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Late Fee

Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.6 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
Breast-O-Meter: 1.5 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Oh dear, another interesting concept that never quite reaches the level you want it to. Late Fee is an anthology collection of gruesome torture shorts that are meant to come together to shock the audience with a final twist ending. The ending itself is quite clever and, admittedly, I never saw it coming but something about this movie in its entirety just isn’t quite right. You can plainly see what it was going for but the problem is that you’re never actually frightened or completely grossed out or shocked by what you’re seeing and that’s where it all falls a little flat. Pity, because it had all the potential to be a really good movie.

The far more stylish hooker and pimp await the next round of customers.

It’s Halloween, a night for everyone to indulge in their most frightening of fancies. A couple (whose names are not given to us) decide that their Halloween is going to be spent at home watching the most gruesome and disturbing horror movies they can find. They head out to a video store that’s supposedly notorious for the films they are willing to carry on their shelves. The two settle on ‘The Pick-Up’ and ‘Damnation’, although the owner of the store quickly comes in to say that those two particular movies are banned in most of the world and shouldn’t have been placed on the shelf. After much begging and pleading the owner eventually relents and allows the couple to rent them with the caveat that the movies have to be returned by midnight. The store has a very strict late fee and warns the couple that they do not want to incur it. Not taking him very seriously the two head home to begin their evening of terror.

Fetish justice delayed is fetish justice denied.

The first movie the couple watch is ‘The Pick-Up’. This is a delightful tale of a woman who will literally walk a hundred miles to meet up with her next client. Being a relatively high-class hooker the woman only picks the most distinguished gentlemen with which to share her company. This evening’s particular gentleman is a rather shy and reserved little thing whose wife just isn’t giving him what he needs. One look in his briefcase full of knives, razor blades and a dildo with nails in it may explain the wife’s reluctance but, since this is his first night together with this particular hooker, he decides to leave his toys out of it and save that for when they’re better acquainted. Without his toys, however, the man is rather dull, something that his Tarzan loin cloth does little to save. Insisting that the hooker get down to business because he has to be somewhere else in an hour sex is initiated. What he’s about to discover is that it’s a whole different kind of sex and he’s going to meet an end that still isn’t as weird as Tokyo Gore Police.

I'll let your imagination figure out how this ended.

‘Damnation’ is a completely different kind of movie but not at all lacking in its own pleasures and gory delights. Out for a drive one day Justine is pulled over by a cop that arrests her for no apparent reason. Her car is stolen and she is dragged before a less than reputable judge to be tried for something she isn’t told about and berated for not being able to defend herself. Before you know it Justine finds herself at the centre of some bizarre medical and judicial Satanic cult punishing anyone who crosses their paths because, inherently, every human is guilty of something. There are strange wardens, police women, doctors and cannibalistic brain-dead women running around that Justine will need to contend with if she has any hope of making it out of there alive.

Needless to say once the couple finishes watching the movies it’s after midnight and they’re about to learn just what the late fee they’ve incurred is.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Some men are always open to a good brain suck.
  • Some men are quite willing to exchange their girlfriend’s breasts for banned DVDs.
  • Hitchhikers are more than happy to make sweeping statements about your personal life.
  • Top quality motel managers ensure there isn’t a DNA sample left behind after an adulterous liaison.
  • There’s nothing quite like being in the capable thighs of an experienced call girl.
  • The Law of Claw and Fang is still observed by some of the more archaic and brutal law courts.
  • In some parts of the world a cannibal eating a pregnant woman is seen as a viable form of birth control.
  • For hardcore criminals tracking devices now come fitted with plastic explosives.

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Beware

Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.4 / 10
Level of Awful: Low – Medium
Breast-O-Meter: 2.5 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

How I detest movies like these. There clearly wasn’t the budget to pull this off effectively, but somehow they managed to make it alright enough to escape being ridiculous. Everything was just a little sub par, but not enough for me to raise my eyebrows in confusion. I don’t like these movies that fall into that grey area of being neither good enough to be enjoyable nor bad enough to be funny. A movie watched is a movie watched, however, and people need to be warned that they’re in for a somewhat boring / mildly entertaining time should they decide to dedicate 95 minutes of their lives to watching this.

Yes, this is Officer Melted Face. How can I help?

Some terrible things have been going on in the little town of Shady Grove, a bizarre mix of a community comprised of Americans, Latinos and British people. A decade or two back a drunken, useless father came home to find his wife in bed with another man. The wife, being a Latina and therefore distinctly cocky, rubbed it in the man’s face that her affair had been going on for ages and that the son the two of them had been raising was, in fact, her lover’s child. In a fit of rage the man kills his wife and her lover and buries them out in the woods. To ensure that the child is suitably punished for choosing the wrong father to be born to he is tied to a tree with chains and left there for many years, gradually becoming more and more animal-like. The chains also begin to fuse into his arms. One day is one day and two young people who’re freshly engaged are getting it on in the middle of nowhere when our killer crops up out of the woods and brutally murders them. The case, however, is never solved and the murderer never brought to justice…

I would never review anything that wasn't appropriate for a family audience...

All of this was five years ago, and the storyline must move on. Five years on and five Latino individuals are making their way to an unnamed destination for a last weekend together before growing up, with some going to college and others going to play soccer in Europe. As soon as our main female Nella takes the wheel the car, of course, breaks down and the group needs to stop over in Shady Grove.  Parts need to be ordered and non-white people need to be looked at with suspicion. Our group has two options: sleep in the mechanic’s garage or hike 10 miles to the nearest seedy motel. Thankfully a third option materialises in the form of Maria, a quite Latina who kindly offers to drive these 5 complete strangers to her house and let them stay the night until the car is fixed. Once at the house burgers will be fried, sausages grilled and intense games of Guitar Hero will be played. All in all, a fun evening.

I'm completely cornered at the top of these stairs! What you gonna do now!?!

Well, it’s all fun and games with the exception of the raving lunatic stalking around the house. Shane is his name-o, and he has a machete in his hand and chains fused into his wrists that he simply isn’t afraid to use. Before he can kill anyone, however, it is incredibly important that the group first fragments itself to make his job a lot easier. One must cheat on his girlfriend with her best friend, the best friend must then go and have sex with her asshole boyfriend and then argue with him, and two others must go upstairs and initiate tentative sex out of earshot. Then, and only then, can Shane strike. The budget didn’t allow for an awful lot of gore, so most of the time is dedicated to telling the group Shane’s back story before he quickly dispatches his various victims. Maria and her assorted stranger-guests must find a way out of the house or run the risk of being hacked open and leaving their intestines all over the floor.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Europe is a country.
  • You shouldn’t let a bloodied victim ruin a night of good sex.
  • Creepy guys breaking into a woman’s bathroom are just trying to be good Samaritans.
  • Men will exchange their girlfriends for not being brutally gutted.
  • It’s perfectly natural for women to want to do a striptease in front of a man that’s been chained to a tree for years.

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Maniac Cop

Year of Release: 1988
Genre:  Action / Horror
IMDB Rating: 5.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

You know, this one really could have gone one of two ways. Being made in the 80s and with a title like Maniac Cop, the odds were really stacked against it. Thankfully everything was alright in the end and what we have is a delightful adventure in 80s horror about a maniac cop with superhuman abilities killing people left, right and centre. It reminds us that the 80s was a simpler time for our beloved horror genre: there aren’t all the complicated twists and turns in the plot, nobody’s trying to outsmart the last Saw movie and, generally, its sole purpose for existing is to give you a little fright. And quite frankly, at this stage in the b-horror game, anything made in the 80s that’s a step up from Cannibal Hookers is OK in my book 🙂

No, give it some time. Maybe my chest will grow on you.

Now, as everybody knows, New York is an absolute death trap. The Grim Reaper follows you wherever you go and the next step you take might just be your last. Everywhere you look there are hookers and pimps and gang members and drug dealers and the occasional pissed off old lady with a solid walking stick. It makes sense then for this to be the setting for our movie. We begin one night where an innocent waitress at the local bar is on her way home when she’s attacked by two dodgy Puerto Ricans (oh yeah, can’t forget to mention them). Since the man standing ten feet across the road refuses to do anything but shrug our damsel in distress takes flight, fleeing for her very handbag. Taking refuge in a little playground the Puerto Ricans begin looking for her. Thankfully she spies an enormous policeman standing just at the edge of the park and she goes screaming over to him, begging for his help. Fearing that her skull is far too attached to her spine the policeman promptly lifts her up, crushes her larynx and breaks her neck and throws her to the ground. His good deed for the day done he disappears, and thus the plotline of Maniac Cop is born.

Oh, I hate it when that happens. Now they'll need to redo the whole pavement.

Detective Frank McCrae is displeased to find out that a maniac dressed in a policeman’s outfit is running around the town killing people and he’s determined to find out who’s doing this and put them behind bars. Unfortunately New York is just about to go to the polls and vote for a mayor and this apparently means that the incumbent mayor seeking re-election will go out of his way to hamper any and all good police work. More on this in a moment, first we need to discuss a little subplot going on at the other end of the movie. So here we have Jack Forrest, a young cop in a troubled marriage. One night he goes out on his patrol and as soon as he’s out the door his home phone rings and the caller tells his wife to follow him. She duly does, finds herself at a motel, finds her husband in bed with another cop named Theresa, threatens them both with a gun and then runs out the room. But the Maniac Cop is waiting for her and, as soon as she walks out of the building, he drags her into a van and kills her. Being a clever lunatic he figures he can frame Forrest this way and the mayor will have him arrested since he desperately needs to put someone behind bars to make it look like he can do his job properly.

Turns out it was a gun in his pocket.

Of course locking any old fool behind bars rarely means that the killer has ever been captured and, while Jack waits patiently in his cell, the maniac cop continues his reign of terror. McCrae is trying to figure everything out and suspects that whoever’s doing it must have been a one-time member of the force with a bone to pick. This being the 80s and the police headquarters only have a single computer, however, is making finding a specific lunatic who may fit this description a little hard going. It also doesn’t help that the maniac cop seems to be very well-connected and knows all about Theresa and stalks her one night while she’s working undercover as a hooker. When he tries to kill her she and McCrae both shoot him multiple times, but to no avail. To prove that he has superhuman qualities the maniac cop later breaks into the police headquarters where Jack’s being held and kills everyone in an attempt to frame Jack even further. With nobody believing them about what’s going on it falls to Jack, Theresa and McCrae to uncover the identity of the maniac cop before it’s too late and his dastardly plot comes to fruition.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • In the 80s even the coroners had mullets.
  • People who enjoy killing often keep on killing.
  • Irony is people telling you to drop dead while you’re trying to escape from a killer.
  • In the 80s the only way to get city hall to do anything was to make a story bigger than AIDS.
  • When someone’s scared of you the best thing to do to calm them down is to scream at them.
  • When a man’s caught having an affair the first thing he wants to know is why the wife followed him.
  • Coroners give out all kinds of information first and ask for IDs later.

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Queen Cobra

Year of Release: 2007
Genre:  Horror
IMDB Rating: 2.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

OK horror fans, time to stand our ground and do the world a favour. If you own a DVD copy of Queen Cobra, burn it and cover the spot where it was burned with rock salt to prevent any of its evil spirits from re-entering our world. If you own a digital copy of the movie then delete it and do the same with your hard drive as I recommend people do with the DVD. We can’t be too careful. This particular little gem ranks right up there with the utter worst of the worst I have ever seen. Only the most seasoned of b-movie horror fans should attempt to watch this, and if possible I recommend doing it in a group setting. People don’t always come back from this sort of thing…

Sorry honey, there wasn't enough in the budget for me to take my top off.

It’s just another day on a non-existent college campus with its own resident mad scientist. The mad scientist in question is Dr Hall who is being funded by the government to do research on how to genetically mutate king cobras. These snakes are named sweetly after Homer and Marge Simpson and their parts are played by 4 different individuals: 2 real snakes that are quite clearly stock footage and 2 other snakes that are quite obviously made of plastic. Helping Dr Hall with the experiments are Courtney and Jeff, two of his postgrad students who are hopelessly in love with one another and who, despite having been involved in every step of the process, are completely unaware of what these snakes are actually being bred for. So far the doctor has managed to mutate them so that they can shoot (copious amounts) of acid at anyone who comes near them that completely melts the skin in a matter of seconds. No mad doctor, however, is ever content with simply having snakes that shoot acid and staying within the confines of his government contract so you know havoc and terror are about to rain down on this little campus.

Fierce honey, fierce!

This is where Rita comes in. Bless her, Rita’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she’s not doing very well in Dr Hall’s class so she needs to find some way of passing that doesn’t involve the use of a brain. As any girl would do in this situation does she dons her tiniest skirt and most low-cut top, goes to see Dr Hall and explains that she is willing to do simply anything to get a passing grade. Sadly for Rita what Dr Hall has in mind is slightly different to what she was implying and she lands up being stabbed to death with a tiny, tiny little knife and having her blood drawn for a DNA sample. This DNA is then given to the irradiated Marge the snake as part of the experiment. When Homer is killed by Dr Hall after he escapes Marge becomes very angry and escapes as well and, with the help of Rita’s DNA, transforms into a snake-woman hybrid, ready to take her revenge on everyone for the loss of her one true love.

When a neck massage becomes too intense...

Now the research facility where all of this is taking place really isn’t all that big. In fact all the makers of this movie seemed to be able to do was get hold of one room and free rein on a corridor and they were hellbent on making the most of the situation. Since the facility is so small the sounds of Marge mutating and then killing one of the security guards makes its way to Courtney and Jeff who then become the newest targets for the Queen Cobra. Floating around in all of this we are also given insight into Dr Hall’s marriage to his (much younger) wife and her TV repair man lover. None of this is at all important and in no way move the story along but simply provide one way for this movie to pad out its time a little more when people and creatures aren’t running up and down the corridor. While the Queen Cobra continues her attacks on anyone she comes into contact with Courtney and Jeff need to try and outsmart both the creature and Dr Hall who isn’t prepared to go down without a fight and is intent on training the Queen Cobra to obey his commands.

Apart from the obvious overuse of the corridor and the fact that, at most points, the plotline is holding on by the skin of its teeth the most fun part of this movie is watching the Queen Cobra herself. Obviously the budget didn’t allow for many touch ups of the body makeup and, as the movie progresses, more and more of it begins to peel off. It’s a horrible movie, but I would recommend it if for no other reason than to say you watched it and survived the experience 🙂

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Any man who creates a snake woman suddenly thinks he’s God.
  • Scientists are not at all perturbed by melting corpses lying around on the floor.
  • Irrespective of whether or not actual experiments are taking place something in a lab is always making a bubbling sound.
  • The use of grad students extends to making them help you with horrific DNA experiments.
  • Some people are very concerned about the rights of king cobras.
  • Secret agents should, at all times, walk around like a mentally challenged robot.
  • Security guard stations often have only red lighting and porno music playing in the background.
  • Snake women don’t hunt, they prance about.
  • A snake woman’s skin has evolved a natural thong.
  • Human heads being torn off a body sound a lot like fabric ripping.
  • Snake women have natural lesbian instincts.
  • 2 night guards constitutes an entire security force.
  • Secret agents are always one scene behind the monster.
  • It takes a person a few seconds before they realised they’ve been shot in the head and are now dead.

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