Sunday, 31 March 2013

WEEK 98 - Who Can Kill a Child?

Alternate Titles : Island of Death, Island of the Damned, Death is Child's Play, Would You kill a Child?, The Hex Massacre, Trapped
Year: 1976
Reviews / Author Comments due: 6/04/2013
Reason for Inclusion: "Island of Death" was at one point removed (then re-added) to the DPP list. It is believed that it was removed after someone watched this movie (See "Alternate Titles" above) and was re-added once the mistake was realised. It is possible though, that this film was briefly on the DPP list, then removed, then the other Island of Death added.Because the DPP list was not required to be explained or defended, we have no way of knowing for sure if this movie was ever a Video Nasty.
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2011
More Info: Wikipedia, IMDB

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

City of the Living Dead - Will's Review

And so, we finish off out second loose Italian trilogy in as many weeks; this time Fuluci's "Gates of Hell", which also included the DPP movies 'The Beyond' and 'House by the Cemetery'. Like Argento's "Three Mothers", These three films are only loosely connected, and can be watched in any order; the only connections are references to a book of magic / prophesy (The Book of Enoch) and a couple if cast members (playing different characters in each film).

In this, the first of the trilogy, the suicide of a priest opens a gate to hell in Dunwich.

Two things before we go any further.:

1. We are told (repeatedly) that Dunwich is cursed because it was by it on the ruins of Salem, and that the residents are the defendants of the original witch burners; I appreciate that the movie predates google and Wikipedia by a couple of decades, but in reasonably certain that even a cheap printed encyclopaedia would have told the writers that Salem is still standing, and still called Salem.

2. The priest no only looks uncannily like a young Christopher Lee, but is made up to be pale, with a slight redness around the eyes and brushes back dark hair. I honestly expected to see fangs every time he opened his mouth!

Back to the movie:

This suicide is 'witnessed' by a group in another part of the country, who are holding a seance - this proves to be too much for one poor young lady, who dies of fright on the spot.

Inexplicably, her death doesn't stick, and so after she is freed from her coffin by a reporter who was originally investigating her death, they head off to Dunwich together to try and close the gate to hell before All Souls' Day.

The best character (and only person in the movie who seems to be actually acting, rather than collecting a payslip) is Local simpleton Bob (John Morghen - Cannibal Apocalypse / Cannibal Ferox); not the most popular man in town, after he was once caught in the woods with a young lady (who remains his friend, so I can only guess he was with her in all innocence) Bob seems to have been branded the town pervert and scapegoat; when the people of Dunwich start dying, it isn't long before the local barflies start blaming poor old Bob.

Of course, we know that the killer isn't Bob; it's a group of super-strong, teleporting Zombies, lead by the suicide priest.

The All Souls' Day deadline, by the way, seems to be entirely arbitrary; At one point in the movie, our heroine points out that it is now All Souls' Day... But they continue anyway, and still have their final battle.

The zombies are great in this (although I'm not sure about the teleporting) with a nicely decayed look and the strength to rip the backs of people's skulls off, but it's the priest who steals the show, with his ability to fix his victims to the spot with a stare, causing their eyes to bleed and their organs to climb up out if their mouths!

The gore is top notch (duh; it's Fuluci), the plot is enjoyable, but mad (Fuluci), and the ending makes dick-all sense (again... Fuluci), but thankfully the story proper does have some resolution before the nonsensical final scene.

All in all, I feel quite happy recommending this one, but (despite the title, and the fact that it has zombies in it) don't go in expecting a 'Zombie movie' in any traditional sense.

City of the Living Dead - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

So after a couple of Argento weeks, I was relatively pleased to have a Fulci offering this week.  I didn't know a great deal about Fulci before starting 'The Nasties' and was pleasantly surprised with what I have watched so far.  So what about 'City of the living dead'?

This movie rang bells with me and I wasn't sure why... then I remembered.  This was a movie my husband (a BIG zombie fan) had watched many years ago and the memory got lost in the recesses of time.  In more recent years, he was reading an online review which listed it as one of the greatest zombie movies of all time. Of course he had to go out and buy a copy.  That was where my memory came from.  He watched it and was mightilly disappointed with the outcome.  This is from a man who has probably seen most zombie movies out there.

Our very basic premis starts with a pirest committing suicide and in the process opening the gates to hell where dead residents of a town called Dunwich reanimate and set about killing everyone in sight.  We have a medium called Mary, who supposedly 'dies' at the start of the movie out of sheer fright when we see's the situation surrounding our priest.  She is buried alive and when she comes to, she is rescued by a reported called Peter.  They set off to Dunwich to attempt to save the world from the ensuing madness....

Sooo what did I think?  Well there was a 'feeling' to the movie that I liked, which Fulci always manages to create.  I liked the special effects (although you have to allow for its time).  We have vomitting entrails, bleeding eyeballs (I particularly like this one), crusty zombies and a horrific drill death.  The zombies in this one are very different to the normal shuffling, moronic ones.  These ones are smart and can even teleport!  You think they're far away and KABOOM, there they are, right in front of you.  Jumpy!!!  They also look different, more like burns victims I thought.  It's nice to sometimes see different interpretations of the living dead.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

WEEK 97: City Of The Living Dead

Alternate Titles : Gates Of Hell, Paura nella città dei morti viventi [English translation: Fear in the City of the Living Dead]
Year: 1980
Reviews / Author Comments due: 30/3/2013
Reason for Inclusion: Formed an unofficial "trilogy" with DPP nasties The Beyond, and The House by the Cemetery.
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2010
More Info: Wikipedia, IMDB

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mother of Tears - Will's Review

And so, we bid farewell to the Three Mothers Trilogy - Meh.

Sorry for the delay by the way - I've been struck down with a nasty (and rather persistent) cold; In fact, I have been toying with the idea of giving this one a second watch-through before reviewing it, feeling I may have missed something. On reflection though, looking back at the other two films in the trilogy  a clear head is likely to have made little difference.

Mother of Tears - Lisa's review

*** SPOILERS ***

So a little late due to power outages with our weather, but I'm finally getting around to my review.

So the last in the trilogy of our Argento movies and I can't say I'm sad to see the back of them.  I'm just not a fan at all I'm afraid, so you can imagine where this review is going....

Something I will give this movie is that its not afraid of the old gore.  I have to admit to liking the copious amount of nasty and imaginative ways to meet the end in this movie, but it did have the same disjointed, confusing feel to it.  I suppose I just watched it for the next 'good bit'.

The basic premis surrounds a coffin being unearthed with the remains of the old mother in it.  There is also a smaller casket secured to the top with various artifacts inside.  What happens isn't hard to imagine... casket is opened and power of evil is released... even with the stereotypical 'blood from accidentally cut hand' awakening things.... yawn.

The only things for me worth mentioning are the deaths and the lovely piece of music at the end courteousy of 'Cradle of filth'.  

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Week 96: Mother of Tears

Alternate Titles : La Terza madre, The Third Mother
Year: 2007
Reviews / Author Comments due: 23/03/2013
Reason for Inclusion: Third part of the "Three Mothers" Trilogy, Following "Suspiria" and DPP film "Inferno"
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2008
More Info: Wikipedia, IMDB

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Suspiria - Lisa's Review

I have watched this movie before, many years ago.  I have little recollection of it, so today I have watched it in stages as I fear I'll not get it watched at all this week otherwise.

This is going to be a pretty short review... it probably should be a pretty long one were I trying to make sense of what I have watched, but you know what?  I've decided this one isn't to be made sense of... at least not in my current state.

This is a very surreal movie.  Something you should know about me?  I hate surrelism.  I can't be arsed trying to work it out, trying to see the imagery and what it represents, trying to be all arty farty about it.  Give me a movie with a bloody storyline where I don't need a university degree to work out whats going on and I'm happy.

Suspiria - Will's Review

Argento; primary colours, Goblin soundtrack, beautiful set pieces, and a paper-thin plot (that doesn't make much sense anyway).

This time, an American student (The impossibly cute and perpetually surprised-looking Jessica Harper) has travels to Europe to join an exclusive Ballet school... Which turns out to be the front for a much more sinister operation.

As this is one of the 'Three Mothers' trilogy you've probably figured out by now that (Mild spoiler) it's witches.

Head witch is the Directoress of the school, who is allegedly away on business, but (bigger, but not huge, spoiler) we soon learn that she is still in the school when (I shit you not) one of the students recognises her snore!

Like I said, the plot is pretty much bobbins, but it has to be forgiven as parts of it are a joy to watch - in particular a scene in which a winged creature attacks someone off-screen - we never see the beast, only glimpses of it's shadow, but it's one of the most effective 'monster' scenes I've seen in a while!

For its visual busty, I'm leap eared to overlook the nonsensical / scarce plot, and give this one a thumbs up - it's no more than I did for Fuluci's "The Beyond".

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Week 95: Suspiria

Year: 1977
Reviews / Author Comments due: 16/05/2003
Reason for Inclusion: First part of the "Three Mothers" Trilogy, Followed by DPP film "Inferno" and "Mother of Tears". Cut on release in 1977
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2010
More Info: Wikipedia, IMDB

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Pink Flamingos - Will's Review

It's almost impossible to criticise this film in any conventional manner, Because most of the criticisms that you could level at it are the things it sets out to achieve.

If this were any other film you might complain that it's just as many offensive things as possible strung together; But that is entirely the point of the movie, in fact it was billed as "An exercise in poor taste". Even the terrible overacting seems to be a directorial choice, tailored to the scrip's constant use of hyperbole.

Unfortunately, just because something is deliberate, doesn't make it good, especially as the movie also, quite unintentionally, commits the cardinal sin, the one thing that really is unforgivable in a movie; for much if its runtime, it's dull.

Repulse me, shock me, make me hate you for killing a chicken just to make a movie, but by all that's unholy, please, do not bore me!

The plot, such as it is, is that (drag star) Devine has been named "filthiest person alive" and, due to the attention this brings, gone into hiding with her son, Crackers, her mentally ill egg-obsessed mother, Edith, and her traveling companion, Cotton.

Meanwhile Connie and Raymond Marbles, a couple who kidnap women, impregnate them, sell the babies to lesbian couples, and then loan the money to drugs pushers who operate in elementary schools (!) feel that they are more worthy of the "filthiest people alive" moniker, and set out to destroy Divine.

But really none of that is relevant, it's all an excuse for scenes such as toe sucking, a rape scene involving Crackers, his date and a chicken (the chicken ends up dead, but thankfully still a virgin), a "singing" asshole (a guy who can dilate his anal sphincter at will 'miming'), cannibalism , and the most un-erotic act of felacio you've ever seen; an obese man, playing a woman, sucking the flaccid cock of a man playing her son, punctuated with dialogue like "I want to give you a gift only a living mother can give" and "I want to receive it as a loving son should".

The highlight of the movie, is Edith Massy, Playing Devine's mentally changed, Egg obsessed, playpen dwelling, mother. At times she is so convincing that it gets uncomfortable to watch... If feels like they must be exploiting a genuinely disabled woman*

Finally, when the movie proper is over, there's one final thing; a non-sequitur that's one of the most famous scenes in cult / endurance cinema. I'm almost loathed to say what it is, but at the end if the day, I you're the type of person who's going to seek out an imported copy of a 70's gross-out film you probably already know about it.

Devine eats dig shit.

For real.

In one continuous shot, a little dog takes a dump, and Devine picks it up, pops it in her mouth and eats it; pausing only to flash the camera cinemas most literal shit-eating grin.

For my money though, even though it was fake, the shit eating in Saló is still worse, if only through frequency and volume. (Case in point; I described the Devine scene just with relative ease, but as soon as I began to recall Saló I say here dry-heaving at my keyboard).

I can see that, given the right crowd, the boring moments can probably be he heckled over and forgiven; indeed this movie did find some success on the midnight movies circuit; but at home, alone or with only a small group, it's a really bad movie.

I can't say 'avoid' because there's a lot if stuff that's worth seeing, if only because it's so unique, but unless a local cinema does a midnight revival screening, I can't come close to recommending it either.

I've said it many times, but I definitely like John Waters a LOT more than I like John Waters' movies; midnight screenings aside, give this a miss and track down the movie of his one man show "This Filthy World" instead - his Pink Flamingo anecdotes are wayyy more entertaining than the movie itself.

*I feel I should point out that, while certainly eccentric, Massey is not genuinely challenged in real life.

Pink Flamingos - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

So to review the oddest, strangest movie I have ever watched.  As I write, I'm not even sure how I'm going to proceed or do this, but here we go....

We follow our star Divine who has been named 'The filthiest person alive'.  This seems to be a title much sought after and one Divine is very proud of.  She is living under the name Babs Johnson in a trailer-park with her very odd and over sexed son Crackers, a friend Cotton and wierdest of all, her mother, who seems to be mentally ill and spends all her time partially dressed in a playpen in the living room.  All she seems to do in the movie is talk about eggs, how much she loves eggs, how she wants to eat eggs.... you get the drift.

For reasons best known to themselves, a married couple Raymond and Connie Marble wish to be the filthiest people alive so they seek to find out where Divine is living to destroy her.  This couple run an adoption agency with a difference.  They kidnap and keep hostage young women and their gay servant Channing (yes I said gay) is forced to rape them to impregnate them.  The resulting babies are then given to lesbian couples.  As you can imagine this gives for some rather questionable scenes.  In one scene Channing, so disgusted with having to sleep with these women, masturbates in front of one woman before sucking up the produced semen in a syringe and artifically inseminating an unconscious woman.  This is much more preferable to him than having to have sex with them.

I don't see the point of going into the full storyline of the movie as it is very warped, very odd and won't convince or unconvince you to watch this movie.  What I will say is that it appeared to me to be nothing more than an attempt to put what would have been considered the most shocking and repugnant things possible on screen for the era it was made (70's).

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Week 94: Pink Flamingos

Alternate Titles : John Waters' Pink Flamingos
Year: 1972
Reviews / Author Comments due: 9/03/2013
Reason for Inclusion: Successfully prosecuted under the obscene publications act, avoided much attention by unique distribution method: To purchase the film, you had to send payment with a blank video tape, onto which the film would be copied, and sent back with packaging, thus no stock was carried and none could be seized in raids.
BBFC Status: Passed with cuts in 1999 with 2m8s of cuts, offered an uncut 18 in 2008, however the distributors withdrew the application, meaning the 1999 cut version is the strongest version legally available in the UK.
More Info: IMDB, Wikipedia
DVD: Uncut R1

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Blood For Dracula - Will's Review

When the Andy Warhol produced Flesh for Frankenstein came in under time and under budget. The same cast and crew (and remaining money) were utilised to produce this follow-up, which attempts to give a similar off-kilter treatment to the worlds most famous vampire.

Blood for Dracula - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

From the same guys who brought us 'Flesh for Frankenstein', 'Blood for Dracula' is also a very odd, yet at the same time compelling movie... in that you find it hard to drag your eyes away from it, much as you may want to at times.

My favourite part of this movie is the introduction as the opening credits roll, which show the impossibly beautiful Udo Kier as Dracula making up his face in front of a mirror, ironically to hide his sickly pallor.  The thing is, the count needs to drink virgin blood in order to stay alive and well. Transylvania seems sadly lacking in that area.  For this reason, with the advice of his servant Anton and the blessing of his sister, he sets off for Italy, as Anton figures this is where there should be plethora of young catholic virgin girls.

Their cover story is that he is seeking a wife and custom dictates that he must marry a virgin girl.  Step forward the di Fiore family, who have 4 young daughters, who they claim are virgins.  However, 2 of the 4 girls have already been deflowered thanks to the creepy, sleazy handyman Mario.  Sadly for the count, he discovers one of the subjects of his advances is no virgin and he immediately becomes very ill and treats us to a lovely blood vomitting scene.  Kudos to Udo for the convincing acting in this scene... speaking of acting, asides from him, the acting in this movie is monumentally AWFUL.  The accents are cringe-worthy and sometimes you're not sure if you should be laughing....