Artwork of the Day: America 3000


America!

Back toe beginning?  Of just the country or of humanity itself?  Judging from this poster, it looks like both.  Are there any post-nuke adventures that aren’t outrageous?  It’s a legitimate question, I think.

Anyway, this is a poster for a film that came out in 1989.

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Artwork of the Day: 101 Acts of Love


The hour is late so I won’t say too much about this poster for this 1971 film.  According to the Grindhouse Database, this movie only has a 46 minute running time so it must have been 101 very quick acts of love.

I like the fact that the quote from “Dr. Ann Foster” doesn’t actually say anything about the movie, just the subject matter.  Why, it’s almost as if Dr Foster was just some randomly quoted person who, in all probability, never actually saw the movie!

Artwork of the Day: Terror From Under The House


This poster is for a 1971 film called Terror From Under The House.  I haven’t actually seen this film.  Normally, I would look at this poster and assume that it must be about a monster living in a basement but this is 70s exploitation that were talking about.  Just because its featured on the poster doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to be in the film.

Apparently, Terror From Under The House was just one of the many titles used by this film.  It’s also known as:

  1. Revenge
  2. Behind the Cellar Door
  3. After Jenny Died
  4. Inn of the Frightened People
  5. I ekdikisis (which means “The Revenge” in Greek)
  6. Il passo dell’assassino (which means “The Killer Steps” in Italian)
  7. Miedo sangriento (“Bloody Fear” in Spanish)
  8. Violence en Sous-Sol (“Violence in the Basement” in French)

The main thing that I noticed about this poster was that apparently, audiences were forced to accept the “Free Screaming Teeth of Terror” as proof that this movie was so frightening that watching it could lead to death.  I’m not sure what exactly that means but this film was rated PG so, honestly, how scary could it be?

Someday, I’ll watch it and let you know.

Artwork of the Day: The Bonnie Parker Story


 

This poster is for the 1958 film, The Bonnie Parker Story.  That’s right — this film predates the better known Bonnie and Clyde by about 9 years.  Dorothy Provine was cast in the title role and, judging from this poster, it looks like her Bonnie was even more dangerous than Faye Dunaway’s!  Apparently, in this film (which I haven’t seen yet), Clyde was renamed Guy.

(Bonnie and Guy doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, does it?)

Anyway, it’s a good poster, one that is direct and in your face.  That’s something I always appreciate about any film poster.  Plus, there’s that tag line!

Cigar smoking hellcat of the roaring twenties!

Hell yeah!  Now that’s a tag line!

Artwork of the Day: Pay or Die


(Hi everyone!  Usually, my sister — the Dazzling Erin Nicole — tracks down and selects the images that we feature in our Artwork of the Day feature.  However, Erin is taking the week off — and November 24th is not only the day after Thanksgiving but her birthday as well!, so be sure to wish her a happy one! — so, for the next few days, I’ll be selecting our artwork of the day! — Lisa Marie)

Look at those bricks fly!

Listen, I really can’t tell you a thing about whether or not Pay or Die is a good movie or not.  All I know is that the film was released in 1979, it was rated R, and this was the poster.  It’s a tremendously effective poster, though.  I don’t know if it’s a fair representation of what happens in the movie, of course.  But I hope it is.  I hope there’s at least one scene featuring two men and a woman kicking the Hell out of a brick wall.

Posters like this are actually a huge reason why I enjoy researching grindhouse films.  Just looking at it is enough to inspire you to create your own movie in your head.  Why are they kicking through the wall?  Why are they even working together?  Why is the movie called Pay or Die?  Do they own someone money?  Does someone owe them money?  Maybe they’re kicking through the wall of a bank.  The possibilities are endless!

I will say this, though.  If I ever did use my bare hands to smash through a brick wall, I’d probably try to make sure that my boobs were a little better protected when I did it.  Seriously, I imagine breaking through a wall, especially one made of bricks, is not as safe as they make it look in the movies.  Considering all of the kicking that appears to be involved, I would also probably not wear open-toed sandals while doing it either.  That just seems like common sense to me.

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: I Don’t Want To Be Born (dir by Peter Sasdy)


“I don’t want to be born!”

“That’s too bad, kid!  YOU’RE COMING OUT!”

Now, admittedly, that dialogue is never heard in the 1975 British horror film, I Don’t Want To Be Born.  However, if I had heard that particularly exchange in this film, I would not have been surprised.  That’s just the type of movie that I Don’t Want To Be Born is.  It’s a thoroughly ludicrous, totally ridiculous movie and what makes it all the more memorable is that it doesn’t seem to realize how silly it all is.  This is a batshit crazy movie that tells its story in the most serious way possible.  This damn film is almost somber, it’s so serious.

Lucy (played by Joan Collins) is a stripper who performs her act with a perverted dwarf named Hercules (George Claydon).  When Hercules tries to force himself on Lucy, he is tossed out of the club by Tommy (who is played by John Steiner, a good actor who somehow always turned up in movies like this one.)  After she and Tommy make love, Lucy is confronted by Hercules who curses her, telling her that she will have a baby “as big as I am small and possessed by the devil himself!”

Oh, Hercules, you weirdo.

9 months later, Lucy’s life has somehow completely changed.  She’s no longer a dancer.  Now, she’s married to a rich Italian named Gino (played by Ralph Bates, speaking in a bizarre accent).  When Lucy has her baby, it’s a long and difficult delivery.  The baby is huge!  Not only is he huge, but he also has a bad temper and unnaturally sharp nails.  The first time that Lucy holds him, he attacks her.  Whenever the baby is introduced to anyone new, he responds by biting them.  When Tommy drops by to take a look at the baby that might be his son, he ends up with a bloody nose!

But that’s not all this baby can do!  Anytime he’s left alone in a room, the room ends up getting destroyed.  Eventually, he apparently figures out how to climb trees and how efficiently slip a noose around the neck of anyone who walks underneath him.  And don’t think that you can escape this baby simply because you’re taller and faster.  One unfortunate person is decapitated, even though he’s standing at the time.  How did the baby reach his neck?  Who knows?

Does this baby need an exorcism?  Lucy’s sister-in-law, Sister Albana (Eileen Atkins), certainly believes that it does!  As Lucy thinks about whether the baby’s behavior is in any way odd, she glances over at the baby and — OH MY GOD!  The baby has Hercules’s face!

And it just keeps going from there.  Again, I feel the need to repeat that this film is meant to be taken very seriously.  The script may be full of awkward and clichéd dialogue but most of the cast attempts to act the Hell out of it.  Speaking of the cast, there’s a lot of familiar horror people in this one.  Along with John Steiner, there’s also Caroline Munro and Donald Pleasence.  Those three give performances that somehow manage to remain credible, perhaps because they had the experience necessary to understand what type of movie they were in.  But the rest of the cast … you feel bad for them because they’re just trying  so hard.

It’s a terrible movie but it’s so weird that I have to recommend that everyone see it once.  If for nothing else, see it for the scene where Hercules responds to an attempt to exorcise the baby by swaying drunkenly on the stage.  It’s weird and it’s hard for mere words to do it justice.

“No wonder this baby didn’t want to be born!”

That line is also nowhere to be found in this movie.  It’d be nice if it was, though.

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Hard To Die (dir by Jim Wynorski)


 

Do you remember how, a few days ago, I reviewed a silly little movie called Sorority House Massacre II?

Well, it turns out that there’s a sequel and it’s on YouTube!  Both films were directed by Jim Wynorski and featured pretty much the same cast, despite the fact that a few of them were playing new characters.  It was released under several different titles.  Hard To Die is the one that I’m going with for this review.  However, the film was also known as Tower of Terror, which makes sense when you consider that the majority of the film takes place in a hi-rise office building.  It was also apparently released in some places as Sorority House Massacre III, despite the fact that there’s no sorority house in the movie.

Actually, it’s debatable whether or not Hard To Die is actually a sequel.  It’s true that Orville Ketchum (Peter Spellos) does make another appearance.  In the first movie, Orville was the creepy neighbor.  In Hard To Die, he’s the janitor at the office building.  Orville tells the exact same story, with the exact same flashbacks, that he told in Sorority House Massacre II.  (Those flashbacks, of course, were lifted from a totally unrelated movie called Slumber Party Massacre.  There were apparently a lot of massacres in the 80s and 90s.)  The evil spirit of Hockstadder returns as well, though this time he comes flying out of a box that was accidentally delivered to the office building as opposed to a Ouija board.  And, of course, there’s an abundance of lingerie, awkward dialogue, and cheap gore effects.  (At one point, a bucket of fake blood is literally splashed on a wall.)  However, Hard To Die also tells almost exactly the same story of Sorority House Massacre II.  There are so few differences that I’m actually more tempted to say that Hard To Die is a remake of Sorority House Massacre II than a sequel.  The only problem with that theory is whether or not a second movie can be considered remake when the first movie literally came out the exact same year.

(One of the reasons that I love my work here at the TSL is that it allows me to obsess over minutia like this.)

Anyway, the main difference between Hard To Die and Sorority House Massacre III is that there’s no sorority house in Hard To Die.  Instead, Hard To Die takes place in a lingerie shop that just happens to be located on the 7th floor of a skyscraper.  The hard-working employees are spending the weekend doing inventory but it’s not going to well.  For one thing, the sprinklers accidentally go off so everyone decides to take off their wet clothes, put on skimpy lingerie, and order pizza.  Personally, I probably would have waited for the pizza to arrive before getting naked but then again, I’ve never worked retail or dated a pizza deliveryman.

The pizza does eventually arrive but no one gets to eat it because the deliveryperson gets set on fire and ends up falling several floors to her death.  That’s a waste of good pizza, which is kind of depressing.  Meanwhile, Orville keeps trying to warn everyone about Hockstadder but, instead, he keeps getting beaten up.  The end credits of Hard To Die promised that the next film would be called Orville In Orbit.  Apparently, it was never made but I do hope that Orville got a vacation after all of this.

Anyway, Hard To Die is an extremely silly movie but it’s just so sincere in its silliness that it feels somewhat churlish to be too critical of it.  If I had to choose whether to be in Sorority House Massacre II or Hard To Die, I would probably pick Hard To Die because, at least in that movie, I’d get to shoot a machine gun.  Hard To Die is so blatantly and unapologetically over the top that you can’t help but be amused by it all.