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Monday, June 27, 2011

DORMARTH'S HORROR REVIEW


This week is our 13th review post proper, and we would like to take a brief respite from movie reviews to inform you all about one of the main things that inspired the blog you have so been enjoying for the past three months. Paul (the author of the masterpiece in question) is the coolest person you wish you knew. He regularly goes Sasquatch hunting and listens to tons of sick ass metal. Straight out of the Pagan Northwoods of Washington State comes a man with an unholy mission devoted to bringing you the real deal on all things horror. We like this. We like this A LOT. Its all done in MS paint, and we wouldn't have it any other way. As such, he has been cordially invited by the blog to write a blurb about his terrific and highly devoted horror movie review zine. Oh, and we nearly forgot- HE CURRENTLY OWNS OVER 2600 HORROR MOVIES- the lion's share of which are on our much beloved and only true horror format of VHS.

Here is what the man himself has to say about his immensely entertaining and inspirational rag:

DORMARTH'S HORROR REVIEW
I started the zine out of a desire to review movies that no one seemed to touch. Besides Micheal J. Weldin and Joe Bob Briggs many of the people who claimed to love horror and would write huge movie review books often scoffed at anything low budget and or amateur. It seems an injustice to a genre that was mostly made up of underground and subversive ideas. At the time I started I had about 500 films. I decided to simply put a zine together reviewing the films that I loved most and would put them out free in WA state. It's been almost 10 years and I am currently working on my 14th Issue as I speak. I wanted to combine what a tv horror host does on the boob tube into a voice in a zine about movies fronted by a metal head, and I hope I have succeeded. The zine has progressed over time first starting out with just reviews, to now feature directors, actors, scream queens, shit talking pages, interviews, sponsors from the darkest corners of cinema, a tribute page, and a page devoted to mysteries of the macabre in WA state. I have always tried to cram tons of black humor, insight, and heart into my zine. I went 3 issues before anyone other than people I already knew got a hold of me with any type of feedback. I have met many individuals throughout my years of contributing to the paper. Many of these people have become dear friends of mine who I will cherish for the rest of my life. And beyond my wildest dreams this simple idea of doing what I love has gotten myself interviewed for a couple of sources, been able to interview people I never thought I would be able to, and landed a seat paneling on numerous horror subjects at a local Horror Convention. No matter what happens I will be doing this to the day I die because it is my passion, and putting my own sweat and money into it is just part of the package. If you dig low brow un p.c. reviews of some rare shit with a twist of black humor from the grave this may be up your alley. 



email dormarths_houseofhorror@hotmail.com if you are interested in current or back issues. 


1000 heathen hails 
DORMARTH


What's this fucking badass look like you ask? Look no further:




THAT is the face of a man to be trusted to deliver the lowdown, make no mistake. If you too want to experience the things described above, simply email him and for a small fee you too can be hooked up with the greatest review zine in the Pacific Northwest. Paul is really a nice man when you get to talk to him. His voice rings mighty into the halls of VHS for all times, so waste no time in contacting him. This man is the Pagan God Emperor of horror reviews (there's a Dune joke in there for those savvy). 


WE BOW DOWN BEFORE GREATNESS.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Crippled Masters


Long ago when I was in high school, my friend Matt told me he saw this on TV and couldn't decide whether it had been a dream or not. Four or five years later I came across it in a Sam Goody (remember when they still existed?) and could hardly believe my eyes. It fits into a narrow genre I like to call cripplesploitation (I coined this in my mind about six months ago and being disabled myself it has taken on a greater meaning for me), and I am slowly searching out more films to fit into the file so to speak. If anybody can find me an NTSC vhs of "The Incredible Mr. No Legs" or can furnish me with a real nice bootleg please hit me up so I can continue to flesh out the hype.

Check out the trailer:


See? I didn't make this up. The plot is pretty standard Hong Kong Kung Fu fare, rife with questionable edits, a formulaic plot, and continuity errors aplenty. But you take it as it is with these types of movies, and I think its these qualities that give these films such charm. Take this and add the surprise element of disabled guys kicking the bad guys collective ass and you have something unique in an otherwise boring sea of films with poorly dubbed english dialogue and pleasingly overdone SFX (which for some reason seem to ALL feature the exact same english overdub voice cast which I can find nothing out about!). I know these types of movies aren't everyone's cup of tea but being such an oddity I can't help but give it a well deserved shout out.

As the plot of these films are SO formulaic in fact, I won't waste time describing it too much detail beyond man with no arms teams up with man with shriveled legs to fight the evil master who crippled them. What I really love about this movie and all martial arts movies) are the training montages and fight scenes.  The montages knock the hell out of anything you see in bullshit like the Rocky movies. They always feature improbable scenarios involving water buckets, punji sticks, and several hundred pound wheels of stone being lifted by or tied to someone. The fight scenes are strange here as each one has minute edits before many of the hits. I'm not sure if this was done to make things look blindingly fast or what but it is not the first film I have seen to use this technique.

This film is equal parts entertaining, perverse, and grotesque. I frankly don't know what else to say about it other than it stands out amongst the majority thanks to its odd main characters. The middle plods on a little, but the beginning is great, the fights are excellent, and the finish is both weird and satisfying. Highlights include guy with only one stub arm using a bo staff like a fucking wild man, and man with shriveled legs beating a guy up with his ass. See it, you won't believe it.

While I'm still on the whole cripplesploitation kick, I would love to hear from YOU dear readers about any other action films containing disabled people in leading roles. Don't be fooled because we have crutches or can't walk or whatever- we have rage. We CAN and WILL kick your ass if deemed necessary. Recognize the silent fury, KNOW THIS.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BLOOD FREAK


Jesus fucking christ, what am I supposed to say here? Where do I start? Watch the fucking trailer while I attempt to think of something okay?


I know right? Now do you see what I was up against? This movie is a real train wreck that should never be watched alone. Plot: Super butch biker dude Herschell (played to grievous imperfection by short lived actor Steve Hawkes) is a lone traveller. There is a tenuous plot point of him being a Vietnam veteran and you only know this because the narrator (who I will get to shortly) and Herschell himself sort of kindainpassingbecauseitdoesn'treallymatter bring it up. He's his own man, cruising the Florida turnpike on his chopper until he helps out a wayward and gorgeous and christian motorist in need of assistance.

This leads him to a drug party where the sexy christian reads from the bible and harshes everyone's high and Herschell gets hit on by her loose moralled sister and a lady who looks like a low budget/no budget version of Karen Black. Not having any of it, he goes back to the christian's house where he meets with her dad, who offers him a job at their turkey farm doing odd jobs. Being a ludicrously butch and muscular type of a guy he dutifully accepts the appointment with gusto.

Of course he winds up being late because the sis keeps hitting on him and shames him into smoking pot and I think having sex. Oh no, what a moral dilema... Oh- I forgot to talk about the narrator! He appears every so often to keep us hip on what's going on with what is an already saran wrap thin story. He looks like a hipper Walt Disney who sits around and smokes in his imitation wood/vinyl laminate office all day reading cue cards off his desk that amount to would-be pithy speeches lamenting the human condition. I'm glad the director knew we needed this above all else, and then not bother to do more than two takes of any of his speeches and likely insisting that he stop mid sentence to light a cigarette and cough a bunch between words for the remainder of the scene.


Arriving and doing some incredibly minor this and that's, he is hoodwinked into an experiment that involves eating some turkey that is infused with some un named chemical that needs to pass FDA inspection. He eats like half the fucking turkey like a champ, and passes out in a seizure behind some bushes a short while later. Here is where the "nightmare" begins- I say that in quotes to delineate between the nightmare portrayed ON film and IN the film. He becomes more and more hooked on pot. Because we al know pot is super addictive and causes you to get the shakes and become violent when you need it and don't have it. As his drug lust intensifies Herschell metamorphosizes into a manturkey beast (that's just a really giant and awful looking mask put on Hawke's body) with a lust for drugs and human blood, specifically blood that has drugs in it already.

Murders commence that feature the same two scream tracks and a drug dealer gets his foot cut off with a circular saw. Check it out:


Herschell's blood/drug lust goes too far, and the potheads are getting pissed having to cover up for him and feed him copious amounts of hard drugs. They find and kill him. Then cook and eat him. Then we flash back to Herschell lying on the ground waking up in a chemical haze- IT WAS ALL A SHITTY LOW BUDGET DREAM. So dad tells the two farm assistants to stay hush hush about the heretofore dangerous and horrifying hallucinogen test they just did. Sexy christian's sister sees the error of her ways, and she walk off down the pier with Herschell as our misbegotten pro christian/uber moral/anti drug/anti sex horror movie rings to a sigh of relief enducing close.

What a shit factory. The first time I saw this I watched it by myself because everyone I lived with was boring. This time I made it through without severe boredom pains because two of my housemates and I watched it and didn't pay that much attention which is the only way one can really be entertained by this. I honestly recommend simply avoiding it all together which cannot be all that difficult for the majority of you.

Movie review aside, I would like to take this opportunity to speak about the short career of Steve Hawkes. He was born in eastern Europe and came to America as a teenager to pursue an acting career, he hit it off in a series of Spanish language Tarzan films which later proved to be his undoing. During the filming of one, the fire on set got out of control and he suffered burns over 90% of his body but was rescued by the lion on set that was trained to cut his bonds for the scene after the crew apparently fled. He had to make  Blood Freak and several other films (which are likely just as grievous and forgettable to view) in order to pay the bills for all the medical treatments necessary. A brief interview with Hawkes can be read here. Due to this experience, he went on to start a private big cat sanctuary, who's website (complete with an ultimately embarrassing spacing error on the home page that he likely never bothered to check) can be viewed here. Its interesting to note that despite being millions of dollars in the hole, he still refuses to open it to public viewing. Here's to you Steve Hawkes, best of luck.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Ultimate Warrior oh sorry, I meant Disappointment

 

Not sure what to say here. I bought this a couple years ago at a comic book shop here in Olympia for $1.00. I have to admit, the audacity of a post apocalyptic movie starring Yul Brynner AND Max Von Sydow was simply too great for me to ignore. Plus I'm a sucker for big box vhs as you might have realized already, so I guess I was pretty much asking for it at the end of the day.

Plot:

New York city, some time in 2012. Apparently society as we know it ended some time around 1981, which means post apocalyptic fashion sense belongs to flared trousers, cowboy boots, vests of one sort or another, and belts made of a piece of rope. The world is full of scavengers, some of them resorting to cannibalism to survive. It is in this post consumer wasteland that we are introduced to Baron (Von Sydow) and his disparate band of survivors holed up in their several block compound. After a cursory introduction of the only other two characters that matter there, they notice a shirtless man Later naming himself Carson, played by Brynner) who has stood still there for at least a day already. At this stage it is worth pointing out that surnames appear to have been done away with, as everyone in this shenanigan only has A name.

Fuck describing the plot, this movie is pedestrian and frankly boring. The first half is almost entertaining in a weird low budget way, but it gets really fucking old seeing Yul Brynner stab people with a buck knife and somehow manage to kill them on the first stab every time. Observe:


Ya see that? You just saw pretty much every fight scene in the rest of the movie.

The sheath for his knife is mounted behind his back on some kind of stupid leather cummerbund. Poor Von Sydow must have really needed some cash, and likely used this as an easy opportunity to get his name into American pictures instead of on the masterful works of genius Ingmar Bergman. Brynner is barely trying here too- like much of his 1970's output he just stands about stoically and says direct/pithy declarative statements that precede an action of one kind or another.

The sets all look like the generic downtown New York/ old west downtown movies sets from the 30's/40's that we have all seen a million times only now with broken palettes and copious amounts of dust everywhere to make it look thrashed. The score has a bunch of noodly synth on it to make it sound futuristic and weird. Oh I nearly forgot, the villain's name is Carrot. Yes, Carrot  like the delicious vegetable (played by ultra cromag William Smith). He and many of his henchmen look like a bunch of wayward leather daddies who lost their biker gear once the apocalypse hit. To give you an idea of how lame of a villain he is, watch this:


Yeah, I just gave away the final fight from the movie, but I don't particularly want any of you to watch this film anyway. Seriously I'd rather you didn't. On the subject of the youtube clips I selected to illustrate: I realized just now that not only are these clips in widescreen, but also appear to be of DVD quality, which means someone actually bothered to rerelease this garbage (Note: it appears on a double feature DVD with Battle Beneath The Earth, but don't say I didn't fucking warn you). In fact I wonder how many people rented this particular copy even? I sure hope they got a good deal on that 5 day rental advertised on front. I can't help but think that the lion's share of this films budget went to catering lunch for everyone rather than the film itself.

I'll just come out and say it, this movie sucks.