham-O! Toy commercial pitchman Larry Burrell and canned music. While celebrated by bad movie fans, there's no denying the fact that The Creeping Terror is best left as a late-night sleeping aid.

July 24, 2015

Movie Review: Prison Girl (2008)


While I am “assured” that the arrival of one of Japan’s pink films in my care package this time around was “accidental” and that I didn’t have to watch it, I figured, what the hell. I can man up and watch some soft-core porn. It’s for science! Or, work. Orsomething.

Prison Girl stars Asami as Ayaka, a bored housewife who’s been having some very strange dreams lately. She keeps having nightmares about being in prison where she is man-handled and abused at the hands of the Warden and the guards. She thinks that settling into the role of housewife must be at the core of these dreams, though she’s had them since she was a teenager. 

On the advice of her husband, she starts regular visits to a psychiatrist. He seems to think that psychological disorders can be caused by not enough sex. Maybe that’s her issue. So she and her husband should talk about having kids. After all, kids make everything better!

In addition to the prison, Ayaka also dreams about being showered in blood and laughing maniacally. The nightmares become more frequent and it’s glaringly obvious that she enjoys them. When she’s not dreaming about being groped, she’s fondling herself in the real world. The shrink then has a new theory - she’s feeling guilty about something and that’s why she keeps dreaming of prison. Like guilty over keeping a secret. Like secretly being a prostitute.

Wait, what? Where’d that come from?

Eventually, Ayaka’s dream world and waking world begin to merge. Is she the repressed housewife dreaming of prison life or is she a criminal, charged with murdering her husband, who dreams of having the regular life of a wife? You can contemplate that while staring at Asami’s perfectly perky breasts. 

July 21, 2015

Movie Review: "Mississippi Mermaid" (1969; MGM/Twilight Time)

...braving the lambast-worthy gauntlet of losing some respectable points as one of many cult film auteurs out there, the respected 'comma, then title' moniker which this reviewer make an unabashed claim to...he...uh, he (...stutter, stutter)...he has to candidly, and...swell, quite shamefully admit, he...uh, he (...stutter, stutter) had never partaken of a film, produced and directed by the great Francois Truffaut...that is, until now. Admittedly, as a very young and budding embracee of cult films, this reviewer had heard of this extraordinarily masterful filmmaker, at least enough to know that his film artistry was, at the very least, something more than noteworthy, and he was even dimly privy to some of Truffaut's early film work (...'fancy-schmancy arthouse' films, I called them back then...and as a youth...well, perhaps it was understandable that I wasn't into 'fancy-schmancy', though indeed, such films were as yet beyond my level of understanding and appreciation, at the time), without actually having seen them...classics like "Fahrenheit 451", "Story of Adele H" and "Shoot the Pianist", amongst others...

...no siree...this reviewer's first exposure to Francois Truffaut wasn't even his prowess at film direction; rather, it was his authoritative, albeit language-hampered performance as Claude Lacombe, in the wonder, instilling 1977, Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi classic, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". However, even in that enigmatic performance alone, there was an aura of interest and fascination, which shone through...not in the character he played, but in the performer...or rather, the artist himself, the exposition of which could not be denied, nor ignored...

July 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Cemetery (2014; Massacre Video)

...ya know?? One of the biggest problems with being a respectably seasoned, knowledgeable and well-rounded horror genre aficionado (...in truth, I can't admit to have seen everything...and I do relish the occasional surprise, in having finally gotten around in catching something, which I've either ignored, or something that has just merely gotten by me...both instances, for whatever reason...but eh, I feel that I've seen enough to justify respectable commentary)...exuding and giving proper credit to everything seen over the years, from the golden age of silent cinema, to today's big screen offerings, as well as the often-ignored and under-appreciated independent productions, produced nowadays...is that this viewer, often times, finds himself quite torn. Torn, with respects to genre filmmakers, who borrow and tinker with previously used, albeit proven sure-fire ideas, throw them into their own perspective pots, along with a smidgen of ideas of their own, stir vigorously, and proudly...perhaps even shamelessly serve up something 'uniquely homage', for lack of a better term. Hell, Quentin Tarantino's been doing that for years, and for the most part, has been quite successful at it, for those who's been keeping up...

July 18, 2015

Movie Review: LIfe Itself (2013)

Directed by Steve James

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Pulitzer prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert led an expansive life. He enjoyed an early success as both a columnist and critic for the Chicago Sun Times, a newspaper he never left in spite of better paying job offers. He successfully won his private battle with alcoholism, and his marriage at age 50 to Charlie "Chaz" Hammelsmith, a fiery African-American woman who had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. was a love story for the ages. Through it all, Ebert was probably best known as “the fat one” with his cohort Gene Siskel, “the skinny one” on PBS' “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.” The long-running series was among the very best of its kind, as it explored a relationship – oftentimes contentious, of two intellectuals saying why they did, or did not like a particular film.

The importance of “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies” cannot be downplayed, as it turned many people's heads to the possibilities of film criticism. Both Siskel and Ebert created the notion of “superstar” film critics, for good or ill. Both Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael brought intellectual heft to the form – although Kael would indulge in naughty fun by titling her books with double entendres, such as “I Lost It at the Movies.” There was also Rex Reed, also a critic, but he mostly attained notoriety for tell-all celebrity profiles. It was both Ebert and Siskel that the nation listened and adhered to. In time, they would draw criticism for their “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” rating system. Their contemporary Richard Corliss of Time magazine, who is also interviewed in the documentary, would take them to task for this all or nothing value system. Motion pictures, he argued, were complex creatures, far more worthy of being turned away out of hand for a few of the many disparate elements combined to make them.

July 16, 2015

SCREAM FACTORY PRESENTS Wes Craven’s SHOCKER COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY

Highly-Anticipated Horror Cult Classic from the Master of Horror Wes Craven

SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS

Wes Craven’s
SHOCKER
COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY™
Starring Michael Murphy, Peter Berg, Cami Cooper and Mitch Pileggi

ARRIVES ON HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES EVERYWHERE ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
FROM SCREAM FACTORY™

Pre-order This Definitive Collector’s Edition Today!
Fans of legendary director Wes Craven (Scream, The Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street) know well the terror mayhem inflicted by Horace Pinker, a diabolical mass murderer who harnesses electricity for unimaginable killing powers, from the 1989 horror cult classic SHOCKER. On September 8, 2015, Scream Factory™ is proud to present Wes Craven’s SHOCKER Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, packed with insightful bonus content including, special audio commentary with Wes Craven, all-new interviews with Mitch Pileggi, Cami Cooper, executive producer Shep Gordon, music supervisor Desmond Child and soundtrack artists, new audio commentary with director of photography Jacques Haitkin, co-producer Robert Engelman and composer William Goldstein, retrospective featurettes, original storyboard gallery and much more!

Movie Review: Killer Joe (2011; Voltage Pictures/Lionsgate)

...it's a bygone truth in considering that the impact...the very vibrancy of the hero of the story is directly proportionate to, reciprocative of...and in most cases...is outright dependent upon the often times greater impact and vibrancy of the villain. Let's face it: we have certain expectations, when it comes to the hero, and without fail...unless that hero takes total leave of his senses...the hero typically performs as expected, with no real surprises; however, without a worthy and polar-opposite comparable adversary, the hero really has nothing to do, right?? The old story of 'there's no good, unless there's bad...and vice-versa. And how about the villain?? A picture of self-interest...relentless...conniving...often times, violent...clearly knowing right from wrong, but not caring...quite literally carefree, in fact. And there's no denying that in each and very one of us, there's a spark of envy, in that respect...though, it's intervening morality, which keeps us 'normal people' in check...

July 14, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Cobbler (2015)

Kevin Moyers goes through the career of Adam Sandler before reviewing his first VOD release.

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.

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July 10, 2015

Movie Review: Cellar Dweller / Catacombs (Blu-ray)



Reviewed By: James D.

Cellar Dweller stars Jeffrey Combs as a comic creator named Colin Childress. It so happens one day he decides to summon a demon through his work. When the demon starts to kill, the only way to stop it is to burn the paper he used to create this demon. We move 30 years after this and meet Whitney Taylor who is following in his footsteps and decides to move into his old house for inspiration. Well others have different plans as meet Mrs. Briggs and Amanda who is her art school rival and they want to get rid of her. As fate would have it Whitney decides to draw the Cellar Dweller comic and now we are back to the start and the creature has been set free to kill again. Cellar Dweller for years after its 80’s release became a cult favorite for what reason I have no earthly idea. The film is pretty bad by all standards. The story is sluggish; the plot is full of more holes than Rambo’s enemies. The creature in this film looks hokey and really does not scare the viewer. This film

July 8, 2015

Movie Review: Begotten (1990; World Artists)

...for the most part, it's an ever-constant social stigma, that people often take things out of context, when afforded a limited view of things. With little exception, scrounging opportunist lawyers and politicians shamelessly exploit that very concept, in an effort to champion their own causes. Sure enough, the media itself zeroes in on the dirt and the grime, associated with people, places and things, giving false, or at the very least, mixed views on matters, even though the full view of matters might tell a different story...which probably explains why tabloid newspaper have been and remain, a billion dollar industry; after all, truth be known, people love the dirt...flourish on the bad news...and are pretty much indifferent to untainted normalcy (...come on, let's be honest, 'kay??). Heck, without the idea of taking things out of context...seeing only a small part of the picture, and imposing judgement...making conclusions, without looking at the big picture...like scrutinizing and criticizing framed fine art on the wall, based solely on the singular, unmoving view through an empty paper towel cardboard roll...the classic TV broadcast comedy-of-errors sitcom "Three's Company" wouldn't have lasted...what, eight seasons, was it??...

...anyone who's ever been privy of the surreal and experimental film, "Begotten", or even merely eyeballed the strikingly graphic and interpretively symbolic cover art of the limited digital release of the film, as shown here...at this point...are throwing their hands in the air, rolling their eyes, and letting out one of those exasperating 'tsk-sighs'. Really?? Comparing a beyond-bizarre-and-unconventional film, like "Begotten", with the adolescent-humor-level, playfully innuendo-teasing, comical renderings of "Three's Company"?? Really?? I mean...really?? Well, yeah...and that's OK. What those unbeknownst, who haven't had the unique and...well, 'pleasurable' and 'displeasurable' is totally at the discretion of the viewer...experience of unwittingly seeing "Begotten", need to understand, before diving into this shocking and mind-scrambling fray...or like this viewer, who was introduced to the film, via a mere unnamed 30-second-plus moment...a wayward, horrific-looking clip, sandwiched amongst others, and posted on one of the countless horror-themed social media pages...not unlike being afforded a horse-blinder's limited view of something specifically monikered, and yet, when taking it all in...for good, or perhaps for not-so-good...might be construed as being something totally different...or at least, more than a bit skewed...

July 7, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #143 - Hazzardous

Kevin and Jeff roll out a full length episode with a slew of movies, an Australian TV show and a Luke-warm discussion aBout TV Land pulling The Dukes of Hazzard from their lineup. (See what I did there?)

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July 6, 2015

Movie Review: Treatment (Artsploitation, 2015)


Reviewed by: James D.

Belgium director Hans Herbots before this film, I have never heard of him. After this film, I want to see more from him. The Treatment or the Dutch name De Behandeling is something very unique and very well done. This film has a tone and mood that really grips you by the throat and with its intense plot will keep you biting your mails at the edge of the couch or seat till it ends. This Belgian thriller I should warn the viewers, it is very disturbing and could be viewed as offensive. The material in this film is for people who are not afraid to see things get intense. Our main protagonist is Nick Cafmeyer who seems to be a much traumatized man. It starts out earlier in his life when as a kid he saw his brother abducted to never been seen or heard from again. Nick uses this as inspiration to become a cop and investigating cases that remind him of his brother.

Secondhand Smut #5: Devil in Miss Jones


Secondhand Smut’s fifth installment is covering the porn I watched from December 2014 to April 2015. Said smut is devoted to the Devil in Miss Jones franchise. There are tons of information regarding its history out there, and even more tons of words reviewing it and analyzing it (even academically if that’s your thing), but what you’ll read here is my thoughts after going a film-by-film marathon.

The Devil in Miss Jones 3: A New beginning (1986) and The Devil in Miss Jones: The Resurrection (2010) was ignored as I was not able to track down copies of those in time for this article. Der Teufel in Miss Jonas (1976) is an unofficial remake, and The Devil’s Agenda & Miss Jones (1991) is an unofficial sequel, and hence they were ignored.

Devil in Miss Jones (1973)

One of my favorite porn films of all time is Gerard Damiano’s Deep Throat (1972), and one of my favourite autobiographies is Georgina Spelvin’s The Devil made me Do It. So it was only natural that I would fall in love with the Devil in Miss Jones (1973) that the two of them made together and is considered by many the best adult film from the golden age.

It is about the titular lady (Georgina Spelvin) who (in a sequence that brings student short films in mind, but I am saying this as a good thing) commits suicide when she’s slashing her wrists with a razorblade.

Then Miss Jones goes to the afterlife, where she meets Abaca (John Clemens) who tells her that despite her quite excellent track record as a mortal human being, the guys upstairs (i.e. heaven) cannot accept her because suicide is a crucial sin, so she’ll have to go downstairs (i.e. hell).

Movie Review: Kiss Me Deadly (1955; MGM/UA/Criterion)

...OK, people!! Let's get it right out there, and state the obvious...or rather, what will be the obvious, depending upon whoever has or hasn't seen this subtle and captivating potboiler...this invariably explosive powerhouse of a film, or at the very least, are aware of it's influence on a certain film director, amongst others. Ahem!! (...insert a clearing of the throat, and a rolling of the eyes) Yes, people...this is, without a doubt, one of many poignant and noteworthy films, which influenced eclectic cult film director Quentin Tarantino. Just how this film proves juxtapositioned as being influential...well, we'll get to that, as we move along here...

...now, how this curiously unseen film came to this unwary viewer's attention...as well as having since given cause for this dunderhead of a claimed seasoned and knowledgeable film fan to (...once again) kick himself in the buttocks, repeatedly, for having missed this one (...amongst others), all these years...well, those familiar with the nostalgic, over-the-airwaves digital broadcast channel, Antenna TV, may well be aware that in the quiet, star-studded wee hours of the morning, on Saturday and Sunday, this channel...a sort of TV Land wannabee, which during the waking hours, broadcasts the best of TV sitcoms and drama, from the '50's through the '80's...instead reels out the best of selected titles from the MGM and Columbia Pictures film archives, and...uh, hey Mr. Peabody!! Set the wayback machine to some weeks ago, when this viewer rose from the covers, knuckled the sleep from his eyes, switched on the tube, and caught a rather strikingly familiar sight...which culminated with a most explosively cataclysmic, 'what-the-f***' film ending. Or better yet, let's just throw in a little more fantasy, pressed an imagined 'rewind' button, and kicked things into gear, right from the beginning, 'kay??.....

July 5, 2015

IMPULSE PICTURES AUGUST 2015 NEW RELEASE

BREAK OUT THE TISSUES, “42ND STREET FOREVER – THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 12” COMES THIS AUGUST FROM IMPULSE PICTURES!

This August, Impulse Pictures returns with the latest installment in their much loved original stag films from the Golden Age of Porn, 42ND STREET FOREVER - THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 12!

42ND STREET FOREVER – THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 12
Their place in history is undeniable. Hardcore 8mm stag films introduced explicit human sexuality to the public. Predating every other moving picture home format, these inauspicious productions provided not only a window to a whole other world, but also immediate relief for those not fortunate enough to make their fantasies into reality. Thousands of these underground movies were made between the 1960s and 1980s, and sold in the back of sex magazines or distributed to the almost 60,000 private "peep show" booths located in adult stores in most major cities.

Impulse Pictures is proud to present 42ND STREET FOREVER - THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 12, a new, continuing series of salacious 8mm shorts, re-mastered from original film prints. This collection features fifteen classic "loops" with titles like "School Days”, “Lez Housewives”, “Fireside Fun”, “Lap It Up” and more! Watch for adult film stars Desiree Cousteau, Amber Hunt, Sharon Kane Hershel Savage in these raunchy rarities!

Extra Features
• Fifteen classic adult 8mm loops, re-mastered in high-definition from original film prints
• Each loop individually selectable or playback the entire disc with “Play All” function.
• Liner Notes from Cinema Sewer publisher Robin Bougie

Not Rated / 1970s-80s / 120 Minutes / Color / 2.0 Mono / $24.95 retail/UPC # 654930107096
Catalog #IMP0070

Movie Review: Slow West (Blu-ray, 2015)

Review By: James D.

Let’s talk about a genre that may need resurgence, the western. We had A Million Ways to Die in the West which was hit and miss, and now Slow West. Slow West is like if the Coen Brothers directed Quicksilver. Slow West has a wealth of depth in both the characters and story, that being said it is shocking that this film is by a first time director.

The flow of this film is executed well, which I feel the director had the feeling we would feel like that so he changed things around scene to scene to keep us off-guard. The film has moments of predictability but that does not take away any part of how effective this film comes across. This is a film that gets the spirit of the old west thru the history of films about it and just nails it on every possible level. If I was to have any sort of negative beside the predictability at times, it would be that this film does not have a bigger audience and was not given a run at the box office. Which both do not reflect anything that is being shown on the screen. The script I felt was so well written and gave the characters such flair and personality, that you invest in this story. The flow of the film is disrupted by some unpredictable moments that I feel if we discussed would spoil the beauty of this film. All the players in this film would be so worthy of an Oscar mention.

July 4, 2015

Movie Review: Reckless (Artsploitation, 2015)


By James D.

Reckless, I am not sure if it is a direct remake or just a retelling of The Disappearance of Alice Creed. We meet in the opening minutes Laura Temming who wakes up in a nightmare no one would like to be waking up to. She was abducted and when she wakes up she is handcuffed and tied to a bed. The captors who have her are two masked men who strip off her clothes and put her in this track suit. It seems she comes from a wealthy family, and as you can guess our two captors have money on their mind. They take a picture of putting a knife to her throat to send to her father. The film has the same twists and turns the Creed film had, so if you are familiar with what goes on in that film, you have the gist of what you will get with this film. The film is subtitled which is fine for me, but the problem is the film plays out like a shot for shot take on the Creed film. I was hoping that we would get something different, it seems like they just re-shot the film scene by scene. Alice Creed I actually put in my top ten that year, I loved the surprises and the twists and turns that film gave me.

July 2, 2015

Movie Review: Coffee, Kill Boss (2013)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Nathan Marshall

It’s a momentous day at the Wood and Wood Corporation. The highest echelon of management has gathered at top floor headquarters to await an offer of acquisition that will make them highly wealthy. Among them is Henry Wood (Eddie Jemison, King of Herrings), the grandson of the company’s founder, anxious to move on with his life. Illogically passed over for promotion to the head of the company, the top CEO position went to interim president Walt Ford (Robert Forster, Jackie Brown).

As the various employees of Wood and Wood gather in the conference room, which include Jim T. Pruitt (Jack Wallace, Welcome to Me), Dom McMillian (Peter Breitmayer, “Grey’s Anatomy”) the flirtatious Jane Lampling (Zibby Allen), Vincent Brutsi (Richard Riehle, “Jump to Conclusions” from Office Space), Chuck Quinn (Chris Wylde, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and a clueless Temp (Noureen DeWulf). Things get off to a bad start – Mr. Ford is found hanging from a noose above the conference table. A PowerPoint presentation from Lampling takes on a mind of its own and begins to spell out the violent deaths of those gathered. The floor is sealed off and communications are severed. The yuppies are ruthlessly stalked by an insane killer as time runs out … for themselves and the successful merger.

July 1, 2015

Movie Review: "Shakma" (1990; Castle Hill/Code Red)

...and now, a word about genre movie trailers...from one who's own genre movie trailer collection is as varied and voluminous as his movie collection: Being a devoted and...well, let's just go ahead and say obsessed collector of genre films, this ardent viewer absolutely loves a good genre movie sleuth...especially when coming across a title, which sounds interesting, but...despite a respectable and wide-spectrum level of knowledge...have surprisingly never heard of. And it's one thing, merely hearing of such a title, and it's a whole other thing altogether, in stumbling upon a trailer for such a film. A genre film...rare, obscure, never released (...and if it was released, it was done so far below the radar, as to be undetectable to even the most seasoned and observant collector, hence it invariably fell off the radar, ignored and long forgotten...possibly, for good reason)...

...and being a sucker for a good trailer...even one that looks so incredibly ludicrous and cheezy...it makes searching for that rare and obscure genre movie, all the more irresistible, even if it takes months...even years to find that lost and elusive genre jewel, sometimes wading through an endless sea of low-grade bootlegs, taken from out-of-print VHS tapes and cable broadcasts. And when the long-sought film finally gets a legitimate release...well, that's a good thing, too, as the old adage rears itself, suggesting that 'the journey...or the search...is a lot more fun, than reaching the destination...or finding the prize'. No problem though; it's just a matter of moving on to the next elusive and irresistible genre film. And thus, the never-ending search continues.....

June 30, 2015

Movie Review: Maggie (2015, Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: James D.

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to the art-house in a zombie drama called Maggie. Directed by first time film director Henry Hobson, we explore a scaled back Arnold who is stripped away of his action persona and those campy one liner’s. In this film he portrays everyday man Wade Vogel. Wade has a problem though, his 16 year old daughter Maggie was infected by a zombie.

As the film opens he goes to the hospital to pick her up where the nurse informs him that she is going to go into the quarantine. Wade will have none of that as he takes her home. It seems that when people are infected with this virus, they are automatically stuck in quarantine to contain the virus and not infect anyone else. While we do get some zombies here and there, Maggie is more of a drama with a horror film backdrop. As this film explores a father in the last weeks with his daughter before she fully turns into a zombie. The first time director really steers clear of the horror film clichés and zombie clichés as well. As he gives us a character study on a father coming to terms with losing his daughter and if he can truly let go of her.