Late Night Cable Horror: College Coeds vs. Zombie Housewives (2015, dir. Dean McKendrick)

Sylvester Stallone, Russ Meyer, Jill Clayburgh, Ron Jeremy, David Duchovny, Abel Ferrara, Frankie Cullen, Catherine Bell, Zalman King, Lloyd Kaufman, Roger Ebert, Ed Wood, Jacqui Holland, Andy Warhol, Jim Wynorski, and many others have worked in erotica, softcore, and/or hardcore. That’s all I have to say about the stupidity that happened today.


Since this movie didn’t have the courtesy to start with a usable title card and I’m still refusing to resort to black boxes, I am beginning where the movie actually starts. We have a black screen and hear a woman say, “What the hell is wrong with you bitches?!” Then we cut to cheerleaders, such as that one played by Erika Jordan, beating up the “zombies”. I put zombies in quotations because they are about as much zombies as the zombies were in the Pierre Kirby movie Zombie vs. Ninja (1989). By that I mean people moving stiff as a board and that’s about it. You’d think they’d go for the obvious joke here, but they don’t.

Funny fact: According to the credits, Erika was the fight choreographer for this movie.

We are now taken back three days so the movie can introduce us to our main couple.


For those of you who have seen Invisible Centerfolds, yes, that is Frankie Dell. Yes, he once again plays a scientist. And yes, that does mean this is a wacky Dean McKendrick movie like Invisible Centerfolds. Just thankfully they don’t dress Frankie Dell in such a way that he becomes porno Bill Nye. However, this is one where they have music that sure sounds similar to Santana’s Smooth. They don’t directly rip it off, but if you watch this, then you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

The setup here is that Jennings (Frankie Dell) isn’t getting laid at home by his wife any more. Being a scientist he decides that if men get Viagra, then surely he can come up with something similar to help out women. Of course he’s as bright as the guy in the first part of Pietro Germi’s The Birds, The Bees, and the Italians (1966). By that I mean he just leaves his friend with his wife to go to work not even thinking there might be something going on there. Of course there is.

There’s a documentary called Aroused (2013) where the director Deborah Anderson interviews numerous female porn stars. I don’t recommend it. It’s self-serving and the cinematography is headache inducing. However, an interesting piece of information slipped out from one of the ladies. She mentioned that people usually don’t realize that it’s actually harder on the guys. Of course that wasn’t on the agenda so it wasn’t followed up on. I mention it because several times in this movie you can see the guys go into a Buddhist-like meditation to keep going for the scene.


Now we go to the lab and meet Jennings’ assistant Marilyn (Mary Carey). Apparently, they have brought in rats, monkeys, rabbits, raccoons, chipmunks, and beavers to test out this stuff on. There is actually a payoff later in the movie for them stopping to list those animals.

Mary decides to be a guinea pig herself and drinks the stuff even though there are apparently some early signs of a secondary effect. She pretends that it works and has sex with Jennings. Of course he does it in the name of science. By the way, here’s what I mean by a Buddhist-like trance state.


That is not the face of a happy man. That’s the face of either a man who can’t go off at all or is desperately trying to work in a symbiotic relationship with it rather than a parasitic one. People may tell you myths about it, but that it has a mind of it’s own is not one of them. It doesn’t control you, but it sure does its own thing.

However, it’s not all fun and games. After Jennings leaves the room, that secondary effect kicks in, but only for a moment.


She acts like she is partially possessed by a spirit. She bumps into a few things before regaining control. I love that one of the things she bumps into is a bottle of the very pain killer I take for fibromyalgia.


Meanwhile, back at what I’m pretty sure was Atomic Hotel Erotica (2014), we meet two of the housewives. That’s Tracy (Karlie Montana) and Carrie (Christine Nguyen). Jennings convinces them to have a drink, which of course spikes with the experimental drug. Seeing as they have no reaction whatsoever, he figures Marilyn was lying to him.

After tennis so that the guy boning Jennings wife can rub it in how about much better his sex life is, we finally meet the “coeds” of the title.


By that I mean cheerleaders who have apparently moved in next door. Guess it could be worse. Could be vampires who suddenly become your neighbors like in Erotic Vampires of Beverly Hills. Oh, and yes, they are terrible cheerleaders. And that’s coming from someone who suffered through the last two Bring It On movies without having seen any of the others. That is definitely Erika Jordan in the center. You can always tell it’s her. She’s the porn star who looks like she went back in time to 1915 and was branded by Sessue Hayakawa in The Cheat (1915). Course while he’s over there getting googly eyed at cheerleaders, Jennings’ formula kicks in.


After they are done giving each other thorough cleanings and inspections for lumps, we cut back to the lab and Marilyn receives a call. I have to mention that they even bothered to put in a quick line here that Marilyn has no boyfriend. I can’t tell you how nice it is when any movie that prominently features sex provides a reason for it to occur. Even if it’s something wacky like a potion. He has the bad news that the stuff she drank does after awhile induce a trance-like state. This is going on as we crosscut to the couples playing tennis when…


zombie housewives!

Then Erika leaves two of the other cheerleaders to go meet with their coach. Then as Bring It On: Quest For The Mighty Spirit Stick taught me, cheerleaders do need to limber up. Yeah, that is a weak excuse, but these movies often do try to have a reasonably equal mix of both girl-on-girl as well as guys with girls.

Some stuff happens now that doesn’t matter. But we do get this line from Jennings’ wife.


Could be worse. Could be the potion that turns you into a gorilla Frankie Dell made in Invisible Centerfolds.

Then we get a call to Steve played by Mike Gaglio. By the way, among other things, Mike Gaglio is in the religious movie God’s Club (2015).


He’s not having a good time over there. According to him he’s “got a roomful of killer zombie rabbits over here.


I got squirrels going after raccoons. The rats have overtaken the commissary. I don’t even want to tell you what the monkeys are up to!” But he does comfort her that he has someone working on an antidote.

Back home, Frankie Dell has a short scene that once again reminds us that he really doesn’t belong in these movies. Frankie Cullen could make a career in these films if he wants to, but Frankie Dell should jump ship ASAP. He is just a comedian. Heck, one of his earliest roles was as a voice on Daria. He doesn’t belong here at all.


Then we go to Andrew Espinoza Long who played G.W. Bushwhacker in Bikini Model Mayhem and plays Hank who is married to Carrie hanging out with the cheerleaders. This leads exactly where you think it does. I just wonder a bit of how the girl on the bottom is getting any fun out of the situation.

Now we get a little zombie action out of Marilyn.


Then Carrie complains to Marilyn about her husband hanging out with those cheerleaders. Of course this means Carrie needs to give Marilyn her annual checkup.

After Carrie points out the obvious to Jennings that the cheerleaders are closer to his martial problems than any stupid formula, we finally have our stand down between the college coeds and zombie housewives.



It’s kind of funny, but pretty stupid. I was much more interested in Mike Gaglio who shows up in the lab with the antidote. He’s been dealing with “killer zombie raccoons, and killer zombie squirrels.” I wanted to see that!

They do get the antidote to the girls in time and Jennings wife breaks up with him. You know, it is appropriate that I review these movies and Hallmark movies cause aside from, of all movies today, Carnal Wishes is the only one I remember that doesn’t have a super happy ending like Hallmark movies do. Even Jennings ends up with Judy (Erika Jordan) six months later after losing his wife. He is still up to his experimental hijinks too.


This is not as good as Bikini Model Mayhem or Carnal Wishes. See those first, then come back for this. It’s Dean McKendrick in fine form. Also, Frankie Dell is a funny man. I strongly hope he starts showing up in other kinds of movies. It’s kind of sad that since he has done some of these films he most likely can’t make the jump to a Disney Channel show. He would make for a very humorous supporting character on one of those shows as a bumbling scientist at the kids’ school. Oh, well.

TFG Valentine Special, Part Two : “Endless Love” (2014)

Trash Film Guru


Talk about going from bad to worse —

As my last review no doubt made crystal clear, I was in no way enamored with Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 cinematic adaptation of Scott Spencer’s Harlequin-novel-on-bad-acid Endless Love, but measured against what director Shana Feste did with (essentially) the same story in 2014, it’s fucking Citizen Kane. Sure, much of the book’s subject matter had either been neutered or twisted into new and unrecognizable (yet somehow decidedly less interesting) shapes, but damn — giving it the Nicholas Sparks treatment is just beyond the pale, and that’s exactly what this hollow, insipid, worthless remake does.

Probably to reduce confusion with (or an injunction from) President Obama’s political adviser of the same name, our David this time out hails from the Elliot rather than the Axelrod family tree, and while the actor who plays him, an empty shell named Alex Pettyfer,  certainly looks

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TFG Valentine Special, Part One : “Endless Love” (1981)

Trash Film Guru


I know I’ve got a well-deserved reputation as a movie and comic book curmudgeon, but believe it or not I also possess a sentimental side, and I thought I’d let you lucky readers have a rare glimpse of it here, on this most romantic of holidays.

Yes, friends, love is in the air, and while the cynical among you might think that Valentine’s Day is nothing but a twisted exercise perpetrated by florists and greeting card companies to torture single people since most couples end up forgetting about it altogether, rest assured that nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, all of us married guys damn well better not forget to buy some flowers, chocolates, a card, and a gift, or it’s gonna be a cold night out on the couch. A dinner reservation and a romantic movie might not hurt, either, fellas, so do keep that…

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Here’s The Love-Filled Trailer For Equals!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s the trailer for the upcoming film, Equals!

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult live in one of those dreary futures where both emotion and flattering clothing have been outlawed.  Despite the law, Kristen and Nicholas fall in love and good for them!  Seriously, the law was made to be broken…

Why should we be hopeful about Equals?  Well, it was directed by Drake Doremus, who did the underrated Like Crazy.

And Here’s The Trailer for The Huntsman: Winter’s War

I was not a huge fan of Snow White and The Huntsman but The Huntsman: Winter’s War — which is apparently a prequel — looks like it might feature a lot of good, over-the-top fun.  How can you not be at least a little bit excited about a film featuring three ass-kicking actresses — Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain — and Chris Hemsworth?

Check out the trailer below.  The film comes out on April 22nd!

Here’s The Final Trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!

I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’m not enthusiastic about the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film.  Maybe it’s because of how much I absolutely loathed Man of Steel or maybe it’s just because I’m not really a fan of comic book movies in general (with the MCU films being an obvious exception) but it’s just hard for me to imagine Dawn of Justice actually turning out to be that good of a film.

And the first few trailers did little to change my mind.  The whole thing looked overdone and, to me, Ben Affleck looked more than a little silly in his Batman outfit.

But then the final Dawn of Justice trailer was released yesterday and you know what?  The final trailer actually works.  They should have released this trailer first.  In fact, maybe this should have been the only trailer they released.  Because, for the first time, Dawn of Justice actually looks like it could be a reasonably entertaining film.

Watch the trailer for yourself and see what you think!  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released on March 25th.

Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: Blossoms In The Dust (dir by Mervyn LeRoy)

Blossoms_dust_movieposterDid you know that up until the year 1936, if a child was born to unwed parents, it was common practice to actually put the word “illegitimate” on that child’s birth certificate?  As you all know, I am perhaps the biggest history nerd in the world and, while I knew that there was once a huge stigma associated with being born outside of marriage, I did not know just how institutionalized that stigma was.

I’m also proud to say that my home state of Texas — the state that all the yankees love to bitch about — was the first state to ban the use of the word “illegitimate” on birth certificates.  This was largely due to the efforts of Edna Gladney, an early advocate for the rights of children.  Along with starting a home for orphans and abandoned children in Ft. Worth, Edna also started one of the country’s first day care centers for the children of working mothers.

That’s right — there was a time when day care was itself a revolutionary concept.

I have TCM to thank for my knowledge of Edna Gladney, largely because TCM broadcast a 1941 biopic called Blossoms in The Dust.  According to Wikipedia, the film was a highly fictionalized look at Edna’s life but, to be honest, I would have guessed that just from watching the movie.  While Blossoms In The Dust gets the important things right (and it deserves a lot of credit for sympathetically dealing with the cultural stigma of being born to unwed parents at a time when it was an even more controversial subject that it is today), it’s also full of scenes that are pure Hollywood.

In real life, Edna knew firsthand about the challenges faced by children of unwed parents because she was one herself.  Apparently, at the time, that was going too far for even a relatively progressive film like Blossoms In The Dust so, in Blossoms, Edna (played by Greer Garson) is given an adopted sister named Charlotte (Marsha Hunt).  When the parents of Charlotte’s fiancée discover that she was born outside of marriage, they refuse to allow Charlotte to marry their son.  In response, Charlotte commits suicide.

In real life, Edna was born in Wisconsin but, following the death of her stepfather, moved to Ft. Worth to stay with relatives.  Edna was 18 at the time and eventually met and married a local businessman named Sam Gladney.  In Blossoms in The Dust, Edna is already an adult when she first meets Sam (played by Walter Pidgeon, who played Greer Garson’s husband in a number of films) and they meet in Wisconsin.  It’s only after Charlotte dies that Edna marries Sam and it’s only after they’re married that Edna moves to Texas.  Whereas the real life Edna had relatives in Texas, the film’s Edna is literally a stranger in a strange land.

That said, the film is actually rather kind to my home state.  The film spend a lot of time contrasting the judgmental snobs up north with the more straight-forward people who Edna meets after she moves to Ft. Worth and it’s occasionally fun to watch.  (Of course, I would probably feel differently if I was from Wisconsin.)

Blossoms In The Dust was nominated for best picture but it lost to How Green Was My Valley.  Greer Garson was nominated for best actress but she lost to Joan Fontaine in Suspicion.  However, just one year later, Garson would win an Oscar for her performance in the 1942 best picture winner, Mrs. Miniver.  Incidentally, her husband in that film was played by none other than Walter Pidgeon.

Ultimately, Blossoms in the Dust is typical of the type of movies that you tend to come across while watching films that were nominated for best picture.  Some best picture nominees were great.  Some were terrible.  But the majority of them were like Blossoms in the Dust, well-made, respectable, and just a little bit bland.  Blossoms in the Dust is not bad but it’s also not particularly memorable.  If, like me,  you’re a student of history and social mores, Blossoms in the Dust has some historical interest but, when taken as a piece of cinema, it’s easy to understand why it’s one of the more forgotten best picture nominees.