Tag Archives: who finances this crap!?

Lies! So many lies!

NIGHT OF THE DRIBBLER

1 Stars  1990/88m

Director: Jack Bravman / Writer: Maurice Thevenet / Cast: Fred Travalena, Gregory Calpakis, Flavia Carrozzi, Bill Saddler, Cynthia Mantel, Michael Sullivan, Glenn Scott, Brigitte-Anne Pelletier, Georges Thomas.

Body Count: 2

Laughter Lines:  “Last time I saw faces like that was on the court 51 seconds ago.”


About as misleading as anything could be, this Canadian ‘comedy’ may look like it’s about a masked loon doing in basketball players, but this takes up about 8% of the runtime. There’s a reason the film was not released in the US for almost twenty years.

Essentially a vehicle for late comedian Fred Travalena, he plays three roles: The basketball coach, a commentator named Dick Airhead, and the detective investigating attacks on the revolving captains of the Watergate High Plumbers – only two of which are fatal – a crappy team who haven’t won a game in decades.

Waterboy Stan wants a chance to play – is he the one is the basketball mask rigging equipment? Probably not. But who cares when the film is so exhaustively painful? Slasher parodies were already worn out by 1982 and Night of the Dribbler brings nothing to the table, earning that extra half-star for non-awful production values and maybe two jokes I quietly smirked at.

Blurb-of-shame: Bravman also directed the almost-as-bad Zombie Nightmare.

Before Wolf Creek, there was…

HOUSEBOAT HORROR

1 Stars  1989/79m

“Something is about to happen on Lake Infinity.”

Directors: Kendall Flannigan & Ollie Martin / Writer: Ollie Martin / Cast: Alan Dale, Christine Jeston, Craig Alexander, Des ‘Animal’ McKenna, Gavin Wood, John Michael Howson, Louise Siversen, Peppie D’or, Steve Whittacker, Julia Tompson.

Body Count: 13

Laughter Lines: “You watch it – or I’ll kick you where your mother never kissed you!”


Back in 1989, Britain was in the midst of its obsession with Australian soap operas: Neighbours was at the top of the tree, while Home & Away perched a few branches below. I preferred Sons & Daughters - so many Mafia-like plots within a small cast, poisonous snakes in the safe, shark attacks… it had it all.

Thus, when sitting down with Houseboat Horror recently, that nostalgic era of Scott and Charlene, Helen Daniels, Madge and Harold, Bouncer the dog, and Ramsay Street – surely built on crossing Ley Lines for all its bad luck – came a-floodin’ back. So much so as Alan Dale, who played Jim Robinson in Neighbours for years, was somehow roped into appearing in the floating turd that is this movie. Ants may elect to make a houseboat out of said turd and the cycle begineth again.

A crappy rock n’ roll band and a film crew head out to Lake Infinity to shoot a music video. Naturally, the lake was the scene of a tragic fire (or some murders, I’ve already forgotten) X-years earlier. A newspaper tells us a child was horrifically burned. See where the course has been set? So laboured is this point, that early on when the group stops at a gas station, one of the attendants turns to the other and says: “Brings back memories over those movie killings a few years back…” and the world’s most obvious this-sounds-creepy synthesiser note is struck.

The group hire three ugly-ass houseboats and, after a day of fooling about with the really shitty band, are stalked and slain by a shadowy chap who lurks in the trees a lot. People are sliced with his machete, axed in the head, shot with spearguns, and even killed by a horseshoe in the eyes.

There’s very little more to say about Houseboat Horror. It’s cheap, it’s brimming with Aussie sayings of yore (people referred to as ‘dags’ who might’ve ‘shot through’) and it’s dated by an appearance of the world’s largest cell phone, which Alan Dale says into: “The two-way doesn’t work so if you want to talk to me you’ll have to do it on this walkabout phone thing.”

Some gory dispatchments and the mild distraction of different accents and vernacular highlight an otherwise awful vessel (ho ho ho) before it sinks under its own weight of crap.

Blurb-of-interest: John Michael Howson was in the 1980 Aussie horror Stage Fright.

Taglinus accuratus

TRICK OR TREATS

1 Stars  1982/92m

“…when Halloween night stopped being fun!”

Director/Writer: Gary Graver / Cast: Jackelyn Giroux, Peter Jason, Chris Graver, Carrie Snodgress, David Carradine, Stave Railsback, Jillian Kesner, Paul Bartel.

Body Count: 3 (!)

Laughter Lines: “These horror movies… they make me scared to drive home alone at night!”


“When Halloween night stopped being fun,” goes the tagline. Darn tootin’. Short of falling ass-first on a running power drill, I can’t think of a less fun way to spend Halloween night, or any other given night, than watching Trick or Treats.

Carrie Snodgress gets her husband carted off to an institution in the opening scene. Why? No clue, ToT doesn’t care about in-filling its plot holes. The scene is slapstick heavy, with two orderlies struggling with the flailing hubby, who tries to climb a tree at one point to escape. They all end up falling in the pool. The only thing missing was a table of cream pies.

‘Several years later’, struggling actress-cum-babysitter Linda (Giroux) accepts a Halloween night job to look after the couple’s horrible, horrible son, while Mom and her new squeeze (Carradine), head off to a party. Meanwhile, Hubby has broken out of the institute disguised as a female nurse, and is heading home to murder his wife and anyone else who gets in his way and nobody else.

Yeah that’s right, this is the slasher movie without any slashing. Hubby punches out a security guard rather than stabs him, threatens a couple of homeless guys (one of whom is horror-fixture Bartel), and eventually mistakenly kills a random blonde chick whom he mistakes for his wife.

This might sound okay, but nothing remotely resembling a threat of violence happens for well over an hour into the 92 minute film. Until then, it’s a never ending cycle of the bratty kid playing a prank on Linda, that she always falls for, and some trick or treaters coming to the door. Again. And again. And again. Until death. Your death. From boredom.

With just 15 minutes remaining, Hubby finally catches up with Linda, thinking her to be Carrie Snodgress, and chases her a bit. Although the film is so darkly turned out you may as well close your eyes and rest for all the good they’ll do you open.

A fittingly annoying twist for a fittingly annoying child in the world’s most disappointing ‘slasher’ film is the shitty icing on this cake. A cake made of the shittiest shit one might dredge up from a shit-filled canal in Shitsville, Tennessee.

Blurbs-of-interest: Carradine was in Children of the Corn VDetention (2010), and Fall Down Dead; Steve Railsback was in Deadly Games and Slash; Paul Bartel was in Killer Party. Graver later directed the equally awful Moon in Scorpio.

The Hollywood Hills Have Eyes

HOLLYWOOD’S NEW BLOOD

1.5 Stars  1989/77m

“Where acting dead can be fatal.”

Director/Writer: James Shyman / Cast: Bobby Johnson, Francine Lapensee, Joe Balogh, Martie Allyne, Al Valletta, Lynne Pirtle, Ken Denny, Kent Abrams, Allen Francis, George Spellman, Donna Lynn.

Body Count: 7

Laughter Lines: “Memories don’t die as easy as people.”


Marginally less of an endurance test than The Last Slumber Party, still Hollywood’s New Blood, at a meagre 77 minutes (10 of which are credits and an unwanted recap of the ‘best bits’), feels longer than a Star Wars marathon.

Young folks at an ‘acting seminar’ at the woods by Storm Lake, outside of L.A. (looking suspiciously like Griffith Park) are set upon by a trio of brothers, thought to have burned to death in an accident years earlier. They’re pissed and they hate actors.

Firstly, the great irony of Hollywood’s New Blood is that these people are attending an acting class, yet unaware of the genre they’re in. At one point, a guy finds the body of his pal tied to a tree and just grunts like he missed a pin at bowling, then stumbles across two more slain corpses and strides off without so much as a shrug.

Mucho wandering around the same small patch of trees under the same shot of a full moon or the same exterior shot of the cabin they were all in… This is the type of movie where people can’t see a shady figure who’s standing two feet away.

The villains, on the other hand, look like a cross between the greasy family from Pete’s Dragon or extras from The Fog, who’ve accidentally stumbled on to the wrong set.

Small points are earned for mullets, death-by-skull (!) and the earlier amazing moment where one of the characters finds said skull and takes it for a little show and tell: “This is no animal – these bones are human.” No shit. It’s a motherfucking SKULL.

You can at least have a good chuckle watching Hollywood’s New Blood, suffering through the dreadful title song that goes over the Greatest Hits compendium after the actual 67 minute film has ended, which is more than can be said for some other examples from the era.

Blurbs-of-interest: Joe Balogh was in MoonStalker; James Shyman directed Slashdance the following year.

Suggested viewing accompaniment: Hallucinogenics

THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY

0.5 Stars  1988/72m

“Where the girls are DYING for a good time.”

Director/Writer: Stephen Tyler / Cast: Jan Jensen, Nancy Meyer, Joann Whitley, David Whitley, Danny David, Lance Descourez, Paul Amend, Rick Polizzi, Barbara Clairborne, Stephen Tyler.

Body Count: 12

Laughter Lines: “My parents would decapitate me if they ever caught me kissing a boy!”


Time passes by so quickly. Unless you’re the Righteous Brothers or find yourself sat down with The Last Slumber Party, a film so inherently dreadful in every conceivable way that there aren’t enough sublatives in the English language to illustrate just how terrible it is. It genuinely felt like I spent the whole day watching it.

Unhappy with the concept of having a frontal lobotomy, a mental patient escapes, dons a surgeons scrubs, and journeys to the family home of his doctor – who owns the world’s most hideously decorated house – where his boring daughter Linda, is to host a slumber party for her equally crap gal-pals Tracy and Chris, who hope their boyfriends will crash proceedings and repeatedly (and I mean REPEATEDLY) tell Linda that Scott will call her.

Meanwhile, the bug-eyed psycho is taking a scalpel to schmucks who cross his path and soon finds himself at the party. For a short while (although nothing in The Last Slumber Party feels anything close to short) things play out like any cheapjack film: The girls watch TV, snack, and jabber inanely, repeatedly saying “You scared the shit outta me!” to one another, even when absolutely nothing has happened.

Boys come to “scare the piss out of the girls”, which entails climbing up a ladder with a dollar store Halloween mask on. The girls barely blink the prank is so crap. Eventually, the psycho slashes a couple of throats, loitering behind victims in rooms there really is no place to hide in. The girls wonder where their boyfriends are, referring to them with a tirade of homophobic names (queer/faggot/homo, i.e. “He’s such a homo he even took the bedspread!”)

However, someone else comes along and kills one of the boys in the same manner, with virtually the same outfit on. What? He goes to slice one of the girls but is instead fatally attacked by the first killer. Chris has a random dream that people are dead. Said dream includes her standing at the front door staring out of it for like sixty seconds doing nothing. NOTHING. I am watching a girl stood in a doorway doing nothing.

Everyone else dies and when the doctor returns, he’s immediately called back to the hospital by America’s most sarcastic nurse: “He’s escaped”; “Escaped? Have you called the police?” – this is gold – “No doctor, we all thought we should call you first.”

Doc goes back to hospital and is murdered in the elevator, his body magically transported back to the house and tossed in the pool literally seconds later. Chris goes to his aid and is then mercifully slashed by the killer.

THEN SHE FUCKING WAKES UP.

Chris gets a call from Tracy and tells her: “I had a nightmare within the nightmare!” to which Tracey responds: “I’m bored out of my skull.” You and me both, love.

They drive over to Linda’s just as Linda receives a call from the hospital informing her the psycho has escaped and she should shut all the doors. However, she picks up the phone without saying hello or identifying herself, so how the fuck does the person on the other end even know who it is or when to end the call!?

Aggressively bad. Watch for the botched throat slashings; the same shot of the killer wielding the scalpel at the camera used about a dozen times. And Chris fucking sucks as the choice for final girl, not that either of the other “I’m 37-but-can-play-17″ “actresses” would be any better, but she’s by far the worst with her shrill voice and nasty homophobic comments. The horrific thrash metal soundtrack by Firstryke (even used as some sort of plug on that VHS cover!) should’ve clued us in early on as they wail “it’s just a nightmaaaaaare!” Damn shame I didn’t wake up and find The Last Slumber Party wasn’t real either.

Now I know some of you will think “it can’t be that bad” and consider trying it. Don’t. Don’t be the fool I was. Even as a freebie on YouTube, this is 72 minutes you cannot claw back. A very possible candidate for worst horror film ever made. Ever.

The Last Slumber Party is a B & S Production. I think we can all agree what that might stand for.

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