Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not dead, just lazy...

I haven't posted here since August! Been buried with work and other stuff. Recently scored a Laserdisc player and have been obsessed with scoring discs for that. If anybody's got any leads, hit me up. Here's some stuff I scored from Half Price Books recently:

Night Hawks (1981)
Dir. Bruce Malmuth

Armed Response (1986)
Dir. Fred Olen Ray

A Boy And His Dog (1975)
Dir. L.Q. Jones

This movie premiered in Austin, and was a huge midnight movie success. Don Johnson is bad ass in this.

Dead Heat (1988)
Dir. Mark Goldblatt

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Vagrant (1992)

Dir. Chris Walas

This is a pretty out there movie about Bill Paxton moving into a new house and being terrorized by a burly, long-haired homeless guy who lives in the vacant alley across the street. I would have preferred a little less comedy and a bit more strangeness but whatever. The vagrant is played by Marshall Bell who played the guy who has "Quato" growing out of his stomach in Total Recall.
There's a scene where Bill Paxton has a dream that the Vagrant is fucking his girlfriend, it's gross. This VHS tape was recently found at a garage sale in north Austin. Look for it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blood Of Dracula's Castle (1967)

Dir. Al Adamson

This is definitely one of my favorite Al Adamson movies. It's got a psycopath, a giant hunchback freak, John Carradine as a butler, and some phenomenal sets. A lot of time is spent on long shots of stuff that's essentially filler footage, but it's shot in such a great locale that it's not difficult at all to deal with. Al Adamson got lots of shots of nature and sunsets in these films. He liked to film beautiful images of sunlight sparkling on lakes. His use of simple, and beautiful shots like these seriously add to the vibe of his films. The plot revolves around the hunchback kidnapping girls to keep as slaves in the dungeon of Dracula's castle. The girls routinely have blood extracted from their bodies to make cocktails for Dracula and his wife. A psychopath who works for the family runs around a lot randomly killing people for some reason. This movie goes way out into the stratosphere and turns into some hyper-layered experiment into the boundry definitions of so-called low budget horror movies. 70's television maybe unconsciously owes a lot to Adamson movies like these. They're bursting with creativity, and prove that low budget movies back then were often times the most inventive. This DVD is also part of the Rhino "Horrible Horror Vol. 2" box set of Crown International movies.

Quiet Cool (1986)

Dir. Clay Borris

Quiet Cool Is beyond roguish. This movie defines roguishness. It's about a kid whose parents get murdered when they stumble upon a weed growing operation while camping. The kid spends the next few months living in the same woods trying to figure out a way to get revenge on the weed-growing gangsters who killed his folks. Enter James Remar. He's a cop who is sent on a special mission to bust the gangsters. He meets up with the kid who helps him get at the crooks. In one scene, Remar's character jousts a guy with a pipe while riding his motorcycle. The begining of this movie has a scene involving a purse-snatching rollerskater and a motorcycle being ridden onto the subway train that has to be seen to be believed. One of the best 80's action movies ever. Available on VHS in the action section at I Luv Video on Airport.

Fuck it, here's the rollerskater scene,

Don't Answer The Phone

Dir. Robert Hammer

This movie will make you feel really disgusted and scared. It's about a psycho / strangler / rapist in the L.A. area, played by Nicholas Worth (the fat guy who turns into a midget in Swamp Thing). He methodically stalks women and kills them usually via strangulation then calls in to a psychiatrist's radio show and taunts her with an insane Spanish accent. You get to see Worth lifting weights and tying panty hose around his neck. He is one of the craziest psychos you will ever see in a movie. In one scene, he lures a hooker back to a hotel with the promise of shooting a speedball, then makes her call in to the radio show while he strangles her. When her pimp walks in on this scene, the two get in a fist fight which ends in the psycho's favor. There's tons of scenes where Worth's character is just driving around scheming. It's in these scenes that we're shown the grimiest sectors of L.A. circa 1980, and it's fascinating. As far as creepy films go, this one's right up there with naseously depraved and depressive horror classics like "Maniac" which oddly enough was made the same year as this. Not a cozy horror movie by any means. "Don't Answer The Phone is a sadistic, bizarre, totally thought-out study in psychotic madness. A movie like this wouldn't / couldn't be made today. Available as part of Rhino's "Horrible Horror Vol. 2" box set of Crown International films.

Friday, June 12, 2009

July-August Weird Wednesday lineup

Here's the July-August Weird Wednesday lineup. I recommend Psych-Out by Richard Rush and O.C. and Stiggs by Robert Altman. They're both amazing. Weird Wednesday Line-up

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't Mess With My Sister! (1984)

Dir. Meir Zarchi

This movie was made by the director of the late-70's cult hit I Spit On Your Grave. This was his second and last film as a director. This film gets mostly a bad rep due to it's unresolved plot. It's based around a guy who cheats on his wife with a bellydancer after helping her escape the clutches of a fat perv who's trying to rape her. The guy works for his wife's two brothers at their junkyard. When they find out about him cheating on their sister they beat his ass (a lot). The brothers also trash the bellydancer's apartment and the sister comes with them. This is when a great scene happens where the sister accidentally cuts the bellydancer's hand and the bellydancer says in an unexcited, totally deadpan voice- "Get out of here". It's so weird. The ending is hilarious and amazing and makes no sense. Just like life. Available at I Luv in the action section.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recent Rentals

I've been to busy to write lately. Actually I still am. I just thought I'd update you on what I've watched the past few weeks.

Blood Freak (1972)
Dir. Brad F. Grinter

Yeah, a lot of you may already have seen this recently because I think the Alamo showed it not that long ago. But in case you haven't, you can rent it. Something Weird Video released it on DVD recently. This movie is about a guy who smokes weed then has seizures that lead to him transforming into a turkey. I know that sounds incredibly silly, but it's kind of done in a serious way that makes it demented. It fuckin' came on TCM the other night at 2:00 AM. Can you believe that shit!? Insane.

Spellcaster (1992)
Dir. Rafal Zielinski

Pretty typical early-90's haunted house trash featuring Adam Ant.

Couldn't find the trailer, so here's an Adam Ant video.

The Wild Life (1984)
Dir. Art Linson

Here's Chris Penn trying to do what his brother did better. This movie coined the dude-phrase "It's Casual". I remember my older brother and his friends saying this a lot. It features a clean-cut Eric Stoltz hot off the heels of some breakthrough performances in "Surf II" and "Makin' It". He plays a total square in this one.

The Punisher (1989)
Dir. Mark Goldblatt

Dolph Lundgren is really good in this. This movie is awesome.

TC2000 (1993)
Dir. T.J. Scott

This movie is rogueish and features Billy "Tae Bo" Banks and Bolo Yeung. There's basically a lot of beatings and unintentionally funny shit happening at all times.

The Stone Killer (1973)
Dir. Michael Winner

A fantastic early 70's Bronson movie. It starts off in New York and ends up in L.A. It has a fast pace, good music by Roy Budd, great scenery, and tons of insane action and car chases. Shit, this movie has Stuart Margolin in it! It's got a little bit of everything going for it. Only on VHS I think.

Here's a fucked up scene:

The Initiation (1984)
Dir. Larry Stewart

Great early-80's horror trash that used to come on TV when I was a kid. Sorority house pledge night gone bad with tripped-out nightmare sequences and a maniac killer. What more can you ask for?

Hellhole (1985)
Dir. Pierre De Moro

A weird, sadistic mid-80's trash-fest starring Mary Woronov as a crazed doctor who injects women prisoners with high doses of experimental narcotics. Lots of running around and screaming in this dismal wrong-bomb. I kind of like it's weird heavy metal video vibe too.

Maniac Cop 2 (1990)
Dir. William Lustig

Out of control sequel. If the begining robbery scene of this movie doesn't hook you, then you've got ADD. Maniac Cop joins forces with a really amped-up serial killer weirdo who ends up being a Maniac Cop groupie! They go kill together and even release inmates from a prison! The apartment that the serial killer has is awesome. You get to see flashback scenes of how Maniac Cop got his scarred look. It's great.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chuck Norris

When I was 6 years old I started taking Karate classes at Santamaria's in Killeen. I saw Chuck Norris there. I had a polaroid taken with him. My parents took me out of Karate classes after I started showing a lack of interest 'cause that shit was expensive. This was around '83 or '84. Chuck Norris was about to do the Missing In Action movie around this time. I have always liked most of the early Chuck Norris movies. Most of my friends made fun of them, but I didn't give a fuck. Me and my friend Kevin were WAY into them. One time, he was like- "Chuck Norris movies are always good". Not too many people would say that out loud, but my friend was being serious when he said that, and that's kind of bad-ass. Whenever I see Chuck Norris movies nowadays Kevin's endorsement always rings in my mind. It's kind of what prompted me to go on a Norris-renting spree over the last couple of months. Here's some that I like a lot.

1. Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
Dir. Ted Post

2. A Force Of One (1979)
Dir. Paul Aaron

3. The Octagon (1980)
Dir. Eric Carson

4. An Eye For An Eye (1981)
Dir. Steve Carver

5. Silent Rage (1982)
Dir. Michael Miller

6. Forced Vengeance (1982)
Dir. James Fargo

7. Code Of Silence (1985)
Dir. Andrew Davis

Monday, April 13, 2009

Future Kill

Ronald W.Moore (1984)

Future Kill is a movie that I watched when it first came out on VHS. At the time I had no idea that two of the people from Texas Chainsaw Massacre were in it. Ed Neal (the crazy hitchiker brother of Leatherface) plays Splatter, the armored bad guy who kills most things in his path. He shoots drugs and calls people "stupid fuckin' bitches". Marilyn Burns (the girl who survives in Texas Chainsaw) plays Dorothy Grim, the lady who helps the frat boys elude the rogueish street gangs. There's really no point to this movie. Just people running around with eye makeup on in alleyways. There's drugs, random stabbings, street trash, and punk music (including a song from the Big Boys on the soundtrack). This movie was shot in Austin, TX in 1983 / 1984. It's odd to see what the city looked like back then. Red River looks like a ghost town. One scene is shot at The old Ritz on 6th St. (which is now the Alamo Drafthouse Theater), a punk band is playing while people get stabbed in the back of the head. It's weird to think that this was made 25 years ago. Terrifying actually. Available at I Luv Video on Airport on VHS.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ninja III: The Domination

Dir. Sam Firstenberg (1984)

Do you remember discovering the Sho Kosugi ninja movies in the 80's? If you don't, you missed out, but here's your chance to catch up. The first was Enter The Ninja, starring the great Italian actor Franco Nero as the white ninja. Sho Kosugi actually plays the bad ninja in this movie. It's a classic, but probably not as action-packed as the next two to come. Revenge Of The Ninja
came next and packed a serious punch with the action movie fans. It was way more violent and fast-paced. The ninja fight scenes were more original and filmed better. By the time the third installation was conceived, the ante had been upped and we needed something crazy to keep our interest in the series. Ninja III: The Domination was just what the doctor ordred. It's about the white girl from the "Breakin" movies getting possessed by an evil grey ninja who went crazy killing a bunch of rich people at a golf course. This film plays like a great 70's Marvel comic book. There's a surreal sex scene involving a can of hot n' spicy V8 juice that's semi-nauseating but great. All of the supernatural posession scenes are great, kind of like The Exorcist mixed with an old episode of Kung Fu. This was originally released by Cannon and is only available on VHS at I Luv Video on Airport.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Black Samurai (1977)

Dir. Al Adamson

Black Samurai is great. It's one of the last Jim Kelly movies that I actually watched but I've known about it since I was about 8 years old. I always wanted to rent it from Video Movies Unlimited in Harker Heights when I was a kid, but probably rented something dumb like Make Them Die Slowly or Rawhead Rex instead. Jim Kelly pulls people's arms back and kicks their spine! He's usually sporting a suede jogging outfit at any given time. His sidekick looks like Rick Reed. For some strange reason, Dan actually sat down with me and watched this movie. The scene where Jim Kelly fights a hawk is crazy. He boxes it. Right after this movie came out, Al Adamson worked with Jim Kelly again in another trashy masterpiece known as Death Dimension (aka Freeze Bomb, or The Kill Factor). There's a clamshell VHS version of Black Samurai on Video Gems. I just rented the DVD from I Luv Video on Airport. There's a scene with a dungeon full of cobras in this movie. Available at Vulcan and I Luv Video.

NOTE: The second I was done posting this blog, I looked up and saw Jim Kelly on the TV screen. Dan was changing channels and Enter The Dragon was on. How weird.

Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain (1983)

Dir. Tsui Hark

If you haven't seen the original version of Zu Warriors Of The Magic Mountain, you're in for some shit.There's a good DVD version that Tai Seng put out, but the VHS version looks great also. Really good for when you have friends over that can shut the fuck up during a movie.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wavelength (1982)

Dir. Mike Gray

Wavelength is a movie that used to come on TV a lot when I was a kid. It's pretty entertaining. Robert Carradine from Revenge Of The Nerds is in it and so is the fabulously trashy looking Cherie Currie from the 70's all-girl rock band the Runaways. Currie's character can hear voices coming from what turns out to be a secret underground Air Force bunker in the Hollywood hills. Her and her boyfriend go investigate inside the bunker one night and get caught. They learn that the voices she was hearing are coming from 3 aliens that are being kept alive in a chamber within the bunker. The people in charge of the bunker try to bury her and her boyfriend alive with the aliens. The boyfriend helps the aliens escape and then they all flee out to the desert. There's not too much action, but there's plenty of weirdness including a psychedelic scene where the aliens are using mirrors to soak up the sun's energy out in the desert. There's also a great synthesizer score done by Tangerine Dream. All in all not a mind-blower, but definitely worth checking out for 80's trash pleasure alone. Available at I Luv Video on VHS in the Sci-Fi section.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Never Too Young To Die (1986)

Dir. Gil Bettman

This movie is so out of control I don't even know where to begin. It may be one of the greatest 80's movies ever made. It's main stars are John Stamos, Vanity, and Gene Simmons (playing a psychotic hermaphrodite). Simmons' character Velvet Von Ragnar is trying to take over the country by poisoning all of the nation's drinking water. He looks like a cross between Patti Labelle and Divine. He has a long, sharpened fingernail that he stabs people with. He does a drag routine at a club wearing this hideous Vegas / Rockettes outfit and sings a song that is so bad it's hard to watch in the privacy of your own home. John Stamos plays Lance Stargrove, a gymnast who lives in a college dorm with a nerd roommate who invents weapons and wears neon clothing. Vanity plays the role of Danja Deering, driving a nice Corvette, kicking ass and killing bad guys. Stargrove's dad is killed by Von Ragnar and afterwards he inherits his farm. While there, he loads up on uzi's and has sex with Danja. His nerd roomate shows up and they cruise around on a crotch rocket killing bad guys. Von Ragnar keeps going back and forth between being a man and a woman and every scene with him in it is surreal. I was having nightmares with his character in them last night because of this movie. I think Gene Simmons is really embarrassed by his role in this film, because it's never been put on DVD and all the clips on youtube have been pulled. It's a shame because I think this movie would really blow people's minds. I mean, it's really, really insane. I've never seen anything like it. So fucking recommended!! Only available on VHS at I Luv Video on Airport.

I just realized that this incredible movie will be playing at the Alamo Ritz theater for Terror Tuesday on April 7th at 10:15. Now all of you can see it. If you don't show up, you're missing out!
Here's Zack's review: Here

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks are phenomenal. They're one of my all-time favorite bands. Everyone thinks they're hair metal but that's one of the biggest misconceptions about them. They predated all of that shit. There's something about them that is genuinely mystifying. They were from Helsinki, Finland. They started in 1979. Guitarist Andy McCoy had been in Briard, a punk band that had released a few 7" records in 1977. Their first album came out in 1981, and by 1985 they had broken up. They did 5 studio albums and an amazing double live LP. Singer Michael Monroe had a very extreme rock star persona that went beyond comic book proportions. All of the stories about them ripping off bands and bands ripping them off are true and understandable but uninteresting at this point. If you look deeper, you will see that they were a very original band that stood alone. There was a drugged-out, hyper-active image to this band that co-existed with a vibe of sophistication. There's something very powerful about a band that look like junkie drag queens and play music that sounds like a hybrid of the Ramones, Little Richard, and African-Psychedelic-Tribal-Punk. Looking at the pictures on the inner sleeve to Back To Mystery City makes you feel like they were the future of rock music at the dawn of the 80's. Unfortunately the death of their second drummer Razzle (who replaced original drummer, Gyp Casino) signaled the end of the band. In December of 1984, he was killed in a car crash caused by Vince Neil, singer of Motley Crue. The two were both drunk speeding around in Neil's car when they crashed head-on onto another vehicle. Razzle was killed instantly and Vince Neil did 15 days in jail. Nowadays, Neil owns his own brand of tequilla. Axl Rose re-released all of their albums on CD over a decade ago, but they've all gone out of print since then. Your best bet is finding them used, preferably on vinyl.

Original Discography:
Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks LP (1981)
Oriental Beat LP (1982)
Self Destruction Blues LP (1983)
Back To Mystery City LP ( 1984)
2 Steps From The Move LP (1984)
All Those Wasted Years 2 LP LIVE (1985)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Summer Of Fear (1978) aka Stranger In Our House

Dir. Wes Craven

Here's a movie I stumbled upon by accident. It turned out to be a TV movie from '78 directed by Wes Craven without me even knowing it at the time. To put into perspective the time frame in which this film was released, think of this: Wes Craven was hot off the heels of The Hills Have Eyes, while Linda Blair was just getting done with Exorcist II: The Heretic. She was just around 19 years of age when this was made. Her hair in this movie is out of control. 70's curling iron teased and sprayed to the max. But then again that's half of the appeal of something like this. I mean, the actual act of diving into a movie like this and actually being willing to give yourself over to the experience is something to be proud of in and of itself. But that's a snobby way of looking at it. I actually really like stuff like this and would be happy to watch it all day long. There's a part in this movie where Linda Blair gets hives on her face and she's so pouty and amazing, I really can't describe how bad-ass it is. This movie is about her being a rich girl on a ranch and her cousin comes to live with her. The cousin is crazy and turns out to be a witch. It was based on a best-selling young adult novel around at the time. Poor Linda starts having trouble with all sorts of stuff including the aforementioned hives breakout as well as a horse riding accident which leads to her horse being put to sleep. She discovers all the evidence she needs after tearing her cousin's belongings apart and in one scene discovering a bizarre sweet potato / yam voodoo doll with hair that looks kinda like her horse. This part of the movie is confusing but good. Eventually there's a conclusion, but you've forgotten why by then. Available at I Luv Video on Airport in the Wes Craven Horror Directors wall on DVD and VHS.

Here's a great clip

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Terror On Tour (1980)

Dir. Don Edmonds

No video box in the world screams "rent me" louder than Terror On Tour. It's a bizarre but understandable brainstorm, combining elements of Kiss and Michael Myers but with a dusty basement drive-in vibe similar to movies like Horror Express. I love this (un)intentional style of film so much. It's one of those movies that is filled with examples of what cro-magnon youth pop culture contained at any given time in history. Like a buried time capsule filled with trash. The type of experience you have watching movies like this gives you a more direct line to understanding what real people were doing and how they do it on a regular basis. This may sound like a line of shit but it's really true. The first time I rented this movie, I felt like I knew what I was in for, and I've got to tell you, I was so right. Those kinds of affirmations are great. This movie used to be available at I Luv Video on Guadalupe on VHS, but I don't know if it is anymore. Your best bet is I Luv on Airport.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tower Of Evil (1974)

Dir. Jim O' Connolly

A really weird and scary movie with a great dismal / surreal atmosphere. Great for bored cold nights like tonight. Available on VHS at I Luv Video on Airport.

Give It Up To The Classics!

Some of my friends say I'm crazy. They're right. My late older brother is one of the main reasons. Another is my late grandmother Beatrice (who I called Grandma Fly, because everyone else called her Bea). My brother was 8 years older than me. When we would stay the night at my grandma's house, they would take me to Showplace 3 to see some fucked up shit. The year was 1982. This was my first movie theater. It was a block from my grandma's house. We would walk there at night. It was in this shopping center next door to Book Exchange (one of the craziest places you can imagine hanging out in as a kid) and the (rogueish) grocery store Piggly Wiggly. Showplace 3 was amazing. And honestly, I feel bad for ya'll, because you never got to experience that place's bad ass-ness. Anyway, imagine a movie theater lobby covered in giant psychedelic floral cartoon wallpaper from the 60's. In the box office are sweaty guys in their 50's selling you your ticket (age did not matter), while smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. I always remember their hair being slicked back with grease. There was a fully functional KISS pinball machine inside right next to Pac Man Jr., Galaga and Joust. Nothing was ever cleaned up, especially spilled sodas, hence the theater's nickname "Sticky Floor". It was also commonly referred to as "Rat" or "Roach River" beacuse they had both, and water trickled from the concrete walls and made a river in front of the first row of seats. My dad used to say- "If you go see a movie there, you're gonna get lice." Little did he know, my brother and grandma had been smuggling me into R rated horror movies there since I was 5 years old. No bullshit. My first was Psycho II. That traumatized me, but I loved it. But what sent me over the edge was going to see Friday The 13th Part 3 In 3-D a few months later. I didn't sleep for about a year after that (seriously). It scared me so bad that I had sleep problems (I mean... I was 5). But those experiences made me who I am. I've tried to see the 3-D print at the Alamo, but it's always sold out. One day it'll happen.
UPDATE 2/13/09:
The Alamo Drafthouse on S. Lamar showed Friday The 13th Part 3 in 3D last night and I got to go!! Wow! Let me just tell you now. If you ever get to see this on the big screen, take advantage. That was one of the best times I've ever had at the theater. S. Lamar should start showing more old horror movies. Especially ones that start at 10:00, so I can make it after work.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

50's Essentials

I just noticed that How To Make A Monster and Blood Of Dracula (both directed by the wonderful Herbert L. Strock) have been released as a double sided two-fer on DVD. I love both of these movies so much. In the 50's no studios cared about making horror movies (a subject explored fully in Monster), but the ones that were made were usually favorites of mine. Who couldn't love movies like I Was A Teenage Werewolf, or I Was A Teenage Frankenstein? There were lots of great Yeti movies made in the 50's. Take for example The Abominable Snowman, Half Human, and my personal favorite Man Beast. Or what about Invasion Of The Animal People (made in Lappland)? There were lots of cool low budget releases like The Wasp Woman, Atom Age Vampire, The Monster Of Piedras Blancas, Monster On The Campus, Hideous Sun Demon, The Alligator People, and The Werewolf. There were also people like Richard Cunha who made great films like She Demons, Giant From The Unknown, and the outrageous Frankenstein's Daughter. The list goes on-The She Creature, Voodoo Woman, The Skull, Gorilla At Large. These are real family movies, fuck that Pixar shit! Most all of these available in some form at either I Luv Video or Vulcan stores.