A.P.E.X. (1994) Review by RevTerry

If I'm being completely truthful, computers make a lot more sense than humans do. That probably sounds bad, like somebody's justification for crowdsourcing a sexbot, but it's the truth, plus humans have a lot more hidden variables. Many times, during my day job, after I have just mediated a quarrel between man and machine (I work in I.T.), I receive a question from the fleshier party along the lines of “How do you understand this computer stuff so well?”. It's one of many comments I receive regularly that I need to check myself before answering to avoid sounding like an asshole. In a way, computers are just acting off an awesomely complicated list of stacking instructions, which for the most part I can see (in one way or another). The PC has no emotions and it doesn't get bummed as we do. It just does what it's told. If it's doing something wrong software wise, then somewhere along the lines, it was given some screwy instructions to go off of. I'm oversimplifying (a lot) of course, but at the end of the day it's a fuck ton easier for me to explain why it has done something, than why a human does any of the things humans do. A computer’s motivations can be quantified, and it always has a reason for its actions. So when I come into the room to settle a dispute between an operating system and a blood-filled user, the squishy one can point all the fingers they want, but really only one party is capable of acting irrationally in that situation. Without human interaction, that computer would be minding its own business and technically working to spec, while we meat bags will always find something to fuck up, virtually unprovoked. I'm not saying you are the mammal at fault every time the computer "fails". It’s just that, nine times out of ten there's a human to blame in the end. Hardware does go bad, but the real problems can almost always be linked to our own faulty organic digits, like the automated squad of killer robots in A.P.E.X. (1994).
In the year 2072, a scientific branch of the government known as the APEX (Advanced Prototype EXploration) program sends probes to explore various time periods. These exploratory units are strictly manned by robots, as early tests with organic passengers proved to cause viral infections as well as “paradoxes”. As a safeguard, if a problem in the timeline is detected, a “sterilization” unit is automatically (and continuously) sent to clean up the problem (by killing everyone). After an extremely slow opening crawl, done with an early 90s text-to-speech engine, we meet Nicholas Sinclair (Richard Keats). Nick is one of the project's lead scientists and a loving husband to his pregnant wife Natasha (Lisa Ann Russell), who also works on the project in some manner. On a day like any other, Nick and the team are casually sending things one hundred years into the past, when suddenly, one of the robots explodes causing Nick to take the trip instead. After hanging out with a hippy family for a bit in 1972, Nick heads back home. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he doesn't find the future he left. Instead, he is in a war-torn alternative reality, where a viral infection has torn the population apart, and his own killer-cleaning robots show up every so often to shoot at random civilians in an attempt to fix the problem. His wife is no longer his wife, and the both of them are apparently hardened soldiers in the robot fighting militia. Almost completely positive that the incident may have broken history, and that he is the only one that has noticed, Nick is determined to somehow fix the timeline. But to do that, he will have to win over his new crew, find another time machine in a dusty wasteland, and dodge artillery from the neverending army of automated time janitors (actually that last part is pretty easy as they are not great shots).  
 The film's story takes some pretty hefty cues from the Terminator series, but mostly on paper. In practice, it comes out closer to a blend of Cyborg (1989), and Trancers (1984) with the temperament of a Fred Olen Ray movie. The film's world is patchwork pieces of genre flicks that led up to it from the 80s. Sharing a lot of his favorite ingredients, the recipe is similar to something Albert Pyun would cook up. The lifted elements amount to more tributes than stolen material, and the movie's style adds a unifying flare to each chunk. Its characters are one dimensional and based on overused cliches but come off as almost enduring or “classic”, like a project Charles Band would lay hands on in the middle of the 80s. Our Aliens (1986) meet Eliminators (1986)-style crew of “tech” soldiers is (mostly) comprised of surface level badasses that look like they walked off another film’s VHS box and are written as tongue in cheek counterparts.  It is constantly familiar, and it doesn't take any extra time explaining technology or tropes that the viewer could presumably be acquainted with from other films. There is a lot going on in the plot. The robots, time travel and some kind of techno virus run alongside each other as somewhat sliding, tentative links. It's not an intelligent film but finds a way to bring out the hard science fiction roots of its influences. In addition to its goofball action, it grazes higher concepts, making calls to literature like Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder and Robert A. Heinlein’s By His Bootstraps. There is a significant focus on the paradox and the possible problems of voyaging through time, a move from the usual clones that just throw that into the background or plot setting. When it all comes full circle, with a wink at the end, I am reminded of the twists that make up the original Planet of the Apes series (minus number 5, always minus number 5).  Undeniably, there a is a strange love for science fiction in the mix which sets it apart from some of the other genre favorites made purely to cash in (although those are fun too). Like a lot of flicks, it has the effect of making increased sense as you know more--until it makes no sense again because you know too much. By the end, its “paradox” is just a plot hole, but it runs face first into it, and that has a certain charm.  To its credit, it has some fun with problems that the concept would involve instead of avoiding them.  Altogether, it's likable hokey ass fun with some warm imagination and a little, tiny bit more grey matter than usual.
On a technical level, A.P.E.X. feels like somebody picked up an unfinished 80s Empire movie and finished it up with discount 90s computer graphics. The special effects are split unevenly between old-school props and blossoming cheapo splash screens. Very shortly into the runtime, the time tunnel is revealed to be reminiscent of something that would come packaged with Windows XP, and every time it comes back it gets worse.  The practical effects are a different story, still corny as all fuck, they mostly add to the entertainment value. There is some neat sci-fi tech, including guns, doom-mobiles etc. ( per genre requisite), though some are seemingly borrowed but with new additions. The automatic killing machines look like the lost love child of Cylons and a Power Ranger bad guy. They are not exactly menacing but they make solid B movie heels, even though they move at a very impractical speed for killing anything. I have a soft spot in my heart for advanced robots that exhibit terrible balance. Due to genre and budget, It utilizes just a handful of sets, and a great deal of the film is just a group of people in cyberpunk gear walking in the desert. Outside of the shitty CG, it works well within its budget even if it could have been made a few years earlier. The editing is handled somewhat functionally and helps keeps the mess tamed, although the narration feels a little tacked on, possibly to add needed exposition.  There is plenty of action and some shit explodes, but the warfare is entirely bloodless as far as I can remember. In fact, the film is completely devoid of any real sleaze at all, so grab the less critical youngsters. It tops off the concoction with a steady flow of canned synth music that really just ties it all together.
Writer-director (and producer) Phillip J. Roth has given us a slew of trashy thrillers, budgeted sci-fi and made for TV action. Starting in 1988 with the TV movie, Bad Trip, his last directing credit is from Dark Waters in 2003, and he produces a range of random straight to DVD stuff to this day. A.P.E.X. came two years after Roth’s first foray into science fiction Prototype (1992), another ambitious post-apocalyptic flick with robotics. Richard Keats is the films lead, and narrator. Keats is another one of those actors that, whether or not you know his name, you have most likely seen at one point. Here he is, in good form, as scientist Nicholas Sinclair, but I'm not sure how anyone is confusing him for a soldier. As the crew's muscle, Mitchell Cox rocks a hairdo that's equal parts Howie Long and Jack from Tekken 2. Despite the poof on his head, he makes a pretty good tough guy and provided similar roles in other the films by the same director. Lisa Ann Russell essentially has a major and a minor role (Natasha Sinclair in both “timelines”) and pulls it off. As far as I know, I haven't seen her in anything else (unless I saw her walking by in an episode of Saved by the Bell: The College Years as “Girl”).  All the acting works pretty well for what's going on, and the performances match the loving cheese of the rest of the film. My only real gripe is Marcus Aurelius’ character (Taylor), for whatever reason, he is constantly wine-yelling. I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be the Hudson of the group and went for the annoying tone on purpose--in which case it misses its mark, but good job on the annoying part (I guess).
A.P.E.X. is packed with time-bending cheese, B movie technology, and frugal love for the genre. It's a little late to the party but makes a good companion to its fellow genre-mates. I can't say it's a good movie by most standards, or incredibly original, but it hits all the right points to be a worthwhile ride if killer robots and cornball heroics sound like your thing. Since that's right up my alley, I enjoy the fuck out of it. Also, I feel like I can relate to a protagonist who has to stop a war between screaming humans and machines that are essentially just doing what they are told.
1h 38min | 1994
Director: Phillip J. Roth
Writers: Phillip J. Roth, Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi and Ron Schmidt

Links:




Review by:
RevTerry

Share:

Silent Night, Deadly Night IV: Initiation (1990) Review by RevTerry

It's way past time we change up the “holiday” season. It's really gone to shit under its current management style. How could it work? They just kind of plopped that Jesus shit on top of someone else's seasonally appropriate celebration, leaving us with a broken mass of morals, judgment, and fictional bullshit. Half of the correlations make absolutely no sense or just straight up contradict. It's been a long fucking time since Pope Julius and the Catholic church slapped their messiah’s birthday on the ancient celebration. Obviously, I wasn't there to know for sure, but I want to think that's when it all started getting really bad. During the cultural rebranding ( probably not for evil reasons), the church did its best to mix saints and values into the random pieces of local flavor it could live with, creating some kind of a mash of magic, uppity god-monsters and special meal times. There's a lot going on in the lore of the holidays, and nearly all of it is fucking bonkers or just a straight-up motivated lie. In my yearly confusion, I'm left with a never-ending stream of questions. What does the portly “Santa” cryptid have to do with the demi-god super baby? Why are both these supposedly divine creatures involved in some kind of plot to publicly tie a parents’ economic status to how good their child was? Why does it have to be December to get anything with peppermint flavoring? Honestly, regardless of the answer to these questions, It's pretty fucking lame, and It's time for a change. For one, let's just dump all the current icons, they're the bulk of the problem. They have all kinds of baggage and contrived origins. I have a few ideas about who (or what) we can use instead, but, really, the possibilities are endless. I'm just spitballing here, but what about Star Trek captains? It's kind of the same thing, as they’re obviously fictional characters that embody some kind of ideal. I haven't even seen anything past The Next Generation, but I'm pretty sure they would altogether make a more cohesive and helpful whole than whatever the fuck we have now. And that’s just one idea. If, maybe, you would miss the mystic chaos of it all, we could go with bugs and witches like in Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (1990).
Highly motivated reporter Kim (Neith Hunter), has trouble gaining respect at the newspaper where she works with her boyfriend Hank (Tommy Hinkley). Surrounded by a tight-knit boys club (that includes her slightly supportive sweetheart), she is relegated to the “calendar” section, despite her fiery drive and skills. Looking for her breakout story, she takes interest in a local death that has mysteriously been described as “spontaneous combustion”. Kim attempts to get the story assigned to her but ends up being ignored by her boss (Reggie Bannister), as he and the chattering group of assholes that surrounded him run off with her story instead. Kim is bummed but still pretty fucking determined, so she takes it upon herself to investigate the weird-ass crispy lady situation on her own. In the process, she runs into Fima (Maud Adams), a bookshop owner, who while giving up no real clues as to what happened outside her store, does offer friendly cryptic chit chat and free books on witchcraft. Kim also meets Ricky (Clint Howard), an odd, possibly handicapped, transient with personal space issues that Fima seems to know pretty well. Less worried about how this peculiar lady ties into the case, and more just glad to have a new friend, she accepts a mystery snack from Fima before going about her investigation. Her hunt leads her to the roof of the building, from where the victim jumped while spontaneously combusting. After seeing how close she can get to the edge without falling to her own death, Kim starts feeling woozy, so she takes off for home, but not before being a part of some more uncomfortable moments with Ricky (involving a large alien worm thing he pulls from a vent, which I guess didn't raise any red flags). Before she can settle down in back at her apartment, her boyfriend starts calling, claiming she's late for Christmas dinner with his racist ass parents (oh yeah, it’s almost Christmas!). She then dumps the depression-meal she was cooking-up and heads out for what promises to be an awkward evening. Hank’s dad has some special holiday opinions (mostly about Jews and how he doesn't like them). Being of Jewish descent and not a bigot herself, their conversation leads to an altercation, and Kim leaves the party early. The next day Kim meets her new homie Fima’s book club which turns out to be a bunch of quirky bead-store-lady types. Kim gets cozy with the crew right away, but her picnic is prematurely interrupted when she is called back to work. Surprisingly, upon her return to the office, her boss has a sudden change of heart, and she is officially assigned the case (alongside Hank). What's more, Hank abruptly apologizes about his family's bullshit from the night before and begins to vocally support her with the boys around the water cooler. With more respect around the office, a boyfriend who suddenly had her back, and a generous, beautiful new friend (with a voice like a Stern elementary school teacher), life was looking up for Kim this Christmas. Unfortunately, the good tidings came along with some nasty fine print, and Kim unknowingly may have placed herself in the hands of an ancient worm worshipping coven of Egyptian witches. Soon, she is canceling all the normal Christmas shit she had planned for things like rituals involving various bugs, drug-fueled mind fucks, and the worst threesome ever.
The movie is one in a hat-trick of horror franchise sequels that Brian Yuzna directed between 1989 and 1993. The first of these, Bride of Re-Animator (1989), directly continued the story from the original classic (Re-Animator 1985) in which Yuzna served as producer (with the director Stuart Gordon). “Bride” would be the second film in what would become a trilogy (Yuzna would direct a sequel to that in 2003), and closely aligns with the first film in canon and tone. In 1993 he would direct Return of the Living Dead III, which, while still involving zombies, would mark a drastic mood swing for the series, spicing things up with some superhero style masochism, 90s angst, and allusions to Shakespeare. Initiation was the second of his rapid-fire cult 80s movie follow-ups and the farthest removed from the source material. Starting in 1984, the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise (not ...Bloody Night or ...Evil Night) begins by following the disturbed orphaned Caldwell siblings as they engage in holiday carnage (usually dressed as Santa clause) for a few eventful years. The first film (1984 directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr.) finds the oldest brother trying his hand at society but ultimately failing so badly that he starts chopping up teenagers (including Linnea Quigley) with an axe, more or less dressed as Father Christmas. Lately, it has (rightfully) become a sort of a Christmas Story for the horror crowd, but it faced some controversy on its release for its depiction of a “killer Santa” (even though Christmas Evil had done it already in 1980, and Tales From The Crypt, 1972, before that). The second film (Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, 1987) features his younger brother Ricky, who is locked in an insane asylum, and pretty much recounts the entire first film through flashbacks before escaping to go on a Christmas massacre of his own. Even being mostly a clip show, and incredibly corny, the sequel gave us one of cinema's greatest moments (garbage day!), making it a yearly watch at my house. The third film (Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, 1989) also showcases Ricky (suddenly played by Bill Moseley) who now, as a lobotomized lab rat, runs around causing mischief with a fancy bread maker on his head. It has a sci-fi angle, psychic abilities of some kind, and it definitely goes off the fucking rails, but it technically “follows” the story from the first two. The fourth film observes what has become a time-honored tradition among horror franchises and completely disregards the previous films. It stands as an independent story with no ties to the first three films, outside of it being Christmas while all this is taking place. Well… maybe. Clint Howard's character is named Ricky, but they never give a last name, and it would be quite a stretch. Last we saw of Rick (in part 3), he was impaled on a stick. I guess it is possible (as anything else) that since then, he has survived and found his way to playing gimp for a bunch of bug-obeying witches. Honestly, despite the fact that Ricky already went from looking like Mormon ass Eric Freeman to everyone's favorite redneck Uncle Bill Moseley in the other films, I still have a lot of trouble with him turning into Clint Howard. Also, how much (December 24/25 related) shit could possibly happen to some poor disturbed person? First, his brother hacks people up dressed as father Christmas and commits suicide by cop in front of little Ricky at the oppressive religious orphanage (run by an evil nun of course) that he calls home. Then, after his later break from the loony bin and his own holiday murder spree/foiling, some doctors bring him back to life by turning the dude's head into the world's most obnoxious bicycle helmet. That mess ends with more dead teenagers and with Ricky kebobbed (and brainless). Still, after everything, he just so happens to stumble into a cult of formicophilia witches that needs his man bits for their rituals. I'm not buying it (just that right there, that's the line). It’s a large adventure for just one whacked out dude. As much as I love ridiculous cannon, I happily assume the film is just making a small nod towards it predecessors with the character’s name. It is best viewed (in my opinion) as a switch to a hybrid anthology format for the series (see Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil 1992). Like Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) or Yuzna’s own Return of the Living Dead III (1993), "Initiation" would probably be better off in some ways without the established series attached to its title. There is no killer Santa in part 4, outside of a fourth wall breaking shot of part 3 playing on TV. In fact, during a majority of its runtime it's possible to forget it's happening during Christmas at all. Yuzna would continue on with the Silent Night, Deadly Night series producing (and co-writing) the next film, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991), which kept with the standalone trend for the most part. It did, however, find a way to squeeze in a killer Santa of sorts (played by Mickey Rooney who has his own history with the series) and features the “Ricky “ from this film played again by Howard (which would make it the only time in the series one actor had played him twice… if it was the same Ricky).
Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (aka Bugs, Silent Night, Deadly Night IV: Initiation, or just Initiation) has a lot of familiar genre tropes, but almost none of the regular holiday movie standbys, horror or otherwise. Mostly, it’s a story about a secret modern witch coven, adorned with Yuzna’s love of taboos and slimy things, specifically in this case—bugs. The mood is completely detached from the first three films, conforming mostly to the director’s signature style, although noticeably a little light on his usual cynical humor. A mostly squirm free first quarter tunes partially to Romero’s frequency for Season of the Witch (1973), but updates it for a (mostly cliche) 90s world. The witch-sploitation DNA plays heavily into the character's early plight, her being critically underestimated by her male peers, a dissatisfaction with her mundane prescribed role, and the mysterious, seemingly strong group of witches. As her new friends attempt to take her into the fold, the movie picks up some surreal elements and tries to add some paranoia to its rabbit hole. Among other things, there are sped through nods to classics like Suspiria (1977) or The Witches (1966). Up until the leech stuff really gets going, it could have served as a goo-filled, unofficial American entry into the Argento’s The Three Mothers series just as easily as with the Silent Night, Deadly Night movies (that's not saying much though). Once things start to ramp up in the plot, there is a lot of Rosemary's Baby (1968) floating around, even as the movie replaces any artful strangeness with the goopy and not-sexy-sexual kind. It moves too fast for any real tension, but the constant pace helps it cram all its gonzo ideas into a somewhat cohesive tale. As with a lot of Yuzna’s stuff, it hints at some deeper meaning or maybe a critique on things like gender roles but primarily focuses on trashy fun. It could serve as a satanic spiritual precursor to his Progeny (1998), playing with a lot of the same taboos and concepts. The large range and hallow touch to each element gives some of the writing a fantasy-television feel along the lines of Charmed (1998-2006). I like to think that In some alternative universe somewhere, Brian Yuzna could take Joss Whedon's place in Hollywood and produce seven, lovingly derivative years of this type of thing as his Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The glue barely holds it all together, and it's not this writer-director duo’s best by a long shot. Still, it most definitely brings their brand to the holiday. Before you know it, the witch thing has moved on to demonic flatworms, and unsexy erotic body horror lines the walls. None of its building blocks are extremely creative on their own, but Yuzna's special grotesque touch fills in the cracks with unique moods and pulpy action. Woody Keith, a regular in Yuzna’s posse provided the original script. According to Keith, the duo utilized leftover ideas from the conception phase of their previous work, the satirical favorite Society (1989), which seems to come through in the secret world it portrays just behind the surface. At its worst, the try for a retro, supernatural thriller build-up in the story clashes a little with the blunt, in your face, shock-value theatrics. Mostly, the blend works for me when it all comes together. It's just weird enough not to be affected negatively by the juxtaposition, and it all takes the form of a fucked up, amusing fever dream instead. It may not be the usual film motivations or characters you find around this year, but in a way, it's about fucked up family traditions that take place on December twenty fourth, so it counts.
The cast has some surprise additions, ranging from TV veterans to a two-time Bond girl. Familiar faces include Hollywood (and bizarre horror veteran) Jeanne BatesReggie Bannister from the Phantasm series and Allyce Beasley who has been providing the same bit part as well as memorable voice acting since the 80s. The satanic den mom, Fima is played by cult legend Maud “Octopussy” Adams. Adams is Stunning as always, and she does a great job of pulling off the judgmental bookstore owner/witch. It's one of the highlights of the film but also scary in unexpected ways, a sensation kin to facing off with a pissed off affluent yoga instructor. A favorite of mine, Clint Howard shows up for a majority of the film and as his, often seen, simple oddball character. Clint, who is likely the more fun Howard at parties (yeah, I fucking said it), has over-the-top creepster down to a sputtering science, and in this case, he gets to do some naked partying (nine years before Eyes Wide Shut--take that Tom Cruise) as well. For bonus points, look out for Shiva (Marjean Holden) from the second Mortal Kombat movie (actually you can have the points if you remember any of that film).
Amidst obvious budget limitations, several of the more out-there concepts have been handicapped to make due. There is a lot of brutal and just strange shit going on, but quite a bit happens off screen or is just implied. The shlop, suction cup god-worms and other creepy shit you do see hold up, as another frequent collaborator of Yuzna, Screaming Mad George, true to form, pulls off some great effects even with limited resources. It starts in early with nudity and it returns frequently, however, that also includes a shirtless Clint Howard (not making a judgment here, just making sure you have all the facts). Along the way, there is some fun camera work ranging from homages to its witch-sploitation roots to more unique angles and framing. On the downside, an unfortunate generic lighting laces almost every scene adding to the already ever-present cable television feel.  The editing is mostly just passing, but does do its part to help create a constant pace between its attempts at tension and the shock value. All things considered, it's pretty fit for a Christmas film that forfeited its ability to use last season’s clearance aisle for props.
Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (1990) is not a very good sequel to a classic series about homicidal Kris Kringle impersonators, but standing alone it can be a fun, trashy, snowless slay ride in December. Viewers who are strictly in it for more of the Chapman family brand of yearly horror dramedy will be disappointed, because it's just not there. Those movies took the jolly images associated with Christmas and twisted them into awesomely entertaining sleaze, while the fourth entry gives the holiday the finger in its own bizarre way. It leaves behind the explicitly Christian reference, colorful wrapping paper, and the rosey fat man altogether and makes a good case for Yuletide black magic and body horror instead. After getting over the change, I appreciated the extreme left turn and look forward to it each year. In a way, it's the perfect anti-Christmas movie as it ignores the usual deity based mascots that crowd the 25th and supplements them with its own. Please don't get me wrong, I like the killer Santa flicks (a lot), but it's about time we, as a culture, just throw the whole tinsel tangled, felt motif out the window for good and go with something fresh. I don't know if celebrating ancient Egyptian, slime covered, rape-bugs is better than the current yearly cult member activities, but it's a little different, and that's something.
Director: Brian Yuzna 
Writers: Woody Keith, S.J. Smith, Richard N. Gladstein, Arthur Gorson and Brian Yuzna

Links:



Review by:
RevTerry
Share:

Christmas Evil (1980) Review by RevTerry

The holidays can make people lose their shit, and in very special ways. It would seem we all were gifted our own custom brand of madness early on in life, and we can't help but break it out come December. I mean, there are some really common core elements to the crazy-ass outward shit we do. You have your Yuletide-disciple types, with twenty-five different seasonal outfits, who make sure every speaker is producing Christmas music like it's their fucking job. These are the self-proclaimed traditionalists, like the office party coordinator that has already sent out three themed emails to the whole workplace by the 19th. Some of them have, in recent years, also enlisted in a kind of war that involves disposable coffee cups and loudly saying “Christmas” immediately after an unfortunate blasphemer mistakenly wishes them a “Happy Holiday”. There are then the scores of militant shoppers who use this time to get out the year’s aggression in the retail arena in fully sanctioned combat. Cutthroat anger radiates from the battle-torn aisles of Walmart (or Target if you're fancy), where many fall slain to the increased pushy ass demands of commercials and misplaced guilt. In the year’s closing, the purchase-addicted are given the ultimate excuse--credit cards get maxed, and the CEOs of retail giants have an extra incestuous money pile orgy (on top of their usual monthly money pile orgy), it's a national tradition. Seemingly, on the other end of things, you have a large part of the population that just looks fucking bummed around this time, or even agitated. All the talk about quality interpersonal relationships and the emphasis on spending money can be the perfect combo for feeling like shit if you don't have people in your life or money to spend on them. None of this is really that simple though, because everybody adds their own twist, or remixes a few parts. The yearly escapades are tied heavily into the important things in your life, like family, finances, or even whatever hell you call a workplace. Everyone feels the impact, you can't dodge it without a time machine. Its been happening your whole life, developing further after each year's winter. The best part is, nobody receives your personal concoction of cheer and trauma, you own it. For several reasons, the spiced traditional blend of fuck-it-all capitalism, stolen seasonal celebrations, and the imaginary judgmental fat man have made monsters of us all. So during this time, try to remember that everyone is out of their fucking gourd, including you. It is the fucking season for it.  You're just going have to make it to January without killing someone, unlike the woefully confused Harry in Christmas Evil (1980).
As children, Harry and his brother Philip stayed up late one Christmas Eve to watch as Saint Nicholas dropped off gifts and munched on some cookies they left behind. After the mythical intruder had made an exit, their mother quickly shooed them to bed, where the two boys argued over the validity of the Kringle encounter. After a few faith-based quips, Harry became fed up with his unbeliever brother and stormed out of the bedroom to get his mom to back him up (or something). Unfortunately for little Harry, Santa hadn't exactly left and was instead passionately licking mom’s leg in front of the fireplace ( picturesque stockings and all) when he entered the living room. Finding out Santa is fake is hard for some kids, but walking in on your parents fucking is rough on anyone, so Harry finds a dark corner and does some creepy shit to cope. Fast forward to a fully grown, balding Harry (Brandon Maggart) who now works at a toy factory, of all places, and is the bain of his successful family-man brother's (Jeffrey DeMunn) existence. Recently, Harry has received a promotion to a desk position but still lends himself to ridicule from his coworkers back on the line, even being muscled into one of their shifts while they go drinking. It isn't all bad, as he has a deep love for toys, and lives for anything Claus related, so the job fits. His apartment is fully lined in holiday decorations, and he spends his free time in his Santa Claus outfit, seemingly, year-round ( although it is almost Christmas so we can give him the benefit of doubt). He also has the totally normal hobby of documenting the neighborhood children's misdeeds in leather-bound books, deeming them good or naughty based on his judgment of their actions. For whatever reason, this particular year’s approaching 25th takes a drastic toll on Harry, and, along with the added bullying from his former linemates, elevates his already problematic obsessions into full-on delusions. In the midst of some kind of breakdown, Harry begins donning his outfit outside the house, acting as if he was Saint Nick himself. This includes doing things he thinks Father Christmas would do, like giving gifts to orphans, telling kids to be good, and stabbing mouthy yuppies in the face with a sharp toy (the good old days of playtime craftsmanship). Of course, everyone gets weirded out (except the kids who are easily swayed by toys) and tries to ruin Christmas by stopping the good-natured rampage. Harry, however, is sure he has enough holiday spirit for all and isn't going down easy. 
Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out) is a mixed bag of emotions, and it pulls full force into each. At its core, it's less a horror film and more a psychological thriller or drama. The film's world is cruel and filled with selfish manipulative people, making a few passing comments about our application of the holiday in our actual society. A lot of time is spent watching Harry as he reacts to the realistic, regular disappointments in life.  His problems are restrained and ordinary but trigger a slow downward spiral into quirky madness. This core dissent takes more from Maniac (1980), Taxi Driver (1976) and even Psycho (1960) than it does any of the emerging slashers that came before it. At times it also comes close to striking the same cords Falling Down (1993) would play to in the 90s. Our killer is the film’s main character and extremely human. It almost hurts to watch him break further from reality as it moves along. The plot makes stops to build up embarrassing moments to a point of being felt. Its narrative sometimes indulges Henry's vision but often drops off into repercussions. Despite his obvious delusions and increasing creep factor, you start to root for the poor bastard, and the perspective almost allows it. Without mentioning too many Scorsese/De Niro movies, it feels like the killer Santa Claus version of The King of Comedy (1982).  It is consistently a Christmas movie, complete with would-be touching moments, only tainted by an uneasy foreshadowing. In fact, I'm pretty sure, it’s a morbid, unofficial remake of  Miracle on 34th Street (1947). It mirrors the classic tale’s plot but twists each event in awkward, mean-spirited ways, even inexplicably borrowing some elements from its closing scene (what the fuck was that?). In the same vein, there are moments of unaligned comedy, although it's hard to know what to laugh at during Harry's awkward interactions. Any humor is blended with realistic social anxiety and an ever-increasing threat of a breakdown on Harry's part. The confusing drive to the film helps create an awesomely unnerving story that builds up to its main characters eventual violent rampage. If it's a slasher (like the cover seems to promise), then it's only during its final thirty minutes. Our killer isn't superhuman, undead, or the product of special circumstances, his life resembles our own in many boring ass ways, he just didn't handle the Yuletide bullshit very well this year.
The film borrows much of its technical style from family Christmas films, and large chunks feel like they came directly from a 1980s made for TV movie. Because the killer’s identity is known, and he is the film’s subject at all times, there is none of the classic stalking and concealment that had already almost become a cliche for American horror by that time. It’s definitely dingy but not intentionally dark, and any grime is a happy side effect of age and budget. Throughout, the editing feels broken and unfinished, as if rushed. Early on, there is a low-balled attempt at using young Harry's delusional perspective that doesn't fly very well, along with a few post-involved errors. The mangled jumps and cuts are a low point, but they still assist in moving the somewhat slow story along at a tolerable pace. Only slightly lost in the paste job, all the camera work is beautifully set and with purpose. It brings over classic composition and lighting from its out of place, fairy tale DNA, adding off-kilter impact to the subject matter. The gore comes in late, and it doesn't stick around long. There's more stock put into the tension proceeding the violence. What blood splatter you do get is pretty fun, and because it is restrained, never really loses its bite. Really, there is little explicit content outside of these moments, leaving it up to less-than-trashy psychological scares for better or worse (depending on who you are or what mood you're in).  Unsurprisingly, the movie is lined with Xmas tunes, and it brings in random jingle bell noises with some great timing, adding to the fucked up mix of moods.
From what I understand, the film was writer-director Lewis Jackson’s third feature as well as his last.  Jackson reportedly set work on the film ten years prior, completing two films before seeing it realized. It would also his be only surviving work, as his previous films, The Deviates (1970) and The Transformation: A Sandwich of Nightmares (1974) are seemingly lost to time (or maybe a divorce).  A lot of the film's effectiveness is in its homicidal Kringle, played by Brandon Maggart. Maggart’s killer's almost childlike and naive worldview drives home an eventual violent climax to a memorable degree. He never feels anywhere near evil, just dangerously damaged and unable to function in society. Maggart, who is apparently in a ton of shit I don't remember him in, does a great job blending the contrasting scenes with his take on the trope and material. His blood soaked Christmas comes early in a long list (see last year's List of Killer Santa Flicks), but still stands out as distinct and fresh to this day. The brother is played by a younger Jeffrey DeMunn, who I definitely recognize. DeMunn has a long career in small (angry) mainstream film and TV roles, but will always (in my mind) be the scientist that was buried by his homies in the first X-Files movie (Fight The Future,1998). He comes in a little hammy, but the later scenes foreshadow the latter half of his career in a positive way. There's plenty of terrible acting, and some of the delivery of the side character is laughable, but great acting isn't really something I have come to expect in holiday movies, so it's actually doing pretty well in that department. Plus look out for an (extremely) quick cameo by the films Director Lewis Jackson as a bartender at Harry’s office party.
Christmas Evil is a family holiday film that has, seemingly, undergone back alley surgery to have its cheer removed and replaced with uneasy dread. It's almost a difficult film, but its eclectic mix of feels is too bizarre to be truly dramatic. It works, but only on its own seasonally depraved terms. Next to other killer-Kringle flicks, it comes up short on instant gratification and titillation, but it can make a good break from cornball holiday slashers while keeping with the theme. It has a little more to chew on than its peers. Just because the main character has stabbed a dude in the eye, doesn't mean you can't have a touching moment where he hands out presents to orphans-- life is complicated. Obviously, I wouldn't for health reasons, but part of me just wants to give Harry a hug. The holiday really did a number on him. Christmas has a fucked up power over all of us, so don't feel bad if you start to crack this season. Stop short of skull-fucking random assholes with toy soldiers, and you should make it through another year like everyone else.
 1h 40min | 1980
 Director: Lewis Jackson
Writer: Lewis Jackson 

Links:



Review by:
RevTerry


Share:

Werewolves on Wheels (1971) Review by RevTerry

I have always loved free coffee. As kids, my friends and I would ride our skateboards around to each church in the area on Sunday morning, helping ourselves to the breakfast table before riding off to cause more minor trouble. Nobody said shit (for church reasons I assumed), and a few awkward moments was well worth some shitty coffee to me at the time. It was fun, mostly because of the free coffee, but I also derived some kind of pleasure from the holy dine and dash itself. Nowadays though, when I think back on those moments, I'm sure I must have dodged a bullet. What the fuck was I thinking? Knowing what I know now, Im lucky I made it. What if they were just letting us get away with it? They could have been making us think we were making off with some free donuts, when in reality we were opening ourselves up to their freaky drugs or potions (as opposed to just passive aggression). That could have been the plan the whole time-- entice a bunch heathens with snacks and refreshments with plans for torture, a curse of some kind, brainwashing experiments, or who knows what else. I have learned a lot from cult films (about cults in particular) and one of those lessons is, that you should never take food from religious groups. I definitely know better now. I certainly do not go seeking out pastries from zealots, and when offered, I politely decline or duck away to dispose of the likely tainted specimen. It’s a wonder I made it this far, drinking the liquids that cult members handed me like a naïf in my youth. The older wiser me knows that drinking from the wrong cup, from the right church (or maybe vice-versa) can end terribly. One swig and it's lights out, then you might wake up as a live sacrifice, possessed, or fucking knocked up by a god-monster. No coffee is worth that. I'm not going to say free refreshments don't exist, but if a bunch of similarly dressed dudes offer you some snacks, on their way to do some chanting, you should probably just pass. It could end up biting you in the ass like in Werewolves on Wheels (1971).
The Devil’s Advocates are your average late 60s nihilistic biker gang, spending days enjoying the freedom of the open road, doing nondescript drugs, and accosting various residents along an unnamed California highway. The gang is led by Adam (Steve Oliver ), who sometimes says deep things and takes advice from Tarot (Gene Shane), the gang's resident psychic. One day the gang, after roughing up a local for running a member off the road, comes upon a religious construct of some kind, nestled in a suspiciously green area (in the desert). Since being in league with the devil is kind of the group's thing, they ignore the warning of the spooky stick in the mud (Tarot) and decide to take a well-earned rest. After they have been hanging out for a while, some synchronized men in hoods show up to offer them food and drink that the extremely trusting gang members consume without question (because no one would try to poison a bunch of assholes, who just got done beating and harassing randoms). Most likely drugged from the grub, the bikers unsurprisingly pass out in front of what ends up being a church of some kind, and the cultists go about their creepy business, which includes killing a cat for some reason. Aroused by the sermon, Adams Girlfriend, Helen (Donna Anders), wakes up in a daze before anyone else, and the members of the cult quickly teach her new dance moves involving a human skull, a snake and her birthday suit. Sooner or later the bikers wake up, start kicking in church group faces and finally make a break for it. Weirded out, but mostly just chalking it all up to bad drugs, Adam and the gang go back to getting fucked up in the desert like usual. Unfortunately, members begin getting ripped to shreds or disappearing, and it starts looking like, just maybe, shit is more complicated than they thought. People start sprouting hair, there is some more chanting, and for some reason, a pile of cars is set on fire. Then, everyone meets back up at the church to finish off the bread and wine leftovers.
I'm going to guess there are mainly two camps of expectations going into this film, based on its title and poster alone. There will people who go into the flick expecting werewolves on motorcycles (as implied by the title and depicted in the accompanying artwork), and they might be a little disappointed. Those familiar with the classic b movie sales pitch, however, will be glad to know that the film does feature both motorcycles and lycanthropes. In fact, it's even the bikers that are turning into wolves--they just never quite reenact the scene on the poster (it's arguable). The actual content is almost a 60/40 split between a biker road film and an occult exploitation flick. Holding it together and making up the motivation of the film’s paper-thin plot is a basic thrill of the open road outlaw flick, following the group of ruffians as they enjoy serene rides down dusty highways (and beat people up). It's an almost serious attempt at the subgenre at first, introducing the film’s subjects as free-spirited bad boys with passionate (but nonsensical) philosophes. It takes its cues from the Angel Unchained (1970) side of the “Outlaw Biker” trend. Like a lot of its peers, there's definitely some Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, and Dennis Hopper soaked into the characters, but the flavor is less Easy Rider (1969) than it is The Wild Angels (1966) or  Hell's Angels on Wheels (1967), with The Trip (1967) sprinkled on top. Our main characters aren't what you would call good guys, but they seem to have a lot of fun with their life choices-- really, all the way up until the wolfman thing. The bikers’ initial meet-up with the cult members is dreamlike and reminiscent of Odysseus’ run-in with Circe. The genre-bending clash feels like a double feature that has folded over on top of itself. Before you can make sense of where the new setting and motif come from, the group is taking food from strangers in cloaks and people start dancing with human bones. The shift into hooded chanting sleaze is undoubtedly abrupt, but the purest approach to both subgenres compliment each other. Any rough parts in the stitching of barely related scenes get smoothed over by the consistent tongue in cheek humor. At times it seems extremely self-aware and always keeps it light-hearted through beat downs and demon worship. Even with the humor injection, it never quite tips over into any one type of film. All at the same time, it is a unique, critical art piece, derivative near-parody, and rip-off. A manic amount of conflicts are introduced (of various sizes), but none of the many subjects gets more than a surface level detail before taking their place in the chaos. If you have seen or heard of its many influences, you can fill in the possible blanks throughout. The religious depictions come in full force with random jargon and lots of flame overlays. It is a fantastical cartoon level depiction of evil that reminds me of Ted V. MikelsBlood Orgy of the She-Devils (1973) or bargain basement The Devil Rides Out (1968). By the time anyone actually turns into a werewolf, enough random threads have been introduced to fill a few movies. The wolfman plot comes in at first with a low balled mystery and finds a way to bring out the spaghetti western influences from the diverse mix of random shit. There is kind of a campfire Paul Naschy thing going on at one point, while being spliced with visions of brimstone and satan induced nudity. There's no real point to much of it, but it's never boring. Scenes feel like natural additions to the yarn, whether or not they add any value to the story.  It's a disjointed, messy blend of its era’s favorite sleaze, served with an entertainingly quick pace and an extra layer of intentional cheese.
The varied methods on the technical side of things fit well attached to the engaging but unfocused story. The “road” scenes are oddly organic and for all the silliness that they actually tie together, they still come off feeling a lot like a documentary at times. As if from another film completely, the motorcycle-centric chunks have an aspired clunky editing that strings together biker lifestyle shots with aesthetic nature footage. Sooner or later, it leads to things like a naked skull hula, but the intro sets up a mood that would give a few of its bikesploitation peers a run for their money.  For its satanic rituals and such, the film switches bases completely into artful madness without notice. Just as motivated as the more grounded moments in the film, the occult depiction bundles borrowed techniques into a unique outlandish style. The camera, more or less, takes flight during these flashy rituals, pausing its frantic twirling only for shit like eyeball close-ups. As quickly as it shifts from the two extremes, it drops all stylization for most of the last quarter. The movie’s wolfman effects are a low point, somehow being less intimidating than the shorter haired bikers. It's more than a little lackluster in the monster department, however, that does lead to some of the film’s best carnage. Eventually, there are some practical gore effects that can be pretty brutal, even a little ahead of their time, but they take forever to show up and include a ridiculous fake cat sacrifice. Each theme in the film gets its own extremely fitting soundtrack. Avant-garde, instrumental 70s guitar laces the trashy black magic psychedelics, leaving the biker scenes to a playlist of folksy 60s rock. 
The movie is Michel Levesque first feature as a director. Levesque would direct the trashy revenge thriller Sweet Sugar (1972) the following year before spending the next few decades as an art director, doing work for Russ Meyer early on and even bringing to life some junk food for television in the 90s. The stunts in the film were orchestrated by Charles Bail, who would very soon afterward direct blaxploitation classic Black Samson (1974) as well the cross country comedy The Gumball Rally (1976). Taking the leadership role here, Steve Oliver had already donned a leather jacket in the relatively grounded Angels from Hell (1968). Child star (Father Knows Best 1954-1960) Billy Gray was, kind of, doing a bad boy thing after his pot arrest in 1962, although it would be a whole eight years after this flick that he would show up in anything else unrelated to Father Knows Best. Folk rocker Barry McGuire is in there too, for some reason. Apparently, it was one of two forays into acting (I think he's making songs about Jesus exclusively now). The film’s de facto antagonist is played by Severn Darden, who was already a veteran in 1971 and would appear as Kolp in the last two Planet of the Apes films (plus like, 120 more films). Legend has it that much of the gang was filled out with a real outlaw motorcycle club, who for the most part acted out the scenes with little direction. It's pretty obvious from watching that everyone had a lot of fun making the film.  I also have to assume that Rob Zombie is a fan, as he has sampled the film in two songs and made nods in his own film works.
Werewolves on Wheels is a standoff between commonly used grindhouse tropes on a dusty American road. It's wonderfully goofy garbage that makes me wish Paul Naschy and Dennis Hopper would have gotten together in the late 60s to ride motorcycles, take acid and fight random doom-cults. The plot cramps every genre trope it can fit in its runtime, while still moving along quickly enough to keep it simple and consistently entertaining (all it's really missing is hippies). It makes me feel better that even some badass bikers fell for the old free food at church routine. By dumb-luck alone, I made it through my more trusting youthful indiscretions. I don't know if fourteen year old me had it in him to punch enough old people in Sunday clothes to make it out of a scenario with the same gusto that The Devil's Advocates had. Although, now that I have typed that out it, it seems like something little RevTerry might have been into trying, at least.
1h 25min | 1971
 Director: Michel Levesque
Writers: David M. Kaufman, Michel Levesque 

Links:

Review by:
RevTerry


Share:

Rot (1999) Review by RevTerry

I was a grimy punk kid for a good chunk of my life and like to think that I still am, in some ways. I slept in squats, dumpster dove at a Trader Joe's a few times, and wore pants (with the appropriate patches) for weeks at a time. I can say that I have slept dangerously sloshed in a public park with an empty, blown up wine pouch (aka space-bag) under my head, and had woken up happy that I scored the makeshift pillow--that time. However, I know for a fact that when it came to being crusty, I was in the minor leagues. I am sure of this for two main encompassing reasons. First, I'm a little afraid of germs. Even at my most hardcore (or inebriated), I was pretty fucking wimpy in that area (any further insight here I might sound nuts). Let's just say, sometimes I can't hang. Secondly, in my various travels, I have run into some individuals who truly excel in being disgusting and take real pride it. Certain folks take the crust-punk lifestyle to the next level. It's definitely something to be admired but, you know, from afar. Stink is true cred to an elite crowd, and status can be measured in layers of vomit ingrained in the “battle vest”. For them, puke is a big deal or, more accurately, less a problem than with normal people. The truest practitioner of the gross-arts can throw up all over their Fleas and Lice t-shirt, in the middle of the pit, without skipping a beat, and even give a few hugs after. Not me, as (far as I can remember) blowing chunks on myself means the end of that party. I'm not talking shit-- I'm envious. We were all out there talking the game, and they were living it--pure, stinky ass freedom. I'm not a stylish person or a meticulously clean person, I just wasn't wired for a lot of what must be endured to rise through the rankest of ranks. I suck at snot rockets, won't smoke meth, and refuse to eat McDonald's, let alone half a Mcgriddle found on the ground. I also never contracted a disease from fucking dead people, like in Rot (1999), which sounds like it would be worth a lot of punk points.
Sarah (Tiffany Stinky) has a problem, well a few problems, but one really pressing one. She has been spending a lot of time at the funeral home lately, under the guise that she is using the cadavers as inspiration for art. Unfortunately, while swept up in her character study, she accidentally copulates with one of the stiff ones and contracts some kind of flesh-eating virus. Before she fully understands the scope of her infection, she gives the dead-guy-STDs to her boyfriend Muzzy (Billy Scam) who is somewhat perturbed when he finds out. The two begin to, literally, fall apart, and not having many courses of action, they decide to go around town causing mischief and possibly starting a worldwide zombie-dick-disease epidemic to a steady playlist of 90s street punk riffs. Things aren't as natural as they seem, however, as the disease (code name ROT)  is part of a somewhat murky plan devised by the diabolical Dr. Robert Olsen (Joel D. Wynkoop), a discredited former leading force in the government’s biological warfare program and part-time funeral home employee. On the upside, he has a cure for the infliction and something of a crush on Sarah. Before a deal can be worked out though, government intervention adds guys in dark suits and sunshades into the chaos. Sooner or later, everything is covered in vomit, people are full-on melting in alleyways, and we all learn a good lesson on safe sex.
Rot is Nekromantik (1987), some Twisted Issues (1988) and a tiny bit of Repo Man (1984) recorded over the family birthday VHS. It's a strange intersection at the SOV markets for gross-out horror and niche punk community films, however, (somewhat unsurprisingly) the two disciplines complement each other well. The concept alone should shake a few from putting it on at all, and it makes itself known in the first ten minutes, if you didn't already read a synopsis. Jörg Buttgereit's DNA is heavily present in a lot of the film's story, especially on paper, but implanted inside a muted Slime City (1988) for the grimy 90s kid. It goes for the nice and easy shock--very quickly you go from dead people fucking to a disturbingly dark colored projectile barf with little foreplay. The mess isn't going to come close to breaking anyone who is already accustomed to its precursors, nevertheless, it is successfully demented. It helps that the film fills the moments in between gross-out scenes with punk “lifestyle” hijinks and low rent Natural Born Killers (1994) relationship moments. There are flashes of passed around tapes like The Edge of Quarrel (2000) or even Thrust in Me (1985), where it's obvious that it's a group of friends making a film very (very) loosely based on their daily life and conversations. More frequently, it feels like the dysfunctional necrophilia version of Jimmy and Judy (2006), somehow placing our cadaver boinking maiden as the relatable narrator who is young, in love, and seemingly just along for the ride. The mix of extreme horror and crime couple tropes with the “how we live” filmmaking makes an awesomely confusing tone. Somewhere, I think there is supposed to be some allusions to addiction in there, although it falls into the larger, over exaggerated street kid theme without much impact.  Dead bodies show up much less than one would think, but the corn and sleaze ratio works for the most part. Later on, it gets a little thick on the silly mad scientist shit, which wears a little more than the rest, despite that the film seems to move extremely quickly all-around. Without ever deciding what kind of mail order tape it wants to be, it pulls off being a wonderfully awkward and unique piece of trash. 
Rot is shot on video with minimal Florida locations and with presumably no budget. There is only a handful of settings, which includes parking lots and more than one bathroom. Parts of the film are too dark or manic to decipher what's happening, leaving you with some laughable struggle sound effects and a black screen for minutes at a time. Although constantly cramped, it takes a few great lessons from its resourceful influences to create some creepy mood shots and keeps pace with quick cuts between its available angles. Most of the inconsistent lighting works out, giving each of the limited settings their own flavor of grit and coloring. The effects build up strength as they go and are heavily boosted by the creative passion behind the scenes but never really come close to the wince-inducing gore and explicit content of its spiritual parents. Don't get me wrong, it's not a movie to watch while having dinner, the subject matter just puts it in a league with some nasty fucking classics.  It's a lot of puking-- a medley of spew-- chunky, creamy, strange colors. There is at least one vomit exchange (two I think) that your mom is not going to dig (that's not fair, I don't know her, but really most people aren't going to like it). The rotting flesh is pulled off with a mix of inventive ooze, “cake zombie” type makeup and camera grain. Once people really start getting sick, the film utilizes several different clever and frugal techniques for things like conveniently timed body melting. Gore-wise, its relatively high-quality stuff, especially when compared to the other technical aspects of the film. At its worst, the faces of the main characters look like they are going to see a Mercyful Fate show, and that's still pretty cool. Sound gets patchy on some dialog and on a lot of the effects, which is most likely tied (again) to each location. If there is any scoring, I don't remember it. There is an abundant soundtrack of 90s punk rock (plus some industrial metal, I think), and that's a pretty good consolation prize.
The film's director, Marcus Koch, would go on to spend most of his time in special effects, producing flesh and slime for a range of straight to video horror to this day. Rot was an early experiment for Koch and his first directorial effort. His three other feature films (100 Tears 2007, Fell 2010 and Bloodshock 2015) lay heavier into the torture porn angle, with his most recent being a part of the American Guinea Pig series, which has gained some followers (and returned to the viral infection concept a little). I assume most of the roles are played by Florida locals, having no other discernable credits (that I know of). The exclusion being Joel D. Wynkoop who had already received a b-movie doctrine, appearing as the recurring character DR. Dan Hess in a series of shoestring films by Tim Ritter (starting with Wicked Games in1994). Wynkoop continues to work in the genre currently, with over one hundred roles to his name, including a wide assortment of disheveled antagonists and a few detectives. All the dialog is pretty terrible, but Wynkoop comes out looking the worst, as the film spends extended periods of time circling him as he monologues about his origins and his plans. Basically, the happy couple at the focus of the film, Sarah (Tiffany Stinky) and Muzzy (Billy Scam) just yell things at each other. Still, I have seen films with a lot less chemistry that didn't start with undead infidelity.
Rot is homegrown SOV horror adorned in plenty of bile and some hand me down Doc Martin's.   It's probably going to succeed in grossing some people out (rightfully so, as it spends a lot of the movie in bathrooms that look the part), which I think everyone will count as a win in this case. I get a lot of joy out of the clash between two of my favorite things--body horror and 90s punk rock. I guess, being the crustiest is just like anything else, there is always going to be someone more hardcore than you. It doesn't matter how many times you puke on yourself, somewhere out there, somebody is fucking a corpse with the perfect soundtrack, and you can't beat that (nor should you want to).
1h 20min | 1999
 Director: Marcus Koch 

Links:


Review by:
RevTerry


Share:
VIDEORELIGON

All Time Favorites

New Shit!

Humongous (1982) Review by RevTerry

tumblr

Facebook

advertisement