Thursday, February 27, 2014


REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS (1986) (R) Dir. Tom DeSimone
94 mins.
Jenny is a driver for a heist with her boyfriend (?). He shoots a cop; they get caught. TITLE SCREEN. Honestly, the title screen in this is so amazing.
Jenny is sent by a judge to Pridemore reform school (which looks less like a school and more like a prison), where she is bunked with bully Charlie (Wendy O. Williams), terrorized by lesbian rapist Nurse Edna, and ultimately oppressed by the uncaring warden (played by Cybil Danning.... insert Howling II joke here).
The corruption is absolute and poor Jenny is thrust into a world of sadism, hopelessness, rape, and lingerie-clad inmates. It's typical of the genre, but it's good. Softcore nudity, wacky prison hijinks and off screen animal cruelty all lead to a very entertaining climax where the girls riot and liberate the prison. Even Wendy O.'s despicable character gets her redemption in these scenes, and they are epic.
Yet, as the chaos dies down, in the last reels, only Jenny gets to leave the school; maintaining that the prison is still up and running, despite the wholesale destruction of the compound by the livid inmates. Cybil Danning's Warden Sutter seemingly (as in, it's not brought up) survives the coup, so maybe that explains the abrupt and perplexing ending.
Reform School Girls works as both a parody of the women in prison genre and also as a genuinely quality exercise in the format. The Wendy O. songs are a welcome addition to the women's prison clichés, and the whole movie stinks with the rancid sweat of 80's nostalgia, even if you haven't seen it before. Tiffany Helm, the dancing goth chick from Friday the 13th V is in this as well. Oh, and as a side note, naked prisoners, forced to spread, are sprayed with DDT. I'll just end on that. 6/10


SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II (1987) (R) Dir. Deborah Brock
90 mins.

The first Slumber Party Massacre is a feminist gem wrapped in a misogynistic bow. The sarcastic script was filmed so straight and grimly, that most people who watch it can't see beyond the veil. The second outing is no exception, well except for the straight and grimly part. This movie is much smarter than it ought to be.

The males in this movie are portrayed in a hilarious and yet disturbing manner, their seemingly juvenile antics hint (or more so shoot) at a perturbing dominative behavior in males, and, yet, these are the victims in the movie. How audiences do not see the feminist critique underlining this movie is beyond me; maybe it's the copious amounts of nudity.
Courtney the younger sister of the now hospitalized Valerie from the first film, is having odd nightmares. She keeps seeing this man with knives for fingers... nah, she sees a greasy, pompadoured cat in a leather jacket rocking a sweeeet drill-tipped guitar and singing rockabilly songs. She is, of course, mortified.
Courtney and her all-girl band Wednesday Weekend, head up to a condo to party and practice their set for the school dance. Along for the ride are three boys, including Rob Lowe's little brother as Courtney's love interest. As the weekend progresses, so do Courtney's visions, sparking the doubts of her friends and even the police as the product of an overactive imagination. Soon, however, Courtney's delusions start becoming real, and the movie becomes a stalk and slash musical.
That's right, a musical. The music is fun, and actually really good at points. The killer is a clear critique on the hypermasculinity of rock n' roll, complete with his oversized phallic drill guitar. No where near as good as the first, but the gore is decent, with a couple of scenes that really stand out. The ambiguous ending is interesting; those who are looking for a stronger continuity between this (campy and purposely cheesy) and the first (purposely dark) will have fun scratching their heads in wonder. Flaws? Absolutely, but overall, I really enjoyed it, and wished I had not be so off-put by the boxart as to have not seen it sooner. 6/10

WITCHCRAFT '70 (1970)

WITCHCRAFT '70 (1970) (X) Dir. Luigi Scattini and Lee Frost
82 min.
What can I really say about this? Shitty, but beautifully filmed, edited, immersive and immensely entertaining. It's also 100% offensive and 100% Mondo. Paganism is a large umbrella term for a wide variety of practices, many of which this movie exploits, attacks, and laughs at. It pissed me off and that's a very beautiful thing. In the eyes of this film, everything is Satan. God Bless you, Witchcraft '70.
Like other Mondo films, the style of Witchcraft '70 is based on old wartime propaganda films. Footage is shown without much context, and the overdubbed narrator proceeds to fill in all of the "facts" rather than through conversation with the subjects themselves. The narrator cracks jokes and even outright laughs on occasion at the subjects' expense. The movie is not trying to educate its audience; its exploiting the religions shown in it to give the mainstream audience member a sense of shock and superiority. Oh, and tits. Wall to wall tits. 
We are treated to scene of macumba, Satanism, messianic stonerism, Wicca, Alex Saunders (blech), and others, performing "bizarre" rituals and exorcisms, which may have been shocking to Joe Blow back in 1970, but which are commonplace in the social parlance of today. Look at these fruity people and their loopy practices! Let's collectively point our fingers and chuckle at their deeply held beliefs!
It's ignorant, it's terrible, it's irresponsible and it's awesome. I hate it therefore I love it. This entire movie begs to be a Dubstep remix. Do it, someone, please! 5/10

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


BEGOTTEN (1990) (UR) Dir. E. Elias Merhige
72 mins.
So there's God (Heaven). Then, God eviscerates himself, giving birth to Goddess (Earth). Goddess then proceeds to ejaculate dead God and place the sperm in her vagina, creating Son (Man). The Son is paraplegic and constantly seizing, and for the rest of the film, he is used as a pawn in some mysterious cult's strange and occult rituals. Plot over.
The previous paragraph was probably as short as the script. This isn't a bad thing, though. The movie itself does get tedious, as the death, insemination and rebirth narrative are all accomplished within fifteen minutes, meaning the last hour and fifteen are watching the Son quiver as hooded figures drag him around and act spooky. You know, as opposed to Spookies.
It's a fairly dialectic and Gnostic setup, humanity as the progeny of fucked up "gods" and it's no doubt a comment on Marx, and Crowley's Book of Law, but the film does drag in its pacing. That being said, this movie looks, and sounds absolutely GORGEOUS. I have no lack of love for it because of these two things. Begotten is like a moving painting, with a guttural noise soundtrack... the stuff of nightmares. Think Lynch, Svankmajer, even Kern, then subtract all narrative. It should come to no surprise that this film heavily influenced industrial art culture throughout the 90's. I don't know what to say... I love it, it's high art, and it's boring. I think films of this ilk should just be its own genre called Tripscreen. 7/10


SPOOKIES (1986) (R) Dir. Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, and Brendan Faulkner
85 mins.

This movie has quite the cult following and just a cursory glance at the reviews of it on IMDB are overwhelmingly positive. That being said, it really, really sucks. Maybe if one grew up watching this as a kid, like age 6 or 7, I could see why as an adult one could consider this to (nostalgically) be a good movie. It is however, at least for me, utterly bad. Acting, writing, directing, lighting; god!
The film's logo in the title card, is a ripoff of the Goonies logo. The ending is a ripoff of Night of the Living Dead. The main plot and direction are a complete ripoff of The Evil Dead, sometimes shot for shot. Imagine if, you will, that The Evil Dead was written and directed for kids by R.L. Stein. That's this. No real gore, just slime and little blood and loads of monsters... Why is this an R-rated Video Nasty??? I'm getting ahead of myself.
Oooooo.... Spookies.
Some kids get thrown out of a party, but the night is still young and the alpha male of the group is an insufferable dick, so yada yada yada, they go to an abandoned mansion, yada yada yada, MONSTERS. All sorts of strange monsters. There's zombies, gremlin like things (that look remarkably like Jason's worm-incarnation in Jason Goes to Hell), a wolfman-ish lackey, a Spider-woman and her giant spider baby, mud-men that fart but are destroyable by water (doesn't mud CONTAIN water?), possessed Evil Dead demons, the Grim Reaper, an immortal wizard, his reincarnated son, a ghost.... There's no point in describing the film's characters or the plot at length. There's no logic or consistency, there are just set pieces and FX, to which the story itself serves as an almost screwlessly loose diving board.
Here you are folks: the best part of this movie.
The monsters are many, and some the effects work would be quite good, if they were puppeted, lit or filmed right. Instead we get brightly lit rubber dripping Vaseline and awkwardly attacking the actors (who know they're in  a bad movie... so don't even try to be more than one-dimensional stereotypes). Though there are implied and on-screen deaths in this (meaning it wasn't "technically" made for children), they goreless and leave much to be desired, hell I had to rewind the movie at the climax because I had missed the deaths of three characters. Don't blink, or you'll miss them "die" by psychic lightning attack.
Inept on all levels. I'm sure it doesn't help that Genie Joseph pieced this film's new footage with footage from the other two previous directors, who were initially filming it under the title Twisted Souls. what's left is essentially a kid's movie. Maybe it's a disasterpiece, but unless there is a seasoned heckler or three in the audience, and copious amounts of recreationals, its not worth it, at least to me. I know myriads of 80's kids disagree.  I CAN however say it was still better than Home Sweet Home, though. 3/10

Monday, February 24, 2014



Harold. Ugh. Dearest Egon. When I was 4 years old I saw Ghostbusters in the theater. It was one of my first memories, and being a little morbid fuck, the parapsychological babble and cartoonishly gruesome special effects had appealed to me then, and stick with me to this day. I was obsessed. I loved the cartoon and HATED the Filmation cash-in. I had the bedspreads, the plastic Proton Pack with a yellow foam proton stream, dozens of figures, plus the Ecto-1 and the Firehouse. The ectoplasm I bought smelled funny and got very gross if you didn't snap the plastic lid on its container just right. By the time Ghostbusters 2 came out, I had already read the novelization twice. Ecto-cooler, the NES game, the cereal.... you get the idea.
Ghostbusters was my formal introduction into horror and scifi, even if it is renowned as a comedy. From there on in, I have never looked back; the supernatural and macabre are indelibly  my passion. I'm indebted to Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis for the incredible world they set up for me, and everyone else, in a spectacularly haunted New York City. The film is still a favorite today not just to me but to ARMIES. An entire generation of nerds and gorehounds, artists and occultists, plebes and professors, were inspired by their masterpiece. Harold's influence can't be underestimated.
Harold Ramis died today and it sucks. It seems a lot of entertainment people I cared about died this year. Weird, I never seemed to pay attention these things before; perhaps I'm just getting old. I know I didn't mention his other works, but that is not my point. Harold did a lot of other notable things in his career, some things I love, some things I don't, but that is all irrelevant. He inspired then, and continues to inspire me and many others--that's my point. 
The world of comedy and entertainment lost a GIANT today. This hilarious and smart motherfucker went out and made shit that influenced others to go out and make shit and laugh and love life a little bit more.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

ROOM 237 (2012)

ROOM 237 (2012) (UR) Dir. Rodney Ascher
102 mins.
This documentary examines Stanley Kubrick's The Shining in excruciating detail, oft frame for frame, to highlight the narrations of several Kubrick conspiracy theorists. Background ephemera is pointed out, rug patterns dissected using Freudian theory, dissolves analyzed, continuity errors explained (some of the most interesting material, in my opinion) and the film is even played superimposed over itself forwards and backwards at the same time--and the results are pretty fucking awesome.
The many narrative theories include that Kubrick faked the moon landing, that it is a film about the European slaughter of indigenous tribes, that its Kubrick's cryptic way of discussing the Holocaust, and others. Some of these theories are synchronistic, some unintelligible and others really do you make you think.
This film is as much a psychological study of human observation and its effect on the observed as is actually about The Shining. It does not exploit (well, not too much) its narrative participants, but instead gives them reign to try and prove their theories. Will you think some of them are batshit crazy? Inevitably, but a lot of the ideas expressed do make me see the original film in a new light.
The pacing of the film is bit shaky, and it can be a bit overlong, but if you enjoy speculative and critical theory, and you love the source material, its worth a watch. 6/10
No link, but it's very easy to find.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


LITTLE OTIK (2000) (UR) Dir. Jan Svankmeyer
132 mins.

Little Otik is a story from the Czech Republic about a barren couple who adopt a strange tree root as a surrogate child. Their delusional love for it seems to give it life. As Otik grows, he begins devouring the people in the apartments around the couple, and his appetite increases. This film draws much inspiration from genre classics The Little Shop of Horrors, It's Alive and Eraserhead. It's a very streamlined Jan Svankmeyer film, if that's possible; it is much more accessible than his more occult works. This is both negative and positive.
I did not enjoy it as much at first, simply because of the seemingly "mainstream" quality of this compared to movies like Alice and Conspirators of Pleasure. I however forgave this because this film is a great example of modern folklore, because of Jan's fabulous stop-motion animation and exploitation of taboos. The story is simple and predictable, however subplots and scenes are not. This would serve as a good introduction to Jan's oeuvre. Maybe I'm fucked, but I would regard most of Jan's work to make great, if not utterly terrifying, children's films. They convey a sense of wonder and creativity that really spark the imagination (Yes, these are fucked up movies, but I grew up watching Return to Oz and The Watcher in the Woods. As long as your kid isn't curbstomping neighborhood animals, I think they'll be fine).
Little Otik is very well filmed (expect nothing less from this man), surreal (ditto) and almost has a Peter Jackson feel to its stock and editing. It isn't a perfect film, but many uncomfortable subjects are addressed directly but serve as positive cautionary tales in this stark fairytale. 6/10
Watch the trailer:



Dir. Commodore Gilgamesh and Ghoul Skool
running time is unknown (let me know!)
This extraordinary acidic arthouse romp is brought to us by the fine folks over at Everything is Terrible! and is a loose, yet paradoxically almost straight, adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky's immortal film The Holy Mountain.
It uses stock footage from the original movie itself, as well as from seemingly hundreds of other Hollywood pictures, instructional videos, commercials and what have you, all related to dogs. Edited together in psychedelic montages and random clips, the movie really does parallel all of the plot points and even philosophy of its muse. Sometimes the pacing suffers, but the sheer weirdness does not.
You don't have to have seen the original film to enjoy it (just high), but familiarity with it helps. There are a lot of concepts being thrown at you in Jodorowsky's work, and here that material is abstracted even further. It offers its own interpretation of the material, a revealing insight into American pop culture, all the whilst providing a clearly loving homage. It also just makes for a wonderful trip-screen.
A double feature of this and Our Robocop Remake this is match made in heaven. Thank you, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. 7/10


CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980) (R) Dir. Lewis Jackson
100 mins.

When Harry Stadling was a little boy, his father dressed up as Santa Claus for Christmas. After delighting Harry and his brother and putting them to bed. Unable to sleep, an overexcited Harry accidently stumbles upon his mother getting frisky with Ol' Saint Nick.
Years later we see Harry, working at a toy factory and unhealthily obsessed with all things Christmas, year round. He is aloof and things aren't going so well, as the factory capitalists are more interested in sales than in bringing children joy.
Hey kids, it's Uncle Dudley!
Harry begins a transformation into Santa Claus, which is the main narrative arc of the film, and soon begins spying on children in his neighborhood, logging their names and behavior on his extensive naughty and nice lists. He superglues a beard to his face in an amazing scene and as Christmas nears, his murders begin. A manhunt ensues as Harry gets more and more desperate.
Without Billy or Ricky this lineup seems... incomplete.
Christmas Evil is a great and intelligent slasher, despite many production flaws. It has more depth and is creepier than the most notable Santa-killer movie, Silent Night, Deadly Night. It's not a better movie per se, just more unpredictable. It's amazing that Silent Night gained so much outcry when this was released four years before it. 7/10


FORCED ENTRY (1973) (X) Dir. Shaun Costello
83 mins.
Oft called "the king of the roughies", this rape porno/slasher film is a hard but rewarding watch. A Vietnam vet played unforgettably by porn icon Harry Reems, works at a small gas station. When ladies come through to gas up, he uses their credit card information to stalk them in their homes, rape and murder them. There's your plot, but that's all you're gonna need!
The rape scenes in this film are extreme and disgusting. They grant the audience a sincere sense of dread and compassion for the clearly doomed victims. The actresses are sometimes so convincing that at moments the scenes feel real. The murders that follow are simply but aptly executed, and the focus is more on the killer's crumbling mental state, rather than expensive gore effects. During the rapes, he verbally taunts the victims in a wholly debasing manner, whilst simultaneously flashbacking to atrocities he committed during the war. Stock footage and sounds are used for these flashbacks, and the juxtaposition between them and the hardcore penetration is strikingly affective.
There is no humor here, it does glamorize rape (looking at you Hollywood), and this is not a movie filmed for pleasure; it is meant to disturb, and accomplishes its goal with gusto. This all leads to an excellent climax that has a positive message about how the free love moment can conquer the war industry. Given the era in which it was made this is an extremely interesting medium in which to channel that message.
The movie is downright frightening. The soundtrack is awesome. The film stock is grainy, scratched and the editing and sound is amateur, yet somehow this adds to the tension and atmosphere, making this a forgotten horror mindfuck of a movie that more serious horror fans should know about. It's a shame it doesn't sit on a higher tier in the horror echelon. It needs to be rediscovered. 8/10

I should also mention that this movie has been remade TWICE. Once two years later as a theatrical release with an R rating and again in 2002 as a loosely-based porn.
Obviously I can't post a link to this one. You can find it. I have faith.


NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN (1981) (UR) Dir. Romano Scavolini
97 mins.

George Tatum is a very mentally unstable individual. Having committed a double murder as a child, he has been hospitalized, suffering from schizophrenia, intense dreams, and seizures. A team of doctors attempt to rehabilitate him with an experimental drug, echoing both the Ludovico technique in A Clockwork Orange, but more appropriately, the MKULTRA mind control scandal that shocked America only a shortly before this film. Considering their project a success, George it let back into society, but when his case workers lose track of him, he begins to lose his grip on reality, and the murders start rolling in.
The bowtie makes this look.
George sets his focus on an alcoholic mother and her family in Daytona, because the youngest of 3 kids, C.J., reminds George of himself as a child, and this triggers one of his many ongoing flashbacks. George then stalks the family, makes obscene phone calls, and starts killing the people around them in the six days prior to his final attack.
Is that a Sid Haig mask?
The most interesting part of the movie is George's character, played masterfully by Baird Stafford. George is horrified of the crimes he commits, traumatized, and is constantly struggling with every act he commits, rendering him sympathetic (unlike the one note killer in Home Sweet Home). It is also ambiguous as to whether his medication keeps him from killing or inspires him to. He wants to stop himself but can't, and even tries to warn C.J. before an impending confrontation. There are two twists in this ending, and while they are maybe not the hardest to predict, work really well. The gore is good, which Tom Savini apparently was not involved in creating, despite the movie's marketing campaign, and I think it shows that it isn't him as it is less Maniac and more Pieces, but his involvement to this day is still a point of contention between the director and Tom, and amongst the fans. Good pacing, well fleshed out characters, lighting and cinematography. A must see grindhouse, yet lesser known, classic. 8/10



HOME SWEET HOME (1981) (UR) Dir. Nettie Peña
85 mins.

Where to start. Have you ever wanted to see fitness guru Jake Steinfeld (of Body By Jake fame) shoot PCP into his tongue, run down an old lady in a stolen car whilst laughing incessantly? The movie started off strong in its first five minutes, almost like a Troma film in its over the top excess. However, the rest of the film suffers from horrible, and I mean cringe-inducing pacing, acting, and cinematography.
You do NOT want to know about this guy.
Jake plays an escaped mental patient with no conscience, who delights in killing any random person he comes across. His spree leads him to a house filled with a cast of trite, unsympathetic and annoying characters, where Jake begins killing them one by one, very slowwwwwly. That's the plot. The kills are virtually goreless, but with a little bit of krovvy, and most of them involve the massive Jake just physically overpowering his victims. There is even a scene where Jake is holding a knife about to kill man fixing his car, but opts to just hurl his massive body on the hood and crush him instead. Very anticlimactic.
Half of he film's budget is on that shirt.
The cinematography is poor and when its dark, you can't see anything. I's really grating and confusing and most of the movie takes place at night in the woods and in a house with no power. The ending drags for what seems like forever as characters repeat the same things to each other over and over again. And the sound! I counted five times the final girl's scream was resampled in one scene, one right after the other! Monotonous. Even Steinfeld's hammy performance cannot save this. Just watch the first five minutes, or just watch The Slumber Party Massacre instead. 2/10


Friday, February 21, 2014


VISITING HOURS (1982) (R) Dir. Jean-Claude Lord
103 mins.

This is a very well executed slasher film that probably got overlooked because of the genre's oversaturation in the early 80's. The acting is top notch, especially by Lee Grant and Michael Ironside, who's performance as the killer resembles that of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
The plot is very straightforward for a genre piece, Ironside hates women because his mother permanently disfigured his beloved, yet abusive father. Years later, a journalist, played by Grant, is covering a similar case in which she publicly insists on exonerating the female. Ironside, seeing her work on television, then takes his anger out on her by killing her nanny, attacking Grant, and stalking her children. He follows the injured journalist to the nearby hospital and mayhem ensues.
This movie performs at a frantic pace and really works in creating suspense an and a tense environment. Ironside is brilliant and makes some of the hammier portions of his role stunningly work. The music is decent and the film has an almost made-for-TV look to it, which actually adds to the seedy atmosphere. And yes, there is a Shatner alert in effect.
Tense, psychosexual and better than Halloween II. Overall, it's a wonder why this is overlooked; perhaps its the lack of gore or cinematic aesthetic, but it is a very decent entry to the genre, that is as intelligent as it is underrated. 7/10



UNMASKED PART 25 (1988) (UR)
Dir. Anders Palm
New Zealand

Jackson, a disfigured mass murderer, has got it rough. His father drunkenly abuses him, he lives on the outskirts of society, and his deterministic need and filial-enforced imperative to kill has really got him down. Worse yet, the movie industry keeps reminding him of his despair by releasing dozens of movies capitalizing on his exploits. He just wants to be normal and not a horror trope.
Things begin to change, though, when on one of his murder sprees his meets a blind girl named Shelly. She shows genuine interest in poor Jackson and because of this, Jackson doesn't kill her, he dates her. What follows next is an extended break in the carnage as Jackson tries to change his ways and find solace in his new love. His new bondage-loving, sex toy fanatic love. Yes this movie is weird and often hysterical.
Jackson is clearly a parody of Jason Voorhees, sporting a hockey mask and enduring an overbearing psychotic parental figure who compels him to kill. This film recognizes these clichés and assaults them with self-aware humor. Hence the title (no, there are not 24 other Unmasked movies). Part slasher, part romantic comedy, this hardly-known gem is truly an excellent spoof of the genre, a la Student Bodies, that both revels in and pokes fun at its source material.
The humor is very reminiscent of classic British comedy, and the gore, at times, is fantastic. It perfectly mocks the trends of 80's slashers and the romantic comedy segments of the film are, in fact, some of the best scenes in it. It also sports a very grim climax that leaves the audience on a strong downnote. Despite its lowbudgetry and occasional bad pacing, fans of the genre definitely should seek this out.

Sorry, no link. This shit is rare, man.


Dir. Jack Sholder
87 mins.

This entry in the popular series is considered amongst many in the horror community to be the worst. I myself am one of the few that considers it to be the best. Let me explain.
Firstly, fans of the franchise, and even the producers themselves, have complained that ground rules set in the original were broken by having Freddy possess a boy, Jesse, and using him to kill in the real world. Yet possession has happened in other films in the series a few times, including a mental patient in Part 3, an unborn baby in Part 5 and a dimwitted stoner in Part 6. Oh, and a dimwitted stoner in Freddy Vs. Jason.
What makes this movie stand out to me is the monstrousness of the possession itself. It is well known by now that the original intention of the first movie was to establish Freddy as a child molester. Because of the controversial McMartin case that was making headlines at the time of the filming of the first Elm Street, the material was lightened and Freddy was referred to as a "filthy" child murderer. Still, the intent is clear.
With the second movie, it is evident to anyone with a modicum observational skills, that the protagonist Jesse is a repressed homosexual or bisexual teen. As Jesse struggles with this, Freddy uses it as a means of possessing his body, in essence an act of rape. Freddy knows Jesse's weaknesses, and is using it to control him, so he can murder more than just the Elm Street kids.
This makes perfect sense, as Freddy has attempted to expand his murdering repertoire on multiple occasions throughout the series, and is a major theme of Parts 4-6. Yet this possession also represents the villainy of sexual predators, who often exploit their victim's own sexual confusion and vulnerability to accomplish their crimes. The themes of rape and sexual repression in Freddy's Revenge were far ahead of their time and give this entry a depth unseen amongst it peers.
This extends itself to the killings that Jesse is made to commit. One victim, Jesse's high school gym coach, is murdered in the gymnasium's locker room, naked and tied to shower heads. When this event is mentioned at school the next day, Jesse's best friend Grady mentions that the coach had been "packed". It is a quick reference, but one that suggests that Jesse had anally raped the coach. This adds to the subtexts that are in play in this film, Freddy is molding Jesse into an image of himself, and that the cycle of violence is reproducing itself.
Freddy himself is far more frightening than in the other movies. He doesn't crack jokes. He is not yet a kid's plushie doll or a terrible NES game. He is a rapist and killer that will stop at nothing to harm others. It helps that his makeup in this is fantastic and far outshines the makeup in the others, including the original. It is more boney and angular than the first, and less streamlined as the third. He looks like a corpse. And those eyes... the contacts added a lot.
Though the movie has its flaws, such as the absence of the iconic theme song, and an absurd incident involving a combustible parakeet, I encourage naysayers to reevaluate it, is a lot better than its reputation has afforded it.




OUR ROBOCOP REMAKE (2014) (UR) Dir. Various
108 mins.

This film has to be seen to be believed. It is a deconstructionist and immensely surreal retelling, that really explores and dissects the themes of the Paul Verhoeven classic. 50 directors contributed to this mind-melting piece, and despite that fact, the transitions between segments really work to the movie's benefit.

I kid you not, dear readers, this opus has everything; gore, stop-motion animated action figures, musical numbers, dance, cartoons, video games, and exploding penises. Many, many exploding penises. This all leads to a very tripped out climax that is both meta and sublime. If you are familiar with Doggie Woggiez, Poochie Woochiez!, you'll have some idea of what to expect here, though I venture to say this is superior to that film in many ways.

If you love of Robocop or psychedelia, I cannot recommend this enough. It is a love letter to the original (and altered states of consciousness). 8/10
Watch OUR ROBOCOP REMAKE on its official site:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROAD (1983) (R) Dir. Mark Rosman
91 mins.
This film is an awesome tribute to the 1955 French film, Diabolique. A group of hot sorority girls, in order to throw a proper graduation party, break their lease and stay in their dorm past the move-out date. The headmistress, harsh and cruel, catches them and forbids their party. In retaliation the girls play a prank on the headmistress, accidentally resulting in her death. Panicking, they hide her dead body in the sorority's unclean pool, and try to save face at their graduation party.
This leads to a comedy of errors, in which the girls learn that the body is missing, try to maintain composure at the party, and simultaneously vie to find, and dispose of, the errant corpse. As all of this wackiness is unfolding, a killer is pecking off the sorority sisters one by one. Is it the headmistress; did she not die? Is she undead? Though the reveal is heavily foreshadowed in the movie's introduction, it does pay off well, and is well executed; the last scenes are genuinely frightening and stylized, a la Black Christmas and Halloween.
There's a reason Quentin Tarantino selected this for his first filmfest. It has humor, beautiful (and oft) naked women, witty dialogue, style, and iconic scares. 8/10.