A TV talk-show hostess and her boyfriend investigate a shady magician whom has the ability to hypnotize and control the thoughts of people in order to stage gory on-stage illusions using his powers of mind bending.
A naive and innocent teenage girl is blackmailed into modeling in the nude for a photographer who is in league with a teenage gang whose boss illegally sells photos of teenage girls being abused and degraded.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Allison Louise Downe,
Lawrence J. Aberwood
A demented, elderly woman has her mentally retarded son kill and scalp various young women to use their hair for her wig shop while a persistent coed tries to link various killings on a local Florida college campus to them.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Egyptian caterer busies himself collecting body parts from young maidens in order to bring Ishtar, an ancient goddess of good and evil back to life. When he has prepared enough parts for the ceremony, he hypnotizes a woman giving an engagement party for her daughter, at which he plans to perform the ancient rites of summons, using the daughter as his final sacrifice.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
And now, some tragic local news. We have a report of another murder tonight. A young girl has been found dead in Rogers Park. The body was badly mutilated. Because of these murders, the police request that all women stay inside their homes after dark. If you must go out, please have someone accompany you. Keep your door locked.
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In the context of film school, film theory, film conventions and anything about film-making that makes it a poignant and artful form of expression, this is a big "DON'T". Anything that can be done poorly, has already been done. Yet what we are left with is a prototypical piece of celluloid. The director, Herschell Gordon Lewis, can easily be seen as love child of Russ Meyer and Ed Wood. Those two names both evoke dread and hilarity. One can only imagine what a movie that has both would be like. Well thankfully for Herschell Gordon Lewis, the world soon found out.
As with most of his movies, forget the story. It is usually a patchwork of closeups, zoom outs, shaky cam, fake gore, nonsensical dialog driven vignettes (with sadomasochistic and other sexual undertones), coming together in the framework of 60 minutes.
There's a serial killer around killing young women and removing certain organs or appendages. At the same time there is a deli owner who caters a special ancient Egyptian feast. The rest is just nonsensical, droll dialog delivered with monotony and the ending. The ending is just painful. I recommend running around blindfolded at full speed in a city, as a way to simulate the end of the movie. If I am making this seem bad, I can digress by listing more evidence of this :
Exhibit 1 : Multiple minute scene of a character making a phone call and then conversing with that person. We never hear or see the person on the other end.
Exhibit 2 : Profile close ups of two people talking. Multiple instances too numerous to count.
Exhibit 3 : Echo, echo, echo .....
Exhibit 4 : Try to hire someone who's last job wasn't as a silent movie pianist, in 1919. It sounded like old heroin-hooked Bela Lugosi having fun with a church organ.
Exhibit 5 : Police that store their firearms in their back pockets (along with their wallets, most likely) and continue to mispronounce homicide (pronounced home_e-side).
Exhibit 6 : Horrible acting in vivid, bright Cinemascope.
Exhibit 7 : An intermission half way through the movie, where a Richard Nixon look alike is giving a lecture on ancient Egypt.
Exhibit 8 : The longest and slowest getaway and chase scene by a man from the Ministry of Funny Walks.
Exhibit 9 : Dialog such as :
"Well the killer must have thought she was dead. It was a miracle she wasn't."
"Well she is now."
Based on all my evidence so far, you either :
a) think I hate this movie. b) know I hate this movie. c) stopped reading 15 minutes ago. d) are confused. e) none of the above.
To answer all but e, I do like this movie. This movie is closer to Russ Meyer's than Ed Wood. Ed lounged in his mediocre low-budget fetish. Russ mostly portrayed sex as a good, fun thing (his movies do have an unusual depth to them). Herschell took Ed's knack for making SOMETHING with limited funds and added the sexually explicit and completely gratuitous scenes. Just in case we weren't gorged enough on our own endorphins, he adds the gore/horror element. The funny thing is that none of it works. The ridiculousness of the movie is in itself. An advantage is the short running time. By the time you realize you are still watching, is the same point you realize it will just end.
I can easily see a starving early 30 year old William Shatner finding an artistic mentor after watching this on a lazy Saturday afternoon double feature. So join in. Drop into the couch and pour yourself a fresh one. We're gonna be here for a little while. Kanpai !!
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