6 Trailers For The Thursday Before Halloween


It’s a holiday and you know what that means!

Or maybe you don’t.  Sometimes, I forget that not everyone can read my mind.  Anyway, I used to do a weekly post of my favorite grindhouse trailers.  Eventually, it went from being a weekly thing to being an occasional thing, largely due to the fact that there’s only so many trailers available on YouTube.  Now, Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers is something that I usually only bring out on a holiday.

Like today!

So, here are 6 trailers for the Thursday before Halloween!

  1. The Monster Squad (1987)

I swear, there are some people out there who really, really love this movie.  And good for them!  Love is what makes the world go round.  Personally, I’ve never watched it but it seems like everyday, someone on twitter makes a comment about the wolfman having nards.

2. Trick ‘R’ Treat (2007)

This is another movie that people around me seem to love.  Strangely, I haven’t seen it, though the trailer seems to suggest that it’s something that I would enjoy.  So, consider this my promise to you — next year, I will review Trick ‘R’ Treat for horrorthon!

3. Trick or Treat (1986)

“Rock and roll will never die!”  And neither will Halloween.

However, make no mistake about it …. horror is not just a Halloween thing.  It can infect any holiday….

4. New Year’s Evil (1980)

From director Garry Marshall comes an all-star film about the moments that make us who we are and the one night when everyone is celebrating…. oh wait.  Sorry, wrong movie.  This is actually a Canadian film that featured a killer who commits a murder in every time zone at the stroke of midnight.  I’m not sure why anyone would think that was a viable plan but it was the 80s and cocaine was everywhere.

So, to make clear …. Garry Marshall was in no way involved with this film.

5. Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

New Year’s Evil was not the only slasher film to feature a soundtrack of rockin’ 80s music!  There was also Slaughterhouse Rock, which had a Devo soundtrack and which featured Toni Basil in a small but key supporting role!

Finally, let’s finish things off with one more horror musical spectacular.

6. Black Roses (1988)

OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THOSE DELOREANS!

Still, despite their really cool cars, this band is not a band to listen to.  There’s only way you can get your band to sound as bad as the one in this movie and that’s too make a deal with the the devil!  Losing your soul to sound terrible …. it’s just not worth it.

Though, admittedly, those car are pretty freaking cool….

Anyway, happy Eve of the Eve of Halloween!  Enjoy these trailer and be sure to enjoy some wonderful films as well!

Horror Film Review: Slaughterhouse Rock (1988, dir. Dimitri Logothetis)


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Earlier this month Lisa posted a scene from Slaughterhouse Rock that she likes, but she said she hadn’t actually seen the movie. She might as well have slapped me across the face with a steel gauntlet. Well, I’ve seen Slaughterhouse Rock now. Twice in fact. Probably three if you count all the rewatching of segments I had to do while writing this review because I was still confused. I can assure you that scene is the most entertaining thing about this movie. Lisa is right, that scene does show parts from earlier in the film. I love that it even flashes back to pointless scenes like when one of the kids slips while climbing up onto Alcatraz Island. Or a quick shot of one of the girls talking in a restaurant. It’s like they reached that part of the film and ran out of money because they blew it on effects from earlier in the film. That, and it was probably in Toni Basil’s contract that they let her dance a little in this movie. Oh, by the way, this is one of two rock horror films that star Toni Basil. I already reviewed Rockula. Why are there two of these?

So let’s get this review over with so I can subject myself to more films of questionable quality. The film starts out with some dreamlike scary scenes that end with someone’s hand getting chopped off. Then a guy wakes up to find his hand missing. Of course he wakes up again because he was still in a dream. Cut to the opening title card. We find out that not only Toni Basil was involved in this, but Devo too. And then we find out that the cinematographer on this movie is Nicholas Von Sternberg. The son of famed director Josef Von Sternberg. I bring that up because the first film he is credited with shooting is Dolemite (1975). That film is famous for numerous reasons including the boom mic popping in from the top of the frame.

I mention it since I’m pretty sure there is a scene in this movie where the boom mic pops in on the left hand side of the shot. I wish I had watched a higher quality copy of this movie, but here’s the shot anyways.

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But back to the story. That kid is Alex Gardner (Nicholas Celozzi) who has been having some weird dreams lately. Cut to the outside of a college building and we learn that Alcatraz has been closed down temporarily because of a tragic incident. A rock band called Body Bag broke off from the tour group and was later found dead. That’s Sammy Mitchell’s (Toni Basil) band. Since his dreams seem like they are taking place in a prison, his friends think there must be a connection. The next group of scenes are either stupid 1980’s teenagers in a horror movie stuff, creepy unreal stuff, or one of the very few shots in this movie that are actually of Alcatraz.

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In here is one of the dumbest scenes in the movie. They obviously thought it was really cool and built atmosphere, but it’s actually just really frustrating and confusing like most of this movie. It takes place in a restaurant where the scene starts with this person picking up some food to take to a table. The camera moves in slow motion around this restaurant for what feels like an eternity. Then a voice kicks in. Who is saying it? Is it the people we are looking at? The camera is still moving so I guess it can’t be. It takes close to another 10 seconds before the camera slow motion moves some more and finally settles on a girl and Alex talking at a table. My god! Was it so hard to cut that shorter? This is especially frustrating because the rest of the scene is actually done rather well. It uses close ups of his eyes and other peoples faces combined with angles and playing with the sound to build up to a hand breaking through the wall behind him. None of which required that unnecessarily confusing roam through the restaurant. Likely, that stuff was padding. There’s a lot of stuff that feels like padding in this movie.

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Now apparently these kids are taking some sort of class on the metaphysical in college because of course we can’t just have the kids go to Alcatraz of their own volition. No, Alex’s teacher finds out about his dreams after he freaks out in class. It’s her and this Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) scene that finally push them to take a small boat out to the island.

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Once we arrive on the island then the film really starts to have issues. The problem is since this was obviously not shot on the island, what you are seeing are small separate sets. In a well directed movie, this wouldn’t necessarily be an issue, but here it is. You never really have a sense of space. How long is that hallway? Where is this exactly? Where is it in relation to the other sets? All of these problems are what make the film feel like a lot of just people walking and talking. To where? Who knows? And who cares.

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After getting grabbed by a hand and pulled somewhere else, we meet Sammy Mitchell. She starts to tells us the story behind all of this and that she has been reaching out to him in order to bring him to the island. Expect there to be a reason she reached out to him specifically? Only in your dreams. We now learn about her fascination with the occult and that she let some demon out. Apparently, all the people who have died on the island are the source of his power and are trapped on the island by his power. She then explains how this guy allowed in something more evil than the guy could have imagined. Then it cuts away to someone else for a bit. We then come back to her, and he asks why she chose him. Her answer is that she needs a living being to open a door at the end of a tunnel in order to release all the souls trapped on the island. Now comes the stock footage dance that Lisa posted.

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While all this is going on, we have the other kids wandering around the island. One of them includes Alex’s brother Richard (Tom Reilly). Richard becomes possessed by this demon. I love the scene with this one girl that he has shortly after getting taken over. It’s like that ridiculous dry hump sexual assault scene from the game Phantasmagoria. Only this scene actually makes some sense since the bad guy did have a history of that sort of thing whereas in the game it’s really random.

With Alex out of his body, the movie now has an excuse for how it can show us, and him, scenes from the past really explaining things. Okay, what’s going on is that apparently Alcatraz was a military outpost before it became a prison. And of course there was a really nasty guy who liked to hire girls, then eat them. After he couldn’t hire hookers and eat them anymore, he fed off the locals. The Native Americans finally got fed up with him and burned him. Unfortunately, he apparently had learned enough about magic that this didn’t do him in really. He had made a pact with the devil according to Sammy. I love the dialogue from the ghosts that almost sound like Sean Connery’s famous opening credits lines from Highlander (1986) that were recorded in a bathroom. Also, I love the quick anti-drug line they threw in with Basil’s exposition dump.

After Basil finally shuts up, although she keeps popping in from now on, the movie basically comes down to a D.W. Griffith cross cutting sequence. On one end you have people fighting the demon and on the other you have Alex (out of body) walking down the tunnel to open the door. Just as the camera seemed to take forever to move through the restaurant, Alex takes his sweet time walking through this tunnel. Almost like they shot all the other scenes of the kids fighting the demon, figured out how long they ran, then shot enough of Alex walking down the tunnel so they could keep cutting back to it. During this is where this lack of a sense of space really comes into play. The demon keeps pounding against a wall in some place and that somehow has an effect on Alex in the tunnel. The demon is hitting his hand against the wall, and then it cuts to Alex’s body to show his hand twist, which then seems to have an affect on his soul moving through the tunnel. It’s all very confusing, and since it’s the climax, it really damages the movie.

At the end, as far as I can tell, Basil joins souls with Alex in some fashion. There’s something there because he can suddenly play the piano at the end. I don’t care.

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This film was disappointing. I wasn’t a fan of the opening stuff, but they should have stuck with it all the way through. Yes, they could have improved on the sense of space issue, but I could have forgiven that if I felt trapped and held in a suspenseful atmosphere. Instead, they had to explain things, bring in Toni Basil, the dance number, the ridiculous outfits on her, and comedy bits from other dead people.

In other words, you can skip this one. If you must have Toni Basil in a rock related horror film, then go with Rockula. It’s not great, but it’s better than this. Plus you also get Thomas Dolby and Bo Diddley in that one.

Horror Scenes That I Love: Slaughterhouse Rock


I’ve never actually seen the 1987 film Slaughterhouse Rock.  I’ve just seen the trailer included in a few compilations and, thanks to YouTube, I’ve seen the scene below.  The only context that I can give for this scene is what I read on Wikipedia.

Apparently, in this scene, a ghost played by the great choreographer Toni Basil does a dance that gives the main character’s spirit the ability to roam free of his physical body.  And, during the dance, we see a lot of earlier scenes from the movie.  Or something like that.  I don’t know.  I just like the scene because of the music and Toni Basil.

I’ve always felt that dancing can take you into a spiritual realm of existence.  This scene proves my point.

12 Trailers In Case of The Rapture, Part One


So, last night, I was selecting which trailer to feature in the upcoming weekend’s edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation trailers when it was pointed out to me that the Rapture is apparently scheduled for Saturday.  Now, I have to admit — this kind of annoys me because I really look forward to my Saturdays.  So, if I get raptured, I miss out on my favorite day of the week and if I don’t get raptured …. well, it’s just a lose-lose situation for me.

It also annoys me because it means that, potentially, there won’t be anyone around to read my latest post.  Well, I guess there will be a lot of atheists, agnostics, heathens, Unitarians, Canadians, and (if it turns out the Protestants are correct) Catholics around but I imagine they’ll be more upset about not being raptured.  And since I’m a Catholic but not a very good one, I’ll be screwed twice and not in a fun, college sorta way either. 

Anyway, with all that in mind, I’m going to do an early super-sized collection of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers.  In order to keep things manageable, I’m going to divide this weekend’s (potentially final) edition into two posts of 6 trailers each.

Here’s part one:

1) Super Fuzz (1980)

Since I imagine everyone might be bummed out because either 1) the Rapture happened or 2) the Rapture did not happen, I’m going to start things out with a trailer for Sergio Corbucci’s 1980 comedy Super Fuzz.  Now, to be honest, Super Fuzz doesn’t look that funny but maybe people had a different sense of humor back in 1980.  The important thing is that the movie stars Terrence Hill and it’s “just for the fun of it!”

2) The Exterminator (1980)

But, apparently, crime wasn’t all fun and games in the 80s.  I guess when Super Fuzz couldn’t get the job done, they called in the Exterminator.  No, not Dale Gribble!  That’s King of the Hill, silly.  No, the Exterminator appears to be an urban vigilante of some sort.  I imagine will see a lot of his type post-Rapture.

3) College Girls (1968)

This trailer is for College Girls which appears to be some sort of late 60s softcore film.  I’m not sure that there’s anything really that special about this trailer as much as it’s just always odd to me see these old school sex films and think to myself, “Oh my God, people in black-and-white movies actually do have sex!”  Fair Warning: There’s a lot of nudity in this trailer (actually, it’s pretty much just 4 minutes of nudity) along with some out-dated social attitudes so if that offends you, don’t watch it.  In fact, I’m kinda surprised that YouTube hasn’t taken it down yet.

(By the way, I checked on Amazon to see if this was available on DVD and oh my God, do you have any idea how many movies there with the words “College Girls” in the title!?  Anyway, as far as I can tell, this movie is not available on DVD.  Still, searching through all those countless Girls Gone Wild video releases reminded me why I let out a little cheer of delight when Jerry O’Connell got devoured in Piranha 3-D.)

4) The Devil’s Nightmare (1971)

Assuming that we’re all still on the planet after this weekend, I’m going to have to write a tribute to my fellow redhead Erika Blanc, one of the true icons of the European Grindhouse.  Until then, here’s a trailer for one of her best films, The Devil’s Nightmare. 

5) Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

I’ve never seen Slaughterhouse Rock though, just judging from the trailer and the year it was made, I imagine that it’s probably not quite as good a film as The Devil’s Nightmare.  Just a feeling I’ve got, mind you.  However, this film apparently has a cult following because of the film’s new wave soundtrack.  I just like the trailer because apparently, choreographer Toni Basil is playing a ghost who can raise the dead by dancing.  I’ve actually tracked down the clip of the dance on YouTube and it’s actually pretty cool.  I’ve mastered the moves but I haven’t managed to raise the dead yet.  But give me time!

6) Convoy (1978)

Finally, seeing as how the world might be ending tomorrow, let’s close out part one with a trailer for a film that can serve as a stand-in for every misguided decision ever made in Hollywood — 1978’s Convoy.  This film, based on that annoying novelty song that some old guy always wants to sing during Kareoke Night, was directed by drug-addled genius Sam Peckinpah and it’s supposedly one of the most cocaine-fueled productions in the history of the movies.  (It was also apparently co-directed by James Coburn.)  Technically, it’s more of a drive-in movie than a grindhouse film but it’s definitely exploitation.

(By the way, I’ve also read that some people think that the truck in the opening of the trailer is supposed to literally be driving through mountains of cocaine.)

Well, that’s part one of this special edition of Lisa Marie’s favorite grindhouse and exploitation trailers.  Part two will be posted early Saturday morning.  Don’t let yourself be whisked off to another state of being without checking it out.

Until then…