I am a serious devotee of what is sometimes called Psychotronic Cinema. I am on a constant search for weird, obscure movies the likes of which most people can never conceive existing in the first place, and the weirder and more obscure they are, the more I like them. Mexican masked wresters being superheroes and fighting aliens? You better believe it. Ultra-gory kung fu? Yes please. Nazi sex crime extravaganzas? I’ll take two. Today I’ll be looking at a very special piece of mid-1970s sexploitation flick with a crime-themed plot. Well, there’s a Mob element, but it’s largely obscured by the oversized jiggling fun-bags that are the true stars of the film.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Meet Crystal (“Chesty” Morgan). Now meet Crystal’s colossal rack (her measurements are 73FF-32-36). Now meet Crystal’s boyfriend, Larry. Crystal would really love for Larry to make her his wife, instead of just his girlfriend, but he keeps delaying. It’s soon a moot point as he’s rubbed out by the Mafia.
Crystal is heartbroken, tears spilling down rosy cheeks on to oversized pleasure-zeppelins.…Continue Reading
Before directing the 2008 horror film QUARINTINE, the decent, shot-for-shot remake of the Spanish film REC (our review), the Dowdle brothers directed another “found footage” movie titled THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES. The film had an interesting premise regarding police finding boxes of VHS tapes left behind by a serial killer. These tapes contained hundreds of hours of footage recorded by a killer who’d been operating undetected for years, filming the abductions, torture and disposal of his victims.
I saw the trailer to this film when I watched THE MIST in the theaters, and even remember the movie poster hanging up in the lobby. It definitely got my hopes up for another film done in the spirit of cinéma vérité, but then, nothing. No more trailers, the movie posters disappeared and the film seemed to have been shelved.
While I am not sure what happened, there is a story about the 2007 Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival put on by AICN.com. THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES was shown there with the Dowdle brothers in attendance and scheduled to take part in a Q&A after the movie.…Continue Reading
I love Australian cinema. I am completely, unabashedly enamored by it. But what I really love is the exploitation, or “ozploitation” in this case. We had our fair share of exploitation on these shores but we never did it with as much charisma and audacity as the Australians did. I mean, these people really risked their lives for their work and that is clearly seen on screen in films like STUNT ROCK or THE MAN FROM HONG KONG. Ozploitation has had a recent resurgence of sorts, partially due to the indispensable documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, and some of the films emulating this era of filmmaking are quite good, just see WOLF CREEK (our review) and THE LOVED ONES (our review) for examples.
Sadly, PRIMAL is not only a bad example of what ozploitation should be but it is an embarrassment. The fact that the DVD cover is even adorned with the term ozploitation is akin to someone taking a kangaroo sized shit on the filmography of Brian Trenchard Smith and then setting it on fire.…Continue Reading
After reviewing John Landis’s BURKE AND HARE (our review), a failed attempt at turning the tale of two real-life serial killers into a black comedy, I felt I owed it to myself, and to you, to re-watch THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS starring Peter Cushing and the great Donald Pleasence. This is a good film about William Burke and William Hare, the vile men responsible for Edinburgh, Scotland’s notorious West Port murders.
Back when religion had a stronger grip on medical practices, researchers could only dissect the bodies of criminals who met their demise at the end of a rope. When supply couldn’t keep up with demand, two Irish immigrants stumbled upon a way to fill the demand for fresh bodies after selling a fairly fresh corpse to local anatomist Dr. Knox. The pair felt corpse selling could be a lot more lucrative if they sped up the dying process a bit, so Burke and Hare began murdering the weak and downtrodden that populated their social circle, selling the bodies to the good doctor before the corpses even had time to cool.…Continue Reading
Greetings, readers. The name Johnny Depp should not be an unfamiliar one. Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeny Todd, that kid who got turned into a hundred gallons of puree in the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Depp has shown himself to be a talented, versatile actor. He even, you’ll recall, put on an angora sweater and pumps to play infamous transvestite filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr. Unfortunately, I feel like some of his talent has been obscured by the layers of chalk-toned greasepaint Tim Burton has slathered Depp with time and again, turning him into a gaunt idol for fat “goth” girls to fingerbang themselves to longingly.
Tonight’s film, a swiftly forgotten 1999 thriller from kiddie-fiddler/director Roman Polanski, is a reminder that once you scrape away an Insane Clown Posse concert’s worth of white face paint, Depp’s got the cinematic goods.
Depp stars as Dean Corso, an unscrupulous buyer and seller of rare books in this adaptation of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas. We actually are first introduced to the man as he swindles a stroke victim’s family out of a collection of valuable old volumes.…Continue Reading
If the recent resurgence of 3-D has done anything positive, it’s primarily brought back exploitation cinema to American multiplexes. These films may be a far cry from the lurid grindhouse fare of the late ’60s and early ’70s, but films like MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D and PIRANHA 3-D (our review) have utilized their so-prominently-advertised third dimension for the sole purpose of thrusting copious gratuitous carnage and nudity before viewers’ eyes. DRIVE ANGRY 3-D may not be the best of these films — it may not even be the most fun — but it is the one that most proudly adheres to the aesthetics and principles of films it so obviously emulates. Basically, it plays out like a road trip movie through Jerry Springer’s America filtered through the mindset of Garth Ennis. And in 3-D, naturally.
As ridiculous as the film may be, it actually follows a rather simple revenge film storyline. In other words, Nic Cage’s character has a bunch of people to kill — and for a purpose.…Continue Reading
CHAIN LETTER is yet another movie that has languished in the sort of release hell that only a select group of films enjoy (THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES and ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE being two others of recent note that still have yet to see a decent release). The production was completed in 2007, it saw a very limited theatrical release in 2010, and it hit the home entertainment market just this year.
CHAIN LETTER is a basic slasher flick in which a group of kids are slaughtered one-by-one by a hulking disfigured killer. Where the movie falls apart is in its attempt to trying to work in a socially relevant message about our obsession with technology, such as the Internet and cell phones. No one has any privacy any more, we’re all connected 24/7, and so on, and this is the basic premise. One of the kids receives an anonymous chain letter on his computer that implies that if he doesn’t forward it to five friends someone will die.…Continue Reading
You know damn well when you sit down to watch a film titled CHOOSE (which boasts taglines like “Time to Decide” and “He Makes the Rules, You Make the Choice”) that you’re not about to behold a stunning piece of artwork. In all honesty, I doubt the filmmakers ever intended to make such work, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have at least tried to make a decent genre flick. Reading the taglines alone, you may suspect that this is a SAW rip-off, and, for the most part, you’d be absolutely correct.
CHOOSE is as basic a slasher entry as you’re going to get. It has everything: an introverted, disturbed, seemingly aggressive female protagonist; her overprotective father; her idiotic friends; a nameless killer who lurks in the shadows; and, of course, the obligatory death scenes. That’s it. You know exactly what you’ll get before you even press “Play.” At least CHOOSE tries to be clever in the way it goes about ripping off the SAW films (basically, the victims choose the way they are maimed/killed), but it’s a far cry from being able to be considered torture porn.…Continue Reading
ALL GOOD THINGS has a lot of potential. It is helmed by Andrew Jarecki — the man behind the devastating documentary CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS (2003), co-produced by Barbara A. Hall (who was partially responsible for bringing Gus Van Sant‘s MILK to screen), and stars Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, and Frank Langella. If the talent behind the camera and on screen isn’t enough to sell this, then how about the fact it’s based on the true story of the biggest missing persons case in the state of New York’s history?
The case upon which the film is based is that of Robert Durst, who was suspected of murdering his wife after she disappeared in 1982. That case remains unsolved today. The names of the players have been changed, with Gosling playing the Durst-based character David Marks and Dunst playing that of his wife Katie Marks. Unlike many true crime films, this is surprisingly not based on a book. The screenplay is credited as being “original,” and, from what I can tell, no book has been written about the incident(s) as of this time.…Continue Reading
It’s been 12 years since John Landis directed a movie and about two decades since he directed a good one. But now he’s back with BURKE AND HARE, a black comedy about two real-life serial killers from Ireland who operated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 1800s, selling their victims’ bodies to the local medical college for dissection. So how does Landis do? Pretty friggin’ bad. Lets check out the “hilarious” trailer, which is almost as bad as the movie. Almost.
The crimes of William Burke and William Hare have already been adapted for the big screen about five times, from The Body Snatcher (1945) to The Doctor and the Devils (1985), all to varying degrees of success. And why wouldn’t someone want to adapt this nasty bit of history? It’s a morbidly fascinating tale that doesn’t need to be embellished or altered to make a compelling film. That’s why I have no clue why Landis decided to make a black comedy in which Burke (Simon Pegg) and Hare (Andy Serkis) are made out to be two aloof scoundrels who simply stumbled into their ghoulish profession and continued committing their heinous crimes for justifiable reasons.…Continue Reading
God knows we’ve ran the gamut of pervy landlords here at D’D. From the ones who lounge naked in their tenants’ homes, to the ones who rape their tenants’ dogs, and everything in between. So I figured I’d check out THE RESIDENT in hopes that they could successfully illicit that skeevy feeling you get when reading those real-life incidents…then gleefully recommend it to Jaded since she harbors an unnatural fear of peephole cameras in her toilet.
Jaded ended up liking it more than I did and wasn’t nearly as freaked out as I’d hoped. Some of this was because some of our articles dealing with this subject matter are creepier than this movie, as well as the fact that Jaded really dug the antagonist, not caring if she woke up in the middle of the night with him sucking on her fingers.
After her long-time boyfriend cheats on her, Dr. Juliet Dermer (Hilary Swank) moves out and finds the impossible — a roomy New York City loft with a great view, priced well below market value. The icing on the cake is that her new landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is easy on the eyes and a perfect candidate for some rebound sex.…Continue Reading
I’ve been a big fan of Asian cinema since I was in high school, primarily martial arts flicks and assorted Japanese weirdness, after all, what genre junkie isn’t into those? What’s really caught my attention in the past few years are the films coming out of South Korea, especially the crime films.
Some of you may be aware of Park Chan-Wook‘s Vengeance Trilogy – comprised of SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE , OLDBOY , and LADY VENGEANCE – and while great in its own right, is not the be-all-end-all of crime cinema from Korea. There have been perhaps a dozen similar films released since The Vengeance Trilogy’s reign worth noting; one of them being last year’s criminally underseen THE MAN FROM NOWHERE.
I’m not going to bother going into too much detail regarding the plot as that’s not the purpose of this review. What I will tell you is that it involves certain plot elements that I refer to as the holy trinity of a well rounded crime film; drug trafficking, gang presence and copious organ removal.…Continue Reading
Jaume Collet-Serra is back with a movie almost less plausible than his ORPHAN flick (our review) but luckily a tad more entertaining. UNKNOWN is a paranoid thriller starring Liam Neeson as Dr. Martin Harris, an American botanist in Berlin with his wife (the lifeless but beautiful January Jones) to speak at a global biotech summit.
Before he is able to check into his room, he realizes he’s left his briefcase at the airport and leaves his wife behind to retrieve it. On the way, the cab he is in, driven by Gina (the squandered Diane Kruger), is involved in an accident that plunges the taxi into a river. Gina is able to pull Dr. Harris from the sinking cab, but he falls into a coma.
When he wakes up four days later, his memory is a bit sketchy, but he quickly makes his way back to the hotel to reunite with his wife. But she has no idea who he is when he finds her, and even introduces him to her husband, the real Dr.…Continue Reading
Greetings, readers. It always amazes me the films that are left on the dustbin of history; films that should (and, given a viewer in the right mindset, do) blow minds and soil pants. Some are brilliantly written, others ground-breaking in some way or another, but ultimately they prove a flash in the cinematic pan, or are duds upon release and only find their following years later.
Today, I’ll be looking at one such film – 1987’s ANGEL HEART. Directed by Alan Parker and starring Mickey Rourke (when he was still a pretty-boy), Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet, a sinister combination of hardboiled film noir detective story and supernatural horror based on the 1978 novel Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg.
Rourke stars as Harry Angel, an average schlub Private Detective in New York City, 1955. He’s not particularly lucky or great at what he does, he just manages to scrape by like the rest of us. Into Angel’s life waltzes the austere, cynical, business-minded Mr. Louise Cyphere (De Niro), who is seeking a missing man; big band crooner Johnny Favorite, who disappeared during WWII.…Continue Reading
Let me start this review by first stating that yes, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a remake of the 1978 movie of the same name (also known as DAY OF THE WOMAN) and no, this will not be a comparison piece. If it (or any movie) needed to be remade or not is debatable, but this is a review of the movie on its own merits.
Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is a young novelist working on a new novel who leaves the big city to work in the peace and quiet offered by a remote cabin she’s rented in the country. Unfortunately for her, some of the locals bumpkins have a little too much free time on their hands and want to show Jennifer a good time. Too bad their idea of a good time is to put Jennifer through a truly humiliating ordeal of torture and gang-rape. She is able to escape their intended coup de grâce, resulting in Jennifer exacting some violent acts of retribution against her attackers that have to be seen to be believed.…Continue Reading
When Brandi (Mena Suvari) isn’t working as a nurses aide at a retirement home hosing the shit off of elderly men’s asses, she’s partying in the clubs; drinking and popping Ecstasy supplied to her by her drug-dealing boyfriend. Overall things are going pretty good for Brandi and after her boss informs her she’d like to reward all her hard work with a promotion, things look like they’re going to get even better. But after leaving a club fuggered up one early morning, a fly gets into Brandi’s ointment in the form of a pedestrian in her windshield. Thomas Bardo (Stephen Rea) is a sad sack having a really bad day. A string of bad luck has left him unemployed and recently without a place to live. As he is making his way to a shelter to spend the night, he is hit by a momentarily distracted Brandi when he crosses the street in front of her car. The impact leaves Thomas with shattered legs and stuck half-in, half-out of Brandi’s windshield. Thinking cops may not look too kindly on someone plowing into a pedestrian while under the influence, Brandi panics and drives home; hiding her car in the garage with poor Thomas still stuck inside it pleading for help.…Continue Reading
First off, let me state for the record that I’m a fan of Oren Peli‘s PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (our review) even if I did feel it barely survived the crushing weight of the hype that was heaped upon it. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I had watched the version that made the rounds at film festivals years a couple years before it made it to the theaters. I thought the minimalistic approach was extremely effective and achieved at giving me goosebumps on a couple occasions. The rest is history after a successful marketing campaign that got the film into theaters and asses in the seats, leading to a film with a budget of $11,000 making $194 million worldwide and becoming an entry into the annals of pop culture history. One of my issues with the film was the re-vamped ending that led to the possibilities of a sequel, something that wasn’t possible with the original version. So when it was officially announced that there was going to be a follow-up, I honestly had no hopes for it, envisioning a slightly better PARANORMAL ENTITY.…Continue Reading
Well it’s Saturday morning and while I sat here checking out headlines while waiting for some coffee to finish brewing, I figured this was as good as time as any to get a few film reviews posted that have been cluttering up our queue a bit. Today I chose MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE and trust me when I say that it’s not for the ladies. It’s an old school, kung fu flick from the ’70s and most know that ’70s kung fu flicks often work as very effective vagina repellent. But this one is a campy, good time containing a flying device that decapitates people, a villain with telescopic arms and a score consisting of early ’70s electronica. Over the years the film gets referenced in other media and garnered a cult following that includes Quentin Tarantino, who pays homage to MASTER multiple times in his film KILL BILL VOL I. Trust me, MASTER really is a blast to watch and is currently available via Netflix for those of you who are interested in some drive-in, grind house goodness.…Continue Reading
Okay, I’ve reviewed two crappy horror films, so here’s one to make up for that and then some. I had read a bit about this Australian horror film last year when it was making the rounds at all the film festivals I’m not worthy of being invited to. I heard it was a mix of old and new horror that was a tad similar to Peter Jackson’s splatter days before LORD OF THE RINGS. “That’s great,” I thought, but I didn’t really get my interest piqued until EFX Magazine described THE LOVED ONES as WOLF CREEK meets PRETTY IN PINK. Now, I still don’t know who the hell EFX Magazine is, but you have to admit that the combination of those two films is pretty interesting. Well, almost a year after all those other sites got to see the film, I was finally able to watch THE LOVED ONES the other night, and, yeah, EFX Magazine’s description is a pretty accurate one and I loved it. Check out the trailer that reveals a tad too much and then my thoughts on this sometimes intense, occasionally sick flick whose humor is consistently dark as pitch.…Continue Reading
More blasts from the past as I clear out a backlog of reviews of films you probably shouldn’t waste your time watching unless you are like me and just like watching bad films. Today’s film is SLASHERS, a direct-to-video horror flick reportedly made on an $150,000 budget. In the film, the most watched show in Japan is a live reality show titled “Slashers” where viewers watch as contestants are voluntarily placed in a funhouse type maze they must navigate for a cash prize. Hindering their progress are characters called Slashers that pursue the contestants ensuring they are not able to collect their winnings by making them suffer bloody, violent deaths to the delight of the viewing audience. SLASHERS takes place at the beginning of the show’s very first all-American edition and to help celebrate this special occasion the producers are populating the maze with two of the nastiest Slashers in their arsenal, Chainsaw Charlie and Dr. Ripper, while also introducing a brand new Slasher called The Preacherman. Will any of the contestants survive this special episode by outwitting the Slashers and collect the $12 million prize?…Continue Reading