Monday, July 21, 2014
Ginger Snaps (2000) d. John Fawcett (Canada)
This sharp, blackly comic tale turns the old shapeshifting legend on its head, creating a metaphor for a young woman’s “change” at puberty, with the moon’s cinematic lycanthrope effects mirroring that of the menstrual cycle. Screenwriter Karen Walton’s crackling, acid-tongued, often hilarious dialogue perfectly captures the cynical tone of two outcast teenage sisters with a morbid fascination with death. When the eldest, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), is attacked by a werewolf (a harrowing, superbly shot sequence), the film proceeds to reflect her changing from girl to woman with her transformation from human to animal.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Night Digger, The (1971) d. Alastair Reid (UK)
Curious, moody, secluded-English-country-manor chiller about a spinster (Patricia Neal) and her overbearing blind mother (Pamela Brown) whose humdrum lives are disrupted by a motorcycle-riding drifter seeking work as a groundskeeper (Nicholas Clay, who achieved cult status a decade later as Lancelot in Excalibur and Oliver Mellors in Lady Chatterly’s Lover). Despite her adopted daughter’s protests, the elder woman invites the mysterious youth to stay on – after all, it would be nice to have a man around the place, especially with this spate of ghastly murders going on in the area....
Thursday, July 17, 2014
|No...more...Nazisploitation. Got it?|
Back again, my friends!
After the previous week’s gluttony, I found myself not only cleaning up the damage such a spree can cause (i.e. writing reviews), but wriggling out from under the weight of screener copies that had recently landed in my lap. To further complicate matters, I made a trip to the good ol’ Chicago Public Library to secure a few civilian flicks that had captured my fancy while on our recent road trip to the Colorado Plateau.
Finally, I felt compelled to round out the earlier Nazisploitation viewings by visiting (and revisiting) the pioneers of the subgenre, so those got chucked in the pile along with a Godzilla fan film for dessert. All in all, another diverse trip down the twisty, thorny path of terror. Never a dull moment.
As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975) d. Don Edmonds (Canada)
Inspired by the notorious real-life tales of Ilse Koch, a wife of a Nazi commandant who reportedly kept lampshades made from the skin of concentration camp victims, this Canadian exploitation sensation was much more interested in showing female flesh than shedding it. Former nude pin-up model Dyanne Thorne and her bustastic assets are put on full display as the titular tyraness of terror, turning women into experiments of extended torture while making men slaves in her bedroom.
The Baby (1973) d. Ted Post (USA)
After taking on the curious case of “Baby” Wadsworth (David Manzy), a grown man developmentally arrested at nine months, recently widowed social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) suspects criminal negligence. As her interest grows increasingly personal, a war of wills develops between Ann and the zealously protective Wadsworth women, who will stop at nothing to keep their family together.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Bloody Moon (1981) d. Jess Franco (Germany)
Gorgeous Angela (Olivia Pascal) joins her comely group of lasses at a remote spa/language school (nice combo, that) in Spain, unaware that the exotic locale was the site of a brutal murder five years prior. Wouldn’t you know it, the offending party, Miguel (Alexander Waechter), has just been released from a mental institution into the care of his sister Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff), the smokin’ hot chiquita with whom he previously shared an incestuous relationship. But wait, there's more! Further complicating matters is the fact that Manuela runs the school with the handsome Alvaro (Christopher Brugger), but is openly hated by her crippled countess aunt (Maria Rubio) who holds the purse strings. Needless to say, when pretty girls start turning up dead, there are suspects aplenty, including students, teachers, studly tennis instructors (Peter Execoustos), and drooling mongoloid red herrings.
Deadly Eyes (aka Night Eyes) (1982) d. Robert Clouse (Canada)
Based on James Herbert’s classic novel Rats (and an earlier script from Lonon Smith), this hilariously earnest yet surprisingly bloody “B” ratfestation flick falls somewhere between the real-life rodent hordes of Willard and the costumed creepers of The Killer Shrews. Enter the Dragon director Clouse keeps the action moving along at a lively pace, perhaps to distract from the not-quite-convincing dachshunds-in-rats-clothing (no kidding) and the close-ups of snarling hand puppets.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Bloody Birthday (1981) d. Ed Hunt (USA)
Gun-for-hire Hunt, who scripted alongside Barry Pearson, whipped up this fanciful tale of three children born during a solar eclipse on June 9, 1970, in the sleepy burg of Meadowvale, CA. Trouble is, at least according to our astrology-loving heroine Joyce (Lori Lethin), the sun and moon were also in the path of Saturn (which governs human emotions), leaving our diminutive trio devoid of any sense of morality. Now, just before their shared 10th birthday, they’ve begun strangling, shooting, and shoveling amorous teens in vans and cemeteries and bumping off town elders one by one. (Wait, why’d they wait until now to exhibit murderous tendencies? Oh, never mind.)
Monday, July 7, 2014
Chrysalis (2014) d. John Klein (USA)
In 2038, young couple Joshua (Cole Simon) and Penelope (Sara Gorsky) make their way across the blasted landscape of a dying world, scavenging and surviving whilst avoiding the infected mutants that now sit atop the food chain. As winter falls hard, the pair encounters another human survivor, Abira (Tanya Thai McBride), who explains that she is en route to rendezvous with another, larger group. As two becomes three, jealousies and conflicts arise, while their cannibalistic foes grow ever hungrier . . . and nearer.
Equal parts cautionary tale and gorehound primer, this "must-have" three-disc release from Severin (originally released in the UK by Nucleus Films) delivers a one-stop shop for everything relating to the UK’s shameful period of censorship in the early 1980s, where 72 horror and exploitation film titles were deemed capable of debauching the free-thinking minds of anyone who might encounter them. These were the “Video Nasties.”