Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Where better to start with Argento? Start with the crap and work your way backwards, forwards, and then backwards again? Or not. Whatever. Brad and I start our Argento series with Two Evil Eyes, Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome, and The Phantom of the Opera. We did this and we hope you like it. That is true. It is all true. Wow. Wowee wow wow.
Old episodes? Here are the archives!
See you next time, kids.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Man, I love me some Takashi Miike.
Here are some of my reviews of his movies:
Wow, some of these are crazy old!
I should probably review the rest (there's only like 90+ of them!) sometime.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Franco Friday #44 - Oasis of the Zombies
Well, I guess I couldn't avoid this one forever. I have attempted to sit through Oasis of the Zombies at least 4 times before today. I’m done with the damn budget version. That pan and scan shit is for the birds. The desert birds! Let’s see if this widescreen edition helps. Okay, cross your fingers. I’m going in. Could this be the one?
Oasis of the Zombies
AKA Treasure of the Living Dead
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Manuel Gelin, France Lomay, Jeff Montgomery, Myriam Landson, Eric Viellard
Two silly girls go driving through the desert in a jeep and their Daisy Duke-esque shorts. They stop at an oasis and start wandering around and talking about finding dates. Pretty soon they discover old rusted guns and cannons, the remnants of a battle fought there many years ago. But this oasis has another secret and that secret is undead Nazis! Meanwhile, former Nazi soldier Kurt (played by Henri Lambert) and some dead-meat named Blabert (Javier Maiza) have heard rumors of some Nazi gold hidden in that darn oasis. After Blabert shows him the map, Kurt kills him and takes the map so that he can go after the gold himself.
University student Robert Blabert hears about his father’s death and while going through his journals, he finds information about the Nazi convoy and the gold. Roll out the stock footage! It seems as though the Nazis in this particular convoy murder everyone they come into contact with be they military or civilian. Okay, keep that stock footage coming. After an epic battle (from another movie), Blabert tells of how he was the only survivor and the Sheik (played by Antonio Mayans) and some kindly nomads rescued him from dying alone in the desert.
Blabert falls in love with Aisha, The Shiek’s daughter (played by Doris Regina). She shows him her boobies on a sand dune and they make love (implied). After that he returns to the stock footage war. Two years later, he returns to the Sheik’s house to find out that Aisha bore him a son but she died during the boring. Boring? Bearing? Baby-shitting-out? Whatever! Robert decides to go after the gold himself, first stop: the Sheik’s house. But he’s not alone in this quest because he’s bringing his stupid idiot college friends: Sylvia, Ronald, and Ahmed.
Kurt, his wife Ingrid (legendary actress: Myriam Landson), and a two man crew arrive at the oasis to search for the gold. What do they find? Undead Nazis! Everyone is killed except for Kurt who escapes with nothing but a zombie bite for his troubles. Robert and his friends show up in a nearby village just in time to see Kurt die from him wounds. They meet the lovely Erika (France Lomay), assistant to Professor Zaniken (Albino Graziani), and Ronald, that crazy kid, falls for her. They swim without their shirts on and kiss. Does that mean she’s going to bore a child too? Bear a child? Exitus baby-stew?
Robert and his friends go and meet the Sheik who has grown a beautiful mustache and colored his temples gray. He gives them directions to the oasis but also warns them that it is dangerous. The fools proceed anyway. They get to their destination only to find Dr. Zaniken and most of his crew dead. I didn't even realize they were going to the oasis too but hey, that helps the plot! The only ones left alive are Erika and some random duder. He is in shock and rambles about undead Nazis. For some reason, Erika is totally fine, just a bruise or two. Hey, that helps the plot too! They all decide to stay and keep looking for the gold. This little desert adventure does not end well for these treasure-seeking goofballs.
The stock footage from an Italian war film used for the flashbacks is pretty effective even though it is dull as shit. Look, those guys in tan are shooting those other guys in tan! Good thing there’s some tan scenery to make all of this exciting. It is hilarious seeing Javier Maiza edited to look like he is fighting alongside his tan bros to defeat the tan Nazis. Luckily for us, cinematographer Max Monteillet is here to make the most of the locations and sexy ladies in the footage that was actually shot for this film. Monteillet shot Rollin’s The Living Dead Girl and Rollin’s Zombie Lake (but don’t hold that against him). The music score by Daniel White is beyond minimal. Shit man, it’s paper-thin but it does the trick.
I have to say that a decent looking print does wonders for this film in my book. Skip the grubby full frame version if you can and give the widescreen a whirl. Oasis of the Zombies is still silly, stupid, slowly paced, and cheap but I found it entertaining. My initial impression for the longest time was how drab and boring this film is but I was just watching the wrong version. This is not going to be for all tastes (in fact, most reviews of this film are very negative) but Oasis of the Zombies delivers the Eurocine cheese (bad dubbing and bad gore effects), big time. As for why the zombies sound like the washboard player in a jug band, I have no idea.
"Let's get some bottles and make Molotov cocktails, like at school!"
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
My good friend Brad has been questioned concerning various misdeeds and shady dealings. This time around he did it at The Death Rattle! He reveals the secrets of the universe but only twice.
Did you not get enough Brad?
Monday, July 8, 2013
Brad and I return to the podcasting world with a new episode. We talk about Seven Bloodstained Orchids and The Killer has Reserved Nine Seats and I attempt to explain Umberto Lenzi's confusingly titled gialli. For real. Check it.
And as always, you can check out old episodes at the archive.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Franco Friday #43 - Eugenie... The Story of Her Journey into Perversion
In 1970, film fans all over the world cried out for a film and Jess Franco delivered it. Maybe that happened, I don’t know. After a very traumatic move into a new apartment, I can finally get back to old Jess. Finish unpacking? Nah. Watch trash? Yah! Dang it all, I waited way too long to get to this film! I am freakin’ psyched, yo!
Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Maria Rohm, Marie Liljedahl, Jack Taylor, Christopher Lee, Paul Muller
Very few of Jess Franco’s films open as ostentatiously as Eugenie: The Story. A young woman in a see-through nightie is reading a book and we see in her mind’s eye, a sexy and blasphemous ceremony based on the works of Marquis De Sade. She closes the book and goes back to the real world. Her name is Maria (played by Maria Rohm) and she’s a perv. Eugenie (Marie Liljedahl) is Maria’s young friend. She is an angry teenager living at home with her parents who… just don’t understand. What Eugenie doesn’t know is that her father (Paul Muller) is having an affair with Maria.
Maria demands payment for her sexual favors from Eugenie’s father. Her price: Eugenie. She wants Eugenie to come and spend the weekend at her island. Of course, he says yes! Next thing you know, Eugenie is on her way out to the island where God knows what awaits her. Maria’s partner in crime is another terrible perv and super creep named Mirvel (played by Jack Taylor). He is Maria's stepbrother and I don't trust this fucking guy at all.
Maria is going to teach Eugenie how to be a woman (with Mirvel watching with his filthy eyes) but really they are going to sacrifice her to some crazy cult. Oh boy, this is going to be sleazy. To get this party started, they drug her. The only people on the island with souls are the mute servant girl Therese (played by Uta Dahlberg) and Augustin (Anney Kablan) who used to be one of Maria’s playthings. He is now her gardener, boat driver, and guitar player. Mirvel can’t wait for the sacrifice, he just has to rape Eugenie now while she’s under the influence of the drugs they slipped her. Maria convinces Eugenie that her rape was just a dream. Thanks, bitch!
Some freaks, led by Christopher Lee, come to the island dressed like the Ren-Fest got out early. After a nice meal, Maria and Mirvel get Eugenie to smoke some funny cigarettes. She gets wasted and things start getting freaky. And I mean freaky like whips, chains, and tools a blacksmith would use! This time when Eugenie wakes up, she is haunted by the horrors of what happened to her. But where are the marks? Was it a dream? What sexy horrors are in store for Eugenie now that she is completely at the mercy of these nasty weirdos? Will someone please save this naive chick before she descends into a sadomasochistic hell?!?!
I have found yet another intoxicating and naughty gem in the Jess Franco canon. Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion (not to be confused with Eugenie De Sade) was right in front of my face the whole time but I just kept putting it off, until now. This is some well-made, high class trash, my friends. Maria Rohn and Marie Liljedahl are so unbelievably hot that my glasses fogged up. As usual with Franco, the camera lingers on their bodies to the point of abstraction. This over-the-top film is painfully stylish and seems like it is filled with horny ghosts.
The musical score by Hans Gunther Leonhardt and the always reliable, Bruno Nicolai, is awesome! The pacing is great too and I was never bored. This film is also lushly and lasciviously lensed by Manuel Merino. But as beautiful as the scenery and the cinematography are, they can’t hide the undercurrent of dread running through the beginning of this film. They also set up the viewer for a fall when acts of sadism at Eugenie’s expense explode on the screen. This film is pure cruelty mixed with style and feverish desire. Highly recommended.
“No modern home is complete without the works of the Marquis.”