International Horror Film Review: Body Count (dir by Ruggero Deodato)


Sitting in the middle of the forest, there’s a camp ground.  Rumor has it that the camp was built on the site of an ancient Native American burial ground and that’s why grouchy Robert Ritchie (David Hess) and his wife Julia (Mismy Farmer) were able to afford it as such as reasonable price.  I guess that could be true and maybe the part about the curse is true, too….  Well, no matter!  People love to camp and the forest is lovely and there’s no way that this camp ground won’t be a success!

In fact, the only thing that could stop it from being a popular vacation location would be if two teenagers were mysteriously murdered one night….

Which, of course, is exactly what happens!  The daughter of a local doctor (played by John Steiner, of all people) goes off with her boyfriend and both of them are murdered!  (Though we’re told that the two of them are high school students and, when we first see them, they’re at basketball practice, both victims appear to be in their early 30s.  When the actress playing the doctor’s daughter first approached him, I immediately assumed that she was playing his wife.  I was actually a little bit stunned when she said, “Bye, Daddy.”)

Anyway, the unsolved murder pretty much ruins any hope of the camp ground being successful.  15 years later, Robert is paranoid and convinced that a Native shaman is sneaking around the forest and looking for campers to kill.  Meanwhile, Julia is so frustrated with her increasingly unstable husband that she’s having an affair with the sheriff (Charles Napier).  The sheriff is so busy shtupping Julia that it often falls upon Deputy Ted (Ivan Rassimov, who had the best hair of all the Italian horror actors) to actually enforce the law.  Meanwhile, the doctor is still mourning the death of his daughter and wandering around the forest.

Eventually, a bunch of obnoxious 30-something teenagers arrive, looking for a place to park their camper and ride their dirt bikes.  Despite the history of murder and the general grouchiness of Robert Ritchie, they decide to say at the campground.  Soon, a masked killer is carving people up.  Is it the spirit of the Native shaman or is it something else?  Who will survive and what will be left of them?

This 1986 Italian film was directed by none other than Ruggero Deodato, the man behind films like Cannibal Holocaust and The House On The Edge of the Park (which starred Body Count’s David Hess).  As one might expect from a Deodato film, the emphasis is on blood and atmosphere.  Deodato, who always had a good eye for properly ominous locations, gets a lot of mileage out of that spooky forest, which really does look like exactly the place where a masked killer would chose to hang out.  While the kills are tame by Deodato standards, they’re still icky enough to make you cringe.  I’m sorry but if the scene involving the body hanging from the hook doesn’t freak you out, then you’ve obviously become dangerously desensitized and you probably should probably take a break from watching movies like this.

Of course, the main appeal of Body Count is to see a cast of Italian horror and exploitation veterans going through the motions of starring in an American-style slasher film.  David Hess, Ivan Rassimov, John Steiner, Charles Napier, and Mimsy Farmer are all such wonderfully eccentric performers that they’re worth watching even when they’re stuck in one-dimensional roles.  David Hess, especially, does a good job as the unhinged Robert Ritchie and the film makes good use of Hess’s image.  The film understand that we’re so used to watching David Hess kill people on screen that our natural instinct is to suspect the worst when we see him in Body Count.  I also liked the performance of John Steiner, largely because Steiner always came across like he couldn’t believe that, after a distinguished theatrical education, he somehow ended up an Italian horror mainstay.  And, of course, Ivan Rassimov had the best hair in the Italian horror genre.

Body Count is on Prime.  The story’s not great but it’s worth watching just for the horror vets in attendance.

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Spasmo (dir by Umberto Lenzi)


Yesterday, Italian horror fans were saddened to hear of the passing of director Umberto Lenzi.

Over the course of his long career, Lenzi worked in almost every possible genre of Italian film.  He directed spy films.  He directed westerns.  He did a few comedies.  He directed two movies about Robin Hood.  In the wake of the international success of The French Connection, he was one of the leading directors of Italian crime films.  Among fans of Italian horror, he is best known for his cannibal films and his work in the giallo genre.  He even directed the first fast-zombie film, Nightmare City, a film that very well may have served as an inspiration for 28 Days Later.  According the imdb, Lenzi is credited with directing 65 films.  Some of them were good.  Many of them, if we’re to be honest, were rather forgettable.

But none were as strange as 1974’s Spasmo.

Attempting to detail the plot of Spasmo is a challenge.   Even by the twisty standards of the giallo genre, the mystery at the heart of Spasmo is a complicated one. According to Troy Howarth’s So Deadly, So Perverse Volume Two, even Lenzi admitted that Spasmo‘s storyline made no sense.  Add to that, Spasmo features so many twists and turns that it’s difficult to judge just how much of the movie’s plot you can safely describe before you start spoiling the film.

Spasmo tells the story of a man named Christian (Robert Hoffman).  While Christian is out walking on the beach with his girlfriend, they come across a woman lying face down in the surf.  The woman is named Barbara (Suzy Kendall) and, though she declines to explain why she was lying in the middle of the beach, Christian still becomes obsessed with her.  Barbara runs off but then he just happens to run into her at a party that’s being held on a boat.  Christian may be with his girlfriend and Barbara may be with her boyfriend but they end up leaving together.  Barbara says she will make love to Christian but only if he shaves his beard.

Meanwhile, lingerie-clad mannequins are being found on the beach.

Christian ends up getting attacked by a man named Tatum.  Christian shoots Tatum but then the body disappears.  Christian and Barbara hide out at a lighthouse.  There’s another couple at the lighthouse and where they came from is never quite clear.  They say that a dead body has recently been discovered but, when Christian demands to know what they mean, they say that they’re just joking.  Later, Christian thinks that he sees Tatum walking around but, just as suddenly, Tatum’s gone.

Christian is convinced that his brother, Fritz (Ivan Rassimov) can help him.  Barbara says that there is no hope.  We know better than to trust Fritz because he’s played by Ivan Rassimov.  Possessing the best hair in Italian horror, Ivan Rassimov almost always played the heel…

Meanwhile, mannequins continue to be found on the beach.

That may sound like I’ve described a lot of plot but I’ve actually only begun to scratch the surface.  Even by the standards of Italian thrillers, Spasmo is chaotic.  The film may not make any sense but it’s never boring.  Between the mannequins and the murders, it’s pretty much impossible to follow the plot but who cares?  As directed by Lenzi, Spasmo plays out like a dream, full of surreal images and memorably weird performances.  Robert Hoffman and Suzy Kendall are ideally cast while Ivan Rassimov is wonderfully slick and enigmatic as Fritz.  Spasmo is a film that keeps you guessing.  Whether it keeps you guessing because the plot is clever or because the plot itself is deliberately designed (and filmed) to make no sense is something that viewers will have to determine for themselves.  Personally, I think it’s a little of both.

Lenzi may not have cared much for Spasmo but it’s one of his most memorable films.

Sci-Fi Film Review: The Humanoid (dir by Aldo Lado)


humanoid

When all the editors of the site got together at the TSL offices and discussed who would review what during our sci-fi month, there were two films that I immediately claimed for myself.  One was Luigi Cozzi’s Starcrash, which is one of the best-known and most popular of all the Italian Star Wars rip-offs.  The other was The Humanoid, which is considerably less known.

What is The Humanoid?  It’s an Italian film from 1979 that was designed to capitalize on the popularity of both Star Wars and James Bond.  While the plot was largely ripped off from Star Wars (with a dash of The Golem tossed in for good measure), the film’s cast featured three performers best known for their roles in two then-recent James Bond films.  The Spy Who Loved Me’s Barbara Bach played the evil Lady Agatha.  Moonraker‘s Corinne Clery played heroic scientist Barbara Gibson.  Finally, the title character — the Humanoid — was played by none other than Richard Kiel, who previously played evil henchman Jaws in both of those films.

The main reason that I wanted to see it was because the film was directed by Aldo Lado.  Aldo Lado may not be as well-known as Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Ruggero Deodato but he still directed some very memorable films.  Short Night of Glass Dolls, Who Saw Her Die?, and The Night Train Murders are all classics of their genre, combining shocking violence with Marxist political subtext.  What, I wondered, would an Aldo Lado-directed Star Wars rip-off be like?  Fortunately, The Humanoid has been uploaded to YouTube and I was able to find out.

The answer, to that question, is that the Aldo Lado-directed Star Wars rip-off isn’t very good.  But it’s so strange that it’s never less than watchable.

Allow me to attempt to explain the film’s plot.  If things get confusing … well, it can’t be helped.  That’s just the way this film works.  The Humanoid opens in outer space, with a lengthy opening title crawl that informs us that evil Lord Graal has escaped from prison and is planning on attacking the planet Metropolis (yes, the planet is named Metropolis) and overthrowing his brother, the benevolent ruler known as Great Brother.  As the title crawl disappears into space, the camera pans over to a giant spaceship and basically, it’s the exact same shot that opened Star Wars.  You have to admire a film that, in less than a minute, can rip-off Star Wars, Superman, and George Orwell.

Anyway, it turns out that Lord Graal is a tall and imposing figure who dresses in black armor, a black cape, and a black helmet.  (Sound familiar?)  He’s played by Ivan Rassimov, who played a lot of villains in a lot of Italian exploitation films.  Sadly, he never takes off that helmet so we never get to see the truly impressive head of hair that was almost always a highlight of every Rassimov performance.

humanoid_07

Graal’s main ally is Lady Agatha (Barbara Bach), who is actually several centuries old but she remains young by daily injections of a serum that is made up on virgin blood.  (The Bathory Method, in other words.)  Lady Agatha is really evil but she does have really great hair and she gets to wear this V-neck dress that is simply to die for and provides an interesting contrast to the amazingly boring white jumpsuits that all of the good people seem to be wearing.

The youth serum was developed by a mad scientist named Dr. Kraspin (played by five-time Oscar nominee Arthur Kennedy).  And Dr. Kraspin is good for more than just youth serums!  He’s also developed a method of mind control, a way to turn humans into … humanoids!

(“Come quickly!” Dr. Kraspin cries, at one point, “I am creating my first humanoid!”)

Dr. Kraspin tests his method out on interstellar police officer, Golob (Richard Kiel).  Good Golob has a beard and mustache and spends most of his time talking to his pet robot, Robodog.  (“This is my robot dog!” Golob enthusiastically says at one point.)  However, when Golob gets hit by Kraspin’s Humanoid Ray, the beard and the mustache vanish and Golob just growls.  Much as in The Golem, Kraspin places a device on Golob’s forehead which allows him to control Golob’s actions.

Good Golob

Good Golob

Bad Golob

Bad Golob

Meanwhile, Kraspin also has a grudge against Dr. Barbara Gibson (Corrine Clery) and sends Golob to destroy her.  However, Barbara is hiding out with enigmatic child genius Tom Tom (Marco Yeh) and the Han Soloish Nick (Leonard Mann).  And, fortunately for all of them, Tom Tom has the power to make crossbow-wielding angels descend from the heavens…

One of the things that makes The Humanoid an interesting viewing experience is that it’s essentially a kid’s film that was made for an exploitation audience.  Hence, scenes featuring cute Robodog and precocious Tom Tom are mixed in with scenes of brutal violence and a naked virgin being drained of her blood so that Agatha can remain young.  It makes for a notably odd viewing experience.

But that’s appropriate because The Humanoid is one weird movie.  Much as he did with Night Train Murders (which was “inspired” by Wes Craven’s Last House On the Left), Aldo Lado doesn’t allow The Humanoid‘s rip-off status to prevent him from tossing almost everything you could imagine into The Humanoid.  Full of melodrama, bad special effects, over-the-top performances, and way too much plot for a 90 minute movie, The Humanoid is one of those movies that simply has to be seen to believed.  It’s utterly ludicrous and, as a result, oddly likable.  It may not be good but it’s never less than watchable.

Golob and RoboDog

Golob and RoboDog

 

Horror Film Review: Shock (Directed by Mario Bava)


shock

Though it seems that he’ll never get the credit that he truly deserves, Italian director Mario Bava was truly one of the most influential and important filmmakers of all time.  While he spent most of his long career making genre films, Bava was also an artist who put his own unique stamp on the horror film and whose influence continues to be felt in film today.  With Blood and Black Lace, Bava helped to launch the entire giallo genre and every slasher film that has ever been made owes a debt to Bava’s Bay of Blood.  While Bava’s final work as a director, 1977′s Shock, may not be as well-known as some of his other films, it’s one of his best works and it’s certainly worthy to be listed with the rest of Bava’s oeuvre.

SHOCK 195

Shock is a haunted house film.  Dora (played by the great Daria Nicolodi) is a mentally fragile woman who is still in the process of recovering emotionally from the suicide of her first husband.  When Dora marries Bruno, an apparently well-meaning airline pilot (but he’s played by John Steiner and anyone who loves Italian exploitation knows that it’s always dangerous when Steiner shows up as a sympathetic character), it briefly appears that Dora’s life might be getting back on the right track.

Shock (1977, dir by Mario Bava)

Except, of course, for the fact that, whenever Bruno leaves the house, Dora gets the feeling that she’s not alone.  Things fall off of shelves.  A razor blade suddenly shows up hidden between the keys of a piano.  Worst of all, her young son Marco (David Collin, Jr.) starts to act differently.  When he’s not sneaking into the master bedroom and using a kitchen knife to chop up Dora’s underwear, Marco is doing things like aggressively wrestling with his mother and cutting Bruno out of all the family pictures.

Shock 3

Dora quickly becomes convinced that the spirit of her first husband is both haunting the house and possessing young Marco.  Bruno, meanwhile, worries that Dora may be having another nervous breakdown.  As for Marco, he’s busy spying on Bruno and Dora while they’re sleeping and calling them dirty names under his breath…

shock-kidpissed

 

The plot of Shock will probably not shock anyone who has seen a haunted house film but one doesn’t really watch a Bava film for its plot.  With a Bava film, the story is never quite as important as the way that Bava tells it.  Working in the years before CGI, Bava was a master at creating special effects that were cheap, simple, and ultimately very effective and that’s what Bava does here.  In perhaps the film’s most effective (and famous) moment, Marco seems to transform into Carlo right before our eyes.  It’s pretty easy to figure out how Bava achieved the effect but that doesn’t make it any less of a frightening moment.

shock-hallway2

However, the main reason that this film works is because of Daria Nicolodi.  Bava was never known for being a great director of actors but, for this film, he managed to capture one of the best performances in the history of horror cinema.  In the role of Dora, Nicolodi is like an exposed nerve.  It’s impossible not to sympathize with her, even if you’re never quite sure just how sane or insane that she may actually be.  Watching Nicolodi’s performance in this film, it’s hard not to regret that, in the years to come, her talent would be so overshadowed by both her former boyfriend Dario Argento and their daughter, Asia.

Shock 2

By all accounts, Mario Bava was in failing health during the making of Shock (and perhaps that’s why he showed so much empathy for the similarly frail Dora) and he was aided, in the making of the film, by his son Lamberto Bava (who would later become a well-known horror director himself).  Sadly, Mario Bava died three years after completing Shock and the film has never quite gotten the amount of attention that it deserves.  Shock is a worthy end to a brilliant career.

Mario Bava

The Daily Grindhouse: The Raiders of Atlantis (dir by Ruggero Deodato)


ROA

It’s been a while since I’ve done an entry in the Daily Grindhouse here at the Shattered Lens.  (And please, no snarky comments about the definition of the word “daily.”  I’ve been doing such a good job of controlling my temper lately…)  So, I figured I’d correct that oversight by taking a few moments to tell you about The Raiders of Atlantis, an Italian film from 1983.

(If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love Italian exploitation films.)

On many a Saturday night, I have gotten together with my fellow members of the Late Night Movie Crew (including TSL’s own Patrick Smith) and we’ve watched movies with titles like Samson Vs. The Vampire Women, Cruel Jawsand Space Raiders.  Whenever it’s my night to pick the movie, I’ve always been tempted to select The Raiders of Atlantis.  In many ways, it’s the perfect film to watch with a group of snarky and outspoken friends.  The film is action packed, it features a lot of over-the-top melodrama, the pace is relentless, and the film is so defiant in its refusal to follow any narrative logic that you can’t help but respect its defiant soul.

(If Raiders of Atlantis could talk, it would say, “I do what I want!” before giving the finger to anyone complaining about not being able to follow the plot.)

I’ve come very close to picking it on a few occasions but then I always remember just how violent this film can be.  By the standards of Italian exploitation, The Raiders of Atlantis is actually rather tame but it still features a lot of people dying in a lot of disturbingly graphic ways.  People are set on fire.  People are graphically shot in the face.  One unfortunate woman gets a dart fired into her neck.  Heads roll, literally.

The Raiders of Atlantis tells the story of what happens when a bunch of scientists on an oil rig accidentally cause the lost continent of Atlantis to rise up out of the ocean.  A Caribbean island is conquered by an army of heavily made up, motorcycle-riding, mohawk-sporting “interceptors,” who claim to be the descendants of the original inhabitants of Atlantis.  Led by the evil Crystal Skull (Bruce Baron), the Interceptors are determined to kill everyone who does not possess Atlantean blood.  When they’re not randomly killing, they’re searching for an artifact that will … well, to be honest, I’m not sure why they wanted that artifact but they certainly were determined to find it.

Who can stop the Interceptors?  Well, how about Mike (Christopher Connelly) and Washington (Tony King)?  They’re two mercenaries who just happened to be nearby when the continent of Atlantis rose out of the ocean.  Along with a group of scientists, an escaped convict, and a random bald guy in tuxedo, it’s up to Mike and Washington to save the world!

(Washington, incidentally, has just converted to Islam and spends most of the movie demanding that Mike call him by his new name, Mohammad.  I imagine this is one of those subplots that would be abandoned if the film were remade today.)*

So, as I said before, The Raiders of Atlantis makes absolutely no sense but that’s actually a huge part of the film’s charm.  This is one of those relentless action films that truly does seem to be making it up as it goes along.  There’s something very enjoyable about seeing how many movies The Raiders of Atlantis can rip-off in just 98 minutes and you soon find yourself thankful that the film didn’t waste any time trying to justify itself.  The film may not be traditionally “good” but it is flamboyantly bad and, in many ways, that’s even better.  Maybe you have to be a fan of Italian exploitation cinema to truly understand.

Speaking of which, if you have any experience at all with Italian exploitation, you will immediately recognize half the cast of The Raiders of Atlantis.  You may not know they’re names, because these actors frequently changed their Americanized screen names from film to film.  But you’ll definitely recognize the faces and one of the more enjoyable aspects of The Raiders of Atlantis is that you get to see all of these familiar faces together in one movie.

For instance, Christopher Connelly is best known for starring in Lucio Fulci’s ill-fated Manhattan Baby.  Tony King gave memorable performances in both The Last Hunter and Cannibal Apocalypse.  The cast also features giallo and spaghetti western mainstays George Hilton and Ivan Rassimov, along with Filipino Z-movie veteran Mike Monty.  Stefano Mingardo, who appeared in a handful of violent actions films, shows up as an escaped convict and livens up every scene in which he appears.  Even Michele Soavi, years before he would direct the brilliant Dellamorte Dellamore, appears in a small role.  Unfortunately, George Eastman is nowhere to be found but still, The Raiders of Atlantis is worth seeing for the cast alone.

The Raiders of Atlantis was directed by Ruggero Deodato, who is best known for directing such controversial films as Cannibal Holocaust and The House At The Edge of the Park.  Raiders of Atlantis is nowhere close to being as extreme as either one of those films.  If anything, it feels like a more violent than usual SyFy movie.

The Raiders of Atlantis has apparently slipped into the public domain and, as of this writing, it’s been uploaded to YouTube.  You can watch the trailer below.  This trailer not only captures the feel of the film but it also features the film’s enjoyably vapid theme music.

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*And why not remake it!?  Chris Pratt and Tyrese Gibson could play Mike and Washington.

A Quickie Horror Review: Planet of the Vampires (dir. by Mario Bava)


Later tonight, I’m going to watch Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath but before I do, I want to take a few minutes to review another one of Bava’s films, 1965’s sci-fi/horror hybrid Planet of the Vampires.

Taking place in the far future, Planet of the Vampires begins with two space ships receiving a distress call from an unexplored planet.  While landing, the two ships are separated from each other.  As the Argos lands, its crew is possessed by an unknown force and suddenly start trying to kill each other.  Only the ship’s captain (Barry Sullivan, who gives a surprisingly good performance in a role that most actors would have just sleepwalked through) is able to resist and he manages to snap the rest of the crew out of their hypnotic state. 

Once the Argos lands, search parties are sent out to find the other ship.  They find themselves on a barren planet where the surface is obscured by a thick, multi-colored fog.  As they wander through the planet, it quickly becomes apparent that they aren’t alone.  The searchers may have left the ship as human but they return as something else all together.  It all leads up to a surprisingly bleak conclusion.

If the plot of Planet of the Vampires sounds familiar, that’s because it’s probably one of the most influential, if not widely known, films of all time.   The film has been imitated in several other, far more expensive films but few of them manage to capture Planet of the Vampires’ sense of isolation and impending doom.  With this film, Bava again showed that he was one of the few directors wh0 could accomplish so much with so little.  While this isn’t an actor’s film, fans of Italian horror will squeal with delight to see Ivan Rassimov pop up here in a small role.

I’ve mentioned Planet of the Vampires before on this site when I was giving 10 reasons why I hated AvatarTo me, Planet of the Vampires stands as proof that you don’t need a gigantic budget to make an effective horror (or sci-fi film).  In fact, often times, all a huge budget does is shut down the audience’s imagination and quite frankly, nothing on film will ever be as impressive as what the audience can imagine.  With Planet of the Vampires, all that Mario Bava had to create an alien world were two plastic rocks and a smoke machine.  Working without the crutch of CGI, Bava had to pull off most of the film’s special effects “in camera,” and he would later say that one of the benefits of all that smoke was that it helped to obscure just how low budget this film was.  In short, Bava was working under circumstances that James Cameron would refuse to even consider and yet Planet of the Vampires holds up better upon repeat viewings than Avatar ever will.  The low-budget forced Bava to emphasize atmosphere over effects.  Yes, this film has its share of gore (it’s an Italian horror film, after all) but ultimately, this is another example of a horror film that works because of what it doesn’t show.  This is a film that exploits your imagination, working its way into the darker corners of your consciousness.  Bava creates a palpable atmosphere of doom that makes Planet of the Vampires into a surprisingly effective film.

6 Trailers For A Savage Weekend


Yay!  It’s the weekend and that means that it’s time for me to share 6 more of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation trailers.

1) The Babysitter (1969)

It’s a story ripped “from your own living room!”  That alone is enough to make this trailer a classic.

2) Savage Weekend (1976)

Of course, Rod Lurie later remade this film as Straw Dogs.

3) Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

It’s Kung Fu Exorcist!

4) Teenage Graffiti (1977)

“No one does it like the teenager do it…”  This kinda looks like Dazed and Confused as directed by a Crazies-era George Romero.  I actually like this trailer a lot.  It has this vaguely threatening subtext to it.

5) Blood Mania (1970)

This film explores “the twisted soul of insanity…” Somebody has to do it.

6) All The Colors of the Dark (1972)

This is another old school Italian giallo film featuring Ivan Rassimov.  Rassimov had the best hair in Italian horror.

Django Unchained: We have a title!


So, here I am.  It’s May 1st, I’m suffering from a mighty terrible case of insomnia, my asthma is bothering me so much that I’d scream if I had the lung capacity, and let’s just say that whatever it is that I’m watching on LMN right now is not memorable enough to rate a What Lisa Watched Last Night post.

And yet, I’m excited.  Why?

Because we have a title!

In this case, we have the title to Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Spaghetti Western (or “Spaghetti Southern” as Tarantino has suggested it should be called).  The title is Django Unchained.  When I first heard that title, along with the rumor the Franco Nero would have a cameo in the film, I was hopeful that maybe Tarantino was looking to restart the original Django series.  Back during the heyday of the Spaghetti Western, there were a countless number of Italian-made westerns that detailed the adventures of a ruthless bounty hunter named Django.  Franco Nero first played Django in a film entitled, not surprisingly, Django.  However, after the success of the first Django, Django was played by everyone from Tomas Milian to Ivan Rassimov to Jeff Cameron to George Eastman. 

However, it appears that the name of Tarantino’s Django is not evidence of a reboot but just of an homage.  Tarantino’s Django is a former slave who, along with an older German bounty hunter (presumably to be played by Christoph Waltz, who could use another good role), returns to the South to rescue his wife from an evil plantation owner. 

If you read the story over on Comingsoon.net, you can read a review of the script from someone who claims to have read a copy.  I’m not going to quote from that review because, quite frankly, it’s obvious just from the tone of it that the reviewer is busier trying to come across like a film geek badass than actually reviewing the script.  (Seriously, there’s nothing I hate more than people who think they’re more interesting than they actually are.)

Still, I will always look forward to anything Tarantino does.  Add Franco Nero into the mix and we have got a lot to look forward to.

Your Love Consists Of 6 Trailers In A Blood-Stained Bamboo Cage


Hi there!  Welcome to the first edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers for 2011.  All 6 of our trailers in this edition are Italian.  And, as always, most of them should be watched with caution and definitely not watched at work.   (Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Youtube yanked one or two of them offline within a week or so.  So, watch while you can.)

1) Eaten Alive

This is actually one of Umberto Lenzi’s not that terrible movies.  Which doesn’t mean it’s good.  Just means that it’s not that terrible.  This is the movie in which Lenzi manages to turn the Jonestown Massacre into a cannibal film.  Ivan Rassimov, who looks like a Russian Charlton Heston, plays Jim Jones.  Also, you might recognize the music because it ended up being used in about a 100 different Italian exploitation trailers.

2) Andy Warhol’s Frankenstien

One of the most misleading titles of all time as Warhol had very little to do with this film beyond lending Paul Morrissey and Joe Dallesandro.  This is better known as Flesh For Frankenstien.  The trailer really doesn’t do justice to the movie but I had to include it because, even if it’s not my favorite trailer, it’s a classic exploitation trailer in just the shameless way that Andy Warhol’s name is used to sell the film.

3) Zombi 4

Believe it or not, this movie is actually a lot of fun.  One of the stars is apparently a gay porn star but I’ve never been able to figure out who he’s playing in the film.

4) Planet of the Vampires

Believe it or not, this is one of Mario Bava’s best.

5) Emanuelle Around The World

There’s no way I could do a series like this and not include at least one trailer from Joe D’Amato’s Emanuelle films.

6) Murderock

I had to finish out this all-Italian edition with a little Lucio Fulci.  And I had to go with Murderock because it features a lot of dancing.  The trailer is also memorable for revealing the identity of the killer.