Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Rezort, The After-Party of the Apocalypse

As the latest season of "The Walking Dead" on AMC disappoints, in ratings and action, we all wonder if the zombie sub-genre of horror needs a hiatus.  Have film makers run out of good ideas for these films?  Are we at the point where nothing about the living dead can shock us?  Perhaps.  On a less intellectual level, today we look at 2015's "The Rezort."  Directed by Steve Barker, this film (appearing now on Netflix) may not change the minds of critics of modern zombie films, but in all fairness, this flick does a lot that is refreshing.  The strength of this film is that it is unapologetic about being an action film, maybe resembling a video game.  "The Rezort" eschews all temptation to fill up the 90 minutes with a soap opera drama.
The war is over. Human casualties numbered two-billion.  Relatively cheap outcome for a zombie apocalypse.  The war on zombies, like all wars, left it's share of scars.  Hence The Rezort!  A remote island where survivors can go and continue killing the living dead. The virus dissipated, but our island has a cache of thousands of zombies.  In a very controlled wilderness environment, hunters converge on this paradise to have guided safaris (...zafaris, actually) in pursuit of the formerly us. Melanie (Jessica De Gouw), struggling to come to terms of the loss of her dad arrives here with her fiance Lewis (Martin McCann).
The Rezort, run by the mysterious billionaire philanthropist Wilton (Clair Goose) is a Fantasy Island type setting.  Five-star amenities and guided hunts.  Uh oh, the lovely Sadie (Elen Rhys) sabotages the island's computers and now all locks are opened, all fences are down, and a handful of hunters must now engage in a fair fight against thousands of fiends.  The main resort is overrun in no time, but our handful of hunters, led by the mysterious Archer (Dougray Scott) attempt to make their way to safety.  Racing against a doomsday clock (you'll see), our group shrinks in number.  Uh oh, in their quest to safety, Archer, Melanie, and a handful of survivors discover some horrific truths about The Rezort.
Why did Sadie sabotage The Rezort?  What are the real motivations of Wilton and The Rezort?  Is the zombie outbreak really confined to this remote island?  Even those who detest this film,will love the cast of tens of thousands type ending.  For some mindless (after all, it is a zombie film) fun. catch "The Rezort"..or be a wuss and let your spouse drag you to "La La Land.".

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Romeo's Distress, Shakespeare meets Poe

No phrase inspires a restraining order like, "...nothing will keep us apart." Ah, but we live in such a cynical time where we implore our children to be careful and mistrust everyone.  In a more romantic time the aforementioned words inspired great love stories. Hundreds of years ago, inspired by the nubile Anne Hathaway, and a poetic youthfulness, William Shakespeare wrote "Romeo and Juliet."  A tale of forbidden love falling victim to social norms and the cynicism of our elders.  More than 400 years after that tragedy, Jeff Frumess has made a Gothic horror film called "Romeo's Distress."
In a surreal beginning, we meet our modern day Romeo and Juliet.  They are Jane (Kimberely A. Peterson) and James (Anthony Malchar).  A syrupy sweet couple exuding love and bliss out of every pore.  Not all is seashells and balloons, however. Ominous circumstances commence as Jane's dad. Dale (Jeffrey Alan Solomon) sends his henchman, Bobby (Adam Stordy) after him.  In James' zeal to love Jane forever, he will suffer numerous beatings ordered by Dale.
As Dale ramps up his efforts to deter James' hormones, we the viewer develop a very uncomfortable feeling about what is really going on.  No spoilers here, but horror fans will see that director Jeff Frumess has been influenced by, not only Shakespeare's story, but by George Romero, Edgar Allan Poe, and perhaps David Lynch. A love story?  Perhaps.  A horror film?  Oh yes.  As the 'love story' continues, you will get increasingly squeamish about what is developing on that silver screen.
Seize the day...or Carpe Diem!  Anything and everything in the cause of love!  That may work in romance novels, but in the world of Gothic horror...well...you'll see how that ends.  Mr. Frumess keeps us gasping and uncomfortable (there's that word again).  The performances are terrific and cinematography adds to the feeling of ominous dread that is obviously approaching.  Perhaps an anti-Shakespeare take on the classic tragedy.  Or, perhaps "Romeo's Distress" is an appropriate horror re-imagining of "Romeo and Juliet."  After all, the ending of the Shakespeare work is horrific.
To find "Romeo's Distress" on Facebook click on this link Facebook Romeo
To see the trailer, click on this link Romeo Trailer

Friday, January 20, 2017

Grizzly 2: The Concert, Bear Monster vs. Valley Girl

Children of the 80s (especially teenage boys) fell in love with Deborah Foreman after she starred in "Valley Girl." Even Siskel and Ebert were drooling when showing a clip of that film in which Ms. Foreman was wearing a bikini. But wait!  How many of you know that this valley girl had another film hit the silver screen in 1983? Any guesses?  Here's a hint...this movie introduced Laura Dern and George Clooney.  Yep..."Grizzly 2: The Concert." No teenage drama here, but lots of limbs flying, faces clawed, and dismemberment highlight this horror film. Don't get too excited about Dern and Clooney, they are dissected (as is their pal Charlie Sheen) and eaten by the grizzly just after Ms. Dern does a striptease to Michael Jackson's 'Billy Jean.'
Laura Dern begins her striptease
A grizzly rips apart George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, two babe campers, a poacher, and a ranger. The mayor of the mountainside community (Louise Fletcher) refuses to admit a killer mammal is loose, as a big concert is planned which will bring in lots of revenue.  The head ranger, Nick (Steve Inwood), assembles more rangers and hunters to kill this boating accident.  His main squeeze, the annoying scientist Sam (Deborah Raffin) insists they not kill the creature but tranquilize it instead...will genius never cease?  Also in on the fun are some redneck poachers and a Quint like hunter, Bouchard (John Rhys-Davies).  As more fall to the bear, the huge rock concert is underway.
Deborah Raffin, Bear activist 
Okay, Chrissy (Foreman).  She is Nick's love-struck daughter.  The sweet and very cute girl is hired as a gofer by the concert promoter and spends a lot of time drooling over rock musicians and looking very sweet and cute.  As Sam and Bouchard spar over the proper way to neutralize this furry threat, Chrissy keeps looking sweet and cute. Alas, the crazed beast heads toward the concert where Barbie Wilde and her robotic girl band perform and Chrissy keeps doing sweet and cute things.  Will the poachers, the posse, Sam, and Bouchard be able to stop the fiend before it crashes the concert? Will the very sweet and cute Deborah Foreman survive the claws of the devil bear?
Barbie Wilde performs
You might be asking yourself 'how did I miss  this one?'  Filmed in Hungary in 1983, the film makers did not pay their bills to Hungarian vendors, hence all footage was seized by that government. For almost 25 years this film was a mere rumor until it mysteriously showed up on the internet in '07. This info courtesy of IMDB. Gore, cheesiness and some very entertaining (debatable) music ensue.  Take heart you George Clooney fans, "Grizzly 2" is a much better film than "Solaris."  Ice cream sundae fans will love the sweetness and cuteness of Deborah Foreman.  Enjoy, and feel free to hunt down CDs of Barbie Wilde's robotic techno all-girl band.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Attack of the Killer Shrews!, You Shrews, You Lose

There is nothing tame about these shrews.  Unlike Shakespeare's shrews, 2016's "Attack of the Killer Shrews!" brings us blood, carnage, cheesy special creature effects, and annoying mascot drama (you'll see, but it is quite satisfying).  In this Ken Cosentino film, an epic re-imaging of the 1959 classic hits our screen in bright, splattered red.  With a hearty endorsement from Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, some hot babes, mad scientists, square jawed heroes, the military, and toothy creatures converge in horrific comedy.
The original "Attack of the Killer Shrews" is a MST3K classic.  A horror film with many unintentional comedic elements.  In Mr. Consentino's film, the comedy isn't so unintentional.  Fear not, lots of blood will be sprayed and plenty of creatures, over-the-top cheesy as they might be, prance throughout this entire work.  Initially, the plot of these two films is similar.  After a mad scientist's (Mick O'Keefe) experiment goes wrong and unleashes a horde of dog sized shrews on a community, a professor's home is the first to be invaded.  Professor Perry (Jonathan Rogers), the world's greatest scientist (just ask him), is hosting a small party.  His agent, Lewis (Marcus Ganci-Rotella), his babe Cassandra (Cheryl Szymczak), the sultry B movie queen Fiona Rae (Elizabeth Houlihan) and the sheriff (Bill Kennedy) are in attendance.
The shrews, just like zombies, have a penchant for getting in, and soon the professor's home is infested.  After a bloody battle indoors, the party goers flee.  Uh oh, the shrews are now all over town. Perry man's up and utters the heroic phrase, "I have a score to settle with some shrews, and I have a pocket full of shells."  As the sexy Cassandra screams, Fiona Rae man's up and together with the sheriff begin taking the fight to the vermin.  But wait!  The military arrives.  These guys aren't exactly the SEALs, and their strategy may do more harm than the shrews.  Will this western New York community survive the shrews, the military, and a shotgun wielding professor?  Will Fiona Rae make her next screen test?
The ending will be bloody and explosive and on a grander scale than "Dr. Strangelove." Though a comedy, Mr. Consentino obviously possesses a respect for the original B horror film from 1959. The shrews are hilarious looking and are enhanced by the comedic acting of the protagonists.  All the acting is first class and I tip my hat to Ms. Houlihan's portrayal of a 1950s type scream queen (this blog loves scream queens).  Visit the website of "Attack of the Killer Shrews!" by clicking on this link Killer Shrew Movie

Monday, January 16, 2017

Spaceship Terror, Maniac Cannibal Butcher vs. Sweaty Space Babes

Ahhh! Nothing like the horror/scifi/exploitation sub-genre in film.  We have to give 2011's "Spaceship Terror" creator, Harry Tchinski, a lot of credit.  Not only does he place six space babes on a cavernous space ship, but he also turns the temperature up to 115 degrees so the lovelies will have to strip to their undies while being hunted by a cannibal fiend. The nubile and sweaty beauties of "Spaceship Terror" will be in for fates worse than death.
A spaceship carrying five babes and their captain (Stephen Lestat) crash lands on a remote planet. Uh oh, the rescue ship lands and the six take refuge on it.  Immediately, the captain is skewered and drilled, to the horror of the women.  Laura (Kristen Springer) seems to be in command now.  The ladies find Chris (Emma Lee Nguyen), another space babe, on the ship.  Chris is half insane and claims she has been prisoner on the ship for two years.  The doors lock and the Terror takes off. Chris has more bad news.  It seems a butcher/cannibal maniac (Jay Wesley Cochran) likes to hunt women.
The games start.  One of the babes, Annie (Ronda Olshefski) is taken.  Her fate is too horrific to be put into words, but we can say she would have been better off dead.  As Laura pumps Chris for more intel on their tormentor, the ladies develop a plan to fight back.  In executing this plan more of the damsels will be subject to unimaginable torture, rape, humiliation, cannibalism, and mutilation...all while still alive.  As Mia (Yulia Hencheroff) is decapitated and quartered, the half insane Chris tries to help her new friends.  Alas, our maniac stays one step ahead of his prey and keeps them unhinged by letting them see what he does to the ones he captures.  Kelly (Jenny Lin) will suffer a double humiliating death, which will not be fast.
 Will any of our damsels survive?  Is "Spaceship Terror" a horrific metaphor of the sexual harassment that permeates NASA?  In addition to fending off a monster, will the space babes seize the opportunity to engage in some spirited cat-fights?  "Spaceship Terror" will probably be the goriest film you see in 2017.  Scantily clad and sweaty damsels, a monster slasher, and some tortuous and elongated death scenes make "Spaceship Terror" the best horror/exploitation film to hit DVD in several years.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Space Mutiny, Unanswered Space Babe Questions

For those of us who saw 1988's "Space Mutiny" when it first came out, unanswered questions have plagued us ever since.  The nubile Lieutenant Lamont (Billy Second) presents a macabre query which has haunted us for decades.  The pretty officer is blown away by heavies, but emerges unharmed steering the ship a few minutes later.  How can that be?  Then there is the uncomfortable question of Cisse Cameron.  The actress plays the leading space-babe in this film.  For almost 30 years B movie fans have all been wrestling with an awkward, unspoken question.  Is Cisse Cameron, space-babe, in fact a space-babe, or is she too reminiscent of our grandmothers?  However weird this sounds, her body says one thing, but her face...well...you be the judge.
The Southern Sun (which looks oddly similar to Battlestar Galactica) carries thousands of Earthlings in a 10 light year journey to colonize another world. Trouble...a shuttle's landing on the Southern Sun is sabotaged and only it's captain, Ryder (Reb Brown) survives.  The Sun's commander (Cameron Mitchell) welcomes Ryder aboard, but his daughter Lea (Cameron) is angry at him.  Meanwhile, a psycho officer, Kalgan (John Phillip Law) plots a mutiny on the Sun.  Oh yes, several psychic babes board the ship and have psychic pre-marital sex with male crew members.  As the lead psychic babe warns Cameron of Kalgan's evil intentions, Lea changes her tune and seduces Ryder with a disco and hula-hoop dance...kind of erotic with gratuitous derriere shots, and kin of scary at the same time.
Okay, now this film gets good.  Lea and Ryder witness Kalgan murder the sultry Lt. Lamont. The lovebirds then get  into a major laser gun fight with Kalgan and his henchmen.  During the fight, Lamont is back at her console, recovering nicely from her demise.  As the commander receives more counsel and pre-marital psychic sex from the psychic space babe, Ryder and Lea discover the extent of Kalgan's horrific plan for the colonists aboard the Southern Sun.  As Kalgan has either murdered or corrupted the majority of the Sun's security forces, Lea, Ryder, and some laser guns and rocket launchers take on Kalgan and his thug horde. As Lea and Ryder engage in steamy pre-marital our heroine must beware as she has no idea what Kalgan is about to attempt on her face.
Can the hunk Ryder and the precocious semi-space babe Lea overcome Kalgan's might and evil desires and save the Southern Sun?   Will the psychic space babes trade in psychic pre-marital sex for a more carnal variety of intimacy?  Will Ryder's eyes, which are glued on Lea's body, ever gravitate to her face?  "Space Mutiny," directed by David Winters is a lot of fun.  For those of you fed up with the hype and preachy nature of "Star Wars," this film is a perfect elixir.  Fans of "Battlestar Galactica" will enjoy the space battle scenes, as they are taken directly out of the television series.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hide and Go Shriek, Teens, a Slasher, and Furniture

In the tradition of Chopping Mall we have more great looking teens with a brilliant idea.  Instead of a mall, we visit a furniture store where four hunks and four babes have a sure fire idea for an orgy.  When teen-aged hormones talk, nothing can go wrong!  As the lingerie and boxers fly off, decapitations and impalement cannot be far behind. Today we look at 1988's "Hide and Go Shriek," directed by Skip Schoolnik.
Dead woman of the night
They've just graduated high school and their horny.  Only one thing to do...sneak into a furniture store as it closes and have lots of pre-marital sex.  Yeah, I know, we've all done it.  Kim (Annette Sinclair) seems to be the head skank with lots of experience in pre-marital sex.  She has some very slinky linger ie which she lends to virgin Malissa (Ria Pavia).  Enough of the backstories, let's fast-forward to the orgy.  Oh, by the way, some transvestite (Scott Kubay) has knifed a prostitute  (Robin Turk) just after the opening credits. More on him later. As the frolicking begins, head skank Kim has a brilliant idea.  Play Hide and Seek!  Fortunately for our virile and potent teens, this does not hamper their ability to have pre-marital sex.  What does hamper their amorous activities is a slasher that is also in the store.  One by one...yep...you guessed it...the killer starts picking off the teens.
Clueless
In underwear, or boxers, or completely nude, the beautiful begin to fall.  Malissa has her head bashed in and her beau, Shawn (Scott Fults) is spiked, and the carnage begins.  The rest of the kills are quite imaginative, as one poor schmuck will be impaled by a mannequin arm, and another decapitated by an elevator.  Eventually the survivors realize they are being hunted, but by who?  What of the aforementioned transvestite?  Is he in the store?  Throw in another suspect or two and we have a fun version of Hide and Seek.
The Nude Kim in much peril
Will our teens mount a counter-strike and turn the tables on their nemesis?  Will head-skank, and almost always topless Kim suffer the cruelest death of all her friends because of her immoral persona?  Will 1980s Hollywood seek to vilify the psycho-transvestite community in this slasher film?  There will be lots of gratuitous nudity, some exotic strip-teases, imaginative gore, and more gratuitous nudity in this slasher offering.  Ignore all the bore-athons from this month's Golden Globes show and enjoy the carnal pleasures of "Hide and Go Shriek."