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April 30, 2011

Movie Review: In the Name of the King, A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Uwe Boll is generally considered the worst mainstream director alive today. From horror movies based on video games (House of the Dead) to ... other horror-type films based on video games (Bloodraine, Postal), Boll shows his ineptitude with not just the camera but with dialog, actors, scripts, and pretty much every other aspect of film. Watching a Boll movie is a gut check for even the most die hard bad film seeker like myself. There is just nothing good this man does to the movie screen, and one wonders why anyone helps him finance his projects.

Buy In the Name of the King - A Dungeon Siege Tale on DVD

However, one has to respect Dr. Boll, for he manages to keep cranking out product year after year with no money from Hollywood and a steady stream of Big Name Actors (although, to be fair, most of them are no longer A-list by the time he gets them - kind of like Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi without the heroin). Which brings us to his 2007 overblown fantasy project "In The Name of the King, a Dungeon Siege Tale", which was based on, you guessed it, a video game.

Little Big Boy Available for Download!

"LITTLE BIG BOY: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Duncan" Available for Download!

Expected DVD Street Date for Little Big Boy is September, but until then you can view it @ amazon-on-demand:

Little Big Boy is, to say the least, a film like no other. It tells the story of acclaimed horror film director Jimmy Duncan, famous for his hot temper aswell as his very exploitative movies. Having witnessed the murder of his mother at the age of seven, Duncan grows up at an orphanage and as an adult works his way up in the movie industry.

Caught up in the downward spiral of his own success surrounded by movie reviewers who refuse to acknowledge his obvious talent, starlet wannabes with absolutely no talent, producers with little patience and people who will do anything and exploid anyone to become famous in an industry where you can count on noone, we follow Jimmy while working on his fourth feature film "Death Stalker", which quickly turns into a descent into complete and utter madness as his leading lady leaves the production halfway through the shooting. This begins the insane fall of Jimmy Duncan.

Movie Review: Hide and Go Kill 1 & 2 (2008)

I really like Japanese horror films, for the most part. Takishi Miike is a master director in the genre and American producers prove that over and over again by remaking his Japanese films in English. The Japanese horror film, unlike our Western films, is more concerned with atmosphere and mood than logic and plot (and some people can argue that the current state of American horror is evidence that we do not care about story or plot either). Ringu, Ju-On, Death Note, Battle Royale… all of these are fine examples of authentic, mood-driven Japanese horror. Hide and Go Kill, 1 and 2, are not fine examples. These are the Japanese equivalent of our shot on video b-movies. Where we, the American crap filmmakers (myself included), rely on hackneyed story and tired character archetypes, the Japanese schlock filmmaker relies on tired and predictable visuals to set the mood. And, before you ask, whatever story or plot logic the majors have in Japan is completely out the window. So, after sitting through Hide and Go Kill I am officially retitling the English version as Hide and Go Shove a Pencil in Your Ear, ‘cause that’s what it felt like.

Buy Hide & Go Kill and Hide & Go Kill 2 on DVD!

April 29, 2011

Independent Shops Survive Video Rental Holocaust

As a follow up to Kevin's editorial on the death of video rental shops (read it here), I just wanted to share my hatred for the corporate ones and spread the love and liveliness of independent ones. Keep in mind that I live in the western part of Canada's prairie provinces in Deadmonton, Hellberta and I'm speaking primarily of the awesome independent shops we have here.

With the internet skyrocketing over the past decade—and things like vinyl albums and VHS tapes being long-outdated—new entertainment mediums are being integrated into western civilization. However, there are still people who prefer the “obsolete” over “new-age”. These are the people who will actually pay money for an album or a movie rather than downloading it for free on the internet.
The companies and services that provide people with their entertainment have also changed drastically. According to a review of the video rental industry featured on, alternative entertainment media is under assault by pay-per-view television and video-on-demand. Services like Netflix and Red Box vendors, as well as an increased amount of video-viewing services offered through regular cable providers.

April 28, 2011

Versus: The Golden Girls vs. Sex and the City

Versus is designed to compare two or more similar movies or characters in order to determine who or what is the best version. I break it down by category and score each one on a scale of 1 - 5. The highest total score in the end wins. Even I don't know who will win until it's over. This is my game played by my rules. If you don't like it, tough noogies.

Okay, this might seem like the weirdest edition of this column I'll ever do. It's not my fault. When The Golden Girls was on TV in the mid-eighties, I would watch anything. I really would. Full House, Small Wonder, What's Happening Now. Yes, the version of that show where they were all grown up and Rerun sold used cars. That should prove that I would watch anything. Sex and the City came along many years later, and I heard there were boobies. That was enough for me. Either way, it seems like the latter was a reworked version of the former. It's almost the same show. However you look at it, it's up to me to figure out which was better, so go put on your best pearl necklace and get ready for what might shape up to be my finest moment.

Buy The Golden Girls and Sex and the City on DVD

Death of the Video Store

I feel like it's time to eulogize an institution. When I was a kid, my aunt Mary got us our first VCR. I remember watching Ghostbusters on Christmas Day. I don't really remember the year, but it was somewhere in the 1980s. We signed up for a membership at a place called Video Sun on Cicero Avenue just south of Fullerton. The man that owned it was really nice, and so was the woman that worked there part time. They recognized us, because we were there pretty often. They were always great about holding movies for us, and we were loyal customers for years. But then...

A new store opened up down the road. They kept several copies of new releases. They rented video games. We had to go check it out. It was called Blockbuster. Before that, Video Sun was growing. They went from a tiny space to a bigger location down the block. Unfortunately, Blockbuster was about to eat up their business, and before long, Video Sun was gone. So were many other mom and pop video stores. They couldn't carry the volume, and they just couldn't keep up.

Movie Review: Driller: A Sexual Thriller

When done well, parody in porn can translate into something that transcends the sole purpose of porn – to get people off. It can be humorous; tickling your ball-bag as well as your funny bone. After previously reviewing The Passions of Carol (a parody of A Christmas Carol) which does parody the Dickens’ story quite effectively, I thought why not cover another parody on Cinema Head Cheese that’s target is on the “King of Pop” called Driller: A Sexual Thriller from Devil’s Den DVD.

Timothy Greene Beckley, whose best known to micro-budget movie fans as schlock-meister, Mr. Creepo (Skin- eating Jungle Vampires, Barely Legal Lesbian Vampires) put together Driller: A Sexual Thriller with his partner, Joyce James, who also is the feature’s director. Adorable Louise (Tajia Rae) is fixated on pop-star, Mr. J, so much that after his show performing a song that sounds a lot like Jackson’s Billie Jean – she then summons his larger than life presence to her bedroom. Mr. J breaks out into a groovy dance routine while Louise waits patiently in her bed … then comes the transformation. Our pop-star has now turned into a werewolf with a two foot twirling penis. A drill...if you will. He enters the minx, spurts some of his blue colored ejaculation all over Louise and her room, than takes her to his place – a dungeon.

The first half-hour does have the feel of Thriller but then it just ventures off into the downright absurd, which is not unlike the late singer’s life anyway. The sex is non-stop. There are a few ridiculous dance routines in between but for the latter part of the film we’re exposed to one crazy sex scene after another, including orgies, glowing dildo diddling lesbians and maybe the most outrageous finger-fuck scene in the history of film featuring a hunchback who looks amazingly like The Toxic Avenger and Esmerelda the squirting dungeon skank. This girl blows her load right in front of the gurgling hunchback.

One of the most surprising things about the DVD release of Driller: A Sexual Thriller is the transfer. The original source materials were used in the restoration, and it shows. The movie is very, very dark which is really not a big concern as it fits the mood of the picture but the colors look very good and it also appears that the element used, was store very well. No splices or anything major . The sound was quite solid as well so the soundtrack is bound to be in your head moments after you shut off the DVD.

Devil’s Den even put together some quality supplements : An interview with Esmerelda “the squirter” that’s audio only but accompanied by some interesting photos. A gallery for the film that’s complete with press materials and other Driller photos. The main extra is an interview with Driller: A Sexual Thriller creator, Timothy Greene Beckley. Beckley can talk and is full of "Driller" related anecdotes. I’m actually surprised that he didn’t do a commentary on the film. Most of what comes out of his mouth is very entertaining as he talks about his career as adult film reviewer for Hustler magazine and how that allowed him to rub elbows with porn producers and stars. He also seems to have a beef with Roger Watkins (Last House On Dead-End Street), who at the time was putting together adult projects himself.

For a brand-new company, Devils Den has come out of nowhere to create an excellent release of one of the most bizarre pornos ever produced. Driller: A Sexual Thriller has that rare quality that could make it a party DVD that you can throw on for your jaded friends . Hell, you can even try and do some of the wacky dance routines. Why not do your own Esmerelda squirting contest?? Options are endless Cheesers, just mop afterwards. Here's hoping Devil's Den puts out more vintage adult oddities such as this fine release.

Movie Review: The Sins of Madame Bovary (1969)

When I first received this disk, I groaned. Another boring late sixties sleaze fest based on material that was considered risque a hundred years ago. And although I am sure it did fine box office in its day, based solely on it's ad campaign emphasizing it sexual elements, I was surprised to find a remarkably faithful, fairly well-produced, and even tame adaptation of Flaubert's masterpiece. So tame, in fact, that excising less than a minute of breast shots and this could be shown on broadcast TV today.

Buy The Sins of Madame Bovary on DVD

Released in 1969, this Italian film is now presented (by One 7 MOVIES DVD) in 2.35:1 aspect ration and with crisp new subtitles. The sex is so tame that the only real attractions here are the nice production values - beautiful locations and period costumes - the sumptuous color photography, and stunning Edwige Fenech in the "tit"ular role. She is transcendentally sexy.

Movie Review: The Real Cannibal Holocaust (1976, One 7 Movies)

Shockumentaries and Mondo films are easily one the most maligned genres around for obvious reasons. It's almost to be expected considering the content usually fills the running time of films like Africa Ama, Mondo Dulce Y Cruel, Brutes and Savages or any of the films contained on Blue Underground's popular Mondo Collection. I may hang my head a little in saying this, but, I'm a fan these sensationalistic, offensive and often disgusting films. Unfortunately the pickens for mondo fans on DVD and Blu-ray have been slim over the past few years. One 7 Movies, however, have just released Akira Ide's Real Cannibal Holocaust (Originally titled Nuova Guinea, Isola dei Cannibali).

Buy The Real Cannibal Holocaust on DVD

Movie Review: Young@Heart (2007)

I've watched many documentaries over the past few years. Some are informative. Some are just plain interesting. A select few can be called inspirational. The Young@Heart chorus is a group of people in their seventies and eighties who get together to create renditions of various pop songs.They are led by Bob Cilman, a man in his fifties who chooses the music and directs the group's shows.

Buy Young@Heart on DVD

The group performs songs by Coldplay, The Ramones, Sinead O'Connor and James Brown. We basically start at the beginnings of a new show. The group has traveled around the world for years, and now it's time to put together a few new songs.

April 27, 2011

Movie Review: Melvin (2011)

Every now and then, you run into an indie horror flick that reminds you what independent really means. Melvin was shot for very little money in Oregon, and it used a small local cast that also served as crew. It reminded me of many of the early shot-on-DV movies I've seen. I really had fun with it, and there's a reason. They didn't try too hard.

Buy Melvin on DVD

I recently got tons of shit for my negative review of Hanger, but I stand by it. Movies like Melvin are much more enjoyable. First off, there is a story that makes sense. Melvin is a nerdy high school kid that dies accidentally during a prank. A few years later, his sister makes friends with a nerd in college named Norton, and Melvin decides to use him to get revenge on his killers.

Movie Review: Direct Contact (2009)

When I was in my early teens there was no greater villain on the planet than Dolph Lundgren. He took Rocky to the limit and stood for everything that a red-blooded American boy was against: Soviets, anabolic steroids, dominatrix girlfriends and he killed Apollo Creed. Not three years later and, in my mid-teens, I realized that even the most horrible villain could have a change of heart. I laughed and cheered as Dolph Lundgren made a cartoon come to life as he played He-Man in the wonderfully campy Masters of the Universe. Dolph fell off the radar for awhile… or at least I thought. Little did I know that Dolph was consistently making a stream of no-budget actioners in tiny eastern European countries (long before his resurrection in The Expendables). Remembering that nostalgic feeling, I sat down to see Dolph duke it out with Eddie, of Eddie and the Cruisers fame himself, Michael Pare in their latest blow-em-up Direct Contact. I should have known better.

April 26, 2011

Movie Review: Maniac (1980, Blu-ray)

Blue Underground brings Lustig's disturbing classic to High Definition!

Buy Manic on Blu-ray or DVD

Film: 4.5/5

Maniac is a large step above the usual slasher. It's not just mindless killing with nude women everywhere, something the 80's horror genre would become saturated with. It is a mental descent into a dark abyss that stays with you. Maniac rightly deserves it's classic moniker and I have no shame in saying it is one of my favorite horror films.

Book Review: Last Words by George Carlin and Tony Hendra (2009)

To learn about the life of what many consider to be the greatest stand-up comedian of all time is something that any comedian or comedy fan would drool for. George Carlin was a comedian to some, a prophet to others and the truth to me.When he was presented to me at the age of twelve, my world changed. My thinking was forever altered. No other person has ever effected me so greatly without knowing me personally. I wasn't sure what I was about to read, but I knew some of it could be rough. Truth be told, every entertainer is damaged in some way. Addiction, abuse, absent parents and self-esteem issues are all things that create the "look at me" gene. Carlin had all of these things, and his posthumous memoir shares every detail.

Buy Last Words Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or for Kindle

Movie Review: Selling God (2011)

Salvation has been for sale since the beginnings of religion. Look at any luxurious church or any stadium filling megachurch that sells tickets to an event. Money and religion, especially Christianity, go hand in hand. I've never been to a Sunday service that didn't involve a collection plate. I've thought for a long time that money is a huge motivator for religious leaders, but how do you sell the idea of religion to the masses?

Buy Selling God on DVD

Selling God goes into the history of religion and how it has attracted followers through televangelist speeches, old movie clips and interviews with a few PhDs and church followers. The film is segmented into chapters, which are oddly noted with a tone you might hear in an audiobook. It touches on everything from heaven and hell to a woman who sold a grilled cheese with the virgin Mary's image on it for $28,000.

Movie Review: Tangled (2010)

My daughter is two and a half and had never been to a movie theater, so I figured that hitting a second run theater on a Monday would be perfect. We settled into our seats and watched a movie that entertained a young toddler as well as her thirty-five-year-old dad. Just when I thought Disney tackled every classic fairy tale, they pull out the story of Rapunzel. I'll admit that this is one tale that was a little fuzzy to me. I remembered Rapunzel living in a tower, and I remember something about a prince telling her to let down her hair so he could climb up it to get to her. I definitely remembered her having really long hair. What I don't remember is the story being as interesting or as much fun as Tangled was.

Buy the Tangled 3D DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack

April 25, 2011

Movie Review: City of the Living Dead (1980, Blu-ray)

Blue Underground could make the dead rise with this stunning HD release. FULCI LIVES!

Buy City of the Living Dead on Blu-ray or DVD

Film: 4/5

Hell beings to pour into the small town of Dunwich when Father Thomas hangs himself in the cemetery. Mary (Catriona MacColl), a psychic in New York, seemingly dies from fright because of the incident. Peter (Christopher George), a reporter, beings to investigate her death. Peter goes to the cemetery where Mary is about to be buried when she awakes inside her coffin. Hearing her frantic screams, Peter digs Mary and discovers she has a supernatural tie to the priest's death. Together they must stop the dead before All Saint's Day or Hell will rip open and overrun the Earth.

April 24, 2011

Movie Review: Vigilante (1983, Blu-ray, Blue Underground)

Blue Underground brings Bill Lustig's gritty street revenge flick to Blu-ray!

Buy Vigilante on Blu-ray or DVD

Film: 3.5/5
Badass. I'd say that would be an apt description of Lustig's self serve  justice outing. Despite not packing as much punch as I'd like it to, there's no denying it's presence in the revenge oeuvre. A genre I seldom tire of due to the subject matter. Watching a regular joe lose everything he loves and stopping at nothing to exact revenge is cinematic bliss.

Movie Review: The Holy Mountain (1973, Blu-ray, Anchor Bay)

Alejandro Jodorowsky's films have seen a very good life on numerous DVD releases. The most notable to date being Anchor Bay's The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky Box set. This included digitally remastered editions of El Topo Fando Y Lis, The Holy Mountain and a host of additional goodies. If you have that, hold onto it (just for the pretty box alone) but I also encourage you to grab a Blu-ray player because now you can see Holy Mountain in all its 1080p glory, courtesy of Anchor Bay and the folks at Abkco Films.

Buy The Holy Mountain on DVD or Blu-ray

Holy Mountain starts off with some of the most intense imagery ever to be put to celluloid - and rarely lets up with its bombardment jaw-dropping set-pieces. We open to a shot of a man called the "Thief"(Horacio Salinas) lying in the dirt, face covered with flies and pissing himself. His face is soon cleaned of the flies by an arm-less and leg-less peasant who reveals this filth covered man as almost a Jesus Christ doppelganger. Did Jodorowsky do this purposely? You bet! The next scene shows the gentlemen enjoying a joint. You know right then after seeing the these fellows partake in the "herbal essence" that this movie is not going to play it safe.

April 22, 2011

Movie Review: Lone Wolf and Cub Box Set (1972)

There have been so many famous fathers in cinematic history. On the small screen we've had Bill Cosby, Fred MacMurray and Bill Bixby. In film, there have been the likes of Chevy Chase playing Clark Griswold in the never-ending Vacation series and of course on the dramatic end of the spectrum, Henry Fonda as Norman Thayer Jr. in On Golden Pond. Unfortunatley, Tomisaburo Wakayama a.k.a. "Lone Wolf", star of the Lone Wolf and Cub Series gets left out of the equation. Does it really matter that Ogami Itto cuts and chops his way through foes pent on his destruction? Most importantly how about the valiant protection of his child that he rolls around from village to village avoiding the savage Yagyu clan. He sounds like a good dad to me.

Buy Lone Wolf and Cub Box Set on DVD!

Before Shogun Assassin became the influential samurai "grindhouse" classic that it's so deservedly was crowned by critics and fans there were six films in the Baby Cart series directed by Kenji Misumi. A six of the features have been carefully assembled in box-set form by Asian DVD powerhouse AnimEigo. The two films that were essentially the "highlight" reel that became Shogun Assassin, Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart at the River of Styx kick off the set. The following four installments are also included Uncut and in their entirety – Baby Cart in Peril, Baby Cart to Hades, Baby at the River of Styx and finally White Heaven in Hell.

Movie Review: Paul (2011)

There is something beautiful about the collaboration between Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. I think it must be that it is a genuine friendship. It comes out in everything they do together. Shaun of the Dead was a brilliant zombie parody. Hot Fuzz tore the action blockbuster buddy cop movie to shreds. I love them both, especially the latter. Paul does something completely different. It's a road picture of sorts, and it's also a big ensemble comedy. It's also one of the most genuinely sweet movies I've ever seen.

Get the Paul Teaser Poster

Clive and Graeme are two friends from England who create sci-fi comic books. They are fulfilling their childhood dream of traveling to San Diego Comicon and touring the great alien sighting locations of America. As they leave San Diego in a big RV, they run into a few unsavory characters. One of those is an alien named Paul. Paul is trying to get away from a government facility in order to get picked up by his people at a rendezvous point. Paul convinces our unlikely heroes, and they run into one problem after another.

Movie Review: Shadow (2009, MPI/IFC Films)

By Greg Goodsell

Directed by Federico Zampaglione

Brevity, they say, is the soul of wit. The chief virtue of the latest Italian Gothic Shadow is its brevity, running a tight 77 minutes. Director Federico Zampaglione recognizes that his film is composed of overly familiar elements, and as such, rushes his characters and storyline off the stage as soon as possible.

Buy Shadow on DVD

We first meet our hero David (Jake Muxworthy), a U.S. serviceman in a voiceover as he composes a letter to his mother. Wearying of combat duty in Iraq , he tells her that he is anxious to go on a mountain biking trip in a remote stretch of Europe . The action then switches to the countryside, where he meets a lovely young woman (Karina Testa) as well as two bullying louts (Chris Coppola, Ottviano Blitch) that after an altercation in a tavern, begin to aggressively stalk him on the lonely mountain roads. The film then takes a turn for the surreal when the three of them are captured by a hideous, epicene figure listed in the credits as “Mortis” (Nuot Arquint) who takes them to a woebegone, isolated compound for a series of grueling tortures. There are attempts at escape, David breaks free – only to stun the audience with a surprise, shock conclusion.

April 21, 2011

Interview: Eric Stanze

By James DePaolo

1. What was your childhood like?

As a kid, I didn't go through any tremendous hardship or suffer through any major tragedies - so I'm thankful for that. My family was not well-off financially, but we were not dirt poor either. There was always food on the table and presents under the tree - so again, I'm thankful. I was a very energetic and adventurous kid, inclined to ride my bike all over town or play wiffle ball until the sun went down more than I was inclined to sit quietly in my room all day.

Find Eric Stanze on

Movie Review: Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006)

This is, by leaps and bounds, the worst movie I have ever seen. I really have no idea how this ended up being streamed on Netflix. In a way, it can give anyone hope of having their movie seen, and that's about all of the positivity I can attach to this shit pile. This movie is porn for the sexually retarded. This is simply a vomit fetish snuff film that true basement dwellers can masturbate to.

Buy Slaughtered Vomit Dolls on DVD

There is a plot synopsis for this thing that I really don't want to call a movie. It says something about a girl selling her soul, or something like that. I don't even care. This is garbage, from start to finish. It has no narrative whatsoever, and it's edited in a way that can cause more nausea than The Blair Witch Project in 3D. I have a feeling that's the point. See, this movie is filled with actual vomiting. There are uncut takes of naked girls ramming their hands down their throats and puking. There is a dopey hillbilly that pukes into a mug, drinks it, and pukes again. All of this is set to a soundtrack of obnoxious pulsating noise.

I don't give a shit if you think I'm giving spoilers away. If you actually care, you're probably already masturbating to the description of this enormous waste of time. The worst part of the entire seventy minutes is the cutting in of segments of home video footage of a girl who is approximately six years old. She should be taken away from her parents for allowing her to be interjected throughout this disgusting mess.