Monday, April 14, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
I've never taken a Valium before but I believe that Paradise, Hawaiian Style from 1966 is exactly what it feels like to take one, maybe. In this nearly plotless travelogue, Elvis plays Rick Richards, a pilot fresh out of the Air Force that starts an island-to-island helicopter taxi/sightseeing service in Hawaii with his pal Danny (played by James Shigeta (Die Hard)). Of course, Rick is a horny fool with a girl on every island and pretty much screws up everything. And there's a love interest in the form Suzanna Leigh (Lust for a Vampire) and a goofy kid character as well: Danny's daughter Jan (played by Donna Butterworth).
Rick's other love interests are irritating at best and are played by Marianna Hill, Irene Tsu, Linda Wong, and Julie Parrish. They act sexy and then angry. There you go. Hill gets the most screen time but her character is such a jerk that you just want to beat her to death with a cocoanut. Fans of obscure horror films, like myself, will slap their foreheads with this bit of trivia: Marianna Hill starred in the weird and wonderful apocalyptic zombie film, Messiah of Evil in 1973.
Overall, I really dig Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Unfortunately, there's no guitar porn (one of the band members has a pretty cool looking hollow body electric but that's about it) and the kid character may get on your nerves though she wasn't a deal-breaker. The main thing I noticed is how relaxing all of the scenery and most of the music is. It just lulls you into a happy state with only the machinations of the story occasionally getting in the way.
An air hostess (that's what they called them back then!) says the title of the movie in the first 2 minutes.
Elvis flying a helicopter with a pretty girl and a cockpit full of mentally disturbed dogs.
Monday, April 7, 2014
My good pal Jeffrey is back guest co-hosting the show and we are headed back into the Italian horror craziness like a choochoo train of craziness. We are talking about Amok Train AKA Beyond the Door III. Come on over and listen to our bafflement mixed with mostly equal amounts of joy and pain. Listen here!
Be sure to check out Jeffrey's awesome blog: Nessun Timore.
And please peruse the back catalog of the show. There are some real gems in there, y'all.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Holy crap, I am getting desperate. It's been really hard for me in terms of picking what Franco film to review next. I don't want to delve into all the pornos and I'm tired of all the psychodramas that are actually just pornos with lots of angst. So I settled on this little gem(?) from the 1990s, an era of Jess Franco that I am totally unfamiliar with. Are you ready? I'm not. 1 2 3 4!!!!
AKA Vampire Killer Barbys
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Santiago Segura, Mariangela Giordano, Aldo Sambrell, Charlie S. Chaplin, Silvia Superstar, Carlos Subterfuge, Angie Barea, Billy King
While out on tour, a band called The Killer Barbys run into some trouble when their van breaks down out in the middle of nowhere. They get help from a man named Arkan (played by Aldo Sambrell), who brings them to the castle of the 100 year old Countess Freguenmans (Mariangela Giordano) AKA actress and singer, Olga Lujan. What The Killer Barbys don’t know is how utterly screwed they are because the Countess is actually a vampiric creature that needs their young blood to stay alive.
There is also a crazy legend of a satanic monk who tormented and killed a lot of little girls. He fell in love with a woman and tortured her to the brink of death. Then with a potion made of his blood and semen(?), saved her at the last minute. To this day, his image sometimes appears and disappears on the side of the castle. Sure! Why not? And I simply cannot talk about this movie without mentioning Baltasar the idiot (played by Santiago Segura) and his two dwarf minions (his “children”?) that help Arkan carry out his plan by slaughtering the band members. Could he be the satanic monk himself?
Much to my surprise, I love this film’s atmosphere right out of the gate. Great lighting and smoke machines combined with extravagant sets make this an attractive film to look at. The copy of Killer Barbys I have is pretty dark so some of the outdoor nighttime scenes were kind of lost on me but other than that, the film looks great! The sequence of the band playing in an old concert hall reminded me of Franco’s heyday filming jazz bands and nightclub scenes except with more moshing.
Much like his 80s splatter efforts like Faceless and Bloody Moon, I think Franco decided to just give the people what they wanted and we all have to suffer for that attitude; partly because “the people” are idiots and also because Franco didn’t have a clue what in the hell they actually wanted. Maybe this is Franco trying to relate to 90s audiences and the rest is a happy(?) accident. Take for example, the ubiquitous bad sex scene. The idiotic couple who stays in the van, going at it for hours (presumably) while the same Killer Barbys song plays over and over, is one of the dumbest and least inspired things I’ve seen in his filmography.
One of the things about this movie that impresses me is all the bizarre shit that happens. The script, partly in Spanish and partly in English, is terrible and is peppered with some seriously bad jokes. How much of it is meant to be taken seriously? Who the hell knows? The band drives around in their van, rocking out to their own music. That’s pretty hilarious. In one scene, an unseen someone is singing out in the swamp. It sounds vaguely like Rick Springfield. When one girl gets beheaded, her severed head calls Baltasar a son of a bitch. I think that was meant to be funny. After killing one of her victims, the Countess rolls around on his naked body, gibbering like a dang loon. I don't think that was meant to be funny. But it is.
Italian horror fans will no doubt recognize Mariangela Giordano from Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, Giallo a Venezia, and several other sleazy classics. Spanish character actor/director Santiago Segura has since gone on to do a series of comedy crime films playing Torrente, a private detective that excels in bad behavior and getting into ridiculous situations. He was also in Alex de la Iglesia’s The Day of the Beast. Veteran actor Aldo Sambrell was in more spaghetti westerns than I care to delve into at this moment. Duder was prolific. As for the rest of the cast... the less said, the better.
Damn it, I like Killer Barbys! It is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but I found it kind of fun. The acting from all of the band members is awful while the rest of cast (who are actual actors) do a decent job with the material. Some of the gore is pretty cool (the rotting yet living corpse of the Countess) and some of it really, really low budget (the bodies hanging up around the castle). Surreal, trashy, and astoundingly stupid, this is one of Franco’s craziest films that I’ve seen; yet I’m not sure if I can exactly recommend it. Franco fans may get a kick out of Killer Barbys but the uninitiated will want to pass on this one. Where the hell did that steamroller come from anyway?
“I think the axel is broken.”
“What the fuck do you know!?!”
Friday, March 28, 2014
So what about issue #2, you ask? Well, I assure you there will be an issue two and it is going to be friggin' awesome. We have so much badass content lined up that I am shaking with Eurohorror vibe-ations. Articles, reviews, interviews, original artwork, and more. Hot damn, I can't wait! I don't want to go into it all now but rest assured, I will be back with more information on issue #2 later.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Do you like William Shatner?
Do you like Tampa?
Sure, we all do.
Nafa returns to Hello! This is the Doomed Show and this time we are talking about Impulse from 1974 starring William Shatner, filmed right here in wonderful Tampa, Florida. That's right, we finally took a little break from talking about Rob Zombie (by listener demand!) and delved into something so freakin' insane that it transcends the genre. What genre is that exactly? I'm still not sure. Be sure to listen close for a cameo from Sparkles the cat.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
Clambake is a wonderful of example of Elvis not giving a fuck anymore. There are several scenes in this film where his emoting amounts to a drowsy stare that gives me the creeps. The plot in one sentence: The son of a wealthy oil tycoon trades places with a water ski instructor to see if he can make it on his own, impress a girl, and win a boat race.
Between the aforementioned abysmal Presley-acting, Bill Bixby playing a villain we're supposed to kind of like(?), hippie happening-esque moments in the vein of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In", boring boat racing, and a horrifyingly schmaltzy musical number called "Confidence" -think of it as the worst rendition of "High Hopes" you can imagine but worse- this movie is all over the place. The insane cuteness of Shelly Fabares (I'll be getting back to her in Girl Happy and Spinout) and the eye candy from the female extras kind of win me over, truth be told.
Fans of cool cars, Fender guitars, wacky situations, garish cinematography, and above all, bad friggin' movies, need only apply. Don't get me wrong, this one is staying in my collection because it is so enjoyably bad. Even the DVD from MGM looks like no one gave this movie a second thought. This has one of the poorest transfers I've seen an Elvis movie get so far. Pretty sad.