WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Alright, by this stage pretty much every b-movie fan and their dog has reviewed this movie. That said, every b-movie fan and their dog doesn’t come with the crack team of Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole and the Occult Specialist like I do. Anything made by the Asylum is virtually guaranteed to blow your mind (although rarely in a good way), but throw some Nazis into the mix and we were all very excited. And it didn’t, in any way, disappoint. If you love watching stupid horror movies that defy good taste, racial sensibilities, logic or the art of movie making in general then this is the movie for you!
We begin our tale of mystery, intrigue and a secret coven of Nazis in the middle of Antarctica. There’s a research centre there (whose name escapes me because we kept calling it Nippleheim) where Dr Adrian Reistad has brought a few dozen grad students to do a little research on various things in petri dishes. Things are going perfectly well (except for that one incident where the entire research centre was nearly exposed to flesh-eating bacteria) until two members of the team are abducted by strange men in gas masks (our Occult Specialist informs me that they are in fact Soviet gas masks and not German ones). The rest of the team pile into their clown car snow mobile and go out to try and find their lost companions.
After a short expedition in the snow the group comes across a gigantic hole in the ice. Being the highly qualified individuals they are they decide that the best thing to do is effectively throw themselves down the hole with gay abandon and hope for the best. What they find is astonishing: the centre of the Earth is surprisingly lush, full of trees and mountains and a giant light bulb functioning as a sun. The downside to this lush paradise is that it’s swarming with Nazis led by Josef Mengele. Back in 1945 when the Allies were on the approach Mengele and some of his star scientists managed to escape and made their way here where they have been keeping themselves alive by grafting bones, organs and virtually anything else they can find onto themselves. The shocking betrayal comes in when Mengele informs the group that they have been getting their new body parts from grad students provided by Dr Reistad over the years. Some of the transplants haven’t been as successful as others, however, and this group has been brought in to help the Nazis perfect their techniques before they can go about reconquering the world!
Up until this point things have been relatively normal (if a little gruesome), but of course all this Nazi experimentation has to serve some kind of greater purpose. After some inventive stem cell extraction and the use of what looks like the most amazing coffee maker ever we learn what this purpose is: Mengele somehow also managed to escape with Hitler’s head and they plan on bringing him back to life. The head will be placed in, and control, an enormous robot with more manly weapons than you could ever think possible. Mecha-Hitler and his army (that appeared out of nowhere) will then board their Nazi spaceship (yes you read that right: Nazi spaceship), drill their way back to the surface and begin taking over the world. It’s now up to the few remaining survivors of our little group to bring this spaceship down and kill Hitler once and for all!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can lose about 10 grad students a year in the Antarctic without anybody ever asking any questions.
- Gloves from a hair dye box are perfectly suitable for performing major surgery (Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Mengele).
- The centre of the earth is roughly 50 feet below the surface.
- The Germans occupied Antarctica back in World War II.
- You cannot extract stem cells from a brain.
- A vacuum cleaner is an effective tool for performing a quick abortion.
- You can rip all the skin off a person without having to worry about them succumbing to infection or massive blood loss.
NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH TRAILER
BUY NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’m going to assume that any horror fan and their cat has, at some point, seen Jason X. I myself have seen it two or three times, but it wasn’t until I did a little browse around the internet that I realised just how much some people hate this movie. Now, I’ll admit, I’m not 100% sure I’ve seen all the Friday the 13th movies and if I have I definitely haven’t watched them in sequence, so I get that for the purists out there this movie probably makes you feel like Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboots make me feel. For the rest of us, this is just non-stop fun. It’s stupidly over the top, but the movie knows that and it makes it work for it. For the 3 people out there who haven’t watched this movie, go find it now. You’ll be doing yourself a favour!
Jason’s latest adventure begins in 2010 (so we’re in our old future) and Rowan, our lovely lady doctor, has cottoned on to the idea that this bastard just will not die. She and her team have tried absolutely everything but, given a few minutes to rest up, Jason just sits up and gets going again, so they’ve had to come up with a backup plan. Since he’s too stubborn to die the next best thing to do is freeze him in cryogenic stasis until some new way of killing him can be devised. This would have worked just fine had the military not tried to take Jason to conduct research on his amazing healing abilities, at which point he just kills the entire platoon. Rowan, being a clever female, manages to trick / shoot Jason into the stasis chamber but, when he slices through it, the chemicals leak and the lab goes into containment mode, freezing Rowan along with Jason.
Flash forward to the year 2455 and Earth is in a bit of a sorry state. The Blue Marble is nothing more than a giant dust storm completely incapable of supporting life. Humanity, in order to save their collective asses, have moved to another planet, the originally named Earth II. Every now and then they seem to send a little team of people back to the original Earth to dig around and see if they can find anything useful to take back and show off. On this particular little mission the team, headed up by Prof. Lowe, comes across the Crystal Lake research unit where Jason and Rowan have been in a comfortable hibernation for over 400 years. When KM 14, the sexiest computer of them all, tells the team that Rowan can be revived if they move quickly they do an immediate evac to the ship, taking Jason along as well. He’s completely dead, so what harm can he do?
To give credit where credit’s due, Jason will not waver from his little mission to brutally murder anyone and everyone in sight. He didn’t even need the little electronic ants to fix him, he just needed to defrost for a bit before continuing his little rampage. And let’s be honest, rampaging is just more fun on a spaceship. Apart from the usual blood and gore being thrown around my personal favourite part of this movie is KM royally beating the crap out of Jason and then blowing is head clean off his shoulders. I can offer no reasonable explanation why, but it makes me giggle every time. Then of course there’s the total badass that is über Jason after the wee ants use part of the ship to put him back together.
How anyone can fail to see the awesomeness in this movie escapes me, but I suppose it really just depends on what blows your skirt up.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Ugly bastards don’t like being made to stare at an old blanket.
- In the future government officials will eventually come to their senses and outlaw hockey.
- Any woman taken from a cryogenic pod and revived in space is technically single.
- Women assume that brutal mass murderers are hung like mammoths.
- Emotions cloud a robot’s ability to work out statistics.
- Nothing gets a girl a good grade like a bottle of cheap wine and a pair of heavy-duty nipple clamps.
JASON X TRAILER
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Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 2.8 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
No 1987-themed month would be complete without throwing in a little post-apocalyptic sci-fi gem and I think the devil himself might have sent this one up just to play with me a little. Thankfully Satan and I can have a good laugh about these things so when he tripled dared me to watch Creepozoids starring Linnea Quigley I told him it was on! And so I sat for 70 or so minutes with highly processed butter-flavoured popcorn at the ready and watched with great amusement as this little movie tried to limp itself along to a place called ‘something half-decent’. Sadly it never quite made it to its destination and all that remains is the rotting corpse of half-a-dozen people’s acting careers.
The year is 1998 and, in the wise words of Crow T Robot, we’re trapped in our old future. 6 years have passed since the outbreak of World War III and planet Earth is in a very sorry state indeed. Playing on what I imagine must have been the fears surrounding the USSR the Super Powers of the world have declared all-out nuclear warfare, devastating the planet and leaving enormous parts of it completely uninhabitable. Apart from the obvious problems like trying to secure a reliable food source most parts of the world are now being ravaged by highly caustic acid rain that destroys absolutely everything it comes into contact with. To keep the war going the US, whose centre of government is New Los Angeles (no word on what happened to the old one), simply drafts people into the army and sends them to the frontline. Those unwilling to fight are lined up and shot. This is kind of where the storyline takes off and we are introduced to 5 military deserters making their way through a ruined city of some sort. They need to stay low to ensure that nobody catches them but, unfortunately, they find themselves right in the path of a rather nasty acid storm, whereupon they seek shelter in one of the many abandoned buildings around them. While they are hopelessly trapped in there until the storm passes they seem to have been in a little luck as the place is quite well kitted out with all of the essentials: food, clothing, bedding, electricity and, most importantly, a two-man shower (see photo). To begin with everything seems to be absolutely perfect but, as is always the case in a b-grade movie, this building holds a very dark secret of its own down in its cave of a basement.
As it turns out the reason this building is so well kitted out is because it used to be a military seat of operation where they were carrying out some experiments that may not have been entirely ethical. In an attempt to make the ultimate soldier the scientists based here were trying to make it so that their human guinea pigs could synthesise their own amino acids, meaning that the soldiers would no longer be reliant on a food source because they could make everything they needed in their own bodies. The side effect of this little experiment is a hideously deformed and violently territorial creature living in the basement who occasionally pops up through the air conditioning ducts to attack someone with its enormous mandibles and razor-sharp, see-through teeth. It doesn’t necessarily seem to want to kill anyone but rather inject them with the same serum it was. It would appear, however, that second-hand monster serum has some troubling side effects of its own and anyone infected starts to blow up like a balloon and ooze blood and bile from everywhere. In a toss-up between that fate or being slowly melted by the acid rain our intrepid little band of deserters needs to find a way to kill the beast before finding the password to the highly advanced computer system and playing a game of Pong.
This movie was shot in 15 days in an abandoned warehouse on a budget of $150 000. Now by 1987 standards that’s not necessarily bad money, but then make a slasher. This movie needed special effects, not some guy in a plastic bug suit and harness suspended from the roof (58 minutes in – take a look).
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Despite the complete collapse of society and acid rain everywhere electrical equipment will remain perfectly functional for decades.
- Having World War III break out in 1992 tragically means that computer technology will never have the chance to develop to any useful stage.
- “Let’s shag it!” is not a good general catch phrase when all you really want is for people to move quickly.
- In troubled times an open air vent will provide some lonely soul with the only answers he’s ever had.
- During troubled times and an imminent attack by mutant rats women just want to have a quick shower.
- A 286 DOS computer requires years of expert training in order to use it properly.
- The armies of our old future will be filled with soldiers who can never hear when danger is coming.
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
Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 2.5 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In my humble opinion I think there’s something terribly tragic about a movie when a director gets so caught up in the filming and the actors that he forgets to have things happen. In fact so very little happens in this movie that if you watched the last 25 minutes of it you’d catch the entire story of the movie. It’s meant to be a zombie movie of sorts, but to describe the creatures in Mutants as zombies would be stretching the meaning of the term to its very limits. As a matter of fact to call them ‘mutants’ at all is a bit of a stretch. Taking a shot in the dark I’m gonna say that it’s probably meant to be a message about the poor eating habits of America and any other country where a McDonald’s can be found on every street corner, but it falls more than a little flat in the general mess that this movie is. I wouldn’t even give it half a brain for effort in zombie madness – it’s just a long, drawn out, boring mess. And for that reason it has earned its place here – after all, there couldn’t be a B-Horror Blog without pieces of cheese to review!
As many of us have suspected over the years, sugar truly is addictive, but the Just Rite Sugar Company wants to take the deliciousness and necessity of sugar to a completely different level – they’re genetically modifying it so that it becomes as addictive as heroine and crack. As is the case when you’re trying to rule the world in such an obscure way getting the formula for the crack sugar has taken some time to get right and sometimes you have to get things wrong before you land up getting them right. A number of problems have arisen during the testing stages of this new brand of must-have sugar: the test subjects have had this irritating tendency to develop warts and boils and then either descend into madness or begin to melt. To avoid raising any questions resulting from mass disappearances Just Rite Sugar has a dedicated team of vagrant catchers, the thinking being that if they only abduct homeless people and runaways then no one will miss them (this point is drilled into your head at the beginning – I think it’s a social commentary, but again this was definitely not the best vehicle for it).
From here on out it all starts to get a little murky and unnecessarily drawn-out. During one of the most recent raids the wrong people were abducted, proving that even trained vagrant catchers get it wrong sometimes. The team accidentally abducted Ryan and Hannah, two people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ryan’s abduction complicates Just Rite Sugar’s plans because he is the brother of their head secretary Erin and she is on a mission to find out what happened to him. Thrown into the mixture is their alcoholic and depressed father (who doesn’t look any older than Erin does). At work Erin begins to receive cryptic self-deleting e-mails (from someone who has taken the codename Cinderella) that give her clues about the more morally questionable actions of her company. With dad in tow the two manage to make their way to the abandoned sugar mill where the test subjects are being held.
Thinking that they’ve finally perfected the formula for their crack sugar Just Rite Sugar has begun shipping the product to various outlets across the country. Unfortunately their head (and only) scientist Sergei (who has the worst fake Russian accent I have ever heard) discovers that the test subjects they thought were infection-free had, in fact, developed a new strain of the same virus that had simply been lying dormant for 3 months. This news couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time since Just Rite’s other managers are touring the facilities and admiring the general misery that the company’s managed to inflict on its test subjects. While checking in on one of the subjects that was thought to be clean they are attacked and the mutants stage a break out. They’re not really a major threat since, although violent, they aren’t interested in eating brains like other zombies: all these guys want is a sugar fix. Also, they don’t need to be shot in the head to bring them down, so they’re easy targets. With Erin & Co. running around the complex breaking Ryan out, various security guards (which are fighting in factions) trying to kill one another and the mutants and Just Rite CEOs trying to escape the scene is set for an incredibly unremarkable zombie showdown.
All in all this movie is more painful than the comedown from a sugar high or a caffeine withdrawal headache. 50-odd minutes of it is told in flashbacks (often with a flashback within a flashback), the mutants only come in after about an hour and only one person is actually bitten by any of the creatures. Zombie movie? Social commentary? Fails on both counts. Hot zombie mess? Perfect 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Cocaine + caffeine = the ultimate addiction.
- Druggies, bums, illegals, ex-cons and the like are ideal mutant sugar test subjects.
- There’s nothing like being held captive by a sugar company to help form a budding romance.
- Companies see no need to cover their paper trail when converting abandoned sugar mills into labs for genetic experimentation.
- There’s nowhere you can’t get into with a hairpin.
- An over-sized pizza oven works just as well as an incinerator.
- An over-sized outhouse is just as effective as any hi-tech science laboratory.