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Don't Go Near the Park (1979)
The Fountain Of Youth, Sort Of....
Eating the flesh of the young gives you extended youth for a little while. That's probably why Don't Go Near The Park was a important part of England's list of Video Nasties breakfast. But it isn't near the park, it's in the park where everything begins 12,000 years ago when Brother Gar(Crackers Phinn) and Sister Tra (Barbara Monker) are cursed with somewhat eternal life by their mother for chomping on kids which basically killed their tribe off, and their curse can only be broken when a virgin sacrifice of one of their offspring is offered when the stars are just right.
Flash forward 11,984 years as Gar, now known as Mark gets to work in order to lift the curse, marries and fathers a girl named Bondi with a woman (Linnea Quigley as "Bondi's Mother", see, it says so in the credits!), and still eats under age individuals while completing his plan. Well, the limpid second part of the film involves Bondi meeting other runaways, after running away following a Epic Failure of a 16th birthday party. This part also includes a subplot with reporter Taft (Aldo Ray) trying to convince runaway Nick (Meeno Peluce) to get out of the park, especially with a rumored immortal woman running around (three guesses, anyone?).
The plot lines of the first and second parts merge for the finale which includes eye beams (eye beams????), fire, poetic justice, and a much unneeded shock ending.
Looking back at this film in our enlightened age, in which we've all seen much more extreme examples of gore, the film seems watered down concerning the gore effects, but the copyright date on the film is 1979, which places it between Dawn of the Dead and Friday The 13th, the two films that blew the roof off of gore effects at the time thanks to a Mr. Tom Savini. The film was edited down to achieve an R rating, but you can see the cut footage spliced back into it's proper place in the deleted scenes in the bonus materials, which also includes GORE! (gore effects footage), a stills gallery, English and Spanish trailers (both the same, except the Spanish one has distributor added narrator subtitles) a T.V. spot and a commentary. The only question I have is that if Dark Sky were able to restore the deleted gore, why didn't they do that and had a rated and unrated version on the disc, with a disclaimer about the added footage? They put one at the beginning of the deleted scenes.
So anyways, it's a 5 out of ten from me, and happy viewings!!!
Il Natale che quasi non fu (1966)
The Christmas Movie That Generation X'ers Call Their Own.
Back when HBO was in it's infacy, every year at Christmas they would show this wonderful film, I just saw it again recently and it hasn't lost any of it's charm after all these years.
You know the basic storyline: Phineous T. Prune hates Santa for some reason and wishes to stop Christmas, and he has the way and the means to do so, for he holds the deed to the North Pole, so in other words: he's Santa's landlord! And if Prune can evict Santa for non payment of rent, Christmas will be no more!!! But Santa gets help from the one source he knows he can count on: Sam Whipple, an attourney who always says "Why can't every day be Christmas?" and the two team up to try to stop Prune. Will Sam and Santa find the way to pay the rent, or will Prune win, thus ending Christmas altogether? The one thing that has remained with me through the years of seeing CTAW was not only the songs, or the sentimentality of the film, or even the effect of Santa's sleigh (these days, it looks cheap but brings back memories) is that Santa is human, and therefore has human traits. This will become apparent in the last few minutes of the film, and that anyone can forgive another person, for any reason.
If you have never seen this film, go out and seek a copy and see it. It's 90 minutes of Christmas joy you could make a yearly tradition.
What was ACTUALLY destroyed by METEOR????
METEOR was supposed to be American-International's BIG film. How big? How about a two page ad in the NEW YORK TIMES announcing the film a year before it's release? Tie-in's to the film like a official movie magazine and a pinball machine (pratically unheard of in those days)? The title METEOR copyrighted by American-International? But then METEOR was released.
The storyline (Comet passing through asteroid belt collides with gigantic rock causing the huge chunk to head towards Earth, disaster impending) is just basically a chance to see B-grade and former A-grade actors go through the motions, which is fine and passable. What is wrong with this film is the long pauses between anything really happening at all, which is poison to a disaster film. METEOR really didn't need a nearly five minute segment of two rocket platforms turning, or occasionally during the climax of the film, a character asking "How long till impact?", another character would say how long it was. And then we would see a combination of shots like the meteor, then the rockets, then a shot of the meteor headed towards the rockets, then a shot of the rockets headed towards the meteor (any combination of any and/or all shots above). Any momentum the film had would be killed right then and there.
METEOR isn't a bad film, it's a decent film with unnecessary filler sequences.
And what was actually destroyed by METEOR? American-International Pictures. The high (compared with other A.I.P. films) production costs combined with low box office returns doomed A.I.P. and was bought out by FILMWAYS and within two years of METEOR's release, A.I.P. was nothing more than a memory except to those lovers of drive-in flicks.
Blazing Stewardesses (1975)
I recently got NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES and BLAZING STEWARDESSES from a on-line rental service and decided to recreate the Stewardesses Drive-In double feature. As NAUGHTY is more of a exploitation film, BLAZING is actually a throw back to the old REPUBLIC and MONOGRAM Saturday afternoon B westerns starring John Wayne, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.
In fact, if you took out the sex scenes, it would be no more harmful than an old B western.
The performances are good, especially by Regina Caroll's comic turn. If you thought her film roles only required her to "look pretty and scream a lot" will be surprised by her role in BLAZING. Two of the three Ritz Brothers are in the film as comic relief and they rise up to their task.
So, if you like old Drive-In flicks, check out BLAZING STEWARDESSES. You can't go wrong with this one.
A Night to Dismember (1983)
A Night to Dismember delivers the laughs
A Night to Dismember, a very catchy title indeed, had me ready because I knew it was cheese, and then I started to watch it. Simply hilarious.
Because much of the original film had been lost, new footage had to be shot to replace it, and it shows. Disjointed editing, a new soundtrack that replaces the old soundtrack which sound effects and the score just doesn't match the action on screen (a good example is when one of the main characters is being attacked during a dream sequence, the soundtrack doesn't have terror laden screams, it has moans akin to a porn film), and repeating footage makes this film a truly funny film.
The parodies of the slasher genre of the 1980's can't hold a candle to the laughs in this one. Watch it, you'll be glad you did.