Monday, December 23, 2013

Bava-Inspired

I don't get out much. Does that surprise you? Last Saturday, I went to see Terrorizer, Exhumed, and Druid Lord (pictured here). It was a fucking great show. I first discovered Druid Lord last year when they played with Possessed here in Tampa. They are my favorite metal band and I even interviewed them for Fang of Joy because of their lyrics are inspired by European horror films. They tore the lid off the place on Saturday but their set was cut short to make time for other bands (which was bullshit IMO).

At the show, I simply could not resist getting Druid Lord's tribute to Mario Bava's classic, Baron Blood.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Franco Friday #52 - Countess Perverse

When I encounter a title like this, I am filled with self doubt. All the interviewees in the extras on this DVD are telling me what a genius Jess Franco is and how important a film like Countess Perverse is and yada yada yada. All this film makes me want to do is crawl under my couch and die. Why? Read on.

Countess Perverse
Directed by Jess Franco
1974
Starring Alice Arno, Howard Vernon, Kali Hansa, Lina Romay, Tania Busselier, Robert Woods
78 minutes
DVD Studio: Mondo Macabro

Count Rabor Zaroff (played by Howard Vernon) and Countess Ivanna Zaroff (Alice Arno) are two eccentric psychos who live on an island in the middle of nowhere. Ivanna likes to hunt but her prey is people. Rabor enjoys cooking but his main ingredient is people. The two employ a couple, Bob (Robert Woods) and Moira (Tania Busselier), to help keep them well stocked with sexy lady victims. Things go awry when Bob falls for Sylvia (Lina Romay), their most lovely and innocent prey so far.

This film is beautiful thanks in no small part to cinematographer Gérard Brisseau who knows how to take minimal sets and grandiose architecture and make them flow together seamlessly. He also knows how to capture the simplicity of nature and bring out its inherit dread. The whole wide world never felt so claustrophobic. It really surprised me to find out that Brisseau and Jean Rollin never worked together.

I am digging on this cast like there's no tomorrow. Alice Arno and Howard Vernon just nail it as the two most evil freaks in the universe. They are a dark joy to watch on screen while they toy with their prey. Arno is so damn sexy in this movie that I can barely even stand it. I hope that she hunts me in my dreams. Lina Romay is really good as Sylvia, the innocent. When she walks in on the Count and the Countess preparing a meal, the terror on her face is believable. Her painfully drama school dropout fainting spell is 100 times less believable and it makes me love her performance even more.

I wasn't too hot on Kali Hansa in the first few films I saw her in. But now I'm really digging her. She is striking, Amazon-like, and thanks to Jess Franco, I've seen her vagina. I know I've seen Tania Busselier before but she didn't really stand out until this movie. The real star of the movie is Robert Woods' penis. Or maybe it's Howard Vernon's sack. I don't really want to go back and compare. Please, I beg you, don't make me go back.

Hold on, let me get up on my soapbox here for a couple of paragraphs.

If you've been following along with my little Jess Franco journey here, you probably noticed that I don't make excuses for the guy. When something pisses me off, you'll be the first to know. What really grinds my gears and makes me really turn on a film is a gratuitous rape scene. If it is a prolonged rape scene, one that doesn't serve the plot in any way, or -and this really is the worst of them all- the victim of the violation ends up enjoying the experience then I end up despising said film. Countess Perverse contains the latter kind and it just makes me friggin' disgusted. It is a thoughtless, throwaway moment but it really turned me against this film. Why did Kali Hansa's character submit to her attackers? What fucking purpose did it serve to the film? I am all about irresponsible entertainment but any film that demonstrates to a would be rapist that his/her victim secretly "wants it" makes my blood boil.

Another problem I have with this film (and this is just nitpicking, really) is the misuse of Alice Arno and Lina Romay. Now don't get me wrong, I have seen A LOT of these two actresses along the way and they are both great. What doesn't work in this film is Arno and Romay's sex scene together. It was one of the most awkward in Franco's films that I've seen so far. Chalk it up to the lack of cinematic sexual chemistry between the two actresses, poor direction, or whatever, it's just bad. There's more sexual tension and inherent eroticism when Arno's character is flirting with Romay's before their ruinous lovemaking even starts so I don't blame the actresses. Their sex scene together should have been cut.

These complaints I have make my viewing experience of Countess Perverse even more frustrating and make my review even less trustworthy than my usual schtick. I want you to know that I want to love this film. There are scenes in this film that are some of Franco's best. He takes The Most Dangerous Game and makes it his own. This film is tense, gorgeous, and horrifying with victims that you actually care about and delightfully evil villains that are fascinating to behold. But there's some stupid crap packed in here too. Shackled by his own artistic needs or his producer's insistence or both, Jess Franco mixes bad softcore porn into yet another film that didn't deserve it.

"That's it, I'm off. I want no part in your vile orgies."

DVD Stuff

Mondo Macabro shines once again. Their presentation of Countess Perverse is nothing short of stunning. The colors are bright and the blacks are deep. I saw very minimal print damage in the opening credits and that was about it. The disc is loaded with info about Franco and Countess Perverse. There is a great interview with actor Robert Woods as well as one with film critic and author Stephen Thrower. There's also the Mondo Macabro trailer reel. Dig on that!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Franco Friday #51 - The Corpse Packs His Bags

Franco Friday #51

Well, November sucked ass. I wrote about 10,000 words of my horror novel, recorded a new song with my band, shot a music video, and then I got sick as a dang dog. As if that wasn't bad enough, Thanksgiving happened. Yuck! The one bright spot, which surprised me very much, was getting back to some Jess Franco movies. Hot damn, I am ready to get back on this train. All aboard!

The Corpse Packs His Bags
AKA The Death Avenger of Soho
Directed by Jess Franco
1972
Starring Horst Tappert, Fred Williams, Barbara Rütting, Elisa Montés, Luis Morris, Siegfried Schürenberg
76 minutes
Trash Palace

There is a knife-throwing killer on the loose in Soho (that's right, just like the one in that Rancid song). This killer has a peculiar habit of packing a person's belongings into a suitcase shortly before dispatching them. Frankly, it's brilliant! Well, it's pretty cool. Inspector Rupert Redford (played by Fred Williams) of Scotland Yard and his friend Charles Barton (Horst Tappert) are on the case. Are there drugs involved? Hell yeah, there are! Everyone is all wound up about a drug called Mescadrin. Never tried the stuff myself but they say it packs a hell of a wallop.

The first on the list of suspects is Dr. Bladmore (played by Siegfried Schürenberg), a physician who attended to one of the deceased shortly before he ceased. He is prone to giving out doses of a certain painkilling drug to people who ask him to. Is he the pusher, man? Let's hope that his lovely assistant, Helen Bennett (Elisa Montés), isn't mixed up in this dangerous business. All clues seem to be pointing to a mysterious man named Charlie Bennett, Helen's dead husband!

More red herrings- oops, I mean totally probable suspects- infect the plot of this film like something you would only whisper to your local pharmacist to help you get rid of. I'm talking about THE VD! Come on, you prude. This is the 70s, we can talk openly now about such things. Anyway, there's a seriously bad ass chick (played by Barbara Rütting) with a henchman, a blind organ grinder (Andrés Monales) who always seems to just happen to be present at every crime scene, a stripper who doesn't know how to strip (Mara Laso), and a sleazy guy that my wife says looks like a Persian cat with mange.

One of the things that never occurred to me until I was armpits-deep in Franco Lake is that Jess Franco made comedies. Before, I thought of him as totally serious. Or maybe he meant Vampyros Lesbos to be a side-splitting farce. Fucked if I know! The Corpse Packs His Bags is a krimi with a comedy streak so wide you'd have to be a blind organ grinder to miss it. You will laugh, I promise. Or maybe you'll just chuckle. Fine, I promise that you will see the always fucking great cinematographer, Manuel Merino, take this two dollar film and make it look like it was a fourteen hundred dollar film. And the locations don't hurt either. There's nothing like a well-written mystery film to make you appreciate the architecture of the buildings it was shot in. Did I say "well-written"?

I do love how the knife makes a "boing" spring sound when it hits its target in the back and that's funny because everyone knows that's the sound of an unexpected boner. Krimi fans who don't take themselves too seriously will probably get a kick out of this one. Franco fans who always take themselves too seriously will no doubt be pleased to see Franco wasting good German money again in the vein of La Venganza del Doctor Mabuse (though not nearly as baffling this time around). Determined to make you blink but not miss him, Franco has not one but two cameos in this film: one as a bystander at the first crime scene and another as Mr. Gonzalez, a Spanish expert on throwing knives. I like that.

"You should see a neurologist. Did you crap your pants again, my dear?"

DVD Stuff

This disc from Trash Palace looks and sounds great! Subtitles are easy to read and I really appreciated the krimi and Jess Franco related content on the menu. Definitely worth picking up.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

HTITDS #42 - House of 1000 Corpses

Nafa is back once again on the show to talk more Rob Zombie. This time around, we're getting jiggly with House of 1000 Corpses. Can you believe it? Can I? And don't worry Brad fans, the original Doomed Shower will be back before you know it. Wait. Is that Doomed Shower or Doomed Shower? I really don't know! Anyway, check the new episode out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

See You In December

Hey folks, I hope Halloween was fun for you. I just thought that I would let y'all know that I'm taking a month-long hiatus from the blog and the Jess Franco and the podcast and the Unseenly for a little bit. I will be back very briefly with the next episode of Hello! This is the Doomed Show but that's about it. What am I doing? I'm probably writing a horror novel and going to Disney World. Anyway, see ya!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Franco Friday #50: The Castle of Fu Manchu

Franco Friday #50: The Castle of Fu Manchu

Wow? There are now reviews for fifty Jess Franco films on this blog. Hot damn! This is just plain crazy. I only have 5 more to go before I end this series. Don't worry, they aren't all as dull as these lame-o Fu Manchu movies, I promise. Okay, I can't really promise you that.

The Castle of Fu Manchu
Directed by Jess Franco
1969
Starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Howard Marion-Crawford, Gunther Stoll, Rosalba Neri, Maria Perschy
89 minutes

Fu Manchu (played by Christopher Lee) and his crazy daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin) are back to take over the world. This time they are using a machine that can control the temperature of water anywhere on the planet. They manage to sink a huge ship sailing in the Caribbean by generating an iceberg in its path. He contacts the leaders of the world and threatens them with obliteration unless they bow down to him. Nayland Smith (Richard Greene) is once again called in to deal with this situation.

Lin Tang makes a deal with some drug dealers, led by Omar Pashu (Jose Manuel Martin) and his deadly cross-dresser named Lisa (played by Rosalba Neri), to help her steal a huge supply of opium. They break into the castle of the governor of Anatolia where there is enough opium to control half the world’s supply. Once they take control of the castle, Fu Manchu shows up, double crosses Omar, and kidnaps Lisa. He takes the castle as his hideout and all that delicious opium for himself. Then Fu Manchu gets high, so high. I mean like totally wasted.

Next, Fu Manchu captures Dr. Curt Kessler (played by Gunther Stoll) and fellow physician, Dr. Ingrid Kauff (Maria Perschy), in order to force them to save the life of Professor Heracles (Gustavo Re) with an experimental heart transplant procedure because they need him to make crystals or whatever. In order to show the doctors that he means business, Fu Manchu destroys a dam and causes a great flood. They agree to the operation to save Heracles and it is booooooring. Nayland Smith finally shows up to stop Fu Manchu’s broadly evil and insidiously vague plan.

The cast and the skill of the filmmakers save this mess of a film. I love the lighting; there are purples, reds, and greens all over the place. The always reliable Manuel Merino did the cinematography. It’s good to see Gunther Stoll from What Have You Done to Solange? and The Bloodstained Butterfly again. The guy had an incredible screen presence. He's almost completely wasted here. Jess Franco himself is on hand as a fez-wearing inspector who provides Nayland Smith with some important information. Maria Perschy of The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll and Hunchback of the Morgue is here too. Yay!

What can I say, the first few minutes of The Castle of Fu Manchu are just... explosively bad. By using footage from other films, Franco manages to just embarrass himself and make the viewer feel stupid. Fu Manchu sank the Titanic? Really? Give me a fucking break, duder. Well, if you can get past the opening 6 minutes or so (and I doubt many people have), what's left? A very unusual film, that's what. Castle becomes a ponderous travelogue mixed with tepid intrigue but I mean that as a compliment. There is also so much pseudoscience and mechanical mumbo jumbo thrown at you from the script that it's just baffling.

The Castle of Fu Manchu wasn't as bad as I’d read from other reviewers but that’s not saying much. If it weren’t for the uneven pacing, I could give this film a recommendation with lots of conditions. Unfortunately, this just feels like a bunch of leftover bullshit padded with stock footage and bland dialog. I won’t say the film is a complete waste of time (NO NUDITY!) but yeah, this is definitely non-essential Franco viewing. Eh, where else can you see Rosalba Neri wearing a fez or mowing down pajama-wearing motherfuckers with a Tommy gun?

“A gentleman never takes his clothes off in public!”

“Send a warning to the phosphorus!”

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

HTITDS #40 - Rob Zombie's Halloween

After threatening to do this episode for 2 years, Brad and I finally get down with Rob Zombie's Halloween. And oh yeah, there will be butt or blood or butt-blood. Whatever! Check it out.

Want to hear old episodes? Check out our episode archive.

Come join our Facebook page!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Franco Friday #49: The Blood of Fu Manchu

Franco Friday #49: The Blood of Fu Manchu

I was gonna review Mansion of the Living Dead but you know what? I don’t need to see Lina Romay burying her face in a woman’s -you know- gothic cavern. So fuck it, I’m gonna review a Fu Manchu movie even though I don't think I'm going to like it. Hey, it’s October. Happy Francoween or whatever. Aren’t you glad you read my blog? Well, I’m glad you do.

The Blood of Fu Manchu
Directed by Jess Franco
1968
Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Howard Marion-Crawford, Gotz George, Maria Rohm
90 minutes

Holy racial stereotypes, this plot is complicated! The evil Fu Manchu (played by Christopher Lee) has kidnapped a group of lovely ladies in order to carry out his plan. What is his plan? To master the world, of course! Fu Manchu and his daughter, Lin Tang (Tsai Chin), use the bodies of these fine ass bitches to be vessels for a terrible poison, delivered upon his enemies with their kisses.

Meanwhile, an archeologist named Carl Jansen (Gotz George) is determined to find the lost city of Whateverthefuck where Fu Manchu now calls his secret hideout. He and fellow archeologist Dr. Wagner are attacked by Fu Manchu’s minions and the doctor is killed. When Jansen attempts to meet up with Ursula Wagner (Maria Rohm), the niece of the dead doc, he gets arrested for his partner’s murder.

Double meanwhile, in London, Nayland Smith (Richard Greene) is one of Fu Manchu’s intended victims. One of his women, Celeste (Loni von Friedl), kisses poor Nayland but he doesn’t immediately drop dead as intended, he just goes blind. Knowing he only has a short time left before the poison kills him, Nayland intends to find Fu Manchu and stop his evil plan.

Making things even more difficult for poor old Fu Manchu is a bandit named Sancho Lopez (Ricardo Palacios) who likes to steal his supplies. One of Fu Manchu’s ladies shows up to the town where Lopez is raping and pillaging. She begins to dance in a "sensuous manner". Her target is Lopez but before she can deliver the death kiss, the bandito psycho shoots her. Since that plan was a magnificent failure, Lin Tang and a small gang of Fu’s soldiers raid the town and kill everyone except Lopez. Wha? They torture Lopez until he agrees to work for Fu Manchu.

Because he’s such a good chess player, the charges against Jansen are dropped. He meets up with Urusula and tells her about her uncle. They decide to travel back to where they were ambushed and they meet up with Nayland on the road. Now it’s a race against time or something because when the moon is full, Nayland will die and Fu Manchu’s plan will be complete. You see, he intends to kill millions with an airborne version of the poison if the world does not bow to him. Holy shit, I still have half an hour of movie left.

Did the world really need more Fu Manchu in 1968? Did Maria Rohm really have to dress like a dang Boy Scout? I have absolutely zero interest in the Fu Manchu character but I thought I’d give this flick a go. Christopher Lee’s voice (as usual) is amazing. Every line he speaks is friggin’ quote worthy: “The moon is full, the moon of life, let her taste the kiss… of death.” The only person in the cast who even comes close to stealing his fire is Tsai Chin. She is awesomely evil and I’m actually more afraid of her than Fu. It’s because she’s a woman and women are scary!

The cinematography and editing are both great plus there some decent action (let me emphasize the word “decent”), half-naked beautiful women in chains, and gong-banging! The plot definitely starts to meander after the first hour. The writers just keep throwing more and more confusing shit at the viewer but they eventually run out of steam. The film has a decent score from Daniel White, there's lots of Jess Franco-isms that you might dig, and the rest of the cast is pretty fun. In the end, The Blood of Fu Manchu is kind of drab but pretty okay and I am sort of glad I watched it.

“They tell me you can dance. Tonight, you will dance for the last time.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Unseenly Madhouse

For the record, I think I was too tired to be videotaping anything or even trying to speak.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HTITDS #39 - The Howling/Silver Bullet

Brad and I continue our crazy productive streak with yet another new episode of the show. We can't keep going like this, can we? No, we can't. But hey, who cares, right? Let's live for today. Or tomorrow. Whatever! Please listen to our new episode:

Episode #39 - The Howling/Silver Bullet

Did someone say "archived episodes"?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Franco Friday #48 - How to Seduce a Virgin

Franco Friday #48 - How to Seduce a Virgin

Wow, we are dangerously close to the end of this thing. I know you've heard this from me before but I really, really feel like I am ready for something new. There definitely needs to be a long time and a vast space between me and Jess Franco's films. The thing is, I am full of dread every time I start a Franco title and that's just not right. Instead of taking another break, I'm going to fight my way through and be done with it. I have chosen 8 more Jess Franco films (including this one) to round this out. So #55 will be my final Franco Friday. Okay, enough business, how about some pleasure?

How to Seduce a Virgin
AKA Plaisir a Trois
Directed by Jess Franco
1974
Starring Alice Arno, Robert Woods, Howard Vernon, Tania Busselier, Alfred Baillou, Lina Romay
82 minutes

Alice Arno plays Martine Bressac, a woman who just got out of the loony bin. For the record, she should have turned right around and walked right back in. In terms of sanity, Martine is an undercooked blueberry muffin. Although it's never made entirely clear if it the reason she was locked up or not: Martine has a vision (or a memory) of slashing a naked man in his genital region (implied) with a straight razor. One thing is for sure, Martine is a sexual predator/serial killer of the highest order. She has a museum of statues made out of beautiful women in her basement.

Since good things come in threes, Martine has two accomplices. The first is her husband Charles (played by Robert Woods). He helps Martine select her victims with his camera and a slideshow! The second is her mute little friend Adele (Lina Romay) whose skills include: moaning like a subnormal, running interference, and performing various somnambulistic sex slave tasks. These evil weirdos set their siights on Cecile (Tania Busselier), the teenage daughter of their neighbors. While the girl's parents are away, Martine and her cronies take care of Cecille by getting her drunk and taking her to sex parties. Predictably, things take an even darker turn when Martine becomes jealous of the attention that Charles is lavishing on Cecille.

I really dig the score for this flick. It has all the funky bass lines, kooky keyboards, fuzz guitars, sorrowful flutes, and jaunty xylophones that you could ever ask for. Is it the only thing I like about How to Seduce a Virgin? Fuckin' almost! The biggest problem are the sex scenes. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record. But seriously, these aren't even good sex scenes. Either Franco was bored, his cast unwilling to play along, or he had some weird producers' criteria of what not to show. There is a threesome where we only see Alice Arno's bare butt and the rest is gyrating and moaning in the darkness for around 3 minutes. I feel humiliolated. That's humiliated and violated. I will admit that Alice Arno is 110% gorgeous in this. Woo! So hot.

This isn't the worst of Franco but it is frustrating because it does have some style and the feeling of dread is palpable. I just wish that the duder had kicked this one into second gear a few more times. The best character is Malou, played by the unusual and dwarfish actor, Alfred Baillou. He is Martine's gardener and he is seriously demented. Supposedly, he saw a bishop fall to his death and the memory of that moment drove him insane. It's a weird little detail that adds to the quirkiness of this rather dull skin flick but I'm afraid that it's too little, too late. There are some twists (okay, maybe one) and some kink (yawn!) but there are much better Franco flicks out there.

"Oh Charles, that little slut really looks like a lecherous bitch!"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Friday the 13th moviethon... tomorrow

I've been waiting a little while for this. All I needed was a very special Friday. You know the kind! The type of Friday that falls on a 13th. Or is it the 13th fell on a Friday? Only Jason X knows for sure. I am going to attempt to watch all of the Friday the 13th movies in a row. I will be vlogging short reviews between each film to track the insanity. I decided that since I covered Freddy Vs. Jason when I did the Freddy Cougar Moviethon that I would cut myself a little slack and skip it this time. One more thing, this event will be a moviethon milestone for most movies I've ever watched in a row ever.

The lineup:

Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th Part 2
Friday the 13th Part III
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
Jason X
Friday the 13th
[remake]

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Giallo Meltdown: The Book - Another Update

Hey guys, let's rap.

In case you're just tuning in, let me tell you about Giallo Meltdown. Way back in late 2007 or early 2008, I had the first Giallo Meltdown for my website: Doomed Moviethon. It was a life-changing moviethon. In the course of three days, I watched 21 giallo films. Not only did I have a blast, I also discovered a quivering madness known as "The Vibe" that I have been pursuing ever since. Over the years, whenever I needed inspiration for a moviethon, I would look to my giallo collection and find more fun things there to explore. After the fifth of these Giallo Meltdowns was so well received, someone suggested I turn them into a book.

Since there are so few books on the giallo genre, I felt like I could bring something interesting to the table. I am not making the definitive guide to the giallo here. I am making a fan book with a twist. These films are being reviewed under moviethon conditions. The shortest moviethon in this book is 13 movies. And the longest is 22 movies. These reviews get pretty loopy and I have never stopped myself from writing down even the most ridiculous stream-of-consciousness rants. I also include details like what I was eating, smoking, and drinking during these sensory overload festivals.

Read the first five here:

Giallo Meltdown - Part 1
Giallo Meltdown - Part 2
Giallo Meltdown - Part 3

Giallo Meltdown 2

Giallo Meltdown 3

Giallo Meltdown 4

Giallo Meltdown 5

So where am I at now? As scary as it is to say this, I almost done. The weekend before last, I watched 19 movies for Giallo Meltdown 12. The last movie for that moviethon was the 199th film I've watched for the book. My wife LeEtta recently asked me when this project was going to be over. I told her that I kind of wanted to end on Giallo Meltdown 13 but I was terrified to stop there. I was having too much fun and stopping the moviethons for the book meant stopping something really important to me. She suggested that if I didn't put a cap on it now, the book would never happen. So I decided that Giallo Meltdown #13 would be the last.

I am now selecting the last 16 titles for the book. The final moviethon is tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in September of this year. Needless to say, I am excited and very, very frightened. Finishing these moviethons means that I have to start editing the book and finding a publisher. Spoiler alert: these are things that really scare me.

Please allow me to get personal for a moment. I want to talk about this now because this particular person was a big part of this project and I've wanted to say something about this for a while but I've been a little too depressed to go into it. Over two years ago, my wife's mother Margie was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the good fight but did not win. Last January, Margie left us all behind on planet Earth wondering what to do next.

Margie had been living with LeEtta and I for a year while she was getting herself back into a good place financially. The same week that she landed an awesome new job, she was told about the cancer. The next two years were the most insane, intensely sad, and soul-crushing time of our lives. This was obviously worse for my wife but both of our lives just went on hold during all of this madness. Margie continued to work from home and keep a brave face on things until a stroke she suffered during an operation took her from us.

Margie was always super supportive -some might say "enabling"- of me and my insane need to collect and watch movies that are sometimes unearthed gems and some that are cinematic crap that should have been flushed and forgotten forever. I will never forget staying up late and watching a title as wonderful and sleazy as So Sweet, So Dead with my mother-in-law. I had never seen the movie before and kept kicking myself for springing an unseen title on a family member. And yet, Margie didn't bat an eyelid at the relentlessly trashy subject matter or the violence. She just thought it was a cool movie. It was a truly bizarre evening.

So anyway, I just wanted you to know where this Giallo Meltdown book dealie was at and also where my head has been at for the last little while. Some of you have been with me from the very beginning and some of you might just stopping by for the first time. To both of you and those in between, I say thanks. Thank you so fucking much. I am going to give you guys the best damned (but hopefully not the last) Doomed Moviethon book possible. Giallo Meltdown will contain everything I have to say (at this time, at least) about the giallo genre and a few things I probably shouldn't say- at least not in print where everyone could read it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You must now enter... DISCO OF DEATH!

This was a long time in the making. First of all, it took me what felt like forever to acquire all these titles. Then the pure terror of actually sitting down and watching these films took over and I kept putting this moviethon off. I should have held onto that feeling for the rest of my life. When it comes to the following 14 films (watched in just one weekend), living in fear would have been much better. Please read this: Disco of Death!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

HTITDS # 37 - Lady Frankenstein/2 Year Anniversary

It has been a long and crazy road over the last 2 years but Brad and I have held it together (sort of). For our 2 year anniversary show, we talk about Lady Frankenstein starring Rosalba Neri. We also talk about our favorite non-horror directors and some favorite non-horror movies. Fun fun fun fun fun fun funn f ufn fufnf ufndf udnf dufdn fudfndf jkal024 09090.

Listen here.

Dig on the archives, kids.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Franco Friday #47 - Lucky the Inscrutable

Franco Friday #47 - Lucky the Inscrutable

You'll have to forgive me, folks. I am really getting burnt out on Jess Franco. My review two weeks ago was disappointing. I was disappointed in the movie and in my review. Ugh. Thankfully, that little angel named Jess came through with a cinematic shot in the arm called Lucky the Inscrutable. Let's get crazy.

Lucky the Inscrutable
AKA Lucky, el intrépido
Directed by Jess Franco
1967
Ray Danton, Barbara Bold, Dante Posani, Dieter Eppler, María Luisa Ponte, Rosalba Neri
89 minutes

World class super spy/super hero/master of disguise Lucky the Inscrutable (played by Ray Danton) is hired by a secret society called Archangel to follow the trail of some counterfeit money in order to save the world's economy. Lucky teams up with a spy named Michele (Dante Posani) and off they go from England to France to Rome to Albania to wherever! Along the way they battle a vast array of double agents and soldiers armed with only their wits -oh, and guns and crazy spy gadgets.

If you are looking for a pop art-filled film with a ludicrous plot to make a great double feature with Mario Bava's Danger Diabolik or Franco's Kiss Me, Monster, then stop because your search is over. The spy spoof sub-genre is a tough sell for most viewers but this is easily one of the best I've ever seen. The first reel of this film is perfect for the short attention span crowd. It is filled with murderous thugs, spies, go-go dancing, people in crazy costumes, comic book panels and word balloons, and lots and lots of color everywhere.

Lucky the Inscrutable has not one but two cameos from Franco himself. One as an understandably speechless man with a knife in his back and then later as a tramp riding a train. Ray Danton is definitely having a blast. I like Dante Posani as Lucky's sidekick but I can't find any info on him. Rosalba Neri is so very young in this and is even more radiant than usual. The lovely Teresa Gimpera of Feast of Satan and Spirit of the Beehive is here too and the world is a better place because of that.

My one criticism is that this film loses a little steam before its over. It never becomes a slog or anything -trust me, the mile-a-minute jokes never stop- but the barrage of color and attention-grabbing visuals fall away about two-thirds of the way in and Lucky the Inscrutable suffers for it a bit. That being said, the cinematography by Fulvio Testi is always good and the score by Bruno Nicholai never fails to keep your foot tapping. He even gives Lucky his own theme song! So yeah, definitely give this film a watch sometime. It is weird and a lot of fun.

"What happened?"
"They've got my friend! If they've done him any harm, I'll get even with them or my name's not Lucky the..."
"Inscrutable."
"The Inscrutable! Thank you!"