Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge 10/17


Live Feed (2006)
(1st viewing) d. Nicholson, Ryan (USA) 81min
Nicholson toiled for years as a Hollywood makeup special effects artist before striking out on his own, and so it’s no mistake that the highlights of his films tend to be the wetter moments. And while his DIY spirit is laudable, the sheer unpleasantness of his characters (see Gutterballs for further evidence) makes the rest of the jagged SOV production values that much tougher to sit through. When a quintet of self-centered bar-hopping “Ugly American” tourists in China find themselves as the main feature in a closed circuit snuff film within a house of ill-repute, one would hope that we might root for them to survive…just a little? But when the victims are just as repellent as the torturing sadists, all we can do is sit back and take what pleasure we can from the bloodletting, which is likely Nicholson’s nihilistic intent. Tons of sex, nudity and gore are plusses for any hardcore horror fan, but minus any sense of context or relatability, it all feels empty and vacant. Co-written by Nicholson with brother Roy.

Gorotica (1993) (1st viewing) d. Gallagher, Hugh (USA) 60min
Taboo subject matter (necrophilia) combined with subtle black comedy and zero production value equals a WTF experience for the ages. Jewel thieves Dingo Jones and Bushrude Gutterman (think those are pseudonyms?) have their plans spoiled by a sharpshooting cop who kills Gutterman after he swallows a large diamond for safekeeping. Jones is forced to lug his partner’s corpse around, eventually ending up at dead-lovin’ chick Ghetty Chasun’s above, where she seizes the opportunity to make sweet, sweet music with the stiff. Zany and clumsy, but possessing a charming attitude of naughty rebellion, right down to the final credit: “These characters and situations are fictitious and any similarity with real persons living or dead makes me nervous.” The hour-long runtime is an added bonus.


Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
(2nd viewing) d. Morrissey, Paul (Italy) 95min
Blood for Dracula (1974) (3rd viewing) d. Morrissey, Paul (Italy) 106min

“Presented” by Andy Warhol and written/directed by Paul Morrissey, these Eurohorror spins on the titans of screen terror are unlike any Dracula or Frankenstein film you’ve seen. While the latter is inarguably the more polished of the two, both offer plenty of campy pleasure and endlessly quotable dialogue, with lovely musical scores by Claudio Gizzi and Carlo Rambaldi’s juicy blood f/x splashing about.

Originally presented in 3D (with body parts and entrails being thrust at the camera), Flesh features plenty of its namesake, both male and female, for your viewing pleasure, with Udo Kier starring as the mad baron bent on animating dead tissue and mating his male and female creations. Meanwhile, his randy sister/wife Monique van Vooren (sans eyebrows) looks to couple up with hunky servant Joe Dallesandro speaking in his full-on New Yawk accent. Filled with immortal lines like “To know death, Otto, you have to f**k life in the gall bladder,” and van Vooren’s makeout session with Dallesandro’s armpit has to be seen/heard to be believed.

Meanwhile, Morrissey’s Dracula pic finds the count wasting away in Transylvania due to the lack of virgins (pronounced “were-gins”) available for blood sampling and so, with his trusty – and more than a little bossy – servant Arno Juerging leading the way, they head for Italy hoping to find ladies of higher moral fiber. Unfortunately for Drac, agitprop-spouting handyman has made a point of deflowering everything on two legs with a double-X chromosome. From its striking opening (undead Kier applying makeup to his pallid cheeks and black dye to his hair before his non-reflection in a dressing table mirror) to the Monty Python-eque limb-lopping finale, it’s a winner all the way. Classic quote as Udo imbibes some impure plasma: “The blood of these whores is killing me!” Goofy as hell, but there’s enough atmosphere, quirky performances, enthusiastic bloodletting and nudity from both sexes to keep you glued to your seat. Roman Polanski shows up in a cameo in the bar scene.

First Time Views: 34
Repeats: 40
Total Films: 74


  1. OMG! Someone else who has watched GOROTICA! Do you dare tackle Gallagher's GOREGASM (ha!) and GORE WHORE?

  2. Yup! I'm actually planning to see GOREGASM in a week or so when I get back to Chicago. How does it rate comparatively?