WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If running this blog has taught me anything it’s that there’s a lot of crap out there to watch. 9 out of 10 times IMDB serves as a very useful tool for knowing just how much of a shit storm I’m walking into, but then there’s that very rare time when its rating (in my opinion) is wrong. It happened with Bikini Girls on Ice and now it’s happened with Bloodlines; this movie was actually a lot of fun. Granted it didn’t have the most amazing budget and in some of the effects it does show, but I will give props to the makers of this film for actually trying to make a decent movie rather than some piece of crap with a shitty title (*cough* Monsturd *cough*). The actors are more than capable in their roles, the storyline is a good one and overall, if this kind of movie is your thing, it provides a very solid hour-and-a-half’s worth of entertainment. Now, when you read my review, I want you to do so with a southern accent. It makes it a lot more fun 🙂
So we’re out in the middle of fuck-off nowhere where a group of inbred nut jobs are in the process of conducting a little breeding experiment. Realising that their gene pool has become a little shallow they’ve decided that the best thing to do is introduce some fresh blood. To do this they’ve been very busy trawling the countryside abducting young women whenever they happen to come across one. The head of the family rapes the women and waits to see which ones fall pregnant. Those that do land up being with child are kept in captivity for a further 9 months until they go into labour, at which point the matriarch collects the latest edition to the family, and by collect I obviously mean rip the mother open and pull the baby out. This is how lil ol’ Billy Bob came into the world of the Hackford family.
25 years later and very little has changed. The Hackford family, through its somewhat unethical breeding programme, has managed to increase its number somewhat, but there’s still the odd little bundle of horrendously mutated joy running around. The time has come for the family to once again start introducing some new blood into the line or risk producing too many mutated offspring that the Hackford name can no longer be saved. They’ve managed to capture a few girls so far, and the latest edition, and the heroine of our little story, is Amber Lynn, a delightfully southern girl who’s on her way to begin college life. Unsure of herself, she’s spurred into going by her two brothers who promise to look after the family home they inherited when their parents died until she gets back. Along the way the Hackfords manage to capture Amber Lynn and she’s taken to their home in the middle of the woods, leaving brothers Brody and Bear worried sick about their baby girl and what might possibly have happened to her.
The updated breeding plan is actually quite clever. First off the Hackfords capture several girls and keep all of them as possible candidates to be human incubators. Once they’ve gathered up enough of these candidates the whole family is summoned to the house and an improvised arena is set up in the lounge. Two girls are then pitted against one another in gladiatorial style combat and must fight one another to the death. This is to weed out any weak women amongst the group of captives and the survivor is then taken away. Billy Bob, as the new head of the family since his father is ill, is in charge of all of this and is responsible for impregnating the victors. When it comes to Amber Lynn, however, this family has bitten off far more than they can chew. Having already attempted an escape 5 minutes after being taken captive this girl puts her many years of outdoors experience and hunting training (and, by the looks of it, she killed the bears with her bare hands) to work, hurting anyone who gets in her way. Her mama and papa done raised her right though, and she’s more than willing to help out the other girls and get them out as well. And then there’s her two brothers, mountains of manliness out looking for their sister with a lot of muscle and a great aim with a crossbow. Things for the Hackfords are about to get really, really messy.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for southerners, but I really did enjoy this movie. As I said the effects in places weren’t great, but at its core it’s a good movie that has been incredibly well made for its budget with people who can actually act. It’s a rare find in the world of a b-horror junkie.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Every hopelessly inbred family needs at least one Billy Bob in it.
- Eating a good set of hacked-off nipples ensures that a child will grow up to be healthy.
- The greatest bonds between women are those forged while being part of an incestuous family’s breeding programme.
- Blonde women in pink tracksuits tend to make bad escape buddies.
- Breaking someone’s arm in such a way that the bone sticks out tends to make them a lot more co-operative.
- Trapped Women Gladiatorial Combat is a grossly under-reported sport.
- Women having sex with their brothers don’t want him having sex with other women. It’s wrong.
- Men having sex with their sisters are appalled by the idea of having a child with her. It’s wrong.
BUY BLOODLINES AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 1987
IMDB Rating: 2.7 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When I first discovered the joys of buying b-grade movies in bulk this was one of the first movies I ever took out of the box and watched and, admittedly, have seen far more times than any individual ever should. Not being a great fan of the werewolf sub-genre I’ve never seen any of the other Howling movies but, from what I’ve gathered, it was all pretty much all downhill after the first one. If it got worse after this I really don’t know how they managed it. The concept is just plain daft, but not daft in a good way. On the up side, at least we get a rare opportunity to understand how werewolves, like any other species, evolved and adapted to suit their particular niche in the world. Good on Nicole Kidman for saying no to the lead role!
Deep, deep in the barren wastelands of Australia’s outback evolution has decided to give the human race the finger. For many years we’ve all suspected that werewolves walked amongst us and wondered why some of our friends can never meet for drinks on a night when there’s a full moon. What we didn’t suspect was that different varieties of werewolves existed, each specially adapted to its natural environment. Here, in the outback, a very special variety of werewolves has existed under the noses of us humans: the marsupial werewolf. Like the kangaroo or the koala the female marsupial werewolf has a pouch on her stomach where the embryonic baby climbs into a few weeks after the mother became pregnant. They tend to live in little family groups, most often headed by an alpha male and several subservient females. This is where our tale of a little marsupial werewolf with a big dream begins…
Apart from her pouch and the fact that she’s never known a world outside of her little clan Jerboa is your average young woman bursting with dreams of a better life. As she has now come of age the alpha male has had his eye on her and the other women have every intention of holding her down if that’s what the situation requires and Jerboa just isn’t that kind of girl; she wants to see the city, the lights, the Sydney Opera House! So off she runs one day, catches a bus and makes her way to the big city. Now the city can be a strange and dangerous place to an innocent young woman like Jerboa so it’s very fortunate that she runs into Donny who offers her the lead role in a new horror movie called Shapeshifters. Not knowing what a movie is or what the hell she’ll be expected to do Jerboa agrees anyway because this is one of those situations where it’s love at first sight and they can’t stand to be apart and so on and so on and so forth. If only life could be that simple…
Turns out that the pack Jerboa ran away from isn’t too wild about the fact that they’ve lost a female capable of breeding so somehow they manage to dig up three nuns’ outfits and send three of the women off to Sydney to track her down and bring her back home. The problem with this is that Jerboa and Donny have already done the deed and she currently has a little rat-like creature in her pouch just waiting to grow into something resembling a human. The only choice for the young couple? Make a mad run for it. Fortunately for them they won’t be doing it alone; on their side is Professor Beckmyer, a man obsessed with discovering the true nature of the werewolf and the injustices they have suffered at the hands of mankind, Olga, a Siberian werewolf who wants to mate with one of the marsupials to try and strengthen the bloodline (marsupial werewolves having the advantage of not having to carry their offspring to term) and Thylo, the alpha male of Jerboa’s pack, who escaped when the US government rounded them all up. All they have to do now is hide out in the wilderness and wait for a time when the world will be more accepting of their kind.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Horror directors will allow any old creature to star in their movies.
- In Australia any old creature can win a Best Actress award.
- Strobe lighting brings on a whole other kind of epilepsy in a marsupial werewolf.
- Young men are not at all disturbed when they find out the girl they fell madly in love with yesterday has a pouch.
- Young men won’t think twice about running off into the bush and abandoning their lives for said woman with a pouch.
- Just because it’s a werewolf skeleton it doesn’t mean it can’t still attack you.
- No ballerina’s outfit will ever make a werewolf look pretty.
- With time the Vatican will be shown to be tolerant of virtually anything.
HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Zombie movie fans of the world unite and bring me the head of director David Prior! I love post-apocalyptic movies, and when the end of the world comes at the hands of a horde of the undead I’m in my element. And what hurts me the most with this movie is that the premise was good! It could’ve been the Daybreakers of the zombie sub-genre! But no, this good concept was left in the hands of a fool with no budget and we’re left with this hot mess of a survivalist zombie movie.
It’s 50 years from now in a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. The ghostly voice of the narrator tells us that nobody knows how it happened, most likely because the budget didn’t allow for an extensive back story. Across the land small pockets of survivors have set up camp and go about the daily struggle of foraging for food, supplies and ammunition while dreaming about these ‘cities’ they heard their parents talking about when they were young. On the last expedition to find other survivors and supplies our beefy, studly hero David manages to rescue a band of virginal, supple females from a horde of zombies. You see these are smarter-than-your-average zombies that have learned that they can cultivate humans as a renewable food source. The rescued girls have lived their entire lives with the zombies and have no way of communicating with the other people in the camp but one of the girls, the blonde and delicate Star (named by David) has all she needs to communicate with her hero.
To ensure a bountiful harvest of human flesh the zombies have built themselves a farm in the middle of the woods where they’ve learned how to grow and breed humans in a sustainable fashion, securing themselves a food source while keeping their carbon footprint low. In a move of expert organisation the zombies decide to attack all of the human settlements in the area one night to try and increase their stocks and David and Star are taken captive and David quickly learns that the key to survival at zombie camp is to keep your mouth shut (apparently human speech offends them). The zombies divide their captives into groups and decide what person is best suited to what job and David is put out to stud. Now let’s face it, if you were captured by zombies and forced to work, constantly sexing would probably be the best job to get. Tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Now while we’re all praising the zombies for evolving a thought process and hierarchical system of governance, there’s a little more to this human farm than initially meets the eye. David can believe they’ve learned how to grow food for their captives, build cages and take photographs of the new arrivals but he’s not entirely willing to believe that they can manufacture soap and preserve and can fresh fruits and vegetables. Someone, somewhere, for some strange reason, has to be helping the zombies out and providing them with the goods to keep their humans alive. It’s now up to David, his friend from zombie camp Sliver (which the director confused with the word ‘slither’) and the newly educated and sexed up Star to find a way out while his friends and brother back at the base camp try to figure a way to break in to help him escape.
Up until this point I was willing to give the movie a ‘Medium’ Level of Awful, but then the ending happens. And after you’ve sat for nearly 80 minutes watching the poorly designed zombies achieve very little in the way of killing this ending will be enough to make you stand up in fury, rip your TV off the wall and throw it off the balcony. If you don’t have a balcony walk the streets until you find one; it’s the only way you’re gonna feel better when the Zombie Wars ending roles round.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Zombie skin and clown makeup are remarkably similar to one another.
- Zombies only rot in their face.
- You don’t need to worry about aiming; no matter where you shoot the bullet will find its way to the zombie’s head.
- Bitch slapping is an excellent interrogation method.
- Human quality control is both an involved process and an exact science.
- Zombies are good at managing resources.
- Zombies control and manage bustling trade routes.
- Zombies are excellent businessmen.
- You should always use your dumbest soldiers as sniper guards at border controls.
ZOMBIE WARS TRAILER