WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Here at the B-Horror Blog myself and the many voices in my head are dedicated to human rights and equality for all. Now, I’m sure many of you must be thinking, “but with a Breast-O-Meter, surely this site is dedicated more to objectifying women than it is men?” I myself thought that this may be a problem, but with such fine movies as Dead Boyz Don’t Scream, Bite Marks and Vampire Boys joining the illustrious ranks of The Crypt I feel that we are making great strides towards equality in objectification.
The job of ensuring equal objectification, however, is a monumental one and one that cannot fall to a single person. To this end I needed to find someone who is just as passionate about human rights as I am, and I knew just who to call. I hadn’t seen My Friend The Killer Clown Movie since we drank manly lattes and discussed Killjoy back in October. Thankfully my instincts paid off and he told me that he had starred in the perfect movie that would help in my goal of achieving objectification equality among the sexes. After convincing his wife that our relationship is purely platonic we agreed to meet at a romantic little bistro for a candlelit dinner and he would tell me about Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island.
After a nice glass of red wine, soaking up the atmospheric music and commenting on the enormous bread sticks at the table My Friend the Killer Clown Movie got down to business and told me about this film. He warned me that I would have to pay very careful attention or risk becoming a bit lost in amongst the many people talking to themselves, the gay Star Wars fans and the murder soundtrack that’s initially awesome but quickly becomes irritating. I agreed to try and keep up. So the story begins on a little island where a little stage quartet, who have an incredibly high opinion of themselves considering their shitty act and the fact that they’re performing in a dingy bar, are cursed by a gypsy woman for not allowing her grandchildren to be their understudies. They are now doomed to repeat this act for all eternity unless they can find four unsuspecting strangers to take their place on the stage and pass the curse onto them.
While we shared a plate of linguine with a creamy sauce My Friend the Killer Clown Movie explained that we must put this plot (which took place in 1984) aside for the moment and come back to it a little later. In 2007 the pledges of Zeta Alpha Rho are preparing for the final act of their initiation: Hell Night. They will be locked on the same island as the four gypsy-cursed ghosts and made to perform a number of ridiculous acts before being admitted into the fraternity. So now I was thinking that this was a ghost movie, but I was wrong. At the same time a lunatic from a mental asylum has escaped and presumably made his way to the island. This lunatic was also once a pledge for Zeta Alpha Rho but went mad on Hell Night and is now out for revenge on the fraternity that made him lose his mind.
With the red wine now giving me a delightful buzz and a dessert of Italian kisses on the way My Friend the Killer Clown Movie elaborated a little more on this already strange plot. It would seem that, while one person has actually escaped from a mental institution, the majority of the characters have all the qualities of a mental patient. Jack, our main guy, is sleeping with one of the fraternity’s more senior brothers. This guy frequently speaks to himself like Gollum. Jack also has a roommate who was not chosen to be a pledge for Zeta Alpha Rho and, in his anger, frequently speaks to a clown figurine they have in their room. The president of the fraternity has a girlfriend who, in her anger because he’s always ditching her for frat stuff, frequently breaks into Kate Roberts inspired monologues. Finally there’s the Dean, who had to be blackmailed into allowing Hell Night to go ahead (he’s sleeping with the college’s cheerleaders), who suffers from debilitating headaches and then begins speaking to his long-dead mother.
Perhaps it was a combination of the red wine and the intoxicating aroma of My Friend the Killer Clown Movie’s cologne, but I was struggling to see a story actually happening in amongst all of this strangeness. Despite my reservations I was assured that one was, in fact, taking place and that you just need to watch very closely to see it. The pledges on the island will have to contend with a number of things out to get them, including their fraternity brothers trying to play stupid jokes on them, a lunatic in a clown costume trying to kill them and the four ghosts trying to trick them into an eternity of crappy performances. Along the way Jack will learn the meaning of survival, having a great gal pal, the power of love and the truth about his upbringing in an orphanage.
So after a wonderful evening me and My Friend the Killer Clown Movie got up to leave. Walking down the street hand-in-hand with the smell of Autumn in the air and a gentle buzz in my head we both agreed that we had taken the fight for equality to the next level. After a tender makeout session we parted ways and agreed to meet up again should injustice ever need a severe ass whipping.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- ‘Theatre’ is a very loose term that can be applied to singing in a shitty bar in a swamp.
- Queens in New York classes as an old country to the gypsies.
- Threesomes are more fun when you do it in front of a catatonic mental patient.
- Technology means that blackmail can be spread across any number of useful mediums.
- Pizza followed by a little dyking out is a great way for two girls to spend an evening.
- Frat brothers often discuss how good they’d look in the cheerleaders’ dresses with each other.
- The world needs working class cabana boys.
- There’s nothing better than ferris wheel sex.
- Not killing gay people is the sign of a broad-minded serial killer.
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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.
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.
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.
‘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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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 🙂
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.
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.
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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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I reviewed the original version of Midnight Movie a while ago and it was one of those gems that are so few and far between in the horror genre. Having already discussed the original version of the film I don’t really want to do a rehash of that here, but rather to simply compare this new version to that of the original.
The premise of this movie is simple: a few moons ago a man named Ted Radford directed a movie called The Dark Beneath. This movie became the man’s all-consuming obsession, and many believed that the actors portrayed in the film had actually been killed by Radford for a better effect. As his obsession grew Radford gradually descended into madness, a madness that continued to grow even after he was committed to the psych ward. When he shows no sign of improvement some bright spark thinks the best thing to do would be to show him his movie again and hope that it snaps him out of his dementia. The plan half-works and Radford completely snaps and kills everyone in the asylum before going missing.
Needless to say any demented serial horror director ever stays missing for long (and this applies in real life too!) and, 5 years later, he decides to make an appearance at a midnight screening of his movie. The crowd at the theatre is tiny and the cinema itself is about as dingy as they come, but Radford is intent on making up for all that with as much gore and killing as he can possibly muster.
Now to compare the two different versions. Granted it has been a while since I watched the original, but there is a slight difference of focus in the Killer Cut. While I felt that the original version played more with the 80s slasher angle and left the supernatural element for later the Killer Cut leads with the latter right out the gate. Whether this effects how much you enjoy the movie entirely depends on how you like your horror best served but I like to be kept guessing a little bit (but not in the usual b-horror way where both me and the director are wondering what’s going on throughout the movie). The effects have been nicely jazzed up in places and some of the scenes have either been reworked or moved around a little bit, again adding to the shift of focus in favour of the movie’s supernatural elements.
Whether it’s the original or the redone version Midnight Movie remains a fun watch and in a way it all works out because you can watch whichever one best suits your individual tastes. If you’ve already seen the original version the Killer Cut is still worth the watch, even if you only want to see how well a movie can be made on a relatively small budget. And well done to Jack Messitt, with this being his debut directorial role, for taking the time to go back and retweak the movie the way he wanted it. If more people put in that kind of effort we horror fans wouldn’t be saddled with nearly half as much crap as we are (and I wouldn’t have anything to blog about 🙂 )
Read my original review of Midnight Movie here.
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Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 3.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Well, I’m shocked. With a name like Bikini Girls on Ice and an IMDB rating of 3.2 I really thought that I was in for a rough ride with this one but once I got beyond my disappointment that there wasn’t an ice rink involved I actually started to enjoy the movie. It isn’t good in the same way that Hatchet or Trick ‘r Treat are good movies, but rather it is good in the sense that, as slasher movies go, it actually delivers the goods. Rather than a good b-grade movie that brings some level of foolishness to the table Bikini Girls follows a tried-and-tested formula that works. Is it big budget? No. Does it have the best actors? No. Does it really matter? No, it’s girls in bikinis. If you’re looking to kill an hour and a half and looking for some blood and boobs then Bikini Girls on Ice is for you!
So we begin our story as so many have before when a sorority of some sort is involved: head bitch Lena wants to have a car wash to raise money for something. Obviously when all you have is bitchiness and boobs you need to use your limited talents in the most effective way possible and to do this she enlists a bunch of other girls to run around in nothing but a bikini with her and wash strangers’ cars in the most seductive way possible. Lena doesn’t have to do much work because, as mentioned, she’s a bitch with boobs and knows a jockish virgin named Blake who will run around after her like a little puppy dog in the vain hope of getting her to have sex with him. Admittedly she could probably just lick her lips in his direction and it would get the job done, but I digress. Along for the ride is Tommy, Blake’s more down-to-earth friend who can drive a bus, and Jenna and Sam, two non-bitchy but still hot-in-a-bikini friends.
When the bus everyone is riding in breaks down outside an abandoned gas station and will take several hours to fix, the girls decide to set up shop where they are and begin flagging down customers. They’ve got a fantastic trade going on, but a creepy old man who looks like a homeless version of Santa has driven by to warn Jenna and Sam that something isn’t quite right at this gas station and that car lights can be seen going into the parking lot but never leaving again. Thinking the man is mad and that they have nothing to fear from an empty building with 100 freezers full of ice the girls go about their day washing cars and one another in soapy, slippery bliss. But of course the gas station isn’t abandoned: lurking in its many rooms and basements is a deranged mechanic named Moe who has some serious anger issues and releases some of his pent-up frustrations by taking the nearest blunt object to the back of people’s heads.
As the day wears on, several girls and two French tourists go missing and most of the other girls decide to walk to the beach, Lena, Sam, Jenna, Tommy and Blake decide that it’s time to pack up and go home. That was, at least, until Lena told Blake she’d have sex with him, he pulled the bus round the back and was then replaced with a dead dog. While looking for Blake the rest of the group finds a bunch of cars parked round the back, most with their owners’ possessions still in them. When a disagreement between Sam and Lena breaks out and Sam beats Lena to the floor in the most amazing bitch fight I’ve seen in a movie in ages everyone goes their own way to try to find a phone and Blake. When Blake manages to call the main phone in the office and get hold of Lena the stupid cow, assuming that his warning of a grisly death to come is a joke, rips the wire out the phone so that it won’t work. Meanwhile Moe is busy stalking about in the night picking the girls off one-by-one and everyone needs to try to find a working car and a group survival instinct if they intend to make it back home in one piece.
Blood and guts and boobs and butts and I thoroughly recommend it 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Slutty bitches will always take advantage of a sweet, jockish virgin.
- Jockish virgins will always stupidly believe what the slutty bitch is promising him.
- Old men love to regale scantily clad girls with stories from their youth.
- Girls think a sledge-hammer can fix a broken bus engine.
- For $5 extra not only will you get your car washed but one of the girls will have sex with you.
- Beware the non-bitchy hot girl in a bikini – she packs a mean punch.
- Nobody thinks that a dead dog on a bus with the driver missing is even slightly odd.
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