Archive for August, 2010

30
Aug
10

5 Reasons to Watch Galaxina

One of The Primal Root’s Dirty Thoughts

Recently I was arranging the shelves at Video 21 when I came across a movie I hadn’t seen since I was in the single digits. A sexy sci-fi farce called Galaxina. I didn’t remember much about it so I decided to give it a go. Sadly, for the most part, what I found was a kind of luke warm Dark Star/Barbarella rip-off  in addition to a  poorly written Star Wars/ Star Trek spoof. The gags aren’t funny, the jokes are repetitive and dull and the movie simply fails to be in any way engaging.

However, there are a couple moments, 5 in fact, that are just so bizarre and trashy they work.

5. Maurice: The Token Black Alien


Everyone else on board the intergalactic space police cruiser (excluding Rock Eater) is human with the exception of Maurice. He looks human for the most part other than the fact he has pointy Vulcan ears and a set of tiny wings that won’t allow him to fly anymore. Could this be a thinly veiled message about how the primarily white crew of this ship is keeping an interstellar black man down in a galaxy far, far, away? A creature who was once able to fly now cannot because perched on top of him are his managers. Maurice is a man who cannot fly free. He lives on a ship where he is paid to fix the force fields when the playboy pilots get ’em all banged up during gun battles that could have been easily avoided. Here’s to you Maurice! Another blue collar guy who just can’t catch a break. Stay strong, buddy.

4. The Egg Scene


Three of our crew members gather around a dining room table completely covered in lit candles, which seems a little dangerous to have inside a space ship, while Galaxina serves them dinner. As the meal progresses Capt. Butt ( yep, funny hu?) notices Buzz has a strange egg with him. Butt then goes into a bit of a speech about how human’s used to eat eggs well knowing where they came from and how sick and disgusting an act it was. Once he’s finished, he takes the egg from Buzz, cracks that brown, turd looking egg over his goblet , pours the green and red contents in and then slurps the goopey contents down. It’s a revolting moment and possibly one of the only affecting scenes in Galaxina. To watch it is to know what the contents of your own stomach taste like.

3. Kitty’s Place

Hit it, Maurice!

Star Wars had the infamous Cantina scene. Well, Galaxina does it one better with an Intergalactic Whore House! Sure, bizarre and intriguing characters can always be found in bars all over the universe but did no one think of what might be lurking in this house of ill repute? I’m sure space truckers need to get laid from time to time to keep from flipping their shit and killing off their crew out of some form of  libido cabin fever. Hence, Kitty’s Place! A place where creatures from across the stars gather to spread their legs, or what have you, for some quick space currency. Sadly, we never get to see any of these alien/android/girls painted blue, actually get it on with anyone. But I guess some things are best left to the imagination of the warped viewer.

2. Projected Boob Fondling

Um, no boob fondling. But here's Rock Eater instead!

In one of the strangest scenes I’ve ever witnessed in a sci-fi movie, Sgt. Thor and Buzz get a call from someone looking to brief them on an upcoming mission. Col. Butt is asleep so the young lady delivering the message sympathizes with Thor and Buzz who haven’t touched live lady flesh in several decades. So what does she do? She opens up her blouse and whips those puppies out for the boys to fondle via video feed. What? The effect itself hardly holds up, it looks as if someone is projecting footage onto the wall and these two bozos are going up to the projected image and are acting like they are actually handling her happy sacks. Best of all, she acts as if SHE CAN FEEL IT! It’s a scene that lasts about three minutes, if that, but it will leave a lasting impression. It’s just so damn refined

1. Galaxina

What can I say? The only real reason to see this movie is because of the title character. Galaxina is a sight to behold. Played by the late Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered shortly after the film’s release in 1980, Galaxina is sexy, brainy, and innocent as only a robot learning to love can be. While the men are in “Cryosleep” Galaxina programs herself to speak, to be warm to the touch, to no longer shock people who attempt to pinch her ass, and to wear revealing lingerie. In the film’s final act it is not the men who leave the ship to do battle with villainy, it is Galaxina. Sure, the guys have to save her eventually, but she holds her own in battle and even in a shoot out. Which is more than can be said for her human male counterparts. Galaxina is a well built piece of machinerary that can kick your ass and love you like none other.

If there’s one thing this film has going for it, it would our voluptuous android, Galaxina.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

20
Aug
10

Blood, Tits and Fish: Don’t Feed the Dead checks out this summer’s trashiest horror offering, Piranha 3D!

a Don’t Feed the Dead review

Titties.

In a word, that sums up the latest offering from Alexandre Aja, Pirahna 3D. Titties, with a little bit of fish sprinkled in. Sounds like a fine stew, doesn’t it? You weren’t expecting a serious horror movie, were you? Neither was I, when I hit the midnight showing for this fine film. Pirahna 3D delivers a hefty dose of blood, breasts and CGI in the latest and greatest technology to sweep Hollywood. In all honesty, the film was a good time if taken for what it was, a campy remake of a campy late 70’s horror flick.

The film opens with a sequence showing the cameo-riffic Richard Dreyfuss aboard the S.S. “Dead Jobber”. He, like every retiree in lake country is dropping a line and drinking a cold brew. Suddenly, he gets a bite and next thing you know – seismic event of ungodly proportions! The fragile fault line that Lake Victoria sits on opens up to create a massive whirlpool, which begins to suck down Dreyfuss and his six pack. Suddenly, from the deep, a school of pre-historic piranha emerge and engulf Dreyfuss’ flailing body in a frenzy. Cue opening credits.

Lake Victoria is a spring break kind of town, where all the hot, young college students go to party – like Lake Havasu, but fake. The town is overflowing with topless twenty-somethings and awful dance music. We’re introduced to the movie’s protagonist, Jake (Steven R. McQueen), a nerd on a scooter that has a thing for a girl who’s involved with a douchebag boyfriend that drives a Jeep Wrangler. Welcome back, horror stereotypes. Where have you been? Jake is the son of the town sheriff, played by Elizabeth Shue, who is off preparing for crowd control during the town’s busiest week. Unfortunately for Sheriff Shue, she has to search for Richard Dreyfuss’ missing ass and a team of geological experts are coming in to study the recent seismic activity.

Long story short, Shue finds Dreyfuss’ carcass and the team of geological experts discover that the fault created by the seismic activity connects Lake Victoria to an underground cave that houses the nasty little piranha. All hell breaks loose on the lake, and in a series of events the audience bares witness to some of the oddest aquatic titty scenes ever. Ever wondered what a parasailor’s tits looked like as they fluttered through the water? Me either. But now I know! Creepy operatic lesbian underwater encounter? Coming at ya! Eli Roth MC’ng a wet t-shirt contest and coming up with every metaphor for boobs known to man? Check!

I won’t lie and tell you that Pirahna 3D has “edge of the seat” moments, or even jump scenes in the movie. It’s not scary, nor is it intended to be (I sure hope not, at least). It is, however, a highlight reel of special effects, both CGI and legit make-up FX work. KNB shows off all their amazing work in this film and proves again why they are top notch in the world of horror special effects. Limbs get gnawed to nothing, bodies tear and fall apart and there a even a few NC-17 type surprises in store for the more hardcore viewers. No secret, the money for this film was most certainly spent on entertaining the eyes.

As for the acting, think SyFy original movie with some B-list accreditation. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from a cast that features Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Jerry O’Connell and Christopher Lloyd. O’Connell and Lloyd were pretty damn funny, but for the most part Shue and Rhames could have been replaced by the Quiznos Kittens and I wouldn’t have really noticed. Would a cast of A-listers have made the film that much better? Probably not. I don’t think Aja was shooting for a Criterion edition of the film down the line.

Overall, Pirahna 3D was a good time, not a great time. It’s one of those movies that would have been (and will be) marginal in 2D format, and certainly a film that will ultimately serve as an appetizer for better made 3D endeavors (I’m looking at you, Jackass 3D and RE: Afterlife!). You get more than your fair share of boobies and blood, but ultimately the film comes down to a whole lotta style and very little substance. Stock Up: Horny Teenage Boys, Virgins and Jerry O’Connell enthusiasts. Stock Down: Christian Moralists, Heavy Thinkers and people with Ichthyophobia.

16
Aug
10

Friday the 13th: Look what you did to him!

a Primal Root review

Friday the 13th is the film that sparked the match. Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre had put down the kindling and soaked it with gasoline but it was Friday the 13th in the summer of 1980 than set the fire which became the slasher sub-genre that would define the decade and would pump out a near constant stream of sequels for just about all of those 10 years.

Although incredibly successful there is the small tragedy of the affect all those sequels had on Victor Miller, Sean Cunningham and Tom Savini’s original piece. As Friday the 13th became an ever popular franchise of films with entries reaching into the double digits they have, in a sense, watered down the impact of Friday the 13th. What people lose sight of is just how good and even scary the original Friday the 13th is. With so many stories told of Jason, imposters, trips to Hell and trips to Manhattan, Friday the 13th kind of gets crushed under all the weight of the strange tales that unfolded afterwards.

The simple concept of isolating some teenagers at a secluded summer camp where they could no be reached by any adults, where they must fend for themselves, was ingenious. Many of us spent summers in these mildewed, moist and rickety old summer camps being tended and tormented by counselors who weren’t much older than us. It;s something many children and teens can relate to and it feels organic. Kids with responsibilities but still trying to bekids and have fun.

And we aren’t dealing with some group of unlikable morons this time around. These are intelligent, funny, and self reliant young people. Sure, they smoke a little “grass”, have premarital sex and even partake in a rousing game of strip Monopoly, but they also talk of neutralizing nitrates, creating delicious vegetraian meals where one will get all the protean they need, and also notice the change in weather patterns. Not sure if this makes them smarter than the usual batch but there sure aren’t any characters here calling one another “Dead Fucks” while typing into imaginary computers or commenting on how their casual sexual partner “Hardly Sweats at all.” I doubt those guys would even have a remote idea as to how to run the Emergency Generator.

This distinction makes the sequential murder of each counselor that much more frightening and impactful. No one wants to see these fun loving, relatable kids die. Let alone in such a grisly and graphic fashion. Sure they mess around, but they risk life and limb and give their all to save their fellow counselor, NEd, who looks to be drowning. Revealed later to be a woefully unfunny practical joke. Especially to a certain killer gazing on from the woods.

Friday the 13th also functions as a “Who-Done-It” murder mystery. Although, it’s a film tat totally cheats at this scenario. Several red herrings are introduced but they are all killed by the end of the movie only for the real killer to drive up put of nowhere and confront ALice, our final girl, under the guise of trust.

It’s the warm, and completely disarming actress Betsy Palmer who identified herself as “Mrs. Voorhees, an old friend of the Christie’s.” The audience looks at Mrs. Voorhees and she seems pleasant, personable and like she wouldn;t harm a fly. But you feel something might be off. Maybe she’s a bit too happy. A bit too inviting. That there’s something much darker just under the surface.

Palmer delivers and knock out of a performance as Mrs. Voorhees who is revealed to be the vengeance seeking mother of a former camper who drowned at the camp in the 50’s due to horny, negligent counselors. “They weren’t paying any attention. They were making love while that young boy droned! His name was Jason”  It’s one of those reveals that slowly and effectively builds the dread. We learn of Mrs. Voorhees’ lose, her sense or despair and tragedy. And we can feel her pain. Why she has snapped and decided to wreak vengeance on this camp and anyone who tries to open it again. Because every time the gate to the camp opens she relives her lose, all the pain comes flooding back, and she must avenge her son and prevent the lose deaths of other children by punishing those who are trying to bring those youths back to the spot of her son’s passing.

The final chase is frenetic and crazy as hell highlighted with some great vengeful one liners from Mrs. Voorhees as she stalks and battles the terrified Alice. It all culminates with an excellent showdown on the beach where Alice gets her hands on Mrs. Voorhees’ machete and knocks her mother fucking block off. It’s a surreal and graphic effect by master Tom Savini, where toothpicks are visibly holding the head on, Mrs. Voorhees has hairy man hands, and the neck pops open the opposite way from where the blade makes contact, but these strange screw ups make the whole thing even more jarring to the audience. It all feels like a nightmare.

And who can ever forget the sting in tail ending? After a long night of bloodshed Alice has survived. Having left the the blood caked beach of the lake to take off into the secluded safety of the water itself in a canoe she wakes to find the local police on the shore calling out to her. Her ordeal is over. She has saved herself and the cavalry has arrived. The music swells, ALice looks hopeful, and then a rotted, zombified mongoloid rises from the depths of the lake, wraps his muddied, decrepit arm around our heroines neck and in slow motion drags her under the water.

It’s an obvious steal from Brian DePalma’s film adaptation of Carrie, but it works in spades. the first time I saw this on VHS in the safety of my living room I nearly put a dent in the ceiling I jumped so high off the couch.  Sure, Alice wakes up later in her hospital bed safe and sound. When she asked about the boy, Jason, who dragged her under water, the sheriff replies “We didn’t find any boy.” As if this is supposed to bring some comfort. Did Alice dream this? Hallucinate it? Was it some sort of ghost? Or was it really Jason, whose body was never recovered from the lake?

It’s a terrifying image. One that sticks with the viewer long after the credits roll and the lights come up in the theater. Much like Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th is about the ghosts of our past wreaking havoc on our lives today. The mistakes and tragedies of our collective pasts revisited.  Every camp has a legend like Jason or Cropsey to keep the young people who make up the population there in check. They are morality tales, where those who do wrong will always pay. The past is in stone and cannot be erased. And for some they will never forget. And that these skeletons. no matter how deep they are buried, have a way of resurfacing. They will one day return to us and bring those days back to life.

Friday the 13th is a very affecting and entertaining horror film but it is also a dark and sad tale of vengeance, insanity and lose. Mrs. Voorhees’ rage is an understandable one, but it is clear this deep sense of personal tragedy has caused her to lose her mind. She was a mother and a cook once. She was a good person. The counselors are also all very good people and have much to contribute to society in their own way. They might be young and a little naive but they haven’t harmed anyone. Now, every single one of them is dead because of one terrible day that took place decades earlier. Due to the same act that brought Jason into this world. The same act that was the cause of his death. An act of love.

Friday the 13th is one of the finest examples of the horror films produced in the 1980’s.  It’s a machine the builds the scares and delivers them with glee but is also grounded in a a relatable reality and heartbreaking and believable tragedy. It;s a film well worth revisiting. And when you do, try to forget Jason X, Freddy vs. Jason, and even Friday the 13th part. Forget the whole franchise. Just pop in Friday the 13th and take it as a stand alone, independently made horror film and you’ll find a strong horror films that stands up on it’s own two legs.

Happy 30th Birthday, Friday the 13th.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

12
Aug
10

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter or Jason Delivers the Goods

a Primal Root review

As connoisseurs of trash cinema, bad taste and glory through garbage we know exactly what we want from our sleazy flicks. And this is certainly true when it comes to slasher movies. Even more sow ith Friday the 13th films. And there is one Friday the 13th movie that gives you everything. One sequel that pulls out all the stops, jumps out of the plane without a parachute and goes for broke. And that would be The Final Chapter: Friday the 13th part IV.

Directed by slasher veteran Joeseph Zito (The Prowler) and with Tom Savini back on board to kill the monster he created, the creative mind behind this fourth installment had every intent of ending the series with one final hurrah. So why not give the fans everything they loved about the franchise and deliver the most crowd pleasing Friday the 13th film yet? And that’s exactly what they did.

And what we ended up with is one of the most enjoyable entries in the Friday the 13th franchise.

The film’s quality itself is heightened by the appearance of about a dozen notable actors and actress’s with far more talent than is typically associated with the Cystal Lake Saga. Crispin Glover, Corey Feldman, Judie Aronson, Kimberly Beck, Peter Barton, etc. The list of on screen talent is commendable and does a lot to gain this entry some credibility and give the stock characters more life this time around.

Corey Feldman in the memorable “Peeping-Tom Boogie” scene.

Tom Savini’s special make-up and gore effects are, again, a wonder to behold. From skull crushing, to scissors through necks and cleavers tot he face, The Final Chapter contains the best effects of the series. I would say they even rival those of later, higher budgeted installment as far as overall affect and deployment. In the mid-90’s Savini was at the top of his game a year later would deliver magnum opus in Romero’s Day of the Dead.

When sore throat pain strikes!

There’s also the choice of Mr. Zito taking a seat behind the camera for this outing. Not the most prolific director but his list of notable’s include The Prowler and the Chuck Norris epic, Missing in Action. The man knows what he is doing and gets the feeling when watching The Final Chapter that Zito is a man who understands his audience. Whether it’s the care given to the composition of a shot featuring man being hoisted into the air by a spear gun rammed into his love grove or maintaining a fresh, bouncy pair of female breasts in a shot for far longer than anticipated, Joe Zito is a man trash cinema collectors can believe in.

And then there’s Ted white as Jason. My second favorite Jason of the entire series (behind Steve Dash of Part 2). Ted is an old school professional stunt man who was cast simply because of his size but has a real screen presence when that mask is on. He cuts a very imposing figure when he’s bursting through door sand windows and crushing people with his bare hands. There’s something about the way Ted moves as this character when he runs, and haults and charges after his victims. It feels very real and of the moment and you can;t really say that about most of the folks who have taken the mantel of this backwoods boogeyman.

You are certainly fucked now!

The final Chapter is a constant fan favorite for a ewason. It gives us all everything we could have ever wanted and more from a Friday film. Even some things we never knew we always wanted. Like the jaw droppingly brilliant Crispin Glover dance sequence that will go down in history as the greatest spaz out in slasher films. It’s a true thing of beauty and everyone must see it at least once in their lives. Trust me, it’s really that astounding.

Crispin is taking his passion and making it happen.

Unlike other Friday films that decided it would bring in audiences with the promise of something new or different to inject life into the series, The Final Chapter doesn’t use anything other than the classic ingredients. Crystal Lake and the surrounding woods, young nubile kids, and an psycho mongoloid with a score to settle and a machete in his hand. And what they do with these simplest of scenarios is  give the Friday the 13th fans an entry they will always cherish.

The body count is plentiful, the naked bodies are many (and even some milky white man ass for the ladies), and the carnage is never ending. For my money, it’s probably the most fun you will have with this series. Everything lines up, clicks and will both please the die-hards and maybe even convert none belivers.

One thing you can’t deny is The Final Chapter is one hellishly good time and a load of fun to watch. The Final Chapter is essential viewing for all on Team Jason and it’s hard not to want to give te man a hug after this entry where he is killed off by a pint sized Goonie dressed as Uncle Fester.

Billy Corgan? Nope, still Uncle Fester.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

 

11
Aug
10

Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning or The Wages of Chocolate

a Primal Root review

****SPOILER ALERT!****

People hate this film’s guts. They despise it. It’s ridiculed by critic who already can’t stand the franchise and hardcore fans alike. From what I understand a lot of the anger and resentment stems from the fact that Jason is dead and  there’s a new killer in town…who dresses just like him and uses the same M.O. The film takes on a rather tacky and obvious murder mystery “who-done-it?” approach in the same vein as the original Friday the 13th, but in the case of A New Beginning, none of it really gels.  But unlike Friday the 13th, where the killer isn’t even mentioned before she drives onto the scene and introduces herself, part 5’s new killer is introduced with all the subtlety of a tack hammer to the face. If you watch this movie for the first time and don’t pick out EXACTLY who the killer is it’s time to go by to grammar school ,junior!

It’s an oddly paced wreck of a film but what it lacks in talent infront of and behind the camera it makes up in glorious, all American, SLEAZE! A New Beginning delivers it in spades. So much so, you leave feeling dirtier than usual after viewing a Friday the 13th movie. Maybe it’s due to the fact the film’s director, Danny Steinmann, helmed a few porn films in the 70’s…

I have a feeling this is why I love A New Beginning so much. It’s mean spirited, caustic, vulgar, has the highest body count in the franchise at 22, three sets of boobs including the awe inspiring set exposed by Ms. Debi Sue Voorhees, disgusting rednecks who scream constantly and compare one another to dildoes, several dozen red herrings, a twenty minute final chase sequnce featuring a hot blonde in a wet t-shirt,  the use of the dreaded “C” word, the list of filth is endless and MAN does it make up for whatever else is lacking.

Tommy and his imaginary friend.

We follow Tommoy Jarvis, our hero from The Final Chapter, who is in his mid twenties but I am guessing is supposed to be an remarkably well built and ripped 16-17 year old, who is on his way to some hold over hippie mental institution where they hand out axes to psychotic teenagers and send them on their way. See, it’s a trust system. Not sure if that’s your best approach with a bunch of horrifically unstable youths…but what do I know, I never went to college.

One Slashed Into the Cuckoo's Nest

This adds a level of  sadness to the proceedings knowing that the majority of this film’s victim pool is made up of mentally ill people. Folks who are handicapped. Watching them try to deal with their issues, whether it be a speech impediments, doing the robot or being constantly horny, really adds gravity to the proceedings.

So, of course, a young fat crazy guy gets hacked to pieces by Suicide from Return of the Living Dead over a harsh argument revolving around a chocolate bar. Isn’t this always the way? Anyway, fat kid’s dead, Suicide goes to jail  and the paramedics pick up the meaty chunks. One paramedic in particular seems kind of shocked by this whole thing. A paramedic named Roy who the camera stays on as he does a menacing take towards the camera….HMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

It totally can't be Roy.

With our inciting incident behind us we are introduced to our rag tag group of mentally unstable youths, residents and vacationers. Most notable is our young, black protagonist Reggie who supplies all the one screen talent in this film along with his older brother, Demon, who doesn’t wipe after taking a shit, is played by Spider from Return of the Living Dead , and has a lovely singing voice to go with that Jheri Curl.  These two guys steal the show (along with Debi Sue Voorhees bountiful breasts) even if Demon’s time on screen is fleeting.

Reggie should probably ditch the hysterical deadweight named Pam.

Reggie is visiting his grandfather who is the cook at the mental institution. Again, is this the kind of place to send your child? I mean, someone was chopped to bits there…you’d think they’d send him home or something. But in the end, A New Beginning has much to gain from the poor parenting that has sent poor little Reggie the Reckless off to this halfway house death trap in the middle of the woods.

There’s a far bigger pool of possible victims, and in a  very rare occurrence in the series, a kiddy pool full of possible killers which allows for a bit more plot than usual. But, as I mentioned earlier,  there’s also a hell of a lot more blood shed and naked bodies this time around as well. It’s a strange concoction that so many people hate. However, over time I have grown quite fond if this , the absolute TRASHIEST film in the entire ever lovin’ franchise.

New Guy knows how to make an entrance.

A New Beginning was the bridge between the original four part Friday the 13th series and story arch and the return of Jason as the unstoppable zombie juggernaut in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th part VI. It was a time when Paramount had no idea what to do with the series. By the end of this installment it seems like Tommy Jarvis is ready to don the mask as the heir to Jason’s slasher throne, but alas, it is never to be. The fans stayed away from The New Beginning in droves after finding out Jason wasn’t actually in the movie other than appearances in dreams and hallucinations. So, the movie bombed and gave way to the resurrection of Jason Voorhees and Tommy would again be the hero which brought the fans back to theaters.

It’s sick, twisted, leering, gross, violent, crude and downright shameful. But it’s also a whole hell of a lot of dark, slimy, evil fun. For those of us who like our slasher films gratuitous, unintentionally hilarious, and unapologetically nasty, you can’t do much better in this franchise than Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning.

The Trash Cinema Collective Loves You, Debi Sue!

Stay Trashy!

-The Primal Root

11
Aug
10

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood or Raising Kane

a Primal Root review

The New Blood was, coincidentally, the very first Friday the 13th movie I ever saw. As a child I was completely forbidden from watching these kinds of films. Sure, I could be traumatized by Speilberg’s JAWS and Hooper’s Poltergeist, but the insanely fun Friday the 13th series was OFF LIMITS.  I think it’s because my Mom didn’t want me seeing bare female breasts. Now look what kind of complex that’s created.

Anyhoo, my first recollection of Friday the 13th part VII was  building up the courage to walk into the theater as a child and just catch a glimpse of what all my friends on the playground were talking about. I don’t recall what I was at the local Winter Haven, Florida movie theater seeing but I had gotten up to go use the boy’s room and it was on this unchaperoned venture I summoned up the courage to walk into the theater for my first ever taste of Friday the 13th.

And oh man, did it deliver. It was that moments towards the end of the film when there are hardly any teens left. Just our telekentic star Tina, love interest Nick and uber bitch, Melissa. I walked into that darkened theater to see Melissa open the door to leave Tina’s cabin only to have Jason firmly plant an axe right in her face and chuck her across the living room over a TV and into a wall.

and a horror nerd is born. Winter Haven, Florida. 1988.

My blood ran cold and my little first grade self finally knew what everyone was talking about. I was frozen in place, eyes wide, jaw on the floor. I felt terrified but excited simultaneously. My mind spun, my pulse raced as soon as my heart began beating again. Jason had the two remaining kids trapped in this house and I couldn’t bear anymore so I bolted back to my correct theater to sit next to the safety of my Mom and watch the rest of Who Framed Roger Rabbit or something.

I was fascinated with a hockey masked, undead, monster from hell.

It wasn’t until Friday the 13th Part VII was shown on USA when I was in 6th grade that I finally saw it in it’s entirety and was my favorite in the series for years.  The kills are brutal even if they were equally brutalized by the MPAA. Jason looked scarier than ever in this incarnation. His decomposing body allowing for cracked ribs and a rotted spinal column to protrude. This look has become my favorite incarnation of Jason, hands down. And for the first time in the series, Jason is pitted against another super natural force that gives him a run for his money in the form of Tina, a troubled and traumatized teenage girl returning to Crystal Lake to confront the demons of her past.

What is it about The New Blood that I love so much? It’s not my favorite in the series anymore and it does have a good amount of sentimental value, but why is this one so high on the list?

One of my favorite sequences in the whole film is the excellent opening montage which had become a bit of a staple in the franchise to keep the audience up to speed with what happened in previous installements. The Final Chapter had a pretty sweet opening montage but The New Blood’s is by far and away the best of the series. Walt Gorney, Crazy Ralph himself, lends his considerable voice talents to retell the legend of Jason Voorhees as footage from previous films are viewed. Some with audio, others are eerily silent. It’s the perfect opening to the film that gets me pumped every time.

"People forget he's down there. Waiting."

Much like one of the most heralded entries in the saga, The Final Chapter, The New Blood focuses on the drama going on in two separate households. There’s Tine, the hysterical and overly dramatic teenage heroine who hates her given telekinetic gifts. Her screeching, hardcore mullet sporting mother, Amanda. And pure evil psycho therapist, Dr. Cruz who is looking to exploit Tina’s powers. This trio has taken up residents in their old lake side abode where Tina killed her Father with her untamed mind bullets about a decade earlier. Yeah, this ought to prove incredibly soothing and therapeutic to the already on edge Tina. Especially after she brings Jason back to life after mistaking him as her Father. Was her Dad into hockey?

Damn, that Power Mullet's sexy as Hell!

The lake house next door has been rented out by a group of teen cliches in order to throw a surprise birthday party for their friend Michael. There’s the geeky guy, the stoner guy, the fun slut, the bitch, the token black couple, everyone is accounted for and then some. Needless to say, I was surprised to see even one of these faceless meat sacks make it to the end credits.

Might as well tattoo "Dead Meat" on their foreheads.

And there’s the little matter of the man behind the mask. Professional stunt man, Kane Hodder, steps up to bat for the first time as the legendary Jason Voorhees and he knocks the ball out of the park and embeds it in the cranium of some poor schmuck 5 miles away. Kane Hodder uses his body to emote whatever is going through Jason’s maggot riddled mind and he does it masterfully and like none other. He uses his shoulders, his breathing, his head movements to reveal levels of Jason never previously seen. Sure, these layers are primarily pissed off and blood thursty but Kane does it with gusto.

Kane Hodder and The Primal Root have a moment at Spooky Empire.

There’s also this fantastic sequence in a shed where Jason is looking for his potential victim and spots her through the slates in a wooden wall. It’s a frightning moment seen from the perspective of the victim, Maddy. Jason is fucking pissed and frustrated throughout the duration of his screen time with a kind of , “Well, it’s a dirty job but someone;s gotta do it.” swagger that immediately endears him to the fans. I still say this is of Kane Hodder’s best of his four Jason performances. He makes the character his own and has always given 100% to the character.

The last thing you ever want to see when hiding from Jason.

And the kills are fantastic in concept even if they are cut down tremendously by the ratings board. A party horn shoved into a young woman’s eye! Two axes to the face! Jason crushing a guys head to the size of a walnut with his bare hands! Weed whacker to the gut!  And, of course, the now iconic sleeping bag death that the mere mention of makes Friday fans all warm and fuzzy inside.

Foreplay. Jason style.

Friday the 13th part VIII is an exercise in excess. There’s just so much bloody, supernatural, horrific fun to be had it’s kind of mind blowing. Levitating severed heads, full on underwater female crotch shots, Maddy’s EXTREME makeover, kittens hidden in closets, bloody psychic visions, “I got a date with a soap on a rope.” I could  go on all day with the little things I love about The New Blood.

It a crass-tastic slice of late 80’s trashy slasher cinema fun.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

09
Aug
10

Friday the 13th Part 3 or When I Began Rooting for Jason

a Primal Root review

Oh boy, Friday the 13th Part 3 is really a mixed bag of trash goodies. It was the 1983 film that ushered in the brief Reagan era 3-D craze. And ever since it’s theatrical run, until recently, every copy you came across was the 2-D version so there’s dozens of shots where things like poles, snakes and eyeballs come lunging at the camera. Seeing this movie for the first time on Cinemax when I was all of 12 in an age before the internet was widely available I had no idea this was originally shot in 3-D and thought it was the weirdest damn thing I’d ever seen. Was this some filmmaking technique I’d never heard of? Why the hell are so many of these shots from the victims perspective? Why is EVERYTHING lit?

Of course, now I own a copy that includes the 3-D gimmick, but I still prefer watching this sucker in 2-D. It’s just so much more fun. And less headache inducing.

But a film should be judged on it’s storytelling merit rather than how well the gimmick works and Friday the 13th part 3 feels a little off kilter as an entry in the original 4 part series of Friday films. And this begins right out of the gate with Harry Manfedini’s retooling of his affective trademark score into a catchy disco track which plays over popping 3-D credits. This does not evoke any kind of dread but it sure does make me want to shake my booty. Not exactly what I was expecting going into a Friday the 13th flick.

The Heart Warming "Shitting" Scene.

Picking up hours after the events of Friday the 13th part 2 this film features a new, drastically different looking Jason. No longer a slim, hairy, sack headed redneck, J-Man has at some point that day shaved, changed clothes and pounded some weight gain shakes as to be more formiddable this time around. Jason is fucking BUILT in this installment and looks like he could pick you up and break you in half over his knee. Quite a change from the string bean Jason of Part 2.

Anyway, after stalking and murdering the most disgusting white trash couple in Friday the 13th history (yes, even more so than Ethel & Son in Part 5. At least we didn’t have to watch them take a graphically noisy shit.)  who wonder around their home and general store as the evening news reports on the events of the previous film (they mention the victims being killed by an “axe wielding maniac” though Jason never uses that particular tool in Part 2. Just sayin…) and provide a little peek into their generally sad and desperate existence. Then they are both killed. It’s a cathartic moment.

Thank you, movie!

The next day we are introduced to our new cast of machete fodder. There’s Debbie and Andy, our fun loving couple who really enjoy fucking. They enjoy it so much, in fact, Debbie is established as being in the early stages of pregnancy. Now that’s an unusual bit of character development. There’s Shelly, our obligatory practical joker and douche bag extrordinare. And behind the wheel of the Scooby Van transporting our motley Crew is female lead, Chris, who may as well do a take to the camera and introduce herself as the final girl.

They pick up their Hispanic friend Vera who looks pretty Caucasian to me. Anyway, as they pick her up it looks as if the Scooby Van has spontenaously combust as smoke bellows out the open windows. Upon closer inspection it’s just their hippie stoner friends, Chuck and Chili, in the back sucking on their bongs.

"What's a weekend in the country without sex?" Andy asks a profound question in Friday the 13th Part 3.

Our band of misfits are heading to Chris’s Father’s cabin, Higgins’ Haven, out near Crystal Lake.   They arrive and Chris is grabbed by the throat and pushed up agaisnt a wall by Rick, her tool of a…boyfriend? Fuck buddy? Perverted brother?  Who, when Chris screams and runs away from the giant lug exclaims, “Did it get cold in here or is it just me?” What a charmer. Girls throw themselves at assholes like this nowadays. Just take a look at the Friday the 13th remake!

Later, Shelly and Vera incure the wrath of a trio of bikers (two of which are BLACK and have speaking roles! Another series first.) who manage to track them back to Higgins’ Haven and ratchet up our victim pool to 11. The bikers are all killed under the cover of mid-afternoon in the Higgins’ Haven barn s they attempt to burn it down. By nightfall, we join up with Chris and Rick as she describes a horrifying encounter she had with a giant behemoth in the woods with a head like a melted Milk Dud that took place a couple summers ago. Jason stalked and attacked Chris in the woods, but the strange thing is, no one knows anything about Jason in this flick. In fact, his name isn’t even mentioned. Not once in the entirety of the part 3.  This adds to the slightly obtuse feeling of this third entry.

On tonight's episode of, "OUCH! My Balls!"

Soon, all our leads begin dying. Shelly puts the moves on Vera to no availe so he decides to jump out of the lake at her with a spear gun while wearing a hockey mask. Believe it or not, this also fails to make Vera want to have sex with him. Shelly goes off to pout and get slit open thereby giving Jason his now infamous hockey mask. Vera is speared in the eye by Jason in a scene that showcases the INCREDIBLE 3-D effects. Andy gets chopped down through the genital zone as he does a head stand (YOWZA!) and his baby’s Momma gets impaled through the back after an nearly nipless shower scene. Later Chuck gets thrown into a fuse box and Chili gets impaled with a fire place poker. I’m not sure if there’s another Friday the 13th film that’s so remarkably heavy on females being fully impaled on phallic objects.  This is another weird strange moment that sets this sucker apart from the litter. For better or for worse.

Eventually Chris and Rick make it back to the cabin to find it in disarray and no one around. Rick goes out to investigate and gets his beefy, uber masculine head popped like a zit by Jason sending his eyeball soaring towards the audience in what might possibly be the the single most knee slappingly funny death in the series. Rick is such a jackass it’s truly a pleasure to watch this happen. In fact, this is probably the first film in the franchise where the majority of the characters are unlikable dickheads. The only characters I even kind of sort of care about are Debbie and Andy and you know they are meat grinder ready the second you lay eyes on them. they like to have sex, are nice people, and they both look good without their shirts.  The rest of the characters are all self centered jerks who no one in the audience can be compelled to root for. It’s a tradition the Friday the 13th franchise would carry on from part 3 to the bitter end and rebirth in 09.

Rick's got an eye on you. I'll be here all week.

Chris eventually finds herself all alone against a powerful wind storm that has erupted outside, blowing open doors and windows and causing her to cry and scream like a baby. She cries out for Rick’s help because she can’t close windows by herself. Rick pops up as his corpse is cartapulted through the living room window and Jason makes his grand entrance.

Now it’s on.

Chris and Jason run about the property as she knocks him on the noggin’ with logs, trips over rocks and drops from a rafter temporarily knocking Jason out with her ass. It’s one of the more ludicrous final girl chases in the series and therefore one of the funniest.

Jason shortly after Chris's patented Ass Attack. A move never performed again in the Friday the 13th series.

Eventually Chris gets the upper hand and sinks an axe into Jason’s melon sized cranium which puts him down for this outing.  Chris then goes canoeing into Crystal Lake where she is haunted by nightmares of Jason and is then attacked by…Mrs. Voorhees? Who rises from the bottom of Crystal Lake, head reattached, grabs chris by her tits and pulls her overboard. Not since the end of Jason Takes Manhattan have I offered such an enthusiastic WTF?  What the hell just happened?

Whether it truly happened or it’s another hallucinatory nightmare is never explained as Chris is lead to the back of a police cruiser and looks to have completely lost her fucking mind.  It’s not a great way to end the movie but it is an ending…I guess.

Mrs. Voorhees' attack prompts an O-Face from Chris.

With Friday part 3 the series really figured out what worked. Young people and edged weapons. If we have these two elements fans will return. It’s one of the clunkiest entries in the series and it shows. The whole movie feels as if it were just thrown together haphazardly with little  to no forethought.

But this weirdness, this lack of attention to GIANT plot holes and simply tossing out huge chunks of character development that are addressed and then never ever resolved or mentioned again, kind of  hysterical in a mind bogglingly moronic sort of way. In a franchise not known for it’s intellectual attributes Friday the 13th part 3 is among the dumbest in the series.

It’s big, it’s dumb and it’s intensely trashy.  It’s my least favorite of the pre-Resurrected Jason films but it’s still a damn good bit of fun. The lackluster 2-D, 3-D, gimmicks go a long way to making this entry a laugh riot.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root




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