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May 4, 2016

Betrothed (2016) Movie Review

Who wants to watch a movie with fresh ideas, great acting, superb execution, and that overall goosebumps inducing emotion that leaves you physically drained, but in a good way, after watching it?

Not this bitch. Originality is for suckers.

Betrothed is a useless slice of celluloid brought to us by Red Cardinal Films. It’s like a used mattress - functionally, it might still be useable but not really worth the risk of bed bugs, possible mold, and the touch of hidden stains that only show up in black light.

Mamma and her two boys, Nate and Adam, kidnap young pretty gals to be the brides of the sons. Because what doesn’t scream romance and marriage longevity like a chloroform soaked rag to the face? As they live out in the desert, about 100 miles from town, they can get away with this for as long as they want. Which works out because the ladies they choose end up dead sooner rather than later (for various reasons - don’t bear kids, are dirty whores, too flippant, etc.) 

Adam decides to kidnap Audra, a 19 year old smart-mouthed teenager home on break from college. Even though she’s kind of annoying, at least she’s smart and can play along in order to survive. While the local police don’t do shit about it, mom and a visiting detective take charge to find the young girl before it’s too late and Adam discovers she ain’t gonna be a compliant little housewife after all.

Maybe if I rolled my eyes louder you'd finally understand me, Mom!

I feel like this movie has been done a bazillion times. Kidnapping psychotic families; murdering psychotic families; bible thumping hypocrite Mamma; the small town trap; get away car running out of gas; a glossed over plot twist; the not-end ending; and on and on and on. I basically just watched this film for my last review except instead of the woods, we’re in the desert here. More Hills Have Eyes with just a skosh of Wrong Turn and a titch of TCM but without the cannibalism. Oh and a totally ripped off Leia vs. Jabba fight scene between Audra and Mamma.

Many scenes felt gratuitous. I mean, I get this is a close knit family but do we need to watch Mamma gut one of the brides WHILE Adam is fucking her? No, no we don’t. Does Nate REALLY need to chainsaw a woman while she’s still alive? No, no he doesn’t. It just seems the writers couldn’t come up with original material so they went with shock value instead.

You know, maybe I'd just like to cuddle every now and again. You ever think of that, Janet?

The sound is not great. Some of the dialogue was way too quiet but there weren’t a lot of loud effects so it was okay to have the volume cranked. The music is very generic rock that’s in every other independent B-horror film. The acting is less than stellar and the characters were cliche and over done. Though I have to admit, Adam (played by Jamie Cline), was actually very sweet, probably because he’s dumber than a bag of peat moss.

The whole film is trite, stale, and just ri-ding-dang-donculous. 

1 Middle Finger to the Eye (out of 5)





May 1, 2016

Movie Review: Luther the Geek (1990)

Directed by Carlton J. Albright

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Following a parole hearing that resembles a bar fight, it is determined that Luther Watts (Edward Terry), in spite of his previous convictions of murdering three people by tearing out their throats with his metal dentures is now a proper fit for society. Goggle-eyed, clucking Luther is free for a couple hours in rural Illinois before he thoroughly annoys some people at a supermarket and tears out the throat of a little old lady at a bus stop. Luther then covertly follows housewife Hilary (Joan Roth) to her isolated rural farmhouse and after some cat-and-mouse games, ties her to the bed. Hilary's daughter Beth (Stacy Haiduk) and her loutish boyfriend Rob (Thomas Mills) arrive at the farmhouse, and despite her mother's absence and clear evidence forced entry, engage in some hanky-panky. Luther leaps out and engages the characters in numerous chases. A youthful sheriff's deputy (J. Joseph Clarke) appears on the scene, but he's of little help. Blood sprays here and there before a bleakly comic conclusion.

Getting a strong recommendation from Fangoria editor Tony Timpone, who declared it in the vein of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Luther the Geek became a hot must-see among gore otakus, largely because of its unavailability. Unscrupulous distributors withheld the film's release, and later served hard time (as director Albright declares in the introduction to the Vinegar Syndrome Blu-Ray release). A hot item in Chas. Balun's Deep Red bootleg catalog, Luther the Geek, like the director's previous foray into horror The Children (1980), wound up on Lloyd Kaufman's Troma Studios label. Luther delivers the goods, but like most slasher films of the time suffers from some “logic issues.” Chief among them is the fact that Beth leaves her mother tied to the bed while she hides underneath as Luther leaves the farmhouse for extended periods of time! A character's outright stupidity in films of this type usually lessens the blow dealt prior to their death scenes, but Beth's demise carries unusual poignancy later on. The ending scene is also remarkable for its mixture of black humor and irony, elevating it far above the typical indie horror fare for its era. Seeing this film many years later, I was taken on just how closely it resembles the Austrian art-house horror film Angst (1988).

The restoration offered by Vinegar Syndrome is top-drawer. The colors and image are impeccable, and this reviewer was hard-pressed to find any evidence of print damage anywhere. Anyone familiar with Vinegar Syndrome releases will know that this company breaks up the action with “Reels” in lieu of chapter stops, and there are extras galore for this release.

Under the heading of “New Extras” is a full-length commentary with director Albright. The commentary is full of anecdotes, and Albright mentions how the makeup man  felt the film would succeed or fail on the basis of his prosthetic work! “Foul Play” is a 10-minute conversation with actor Jerry Clarke, who played the trooper in the film. He shows examples of his paintings and recalls the shoot as one where he wrassled through “chicken shit.” There is a six minute chat with the loquacious director, “A Conversation with Carlton.” The film's ultra-rare theatrical release trailer is also offered.

Under the heading of “Old Extras” there is a two-minute plus conversation with the director's son Will Albright and how as a young boy he bonded with actor Terry – referred to as “The Freak” in the end credits - during filming. Director Albright then explicates the circumstances surrounding certain scenes in different segments such as “the Shower Scene,” “The Old Lady Bite Scene,” “The Fight Scene,” and “The Final Scene.” Also included is a trailer for Albright's notorious first horror feature, The Children. One who has seen this feature for its black finger-nailed children who embrace their parents for radioactive hugs can never forget it – it was at one time adapted into a musical comedy for the stage!  

Most telling among this clutch of extras is a five-minute chat with Albright about how he came up with the idea for the film. He was having a roundtable discussion with his children when they started to exclaim “that he or she was a 'geek.'” Familiar with the old carny description as a geek as an end-stage alcoholic conned into biting the head off of chickens for a bottle, Albright's imagination went from there. The geek phenomenon is best described in both the novel and film Nightmare Alley (1954), starring Tyrone Power.

Your author was at onetime described by a morally challenged person as an “ubergeek.” While intended as a term of endearment, I have long railed against the term to describe someone with a particular interest on a given topic who is then inspired to do research. As I have noted previously, those without ANY interests, in my humble estimation, are the REAL geeks.

April 29, 2016

The Horde (2016) Movie Review

While I await my next CHC box of tripe…I mean, care package, Jeff was kind enough to send me a few on-line screeners to occupy my time. I wish I had been able to watch this one before the Motor City Nightmares convention because I would have been able to talk to Costas Mandylor about his role.

Or, you know, just stand in front of him giggling like a 13 year old virgin.

313 Films offers us The Horde, a happy little film about a horde (duh) of mutant cannibals being bossed around by a trio of psychopathic escaped convicts, led by Cylas (Mandylor). They attack people who decide to camp out in ‘their’ woods and the current targets are a class of photography students (their names aren’t important), their teacher, Selina, and her ex-Navy Seal fiancé, John.

The boys are taken as ‘meat’ and the girls, as they are ‘breeders’, get the privilege of NOT being sent to the butcher but instead nailed down or chained up to be available for nookies with the inbred mutated members of this group. Too bad nobody could kill John because he rides in to the rescue and pretty much kicks everyone's ass.

Oh, did I spoil it for you?

Didn’t think so.

Why yes, my mother IS a diseased oak tree. How did you know?

While this is not a great film, or even all that good, it does have a lot of enjoyable moments: Cylas’ first appearance; the kills/tortures; the fight scenes are good (which they should be considering Paul Logan, who plays John, is a martial artist); and the ending is pretty epic. 

The look of the film is clean and professional. A lot of the scenes happen at night or in the dark but I could still see everything. The sound was clear. I never felt I had to increase the volume to hear dialogue then worry about my ears bleeding when the sound effects kicked in.

Costas and Bill Moseley are pretty much the only good actors in this whole film. I literally shouted ‘yay’ at Bill’s first appearance. Okay maybe the sheriff, too (Nestor Serrano). Otherwise, it feels like amateur hour all over the place. The characters, particularly the students, are so cliche and stereotypical: horny couple, douche bag rich kid, socially awkward, and the fiancé of an ex-Navy Seal who doesn’t like guns. By the end of the film I’m pretty fucking sure she wished she let him bring his weapon along.

How DARE you insult my cooking!

The story wasn’t particularly original either. The whole thing felt like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Hills Have Eyes started a band but ended up having sex backstage at Studio 54 and dumped the resulting script in a home for lackadaisical writers. Cannibal backwoods mutants? Vague warning from unknown passerby? Local skeevy assholes? The former military boyfriend who uses his soldier skills to save the day?

*yawn*

Costas is reason enough to tune in. He’s a great bad guy, though I wish he had a bit more screen time. The fight scenes and kills are worth sticking around for - they are a lot of fun to watch. So even though there is an overall lackluster cloud surrounding the movie, it remains interesting enough to enjoy. Maybe wear a gas mask while you watch.


2 Hatchets (out of 5)



April 28, 2016

Silent Screams: Edison's Frankenstein (1910)

Aaah, Thomas Edison. American inventor. The catalyst for the electric (and electronic) age and the man that we can thank as the root of this curious little thing we call the internet and, to many people's surprise, an early inventor of the motion picture camera! Edison invented a film camera around the same time of the Lumiere Brothers in France (and actually shot one of the first 'gore' films: a short called "The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots" in 1896 that featured a gruesome beheading... more on that later). In 1910, though, the Edison Studios (without the direct participation of TE, unfortunately) filmed this short version of Mary Shelley's classic tale. It has erroneously been called the first horror film (just wait, we will be posting that soon) but it is the first adaptation of the novel and does feature a fairly complex 'creating the monster' scene in an early attempt at special effects. The making of the monster (with chemicals and potions as opposed to collecting body parts) was created by burning a wax dummy and running the film backwards. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This film, shot entirely at the Edison Studios and released in May of 1910, was considered lost for half a decade when a nitrate print was discovered in Wisconsin in 1970.

The film was written and directed by J. Searle Dawley and stars Augustus Phillips as Dr. Frankenstein, Mary Fuller as Elizabeth and, in a wonderfully expressive performance, Charles Ogle as The Monster.

And, without further adieu, fiends... Edison's Frankenstein.

April 26, 2016

Movie Review: Society (1989, Blu-ray)

Directed by Brian Yuzna

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Bill Whitney (played by TV regular Billy Warlock) is almost too cool for school. He has a rich, Beverly Hills family, born into a life of privilege and is popular and well-liked at school. Luckily for viewers – as otherwise there would be no story to hang all the perversity on – things are not quite right at home. Eschewing drugs, he walks in on his sister Jenny (Patrice Jennings) showering, and it appears her body is contorted through the frosted glass mirror. When one of Jenny’s ex-boyfriends (Tim Bartell) presents Bill with a clandestine tape, things go from bad to worse. The recording appears to be of his parents encouraging his sister to engage in a perverse orgy, advising her to “shunt,” a word which takes a horrific meaning later on.

Bill’s friends begin to die in mysterious ways, and lots of images foreshadow what’s to come later on – a rival plants an inflatable love doll in his jeep with a doll sticking out of its mouth, and Bill is doused with suntan lotion.

Everyone knows by now – save the people who caught the climactic 20 minutes while channel surfing, which doubtlessly stopped them dead in their tracks, that Bill’s family turns out to be a race of super beings who gather with other like-minded beings for an viscous orgy called “the Shunt.” The Whitneys and their other too-rich and too-thin friends meld bodies, twist into bits of latex and gobble up the less fortunate at their slimy soirees.

April 18, 2016

TV Review: 11.22.63 (Hulu Original, 2016)

Stephen King is no stranger to having his books turned into miniseries. Some, like It, are considered classics. Others, like The Langoliers or the 1970s version of Salem's Lot, are kind of cheesy or even plain terrible. Still more, like the Steven Weber led The Shining, which is superior to the Kubrick film (Not sorry. That movie is awful and dull.), will never get their proper due. To me, most of King's works are told best in long form. It gives them room to breathe. This doesn't take away from the amazing features made from his books, but sometimes miniseries is bettah. See what I did there? I'm hilarious.

This is the case with 11.22.63. My wife and I just called it the Franco show, because while the numbers make the title look short, Eleven Twenty-two Sixty-three is a mouthful. The story is interesting. What if you could stop the Kennedy assassination? That's the task diner owner Al (Chris Cooper) gives to his friend Jake (James Franco). Al has tried many times, but every time he gets close, something goes wrong. Now he's at the end of a losing battle with cancer, and he's passing the torch. A portal exists in the back of his diner, and when you walk through it, you're in the same spot exactly three years before the assassination. Whatever you do in the past becomes part of the timeline when you come back, but if you pass through the portal again, time resets. This comes in handy if you screw up.

April 12, 2016

Movie Review: Infidelity (Digital Playground - 2016)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - April 12, 2016

Starring :

Abella Danger
Alix Lynx
Aria Alexander
Christiana Cinn
Eva Lovia
Veruca James
Charles Dera
Jake Jace
John Strong
Tommy Pistol

JOIN DIGITAL PLAYGROUND

Synopsis
A group of horny friends lie and cheat as they explore outside the boundaries of their relationships for stimulation, only to discover that what they are seeking may have been right in front of them all along.

(Runtime - 2 hr. 34 mins.)
———————

It's true, whether we like it or not, that infidelity exists.  Everyday, there is someone, somewhere, who is unfaithful to their significant other - married or not.  The latest offering from DIGITAL PLAYGROUND, and Director Robby D, explores the subject with this film, aptly titled INFIDELITY.  In INFIDELITY, we are introduced to a select group of friends, who all know one another.  But as we would find, this group is connected to one another, in more ways than one.  It is revealed that out of the group of friends, no one is innocent, despite outward appearances.  Ricky has been married to his wife, "Tess"(Eva Lovia) for 3 years now.  However, what she doesn't know is that Ricky has been seeing Tess's best friend "Stephanie"(Christiana Cinn) on the side.  And what he doesn't know, is that she has been seeing her boss, "Mick"(John Strong).  Mick, just so happens to be "Sam's" stepdad, who is "Stephanie's" boyfriend.  Who is seeing "Kayla"(Abella Danger) secretly.  And then there is "Kim"(Alix Lynx), whose boyfriend is "Keith"(Charles Dera), whom has just started a steamy affair with "Cee Cee"(Aria Alexander), Kim's friend.  Yet, it is Kim herself, who seems to like to fool around with friends, "Tiffany(Veruca James), and Stephanie(we assume).  Yes, it is one small group of friends, yet they weave a very tangled web of cheating.  All of which comes to a head, when almost everyone meets up for Tess' Birthday party, which is being held at a club on a certain Saturday.

April 10, 2016

Movie Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (aka Dr. Jekyll and His Women, 1981)

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

In Victorian, fog-shrouded London, the engagement party of Dr. Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) and Fanny Osbourne (Marina Pierro) is underway at a stately manse. Among their many guests are bellicose general (Patrick Magee, the only actor who has to retain his authentic voice for the English language version of the film) (Jesus Franco go-to lead Howard Vernon). Something is not right – an innocent young girl has been beaten to within an inch of her life nearby and a deadly figure begins to stalk the home, murdering and raping the guests. It’s Jekyll's alter ego Edward Hyde (Gérard Zalcberg), transformed after a chemical dip in amber liquid in the bathtub. Fanny is first horrified – but then insists that what is good for the gander is good for the goose and takes a similar dip. Unleashing both their primal, animalistic sides, Fanny and Hyde decimate the remaining guests and set the house ablaze.

The above story is very tragic – but as this supplement-heavy Btu-Ray from Arrow Video (comparable Criterion Collection releases pale in comparison) attests to, the real tragedy was the fact that Walerian Borowczyk was a serious, artistic filmmaker who was pressed out of economic necessity to helm soft and hardcore pornography along with B-grade horror.

Borowcyzk, while creating works of erotica, appeared to have a dim view on this method to get paying customers into theaters. A two-minute short included on this disc, Happy Toy (1979) features simple Victorian rotoscoped images (a girl skipping rope, boys jumping) which through a few haphazard frames is rendered pornographic. A police officer’s whistle is heard, and the film ends. It must be noted that while there is sexual content in Dr. Jekyll, with longing looks at the barely draped Pierro, the blood and gore is all patently unrealistic and ridiculous.

Borowczyk’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne is a low-budget Gothic horror (albeit one with Academy Award-level photography and unusually strong cast) played in a single setting. However, as film fanatic Michael Brooke says in his 32-minute plus appreciation included on this disc says, it was more than enough to send him scurrying into researching Borowczyk’s other films as a result into what initially began as a side-trip in a flea-bag theater on a slow day. Doesn’t it always start that way?

It’s a mixture of fanaticism and love that informs this Blu-Ray release, clearly the be-all and end-all of all things Borowcyzk. We begin with the commentary track: Not one, but SIX edited together commentaries from the film's cinematographer Noel Very, editor Khadica Beriha, assistant Michael Levy, filmmaker Noeli Simsoio, moderated by Daniel Bird – all recorded in different years on different continents – as well as an archived interview with Borowcyzk himself! WOW! All of the interview subject sing of Walerian's accomplishments as an artist of most every discipline (filmmaking, sculpture, painting).

Then there are the interviews: an 11-minute interview with star Udo Kier, who was initially approached by Walerian to be involved in a project about Gilles de Rais, a medieval monster who raped and killed scores of helpless boys. There is also a 20-minute interview with actor Marina Pierro, one of Walerian's closest collaborators and supporters. She shares that while they both shared interest in surrealist art, that she was cast in Walerian's projects based on her looks. An interview with Sarah Mollinson discusses Walerian's collaborations with Hungarian animator Piotr Foldes, whose most recognizable work was the early computer animation short “Hunger,” a horrific short seen frequently on public television that traumatized many young viewers, ye reviewer included.

Included in the short film section is Borowcyzk's final film, the 16-minute Himorogi, combines all of Borowcyzk previous obsessions: animation, black-and-white juxtaposed with color imagery, and the life of inanimate objects. Included in the interview section is a 10-minute interview with Pierro who describes Walerian's unique working and artistic processes.

Other extras on this disc are the 15-minute “Phantasmagoria of the Interior” by Adrian Martin and Christina Alvarez Lopez, a visual essay n the repeat motifs found in this film and the director’s other work.

There is also the featurette “Eyes That Listen” on avant-garde composer Bernard Parmegiani, 10 minutes long that details his film score for the film at hand and other Borowcysk features. There is the brief six-minute short “Return to Méliès: Borowczyk and Early Cinema,” on the director’s love with silent film. There is the film’s theatrical trailer, a reversible sleeve with artwork with the film’s original poster design. And an exhaustively researched booklet.

Anyone with a passing interest in European cinema and Borowczyk should scoop this up toot sweet.

April 8, 2016

Movie Review: The American Dreamer (1971)

Directed by Lawrence Schiller, L. M. Kit Carson

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Just before the disastrous premiere of Dennis Hopper's The Last Movie (1971), compatriots Lawrence Schiller and L. M. Kit Carson hung out at Dennis Hopper's hippie compound in Taos, New Mexico to document what the countercultural phenomenon – ever since his breakthrough feature Easy Rider (1969) that was then – Dennis Hopper. Those expecting a spokesman for a new generation were probably soundly disappointed. Like his contemporary William S. Burroughs, Hopper was an unabashed fan of the Second Amendment (“I think that, in our lifetime, a man without a gun is a fool.”). Even worse, his view on the fairer sex was strictly in line with Hugh Hefner's, if not belonging to the 18th Century's. Women were strictly a commodity to Hopper at that time and were intended to be exploited. A crisis arises after dicking around, sitting around talking about approaches to life and art, the filmmakers become acutely aware that the project at hand has no commercial potential and Hopper remedies this by recruiting some hippie bimbos from a nearby airport and fills the camera's lens with POOOOOO – SAAAAAAY. It all falls apart – as was Hopper's career following the debacle that was The Last Movie.

The American Dreamer only makes sense when set against the trajectory of Hopper's progression as a screen star. Cutting his teeth on low-budget exploitation movies with roles in Night Tide (1963) and Queen of Blood (1967), both directed by his friend Curtis Harrington, Hopper made it big with Easy Rider (1969), a rambling free-form road picture about two hippie bikers' cross-country trek across America. Easy Rider was a smash hit for near bankrupt Paramount Pictures, inspiring other filmmakers to cash in on this “hippie thing.” Giving one of the masterminds of this Cinematic Youthquake unlimited reign, Hopper would sort-of direct and sort-of complete The Last Movie, about an American film crew's negative influence on a Peruvian tribe. Starring Julie Adams from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1956), Adams pops up in the film to assure the viewers that Hopper's heart was in the right place.

Movie Review: Frightmare (1983, Vinegar Syndrome)

I’m not sure I can come up with an intro for this review. The premise of this film is just so…beyond ridiculous. I mean, I know it’s from the 80s and cocaine was the driving force of the time, which should explain everything, but I just can’t even.

Frightmare begins with Conrad Radzoff, a big name old movie star who has been relegated to the kiddie table of the acting community - television commercials. The director is sick of Conrad’s fuck ups and berates the legend in front of everyone. Luckily Conrad knows how to handle such situations with grace and dignity - he pushes the director off a balcony to his death.

Like you do.

While the rest of the world may not remember how important he is, never fear. The Horror Society of a local college invites him to a presentation honoring him and his life’s work. This is exactly what Conrad’s ego needs and HOLY FUCK IS THAT JEFFREY COMBS AS ONE OF THE STUDENTS?? Yaaaaasssssss!

April 7, 2016

Movie Reviews: With this Ring (New Sensations - 2011)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - April 7, 2016

Starring :

Katie Jordin
Bobbi Starr
Marie McCray
Jessie Andrews
Richie Calhoun
Michael Vegas
Xander Corvus
Giovanni Francesco

Synopsis

When four couples live together under the same roof, something is bound to go wrong. And that something happens when Alice (Katie Jordin) finds a diamond engagement ring hidden inside a cabinet! A myriad of thoughts and emotions overcome the girls when Alice tells them of her find. Who is the lucky girl? Is it too soon? Is it too late? Is this Mr. Right or Mr. Not So Right? A whirlwind of emotions hits everybody by surprise as the girls try to discover which one of their boyfriends intends to propose. And with this ring, they just might learn how to appreciate each other a little more.

(Runtime - 1 hr. 50 mins.)
———————

The film, WITH THIS RING, tells the story of a group of friends, who all live under the same roof.  Among them are 3 couples; "Alice"(Katie Jordin) and "Chaz"(Xander Corvus), "Kayla"(Marie McCray) and "Xavier"(Giovanni Francesco) and "Bailey"(Jessie Andrews) and "Jack"(Richie Calhoun), and then there is "Stephanie"(Bobbi Starr), who is still reeling fr,om a rocky college romance with "Max"(Michael Vegas).  It's a comfortable and convenient living arrangement for all involved.  However, things are shaken up when Katie makes a startling discovery.  When unable to locate her car keys, she fetches her spare set from the cabinet, however, to her surprise, her keys are not the only thing she finds.  Because she also finds an engagement ring.  It's a discovery which puzzles the ladies of the house, as each of them ponder to whom it could be.  Both confused, but anxious, the ladies aren't sure about what to do.  This is when the lone, mutual friend, Stephanie, proposes that they preform a few tests on their men, to hopefully reveal, just who was responsible for planting the ring.  The ladies from there, try different methods, in an attempt to get their men to crack, however, little do they all know, that the guys themselves, have already made a pact, not to succumb to the idea of settling down.  This leads to much confusion as suspicion continues to linger, as everyone wonders - "Who bought the ring?", and "Who is it for?".

Movie Review: Paradise City (Digital Playground - 2015)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - January 6, 2016

Starring :

Aidra Fox
Carmen Caliente
Chanel Preston
Hope Howell
Kenna James
Samantha Rone
Summer Brielle
Tasha Reign
Bradley Remington
Bruce Venture
Daniel Hunter
Evan Stone
Ryan Driller

Synopsis
Larry and Annie, a married couple find themselves in the toughest of times. After losing his job, Larry finds himself struggling to support his family and must move in with his arrogant brother, in addition to working in his firm! Before they head to his place the couple spends a night at a bed and breakfast called Paradise City, but it’s really a colony of nudists, free love and lots of sex! The couple witnesses a lovemaking extravaganza, but drive off the next day. Reality sets in for the couple, Larry’s brother is a jerk that bangs his mistress during the day, and his wife is a drunk. They race back to Paradise City and are welcomed back with open arms. To celebrate their return, the community starts a group orgy that allows them to release their frustration and sexual inhibitions. This new lifestyle might be the best thing to happen to them!

(Runtime - 2 hr. 26 mins.)
———————

In this production from DIGITAL PLAYGROUND and Director Jakodema titled PARADISE CITY, married couple, "Larry"(Daniel Hunter) and "Annie:(Aidra Fox), have fallen on hard times.  It turns out that Larry has recently lost his job - and seeing as his earnings were the couple's biggest source of income, they are having to move out of their apartment, and the city.  With no place else to go, Larry and Annie have no other alternative, but to pack up and move in with Larry's older brother Gary(Ryan Driller).  However, truth be told, the two of them do not get along, and moving in with his brother, is something that Larry dreads doing - but alas - they hit the road, and head for his mansion in the hills.  However, before they arrive there, they make a little pit stop along the way for the night, when they arrive to a place called, "Paradise City" - a most unique Bed and Breakfast experience.  Resembling a hippie nudist colony, the place's eccentric and charismatic leader "Condor"(Evan Stone) describes Paradise City as a "place apart from the world that is corporate, a place where your spirit can soar" - and that is exactly what Paradise City is.  Larry and Annie stay overnight at the Bed and Breakfast, and witness the joys of love and sex(while also experiencing a little, themselves), it's a good kick off to their otherwise dreaded trip.  But eventually they do make it over to Gary's house, and Larry soon takes a job at his brother's firm, however, Larry is disappointed to find that it is not the accountant job that his brother had promised, by instead, a lowly desk job.  From there, things at the brother's house only seem to get worse, worsening the experience for Larry an Annie - Gary is more arrogant than ever, not to mention that he constantly argues with his wife, "Alexis"(Chanel Preston). who is an obvious alcoholic - and whom he is cheating on.  It soon becomes too much for the struggling couple to bare, as they pack up, and hit the road, almost as fast as they came.  From there, it's almost a given, as to where their journey would take them next.  Back to Paradise City, of course.  Larry and Annie eventually return to the almost surreal place, as Condor, and his followers in the name of free love, welcome them with open arms, as they treat them to their sexual luxuries, Luxuries which include orgies and threesomes!  But when a fight causes a rift between Larry and Annie, the two split briefly, as Larry returns to Gary's and back to work, as Annie stays behind. However, while there, Larry soon takes note of his unhappiness, and realizes that with Annie is where his true happiness lies. Meanwhile, it is his little brother's revelation that is enough to make Gary himself question his own happiness in life, which in turn causes the bothers to do what is right for each of them.  While Gary goes home to break it off with Alexis, Larry races back to Paradise City to retrieve his wife.  However, Larry runs into a slight problem, when Condor claims her for his own, as he says he has plans to move away with her to Aspen.  However, as we learn, Condor's plans don't go over as planned as soon, someone unexpectedly throws a wrench into them.

April 6, 2016

Sex Bots: Programmed For Pleasure (Wicked Pictures - 2016)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - April 6, 2016

Starring :
Asa Akira
Jessica Drake
Stormy Daniels
Brad Armstrong
Dirk Huge
Eric John
Eric Masterson
Jovan Jordan
Marco Banderas
Ramon Nomar
Steve Holmes
Tommy Gunn

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Synopsis
Award winning director Brad Armstrong looks into the future where scientists have created the Ultimate Sexual Companion, and after a decade of work they’ve achieved perfection. But the day before the Asa Doll (Asa Akira) is set to be unveiled to the world, she malfunctions and fucks the lead scientist to death. The lab goes into lockdown and Asa comes face to face with 8 security technicians. Before they know what hit them, Asa is fucking them into submission in the biggest gangbang of her career, and it’s absolutely incredible! But the action doesn’t stop there. Next she comes across two other Sexbots (Jessica drake & Stormy Daniels) and activates them for an incredible “interface” session. It’s the first time these three Superstars have been on camera together, and it will go down in porn history. Get ready for an action packed sci-fi erotic adventure into the future of sexual gratification.

(Runtime - 1 hr. 34 mins.)
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In SEX BOTS: PROGRAMMED FOR PLEASURE, Professor Nolan Keller(Brad Armstrong), a Scientist at Real Doll Industries, has, for the last decade worked on a Top Secret project called "EVE".  The purpose of EVE, is create the world's ultimate "companion" droid.  The program excelled when Keller and his team, discovered a genetic mutation, which allowed them to produce a life-like outer skin.  From there, Keller continued on, rendering the perfect droid in the "Asa Doll"(Asa Akira).  After years of development, It is now the day before Keller is to release his ultimate creation onto the world, but first, he decides to give her one last test run.  He activates the droid for sex, which she soon complies with, just as she is programmed to do.  But unfortunately, the otherwise hot round of sex between the Scientist and his creation, leads to something going terribly wrong.  The sex is so hot and heavy, that it causes the "Asa Doll" to malfunction, and soon she goes haywire, as she displays an insatiable hunger for "more" sex.  It is just too much for Nolan to bare, as the "Asa Doll", literally fucks him to death.  However, in an act of desperation, Keller is able to hit the panic button, shortly before his death.  This puts the lab on lockdown, and sends 8 security technicians into motion, as they attempt to shutdown the sex-craving droid.  But, as we would find, even they are no match for temptation, as they too, fall prey to the Asa Doll's sexual allure.  From there, as the doll craves more and more of what she was made for, Asa takes on the guys, as part of a 9 person gangbang.  This would have been enough for any woman to handle, however, being an ani-bot - she was built for it.  Still instilled with the craving, and the urge for sexual pleasure, The "Asa Doll" soon discovers 2 other droids(Jessica Drake and Stormy Daniels), which are very much like her.  Once activated, the 3 droids waste no time getting down to what they are programmed to do best, as the partake in a monumental three-way.  In the end, after all 3 find pleasure, and with no Scientists in sight to stop them, they wander into the unknown, that is the outside world, to hopefully spread pleasure - one person at a time.

April 2, 2016

Movie Review: The Happy Ending (1969, Blu-ray)

Directed by Richard Brooks

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Mary Wilson (Director Brooks' real-life wife Jean Simmons) is like so many other women in 1969 America. Married to a cheerful workaholic husband (John Forsyth) – not above mixing business with pleasure that his high-profile job brings – Wilson plunges into what diversions her suburban lifestyle can afford. Face lifts, health clubs where the gals can relax with a stiff cocktail in the back, shopping, pills (as supplied by her enabling maid, Nanette Fabray), diets … it all collides into alcoholism and drunk driving charges. Feeling stifled, she jets off to the Bahamas where she runs into her old school friend Flo (Shirley Jones), now a “professional mistress.” While soaking up the rays, she has a fling with greasy hustler Bobby Darrin, before returning home where she negotiates a not-so traditional “happy ending.”

As the ubiquitous Julie Kirgo notes in her liner notes for this Twilight Time Blu-Ray release, limited to 3,000 copies, The Happy Ending was a deeply personal project for director Brooks and wife Simmons. It was during this time, married to the difficult and much-married Brooks that Simmons admitted to a real-life problem with alcohol. A professional actor at the age of 14, her performance in this film was something of a valedictory statement for Simmons, who at the time was not yet 40 years of age. Bravely, Brooks and Simmons made sure that those who came to the film expecting an escapist, sudsy soap opera were given front row center to the gravity of the situation. During an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Simmons is taken to the hospital and graphically has her stomach pumped as hard-as-nails doctors and nurses brush her aside as “just one of those” housewives. Plowing into a police car after having one too many at an anonymous dive bar, Simmons is then forced to endure a humiliating session with detectives who threaten to film her “walk the line” attempts in court.

Movie Review: Fat City (1972, Blu-ray)

Directed by John Houston

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

In dusty, dreary Stockton, California – a blue collar 'burg where the main activity is trying to find a way out, Billy (Stacy Keach) is a former boxer, 30 years old and going on 50. Reigniting his passion to return to the ring, he meets up with a fresh-faced teen boxer Ernie (Jeff Bridges) while training . Becoming fast friends, things are looking up for awhile. Bridges marries his sweet-faced girlfriend Faye (Candy Clarke) and starts his family, while Keach falls in love with the blowsy alcoholic barfly Oma (the incredible Susan Tyrrell, nominated for Best Supporting Actress), on the rebound after her African American boyfriend (Curtis Coates) winds up cooling his jets in jail. Both Keach and Bridges are lined up for a semi-professional boxing bout – but quickly learn that victory in the ring doesn't necessarily translate to other areas.

It was with some trepidation that I saw that John Houston's classic Fat City slipped out of the envelope for me to review … but we'll get to that in a moment. As film scholars point out, Houston was fascinated with characters operating on the fringes of society and with the concept of failure. Photographed by the great Conrad Hall (The Day of the Locust, 1975), Fat City – a term used to describe a big payday after a long dry spell, plunges the audience into what is a seemingly hopeless world. But as Keach explains in a drunken haze towards the end of the film, “Before you can get rolling, your life makes a beeline to the drain.” The people who populate Fat City are in desperate straits, but yet find a reason to wake up in the morning to greet the day. 

Movie Review: The New Barbarians (1983, Blu-ray)

The premise of this film sounded a lot like that stinker I reviewed a month or so ago - Escape from the Bronx. And what’s this? The same guys who wrote that wrote this? Which is also a dystopian future? And bad guys are running around killing people? And it’s filled with Italian actors and terribleness?

Way to raise the bar for yourselves, guys.

The New Barbarians (as opposed to the old kind?) takes place in 2019. A nuclear war has decimated the country and the population. Small bands of people try to survive on what they can scrounge in this wasteland while searching for signs that civilization still exists elsewhere via large and over-complicated ham radios.

Cue The Templars, a group of thieving Mad Max wannabes in Xanadu costumes. They believe the world is dead and any survivors they find deserve to die. You know, after taking all their shit. And they don’t just kill people. They have dirt bikes and sand rails equipped with bazookas, flamethrowers, and rotating blades! They will purify the world with blood! Just not their own

We then meet Scorpion, a former Templar, now loner bad-ass. When he saves Alma, she of the thigh high boots and no pants (because Future Fashion sense) from a Templar attack, word gets back to their leader, One, who wants to take some serious revenge out on Scorpion’s hide. Alma just wants to give him her goodies in his light up inflatable bouncy house (aka tent).

April 1, 2016

Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

The eight film from Quentin Tarantino brings yet another all-star cast filled with incredible
performances.  Along with great dialogue, the violence was definitely not lacking.  I was originally going to see this movie as part of the 70mm Road Show.  There were about 100 movie theaters across the United States that were showing The Hateful Eight on actual film as opposed to the digital projectors.  I was excited to enjoy the viewing experience but the cost was double what I ended up paying a week later to watch it digitally.  The film is still beautiful, and I had a great time.

The Hateful Eight takes place in the state of Wyoming where a blizzard is sweeping through. Throughout the movie, you find yourself trying to figure out who the bad guy, or perhaps bad guys, are.  This proves difficult as all of the characters are more sinners than they are saints.

Kurt Russell is the bounty hunter John Ruth and he aims to collect when he delivers Daisy Domergue who is played amazingly by Jennifer Jason Leigh.  With their stagecoach driver O.B.(James Parks) hey cross paths with Samuel Jackson who played the part of Major Marquis Warren and later run into Walton Goggins' character, Chris Mannix.  These four characters have reputations that proceed them, so everyone has an idea of who they're dealing with and it's explained why everyone is on edge.

March 30, 2016

The Devil in Miss Jones: The Resurrection (Vivid - 2010)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - March 30, 2016

Starring :

Belladonna
Savanna Samson
Penny Flame
Victoria Sin
Rebeca Linares
Carmella Bing
Steven St. Croix
Tom Byron
Evan Stone
James Bartholet
Nick Manning
Kurt Lockwood

Synopsis
Adult's greatest title, re-imagined through the eyes of adult's most awarded director, Paul Thomas, and starring Savanna Samson and Belladonna! Featuring six classic anal scenes as scorching as the fires of hell, surrounded by a cautionary tale as old as Satan himself: Young Miss Jones, an aspiring journalist... oblivious to the human carnage she leaves in her wake. Pandora, enjoying the high life in Hollywood. Both have no idea they're being groomed by the devil to spawn the next generation of demons and every one of their shuddering orgasms brings them closer to their hellish fate!

(Runtime - 2 hr. 31 mins.)
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In this original re-imagining of THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES, titled THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES: THE RESURRECTION, "Melinda Jones"(Belladonna) is a young journalist for the Seattle Free Press, who is looking for her big break.  She finds it, when her research leads to the capture of a gun-toting criminal, known as "The Halloween Bandit"(Steven St. Croix).  It is a story which soon brings headlines, and also national attention for the young writer, as many people are put on notice.  This would include one, "Pandora Phoenix"(Savanna Samson), who wishes to bring Melinda to Los Angeles to have her write for her paper.  It is an opportunity that Melinda takes without a second thought.  Soon, Melinda and her boyfriend arrive in LA, and it doesn't take Pandora long to give Miss Jones her first assignment.  She is to go check up on a Psychic to the stars named "Destiny", who is accused of working in black magic and Voodoo,  Pandora is looking for Melinda to write an article that basically debunks the legitimacy of the woman.  However, contrary to what she is to write, Destiny's abilities do prove otherwise, as she reveals to her some rather startling news.  She tells Melinda that Jason, her current boyfriend isn't the right man for her, and that soon, she is destined to be with someone else soon, and that, that someone is "coming" soon.  However, despite the ominous warnings, Melinda follows through as planned with the article.  Pleased with her efficiency, Pandora wastes no time in getting her on to her next bit of reporting.  She learns that a Reverend, by the name of "Billy Milford"(Tom Byron), despite having a clean cut, man of God reputation to the public, behind the scenes, indulges in sinful activity.  Activity that involves sex with hookers.  And speaking of hookers, one such lady, named "Violet Ray" looks to out the good Reverend, as she plans to sell her story to whomever should pay the most.  What Pandora and her people want Melinda to do, is to do what she can to discredit the woman, before she can successfully sell her incriminating story to the press.  It is something that Melinda is against, however, to please her new boss, she agrees to do the story.  Melinda meets with Violet, who details her experiences with the Reverend, an explanation, which leads the women into having sex.  Afterward. the young hooker expresses a desire to get out of the skin trade, but not before she makes enough money.  From there, Melinda proposes a scenario to Violet that might bring her an extra thrill, as well as money - having sex along the train tracks.  You know, the thrill of two things coming at once - the train, as well as the guy.  It is something that Ray tries, but unfortunately, it results in her death the next day.  Prior to this, Jones however, had already written up her discrediting story.  So, at this point, both of Melinda's latest stories have ended in both tragedy, slander and false information.  Things are certainly not going well for Melinda in LA.  However, for Pandora and her people, it has actually been going as planned.  As everything up until that point has been a test,  It's because that Pandora and her men, "John Haththorne"(Evan Stone) and "Dorian"(Nick Manning), are in fact, not of this Earth.  They are actually a trio of hellish henchmen assigned to scout for a possible bearer of the Devil's spawn.  Unfortunately for Melinda Jones, her recent actions make her more than qualified for the job.

March 29, 2016

Movie Review: The New Devil in Miss Jones (Vivid - 2005)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - March 29, 2016

Starring :
Savanna Samson
Jenna Jameson
Roxanne Hall
Angelica Sin
Cameron
Brooke Alexander
Rachel Rotten
Vicky Vette
Jessica Jaymes
Tony Tedeschi
Alec Metro
Jeremy Steele
Nick Manning
Anthony Hardwood
Mario Rossi
Kris Slater
Rob Rotten
Dick Smothers Jr.
Damien Childs

Synopsis
Paul Thomas reimagines adult cinema's greatest masterpiece in a brand new Devil in Miss Jones that Adult Video News is heralding a milestone! In it, Savanna (Miss Jones) is a virgin suicide who begs Jenna (The Devil) to grant her just a little more time on Earth before her descent into hell. Jenna obliges...but only if Miss Jones totally and completely surrenders herself to the sins of the flesh!

(Runtime - 1 hr. 49 mins.)
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In this re-imagining, THE NEW DEVIL IN MISS JONES, the virgin, "Justine Jones"(Savanna Samson), goes about the day - which happens to be her Birthday, like any other day.  She wakes up, showers, eats some cereal, and heads to the office building in which she works.  Despite a seemingly normal start of the day, she begins to recognize subtle oddities about the persons and things around her.  subtleties that soon become blatant as the day roll on.  It appears as though sex is in the air, whether Justine is just a spectator, or she is involved.  Suddenly the once virgin, is no more, as Jones indulges in the sex around her.  It is a day of lust, that seems to keep no time.  That is until an evil entity, in the form of Justine's boss, "Miss Devlin"(Jenna Jameson), informs Jones that her time is running out.  Justine is confused.  What time is she speaking of?  As it turns out, reality is cold and hard for Justine, as she learns that she has died.  A victim of suicide, the day filled with sex, which she has been experiencing, just so happens to be part of an agreement that she made with Satan following her death.  She was to live out one final day, as she desired, stating that she wished to be engulfed in lust and sex.  She most certainly got what she wanted.  But unfortunately, she forgot about one key stipulation.  That after the day is done, she would be banished to the bowels of hell for eternity.

March 28, 2016

Movie Review: Throat: A Cautionary Tale (Vivid - 2009)

Reviewed by: Rick L. Blalock   - March 28, 2016

Starring :

Sasha Grey
Penny Flame
Kelly Wells
Emilianna
Aliana Love
Megan Monroe
Carmen McCarthy
Allie Foster
Beverly Hills
Brynn Tyler
Ricki Raxxx
Tom Byron
Herschel Savage
Evan Stone
Voodoo
Lee Stone
Trent Tesoro
Marco Banderas
Jerry
Big Pike
Rocco Reed
Jordan Lane
Jarod Diamond
Jack Logan

Synopsis
A beautiful young woman is found dead in a field amidst shards of broken glass. Who was she? Why did she die? Who killed her? We move back in time to her life as a young student, waiting tables, unable to make ends meet. She takes a job in a peep show where she learns, to her great amazement, that the seat of her sexuality is in her throat. Suddenly her sex life, always a pretense of pleasure, changes dramatically.  But where she sees pleasure, her boyfriend sees profit...and pushes ''The Girl With The Golden Throat'' up the ladder of success, from peep show to private clients to featuring in a major club called The Zone.  Tired of being used, she snaps...and attempts to bite off the cock of the biggest porn star in history...leading to her own tragic demise. And of course, during the autopsy, the coroner and his assistant find something in her throat they've never seen in any throat before: a clitoris...a tiny bit of flesh that made and unmade the life of a lovely young girl.

(Runtime - 2 hr. 03 mins.)

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The film THROAT: A CAUTIONARY TALE, tells the story of "Julie Garret", a young woman, whose body has just arrived at the city morgue.  A young woman dying is certainly not unheard of for the Coroners, however what they discover during her autopsy, certainly is.  While examining her mouth, they make a most unique discovery, one like no other - as it would appear that Julie possessed a clitoris at the back of her throat.  The discovery sets in motion the film, as it tells Julie's story in flashback, detailing the events which led to her death.  We follow as 2 Homicide Detectives, Joe Gillette(Tom Byron) and his partner, "Byrd Smith"(Penny Flame) attempt to put together the pieces of the puzzle that was Julie's life.  They learn that, initially, Julie worked as a waitress in order to pay her way through College.  However, when it became too difficult to make ends meet, she looked for an alternative way to make money.  She found that opportunity working at the local peepshow arcade.  It was a choice that her boyfriend "Eddie"(Trent Tesoro), at first despised for obvious reasons.  But despite this, Julie is successful, especially after a fellow performer, named "Lane"(Aliana Love), teaches her a new "trick" - the art of "deep throat".  It is during this act, that Julie makes a miraculous discovery. when she learns that her sexual pleasure spot is located at the very back of her throat, rather than the traditional location.  For years, it had been a wonder to her, as to why she would never feel much sensation vaginally when it came to climax - but now she knew. With a new trick under her belt, she wowed the visitors, with her ability to throat a dildo, down to its base.  Among those whom she impressed with the act, was boyfriend Eddie, who soon sees profit.  From there, Eddie proceeds to deal her out to seemingly any man who would pay up front.  It is here, that Julie would eventually meet "Dan Quinn"(Evan Stone), a business man, who happens to be part owner of a sex club called "The Zone".  Dan soon takes Julie under his proverbial wing, having her perform the same dildo show, except on a much grander scale.  She performs as "The Girl with the Magic Throat".  It is a pairing that soon makes the rather volatile Eddie jealous.  It's revealed that, with the controlling Eddie out of the picture, Julie and Dan had begun dating.  It would appear that all was going great for the two, as Julie's act, and special talent was as popular as ever.  Unfortunately, it also comes to be known, that it was that same popularity that soon led to Julie's downfall.  Never having been far away from exploitation since the discovery of her special "gift", Julie finds herself subjected to it once again, when Dan forces her to star in a live sex showcase, as she is paired with a popular male sex performer, "Dante Demarco"(Lee Stone).  Among the lights, the crowd, and unexpectedly, the cameras, it was just too much for Julie to bare, as the story goes on to show us just how Julie's life came to a tragic end.