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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..."...

November 19, 2013

Movie Review: Sean Weathers Presents: Vault of Terror (2013, Full Circle Filmworks)

...gotta admit, it's a pretty damn good idea. Getting one's independently produced stuff out there, for all to see, by wrapping around it, classic stuff that's much more familiar to the masses...perhaps even attempting to correlate a connection between the two, in some way, shape or form. But it seems that's exactly what we have here, with the under-the-radar and off-the-charts cult film collection, "Sean Weathers Presents: Vault of Terror". For those unfamiliar (...and as of recently, not so much, as far as this viewer), Sean Weathers is a micro-budget independent film producer & director, who since 1996, has specialized in underground feature films and shorts, with a flavored emphasis on gritty, urban-based exploitation, horror and erotica...while providing a reportedly underlining social commentary, where applicable. Regularly expounded upon, via a weekly podcast, are notable titles in his repertoire, such as "House of the Damned", "They All Must Die" and "The Trade-Off", amongst others; and amidst these broadcasts, he (...along with fellow filmmaking associate, Aswad Issa...both of whom spearhead film production, with their small, maverick company, Full Circle Filmworks) features classic independent and low-budget films of the past...for the most part, public domain properties...and provides insightful commentary & personal thoughts on these films, as well as how such films have inspired his own unique work...

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #121 - This is the Worst Radio Ever

Dave and Kevin talk about the brilliance of Bill Cosby's stand-up, blaxploitation, a Superman musical, how classic television is lost on kids today, and reviews for Three the Hard Way and Batman Under the Red Hood.

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Interviewed by: Rob Sibley

 Natalie Jean needs very little introduction, she's a class act with a body of work that would make most salivate. She's done two stellar horror films both directed by the talented Adam Ahlbrandt. Both Cinema Head Cheese favorites, The Cemetery & Cross Bearer two of the best blood soaked Independent horror films that really charmed my black heart. 

Natalie was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions about her career. Luckily the interview didn't end with me 
begging for her phone # or  her filing a restraining order 
against me so I think it turned out well! A big thank
you to Natalie for such a fun interview and as always
being a total sweetheart (and not filing a sexual harassment suit against me!)

November 18, 2013

Movie Review: Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1993, Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Bill Lustig had a tough task with Maniac Cop 3. MC2 was easily one of the best action/horror films of the 80's. It's essential viewing if you dig these kinds of movies. It featured a stand out performance from Robert Davi, amazing stunts and gunplay that still is impressive to this day.

Maniac Cop 3 was released three years after MC2 and many fans say this was film that was better left dead. A lot of the blame went to Lustig but many didn't know the rather torrid production history the film went through.

In the making of feature director Bill Lustig had this to say "I hate the movie, I can't stand to watch it. Everyone got to piss in the pot, so that's what they got. A pot full of piss." My personal opinion is the film is much better then it's given credit for. For a film made esseintally by a comitte it came out well. Nowhere near as solid as part II but still it's a fun watch and at the end of the day... that's what counts.

November 17, 2013

Movie Review: The Black Waters of Echo's Pond (2009, Project 8 Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment)

...oh, that ol' rascally demi-god, Pan...yes, folks, we're talkin' the impish, clove-footed one with the pipe flute, of legendary Greek folklore...often consorting with them pesky, mischievously demonic entities and dark ones, residing in his abysmal lair, Pandemonium ( learning something new, every day...and now, privy of that word's origin). Tortuously preying upon the eternally damned ones...gleefully partaking of a most sadistic level of entertainment...cruelly exploiting the weaknesses, insecurities, vulnerabilities, jealousies and deceptions of mortal men...if need be, even turning them against one another, for the mere purpose of insidiously voyeuristic pleasures. Wouldn't it be interesting, and wrought with a twisted sense of intrigue, if modern man...who has long since abandoned the classical gods of lore...stumbled upon a venue, whereby the horrors of Pan and his diabolical minions could carry on, in their eternal gameplay of elating torture, pain-infliction...and death. Step right up, folks...gather around the circle...find your token in the game...a game where one is drawn to peer ever so deeply into a watery abyss, in an effort to see one's's's true self. Except, such unveiled truths...they aren't always what one expects, and sometimes…well, they ain't too pretty, the following story's hapless and unwary 'players' find out, in the cleverly contrived, chilling and oh-so horrific thriller from 2009, "The Black Waters of Echo's Pond"...

November 13, 2013

Movie Review: Zombies Vs. Strippers (2012)

You know, I’ve seen a bunch of movie listings with some kind of creatures battling strippers in their titles. For some reason, there are a ton of film makers out there that seem to think strippers would make great defenders of the American Way in case of some kind of supernatural outbreak: zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc. For you folks out there that like to make films, what’s up with that?

And so I waded into the naked glittery world of (non-porn) stripper movies with Zombies Vs. Strippers. In the greater Los Angeles area sits the Tough Titty, a quaint little strip club with a tiki motif. It’s run down and starving for customers, so much so that it’s $5000 in the hole and the owner, Spider, is considering selling it to a local land developer. His girls are devastated. But not to worry. A young stud, Spike, has just entered the establishment with $16,000 to spend. So what if he got it from a robbery? This could be the miracle the Tough Titty needs to stay alive!

Movie Review: Zombie Hunter (2013, Well Go USA)

...without a doubt, Danny Trejo has to be the hardest working character actor, working in Hollywood, these much so, in fact, his very presence in genre films might well be defined as outright exploitative. After all, considering his vast and eclectically varied resume of completed and in-progress starring film productions (...a 'wow' revelation, over at IMDB), it does almost seem like he appears in just about every other genre film, under the sun...for the most part, playing nearly the same 'anti-hero'-like characters that...despite the wayward change in costume, setting and not seem all that far removed from each other, from character to character. And surprisingly enough, in most of these films, Danny is cast in roles which...despite the occasional, full-blown starring role (...uh, can anyone say, "Machete"?)...don't seem to last, or fare too long, in the course of whatever film he might be featured in...with the exploitative justification being that, despite his minimal appearance in many of his films, the powers-the-be, as far as distribution and advertising, often see fit to frontline his name and mean-looking visage on film posters and home video venue covers. Taking all that in account, it might be easy to see that.....

"We interrupt the lovingly dedicated, in-progress celebrity reveling, with this breaking report...First-Time Filmmaker Kevin King Initiates 'Kickstarter' Campaign, In Effort to Illicit Funds for Production of Dream Horror/Actioner, Called "Zombie Hunter" ( relation to the Japanese manga), Premieres Said Film At Montreal-Based 2013 Fantasia International Film Festival...And In the End, Concocts Slap-Together Sloppy, Very Contrived, Overly Emulative, 'So What' Eye-Rolling & Shoulder-Shrugging, and Overall Brainless Entry In Well-Worn 'Zombie' Horror Film Sub-Genre"...

November 12, 2013

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #120 - Young Frankenballs

Dave is back with Kevin this week, and he talks about his experience with "Young Frankenstein: The Musical." They also discuss the genius of Miley Cyrus, Dave talks about his newest custom Migo and Kevin reviews the twisted Chilean flick Hidden in the Woods.

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November 10, 2013

Movie Review: The Sexualist (1973) + Wendy's Place (1971)

Directed by Kemal Horulu

Review by Greg Goodsell

This double bill of Seventies pornography – one hard, the other soft, is the best such pairing by Vinegar Syndrome yet. The Sexualist, which also went under the far wordier title of The Sexualist: A Voyage to the World of Forbidden Love, shows unprecedented ambition for a film of this type. The action is up close and very personal, but it has a bit more on its agenda than poontang. Wendy's Place? Not so much.

To begin the review proper: The Sexualist details the efforts of an overbearing hippie porno film director Jeffrey Montclair (Dale T. Fuller) to make an astrological skin flick. Pompous narration over hardcore footage describes the various leanings of certain men and women of astrological bent are then presented in time-treasured “white coater” fashion. We learn that Taurus women “make great business executives” amid all the people making nookie nookie. The chief story involves iconic porno performer Jennifer Welles. growing dissatisfaction with the project at hand. She picks up and seduces rich brat Shana O'Neal pedaling 52 miles to New York from Staten Island – who in turn is then cast in the porno film. That's it for real plot, as The Sexualist meanders all over the place with terribly unfunny comedic skits.

November 9, 2013

Movie Review: CZ12: Chinese Zodiac (2012, Emperor Motion Pictures)

...really gotta give mega-action-star Jackie Chan, some serious gumption. After all, look at the dude; at only 59 years of age, still being one of the most youthfully vibrant celebrities, working in martial arts cinema, despite his seasoning...and still doing his own stunts, at his age, no less. The guy is, without a doubt, the 'Mick Jagger' of the martial arts movie genre, in the sense that the death-defying stunts that he does, isn't gonna kill him; it'll be merely the fact that he'll keep tirelessly working in the motion picture field, up until the point that...well, up to the point when he just can't do it, anymore, physically...he's that dedicated. What's so damn cool about that dedication, is that for him, it's not just for the's for the endless, world-wide legion of fans, who he dedicates himself to. As such, this proves a most invariably inarguable point, considering his well-documented, record breaking stuntwork, which has been a better part of his well as the ensuing, equally record-breaking injuries, which he has sustained, in the course of the 40-some-odd years, which he has been performing (...and for those privy to all of Jackie's work, that observation might be emphasized best, in watching the jaw-dropping end-credit outtake footage, in each of his films...a practice, which he was inspired to include at the end of each of his films, after having starred in 1981's "Cannonball Run"...which also included outtake footage, during the end credits). Well, this viewer is here to tell you that despite his reported announcements, Jackie seemingly appears to have no sign of stopping in his tracks and packing it in, as far as offering his fans, the death-defying, action-packed thrills and chills they've come to expect, as evident in his latest cross-country actioner (...yes, he directed this one, too)...a rollicking excursion in comedy, intrigue, mystery and high adventure, called "CZ12: Chinese Zodiac"...

Movie Review: Barbara Broadcast (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)

If you've had the opportunity of catching the remastered DVD and Blu-ray releases of Radley Metzger's adult features from Distripix / Video-X-Pix like The Opening of Misty Beethoven, The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann and Maraschino Cherry you've come to expect a quality of care that's rarely seen by other adult movie distributors. The recent release of the three disc DVD/ Blu-ray combo pack of Metzger's Barbara Broadcast carries on what those fine titles had going for them with a new restoration and some glorious goodies.

What if there was a restaurant where you could get a hand-job for an appetizer, intercourse for dinner and a little blowjob to finish off things to cap off the evening? This is the reality of  Henry Paris Barbra Broadcast? The elegant and always lovely Annette Haven (Maraschino Cherry) plays Barbara, a very well respected Madame who's on hand in this pleasure-based establishment to do an interview with a reporter named Roberta(C.J Laing) who happens to very interested in her life. From this point forward Metzger establishes an at times off-the-wall fantasy - with the viewer quickly being whisked away in a series of vignettes that weave a decadent piece of Golden Age entertainment.

November 8, 2013

Movie Review: eXistenZ (1999)

I watched this movie years ago. So long ago that I didn’t remember half of the cast. Or maybe I just tried to block it from my mind because I hated it so much. But being 14 years older now, and it being part of the package of films sent to me by my illustrious colleague, Jeff, so I kinda HAVE to watch it, maybe it’ll be different this time. Maybe I’ve developed a more discriminating sense of taste; maybe this time I’ll remember that David Cronenberg wrote and directed it. I have enjoyed his work in the past.

Then again maybe it still sucks.

eXistenZ is about a game developer named Allegra. She has designed a revolutionary new game (that would be eXistenZ, btw) that will change the gaming world as we know it. Apparently, though, there are some people who don’t brook no innovativeness and want her dead. After someone tries to kill her, Allegra goes on the run with a PR nerd, Ted, from her company. While hiding out, Allegra needs to assess the damage done to her biopod during the attempt on her life. It's the gaming system that looks like a giant sex toy that literally PLUGS INTO YOUR FUCKING SPINAL CORD. In order to assess, she has to play the game with a friendly, aka Ted.

Movie Review: Maniac Cop 2 (1990, Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Review By: Rob Sibley

 Finally after years upon years of waiting and watching shoddy full screen DVD transfers of this action/horror classic (Yes I said class). Blue Underground releases the film onto Blu-ray for the first time and even better this is the first time this fine film has received a release in it's proper 1.85:1 Widescreen aspect ratio.

Not only that but Blue Underground has gone the extra mile with the bonus features. This was easily the most anticipated release of the year for me and Blue Underground did this film proud. Not surprising since as we all know the director Bill Lustig runs BU.

Maniac Cop has always been a favorite film of mine. It's a near perfect film for what it is. It's filled to the brim with that great sleazy NYC atmosphere of the 80's that Lustig captured perfectly in his earlier films. It features a strong performance from Robert Davi and Robert Z'Dar aka the Maniac Cop perfectly embodies the role of this undead & unstoppable Terminator/Zombie like cop out for vengeance.

November 7, 2013

Movie Review: From Up On Poppy Hill (2011, Studio Gibli, Cinedigm Entertainment)

...this viewer really has to hand it to the skilled writers, directors and animators of the best of contemporary Japanese anime; when skillfully integrated, there's a certain symbiotic relationship between the extraordinary visual splendor of these varied productions, and the engaging & quite compelling storylines, which the striking visuals help to tell. Often, from production to production, the story relies on the visuals, and vice-versa, but also, they complement each other. Without the story, the visuals prove to be merely eye-candy, and without the visuals...well, one might as well merely be reading a book, and imagining the visuals. And some select anime productions are so masterfully visually captivating and engaging, with regards to the characters, it makes one genuinely wonder why the filmmakers involved, chose not to conceive and render such an exquisite production, as a live-action feature film, rather than utilizing animation. It is that keen latter observation, which denotes anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, as one of the most skillful artists, working in his field. Most anime devotees very much know and lovingly embrace his masterful work, which includes such classics as "Princess Mononoke" (1997), "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989), "Spirited Away" (2001), and "The Castle of Cagliostro" (1979), amongst others. And proving that the proverbial apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as far as equally skillful filmmaking artistry, in the realm of anime feature-film production, Hayao's son, Goro, has proven himself, his father's equal, carrying on the tradition, with the strikingly beautiful, breathtaking, captivating and compelling coming-of-age drama, 2011's "From Up On Poppy Hill"...

November 6, 2013

Cross Bearer & The Cemetery kick ass and take names at Pollygrind!

The production team behind the Adam Ahlbrandt double feature Buried In Flesh (Cross Bearer, a gritty arthouse slasher, and The Cemetery, an ultra-violent possession tale) is pleased to announce its U.S. premiere at Pollygrind Film Festival has been awarded Best Horror Movie (The Cemetery). Also taken home was Best Use of Blood/Gore (The Cemetery), the Director’s Showcase Award to Ahlbrandt for his accomplishments with Buried In Flesh, and the Newcomer Award to lead actress Natalie Jean for her performances in both features. 

Movie Review: The Vincent Price Collection (Blu-ray)

Vincent Price is one of those rare breeds of actor that simply put - is bigger than life. His versatility and scene-eating prowess made the majority of his features so engaging to fans of genre that has undoubtedly put him at horror legend status. Whether it was his work on Roger Corman's Poe titles or his other AIP excursions, his involvement was almost a sure thing that what you were about to see was something truly special. The folks at Scream Factory have been hard at work on preserving Vincent's legacy with their four Blu-ray set that includes six of his finest contributions to genre - The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of Red Death, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Witchfinder General, The Haunted Palace and The Fall of the House of Usher. All titles have been restored for the glorious high-definition format and, yes, like previous Scream Factory releases it's loaded with extra features both new and ported from the MGM DVD releases

The set kicks off with two of Price's crowning achievements on disc one - The Pit and the Pendulum and The Masque of Red Death. The Pit and the Pendulum marked Price's second foray into the world of Edgar Allen Poe with Roger Corman. Here Price plays, Nicholas Medina, the husband of the recently deceased Elisabeth (Barbara Steele, Black Sunday). Following her death, Elisabeth's brother takes a trip to visit Medina's castle to find out a little more about what happened. The plot thickens pretty quickly as Medina, while the showing facade of depressed widower, he's actually hiding plenty of secrets - one being a giant swinging pendulum in his torture device filled basement. Price is excellent here as Medina and no doubt plays this "tortured" individual well. Corman is also at the top of his game along with the very welcome storytelling strengths of Richard Matheson.

November 5, 2013

Movie Review: The Face with Two Left Feet (1979, Code Red)

...ever bear witness to a movie...never mind if it proves good or bad (...let's face it...some films, like the one you are about to become privy of, are beyond such criticism)...from first frame to last, which has you so incredulously wide-eyed, mouth-gaped, constantly thinking, "...what the @#$%??" Whether you want to walk away or not, that you cannot turn away from it, because of the revelational unbelievability of what you are watching. And at the end, you catch yourself throwing your head back, slapping your forehead with the palm of your hand, rolling your eyes, and exclaiming, "...Jeez!!", a minute or two after the final credits roll...again, not necessarily because of whether the movie was good or bad, but because you just cannot grasp at the reasoning or the possibilities, as to why or how the film could have possibly come into existence, nor can you consider whether or not it deserves to exist. Your mind, gnawed and tortured, you unconsciously pick up the remote, push 'play' again, and engage the film a second time. And after all is said and done, you...uh, you throw up your hands, and sighingly resign yourself to actually liking the film; you're still not sure why or how you like it...or perhaps, you are embarrassed at the reasons for liking the film, but H-H-HAVE to admit liking it, nonetheless. If you can relate to any of, my friends, are in the throes of what is, according to Hoyle, known as the 'guilty pleasure', or perhaps, as in the hapless case of this viewer, having recently embraced the obscure, though still irresistible, enjoyably ludicrous and hilariously wacky, grindhouse-styled, disco-themed comedy, 1979's "The Face with Two Left Feet", you have caught...'The Fever'...

November 4, 2013

Movie Review: Demon Hunters: Fear The Silence (2013, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Before I start this review I think it's important to state what I consider to be an "independent film". Those two words are thrown around more often then I like. To me a true independent film costs less then 30K to make. To me that's the true spirit of Indie film, it means the filmmakers did it for a passion of movie making. They didn't do it for the fame or the glory or the money.

Demon Hunters is one of those films, a true Independent gem. Made for next to nothing, the film takes a high concept and does it on a shoe-string budget and actually pulls it off. So many filmmakers have had their hearts in the right place but failed to execute. Usually due to sloppy screen writing or iffy acting.

I'm happy to report that Demon Hunters for the most part avoids all of these pitfalls by smartly setting the action in basically one location. It also doesn't take itself seriously at all which is refreshing to say the least.

November 3, 2013

Cinematic Hell: The Brain From Planet Arous (1957)

by Hal Astell

Director: Nathan Hertz

Stars: John Agar, Joyce Meadows and Robert Fuller

Buy The Brain From Planet Arous on DVD

Beyond sporting a title as outrageously inviting as The Brain from Planet Arous, surely a gift to any pornographic spoofer, this film opens with what appears to be Tinkerbell dancing around the Mesa of Lost Women. No wonder director Nathan Juran insisted on having his credit changed to Nathan Hertz, though Hertz is his middle name rather than a description of the reaction his own brain had to the finished picture. It can't be good when the director is embarrassed of a feature he made, even one that kicks off with an explosion and has make up by Jack Pierce, Universal's monster maker. We soon see why: we're about to be subjected to John Agar, who married Shirley Temple and debuted opposite John Wayne and Henry Fonda in John Ford's Fort Apache, but went consistently downhill from there. This is a bad film and yet it's only partway down the ski slope of quality that ended with him in Larry Buchanan movies like Zontar: The Thing from Venus.

Movie Review: Zombie Ex's (2013, Northern Fabulous/Bloody Earth Films)

 ...nope...nope...not this viewer, thank you very much...nope...not gonna do it...nope...not gonna do it, dammit, says this viewer!! Not gonna go into another droning and repetitive rant about yet another new zombie comedy, amidst the countless zombie comedies already gracing the horror genre wasteland. Nope. Not gonna reflect back upon bygone humble beginnings, what horror sub-genre has since been wrought, as the result of some little 1968 presumably classic zombie flick, by some dude...maybe you've heard of him...some dude named Romero, or something like that, I think. Oh hell, no. Not gonna shovel out the typical ya-da-da ya-da-da ya-da-da about a new zombie flick that once again establishes & revels the 'basic rules' of the zombie genre, storywise (...i.e., being reanimated flesh-eaters, needing to shoot them in the head, etc.), and yet, tries to turn the genre on it's head, by humorously gives the expected proceedings, a supposedly fresh twist, or some underliningly social satire. And it's a shame that this viewer isn't gonna do all that, 'cause such oft-visited, nostalgic reflection of this beaten and well worn horror genre would still make for a reasonable and much greater measure of insight and relevation, than the adequate, though pretty much shoulder-shrugging, ho-hum offerings afforded the hapless viewer of the 2013 horror comedy, "Zombie Ex's"...

November 2, 2013

Movie Review: X-Ray/Schizoid (1982/1980, Cannon/Shout Factory)

Oh, how delightfully crazed and eclectically varied, was the cinematic reign once held by 'the little studio that could', The Cannon Group. From production to distribution...from relentless vigilantes to shuriken-welding ninjas...from fantastic fantasy-filled adventures to special effects-filled sci-fi spectaculars...from psycho killers to break-dancing 'boogaloos'...from sleazy big-studio knock-offs to Academy Award-winning respectables...Cannon Films...ambitiously led by the exploitatively entrepreneur-driven efforts of Menahem Golen and Yoram Globus...managed to hold their own quite well against the 'big boys' of Hollywood...their inception, their brief, albeit respectable studio run, their eventual downfall...all components in a most intriguing story, which in itself, would make for quite an interesting tale to tell (...and actually WILL, when the long-awaited documentary, "Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films", is unleashed upon the public, sometime next year). And how equally delightful is the relevation that the fine folks at Shout Factory, has picked up a good number of titles from the Cannon Group library...culled from their direct film production efforts, to those of outer circle production sources...domestic and international...which, in their exploitatively idyllic wisdom, chose to represent and distribute. Never one to ignore a 'flavor-of-the-moment' movie trend, Cannon was, of course, quick to ride the late '70's/mid-to-late '80's 'splatter movie' bandwagon, with some of their own visceral & juicy productions and acquisitions...

November 1, 2013

Synapse Films to Release Dario Argento's Masterpiece "Suspiria" on Blu-ray and DVD!



ROMULUS, MI – Oct. 31, 2013 – Synapse Films, Inc. has acquired the North American home-video rights to Dario Argento's 1977 classic horror film SUSPIRIA, with an original soundtrack by European prog-rockers Goblin. Described as “one of the scariest films of all time” by Entertainment Weekly, SUSPIRIA stars the beautiful Jessica Harper (Brian De Palma's PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, Woody Allen's STARDUST MEMORIES) as a young girl caught up in a coven of witches controlling a German dance academy, with a guest appearance by Udo Kier (Lars von Trier's NYMPH( )MANIAC, Andy Warhol's FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA).

“I’ve been involved in the restoration and release of many films in my career, but SUSPIRIA has always eluded me, until now,” says Donald May, Jr., President of Synapse Films. “It’s one of my favorite horror films and I’m ecstatic that my business partner, Jerry Chandler, was able to negotiate with the rights holders to release this film. This is going to be an amazing project
for us.”

Synapse Films, Inc. will work closely with Technicolor Rome and Technicolor Los Angeles to create an all-new high-definition 2K scan from the original negative for a possible 2014-15 video release. “It’s important to spend as much time as possible to create the definitive high-definition home video version for the fans,” May explains. “We’re going to take our time with this one.”

Synapse Films, Inc. is currently planning the extensive work on SUSPIRIA in conjunction with Technicolor, utilizing both their Rome and Hollywood facilities. The film scanning will be coordinated and supervised by Technicolor Hollywood’s Director of Restoration Services, Tom Burton, whose film restoration credits include Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER, Georges Méliès’ A TRIP TO THE MOON, and Blake Edwards' BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S.

Final specifications, retail pricing, and extras for the Synapse Films release of SUSPIRIA will be announced closer to the as yet to be determined release date.