Sunday, April 13, 2014

Frankenhooker (1990)

Frankenhooker (USA, 1990) - Color, Director(s): Frank Henenlotter
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 85 min.

Z-rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 5 stars out of 5

How can you not love that video cover?! All the random body parts, science equipment, and the anti-drug slogan that reads "Winners Don't Smoke Super-Crack!"

After the fiancée of med school drop out Jeffrey Franken (played by James Lorinz) is torn apart by an automated lawn mower run amok, Franken salvages any pieces he can find in order to rebuild her. Naturally, he turns to working girls to fill in any necessary parts he's lacking. Jeffrey plans to collect their parts by supplying the prostitutes with a lethal version of crack that he engineers in his lab, ingeniously dubbed "Super Crack". After collecting all the parts he needs, all he needs to do is rebuild his fiancée. Oh, that and deal with their pimp, Zorro.

James Lorinz plays the perfect awkward, mumbling mad scientist. I love the intro credits where he's just scribbling notes over a diagram of a human body and mumbling to himself. This movie is pure cheese, I couldn't help laughing all through it. A brain with an eyeball in it is created for no reason, there are exploding hookers, and Franken drills directly into his own skull to stimulate his thought process! With a title like Frankenhooker, you really couldn't expect anything but total campy goodness.

Nudity: Tons! Franken needs to find the "right parts" to rebuild his fiancée, which gives him the perfect excuse to inspect multiple female bodies. There are also crazy purple Franken-tits for anyone looking for something a little... different.

Gore: As I mentioned, hooker do explode but there isn't much in the blood and guts department. There are definitely limbs all over (as you might've expected from a Franken-movie) but not a lot of the red stuff.

Awesome: to the MAX! I love cheesy, fun movies like this. Although some of what's happening on screen doesn't make any sense, they do a great job of creating an atmosphere where you'll just excuse the medical inaccuracies to have a good time. This trashy sleaze-fest would make a great double feature with Re-Animator or even in a triple feature along with Bride of Re-Animator!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (USA, 1988) - Color, Director(s): David DeCoteau
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 80 min.

Z-rating: 3 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 5 stars out of 5

Three supposed "frat boys" decide to sneak a peek at a sorority initiation (One of whom you might recognize as Stooge from Night of the Demons). After watching the initiates get paddled through a window, they decide to sneak inside the house for a closer look. This paddling scene is apparently what helped the film gain a cult status as it's one of the best spanking sessions in a mainstream film. Teen sex comedies such as Screwballs, Weird Science, Revenge of the Nerds, and the infamous Porky's was also a sprawling subgenre during the 80's with movies available via rental on VHS for enjoyment in the privacy of your own home.

After the boys are caught watching the girls shower, they're forced to go along with the initiates to steal a trophy from the bowling alley at the mall. They meet a girl named Spider (Linnea Quigley) that's also breaking into the mall, who helps them get into the bowling alley so they can steal a large bowling trophy. While goofing around they accidentally drop the trophy, breaking it open and releasing a wish-granting Imp.

The rest of the movie plays out like the classic story, The Monkey's Paw, where their wishes come at a price and eventually causes chaos. This movie is famous for being one of two horror films to feature legendary 80's Scream Queens (Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Michelle Bauer) together in the same film, the other being Nightmare Sisters (both of which were directed by David DeCoteau). These three were eventually reunited once again in a recent project by DeCoteau titled, 1313: Cougar Cult.

Nudity: Tons! We see lots of bare breasts and even get a couple crotch shots during the shower scene. T&A was pretty common in 80's horror films but we actually get some full frontal nudity in this one. This movie definitely delivers in this department!

Gore: Pretty tame in this department though. There are scenes where heads are decapitated (even a gag where they bowl with Hal Havins' head) but there wasn't as much as blood and guts as you would find in a typical 80's slasher film. This was definitely more of a T&A flick.

Awesome: Cheesy to the MAX! This is definitely one of those films that you have to shut off your brain and just enjoy. The imp hardly ever moves and is never really scary, his mouth moves like he's a sock puppet. The acting is as cheesy as you'd expect from this kind of movie, this is low budget trashy cinema and I love it! One of Linnea Quigley's lines from this movie, "Yeah, it was... very stupid!" is sampled in Static-X's song "I'm With Stupid". This would go great in a B-movie double feature with Chopping Mall as part of an "Escape the Mall" themed horror night.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween everyone! Thanks to all of you who read my reviews and share them with your friends, you make the time spent writing them worth it. I hope everyone's got some great plans for this year's Halloween and in case you're throwing a party, I thought I'd suggest some movies to rent. I hope you guys enjoy and have an awesome Halloween!!!

Supernatural Horror

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Here are some supernatural/ghost movies worth checking out:

Devil (2010)
Lords of Salem, The (2012) 
Apartment 143 (2011)
Art of the Devil II (2005)
Grave Encounters (2011)
Grave Encounters 2 (2012)
Sick Nurses (2007)
Bunshinsaba (2004)
Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007)
Evil Dead (2013)
Triangle (2009)
Echo, The (2008)
Conjuring, The (2013)

Creature Features

Do you prefer monsters instead? Here's a good mix of creature features to entertain your party guests:

Bad Milo! (2013)
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Dead Sushi (2012)
Trollhunter (2010)
Splinter (2008)
Feast (2005)
Feast II: Sloppy Seconds (2008)
Feast III: The Happy Finish (2009)
Piranha 3D (2010)
Piranha 3DD (2012)


Who doesn't love a good slasher? If you like your horror bloody and violent, check out:

Dream Home (2010)
Wrong Turn (2003) 
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)
Collector, The (2009)
Collection, The (2012)
Hills Run Red, The (2009)
Maniac! (1980)
Maniac (2012) 
Hatchet (2006)
Hatchet II (2010)
Hatchet III (2013)
Laid to Rest (2009)
ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2010)

Horror Anthology

If you like to get the most horror movies you can in one sitting, here's a list of Horror Anthology films:

Campfire Tales (1997)
V/H/S (2012)
V/H/S 2 (2013)
Theatre Bizarre, The (2011)
Chillerama (2011)
ABCs of Death, The (2012)
Body Bags (1993)
Creepshow (1982)
Three... Extremes (2004)
Trick 'r Treat (2007)


For all you Walking Dead fans who are just waiting for the next episode, check out:

Burial Grounds: The Nights of Terror (1981)
Serpent and the Rainbow, The (1988)
Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead (2011)
Doghouse (2009)
Horde, The (2009)
[REC] (2007)
[REC] 2 (2009)
[REC] 3: Genesis (2012)
Day of the Dead (1985)

Grab Bag

Here's a good variety of Horror movies that's great for Halloween parties or a quiet night at home!

Night of the Demons (1988)
Mother's Day (2010)
P2 (2007)
Orphan (2009)
Stake Land (2010)
The Blob (1988)
I Saw the Devil (2010)
Trick 'r Treat (2007)

I hope this was useful to anyone couldn't figure out what they wanted to watch for Halloween this year. If you already know what you're watching tonight, let me know in the comments what your lineup is for tonight. Be safe, Happy Halloween to all!!!

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring (USA, 2013) - Color, Director(s): James Wan
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 112 min.

Z-rating: 5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 0 stars out of 5

"Based on a true story" is an overused adage when promoting horror movies in an attempt to lend some credibility to the film's story. What could be scarier than the possibility of the events in the movie actually being true? Unfortunately, these movies often take many liberties with the plot in order to produce an entertaining film and, in embellishing the story, give critics a reason to doubt that any of the events have actually taken place. Enter James Wan's third supernatural horror film based on Ed and Lorraine Warren's real life paranormal investigations during the 1970's. The Warrens are featured as prominent characters in the film but what you might not have known was that they also investigated the hauntings depicted in the films The Amityville Horror and The Haunting in Connecticut. In fact, Lorraine Warren even mentions specifically that of all the places she's visited throughout her career, the Amityville house is the only one she would never return to.

The film opens with the Warrens investigating a demonically possessed doll, which is based on their real life investigation of a possessed Raggedy Ann Doll named Annabelle. What we're seeing is footage played during a lecture given by the Warrens to a University class on the supernatural. After a brief title crawl, we cut to the Perron family moving into their new home. The family experiences some supernatural occurrences after their first night in the house but initially writes it off as strange coincidence. Not until something attacks one of their daughters in the middle of the night do they seek professional help from the Warrens. Agreeing to come out and visit the house, the Warrens conduct an initial investigation and conclude that the house needs an exorcism in order to "cleanse" it. After doing a little research on the property, they uncover the original owners' relation to a woman that was hung during the Salem witch trials and a curse that was placed on the land. Now, it's up to Ed and Lorraine Warren to save the Perron family.

I cannot stress enough how much I loved the focus on the Warrens and their career as professional paranormal researchers. I grew up LOVING the movie Mr. Vampire because it was just amazing to watch a Master ghostbuster/vampire hunter at work. I prefer watching professionals who actually know what they're doing as opposed to amateur home video artists that you find in a Paranormal Activity movie. The fact that these characters were based on actual people that really did this type of work is what makes the story so enriching. The Perrons are such a sweet family, you really hate to see all this happening to them. I have two young nieces myself, so I can relate to the fear of something happening to them that I have no control over. I'd rather take my chances on Jason Voorhees, Chucky, or something I can actually fight against.

Nudity: None pervs, there are children in this movie!

Gore: Being a supernatural film, there isn't much in the way of blood being spilled either. Although a police officer is bitten on the cheek and we see the spouting blood for a brief moment.

Room full of haunted, possessed, or cursed items

Awesome: to the MAX!!!! Right before seeing this movie, I was complaining to a friend that there seemed to be a lack of truly creepy or frightening movies in recent years. (I was personally disappointed when The Woman in Black and The Innkeepers failed to thrill me) Although I understand that as an avid horror movie fan, the chances of coming across more hits than misses is lower when you watch them in such large quantity. I had to eat my words when James Wan killed it this year with back-to-back haunted house films in The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2, which had to be the best supernatural movies I've seen in years. I will admit that watching the sheer volume of horror movies that I've seen, you do get desensitized a bit, but you can always tell the difference between a good movie and a bad one. This movie was fantastic and I highly recommend buying or rent it for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mother's Day (2010)

Mother's Day (USA, 2010) - Color, Director(s): Darren Lynn Bousman
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 112 min.

Z-rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 1 stars out of 5

I was really surprised they remade this movie, seeing as the original was a rape and revenge exploitation film released under the Troma banner (Directed by Charles Kaufman, brother of Lloyd Kaufman!). I didn't realize a movie like this would even be on the remake radar, but then again, what isn't these days? The new story is in the vein of home invasion movies like The Strangers and not only is this a serious remake, they even included a few references to the original (They mention "Queenie"!). Three brothers who return to their home/hideout after a botched bank robbery find it inhabited by new owners. Realizing their mistake, they immediately begin crowd control as the new owners had guests over to celebrate a birthday and stay safe during a tornado. They're able to reach their mother, who rushes over to help with their escape. Mother promises that they'll leave once they have an opportunity and nobody will be hurt as long as they cooperate.

Should've saved everyone with your Iceman powers Bobby! Or at least gone Animorphs on their ass...

Rebecca De Mornay plays "Mother" who was the ring leader in this circus of misfits. I was impressed with how authoritative she came off when giving orders while still remaining courteous. She was considerate and sweet, even baking them a cake to enjoy while waiting in the basement. However, she would not tolerate anyone unwilling to cooperate and was quick to punish disobedience. She was calm, cool, and in control the moment she walked in the door but had this underlying sadism to her. As time went on, her patience wore thin and her mean streak began to show. Rebecca was really believable in her performance, which is why I was so surprised to see her in that garbage remake of Apartment 1303!

This lady, you do NOT fuck with...

Each of the three brothers had different personalities that served different purposes. The oldest one was a little more responsible and handed down orders directly from their mother. There was a rowdy one that you could tell would've been happy to torture and execute the hostages. Their youngest brother had been shot during the robbery and needed to be "protected" like the baby of the family. This gave the antagonists much more depth than just a bunch of faceless criminals who break in and torture people for no good reason (like The Purge).

Except maybe these two annoying bitches, but they got what they deserved!

Nudity: None that I could remember. As the youngest son was about to die, they bring one of the female hostages up to pop his man-cherry but we don't see any nudity. She's forced to take her top off but covers her boobs with her arms. 

Gore: A security guard is violently stabbed in the beginning and a girl who tries to make a run for the door gets shot in the face. This wasn't a Saw film though, so don't expect a ton of gore.

They just dumped her body behind a dumpster too

Awesome: Very. I liked how the movie is realistic (again, unlike The Purge which had to create an alternate future) and simple but still very effective. I already talked about the interesting family dynamic between the criminals but the hostages also had an interesting and familiar dynamic. If you're a fan of zombie movies like I am, then you'll understand that undead ghouls eating flesh is just half the reason those movies are so entertaining. What's interesting is seeing the "survivors" deal with one another and how quickly the democratic system breaks down in those situations. People disagree, fight, argue, and are unable to reach a group decision. When the shit hits the proverbial fan, that's when people show their true colors. The cowards only thought of self-preservation, they stopped being civilized, and these "friends" were quick to turn on each other. If someone tried to be a hero, it might've caused another person to be hurt. Very tense and uncomfortable situation to be in.

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