Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Frankenstein Island

4 corny guys in a hot-air balloon land on an island, and suddenly there's John Carradine super-imposed on the screen like one of those romantic photo portraits with someone's face in a wineglass. Like this:

Only worse. And with John Carradine.

Then suddenly, there's jungle bikini chicks. It's not very good. Then suddenly, there's dancing. It's not very good or brief. Then some pirates show up I think, and I'm only theorizing they're pirates because one of them wears an eye-patch. Then someone uses a skull for a bong. Then there's a brain under glass. It's not very good. Then suddenly, there are zombies I think, and I'm only guessing they're zombies because they're all hunched over and wearing turtleneck sweaters which is the officially unrecognized uniform of the walking dead, possibly. Then there's some kung fu, kind of, then I stopped caring about life, and the movies ends. Yeah.

I watched Frankenstein Island on youtube, and it's completely amazing if you're amazed by stuff that sucks. Here's a clip:


A shark attacks once or twice in this Speedo-y soft-core shark attack piano jazz disco nightmare. Because the film is partially in Spanish, I'm not sure what exactly happens; but from what I can discern the plot consists of two wild-and-crazy-guys putting the make on anything that moves and sometimes there's a shark. After about 3 months of tepid bell-bottomed romance, someone is finally eaten by a shark while skinny-dipping. It's not very interesting, and reminiscent of The Love Boat.  With sharks. Filled with actual dead sharks, chunks of actual dead sharks, actual dead turtles, and cheesy jazz; this film is not for animal activists, music lovers, or anyone. I watched Tintorera on youtube. Here's a NSFW trailer. I would avoid it:

She-Wolf Of London

Dr. Maureen Robinson from Last In Space stars in this Victorian she-wolf film where very few of the actors have English accents. Featuring enormous hats, jodhpurs, warm milk, and very few she-wolves; very little happens, although it isn't bad to look at if you really like watching overly mannered Victorians open and close doors. Someone somehow gets their throat torn out, which was pretty cool; but upon reflection I can't figure out how that happened. I don't think it really matters. I watched She-Wolf Of London on youtube. Here's a trailer:

Last Woman On Earth

Three insufferable bores find they're the last three people on Earth in this apocalyptic film, and you kind of wish no one ever invented scuba diving so the unnamed menace that smothers everyone on the planet could've finished the job. There's cockfights and craps, the world ends, people talk about stuff for an hour, there's a boring love triangle, then someone gets slapped with a fish. Then it ends. It's pretty much a rip-off of The Last Man On Earth, only much worse. I truly wish I never watched it, but I did. Live and learn, I guess. I watched Last Woman On Earth on youtube. Here's a trailer:

Beginning Of The End

Suddenly, there's giant vegetables. I'm not sure why. Then there's Peter Graves, but it's not very scary. Then suddenly, there's giant grasshoppers, but it's not very scary. Then giant grasshoppers climb what appears to be a picture of a skyscraper in Chicago, which isn't very scary and is actually kind of LOL-worthy. Beginning Of The End is quite awful, and it's recommended if you like watching the same 3 clips of rear-projection giant grasshoppers played over and over, Peter Graves, or stuff that sucks. I watched Beginning Of The End on youtube. Here's a trailer:

The Giant Behemoth

I was completely ready to crack on this film. The title makes me laugh, and I don't know why. Anyway, it's nicely shot with deep focus photography, and I was very concerned that I accidentally started watching a good movie and my world was turned upside down. But then suddenly someone finds a throbbing merengue on the beach, and I'm like, oh ok, that's what we're doing and everything was back to normal. Near the end of the movie a rubber stop-motion behemoth attacks, and thousands flee covered in radiation burns, which was pretty cool. Should you watch it? It's your call. I watched The Giant Behemoth on youtube. Here's a trailer:

Monster On The Campus

The radioactive liquid from a defrosting coelacanth reverts dogs and scientists to their murderous prehistoric ancestors, sort of, in this cheesy film. So there's 30-year old teenagers, rubber coelacanths, dogs with prosthetic teeth, beakers, test tubes, a two-foot long dragonfly, and a disturbing lack of actual science. It's not very interesting. When the Monster On The Campus finally appears, he looks a little like what would happen after an unfortunate blind date between Roddy McDowell in Planet Of The Apes and the Creature Of The Black Lagoon after a few bottles of wine. Ick. I watched Monster On The Campus on youtube. Here's a trailer:

Horror On Snape Island

Four hippies journey to Snape Island and find horrors in this hippie filled film. Featuring a severed hand with a crab crawling on it, a severed head rolling down castle stairs, and dialogue like "Far out!" and "Some people get vibes.". Someone also gets stabbed through the butterfly decal on their t-shirt by a golden Phoenician spear, there's a nude-y montage with a golden scythe, some rear projection where someone's bell-bottoms blow gently in the breeze, and 5 minutes of continuous screaming. Also features that horror film mentality of leaving women alone where hideous murders took place only yesterday while the menfolk foolishly wander off to investigate every odd noise or circumstance, Horror on Snape Island is well shot but slightly dumb. And filled with hippies. I watched Horror On Snape Island on youtube. Here's a trailer:

The Sinister Urge

Young women are murdered in this lurid Ed Wood film about the dangers of the adult film racket that Ed Wood ironically finds himself a part of sometime after this film is made. Lacking the naive charm of Glen Or Glenda or Plan 9 From Outer Space, enduring The Sinister Urge is a tough slog. Here we go:

A woman dressed only in a bra, slip, and high heels makes a screechy phone call when she's grabbed by the rapist she's fleeing, then swingin' jazz plays on the soundtrack when the police discover her body by the river. Suddenly, there's a bosomy cheesecake photo session and the fuzz busts the place in an unconvincing vice raid. Meanwhile, a few cops sit around and talk while a boom is visible for like ever. Then there's a feedback-y microphone tone whenever one of the capri-wearing female cast members reads her lines and no one does anything about it. Back at the ice cream parlor, there's an unconvincing knife fight and some unconvincing eavesdropping as if two different movies were scotch-taped together, and some chick pushes an ice cream cone into some dudes face and she steals cash out of the register. We cut back to the capri-wearing chick who now wears a gold-lame negligee and gets into some rough necking, and I assume it's acting but it's hard to tell.

Here's the breakdown: There's wooden acting, bad editing and nearly every member of the cast forgets some portion of their lines but it doesn't matter because the script is terrible. You'll also see stabbings, drownings, and someone feeds some ducks. Naturally someone in an Ed Wood film cross-dresses, someone hides a gun under a pillow, someone unconvincingly rolls down a hill, someone gets shot, and then the movie ends. The Sinister Urge is awful, but the worst offense is that it's boring. Watch Plan 9 instead. I watched The Sinister Urge on youtube. Here's a trailer:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism

Rarely does the movie ever live up to the title in films of this era. The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism's title doesn't either; as there is no one named Dr. Sadism, but there is a torture chamber at least. Here's the rundown. A dude named Count Regula killed 12 virgins so the townsfolk attached a golden spiky mask to his face and decides to tear him into four large chunks. Years later, invitations to the Count's castle somehow get delivered and two dummies travel to check it out. So then highwaymen attack their horse-drawn carriage on a foggy tree-lined road, crows sit in the gnarled limbs of trees where dozens of corpses dangle in atmospheric eerie blue half-darkness, and groovy psychedelic music with odd backwards effects plays. It's quite a sight.

I have a question, though, and it's one that has plagued movie-goers for like ever. If you've just risked your life fighting off hooded highwaymen on a tree-lined road littered with dangling corpses, and you finally arrive at your destination which is a crumbling ruin of a castle surrounded by a graveyard, and a crypt suddenly opens on its own revealing a subterranean passageway; would you go in? If so, why? Do you honestly think things are going to improve? I would have my doubts.

Anyway, there are secret passages, and snake flinging, and a hallway of vultures, and a hallway of skulls. That stuff is pretty good, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Stuff just seems to happen. Then there are trapdoors, and bong-like laboratory equipment, and a sharp swinging pendulum, and someone uses hay as a pillow, and someone throws a vulture. It's a freaked out psychedelic mess.

Spoiler: Nothing says "Wow, we just escaped the clutches of Christopher Lee wielding a gigantic axe like the soothing tones of jazz flute.".

I watched The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism on youtube, and it's highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks or if you just happen to be a little bit stoned. Here's a German trailer:

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Avengers

I'm already behind 2 movies in my summer movie viewing because I missed The Raven and Dark Shadows (I still might go see that tonight, but I wouldn't bet on it), although if you think about it I'm right on schedule considering how many movies I watched in the theater last summer which was the grand total of one. I dislike going to the theater. People walk around, they talk, they text, they breathe. It's irritating. Why should I leave the sanctity of my home and sit with strangers in the dark when I have a humungous television, surround sound, and snacks right here? I can buy my own damn Junior Mints and pay less than $5 a box, I can pause the movie if I have to hit the john, and I don't have to hear all that damn breathing.

Moving on, I watched The Avengers. It's already been in theaters for all of ten whole days and everyone and their best friend has seen it and reviewed it, and I don't have a lot to add. That's not really what I do anyway. I watch crappy stuff and complain about it. Anyway, The Avengers is a bit slow going in the beginning; but the script really crackles when all the heroes get together, and the effects are unbelievable. They should have named it The Loki Show, but usually superhero movies are ultimately all about the villain anyway. And I'm glad shawarma is finally getting the onscreen shout-out it deserves. Order the shawarma if you're ever in Detroit. They do a really great job there. I once had to spend two weeks in a Residence Inn outside Detroit for reasons I'm not going to go into here, and I ate shawarma every single day while I was there. 

Every. Single. Day. It was Awesome with a capital A. 

I took a bunch of pictures of the Avengers movie set last year, and a couple were published at USA Today's Pop Candy. Here are some of them. Enjoy. Go get some shawarma with extra pickle and hot sauce:

Here's a trailer featuring some of the stuff I took pictures of:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lammy Awards 2012

Vote for me!

Shamelessly promoting myself. I'd love to be considered for any of these very fine categories:

Best Blog
Most Prolific
Funniest Writer
Best Horror/Sci-Fi Blog
Best Blog Name
Best Classic Film Blog
Best New LAMB
and Best Movie Reviewer



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Attack Of The Beast Creatures

Several well-dressed people in a rowboat come ashore on a tropical desert island or Connecticut and are attacked by ankle-high doll-like creatures in this astoundingly terrible film. There's footage of people foraging for berries, several badly realized Beast Creature POV camera shots through ferns, and someone gets dissolved in a pool of acid and it's very gooey. Then the cast eats more berries. After some clumsy character development around a campfire, the Beast Creatures finally appear. They have glowing eyes and teeth, visible limb articulation, and stiff angry Cabbage Patch Doll-like faces. They're very bite-y. The attacks by the Beast Creatures consist of people holding Beast Creatures in place where they need to bite, screaming hysterically, and throwing the Beast Creatures against a tree. It's reminiscent of Trilogy Of Terror starring Karen Black and oddly compelling, but only if you like watching people walk through the forest, people eating berries, and people screaming hysterically because of bite-y dolls. I watched Attack Of The Beast Creatures on Youtube, and it's highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks. Here's a fantastic clip where someone shouts "My Leg!":

Yeah, that happens a lot.

Goliath And The Dragon

Goliath climbs down into a very deep cave wearing a revealing toga and punches an unconvincing flame-throwing Cereberus in its faces in this sword-and-sandals film. He then throws a rock at what I can only assume is a Baked Alaska and has a brief battle with Man-Bat. I don't know why. It has the usual stuff a sword-and-sandals epic might have; someone throwing a hissy fit while playing a lyre, an attack by a guy in a bear suit, swords, sandals, togas, levitating blood diamonds, elephants crushing crucified guys, and a maiden being lowered into a snake pit. You know, the usual. I watched Goliath And The Dragon on Youtube, and it was lousy. Here's a trailer:

Creature Of Destruction

A googly-eyed and snaggle-toothed Creature From The Black Lagoon-esque rubber suited monster whose pupils slits were painted on just a little bit crooked follows a guy into a warehouse and slaps him to death while he sits cowering in an automobile for some reason in this dreadful made-for-TV film. Then there's an unconvincing rock concert where someone sings about Batman, sort of. I don't know why. Then there's some hypnotic regression, wonky editing, and a hootenanny where someone drives off on their motorcycle in a huff after smashing their guitar; and the monster slaps them to death, too. I don't know why. Then I just stopped caring. I watched Creature Of Destruction on Youtube, and it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a trailer.

House Of Evil

Boris Karloff stars in this Scooby-Doo-esque film where a woman inherits a spooky mansion filled with murderous toys. Whenever the murderous toys have screen-time, there's a high pitched irritating squeak that seems to go on forever which made me want to push the television out the highest window. I didn't. The music and sound effects throughout the film seemed out-of-place and sometimes conflicting, although I did like the gothic organ music that usually accompanied footage of an organ with blood-stained keys. But then someone said, "He had a heart attack. A very serious one." and ruined everything. The movie is eerie whenever they show the toys with their blank staring eyes, but there isn't enough of that. I watched House Of Evil on Youtube. Sorry, there doesn't seem to be a trailer.

Assignment Terror

Michael Rennie from The Day The Earth Stood Still kind of stars in this film about, uh, something. Murders seem to happen at the carnival sideshow, then there's some unconvincing open heart surgery with a throbbing plastic heart, and some vampire eye surgery. Then I accidentally saw that a friend of mine on Facebook posted some very dramatic photos of funnel clouds down the street from their house and I missed some big chunks of movie. Accidentally. There was something about a laboratory with lots of beakers, and a Franken-something monster with glued on eyebrows and sideburns, and a mummy, and a werewolf, and Dracula. I don't know why. I half expected Michael Rennie to say Klaatu-something or other. He doesn't, and then the movie was over. I sort of watched Assignment Terror on Youtube, and I regret nothing. Here's a trailer:

Hey, that looks pretty good. It isn't.

Snake People

Boris Karloff sort of stars in this sort of voodoo film. Featuring voiceover narration that uses the words various and many a little too often, shaky camerawork, stock thunder sound effects, bad dubbing, wooden acting, and a voodoo ceremony where a giggling dwarf kills a chicken and slings its blood everywhere. Get used to the idea of chickens because there's a lot of them. And a goat, and some snakes, and a toucan. It's not very interesting. Plus you get to see Boris Karloff dressed like Colonel Sanders while he sits in a wicker chair, and a forced perspective voodoo whipping that looks like interpretive dance. There's a few more voodoo ceremonies I think, and some chick doesn't realize a voodoo priestess wearing a boa constrictor has entered her room and is burning incense directly under her nose. And she still doesn't realize it's happening when the voodoo priestess starts removing her nightgown. Some folks are just deep sleepers, so I guess I'll just chalk that up to the poorly constructed dream sequence she had where someone puts a snake in their mouth. Anyway, everyone keeps saying Dumbala, or Jambalaya, or Shambala; and I finally realize they're talking about Boris Karloff who then beats a zombie rapist with a cane. Let's check:

Yep, I can tell from the bell-bottoms and mustaches it's definitely Shambala. I watched The Snake People on Youtube and it was lousy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Did You Hear The One About The Traveling Saleslady?

Gilligan drives a wood-fired automobile he invented in front of a rear-projection of Hooterville and everyone refuses Phyllis Diller's lascivious advances in this stagey film. It seems like an overlong episode of Petticoat Junction with all the flat yucks, pratfalls, double-takes, and slapstick. Desperately screechy and nearly laugh-free; horses rear, delicate turn-of-the-century townsfolk's sensibilities are offended, Phyllis rides a runaway player piano, and men run for their lives. With all the Rube Goldberg-esque inventions, comedians unsuccessfully yucking it up, and antique automobiles; this film is reminiscent of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Sadly, without the bang all that's left is chitty.

I watched Did You Hear The One About The Traveling Saleslady? on Youtube. I've seen worse. Here's a clip of 1960's era standup in lieu of a clip:

Attack Of The Mayan Mummy

Attack Of The Mayan Mummy is the story of...uh...I'm not really sure. Let me break it down for you. Two guys talk in a room for like ever. Then we cutaway to a completely different movie with voiceover narration about a pyramid in the Yucatan. I'm not sure why. Then we cut back to the two talking dudes, and they talk for years and years and years.

This goes on for awhile; with the explaining, and the cutaways, and more explaining, and it's totally obvious these are two different movies in two different languages scotch-taped together. One movie has a cast, and art direction, and sets. The other movie has two guys talking and a desk.

Suddenly, and with very little warning; teenagers dance in a nightclub. Someone drinks a Coke. Then there's more explaining. Then hours and hours of hypnotic regression happens, and we see a ritual and a pyramid, and I'm glad it's not with the two boring guys talking at a desk. It might be a chunk of a completely different movie, but it's hard to tell. Someone in an outlandish head-dress sings, and for a minute I think it might be Yma Sumac. Let's see:

Nope, I'm still not sure. Anyway, people dance around carrying bowls of salad, I think. Someone tunelessly plays a mysterious wind instrument forever, but it's so shrill and ear-rendering it should be called a wind instrument of torture.

Finally, the mayan mummy makes an appearance, but it's nothing to write home about. I watched Attack Of The Mayan Mummy on Youtube. Sorry, there doesn't seem to be a clip.

Blood Of Dracula's Castle

I found a new resource for cruddy movies. It's called the Sagal Index Of The 1000 Worst Films Of All Time. I'm not sure who Sagal is but he has terrible taste in movies, and I like him for it. It's where I found a listing for The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters, which is just terrible. So I'm going to try to plow through as many of these films as I can. Thanks Sagal!

Blood Of Dracula's Castle is another in a long line of awful John Carradine movies. A chick drives her Mustang into a ditch, walks through the forest, then screams in terror at a hunchback and then faints because it's in the script and she can probably already guess this movie isn't very good. There's a swinging tune playing called Next Train Out about some guy taking a train ride to the moon, which seems like the best choice of opening theme movie for a movie about vampires. Here's a scratchy clip, which somehow enhances the overall esthetics of the clip:

So then there's a fashion photography shoot at Marineland with several walrus closeups because that makes sense, then someone gets the requisite telegram informing them a wealthy ancestor kicked the bucket and they inherit a vampire filled castle in California. Then John Carradine plays John Carradine playing a butler, and he draws some blood from the fainting chick in an unconvincing dungeon filled to the brim with bored girls chained to the walls. That seems fine. Then he serves the blood smoothie-style to some unconvincingly aristocratic vampires. They claim it keeps them young, but they're probably just making that up.

Some time later, a guy drowns a girl in a bikini while being pursued by hounds, bludgeons a dude changing a flat tire, and shoots a hitch-hiker in the face and eats his suitcase sandwich. I'm not sure why. Then there's a burning at the stake, a battle on an unconvincing staircase with a mace, and a whipping by butler; but none if it is any good. The movie tries to end a few times, but it doesn't.

Then it does.

I watched Blood Of Dracula's Castle on Youtube. 999 bad movies to go.

The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters

As the title suggests, the Navy battles the Night Monsters in this almost night monster-free film. After some voiceover narration about Antarctica, pilots eat cheese sandwiches before scientists get blown out the door of the plane. I don't think the sandwiches had anything to do with it, even though they were cut in a suspicious diagonal fashion. Then a navy scientist finds a big grungy smear on the floor of the plane; and like any scientist worth his salt, he gives it a good sniff. That seems fine. A short time later, his commanding officer smells it as well. I'm not a scientist, but I'm sure grungy smear sniffing is an important part of the scientific method. A fistfight involving a guy in a red cardigan happens for some reason. Even though that's a questionable apparel choice I don't think it has to come to fisticuffs. Sadly, this fistfight results in some very shaky camerawork. Bobby Van talks to a small yapping dog, and for a moment I wonder if this is an episode of Lassie. It isn't. During a chaste love scene where someone needs a cigarette after a 3 second kiss, someone's burned by acid. It's not as good as it sounds. Finally, the Night Monster appears. It's hidden by foliage, so I'm not sure. A foreboding oboe plays, so it must be. Or it could be a ficus.

I watched The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters on Youtube, and it wasn't very good. Mamie Van Doren's in it, but she doesn't do much. Here's a trailer: