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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I still very vividly remember seeing the original with friends back in
'99 as a teenager. We were at one of those outdoor shopping malls. It
was summer, very hot and very bright out and we were worn out from
walking around in the heat for hours. Seemed like the best thing to do
was sit back and relax in a dark, air conditioned movie theater for a
few hours, right? This happened to be our choice that day and I don't
think any of us really expected what hit us. We all left the theater a
bit rattled and I think I can say the same for everyone else watching
it in the packed theater that day. I'd never exited a theater to so
much universal silence before in my life.
I remember my girlfriend's sister later asking "That wasn't REAL, was it?" "Of course not!" I said back. However, it truly did feel real, or like it could be real. It was completely different than anything else we'd ever seen before. The film was novel in execution; being told entirely from the POV of its protagonists and their cameras, but it was also completely different in tone. It dared being deadly serious at a time when jokey Scream clones / parodies were ruling the box office. But this one rightfully ended up beating them all in revenue.
So after about 10,000 found footage copycats, here we are nearly twenty years later with a new one for a new generation. Even though this is technically a sequel, it doesn't so much feel like one as it does a less creative, less effective remake. It doesn't benefit from novelty value since most of us have been down this same path countless times before. It doesn't have a brilliant internet ad campaign. It doesn't have that same gritty, homemade, raw feel to it, though they do try. It doesn't seem new, fresh or different because, well, it's not new, fresh or different. And needless to say it didn't give me the same memorable experience the original did. That may be asking too much of it, but it didn't really add anything all that interesting to the Blair Witch mythology either.
There's a very minimalist set-up about James (James Allen McCune) hoping to find out what happened to his missing sister (the Heather character from the original). The fact he thinks there's a possibility she may still be hanging out in the woods two decades later is almost too ridiculous for words but I'll just leave that one alone. James talks his pseudo-girlfriend Lisa (Callie Hernandez) and their friends Ashley (Corbin Reid) and Peter (Brandon Scott) into going with him to Burkittsville, Maryland to investigate. Curious locals Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry), who claim to know a little about the forest they'll be going to, join them. They hike for a few miles, set up their camp and then a bunch of strange / freaky things begin happening.
This is all updated to the times, with characters using GPS, tablets, cell phones and all kinds of different, fancy cameras, including an aerial one that lifts off the ground like a helicopter and can give them a view of the forest from high up. Other than that aspect and a few other minor alterations (like a nasty foot infection), this hits most of the same notes as the first. There are strange, faint noises / moans / screams and snapping branches at night, strange symbols fashioned from branches and rope hanging from trees, the witch's old creepy house, the standing in the corner, etc. Visually, there's constant disorienting, jerky camera-work and intentionally bad editing from where it's supposedly been pieced together later from footage someone had found.
Unlike with the original, we actually do get a few glimpses of the witch. She's tall, skinny, naked and has stretched out arms and legs from being strung up in a tree with rocks tied to her arms and legs long ago when townsfolk left her there to die. Even though I much preferred the approach of never seeing the witch, it's actually done fairly responsibly here. She's never seen for more than a flash and some of these moments are actually quite effective. The acting is decent enough (the lead male is strangely the worst of the bunch) and this also builds up to some wonderfully tense / scary moments in the final thirty minutes.
What takes the entire film down a few notches is the first half, which is less about making the creepy forest atmosphere feel ominous and threatening and more about setting up one false alarm "scare" after another. That quickly begins wearing thin and one gets the impression they're just killing time to get to the better material at the end. This also is heavily reliant on an often gratingly loud sound design to try to generate cheap jump scares.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Young Rene (Ginnie Kindall) is kidnapped off a playground swing set.
Right after flying into town, lesbian Lillian (Tracy Handfuss) is
forced at gun point into the back of a truck. Housewife Colette
("Barbara Que" / Uschi Digard) is out watering the lawn in broad
daylight when she gets swiped right off her front yard. Innocent
18-year-old virgin Bernice ("Rita Book" / Peggy Church) is snacking on
Lays (foreshadowing?) chips when she's snatched off the street. And
finally, leggy blonde party girl Pamela ("Nancy Nice" / Jane Tsentas)
is abducted immediately after leaving a bar. All five girls don't know
it yet but they've all fallen into the clutches of whiny long-haired
perv Bart. Bart, who's played by the butt ugly "Harry Chest," who
incidentally has no hair on his chest, drives them out miles into the
desert to his remote home and then gives them the scoop on what's going
on. They're to be his sex slaves and obey his every wish. They're to
call him "master" while he calls them "pig." They'll eat... when and if
he wants them to. They're to stick to a strenuous exercise routine to
keep in good shape. If any of them try to escape they've been warned
that the grounds are surrounded by trained, savage dogs who will eat
them alive. And if they disobey or are caught doing something they
aren't supposed to do, the girls will have to whip the disobedient one.
Bart is assisted by his bigger and perhaps even uglier mute sidekick Momo (played by Momo), who carries around a piece of hose to whip the girls with. Bart even bosses poor Momo around and refuses to let any of the girls have sex with him, causing the frustrated Momo to try to rape whatever girl he can get his hands on. Because he found Pamela at a nightclub and she's wearing a short skirt, Bart decides to "rape" her first but she goes along with it simply because she'll do anything to survive. The girls are then taken to a drained out swimming pool and are forced to do in-place jogging, push ups, leg lifts and topless toe touches. One girl is forced to get on all fours and is used as a step stool. While Bart is having his way with Colette, the lesbian takes the virgin out into the brush and helps her "relax" by rubbing her shoulders and then going down on her. When it's time for the virgin to give it up, she refuses so Bart has her tied to a running truck motor to "steam your clam open" so that he'll have "one well-basted bird."
After being raped, beaten and tortured for nearly an hour, the girls finally decide they've had enough and decide to get revenge. One of the girls seduces Momo, the others hold him down and then castrate him with a pair of vise grip pliers (!) They then manage to get the upper hand on Bart and then decide to give him a taste of his own medicine by forcing him to go through everything they went through. He gets his dick squeezed with the pliers, is forced to dance and exercise naked and is then beat with the hose. for an encore the girls decide to "sock it to him night and day nonstop" (i.e. screw him) until he's dead. I've got to admit, I've never seen a man gang raped to death by five women before. Now I have. Thank you Big Snatch for enriching my life.
There are trashy movies and then there are movies so trashy the sleaze goes right through the roof into the stratosphere. This is one of *those* movies. It looks extremely cheap (not surprising since the budget was just 11 thousand dollars), has awful acting and photography and much of the time the "rapes" seem a little too enjoyable for the "victim," but this is amusing enough to pass the time, most of the females look good and there's a mean-spirited twist at the end that's kind of good. Everyone was so embarrassed by this they used fake names and the credits are hilarious. The cameraman is "Otto Focus," the sound was done by "Less Noise" and the grip was "Jim Nasium." Something Weird distribute this on DVD-R and it's certainly worth a gander if you like this kind of stuff.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Raven-haired, sexually-aggressive Edna (Pamela Stanford) picks up a guy
named Joe (Kurt Meinicke) in a club and takes him back to her
oceanfront villa. There, things take an admittedly strange turn as she
has her maid Sarah (Esther Moser) disrobe both on them on the living
room sofa. But before things can get too hot and heavy, Edna excuses
herself to the bedroom so she can have a word with her sister Millie
(Karine Gambier). Millie turns out to be such a "dangerous
nymphomaniac" she must be chained up to her bed in a room that doubles
as a jail cell (!) where she writhes in agony until she can get some.
Edna calls to her male visitor to come in and offers him up "a
fantastic surprise" of her sister's body to use any way he wants.
However, Millie has first instructed Edie to "...stay and watch us, the
way you always do!" As Millie and the male visitor go to town, Edie
hides behind a beaded curtain and takes care of herself with a candle
(!?) No, this is not going to be your everyday run-of-the-mill sex
Millie hasn't left her room in six long months and is on drugs that are supposed to help temper her schizophrenic delusions. She also has traumatic flashbacks to her childhood when she used to hide and watch all of her sister's kinky sexual proclivities. In an effort to pacify her, the live-in nurse Maria (Marianne Graf) gives her a vibrator and tries to do other *a-hem* nice things for her, while Edna doesn't help matters any by going into town, picking up a white-haired male gigolo (who also happens to be the same guy who raped her as a child!) and letting him have his way with her as long as he doesn't "leave any bruises." Edna seeks advice from world-renowned psychotherapist Dr. Milton Arcos, who recommends Millie be denied stimulants of any kind (including sex) if she's ever to make a recovery. However, there's the possibility some people don't actually WANT her to get better because there's a 12 million dollar inheritance the troubled girl is set to collect on her 21st birthday. Well, granted she's of sound mind when the time comes...
Though this sounds - and kind of IS - pretty twisted, there's something oddly charming about this one that I can't quite put my finger on. I think a lot of that has to do with the goofy English-language dub-over done by a group of cheeky people who obviously had a hard time stifling laughter saying things like "What a terrific tool!" And then there's the head-scratching exchange, "Have you ever seen how the fish make love?" "No." "Neither have I, but I can imagine how they would do it. If I were a male fish and you were a female I would want to make love to you." The story itself really isn't too bad (it's surprisingly coherent by the director's standards) though the ending falls completely flat. But hey, not many people are going to watch this for the story anyway, are they? The good news is that the entire cast - female and male alike - spend the majority of their scenes sans clothing and engaging in near X-rated sex and most of them look pretty good doing it.
Aside from the ladies, there are two male exploitation regulars of note on hand. The first is Jack Taylor as Millie's physician Dr. Charles Barnes, who gets to shove a thermometer up Millie's ass in his very first scene and basically lounge around in bed in the nude with several of the other ladies in all his scenes thereafter. The second is Erik Falk (best known for the kung fu biker rapist 'Stiletto' in the sleaze gem MAD FOXES) as one of the sleazy studs hired to service Millie. Being part of Franco's late 70s series for Swiss producer Erwin C. Dietrich, the photography, music and overall production values are decent for this kind of film. Even the villa interior has a cool decor, with blown-up black-and-white photos of cats gracing all the walls.
The DVD is packaged as "Sexy Sisters" but the on-screen title calls it "Satanic Sisters." Under any name, this is a decent Eurotrash flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1956, Peter Graves starred in a swampland drama called BAYOU, which
ended up tanking in theaters... that is until 1961 when M.A. Ripps got
his hands on it and then re-released it under the new title POOR WHITE
TRASH in 1961. What's in a title? A lot it seems, as the new moniker
turned what was a bomb into a moneymaking workhorse that played
Southern drive-ins for years as a second feature. Nearly two decades
later the same marketing technique was applied to S.F. Brownrigg's SCUM
OF THE EARTH. While "Scum" is a great title on its own, it was already
used for a 1963 Herschell Gordon Lewis flick about a nudie photography
racket and didn't quite pack 'em in on that name alone. To boost ticket
sales for the reissue (and perhaps trick people into either watching it
a second time or assuming it was a follow-up to the first), it was
given the new title "Poor White Trash Part II." The film also retained
that same title when it finally appeared on VHS and is pretty much
solely known under the "Trash" title these days.
Soon after arriving at her vacation cabin, newlywed Helen Fraser (Norma Moore) finds her husband Paul (Joel Colodner) dead with an axe buried in his chest. Someone has also stolen their car keys so she's forced to flee into the woods. The first person she comes across is slovenly drunk Odis Pickett (Gene Ross), who claims he doesn't know anything about the murder and puts her mind at ease by informing her "I ain't killed nobody... lately." Having no other choice, Helen follows Odis back to his shack to call the police. When she gets there, she meets the rest of the Pickett clan: Odis' very pregnant wife Emmy (Ann Stafford), his hateful / slutty daughter Sarah (Camilla Carr) and his incredibly dumb son Bo (Charlie Dell), who talks kind of like Forrest Gump. Tensions are already high in the family for a variety of reasons and things get even worse when they discover the same psycho who killed Paul is lurking around outside.
This has all of the necessary ingredients for a good hillbilly horror flick: grubby rednecks in overalls spouting terrible grammar ("Looky here what I done brung home for supper!"), filthy living conditions, incest, moonshine drunk directly from mason jars, rape, possum for din din and a series of bloody murders including a neck pierced on an iron fence, a strangulation with barbed wire and a gunshot to the eyeball. If the director has one notable strength compared to his contemporaries, it's the ability to get good performances from his actors. He did it with his previous film DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (1973) and he's done it again here with a solid group of performers all well-cast in their roles. But what really puts this a notch above similar efforts is the low key and somewhat eerie backwoods atmosphere (achieved in part to the no budget minimalism and lack of location change) and the attention paid to characters. Quite a tasteless and tactless group we have here!
The Odis character is an immensely unlikable brute who guzzles 'shine the entire time and constantly berates his kids and poor knocked-up wife; justifying his eventual rape of Helen by telling his old lady that he "don't want to poke an old blowed-up balloon like you." I would call the daughter character a 5 dollar whore, but instead she's more of a 1 dollar whore who spreads her legs for all the local guys for pocket change so she can buy things like lipstick and glamour magazines. However, she's tight enough with her pa to give it to him for free! The son is a slow-speaking half-wit who talks like Forrest Gump and mostly elicits feelings of annoyance from the entire family. The big surprise is the unknown Stafford as Emmy the wife; a dumb but good-hearted door mat who was traded off to Odis by her own father to relieve a debt and who eventually becomes a bit motherly toward Norma. Stafford provides a perfect counter-balance to the over-the-top antics of the rest of the family and creates a surprisingly warm character.
On the down side, there's next to no plot, the music score is a little inappropriate and annoying at times and the surprise twist at the end is pretty ludicrous, but it's all entertaining enough and has a great cheap regional feel to it that Hollywood films frequently try and normally fail to capture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Feminist scientist Dr. Jacqueline Stevenson (Julian Wells) has written
a controversial new book called "The Repression Syndrome," which
details how women are usually forced into two categories: the virginal
("pure") and the slutty ("lustful"). As a result, widespread sexual
repression has run rampant and the doctor has created a new serum
called "Euphoria" that she hopes will help to release women's
inhibitions. Suicidal and sexually repressed Martine Flagstone (Misty
Mundae in a black wig) shows up in Jacqueline's office and volunteers
to be her first guinea pig, but the drug works TOO well on her and she
ends up in an insane asylum, driven crazy by lust. Jacqueline
reformulates the drug and ends up taking it herself, transforming into
the insatiable Heidi Hyde. She picks up a Catholic schoolgirl / teen
runaway named Dawn (Mundae with her normal hair) who's a dead ringer
for Martine, and ends up falling for her. Meanwhile, Jacqueline's
chauvinist pig husband Richard (Boz Tennyson) is keeping himself busy
with their maid Paula (Ruby LaRocca). Things come full circle at the
This is an erotic spin on "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and really not bad by Seduction Cinema standards. All of the females in the cast (particularly the two leads) are attractive, frequently nude and there's plenty of soft-core girl-girl scenes throughout. I expected all that but what I didn't really expect was for this to be fairly well made and serious-minded. With an obviously tiny budget at his disposal, the director attempts to turn all of his limitations into assets. Care was obviously put into the screenplay (courtesy of Bruce G. Hallenbeck), editing and sound and, while the sets are all blank and vacant, they're also carefully lit to give them a bold, sort of 'color noir' appearance. It's minimalism in the extreme but it's also about as stylish as the budget would allow. And this is certainly no worse than a lot of more acclaimed erotica people like Jess Franco or Jean Rollin were cranking out in the 70s and 80s.
As per usual with these sort of films, the story often drags, but that's pretty much par for the course. The absence of much comedy (this is more a psychological drama despite the spoof-like title) also makes it stand out from most other Seduction Cinema offerings, as do the two leads, who deserve credit for adequately enacting out the scenario and taking their roles seriously. My favorite was Wells, who is really hot, especially with minimal makeup and in her business suit and glasses, and also a decent actress. There's also a pretty good - albeit grim - twist at the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A bitter woman attending her mother's funeral gets pulled into a casket
by her dearly departed and is accidentally incinerated, which turns out
to be a movie playing at a drive-in where a girl goes to a snack bar,
encounters dancing zombies and then a rock band, which turns out to be
a music music video being watched by one of our heroines. This bizarre
film-within-a-film-within- a-film opening is probably the most
appropriate way to start out a film originally called "The April Fools"
and set among a group of joke- playing college students in the midst of
Hell Week. Shy Jennifer (Joanna Johnson), vivacious Phoebe (Elaine
Wilkes) and geeky Vivia (Sherry Willis-Burch) are the three newest
pledges of the prestigious sorority Sigma Alpha Phi ("the wet dream of
this college!") where they must endure such rush week indignities as
paddling, having raw eggs cracked into their mouths, being fed goat
eyeballs (!) and being forced to say "I myself prefer a big, fat
cucumber" in the middle of class.
Thankfully, all that's about to come to an end as the girls approach the end of their hazing period, only they're about to trade the feelings of embarrassment and humiliation for the feelings of death and bodily possession instead. Bitchy sorority head Veronica (Alicia Fleer) unwisely decides to hold the sorority's annual April Fool's masquerade ball - held in conjunction with a male house known as the Beta Tau - in a long-abandoned frat house haunted by the vengeful spirit of a guy named Alan who was accidentally killed there twenty years earlier. As the party is underway, someone decked out in a diver's costume decides to kill everyone off in a variety of ways that include a trident, knife, hammer, guillotine, drowning and that old standby, a harpoon shot up an ass. By the end, the guilty party (whose identity is poorly telegraphed in advance) is sporting white contacts, an EXORCIST tongue and a husky voice and literally climbing the walls.
This actually begins surprisingly well. The production values and photography are both good, there are some fun songs, the performances are competent from most of the cast, the actors and actresses are likable and the dialogue isn't half bad either (the script was from Friday THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER writer Barney Cohen). We get a good look at college life to start things out, but the movie wastes way too much time on that and the various pranks going on on campus, including bees unleashed upon a bunch of topless girls in a hot tub. For the first hour plus the film is almost completely bereft of horror so by the time it does reach the finale it has no other choice but to rush through it in a haphazard fashion completely devoid of either suspense or gory payoff.
Hampering the film even further is that ALL of the kills take place off- screen. You simply get to see an already-killed victim or the killer approaching behind someone with a weapon before it abruptly cuts to something else. Apparently the MPAA forced them to eliminate every bit of blood and there doesn't appear to have been a lot to begin with. The only real gore moment they allowed to pass through was a decapitation and that's only because it turns out to be a prank!
Martin Hewitt receives top billing for his supporting role because he was in the hit ENDLESS LOVE (1981) a few years earlier. (Terrible movie but it got him some attention at the time). Cult legend Paul Bartel has a small role as an uptight professor and other small parts are played by Ralph Seymour (JUST BEFORE DAWN), Terri Hawkes (PROM NIGHT II) and Woody Brown (ALLIGATOR II). By the way, the current "trivia" on here about this movie starting production in 1978 and being mostly filmed then is complete bs. This was actually filmed in 1984.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
William Golding's 1954 novel "Lord of the Flies" has gone down as one
of the most widely-read and acclaimed books of the 20th Century and
beyond thanks to the author's melding of solid, though deceptively
straight- forward storytelling with allegory, making it an excellent
tool to introduce various literary devices to students (hence why it is
usually a staple of high school and college English curriculum). TIME
Magazine even included it on their list of the 100 Best
English-Language Novels written between 1923 and 2005. The novel itself
can be enjoyed on many fronts. If nothing else, it's a fascinating
premise: What WOULD a bunch of young boys do if stranded somewhere with
no adults around, no rules, no laws, no structure or discipline and
left to their own devices? The fact it also happens to rich as an
allegory on human nature and societal structure is just the icing on
top. Golding himself summed up his intent rather simply by stating it's
"... about the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to
live together in society." That basic concept is put front and center
in director Peter Brook's film adaptation and relayed with power
despite some obvious technical issues that arise.
An airplane full of young British schoolboys - ranging from about 6 years old to early teens - crashes somewhere on an uninhabited island. Ralph (James Aubrey), the son of a Navy commander who thinks the paternal figure he idolizes will soon come find them, stumbles upon the chubby, insecure, bespectacled, talkative Piggy (Hugh Edwards) first and the two make their way down the beach, discovering more of their schoolmates as they go. Along the beach come a second and smaller group of slightly older boys, led by Jack (Tom Chapin). Things begin harmlessly enough, with the kids essentially viewing the experience as some extended camping trip. They play games, laugh, play pranks, gather fruit, start a fire and build a shelter from branches as they await rescue. Using a majority rules vote to establish a new leader in Ralph, the group set down a few basic ground rules at the outset to maintain order, like using a conch shell as a platform to speak without interruption and keeping a fire going at the island's highest peak so a passing aircraft may see it, but things quickly go to hell.
Once one of the boys claims to see a "snake-like" shape-shifting beast stirring among the bushes at night (which later turns into a mythical sea beast), a seed of superstition and paranoia encroaches on the new society and things escalate from there. Jack and his group deem themselves "the hunters," sharpen spears, paint their faces, dress in animal rags, leave pig heads on stakes as an offering to their perceived new God and quickly descend into a life of violent tribal savagery, while Ralph loses his power and his numbers once his rival proves he can provide better and has no issue using deadly force as a means to silence those who oppose the new way. After having swayed the majority of others over to his side, Jack and his few remaining allies realize their own lives are in grave danger.
Filmed in 1961 in Puerto Rico, this low budget production had numerous technical issues that needed tended to before it could finally be released in 1963. The major problem was the audio, most of which was not actually recorded on location due to various natural noises the filmmakers really couldn't do anything about. As a result, most of the dialogue was dubbed in later and, sadly, they didn't do a very good job of it. Audio levels really seem off throughout. Many seem to have issues with the casting of inexperienced boys instead of trained child actors in all of the roles, which results in some wooden, amateurish and / or stilted dialogue readings. Personally it didn't bother me all that much, but it will some viewers. If you can ignore the above issues, this is a visually splendid film that's atmospherically photographed on beautiful locations and it manages to generate a great desolate feel apart from the 'civilized' world.
Most importantly of all, Brook actually does the source novel justice. Very little of importance was left out and the director conveys exactly what the book is trying to say. That's especially impressive considering he had to narrow down around 60 hours (!) of total filmed footage to just 90 minutes for the theatrical release. Supposedly a 100-minute version was initially released to Cannes, but I don't believe that cut has ever been made commercially available. A more polished and bigger- budgeted color remake was made in 1990 by director Harry Hook. Though it's not a terrible movie, it lacks the character and artistry of this original version.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm always amused by the weird fetishes people have and the videos made
to cater to said fetishes. This one appears to be a fetish video for
people REALLY into seeing nude women being shot repeatedly because
that's ALL it is. There's no real plot and barely even any dialogue.
The same company who helped to make this (William Hellfire's Factory
2000) also made fetish movies about duct tape, chloroform, blood, rape,
snuff videos, strangulation, necrophilia, bondage, cannibalism, etc. so
I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised something like this exists.
Some people have strange tastes, eh? Though I've not seen any of the
other F2000 productions, this was so painfully boring and horribly made
it was more than enough to soil me on their 'brand' for life.
Veteran hit woman Tonya ("Mia Copia" / Tina Krause) is instructed by her boss DOM (Yioti Floris) to snuff out rival hit man C.D.'s (C.D. Smith) nubile young daughter Judy. The only problem is that until now Tonya has refused to kill another woman and doesn't want to start now. It doesn't help that Judy is played by very-young-looking soft-core star Misty Mundae, who wears pigtails and is constantly clutching a stuffed bunny rabbit to show how innocent she is. Before Tonya can get to work, we first see a long series of flashbacks showing C.D. shooting various female victims. There are around a dozen different women (played by "The Girls of Perfect Shots Video") who end up filled with lead. The gunshot effects are REALLY bad CGI, all of the "girls" just so happen to be nude or topless when the hit man kills them and they all look like they were pulled right off a street corner (or a donut shop judging by the FUPA and cellulite on some of these chicks) to take part in this pathetic excuse for a film.
The same shots are repeated over and over again throughout. Tina walks into Misty's bedroom with a gun and prepares to shoot her. Turns out to be a bad dream. Misty walks into Tina's bedroom and prepares to shoot HER. Another bad dream. That's all repeated three different times so by the time Tina and Misty finally do meet you're like "Meh." The big finale has a topless Misty in bed, rubbing a gun on her crotch. Tina walks in with her gun, joins her in bed, rips off her top and both girls start rubbing their guns on each other's crotches. That goes on for 15 whole minutes with, again, numerous repeated shots and shots put in slow motion. I don't care how good-looking the stars are, this is just boring to sit through. It was shot with a camcorder, the audio is terrible and sounds filtered through a tin can and the same generic rock riff is looped over and over again.
For the record, the on-screen title is actually "Shoot the Girls, Make Them Die" and the film's full run-time is just 48 minutes, not 70 minutes as currently listed here. Hell, it may as well have been 48 HOURS because that's how long it felt to watch the whole damn thing. In the end credits it's revealed that much of the footage seen here was taken from OTHER videos from this same company ("Machinegun." "Selina 1," "Hat Trick" and "Scorpion"), none of which are currently listed on IMDb and probably never will be. I'm sure at one point they were sold via specialty mail order for the dozen or so extreme gun freaks who'd be interested in something like this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First and foremost, this is a sex flick that was made primarily for
that purpose. However, as is customary with this particular director,
you're given a more interesting and better quality film than is the
norm for the erotica genre... not to mention something darker and more
twisted! An "Underground Video Film" (snuff tape) is found in a trash
heap along with the dismembered remains of its "star." A detective
takes it home and watches it with his girlfriend (Kiyomi Ito) only to
be surprised to find she gets turned on by it and wants him to break
out the handcuffs afterward. Meanwhile, at a local sex shop, another
snuff tape is dropped off anonymously and falls into the hands of
Akira, one of the workers there who's also studying film in college.
Akira takes the tape home and tries to watch it but is interrupted by
his sister Tomoe, who plops down on his bed and says "Come on. Let's
commit incest." And, for what's it's worth, that they do. Upon later
inspection, Akira begins to believe the murder depicted on the tape is
the real deal.
Akira eventually crosses paths with the detective's girlfriend, a self- proclaimed "crime hunter" who's strangely fascinated with this particular case and decides to launch a freelance investigation of her own. Posing as a magazine reporter, the girlfriend (who refuses to ever give out her real name and goes only by "The Crime Hunter" for reasons we will later discover) starts snooping around and begins to suspect that a mysterious former TV producer turned underground filmmaker named Cross, as well as Cross' lover Mari, a former actress who now works alongside Akira in the porn shop, may somehow be involved with the tapes and a shady company called 'Studio Omega.' Whoever is doing the killings is using a specially-equipped camera with a retractable blade hidden near the lens to provide a POV of each death in what's a clear reference to Michael Powell's classic PEEPING TOM (1960).
"Abunômaru: Ingyaku" (which has been making the bootleg rounds for years now under such titles as "Abnormal," "Celluloid Nightmares" and "Re- wind") is an evocatively gritty and bleak mixture of sex and horror- thriller filtered through a fuzzy 80s video aesthetic. Director Satô caters to nearly every sexual fetish / perversity under the sun - S&M, rape, pantyhose, lesbians, incest, you name it - while simultaneously delivering some pretty vicious gore / murder scenes as well as a central theme about a filmmaker's sociopathic detachment tendencies whilst hidden behind a camera lens. This is also one of the director's more accessible works. I've seen a handful of his other films - like MUSCLE (1989) and NAKED BLOOD (1996), and this is by far the least-confusing and easiest to follow of the ones I've watched.
The sex in this film is about as graphic as a non-hardcore film can get but, sticking with Japanese censorship rules, there's no frontal nudity and the director tries to make up for it by showing pretty much everything BUT it. There's tons of T&A, lots of simulated sex, crotch rubbing and licking, long close-ups of French kissing, nipple and tongue sucking, etc. There are also a handful of pretty gruesome moments to go along with that, including an arm being sliced open and spewing blood, a fingernail getting ripped off with a knife, numerous bloody stabbings, a plate of spaghetti festering with maggots and a head bashed in with a tripod. There's certainly more than enough here to please exploitation fans. The fact it's well made and doesn't wear out its welcome at just 65 minutes are just added bonuses.
A movie with such alternate titles as "Violent Rape," "Hostages of
Lust" and "Island of 1000 Rapes" sure has its work cut out for it. I'll
be counting. A pair of criminals - impotent blonde Stamatis (Giorgos
Stratigakis) and Charles Manson look-a-like Stefano (Petros Zarkadis) -
escape from prison and hide out in some rocky cliffs near the ocean
until the police are forced to temporarily call off their search. They
watch from some overgrown weeds as a woman strips off and goes for a
nude swim and then watch some stud named Dimitri (Yannis Petrakis) have
awkward sex with a blonde in the water and THEN have even-more-awkward
sex with the girl's bitchy nympho sister Aliki (Lia Flessa) on his
boat, which ends with the two getting into an argument and him throwing
her off into the water. The thugs follow the guy and girls back to
their rich family's vacation home and decide that would be the ideal
place to both hide out for a bit and get their hands on some much-
This falls into that sub-category of "terror" films made in response to the success of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972), all of which feature criminals kidnapping, terrorizing and usually raping and murdering members of well-to-do families, only this time the violence is almost completely de-emphasized in favor of the sex. Once the escapees get their hands on a gun and a knife and start holding the family hostage they don't even really actually terrorize them. One of the girls gets slapped and a few of the guys are tied up and that's pretty much it until the very last scene.
The Stamatis character has frequent orange-tinted flashbacks about his cruel, large-breasted ex-wife Katia (Mary Moshoviti), who runs around all over the place naked, makes him scrub her ass with a sponge while laughing at him and flaunts her infidelities in his face because he can't get it up until he finally loses it and shoots her dead. This all leads up to a jaw- dropping climax (probably the film's only truly interesting moment) where Stamatis finally gets his mojo back by making an unwelcome rear entry on one of the ladies, followed by him beating his chest like Tarzan and leaping and clicking his heels together in celebration (!?)
Because of the "1000 Rapes" alt. title I thought I'd have to get out my calculator to keep tabs on the depravity I was about to see. And while I figured this new title would be a huge exaggeration (I mean, 1000 rapes in 80 minutes is kind of impossible, right?), I didn't figure the movie would have just ONE rape scene which is debatable as rape to begin with and over in a matter of about 10 seconds. All of the rest of the sex is non-violent and consensual and that's what takes up the vast majority of the run-time. The sex itself is depicted in a rather strange and frenzied fashion with several instances of armpit licking, which must have been the rage in Greece in the 70s. The guys are all butt ugly, though several of the female cast members are hot and show graphic full frontal nudity throughout. That may explain why this was seldom released outside of Greece and doesn't appear to have ever been dubbed for release in any other country. The good thing is the movie isn't hard to follow at all even if you don't understand the dialogue.
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