Posts Tagged ‘creatures

10
Jan
16

Phantasm (1979): All that we see or seem…

phantasm-poster

a Primal Root written review

“First he took Mom and Dad, then he took Jody, now he’s after me.” – Mike, Phantasm

I never planned on writing a review for Phantasm. However, with today’s passing of the beloved horror icon, Angus Scrimm, who breathed life into one of my all time favorite cinematic boogeymen, I felt compelled to take a look back at not only of the most enduring and admired horror films, but one I hold very dear to my heart.

Let me start off by stating that there is no real way to create a summary of Phantasm that honestly does the film any justice. It’s the kind of film that takes place inside between the conscious world and that of the subconscious, the the realm of primal, deep, dark human emotions, and at that, from the perspective of a young boy in his early teens who has lost so much he’s having trouble coming to terms with it. Well, Hell, okay…at least let me TRY to tell you what the film’s about.

Young Michael (Michael Baldwin) is living with his older, adult brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) after the untimely death of their parents. Michael is already having trouble coping with the sudden lose of his parents, when he comes to the realization this Jody is considering leaving town and handing custody of Mike over to their Aunt and Uncle. The thought of not only losing his parents, but being a burden on his older brother, who is thinking of leaving him behind, is adding to Mike’s pain and turmoil. There’s a fantastic, heart breaking sequence where Jody rides his bike down the street as Mike chases after him on foot unbeknownst to his old brother. Mike can’t keep up and eventually, begrudgingly, gives up. It’s a pitch perfect moment that visualizes the dreaded feeling of abandonment and the inevitability of change.

To make matters worse, Mike witnesses some very strange goings-ons at the local Morningside Cemetery and Funeral Home. At the funeral of one of Jody and Mike’s friends, Tommy,  Mike witnesses a shadowy, sinister Tall Man (Angus Scrimm, Rest in Peace) lift up up Tommy’s corpse filled coffin all by his lonesome…and load it back into the hearse rather than lowering it into it’s grave.

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As young Mike investigates further he discovers there seems to be a sudden infestation of tiny, brown robbed creatures haunting the cemetery, a knife wielding blonde, big breasted seductress intent on poking every man she can lure into the cemetery to death and the mortuary is guarded by brain sucking, high velocity flying killer spheres. And who looks to be behind it all? The black suited Tall Man who has set his evil sights on Mike.

It takes quite a bit of convincing to get Jody to believe that what is happening over at Morningside is true. With the crazy stories Mike keeps spouting, who can blame the guy for chocking it up to a kid’s imagination? But when Mike comes home with a living, moving, nasty little momento from his last encounter with The Tall Man, Jody hops on board as does their ice cream selling buddy Reggie (Reggie Bannister). The three lay siege to Morningside cemetery int he hopes of uncovering The Tall Man’s true purpose in their small town and send him back to whatever Hell this monstrous being came from. However, as is the case in Phantasm, nothing is exactly as it seems…And the final revelation of Phantasm is devastating, beautiful and deeply disturbing.

**** SPOILERS AHEAD ****

Okay, I am going to discuss the film a bit and I recommend you see Phantasm first before reading further.

One of Phantasm‘s greatest strengths is it’s respect for a child’s perspective. To try and make sense of what is happening int he world around you. It plays almost like an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? that pulls no punches. There is something evil and sinister happening in their small town, and it is up to Mike to convince his older brother and for them to solve this horrible problem. There’s a great since of mystery and wonderment as well as mounting dread and tension, but it’s all handled with a real sentimentality and heart that is hard to find in most popular horror cinema of the 70’s era.

Now, before I start making this film sound like the ultimate bummer, Phtasm also has an excellent sense of adventure and fun on it’s surface. Jody, Mike and Reggie are a damn funny trio and their reactions to the ludicrous happenings around town and pricless. Darkly hysterical moments like Michael finding an enourmous flesh eating bug tangled in his hair, Jody asking Mike is the strange breathing sounds he heard was the “retard” up the street and, my personal favorite, when Mike is confronted inside the mortuary by The Tall Man who stands several passes down the hall from him, Mike, speechless utters in complete My-Goose-Is-Cooked fashion, “Oh, shit…” Phantasm is a damn good time about one darkly sobering mother fucking subject matter.

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Phantasm is a horror movie about the sad but honest fact that everyone we love will die. That those closest to us will have to eventually leave us one day and that no matter how hard we fight, or try to hold on, or battle against it, we will ALWAYS lose. I understand the notion that we carry these people with us forever in our hearts and memories, that they live on forever in the tales we tell of them and the ways that they’ve touched us. But we will never get to sit down and hold their hand, feel the comfort of their presence of enjoy a glass of whiskey with them ever again. They are gone. Gone. And so shall we be. And that’s something we all must face.

At the end of Phantasm Michael and Jody do battle with The Tall Man and end up trapping him in an abandoned mine shaft and dropping a dozen or so gigantic boulders on top of the sucker. Our last glimpse of Jody is from onto of a high hill from where he rolled the boulders on top of The Tall Man, sealing his fate. Mike sees his brother, bathed in light with his arms held high over his head in triumph. Mike and Jody have one. Then the film reverses on Mike and he awakes in his bedroom. He is comforted beside the living room fireplace by he and Jody’s good friend Reggie. Reggie explains that not only are Mike’s parents dead, but Jody is also dead, killed in a car accident.

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This is a moment of true horror, a devastating moment that still breaks my heart just thinking about it. And this is where Phantasm succeeds so well, in making us care for the characters that are part of this tale. You can sense the brotherly love between Jody and Mike, their sense of camaraderie and their shared feelings of grief and confusion over the loss of their parents and the prospect of both their uncertain futures. To find out that Mike has lost the entirety of his immediate family, the people he has known and loved since birth, is a crushing blow.

Phantasm is a horror film that dwells in the dark, most assuredly, but it also has a great deal of heart and warmth to it, which as I stated above, is something of a hard commodity to come across in 1970’s era horror cinema. Just look at Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, John Carpenter’s Halloween and Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left. It was a bloody horrifying decade for horror. Phantasm, too, explores the shadows of human nature. But, as odd as it might sound, Phantasm reminds us of what makes life worth living and that life is fleeting and serves as a reminder that we must cherish each moment of happiness we have. To show those we hold close that we love them, that we care and that we are here for them. Because one day, as we all know, they will be gone and we will never get that opportunity to hold them near and tell them we love them again.

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Phantasm is a masterpiece, plain and simple. From it’s unique story penned and directed by a very young Don Coscarelli, it’s unforgettable, dreamlike score by Fred Myrow, and it’s natural, engaging performances by everyone involved,  Phantasm is a type of dark fairy tale about the inevitability of  change and loss which digs deep into our most horrifying childhood fears about death. It takes us right back to the time when we were children and had to make sense of this adult world, a real world we were just beginning to become acquainted with. Phantasm is an audacious film which dares to take a trip through the mental landscape of a deeply scarred, traumatized child. By film’s end, Mike and Reggie decide they must leave their small town and find a new start. Mike begins packing his bag so that they can hit the road and head into a new day, a new future where they can begin to come to terms with their pain. Mike closes his closet door revealing The Tall Man in his mirror. “BOOOOOOOOY!” The Tall Man growls…and Michael is caught. Pulled through the mirror and into darkness.

One day you and I will face Death. Inevitably, as The Tall Man says, “The Game is finished. Now, you die.” And when that day comes, that unavoidable day when we reach our ultimate fate, we can only hope that in death we will fine peace and comfort. Not a brutal Hell made up of our most nightmarish childhood fears.

Phantasm and it’s iconic boogeyman, The Tall Man, would live on with many colorful, imaginative, bonkers sequels that pick up and continue the story admirably well. But, if you were to ask me, the tale begins and ends with the original 1979 classic Phantasm. One of the most poetic and lovely horror stories ever told.

I award Phantasm FIVE out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

19
Nov
13

The Pit aka: Teddy (1981) Boners, Food and Homicide; The Puberty Triple Threat

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a Primal Root written review

It’s high time we talked about “The Pit” aka: “Teddy”, one of the creepiest goddamn coming of age movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  The plot goes something like this; a young, mentally deranged teenage boy named Jamie (Sammy Snyders) with parents who apparently travel quite a bit and regularly leave poor Jamie in the care of attractive female twenty something year old psychology students.  And buy, does he burn through them.  See, Jamie is kind of a creeper. The extent to which this kid will go to express his love aka: raging hard-on for just about anything wearing a bra is pretty impressive. He even tries the old “I dropped my napkin” ruse at the dinner table when he’s being introduced to his summer caretaker, Sandy (Jeannie Elias). Of course, this scheme works a whole lot better when you don;t announce loudly “OH NO! I DROPPED MY NAPKIN!” and then lunge your whole body head-first under the table to gaze up a woman’s skirt and into the crotch fabric of their panties.

You'll wish he'd written "Redrum" when this is all over and done with.

You’ll wish he’d written “Redrum” when this is all over and done with.

But this is the least of Jamie’s issues. See, he also has a teddy bear he he talks to…and Teddy talks back, stoking young Jamie’s deviant behavior and offering up suggestions on how to be a more effective weirdo. Also, Jamie happens to know the location of an isolated pit deep in the woods populated by furry, malevolent, flesh eating creatures with glowing yellow eyes.  Teddy and the Tra-La-Logs (Why, oh, WHY is this not a band name?) are the two folks Jamie feels he can confide in. and it makes sense, seeing as everyone in the town seemingly loathes this kid. From the his teenage classmates who lovingly punch him in the face and pull humiliating pranks on him, to the Librarian lady who refuses his pervish advances, even the elderly woman in the retirement home down the street can’t stand Jamie and even predicts he’ll probably just grow up “to be one of those hippies!”

pit 01

No one understands me like the beasts on the edge of Hell.

So, yes, Jamie airs out all his issues with a the psychotic voice in his head he hears through the inanimate object named Teddy and a batch of vicious monsters living in a hole deep in the woods.  The Tra-La-Logs do not judge Jamie, they simply gnash their teeth, stare at him and drool as he explains the twisted thoughts of his diseased mind. Jamie grows to care a lot about these critters and Teddy hits upon the winning idea of starting to feed the little monsters! So, in between sessions of staring at Sandy’s bare breasts while she sleeps and faking kidnappings in order to snap some Polaroids of  Librarian next door’s  hush puppies, Jamie steals some of Sandy’s cash and buys a ton of hamburger meat and feeds it to the creatures in the woods.

That's a bad touch, Sandy.

That’s a bad touch, Sandy.

 

Of course, this can’t last, as Sandy catches on quickly to the fact her cash is vanishing quicker my singles at a strip club. Where can Jamie find a new, cheap source of meat for this ravaging, razor toothed, carnivorous creatures? Why, yes, tossing the screaming, soon to be devoured bodies of the people who have wronged you is completely valid option!  In a montage of great dark comedy, Jamie lures about a half dozen people to their untimely deaths including Sandy’s boyfriend who he tricks into the pit by throwing a football around with him and making the guy “go long”, which leads him right into the jaws of the enemy. Even better,  Jamie kidnaps the mean old lady from the retirement home, rolling her down the nature trail as she shrieks and waves her hands around in terror, and launches her into the pit where she is ripped to pieces.  I’m not kidding, I laughed so hard I farted.  this is prem-o stuff, Gang.

Suck it, Grandma!

Suck it, Grandma!

There’s even a slightly more profound moment where Jamie is about to roll a young girl into the pit who laughed at him while he was getting the snot beaten out of him.  “You sure are a pretty girl. But only on the outside. Inside you;re ugly and you will probably spend your whole life giggling at the pain of others.”  a pretty chilling statement about the nature of bullying and the violence it spawns. Treat people with kindness or you might find yourself the main course in gore drenched buffet of fury. Never mess with the kid who is rumored to be psychotic, he may just prove you right. It’s a moment I think all kids who were picked on can relate to. I think at some point we all wished we had a giant hole int he ground we could roll our tormentors into so we would never have to hear from them again.  I can see a little bit of wish fulfillment here.

D'Awwww...

D’Awwww…

After making the major miscalculation of actually showing Sandy the Tra-La-Longs down in their pit, she insists they bring out some scientists to check out the discovery when Jamie made her promise to keep them a secret, Jamie ends up accidentally pushing her into THE PIT where she is slowly ripped into meaty chunks and feasted upon by the ever hungry monsters. It might be the bloodies moment of the movie and works like gang busters and Sandy’s bright red entrails and slurped down and her bones and crunched to pieces by the terror of the Tra-La-Logs.  Jamie is traumatized by the death of someone he actually wants to put his penis in, and decides to throw a rope down the hole and let the creatures loose upon an unsuspecting public and, in the process, unleashes holy Hell upon the inhabitants of his little hamlet.

What follows is probably the most ineffective, yet still entertaining, sequence of “The Pit”. The movie takes the focus away from Jamie and, instead, focuses on the rampage of the Tra-La-Logs which are obviously nothing more than short people in furry suits running around the woods. Int he darkness of the pit the creatures came off as scary and mysterious, in the bright light of day they are laughable. Still, they manage to run about the rural area ripping young folks and big breasted teenage skinny dippers (one of which happens to be the director’s daughter) into finger food before a posse of angry, card carrying NRA locals track them back into their pit and blow into blood spattered shag carpeting.

Cut back to Jamie who is now headed to his grandparent’s farm to be taken care of for the rest of the summer, only this time he is not alone. His younger little lady cousin is there and they run off to go play together. It looks like Jamie has finally found a friend. Someone who is not sickened or terrified of his mere presence.  The sun is setting in the sky as the two children laugh and run off into the woods…only, they find something…another pit in the ground. Jamie knows all too well the horror that lies ahead. “They eat people…” he says. “I know.” She replies…

It's basically a prequel to "Ted"

It’s basically a prequel to “Ted”

“The Pit” is one very unique, sleazy, unusual and even disturbing little slice of forgotten horror gold.  It has the usual limitations you might expect from a low budget 80’s horror flick, but it still manages to pull off it’s concept for the majority of the running time. Sammy Snyders’ performance as the bizarre, creepy teenage killer is damned impressive. This is some very strange and often whacky material for a young actor to be performing, but the guy really gives his all and ends up giving a very believable and unsettling performance.  I’ve read interviews with the “The Pit” screenwriter Ian  Stuart and his disappointment in what was originally intended to be a much darker story with far fewer  flourishes of dark comedy. I understand what he’s saying, and I do wish that version could have been made, but the film we ended up with is still one pretty goddamn strange cinematic cocktail. From the bizarre sexual obsessions and oglings of Jamie, to the crew of bloodthirsty Hell beasts and the psychotic voices in Jamie’s head who transmit themselves through the boy’s Teddy bear, it’s one of those movies so peculiar it truly has to be seen to be believed.  I’d put it along side movies like “Tourist Trap” and “Pin”, movies that are damn strange and certainly effective, but lost and waiting to be rediscovered.

Three and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

27
Feb
13

In the Mouth of Madness (1995): Licked by the Tongue of Terror

in_mouth_of_madness_poster_01

a Primal Root review

“I think, therefore you are.” -Sutter Cain, In the Mouth of Madness

Few movie openings get me as pumped as that of “In the Mouth of Madness”. The opening synth licks, drums kick in, and the guitar commences to wailing as Sutter Cain’s latest book is being shot through the presses by whirring machines that could draw and quarter you faster than you can say “owee”.  Never has book publishing seemed this incredibly badass. If you can imagine Metallica’s Enter Sandman but without James Hatfield’s goofy vocals and composed by cinematic renaissance man, John Carpenter, you’re halfway there. It’s a fucking spectacular start to a movie that’s basically the dark, evil, alarmist version of Reading Rainbow. Who would have ever guessed reading could be so goddamn cool and menacing? In my own head, I like to imagine that if this film had reached a wider audience, we would have seen cool, greaser types with their slicked-back hair, bad boy shades, a Marlboro dangling from chapped lips, leaning against a support beam in their favorite dive bar and flipping through a well worn-collection of Edgar Allen Poe.

in-the-mouth-of-madness hobbs

So, who is this Sutter Cane fellow? Well, in the fictional 1995 realm of “In the Mouth of Madness” he is the most widley read author in history. His stories have been translated into several dozen languages, outsell every other book on the market, and have even begun to lead to riots in book stores (remember? People used to go to stores that sold books!) when they can’t supply enough to meet the demands of the author’s work.   Did I mention this guy does horror? So it stands to reason that the man is also getting the blame for a recent “plague of violence” that has swept the nation with folks brutally attacking one another seemingly at random. Are they getting a little inspired by their page-turner?

As we all know, that’s absolute garbage. Entertainment has as much influence over real life violence as soft serve ice cream consumption has over the migration of gopher turtles.

But, I digress. As it turns out Sutter Cane has gone missing, and his publishing company has hired a cynical, crude, disillusioned insurance fraud investigator named John Trent (Sam Neil) to find out if Cain is alive and if he ever finished his final book, In the Mouth of Madness. Sent along with him is Cain’s editor, the  more open minded and vulnerable Styles (Julie Carmen). After some rather impressive investigating along with some trippy and disturbing nightmares, Trent puts together a map which will lead them to Cane who seems to be stationed in a small New England town. And not just any small New England town, but one named after Old Scratch, himself, and which seems to be the inspiration for one of Cane’s books, “The Hobb’s End Horror”.

in the mouth eyes

On their drive to the mysteriously elusive Hobb’s End Trent & Styles get to know one another while chit-chatting about Trent’s love of busting people and justifying his stone-cold cynicism with sharing his view that “the sooner mankind is off the planet, the better.” Styles speaks to her lust for horror, and that if reality as we know it should happen to shift how terrifying it would be to be the last sane one left…hmmm, foreshadowing, me thinks. There’s also an impromptu clown horn awakening that leads to a fun-sized Ruffles Potato Chip beat down that adds a little levity but really just makes me want some potato chips. Great product placement, though! I want to put those chips in my OWN personal mouth of madness where they can settle in my belly of batshit… ew.

Along their journey, Trent sleeps in the passenger seat snoring one of those irritating half snores as Styles gets a nice ripe slice of Hell. She catches a glimpse of bicycle reflectors up the road, but as she gets closer it seems to be a young man in his twenties peddling furiously in the same direction on the deserted highway in the pitch black night. As she drives past. he fades into the red of her tail lights and then disappears into the darkness. This is not a thing uncommon to humans. We pass people riding bikes, yeah, pretty much all the time. But there’s just something freakishly unsettling about this one. Something that speaks to us solely in the language of nightmares. Then, of course, there’s the next moment in which we see this soul, and he’s kind of, let’s say, changed a bit.

Several nightmare scenarios later, our dynamic duo find themselves in Hobb’s End, where the main street is lined with lovely little antique shops filled with what Trent eloquently calls “old shit”. The town looks pretty empty with the exception of a tribe of kids who can’t not run in slow motion after their dog. The two check into a quant little inn that seems to be run by Viggo the Carpathian and Mrs. Pickam (the incomparable Francis Bay). OH! and oI guess it bears mentioning that Cane’s there abducting children and transforming them into his own special brood of creatures bent on spreading his signature brand of mayhem and mutation throughout the town. And where else would HQ be but the comfy confines of THE BLACK CHURCH! A creepy, evil, place whereabouts dobermans attack en mass, the doors have a malfunctioning automatic open feature, and where Cane does all of his writing and evil plottin these days.

in the mouth sutter

Still, despite every gruesome event in “The Hobb’s End Horror” playing out around them, Trent still refuses to believe his own eyes and chocks it up to a ridiculously well-staged Disney World level publicity stunt put on just for him in hopes that he’ll high-tail it back to the big city, and talk up Cain’s “haunted little town.” In this one moment, I agree with Trent when he boldly declares, “Well, FUCK THAT!”

Now, you can begin to imagine Trent getting genuinely freaked out at this point, but the man just won’t give up on trying to find the logical explanation. But it seems to become more blazingly apparent that he’s driven himself right into a hotbed of slimy monsters and crazy shit ground zero. Portraits shift and change to creep the fuck out of city folk, grannies handcuff their naked hubbies to their ankles, and giant reptilians sporting a veritable mess of tentacles occupy the outdoor patio. Yeah. Sure, guy, this is all being staged JUST FOR YOU… I’m hopping on the next non demon-riddled Greyhound and heading to Chi-town as you brush chunks of brain and gore off your shoulder from the ‘actor’ who just unloaded a shotgun into his noggin.

As a mob of mutated town folk slowly inch towards Trent and a now totally whacked-out Styles (oh, yeah, she’s been lustily possessed by her demon-crazed client), the two exchange punches to the face in a Three Stooges of Domestic Battery kind of way. It gets a good laugh in (at least from me), and they head to their car to make a quick getaway. Styles gets all emotional and attention-starved, and commences to eating the car keys.  “JEEEEEESUS!” cries our hero and goes fishing down her throat, which, I gotta say, just feels a little gross & sketchy despite the necessity. Trent takes it to that further step, bashing in Styles’s mug, hot-wiring the car, and blazing the fuck out of this podunk Hell hole.

Only Trent can’t get out. No one gets out. He’s stuck in the demonic Groundhog’s Day of road trips as he repeatedly drives down the highway, finds the road lines glow a freakish neon orange, and being transported right back to Main Street USA where a posse of Basket Case 2 rejects await him hungrily. Oh, and by this point Styles is trying to smut it up with Trent, contorted her entire body into a creeping,  crackly-boned, monstrosity. The beauty of this moment? These days  all this would be done in sad, ineffective CGI, but cinematic treasures like this prove that unnerving realness of scenes such as this are actually pulled off by *real* effects such as the sideshow contortionist who rocked even the creepiest of moments.

in-the-mouth-of-madness church

After several tedious attempts to escape Trent tries a more direct approach flooring his jalopy right into the crowd! They clear a path which leads right to Styles who just stands there grinning like she just drank all the sherry.  Trent jerks his steering wheel to the right and directly into a nasty collision which leaves him unconscious as the minions of mutations laugh and talk amongst themselves in the distance.

Trent then wakes up to have a one on one with the man, himself, Sutter Cain. Okay, this is it. Here is Trent’s chance to defend humanity! And what does he do? Too preoccupied with trying to light his last cigarette, Trent settles on insulting Cain by telling him his books suck. Eh, I hardly think that’s going to bruise the man’s ego, Trent.  And then he drops the bomb. Trent, himself, is Sutter’s creation. A character in a book he is writes and controls. Nothing more. Understandably, Trent’s more than a little unsettled by all this, even more so when Sutter rips into his own face with is bare hands to reveal a dark pit framed by torn shreds of a novels pages.  Yeah, this is looking less and less like a promotional stunt…

We’re led through a fantastic sequence wherein Trent peers into the darkness while Styles reads from Sutter’s new “bible”.  This, of course, plays as narration as he is living the story she reads. It’s a wonderfully creepy piece of cinema where Trent sees creatures rising from the abyss beyond description and we, the audience, are never given a good clear shot. We are only allowed to see Trent’s face as he reacts to what he sees. Styles presents the manuscript to Trent,  and Trent makes his way back into “his world”. The creatures gain, Trent trips, and all is lost…or so it seems.

In-the-Mouth-of-Madness-Screenshot-in-the-mouth-of-madness- story

Trent screams in primal terror only to open his eyes and find himself on a dirt road, back in what looks to be classical reality. Birds chirp, kids deliver the newspaper, and there are no creatures beyond description chilling out at the truck stops. Yes, things seem normal, but Trent has seen some pretty heavy shit and can’t so easily shake it. First order of business is to destroy the manuscript, which keeps mysteriously finding it’s way back into his hands. Eventually Trent heads back to the publishing company that hired him in the first place only to find out Styles never existed and that he delivered the In the Mouth of Madness manuscript months ago and that it’s been at the top of the Best Seller list for seven weeks! Trent, having no recollection of this at all, is driven even closer to the edge. He pleads with the publishers to recall the book because what’s in it will drive people insane. Trent is then gently pushed off the edge as it’s revealed that the movie adaptation of the book comes out in a week.

The epidemic of violence continues, no one can put down Sutter’s latest work, our “hero” has gone homicidal as well, bashing in skulls with an axe outside book stores., which is why he has been telling this story from within a padded sell all along. By film’s end we find Trent in a deserted city after the dark power made manifest through Sutter’s work has infected everyone, making them lash out violently and mutate, as he goes into a fully lit theater. What’s playing? In the Mouth of Madness.

in mouth madness trent

Trent sits in an empty theater, popcorn bucket in hand and watches scenes fro the film we have just watched. He begins to laugh a pained, horrified laughter of sad realization. Of being broken. Tears swell up in his eyes as he tits his head back, his laughter becoming desperate and pleading as we cut to black. It”s a cold, dark, deeply unsettling ending because it brings up so many questions about who we are and reality in general.  Trent, obviously was born, grew up, has gone through life and made memories, how devastating would it be to find out it were all false. That, in effect, you aren’t real. That you are simply a means to entertain someone else.

It’s a cold concept to think about, that we might be nothing more than the figment of something’s imagination who can change the rules whenever they like and wipe our slates clean in the process. It takes a pretty active imagination to contemplate such an existence, but what a sad and empty way for our world to end. With the realization that we were never, ever, anything to begin with…

Stay Trashy!

-Root

18
Nov
12

Trash Cinema Nights presents ‘Gremlins’ and the 2nd Annual Black Elephant Gift Exchange!

SHOWING SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8TH @10PM at BIRD’s APHRODISIAC OYSTER SHACK in TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA!
“It is truly, The Muppet Chain Saw Massacre.” – Harlan Ellison on Gremlins

Hey Gang! Well, it’s that time of year again! Time to break out that ‘ol Yule Tide spirit, brace for none stop Christmas carols on the radio, Santa Claus in every TV commercial, coal in our stockings and, the most WONDERFUL time of the year, our December Trash cinema Night’s at Bird’s Aphrodisiac screening and Black Elephant Gift Exchange!

That’s right, this year we are showing the childhood, deeply cynical, traumatizing, life al

tering Joe Dante seasonal 80’s classic, Gremlins! Partial responsible for the induction of the PG-13 rating (along with Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom) Gremlins tells the story of a young man living in a picturesque, Norman Rockwell style neighborhood with his loving parents. His father gives him the gift of a small creature known as a Mogwai. There are three simple rules to follow in order to take care of this aggressively cute monster so that it does not unleash a reign of unholy, carnage down upon mankind soaking the freshly fallen winter’s snow in a bright crimson shower of arterial spray. Yes, it was marketed to kids and it helped us to realize how hilarious untimely death can be, how to throw a kickass party and TO FOLLOW THE GODDAMN RULES!

Yes, we will be showing Gremlins and then we shall follow that up with our 2nd Annual BLACK ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE! So be sure to bring a Trashy Gift, MAX COST: $15, to place under our Trash Cinema festive holiday tree that does not denote any specific holiday as to avoid being offensive. The rules are, bring in a gift, draw a number as to determine in which order we will be picking out presents. Whoever goes first doesn’t get to exchange their gift for anyone else’s but the further we ascend into the numbers the more chances these folks get to exchange a gift for the one they picked…yeah…Does that make any sense? I’m sure it will once we have some booze in us.

so let us cozy around the warm Trash Cinema night’s projector, prepare for the Christmas season with a pitcher of ice cold beer, devour the Best Damn Burger in Tallahassee and join the Trash Cinema Collective Family for a screening of Gremlins followed by our 2nd Annual Black Elephant gift Exchange!

Hope to see you there!

Stay Trashy!
-Root

15
Oct
12

Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight

a Primal Root written review

Growing up in a household that could afford premium cable, as a youngster, there was no greater pleasure than staying up late, hunkering down on the sofa in the darkened living room, and catching the sick, twisted morality tale that was HBO’s ‘Tales from the Crypt.’  Being a child whose love for the macabre and horrific was rotted deep within me and growing more apparent on a daily basis, this was MY must see TV.  In my younger years, Nickelodeon’s ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ along with old, dusty, issues of E.C. comicss ‘The Vault of Horror’ and ‘Tales from the Crypt’ had wet my pallet. The promise of a fun, vivid, gory, lesson in how being an asshole will surely end in a fate often worse than death wrapped up in one nifty thirty minute package made ‘Tales from the Crypt’ an irresistible temptation. Add the ever present possibility of  bare female breasts, and my adolescent self couldn’t refuse.

 

Hell, my adult self still can’t refuse.

 

Then, in 1995, I was traipsing through Tallahassee Florida’s long dead Oak Lake Six movie theater on my way to see  ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’ when I spotted poster that dropped my jaw to the floor and filled my heart with sticky, black, diabolical joy. Oh yes, ‘Tales from the Crypt’ was releasing a movie called “Demon Knight.’ Needless to say, this was the greatest news my 13 year old self had ever heard. The poster featured a shot of the Crypt Keeper smiling ghoulishly and peering over blue lensed, John Lennon style sun glasses, holding open his epic, and seemingly endless, book tales as slimy, razor toothed demons spewed forth all being led by an slightly aggravated looking bald fellow in a trench coat with his arm outstretched pointing right at my scrawny, freshly teenaged face. I knew, in my misguided, freshly teenaged heart, this was going to be the greatest movie ever made.

 

Sadly, I wouldn’t be able to talk my Mom into letting me see it until it was released on VHS. I rented Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight, slipped the tape into my VCR, and braced myself for the glory. Dear reader, Demon Knight catered to everything my adolescent heart could possibly desire. Here’s how it goes down…

 

The action takes place in a dilapidated boarding house that was previously a church where the home’s misfit group of residents (prostitute, laid off postal worker, drunken bum Dick Miller, etc.) find themselves in the middle of an ancient battle between good and evil. See, there’s a drifter named Stryker played by infinitely likeable character actor, William Sadler, playing it straight, earnest, and desperate. Stryker, The Demon Knight, finds his way to this boarding house, thanks to a largely unexplained supernatural star circle compass tattoo in the palm of his hand, seeking shelter. Styker is being stalked down by a slick, seductive, hilarious form of evil incarnate known only as The Collector. The Collector is played by Billy Zane, who is obviously having a field day with such a fun part. In retrospect this might be the high water mark of his career. Which is rather sad.

 

 

Anyhoo, The Collector is trying to get his hands on ‘The Key’ which Stryker is protecting. This key holds the blood of Christ as well as the blood of previous Demon Knights. The fate of all humanity hangs in the balance on this night, in this boarding home, because this key is the last of seven The Collector needs in order to unleash Hell on earth. It soon becomes a show down in the old Night of the Living Dead, Assault on Precinct 13 style, as The Collector brings forth an army of vicious, mucousy, pierced up demons that look like char grilled Muppets looking to rip the into meaty chunks anyone who stands between them and The Key. The Collector, on the other hand, finds his own way in through the use of seduction and the promise of granting his victim’s fantasies which leads to some of ‘Demon Knights” more interesting sequences. Needless to say, many will die, few will live, some will get fire pissed on them by Billy Zane, and one character will fulfill their destiny. Oh yeah, it’s one of those type of parties.

 

 

That’s the basic run down of what’s going on in this movie. The mythology surrounding The Key, the Demon Knights and their Highlander-esque back story is something I could honestly devote a whole article to. Plus there’s the obligatory Crypt Keeper bookends to the film that don’t really add much, but it’s cool that the our old pal, The Crypt Keeper, is holding down the fort and spewing the same old eye rolling puns and one liners.

 

 

‘Demon Knight delivered, and for about six months, it was among my absolute favorites and solidified my deep, abiding, love for Trash Cinema. It had graphic violence delivered both horrifically and humorously. Gratuitous and plentiful bare female breasts. A ridiculously fun villain in the form of The Collector, and likeable and enigmatic hero in Stryker, plus a great cast of veteran character actors like Dick Miller, CCH Pounder, and Charles Fleischer as well as a few folks yet to hit their peak like Jada Pinkett , Thomas Haden Church and um, Traci Bingham? Plus, a bizarre cameo by John Laroquette who still seems like a strange choice to me…The morality play aspect of the television series falls by the wayside a bit, but the sick, twisted black comedy is intact and even a bit amplified.

 

Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight isn’t a great film, not by a long shot, but it sure is a Hell of a lot of fun. And at the end of the day isn’t that precisely what you want from this kind of flick? It’s dumb, rude, dirty, sick, over the top and exploitative. It’s a guilty pleasure of the highest order. It’s a dark minded, neon eyed, spook house, horror show of a movie that is only interested in kicking ass, tossing the gruel at it’s audience and letting the chips fall where they may. It’s the kind of horror film where you walk out with a smile knowing that you’ve had a blast.

 

My 13-14 year old self was an instant fan. The poster adorned my wall throughout my middle school years and I sang the praises of ‘Demon Knight’ to all my horrified friends. I watched it nearly every weekend for a span of about six months before moving on to other bizarre, awesome, trashy films. However, the young, teenager inside me still holds this film very close to his strange, trash loving little heart.
Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

06
Jun
12

Cabin in the Woods: Roll with the Changes

a Primal Root review as originally published in Tallahassee’s Capital City Villager

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, okay, here goes. A jock, a slut, a pot head and a mousy chick decide to spend a  weekend in the woods only things don;t go as planned as malevolent forces beyond their control put a bloody an unexpected halt to their fun filled outing. Sound familiar? To any fan of the horror genre the principle set up could be lifted from any one of the multitude of slasher films released between the late 70’s to today.

It’s the same formula that’s been set up, rinsed and repeated for generations. But this basic premise is where the similarities between “The Cabin in the Woods” and your typical teen body count horror films end and the inventiveness begins.  This is precisely what makes the film such a tent pitchingly awesome treat for both hardcore horror fans and even general audiences who have, no doubt. become well aware of such genre tropes. Joss Whedon (the man behind the immensely popular and critically acclaimed “Buffy the Vampire” television show) and co. have created a horror film that not only includes  all the fun, over the top brutal violence, imaginative creatures, and gratuitous tits and ass we’ve all come to expect and love about this type of flick but also imbues the picture with a wealth of knowledge about horror tales in general and uses that as a way to revitalize it by packing enough wit, brains and a plethora of unexpected surprises to keep even the most well versed fan second guessing themselves as to just what will happen next and what cliche will be chopped down and tossed onto the fire.  As a connoisseur and life long fan of this well worn cinematic sub-genre, I am purposefully sidestepping any further mentioning of the veritable cornucopia of plot turns and unexpected twists, because to do so would be an unforgivable disservice to any audience plopping their asses down to view “The Cabin in the Woods” for the first time.

“The Cabin in the Woods” from writer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard completely annihilates every convention of the genre and reminds all of us that there are still avenues left unexplored in what some might see as an exhausted form of storytelling. It may only be a matter of story tellers hiking off the trail and further, deeper, into the woods.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

20
Apr
12

Uncle Grumpyfuk Remembers: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies

written by Uncle Grumpyfuk

Welcome my fellow Gommorrahns to another episode of Uncle Grumpyfuk’s insightful and …uh, evinrude observations concerning …cinematic… intacies..intricies..intr..  …in-tri-ca-ci-ties… intricate stuff, whatever! FUCK! Sit d.. shove those poultry magazines and crusty tissues off the couch and throw that towel over the dark spot, NEVERMIND THE SMELL!!! ..sigh- and sit down. Shit, please stop my brain from spinning oh Crom.
I apologize folks, the tabs will be kicking in any minute and I’ll have some energy and get the peach fuzz off my brain- you know that Beatles (*) tune ;

Well she was just un-der-eight,
and it was tastin’ mighty great,
when I heard a knock,
a knock on my front door-or!
Yeah i-i-in came the cops and her pareeents! Ohhhh,
I was-still-holding-the-Mazola-

and-the-octopus-tentacle,
and she-was paaaassed-ooout aawwwn the-floor!

Well Uncle Grumpyfuk’s having one of those kinda mornings, I’m SURE you know what I mean.

(*) I’m sure you’ve recently heard of the lucky asswipe that hit an estate sale and found hand written lyrics by members of the Fab Four (**) amongst some old paperwork. He’s going to make some serious bank, lucky fucker – these are actually some of the alternate lyrics, released by stickyourgoddamncopyrightsupyouroozingrectum.com (***)

(**) In actuality the lyrics presented herein were NOT written by the Beatles. Neither the cute one or the wussie one, nor the good one or the lucky one had anything to do whatsoever with these lyrics, it was me. Seriously, it was…what? You think the Beatles could write lyrics that good?!? You are fucking insane.

(***) Actually no such website exists that I know of,I didn’t really check or anything, if there is it was a lucky guess- as far as I’m concerned I made that up too. Yes I did indeed! I know- O Henry, Saki, Shatner, Dickens, yep I know – thanks!

Whew, hell I haven’t even told you what movie we’re doing..oh, well I guess you read the title. Ok fine Monsieur Smartass! Ahem, today I’ll be reviewing a movie dear to Uncle Grumpyfuk’s heart, directed by the master Ray Dennis Steckler,with a title that deserves an Oscar in itself;  “The Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies” , top that Scorsayze.. Scoresasee…Scorsaysie…Coppola! You bitch!

It begins with the highest crane shot I’ve ever seen of a rollercoaster in an amusement park on Long Beach that no longer exists, because the human race sucks. Next we find ourselves down in the park amongst the crowd in front of Mme Estrella’s Gypsy Fortune Telling tent and the camera moves forward, while filming(!) such innovative technique from a young Steckler! Amazing. Then, we move through the curtain and are transported, as if by magic, inside the tent! Huh, ‘Avatar in 3’D’ – phttt,what hog-waste!
We meet our sultry clairvoyant trying to attract a pudgy boozehound with her crotch-sweat, he actually reviles her and suggests she engage in intimate physical relations with one of her fellow carnival workers who was afflicted from birth with horrific physical handicaps, indicating that their unfortunate disfigurement delegated them as something less than normal! Enraged at his stunning political incorrectness and aggrieved for the delicate emotions of the disgusting freaks she calls forth Ortega, her debonaire companion, who’s makeup job of cotton swabs and cigarette ashes would not be equaled until a full 3 decades later with ‘A Joan Rivers Christmas Extravaganza’. Ortega’s Clark Gable-esque features and manner cannot help but impress- oh Ortega you devil! ..and the way Steckler executes the scene, with Ortega entering from behind the curtains, as if he emerged from a portal to another dimension, once again,amazing.
Well, Ortega subdues the slobbering sot and holds him wallowing helplessly as our ravishing gypsy demonstrates what happens when you try the Chinese water torture with corrosive acid, fun stuff indeed! She then commands Ortega to put the ‘feelthy peeg’ in the back with the others and our hopes begin to soar.
The first act is over and as the credits begin there appears a nice semblance of our director’s face which, as the credits proceed, evolves, like magic into the hideous countenance of Eddie Van Halen! Utter, soul-wrenching fright ensues. What an innovative and chilling intro by Steckler. The phantom cry from very shade of DW Griffith himself, at the moment that scene was originally shot, could be heard across the unimaginable distances from limbo itself claiming, ” Heeeelp! Talulah Bankhead and Barbara Stanwick are after me, trying to lop of my testicles with a crosscut saw and Hilary Clinton isn’t getting any younger!” Higher praise one simply could not ask for.
The next scene begins abruptly with the discordant laughter of a mechanical carnival clown that looks like Ross Perot and another head, a pirate or a priest or something, that those two assholes on that antique pickers show would give 30 bucks for, for both ,then we’re outside a cafe/dinner theater like in Amsterdam except there aren’t 7 people and a goat fucking on stage while salad is being served. What a shame, that always gets my appetite going!
A couple I like to call ‘Pat and Pat’, a rather masculine female (Steckler’s actual wife at the time) that looks like Mary Ellen from the Waltons and a rather feminine male that looks like Brigitte Nielsen are doing a pretty cool dance number, (what the fuck do I know), they finish and Pat dashes back to her room (see what I did there? that’s called…some writing term, shit, I don’t know) to swill Witch Hazel when she spots a dark feline creature glaring balefully at her from atop a box of Whiskas, and a terrified shriek erupts from under her boobs – her familiar has found her once more and she shudders as she hears the Dark Lord’s crappy voice singing ‘Bim Bam Baby’. Soon she knows she must join Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack and endure Sammie’s Uncle Tom routine for all eternity, that there is no escape. At that moment however her manager bursts into the room, scoops up the hissing monster and tosses it out into the hall- slamming the door before enraged Sir Scruffalot could re-enter the room, problem solved!
 Now, finally we’re introduced to the main character, the true rebellious teen idol of the 1960s; Cash Flag, otherwise known as our beloved director Ray Dennis Steckler! Acting, direction,  production, what a talent! Yes my friends Cash Flag, three times as cool as James Dean and Steckler didn’t have to take it up the ass to attain his fame like that fucking toy-boy poser! Cash is tre-fucking-cool, we open at his pad where he and his hip Greek buddy Harold, (who is from Greece and has a voice like Ahnold before he screwed his housekeeper and himself in the rump) are kickin’ back talking about Cash’s old lady and her uptight but totally fuckable mom, when Harold suggests Cash possibly get some means of employment to improve his relationship and get in that milf’s ass! Cash, horrified at the thought of a job delivers one of his classic lines which says it all, “The world is here to be enjoyed, not to make you depressed, that’s what work does, it makes you feel depressed.” Yeah, fuckin’a right buddy, we should all live off of gummi bears and expresso and crap out the window, hell yeah! ..Anyway the ‘dynamic two guys’ head over to Cash’s squeeze’s pad where her mom is giving her shit for not putting out for the the ‘nice boy’, you’ve all heard it before girls, I know you have. They take off and hit the beach where they frolic,  see, when you’re cool like Cash you can do shit and not worry about it – you can frolic, ya know what I’m saying? Word.
         The trio go over to the amusement park and decide to ride on the roller coaster, Cash tries to persuade his bird to give him a bj for the ‘fun photo’ camera but no dice, so they hit the Gonad Lift and hock luggies into the baby cribs passing by below, good old fun like kids used to have the kind of fun that’s been taken away from them, just like lynchings! It’s terrible.
Meanwhile Pat is still swilling on her Witch Hazel, an oreo is on stage telling the worst jokes with the delivery of a third grader with autism, then Pat and Pat begin their act with Pat staggering around like Whitney Houston on meth..oh come on, screw you,  no one was surprised about that shit! ..and Pat ends up faceplanting on stage like Whit..oh fine, like your mother after a night out with the Cult of the Red Hat, yeah! Ha! However the crowd was entertained so all is well. She rushes backstage followed by her oppressive manager, and dives back into the bottle. He tells her to continue drinking- the audience loved it and it gave him sadistic pleasure at watching her humiliate herself  and Pat onstage, it is really funny when you think about it, and that if she quits, she’s fired.
Later that night they’re still riding the coaster, apparently the operator suffered a major stroke getting a hummer from a 10-year-old for a caramel apple and a coke razor necklace so they’re stuck up there for the moment! Haunted by her encounter with Sir Scruffalot, Pat seeks solace from Mme Estrella who tells her of two possibilities concerning her future, that she will die very soon or get knocked up by a spade with a huge choad sending her fleeing in terror, out of the tent and knocking Harold head-over-heels as the kids stand outside the tent. The intrigued youngsters enter the gypsy’s tent to see what the hubbub is about, however our hot-ass gypsy’s clairvoyant vision is clouded by the smell of Harold’s hair cream so she basically gives them the same old ‘one of you will die!’ spiel. This enrages Cash who swears bloody revenge on the smokin’ cougar, the Roma bitch stole Harold’s wallet though so she’s got it coming. Oh man that mole on her face does something down in the groinal region, you know? Sure you do! Fuck yeah! Groins!
The kids head back out into the park and they find some hootchie’s dancin’ on stage, led by Estrella’s sister, the exotic and mysterious Carmalita, with a look so alluring it would make oatmeal remain at room temperature! Cash is immediately hooked as if he’d received a particularly tasty dose of smack, or in Carmalita’s case, smuck. He ditches his friends like a pair of tranny hookers after your wad is blown and enters the tent.
Outside the tent the carnival barker asks one of the hotter dancing girls if she’d like to go out on a date, now check this out, at her house, cooking steak for him in her kitchen! That is some serious Fonz-like coolness there my friends, yes sirree! Since I heard that line 4 women have slapped the shit out of me and another told me to ‘get fucked’- 2 of them because I tried that line! I’ve got to work on that one, learn to make it work, yes sir!
Now comes the first musical/dance number with a bevy of super-hot dancing girls in slaughtered zebra flesh outfits (yum!), and a troupe leader with a set of gams that go up to her eyebrows, yow!  They do a cool number then Carol Kaye sings “It Only Hurts When He Doesn’t Use Lube”, a softer/slower song, she’s got a great voice, it’s a nice song. (See how nice I’m being? See, I like this film and Steckler! Understand? Otherwise…)
Then comes Carmalita’s ‘strip’-‘tease’, no pole – I know, can you believe it? Cash stares, riveted, as Carmalita proceeds to.. not really strip and.. not really dance… oh baby! As he watches, like some phantom from a haunted tobacco field, Ortega materializes in a puff of smoke behind Cash and hands him a note from Carmalita asking if he’s interested in a threesome with Estrella and herself? Cash can hardly contain his excitement, lucky fucker!
After ‘accidentally’ barging into the dancers’ dressing room, no bush or anything by the way, not even a nipple(!), Cash finds the gypsy strumpet in her dank and poorly lit dressing room. She bids him go behind some curtains and he excitedly envisions a rickety cot with stained sheets a-waiting, yet when the curtains part he’s confronted with the dreaded ‘hypnotic cheese wheel’, that, you know, hypnotizes you..with cheese..surrounded by Ortega and her sister. He falls helplessly under the irresistible spell of the cheese wheel, the smell of stilton is simply more than his weakened senses could take. Mme. Estrella succeeds in mesmerizing our helpless teen heartthrob as Ortega huffs on dried cow dung and Carmalita..just sorta stands there and one wonders, where can I find a hot gypsy outfit in a childs size 5?!? Estrella commands Cash to…do something, we’re not actually let in on it, you think we would be but ..oh, I see! Steckler is building suspense! How could I have doubted his genius? Shit. Then the camera spins round and around, real artistic-like, fuck it’s things like that that make the universe worth not destroying!
           Back at the music theater a really really white guy on bennys is droning on,wondering where your heart is so he can cut it out and devour it, then the oreo introduces Pat and Pat who begin their dance routine, then we are treated, nay, honored to behold the most awesome murder scene in the history of motion pictures, it’s just that damn great, man!!!

Pat and Pat begin their routine as usual, unfortunately Pat, having gone to see Mme. Estrella, had neglected to down her required dose of Witch Hazel so she’s actually dancing ok when she turns around to face Pat, and there, looming, like the silent-film Nosferatu rising from his coffin, his eyes transfixing your gaze as icy terror tugs at the shoe-strings of your crappy-ass Walmart Nike ripoff sneakers, like turning on the radio to be confronted with the life-stealing, banshee-like wail of Glee, and when you lunge at the control knob to change the station it breaks off in your trembling hand…wait,what the fuck was I talking about? …oh, right, cough… as Pat turns there in front of her looms Cash, our beloved Cash, Ray Dennis Steckler himself, standing,  raised blade in hand, with a look in his eyes that will haunt your mortal soul,( yeah that’s right, you ain’t going nowhere after you croak, suckers!), the intense helplessness, the visible inner struggle between the opposing forces of his two brains (wink!), the feral rage invoked by the vengeful gypsy..who’s still hot as shit, I don’t care I totally would, that crusty wart might feel good on the tip …sigh, anyway, all of this and probably less does Pat see in his frenzied stare as the knife flashes downward like the sword of Damocles itself into her.. cheekbone. ..( How is THAT for a run-on sentence my fellow miscreants? I coulda broken it up but fuck it, a new personal record! Yeah!) The wounded and stunned Pat hits the floor like soggy hamburger meat and Cash proceeds to stab her fallen body over and over, enjoying the delicious warmness of here life’s blood covering his hands,mmmm. Then he turns his basilisk gaze to Pat, who is standing there totally aroused and shitting himself, and again the blade slices down, in a downward direction, and Pat turns to show how a cheap bloody make-up job can look pretty darn cool. He hits the floor to join Pat and their running blood mingles together as the delighted audience howls for more! The zombie-like Cash, his mission accomplished, exits stage left and chaos ensues as the audience rushes forward to take photos and vids to post on youtube for a thousand bucks, and a couple of particularly savvy souls gather up the blood to sell on ebay – smart! Let that be a lesson to you all, don’t squander a perfectly good opportunity to profit off of the misfortunes of others! You snooze, you lose!
What a scene, you just want to hit the pause button, whip it out and go at it until a 2-ply sheet of Bounty simply ain’t enough, you know what I mean!?! ..and isn’t that what art is all about? Uncle Grumpyfuk says hell yes! You’re fuckin’a right it is! Groins! Woo!!!

Next our ingenious director and crew really strut their stuff and we see Cash thrashing about in his bead, haunted by the coolest dream sequence in all of film, I am fucking serious damn it! Super-imposed images flash across the screen, the dancing girls and Cash, played by Pat, with Darth Maul’s makeup, dancing and whirling around, smoke, fire, camel toes, Estella, Ortega’s dashing features, all choreographed and filmed by the future award-winning crew. It’s a haunting and totally addictive scene you just want to watch over and over, it’s like smack without the puking! Glorious.
The next morning Cash cruises over to his old lady’s house to see if she’s sorry for being such an uptight bitch, when, during the conversation she begins to spin an open umbrella which vaguely reminds us, and Cash, of the hypnotic cheese wheel. This pisses him off and he begins to throttle Angie Baby’ – she deserves some roughing up anyway for that crap attitude of hers. Gotta keep’em in line or before you know it they’ll want to start driving and voting and shit! Crazy times. He gleefully continues, enjoying the warm feel of her convulsing trachea in his cold hands when he sees the image of Pat’s face and squeezes Angie’s delicate neck all the harder, achieving a righteous boner in the process. Suddenly her brother Madison,who can’t wait any longer for his turn, throws Cash to the ground and as Angie stares with bemused curiosity at Cash, her brother takes over and finishes throttling her, living the dream.
Cash, meanwhile, flees the scene and wanders around the city, giving us some great camera shots of an LA lost in the past and eventually he makes his way back to the carnival for some serious payback for the playful gypsy duo. His mistake however was in not bringing along his one-man Greek posse for backup, and Cash is quickly hypnotized all over again and once more sent out to kill..someone, which turns out the be the dancer who was going to cook steak for the tre-cool barker. We arrive at her pad and she’s about to light up when she looks down her long poorly-lit hallway and spots Steckler, knife in hand, stalking down the hall towards her, knife again raised for action and dispatches her after a brief struggle. Then the barker knocks on the door, sees the light go out, smells that hot poon a-waiting’, or so he thinks as he enters,calling her name. WE see his silhouette and then Cash’s silhouette behind his, knife raised, end of scene. Spooky stuff folks – Hitchcock Shmitchcock, this is the shit right here!

 
Now we’re treated to the best of the dance/song numbers as Carol Kaye and the girls get ‘Shook out of Shape’! I fucking love this song so fucking much it’s almost criminal, and the addition of Carol in a hilarious but totally hot rooster tail outfit and the smoking hot dancing girls…whew, damn, settle down boy, settle down! Apparently the dancers had no rehearsal time for these numbers but those bare legs are a kicking and pumping, yea-howdy!!!

After dispatching the dancing girl at her house Cash mechanically heads back to the carnival to get his ‘reward’ from the gypsy couple, woo-hoo! However his reward,instead of a nice threesome turns out to be a bunch of acid in the face – I’d take the two gypsy bitches myself but to each his own! Our poor hero stand as the corrosive liquid dissolves his pristine features, though we don’t actually see anything, turning him into a ..mixed up zombie! somehow..or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Estrella and Ortega lead the helpless post-op teen to be put with the ‘others’,however as the cage door opens the mixed up zombies escape by..walking out of the door! I guess it takes mixed up zombies a while to figure things out, you know? They then attack Estrella and Ortega, can you believe it?!? After supplying the pathetic creatures with a filthy cage for a home, 2 bowls of gruel a day and hourly anal punishment this is the thanks they get? Talk about gratitude! Jeez! Outnumbered, the conniving couple quickly succumb to the zombies’ mixed up assault and we shed a tear; never again will we be dazzled by Ortega’s suave manner and good looks, or be turned on by Estrella’s mole,it’s almost too much to bear! Sniff.
Hearing the commotion Carmalita moves to investigate but is quickly dispatched by a zombie, then all hell breaks loose. The zombies wander into the cafe and then the last dance number, the now famous ‘Zombie Stomp’ begins. After the entertainment the cops burst in and start shooting everything that moves, followed by Harold, Angie Baby and Madison, who are searching for Cash to get their paychecks! Cash, seeing them enter, jumps out of the window and tries to take a powder, hoping to avoid paying any of the actors involved in the film now that the movies is ending, so the trio takes off after him, followed by the police, sounds familiar eh? Ha!
The chase moves to the ocean and when he gets a clear shot the cop raises his pistol. “Do it!” scream the actors, “The insurance company will pay us what he owed us!”,so he takes the shot. Poor Cash plummets onto the rocks below and into the ocean,but miraculously makes it back to shore, still hoping to escape- one tough motherfucker! Yet he finally collapses on the sandy ground and buys the farm, and a not terribly bright and rather lazy and cheap star has been extinguished, sniff, and the actors sue the insurance company and get their dough after 2 years of court appearances and Angie Baby blowing the judge. The End.


There you have it folks and just in the nick of time, Uncle Grumpyfuk just ran out! Time to go on the hunt if you know what I mean! (wink!wink!) So until next time my fellow ugnugs, this is your favorite little teddy bear all covered with mold and spunk reminding you, “There’s no such thing as too much lube or too small a hole!” Groins! Woo!!!

-Uncle Grumpyfuk




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