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Officer Johnson (Tommy "Tiny"Lister) is tracking down a string of
murders in Las Vegas and his son-in-law just happens to attract the
attention of the local vampire ring. When his partner is murdered and a
vampire is caught, Will he finally believe? Or does it take a super
sexy nun to show him the vampire fighting way? Well, it is obviously
the second option.
To start off, this is a great cast featuring "Tiny" (Friday), Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Daniel Baldwin (Vampires), Glenn Plummer (Saw II), and Kurupt (rap group, Tha Dogg Pound). There is also an appearance by K-ci & Jojo. And I did a bit of snooping around here and noticed an A. Demetrius Brown listed as Writer/ Executive Producer. Now that means he is either the guy serving time in prison or the kid from the band B2K that broke up.
Combining hip hop, vampires, Las Vegas, cop melodrama, and blaxploitation, this could have easily have been a failure. But it wasn't. Surprising, the production values were very high with great locations, fantastic musical backdrops, and an amusing cast.
There are some scenes and dialogue that are obviously corny. For instance, why would the vampires feed in public where they can, and do, get caught? And they break a rule that vampires cannot enter a residence unless invited. And that Black nun sure was sassy for a follower of the lord. But the silly scenes are overshadowed by some funny moments, like when a girl is running to her truck to get away and drops her keys right as she gets in. But before I could roll my eyes, she swung the door knocking the vampire over and took the keys from him. There is also a scene where Roundtree karate kicks a vampires head right off! There is a brief topless vampire orgy scene for anyone interested in that. Gore includes a decapitation, vampires burning in the sun, neck suckage, and bullet wounds. I just wished there was more of it and they focused less on the young kids. The "flying vampire" effects were simple, but effective too. Instead of hooking someone up on a wire and swinging them around, they added some effect afterwards to blur out the image and make it appear as though he is moving extremely fast.
IMDb will have this listed as Vegas Vamps (2003), but the actual DVD release is Feb. 27th 2007 under Vegas Vampires by Code Black Entertainment and runs at 89 minutes. The film quality is good and if it was shot on video, I couldn't tell. The SFX was good when it occurred, which wasn't enough.
DVD Extras: N/A. It was a screener and I cannot find any info from other sites.
Favorite Quote: Girl accidentally runs over her boyfriend in truck and asks him, "Oh my god! Are you okay?" Boyfriend replies, "No, you just hit me with a truck dumbass." Bottom Line: Pretty tame blaxploitation vampire flick with some fun to be had though.
by Molly Celaschi
Brenda (Linda Blair), head of the Satins girl gang, is on a mission of
vigilante justice after the Scars gang attacks her deaf (& mute) sister
and kills her best friend. You see, the Scars like to cruise for dates
(aka grab completely random women off the streets and rape them). When
the sniveling whiney thug suddenly gets "rape buyers remorse", the cat
is let out of the bag in more ways than one.
Linnea Quigley plays Heather, Brenda's deaf younger sister. Heather gets raped, and the most disturbing part, well besides the obvious reason that it is rape, is that she is a young girl and deaf. Quigley is anorexic and this is pre-op breast augmentation, so she is barely batting an A-cup average here, making her look like she is thirteen years old. The rape is played out in the worst way possible with her innocently twirling around like a little ballerina before she notices one of the Scars gang members checking her out. He talks with her in a friendly manner; tricking the audience into thinking he means her no harm. But all the thugs show up and rape her in the bathroom. While she is laying on the floor, head thug Jake makes sure to kick her so hard in the head that it puts her in a coma. And this disturbing scene is cut in with the goofy "girl fight" in the showers, which was hysterical. So I am watching a terrible rape scene, then cutting to girls bouncing around in showers and pushing each other, then back to the child rape again.
The next victim is Brenda's best friend, Francine. Her crime and reason for punishment? She cut Jake with a knife when the guys tried to molest her and beat up random guys in a club. Francine is pregnant and getting married to her man. After trying on her wedding dress, she is chased down by the Scars gang. Jake catches her, throws her over an overpass killing her, then tosses her wedding dress over too. Could these scenes be any more vile? Sure they could be, but you can give credit to Steinmann for trying his sick best.
Now after the whiney little punk in the Scars gang feels guilty for his rape and assistance in the murder, he confesses to his crime and Brenda is all over it. Stacked with big breasts and a crossbow, she hunts down each member one by one. Cue "Justice for all, You get what you get when you've broken the law" and she is off on her killing spree with some great one liners. Linda Blair won the Worst Actress Razzie Award for this role in 1986. I can't blame them for awarding her with it, but I have to say that her over the top performance added some much needed humor to this otherwise dreary film. The last part of the movie is the most fun to watch, but sadly with all her tough womaness, she still resorts to the Please-don't-hurt-me-after-I-tripped-while-running cliché at the very end. Oh well. She did kick @ss most of the time and all the dudes get their payback.
I'm not sure if the movie was meant to be serious or funny. I would like to think it was the former. During a classroom scene, a teacher asks, "What does Sex and Death have in common?" And although she doesn't give the answer, the movie does to some degree. One of the students says that sex and death are forever, so you could argue that the sex crimes against Heather will last forever while the deaths of the Scars gang are equally eternal as well. As Brenda is torturing Jake, she says, "This will not be quick."
There is a highly interesting cast presented for your enjoyment as well. John Vernon (ANIMAL HOUSE, KILLER CLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE) plays the principal. Maybe the film was meant to be one of those LEAN ON ME knockoffs. Who knows? And Brenda's best friend Francine is played by Lisa Freeman (BACK TO THE FUTURE, Friday THE 13TH Part 4) and the recognizable, even in the background, Marcia Karr played the lead in KILLER WORKOUT and starred in CHAINED HEAT as well.
But some silly problems occurred like the boom mic popping into the scenes (watch the P.E. gym scene). Also, Heather is described in some parts/descriptions as being a "deaf-mute", which doesn't sound correct. A Deaf-Mute is an inaccurate and offensive term since deaf and people have functioning vocal chords and "mute" means without voice. So for her character to really be a mute, she must have damaged to her vocal chords, which was never explained in the movie. Meaning if she really wasn't "mute", then she could have screamed during her attack, therefore making Brenda's dramatic line "she couldn't even scream for help" devoid of any validity. In addition, Quigley clearly wasn't trained to be a deaf person. She just kinda wandered around quietly with no mannerisms and didn't bother to learn sign language.
It is also worth noting that the superior Tom DeSimone (HELL NIGHT, THE CONCRETE JUNGLE, and some gay porn) was the original director, but quit after a few days. Steinmann (a weak Friday THE 13TH PART 5) came aboard. Not sure if Steinmann was the original writer or if he received writing credits after having to rewrite some scenes when the director and a few actors left the production. But rewrites would explain why some people disappeared from the film halfway through. The seemingly important classroom, hallway, and locker room scenes were all left hanging. I feel like this was meant to be a commentary on the trials of high school life.
Bottom Line: Incredibly gritty look at mean streets and high school drama while maintaining funny 80's movie staples. In the vein of YOUNG WARRIORS.
by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jane, a local news anchor, has realized that her neighbor is the
rapist/ serial killer that she has been reporting on nightly. Jane goes
on a one woman mission to hunt him down before he can get to her and
her deaf-blind sister she takes care of. When her lawyer boyfriend
refuses to help, she is on her own. Jane starts playing phone games
with the killer and turns the tables on him. But considering her air
time as a reporter, it isn't long before he discovers her too. So it is
a cat and mouse game to see who can get to who first.
There are genuine moments of tension like when one victim is harassed with increasingly menacing phone calls. The cops refuse to help her, and she is in her apartment running through her living room just to turn on her light switch. When her ding dong boyfriend shows up, he pops in with a creepy mask that made me jump because I was expecting the killer. And when one woman flees her office after getting phone calls, she heads into an elevator, only to be called on the elevators emergency phone! The tension and excitement isn't too surprising considering Weiderhorn was the writer and director of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD II (1988) and SHOCK WAVES (1977).
I think the characters are well written for this type of film. You can't help but like Jane, the smart news reporter investigating the killings. When her boyfriend asks her to move in, she says No because her deaf-blind sister Tracy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is just settling into her new home. She thinks he would resent them both and eventually leave them. I can appreciate such strength and honesty from a female character. To make matters more difficult, Jane feels guilt over her Tracy's (hinted at) molestation that left her deaf-blind after leaving her alone one day. This reinforces her boyfriend's notion that Jane is on a quest to save the rest of the women in town because she couldn't save her own sister. Leigh is usually hit or miss in her movies. You either like her or not or she doesn't even register on screen. But here she is just a teenager, but plays a deaf-blind girl realistically.
Adding to the creepiness of the film, is the feel of the killer just being a regular guy lost in a crowd. When Jane breaks into his home, she tries hard to find anything out of the ordinary. He eats, sleeps, and relaxes like a normal guy. It almost seems mildly perverse when Jane starts calling and harassing him. She even sucks lightly on a cigarette afterward as though she got off on it.
But I do have some problems with the film. Initially, it feels like a feminist's version of REAR WINDOW where the reporter stalks and hunts the rapist/ killer herself. As a "Reverse Rape/Revenge" flick, this shows her character tracking him down BEFORE he can hurt her or her sister instead of shelling out revenge after the crime was committed. But the film steers dangerously into sleaze territory in some parts, which pretty much makes all feminist statements null and void. The strip club scene was unnecessary and should have been omitted.
I am also concerned with the motive for the killings and its portrayal of women. Serial killers have a certain type they seek out. But this killer targets a stripper, a good girl next door, a deaf-blind young girl, and a completely random woman on the street. Sometimes he harasses the women for long periods of time and knows personal information and sometimes he just attacks because the mood strikes him. This doesn't make any sense. Either he is a meticulous killer that plans his kills or he is a deviant with a bad temper. So the only thing I could conclude is that all women are equal and worthy of death despite their differences in the filmmaker's eyes.
The most tense, yet sleazy part of the film was when he breaks into Jane's home and finds Tracy there alone. (SPOILER ALERT) He begins playing games with her because she is blind such as moving around a plate and knife as she is trying to cut a piece of cake. Eventually, she notices she is not alone and attempts to flee. But what is absolutely despicable is it's showing of child molestation and attempted rape on screen which completely disgusted me. Leigh herself was barely 19 years old when this started filming.
As if the age and deaf-blind factors were not bad enough, this is the second time this character gets molested in the movie. Damn, tough luck. But wait, it gets goofier. After her attack and supposed killing of the prick, she waltzes into the bathroom to start "exploring her body". Huh? Um, I will take a wild guess here and say that the last thing a woman wants to do after getting raped would be to start touching herself sensually. There are more important things to do like, you know, call the friggin' police!! The other part that makes this so damn disturbing is the revelation that no matter how hard Jane tried to protect her sister, she couldn't. In fact, her sister is molested BECAUSE she tried to help. So what is the theory here? That women should just give up and let themselves be mauled by men because otherwise they will get it twice as bad?
Released in 1981 by Warner Bros., it clocks in at 85 minutes. It is currently unavailable on DVD.
Bottom Line: Very tense & sleazy feminist alternative to REAR WINDOW.
A lonely girl named May leads an isolated existence with no
companionship other than her encased doll, until one day she meets the
perfect guy. Slowly she comes out of her shell as her doll's case
cracks more and more. After getting rebuffed by her man and a woman and
even a cat (!), she begins her mental descent into madness culminating
in the final scene where she finally gets what she always wanted.
May is an updated version of Frankenstein with the girl mistaken for a pirate (monster) for wearing a corrective eye patch. There are themes of isolation, loneliness, and insanity. May speaks of liking people, most of them anyway, and disliking certain parts. May is the perfect embodiment of the awkward girl struggling for attention. I believe only Bettis could have pulled off this difficult role. She is both vulnerable, yet powerful at the same time.
The supporting cast is great particularly Anna Faris (Scary Movie 1-5) who plays the mighty flirtatious lesbian co-worker Polly. And while that description sounds cheesy, her character is anything but. She steals almost every scene she is in and I am completely smitten with her. She holds her cat and sulks across the screen purring like a pussy herself. Jeremy Sisto plays the cute, but aloof Adam whose room is covered in Dario Argento's Opera posters. He shows his character drawn to May's quirkiness, yet repulsed by her natural desires.
I think in different hands with different actors, the film would have failed miserably. But each actor made his or her character someone unique. This film also works as a shining example of McKee's great storytelling skills. Haunting moments include dead cat play, bloodied eyeballs, blind kids crawling over glass, scissor stabbings, and a very creepy doll.
Released in 2002 by Lions Gate, the movie clocks in at 93 minutes. There is apparently missing footage from the movie such as multiple scenes of young May featuring the "Bird Wing Chopping" scene where May tries to make her doll fly. Hopefully, this will get re-released at a later time with the extra scenes.
DVD Extras: Hidden Trailers and some interesting Commentary. The German release has production notes and Biographies, while Australia provided a 14 still Photo Gallery.
Favorite Quote: Polly, "The Doctor needs you to do a Fee-Ko Zam on the Miss Ka-Tay. Does that make any sense?" May, "Fecal exam on Miss Kitty." Bottom Line: Very unique tale of a lonely girl that builds her best friend.
by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
A group of scientists researching cancer treatments unintentionally
kills the daughter of a voodoo priest. The priest hopes to get his
daughter back by opening the third gate of Hell. Fast paced, fun action
ensues as demonic zombies are unleashed. A group of mercenaries arrive
to add to the fun, which leads to a downbeat ending. Why? Because there
is a Zombie 5! Hmmm, an Italian zombie flick directed by a white guy
with a white cast. How are the results you ask? Pretty good, but let's
clear some things up. The director is listed as Clyde Anderson, which
is a pseudonym for Claudio Fragasso. He uses the English name for his B
& Z movies, so he still has the respect of Italians. He also worked on
Zombi 3, which is famous for Lucio Fulci walking off production and the
rest being shot uncredited by Bruno Mattei and Fragasso himself. This
is the third in the Italian Zombi series.
And so goes another take of Nature vs Science vs Military. This is pure 80s flick right down to the "Eye of the Tiger"-type inspirational music, the guys with open shirts, girls with puffy hair, and a token black guy with a boom box. Story wise, this doesn't break new ground. The plot is similar to other stuck-on-an-island-with-zombies flicks, but this features voodoo elements, running zombies, and zombie friends that taunt the would-be victims. Hell, these zombies karate chop their way to the next meal.
There are of course plot holes. The chick says that she is cursed and the zombies want her after she escaped the fate of her family's death 20 years ago, so Why did she return to the island? She mentioned something about just now realizing she watched her parents get eaten when she was little. Yeah, like that would be difficult to forget. And if the magical circle of candles stops the zombies, Why don't they relight them when they go out and they get hit with another wave of zombies? The movie starts to slow down right about when the chick starts explaining why things are happening. I am pretty sure this part was improvised and she completely made up the weird story on the spot. The other characters die pretty quickly and we are stuck with the two bumbleheads. The acting is pretty laughable, as it always seems to be in this sort of flick. Chuck Peyton and Candice Daly seem pretty enough to look at, but do not sound very bright. Daly did the movie to be near her boyfriend in the Philippines and Peyton is really porn star Jeff Stryker. Really important side note: he has a 10 inch penis. For reals.
The camera shots are very clever and engaging with the director's predilection for extreme close ups whether to bulging eyes, chanting mouths, military boots stomping. The lighting was quite effective with flashlights in dark tunnels or candles lighting a room. The cinematography was well done with much attention lavished upon the lush forests to paint them falsely as inviting, instead of as an indicator of impending doom. The SFX kicked some ass and includes exploding heads, scissor stabbings, ripped off faces, a hand through a chest, and a pulsating eyeball. I have read some negative reviews, but I thought the film was pretty entertaining. I honestly believe the negativity stems from the ballyhoo surrounding the Zombie series.
For some reason, the Shriek Show version I watched was listed at only 85mins long. The Shriek Show (subdivision of Media Blasters) US DVD release in 2002 has a running time of 90mins. I also read one description stating there was gratuitous nudity, but there was no sex at all in this. Not sure where the differences come into play, but I know After Death was the original title, but when Shriek Show picked it up, they changed it to Zombie 4 to tie in with the series. Possibly a simple misprint on some sites are to blame.
DVD Extras: Fragasso's Bio, Interviews with Daly, Guy, & Fragasso, and Trailers for Eaten Alive, House on the Edge of the Park, Zombie 3, and Zombi (Hidden).
Favorite Quote: Machismo man, "Those are the times when it really counts in a mans life. When you discover if you've got any balls. When a man is afraid he's going to die, there's nothing he wants more than a woman by his side. And I want you." (She turns him down) Bottom Line: One of the better cheesy 80s zombie flicks with some fast paced action and good gore shots.
by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
As a serious horror fan, I get that certain marketing ploys are used to
sell movies, especially the really bad ones. So I wouldn't call it
naiveté that I assumed this was softcore horror ripping off Cannibal /
Zombi / Jungle Holocaust. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong as this
is very hardcore. I should have realized that when I saw the odd "No
actual or identifiable minor was used" warning. Notice the identifiable
part as though he is daring us to catch him? A group of scientists,
half of whom are pretty women in bikinis, are led by a sea captain with
a penchant for 69ing on the beach, in search for a mutated native
killing villagers. Due to a nuclear bomb detonated on a supposedly
evacuated island, the radiation turned this last man into a rapist/
Writer/ actor George Eastman is the only one trying here and succeeds in keeping his clothes on. The sex scenes are whacked out. Women walk around nude exuding a strange overconfidence and one even asks for rape when her husband turns her down. Well, two chicks slapping each other naturally turns into a lesbo scene because women are horndogs. I saw the chick toss another chicks salad and finger herself.
If there is anything you should know about this film, it is that. Because the rest of this insane movie is just the same. Oh, who am I kidding? There is a ton more to tell here. Like the white "Duchess" that pays for 2 black guys to tag team her in a parlor. Or the "Duchess" taking off her top to use as a bandage when the captain cuts himself. When he refuses her advances, she starts crying. So being the good gentleman he is, he reluctantly lets her pleasure him in front of the other crew members. I was honestly waiting for the pizza guy to show up and the "Duchess" to ask if there is any other way to pay him.
And all of this happens before they depart for the island to conduct their research. Wait, I thought this was a zombie flick? But the zombie doesn't enter until the 73min mark, but by that time everyone else has been "entered" plenty. I found myself hitting fast forward a few scenes or several. This is my first splatter porn flick and I don't think it does that subgenre any justice. I guess it is the woman in me talking when I say that I would like more plot and less sweaty, slobbering, hairy sex. Funny thing is this could have worked as a decent horror film as the idea of atomic bombing mutating a bitter man and killing his family, was a good one. Even Eastman's character shakes his head and walks away from a couple copulating. It makes me wonder if it was the character or the writer himself that was disgusted.
I don't feel like going into the sound or film quality because you should have already guessed it was bad. This production was shot back to back with 3 other movies including Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, which sports most of the same cast. Eastman has said this was done because everyone wanted a vacation and a paycheck. Nevermind, I feel like talking about the sound suddenly. The sound was weird during the sex scenes because while the cast is speaking Italian, it seems as though they recorded English voiceovers and played that over their dialogue. So while 2 people are boning, I can clearly hear someone in the background say, "No! Yes! Wonderful! Wait!" There was a slightly amusing Italian score that couldn't save this movie. The SFX were minimal at best and consisted of some blood in only a few scenes. And I would like to point out that there were no violent rape scenes as the bright warning label said on the DVD cover (ahem, another marketing ploy), so no fear there. Only fear the bad movie.
Presented in Widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I watched the Region 1 Not Rated version running at 113min released in 2005 by Exploitation Digital. There is apparently a XXX version by Alfa Digital, which is the same running time, so I doubt anything is different. Prices vary, but you shouldn't pay more than $25.00 for a copy. Or as I would recommend, pay nothing and pretend it doesn't exist.
Favorite Quote: Shipmate, "Civilians are bad luck. Women are bad luck. They're scientists too? They must really be monsters." DVD Extras: Original trailer with hardcore shots & kills to make it look more interesting than it is, Trailers for SS Hell Camp, Emmanuelle, & ENOTLD, and a very informative interview with Eastman.
Bottom Line: Lame porno, but even weaker as a horror film. Either get real porn or watch real horror.
Rating: 3/10 by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
Reporter Michelle Fox and her news crew for an unexplained mysteries
show goes to a Welsh island to investigate a reported alien abduction
The glorious opening scene involves a couple having sex in the grass, the guy stumbling head first into a stone because his pants are around his ankles, and waking up to a anal probe.
This film uses the blackest of humor with the director even spoofing his last flick Razor blade Smile. Michelle boinks her camera man and films him! And the aliens hold a talk show where their "people" do not believe the story of an alien's encounter with humans.
The chubby guy with glasses is adorable especially when he prayed to see an alien, then dreams of an alien lady with 3 tits, then later wakes up and runs into a crop circle with glee. There is a gay man that gets it with a crucifix up the ass impalement. But my favorite character was the farmer that only grunts and kills like a warrior.
The sound/ film quality are great with the SFX being the stand out here. You will see a crucified alien, a demonic woman give birth to a full grown alien, and a funny as hell alien sex scene. Who knew aliens were so flexible? But my favorite part of all is when a guy drives a harvester through a field slaughtering aliens while the song, "I got a brand new harvester and I'll give you the key" plays.
While all of this was fun, I felt like something was missing and I cannot say that comparisons to Dead Alive are dead on. But while Alive featured recognizable zombies such as Mother zombie, Priest zombie, and Nurse zombie, the aliens in Aliens almost all looked alike with no distinct personality. And while Alive had a cute couple to root for, Aliens featured mostly despicable characters. I agree with WIL and Andrew's reviews for the most part except on this. The pregnant woman was severely mistreated and Michelle's loving boyfriend leaves her for dead in the end.
Favorite Quote: Chubby nerd says, "Nobody f*cks with a UFO enthusiast." DVD Extras: None. This was the screener. The Unrated UK version is available now, with the DVD US release by Image Ent. seemingly getting pushed back again and again. Originally due in 2006, they changed the date to 01/09/2007 and I have yet to see it.
Bottom Line: Very fun party movie. Dead Alive fans will be pleased.
Rating: 8/10 Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
A meteorite collides in a small town where Grant finds it, becomes
infected by a parasite worm, and causes him to transform into a
monster. His wife Starla and a policeman, Bill, will try to stop him
and the plague of worms generated by the creature. Zombies join the
Grant strikes me as a grody fellow flicking his wife's nipples at a lame attempt to "turn her on" like a light switch. And policeman Bill isn't any better. He is overbearing and rude. When Starla sweetly tells him to be careful and stares longingly at him waiting for his reply, he brusquely says, "Yeah, now there's a thought." Starla had dreams to move to LA and frankly I think she had a better chance dealing with the sharks there. Screw these hillbilly jerks.
Also, the subplot of the Sheriff lusting after Starla was underdeveloped. I didn't feel a connection between them at all and love developing there seems unbelievable. A simple flashback to them at an earlier age could have helped to fix that. Or, you know, he could have pretended to like her in a heterosexual type of way.
Call me crazy, but there were weird sexual undertones that I do not understand. There is talk of Survival of the Fittest during the film and I couldn't help, but think this was referring to the men and women on screen. There is the preacher hammering on about God eating fishes while Grant preyed on a lonely woman. And then there was the zombie dude who accusingly asked Starla, "How could you blame someone for acting their nature?" as though this is explanation enough for her horny husbands cheating ways.
The three main women are playing stereotypes- the gold-digger, frigid wife, the trailer trash single mom desperate for attention, and the 16yo naughty girl with painted nails in the nipple-flashing bathtub scene. Oh and the 2 tentacle, double penetration rape scene was oddly exploitive for such a mainstream movie.
Now, don't get me wrong. Slither is not a terrible film. But I am deeply disappointed after hearing the nonstop hype about the "Best Horror Movie of 2006". I felt overall it lacked in gore considering the lengthy articles Fangoria wrote on how they ran out of SFX supplies because it is just that darn gory. And the story was not original. It was part The Blob, part Shivers. And I really disliked the how the female characters were portrayed. But hey, other than that it was a fun film.
By now you should know who James Gunn is. He wrote "Tromeo & Juliet" "Scooby Doo 1-2," and "Dawn of the Dead." I think he has strong skills as a writer, however, Slither suffered in the writing area probably because Gunn also takes over as director here. Tromeo was well written and had several likable characters and I bet it had less than half the budget Slither did.
Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 with a running time of 96 minutes. The SFX were okay, but I heard that they used mostly real props and make-up to create the effects, but about 80% looked like fake CGI.
Trivia: Lloyd Kaufman, James Gunn, and his real life wife Jenna Fischer all make appearances. Kaufman had lines, but they were cut.
(Read Molly's Interview W/Lloyd Here) Favorite Quote: Kid asks, "What's a 'gina'?" Sheriff replies, "It's a country. You know, where "Ginese" people come from." DVD Extras: Making of, Deleted Scenes, Commentary, Gag Reel, and Slithery set tour.
Bottom Line: An okay horror-comedy, but if you are interested in a classic, stick with The Blob. And if you want exploitation fun, try Cronenberg's Shivers.
by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
Lincoln and Sara move into a new home in London and his wife's behavior
begins to grow erratic. After opening a grave in their basement, she
becomes more sexual, more violent, and begins to forget things. A nanny
is brought in to help around the house, but only adds to the tension.
Eventually, Lincoln finds him in a fight for his wife's soul with a
spirit of a voodoo priestess.
The film works on different levels mainly because it keeps you guessing and never completely gives away all the answers. As you watch the scenes unfold, you wonder if the Sara is possessed, just going crazy like her mother had, or that the crazy nanny is out to get her. In the end, it is a weird combo of all of the above, which makes the storytelling top notch.
Each character is very detailed with their own share of problems. The husband is overloaded at work, deals with a jerky boss, and is put on a tight deadline that challenges his sleep schedule. The wife suffers from a loss of identity and is bored with her new life as a homemaker. The babysitter is plain nutty and comes off as caring and sadistic at the same time.
Overall, I think the film is symbolic of a couple growing apart and their marriage crumbling. Her changes are similar to what any woman would go through if forced to sit in a house all day especially when competing with another, more younger woman. The husband struggling to save the soul of his wife is really an attempt to save their marriage. He must repent and they start anew.
Released by Heretic Films in 2004, it clocks in at 99 minutes. While it was shot on video, the story doesn't suffer from it. Also, the Winner of the 2004 Fearless Tales Genre Fest and Boston Int. Film Fest. Composer Steven Severin adds much atmosphere to the already creepy scenes with his pulsating background music.
The SFX was great with a few good bloody scenes such as a scalping, a nose bitten half off, slit wrists, and a man fatally hit by a car. There is also weird imagery such as a pissing in a pot scene, lipstick drawn over an eye, and honey dripping off of fishhooks. The most trippy scene though was when Lincoln goes through his "cleansing" in the nude and is swatted with sticks and dances around in a daze with the voodoo followers. There is great insight given here on the religion of voodoo and its history in the UK.
DVD Extras: 10 Deleted Scenes, the trailer, Making of Documentary, and Interview with Voodoo Priest, which covers some of the voodoo lore.
Bottom Line: Top shelf voodoo film with a good story to boot. Highly recommended for fans of The Skeleton Key.
Rating: 7.5/10 by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
After police officer Frank Spivey saves a disfigured young woman named
Jenifer from being killed, he takes her into his home and begins a
dangerous love affair with her. (Okay, so I know this has been reviewed
a million times over, but I will address issues not previously covered
by others.) When Frank later returns home after killing a man and
saving Jenifer, he is seduced by his wife. At first, her advances turn
him off, but then he is plagued with flashbacks of the dying man and a
helpless tied up Jenifer. This makes Frank become sexually charged and
aggressive towards his wife. In an ambiguous move on the director's
part, it appears as though he rapes his own wife. Later, you will find
him sinking to new lows with devastating consequences.
I could not help but notice the many similarities to David Cronenberg's Crash. There is an emphasis on the weird attraction we may feel towards some things that should repulse us. The nude & sex scenes show a heavy contrast between what is beautiful and what is disgusting and as it turns out, there is a thin line between the two.
I have read some other reviewer's opinions and they seem to state that their interpretation of Jenifer is as a monster or severely disfigured woman. Some even called her an "alien". My personal opinion is that she is none of the above. I think that would be missing the point of the film. I believe that Jenifer is not a human, but rather a manifestation of man's desire. Inevitably, all the men lose their wives, children, jobs, freedom, and eventually their lives. It is a cautionary tale to all stupid men, uh, well, I guess all men. The good news is that Frank pays for his stupidity in the end. Actually, things come around full circle. And I have to admit, I laughed.
Like a typical Argento film, he covers much ground here. Besides the obvious comparison to ugly and beauty, he takes a look at a corrupt police force. When the man that attempted to kill Jenifer has his nice clothes searched, but found missing an ID, he is written off as a homeless person. It later turns out that he was wealthy. When Jenifer is rescued, she is considered retarded and admitted to a mental institution because "that's the system".
While the story itself is great and tackles bizarre subject matter, my biggest complaint is that the nudity goes way overboard. I got the point about 5 nude scenes in. I don't need a paint by numbers cheap porno where the partners switch positions repeatedly. Top, bottom, side, car, bed, cabin, etc. It got very boring, very quickly. Plus half the time the nudity made no sense at all. For instance, if Jenifer is showering in an institute, Why is a male orderly and a male stranger allowed in there to gawk at her? Why is Jenifer walking around naked at Frank's house in front of his wife and young son and no one bothers to cover her? Another thing that didn't make a lot of sense was when Frank quits his job to live in the woods with Jenifer. Why not just hide her there and visit? Okay, to keep an eye on her and bone repeatedly. Fine. But wouldn't his wife and son report him missing? Um, there is such a thing as child support. He cannot just run off with another broad and not expect people to come for him.
Clocking in at a full 58 minutes, the film features great SFX (and in case you missed it, nekkid people). Claudio from Goblin supplies the soundtrack.
Weird Fact: This was the only Season 1 episode to require cuts. 2 shots were removed involving graphic depictions of oral sex. The first one occurred during the awkward sex scene in the car and the second occurred at the end of the film. The deleted scenes are edited into the 'So Hideous My Love' documentary on the DVD, which somehow I completely missed. Uhh, I guess I don't know oral sex when I see it. Or maybe I accidentally skipped over this. Or I got tired of watching this and did something else.
Favorite Quote: Police Chief, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck with a meat cleaver." DVD Extras: Interview with Director & Cast, Commentary, Stills, Bios, Trailers, and the Screenplay on DVD-ROM.
Bottom Line: An honest look at disturbing subject matter. Incredibly sexual, while lacking in extreme gore and devoid of any scares.
Rating: 7/10 by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
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