Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Monster that Challenged the World, Mollusk Carnage

A snail? Yep...don't laugh. Take a half dozen of these mollusk things, add a bit of radiation, and...well...kiss the planet goodbye. Yes...when escargot goes completely mad we are left with 1957's "The Monster that Challenged the World." So remember, next time you dine at a ritzy French restaurant, as you sip on some Chablis and nibble on your little shelled friends, that if the radiation levels in the kitchen elevate just a little, the mollusk entree could be nibbling on you.
The monster reveals
An earthquake in California's Salton Sea opens up an underwater cave filled with monster, giant snails. Three sailors aboard a navy launch are the first to have their juices sucked out by the fiends. No nonsense navy commander Lt. John Twillinger (Tim Holt), call him Twill, is on the case. He is mystified and enlists the help of navy doctor Jess Rogers (Hans Conreid). With a heart of stone, Twill meets the pretty secretary of Rogers, Gail (Audrey Dalton), and now has two missions....find out what killed the sailors and woo this exotic widow. Uh oh, the sultry Jody (Barbara Darrow) and her BF decide on a midnight swim in the Salton Sea. Jody strips off her dress revealing a white swimsuit that would make Julia Adams ("Creature from the Black Lagoon") proud.  Yep, both this white clad bathing beauty and her beau will have their juices sucked out.
Jody, snail bait
As Gail tells Twill all about the hardships of widowhood, he intensifies his goo-goo eyes. A break! Divers recover a monster egg sack and bring it back to Rogers' lab. Also, while recovering the formerly stunning Jody, the monsters attack revealing themselves to Twill and Rogers, while sucking dry another diver. Now Rogers and Twill know what they are fighting. No matter, Twill takes a break from saving the world and takes Gail on a romantic dinner in Mexico.  After a cold shower, Twill enacts a plan.  See, the Salton Sea has hundreds of canals. If the sea beasts get into the canals and reach civilized areas...well...as Dr. Rogers says...the planet could be wiped out. As the deaths pile up, the monsters find a way onto land and a path to the vulnerable Gail.
Gail in much peril
Will our creatures make it to population centers?  Will Twill's plan succeed to kill the monsters and also hook the nubile but sultry widow? Is that last question a metaphor of the plight of most of the world's male population?  Just what is it about babes in white swimsuits that captured the imagination of monsters and horror film makers?  "The Monster that Challenged the World" is a good one and the acting is first-rate. Though made in 1957, the horror of the giant snails is ripped right out of today's headlines.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Eroticism in the Amazon

There is no better way to do this than to just describe the opening scene. A sultry blonde nurse tries to rape a beautiful girl patient in an insane asylum.  The girl bites off the nurse's breast before she is strapped to a cot. Also in the asylum is Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) who is an undercover reporter doing a story on insane asylums. To get more information from the cannibal girl, Emanuelle sneaks into the girl's room, pulls off her hospital robe and satisfies her sexually.  Pure sexploitation Italian style. If this appeals to you...then read further regarding 1977's "Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals."
Emanuelle interviews cannibal girl
After her asylum assignment, Emanuelle recruits anthropologist Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinyi) for an Amazon expedition...then has pre-marital sex with him.  Off to the Amazon...no wait, Emanuelle has to have sex with Peter first. Who's Peter? Who knows?! Now off to the Amazon to have sex with...er...I mean, do a story on the tribe which the aforementioned cannibal girl emanated (...after more sex with Mark). Arriving in the Amazon, Emanuelle meets the nubile blonde Isabelle (Monica Zanchi). On the expedition, she'll have lesbian sex with her as a chimp smoking a cigarette watches (don't ask).
Emanuelle and Isabelle
The expedition, now underway, includes Sister Isabelle, a shapely nun and future cannibal food, and the McKenzies (Donald O'Brien and Nieves Navarro). Mrs. McKenzie will be ...well you'll see. As they trek through the jungle, one by one, they are eaten by cannibals.  Lots of pre-marital sex will dominate this adventure, as Emanuelle will satisfy male and female alike.  Lots of cannibal carnage will interrupt passionate sex scenes and in the end, Emanuelle and Mark will have to rescue the survivors from the cannibals.  Emanuelle's plan to rescue them from a deadly fertility festival will be unique and quite erotic and utilize her nudity and lesbian tendencies.
He had it coming
When last we met Emanuelle in this blog, Laura Gemser was being raped by male and female in Women's Prison Massacre . In this cannibal film, Emanuelle is the sexual aggressor and she uses her eroticism to conquer a jungle full of cannibals. There will be a lot of breasts bared in this film, though many of them will be eaten. In fact, every sex organ (male and female) is on the menu in this masterpiece. For sexploitation at its maximum, see "Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Autopsy, The Naked Coroner

Remember the TV show "Quincy"? Jack Klugman played a medical examiner who went around solving murders. Fortunately Klugman kept his clothes on during that show. Today we look at 1975's "Autopsy" where the sultry Mimsy Farmer is cast as a medical examiner in Italy who keeps taking off her clothes to have pre-marital sex. When she doesn't take them off, some odd guy does it for her. Even the corpses in her morgue seem to be excited by her sex-appeal. Nothing says "Naked Raw Passion" like a babe with a corpse on her slab. Was "Quincy" inspired by "Autopsy"? You be the judge.
As our film opens we see several grisly suicides. It is August in Italy and sunspots might be causing these suicides. Simona (Farmer) sees many of these victims in her morgue and begins seeing visions of these corpses rising and either beckoning her or engaging in sex. Distressed, Simona goes home and has a chance meeting with her dad's young GF (Gaby Wagner). Simona next meets this vixen when she appears on a slab in her morgue with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Simona becomes suspicious that perhaps these suicides aren't suicides but homicides. On cue Father Lenox (Barry Primus) storms into the morgue and announces that the girl on the slab is his sister and she did not commit suicide. Father Lenox was a former Grand Prix driver and was responsible for 11 deaths during the "Massacre at Le Mans" (...don't ask).
Lenox and Simona team up, but really don't get along. Simona's beau, Ed (Ray Lovelock) appears and the two try to have lots of pre-marital sex. Simona pulls away each time as visions of corpses invade her mind. In fact the only way she can have sex is to imagine it is with her new priest friend. As more of Simona's friends, acquaintances, and relatives commit suicide, Simona makes a startling discovery in her morgue which puts her life in danger. As the sunspots continue, our babe coroner becomes unhinged causing us to wonder if she may be responsible for the deaths.
Is Simona the killer or the next victim? Just how is someone able to make dozens of suicides appear as murder? Is this film a thinly veiled metaphor for humanity's subconscious desire to have sexual intercourse with the dearly departed? Wait...where did that come from!  Erotic and creepy, enjoy this horror yarn from Italy, "Autopsy."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Strangeness, Sequel to The Boogens

I bet you didn't know The Boogens had a sequel. I guess it doesn't, in an official sense. However, when we speak of a toothy, tentacled, slimy creature dwelling in an abandoned mine which was closed a century ago because miners kept dying mysteriously...we think of "The Boogens." Today's feature, with similar plot devices, 1985's "The Strangeness." Much maligned and very low-budget, this feature has a really cool creature that grabs you, spits acid on you, then eats you slowly as the acid melts you down. Poetry!
America's newest widow...Cindy
The gold mine was abandoned after dozens of miners met with strange demises. Hemmings (Rolf Theison) buys it and accompanies a team to explore it and see if gold can still be mined. The couple he sent to open it?  Monster food! Joining the team is head miner Geoff (Dan Lunham) who has a penchant for leading his people to sure death. Dan Flanders (Mark Sawicki) is a writer chronicling the history of this cursed cavern. Cindy (Terri Berland), a sultry blonde, dressed in a very snug outfit, is Dan's wife and team photographer. Morgan (Keith Hurt) an English miner who drinks a lot and chews tobacco. And a few more that hardly merit a mention.  The team descends into the mysterious veins of this mine.
Hemmings meets the creature
Angela (Diane Borcyckowski), the team's geologist, will be the first team member, partially dissolved, ripped apart, and eaten. A cave-in then occurs trapping our team in this god-forsaken death trap. Still hungry the monster stalks the miners one by one. The survivors find the remains of their buddies and realize they are dealing with a monster. After tasting blood, the fiend gets really aggressive. Cindy screams a lot and is slapped around a bit after her husband gets it. Meanwhile, Hemmings grabs the now-available Cindy, leaving everyone else to die, and runs for an exit. Cindy fights back and gets her clock cleaned, but Geoff and the boogen-like thing pursue.
Morgan being digested
Will the shapely, and new widow Cindy find love in those mines? Will Geoff stop being a failure, save Cindy, kill the creature, and get him and the damsel to the surface? Directed by Melanie Anne Phillips, "The Strangeness" boasts of a cool monster, some excruciating death scenes, and a babe damsel...what more can we ask for. Instead of wasting your time on the newest "Wonder Woman" (Yawn!), see "The Strangeness" free on YouTube.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Spine, White Clad Victims

Nurses! Such noble souls. However, in the 1980s, these saints suffered unimaginable torture and carnage in slasher films. In "Halloween 2," the prettier the nurse, the more vicious her death. Who can forget when Michael Myers dunked Pamela Susan Shoop's face in a scalding hot tub? I'm sure this sequel to a slasher classic inspired the makers of the 1985 straight-to-VHS "Spine." Like "Halloween 2," we'll meet a lot of beautiful nurses, clad in white, who meet such bloody demises at the hands of a psycho with a knife....and a grudge.
 As our story begins, a pretty nurse (Kathy Rose) has been stripped of her white uniform and hogtied. A mysterious killer then stabs her 57 times, exposing her backbone and writing "Linda" in blood on the wall.  Who is Linda? Part of the mystery I'm afraid. The cute and perky Louise (Abby Sved) is next. She'll meet the same fate, I'm afraid. The cops are baffled as more nurses fall to this mysterious psycho. On the killer's radar is the beauty in white, Carrie (Janus Blyth). This pretty nurse has just invited another pretty nurse, Leah (Lisa Romanoff) to room with her. Now Leah is on the same demented radar. Both these ladies are spooked by the newspaper accounts of the killings.
The psycho and Carrie
Working his way closer to Carrie, our killer visits the hospital she's plies her trade. In the basement of the facility, our fiend grabs Lori (Marie Dowling), strings her up, cuts her clothes off with a knife, tortures her with the same knife, but is interrupted by Carrie before he can finish the job. Now the killer is determined to finish off Carrie and Leah and the police still have no clue. As Leah takes a shower (...oh yes, gratuitous is an adjective that describes this film well) and Carrie goes for a run in short-shorts, our fiend arrives for an orgy of blood. The two nubile nurses will soon be subjected to a very humiliating and tortuous fate...or will they turn the tables on our fiend? What does the killer have against nurses, and who is Linda?
The psycho and Leah
The killings are cruel and hard to watch and the nurses seem defenseless against this devil. The ending is weird, and many of you may not like it, but rest assured, it will be highly gratuitous. The acting? Well, it is straight-to-VHS quality, but better than any Megan Fox performance. For some vicious sexploitation and horror, take a look at "Spine" and remember not to discuss it in polite company.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

We Love Selfies, ...at our own peril

Do you ever wonder what the creators of those classic urban legends, or those creators of the classic 1980s slasher films would have done with the concept of selfies from smart phones? If Laurie Strode had an iPhone, would Michael Myers have acted differently? How about all those camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake? Would Jason have had any goodwill toward the frolicking teens taking selfies of themselves in bikinis or making out? In Joseph Sorrentino's "We Love Selfies," those questions are answered. In gory and horrific fashion, the smart phone selfie is introduced into that old classic slasher film plot.
With a tip of the hat to "Halloween," and "He Knows you're Alone," and a few other memorable horror classics, we meet a very pretty babysitter, Dylan (Corrie Graham). Her charge is to tend to the very cute Brittany (Jordan King) as her parents are out for the night. Jordan's a good kid and the evening should be an easy one for Brittany.  Of course, in 2017, pretty babysitters have smart phones and don't only have to rely on UHF horror films for entertainment. Dylan has a smart phone in which she can still be connected to her boyfriend...or whoever is on the other end of the messaging stream.
No more of the plot, but "We Love Selfies" brings up a great questions for all of us in an age of texting and smart phones. Oh yes...there is a third major character in this short...Giggles (Barry Tangert). Yep, Giggles is no comedian, but an escaped serial killer who likes to...well...you'll see. Directed by Roger Glass, this 11 minute horror short will give you nightmares especially if you babysit. Fans of urban legends and 1980s slasher films will love the modern plot device inserted into those terrifying morality tales that keep us up at night clutching a flashlight.
For more information on "We Love Selfies" check out these links:
YouTube Trailer
We Love Selfies on Facebook
We Love Selfies on LinkedIn

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Parallel, If you meet yourself...RUN!!!

Have you ever looked in a mirror and hated what you saw? Hence 2016's "Parallel." Do you remember that very deep scifi hit from 1969, "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun"? Terrific film that left you wanting more explanation as it abruptly ended.  Well "Parallel" is that elaboration. A word of warning, however, as many unanswered questions that are answered, this film may leave you with many more deeper queries. However fascinating the possibility of alternate universes are, perhaps this film is more about the potential of our own souls to sink to nefarious depths or rise to goodness, and what may trigger that voyage.
Aren't they cute?
Oh so cute! Neil (David Magowan) and Heather (Faye Sewell) meet at a party. The vulnerable Heather lets her guard down and the insecure but determined Neil hones in. The two bond and soon they move in together and engage in pre-marital sex. Uh oh...heaven forbid the lovebirds leave well-enough alone as they meet a strange but alluring old man in the park. Michalis (Brian Carter) is a medium, and guess what his gig is. Nope...no futures and no mind-reading. He can take you into a parallel existence and show you what you are up to in that alternate universe. Neil is skeptical but Heather is game.
You don't want to know what Heather is about to do.
Let us stop short of spoilers, but the other side is quite similar and quite different. The safe and satisfied Heather finds that her behavior, plight, and decision-making on the other side is colorful and risky...to say the least. Neil eventually dabbles in this alternate universe and what he discovers about himself is....well...you'll see. Guess what happens when our Romeo and Juliet see a side of themselves that might be possible but for different circumstances.  It won't be all seashells and balloons as both undergo major angst at who they could become. Are they repulsed?  Curious? Jealous of their twins?  You will gasp at the plight of these two (...or should I say these four).
Michalis takes them on a journey
Is Michalis legitimate or a skilled con-man? Is Heather's desire to see her alternate-self merely an admission of dissatisfaction with her safe existence? Shocking and thought provoking, "Parallel" will have you question your own psyche. I know...you are a good person...but is that written in stone? Or, are you merely a fiend just waiting for the opportunity to break out of your conformist shell? I know, we all have a dark side as Alexander Cooper (who acts and produces this film) reminds me. Most of us keep that dark side hidden, to some degree, but given the opportunity to set it free...would you? You'll be thinking about "Parallel" long after the end credits roll, and not all of that thought will be comfortable. See "Parallel," (directed by Ieva Makselyte) a terrific and provocative thriller.