Alternate universes rarely have blessings for us. Whatever is over there tends not to like us. In alternate universes, their inhabitants are not 'just like us'. They usually have bigger teeth and more homicidal tendencies in their demeanor. In 1990's "Xtro 2: The Second Encounter" this is the case. For those of you familiar with the original "Xtro," you also know that rape and misogyny are also going to be key traits in beings from the other side.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Monday, December 5, 2016
"Belve Feroci." Have some with a red wine, preferably a Merlot. Nah! Movie titles are always better in Italian. This 1984 product of Italy is actually "Wild Beasts." Shot in Germany, set in "a major northern European city," (as opposed to a minor northern European city), this film is the urban version of Day of the Animals . Though made during complicated negotiations between Reagan and Gorbachev, one may view this film as foreshadowing of the plight of the European Union. Okay, that's a stretch. In any event, this film will deliver plenty of gore, bad dubbing, ridiculous dialog, and a most horrific conclusion.
The elegant and glamorous Lorraine De Selle stars in this film. Oddly enough, her character has nothing to do with anything relevant in the plot. Other than being really good looking, we'll not mention her again. Animals at a German zoo are thirsty. Unfortunately for Germans, something is in the water and these furry beings all go completely mad. Before they bust out of their cages and march down city streets, signs of this disaster occur. Hundreds of rats eat a cute couple having pre-marital sex in a car, and a seeing eye dog eats his blind owner. A flamethrower dispatches the rats and once again we are reminded that when a flamethrower is introduced into a movie plot ...well...only good things can happen.
Much to the surprise of Dr. Rupert Berner (John Aldrich), zookeeper, his animals bust out. Some classic cinema ensues. In one heartbreaking scene, elephants converge on a car driven by a great looking German couple. One pachyderm strangles the guy with his trunk...the other crushes the gal's head with his foot. These same elephants will bring down a Lufthansa jet with hundreds on board...don't ask. As Rupert and the police try to figure out what is going on and how to stop it, polar bears head to a dance academy and tigers run into the subway. The death toll will be hundreds, including a German babe in a VW Beetle chased down by a leopard.
Will Rupert figure out how to end this carnage? Do humans deserve this treatment after exploiting these animals for so long? Will the statuesque Lorraine De Selle, who appears often in this film, doing practically nothing, remain un-chewed upon and un-crushed? Directed by Franco Prosperi, "Wild Beasts" is a lot of fun. Beware! However inane much of this film is, the ending is incredibly chilling.
|Lorraine De Selle|
|Strangled by an elephant|
|Hold that tiger|
Saturday, December 3, 2016
"The Last Shark"! (aka L' Ultimo Squalo") Oh please, not the last one, how about one more? Nope, today's film is 1981's "The Last Shark." Made by Italians and shot in Savannah and Malta, this is an over-the-top B movie. With entire lines and plot devices taken right out of "Jaws," we must give director Enzo G. Castellari credit for ripping off a great film instead of "Ordinary People" or "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." With lots of gore, bad dubbing, and a cheesy irrelevant musical score, you'll have fun with this one.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
As the 1960s became history, the fight against illegal drug use shifted into high gear. Even before President Nixon created the DEA, a half human, half turkey being was already on the fight. Alcohol, pot, LSD, and even regular cigarettes...all of them...poison (according to our film today)! Perhaps the quirkiest anti-drug effort in U.S. history, 1972 "Blood Freak" seems to be a hippie response to a seedy side of hippy culture. Filled with pre-marital sex, nudity and gore, this low-budget goody earned an X rating from a very judgmental MPAA.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
They're coming! No, not the refugees or disenfranchised citizens of a bordering nation. Exactly who they are is never made totally clear in 2016's "Border Patrol." This short film tackles deeper issues than who we are keeping out, or what the wall is there for. Yeah, there is a wall guarded by a border patrol unit here, but in this short film, the border may have already been crossed, and not the geographic one.
Border Patrol .
Border Patrol .
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Poor Susan Blacklinie. She is always being put on the buffet for the animal kingdom. In "Jaws," she portrayed Chrissie. You remember Chrissie, the skinny-dipper who was eaten by the great white at the start of the film. Two years later, her fate was even more gruesome. In 1977's "Day of the Animals" she is mauled by wolves, picked apart by vultures, and then thrown of a cliff by those same birds. The pretty blonde also served as Linda Day George's stunt double in that same film.
Ahhh, where would a decade be without it's version of what will end the planet? Nuclear bombs kept people on edge in the 1950s, Communism in the 1960s, and today...global warming has us ready to relocate to Mars. But in the 1970s...come on now, any guesses? Mercury in our Tuna and aerosol sprays were gonna melt our cells and destroy the ozone layer. In "Day of the Animals," we are warned in a prologue that what we are about to see could happen if we keep using underarm antiperspirant. Unfortunately for some hikers, led by the hunk Steve (Christopher George), they will see these effects first hand. The increased radiation makes all the animals up in the California mountains attack. Mandy (Blacklinie) will be the first to go.
As Steve and his Indian (the 1970s term for Native American) Daniel (Michael Ansara) try to keep the hikers from panicking, a loose cannon ad-executive, Paul (Leslie Nielsen) goes as mad as the pursuing critters. Paul will turn into a homicidal rapist, as the snakes, tarantulas, birds, mountain lions, and wolves pursue. A cute side story occurs as Steve falls in love with his real life wife Linda Day George, who plays Terry. Uh oh, as our campers desperately try to make it back down the mountain to town, they are unaware that the animals have already eaten most of the citizens. With Steve's group dwindling, and the army on it's way, can our surviving hikers hold out?
What begins as a harmless made-for-TV looking PG flick, quickly turns into a gory and dark horror film. Some of the kills are horrifying and uncomfortable to watch. Will man emerge still atop the food chain? Will Mr. and Mrs. George think twice about a family pet? This film was decades ahead of the hit reality show "When Animals Attack," but the makers of that show clearly had this film in mind.
|The tasty Susan Blacklinie|
|Leslie Nielsen and Michael Ansara|
|Susan Day and Christopher George with Cujo|
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Set in Hawaii and shot in the Philippines, 1979's "Up From the Depths" is one of a billion "Jaws" rip-offs. IMDB bills this one as a horror/comedy, however I don't think comedy was a goal of the film makers. Directed by Charles B. Griffith, the overly stereotyped characters may indicate a comedy, but in fairness, perhaps the stereotypes are fair. For example...is it inaccurate to assume that ditzy swimsuit models are shallow and have inflated egos? With lots of nudity, gore, and a cool looking sea creature, this film is worth a watch.