Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fool's Views (6/16 – 6/22)

"If you could only see what I've seen with your eyes...."

Hello, fellow friends and fiends,

As Faithful Readers might recall, the last FV entry (covering a full four weeks) was still a fairly dry season. Well, the juice got loose over the following seven days, as the Doc burned through nearly a full score of flicks, with Severin’s recent release of The Definitive Video Nasty Guide (review coming soon) kicking off a weekend-long quest to “do the Nasty,” knocking out 9 of the remaining 10 (leaving only Jess Franco’s Women Behind Bars yet to be seen).

In the process, I also knocked out a trio of Naziploitation “classicks,” which in turn led to a few more filthy Fuhrer flicks in the week that followed. I was further blessed to witness a classic of Polish cinema – on the big screen, no less – and a couple of new offerings from regular festival faves Alex de la Iglesia and Ti West; one good, one…well, less good.

That’s what I call coming back from a slump with a vengeance! As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.



Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) d. Kawalerowicz, Jerzy (Poland) (1st viewing)


Sacrament, The (2013) d. West, Ti (USA) (1st viewing)


Witching & Bitching (2013) d. Iglesia, Alex de la (Spain) (1st viewing)



Delirium (1979) d. Maris, Peter (USA) (1st viewing)

A homicidal Vietnam vet is brainwashed to take out undesirable members of society that the legal system can’t touch. Problem is, the underground vigilante organization behind it all can’t switch him off, leading to a spree of innocent victims being offed and the secret sociopath society being brought to light. Relatively tame gore sequences break up the low-thrills investigative “action,” although the ‘Nam flashbacks look as though they were shot in a suburban vacant lot.

Forest of Fear (aka Toxic Zombies) (1980) d. McCrann, Charles (USA) (1st viewing)

This entertaining low-budget affair has a group of Mary Jane harvesting-hippies crop-dusted by a hardline federal agency’s experimental herbicide, turning them into shambling mouth-breathing murderers. Talk about harshing the mellow. Kids get bashed, parents get slashed, dogs get hashed, and noble forestry workers find themselves dodging zombies and government cover-up thugs (including Martin’s John Amplas) alike. It’s no Dawn of the Dead, but it’s definitely a good time.

Frozen Scream (1975) d. Roach, Frank (USA) (1st viewing)

Speaking of which, this delicious slice of cheese-infused Turkey delivers the groceries big time with a cast incapable of uttering a line of natural-sounding dialogue mangling a plot about killing off/reanimating random bystanders. Not since Pat Barrington garbled her way through Stephen C. Apostolof's Orgy of the Dead has there been an actress who so brazenly captured the “No Human Ever Spoke Like This” line-reading crown as Lynne Kocol, but her Teutonic co-star (and producer) Renee Harmon and groovy scientist Lee James aren’t far behind. Thomas “Gowen” McGowan’s wildly inappropriate voiceover is just the gravy on top. I have a feeling I’ll be revisiting this soon to further detail the insanity.

Human Experiments (1979) d. Goodell, Gregory (USA) (1st viewing)

Dullsville drama about a country singer (Rolling Thunder’s Linda Haynes, who can’t sing a lick) sent to jail on trumped-up murder charges and enrolled in wacko doc Geoffrey Lewis’ cockamamie rehabilitation program that involves reverting his patients to infancy. What could have been a diverting dose of sleazy WIP-meets-mad-science is undercut by TV-movie production values and lackluster performances. How this ended up on the DDP’s list is beyond me.

I Miss You Hugs and Kisses (1978) d. Markowitz, Murray (Canada) (1st viewing)

A fictionalized dramatization of an infamous Canadian case where Hungarian-born Peter Demeter was convicted of conspiring to kidnap and murder his fashion model wife, Christine. The film is largely sympathetic to Demeter’s onscreen counterpart, Charles Kruschen (Donald Pilon) and paints his wife Magdalene (Elke Sommer) as a two-timing money-grubbing whore who was on the verge of having her husband rubbed out. More domestic drama than horror flick, the reason it ended up among the Nasties is likely the showcased shots of Kruschen imagining a half-dozen potential suspects battering Sommer about the head – watching each of them take their turn bludgeoning the buxom blonde into a bloody pulp was probably just asking for trouble.

Mardi Gras Massacre (1978) d. Weis, Jack (USA) (1st viewing)

A thinly veiled remake of H.G. Lewis’ gore classic Blood Feast, with moneyed maniac Bill Metzo picking up prostitutes (the particularly “eeeeeevil” ones) and sacrificing them to an Egyptian (maybe?) goddess in his makeshift basement shrine. Along with the liberal use of red paint and animal organs, the nudity factor is bumped up considerably, making for an enjoyable trash-fest complete with amateur-hour theatrics and thesping. The only downside is that the ritual murders are too, well, ritualized; “stab the hand, slice the foot, gut the torso, pull out the heart” is a great recipe, but you can’t do it three times in a row, using the same camera angles, and expect to maintain shock value. That said, the “cops in hot pursuit” narrative actually maintains some dramatic tension...when it’s not bogged down by lead dick (all puns intended) Curt Dawson’s dallying with wayward woman-of-the-night witness Gwen Arment.


Beast in Heat, The (aka SS Hell Camp) (1977) d. Batzella, Luigi (as Ivan Kathansky) (Italy) (1st viewing)


Gestapo's Last Orgy, The (1977) d. Canevari, Cesare (Italy) (1st viewing)


Love Camp 7 (1969) d. Frost, Lee (USA) (1st viewing)



Gojira (1954) d. Honda, Ishiro (Japan) (4th viewing)
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) d. Morse, Terry O. / Honda, Ishiro (Japan/USA) (4th viewing)

Thanks to the generosity of Film Deviant’s Bryan Martinez, I was finally able to enjoy the the 2012 Criterion Blu-ray release, including the intelligent and trivia-packed commentary tracks of Chicago’s own kaiju expert David Kalat (author of the indispensable tome, A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series), as well as the myriad other special features (including interviews with Akira Takarada, Haruo Nakajima, and Akira Ifukube). Plus, I figured that after having seen two other non-Toho movies called “Godzilla” this year (as well as the Americanized King Kong vs. Godzilla), it was high time to get back to basics.

For a full-write up on the two films via the Classic Media/Toho 50th Anniversary DVD release...



Kuroneko (1968) d. Shindo, Kaneto (Japan) (1st viewing)


Living Skeleton, The (1968) d. Matsuno, Hiroshi (Japan) (1st viewing)



First Blood (1982) d. Kotcheff, Ted (USA) (3rd viewing)

“I could have killed 'em all. I could've killed you. In town, you're the law; out here, it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go.”

2014 Totals to date: 164 films, 97 1st time views, 96 horror, 23 cinema

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