Posts Tagged ‘1977

13
Aug
15

Death Game (1977) Daddy Issues aka: Don’t let your Dick make it a Predicament

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a Primal Root written review

“This motion picture is based on a true story. It should serve to remind us that fate allows no man to insulate himself against the evil which pervades our society.” – opening title to Death Game (1977)

Dear Penthouse Forum,

My wife and kid were out of town and I was all alone in my immaculately maintained mansion that my high ranking position at a well-to-do white collar job affords me. I was minding my own business, listening to some records, enjoying the bachelore lifestyle one dark and stormy night when all of a sudden a rapping came at my front door. It was two gorgeous blondes, soaking wet looking to use my phone. I didn’t want to send them back out into the cold stormy night, so I invited them in to use our family telephone and dry themselves off. I mean…it’s the decent thing to do, right? I never for a second had any intention of sticking my penis in either of these blossoming young women…Not a single thought of it…

So commences the simple, provocative, male fantasy the initiates the 1977 horror film, Death Game aka: The Seducers. The film that genuinely gives you a boner and then savagely tears it away, smacks you across the face with it and leaves you standing in your shame.  Loving, caring family man and business man, George Manning (Seymour Cassel, Max Fisher’s Dad from Rushmore), is on his own for the next couple nights. See, his wife had to go on an emergency trip to take care of their young son whose appendix ruptured while staying with his Grandparents on summer vacation.  While at home along in his expensive west coast home a storm rolls in, and with it, two young women, who claim to have lost their way while trying to find a party. Soaked to the bone, they ask to use George’s phone. He kindly obliges them and gives them robes so that they may dry off.

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The two nubile, shapely, incredibly attractive young ladies are Jackson (Sondra Locke) and Donna (Colleen “HELLOOOOO NURSE!” Camp) and after lounging by the fire side with George and listening to records, Agatha and Donna strip nude and lure George into and threesome in the downstairs bathroom…which has an enormous jacuzzi tub and a fucking sauna. George is loaded, Gang. George puts up a minor struggle before dropping trou and getting wet wild with the two luscious vixens. Now, I never figured in my wildest dreams that I’d ever watch the Dad from Rushmore in a hot as balls threesome sequence with the likes of Ms. Locke and my long standing wet dream Colleen Camp, but I can say this, it is a pretty amazing spectacle to behold.

Soon comes the morning, and George finds that Jackson and Donna making a mess in the kitchen as they make a sloppy, disgusting breakfast. They spill food and shit all over the house, destroy expensive stereo equipment, smear food on themselves and act like little psychotic hyperactive kids from Hell as we watch reality start to sink in on George’s face.  Donna has even grown a strange, unhealthy attraction to George and has begun calling him, “Daddy.” Gang, this is not good. After threatening to call the police, Jackson and Donna agree to let George drive them to the bus station only to break it no his house later, assault George, tie him up and torture the bastard for the rest of the weekend all while screaming about “Daddy.” Late in the evening Jackson and Donna decide to hold a mock court and put George on trial, accusing him or rape and perversion. George is allowed to defend himself, claiming that his family needs him. The mock court deliberates and find George guilty as charged and will be executed at dawn which is counted down by hour glass.

Now, earlier in the film we see George lovingly spend time with his wife. The two are obviously in love with one another, enjoy each other’s company. He speaks on the phone sweetly to his son. It;s not like George is an abusive, inattentive, cold scum bag. He’s a average guy living the good life. He has everything he could possibly want right at his finger tips. He is happy and content, but never the less, welcomes the sexual attention of the wet, slinky, bosomy foxes who show up on his doorstep while his faithful wife is away.  George is never perceived as a bad guy, just the typical man. Death Game implies that the average Joe, when confronted with two dripping wet nekkid seductresses would, when push come to in-out-in out, give in and start log jammin’. No questions asked. And then they throw the pussy out the window. Literally. It;s pretty awesome.

Jackson and Donna quickly turn from being a straight male fantasy (booty to be plundered) to being sinister, embarrassing reminders of the dark side of our carnal lusts and the damage giving into these animalistic wants can incur. The two girls become a threat to Georges safe and happy life. They threaten to destroy his reputation in the community, end his marriage and tear apart his family, even his awesome house is at stake. Jackson and Donna are the darkest side to the male sexual fantasy of getting away with an affair and, in the eyes of Death Game, exposes men as incapable of being trusted and willing to throw everything away for the possibility of a scott free fuck on the side.

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Whether or not you agree with Death Game’s thesis, it mercilessly pounds it’s point home as George, a pillar of his community, falls prey to his own sexual desires. Sure, we are witness to images of Jackson as she she bites into a juicy red apple and looking every bit the seductive serpent found in the garden of Eden, but the responsibility for everything that happens to him falls solely on George, who was led by the yearning of his throbbing lower appendage. The two young ladies, who claim to be underage after spreading ’em for George, are clearly insane and deeply scarred, one assumes, due to sexual abuse by the hands of their Fathers. It’s something heavily implied in the subtext of Death Game, and it’s not too subtle, either. One listen to the film’s opening song “Good Old Dad” will clue you in to what kind of nasty subject matter we’re dealing with here and the apparent feminist underpinnings of Death Game’s story.

One of my favorite aspects of Death Game is the way the film’s director, Peter S Traynor, utilizes the male gaze to arouse our voyeuristic impulses as soon as Jackson and Donna arrive at George’s door. We are treated and teased with brief glimpses of Jackson’s bare legs and her panties under her robe, a momentary view of Donna’s impressive cleavage, as we begin to view the two as sexual objects, just as George sees them. This is done seamlessly, efficiently and masterfully. We become around along with George. All three of our central character meld together as images overlap one another during their threesome and all seems right, everything perfect, wonderful, a fantasy made flesh.

But, as often seems to occur with these forms of encounters, in the unforgiving first light of morning, reality has a way of annihilating perception of perfection.

Jackson and Donna usurp George’s male authority in his own home, dominating him both mentally and physically in a series of brutal, sadistic, set pieces.  Ultimately, Death Game drives it’s grueling, nasty, (and feminist) take on the man’s true nature home. Donna and Jackson could have knocked on any of George’s neighbor’s door, randomly selected, met any man  and the exact same scenario could have taken place.  What I believe the message Death Game is trying to deliver is that the real horror, the real evil of is not coming from Jackson and Donna, no, they are a result of sexual objectification and abuse in our society. George could be any man whose desires have gotten the better of him, and Death Game associates that failing with Jackson and Donna’s psychotic and homicidal nature.

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You can love or hate, take or leave the feminist politics inherent in Death Game, but you cannot deny how fucking excellent the film is. Sure, the ending is more than a little abrupt and out of left field, but otherwise, the performances are phenomenal and it is directed with precision, skill, and nuance. It manages to both titillate, terrify and leave your pulse racing. But, something I appreciate far more than this, it’s a horror flick that boldly starts a discussion. Death Game is a brilliant film that drudges up the subject of sexual politics and it’s most taboo, discomforting points. The ones we seldom like to bring up or discuss in polite society, again, reinforcing why I pledge my eternal love to horror in all it’s forms. It is not an escape, it is not an exit, it is a long, often deeply disconcerting look in the mirror forcing us to face and question who we are as individuals and as a whole.

Death Game is a damn fine slice of psycho sexual horror and one I cannot dent makes me feel wonderfully, helplessly uncomfortable. I would love for one of The Trash Cinema Collective to show this to either their prospective girlfriend or boyfriend on a first date. Please do, and let me know the outcome.

Also, Colleen Camp, The Trash Cinema Collective salutes. She is one HEALTHY girl!

I award Death Game  FOUR AND A HALF out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets.

Watch it with someone you’re sure of. Here’s hoping the upcoming Eli Roth produced remake “Knock, Knock” starring Keanu Reeves *snicker* prompts someone to release a remastered copy of Death Game. Let me tell ya, my DVD of this flick looks like someone shoved the VHS tape up a horses ass and then transferred it directly to a DVD. Really, it looks terrible. Can someone please release a cleaned up copy of this one? Much obliged.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

03
May
15

Master of the Flying Guillotine (1977)

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A John (Whiskey Sour) Carpenter written review

Hey Gang! Normally here at the Collective, we tend to stay more in the trashy, horror(y?), sexy, lovingly yet poorly made schlock world of celluloid. On occasion though, straying from the beaten path is necessary. Even more, sometimes it reeeeeeeeeeally pays off. Enter Master of the Flying Guillotine!

This film truly deserves a wider audience than it has. Considered by critics and aficionados as a paragon of the wu-xia (woo-shaw) genre, which you probably know as kung-fu movies, this film is a gods-damned blast. Light on plot, but heavy on incredible action sequences, imaginative fight choreography, bizarre kung-fu powers, and enough birds flying through fights to make John Wu blow a load, this is a film worth your time. Let’s dive in.

The film opens with a very old, blind kung-fu master practicing at his mountain home, with a narrator explaining that said master works for the ruling government as an assassin. A bird flies to him with a message taped to it, informing him (and you, the viewer) that his two disciples have been killed by another legendary kung-fu master known as the One-Armed Boxer. The master vows to avenge their deaths, and whips out his flying guillotine, which is something you do NOT want to put your dick in. Essentially a hat with the edge lined with blades on the outside and inside attached to a chain, he shows us exactly why you, again, do NOT want to put your dick in it. He practices on some dummies by swinging the guillotine around, throwing it over their heads, and instantly and completely decapitating them. Feeling ready, he throws a tiny bomb at his house, burns the place up, and goes on his journey, vowing to kill the One-Armed Boxer. Unfortunately for him, it seems that ancient China has enough one-armed men to keep Tommy Lee Jones busy for decades.

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Cut to a kung-fu school, we learn that the One-Armed Boxer runs his own kung-fu school, and is actually a pretty nice guy. He’s not overly fond of the ruling government, which seems rather oppressive. He gets wind of a kung-fu tournament held by another kung-fu school. He has correctly assumed that Mr. Guillotine is out to pull his head off, and wants to stay low. However, his students convince him to allow them to, if not participate in the tournament, watch it to learn something. They go, and we are witness to some of the most fun sequences of fighting I’ve ever witnessed.

We get match after match of gruesome, silly kung-fu fighting, where everyone has a great name and skill to match. We also get introduced to some memorable side characters, including a Mongol fighter, an Indian yoga master who is basically Dhalsim from Street Fighter, and a Japanese fighter who I assume is some kind of policeman type figure. A Thai kickboxer is introduced earlier in the film as well, who also participates. We get to see some fantastic fighting, wonderful cinematography, and some laughably silly powers. In the middle of our fun unfortunately, Mr. Guillotine shows up and starts fucking shit up and ripping heads off people. It’s at this point that the film spirals into true awesomeness. The Thai boxer, Indian yogi, and Japanese guy team up with Mr. Guillotine, because reasons, and One-Armed Boxer has to use his wits and skills to take them out one by one.

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I’m sure you can figure out how the film goes from this point. It’s rather predictable in all honesty, but it doesn’t matter one bit. The final four fight sequences are incredible, extremely well shot, and very imaginative. The final fight with Mr. Boxer and Mr. Guillotine is a combination of John Wu just jerking off birds into the shot everywhere, but with an actual reason for it, Home Alone-style booby traps, and flat out bad ass fighting. It’s also fascinating to see the treatment of other ethnic groups in the film. Finally, it’s a FANTASTIC introduction to the legendary Jimmy Wang Yu’s work. If you don’t know the name, learn it. He is one of the most important figures in Chinese film history, and therefore film history, and highly influential in the martial arts film genre. Without him, we might not have films like (whether you like ‘em or hate ‘em) Flying Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, and other films heavy on acrobatic fighting with bizarre powers. He also in part set the stage for the rising star of Bruce Lee. He has a HUGE body of work that is worth watching. In short, watch the fuckin’ movie. You can find it on Youtube, or get it from Netflix DVD, or probably Torrent it or something. I advise getting a version with subtitles, as apparently the dubbed versions aren’t that great. I give the film 4 out of 5 head-ripping offing, flying kicks to the facing, all out fun as hell dumpster nuggets. Definitely worth your time!

04
Jan
14

Chatterbox (1977) Little Bit of Lip Service

 

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a Primal Root written review

Ah, vaginas.  The warm, wondrous realm from which so much feminine magic resides.  Men and women both lust for it, strive for it, Hell epic battles have even been fought over it. They can be lovely or horrendous, loving or cruel, healing or deadly. Vaginas can lead us deep inside a woman’s being, still, how much will you come away knowing?  When comparing the sexual organs of both genders, the vagina is  the cradle of seductive, tantalizing questions. The cock and it’s dangling balls are easy to read and interpret. There they are, out in the open for the whole world to see. When we’re ready to rock, that fellow stands at the ready. When we orgasm, we blast a ghostly jet of liquid baby. But the vagina…things are never quite so clear. Perhaps some wetness when a lady is sexually aroused, but orgasms are so often only known to the woman herself, and taken on their word by her partner. Well, what if that vagina started talking to you? You know, started cracking wise,  quipping away during your first date, and perhaps belting out the oldies as you sat down to brunch? What might her vagina say?

This is the premise of Tom DeSimone’s 1977 bizarre comedy musical “Chatterbox” a film which wastes no time setting up the premise. In fact, the very first line of dialog is the young, gorgeous, beautician Penelope’s vagina blurting out put downs to the gentleman she just had unfulfilling sex with.  Of course, the fragile male ego is quickly bruised as Penelope tries to stifle the rude, aggressive voice emanating from her most intimate of female body cavities. See, Penelope would never complain or put down her sexual partner for not helping her to reach climax, but her vagina seemingly has no filter and no concern for feeling’s being hurt. He suitor rushes out of Penelope’s apartment in a hurry and she is left with a vagina that can’t stop running it’s mouth. The following day at Penelope’s hairstylist job she inadvertently seduces a lesbian client due to her vagina’s flirtatious tongue and the two end up going at it and are only halted when her boss, Rip Taylor (of all people) walks in and fires her on the spot.

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Obviously, her new, chatty little vagina is quickly ruining her low key existence. When she goes to her therapist, Dr. Pearl, and shows him first hand the otherworldly abilities of her nether regions, rather than offer her aid, he sees a golden opportunity to cash in on Penelope’s peculiar talent and quickly put her one stage, nude for the whole world to see  and enjoy this new medical wonder he has discovered! For a price, of course.  Before you know it, Penelope’s singing vagina, now named Virginia, has become an overnight sensation! the world cannot stop clamoring for my lip service from her moist, pink,  lady bits! Her disapproving mother walks in on a nude modeling session, no doubt for the latest issue of Vogue, and raises holy Hell! That is, until she witnesses first hand the amount of money Penelope’s singing vagina brings in. My, how money changes things…

In fact, half way though the movie Penelope’s vagina, Virginia, seems to become a separate entity all together, no longer a part of Penelope herself. Through it all, Penelope looks uncomfortable, harried and totally unhappy with the superstar lifestyle her vagina has afforded her. Hell, from the beginning she simply wanted her pussy to shut the fuck up, not become a world wide phenomenon! The poor woman is even forced onto a dating show where it seems she might find some solace in a studly young buck she goes home with, but to no avail, this guy just wants to fuck her while wearing a suit of medieval armor and then kicks her to the curb.

Penelope’s situation comes to a head when she is on the set of her first starring role in a major motion picture based on her singing baby factory after Dr. Pearl snatches her a five picture deal with a film studio.  As men dressed as roosters and peacocks dance ballet and sing along with Penelope’s vagina as it wails out her big hit “Wang Dang Doodle” , Penelope finally suffers a nervous breakdown and runs out of the studio, across the lot and off to an uncertain future, much to the chagrin off all those profiting from her unique talents.

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Chatterbox is pretty goddamn funny and has charm to spare. This charm is heavily supplies by Candice Rialson  in the role of Penelope,  our doe eyed, innocent protagonist who is taken for all she’s worth once her talking, singing, spotlight stealing vagina is accepted into pop culture as the next big thing. Candice is a scene stealer, not only is her delivery spot on, her reaction to everything happening to her comes off as adorably honest, if not completely air-headed.  She a young woman with a big heart that is totally over shadowed by the presence of her talkative genitals. Despite her trash talking cooter, it’s Candice as Penelope whom you can;t keep your eyes off of.  She also has copious nude sequences and of the most beautiful pair of breasts I’ve ever witnessed in cinema.  Now that’s worth the price of admission alone, but thankfully, they also belong to a damn fine comedic actress in an above average gonzo comedy.

Now, the intent and underlying message of Chatterbox is something I couldn’t quite pinpoint.  Is this a women’s lib or feminist flick? Or is it  misogynistic? Sure, Penelope’s vagina is gifted, but it brings unwanted attention, in fact, it looks like Penelope is being tormented most of the time and would rather be anywhere than standing on stage with her legs spread for the whole world to see and hear.  People lose sight of Penelope herself and end up only caring about Virginia, as that’s really what’s bringing them success  and notoriety.  Now, Penelope’s vagina blurts out what we can only assume are her most secret thoughts and desires, the ones she would never say otherwise. Often, these outbursts are to the detriment of her personal life when Virginia complains about a lover’s performance or hits on the sexy lesbian woman whose hair Penelope is trimming. But is this some empowerment or invasion of privacy? Did Penelope want this or just her vagina? It’s a strange film in the respect that it bring up some interesting questions and offers no readily available easy answers. Shit, I;m probably thinking too much into a movie about a singing vagina made by  a man who directed nothing but gay porn up until this point. Then again, Tom DeSimone did go on to make two of my favorite Trash Cinema flicks 1981’s “Hell Night” and 1986’s “Reform School Girls”, both of which are far above average in the respective genres. I like the think the gentleman knows a something about what he’s doing.

One thing is certain, DeSimone crafted one far out, whacky and hilarious Trash Cinema comedy with his “Chatterbox.”   the film manages to balance it’s comedic sensibilities  with it’s risque, often sexy subject matter fantastically well. On what appears do be a modest budget, “Chatterbox” delivers the goods, and then some, with a clever concept, story, a wonderful leading leading lady, unabashed creativity and never losing sight of it’s humanity. Seriously, for a talking vagina flick, could you ever hope for more?

this one comes highly recommended. I give it Four and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

 

06
Oct
12

Uncle Grumpyfuk Remembers The Drive-In Massacre

an Uncle Grumpyfuk Review

…(sound of feet running)…huff-puff, huff-puff…whew, I think I lost them…huff-puff, huff-puff … I’ll just -SHIT!… Oh, whew! Hey there folks, huff-puff,you startled me, thought you were..huff, someone else! Yer ol’ pal Uncle Grumpyfuk here, just been doing a little jogging, and sprinting, down the street, through the alleyway, down through the hole in the fence and across that sewer pipe, just trying to put as much distance between myself and that angry crowd from that mosque. Can you believe someone had the audacity to spray paint “Gabba, Durka, Hey! You fucking towelheads!” on the front of the building, and around back the scoundrel rendered an illustration of a group of cute little dripping vaginas holding Mohammed prostrate on the ground while the 220 lb. grandpiglet of Arnold from Green Acres ravaged his bleeding bunghole with it’s monstrous curly-cue weenie! (I myself thought that was an excellent observation of reality by the artist,er, vandal!) Now what kind of racist, blasphemous infidel would… (sound of angry voices close by increase in volume then fade into the distance) …would think of such a creative..I mean offensive act! – Sorry about the whispering but ol’ Grumpy’s going to chill in this refrigerator box for a little while until things cool down- I certainly wouldn’t want to be mistaken for the dashing,I mean dastardly villain responsible for such unconscionable vandalism! No siree, these testicles enjoy remaining attached right here!

 
Hmm, well now seems as good a time as any to review another classic piece of cinematic offal from 1977, “Drive-in Massacre” – one of Uncle Grumpyfuk’s many favorites!

 


Now, for you poor unfortunate youngsters who,when growing up, were deprived of enjoying an endangered American institution, the drive-in theatre, to which I can only say, “Ha,ha! It fucking rocked! Woo!” Drive-in theatres were,and the few that remain are, the fucking bomb! Taking in a double-feature of what are now iconic classics of the silver screen, such as “Bloodfeast” and “2000 Maniacs”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “I Spit on Your Grave”, “Eraserhead” and “Annie Hall”, or on special occasions you’d have film fests which would play until the late hours of the morning. In addition you had the privilege of watching the films in your own. or parents’ vehicle, the bigger the better! Why, you could smuggle in just about anything the imagination could come up with; coolers full of booze, large bags of drugs, at least one member of your party, explosives, movie cameras for filming couples or blackmailing workmates, sigh, what has happened to this poor land?  How many wild smog-outs, popped cherries, murders and other unforgettable memories were made in the parking spaces of the drive-in one can only guess.  However nothing good lasts with the brigades of control-freak do-gooders, fat-fuck cops and military zombies, slimy local politicians and church groups- the true scourge of this land, ready to tear down and destroy what little is left of anything that is truly worth keeping. Let this be a lesson and a message for all of those youths  aspiring to be a member of one of these groups that are responsible for totally fucking up our society and planet with their girly sensitivities and sucker mentalities – Go fucking kills yourselves right now, I mean right now, or join fucking the hari krishnas,they’ll put you in your place. Uncle Grumpyfuk is serious…you think I’m not? …hmm, it smells like spray paint in here…

 

As our film begins with shots and scenes of the drive-in by day, empty, quiet, peaceful, a happy place but the tranquility is broken as the caption appears across the screen, ” On August 10 in a California Drive-in it all began…”, we figure someone got their girlfriend knocked up. As evening closes in the cars full of horny and soon-to-be intoxicated patrons begin to pour in. At the front gate a couple take tickets and the male, a bald guy in a jacket that could only have been worn in the 70s displays a negative vibe towards his young clientelle, go figure!

 
We’re then assaulted by one of the worst movie themes, some warbling hippie sloppily spewing garble about, you know, ‘nothing and everything’, it’s enough to make your teeth hurt, though it would make a good ringtone.  As the spaces fill up we focus on a couple locking lips who actually decide to make a baby there and then, like, intentionally! That might be a first,the intentional part that is.. however before penetration the guy wants to listen to the beginning of the film for some odd reason – maybe listening to Gabby Hayes gives him a hardon or something,I don’t know. As he’s reaching out the window for the speaker which is about 6 ft away, a familiar thing at drive-ins,heh, a hand bearing a sword raises up and flashes down; whoosh, off goes Romeo’s head. His sex-slave inside notices that he suddenly feels 8-10 lbs lighter all of a sudden and wonders if he already shot his load but then sees why. “Not again!!!” she thinks, this being the fourth guy she’s dated that had his head chopped off and she wonders if she’ll EVER have a baby! As she let’s out a shriek of frustration and horror the sword cuts off her scream, literally and she falls partially out of the car, hanging upside down with her life’s blood oozing down her face. Nice touch, I like it!

 

We flash to the police station where a tubby officer reads a novelty newspaper with the headline “Couple slain in Drive-in!” -or something close to that, yer Uncle was momentarily distracted by a sudden methane seapage that went on for several seconds, two belt-holes worth! (Whew, you wouldn’t think Yorkie would be so gamey..burp!) The porcine policeman and his equally stout partner head out to the Drive-in to investigate.

 
When they arrive they talk with the manager Austin Johnson whom the chubby copper’s partner describes as a ‘perfect asshole’, high praise indeed, we’ll certainly have to be the judge of that! Actually he is just that, the actor portraying Austin has the asshole act down perfectly, “So a bunch of horny kids get themselves chopped up by some kook. So what?” … indeed!  He also refers to teenagers as ‘zits with long hair’, I love this guy! Coincidentally he turns out to be the skinhead we saw earlier taking tickets and ragging on the customers- the cool guy, remember? He tells the cops all about what a shitfarm his job and life are, and as they’re about to retreat in revulsion they spot his janitor/security gimp, Gormy. Gormy tells the cops that his friends call him Germy, his friends who were elephants at the carnival that has once stood on the same premises. The fucking elephants called him Germy…oooook. ( circles forefinger around ear) Yeah. We learn ol’ Germy was the geek at the carnival- the brain-stunted individual who knew no shame and would demonstrate it by biting the heads off of snakes, chickens, other small animals, and committing other similar acts of depravity. Ah, the glorious days before PETA… anyway,that was entertainment folks, sigh. He also seconded as the carnival’s sword swallower, heh, no jokes folks, that one is too easy. Now poor Germy is a bit teched in the head after some kind of ‘accident’, we never get a clue on that one dern it! The imagination runs wild.
 

Germy babbles on and on to the cops, unwittingly giving them a few leads and I must say at this point the actor who plays Germy, Douglas Gudbye, I know,I know, anyway he’s really great. He’s got the simpleton act down pat,some really convincing simp acting, bravo. Actually the two actors playing the pigs were also well cast. They looked the part and are very convincing as well, hey, I’m trying to be all critical and shit,right? Uncle Grumpyfuck doesn’t mind giving credit where credit’s due… sometimes! Austin tells the filthy gimp to …whoa*…to get to work, but not before the cops tell Germy it’s cool to be a lousy rat-bastard, “..so squeal on one of the theatre regulars would ya?” Typical.    * (geek + simp = gimp? could that be the origin of the term?!?)

 

   The next night at the crowded theatre we focus on a couple who is arguing in the car – he’s married with kids but he’s knocked up his mistress,so after careful consideration he says “Fuck the wife and kids!” and decides to leave them and go with the mistress. Normally I’d say good choice but she’s knocked up so he’s just jumping from one frying pain into another. Some guys don’t learn,and to think a clothes hanger is all it takes! Little do the couple know however is that in the car next to theirs is a creeper. He squats between the cars and peeps through the window at their sweaty rutting while whacking his porcupine, ye-haw! All of a sudden a sword plunges straight through the couple, through BOTH of them and we think, damn, that’s one strong motherfucker!
         The cops are baffled,naturally, and bring Germy back in for more grilling. He informs them that Austin also used to be a sword/knife man in the carnival and that he enjoyed it as much as he enjoys life in general nowadays. Yeesh. He then squeals and gives the cops the license plate of the creeper so they take off to investigate without giving Germy a single buck or rock of crack for his squealing! What a simp.
  The cops hit the creeper’s pad and put the thumbscrews to him after he acts as nervous and squirrelly as you could want, gotta keep cool in those situation folks! He cracks and admits he’s just a dick jackin’ peeping Tom, you believe it. They find a bloody towel which turns out to be dogs blood and you think damn, homey’s into some fucked up extracurricular activities!
          Back at the drive-in that evening the creeper is back at it, not too bright, and the cops are a-watchin’ from an undercover car, one hilariously in drag! The creeper is watching a couple in the car beside his who are of two different minds; he wants some fucking tail and she wants to watch the movie,gazing lovingly at it like it’s all sweet and romantic when it sounds like “Moonshine Mama”! He heads to the concession stand for some Milk Duds, unable to eat the dud in the car, heh! Too bad, she was totally edible- nice nipple shot there thank you very much!
       The Keystone Law Enforcement Guys get momentarily distracted while the poor guy gets back into the car to find his temperamental girlfriend has lost her head, literally! The cops run over but when they turn to nab the creeper he’s been stabbed too! WTF?!? This killer is slicker than snot! I smell the work of a ninja, Lee Van Cleef must be close.
 BTW, at this point a couple of observations; we’ve seen nothing of the killer that gives us any clue as to their identity and when you think of it there is no lead actor or lead actress, just a bunch of people doing shit, like Seinfeld would have been if it had simply been called ‘Apt. Building Full of Smelly Israelites’.
  Back at the station the piggies are trying to grill Austin but he’s giving them holy hell like a fucking boss! He gives the cops shit about letting 2 murders occur under their very noses, fires Germy on the spot, refuses to close the drive-in, then walks out like Travolta’s homo ass in the beginning of that disco movie he was in… Bee-Gee Bungfest or something like that. Austin is the fucking man my friends! I ever get a license to run that daycare center, I want a manager just like him.
           Next we see poor Germy walking around in friggin’ La-la Land, imagining the bright lights, the happy people, and the other long-gone sights,sounds and smells of the carnival. I mean bro is trippin’ big time! It would have been funny if they’d included a shot of him weaving around the empty parking lot, looking at crap that wasn’t there, running into the speaker poles, ha! You almost feel sorry for the simp…ha,ha,ha,yeah right.
 The cops receive a call that some goofy LARPer has gone amok with his Topaz Sword of Ice, or K-mart machete, depending on your point of view, and is holding a maiden hostage. They head out, assured that this is the culprit…and we see where this is going! Heh-heh-heh! At the warehouse Larry the Cable Guy has had one crappyass American beer too many and tells his cute hostage how he’s going to ‘cut all the meanness out of her’, what a considerate guy! Seriously this guy is deeper into La-la Land that Germy! The girl gets free and hides,the cops arrive and quickly blow his ass away, as if the outcome is ever any different,but then the girl drops the bomb on them – this is her father that just escaped from the nuthouse, wrong guy! Whoopsie-daisy! Well what’s one less fruitcake in California,right? Right.
           They then head back to the drive-in and arrive just in time to see,on the screen, the gigantic silhouette of Austin getting stabbed and then one little hack, two little hacks and three,off goes the head, very creative and such an easy effect! The hysterical ticket girl tells them Austin and Germy are inside,they burst in to see the mangled body of Austin which causes them all to laugh and laugh and laugh! So long asshole! They kick in the door of the other room only to find Germy has been hacked up as well,with no one else in the building, no other way out and… that’s it! The end! No murderer or anything, just a caption telling of other similar instances of drive-in murders across the country and then the manager’s voice comes over the loudspeaker and tells that there’s a murderer in the theatre now! Run!!! …yeah…. Fuck I love this film, if you don’t you’re more retarded than Germy.
 Well things have been quiet for a good while now so Uncle Grumpyfuk is going to chance heading back to the hacienda. I’ve got the trusty brass knucks and bear mace just in case I run into trouble so we’ll see you next time folks, take care!
13
May
11

Tantacles or Who I Ripped Off on My Summer Vacation

a Primal Root written review

In the summer of 1975 there was this little movie directed by a no name filmmaker about a particularly blood thirty great white shark. You might have heard of it. It’s called JAWS. Yeah, the awesome horror flick that, along with Star Wars, ruined movies forever more because everyone wanted to make a blockbuster action movie. Fast forward decades later and we are gearing up for Transformers 3. Anywoo, the more immediate side affect of JAWS was onslaught of late 7o’s sub-par carnivorous water dwelling creature pictures.

And not to sell them short right out of the gate, to be fair, there were some really cool flicks to come out after JAWS trying to chomp the same chum.  Joe Dante’s excellent killer fish flick, Piranha (78).  Humanoids from the Deep (80) and even Alligator (80) re all unique and interesting spins on the JAWS formula and awesome Trash Cinema flicks in their own right that make for great summer time viewing.

And then there are the really bad knocks offs.greasy, lame-o copy cats who try to take the exact same premise and throw it back at the audience. Most notoriously, the Italian film ‘Great White: The Last Shark’ (81), which is the tale of a great white shark that terrorizes a small island community. Sound familiar? Universal thought so too and they sued the pants off those guys and had the movie withdrawn from theaters. Till this day it’s tough to track a copy of that sucker down.

But there is one films that ripped JAWS off properly. Remove the damn shark entirely and add a totally different vicious sea creature so no one can sue you for directly stealing the premise of the Speilberg’s blockbuster epic! That’s right, the 1977 film ‘TENTACLES’! The story of a blood thirsty GIANT OCTOPUS that terrorizes a small island community. Now we’re talking!

The movie begins with several mysterious attacks around the beach. First off, a 10 month old infant is snatched from it’s stroller when Mom isn’t looking and is promptly gobbled up. Later, at a marina, a scruffy man with a peg leg swabbing the poop deck is yanked from his work and chewed up post haste only to explode up from the depths all chewed up in front of some guy double tasking while he fishes and sucks face with some scantly clad 400 pound girlfriend…we later see him wrapped in a blanket starring into the distance with his mouth hanging open. I think he’s supposed to be in shock from witnessing Peg Leg Pete surfacing like a rocket from Hell, but in all honesty, it could have been because he envisioned his make-out partner in the nude.

No one is quite sure what could have done this. It was no motorboat, and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper and it sure as shit wasn’t any shark. The body of the womb fruit and the old geezer are found with flesh completely stripped off the bone. The local newspaper reporter, Ned (John Huston), begins to to think this might have something to do with the rock excavation being done by Trojan Construction (I can only assume they construct prophylactics as well.) which is headed by Mr. Whitehead  played by Henry Fonda, who has no scenes with any other cast members and vanishes half way through the movie.

And, believe it or not, Shelly Winters also shows up for this thing. She plays the aging, seductress (?) and single mother, Tillie. She also happens to be the sister of our roving reporter Ned. Her son is about 13 years old and we are introduced to her as she has some adorable, good natured banter about how she mashed fuzzies with one of the local bartenders last night. These are mental images far more troubling than anything those tentacles could ever hope to accomplish.

Shelly Winter’s main purpose is to wonder around this town in a silly, giant sombrero (not making this up) and look on in mock terror as her bastard son and his buddy are attacked by the killer giant octopus during a sail boat race.During the attack the kids are scene laughing their asses off (method acting?) however, only one of them makes it back to shore alive. This attack on the sailing race might be my favorite sequence in the film simply because it’s so ridiculously awful. It’s basically a bunch of sail boats toppling over without a single tentacle in sight. The editing used in this sequence is a hack job. I assume they wanted it to look like things were frenzied, but the end product, looks like some 6 year old was given several feet of film, a cleaver and a tub of rubber cement…yes, it’s that bad. But it’s also pretty amusing to watch. Especially when they cut away to the “hysterical” Shelly Winters…

The only hope this small town has is a street smart marine biologist named Will (played with deadpan accuracy by Bo Hopkins), his two trained killer whales and his his wife whose name might as well be Fish Food. She’s gorgeous, but don;t get too attached. Her death sequence, I assume, was meant to be the big high point of the movie. Her boat is charged by the octopus in the middle of the night and a tiny model is blown to bits by the impact. She tries to swim from the wreckage but is hoisted up and spun all over the place by the Octopus tentacle. Again, it’s edited together so haphazardly it gives the entire moment a comic appeal I don’t believe the filmmakers were aiming for…

This all leads to a climactic showdown between Will, our mean streets marine biologist who doesn’t seemed phased at all by the horrifying demise of his gorgeous and concerned wife, and the killer octomonster who wield the evil tentacles of the film’s title. Luckily, Will get by with a little help from his killer whale pals, Summer and Winter. As Will tells the story, he met his wife in Summer and proposed to her in Winter.  Not many romances spring up the belly of a whale, let alone two separate whales, so it’s really a shame she met her demise in such an untimely fashion and in a way so many anime school girls have gone before her.

I don;t want to spoil it for you, but the action packed finale features a dead octopus purchased from some fish market and two killer whale sock puppets purchased from Sea World. Oh yeah, it’s gotta be seen to be believed.

Tentacles is one botch after another. It’s so bad it’s beyond such trivial labels. It’s really a one of a kind aws cash-in, if there can be such a thing…where the filmmakers behind i lost the point entirely of what worked, stole all the elements that seemingly made Speilberg’s film so popular (underwater shots of flailing legs and shrinking crotches, water logged body jump scares, the death of children, enjoyable real world banter, greedy rich people more concerned with losing money than losing lives, etc.) and then fail miserably to deliver. The most egregious error is not giving the octopus it’s own enigmatic theme music. I imagine the filmmakers sitting at the premiere and looking at each other as they realize how they completely forgot to rip-off the score to JAWS.  There’s not a single drop of blood in the PG rated monster movie! I mean, even JAWS had some graphic content (Quint- Soft on the outside, crispy crunchy on the inside!) and managed to hold down a PG rating. I guess they needed to use that money to secure the rubber tentacles and octopus stock footage…

Tentacles is worth a look. I found myself chuckling through the whole damn thing and slapping my palm against my forehead in disbelief several dozen times as I witnessed the film’s numerous failings. Tentacles is Trash Cinema to the extreme. A rare bird that few have seen and, in all honesty, probably shouldn’t exist.  I am glad it does, though. Because these films are what those adventurous movie renting evening of yesteryear were all about. Grabbing that crusty old VHS tape with the awesome cover you knew would never deliver what it was promising but would certainly deliver the laughs.

Those were the days… Have an excellent summer, Gang! Be safe and keep watching the ocean!

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root




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