Posts Tagged ‘murderer

02
Jul
13

The Burning (1981): Reaping the Summer’s Teeny-Bopper Harvest

burning

a Primal Root written review

Summer Camp is a staple of the American experience. Every kid has either attended summer camp or are at least aware of it’s traditions.  Kids corralled into mildewed cabins, dinners in the mess hall, swimming, canoeing, hiking sticky fingers, awkward hand jobs and of course, huddling around the camp fire to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. Among these tales there are few more prolific than that of Cropsy, the maniac that haunts just about every east coast summer camp from Key West, Florida to Bangor, Maine. Seems every camp is stalked by a groundskeeper who was kind of a grumpy bastard before some asshole camp counselors tried to pull a deeply mean spirited prank and ended burning the poor fellow alive and transforming him into something much worse. A blood thirsty, disfigured, vengeance seeking maniac now happy to hack to pieces any camper he happens to lay eyes on.  Sure, it was probably just a story to keep kids from sneaking out of the cabin at night to go one panty raids and smoke reefer, but the urban legend still had that kernel of believability that made you think twice before traipsing off into the woods with your buddies.

I know what you’re thinking, ” ‘The Burning’, huh,  sounds like a horror films based around the debilitating pain of a urinary tract infection.” An educated guess, to be sure, but  in fact it is a cash in on the timeless Cropsy camp fire tale brought  to life as a gore drenched, nudity filled, slasher film  that came out right on the heels of  ‘Friday the 13th’ which had been released the previous year, thus establishing the American Summer Camp as the premiere location for teenage debauchery met with eventual brutal dismemberment.

I'm fine.

I’m fine.

The inciting incident remains the same, jerk kids, bad prank,  immolated groundskeeper, but ‘The Burning’ takes the bold step of giving us the straight story. Just what happened next after Cropsey was incinerated and ran blazing like the Human Torch into Camp Blackfoot’s adjoining river? Well, instead of vanishing into the woods, screaming threats of how he will have his revenge, he is sent to a burn unit at the local hospital where the orderleys, nurses and doctors apparently dare one another to go look at the hideously burned Cropsey lying down helpless within his oxygen tent in the intensive care ward.  But one day, Cropsy has found he’s had enough of this stupid shit, (seriously, is this a hospital or a frat house?) and scares the ever loving shit out of a nurse by grabbing the the guy’s arm and squeezing the ever loving shit out of it. This proves three things: 1) Burn victim’s skin often resemble a well worn gob of Hubba-Bubba Bubble Gum that’s been stuck to the sole of your sneaker for a day or two and 2) Cropsy is one strong and determined mother fucking mother fucker. and 3) The producers must have realized they made a movie with more crackers in it than Nabisco so they may as well film a scene featuring a black actor.

This is Cropsy for Lubriderm...

This is Cropsy for Lubriderm…

Five years later Cropsy’s is told the skin grafts just aren’t taking and that he needs to hit the streets and find some work ’cause there’s nothing else the hospital can do for him. First things first, Crops goes out, gets himself a prostitute who looks suspiciously like a haggard middle school English teacher, and promptly stabs her to death with a pair of scissors while pushing her out of her bedroom window. However, Cropsy doesn’t allow the woman’s savagely penetrated, still warm corpse go sailing out the window,  he actually pulls her back into her newly vacant apartment because, after all, Cropsy is a gentleman.

No one smolders like that Jason Alexander.! Watch out, ladies...

No one smolders like that Jason Alexander.! Watch out, ladies…

But before you can say ‘What the fuck did that murder have to do with anything?” we are whisked away to Camp Stonewater for a braless/pants optional all female softball game, and let me tell you, it is spectacular! We are treated to Sally (Carrick Glenn) running in slow motion, braless in a tight yellow shirt with pronounced erect nipples and then we join teenage dirt bag Eddy (Ned Eisenberg) and the shockingly studly goofball, Dave (played by Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, and his full head of hair!) as they stare at a scantly clad female butt covering one of the bases. What? This ass has a human face? *please, please, please, sense the sarcasm* Yes it does! It belongs to Karen (Carolyn Houlihan). the rail thin, dark haired camp counselor with a chin to rival Bruce Campbell’s. So, these four are established. The ladies have ample female anatomy intact and have all motor functions at their disposal and the fellas are sex crazed drool cups.  Feel dirty yet? Eh, you probably shouldn’t. These “kids” are all in their twenties.

The Burning and The Case Against Bras

The Burning and The Case Against Bras

And guess who is just chilling out in the forest surrounding the non existent softball field? WHY IT’S OUR CROPSY! Just hanging out with a giant pair of gardening sheers  and stalking blossoming young campers who happen to wonder off looking for foul balls.  Speaking of foul balls, we are soon introduced to the film’s central loser, Alfred (Brian Packer), a man who sweats constantly, runs like an orangutang and is introduced to us by way of peeping on the lovely young Sally as she takes a shower framed from a low medium angle to be sure and capture he boobs in the shot. Oh yes, this is trash cinema at it’s finest, folks!

Burning 22

Calvin Klein’s Objectification: For Women

Anyhoo, Albert complains about…well, pretty much everything and proves to be one of the most unlikable and annoying characters in slasher cinema history. Hell, or in ALL of cinema history, for that matter.  And this kid ends up being our final guy! We are asked to root for this mouth breathing, sweat caked, whiner after many of his infinitely more likable peers have been hacked, chopped, snipped and stabbed into B-movie oblivion! sometimes the movie life’s just not fair.

Also in the victim pool is the muscle heavy, light on brains Cro-Magnun, Glazier who talks like one of Tony’s boys from The Sopranos, and is constantly stalking Sally in the hopes of blowing his dick snot cannon into her love canyon. Watching them interact is painfully awkward and somewhat honest. We’ve all known guys like this, we’ve seen them try to operate on girls like Sally who are starved for attention but just not ready to be pawed and groped by a a sweaty, brain dead muscle headed guy in a sleeveless sweater and nothing to lose.

The name's Glazer, as in Glaze Her Doughnut! Get it? High five, bro!

The name’s Glazer, as in Glaze Her Doughnut! Get it? High five, bro!

Then there are our two stoic and heroic camp counselors, Todd (Brian Mathews) and Michelle (Leah Ayers) who lead a pack of older campers on a camping trip to Devil’s Island and to their deaths. Todd and Michelle and impossibly attractive people who look every bit like a live action version of Backwoods Survival Barbie and Ken as they run to and fro, getting covered in dirt and blood (some theirs, some others) and never looking any worse for wear. Even at the grimiest, I still wouldn’t mind seeing them naked. Seriously, these are some good looking people. Hell, Todd was on The Young and the Restless for, what two years? He’s basically a living, breathing, mannequin.

At the half way point of the film, ‘The Burning’ brings out it’s big guns in the sequence the film is best known for,. That’s right, we’re talking raft red stuff redecoration. As a small group of campers try to make their way back to the main camp from Devil’s Island on a make shift raft, they spot one of their lost chaos and paddle over to reclaim. However, once they get over to the vessel, Cropsy stands straight up in the canoe, shears held high over his head and proceeds to kill every single person on the raft, cutting off limbs, impaling folks, and splitting skulls open. It;s quick scene, but pretty damn memorable. If not just for the carnage, certainly for Cropsy’s display of supernatural balance. I defy anyone to stand straight up in a canoe with your hands above your head while clutching giant garden shears, kill a half dozen children, and NOT fall out of that damn canoe. It just strikes me as highly unlikely. Let’s just say, I can’t see Jason Voorhees pulling off the same feat.

Shears looking at you, kids!

Shears looking at you, kids!

At first glance ‘TheBurning’ looks to be a typical slasher movie carbon copy, but upon closer inspection and when given half a chance, ‘The Burning’ features several aspects that set it apart from it’s contemporary. For one, the cast of actors in this thing are actually pretty damn good at their jobs portraying young, goofy teenagers with good times and sex on their brains. Many of these actors went on to have pretty impressive careers in the entertainment industry, while others, vanished into B-movie oblivion. Not only is everyone pretty damn convincing in their roles,  many of the characters are actually *gasp* likeable! Many of these kids come off as cool, funny, reasonable folks. Sure, there are some jerks in the bunch, but that’s to be expected. There’s a pretty big batch of normal, everyday geeky kids that endear themselves to audience to the point you feel almost bad watching them get their faces scissored open and their fingers sheered off.

Fingering on Devil's Island can be MURDER!

Fingering on Devil’s Island can be MURDER!

Also, the portrayal of sex and romantic relationships are portrayed unlike your usual slasher film. you watch any Friday the 13th film and usual sex scene shows teenagers fucking and it’s the greatest thing ever. The guy and gal bump them uglies together and it’s ecstasy!  Wailing and riding and running their hands through their hair and cumming simultaneously and both get chopped into coleslaw by a masked maniac completely satisfied.  ‘The Burning’ takes this trope and gives it a fresh, nasty does of typical teenage sex session reality.  One couples skinny dip ends with the fella telling her to “get the fuck out of his face” when she refuses to let his tadpole ride her river rapids and yet another couple actually go sleeping bag poking and it’s among the most awkward sex scenes I’ve ever sat through. The fella is on top, groaning and lurching with frustration as the young woman stares upwards with pain and discomfort in her eyes before the guy cums super quickly and goes limp. The cherry on the top of this disappointment sundae? She asks, “Is that it?”  Yeah, not the most glorious sex scene ever films. However, we do get to witness our senior camp counselors, Todd and Michelle as they court one another, stroll through the woods, talk, embrace, and simply enjoy one another’s company which looks to be far more rewarding than either of the other full representations of sex featured in ‘The Burning’.  After years of having my mind shaped by the stereotypical glamorous cinematic sex scene, watching it portrayed this way was probably the most shocking and disturbing aspect of the entire damn movie.

"Let's go talk about our superior relationship."

“Let’s go talk about our superior relationship.”

But i do have one major gripe.  For me, the film is basically botched by a fucking horrendously hacked together ending that has to be scene to be believed. It looks like the filmmakers just didn’t have enough coverage for the ending so they tried in vain the cut something together that looked right. Unfortunately, it’s a fiasco. Probably the most painful moment is when Todd is supposed to stumble upon the corpse of one of his friends and fellow campers. The body is actually a still frame from earlier in the film and is cropped out and apparently floating in space when he finds her and gasps. She is supposed to be in a closet but you can actually make out tree branches and leaves around her from the still frame shot that they couldn’t crop out.  and this is just the tip of the hack job iceberg. It’s got to be seen to be believed. This ending makes the filmmakers look totally inept and it’s a little disheartening.  It’s kind of sad too, because otherwise it’s a pretty solid little summer slasher flick.

Let's play "Roast the Marshmallow", cracker!

Let’s play “Roast the Marshmallow”, cracker!

‘The Burning’ is a damn good entry in the summer camp slasher sweepstakes and one that deserves a bit more notoriety than it gets. coming out so soon after ‘Friday the 13th’ got the poor flick labeled as a cash-in on that film’s success even as the Weinstein Brothers insist that they wrote ‘The Burning’ a couple years before ‘Friday the 13th’ was released.  But now, what does it matter. ‘The Burning’ delivers the goods when it comes to the Blood, Breasts and Beasts and is a highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience if you’re into trashy slasher flicks. Despite it’s flaws, ‘The Burning’ is well worth checking out.

Three and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

12
Jan
13

Killer Joe: White Trash Armageddon

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a Primal Root review

Hey Gang,

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing one of the most outrageously over the top, gratuitously violent, creepiest, high octane, no holds barred, psychotic and unstable films I’ve sat down to witness in a main stream googaplex since…well, since I can remember. The film is William Friedkin’s 2012 deep black crime flick ‘Killer Joe’. Adapted by Tracy Lett’s from a stage play of his, ‘Killer Joe’ is one sick, blood caked, homage to complete and utter white trash stupidity. The violence is abrupt and shocking, the sex is dirty and perverse, and the outlook is utterly bleak.

Killer Joe might be among the best and funniest movies I’ve seen in years.

But this isn’t your typical dark comedy. No, when you buy your ticket for this sucker you have no idea the depths of depravity and nastiness you are in for. I sure as Hell didn’t. But I also hadn’t prepared myself for how much I laughed through the whole damn thing. Sure I was aghast  at what I was seeing on screen, but the brilliant performances, the direction of Friedkin and Letts’ amazing, genre bending screenplay make this one exhilarating dive down to the bottom of the lives our nation’s dumpster dwellers.

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Alright, the set up is that dim witted dope dealer named Chris (Emil Hirsch, making the best of a thankless role) finds his life on the line when he falls into horrendous debt with his supplier. What’s the scheme Chris comes up with? Kill his Mother and collect the insurance money! He enlists the help of his father and his mother’s ex-husband, getter dweller and resident numbskull, Ansel (played to perfection by Thomas Haden Church), gains the approval of his attractive and mysterious sister Dottie (the always game Juno Temple) whose mental state and past are always in question and even his ultra skanky step mother, Sharla (Gina Gershon, who deserves a medal of valor for her performance). Of course, everyone demands a cut of the inheritance.

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Chris and Ansel decide to hire the services of the local Texas legend, contract killer “Killer Joe” who happens to be a police detective full time. Killer Joe is played with full on demented, murderous, calculated glee by that always underrated Mathew McConaughey, who in a perfect world would be getting an Oscar for his blistering, in your face performance here. The man brings Killer Joe’s calm, sociopath personality to life and it really is a sight to behold. Every time the man enters frame he manages to be likable. He comes off relatively nice (as far as far as killers for hire go) if a little bit quirky…but even in these early scenes we feel a sense of dread. There’s much more to this guy than meets the eye.  Once all the cards are out on the table, things get pretty goddamn crazy, pretty goddamn quickly.

Chris and Ansel meet with Killer Joe, and seeing as the two nimrods don;t have a dime between them, they cannot hire Killer Joe’s services. However, Killer Joe comes up with an alternative plan, a retainer. If they give Killer Joe Dottie until they can get the money to pay him off, he will carry out the family wish of killing of Mommy dearest. Being complete fuck stick, Chris and Ansel agree and over a dinner of tuna casserole, Killer Joe and Dottie get…formally acquainted.

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The LAST thing I want to do is spoil Killer Joe for you. But what I can say is that there is a proverbial buffet of loathsomeness on display here. From burned out trailer courts, to grease stained double wide interiors and bankrupt businesses boarded up and left for dead. Killer Joe inhabits middle America and the small towns crushed and left to rot on the side lines.  It’s a desperate world these characters inhabit and it’s a place we know all too well.

Still, these people seem to have really adapted to their trashy surroundings and have, in effect, become total trash themselves. Filthy, brain dead, greedy scum suckers willing to kill family and use them as collateral just so they can make some cash and survive. Is this what it’s come to  when we live in a land where there’s no one to turn to?

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Sure, the underlying concept of the surroundings in Killer Joe are disheartening and disturbing enough with what they insinuate. But the actions our cast of characters take against one another is on another level entirely. I’ve, honest to Cthulhu, never seen anything like Killer Joe’s last twenty minutes. Much has been made of the fried chicken moment, Hell, it’s even a centerpiece of the ad campaign, but there is much more going on here and so much more to be had as a viewer.

And yes, I laughed. I laughed out loud hard and frequently. But every time I did, I kept questioning myself. “Should I be laughing at this?” It’s so ridiculously depraved and dirty, I couldn’t help myself. I laughed at the character’s stupidity,  the grandiose skeeziness, the sudden violence, the allusions of incest…it’s a perfect concoction of pitch black humor. But I don’t expect everyone to have the same reaction I did.

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Now, keep in mind, the NC-17 rated crime film (now available unrated on DVD and Blu-Ray) will not be for everyone. This is not an easily digested, cookie cutter, vanilla puddin’ pop kind of movie. This is some heavily fucked up Trash Cinema and for those who know they can handle such things. Either you will really enjoy Killer Joe or you will end up turning it off and barfing across the commode. It seems to have very little middle ground.

Killer Joe is disturbing and exhilarating and unlike anything I have seen in American mainstream cinema in a very long time.Needless to say, I had a blast watching it and Killer Joe just might be my favorite movie of 2012.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

Heads up! Below trailer contains a ton of plot spoilers!

 

31
Dec
12

Rotten Reviews Episode 27: Home Sweet Home

Home-Sweet-Home-Front

Hey Gang!

It’s your old pal, The Primal Root, and to celebrate the holiday season I’ve decided to throw a Trashmas New Year’s Bash over at my pad and everyone is invited! That includes YOU! But beforehand we’re checking out an all time favorite Trash Cinema Slasher film  from 1981 called ‘Home Sweet Home’. It’s supposedly a holiday themed horror movie, but a turkey dinner does not a holiday make, gang. In fact no one even mentions what holiday it is! From what I understand I think it’s supposed to be Thanksgiving?

I digress, get prepared for feral children, satanic electric guitar playing magical Jewish mimes, Body by Jake, body builder body glaze, sex with your pants on, spanish racial sterotypes, bribing cops with “bazooms”, roid rage, flattened grannies,  disapearing balls, hostage negotiations, the missing peas and so much more! It’s The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 27: Home Sweet Home! Gather round and share it with those you love.

Thank you for all your support and for spreading the word! See you in 2013!

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

18
Nov
12

Uncle Grumpyfuk Remembers ‘The Undertaker and His Pals’!

Uncle Grumpyfuk Remembers…
Sigh, hey there folks, yer ol’ pal Uncle Grumpyfuk sitting here, a bit in the doldrums today. As the grandmaster comedian Jerry Lewis would say, “Creativity is hard sometimes, it’s not an easy thing.” It leaves you speechless. Who says we have no great philosophers in this day and age? Well writing IS hard, it’s not an easy thing, it’s hard to put into words…heh-heh.
It’s like,  I don’t know… you know when you’re at the Friday Night Mud Rasslin’ Extravaganza and you eat a big bag of hot roasted peanuts,then later the next morning when you’re taking a squat and they’re slowly grinding and scraping their way out, you rub your inflamed anus clean, the minute peanut crumbs tearing the delicate white tissue,however there remains one tiny jagged little chunk that eludes the toilet paper like a vicious,sentient little sandspur maneuvering to avoid your attempts to remove it so that finally you have to take your fingernail and…what? What?! Oh,I see ‘that’s disgusting’ is it?  What, do you think you’re reading the blog of your favorite fairy from the Hallmark channel? This is TrashCinema folks, if you can’t take it then you can wad it up and stuff… sigh, hey, you know what? Fine, Uncle Grumpyfuk is in a fairly mellow mood today so fine, you want something more pleasant? Fine. Something perhaps with beautiful flowers or something? Fine, never let it be said Uncle Grumpyfuk can’t be flexible, at times.. somewhat…a little.
Fine then, ahem, you know what it’s like when you.. when you eat a bunch of fucking daffodils and later when you’re trying to crap them out and the putrid, partially digested petals are sticking to the walls of your rectum like adhesive tape and you finally have to use the tweezers because tp won’t touch them? Well that’s what creative writing is like. Eh? …well fuck you too! I tell you it makes perfect sense, to me anyway,you just don’t ‘know’. Yeah. Well then for the rest of your lives you remember that pretty little mental image I just planted in your minds whenever you see a pot of fucking daffodils! Yeah, ha-ha! I’m starting to feel better!
  Well, speaking of bouquets, we’re going to review an aromatic funnel plant of a film today, the bizarre and nonsensical “The Undertaker and His Pals” which reminds me of that old joke; “What did the corpse of General Grant say to the corpse of General Lee on the 100th anniversary of the Civil War?” …Nothing! Jesus weren’t you listening? They’re both dead! My God if i said ‘Simon says stick your dicks in your mouths’ you’d break your spines trying, it’s like talking to the army of fiddler crabs as you run in ever tightening circles around them, causing them to pile up on top of one another in their panic, until you light and throw the M80… but alas, I have no M80s, sigh. You people are soooo fucking lucky! (breathes in deeply)  Shit,I feel much better now!
  Ok, the film begins with a trio of motorcycles riding in circles at night. They stop at a phone booth, one looks up an address and off they go. As they approach an intersection at which they have a stop sign, they come to a complete stop, look to the left,the right, then the left again and then turn right and proceed,carefully observing the speed limit all the while. ..what the fuck? Grrr, well something is coming,I feel it… or it’s those tulip petals! Ha! Thiiink aboouut it! 😉
  They pull up to an apartment building,one goes through the front entrance and finds ‘Lamb’ on one mailbox,while the others park around back and climb up the fire escape,somehow knowing which room is the right one. Hmm. The camera suddenly focuses on a sweet pair of feminine feet – mm-mmm, shrimp cocktail! We pan slowly up a righteous pair of gams that are attached to a pretty hot blonde who is putting the final touches on her latest blacksploitation novel “The Ghost of Uncle Tom’s Choad”. “..and her squeals went unheard as the storm raged outside. The End “. She sighs and leans back into her chair, reaching into the drawer and lighting a reefer to celebrate when a knock upon the door stops her in mid-toke. Damn I hate that! She scrambles to stash when biker #1 at the door bursts in and the two who crept up the back fire escape climb in through the window. She backs away,unsure whether the three figures are, like, real, or whether it’s just the reefer when the front man grabs her. As they struggle the other two pull out really fakey plastic knives and front man throws her on them,and it’s really fake, I mean really. She dies and they cut off her leg then our hearts leap as we think ‘Frankenhooker”? but think ‘No way.’ just as quickly. The Sherman Williams Red No.3 Flat Finish flies everywhere and the bikers escape with their trophy, her leg! …oookay…well, why take just one?
          Next we’re outside the front of the local funeral parlour,and they give savings stamps, what a nice service! We see Mama Fat and Papa Skinny enter, Mama Fat blubbering away, heh, get it? The undertaker sees them enter,presses a tape player and the films crazy theme plays for a sec,then he switches to the standard funeral music, he escorts them to the coffin where Blondie Lamb lies,with her eyes open and looking at them! What a great idea! He then hits them with the bill and engages in a little mental torture when they refuse to pay. This guy is pretty cool.
  Now we’re at an office where a slick suit is totally dissing his hot-ass secretary, Miss Poultry (easy Grumpy, eeasy!). They get in a righteous set of wheels and head over to the Greasy Spoon where we meet Spike the waiter and Doc the cook,a friendly pair. The couple order the daily special, the ‘leg of Lamb’ and we finally get it! Oho, forcing unsuspecting patrons to engage in cannibalism! Suh-weet! One of those things we’ve all wanted to do in life, if only once. The couple devour the cooked human flesh with relish, literally, ‘goes great with blondes’, 😉 and they leave full and content, resolved to go back for more of that yummy Lamb. It is said you know, by members of that particular culinary fraternity that it is the sweetest of meats!
  Slick takes Miss Poultry home and takes off without even getting a quickie in, so inside she’s about to call Spot when she hears someone outside doing the worst cat imitation you’ve ever heard – your retarded sibling can do better…not really. She walks back to be confronted by the bikers who are also looking for the terrible cat-caller,they were going to see if he really did sound like a cat with broken knee-caps. Both parties glare at one another,convinced the other is the afore mentioned cat-caller so Miss Poultry goes on the offensive and comes at them like a fighting cock on Vivarin, however it’s 3 to 1 so she ends up being shish-ka-bobbed on the fence. Meh, it’s been done.
 The investigation the next morning yields little evidence, the portly officer in charge being more interested in lunch takes off and Slick turns to see our undertaker has appeared out of nowhere. Slick springs for the cheapest funeral for Miss Poultry,what a guy, then hits the Greasy Spoon for a good meal! Whew, that bitch had been getting way too clingy. What a break the ol’ cosmos had thrown him, yes sir!
          Back at the Spoon, Doc is in the back obsessively reading medical textbooks on surgery when the darkie delivery man shows up,and while poking around he discovers the identity of their ‘secret meat’ flavor hanging in the walkin cooler so Doc appropriately buries a cleaver in his noggin, and Spike,seeing what happened, makes a witty ‘dark meat’ remark to one of the customers about the chicken special. Har-har!
  Back at the funeral home Slick stops by to inspect the coffin he bought; a bloody shipping crate. He’s quite satisfied, not bad for $149.98! He then heads back to the office and damn, another hot blonde walks in, I mean yowza! Slick plays it cool and pays her to go get some din-din while he masturbates thinking about her elbows, mmmm. She moseys over to the Greasy Spoon, and Doc can’t contain his excitement another moment,deciding this is the day he practices his surgical skills on something other than kittens! “I tore her clothes off!” Spike informs him, “Ah that’s good thinking!” replies the Doc, what a wacky pair of knuckleheads! He slices her open and fondles her inards and she dies, big surprise. So they put her in the meat grinder and Spike changes the special of the day to hamburger. Woomp-waaaaah.
  That night the 3 bikers are back on the prowl and we see a hideous hag in a sauna, molting. As her two companions leave our leather-clad trio enter and quite rightfully beat the living dogshit out of her with a chain and we only wish we could take a swing ourselves. Ugh. The thress sub-stooges hack her up and as they’re leaving with a bloody bag of the choisest parts her two companions return to see them exiting out the window. One grabs a pistol and demonstrates the correct posture and body reactions for a hot female when shooting a handgun. LOL!!! Miraculously she manages to shoot the tag off of one of the bikes and the next morning Slick gets word from the fat cop that it belongs to the undertaker. Slick is shocked! He then finds that Doc and Spike are his accomplices! Here he wanted to thank the person responsible and it’s three guys he knew all along! Ain’t life crazy?
  Back at the Spoon, Doc and Spike are about to kill the undertaker for leaving evidence, but for some inexplicable reason Doc says something you can’t make out and he and Doc kill Spike then vamoose. Talk about temperamental!
  Slick shows up and pokes around, finding Spike has been enjoying an acid-bath until his bones are nice and shiny white! He almost shits his britches when a hand taps him on the back; it’s the twin sister of the blonde Doc and Spike turned into quarter pounders. What she’s doing in the basement of the restaurant is beyond me but this film makes no sense anyway so…  He takes her home, the two remaining bikers follow, he falls asleep before even getting any! Man this guy is slick! They take off the next morn, still followed by Doc and the undertaker,I guess they just sat on their bikes all night in the cold.
  A few miles later Slick’s car ‘runs out of gas’ and now we think we might see some action, a nipple at least, but he bails and leaves her out in Bum Fuk Egypt as bait. The two bikers come along and chase her around with their little rubber knives and it’s totally funny because she runs just like a girl. All of a sudden a produce truck comes barrelling around the bend and flattens Doc but good, and the undertaker scoots his ass out of there quick-like. Slick informs the blonde that her sister was killed by the trio and she seems about as upset as if he’d told her he drank a coke out of her fridge. She walks outside, looks up and there’s the undertaker waiting to shut her up permanently. There’s a lame chase scene using the same set of stairs a bunch of times from different angles and they end up on the roof where he backs her to the edge, lunges at her and falls over the ledge to his supposed death. Notice I said ‘supposed’. She walks downstairs but we see that the undertaker somehow reached 12 feet over and grabbed a railing as he fell and saved himself…right. Well we reached ‘absurd’ a while back so… Blondie goes back to the office where the cop is rubbing his chubby and as they talk the undertaker stalks up from behind a curtain. Just as his hand is ready to strike however the cop accidentally stabs him. …oi. The End! What a fine film!
 Now we have a unique ending, as the credits roll we see everyone who died in the film come back to life and smile and wave at the camera, assuring us they really weren’t killed, and here I was so worried for their families! ,,,Ah-ha-ha-ha!
  Well that wraps up another insightful and uppity-fuk review, enlightening your mind and refreshing your spirit. Yer ol’ pal Uncle Grumpyfuk is going to take a little hiatus and tackle a little comedic B-movie of some note that contains many questionable historical facts and references. Yes Uncle Grumpyfuk is going to review “Roots” …and ah, my M80s just arrived!
30
Oct
11

Halloween Rotten Review! Ep.22: Rocktober Blood (NSFW)

Hey Gang,

The Primal Root here, and man, I just can’t get into the Halloween spirit this year! It just feels as if I’ve seen every Halloween themed horror movie out there a million times! Just sitting here at Video 21 waiting to close down for the night, contemplating going Trick or Treating, when some last minute customers barge in and all of a sudden I find myself face to face with just piece of Trash Cinema I had been hoping for: Rocktober Blood.

Rocktober Blood is an inept, blood soaked,  hair metal epic! Featuring some of the worst acting I’ve ever witnessed, poor production values, terrible editing and some genuinely catchy cheesy 80’s metal tunes.  Plenty of murder, mayhem, plot twists, brain hemorrhaging reveals, 30 minute long bathing sequences and one incredible finale that takes place during the now LEGENDARY Rocktober Blood Concert of 1984.

So join me, your host The Primal Root, and get into the Halloween spirit as we check out one of the strangest, goofiest and trashiest films from the VHS era! Join me for a heaping helping of, Rocktober Blood!

And a VERY Special Thanks to Kevin Johnson of Celluloid Cesspool for not only introducing us to Rocktober Blood bot for sending us his personal copy which made this Rotten Review possible. Many thank, my friend!

Stay Trashy and have a Happy Halloween!

-Root

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/95893611″>(NSFW) Rocktober Blood (1984) The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 22</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24396091″>Kevin Cole</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

12
Oct
10

Satan’s Little Helper: The Many Faces of Evil

a Primal Root Review

****SPOILER WARNING****

“JESUS IS SATAN!” – Jenna makes a startling revelation in Satan’s Little Helper

Well, it’s that time of year again! My favorite holiday, Halloween, is just around the corner and I felt it would do the season justice to bring you a review for one of my favorite new films to take place on my favorite day of the year. We’re talking about the 2004 warped, jet black Halloween horror comedy, Satan’s Little Helper. A film that explicitly details the highs and lows of befriending someone who is pure evil and doing everything hey ask you to do. It also illustrates how easily lead and stupid children are. And how hot your sister is. And how creepy Amanda Plummer is. And how much hipster drama majors suck. All in one action packed movie! Let us get down to business.

 

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen, Satan.

 

Satan’s Little Helper begins with our little kid star, Dougie (Alexander Brickel) riding in the family sedan wtih Mom (Amanda Plummer) on their way to pick up his sister Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) who has come back from college to celebrate Halloween with her kid brother. Dougie is dressed up as Satan’s Little Helper, the main character in the violent horror video game his father bought for him. In the game, Satan’s Little Helper follows Satan around and murders people for points while avoiding detection by God and getting killed by an Avenging Angel. Now, if only this film had become more popular, every kid in North America would be playing this game. Including me.

Now, when Dougie and Mom pull up to the ferry to pick up Kathryn (she had to take a ferry because this place is small and secluded and could be an island or something) she has brought along a fellow theater major and possible suitor in the form of scrawny hipster, Alex (Stephen Graham) who won’t shut up about his abusive father and is never once likable. Needless to say, Dougie is pissed because he wanted to spend his Halloween with his super cool sister but now has to share her with El Douche Bag Theater Major.

Dougie mopes about his neighborhood before coming across someone who may or may not be the devil murdering someone on their front porch in broad daylight and arranging this corpse as a Halloween decoration.  This is the exact same behavior Dougie has come to idolize in his favorite video game so, of course, he’s gotta introduce himself to this silent, masked killer and offer up his services. Satan instantly approves after Dougie mentions the fact that his sexy, melon chested sister and slightly neurotic Mother are both home alone and Dad won’t be home till later.

Dougie and Satan, BFF!

The two embark on an awesome and constantly hysterical adventure together running over elderly blind men and pregnant women with shopping carts, crushing cats against  houses to write Halloween messages in their blood, and kicking elderly women from their walkers and then hanging them out the upstairs window so they can nab her drugs to lace the candy they will later be handing out to children.

Keep in mind, Dougie is not psychotic, he simply thinks this is all make believe and that this is all just like the video game. How could a cild be so damn stupid? I’m not sure. But it does add to the humor to watch a little kid give a murderer a thumbs up as he brutally stabs a grocer to death and toss the body in a dumpster.

The proceedings are all undergone with tongue planted firmly and bloodily in cheek and for those of you with the same sick sense of I possess this is a fucking gem of a Halloween horror movie. The film manages to pull off a pretty believable feeling of a small town Halloween and how easy it would be for a killer to simply kill people and set them all about under the guise it’s simply a Halloween prank or decoration. Half the action takes place in broad daylight with neighbors walking by, and on some occasions, even stopping with the kids to watch and take photos while laughing.

 

Satan gets acquainted with Dougie's big sister, Jenna.

 

The Satan figure in the film, in addition to being both hilarious and brutal, possesses an incredible intelligence and insight into human psychology. He manages to put a dozen webs and traps together and manipulate all his victims into killing family and friends for him. Like a more comical version of Jigsaw from the Saw franchise, Satan has a knack for almost clairvoyant forward planning. It’s really kind of remarkable when you watch the film and think about it.

A third of the way through Satan’s Little Helper, the small community falls into anarchy as the five man police team is decimated and Satan changes faces and his numerous plans come together. People rush to get the Hell out of there as it dawns on them what they assumed were harmless Halloween jokes are, in fact, deadly serious.

It is in this final third of the movie that Satan’s Little Helper, I believe, delivers a bit of a message. Satan changes costumes several times towards the end of our film. First, into Jesus Christ (donning an infinitely creepier mask than his Devil get-up.) who Dougie has prayed for to help him after being led blindly by Satan, whom he thought was his friend before he gutted dad and tied his lower intestines to a dining room chair. Dougie instantly believes this visage of Christ is here to help, little does he realize, Christ is the same evil he is trying to avoid.

Christ stops by.

By film’s end, the family lets a police officer into their home assuming he is there to help. This authority figure is revealed to be the same killer wearing another mask, another costume, of a figure many of us are conditioned to trust and believe in. Watching the film again I began to wonder if this was a Christian film, but in the end I have a feeling it’s a cautionary tale about trusting authority and those in power. Satan, Jesus, law enforcement, or otherwise you should always question those in power and not just play the sheep who blindly follows.

Could it be? A movie that’s such a brain smashingly nasty bit of comic fun as Satan’s Little Helper could jam a damn message into the proceedings? I dunno. I may be reading way too much into this thing. All I know is it’s just as funny to watch Jesus savagely beat people as it is to watch Satan.

This Halloween season, if there’s one flick I recommend you check out if you haven’t already, it’s the indie sleeper Satan’s Little Helper. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, and just maybe learn a little something about yourself.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

06
Apr
10

Don’t Fall Asleep: A Nightmare on Elm Street Revisited

a review by The Primal Root

It’s easy to forget Wes Craven’s original 1984 masterpiece, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The horror audiences experienced when the lights first dimmed in theaters all those years ago and were introduced to a new boogieman. The ghost of child murderer. A man burned alive by one generation whose children’s lives, their futures, are now in danger due to their actions. Wes Craven created a classic horror film. One that holds up just as well today as it did in the 80’s. But more importantly, like Romero’s Night of the Living Dead or Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a product of it’s time encompasses the Reagan Era, post Vietnam/Cold War generation. The notion that those horrible deeds done by a generation before us will be payed for by the blood of those being born. We are inheriting new life as well as paying for the misdeeds of those fading away.

Yes, it’s easy to forget what A Nightmare on Elm street represents. In the wake of the film’s success came the assembly line of sequels incapable of holding a flickering candle to the original Nightmare. Freddy became a cartoon character rather than the boogieman and in the process diminished any form of fear the audience may have carried for the child killer. The series became less about character and more about spectacle. Less about scare and more about effects. And the genesis of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the whole purpose of the original, became more diluted and washed away…

Now, on the eve of the A Nightmare on Elm Street relaunch I feel is the perfect time to take a look back at one of cinema’s most influential and groundbreaking films. Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The Original Nightmare Kids : From left: Rod, Tina, Glen and Nancy

Our film begins with Tina, an attractive teenage girl, running through a dark and steamy labyrinth of pipes and metal. Running from something stalking her in the shadows. A horribly scarred and disfigured man in a red and green striped sweater and equipped with a glove with blades fastened to the tip of each finger. This is Freddy’s boiler room. A place representative of all the things our society tries to cover up and forget about.The subterranean. Freddy closes in for the kill as Tina screams in terror and jolts up in her bed…it was all a nightmare. But the four slices down the front of her nightgown are far from a fantasy. There’s something terribly wrong on Elm Street.

The very next morning as Tina and her friends Nancy, Glen and Rod head to school it is implied that they are all suffering from the same unsettling dreams. All the teens try to shrug it off until the night Tina is brutally, mercilessly butchered during a sleep over. The murder takes place before her boyfriend Rod’s eyes only he cannot see her attacker and is incapable of helping. And Tina’s bloody, mid-air death might be the best in the series. Her death scene is ferocious and disturbing and taken in from the perspective of the fully awake and helpless Rod the audience can clearly imagine how deeply mortifying this moment is.

This scene is a masterpiece in the annals of horror and sticks with the viewer long after it occurs. Unlike later Nightmare film which rely heavily on set pieces and elaborate creature effects, this sequences focuses instead on the slicing of young flesh and the spilling of warm blood. This focus on the organic, the human makes the phantasmal seem real as well as the consequences. And Craven stays true to this concept throughout A Nightmare on Elm Street and it proves to be one of the pictures greatest strengths.

Craven uses the mix of the organic and the phantasmal with an arsenal of trick shots to find unique and twisted ways to unsettle the audience, keeping them on edge. Like the diabolical murder of Glenn where a spinning room is employed and gallons of fake blood are pumped up through his mattress creating an enormous geyser of blood. As presented to the audience the bed is on the floor and the blood comes up out of the mattress with incredible force. The affect of this clever, simple idea is instant and unforgettable. It’s a shot that clearly expresses the rage and pure violence backing Krueger’s attack. He annihilates Glenn with such power that the guy comes squirting from his bed as if he was put in a giant blender set to puree.

Glen once Freddy's done with him.

But this nightmare violence would mean nothing without Craven’s intelligent and strong characterizations. One would do A Nightmare on Elm Street a great disservice if they didn’t bring up Heather Langenkamp’s portrayal of our young final girl, Nancy. A child of divorce who must cope with her alcoholic mother and an absent father. Nancy already has been acquainted with the dark underbelly of Elm Street. Of our American dream. And through her experiences in waking life she is equipped to connect the pieces between both her dreams and reality. Heather brings Nancy to life as an independent, strong, resourceful and incredibly intelligent young woman and is one of the finest , most enduring examples of slasher cinema’s final girl.

It’s also interesting to note Craven’s depiction of the family unit here. Early on the first adult we are introduced to is Tina’s mother who awakens Tina from a night terror only to scold her. She is then interrupted by an obviously drunk boyfriend who asks, “Are you coming back to the sack or what?” Later, through dialog between the teens characters, we learn Tina’s father abandoned the family a decade prior. Nancy’s father, Don, a police detective in Springwood, is comparatively absent from her life. He is patronizing and debasing towards her when she asks for his help but is quick to exploit her as bait when it helps his investigation. Nancy’s mother, Marge, is a sickeningly dependent alcoholic who hides bottles of booze all over the house, including the linen closet in the off chance she might need to swig her feel good juice while she’s walking from her bedroom to Nancy’s.

Not to mention both of Nancy’s parents, like all the Elm Street parents, are murderers. They are among the parents who took justice into their own hands and killed Fred Krueger when the judicial system failed. Their guilt, their sin, are all passed on to their children in the form of the demonic and purely evil Krueger. Thus, A Nightmare on Elm Street literalizes the notion that the sins of the father are passed on to the children. We will pay in blood and treasure for the misdeeds of those who came before us.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most important films of the last fifty years. A wellspring of creativity and ideas which maintain great currency within the genre. It gave American culture it’s most identifiable boogieman in the form of Freddy Krueger. Although, in this original Nightmare Freddy had yet to become the fun, silly M.C. he would transform into over the course of the franchise. Instead, he is a real monster, a mean spirited creep who enjoys torturing, molesting, and killing children. He’s a sadist who delights in inflecting pain on others with a wrath that is inescapable. Maybe that’s one of the things that’s so damn scary about Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street. That through supernatural means Freddy, a murdered child killer, has gained almost infinite powers to haunt us forever and murdering us in our most intimate and private of places…our minds. And there’s no escape. Because sooner or later we all must fall asleep. So Freddy isn’t only eternal…he’s unavoidable.

The mantra throughout A Nightmare on Elm Street is “Don’t fall asleep.” This is Nancy’s urgent warning and her battle cry. In the context of A Nightmare on Elm Street this line means much more than simply avoiding a confrontation with our razor gloved antagonist. It’s warning us not to be lulled into a false sense of security. To dig out the truth, to question authority, to fight corruption, lies and complacency. Do not give in, do not give up and…

Don’t Fall Asleep.




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