Category: 1980


Hangar 18 (1980)

Terror On Tour (1980)

Terror on Tour VHS box

the-worm-eatersLani Silver, sometimes known as Kalani Satana or Kalani Silverman turns 56 years old today.  She’s the daughter of the legendary late Tura Satana (1938-2011), and starred in Ted MikelsThe Worm Eaters (1977) and 10 Violent Women (1980).

She apparently gave up looking for a film career, and now lives in Enoch, Utah, (pop. 5,803) in the remote southwestern part of the state.  10 Violent Women

Alligator (Full Movie, 1980)

It’s that time of the week again! Time for results and new contests to find some of the more popular B-movies, as voted on by my 7 loyal followers.  First, a wrap-up of last week’s contest:

Battle of the Crazy 70s Cult Leaders!

  • I Drink Your Blood (1970)–6 votes (67%)
  • Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973)–2 votes (33%)

A Troma Classic v. Vengeful Christmas Trees

  • The Toxic Avenger (1984)–8 votes (89%)
  • Treevenge (2008)–1 votes (11%)

Horror: 1960s v. 1970s

  • Black Sunday (1963)–7 votes (78%)
  • The Abominable Dr. Phbes–2 votes (22%)

Sci-Fi: 1950s v. 1960s

  • Them (1954)–5 votes (56%)
  • Godzilla vs. The Thing (1964)–4 votes (44%)

Now that we have two sets of results, we need to start charting who’s advancing on from the original 32 films into a Sweet 16. For those following along at home, here’s where we’re at–and you can start to see what upcoming match-ups will be.   And now, on with the countdown!

This week, four more matches, notable for how very different each match-up is, but all these films are worth a re-watch.  Here are the matches for this week:

1960s Horror Pioneers

These represent some groundbreaking horror film making whose styles and tropes remain with us, even after half a century. Both are top faves of mine: Carnival of Souls (1962) vs. Blood Feast (1963). The latter is Herschell Gordon Lewis’s second entry into our little contest, after She-Devils on Wheels won its first contest handily.

John Carpenter Bake-Off!

Every rightly-brought-up fan loves John Carpenter, but which of his films are his best?  Here, we must make a hard choice: The Fog (1980) vs. The Thing (1982)!

Contemporary Zero-Budget Nightmares

I love zero-budgets (z-movies) almost as much as the classics, and we are indeed in a new golden age for this end of the swamp.  I’ll unilaterally give an honorable mention to Bong of the Dead (2011), but for this week make your choice between these two new classics:

Blaxploitation Still Rules

Love me some classic blaxploitation! For whatever reason, this is a genre that I cannot tire of.  Two more faves, though I really wanted to get Dolemite or Bucktown in for this year–these might be a good match-up for next year’s edition of the Grindhouse Brackets. But for this year, puzzle me this: Blacula (1972) or Shaft (1971)?

Next week, we’ll finish up the initial contests where each of the 32 starters has an initial shot at advancement–after next week things will start getting interesting as winners take on other winners.

 

 

 

Here, Mrs. I Love Terrible Movies and I put together a fun little 32-team bracket featuring bad guys/monsters/villains of horror and exploitation films I’ve seen in the past year or so.  In case you forgot who’s who, I’ve embedded the film trailers below.

Tweet me or comment on this post by a week from today (1 April) for your faves to advance to the Sweet 16.

Yeah, yeah, I know this is going to finish up well after “March Madness” will–sue me.

Klaatu vs. Gill-Man

From Outer Space … A Warning and an Ultimatum

Clawing Monster From A Lost Age strikes from the Amazon’s forbidden depths!

Asa Vajda vs. Dr. Phibes

The Undead Demons of Hell Terrorize the World in an Orgy of Stark Horror!

There are two sides to Dr. Phibes…..both of them EVIL!

Jaws Ripoff-a-Thon!

They’re waiting to slither you!

18 Feet of Man-Eating Terror!

The Man vs. Fuad Ramses

She Escaped Death. Now It Wants Her Back!

A Weird, Grisly Ancient Rite Horrendously Brought To Life In Blood Color!

 John Carpenter Face Off!

Man is The Warmest Place to Hide

It is night. It is cold. It is coming.

Birds vs. Lepuses

…And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own!

How many eyes does horror have? How many times will terror strike?

Mothra vs. Them!

SEE the armies of the world destroyed! SEE the BIRTH of the world’s most terrifying monster! SEE the war of the GIANTS!

A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs!

Jeff Morrow Slapfest!

PLANET ROBBER TRAMPLES EARTH…STEALING ENERGY FOR OTHER WORLDS!

Flying beast out of prehistoric skies!

Cars vs. Houses!

Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan.

Houses Don’t Have Memories

Battle of the Nihlistic Cult Leaders!

Let it be known, sons and daughters, that Satan was an acid head.

You’re Invited To Orville’s “Coming-Out” Party…It’ll Be A Scream…YOURS!!!

Recent Zero-Budgets!

Why did the eagles and vultures attack?

Gobble, Gobble, Motherfucker!

The Devil You Say?

The beauty of woman, the demon of darkness, the unholy union of “The Devil’s Bride”

Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another world. The world of darkness.

Vampire Madness!

His bite was outta sight!

It will cost you sweat and tears, and perhaps… a little blood.

Badass Bitches!

The most dreaded Nazi of them all!

Russ Meyer’s ode to the violence in women

Treevenge vs. Troma

The first Super-Hero… from New Jersey!

Badass Biker Babes!

They’re Looking for a Few Good Men.

See! Female Hellcats Ruling Their Men With Tire-Irons As Their Instruments Of Passion!

It’s time for another good-sized roundup of good movie reviews from the tweeps.  Love how you folks are keeping exploitation and B-movies in circulation.

With a good-sized H/T to Cultural Gutter, I saw this interesting post on TV criticism vs. TV recapping, among other things.  I liked it because it gives voice to what I’m trying to give birth to on this blog, in the context of exploitation and B-Movies, instead of scripted television dramas:

. . .  carving out a niche for long-form pieces that look beyond the pluses and minuses of a single episode to examine its greater potential and its place in the culture . . .

I’ve been trying to figure ways to take my movie blog that you’re reading now beyond recapping and reviewing individual films, which does seem to me to be the dominant mode of the cinema blogosphere.  Giving as much as I can about the backstory of a film’s making, information sometimes captured in book-length pieces, or trapped in the academic community seems one good way to get there.  Another seems to be the looking into period press, much of which is is not online, to give some idea of how these films I cover were received as they came out seems like a fruitful avenue.  I’ve some other ideas too, which are not ready for prime time yet, but suffice it to say I was glad to see the idea of moving beyond single-film perspectives in the above post.

This last one reminds me of a side-project I just might get going, doing a “movie-of-the-day” about Jaws-rip-offs of various kinds of animals attacking people. If this furlough keeps going, you never know what can happen!

  • Over at Forgotten Films we get some good posts on a variety of fun flicks, a couple of which should be seen annually, I think: Blackenstein (1973) was part of the early-to-mid 1970s blaxploitation series remaking classic horror icons, other examples being the William Marshall vehicles Blacula and Abby (remaking The Exorcist). FF also talks Grizzly (1976), another of the aforementioned Jaws rips; The Awakening (1980) a snoozer in which yet another ancient Egyptian queen comes back to life, this time with no thanks to Charlton Heston’s and Stephanie Zimbalist’s overwrought acting.  Lastly, we get one of two takes this week of my own guilty pleasure, Zombie Lake (1981), about zombie Nazis.  Or Nazis, who happen to be zombies.  Or whatever.  Also, check out Midnight Triple Feature’s separate review of Zombie Lake.

Starring Barbara Steele, who I recently saw in Piranha 18 years after this one, still messing shit up, this time, and yet again, with the wildlife eating people!

Car

Co-starring Sandor Elès, whose death anniversary was a month or so ago.

  • Lost Highway was three fun ones this time: Pieces (1983), a self-explanatory classic slasher ripoff of the irreplaceable Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974); Night Tide (1961) in which young Dennis Hopper falls in love with a woman who may or may not be a mermaid; and Journey to the Seventh Planet (1961), classic B-sci-fi about visiting Uranus.  My tweeps are pretty monster/slasher horror-focused, so seeing some good old fashioned sci-fi/horror here in the bunch is nice and refreshing.
  • The positively essential Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) gets a new review, courtesy of Church of Splatter-Day Saints, not only did this flick introduce the facehugging monster that Alien gets all the credit foe later, but this film helped revive Universal Studios’ flagging fortunes by introducing new possibilities for monster movies when the genre had all but run its course in the mid-1950s.

Lastly, I’ll conclude this post with a fun link over to The Hollywood Reporter and their interviews with all concerned with the making of Evil Dead 2.  “We were like ‘Jackass’ with a plot”!  Enjoy!

Here’s a bit on what I’ve been reading as of late–mainly from those with the sufficiently poor judgment as to follow me on Twitter. Seriously, you folks are awesome, and I wanted to highlight your stuff to the 8 or so people who read this blog 😉  Mainly I read your movie reviews, I’ve seen many of these, but a few I have not, and I’ll be getting to those soon.  I don’t like to review individual films so much–I know my limitations–but enjoy reading yours very much. Here, I thought I would match the reviews to where we can find online viewing of trailers and full movies,just for convenience.  There’s a few non-movie reviews tucked in here, too.

These links are no real order, but do check out these fine purveyors of horror and B-movies!

George Wendt!

  • Horrorpedia and Stigmatophilia both take on Hack-O-Lantern (aka: Halloween Night) from 1988.  I hate it when Grandpa ends up a satanic cult leader!
  • Daily Grindhouse offers a list of “50 Cult Movie Books Every Film Fan Should Own.”  I am a book lover too, so I loved this set of posts: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  I think the essentials here are numbers 36, 31, 28, 20, 19, 13 (these last three are my all time favorites) 10 and 2.  Some of the works included seemed like filler to get to 50, while some good ones seemed to go missing.  Maybe we just have different tastes, and I should do up my own list.

Also starring Alan Ormsby of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973), fwiw.

Yes, Paul Sorvino!

  • Isaac’s Picture Conclusions on Scar (2007).  Not familiar with this movie, but throwing it on the “to watch” list, despite its apparent lack of coherence.
  • Lastly, have a look at the Do-It-Yourself Giallo Kit to get your very own (fake) movie title, director, and plot in the Italian crime/thriller spirit. Such as: A Golden Armadillo on the Cold Metal Table (dir. Sergio and Martino de Alberto) in which: “An American model is killing off the members of a certain business.  A female journalist accidentally destroys some crucial evidence about the the killing. When another person is found murdered, she is on the verge of solving the mystery when she is killed by the real culprits: a secret society made up of the people she most trusted.”  Loads of fun . . . for five minutes.

spaghettibannerI’m very happy to help fellow cinema aficionado Nitrate Diva in this year’s Italian Film Culture Blogathon, but it is a bit intimidating to take on a subject that so many have already taken on.  For instance, we should note at the outset Cannibal Holocaust started the “found footage” genre–with later examples being Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project.  Many, many cinema bloggers have taken up the film, and to try and find something new to say about Cannibal Holocaust seems a tall order indeed.

The consensus is that this film is one of–if not the most–violent and exploitive films ever produced.  It is rumored that there is a much longer version out there, but this 96-minute version is more than sufficient.  Despite the title on the video, this version is dubbed into English, and there are no Spanish subtitles:

This epic revolves around the viewing of found footage from an ill-fated journalistic expedition to South America to find cannibalistic tribes.  Ratings-hungry studio execs are looking to a local anthropologist who recovered the film to make a documentary of the ill-fated expedition.  The anthropologist, played by hardcore porn veteran Robert Kerman (NSFW), urges the execs to cool their heels until he shows them all of the found footage.  Once they see the intrepid journalists engaged in all manner of depravity towards the flora, fauna, and inhabitants of the jungle–including a couple acts that could be legitimately prosecuted as war crimes if our explorers were military folks instead of journalists–and then get their just reward in the final scene, the head honcho exec orders the footage burned, and Kerman wonders who the real “savages ” are–the white explorers laying waste to all they encounter, or the brown “primitives.”  This last bit is the key to the whole film, and offers a sort of weak rationale for why this films is so violent.

Robert Kerman in Cannibal Holocaust

Robert Kerman in Cannibal Holocaust

The film is most notorious for the scenes of the journalists killing animals–these were real, not staged; in all 6 animals were killed on film.  In the most infamous scene a large turtle is caught, beheaded, totally dissected and finally eaten by the actors.  Also, a pig is shot, and a coatimundi (often mistaken for a monkey) is also killed on camera and consumed.  The actors were not aware animals were going to be killed on set, and the incident with the coatimundi nearly caused a mass walkout by the cast–until they remembered they were miles and miles from anywhere.  The lead journalist–Alan Yates, played by Carl Gabriel Yorke–refused to speak publicly about his role in this film for 25 years.

This sort of activity filled the set with tension, as you might guess: Kerman refused to have anything to do with killing the pig, and privately according to Clifford and Landis, Kerman said later of director Ruggero Deodato “The guy is a real sadist.”  Kerman prayed that God would punish Deodato and the movie would flop. Clifford and Landis concluded: “It says something when a director can drive an actor who’s been desensitized by years in the sex industry to prayers of destruction.”  For Deodato’s part, he often says that he grew up in the countryside and has a different relationship with animals than cityfolk.  But it’s hard to imagine that someone with simply a different relationship to the animal kingdom would go as far as he did–to the point where much of the cast was wretching in the jungle off camera.  Says Deodato:

[People] don’t make the connection between the food on the table that mummy has cooked from the supermarket, and the fact the animal has actually been killed. When you go to a Third World country people kill animals. I saw pigs and rabbits being killed growing up on a country farm when I was young. My son has not seen this because times have changed, he hasn’t had the experiences I have, for him it all comes pre-packed.

This seems a pretty weak argument for what we see in the film, and strikes me as unconvincing.  Deodato makes the point that his film is about casual acceptance of violence–if he were serious about that, I would expect to hear more about that, rather than this bit on having a different relationship to the animal kingdom when I was a kid…

Director Ruggero Deodato on set of CH.

Director Ruggero Deodato on set of CH.

The film, to the degree it has a moral center, revolves around the question of “who is the real ‘savage’?”  Deodato often takes to the convention circuit and gives us his rationale.  Mainly, this film was a response to the casual acceptance of horrific levels of violence in contemporary society.  In a 2011 interview he mentions the actual Holocaust as one example, and in another conducted by his son in 1998–(part one; part two) he explains: he was appalled at media coverage of Red Brigade political violence and terrorism in Italy in the 1970s.  Specifically, how the media of the day was stepping all over one another–and victims of the violence–to get the most salacious stories of suffering on the air.  That’s interesting, and this rationale brings to mind works like Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness, but I’m not sure how it explains what others saw as pure sadism on set.

But this comparison may overthink CH‘s rationale.  The disparity between an artistic meditation on apathy towards violence and a movie that was designed as a receptacle simply to put successive acts of extreme violence on film seems too much to overcome–and suggests the debate we see every time Quentin Tarantino releases a film: is it art or is it trash?  With CH there is also the matter of it being an alleged snuff film–that the violence in the final scene was so realistic as the cannibals set upon the journalists that a court was going to charge Deodato with murder.  To drum up publicity, he made the cast not appear in other films or the press, which helped give the illusion that he had indeed created a snuff film. This sort of thing does not strike me as something someone trying to make an artistic examination of the role of excessive violence in our society–it sounds like publicity stunts or perhaps performance art.  It all seems a bit much to start comparing CH  with works like Apocalypse Now, and I doubt any amount of  retroactive rationales or rehab will bring Deodato and Cannibal Holocaust into the realm of art, but it will remain a solid hit with the cult exploitation film community, as well as those who can’t look away, for some time.