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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anton Crowley

Musician Phil Anselmo turns 43 today.

Best known for his vocal work with heavy metal juggernauts Pantera,
the multi-talented frontman has played host to a number of other projects
including Superjoint Ritual, Down, Viking Crown, Christ Inversion
and a small stint with fellow horror film freak Killjoy and his band Necrophagia,
where he played guitar under the alias 'Anton Crowley'

The Cowboys From Hell: Phil and Dime

"I can easily say I've done everything I've wanted in music"

here's "Southern Man, I Am"
from his now-defunct band Southern Isolation, which also featured his then
wife, Stephanie Opal Weinstein

(click pics for larger images)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Face the sea of darkness

a promotional still from Lucio Fulci's exceptional The Beyond (1981)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One step beyond the grave

the titillating poster for the Spanish zombie yarn Return Of The Zombies
aka The Hanging Woman (1973) directed by José Luis Merino

Monday, June 27, 2011

She's waiting to love you...to death!

things get out of hand with the lovely Celeste Yarnall in The Velvet Vampire (1971)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Die You Zombie Bastards! (2005)

Die You Zombie Bastards! is self-professed to be the world's first ever serial killer superhero, rock 'n' roll zombie road movie romance and I find that moniker quite difficult to refute, surprisingly enough.  Director Caleb Emerson takes cues from a number of different genres and half-bakes them to purposeful imperfection in this outlandishly ludicrous low-budget trash epic.

We flashback to 1970, Hell Island (somewhere in The Bermuda Triangle we're told), as a spaceship suddenly crashes down from the heavens.  Forward to present day, where Paleoarchaeologist triplets Shannon, Britney and Nikki are investigating the remote isle to prove or disprove the existence of the fabled half man/half fish "Amphibious Guy" (aka "amphibi-cock", aka "merciless fish-cunt").  During the night they're awakened by the creature, but fail to capture him before he flees back into the sea.  As they sulk over his escaping they are attacked by an unseen assailant and vanish into thin air.

We then cut to (fucking) Pittsburgh, where we are introduced to cannibalistic serial killer and wanna-be superhero Red Toole and his charming wife Violet - "two pearls in a kashmir sky".  Red bestows upon Violet the remains of some camping stoners he killed and they enjoy a bit of playful gut-munching together.  Violet, in exchange, gives Red a box filled with garments for his superhero ensemble: a wave cap, yellow booties, a red suit, a pair of skin-undies with severed penis attached and a cape made of human flesh.  The intimate moment is interrupted by police officers inquiring into the missing sisters.  Despite Red standing in a pool of ooze and holding a severed arm, they find nothing peculiar with the display as they ask a few cursory questions and leave.

Back at Hell Island we get to meet Baron Vaklav Mummyhead Von Nefarious, the evil sub-genius behind the girls' kidnapping.  His plan is to conquer the world by making zombie slaves of its inhabitants with his 'Enormo-Zombotron' which utilizes alien technology procured from the fallen craft we saw at the beginning of the film.  But first on the agenda is turning the girls into mindless playthings for his amusement ("yummy-bums" as he refers to them) and has them pound his large freakish penis with hammers.  It is when Nefarious next abducts Violet, hoping to make her his bride, that a wrench gets thrown into his dastardly desires.

Red begins a journey to find his missing wife at all cost, donning his ridiculous superhero outfit, naturally.  The cops are of no help, which leads him to a clairvoyant Rastafarian named Barundeb Duttah (who inexplicably keeps a topless white girl chained to his wall that plays Operation and cackles maniacally whenever the buzzer sounds).  While enjoying a bath Duttah tells him the story of CoconutHeadFaceMan, a Bahamian fable about a sicko who sprinkles sand from his toenails onto lover's heads before "scaring them very badly".  He then gives Red a magical conch shell as a form of defense during his perilous quest.

Now as you can probably tell from this far into my synopsis, Die You Zombie Bastards! is about as convoluted and intentionally silly as they come.  And this approach will ultimately make or break the film for you - keep in mind we're just 30 minutes into it.  It's completely amateurish on all technical fronts, has heaps of juvenile dialogue, lots of goofy sight gags, foolish flashbacks, comical montages and an admittedly retarded sensibility; however, if you're a bad film enthusiast you really can't help but to be entertained by a large percentage of the shenanigans.

As things progress further, our Toole follows clues that lead him to Sweden and Super-Inga (Russ Meyer, anyone?); we get to hear the "howendous" story of Olaf The Cheese Demon; we travel to the hills of West Virginia in search of real-life rockabilly legend Hasil Adkins; offered a rendition of "Girl In Minnesota, She Loves Them Bacon & Eggs" by the same; we have an emotional meeting with Red's father ("Da!"), who had been presumed dead; and finally he has his fateful confrontation with Nefarious for the big showdown involving zombies, ninjas, robots, an army of disobedient dog-men and giant 'Warlord Mosquitoes'.
And I think I might have spotted a kitchen sink in there somewhere, too.

Enough of the chit-chat though, on to the tally.
A respectable amount of nudity, some mild and inept gore, several exploding heads and 2 time-lapsed meltdown sequences
1 Ray Harryhausen homage
1 Iron Maiden reference  ("scream for me Long Beach!")
2 Motorhead references
3 different roles by deceased porn-legend Jamie Gillis
Gratuitous Hasil Adkins
Gratuitous sausage-eating
Gratuitous nipple-on-toe action
Gratuitous use of the term "rubber dick"
and 1 seriously rockin' soundtrack

and the awards go to:
* Tim Gerstmar, as Red Toole, for over-acting his fucking ass off in nearly every scene and only becoming a mildly bit irritating in the process.

* Pippi Zornoza, as Red's wife Violet, for telling Nefarious "you are clearly the product of faulty upbringing" upon their initial meeting, then later claims, "you know, this is all just starting to be not that scary.  I mean everyday you come in here, you're doing something weird like you're gonna fuck me, or you're gonna make me suck your dick, like you're going to take over.  It's just not that scary.  Redundant, yes.  Scary, no."

* Sandra Kennedy (pictured), as the sex-hungry Super-Inga, who looks great, slaps a sausage link against her cheeks and tells a distracted Red she wants to "baby-sit his cock".

* Sadie Blades, as Nikki, who exclaims "it's too hot for research, or for clothes" before convincing her two sisters to come frolic with her in the water au natural.

* Geoff Mosher, as Baron Nefarious, for asking the captive sisters "now who is going to play with my ass?"; for telling his lab rats in a flashback "everybody into the pool", before shoving them down his trousers and adding "my darlings, feast upon my testicles!"; and, most amusingly, for giving Violet fish-gills so that his "blasphemous tube of pork may dance upon your tonsils forever more."

On a scale of 1 to 10 rubber dicks slathered to the hilt with peanut butter, I'd give this a solid 7.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not dead, just sort of rotting

Diana Peñalver in a still from Peter Jackson's epic splat-fest
Dead Alive aka Braindead (1992)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sleeping Corpses

promo from Jorge Grau's seminal The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue
aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


cover of High Times featuring Jason Mewes, February 2000

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I was cured all right

a still from Stanley Kubrick's subversive masterpiece A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wanna date?

a still from the memorable finale of Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker (1990)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I am possessed of the dead

Sandra Knight and Jack Nicholson in a promotional still from The Terror (1963)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Bad Biology (2008)

Writer, director and film historian Frank Henenlotter is certianly one of Horrordom's most unconventional voices.  His wonderfully over the top features are few, but they have all been inventive, subversive and highly comical to say the least.  Basket Case, his first feature, earned well deserved cult status and later even warranted two sequels.  Brain Damage, his decidedly twisted comment on drug addiction during the Reagan Era came at a time when others were playing safe, and it stands as one of the most deviant works of the 1980s.  Then came Frankenhooker, where he would protract more laughs than shocks, but his trash aesthetic and extreme tendencies still made it a camp classic.  Silent since 1992, Henenlotter finally returns to the scene with this inspired bit of lunacy that proves that the old fart hasn't lost his edge.  In a time of so many slick productions and high falootin' concepts, Henenlotter again comes along and does things the only way he knows how - the independent way.

Bad Biology's premise is typically bizarre in keeping with the director's exaggerated inclinations.  Jennifer, an aspiring photographer, is born with seven clits. You read that right - not one, but seven.  She struggles through life with enhanced sensitivity and an insatiable sexual appetite which she cannot quench. This disposition inevitably leads to the demise of her chosen partners in a violent frenzy during copulation.  Her advanced chemistry also enables her to give birth to deformed babies within thirty minutes of coitus and she thinks nothing of discarding them like used candy wrappers.  Jennifer frequently addresses the audience as she struggles to find the ultimate orgasm in a series of deadly amusing encounters.  I should also mention that she photographs her victims in their final death throes in a novel work in progress she coins "Fuck Face".

We also meet Batz, another sexual oddity.  To compensate for penis size ridicule as a youth, he injected steroids into his member to a very frightening degree of success.  His manhood is now of tremendous proportion and has a mind of its own, causing many an awkward moment.  The ladies on the receiving end of his freaky phallus experience endless orgasms which promptly renders each of his lovers completely useless.  In lieu of a compatible mate, Batz gets by with a self-made monstrous metal masturbation machine when the pressure becomes too much.  He also often has to sedate his wacky willy to keep it under control, but its tolerance to the chemicals has gotten out of hand.

Now in theory these two should be unnaturally perfect for each other, don't you think?  Unfortunately, you won't find out whether that is so until almost the end, but there's enough zany things going on to keep your mind firmly in the gutter in the meantime.  And that is definitely where it belongs to enjoy a story of this particular mold, I assure you.

Bad Biology might just be Henenlotter's most accomplished film, at least stylistically.  His direction and production values are a little more polished than previous efforts, but are still well below the standard of the mainstream.  The visual effects are somewhat crude (think Troma), but put to creative use; sometimes bordering on the surreal.  In addition there are plenty of what-the-fuck moments to keep you delightfully disturbed.  The acting is typically amateurish, but really nothing to complain about - this isn't exactly high art here.  Bad Biology is not nearly as gore drenched as past adventures and it does try a little too hard at times, but it succeeds in being both edgy and a lot of fun.

Henenlotter proves once again that bad taste and comedic sensibilities can work well within the Horror genre if done cleverly.  Good natured, yet inherently perverse, Bad Biology thankfully approaches its absurd subject matter with its tongue tucked very firmly in cheek.  I'll admit it actually seems rather tempered when held up against his earlier entries, but it still feels like a breath of fresh air in an all too formulaic climate.  If you are already a fan of the director then Bad Biology is a no-brainer - it does for sex precisely what Brain Damage did for drugs.  And if you happen to be new to the wild world of Henenlotter, then I do believe it's time you get acquainted.  Bravo for brazen bravura!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Christy Canyon

The former adult model and actress turns 45 today.
Making her debut in porn in 1984, she would soon become one of the most
popular stars of the era, and for good reason.  Her all natural looks and unbridled enthusiasm
secured her a spot in the AVN Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 adult stars of all time in 1999.

Here's an early pool layout for your consideration.

(click pics for larger images)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Herschell

Herschell Gordon Lewis, "The Godfather of Gore", turns 82 today.

Getting his start producing and directing nudie-cutie films in the early 1960s,
it is when he collaborated with producer David Friedman to make Blood Feast 
in 1963 that secured him infamy in the annals of horror films.
The director would go on to make a myriad of horror and exploitation flicks
throughout the 60s and early 70s before going into semi-retirement.

Here's a collection of posters from some of his more notorious titles.  Enjoy!

(click pics for larger images)