Thursday, September 13, 2018

Down Among the Z Men (1952)

aka Down Among the "Z" Men
Peter Sellers made some great comedies and he made some terrible ones. The worst is undoubtedly "Ghost in the Noonday Sun," which isn't so much a film as a series of filmed improvisations loosely tied together. This was his first film and it stars the Goons, who were a radio comedy team. Unfortunately, they didn't write the movie, so it just isn't funny. There's dance numbers and other things tossed in and the whole plot is an army "let's put on a show" chestnut. The main character is a messy absent-minded professor played by Michael Bentine, who was barely part of the Goons... and he's dreadful. Sellers has minor duties and doesn't interact much with most of the cast. But now you know where I got the blog title and now the Americans reading it should know they've been pronouncing it wrong: it's "Zed Movies" and not "Zee Movies!"

Thanks for playing along for 1700+ reviews. I may come back.

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)

Co-directed by the guy who directed Tokyo Gore Police, this is another wild ride and this one will probably offend people in the US unexpectedly, as it shows girls following a fashion fad in Tokyo that's extremely racist to some. So you were warned. A high school girl gives a boy a box of chocolates. These chocolates contain drops of her blood she put there intentionally because she's a vampire and she wants him to be one and live with her forever. ["Twilight" has so damned much to apologize for.] She, however, has a rival, who she pushes off a roof, killing her. But wait! The girl's father turns her into a Frankenstein-like monster. It's very very gory and played for laughs, which mostly don't work (it might be a cultural thing, but I think they just aren't funny). It's yet another attempt to make a sure-fire cult movie.

Santa Jaws (2018)

This is the 6th film directed by Misty Talley I've seen (fourth with sharks) and I may have managed to review them all without noting they're by the same director. [See Arachnoquake Ghost Shark Ozark Sharks and Mississippi River Sharks.] She hasn't improved on her use of CGI, but for once she's made a pretty entertaining film. Santa falls in the water, gets attacked and magically becomes the title creature, complete with cap on a fin. A young boy gets a present of a magic pen. He draws cartoons, where he wishes he could be alone for the holidays. This brings about the magic of his family being hunted by Santa Jaws. There's good use of Christmas-related weapons, from candy cane harpoons to wrapping it in strings of lights. The characters are better than usual and even the music is better than usual, being mostly holiday-related. It's cheesy and silly and stupid and the kills are not bloody, so kids could conceivably watch it, if that's the kind of family you have.

Roboshark (2015)

This is at least the 15th horror film directed by Jeffrey Lando, but I think it's the first I've reviewed. It's a very cheap Sharknado wannabe, but it has its moments. A space probe lands in the ocean, where a shark devours it and becomes Roboshark. It then decides to attack Seattle, specifically a Starbucks and a high school swimming pool. There's a lot of local humor that will be lost on those not from the area. A girl finds out Roboshark is following her on Twitter. The sharks messages are mostly emojis, that when deciphered mean "Roboshark Phone Home." They dispatch it by toppling the Space Needle on it. It's a minor shark film, but better than most.

Prey of the Jaguar (1996)

I'm hoping this is the last David DeCoteau - directed film I cover (there have been two dozen). It has Stacy Keach, Linda Blair and Paul Bartel in it, though none of them star. Keach's look makes me laugh every time he's on screen. The star, Max Caulfield sports a pornstache. His wife and son have been murdered, so he does what anyone would do: learn martial arts and don a superhero costume drawn in crayon by his son, then go after the bad guys non-lethally... he uses a dart gun and tranquilizes them. Alas, as loopy as this sounds, it's not very entertaining.

Ozark Sharks (2016)

aka Summer Shark Attack
Directed by the same guy who did "Zombie Shark" (2015) which I really thought I'd covered, but apparently haven't, this is much better, though a very by-the-numbers shark attack film. A small town in the ozarks is having a fireworks festival that gets interrupted by bull sharks (I think I'm starting to recognize species of sharks). It's up to a family and the arsenal in the back of a bait shop to stop the sharks. One goes through a woodchipper. It's surprisingly watchable, though it makes no real impression; the acting is better than expected, characters are fleshed out, the CGI is - of course - execrable and it has few slow spots.

Night Ripper! (1986)

Wow, that knife just stops at the teeth, doesn't it?

Directed by the same guy who did "Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell," "Streets of Death"and a few other turkeys, this has Larry Thomas in it and you will never not think "that's the Seinfeld Soup Nazi" when you see him; at least he's not going to be remembered for this. There's a guy killing and disemboweling (off-camera) models, a photographer becomes a suspect and the photog tries to keep his girlfriend safe. There's a twist ending, but I knew who the killer was the second he appeared on screen. The non-acting is tedious, the endless shots of people driving is tedious, the poor SOV photography and sound are irksome, there's nothing original and nothing interesting. Some have hailed this as a slasher so bad it's funny, but it's not worth seeking out (and it's VHS only as far as I know).

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)

I am SO tired of shark movies (and they're half of what's left to cover). This stars Lorenzo Lamas and Debbie Gibson. The title monsters were in a glacier, but it gets melted and they're released. After some bad ideas for killing them, from atomic bombs to pheromones, they decide the best thing to do is make them fight each other... in other words, the plot of every Kaiju film. The monsters don't even show up until the end. This somehow has spawned three sequels so far: Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (2010), Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014) and Mega Shark vs. Kolossus (2015).

Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula (1998)

aka Mar-Cookie, aka Eight Legs to Love You, aka Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula in 8 Legs to Love You

This was mentioned by Sean Frost as the Jess Franco film that broke him and he's seen a big spider movie or 200. I hate Jess Franco films, including the ones most people like, but this one not only has Lina Romay, but Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley (the latter only briefly), so I gave it a shot. I did not expect the papier-mache spider with the xeroxed face that graces the cover to actually be in the film, but there it is. The plot involves people going missing, so they investigate a strip club, because it's a Franco film. In one of the odder moments, a flashback reveals that after Romay was being raped by a soldier, a tarantula crawled into her vagina and laid eggs. Why that makes her a part-time giant killer spider is not really explained. There's a lot of nudity, none of it appealing (Quigley is naked only in the commentary!) and there's not much else to recommend it, including a throwaway joke about Franco (who died 23 years earlier).

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018)

This is an "A" film, not even a "B" film, much less a "Z" film - it stars Sam Elliott - and it's quite good, but it's going to get mixed reviews because it is in no way the film you expect from the title. Elliott spends the film in a schmaltzy love-and-loss reverie, full of string symphony music and lush visuals. He did kill Hitler, didn't get credit for it and is okay with that; he's not sure all the repercussions of his act made it personally worthwhile (though it's assumed it was worthwhile to the world as a whole). Now they want him to kill the Bigfoot [that damned 'the' article keeps catching me] because it might be carrying a disease that could wipe out mankind and he's not sure where he stands in all of this. As the title says, he does it. It's an odd film and well-made, but it's going to irritate fans of cheap silly action films.

Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)

aka Howling VII, aka Howling 7: New Moon Rising

The Howling series of films are, excepting the first and maybe the marsupial one, pretty lame. I've covered the Sybil Danning one and this one is undoubtedly the worst. The director of at least parts of #4,5 and 6 directed this and wrote it, produced it, edited it and starred in it as well, incorporating as much footage from the earlier films as possible to pad out the run time and make things confusing; sometimes the new footage seems to be people saying "and then this happened" with a cut to another film. A western town has a bunch of murders; there's a new guy in town and he rides a motorcycle and has long hair, so he's a suspect, but there's rumors of a werewolf. The transformations and makeup are exceptionally bad for the budget and only happen in the last minute of the film! There's a ton of very bad jokes and a lot of musical interludes.

Hardcase and Fist (1984)

I, for one, cannot pass up an action film with a title that sounds like it was made up by the writers of "Family Guy." Ted Prior stars and shows that his acting talents include growing a beard to go with his mullet. This was directed by Tony Zarindast and I've considered a few of his films for inclusion, but this one is the pick... it even has billboard starlet Angelyne in the cast (whose look has changed so dramatically that I had to re-watch the stripper dance scenes to spot her). A cop is framed and sent to jail, but gets out with his martial arts-expert cellmate to get revenge on the mafia types that put him there. The film is hopelessly padded. Many of the stunts look like they didn't work; one car jumps too far and barely manages to move afterward, a guy on fire walks far too long, and - watch for this - the drivers of the cars in a chase scene actually switch vehicles between shots! There's a fire-eating stripper and an aerobics scene and one long topless scene of a woman getting out of a pool.

Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill! (2017)

With the title, you expect some connection to Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!" but this is merely a retread of "Saw" with Dave Mustaine doing the creepy voice. Unappealing people find themselves trapped in a series of rooms from which they must escape; the rooms are filled with tools and weapons. Someone must die before they can get to each new room. I hoped it would be me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Geek (1971)

After my review of Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventures of Bigfoot, there was a comment by Ira Brooker asking what I thought of this film. Most who have seen it have only seen the few minutes tacked onto the DVD of Godmonster of Indian Flats, but there's a 50 minute version available that's missing only a few minutes of hardcore sex or maybe one scene. The film starts out as a 16mm documentary following three couples who go in search of Bigfoot, also known as The Geek (though, only in this film, I think). It's endless footage of people walking for 10 minutes. Then the couples split apart and start doing couple stuff, like admitting to almost having sex with one's sister and then having poorly filmed uninteresting hardcore sex. Then, all of a sudden, Bigfoot shows up and he's wearing a terrible outfit that makes one long for the gorilla suit in the softcore The Beast that Killed Women.

Wow, that's a lot of links for one of my posts.

Bigfoot rapes the women. Graphically. The guys go from being ineffectual in stopping him to being kind of voyeuristic. Then it ends.

Do I have to cover "Monster of Camp Sunshine" now? Is this becoming a Bigfoot porn review site?

Final Score (1986)

aka Strike Commando

Finding this is tough; there are some VHS copies floating around and a DVD that's never been released in the US... and that's a shame, because this is worth seeing. [As I type this, I just know someone will tell me it's now readily available] Christopher Mitchum stars in this ultimate 1980's action film. There's a long 10 minute intro, where Mitchum's son is killed and his wife gang-raped and then killed. Once you get past that, it's 70 minutes of explosions, car crashes and gunfire. Every cliché gets hit: there's a flashback to Vietnam, complete with exploding huts and guard towers; the hero gets tortured; there's a car chase that ends with a vehicle flipping after a truck full of tomatoes gets spilled, there's a MacGuffin of a disc with evidence, there's a helicopter explosion. Three days after his wife's murder, Mitchum teams up with a woman who wants revenge for her sister's death and they fall in love, which makes this revenge for the loss of the love of his life questionable.  Mitchum rides a motorcycle with both a machine gun and a rocket launcher, uses the latter to blow up a car, and then jumps over the flaming wreckage! One stunt gets repeated, using shots from a different angle and they pretend it's a separate incident. There's an impaling on a tree branch, a hot poker shoved up an ass, a bomb set off in a guy's crotch. There's stunts where the stuntmen did not walk away. This deserves to be better known.

Codename: Diablo (2017)

This 30 minute film was advertised as being in the line of Russ Meyer or Andy Sidaris films, but it owes more to fetish comics. Three agents with enormous breast implants (we're talking gallons here) battle a bunch of latex-sporting SCUBA men for a death ray. The female stars can't act, and one has an accent that's distracting. I really wanted to like this, but was disappointed. Amazingly, there's no nudity.

Unasked-for commentary on enormous breast implants:

The largest commercially available breast implants are 3000 cc, which when overfilled to a sphere can be pushed to 4000 cc [I know of two cases that are larger, using discontinued products]. If they were silicone, at 4 liters, they'd weigh 6.5 pounds each, but as saline are slightly over 8 lbs. This weight often causes the surgical scars to open, making removal necessary. Implants last 5-10 years before leaking, requiring replacement or removal and reconstructive surgery. Anyone who does this to themselves has some form of body dysmorphia and should spend their money on therapy instead of surgery.

Bruce Li in New Guinea (1979)

aka Bruce Lee in New Guinea, aka Bruce Li in Snake Island, aka Bruce in New Guinea, aka Last Fist of Fury
I'd skipped over this when covering Bruceploitation, I think because the copy I had didn't seem to be pretending it was Bruce Lee (despite Bruce Li wearing a tracksuit) and then Stately Wayne Manor reminded me of it. Two guys visit an island - definitely not New Guinea - one to learn the local fighting techniques, the other to learn the culture. They hire comic relief cross-eyed guides. There's a devil cult with an evil serpent wizard, a romantic subplot, cannibals, a magic "snake" pearl and rings, a kung fu gorilla protector of the leader's daughter, a snake pit, a guy who fights with an iron hand on a stick... you know, the usual. The fight scenes aren't great, though Bolo Yeung shows up, yet the action and the weirdness keep coming, so it's worth a watch. The guy in the gorilla suit's pretty funny.

Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet (2005)

Two (female) scientists travel through a bad CGI wormhole to a planet with really really bad CGI dinosaurs that disappear after a minute because they were expensive to film. Then cave girls with dyed hair and makeup (and very 2000-ish shaving) discover lesbian sex. One of the cave girls is played by the same actress that plays one of the scientists - it's just that cheap. Misty Mundae is the star, but her scenes appear to have been filmed years earlier and spliced in.

Bigfoot vs. D.B. Cooper (2014)

Interesting title, but terrible film. David DeCoteau shows shirtless guys in their underwear for 95% of the movie, doing nothing but flexing in front of mirrors. Bigfoot (a poor orange gorilla suit) occasionally watches them and there is a slight encounter. D.B. Cooper's character arc is almost non-existent and the title confrontation takes less than a minute and is poorly done. Eric Roberts narrates and Linnea Quigley's voice shows up for one line or two, but neither are actually filmed, though the only billed actors. This is unmitigated crap.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Big Tits Zombie (2010)

aka The Big Tits Dragon, aka The Big Tits Dragon: Hot Spring Zombies vs. Strippers 5, aka Zombie Stripper Apocalypse, aka The Big Tits Dragon 3-D, aka Big Tits Zombie - Boobs to Die For, aka Nippon Splatterotics 1

This was based on the Manga "Big Tits Dragon" and directed by the same guy who did "Sexual Parasite: Killer Pussy" (2004). Bored strippers find a book of the dead and one accidentally uses it to raise the dead. She gets power mad and then two other strippers (of the 5 that seem to be working there) fight back with a katana and a chainsaw. None of the zombies have big tits, but one does shoot fire out of her vagina, which might have something to do with the "dragon" of the title. There's an Alice in Wonderland zombie for no explained reason. One woman's stunt double is clearly a man and the gore is obviously sausage links and jam. Some sets are covered in plastic to protect them from splatter. The acting is slightly better than porn-level (I think the star of this did porn, but I'm not going to look it up) and the zombies look like they're wearing Halloween masks. It's certainly entertaining enough for a viewing.

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016)

A zom com, like "Shaun of the Dead," this has a chemical meant to make snow instead turning people (and a deer) into zombies, though no one notices the difference for a while. Then snowboarders fight off the zombies; there's a snowboard kill, a double ski pole to the face kill, a wooden bench head split and a few other things you haven't seen before. It looks like the people involved have shot snowboarding footage before and decided to make a film; the snowboarding action looks great, the rest is variable. Not all the jokes work - since it was shot in Austria, it's possible many don't translate - but there are some laughs. The acting is okay, the characters actually involving and the thin plot doesn't bog down in the 78 minute run time. There's an inexplicable dance scene. This qualifies as a "B" film, rather than a "Z" film, with a budget of $3 million and is better than what I should post here. It's hard to not watch a film with that title, though.

Android Cop (2016)

aka Hammond, Robotic Cop
Having covered "Wolf Cop," "Zombie Cop," "Psycho Cop," "Hollywood Cop," Samurai Cop," "Space Cop," "Demon Cop" and "Karate Cop," how could I not do this one? It's still another Asylum film, meant to be a remake of "RoboCop," but also taking elements from "Blade Runner," "Almost Human," "Alien Nation," some Blaxploitation classics and a thousand buddy cop films. A detective gets partnered with an android cop and they go into the forbidden section of LA where there's a plague, to get the daughter of the mayor, whose consciousness is stored in a runaway android. This leads to a Mad max type car chase and a helicopter chase, some shootouts and some fights. There's a few good lines, like "If I shot everyone who attacked me with an axe, I would never have the time to get all the paperwork done." Michael Jai White stars and Charles S. Dutton has a role. It's a very passable time-waster.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Zoombies (2016)

Skipping past "Zomboobies!" (2014), which is still basically a collection of trailers waiting to be made a film and "Zompyres:Texas" (2010) which is simply unlikeable, we end this alphabetical run here. This was made by The Asylum and is their version of "Jurassic Park;" a virus at a zoo has turned the animals into zombies, which then go on the attack and, of course, it spreads outside the walls of the zoo. The CGI effects start well for the budget, but get worse, as the budget runs out of steam just as the plot does. Someone gets savaged by a giraffe, which seems unlikely. Someone gets stomped by an elephant and walks it off. Someone gets attacked by a koala. [Why has no one ever done a film about "Drop Bears," the Australian legend of koalas that drop out of trees and attack?] It's slow and unoriginal - two deadly faults in the genre.
Next up: maybe 20 films suggested by others.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence (1991)

aka Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence
Well, now I've seen an Andreas Schnaas film, so that's one fewer gaps in the crap I've watched. This is an extreme gore film, like H. G. Lewis cranked up to 11, and it's ineptitude also rivals Lewis. A breast is cut off, revealing intestines underneath! A baby is ripped from a womb and it's obviously a doll. Chainsaws rip off limbs. On top of this is what appears to be an improvised dubbed voice track with one or maybe two guys doing all the voices (including women), often with ludicrous accents - a German doctor sounds like a Blaxploitation pimp, for example. If you have the stomach for gore and you think people doing funny voices is hysterical, you could enjoy this, but it got tiresome quickly for me. There's very little plot or characterization, but that seems beside the point.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Zombie Diaries 2 (2011)

aka World of the Dead - Zombie Diaries, aka Zombie Diaries 2: World of the Dead
I'm not sure I should include this because, frankly, no one likes it. The original film had several groups that were tied together at the end; this one follows a very linear plot: the last survivors of the zombie plague in England try to make it to the coast in an effort to meet up with others they've heard about. It's done in found footage style, which I never like and one wonders why the guy with the camera never puts it down to help anyone. To say it's deliberately paced would be an understatement, as it's a slow zombie shamble until the end, where there's an ironic twist that doesn't save it. The film is mostly army types versus bandit types (and here they could've had a story about just how much control a society needs, but they don't go there) and there are three gratuitous rape scenes.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Zombie Cop (1991)

I reviewed J.R. Bookwalter's film "Robot Ninja" long ago and this is his other early no-budget film; it's far, far worse. In fact, Bookwalter has disowned it, making copies of it scarce. It's terribly padded, including repeating an entire scene. The acting, music, cinematography and editing are all quite bad. Bookwalter's films have their fans because his films have action - this is static. The plot: a voodoo villain kills a cop, who comes back from the dead as a voodoo zombie and said zombie rejoins his police force to stop the bad guy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Zombie Bloodbath (1993) and Zombie Rampage (1989)

These are both Todd Sheets zombie films, so I lumped them together

Zombie Bloodbath
Slightly higher budgeted and more ambitious than his previous efforts, this has more than 700 extras in zombie gear. Nuclear power plant on Indian burial ground, then 30 minutes of gut munching in 70 minutes. It's still very amateurish, but gorehounds will recognize all the influences of Italian gore directors, including the music. There's at least three separate groups that have no connection to each other, except that they get attacked by zombies, making the film a mess to follow.

Zombie Rampage

This makes Zombie Bloodbath look like a Powell-Pressburger film. Zombies attack; there's really nothing else to say. I'd reviewed two Sheets films earlier and this is exactly like those - amateurish and sloppy, with gleefully over-the-top gore.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Zeppo: Sinners from Beyond the Moon! (2007)

This film must have taken about as long to make as it took for me to download and probably cost as much as a dozen views (one is enough). Lloyd Kaufman of Troma plays the President, Debbie Rochon plays the queen of a planet that decides to invade Earth for fun and Conrad Brooks narrates... sort of. There's a lot of references to Plan 9 From Outer Space (including the presence of Brooks) and it looks like it was more fun to make than it was to watch.