Friday, May 26, 2017

The Atomic Submarine, Alien Octopus vs. Earth

They may be smarter and more technically advanced than we are, but invaders from space have one big disadvantage.  Yep...they're ugly...so there!  1959's "The Atomic Submarine" poses some great philosophical questions about the conflict of the quest for peace versus the quest for war.  When the alien space junk hits the fan, however, a more important question takes over.  Who is uglier...a one-eyed, slimy space octopus...or humans.  This could be debatable, except for the appearance of Joi Lansing...and her seductive demeanor answers the question pretty well.
Julie
As our film begins, hunk Lt. Commander Reef Holloway (Arthur Franz) is swapping bucketfuls of spit with the steamy Julie (Landing). Uh oh...duty calls.  He is summoned back to his submarine, the Tiger Shark, as ships in the Arctic Ocean are mysteriously destroyed.  The sub will be sent into the Arctic Circle to find out what is causing the carnage.  Also manned with brilliant scientists, the Tiger Shark soon wanders into the path of a weird undersea saucer.  This saucer, nicknamed 'the cyclops' by the sub crew, continues to sink ships in the icy waters. Commander Wendover (Dick Foran) orders his crew to engage the enemy, and the torpedoes are fired. The torpedoes are neutralized by the cyclops.
Alien octopus
Not to be denied, Wendover orders the Tiger Shark to ram the alien pest...which it does.
Now the Tiger Shark and the cyclops are attached and both sink to the bottom. A boarding crew from the sub enter the alien ship and Reef soon meets the alien pilot of the cyclops.  The two get into it pretty deep, and Reef tells the space octopus that his face is ugly.  The octopus responds, telling Reef he is ugly. One might argue this exchange isn't helpful in delicate inter-galactic diplomacy. When Reef finds out the octopus' plans for Earth and the reason it is sinking ships, he is horrified and indignant.  All out war will ensue, but does the Tiger Shark have the firepower to neutralize a space UFO?
Reef and octopus trade insults
Will Reef make it back to port so he can continue to suck face with the sultry Julie? Does the alien race have any equivalent to the stunning Julie? Is it xenophobic and judgmental for us to conclude that the ravishing Julie and super hunk Reef are absolute proof that alien civilizations are, as a whole, really ugly? This 1950s scifi flick is a lot of fun, posing many important and deep questions.  The monster is slimy and scary, and the plot is ambitious and loud.  Lots of things will go boom in this film, and the navy hunks aboard the Tiger Shark will please many of you.  Directed by Spencer G. Bennet ("Superman" and "Batman and Robin"), "The Atomic Submarine" is a perfect scifi/horror flick for B movie fans.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Machine Girl, Angry Japan High School Girl

You have to admire the spirit in 2008's "The Machine Girl." As opposed to the neutered American high school student, Japan's machine girl, a pretty high school gal, is someone we can cheer for. Forget about respecting all opposing points of view! Forget about finding peaceful ends to conflict! Forget about embracing enemies! Nope...if someone wrongs you...kill him!  Kill him, his dog, his family, all his friends...and everyone who reminds you of him! In fact, don't just kill him...dissect him and puree all his vital organs. That is the essence of "The Machine Girl." However psycho that sounds, there is something so beautiful about that logic.
The Yakuza murders Ami's (Minase Yashiro) brother. They also murdered Miki's (Asami) son. Miki hates Ami, believing she is from a family of murderers. The cute and capable Ami tried to prevent the murder but was delayed as she fought of an attempted rape.  Angry, Ami charges into the home of the Yakuza gang leader and his family.  Avoiding ninjas and Chinese throwing stars, she kills henchmen but is captured, strung up, and tortured. In spurting red blood fashion, her fingers are cut off, then her entire arm.  She'll escape and make it to Miki's auto shop. After a brief cat-fight, the ladies make-up and vow to kill the Yakuza responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. Miki's husband engineers a prosthetic arm...machine gun, actually...for Ami.
No time to prepare, the Yakuza ninjas invade the shop and cut Miki's husband into small pieces. Now armed with a machine-gun arm, Ami fights them off. Now our duo, after torturing a Yakuza henchman prisoner with a hammer and nails, find the new hide-out and head over there. A gory final battle is imminent.  Arms will be cut off, legs amputated, breasts will be pureed, torsos will be split open, all in the name of revenge.  Our gals must defeat the entire Yakuza family including the sultry matriarch...who just happens to have a drill-bra. Ouch!
Don't be fooled by the tame nature of this review, not two minutes ever go by with out an appendage cut off resulting in spurting blood, Japanese style. The torture and kills are quite graphic, and by the time the drill-bra does its thing...well...I take that back...it will surprise you.  Of course, not much about a drill-bra isn't new and unique.  For hardcore horror fans, this Japanese revenge tale will cook your sushi.  Enjoy "The Machine Girl" before perusing Victoria's Secret latest catalog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dogora, Space Monsters and a Femme Fatale in Japan

Akiko Wakabayashi is best known to American audiences as a beautiful Bond girl in "You Only Live Twice." Sultry and mysterious, she was one of the most famous actresses in Japan in the 1960s. Take this beauty, dress her in black, give her a gun and a double-crossing nature, and we have a perfect femme-fatale.  But wait!  Put her in a crime thriller or gangster film? That's not what Toho did...nope, Ms. Wakabayashi stars in this Japanese monster film, 1964's "Dogora" as a sultry femme-fatale. Do the two mix?  If Akiko Wakabayashi is the dangerous lady...who cares?
Kinda complicated, but well worth it. A jellyfish -like space monster takes out Earth's satellites, and the invasion begins.  Simultaneously, a gang of ruthless diamond thieves hit, or try to, Tokyo jewelry stores.  The thieves are perplexed as the stolen diamonds disappear shortly after the thefts.  Detective Kommei (Yosuke Natsuki) is on the case. Wondering where their stolen loot went to, femme-fatale Hamako (Wakabayashi) is sent to find them.  While avoiding Kommei, she pursues the mysterious Mark (Robert Dunham) who appears to be a newcomer in Japan's jewelry thief industry.  As diamonds mines and stores keep getting hit, it is apparent that the culprit is not of this Earth.
Earth's coal supplies and diamond supplies are sucked up into the clouds by a mysterious force. This menace turns out to be a space jellyfish which will eventually suck up the entire planet if not destroyed. Japan's military is no match for this tentacled beast.  Hamako sees this as an opportunity to rip off her gang leader and flee with the diamonds. Okay...stop here. Slimy jellyfish space monster invades Tokyo, putting a cramp in a jewel thief gang's operation. The story is average, but add a sultry femme-fatale and a cool creature, and now we have something.
Will femme-fatale, turned damsel in much distress Hamako be able to evade a pursuing jellyfish creature and the gang she betrayed? Is that question a metaphor for the duality of the human-creature?  Will post-war Tokyo be sent back to the state it was in during the summer of 1945?  If Veronica Lake made monster movies, would her career have been extended. Fans of Toho monster films will enjoy "Dogora," and so will femme-fatale fans.  Get ready for an ending which brings the monster on a collision course with Japan's most notorious criminal gang, and enjoy "Dogora" (directed by Ishiro Honda- the guy who directed "Godzilla").

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blood Voyage, Insanity, Nudity, Drugs and a Meat Cleaver

In a great companion piece to the hit 1970s TV show "The Love Boat," we have 1976's "Blood Voyage." If the sickeningly sweet conclusions of that sappy TV show have you down, today's film will get you back on an even keel.  Lots of blood, nudity, vicious murders, and drug use are rampant throughout this chronicle of an unfortunate cruise from California to Hawaii.  Oh yeah, did I mention nudity.  Naked and nubile babes seems to be an obsession of this film.
Before the killing starts
Naked Carol (Mara Modair) is yapping with her stepdad on the phone while having pre-marital sex with a soon to be butchered deck hand, as the story begins. Her stepdad, the psychologist Jules (John Hart) will marry a young skank, the nude Jill (Laurie Rose) in Hawaii and demands Carol come along for the wedding.  Oh yeah...who else should we bring to a wedding? Right! How about a psycho-nympho pyromaniac addict! What could go wrong. The nude Amy (Midori) fills that bill.  Anyone else?  Well, weddings should be special. Enter the psycho Vietnam vet who still has flashbacks about murdering Vietnamese villagers. This would be Andy (Jonathan Lippe). When Andy gets to the boat he has pre-marital sex with Carol, and soon afterwards, the aforementioned deckhand is butchered.
Rare shot of a clothed Jill
The cruise begins. A meat cleaver wielding maniac begins his carnage.  Crew members are the first to go.  Suspects?  Everyone.  Andy is psycho and Carol has expressed a desire to murder her dad. Amy? No...why would we suspect a heroine addict who is also a pyromaniac and nymphomaniac?  Soon the murders reach the above noted cast, and the naked and beautiful become the naked and the dead. As Jill, Carol, and Amy prance around in bikinis...or totally nude...the guys are able to enjoy lots of pre-marital sex and drugs. The death count will be high, and blood will flow generously.  Just who is the killer, and will any non-maniac be alive as the end credits roll.
Rare shot of a clothed Amy
Will the nude Carol, the nude Amy, and the nude Jill put on some clothes as the killings intensify? Would we have enjoyed "The Love Boat" more if either Doc, Isaac, or Julie were done in by a meat cleaver?  Just where does a nude damsel hide a meat cleaver? Fast-paced and violent with gratuitous scenes aplenty, "Blood Voyage" will definitely float your boat.  For added viewing pleasure, watch this one nude.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mutant Hunt, Psycho-Sexual Mutant Cyborgs!

From Full Moon's Grindhouse Collection comes straight to VHS, 1987's "Mutant Hunt." We have mutant psycho-sexual cyborgs, a mercenary, an exotic dancer/bounty hunter, a dominatrix femme fatale, and a mad-scientist.  Perfect! Written and directed by Tim Kincaid, "Mutant Hunt" is a realistic and gritty view of 21st century New York City.
Darla, Cyborg, and Riker
Mad-scientist Z (Bill Peterson) injects Inteltrax' cyborgs with a narcotic from the moon called 'euphoron.' Now he controls these psycho-sexual cyborgs which he plans to sell to third-world armies in order to change the balance of power on Earth.  Nubile scientist Darla (Mary Fahey) escapes when Z sends the fiends after her.  She reaches Riker's (Rick Gianasi) apartment where he is engaged in pre-marital sex with a pleasure droid (LeeAnne Baker).  The cyborgs follow and kill the naked pleasure droid before the hunk Riker takes them out with a crossbow and table lamp.  After Darla tells him about Z's plans for world domination, Riker recruits trusty exotic dancer/bounty hunter Elaine (Taunie Vrenon). Elaine is pretty useless and will always have to be saved by a man...until she starts blowing up things.
Dead pleasure droid
Back at Inteltrax, the evil dominatrix Domina (Stormy Spill...really), another evil scientist also plots. She has a newer breed of cyborg which she will inject with a massive amount of euphoron. Domina is a bit more selfish than Z. No world domination for her...just plain old carnal pleasure with her created hunk. As Z and Domina apparently get the jump on Riker, Darla, and Elaine, a violent final confrontation will occur. Our exotic dancer Elaine will blow up a lot of stuff and still need rescuing.
Domina
Will Domina's cyborg convince everyone to make love, not war? Has Elaine's efforts set the plight for women, to gain respect in the 21st century, back to the 1800s?  Will Domina realize that her Dominatrix skills might be more effective against Riker than her nympho-cyborg?  "Mutant Hunt" is a fast-paced entertaining jaunt through the futuristic pre-apocalypse New York.  No film has ever captured the ethos of the Big Apple better than this movie.  For some nice cyborg carnage, enjoy "Mutant Hunt." Oh! One more thing...why do pleasure droids always fare horribly in these films? So sad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, Cannibal Sexploitation from Italy

In the interest of good taste, we will not mention the gratuitous acts of exploitation of 1985's "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" {GRATUITOUS LESBIAN RAPE} except in a subliminal sense. Sure, this Italian film, shot in Brazil, has plenty of gore, nudity, and pre-marital sex {GRATUITOUS NUDE SHOWER SCENE} to fill 90 minutes, but the subtleties of the plot are what we are looking for.  Cannibalism, super models in great peril, nubile young ladies at the mercy of whoever comes along, and jungle carnage will float our boats today.
Supermodels in a plane crash
A professor and his sultry daughter Eva (Suzane Carvalho) land in Brazil to grab another flight to Dinosaur Valley to study fossils {GRATUITOUS GROPING OF A SUPER-MODEL}. Also arriving is Kevin, a paleontologist and major league hunk. After Kevin gets a nice long look at Eva naked in the shower, the sexual tension between them increases. Also grabbing the connecting flight are an ex-Green Beret (Milton Rodriguez) and his grouchy {WET T-SHIRT GRATUITY} has-been wife (Marta Anderson). Oh yes, Monica (Maria Reis) and Belinda (Susan Hahn) are two fashion models.  After saving Monica from a groper, Kevin earns some passionate sex with her {GRATUITOUS BAR ROOM FIGHT}.
Kevin, Eva, and Belinda
  The flight takes off and crashes in Dinosaur Valley. {PRE-MARITAL SEX IN DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS}.  Sadly, Monica dies on impact.  {GRATUITOUS SUPER-MODEL CROTCH SHOT}. The Green Beret takes command and is incompetent. {MACHETE CARNAGE}  Betty will get eaten by leeches and drown in quicksand, and the cannibals begin hunting down the survivors.  Kevin and Eva continue to bond and kiss a lot and have pre-marital sex. {HEADS ON SPIKES CARNAGE}. The cannibals capture Eva and Belinda and strip them, but Kevin saves them. Escaping from cannibals doesn't solve their problems as they are then captured by some psycho miners, and that is where our surviving supermodel is lesbian raped. {BIG SNAKE CARNAGE}.
Belinda's rape
 Can Kevin save the gals this time? Will Belinda survive being the girl-toy of a psycho jungle lesbian?  {MORE GRATUITOUS PRE-MARITAL SEX}. The cast is very good-looking and usually nude and the gore is flowing.  "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" will please Italian horror fans, drive-in movie fans, exploitation film fans, and of course horror {HUMAN HEART EATING CANNIBAL CARNAGE} fans. Directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini, don't miss this one. Warning...keep in mind...this will be one of those films you should not discuss in mixed company.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Head, but no body

We've all done it. In our secret laboratories, deep in our basements, we have dabbled in human experimentation.  Sure, finding subjects are difficult.  The hindrances encountered in securing human subjects among people who will not be missed, are numerous.  Sanctioned by no medical school or government, our experiments (without federal funding), will never be appreciated the way they should. For all of us basement genius', branded mad-scientists by a puritanical society, here is a film for you...1959's "The Head" (made in West Germany).
Ood, Irene, and Abel 
We've all done it, but in 1959 this was a big deal. Professor Abel (Michael Simon) decapitates a dog and keeps the head alive for weeks. Next step...a human!  On cue, Abel gets a mysterious visitor, Dr. Ood (Horst Frank). Familiar with Abel's experiments, Ood is just the guy to, not only to keep a human head alive, but to attach it to a new body.  Remember, this is 1959, and many of you basement genius' have already done this with annoying neighbors.  Enter Nurse Irene (Karin Kernke). She is a doll...from the neck up, that is.  This unfortunate hunchback, with a heart of gold, has been promised by Abel, surgery that will cure her hunchback.
Stella
Abel's heart gives out, and now Ood must act...and he does.  Now Abel is back...at least from the neck up.  Now a disembodied head, Abel is not happy at his new predicament.  Ood, on the other hand, is in mad-scientist (excuse this judgmental term) paradise.  With Abel's head attached to a machine, and complaining non-stop, Ood plots an operation for Irene.  First, Ood visits a strip club and finds an exotic dancer, Stella (Christine Maybach).  Unbeknownst to the virtuous Irene, she is about to get a stripper's (excuse me, dancer's) body. As you can imagine, difficulties will arise. As Abel continues to complain, and heads and bodies keep filling up swamps, Ood goes to work.
Irene's new body
Will the virtuous Irene come to like her new scandalous body?  What of Stella's head?  Will her head have any chance of being attached to Abel's old body? Okay, now I'm getting silly.  For those of you who love mad-scientist flicks, "The Head," directed by Victor Trivas, is for you.