Posts Tagged ‘hadrian belove’

The 5 Minute Game and BBQ V @ The Cinefamily

June 3, 2010

This past Memorial Day was another edition of one of my all time favorite L.A. cinematic events, THE 5 MINUTE GAME AND BBQ at The Cinefamily. I’ve attended all the previous 5 Minute Games and this one made it the fifth. What is the 5 Minute Game, you ask? It’s a game devised by a group of crazed movie-nerds whom believe that the first five minutes of every movie is all you need to see to know if you want to watch it. So they show an audience the first five minutes of 15 different movies (all of which are very rare and available only on VHS) and then the audience votes on which one they want to see the most. The votes are then tallied up while everyone adjourns to the back patio for a huge BBQ. After the break, everybody returns back into the theatre and we all watch the movie that received the most votes. It’s very democratic!

The first 5 Minute Game winner was an incredible kung fu revenge flick from the 70’s called DEATH PROMISE, that was about a karate guy going after the evil landlords that killed his father. The second 5 Minute Game winner was MAD FOXES, a crazy European action movie about a guy seeking revenge on the biker gang that raped his girlfriend. The third 5 Minute Game was an 80’s horror movie called UNINVITED, that was directed by GREYDON (JOYSTICKS) CLARK and it starred the great veteran actors, GEORGE KENNEDY and CLU GULAGER. It was about a mutant pussy cat killing people aboard a yacht and the audience ate it up. I ran into CLU GULAGER later and mentioned to him that I had just seen UNINVITED and he groaned and said, “The one about the killer pussy!” That’s classic CLU! The last 5 Minute Game winner was the 80’s fast food gross-out comedy HAMBURGER: THE MOTION PICTURE, which I blogged about back in September. I can still vividly remember the scene where an “eating club” made up of obese people, take over a fast food joint and start eating and farting uncontrollably. It was sublime!

This year’s game consisted of the first five minutes of the following entries:

1. DAREDREAMER: This had an amazing opening that featured an insanely dressed ROCK GOD waking up in his mansion and beginning his day. It included him driving a motorcycle out of his house so that he could get to his limousine parked in front, while an awesome 80’s rock tune plays featuring the chorus, “He’s awesome!”.  It looked great but got lost in the shuffle.

2. LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT: Crazy political comedy with an overt sex theme.

3. DEADLY BUSINESS: Can’t remember this one. Left no impression.

4. THE BOY WHO CALLED BITCH: This one’s about a young mother raising a horrible son who has violent tantrums and calls his mom a “Bitch” and a “Slut” in front of prospective boyfriends. This one got my vote for second!

5. THE SQUEEZE: This actually looks like a really good movie that stars the great STACY KEACH. Unfortunately, the first five minutes weren’t exciting enough to satisfy this rowdy crowd of drunks. I must check this one out sometime soon.

6. HELP, HELP, THE GLOBOLINKS!: A German newscaster declares, “ALIENS ARE INVADING!” and suddenly the news room is taken over by weird creatures that look like giant sprouts. We watch them dance for five minutes. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

7. THE BEAT: Can’t remember this one very well either. Break dancing may have been involved.

8. DRAGON HUNT: The first five minutes of this film were incredible and it became apparent instantly that this would be the winner!

9. PRIVATE PRACTICES: Another one I can’t remember. I was a little drunker than usual.

10. THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY: Even I wasn’t interested in seeing this slasher movie and I love slasher movies!

11. NORMAN, IS THAT YOU?: This looked pretty amazing. RED FOXX makes an unannounced visit on his son only to discover he’s GAY! “Oh, Weezie!”

12. KILL!: Didn’t.

13. MR. PEEK-A-BOO: This one got one lonely vote.

14. SCORCHERS: Can’t remember if this is the one with the old Irish guy telling the long, boring story, but if it is, it almost started a riot.

15. DEADLINE: Nothing.

I voted for DRAGON HUNT and THE BOY WHO CRIED BITCH. So did almost everyone else, so after the BBQ grilling and food consumption we all gathered back inside and DRAGON HUNT was screened before an anxious crowd.

DRAGON HUNT (1990) is a Canadian made martial arts action movie that stars the incredible McNAMARA BROTHERS. It is as cheesy and wonderfully entertaining a film as you can possibly imagine. You’ve got an organization of vicious killers that call themselves The People’s Private Army, which are led by a cartoonish madman named Jake (B. BOB) who sports a metal hand and a mohawk inspired by FLOCK OF SEAGULLS. Part of his plot for world domination includes capturing the Twin Dragons (MARTIN AND MICHAEL McNAMARA) a brother karate duo that look like a cross between CHUCK NORRIS and the SUPER MARIO BROTHERS. Pretty much everyone in this movie has a crazy haircut and a wild mustache and it’s awesome!

The Twin Dragons are set up and drugged by two foxy women that are in cahoots with the bad guys. They wake up on an island filled with vicious killers (whom have names like THE BEASTMASTER, THE FAT MAN and THE RED SKULL OF DEATH), where they are forced to be the prey in a DANGEROUS GAME styled hunt. But they don’t know who they’re fucking with! One by one, the Twin Dragons take out The People’s Private Army (including a team of the most incompetent ninjas ever seen) and punch and kick their way to the evil Jake.

Wow, this movie totally delivered on its promising first five minutes! It was a really entertaining piece of Canuxsploitation from beginning to end and it just kept delivering the goods. Silly plot, bad acting, strange dialogue, weird costumes, horribly staged action, cheesy music and not one, not two, but THREE action montages set to music! This was probably my favorite 5 Minute Game to date. Exploitation movies just seem to play the best with that crowd and the more obscure the better. After searching for a VHS copy of DRAGON HUNT, I can say that it’s definitely not available anywhere else. I don’t know how The Cinefamily got a hold of this gem, but it’s worth its weight in nerd gold. I can’t wait to see which obscure titles they’ll have in store for us at the next 5 Minute Game. I leave you with some photos from the BBQ, enjoy!

THE GRILLMASTER!

BBQ carnage.

Cinefamily chieftains Tom Fitzgerald & Hadrian Belove and screenwriter Josh Olson discuss their choices for the evening.

A rowdy drunkard crashes the BBQ and wreaks havoc! Oh wait, that's Max Landis.

That's a packed patio!

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Slasherpalooza @ The Cinefamily: Victor Crowley, Shakma and Bigfoot! Oh my!

November 2, 2009

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This last Thursday, the Cinefamily ended their awesome slasher series with a SLASHERPALOOZA of three of the most gonzo slashers they could find. I attended, along with a huge posse of movie maniacs, who were all in the mood for an evening of blood and guts! The show began with a screening of ADAM GREEN’S incredibly entertaining homage to old school horror, HATCHET (2007). In attendance was the director himself, ADAM GREEN, who introduced the movie to the excited crowd.

But before the feature, we were treated to two of the video shorts that he makes in his spare time with other horror filmmaker friends. First was JACK CHOP, an infomercial spoof that he made with GRACE director, PAUL SOLET. It involves a high energy cable TV pitchman, who repeatedly injures himself violently with his product, the Jack Chop. It was pretty FAKIN’ hilarious!

The second short was THE TIFFANY PROBLEM and featured HATCHET star JOEL DAVID MOORE as a thirty year old husband obsessed with trick or treating on Halloween. It also featured JOEL (Bill’s brother) MURRAY from HATCHET. Very twisted, funny stuff.

It is clearly evident in these two shorts and his first feature, that ADAM GREEN has a great sense of humor and really knows how to craft a good gore-comedy.

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Adam Green intros HATCHET.

I saw HATCHET back in ’07 at the first midnight screening at the Arclight Hollywood, which was also introduced by ADAM GREEN. It’s about a group of New Orleans tourists that go on a haunted swamp tour, where they are stalked by a local legend named Victor Crowley, played by KANE (JASON) HODDER. Victor Crowley is a deformed mutant of a man who likes to bury a hatchet in the skull of anyone trespassing in his swamp.

HATCHET is filled with copious amounts of nudity, blood and gore. The kills are totally over the top, with jets of blood pumping everywhere. Heads are twisted off, bodies torn in two with the guts hanging out, faces ripped apart with power tools and limbs hacked off with sharp implements!

Wow, that's pretty fucked up!

Wow, that's really fucked up!

JOLEIGH FIOREAVANTI has her beautiful face mutilated with a belt sander.

JOLEIGH FIOREAVANTI has her beautiful face mutilated with a belt sander.

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Victor Crowley even killed the director, ADAM GREEN!

It also has a great sense of humor that doesn’t take itself seriously at all. The film is very much a love letter to the kind of slasher flicks I grew up with as a kid. I can see lots of FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE BURNING, MADMAN and JUST BEFORE DAWN influences in HATCHET. It’s major fun to watch this movie with an enthusiastic audience of horror fans.

After the film there was a Q and A with ADAM GREEN and two of the lovely ladies of HATCHET, TAMARA FELDMAN (Mary Beth) and JOLEIGH FIOREAVANTI (Jenna). It was moderated by MARCUS DUNSTAN, who is one half of the writing team responsible for FEAST I, II, and III and SAW IV, V, and VI. He also cowrote and directed the overlooked and really awesome, THE COLLECTOR from this year.

Adam Green is interviewed by Marcus (THE COLLECTOR) Dunstan.

ADAM GREEN is interviewed by MARCUS (THE COLLECTOR) DUNSTAN.

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Composer ANDY GARFIELD, JOLEIGH FIOREAVANTI, TAMARA FELDMAN and ADAM GREEN during the Q and A

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My two new girlfriends, Tamara and Joleigh!

ADAM GREEN talked about how he made HATCHET by “borrowing” the equipment from his day job of shooting local infomercials and filming most of it at night. They didn’t have enough equipment to do any backlighting and that’s why the characters only run a few feet away from the monster and then stop to get their bearings. I actually thought that was a conscious choice, because it works at giving that old school low budget feel, as well as being very funny.

He also discussed how he is currently working on HATCHET 2 for next year! He said it’s being made for the fans who really loved the first one, like me. If all goes well, it’s going to pick up where the last one ended and he promises that it will be even gorier than previously before, as long as those MPAA pussies don’t fuck with it too much. I’m looking forward to seeing more killings from Victor Crowley in the future!

On most nights this would have been plenty for even the most jaded horror fans, but the evening was just getting started, for many had turned out to see one of the greatest killer baboon movies ever made, SHAKMA! Watch this trailer and maybe you’ll understand a little, why this film is so awesome…

SHAKMA (1990) tells the story of a group of med students that lock themselves inside their school one night, so they can play an elaborate D&D type game with their professor, the game master (pronounced gay master and played in an extremely affected manner by RODDY McDOWALL). Unfortunately Shakma, one of the highly aggressive baboons that are used for experiments, accidently gets shot up with a drug that makes him completely psychotic and he’s loose in the building! Just like a slasher, SHAKMA picks them off one by one.

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SHAKMA!!!

The film stars two time recipient of the National Association of Theatre Owner’s Star of the Year Award, CHRISTOPHER (BLUE LAGOON, A NIGHT IN HEAVEN) ATKINS, AMANDA (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) WYSS, ARI (KATE AND ALI) MEYERS and … SHAKMA!!!

Shakma was actually played in real life by TYPHOON the baboon, who is the REAL STAR of this film. It is one of the most pissed off simians I’ve ever seen and there is a lot of footage of him running, jumping and smashing himself against doors, trying to get at his victims.

One of the tricks the animal wranglers used to make TYPHOON go nuts, was by taking a female baboon in heat and teasing the horny star with her, off camera. TYPHOON would go after the female like a crazed tornado and that’s what they filmed. If you look closely, you can see that Shakma’s sporting wood in a few shots.

I saw SHAKMA once before, over a year ago at The Cinefamily, and it was probably one of my favorite experiences of seeing a movie with an audience, ever. The crowd reaction made it a true cult experience and the film is just sooooo much fun to watch. You could make a drinking game out of how many times it sounds like they are referring to RODDY McDOWALL as the gay master, alone.

CHRISTOPHER ATKINS’ way over the top performance is a joy to behold. He really hams it up at the end, when he goes mano a baboono with SHAKMA in a fight to the death!

It would be very difficult to top these first two films, but somehow the Cinefamily did with this…

“This film will rip your dick off.” – Hadrian Belove, head programmer of The Cinefamily

NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1980) is a rarely seen film about a killer Bigfoot massacring campers in the woods. It was never given a theatrical release and only exists as a VHS from 1980.

It tells the tale of Professor Nugent and his students, who embark on a journey to locate Bigfoot, whom is believed to be responsible for countless deaths. They disturb a Black Magic ritual and eventually uncover the truth about Bigfoot, and his mutant offspring, but will they survive to tell anyone?

This movie was ape-shit crazy and contains some of the most fucked up kills I’ve ever seen! It is a true slasher movie with a Sasquatch killer, taking people out in outrageously violent manners. One guy even gets his dick ripped off by the nasty beast! Just check out what he does to these two poor girl scouts….

And yes, there is also a scene where a woman is attacked and raped by Bigfoot! Later, she gives birth to a mutant baby Bigfoot and the scene is an amazing combination of goofy and totally fucked up. My brain is still spinning from it.

We were all a little stunned and exhausted by what we had just witnessed, as we made our way out of the theatre at 2:30 A.M. SLASHERPALOOZA was amazing fun and a great way to end a fantastic series! SHAKMA!!!

Holiday slasher triple-feature @ The Cinefamily: Part 1

October 25, 2009

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Last Thursday at the Cinefamily, there was an amazing triple feature of three classic “holiday” theme slashers from the 80’s, as part of their slasher retrospective this month. A “holiday” slasher is one of many sub-genres, that include the “summer camp” slasher and the “campus” slasher, to name a few. Since HALLOWEEN took the best holiday, all subsequent slashers had to take whatever was left on the calendar. I’m still waiting for an Easter slasher movie.

One of the best of the “holiday” slashers was the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE from 1981. It is also one of my favorite “non-franchise” slashers and I’ve seen it many times over since its theatrical release, but it has not had a revival screening to speak of at all, as far as I know of. When the Cinefamily announced that they not only found a 35mm print of it, but that it was an UNCUT print, I couldn’t wait to check it out. Add director GEORGE MIHALKA for an in person Q and A and you got yourselves one happy slasher movie fan!

Then a few hours before the screening I received a panicked call from my friend Gariana Abeyta of THE POPCORN MAFIA. She was serving as projectionist for the evening at the Cinefamily and she needed help figuring out the order of the reels for the film because the print they got wasn’t numbered. It just had these bizarre symbols marking each reel. She had never seen MY BLOODY VALENTINE before and since I’ve seen it almost too many times, I hightailed it to the theatre to lend my expertise in the matter. Actually, they had it pretty well under control by the time I got there, but I did provide a ruling on what the final reel was when I received a text while en route to the theatre that read, “WHEN IN THE MOVIE DOES THE FAT GUY WITH GLASSES GET SHOT IN THE HEAD WITH A NAIL?”

When I arrived, I discovered that the infamous UNCUT version was not what they had received. Although the collector they got it from insisted that there was one bit of cut gore that had been spliced into it from the workprint, there was no way of telling what kind of Frankenstein of a print they had until we all watched it together in it’s entirety. The print itself still had a lot of color, but was pretty scratchy and grinded out. It took major projection skills to pull off as seamless a presentation as Gariana did that night. But more on all that later.

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“It happened once. It happened twice. Cancel the dance, or it will happen thrice!” – Harry Warden

The original MY BLOODY VALENTINE is a great fucking movie that is a joy to see in a theatre with an audience of avid horror fans. It is one of the many slasher films that were released in the year of 1981 and anyone growing up during that golden age can remember them coming out almost week after week. THE BURNING, FINAL EXAM, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, HELL NIGHT, THE PROWLER, MADMAN, GRADUATION DAY, HALLOWEEN II, THE FUNHOUSE, STUDENT BODIES and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME are a few of the great slashers that came out that same year, but MY BLOODY VALENTINE was the best of them all.

It’s the most blue collar slasher film ever made. Every character looks like they grew up in a small steel town. Bad clothes, worse haircuts and the cast consists of normal looking people, unlike the 3-D remake where everybody looked like they were out of the new BEVERLY HILLS 90210. It even has a fat guy who everybody turns to for strength and guidance.

The film is about a particularly nasty love triangle that erupts between three old friends in a mining town called Valentine Bluffs. T.J. has returned home to find his best buddy Axle has hooked up with his old girlfriend Sarah. T.J. is the son of the owner of the mine where he and Axle both work.

To compound the tension, it’s Valentine’s Day and it looks like old Harry Warden has escaped from the booby hatch, where he was sent after massacring a whole bunch of folks at the last Valentine’s Day dance held in the town. He went nuts after being the sole survivor of a mine cave-in and had to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. Christ on a cracker!

Looks like he’s back now, still donning his miner uniform and gasmask, and still killing people with his trusty pickaxe. But when the Sheriff shuts down the first Valentine dance in years, those crazy kids throw one of their own at the mine. Bad idea as they are “picked” off one by one.

Harry Warden has a bone to "pick" with you! Alright, I'll stop.

Harry Warden has a bone to "pick" with you! Alright, I'll stop.

That's one fucked up Valentine!

That's one fucked up Valentine!

Doing laundry at the launderette already sucks. Jesus Harry!

Doing laundry at the launderette already sucks. Jesus Harry!

"No really, I don't want a hot dog!"

"No really, I don't want a hot dog!"

"MY EYE!"

"MY EYE!"

MY BLOODY VALENTINE is a very grimy and mean slasher film that is genuinely entertaining and provides a lot of great scares, as well as the creepiest fucking ending ever. Despite a couple drawbacks, that include a cast of inexperienced actors and a hatchet job by the MPAA on all the gore scenes, the film succeeds on all levels.

One thing I’ve always noticed about it, is that the film reminds me a lot of MICHAEL CIMINO’S classic Vietnam drama, THE DEER HUNTER. The mining town location and the love triangle are very aesthetically similar to each other. It’s as if they took the ROBERT DENIRO, CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, and MERRYL STREEP relationship and substituted a masked killer for ‘Nam. I’ve had in depth conversations with other slasher fanatics, where I’ve explained this theory and have been scoffed at rudely. I’ll get back to this.

The cut gore scenes have become a source of legend among horror fans for many years. Back in 1981 the MPAA made an example of it and forced them to trim almost everything bloody out. Just recently a special edition DVD was released with most of the violence reinstated. That’s why the idea of showing a 35mm print of the uncut version was so amazing. Well the print we saw that night at the Cinefamily was the trimmed theatrical version, except for one of the best moments from the uncut workprint! It had been spliced in and involved something particularly crazy that happens right at the already freakish finale. I won’t ruin the surprise if you’ve never seen it before, but let’s just say it gives a new meaning to the term “coyote arm”.

After the film, Hadrian Belove showed a montage he compiled of the edited gore from the movie and the crowd loved it. Then, Brian Collins from HORROR MOVIE A DAY and BLOODY DISGUSTING introduced director GEORGE MIHALAKA who came up and did a great Q and A.

Brian Collins interviews MY BLOODY VALENTINE director, GEORGE MIHALKA.

Brian Collins interviews MY BLOODY VALENTINE director, GEORGE MIHALKA.

He talked about how they set out to make one of the craziest, funniest and most violent slasher films ever made. It was shot quick and cheap up in Canada with an all Canadian cast and crew and picked up for distribution by Paramount. It was a rush to get the film done, because if they didn’t make the February 14th release date, no money.

He said the reason the MPAA decided to take all the gore out was a direct result of the John Lennon assassination and a sweeping backlash against violence in movies. MY BLOODY VALENTINE had the bad luck of being the scapegoat of the week.

He also said that there was even more violence than the stuff from the uncut version, that was originally in the first cut. One scene that has never been in any release, involved a couple having sex that are impaled together with a large drill blade and the guy vomits blood into the girls mouth. It was so gory the MPAA said “We don’t even want to discuss it, just get rid of it.”

It was shot in a real mine shaft and they used a special grade of film stock that was used by the great cinematographer VILMOS ZSIGMOND on of all films, THE DEER HUNTER. This prompted me to ask the question to the only man who could prove my theory, the director. I asked if THE DEER HUNTER was any inspiration for his film at all, for which he replied “We totally ripped it off!”.  I nailed that shit!

GEORGE MIHALKA confirms my MY BLOODY VALENTINE/THE DEER HUNTER theory.

GEORGE MIHALKA confirms my MY BLOODY VALENTINE/THE DEER HUNTER theory.

In attendance that night was director ELI ROTH, who was sporting a THANKSGIVING t-shirt. Because it was a holiday slasher night, I had worn my THANKSGIVING t-shirt to the event as well. In what could have been an embarrassing moment, we both bumped into each other and when he noticed I was wearing the shirt for his hilarious 80’s slasher spoof trailer, he got really excited. “Dude, awesome shirt! Wasn’t my trailer totally MY BLOODY VALENTINE?” he asked me. I told him that he nailed the tone and look of it perfectly and that I could not wait for the THANKSGIVING feature film he plans on making.

ELI ROTH and I sport our THANKSGIVING t-shirts.

ELI ROTH and I sport our THANKSGIVING t-shirts.

During the Q and A, ELI ROTH told GEORGE MIHALKA that the amazing end credits song, THE BALLAD OF HARRY WARDEN by PAUL ZAZA is one of he and QUENTIN TARANTINO’S favorite songs and that TARANTINO was so obsessed with it, he played it constantly while they were filming INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. He added that he and QT mentioned the song to horror filmmaker ALEXANDER AJA while they were all hanging out together and he too was a huge fan. They all started singing the song together and I leave you with the lyrics of THE BALLAD OF HARRY WARDEN. I will post Part 2 of my coverage of this triple feature soon and discuss APRIL FOOL’S DAY and the amazing yuletide slasher, DON’T OPEN ‘TILL CHRISTMAS. For now, gather the kids by the fire and sing along…

Once upon a time, on a sad Valentine,

in a place known as Henniger Mine.

A legend began, every woman and man,

would always remember the time.

And those who remain, were never the same,
you could see, the fear in their eyes.
Once every year, as the fourteenth draws near,
there’s a hush all over the town.

For the legend they say, on a Valentine’s Day,
is a curse, that’ll live on and on.
And no will know, as the years come and go,
of the horror from long time ago.

Twenty years came and went, and everyone spent,
the fourteenth, in quiet regret.
And those still alive, know the secret survives,
in the darkness, that looms in the night.

For the legend they say, on a Valentine’s Day,
is a curse, that’ll live on and on.
And no one will know, as the years come and go,
of the horror, from long time ago.

In this little town, when the fourteenth comes ’round,
there’s a silence, and fear in the air.
Remember the morn, that the legend was born,
all the shock, and the horror was there.

For the legend they say, on a Valentine’s Day,
is a curse, that’ll live on and on.
And no one will know, as the years come and go,
of the horror, from long time ago.

And no one will know, as the years come and go,
of the horror, from long time ago.

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The sleaziest exploitation double feature ever @ The Cinefamily!

October 20, 2009

Last Sunday, I went to the Cinefamily for their NIGHTMARE U.S.A. double feature of two of the sleaziest, grimiest, vilest, scuzziest and most misogynistic 70s exploitation films ever made! These movies were made for nobody. Nobody but us: the seekers of the rarest, weirdest and almost completely forgotten oddities from the grindhouse circuits of old. And we were out in force that night.

First up was a disturbing little character study about a serial rapist called VICTIMS, A.K.A. PAULIE: DAY OF THE RAPIST (my favorite!), A.K.A. PORTRAIT OF A STRANGLER, which was the misleading title on the film print we saw, because Paulie doesn’t strangle women at all. He rapes them.

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This was actually the world premiere of VICTIMS (1977) because for some reason or another it was never released theatrically. It had a brief release on VHS in the early eighties and is well documented in the holy bible of exploitation films from the seventies, NIGHTMARE U.S.A. The print we watched was an original 16mm archive that belongs to the writer, director and star of the film, DANIEL DiSOMMA. Well, after seeing it I can kind of understand why it wasn’t given a release. Movies about a day in the life of an out of control rapist have always been a tough sell with audiences.

Paulie is a fucked up middle aged guy who’s struggling with the demons of growing up with a prostitute mother that was abused and murdered by her pimp boyfriend before his very eyes. He beats up and rapes hookers, pathetically breaks down and cries during hypnotherapy and dyes his hair black in an attempt to attract a future victim. He ironically meets his fate at the end of a pimp’s vengeful switchblade in a violent display of street justice.

This movie was like a poor man’s TAXI DRIVER, if ROBERT DeNIRO was a hairy guy in his late forties who tried to rape JODI FOSTER rather than help her. Truly slimy. Next up was the far more upbeat and optimistic slasher film from 1979, DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE.

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This movie is like PSYCHO with a flamethrower! Donny (THE SOPRANO’S DAN GRIMALDI) is a fucked up loner who works as a custodian at the local incinerator (foreshadowing at its finest) who finds himself experiencing a burst of new freedom at the passing of his cruel mother who used to discipline him by burning his arms over an open stove (more foreshadowing). After she kicks the bucket in the huge old creepy mansion they share, Donny answers the crazy voices in his head by playing his disco records REALLY loud. Then he starts letting off steam by abducting women and burning them to a crisp with a flamethrower in a special room that he has built. Before long, he finds himself being haunted by the burnt corpses of his many victims, ala MANIAC.

I remember being really fucked up by this movie when I was a kid. I can’t remember how I saw it, but I think it must have been on video or cable TV. It’s got a really freaky scene where an unconscious girl wakes up to find herself naked, bound and hanging from the ceiling of an all metal room. Suddenly, the killer walks in wearing a fire retardant jumpsuit and splashes her all over with a jug of gasoline. He slowly puts on his flamethrower and burns her alive AND WE WATCH EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF IT! It’s all kinds of crazy and sleazy from that point on and the film has some really effective scares that still work very well today.

When this double feature was over, the head programmer of the Cinefamily, Hadrian Belove decided this was the perfect audience to share the three reels he has of some old porno movie from the seventies about a sociopath that impersonates a cop and rapes women, called CLIMAX OF BLUE POWER. It sounded like MIAMI BLUES with penetration, but I already had enough sleaze for one night, so I headed home to take a nice long SILKWOOD style shower and to think some wholesome thoughts for awhile. I ended up watching THE VANISHING instead. Oh well.

Summer Camp with the Cinefamily!

August 31, 2009

“Dear Mom and Dad,

Camp is great! We’re learning how to use knives and guns and the boys and girls are sleeping with each other. It’s the greatest summer camp ever!”

– SUMMER CAMP NIGHTMARE

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I am truly saddened over the fact that I have never been to summer camp a day in my life. I would have loved to have camped out in the woods by a crackling fire and toasted marshmallows while singing, “Koom-by-yah” with my fellow campers. Archery, arts and crafts, and skinny dipping would have been a lot of fun, but this was just not meant to be.

My summer camp memories are relegated to the movies, so I was excited to see that the Cinefamily was throwing an all-night SUMMER CAMP MOVIE MARATHON! I went with my partner in crime, the lovely Grae Drake of The Popcorn Mafia and boy did we have ourselves some fun. The Cinefamily’s main programmer, Hadrian Belove and his staff were all dressed like counselors and there was a wading pool and a crafts table set up for making “friendship” bracelets. There was also plenty of beer on hand for us older campers and I ate one of the most delicious smores ever made. The first movie we watched was the amazing, LITTLE DARLINGS…

Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neil spend their summer trying to get laid.

Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neil spend their summer trying to get laid.

You’ve got to love a teen comedy that’s this inappropriate. Tatum O’Neil and a chain-smoking Kristy McNichol spend their summer camp experience trying to win a bet on which one of them can get laid first. Kristy has her eyes on a teenage (almost unintelligible) Matt Dillon, while Tatum tries to score some loving from an extremely hairy and waaaaayyyyyy too old Armand Assante. If you like under age drinking and jail bait, this is the summer camp movie for you! Up next was something truly incredible…

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Meatballs meets The Beach!

Summer Camp Nightmare

1987’s SUMMER CAMP NIGHTMARE tells the story of an all boy’s summer camp that’s run by a very strict Chuck (The Rifleman) Connors. He makes them watch religious programs on the only T.V. and cancels the dance with the nearby girl’s camp. That’s when the kids form an uprising and take control by killing him, jailing the counselors and creating their own society with their own rules. This movie was like a cross between MEATBALLS, LORD OF THE FLIES, THE BEACH, TAPS and a half dozen prison films I’ve seen, complete with a shanking, a rape and a lynching! WOW! Next up, it was time to get stupid…

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Meet Meathead, the pot smoking alien.

Meet Meathead, the pot smoking alien.

MEATBALLS PART 2 has absolutely nothing at all to do with the Bill Murray movie. It’s about a war between the laid-back Camp Sasquatch and the military-themed Camp Patton. There’s also an E.T. who smokes weed in it, named Meathead, who has been sent to Earth for the summer by his parents to get his merit badge. Pee Wee Herman, John Larroquette, Richard (EMPTY NEST) Mulligan and the guy who played Ogre from REVENGE OF THE NERDS are on hand for the hilarity. I haven’t seen this one since VHS back in the eighties and it was quite a treat to see a beautiful 35mm Sony archive print of it.

Then, our “camp director” Hadrian offered us all a choice between watching the MEATBALLS rip-off GORP or a christian summer camp movie called, GERONIMO.

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We chose GERONIMO and boy am I glad! It’s the “honky and the home-boys” tale of a born-again camp counselor who’s given the tough assignment of taking care of a group of wild, inner-city kids from Chicago for the summer, all of whom seem very “real” and behave like the cast of Larry Clark’s KIDS. After dozens of lectures about Jesus and a few unintentionally racist comments, the boys finally discover the “joy” of camping, when they’re not stealing everything in sight, picking fights with everyone and sniffing glue. This was truly a “rare” treat to see.

Next up was GORP, but it was about 4 a.m. and we needed to take the big, yellow bus back home. Thanks again to the Cinefamily for all the fun. It was the best summer camp experience I’ve ever had, without all that awkward “growing up” stuff!