Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

We should applaud filmmakers for successfully stepping outside of their comfort zone genre-wise.  Genre-hopping has created such memorable films as Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (2003) (yes, he had done violent movies before but, no, this did not necessarily mean he could pull off a kung fu epic) and Martin Scorcese’s Last Temptation of Christ (1988).  However, we should just as enthusiastically condemn directors who should know better than to mess with what works: Barry Levinson’s Sphere (1998), Francis Ford Coppola’s Jack (1996) (you remember, the uplifting comedy about progeria), and any time Kevin Smith decides to make a movie not specifically about New Jersey wiseasses.  So when I heard that one of Brian De Palma’s earliest films was a musical, the film critic in me proceeded with caution while the Schlock-Lover ran head-first, squealing manically into Phantom of the Paradise.

Singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper) has a simple dream: to become a famous singer. Song-writer Winslow Leach (William Finley) has a moderately simple dream: to write an epic cantata based on Christopher Marlowe’s Faust that will make him the belle of the NPR Ball.  Music producer extraordinaire Swan (Paul “I wrote ‘Rainbow Connection’” Williams) has a complicated dream: TO RULE OVER ALL OF POPULAR MUSIC WITH AN IRON FIST OF SPITE! When Swan hears Winslow’s cantata, he knows he’s got a hit on his hands.  The only thing standing in his way is Winslow.  So Swan does the only rational thing and sets into motion a series of events that leave Winslow a hideously disfigured, metal-mouthed creature that is hellbent on revenge!  And how best to get sweet, sweet revenge? By destroying Swan’s latest creation: a rock ‘n roll Xanadu called “The Paradise.”

Brian De Palma’s musical entry has to be seen to be believed.  It is a metatextual action/thriller/romance/revenge drama/horror/musical.  Granted, it is not a straight musical; no one bursts into song.  There just seem to be convenient reasons for characters to be performing songs that happen to speak to exactly what they are feeling at any given moment.  Mercifully, all of the songs are catchy since Paul Williams wrote them and all the performers can actually sing.  And you are going to need the soothing touchstone of musical to ground you through a film that switches its tone more often than a Frank Zappa concert.

Stylistically, the film bounces around references to earlier horror films like The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Psycho (1960), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Touch of Evil (1958), and the oeuvre of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funnicello.  I am not going to say that the lack of narrative clarity does not hurt the film.  I am going to ask how much that could possibly hurt your enjoyment of a film with a screechy, flamingly homosexual glam rocker named “Beef” (Gerrit Graham).  "Beef," people, "Beef!"

Bizarre musical productions, awkward romances between mismatched weirdos, and a surprising amount of violence and gore, maybe Phantom of the Paradise was a better indicator of Brian De Palma’s career than thought…

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil

It’s a tale as old as film: hillbillies vs. the outside world.  It has been seen many times over the decades: “Beverly Hillbillies,” The Texas Chainsaw MassacreDeliverance, and scores of other movies and TV shows.  Yet, never before has it taken the twists and turns that Eli Craig’s Tucker & Dale vs. Evil takes the trope.

The film begins with a news story about a crazed killer in a cabin.  After the cameraman and anchor are slaughtered by a monstrous person, the film cuts to a car full of obnoxious, preppy college students.  The students are off to the wilderness for the usual drunken, drug-fueled debauchery for which college students are famous.  Having realized they forgot to bring beer, they decide to find a store wherein they meet the film’s unlikely heroes.

Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Lebine) are two hillbillies who are heading for their newly-purchased, fixer-upper vacation home (coincidentally the former home of the famed fictional Memorial Day Massacre mastermind).  At a backwoods general store, they run into the group of preppy college students.  Dale takes a shine to perky co-ed Allison (Katrina Bowden) and, with Tucker’s coaching, attempts to approach her, much to the horror of the girl and her friends, particularly hillbilly hater Chad (Jesse Moss).

At heart, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil has more in common with Disney’s Beauty & the Beast than other movies in its genre.  Here, let me explain.  We’ll cast the roles as such: Dale is the Beast, Allison is Belle, Tucker is the castle’s staff, Chad is Gaston, and all of the other co-eds are the impressionable townspeople.  After rescuing Belle from nearly drowning, the Beast and his staff spend a good chunk of time convincing her that they’re all suffering from misconceptions about each other.

Meanwhile, Gaston has riled up the townsfolk with tales of terror about hillbillies.   His mother narrowly escaped the Memorial Day Massacre that cost the lives of his father and their friends.  Hillbillies are dangerous and terrible folk who are to be feared and reviled.  Therefore, these two particular hillbillies must be stopped and Belle must be rescued at all costs.  After all, he and Belle are perfect for each other and destined to be together, even if she disagrees vehemently.

Okay, see what I mean?  Totally Beauty & the Beast right there.

Here’s where it really diverges from the rest of the slasher movie genre.  Gaston leads the townsfolk on a series of disastrous rescue attempts that result in hilarious and gruesome accidental deaths.  Beast and his staff perceive those accidents as some sort of bizarre series of suicide attacks.  After all, what else could they possibly be?

The climactic showdown in this movie is filled with hilarious revelations, Chekhov’s chamomile, and surprising sweetness.  This is one of the few movies I’ve seen that successfully juxtaposes bloody deaths with moments of adorableness.  It’s a horror movie with the biggest heart I’ve ever seen, proving that one can find beauty in some of the most unexpected places.  Even in a pile of corpses.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

We're finally gonna kill him now! This is it! This is the last one! Yes sirree!

Hahahaha…heh, sure it is.

Set in the “future” year of 1999, ten years have passed since the events of A Nightmare on Elm St. 5: The Dream Child (1989) and Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been busy. "John Doe" (Shon Greenblatt) is the last Springwood teen left, and the adults have gone bat-shit insane as a result.  John escapes Springwood only to be thrown into a youth shelter that employs Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane), who just happens to be Freddy’s long lost daughter!  Through Maggie, Freddy will be able to escape the confines of the population of Springwood’s dreamers and kill children everywhere!  Unless Maggie and Doc (Yaphet Kotto!) can stop him.

Looks like this is a job for 3-D glasses!

In directing what could theoretically have been the last Elm St. movie, Rachel Talalay did not make a horror film.  No, this is straight comedy.  Let’s take a look at our hero, Freddy Krueger.  Among other things, Freddy dresses as the Wicked Witch of the West , plays nightmare victim video games, rockets a house into space, prances around a deaf man, and sets up a bed of spikes like Wile E. Coyote .  Freddy has turned into Bugs Bunny, which, in its own way, is highly entertaining.  Scary?  Not in the least. But he's a lot of fun to watch.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the film is the townspeople of Springwood.  Living through the mysterious and violent deaths of all of their children has driven them quite mad. Making cameos as two of the hysterical parents are Roseanne and Tom Arnold !  Remember them?  Exactly. The town holds town fairs, conduct history classes and run orphanages as if the kids are still there, all the while terrified at the mere mention of Freddy’s name.  This was developed further to great effect in Freddy vs. Jason (2003) .

The climax of the film featured the much hyped 3-D sequence where the audience joins Maggie as she dons 3-D glasses to venture into Freddy’s head, go down memory lane,  pull Freddy out of the nightmare where he is vulnerable and then have the titanic battle between good and evil!  Those of you keeping score might recall that this was the entire plan in the original picture. Apparently, the step Nancy skipped was 3-D glasses.  Sigh.  The sequence was apparently designed by the same geniuses behind Friday the 13th: 3-D (1982), complete with pointless hand gestures toward the audience and random, creepy “Dream Demons” flying out of the screen.  Not being allowed to see the film in the theater, I hear it was... “exciting.”

As with everything else in the film, what starts with the promise of graphic violence ends with a joke.  After a mediocre fight between Freddy and Maggie,  Freddy’s (supposed) last word  (when facing his impending "death by pipe bomb imbedded in chest" is “Kids” right into the camera as he explodes into 3-D goo.  A lame ending for lackluster sequel.  The film works as a comedy but not as a horror flick and, mercifully, not as the last Nightmare on Elm Street film.   Though Alice Cooper’s turn as Freddy’s foster father and Johnny Depp’s heartfelt anti-drug PSA are entertaining.

Oh, and the Iggy Pop montage of the whole series over the credits is incredible.

Dead Heat

How do you fight undead robbers?  With undead cops, of course!

Treat Williams plays L.A. police detective Roger Mortis (No, really, that’s his name) with partner Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo!) as they investigate why they can’t seem to kill the bad guys as effectively as they used to.  These investigations lead them to Dante Laboratories, which has developed a process for resurrecting the dead for twelve hours.  After a losing fight with the fattest zombie this side of Zombieland, Mortis is killed.  But, then brought back to life by his coroner ex-girlfriend (Clare Kirkconnell) and the most user-friendly resurrection machine ever.  Now, Mortis has twelve hours to solve the case and avenge his own death in a Hawaiian shirt.

Written by Terry Black , Shane’s brother, Dead Heat has a similar action/comedy feel to his brother's Lethal Weapon, but with zombies.  And such zombies they are!  The opening jewelry store heist features two punk zombie robbers wearing BDSM leather masks!  (Their safe word is “Braaaaaaiiiiinnnnnssssss.”)

But this is nothing compared to the undead hijinks that occur at a Chinese restaurant.  You know all the dead ducks that are hanging in the window?  Or the pigs?  Or the sides of beef?  Yeah.  Good times.  Wait, no, I mean gross times.  Very, very gross.  How do you kill zombie animals with no heads?

Throughout, Williams grounds the whole movie with the ability to take anything that is thrown at him seriously.  The man is not phased by anything.  This is a valuable skill when Joe Piscopo (with an 80s mullet) is delivering some of the best wise-ass remarks in the history of motion pictures.  Watching this film, it’s hard to understand why Piscopo did not fare better in Hollywood.  The man is a scream.  Especially during an exchange with Williams that shows the deep, profundity of cross-dressing jokes between two partners.  Police partners, I mean.  Heterosexual police partners, I mean.  You get the idea.

Added into the mix are performances by the always entertaining Vincent Price(!), Darren McGavin, Keye Luke , and Robert Picardo.  These appearances are almost cameos but they’re all memorable.

In fairness, the movie does play more like it was made for TV, as opposed to a big budget feature but I think this adds to its charm.  Similar to Creepshow .  Dead Heat is a great little horror flick to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon.

Stuff, The

Remember The Blob ?  How it would seep through any crack or crevice and envelope its victims, dissolving them into a mess of goo that would add to its ever-growing mass?  Remember how difficult it was to defeat?  Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be if it tasted delicious?

These are the questions writer/director Larry Cohen asks in The Stuff.  As with Q: the Winged Serpent, Cohen knows the exact amount of ridiculous to put in any situation, such as in what is perhaps one of the greatest opening scenes in cinema history:  A random miner walks off-site to have a smoke when he notices a white goo oozing out from mother Earth herself.  Our intrepid nitwit reaches down and touches it with his bare hand.  Brings it close to his nose and gives it a sniff.  AND THEN HE EATS IT!  It bubbled out of the ground and it was all he could do to stop from diving mouth-first on the ecological eruption.

His fellow miners join him,  asking the crucial question: “What the hell is it?”  Well, Miner No. 1 certainly doesn't have an answer.  What he does have, is a plan!  Thus the mass-marketing campaign of The Stuff™ begins.

As the tagline “Are you eating it or is it eating you?” suggests, the main theme here is consumerism.  Cohen demonstrates how easily it would be for a motivated corporation to get their product approved by the government, and then easier still to convince the American populace to buy it.  Granted, The Stuff™ Corporation has the edge in that their product forms a biological addiction within its customers that will eventually destroy their organs and leave them a hollow husk of a human being.  Fortunately there's nothing like that in the real world on the market today.

What?

After The Stuff™ has extracted all the nutrients and proteins from “The Stuffies’” ™ bodies, the white goo exits the nearest convenient orifice, and goes on an 80s-effects-fueled rampage.  The F/X run the gamut of miniatures, stop motion, reverse photography, upside down photography and puppetry.  Though, it should be pointed out that Garrett Morris is not a sophisticated Muppet but an actual person.

Morris plays “Chocolate Chip" Charlie, the founder of a rival dessert franchise who teams up with “Mo” Rutherford (Michael Moriarty), corporate espionage expert.  Never one to put less than 100% into a film, Moriarty is sporting a southern accent with a moderate degree of success and total silliness. More often than not, however, Mo has to rescue Jason (Scott Bloom), our "plucky" young hero who knew that The Stuff was evil long before everyone else.

I hate this child.  He just personifies annoyingness.  Normally, one has to suspend disbelief that a group of actors that don't resemble each other are blood relations. Here we're trying to figure out why the rest of the family can act and this kid can’t.  There’s a truly wonderful moment when the family who, up to this point, had merely been awful to him, overtly turn against him as The Stuff™ has taken over their brains.  When the father actually shouts “GET HIM!” ... I get goosebumps.

There are a slew of random cameos, the most notable being Paul Sorvino in one of his funniest performances as the great Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears, a survivalist, retired, racist military commander that saves the day.

Overall, The Stuff is a great send-up of 80s consumerist culture in a similar vein, but with less effect, as George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.  It lacks subtlety, but these are still important concerns:  why do we as a culture accept things so easily?  Why don’t we question those in power?  And where can I get more Stuff™?

Seriously, I’m jonesing pretty bad here.

Wild Zero

The members of Wild Zero are the Ramones of Japan, however they also have the divine calling to kill zombies with a thick gooey coating of Japan's Rock and Roll Spirit. This movie is just that goddamn awesome. As such, we've decided to resurrect one of our dead features, the live stream event, and rock it out-jingle style-on this Christmas evening. However, as opposed to just having one of us here tonigh, we've got a full cast of characters who are going to be offering input across the twitter-verse

(Oh. Yeah. Keep your eyes peeled for the Japanese Steve Buscemi)

Standard rules apply here, everything here is something shouted out during the course of the movie. By the way, it had its own drinking game, so things became kind of incoherent near the end as all the participants started slurring their words a bit. The lines in quotes are actually taken straight from the film. So don't blame us.

Enjoy!

  • Why are all Asian zombies blue?
  • Hubcaps...in SPACE!
  • Japanese Rockabilly hair combing!
  • We should mention that Wild Zero ships with its own drinking game as a special feature
  • WHY CAN'T I SHOOT LIGHTING OUT OF MY GUITAR?!?
  • "There's a wallet on my ass with a rock and roll license!"
  • Did we REALLY need the POV shot of him peeing in the urinal? SQUEEEEZE it out, SON!
  • Seriously, how many f***ing times do you need to comb your hair in a day?
  • What's with those shorts. . oh, that's a woman.
  • Why. Does. his. underwear. tie. up. on. the side? And did the actor REALLY have to have an erection during the ENTIRE scene?
  • Because cocaine in the milk is like a protein shake?
  • ZOMBIES!
  • And...uh...why is that zombie holding sandals?
  • Big. Giant. Hearts? on the screen? WHAT?
  • Stick your penis in it, the zombies go away.
  • That tiny bike says his penis is at LEAST a full pinky length in size. No overcompensating there!
  • never. Ever. Faint in front of the zombies.
  • The zombies are going to east Asian Moby! We won't hear it though, because his shirt is too goddamned loud.
  • Mop against zombies= WIN
  • At some angles she looks like a man, at other angles she's a very cute girl? Winona Ryder?
  • Why do zombies go straight for the panties?
  • Naked Marksmanship FTW!
  • Who has fire shooting out of their MICROPHONE?
  • They've wandered into some sort of building and um. . . SHE IS A MAN!
  • It's the crying game all over again!!! AGGGHHHH! *Runs away to the bathroom*
  • "LOVE HAS NO BORDERS NATIONALITIES OR GENDERS!! DOOOO IT!"
  • Atheism Limit Break CROWBAR ENGAGE!!!
  • God, Guitar Wolf is like this sexy Terminator-alien-thing-man-beast. . .
  • That gun's not a penis. No. Not at all.
  • His package has luster. Billy Mays here for the package buffer. . . Giggity.
  • Every time they fucking back-fist Asian Steve Buscemi, take a drink.
  • Why are they naked . . . and blue. . . and wearing. . .cod. . pieces?
  • They've just found ALL the guns. . .
  • charred barring hips. . . . . . charles brawlin' herps. . . charlz broilin hips. . . she's got 'em. . .
  • Ok. Higgins is apparently tweeting everything I'm failing to say during the drinking game.
  • Guitar Wolf has got so much rock n' roll he can kill zombies just with Guitar Picks. . .LIGHTNING GUITAR PICKS!
  • Let's do a bunch of drugs and kill some zombies. Yep, sure. That's what I'd do.
  • "THERE ARE NO BOUNDARIES IN ROCK N' ROLL! BELIEVE IN ROCK N' ROLL."
  • He still has an erection. . .
  • Gosh he is cute. Wait. That's not right. . .
  • Nipple twist! Tune in Toyko!
  • Oh, that's right, because he's a wolf. He's a Guitar Wolf. STILL A MAN!!!
  • He took off the wig and he's EVEN GAYER, how does that work?!
  • Well, If this going to be that kind of party, I'm gonna to stick my dick in the mash potatoes.
  • ZOMBIE LOVE CAM!
  • "I swear by my leather jacket, and by rock n' roll, I swear, I love you."
  • "Courage and Rock n' Roll, that's what he taught me that night."
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes this mass of the Church of the Cavalcade, we thank for your attendance and my penis is not that big.
  • The previous is what happens when you leave the twitter window open for random people to type. BAD Christmas guests! BAD!

Forbidden Zone

Before his incredible collaborations with Tim Burton, before developing a cult-favorite band new wave band with such hits as Weird Science and Dead Man’s PartyDanny Elfman was part of a musical theater group called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.  I do not have words to explain just how strange they are so here’s a clip from The Gong Show

Danny’s the one wearing a rocket.

After having watched that, it should come as no surprise to you when I say that when these people decided to make a feature length movie, they created one of the most disturbing things ever captured on film.

Forbidden Zone is nominally about the Hercules family after they moved into the former residence of a heroin dealer named Huckleberry P. Jones, which is exactly what I plan to name my first child, regardless of gender.  The basement of the house features a doorway to “The Sixth Dimension,” a land of utter madness.

After having watched this movie several times, I have come to the conclusion that the Sixth Dimension is-in fact-HELL.  Frenchy Hercules (Marie-Pascale Elfman) decides to check out the Sixth Dimension and finds, among other things: King Fausto (Herve Villechaize) , a few torture chambers, a frog person, some concubines, The Princess (who never puts a shirt on), the Kipper Kids, a number of cross-dressers, and Danny Elfman  himself as Satan... doing a Cab Calloway impression.

Still with me?

This movie doesn't have a plot so much as a bunch of connecting segments between musical numbers, which consist of original songs by the Mystic Knights, and older 40's-style recordings to which the cast lip-syncs.  Admittedly, I am a big Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo fan, so I may be biased, but I really love the music in this picture. This was the first film Danny ever scored.

The film’s director, Richard Elfman (Danny’s older brother), made Forbidden Zone with almost no money, and it shows.  He shot the film in black and white not for artistic reasons, but because he couldn't afford color.  The sets, predominantly two-dimensional Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-esque paintings by  Marie.  Most of the cast were not professional actors and yet were encouraged to ham up their performances as much as possible.  Furthermore, at any given moment, the film switches to animation a la “Monty Python.”

These factors contribute to the movie’s overall charm, which it has in loads.  It’s just hard to notice that charm, as the film offends the senses on almost every level. To begin, there are more bodily fluids, nudity, and/or sexual situations here than most porn films. As the director explains on the commentary track, “I love to put people in their underwear. Be they beautiful, young ladies or mature gentlemen playing 12 year old boy scouts.” There are also situations that he claims are not meant to be racist, but come off-well...let's just say the film begins with Huckleberry P. Jones being played by a white man in blackface.  Amusingly, Forbidden Zone has also been criticized for being anti-Semitic, despite the Elfman clan being Jewish.

Forbidden Zone is a semi-animated nightmare that keeps me up at night whenever I watch it.  After just watching it now, I am still flabbergasted. While I can't recommend it highly enough, I can never seem to get anyone to watch it.

Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn

It’s the middle of June during the Summer of ‘93. I’m 16 years old and instead of spending my vacation trying to pick up girls at the local pool or hanging out at the mall like any respectable teenage degenerate, I’m hunched over an easel in a studio classroom underneath the Corcoran Art Gallery. Sitting next to me is another kid of similar height and build, both of us in the 6-foot range, and neither weighing over 145 pounds.

His name is Kevin and we share a strange thing in common: We were born exactly one year apart. In the same hospital. You see, through a series of complications not important enough to mention, we were both forced to present our birth certificates to attend this particular class. It was then that we noticed we were both born on October 28th at 1:45 p.m. in George Washington Memorial Hospital. I in 1976, and he in ‘77. Using this and the fact that we were eerily similar as a springboard, we kick up a friendship, and it’s at this time he passes me a beat-up video tape with the words “Evil Dead 2” scrawled across the edge in ballpoint. Thus was my first exposure to the manic mind of Sam Raimi, and the reigning king of B Movies: Bruce Campbell.

The tale is a fairly simple one. Ash (Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods, and before you can say “Klatu Verata Nictu”, Ash plays a found tape reciting passages from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, the Book of the Dead-unleashing an evil force which soon takes possession of Linda. Romantic getaway effectively over, Ash is forced to kill, dismember, and bury her. But it ain’t over, because something in the woods remains and continues to terrorize Ash.

In other words: It’s a haunted house/woods movie. Only one with zombies, demons, and the Three Stooges thrown in the mix. A hyper-kinetic picture that effectively scares as much as it sparks laughter. A film that became such a success that it lead to a wide release sequel, Army of Darkness-which abandoned most of the horror in favor of Action/Adventure and is a cult-classic in its own right. But we’re not here to talk about the giddy glee that Evil Dead II inspires. No, we’re here to talk about the Chainsaw.

Roughly a third of the way through the picture, the evil pursuing Ash gets into his hand and it goes “bad”, trying repeatedly to kill him in one of the more memorable scenes of the picture. So Ash does the only sensible thing: he cuts it off with the Chainsaw. Then much later in the picture, when he decides he’s had just about enough of these Evil Dead causing trouble, he devises a mount that attaches to his wrist, enabling him to attach the chainsaw…thus creating one of the most famous monster fighting weapons in movie history, and cementing this flick’s place in our list.

Sure, you could argue that in the follow-up, Army of Darkness, we got the Chainsaw arm, Boomstick Kata, Plate Mail Fist, and the Death-moldsmobile. We certainly did. But nothing beats the first appearance of the chainsaw arm, so we’re going with the one, the only, Evil Dead II.

Groovy.

Boy Eats Girl

After a month-long hiatus, we’ve decided to do another live stream event this afternoon, featuring the irish Zombie Horror/Teen Comedy Boy Eats Girl! Here’s the synopsis from NetflixResurrected by his mother after a tragic accident, 17-year-old Nathan (David Leon) awakens with a taste for human flesh. Next thing you know, a run-in with a school bully (Mark Huberman) sets off events that spread Nathan's "condition" all over town. Meanwhile, the undead Nathan tries to curb his appetite for his dream girl (Samantha Mumba) in this tongue-in-cheek zombie romp [...]. Here's a transcript of our Live Blog:

  • Ok...so far 5 different production houses were involved in the making of this picture.
  • Church Lady. Do you NOT think it might be a bad Idea to go back into the creepy room with the snake guarding it? Maybe?
  • While we're at it...why DOES this church have creepy zombie crypt, anyway?
  • Fun fact: This movie was the first non-pornographic movie for some years to be banned by the Irish Film Classification Office.
  • Nathan likes the girl, Girl's dad doesn't dig Nathan. I say: Eat him.
  • Seriously, what school has a random kickboxing gym?
  • "How does being Irish make you feel?" -"Suicidal." ooookay. Cheerful kid!
  • Cool school. Random oral sex in cars.
  • "I couldn't go because I was home, sick with Bulemia."
  • We've established the whole "Teen comedy" aspect. I want zombies.
  • Wait. You KNOW her dad hates you, so you call her HOUSE instead of her phone who's number you already HAVE?
  • Mechanics of the script are busy forcing the different players along. And seriously dude, it's your own BEDROOM, and you keep hitting your head on the damn wall?
  • Playing drunkenly with a noose can only end badly...
  • Especially when mom comes in, knocks you off the stool accidentally, and...yep.
  • Oh, it was only a dream! Sure! Mom didn't raise you from the dead! No, not at all!
  • Um Father? Why DO you keep a "book of Pagan Trickery" in your crypt? Just askin'...
  • Calling the girl you like a "slut" is not really the best idea, just sayin'
  • Oh, wait. Now I'm invulnerable and have weird veiny things...Sure, it was all a dream.
  • Attacking the flesh-craving undead thing with your fists, probably not the smartest move either.
  • ...Hence the bite, Genius.
  • "Nothing happened at the dance, mom. I totally didn't eat that bully at school!"
  • Other bits of advice: never say "spit it out, son" to a zombie. Oh, he ate the DOG! I LOVE this movie!
  • "Hey son, sorry about the fact that I brought you back as a flesh-eating zombie. My bad."- You know, he took that news in stride fairly well.
  • Ok, evil Dad is hitting on the other teenage girls. Creeeeepy. He totally neeeds to be kil...oh, there he goes!
  • It's a personal philosophy that I never go checkin on the squishy noises behind the counter at a video store.
  • EW...Zombie BJ! MESSY!
  • You know, the zombie bits in this movie are pretty damn good! Yay for priest eating somebody in the confessional!
  • "So uh, Nathan, what's it like bein' dead?" heh heh.
  • I love the fact that these guys biggest concern with not being a zombie is that they can't get an erection.
  • This just in, Voodoo snake-bite cures zombie infection! Send a note to Johnson & Johnson!
  • Awesome! Death by high-heeled shoe!
  • Best zombie weapon. EVER. Backhoe and mulcher in one!
  • Runing, punching, wrestling, flesh-eating, raging zombies! And only slightly gory. I mean he RIPPED the goddamn head off with his bare hands
  • All we need now is a flaming zombie (he said hopefully!)
  • Before we fade to credits here....weren't there OTHER people in town that were bitten?
  • I guess not.
  • As the credits roll, we discover the magic snake's name was "Buffy"...and was a dude. 'kay.

Evil Toons

After the enthusiastic response to the screening of Idle Hands, Event 8 was picking up steam, with the crowd clamoring for more. Admittedly, I wasn’t prepared for a fourth movie that night. Fortunately an extensive DVD collection saved the day yet again with a copy of Evil Toons!

Any fan of crap-tastic cinema knows they’re in for a show with good ol’ Fred Olen Ray. Occasionally working as a “T&A specialist” for low-budget, direct-to-video flicks (as-in they hired him to inject more nudies), his ability to find excuses to have actresses strip down in movies is unparalleled, even by Paul Verhoeven. He’s made over a hundred movies, and what can I say? They're fun, if just for the simple fact that its easy to see that the guy loves what he’s doing.

Well, that and they are so. Incredibly. Dumb.

Take this particular picture, where 4 college girls (Madison StoneBarbara DareMonique Gabrielle, and Suzanne Ager) take a weekend job cleaning up a creepy mansion for a more than slightly pervy Dick Miller, only to have the ghost of “some guy” (David Carradine!) appear, give them a flesh-bound demon-book, which they promptly set down to read-thus unleashing the titular animated demon.

The fact that 3 out of 4 of the girls in the picture were either actively, or were about to start, working in the porn industry at the time the picture was made, is a pretty clear indication of where the movie’s gonna’ go. Before the bad-book even makes an appearance, four breasts already have. And when the demon-who for the record, is only seen in the picture in full animated form for about 39 seconds-initially attacks, it performs one of the funniest bits of sexual harassment ever committed to film, carefully yanking off the top of his intended victim in full view of the camera…with his tongue.

He then, conveniently for the budget, assumes her blood-covered-yet-still-topless form, and continues stalking the rest of his prey (who all also achieve various stages of undress before being eaten). Between all of this we get scenes of bad Three Stooges-style skits of varying lengths, and some daffy cameo-ish appearances by Arte Johnson as yet another pervy old guy. All-in-all, a fun-filled ride for the whole family!

Words cannot begin to describe how much this film warms the cockles of my heart. Not only that, it was a perfect closer to Event 8, with the crowd really getting into how bad it was, all while still appreciating the film’s…other qualities. If we’d stuck with the last two movies of the night, the Halloween event would easily have been remembered as one of the best.