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Posts Tagged ‘Fulci’

Remember your table manners.

Another one of the film that is clipped into CAT ON THE BRAIN. This is the nazi movie that Fulci is working on that causes the German press to burst into an all out orgy or something.

Basically, the plot of this one is that a ruined villa in France is haunted by a reel of film. The film was shot by a young Nazi during a horribly unsexy orgy. There are hints of all sorts of depravity, fetish play, and drug use. And terrible dancing. Oh, the dancing. The Villa is bombed shortly after the orgy. Maybe the same time it is going on, the next morning, something. It doesn’t matter.

When the compact European car full of twenty somethings buzzes on-screen, it is only a matter of time before these nitwits prove themselves to be honry dorks I could not wait to see killed by ghost Nazis or whatever.

Anyway, these jerks get lost. Find the abandoned villa. Break in. Only to find the place strangely set up for occupation. The candles burn, the dining room is filled with piping hot food, the records still play. Then one of these euro-dweebs plays a film. The film. Next thing you know everyone is drunk, one of the girls is a lesbian, and chaos ensues as a man emerges from a mirror.

He is the young Nazi filmmaker and he has come to make your deepest fanaties come true. Or something. The plot is stupid. But the dubbing is marvelous. And by that I mean it is badly done to humorous effect. The nudity lopsided and the gore non-existent – save for the sloppy chest effect which is so bad it hurts.

I don’t know about this one, folks. Mainly because the ending is sooooo lame.

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Kiss me you, serial killer, you!

What the hell? Serial killer cannibal gambler is undone by his own shadow? Stupid.

Lester likes to gamble. In order to fund his fun, he marries wealthy widows. Ends up poisoning them, or bonking them on their faces, or chainsawing them up into pieces. Lester, also, likes home cooked meals in front of the television. Lester has a tape recorder that tells him things. Stupid, meaningless things that make no sense for the plot. But these tape recorded discussions are necessary in order to make the idiotic ending not a complete nonsensical. Even if it ends up being completely unexplainable.

The movie starts out with a super gory premise that quickly becomes a double cross mystery? I guess. Halsey is pretty creepy though and his disgust is pretty over the top. The cadaver humor falls flat though. WEEKEND AT BERNIES pretty much proved that a corpse does not make for a great comedic prop, especially after it has been smashed and hammered and bashed in with bloody squirts and eye popping gore! Plus we need to forget that Lester has access to a pig farm and likes to eat his victims. Weird. But then it is Fulci, so I guess that explains it.

Other notables about this movie, other than it is horrible festering mess of unwatchability, is that this movie, itself, was cannibalized in CAT IN THE BRAIN. This stinker also stars Zora Kerova from CANNIBAL FEROX. Other than that, why watch it?

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CONQUEST

+13 Magic Missile, AWAY!

First and foremost, Lucio Fulci’s CONQUEST is a cheaply made cashcow meant to feed on the ample grass that sprang up in the fertilizer spread by CLASH OF THE TITANS and the two naked chest CONAN movies.

Secondly, CONQUEST is a very strange mix of swords, sorcery, nudity, gore, and terrible plotting. Basically the story of how new weapon systems challenge the power dynamic of the old order of bone crushing, fear, and ritual magic (i.e. the naked boobies making the sun rise every day).

There are some surprising elements, like the small breasted constant nudity of Ocron, that insured that this movie would never reach the weekend cable market of afternoon and late night schlock. Not to mention the fact that the whole movie is filmed outside with no sets and bathed in a very distracting fog – while it helps make the absurdity of the dog head thugs more effective by hiding the obvious puppetry, the movie is very tiring to watch since the action happens behind a thin curtain of mist.

The violence has the inventiveness of the Fulci goremiesters, a rare treat for a sword & sandal movie. So, too, is the fact that the one of the main characters is beheaded near the end, which shifts the gears of the movie in a rather nihilistic way, especially after he had to endure the exploding baubles. The 1980s lazer arrows are worth it, but you can get those in the trailer.

A sample of the awesome dialogue follows – “When a man meets a man, you never know which one will die. But when an animal meets a man, it’s always the animal that dies. I’m on the animals’ side.” – Mace.

In short, this movie is pretty horrible. Though I might recommend it just for the snake god’s love making scenes. But should I, really? I shouldn’t.

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Lucio Fulci’s last movie is a right old stinkfest. Its premise – what if the horror director Lucio Fulci started to lose his mind? Mistaking reality for the awful things he filmed? So very meta.

Now what if the fictional Fulci (seen working on two of his last films – Touch of Death & Ghosts of Sodom) took to seeing a psychoanalyst in order to understand why he is haunted by gore and violence. Now what if that good doctor, under the influence of Fulci’s films, started putting the psycho into psychoanalyst? There would be some dead hookers, most likely.

The movie could really have benefited from an increased role of the major plot, especially since David Thompson devours the screen time he is given as the mad doctor. The whole cuckold’s revenge could have made for a better and more effective gore flick.

Instead what we are treated to is a silly frame stuffed around a group of clips form other movies. CAT IN THE BRAIN felt like one of those clips episodes of your favorite sit-com where the cast sat around and recounted the last season’s antics. BOOOOOORING.

But the clips are pretty good. At least they are squishy and oozing and over-the-top as evidenced by the scene of the kid getting his head cut off by a chainsaw! But by the time Fulci is passed out, due to hypnosis (!), and the field is littered with cops and we hear that the murderous psycho has been killed (off screen!), it is hard to care anymore. Especially, since the movie drags on a few more minutes attempting to toss out one or two more desperate sight gags – the basket of gore and the huggy secretary. We realize that the whole movie has been a movie that Fulci was shooting within the movie. Or some damn thing.

Overall, this is a hard one to watch, even for someone like me, who rather enjoys even the worst Fulci has to offer us.

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ZOMBI 3

Wow.

Really. This one is something else. And by that I mean there is good and then there is “something else.” Its not unwatchable, nor does it defy sequential narrative. But that is about all it does not do, because it commits a lot of bad movie crimes – namely crimes against the impossible. Aside from the assumed suspensions of disbelief required for any horror movie, there are some things that are just impossible to disbelieve.

Important people, coming through!

For instance, the terrorist who steals the secret formula – Death One – first runs toward the get away van, thinks better of it, ignores the running helicopter to instead flee into the grass. He, literally, runs away from the police/army who are unable to shoot him. But they should not feel too bad, because the terrorist crook proves too hard to hit from a hovering helicopter as he runs very slowly along some trees.

Once the police do finally manage to hit him, they report back to HQ – “I think we got him, but he got away.”

Then there is the science versus military subplot. Who will be able to contain the outbreak best? The military who opt to shoot everyone in a certain area and then burn the bodies. OR the really stupid science guys who think they can still find a vaccine by staring a pieces of paper. The head of this think tank is a part that would have been played by Jeffery Combs if this had been an HP Lovecraft adaptation. He utters profoundly stupid dialogue like – “A contaminated man, of course, can infect other persons through breath, saliva, blood or any other body to body transmission.”

Why is there a blind dj named Blue Heart in this movie? Simply to play the track – “PEPPY SATAN!”

Of course, the infection turns everyone into decaying zombies in a matter of seconds and spreads so fast that entire villages are turned into creeps in a matter of minutes. Of course, this leads to problems for everyone in the movie. But luckily there are guns and ammo everywhere! Hurray!

Take for example the hotel where the terrorist hides out. He turns into a flesh eating monster and attacks some of the badly dubbed hotel cleaning staff. Then the army people show up and kill everyone. But in a matter of hours, after all this, when our heroes arrive at the abandoned hotel, it  is completely overgrown by vines. Maybe, it has been a few hours, but still, that is one aggressive ecosystem. That sort of scary nature could really help us out once global warming takes over the Earth.

Iggy Pop chased during bathtime

There is one great scene in Zombi 3. When Horny Army Dude and his potential girlfriend break down in the middle of that previously mentioned abandoned town, they end up getting chased around by a bunch of kung pow zombies in Chinese gentleman shoes. Girlfriend is thrown over the balcony into a swimming pool. Hero Man Army dives in after her, which was very dangerous and violated at least one of the major rules of pool etiquette, as he did not know the depth of the pool and risked serious injury. ANYWAY. After girlfriend loses both her legs, because, I guess, there was a shark in the water as well as zombies, Mr. Hero Army Action Man is chased by a group of bald headed water zombies! Who knew there were such things?

I should probably mention here something about the zombie birds that attack some motorists. Again, when the birds attack, peeling at some guy’s face, the effect is achieved with a hand puppet. Not very convincingly. I think there may have been a bird attack in the sexy party bus too, but really, who cares?

Meanwhile, back at the abanonded hotel, things are not going as well. There is a bitten nerd who is slowly groaning and moaning and turning into “one of those things!” Which seems to happen in every zombie movie, right? So some other stuff happens, then before you know it all the survivors are nailing balsa wood planks over the windows and doors and construct the single worst barricade in the history of fortress zombie movie barricades. It surprises no one when the zombies push through it. Luckily, one of the Action Army Guys has a flamethrower. Yeah. A flamethrower. Not as cool as it sounds. Sorry.

Once the horde breaks into the overgrown hotel, a lot of zombies climb into the rafters so they can drop down on our heroes. What ensues can best be described as stupid. Why? Because there is considerable time spent fist fighting zombies. Yes, you heard that right.

Bonk.

Meanwhile, back at the lab…Dr. Death One is really upset and concerned now, he just took his glasses off, again. The army is equipped with hazmat suits and sent into the region to kill everything that moves. Whether it is infected or not. Oh no, what about our HEROES?!!

Well, not only are they fighting the infected undead, but now they get to shoot at the white jumper suited soldiers. This leads to one really incomprehensible scene where the military confronts two of the Hero Action Army Dudes. Instead of just shooting them dead, they opt to fight them hand-to-hand. They lose. The good guys escape, blow up a bunch of stuff and get away in a helicopter.

I think, maybe, some other stuff happened? Oh yeah, there was a zombie baby birth that was kinda sweet. Even though the nurse got her face squeezed in before she is attacked by a zombie hand that pushes up through the baby bump. I can’t even really describe it. And come to think of it, the whole scene isn’t really that sweet at all.

All in all, I rather liked this one.

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Bonk.

Another straight forward Fulci masterpiece. And by masterpiece, I actually just mean competently plotted, interestingly locations and not horribly dubbed.

Without spoiling the highly predictable plot, this is a silly story of a rich lady who thinks she can see into the past, but can really see into the future. Her future…bum bum baaaaaa.

Having said that, there is not really much suspense. But the movie tries. As the plot reveals the various aspects of O’Neill’s trance like vision, the audience is meant to react in horror and interest. But it is very difficult to care about where the crime is going since there is no real mystery here.

And the cast of colorful characters are not as flamboyant as other gaillis – there is the ditzy secretary who’s brilliant research solves many of the movie’s potential holes, for instance, she just happens to have tracked down all the cab drivers who where driving a yellow cab 8 years ago. Okay, good job. There is O’Neill’s sister-in-law who has some new outrageous courture get-up in each scene. There are the bumbling cops, a lot of suspicious looking red herrings, and basically a whole lot of filler. Then there is the paranormal therapist, who might have been in love with O’Neill’s character, or something.

There is a hilarious chase scene and very light gore, which is surprising for a Fulci. There is only the mommy-off-the-cliff suicide that opens the movie, supposedly establishing the “psychic” ability of the title. And the smooshed head of the old lady. Oh yeah, and that other guy falls down. No eye popping. No skin failure. No streams of goopy blood.

This boils down to another retelling of Tell-Tale Heart. But at least, Jennifer O’Neill gets to wear some great outfits.

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The House by the Cemetery

Hold on I'm coming!

Catriona MacColl’s third film with Fulci which is some sort of trilogy, maybe? I don’t know. Sometimes the extras are confusing. Regardless, this is a near masterpiece of schlock.

First the flick opens with a murder in a dusty, near abandoned looking house. In fact, I was convinced these were some of that subspecies of teenagers who always sneak into creepy and disgusting places to make it, only to end up victims of the movie’s monster. I guess these were more important characters, but, I am not entirely sure. Anyway, the notable thing about this opening scene is really the dragging. Fulci delights in the bloody mop hair of the victim dragged along the dusty floor. Its effective. So effective, the film does it twice.

There is some premise about an academic finishing his dead colleague’s research in a creepy small town. Before the family departs for the woods, the little boy (Land of the Lost’s Chaka look-a-like Giovanni Frezza!) starts talking to a little girl, trapped in the photograph, who is warning him not to come to the house. So there is this overlay of ghost story, which is only really there to explain the child killing ending.

A bunch of stuff happens, mainly there is a secret concerning the house, that derails and obsesses the professor. There is a locked basement door, a possessed nannyish girl, a tomb in the middle of the breakfast nook, and a lot of creaky floors. Eventually, the horror that lives in the basement escapes, sort of, but mainly lures various characters into the dark, earthen floor depths. The door slams and then the decapitations, tears, and suspense all happen. There is considerable time spent at the basement door during the last part of the movie, as the monster sneaks – incredibly slowly – toward whomever is pounding on it.

The basement horror does provide the most brutal and bloody bat kill in the history of cinema. Having ventured into the basement with his wife to prove that there is nothing down there to worry about, the professor and his wife are attacked by a vicious bat. Landing on his hand, the professor is unable to get it off, so he grabs and large kitchen knife and stabs it the mechanical puppet SO HARD, that bat explodes in blood, splattering everywhere – especially the shocked face of his young son. Its brilliant.

The secret horror that lives in the basement is a maggot-riddled monster, the Dr. Freudstein. Beside having sawdust, maggots, and black goop for blood, the good doctor needs fresh blood, I guess, to keep plodding about in the basement. The terrible secret that drives professor’s insane is the fact that Dr. Freudstein experimented on his own children! GASP! Which explains the ghostly ending, where Giovanni joins his little ghostly girlfriend and her mother as a true Freudstein now.

EVERYONE DIES!

That is soooo New England Gothic.

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