FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB- THE DEVIL’S RAIN

FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB

I love a good seventies devil worshipping picture especially one that has a cast that plays like the greatest Quinn Martin show never made. All this thing needed was William “Cannon” Conrad tearing ass around in a big ol’ Lincoln Continental. William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Keenan Wynn, Ida Lupino , Mr. Douglas himself Eddie Albert and big Ernie Borgnine all star in the most Satanic p.s.a. ever about the importance of returning your overdue books to the library. Right from the opening credits you know it’s gonna be spooky as it sounds like the part of the SLAYER record before the guitars and double bass drums start. Not to mention the expert technical advise of the devil’s own Billy Mays, the guy responsible for selling THE SATANIC BIBLE to sullen teens everywhere, Anton LaVey.  So Anton’s real name was Howard, which wasn’t satany enough so he decided to call himself Anton. No matter how you slice your bread, that’s just douchey.

The plot has devil worshipping Ernie Borgnine trying to recover the book of devil stuff he needs to make old Satan happy . Why it has taken him so long to get it from such a group of idiots is anyone’s guess.

Shatner does a early version of his Rack Hanson character from KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS and man o’ man is he horrible at fighting demon stuff. He blows it immediately even with the magic necklace. So Skerritt steps up with the help of Eddie Albert. I guess none of that really matters as long as Shatner gets tortured and Borgnine gets all goat- man like some kind of Dr. Moreau’s island escapee. Borgnine reads the hell outta his various satanic hoodoo dialogue, he’s all ” Lucifer, the goat of the pit and what not”. He’s good. Borgnine good. Sadly Skerritt is almost as bad as Shatner at devil busting even when wise old Eddie Albert bust out the demon book with names written in blood that Skerritt is remarkably incurious about.  Skerritt seems hell bent on being captured but fortunately Albert has The Devil’s lava lamp for about six seconds before he blows it too. But at least we’re getting to the ultimate melted crayon conclusion.

 

"No Mr. Douglas, I'd say more Goat-Man than Man-Goat really, although..."

"No Mr. Douglas, I'd say more Goat-Man than Man-Goat really, although..."

 

You know who else would’ve been really good in this as Corbis if Borgnine had been unavailable? Andy Griffith. Or Dark Andy Griffith. The guy who played evil parts after leaving Mayberry. Like in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS,  which also had Shatner. Check this out:

Of course that has nothing to do with THE DEVIL’S RAIN, but still. 

I really like THE DEVIL’S RAIN as for me it’s just a perfect drive in picture, just pure dopey devil chic cheap entertainment. It takes me back to being a kid reading Ghost Rider comics, listening to Black Sabbath, watching Kolchak  on TV. I remember when I saw this at the theater I convinced a neighbor kid to go with me whose favorite movie was THE SOUND OF MUSIC. So he was sorta like a Rod or Todd Flanders. I would think anybody with a taste for star studded schlock would like it. The poster really needed the star’s pics on the bottom like AIRPORT 77.

 

"But reign makes so much more sense, doesn't it?"

"But reign makes so much more sense, doesn't it?"

 

"Sookie, sorry about the mess we made in your house "

"Sookie, sorry about the mess we made in your house "

 

 

 

" This DemonSphere TV sucks. I can't even tell who has the ball."

" This DemonSphere TV sucks. I can't even tell who has the ball."

FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB- THE BEYOND

Wow, it’s time for another FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB and this time it’s the gorehound fave,  Lucio Fulchi’s THE BEYOND. One of the many cool things about the Film Club is that this is where I get most of my hate mail, which is actually pretty fun.  So , what is there to say about THE BEYOND that that creepy Stallone kid hasn’t already said? I promise not to use the phrase “hallucinatory masterpiece” or the word “surreal”. Have you noticed that the word “surreal” is pretty fucking overused? I came to that realization when I saw a skank on ROCK OF LOVE describe meeting Brett Michaels as “surreal”. I didn’t see a melting clock anywhere. But back to Fulchi. 

So old Lucio has gotten some respect in the last twenty years, what with the “Fulchi Lives” t-shirts and some nice uncut dvd releases. Seems a lot of the time he has been dismissed as a less arty Argento which, depending on the flick, has some truth to it. But he did work in a lot more genres than Dario and in his defense he didn’t direct MOTHER OF TEARS.  I always considered Fulchi to be  the “Olive Garden of Italian Horror” myself, likening his excess to bottomless salad and unlimited breadsticks. Who doesn’t love that?

 

Take the next exit, turn left by the house by the cemetary

Take the next exit, turn left by the house by the cemetery

"I can't get BEYOND these unlimited breadsticks!"

"I can't get BEYOND these unlimited breadsticks!"

 

"WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU, right after this salad!"

"WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU, right after this salad!"

 So there’s an old hotel in scenic Mandeville Louisiana that was built on one of the gates to Hell. It’s twenty minutes away from New Orleans, straight across the Pontchartrain. This really doesn’t surprise me as I grew up in New Orleans and it pretty much is a gate to Hell. As the film begins we see a an artist painting what could best be described as a very bleak Roger Dean piece. Perhaps it was for the darkest YES album imaginable, possibly about a drunk Rick Wakeman murdering Jon Anderson with a hatchet in Pompeii.

 

"I need the cape or the mellotron won't work"

"I need the cape or the mellotron won't work"

 

 

 Liza( Catriona MacColl) inherits the charming property and sets out to start a B & B. People die horribly, including Joe the Plumber. Liza gets advice from a creepy blind chick with a German shepherd. There’s a rule in Italian Horror that German shepherds ALWAYS kill their blind human masters. I can actually only think of two other times this has happened (SUSPIRIA and WILD BEASTS) but that’s enough isn’t it?

 

"what, me worry?"

"what, me worry?"

Hey remember when tarantulas were still scary and you couldn’t buy them at the mall? Back when you needed tough guys like “Rack ” Hanson to topple their kingdoms? Fucking Animal Planet has de-mystified all the killer animals. The tarantulas in THE BEYOND are pretty cool though, especially the fake biting, squeaky ones. Who knew the Chilean Rose Hair was Satan’s number one arachnid? 

 

"Hey, can we hurry this up? I got a date with Tiffany Bolling"

"Hey, can we hurry this up? I got a date with Tiffany Bolling"

 

I love the oozy dripping dead guy tormenting the blind chick but wasn’t she already a ghost? Was her dog a ghost too?  It doesn’t matter I guess.

Always, always,  always put your acids on the top shelf, the rickety top shelf. And always hook up putrified corpses to oscilloscopes just for a laugh.

This movie has some cool set pieces and atmosphere, lots of waterlogged, moldy nastiness. Pretty much like New Orleans itself.

I didn’t like the walking dead as much as the ones in ZOMBIE but they’re still pretty cool. They didn’t seem as hungry but there were lots of them and they shuffle like Tim Conway playing the really old guy on The Carol Burnett Show. So a lot or most of the flick doesn’t make sense but it does convey a sense of dread and decay that is genuine and which is totally lacking in similar “gate to hell” flicks like THE SENTINEL.

 

FULCHI LIVES! Bob Fulchi that is, in Murderrock, Ok.

FULCHI LIVES! Bob Fulchi that is, in Murderrock, Ok.

So THE BEYOND. Good flick. Watch it, you’ll like it if you even have the slightest idea who Lucio Fulchi is.I would say it’s Fulchi’s SUSPIRIA or at least his INFERNO. Hey, if you like crime pictures check out Fulchi’s CONTRABAND. It might appeal to you gorehounds too. And pick up Stephen Thrower’s book BEYOND TERROR: The Films of Lucio Fulchi. Last but not least, thanks to FINAL GIRL.

FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB -FRIDAY THE 13th/MY BLOODY VALENTINE

outlook-61

 

 

Random thoughts… I apologize for the meandering

FRIDAY THE 13th Uncut- Blu ray

Holy crap, is it really just 10 seconds they added to this motherfucker? I only really noticed some more Bacon as he gets the impossible arrow driven through his fake neck. How the fuck did Betsy fit under the bed, reach out, grab Bacon and then shove an arrow slowly through his neck anyway? I bet Savini wasn’t happy when he saw this blu ray as it does his work no favors.

I can’t say I was impressed with the actual blu ray disc. The daytime stuff looks great but the night scenes look awful. They were dark before but now they are very grainy and there’s no blacks. To make it worse the whole image is cropped, so you’re not actually seeing everything.  You think they would’ve cut the killing of the real snake out just to save them the inevitable whining. I get the feeling they rushed this out to cash in. Should’ve put Padalecki on the cover, he’s dreamy.

As far as the actual movie goes, it’s as good as it needed to be. You gotta wonder why, especially in 1958, a cook would bring her monstrously deformed son to her job. It’s the fifties, chain him to a radiator or something.  Also, for a kid that can’t swim with a wonky head he got pretty far out there in the lake.

As far as the girls, seems like they could’ve picked some cuter ones. How hard could that be? Nice tits are one of the cheapest and best way to boost production value in an exploitation flick. ( Yea, I know I sound like an asshole but it makes sense all things considered)

The score and sound effects sounds great on the bluray.

I kept thinking Mr. Christy looked like Ned Flanders. When the final girl found him hanging upside down it reminded of  a guy doing sit ups with gravity boots.

Why do dudes in horror movies do Bogart impressions?

The flick has more nostalgic appeal for me than anything else. I was in high school in 1980 and remember the trailer and radio spots well. There was a chick in my school named Margaret Voorhees who had a magical ass. I asked her to my prom, she said no.

I saw Betsy Palmer on Captain Kangeroo once, during the beginning where people would say “Hi, Captain”.

I wonder what Arboghast looks like naked?

Blah, blah, blah…BAY OF BLOOD…blah,blah,blah CARRIE…. (that’s right, four ellipses)

Mrs. Voorhees really doesn't want CBGB's re-opened

Mrs. Voorhees really doesn't want CBGB's re-opened

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY BLOODY VALENTINE

I hadn’t seen this since it came out but a lot of the other horror nerds were excited about the uncut version so that’s cool. 

So it’s set in 1981 Canada which would make it 1974 America, more or less. Except for young Wilford Brimley the cast is kind of pasty.  All the Moosehead made me wanna puke.  Basically, everyone looks like they’re on their way to a Chilliwack concert.  But despite being goofy, they’re all pretty good and realistic.

The first killing of green eye shadow girl seemed tacked on and out of place but I understand why it was there.

I really like the back story and the way the plot is constructed. It gives the flick a little more depth than the usual slasher and helps with the whodunnit aspect.

Man. that’s a good drier. I wish mine got that hot.

Loved the nail gun on young Mr. Brimley.

I don’t remember any naked chicks.

My favorite shot was the kid under the bed.

Why was that guy snorting soft drinks?

Lead dude looked like John Mayer.

Waitin' for Chilliwack

Waitin' for Chilliwack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rule: “no women in the mine”. Wow, that’s a bad rule.

MBV would make a great triple bill with THE BOOGENS and THE SEVERED ARM.

Nice to see the gore put back . I love latex and ingenuity.

FINAL GIRL


Final Girl Film Club-The Antichrist

Leave it to the Italians to jump on the POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY band wagon and come up with this lurid family melodrama. I love those guys. So Hipolita is sorta paralyzed , has daddy issues and is generally mopey and annoying. She goes to see a mannequin of Jebus’s mom which is holding the six daggers you need to get from that guy Booginhagen before you can kill Damien.  There’s a lot of fucked up people attempting to get cured, people having fits, holding snakes, drooling and moaning. But Jebus doesn’t fix her and now she’s even more bitter. She’s actually the anti-Geri Jewell.  Hippolita has a brother, a sort of Richard Carpenter like brother that hangs around doing very little but being wispy. Her dad is screwing some hot broad which is driving devil girl batshit.  For some reason Hipolita reminded me of Carol the receptionist from the Bob Newhart Show. It takes awhile but she gets possessed by an evil ancestor witch during some progressive hypnosis therapy.  She starts being rude at parties and seducing dopey looking german kids. I kept expecting a blind guy to be killed by a dog like in every other italian horror movie.  I was sedated by Niquil when I watched this so I’m a bit hazy but I got the gist of it. 

"Jebus save Minnie Driver!"

“Jebus save Minnie Driver!”

 

Hipolita then regresses to a really cool party where her ancestor eats a toad head and rims a goat. She really goes for it with an excellent simulated performance. 

vlcsnap-53509031So that’s where Cousin It’s anus is?

 

Try getting some actress like Gwyneth Paltrow to give a simulated goat rim job for a movie. Not gonna happen. As she becomes more possessed Hipolita begins to resemble a really down on her luck transexual Annie Lennox impersonator. After the group sex in the ferns goat orgy it’s all down hill sadly.  There’s some colorful vomiting and some “your mother chokes gophers in hell” demon voice stuff. The music was cool. It just seemed a bit tame, even with the goat.

FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB:Strait-Jacket

William Castle’s STRAIT-JACKET reminds me of a combo platter of PSYCHO and Douglas Sirk melodrama, sort of a WRITTEN WITH AN AXE or DECAPITATION OF LIFE.  I suppose today’s audience sees it as  “camp” ( according to Susan Sontag:  Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It’s not a lamp, but a “lamp”; not a woman, but a “woman.”) but I doubt William Castle meant it as anything other than a way to make some money off of  PSYCHO. Joan Crawford really sells the picture with the creepiest scene being her man-handling of her daughter’s deer in the headlights boyfriend. George Kennedy is also great as the anti- Rock Hudson handyman. I wondered why nobody ever noticed that daughter Carol (Diane Baker) was crafting extremely well made “Crazy Axe Murderin’ Lucy” masks. It’s too bad she couldn’t just order one off the back of  FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. I also liked the knitting scene which for some reason reminded me of Martha Stewart and her famous “I just wanna concentrate on my salad” moment. It also seems like somebody might’ve warned the handyman to hide the axes and maybe be a little more discreet with the animal slaughtering, but I guess that was the point.

                                 “I hope I wasn’t too hard on Trog today”  

 

 Except for SHANKS, William Castle always seemed fairly flat to me but STRAIT-JACKET was a little better due to Joan. It’s no TROG but it has its moments. The ending wrap up explanation seemed to be the lamest part. Thanks again to Final Girl.