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June 24, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Der Todesking and Nekromantik 1 and 2

Jeff Dolniak reviews a threesome that only he could handle.

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June 23, 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.

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 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 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 21, 2015

Movie Review: "Farm/Ominous/Evidence of a Haunting/Meadowoods/Deadrise" (2015: Echo Bridge/Green Apple/Midnight Releasing/Brain Damage/Monterey/Brauer)

...OK!! OK!! I admit it. I am an absolute sucker for those Echo Bridge multi-movie bundles. Yes, those bargain-bin, mish-mash cult film collections, often butting the most familiar, up against the most obscure. A treasure-trove of long-time movie favorites, with preferred-to-be-forgotten cinematic fumbles. Big-budgeted matter-of-facts, mated with low-budget, independents oddities. Cheezy, no name direct-to-video fodder...and big starring, director-notable okie-dokes. The 'dumping grounds' for lesser studio efforts and public domain classics. The campy, crazy and nutty stuff, originally released singularly, from distributors like Midnight Releasing, Full Moon Pictures, The Asylum, Brain Damage Films, Alliance Releasing, York, and countless others...

...a buck or two'll typically get ya' four or five of these films, laid out on one disc...four or five bucks'll get ya' ten of 'em, and so on. Most of the film titles on the smaller bundles will usually all be found on the 'step up to eight-or-ten' film' collections, along side one or two rarities. And most of those will be found on the 15-to-20-film collections, along side even more obscurities. And often, it genuinely becomes worth the slight extra cost to double dip on a bunch of others, which might be sitting on one's video shelf, in one previously purchased collection, to get that singularly unique and obscure rarity, which might be only available on that attention drawing second collection (...heck, I remember collectors going all ga-ga over the unceremoniously released, under-the-radar editions of the bloody, 1980 'Bigfoot' horror obscurity, "Night of the Demon", as well as the under-appreciated 1983 slasher entry, "Curtains" in this venue, before a couple of the major cult film distributors picked them up, 'legitimately' and the allure of collectible 'special features' editions)...

June 16, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Kung Fury (2015), Human Centipede 3 (2015) and Martyrs (2008)

Jeff Dolniak and Kevin Moyers dive into a YouTube sensation, the end of a very special trilogy and a movie that breaks many interesting boundaries.

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June 10, 2015

Movie Review: Ace Jackson is a Dead Man (2015; Full Circle Filmworks) gangster flicks...for good or for bad, whether one like him or not...there's seems to be an undeniable appeal, in watching the little guy climb, or at least attempt to climb to the top. You don't necessarily root for the lil' bastard, because let's face it: crawling out of the gutter, onto the savage crime-laden  streets, and fighting tooth & nail for even the most minute crumb of respect, admiration and power...not to mention, the greed-driven acquisition of wealth...well, one of such reckless and unswerving determination of such things, might well be at his most dangerous...most despicable...most deadly. And yet, there's no denying that certain measure of appeal there, in the sense that...despite all the bumbling and mishaps...well, the little guy, damned if he doesn't try harder...not necessarily smarter. mind you, but yes, definitely harder...

...OK, so shady folk of this ilk isn't exactly a likable lot, in that respect, to say the least. You know 'em...the 'Junebugs', 'Rentons', 'Beaumonts', 'Pookies' and 'Mikey T's out there, just to name a few. However, one cannot help but appreciatively rally witness to the upstart's blindly unswerving tenacity...his determined attempt to rise above, break the waters, and hold his own...greed and power, being the base-instinctive driving forces...his resigning realization that he has to kowtow to some deeply instilled assholes, in an effort to prove his worth. And charisma, a ton of fly-by-the-seat-of-one's-pants luck, and...yeah, let's say it...balls, the size of cantaloupes...well, that's part of the charm, as well...

June 7, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Long Jeanne Silver (1977, Vinegar Syndrome)) and Ron Jeremy: Life After the Buffet (2015)

Jeff Dolniak reviews a rereleased classic and a new documentary about an adult film legend.

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June 5, 2015

Movie Review: Zombeavers (2014)

My goodness it’s been almost two months since I’ve visited with you crazy people. Please forgive my absence. In order to make it up to you, I offer you the following review of the most boring horror comedy I’ve ever seen. It’s sure to be filled with snark and sarcasm, just the way you freaks like it.

Zombeavers (I blame Sharknado for the proliferation of combo titles like this crap) begins with two halfwits driving an OPEN BED TRUCK filled with barrels of toxic waste. After failing to master even the most basic of driving skills, the driver plows into a deer. One barrel escapes and falls into a local river, ending its adventure at a beaver dam where it promptly busts open and splooges green liquid everywhere.

Fast forward however many days and our three heroines, Mary, Zoe, and Jen, are having a girls’ weekend in the country because Jen’s boyfriend can’t keep his dick to himself. Unfortunately, the weekend takes a different turn when all the boyfriends show up: Tommy, Buck, and Sam.

June 1, 2015

Remake Everything

by Kevin Moyers

With the rumor that Dwayne Johnson will star in a Big Trouble in Little China remake swirling around, I've had the wonderful opportunity to read grown adults whining like spoiled children that this is wrong. This is an atrocity. This should be illegal. John Carpenter (the director of the original) shouldn't let this happen. Whoever thought of this should die. They're ruining the original. Blah, blah, blah, whine, cry, bitch, whine.

Stop it. Stop it now.

Don't get me wrong. I've been guilty of this same idiotic behavior in the past. I've dumped all over Tim Burton for re-imagining everything. Honestly, I only think I did it because I hated the word re-imagining. The point is, I was wrong, and it was a complete waste of time for me to complain about something that really didn't matter. I like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I'm sure I've seen it ten or more times since I was a kid. I've seen three minutes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Why? Because I didn't want to watch it. I like the original, and the remake didn't appeal to me. Nobody forced me to watch it, so I didn't. Better yet, nobody took the version I enjoy away.

Do you get that part? The one you love IS STILL THERE.

The Death Wish Franchise

I like revenge flicks; especially the late ‘70s ones, but I had never seen Death Wish (1974). This works for a variety of subgenres for me: I’m in love with several rip-offs but I haven’t seen the originals. But I’m on a mission to right this wrong.

The Death Wish franchise is featuring actor Charles Bronson in the role of Paul Kersey who is a vigilante that goes after muggers. I’m a big fan of C’era Una Volta Il West (1968), The Great Escape (1963), Machine-Gun Kelly (1958), Telefon (1977) and St. Ives (1976) and so the idea of watching Charles Bronson shooting bad guys in five more films sounded brilliant! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did watching and writing.

Death Wish (1974)

Paul Kersey [Charles Bronson; because Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra turned down the part] lives in New York where numerous murders take place. He is a liberal who’s against leaving the city because that’s only for people who can afford it (hence undemocratic). Some of his friends are radical and wish that there’ll be concentration camps for the criminals and hate it that the tax payers can’t afford more police on the streets.

When Paul’s at work, three punks break into his apartment, and when they find out that his wife and his daughter - who are present - don’t have any money they brutalize them and the poor girls end in the hospital. Paul and his son-in-law go to the hospital. Paul’s wife dies. His daughter survives but in order to get through the shock she’ll have to stay away from her father, as the psychiatrist suggest, and anything else that would remind her of the traumatic incident.

May 29, 2015

Movie Review: Three Ripening Cherries (1979) and Sensual Fire (1982)

Directed by Carlos Tobalina

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Desperately plain girls buried under makeup. Ugly wallpaper, sheets and tablecloths. Nonexistent stories about sex in San Francisco. We are back on director Carlos Tobalina’s turf, friends.

Three Ripening Cherries finds Mom (Kitty Shayne) talking to four girls at the kitchen table about sex. Mom admits that her first time was not pleasurable. A bearded friend of the family sought to be the one take away her troublesome cherry, and in a flashback, aforementioned creep forces himself on her to her cries of pain and distress. Mom sought to make amends by sleeping with every high school greaser in the process in order to get her groove back.

May 27, 2015

Movie Review: What Richard Did (2012: Element Pictures/Tribeca Film)

...oh, those pesky, albeit invariable and inescapable life decisions; with spectrum-wide variance, they have the ability to merely move us through the day, and they have the profound effect of affecting our lives...our very destiny, years to come. The waking hours.....Should I have the cinnamon toast, or the Frooty Pebbles.....Sniff, sniff!! Whoa!! Better shower before I go. Gonna ask for that raise, today.....Hey, you moron!! Pick a lane, would ya'? I'm drivin', here, I'm drivin' here, I'm...Whoa!! Almost hit that pedestrian; that was close, whew.....Yeaaaa!! Won the election. Time to make those changes, which I promised the people...especially for the people that pay me the most.....Will she say yes?? Will she say no?? Oh God, if she says no, I might just have to kill myself.....Let's see, the bottle says 'wash, rinse and repeat'. Wash, rinse, repeat...wash, rinse, repeat...Uh oh, I'm balding back there. Time to call Hair Club for Men.....OK, doors and windows locked for the night, children tucked safely in their beds, alarm clock set for 6:00. Time for bed...Good night sweetheart...Smooch, and ZZZZZZZZ!!!

...and as much as we'd adhere to...or at least, claim to adhere to a level of control, when it comes to our feelings and emotions...well, let's just say that those self-same feelings and emotions are often times running the show, and as such, are...for the most the driver's seat, when it comes to our making the decisions that affect our lives. Good. Bad. Scary. Elating and Satisfying. Effectual, for the moment. And yes, even Life-Changing. And again...yes, there's the desire to maintain a measure of control, when it comes to how our feelings and emotions affect our decisions making; but let's face it: there are moments where those feeling and emotions do get out of control, and...good or bad, like it or not...we have to deal with the repercussions and end result of those situations. In the end, it's how we deal with those decisions, and the resulting outcome, which makes each of us, the kind of person we are...

May 25, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Kevin Moyers and his daughter Casey discuss their viewing of the latest from the MCU.

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May 23, 2015

Movie Review: "The Killer 4 Pack" (2014; MVD Visual/SGL Entertainment) an ardent and embraced lover of genre films...especially those produced independently, and on nothing less than a shoestring-budget (...I've found that they tend to try harder, aspiring to be something great, despite their limitations), this viewer...every year, about the May time frame...harbors a desire...a dream...a fantasy, to attend the Festival de Cannes, in France, and exclusively, albeit waywardly partake of the genre film offerings, often featured there. Just wander about the film festival, taking in and 'binge-watching' (, don't you just love these social 'terms of the moment') the newest of the new, and some often nostalgically celebrated, as far as the realm of horror and dark fantasy, both big-budgeted and micro-budgeted alike...

...alas, this viewer's own financial limitations have, at least for the time being, curbed any possibility of one day attending the internationally renowned film festival (...understandable, as word has it, the cost of attending the yearly fest, is one of those 'ouch' level of expenses...Yikes!!); still, such obstacles hardly gives cause to cease and desist the dream itself. And as amiable consolation and substitute for what cannot be, but might be, one day...well, there's always the much more compact and convenient venue of home video. Browsing the store shelves...or perhaps more succinctly, the item entries listed over at Amazon or cannot help but express a measure of exhaustion, in filtering though the countless multi-movie collections, out there. Public domain trash, side-by-side with mainstream pairings and couplings. Bargain basement bounty...titles, merging over titles, blurring into more and more titles. It would be so easy to miss the occasional jewel, or jewels amongst all of this generic colored glass...tarnished jewels, to be sure, but jewels, nonetheless...

May 20, 2015

Movie Review: "Salvador" (1986; Hemdale/MGM/UA/Twilight Time)

...ya' know?? It's often quite interesting and intriguing, the evolution of a filmmaker. The inaugural hits...the initial misses...and that marked milestone of a film, which carries said filmmaker to greater heights, even to the point where, for good or for bad, whatever comes after, is still quite anticipated and well-received by viewing critics and audiences alike. For most, one's introduction to a specific filmmaker is typically something wrought well-after that aforementioned milestone, and after having been privy of latter, higher-profile work, curiosity prescribes...even sometimes demands one to back-pedal to that now-renowned and revered filmmaker's earlier work...

...cutting to the chase, let's just throw the name out there, 'kay?? Ready, go...Director Oliver Stone. Bam!! Right away, what comes to most folks' minds are the high-profile films of keen political rhetorics, observations and engagements, whether such things are observed and/or depicted in the exploitative media ("Natural Born Killers"), in a war-torn battleground ("Platoon", amongst others), in the high-rise financial arena (...can you say, "Wall Street"), on the grassy football gridiron (...a la, "Any Given Sunday"), or heck, even in the obvious of politically-driven locales...namely Washington, D.C., itself (..."JFK", "Nixon", "W.", etc.), Of course, there are those moments of filmmaking escapism...for lack of a better word...'breaks' in the political rhetorie, so to speak, as director Stone etches out the smaller, eclectic, more character driven stories (...of course, we're talking "Talk Radio", "U-Turn", "Savages"...the

May 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Fortune (1975, Twilight Time)

Directed by Mike Nichols

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

It's the Roaring twenties, and lovable con men Oscar (Jack Nicholson) and Nick (Warren Beatty), intend to separate sanitary napkin heiress Fredericka “Freddie” Quintessa Bigard (Stockard Channing in her big screen debut) from her many millions. Freddie loves Nick, but Nick is already married – and so she weds wild-haired Oscar instead. Mindful of the Mann Act – transporting females across state lines for immoral purposes was taken very, very seriously back then – the trio head for Los Angeles, California. Settling into a crumbling apartment block, much like the one in The Day of the Locust (1975), things quickly go south. Freddie rarely puts out, Oscar is not keen on finding and keeping employment, and Nick is a bit of a washout as a used car salesman. The three get on each other's nerves big time, until Nick and Oscar decide that outright homicide is the way to speed things along. Their rotten luck follows them in this regard as well …

A bit of trivia on The Fortune is the fact that the role of Freddie was originally offered to Bette Midler. Things were going just swimmingly until Midler asked Mike Nichols what pictures he had done previously. Nichols, one of the hottest tickets in Tinseltown at the time, was justifiably miffed. Hadn't she heard of his previous successes, such as The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? As Julie Kirgo points out in the liner notes to this Twilight Time release, limited to 3,000 copies, The Fortune had a very respectable pedigree. Stars Nicholson and Beatty, coming off major motion pictures such as Shampoo and Chinatown, cinematography by John A. Alonzo, a script by Adrien Joyce and a stunning debut performance from Channing. It all went for naught. The film failed to click with audiences and critics, and The Fortune failed to make one at the box office. Vaguely remembered today, it’s stuck in a big pile of films about the 1920s and 19302 made by Hollywood in the Seventies – Locust, The Great Gatsby and Chinatown among them.

May 17, 2015

Movie Review: The Dogs of War (1980: United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time)

...ah, mercenaries...ya' gotta love 'em, right?? Heroes unto themselves, in the sense that...much like bounty hunters...they act and behave of their own accord, and get the job done via unconventional and unorthodox means, when those who subscribe to the lawfully established and so-called acceptable 'rules of the game', have failed. Driven by their own self-serving agenda...the culmination, be that of heartful heroics, thrill-seeking recklessness and/or monetary gain...and yet, wholly honor-bound and dedicated to the cause, in which they were hired to taken on. Confident, albeit arrogant in their ability to persevere, and yet...considering the unpredictability of the vocation...quite well aware that the next mission laid before them, might well be their last. As such, lovingly embracing a death wish, so to speak...but hey, at least there's a paycheck in it, should one survive, to fight yet another day...

...good grief!! 'Heroes', nothing...this viewer pretty much just defined the classic 'anti-hero', right??...

May 9, 2015

Movie Review: Exile Nation: The Plastic People (2014)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Charles Shaw

The subject of illegal immigrants and deportation in the United States remains a raw, very complex issue. The topic has bubbled up like lava in such states as California, Texas – and especially Arizona, where law enforcement has taken a nearly “no tolerance” policy towards illegal Mexican immigrants. As the searing documentary Exile Nation: The Plastic People points out one in five Mexicans will at one time work, visit or live in the U.S.

Which brings us to the documentary at hand: The United States recently began a tough, no-nonsense policy of deporting illegal immigrants found breaking the law here, dumping them across the border in Tijuana. Many of these deportees, who do not speak Spanish, wind up homeless and take up residence in Tijuana’s dreaded “La Zona Norte,” a place of knee-high rubbish, no jobs, less opportunities and nonstop substance abuse. A humanitarian crisis that is rarely acknowledged, La Zona Norte stands as a stark reminder of the failure of U.S. deportation policies.

May 8, 2015

Movie Review: Gaming in Color (2015)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Philip Jones

Gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and questioning people – henceforth referred to as GLBTQ who play video games form a distinct minority. Gamers or “geeks” – a highly derogatory term in this reviewer’s term – “geek” was originally a term used to describe degraded sideshow performers specializing in biting the heads of chickens, such as in the novel and film Nightmare Alley (1947) – suffer from negative stereotyping, as do members of the GLBTQ community.

At first glance, the two stereotypes would be at odd with each other. Male homosexuals are supposed to dress well, take care of their looks, and form very sophisticated networking skills. Gamers, on the other hand, are seen as being antisocial misfit, neglectful of their appearance that lay into the Nintendo for several hours a day in their parent’s basements. A big part of the gamer community is GLBTQ, but this group feels marginalized. The readily available games to them have very few GLBTQ characters, and the gaming community at large, mostly straight males, are largely homophobic. “Gay” to these adolescent males not only describes someone’s sexual identity, but anything bad, ineffective or worthless.

May 6, 2015

Movie Review: Diving Normal (2013)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Kristjan Thor

Based on a play, Diving Normal is a most unusual love story. Set in New York City, graphic novelist Fulton (Philipp Karner) falls for the beautiful blonde Dana (Susie Abromeit). For while, their romance blossoms, but Fulton’s neighbor Gordon (Scotty Crowe) begins to make awkward overtures to Dana. Verging on the autistic, Gordon begins to invite Dana on a series of strictly platonic dates, which consists of her watching him make high dives at the local gym. Things proceed awkwardly until Dana finds out the exact relationship between Gordon and Fulton. Dana falls back into her former patterns of substance abuse, until the men offer their own style of intervention.

Diving Normal is a very difficult film to analyze. It’s questionable that Dana would be seen with Gordon, as his character’s elevator doesn’t appear to go all the way to the top floor. Very quiet and reticent, Gordon’s character is on a tentative relationship with reality in general, let alone a gorgeous blonde. While dealing with a host of important issues, Diving Normal wisely – if unsatisfactorily offers no solutions. The audience is left in a bit of a lurch.