Archive for the 'Sleaze' Category



29
Oct
08

Russ Meyer – King of Sexploitation

Russ Meyer - King of Sexploitation

Russ Meyer - King of Sexploitation

Russ Meyer – King of Sexploitation, is an old documentary, made shortly after his death in September 2004 and explores the magic of boobs uh, I mean, his movies.

The documentary is chock full of Russ Meyer clips and interviews with friends, ex-girlfriend and actresses.

Everyone from Director John Landis to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner gushes about what they love most about Meyers movies, or how they came to meet him.

Beginning with his first few movies (Faster Pussycat Kill Kill) it explains how his movies were some of the first to contain nudity (no explicit sex) and with a plot! *gasp!*

It introduces his main actresses (ex-girlfriend Kitten Natividad and Tura Satana, who still appear at Meyer fan conventions) and explains how he was a World War II videographer which is where he honed his craftmanship.

Tura Satana - as she was in the 70's

Tura Satana (in the black) - as she was in the 60's

It then moves on to the 70’s where Hollywood gave Meyer a decent budget and a shot at the big time. His film (Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls) effectively poked fun at Hollywood, and Hollywood had no idea what to do with the film nor what it meant.

Tura Satana as she looks now - still scary...

Tura Satana as she looks now - still scary...

By the mid-late 70’s Meyers films were more cartoony and he was appearing either introducing them, or explaining the movie at the end. The level of violence in his films had increased, never blood and guts graphic, but still violent none the less.

The great man himself - Russ Meyer

The great man himself - Russ Meyer

As we reach the end of the documentary, it explains how – in his mid-80’s – Meyer’s health began to fail, as did his memory. Tura Satana explains it sadly in how he used to call her name, but in his last days he could only say ‘I know I’m supposed to know you […] but I can’t remember who you are…’

A true under-rated genius. Like the film says: he was one of the few guys to take a $20k budget and have the film rake in over $1m.

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26
Oct
08

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue)

Great movie poster.  Blah movie.

Great movie poster. Blah movie.

Let sleeping corpses lie also known as the living dead a the Manchester morgue is yet another fairly well known European zombie flick, no doubt created in the wake of the success of Romero’s American zombie works.  Apparently someone was sleeping (get it, sleeping) when they were studying other zombie movies, because besides a few gnarly scenes, this walking dead romp is lacking in the fundamentals.

Gore specifically.  Sure, you can make a zombie flick without heavily relying on blood and guts to keep the audience interested, but it’s kinda like ice skating uphill.  The very nature of the dead coming back to life to eat the living brings all sorts of wild images into the imagination, and unless your a master at creating atmosphere and a tight, tense story, your going to have to have some seriously gross scenes to keep people squirming, and above all keep them caring.

Acting isn’t to fault here, as you might expect with a foreign, dubbed zombie film.  Our main duo do their jobs adequately, so much so that’s there’s really nothing I can complain about.  I just wish there was more for them in terms of harrowing scenes, violence, and atmosphere to react and be a part of.  The supporting cast isn’t really too important, but I should mention the inspector, who does a great job as being the “non-believer” prick type guy throughout the whole ordeal.

The plot is more than serviceable, as a pair of “hippie” types run into each other at a gas station, then later are accused of murder, for which the real culprit is of course, zombies.  According to this mythos though, zombies don’t show up in photographs, are sometimes referred to as ghosts, can speed up their shuffle walk when need be, and their only weakness is fire.

Directing is kept pretty modest, with a few interesting POV shots and interesting angles, but nothing really pops off the screen and grabs you.  In horror, there’s a major difference between watching and experiencing, and this definitely falls into the category of just something you merely watch.

I was expecting a lot more, especially since Sleeping Corpses has a strong online reputation and following.  For the zombie enthusiast, this is somewhat recommendable, but chances are if your ga-ga about the undead, you have already seen or at least heard of this one.  To the more casual fan, this is easily overlooked, as the European theater of film has literally dozens of superior walking dead titles to choose from.

As for the Inspector I mentioned earlier.  We do get an awesome quote from him though.

“You’re all the same the lot of you, with your long hair and faggot clothes. Drugs, sex, every sort of filth!”

21
Oct
08

Top 5 (+3) Posters for Halloween

It was near impossible for me pick just five, and somehow I managed to stop myself from cruising the Internet and sifting through my own collection at the magical number of…8


The criteria I used for my picks was simple.  Firstly, I had to actually know about or enjoy the movie’s themselves, as I will try to couple something akin to a mini-review with each poster.  Also, I tried to choose the most creative and eye-popping of the bunch, and if possible, the ones that have really cool innuendo, double-images, or are just plain sick and twisted.

In no particular order.

You see?  It's a skull, but it's also the women from the flick. That's fucking cool.

You see? It's a skull but it's also the women from the film. That's fucking cool.

If you haven’t yet seen Neil Marshall’s The Descent, then you need to go rent, buy, download, borrow from a buddy, or…something and see this flick.  The Descent is one of the most legitimately terrifying, psychologically draining, and claustrophobic films our generation is likely to ever see, and unfortunately the poster you see above wasn’t used very much in advertising for the film.  The reason?  Well, it probably had something to do with some stuck up liberal cunt thinking that the fact that women are screaming and posing on a poster is somehow sexist and degrading to women.  The irony of course, is that the movie is one of the strongest and best portrayals of women I’ve ever seen, in or out of the horror genre.  Anyway, this one-sheet gets on my list for being very innovative, slightly sexual, and having sweet double-imagery.  Oh, and the movie itself is near perfection.  That never hurts.

So much going on.  And the movie actually has ALL that crpa in it!

So much going on. And the movie actually has ALL that crap in it!

The Beyond is one of my all time favs.  Reviewed already on here by my best buddy Ronnie, who wasn’t as fanatical as I was about it, he still gave it some credit for being a cool little gore/zombie flick.  This poster, to me, represents perfectly the sheer chaos the film exudes.  Zombified girls getting their fucking heads blown off by grown men with a .357 magnum.  People running from scary shit.  Lots of screaming.  Dead people.  More dead people.  Mega bonus points for the almost “hand drawn” feel to it, and just the sheer amount of scenes from the movie they were able to fit into one sheet a paper without actually ruining some of the best parts, which of course are the gnarly kills.

Someones about to get a good Ol' fashioned raping.  Wait, IN A HITCHCOCK FILM?!?!?!?!?

Someones about to get a good ol' fashioned raping/murder combo. Wait, IN A HITCHCOCK FILM?!?!?!?

This one threw me for a total loop.  Hitchcock, a man known for his thrillers and endless amount of class in dealing with sex and violence eloquently, yet this poster seems to suggest something totally different.  While Rear Window still is my favorite Hitchcock film, Dial M for Murder is a damn close second.  This poster seems very risky, even if we saw something like it today.  I mean, the girl is obviously in peril, and not only is it clear that the shady man’s intentions are to silence that bitch permanently, he may also be looking to get some non-consensual love while he’s at it.  Again folks, this is pretty dark, twisted, and edgy for Hitchcock, probably why I had never seen it before I started digging for posters for this project.

Spooky.

Spooky.

Fulci again graces my list, and this time for a film that is considered by many to be his nastiest.  House by the Cemetery has a reputation for being possibly the most sadistic and grotesque of Fulci’s work, a man who has nack for combing the surreal elements of Giallo films, with the raw horsepower of lingering, graphic, and sickening violence.  If you wanna see the most fucked up slit throat scene in the history of slit throat scenes, grab yourself a copy of this gore classic.  The poster though, speaks to me on a very Halloween “spooky” level, and is…dare i say…very classy and simple.  A little shadow play with a disfigured face up in the clouds, a full moon, a dark, twisty, kind of bent house and a graveyard with some fog.  This is the kind of stuff you see if a movie theater, and immediately turn to your friend and say “Fuck yeah were seeing that when it comes out!”

I so want this one my wall one day.  Cre-epy!

I so want this one my wall one day. Cre-epy!

Del Toro nailed two birds with one stone with his adult Gothic fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth.  He not only re-asserted himself as one of the premiere genre directors to watch out for, but also may have creating the defining piece of his entire career.  I just don’t know how he will eclipse of movie that not only showed so much creativity and imagination , but had not one, but two amazing story lines to boot.  (One storyline taking place inside the “Fairy-Tale” world, and the other happening in reality)  This teaser poster always made me sweat in anticipation when I was waiting for this one to come out, and it’s because it’s both incredibly simple, and very creepy.  That sure looks like a “Baphomet” type character to me, not someone who I would let lead a small girl into another dimension.  Another movie that’s highly recommended and another poster I plan to one day have framed on a wall somewhere.  Alice in Wonderland for grown ups, but really really fucking twisted.

What the fuck is that thing on that poor girls HEAD?!?!?!?

What the fuck is that thing on that poor girls HEAD?!?!?!?

How much blood will you shed to stay alive?  Do I really need to say anything else?  The movie (notice I didn’t say series, as everyone seems to have different opinions about how the series has been handled, especially going into the 5th entry in ’08) that changed how audiences viewed horror movies forever, and catapulted the “Torture Porn” sub-category into the cross-hairs of oversensitive fagots worldwide, also happened to have one of the best marketing campaigns ever.  Starting with teaser posters that began floating around the Internet as early as 2001, and extending to some of the most clever “We’re showing you a lot but you have no fucking idea whats actually going on” trailers, SAW burst onto the scene and claimed it it’s own within weeks of its release theatrically.  A perfect tag-line.  A girl in peril without having to rely on sexuality.  One of the best movies series ever. It may not save horror, but it made me believe in slashers again.

It may not save horror, but it made me believe in slashers again.

The tag-line reads “It’s not a remake.  It’s not a sequel.  And it’s not based on a Japanese one.”  Hatchet was a movie I had my eyes on for almost four years, before finally getting to experience it myself in 2007.  Sometimes waiting for shit is a really good thing.  Hatchet delivered on every promise it’s first time director made.  The gore was ALL practical, NO cgi fuckery.  There were ample breasts, some extremely funny humor, some great boo scares, an incredibly likable monster/slasher, and the list goes on and on.  This poster sums the whole thing up too.  It’s an original piece of old school American horror, and sometimes all you need is an axe with some blood on it.  Run, don’t walk, to get your hands on this gem.

The Trick was to Stay Alive.  That is so classic

The Trick was to Stay Alive. That is so classic. And that chick is so fucked.

The poster no one ever saw.  Apparently there are some stories about how much trouble this little poster got into, but I haven’ been able to put all the pieces together, and I don’t want to sit here and just make shit up, so I will instead give you my take on it.  The picture itself is mostly distorted, obviously we can make out a girl in terror, and a hand outside that’s getting dangerously close to her.  Anyone who has seen the film knows what scene this is from.  The Tag-line here really butters my biscuit though.  “The Trick was to Stay Alive.”  That’s some badass shit folks.  Like, if Michael Myers ever needed a one-liner, it would have to be that.  The easy choice was the classic “pumpkin with a knife” poster, but this one, when I found it, spoke to me, especially with the woman in terror and then the incredible tag-line.  And again, it doesn’t give away too much, just enough to put asses in seats.

BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!

For those who have never been treated to seeing the made for tv halloween special, here is, in three parts via youtube, The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t!!!!!

P.S.  Told you I’d find it mom.  Love ya!



12
Oct
08

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Strippers vs. Zombies

How?  How do you fuck this up?

How? How do you fuck this up?

Look at that poster.  How?  How is this not a home run?  You have zombies.  Zombies are fucking great.  You have strippers.  Here at Midnight Showing, we’re all about women, especially those who seem to think clothing is optional.  Plus, it’s a low budget film.  Really low budget.  So you figure they would  have to bring the violence, the gore, the hilarious and copious amounts of nudity, and the humor right?

Wrong.

Strippers vs. Zombies, or is that Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!, fails to even deliver us what is shamelessly promised on the cover.  To put it mildly, the overall quality of this film is only slightly above something a high school A/V club member would produce as a side project with his stoner buddies.  There almost no nudity, and none of it is in the least bit sexual or even funny.  The gore is a mish mash of horrible cgi, and so-so make up and practical effects.  The acting, from everyone besides the Samuel L. Jackson “funny black pimp” guy was pretty much forgettable, if not downright terrible.  The music is just generic sounding rip offs of pieces featured in movies like the Exorcist and Terminator.  And the director could barely keep the actors and actress’s in the shot, let alone do anything with the camera other than follow the action, and he even did that shitty.

Oh, and the really embarrassing thing?

At times throughout the movie, people would talk, on camera, and there would be no sound.  Like an old Godzilla movie that’s poorly dubbed.  Also, if any lines needed to be done over with dubbing later on, it was obvious the voices were recorded at different volumes, in like 128 kbps quality, in a completely different environment.  Obviously the makers of this film are not only shameless (a trait i would never fault anyone with), but also completely without a sense of professional pride.

It feels like they let this movie be released without watching the finished product.  Just like when I write for this site, you gotta proofread that bitch, and at least knockout the obvious errors, you know, like releasing a movie with LINES OF DIALOGUE COMPLETELY MISSING EVEN THOUGH THE ACTORS MOVE IS MOVING ON CAMERA!

If you follow zombies flicks, you’ll know that 2008 has been the year of the stripper vs. zombie movie.  Earlier in the year a movie starring Jenna Jameson and Robert Englund came out called Zombie Strippers.  I thought it was friggin’ terrible, but at the very least, it had some parts that showed you the filmmakers aren’t completely brain dead.

Strippers vs. Zombies goes that extra mile to make you just give up hope.  It shows you why movies like Snakes on a Plane are made, and even how movies like Snakes on a Plane MAKE MONEY!  By the way, the “funny black pimp” i mentioned earlier, he actually said in the movie “I’m tired of these motherfucking zombies in this motherfucking club!”  Really.  He did.  And it was probably the best part of the movie.

Maybe you should watch it, just because that guy is hilarious.  No, no you shouldn’t.  If there is any lesson to be taken from this film, it’s that if you come up with a good poster, a good title, and have no talent, you too can help make a mockery of the horror genre.

01
Oct
08

Drive-Thru from one of the Producers of the SAW Series.

Need i say more?

Need i say more?

And his name is Jason Constantine.  I mention him because on one of the DVD covers, it makes mention that this slasher comes to us from the producer of SAW 1 and 2.  What a hollow and shameless marketing ploy that turned out to be.  Most fans of the genre would see that, and be intrigued.  Sad for us however, that instead of even getting a passable slasher that could at least be considered a guilty pleasure, we served a hot steamy pile of poo that even the Sci-Fi channel would be embarrassed showing at 3 am on a Tuesday morning.

Even if you were stoned and drunk, hanging with your best buds and doing a bad movie marathon, you might want to overlook this.  I’m a very tolerant horror fan, and one things I’m even more lenient toward are slashers.  Why?  Because slashers are very difficult to make.  Pacing, a clever heavy (bad guy), a descent motivation for the killer, a good gimmick for your killer in the way he kills or where and how, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Then you have to make sure you have somewhat likable characters that have to face-off against your villain, and somehow mix all this up and create tension and atmosphere on top.

It’s a tall order, and that’s why we see so many fail.

But even the “bad” ones still seem to have something offer.  Exceptional special effects, gore, and innovative kills can carry an entire movie, or even a series, to becoming successful.  Sometimes a great twist about who or what the killer is can make watching 90 minutes of “bleh” cinema completely worth it.  Or having a killer that the audience roots for instead of fears to make your film rise above it’s competitors.  Drive-Thru delivers none of these characteristics, and fails at following the tried and true formula of slasher movie making in general.

The plot concerns a vengeful guy (or spirit, were never told of course) in a “Horny the Clown” costume, fully imagined with a mouthpiece that distorts his voice just like those talk boxes in old run down burger joints, running around killing the children (all teenagers, how original) of the people who wound up killing him when he was a teenager when a prank went horribly wrong 20 years ago.

On paper, this isn’t exactly crippled from the start, but you got to expect that a sense of humor would be included to make such a plot, and such a ridiculous gimmick for a killer, easily digestible.  Wrong.  Besides a few stabs at republicans, the American government, epically failed pot and pot head humor, and trying to shit on the “O.C.” California lifestyle, Drive-Thru tries to play it straight.  None of the humor comes off as genuine, original or funny, and seems to be there just to fall in line with flavor of the week politics, trends, and habits that the youth they hope will buy this piece of shit will relate with.  Its obvious their target audience was the the anti-establishment kids, the kids who are sick of the “McWorld” we live in, but instead of making astute observations about how, fast food for instance, is a microcosm of our whole country and even world today, we are instead treated to one liners like “Fast food kills, fucker.”

How incredibly enlightening.

Delivering this poignant dialogue is a cast and crew full of nobodies, with the exception of Morgan Spurlock who has that “30 Days” show on F/X and did that “I’m gonna eat McDonalds every day for a month” or whatever movie.  Either the actors are to young and talentless to handle even these see through characters, as the case is with the main friend group who is terrorized by the killer clown, or they are just “I’m here for the paycheck” older actors and actresses who you probably have never seen before, and hopefully will never see again.  Throughout the whole ordeal, either over-acting or just not giving a shit is the two varieties of acting we get.  Great.

All this is nothing compared to the directing though.  It makes rap videos look like Titanic.  Every time someone is killed, the director feels its necessary to speed up and slow down the kill, seemingly at random, and BLAST really bad hard rock/heavy metal over top of it.  This means once you hear the butt rock kick in, any suspense and tension has been removed, as the fact that someone will die in the next few seconds is announced.  Not like the director has enough skill to even TRY to create tension and atmosphere.  Nowhere in Drive-Thru is their even an attempt at a stalk and kill sequence.  Sometimes people walk into a room and Horny the Clown pops out and kills them, but that’s about it.  Awesome job.

The kills and “gore” are all very poorly done.  Good violence can help almost any movie out, and apparently that memo wasn’t passed on to these filmmakers.  The kills just make you shake your head in how they are terribly executed and how talentless you have to be to not even be able to give your audience a serviceable pay off for sitting through your dreck.  Speaking of pay offs, the ending is so mishandled, it hurts to think about it.  It makes no sense, but does…somewhat…answer the “is it a man or a spirit” question, because somehow even though Horny the Clown is killed at the end, one of our main characters takes up the reigns and continues the slashing.  How they came to this conclusion I have no idea.  Unless there’s some brilliant plot revelation they will reveal to us in the sequel.  Have no doubt folks, someone will ressurrect this, and I’ll die a little inside when they do.

I could go on for a few pages slamming this film, but I won’t.  I honestly wanted to like this movie.  I want to like pretty much everything I see.  And indeed I did actually finish watching this movie, however much I now regret that decision.  If you are the most passionate and fanatical slasher freak out there, I still don’t suggest you even download this movie for free.  It’s not even worth the look to say “Yeah, I saw that.”  Avoid it like you would avoid watching a porno with a family member in it.

As for Jason Constantine, hopefully the paycheck for this was worth it, because he’s seriously got to redeem himself after allowing his name to be put on a movie he had know was this bad.

30
Sep
08

Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford

Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis & Michelle Clifford

Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis & Michelle Clifford

With a sub-title like: A Mind Twisting Tour Through The Grindhouse Cinema Of Times Square!, how could I resist?

The book begins way back in the 60s where it goes in to great detail about the atmosphere in grindhouse cinemas and the danger that lurked in some of these hell holes. Initially this chapter seemed completely pointless, but reading on – you realise that you needed that chapter to give you the background of which cinema was where, who owned it and it’s reputation within the legendary 42nd Street.

Sleazoid Express moves chronologically through the exploitation movies being peddled. Filled with crackheads, thiefs and prostitutes/pimps 42nd Street certainly sounds sleazy! Beginning with the Olga series of movies (a pre-cursor to the Ilsa movies) it often gives a brief review (sometimes a lengthy review, if the film was decent) of the movie plot and, most times, even giving away the ending, so if you don’t want your plots spoiled, beware! But lets face it, how many exploitation movies have an in depth plot or twist ending?

The chapters are genre points within the exploitation time line, chapter titles such as: The Anco Does A Gendertwist and Blood Horror: Chopping ‘Em Up At The Rialto hint at the subjects (the Anco and Rialto being cinemas with Times Square). Many different types of film are spoken about in the book, everything from the early gore classics (Blood Feast) through to the zombie flicks, cannibal movies and even the influx of gorey westerns and wacky oriental fung-fu movies (Flying Guillotine).

Just shy of 300 pages the book also lists exploitation video companies who still sell many of the gems mentioned in the book. The index is excellent as lists actors, directors and film titles, so it’s easy to dive in to the book to find a fact. This is THE exploitation book to own, Nightmare USA is also excellent, but spends too much time reviewing, Sleazoid Express gives history, and life, to the home of exploitation cinema. If you want to know how it all started, this is the book you want.

Favourite fact gleaned from the book? The fact that Dyanne Thorne (Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS) is now an ordained minister!

SEE ALSO: Nightmare USA – The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents.