Please see Schlockcast: The Seduction of Misty Mundae
The Wizard of Gore
Also see H.G. Lewis Goreography
This tedious, but gorrific entry is more for devoted H.G. Lewis fans than the curious viewer. Montag the Magnificent (Ray Sager) may be the WORST magician ever. But he’s one helluva hypnotist. Montag rolls out the regular illusions, only his lovely volunteers drop dead shortly after each performance. He puts the whammy on his whole audience — they see the typical "Lady Sawed in Half" trick, but in reality he CHAINSAWS her and fiddles with her guts. If the premise sounds confusing, well, it is. But don’t worry, the idea’s driven home about 90 million times … chicks get swords crammed down their throats, another gal gets a six-inch hole punched through her tummy, and my personal favorite, the babe who gets a steel spike introduced to her left ear (and soon after, her right). Each time Montag makes a bunch of crazy faces and squishes their slimy guts between his fingers. Whata sicko. Once he’s done, he snaps the audience out of their haze and everyone goes along their merry way, none the wiser. Except, of course, for this nosy broad who hosts "Housewife’s Coffee Break" (Judy Cler). That figures, eh? If anyone can explain the ending, drop me a line.
Notables: No breasts. Seven corpses. Electric chainsaw butchery. Grave robbing. Spike through the brainpan. P-whipping. Sword swallowing. Magician Pop Tart.
Quotables: Sherry gripes at her dippy boyfriend, "You know, sometimes you make things sound as exciting as a shoe lace factory."
Time codes: Check out the plastic on the floor (15:50). Whoa, baby … make out time (58:10).
Intriguing new players have arrived to challenge Seduction Cinema’s sexploitation throne with this uncomfortably titled, yet wildly ambitious and salaciously wry spoof. In fact, writer/director Randolph Scott and pals’ burgeoning mastery of exotic locales and collective gift of gawk have rarely been seen since all-American auteur Andy Sidaris first raided the Playboy Mansion.
Guess that’d make late-night cable siren Lauren Hays their answer to Andy’s action queen Dona Speir? That’s a tall order, but by another comparison, the babeilicious Ms. Hays certainly apes an English accent no worse than her big screen rival as clothing-optional adventurer "Cara Loft." Here, the "wombs" to be raided are three chintzy jewelry boxes fabled to harness the power of creation and are, naturally, as far-flung as Tibet, Africa and Arabia. What better excuse for Cara to tramps across picturesque sand dunes in platform combat boots, hiney-hugging shorts and a top so cropped she finally decides to lose the goldang thing entirely?
The desert’s, um, HOT!, ya know? Apparently so, because she then forgoes customary water rationing for an impromptu canteen bath. Take THAT, Angelina! Now there IS a plot in here someplace with a frog-throated evil mastermind — you can tell by Roland Lanza‘s phony fu manchu — and a busty blonde assassin aptly named "Natasha" (Antoinette Abbott). However, as the genre dictates, a full quarter of the running time is devoted to various combinations of sapphic canoodling, including a Sidaris-patented celebratory dip in the ol’ hot tub.
CineSchlockers will also remember Ms. Hays as the neglected Hollywood housewife in Club Wild Side who sought solace in the bosom of a nubile niece (by marriage, of course).
16 breasts. Five corpses. Belly dancing. Advanced lesbian tongue rasslin. Less than medicinal use of baby oil. Suggestive banana munching. Two-fisted gun shooting. Gratuitous Indiana Jones gag. Huzzah to Ms. Hayes for mustering "Dr. Scrotus, I presume?" with nary a snicker!
Year of the Yahoo!
Also see H.G. Lewis Goreography
Of all his features that’ve gone MIA after release, this is the one that Herschell Gordon Lewis mourned most, yet as is their way, Something Weird Video has managed to ferret out this gently worn print. This "message picture" about the commingling of media manipulation and political power is surely an ambitious departure from the Godfather of Gore’s usual Grade A exploitation fare. Real-life country crooner Claude King stars as media mogul and moral relativist Ray Sager‘s chicken-fried senatorial candidate. Ol’ Hank Jackson’s songs of the working man, patriotic tunes about "Old Glory," begin to turn suspect as his campaign puppeteers bend his lyrics, appearance and politics to best unseat a deeply rooted incumbent. It’s a world of polls, carefully choreographed public orations and skillful mass-market advertising. (The latter squarely in Herschell’s realm of expertise.) Being a morality tale, Hank flounders much too long before realizing he’s mortgaged his soul and it takes the love of a good woman to help circle the wagons in the end.
Notables: Two breasts. No corpses. Orderly rioting. Copious caterwauling. Diddling. Horse hooey. Hippy haranguing. Reefer madness.
Quotable: The establishment doesn’t cotton to new ideas: "What are y’all talking about!?! He’s not a used car! HE’S A CONGRESSMAN, DAMN IT!!!"
Declaration of principles
While the freebie pile is long since shy of DVDs, if y’all are so kind as to drop yours truly a quick howdy, I’ll be pleased to send along one these swell booster buttons. (Provided you chip in a 75 cent bribe for Uncle Sam’s glorified pony express.) They’re green, shiny and perhaps the quickest means of letting the world know how sick and disgusting you truly are.
Rassler turned action hero Rowdy Roddy Piper stars in John Carpenter‘s sneaky sci-fi indictment of “unrestrained capitalism” during the Reaganomics era. It’s amid this ’80s backdrop that John Nada (Piper) rides the rails to Los Angeles looking for work and accidentally gets himself hooked up with a church choir that moonlights both as a militia group and amateur optometrists.
They rave about unseen forces at work in regular society, “THEY LIVE, WE SLEEP,” and it’s when Nada tries on their fancy shades that things get REAL interesting. The “Hoffman Lenses” (probably named for Albert Hoffman, the inventor of LSD) look like regular ol’ sunglasses, but they let Nada see all sorts of subliminal messages (OBEY, CONFORM, STAY ASLEEP) and some real-deal space aliens who, as he so delicately states, “look like their head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.”
These multi-dimensional yuppie ETs from Andromeda have infiltrated all governments, talk to each other through their Rolex watches and bend humans to their will with promises of wealth and power. Roddy, of course, doesn’t know all that right away, he just decides its time to start kicking some freakazoid hiney — and DOES!
He also has THE most hellacious two-man brawl in film history with Keith David (as his reluctant buddy Frank). CineSchlockers should note the fisticuffs were originally five minutes LONGER and were inspired by The Duke‘s dust up in The Quiet Man.
Roddy also meets up with bright-eyed B-icon Meg Foster who works for the cable TV outfit responsible for beaming the alien’s brainwashing signal hither and yon. But Piper slugs it out all the way to probably one of the best endings of any film, although the TV version criminally cuts to the credits before Cibby Danyla can unleash her sizable contributions to the plot.
Two breasts. 64 corpses. Yuppies from outer space. Exploding TV studio. Bottle to the brainpan. Blind priest clubbing. Riot squad attack. Gratuitous nosy gay neighbors. Multiple gun battles. Roddy actually adlib’d the immortal line: “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass — and I’m all out of bubble gum!”
Good Night, and Good Schlock
January 2, 2006
Back when all this foolishness started, I was simply an unabashed B-movie fan. Next thing I knew, thanks to DVD Talk honcho Geoff Kleinman, I was a fan with a column. Now, after much handwringing, I’ve decided to end CineSchlock-O-Rama — my five-year celebration of fringe cinema. But I remain and always will be a B-movie fan.
I used to tell folks I loved "bad movies." I’ve since realized that’s a flawed statement. No entertaining movie is truly bad. Production value. Acting. Special effects. Ultimately, none of that really matters. Is it entertaining? That’s the overriding test and why I find just as much joy in the rough hewn gems of a Herschell Gordon Lewis as I do the blistering brilliance of Hitchcock, Leone or Welles.
Maybe I’m just wired different, yet it’s how I feel, and followers of my column affirmed this strange affinity. You, the CineSchlockers, shared in and fanned my enthusiasm through the years. For that, I’m most grateful.
While yours truly may be saying "So long!" to schlock business, I’m leaving y’all in equally deranged hands — keep an eye peeled for an all-new genre column!!! DVD Stalk will feature a half-dozen of my most demented DVD Talk cohorts holding forth on all manner of horror and cinematic sin. I’m certain you’ll dig it. In fact, CineSchlockers who regularly receive my e-mail missives are already subscribed!
Who knows, maybe this schlockmeister may even join in now and then. For the moment, though, I think I’m just going to enjoy being a fellow CineSchlocker.
More than 550 reviews
It all started with Piranha. Chicken pecked my country-fried review into the DVD Talk forum as an ode to the world’s greatest living drive-in movie critic, Joe Bob Briggs. His gospel of blood, breasts and beasts would soon provide the inspiration for CineSchlock-O-Rama.
CineSchlock-O-Rama’s Most Wanted
31 flicks were snatched from VHS oblivion thanks to CineSchlocker vigilance! Yet I’m sad to say, 34 more remain on the lam, lost to the digital domain. Classicks such as Food of the Gods, Mirror Images II and a personal passion, Project: Metalbeast. (Kane "Jason Voorhees" Hodder won’t miss my quizzing him about that one!)
Discovering flicks and sharing "Ya gotta see this!" reviews with fellow fans is really a columnist’s greatest reward. Six Days in Roswell is a prime example. I became so enthralled with the docu-comedy, from the makers of Trekkies, that I headed off to Roswell myself.
Speaking of Roswell, I’d more typically try to help CineSchlockers feel like they were tagging along on geek treks to Comic-Con, Chiller or Fangoria. But my proudest moment was closer to home — The Texas Chainsaw Road Trip. (Or, wait, was it when I got to go Behind the Grue of Blood Feast 2!?!)
You’d ramble incoherently too if you subjected yourself to 24-O-Thon: Buns of Steel. While quite popular, my attempt to out Jack Bauer, um, Jack Bauer wasn’t without its lessons — like DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!
– Carrie White’s telekinetic she-devils
– Plus a whole slew of Blair Witch parodies.
I’ve always been so struck by how nice folks in this business are. All told, however, there just isn’t another class act like Andy and Arlene Sidaris. Not only did they give me a great interview, Andy both wrote and phoned to thank me personally.
– Fan fave: Dog the Bounty Hunter
Best of the blog
In 2005, I embraced blogging and quick-take reviews in an attempt to squeeze schlock into my ever-dwindling free time. How better to spend said time than perusing Paris Hilton‘s podcasts? Her bons mots would soon spur my own schlockcasts, which some would argue were the ultimate death knell of the column. Dern you, Paris!