Tag Archives: Nu-di-ty

SLAUGHTER HOTEL

slaughterhotel2 Stars  1971/18/86m

“A place where nothing is forbidden.”

A.k.a. Asylum Erotica (UK DVD); The Beast Kills in Cold Blood; The Cold-Blooded Beast

Director/Writer: Fernando Di Leo / Writer: Nino Latino / Cast: Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Rosalba Neri, Jane Garret, John Karlsen, Gioia Desideri, Monica Strebel.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “Your desire to make love is obsessive; compulsive… Go and take a shower.”


Supposedly, men cannot go more than six seconds without thinking about sex. I don’t disagree with this assessment, but in a typical day of 16 waking hours, that’s 9,600 thoughts about sex. So…how many of those thoughts are bit sleazy?

In spite of itself, there’s nowt wrong with a bit of sleaze. It’s probably healthy! Ergo, how about this early Italian giallo that is practically dripping with sleaze? It’s certainly no Argento or Bava outing though; an institution in an old castle – seemingly only for glamorous, beautiful women – is the hunting ground for a cloaked killer who offs his victims with a variety of medieval weaponry.

Slaughter Hotel is less a horror film than some bizarro porn flick with interracial lesbian romps, endless scenes of naked women in bed, writhing with night terrors while doctors Kinski and Karlsen move around dishing up pop-psychology hypotheses’ for their fashionista patients. Bouncing along to a Loveboat-esque samba rhythm of flutes and various woodwind instruments, there’s precious little dialogue, most of which is badly dubbed and nudity far outweighs any violent content. In fact, half the body count is racked up in the last couple of minutes of the film, all of it female bar one poor schmuck who’s pushed into a handy iron maiden and skewered therein.

Kinski gives an uncharacteristically restrained performance in his thankless role while all the female characters simply drape themselves around set pieces waiting to be fucked of filleted. It’s a direlogue haven, as one man drives his gorked-out wife to the venue, she lunges for the steering wheel and, as if questioning an item on the shopping list, he says to her: “killing me is one thing but why commit suicide?” Indeed. Di Leo reportedly admitted never having researched institutions prior to the shoot, which is subtley evident in the finished product. A weird, weird experience that must be seen to be believed.

Blurbs-of-interest: the film is available on a variety of cuts, some with more of the sexual content cut than others. Kinski also played a shrink in Schizoid.

BURIED ALIVE

buriedalive

2.5 Stars  2006/18/91m

“Evil has awakened.”

Director: Robert Kurtzman / Writer: Art Monterastelli / Cast: Terence Jay, Leah Rachel, Erin Michelle Lokitz, Tobin Bell, Steve Sandvoss, Lindsey Scott, Germaine De Leon, Beth Biasella.

Body Count: 6

Dire-logue: “Great weekend…fuckin’ snakes, psychos and dweebs.”


Is Tobin Bell the new Pleasence or Englund? He seems to be cropping up in more and more obscure B-movies these days on the back of the Saw-travaganza. Good for him though, he’s pretty cool, ain’t he?

Anyway, Buried Alive isn’t Tobin-centric, he’s a red-herringy bit-parter this time round as a grizzled custodian at the ranch where collegiate cousins Zane and Rene – who’re a bit too close for comfort – bring a gaggle of friends for the weekend to party hard, initiate new sorority pledges and fall victim to a girl-ghoul who’s severely pissed off about something. She appears mostly to Zane (Jay) who has “stopped taking his pills” and can therefore see what nobody else does. Until later when suddenly they all can. Or something.

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Zane and Rene are of the belief that their ancestry is cursed, having something to do with their great-Grandfather burying his Native American wife alive, a big fire and a symbol on a talisman that protects those who wear it. It’s a confusing backstory that’s dragged out amidst hazing pranks and sexual exploits before the slashin’ begins, courtesy of the decomposing missus, who likes to bury axes into young academics, or chop them in half or slice their faces off…

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While we are privy to the cut n’ dried character cut-outs of the geek, the obnoxious jock and the sorority bimbos, it becomes clear that one of the pledges is a dark horse who not only knows a lot about symbolism and its relative lore but has the design from the talisman tattooed on her back, which saves her from becoming the resting place for the killer’s axe.

The second half of the film really cranks into gear, taking cues from recent J-horror hits and ending with a nicely done sorta-twist. Even with the upsurge in quality towards the finale (a reversal of what normally happens in horror films, which have a tendency to start well and go downhill), it’s a case of too little too late for Buried Alive to be much more than a passing interest.

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Blurb-of-interest: Bell’s other recent foray into supernatural slasherism is Boogeyman 2.

“You’re bad! You’re all bad!”

twistednightmare-japanTWISTED NIGHTMARE

1.5 Stars  1982/18/91m

“Before the world existed, there was a power…an evil power.”

A.k.a. Ancient Evil

Director/Writer: Paul Hunt / Cast: Rhonda Gray, Cleve Hall, Robert Padilla, Brad Bartrum, Natalie Main, Darryl Tong, Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell, Scott King, Devon Jenkins, Heather Sullivan, Kenneth Roper Jr., Juliet Martin, Marc Copage, Christin Dante, Jim Gosling, Phillip Bardowell, Donna Correa.

Body Count: 16

Dire-logue: “Hey, let’s go and explore the barn.”


Must apologise for the cover being Japanese, it’s not easy to find much about this immensely strange film, but my UK VHS copy had the same artwork many moons ago when I still had a copy. What wouldn’t I do to get it back… Actually, nothing, it sucked.

Originally shot in 1982 at the same ranch where Friday the 13th Part III was filmed (if you believe IMDb trivia sections, but as I recall it looked similar), Twisted Nightmare was withheld until 1987. Why? Well, read on and see if you can guess…

The plot is as follows: a group of “teens” at a lakeside camp – Camp Paradise (wait till you see it) –  tease Matthew, who’s retarded (movie retarded, this is, which means he can barely walk without flopping everywhere). He tells them they’re “all bad” and runs away to the barn, only to reappear as a ball of fire and dies…but the body is never found. Hmmm. Two years later, the teens are invited back to camp where, ding ding!, a disfigured character begins murdering them one after the other.

The camp caretaker tells some of the “teens” that the camp is built atop an ancient Indian burial ground. I shit you not. This gives it power, power gives Matthew death-dodging power, Matthew-kill-everyone.

However pathetic things sound, Twisted Nightmare is a bad movie addict’s wet dream: one guy says he’s leaving in a shot where he’s wearing that trademark 80’s sweater-over-the-shoulders, only for it to completely gone in the very next shot! With way too many characters to keep track of, an aged Sheriff who’s head is literally pushed off his shoulders, a final girl who only achieves said status by being stuck in a toolshed for half the film before driving away having contributed nothing to her own survival, this is a film best left to masochists and de-taste-ified collectors.

Blurb-of-interest: Devon Jenkins was in Slumber Party Massacre III.

#500

sorority-row-fb-poster2SORORITY ROW

3.5 Stars  2009/15/101m

“Sisters for life…and death.”

Director: Stewart Hendler / Writers: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger & Mark Rosman (original screenplay) / Cast: Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Carrie Fisher, Julian Morris, Caroline D’Amore, Matt Lanter, Maxx Hennard, Audrina Patridge, Matt O’Leary.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: “You make being a bitch an art form.”


My celebrated 500th slasher flick! Yay or nay? Perhaps a dash of both.

The dreaded R word crops up again in a case of yet another early 80’s pseudo-cult-classic being – ugh, I even hate typing it – “re-imagined”, “re-tooled”, or whatever the hell you want to call it. Actually, I’m not so fazed by them, anything that draws attention to the (usually) superior originals is positive. 1982’s House On Sorority Row is a fairly elusive member of the slasher alumni, one directed with both care and flair by Mark Rosman (who signs on as Exec Producer here), it was another of the moral-dilemma slasher pics from the era, or as everyone on the internet seems to think of them now, films in the I Know What You Did Last Summer mould. ‘Tis true that many-a-film have featured the not-so-secret secret characteristic at their core and it’s a form I quite like, opening up lots of potential for realistic characters and their respective reactions that give us good insight into their persona.

Sorority Row, as it’s now called, is a remake only in that it follows this same basic guideline. The girls of the Theta Pi Sorority are out to teach Megan’s straying boyfriend Garrett a lesson and trick him into thinking she’s died after he slipped her a few roofies given to him by substance-abusing big sis Chugs. President Jessica takes Garrett, supposedly dead Megan, and four other girls away from the house on the promise of taking her to hospital when they take a ‘wrong turn’ and end up at an old mine where a freaked-out Garrett impales her with a tire iron after they discuss the best means to ensure the body doesn’t float.

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With a real body at their feet, the girls (and boy) bicker over what to do. Fortuitously, there is no cell phone reception and a nearby deep mine shaft. Only nominal nice girl Cassidy makes a real case for going to the cops but is out-voted, while nervy smart girl Ellie (we know she’s smart because she’s shy and wears oversized specs) is too broken up to have a say. Jessica convinces them to toss the body down the mine and forget about it. However, it’s nice that, for once, it’s mentioned that they will have to life with the dreadful secret for the rest of their lives.

Eight months later, the girls graduate and prepare to vacate Theta Pi to the tune of a hooj see-ya-later party. Spirits are soon lowered by the arrival of text messages that show the now ‘pimped-up’ tire iron in someone’s grasp. It’s a hell of a lot sharper… The girls assume Garrett is behind it and distract themselves with preparing for their party while a cloaked maniac begins a merry quest to set right their wrong. Could it be Megan’s sister, who’s just turned up out of the blue and wants to pledge? One of the girls themselves, wrecked by guilt? Megan risen from the grave?

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After a few introductory murders, which are not limited to those involved in the prank, the killer baits the remaining girls with further text threats until only they and a sprinkling of others remain at the sorority house, post-party for the home run. It’s this final third where Sorority Row starts to sink under its own weight. The mystery element, up until now, has been engaging, the murders fun without being too grisly and Jessica’s never ending witty retorts and lack of sympathy for anybody else have been continually amusing. There are a few totally unsubtle changes, Carrie Fisher going all Ma Barker with a shotgun and a bizarrely realised threat in the form of another party ‘in the know’ who may or may not be the killer…

Memories of the ill-conceived Black Christmas remake flood back towards the end, which also takes a stroll down Slumber Party Massacre lane towards the flat climax and a not-so-clear “twist” prit-sticked on to the very end. It’s a shame as things were going so well up until the regrouping at the mine, where it becomes clear that perhaps Sorority Row isn’t the straight-faced slasher flick it looked like it was going to be. Case in point: there are certain characters we want to die with an added dose of cruelty because of their abhorrent nature, instead, said individuals are done away with far too quickly and…comically? What’s that about? Where’s the long, harrowing chase before the fatal blow? There are a few too many gags once the killer is unmasked, their exposition pretty feeble and unconvincing – but when did these guys ever play with a full deck, eh?

Ultimately a confusing one, not least because of mixed intentions, but enough merit to engage for the running time, well written dialogue (although most of it belongs to something like Jawbreaker) and a cast of semi-familiar faces to horror fans, plus a good central figure in Evigan’s take on Cassidy and Pipes is great as super-bitch Jessica. Sorority Row is one of those films that probably needs a twice-over to make sure you totally understood where it was taking you. It graduates, but sadly without honours.

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Blurbs-of-interest: Leah Pipes was the heroine in Fingerprints; as was Margo Harshman in Simon Says. Julian Morris was in Cry_Wolf. Carrie Fisher had a cameo in Scream 3.

APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR

appt1 Stars  1986/15/91m

“Trapped in a world where death is not the end!”

Director: Ramzi Thomas (as Alan Smithee) / Writers: Ramzi Thomas & Bruce Meade / Cast: Michele Little, Michael Wyle, Kerry Remsen, Douglas Rowe, Garrick Dowhen, Debisue Voorhees, Pamela Bach, Vincent Barbour, Danny Dayton.

Body Count: 5


Abject weirdness and boredom collide in your common-or-garden mid-80’s cosmic-slasher flick featuring chick from random Friday the 13th sequel. That’s Appointment with Fear in a sentence.

A woman is fatally stabbed – after putting up as much of a fight as grass does against a lawnmower – and, before she dies, gives her baby son to autistic freakshow Heather, who paints a blue visor around her own eyes and pretends she’s in a jar. Yes, really. Heather and her friends have a party at a deluxe post-modern arty house in the middle of nowhere that is, of course, crashed by the killer.

The twist here is that said killer is actually in a coma at a state mental hospital and only his spirit roams free to kill because he has been possessed by an ancient Egyptian tree-god. Again: yes, really. Tree-god demands he kills his infant in order to gain another year as a god. This must be the only slasher film I’ve ever seen where the final girl (Little) uses one of those portable listening device satellite-thingies to evade the killer’s advances. She’s an annoying, slightly evil looking girl for a heroine. This factor, accompanied by crud production values, the director choosing to credit himself as Alan Smithee, and the enigma that is Heather and her invisible jar, make this an appointment to skip.

Blurbs-of-interest: Debisue Voorhees played Tina in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and was also in Innocent Prey; it was produced by the late Moustapha Akkad who, of course, oversaw most of the Halloween franchise.

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