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Captain Spaulding's Cinematic Gutter

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was always more worried about getting shot or sodomized by some random hillbilly than stumbling across a ghostly figure.
This made me laugh
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Oh my god. They're trying to claim another young victim with the foreign films.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Talking about Halloween? I think the Halloween is mostly US thing, right? Anyways, when I was a kid practically none of these horror traditions were a thing in Finland (I think the only tradition we had was visiting the graves of dead relatives with a family). With US culture spreading the Halloween is a little more of a thing now but I've never met anyone trick or treating in here, for example.

Also I think I'm like @Captain Spaulding and just like to go against the grain so it seems I'm actually watching less horror films in October than usually (obviously this year it has something to do with the HoFs as well). Other than that I've been into horror since I was a kid (like nine or ten years old I think - back then the films used to be a lot scarier, I wonder how could that be).



currently editing a post...

I begged, begged, begged the Action Video down the street for this poster. One day the Randal pulled the corner down and wrote my name on it. Probably made my year.



Futuristic Latex Lab Coat
What a dump. This thread is in some serious disrepair... I think I kinda like it. I saw your neat little review of WolfCop. I haven't seen it, but I have a hard time believing it deserves to be here. It's got that 70's cheese vibe, except it came out in 2014. May I recommend you amend this with some proper 70's werewolf cheese?

Behold:





Starring a legendary Karate expert, you may recognize him from Kill Bill as Hattori Hanzo:



Sonny Chiba! (Female companion sold separately)

I present to you, Wolf Guy!




2018 MoFo Fantasy Football Champion
What a dump. This thread is in some serious disrepair... I think I kinda like it. I saw your neat little review of WolfCop. I haven't seen it, but I have a hard time believing it deserves to be here. It's got that 70's cheese vibe, except it came out in 2014. May I recommend you amend this with some proper 70's werewolf cheese?

Behold:





Starring a legendary Karate expert, you may recognize him from Kill Bill as Hattori Hanzo:



Sonny Chiba! (Female companion sold separately)

I present to you, Wolf Guy!

I thought that was Little Richard in that top picture.

Wolfcop definitely deserves to be here in the Gutter, regardless of release date. I hope to keep a nice balance between new and old. Thank you for alerting me to the existence of Wolf Guy. It looks glorious. With movies like Wolfcop, there's an artificiality to the cheese. I can already tell that Wolf Guy is authentic cheese. I've seen Sonny Chiba in The Streetfighter and Return of the Street Fighter. Both were okay, but neither was as fun as I was hoping.
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Bad Ass
(Craig Moss, 2012)


Never mess with a man wearing a fanny pack, especially when that man is Danny Trejo. That's the lesson two skinheads on a city bus learn after instigating Trejo into stomping a mud hole in their asses. When the altercation is captured on a cell phone video and uploaded to YouTube, Trejo's character, Frank Vega, becomes an internet celebrity. The public's new moniker for him: Bad Ass. Compared to the humdrum existence that Vega is used to living as a hotdog vendor, fifteen minutes of fame and all the perks that come with it is a welcome change of pace. Unfortunately for Vega, misfortune has a tendency of trailing close behind, so it isn't long before Vega's best friend is shot dead by two thugs in search of a flash drive containing classified information. After some incredibly shoddy police work, Vega morphs into a Mexican Charles Bronson, leaving a trail of blood, broken teeth and busted knuckles on his violent path to retribution.

I enjoyed Bad Ass as a direct-to-video, senior-citizen throwback to the vigilante films of yesteryear. Action is simple but plentiful. One-liners and tongue-in-cheek humor elicit groans and laughs in equal measure. (The biggest laugh-out-loud moment for me occurred after Vega dives onto an elderly lady to save her from gunfire, then asks if she's okay, to which she replies, "Terrific! I haven't been handled by a man like that in forty-five years!") In reference to the cast, there's a lot of "Where have I seen him before?" and "Oh, it's that dude from that one movie." (Case in point: the pawn-shop owner from Pulp Fiction appearing briefly as (what else?) a pawn-shop owner.) Ron Perlman plays an evil mayor, but sadly audiences are denied an opportunity to see Hellboy and Machete throw hands. A large percentage of the small budget seems to have gone into the overblown climax that features two city buses wreaking havoc, and which reminded me of another overblown climax featured on Trejo's resume: the action-classic and personal favorite, Con Air. When Trejo isn't punching people in the face and using garbage disposal units to dismember thugs, he's striking up a relationship with an attractive next-door neighbor and her foul-mouthed son. I always welcome the opportunity to see Danny Trejo play against type, so it was fun watching him exhibit the natural charm beneath his rough exterior as he attempts to get his mack on while dressed in a disco-era suit from Goodwill.



I learned afterwards that Bad Ass was inspired by a viral video of a white sixty-seven-year-old Vietnam vet, dubbed "Epic Beard Man," beating up a black man who keeps threatening him on a city bus. (Click here for the YouTube video.) To avoid any unintentional racial subtext, the film has the good sense to change the instigators in the film to Nazi skinheads, and Trejo's character initially draws their ire by standing up for a black passenger. Trejo is dressed identically to "Epic Beard Man:" same hat, same fanny pack, same blue "I AM A MOTHERF**KER" t-shirt. (I love that the director gives us a suiting-up montage at one point, complete with slow-motion walk and "I'm a Bad Ass" theme song. Never before have cargo shorts and mow-the-lawn Nikes looked so effing cool.) I already enjoyed Bad Ass enough to give it a positive rating despite its flaws, but learning of the inspiration behind the film suddenly opened my eyes to numerous inside jokes sprinkled throughout, such as the neighbor named Amber Lamps, a reference to the memes mocking the black man's pronunciation of "ambulance" at the end of the viral video.

Given its origins, its budget, its clichèd plot, and the director's track record of sh*tty parody films with sh*tty titles, Bad Ass is about as good of a film as it was capable of being. I'm legit looking forward to the sequels.






Futuristic Latex Lab Coat
I've seen Sonny Chiba in The Streetfighter and Return of the Street Fighter. Both were okay, but neither was as fun as I was hoping.
Personally I think The Street Fighter is good, but suffers for its cinematography. I think a couple better movies of Chiba's are Golgo 13 and Karate Bullfighter.



currently editing a post...
Personally I think The Street Fighter is good, but suffers for its cinematography. I think a couple better movies of Chiba's are Golgo 13 and Karate Bullfighter.
I always thought Golgo 13 was just an awesome NES game.



2018 MoFo Fantasy Football Champion


Valet Girls
(Rafal Zielinski, 1987)


Three chicks -- a spunky, wannabe Pat Benatar with bad eyesight, a brainy British chick who pretends to read Playgirl while instead reading Freud, and an airheaded aspiring actress who's never head of a dildo -- park cars at a Hollywood bigshot's house party in an attempt to attract the attention of influential higher-ups who can help launch their careers in the entertainment industry . . . but instead of achieving their dreams, the girls achieve unwanted erections of lecherous, predatory old men. In other words, Valet Girls is essentially an 80's party version of Harvey Weinstein: The Movie. Spread your legs and I'll make you a star, baby. Those shoulder pads really turn me on.

By all objective standards, Valet Girls is a terrible movie. Many in the cast never had another acting credit, which is no surprise given the flat performances. The script is lazy and formulaic. The plot is threadbare. Jokes don't come within a hundred feet of landing. The aimless direction makes the movie feel longer than its 82-minute runtime. There's an annoying subplot involving three former valets and their repeated attempts to sabotage the Hollywood party by dressing up as chickens. A waiter serves and samples from his own platter of Quaaludes. Partygoers pitch their movie ideas to an unexplained corpse. Lots of cocaine is snorted. Lots of bad 80's music is played. The midget from Bad Santa is the only cast member I recognized. Apparently Ron Jeremy also made an appearance but I guess I didn't recognize him without his d*ck hanging out.



Going into Valet Girls, I expected a typical 80's T&A comedy, but the only nudity occurs in the background as a few topless babes lounge by the pool. The lack of skin initially soured me on the movie, but as I watched the girls repeatedly ward off unwanted sexual advances and fight off fat old men trying to constantly grope them or trick them into sliding between the sheets, I started to feel like the movie was holding up a judgmental mirror to myself as a viewer, lotion in one hand, tissue in the other, eager to bust a cheap nut at seeing attractive young women exploited. In a genre and era when such films regularly reduced female roles to sexual trophies as horny men are championed in their pursuit to pound as much p*ssy as possible, Valet Girls feels like a refreshing, feminist change of pace as the women have agency of their own and eventually gain the upper hand. After all, this is a film where the men are so despicable that in comparison a crazy ex-boyfriend who threatens his gal with a rifle if she doesn't return with him to their melon patch is seen as some sort of tone-deaf Redneck Romeo.

Valet Girls may be a forgotten comedy, but with today's flood of sexual misconduct accusations, the movie feels more relevant than ever before. Think of it as a glittery, neon, 1987 version of #MeToo. The movie is still terrible, quality-wise, but it also provides a scathing, premonitory attack toward the Hollywood elite.





2018 MoFo Fantasy Football Champion


The Lair of the White Worm
(Ken Russell, 1988)



Prior to watching The Lair of the White Worm (which, coincidentally, happens to be the online alias of my underwear), I'd only seen three of Ken Russell's films: Tommy, Altered States and Whore. My reception to those films was lukewarm, but after watching and loving this bizarre, kinky, occasionally phantasmagoric slice of horror/comedy/camp, I now feel a strong urge to immediately seek out Russell's entire filmography. His reputation for making flamboyant, controversial, psychosexual films lives up to its billing with this particular work.

If you're the anal type prone to getting technicalities tangled in your hemorrhoids, The Lair of the White Worm isn't about vampires . . . but it's totally about vampires. Based on a Bram Stoker novel of the same name (wait, he wrote something besides Dracula?), the tale revolves around a mythical snake-like creature, the d'Ampton worm, and the immortal priestess who worships the monster like a god and throws the occasional human sacrifice down its deep, cavernous wormhole. The priestess's fangs are more snake-like than bat-like, but as with traditional vampirism, a bite means infection. Persuasion is a superpower. Christian iconography equals revulsion. (There's a great scene of the priestess hissing and spraying venom on a crucifix.) Unlike traditional vampires, however, daylight is no refuge, and instead of a wooden stake, bring with you a big-ass sword and some bagpipes.



Seeing Hugh Grant's name in the opening credits is typically a sign of approaching suckitude, but he delivers a commendable performance as a descendent of the man believed to have slayed the d'Ampton worm centuries ago. Grant's trademark British pompousness still hovers around him like bad body odor, but since he's playing the Lord of the Manor, the pompousness suits his character. Peter Capaldi plays a Scottish archeologist who unearths a large, dragon-like skull on the grounds of an old convent, setting in motion the dastardly events to come. (The young Capaldi could pass for Grant's doppelganger if Grant put zero effort into his appearance.) Sammi Davis and Catherine Oxenburg play sisters whose parents have gone missing. They're at their best early in the film when they're all bubbly and giggly with their cute accents rather than later in the film when they become typical damsels in distress.

The true star of this perverse, cinematic pleasure is Amanda Donohoe as the aforementioned snake priestess, Lady Sylvia Marsh. Whether she's tempting an underage boy in the bathtub or discussing the therapeutic benefits of Snakes & Ladders, her mere presence turns every scene into a highlight. She's sexy, seductive, frequently in a state of undress, and equipped with a stare as dangerously trance-like as Medusa's. Unlike Bram Stoker's most famous creation, Lady Sylvia Marsh sleeps not in a coffin, but in a large wicker basket befitting a cobra. In one memorable scene, snake-charming music is blasted into the night, causing Lady Sylvia Marsh to slither out of her basket, hypnotized by the soundwaves, her body gesticulating like a serpent. The image is intentionally amusing, but like the rest of the film's odd tone, the humor is deceptively tongue-in-cheek. It's clear from the wink-wink-nudge-nudge dialogue and the flamboyant camp of several scenes that Russell and company knew of the darkly comedic undertones pulsing through the story. Yet the relative poker face with which the material is delivered might deceive some viewers into thinking that the film is taking itself seriously. As long as you're attuned to the same wavelength as Ken Russell, however, you're in for a hellishly fun ride.



The Lair of the White Worm features a ton of phallic imagery. The camera zooms in on Grant's pen rising steadily like an erection as he watches dream versions of his girlfriend and Lady Sylvia Marsh cat-fighting in stewardess outfits. (Just one of many WTF sequences.) You'll also think you've clicked on the "BBC" category of your go-to fap site when watching Lady Sylvia Marsh bust hymens with a wicked black staff which she provocatively licks. There's some beautiful blasphemy on display during the hallucinogenic dream sequences: topless nuns getting gang-raped; a white snake coiled around Jesus on the cross; flames and fangs and blood, blood, blood. Sometimes Lady Sylvia Marsh is painted blue, sometimes green. I'm unsure if that's a result of chameleon abilities or her very own spray-tan salon. Russell has a knack of withholding information from viewers to accentuate surprise and suspense, especially when it comes to who's been bitten or not. The set-design and the special-effects are wonderfully kitsch. The script is mostly absent of unnecessary exposition. (Delivering the legend of the d'Ampton worm through a jovial, boot-stomping musical number at an annual banquet is rather clever.) The director of photography is named Dick Bush. (I don't have anything to say about the photography. I just wanted to type Dick Bush.)

The Lair of the White Worm isn't a film for everyone, but if you're into any kind of banging, or if the sight of a cross results in violent, paganistic flashbacks, or even if you just feel an urge to toss your Snakes & Ladders board game into the fireplace, it might be time to stop for a bite and throw on this wonderfully perverted, highly memorable, darkly humorous slice of vampiric camp.






It's been a while since I saw The Lair of the White Worm but I remember it being quite good. You should definitely check The Devils from Russell - a perfect fit to cinematic gutter and rather enjoyable movie.



I've spoken about this film (and Ken Russell) quite a few times on this site. I love both. Even if I don't always like a Russell film, it'll be worth watching for some reason. He couldn't have survived in Hollywood, and didn't, which is a great shame for both parties. But, most of all, perhaps for us.

BTW, as you saw and mentioned the humour in this film, I'll pass on my Russell/Donohoe story for the umpteenth time. After reading the script for this film, she rang Ken and said, "I've just finished reading the script. Um.... Is it supposed to be a comedy?"

To which Ken replied "Of course it's a ****ing comedy!" and hung up.

BTW, I also recommend The Devils. It's his masterpiece and an amazing film. Sadly, it was the first Ken Russell film I saw as an adult (I think I'd seen Altered Images as a kid) so I started at the top. However, good as that film is, I might prefer The Lair Of The White Worm these days just because, well, why wouldn't I?
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The Devils is on Filmstruck, so I plan on watching it pretty soon before the service goes away. Crimes of Passion is another Russell film that I've had my eye on for awhile.



I've come to discover Ken Russell's filmography over the past two years and it has been a revelation. He's one of the all time greatest in my book.

I haven't seen much of his later work yet, like The Lair of the White Worm. It seems that I have much more to look forward to!
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



2018 MoFo Fantasy Football Champion


Hardware
(Richard Stanley, 1990)



Christmas Eve in the wasteland. Got to find a present for the girlfriend. I think she's into sculpting. It's like, her passion or her trade or whatever the script told us. This mysterious nomad's carrying a sack of metallic junk. Gonna barter with him and this greasy midget over the detached head of a droid. Perfect present! Man, check out those apocalyptic skies all red with radiation. That's some festive looking sh*t. Angry Bob's on the radio talking about his "industrial dick." He sure sounds like Iggy Pop. And this cabbie is a spitting image of Lemmy. What a coincidence that he's playing "Ace of Spades." Is this my girlfriend's apartment? Merry f**kin' Christmas, babe! I hope you like my gift! Now put away that Geiger counter and let's do the nasty! My name is Dylan McDermott and I'm a terrible actor but I've got this really cool robotic hand that looks as if someone grafted a Nintendo Glove onto my forearm. I hope it doesn't electrocute you while I'm finger-banging you in the shower. Wonder if that fat pervert neighbor is watching us through his telescope again? Man, the filthy things that spew from that slob's mouth! And speaking of filthy things spewing from mouths, I'm just gonna lie around your apartment for awhile and spit some terribly written dialogue about the government sterilization program that we keep seeing reports about on the news. Hey, at least this post-apocalypse comes with cable television, am I right?! Now throw on a Ministry music video and make something cool with that robot's skull. Oh, what's that? It's not the head of some harmless droid but part of a government-issued killing machine named M.A.R.K. 13 that's capable of self-repair? Well, f**k me sideways and call me Sally. I'd return the hunk of junk but I threw away the receipt!



What the hell movie are we in, anyway? Hardware? Is that like some kind of low-grade Terminator rip-off? Figured as much. I bet this is a cult favorite among cyberpunk enthusiasts. Yeah? Not surprised. It's got that grimy, dirty, nihilistic, do-it-yourself thing going for it. Like the movie equivalent of a garage punk band with a modicum of talent. This director sure has a fetish for red filters. For a second there I thought I had fallen into a Nicolas Winding Refn film. Gotta give this director props for his distinct visual flair. Wish every scene wasn't so damn dark, though. I can't even make out what's happening half the time. What's the director's name? Richard Stanley? Never heard of him. Judging by this, he's a much better director than a writer because this script is garbage. The premise itself has been recycled from a hundred other sources. Oh, really? The filmmakers were sued for plagiarizing a short story from an 80's comic book? Serves them right. Guess all that "borrowing" could be considered a motif now that this robotic skull is reassembling itself from various pieces of junk. Oh, excuse me, your art, I mean. Didn't intend to offend. You're beautiful. Let's f**k again!

Am I the only one questioning if the pace is ever going to pick up? Movie's halfway over and nothing's happened. Sh*t. Careful what you ask for, I guess. Now too much is happening. That looked like a painful death. Dude just had his eyes gouged out. Babe, you should know that swinging from a power line is never a good idea. That image of a roach crawling out of my arm is gonna cause me nightmares. Careful of those automated doors, black man! They'll slice you clean in half! Whoever was in charge of the gore effects in this film should be commended. Shame that they had to tone down the violence to prevent an "X" rating. Damn MPAA. Also a shame that so much of the action is refined to this dimly lit apartment, which really cripples the creativity. Guessing the restricted setting was a victim of the budget. Hey, I haven't even mentioned my buddy Shades! He's nicknamed Shades because he's always wearing shades. Get it? He's annoying and he's often tripping on space acid, but he's crucial to the plot. How many climaxes does this damn film have, anyway? I swear this sh*t was about to end like fifteen times but it just keeps going. I'm ready to see my name in the credits!



The poster says Hardware is "the best science-fiction horror film since Alien." I say that's a load of horse sh*t. However, I am tempted to recommend the film on the strength of its aesthetic and music alone. I already mentioned Ace of Spades and Ministry being on the soundtrack. The score is eclectic and awesome and consistently complementary of the visuals. There's the lonesome plucking of guitar strings in early desert scenes that add a western flavor. When things get trippy, bombastic opera blares, accentuating the hallucinatory visuals and threatening to send viewers into an epileptic seizure as strobe lights blind and disorient. Throughout the rest of the film a very 80's synthesizer pulses and probes like the sonic manifestation of technological death approaching. All of this adds to an already impressive atmosphere achieved through the director's visionary eye. There's a decent attempt at world building through snippets of dialogue and TV footage. There's also the germinations of political subtext, what with the robot's patriotic paint scheme and a death gas that smells like apple pie, but those details feel like half-baked afterthoughts. The infrared robotic POV is a well visited too often, although the visual trick is effective at times. It's a shame that the story, dialogue and performances are so lackluster. The pacing is also terrible. It takes an eternity for anything to happen, and even when the movie transforms into a bloody cybernetic slasher, the pacing remains wonky.

Hardware has the look, sound and feel of a cyberpunk cult classic, but the wires inside are faulty. The talent isn't fully exploited. The potential isn't reached. You'll catch glimpses of greatness, but those moments are like sparks of electricity that fizzle and die, leaving behind a movie that is too dull, too derivative, too uneven.






That's a shame, I quite enjoy Hardware and had you enjoyed it more I would have suggested it might be worth you giving Death Machine a try if you hadn't already. But I won't, cause you didn't
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Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once



I saw this when it came out on video over here. Didn't like or get it then and have never had the desire to repeat the experience, even though it does seem to be much better thought of now. Maybe one day that'll change?



Welcome to the human race...
I am also okay with not giving a damn about Hardware.
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I've come to discover Ken Russell's filmography over the past two years and it has been a revelation. He's one of the all time greatest in my book.

I haven't seen much of his later work yet, like The Lair of the White Worm. It seems that I have much more to look forward to!
I dig his ****. He reminds me of Jodorowsky sometimes with his imagery.
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You're an enigma, cat_sidhe.