Posts Tagged ‘Horror



06
Jan
09

The Substitute 2007 (a.k.a. Vikaren)

This trite cover does nothing to convey the genuine charm of this film.

This trite cover does nothing to convey the genuine charm of this film.

First off, let me commend the fine job Ghost House Underground has done collecting and distributing indie horror films in their first year in existence.  So far, I’ve only seen Dance of the Dead and The Substitute, which makes up for 2 of the 8 total films released through Ghost House in 2008, but they have both been dynamite little films.  And even if they wind up being the only 2 good ones out of the bunch (8), it’s still an impressive batting average for a company in it’s rookie year.

Now, onto to the review.

What happens when you combine The Faculty, The Goonies, The Witches and Monster Squad?

If you answered ” a big pile of mish mash poo poo” I totally would’ve agreed with you.

The “young kids vs. a real “monster” their parents don’t believe is real” genre has been around for almost 30 years now, yet it really hasn’t had a shot in the arm in quite some time, and has been done both very well and very poorly in the past.  It has laid fairly dormant for a while.  That is until now.

Leave it to a writer/director from Denmark, Ole Bornedal to breathe new life into a genre that Americans pioneered.

Our story concerns a small 6th grade class that gets the best news a 6th grade class can hope for.  There main teacher has been struck ill, and they will be getting a substitute.  For those of us who remember school, you probably know how exciting this can be.  Little did the kids know however, that there new teacher isn’t some lenient push over they can run rampant over, but instead a woman of immense power and inhuman abilities, who seems to be not of this world.  While there is a little more to the story than simply the young class matching wits with the nefarious new teacher, I’ll leave the details and subplots for you to explore on your own viewing.

Paprika Steen, who plays Ulla, the new mysterious teacher, really steals the show here, alongside the rag-tag, but never annoying, class.  Her performance is a bit of a combination of Famke Janssen’s role in the Faculty, mixed in with The Terminator.  Robotic motions and piercing eyes combine with a forbidden sexy charm and aloofness to make her a villain your never really sure you want to hate, because the “mission” she is here to perform is actually fairly noble.  Her class, led by Carl (Jonas Wandschneider) are also impressive, each filling out roles like the bully, the computer genius (an obvious nod to Data from the Goonies complete with the nerdy specs) the pretty girls, and the love interest for Carl, and so on.

They teach rope bondage in Denmark in the 6th grade.  Awesome.

They teach rope bondage in Denmark in the 6th grade now a days. Awesome.

Aiding the the solid performances by the main and supporting cast, is Ole Bornedal’s competitent directing.  He never gets in his own way in the pacing department, and when he has to use CGI in order to create a specific effect, he always hides it well, meaning you’ll see no “effects” in broad daylight where you can easily spot, and the make fun of, the lower budget computer animations.  Along side this knowledge, he creates a great auditory mood and visual atmosphere, and while he could have used some colors other than black, grey, white and blue, the style of the film matches the tone and subject matter, while never becoming the main focus.  Something more horror film makers should note, just because a of a scene looks good (well lit and etc.) doesn’t mean it’s a good scene.

Ulla (Paprika Steen) says Stop! In the name of love.  You'll think that joke is hilarious once you see the movie.

Ulla (Paprika Steen) says Stop! In the name of love. You'll think that joke is hilarious once you see the movie.

My only complaint is a bit of an unexplained hiccup torwards the finale, by which no means ruins the film, but feels kinda like getting a rug burn from a classmate for no reason.  Other than that small, but completely noticeable wrinkle, the only hump to get over is how willing are you to watch an R-rated kids vs. monster movie with no gore to speak of, that is driven by clever cat and mouse games, unique takes on the war of wits, and easily loved characters.  The answer to that question should be a deafening yes.

Charm, heart, and originality can all be debated, considering that a film like this couldn’t possible exist without the its obvious predecessors, but I feel this gem has those intangible qualities in spades.  With every flick trying to be the next Saw, the next big souless “Boo Scare” hit, or the next big money remake, The Substitute quietly walks into the fray, sits down, and and nearly aces the test without having to cheat off the smarter students.

I told you the kids in the class were cool.

I told you the kids in the class were cool.

Don’t be shocked when this is remade in 2 years.  The picture above expresses my feelings towards that inevitability.

28
Dec
08

Alex’s Top 10 Movies of the Year!!!!!!

Greetings fellow Midnighters!!!!  Here is my video of my top ten films of the year.  Sorry it turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, but I had a lot to say.  DIG IN!

21
Nov
08

Dead Set: A Reality TV Show Zombie Mini-Series

Big Brother is watching...you get eaten by Zombies!

Big Brother is watching...you get eaten by Zombies!

Dead Set is a thrilling mini-series that combines two of the most popular things going in TV and movies today, the reality TV show (in this case Big Brother) and zombies.  The style in which this 5 part story is told is similar to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later series, complete with shaky camera-work and ravenous, feral running zombies.  Personally, I have found the “28” series of zombie movies very underwhelming, and I also haven’t been too big a fan of the idea of  running zombies.  Dead Set, however similar to the aforementioned films it may be, sets itself apart, and is, as far as I can tell, a hidden gem of a horror genre, at least among American audiences.

Dead Set starts off showing the inner workings of reality television.  It’s sort of a nice behind the scenes look which I’m sure has been slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect, but still feels very genuine.  We are introduced to a gaggle of characters, some more important than others.  You’ll immediately begin playing the “Who’s gonna survive game” in your head, which is always a good thing, because it means the actors and the director have already made empathetic characters early on, which winds up being one of the main reasons this series had me in the clutches of suspense for almost 3 hours.

After we get a look at “Eviction Night”, where one of the house guests is sent home, no longer eligible for the prize that awaits the final contestant, we are plunged into a crisis happening right outside the studio, which is an apparent (and unexplained, a classy touch.  No need to always explain why there is zombies) zombie apocalypse.  Chaos ensues, and different sets of the relatively large cast get separated and wind up having to find ways of surviving in and around the studio.

Seeing as house this is a 5 part mini-series, I was slightly skeptical going in how the director and writers were gonna keep up the frenetic pace they started off with.  Fortunately, a combination of clever nods to classic zombie flicks, interesting scenarios and obstacles, and the rule of “anyone can die at any time” meant that I was fully engaged, and holding my hand over my mouth at the conclusion of each episode that always seemed to be a cliffhanger.

Special effects also helps elevate this to near legendary status, with a COMPLETE ABSENCE OF CGI (FUCK YES) and awesome practical gore such as this incredible exploding head.

BOOM! Headshot.

BOOM! Headshot.

There are other surprises as well, all of them really bloody and particularly brutal.  I won’t ruin them for you, but they rival some of the best kills I’ve ever seen in the genre and really stand out.  Make no mistake, just because this is “made for TV” doesn’t mean it wimps out on the hardcore stuff.   its R-Rated goodness should put smiles on the faces of even some hardened horror fans.

Solid, if not a little trendy, directing, good acting, and a storyline that doesn’t wear out it’s welcome while also exploring many possibilities a shorter, 90 minute zombie flick wouldn’t have time to touch on make Dead Set a solid recommendation for someone wanting zombie goodness, with a European flair.  For zombie fans, this is a must see.

Big Brother is watching, and so should you.

What a story she would have to tell in the diary room.

What a story she would have to tell in the diary room.

17
Nov
08

Splinter directed by Toby Wilkins

Looks like it's already inside that hand.

Looks like it's already inside that hand.

Splinter, an independent horror film that’s been getting a serious amount of buzz lately, deserves every bit of the flurry of interest it’s creating and then some.  Sure, it owes A LOT to its forefathers, most notably John Carpenter’s The Thing, ALIEN, and even to a lesser extent, Tremors, but that doesn’t mean that Splinter can’t stand on its own two parasite infected legs.  Toby Wilkins (who oddly enough is also directing The Grudge 3, god bless him in trying to resurrect that piece of shit horror series) has made something from nothing here.  That’s right folks, this is not a sequel, it’s not a remake or re-imagining of an Asian film, and it’s really clever, fast-paced, and surprising in ways I had forgotten horror films can be.

Our plot is familiar, a couple goes away on a camping trip alone in the woods in the back country, the tent doesn’t work and snaps, and of course they forgot to pack the spare.  So back in the SUV they go, and while driving to a motel, they are confronted by two hitchhikers, who are actually criminals on the run from the law.  The criminals take over the vehicle, but keep the couple as hostages, more or less.

The Flat tire seems to be the next logical step, but it’s WHAT they hit that is interesting, and before they know it they are at a gas station, trying to fix the now very fucked up SUV, when all hell breaks loose.

It’s not groundbreaking, and the “boo” scares aren’t going to make you shit your pants, but it’s all so well executed and framed, that it’s really easy to just slip into the atmosphere and the setting.  I quickly allowed myself to get over the fact that I’ve seen this done before, mostly because I haven’t seen it done THIS WELL before.

The cast, made up mostly of four characters, are excellent.  Shea Whigham really stands out here as someone who could easily handle a starring role in a major movie, as he plays the hardened criminal who has an amazing story to tell.  His transformation in the film is subtle, but magical.  It’s rare that ANY character development takes places in horror movies now a days, and to have one as profound and jaw-dropping as this, really elevates the movie above the “Creature Feature” title I was thinking of giving it.

Monster design is, for the most part, also somewhat subtle, but it’s also very detailed.  I won’t ruin any of the  surprise, but think along the lines of The Thing and the monsters from the recently released video game Dead Space and your on the right track.  Toby Wilkins fast editing and mild shaky camera manage to strike a balance between showing off the almost CGI less creature, and creating tension and panic visually.  I usually hate shaky cam, but it really works well here.  Sound is also very crisp and can be piercing at the right moments.  In tandem with the visual style, the technical package delivered here is very robust and professional.

Lastly, I MUST congratulate the writers, Kai Berry, Ian Shorr, and Toby Wilkins.  Not only did they manage to include some clever nods to the films that obviously inspired them (The hand gag from Evil Dead 2 makes a not-so-funny appearance here) but also have written some of the most likable and realistic characters I’ve seen in horror in quite some time.  Never do the characters do the classic “dumb” thing and get themselves killed, and the dialogue is too the point and refreshing, all the while never insulting my intelligence.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been broken away from the mood by some teenage jerk in horror flicks talking about a girls boobs while their best friend gets his guts spilled out by a monster.

Splinter is about as lean, mean, and streamlined as modern horror is going to get.  It wastes little time, keeps you involved with refreshingly smart heroes and villains, and is presented with so much piss and vigor, it’s really difficult not to fall in love with something in this movie.

Get Splintered today.

27
Oct
08

House (2008)

House

House

House starts off innocently enough: a man and wife are driving to an appointment, end up lost and are given directions to help them on their way. Surprise surprise, they end up at an old (seeminly abandoned) house.

There, they meet another couple who found their way to the house. Suddenly the houses inhabitants reveal themselves. A rather inbred looking bunch of redneck sorts. At this point, House reminded me of House of 1,000 Corpses (awesome film by the way) so I was quite excited about it all.

As they become trapped in the house, stalked by some madman outside, the houses inhabitants turn nasty and it’s survival of the fittest with the two couples. Things take a weird twist here with each of the four people having flashbacks to their past. Apparently the stalker only hunts the guilty, and in their flashbacks we see what it is they’re guilty of. But the story also pits the couples against one another with the husbands being told to kill their wives, kill each other and vice versa. So by now I’m thinking that this film is part Addams Family, part Saw. No bad thing at all! As the stalker leaves his calling card (a tin can) it becomes more like Saw. And I’m a Saw fanboy, so I’m very excited now!

As the killer shows himself and things are explained it all goes pear-shaped. It goes from being a fight-for-survival horror, to a more fantasy film! I have to say, I was MOST dissapointed… I had such high hopes for this film! If they could reshoot the ending to make it less fantasy based, I’d recommend it. But as it is? I can only recommend the first three-quarters of the film, the rest is garbage.

Acting is sufficient, effects are ok, the one thing I did notice most was the lighting. Plenty of warm colours played against cool colours. Very colourful, but not in a cartoony way.

By the end of the film, a lot of things are left unexplained (eg: what is the black fog?) and the twist ending isn’t a very good twist and I was left thinking: is that it???!!!

Also, according to IMDb (aka: the Bible) this movie received an R rating. I have no idea why, as it has NO blood and NO gore what so ever. I think money changed hands there to get an R rating for hype purposes.

If you really must see a film called House, I recommend the 1986, highly under-rated, gem: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091223/

14
Oct
08

EDDIE LOVES YOU!!!!!!

PLEASE GO WATCH THIS SHORT FILM!!!!

Funny and creative…and best of all FREE!

Here is your link

http://www.darklineonline.co.uk/ely.html

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.

05
Oct
08

The Midnight Meat Train directed by Ryuhei Kitamura

Simple.  Gives enough to make you interested, but doesn't ruin anything.

Simple. Other should take note.

Clive Barker is a man whose importance to genre pictures is unquestionable, but as far as his actual talent is concerned, everyone has a different opinion.  Celebrated as one of the premiere horror fiction writers of his time, many have blasted him as of late for drifting into the land of fantasy, away from the guts, gore and magic that drew so much attention to his writing.  I’m not sure if that’s fair to Mr. Barker, but one thing I am sure of is that his work in the realm of horror, monsters and the supernatural is still relevant and suitable for modern day cinema.  Proof being The Midnight Meat Train.

Directed by Ryuhei “It’s a crime I’m not directing in Hollywood on a consistent basis” Kitamura, Meat Train follows the story of a up and coming photographer who under the advice of a powerful player in the photography world played by Brooke Shields (Yeah, that Brooke Shields!) begins to dig deeper into the New York night scape, in particular the subway system.  There he finds a man in a suit who waits until well past midnight to slaughter innocent victims catching those red eye trains home.

Seeing as how this originated from a Clive Barker short story, you know things are never as simple and clear cut as they seem to be from the start.  But those little twists and turns wouldn’t be as intriguing if the trio of main characters couldn’t carry their roles.  This movie does have some kills and gruesome scenes, both innovative and familiar, but it is still a piece that relies heavily on your investment in the characters.  Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and Vinnie Jones all perform well above the standard for a little horror flick.  Vinnie Jones is especially impressive, since he only speaks ONE word the whole movie, and that line is at the very end.  He is in the movie a lot, and just his presence and body and facial expressions make “Mahogany”, his character, really jump off the screen.  Cooper and Bibb make a great couple in descent, and both command their screen time admirably and bring a fair amount of depth to their characters.

The gore and special effects are a mixed bag, because it’s a mix of some practical effects like latex and props, and some heavy CGI work.  It’s a shame because I personally always love to see innovative kills done without the aid CGI, but you can’t win them all.  The kills still work, and toward the end, you see less and less of the cgi blood and gore, and during the climax’s TWO fight scenes the brutality is accentuated by make up and karo syrup based splatter.  Even for some seasoned gore hounds, there’s still some tricks Barker, Kitamura and company have up their sleeves, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to kicking the violence up another notch in the final 20 minutes, which is where Kitamura really excels as he is a master craftsman when it comes to staging fights of any kind.

Kitamura is the real star and for the same reasons I described in my Versus review.  He has a great eye for making his version of New York stand out just a little bit from other film interpretations of the famous locale.  His use of different lenses and lengths makes for some interesting shots, and his flashy visuals are usually nothing short of arresting.  Simple, predictable scenes become much more interesting with Kitamura behind the camera.  Overhead shots, POV shots, upside down shots (Don’t worry, it makes perfect sense), and playing with lighting and reflections make this ride one that doesn’t feel stagnant on a visual level.  He also knows when to reel it in and just play certain scenes straight with no trickery.  It’s a delicious balance of confident experimentation and traditional filming that succeeds in exciting your eyes.

Shame that this movie went through the troubles it did in trying to get released.  For those who don’t know, it was supposed to be released nationally in theaters, then was reduced to a limited release, then it was announced it would only play in those dollar theaters.  It seems now it will just find a home on DVD.  Again, a shame it probably won’t get as much recognition, as it is a fine example of Barker and Kitamuras talents.

Meat Train has  a lot to like, and I recommend you find a way to see this as soon as possible.

One vicious motherfucker.

One vicious motherfucker.

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.