Posts Tagged ‘indie

28
May
18

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014) High Octane Corpse Grinder

 

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a Primal Root written review

“You get to see what the Adults do after dark…” – The Doctor, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

The zombie apocalypse has been done to fucking death. I used to eat every film, every book, every piece of pop culture I could find related to the re-animated, flesh craving undead ever since I unearthed a VHS copy of both George A. Romero’s classics Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) from a  bargain bin inside the Tallahassee Mall back in the early to mid 90’s when the zombie genre was far from thriving. I was infatuated, tracking down as much as I could back int he day before there was a computer, let alone the internet, in our house. Fast forward over twenty years later, and not only has the living dead genre risen from it’s shallow grave and crawled back to life, but the hordes of these shambling corpses have practically taken over pop culture to point they are appearing of throw blankets, children’s films and are the central issue in long running, incredibly repetitious television programs.

To me, the zombie genre has been irrelevant and tiresome for decades. The last time a living dead film really got me revved up it w=as probably Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, when a filmmaker decided to create an updated version of the creature and new rules were invented. It livened things up and gave us something new and truly interesting within a genre that was just beginning to come back into sharp focus within the cinematic landscape. But, before long, it was the same old horde of zombies, following the same old rules, chasing the same rag tag group of thieves and misfits. It’s tired, done, to death, and no real fresh blood has been injected to give this world something to interest me.

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That all came to an end the other night when I sat down to a viewing of the 2014 film entitled Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. An Australian independent horror film that took nearly four years to create and touts itself as”Dawn of the Dead Meets Mad Max.” The film has more unrestrained energy, ferocious creativity and enthusiasm for the genre than I’ve come across since Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive aka: Brain Dead from 1992 and Drew Bolduc & Dan Nelson’s The Taint from 2011.  Wyrmwood is the living dead film I have been craving for 25 year, a film so fun, so heartfelt and so genre defying while staying true to it’s spirit, it not only revived my love and hope for a genre that has been the lackluster, stale floating turd of horror for far too long. Wyrmwood is the new high watermark of the genre. Seriously, it is THAT good. This mother fucker IS the fiery, fresh shot of new blood the likes of which I never even dreamed I’d see again.

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Wyrmood: Road of the Dead starts off on familiar territory, we are introduced to our central characters which will be Barry (Jay Gallagher) a bearded, well built handy man, husband and father of a cute and rambunctious young daughter who is woken out of a sound sleep by the sounds of a society starting to collapse just outside the door to his warm suburban home. Brooke (Bianca Bradey), his sister who happens to be a makeup artist working on a photo shoot with two other young ladies when the outbreak begins, and Benny (Leon Burchill) who is on a camping trip with his mates when they all witness the plethora of shooting starts lighting up the sky the night the outbreak begins. All prove to be more than capable of defending themselves against these living dead, human meat chomping, ghouls, but it soon becomes apparent that these zombies are not playing by the familiar rules set up by George Romero 40 years ago. No, these foul breathed carnivorous creeps are something entirely different.

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Sure, some of the same rules apply, obliterate their head and they drop like a sack of monkey cum, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how people are becoming infected, not only that, but there’s a strange new mystery revolving around which certain machines have stopped functioning. The story splits off into two different tales as we follow Barry and Brooke on their struggles to survive. After Barry loses both his wife and daughter, he is left suicidal, but soon begins to cross paths with other survivors, discovers answers to mysteries about their current biblical Doomsday situation, and steadily gains back his will to live by harnessing his grief and rage into being proactive and moving forward into this new, horrifying world while trying to protect those around him. Brooke, on the other hand, is abducted, drugged and experimented on by a disco dancing wack job in a hazmat suit who is part of a roving pack of the Australian military, it would seem, who continuously inject her with a serum  created using the blood of those infected with this reanimated virus which results in some very unexpected consequences.

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If you think any of what I’ve told you above is a spoiler, trust me, they are not by a LONG shot. I went into Wyrmwood knowing nothing at all about it and the film left me absolutely thrilled and slack jawed by it’s immense creativity and bold new and totally out of left field rules. On several occasions Wyrmwood completely inverts audience expectations and leaves you wondering just where the Hell the filmmakers are planning to take you. It’s a spirit and kind of maniacal glee in a team of creative thinkers always one upping themselves and deciding to crash right ahead down the road less traveled and blazing a whole new path that they know will leave the audience on the edge of their seats and smiling ear to ear. Several time during our viewing, Bootsie Kidd and I turned and looked at one another, eyes wide, gapping smiles and laughing with absolute joy at just how insanely intelligent, hilarious and deeply human this Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead was. Not afraid to introduce likable characters and then rip them away from us brutally, and often with fates worse than death, and allowing viewers to feel the gravity of these losses. Sometimes you might laugh at the absurdity of the loss, but there’s almost always a moment of sorrow for them being gone.

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I really don’t want to say a whole lot more about Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, and I STRONGLY advise you don’t watch the trailer and simply go in blind. I can guarantee it will be a far more rewarding experience, as the trailer spoils pretty much everything that’s surprising and original about the film itself. I know Wyrmwood likes to advertise that it’s like Dawn of the Dead meets Mad Max, but to me, it feels almost like a spiritual offspring of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead meets Peter Jackson’s early work, specifically Bad Taste and Dead Alive aka: Brain Dead. It’s a go for broke, low budget, independent labor of love. The kind of love you can feel just oozing from this thing like so much maggot filled vomit from the black, rotten, gob of and long deteriorating zombie. Truly, it’s the kind of film I could see Oscar winning director Peter Jackson making today is he were to get back to his roots ala: George Miller with Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s honestly that fucking impressive.

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Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is the low budget high energy and inspiration action gore fest the genre has been lacking in for what feels like fucking ages. I happen to know the film’s director, Kiah Roache-Turner has a new film coming out this year entitled Nekromancer, a tale about a man who hunts down and destroys demons in the internet. After watching the absolute joy that is Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, I am chomping at the bit to see how Kiah will subvert the genre and surprise us in the future.

I am awarding Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead FIVE out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets.

Check this breathless and badass motherfucker out, Gang.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

 

31
Mar
15

It Follows (2014) Sex, Ghosts and Walk-A-Thons

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a Primal Root written review

Let me get this out of the way, I am stupendously happy, thrilled even, when an independent horror movie makes it big, is released wide and actually sells tickets. No matter how good or piss poor, that does not matter to me one single bit, I just want the powers that be to give interesting, strange, unique ideas a fucking chance to thrive. There is a market that exists for oddities. Movies that test boundaries, flesh out ideas never before explored, and whether I go away on the verge of tears over watching something so awe inspiringly great or I walk out with my eyes rolling out of my head over how boring the whole experience was, I want NEW! I want FRESH! I want to see what’s churning inside the melons of all us aging youngsters that came of age on a steady diet of video store horror movie rentals, long summer nights spent gorging or sweet young minds on 90’s MTV, HBO Real Sex, and the rise and proliferation of tabloid journalism!  Whether it’s people getting sewn together ass to mouth, 90 minutes of static video footage of young assholes sleeping while their door movies a centimeter, or some slasher in a shitty mask sets up horrifying home alone style traps and collects his victims, I don;t care. Just keep bringing them on. Because I would rather spend my money on a filmmaker who is trying to do something he or she believes in than some cash in fucking remake of someone else’s vision.

That being said, I saw It Follows directed by David Robert Mitchell this past weekend. I went in blind, actively avoiding trailers and reviews and only hearing buzz from friends and NPR. It payed off when i saw Babadook, one of the better horror offerings I’ve seen in a damn good while, so being the eager horror cinema fan that I am, I offered up my money and braced for impact and the lights dimmed and one of the best reviewed films of the year flickered to life on the screen.

Let me tell me give you the low down. You get fucked and you get cursed by an entity that relentlessly, methodically, slowly follows you, tracking you down no matter where you are so that it can kill you. Only the fucked or fuckers can see the titular “IT” of the title which follows you around. This thing can take on any form, can piss anywhere, and can be stopped by closing a door.  The only way to stop it from following you is to fuck someone else, and then they are cursed to be followed till they pass the Ghost-T-D to some other unlucky bastard willing to spread ’em open wide or poke for your nasty haunted ass.

Cool enough premise, it’s like The Ring but with genitals rather than VHS tapes. There are all kinds of way to go with this thing, my imagination was over run with thoughts of where a concept like this might lead, how the teens encountering such a nightmarish creature would react, I mean, the possibilities are endless. The first twenty minutes or so, leading up the the inciting incident, are actually pretty interesting. We learn about our central characters and our lead ing lady, blonde, budding sexual teenage girl and the masturbation fodder of every young boy in her neighborhood, Jay (Maika Monroe)  who is no stranger to getting laid, as we learn, and without giving everything the movie has in store away, ends up getting cursed with the sex monster early in the film.

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Not quick to believe that anything supernatural is happening, Jay believes what happened to her was a bizarre rape scenario, and leaves it at that. Until “IT” begins hunting her down at school, in her kitchen, in her bedroom, wherever she is, this thing is there showing off it’s Hanes underwear, hairy ball sack or busted gob. The visages “IT” decides to show itself as often relates itself to ac lose personal relationship or some nastier trauma or horror. Sometimes it’s truly creepy, other times it;s awkwardly humorous.  All I can say is that I have my Halloween costume for 2015, all I need is a bag of corn starch, a ladder to climb onto my roof with and to stop trimming my Little Root region. If you see the movie, you’ll know what I mean.

It’s a great concept that drags on for far too long, plus, these teenagers are all life suckingly dull. Their lives are in peril and they act so bored, so laid back and uninterested, it’s hard for me to work up enough interest to care in their fates. In the film’s climactic battle at an indoor pool we are treated to what feels like ten minutes of kids passively sitting around, napping, looking like they’ve already had the life drained out of them through their pink teenage sexual organs. Maika Monroe, the actress portraying Jay, does a pretty good job freaking out and acting afraid while being attacked, but for the majority of the film it feels like every young actor on screen took a swing of Nyquil before the cameras rolled. Even when these kids lives hang in the balance, they do not have enough character to generate interest in their plight. And there’s about half a dozen of them. And it;s a movie about Fuck Ghosts for fuck’s sake!

There are some pretty nightmarish moments. The initial scene where Jay is confronted by her newly acquired pussygeist, a late night kitchen vision, and a young man confronting his Oedipal fate in his bedroom, but otherwise a lot of the later horror set pieces come off as slapstick comedy more than anything genuinely frightening. “It” starts flinging Goodwill donations at our wet, bikini clad heroine, horny weeny men get thrown through the air by invisible entities, it all just comes of as a little goofy as the movie goes from one ending to another stretching itself out to feature length. I dunno, none of it really had much of an impact on me.

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I will commend the film’s lack of parental units. These kids are basically on their own. No one cares where they are, what they’re doing or with who, and I feel like there just might be something to be something to that. We see parents for split seconds as they sit at kitchen tables with their backs to the camera, or show up as naked spectral visions to scare the shit out of the youngins’, but there is remarkably little interaction between these kids and their parents. ALSO, I really liked how unglamorous the act of teenage sex was depicted. It looks downright boring, and always disappointing. At least if the actors are to be believed. Everyone always seems bored out of their minds both during and after the act. As if you give lobotomies with a stiff cock and wet hatchet wound. Teenage sex was never that dull where I came from, but then again, it wasn’t The Red Shoe Diaries either…I just like that the filmmakers made it look really uneventful and unfulfilling. And, shit, you might just get a skeet-skeet-skeet GHOOOST from that three minutes in Heaven.

Long story short, (too late) I completely respect It Follows for being utterly unique and trying out something totally different. Please, keep making movies this unusual and you’ll see me at the movie theater far more often. Still, I found It Follows to be completely unengaging and and forgettable. It starts off with an enormous amount of promise, but falls apart quickly after the film shows all it;s cards and never regains it’s hold on it’s own story. I’m happy for the praise it’s been getting and the notoriety it has garnered. I can only hope more folks will be willing to take chance on under the radar trash cinema.

Forgettable, but a damn good try. It sure did look really pretty.

ONE AND A HALF out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-The Primal Root

04
Jan
14

Chatterbox (1977) Little Bit of Lip Service

 

chatterbox

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

 

 

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!”

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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

 

25
Aug
13

You’re Next (2011) Warm Blood & Rich People…plus a short essay on slasher cinema history

you're next poster

a Primal Root written review

The late 60’s  through the 1970’s were the golden years for American horror cinema. Not only were young, truly talented filmmakers delivering inspired pieces of art, they gave cinema indispensable time capsules of the days troubled times and the lasting, horrifying impact of our actions on not only the inhabitants of our nation, but the world. films such as Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”, Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left”, John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and many others illustrated , the brutality both at home and abroad as peaceful protesters were gunned down by our National Guard in cold blood, blacks in our country were beaten and murdered by our police officials, our brothers, sons,  husbands and Fathers were being drafted to serve in a wildly unpopular war and the hippie movement had given way to disillusionment in the wake of Charles Manson and Free Love regrettably spread venereal disease like wild fire through the loins of our nation.  Independent horror cinema had never been more vital, more important in our country as it was during this era.  Horror was the purest illustration, the unfettered subconscious, of our society.

Soon the 1980’s were ushered in and movies such as “Halloween” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, which had proven incredibly profitable, gave way to a sub-genre known as the “slasher” genre, which gained a foothold in this decade and squeezed as much blood out of the concept as  possible. John Carpenter’s Halloween became a franchise, Sean Cunningham’s “Friday the 13th” spawned a series of films repeating the same formula for over 20 years, and Wes Craven delivered a trail blazing, brilliant, post Vietnam horror film in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, but it was soon watered down into a franchisable commodity.  Slasher horror films became a staple of the decade as they proved to be resoundingly profitable for studios, and sequels that regurgitated the story on repeat could be relied upon to turn a profit. It was fun while it lasted, and some pretty damn great slasher films were produced during the decade, but   gradually, a form of horror that had once shown us how fucked up our system was, had been yuppified and sold out. The films became less of a societal rorshach test, and more like a series of Saturday morning cartoon adventure. Hell, it was the 1980’s in a capitalist country! As George “Buck” Flowers said in John Carpenter’s 1988 science fiction masterpiece, “They Live”, “We all sell out every day, might as well be on the winning team!”

But by the end of 80’s the slasher formula had grown as stale as a year old box of opened and then forgotten about croutons in the pantry, and by 1990, many folks deemed the sub-genre dead.

BUT THEN CAME POST-MODERN SLASHERS!  Ushered in by Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and to a much greater extent, his “Scream” franchise, which replaced the usual gang of teenagers ready for the chop, with teenage characters who have been raised in the VHS generation and are completely aware of the slasher formula, it’s cliches and it’s caveats and are loaded up and ready with quips, jokes and references to horror movies history!  The resurrection of the slasher genre was given life thanks to the ever increasing knowledge and awareness of the audience who had spent their youths combing through video rental stores and boning up on their horror movie knowledge.  Two decades earlier, it was Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” who had been savaging the cinema while wearing the remains of his victims. Now, in the 1990’s, the filmmakers were the one’s wearing the remains of the genre’s past and exploiting it as a joke and laughing at the power these movies once, and to the viewer willing to watch without a jaded eye, still contain.

But, there are only so many in-jokes you can make about the genre before Post Modern gives way to straight up spoofs like the Wayans Brother’s brain dead “Scary Movie” franchise.  Oh, what has post modern horror wrought?

In the mid 2000’s, after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the War in Iraq marched on with seemingly no plan and no end in sight under the George W. Bush administration, the slasher genre got a heavy, dark, deeply mean spirited and cynical makeover in the form of James Wan’s “Saw” franchise, Now audiences were thrust into morality games where victims and victimizers alike were suddenly forced to endure and try to survive brutal and disturbingly painful forms of grueling torture in order to survive and are expected to walk away having learned some kind of life affirming message. Assumign they survive at all. (Spoiler: most folks end up splattered across the linoleum.)  Also, taking hold in this decade, was a sudden popularity in remakes. Classic horror films like Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” were open game for modern retelling and face lifts. These proved successful as money making ventures since the titles were already well established and could be relied on to turn a profit, but many folks took this as a sign that “Hollywood” had, indeed, run out of ideas and that set of balls they once relied on to give up and coming filmmakers a chance at showcasing original product, had now finally been cut cleen and tossed int he waste basket. The studio now only seemed interested in “sure things.”  Young filmmakers who came of age during the slasher heydays were now creating their own slasher movies…but more times than not, for cynical laughs and nastiness rather than genuine scares or fun.

With the exception of a few sporadic, slasher films produced independently, with varying degrees of success, the blood in the veins of a once extremely popular genre has been cooling down and slowing to a coagulated halt as it’s once thriving body withers up and passed away. Them’s the brakes.  I had very little hope in ever seeing a slasher film worth a piss again on the big screen.

Death Zoo 2000

Death Zoo 2000

And then I saw “You’re Next”.

A kind of home invasion slasher film that’s done the impossible and taken a tired formula, one that’s been played to death, and made it feel fun, interesting and new again. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun watching a slasher film in…well…YEARS! I know there’s been quite a bit of hype surrounding this flick over the last couple years since it’s premiere in 2011, and although I do feel the praise this thing has gotten is, indeed, a bit overblown, “You’re Next” does a dandy of a job showing it’s audience a good time.

The premise comes across as fairly standard. A very wealthy family reunites for a weekend at their secluded mansion in the middle of winter. It;s cold, it’s snowy, and if a band of crossbow shooting, axe wielding maniacs happen upon their house, they are more or less trapped and/or completely fucked.    One thing I greatly appreciate about “You’re Next’ is that the family and other assorted characters are written as actual human beings, characters and players in the drama at hand rather than just jokes and punch lines ready to be cashed in.  Sure, some situations come off as comical, but never because the characters are anything more than flawed, damaged and mistake making human beings. Things are tense before any psychopaths even show up! Hell, I haven;t seen a dinner scene this tense and uncomfortable since The Sawyer clan sat down to dinner in “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” (No, Tobe Hooper’s not paying me to drop that title as many times as possible in this review) The family dynamic feels like a bomb just waiting to go off as it seems some siblings cannot be near one another for more than five seconds without anger and resentment rising and an argument breaking out.  One cannot help but feel bad for Erin (Sharni Vinson) who is there to meet and spend some quality time getting to know her boyfriend Crispan’s (AJ Bowen) family.

Things go from awkward to “Aw, fuck” as family dinner is violently interrupted and suddenly everyone is scrambling to survive. To the amazed wonderment of the family, Erin seems to have the survival instincts of a wild cat and, once the rich families plans are all proven to be disastrously moot, takes control of the situation and ends up being on the the very best, if not the quintessential Final Girl.   Rarely in the slasher genre have I ever witness a final girl so aptly and efficiently tackle with her antagonists.  She turns her aggressors into bumbling idiots over the course of the film and it drew much appropriate applause form myself and the rest of the audience.  This is no screaming, lame-o final girl running around in her panties and hoping to fight the killer to a draw. no, Erin is out for blood and she’s honestly one of the greatest assets “You’re Next” has.  Many folks have labeled “you;re Next” a “feminist” horror film.  Hell, I thought most horror films, especially slashers, featured strong female protagonists besting and hulking male antagonist. By definition, isn’t the majority of slasher films feminist?

What a woman will go through for a decent boyfriend.

What a woman will go through for a decent boyfriend.

But, I digress, “You’re Next” also delivers some excellently executed gore set pieces that seem to escalate as the films closes in on it’s graphically violent, over the top conclusion.  People meet their end in brutal, uncompromising fashions at the end of axes, arrows, knives, screwdrivers and countless assorted implements of destruction and kitchen accoutrement.  Those looking for and carnage candy will not leave disappointed.  Another thing I was impressed with was the film;s dark, yet fitting, sense of humor. Unlike other recent slasher films that slowly devolve into “Not Another Teen Slasher Film” over the top, slapstick gore and gags (Hatchet & Hatchet II, I’m looking at you.) or post modern slashers that draw laughs from our knowledge of horror film history,  “You’re Next” keeps things serious and to the point, but manages to draw comedy from it’s bloody situations. The jokes are dark, but the levity is appreciated and doesn’t feel out of place.

On the negative side, once the shit hits the proverbial fan,  “You’re Next” invokes some of the most annoying shaky cam I’ve ever endured. I;m not exactly sure if I got used to it after it’s initial use or if the filmmakers decided it was only necessary for this one moment of panic, but my God, it was distracting and pointless. The actors were doing a fine enough job portraying their shock and horror at what was occurring, the last thing we needed was some guy shaking the camera around like he’s being mauled by a grizzly bear during the shoot.  Seriously, have some faith in your on screen talent. I wanted to watch their performances and not gain a migraine headache for my efforts. Also, sadly, the central question underlying the whole flick is pretty easy to figure out. Boots and I knew what was up as soon as arrows began flying. But, in the end, this didnt diminish my enjoyment of the film at all.

meow.

meow.

Any other gripes? Not really. “You’re Next” is a shockingly solid piece of slasher entertainment in a genre I thought had been bled totally dry by 80’s over exposure, 90’s postmodernism, and new millennial remake dookie splatter.  It was treat being able to watch a fun, TRULY old school style slasher film with an appreciative, loud, and lively audience just as into it as myself and Bootsie Kidd were. Not nearly as revolutionary as many critics and supporters have hyped it up to be, “You’re Next” is still one of the very best times I’ve had seeing a down and dirty slasher flick in ages. It has a keen awareness of the genre itself  which allows the filmmakers a chance to play around with our expectations, passes itself well, contains serviceable performances and has one very cool throwback synth driven score. Almost sounds like John Carpenter himself could have done the music for this sucker.

This is not the second coming, but it is proof that you can play with slasher formula without turning it all into some masturbatory joke. “You’re Next” has given me a smidgen of hope for a long flailing sub genre of horror and I am hoping filmmakers interested in working within it take note of what “You;re Next” has done right. Because there are few roller coaster rides as fun as a fun, well executed slasher film with the right audience. I only wish I got to take the ride more often.

If you’ve ever held even a drop of affection for the slasher genre in your horror nerd heart, you owe it to yourself to see “You’re Next.”

4 out of 5 Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

09
Jun
12

God Bless America (2011): Aiming for The Dream

a Primal Root written review

God Bless America (2011):  Aiming for The Dream

I haven’t had cable television in over a decade. I refuse to pay for something that every time I flip it on I feel as if my brain is steadily being churned into chunky apple sauce. This is not to say that I don’t know what’s on there. On occasion, I have sat and witnessed what most of our nation happily plops down and allows to be broadcast into our living rooms every evening.  You know, for the entire family to enjoy. Let’s just say, it’s mildly disturbing. What are the repercussions of such resignation on our society? A world where our entire culture and society is saturated with celebrity gossip, ugly, degrading reality television, and political pundits who would rather preach hate and intolerance than have an intelligent and respectful discussion?

Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest directorial effort, “God Bless America”, takes on this disheartening concept in the form of a deeply dark, satirical comedy. It’s got something for everyone who’s sick of  the “Oh, no, you didn’t!” generation that’s grown up planted on a couch, glued to the screen, all but lobotomized, and no longer concerned with discerning thought, open-mindedness, respect, common courtesy, or even kindness. It’s a generation of people who demand respect, but don’t give it in return, who demand to be heard but refuse to listen,  who know they come first and the rest of the world just doesn’t fucking matter.  Of course, this is a “fictional” world that our protagonist, Frank, inhabits, right? A middle aged, middle class, divorced parent who also happens to be a war veteran.  He must deal with his obnoxious neighbors who don’t seem to mind their 24/7/365 wailing infant, and talk loudly and incessantly (over their screaming offspring) about occurrences on their favorite TV shows and the latest gossip on Bradgelina.
Frank is aware of this drought in the human spirit. That we have sold it for a fast food and soulless culture that worships greed and selfishness over compassion and selflessness.  Frank sits in his living room flipping through the channels as photoshopped pictures of President Obama dressed up as Adolf Hitler are promoted as some kind of warped sense of reality, a random, class-act reality TV star pulls out her bloody tampon and angrily splats it across the face of her costar who, I can only assume, crossed her (the details of their quarrel are lost among beeped-out dialogue). It’s a sick, sad world Frank lives in.  And not even he ever-cool “Daria” kind. To make matters worse, Frank has just lost his job, been informed he has an inoperable, fatal brain tumor growing in his noggin, and his pre-teen daughter refuses to come visit him flipping her shit over receiving a Blackberry instead of an iPhone for her birthday.
Frank can’t take it anymore, but just as he wraps his lips around the barrel of a Glock the blue light of the television screen spills over him.  “My Super Sweet 16” is on and an entitled high schooler is cursing and berating her parents in a self-righteous rage after she is presented with a top o’ the line vehicle that is NOT the one she had envisioned.  Frank comes to the epiphany that the gun he’s holding is pointed in the wrong direction.  Our hero ends up on a road trip to off the outrageous brat he blames for his own daughter’s (and the general world’s) ridiculously selfish behavior.  However, he, also, winds up inspiring and being inspired by a teenage girl, Roxy, who’s just as disillusioned and angry at the egomaniacally brain-dead society they are forced to abide.  Or are they?  They lock, load, and go on a rampage laying waste to those assholes who talk and text during movies, jerks who take up two full parking spaces, and hate mongers who stand at the side of the road holding signs declaring “God Hates Fags”. Frank and Roxy gun them down and mow them over with glee.  I can’t help but chuckle at the carnage as these people are decimated and punished for being a part of a “civilization that is no longer interested in being civilized”.
As is the case with Bobcat’s previous work, God Bless America will have you laughing with dark revelry as those who make everyday life a constant struggle finally mess with with the wrong nice guy.  Also typical of Bobcat, despite the deeply-etched satirical pitch-black edge, the filmmaker manages to imbue this work with genuine, human emotion, poignancy, and thought-provoking pathos.  Joel Murray, the instantly recognizable character, is amazing as Frank.  He infuses the role with so much heart and believability that you cannot help but root for the guy, whether due to or despite his impressive body count.  Roxy,Tara Lynne Barr, as Frank’s young sidekick and voice of the younger generation  is a firecracker, a natural whose sassy, fun performance, keeps the film well-paced and peppy.
God Bless America is a sometimes graphic, often profane and funny for most of its running time. However, by film’s end it starts to register that this is the same violent and malicious motivation that drives those who blow up abortion clinics or lynch people because of the color of their skin. The killers we profess to despise believe they are murdering those “who deserve to die” too, right?  The first 45 minutes of God Bless America starts out blazingly funny as it lampoons pop culture and society at large, but as it winds to a close the viewer may begin to wonder, have both Frank and Roxy steadily descended into the mean-spirited people they were trying to destroy?  God Bless America is hilarious, tragic, sometimes uncomfortable,  frequently challenging, and totally uncompromising.  It’s the kind of film that doesn’t come around very often, anymore.  One that asks some nasty questions, takes an angry stance, and asks the audience to internalize these things. That they sincerely ask themselves just what the fuck they make of it all.
And keep your eyes peeled for TV’s Frank from MST3K in a brief cameo.  Guck-Ga-Yuuuuw!
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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