Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More half-assed reviews

It's the holiday season, and it's a very busy time for me. I've been hanging out in graveyards, going to various pumpkin-related festivals, eating Halloween Oreos, and generally being awesome. That puts a damper on bad movie reviewing. I still watch them, I just don't review them. Since I have an extremely short attention span, I forget I watched them. So, here's a brief sampling of some of the movies I watched but didn't get around to reviewing...

Son Of Frankenstein
I am a big fan of the Frankenstein Monster. I think I have a lot in common with him. We both inhabit a world we don't understand, we both strike terror in the hearts of the general public, and we both get chased through the wilderness by torch-wielding villagers. Anyway, the son of Dr. Frankenstein carries on the work of his dad; which involves digging up chunks of really big dead guys, stitching them together, applying electricity, and then being surprised that no one appreciates that. I think it's somewhat suspicious that all these Dr. Frankensteins keep doing the same thing over and over again and keep expecting different results. Haven't they seen any of those other movies? And the fact that they keep making men. Big ones. With big hands and big feet. Over and over again. It's just something to think about.


Yahoo recently had an article called "The Scariest Movies You've Never Seen". Sorry to burst your bubble, Yahoo, but I've seen 'em. The only one I somehow missed was Pulse, which is an internet-era ghost story. I enjoy Asian horror films, but I'm not especially terrified by what passes for ghosts in Asian horror films. They look just like everyone else, only they're usually looking down, or they have their hair in their faces, or they're crawling around like crabs, or their hanging around mostly offscreen. Because I generally ignore people, even in real life everyone looks like they're mostly offscreen to me so I don't find that to be very unusual. Anyway, Pulse has something to do with some website, and the ghost dimension has filled up, and now ghosts are everywhere. It was ok, but I wasn't knocked out by it.


I'm a fan of noisy music. The noisier, the better. The more convoluted, difficult, and upsetting, the better. City/Ruins is a low-budget documentary about the Cleveland Experimental/Industrial Noise Music scene, where bands that few people have heard of that make music that sounds like a vacuum cleaner being shoved down a flight of stairs talk about other bands that few people have heard of that make music that sounds like a vacuum cleaner being shoved down a flight of stairs. There are quite a few clips of very intense guys making an unholy racket using equipment tucked into suitcases, so there's that. If you're looking for melody, look elsewhere.

Kill, Baby, Kill

Kill, Baby, Kill  has something to do with gold coins in people's hearts, a witch, women screaming and moaning wearing lingerie and sporting huge blown-out Lana Del Rey hair, open coffins scattered about, doors opening by themselves, foggy cemeteries, grave-robbing, creepy children whose faces peer through dirty windows, cobwebs, machetes, spooky organ music and dodgy dubbing. Other than that, I have no idea what happened. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

I've never heard of this film. Why didn't anyone tell me about this? You're all dead to me.

Anyway, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is a film about a bed that eats people. It actually drags them below the sheets and blankets and dissolves them in foamy bile because that's something that everyone's clamoring to see.

So, this dude plans a romantic evening with his beloved lady-friend (who has tied her gingham shirt in a knot below the bosoms a la Daisy Duke) and they break into a haunted estate or garage, set the mood with a candle and a bucket of Colonel Sanders' 11 herbs and spices, and then the bed suddenly dissolves them in bile offscreen while making crunching, chewing noises. That sort of thing happens a lot. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is a lot like a foamy Goldilocks story, only there's voiceover narration, spinning newspapers, stock footage, and no one ever changes the sheets. Cast-members wander around in pajamas and negligees and just casually plop themselves down in a monstrous bed that's outdoors sometimes and indoors sometimes like it's the Night Before X-Mas and they're settling their brains for a long winter's nap because people often take naps in beds they just randomly find. I'm sure that's fine.

Anyway, there's bloody saddle shoes, delicious caterpillars, unconvincing headstones, a picnic, and Pepto-Bismol. Someone says, "This place looks clean for being abandoned so long. I hope there's not a maniac around.". I'm not sure why. There are many artsy, pretentious moments which fall flat, and the haughty narrator sounds suspiciously like Stewie Griffin. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is awful and boring and confusing, but it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

Sorry, no clip.

Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes

The vile, hideous weed attacks people in this musical horror comedy. Honestly, I'm not sure how anyone can choke those disgusting things down. They're just the worst. You know, tomatoes were considered poisonous in North America during the 17th century, and I'm not certain they're wrong.

Just look at them.

Actually, that looks pretty cool. Anyway, they're overgrown nightshade, and they're filled with gelatinous, seed-filled nastiness. Yuck.

Anyway, back to the movie. Tomatoes are thrown, rolled, smashed, submerged, crushed and smeared. I'm not sure why. Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes isn't funny, it's not musical, and it's not horrific. However, it is offensive, nonsensical, and awful; but not in a good way. It's been called The Worst Film Ever Made. It's not, but I'm sure it's on the list somewhere. Here's a trailer:

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Innocents

The Innocents is arguably one of the greatest ghost stories ever filmed. Actually, there's not much to argue about. Featuring a screenplay co-written by Truman Capote based on Henry James' novella The Turn Of The Screw, stark and lustrous black-and-white cinematography by Freddie Francis, an effective score by Georges Auric, and gutsy acting by Deborah Kerr; it's a spine-chilling film filled with subtext and suggestion. There are strange cries in the garden, disembodied whispers, voices calling from a lakeside gazebo, sheer curtains billowing in darkened rooms, ghostly sobbing, laughter echoing through a creepy country estate, creaking doors, candlelit hallways, and the implication of unpleasant scandals. The sound, art direction, and costumes are all excellent, and the effects are simple but terrifying. I watched The Innocents on DVD. Here's a trailer:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baron Blood

Elke Sommer gets awfully bosomy in a torture chamber, summons a ghostly baron, and wears an assortment of jaunty hats in this hat-filled horror film. Incantations are read, plot-integral parchments are accidentally burned, and Elke wears distractingly long false eyelashes. Generally, I try not to read aloud  any old parchments I find, especially if they're filled with arcane invocations. Actually, I try not to read any incantations or invocations regardless of what they're written on aloud because it always comes to no good, and by "no good" I mean they usually raise bloody undead corpses with an aversion to disinfectants that have a tendency for wearing foppish hats and who shuffle around stabbing or strangling people as they buy a refreshing Fanta from a vending machine, or even worse, summon Joseph Cotten. And then Joseph Cotten shows up wearing an ascot, and you suddenly wish you were watching any number of his great films such as Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Shadow Of A Doubt, Gaslight, The Third Man, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, or Touch Of Evil, none of which are this movie. I watched Baron Blood on Netflix. Here's a trailer:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

London After Midnight

Ever since I first saw an image of London After Midnight in the magazine Famous Monsters Of Filmland, I've been fascinated by this lost film.

Yes, it's lost. The last known copy was destroyed in an MGM vault fire in the 1960s. Lon Chaney starred as The Man In The Beaver Hat, which is pretty terrifying. I mean seriously, who wears a beaver hat? Beside the fact that Lon Chaney is dressed in formal wear, a cape, has deeply baggy, bloodshot eyes, and a mouth full of razor-sharp fangs; but he's wearing a top hat made out of a beaver pelt. I have questions. Where would you go to get one, and why would you want one? What do they do with the tail? Weren't the ordinary top hats available? Does beaver pelt have special vampiric qualities that only function if made into formal headwear? No one knows. I'm almost certain that The Wife Of The Man In The Beaver Hat said to him before he left to lurk and murder and be a vampire around London after midnight, "Are you really going to wear that thing?", and there was a big domestic dispute. Unfortunately, the film is lost and we don't get to see that.

However, there is a recreation of the film using stills on the Lon Chaney DVD box set. The camera zooms and pans across various still publicity photos, and it's awfully boring. However, barring someone finding a copy of this legendary lost film in a janitor's closet in some Scandinavian mental institution somewhere; it's as close as we'll ever get to seeing it.

Sorry, no clip because they don't exist.


We're half-way through October, and I'm distressed about it. There's so much more to do. I haven't eaten all this candy corn. I haven't visited any haunted locations. And I've only dressed up for Halloween once.

Ok, maybe twice. It's been awfully windy around Deathrage Towers, and the decorations I secured to the outside of the penthouse windows have all blown down and by "I secured" I really mean someone else did. I sent a couple of Administrative Assistants out on the ledge with a few inches of tape and a string of orange lights, and haven't seen them in a while. I should have someone check on that. That's not important right now. What's important is that I am trying to watch as many monster movies as I can before the big day. It's not as easy as it sounds. I wanted to sign up for The Cult Movie Network through my blu-ray player because I've seen just about everything on Netflix. It involves knowing numbers, and passwords, and it involves more than one step; so obviously I gave up in frustration after 15 seconds. I wish one of those Administrative Assistants hadn't plummeted from the penthouse ledge so they can set that up for me. You just can't keep good help nowadays.

Anyway, I watched Rodan on DVD from my Godzilla DVD box set. No, you can't borrow it. Get a job and buy your own, and no, I'm not hiring.

Wait, maybe I am. Has anyone checked the sidewalk outside the building for some administrative assistants lying around on the job? Someone should do that. If you're not sure which ones are the administrative assistants, they might've been partially liquified from a 42-story fall, their fists are clutching Scotch tape and decorative lights, and they have a look of job dissatisfaction on their faces.

Let's stay focused, OK? I watched Rodan because I couldn't figure out the instructions on the blu-ray player, and it's a classic giant monster movie, and by "classic giant monster movie" I mean some guy dressed up in a rubber pelican suit dangles from strings and destroys a miniaturized Japan. There's voiceover narration where someone says "an angry mushroom cloud" and that a subterranean cave created by larval-stage Rodan offspring have created "an evil smell". I don't know what that means. There's also stock footage, various unnecessary wild animal noises, repetitive shots of Japanese army tanks, and lots and lots of explosions. It's pretty great if you like stuff that sucks. Here's a trailer:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Raven

This summer, I was going to watch all the big blockbuster films. That totally didn't work out. That would have involved effort, and I'm not great at that. It also involves leaving the house, and I'm not good at that either. And it involves spending money on something that I can do for almost free a few months later, if I can just be patient. Patience is another thing I'm not great at, however, cheapness overrides impatience. Seriously, after theater admission for the whole darn family, an enchilada dinner out somewhere, and a $12 box of Junior Mints; we're talking about an evening that could run thousands of dollars possibly. I'm not great at math. If I just cool my jets and wait a few months, I can pay per view that summer blockbuster for $4.99, buy several boxes of Junior Mints, and never leave the house. What is that, like ten bucks? I don't know, I have accountants for that.

Anyway, I took a break from obsessively watching a television soap opera I don't really like about what I thought was vampires but is really about a music box to watch The Raven.  In spite of an overwrought moment near the end, some distractingly unnecessary CGI, and some anachronistic forensic science and police work; I liked it. It had good art direction, good editing, and good costumes. There are some dark passageways, creepy candle-lit rooms, people getting buried alive, pits, pendulums, a little gore, and some arterial spray. I don't think there was a music box in it, so there's that. I pay-per-viewed The Raven, saving me literally millions of dollars in refreshments alone, or so I'm told from the accounting department. Here's a trailer:

Dark Shadows. Again. Really?

I've watched another several hundred episodes of Dark Shadows. I can't stop. The episodes are occasionally in color now, and it's a drag. Well, they've always been a drag; now it's a drab, washed-out drag. Maggie was dead, now she's not. She thought she was Josette, now she doesn't. She has her memory, then she doesn't. Victoria thought she was Josette, too. Now she doesn't. All the while, people keep playing that damn music box over and over again.

The tune the music box plays is a sweet, tinkly, melodic nightmare and it makes me want to set fire to things. Every time the characters lift the lid of that music box, I start hunting for matches. I have to keep reminding myself that the music that little glass box plays is the soundtrack to a desperate girl's plunge from a cliff into the jagged rocks and crashing surf below Collinwood, and then I feel better about it.

Anyway, there's a brief moment in the series when Barnabas is going on about Victoria or Maggie or Josette or somebody, and a fly lands on his forehead and hangs out there for almost forever. It was extremely distracting, and all I could do was fixate on that fly crawling around on his face. The actor who plays Barnabas does his best to ignore it, never breaks character, and attempts to swat at it just before the camera cuts away. I'm glad that fly makes a cameo appearance, because it made me forget about Josette's Theme for a few minutes, and nothing "accidentally" caught fire.

I am going to attempt to watch something else. I may not have the strength, as I keep getting drawn back to Dark Shadows like an addict. Apparently there's this zombie television show that everyone's watching, and I might give that a try.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Croaked: The Frog Monster From Hell

People talk by the lakeside, talk at their campsite, talk around the campfire, talk while they're making out on the floor by the fireplace, and carry chickens in the woods in this frog-monster film. The lake bubbles in an ominous fashion, lily pads float in a threatening manner, and frogs croak, but very few frog-monsters are ever seen. Honestly, John Williams, Steven Spielberg, and the Creature From The Black Lagoon should all sue. I watched Croaked: The Frog Monster From Hell on Youtube on the Troma Channel. It wasn't very good.

Sorry, there doesn't seem to be a trailer.

Fertilize The Blaspheming Bombshell

Stuff happens in this film, I suppose, but it's often too dark to see. From what I gather, two people drive to Ellivnatas in the dark while elevator music plays on the soundtrack, and when they get out of the car, torch-wielding villagers kill them, I think. It was hard to tell with all the darkness. Anyway, there was a high-speed Volkswagen chase, and an poorly realized devilish dream sequence, but it wasn't anything to write home about. If you're looking for fertilizing, blaspheming, or bombshells of any variety; you should probably look elsewhere. If you like watching people take long drives in the dark where the only thing on the screen for uncomfortably long periods of time are two headlights in the darkness, well, here's your movie. I watched Fertilize The Blaspheming Bombshell on Youtube on the Troma Channel, and it's recommended for people with insomnia.

Sorry, there doesn't seem to be a trailer.


A spaceship crashes out in the boondocks, and oddly enough, no one seems to notice in this nightbeasty film. I mean, let's say for instance you live out in the wilderness where nothing ever, ever happens, and suddenly in the night something crashes in the forest near your campsite. Wouldn't you have the slightest curiosity about what happened? Wouldn't there be some sort of gossip about the odd newcomer wandering the town stabbing, strangling, and vaporizing people? Apparently, not in this fog-machine-y, entrail-y, wood-panel-y, femullet-y and mustache-y movie. It's like the spacecraft landed in Mehville. Anyway, the whole Nightbeast plot-line is quickly abandoned for a couple of odd vignettes about a motorcycle-riding murderer, a pool party, and a love story between two pasty cops, but if you called this movie The Rape-y Motorcyclist, The Confusing Pool Party, And Two Pasty Naked Cops, no one would want to watch that and it wouldn't fit on a theater marquee. I watched Nightbeast on Youtube on the Troma Channel, and it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks. Here's a trailer, and it's slightly NSFW if your boss frowns on you watching videos with black bars over the naughty bits.

Bride Of Frankenstein

The misunderstood loner has more wacky misadventures in this charming screwball comedy. Sure, his castle is burned down, and he's nearly incinerated, and he's chased through the European countryside, and chined up, and nearly crucified. But there's a wisecracking scientist which a penchant for gin, and miniature characters in jars, and a high-pitched shrieking townswoman. The laughs just keep coming, as our hero finally gets a girlfriend. Sure, she recoils in horror and hisses at him, but Rome wasn't built in a day.

Then everything explodes.

Maybe he should have tried E-Harmony. I watched The Bride Of Frankenstein on dvd from the Universal Monster Box Set, and you should get your own. Stop pestering me about it. Here's a trailer:


A misunderstood loner wanders the European countryside in search of a friend as he's relentlessly pursued by torch-wielding villagers in this coming-of-age tale. Hounded by a blood-thirsty mob who will never understand him, he only wants to be accepted. Maybe he doesn't look like the other kids in town. That doesn't justify bullying. Sure, he has an eccentric fashion sense. His sleeves are a little too short, and platform shoes were only in style for a brief moment in the early 70s. His haircut is awfully George Clooney circa Batman And Robin, and bolts in the neck take body modification to its absurd extreme. And maybe some folks sort of end up dead. That's really no reason to be chased by yokels with pitchforks. We should all try to walk in someone else's platform shoes for a moment, and spread a little understanding around. It's not so hard. I watched Frankenstein on dvd from the Universal Monsters Box Set, and no, you can't borrow it. Here's a trailer:

The Addams Family

Grifters attempt to steal the wealth hidden beneath a family's home in this suspenseful drama. Using swords, trapdoors, secret passages, and one aborted musical number; the family bravely battles against thieves who would not only take their enormous stash of gold coins but their entire way of life. I can completely relate to the plight of the Addams Family. They've toiled for decades to accumulate savings for their family, only to have it ripped from them by people who don't deserve it or the IRS. I'm not sure which, but it's definitely one or the other. My accountants on the 6th and 7th floors of Deathrage Towers do that for me. I didn't acquire my vast fortune only to have the IRS steal 8 or 9% of my wealth and disperse it to the 47% of the lazy, shiftless, jobless vampires in this country who'll just spend it on cable television so they can watch Honey Boo Boo. Or they might spend it on Funyuns. Honestly, I'm totally out of touch with the 47% of the country that wants to take my wealth from me, and I'm not sure what they do. I acquired my vast fortune so I can acquire more of everything, and that's what makes this country great. What makes this country great is freedom, and money, and me. I hope that the Addams Family learned a valuable lesson, and instead of hoarding their doubloons in a dark, cobwebby, subterranean vault, they now keep it in a secure off-shore account. I watched The Addams Family on pay-per-view. Here's a trailer:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Dark Shadows

I watched a few more episodes of Dark Shadows, and by "a few more" I mean "so many I've lost count and I've lost control of my life". Unfortunately, we're in the "romance" portion of the story, which is inevitable in soap operas, and by "romance" I mean "blackmailed into getting married because the groom knows you killed your first husband and buried him beneath the floor in the locked room which has caused you to become alienated from your daughter forcing her to become involved with a motorcycle thug named Buzz who talks like a beatnik". You know, that old chestnut. It's boring and romance-filled, which is boring. Honestly, I don't understand the need for romance in a gothic horror story when you've got ghosts and vampires and howling wolves and crypts and graveyards and widows flinging themselves from cliff-tops into the surf and jagged rocks below an ancient mansion. Isn't that far more interesting? Maybe it's just me. I could watch people opening creaking doors and walking down cobweb filled hallways all day long, but the instant some character starts going on about marriage plans I couldn't care less. Well, unless they fling themselves from a cliff-top while they're rambling on about their gift registry at Bed Bath And The Great Beyond. Then we've got something there. I watched Dark Shadows on Netflix, and I really should stop.

The Cabin In The Woods

The Cabin In The Woods has all the usual horror movie elements; which include murky liquids in jars containing suspicious chunks of anatomy, taxidermied things hanging on filthy walls, ominous sharp things on tables, and threatening gas station attendants, but that's where the similarities end because....

No, I'm not going to spoil it, but it is very tempting. The Cabin In The Woods is a very effective thriller with many humorous moments, however someone could have turned on a flashlight occasionally. I pay-per-viewed it. Here's a trailer:

Despicable Me

I don't know where Gru acquired his minions, but I have to get some. They're fantastic. I have a whole skyscraper filled with minions, but they're lousy. They aren't cute and yellow, they don't speak gibberish, and they don't glow where you snap them in half. In fact, when you shove them down the elevator shaft of Deathrage Towers, they don't float. They just plummet to the bottom and make an unholy mess that someone else has to clean up. My minions are more of a hinderance really, so I can completely relate to Gru's difficulties in hatching his nefarious plans. His minions at least get some work done. I've developed a nasty case of "Minion Elbow" from shoving so many worthless, good-for-nothing minions down the elevator shaft for failing to do my bidding.

Anyway, Despicable Me is a really cute movie where the moral of the story is that you can get a lot of villainy done if you have your family behind you and you have the proper minions. I pay-per-viewed Despicable Me. Here's a trailer:

 Oops, someone replaced the trailer for Despicable Me with a clip of some minions singing about bananas for 14 minutes. You just can't get good help nowadays.

A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell

In the post-apocalyptic 1990's, the only clothing available to the last remnants of mankind forced to wander the futuristic but ironically pastoral wastelands of Dinosaur Hell will be pleather armor from the Halloween Superstore, unflattering loincloths, Tuscan Raideresque burlap, or headbands from Headbands 'R' Us. It'll be just awful, and aside from the desperate fashion choices of the hard-scrabble survivors of some unconvincing worldwide disaster; life in futuristic Dinosaur Hell will consist of 20 boring minutes of dialogue-free "action" where stop-motion dinosaurs and hand-puppet worms do stuff and everyone in the movie chases after the sole woman cast-member who falls down a lot, and we hope for someone to say something to break up the monotony. Then someone does and we wish we could go back to those bucolic days of the movie when no one said anything, but we can't. We can only move forward and hope that one day we can forget that someone said, "And one day she woke up a woman." for no apparent reason, that there was a fingerprint or something smudging the camera lens, that someone was startled by a Bic lighter, and that someone was perplexed by Foster Grant sunglasses. We can only move forward and hope for better days. I watched A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell on Youtube, and I wish I hadn't, but it's too late now. I'll try to not to let it happen again, but I can't guarantee that because there's that old adage that goes, "Those who forget the past are condemned to something something.". Here's a trailer: