Fringe cinema weirdness!

Basket Case

What critic Rex Reed howled in revulsion, filmmaker Frank Henenlotter wore as a bloody badge of honor. Rex ravaged Basket Case (1981, 91 minutes) as “the SICKEST movie I’ve ever seen!” Henenlotter knew such righteous indignation was gold to the exploiteer as he’d been worshiping at the B-cinemas of New York City’s 42nd Street since he was old enough to cut school.

However, Frank was thwarted by his own distributors who neutered the flick’s blood and gore with initially disastrous box office results. It wasn’t until its meaty plot was restored that a cult following began to build around the picture, thanks in large part to a cunning manipulation of the home video boom. The goretur often points with nostalgic glee that the bank roll seen in the flick is a large portion of its total $35,000 budget.

The movie: A tale of two exceedingly unusual brothers that’s rich with vengeance, lust and inexplicable charm. Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a tall, lanky kid who wanders into the seedy Hotel Broslin toting a large wicker basket. He pays for Room 7 from an enormous wad of cash, then lugs his heavy cargo upstairs, under the prying gaze of suspicious and perhaps devious onlookers. Not long afterward, Duane begins talking to something, rather, SOMEONE inside the basket who snarls and quakes while being fed a sack of hamburgers — wrappers and all. That someone, as any CineSchlocker already knows, is Duane’s very tiny and very ferocious bubba Belial. The two are in town to systematically chew — one of them quite literally — through a gaggle of quack physicians they were wronged by many years before. Their wrath is ravenous and even, well, creative. Like when Belial turns a broad into a human porcupine with his gnarled fist full of scalpels. In a Shakespearian twist, all this revelry is complicated when Duane falls for a bright-eyed receptionist (Terri Susan Smith) with a revolving door on her virtue and a dime-store wig. Belial is enraged by and jealous of his brother’s Romeo antics which, fueled by his own sexual frustration, spawns a murderous rift between them with obvious Biblical parallels.

Despite the flick’s grim finale, the first of two increasingly wacky sequels finds our pint-sized terror continuing his search for romantic fulfillment among his own ilk at a bizarro commune of sideshow oddities (think Clive Barker meets Sid & Marty Krofft). While Basket Case 3: The Progeny follows the fruit of Belial’s loins in an apparent ode to Larry Cohen‘s immortal It’s Alive franchise.

Notables: Two breasts. Eight corpses. Monster cam. Nekkid dream sequence with untethered wangdoodle. Eye gobbling. Lock picking. Toilet diving. Hypodermic closeups. Apartment trashing. Gratuitous visit to Statue of Liberty. Boozing.

Quotables: Tenant taunts the young stranger, “[You’re] all alone in this cold, CRUEL world.” Sharon can’t believe a strapping fella like Duane is single, “Don’t they have girls up state?!” Duane lovingly describes his brother, “He’s deformed! He’s a freak! He looks like a squashed octopus!” There’s just been too much excitement for the Broslin’s manager, “This isn’t a hotel! It’s a nut house!!!”

Time codes: First of five people to ask “What’s in the basket?” (5:34). Feeding time at the Hotel Broslin (9:20). Kung fu scene from The Bodyguard (22:10). First clear look at Belial (31:06). Stop-motion creature animation by Henenlotter (36:55). The shocking origin of these troubled brothers (49:00). Belial returns to his basket after a midnight panty raid (1:09:48). Frank’s dedication to gore legend Herschell Gordon Lewis (1:30:50).

Final thought: Rex was only half right. Basket Case is an undeniable, unavoidable and unforgettable clasSICK. An absolute must own for any self-respecting CineSchlocker.

Blood Feast

Also see H.G. Lewis Goreography

Blood FeastA true classic. The granddaddy of the slasher genre, and must-have for any self-respecting CineSchlocker. Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) is a busy man. He runs an exotic catering business. He’s a mail-order book salesman. And he spends his evenings hacking up nubile young girls for the sacrifice necessary to reanimate his goddess, Ishtar. An eye here. A leg there. A dash of brains. All the while, he skulks around, dragging his leg and bugging his eyes — generally, LOOKING like a homicidal maniac. In the flick’s most famous scene, a blond coed (Astrid Olson) gets her tongue ripped right out of her skull. The primitive effect (by today’s standards) was done by placing a sheep’s tongue, stage blood and red Jell-O into the cavernous mouth of a former Playboy Club waitress — then allowing the whole mess to spill out for the camera. Fuad also dismembers a gal in a bath tub. Knocks another girl’s beau over the head, and then proceeds to brain her as well, literally. Trying to sort out the murders is police Detective Pete Thornton (William Kerwin), who just happens to be dating Suzette Fremont (Connie Mason). Will he wise up before Fuad adds Suzie to the dessert menu? Or will Ishtar rise again and whup some mortal butt? See for yourself.

Thirty years later, Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman reunited for Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. Don’t miss my on-set coverage of this historic sequel!

Notables: Two breasts. Eight corpses. Hypnotic-stares. Gratuitous python. Egyptology lecture. Swimming pool frolicking. Coed whipping. Death by garbage truck.

Quotables: Hands down, the best line in the flick is from Suzette, "Hey! You wouldn’t sacrifice ME on this altar, would you?!"

Time codes: The famous blood-red splatter titles (2:45). June 1963 Playmate Connie Mason joins the flick (10:50). Ms. Mason reads her dialog from a lampshade (24:30). The thrilling foot-chase finale (1:02:30).

Blown Away

Blown AwayThe second-most famous erotic thriller starring an ’80s sitcom siren desperate to shed her goodie-goodie image — the first being Embrace of the Vampire with Alyssa Milano.

Here a pre-enhancement then de-enhancement Nicole Eggert strips and sizzles as a psycho nympho who snares an ever gap-jaw’d Corey Haim in an extremely torrid web of teen lust and murder. This gal is SO batty and SO sexed up that she manages to get Haim thrown in the pokey and THEN tries to hike up her skirt to diddle him right there in the police interrogation room. Keep this babe OFF her meds!

The flick also features a highly emotive Corey Feldman as our breathless hero’s older, wiser brother who pirouettes and gestures like he’s in a community playhouse staging of My Fair Lady. Bless him! But the real story is Ms. Eggert’s salaciously brave turn as a 17-year-old vixen who’s apt to go schizo and scratch her bed buddy’s eyes out mid-cavort in her father’s bed, on the kitchen counter, in the shower, on a stairway, against a wall, on a bear-skin rug and just about anywhere else the mood strikes.

Just how the heck this after-school Basic Instinct ever got MADE, with the two Coreys no less, is nothing short of astonishing as is its undeniable oomph as a twisty thriller amid all its peep shows. Someone reteam director Brent Spencer and writer Robert Cooper as a sequel is LONG overdue! 

Notables: Two breasts. Five corpses. Multiple explosions. Wild driving. Gratuitous shower scene. Jack rabbit-esque fornicating. Contemplative slow mo. Brawling Coreys. Rampant Haim hiney. Rip-away lingerie. Advanced hetro tongue rasslin. Threat of intestinal strangulation. Unsanctioned use of giant stuffed duck. Gratuitous suicide attempt. Suggestive horseback riding. Girl gone really, really wild. Hellacious gun battle.

Quotables: Oh, it’s impossible to pick just ONE of Megan’s bonsmots: "Does this look like the body of a 16-year-old? … Talking isn’t my best sport. … I guess I’m really f@#%ed up, huh?" and the jailhouse show stopper "I want to feel you inside me RIGHT NOW!!!"

Cheaters: Best of Season One

Cheaters: Best of Season OneTragically, "Cheaters" may be the best kept secret in exploitation television. Each week, the syndicated "real reality" program plants viewers into the lives of couples grappling with the slippery slope that IS fidelity in these romantically perilous times. Your average marrieds. Lesbian lovers and their male brothers. Confused beaus who’d ask their sweeties to marry them if only they could FIND them.

For each, their unlikely hero is Tommy Grand (Tommy Habeeb) the hour’s host, who is either the NICEST fella on the planet, or a fiendish huckster the likes of which the entertainment world has rarely witnessed. Garbed in black, with a stubbled mug, meek Mr. Grand, who has the soothing voice of Mister Rogers, manages a stable of private eyes — OK, um, a guy named Gomez, but dang it, he’s good — who procure grainy surveillance footage of client’s significants groping cheatees at the mall, church parking lots, or the check out line at Sack ‘N’ Save.

Grand then presents these poor souls with this "information," usually outside a Chili’s restaurant and with a horde of cameramen and security toughs buzzing about. Each time, Tommy quietly apologizes, "I really hate to show you this," while images of dirty deeds flash across his three-inch camcorder screen. And often times, Grand will apologize AGAIN, which usually means he’s about to make his client watch something even WORSE. He might also choose to punctuate the revelation with a charmingly cornball exclamation like, "Holy mackerel!" All the while, the camera is ever locked in for every gasp, or tear exuded by the unfortunate rube who’s just discovered they’re being cheated on. Yet, the fun doesn’t end there. Then the show’s biggest (and most ingenious) conceit manifests, as Mr. Grand, dripping with dubious compassion, asks rhetorically, in the cool demeanor of a high-school guidance counselor, "Would you like to confront them?" Bingo! Fireworks City!

This weekly sleaze fest has inexplicably languished in unwarranted obscurity among the crush of programming spawned by the "reality" craze. About a fourth of the show’s reported markets air it well after midnight, including right here in Dallas, where the "Cheaters" home office is located on none other than, get this, Lover’s Lane.

But they certainly don’t have an exposure problem on DVD thanks to the uncensored release of Cheaters: Best of Season One (2000, 120 minutes), which highlights four fine segments complete with curse words and copious copulation footage — about 20 minutes worth, actually.


Willie Johnson and Donna Rousseau

He’s a gentleman truck driver who’s six months out of a 35-year marriage that went south. On the road, Willie encountered a much younger, down-on-her-luck Donna, whom he took a fancy to and decided he’d help out. The two share a motel room, however he suspects she’s also sharing the room with others while he spends many long hours on the highway. "Cheaters" proves his fears to be correct, and then some, as their cameras discover she’s actually got something of a revolving door policy going on in Room 146. Our snarky narrator laments, "Willie’s shocked to learn the woman whose life he’s trying to turn around has, in fact, turned on him! Obviously, his love alone just isn’t enough to fill the empty hours that pass in the motel room." Mr. Grand, Willie and a camera, light and sound gang burst in on Donna and find her entertaining an unidentified suitor who scurries for the door. After Donna attempts to deny any wrongdoing, Grand doesn’t mask his disgust when he asks, "I see your bed’s turned down. What were you about to do with this fella tonight? What if we came in 15 minutes later!?" It’s easily the more heart wrenching of the four confrontations. In the uncensored footage (6:35 A), watch as limber Ms. Rousseau is captured via hidden camera diddling an enthusiastic beau while the Channel 8 newscast plays in the background (6 mins).

Allan Coursey and Cindy "Devon" O’Canas

Another older fella lured in by the attentions of a younger gal. She’s a wanna be rock singer. He ought to know better. Coursey comes to "Cheaters" to find out if she’s really at band practice when she says she is. Investigators find her walking hand-in-hand with bandmate Lon Wade whose mane looks as though a blond poodle is mounting his skull. Our narrator subtly explains, "That evening it becomes clear to ‘Cheaters’ that O’Canas and Wade are making more than music together." Grand and Coursey confront the lovebirds on the streets of Deep Ellum, a popular stretch of Dallas nightlife, where Devon is initially shocked, while a drunken Wade can’t quite grasp what’s happening. He squeals at Coursey to explain how he knows Devon’s name. He paces in crazified circles and bangs his head into a storefront window in comic frustration. Then the whole scene goes completely over the top with Devon cursing Coursey, "How could you f@#&ing do this s@#%!!? You know we got gigs down here!!! You know we got gigs in a f@$%ing few weeks, man!!!" She stomps down the sidewalk in pursuit of Wade who’s fled the lights and cameras. Her meaty hindquarters threaten to burst the seams of her micro-miniskirt, especially when she hurls herself onto the hood of Lon’s car. There’s not much to see in the uncensored footage (39:22 A), as it’s just too dark to make out anything, but given the participants, that’s a good thing. Its intro is full of Tommy-isms, though, "Lascivious conduct and betrayal diabolized a human relationship. … Evaluate first hand the inverse relationship between the seduction of one and the languor of the other" (7 mins).

Derick Ringley and Taylor

Buxom coed Taylor has a live-in boyfriend with a bum leg who also just happens to be out of a job. While she’s splitting time between classes and work, he’s splitting playtime between two women as our narrator reveals, "Ringley assures Taylor he pounds the pavement looking for a job, but ‘Cheaters’ cameras catch him pounding the flesh of a female companion." Judging by the ample bosom of his gal on the side, it seems clear Derick’s a breast man, if not a company man. Mr. Grand gives Taylor the bad news while trying to avoid looking down her cavernous cleavage. They confront Ringley who’s sharply dressed, hopping along on crutches, through a busy festival setting with his cheatee at his side. Taylor swoops in, shrieking at Ringley and calling his bimbette a "whore," who responds by jerking down Taylor’s precariously stringy top. Ooooo! CATFIGHT!!! Gap-jawed revelers stop in their tracks and watch as the two scream compound curses at each other before eventually turning their attentions to Derick. He flings his crutches around almost striking a cameraman, who grabs it to avoid being hit. Ringley then barks, "You’re gonna take my crutch from me?! What a puss!!!" In the uncensored footage (3:14 B), a hidden camera in Taylor’s apartment spies as Ringley cavorts on the couch with his afternoon delight and her melon-heavy charms (9 mins).

Norma Norman and Harold Norman

Married for 30 years, Norma comes to "Cheaters" about her absentee husband Harold — a professional gambler. He claims to be dividing his time between casinos in Las Vegas and Louisiana, but Grand’s investigators discover he’s actually very nearby and leading a double life with a Slurpee-lovin’ erotic dancer from the Lipstick Gentlemen’s Club. Norma’s a kindly woman, a bit doddering, with only a pair of pet birds to keep her company, yet she’s determined to nail Harold’s cheatin’ butt to the wall. She and Grand confront her husband and dancer Amy "Raven Heat" Kovalchick outside a 7-Eleven. Again, the women turn on the cheater. Kovalchick howls when she learns Harold has been paying Norma’s bills "with MY g@#damn strippin’ money?!" In the end, he’s left to bum a ride when both Norma and Raven Heat flutter away. Harold threatens to sue everyone in sight, yet concedes guilt when he says, "Well, hell, you gotta have some sometimes to keep you occupied when you’re not getting along with your old lady." In the uncensored footage (27:12 A), watch as investigator’s hidden camera documents a seemingly endless lapdance (7 mins).


Notables: Six breasts. Catfighting. Gratuitous hot babe with braces. Seedy motel room. Extremely failed rock musicians. Top popping. Diddling. Multiple screaming fits. Peeping. Sunbathing.

Time codes: Willie wows Tommy with a bold claim about his sexual prowess (2:34 A). Split-second lewd message by a video prankster (14:07 A). Grand sums up a sorry situation with two simple words, "Damn, Willie" (29:50 A). Security dude briefly reaches for his gun to stop Lon from speeding away in a car with Devon sprawled on its hood (57:59 A). Freeze-frame pervert’s delight (15:30 B). Hit slow mo and watch as Mr. Grand is confronted by Norma’s untethered breasts (22:22 B). A rare, but golden feature of the weekly series — the "Pre-Bust Meeting" (34:45 B).

Final thought: There’s NEVER been a clunker episode of this ingeniously sleazy series. CineSchlockers truly have a new idol and his name is Tommy Grand!


Also see Tale O’ Premenstrual Mayhem

CarrieCarrie White (Sissy Spacek) is the terminally uncool and naive daughter of a man-hating religious zealot (Piper Laurie) who feels she’s failed as a mother when her teen-age daughter is first visited by Eve’s curse of blood. No, Carrie won’t be riding horseback, or frolicking on the beach, while being sold on the wonders of the latest feminine hygiene product. Instead, she has all manner of them hurled at her by a horde of howling girls, while she’s entirely certain she’s about to bleed to death. What’s worse, mommy locks her in a creepy prayer closet to repent for all those SINFUL thoughts she must have been having to be visited with the curse. The entire world conspires to oppress meek little Carrie, but deep down she harbors a rage which manifests itself through the supernatural power of telekinesis. She flings an astray into the air with her mind when the high school principal can’t remember her name and even knocks a punk kid off his bicycle just for TEASING her. Don’t buy into the Cinderella ruse, folks, this is one tough little broad. Meanwhile, the snottiest slut on campus (Nancy Allen) hates Carrie SO MUCH that she strings together a fiendish prank at the "Love Among The Stars" prom that winds up ruining everyone’s evening — permanently.

Notables: 12 breasts. 77 corpses. Cutlery crucifixion. Bitch slapping. Slow-mo shower scene. Imploding house. Blatant gum chewing. Bucket to the head. Gratuitous calisthenics. Sledgehammer pig slaughtering. High-speed car crash with explosion. Possessed firehouse. Chipmunk talking. Butcher knife to the back. One novelty tuxedo T-shirt.

Quotables: The girls taunt a confused, frightened and menstruating Carrie, "Plug it up! Plug it up! Plug it up!" Did swine harbor fears about nuclear war?, "Piggy! I’m gonna bash your little heads in and you don’t have to worry about the bomb no more." Mrs. White on skin care, "Pimples are the Lord’s way of chastising you." Carrie’s a liberated woman, "Breasts, mamma. They’re called breasts, and every woman has them."

Time codes: First display of supernatural power (6:08). Mirror, mirror on the wall (17:40). Telekinesis defined (29:00). De Palma’s future wife savours a Sweathog (35:10). The flick’s most famous line (54:30). Puke-inducing Tilt-A-Whirl dance sequence (1:03:20). All hell breaks loose (1:17:20).


Also see The Films of Jack Hill

CoffyPam Grier stars as a nurse fed up with the police department’s inaction in her community — one that’s crawling with dope pushers, pimps and the politicians who seem to be pulling the strings. But it’s when her own sister falls victim to the scourge of drugs that "Coffy" picks up a sawed-off shotgun and decides to settle the score. And revenge fells GOOD, baby.

In between some late-night cavorting with her civic-minded boyfriend, the one-chick hit squad follows a trail of junkies and working girls to King George (Robert DoQui) who is the pimpiest pimp who ever pimped. And that’s just describing his wardrobe. Coffy infiltrates his harem of high-class escorts, which isn’t easy especially seeing how they’re an extremely MEAN group of gals. Thankfully, this tension builds into a catfight royal that’s darn near unrivaled in B-cinema’s lurid history. Though her detective work isn’t exactly in Jim Rockford’s league, she talks and sexes her way into the inner circle responsible for most of the unseemly stuff that’d hacked her off in the first place. But who she comes face-to-face with there may prove more than one woman can take. At least without a loaded scattergun in her hands.

CineSchlockers will snicker when they first see Allan Arbus as the diminutive mob boss who makes, ahem, UNUSUAL demands of King George’s girls. Arbus is probably most recognized for his recurring role as Dr. Sidney Freedman on "M*A*S*H."

Notables: 13 breasts. Eight corpses. Shotgun blast to the face. High-speed pimp pull. Gratuitous Jamaican accent. Dinner tray to the brainpan. Throat slashing. The ol’ razorblades in the bouffant gag. Busted bottle as weapon. Multiple diddling.

Quotables: Coffy in Angel of Death mode, "This is the end of your ROTTEN life — you mother f@#%ing dope pusher!!!" In Seductress mode, "Now don’t start gettin’ insecure … you know the long goodie will keep on workin’ as long as I’m able to handle it." At least he’s an HONEST wimp, "I’m sorry, man. I can’t argue with no .45."

Time codes: Coffy puts the permanent hurt on a dealer (6:22). Angry lesbian comes to the rescue of her woman (31:10). High-class hookers try to pull each other’s hair out (43:00). Cop gets clobbered by a car (1:15:30).

Final thought: Coffy is a ferociously violent, but truly unique heroine, as she uses her wits and buxom bod to seduce the scum who ultimately end up in her crosshairs, instead of her bed.

Insomniac with Dave Attell

Insomniac with Dave AttellOur survey of CineSchlocker-approved "reality" programming continues with comedian’s comedian Dave Attell. Before anyone runs screaming from their terminal, rest assured this is one of those painfully RARE instances where that particular mantle’s worn by a comic who’s freaking hilarious! Attell’s been working the clubs since the red brick wall days. At 38, he’s proven something of an Obi-Wan of dick jokes. However, a taylor-made showcase of his rapier wit, the mark of Dave’s true genius, manifested with the Comedy Central debut of "Insomniac" on August 5, 2001. Each entry of this hilarious graveyard-shift cavalcade, this booze-fueled travelogue, begins after Dave’s last set of the night and doesn’t slow til dawn. Not even for last call. Intrepid cameraman Brian Danitz keeps Attell’s every bizarro encounter and accompanying tomfoolery in frame, while Dave himself uses his trusty Instamatic ice-breaker to remember his newest best friends once sobriety sets in. Heck, the theme song really says it best …

Drunks and losers
Dwarves with limps 
Flos and ho’s and one-eyed pimps
Down the alleyway they creep
They’re all your friends when you can’t sleep
Come with me and you will see
A late-night-freak-show-Jubilee!
Kick the Sandman in his sack
Stay up late — Insomniac!

Definitely any CineSchlocker’s brand of fun! So, everyone grab your IDs, a fist full of singles and let’s join our after-hours tour guide:

New Orleans

(Season 1, Episode 5)

Attell joins Sheriff Harry Lee of Jefferson Parish and his SNIPERS in "eradicating" 20-pound, non-indigenous Nutria that infest Southern waterways in ever-increasing numbers. With searchlights blazing and silenced .22 rifles trained from the back of a creeping flatbed, it’s easily the most surreal and darkly hilarious vignette of the series, as even our host takes up arms to scatter the brainpans of these fuzzy critters frolicking along a roadside creek. Dave assures viewers, "Just in case you’re wondering, A LOT of animals were hurt during the shooting of this!" There’s also an inspired encounter with dirt-track racer and lady-killer Booger Pierce (#28) at West Bank Speedway and, of course, OODLES of booze-addled French Quarter shenanigans. But don’t expect "Girls Gone Wild."

Notables: Two breasts. Six photos. Two shots. Gratuitous urination. Six dead furballs. Python dangling. Mooning.

Quotable: "Even at this hour there’s still plenty of characters on Bourbon Street. The vampire. The little drunk girl. The stripper with one tooth. All we need is a midget and we’ve got ourselves a porno movie!"


(Season 1, Episode 6)

Dave goes backstage to grill the freshly towel’d winner and buxom runners-up of a wet T-shirt contest. Then introduces them to his friend "Yaegermeister." At the Cypress Fairbanks Rodeo, he covers a chaw-gnawing chick bullrider’s entry fee, compares funny-man notes with a pimp’d out rodeo clown and screeches in horror as hundreds of grade schoolers — up WAY past their bedtimes — stampede in the "Calf Scramble." Then it’s on to shake, rattle and roll with Low Rider gearheads before going on patrol with AstroWorld’s lone "Sergeant of Security" who hears tell the theme park just MIGHT be haunted (a la Scooby-Doo).

Notables: Two breasts. Five photos. Five shots. Fire breathing. Drunken opera singing. Gratuitous "Saved By The Bell" ref.

Quotable: [To rodeo groupies] "It’s funny how a woman likes to see a guy fall on the ground and then kinda lay there for a little bit. All hurt and bleeding. But if he lays on the couch all day, then all of a sudden he’s a deadbeat, ‘Get up and get a job! Stop drinking!’ "


(Season 2, Episode 1)

Attell takes to the ring in a pair of long johns and gets himself severely body slammed at Windy City Wrestling school. Engages in a floor-by-floor search for a "hot room party" at a Sci-Fi Convention. There he encounters a Harry Potter lookalike and self-loathing virgin. While the prize for biggest gaggle of geeks is a toss-up between the room filled with middle-aged men ogling Hubble Space Telescope photos or the one filled with annoyed folks who’d rather watch Japanese cartoons than chit-chat with Dave. After a swing by a thong contest, it’s time for a bite at The Weiner’s Circle, which thanks to its trademark barrage of cursing betwixt employees and patrons, takes best comic advantage of the collection’s "Uncensored" pedigree.

Notables: No breasts. 12 photos. Two shots. Gratuitous babe with lollipop.

Quotable: "Wow! It’s a crazy kind of quiet. You know, like when a clown’s gonna fart."


(Season 2, Episode 8)

All fantasies going into a "sex convention" wither into a limp noodle and Dave’s just as disappointed as we are. But like anywhere else, he makes friends quickly. First with a giant inflatable penis then with inflated porn starlet "Tangerine" who charts titillating new territory in advertising. Later, after a thorough puck pummeling as an alternate goalie, Attell retreats to a much safer frozen pond to indulge in a bit of ice fishing with some NEW liquor’d up buddies.

Notables: Two breasts. Eight photos. Eight shots. Minnow swallowing. Hiney slapping. Frozen fish dance.

Quotable: [Attempting to fit in with Canadian rappers] ‘WORD!’ Can I put a ‘word’ in there?"

New York

(Season 2, Episode 10)

This is actually the third of FOUR episodes thus far exploring Dave’s favorite late-night stomping grounds. Straightaway he takes another beating. This time at the hands of an overly enthusiastic instructor at Okinawan Karate Dojo in Queens. Shares hooch and sniffs hineys with the canine patrons of the Brooklyn Ale House. Plays cards and gossips with "Guiding Light" grips waiting for their trade’s crack at prepping the soap’s sets. Plus, before winding down the night at Harlem’s historic Seville Lounge, Attell dances and romances at a "Goddess Party" showcasing BBW. For the uninitiated, that’s big, beautiful women. With an emphasis on, ahem, B-I-G! Then viewers get to retreat back to Dave’s place for a final sayonara before we’re shoo’d away for a whole TV season’s worth of sacktime.

Notables: Two breasts. 15 photos. Two shots. Kung fu fighting. Indian caterwauling. Foxy boxing. Cranial coitus.



CubeOne after another, six strangers awake in 14′ by 14′ rooms with a menacing bulkhead centered on each wall. Like a deadly spin on "Let’s Make A Deal" these poor captives soon realize they’re also picking their POISON if they naively choose the wrong door. One skittish fella (Julian Richings) instantaneously goes to pieces just a baby step into a deceptively benign new room that’s actually a HUMAN CUISINART!!!

Fortunately, the rest of the gang makes note of such messy missteps whilst clambering within the neverending wilderness of this overgrown Rubik’s Cube. Each of our unfortunates are cowinkydinkily named for famous hoosegows: There’s Quentin the hero (Maurice Dean Wint), Leaven the mouse (Nicole de Boer), Holloway the jabberjaw (Nicky Guadagni), Worth the wet blanket (David Hewlett), Rennes the escape artist (Wayne Robson) and Kazan whose short bus just arrived from the Judge Wapner Academy (Andrew Miller).

In all, sort of a nightmare "Real World" scenario, only with an older cast and the thrilling fact any one of them can DIE at any moment! Something MTV should ponder. That naturally nixes anything approaching a Kum-Ba-Yah session among the gang whilst they journey through the maze and its accompanying trials begin to illuminate their TRUE characters. Some being grossly more ruthless than others.

What we’ve got here is actually a time-honored cinematic formula: Get from "A" to "B" without becoming lunchables. Yet in this case getting to "B" requires having spent more than a few WAKING hours in math class. Coupled by the unnerving reality that a fellow cubemate may well brain ye long before a sound-activated trap rares up and spits acid in your eye. And horror, upon horrors, what if "B" ain’t such a swell joint after all!?! Such is the many faceted brilliance of this harrowing exploration of what one character so adeptly describes as "Boundless human stupidity." Coincidentally, that’s a term which also begins to explain how Cube 2: Hypercube so royally careened off its tracks.

CineSchlockers will be sadden to learn that, for the sequel, producers went taller and BLONDE at Ms. de Boer’s position. She, of course, went on to develop an unsightly skin condition on "Star Trek: Deep Space For Rent" as all hot babes of the franchise are required. Some may also remember her scampering around in her skivvies in Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil.

Notables: No breasts. Six corpses. Bitch slapping.Boot bludgeoning.Gratuitous urination.Button sucking.CGI shenanigans.Acid facial.Gratuitous 007 reference.Excessive whining.Noggin knocking.Flamethrowing.Advanced ciphering.

Quotables: Doc Holloway never missed an Art Bell broadcast, "Only the government could build something this ugly!" and "Nobody’s EVER gonna call ME paranoid again! We gotta get out of here and blow the lid off this thing!" OK, so she’s not paranoid, but she IS a spaz, "HOLY CATS! HOLY, HOLY CATS!!!" Worth may be lonely but "I’ve got a pretty fine collection of pornography." Mr. Wint gnaws on what little scenery there actually is, "Listen to me, WOMAN! Every day, I mop up after your bleeding heart. The only reason you exist is because I keep you! I know your type. No kids. No men to f@#& you! So you go around outraged. Sticking your nose up other people’s a@#%&$#s. Getting into their business. You missed your boat, Holloway. You’re all dried up inside there, aren’t you?! That’s YOUR f@#%ing problem!" and "I’M NOT DIEING IN A F@#%ING RAT MAZE!!!" However, even being bipolar, the big guy’s not without wit, "You’re telling me Telethon Boy is a genius!?"

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the DeadWhat’s better than George Romero‘s zombified treatise on conspicuous consumption? Well, FOUR VERSIONS of Dawn of the Dead, of course!

(Ironic, huh?)

It’d been a decade since Night of the Living Dead, George’s harrowing story of seven strangers, hiding in a Pennsylvania farm house, who find out what happens when people stop being dead and start getting hungry. The consumer culture that’d peak in the ’80s was, ahem, dawning. Then it happened. Romero had his "Eureka!" moment square in the middle of the Monroeville Mall. Could there be a more perfect place to hole up while the world goes ape poopie!?!

U.S. Theatrical Version

Legend has it, before George even got rolling on a script, he phoned budding grue slinger Tom Savini and said: "Start thinking of interesting ways to kill people!" Lil Tommy must’ve always earned a great big check mark next to "Follows Directions" in grade school because, boy, does he ever deliver! Night’s whole destroy-the-brain-kill-the-ghoul modus operandi gets blow’d up to a grand new grisly level this time around. In one ooey-gooey fashion or another there’s far, far MORE exploding brainpans than leering cleavage shots in any Russ Meyer classic. Gory, gory hallelujah! Chief offenders are SWAT teammates Peter and Roger (towering Ken Foree and scrappy Scott Reiniger) who hitch a helicopter out of undead Dodge with a TV weather flyboy and his squeeze (David Emge and Gaylen Ross). As the foursome thumps over the countryside, we’re treated to perversely hilarious scenes of hayseeds picking off lumbering zombies like overgrown gophers. Yet the real fun starts when our heroes happen upon one of them newfangled MALLS and commence to commandeer this shopper’s Shangri-la from the horrible horde who still circle the food court itching for a blue light special on BRAINS!!!

Dawn was followed seven years later by Day of the Dead chronicling the subterranean misadventures of a mad scientist and his undead buddy Bub. At the time, fans were left cold given the third film’s utter lack of pie fights. But Romero thinks the world of it and many zombiphiles have since reanimated their opinions as well. Coincidentally, 28 Days Later, which virtually lifts its final act from Day, ignited the current mainstream zombie craze that, coupled with the Dawn retread, may make Romero’s long-awaited fourth Dead chapter a reality. Until then, CineSchlockers can look forward to Mr. Foree’s return to the big screen as a Wild West-style pimp in Rob Zombie‘s next picture.

Notables: No breasts (See Disc Two). 236 corpses. Helicopter decapitation. Redneck rampage. Kiddo killin. Ice skating. One involuntary freefall. Neck noshing. Brainpan bashing. Multiple disembowelments. Ol’ Okeydoke. Innumerable bullets to the noggin. Mannequin mangling. Multiple hit and runs. Escalator electric slide. Gratuitous biker gang. Excessive shoplifting. Machete wielding. TV busting. Puking.

Quotables: Everyone has an opinion when it comes to zombies. From TV commentators: "They kill for one reason. For FOOD!" To one-legged Catholic priests: "You are stronger than us. But soon, I think, they’ll be stronger than you!" To hot-head, eye-patch wearing scientists: "These creatures are nothing more but pure, motorized instinct … THEY MUST BE DESTROYED ON SIGHT!!!" Yet no one sounds cooler than Mr. Foree. On why they love malls: "Some kind of instinct? Memory of what they used to do? This was an important place in their lives." After blowing a herd of ’em away: "This place is gonna be rotten. We gotta clean it up, brotha." And the famous line cribbed from Peter’s grandpappy: "When there’s no room in hell — the dead will walk the earth."

Extended Version

Often and incorrectly dubbed the Directors Cut, this was the version rushed before buyers at Cannes without Romero having sufficient time to make calculated artistic choices and streamline the film to its fighting weight. Considering the theatrical cut was always unrated, there’s minimal amounts of additional gore. Perhaps an extra bite here or there. The breast count does leap to O-N-E as a bleak boudoir scene would later be darkened to shadow Ms. Ross’ talents. But mostly it’s just more shopping and a smattering of character moments. The biggest difference comes early in the film involving a protracted encounter at the heliport with the "Got any cigarettes?" cop and his not-so-merry men. Romero prefers the theatrical version and CineSchlockers are likely to agree.

European Version

I-Talian horror maestro Dario Argento co-produced the film and retained foreign distribution rights allowing him to recut and market the movie as he wished. Basically, it’s the Cannes cut hastened by whittling the chatty stuff non-English speakers wouldn’t grasp and sequences Dario didn’t dig — such as the cranial copter chop. Romero’s intentionally whimsical score is also enthused with more syntho-riffs by Argento mainstays, Goblin, lending to this version’s edgier tone. CineSchlocker opinion will likely hinge on one’s allegiances — to Dario, an artist in marketeer mode, or to George the auteur. 

Dog Soldiers

Dog SoldiersTurns out 2001 was the year of the werewolf. But if you’re a U.S. moviegoer you sure as heck would NEVER know it! Two breakout horror pictures, one Canadian and the other British, made the long mangy subgenre of horror howl back to life. CineSchlockers took notice and voted Ginger Snaps the top DVD that year. Now comes its guns ‘n’ gore cousin from across the pond Dog Soldiers (2001, 104 minutes).

Writer/director Neil Marshall‘s flick set a box office record when it debuted in England. Here? It couldn’t even garner a wide theatrical release! Instead, the Sci Fi Channel rightly saw its merits and provided a domestic venue. Hollywood’s abysmal treatment of these movies is a sobering example of just how crucial DVD is to genre filmmakers and fans. Because it’s painfully clear the present theatrical system doesn’t see a significant market for horror pictures that don’t feature cast members of "Dawson’s Creek," or worse yet, feature actors with funny accents.

Hence the Americanized remake of The Ring. Perhaps its impressive box office success can loosen the logjam of teen ensemble slashers and CGI-addled spook fests, allowing cult winners such as Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers to find a traditional audience. On second thought, we may experience world peace first.

The movie: A British military unit on a training exercise in the Scottish highlands finds itself in the ransacked camp of the special forces troops they were sent to engage. Nothing’s in one piece and most everything that DOES remain is covered in blood. Then up from the rubble pops a frantic officer, his chest slashed in a claw-like pattern, and in his terror he repeats again and again, "There was only supposed to be ONE!" Fighting darkness, the team evacuates the injured Capt. Ryan (Liam Cunningham) and sets out in search of shelter only to be attacked themselves. But the enemy just happens to be a pack of WEREWOLVES! That’s a fact none of these troopers are quick to embrace. Instead they focus on finding a defensible structure, namely a small isolated cottage, and prepare to reenact the best bits of Zulu — except with MUCH furrier adversaries. It’s a goldang grim situation, but the flick’s also wryly witty.

Take the plight of Sgt. Wells (Sean Pertwee) who’s literally GUTTED by a 7-foot werewolf, yet he still manages to ape Abbott & Costello with Cooper (Kevin McKidd). "Put ’em back in again!," Cooper shouts while trying to stuff Wells’ innards from whence they came. "They won’t fit!," Wells screeches. Later he plays tug-of-war with a dog who takes a liking to his bloody bandages. Or when Cooper and his new lady friend Megan (Emma Cleasby) get him good and liquored up and prepare to Super Glue his gut shut, he looks down at the gruesome mess and beams, "Sausages!"

CineSchlockers won’t know whether to projectile vomit or laugh their keisters off. There’s just enough of that sort of thing, along with fierce machine gun attacks and werewolves attempting to huff, puff and blow the cottage down as to keep audiences panting. Occasionally, there’s even breaks to catch a breath or two. It’s in such moments when the aforementioned Capt. Ryan regains his composure and takes to being a deliciously evil badass who seems to relish the cruel reality that they’re pretty much doomed. But the night’s not over yet.

Personally, what pushes this flick from great to danged brilliant, is the slyly hilarious final credit sequence. Trust me on that. CineSchlockers will likely recognize Mr. McKidd from his role as Tommy in Trainspotting, or if you’re like yours truly and spend an obscene number of waking hours playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, you may place his voice as that of Love Fist manager Jezz Torrent.

Notables: No breasts. Seven corpses. Tent pitching. Point-blank canine execution. Head tumbles. Puking. Werewolf cam. Gratuitous slow mo. Flame throwing. Involuntary cannibalism. Multiple gun battles. One flying cow. Gratuitous campfire story. Flashlight to the brainpan. Howling. Tree branch impalement.

Quotables: Sgt. Wells barks, "I expect nothing less than gratuitous VIOLENCE from the lot of you. Just because we’re firing blanks doesn’t mean we have to be thinking NICE thoughts!" It seems Cooper agrees, "High spirits are just no substitute for 800 rounds a minute!" Spoon (Darren Morfitt) on his future as werewolf chow, "I hope I give you the s@#%s you f#@%ing wimp!!!"

Time codes: Wells regales his men with the tale of Eddie Oswald’s wartime tattoo (14:50). A full moon means only one thing — and it ain’t good (19:25). Ryan explains how we arrived at this wacky crossroads of events (1:17:42). It ain’t a good plan if you don’t get to blow stuff up! (1:26:16).

Final thought: There’s already talk of a sequel and it simply can’t arrive soon enough!