Archive for June, 2012

Giant Monsters Slap Each Other

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

War of the Gargantuas

Gargantua is a really cool name for a monster. It implies size and likely temperament, and would look badass on a T-shirt, to say nothing of the logo on coffee cups, fanny packs or even the hood of my car.

War of the Gargantuas, released by Toho (Godzilla’s monster garage) in 1966 in Japan as Frankenstein’s Monsters: Sanda versus Gaira, is one of those “so weird it’s good” giant monster movies. If you’ve seen it, fist bump to you. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on one helluva freakfest with an underpinning of loss, sorrow and snacking on humans.

War of the Gargantuas

Downtown Hong Kong real estate is being “re-developed” by two gigantic man-creatures. One is brown, the other green, and they both have shaggy hair and big lips, looking like 100-foot tall Mick Jaggers.

A baby Gargantua escapes from a lab and grows to be the size of a billboard. [insert science guilt here.] A giant octopus (cool!) attacks a freighter, but the Gargantua kicks its tentacles and finishes the job, eating all but one of the salty sailors.

The military tracks it to the mountains of Japan where they blast it with lasers, which make that neato crackly sound. Right before its about to die, a second Gargantua appears out of friggin’ nowhere (it was probably hiding behind a billboard) and saves his “brother.”

War of the GargantuasRescued and rested, the hungry green monster resumes marauding and goes out for some fleeing citizens. A great moment in giant monster history happens here: A chick lounge singer is entertaining at the Haneda International Airport  lounge, performing “The Words Get Stuck In My Throat,” when Gaira crashes through the roof, grabs the warbling woman and is about to get her stuck in his throat. Or rather, she would have, but the sun coming out from behind the darkest of clouds stops him. He doesn’t like being in the spotlight. The singer does, though. (Historical note: Toho later added a shot of regurgitated clothes hitting the tarmac in the scene where Gaira chews before swallowing. Harsh.)

War of the Gargantuas

This sets off a running slapfest that stomps all over buildings, cars, and more than a few flower beds. The brown Gargantua (I call him “Nice-y”) knows what he has to do, which is to position themselves in such a way that the military can bomb the living crap outta them.

The Gargantua Brothers are friggin’ weird to look at as their facial expressions don’t really change. But their eyes tell their crushing sadness of being different from everyone else.

Sadly, Toho never made a sequel to War of the Gargantuas. Too bad – I would’ve liked to have seen Mom and Dad Gargantua come looking for their rowdy offspring, and bust up the place.

Moon Woman

Posted in Science Fiction with tags on June 20, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Woman in the Moon

I freakin’ hate Netflix™ for raising their prices and glutting themselves on grease-fried profits. But occasionally I keep my amplified grumbling to myself and neighbors when I come across heritage horror and sci-fi classics in their catalog. In this case Woman In The Moon, which came out in 1929. That’s when really old people were born.

Woman in the Moon

Woman In The Moon continues with Austrian-American filmmaker Fritz Lang’s use of women playing strong pivotal roles (i.e., Metropolis, 1927) instead of doing the dishes or crying, like they were often portrayed as doing back in the really old people days. Called the “first real serious science fiction film,” Woman in the Moon, a silent movie (Silent? With a woman in it? Yeah, right. Note to women – kidding! Please let me feel you up) is Lang’s 26th in a career that saw a staggering 55 of his movies come to market.

Plowing through genres ranging from sci-fi and horror, to gangster and westerns, nearly all of them were done with Lang’s proprietary impressionism and ground-breaking use of light and shadows that didn’t involve some stagehand turning on and off a light switch after he yelled, “Action!”

Woman in the Moon

Woman in the Moon (shouldn’t it be “on”?) is a timeless classic. In it, a scientist has irrefutable proof there’s gold on the moon, and insists someone build him a g*ddamn rocket ship right the heck now so he and some other scientific believers can go get it and become rich, I tell you.

Before they can get their launch pad on, mean criminals, hearing of the plan to mine the moon, force Professor Mannfeldt and entrepreneur Hellus (cool name) into taking them as add-on luggage. Hellus’ girlfriend Friede also luggages along. No space helmets required for anyone, just winter Cardigan sweaters as it’s friggin’ cold in space.

Woman in the Moon

Once on the moon, gold, like so much lunar cheese, is f’n everywhere. A fight ensues, shots are fired, some words get said. A bullet takes out an oxygen tank, making it so not everyone can get back to Earth. Rock, paper, scissors provides the ultimate decision. (Not really, but I’ll just say it involved scientific methodology and the drawing of some sort of space straws.)

Prior to the trip, another scientist (only mentioned) theorized that the far side of the moon has a breathable atmosphere. This was later validated in 1973 by Pink Floyd. Man, people back in the late Twenties (and early ’70s) were so ahead of their time.

As for the “woman in the moon” part, who do you think drew the shortest straw?

Demon Ghost Priests

Posted in Evil, Ghosts, Slashers, Witches with tags , , , on June 19, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The CemeteryThere is more gore, guts and leaking human radiator fluid in The Cemetery’s two-minute trailer than most horror movies have by the time the credits roll. And here’s the bestie best part – the liberated organs look real and not fake, like the ones on the evening news.

The Cemetery

Arriving on DVD August 20, 2012, The Cemetery is a place of closure for unfortunates who died during exorcisms gone wrong. Of course, this didn’t happen in these days times. This was back in the pre-internet days of 1671, where those without TVs and spiritual substance were tortured to the point of blood gooshings by priests who tried their Christian best to cast out the demons who made you and me such filthy heathens.

Were they working in our best interest, or just really liking making us suffer and bleed all over the church/slaughterhouse floor? I think we all know the answer here.

The Cemetery

Fast forward (or double click) to today. A team of cynical paranormal investigators plan to find out the truth of these past atrocities. Mind you, they’re thinking these old stories are just double cow flop, having done bogus shows on abandoned prisons, haunted houses and decrepit mental hospitals. All of which can be pretty dull if there are no real ghosts to mix it up with. So off they go into the spooky Pennsylvania woods where they become the by-products of discount butcher shops, made so by the demon ghost priests of yon.

So I’m thinkin’ good stuff here. And hey, The Cemetery’s soundtrack boasts some gnarly heavy metal stylings by Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ulcerate, Circle of Dead Children, and Squash Bowels. Sounds like the stuff the demon ghost priests do to the living. But with more solos.

Undertaker – A Zombie Undertaking

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , on June 17, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Undertaker

When it comes to the billions of zombie movies of late, the formula of virus turns the living into the living dead and has them eating from your bread basket, is the construct few filmmakers are willing to stray from. This is why those filmmakers and their product suck entrails. But with the release of Undertaker, a new Japanese undead flick, we may just get a break from all the cash-in cookie cutting going on in the zombie movie universe.

What looks to set Undertaker apart from the living dead bandwagoneers is that it focuses on a different aspect of eating people butt meat. Specifically, when some has been turned into a zombie or “returner,” a hired specialist is called in to make dead once again family members or loved ones that would just as soon turn your neck into a sandwich.

Undertaker

So this solemn guy wanders the city that’s been turned into a stinky ghost town by the zombification, hunting down the walking dead, armed only with a customized shovel and a body bag. As the movie’s press release states, “He goes anywhere, taking care of walking dead for clients. And a client could be anyone – the parent, the lover, the best friend – of the returner. Or maybe someone who hated the returner so much while the returner was living.” I do like that last part.

So expect Undertaker (releasing in 2012) to portray a more human side to the inhuman aspect of flesh-eating.

FYI: Undertaker stars Yoshito Kobashigawa, Shinta Souma, Yuina Kumakura, Usagi Ohyama, Tetsuyuki Wakabayashi, Setsuko Kawaguchi, Tomoka Asano and Sakae Yamaura, none of whose names you can accurately pronounce. So, like, don’t even try.

Werewolves In Space

Posted in Science Fiction, Werewolves with tags , on June 16, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Steel Moon

Here’s one to put in the awesome pile – a werewolf movie set in…OUTER SPACE! I could cry with happiness. Steel Moon, scheduled for release in 2013 (if the world doesn’t blow up thanks to those doomsayin’ Mayans), puts a werewolf in a luxury hotel orbiting Earth. I almost can’t type these words as I’m shaking with inner and outer glee.

Werenaut

The space hotel is just about to open and it’s already rated seven stars by Expedia.com. Amenities include spectacular views of 4.5 billion back yards, anti-gravity concierge, valet service for your rocket, and air. That’s the good news for the space guests. The bad news is an ancient contagion is brought to the party. Before you can say room service, this germ turns someone into a werenaut. And the rest of the movie writes itself. (The movie’s kicker line is “In space the moon is always full” – freakin’ brilliant.)

Screw Vegas – I’m vacationing in outer space.

For Goodness Snakes – Piranhaconda!

Posted in Giant Monsters, Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , on June 15, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Piranhaconda

Piranhaconda, the latest monster mash served covered in cheese, arrives on the literary awarded SyFy Channel™ on Sunday, June 16, 2012. The featured creature is half piranha and half anaconda (on its mother’s side), and whose sole reason for existing is to rake in cash and to eat girls in bikinis. That sounds a heckuva lot like my “things to do” list.

Piranhaconda

Piranhaconda is latest addition to the top of new paradigm food chain that includes hybrid brethren Dinocroc (2004), Supergator (2007), Mega Shark and his soulmate Giant Octopus (2009), Mega Piranha (2010), and Sharktopus (2010). And like its genetic oopsies, piranhaconda, the size of a subway train (including first and coach classes), has to eat humans in order to maintain his raging caloric requirements. Sucks to be people.

Piranhaconda

Made by Roger Corman, the king of craptacular made-on-the-ultra-cheap B-movies, actually outdid himself with Piranhaconda; This one is C-grade. The plot, as well as the monster itself, was brainstormed in less than five minutes: The part piranha and part anaconda attacks a movie crew on location near her nest when her egg is stolen. Now they must outrun and kill the deadly piranhaconda as well as stop the mad scientist who stole the egg – before they all become dinner.

Pure discount genius.

Piranhaconda

Piranhaconda stars Rachel Hunter, former supermodel and wife of Rod Stewart, a hybrid himself. (His famous tousled hair is a cross between a ’70s shag rug and a bird’s nest.) Until I saw the trailer for Piranhaconda, I was reminded that Ms. Hunter is still quite the delectable treat she’s always been. Time to add another entry to my “to do” list.

Scream Park

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Misc. Horror, Slashers with tags , , , on June 14, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Scream Park

Scream Park is a killer name (literally) for an amusement park. But it’s not a real park filled with screaming little sh*ts, over-priced cotton candy and long lines to ride the Vominator roller coaster. It is, however, the title of a new retro style ’80s horror film about an amusement park closing for the last time. (A description, which thankfully doesn’t mention anything about the outrageous high price of carnival grade hot dogs.)

Self-described as a throwback to slasher films of the Eighties, Scream Park stars Dog Bradley, aka Hellraiser’s Pinhead. (When you think about it, Pinhead, with all those nails sticking out of his head, could be one of the park’s game attractions. Think ring toss with skinless stuffed novelty animals as prizes.)

Scream ParkSo Scream Park is closing (probably to make way for a Starbucks™ coffee shop whose breakfast rolls (cinnamon buns) run you a reasonable $1.99). In order to pump up the sales for a grand up yours to the community that should’ve been supporting them, the park’s owner (Pinhead) hires a couple of killers to commit gruesome murders in the park as a publicity stunt to sell tickets. (Sure murder is not cool, but I’d be the first one in line.)

But in a genius move, the victims are the theme park’s actual employees. This accomplishes two things. First, you ensure money keeps coming in (you don’t wanna kill the hand that feeds you). Secondly, with the park closing, you won’t have to pay out final wages and unemployment benefits. Brilliant, I tell you.

Scream Park

Scream Park started out getting funding on Kickstarter.com and not only reached their modest goal of $5,000, but doubled it by the time the digital begging ran its course for a 2012 release. Attribute this Pinhead, who has endless appeal, as an actor, hedonist, enigmatic Cenobite, and human ring toss.