Thursday, April 28, 2016

Horrors of Spider Island - 1960

So I do feel bad about the lack of reviews, after all.  Even though no one cares.  I care, I'm someone, right?  In this case I guess so.  Horrors of Spider Island is also a riffed-on movie, done in the last season of MST3K, and it does deserve it.  Just so you know what kind of territory we're diving into on this one.

I may have been a tad hard on The Creeping Terror for its audio quality and the whole narration thing, because this movie gladly interrupts dialogue thats taking place to have the narrator sum up what the guys are saying.  Of course, Creep did it to a huge extreme, whereas this treats it more as a "special case" type of thing.  And is it possible they're the same guy?  Now, I obviously know that they're not, but they sound hugely similar.  Horrors could almost be seen as a similar film to Creep though, because they both feature that narration bit as well as featuring badly done monsters.
At least this looks like a fucking spider though.

Dance producer Gary hires a bunch of girls in the beginning of the film to put on a show in Singapore.  Their plane crashes in a glorious fireball, yet somehow they all survive.  They drift to an island somewhere, and it turns out to not only have some other people on it, but also giant spiders!  Gary's dancers are helpless, babbling stereotypes, Gary himself a slab of chunky gristle who is also a worthless stereotype, and generally the movie goes mostly how you'd expect.  It's lighter on the monster than Creeping Terror, we only see the Spider a handful of times, but we do see is the dude the spider bites who then turns into a spider/human hybrid! 
"We're out of cream cheese?!"

Most of the movie is the petty arguments of the prima-donna girls, Gary trying to get with them, and then the other two guys on the island getting with them.  There is a lot of soft-soft core erotica in this (bare legs, skimpy outfits) and even a nude scene with censored bodies!  That's pretty rare, and I do have to wonder if the overseas versions of this kept the nudity intact.  So, that's why this was made.  In short.  See my review of Zeta One for my thoughts on early film nudity and erotica.

Some movies deserve a lot of explanation, this one does not.  Early soft-soft erotica and barely there monster thrills are more than enough here.  And, corny chauvinistic dialogue by the dudes.  I give it a slightly middle of the road 3.5 stars, though it is an awesome late night WTF drinking smoking movie too.  Okay, fine, 4 stars.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil - 1993

I wanted to go into this franchise right in the freakin middle of it, with zero introduction, just to see how it was.  If it would be confusing, if I'd feel like this was a worthy horror franchise for me to check out, etc.  Ya know how it goes.  I'm also going to write this blog entry in an uncustomary way, as I'm not going to look up a single thing about it online while I write.  Usually I peruse the Wikipedia article if there is one, the IMDb page, whatever the case may be, while I write.

Witchcraft V does the "classic" in terms of a fifth series installment where one does not need to know a lot about the movies prequels going in.  That is, to have the villain appear and be a mystery man.  Your mystery man villain in this is Cain, a magician who seems to have mystic powers, and is overly acted to the point of an almost eye rolling reaction.  Cain hypnotizes people and uses them to his will, which seems to be fucking with the main character dude, William.  William's girlfriend Keli bears the burden of handling most of William's new mannerisms, which includes abuse and demonic influence.

First thing other than that I noticed, you ask?  Damn, this movie has a lot of nudity filler in it!  Seriously, around 30 minutes in, it turns into a regular orgy, where the main evil girl Marta is topless in most of her scenes, Keli gets topless, some secretary girl gets topless, it's a whole load of bouncing tits in this flick!  I loved it!  Also, there were many scenes of girls giving oral sex to guys, which - by the way, is pretty hot.

Witchcraft may be the horror movie with the most sequels, clocking in at 13 of these fuckers.  Jesus god, why?  Okay, I take that back.  If all the movies were like this, then I would not ask why.  But I'm seasoned enough to know that all the movies are not anywhere near this good, without even stepping a foot near them.  I am going to watch Witchcraft 2 now, just to see what it's like, you may or may not get a review.

Not to dwell on it overly long, but it's a fairly decent movie!  Sure, the acting was awful.  But enough skin, and a linear enough plot keeps one watching.  In truth, I don't even fucking remember how this movie ended.  I do remember it was extremely abrupt, the credits were rolling the second these two characters stopped talking, and I laughed at that.  But as a fifth entry it's great!  I mean check this out, it did it's job:  I want to see more of the series.  That's the job of any fifth series film.  So for that, 3.5 B movie stars.

The Creeping Terror - 1964

Are you fucking kidding me with that year?  1964?!  19fuckingSIXTY4?!  So, only 4 years after this, one of the greatest sci-fi movie of all time, 2001 A Space Odyssey was made, and yet this movie only 4 years earlier didn't even have it's own soundtrack?  I say this because I guessed 1954 when I was inputting the year.  Even then, I had that part of me that was nagging in my head: "No, it's earlier.  Put 1953.  1952!" (I try to guess the movie's year without looking when inputting the title, and I'm often right)

This is almost an experiment in "how bad can a movie really be?"  I would not hesitate to describe it as perhaps the most amateur film that's widely known, taking that prize from the clutches of even Mr. Ed Wood.  The reason?  At least Ed Wood's films had a fucking soundtrack.  It's not like he recorded a narrator who explains what happens in the conversations instead of having the conversations!  The thing about Wood is that he's appealing because of what he did: he made almost real looking movies with barely anything, and is known because of the appeal they still had: real actors, bizarre effects, etc.  This thing is so amateur it barely registers as a movie at all.

Shot without sound, every sound had to be added in post production.  But why hire a bunch of voice actors to voice the characters when you could just have a narrator describing what happens in the conversations?!  Right?  So the narrator explains the plot, tells us what the people are talking about, even fills in the blanks as to why some things happen.  But then, there are also large parts where the narrator apparently vanishes and we're left wondering what's going on.

It's your classic killer alien plot, there's a spaceship that lands on earth, out comes the killer alien, starts to kill people.  However the alien looks balls out ridiculous.
It's obviously made out of whatever scraps they found laying around, lots of pieces of rug, and hot glue.  Apparently, there was going to be a different, better monster, but that simply never worked out.  So we get this....thing.  Whatever this is.  It moves really slow, and eats people.  But of course, it has no real mouth, just a slit that people seem to get caught in.  Being that they could not obviously afford to have it look like the monster was actually eating them, the people sort of have to climb into the monster's mouth and, and, and....and I could go on forever about how horrendously bad, cheesy, and just plain ludicrous this monster is.

There's some subplot about a girl who two different guys want, as well as a subplot about a newlywed couple, the man of which is on the police force.  There are also plenty of random badly acted extras who get killed along the way as well.

The story of this movie's making is also one of those that has a legend behind it, as it seems minor parts were "sold" to investors, like "hey, you can play the hardware salesman character if you give me $100".  They were sorta duped into it, and there's a few more things explored, all of that in this film's own mockumentary about it, here:

It's insane, schlocky, bizarre, otherworldly and a classic.  It both deserves 5 stars for many reasons, and 0 stars for so many reasons, but that means it's up to me, so it's gets 5 f'n stars.  Oh, and it's known, so it's included because of Sci Fi Invasion boxset.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Manster - 1959

I might not include this one if it wasn't for the Sci Fi boxset.  Not because it doesn't deserve it - it does for sure.  But because this one is pretty well known in terms of 50's monster movies.  Probably because, as I hope to get across in this review, it's really good.  It's a good, fun film, a great definition of 50's monster movies, and a fast paced cheap flick fit for friends.

The Manster is a altogether too-rare American monster-film that was filmed in Japan.  Sure, there were a few others, but it's too annoying to find out what they were.  Some things are still hard to google, what can I say?  Being shot in Japan in the 50's, you would expect it to have some Asian charm to it, and it is chock full of it.  Also pretty surprising was the fact there are a couple likable Asian characters, and they are in rather large roles sometimes.  In one scene that legitimately made me laugh out loud, the main character Larry is seen participating in a traditional Japanese dance, wearing kimono and everything!

It's a classic mad scientist plot of course.  Mad scientist Robert Suzuki, a likable fellow played by Japanese actor Tetsu Nakamura, is experimenting with a mutating serum.  He has one victim already, a woman who was deformed by the serum.

She is later explained to be Suzuki's wife, who requested to have the serum tested on her.  Point is, Suzuki has since perfected the serum, and after drugging Larry, he injects it into his shoulder.  Larry soon starts exhibiting strange behavior.  He decides not to return to the US where his wife is waiting for him, rather he starts drinking a lot, flirting with other women, and hanging out with Suzuki all the time.  He is quick to get real uppity about it too, launching into anger at the slightest provocation, and mouthing off to anyone for any reason.  

Suzuki's mysterious assistant, the lovely and ambiguously ethnic Tara is baiting Larry to stay in Japan by seducing him, and all the while reporting back to Suzuki.  Soon she grows a conscience though, and is done with this whole thing.  It's about that time Larry's transformation leads him to his first kill, a priest at a Buddhist temple.  His behavior has reached a crescendo, and just like that, the big reveal is made as Larry looks in the mirror at the spot where Suzuki first injected him...

Full of decent acting, great pacing, and silly little goings-on, it's no wonder this is a classic.  It's errors are there, too, however.  I found that I really liked having Larry as the main character, but once he goes full evil, Larry mostly disappears and we instead follow Suzuki, Larry's wife Linda, and Larry's friend Ian.  They are not as defined characters, and not nearly as fun to watch.  Also, they chose to have Larry transform even further after this.  It seems the eye above is the beginning of a full being growing out of Larry's shoulder, and for a while that means Larry has two heads:
It made sense in the 50's but now all I could think was that I wished they had not done this.  But, take it for what it is, a genuine 50's monster flick with its good and its bad (and it's so-bad-it's-good).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Silver Needle in the Sky- 1954

Rocky Jones is a kids show.  I mean, seriously here look at this:  Rocky is dad.  He represents the father that we all had when we were young that was our hero: calm, level headed, strong, and smart.  Winky is our older brother, or close-to-us older friend or cousin or whatever.  A few years older, entering the higher grades and talking to other, cooler kids.  Later he'd be entering the work world or talking to girls.  Then there is always the kid that's thrown into the plot, in this movie it's Bobby.  That kid's awesome, working on a rocket-ship, but he's still humble and childish.  We (the kids watching the show in 1954) are basically Bobby, or want to be.

The villain in this is a woman.  She's our mother.  She's wicked and full of evil laughs.  She is vaguely pretty, but not in a sexual way.  She has disposable henchmen, and they're all young males: would these drones symbolize us if we followed her rules?  There are no good females in this.  The only other female is a young woman on the ship who is in love with Rocky.  She obviously wants to be his butt slut, but she's too young for him and he's too adulty for that.

In the plot, Cleolanta of Mars (or somewhere like that) has kidnapped some of Earth's great scientists.  Rocky and Winky have to save them, and they have some mild tricks up their sleeve.  With the help of Bobby and the butt slut, Rocky and Winky will eventually emerge victorious of course, despite Cleolanta and her military chief Atlasande's efforts to try and stop them.

I will admit straight out that this one was way better than Planet Outlaws.  The plot's way more linear, the story moves along quicker, and this movie is shorter.  I enjoy Rocky more than Buck Rogers anyway, so there's that too.  This one also makes more sense in that it came out the same year the show was on TV, it's not like Outlaws where is came out way later.  Obviously, being 1954, the budget and effects were still minimal, but this one manages to pull off a decent flick despite that.

There was a point when I was watching this that I realized it felt extremely "classic" in that classic sci-fi sort of way.  Now, since it's made for TV and low budget etc, there are basically no effects.  Most of the action is in form of dialogue, and everything the characters actually DO is all very ABC, you know "run over here, talk to this guy, smart your way outta the situation".  Just like, again, Planet Outlaws.  However, it does make for an interest factor that you're either going to have or not have.  If you decide early on that you don't want to approach this openly, then you'll hate it.  But if you roll with it, you'll like it.  Basically.

I don't want to give this too high a rating, of course, since I only gave Outlaws like 2 stars I think.  This is better, and like I said it felt "classic".  I give it 3 stars.  BTW, this is going back to my Sci Fi Invasion boxset.  I'll finish it one day!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Killer Bees - 2005

Man it feels like forever since I wrote one of these.  Yes, it's true, I said I was slowing down, but I don't know if I planned on slowing down this much.  And I have another review "in the works" but this movie was finished first so, you know.  More are coming.  My wife leaves for 3 weeks pretty soon here and I'm gonna do nothing but watch bad movies and drink Camo XXXXX.

This movie practically doesn't even exist.  The IMDb page has no reviews, none of the actors characters names are listed.  I only remember one character name, Yuriko.  There was apparently a different killer bee movie from 2005 called Swarmed, plus there was a movie called Killer Bees in 2009.  Two guesses which films come up when I look up this particular one from 2005.  This movie stops being mentioned after 3 or so Google search results, and I can find zero other people talking about this movie.

Also know as "Killing Bee" which makes it sound like it's only one bee, this film does seem to have actors and a director that have done some other things.  Small things, sure.  Made for TV, check.  Porn, check.  In other words.  So what have you here?  Well, you have an extremely low budget Japanese flick, a very bland "horror" movie about killer bees attacking girls up in the hills somewhere.  They're on a camping trip for some reason, and thus far away from any help.  Turns out the bees are killer bees, and their poison is killing the people they sting.

Most of the time you're watching inane acting by amateur actors.  It's all shot in that recognizable amateur style, cinematography is non-existent, style never attempted, and looks like it was all put together by someone whose age or IQ was roughly 12.  It's not going to kill you though.  I had the rare opportunity to watch a great majority of this film with someone (!) for one of the few times in this blog.  I'm not counting my wife necessarily, but even counting her I think the total is only about 10 movies watched with someone.  Anyhow, me and my buddy were a few beers in and ripped on this flick, and even under that circumstance it was hard.

It's one of those where you're going to be slightly overwhelmed by how bad it is, that it's almost going to leave you speechless.  For some comic appeal if you're drunk, and the ability to sleep through it, I will give it 1 star though.