Horror/Exploitation Movie Reviews
There is no other term to describe this movie other than good. It isn't great, nor average, nor poor. Just good. And considering how much this movie is hyped up, I was expecting more.
What truly stands out about this film is the acting. Each one of the main actors/actresses plays their role perfectly, but we must extend kudos out towards the two leading female roles, played by Angela Bettis and Anna Faris, who both raise what would have been an average movie upwards.
The gore is nicely done, and there isn't too much of it until the end, when it gets real bloody real quick. The plot, however, is far too slow and uneventful for a movie of a supposed high caliber. Considering that May reaches her 'conclusion' of what she is going to do with only 15 minutes to go in the movie means a very pacy ending. The ending is good, although making little sense.
The combined above points, coupled with an almost total lack of suspense throughout the movie, lead May to receive a good solid 6. It is probably worth a rental, but nothing more.
I was really hyped up about watching this, but it let me down somewhat.
The acting is really good, especially Jeffery Combs, who steals the movie as Dr Herbert West. He manages to pull off the difficult character quite well, and is ably supported by his backup cast. The gore is also very well done, especially towards the climax of movie, with blood shooting everywhere and realistic zombies.
One thing that is said about Re-Animator is that it is supposed to be funny. Asides from the guy with the severed head and his cunnilingus scene, nothing is particularly funny.
Overall, nothing about this movie really stands out, and while good acting is always a plus, it is probably the least important factor in a horror movie. I recommend a watch, but don't expect something too original or intense.
This is one of the most intense movies I have ever seen (right up there with TCM), and definitely deserves it's "super sick" reputation. It's graphic showing of, well, everything leads CH to be an extremely hard watch.
Most people will watch this for one reason; the gore and sex. Well, it definitely delivers in that department. Did you ever want to see a native abortion, or cannibals raping and then eating a women? Then you are a sicko, but it's all in this movie. One thing I must question is the real life animal deaths, such as the three minute turtle slaughtering scene, or the deaths of coatamundi, snakes, pigs or monkeys. It was really unnecessary to do that, but if you really don't like that type of thing, there is an animal cruelty free DVD out there somewhere.
The plot is actually interesting for an exploitation movie, and lends a great deal of added horror to the movie, as it makes it seem for 'real'. Also strange for an exploitation movie is just how well shot CH is. The visuals are crisp and clear, and the reels 'found' in the Amazon jungle are well shot to add every bit of realism that they can. There isn't too much that can be said about the acting, it wasn't over the top or fake looking.
So why the (reasonably) low score, considering how much I have been praising the movie? Mainly because I personally didn't enjoy the second half of the movie, with the 'found footage'. But it is real easy to decide whether or not to see Cannibal Holocaust. If you want to see all the gore and sex you can handle, in what is probably one of the best exploitation films ever made, watch it. If you don't, don't watch it. Simple as that.
Ichi the Killer
One thing can be said about this film; it is utterly CRAZY!!! Takashi Miike has really gone over the edge of normal films with Ichi The Killer. Having said that, I'm still not real impressed with Miike as a director.
All of Miike's films are visually stunning, and Ichi is no different. The cinematography is fantastic, with sweeping camera shots and just plain gorgeous shots (especially Kakihara against the red background). The acting is also well done, with Tadanobu Asano being plain freaky as Kakihara.
However, the plot is a mess. Characters are shown briefly, and we are supposed to recognize them when we are shown them an hour and a half later. Also, the sheer amount of characters is far too much for the viewer to remember. Also, the plot line itself is vague, especially in the first hour, and I spent half of the movie trying to figure out where this person fits in, or what exactly just happened.
The gore level is reasonable, but it isn't the hardcore stuff people rant about after seeing this. You don't really see anything too visceral (especially when compared to Cannibal Holocaust, or even most Troma movies), just spurting necks and the such.
Overall, while enjoyable in the second half, the plot confusion really brings down Ichi in the long run. While a good movie, the one major flaw cripples it. Recommend to J-Movie fans.
Masters of Horror - Imprint
This is another typically weird Takashi Miike outing.
First, the acting. The Japanese characters aren't too bad (considering there is a good chance that they can barely speak English in real life), but their broken English can be hard to understand sometimes. However, Bill Drago as Chris has by far some of the worst acting I have ever seen. He seems to yell every line in a ridiculous manner every time he speaks, and towards the end, seems to have a vocabulary of ten words (which is the scripters fault, I'll accept), and he basically screws up this movie, and lowers my rating of it by quite a bit.
The plot is somewhat interesting, and unfolds in the end into utter madness, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It also loses some focus towards the end, going into the scarred women's life story, rather than the woman Chris is looking for, and the thing that is revealed at the end is kind of stupid. The plot itself, though, is able to retain interest for an hour.
The gore isn't particularly gruesome, or plentiful, but at the same time, I can see why this wasn't allowed on American television. A torture scene towards the middle is particularly brutal (think Audition-type stuff), and painful to watch, but other than that, little else is shown.
Basically, this is an interesting movie, hampered by godawful acting by Drago, and a plot that wanders off course. Other than Audition, I still haven't seen anything from Miike that lives up to the ravings of his fans.
This film is extremely hard to review and to give a score for, but I'll try.
This is a short which clocks in at 24 minutes, and boy does it use every one of those minutes to full effect. The actor who played the wife was incredible in my mind, as she portray volumes her of character through simple gestures. Nothing much can be said about the other two actors, except the husband pulls one of the most horrid faces in the ending part of the film.
The gore isn't too intense, but two scenes towards the end will definitely stick out in your mind long after the viewing. They WILL make you flinch, and cry out in disgust, you can be assured off that.
So, I would recommend a watch. It certainly doesn't break any barriers, but it does give an unflinching portrayal of what tedious suburban living can possibly lead to.
This was a very enjoyable, more classical-style horror movie.
The acting was of high caliber, with all of the main characters ably acted. However, more praise should go out to Angus Scrimm, who played the Tall Man. With barely saying 10 words, he projected terror and a presence throughout the entire movie. And when he did speak, it was scary, especially his first words.
I mentioned that Phantasm was a classical horror movie. I say this because it is very reminiscent of the older horror movies, with it's lack of blood, Goblin-esquire music, and slower storyline. This was great, after watching so much gory stuff, sometimes you can forget about movies that don't rely on crutches like gore and shockjump horror.
The lighting and sets were very intriguing. The whole movie starts off looking normal enough, although as Mike goes deeper into the enigma of the Tall Man's plans, the colours and lighting become more stark, because the lighting and sets are either extremely bright, or extremely dark. This added to the surrealness towards the end.
One niggle however, was with the ending, because it was:
1. Clichéd 2. Lacking in sense
The ending wasn't bad, just the two above points sort of lessened it's impact.
Nevertheless, Phantasm is still a good movie, bordering on great, if it weren't for the ending.
I am a relative minor in relations to extreme Japanese cinema viewing. While I am not daft enough to call this "the most disgusting and shocking Jap film ever", Red Room was rather enjoyable for me.
First thing I have to say is that this would have been a far less disgusting/shocking film if it weren't for the fantastically repulsive sound. The squelches of "insertion", the sloppy kissing sounds, and the pseudo-porn music were truly graphic, and vulgar to the extreme.
Although this is a pretty rough film in parts, with enough pissing, cutting, inserting and the like, some parts were funny, like the only guy continually saying "I'm sorry" (those two words are about 75 % of his lines), and a hilarious secret about one of the characters, which I won't ruin for you here.
Other than that, there isn't much to talk about. There's a bit of nudity (the 27 year old chick is hot), the set is nice, and the whole premise of a "last person remaining gets the money" hasn't been over done in horror (yet).
All in all, I found this an enjoyable way to spend an hour.
The way to best describe Demons is Evil Dead in a movie theater. Since this came after the aformented movie, I would guess it's an Italian ripoff. And that's a positive thing.
The plot's uncomplicated. People watch a movie about demons, and things that happen in the movie happen in real life in the theater. It's not a bad idea, as the movie very quickly plays second fiddle to all of the action going on around it, and the theater soon becomes just another setting.
The demons are almost identical to the ones in Evil Dead, as they foam from the mouth, grow long fingernails, and have weird eyes. The gore is very good, as there is quite a lot of blood and body parts chopped/bitten/scratched off. Very nice.
Overall, the movie is good, as the acting wasn't too bad, and the gore rather well done. A good, mindless gore flick.
Gvodzi aka Nails
Wow, this is one weird hour long Russian flick.
The basic gist is that a guy has migraine headaches/hallucinations, and after reading a newspaper article about a dude hammering nails into his head, he decides to try it, to relieve the headaches. He pretty much descends into madness from there on.
This is a serious mindscrew. But it differs from other mindscrews like Eraserhead, because the whole movie is understandable. You never think to yourself "What just happened?", which is a good thing.
The whole thing looks low budget, but it doesn't matter. The gore was very well done, and quite disgusting in places, and the whole movie had a nightmarish quality to it, which suited it.
I really recommend a watch, especially to fans of surrealist cinema, but most people should enjoy it.
I thought this was passable. I mean, the middle dragged on, and on, and on. We get remarkable beautiful camera work of 20 minutes of the guy packing his bags, and preparing to leave the house. He also took forever to kill the three people, in fact, from arriving at the house, until he left, it took 50 minutes of a 75 minute film.
As I already mentioned, the camera work was very unique and brilliant, and the cinematography as a whole was fantastic, with coldness oozing from the screen. The main actor was also great, and actually looked like a serial killer. It's just a shame it was so slow, and nothing happened for most of it.
I recently got this pretty much because it sounded interesting. I was surprised by how good it was.
The basic story is a sleazy guy picks up a 14 year old chick in a chat room, and she goes to his house. Of course more happens then that, but that would reveal too much of the shenanigans a-happening.
The first thing that struck me oddly enough was the brilliant acting, especially by the chick, but the guy was really good too. Other than that, there are barely any other actors, and only a couple with speaking lines (like Sandra Oh), and this shows how good the two main figures are. If the acting was even average in this, it wouldn't have been good. The cinematography was also really good, with symbolic colours and the like. It is really a gorgeous film to watch.
This is possibly the most tense and thrilling movie I have ever seen. Just wait until you get about half way through, there is a patch that had me recoiling in horror. And the best thing is that there is barely a drop of blood in the entire movie, which makes the above even more impressive.
The actual plot itself was interesting enough to retain interest for 105 minutes, and I enjoyed the many small twists and turns in the script immensely.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, and have no hesitation to recommend this to all horror fans.
This was my first fully-fledged mondo, not counting Killing of America, which I think is more of straight documentary, and Faces of Death, more of a shockumentary. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but it is not without it's flaws.
The composer was Riz Ortolani, and as usual, was very good. However, some parts of the score had pre-70's soundtrackitis, which means it sometimes sounds like the soppy and immensely boring soundtracks that were usually in movies before the 70's. However, this only some parts, and the rest is spot on.
What amazed me about Mondo Cane was the cinematography. You would not guess that this was shot in the early 60's if you weren't told. The colour and the shots were just so beautiful and vivid.
One thing I didn't like was the pace of the film. Some scenes dragged on way too long, and some didn't need to be included at all. I mean, one five minute segment is just drunks/stoners stumbling around the streets. I think about 15 minutes could have been lopped off.
Overall, I liked Mondo Cane, but it was a little boring in some places, and I certainly would not recommend this to real gore fans, as there is barely any of the red stuff in this. People with more patience than me would enjoy this more.
Be Somebody, or Be Somebody's Fool!
This is a classic kid's educational video starring the one and only Mr T.
The whole premise of BSoBSF is that Mr T (or Doctor T or Coach T, depending on which hilarious persona he is at the time) teaches the viewer about things such as respect, friendship, and daydreaming (?).
Mr T carries this thing, and that is what makes this funny. Ever want to see T smear egg salad on his face, or attempt to do the robot, or smile and take pictures of kids in slacks while talking about his 'cool style'? Here's your chance. And Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie, is supposedly in this, but I couldn't pick her out.
Other highlights include T being completely owned by a 8 year old kid in dancing, not saying words correctly when acting as a teacher, doing crouches while balancing popcorn on his head, the whole Style segment of the most hideous 80's style ever put together, T badly singing a song about respect your mother, a terrible Jackson 5 impersonator, and a fat kid who can't do rudimentary things like go down a slide correctly, or do a jumping jack.
Basically, the whole thing is a hoot if you enjoy really corny and bad edutainment films, or like Mr T (ie everyone).
The Wizard of Gore
This was my first Herschell Gordon Lewis movie, and it was certainly entertaining.
Surprisingly (for me at least) the acting wasn't that bad. One notable exception was Montag, who had to exclaim or yell every line. Still, this made his character quite funny and captivating, so it could be seen as a plus.
The gore was very over the top, but other than the short scenes on the stage, there wasn't that much more blood and guts. The gore itself ranges from amateurish to outstanding, with the crusher being a nauseating affair. However, some of the gore scenes were just too long, especially the sword scene near the end. Do I really need to see Montag slowly pull the swords out, and untie them? The soundtrack was good enough, although a little oldtimey for me personally, the plot wasn't too bad (except a little slow), and the ending was completely confusing, and made the rest of the movie make very little sense.
Even with all of the negativity, I'll still give this a reasonably high score. Why? Because this is supposed to be cheap trashy entertainment, and it is.
The Manson Family
Well, this was a great and very entertaining re-inactment of the saga of Charles Manson and his Family.
The loose plot is of a television station running interviews of Family members on the 25th anniversary of the murders, but what is mainly shown is the interviews themselves, interspersed with fake footage of the family at work, taking drugs, having sex, or killing.
The acting in this was unbelievable, in a good way. I didn't know what the Family members looked like in real life, and I truly thought that they were their characters. Props out to the guy that played Tex, he was one crazy dude.
The blood definitely flows thickly in the latter half of the movie, with the murders being extremely gruesome and messy, as well as accurate to what occurred in real life. And there are quite a few scenes of sex, nudity and drug use littered throughout, which of course makes for interesting watching.
For a low-budget movie, the cinematography was incredible, with it's interviews feeling real, and the grimy and raw nature of the re-enactments. The most impressive scene is the Christian orgy scene, which is a mindblowingly hallucinogenic look into the pure energy of what is happening.
Overall, I recommend this totally, especially if you like bloody serial killer movies.
Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys
This is a really strange documentary that is literally about men who love boys, one of their major groups in NAMBLA, and it gives the men a chance to explain their side of the issue somewhat.
This movie is in no way, shape or form anything other then neutral. We get experiences and defenses from the boy lovers, people who were molested by men as youngsters, psychologists, and members of the gay and lesbian community. If anything, the boy lovers get the most screen time, which allows them to convey their feelings, and also to show what disturbing people they are.
Three scenes stand out; the first was one of the boy lovers talking with a young boy outside a shop, his eyes studying him, checking to see if he had a chance to bed him. The next was NAMBLA trying to march in a gay/lesbian parade, with other marchers telling them to get lost, and the last was of a boy lover receiving obscene messages on his phone, and a congregation of people outside his apartment shouting anti-NAMBLA slogans. The last scene mentioned almost makes you feel a little sorry for him, except on his walls are hand-painted pictures of boys with long penises, and the fact that he screws boys.
Overall, I thought this was a well done documentary, who showed us for the first time what kind of filth these people are.
This movie was great! It was extremely gory, hilarious, and actually managed to have a complicated, if not disjointed plot.
I couldn't tell whether the acting was good or bad, I mean, most of the characters were bums! It didn't seem too bad though, and a chorus of kudos must go out to the Italian guys, who had me laughing whenever they said anything.
As I said earlier, the plot was all over the place, but what I enjoyed about Street Trash that was different was the fact that there wasn't a focus of attention on one particular plot, there were several different subplots which each got a share of the time, like the head bum, the Italians, the Viper booze, and the dump worker and the young bum's relationship.
The gore was extremely sloppy and gooey, and was very original in the many different colours used, which made it all the more sickening. And who can forget "toss the penis"? Overall, I found this extremely enjoyable, and hilarious in every way. I will have to try and get my hands on some more bumsploitation.
For Y'ur Height Only
For Your Height Only is an interesting and fun movie, especially for the Bond lovers among us.
The story centres around Secret Agent 00, a 'vertically challenged' agent who works for the Intelligence in the Philipines, where he has to find and infiltrate Mr Giant, a nasty evil syndicate leader who does rather bad things.
If you can't already tell by the plot, this movie is almost a direct ripoff of the James Bond movies, but it's a good ripoff. The idea that the main character is a midget is a good one, as he can sneak around and avoid bullets more easily then a normal man can. The music seems to be almost directly ripped from the Bond movies as well. The normal shenanigans which occur in the Bond movies also occur here, especially with many ladies helping 00 in his mission, and an assortment of gadgets handed out by 00's boss, like X-Ray glasses, which he tests on the secretaries outside of his boss' office.
Speaking of humour, there was quite a bit of it in this movie, both intentional, like shooting a bad guy on a waterslide, and unintentional, like hilarious things that 00's boss says near the start of the movie. The movie is dubbed, but that rarely gets in the way.
Overall, this was enjoyable, well paced (only 86 minutes long), and action packed.
This Cat III sure was a humdinger. I mean, this movie literally has everything; kung fu, nudity, robot rape, romance, awesome special effects, gore, cop tomfoolery, the lot.
What happens is that a robot designer kidnaps a rich sheik's son, wanting a juicy robot contract in return. As a show of his technology, he also implants his mind in a lifelike robot's body, making him near invincible, and super powerful. However, a scientist for Japan also has the technology, and with the help of her robots and the police, she must stop the designer before he kills the son.
This film is extremely difficult to categorize, mainly due to the different parts of the film being.... different. At some parts, action is fast and flowing, with guns blazing and broken ribs being the order of the day. At other times, there are longish sex scenes, and at other times, there are more science fiction elements. However, it all combines well into one complete movie. And having two very nice girls to look at helps too.
Overall, I very much liked this, and recommend a watch to everyone.
This was a pretty cool Asian zombie movie.
The deal is a group of thieves rob a jewelery store, and go to a remote warehouse to sell it. Unfortunately for them, the warehouse is a secret US Government experiment lab, and a re-animated corpses is on the loose inside.
One thing I did like was the amount of gore i.e a hell of a lot. There are many the shootings, disembowellings, maggots, and the red stuff spurted everywhere. The plot is also a nice way to set up the inevitable 'escape from the building" scenario.
Things I disliked included the fact that some of the special effects looked a little fake, which was a shame considering how good the gore was, and the fact that I knew exactly who would survive 20 minutes in. But hey, that's the zombie conventions fault, not mine.
Overall, this was an enjoyable zombie movie, but like most other zombie movies, seen one, seen them all.
This was just a strange movie, but not in a cool way, like Forbidden Zone, or Uzumaki. Just weird.
All I can say is that a creepy voyeur cameraman sees a guy commit suicide by stabbing himself, and wonders what he had seen that made him so terrified. Any more said would ruin it.
Sure, the acting by the guy was good, and you never know what is going to happen next, and it is well shot, but it is ultimately boring, and the ending doesn't satisfy you.
What an awesome movie.
It is awesome not just because of it's badness. It is awesome because it mixes badness with interesting ideas and concepts, and the end result is both hilarity and some genuine scares.
This movie usually gets a lambasting, and is titled by quite a few as 'the worst movie ever'. It isn't even close. Sure, the acting is appalling, especially the mother, the townsfolk, the main baddie, and Arnold (you'll understand after you watch THAT scene), and some of the script and dialogue is terrible, but that just adds to it. You'll be too busy laughing at the fact that it takes 2/3 of the movie for anyone to realise that "Nilbog' is Goblin backwards, or asking why anyone in their right mind would want to eat that ghastly-looking food, to concentrate on how good some of the scares are, or the syrupy grossness of the special effects.
In all honesty, if this is the worst movie you have ever seen, you haven't seen much. I totally recommend this horror comedy.
Forklift Driver Klaus: The First Day on the Job
This short is hilarious!
It basically involves Klaus' first day at his forklifting job in a warehouse, and his unsafe shenanigans, including impaling co-workers with the forklift and slicing people in half with a thin piece of lead sheet.
I have no idea about whether this is a genuine safety video or not, because it is in German, but whatever it is, it is hilarity.
Here's a link to it:
Bruce Li in New Guinea
After looking for this Bruceploitation for months, and then accidentally buying it cheap, it was disappointing. I heard about it on a DVD-R site, and it sounded crazy.
But no, what I got was a pretty shit martial arts movie. The kung fuing wasn't too bad, but the rest of the movie was pretty awful, and made the movie seem really, really long, much longer then it's 85 minute runtime.
On a positive note, the ape was funny for a couple of seconds (especially when I think they took the only close up of it's face from another movie), and the black guy who pops up half way through was funny because of the one line he said, which singlehandedly made all black people look like retarded fucktards.
But it wasn't enough, sadly.
Let me start by saying this movie tries way too hard. What's with the long haired ghost and powder white boy at the start, who have nothing to do with the rest of the movie? I guess it's called pandering to the masses.
But seriously, the scares keep coming and coming, but there's one problem. None of them are the least bit scary. Some are unintentionally hilarious, but nothing scary. Considering the greater part of the movie is supposed to be frightening, this is a major flaw.
I don't particularly care about the characters either. Sure, they throw in some 5 minute subplots, but none are interesting. The plot is pretty basic as well. I mean, how original is a haunted theme park? There are some positives however. There are one or two death scenes, including a beheading, which are pretty cool. And they managed to find the official ugliest man in the world, who is fun to laugh at.
Still, this movie isn't good. Pass it up for other better Asian ghost flicks.
The Gore Gore Girls
This was my second HGL movie after the Wizard of Gore, and I quite enjoyed it.
The plot revolves around a private investigator and a journalist teaming up to figure out why strippers from the same company are being killed horribly.
First of all, Frank Kress as Abe Gentry made this movie for me. His character was witty, sarcastic, and bit of a pompous prick, which was fantastic. It's a shame he was never in anything else. The rest of the cast are what you'd expect, average.
The gore was really good, and revolting a lot of the time, and it's good to see HGL moved away from the bright red mess of the Wizard of Gore, into the dark red goopiness. There was eyeballs removed, faces dipped in hot oil and ironed on, and of course the famous "chocolate milk" scene.
There was a negative, which was the long parts of women just stripping. I like looking at naked woman as much as any other guy, but five minute scenes of the same thing isn't what I am looking for.
Overall, it was gory enough, witty enough, and clever enough to deserve a watch.
I had been seriously looking forwards to this movie for the longest time, after seeing it on the otherwise bad horror clip compilation Boogeymen. And boy did it fulfill my expectations.
The plot involves a controversial psychologist attempting to cure a serial killer, who claims that entities called "the Ugly" drove him to murder.
First of all, this is a low budget serial killer movie from New Zealand. So right off the bat, their accents annoyed me no end. However, the acting was pretty good as a whole, but kudos to Simon's mother, I really wanted to kill that bitch.
The gore was inky black for a radical change, and I loved it. It was weird and strange, and added something stylistically to the film. Also, the suspense in some scenes is tense, and when you do get a glimpse of the Ugly, they are quite freaky.
What I also loved is how the film can be taken in many ways, and isn't explained fully.
Overall, this was a great serial killer movie, totally different from anything else I have seen.
Two Crippled Heroes
Wowser, the first movie in the Crippled Masters series is also the best.
Mr Jack Conn and Mr Frank Shum, the two main players in Two Crippled Heroes, come across each other when Conn and his chimpanzee wander into Shum's house. After an uneasy start, they get together to help a local servant girl recover her eyesight, which was temporarily lost when the local landlord tried to kill her for finding out about his arms tradings.
I'm a huge fan of Crippled Masters, and liked Fighting Life, but I feel this movie is better then both. The story was better, there were more humorous parts, a nice ratio of fight scenes to plot, and this one had a CHIMP!
A cheeky monkey, stealing that women's clothes... Terrible! There was also a really long fight scene that was really well executed. The film as a whole didn't drag too long, and went at a reasonable pace.
Overall, Two Crippled Masters is in my opinion the best in the loosely related Crippled series.
After the first two Mondo Canes, famous Italian documenters Jacopetti and Prosperi went deep into Africa, which during the mid sixties was in a period of change from foreign rule to self governing. The resulting footage shot formed Africa Addio.
The film is based around the changing power structures in Africa in the sixties, after the withdraw of European rule. In a nutshell, the film is comprised of two different types of scenes; ones that involve the killing of animals by either the poachers or the African citizens, and ones that detail the humanity side, of genocides and mass killings, of exploitation, shown through helicopter rides over the thousands of littered dead bodies, and close encounters with the zealous and angry soldiers.
These scenes are when the film is at it's most dangerous and evocative for me; the footage of the film makers in a car, trying to wade through the chaos of a street in Zanzibar, before having a gun butt rammed through their window, and being pulled out to be executed. Only the quick work of a police officer, recognising their Italian, saved them for their death, as explained in the excellent documentary Godfathers of Mondo.
Another scene involves the film makers plane attempting to land on an old airstrip, before they wisely decide against it after witnessing the plane before them being burnt and the passengers being held captive.
Unfortunately, these menacing but short scenes are the highlight of the entire film, with quite a large portion of the remaining movie being based around the slaughter of animals, in a large and distressingly graphic collection of scenes. While approapriate within the context of the film, after seeing scores of elephants de-trunked, hippos skinned and antelope speared, one becomes queasy, and simply fast-forwards the offending scenes.
In essence, if Jacopetti and Prosperi had focused on the politcal and social-economic developments in East Africa a little more, Africa Addio would have been a more concise and rewarding affair.
That being said, Africa Addio is still remarkably well shot, edited and scored. So while the large amount of animal violence can be off-puting, it still is a good film with merit.
(On a sidenote, according to the film, the footage by helicopter of Zanzibar, taken from January 18 - 20 is the only known footage taken in the country during the genocide of Arabs in the area by the black Africans.)
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter
This is one of the most entertaining movies I have seen since Citizen Toxie. How can a short hair and ear-ringed J.C. fighting off lesbian vampires not be funny?
The above is basically the plot, but all sorts of silly stuff happens. I mean, one minute a hairy transvestite is helping him out of the gutter, then his ice cream talks him, then Mexican wrestling hero Santo arrives by plane out of nowhere, all in the space of a couple of minutes. There are also random songs, blind scat singers with bad teeth and all out brawls. There is never a moment to stop and actually comprehend what is happening at any one moment.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of fight scenes through JC: VH. While definitely not up to the standards of the usual HK fare, they are still amusing considering the low budget and the fact that it took two years to shoot. The makers also appear to be wrestling fans, judging by the ineptly executed wrestling movies, and the appearance of Santo, who I doubt anyone outside of wrestling fans would have heard of.
Sure, the acting was terrible, as were the special effects, but I didn't stop laughing the entire time, which is an instant thumbs up from me.
I was in the same boat as I'm guessing most of the people reading this are; how shocking can a movie from the 60's be? Very shocking, is what I'd say in regards to Blind Beast.
The plot for the majority of the film involves a blind sculptor kidnapping a young model, and locking her in his weird studio. The model then spends most of the remainder of the film trying to get out, in different ways. Then, for some reason, the last twenty minutes are almost completely different to the rest of the film, turning way more art-house and also more exploitative, disturbing, and even bordering on pinku.
What stands about Blind Beast is how proficient the whole thing looks. Other then one or two things (such as small televisions), Blind Beast could be released now and it would still look modern. The studio room where most of the film takes place is amazing, with the walls obscured with life-size stone limbs and other giant body parts, and the two behemothic sculptures in the centre of the room. The acting is also very good, especially the blind guy.
I went into Blind Beast not knowing what to expect, and came out pleasantly surprised. It succeeds as a stylish but creepy and ultimately freaky Japenese film, and did it all without a lot of nudity or blood.
I guess the best way to describe Mr Vampire is any traditional HK martial arts film mixed with Evil Dead II. I mean, amongst the excellent kung fu that you would expect from HK, there is quite a lot of slapstick and other supernatural shenanigans.
The plot is based around a mortuary owner and his two young employees (one who looks like he's 40 odd), and their fight against the strange hopping vampires that appear after a body is dug up. They also throw in a sub-plot involving one of the young lads being haunted sexually by a lady ghost. True, it doesn't make sense, but who the hell cares, it's entertaining! While a lot of what happens is based around mythology in regards to how to beat vampires, some things still are very strange. The already mentioned hopping vampires is one, but eccentric spells like chicken blood (extracted ungraphically on screen) mixed with sticky rice and a snake's gall bladder (extracted graphically on screen) are just flat out oddball.
The kung fu is of a high standard, while not of Yuen Clan insanity, it is still exciting, with bodies flying everywhere and stuff being smashed. One problem I did have was the somewhat slow start, but it isn't excruciatingly slow paced, so it's no big deal.
I really enjoyed Mr Vampire, and so should other martial art fans. Apparently, there is another 3 or 4 Mr Vampires around that I'll have to chase up.