I recently hit Blockbuster up for their Five Days, Five Dollars deal, usually to check out some of their older videos...specifically, horror and thriller movies...specifically slasher movies. Screw Redbox or that other video vending machine nonsense...there is nothing, and I mean nothing like going to a video store and browsing for titles. Many people my age have parental memories like their mom or dad taking them to a sports game, or teaching them to ride a bike.
Me? I remember when my Dad took me to video stores like Cinemagic and Midtown Video, back when home video was all the rage. A decade before I learned about my love for exploitation and slasher films, I was cutting my teeth on awesome movies like Full Moon's Puppet Master(before they shot it to hell with Part 6) and Demonic Toys. I really hate how people are with their Redbox stuff...but then again, Redbox doesn't have such awesome movies as Love Camp 7 or The Five Deadly Venoms, do they?
Anyway, I recently did the five movie thing, and wanted to share with you guys what I thought about them. I like to rent from Blockbuster the straight-to-video slashers because well...they can surprise you(and really, I'm just being nice here). I've actually bought duds before(I'm looking at you, The Butcher and A Brush With Death), and only once or twice I fell in love with a movie because it had the right "personal elements"(Wrestlemaniac). So, in a way, these movies I rent are a litmus test...if I like 'em, I'll go out and buy them. If I don't...we don't speak of 'em again. So...let's check out the big sack for this week:
- Suicide Girls Must Die!: Based on SuicideGirls.com's models, it is supposedly a "reality horror movie", whatever that means. I guess it means they are mixing the time-honored tradition of the slasher movie formula with "reality television"(And man, I hate reality television), so since obviously they can't kill anyone on even "reality" television, it amounts to a group of models going to an isolated area of Maine for a shoot, only to end up with one girl missing ever so often. Now, I might sound disappointed, but in the end, I dug the concept. I still don't believe its real of course...there had to be a script of some kind. Also, I think I would probably like one of those girls...while I disagree with the idea that they consider themselves an alternative to "mainstream beauty"(I think Mo'Nique, as a "full-sized" woman, can make a better case), I think I could dig the colorful hair and tattoos.
- The Graves: From the Eight Films to Die For IV comes this decent thriller/horror film, rated B in my book. Basically, it's about these two sisters, young and slightly apprehensive Abby and tough as nails Megan Graves of the title, who stumble upon this crazy situation in the middle of nowhere, in this tourist trap called Skull City. Basically, think of the Sawyers/Hewitt clan of Texas Chainsaw Massacre meet Children of the Corn. The two sisters basically run this gauntlet of horrors, from the more down-to-earth slasher killer to the supernatural demon. This film might not bring anything new or different to the subgenre, but it is pretty decent. My only problem is more of a personal one: You see, the sisters are supposed to be big comic fans, and in an earlier part of the film, they rock out at a concert in these sexy costumes. The filmmakers say that the sisters are supposed to be "monster hunters", which is a cool concept...like Jonny Quest or Scoobie Doo. My problem is...why weren't the sisters continuing to wear those cool costumes throughout the whole movie? I mean, what better way to make the comic and monsterhunter link then them sporting those sexy little outfits?
- Penny Dreadful: From the very first Horrorfest comes this...boring movie. Look, I want to be nice here, but I found myself drifting to sleep. Basically, the story is about a girl, who, when younger, survived an automobile accident that killed her parents. Developing an acute phobia of automobiles, she and her therapist, at the start of the movie, is on the way to some mountains to help to get over her phobia. However, they literally run into a stranger on a deserted road, who would later *surprise, surprise* get after them. The bulk of the movie centers around Penny being trapped in the car, and that's where it became boring. Of course, in the end, we learn a bit more about the stranger, which is the usual crazed maniac from an escaped mental institution. However, the end showdown between heroine and villain doesn't make up for the boring build-up(or lack there of) to it. I have to give this film a C+.
- Feast: This movie rocks. Seriously A+ material here, a horror movie with humor about a group of strangers trapped in an isolated bar in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by these uber-creatures that, anime-style, are sexual deviants that would make love to your face BEFORE eating you. This is a fun, fun film, with the mission of playing with horror conventions. You really have to see this movie to see what I mean. I can't tell you anymore without risking spoiling you!
- Women's Prison Massacre: Apparently, this is part of the famous(or infamous) Emmanuelle Series of films, with main actress Laura Gemser being the eponymous character, similar to Daniel Craig being just one of the actors for James Bond. I can only judge the movie in isolation, as I have never seen another Emmanuelle film. So, in isolation...it is a women-in-prison film, with some decent looking chicks(mainly Emmanuelle's best buds), and an alright plot...not as awesome as Women In Cages or Love Camp 7...but decent enough as maybe a movie for a first-time WIP experimenter. Would have loved to seen more traditional WIP vices(y'know...torture, lesbian makeout sessions, etc), but the creators kept the film pretty tame. BTW...Laura Gemser is pretty...but that chick is SKINNY. I mean, it is like she's skin and bones, and a good wind could knock her for a loop.