Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Forest

I had to do something before I pulled myself into fishnets and eyeliner for the new year's evening's festivities, so I watched pseudo-slasher with a supernatural element, THE FOREST. Quick aside - the new year's plans did NOT amount to much being as how New Year's Eve is a great big fat amateur night, imo. It's just an excuse for regular dumbasses to get drunk and obnoxious. I don't need a holiday or even a specific reason to get drunk and/or obnoxious, because I'm always representing. So yeah, went and put in an appearance or two and then I'm reinserted myself into pajamas, almost two hours before midnite rolled around and then fell asleep to NEW YEAR'S EVIL on the vhs player. Word. I must be getting old. Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled review -

Two married couples - Steve and Sharon and Terri and Charles - decide over a playfully chauvinistic dinner one evening to take a camping trip to revitalize their marriages. Yes, I said it was a slasher of sorts and if you're as sick of slashers as I am of zombies, there's probably little I can say to sway your opinion of THE FOREST right off the bat. But there is a curious melding of horror flavors here which more than set this apart from its stalk and slash brethren and we'll get to them in a second. The girls set off first, out right defying their husbands (!), with the destination being an agreed upon campsite a few hours hike through the woods. Steve and Charles aren't far behind them, but some radiator trouble and a slow mechanic put them several hours behind the girls.

Night falls and the girls set up camp and are visited not by a hulking brute with a machete and coveralls but a pair of ghostly children who warn them in ethereal voices to beware their daddy. They disappear into the darkness and the children's ominous mommy shows up, telling the girls if they see her kids to send them home for a severe punishment. By the time she disappears, the women are more than a bit freaked out and and Sharon takes off to hide. Terri waits in the campsite, hopefully for the arrival of Steve and Charles, but is instead visited by John, the ghost kids' daddy who is very much alive with a taste for human flesh. When Terri asks John not to hurt her he responds, 'I don't want to hurt you, but I'm starving....' He quickly dispatches Terri with a hunting knife in a rather realistically gory way and then drags her body back to his cave for supper time.

A few beats later, Steve and Charlie arrive at John's lair, which is decorated with cane furniture and a candelabra. There's a nice looking roast cooking on a spit and John shows up outta nowhere and offers the men some dinner. Steve, Terri's husband, obliges, eats some of the meat, which John claims is deer meat, and then has a weird cold chill. John then regales them with the tale (told through an over the top flashback) of how he killed his cheating wife after he caught her in bed with the refrigerator repair guy. Oh yeah, and she had the kids locked in the closet as she fornicated.

So John had no fucking choice but to off her and leave their two children suicidal and move to a cave in the middle of the wilderness. Sounds reasonable, non? And now Steve and Charlie are at his cannibalistic mercy. Trust me, a compound fracture will be suffered and more blood will be spilled as the rest of this supernatural stalk and slash unfolds....

I mentioned how this is a curious melding of horror flavors and I wasn't joking. The setup at the beginning is your straightforward slasher set up, and almost reminded me a little bit of Jeff Lieberman's JUST BEFORE DAWN. It's efficient as far as staging and atmosphere goes, and as I mentioned, the gore is gratifyingly realistic. So if this was the sum of its parts, which it's not, this would be a great Friday the 13th riff. But add a dash of ghostly kids, a vindictive ghostly mama, and a crazy, almost sympathetic, murderous daddy, and you've got yourself something wholly unique. The ghost kids make it almost bittersweet and Gary Kent ( who plays the lunatic dad) brings a pathos to his character that makes the whole affair seem almost vindicated. BUT, he's a freakin' cannibal, and while we never see him in all out human flesh tearin' mode (i.e. chowing down on a liver or anything) we can't get too sentimental about his state of affairs.

So what of the themes, my fellow perverts? You know I'm an English teacher and I need to discuss the undercurrents. All good slashers aren't without them, and I'd safely put this on the list of basically unheard of, or at least unhailed, good slashers. There's definitely a theme of marital discord running through the whole deal, hence the beginning and the whole plot setup as we have it. Although, some of it does seem a little offensive (were you surprised?) in that the women are perpetually patronised. But then it falls back on its chauvinistic head when the girls find themselves in the woods alone and are praying for the men to arrive. I don't quite know what to make of it all...So I'll move on, because I've had some wine and also worked New Year's Day brunch, which trust me, is not fun...

Despite the frustrating aspects of woman's portrayal in this film (and many others, mind you), I'm also frustrated that we never learn the catalyst for John's cannibalism. Sure, he lives in a region teeming with wildlife, yet never resorted to hunting? How could he count on the occasional passerby to provide him with a food source? This is frustrating in and of it self, but with a cast of only four victims, my bloodlust is also hardly sated. Sorry, ya'll know I'm not a gorehound, but I love a high body count, especially if the kills are inventive. Here they're just kind ho hum.

Everyone is pretty darn believable, if not unintentionally amusing (think the placement of some cheesy 'feminist' rock songs, not that I even know what that means), in their prescribed roles. Suspense is dealt out in believable doses and, while there's plenty left wanting in the end, as far as unanswered questions are concerned, this is still a pretty enjoyable romp. It's neither classifiable as a slasher or a ghost tale or any other subgenre really, but still holds its on for this strange amalgamation alone. Worth checking out at only an hour an half, for reals.

Check it out..if you give it a chance you might even find yourself harkening back to Fulci's HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. There are some similar elements, at least enough to warrant a pretty close comparison.

Happy New Year, pervs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to ME!

Ya'll need to put on your party hats and party like this crow because today marks the Cavalcade's first anniversary. And while I'm not one to linger too long with past reflections of a year gone by or muse too long on coming resolutions, this has been a great year, blogwise as well as otherwise. I absolutely love being part of this here blog-i-verse. I can't say that I have any specific plans for the next year of the Cavalcade's existence as of this moment, but I will resolve to keep trying to make it awesome and wonderful and weird. And more cats in costumes, fer sure. All my followers are the best perverts I know! Here's to a great next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from all of us - me, Moochie, Deniro (pictured above in her xmas finery), Tuna, October, and Bela - at the Cavalcade of Perversions! Looking forward to drinking myself silly, getting some awesome stuff, namely a big old pile of cash from the parent types, and firing up the old VCR for drunken movie watching late into this evening and the next. Hope ya'll perverts all have a good one! Love you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Barn of the Naked Dead (1973)

Simone, Loretta, and Sherri are three cute dancers on their way to Las Vegas to meet their agent. Of course, they have to drive through the desert and break down along the way in the middle of freakin' nowhere. After a night spent in their car, Andre comes to the rescue and takes them in his beat up old jeep to his nearby farm. Left to explore while Andre goes to get something within the house, the girls discover a caged cougar and an outbuilding where at least ten young girls are chained to posts in the floor. Before they can even react, Andre adds these three new lovelies to his menagerie and later becomes convinced that Simone is the reincarnation of his dead mother.

That's about all there is to the threadbare plot which grinds to a halt after Simone and company are captured by Andre. Occasionally, the captives are forced into mock circus acts as Andre bull whips them, but the whole circus thing kinda seems forced. It's like, oh here are some cages at the location we found for our movie - let's tie in a circus theme of sorts! I would have like to have seen it used more to Andre's advantage, it could he's a total psycho and thinks women are animals and the actor (Andrew Prine) plays the part with such chilling aplomb it made it almost difficult for this girl to sit through. He's got some amazing lines like, 'I'm your trainer - you obey me and you'll be part of the greatest animal menagerie of history - disobey me and you will SUFFER!' and 'Breeding is important - some of them seem untrainable - it will be my DUTY as ringmaster to train them!'

However, Andre ain't all that in that he never carries a gun, but can apparently overpower three fit young ladies without so much as a struggle. Director Alan Ruldolph (yes, the same Alan Rudolph who directed CHOOSE ME and TROUBLE IN MIND) seems almost embarrassed by scenes like this, and quickly cuts away before the viewer has time to think about what just happened. But this viewer, who has ample time to think about all kinds of stuff, couldn't help being offended by the outright stupidity of the women in this movie.

Certainly, the minimal brutality we are actually treated to in the film isn't enough to break these women's wills so easily. I cannot be forced to buy that these women at some point or another (some having been held captive by Andre for as long as six months) had tried some form of escape. As a weird film aficionado, I guess you could say I'm used to (for lack of a better term) women being depicted as weak, but being depicted as stupid is another thing entirely.

For instance, when Andre becomes convinced that Simone is his dead mother, he unshackles her and then whips the living daylights out of Sherri. Simone idly watches - couldn't she use her new found maternal authority to thwart Andre's attempts to harm her friend? She does have the smarts to play along; however, instead of trying to convince Andre to let the girls go, she more just pumps him for information to carry the plot and action along.

Another instance of women's lack of intellect here is when one girl who has become useless to Andre for whatever reason is 'set free.' Before letting her go, Andre makes her don a yellow smock which he smears with cow's blood. He gives her a running start and then releases the wild cougar he keeps in a cage for this express purpose to hunt her down. How can she be so naive? The cougar is right there! She could just take the blood-soaked shirt off! But no, she runs out into the desert and of course, gets killed.

Oh, and there's some HILLS HAVE EYES-ish back story (even though this film was made in 1973 and HHE was made in 1977, but you get it) involving some nuclear testing in the area. Andre's dad has been deformed and mutilated by atomic radiation and stalks the farm, occasionally getting his burned hands on a fleeing victim or two. But this whole things seems stilted and arbitrary (a jab at the Man? At the Establishment, maybe?) and meaninglessly tacked on to the end of the film as some sort of plot device (?).

The film was in part modeled after the case of Robert Hansen of Anchorage, Alaska. Between 1977 and 1981, Hansen tortured and sexually abused seventeen women. What was most chilling about his crimes was that he would release the women naked into the countryside, give them a head start, and then track them down with a high-powered hunting rifle. He was eventually caught and received life imprisonment.

It's all grisly enough and weird, but not in a wonderful way like a movie called BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD should be. Prine as Andre is the true star here, chewing scenery all over the place and generally being as menacing as possible. He's a charismatic psycho and charming, if not completely off his rocker. Andre and his creepy dialogue are the one thing keeps this from settling right into an utter waste. The film can be found under the alternate title TERROR CIRCUS.

Window Decorator by Charles Simic

In my stir-crazy, snowed-in state, I found some seasonally morbid poetry for you all. Enjoy!

I see you put Christmas Lights
And a tree in the window
Of a funeral home. Very nice,
I say. There are even teased
Wads of white cotton
To make us think of snow,
From the same stash, I suppose,
You plug ears and noses with.

Lord knows what else
You've got waiting for us beyond
The heavy, ornate door.
Santa's beard for grandma
Laid out in her coffin?
A new sled for some little girl
And even a lone snowflake
Freshly fallen on her sleeping cheek?

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Outfit

Only I'm gonna alter it into a sexy dress with two santa heads on the boobs and one on the crotch. So hot.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yes, Pigs! is the name of the movie I just watched. This is not a post about excitement over Wilbur or Babe, Pig in the City or anything regarding actual pigs. And yes, the exclamation point is part of the title. I'm not overly exuberant enough about pigs to justify punctuating the title in such a manner on my own.

However, I am pretty excited about the movie Pigs! It has a surreal, almost psychedelic feel, which I wasn't expecting going in, because I had little expectations at all about a 70's film possibly about pigs distributed by Troma that was for some reason in my netflix queue. It could have gone either way - I would wind up loving it and singing its praises from the balcony of my condo like a crazy person or I would relegate it to some underused portion of my brain never to be called upon again. I'm pleased to say the former wound up being true. Shall we?

The pretty, but disturbed, Lynn (director Marc Lawrence's daughter, Toni Lawrence), stabs her father after years of sexual abuse. She's condemned to a mental institution, but escapes when a nurse on Lynn's ward disrobes to fuck a doctor type and Lynn winds up stealing her outfit and car. She drives a bit and winds up at weirdo ex-circus performer Zambrini's (director Marc Lawrence) ramshackle cafe in the countryside. Exhausted and broke, Lynn asks Zambrini for employment and he eerily complies, offering her less than Ritzy accommodations in the back of the restaurant.

Before Lynn arrives we know Zambrini's up to no good, as we saw him feed a dead man to his pigs. But he's not all bad, see, since he apologizes to the corpse beforehand. "I gotta do it, they got used to human flesh. The first time it was an accident - they got loose in the field. There was a drunk in the field asleep, yeah, asleep." Did Zambrini actually kill this unfortunate fellow or did he dig him up somewhere? Director Lawrence thankfully keeps Zambrini's necro-dealings ambiguous.

No worries, Lynn's pretty deranged herself, and Zambrini quickly takes her under his wing. Sensing she's on the run, but not really caring why, Zambrini covers for her when local law enforcement (pig joke here, too easy) Sheriff Dan starts sniffing around. Seems the tags on Lynn's VW have expired and she's attracting suspicion as the pretty young lass Zambrini's been hanging around with. Zambrini's not without his own acquired suspicions however, as his two dotty old neighbor bitches, Ms. Macy and her sister, Annette, have been complaining about Zambrini and his pigs for quite some time. Ms. Macy will tell anyone that'll listen to her ramblings that Zambrini's been killing people and feeding them to his pigs. She tells Sheriff Dan, "he feeds the pigs dead people and then he eats the pigs!" to which Sheriff Dan replies, "Where does he get the dead people?" Ms. Macy's got an answer for that too and hysterically wails, "From the cemetery after he kills them!" The scenery is chewed right off the set for this hilarious exchange.

Dan then goes on to tell Ms. Macy that body has recently been stolen from the morgue, thus making Zambrini's actions even more ambiguous. However, if you want the less ambiguous, how about Lynn's growing psychopathic nature? After she's nearly raped by a amorous customer from the cafe, she invites him back round to hers the next night and castrates him in her bed. Zambrini, discovering Lynn and her now-dead suitor, calms her as she rocks back and forth, delirious and childlike. And what do you think he does with the dead body?

Things only get more deranged and out of control, spiraling into an almost incestuous feeling love story, between Lynn, a psycho teen with a daddy complex, and Zambrini, a grave-robbing body-snatching pig farmer/possible cannibal. What complicates this further in my mind is the fact that Zambrini and Lynn are father and daughter in real life - taking this to a meta textual level I haven't experienced since Asia and Dario. Zambrini and Lynn never kiss or embrace or do anything on screen that would lead you to believe there is a sexual relationship between them, but they're both so odd, and the dynamic between them so instantly weird, it's hard not to imagine something happening. What confounds this further and takes it to a new level of perversity is that Sheriff Dan implores at one point of Lynn, "are you related to the Great Zambrini?" to which she responds with a resounding no. But Dan's a love rival, having already made his affections known to Lynn on more than one occasion.

It's almost as if Zambrini has become her surrogate father, and because I'm a pervert, and Lynn's been raped by her daddy, it's hard to not think of Zambrini possibly doing the same. There is one particularly hellish sequence in which Lynn is experiencing a nightmare. We see Zambrini enter the darkened room (the print that I watched was horrible - so sometimes it's hard to tell what is going on) and advances across to her bed where she lies sleeping. As we think the rape is imminent, Zambrini makes sure she's asleep and begins slashing her face repeatedly with a straight razor. The camera spins out of control and we're treated to the cacophonous squeals of pigs distorted and amped up to the point of utter madness. That being said, it's a great scene.

For a film titled Pigs! I haven't really talked too much about them thus far. They are a constant fixture here, what could even be referred to as harbingers of death and madness. They certainly mirror the madness Zambrini and Lynn both experience. We see them push their dirty snouts through the rickety gates of the pig pens, we hear their high pitched squeals that wind up just sounding savage. Lynn's screams are often merged with the pig squeals at opportune times during the film, causing much discomfort for the viewer. Not just aurally, but visually as well. Because when Lynn goes crazy, the camera goes crazy.

It makes you feel almost high. That, and the film is neither set here nor there. It's somewhere in the desert, the local economy seems to consist of Zambrini's pig farm and an oil rig, and there aren't that many residents. The fact that most townspeople at least have some kind of idea what Zambrini is up to, but then nothing is really ever done about it, smacks of a surreality. He's allowed to continue in with his grisly business, without anyone challenging him. Weird, right?

But you know, I might be reading to much into it. Yeah, pigs conventionally symbolize greed or uncleanliness, but I don't think director Lawrence lingers too long at a symbolic level. In fact, as I mentioned previously, the pigs, while an overarching presence throughout, could have been left out entirely and the movie could have functioned just on Lynn's burgeoning and continuing madness and killing spree.

And hey, look, a female killer! How unusual. But I've bored you enough for now. Watch Pigs! although I will warn you, some of the 'action' does drag. But it's got a great noise-like score, Toni Lawrence is chilling as Lynn, Zambrini's effectively creepy, and there's a whole lot going on beneath the surface of this forgotten unconventional slasher. Too bad for the unfortunate tagline on some alternate box art I found - 'If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a pig surprise.' Wow, it doesn't get any worse than that. Now that fucking tune is in my head. The film can also be found under the title Daddy's Deadly Darling.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jenn's Essential Holiday Watchin'

Well, the holidays are hard pressed upon us, and this season I can be found scurrying around (read: I go to the wine store and find the least expensive bottles I can find to give out to family members) getting ready for what is probably the cheapest buildup since my last one night stand. Since I don't 'work' that much as is, I can't even boast a terrific vacation to make way for holiday madness, but if there's one thing I do (well?) is watch weird movies and talk about them here. Through my cold medicine and malbec-induced hazed, I bring you my essential holiday movie watch list:

1. Female Trouble, directed by John Waters. JW (as I like to call him) is the one of the main reasons I'm here bringing you perverts hours upon hours of entertainment (ha!). I've derived the name of ye old blog from one of his flicks and I deem him essential viewing any time of year. However, if you see my post prior to this one, you'll see the reason this makes the holiday list.

2. Gremlins. While not an outright Christmas movie, per say, it's still set at Christmas and is weird and wonderful enough for me to watch it every season. It's a kid's movie about monsters and I probably also wouldn't be where I am without a movie that inspired my love of monsters at such a young age. I'm feeling all warm and nostalgic now.

3. Silent Night, Deadly Night, all of them, up through that terrible one Brian Yuzna directed. I don't care, as a horror movie fan at the holidays, you drink tons of wine, get out your gift wrap, start wrapping those gifts, invite your ex over and get to havin' this marathon. End the night forgetting everything you saw except Linnea's boobs impaled on taxidermy and let the tears flow. Feel free to even roll around in the carpet with the VHS still rolling. Wake up the next day wondering if you asked your ex to get back together but don't even feel embarrassed.

4. Black Christmas, the Bob Clark version, of course. A great slasher if there ever was one and Margot Kidder is such a bitch! Not to mention death by crystal unicorn.

5. Santa's Slay. I don't watch pro-wrestling, but damn if I don't become a fan of pro-wrestler Goldberg over the course of this whacked-out tongue-in-cheek holiday horror romp. I show up for the Goldberg, I stick around for the outrageous puns, and I leave with a nice buzz due to lots o' practical violence and silly gore gags. This one's a good time.

Well, I think I'm going to call it a night for now. I've been battling a cold for days now and not feeling all that stellar. But hey, I'm still drinkin' and watchin.' Make sure you check out Elwood Jones' blog, The Depths of DVD Hell for the remainder of this month because he'll be running lots of stuff about what his favorite bloggers deem essential Christmas viewing. He was kind enough to ask me for my thoughts, and you got 'em!

PS. Moochie was not harmed in the pic above. He got in that box and ASKED that we cover him in bows. We could only comply. Ya'll don't understand how insistent he is.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Divine Christmas

Nothing says Christmas like a three-hundred pound drag queen pushing the tree over on her mother because she didn't receive cha-cha heels. Seriously, it's not Christmas if I don't watch this scene with Divine from Female Trouble at least six or seven times. And you'd be surprised at how many people have recently told me real-life stories of the tree falling on a family member.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Night of the Demons

Several nights ago, I don't remember when exactly, because most of my nights have run together due to my aversion to working (read: laziness), I drank copious amounts of vino and watched NIGHT OF THE DEMONS for about the ten millionth time, crying actual tears at its greatness as the story flickered across my retinas. Now, I fucking love NoftheD because it's goddamn good (and I'm about to tell you why) and I dare anyone to challenge me on this fact. Aaron, that does not mean I am challenging you to another duel. In fact, we've been getting along lately, so let's continue in that vein.

Reasons why NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is Cavalcade approved super awesome fun time:

1. Linnea Quigley. Two words and they are Linnea Quigley. I love this glorious scream queen in all her movies, but I especially love her here. She's working with her then husband Steve Johnson (on FX) and he makes her stick a tube of lipstick in her boob. Great stuff. If my husband was ever like, here - stick this tube of lipstick in your tit on camera while you're pretending to be possessed by demons, I don't know if I could. But I would if I was Linnea fuckin' Quigley.

2. FEAR is on the soundtrack. Don't lie. You like FEAR. You like you Bauhaus, too, and you'll hear them here as well.

3. The frame story is gold. You've got an old guy who hates Halloween and gets his comeuppance in the end by the hand of his old lady with some inspiration from an old Halloween urban legend. Razor blades in apples, anyone? Razor blades in apple pie, for that matter?

4. Amelia Kincaid as party hostess, Angela. Love her in her black wedding dress, love her as the creepy goth chick that invites all sorts of jocks to her party at an abandoned haunted funeral party just to fuck with them. Love her even more for for fellating the bullets out of a gun in part III. Had I been half the goth chick Angela was in high school, I would have thrown similar said party and gotten all the assholes to come and then subsequently unleashed demon forces on their asses.

5. Practical effects, lots of cheezy dialogue, lots of stock characters and the ability to not feel old and boring. It's effectively spooky, fun, and Halloween-y. And as we move into Christmas and I get the urge to watch all sorts of Christmas-themed horrors, I can still watch NIGHT OF THE DEMONS any time of year and feel good about it.

As the wine takes effect (I know it's early, but I actually have to go to WORK tomorrow - the HORROR), I'm waxing nostalgic and getting all sentimental. That, and I watched RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III last night, another one that gets me all weepy in that the practical FX are grand, the casting superbly bad but in a good way, and the premise ridiculous. I feel fifteen again. Not bad for a cranky old heavily tattooed cat lady like me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Hearse

Normally, after all my family members die and my husband divorces me within the same month, I choose to head to my creepy old dead aunt's house out in the middle of nowhere for a summer of fixing up the house, dating ghosts, fighting with lawyers, and leading on young teens that work at their daddy's hardware stores. And being pursued by creepy hearses for no particular reason is always on my list of good times.

Such is how Jane's summer unfolds. She moves out of San Francisco for the summer - you know it's San Francisco cause look, here's some row houses. Over there, the Golden Gate Bridge! Here's some hills. It's all standard boring scene establishing stuff that's straight outta a made for TV movie, which I'm guessing THE HEARSE (1980) was made for TV, given its generic score (think ominous music at night, lilting piano scenes for the ghost sex - calm down - we'll get there in a minute, and boring we're moving out of the seventies into the early eighties score stuff for establishing shots and driving music), and lack of violence, as well as lack of female anatomy.

Jane moves into her old aunt Rebecca's house. Seems there some animosity amongst the townfolk - Rebecca's been dead almost thirty years (and there's nary a spec of dust in her house and it's not even all that decrepit) - and the town's lawyer Pritchard has been taking care of it. He wanted the house for himself, but since Jane's mom passed away a few weeks prior, the house now belongs to Jane. So Pritchard's miffed as fuck, even more so when he has to deliver the keys to Jane in the middle of the night when she arrives after being chased by a mysterious antique hearse on the road into town. We're not showing too much promise so far - the hearse is mainly concealed by the crappiness of my avi file and Jane, while it's intimated that she's a pretty loose canon (she sees a shrink before she leaves for BFE), she's just Jane, as her name might imply.

The slow burn continues as Jane settles into her new abode. Yeah, the place is big and sometimes the music box in the back room seems to play itself creepily and once in awhile Aunt Rebecca will make her presence known when you're on a ladder three stories up cleaning windows to scare the shit out of you, but it's home. Hell, it was free. I've always wanted to inherit a house - I don't even care what kind of house. No more mortgage, no more townhouse association fee.. but whatever. The filmmaker or whoever is going for a creepy old dark house vibe and it just ain't happening. Most of the 'spooky' stuff takes place during the day and the movie is freakin' called THE HEARSE. Less house, more demonic carriage of the dead, please.

Despite these sundry unpleasantries concerning her new dwelling, Jane is met with equal animosity in the town. Seems old Auntie had quite the reputation, as Jane will come to find out, the old broad was a card-carrying Satanist and pissed off more than a few townies with her witchy ways. Even the kindly old Reverend (who I don't trust for a second) Winston stops by to encourage Jane to attend church. She politely tells him she's not interested, but not before my favorite dialogue of the movie is exchanged.

Jane (upon seeing the Reverend pop up kinda outta nowhere): You scared the hell out of me!
Rev. Winston: I guess I should take that as a compliment.

Yeah, start slapping your knee now, I know. It really doesn't get much better than that. Or does it? I did mention ghost sex, didn't I?

So Jane's being hated on all over town and the house is weird and there's this hearse that likes to follow her at night, and she's been reading her Satanist aunt's journal at night before she goes to bed during thunderstorms (which is my usual reading material - it really relaxes me - especially by candlelight during power outages and I play the Halloween theme on a battery powered radio as I do so). Needless to say, she's having these funky nightmares where she attends her own funeral and her dead body hisses at her and there's all these old people in the church with fog and smoke. Remember that visit to the head shrinker? Yeah. Well, is Jane just crazy or is this whole business with the Satan worshipping aunt and her boyfriend, Robert granting her eternal life some big secret in the town that everyone knows about by Jane? You figure it out, because I'm bored. I told you this was a slow burn.

But we still have to get to my favorite part - the ghost sex. Despite all the aforementioned stupid shit, Jane meets Tom, a dapper gentleman that seems a bit out of time and place, but handsome enough nonetheless. And Jane's on the rebound big time, having been jilted by her man only like a month ago, so why not. When he offers to help her after her car breaks down on the side of the road, she invites him in. The make a date to see each other again and the next thing we know, they're out on their first date in a row boat in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night musing about love and death. Excuse me, but if some dude was like, hey Jenn, let me take you out in this canoe on this lake AT NIGHT and talk to you about the differences and similarities between being truly in love and truly dead, I would not want to go on that fucking date. No sir. I'm scared of canoes and lakes, especially at night. I also have a particular aversion to pretentious conversation as well. But hey, everyone else is hating on Jane, I'm not going to. And you'd date a ghost, too, if he flashed a thin-lipped smile at ya like this:

One thing leads to another, as things are wont to do, and Jane and Tom (what boring names - indicative of their romp) end up in the sack together. It's all tender and sweet with that nice piano music and everyone seems to enjoy themselves, given their happy facial expressions. After the coupling, that pretentious ass Tom leaves before he even gets to have coffee made for him. I don't trust him. And I've already spoiled it for you.

Jane falls hard and then decides to call Tom, but his numbers unlisted. Duh duh duhnnnnn! Get the digits before you do it with him, girl. After some more weird hearse pursuits, cemetery visiting, and Satanic journal reading, Jane figures out that Tom is actually Robert, Aunt Rebecca's partner in Luciferian crime, and he's come to make her immortal. I'd have to consider the sexy times though - what was it like doing it with a ghost? If it was okay, I might consider it. She's seems so ga-ga over Tom, why not? What else is she going to do - return to San Francisco and be a kindergarten teacher with and forget all about her otherworldly love affair and Beelzebub lovin' ancestry? I'd go with the more supernatural scenario, personally. I might even forgive Tom for that awful row boat date.

But before you can say I don't really give an eff, Reverend Winston (I know! And to think I was wary of him from the get!) comes over uninvited and and exorcises the house. Robert Tom and Jane get into a hearse/Chevrolet car chase and the hearse bursts into flames. FIN.

I tried to get a good pic of the hearse for you guys but my avi file was too dark, so here it is in flames. It really is the best thing about the movie - it's vintage looking - I'm not sure what make or model or anything - but it'd be a great hearse to drive around in - all purple curtains hanging and a big hood ornament. You know what they say about hearses with big hood ornaments? I'm not sure, either.

This is one of those that I had much more fun writing it up than I did actually watching it. It was slow, slow, slow. I want to take it by its shoulders and yell at it to hurry up! In fact, I cooked and ate dinner, had two phone conversations, and cleaned the kitchen during the hour and a half run time for this molasses-ed paced thing and STILL kept up! I wouldn't say totally avoid, but I think I'd just say 'meh' on THE HEARSE. (I like typing it in all CAPS; it makes it seem so much more ominous.) I mean, it shouldn't have even been called THE HEARSE; it should have been called something like AUNT OF SATAN or even something more ridiculous like HEARSE OF DEATH. That's a good title. Somebody make that movie for me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RIP Paul Naschy

I mean this sincerely when I say there is great sadness in my heart today because Paul Naschy is no longer with us. For those of you long time readers, you know how much I have a heart on for the Mighty Molina, often referring to him as my boyfriend. Most films in my opinion could be easily improved with even just a cameo appearance by the man. He was a cinematic force to be reckoned with and I love every moment I see him on screen. I am not lying when I say there are tears in my eyes as I type this. Good thing I have fuck all to do today - I'm gonna grab some tempranillo or maybe even some tequila (something appropriately Spanish) and get busy with a Naschy-movie-a-thon. RIP Paul, we'll miss you! 1934-2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yeah, In my Dreams

Oh SyFy (as you are now called) Network, answer my prayers and make an animals invading the human sphere movie involving the afore-pictured beastie and I will love you forever. As if I didn't already.

Thanks, Bruce, for the pic.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Stop me (don't really) if you've heard something incarnation like this before - three hotties (a blond, a brunette, and a much younger in relation to her two hottie friends naive chick) set out out on a road trip to a music festival. Something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere, car ends up wrecked, and the trio find themselves under the care of a family that seems, uh, not quite right. Shit hits the fan and everyone starts winding up dead at the end of pickaxe. Pedestrian, I know. Boring, probably. But UNHINGED (1980) does it just a little bit better and it has enough scenery chewing, weird dialogue, and a you-might-be-able-to-figure-it-out twist ending, to keep me laughing and singing it's praises at least for the length of this blog post.

I swear, this movie has Cavalcade written all over it. From the late seventies/early eighties? Check. Hottie protagonists? Check and check. Eschewing men and sex to the point of psychosis? Double check. Cross dressing and androgyny? Yep. A retarded sibling that 'wouldn't harm a fly'? Oh yeah. Lots of peeping/heavy breathing while girls take showers together? Got that too. Blood and guts? A little (there's only three girls to kill and it's gotta take up a running time of 1:20).

Incorporate all these elements, add a bit of a Norman Bates type of antagonist with just as domineering a mommy, toss with a little bit of overt psychosexual subtext, set the whole damn thing in a crumbling mansion, and give the actors the same lines to say over and over when explaining stuff that's already been explained, and there ya go! Cinema perfection, at least as far as I'm concerned!

What else do you really need to know? It's only an hour or so long, so it's not gonna totally take that much of an investment of your precious time but it does suffer from long periods of talking, so if you're a complete 80's gorehound, carry your ass somewhere else. But for my money (actually I didn't pay anything for this since Bruce gave me the copy), I'll invest my time watching an aging matriarch in a wheelchair lambast her daughter for being a complete slut in front of company and then menacingly attack the salt and pepper shakers. That, my dears, is my idea of entertainment.

Here, have a picture of the after-effects of the excesses of Thanksgiving. Bruce and Tuna relax on the couch drinking spiked iced tea while watching Naschy do his thing in WWvVW.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

So yeah, pretty much been drunk off my ass for the last two or three days. And now for some reason, I'm awake at like seven in the morning for no particular reason. Whatever. Happy Thanksgiving from Moochie and me and the rest of the cats! Get stupid today - drink tons of wine and eat so much you can't stand it and then pass out watching horror movies on the couch. Have a fairly typical Jenn day, really. And enjoy it because next month when you get to do the same thing, you have to buy everyone presents.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Salon Kitty

Ah, the Nazisploitation film. An acquired taste, to be sure. I remember years ago the guy that tattoos me was telling me about the Ilsa movies while drilling ink into my skin, so I rented SHE WOLF OF THE SS thinking I would be in for a laugh. Uh, not the case. In fact, it was a little off putting. And by a little, I mean A LOT. The sheer degradation of the whole exercise led me to not really want to see another Nazisploitation film for awhile. I'm not a huge fan of the women in prison cycle of movies (and not just because I'm a WOMAN), and most Nazisploitation movies kinda follow that format.

However, Tinto Brass' SALON KITTY isn't your standard Nazisploitation flick. The movie opens at the onset of WWII, and SS officer Helmut Wallenberg (Helmut Berger) is ordered to find and train the most beautiful women in Germany to sexually service the highest ranking men and women in the Third Reich. What these female recruits (and their clients) don't know is that Wallenberg is secreting taping all the sexy times action for blackmail purposes. Pretty young prostitute Margherita (Teresa Ann Savoy) and the quintessential madam if there ever was one, Kitty (Ingrid Thulin), discover Wallenberg's plot and plan to expose him.

There are several tropes that set SK apart from it's brethren. Firstly, the women - the prostitutes - are willing participants. They're female Nazis and are selling their bodies to perpetuate the Third Reich. There's not the typical level of degradation at work here; in fact, quite the opposition, making it much easier for this viewer to sit through.

Secondly, Nazisploitation never looked so damn good. No shot is wasted - it's elegantly put together and the music isn't incongruous. Go figure. Yeah, some of the sexy stuff is kinda gritty (a lesbian bondage scene springs to mind) and some of it does seem padded in places, but damn if the costuming, large-scale sets, and deliberate maneuvers on the part of Brass don't make this one of hell of a sight to behold.

Thirdly, there are attempts at wacky humor. You don't get this so much in other movies like this. When an air raid horn goes off, it's coitus interruptus all over the place, as old SS officers in various states of undress flee the salon with their prostitutes flung over their shoulders. And seriously, what is funnier than a dick made out of bread? Little else.

Fourthly, this movie takes place in a brothel, not in a concentration camp or prison. It's a stunning brothel at that - all stained glass and pink settees and luridly made up working girls, with an exquisite nightly cabaret by Kitty herself. One particular performance even has Kitty doing her best Glen/Glenda impersonation, which totally works. That's actually how the movie opens, so it had me at Hello.

Other highlights include:

Group testing of all the women Wallenberg's men bring in for sexy purposes. What erupts is a veritable orgy that seems more art house that grindhouse and looks almost choreographed, complete with live orchestra and light acrobatics all caught on camera, in that someone is filming the whole shebang.

Then comes the sex test - my favorite part! The women are sequestered into cells and then observed making the beast with two backs with various partners. What follows is some midget sex (she doesn't recoil in horror - APPROVED!), a forced lesbian coupling (REJECTED!), and some double amputee reverse cowgirl (you guessed it - APPROVED!). A fool proof system, but of course.

Margherita is a sexy piece. Yes, she looks waaaay too young to even be in this movie in the first place, but she owns her role as the smart-as-a-whip willing call girl in love with a defecting Nazi officer who must avenge his death.

That being said, yes, there's a love story. It is easily the most boring part of this whole thing and feels extraneous. It's the one thing that keeps the WTF factor significantly low for this slice of exploitation. While there are some interesting moments (a giant dildo - and I mean GIANT - and a gimp mask, as well as the aforementioned sex tests and bread penises), it strangely never strays too over the top. There are long stretches of love story/exposing the Nazis stuff that drags, and while Kitty and Margherita bring a very strong female presence here that isn't demeaning or degrading, I still have trouble buying that these two are going to bring down the regime from the inside. Well, not Kitty so much, she just wants her brothel back; and who can blame her, really?

Still, is SK a sexy movie? Not really. Is it interesting? Yeah, sort of. Is there a point? Probably not. Still, I had a good time drinking my pino grigio and waiting for the good times (read: the perverted stuff) to roll.

Come for the orgy, stick around for the double amputee sex, get drunk to the cabaret performances, and leave feeling pretty darn good about Nazisploitation. There's plenty to enjoy here and while not as wild as I would have liked, it still resonates.

P.S. This is based on a true story! Yeah! Well, not the love story/exposing the Nazis blah blah, but there really was a Salon Kitty back in the WWII days and there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding it. Look it up!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!

Wake up cats! It's time for 'Final Chapter' through 'Takes Manhattan.' And Moochie and Tuna are all like, 'no Friday the 13th marathon for us! We are sleeping and holding paws!' And then Tuna whispers to Moochie after I leave the room, 'Can you believe still she thinks we actually like horror movies! I just don't have the heart to tell her I prefer romantic comedies.' Moochie replies, 'I know! Poor, poor Mom. She doesn't understand us at all!'

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Unknown

To describe Richmond tonight, I could easily begin, Twas a dark and stormy night....But you know, I'm not complaining. All the better for me to veg out in front of the TV, wine in hand (I bought a box at Target!) and catch up on my stacks upon stacks of horror movies begging for a night like this to watch them. Tonight's feature presentation is Tod Browning's THE UNKNOWN, starring the wonderful, the magical, Lon Chaney. Not that whiny wolf man guy, but his daddy ;P

Wow, what a treat! In fact, I watched it twice. This is why I do what I do, people. What is that, Jenn? Drink wine and blather on about how cute the cats are? No (*in an exasperated tone*), ya'll, this is one of those movies that reinforces my love of all things horror-ly cinematic. It's wild and crazy and melancholic and brilliantly excecuted and has lots of overt Freudian subtext. So here we go!

Alonzo the Armless (Chaney) is a guy masquerading as a sideshow attraction to avoid detection from police for a series of robberies he committed. He's taken to binding his arms and hands inside a corset and has perfected the art of smoking, drinking tea, playing guitar, and throwing knives with his feet to complete the ruse. He is in love with Nanon (a beautiful young Joan Crawford), the sideshow owner's daughter and his partner in the knife throwing show. Nanon suffers from an interesting sexual phobia in that she cannot stand the feeling of a man's hands or arms. Irony alert!

Seems Alonzo must keep his love for Nanon at a distance less she discover his abhorrent appendages and there's that nasty business about him being exposed not just as a fraudulent freak, but as a 'armed' (get it?) robber as well. However, it gets even thicker, in that Alonzo, when unbound, has a siamese thumb on his right hand, which was the only part of him Nanon glimpsed when Alonzo finally kills her father after a beatdown and his cruelty towards Nanon. Yeah, things take a turn for the convoluted, but it's not without merit. And it's wildly entertaining, as well.

So deep and pained is his love for Nanon, Alonzo bribes a doctor to remove his arms for reals, only to return to find her in the arms, literally, of the circus strongman, Malabar. Seems she's gotten over her proclivity and has been residing in the arms of Malabar for quite some time now, while here Alonzo was off getting amputated so they could be together and all. Women! A fickle sort, aren't they?

So, a menacing sort to be sure (remember he's a killer and a bank robber, but somehow you still feel sorry for him), Alonzo decides to emasculate (and by this, I mean, rip off Malabar's arms - we'll get to the sex stuff in a second - let me just get through the plot!), the strong man and almost succeeds when he tries to rig a complicated horse on a treadmill circus act. (You have to see it! It's over the top and weird and wonderful and not something I thought existed in the early 20th century circus performances. Or now, for that matter. Or ever, really.) Alonzo almost succeeds, but in a fit of remorse, finds himself under the hooves of a crazed horse instead.

In Sigmund Freud's essay 'The Uncanny' he discusses the relationship between castration complex and macabre fantasy stories. If we remember our literary criticism class in grad school, we'll remember that Freud's concept of the doppleganger (the root of all monster images) is primarily a defense mechanism. Your unconscious mind sees some sort of danger to your body (well, I'm trying to be coy), namely the genitals and creates what Freud thinks is a imagination stand-in for the threatened part. In that Alonzo has a siamese thumb and poses as a 'freak' without arms is a direct indication that Browning was familiar with Freud's work in this area. Look at Browning's FREAKS, for example. Or THE UNHOLY THREE. All these works deal with some sort of castration complex, possibly on the part of Browning. Extra limbs, arms cut off, dismemberment - they all point to a castration complex.

I know Browning was a terrible alcoholic and claimed to have gotten kicked by a horse once growing up. But I don't know what his 'trigger' is for all these castration images in his movies. Sounds like the work of someone that is not as lazy as me. But I'm thankful for them, because I love watching stuff that has overt sexy times subtext. It makes me feel naughty ;P

But anyway, let's talk about Nanon in Freudian terms. Where does her peculiar sexual phobia come from? Is she suffering from penis envy? Some sort of lack? How does she suddenly get over her problem? Just because Malabar is insistent, it would seem. But by then, the whole melodrama is so steeped in irony, you expect her to give into Malabar's advances. I must say, I like her much better when she's freaking out about men's hands being all over her to the point of hysteria and sexing it up in front of live audience in the knife throwing act, than when she settles down with the mustachioed strong man and gets in on his weird horse-treadmill act. Although she does get to throw a bull-whip around while wearing a gold lame bikini top during said act, which is quite nice.

Self-fragmentation is evident here, as well as issues concerning sex, identity, personal psychologies, and collectively unconscious fears. It's a silent film from over eighty years ago that still manages to evoke suspense, drama, pathos, irony, and all the aforementioned sexy stuff. I find myself on the edge of my seat watching Alonzo struggle with whether or not he wants to actually go through with killing Malabar and I feel truly sorry for him when he cries when he sees Nanon for the first time after he has his arms removed. Chaney, Browning, and cast are capable of evoking very base emotions and they evoke them well. And although some of it does seem for fit for the stage than the cinema and the performances are melodramatic, it's still one hell of a ride.

And I didn't even touch on Alonzo's relationship with Cojo, his resident dwarf and caretaker. Maybe in the comments section. It's safe to say there's underlying anxiety involving sex abounding in this film and leave it at that because I am going to need more wine.

I recommend this, especially if you haven't watched much Chaney, Sr. stuff before. The man can ACT! I'm talking big time wonderful ACTING. And he's not even really wearing makeup! Although I did hear he had a foot double for when he had to smoke and drink and so forth with his toesies. Still, the effect is realistic, creepy, but at the same time almost charming. Please watch this movie. Watch it twice. It helps if you dig the sideshow carnival backdrop, which I undoubtedly do.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update: The Death Rattle - New URL

Hey guys, if you follow Aaron's blog The Death Rattle, he's changed the url. It's now and what you need to do if you follow his blog (which you should) is unsubscribe and then follow him again at the new aforementioned url. Otherwise you don't get to see his awesome reviews and whathaveyou. Carl over at I Like Horror Movies should also be instructing ya'll to do the same. Alright, guys, thank you, and now I have to go take people eggs for like six hours. Otherwise, I would NOT be up this fucking early.

Here, have a picture of Moochie in the fridge. He has a refrigeration fetish. Weirdo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Motley Deniro

I recently put up a bunch of my records for auction, funds being low and what have you, and so I had to pull all the crates outta my closet for inspection. Turns out Deniro is a big fan of vinyl and loves rubbing her soft paws (she's declawed and that is what I call her paws - soft paws) all over the records. She's also taken to chilling (and napping) on them. Which I find utterly adorable. And she's a huge Motley Crue fan, the Crue (what Deniro calls them) being one of the best rock bands to have ever rocked, so I thought I would share this with ya'll, because it is so cute. Shout at the Devil!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hooray for Henenlotter!

It happened like this, at least to the best of my recollection, for much has happened since then, many mind altering substances have been consumed, and the passage of over a decade has fuzzied the mind. But this night I am about to describe to you changed me into the movie watching obsessive I am today. I would like to remember it just as I do, fondly, nostalgically, and given my tendency for hyperbole, with a bit of dramatic exaggeration.

I was over at my friend Rachel's dorm room, getting ready to go to our weekly Goth dance night. Although it would take nearly forty-five minutes for me to pack Rachel into her corset, we'd be ready long before it was fashionable to enter the club. We liked to get a head start, looking as fabulous as possible for as long as possible. Eyeliner applied and boots firmly laced up, I suggested we go get a coffee and maybe watch a bit of a movie before we walked through campus to the bar.

Rachel then told me there was a new shop that opened up right down the road from her dorm - it was called Diabolik - and it seemed like it specialized in something we'd be into, given the sign. Maybe horror movies? Maybe spooky decor? Hard to tell from the nondescript store front. Just a dark sign with white jagged lettering. So cool. How could this have opened and I was not informed, I wondered. I ordered Rachey to stop primping so we could go check it out.

A few blocks later, we were pushing our way into the store. It was a video rental place! All VHS (well, this was the mid-nineties) and all horror! I felt like I had died and gone to hell, in the best way possible. )And this was before I was the absolute supreme horror geek I am today. I mean, I was into horror movies back then, but over a decade has passed, so I'm even geekier today.) We didn't know what to do with ourselves. The place was all gothed out, too, skulls and spiderwebs and a red velvet couch. Tattered drapes. A lecherous creepy proprietor that swore he knew Rob Zombie. Oh, I wish it was still there! (But alas, Richmond wasn't ready for something so cool, and it still isn't some thirteen odd years later).

But anyway, to cut to the chase and to quit waxing sentimental, I rented BASKET CASE that night and got to Goth night way to late to hear all my favorite Apop and Iris songs because I was too enraptured with the movie that unfolded before my budding horror geek eyeballs. BASKET CASE was my first foray into the seedy early eighties 42nd Street universe of director/writer/editor Frank Henenlotter and it wouldn't be my last. Just last night, I watched BASKET CASE and BRAIN DAMAGE, both for about the one-hundredth time and they've only gotten better.

BASKET CASE is truly a wonderful cult classic and a shining example of how low-budget movies should feel. It's ingeniously twisted in every regard and establishes itself firmly as unpredictable and hilarious throughout. Duane arrives in grimy Times Square carrying his former conjoined twin, Belial, in a wicker basket. Belial is truly a sight to behold and why he hasn't been canonized as one of the classic movies monsters of all time is really unbeknownst to me. With some clever practical effects and stop motion animation, special effects guys Kevin Haney and John Caglione, really outdo themselves. Belial is not only believably grotesque, he almost managed to exhibit deep emotion, in the fact that he has been separated from his brother. I've never seen a puppet emit so much pathos ;)

Without going into too laborious of detail since this should be your favorite movie as well, Duane and Belial are on a mission to right what has been wronged, with some hilarious and outrageous moments along the way. The amateur cast handles the bizarre subject matter masterfully and manage to help the film achieve an incredible weirdness that is usually unattainable. Although it was followed by two unfortunate sequels, BC is and always will be one of my favorite films. Its regard for sex, suburban dysfunctionality, and even drug use give the film a slimy, if not even tangible atmosphere. I'm right there in Times Square with Duane and Belial and a host of other weirdos. It's the perfect cinematic slice of that era.

BRAIN DAMAGE, Henelotter's second flick, one of the most violently anti-drug films this side of BLOOD FREAK, is the story of Brian and his pet monster, Alymer. You see, Alymer is this ages old disgusting sentient parasite that feeds on brains, the more human the better, and is capable of injecting whoever is in possession of him with a strong hallucinogen. When Brian comes into possession of Alymer, the parasite begins to take control and Brian descends into a very drug-like addled state. People die and things get bloody, as well as trippy, but the violence isn't so much as realistic or horrific as it is outlandish and comic. There's plenty here reminiscent of BC, the setting, a strong underlying sexual element, the weak protagonist. But as mentioned earlier, this movie has a great deal to say about what addiction can do to a person and his or her loved ones and how drugs change people. It's a great study, over-the-top, but with a message. And I love it!

Frankie also directed another Cavalcade fave, FRANKENHOOKER, which is exactly what it sounds like, and I'm sure it's at least in your top 20, so I won't keep you. I just wanted to give a shout out to two of my favorite movies of all time - smart and silly, but definitely still horror movies. Although I'm not a huge fan of the overt horror-comedy, Henenlotter did it well, if not the best, and he did it almost thirty years ago.

And these better not get remade! I'm warning you! And by you, I don't know who I am specifically addressing, but the sentiment is there!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Alive! Redux :(

I normally don't talk about recent horror films here. I just don't, okay! I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's my blog and I do what I want. And what I want mainly concerns the oh-so- fabulous seventies, the excesses of the eighties, and whatever other obscure weirdness I can dig up. That's not to say I don't watch recent horror films, in fact, I watch most every recent horror film that comes this way, with the sole exception of the SAW franchise, which I think is utterly shitty and to be hated at all costs (but that my dears, is an entirely different rant and one I won't likely be making soon). I'll be the first to buy a ticket to whatever horror flick debuts at the local multi-plex and those direct to video new horrors get equal treatment, lined up in the netflix queue months before they come out, even the remakes. Hey, we gotta support our genre, people! For every three hundred bad horror movies that comes out, aren't there like at least two good ones?

Soooo, all that blah blah is intro blah for the IT'S ALIVE remake (2008). So now for some more intro blah. I'm a huge fan of the original Larry Cohen movie - it was one of the first 'thinking woman's' horror movies I think I ever got into back in the day. Sure, I cut my baby fangs on stuff like FRIDAY the 13th and NIGHTMARE on ELM STREET growing up in eighties. Horror movies had always been (and always will be) my modus operandi but it wasn't until seeing Cohen's 1974 environmental forces run amok on birth movie that I was like, hell mutherfuckin' yeah, horror movies can be smart and gory and fun all at the same time! I think I was probably like 14, but this was it as far as I was concerned! And it still is! The horrors of birth, of the human body! The attack on the environment! The sheer inventiveness of it, yet still maintaining the tropes of a B-movie with a Bernard Hermann score (I believe it was his last)! Oh hell yeah! It's a great body horror movie with a shit ton of other subtext and should be watched over and over again. (I really don't know what happened to Larry Cohen - he used to be soooo fuckin' good - GOD TOLD ME TO? Q, THE WINGED SERPENT? THE STUFF? The man used to be able to write a movie. How the mighty have fallen.)

Of course, and are you even surprised, I cannot say the same for the the IT'S ALIVE remake. A tepid, practically gore-less, look at what lengths a mommy will go to to protect her child maneuver, the remake lacks pretty much everything that made the original great. No LA setting, instead we get a boring old house in New Mexico, so definitely no monster baby hiding out in sewers. No large craniumed baby puppet, you might see a little CG claw here and again. And the body horror element? Well, I can't say I ever want to birth anything out of my vagina, so some of it bothered me a little bit, but still, it was tame at best. I felt myself checking the timer on the DVD player to see how much time this boring clunker had left. Maybe I'm not reading enough into it to deconstruct it enough - gasp! - but maybe I just didn't care.

Another pointless remake in a cycle of pointless remakes. Now if somebody remakes BASKET CASE, I will fight them. Hands down. I will win. Don't fuck with my BASKET CASE. Frank Henenlotter, can you hear me?! Do NOT ever let anyone remake one of the greatest movies of all time! You owe it to me for no particular reason!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a really Happy Halloween, even though I live every day like it's Halloween, it's always nice to have the actual day come around so I don't seem so weird. Oh, fuck it, you know I love being a weirdo. Above is October Timothy inspecting the pumpkin I brought home for jack o'lantern purposes.

October approves the pumpkin and deems it ready for carving. We did carve it and I ended up with a serious a buzz and then burnt my arm trying to light the damn thing. That's what I call a successful Halloween Eve!

You perverts have a good one - We're off to the nation's capital to see Dethklok! How one sees Dethklok live is unbeknownst to me, but it should be fun!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cool-Ass Halloween Cookies

Check out these cool cookies I found at the grocery store! The top one is supposedly a werewolf, but really, doesn't it look more like a sasquatch? Or some sort of retarded bear? I kinda don't even want to eat the poor guy, but you know all that icing is going to be damn delicious.

Then I found this dude - a gingerbread pumpkin guy and I've already eaten most of his legs. Which were really, really tasty. In fact, my mouth is watering for his torso. Literally. And he goes really good with pino noir. Pleasant surprise.

Finally, here's the cookie incarnation of Dracula. There was an unfortunate accident in transport, seems like he wasn't traveling in his own earth or whatever, and his side got mostly squished. I guess I'm just going to have to help him shuffle off his immortal coil and gobble him up.

I'm totally the Queen of Halloween today - I got these literal cookie monsters, baked two pumpkin pies, bought a pumpkin, am currently in the process of carving it, and am also roasting the seeds. I'm also having a werewolf movie marathon and just finished THE HOWLING. Gonna follow that up with Hammer's CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF and drink more pino noir and hopefully get this jack o'lantern carved without anyone requiring medical attention. Something about me and knives and carving up squash, I just get stabby. Happy Halloween Eve, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

S&M Hunter Review Up at The Death Rattle

Hey perverts, go check out my review for S&M HUNTER over at Aaron's blog, The Death Rattle. You'll totally love it and beg me for more. As usual. Love you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mr. Vampire

Hello, everyone, this is Aaron from The Death Rattle doing a guest review here on Jenn's blog. This review is for a surprisingly hilarious movie we watched yesterday: MR. VAMPIRE.

In Mr. VAMPIRE, a martial artist/mortician and his two bumbling students/assistants battle zombies, hopping vampires, non-hopping zombie vampires, and a succubus. The film is a horror comedy directed by HK horror film-maker Ricky Lau, and there's a huge emphasis on the "comedy" part here in MR. VAMPIRE. Trust me when I say that this movie is hilarious, and not necessarily in a "you have to understand the Asian sense of humor to think it's funny" kinda way (which is common to a lot of Japanese comedy/horror comedy that I've seen), but in a universal, almost American style of comedy with the exception of a couple of scenes involving some actual cultural aspects.

Going into the movie I knew pretty much nothing about it and neither did Jenn, so we were both surprised to see how "all over the place" this movie was in terms of what it had to offer (and don't forget Vivi's and my horrible hangover confusing things either - Ed.). The lead character Master Gau (played by HK action star/stunt man Ching-Ying Lam) is your typical, hard-assed martial arts instructor, and I guess you could say that he's also the titular Mr. Vampire character. His character, in a way, reminded me of a more comedic version of Rupert Everett's Francesco Dellamorte character from CEMETERY MAN. The similarities of the two characters weren't so much in personality but because of the obstacles they faced in their respective movies. Both men oversaw dead bodies and had to deal with the occasional corpse who absolutely refused to die. More so in Dellamorte's case, but you know what I mean. And while Dellamorte only had the companionship of his bizarre assistant Gnaghi, Master Gau had two much younger goofballs assistants who provided the comic relief of the film.

There are a few different things about the plot that keep it moving along and, more importantly, keep it interesting. One of Master Gau's assistants is being seduced by a succubus and the other is slowly turning into a vampire, all while a demonic vampire zombie creature is on the loose. Gau's role in the film is to keep his two young apprentices in line and keep them focused on the bigger picture, which is the destruction of the demonic vampire zombie thing. I think. I won't lie, the plot was a little confusing, but that's pretty much the gist of it. Quite honestly, it doesn't even really matter. This movie has martial arts, slapstick comedy and violence, zombies, vampires, and a succubus, so who gives a shit about the plot? MR. VAMPIRE brings a lot of different things to the table, but it nails pretty much everything that it tries to throw at you and never does a half assed job of anything, especially the comedy.

One thing you can definitely expect from MR. VAMPIRE is bad dubbing, but in this case I'm pretty sure that the dubbing was awful on purpose. There's a female character (a Chinese character... duh) with a British accent and another female character with what sounds like an Irish accent. Neither make any sense and the accents hav

e absolutely nothing to do with the characters. Randomness, people. Randomness is always the key to victory. Master Gau's voice is that of the whitest man you could ever imagine. Well, not like Napoleon Dynamite white, but Clark Kent white, I guess.

The funniest thing about the movie, in my opinion, was the fact that the characters in the movie, mainly Master Gau, broke the fourth wall on a few occasions and acknowledged the fact that they were in a low budget movie. The most hilarious of which was a scene where Gau commanded that his newly-infected vampire assistant "break dance" on a table covered with white rice (pure white rice apparently sucks out toxins and is somewhat of a home remedy for a vampire cure). When his assistant asked "why", Gau nonchalantly replied "I don't know, it's in the script".

Ultimately, MR. VAMPIRE is more of a comedy than it is a horror movie and it's definitely worth checking out. It got rave reviews from everyone in the room that saw it (ViVi says it's super number one!) and even Jenn's cats loved it (actually they didn't, but this wouldn't be a proper Cavalcade of Perversions post without mentioning one of her cats at least once). That's about it, people. If you dig martial arts flicks, comedy that borders on parody, and unconventional approaches on the vampire lore, then MR. VAMPIRE is your huckleberry. Now go follow my blog, you scum.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday and Happy GWAR Day!

Just so happens that the two coincide (FINALLY! I feel like I've been waiting for this FOREVER) and I'm about to leave for my bday dinner and GWAR debauchery here in about a half an hour. The day has certainly been fun-filled and I even attempted to make a birthday cake for myself in the shape of a coffin, which sorta kinda worked and then I made cupcakes and iced them horribly, but whatever. I was going to post pics but since my baking is so utterly horrendous, I won't. And it looked so cool in my head! I was imagining this amazing purple and black coffin with crosses on it and the icing lookin' all good. But nope, not even close. I'll post a picture of Moochie wearing a Halloween jester collar instead. Drink one for me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Night, Mo-fo's!

Boils and ghouls, perverts and voyeurs, it's been a long fucking Friday as usual. It has been very rainy and cold here in VA's capital city, thus making traffic through my restaurant very slow, which is somehow more tiring than being busy and running around all day. I drank four shots of espresso from four until six and only felt more tired!

So guess what I'm doing now? Go ahead, guess! Three guesses, the first two don't count. You guys are so effin' smart - I'm drinking pino noir and gazing at copious amounts of felines run around, contemplating tonite's feature presentation.

But my slow day at the office, so to speak, wasn't all for naught. In fact, I compiled quite the list of reasons why I love Chris Sarandon and why I think he's an unsung genre veteran. I'll give you your Lance Henricksens and your Tom Adkinses, give me that sensible-slacks and turtleneck sweater wearing hardass Christopher Sarandon.

Bow down; the following are the reasons CS is freakin' awesome.

1. He was in FRIGHT NIGHT. He is a vampire named Jerry Dandridge in FRIGHT NIGHT. What kind of fucking name for a vampire is Jerry Dandridge? That sounds like some guy that's gonna sell me insurance. But no, CS makes it cool. Yes, he's about as unsexy as a vampire as Don Knotts, but he does the role justice. He's effectively sleazy and creepy, even in his sweater and slacks, and his coffin is cool and he's got the guy from HOUSE as his lackey. And he's a smart ass and slow dances with Marcy from Married with Children in an 80's night club while no one else is slow dancing, before turning her into a vampire.

FRIGHT NIGHT is lots of fun, despite what Aaron thinks. It's got lots of practical effects and CS is in it, so you should just watch it right now. At least revisit if you haven't in awhile.

2. CS is in CHILD'S PLAY. Now, I know what you're thinking. *in a snooty, sarcastic voice* Oh, Jenn, CHILD'S PLAY? Surely you jest. My tastes are waaay too sophisticated to appreciate a killer doll movie. Well, I don't care AND I beg to differ. CHILD'S PLAY stars CS as a hardboiled detective wearing his trademark sweater and slacks (never have I used the word 'slacks' so much, or at all, in a post) AND Brad Dorif as the serial killer/voice of Chucky. I shouldn't even have to tell you all this shit - it should be ingrained in your horror movie lovin' brains.

While CS isn't as prominently featured in CP as he is in FN, he's still spectacular and wonderful and his hair remains perfected coiffed even after Chucky's stabs him in the leg and he does absolutely NOTHING to save Andy and his mom.

As a quick aside on CP, the dude that wrote it is from Richmond, holla! And although I enjoyed it as a played straight killer doll flick, I still think Ronny Yu saved the series when he took it over from Tom Holland and made it more of a comedy. This has nothing to do with CS, but I really don't give a fuck, because this is my blog and I do what I want.

3. CS is the voice of Jack Skellington. While I'm not fifteen any more (that's how old I was when this movie came out - I dated myself again), I still relish the NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and think it's aesthetic is cool as shit. I have NIGHTMARE pajamas, as well as sheets, and my nightlight in my room is Jack's head. Yes, I need a nightlight. Do you have any idea how many horror movies I watch? My ex has an AMAZING collection of NIGHTMARE stuff, including this really cool big Oogie Boogie. Gosh, I'm just the queen of tangents tonite.

4. CS was in THE SENTINEL, a veritable powerhouse of a movie. You name a motherfucker and that fucker is in this movie. Jerry Orbach? Check. Christopher Walken? Check. The mom from VACATION? Check. Chris Sarandon? Check motherfuckin' please. AND this film boasts a cat birthday party in which the birthday cat is situated in a high chair wearing a party hat and gold lame bib. Tell me that is not cool as all holy hell? In fact, I remember little else about this movie other than the fact that CS stars in it and there is a cat birthday party.

That's all I got right now, people. I need a cig and some more wine and it might help if I ate something. I'm delirious from the three day's work I've been forced to work (I KNOW!). And I'm waiting on a phone date. If I have any more movies involving CS, I'll add them to the comments section. Love you all and happy Friday, as per the usual.