Tuesday, April 29, 2008
LSD + Rabies + Satanic hippies + deplorable acting = I Drink Your Blood. Filmed in 1970, it earned the title of the first film to be given an X rating based on violence alone. Thankfully, it has now been released uncut on DVD, so now everyone can enjoy this piece of cinematic shit. A gang of Satanic hippies are traveling around in a van (going... somewhere?). They break down in a town with a population of like 12 people. Horace Bones, the extremely eccentric leader of this gang of total acid heads that worship Satan and vow to die and kill for Him, blah, blah, blah. No one except Horace really takes this crap seriously, most of the members are a (somewhat) normal band of misfits that are basically decent people who just like to trip out. Anyway, a young girl accidentally sees them performing a ritual sacrifice of an unfortunately real chicken (hope they ate it afterward) and screams and runs. They catch up to her and attack her. She stumbles home and Grampa vows to get revenge on these hooligans that have moved into this vacant town in a run down hotel full of "yummy" rats (Don't ask, they look frighteningly real too). A slightly younger version of John Boy Walton is part of the family of the attacked girl and beats Gramps to the punch by offering the satanic hippies some meat pies that he has laced with Rabies that he got from a mad dog he had killed earlier. All the hippies start to get sick and foam at the mouth. Unfortunately, It looks like they just sprayed whipped cream on their mouths, making them appear totally unscary and instead they looked like rejects from those "Got Milk?" commercials. The extremely diminutive population of this desolate town band together and shoot all the hippies. It's a little gory here and there... a pregnant woman stabs herself in the belly, a man is beheaded, some guts spill from here and there, nothing my readers won't enjoy. All the hippies are killed off in variously cheap ways. The acting is truly a spectacle, it's so bad that I absolutely must include this in the comedy section of Cultarama, absolutely had no choice. There's a plethora of weirder than weird characters in this film. I love the title, but the sequel title is even better, aptly named "I Eat Your Skin" I highly recommend both films, their what true cult is all about.
Monday, April 28, 2008
After the success of Daisy Chainsaw with their punk hit “Love your money”, Crispin Gray and Katie Jane Garside decided to create a new band called Queen Adreena in 1999. Their first EP “Taxidermy” is released in 2000, written by the two of them. This album will become a reference, a classic with their awesome personality and sound, sometimes rock'n'roll, sometimes blues and melancholic. The band will have several bassists and drummers until they found Pete Howard in 2002 for the second album “Drink me”, a record more savage and instinctive than the first one. Pete Howard will bring his strength on the drums, bringing the good rhythm and the good energy to Queen Adreena. With their new album "The Butcher and the Butterfly" Queen Adreena has scored it's biggest hit yet, ironically it's a cover Dolly Parton's "Jolene". Sounds an odd combination, but worked out beautifully. With this new single, Queen Adreena is starting to achieve a more mainstream success as it did with Daisy Chainsaw. If you're a Marilyn Manson fan, then don't miss Queen Adreena as Marilyn's opening act on his European tour.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
On the planet Pluton, a nuisance creature disposal unit vaporizes unwanted creatures and shoots them into space. Unfortunately, one of the discarded aliens has landed on Earth. More precisely, the Putterman families new satellite dish. The Putterman family is weird enough without extraterrestrial influence. Stanley and Raquel Putterman are sexual swingers and their entire house is designed to look like a porno palace. Suzy Putterman is a teenage Cyndi Lauper clone, complete with multi-colored hair and makeup that could scare a clown. Grampa Putterman is a military obsessed peddler of lizard tail jerky that lives in a fallout shelter in the basement. 12 year old Sherman Putterman is like the only halfway normal member of the family. The new satellite dish doesn't seem to be working very well, at least until the space creature lands in it. Then miraculously it works, with the exception of two channels. One just shows a googly eyed slimy alien and the other channel is a different looking alien that seems to be pleading with humankind over something. Armed with a remote the size of a small car, the Puttermans explore the wonders of satellite TV. Mom and Dad go out clubbing, Suzy has a punked out date from hell aptly named OD, leaving Gramps and Sherman alone for the evening. Soon lightening and tentacles come out of the TV and eats Gramps. Mom and Dad come home with another couple to have sex, Sherman complains about a monster and Mom gets mad about him disturbing their orgy and throws him in the fallout shelter. He calls police, they of course don't believe him. So he calls the only person that might believe him. An Elvira wannabe named Medusa, that has her own horror show on TV. She doesn't believe him either. Meanwhile the monster has eaten the entire orgy. Suzy and OD come home from their date and find the monster and thinks he's kinda cute. They at first treat him like a pet, then decide to exploit him on TV, so they call Medusa and see if she's interested in a real monster for her show. She scoffs at first, then says that she "might" come over. Unfortunately, the monster gets spooked when he sees the other alien on TV and eats OD's head (no big loss there). Armed with machine guns and grenades, Suzy and Sherman decide to try and kill the monster who is sitting in the indoor pool watching satellite TV. They throw the monstrous (pardon the pun) remote into the pool in an attempt to fry him. The other alien comes through the TV and apologizes for the inconvenience of having unknowingly transported someone's unruly pet into space, specifically into their satellite dish. Suzy and Sherman tell him about how the monster has eaten their parents. The "good" alien says that their parents DNA can be extracted from the monster upon capture, unfortunately they'll have to live in specialized aquariums from now on. He vows to help them in any way he can. Medusa shows up and sees the alien with a raygun pointed at two kids. She assumes it's an attacker and smashes his space helmet, causing his head to explode from the pressure. With good alien out of the way, the monster proceeds to consume everyone that's left alive. The last scene is a half Medusa/half monster telling her chauffeur to "C'mon C'mon C'mon, I'm in a hurry" (on the show, she sounds sexy and sultry, but in real life she talks like a Jewish harpy). Everybody dies and the monster escapes. Perfect ending to a less than perfect movie. This film doesn't have much in the way of good acting or sharp humor, but makes up for it with cheesy slapstick jokes and situations. Worth a watch, just to see all the laughable eighties cliche's.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
This is probably one of Vincent Price's best and most memorable performances. He plays Frederick Loren, a man with money, a gorgeous wife, is very witty and eccentric and steals the show in every scene in which he is featured. His drop dead (pardon the pun) wife Annabelle (played by the fabulous Carol Ohmart) is every bit as eccentric as her husband. They actually seem to have fun in trying to kill each other. She poisons him, he tries to kill her with a champaign cork, y'know the typical richer than rich husband and wife shenanigans. Anyway, they decide to throw a haunted house party, so Frederick collects a wide variety of five or six people, a cross section of sorts, consisting of Doctor to Typist and from Drunk to Jet Pilot. They have only one thing in common... they all need money. Apparently just for fun, he sweetens the deal by offering anyone who stays all night a hefty prize of $10,000. They are given the option to leave before the caretakers leave for the night, but due to the caretakers mysteriously leaving early, everyone becomes a prisoner in a house with steel bars on the windows, no electricity, no phone, and a door that locks like a vault. The owner of the house is one of the party guests, a staggering drunk/tour guide named Watson Pritchard. He pretty much sets the scene by describing the murders in the house and the violent ghosts that now reside there. All deaths in the house are strange and unusual. One owner of the house was an experimenter with wines, but his bitchy wife thought it was no good, so he filled the wine vat with acid and threw her in. One of the guests, a screaming panicky mess named Nora Manning is being driven to the point of absolute hysteria by strange occurrences. She's warned by Annabelle Loren to watch her back because she's in danger, she is choked by an unknown person in the dark, and a bloody head appears in her suitcase. Due to the safety factor, all guests are given guns as party favors (absolutely brilliant idea). A few hours into the night, Annabelle Loren is found hung by a rope over the staircase. It's at first presumed a suicide, but since there is nothing she could have climbed up on and jumped, it's deduced that it was murder. Clearly being the only one with a motive, Frederick is instantly accused, yet it doesn't truly seem to bother him much. After seeing a very creepy ghostly appearance of Annabelle in Nora's window, Nora freaks and runs. In fact, Nora does an awful lot of screaming and freaking out so be prepared for a girl with a glass shattering scream in this film. While Annabelle is lying in state in one of the bedrooms, the Doctor walks in and starts talking to her as if she were alive. Soon Annabelle sits up and says "Get me out of this damned hanging harness". We soon learn that Doctor Trent and Annabelle Loren have been having a torrid affair and are planning to kill her husband Frederick before he kills her (she is his fourth wife, all of which turned up dead of mysterious undetermined causes). The plot is to frighten Nora badly enough and to make her believe that Mr. Loren has it in for her. It works, she shoots him the very next time she sees him, doing their dirty work for them. Upon inspecting the scene to see if their little murder plot worked, Doctor Trent is tossed by somebody into the acid vat. When Annabelle hears the shot from the basement, she goes to see how it went. Soon a skeleton emerges from the acid vat, speaking in Frederick's voice he vows to kill her and take her with him. Scared shitless, she stumbles and falls into the wine vat of acid. Soon Frederick comes out from behind a door, revealing the skeleton to be a marionette puppet. He simply says to himself "Little did you two know that when you entered this game of murder, that I was playing too." When this movie premiered in theaters, a lighted skeleton would swoop over the audience when the skeleton in the movie is trying to kill Annabelle. Strangely, though the inside of the house has the perfect haunted house feel, the outside shots of the house reveal a very non-threatening, very modern geometric design. Oh well, the movie worked anyway. A true classic.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
You'll probably find this movie in the horror section of your local video store, but that doesn't mean you're gonna get any screams out of it. Made in 1972 with a very young Sam Elliot (almost unrecognizable without his handle bar mustache) and an equally young (pre-cosmetic surgery disaster) Joan Van Ark, playing her normal bitchy self. The movie starts out with a very ominous feel, with young photographer Pickett Smith (Sam Elliot) taking pictures of the tremendous amount of toxic waste that's being dumped into the nearby swamp. Due to a boating accident where Smith's canoe is almost run over by a speedboat, Smith is taken aboard the other boat. Apologies all around for nearly killing him, the people in the speedboat invite Smith to their island mansion where their cantankerous grandfather is having a (very dull) birthday party. Grandpa hates everything, especially frogs. Therefore he poisons the whole swamp, hoping to rid himself of their endless croaking. The theme of toxic waste turning frogs into killers never really happens, instead people are bitten by poisonous snakes, eaten by crabs, etc. There's even a scorpion or two (technically a goof, because scorpions don't like aquatic environments like swamps). It's strange, I never thought of frogs being all that scary or malevolent. They don't bite, they don't sting, and if you pick one up, the worst that could happen is it would pee on you. Anyway, as the story goes, Grandpa's bratty kids and dingbat wife are killed off by something in the swamps (always snakes, leeches, spiders, etc, never the frogs). Despite the death count, Grandpa is determined to have his birthday celebration, even with the frogs jumping in and out of his birthday cake, which is by the way, the only gross or disturbing scene in the film. Smith, a few kids, and a blonde hottie manage to make their way out of the swamp and to the road. A lady motorist with her kid stops to give them a ride, even though Smith is carrying a huge rifle (smart move, Mom). Aside from common sense blunders, there's also enough movie goofs to qualify as an Ed Wood production. Day turns to night and back again many times in one scene as it switches from the cheap stock footage of swamp critters to the actors reaction to the cheap stock footage of swamp critters. Many of the frogs that "jump" into the scene land on their backs, letting us know that the frogs were actually thrown into the scene. Supposedly dead bodies are clearly shown to be breathing, etc, etc. In the end, Gramps is "attacked" by frogs that manage to get into the house. His death isn't shown and I suppose he has a heart attack, since frogs are harmless. No scares, no chills, just lots of unintentional humor. A funny side note to this movie is that most of the 500 frogs used in the film escaped during production. It also has a great tagline, "Today the pond, tomorrow the world!!".