Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Awful Dr. Orloff

Jess Franco hardly needs any introduction here. I've been watching his movies and lovin' them for awhile. The Awful Dr. Orloff, credited as one of Franco's first titles and one of the first Eurotrash pieces of cinema, isn't what I'm normally used to when it comes to Franco's oeuvre. Orloff is actually hardly recognizable as a Franco film, if you're used to his stuff like Female Vampire, Venus in Furs, or Ilsa, the Wicked Warden. In fact, Orloff seems downright understated when compared with Franco's stuff from the 70's. But for all its seeming outward restraint (and believe me, it's not totally restrained, it is still a Franco film after all), it is a pretty subversive little slice of trash that invites us as viewers into an almost pornographic experience.
The Awful Dr. Orloff, or Gritos en la Noche (the Spanish titles always sound so much better), was made in 1962 and, as the credits tell us, is based on a novel by David Khune, which I believe is one of Jess' many aliases. (Curious, because as much as I would like to think of myself as a big huge Franco fan, I don't know why this would be based on a book that may or may not exist by Jess Franco.) The film is the tale of the Awful Dr. Orloff, a former prison doctor who is obsessed with bringing back the beauty of his daughter, Melissa, who was burned in a fire by in the prison of his employ. Orloff hopes to restore this beauty by using skin grafts from female victims he and his assistant, blind and disfigured sex pervert Morpho, pluck from nightclubs around the city after these lovely ladies are adequately sauced on brandy. The film is set in a time of horse drawn carriages, corsets, and gaslights and has an excellent, albeit, anachronistic jazz percussion soundtrack, which really adds to the overall sleaziness of the picture.

The film opens as a drunk woman staggers about the cobblestone streets and eventually makes her way home to her apartment. Chugging wine from the bottle (my kinda gal), she opens her closet to reveal Morpho's distorted face (think a regular face with a graft of eyes and nose, the eyes bulging and rendering him blind - which, btw, makes for the WORST mad scientist's assistant EVAR! Why have a guy doing your evil bidding if he can't even see? He's bound to knock one of these beauties heads into the furniture or banister in your castle, thus rendering them unusable for your crazy experiments! Surprisingly, though, Morpho does a pretty good job of procuring lovelies for Orloff and even manages to get them back to the castle in all one piece for the most part.) Morpho quickly dispatches the young lady and it's off to the castle with her.

We then meet the good Inspector Tanner and his absolutely stunning ballerina fiancee, Wanda. Apparently they've been off on holiday for two weeks and they're over the moon with happiness since they've finally decided to make it official. But Tanner's got to get back to work and leaves Wanda to go about her business. He returns to his office to find a kitty on his desk, which he orders to be replaced immediately with flowers, he's a new man now, and flowers obviously punctuate this newness. But there's little time for revelry, because seems a girl (the one from the opening scene) has disappeared. She's the fourth missing young lady in 20 days and the circumstances surrounding the other three disappearances are similar. Tanner and his deputies set out to interview some dumdum witnesses and figure out what to do next.

Cut to a nightclub. One particularly gorgeous singer receives a diamond necklace from an adoring fan (Orloff), which immediately sways her. She's the needy sort, 'promise me you'll keep me forever and ever,' causing Orloff to spout some ominous blather about youth and beauty. She gets sloshed (the women in this movie are such goofy drunks - all wobbly and bouncy and straps from their dresses falling all over the place and saying the same stupid shit over and over - not like me at all), and Orloff takes this opportunity to take her back 'round to his.

Upon arriving at his garrett, he locks her in the labyrinthine house, leaving her to stumble drunkenly through the halls until Morpho, donning a cape all Dracula like, gums her on the neck killing her, in what critic Glenn Erikson has describes as, 'not as a vampire, but like an infantile pervert with an oral fixation.' Well said. The singer expires and Orloff remarks, 'her face is unmarked. It has such a lovely pattern. Almost as if it was made of pure alabaster.' I want to be remembered in death by my killers has having a face with a lovely pattern.

It's after the singer's death when we first meet Orloff's daughter, Melissa, encased in glass with a horrible burn scar on her face, although the makeup job, like the one Morpho sports, is somewhat technically questionable. It's still fairly effective, however. Morpho helps Orloff with the most recent body and is then banished, to be called when he's needed. Orloff isn't very nice to Morpho, which causes some consternation on the part of Orloff's other (female) assistant, also whose death he faked and took from the prison to help him with his nefarious deeds. Seems though, she's become particularly disgruntled with how he treats Morpho and the nature of the experiments he's conducting to make Melissa beautiful again. It's ironic, because she's quite beautiful herself, why Orloff never considered her for his experiments is beyond me. I think he does hint that he loved her at one point, but now, since she has grown quite obstinate, he's questioning her loyalty and therefore, her usefulness.

While all this is going on, Tanner has assembled some witnesses for a sketch artist party. I don't know the history of police sketch artists or of forensic science much at all, but these scenes, there's also one involving fingerprinting, seem out of place in an old timey setting. It's a time before electricity and gasoline engines - were fingerprinting and sketch artists commonplace at the time? Anyanachronism, the group manages to come up with a good working likeness of both Morpho and the good doctor, which they release to the press, hoping to aid in their investigation, since they all suck at police work. Orloff hangs out at the club where the ladies work! He has a private room upstairs where he gets them drunk! How can Tanner not find him!?!

Orloff has failed to make Mel purdy for the fourth time and has finally come to the scientific conclusion that the victim needs to be alive. Out on the town for another body harvesting expedition, he sees Wanda, Tanner's girlfriend and becomes immediately enamoured. Not only is she hot as hell, Orloff also thinks she really resembles Melissa and decides she's the perfect victim for the living cell experiment. Wanda recognizes him from the police sketch and then becomes increasingly obsessed, like her fiance, in finding out who he is and capturing him. Orloff becomes obsessed with Wanda, at one point even promising his daughter sexually to Morpho, if Wanda can be found.

Since Tanner's a complete dumbass, Wanda takes the investigation into her own hands, puts on the hottest dress I have ever seen, and goes to the club to seduce Orloff. She succeeds, and hurriedly pens a note in lipstick divulging her whereabouts to dummy Tanner, so he can come save her once she's infiltrated Orloff's operation. Tanner's so stupid though, upon receiving the note, he dismisses it as some crazy thinking they've seen the killer, and disregards it. All shit hits the fan and the whole thing degrades into a fairly predictable ending, but not before Morpho gets to chain up some nubile women and grope a pair of boobies.
The film as a whole functions on the obsessions of the characters - Orloff's obsession to bring Melissa back to her full beauty, Tanner and subsequently Wanda's obsession to bring Orloff to justice, and Morpho's to grope a pair of boobies even though he can't see them. If the characters are aware of their obsessions, which increase ten-fold over the course of the action, they don't realize the sexual path it's taking them down. By watching Morpho feel up bare breasts and suck on necks with no gratification, we become the voyeurs, which is really the whole central idea behind the artistic merit of horror films in the first place. Author Phil Hardy, in his excellent horror movie encyclopedia, says that when we engage in the voyeuristic-sadistic elements, we as an audience complicitly acknowledge the horrible acts on screen and therefore, expand and extend the genre. What I'm saying is this - by not having any supernatural elements, Orloff is a story about humans acting on obsessions. The monsters here are human - and horror films throughout the ages explore this idea. Morpho, even though he's disfigured, is still a human being, therefore, the obsessions in the movie - sex and beauty namely - are identified as our, the audiences', own.

Orloff is an important movie, not because it's necessarily all that stunningly great. It's important because it's a shift from the Universal monster films portrayal of human qualities in monsters. Here, the monsters are human. It's also important in that is frankly displays sexuality and sexual perversion. While the Universal monsters merely skirt the sex issue (Creature from the Black Lagoon, anyone?), Orloff puts it right out there, even offering his own daughter sexually to Morpho to complete his (newer) obsession. It's actually not too unlike The Curious Dr. Humpp, made almost ten years later (and not by Franco), which certainly owes a certain amount of debt to Orloff. Obsessions, like sexual tastes, shift here too. At first, Orloff is obsessed with returning Melissa to her original beauty; after he sees Wanda, he's obsessed with attaining her beauty.

I wasn't out and out in love with this movie (it gets tired and downright predictable in many places and even moves kinda slow for the hour and twenty minute running time), but I see its merits. I'll stick with the later balls-out Franco films of the seventies, mostly those starring the sexpot Mrs. Franco, Lina Romay, but as a progressive artifact in the history of Euro-sleaze and horror films in general, Orloff fits the bill. I would have like Morpho to play a more central role, like Masky in Humpp, because he is that unsettling and ridiculous, he's the perfect foil for Orloff. Ah well. Still, good, sleazy stuff. And when Franco keeps it sleazy, which he always does, that makes me a very happy girl.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tales that Witness Madness

Tales that Witness Madness (1973), I believe, is the first anthology the Cavalcade has tackled in its brief, albeit wild and varied, history. Yay! Anthologies are alright. I have no particular aversion to them and I fucking love Creepshow, but of course. There's always going to be one story in an anthology that's better than the rest. And if you really hate one of the stories, you know it's not gonna last for long. So, goody for anthologies.

For those of you unfamiliar with this underrated piece of British film history, it stars the venerable Donald Pleasance as Dr. Tremayne, a doctor who has assembled four complete nutcases in his stark, white-walled asylum for his experiments. What these experiments are or what Tremayne is actually doing (aside from the fact that he's doing 'science') is never fully explained, but each case is vital to his research. There's your frame story, a loose one, yes, but Pleasance never fails to disappoint and it's always nice to see him in a lab-or-a-tory measuring various colored liquids into different sized beakers. I could watch that all day, honestly. Don't tempt me.

The latest visitor to Tremayne's institute (Jack Hawkins) wants to find out more about the patients and is pleased to see 'all four cases resolved.' This was troubling, in that all the patients we'll meet here in a second, all still seem to be crazy as hell. But whatever. Let's meet these lunatics, shall we?

First we have Paul, a spoiled, home-schooled youth of about seven, who has a vapid, shop-a-holic loon of a mother and a work-a-holic, red-bearded brute of a father. Mummy and Daddy fight about absolutely everything, including Paul, and Paul seeks solace with his tutor, his little toy piano, and his 'imaginary friend,' a giant invisible tiger named, aptly, Mr. Tiger. Naturally, upon finding out the existence of Mr. Tiger, Mummy grows concerned, especially when Paul starts sneaking giant soup bones up to his room to keep Mr. Tiger sated. A fight between the parents involving Mr. Tiger ensues and it doesn't take too long before Mummy and Daddy are gorily turned into tiger food. It's a great scene, honestly, and the bloodiest in the movie. It's only improved by Paul plinging on his little piano as his parents are ripped to shreds behind him. At one point, a great splatter of the red stuff is slung on the wall right above Paul's head! Back at Tremayne's institute, Mr. Tiger still seems to be present, as Paul asks, 'Is it feeding time already? Do you have any bones?' Say this in a little kid voice with a strong British accent. Maybe Tremayne wasn't trying to vanquish the imaginary feline to begin with? Who knows? It's science! My feeble brain can't possibly try to comprehend! 

Next up, we're introduced to Timmy, a former antique shop proprietor who became obsessed with a Penny Farthing (one of those old timey bikes with the big wheel in the front and you have to pronounce it like this - say penny real fast, then stretch out fah-thing for several moments) that was able to transport him to an alternate Victorian reality where a statue (?) or zombie (?) that sort of resembles Sherlock Holmes stalks him and his beloved. As the two worlds begin to collide for Timmy, his antique shop gets burned to the ground and his present time world girlfriend gets killed with a flying dagger. There's also a haunted painting. Back at Tremayne's, Timmy still wears period garb, sports a nasty burn scar on his face, and repeats how he killed Uncle Albert (the dude in the haunted painting), um, repeatedly. I forget Tremayne's comments about Timmy, but you know, all in the name of science I guess.

'Does anybody here love me?' asks Brian, as he practices the age-old art of flower arranging from his cell at the asylum. The flashback then takes us back to a day in which Brian went out for a jog and returned with a rotting tree carcass that resembles a feminine form (there's a sort of face and definite breasts). Bella, Brian's girlfriend played by a delicious Joan Collins, is not pleased about Brian's recent acquisition and is almost jealous (?). She's jealous of wood. Irony? She wants Brian to get rid of the thing which Brian agrees to after a jaunt at the pub, but this gives the tree plenty of time to become increasingly jealous of Bella, at one point even growing claws, all the better to gouge Bella with, and passive aggressively soiling the carpet with leaves and dirt. Upon returning from the pub, Bella and Brian have a row about the tree, and Bella wastes a drink by throwing it in the tree's 'face.' She, Bella, not the tree, puts on a negligee and has a fever dream about the tree ripping off her top. Yes, you actually get to see Joan Collins' breasts. And yes, a tree exposes them. Hmm, maybe a certain movie involving Sam Raimi might owe a little something or other to this scene? Anytree, Bella gets a machete and the next thing you know, the tree's in bed with Brian and Bella's nowhere to be found. In the solace of  his room at the asylum, Brian plays with flowers all day and asks if anyone loves him, to which no one ever replies. 

After a brief sojourn with Pleasance and Hawkins that involves some convolution about discreditation of the actual science (who could discredit all this?! Fiends!), we meet Oriel, a once fairly high falutin' PR rep for Hawaiian author, sex symbol, and tribal voodoo practitioner, Kemo. In her former life, Oriel was to give Kemo an elaborate luau to celebrate his book coming out, I think that's why any way, she also finds him incredibly appealing and wants into his grass skirt, so maybe that's why she's throwing him the party.  She wants everything to be perfect and Kemo, having heard about the surprise shin-dig, takes this opportunity to sacrifice a virgin, Oriel's very sexy jailbait daughter, Virginia, and unsuspectingly feed the meat from this sacrifice to Oriel's guests at luau to appease his gods or maybe his mother; there's a scene in the beginning where Kemo's telling Mama Kemo that he'll do whatever it takes to help their people or some shit. Upon realizing she's just eaten her daughter, Oriel freaks and somehow winds up at the institute with Tremayne wringing her hands as she sits by the phone, waiting for Virginia to call. Well, Ginny ain't gonna call, Oriel, because you ate her and served her to the rest of your party guests. This is the slowest, most predictable build up of all the vignettes in the film, yet still quite satisfying, at least for this viewer. I think it's mainly just the great 70's ensembles and fabulous pool house decor that pique my interest the most here. Although I must say most of the stories here are rather predictable and, being British, somewhat restrained and a bit clipped feeling. 

After all four tales are told, Tremayne gathers the nutters in a room together, Hawkins remarks how preposterous the whole affair is, and the whole thing kind of resolves itself while we all feel sort of unfulfilled. Not one to play the game of what could have been, but in the right hands (Freddie Francis directed this in possibly the most boring fashion of his career - although there are some nice set pieces and the haunted bicycle scenes in the Victorian reality are beautifully shot), this could have a been a total scream. There are some hints at dark humor here, particularly Pleasance's performance, he's always short of shrewd, isn't he, to the fact that he may or may not be up to no good. It's in definite need of a bit more EVIL. With the exception of the tiger eating Paul's parents, there is little grue, with most of the violence being implied. Not entirely altogether a bad thing, I'm not a super gorehound as is, yet, as I mentioned, there is a bit too much restraint proffered, when I tend to like my movies out and out ridiculous. However, the cover art is simply magnificent and you could likely do worse with your anthologies - Body Bags, anyone? 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shark Attack!

As long time readers likely know, I love anything dealing with a giant shark. I dry myself every morning after my shower with a towel with giant sharks on it. I have a giant stuffed shark that I sleep with. I've been devouring (pun intended, natch) Steve Alten's fiction concerning Megalodon this past month. And I watch anything and everything that has to do with sharks, giant or otherwise. So this week, I have spent a majority of my time watching, amongst other things, Danny Lerner's shark movies (Shark Attack, Shark Zone, and Raging Sharks). He also directed Sharks in Venice.

Aspiring filmmakers take note; Lerner's movies are an exercise in the following:

-If someone gives you a giant shark head puppet or you come into possession of a giant shark head puppet some sort of way, legal or otherwise, make movies with it! Make lots of movies with it!
-Use the same giant shark head puppet in three different movies with the same effect. Don't change anything about it. It's perfect the way it is, complete with apparent hole in the upper mouth. It doesn't matter if the puppet has holes in it - fill that in with extremely noticeable CGI in post.

-Use same stock footage repeatedly. And I do mean repeatedly. Who cares if it's obvious! If you found it in the stock footage library archives and it somewhat fits with your movie, by all means, use the hell out of it! Use it ten, fifteen times in the same movie! Hell, use scenes from your other giant shark movies in the new, somewhat dissimilar, shark movie you're currently directing! Why not?! Save time and money!

-Intertwine CG sharks, giant shark puppet heads, and stock footage. It should not matter that the CG sharks look nothing like those in the stock footage or like that of the puppet. By seeming to not care about these details, you seem like a artiste.

-If your usual giant shark movies are seemingly a bit on the stale side, integrate an alien subplot involving cold fusion, a black ops rogue fighter, and Corbin Bernsen. You can probably find stock footage of aliens somewhere or maybe your producer friend shot some footage of aliens for another movie, so you could again, save time and money by using those sequences shot for another movie, all the while injecting life into another sharks running amok sequence.

-Every movie should open the exact same way - with an aerial shot of a plane flying FAST over the sea. Just shoot it once and edit out the casts' names later on. Once again, money and time saver.

Thank you, Mr. Lerner, for helping me become a better filmmaker. If I, too, came into possession of a giant shark puppet head (*fingers crossed*), I would take that as a sign from somewhere that I needed to get into a big old tank full of water with a camera and make my own giant shark movie. It doesn't matter that these movies are hardly technically proficient, involve stupid action sequences that go on for way too long (sometimes I forget I'm watching a giant shark flick), or have serious plot holes, continuity errors, and repetition of obvious stock footage. When I get off work, all I want to do is come home, curl up with a nice big vodka soda, and watch some CG sharks piss off Casper van Dien. I seriously could not ask for anything more from my life.
Side note: I did also recently watch Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, but since Lerner didn't have anything to do with that movie, I didn't think it warranted discussion here. I freakin' loved it; it actually far surpassed the aforementioned, as far as the schlock factor goes, however the internets are currently all a-flutter about it, so I figured I didn't need to throw my two cents in at this time.
Also slated for this week's unofficial Shark Attack week is the Lerner-produced Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. You know, since I've been reading Alten's Meg series, I've become obsessed with Megalodons. They are just so fucking scary. Could you even fucking imagine a shark that's 75 feet long and has a dorsal fin that's some odd seven feet high? The teeth, of which it has at least 24 rows, are over a foot long and made of bone that could cut through a diamond. A Megalodon could snap a 2,800 pound Great White right in half! A shark that big is about the scariest thing I could ever conceive. I can't even wrap my brain around seeing something like that! Jaws, Schmaws. I know Lerner's Meg movie will be peppered with ridiculous CG, but if someone made a realistic (and very expensive) adaptation of one of Alten's books, I think I would die! I wouldn't even be able to go see it! I would literally throw up. That's how scared I would be.
You know, it's nice (and refreshing) to actually still be scared of something in horror, since we all get kinda jaded being fanatics and all. We forget sometimes what it's like to actually be scared of the movies we watch and the books we read. Megalodons scare the bejeesus outta me and that's a good time!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Fury of the Wolfman

To say I am a Paul Naschy fan is a gross understatement. I love the man. I love his unrestrained creative genuis, I love his gothic aesthetic. I love that he gets it on with every woman that crosses his path on screen. I love that they fall in love with him again and again. I love that he constantly recycles his Waldemere character with no explanation of his return, since he always dies in the end. I have even thought of changing my cat Bela's name to Paul Naschy on more than one separate occasion. There are many more reasons to love him, but if you don't already swoon at the sight of his pecs and basically worship the ground he walks on, don't start with Fury of the Wolfman. Now, I freakin' loved Fury of the Wolfman, because of it's all consuming Naschyness, extremely mad science, and complete lack of restraint, but dare I say it is really for the already Naschy initiated? It's fairly wild and hard to keep up - I don't know if I all-together did that great a job at it. Allow me to illustrate.

One dark and stormy night, our dear Waldemere returns home to his wife, Erica, after a snowy expedition in Tibet of which he is the only survivor. In a flashback sequence I can hardly describe in words - think three scenes superimposed over each other all going at once- Waldemere remembers an avalanche and a strange creature (a Yeti!?) and the fact that all his friends are missing and will likely never be found. He's also suffering a Yeti related injury (a bite?) which causes him to writhe around and seek the help of the smokin' hot, but icy, Dr. Ilona back at the University where he teaches classes in something, I'm not quite sure what, but that involve lecturing around a corpse on an operating table and may or may not have something to do with an investigation on metabolism(?). This is also not the only time Naschy will tangle with a Yeti. He runs afoul of one in The Night of the Howling Beast as well, another must see!

Dr. Ilona is a brilliant professor in her own right, teaches classes in MAD science and is seemingly the only one that can help cure Waldemere from his Yeti disease. Seems most of her research involves creating 'human cyborgs which will eventually lead to the resolution of all that is known' (Dr. Ilona's words). Fair enough. But it seems Dr. Ilona's lovely lab assistant, Karen, expresses some moral concern over the good doctor's experiments. Dr. Ilona dismisses Karen, saying that she can 'help mankind through science.' It's expressions like this that make me giddy with pleasure. I love a good line about mankind and science, even if it's from the fringes of MAD science, in fact, even better if it's MAD.

Okay, this is only like the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie and it's already pretty confusing. I honestly couldn't write my notes fast enough - usually I just jot down some key stuff, here, I was writing whole sentences and trying to record everything possible, because there's SO MUCH going on. I would look away and several key moments would be lost. I literally could not keep up. And it only gets more ridiculous. So my efforts are futile.

So Ilona agrees to help Paul and tells him to meet her at her apartment later that night. Upon returning to his vehicle, Waldemere receives a note from a student that is having an affair with Erica (remember Waldemere's wife?). He's so distraught that he gets in a car accident, but no mere car accident can hurt Paul Naschy, shit, a possible Yeti-induced avalanche can't kill the man, so he dusts himself off after crawling out of the wreck and returns home to find Erica gone. I noticed that he has a great suit of armor in his house, something I've always wanted. To truly have a great gothic looking and/or haunted house, you've got to have a suit of armor. I've got the coffin coffee table and the skulls and the taxidermy, and the pickled animals floating in jars, all I really need now is a suit of armor.

So Waldemere goes to see Ilona and she apparently knew about the affair between Erica and the student but that's of no matter, because she can cure of his disease, 'as long as he acts like a real man.' Some other stuff may or may not happen, seriously, I can't discern my notes really, and a storm happens and Waldemere wolfs out and attacks Erica, biting her on the neck. Her suitor interupts the attack, and Waldemere makes quick work of him as well. Then he does a bunch of frenzied leaps all over the town and ends up electrocuted in the woods as the storm rages on.

Next thing we know, Ilona is lecturing, while wearing her sunglasses, about the domination of mankind through the absolute control of the brain, which no students seem to find unsettling, it must be MAD scientist school. She then has a moment of silence for the passing of Waldemere. I drew some arrows and wrote a note about Waldemere seeming nervous and weird upon his return from Tibet and then (again, the next thing you know), Ilona has found a parchment and knows Waldemere can't die. It's here that I really narrow my eyes at Ilona, she's up to no good for reals this time, not just talkin' crazy about domination of the brain and so forth. She gets some dudes to dig up Waldemere's body, dismissing their apprehension, 'don't worry, his mind is dominated,' and brings him back to her house to 'reach limits that are superhuman.' Sounds sexy. Heddy and Barbara, two hawty lab assistant babes, will assist her in reaching said superhuman limits. Sounds even sexier. She claims, 'the experiments we shall do here shall revolutionize science!' Good lord, I've always wanted to say that and mean it! Dr. Ilona's my hero, seriously.

Oh, and did I mention the whole thing about Karen's (remember her?) reporter boyfriend being worried about the situation with Ilona and some police involment subplot into the circumstances surrounding Waldemere's death? I didn't? Oh, don't worry about it, I can't even begin to get into it here.
So one of the babelicious lab assistants gets all worked up about the doc's experiments. You thought you were confused before? Well, how about adding a man standing in a giant plant who is 'neither animal or plant but after the doctor's experiments, they'll be authentical mutants!' She obviously is as confused as I am and raves, 'It can't be scientific! It can't be scientific!' She's soon killed for her insolence. If there is one thing to be gleaned from this entire exercise, it's that Dr. Ilona is NOT to be fucked with.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the chemotrodes! the chemotrodes! These chemotrodes, a discovery of Ilona's I think, will destroy the destructive parts of Waldemere's brain, leaving him completely in her control. Ilona, where can I get some of these chemotrodes? I've got a man or two I need in my complete control. There's also a man wandering around wearing a rubber mask. At this point, I've completely surrendered my control to this movie, just like Waldemere at the hands of Ilona. I just can't keep up. Who is the man in the rubber mask? A patient of Ilona's? Best not to worry about it.

Also best not to worry about the dirty hippies and Spanish dwarf that have broken into Ilona's 'hermetically sealed' (don't ask, 'cause I don't know) abode and are partying in the dungeon.

So Waldemere wolfs out again while chained to a wall and Ilona whips him with a bull whip. Sex-ay, again. He frees himself of his shackles and jumps through a window and mauls a man writing at a desk, who's mother (?), upon finding the body two seconds later, alerts the proper authorities, those police detective types in the subplot. The dogs get hot on his trail, but not before he rapes a raven haired beauty. Then he just kinda strolls about (what happened to the frenzied leaping of earlier?) wearing a different outfit. It's almost as if some the scenes were taken from other Waldemere movies. Like there's a shot of him in period garb and this movie takes place, I think, in present day 1970's. And his shirt keeps changing color. One minute it will be a blue shirt, the next, maroon.

So after his little maul, rape, and stroll, he returns to Ilona's in Waldemere form, albeit looking disheveled, and fights a guy wearing a suit of armor who comes outta nowhere. I swear I glance away for one second and the next thing I know Waldemere's sword fighting some knight and Karen's passed out. Or I might not have even glanced away, who knows? Then Karen's revived and she and Waldemere keep trying to escape but discover some corpses instead. Along the line, Waldemere discloses to Karen the ways he can be killed, either by the hands of a beast like himself or by a woman who loves him.

Then we hear about a certain Dr. Helmut Wolfstein (I wish my name was Wolfstein - from here on out, you must refer to me as Mistress Wolfstein - I was initially going to say 'please refer' but Mistress Wolfstein doesn't say please) because I think Waldemere and Karen find his journals or papers or some such evidence of him having existed and done some werewolf experiments or something. There's a ceremony involving Ilona, the body of Helmut (I think he turned out to be the guy in the rubber mask stalking the corridors AND as Ilona's dad), a Great Dane, and several hotties holding candles. Sounds sexy. Come to find out, Waldemere is cursed by Ilona and this whole thing was her doing so Waldemere would kill Erica because Ilona was really in love with him. I think.

So Ilona does the only sensible thing, she digs up Erica's body, shackles it to a wall and brings it back to life as a werewolf! Waldemere does his wolf thang too, and we are then treated, I believe, to the only husband and wife werewolf showdown in the history of werewolf showdowns! It's also nice to see a female werewolf for a change - you don't see them often.

My final note for this Naschy-fest is as follows verbatim: Ilona shoots Waldemere because she loved him back in the day. I can't think of a better way to end this write-up, even though I normally don't transpose my notes word for word in blog form. But I'll end it like that here, mainly because I feel kinda drunk reading what I wrote and trying to remember all the sordid details.

Good times! Now, it might not seem like it, but like I said, I loved this movie. It was so ridiculous, so hilarious, so MAD, I couldn't help but laugh maniacally as none of it made much sense. I was left almost beaten by this thing, hanging and shaking my head, for fear I had been defeated. But alas, I had not! In fact, it was the most entertained I had been in awhile, because I had completely surrendered control - it was like I was flying high through a werewolf, MAD lady scientist, suit of armor, dead body, Naschy-land for a fleeting second, and this felt invincible, amazing, incredible.

My one complaint is this - no nudity. Not even some real good sexy times scenes involving Paul and any one of the Euro-babes in this thing. And you know they all want to throw themselves at him. Who wouldn't? At least he takes his shirt off on several occasions.

Anyone want to shed some light on this one for me? Or is it best just left as is, confusing, wonderful, weird, and mad science filled?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Vampires Night Orgy

It's been a slow posting week here at the Cavalcade, mainly because I've been raging with the partying. And by partying, I mean drinking alone while watching Roadhouse. Well, that was Friday night, me, a big bottle of pino grigio, and Swazye. I could simply not think of a better way to spend any night, which is the way I have passed the last two Fridays. Saturday night, more of the same, but instead of Roadhouse, I watched Wayne's World. Sunday, I was so hungover I couldn't move all day, and Monday night I went to see Passion Pit, so Tuesday I was so hungover, I couldn't move again. Wednesday night brought me full circle to The Vampires Night Orgy, or the much better Spanish title, La Orgia Nocturna de los Vampiros. Doesn't that sound hot? Allow me to tell you how hot this movie really was then.

A busload of losers are on their way to some rich bitch's country house to serve as gardeners, maids, majordomos, and other indentured slaves. These are a poor down-on-their-luck but seemingly hard-working folk, and after expressing some uncertainty about whether their 'tin can' of a bus can make it the rest of the way to the country house, the bus driver expires. In a less than harrowing oh-our-bus-driver-is-dead-somebody-step-on-the-brakes-and-take-the-wheel maneuver, the crew finds themselves in dire straits. What should they do? Oh, wait, there's a village, Tonia, that doesn't appear on any map that someone mentions they can take refuge in for the night, while they figure out what to do with the dead driver.

Ernest takes over as bus driver and drives the gang to Tonia, which they find deserted. They meet up with an American, Luis, who has also just arrived in the village an hour prior. He, too, can't find a soul around, and suggests they all have some cognac and rest up at the inn. Upon retiring to his room, Luis notices a large hole in the wall and applies his eyeball to said hole. On the other side is the beautiful blond Alma (from the bus group) undressing and brushing her hair. He peeps at her for awhile, grinning maniacally.

While Luis is busy being voyeuristic and Alma is parading around nude, Ernest goes outside to investigate Tonia. He checks on the dead body in the bus, lights and cig, and begins his meandering around the dark cobblestone streets of the village. He meets up with some locals, pasty faced and expressionless, who corner him and descend on him with the sole purpose of eating his flesh. Hmm, I thought this was supposed to be a vampire orgy, not a living dead orgy. Vamp orgies are about three hundred times sexier than a zombie orgy, if you ask me. Luckily, the orgy part never happens, there is nary a culo or boob in sight while poor Ernest gets devoured. Or so we think. But do we care? Let's look more closely...

The next morning, the locals have all returned to their positions at the inn. The bus travelers and Luis are introduced to Mayor, not really the official Mayor, his name is actually Boris, but the title has been in his family for years. Hospitable and bearded, Mayor offers the explanation of a recent death in the village for the townspeople's absence last night. As repayment, he offers to pay for their food and stay.

Here poses a problem. What to feed all these people? Tonia isn't used to so many visitors stopping by at once, so Mayor suggests letting the Countess deal with the problem. I hear Countess and I'm like hells yeah, now we're getting to the orgy party. But first a truck sized man goes to procure 'meat' from, you probably know where this is going, a human they keep chained up for this purpose. The meat is prepared and everyone goes apeshit over it, it's so good and has such a distinct flavor. Then everybody partakes in my favorite pastime, getting wasted. Ernest returns, looking like death warmed over, and tells the party the dead driver's body is missing but that he took care of it. Cryptic, non?

Okay, we're about thirty minutes in and there hasn't been a vampire or a night orgy or even a day orgy for that matter.

Anyway, still looking like shit, Ernest powers up the bus but the damn thing won't turn over. Mayor suggests they wait a few days to see if they can get a new motor from the village next door and says the Countess will cover all expenses. Wanting to meet this elusive woman who foots all their bills, the travelers go up to her house.

The Countess is a lovely, lonely redhead whose turnons include walks in the moonlight, meeting new people, Shakespeare, demonstrating her hospitality, and giving strangers large amounts of cash. She takes a like to Cesar, one of the travelers, and invites him to stay with her for the purpose of reading great Literature to her aloud. She gets so turned on, she's forced to make out with him, then throw him out the window in his underwear to a horde of zombified villagers. Damn it, I thought my night orgy was coming up.

Luis continues peeping on Alma, going as far as sending her a note, telling her someone is always watching her, but in a good way. This pleases Alma, forever the dumb blond that needs saving by the strapping American, and she continues to parade around her room, this time in a blue nightgown, but with her nipples blazing.

Meanwhile, Ernest, now spouting two fangs, lures two more travelers out to the bus for the purpose of feeding them to the villagers. Here's where I made my predictions for how the rest of the show was gonna pan out:

-Luis will start to notice more people are missing

-Countess will hear of Luis' snooping/noticing

-More of the group will get fed to the zombie villagers

-Everyone will become zombies

-A disappointing night orgy will ensure, with complete lack of lesbian vampires

Not on the prediction list, however, are the following which actually happen:

-Two children, one of them who may or may not be a zombie child who is also in the habit of randomly disappearing, play a way too long game of hide and go seek

-Several limb amputations (cool enough)

-A doll burial

-More scenes involving the two children playing hide and go seek

You know, for a movie with the title of Vampire Night Orgy, there certainly a lot of scenes involving children romping around the countryside playing with dolls. Not that I want scenes of children that involve the titular orgy, please no no no, but seriously, after fifty minutes of the one hour and twenty minute running time, there's been two scenes of people that may or may not be vampire/zombie hybrids NOT engaging in any kind of sexy times.

It ends like this (you honestly don't care if I spoil the ending here, trust me) - Luis and Alma escape by the skin of their asses - everyone else having fallen victim to the likes of the Tonianites - and report the ordeal to the authorities. Upon returning to the site of Tonia, there isn't a trace, except for the broken down bus, now covered in a thick layer of mud. No orgy, no real vamp action, and the town never existed in the first place. Shocking!

I can only think if this title had fallen into Paul Naschy's capable hands what it might have been. Although director Leon Klimofsky had directed The Werewolf's Shadow and Vengeance of the Zombies, amongst other efforts in collaboration with Naschy, it was curious to why it couldn't have achieved that same greatness. Oh, what could have been! If his Naschyness has been involved, you know there would have been several Countesses, all of which he would have gotten it on with, plenty of werewolf-chained-to-a-dungeon-wall-and-escaping action, and possibly a magic sword, a pact with the devil, and some Knights of Templar thrown in for good measure. Doesn't that sound more exciting? I guess you win some, you loose some, and I was tired and the movie wasn't very long, so it served its purpose. I could have done with just one promised orgy, though.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Sinful Dwarf

I am in the habit, especially if I've had a few drinks before going to bed, to get up in the middle of the night, lumber out to the kitchen, and chug juice out of its container in the refrigerator. This is typically done any number of times throughout any given night and is done in blindness, one, because it's dark, and two, because I am almost legally blind without my contacts. The other night was no exception. I awoke with an insatiable thirst and wandered blindly and nakedly out to the fridge. It's a journey I've made many times and therefore, I don't even think I opened my eyes. What would be the point anyway; I can't see. I did however, recoil in horror to find that the juice that I thought I was chugging, turned out to be vegetable broth. I had picked up a carton of broth, thinking it was my juice and started chugging it. And rather than spit it out, I swallowed it before I realized it. Ever since then, I think it was Monday night, I have been tasting nasty ass vegetable broth in my mouth every time I think about drinking it. It will come at inopportune times, like while I'm at a table taking someone's order or why I'm sitting here writing this blog post in my office at school.

I mention this in conjunction with 1973's The Sinful Dwarf because this movie is the kind of movie that sticks in your mind, that stays on the tastebuds and leaves that I-drunkenly-drank-vegetable- broth-thinking-it-was-juice-in-the-middle-of-the-night taste in your mouth. Trust me.

Sleazefest The Sinful Dwarf opens with Olaf, the titular little man, enticing a young woman, who is obviously over eighteen but outfitted to look as if she's an adolescent, think pigtails while playing hopscotch, with a windup poodle toy. He lures the young lady back to his mother's, (washed up singer Lila Lashe), house and locks her in the attic, injecting her with heroin to keep her complacent. Seems Lila and Olaf have quite the business. They keep young women addicted to heroin and locked in the room for the purpose of prostitution. But we'll get to all that in a sec.

Soon, young down-on-their-luck couple Mary, a beautiful blond, and her husband Peter, a would-be writer, come by Lila and Olaf's looking for a room to rent. Mary's female intuition immediately tells her this ain't gonna be the Ritz, but since they're almost outta money and Peter needs to look for a job, they take a room. Olaf shows gives them the grand tour of the place and goes off to his nightly chores, which mainly involve shooting up the hostage women with heroin.

While Olaf's off procuring heroin from his gin-swilling mama je'e, Peter and Mary begin to make love while some sweet dulcet tones play. I thought this was the soundtrack, but then Olaf comes back upstairs and seems to hear this music and goes by their room for a peek. They do it for waaaaaay to long and I think they may have actually been fucking. I'm not sure, but it certainly seemed so; however, there just weren't any 'hardcore' shots. They were making love, remember? That music that Olaf could hear was makin' love music as opposed to fucking music. You know the difference. It's like when you do it with someone that you actually like, you put on Portishhead or Massive Attack. When you don't care or you're just gonna drunkenly have sex with someone, you put on the TV.

After Olaf's done slobbering over the happy couple, he goes about his chores. The girls writhe around, beg for help, and scream in withdrawal. I get a serious Pink Flamingos Connie and Raymond Marble vibe offa this, but without the humor, the tongue planted firmly in cheek, or the camp. This is pure sleaziness and Olaf apparently loves it. I don't know, and never will, whose idea it was to keep the girls in the attic for the purpose of prostitution - Olaf's or Lila's - but Olaf takes supreme pride in his work of shooting them up, holding them hostage, the whole business of the thing. The fact that he's creepy enough on his own, with his greasy long hair, flannel shirt, cane, and collection of incredible antique toys any collector would salivate over, makes him the perfect character for a movie of this caliber.

Anyway, we find out through Lila's drunken rambling, that the house used to be a pretty famous nightclub, but was wrought in a fire, which scarred Lila's face and ruined her career. The fire also took place the same year as Olaf's birth - a terrible year, Lila remarks. Her club caught on fire and she gave birth to a Scandinavian accented dwarf (she herself has a British sounding accent). I can really feel the love Lila has for Olaf; can't you?

So what's Olaf to do? He makes his antique toys have sex with each other and then Lila wants to do her Choo Choo Bamba number, which requires a Carmen Miranda outfit complete with fruit headress, an introduction from Olaf while he accompanies her on piano and a crazy old lady friend, Winnie, to laugh and swill gin while the performance is going on. Oh, and this is interspliced with a john having forced sex with one of the women upstairs while the music is timed with his thrusts. I think this couple is actually having sex too, but once again, there is lack of actual penetration shots. Darn. Because I really want to see some gross dude rape a girl forced to do smack against her will to the jaunty tones of the Choo Choo Bamba.
Feel like you need to gargle yet? No. Okay, I've got more for you.
After the Choo Choo Bamba, Lila cuddles Olaf and decides one of the girls, Betty, is using too much heroin. They need new girls, she says, because those three are getting used up pretty quickly. She sets her sights on Mary, the new tenant, because Peter's gone so much seeking employment, it shouldn't be hard to get her into the ranks with the others. Lila then goes upstairs to shoot Betty up, calls her a 'juicy little piece,' fondles her tits, and decides to keep her. Did I mention Lila's wearing a top hat and tails while she does this? Well, she is.

The Lila calls her dealer and tells him that the last shipment, which she receives in stuffed teddy bears, was short. He better deliver next time, goddamn it, or else! Who calls up their dealer and demands shit like that? It's best not to piss the dealer off, at least that's what I've heard. Especially if your dealer's name is Santa Claus and he owns a toy shop. Like Lila's dealer. You heard correctly - his name is Santa Claus and he owns a toy shop, hence why the drugs come stuffed inside teddy bears. Genius, right? Clever, no?

After placing this call, Lila does another (sadder than the Choo Choo Bamba) number in the top hat and tails while swinging a feather boa around and Betty gets strung up in shackles and lashed repeatedly by an unknown assailant, I'm assuming another john, until she bleeds. Beautiful.

Come to find out, Santa's last runner gets caught and it being a small world and all, Peter becomes the next unsuspecting heroin runner. He must leave for Paris immediately, leaving Mary in Lila's house alone. Being bored alone in the creepy old place, Mary goes exploring. She's been hearing the noises coming from the attic room and goes to investigate. She hears the girls inside and offers to help them when she hears a sauced Lila coming upstairs to look for a hula outfit so she can do another number for Winnie. We are also treated to a scene of Lila naked, *shudder*, which wasn't as bad as it could have been, trust me. Mary narrowly escapes being discovered, but not for long. She does get caught, drugged, and shackled, and Lila hastily pens a note to Peter telling him Mary's left.

Peter, while upset, throws himself into his work full force, stocking the shelves at Santa's store. He thinks he overhears Olaf asking for more heroin but isn't sure and sort of just looks around perplexedly. Back at the boarding house, Olaf rapes Mary with his cane (off camera, luckily) and slobbers all over her face and neck (on camera, unfortunately), all the while laughing maniacally. If there's one thing this dwarf can do, it's laugh maniacally. Mary also gets her first paying customer. You know, I really didn't think it was gonna go there - actually go through with Mary's rape. I thought the film might exercise a little restraint. And at first it does. Her first customer comes in and finds her too crazy and fucks another prisoner instead (for waaaay too long, of course), but another does arrive and they do go through with it, so even when she is reunited with Peter, she's, by this, point, severely damaged goods.

Have you started scrubbing your tongue with a Brillo pad yet?

They don't make 'em like this any more, folks, if they ever even made them like this in the first place! Anything that's has the words sinful and dwarf in the title and isn't a porno better be un-fucking-believable and this is. Not to say that the movie is totally enjoyable to watch, even for the sleaze factor. It's slow in places (Olaf takes FOREVER to climb up and down the stairs three or four too many times) and even treads dangerously on the predictable at times. It is, however, gleefully uncomfortable and leaves that horrible can't-get-rid-of-it taste on the pallette for which we all know and yearn. Now off with you - go have fantasies of little tiny men dancing around their weird ancient wind up toys slobbering over women of normal height shackled to walls and addicted to heroin while a spirited South American ditty plays in the background. Best to have this fantasy with an upturned Beefeaters bottle held to your lips.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ilsa, the Wicked Warden

Now, this, this right here, this movie is why I love Jess Franco. This very movie right here. Ilsa, the Wicked Warden. Not only does it feature the sexy ass Lina Romay (aka Mrs. Jess Franco) as a naughty, dirty, conniving, lesbian inmate, but it has the fantastic Dyanne Thorne channeling the Ilsa character from She Wolf of the SS, doing what she does best, torturing through electrocution and forced sex. This is truly Franco at some of his raunchiest, and therefore ultimate best.

The opening sequence is a shower scene. Can't go wrong here. Soapy naked ladies abound while the female guards look on. One of the girls starts screaming to create a diversion and a brunette runs off wearing only a white button down shirt and her tan lines. Once the female guards realized what has happened, they give chase through the jungle wearing unflattering khaki shorts and toting rifles. They have strict instructions from a male voice over to not let 'the dirty little pigeon' escape. The girl, Rosa Phillips, is eventually grazed by two bullets and stumbles into the medical clinic of Dr. Arcos (Franco). Rosa rambles and raves about shock treatments and the horrible crimes committed at the Los Palo Mas clinic she just escaped from. Arcos tends to her wounds and then tells us in a voice over that she died two weeks later.

We also find out via voice over that Los Palo Mas is a clinic that treats ladies for sexual disorders such as nymphomania and prostitution. Arcos has performed some investigative research since his encounter with Rosa and found Los Palo Mas to be more concentration camp than rehabilitation clinic. He pleads his case to the Rosenthal Foundation, I suppose this is some sort of government regulation agency, for help in exposing the clinic for what it really is. The head honchos at Rosenthal tell him no way, Jose, the clinic meets all government regulations and they have no reason to shut it down. The only way they could investigate is if a former patient came forward with eye witness testimony.

Disappointed, Arcos leaves and gets in his car. A lovely brunette jumps up from the back seat and holds Arcos at gunpoint. She wants to be admitted to Los Palo Mas to find out what happened to her sister, who happens to be Rosa, the woman Arcos helped who has since been believed to have died. The brunette, Abby, wants to go undercover to find out what happened to her sister and assist Arcos in shutting down the clinic by providing him with that much needed eyewitness testimony. Okay, cool, but why the gun? No matter, Arcos agrees and they begin to develop their plan to infiltrate the clinic. They invent an identity and affliction and admit her to the clinic post haste.

Upon arriving, the female guards strip Abby and hose her down with a garden hose. They laugh and degrade her, mainly referring to her pubic lice. They give her a white shirt and, at her request for panties, tell her everyone goes bare-assed around this place. They smack her on the ass and give her her new name, 41. Under no circumstances will she refer to herself as Abby or tell anyone her real name. If she does, she gets a big 41 branded on her boobie.

Let's meet the rest of the patients. It's your typical mental ward. Humming, rocking back and forth, sobbing, smoking, staring, cursing for no reason. All the behaviors are represented. The lovely Lina Romay, here with a short pixie 'do which looks absolutely stunning on her, is the leader of the patients, Juana, aka 10. Juana instructs the other patients to fondle Abby and insists on knowing her real name. Abby sticks to her guns, she doesn't want that branded tattoo afterall, and tells Juana her name is 41 and then Juana tells her she'll maul her whenever she sees fit. Yes, please.

Turns out Juana is the Warden's (Dyanne Thorne) girlfriend. Juana visits Greta the Warden in her chamber for super sexy results. Well, sexy on the part of Juana. Greta is almost a caricature of a woman - with her red blond wig, long red fingernails, gigantic boobies, slender waist, and pancake makeup. Dyanne Thorne always looks like a drag queen, though, and here is no exception. I imagine her still looking like this today, like a sexy grandma that's had one too many facelifts and Pall Malls. Greta instructs Juana to remove her clothing, then demands a massage. Juana complies, herself getting nakey, however, she doesn't remove her knee high gray suede boots. She massages Greta until Greta tires of this and then lays down and allows Greta to push pins into her tits and stomach. Once the pins are place, Greta jumps on top of Juana, driving the pins further into her flesh. It's all good, though, Juana's sexual proclivity involves masochism, so the relationship is a healthy one.

Back in the dormitory, all the girls are naked and touching themselves. A post-operative transsexual introduces herself to Abby and tells her all about her operation, the murder of her husband, and how she now likes women because of their sensitivity and passion. It seems like the start of a beautiful relationship.

Then Greta interviews Abby about the nature of her disease. Seems Arcos has invented an elaborate tale about Abby's former life as an elementary school teacher who liked to have sex with her young male charges. Abby plays it to the hilt, and sort of actually convinces the audience she is really deserving of being at Los Palo Mas. She describes the incidents in such lurid detail, Greta gets turned on, and maybe Abby gets a little turned on as well.

Cut to another shower scene. Juana wants Abby to wash her. Lina Romay tells you to wash her, you better well fucking do it! She tells her to really scrub her culo, to do a good job. Abby concedes for a few moments, then tells her no. Juana shoves soap in Abby's mouth and a naked girl shower fight breaks out! I know, you always wanted to see Lina Romay in a naked all girl shower fight. Here's your chance.

For not washing Juana's culo, Abby winds up in Greta's torture chair and has the bejesus shocked out of her vagina. The shock treatment is supposed to take away her desire for sex with young boys, but really, it's more for Greta's, and her male guard's pleasure. Seems the male guard has a side business where he tapes all the nasty disgusting things Greta does to the girls and sells them on the black market to wanting and paying perverts. More on that in a second.

Juana goes to talk to Greta to get her cigs and give all the gossip on what the patients have been up to. Juana thinks Greta's been too hard on Abby. Juana reveals that Abby is looking for Rosa Phillips and Greta drops the bomb that Rosa is still alive and in solitary somewhere on the premises. After this convo, Greta goes and bull-whips a few inmates in solitary with sadistic glee and pays a visit to Rosa, strapped to a box spring and hooked up to a shock therapy device. She demands info on Abby's identity and the terrorist group she's affiliated with (I know - the whole terrorist thing came straight outta nowhere). In her stupor, Rosa ponies up Arcos' name for some reason (unless I missed it) which propels Greta to send hired thugs to kill Arcos. Uh oh, looks like Arcos can't spring Abby from the clinic now. Whatever will she do!?

Here's where it starts to really get fucked up. Greta (I keep wanting to call her Ilsa - every time I go to type her name I have to think Greta instead) has a sexy times encounter with a mustachioed government type person man. She sucks the heel of her shoe and licks the charm on her necklace in a pink filtered lit room with a serious seventies porno vibe. All men want Greta apparently. Her barbie trannie good looks and sadistic streak are real turn ons.

Remember the male guard dude that works for Greta and takes illicit video of the girls being tortured to sell on the black market to high-paying pervs? Well, seems his buyer wanted more male on female action, so he brings in a bunch of raving convicts who haven't seen women in years for a 'group therapy session.' A sexual encounter orgy situation takes place with less than sexy results, but he gets his shot with a hidden camera.

Too bad the following didn't get caught on the guard's camera. Juana sits on the toilet. Abby is brought in to find out information on Rosa's whereabouts. Juana, being the compassionate soul she is, instructs Abby to lick her boots, then wipe her ass and clean it out with her tongue. Abby does a good job this time cleaning Juana's culo, and Juana agrees to take her to Rosa.

She makes good on her word but Greta's having none of it. She suffocates Rosa with a plastic bag while Abby looks on. The male guard takes film of the whole thing and takes it to his dealer. The dealer, wanting more depravity in the vein of the mass rape, wants a murder this time, an erotic, violent, brutal murder of a beautiful woman.

There's only one way for this to go and if you guessed cannibalistic mutiny, then you are correct. It's really the only way a movie like this could end, with the inmates ripping Greta to shreds in a primal frenzy intercut with scenes of jungle cats tearing into prey. It all gets captured on camera in the most literal scene of male gazing I have ever witnessed. It's actually got his fat face smiling right next to the camera as the women rip his boss to shreds with their teeth. Wow. All I can say is Wow.

A good time was had by all. This thing really is an equal opportunity employer - it's got scat play, suffocation, shock treatment of the genital areas, lesbian fight sequences, girl on girl, rape orgies, shoe fetishism, cannibalism, you name it, it's in there. If it's taboo and turns you on, you're in the right place, my friend. Now this is a Jess and Lina film. Unrestrained and brutal with an underlying Nazi torture seventies porno vibe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Sicily. 1486. A crypt. Human bones abound. Five nuns are being drug down a stone staircase by brute force into the crypt by cloaked men. The nuns are visibly upset and are screaming their little nun hearts out. The nuns are then forced up onto crosses and nails are driven through their hearts. Roll credits.

Ooh, boy, I think. This is gonna be good! Not only is it directed by Lucio Fulci, which signals gore galore, it promises creepy nuns, a hot blond, and mystery steeped in archeology. Yes, yes, this is something that will undoubtedly please me.
Toronto. 1990. A seance. Liza, a young archeology student, envisions the aforementioned nuns' demise. She breaks into hysterics at the vision while her seance mates look at her with perplexity. When she awakens, she doesn't want her professor and mentor to find out she's been taking part in seances, because it would hurt her reputation as an archaeologist. She's apparently slated to make a journey to Sicily for a dig. Yes, the very same Sicily where those nuns were crucified hundreds of years ago.
Sicily. 1990. Archaeological dig in progress at some ruins. Liza arrives and feels like something is alive in there. Paul, her boss, thinks she's not much of a scientist; apparently he found out about her penchant for contacting the spirit word. I think what he's really trying to say is that she's not much of a scientist because she's a woman. Meanwhile, the townies want the archaeologists out of town because 'the past is dead and the dead must rest in peace.' They keep it pretty cryptic but you can totally tell the mayor and the townfolk want these Canadians outta there. A butcher and some others decide the dig will only bring ruin to their town and decide to be secretive and openly hostile about their history. Oh, and they're perfectly ready to kill to protect their secrets.
Of course, the dumb Westerners don't get it. Liza's all like, I don't understand, why don't they want us knowing they killed a bunch of nuns hundreds of years ago? But she doesn't say that really, because she doesn't know what's going on with the nuns outside of her seance vision and some weird dreams, but she still doesn't get it. After some locals give her the side eye, she decides it would be a good idea to go off exploring the town on her own. She finds some bones and things, acts petulant while music builds to a crescendo.
Now at this point, we're about an hour in maybe. While it's been fairly sort of interesting, there has been nary a boob, eye gouging, or second creepy nun appearance in sight. Yeah, there was a dream sequence that looked straight out of an 80's music video and a drunken ex-pat gets crossbowed by a ghostly naked-ish lady who I'm hoping is a nun, but other than that, this lacks the early Fulci vibe of The Beyond or City of the Walking Dead. I know we're dealing with nuns here, but come on. This is Fulci-lite, or made-for-TV Fulci.
So as I'm complaining, as I usually do, a dead-looking but not really dead woman in dangly gold earrings appears to Liza in an ancient library where Liza has gone to research her otherworldly visions. The woman makes an appointment to meet with Liza later than night and Liza's fellow archaeologists have a bonfire party. Two party goers hear some girlish giggling (is there any other kind of giggling?) and leave the party to investigate the source. Suddenly, they find themselves impaled on large spikes. Finally, an impalement! But since I didn't really know the guys that get impaled, I'm apt to not really care.
Next morning, as the police drag the bodies off the spikes, they warn Paul and company that the village is superstitious and they'll likely interpret this impalement business as a bad sign. Impalement is a bad sign? Of what? Liza takes this as her cue to go wandering off around the village again and meets back up with the golden earring lady. She tells Liza the ins and outs of the unpleasantness surrounding the nuns in Liza's village. It turns out the five young nuns had a covenant with Satan. Cue the 70's bow chicka wow wow music and sexy times. The nuns get it on in some sort of orgy situation, you know how Satan enjoys a good orgy, and then the nuns kill the men involved as an offering to Satan, I'm guessing. But this is not as cool as it sounds, because the nuns are not wearing their habits. They could have at least been engaged in sexy times while wearing their habits to let us know they're nuns. They could be anyone that has a covenant with Satan! What's important here is that they're NUNS! Damn Fulci, what was he thinking? If you're gonna have nuns having sex in your movie, at least have them appear as nuns.
So we find out one nun got preggers from the orgy and she has the baby and burns it in a pyre (Hail Satan!). Then we are treated to a severed head on an anchor and the library lady gets her eyes ripped out by a bunch of cats, which surprisingly, didn't really bother me. (I did, however, have to leave the theatre last night when we went to see Drag Me To Hell when I figured she was going to sacrifice the kitten. I'm such a loser when it comes to harm befalling cats in movies. I am truly the biggest wuss when I see a cat in a movie and I know it's gonna get killed. I can watch someone get their heart ripped out all day long, but if a cat gets killed, I'm outta there.) It all looks pretty fake and is fairly restrained, like the rest of the flick.
Some detectives get involved and some possibilities are considered, some conclusions are jumped to, some suspects are fingered (Paul namely), and an archaeologist gets ripped in two while a young child watches on with no given context. Blah, blah. Not to say this isn't without its merits. It attempts to be more than it is, becoming an exercise in what it could have been, which can be entertaining it its own right. I paired it with the Brian Yuzna-produced The Nun for a nun-ly double feature and was more disappointed by that movie than Demonia. Even though it featured a really murderous CG nun who could appear only in water and the hottest Spanish priest I have ever laid eyes on. Good lord, he was so hot. I actually felt sad when he gets killed; that's when you know someone is hot, when your cold black heart melts a little when an evil nun opens a water valve and pushes him or her onto a rusty metal pipe. Anyway, digress digress. You need more nun movies in your life. You could do worse than Demonia.