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December 30, 2013

Movie Review: The Hot Nights of Linda (1975; Eurocine/Severin)

...back in the good ol' grindhouse theater days of the early '70's, to mid '80's, this viewer remembers having least, unconsciously...latched onto the production studio name of 'Eurocine', as well as the occasional smattering of films, put forth by this guy, Jesus Franco...or Jess Franco, as he was alternately coined. Of course, once home video became a standard norm, and the local video store...if they were respectably savvy, as far as cult and genre films...began to stock and shelve many of these European imports, the names 'Eurocine' and 'Jess Franco'...once flickered on the viewing screen...were fondly brought back to mind, once again. And having already partaken of some of these cult film classics in the stale, musty darkness of grindhouse venues, this ardent viewer salivatingly knew quite well that with a 'Eurocine' film...the studio which by now, well recognized and revered sleaze master Jess Franco, often available in the privacy of of one's abode, what was in store for this eagerly anticipating viewer, was nothing short of raw and unbridled sleaze, at it's very finest. Oh, those titles, though..."Female Vampire"..."Kiss Me, Killer"..."Women Behind Bars"..."Devil Hunter"..."Zombie Lake"..."White Cannibal Queen"..."Oasis of the Zombies" well as this review's 'flavor-of-the-moment'...a moody and tempered bit of obscure and underappreciated Eurocine/Jess Franco sleaze, which features Jess' often-used sexy darling, actress Lina Romay, has escaped even the most ardent of cult film aficionados, and has finally seen the mirrored sheen of digital home video, thanks to the astute film acquisitioners, over at Severin...1975's "Hot Nights of Linda". Is it as 'hot' as the well as the erotically alluring artist's rendering on the DVD/Blu-Ray cover...implies?? Let's find out, shall we??

December 29, 2013

Movie Review: Junkie (2013, Indiecan Entertainment)

...ah, yes...the ol' time-worn, though still timeless 'odd couple' plot device. The 'what if' driven coupling...sometimes amiable, sometimes reluctant...of two abrasive and acidic personalities, set invariably against each other. Polar opposites...the oil and vinegar types...the ying, against the yang...Baby Jane and Blanche...Oscar and Felix...Riggs and Murtaugh...Elliot and Beverly...Tyler Durden and...well, the other guy (...Sheesh!! All these years, and it wasn't until now that it hit me, that 'the other guy' was not even named)...haphazardly walking that fine line between compatibility and incompatibility. Will they find that happy medium, in order to the very least, work together...or will they drag each other down, down, down, into a dark and inescapable abyss?? Come on, perfectly honest, now; sure, it's fun and interesting to watch two totally different types, finding it within themselves to amiably play their differences harmoniously in tandem, in order to get the job done, no matter what 'the job' is. However, isn't it so much more outrageously fascinating to watch two polar opposites, tug and pull at each other, gratingly...combiningly driving each other down exponentially faster than what each separately might voluntarily plummet. Like watching two freight trains, barrelling incessively and inevitably towards each other at high speed, on opposite sides of the same track...the resulting and unavoidable crash, a sad and tragic, albeit irresistibly compelling inevitability. After all, misery does love company...and of course, demands an audience...

December 28, 2013

Movie Review: Berberian Sound Studio (2012, IFC)

Some of the finest horror films - or films for that matter - have a handful of pertinent things molded together perfectly to make them a solid moviegoing experience. For me, one of those main components that can literally make a movie terrifying is a well done soundtrack. John Carpenter comes to mind mind as someone who has used this skill in that department to his advantage. Of course the earlier films of the great Dario Argento (Suspiria, Deep Red) and his frequent collaboration with the talented group, Goblin, also show how great it is when it's done well. Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio makes some interesting homages to some of the better Italian horror films of the 70's and 80's fo and has an interesting story on post-production sound and how it effects the characters in the film. Is it enough though?

Toby Jones (Captain America: First Avenger, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) plays Gilderoy, a quiet, lumpy English sound engineer starting again on a production for a horror film in Italy about witches. Nervous and seemingly out of place around the voice actors and other crew, Gilderoy has unenviable task of working with an ego-maniac director, Giancarlo Santini (Antonio Mancino). Gilderoy gradually starts to lose his sanity from the tension experienced in trying to complete this project -- one that he’s not too thrilled with to begin with. Berberian Sound Studio, has horror elements, but it really is more about the behind the scenes of a horror film. Some of what is shown is enjoyable to see, like the techniques on how music and dialogue is recorded to sync up with the film and even some interesting foley work that includes splattering watermelons and stabbing honey dew melons for death scenes.

December 26, 2013

Movie Review: House On Straw Hill (1976, Blu-ray/DVD combo, Severin)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Let me start off by saying I've been trying to track this film down since I was thirteen years old. I was twelve when I first saw "Blood for Dracula" which started my love for all things Udo Kier. I searched and searched for this film with no luck. Thirteen years later, finally the film sees the light of day in the U.S. on glorius Blu-ray no less from Severin. Which is a company run by fans for fans of cult cinema.

This release was easily the most anticipated release of 2013 for me. I mean waiting and searching 13 years for a film and then finally to see it announced I was nothing short of amazed. Now thirteen years is a lot of time to build up hype and expectations. Did the film live up to it's name, was it deserving the video nasty label and being banned? No, it should have been banned. Despite some violence and an abundance of excellent nudity, the film is directed with pure class by James Kenelm Clarke. Who's only film I was familiar with was "Let's get laid" starring sex kitten Fiona Richmond.

December 24, 2013

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #126 - Holiday Movie Memories

Kevin shares some of his favorite holiday movie memories and thanks those that made it a good year at the Cheese.

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December 23, 2013

"Rewind This!" Coming to DVD January 14th 2014!



The Nostalgia-Filled History of the Home video Format, Told by Both Filmmakers and Movie-Renting Fans, Arrives on DVD From Film Buff on January 14, 2014

The videocassette tape, once the cutting edge of home entertainment, is now a relic, but the story of its rise and fall becomes compelling viewing in REWIND THIS!, a loving and enlightening history of the format and the lives it helped change. The documentary comes to DVD from FilmBuff on January 14, 2014, with an SRP of $24.98. The film will also be available as a DVD/VHS bundle exclusively through Amazon.

Until the late 1970s, the only way to see movies uncut and uncensored was in a theater or on the new and not-widely-available pay cable. But the arrival of VHS, and its competing videotape format Beta, created a revolution that would ultimately change how movies were seen, distributed and even produced. It was an exploding industry without rules, where new terms like "fast-forward" and "direct-to-video" entered the vocabulary, and where the previously unheard of notion of owning movies became a reality. The simultaneous invention of the camcorder allowed everyone to become a filmmaker, leading to, among other things, the "found footage" genre of movies epitomized by The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, not to mention the rise of the adult industry.

Movie Review: Murder University (DVD, 2012)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Murder University is the latest film from Wild Eye releasing. A company that for the past couple of years has had a pretty good eye (no pun intended) for releasing quality genre films. They continue the success with releasing this gem. Within the first two minutes a gal already has her top removed and is ready to get down... what happens? Oh boy, she hears a noise and asks her boyfriend to investigate. He responds "Are you serious" "Yes or no sex", then he says "fine, but you better be ready when I get back". "Get back" oh boy I love this shit. I'm watching a modern day 80's horror film.

He is then killed within the next minute... yes this is pure 80's horror. Then a Lesbian kiss, a few more murders, a chase happens and the John Carpenter 80's style score kicks in. All within the 6 minute mark... then the theme song with the lyrics "Murder University" kicks in... I'm in horror heaven baby.

December 22, 2013

Movie Review: Christmas with the Dead (2012)

Review by John Beutler

...ah, the cherished traditions of the Christmas season...adorning the tree with all manner of colorful shimmer, sparkle and sash...suspending those goodie-filled stockings over the warming fire heath...neighbors decoratively duking it out, trying to outdo each other in twinkly, animated yard shows...ring-a-ding Xerox copy Santas at the local Food Marts, standing next to hand-me-down Halloween cauldrons, now containing coin jingle, instead of a witch's brew...the presents...the egg nog...the wreath on the door...the outdoors Christmas lights..."...Honey, the outdoors Christmas lights; when are you gonna put them up??"..."...Oh man, do I HAVE to, dear?? Can't it wait until tomorrow?? I just wanna lie here, and...and...and, hey...what's with the flashing lights outside?? Those colorful fireworks in the sky??...

December 21, 2013

Movie Review: Zombie Massacre (2012, Extreme Video/Entertainment One)

...(...OK, movie time, movie time...Let's see...What'll it be, what'll it be...Da-ta-dee ta-dee, ta-da-ta-dee ta-dee...Ah, yes...What do we have next, on the pile...Hmmm...What's this?? "Zombie Massacre?" Presented!!! Huff...huff...pant...huff...Now, wait a second...Take a deep breath... Breeeethe...Breeeethe...Breathe in...There, that's it...Now, breathe out...That's it...See, you can do it...You can get through it...After all, it''s only a Uwe Boll movie...)...

...sigh...alright, all levity aside, let's start off by getting the usual Uwe Boll issue out of the way, right here and now. Yes, the dude has garnished a notorious and infamous reputation for having written, produced and directed what has been indelibly striken and monikered as truly terrible schlock. Yes, there has been quite an air of mystery, regarding not only how he manages to find financing for all of his films, but also, how he manages to attract notable star talent, like Jason Statham, Ben Kingsley and Michael Madsen. Yes, as such, Uwe Boll has suffered the M. Night Shyamalan stigma of being lambasted and heavily criticized, no matter what production he attaches his name to. However, given that this viewer unfailingly keeps an open mind on just about everything set before him, and as such, tries ever so much to take each movie on it's own individual merit...well, this viewer tends to dive right in, all the while, holding his nose, so to speak...

Movie Review: Santa Claws (1996)

It’s Day 4 in the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza and I think I’ve really hurt myself this time. Oh the humanity!
On the fourth day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me… four migraine headaches (on top of one another).
What in the hell happened to John Russo? I mean, this guy was a legend. Screenwriter for Night of the Living Dead, novelist and screenwriter for Return of the Living Dead, The Booby Hatch… even shlock like The Majorettes is fun, but something happened. I think it was the 1990 remake of NOTLD (directed by Tom Savini). I think that broke John Russo like a twig. In all fairness, it broke most everyone that watched it like a twig.
It must get tough for John around the holidays, you know? People are happy and sharing good will. John tries to keep up, a smile plastered across his face, until he gets home. He probably sits in the dark, alone, trying not to think about the huge budgets and fanbase that George Romero has… for co-writing the same movie that launched an international, high-paying career as a director. John tries not to dwell on the holiday feast that George is sharing with the large and loving Romero family while he is bending back the top of a cat food can. But then inspiration can hit! After all, it’s 1996 and he knows someone with a video camera (that someone being long-time collaborator Bill Hinzman who most people know as the first zombie in NOTLD… from 1968). John knows the holidays are upon them and everyone loves a Christmas-themed horror movie. Turning to an ancient typewriter, John feels the burn of creation once more as he single-finger taps out the title of his newest epic, the one to launch him so far beyond George Romero that Georgie’s going to have to get double Coke-bottle lenses to see John now. Click, click, click and the world is changed forever. Well, at least my world.  John Russo just typed Santa Claws.

December 19, 2013

My Best & Worst of 2013

By: Rob Sibley

2013 has been a surprisingly good year for horror & cult films in general. Tis the season so I decided to put together a list of my top ten favorite films of the year. Also included is a list of films I felt didn't live up to the expectations I had for them.

2013 compared to 2012 was night and day. Last year I had to struggle to think up any decent horror flicks. For a recap of my list last and year and all my fellow CHC buddies listen to the hilarious

This is a year that I am proud to be a horror fan and a genre fan in general.

December 18, 2013




impulse Pictures continues its assault on your sensations with two new Nikkatsu releases!

Miki, a young and talented ballet dancer, is accepted into an exclusive, and very private, academy run by a mysterious woman.  Miki wants to further her dance education and rekindle her relationship with her boyfriend, but soon discovers all the horrible perversions forced upon the academy students. She is subjected to constant violent sexual acts and torture and realizes there may be no escape!  With similar tones to Italian horror maestro Dario Argento’s masterwork SUSPIRIA, SEX HUNTER: 1980 is one of the more controversial entries in the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection.  The depictions of disturbing sexual violence so concerned Nikkatsu studios, they actually warned director Toshiharu Ikeda to tone things down for his next film!

December 17, 2013

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #125 - Shia LaDouche

Kevin and Jeff talk about Shia LaBeouf's plagiarism of Daniel Clowes. Kevin shares his thoughts on Desolation of Smaug and wonders why Benedict Cumberbatch is such a big deal. Jeff reviews Nightmare City, and that leads into discussion cannibal movies, John Carradine and Christopher Lee's musical career.

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Movie Review: Jail Bait (2014, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley

 This is what I'm talking about, this film easily makes it onto my best of list for 2013. I know you are going to see the "Asylum" name and just assume, "Okay, they ripped off Orange Is the New Black". Not the case here, Jailbait is based on a graphic novel and has nothing to do with "Orange". Which was a highly overrated TV show for an audience who wasn't familiar with women in prison flicks.

Jared Cohn directed this, an Asylum regular director of 12/12/12/, Hold Your Breath and Atlantic Rim to name a few. The film stars an up and coming actress Sara Malakul Lane, who is building up an impressive resume of performances. She got her start in the underrated Seagal film shot in Thailand "Belly of the Beast". She also was the star of 12/12/12 in which she gave a solid performance despite all the craziness that so-rounded her.

Movie Review: "The First Time/Oriental Babysitter" (1978/77, Essex/Vinegar Syndrome)

...whoever it once was that said, in the far and away-back, 'music soothes the savage beast', clearly did not foresee it's arousing effects and application, in the varied and widely eclectic genre of blue movies. Given a specific sex scene, from a specific film, from the countless number of films produced since the inception of the genre, the type of music attached to the scene, clearly has the ability to set, manipulate and change the tone, the attitude, the emotional fervor...even the level of arousal, depending upon the viewer (...what was it, someone else said, at one time?? 'Different strokes for different folks'??). As with most films, the music...pieces strategically placed in concert with each other...often times has the power to ratchet up the potency of certain scenes...even the whole film, a most erotically appreciative pinnacle. And this is what stands out, foremost creatively, in Vinegar Syndrome's latest 'drive-in' two-fer...two delectable and ironically deceptive-titled films from the golden age of '70's X-rated movie fold...from the auteur production studio of Essex, and the deftly welded direction of Anthony Spinelli (...under the alternate nom-de-plum, Leonard Burke), it's 1978's "The First Time", and 1977's "Oriental Babysitter"...

...we open up with Sue (Mimi Margan), who is engaged in a steamy sex scene, and appearingly, very good at what she does; to the amazement of her handsome well as Jake (Jack Wright), a lawyer, who's house is being used for the porno shoot...who catches her in between takes, this was her very first outing, in front of the camera. Thinking back onto how she got where she presently is, Sue recalls being coerced into doing X-rated films by her ex-boyfriend, Jan (Joey Silvera), an unmotivated self-serving slacker, who becomes enraged...even roughly taking it out on Sue, sexually...when it is suggested that he find a job, to help support their household... 

December 14, 2013

Movie Review: The Looking Glass (2011)

Directed by Colin Downey
Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Scene: Two 1950's scientists in a planetary observatory. One of them spots something in his telescope.

Scientist: Dr. Mason! Dr. Mason! … I'm sorry. I guess it was nothing. A sudden light reflection, it startled me!

Dr. Mason: No doubt a comet or a meteor!

Scientist: No, it seemed to be a drill-shaped thing, revolving. I don't know,  It must have been imagination, but it did make me realize how desperately alone the earth is. Hanging in the space like a speck of food floating in the ocean .sooner or later to be swallowed up by some creature floating by!

Dr. Mason: Oh come, now!

Scientist: Time will tell Dr. Mason. We can only wait … and wonder how … and wonder when ...

This scene, scored with the same library music found in Night of the Living Dead (1968)  is from the classic 1959 clunker Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) and is played off a TV set in The Looking Glass. The existential dread serves as commentary in regards to the plight of its protagonist, Paul (Patrick O'Donnell).

Movie Review: 2 Guns (2013, Universal Pictures) the past few years, a most unique and unconventional phenomenon, akin to recent genre films, has taken...and continues to take place: the acquisition and production of feature films, based upon much more obscure graphic comic book properties, which are considerably lesser-known by the general public, and which go against the grain, as far as typical conventions and standards, normally expected by the devoted masses, in films like these. Coming in below the radar, just beneath the surface, and sometimes, breezing in and out of attention, like a whiff...overshadowed by comic book-themed juggernauts, featuring overly familiar bat-men, spider-men, men of steel and mutants...are the oddities...the curiosities...the misfits, which under the deftly welded hands of writers, producers and directors, have wrought...give or take, the occasional schlocky clunker or two...some rather interesting, embraceable and quite entertaining results. In some cases, wildly imaginative and eclectically conceived...never mind, the now-popular, unconventional staples of "Men in Black" and "Kick-Ass"...we're talking more the blood-spattering, barbarous exploits of "Solomon Kane"...the well-armed, hyperkinetic retirees of "RED"...the supernaturally-driven, humanity-devoted sleuthing of "Dylan Dog" and "R.I.P.D."...these comic book genre 'oddballs' are out to prove that they can garnish a life, and a foothold on the genre, as equally capable as those of the high-flying, dark-cowled, web-spinning, razor-clawed variety. And so, getting much more down to earth...kicking up the dust, with all barrels a-blazin', and verbal quips a-spewin'...with the riotously rollicking force of a Michael Bay/Bruckheimer actioner (...which, in a good number of ways, it resembles), we have the 'new kid on the block' as far as tapping into that obscure graphic comic book well; flying off the drawn & paneled pages, and onto the screen...with dynamically explosive results, no's "2 Guns"...

December 13, 2013

Movie Review: The Christmas Season Massacre (2001)

It's Day 11 in the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza and, thankfully, it is almost over. Almost like a Christmas miracle. Most definitely un-miraculous, though, is our entry for this Christmas Eve. Watching this film would turn Scrooge back into the awful miser he was before the ghostly visits. Watching this film would make George Bailey want to stay dead. Watching this film just sucks.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me... hope, because there is only one day left.

Peer with me, folks, a scant ten years ago. Eric Stanze, he of the cutting edge independent horror (like Ice from the Sun and Scrapbook) decides to write and appear in a comedy. Right off the bat we know that this comedy will be irreverent, gory and, probably, a lot of fun. Two out of three is definitely bad. I nearly bought a bag of chestnuts to shove into my mouth and attempt suicide halfway through this film. Bear with me, true believers, as we delve into The Christmas Season Massacre.

December 12, 2013

Movie Review: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

Oh joy! Oh happiness! It is a Christmas miracle! Folks, fans and fiends it is finally Day 12 of the David Hayes Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza! This means no more egg nog-scented night terrors, no more green and red bloodshot eyes and no more crazy holiday movies. I feel like running out and hugging everyone. Much like Ebeneezer Scrooge after the final ghost appeared, I want to run in the streets and give gifts to the bastard little children. Why? For this final film I've given myself a little gift. It isn't a holiday movie, per se, but it is a gift to myself and what better time can someone have than at an amusement park?

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me... nothing, I gave this to myself!

It's 1978 and I am seven years old. It's All Hallow's Eve and I've begged, for nearly a week, to stay up a little later than usual. You see, in the 1970s there was this concept called the “TV Movie.” Essentially, it was an original movie made specifically for television. The Night Stalker, starring Darrin McGavin is, arguably, the most popular of these but the TV Movie has a long and rich history of crappy filmmaking. For those of you old enough you may remember The Ewok Adventure, The Star Wars Holiday Special (see Day 3 of the Palooza), Columbo and many, many more. This particular Halloween, though, had been on my mind for months. You see, my absolute favorite band at the time, KISS, were to be featured in this TV Movie. Better still, KISS were to play themselves (you know, hard rocking super heroes with magical powers) and had to go head to head with an evil arch nemesis. Friends, look into the craptacular awesomeness that is KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park and rock and roll all night!

Movie Review: Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013, Blu-ray)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Quick history lesson for anyone who isn't familar with Ip Man. Long story short his was the man who taught Wing Chun to Bruce Lee. 

IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT is the fifth film thus far to tell the story of Ip. The first two starred Donnie Yen as a middle aged Ip. They were excellent pictures but they were focused on amazing action set pieces choreographed by Sammo Hung then they were on telling an accurate story of the real life Ip.

After the first two Ip Men films with Donnie Yen were huge hits world wide it was only a matter of time before more Ip films were to follow. Donnie had no interest in returning to make a third film since he figured he couldn't top Part II (He was right). So director Herman Yau, known for his CAT III films such as Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome stepped in to make "The Legend Is Born". The third in the series which starred Dennis To as a slightly younger Ip. It was an alright fight flick but nothing special.

Movie Review: The Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes (1980)

During my 34 year existence I've seen many films. There are a handful of movies that I like to call my "I'm going to hell" films. My friends, these are movies I love that are so morally reprehensible and just plain wrong to most viewers . They're that bad, and may just put me in Hades with a seat next to Michael Jackson. A few examples that come to mind are T.F Mou's Men Behind the Sun, Addio Zio Uncle Tom, Pasolini's Salo: 120 Days of Sodom and the recent atrocity, A Serbian Film. The film I'm reviewing for you today, Crippled Heroes, is in that dubious category. Apprehensive Films have not-so apprehensively unleashed the two sequels spawned from the cult hit, Crippled Masters - Fighting Life and Crippled Heroes.

Buy The Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes on DVD!

December 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Whip and the Body (Blu-ray,1963)

During the heyday of Britain's glorious Hammer Studios productions and Italy's grand gothic horror cycle, two men were huge contributors to the very best genre films had to offer - Christopher Lee (Dracula: Prince Of Darkness) and Italy's Master of Horror, Mario Bava (Black Sunday and Black Sabbath). On the heels of the success of Black Sabbath, to many a horror fan's delight, director Mario Bava joined forces with the popular English actor to make The Whip and the Body. Kino-Lorber has now given the film its Blu-ray debut which should indeed please Bava admirers.

The Whip and the Body is a tale about love, lashes and murder at the massive Menliff Manor. Kurt (Christopher Lee) rides a horse galloping furiously towards his old home, much to the dismay of his family. The family rightfully has a beef with Kurt as he's abusive whip-wielding murderer; but they are far from perfect. Kurt's brother, Christian (Tony Kendall) is married to their cousin, Nevenka (Daliah Lavi). To make matters even crazier, Kurt has a heavily sadomasochistic relationship with their stunning relative. Naturally, Nevenka and Kurt hook up for a bit of fun -- but unfortunately for Kurt not too long after he is found dead with a neat slit in his throat from ear to ear.

December 10, 2013

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #124 - Kevin's Christmas List

Kevin talks about the latest Godzilla trailer and admits to liking the previous remake. He then goes into a list of Christmas movies that he loves, hates, feels indifferent about and thinks you should watch.

Dave also pops in with a quick review from the set of Dead Quiet.

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Movie Review: Excision (2012, New Normal Films/Anchor Bay)

...for this viewer, as many might agree, a genre film, which garnishes just the right measure of negative reception, or which exploits the potential for that measured degree of negative reception, or even purposefully and gainfully sets itself up for that potential, just for sensationalism...that is, without going so overboard, that it kills the actual film's potential, may the film be good or pretty damn cool, in this viewer's book. It's like old-age cliché of heavy traffic on the highway, as the result of a multi-vehicle accident; once knowing that there's been an accident ahead, who isn't gonna stop for moment and gawk at the destructive mayhem, as they drive by?? And if there's bloodshed or injury involved...well, all the more probable, as far as the curious 'lookie-loos'. As far as genre films...especially if they are over-the-top disturbing, or graphic, and whether or not there's method to the filmmaker's madness...purpose, associated his or her twisted and disturbing vision...well, damn the critics!! If word gets out that because of the content of a film, medical personnel and vehicles are stationed at the theater...or if people are reportedly fainting in the theater aisles, as the result of watching the film...or if picketers, with signs menacingly and shakingly upheld, attempt to divert movie-goers...or even when staunch and stiff-shirted critics lambaste & petition against a particular movie, warning that 'you should adamantly not see this movie, because it (...fill in the blank; heck, the late Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel used to do that, all the time)...whether such things are staged or not...well, much like the fact that a measurably greasy laden take-out bag might well be the sign of 'fine' cuisine, within...most ardent genre fans, like this viewer, might probably be the first in line, to view the cinematic 'ugliness', suggested by the naysayers, who in most cases, haven't bothered to even watch what they are speaking out against... this viewer's book...uh, what was that old saying about "...if you can't stand the heat...???"...

December 8, 2013

Book Review: Christmas is Cancelled (2013, Splatterpunk)

I am a huge fan of twisted, irreverent holiday tales. Take institutions that have been around, sometimes for hundreds of years, and twist them until those institutions are absolutely unrecognizable. That, my friends, is true subversion. The fact that one would be willing to pervert the iconic ideas and imagery that many people hold dear is a testament to that artist’s desire to be a discordant voice, challenging the singsong of the majority who follow one another blindly, sheepishly, in a three part harmony of tradition. Christmas is Cancelled by Dan Henk, the first in a series of extreme horror chapbooks released by Splatterpunk in the UK, shoots straight for the heart of our highly-stylized Christmas traditions with a kill shot and, by all accounts, is mostly successful.

Buy Christmas is Cancelled HERE.

Movie Review: The Amityville Horror Trilogy (Blu-ray)

Oh, how audiences love that phrase, "Based on a true story." It's been such a wonderful way to reel in horror fans, especially to some of the biggest genre films ever put on screen. Though they're just loosely based, Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre literally made a "killing" with audiences and critics alike with the big draw being that the events were possibly factual. Jay Anson's best-selling book, The Amityville Horror was another supposed true event brought to the screen by director Stuart Rosenberg. Scream Factory’s popular line of horror classics now include the first three movies: The Amityville Horror, Amityville II: The Possession and Amityville III: The Demon in a lovely Blu-ray boxset, sporting new high-definition transfers and a generous selection of extra features.

When the Lutz family (Margot Kidder and James Brolin) find an amazing bargain on a massive house, they jump into it. Excited to get settled, the family begins their life with their new home not expecting more than maybe a few minor inconveniences get a little more than what they anticipated. The house is haunted by ghosts and demons from some horrific previous events. These entities do everything in their power to scare the living shit out of the Lutz's so they get the hell out. The Amityville Horror is strong on atmosphere and naturally the house is the star over any of the leading players (Kidder, Brolin). With that said, both those actors do a serviceable job of making this one of the more enjoyable haunted house films ever put to film. Rod Steiger fans though, you may wince every time he's on time on screen as he stinks up the place in his turn as the crusty Father Delaney. 

December 7, 2013

Movie Review: THE ODD ANGRY SHOT (1979)

Directed by Tom Jeffrey

Harry (Graham Young) is a young Australian pup who's signed up to become part of the SAS, part of his country's military participating in the Vietnam War. It's 1969, and his parents throw him a going away party. Peter, Paul and Mary's “Leaving On a Jet Plane” is spun on the record, and his has one last final shag with his Sheila. He's then off to war, and he hunkers down with his fellow Aussies. He deals with the constant rain, drunkenness – Australians were up to their tits in Foster's Lager at this point, even in the thick of battle and boredom of camp life. A much older soldier, Rogers (Bryan Brown) relates how he signed up after his career as a fine artist failed and his wife left him. He schools Harry on how unpopular the war has become, and how the people there will be people who welcome him home and tell him how proud they are of him …. which will last about a week after his return.

The Odd Angry Shot is a highly regarded Australian film that many hail as a classic. Dealing with Australia's contributions to the war effort,  American audiences, accustomed to high-octane actioners such as Saving Private Ryan (1992) have found Shot to be on the dull side. It's been given kudos for this very fact, by others who say it accurately reflects the military experience. Any serviceman will tell you that life on the front lines isn't all high-strung heroics. There's a lot of boredom waiting around for the next shoe to fall, they say. Add to this an adherence to military bureaucracy, many young men who sign up to serve their country are frustrated by their government's rules and regulations at every turn.

Movie Review: Drug War (2012, Blu-ray)

Reviewed By James DePaolo

Drug War is the latest film from Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To. I feel no matter what I write after that, people will have their minds made up if this film is for them. Now, before you keep that train of thought let me tell you I had the same thought being I was also a fan of To. I know people are still trying to figure out where he is coming from after Life Without Principle, which was action lite and more of a thriller that he wanted to try and to put in the Oscar race.

Drug War seems to be his take on the classic cops and robbers chase films. To be honest, I did not hate the film as much as I did not think this is To at his best. This film takes the police against organized crime lords in a film that I feel suffers from the pace that To tries to keep. The film is shot to be fast paced, but the script and characters seem to drag the story. I mean To has a reputation off these kinds of films, in his homeland he is the king of these gritty crime stories and I just feel that this film comes across more like Romero who is the king of all zombie films giving us Survival of the Dead. China is now governed in this way that if you are caught dealing with drugs or manufacturing them you are sentenced to death. So when Timmy is caught with drugs instead of killing him he helps Captain Zhang with a bigger drug ring to help uncover it. He has only 72 hours or he will face his demise for the drugs.

December 6, 2013

Collector's Edition of THE SHADOW (starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller) arrives on Feb 25, 2014


Starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller,

Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters and Tim Curry


Featuring New High Definition Transfer and All-New Interviews with

Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller and Filmmaker Russell Mulcahy



Who knows what evil lurks in the shadow of men? The Shadow knows! Adapted from the long-running classic radio program and Walter B. Gibson’s popular pulp fiction, legendary crime-fighting superhero The Shadow comes to life in the 1994 film adaptation THE SHADOW, starring Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) from visionary filmmaker Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction, Highlander). Brimming with non-stop action and suspense, this wildly entertaining cinematic adventure also stars John Lone (The Last Emperor), Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito’s Way), Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond), Ian McKellen (X-Men), Jonathan Winters (The Smurfs) and Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show). On February 25, 2014, Shout! Factory will release THE SHADOW: COLLECTOR’S EDITION Blu-ray™, featuring new high definition transfer of this cult classic and all-new interviews with filmmaker Russell Mulcahy, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller and more.  A must-have for movie collectors and pop culture enthusiasts to complete their entertainment library, this definitive collector’s edition Blu-ray release of THE SHADOW is priced to own at $29.93 SRP.

December 5, 2013

Movie Review: Danguard Ace: The Movie Collection (1977, Toei Animation/Shout Factory)

...most genre aficionados have a fairly good idea of when they were first privy of the category of animation, coined as 'anime'; for some...much like this ardent was a uniquely visual oddity, which one grew up some point, forsaken for a stretch...and then, picked up later, when the artistry of this particular venue of animated storytelling, had evolved, considerably. Oh yes, thinking back upon the early days of embraced amine...that is, before such productions were called 'anime', and were merely known as 'cartoons' uniquely individual, were these engrossing and embraceable animated imports, as compared to countless American youths' regular domestic diet of animation, from cartoon 'factories', such as Warner Brothers, Filmation, Tex Avery and Hanna-Barbara. Amongst the best...Speed Racer. Gigantor. Astro-Boy. Kimba, the White Lion. Personal would-be 'anime' favorites, shuffled in amongst domestic classics...the simple and jerky rendered animation of such, translated and dubbed for domestic consumption...and betraying what made these imported 'toons so darned compelling: the ability to present likable, relatable and embraceable characters, engaging in fantastic, albeit complex and emotionally-driven stories. For this viewer, as mentioned previous, one...well, as the old saying goes, " has to grow up, sometime" (...uh, bite your tongue, you stiff-shirted 'inner mature' voice of reason, dammit), and as such, there came a time, as a youth, to move onto other this viewer's case, it meant taking a sabbatical from dedicated animation viewing...those Saturday morning and after-school respites, and...well, OK, I admit it...this viewer did occasionally take a peek through the crack of an unclosed door, to see where the world of anime was taking ardent viewers, both domestically and internationally...

December 4, 2013

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #123 - The Iceman Cometh

Kevin discusses the Paul Walker tragedy and the social media response. He also gives his review of Michael Shannon's latest biopic The Iceman.

Jeff chimes in with a few recommendations including work from Mario Bava and more.

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The Italian Zombie Epic "Nightmare City" Debuts on Blu-ray December 31st From Raro Video!

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 2, 2013 - Raro Video is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Umberto Lenzi's zombie horror film Nightmare City in a new HD transfer from the original 35mm negative and packed with special features.

Nightmare City comes to Blu-ray and DVD with a street date of December 31st and a prebook date of December 3rd. The Blu-ray SRP is $34.95, and the DVD SRP is $29.95. Special features include: an interview with Umberto Lenzi (49:27); original English trailer (3:45); original Italian trailer (3:45); a fully illustrated booklet on the genesis and production of the film by Chris Alexander, Fangoria Magazine; new HD transfer digitally restored; and new and improved English subtitle translation.

December 3, 2013

Movie Review: The Doll Squad

Reviewed by:

Hal Astell

Tura Satana got to be ahead of the curve a couple of times in her career. Our Man Flint dealt with man-made global warming in 1966. Here, Ted V Mikels starts The Doll Squad with the Challenger shuttle explosion in 1973. Well, it's really the launch of a rocket called Star-Flight XII but it does seem rather prophetic, especially as it lifts off from Cape Kennedy. The difference here is that the disintegration is deliberate, as a mysterious voice tells Senator Stockwell, head of the Defense Committee, right after launch but before the explosion. Fortunately, he has an IBM System 360 just down the corridor, with punch-cards and colored buttons and the ability to decide from next to no information which department should attack a particular problem. This time, the teleprinter suggests the Doll Squad as the most capable to investigate, under the leadership of SO-1 Sabrina Kincaid. This is Our Man Flint all over again, but with chicks kicking ass.

As you can imagine, the Doll Squad is a squad of dolls. In case, you don't grasp the concept from the name or the action that unfolds in lurid negative colors behind the credits, the tagline should do the trick. 'They're beautiful!' it reads. 'They're dangerous! They're deadly!' Really, that in itself is enough to warrant a viewing of The Doll Squad, but it proves to be pretty capable too. Sure, it's obviously not shot with a huge budget, the quarter of a million dollars Mikels claims to have spent on it certainly not all going on the production itself. It looks a lot better than The Corpse Grinders, made a year earlier, and it goes back to what Mikels did best, showcasing strong women. There's a lot more consistency than in The Astro-Zombies: all the characters, whether male or female, seem capable and decisive, the light feels appropriate and the changes of scenery are believable. The soundtrack is dated but appropriate. It all feels like an Andy Sidaris film without boobs.

December 1, 2013

Movie Review: "Savages Crossing" (2011, Winnah Films/MVD Visual)

...often, it has been said that, movie-wise, the best ideas have long since been used up, and the ideas that are out there, are invariably being recycled, re-written and tweaked, here and there, with the initial concepts themselves alone being stale, but made 'fresh', or at least interesting, with the balanced and engaging interaction of characters involved in the concepts' scenarios. Hmmm!! Makes sense, in supposing that although the scenarios change very little, the countlessly imagined and written variety of combined chemicals...elicit different reactions and interactions...the ol' game of 'what if this type of person is thrown together with that type of person, and this type of person, and that type of person'. Looking back at the spectrum of films, spanning as far back as...well, as far back as the very beginning, the age-old scenario of a group of people...all from different walks of life, in some way, shape or form...some strangers, some not strangers, and some clearly pretending to be something, they are not...trapped together, as the result of some it monsters, gang members, frontier Indians, zombies, giant saber-toothed killer mutant gerbils...or even something as crashingly elemental as inclemently deliberating weather...with clashing egos, personality conflicts, tit-for-tat confrontations, underlinging vengeful intent, or simply the desperate act of survival, itself. In the end, if the characters aren't engagingly written well, or are ill-conceived and cliched to the point where the interaction is hardly relatable or interesting, then the well-worn scenario itself hardly matters, and the whole ball of wax falls apart. As visually striking and grim as the film proves to be, regrettably, such is the case with the lackluster, shoulder-shrugging, though somewhat redeemingly atmospheric and harrowing Aussie thriller from 2011, "Savages Crossing"......

Cinematic Hell: Santa Claus (1959)

by Hal Astell

Director: René Cardona

Stars: José Elías Moreno, Pulgarcito, José Luis Aguirre and Armando Arriola

Given that summer is here and the temperatures in west Phoenix are dancing around a hundred, I felt it was time for Mexican Christmas, courtesy of K Gordon Murray. He didn't just bring bizarre Mexican horror movies like The Brainiac north of the border, he brought a lot of bizarre Mexican movies for kids too, this one perhaps the most famous and the most bizarre of the bunch. Also, given that I'm writing while Arizona waits for SB1070 to become law and the substantial Hispanic population talks about the potential for racial discrimination, I couldn't help but read into this film commentary on how Mexicans see themselves. The best reality is found in fantasy, after all, and this one goes whole hog, way out there, because the Mexican Santa Claus, while obviously well known enough to get a movie of his very own, really isn't that similar to the equivalents we know from our own countries. In fact this Santa Claus mythology is well, rather customised.

November 30, 2013

Interracial Sex Havoc #12: 1998

The Interracial Sex Havoc project is a selection of reviews of films that contain at least one interracial sex scene. I am focusing on regular flicks (both independent and major studios productions), but select adult movies are also included. The present chapter is about pictures released in 1998. I reviewed many goodies, including a Spike Lee film and a Lodge Kerrigan one. So, enjoy!

He Got Game (1998)

Jake [Denzel Washington, approximately a decade before American Gangster (2007)] accidentally killed his wife [Lonette McKee from Men of Honor (2000)] and for the past six years he’s doing time at Attica Correctional Facility. He is approached by Warden Wyatt [Ned Beatty from Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)] who has some political connections that demand the inmate to pursue his son [Ray Allen] to sign to a particular college in order to become America’s next NBA star. If he manages to do that, his sentence will be reduced.

Jake, while on this short ‘work release program’ (as he is referring to the situation) he meets an abused hooker [Milla Jovovich, a good four years before Resident Evil (2002)] and they form a relationship of sorts (it could be explored more, but it did not, assumingly because that would forbiddingly stretch the already lengthy running time) and together they provide an attempt at an interracial sex scene.

Of further interest to this column’s regular readers will be Jesus (Jake’s son) sexual adventures which include fucking his girlfriend [Rosario Dawson, some nine years before Grindhouse (2007)] in an amusement park, and participating in a threesome with two lusty college girls [adult film superstars Chasey Lain and Jill Kelly] which is actually pivotal to the plot as it is part of a long string of scenes that show how this young man with a bag full of dreams gets tempted in all sorts of ways by people who want to gain things from his future. Unfortunately, it can be said that women in this film are often portrayed as a danger. There is also a dream/fantasy sequence with a lot of sex (and a lot of it is of interracial nature).

Mario Bava's "The Whip and the Body" Debuts December 17th, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Classics!

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22, 2013 - Kino Classics is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Mario Bava's THE WHIP AND THE BODY, starring iconic horror film star Christopher Lee, and mastered in HD from an original 35mm print.

Set to street on December 17th, the Blu-ray and DVD editions present the film with choice of audio in Italian with optional English subtitles, English dubbed, and French with optional English subtitles; audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark; the theatrical trailer; and original trailers of other Bava films. The SRP for the Blu-ray is $24.95; the SRP for the DVD is $19.95.

November 27, 2013

Movie Review: The Candidate/Johnny Gunman (1964/1957, Vinegar Syndrome)

...this viewer might well be beating a dead horse, with what may be keen and poignant observation, which many an auteur of rare and eclectic cinema obscura, have since come to the conclusion of, but hey...all the more to revere and 'butter up' such relishable revived and re-discovered films...from such a progressively reputable film distribution company. We're talking about the fine folks, over at Vinegar Syndrome, people...and who out there, have fallen victim to deja-vu, whilst visually engaging the films released by this still relatively new organization...fondly reflecting back to a day when such films were the under-the radar standard...unswervingly daring, controversial, exploitative, cutting-edge, erotic, forbidden, taboo, way-too-odd-for-mainstream, gritty...even at times, scatteringly issued by distributor Mike Vraney, in his heyday, and released under the appropriately monikered 'Something Weird Video' banner (...and to an extent, still does, in fact). 'Something Weird' might have once seen it's day, and to this day, remains very much appreciated and respected for such; however, it has become apparent that Vinegar Syndrome has since picked up this embraceably eclectic & respectable mantle, and is carrying on in the tradition...quickly becoming the source for undiscovered/rediscovered films of the more unconventional and controversial nature, which are...well, let's face it folks...deliciously misfit and odd...all the more deliciously apparent, with their latest 'two-fer' offering...the pairing of the 1964 political satire, "The Candidate", and the budget noirish 1957 drama, "Johnny Gunman"...

From a Shout to a Scream: An Interview With Jeff Nelson & Cliff MacMillan of Scream Factory

If you’re a horror and cult film fan chances are you have some titles from Shout Factory’s Scream Factory label. Recently we had a chance to interview the men behind the High-Def scares of this company, Cliff MacMillan and Jeff Nelson.

CHC: It's been a little over a year since the Scream Factory label made its initial splash, are you pleased with how far you've come with as many quality titles that you guys have produced?

JEFF: Extremely pleased! We’ve certainly exceeded what modest expectations we had when we first created the brand and have been amazed by the fan reaction and all of the great titles we’ve been able to pump out in such a short amount of time. It’s surreal at times actually.  

CLIFF:  very pleased. We put out a lot of titles in one year. I’m not sure we can put that many out in 2014 without going a little mad.

CHC: The recent release of the Vincent Price Collection is easily one of my favorite Blu-ray sets this year. The new bonus features in particular were definitely a reason cheer. How was the production on that and are you looking into more Price or AIP titles?

CLIFF: It’s always hard to produce extras for older films. We lucked out when someone from PBS contacted us about the Vincent Price introductions. Those really made the set special. The new interview with his daughter Victoria Price also made the set special. She was wonderful to work with.

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #122 - Turkey Trot

Jeff flies solo to talk about Thanksgiving movies, exploitation and more.

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Cinematic Hell: Manos: Hands of Fate (1966)

by Hal Astell

Director: Harold P Warren

Stars: Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Mahree and Hal Warren

Buy Manos: Hands of Fate on DVD

Ask any random moviegoer what the worst film of all time is and they'll generally throw back Plan 9 from Outer Space because they just don't know any better. It has to be the mostly widely seen really bad movie of its era, it features more outré celebrities than any John Waters movie ever made and it got special attention in the high profile Tim Burton/Johnny Depp biopic of its director, Ed Wood, so it's simply the easiest choice. Ask people who actually know about the really bad films, though, people like the writers of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and films that make Plan 9 from Outer Space look like Citizen Kane (well not quite but you get the picture), and they'll come up with a whole bunch of other suggestions. The one that tends to sink through all the dross to the very very bottom is this one, Manos: The Hands of Fate. It's supposed to be a horror movie but Quentin Tarantino, who owns what may be the only 35mm print of the film, calls it his favourite comedy of all time. Now I've finally seen it, I can understand why.

November 26, 2013

Movie Review: Eaters (2012)

by Peggy Christie

There's a reason why one shouldn't eat dinner while one is watching an Italian horror movie, and a zombie movie to boot. Perhaps I never watched Suspiria while trying to snuffle down a hamburger casserole. Believe me, I've learned my lesson now.

Eaters is a independent zombie flick out of Italy. Like most other undead films, this one takes place after the zombies have basically taken over. Igor and Alen, two remnant soldiers of a decimated regime, have survived along with Alen's girlfriend, a couple of chuckleheads, and a doctor. They reside in an abandoned...something. Can't tell what it used to be, perhaps a hospital, maybe a factory.

November 22, 2013

Movie Review: Fear the Forest (2009, Radient Pictures/Lost Empire Pictures) prevalent as the 'mythical' creature, know as Sasquatch...or, if you prefer,, as far as horror movie fodder goes, it's genuinely not surprising that an outright seriously horrific rending of the big guy, has rarely come to light. Considering the campy, 'National Enquirer' sensationalist baggage already instilled upon the urban legend creature, right from the get go, it's understandable why such subject matter can hardly be taken too seriously. There's no escaping the juxstapositioned stereotypes associated with even a well-written 'Bigfoot' film production...the sensationalist and speculative semi-documentary remplifications...the prerequisite 'astounding' finds and clues, attributed to the creature's 'existence', including conveniently happenstance film footage, hair tuft clippings and countless cement castings of footprints...the crazed, drunken, unshaven, raggedy 'Festus' geezer stereotype, ranting to the local-yokels, wide-eyed tourists, and the ravaging, exploitative-driven press, "...well, tar'nation...I dun' saw Bigfoot once...dat' critter dun' made a ear-shatterin' sound in them thar' woods, I wouldn' wanna hear twice!!" Or putting a whispered scare into hapless, shivering campers, cuddled around a rustic campfire, while toking a skunked bottle of hooch, "...ya' see, folks...dar's a legend in these here parts..."...