Sunday, January 26, 2020

Review Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

Wait. Let's just let that title sit for a bit.  How fucking good is that title?  70's Italian Giallo's have the best fucking names.  Ok, now that we've all appreciated the greatest title in horror history (don't @ me) let's talk about the film.

Wtf!? It says it's "freely adapted" from Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat and "freely" is a damn understatement.  I won't spoil anything but if you're familiar with Poe's story then there is one key famous element taken from his story but the rest is pure Sergio Martino madness and thank god for that.

For real this opened with one of the most bizarre scenes I've ever seen.  Like it took my brain a good 5 minutes to recover and start making sense of this movie.  It's not even like deliberately abstract or anything it's just THIS ISN'T HOW HUMAN BEINGS ACT.  Get ready for one of the most awkward dinner party scenes in existence.

It's pretty much immediately established that the lead dude is like the worst fucking person you've ever met.  The. FUCKING. Worst.  A misogynistic, adultering, racist who also somehow manages to just fuck anything that movies whether they want to or not (trigger warning). It's a Giallo so of course there are murders, the police suspect our main asshole and his own wife becomes suspicious of him so to get her to believe him he CONSTANTLY THREATENS TO MURDER HER.  This dude is fucking dense.

Then his niece played by Edwige Fenech shows up and guess what Captain Douchebag wants to do? If you guessed fuck his niece, you'd be right and gross.  Listen Edwige is one of the most attractive film actress from this era but goddamn bro she family.

Listen. There's a lot more murders, even more incest, some weird ass out of no where subplots, lesbians, motorcycle races, nudity, and cats all presented under the GREATEST GODDAMN FILM TITLE!

I'm giving it all the stars.  70's Italian Giallos are the best and all your favorite 80's slashers just stole from them, shush you know it.

Available on Amazon Prime.

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Review The Perfection (2018)

The Perfection

Do. Not. Read. This. Review.  Go watch the movie.  Why are you still here?

In the ever evolving debate over spoilers (recently brought up again due to Avengers Endgame and Game of Thrones) I have an opinion and while I'm not gonna debate you I'll cater to both sides here.  If you like to go into a movie blind and know absolutely nothing then this is definitely a film you should do that with.  Go right now. Don't watch that trailer. Just go.

Now if you don't care, well that's up to you.  I'm not gonna spoil anything here but in my opinion you should know as little as possible but it's your choice. Read on at your own discretion.

Netflix greenlights so many things these days I'm not entirely sure they know what their making. Seriously who signed off on this film?  It's fucking crazy. Like legit fucking nuts. Bonkers. Bat-shit. Bug-fuck. And it's dark as hell.  Like the inside-of-John-Wayne-Gacy's-crawlspace-on-a-moonless-night dark.  I'm not gonna give spoilers here but this film is not gonna be for everyone.  But goddamn is it so much for me. This is extremely my shit. Its wild, beautifully shot, and just harrowing. There so much I wanna talk about but you really should experience every twist and turn for yourself.

With all of these Netflix originals now they just seem to fly under the radar but do not let this one pass you by.  Probably the most daring and original horror film ever to come out of Netflix and one of my faves of the year so far.  Incredibly fucked up and all too relevant right now.  It takes some wild turns and its bound to touch on at least one of your phobias.  There's gonna be a lot of squirming in your seat.

This is your recommendation and your warning.
Available on Netflix

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Review The Meg (2018)

The Meg

A year ago in my gushing review of Deep Blue Sea (my hat is like a shark's fin) I opined my displeasure with with disappearance of larger budgeted animal attack films and specifically mentioned The Meg as a hopeful return films of this nature.  That August I hunkered down in one of those lavish AMC Dolby recliners and prepared myself for some shark munching insanity.

I never took notes from that screening since I knew I was going to wait until next shark week to review it but there was an analogy that I came up with and almost a year removed from that screening I still remember it.  Rewatching the film this year it couldn't be more appropriate. "The Meg is like bowling with the bumpers up." Put that shit on your fucking poster.  Listen Jaws was rated fucking PG and had more teeth than this 40 years ago!  This is the definition playing it safe.

And it's not just the lack of gore, it's just everything about this film is so milquetoast. I love Statham in the Crank films but his job here is pretty much just you know, be Jason Statham.  There's a whole mess of side characters that range from "ok" to "just exists so Statham can have drama." Rainn Wilson might be the only one with a real character if you consider "douchey tech billionaire" a character.
People die in bloodless obscured scenes that deprive us of what we really want, an ancient giant shark shredding people between it's jaws.  Not every shark movie needs gore, plenty are incredibly suspenseful and engaging but this is not one of them and it's certainly not why we came to see this film about a giant ass shark.

We get some people gobbled up in a 3rd act sequence that is way too little too late which again is bloodless and shows next to nothing.  The action sequences aren't worth enough to get your heart rate to rise above a fart. I know it seems I'm being harsh and it's definitely not the worst film you could watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon but this is the Soccer Mom Van of shark movies.  We can do so much better.

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Review The Deadly Spawn (1983)

The Deadly Spawn

As I settled being the wheel (of my PARKED car) with a cooler full of beer in the backseat, I hunkered down for my first drive in movie, The Deadly Spawn.  This was the only film of the night that I've seen before but I've been looking to re-watch it.  The drive in is a whole other experience and the first thing I realized was, "damn was my windshield always this dirty?" The Deadly Spawn has a lot of what you'd expect from such low budget fare like weak acting, a singular location, etc etc... because it seems like whatever the budget was on this movie it all went to one area and that's the creature.  Listen acting, location, wardrobe, lighting, etc whatever, these are all important aspects of filmmaking yadda yadda but they all cost money and to be honest if you don't have an award winning script in hand then fuck those other departments and spend all your money on a dope ass monster.

The Deadly Spawn has one of the coolest fucking creatures in straight up any movie. The fact that this amazingly awesome nightmare worm somehow comes from such a low budget production makes it even more impressive.

And listen just because I joke about all the money being spent on the creature doesn't mean the rest of the movie is bad, in fact it's pretty damn good.  The characters while maybe not portrayed by the greatest thespians of our time are at least written differently from the standard horror movie fodder.  They're decently likable human being that you don't mind spending 80 minutes with. It's surprising how many films with a lot more money manage to fuck this up.

But back to the creature cuz that's why we're all here. There's some great gore sequences as the muti-fanged alien slug munches it's fair share of unlucky side characters. Throw in some surprising deaths and an incredible dinner scene involving some old ladies and plenty of tiny mutant penis-looking vampire worms and you got yourself a genuine fun as fuck wild ride of a film.
Seriously this should be checked out based on the awesome creature work alone at the very least.

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Review Street Trash (1987)

Street Trash
Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key might be the coolest name but I can't think of a more apt name for any film than this.  It is absolute trash.  Good thing I love trash.

Now homelessness is a huge issue and I think you should judge a society on how they treat their lowest and if you were to believe that and saw this film you'd be thinking "wtf is up with America? it's just full of crazy hobos!" Seriously they have a little hobo society with a hobo hierarchy and hobo garbage dump palaces like a hobo Game of Thrones.  It's ridiculous.

The movie starts pretty strong with absolutely amazing sfx.  We get one of the coolest melting hobo scenes ever put to film.  It's disgusting and sleazy and must be seen.

Then unfortunately the film kinda meanders for a bit.  It's pretty low quality and there isn't really much of a plot.  But 2 big things happen.
1. A hobo gets his dick cut off and all the other hobos play football with it inside a salvage yard.  And good for this movie, you never see genital mutilations in other genre's like rom coms or court room dramas. +1 for horror.

2. (Trigger warning, like huge fucking trigger warning) There's a hobo gang rape.  These dirty filthy hobos descend on this poor women like a wild pack of dogs. I breathed a sigh of relief that they actually don't show anything beside them dragging her away but even the implication was pretty rough. It's a trashy sleazy film but even this kinda stands out as extra cruel.
Oh I guess there's also a weird mafia subplot that gets introduced halfway through the film but whatev.

After the penis football and hobo assault we finally get back to the good part and that's melting hobos. And boy oh boy do they melt. They melt, they bubble, they drip, they explode.  The third act is an absolutely amazing string of sfx highlights that makes it worth sitting through it's slow middle.

Oh and there's also necrophilia in this movie.

Seriously it's Troma level quality with a ton of sleaze, zero plot, but awesome sfx.  You know if you're the type of person who wants to watch it.

Available on Shudder also as part of Joe Bob Briggs The Last Drive-in.