Friday, March 28, 2008
This was one of the more clever slasher movies of the mid-80's in the fact that it very effectively psyches you out and truly lives up to it's title with one of the greatest endings ever made. The story goes something like this... Muffy St.John ("Valley Girl" actress Deborah Foreman) is a popular and somewhat rich and eccentric college student who has invited eight friends to come and enjoy spring break at her newly inherited island estate. Being that it's April Fool Day, the jokes are aplenty. It starts when two idiots fake a knife stabbing accident while on the ferry to the estate and a few people have to dive into the water to save him. Everybody has a chuckle, but when one of the men that jumped into the water is accidentally crushed between the ferry and the dock, the hilarity is instantly turned to panic and remorse. He's rushed to a hospital, which leaves everyone on edge because he really looks like he ain't gonna make it. Muffy greets everyone and tries to lighten the mood with the commencement of their spring break festivities. Continuing with the April Fool's Day tomfoolery in a much calmer fashion, the jokes include endless dribble glasses, exploding cigars and a trick chair that flips you backwards when you sit in it. After the party when people start retiring for the night, they all find strange things in their rooms. Drug paraphernalia, bondage equipment, newspaper clippings of grisly car accidents, just to name a few. The next day, Muffy is not quite the same. She's all of a sudden very shy and timid. She looks disheveled, confused, and is wearing a drab outfit and nurses shoes. She also keeps getting her close friends names wrong. To make a long story into a shorter long story, everybody starts disappearing or showing up dead. The last two people left, a romantic couple named Rob and Kit discover certain clues such as a photo of two female twins in the father's study, a letter addressing the family that "Ms. St.John" has escaped from an asylum. They know Muffy hasn't been in an asylum because she's been at Vassar College with all her friends. When they sneak back into the house through the basement, they notice height measurement marks on the wall, like the ones used to measure a child's growth rate. Only there's two height measurements side by side, labeled Muffy and Buffy. They see a painting with the eyes cut out and real eyes staring from behind the painting. They pull the painting away only to have Muffy's severed head fall into their laps. It's now quite clear that Muffy has an insane twin sister named Buffy, who has escaped an asylum and has murdered her twin sister Muffy and assumed her identity and that she's the killer. Kit is cornered in the dining room by Buffy, brandishing a huge knife. Then, while trying to fend off Buffy's knife attacked she manages to open the dining room door and stumbles into another room filled with all her supposedly dead friends just sitting around hanging out like nothing has happened. Buffy enters the room, lifts the knife and plunges it into her hand and then retracts it, revealing a fake knife. Kit is less than amused as everyone shouts out "April Fools!". Evidently, everyone got sucked into it and was only a part of it after they had been killed off. As it turns out, Muffy has received the estate as part of her inheritance, that's true but only if she can prove that it can carry itself. She wants to turn it into a country inn, but not some ordinary "run of the mill" country inn. Instead, being one that specializes in a once in a lifetime whodunnit weekend, and she needed a rehearsal so she suckered all her friends into it. It's a totally unexpected ending because the movie has every indication of being a typical 80's slasher flick with a typically predictable ending. This has always been one of my favorite movies and it's gained quite a cult following in recent years. Truly an enjoyable 80's classic.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Pieces is a great shlocky flick from the early 80's. It's spanish and (hopefully) dubbed into english. I had seen this a long time ago and thought it was great. Then one glorious day, I managed to find it on DVD and was thrilled! The sound was much better and the dubbing is only obvious just now and then. It's been restored pretty successfully and is definitely worth seeking out. Anyway, it begins with a little boy putting together a porno puzzle of a naked lady. His mom walks in and catches him and freaks out, tearing his whole room up. Little boy grabs an ax (well, doesn't every 10 year old keep an handy?) and slaughters mom. When police arrive, they assume there was an attack and kid goes free. Fast forward a few decades. A college campus is starting to have some problems with young women being butchered to pieces by some unknown maniac. We see from the killers point of view that it's definitely the kid that long ago developed a personal relationship with his ax and even still has the porno puzzle. Only this time as the pieces of the puzzle fit together, someone comes up with some missing parts. It appears that the killer is possibly recreating this puzzle in real life. Who dunnit, you ask? Well, we're given several suspicious characters to choose from. There's Willard the grounds keeper, an ape of a man, wielding his chainsaw all over the place (the most obvious attempt at diversion possible). There's a few suspicious students at the campus, there's a weird police lieutenant, a sexy tennis player, etc, etc. No real clues are ever given and it ends up being the Dean of Students, whom you rarely see throughout the movie. As a final shocker, there's a double climax at the very end. When someone leans on it, the Dean's bookshelf slides backwards revealing his human jigsaw puzzle he's been working on. Then out of nowhere, the puzzle corpse reaches up and grabs one of the students by the crotch, yanking off his beany weenies. The movie is actually pretty good and the ending alone is worth giving it a go.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
This is a cheesy little horror flick from the mid 80's that never really picked up at the box office but made a killing in the world of VHS home video. It starts out with a demonstration by mall security, showing their latest and most efficient security system ever. This new system consists of steel doors that close and don't open till morning, plus three bulletproof robots that are ridiculously over armed. They have lasers that can cut through steel and can shoot poison darts and from time to time employ some explosives as well. The demonstration ends with those famous last words... "Absolutely nothing can go wrong.". First of all, what mall has such a bad crime rate that they have to have solid steel bank doors and three murderous robots? Second of all, that line "Absolutely nothing can go wrong" pays homage to (is stolen from) the last line to a famous movie called Westworld, another film about robots going berserk. Lightening strikes the robot recharger and causes the Killbots (I mean, the Protector Series 101) to malfunction. It just so happens that on this very night, a bunch of stupid mall employees decide to have a late night party (orgy) in the furniture store. They plan to disperse before the doors lock, but the robots keep them busy and before you can dump this movie in the can, the doors close and they are locked in for the night. This pack of teens seems to be able to destroy at least two Killbots before all the kids are killed off, yet one lone survivor named Allison lives and there's still one Killbot left. A funny side note to this is that every time that a robot kills a kid, the robot says "Have a nice day." Allison has an idea, she makes a big mess in the paint shop with paint and turpentine, lures the Killbot inside and throws a flare at him, but not before saying "Have a nice day!". Another strange similarity in this film is the lead actress Kelli Maroney. She played Samantha in the movie "Night of the Comet", and in that film her dad was a Marine and had taught her to use firearms. In this film, she's a crack shot and when this is noticed, she says "My dad's a Marine." Plus, there's a cameo of Mary Woronov near the beginning of the movie. Mary Woronov also played a prominent character in Night of the Comet. One thing that kept me laughing (the only thing) throughout the film are the painfully obvious stunt doubles. Cheap wigs that bear little resemblance to the actors hair and bodies that didn't really match in weight or stature. A mushy ending is tacked on to the end. Allisons blind date for the evening (orgy partner) who was thought to have been killed already, shows up alive with a bloody roll of toilet paper stuck to the back of his head. They hug, the end. Awwwwww. The movie was originally released to bad reviews with the title of "Killbots", but when it tanked, they re-released it with a punchier (and totally misleading) title. But it does have a great tagline... Chopping Mall: Where shopping can cost you an arm and a leg. A good tagline is always appreciated... no matter how badly the movie sucked. Another stolen item featured in this movie is the sound that the Killbots make when they shoot their lasers. It's unmistakeably the same sound that the martian spaceships made in War of the Worlds.
Y'know, when I think of Peter Jackson, I think of a filthy rich multiple Oscar winning director. Professional in every sense of the word. But few people know that before Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson had a taste (Bad Taste, I should say. Forgive the pun) for gore and perversion. Even Meet the Feebles, a movie with a cast made entirely of puppets was perverted and gory. Needless to say, this is a very strange film and Jackson must've been high as a kite to come up with this shit. Meet the Feebles is a hodgepodge of bizarre occurrences and situations surrounding a puppet based variety show called "The Feebles". It truly does have way too many plots to keep up with, it's more the characters themselves that make the film. The bare bones of the story is this... Heidi the Hippo is married to Bletch the Walrus. She catches him screwing Samantha the Cat. Bletch humiliates Heidi and then fires her. She freaks and goes on a shooting spree killing pretty much everybody. Along the way, while following Heidi's downfall into food addiction, suicidal tendencies, and complete and total madness (Gee, I bet she would get along great with Britney Spears) we witness the following, note the ironies between the character and the animal chosen to represent them: A gossip columnist fly that loves to take pictures of people at their worst. A perverted and rude rat that runs the show and date rapes a poodle. A drunk elephant is slapped with a paternity suit by his ex-girlfriend... a chicken. She has just given birth to a bunch of "elephickens". Bletch the Walrus pukes up a fish that he ate earlier while it was auditioning for the show. Fish asks if he got the part then keels over. A warthog and a bulldog supply everyone with cocaine. An over sexed rabbit catches AIDS and slowly gets grosser and grosser throughout the movie. There's a porno sex scene between a cow (who has multiple piercing on her udders) and an insect. Cow accidentally sits on the insect killing him, the she and the the porno director plan to sell it as a snuff film. A knife throwing crocodile suffers drug withdrawal and kills everyone that dares to get on the spinning wheel. Eventually, he throws a knife into the air and catches it with his forehead. AIDS rabbit is determined to be on stage despite his illness. He shows up all green and slimy, then pukes all over the stage. This is very much like Muppets on crack. It's bawdy, it's disgusting, it's tasteless, it's gross... therefore I totally loved it. Although, during the hippo shooting spree I was quite alarmed to find out that puppets had blood and guts. I guess all those cotton stuffed animals I got as a child were just fake knock offs... thanks for nothin' mom!!!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Although a sequel, this movie seems more like a remake. The first movie (The Evil Dead) was made to be scary and came out rather humorous. Sam Raimi decided to basically redo the movie, this time trying to make it funny but ultimately came out with a much scarier story. It's the same story as the first movie, only done in a much more professional way. Widely successful, it employed better special effects, stranger characters and a jazzed up version of the original story about finding the Necronomicon: Book of the Dead and releasing demons that can possess human flesh. Anyway, the story goes like this. Ash and his girlfriend vacation in a small cabin deep in the woods. Ash finds a tape recorder in the cellar, plays the demon resurrection chants and soon the trees attack and kill his girlfriend Linda. She becomes possessed, he chops her head off with a shovel and buries her. He soon becomes possessed himself, but the rising sun saves him from being possessed for too long as the demons are forced back into the woods by the sunlight. He makes for the bridge, but suspiciously the bridge has been mangled, making an escape out of there impossible. The sun soon sets as Ash tries to make it back to the cabin. We learn that the incantations recited on the tape recorder were made by an archaeologist and his wife. Their daughter is also an archaeologist and has the missing pages of the Necronomicon needed to dispel the evil. Linda soon pops out of her grave and proceeds to torture Ash, so he takes her to the tool shed and gives her the ol' slice and dice with a chainsaw. Now that Linda is out of the way, his own hand becomes possessed and keeps attacking him. He cuts it off and puts it in a trash can and sets some books on it so the hand can't get out. Ironically, one of the books he uses is the novel "A Farewell to Arms". Meanwhile the daughter shows up at the bridge and is met by a hillbilly couple that demand money to show the daughter a trail to the cabin. Still at the cabin, Ash starts losing his mind when all the furniture starts laughing at him (this scene alone is worth watching this movie.) The daughter and the hillbilly couple make it to the cabin and by the looks of it (blood everywhere and a bloody chainsaw in the corner) it appears that Ash has killed her parents, so they throw him down into the fruit cellar. As the daughter listens to the tape recorder, the professor states that his wife had become possessed and he has buried her in the earthen floor of the cellar. Henrietta (the mom) pops up and goes for Ash. he is rescued just in time by the people upstairs. Hillbilly wife Bobbi Jo freaks and runs into the woods... bad move. She gets attacked by the trees and dragged through the forest and smushed into a tree. Buford Butthead (Bobbi Jo's hubby) grabs the missing pages and throws them down in the cellar and demands that the others help him look in the woods for his stupid wife. When he's attacked, the others high tail it back to the cabin. Thankfully, he gets too close to the cellar door and Henrietta gets a hold of him and chows down. The missing pages are crucial in dispelling the evil, therefore Ash and Annie (professors daughter) must get into the cellar but not before having to kill Henrietta. She mutates into some long necked monster. Ash uses his chainsaw to sever her head and arms in order to get into the basement. The pages are retrieved from the cellar and evidently there are three passages that must be recited. One to make the evil appear in the flesh, one to open a rift in time and space and one to force the evil into the rift. Unfortunately, she is killed by Ash's severed hand and only gets to recite the first two passages. The evil appears and is forced into the rift, unfortunately there is no way to close the rift, so Ash and a few other things (like his car) are sucked into the rift and ends up in another time and dimension. The place he ends up looks very medieval and he's greeted by knights with swords drawn. Some evil bat creature swoops down from the sky. Ash instinctively shoots it down (he's a pro at this by now). The knights are amazed and hail him as a new king. Ash is not amused by this, but it sets the stage for the third movie titled "Army of Darkness" where Ash must fight a war against the "Deadites". Frankly, I found "Army of Darkness" to be a terrible movie that can only be enjoyed if you're really into "Three Stooges" type of humor. Stick with Evil Dead 2, it's by far the best out of the whole trilogy.
Umgar is a strange little German guy who loves his pet worms. He plays with them and builds them little houses and seems to be able to communicate with them. Umgar also runs a camping sight with a lake. The townspeople (the Mayor mostly) wants Umgars land so that they can dry the lake and build condos. He hides the deed to the property in the worms playhouse. Soon some German cutie named Heidi comes along and tries to woo Umgar, despite his eccentricities, because she believes that he has money (which he doesn't). She sees that he has a worm fascination and even keeps some of his worms in the kitchen cooking pots, which she discovers and runs away screaming, only to return a few minutes later a calm collected woman who actually agrees to a spaghetti dinner with Umgar and it's filled with worms (like we didn't see that coming). After eating these worms that Umgar has collected while a strange red tide filled the lake (the red tide is never explained) Heidi turns into a half woman/half worm creature. Some bitchy wife gets some worms in her room/tent service and soon Heidi has company. Apparently, during the red tide, some worms developed into half men/half worms. By the way, the bottom worm half of these dorks is so obviously fake. They look like people with their legs bound up in trash bags. Anyway, these worm men threaten to take Heidi and the bitchy wife, Umgar still wants them as pets and promises to have three other worm women for them so that they can breed and live happily in the lake. Umgar tricks some young people that have been griping that there are no hot dogs at his camp sight into eating some worm infested hot dogs. They had squirmy worms all over them, if these dumb chicks are that blind and stupid, I say they deserve to be turned into mutant worms. The worm men come back to collect their worm women. A funny turn of irony is when the worm men catch Umgar with a worm baited fishing hook and reel him in from his bed to the beach. Before going into the lake, the worm women get Umgar back by making him eat some of his own worms. Soon he changes to a worm man and is trying desperately to get to the lake before he fries in the sun like so many other worms before him. While crossing the road, a truck runs over him and he gets smushed, the end. This was a very comical movie because it's just so way out there. Though I think the main purpose for making this movie is so that they could have lots of gross close-ups of people eating and slurping on live worms. Chewing them up and letting their green slimy guts run down the sides of their mouths. It's quite obvious that they are actually eating these worms too. Not for everyone, but perfect for Cultarama fans.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Alan is an obnoxious theater director who brings his acting troupe to a remote island to engage in some black magic tomfoolery. Actually he's quite a dickhead with a terrible and often macabre sense of humor and delights in cheap pranks. First he rigs the cemetery with live people in graves. He convinces the group that they're really gonna dig up a dead body in order to achieve a new level of acting skill ( y'know, for the hell of it). These fake corpses leap out of graves scaring the young actors to test reactions and such. Eventually we learn that to have a fake grave with an actor in it, you have to remove the original resident, in this case a corpse named Orville. The actors often try to out act their teacher (impossible because this dude is a walking carnival) and act out the demon resurrection chant that the teacher tried to scare everyone with. Not having the ability to be out done, he decides to make his relationship with Orville a rather close and disturbing one. he declares him as his new best friend and takes him back to the cabin these people are staying in. He even stoops to the point of having a mock wedding where he actually marries Orville. They even share a bed for the night. Then suddenly (for no real apparent reason) the dead actually start to rise from their graves. I guess they didn't find his pranks any more amusing than his troupe did. It soon becomes a "Night of the Living Dead" situation with a bunch of weird actors trapped in a cabin surrounded by zombies. They try to get away, they are not successful. And as for Alan the demented theater director, he is finally given his comeuppance when Orville comes back to life and eats him. I guess he didn't appreciate being used as a party prop. This campy classic is an hour of humor with bad jokes and great one-liners and 30 minutes of zombie horror. Made in 1972, it has some of the grooviest wardrobes I've ever seen. A strange side note that I noticed during the credits, all but two of the actors in the movie all used their real names as the names of the characters they played.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I'll say it upfront, this movie is very gross and gory, even though it's much more humorous that horrifying. As far as the gore is concerned, this movie actually boasts that is has more blood than any other movie (this is actually measured by estimating the gallon per second per scene. In fact, the last scene in the movie reportedly used over 7,000 gallons of blood for the final 5 minute scene. Anyway, the movie starts off a little slow, but picks up momentum quickly. Some kind of rat bat creature from deep in New Zealand is caught and put in a zoo. Meanwhile, our main character Lionel is dealing with a very weird and domineering mother and a young girl named Paquita that has fallen in love with him. Lionel and Paquita go to the zoo on a date and of course mother comes along and hides behind bushes and shit, just to spy on her rather innocent son. Mom gets too close to the rat bat cage and gets bitten by it. Mom starts to undergo many gross and disturbing changes. Her ear falls off, her flesh is falling away and she has big pus splattering sores all over her body. Hoping to nurse mom back, he keeps her at home where things really start going wrong. Paquita comes over with her dog and the dog runs upstairs where mom is. Mom gets the dog, disembowels it and shoves the rest down her throat. Paquita exclaims with shock and hilarity "Your mom ate my dog!" and Lionel points to the dogs guts all over the place and replies "Well, not all of it". Later that evening mom seems to die and come back as some sort of evolving zombie. By evolving, I mean she gets bigger and grosser all throughout the movie. After dying she starts infecting people left and right, turning everyone that comes into contact with her into a bloodthirsty zombie. Out of nowhere a ninja priest comes to save the day but instead accidentally impales himself on a pointy gravestone. Being the ever faithful son, Lionel keeps his mom at home, along with a few of her infection victims, mostly to contain them and to keep mom company. Unbeknownst to lionel, two of the zombies get their groove on and a about an hour later a zombie baby is born. He may be an infant, but he can kill like a pro. A money hungry uncle shows up claiming to being the rightful owner of Lionel's mothers (his sisters) property now that she's dead (little does he know). The uncle blackmails Lionel for the house and five minutes afterwards has a party to celebrate his new wealth. With this precarious new situation, Lionel and Paquita decide it's time to kill all the zombies by injecting them with poison (why they thought poison would work when bullets and fire didn't, is anyone's guess). So they shoot them all up with this poison and bury them. Unfortunately, the poison they chose was some kind of animal stimulant, that creates super zombies bursting from their fresh graves, ready for some chow. They run rampant, killing everyone at the uncle's party thus turning them all into bloodthirsty zombies. Paquita gets bitten and faces becoming a zombie (fortunately for her, the guy that bit her had dentures!). After killing everyone at the party with a lawnmower, Lionel now has to face his "mother" which is now a HUGE monster with big saggy tits, claws, fangs and old lady jewelry. Lionel stands up to his mom for the first time in his life. She eats him and he manages to kill her by lawnmowering his way out of her stomach. Shockingly, this disgusting movie is brought to you by Peter Jackson, multi-Oscar winner for Lord of the Rings. Most people don't know that growing up in New Zealand, he made gore movie after gore movie. This was his zombie flick, Bad Taste was his alien flick, and Meet the Feebles was his porno-puppet flick. All of which will be discussed soon, here on Cultarama!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
There are three versions of this story, all of which are amazing. In the early 90's when the club kid craze was at it's peak, a club kid named Michael Alig (the crowned prince of all club kids) committed murder and even though he bragged about the killing, everyone just thought that that was just Michael being Michael, a well known drug user who would lie and swindle Jesus Christ if he thought it could get him some drugs. James St. James (self proclaimed original club kid) was a close friend and sometimes roommate with Michael Alig, and was therefore present for most of the inside story. In fact, it was James St. James that started this ball rolling. He wrote a wonderful book called "Disco Bloodbath, a Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland". It's a must read. Anyway, they made a documentary on the whole affair, including footage from all the key players in this bizarre story. Before his downfall, Michael Alig was a huge success as a party promoter, mostly for a club in New York called "The Limelight". Drugs flowed freely and the weirder you were, the cooler you'd be. It was a nonstop psychedelic world of color that was very intriguing and fun and even spawned a celebrity or two (RuPaul was a club kid). They also made the talk show circuit for a while, appearing on shows like "Geraldo" and "Sally Jesse Raphael". His favorite tactic was an impromptu surprise party held in anyplace from small McDonald's restaurants to subway stations. He made the news all the time and was a strong personality on the hippest of scenes. Eventually, the more drugs that Michael took, the more grim his party themes became. My favorite being the "Blood Feast Party" featuring every gruesome sight imaginable. Alig and his friend Freeze were all strung out one day when Mr. Pissed Off Drug Dealer Angel Melendez shows up and demands money which of course they don't have. A fight erupts, Angel is hit on the noggin with a hammer, dragged to the bathtub by Alig and Freeze, injected with Drano and smothered with a pillow. Michael dismembers Angels body and stuffs it in a large TV box and uses it for a coffee table. They also feel the need to hastily paint most of the walls red and blame a mysterious stench on screwed up plumbing. Eventually the smell becomes overwhelming so Michael and Freeze dump the box with the body in it into the river. The body is found and put into a freezer with a misidentification of race (he was listed as Asian, and Angel was Hispanic). If it weren't for Michael Alig bragging about it, he probably would have gotten away with it. When Michael Alig told his stories of killing Angel, everyone thought it was a joke because Michael always joked and was a notorious liar. Rumors started to circulate that Michael was not kidding when he bragged about killing Angel and certain people close to the situation started to come forward with their stories to save their own asses. Eventually, it all caught up with him and he and Freeze were convicted of first degree murder. A big budget movie has just been made that is the documentary verbatim minus the documentary narration, feel and look. Macauley Culkin plays Michael Alig with stark precision. Seth Green plays James St.James. Marilyn Manson and Chloe Sevigny also have notable parts in the movie. It's a colorful flick with a fantastic soundtrack which is somewhat nostalgic for those of us who watched the club kids and dared to be like them. It truly is a fabulous tale about murder in clubland.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
This is one of the very few sequels that carry a cult status. Most sequels are completely abysmal and are only in existence because the original was a success and producers know that if the original made money, so will the sequel, by name alone (Exorcist II, It's Alive II, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, etc). I personally prefer this movie to it's predecessor due to the improvement in special effects, the storyline is a bit quirkier and it has much more memorable characters. Like the first movie, this one also has an impressive soundtrack including artists like The Smiths, The Cult, Art of Noise, Peter Murphy and Dead Can Dance. Instead of a movie theater, this film takes place in a huge apartment building skyscraper. Some spoiled bitchy brat named Sally is having a birthday party, but spends most of the time locked in her bedroom griping about how she hates her dress, hates her hair, hates her party, etc. Meanwhile, a documentary on demons is on television. While ignoring her guests, Sally watches this documentary and a demon actually comes through the TV (a la Videodrome) and possesses Sally. Finally emerging from her room, she turns all demonic and attacks her guests which one by one, infected by her scratches, become demons themselves. A big zit of some kind erupts from Sally's forehead, leaking an acidic slime that eats through layer after layer of the building, infecting everything from kids to dogs. The demon kid is especially funny (or scary, depending on your level of dementia), especially when a gremlin-like creature bursts from his stomach like the thing in the movie "Alien" and attacks the pregnant woman (who is by the way, starting to have contractions, so she's in like the worst mood imaginable to deal with some demon/gremlin bullshit. Needless to say, she won that fight). As countless demons run amuck in this massive skyscraper, this guy and his very pregnant wife are trying desperately to survive this gruesome encounter and find a way out of this nightmare. They shimmy down the building to a lower roof and find themselves in a TV studio. So with lights and monitors watching, she pops out a kid on national television (bet that got some great ratings). A blind, half-dead and still possessed Sally manages to stumble her way into the TV studio as well. Collapsing in front of a TV camera, Sally can now spread evil through the TV like the demon that possessed her in the first place did. Husband smashes all the TV monitors, thus saving the day. Husband, wife (who casually walks out like she pops a kid out every day or something) and newborn infant walk out the front door and into the morning sun. And there you have it, a movie that doesn't know whether it's comedy or horror. It doesn't really matter, it's still a great movie! keep an eye out for writer/director Dario Argento's daughter Asia. She's the pretty young girl that asks her dad to let her continue to watch the demon documentary. If you wanna know what she looks like as an adult, you can rent one of George Romero's latest zombie flicks "Land of the Dead".
This horrific masterpiece comes from the masterminds of Italian horror cinema, Dario Argento and Lanberto Bava. Argento has been repeatedly labeled as the Italian George Romero, which is a huge compliment as far as I'm concerned. The movie opens with a strange man with a sort of "futuristic phantom of the opera" kind of mask, handing out free movie tickets, evidently for opening of a new movie theater. As the customers arrive, they notice that this movie theater is a little odd, but assume it's just promotion for the movie. In the auditorium there's a mask hanging from the statue, a woman tries it on and accidentally scratches herself on the cheek. Meanwhile people are watching the movie, which seems to be a story about the excavation of a cemetery that supposedly houses demons of some kind. People start to notice similarities between the film and reality. There's a man in the movie joking with a "demon mask", much like the woman who tried the exact one she tried on in the auditorium. He scratches himself as well and starts to become a demon. The woman in the audience notices that her scratch is starting to fester and eventually explodes in a burst of pus, deforming her face. Her friend eventually goes to the bathroom to see what's taking so long and upon finding her friend, drooling green slime and has big red eyes, freaks out and runs, but not before being scratched by her demonic friends long claws. Within minutes, her friend begins to transform into a demon too. Since merely being scratched by a demon can turn you into one, the masses of demons grows incredibly fast. The remaining humans find that despite all their efforts to get out, all the entrances have been bricked up and they are walled into the theater by forces yet unknown. A gang of coke snorting punks running from the police find a back way into the theater hoping to ditch and hide from the cops and ultimately become demons themselves (no big loss, but they did make for some creepy looking demons). Out of nowhere, a helicopter falls through the roof. The last two humans alive crawl inside and manage to figure out how to make the blades turn, resulting in the mass decapitation of dozens of demons. You'd think real demons wouldn't be so susceptible to such human mortal coils, but I guess not. Anyway, after getting a few dozen demons off their back, they use the hole in the roof to escape, but not without having to kill another demon along the way (the man wearing the futuristic looking mask from the beginning of the movie). The happy couple having escaped the demon infested movie theater only to find that the "demon plague" has already overrun most of the town. They hitch a ride with a well armed family that's headed out of town to start a new life and all seems well until the girl starts to grow claws and fangs. A kid in the front seat turns around and blows her away with some kind of M-16 or something. The ending credits just show the shock on the guys face as he sees his girlfriend lying dead in the road. Not really a happy ending, but a satisfactory one. Great italian flick (the dubbed voices are actually decipherable). Non-typically, this movie actually spawned a pretty good sequel too, one that we'll discuss soon. A side note worth mentioning is that this movie has a very surprisingly cool soundtrack, featuring artists like Billy Idol, Motley Crue, Rick Springfield, and Go West. This is very uncommon with foreign made films.