Archive for God

Ghost Town With Real Ghosts. And Dogs.

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stephen King's Desperation

Not since The Stand (1994) has a Stephen King movie adaptation had such a high body count. And these expired husks aren’t just for statistical/social reasons: they’re rotted, leaking, stinking and bloated, with snakes and hairy tarantulas coming out of mouths and holes where the eyes and south of the belt exit-only ramps used to be. Like human non-recycleables, these things are all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation

One person is responsible for all this carnage: the town sheriff. He’s so sadistic, you cringe in your swimsuit (hey, the washing machine’s broken —don’t judge me) every time he traps another victim on a long stretch of highway just outside the small Nevada town of Desperation. Those he doesn’t kill right away land in a small jail. The others get shot without a lick of thought. (i.e., a five year-old girl.)

Stephen King's Desperation

As with all Stephen King stories/adaptations, you’re overloaded with complex characters, one of which is always “different,” in this case a young boy who speaks directly to God. Good thing as the other God (i.e., Tak) is possessing bodies (i.e., the sheriff) and making them rot from the inside out (i.e., goopy drawers).

Stephen King's Desperation

The first half of Stephen King’s Desperation (2006) is intense enough to make your underpanties twist up under the driveshaft. The small town is completely dead from the inside out. Dozens of dogs evenly line the street as if waiting for a cat parade. Vultures peck nonchalantly at bodies, snacking lightly in-between meals. And there are rattlers (snakes) and crawlers (spiders) everywhere you step. (The grocery store scene will make you think twice about ever walking into a food shop full of dead people again.)

Stephen King's Desperation

The second half, where the God kid and Tak’s prisoners get out of jail (great scene) and try and figure out what the flip, starts to sink under its own weight. Outside of town is the Chinese Pit, a coal/gold/gravel mine where Tak’s cathedral nightclub was disturbed, thereby unleashing the vengeful god and making the Chinese immigrants who were digging in the mine all those happy years ago to go crazy and kill each other with pick axes to the chest vicinity. Stephen KIng's Desperation

The get-out-of-jail people wrestle with moral issues, more spiders and a cougar in a bathroom that changes shape to that of a Vietnamese guy with a bomb. That part will make sense if you just have patience. Instead of getting out of town, the survivors head for the mine where they have a redeeming showdown with Tak, complete with flashback wedgies and dialogue that works better in a book than in a movie with gnarly, decomposing bodies all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation Normally, I’m all about vengeful gods wreaking havoc, especially if they look like a monster and/or evil something or rather. But Tak looks like cigarette smoke (ala, Lost), which isn’t so scary, unless you factor in the health detriments of second hand smoke. The ending gets kinda “group huggy,” but in the end a decent take on a book with too many pages. Better, anyway, than Stephen King’s ultra-crappy The Langoliers (1995). (The movie version.) Man, what a punch bowl turd that thing is/was/continues to be.

Mastering Exorcism

Posted in Asian Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Vampires, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Exorcist Master

In Exorcist Master (aka, Qu mo dao zhang/1993) a priest was killed outside a local church when a holy power stepped in, knocked the “God Eats Here” cross steeple off the building, where it falls like a sword straight into the back of the now “thinkin’ about becoming an atheist” collection plate manager, who is somehow turned into a vampire. Maybe he was one before and was merely working undercover for competing religions. The sub-titles weren’t clear on this point.

Exorcist Master

This now makes the Roman Catholic church “dirty” and it’s closed for business until that commerce-minded Priest Wu decides to reopen 20 years later with new paint, a few knick-knack bibles, restoration money supplied by the town’s smoking club (opium den) and brothel (pay-per-play) upstanding business men. This p*sses off Uncle Nine and he vehemently protests, using that unibrow to commanding effect. (If you’ve ever been stared down over a plate of fried duck and dumplings by a person with one eyebrow, it’s rather intimidating, which is why I don’t go back to Benihanas™.)

Exorcist Master

Lam Ching-ying, replays the unibrow’d Taoist priest in those mid-Eighties Mr. Vampire movies as Uncle Nine, a pretty darn serious guy when it comes to ridding the land of ghosts and vampires. (I’ve seen promo pics of him with TWO eyebrows. What is up with that? It somehow made him look less intelligent.)

Exorcist Master

An opening scene botched brother and sister exorcist duo has them failing to rid a cellar of a demon chick ghost. Uncle Nine shows up in time to save the day with some serious anti-paranormal skills. But you’re gonna have to wade through another 90-minutes of non-demon/ghost/vampire plot plodding to get to the final show-down in the church after the cross stake was removed from the punctured priest’s back (they kept him in dry storage) and he flies around thejoint, looking for neck-flavored snacks. (Having a hard time with a vampire priest; don’t crosses and churches make vampires hurl? It does to me — and I’m still waiting for my turn to become a vampire. I put in the application months ago. Gotta be any day now.)

Exorcist Master

Exorcist Master’s slapstick action and dialogue will make you COL (chortle out loud): “Why have you removed my pants? You are so erotic…” And hey, they even sampled one-hit wonder rapper Tone Lōc’s 1989 “Wild Thing” as a backdrop to an exorcist prepping ceremony.

Exorcist Master

But not even Tone Lōc or the high-flying kung fu skills of Uncle Nine can save this tedious horror comedy that spends less time on bloodletting and more time on goofy sequences. (The brother doesn’t know what a bra is and put’s it over his face like a blindfold. “Too big…” he says. I can vouch for that.) Note of interest: There’s a bell-ringing vampire shepherd leading a formation parade of subdued, hopping vampires to the church. With “Wild Thing” playing, I wonder if they were hip-hop vampires. I don’t wanna be one of those as rap sucks like fried duck. (Hey, that rhymes — I think I just wrote a rap song.)

Charlie’s Devils

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Satan's School For Girls

Did you know the Salem Academy for Women, a chick only boarding school, has a curriculum based on satanic principles and rituals with flimsy nightgowns? Surprised more gals aren’t applying for scholarships. This provides the framework for Satan’s School For Girls (1973), a great titled but thrill-less attempt to mix females with anti-Bible teachings.

Satan's School For Girls

Nevertheless, when Elizabeth Sayers’ sister, one of the school’s students, hung herself after being pursued by an unseen nemesis, she decides to enroll at the house of evil education herself to find out what the Hell happened. What she discovers is the school is having problems hanging (sorry) onto their students. They’ve been suiciding themselves after episodic freakouts, thereby leaving many homework assignments unfinished.

Satan's School For Girls

So what’s causing these mood swings? Girls don’t usually get all crazy emotional (or so I’ve heard). The handsome Dr. Joseph Clampett, one of the teachers, strikes meaningful poses and concerned looks when Elizabeth and her hot schoolmate/fellow clue digger upper Roberta try to Nancy Drew this mystery.

Satan's School For Girls

And this madness isn’t just affecting the ladies. One of the male teachers goons out, rants about some evil this and that, and ends up murder dead. This causes Headmistress Williams (she can be a real b-word) to go brain bonkers. Who can blame her? Bodies are turning up all over the place.

Satan's School For Girls

As Elizabeth and Roberta get closer to the truth, a saw-it-a-mile-away betrayal reveals that the entire school is participants of a satanic cult and Dr. Clampett, claiming to be the devil incarnate, is teaching the parent-less girls in the ways of non-God. He even wears a black cape with a collar so high, it looks like one of those medical cones they put on dogs. Outdated, but can still be worn to almost any ritual.

Satan's School For Girls

A face off and roaring fire, which is like a pleasant, warm foot soak to satanists, ends with one of the most face-slapping endings in made-for-TV horror. A notable side note: Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd appear in this one and later went on to become superstars in Charlie’s Angels (1976 to 1981 on ABC). That was a mighty fine way to get through puberty.

Rejected Exorcist

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Exorcist

The Exorcist (1973) ad art depicting Father Merrin arriving at the MacNeil home to perform an exorcism on a demonically possessed 12 year-old girl (she wasn’t really possessed by the Devil; all 12 year-old girls just act like they are) is one of the most iconic and enduring images in horror movie history.

Light At The End of the Tunnel

But history was almost changed with some concept art that was created to advertise what is universally regarded the scariest horror movie of all time, outside of the live feed of my colonoscopy procedure (filmed in Tunnel-Vision™).

Dirty Harry, Deliverance, A Clockwork Orange

Designed by Bill Gold (the guy behind the ad art for Deliverance, Casablanca, Dirty Harry, and A Clockwork Orange), he was neverthess given a specific mandate by Warner Bros. and Exorcist film director William Friedkin on what they didn’t want. In an interview with AFI (American Film Institute), Gold had this to say about that: “We must not use an image of the girl possessed, or show anything that had any hint of religious connotation,” he revealed. “They were very concerned about that.”

Can’t blame them. Religion gets too much attention as it is. Why give ’em free advertising?

A rare rewind back to the ‘70s, here’s a look at several rejected ad concepts for The Exorcist before settling on Father Merrin crapping his pants moments before entering the house of the Devil…

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

And God bless fans of the Devil — here’s some choice Exorcist fan art, the standout of the bunch by artist Sam Wolfe Connelly

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

God and Satan On A Train

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Giant Monsters, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Night Train To Terror

If you’re updating your bucket list, put 1985’s Night Train to Terror on it. With its mind-juggling array of monsters, demons, rampant nudity and wincingly painful music/signing/dance choreography segments from a bunch of New Wave kids dressed in day-glo spandex and headbands making a video for MTV™, this is one of the more surreal horror movies you’ll ever see.

Night Train to Terror

It starts out almost like a bar joke set up: God and Satan are on a train, negotiating for souls, in this case three specific ones. (The train conductor addresses the Most Unholy One as Mr. Satan. Train conductors are so polite.) Elsewhere on the train (headed to Hell, by the way), the New Wave kids are rocking out, dancing gleefully and happily singing so bad, you’ll believe you’re in Hell already.

Night Train To Terror

Broken into three mini stories, Night Train to Terror wastes no time getting to the good stuff: The Case of Harry Billings involves a hypnotized guy who lures people into being graphically tortured and skulls squashed for their remaining fairly fresh organs to be marketed.

Night Train to Terror

The Case of Greta Connors follows with a guy and a gal having lights on sex before hooking up with a cult that is enamored with death and all it’s perks. This culminates with a Jimi Hendrix lookalike who gets an electric chair treatment (at a cocktail party, no less) and melts right before your eyes. Thankfully, his headband survived.

More spastic dancing and screwdiver-in-your-ear singing.

Night Train to Terror

The Case of Claire Hansen, the final segment, has a corporate ladder-climbing Devil’s apprentice, who set his job goals a little on the high side: to destroy all of humanity. He should start with the New Wave kids making all that racket in-between the stories. A group of Immortals tries to stop him. Good luck with that.

Night Train to Terror

All of this is just a capsule summation. But every story is drenched in everything from couch pillow-sized flying death bugs and claymation monsters tearing clay victims in half like they were a wishbone, to demon things, heads making like water balloons hitting concrete, open-face surgeries, flooding blood and other bodily fluids, and more importantly, comprehensive naked stuff, all of which is punctuated by mid’80s blow-dryed hair, glow-in-the-dark fashion and headbands. (I knew those things could withstand the test of time.)

Night Train to Terror

So who wins the souls, God or Satan? Not gonna spoil the soup, but those on this Highway to Hell are making specific fashion statements. Regardless — and this is clichéd as all get out — you have to see Night Train To Terror to believe it.

Hookers and Demons

Posted in Evil, Ghosts, Scream Queens, TV Vixens, Witches with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Demon Slayer

When a 19th Century hooker is denied a baptism for her child whom the father of is in question, the entire staff of the brothel where the woman worked many back-breaking hours renounces God and proceeds to have evil rituals. They do this by having sex with paying customers. They also cut off customer legs with axes, because all brothels should be equipped with such tools of the trade lest someone wants something a little kinky every now and again.

Demon Slayer

Fast forward to modern times and three highly stereotyped teen chicks and two guys are sentenced to house arrest at an abandoned mental institution. (That tired plot device. Again.) They have to clean the place up because sweeping will scare them straight so they won’t commit any more crimes. If they do a good job, their record is clean. If they don’t, it’s the electric chair. (Sorry, wishful thinking.)

Demon Slayer

Once inside, they start experiencing spooky things, like doors opening and shutting, people with gunk coming out of their mouths and maggots in the cookie dough. Two very convenient situations: the Day of the Dead is tomorrow, which means every dead person in that zip code gets to party. Secondly, the mental institution is built on the very tainted spot the evil brothel once stood. And if you didn’t see it coming, one of the chicks is a descendant of the evil house madam, Elodia. (That name sounds so made up.) These are what we call Lottery odds.

Demon Slayer Throw in two priests: one who knows the girl’s past, the other from Mexico and having only one eye. The basement floor glows red when something is about to happen. This evil-meter also emits spook smoke. One by one the teens are either possessed and ripping out spines, or screaming and running for their worthless lives. The best part of Demon Slayer (2003) other than the flagrant (but welcome) display of bare boobies: one possessed chick opens her mouth and a HUGE spider crawls out. Worst part: the rest of the movie.

Old Testament Horror

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, Slashers, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

The horribly disfigured Dr. Anton Phibes was three things before that car crash back in 1921. (He was racing to the hospital to be by his wife’s side who died to death on the operating table before Phibes could get there.) 1. He was an expert in theology, the study of God and religious gunk. 2. He was an expert in music, and even built a robo-band in his secret hideaway to accompany his piped organ. 3. He was a master of revenge, setting ingenious traps inspired by the Old Testament’s ten plagues of Egypt on the doctors who failed to keep his gorgeous wife from freshness expiring. It’s clear who Jigsaw’s mentor is.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Even though he was presumed dead, Phibes somehow managed to survive and has plotted his plot every since. He can’t talk as he drank a fiery gasoline cocktail that fried his larynx. But he can stick a plug into his neck that runs into an speaker to converse through his damaged yapper. Clearly, Tom Waits has a mentor.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Phibes also has a hottie assistant named Vulnavia who is mute, the best kind of assistant to have. They conspire to track down the physicians and exact vengeance in the corresponding ten plagues, which includes – but is not limited to – bats, frogs, locusts and…dripping acid. I’m not up on bible stuff, but if Moses used acid on the Pharaoh, that would totally kick scripture.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

One by one the doctors are luridly discharged from life, while Phibes celebrates by blow-torching wax head likenesses of his victims. His robo-band – Dr. Phibes’ Clockwork Wizards (cool name; I’d buy their album) – provides a nice big band jazz-y soundtrack. But all of this is forming clues as apparent to Scotland Yard’s Inspector Trout. (Insert your own joke here.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Phibes, though, is saving the best death for Dr. Vesalius, the head physician who preceded over Victoria’s failed surgery. Capturing Vesalius’ son, Phibes straps the boy to a surgical table in the basement of his mega-mansion, with a coiled tube full of skin-melting acid making it’s way towards the boy’s unhappy face. Vesalius is called to the trap and has six minutes to surgically extract a key from the unconscious boy’s torso, which will unlock the locks holding him to the table. (You may recall this similar scene employed in 2004’s Saw.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

While Vesalius is operating and sweating like an Old testament pig, Phibes, through his robo-throat, confesses what this is all about. His ultimate goal is to seal himself in a coffin that holds his wife’s preserved body in a shiny pajama robe, and descend under the floor of his mega-mansion while Vulnavia destroys the Clockwork Wizards. (She need not bother; music critics already did that, calling their music “stiff and lifeless.” Ouch.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) is great black horror comedy, raising the bar on revenge and giving an homage nod to The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Better yet, I hear the unspeaking Vulnavia is single – mute button included.