Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary to ME!

It's that time again, blog birfday/anniversary time! The Cavalcade turns two today! Another year of blogging and friends and weirdness and good stuff all around. I hate (New Year's) Resolutions (I resolve to remain AWESOME), but hopefully I'll have some good stuff in store for year number three and vow to keep it weird and wonderful, as always.

Let's recap. Some filmic highlights from last year include:

1. A summer of decent horror on the big screen. I love going to the movies and we went a LOT over the summer. I'm not saying THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE or PREDATORS are on my next top ten list, but they kept us in our seats and we weren't bored.

2. Seeing SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT on a big screen, with an audience, MST style. Very cool, indeed, although there was one guy in the audience that didn't get it, and told the guys with the microphones to 'shut the FUCK UP! I'm trying to watch the FUCKING movie!' There was some shuffling and then he was expelled from the theatre. This was almost as entertaining as the jokes.

3. Crispin Glover on tour with his film, WHAT IS IT? A surreal experience and one I've wanted to experience for a decade. Crispin came to Richmond, read from some of his found object books and screened the film. Freakin' fantastic.

4. The Paul Naschy blog-a-thon. Such an excellent outpouring of all things Naschy from all over the blog-i-verse. I had no idea so many people loved Paul. It brings tears to the eyes.

5. Snow days, last January and this December, and plenty of movie marathons as a result.

I'm sure there's more, but I've only been awake twenty minutes and only had one coffee, so if I think of anything else, I'll let you know :) Here's to another great year and hoping everyone's holidays are going well. Almost over! Then we can put away the black tree and the rat nativity and go back to being miserable for some other reason ;P

Love you!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Krampus!

And Merry Fishmus from all of us at the Cavalcade! On behalf of me, Moochie, Tuna, Bela, October, Deniro, Soap Sud, and Sam, we all wish you a great holiday with much wine and many horror movie marathons! Eat lots and drink more, and remember, it's not Xmas unless the tree falls on top of someone, preferably your grandma. Push that shit over if you have to. I love you guys and will see you next week!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Romans and countrypeople, lend me your Bigfoot-loving ears! My pal J. Astro, formally of the Cheap Bin, and now the proprietor of the store front known as Screen Grab, is spearheading a blog-a-thon on the almighty Yeti. And, as added incentive, as if multiple posts about all sorts of 'squatch related cinematic atrocities didn't get you goin', I may have a bit of a role in this mayhem. So check it out and tell Astro I sent ya.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Night of 1000 Cats

It's no secret I love cats. And it's no secret I love horror movies. Hell, I even love Hugo Stiglitz just a little bit. He's like a one-note low-rent Mexican Paul Naschy, and he still gets the hot chicks. And he looks bad ass in big sunglasses. So if this one of those Venn diagram thingies, I would, by default, have to love the 1972 Rene Cardona, Jr. flick, NIGHT OF 1000 CATS. And I'm in luck, because I do!

Simple premise as far as out-there movies go. Mysteriously wealthy, monastery-inheriting, psychopathic playboy (Stiglitz) flies around all day in his helicopter peeping on beautiful women in their backyards in order to lure them back to his crumbling compound for sexy times, horseback riding, water skiing, swimming, and murder most foul. The purpose of murdering these lovelies is two-fold - one - Hugo is quite the collector (a trait, he explains, spans generations in his family) and he needs their heads for his collection. Second, ever the collector, he also has about a thousand felines, give or take, who enjoy eating human meat. And those cats are hungry. Hugo gets his (in more ways than one) and the cats get to eat. Win, win.

Things get going right away with the introduction of the lovely Krista, a blond Hugo has been wining and dining. Hugo woos her back round to his to meet Dorgo, his Tor Johnson-like assistant and groundskeeper of the monastery and show us his 'collection.' After a strange dinner of Dorgo's special 'meat' - Krista is led to the room where the jars are kept. He kisses her, assures her, 'don't worry, they're made of wax', and then brutally strangles her. He then dons a bathrobe, grinds her body up, feeds it to the cats, tastes a little himself, and calls it a day.

With Krista a permanent fixture in the collection, Hugo begins courting a young mother, Cathy. He flits around in his copter all day, dropping dolls from parachutes out of the whirlybird for Cathy's little girl and basically winning her over this way. Cathy's married, but her husband is out of town on business frequently, so she gives into Hugo's advances. Cathy and Hugo engage is some sex in the taxidermy room - 'he enjoyed stuffing them more than killing them!' Prophetic, non? (Oh, I wish I had a monastery I could outfit with a taxidermy room!) Then Hugo decides to show Cathy his collection. The couple is interrupted by a knock on the door. A doctor has broken down on his way to see a patient, can he use the phone? Cathy's gotta go anyway, and so Hugo is forced to make do with the doctor for his collection.

Now, I have an army of cats and I know how they can be, especially during feeding times. Sometimes you just have to take what's available or they will get out of control. I know Hugo would personally rather dispatch of Cathy because something about the combination of sex and killing is appealing, but in this case, I guess it's not entirely about Hugo. And it's not all for naught, because Dorgo gets to keep the doctor's stethoscope to play with.

Hugo decides to forget about Cathy for a few moments, and focus on some other women. Seriously, this dude has so many chicks lined up, it's unreal. They appear in such numbers and are such non-actresses in many occasions, it's often hard to keep up. It makes the head hurt. But if you really want something to make your head hurt, how about the editing of the scene where Hugo remembers his first piece of his collection?

He begins by stroking his polar bear (an actual stuffed polar bear in the taxidermy room, pervs) and gazing longingly at a particular head in a jar. Flashback to a horse and buggy ride and some skeet shooting with another blond. Hugo likes this one and warns Dorgo away from her. He's going to give her a ring that has been in his family for centuries. We get to see this twice. The polar bear petting, the longing gaze, the horse and buggy, the skeet, the everything. And this movie is only an hour and five minutes long! It just adds to the fun for me. Sam got up after that and went to make tea.

The flashback ends badly, obviously, with Dorgo frightening the girl and as she runs away in painful slow-motion with plenty of up-skirt shots, Dorgo ends up spearing her with a giant pair of garden shears. What's a heartbroken young lover like Hugo to do? Why, put her head in a pickling jar and begin murdering other beauties, all in the name of misbegotten love, I'm assuming.

Still worried about Cathy, the one that got away, Hugo is plagued with nightmares of Cathy's little girl sleeping and cats creeping around in the night. He drowns his sorrows with a shapely brunette and when he's about to ask her back to the monastery, she gets a call from her sugar daddy and has to run.

Those cats ain't going to feed themselves. so Hugo challenges Dorgo to a chess game and when Dorgo gets check mate, into the cat pit he goes. It's a shame really, because Dorgo seems to be having a lot of fun and I was sorry to see him go. But even a deadpan killing of a loyal servant doesn't sate our anti-hero and he's still having headaches about Cathy. To kills his sorrow, he tries harpooning a scantily clad young thing, but then winds up drowning her after a quick jungle chase.

I must interject here that Hugo doesn't really seem to enjoy the killing so much. He is so stoic in all his actions, it's hard to tell if he's enjoying it, doing it out of some sort of compulsion, or merely as a way a life. And where the fuck did he get all those cats? And how will he care for them all since he killed Dorgo? Also, he doesn't particularly fear getting caught either. He's persistent and creepy, flying that helicopter all over town, spying on women as they exit their showers and creepily rubbing his beard. It's all very unsettling.

Cathy decides to give him another shot and goes back to the monastery. Hugo insists on showing her the collection again and upon seeing it, she's not very impressed, and smashes a large brandy snifter into Hugo's handsome face. Then she grabs a spear in an attempt to kill her would-be captor, but the cats begin to escape! Sensing Hugo's facial wound, they attack in a swarm, in a scene straight out of a Hoarders episode from Hell. The cats keep a'comin', but Cathy has enough time to reach her car and escape!

Pan back inside where there's one empty jar. For Hugo! Or perhaps.....for you! The End.

I love this fucking movie. I have the tshirt and the poster and the clamshell VHS copy. I watch it five to six times a year and it never gets old. It's ludicrous enough to elicit laughter, yet everyone plays it stalk straight, with perhaps the exception of Dorgo. Hugo Stiglitz is even kinda sexy, although I wouldn't be climbing aboard his helicopter any time soon. It's from the seventies, has cats, and not really all that much violence towards cats, which is something I'm usually worried about in my horror watching and otherwise, especially in a movie called NIGHT OF 1000 CATS. You have to figure one or two gets the hook. I do kinda worry about them at the end, though. With Hugo and Dorgo dead, how are they going to get their dead person meat?

At one hour and five minutes, it ain't gonna waste too much of your precious time and it's silly enough to make your head hurt. I like that in movie. Make my frontal lobes ache, movie! And be from the seventies! And feature cats! That is all.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Naschy Stuff

Naschy-a-thon continues here at the Cavalcade, (as well as all over the horror blog-i-verse, which is truly awesome) with a handful of Paul-related items I have scattered about my house. First up, we have my original poster from Spain for REVENGE OF THE MUMMY, which I featured here when I received it. It's still in my foyer and it still looks fantastic and brings me happiness every time I take off my shoes. (You have to take off your shoes in the foyer before you come into the rest of the house.)

Next up, is my one sheet for WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN, a favorite title of mine. I bought this as a present for someone and then when it arrived, I decided to keep it for myself. I'm a lousy gift giver, because I always want to keep everything for myself.

Thirdly, is me in my MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO shirt, which is about five sizes too big, but I rock it anyway. Here, I'm about to go to my kickboxing class. I even represent Hombre Lobo at the gym, mofos! The amazing Jon Kitley has these shirts for sale, amongst some other great titles you can't find anywhere else at his site, Kitley's Krypt. And he's down with the blog-a-thon, so you should check him out. His collection of Naschy-a-bilia is as incredible as it is gorgeous.

I have a Naschy inspired tattoo, which I blogged about here when I got it. It's still there and I still love it.

And, the newest addition to my collection:

This utterly gorgeous print by Gary Pullin of Rue Morgue Magazine of the Mighty Molina in Paul form and in Hombre Lobo form. My picture truly doesn't do it justice. Head on over to Gary's Etsy page to snag your own or to get some other truly incredible horror inspired artwork. I have my eye on the Coffin Joe print next!

I'm so overwhelmed this week with all the fantastic stuff to read and the outpouring of love for Paul, I actually turned down a bar shift tonight! I just don't have time and my heart wouldn't be in it. That, and it's Tequila Night, which is always annoying (four dollar tequilas make the world go crazy!) I'd much rather curl up with Jacinto and some tempranillo. And maybe a cat or two. Now, on with more Naschy-ly goodness!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Showing Off and Happy Thanksgiving!

I just had to show off these pics of my new scooter - a 1963 Lambretta! With original paint! I'm so excited! Add one more vintage vehicle to my collection! Also, have a picture of Moochie fitting into a tiny box. It took him twenty minutes to figure this out. And he stayed like this awhile.

Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get around to posting tomorrow. Do it up right - consume a week's worth of calories in one day and drink until you pass out crying because now Christmas is really only like a month away and you have no excuses for not seeing your family.

That is all. Unless you want to tell me what horror movies you'll be watching before, during, and after copious amounts of vittles.
I've got more Naschy lined up, as well as some Sasquatch related atrocities and maybe a She-Beast thrown in there for good measure.

Love you guys!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We continue our romp through the Mighty Molina's career with the French genre hodgepodge , CRIMSON aka Las Ratas No Duerman en la Noche (THE RATS DON'T SLEEP AT NIGHT), a far more profound sounding title than CRIMSON, but hey, whaddayagonnado?

At first I think this might be the Naschy answer to RESEVOIR DOGS, as the film opens with a botched jewel heist and the perpetrators, a band of career criminals - Jack Surmett (Naschy), Henry, the old dude and second in command, Paul, the bald suave one, and Karl, the ugly bumbling idiot - fleeing the scene. The police pursue the gang and Surmett gets shot in the head. His cohorts race to get him to their hideout as he bleeds all over the back of the getaway car.

Upon arriving at the hidey hole, they telephone Surmett's sexy blond girlfriend, Ingrid, and have her bring drunk and inept Dr. Reider to help save Surmett's life. Reider is so passed out from the drink, it takes quite a bit of effort to convince him to come help their boss. Reider (you can almost smell the scotch on his breath watching him) doesn't think there's too much he can do for Surmett and suggests the hospital, which of course, is out of the question, being as how they just botched a jewel robbery and and it's implied it wasn't their first. (Side note: the alarm wasn't supposed to go off. They had it planned to the letter. That's just Surmett's way, so it's totally odd that the thing went off in the first place and they're in this predicament.)

Reider does know a reclusive genius scientist in a remote isolated village that might be able to help Surmett. So it's settled. The crew will set off to Professor Thys' country house and coerce him into helping their leader. When they arrive, creepy butler Pierre welcomes them, stating Thys is in his lab where he spends most of his nights. I take this as a good sign. Any scientist, mad or otherwise, should spend countless night time hours in his lab.

We meet the Professor, looking like a young George Romero, and it seems he has suffered some sort of accident in the lab during the course of his experiments and no longer has the use of his hands. His lovely wife Anna, with the cutest blond pixie cut I have ever seen, now helps him in his work at his direction. The couple also has a young daughter, Nathalie, who will come in handy here in a minute.

The professor takes a quick look at Surmett and decides straight away that he'll need a brain transplant to survive the shooting. Henry decides to hunt down a brain in Surmett's worst enemy, The Sadist (that's this character's name!), a nightclub owner and all around sleaze bucket who Ingrid was at one time involved with. This seems like the best idea because the rest of the gang isn't offering up their own brains any time soon.

The professor and Anna have some moral obligations regarding what these thugs are asking them to do and find it against their general constitution to consort with murderers. Henry does the only reasonable thing so they'll comply - he kidnaps Nathalie and demands the couple perform the operation. Geez, Henry sure is loyal. You'd think he'd just want to Surmett to go away so he could become the new leader of the heists. But no, the loyalty here is downright astounding. I hope if I'm ever in the middle of a botched jewel heist and get shot in the head, my friends are as tremendously loyal as these guys.

There's an elaborate nightclub performance smack in the middle of this that I'm finding difficulty describing. Two male dancers and a female gymnast type perform an almost operatic dance routine involving all manner of ballet, Russian folk dance, some calistheics, and a story line that may or may not include jealous lovers. It's a doozy and it's seemingly out of nowhere, but then we learn this is just a segue into meeting The Sadist, as they are auditioning for one of his night clubs.

The Sadist is impressed with the dancing (I really think he just likes the female dancer - she's limber enough) and decides to take in a poker game. However, The Sadist's idea of a poker game is inviting a few friends over, pulling guns and knives on them and taking all their money. Hey, it's all in a day's work for The Sadist. I wish my name was The Sadist. Hi, I'm The Sadist, nice to meet you.

After the card game, The Sadist leaves, but not without Karl and Paul hot on his trail. Apparently, awhile ago, Ingrid, Surmett's girlfriend, was sexually involved with The Sadist. As he leaves the club, Ingrid approaches him and lures him into an alley to rekindle their relationship. Never trust a pretty face, The Sadist! Shouldn't you know that after years of being The Sadist? You would think someone named The Sadist would know all about the wiles of woman. Ingrid really doesn't want anything to do with her ex; it's all a trap to get his brain! Paul shoots The Sadist and they load him into their van.

Now, what about removing the head? No one wants to, because, seriously, they can rip off jewelry stores but they didn't bargain for morgue work! There's some silly banter and back and forth between Karl and Paul until it's decided. They will behead the body via moving train!!!! And this works! They place The Sadist's corpse just so on some train tracks, wait a few minutes, a train comes by, and voila! Head removed and rolled right into their waiting paws.

Back at the professor's, Anna is able to remove the bullet from Surmett's head. The operation is going to be a success and the Thys' will get their daughter back and everyone will be happy. Right? Wrong! Willy, The Sadist's right hand man, has read in the paper about a headless corpse. That, and he can't find The Sadist anywhere. Oh, and Henry and the crew send the brainless head of gift wrapped to The Sadist's wife, Barbara. Willy swears revenge...

Meanwhile, Surmett has woken up and is making out with Ingrid in his hospital bed. You know Naschy - nothing like a little brain transplant to stop him from getting it on. But mid-make out, he starts to want to strangle Ingrid. He tells her of the nightmares he's been and then sends her away. He wants to be alone because he's not feeling quite right.

Ingrid goes to get Dr. Reider while Willy is desperate to make good on The Sadist's death. A girl selling flowers tips Willy off to Paul and Karl following The Sadist and Willy manages to kidnap Ingrid and Reider. Willy then calls Barbara to torture Ingrid into the details of Surmett's whereabouts. They burn her with cigarettes and one of Willy's thugs rapes her. They threaten to turn her body into a 'giant sore' if she doesn't spill the info.

We've now reached pretty much the hour mark and I'm a little disappointed because there hasn't been too much Naschy yet. It's all buildup, gangster stuff, and just a dash of Frankensteinian mad science (implications of the experiment - a breakthrough, but at what cost!?) I'm optimistic though, because Thys thinks Surmett is well on his way to recovery.

Willy beats up Dr. Reider and sends him back to Thys' house. He confesses what has happened to Ingrid and then dies. There's no time to feel sorry or cry for the mob doc because Surmett is up walking around with a sexy white bandage wrapped around his head and wearing a very tight blue shirt. He's so far so good, but feels 'different.' Thys and Anna have some sort of treatment they want to administer to him, but Willy and Barbara show up and hang Paul from a tree and Barbara sexes up Surmett (he is part The Sadist, after all). He has the same perverse desires, he tells her, so she allows him to strangle her and then they do it.

We also come to find out during this melee that Karl is the one that fucked up the robbery in the first place, tripping another alarm while he tried to make off with some (fake) pearls for himself. Henry's pissed, Paul is dead, the rival gang is on the loose, Surmett's become perverted, and everything is basically falling to shit for everyone.

But that doesn't mean Surmett doesn't have time for a little more sex with cute paper girl, Emmy, and by sex, I most definitely mean rape. After his tryst with Barb, Surmett takes off after Emmy into the woods, but Karl and Henry break it up and almost talk him out of his craziness.

Surmett decides he can't live like The Sadist. But honestly, how is he really any different? We don't rightly know, since we don't really know Surmett, but if The Sadist and him were in cahoots enough that they were sworn enemies, they had to have run in the same circles, and therefore been equally maniacal? I don't know. It's Paul Naschy, so of course he's going to be more likable and humane than some sleazoid with a mustache called The Sadist.

Long story short, Surmett goes back to the chateau, tries to fondle and kill Anna, she stabs him with a syringe filled with 'treatment' and then puts his head through a glass door. Non-plussed, Surmett finds a gun, has a shoot out with police, takes a few bullets, and dramatically falls to his death. The ordeal is over for everyone, most everyone that should be dead is, and the Thyses can go on with their lives.

The ending happens at breakneck speed and I still can't help feeling a little sad that we weren't treated to more Naschy here. However, I highly recommend the bonus erotic features on the DVD. If they had been left in, we'd get to see what Naschy does best and that's get along really well with females :) There's even a lesbian scene between Barbara and Ingrid which delves into threesome territory. Can you imagine what Ingrid's torture scene would have been like if this sleazy footage had been left in? And the sex scene between Barb and Surmett is way more explicit on these extra features! The movie would have been twice as long and mostly sex instead of mostly gangster caper stuff! Oh well. I would love to see this in its uncut glory - it would have made it ten times as trashy and much, much more memorable! Surmett actually does rape the paper girl! And she doesn't look old enough to even appear nude here! What is taken out leaves the film with a much more implied sexuality than what actually does take place if these scenes were left in.

If you're a Naschy completist, go for it with this one. You could do worse, like MYSTERY ON MONSTER ISLAND, with his blink and you'd miss it cameo. The death scene at the end is memorable enough and Paul looks kinda cute all wrapped up in bandages.

Let the blog-a-thon continue!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hunchback of the Morgue

I thought I would kick off the Paul Naschy Blog-a-Thon with one of my favorite testaments to Naschy's talent as an actor - HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE. The film opens as revelers (if they were modern day, they'd be your quintessential douche bags) within a pub challenge each other to a drinking contest with the biggest beers I have ever seen. I'm talking at least eighty ounces here. Our sweet hunchback, Gotho (Naschy), looms outside, watching the party unfold. The winner of the drinking contest leaves the pub, sees Gotho and insults him, based solely on his hunchbackery. So we have the set up of poor, old downtrodden and abused Gotho.

Gotho keeps himself busy by sawing up cadavers in the local morgue while thunderstorms rage and pining after a lovely, terminally ill woman, Ilse, who he has been friends with since childhood. Ilse likes that Gotho visits her in the hospital and brings her flowers, but she's clearly just the nice, pretty girl who just wants to be friends. In the first true pathos of the film, it's obvious how much Gotho loves Ilse. It's a real tearjerker. The first time around I thought how peculiar of a role this is for Naschy. Usually he's the robust, strong one, having the ladies fall at his feet, not the other way around. At times he's so sympathetic you want to weep for him; others he's kinda sorta evil.

After a visit with Ilse, Gotho leaves to resume work at the morgue, when some rowdy youths taunt him and throw rocks at him in the street. He runs into a beautiful doctor, Dr. Elke, who saves him from the kids and bandages his cuts. He repays her by kissing her feet, but not before he tells her about his love for Ilse. You know, so he doesn't feel guilty about the foot fetish thing he's about to do.

But such is Gotho's life, not only kids make fun of him, but medical students, too. They're such total assholes as all Gotho is doing is going about his business, so it's not his fault that he winds up strangling one of them and fighting all the others in true Naschy fashion. Go, Gotho, go!

But after this triumph, there is defeat, because Ilse shuffles off this mortal coil soon after Gotho's beatdown. He places roses on her body (another tear-jerker of a scene) and then retires to his morgue. In a severely cruel moment, orderlies bring Ilse's corpse to the morgue for Gotho to prepare for the dissection room - so those same assholes that beat him up can watch in the name of their medical degrees! Gotho responds by beating the shit out of the orderlies and escapes with Ilse's body to an underground dungeon, riddled with skeletons, gaslights, and chains.

He promises Ilse's body he'll be back after he delivers some roses to one who doubted her beauty, one Hans, another medical student. He winds up suffocating Hans to death with the bouquet, because, you know, that's kind of what he deserves. Gotho returns to the crypt and rats have infested the joint, covering Ilse's body for the meal of their lifetimes. It's Naschy vs. the Flying Rats for a few moments, and woudn't you know some of then are aflame? In interviews regarding this scene, which had a large impact on the audience when the film was screened, Naschy maintains the rats used in this sequence were as terrifying as they were real. The studio had apparently captured the rats in the sewer and then starved them for a time. When they let them loose on the set, they were able to jump super high while biting and thrashing, searching for anything to eat. It, obviously, wasn't one of his favorite scenes to shoot, as he got bit several times.

Gotho has a 'friend' in Dr. Orla, a mad scientist type back at the hospital. He hopes to have Orla help him bring Ilse back to life, but of course, the good doctor wants something in return. There's a particularly creepy scene where Gotho is hiding on a gurney under a sheet behind the doctor at the hospital while he works. He rises slowly, and you're not sure who is hiding there. Then we know it's Gotho, but the doctor is hardly startled. It's weird but chilling and I'm sure something Naschy put there purposefully.

So Gotho explains the situation and the doc agrees, but only if Gotho moves the entire laboratory into the subterranean cave/crypt, which we come to find out in a moment of foreshadowing, was used during the Inquisition. You see, Orla has come under a bit of scrutiny for his strange experiments involving the creation of artificial life and his funds have been cut, so he has no real problem moving his work to an underground lair and continuing his experiments outside the framework of the law. (I love a damn lab in a secret location, as well as doc's science talk - analyzing amino acids and unaltered protein structures! Woo!) The deal is set.

Gotho sets up a pretty amazing and impressive lab down below, complete with a pit of boiling acid. One of the assistants fucks up and puts Ilse into the acid bath, at which point, Gotho returns the favor and has the assistant take a dip. He takes the liberty of putting another one into an Iron Maiden and has another one's face get really acquainted with the floor. Hey, in these kinds of movies, assistants should expect this kind of treatment.

Some more of my much beloved science talk takes place - 'science is unpredictable!' - 'one giant plasmoidal cell is beginning to differentiate the organs!' and we get a glimpse of what Orla's been working on - a giant pulsating organ thing in a big glass jar! It's pretty fantastic, but Gotho decides he wants to stop working for the doc because Ilse's body is no more. Gotho's feeling guilty for what has transpired but Orla says he can build a new Ilse for Gotho, but first things first, he needs a fresh head. So Gotho decides to comply, severs a head, elludes police, and brings the head back to Orla in a bag.

Another interesting anecdote from Naschy himself, is that the head they were going to use was actually real! There was a cadaver brought in that was due to be dissected shortly and the people in charge intimated the cast and crew could do what they liked with it. Naschy knocked back a couple whiskies, picked up the knife, then panicked. He couldn't get past the first cut so a wax duplicate was brought in and that's what we actually see in the film. Could you imagine! Real rats AND a real decapitation! Overload!

Apparently, the morgue where they were shooting had a supervisor who had been repeatedly accused of necrophilia and corpse defilement and had severe sulfuric acid burns on his hands. They should have cast him the movie! He insisted on showing Paul the new 'guests' every morning. 'The dead are wonderful,' he would say. 'They never complain!' This guy wound up as the inspiration for the macabre butler in HOWL OF THE DEVIL, portrayed by the great Howard Vernon.

Gotho's pretty stressed so he goes to see the pretty lady doctor, Elke. He kisses on her feet a little bit more to get things started and then she makes out with him. It's a quick cut and I'm wondering what might have been cut here. A sex scene? We know Naschy and even in hunchback form, he's going to get some. While it's implied here that he and Elke are up to some sexy stuff, we don't get to see it. Yet. I know you are chomping at the bit to see some hunchback sex! Perverts!

Orla's making some progress back at the lab-or-a-tory and this is evidenced by him shoving the severed head Gotho brought him elbow deep into the jar full of artificially grown organs. It's so awesome! I could watch a mad scientist shove a severed head into a giant jar of artificially grown organs all day every day and not get bored! That, and I love how mad scientists all think they're above the law.

The guts and things are nearing transformation, so the doc has to lock it all in a cell because it breaks out of the jar. This is what he labels 'a success.' Gotho has been assigned the task of care and feeding of the 'success' so he has to kidnap a woman and feed her to it. It's around about this point where I really want to know if Gotho does what he does out of his love for Ilse, a woman he deep down knows would never really go for him or if he's got a sub-level IQ, something that is implied early on, or is it something else? What is Gotho's motivation? He's not simply the stock character 'Hunchback,' assisting the mad doctor for a paycheck. He's the protagonist; Orla we could really care less about. He's not even all that great as a mad scientist, in that his delivery is kind of ho-hum, and his madness restrained and weak, at best. Orla just doesn't have enough of the crazy, he's not sweaty enough, and he doesn't grapple with morals. As far as mad scientists go, he's kind of forgettable, which is fine, because this is really more Gotho's story anyway. It kinda flips the whole mad scientist/hunchback thing on it's hump (forgive), and it's because this is the Naschy show and it's all about the Naschy (which is more than fine by me!).

Gotho, feeling guilty and down, goes to visit Elke and confesses he still loves Ilse. Elke doesn't really care and kisses Gotho again. And here comes the hunchback sex! No cuts this time! But then it's back to the grind, as the doc wants to get some girls from the local reformatory ('they're garbage anyway!') to feed to the humanoid. There's some business with the police and some other doctor couple from the hospital who find themselves Orla's prisoners, but what I really want to see is the finished humanoid, because the doc has kept him hidden for far too long now and it sure does bellow a lot! We aren't kept waiting long and the slimy primordial thing lumbers out from its cell! It's like a swampy mess but still pretty impressive, although I don't really know why you would need human flesh to create such a thing. It just seems to ooze all over the place, but hey, I'm no mad scientist so what the fuck do I know?

Dr. Elke happens to wander into the cave at the point where the creature has been let out and Orla wants to feed her to the thing. Gotho won't let him have her, he's lost too much already and Orla and Gotho get into a fight! Orla shoot Gotho and the doc passes out, although I would have rather seen him go into the acid pit. Gotho releases all the prisoners and wrestles with the creature, culminating in his demise, as well as the creature's, but falling into the acid. FIN (and it really does say FIN, which I appreciated).

So, there we have it! HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE. Good times, no? I had uproarious fun watching this for what I think was the third or fourth time. Everything that makes up literary Gothicism is at play in this wonderful film! I can't help thinking of the films of James Whale, the short stories of Poe and Lovecraft, even the tightly woven narratives of Maupassant when I watch Naschy in action here. This movie is Paul in all his glory, stripped away from the pretenses of prior machismo characters. He's a sad hunchback, a new man of a thousand faces, and truly repulsive, yet endearing. At times sinister and defying the laws of what is morally upstanding, Naschy exhibits a love undying, an exaggerated romantic nature, and a loyalty among anything else, handled expertly, with flair and panache.

Gotho, although physically deformed, is a gentle, trustworthy, and kind soul whose acts of selflessness go unrewarded and punished with acts of severe cruelty. Ostracized and maligned, yet sensitive and sweet, this is truly one of Naschy's zeniths! He's at his absolute finest here and this is the film that should put him right up there with Chaney, Sr., Karloff, and Lee. At times you want to cry for him and others chide him for his graveyard crimes, but never do you stop feeling for him. If anyone needs a true testament to this great actor's talent, tell them to watch this. It's a bit more linear than some of the Daninsky efforts, in that it is a bit more restrained (if that's the right word for a hunchback movie involving mad scientists, slimy humaniods, and acid pits), but wholly entertaining nonetheless.

I love you, Paul. Thank you for your amazing legacy. You are truly missed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Werewolf Woman

Poor Daniela. She was raped by a brute at age 13 and her family has a history of lycanthropy. Nevermind that she looks just like her great great aunt, furthering her delusions she's a bonafide werewolf. She's been having nightmares where she wolfs out and kills pilgrims, after dancing naked in a ring of fire (a very fine opening scene).

Daniela's wealthy daddy is concerned, moves her out to his Italian country home, and enlists the help of a doctor to figure out what the hell can cure Daniela from her mind. The doctor spends most of his time musing upon the obvious, such as, Daniela has sexual phobias because of her rape. Oh, really, doc? Why ever would you suspect that? And, Daniela is obsessed with antiques and old documents because she spends most of her time in the attic. Okay. Sure. Whatever you say.

Daniela does seem to get a little better after the doc's visit, but pretty redhead sister Irena decides to pay a visit from America where she's been studying Nuclear Physics. She brings her very masculine new hubby and fellow nuclear scientist, Fabian, to meet Daddy and Daniela. Daniela is instantly attracted to Fabian but since she has sexual phobias and all, she retires to her room quickly after dinner on the pretense that she's tired. There's a full moon after all.

Irena and Fabian decide to retire as well and end up naked in bed together. They're married, so it's okay. Daniela hears their lovemaking session and, in her extremely flimsy (read: completely see-through) nightgown, spies on the newlyweds, only after she sees a bloody vision of herself (?) and has a komodo dragon crawl around on her body (double ?). She touches herself a bit outside their bedroom door and then makes her way out into the night.

Fabian hears a door slam and leaves his lovely bride to go investigate. Daniela sees a vision of her dead relative she is supposed to resemble in front of a skeleton with a still human face attached. Another vision? It's never explained. Daniela then begins hyperventilating, but sees Fabian, strips nude, and calls him to her. She kisses him deeply and pulls him down to the ground, and instead of a sex session, she goes ahead and rips his throat out with her teeth and then rolls the body into a ravine!

Next cut and Daniela's confined (read: restrained) to a hospital bed in a mental ward. The doctors thinks she's suffering from nocturnal schizophrenia because they can't find anything else physically wrong with her, her symptoms seem to be those suffered by teens in puberty, but Daniela's an adult. Wow, doctor, thanks again for that sage observation.

Irena and Daddy come to see Daniela and Daniela gives the performance of the movie when she tells Irena, 'You liked Fabian. You liked making love with him! You were obscene! Disgusting! But you liked it! I hate you, you whore! Go fuck yourself! Whore!'That's pretty much what I'm going to say to the judge next time I go to court or maybe next time I'm in a really long line at the post office. Daniela has a total meltdown right there and it's freaking awesome. And I thought it was cool when she got all wolfie on Fabian.

She freaks out again when the nurse won't release her from her restraints. 'Damn you, you whore, you pig! You murderer!' It's another epic freakout. I'm beginning to really like Daniela.

The night, the nymphomaniac in the room next door to Daniela's dresses up in sexy black lingerie and red pumps and garish makeup and goes over to Daniela's 'to get to know her.' She rubs all over Daniela's restrained body and promises to release her, but not until after she goes down on her. Daniela bites her, but the girl releases her anyway, and gets scissors to the back of her neck as a thank you! So much for psycho lesbian hospital sex!

On the loose, Daniela steals a red raincoat and hides in a pretty doctor's car. Once on the road, Daniela pummels the doc's face into the steering wheel until it's a bloody pulp, the car crashes and she's free! She sneaks over to a nearby barn were a couple is getting it on and of course, ever the voyeur, Daniela spies on them. The lovers part ways eventually (it was a pretty long sex scene) and Daniela rips out the girls throat with her teeth.

The girl's body winds up in the morgue where the same two detectives that examined Fabian's body notice some similar injuries. The dumber of the two detectives muses about a story he used to hear his grandma tell about if you were born on Christmas, you'd probably become a werewolf (something I had never heard before). This information for some reason leads the smart of the two detectives to Daniela's dad, and they want to find her immediately.

Meanwhile, Daniela breaks into a house and steals some clothes and hitchhikes with an older gent who she gives a sob story about a husband that beats her to explain all her bruises and cuts. He immediately invites her to move in with him, but guess what happens when he wants to have sex with her? Yep, she bashes his head into a bedpost until it's unrecognizable. He did use this pickup line on her. 'Come on, ya big whore! I'm gonna rape ya!' How she could resist, I have no idea.

After killing this dude, she gets picked up by a movie stuntman, who fixes her dinner and relinquishes his bedroom to her, opting to sleep downstairs. This is obviously a decent fellow and Daniela decides to stop thinking she's a werewolf for awhile and allows herself to fall in love with him. She watches him and pretends to shoot him while he practices his stunts, they have sex, they get in the ocean with all their clothes on, have more sex, you know, stuff you do when you love someone.

Daniela decides to call her dad to tell him about her boyfriend, but at the pay phone, she garners the attention of a shady character. He's shady because he has a mustache. He, and three of his friends, follow her home and brutally rape her on the stairs and in the room she shares with her boyfriend. In the midst of this, the boyfriend returns home, and being a stuntman and all, gets kung fu on the attacker's asses. But he's no match for a knife and takes a stabbing in the guts. It's all pretty brutal and violent and I feel really bad for Daniela. Here she was with a decent dude that cared about her and he had to go and get stabbed but a bunch of fucking losers, one of which was wearing a black pleather suit.

Here comes the tonal shift. Until now, we've had a fairly violent tale of a woman's descent into madness, her dealing with this descent and then the subsequent ascent over the recesses of her illness. After the boyfriend gets stabbed, this becomes a revenge tale.

Daniela find out two of her attackers work at a junkyard and wastes no time clonking one of the dudes on the head with a giant wrench, luring the other one to the car to check on the passed out guy, and lifting the car with that claw thingy they have in junkyards and smashing it until both men are pulp.

She then takes the liberty of lighting the other one's house on fire while he's asleep, burning him alive! Then she cooks him and eats him while looking completely and utterly unhinged! Go, Daniela!

The ending is all very abrupt and not very satisfying, but the ride there was certainly madcap enough that I can forgive. I think what's most interesting that a film with werewolf in the title has an almost appalling lack of werewolf action, save for one opening dream sequence. The werewolf-ism in this movie is more of the mental variety in that it's all in Daniela's head, which is somewhat refreshing than the whole curse thing. And it could have gone a menstruation route that most werewolf movies involving women tend to go, and I didn't really detect that subtext anywhere. There is the one mention about puberty, but nothing female-specific. It's almost original, except that it is completely seventies. And it's certainly violent enough and it's a woman doing all the good killing.

I watched some of the special features with interviews with the director, Rino di Silvestro and the woman that played Daniela, Annik Borel, was in no other movies, at least to his knowledge, and he had lost touch with her many years ago. A quick IMDB search revealed she was in Ted V. Mikels' picture BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS as a witch who gets stoned (I'm assuming with stones, rather than the other way), as well as a French film called TRANSVESTITE that sounds pretty awesome, as well as guest appearances on the sitcom THE ODD COUPLE. Weird. I absolutely loved this blond bombshell as she appeared to really think she was a werewolf and therefore, appeared to be certifiably insane. It truly must have been her standout performance, for sure.

I can't say no to werewolf movies in general and I certainly can't say no to voluptuous females who think they're werewolves and call everyone whores. I love movies where the word 'whore' gets used in freak outs. So by default, I must love this movie.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy

Do you like lovely ladies battling it out in a boxing ring wearing skintight unitards? Do you like capers involving a Japanese martial arts gangs hellbent on finding a secret codex to unleash the power of the ancient Aztecs? How about mummies? Ya like mummies? Well, you're in the right place, folks, and Rene Cardona is bringing you all of the above in his 1964 flick, The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy. I'll warn you though, we don't get to the mummy for a minute. But there's aplenty to keep us entertained until then.

The adventure begins as famed archaeologist Dr. Zorba is deposited on the street from a moving vehicle. He then decides to take in an all-female lucha libre match, which actually feels like it was filmed at a real match with a real audience. We meet our two heroines in the ring - Loretta Venus, a raven haired beauty and her tag team partner, the Golden Ruby, a deliciously tall Amazonian brunette. Both women are sexy and feminine, but could still likely kick the shit out of anyone, as they show their dumpy opponents in this opening match.

After the match, Loretta and Ruby retire to the locker room where Zorba is lurking. Seems he needs to speak to Loretta's fiance, Mike and has tracked him down through Loretta. And I thought he was just there to ask for their autographs! Zorba's been working with Mike's uncle, Dr. Tracy, amongst others, on finding an ancient Aztec codex. All but Zorba and Tracy have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the notorious Black Dragon gang in hopes that they'll relinquish the secret of the Aztec treasure to the thugs. But Zorba doesn't know the secret quite yet, but before he can tell Mike and the girls anything else, he's killed then and there with a poison dart!

The leader of the Black Dragons, Prince Fuji, needs the codex so he can give superhuman attributes to his two warrior sisters. How he knows how to do all this is beyond us, but no matter. It sounds cool. But the Black Dragons are going to need Dr. Tracy to help them because he's the only surviving scientist that might know the secret.

Back at Tracy's apartment, Charlotte, the pretty blond daughter of one of those poor dead archaeologists, has taken refuge. Charlotte, the women wrestlers, Mike, Mike's friend, Tommy, and Dr. Tracy all sit around for a bit stating the obvious. 'The situation is very dangerous' and 'they'll try to get the other part of the codex.' Oh yeah, Tracy's decided to split the codex into three pieces and give each girl a piece so 'it will be harder for the Black Dragon to locate.' Never mind the fact that he invites the girls to stay at his apartment with him so they'll be safer. Okay, doc, whatever you say.

But the doc's not that much of an idiot and shuffles all over town leaving pieces of the codex in various locations and thusly sends the girls clues so they can find them. While this seems to be an exercise in futility, not to mention exhausting on the part of everyone, the Black Dragon breaks into Tracy's apartment, kidnaps Charlotte and 'breaks her will' with science. And by science, he injects her with a serum that will keep her under his control, 'dominating her mind.' And they also bug the apartment with a video camera (were there video cameras in '64? - who cares - the Black Dragon is a mad scientist and he would have had access to this technology long before it was actually invented) so they can spy on Tracy and the gang.

Then a sombrero arrives at the apartment and it's a clue to obtain part of the codex. How many times a day do you hear that sentence? The gang figures out that the second part of the codex is at the Hotel Rio in room 13. But when they arrive, the Black Dragon is waiting for them. Loretta and Ruby get to show off their wrestling skills and kick some ninja ass, while Tommy shrieks about his back and Mike gets in a punch or two here and there.

There's some more fighting, some of the Black Dragons are captured and take cyanide pills, Tommy gets injected with truth serum, and the Prince manages to get most of the codex. He then decides he wants his sisters to fight Loretta and Ruby for the remaining piece of the codex. Winner gets the whole she-bang, and Charlotte will be released from hypnotic imprisonment.

Here's where you perverts can really get into this. It's about fifteen minutes of girl fighting and it's pretty realistic. While the warrior sisters don't get too kung fu on the sixties version of GLOW, it's still entertaining and kind of nerve wracking, as you really can't predict the outcome. Loretta and Ruby end up prevailing and the Prince turns the codex over to them. Too easy. Way too easy.

Well, duh, the Black Dragons still have the Tracy gang under surveillance, so as Tracy translates the scriptures, the Prince is all ears. We find out about an ancient Aztec story about a lovely virgin who left with her lover on the night she was to be sacrificed to her gods, the highest honor for a virgin back then, apparently. The two were eventually captured and the girl was put to death and her lover was buried alive to watch over the tomb so his soul could never rest. The Prince, upon hearing all this, thinks it's all fairy tales, but apparently there's a good deal of treasure sealed in the tomb and the gang goes off in search of it, natch.

So we're off to the Aztec ruins and some mummy action, finally, after nearly an hour of capering, wrestling, science, and folklore. Tracy instantly finds his way into the giant pyramid and through some bumbling, release the mummy, which actually looks pretty scary. He's no Ho Tep, but he's gaunt and he shuffles and moans a lot. AND he can can turn into a bat and he hates the sunlight. Some kind of vampire/mummy hybrid, perhaps? The gang takes a gold necklace from the corpse of the mummy's girlfriend and flee back to home base. But the mummy's transformation powers aren't all for naught, because he tracks them in bat form back to the apartment, dispatches with the whole Black Dragon crew who he meets outside, and attacks Charlotte, all before the sun comes up!

The next day, Charlotte thinks they should return the necklace to the mummy so he'll leave them alone. Oh, rly?, Charlotte? What a capital idea! Charlotte and Tommy make their way back to the tomb, but get separated inside and that asshole Tommy leaves Charlotte down there, goes back to the apartment and gets the others to go help him find her. Because we all just live down the street from some ancient Aztec pyramids. Did they have time to stop at Burger King on the way there?

They find Charlotte in the nick of time, as the mummy has her bound and is about to (literally) stab her. I guess he loves her or something. Even though she doesn't resemble his girlfriend at all. You can just tell. If a mummy ties you to a sacrificial altar and tries to stab you with a sacrificial knife, it's love. But the gang arrives just in time and frees Charlotte, captures the mummy, chains him to a column, and runs for their measly little lives. The mummy freaks, pulls down the column, and thusly wrecks the entire ancient tomb, the end.

I kind of feel sorry for the mummy in the end, but I usually always do. It's a curse and it's usually a sad one involving unrequited love, or in this case, punishment for falling in love. I really hate Tommy, as he is annoying and self serving and would have been a good mummy victim. But only the 'bad' guys, the Black Dragons, get to really feel the mummy's wrath, and only then it's out of self defense, really. And what did the mummy ever do to any of these guys? They took his damn necklace and he wanted it back. I don't find that all that unreasonable. It's also a bit disappointing that the mummy bits are only the last ten minutes or so of the movie. Oh well. This has enough female wrestling, age-old legends, inexplicable situations, and inane dialogue ('Look! He's afraid of fire! Look, he's a vampire now! Look, he's a mummy again! Look, it's a spider!) to keep it going, although rather bumpily. I could almost see Roger Corman behind something like this and if you look at Cardona Sr.'s oeuvre, he's not far off the mark.

There are worse ways to spend ninety minutes. Now, if only this had had Paul Naschy in it and it was filmed in the wilds of Spain, and the wrestlers were vampire witches, and Paul had sex with all of them, and the mummy could also turn into a werewolf, and there was a Japanese diamond heist....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tell Me About Your First Time

I always get nostalgic around this time of year. I love the fall, the cool weather, the prospect of gifts and large sums of money from the parent types. But what I most look forward to is having a bit more time off than usual so I can revisit all the movies I love and cherish and that have shaped my horror fandom, which proves to overtake me hourly :) So this will likely be a new feature around here. I want you to tell me about the first time you ever saw a classic horror movie of my choosing. I'll give you the title and y'all discuss. This go-round, I want to hear about the first time you saw TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

I was fourteen when I first met Leatherface. Of course, by then, I was in full-on I have to see everything scary ever committed to tape because my neighbor friend's brother's friends (who were all like five years older than us), loved horror movies (and heavy metal), and it was a rite of passage to prove to these losers that us chicks could watch (and really enjoy) horror movies. On one of my many bicycle rides up to Movie Time Video, I rented TCM, and watched it with my brother, who was ten. We had to lock ourselves in my parent's bedroom while my mom watched soap operas at the opposite end of the house so she wouldn't walk in and find us watching an 'R-rated movie'. She was big on what was R-rated and was always talking about R-rated stuff and how we shouldn't watch it. Wasn't TCM NC-17? Not that my mom would have known that - anything taboo was 'R-rated' and that included GI Joe cartoons and anything with Swartzeneggar in it. Oh, and Robo Cop. She had a big thing against Robo Cop.

But we managed to watch whatever we wanted to anyway because all we had to say is that it wasn't Robo Cop, and TCM was on that list. We loved it. I don't remember to specifics of our love at the time, but we were instantly converted to fans of hardcore horror and we were more than blown aways. Even FACES OF DEATH didn't do it for us like CHAINSAW.

So tell me about your first time seeing TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Were you scared to death? How old were you? Twenty seven? Was it just last month? Have you never seen it? Details, perverts, details! Because I'm nosey and have little else to do with my time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shark Attack!

In tattoo form! Ignore the swollen goopiness - he's just a few hours old. Piranha attack in tattoo form forthcoming! And I think I've finally worked up the nerve for my knuckle tattoos! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Werewolf and the Yeti

I'm a little keyed up, perverts. Ever since the Vicar and the Duke announced they were spearheading a Paul Naschy blog-a-thon, I've had Jacinto on the brain more than usual. I know it's not quite here yet, but I thought it couldn't hurt to watch THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI for a sixth time and impart to you the lurid details. I have more in store for the actual blog-a-thon, but consider this an early gift. You're welcome.

The feature opens in the mountains of Nepal. In the first ten seconds, two men are attacked by a Yeti. Guns are fired, roars are roared, and cue the opening credits. Back in civilization, our man Waldemere Daninsky (Paul, of course, this is the eighth in a cycle of thirteen Daninsky films) meets up with The Professor and his pretty daughter, Sylvia, to discuss the missing anthropologist, Silas, the unfortunate who got himself offed by the Yeti.

Silas' mission in Nepal was to find the Abomindable Snowman, but he didn't return, obviously. However, his diary was found, along with an for reals yeti scalp! 'No doubt about it,' the Professor says. 'It's authentic!.' There's no evidence to the contrary, so we have no other option but to believe him.

So far we've got a yeti scalp and a for reals picture of the yeti, so the Prof is chomping at the bit to get to Nepal and hunt this thing down. Waldemere is an obvious choice to accompany him because he's an anthropologist, psychologist, and fluent in Nepalese! Is there anything Paul can't do? I mean, really.

The party leaves for Katmandu immediately, but there's a impenetrable snowstorm and the expedition is forced to hole up in a hotel. Not for long though, because there's inexplicably a sweaty white man who seems to be on an opium bender that knows a secret pass through the mountains. Despite that he's a junky, our buddy Waldemere is ready to rock and hires him - his name is Joel, which I find hilarious - and they make their way for the secret pass san prof and the rest of the team.

It doesn't take long for Waldemere and Joel to wind up lost and, despite his reputation (?), Joel freaks, hears demons of the red moon, and goes headlong into the snow. There's some back and forth with poor Waldemere wandering lost and the team back in civilization. The team wants to assemble and find Waldemere and prepare for the trip. Tiger, a hulking Nepalese guide the prof hired, warns of those red moon demon guys, but winds up going on the journey anyway. The Sherpa crew does a dance to ward off evil spirits and the trip begins for these guys.

Meanwhile, Waldemere trudges on. It doesn't look too pleasant. It's cold and stark, but after a few stumbles, our hero finds a cave decorated with idolatry. There are two sexy cave dwelling sisters who decide to sex up on Waldemere because 'he's very strong. He will make a splendid companion, and a good lover.' I second that one, ladies. I mean, really, how could you resist? Only Paul could find two sisters to do it to in a cave in the Nepalese mountains. The women nurse him back to health with blow jobs and intercourse.

Later, Waldemere wakes up alone and decides to explore the cave, literally time. He get dressed and finds the girls cannibalizing some arms and legs. He grabs a torch (how I've always wanted to wield a torch in a cave!), find a tomb, and but shit! The moon is coming up! Waldemere takes the time to stab another vampire cannibal woman and attack another, but not before the last one sinks her teeth into his chest, giving him that sweet pentagram-ish scar. Dazed, he stumbles out into the wilderness. In a painful exertion, Waldemere changes into a werewolf! Yay!

He attacks some bandits sitting around a campfire speaking of selling women. See, that's what they get! And carries on to find the camp where the prof and Sylvia might be. Maybe he does this - I"m not sure. (The copy I have is a bootleg and looks like it was drug across the ocean floor and then stored wet in a draft basement for about fifty years. Sometimes the minutiae is lost on me.)

Sylvia decides to stray from the camp for a walk, because that's a really good idea, and then must thwart the sexual advances of another team member. Waldemere shows up just in time to save Sylvia. It's a morality tale, you see. You want to do violence towards the females, you get eaten by a werewolf. Simple, really.

So that's that and Tiger is still rambling on about demons but none of these white motherfuckers want to listen. The expedition decides to return to base camp but they run afoul of some bandits and there's a shoot out of western proportions, until the party finds themselves captured. Seems like they are going to meet Sekkar Khan, and evil ruler in the mountains.

Sylvia escapes momentarily and the Yeti attacks. Well, I think it's the Yeti, because it's day. But that's the thing about this movie. One second it will be raging snow and ice, the next it's verdant and green. I think Yeti's can be out during the day, unlike werewolves. So let's just say it's day. Who care, really?

Walemere wakes up on the forest floor in human form and not too worse for wear and runs headlong into Sylvia. She catches Waldemere up and they find another member of the expedition on a stake, but still alive. The unfortunate tips them off that the prof has been taken to see the Khan at his palace.

Cut to the Khan's palace. The evil son of a bitch is getting his 'treatment' administered by the beautiful, but oh-so-evil, Wandessa. He's got some kind of skin thing on his back and uses the women he captures for their skin. But we'll get there in a second.

Waldemere and Sylvia find a ramshackle monastery in the middle of nowhere, where they meet a monk and a retarded mute. The monk knows of Waldemere's affliction and promises the curse can be lifted by some rare flower and the blood of a young girl are given to him. The monk also warns of the Khan and how ruthless he is. Wandessa has a nasty reputation as well, although no one knows her origins. But from what the monk says, Wandessa is worse than the Khan.

After some sex with Sylvia, Waldemere decides he's going to leave her at the monastery. The monk chains him to a tree to try to contain him, but no stinkin' chains can hold Waldemere! He wolfs out and some good werewolf action occurs. Meanwhile (damn there are a lot meanwhiles in this film), Sylvia gets schooled by the monk on how to kill the werewolf. Use the flower portion or here, stab him with this silver knife!

It starts to get real choppy here, as the Khan and Wandessa play chess for the professor's life, Khan's men go to kidnap Sylvia, they capture Waldemere, Wandessa makes out with Waldemere while he's in chains and then carves up some beauties to give the Khan his 'treatments.' She skins the ladies alive in front of Waldemere so he can see what will happen to Sylvia if he doesn't submit.

Sylvia and a captive princess trick a guard and kill him with the silver dagger and escape. Sylvia finds Waldemere and let's him go and they make a run for it. And what a run it is! Waldemere does his best Chuck Norris interpretation (or has it been Chuck all these years doing his best Paul interpretation?), complete with flying roundhouse kicks and everything! Then Waldemere wolfs out again to fight the Yeti (remember the Yeti?) and it's the first werewolf/Yeti fight I've ever seen. Tell me of another one and I'll watch it.

At the last minute, after these epic battles are waged, Sylvia randomly finds the cure-all flower, mixes it with her blood and gives it to the now unconscious werewolf. Ta da! The curse is lifted - they just know this - and head back in the direction of civilization, despite the fact they have no coats. The End.

I love this shit. It's got Yetis, werewolves, Sherpas, Khans, evil witches, naked ladies, cannibal vampires, Nepalese dancing, karate, torch bearing, caves, snow, mountains, a little dash of mad science, inexplicable stuff, and Paul. So it's got a of little everything that is good in life, which is basically all I need.

Now go watch Paul for yourself. Get ready for the blog-a-thon! It's November 29th through December 3rd.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Microwave Massacre

Way back when, I used to see this VHS box in the Movie Time store. It used to scare me. It had a gruesome looking head, eyes still intact, clearly nuked for the sole purpose of the hungry man with the knife and fork licking his lips to consume. Consume! As in cannibalism! Via the microwave! And 'massacre' was in the title - clearly a harsh word intended only for the hardest of the hardcore horror films. Never mind the tagline screamed 'comedy' - to me, this was one fucked up little movie - and I wouldn't see it until, oh, twenty-five years later.

Of course, time changes our views and I'm no longer the wide-eyed ten year old salivating over lurid VHS box art any more. But I still have those memories and those memories shape the movie watching persona I have today, so when I finally tracked down a copy of Midnight Video's version of MICROWAVE MASSACRE, I still had certain expectations in mind. I was expecting an outright horror film, what I got instead a deliciously trashy, misogynistic, pun-laden 'comedy about cadavers and cannibalism.' Allow me to give you the highlights.

Donald's life sucks. He works a crappy job as the foreman at a construction site supervising two horny dudes. (If you've never seen a glory hole for boobs before, the opening scene of MM is your chance!) He can't get a decent meal to save his life (think a giant crab on a huge roll - it's cartoonishly over the top, really), because his annoying wife, May, has taken up French cooking, in her gloriously gigantic new microwave. This thing is bigger than my refrigerator. I know appliances were huge in the seventies, but this thing is retardedly huge. Never mind the fact that May is cooking high-falutin' cuisine in it. Seems the oxymoron, but oh well.

After slaving over the microwave all day (she actually says this), Donald refuses to eat May's cooking. They get into an argument, ala the henpecked husband routine, and in a crime passionale, Donald kills May with a salt shaker, and he doesn't even forget to sprinkle some salt over his shoulder for luck. Relieved to be rid of the annoying bitch (Edie Massey is less irritating and a better actress and I kind of wanted to kill May myself), Donald goes about dismembering her body and storing it in the freezer. He wakes up the next day and doesn't remember killing May, until he opens the microwave and sees her lifeless corpse. 'Oh well, just the way she would have wanted to go - except she hasn't gone yet, oh brother!'

Later that night, Donald is watching a newscast about the perfect crime. Seems some guy stole a bunch of caviar and hid the evidence by eating it all. Ding, ding, ding! What do you think Donald decides to do next?

If you guessed making giant sandwiches out of live prostitutes and seducing a woman in a chicken suit who is dancing an Irish jig to come over for sex, only to cook her body to serve to his construction worker friends, you would be correct. 'I'm so hungry, I could eat a whore,' Donald quips, in one of his many, many groan-inducing, but oh-so-hilarious puns.

It's all in good fun and I love this movie. It's so morbidly over-the-top from the whole Jackie Gleason thing to the cannibalism to the call girls in their trashy outfits. However, it's a bit of a stretch for me to buy Donald's character switch. Yeah, he's been abused by his wife for thirty years, but he ain't no prized pig himself, coming home wreaking of booze and insulting May. It's no wonder she yells like she does, really. They hadn't even had sex since 1962. 'You're a walking contraceptive,' she yells during a heated argument. Donald is completely joyless in the beginning and his murdering of May seems to free him from this joylessness. Heck, he even gets to have sex after all these years. But it doesn't make him a better person. It makes him worse, as it turns him into a serial killer.

Donald just doesn't have it in him to pull off the whole serial killer/cannibal thing. He's just too much of an ignorant goomba. And he falls into the cannibal thing most unwittingly, as he gets up in the middle of the night for a snack, only to groggily discover he's eating a raw hand. 'I may have underestimated May's taste,' he says, and continues chewing. The leap is made too quickly and all of a sudden he's a cannibalistic maniac, while still maintaining his persona of beaten down working class man who can't get anything good to eat from his nagging wife. But it's not calculated, either. Donald is one of the other and a flesh eating Jeffrey Dahmer type he ain't.

But this movie is successful in that it blends the whole horror and comedy thing quite well, something that is very difficult because the writer and director must be skilled at both. It's no massacre of the Texan variety, but it doesn't aim to be either. It's a silly, trashy romp that you just don't come by that often, especially nowadays. Mother-in-law jokes, objectifying women, microwaves - it's all very pre-Married with Children. And the fashion! Oh the fashion. It's the worst of the seventies worst, but it's also refreshing to see real women in a movie, a little cellulite, curves, and all. And where else are you going to see a live hooker slathered in mayo, put between two giant slices of bread, and sawed in half? Or a sexy blond doing yard work with a vibrator? Or a glory hole for boobs? Or death by microwave, for that matter? That's what I thought.

Now, if only I could get an uncut box copy of the Midnight Video version. All my damn Midnight Video boxes are cut to fit clamshells and it's annoying. To the time machine, before all the big boxes on VHS were cut!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Manster

Nothing says All Hallow's Eve like a campy two-headed monster American/Japanese hybrid mad scientist movie from the '50's y'all! So for your Devil's Night reading pleasure, I give you 1959's THE MANSTER.

First things first. I love that fucking title. It's why I picked this movie from my Netflix recommendations. C'mon. It's called THE MANSTER. Hilarious. You know it's gonna be campy, you know there's going to be SCIENCE of the MAD variety, and you know there's going to be theremin music. That's really all I need. However....

As we settle in, a hairy, Yeti-ish creature attacks some bathing beauties and another lovely lady in her home as she combs her hair. The women are completely taken off guard by this beast and put up little fight. Roll credits.

Come to find out this creature is/was Kenji, the brother of MAD scientist Robert Suzuki, who lives in a lab-or-a-tory carved into the side of an active volcano. Suzuki being MAD and all has turned his brother into a raving, savage beast, who, up close, is also kind of cute in a fuzzy, raving, savage beast kind of way. Suzuki ain't all bad and realizes that his brother is out of control and winds up incinerating the poor fellow alive. 'You were my brother!,' Suzuki laments. 'An experiment that didn't work out!' Ah well, into the flames you go, Kenji. As Kenji meets his fiery end, we see Suzuki has been up to other 'experiments' as a she-freak screams from a cage built into the wall at the actions taking place before her.

That said and done, Larry Stanford comes to meet with Suzuki. Larry's a reporter with the World Press and wants to interview Suzuki about his 'work on the secrets of 'evil-oo-tion' and 'the principles of existence.' Fascinating stuff, you can totally tell Larry's really interested. NOT. If you missed the whole I turned my brother into a Sasquatch that kills beautiful women and then burned him alive in a giant oven scene, you get the idea that Suzuki is a little weird when he starts asking his interviewer all sorts of personal questions. How old are, Larry? Have you ever been with prostitutes, Larry? I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist. After a bit of this and some more blather about 'cosmic rays and their effect on evolution,' Suzuki offers Larry some scotch as a means to drug the reporter in order to inject him with an enzyme that will cause him to change into something similar to Kenji, because that all worked out so well just several hours ago.

Cut to Larry's office back in Tokyo several days later. Seems like Suzuki wants to come out of his volcano lab and take Larry out on the town. Larry's been working his ass for what he makes seem like decades, so is more than happy to oblige Suzuki for a few nights out. Larry seems fine at this point. He doesn't know he's been drugged or that Suzuki is a total weirdo, so he takes a call from his wife, Linda, a breathy blond in a white nightgown that still resides in NYC. He assures Linda all is well and he'll return home to New York as soon as he has had his much needed vacation. Asshole. I'd be like, you are taking a vacation with me, motherfucker, since I haven't seen you in years. But oh well. Linda's sated for then.

The doc takes Larry to a brothel where Larry gets wasted and makes out with several ukulele playing geisha. Three days later, Larry's still having the time of his life with the good doctor, and decides instead of returning to work or to NYC to his wife to go to a hot springs hotel with Suzuki and Tara, the doctor's beautiful and seductive assistant. While we haven't interacted much with the doctor too much yet, he doesn't seem as evil as his plans. He just more or less seems kind of regular in that his performance isn't too over the top and at times, he almost seems remorseful about his actions, yet obsessed with his experiments nonetheless. Tara, the assistant, however seems far more evil. She alludes to a shady past the doc rescued her from and her lack of feeling emotions. She's perfect for the job of seducing Larry so the doc can inject more enzymes or serum or whatever the hell in Larry for the ultimate transformations.

It's at the hot springs where the theremin music queues up and Larry feels that initial cramp in his hand. He has been boozing it up quite a bit so decides he'll forget about the whole pain thing and have sex with Tara instead. FADE TO BLACK. (I once took a screenwriting course and the guy teaching the class used to love the whole fade to black thing. He always talked about how dramatic it was to fade to black. He called it a device. I hated that and thought it sounded pretentious. He was also big into starting stories where the alarm clock is going off and using the 'device' of the needle on the record skipping. Annoying. Those pretentious MFAs loved him, though. No offense to my good friend out there with an MFA.)

Moving on, Larry and Tara party it up, dancing and drinking all over the town, but that damn theremin music keeps playing and Larry knows something's not right. He does what any rational, American ex-patriot who's cheating on his wife would do. Drink MORE and have MORE SEX. Why not, right? It kills the pain and makes him feel good. That is until he and Tara show up at his one night and discover boss Ian has ratted Larry out to the missus and Linda's standing there demanding to know the deal. Larry's a total ass at this point (remember, the poor man has been drugged with mad scientist serum so it's not his fault, if that's what you want to believe), and storms back out to Tara's. Linda can't believe how Larry's changed, although if you ask me, he hasn't changed a bit since he was always a bit of an ass. Now he's just more of a drunk ass who is just doesn't know he's about to grow another head. Big deal.

Back at Tara's, she urges Larry to go back and make up with Linda, or at the very least, find some sort of closure and Larry does just that, but winds up growing a monster hand and yelling at Linda. 'I never put you in your place, never slapped you down before!' She exits stage left in tears, as Larry continues to grow hair all over (like another afflicted Larry we know) and then decides to stop by a Buddhist temple. He rambles to the monk, interrupting his chanting and then returns to Tara's for sex of the non-explicit variety. It is 1959, you know.

Not ever sex can stop what Larry's becoming, as he soon takes to hiding in alleys and murdering beautiful women. According to the doctor, who we really haven't heard much of up until this point (it's really more Larry's story throughout), Larry is becoming two species at once. I could make some sweeping generalities about the duality of man but I never really got on board Larry's train, as he was never very likeable. I don't even feel the least bit sorry for him when he does sprout that ugly, ugly second head and starts wreaking havoc on Tokyo, as if there wasn't enough cinematic havoc wreaked upon Tokyo.

Enter the last fifteen minutes of this eighty minute flick. It goes a little something like this. There's some not particularly perilous police pursuits (alliteration, anyone?) of our boy Larry and then some crazy musing by Suzuki. He keeps saying how he's given this great gift to science (a two-headed monster that murders people - some gift!) but he also keeps struggling with how he can't bring Larry back. Larry might already be ready to split into two beings, which would not be a great gift to science, rather a horrible regret. So which is, doc? Are you great or do you regret the shit you've pulled in the name of science? Did I mention the she-freak locked in the volcano lab was once the doctor's wife, Ineko? At least I can find some solace in the fact that Larry was a complete stranger to the doctor and not a family member he decided to experiment on.

Larry returns to the volcano and guess what he does? Go on, guess! Ok, he trashes the lab, kills the doc, takes Tara, throws her in the volcano, splits out the monster part of him, fights the monster, the police descend, the monster falls into the volcano, Linda and Larry live happily ever after. The End. It was that easy; I'm serious. That really is the end and it happens in like forty seconds.

I kind of liked THE MANSTER. I still love the title. The movie isn't bad, per say; it isn't good either. It could have included more MAD science for my money but the doctor is so wishy washy, I don't know what the hell he's rambling about most of the time. Do you, or do you not, believe in what you did? If you're a fucking mad scientist, you have to OWN that shit. Wring your hands, sweat a little, order your hunchback around. Make sweeping statements about how you are GOD. Don't back peddle and regret your damn mistakes, because there will be a few if you practice science of the mad variety. Larry sucks all around, both as nice guy Larry and asshole Larry because they're really one in the same. He's whiny when he's nice and a dickhead when he's mean. That made sense only to me. Tara is beautiful and calculating, but even she has a duplicity when she falls in love with Larry, which is completely outside her character. Linda's a stupid bitch for taking Larry back in the first place. I mean, who knows if he'll cheat on her again or if he'll grow another head. Maybe she's just hoping he'll grow some other appendage instead.

THE MANSTER is recommended for it's short running time, awesome title, and other silliness.

Happy Halloween, you perverts. I love you and have missed you all! Have a great, safe Halloween whatever you do! It's always Halloween to me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I also happen to share a birthday with Augusten Burroughs, Weird Al Yankovic, and Sam Raimi. So good for me. Today shall be filled with Halloween cookie making, pumpkin carving (we went to the patch yesterday), and drinking some damn wine. It shall be the perfect day, that much I know. Except I don't have this in my life. Oh well. Drink one for me and wish me another great 29th!

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Addition!

Meet the newest addition to our family! I would love to formally introduce her, but Sam and I can't decide on a name. She's a kitler, so I was thinking Eva, but it might be unwise to name her after Hitler's lady. Secondly, I was thinking about Glenn, after Danzig, but also after the Ed Wood title GLEN OR GLENDA. But Glenn isn't really sticking. Then there's Lily, like Lily Munster, but Sam doesn't like that at all. Bruce's cats are named Lydia and Leona, which I like a LOT, but his cats are already named that. And while I suggested Adrienne and Linnea after two of my favorite scream queens, Sam's not sold. We can't agree on anything! Help me out, guys!

She was named Shioban when we got her this morning, but that isn't 'horror' enough! She deserves a 'horror' name, or a 'punk' name! I know, I have a Moochie, which is neither, but then, he's totally a Moochie.

Thanks for your help!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Adventures at the State Fair 2010

I woke up Friday morning to my girl, Casey, texting me. Get up, let's go to the fair, she said. Okay, I reply, sounds good. I'm under-exaggerating (is that a word?) In fact, it sounds freakin' fantastic! In case you didn't know or didn't read last year's fair post, I love the motherfuckin' fair. So I shower, coffee, and rouse Sam from sweet slumber. I couldn't wait! I got so impatient, I was waiting in the car in our driveway while Sam got ready. Then, on the way to Casey's I yelled at all the cars and stoplights in my way, because, goddammit, I'm on my way to the fair! In case you can't tell, I love the fair. I said it once and I'll say it again.

We were were there for almost eight hours. I am still tired and I still feel fat from consuming numerous fried items, but it was worth it. It only happens once a year, for crying out loud! The following are many of our adventures. Stay tuned all the way through for comments and comparisons to last year's fair.

This year, there was bonafide ten in one! I remember back when I was a kid, there was a ten in one and it got me started loving all things carnie way back when I was ten years old! And I was super pleased to find that many of the acts were the same! And the fire eater and sword swallower was the same dude from twenty years ago! He's also the human pincushion and we paid the extra two bucks to watch him stick pins all up in his skin. And I was lucky enough that he let me pull them out! I thanked him for his performance and told him how I had seen him twenty years ago. He was humble and ingratiating and that totally made the experience for me. Here's some of our pics from midway. Oh to have those banners!

The mermaid girl was back and there was also a gorilla girl. Both of those attractions typically prove to be lame. The mermaid girl is done with mirrors, kind of a fishbowl effect and the gorilla girl is also done with some tricky mirrors, but at least she does jump out at you at the end. We didn't partake but the banners and fronts are pretty nice.

It is so wonderful to go to a fair with a sideshow presence. It's a dying art form and one of my favorites, so this was such an amazing highlight for me. Yes, the stuff is lame and there isn't an appreciation for it from many audience members, but it is so heaped in tradition and there is something punk and free about it that I absolutely love. I'd join a carnival in a second if the opportunity presented itself.

Next up, the rides. Casey and I opted to ride the rickety old rides this year, while Sam held our purses and took ridiculous video of us. This pretty much sums up our experience, although we road just about everything. Except that one that spins you around and drops the floor out. We watched it for a moment and then decided we needed another beer.

I was crushing Casey the whole time and laughing so hard tears were coming out of my eyes and wishing the whole experience would just end. And we paid twenty bucks each for this.

We also saw a magic show, complete with white bunny rabbits and doves materializing out of thin air and lots of tricks with boxes on wheels. We checked out goats and met this little black pig, which almost makes me want to stop eating bacon.


I was most disappointed there were no giant pumpkins, steers, or horses, like from last year's fair. But the midway made up for most of that. And Casey and I got to do our best Patrick and Sponge Bob interpretation:

And then I got to do my best Faye Ray:

It was a really excellent day and when we were at work the next night, bringing people bullshit and basically hating our lives, I was like, yesterday was much more fun that this. And it was true.

I didn't get my alien sandwich like last year, but I did have shrimp on a stick again, as well as sausage and pizza. The funnel cake was disappointing, but I did get some ghetto fabulous door knocker hoop earrings that say 'I love you' inside for some reason.

Til next year, fair! You better rock just as hard!