Dec 31, 2012

EVE

Dec 30, 2012

RANT: HYPE

hype  /hīp/
  • (noun) – Extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion.
  • (verb) – Promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.

   

Ah, hype. It’s a motherfucker. It seems to come from nowhere, usually starting with a group of people, or perhaps just one, which is all it takes to get the ball rolling. What soon becomes an act of first discovery leads to a small cult following, which leads to propaganda, which leads to mass brainwashing on a global scale, which leads to Roddy Piper demanding Keith David put on those goddamned sunglasses so he can filter all the bullshit and see the world for what it really is.

As cynical as I am (and boy howdy, am I ever), it is very hard not to fall victim to that dreaded “h” word. When you can sort through all the genre films that come out in one calendar year and count on one hand the ones that are actually worth seeing, let alone great, it’s difficult not to become disillusioned. And it’s even more difficult for your ears not to prick up when buzz starts rolling in. How do you hear phrases like “genuinely scary” or “instant classic" (a phrase I abhor) and not become immediately enthusiastic and excited?

Internet has changed everything, for better and for worse. I am of the age where, though I completely adore my Internet life, I can also remember what life was like before it. Back then, if you wanted to know about the next installments of Phantasm or Halloween, you only had Fangoria Magazine (unless said installment starred Jamie Lee Curtis – then Entertainment Weekly suddenly cared). And all you were allowed to know about their productions was what Fangoria allowed you to know – a quote here, description of a scene there, and topped off with a publicity still that, nine times out of ten, wasn’t even indicative of a scene in the film. For a long, long time, that is all we had. In fact, when I was a tyke still unaware of Fangoria’s existence, the very first time I knew of the coming of Halloween: H20 (I was completely obsessed with that boogeyman in my youth) was a teaser trailer in front of Scream 2. Not even euphoria could represent what I had felt. It was like meeting a superhero, or winning the lottery. A franchise that had been dormant for three years, and seemed all but dead after the abysmal Curse of Michael Myers, was suddenly back with a vengeance – and not only that, it hailed the return of Laurie Fucking Strode!

Holy shit!


I was so excited that I literally left the theater to use a payphone in the lobby so I could call a fellow Halloween-loving friend and attempt to recall every beat in the trailer. I felt like a celebrity, as if I had been the first person in the world to experience such groundbreaking news, and that it was MY privilege to alert the masses that it was coming. And for months after that, I waited impatiently for movie posters to appear in the theater’s lobby, to confirm that what I had seen was not just a dream, but a reality. And I would stare at that poster and marvel at The Shape’s mask and know it was coming soon…

That – to me – was magical. To be taken completely by surprise, with what was nothing but exemplary news, still lives on in my mind as one of the happiest moments I ever experienced. And here I am, nearly 15 years later, and the idea behind what I am saying – undying devotion for what is essentially Halloween 7 – sounds completely ludicrous. Though Halloween: H20 is still one of the best sequels in the series, it’s certainly not great. But fifteen years of perspective and maturity will do that to a person.

Here’s the point: how we find out about developments of projects – whether they be part of franchise cannon, or a coming adaptation of a book we have always loved, or even simply something that sounds promising coming from a bunch of people we consider to be filmmaking giants – has been changed by this magical Al Gore-inspired thing called Internet. We no longer discover via trailers or movie posters that things for which we’re jonesing are coming soon. No, now we find out in Internet headlines, and they are usually married to that specific journalist’s smarmy opinion on the current news, or that director’s last film. We find out matter-of-factly, with little fanfare, in black and white. We find out so early the projects themselves don’t even have titles. We soon come to know every excruciating detail, from first announcement, to who is writing, to who is re-writing, to who is cast, to which actor/actress is acting like a total asshole/cunt on set (with audio!), to which director is experiencing what battles with which studio. Trailer premiers are forecast and later released online on specific dates. Teasers trailers for full trailers are also a thing. Early reviews are available via film festivals or special screenings, or even leaked studio copies of unfinished products that do not at all represent the finished films. And that goes for every film. But the good ones? Oh, boy.

"YOU will love this."

"YOU'VE never seen anything like it."

"YOUR new favorite film."

Over and over we are told with near-offensive hyperbole that we are about to witness something transcendent.

So by the time the damn film is released, we’re expecting nothing short of living art. And how often does that really happen?

There is no denying great films are released every year, but the way in which we discover them has changed.

That’s where hype comes in.


For roughly sixteen months prior to its full nationwide release, I could not read a story on Paranormal Activity without seeing the words “truly scary” or “the scariest movie in decades.” In fact, it was so “scary” that the trailer hardly contained footage from the actual film, but instead showed night vision footage of viewing audiences cowering in fear and hiding behind their gigantic, flat-brimmed baseball hats. Distant memories of The Blair Witch Project, the last to come along in such a way that truly scared the hell out of its audiences, floated in the back of many minds. It had seemed very much that Paranormal Activity was the next step. And I couldn’t have been more excited.

Then I saw the film.

While I will not take away the craft and thought that went into it, and while I will give director Oren Peli and producer Jason Blum credit for going with a less-is-more approach and making what turned out to be a pretty quality film, I had to ask myself: Where was that fear I was promised? Where was that cold sweat on my back, or the tremble in my knees? Hell, where was my slightly increased heartbeat?

It simply wasn’t there. It was nowhere to be found.

I tried to keep myself wrapped up in the hype and go along with what I was being told. Following our advanced screening, I told anyone who would listen: “See Paranormal Activity! It’s one of the scariest movie I’ve ever seen in theaters!” Which, while seemingly a glowing recommendation, is the worst kind of truth: one by default. Because I’ve seen an awful lot of horror in theaters over the years, kids. And only once before had I been left shell shocked – the first Blair Witch Project. If that was to be number one, then something had to take second place. So what would it be? Well, considering most of the horror I’d gone to see in theaters was garbage – stuff like Darkness Falls, Jeepers Creepers, etc. – Paranormal Activity was scarier simply because it had no real competition. And believe me, the chasm between The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity was wide, and ever widening in the days and weeks following my having seen the latter.

Paranormal Activity wasn’t the first movie ever to be over-hyped, and it shan’t be the last. A slew of other semi-new films from the last five years prove that.


For instance, remember Trick-r-Treat? Remember how it was supposed to be released sometime in 2006? (Maybe you don’t.) Well, the anticipated release date came…and went…and no one saw hide nor hair of the thing. And then word spread that Warner Bros. had shelved it, citing they didn’t know how to promote such a thing to a wide audience. They suddenly didn’t have faith in the anthology format and were trying to determine a proper marketing strategy. Year after year people who knew the film existed waited for a release announcement, and nothing came. And in that time, well-meaning sites like Dread Central and Shock Till You Drop, both of whom had seen the film, bemoaned its lack of release. Because, you see, it was one of the best horror films they’d ever seen. It demanded to be viewed with a large audience. It was “a better Halloween[-related] film” than John Carpenter’s film of the same name.

Whoa.

Well, once it was finally determined that the film would be making its debut on home video, courtesy of Warner Bros.’ now-defunct direct-to-video line Warner Premiere, all eyes were on its 2009 release date. I know mine were. And on that day I snapped it up, brought it home, excitedly hit play…and 90 minutes later, found myself seriously underwhelmed.

Look, I’ve revisited Trick-r-Treat several times since then (in October, as I’m sure most other repeat watchers do), and it’s certainly fun, well told, and clever. It’s not at all bad, and I enjoy watching it. But again…one of the greatest horror films ever? Scary?

Hyperbole much?

I wish I could stop here. I wish these two titles were my only examples. But sadly, the list keeps going.

Hailed as one of the best of its release year, Attack the Block dropped on video following a wave of accolades, and what I saw was a bunch of street hoods in unintelligible British accents fighting off a swarm of Cousin Its.

The most recent to drop was V/H/S, a film Rolling Stone Magazine called “the scariest of the year.” A clever combination of the found footage concept utilized in the anthology format certainly made it stand above the rest, but what we ended up with was a very mixed effort, whose strongest stories book-ended a film made up otherwise of very pedestrian and straight-to-video-level garbage. Even the segment from Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Inkeepers), whom I like very much as a director, ended with an “oh…” I wish I could say that Radio Silence’s final segment was worth the price of admission alone, but fifteen minutes of greatness do not make up for the previous ninety minutes of lame scares, obnoxious characters, and completely shoe-horned-in nudity.

Honestly, the list goes on and on. (Don't even get me started on House of 1,000 Corpses.)

Here’s the thing about hype: it’s the flu, or the common cold. Try as you might to avoid it, unless you live like E.G. Marshall in Creepshow, who maintains residence in a hermetically sealed apartment to keep himself free from germs, you are not immune. Neither you nor I can avoid letting preconceived notions of horror films seep into our subconscious. We’ll never truly defeat the idea of hype and allow ourselves to go into something with low expectations. But there are things we can try to help soften the blow of the next disappointment.

Do what I do: Don’t watch trailers. Don’t read reviews. Don’t read the coverage. If a TV spot comes on while you’re watching the tube, flip to the next channel for a second. By now you’ll have developed a keen sense on when a project is worth following or not. Is the premise intriguing? Do you like the talent involved? Then leave it at that. Wait for the release. See it expecting the worst.

If I had seen Paranormal Activity or Trick-r-Treat free of Internet baggage, I would have liked them a lot more. V/H/S, too, would have played better for me if I had thought it was just a direct-to-video effort. (Nothing could have saved Attack the Block – a lot of people were drinking the Cool Aid on that one.)

As previously mentioned, it’s bad enough a small fraction of the horror released is worth watching. It’s even worse when it gets crammed down our throats by the same few sites on a daily basis until we can’t take it anymore. While I know some of this constant fellating of grassroots horror comes from the natural urge to boast that few have had the privilege to bear witness to something the world has yet to, I also know that most of it comes from a genuine place. We are, after all, horror fans, and we deserve the right to be excited about something coming down the pike that may possibly prove to be different, original, and scary.

But I also think we deserve to make up our own minds.

Dec 29, 2012

SOME SHINE AND SOME DON'T


I love when stuff like this is unearthed from seemingly nowhere...

This comes from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is currently hosting The Stanley Kubrick Exhibit. The below comes from an attendee:
“One of the coolest parts, especially for a designer like myself, was these sketches by Saul Bass for the film poster of The Shining. Previously I had no idea that Saul Bass had created the original poster so this was a really cool surprise. I’ve read online that Kubrick made Bass go through at least 300 versions of the poster until finally ending on the extremely alien looking version we now know.”





Every single one of these, in my opinion, is better than the final, infamous yellow version. That first one with the hand/trike is tops. You can click each image to embiggen and read Kubrick's own criticisms.

All was stolen with love from Dread Central.

Dec 27, 2012

LITTLE GREEN MEN

On May 24th, 1964, Jim Templeton, a fireman from Carlisle in North England, snapped some pictures of his young daughter out to the marches overlooking the Solway Firth. Although it was an uneventful outing, Templeton and his family noticed an odd "aura" to the area there - as if there was an electric charge in the air before a storm. No storm came, but Templeton did observe that some nearby cows seems overly upset and spooked. A few days later, after the film was developed, Templeton was shocked to discover that a strange man appeared in one of the photos of his daughter even though they had been alone on the marshes. The man appeared to be wearing a space suit like an astronaut! Kodak offered a reward for anyone able to give a rational explanation for the space man picture, but no one was able to. Experts concluded that the picture was not the result of a double exposure, nor was it the result of tampering with the negative.

The mystery didn't end there. Templeton reported that shortly after the picture became public, he was harassed by men in dark suits who asked him odd questions about the weather conditions on the marsh, bird behaviors, and what Templeton was doing out there on the first place. They then tried to make him admit that he had faked the picture and, when Templeton refused to, they became angry and left.

Dec 26, 2012

SHITTY FLICKS: DEATH NURSE / DEATH NURSE 2

Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.


Say what you will about Nick Millard; he remains faithful to the series that shat out his legitimate (read: non-porn) career. Most likely on the exact day that Crazy Fat Ethel 2 (the sequel to his truly divine Criminally Insane) wrapped principle photography, he announced that he "kinda had an idea” to keep going with this premise of an obese woman killer, because frankly, he had absolutely nothing else to do. Luckily, he was able to coerce frequent go-to-"actress" Priscilla Alden's hand out of a large honey jar and bring her along for the ride. And thus, Death Nurse, a departure of sorts (only not at all) for the directing/acting duo came to fruition.

Given that both Death Nurse and Death Nurse 2 are only each less than an hour long, and given the fact that each movie relies heavily on old footage that we have all seen countless times from previous movies, and also given the fact that Death Nurse and Death Nurse 2 barely even qualify as movies, I am going to do you, dear reader (and me!), a huge favor: I am going to combine both films into a single review. To ask more than that of me would result in self-death.

Gay Sherlock Holmes Presents

Death Nurse, originally conceived as Look, It's Fat-Ass Fucking Pig Ethel! Let's Watch Her Fat Around For A Third Time!, was a movie Nick Millard had pitched to the same half-assed company that actually released the first two Crazy Fat Ethel films. Embarrassed of their business relationship with this turd, they demanded that Millard come up with a new concept to explore. Suddenly, an actress dressed as a nurse walked by in the hallway.

"I got it! This time, she's a nurse!"

The film executive, who had seen the same nurse, shook his head, mortified he worked with such douche bags. But he greenlit the movie anyway, because he's a film exec, and films execs majored in Communications, which means they don't know any better.

Edith Mortley, a fat nurse, runs some half-assed rest home/clinic called Shady Palms with her freakishly emotionless brother, Gordon (the fly-soup man from Crazy Fat Ethel 2). Together, they kill whatever poor old schmucks end up on their doorstep in need of some assisted living, merely to collect their pensions, which apparently is perfectly legal, unsuspicious, and untraceable, so long as you are 300 pounds and have access to a primitive nine-digit adding machine.

And oh boy, does Edith add up pensions. Watch as she does it six times during the movie, while you wait in vain for something the least bit interesting to happen.

While not murdering men, Gordon performs haphazard surgery on people, using a dishtowel as a face mask and keeping it in place with rubber bands. And when I say surgery, I mean he hovers a fake scalpel over someone’s chest and sprays much-too-goopy blood all over the place, which he then wipes away with a sponge, revealing the non-wound. Then he grabs a tray of steak knives and forcibly inserts them into the patient’s chest, all while Edith smiles and looks fondly down at the new corpse.

Gordon then digs a hole and fixes himself some ice cream, all shot in pain-staking real time.

When there's a knock at the door, I wonder if it's my soul, who will beg me to turn off this radiation and go outside.

Edith rolls down the stairs and sees a social worker hand over a man who coughs a lot. Edith smiles, shifts her belly to the right side of her knee, and leads the man to his bedroom.

Later that day, she smothers him with a pillow. When his death doesn’t come as quick as anyone watching this film would wish, she lays her fat fucking old body on top of his face until he eventually stops quivering.

I picture that’s pretty much how God is going to end the world when it’s our time: via fat nurse.

It had been seventeen years since Edith's last date,
and yep, she had tit-smothered that guy, too.

A patient at Shady Palms, who is also quite an avid drinker, flirts disgustingly with Gordon until the two go for an incredibly disturbing and unattractive roll in the sack. Wishing death to infants doesn’t even come close to how much pain and unfocused anger a person will experience while watching this scene.

The social worker drops off another patient to the Mortleys, and while you might think this would result in an immediate murder, instead we get to see footage of Ethel holding her fat arms around her fat body pacing around a room as Gordon digs another hole in the backyard.

Edith beaches herself on the couch and dreams footage from Criminally Insane, a movie which is so far removed from where we currently find ourselves that I am actually yearning for it. Then she gets up and helps her brother saw a man. And THEN they chase a cat around the kitchen table for five fucking minutes like a bunch of jerk-offs. After that, Edith feeds tiny pieces of the sawed man to a bunch of rats that live in their basement. 

The social worker comes to the clinic but commits herself, wanting to lie in bed and eat tepid food. I couldn’t tell you why, because at this point the TV is muted and I am counting the ceiling tiles above me.

57.

Edith kills the social worker in her typically awkward and incredibly unrealistic way (why on earth does this movie continue to be?), and she then goes after the drunk who witnessed the whole thing, brandishing a turkey baster that we are supposed to think is a large syringe, and stabs her a lot.

Then she takes another fucking nap and dreams of the first fucking movie fucking again.

A cop comes to the door to see about some missing people. Edith fats her way out of it and shuts the door, smiling and dreaming of cheese fries. The cop, however, spots something suspicious and investigates.

The movie ends with Edith and Gordon sitting on the couch with not-so-bright looks on their faces as a cop discovers the garage of horrors and rats.

"Edith, if you're going to breathe cookie crumbs all over my back,
next time bring enough to sprinkle on my ice cream."

And just when you thought the terror was over, you were wrong. The following year, one of the most auspicious sequels ever to be released took the world by storm, and while that film sure as hell wasn't Death Nurse 2, that came out, too.

Nick Millard sat in the back of the theater, hiding himself from the audience that was screening his film Death Nurse. He relished the moment when the audience jumped to their feet and booed the conclusion of the film and bitched about the money they had wasted to witness this travesty. No one ever told Nick Millard that "booooo!" was a bad thing, so he quickly began planning the final installment of this demented, pointless franchise that no one ever wanted to see.

Nick descended to the nearest Taco Bell, treated himself to a luxurious meal and, while eating on the hood of his car, wrote the script for Death Nurse 2 in the hand not holding a chalupa.

And here we are...at the end of our journey...with Death Nurse 2.

Nick Millard desperately wanted to resolve what happened to the Mortleys at the end of the first Death Nurse, having mistaken the audience's mix of laughter and befuddlement with a genuine, insurmountable desire to see this story through to the end.

So…

Are the Mortleys arrested and tried in a court of law?

Are they killed dramatically in a struggle between good and evil?

Does Edith eat an entire carton of moon pies?

Well, the sequel picks up where the previous film left off, and we see the cop wander over to the front door after perusing through the garage of horror and rats and is stabbed once or twice by Edith, and most likely falls.

And once again, this film utilizes footage from all preceding films. Cuz why not? Someone would buy it, and Nick knew this, so why not just make a terrible film and literally laugh at the people handing you money?

Edith practices her Fish Face for the annual
Make A Fish Face, You Fat Bitch contest.

Edith and Gordon get back to business, having killed the cop and I guess easily getting away with it.

We meet Brownie, played by the drunk woman in the first Death Nurse. She is homeless and likes to hunt through dumpsters. She also has a large butcher knife, which she randomly brandishes whenever she feels threatened.

Brownie gets picked up by another social worker and is dropped off at the clinic. Edith goes to take Brownie’s paper bag of goodies, causing Brownie to whip out her large knife and very slowly chase Edith around the couch four fucking times times.

In fact, this scene is so ridiculous that you need to see it for yourself.

The action starts at 4:10. Please don't watch more than you have to. The film causes immediate retardation.



Edith finally stops running - her fat loose skin heaving with each musty exhale - and she smiles, calms the woman, and poisons her. She then takes another nap and again dreams of Criminally Insane, and of random buildings we’ve never seen before, and won't again.

Brownie wakes up in a stupor, obviously not dead, and stabs Gordon with her trusty knife. Edith enters, kills Brownie, and fixes Gordon’s wound.

Say, I have a question: Why on earth did anyone ever feel the passion and the drive to make this fucking thing?

Gordon, still hurt from his Brownie confrontation, lies in bed and looks as lifeless as I feel watching this movie. At several points throughout the film, when Edith addresses a question to him, we’re greeted with repeated footage of him not responding, and turning his face slightly away from the camera.

Then Edith kills another patient, slamming a large cleaver into his neck repeatedly.

You’ll never guess what she does then.

Perhaps run a marathon and then tell me I am allowed to shut off this movie?

Hmm...I bet it's take a nap and dream of the first film again.

Later, an old woman shows up who was a twin sister of one of the characters killed in the last film (same actress, obviously). She screams, or something, and is killed by a tinfoil knife.

Edith and Gordon ta

Alright, you know what? Show’s over, people. I give up. I was doing this for you, but I just can’t continue on with this movie any further. I am literally stopping without finishing that sentence.

I'll have to speculate as to how this movie ends. Maybe Edith kills her brother and is eaten by a bear. Maybe she farts a hole in the ground and falls into Hell. I’ll never know.

It doesn't matter, though, in the big scheme of things, now does it?

To say this picture accurately represents how I felt watching
these films back-to-back would, of course, be exaggerating.
My shirt is more of an auburn.

What I Learned from Death Nurse and Death Nurse 2:

  • Sequels be damned, you can seriously just use the same footage over and over and some asshole will actually release it.
  • Priscilla Alden's vagina should be hidden away forever, unless you need a place to hide Christmas gifts from the children.
  • After having two movies distributed nationally on video, it's still possible to have even less money for your next film.
  • Make your prop knives out of tinfoil. No one's gonna see your movie, anyway.
  • Cast your family to save money.
  • Rehash your old films to save money.
  • Use your family's camcorder to save money.
  • Don't spend any money whatsoever to save money.
  • Priscilla Alden isn't a good actress.
  • Nick Millard isn't a good director.
  • The Death Nurse films are tantamount to rape via clown.
So there we have it: a quadrilogy of terror and suspense two decades in the making. We, the audience, have laughed and cried with Ethel Janowski/Edith Mortley. We've witnessed her at her most vulnerable and relished her final metamorphosis from the antagonizer to the sympathizee.

Or not.

Really they're just shitty movies about a mammoth woman using plastic knives on wooden puppets.

And Nick Millard is still alive and kicking, so maybe one day he'll reward our patience with Crazy Fat Ethel 5, or Death Nurse 3, or Watch A Fat Woman Farmer Kill Farmhands And Then Eat Farm Food Like Bacon For An Hour Part 1 of 7.

You can rest assured that I will be waiting, but you can also rest assured that I'll be buying it used from my local library.

Dec 23, 2012

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT

Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish bad children during the Christmas season, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards nice ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells.

Dec 21, 2012

ALTERNATE ENDING


Because First Blood went on to create a franchise in which the character of John Rambo's muscles and guns got bigger, it's easy to forget that his very first adventure was not an adventure at all. When we hear the name Rambo, we picture the head-banded Lothario running through jungles with assault rifles or AK-47s shooting holes in any manner of ethnic groups. But First Blood, the first film to feature the character of John Rambo, was not such a film. It was actually a very political morality tale about the horrors of the Vietnam War and how it completely fucked up the minds of many soldiers, either on the battlefield or in the years to follow their arrival home. 

And First Blood once had a very downbeat ending, one that I believe reflected the ending of the novel by David Morrell, upon which the film is based. And, had this original ending been the one used (the new ending having caused Kirk Douglas, the original Col. Trautman, to quit the shoot), we never would have had further adventures with John Rambo.

Dec 19, 2012

FINALLY


 01. The Journal (1:13)
02. The War (1:41)
03. A Fresh Grave (3:45)
04. Searching for Answers (3:30)
05. Seeking Family (2:10)
06. Attack! (0:38)
07. A Bitter Reunion (1:42)
08. The Funeral Pyre (1:31)
09. A Bad Dream (1:00)
10. Collecting Ashes (2:10)
11. Russian Roulette (1:52)
12. Looking Back (1:17)
13. Moving On (1:46)
14. A Fatal Bite (3:03)
15. Seeking Rations (0:49)
16. Edward Meet Issac (1:01)
17. A Tale of Rebels (2:40)
18. Edward and Isaac Bond (1:53)
19. The Last Good Man (1:39)
20. Enter The General (4:26)
21. Emma's Escape (3:32)
22. The Witch (2:22)
23. Defenses (1:49)
24. Looking Forward (3:21)
25. Emma's Immune (1:37)
26. Nightmares (1:03)
27. Eve Tells a Tale (2:15)
28. The Ritual (2:47)
29. I Found One (2:03)
30. Ashes On Waterfall Pt.1 (2:47)
31. Ashes On Waterfall Pt. 2 (3:38)
32. Eve's Death (1:36)
33. Ed's Ass Kicking Death (7:57)
34. Showdown (1:53)
35. Chase (3:46)
36. Reunion-Ending (3:42)

Finally, indeed: the soundtrack to Exit Humanity. Grab it right now from the composers' bandcamp page. Tell them The End of Summer sent you.

Dec 18, 2012

R.I.P. DANNY STEINMANN


His name might not be household by nature, but the mark he left on the horror genre was undeniable.

The man whose name you might not recognize is Danny Steinmann, and he was responsible for the sleaziest, but perhaps the most fun entry of Friday the 13th - that of The New Beginning. (Yes, the one with the copycat killer.)

While the Friday the 13th brand is not one lauded for its contributions to high art, I think it's safe to say that Steinmann's entry was the first to fully realize the sleazeball environment in which those films thrived. It was The New Beginning that eschewed any attempts at psychological fear and went right for the throat. It was the first and last attempt to merge Jason Voorhees with a grindhouse aesthetic - a genre in which Steinmann was more than comfortable working.

It's safe to say that Steinmann's face will not be appearing at the annual "In Memoriam" roll call of the dead that the Oscars like to run every year, all so the rich 'n' famous can dictate via their applause whose corpse is their personal favorite. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone once said, and one man's trash is another man's art. While calling Steinmann an artist is probably pushing it, the canvases he left behind are still celebrated today.

Steinmann is the second Friday director to leave us, the first being Jason X's James Isaac. (2012 has not been a good year for Friday fans). 

Let's hope he'll be the last for a very long time.

Dec 15, 2012

SHITTY FLICKS: HARD ROCK ZOMBIES

Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.


There’s one thing you need to know before watching Hard Rock Zombies: It doesn’t care what you think, and it doesn’t fuck around. It’s not going to lead you by the hand and slowly explain things to you. It’s not going to care if you can't follow the mile-a-minute, incomprehensible mess called a plot.

It’s just going to be.

It’s going to rock

And it’s going to blow your mind.

HARD ROCK ZOMBIES.

The movie opens wide on a road flowing fast and furiously underneath you. Hard rock jams start to thunder, and a fun-loving kid picks up a hot (in the '80s sense) hitchhiker. The blonde canoodles the driver for a little bit before they pull over. For no reason, the girl immediately begins skinny dipping in a lake as three men (two of them tiny, demon-suited midgets) watch enthusiastically from the shore.

And while another suited man snaps pictures from behind some bushes, the hitchhiking blonde kills the driver and feeds his dismembered body to her tiny, demon-midget friends.

Seriously folks, we’re four minutes in, and we have tits, demon midgets, mutilation, and '80s hair band music.

When the brothers were young, Manny was severely ostracized
by the other children because of his unsightly eye patch.

Suddenly we’re in a sweaty club, jamming hard with the titular band. There’s gyrating and leather, and good times are rolling.

After the performance, the band hits the road in their bus as their nervous wiener manager drives.

During the drive, the band leader, Jessie, lazily plays a song on his guitar. Its weird vocals attract the attention of another band member, and Jessie explains, “I got it from a book. It’s a spell to raise the dead.”

Then they stop and pick up that mysterious blond hitchhiker.

Incantations to Raise the Dead
+ Murderous Blond Hitchhiker
The Best We’re Going to Get for a Plot.

The blonde leads them to her castle, where one of her suited-demon henchman helps the band unload.

“Hey, can I give you a hand?” asks the midget.

And he does…one of those hands recently cut from the movie’s opening title victims.

Everyone laughs, and no one is really concerned.

Before you can say mullet death, we’re right smack in the middle of a dance sequence, with the band linedancing and doing fancy moves on skateboards set to one of the band’s rockin' jams.

Tens of adoring fans stand around to watch them perform random bullshit everywhere in this Podunk town, and if I don’t miss my guess, I think it's Chinatown, based on everyone's high amount of Chinese features.

Honest to God, I really don’t know what the fuck is going on, but I’m hanging on, because there’s a picture of Hitler on the back of the case and I gotta see how that comes into play.

"And THIS ONE's for the boys!"

After the dance number, one of the friendly town locals tells Jessie to “get the fuck out of town, pecker,” and the band is then locked up by the town constable for absolutely no reason.

Oh my God, we just met Hitler and he's fucking his wife as he screams furiously in German!

Holy shit!

Then the midget demons came in the room!

Holy shit!

Hitler is still fucking his wife even though the demon midgets are in the room watching him!

Holy shit!

The band is freed from their jail cell thanks to their blond hitchhiker friend and they set up their instruments on her front lawn to pad even more running time with their bad hair rock. The music is so good that the midget demons, murderous hitchhiker, and even the Hitlers have a seat to watch their performance. The creepy photographer is also there, as well as some bald gentleman who looks a lot like Dr. Cox from "Scrubs."

Hitler really seems to be enjoying the music, and he enjoys it so much that he bends over, plugs a wire into an outlet, and electrocutes the entire band is half-to-death. Luckily they don’t die, which leads me to wonder why that even happened in the first place.

Meanwhile a town meeting takes place which features a room full of people voicing their concerns about the presence of the band, and rock music in general.

“My reader’s digest says musicians cannot play a single note unless they EAT DRUGS first,” says a concerned woman.

“Rock music causes sex,” says another woman.

A concerned man stands up and cautions that some of the town’s kids listen to their rock music as they beat off. (How he knows this remains deliciously creepy.)

What a fun town meeting!

The concert, as voted by the board, is hereby canceled, which ultimately ends up banning all rock 'n roll of any type in town.

Let’s pause for a bit of real trivia, courtesy of IMDB:
Originally, this movie was only meant to be about 20 minutes long and solely used as the feature movie in American Drive-In (1985). At some point during production, the decision was made to invest a little bit more money and come out with two full length feature films instead of just one.
Does it show, ladies and germs? That a movie that would have been pushing it at 20 minutes in length then had an extra eighty minutes fucked into it? I’ll leave that up to you.

Back with the band, Jessie continues to practice fingering, running his hands up and down his smooth wood, but then all of a sudden spies a large spider, which he smashes. He goes back to playing, and wouldn’t you know it, the spider comes back to life!

As does the disembodied hand in the jar behind him!

Could it be the incantation he had read about in his book and transformed into a song?

Or could it be…anything else at all?

(It’s the first one.)

The movie figures it’s been a while since we had some, so we get a bitty more titty, courtesy of the blond hitchhiker. A band member then figures that since this girl is taking it upon herself to shower in her own home, it would be okay for him to just get in the shower and have immediate sex with her.

Well, it works. For a little. Then she stabs him a million times with a handy dagger as that weird photographer shows up conveniently to take even more pictures.

And in another room, Mrs. Hitler turns into a dog and uses her switchblade hand to disembowel a couple more band members.

Jessie, meanwhile, receives a warning from one of the townsman’s daughter, Cassie, that they are planning on raiding the house to kill the band. They are then chased by the bald Dr. Cox-looking guy with a buzz saw until Jessie is nailed to a tree and crucified Jesus style and sawed in the chest.

Take that, rock and/or roll!

After the band’s multifuneral (which we don’t see and is only mentioned), the band manager has dinner with the Hitlers, the blond, and the midgets. Why he remains at the house remains to be seen, but all I know is, this movie has Hitler in it, so it’s automatically fantastic.

 Hitler Fun Facts:
1. Terrible flatulence
2. Vegetarian
3. Tremendous ballroom dancer

Speaking of Hitler, he gets up and rips off his Old Hitler costume to reveal his Young Hitler self underneath, which shocks the band manager who is just now suddenly realizing he has been living with Hitler.

Outside, the forlorn Cassie plays some of the band's music over their graves as a tribute, but the music causes the dead band to reawaken from their earthly resting place to stumble about earth while wearing white face make-up.

Then Hitler flips out, bellows in German, and belts out a few "zieg heils." And because the band manager refuses to work for him, he is tied to a work bench for some death.

Before anything else happens in this god forsaken movie, the band enjoys their first post-death reunion choreography before taking bloody revenge on the people that have wronged them, one by one.

The first to go is the bald man, who has a spike slowly inserted into the side of the neck not visible to the camera. Next is the photographer; he gets his comeuppance by being drowned in a pond, along with the blond hitchhiker. As for the midgets, their tiny heads are clunked together and thrown aside like anyone would a dead midget.

Hitler laments over the loss of his suited-demon midgets and bellows in German fury to the heavens before he is ripped to pieces by the '80s zombie hair band.

That just may be the best sentence ever.

Being that Hitler and all the other adversaries have been killed, and that there is still an hour left to go in this movie, frankly, I’m a little concerned.

A random man walks over to the “dead” body of Mrs. Hitler and rubs her boobs for a bit. Then he gets up, straightens his jacket, and attempts to leave, but oh no! Rubbing the boobs of Mrs. Hitler is what wakes her from the dead and turns her into Doggie Mrs. Hitler!

Who knew!

Hitler then wakes up and rips the man’s head off.

What the fuck—seriously?

This movie should’ve STAYED 20 minutes.

Though Ticketmaster charges an unheard-of $10 Ghoul Smell
fee, Hard Rock Zombies is still the third-best dead guy act in
 town (just after Sergeant Mummy & His Mummies, and
The Rolling Stones).

The dead band sets up for their show despite their deadness, and when a talent agent sits down to see what they’ve got, the dead band plays him a set. The smarmy agent comments on their make-up, saying that the band will have to get someone to “make it more convincing,” which is meant to be a joke, since they’re supposed to really be dead, but it’s actually a valid suggestion, since the make-up really does look like shit.

The recently resurrected townspeople killed by the ghouls begin to wreak havoc on the other living townspeople, all the while the demon midgets eat themselves (with mustard) and bite cows.

If a script for this movie exists, then so do leprechauns.

The townspeople concoct a theory that “ghouls don’t like heads,” which they will say as much as possible throughout the remainder of the film, so they figure their best plan is to hide behind large signs of famous celebrities as they run through town.

The only time this movie is remotely funny is right now, as the marauding zombies instantly tear apart the townspeople hiding behind their celebrity signs, not the least bit hesitant, confused, or stalled by their giant celebrity sign plan.

Meanwhile, the undead band still jams, and now the undead blond hitchhiker dances with them on stage. I guess bygones are bygones. You know, since she basically murdered them all.

It appears that once the band members were finished their rockin’ set, they climbed back into their graves, their mission now over, I guess. Their band manager pleads for them to come back from the dead again in order to save Cassie, for whom the band manager apparently cares a great deal.

“Is that what you want? Ghouls screwing her to death?” he pleads.

Huh? When was that ever a thing?

Anyway, it works, and the band climbs out of the grave to rock out one last time.

"That's what she said!" (Sorry.)

Part of me is tempted to smart-assedly point out that the band, who set up on top of a mountain or some place, are all playing their electric guitars through amps that are clearly not plugged into anything, but then the other part of me remembers that this movie also features Hitler and Hitler’s dogwife who lived with a house of demon midgets whose sole purpose it seems was to defeat rock and roll.

Well, the rock and roll kills all the ghouls, as smoke pours out of their writhing stink flesh. At least this is what I assume happened. No use dwelling on these things, you know.

Then, the midget demon, who has been periodically eating his own body throughout the film, sucks his own face off his decapitated head and eats it, its skull grinning and being sure to let out a healthy belch.

Hi-larious.

Dec 14, 2012

MORTEM

"And in the dark, the town is yours and you are the town’s, and together you sleep like the dead, like the very stones in your north field. There is no life here but the slow death of days, and so when the evil falls on the town, its coming seems almost preordained, sweet and morphic. It is almost as though the town knows the evil was coming and the shape it would take."
Image courtesy of CVLT Nation.

Dec 13, 2012

THE STORY OF RICKY


As a bad movie connoisseur, I generally avoid Asian films. Most of their stuff tends to be insane right out of the gate, and it loses that luster of being bad "by accident." 

 The Story of Ricky, however....gets a lifetime pass.

Dec 8, 2012

HEY, KNOW WHAT'S A REAL MOVIE?


REVIEW: CARL PANZRAM: THE SPIRIT OF HATRED AND VENGEANCE


In this older post, I discussed the memoirs of a man named Carl Panzram. For those not familiar, he was a sociopathic killer from the early 1900s who spent most of his life either in reformatories or prisons. His non-institutional exploits took him all over the world, and he claimed responsibility for over twenty murders, as well as robberies, rapes, assaults, arsons, and over one thousand acts of male sodomy. While incarcerated, he began writing down his life story, including every (or nearly every) crime he ever committed. What resulted from those was an extremely valuable and insightful memoir, which should be required reading for students of true crime, psychology, and sociology; it’s the most openly intimate account of a killer's life in existence. And not only does Panzram spare no details of his crimes, he laments the fact that he is a product of society, and of an abusive and dismissive upbringing. Within the pages of his memoirs, he is telling you, me, and society itself, how to avoid bringing about another Carl Panzram. It’s one of the reasons it remains a dark but celebrated piece of material, even as it nears 100 years old. To read the book yourself is to know that Panzram isn’t trying to pass the buck, and he’s not trying to gain your sympathy. Because simply put: Fuck you. He’d kill you if you were in front of him, because he knows that if you were reared in the same society as him, you’re not worth a damn. Panzram never declined responsibility for his crimes, and he, by his own admission, never had a desire to reform himself. All he really wanted was to teach society a lesson – one they’d never forget.

His most famous quote remains:
In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry.
Enter documentarian/filmmaker John Borowski. Previously responsible for documentaries on other early 20th century serial killers H.H. Holmes and Albert Fish, Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance explores the titular killer utilizing interviews with those who have studied the man, his crimes, and even one particular man who knew him perhaps the best of anyone: Henry Lesser.

Lesser, at the time, was a young and idealistic prison guard in a Washington, DC prison where Panzram was remanded at that time. He was also the catalyst for what can be described as Panzram’s reputation as a cult figure. It was at Lesser’s urging that Panzram put pencil to paper (sneakily passed to Panzram’s cell in small increments, as such materials were considered contraband) to tell his life story. The few pages at a time Panzram wrote were soon assembled into a manuscript that would then take forty years to see publication, as most publishers simply did not want to be associated with the material.

Lesser, in an archival interview from the 1980s performed by San Diego State University, is one of the several experts to contribute to Borowski’s documentary. Additionally, the documentary utilizes Panzram’s original handwritten documents, which Lesser had kept in his possession for years before donating them to San Diego State University, as well as prison photographs, a handful of items used in Panzram’s execution, and modern-day footage of the places where Panzram lived, murdered, and died.


A five year odyssey that began as far back as 2007 has resulted in a fantastic and comprehensive documentary on one of the most hardened men who may have ever lived. Borowski crams as much essential information into this documentary as possible, and it never fails to be interesting. His assembly of interviewees with different backgrounds and pedigrees bring a wide range of perspectives and insights on a man whom I can only assume never dreamed he would still be a topic of conversation more than eighty years after his death.

In what may be the wisest decision made on the part of the documentary, Borowski obtained the participation of John Di Maggio, who has worked as a voice actor for the last 25 years (most famously voicing Bender in "Futurama" and a few other robots in the newer Transformers projects).  His incredibly raspy, Lance-Henriksen-sounding voice brings the perfect timbre to Panzram’s memoirs. His words come to life, and when recited with unrestrained anger, make them much more powerful.

Speaking of Panzram's words, the choice to forgo using a more traditional narrator was vetoed in favor of using text lifted directly from Panzram's memoir, retaining that first-person perspective. Because of this, his presence is consistently felt from the first minute until the last. Using Di Maggio’s voice over, Borowski weaves a tapestry of photographs, interviews, and reenactments to construct a truncated version of Pangram’s life story. The more significant and even anecdotal bits of Panzram’s past (he once robbed William Howard Taft!) are included here, as are the more vicious excerpts from Panzram’s memoirs.

Borowski is also objective enough to allow his interviewees to contradict each other: One interviewee emphatically states that a child raised in a loving and nurturing home would grow up to be a loving and nurturing adult (which he prefixes with “fact”) – ergo, Panzram's claims of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and other siblings leading him to his murderous life are valid – while another interviewee claims that it wasn’t this abuse, but any number of reasons including possible brain damage, or simply being born that way, that caused Panzram to commit the crimes he did, even stating that Panzram's other siblings all growing up to become productive members of society. Further, this same interviewee alleges perhaps the most interesting question raised in the documentary: Did Carl Panzram really commit every crime to which he laid claim? Did he really burn down juvenile detention centers where he was remanded, or kill over twenty people, or commit 1,000 acts of sodomy? Did he really smash in the heads of children with rocks, or kill men and feed their carcases to alligators? She asserts that contradictions arise from his writing, and Panzram’s own delusions of grandeur are clear signs he is building himself up into something more murderous and virtueless than he actually was. This claim is based on the idea that a serial killer’s main thrill is to feel powerful—so what better way to feel powerful then by tacking on dozens of murders and hundreds of crimes, knowing that his history of using aliases when being arrested would make his past near-impossible to trace?

One thing is definitely for certain: His last will and testament really did bequeath his "carcass" to a dog catcher in Minnesota – to provide meat for the dogs – as well as a curse to all of mankind.


My only real point of contention with the documentary is the use of reenactments. To me they seemed erroneous, and at times even distracting. For a few sequences, the on-screen reenactment actor playing Panzram would exchange dialogue with another “character,” over which Di Maggio’s voice work would be dubbed. In a few instances, this works just fine, but in others, it doesn’t. Other scenes reenacted come across as rather hammy, including a quick silhouette shot of one of the many acts of sodomy to which Panzram alleged. These reenactments are akin to something you would see on the History Channel (maybe not the sodomy), and in some cases aren't even quite as effective.

But calling out the inclusion of these reenactments feels like sour grapes, as they’re a cosmetic complaint at best; the documentary presents a lot of valuable information and brings new insights to this fascinating man and is barely hampered by these narrative scenes.

If you're intrigued by this dark individual – if you’ve read the book and even seen the movie – I don’t think I have to tell you that this documentary is essential viewing.

Copies of Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance are available only through John Borowski’s website, and the first one thousand units sold will be limited editions featuring the filmmaker’s autograph as well as postcards of Panzram’s mug shot and signature.


Dec 7, 2012

BECOME WRATH

"I don't think you're quitting because you believe these things you say. I don't. I think you want to believe them, because you're quitting. And you want me to agree with you, and you want me to say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're right. It's all fucked up. It's a fucking mess. We should all go live in a fucking log cabin." But I won't. I don't agree with you. I do not. I can't."
If we don't, remember me.

Dec 5, 2012

TEOS RECOMMENDS: KILLING THEM SOFTLY


Did you see Killing Them Softly this weekend?

Based on the box office reports, you didn't. Nor do you know anyone who did.
You really should, though – so long as you know what you're in for.

Something I find myself saying more and more in my reviews/examinations of films is, “This film is not for everyone.” I suppose that could be said about every film, really. More and more people say The Godfather is the greatest film of all time, but that doesn’t mean everyone out there likes it – hence, The Godfather is not for everyone.

But it really, really applies when I say that Killing Them Softy (based on the book Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins) is not for everyone. What is being sold as an action/thriller with Brad Pitt as a leather-jacket-clad hit-man is really not that at all. What the film most certainly is…is angry.

To sum up, two low-level hoods knock off a card game overseen by Markie (Ray Liotta). Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is brought in to knock off the two hoods as well as the mastermind behind the scheme.

Does this actually happen? I can’t really say, but that’s not the point. What, on the surface, looks like a gritty revenge suspenseful-thriller is actually a very angry film about the economy, and the government’s handling of the bail out, and how, basically, those at the top responsible for his whole mess walked away from the affair unscathed. Some reviews have labeled the film as anti-Obama, and while I can see how that thought might be raised, I would disagree. I suppose the film would have to be anti-Obama in some unavoidable respects, being as how he is a part of the political machine, and he was one of those who signed-off on the bail out. But really, the film is anti-government. It’s anti-bullshit. And it’s very much anti-pretending that we’re all one community of people who care for each other, because our society proves again and again that we’re not. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and much earlier, 9/11, yes, our community got together and saved lives and helped people and even dug out rubble. We donated money and goods and we all felt really good about ourselves. But the things that divide us on a daily basis – politics, religion, incomes – crept back up to make us remember why it is we simply can’t get along with others.

Really what you have in Killing Them Softy is a message that’s simple: If somebody steals your money, you fucking kill them. Forget about due process, because something as massive and deludedly infallible as the government has proven it doesn’t have the honor and sack it takes to fix the problem. This is eye for an eye revisited.

Killing Them Softly comes from Andrew Dominik, screenwriter/director of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (also starring Brad Pitt) – another film from Dominik’s body of work that I absolutely adore, which is another of his films that did not find the kind of success or attention it deserved. Dominik took the story of one of America’s most beloved outlaws, removed all the glamour and gimmick and godliness that’s been attached to him over the years, and instead presented you with a broken-down man, surrounded by family and friends, but ultimately alone. His life of crime left him constantly wanted by the law and constantly on the run, and he was left in a place where there wasn’t a single soul he could trust.

Killing Them Softly is incredibly well-acted, with James Gandolfini’s aging hit-man, Mickey, having all the best lines, while Scoot McNairy (of the incredible Monsters) gets to be a part of the most effective and suspenseful scenes in the film, including the robbery that starts this whole mess.

Don't expect non-stop violence (though the film is violent) and action set-pieces. What you can expect is a lot of anger towards our leaders and towards our society. What you can expect is a reflection on life – our own specific lives, as well as the one we share as a community. And you can expect to leave the theater with a wry smile on your face, knowing that it took a bunch of Boston hoods and hit-men to be more openly honest about what is they want, what they’re willing to do to get it, and to what means those affected will resort in order to get it all back—and that’s more than you can say for those allegedly looking out for the American people.

Plus, it's actually pretty funny.

Dec 2, 2012

SHITTY FLICKS: INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS

Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.


Invasion of the Blood Farmers opens with a fascinating monologue about demons that roamed around the country thousands of years ago. Oh, and something about blood sacrifices. And the screen is red, so you know the narrator means business.

We immediately cut to terror. A bloodied man stumbles down a country road. You can tell he’s in pain because he shrieks.

Not too far down the road sits a bar full of good-old-boys, cracking jokes about people we don’t know as we are inundated with odd close-ups of the patrons, badly angled and distractingly timed. The bartender asks a man if his wife has turned up yet (see, cuz she’s missing), but the very unworried husband waves away the bartender’s concern. Then someone else asks where Jim Carrey has been. For serious.

Before anyone can answer, the bloodied-shirt man (Jim Carrey!) stumbles into the bar, wagging his tongue around (just like the Jim Carrey we love!) before collapsing into a weird heap. The good-old-boys, not knowing what to do, make appropriate “yucky!” faces.

We then meet two new characters lying next to a river (which we hear, but never see). They are Don and Jenny. Their awkward '70s fashions are no match for their atrocious dialogue.

"Let me put it in your stinker once, Jenny. Don't be so greedy."

“There are some things you can’t learn in a school!” says Jenny, as Don defends his decision to attend pathology school, which I guess severely hinders their relationship. Don also states how brilliant of a pathologist Jenny’s father is and why he wants to work with him. Jenny asks about marriage, the suffocating bint that she is. Don responds by groping her highly-socked leg as generic library music fills the scene. Then they awkwardly bend to kiss...

...But no time for that, as we meet yet another lovely couple! Victim Girl and Blood Farmer # 1. Blood Farmer # 1 has inserted a tube into Victim Girl and is draining the blood from her body. And we can tell because of the sucking noises provided by the wonderful sound design. Blood Farmer is also inexplicably wearing a black Klansmen hood, its pointy cone shape a marvel of bigoted beauty. Who knows why, really, but it doesn’t matter. He’s sucking blood from a girl using a cow-milking machine. Is it really worse if he hates black people?

Jenny and Don momentarily race before falling to the ground, with Don awkwardly attempting to show intimacy with Jenny as he literally rubs her denim dress-covered stomach. Don then somberly talks of Jim Carrey, who invaded the bar, disgusted a bunch of drunks, and then fell on his face, without ever singing amusingly out of his asshole. Not once, but twice we are greeted with quick cuts to Jim Carrey laying face down on the floor as Don talks of finding him and how it has affected his life. A strangely utilized frying bacon sound is used to complement each cut back to Jim Carrey for unknown reasons.

It’s at this point that we meet the greatest man in the whole world: Dr. Roy Anderson, played with a currently unmatched amount of enthusiasm by the great Norman Kelley, a theater actor who over-annunciates and shouts every line he has in the film. “Where have you two been?!” he explodes. “Never mind! Come to the lab! Yoooooou won’t believe what’s HAPPENING!” Despite this invitation being directed to both Jenny and Don, only the latter follows, which is fine with me, because the less characters in a scene means the more opportunities for Dr. Roy Anderson to talk dynamically about scientific things, really excited to be in a feature film!

Dr. Anderson shows Don the samples of blood that were taken from Jim Carrey. Don is astonished to see that the amount of blood has increased by itself, now taking up half a beaker. Why, this blood was expanding all by itself!

"OK, let's go over the rules again: $30 for chugging,
$20 for gargling, and $10 for just lapping some from my palm."

Dr. Anderson takes his time, severely concentrating on reciting long, scientific diatribes, ignoring his flubs and continuing on. “This will either be a major milestone in pathology or a major blow to mankind! Let’s work all night until we nail this thing DOWN!”

Meanwhile, a local boob, Tex, fruitlessly attempts to clean up Jim Carrey’s blood from the bar floor, but since this is the same blood that keeps multiplying, he’s fucked. As he recites his lines, something about the blood and the present odd circumstances within the town being “demons’ work,” we reach a point in which the actor must not have been saying his lines loud enough, and a much-louder voice-over is layered directly over-top the old dialogue. As Tex babbles on, some strange farming men at the bar glare at him, since all the “strange things going on in this town” could very well clue townsfolk in on what’s actually going on: the sucking of people by these two wicker-hatted dudes.

After monitoring the conversation regarding Dr. Roy Anderson and his location on Willowbrook Road, one of the strange men, Egon, asks the bartender how to find this road. He claims to have “pressing business” with one of the residents.

“Are you guys tailors?” shouts an off-screen patron in response, which is greeted with laughter.

Upon receiving the directions, Egon responds with, “Your directions have been most…satisfactory,” and he and his sucking partner, Sontag, leave the bar.

Egon journeys on his gimpy leg to find Roy Anderson’s property and does, indeed, locate the residence. However, Egon then accidentally bumps into the window because he is a moronic demon alien, or something, and flees, having blown his stupid alien demon cover.

Buster, a white puffball of a dog, chases after Egon, who is promptly beaten to death with his Egon's demon alien cane. Jenny comes rushing out, looking for Buster, but sees only Don instead. She makes some offhanded comment about him being overdue, to which Don replies, “Well, you’re way overdue…for bed!” The fact that it's mid-afternoon is lost on our characters, but not anyone watching this film.

Don then leans into the camera, in shoddy close-up, lips parted, for a hot kiss. Jenny responds in kind, also leaning into the camera for this hot kiss, but then the camera cuts and we’re suddenly in bloody Egon’s mouth as he is eating the dog!

Wwatch out for Mr. Film School over here!

Don takes a brief trip through the woods to try to locate the dog, but instead finds a random key dropped by Egon earlier in the day. Don decides an old key is a good substitute for the dog and goes back to the house.

Later, we meet a newly married couple, honeymooning in the most romantic spot in the country: a seedy motel in Blood Suck Town. Man says “I’m gonna shower and then we can watch "'The Late Show.'”

His wife replies, “We’re married, now! We don’t watch 'The Late Show' anymore!”

Before you can figure out what the fuck that's supposed to mean, Man is killed in the shower by Egon as his wife lies on the bed and shakes, either from an off-screen attack or a vibrating mattress. And I'm serious when I say that. I really can't tell if she was just hit on the head and perhaps is experiencing a seizure, or if she just dropped two bits in the vibrating bed coin slot.

"Howdy, pardner. Room in this shower for two?"

The next morning, Dr. Roy Anderson sits at the table, patiently awaiting his daughter, Jenny, to fix his coffee, since he’s so fucking old and scientific that he can’t do it himself. Jenny forlornly pours the coffee, distressed by the absence of her dog. “Buster never misses breakfast!” she sadly exclaims.

Dr. Roy Anderson responds, “Don’t worry, when he gets hungry, he’ll come home…just like my students!” Thankfully there isn't much time to let sink in the fact that this line doesn't make a bit of sense, because Don stops by for breakfast, telling Jenny that they’ll go out later together looking for Buster. This warms her heart, and she offers to make him eggs.

“Scrambled, like you!” Don lovingly says. A nice sweet moment is shared. Everyone smiles at each other, really reveling in the warmness of the world and anxiously awaiting all the pleasures of the coming tomorrow.

And then Egon hangs the dead, mutilated dog outside the front door, rings the bell, and slowly drags his gimp body through some bushes, because he’s a gigantic dickhead. Jenny sees the dog's body, probably shoves her fist in her mouth and screams, and probably falls.

Dr. Anderson and Don examine the dog’s blood and find that it, too, is capable of the strange, replicating effect. 

“I’m afraid we’re dealing with forces we know nothing about!” exclaims Dr. Anderson, the top of his head the only part of him on camera. Don walks away, not responding to this as the camera awkwardly pans down on Dr. Anderson staring off, shocked, into space. Then the camera unsmoothly pans down to reveal the beaker now brimming with blood.

Jenny lies in bed, upset about Buster’s recent blood-draining and hanging. 

Don is also dismayed. “Why would someone try to SCARE us like this?”

Dr. Anderson’s booming, omnipresent voice fills the room. “Don! Come quick! YOOOOOOOOU won’t believe what is HAAAAAAPPENING!!” 

Don rushes to the basement lab to see Dr. Anderson trying to contain the blood now gushing from the several containers holding it and pouring all over the floor.

Oh no! What will they do!

No matter, because we then cut and finally meet Creton, the reason for all this bullshittery.

Rising with the morning sun, bathing in the warm springs,
and sucking a few bodies of their blood.
Creton relished it, and it was his.

Easily mistakable for a grey-haired version of Hyde from "That 70’s Show," Creton babbles bullshit over a dead woman’s body in a glass coffin as a boring suited man, Dr. Woodrow Kinski, looks on. The two off-handedly discuss the point behind the harvesting of blood (to awake their Demon Queen from her glass cofifin), even though at this point, everyone involved should pretty much know the game plan.

Back with our tepid heroes, Don shows Dr. Anderson the strange key he found in the woods while looking for Buster. Dr. Anderson, not recognizing the metal because he is brilliant, attempts to phone Dr. Kinski(!) at the institution, ignorant of the fact that he is not of this earth, or at the very least a non-human man.

Meanwhile, a random man we have never seen before sits behind his desk in an office, staring at the floor and literally waiting for the phone to ring in order to begin his scene, while simultaneously putting his faith in the director to cut out all that footage of non action.

Oops.

The phone does ring, and it’s Dr. Anderson, looking for Dr. Kinski, of course. Though Dr. Kinski has been holed-up somewhere doing research for the past month and left orders not to be disturbed, the man gives Dr. Anderson his phone number anyway, because why not?

Dr. Anderson ploddingly dials each number, (only 6 digits in all, which may have been appropriate for the time period, but as I don’t know any better, I will laugh anyway because it’s all the more to appreciate about this hammy movie) and then stares up at Don and smiles, looking as if he is about to ask someone out to a Sock Hop. The good doctors connect and make plans to meet up later to exchange the newly-found key for some tests.

"I just want to LOVE again!"

Dr. Kinski reports back to Creton immediately and thus takes part in a scene that lasts literally five minutes, but which only establishes Kinski has found the location of the key and that he’ll eventually steal it. Meanwhile, the woman attempting to play the dead queen in the coffin shuffles and jimmy-legs at her own disposal.

We then quickly check in with the deputy of the town, as he once again states that the chief is on vacation, and thus cannot solve the case of the missing people, because God forbid he should do any actual work. However, the vacationing chief decides to call the bar from a rainy area (see, because he’s in a different place) and verbally berate his deputy for letting the town fall victim to blood farmers, all the while magically knowing he could find his deputy at the bar.

Despite the fact that the deputy says absolutely nothing in reference to the Chief’s anger, nor even verbally acknowledges that the person on the other end of the line is the chief, a disembodied voice from the other end of the bar still decides to yell, “Give ‘em hell, Shorty!”

The random blood ritual has begun, with each black-hooded blood farmer drinking from the ceremonial bowl and then kissing the ceremonial dead girl.

We cut back to Dr. Anderson, the phone to his ear, waiting for his scene to begin. It takes roughly three Mississippi seconds. He’s talking to the Chief, and after a weird, unintentional throw-back of his head, the camera whirls momentarily within the woods to symbolize the passing of time, and the Chief appears at the doorway, already shaking Dr. Anderson’s hand. Dr. Anderson and the Chief settle down on the cozy couch as he lays down the entire dirty business of the growing blood and other goings-on of the past few days.

"Well I ain't never kissed a man, Bill, but you
do rub me the right way. Let's go for it."

With the courtesy of another quick cut, Dr. Anderson and the chief are now on their feet, with the chief agreeing to check out the Whittaker farm house, home to some of those blood farmers about which the town has frequently gossiped. How Dr. Roy Anderson knew this was the location of the bullshit is anyone's guess.

Chief meets Dr. Kinski at the house, who claims that the Whittakers have agreed to lend their abode to him while they vacationed in California. Dr. Kinski explains what’s going on, doing his best to keep up with overly-complicated scientific sounding jargon, yet clearly fucking up several of his lines.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anderson excitedly explains to Don a concoction he has whipped up to thwart the ever-expanding blood. As Don examines microscopic samples, the phone rings. Anderson grabs it, holds it to his ear and stares directly into the camera, knowing this is where they have agreed to cut. It's the chief, and the two gab for a bit before Dr. Anderson hangs up and looks confused. Dr. Anderson then dials Dr. Kinski, and Egon, who despite not having the patience to speak human English, answers the ringing phone, anyway. Egon mutters an angry demon curse and fires sparks into the phone with his hands. 

Dr. Anderson’s cry of “whaaa-a-a-at?!” mixed with his look of overstated befuddlement is priceless. “Look, I want to spo—SPEAK, to…DR. KINSKI!” he manages.

“There is no Kinski here!” replies Egon.

“Is this 4…6...2 - 7…8…3…?” Dr. Anderson stumbles.

Kinski quickly gets on the phone and makes up some shit about working on atomic bombardment “and you know how that can make some people feel.” Kinski, before hanging up the phone, says that his work is going well. 

Don inquires, “what did he say?” 

Anderson replies, confusedly, “he says his work goes…well!” as if it’s an outlandish concept. What the fuck, Dr. Anderson, you asked him.

The chief then receives a call from a missing girl’s father who grows impatient with the slow work of the police department. And right here is where I’d tell you how the chief handled the call if the scene didn’t cut him off mid-sentence and propel the audience suddenly to the woods.

Dr. Kinski drops by Dr. Anderson’s and the two make polite chatter. Dr. Kinski asks for a Bloody Mary and Dr. Anderson does not conceal his over-the-top confusion at his request, considering he offered him a drink in the first place. 

And then we cut outside to Dr. Anderson and Don talking about random life things. Where did Dr. Kinski go? Who knows! I sure don’t!

Dr. Anderson and Jenny are kidnapped by the cult and taken to the mountains where the final whatever will take place.

"I can dance CIRCLES around you, old man.
Any time, ANY PLACE!"

Luckily Don shows up with the antidote, but for some reason never even thinks to use it until Dr. Anderson tells him to. Don attacks the main dead girl with it, which melts her almost instantly, along with the rest of the cult.

Wow, that ended fast!

The three of them retire back to their peaceful home, where Don makes wedding plans with Jenny, regardless of the fact that she can’t even stand from her ordeal.

“Don, come quick!” Dr. Anderson suddenly cries. “YOOOOOOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT’S HAPPENING!”

Oh no, what now!

But don’t worry, it’s a new puppy, which Dr. Anderson holds up while smiling devilishly. The movie literally ends with Dr. Anderson laughing into the camera, raising his eyebrows as if to say, “eh?? Eh????”

And thus ends the greatest movie you never saw.