Cannibal Corpse Killers (2016)
directed by: Joaquin Montalvan
starring: Theresa Holly, Joaquin Montalvan, Katherine Norland, Nate Philo, Chris Shumway, Dennis Haggard, Ron Jason, Evan Michael Putjenter format: screener NTSC: Region 1
Joaquin Montalvan is responsible for one of my all time favorite indie horrors Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher and to date I have seen all his films available. He was kind enough to send me a screener of his latest movie CCK aka Cannibal Corpse Killers. CCK is a post apocalyptic slash western slash horror film and I have to say another A plus effort from one of my favorite directors. Joaquin had a major part in this movie and while mostly my opinion of directors acting in their own films is low Joaquin is just not on that list. This movie more than any of his other films you are able to see him come out as an actor and I really enjoyed his antics there. And of course then we have Theresa Holly whom seems to be a regular of his now and in this reviewer's opinion there is no question as to why. Theresa is one of those actors who just oozes talent and presence on screen. Fell in love with her on Legend of The Hillbilly Butcher and her part as Ruby in this one was a whole different animal. Some of the acting varied in this but I really cannot call out any of them as bad, never once was I pulled from the movie from the cause of a bad actor.
The story follows a small group of nomads in search of shelter amongst other things in the vast post apocalyptic world where there are hardly any animals or even living people. I say living people because the world is now populated with zombies and cannibals literally everywhere they go. The group is lead by Pike and consists of Scar, Ruby, Boots, and Slim a new member who helps the others on their quest for car parts, shelter, food, everything a person needs in a world wasting away by the minute. The people they come across are all bizarre and some downright nasty. The character Joaquin plays was by far my favorite, well other than Ruby of course, but Joaquin really like I said went all out with this role playing crazy very, and crazy he was. I won't go much into the story so as not to spoil too much but our group fends off not only the zombies but various whacked out human beings and all the confrontations ended quite violently.
The blood and gore were great. Kudos to the fx people in this gore soaked feature. The blood was real, the guts, the chewing, and we even get some severed head action and a tongue being bitten and pulled out of a victims mouth right at the beginning. I am a gorehound and any attempt to fit gore into any movie is good but this one really set out to bring out the red stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. There wasn't much in the way of music or a score but I really think that was best to show how desolate the world had become. I am a huge fan of post apocalyptic films and this one kind of reminded of World Gone Wild which is an absolute childhood favorite of mine. Make sure to watch for some homages to The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, and a couple others. I am definitely a bit bias for Joaquin's films but this one really was very enjoyable and the end is just perfect. Highly recommended for any fan of post apocalyptic stuff, gore films, or zombie films.
Director - Jerry Warren (Frankenstein Island, Man Beast)
Starring - Don Sullivan (The Giant Gila Monster, The Monster of Piedras Blancas), Katherine Victor (Gargoyles, TaleSpin), and Steve Conte (Bewitched, Face of the Screaming Werewolf)
Release Date - 1959
Genre - Sci-Fi/Horror
Tagline - "Young pawns thrust into pulsating cages of horror in a sadistic experiment"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
Revenge of the Virgins was not the sleazy western I was expecting from Vin Syn. The film made me think it was going to be the sleaze I am accustomed to with Vin Syn but in a western setting. I was wrong. The film was more like a low budget western with topless Indians. No real sleaze other than the topless Indians which was actually done tastefully. The female Indians are beautiful, don't get me wrong, but they were done as a way to be authentic and primal not sexual. The next film in the set was Teenage Zombies. This is one movie I had heard about before. It is one of those classic b-movie monster movies from the golden age of drive-ins. I was excited to check it out but I was a little bummed it was in the comfort of my own home and not out in a field somewhere with a speaker hanging on my door glass.
The film follows a young couple who are looking for their friends when they failed to pick them up from horseback riding. They had went water skiing earlier in the day so the young couple fear that they may have capsized or broke down on the water. The visit the sheriff who sends out a search party with no luck. The couple search the water for themselves and discover a small island. On the island they find a mysterious woman who is secretly a scientist and has been conducting experiments on those unlucky enough to visit her island. Now the young couple find themselves on the wrong side of her experiment.
I wasn't expecting much from Teenage Zombies but I was excited to see it nonetheless. I have seen it countless times as part of all night creature features and monster marathons with other classics like Last Man on Earth, House on Haunted Hill, Night of the Living Dead, and the like. The acting in this one is not bad at all but there was several scenes where I couldn't help but laugh at their reactions to certain situations. They needed a little more direction and understanding of how the scenes were set to play out. The story for this one is nothing new. By 1959 the mad scientist doing experiments on the innocent was already a cliché but very few mixed with it the voodoo zombie angle. This could have been fun but was never fully explored or actually explained. Finally, those of you with an eye for blood will not find any here. The film is pretty tame in respects to horror in a modern sense. It does have a gothic look and feel but is more campy sci-fi more than anything. Overall, Teenage Zombies is definitely a definitive example of a 1950s b-movie. I would have loved to see this at an actual drive-in just for the experience but the film is not that great. Easily forgettable.
Director - Peter Perry Jr. (Honeymoon of Terror, Cycle Vixens)
Starring - Charles Veltmann Jr. (The Alamo), Jodean Lawrence (The Outsider, The Six Million Dollar Man), and Stanton Pritchard (Mystic Prophecies and Nostradamus, Like Wow!)
Release Date - 1959
Genre - Western
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
What better way to follow up a cheesy 80s action film like Mankillers than with a Vinegar Syndrome double feature but picking one was not an easy task. I have so many of the Drive-In and Peekarama double features to choose from. I went through every DVD in those sets until I came across I honestly don't remember receiving. The DVD one of the Drive-In series and had Revenge of the Virgins and Teenage Zombies. This seemed like an odd pairing. A sleazy western involving topless Indians and a mad monster movie. The only connection I could see was that both films were from the 50s but I would later see the actual connection after watching both films. The film follows a young business man and his wife as they put together an expedition after they hear tales of gold deep in the heart of Indian country. What they don't know is that the area they are venturing into is the home of an all female tribe of Native Americans who kill anyone that enters their territory. When they strike gold they not only have to worry about the topless Indians but their own who will also shoot them in the back to claim the gold for themselves. I'm not a big fan of westerns but there has been a few that I really enjoy. Personally, I don't think I will ever see a western as good as Tombstone though Django Unchained is pretty damn close. With that being said, I'm always open to new experiences especially if Vinegar Syndrome is behind the wheel. The acting in this one is not bad by any means but I have seen a lot better especially from films released around the same time. The cast looks like their are having fun and enjoying themselves on camera but some of the scenes are awkward where the wrong expression is used and the cast makes light of certain situations. The story for this one is more than your average western. We get an early exploitation film that could be one of the first sexploitation flicks. Before 1959 there was not many westerns that incorporated nudity into the story like this film does. Most of the raunchy, realistic westerns would not appear until the 60s. So it was pretty cool to see a western like this one. With that being said, the story does not fit the film's run time. The story itself could have fit a 30 minute block but not an hour. The film has a lot of filler scenes that do nothing for the film's story and are rather boring. Finally, the film does have a couple death scenes but nothing a horror fan would enjoy. We get some gunshots and arrow kills but no blood or gore. The effects, as you can imagine, are very minimal. Overall, Revenge of the Virgins is a very unique western that could be the inspiration for the sexploitation sub-genre of exploitation. This is a cheap production which does affect the quality of the film but it has it's moments.
The sleaze and erotica arm of Severin, InterVision, brings
us two softcore films directed by Gérard Kikoïne, “Lady Libertine” and “Love
Circles”. This is the first time these two films have been preserved on
Blu-Ray. Both are filled with sex and poor dubbing but the contrasts are more
abundant. “Lady Libertine” is a
polished and artful affair while “Love Circles” is a somewhat sloppy and cheesy
sex comedy. It’s interesting to see two softcore films from the same director
with such different approaches and outcomes.
Libertine” follows the story of a teenage orphan who runs away from a life of
forced prostitution disguised as a boy. Our runaway is found by an English
gentleman who decides to take him in. The gentleman soon becomes sexually
fascinated when he finds out the true gender of his charity case. “Lady Libertine”
has an eloquent touch to it, its eloquent nature is accelerated by the
Victorian time setting. The costumes and set design is top notch and are made
even more interesting by the framing and camera work. Add this in with the
previously mentioned setting and you have a visually appetizing film. The film
could be considered edgy for the time and in today’s market would probably be
shunned; it is far too artful and well made to introduce such sleazy ideas
without a complete and utter abhorrence feeling toward them. Our gentleman seems to have a fetish for
punishment, disciplining this teen is what he seems to desire most. The plot sounds
a little more gratuitous than the film actually is and plays out as a
melodramatic love affair more than a sleazy smut film. The film’s only real
problems are the poor dubbing and slight pacing issues. Even with these faults, “Lady Libertine” is
an interesting and semi tantalizing film; a tad bit more serious than its successor.
Circles” is about a series of random love affairs that are all connected by a
pack of cigarettes. These cigarettes travel from lover to lover and by
coincidence around the world. “Love
Circles” can be a tad confusing for the first act. The film opens with
narration but ditches it along with the character who it belonged to. The film
switches protagonists fairly often and we catch on to the title’s meaning.
“Love Circles” is clearly having fun with itself; the sex is playful and
comedic and plentiful which will bring some chuckles. Unfortunately, most of the laughter will come
at the expense of the atrocious dubbing, and with the abundance of different
characters being introduced the whole ordeal comes across pretty silly. Another
knock on the film is a visible boom mic during an entire conversation, and in
two different angles…one with a hand holding it!! On a positive note these mistakes and annoyances
shouldn’t stop one from enjoying the film. We are given a fair share of nudity,
locations, and spontaneous sexual encounters. One of these sexual encounters
takes place in a cockpit, while the passengers are occasionally “treated” to
the sounds of pleasure and the dangers of nose diving. This scene feels like it
was ripped from a frat house sex comedy. “Love Circles” is outrageous and
interesting in that it has international flair and a whimsical nature but can’t
seem to hide the fact it was produced by Cannon films and its cheesiness is
shown on its sleeve.
films look top notch and are presented in full screen. “Lady Libertine”
benefits from the Blu-ray treatment much more. The features are not abundant
but interesting. We have an introduction from the director, both at a film
festival and an interview, in French with English subtitles. Strangely the
feature is lacking subtitles although it has the option to watch the films in
French. During the interview the director opens up about his prolific career in
porn, films, and commercials and we are treated to wonderful stories about
Oliver Reed and Anthony Perkins. The
disc’s final feature is that of a couple deleted scenes. All in all, a
satisfying release of two fairly enjoyable semi softcore art style flicks.
Two feature films from France's master of erotica, Gerard Kikoine
LADY LIBERTINE - THE INFAMOUS EROTIC SAGA AN ASHAMED STAR TRIED TO STOP!
Famed French TV game show hostess Sophie Favier stars in this boldly sexy epic about a cross-dressing teenage orphan named 'Frank' who is adopted by a handsome nobleman with his own strange urges. But when the sultry virgin's gender-bend is revealed, her deflowering unleashes a shocking torrent of voyeurism, violation, sadism and submission that will blur the line between pleasure and pain forever!
This 1984 Playboy production ignited an international controversy when Sophie Favier unsuccessfully sued to stop its long awaited re-release. Her court loss is a victory for Skinemax fans everywhere!
LOVE CIRCLES - AN INTERNATIONAL ODYSSEY OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY!
From Paris to Rome, Cannes to Hong Kong, and Los Angeles to New York City, the true universal language is lust! In this decadent update of the scandalous classic LA RONDE, a bevy of international beauties complete a chain of liaisons where every urge is fulfilled and no taboo is left unbroken. Will it take more than one man to satisfy a nymphomaniac's voracious needs? How does a single oiled body trigger an unstoppable steam room orgy? What is the ultimate act of love between sisters?
Interview with director Gerard Kikoine (French with English subs)
Gerard Kikoine introducing Lady Libertine at the Fantasia Film Festival
Director: Gerard Kikoine
Cast: Christopher Pearson, Jennifer Inch, Sophie Favier and John Sibbit, Marie-France, Josephine Jacqueline Jones
Director - David A. Prior (Killer Workout, Deadly Prey)
Starring - Edd Byrnes (Grease, Troop Beverly Hills), Gail Fisher (Knight Rider, My Three Sons), and Edy Williams (Dr. Alien, Hellhole)
Release Date - 1987
Genre - Action/Adventure
Tagline - "They're beautiful...they're deadly...they're on a rampage"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
I have seen so many great movies this month along with several duds. After watching the French thriller Fever I decided to mix it up a bit and moved into my bluray section of my collection and went with the female action adventure film Mankillers from director David A. Prior. Prior is no stranger to my reviews. He is the man behind the slasher Killer Workout and the Rambo rip offs Deadly Prey and Deadliest Prey. Mankillers, along with the other three Prior films, were released on DVD and bluray from Slasher//Video and Olive Films. Killer Workout was a decent slasher but easily forgettable while Deadly Prey was a very entertaining action film. The follow up, Deadliest Prey, was not that enjoyable and was just a rehashing of the first film set decades later. I was curious to see how Mankillers played out. Thanks Olive Films for sending this one my way!
The film follows a former CIA agent who is brought back into the organization to train an all female squad of prison inmates to bring down her former partner who left her for dead. He has went AWOL and is now building a sizable drug cartel under his name with his CIA know how and ruthless slaughter of those that get in his way. She must stop him before he can murder more innocent people and get a little payback along the way with her female hit squad.
I absolutely loved Deadly Prey and how it almost felt like a parody of Rambo. I didn't think Prior would be able to top the carnage and ass kickery of that film. Mankillers was close but fell just a little short. The film had the same style and imagery, with a better looking cast, but lacks the fun that Deadly Prey offered. The acting is standard 80s b-movie acting. The cast is clearly there for a paycheck and not to win awards. No one is really convincing but they do look and act like almost every other 80s action film. It's bad but I enjoyed it in that aspect. The story for this one is nothing new. In fact, it borrows from several movies of the time. By the late 80s most of the action films were centered around drugs in one way or another so there is nothing new in that aspect. An all female military squad is, once again, not that original. The two combining does make it feel different but you have seen a movie like this one before especially by 1987. Finally, the film has several on screen kills but they are the type of kills that you would expect from an action film. Most of the kills are from people jumping around pretending to be shot or injured by grenades. If you look closely you will not find any blood or gore until later shots. Overall, Mankillers is a campy all female action film that looks good but is very flawed. If you like 80s action then this one should be a staple in your collection. Check it out.
Starring - Martin Loizillon (The Odyssey, Calm at Sea), Pierre Moure (The Long Falling, I Love You), and Julie-Marie Parmentier (Evolution, Mao is Dead)
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Drama/Thriller
Tagline - "They executed the perfect crime...until they got away with it."
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
It was hard to find a movie to watch after watching the extremely entertaining 1988 slasher The Undertaker. I was surprised by how awesome the film was and actually watched it a couple times before I wrote the review. It's rare that I find a movie that I can watch that many times consecutively. I decided to venture into something a little different. I decided to go with the French thriller Fever which was released a few months back by my friends over at Artsploitation Films. I received the film several months back but the day I did I was hit with several messages from horror friends who said the movie was a dud. I hate hearing that especially from people who I actually value their opinions. Sucks even more considering it was an Artsploitation release. I put it on the bottom of the stack and decided today was the day that I would be brave enough to watch it.
The story for this is simple enough. Two friends, Damien (Loizillon) and Pierre (Moure), who spot a beautiful young woman one day while walking around town. The two eventually cross paths with her again and through a series of events find themselves murdering her. The two think that they have gotten away with it but have they?
I typically don't go with the crowd when it comes to movies. What most people like I tend to dislike and vice versa. When I was told that Fever was an extremely boring film I was hesitant at first to check it out. Would they be right or would I find another amazing film to add to my collection...they were right. The acting in this one is great. In fact, it was one of the few redeemable qualities of the film. The cast is great and work very well with each other. The conversations, though in a different language, feel natural with their body language and movements. The story for this one moves at a snails pace with no build up, drama, or tension to pull the viewer in. In fact, it feels like something that you could find on day time television between reruns of NCIS and Law and Order. Finally, for those of you looking for blood and gore will not find it here. However, if you want slow burning scenes with boring dialogue and relatively no story then this one is for you. Overall, Fever is a big disappointment. The cast is great and the cinematography is breathtaking but, simply, that is not enough to make a movie good. Skip it.
Director - Franco Steffanimo
Starring - Joe Spinell (Rocky, Taxi Driver), Rebeca Yaron, and Patrick Askin
Release Date - 1988
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "He'll love you to death"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
Alright, I got the sleaze back out of my system and ready to hit the horror in full force. I had plenty of films to pick from but I decided to go with the Vinegar Syndrome release of The Undertaker starring Joe Spinell. This is one of the many films that I have always wanted to see over the years but never had the opportunity. When Code Red released the film on DVD sometime ago I was about to jump on it when I learned that there was a big problem with the editing of the disc and the quality of the film. I held off and I'm glad I did because this release is fucking amazing. The sleeve is one of the best I have seen on a horror release and the artwork is killer. Thanks Vin Syn for hooking me up!
The film follows mortician Roscoe (Spinell) who kills locals so he can bring them back into his basement where he keeps them as his friends. His nephew suspects that his uncle is a necrophiliac and tries to convince he extremely young female teacher that he is. They break into his uncles basement to find proof but is unable to find it. His uncle later catches his nephew in the act of snooping and kills him. When he fails to show up for class the teacher tries to get the police involved but he kills those as well. He learns that his nephew brought her into his basement and sets his sights on her and her roommates before he is caught. The Undertaker is one of those movies that I had heard about years ago but never heard another horror fan talk about it. I never heard mention of it being good, bad, or meh. Sadly, after watching the movie I can say that this film is extremely underrated. The film really surprised me and I have since watched it five times since my original viewing. The acting in this one is what you would see in a typical 80s slasher. The cast goes through their scenes with dry performances and no natural reactions to the scenes laid before them. With that being said, Joe Spinell was fucking intense. He portrays one convincing deranged character. He was an amazing actor and its a tragedy that he passed away before we could get more films like it. The story for this one is not that original. We have seen other films following an undertaker/mortician that killed for one reason or another. The most obvious film is The Undertaker and His Pals. What makes this one different is that the undertaker is not killing for profit but because he is completely mental. The film flows rather slowly like most slashers but we get a lot of character development that you typically don't see in a film of this caliber. Finally, this slasher has a decent body count. The kills are violent and fun, just the way I like them. The effects for these kills are just as good which is something that does stand out for slasher films in the late 80s. By 1988 the slasher was starting to dwindle so to see a slasher with this much carnage without going the murder mystery route is rare. Overall, The Undertaker is one of the most underrated horror films that I have reviewed. The film is outright fantastic and the fact that you never hear anyone talking about it is a fucking shame. Check this one out and I mean yesterday!