Monday, November 3, 2008
This gory little 80's flick has finally gained some notoriety as a cult classic, primarily due to a recent DVD release making it much more accessible. It's a simple story really, mostly made to show off some new, impressive, and downright gruesome special effects. The basic story is this: A liquor store owner finds a case of some kind of weird booze called Viper that seems to have been hidden in the wall of the basement some 60 years ago. He plops the case of Viper on the shelf and sells it for a dollar a bottle, thus attracting every homeless bum and wino in the the neighborhood. The story loosely follows the life of Fred, a dirty, nasty, stinky bum who other than possessing those qualities is actually a decent guy. Fred lives in a junkyard with his kid brother. The junkyard is ruled by some homeless freak named Bronson, who thinks he's some kind of garbage overlord who holds power over all the other bums in the junkyard. In reality, he's a brutish, sociopathic, schizophrenic, lunatic that thinks he's still in Vietnam. Anyway, Fred buys a bottle of Viper and before he can drink it, it gets stolen by another bum. The other bum drinks the Viper and melts into a psychedelic pile of goo. It's pretty gory, yet has an air of silliness to it because it isn't just blood and guts. It's bright blue, green, purple... an acid heads dream come true. Throughout the movie, poor Fred keeps trying to get a bottle of Viper for himself without it getting stolen. Fortunately for him, he notices that all the people who have drank the Viper turn into slimy rainbow colored puddles. He hatches a plan to kill Bronson the evil junkyard overlord by offering him a bottle of Viper as an offering. Bronson's bitch grabs it from him and takes a sip and soon her boobs are melting all over the place. Bronson obviously sees the plot against him and goes after Fred. Fred throws a bottle of Viper at Bronson like some kind of molotov cocktail and melts half his face. Still undaunted, Bronson pursues, only to be severely decapitated by Fred's younger brother who uses an oxygen tank as a torpedo-like projectile. There are numerous subplots going on as well that are useless to the main story and also have no relevance or even any interaction between themselves. Among them are a mafia restaurant, a game of "keep away" with a severed penis, the hard up junkyard manager fucks a body that washes ashore, and a cop who gets absolutely nowhere. It ain't the best effort I've ever seen and Lord knows the story is dull, dull, dull. But it's worth watching at least once for the special effects which are a delightful combination of gore and comedy. A funny side note to this movie is that it actually tried to achieve some product endorsements and the only company that would have anything to do with this production was a little franchise called Drake's Cakes. Because of it's endorsements and affiliations with the film, Drake's Cakes would send complimentary snacks to the cast and crew every week. After three months, everyone was really burned out on eating nothing but cakes so they decided to save some money and use the cakes in some of the special effects. In one scene, a man grows large and explodes after drinking the Viper and all of his innards are nothing but cakes and red food coloring.