Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zombie Holocaust, The Nude vs. the Undead

Nothing says "I gotta see this film" like the catch-line "banned in 83 countries." 1980's "Cannibal Holocaust" (aka "Doctor Butcher M.D.") is a favorite of many of this blog's readers and the decency boards in 83 countries. To add to the cinematic excellence, our film today was made in Italy and is poorly dubbed. Human organs ripped from torsos, nudity, scalping, nudity, exposed brains, cannibals, zombies, and nudity...hardly any reason for a cohesive plot.
Lori
Hospitals are alarmed at a rash of thefts from their morgues and cadavers. Someone is ripping out internal organs from corpses. Uh oh, a culprit is caught feasting on a corpse's heart. Hospital personnel including Lori (Alexandra Delli Colli) and Dr. Peter (Ian McCulloch) are still alarmed as it appears lots of cannibals are loose in the city. Now, it is not clear what Lori and Peter do for the hospital but they decide to venture to a remote southeastern Asian island and investigate the tribe that seems to have visited New York. Before they leave, we see Lori strip off her boots, clothes, intimate undies in order to answer her doorbell. Who rang? The beautiful and nubile reporterette Susan (Sherry Buchanan). The two babes stare at each other in a scene not important to the plot.
Dr. Butcher and Susan
Joining Peter and Lori on their expedition is Susan and George (Peter O'Neal). Who is George? Who knows, but his death scene is excruciating and disgusting. The quartet arrive and Lori undresses right away, only to find a maggot infested severed head in her bed. The four then head into the jungle to find the elusive cannibals. Just their luck, the cannibals find them first, eat George and carry the nubile Susan away for a fate worse than death. Lori and Peter consider leaving but they decide to pay a visit to a weird doctor operating on this island. This will be a mistake as Lori is then carried away, stripped of all her clothes (...as if she couldn't do it herself) and Peter is slated for the same fate Susan endured. Ah, but wait, a few surprises are in store for the tormentors and cannibals, and Lori's nudity might just give her and Peter a fighting chance. Oh yes, as if the cannibals were not menacing enough...bring on the zombies.
Lori and Peter in the doctor's lab
Will Susan and Lori engage in a nude cat-fight? Who is the mysterious island doctor and what is his relation to the cannibals and zombies? Is Susan's gory and disgusting demise a mere metaphor for the hostility toward the media in 1980s Italy? Directed by Marino Girolami, and filled with severed limbs, machete carnage, ripped out internal organs, and the nude Alexandra Delli Colli, "Zombie Holocaust" was never banned in the U.S. giving you every opportunity to see this. After viewing it, call your buddies in Sierra Leone and gloat.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blood Thirst, Vampire in The Philippines?

Vampire in The Philippines? Looks that way. In 1971's "Blood Thirst," the blood sucker isn't the only social deviance preying on this Asian cluster of islands. Beautiful women in Manila are having their blood drained, but should we rush to judgment and blame vampires? One who understands Manila, and its intricacies, knows that there are a thousand other things that could be draining blood from nightclub babes.  Like what? Well...you know...
Rourke and Insp. Ramos
Sultry women working at The Barrio Club in Manila are getting murdered. They are found hanging upside down with their arms slit and drained of blood. Police Inspector Ramos (Vic Diaz) summons Adam Rourke (Robert Winston). Rourke is an American and an expert in sex murders. Rourke looks like he has a bit of sex-crazed killer in his genes. After he meets Ramos' sister Sylvia (Ketherine Henryk), it is obvious she doesn't like him or his arrogance. Not to be denied, Rourke slaps her silly a couple of times, grabs her, plants a big unwanted kiss on her and engages in some rough pre-marital sex with the nubile sister. After that, she can't get enough of him or more pre-marital sex with him. Meanwhile, more nightclub babes are murdered and drained. Rourke believes the suave and mysterious nightclub manager, Calderon (Vic Silayan), is the culprit.
Serena
After slapping Sylvia silly some more, Rourke goes undercover in the club. All signs point to Calderon...but wait! A very ravishing blonde exotic dancer, Serena (Yvonne Nielson), tells Rourke that she must talk to him.  Apparently Serena has incriminating evidence against Calderon. As more murders occur, we see the killer, a monstrous human like creature with a head covered in boils. Rourke knows he can't trust the beautiful exotic dancer, but is drawn to meet her anyway. His girl-toy Sylvia, unbeknownst to Rourke, is the next target for this creature.
Sylvia in much peril
Is Calderon involved in these murders? Just what is this monster, and why is he draining the babes of their blood? What is the mystery of Serena, and what does she have planned for Rourke? Does Sylvia need a wedding planner or the phone number to a battered women's shelter? A man's movie no doubt, and probably a favorite film of NFL running backs, "Blood Thirst," directed by Newt Arnold, and filmed entirely in Manila, is a minor gem from the 1970s.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Psychic Killer, The Church and Gratuitous Horror

One of the most gratuitous death scenes in 1970s horror occurred in 1975's "Psychic Killer." Canadian actress Mary Charlotte Wilcox ("Days of Our Lives") portrays a sultry white-clad nurse. Caring for a terminally ill elderly man, she teases him with an exotic dance while she strips off her uniform. She'll strip off her undies as she enters the shower for a gratuitous shower scene. She'll then be scalded by boiling water and cut up when she falls through the shower door. What became of Ms. Wilcox? She left gratuitous acting and became an Anglican priest in Edmonton. Let us take a look at the Anglican church's number one recruitment tool.
Arnold (Jim Hutton) is institutionalized, then imprisoned for the murder of his mom's doctor. Arnold blames the doctor and several others for his mom's death. His only friend? Kay from "Creature From the Black Lagoon." That's right, Julie Adams plays Dr. Scott, his sympathetic psychologist. In prison, Arnold inherits a gift of the occult. He can now astral project himself outside his body. After he is released from prison, Arnold moves into his mother's home, and begins a paranormal journey of vengeance. He'll first kill Whit Bissell, also from "Creature From the Black Lagoon."
The killings are very gory and imaginative. As our Anglican priest/slutty nurse is felled, Detective Morgan (Paul Burke) tries to connect the murders and victims. As Morgan figures out all the victims had something to do Arnold being incarcerated, he keys in on Arnold as the number one suspect. A big problem arises...some of the murders then occur while Arnold is under surveillance, asleep in his mother's home. Morgan enlists the help of Dr. Scott. Arnold secretly loves Scott and desires sex with her, but Morgan gets to her first. Morgan is humiliated as his astral projection witnesses Morgan and Scott engage in pre-marital sex. Now Arnold expands his list to not only include schmucks who put him in prison, but also Morgan and Scott.
As stated earlier the kills are sensational...one occurs in a butcher shop and utilizes a meat grinder and bone saw.  Will the lovely Dr. Scott, who recently escaped from the creature, be able to avoid Arnold's paranormal advances? Did attendance at Canada's Anglican churches skyrocket after this film premiered? Did the United Methodists counter "Psychic Killer"? For some nice gore and gratuitous exotic dancing, check out "Psychic Killer."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Nurse Sherri, Possessed Angel in White

Exploitation films were still filling the drive-ins back in the 1970s. Many of these titillating films featured beautiful nurses, and in the 1970s they were still clad in white. This was perfect as those white uniforms were slightly form fitting for sex comedies and a perfect background for red splattered blood in those slasher films. 1978's "Nurse Sherri" (aka "Hospital of Terror") will show us many beautiful nurses, in those white get-ups or nude. Either nude, or in clad in white, many will die horribly at the hands of the title character.
Reanhauer rapes Sherri
After some pre-marital sex with Doctor Peter, the beautiful and nubile, white-clad Nurse Sherri (Jill Jacobson) is raped by the spirit of an evil Astrological-Satanic priest Reanhauer (Bill Roy). Really...need I say more? Here goes, Reanhauer is felled by a heart attack in the desert after trying to bring a rotting corpse back to life. The doctors can't save him and the fun begins. Sherri is dating the hunk Doctor Peter (Geoffrey Land). Peter yells at her a lot and gets panicky if Sherri doesn't answer her phone on the first ring. Meanwhile, the possessed Sherri first visits the former head doctor at the hospital who ordered heart surgery for Reanhauer. She impales him with a pitchfork. She'll then gut another member of the surgical staff.
The formerly beautiful Nurse Gordon
Meanwhile, NFL star Marcus Washington (Prentiss Moulden) has been blinded and is in the hospital. Nurse Tara (Marilyn Joi) takes a liking to him and undresses a lot. Nurse Beth (Katherine Pass) satisfies her patients with kinky sex before surgery. Oh yes, very pretty Nurse Gordon (Caryl Briscoe) will have her throat slashed and uniform stained by Sherri. As Peter continues to have no clue as to why Sherri isn't treating him like King Tut, Tara and Marcus figure out that Reanhauer's spirit is loose in Sherri. Fortunately Marcus has a lot of knowledge of voodoo and comes up with a far fetched plan to end Reanhauer's reign of terror. As the nurses continue to disrobe and have kinky sex, and as Peter continues to demean Sherri, Sherri stalks other hospital personnel.
Nurse Sherri
Will Tara and Marcus' plan succeed and free Sherry from Reanhauer's possession? Will Calgon (ancient Chinese secret) get bloodstains out of white nurse uniforms? Possessed or not possessed, will a blade wielding Nurse Sherri rid herself of Dr. Peter? "Nurse Sherri," directed by Al Adamson is fine 1970s horror/exploitation. Lots of pretty damsels and some nice gore highlight this tale of angels in white in much peril.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Zaat, Catfish-Man in Search of Blonde Bride

Modern day science is such a bore. Securing funding and grants has replaced discovery and cures in government funded laboratories. There is always the mad scientist, however. He has already been eschewed by the establishment scientific community and has no hopes for grants or taxpayer funds. With no regulatory concerns or EEO or OSHA nonsense, the fiendish genius is free to create a master race of monsters to supplant humans at the top of the food chain. Hence, 1971's "Zaat."
Catfish-man kills scientist
As the scientific establishment shuts down Dr. Leopold (Marshall Grauer) and refuses to provide him with human test subjects, he goes rogue. Opening a lab in the Florida swamps, Leopold transforms himself into a creature, sort of a cross between Creature From the Black Lagoon and Syngenor . In actuality, he is Catfish-man. His goal? Same as all of ours, he desires to conquer the world by transforming all sea life into mutant monsters that will rule the Earth. As Catfish-man, the creature (Wade Popwell) leaves the lab and tracks down all the scientists that denied him funding and human test subjects. After he claws them to death, he spots a nubile, blonde bikini-babe (Nancy Lien). Like all gill-men, he wants her for sex and procreation. He grabs her and hauls her back to his lab but she dies shortly after he injects his serum into her. Arriving are INPIT (don't ask) agents Walker Stevens (Dave Dickerson) and the nubile blonde beauty Martha Walsh (Sanna Ringhaver).
Zaat tries to make a bride
These two agents are a great pair. Walker wastes a lot of time and goes down lots of rabbit trails.  Martha undresses a lot, wears elegant gowns, showers, has pre-marital sex, and kisses. As the agents try to track down Catfish-man, the creature decides to make Martha its bride. Good choice. While Martha types, just after a shower, and slipping out of her INPIT jumpsuit into an alluring gown, Catfish-man grabs her. Now Walker must pursue the genius/creature in order to save the damsel Martha before she is turned into gill-woman...or Catfish-babe.
The nubile Agent Martha meets Catfish-man
Will Walker grow a brain and be able to save Martha? Will Catfish-man find happiness and love in his pursuit of world domination? Will Martha actually fall in love with the gilled genius making this film a modern day re-imagining of "Beauty and the Beast"? "Zaat," directed by Don Barton and filmed in Jacksonville, Florida, is a hokey, but fun, mad-scientist epic. Not as artistic and symbolic as "Creature From the Black Lagoon," but still very worthwhile to B movie fans.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Jemima Trilogy, Before There was Dexter

Its a hard road out there for all you young people feeling your way awkwardly through the dating labyrinth. Perhaps the Jemima trilogy is only a thinly veiled metaphor regarding how screwed up the ability to form relationships has become. In any event, before there was "Dexter," there was Jemima. Just as deadly and just as cunning as America's favorite serial killer is Jemima. The director and producer of this trilogy, Uisdean Murray, has created a true monster. Jemima may be a bloodthirsty psychopathic monster, but she sure is pretty. So all you gals going goo-goo over Dexter, don't fret if your guys are drooling over Mr. Murray's creation...its only fair.
Joy McAvoy as Jemima
We first meet Jemima in 2002's "Jemima: Dating is Murder." As Jemima's date is bleeding out and drowning at the hands of this fiendish beauty, my first thought was '...what a way to go." Fun adventurous, bloody and ominous...what a combo! Jemima takes us through a light and frothy instruction guide to killing and disposing of your date. In a metaphorical sense, her instruction is poignant....the problem is, she is talking in a literal sense. Two years later, Mr. Murray presents us with 2004's "Jemima: Photographic Trophy." She is even more beautiful, seductive, and evil. However experienced and skillful she is, all her success and conquests have made her cocky and a bit careless. The results, of course, will be blood spattered and ominous once more.
Jemima on the prowl
Those first two are horrific and fun. Then the 47 minute third chapter hits us, 2008's "Sessions of the Mind." Her gig is up...or is it? Jemima has been arrested for...well...you'll see. Court appointed psychologist Victoria (Bella Scott) is given the task of getting Jemima to talk. Uh oh, Victoria has guy issues and right away we see that her relationship with Jemima may have consequences. No humor or frolicking fun here. Comparisons to "Dexter" fly out the window and an intense picture of who Jemima is and what made her are unveiled in bloody detail. Victoria? Brilliant, scarred, and secretly needy, her relationship with Jemima is transforming. This counseling session goes down horrific paths filled with gore and tortuous revelations. I want to say a whole lot more but in respect to Mr. Murray I will refrain from spoilers.
Victoria and Jemima
 The trilogy totals about 70 minutes and will take you on a journey of self inspection and horror. Mr. Murray's direction, the acting (especially by Ms. McAvoy and Ms. Scott) and a haunting soundtrack are all fabulous. For some alluring horror that will stick with you, hopefully not while you're dating, see these three Jemima films, available at a great price on Vimeo.
For more on the Jemima Trilogy, visit the following links:
Lily Island Films
Uisdean Murray on Twitter
Jemima on Facebook

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hannah, Queen of the Vampires, Mediterranean Vampire Bites Islanders

Horror fans are quite fortunate.  When many of our friends gather to watch a light, witty comedy about a group of sisters feeling their way through adulthood (gag me with a spoon), we do the same to watch a babe vampire conquer the Mediterranean. They have Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" (barf!) and we have 1973's "Hannah, Queen of the Vampires" (aka "Crypt of the Living Dead"). Shot in Turkey and starring the intriguing Teresa Gimpera, this film has an eerie and Gothic feel that is not for everyone.
Entrance to Hannah's tomb
In the 13th Century, the crusaders storm Vampire Island and slaughter all the vampires.  Well, not all. The sultry Hannah (Gimpera), before being a toothy menace, was the king's mistress and he can't bare having his men drive a stake through her heart.  Instead, Hannah is sealed in a tomb with plenty of warning adorning it stating "DO NOT OPEN OR YOU WILL DIE." Warning signs are for the little people, though. Seven centuries later,  an archaeologist (Mariano Garcia Rey) finds the tomb...to his misfortune. In a weird set of events, he ends up crushed to death underneath it, where he will spend the rest of the film. His grieving son Chris (Andrew Prine) arrives to collect his dad's body.  This won't be easy as his dad lays decomposing beneath Hannah's tomb.
Hannah feeds
In Chris' efforts to lift the tomb off of his unfortunate father, he unseals it. The islanders are horrified as they believe Hannah still lives as a vampire...and they are right.  Now loose, the exotic beauty not only grows fangs but can change into a wolf.  Slowly Chris begins to believe the legends about Hannah.  Our naive hero also falls for the ravishing Mary (Patty Shepard). The two then engage in pre-marital sex. Uh oh, the hypnotic queen of the vampires has many under her spell including a wild man (Ihsan Gedik). As she bites her way through the island's population, the wild man abducts Mary. Now Chris is a believer and seeks to destroy Hannah and save his precious damsel.  This won't be easy as everyone on the island is terrified to go near the tomb.  His only ally, Mary's brother Peter (Mark Damon), is actually a Satan worshiper seeking immortal life...don't you hate that?
Hannah roams
Will Peter save his new love Mary before either Hannah or her brother make her their bride? Will shapeshifter/ vampire Hannah make the same mistakes she made 700 years ago which allowed her to be entombed for centuries? Would we have enjoyed "Hannah and Her Sisters" more if the witty siblings had their throats ripped out by the undead? Low budget and many might say underwhelming, "Hannah, Queen of the Vampires" is a weird tale with a very creepy ending. Instead of witty comedies, enjoy a vampire tale with a touch of eroticism and forbidden love.