Movie A Day!: Blood Face

After a week of sunny skies and spring temperatures, today finds the sky back to the gloomy grey that is Edmonton in the winter. Perfect weather for hermit-ting up with movies and other things to distract from the political climate.

This post is a real mess theme wise. Friends who followed my Snapchat during the horror movie challenge will know that one of the greatest boxsets of all time arrived on my door step near the end, SHOCK AND GORE: THE FILMS OF HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS. After staring at it for months and frankly being intimidated by it, I finally broke down and cracked that sucker open. My plan was to watch one disc a week. Then the February pack from Vinegar Syndrome showed up three weeks early. And I’m still watching the Oscar best picture nominations. So your stuck with classy films, gore films from one of the worst directors of all times, and porno from one of the hardcore masters who literally helped create the porn industry.

This blog may be a psychiatric profile of a cry for help.


042 02/12 59th Annual Grammy Awards (2017) 3/5   I don’t know why I watch these but I always find a reason to. Ends up this year was pretty good. Katy Perry debuted a new song that’s actually kind of a clever protest, Lady Gaga performed metal with Metallica (my excuse to watch this years awards, her halftime show at the Superbowl was amazing) and aside from a dead mic on Hetfield, she rocked. Lady Gaga may be the the legendary performer of this generation. She can sing anything and do so convincingly. The real highlight though was oldie rappers A Tribe Called Quest who performed as an assault unit, attacking Trump (President Agent Orange, as dubbed by guest Busta Rhymes) and it was exhilarating. Oh, and Beyonce did a really artistic performance piece on black womanhood. I think. So yeah, despite all this fun, it still managed to feel like it would never end.


043 02/12 Blood Feast (1963) 4/5   Exploitation legends Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman invented the splatter genre with this one. The effects are primitive at best, the acting not so great and while people always say Ed Wood Jr. was the worst director of all time, I think Lewis fits the crown better since there is a unenthusiastic workman like feel to Lewis compared to the glee in a Wood Jr. picture. That said, it’s an irresistible picture. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve watched it, but I love it more each time. People joke about the effects, but they really aren’t that bad compared to the regular make-up. The grey hair on younger actors looks like they rubbed a bar of soap on their heads. That’s far more unforgivable than creating a more than decent tongue being yanked out of a girls head effect. I like to think so anyway. This one is a must see (along with the other films in the “Blood Trilogy”, I’ll get to those later) for anyone with an interest in horror history.

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044 02/13 Scum of the Earth (1963) 3.5/5   1963 was a pretty big year for Herschell Gordon Lewis. Not only did he invent the gore film, he was one of the first to put out a film that would be known as “Roughies”. Roughies were the horrible children of the “Nudie Cuties”, instead of wholesome nudist camps full of nubile innocents, roughies were more urban and had pervos creeping on and corrupting women. This one was about a porno photography outfit that hoodwinks High School girls into being models before getting them to shoot nude and then blackmailing them to do hardcore. It’s very innocent despite that description since actual porno wouldn’t be shot for nearly a decade and the brief nudity in the picture is actually sort of tasteful with the real rough stuff happening off camera. Shot in black and white it actually looks classier than it is, and ends up being one of Lewis’s more accomplished pictures. Sexploitation would keep on pushing after this one, Lewis would mostly drift into gore (which based on his final film, the hardcore Black Love, is a very good thing…). Well worth checking out as it doesn’t have some of the pacing issues Lewis’s films tend to have.


045 02/14 Lion (2016) 3.5   A young Indian boy gets lost and ends up adopted by Nicole Kidman’s terrible haircut that is a perfect representation of Australia in this Oscar pick. I quite enjoyed this one in that it sticks with telling the kids true story without getting too over the top with the melodramatics (I think) and without the “Forrest Gump-Ness” of Slumdog Millionaire. Don’t think it was best of the year stuff though.


046 02/14 Carving Magic (1959) 4/5   This one is an industrial short about a guy hosting a dinner party and wows his dickhead friend with his turkey carving prowess. Why would I watch a carving instructional film? It’s on the Blood Feast blu-ray as an extra! It features Blood Feast star William Kerwin as the guy who learns how to carve, but more interesting is that Harvey Korman plays the dickhead friend, this being his first film role. I love Harvey Korman! Go watch Blazing Saddles again and see what I mean! This one was also legit educational, I think I might be able to carve a turkey properly now!


047 02/15 Moonlight (2016) 4/5   This one is about a kid growing up and navigating himself through Black Miami culture. I really liked this one in that it’s the kind of film that is usually made about white people in that it didn’t have any black genre trappings despite dealing with lower income/gang/drug culture. Dead solid performances that ring true in that they are frustrating to watch. There’s no hand holding the audience. I wouldn’t mind if this one won.


048 02/15 Slaughterhouse (1987) 3/5   1987 seems a bit late to try to pull a rip on Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but when it’s as fun as this one, why not give it a go? A bunch of cool kids decide to hold a party in a foreclosed slaughterhouse. Unbeknownst to them, the owner and his deranged son (who talks in pig-squeals) have decided to kill the people who fucked him over business wise. It’s all an excuse for some typical 80’s slasher mayhem and it delivers which is all you can ask.


049 02/17 Arrival (2016) 4/5   I really enjoyed this one. I had heard it compared to Contact (another one I really enjoyed) but Arrival really is it’s own thing. Aliens have come down and language specialist Amy Adams has to figure out how to communicate with them. It leads to a thoughtful Sci-Fi that is actually pretty rare in these days of action blockbusters. Good stuff, I wouldn’t mind if it won Best Picture.

050 02/17 Parochial Passion Princess (1975) 2.5/5  Depraved hardcore short from Alex deRenzy about a teen prostitute. No one does sleaze like deRenzy, you have to give him credit.


051 02/18 La La Land (2016) 4/5   Hollywood finally does a traditional musical. That’s how this one is billed. The opening number had me cringing since it was so modern Broadway in style, thankfully the film settles down and ends up being really good, and yes, pretty traditional. I don’t think it works quite as well as it wants to- it never reaches the insane dancing fever pitch of the classics- but it’s welcome all the same.


052 02/18 Babyface (1977) 4/5   Feature length film by Alex deRenzy about a guy who gets shanghaied into working in a brothel owned by women for women clients. One of the sleaziest films I’ve seen, it practically is checking off a list of triggers for things deemed politically incorrect and will make you feel squeamish watching it. It’s also done with so much showmanship and glee that it’s hard to be mad about it. deRenzy was a master at this stuff and this one was one is no exception.

So which one should win best picture? I honestly don’t know. None of them wowed me. None of them are bad films, more a case of none of them feeling particularity exceptional or memorable. The only one that really feels like a broken thumb is Hacksaw Ridge, and that’s due to the first half being so schmaltzy. The second half in the war is brilliantly over the top. If I had to pick one I’d go with Moonlight since it’s the only one that didn’t have something in it that made question the filmmakers choice, with Arrival, La La Land and Manchester By The Sea following. Yet despite that, I think I enjoyed Hidden Figures best but found the film technically problematic. It looks like this years Oscars will be mostly blah for me since I don’t have a horse in the race that I really  want to see win. It’s not the first time, and wont be the last.

Which is okay, I got more terrible movies and Gilmore Girls to keep me company.

Until next time.

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Movie A Day!:311-320 – Off the Wagon

Sorry gang, I fell way behind on my updates for the first time this year. I was supposed to be off work this week, but had to go in Monday and Tuesday to cover for a co-worker. Tuesday afternoon, my flu like poops came back. I’ve now had near constant diarrhea for 7 odd days. It’s the worst! Anyway, I’ll be posting a bunch to get caught up since with the flu, I watch even more movies.

311 10-20 Up From The Depths (1979) 1.5/5
I’m fine with a “Jaws” knock-off, provided it’s good. This one was terrible in every way. A weird shark like fish has shown up of the coast of a Hawaiian resort and is attacking people. So it’s Jaws, only a completely garbage version with terrible acting, effects and a weird dubbed soundtrack. The plot can’t decide if it wants to go the Jaws scary route, or the fun Piranha route so it just fails miserably. This is grade z level Corman stuff, and sadly not fun in any way.

312 10-20 Demon of Paradise (1987) 2.5/5
Directed by Cirio H. Santiago so you know what you’re getting into. Fishermen illegally using dynamite awaken a lizard man then proceeds to attack a resort. Not the greatest, but it’s light years better then Under From The Depths that it shares a DVD with. It’s from 1987 but the look of the film leads me to think it sat on a shelf for a while.

313 10-21 Crawlspace (1986) 3/5
Klaus Kinski stars as a nutty doctor son of a nazi war criminal who has taken to being a landlord who has tricked out his apartment building so he can crawl around spying on the women tenants and kill them. It’s pretty bonkers stuff that really doesn’t make any sense. Kinski is good in it though and manages to hold the thing together despite how ridiculous it gets. The scream factory blu-ray has short film about working with Kinski by the films director, “Please, kill Mr. Kinski” that it pretty great stuff too.

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314 10-21 You’re Next (2011) 3/5
This one is a home invasion movie, and everything about it made it look like a direct rip of “The Strangers.” So it’s nice that they twisted things up a bit. Not a whole lot, but enough that I think this one is the better movie. Anyway, a family is having a big get together in the woods and some killers show up. Not the most original thing in the world, but it’s good enough despite things getting a bit Ewok in the last third.

315 10-21 Dracula’s Daughter (1936) 4/5
The first sequel to the classic film that of course doesn’t star Bela Lugosi. It’s still pretty good film on it’s own right that makes the right choice in setting it’s own pace instead of trying to copy the original. Dracula’s daughter has shown up and is kind of sympathetic in that she doesn’t really want to be a vampire. It’s primarily known for a scene that supposedly has lesbian overtones but I don’t really see it. It’s no Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 by any means. Still, worth checking out.

316 10-22 The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) 2/5
The most amazing thing about this run of the mill programmer is legendary monster maker Jack Pierce did the make-up. When you have the man responsible for creating Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolf Man, and have the only cool effects being invisibility, you failed. Nothing about this is amazing, so nuff said.

317 10-22 The Beast Within (1982) 3/5
I might be rating it higher than it deserves. I figured it was basically “Teen Wolf” done straight based on the cover, and could not have been more wrong. A woman is raped by a weird monster, and 17 years later her son from the rape is having issues with an unknown illness. This one gets pretty nasty and goopy, on top of the rather nasty plot. It manages to mostly work too. Not the greatest film you will watch in the challenge, but a good enough one.

318 10-22 Reptilicus (1961) 2/5
Godzilla was a big hit, so everyone wanted in with their own monster movie. This one is Denmarks submission. A copper miner finds bits of meat buried, the regenerate into a giant, acid goo spitting snake monster thing that rampages over Copenhagen. based on a weird section before the monster mayhem that plays like a travelogue to visit Copenhagen, I’m pretty sure this one was actually produced by the country. The monster is painfully bad in execution, which of course helps make it fun to watch.

319 10-23 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) 5/5
Yup, this one is still one of the all time great films. I don’t have much to say since so much has been written. If you haven’t seen it, see it.

320 10-23 Deadly Eyes (1982) 2.5/5
Contaminated grain infects and causes rats to mutate. One of the goofiest Canadian cheapies you’re likely to see is still pretty fun since the giant rats are dachshunds in costume. Scatman Crothers slums it for a couple of scenes and the movie is committed enough to it’s bonkers plot that it works.

Probably back tomorrow to play more catch up! Share it if you enjoy it!