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THAT was a bully?
We got this kid they call mouse. Why? Well it seems he started messing with an older girl by the swing set once (no, not THAT way) and got a fist to the stomach. Now everyone calls him mouse.
He likes to prank a bit. Mostly drawing captions on everyday items at school. Finally he puts a big kid's name on a poster of a caveman. Only said kid watches him do it. Name? Marv Hammerman. You're classic school tough kid. A little older than Mouse too.
He spends the day trying to elude the obvious beating (he even fantasizes about going back and wiping the graffiti off) but eventually has to face up to it. He's caught by ol' Marv and his stereotype, boot-licking side-kick. The shocker? Marv pops him a couple of times. bloodies his nose, then says "You've had enough." Hands him his jacket and now it's over.
Reality? I doubt it. But showing Marv as a guy who sees excess as unnecessary was a nice little twist. His side-kick (nice Buddy Holly glasses by the way) was annoying though.
Lance Kerwin as Mousie's friend was really the only actor that got beyond this type of role. Among the youngsters anyway. And Jim Sage (Marv) has NO other credits besides this. And he hardly spoke. Just looked tough
Decor wise this is all 70's. All the males had long shaggy hair and everyone seemed to own a lot of denim. Lots of tube socks too. And did girls really wear shorts year 'round in the 70's? Oh well, it was probably California anyway.
Pay attention and you might see Willie Aames in a short cameo.
The Silent Scream (1979)
Silence wasn't golden.
This film was made twice when everyone was brought back to re do scenes. It didn't help much.
A few college types decide to rent a huge castle/mansion near the ocean when the dorm housing gets full. Except there's an evil presence hiding there.
It seemed to capitalize on the sudden attacks so "no one had time to scream." But the build up was so bad it almost wasn't worth it.
Seeing Barbara Steele and Yvonne (Lily Munster) DeCarlo was nice. And the Cameron Mitchell-Avery Schreiber cop team was worth a look for the weirdness alone. But these names basically showed up for a few days and did their scenes before going back to their bigger jobs.
Most of the other actors were newbies trying to earn their stripes. They gave their all. And if you look....you'll catch Schreiber reading his lines off his notepad.
Strangely enough....despite the ravaging this took from the critics....and the fact that it really hasn't aged well...it did gross between 10 and 15 million.
But the 80's video boom and the distance horror has come since probably made it valuable only to collectors or vintage 70's film buffs.
The Toolbox Murders (1978)
Setting framework for more slasher entries.
Cam the Man Mitchell lives in this apartment building with a lot of young types. The majority of them are single, and very randy women. And most of them seem to be flight attendants. Perpetuating a stereotype here it seems.
Cam ain't happy with the looseness of said ladies so he slowly (and I do mean slowly) invades their space and kills them. The title gives away the implements used so I would not be remiss mentioning the drill and nail-gun scenes. And I go anyone in the room double or nothing the producers of 'Nail Gun Massacre' got their idea here.
Some of the actresses were porno vets either trying to do 'legit' films or hired due to their willingness to show it all and touch same. The lass killed by the aforementioned nail gun was masturbating in the bath at the time.
Cam covers himself with a ski mask which makes his appearance almost trite these days. But while there were enough scares to make this decent....it did move a bit to slow and got repetitious by the third act.
For Cam Mitchell and slasher prototype fans only.
Human Experiments (1979)
This is basically a Woman in prison flick mixed with a Mad Scientist flick. Call it a WIPWMS flick then.
A country singer (The lovely Linda Haynes) meets a child that just killed his family. So she shoots him in self-defense. However the sheriff (Jackie Coogan???) Frames her and sends her to prison.
They do it differently in this prison. The inmates are nothing more that fodder for a bunch of twisted experiments. Geoff Lewis hams it up as the local Dr. Frankenstein wannabe. And John Travolta's sis Ellen also appears.
Ms. Haynes was not afraid to do nudity but why they dubbed a singing voice I'll never understand. Especially since the voice was crap.
The best scenes were the nightmare/hallucinations becoming reality. You have to wait for 2/3 of the film to get to it though. And I wonder how many punk clubs tried to book Satan and the Lucifers after seeing this. Otherwise....it's all been done better.
Watch for Aldo Ray as a slimy barman in an early scene.
The Clonus Horror (1979)
I liked 'Parts' of it.....
The 70's seemed to be chock full of guys with new ideas in the horror/sci-fi field. Or new ways to show old ones.
This wasn't too bad really. Summer camp full of clones of people that don't know they're clones yet. Why keep them around? In case the genuine article needs a new organ/limb.
Peter Graves and Dick Seargent (That's the second Darren gang) slum it here slightly in an attempt to dignify the film. The rest of the troupe weren't bad....maybe a bit too inexperienced. But that's low budget for you.
Some fear builds as the film progresses when it slowly dawns on everyone that this is basically a human harvesting operation. At the time this was released it was probably LOTS more shocking.
And in a bit of censorship....one of the original video box covers showed a woman on a mortuary slab with her arms dangling down. Actually no...the original had the arms lopped off. The new (in the 80's video boom era) re added the arms.
Anyone got a copy of the chopped arms? You may have a collectors item.
I saw this in the said era of its vid release. Liked it fine....but I wonder what it looks like these days.
Blood Diner (1987)
Blood Feast 2? No, Blood Diner 1
Basically an 80's style comedy with European style gore. OTT gore too.
Two young brothers get a visit from Uncle Anwar. (Really.) He gives them a present right before the cops kill him in a hail of bullets. Unc was a killer apparently.
Years later same bros are running a greasy spoon when they manage to revive Unc's head with a voodoo spell. Now he needs a body. You see where this is going right?
Like Frankenhooker, they get body parts for him from unsuspecting customers. And it being a diner, how do you THINK they get rid of the body parts they don't need???
One poor lass gets deep fat fried, another fat dude gets creamed by a car, and another gets sawed in half.....lengthwise. The kills are creative beyond belief, and it's played as the blackest of black comedies. It almost seems like it could be a Police Academy knock-off at times.
The humor is as gross as the kills too. Don't eat while watching this. And the two leads (Burks and Crews) do a good job with the material. Burks would die in a car crash not too long after the film's release.
I used to own a cassette but got rid of it during on of my many international moves. I'm basing my review on a 20+ year old memory. I wonder if it's still watchable though?
The Being (1983)
"Being" not that scary.
Typical 80's camp with an all-star cast. The thing is......most of said stars were more famous for comedy.
Dawn Wells, Ruth Buzzi, and even the Unknown Comic (now known as Murray Langston) show up along with Ferrer and Landau. This is Landau's vehicle more or less. But Rexx Coltrane (aka Jackie "I'm the director folks" Kong's then husband Bill Osco) also shares a bit of lead.
Toxic waste gets dumped into a local reservoir and creates a sci-fi monster. Which, despite the video cover art, we never actually see the lower half of. This figure of slime then creates the usual havoc and the local authorities want to keep it mum.
Why? The potato crop might not sell. Did I mention the film takes place in Idaho? Sorry.
Lots of local yokels in trucker and farm gear wandering around the scenery getting killed between jobs and beers. But not that much suspense.
Nope. Not aged to well. Despite all the talent involved.
Things to Come (1936)
A cinematic crystal ball?
We'll keep this as short as possible. But a film like this inspires volumes.
Wells hated Metropolis. This was his answer.
Lang's film was dark and moody....this one was dark and dramatic. It also predicted World War 2, the space program, and TV. In 1936!!!
H.G. wanted to give us his version of the future. And also letting us know it wasn't coming easy. The war was met with a lot of 'gung ho' but the scenes of the bombing were very well made (and hard to watch) for the time. Keep your eye out for the top-hatted man that shakes his fist at the bombers....right before he gets killed. And of course the dead child that just wanted to play soldier.
Then comes the disease. Trying times for all.
But when technology leaps forward....watch out. The FX here were great without a doubt. You get the idea that the crew took great pains to make it look good without overdoing it.
Having the entire cast play multiple roles was a good idea too. Sir Cedric and Mr. Massey leading the way here. Sci-fi with drama makes a great film no?
Devil Girl from Mars (1954)
This one stood out.
If only slightly.
Mars needs male breeding stock. So they send the most desirable lady they have to go get it. Now you know why the title is what it is.
Classic 50's sci-fi here. And very easy to find at your local DVD emporium. It has all the typical stuff. And if you're into that....you'll be glad.
Ms. Laffan (still with us and closing in on # 100) did a great job in the lead role. Stone faced seriousness with a great body. And that outfit probably turned a ton of heads in its day. She was clearly the one to watch for loads of reasons.
She also has a robot to do all her muscle work. FX geeks will have a blast watching these scenes.
A cheapie? Yes....but let's be FAIR. It's still good fun and easy to find so come on....enjoy it to the hilt.
Der Untergang (2004)
As seen from the other side.
A movie about the end of the Third Reich......from Germany no less.
The film is in German so I saw it with subtitles. Once at home, and once in a German restaurant in suburban Tokyo. No...really. The proprietors said it was brilliantly acted and truthful.
The best part of this film is that it sugar coated nothing. The head Nazis got no slack here. History has already taught us this but seeing Hitler slowly lose his mind and watching the Generals decide whether to save their own skin or stay loyal makes GREAT character study. Also the civilians in the bunker too. A classic moral dilemma.
Herr Ganz absolutely ROCKED as Der Fuhrer. You saw the frustration at his lack of success, anger when the Generals didn't obey, and lunacy at trying to get shredded, out numbered armies to go after the Soviet juggernaut knocking on Berlin's door.
You also saw the infighting among the Reichsters. A lot of this makes few history books. It showed who the real sadists were. No one wants to die but they know the little madman won't allow weakness. One by one high rankers run off. And all Hitler can do is yell and order another execution.
Some of the scenes in the bomb shelters may be hard to watch. Hysterical women and children fighting to save what little they have. Old men with looks of utter despair, that is when they weren't getting shot as traitors because they refused to let them selves get shanghaied into a suicide mission. And the civilians running from the final barrage in Berlin. Gives one another view of this dark time. I've seen real footage of this so I'll attest to the factualness.
Also some of the base level surgery (amputations really) in said bunker, despite the briefest of glimpses.....will NOT be easy to stomach.
And you also see what kind of a subhuman Dr. J Goebbels REALLY was. Let's be honest here....the guy was a cold-hearted mutant. And Ulrich Matthes was BRILLIANT in the role. He deserved Oscar consideration at least.
The film was well acted by everybody. And kudos to the German filmmakers for their honesty and artistic excellence. But be warned....we know what happens remember? So this will definitely be a sense tester.
History as some have NEVER seen it before.
Good job Mein Herrn. You deserved the gold statue. Too bad they wouldn't give it to you.