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Archive for April, 2013

Deranged (1974)–Interesting if Flawed Docu-Drama About The Man That Inspired So Many Horror Movies

derangedLast night I watch the masterful biopic, Hitchcock, about the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock and absolutely loved it. The movie takes place during the filming of Psycho. What I learned was that Psycho was loosely based upon the crimes of Ed Gein, a serial killer, body snatcher and possible necrophilliac  from Plainfield, Wisconsin. This left me wondering about who this Ed Gein was and were there any movie based specifically about him and not just inspired by his crime. A quick Google search and I foung the movie, Deranged from 1974.

Deranged starts with a warning that everything in the film is based on real events and that the names have been changed to protect the innocent…. blah, blah,blah! Telling the story of a man that was raised by an overbearing religious fanatic mother that taught him that all women, aside from herself, were diseased whores out to corrupt him. Not allowed to socialize with others outside of school, Ed was bound to come out twisted. Ed, obsessed with his mother, devoted himself to her caretaking. When she suffered a stroke, he became even more so. Upon her death he boarded up the rooms that she used and left himself a small area in the house for his own use.

In the movie, Ed soon finds himself missing his mother terribly, and convinced himself that she was actually sleeping and not dead. His mother’s voice calls to him telling him to retrieve her and bring her back to their home. Exhuming the body, Ed does just that. Mother, having been buried for the better part of a year was not in prime shape, so Ed decides to make repairs to his mother. Using bits of fish skin and the like he fixes her up as best he can. Eventually, he studies taxidermy to improve his skills. Not content with animals, Ed exhumes bodies from the grave yard, taking parts of or whole bodies from fresh graves. Ed’s a ghoul.

Soon Ed ups the ante when he becomes smitten with a local bar owner and kidnaps her. Hoping she’ll be his wife, he introduces her to his mother and dinner guests: posed bodis of the peopl he stole from the graveyard. Playing along, she convinced him to release her bound hand, and attempts to escape… Sorry! Ed ain’t letting you go. Instead of a wedding, she’s dead now.

Ed keeps up his shit with no one suspecting him at all, until a girl keeping shop dissapears with signs of foul play. The last person in the shop was Ed and the local Sherriff goes off to Ed’s farm house to talk to him. That’s where they find the body of the girl and evidence of all of Ed’s grisly crimes. The movie then ends with a write up of Ed being found insane…

Okay, this is not a great movie, but I did find it interesting as I knew little of Ed Gein. There have been a lot of movies about Ed and based on him. Not many of the biopics are very good, but this is one of the first. Should you watch it? If your interested in the crimes of Ed, then yes.  If not, then don’t bother.

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Chopping Mall–Bad and Entertaining… Badly Entertaining? (Watch the Whole Movie Below)

ChoppingmallSo, while going over a list of cheezy movies from the 1980’s, my buddy suggested we watch Chopping Mall, a Sci-Fi horror from 1986.

Well, we watched Chopping Mall, and though I remember seeing the cover art on a video cassette sometime in the past, I really had no idea what it was a bout – I thought, with a name like Chopping Mall, that I was about to watch a slasher movie – I was wrong.

Chopping mall tells the story of a group of people who decide to have what appears to be a make out party in a furniture store where a couple of them work, after hours. Little did they know that the mall was deploying their state of the art robot security force that night… and that a lightning strike would be causing issues, turning the ‘bots into all out killers. Using what was designed to be non- lethal devices (Tasers and tranquilizers), the malfunctioning ‘bots head out to secure the mall.

One by one we see a couple of the partiers taken out by the ‘bots until the remaining people clue in as to what is happening and try to stop the ‘bots. Loading up on weapons from the sporting store in the mall, they soon learn that the ‘bots are tougher that they thought. It’ll take more than just a shot gun shell and some anger to destroy these machines. Managing to destroy one by tricking it into a booby-trapped elevator spurs on out partiers… but one bot kill is not a trend and this won’t be easy.

Luckily this movie isn’t very long (72 minutes in total), and while not good, is entertaining, if you are like me and can stomach cheezy movies. Make sure you keep an eye out for B-Movie girl. Barbara Crampton (from Re-Animator as well as many more horror films of the 80’s).  If the movie went longer though, I doubt I would have liked it. It has a weak premise, the characters are not ones I sympathized with, but I still found it watchable. Check it out yourself if you are so inclined. Here’s the trailer to help you decide, and if you like what you see, just below that is the whole movie (let me know of the link stops working, please).

Chopping Mall (1986) – The Trailer

 

Chopping Mall (1986) – The Whole Movie:

 


House of Wax (1953)–A Must Watch Classic

howThe first time I watched The House of Wax was around 1984 when a local theatre was showing classic 3D films each Friday for a few months. I was 14 at the time and thought I was in for a hokey experience – what I ended up with was a new appreciation for the classics, for 3D cinema (when done well), and especially for Vincent Price.

Released in 1953, it was a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum without the humour of the original (thanks Wikipedia). The film was one of the first colour 3D movies from a big American studio, and apparently one of the first with stereo sound… pretty innovative for 1953. The movie tells the tale of Professor Henry Jarrod (played by Vincent Price), an master in the art of wax sculptures and his quest for vengeance against his financial partner,  who burns down the Wax museum to recoup his investment through insurance. In an attempt to stop the blaze,  Matthew Burke (played by Roy Roberts) knocks out Jarrod in a fight and leaves him to burn in the fire.

Thinking Jarrod perished in the fire, we learn that Burke collected the insurance payout through a conversation with Burke and his girlfriend/Fiancé at dinner. Burke also tells her a tale of how sad he was at the loss of his friend and partner… a lie of course.

Well, it turns out that Jarrod was not killed in the fire, but was burned, leaving his hands useless. He has decided to create a school to teach his art and to recreate a new wax museum, but this time dedicated to the macabre, depicting true life horror scenes in wax. Working through the hands of his students, he even goes as far as to model the faces of the wax figures on victims of crime in the news papers.

Well, all is not as it seems, and a shadowy figure is seen leaving the wax museum/school and descending on Burke, murdering him while making it look like a suicide through hanging. We catch a glimpse of the killer who is horrible disfigures – it is the true face of Jarrod, dis-figured in the original wax museum fire. Shortly after the suicide is reported in the news, Burke’s body disappears, and a new exhibit opens in the museum depicting Burke’s apparent suicide with a picture perfect model of Burke as the centerpiece. Next to go is Burke’s fiancé who is murdered in her sleep by the grotesque Jarrod. Almost caught, he is seen by a flat mate of the now dead lady. When she describes the horrible face of the killer, she is not initially believed. Soon Burke’s Fiancé’s body disappears and a new exhibit depicting Joan of Arc at the stake takes it’s place with a model that looks exactly like the freshly dead woman.

What’s happening? Burke, enraged and crazed after the loss of his life’s work and his disfigurement in the fire, has decided to get revenge on his former partner and all those that may stand in his way. He has taken to creating wax sculptures by covering the bodies of his victims in wax and making them the centrepiece of his works. The burn make up on Price, in my opinion looks great and the performances by all are top notch. I really don’t think that it should be considered scary by today’s standards, but is a classic in any case. The movie has recently been re-released on Blu-Ray and in 3D and I must say it looks fabulous. This is a movie that I heartily suggest you watch, even if you’ve seen it before.

Check out the Trailer below:


Manborg (2011)is Out On DVD And You Should Buy It… A Couple of Times

Manborg, a low budget sci-fi film made by Astron-6 has just been released. Should you care? Yes… The movie is freakin’ awesome. Made for $1000 dollars, and yet they kept me enteretained throughout.

Trying something different this time folks: What follows is my attempt at a video blog post. Short and boring, let me what you think.


The Zombie Diaries (2006)–Everyone Attached to This Film Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

zdbSo I watched the 2006 movie, Zombie Diaries last night. It was easily the worse zombie movie I’ve seen.

It was worse than Zombie Babies (which I also hated).

Everyone attached to this movie should have been banned from ever attempting to create anything artistic. And guess what? They made a sequel.

So… What’s wrong with the movie? It’s boring and poorly made. Oh, did I mention that it was boring?

Don’t watch this piece of shit.

Trailer? Oh, why the hell not:


The Zombie Diaries (2006)–Everyone Attached to This Film Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

zdbSo I watched the 2006 movie, Zombie Diaries last night. It was easily the worse zombie movie I’ve seen.

It was worse than Zombie Babies (which I also hated).

Everyone attached to this movie should have been banned from ever attempting to create anything artistic. And guess what? They made a sequel.

So… What’s wrong with the movie? It’s boring and poorly made. Oh, did I mention that it was boring?

Don’t watch this piece of shit.

Trailer? Oh, why the hell not:


The Vineyard (1989)–Everybody’s Favourite Asian “That Guy” Makes a Movie–Too Bad It Sucks

vyard_So I had a little time before work today and decided to fill it watching a cheezy movie suggested by Netflix: 1989’s The Vineyard. Maybe I should have taken a nap instead.

Written, directed and starring James Hong, a venerable actor that seems t have been in everything from the TV show MASH to Kung Fu Panda (the voice of the Master) and almost everything in between. It’s just too bad that this was the movie that he decided to make.

The Vineyard tells the tale of a Winemaker, Dr. Elson Po who invites a group of young aspiring actors and friends to his island vineyard under the pretence that he wants to make a movie. Well, things are not really as they seem and neither is Dr. Po.

Dr. Po is ancient and stays young(ish) and healthy by way of a secret potion that requires the blood (or some other vital fluid) from young people. He has kept himself alive for centuries like this, and that is the real reason this group has been brought to this island: so Po can harvest more of whatever to stay young. One bonus? One of the girls, (a hottie played by Karen Lorrie),  seems to be his “chosen”” one with whom he plans to marry.

So… bad stuff happens to them, there’s a rescue attempt. There’s some Zombie like creatures. We see Po’s even more ancient mother… there’s some late 80s boobs. And the movie sucks.

Want to watch a bad, cheezy movie? Even if you do, you can watch something other than this. Hell – I like bad movies and this couldn’t keep my interest. This is a seriously boring attempt at a horror movie and doesn’t even have that “so bad that you have to see it” type cachet.

Here’s the trailer if you are interested, and as noted, it’s available on Netflix.