Posts Tagged ‘violent

09
Sep
20

Primal Rage (1988) or Campus Monkey Trouble

“It’s a red-ass world, honey baby.” – Tow Truck Driver Guy, Primal Rage

a Primal Root written review

There’s a bit of a dynasty when it comes to malicious virus films. One of the earliest examples of a really solid puss spewing, blood gushing pandemic picture is Canadian body horror wunderkind, David Cronenberg’s 1977 underrated chunck blower, Rabid starring the late, great, Marilyn Chambers with her blood sucking arm pit vampire parasite that spreads a nightmare contagion which causes people exposed to it to go into heinous bouts of unmitigated violent rages and green bile spewage that culminates with the machine gun death of a department store Santa Claus which makes me laugh my ass off every single goddamn viewing. This might be the most popular of the genre to classic horror hounds, but there are plenty more the churned the masses into hordes of disgusting plague rats, like Georege Romero’s The Crazies, Cronenberg (yet again) with The Shivers (aka: They Came From Within), Luigi Cozzi and his torso exploding Contamination from 1980 and, of course, the countless SLEW of flesh devouring living dead films which I feel completely fall under this category, or at the very least, a sub category of the genre or whatever makes you comfortable. They’re kissing cousins.

Of course, this sort of shit it strictly for us consumers of such filth, where the rest of the pop culture palate prefers their apocalyptic end of the world scenarios served up a bit more palatable with films like the 1995 Dustin Hoffman vehicle, Outbreak, where the world can be saved if Cuba Gooding Jr. can spank the right monkey, and the genuinely unsettling 2011 Steven Soderbergh film, Contagion, which at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic was feeling a bit TOO prophetic.

However, decades before Acadamy Award Winning Filmmaker Danny Boyle would unleash his effectively nightmarish art house RAGE virus on an unwitting United Kingdom and post-apocalyptic, sexy, shirtless Cillian Murphy on the masses, there was a far more shlockier, trashier, brutally wacky and colorful rage virus unleashed right here in The Sunshine State of Florida, I am of course speaking of the 1988 contagious college campus carnage of the 1988 Trash Cinema Classic, PRIMAL RAGE!

Penned by Italian schlockmeister Umberto Lenzi, probably best known to us as the man who sparked the Italian cannibal film boom of the 1970’s with 1972’s The Man From Deep River (aka: Sacrifice) and directed by first time filmmaker Vittorio Rambaldi, 1988’s Primal Rage tells the story of a tiny pony tail sporting scientist named Dr. Ethridge (Bo Svenson of Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglorious Basterds fame) who does his well meaning experiments in a lab at an undisclosed Miami Florida college. See, Ethridge is experimenting on baboons in order to find a means of restoring dead brain tissue, which is noble enough if you leave out the animal cruelty. But wouldn’t you fucking know it, the guy goes and accidentally creates a fast acting rage virus that can be transmitted by bite, of course. Thankfully the powerful, infected, absolutely insane and uncontrollably violent baboon is locked in the lab behind the flimsy latch of an aluminum bird cage…

We are introduced to our protagonist, Sam Nash (Patrick Lowe from Slumber Party Massacre 2) who, when not cycling around the bustling college campus snapping photos of co-ed asses in late 80’s spandex jogging attire is attending the WHITEST African Hertiage Celebration Day I have ever seen documented on film. Sam is one of those hunky 80’s dudes with a mighty chin, upward arching eyebrows, a flawless tan and perfectly coifed hair. You know, REALLY dull. Turns out Sam works for the school newspaper with his roommate and genetic crossbreed between Hunter S. Thompson and Bobcat Goldthwait , Duffy (Mitch Watson, voice actor for Kung Fu Panda and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated)) who is a hard edged investigative college rag reporter willing to do anything and hurt anyone in order to get the story on taco Tuesday, or whatever. We are introduced to Duffy as some sorority sisters come barging into the newspaper’s office screaming about cutting off Duffy’s balls.

This bespectacled, unshaven, most assuredly unwashed and far too into his own bullshit college kid who is willing to lose his genitals for the story is destined to be the life blood of the film…right? Not so fast, see, he goes to the lab for Sam in order to snap some shots of the animal cruelty going down on campus and simultaneously prove that Sam doesn’t have what it takes to be truly great journalist, like the willingness to break into private property. As one might guess, Duffy starts snapping shots WITH THE FLASH ON, and when the blood thirsty psychotic rage infected baboon starts losing it’s fucking mind when the flash goes off in it’s little face and begins violently trying to dismantle it’s enclosure, Duffy starts fucking taking shot after flash bulb shot while screaming at the caged up animal to “RELAX! TAKE IT EASY!” As you might have guessed, the test baboon tears it’s cage apart, beats the ever loving shit out of Duffy before biting a meaty chunk of the intrepid reporter’s arm, flings itself out the glass window, strolls around the parking lot and then attacks a cop car, smashing it’s misunderstood monkey head into the windshield, killing the poor little test baboon. And Duffy stumbles into the shadows…

Meanwhile, Sam has come to the rescue of a fellow co-ed who was about to get her car towed by flaunting his bottomless knowledge of Miami traffic ticketing laws and saves the day. This young lady is Lauren Daly (Cheryl Arutt of Murder, She Wrote and The Magical World of Disney fame) and she strikes up a flirtation with Sam immediately and the two decide to go on a double date where Lauren will be hooking the recently rage infected Duffy up with her new roommate, Debbie (Sarah Buxton from Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever and Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead) who is a math wiz and introduced herself to Lauren as having missed a good chunk of the semester because she had to get an abortion. Beats the typical boring, getting to know you chit-chat, I suppose…

Sam informs Duffy of the double dater and recommends he take a shower, with soap, wear clean clothes and not wear the same underwear he’s been wearing all week. Honestly, their little house on campus is kind of gross and exactly what you;d expect two college roomate brows to be living in. The point is driven home when Duffy, who stares it his now pulsating, oozing, gaping monkey bite would, reaches into his medicine cabinet, grabs an already open can of Old Milwaukee that’s been sitting there for who knows how long, and dumps the contents into the bloody, gore and puss drenched jagged meat canyon that was once his forearm and lets out a cry of agony he quickly muffles to keep up the charade that he wasn’t there when he made the baboon go berserk.

The foursome goes out to a local, dingy, college dive bar where Sam and LAuren dance the night away to 80’s pop and Duffy regales Debbie with stories of setting fire to locker rooms in order to avoid getting his ass kicked by those pesky jocks. What’s really intriguing is Debbie seems to picking up what Duffy is putting down and to both Duffy and the audience’s amazement, it looks like a bit of romance might be sparking here! And wouldn’t you know it, of course a trio of already violent, rude, rapey jocko’s happen upon the date and begin being complete scum bags to the ladies and gents present. What they don’t know is Duffy has a rage virus beginning to take hold and Duffy derails their asshole behavior with a few well place fist pokes and nearly breaking the ring leader’s arm. Afterwards, Duffy and Debbie go walking along and start to make-out despite Duffy being super pale, completely drenched in sweat and complaining of stomach cramps that sounds like he’s about to shit his pants. Despite all this, Debbie goes in for the lip lock, which is sweet enough, until Duffy violently pulls her in and ends up nipping her neck…two, TWO are now infected! Ah! Ah! Ah!

The next day, Duffy heads to the campus infirmary as the virus begins deeply taking hold. He freaks the fuck out int he waiting room and uncontrollably attacks everyone there, knocks over shelves and screams the entire time like a wild animal before running outside where some pulsating part of his temple bursts open, spewing blood all over the lush college campus greenery before he collapses to the gentle grass below. Does anyone rush to his aid or follow the screaming, bloody, rage fueled gusher of a man out into campus? Of course not! He falls to the ground and is left to recoup.

It’s about this time that Debbie begins feeling the nastiness of the rage virus and tries to keep a low profile as well with Lauren shrugging it off as the flu that’s been going round. But, of course, that trio of sociopath jocko psychos is on the prowl in their convertible for a woman to abduct and rape. Seriously. They are driving around campus hootin’ and hollerin’ looking for a victim like future conservative Supreme Court Justices when they spot the super pale, immensely sweaty, puke residue on her chin Debbie who is stumbling as if she is about to drop dead to the infirmary. She IS the only other living soul on campus at the moment in the middle of the night, so the fuck face frat fuckers nab her, try forcing her mouth open to pour Old Milwaukee down it and speed off to their unbelievably intricate rape room/apartment which is replete with a filthy cum soaked mattress, super loud stereo system and a ton of seizure inducing strobe lights. “I GO FIRST! I NEVER GET TO GO FIRST!” one bro shouts as they throw Debbie onto the crunchy comforter and he drops his denim revealing what I can only assure you are yellow pee stained tighty whities. It’s a gut churning feeling knowing these scumbags are all too familiar with this act of violation and that we actually live in a world where subhuman shit liquid like these three actually exist, and I do give the filmmakers a ton of credit for showing this sort of act as being absolutely horrifying, dehumanizing and beyond repulsive.

Thankfully, it is right at this moment when the rage virus takes hold of Debbie giving her super human strength, invulnerability and a need to spread the disease. She makes short order of the three bros, flinging them across the room, beating the shit out of them and managing to sink her teeth into all three, before rushing out of there and into the night. The virus takes 24 hours to fully take hold, which means these three murderous rapist pieces of shit will become UBER murderous rapist pieces of shit just in time for…HALLOWEEN.

Will Sam somehow become interesting and seal the deal with Lauren? Will our two protagonists find a cure for the rage virus in time to save Duffy and Debbie? Will Dr. Ethridge be exposed as a fucking horrendously irresponsible mad scientist who is willingt o sacrifice numerous young, sexy co-ed flesh in order to reanimate brain matter, or will he just get what’s coming to him? And will campus EVER be the same after the Three Amigos of Rape and Murder put on their grim reaper costumes and go on a killing spree at the universities Halloween Festival? Trust me, it’s WELL worth finding out.

vittorio rambaldi | Tumblr

Primal Rage is actually a really effective, inventive and dare I say fun contagion horror film that works on a bunch of different levels. From creating a bunch of colorful characters that are well written for the most part with lively dialog to a genuine feeling of dread as you watch this virus spread from person to person and an excellent knack for shoving gratuitous, explosive, highly creative violence in to shake things up if they start to get a little bogged down in plot talk. Sam is a bit of a drag, but most lead male protagonists are in these sorts of film. But everyone else rocks their rolls, especially Duffy who goes for broke in his grungy college guy trying to be cool and offbeat performance. Also, a big kudos to the three actors who play the evil virus fueled murder rapists, Lovejoy (Doug Sloan), Chas (Luis Valderrama) and Bryan (John Baldwin) for bringing three of the most heinously unlikable villains to malicious, joyful life. The are a pretty intimidating threesome of nastiness who when we are first introduced to them are almost played for comedic affect, like the typical horny guys in an American Pie movie. But as the film progresses their characters become a nightmarish commentary on the nature of rape culture and making light of this sort of behavior. It’s pretty fucking bold and way ahead of the pack. And once these three put on those grim reaper costumes, and begin violently killing random costumed Halloween revelers, it’s one Hell of a fucking spectacle. I don’t enjoy spoiling things, but these three skid marks get what’s coming to them, thankfully.

All in all, Primal Rage is a shit kicker of a late 80’s horror film when many pop culture commentators were claiming horror was dying out at the time. It’s a film that fools around with expectations, take full advantage of it’s location on a college campus, despite not having ANY nudity at all, (NOT EVEN IN THE DAMN SHOWER SCENE!) and doesn’t skimp around on the positively fantastic physical gore effects and make-up. When we are treated to close ups of the faces of those infected, it looks extremely legit, gross and painful.

Turns out, to my own shock and amazement, they were brought to life by Oscar winner Carlo Rambaldi who did effects work on such legendary mainstream flicks as Spielberg’s E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Ridley Scott’s Alien, Silver Bullet and even The Neverending Story. Oddly, it looks like this film, Primal Rage, which was directed by his son, would be his swan song. He retired from the business as CGI became more common place in film. Rambaldi sadly passed away in 2012, but his legacy lives on in those truly remarkable and believable character creations he built from the ground up in front of the camera in those final days when physical effects were at their pinnacle.

For years, Primal Rage was incredibly hard to come by on any format other than VHS. Thankfully, Dark Force Releasing has done us Trash Cinema fans a huge favor and released a great transfer of the film on blu-ray for us to finally savor in all it’s sickeningly gross, bloody, puss soaked, rage fueled glory. I highly recommend was I consider one of the greatest lost gems of the dying days of the late 80’s slasher horror boom. One that threw the conventions of the genre to the wind and created something unique, bold and highly entertaining. A film I cannot help but wonder if Danny Boyle ever watched before penning 2002’s 28 Days Later. I cannot help but see a spark of inspiration there.

Yes, grab your vomit bag and soak in the unconventional horrors of Vittorio Rambaldi’s ultra sloppy rage virus run amok freak out, PRIMAL RAGE!

I award this nutzoid flick FOUR out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets. I highly recommend this one.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

WARNING: Trailer Contains Spoilers
19
Nov
13

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

pit_poster_01

a Primal Root written review

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

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

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

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

pit 01

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

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

That's a bad touch, Sandy.

That’s a bad touch, Sandy.

 

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

Suck it, Grandma!

Suck it, Grandma!

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

D'Awwww...

D’Awwww…

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

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

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

It's basically a prequel to "Ted"

It’s basically a prequel to “Ted”

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

Three and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

15
Mar
13

Guess the Garbage Vol.5: A New Beginning (NSFW)

 Hey Gang! It’s your pal The Primal Root here with a brand new round of Guess the Garbage! The game where I gather a few random screen caps, spatter them here across The Trash Cinema Collective blog and let you take educated and/or wild stabs in the dark as to what Trash Cinema films I tore them from all in the hopes of no reward whatsoever other than having your name plastered below the image you correctly guessed and bragging rights that are sure to get you laid when you tell that special someone how incredibly fucking awesome you are! Longest run on sentence I’ve ever typed? Doubtful. Anyhoo, without any further a due, here’s your garbage! Just post your guesses in the comment section of this post an whoever answers correctly first gets all the glory.  Good luck, and  Stay Trashy! -Root

ONE:

ONE:

TWO:

TWO:

THREE:

THREE: “Revenge of the Nerds” Guessed by Jason Verschage

FOUR:

FOUR: “Slugs” Guessed by Philippe Bourret

FIVE:

FIVE: “The Toolbox Murders” Guessed by Philippe Bourret

14
Mar
13

Brain Damage (1988): Just Say “Aylmer!”

brain-damage-poster-4

a Primal Root review

edited by Bootsie Kidd

“Whenever you want the pain to stop, I’ll be here. Whenever you want to stop hurting, you come to me.” -Aylmer, Brain Damage

Let’s take a moment to discuss the Reagan Administration’s poorly schemed “War on Drugs”, shall we? On October 13th, 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared illicit drugs to be an imminent threat to U.S. National Security, while First Lady Nancy Reagan promptly flooded the talk show circuit advising the children of our nation to “Just say NO!”. Because, you know, becoming addicted to narcotics or not is as simple as just saying “no” to your local pusher. Obviously, Nancy Reagan and the War on Drugs, itself, were more than a tad naive when it came to the nature of addiction and its beginnings.

Thankfully, 1986’s “Brain Damage”, Frank Henenlotter’s stellar follow-up to his classic 1982 debut,”Basket Case”, doesn’t cut corners when it  comes to the discussion of drug use. From its depiction of the initial orgasmic rush that launches its user into a life bent around being steeped in a state of euphoria where problems are forgotten, to the sudden meteoric plummet that follows once the high is wears thin. In his usual brilliant insight, Henenlotter creatively portrays to viewers how addiction winds up taking its toll not only on users, but those closest to them, as well. Despite the laughable oddity of the seductor, Aylmer, ‘Brain Damage’ manages to tell it to us straight with a dark, horrifying, even often comical story in the realm of fantasy-horror providing a truly masterful message film about the dangers of drug use and the nature of addiction.

We meet Brian, a nice enough average guy who lives with his brother Mike in an apartment in New York. Brian even has a caring, sweet-natured, if mildly bland girlfriend he’s dating named Barbara. One evening while sick in bed, Brian blind-sided by seemingly inexplicable visions of a blood-shot eyeball where his ceiling light used to be experiencing, pulsating bright lights, blue water flooding his bedroom, and a powerful feeling of euphoria. It’s a feeling the young man has never encountered before, and as you might imagine, and one he’s eager to experience again. Only thing is, he soon discovers that what he felt was due to a small, slimy, blue-hued, phallic, turd-like creature named Aylmer (or Elmer), but, bizarrely enough, that doesn’t seem to throw Bryan as much as you might think it would.

The precise origins of Aylmer are unknown, though it is revealed through its previous users that Aylmer has a sordid centuries-old past that can be traced back to countless now-fallen civilizations. Aylmer, a creature with friendly, sleepy eyes and palsy voice of John Zacherle (yep, the host of Shock Theater, Zacherley, himself) is quite willing to inject Brian with a mysterious bright blue fluid procured from a syringe-like appendage protruding from Aylmer’s enormous, sharp tooth-filled gob. Aylmer simply jacks his juice directly into Brian’s brain stem, injecting a little “Aylmer juice” which allows Brain to, once again, experience the unique pleasure of becoming unattached from the world and embracing visions of glorious lights in junk heaps, all the while laughing his ass off in chemically-induced glee. If Aylmer is anything, he is one helluva saleman, as he perfectly pitches to Bryan saying, “This is the start of your new life Brian, a life full of colors, music,light and euphoria. A life without pain, or hurt or suffering.” I mean, really, what could possibly be the drawback?…

Artwork by Marc Palm

Aylmer artwork by Marc Palm

Well, turns out Aylmer feeds on brains. Sure, animal brains are okay, but to become powerful he must munch on the human persuasion. So, the deal becomes clear to Brian after several night’s of blacking out under the influence, and waking to find blood stains in some pretty alarming locations on his person, that for each “fix” he must pay by hooking Aylmer up with a human brain to scarf down. And let me just say, Aylmer is one very sloppy eater and NO ONE has a quick and painless death at this parasite’s merciless bite. There’s no discrimination here, either. Folks of all race, gender, and class have their skulls bitten open and brains sucked out by Aylmer. From the security guard at the junk yard, to the man taking a dump in a bathroom stall, even the slutty girl with the enormous knockers ends up getting an Aylmer down the hatch in a disturbingly violent, yet rather hilarious sequence that has since been dubbed “The Blow Job Scene”. Trust me, it’s a must-see, classic, Trash Cinema moment.  And as Brian’s dependency on Aylmer grows, so does the threat to his family and friends. No one is safe from the destruction Aylmer can cause.

Henenlotter handles Brain Damage’s odyssey of a boy and his parasite with a great sense of grotesque comedy to lighten the load of an otherwise deeply dark and unsettling cautionary tale. There is one sequence in particular that is both hysterically funny and soul crushingly bleak as Brian has finally realized the dire cost of his  addiction. He decides he needs to pack up Aylmer and hold up in a derelict hotel room where he can quit Aylmer long enough to think straight and come up with some sort of solution to his problem. In short, he tries to quit Aylmer cold turkey. The sequence features Brian clinging to a radiator, quivering, practically swimming in his sweat, puking and sobbing as Aylmer laughs and cracks jokes at his host’s expense. For good measure, Brian even has a grotesque nightmare wherein he picks meaty, gore glazed chunks of his own brain out of his ear and horrified reaches for more and begins pulling a long, drippy, unending piece of tissue and literally unravelling his brain. No joke, this scene will have your stomach churning while you laugh at this graphic, gory take on the classic magician’s gag. Finally, Brian is reduced to a convulsing, filth-and-sweat-drenched shadow of his former self lying on the hotel room’s concrete floor in the fetal position. The pain of withdrawal is too intense for the young man to bear. And in desperation, in tears, Brian agrees to Aylmer’s demands. Someone must die so that Brian can get his fix. Aylmer chuckles with delight. He has won.

brain_damage_poster_02

Again, it’s that perfect blend of humor and downbeat terror which gives ‘Brain Damage’ its substantial power to both entertain and completely repulse. By the film’s end many people have fallen the voracious hunger of Aylmer, and Brian’s need to satiate his own need for Aylmer’s juice, including people Brian loves and cares for.  And in ‘Brain Damage”s pitch perfect, unconventional, ending, we are left with one of the most haunting and surrealistic images from Trash Cinema, as Brian’s glazed over eyes look through us, the screen fills with the brightest white light and crackles with electricity. It’s an audacious ending  and one that still gives me chills to this very day. I have often called Brain Damage the “Requiem for a Dream” of the Trash Cinema genre. I still feel this is an appropriate description of this film’s nature and intent. This is one example of how powerful Trash Cinema can be, and in my opinion, this is Henenlotter’s masterpiece.

‘Brain Damage’ is the kind of sleazy, down trodden horror film that’s unafraid to point the mirror back at society and has an eagerness to push buttons, tackle difficult subjects and shove your nose into the down and dirty details. It’s unabashedly gross, over the top, and even silly at times. But the core to ‘Brain Damage’ is one that steeped the horrors of our own world. The darkness of despair and the nightmare of addiction. The unsettling, dreadful feeling that you cannot function normally without first feeding this need that has become more powerful than your common sense, rational thought, even your own sex drive. It’s more important to you than your loved ones and their well being. Suddenly, this stuff is your drive. This is what keeps you alive. This is what gives your life meaning.

Gang, I can think of few things more horrifying. And Brain Damage handles the subject with creativity and respect.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

18
Nov
12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you there!

Stay Trashy!
-Root

12
Nov
12

Scarlett Vixen: Devil Girl of the Month November 2012 (NSFW)

Hey Gang, it’s The Primal Root here and I am very proud to announce our Devil Girl for the Month of November, Scarlett Vixen! One of The Trash Cinema Collective’s very first supporters, Scarlett is making her Devil Girl debut here. However, having personally witnessed  her creativity, enthusiasm and being right at home in front of the camera, I have a feeling this will not be the last we hear from this particular Devil Girl. Please, check out our good friend, Ms. Vixen’s photo spread and be sure to give her a warm welcome to The Devil Girls.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

a quick word with Scarlett Vixen, our Devil girl of the Month

Primal Root: Scarlet, what was your inspiration for your Devil Girl spread?

Scarlett:  Carrie has always been one of my favorite horror films and I have always wanted to do a sexy photo shoot with blood.

Primal Root: Do you have any other favorite Trashy movies? What are you into? Tell us a little about yourself.

Scarlett:  ‘Switchblade Sisters’ and the ‘Highlander’. I’m addicted to tattoos and piercings, zombies, Batman, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Nightmare Before Christmas. Im a single mother of 2 adorable munchkins ages 18 months old and 4 years old.

Photography by Rewski Photography

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rewski-Photography/267873509900313

24
Dec
11

Showgirls: A Trash Cinema Event!

Hey Gang, The Primal Root here, inviting you to celebrate a new year in Trash on January 7th 2012 at Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack in Tallahassee Florida with our special screening of Paul Verhoeven’s (Robocop, Total Recall) 1995, NC-17 rated, sleazy trash epic, Showgirls!

Join mysterious Nomi Malone (Saved by the Bells Elizabeth Berkley)  as she embarks on a journey into Las Vegas as she attempts to capture her American Dream of becoming a dancer. Of course this leads to strip clubs, lap dances, hamburgers, bloody fingering, Kyle MacLachlan, intense backstage backstabbing, rape revenge, ice cubes, and adorable lesbian action (Thanks, Gina Gershon!)!

So come on out and join us for what promises to be our trashiest and daring movie screening to date! Start the new year off in style as we wade neck deep in to glittery, glitzy, cheese and delve into one of Paul Verhoeven’s most maligned and misunderstood works.

Show starts promptly at 11pm (EST) following a reel of feature appropriate trailers. As always, there’s no cover charge and the showing is 18+.

17
Oct
11

‘Savage Lust’ or Why you shouldn’t have Sex with Women you meet in Haunted Houses

a Primal Root written review

 savage |ˈsavij|
adjective
(of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and uncontrolled : tales of a savage beast | a week of savage storms.
• cruel and vicious; aggressively hostile : they launched a savage attack on the budget.
• (chiefly in historical or literary contexts) primitive; uncivilized.
• (of a place) wild-looking and inhospitable; uncultivated.
• (of something bad or negative) very great; severe : this would deal a savage blow to the government’s fight.

lust |ləst|
noun
very strong sexual desire : he knew that his lust for her had returned.
• [in sing. ] a passionate desire for something : a lust for power.
• (usu. lusts) chiefly Theology a sensual appetite regarded as sinful : lusts of the flesh.
verb [ intrans. ]
have a very strong sexual desire for someone : he really lusted after me in those days.
• feel a strong desire for something : pregnant women lusting for pickles and ice cream.

 

Okay, so, according to the above definitions if you’ve rented and popped ‘Savage Lust’ (AKA: Deadly Manor) into your VCR and pressed play you assume you;re in for a horrific, brutal sex picture with plenty of nudity and gore to burn your dirty retinas on. And you would be partially correct in that assumption. I rented the crusty old VHS copy of  ‘Savage Lust’ from my local haunt, Video 21, and brought it on home where I gave it a spin.

Right away I was shocked to see this thing came out in the year 1990 since it looked to have the fashion sense and production value of a film shot roughly a decade earlier. Not only that, but this sucker was directed by José Ramón Larraz who helmed some pretty decent horror movies in Europe including an all time favorite of mine, the flesh filled, lesbian blood sucker epic, ‘Vampyres’ in 1975 (under the name Joseph Larraz). Which makes this one even stranger, seeing as it looks really, really, shitty. Which I ‘m not sure is due to a ridiculously low budget, filmmaker apathy towards the material or maybe both…

Anyway, the film starts off just like any old slasher flick with a group of friends heading to a secluded cabin by the lake. No, not Crystal Lake, but Lake…uh, Okapanukey? Along the way they pick up a potentially dangerous hitchhiker, get a flat tire, and encounter a goofy police officer all in the span of ten minutes. And, no, the cliches do not end there. As the sun begins to set our gang pulls over and heads into the woods where they come across an old, presumably abandoned mansion. A secluded, abandoned mansion with a wrecked car as a predominantly displayed lawn ornament, several coffins in the basement, preserved scalps in a closet, a bedroom plastered with black and white photos of a creepy nekkid lady, and the typical coffee table photo album of neatly lined up nekkid dead people.

Oddly enough, this hardly raises a red flag for any of our thirty-something year old teenage protagonists and they decide to SPEND THE NIGHT THERE. What could possibly go right?

How quaint...

But just as you begin to feel comfortable as a jaded, scene it all, horror fan the movie starts throwing curve balls. People start getting killed off in a completely random order unlike any slasher film I’ve ever watched. People you expect to be heroes are killed mid way through, folks you assume will be red herrings till the end die at the most unexpected times and this gives the film a cool effect  because you’re never, ever, really sure who is going to die and when. The beat of the typical slasher film is way off and this creates a feeling of unease and even dread in the viewer. This could be intentional or just really poorly done pacing, but in the end it works in the film’s favor.

Also, when the killer is revealed it is pretty bizarre. Is it a ghost? A creature of some sort? A deformed psychopath? Who knows? The movie keeps you wondering just what the fuck is going on up until the final reveal and explanation which I found to be somewhat unique in the realm of the slasher film. It’s an M.O.  that’s become a little customary but the dealer of death this time around doesn’t feel old and worn to death.

But what is burned into my brain is this really sleazy sex scene between one of our main fellas, whose girlfriend goes missing early on in the film and he hardly cares, and a mysterious Afroed red headed big hootered woman. It’s this strange sequence which comes out of left field and seems almost hallucinatory gratuitous, totally nekkid, bump and grind sequence is inter cut with visuals of deformed faces, busted eye balls and pulpy, freshly yanked off scalps. Now, the woman doing the bonking is not an attractive lady by any means, but she is smiling ear to ear and looks to be having a blast as she simulates getting it on with her mildly latino, chiseled beef cake fuck buddy.  It’s the stand out scene of the whole movie for me and the one I will remember whenever I think about ‘Savage Lust’. And I will think of it.

"Come on, honey, this is fine art! It will look great in the living room!"

 

The mansion itself is also one dang creepy place. It’s dank, dusty, cob webbed and that master bedroom filled with nekkid pictures is just plan disturbing. You cannot help but wonder just what kind of pervy freak lives in this place. you also cannot help but wonder WHY IN THE NAME OF SAM HELL ARE THESE KNUCKLE NOBS STAYING HERE? Man, I would take my chances against the elements in the woods rather than stay in a house with a collection still drippy scalps and a moist, stinky, made bed ready to be slept in by the person who obviously still inhabits the place!I’d much rather risk dying of exposure than worry about those home owners showing up.

‘Savage Lust’ is far from a good movie. No, it’s complete trash. It looks like the film was dipped in beef gravy before being transfered to VHS, the acting is middle school drama department level and the effects are ridiculous. But the film still manages to be a bit creepy and even pulls off something few slasher films ever did after 1984, surprise the viewer!

Maybe I am being overly kind to ‘Savage Lust’ by saying it pulls off a few unexpected treats here and there but I found myself enjoying this little dumpster nugget. It’s so awkward and dodgy that it ended up endearing itself to this sick, disturbed, trash cinema collector’s heart.

I would only recommend ‘Savage Lust’ to those of you who are truly devoted to the art of sleaze and horror hand dipped in thick, nacho, cheese. It’s not a good movie. No, sir. But it’s a lost gem and a perfect example of why we love Trash Cinema.

Now if only I could work the term “Savage Lust” into some pillow talk…

Stay Trashy,

-Root

“She has a lust for life…pray it’s not yours!” Sorry, couldn’t track down a trailer.

 

24
Sep
10

Rotten Review Ep. 15: Return of the Living Dead 3


Hey Gang,

The Primal Root is back after a month off and to celebrate I am showcasing a piece of Trash Cinema featuring one of my all time favorite zombie femme fatales. That’s right, Ms. Julie Walker as brought to glorious undead life by the unfathomably gorgeous Melinda Clarke.

Get ready for a Special Guest Appearance from Ms. Jessica Critten (in her final appearance), grotesque body self mutilation, angry Latinos, tortured sewer dwelling do-gooders, half naked dancing zombies in chains and lederhosen, 2-4-5 Trioxin, dumb scientists, brain freeze bullets, teenagers listening to lite rock, necrophilia, terrible government security, brain munching and plenty of slimy, freakish canned zombies.

It’s a wild, bloody, stupid ride with Julie and Curt as they tamper in God’s domain and end up paying the price. It’s not quite Bride of Frankenstein…hell, it’s hardly Bride of the Monster. But Return of the Living Dead cracks me up every time and you cannot deny the appeal of a beautiful  re-animated redheaded  zombie girl with metal stuff shoved through her flesh.

Well, I think I’ve sufficiently creeped you all out enough. Enjoy the latest offering from yours truly, The Primal Root, and The Rotten Reviews.

Stay Trashy!

– Root




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