Hell of the Living Dead.

Infamous softcore pornographer Bruno Mattei is generally considered to be one of those Grindhouse legends.  Not sure who is doing the considerations, but whatever.  In 1980 he produced his zombie epic “Hell of the Living Dead”.  He obviously knew how good it was since he released it under a different name, Vincent Dawn.  If ever there was a porno name… Anyways, this is another 'Blue Underground' release.


Starkwell: It took two people to write this?

Lovelock: It hasn’t even started yet… give it a chance… Goblin did the music.


[Scientists in a lab, doing sciencey things.]

Lovelock: How come everyone is wearing a helmet except the woman?

Starkwell: Either they don’t feel her brain is worth protecting, or they didn’t want to mess up her perm.


[Guys wearing HASMAT suits.]

Starkwell: Those clearly aren’t air-tight, you can see his neck and mouth from the bottom flap of the face mask helmet thing.

Lovelock: Oh shit, bitten to death by rat.


After that, it was hard to make out what they were saying for a little while, as everything was clouded by a thick array of laughter.  But, at some point, one of them definitely said “Way to go, science” and “Good job, Professor Mushroom Cut” and “Man, this is going to be one nutty ride” and “Let’s grow mustaches.”


[We are introduced to some sort of trigger happy SWAT team.]

Starkwell: Why are they dressed like janitors?

Lovelock: Pffftt.. to blend in, idiot!

Starkwell: Carrying M16s?


I don’t know if we are meant to like the Trigger Happy Squad, but the scenes that followed showing them stranded on an island, depicted them as racist, sexist, ignorant and blood thirsty lunatics.  Well, Starkwell seemed confused as to whether or not we should like them.  Lovelock likes them.  Then we were introduced to some civilians, also trapped on the island, carrying around a wounded boy.  Starkwell didn't care if we should like them or not.  Lovelock hated them immediately.  But then half of them get eaten, so Lovelock in turn thanked Bruno aloud.


[The non-eaten half runs into Trigger Happy Gang.  Together they find zombie kid eating his dad.]

Lovelock: I think more movies need to feature SWAT teams unloading on a kid at point blank range after mere seconds of investigation.  They didn’t even give the kid a chance to explain himself…

Starkwell: Not sure that it’s a concept that will catch on.  Also, what was there to explain 


Sometime after the initial carnage scene, Starkwell and Lovelock invented a drinking game where you take a drink every time Mattei uses stock footage of Papua New Guinea.  After five shots in less than a minute, they realized that this was a bad game and decided to stop playing.  Please note, should you attempt this game, we will not be held responsible for your eventual hospital bills and/or death.


[Main character decides to camouflage herself as a bare-breasted native.  Even though she is white.]

Starkwell: How many natives have perms?

Lovelock: About as many as those that wear mascara, eye liner and plastic hair clips.

Starkwell: Well, at least there was an unnecessarily long close up of her breasts.


More stock footage, and, thankfully, this time it was of saggy native breasts and a dead man’s cock’n’balls.  Starkwell just left the room forever.  I could try to explain the way Bruno switched back and forth from stock footage to our main characters, complete with fake native that look nothing like those in the stock footage, but nothing I can say will make you understand.  It has to be seen to be believed.  In order to simulate the confusion we were all feeling, I will just list some things that Lovelock said without giving you any context.


Lovelock: How is any of this related to the scientists at the beginning?


Lovelock: I’m pretty sure that actor would get sick from having that raw meat in his mouth.


Lovelock: What kind of a man bends the brim of his hat into an ‘M’ shape?  That kind, I guess.


Lovelock: More like “Hell of the Smiling Dead”.  Or “Hell of Blue People with Dry Oatmeal on their Face that Laugh while on Camera.”


Lovelock: In the midst of the apocalypse, Backwards Hat decides to put on a top hat and tutu and dance the Charleston, oh well, at least he’s dead.


Lovelock: He just looked at the camera… was he talking to me?


Lovelock: Why isn’t this over yet?  Oh, I see, because more stock footage needs to be shown.


Lovelock: New drinking game, every time there’s a close up of the girl screaming.


Lovelock: You got some ketchup on your face there…


Liberal amounts of terrible special effects, an abundance of stock footage, a lack of a cohesive story and a team of nothing but worthless characters and actors make for one lousy viewing experience.  I hate you, Bruno Mattei.  Lovelock thinks someone needs to remake this one claiming that “it had potential” and that “the eyeball scene at the end ruled”.  Starkwell couldn’t get past the stock footage.  No one should have to.  Entertaining movie, but also, one of the worst I've ever seen.


Tombs of the Blind Dead.

The year was 1971, the country was Spain, the film, “Tombs of the Blind Dead”.  Writer / Director Amando de Ossorio’s first in a series of “Blind Dead” films is flying towards my face, eyes and nose out of a portable DVD player, and all thanks to another lovely release from Blue Underground.  I am faced with the decision of whether I want to watch it in English, or in Spanish.  Lovelock hates to read, but everyone unanimously hates bad dubbing, except for special cases like “Aces Go Places” a.k.a. “Mad Mission”.  But that's a whole other discussion.  From what I understand, there are HUGE differences between the English and Spanish versions, more than just language.  Since we’re purists, let’s go original.  Moving right along, let’s get this show on the road.


[The opening credits are filled with creepy music and sound effects.  It looks like it was filmed after the end of the world, and then suddenly zombie hand!  And SCREAM!]

Lovelock: And now we will forever remember the story of how I shit my pants during a movie’s opening credits.


I just realized that although it’s a Spanish movie, that half naked actress is clearly speaking in English.


[The two women talk and flashback to when they lived together in a dorm room.]

Starkwell: Of course.  First, they’re brushing their hair and slow dancing together in their night gowns.  And then they make out and touch each other all over.  That’s what always happens in all dorms.

Lovelock: In Spain? Probably.  I hope there’s a pillow fight or tickle fight coming up.


[Virginia jumps off the train in hot pants, jealous of her once lesbian lover’s current interest in men.]

Starkwell: It's the middle of nowhere! She doesn’t even know where she is.  Not much of a planner. 

Lovelock: If you can jump off of a moving train in heels and short denim shorts and walk away clean, you don’t need plans.


[She wanders into the sketchy abandoned ruins of some kind of medieval town.]

Starkwell: How many squeaky doors does she have to open before something is going to happen?

Lovelock: She just wants to make sure that it’s safe to make a fire.  And take off all of her clothes.  For some reason.

Starkwell: Who needs food, water, or a plan for making it back to civilization when you’ve got a little radio playing bad jazz and a good book to read by the fire?

Lovelock: That radio has pretty good reception for the middle of nowhere.


Then the dead rose up out of their tombs, and began riding on their horses.  I suspended my disbelief long enough to not wonder where the damn horses came from, since it was remarkably well shot and lit, and the effects were, well, effective.  Lovelock and Starkwell couldn’t do anything but sit in terrified silence as the Undead Knights chased after Virginia at an agonizingly slow pace.


[Well, Virginia’s dead.]

Lovelock: Well, Virginia’s dead.


[Roger and ‘girl whose name I don’t remember’ ride into the ruins on horseback to look for Virginia… after sleeping in and having a big breakfast. Yeah, they care for her THAT much.  They run into the police.]

Starkwell: Why is the cop wearing a flower corsage?

Lovelock: In Spain, police wear flowers.  And they all have mustaches.  Also, they’re really old.


Well, apparently her name is Elizabeth.  That’s all we’ve really taken from the last twenty minutes or so of this now slow moving epic.  Oh, that and Virginia’s cause of death was being bitten by twelve different people.  We know it was the Undead Knights, but they don’t.  Nonetheless, at the morgue, one of the morgue workers says to the other that she was “asking for it” by going around dressed like that and flaunting her stuff.  By wearing jean shorts, she was asking to have chunks of flesh bitten off, by twelve different people at the same time.  This is what we’ve learned.  Oh also, every scientist in Spain has a beard.


[Flashback to the origin of the Undead Knights, they are torturing and sacrificing a woman.]

Starkwell: Is it really necessary for them to cut her top off?  And to show close ups of her breasts?

Lovelock: Well, yeah, how else would we know that they sliced directly into each of her boobies with swords?


[Undead Virginia goes to Elizabeth’s workshop to attack her assistant.]

Starkwell: Who would choose to work in a dimly lit warehouse full of creepy severed mannequin parts hanging on meat hooks?

Lovelock: In Spain? Many people work in dimly lit warehouses full of body parts.  I mean, in the seventies, it was all the rage.

Starkwell: You really don’t know what you’re saying.

Lovelock: Shhhhhh… Undead Virginia is currently on fire.


Roger continues his investigation into Virginia’s murder.  Elizabeth continues to wear different hats in every scene. The film continues to introduce more characters, and move really slow.  Then there was an uncomfortably long and dragged out rape scene.  Starkwell walked out, and simply asked to let him know when the Undead Knights come to kill the rapist.  Minutes later, here come the Undead Knights.  Instant karma’s gonna get you, Pedro.


[Undead Knights eat Rapist Pedro.]

Lovelock: I don’t know… these guys don’t seem so bad.

Starkwell: I think you’re forgetting their booby cutting roots.


[The Undead Knights eat more people, a lot more people.]

Starkwell: The fact that it doesn’t make any noise while they bite people, actually makes it a lot more horrifying somehow.  What do you think?

[As the end of the film approached, Lovelock couldn’t respond.  He was off in a corner crying, partly tears of joy, mostly tears of sheer horror.]


Well, the movie had some minuses.  It moved slow, didn’t make much sense, and feels kind of like a high end Paul Naschy film (see: Vengeance of the Zombies).  However, in the plus column, the Undead Knights are scary as hell, the visual effects have definitely held up over time, the music all throughout was both tense and surreal, and the locations used were terrifying and fantastic, seriously, like something out of a horrible dream.  As a result Lovelock and Starkwell have committed to watching the entire series of 'Blind Dead' films.  However, since doctors don’t recommend watching more than one of these films in a twenty four hour period, we will have to continue another time.


The Living Dead Girl.

Infamous French director Jean Rollin is definitely an acquired taste.  Whether or not I have acquired this taste remains to be seen, but I figured now was as good a time as any to expose Starkwell and Lovelock to some of his work.  “La Morte Vivante” is presented here in widescreen on this ‘Redemption’ release.  We speak French, so subtitles are not necessary.  When you tell it to play the movie, we are immediately presented with a shot-on-video ‘Redemption’ intro of a naked large breasted woman, covered in blood, whose implant scars are clearly defined, being, well, molested by some kind of vampire thing… This had better not be an indication of the quality of the movie.


[Grave robber falls and hits his head, worst acting ever, chemicals spill on dead girl, she reanimates, pokes his eyes out.]

Lovelock: That’s why I don’t rob graves.

Starkwell: Wait, that’s why?


[Wannabe Actress, who claims to be an aspiring photographer, throws temper tantrum.  No one seems concerned that a random girl in a night gown is walking around slowly in a field.]

Starkwell: Wait, so that didn’t strike her as odd?

Lovelock: What do you mean? She took out her big zoom lens.


[The real estate agent, in Dead Girl's house, investigates a noise, realizes that it’s a rocking horse that is moving on its own, she simply smiles and stops it from further rocking.]

Starkwell: The characters in this movie don’t seem to question things all that much.

Lovelock: Yeah, it’s called realism.

Starkwell: Wait, what?


In true Rollin fashion, the movie is moving now at a snail’s pace.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s well shot, the music is adequate, and the atmosphere is as eerie as it gets.  One might say that the movie oozes forward at a deliberate pace.


[A couple enters the empty house in order to make some sex.  But, hold on a minute, Living Dead Girl is inside!  And she’s playing the piano!  Eventually she slays them.]

Lovelock: I guess it wouldn’t be a Rollin movie without full frontal nudity.  Unfortunately, this time male frontal nudity is also included.

Starkwell: So wait, they hear a piano sound and assume it’s nothing?

Lovelock: See, that’s why I don’t go and have sex in abandoned castles in the French countryside.

Starkwell: Wait, that’s why?


It’s hard to imagine why it would be necessary for the girls in this movie to be naked all the time, or why they would need to show one girl washing the other naked with her bare hands, or what would drive a person to cover up a double homicide for her weird bloodsucking mute lesbian lover, the Dead Girl, or how someone could react so calmly to everything that she is witnessing, but all of it is happening at breakneck speed.  Well, that is if breakneck means super slow, which it doesn’t.  And then Lesbian Lover lets Dead Girl suck her blood.


[Wannabe Actress finally starts asking around about the creepy girl she photographed in the field.  Her boyfriend Professor Mustache, a.k.a. Captain America, pretty much makes fun of her.  Nonstop.]

Starkwell: Nancy Drew is on the case!

Lovelock: Dead Girl’s kill count is shamefully low.

Starkwell: This movie should be called the Boring Dead Girl.


[Lesbian Lover pretends to be stranded on the roadside in order to get a meal for Dead Girl.  Good Samaritan, who pulled over to help stranded Lesbian lover, starts freaking out when Lesbian Lover gets all crazy on her ass.]

Lovelock: Now that’s why I don’t help people stranded on the road with a broken down car.  Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in France.  In the early 1980s.

Starkwell: Yeah.  That’s why.


[Dead Girl tears Good Samaritan apart.]

Starkwell: The scream sounds completely different from one cut to another.

Lovelock: The screams sound different from upstairs.  

Starkwell: But it  sounds like a completely different voice!

Lovelock: It’s called realism.


Then there was an incredibly awkward cut, where Dead Girl shakes her head and screams, and then it immediately replays the same cut over again, in slow motion, with a lot of reverb on her scream.  I think some milk shot out of Lovelock’s nose.


[After her encounter with Dead Girl and Lesbian Lover, Wannabe Actress runs away, top speed.]

Lovelock: Good thing she’s wearing that track suit.

Starkwell: Why didn’t she just get back on her bicycle?


[Dead Girl asks Lesbian Lover to kill her.]

Starkwell: Oh for the love of God, please do it!

Lovelock: Put her out of her misery, and, as a result, put us out of ours.


[Randomly the movie then cuts to a French folk band called the Fireflies.  It goes on for a really long time.  Let’s assume the band were friends of Jean Rollin’s.]

Lovelock: Did you change the channel?

Starkwell: Well, for starters, it’s a DVD, and secondly… why would the other channels be in French?

Lovelock: There's never anything good on anymore.


As the music video continues playing out, Lesbian Lover searches for a lonely vulnerable woman to feed to Dead Girl.  Lovelock and Starkwell continue to search for a reason to keep watching. Lesbian Lover kills the woman to feed Dead Girl, making sure to expose the victim’s enhanced breasts.  Rollin makes sure to focus on these breasts at great length.  This is not helping Lovelock and Starkwell’s quest.


[Wannabe Actress’ face is set on fire, and she practically explodes, and then dives into the castle's moat.  Captain America gets an ax to the face.]

Lovelock: That was honestly the best thirty seconds I’ve had in a long time.


[Dead Girl finally eats Lesbian Lover.]

Lovelock: Is it just me, or did this movie turn out amazing.

Starkwell: If Lesbian Lover really would be willing to do all of that for Dead Girl, and doesn't want to live without her, then where the Hell has she been for the last twenty years?

Lovelock: Are you not watching this lengthy flesh eating scene?  Seriously, does anything else really matter at this point?  Oh shit, she ate her finger!


While there was a little too much bad acting and random screaming throughout the movie, overall, it was alright.  Lovelock wants to re-watch the last scene again, but with the sound off.  Seriously, half of this movie is women screaming.  I think a quarter of it is people looking confused.  At least one eighth is boobies.  In any case, both Lovelock and Starkwell have expressed interest in seeing more from Jean Rollin.  Starkwell is still wondering what happened to Wannabe Actress' bicycle.  Maybe they were planning on a sequel.



This Japanese movie from the turn of the century seems to have an interesting enough of a concept.  The movie looks to be relatively low budget, and on the back of this Synapse release, they compare it to Romero films, as well as Resident Evil films… yeah.  Apparently when pretty girls hit puberty, they die and become zombies.  Anyways, as much as I know Lovelock hates to read, let’s get this show on the road. “Stacy” is directed by Naoyuki Tomomatsu, who apparently eventually followed it up with MAIDDROID a movie about a robot in a French maid outfit who does its master’s bidding, and EROTIBOT, which… so… yeah…


[Bad sound effects accompany a cheesy rise from the dead sequence.  After the female zombie bites off an arm, the sappiest music ever plays.]

Starkwell: Why would those kids hang around that dead girl body?  Especially, if they know what might happen?

Lovelock: The sound effects sound like they’re from an old Nintendo game.  In a bad way.

Starkwell: The music sounds like a bad soap opera.  In the worst way.

Lovelock: Shot on video... tape!

Starkwell: Are they comparing girls hitting puberty to girls becoming flesh eating demons?


Starkwell seemed frustrated by how often they referenced Romero.  Lovelock wishes that it was dubbed, claiming that it would help the movie be funnier.  The special effects are bad, but in a good way, and as much as the conversation lulled a bit, the guys perked up every time a zombie was shot.  The music, however, made them perk immediately back down.


[After a long time of nothing, we are introduced to a character, some kind of pornographic puppet maker.  Oh man, the music is awful.  You ever hear the demo song on a cheap keyboard?  That’s what it sounds like.  Thanks CASIO.  The main character is a puppeteer.]

Starkwell: Is it just me, or is this whole movie based on ONE idea?  It’s like the filmmakers hoped that they wouldn’t need a story.

Lovelock: I’m starting to think that watching it was a BAD idea.

Starkwell: Seriously, it’s like it’s written by a nerdy high school boy that none of the girls pay attention to.

Lovelock: Yeah, there he is, making puppets.


Let it be known, that having liberal amounts of carnage, referencing people like Bruce Campbell and George Romero, and loading your movie with weird cuts, fake commercials and fake news broadcasts does NOT automatically make it cool.  In fact, if it’s done for no reason other than “just because”, it makes the film superbly lame.  


[We’re being introduced to more characters we don’t care about, more Hallmark movie of the week music, and not much more story.]

Starkwell: It’s becoming abundantly clear that nothing is going to happen in this movie.

Lovelock: A lot is happening, it just happens to be the same thing over and over again, and also it’s boring.

Starkwell: I think this whole movie was conceived as a way to dress young girls up like Sailor Moon and shoot them.

Lovelock: That might be the only thing it has going for it.


Then there was an incredibly long puppet show scene that put Lovelock to sleep.


[Creepy old guy dissects a schoolgirl, and runs tests on her severed head.]

Starkwell: Fuck this.  I’m out.

Lovelock: Wait, her face is glowing for no reason!  Pixie dust!  Come back, it’s like Re-Animator, only bad!


With Starkwell gone, Lovelock had to try and watch the rest on his own, and while the delightfully gruesome amounts of gore should have pleased him, he seemed ultimately disinterested.


Lovelock: Are we there yet?  Roll credits already. Wait did she just say “Don’t get horny”?

Starkwell: Wait, it’s still going?  

Lovelock: You're back?

Starkwell: I’m leaving again.

Lovelock: I’m coming with you.


Since they weren’t going to finish it, I allowed myself to fast forward through the rest.  I don’t think I missed much.  Spoiler alert, everyone dies and I don’t care.  “Stacy” was occasionally funny and frequently gory. But recalling movies like “Wild Zero” and “Versus”, I know what the Japanese are capable of, and this is a tremendously low point.  I would assume that both Starkwell and Lovelock agree with me, but as you know, they left a while ago, citing irreconcilable differences with this movie.  Apparently, it’s based on a book.  Maybe it works as a book, but as a film, it did not.


[I thought it was over, and called Starkwell and Lovelock back.  But it wasn’t over, and they caught some kind of slow dance scene between Puppet Master and the girl dressed as Little Bo Peep.]

Lovelock: You said it was over!

Starkwell: Oh man, movie, stop trying to make a point!  You don’t have one! You suck, movie!

Lovelock: That piano music comes on EVERY FIVE SECONDS.


Then it really ended, after another forever minutes, and I threw the movie out the window, and set my eyes on fire.


American Zombie.

I have trouble believing that with the growing popularity of both zombie films and mockumentaries, that this is the only film I know of that combines the two.  While the Starkwell in me is elated at the possibility of a ‘Take the Money and Run’ style film full of zombies, the skeptic in me knows that it probably won’t live up to what my brain wants it to be, and knows it could be.  This movie has the potential of actually being 'Zombie Hall'... The Lovelock side of me says shut up and play the movie.  Directed by Grace Lee... Alright, let’s do this.


[Introducing the ‘zombies’ who behave much like normal human beings.]

Lovelock: Wait, so the zombies just act like the rest of us?

Starkwell: Interesting.

Lovelock: That’s about as interesting as homework.


[The main character, one of the ‘filmmakers’, is so sure that there is more to the ‘zombie’ thing than the zombies are letting on.]

Lovelock: I’m with this guy, something ain’t right with these zombies.

Starkwell: You mean aside from the fact that they are dead people walking and talking? 


There wasn’t much conversation beyond this point.  Lovelock periodically asked why nothing was happening and Starkwell would roll his eyes.  As the conspiracy theories played out in the movie, Starkwell was uncertain if he liked the direction that the film was taking.  Lovelock wanted to know why there weren’t more guts.


[The movie continues to unfold and the main character continues to suspect an evil zombie conspiracy.  All the while, the zombies are shown living life like regular human folk.]

Lovelock: Somehow, even though it is presented in a very real setting, I find this less believable than an over the top zombies-eating-people type scenario.

Starkwell: Are you only saying that because you wish this movie had more zombies-eating-people action?

Lovelock: Maybe.


The ending has a surprisingly gruesome twist, and due to the authentic look and feel of the whole thing, Lovelock suddenly becomes concerned that perhaps the documentary was real, and is now preparing a knapsack for the coming apocalypse.  Starkwell keeps trying to reassure him that it was a ‘mockumentary’ but conventional logic doesn’t seem to be working.  Starkwell decides instead to help him make sandwiches, since he is quite hungry.  

In any case, much like some real documentaries that I have seen, the film dragged a little in the middle, took its time to get to the point and at the same time, bludgeoned its point to death.  Still, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, when part of the point is that zombies are taking over the world.


FILM FEST: The Crazies - Original vs. Remake.

Although not considered a zombie movie, since ‘Les Raisins de la Mort’ is often considered as one, I will count George Romero’s ‘The Crazies’ into the mix.  This is streaming off of Netflix, so, the price is right, now let’s see if it’s worth the time.  Play movie!


[Enter the leading men, they are not exactly handsome.  Female lead wears a winter hat.]

Starkwell: Ugliest leading man I’ve ever seen.

Lovelock: I don’t know he has a certain rugged quality.  She seems to like it.

Starkwell: She certainly has an awesome toque.

Lovelock: There’s two of ‘em!


[Military doctor, always walking around wearing lab coat and stethoscope.]

Starkwell: Do doctors always walk around with a stethoscope?

Lovelock: That’s how we know he’s doctor, idiot.


[The military pretty much wants to wipe out the town.]

Starkwell: That’s some seriously evil army dudes.

Lovelock: Whatever, the mayor should get with the winning team.

Starkwell: I think the crazy granny that killed the guy with her sewing needles is on the winning team.


[There’s a guy with a beard.]

Lovelock: Beard guy sucks.

Starkwell: At acting?

Lovelock: At everything.


[Still unsure if the female lead is sick, the main characters watch her laughing at a pile of corpses set ablaze.]

Starkwell: She’s laughing at the burning bodies, and they’re not sure if she’s sick?

Lovelock: He can’t see clearly through his thick unibrow.


[The whole crew of ‘good guys’ seem to be going more and more nuts.  The Trixie virus doesn’t seem to act very quickly on the main crew of ‘good guys’.]

Starkwell: He’s crazy, the other guy’s stupid, the girl’s a flake and the father’s a pervert.  Oh, and she’s still wearing that toque.

Lovelock: Maybe it’s how she keeps the crazy out.

Starkwell: A motley crew indeed.

Lovelock: All things considered, it’s a pretty slow moving virus.

Starkwell: Yeah, more like ‘The Lazies’. 


[Ugly leading man #1 leaves ugly leading man #2 to fend for himself in a forest.]

Starkwell: I don’t think that he’ll be ok.

Lovelock: Nonsense.  He said he’s going to meet him at the Zebra Club.

Starkwell: Yeah, maybe at the big Zebra Club in the sky.


[The guy with the beard is back.

Lovelock: I repeat, beard guy sucks.


[At last, the main character decides to put on one of the E.T. Hasmat suits.]

Starkwell: How is it that it took them this long to think of putting on one of those outfits?

Lovelock: There was no other opportunity.

Starkwell: But what about-

Lovelock: No other opportunity.


[Movie ends, but seems to indicate that this is not over.]

Lovelock: I smell a sequel!

Starkwell: You realize that the movie is almost 40 years old, and that there was no sequel right?

Lovelock: Man, I bet the sequel is going to pick up right where this one left off.  Sooner or later.

Starkwell: Yeah, sooner or later.


Out-of-place ballad-like depressing credit music aside, this movie could certainly be classified as a minor classic.  Starkwell and Lovelock liked it enough that they have expressed interest in seeing the remake, which, hopefully won’t soil the memory of the original like many remakes have.  But that is for another day.


I plop it in to the DVD player, much like a turd is plopped.  Hopefully, this will not be the turd that I assume it will be.  Think of the remake of ‘The Fog’.  Exactly.  Alright, let’s get this over with.  Breck Eisner directs.


Starkwell: This opening scene probably cost more than the whole original movie.


Lovelock: Aw, another annoying kid.  Wait, scratch that, he’s dead.


[The cops figure out what is going on, almost INSTANTANEOUSLY.]

Starkwell: They figured that out a little quickly.

Lovelock: It’s called detective work.

Starkwell: Yeah, apparently they only need two cops for the entire county.

Lovelock: When they’re this good.


Lionel and Allen made some remarks about how the movie is going really fast.  SO the conversation died down a bit, and they just sat there eating butterscotch pudding.


[Main characters get stuck in their car in a car wash.]

Lovelock: Why are they screaming?  They should be pumped about the free car wash with the waxy goop.

Starkwell: Might not be their priority right now.


After a little while, the two started to look bored, Starkwell was muttering something about bad pacing and a needlessly long runtime.


[Nuclear explosion.]

Lovelock: The sky looks pretty.

Starkwell: Wouldn’t they be melting or something?


[The ending is decidedly happier than the original’s.]

Starkwell: A different ending.  The sign of… any good… remake?

Lovelock: Bravo.


Pound for pound, a decent remake.  More character development, more scares, more action, more fun, more everything.  A little too much, really.  Like a crazy person.  Not to mention, the lack of unibrow on the leading man leaves much to be desired, and, the original always gets extra points for being the original.  Plus, it’s just cooler.



I’ve been meaning to sit down and watch this one for a while.  I’ve tried to not build it up too much to Allen and Lionel.  This ‘Anchor Bay’ release begins with a preview for ‘Survival Quest’ in which Lance Henriksen looks like some kind of Hippy Rambo.  But we’re here to watch another Don Coscarelli picture: ‘Phantasm’.  After sitting through, quite possibly, the cheesiest looking menu intro, we begin.


[The movie starts out with two people going at it.]

Starkwell: I wonder how many movies in history have started with a woman moaning.

Lovelock: Not counting porn? Not enough.

Starkwell: Not enough good ones, unfortunately for us, at this particular moment in time.


[There’s a funeral going on.  The main character mentions that his little brother would not be attending.]

Lovelock: While most teenagers try and peep into bedroom windows, little DumpyFace McGirlsHaircut spies on a funeral procession.

Starkwell: I think we’re supposed to assume that’s the little brother… who they just mentioned.

Lovelock: Right.  I knew that.


[The dialogue doesn’t always feel very authentic.  Main character rides a lame looking bike.]

Starkwell: “I don’t really get off on funerals”? Who talks like that? Like the assumed norm is that people do get off on them.

Lovelock: Is he riding a girls’ bike?


[Little brother follows the main character around at night, and watches him pick up a girl at a bar, take her to the cemetery, and attempt love making.]

Lovelock: Spying on your older brother having sex in a cemetery:  Issues.

Starkwell: Closeup of breasts, followed by shot of dude-ass.  This movie is taking a turn for the worse.

Lovelock: Are those panties in his mouth?

Starkwell: I don’t know about this.


Starkwell looked ready to walk out… but then a creepy dream sequence convinced him to stick around.  Lovelock isn’t going anywhere.  You know, he once sat through all of ‘Blacula’ without fast forwarding – i.e.: he’s nuts.


[Main character never changes, apparently.]

Starkwell: He’s been wearing that ‘Rolling Stones’ shirt for two days now.

Lovelock: Maybe he’s like a super hero.

Starkwell: Probably a pretty smelly one.

Lovelock: Captain Bad Hygiene.


[Little brother breaks into the creepy house, is chased by some goons, and one of their heads is drilled into by a flying sphere.  The kid survives, but watches it all.]

Lovelock: Oh my God!  We need to some more of that sphere.  RIGHT NOW.

Starkwell: The kid really just sold that “oh shit”.

Lovelock: Shut up, now.  This movie just got incredible.


[Lots going on.  Weird demons zombie dwarf creatures with custard blood are after the main character and his little brother.  Things start making a little less sense.]

Lovelock: So many different colored oozes.  It’s hard to keep up, really.

Starkwell: Did he just tell his thirteen year old brother to shoot to kill?


[It turns out that the creature they just killed was a friend of theirs who had recently passed away.  The oozing corpse is then transferred into the freezer of the ice cream truck that they have been riding around in.  One of the side characters, for some reason, worries about mixing the dead body with the ice cream.]

Starkwell: Wait, they just killed their dwarf zombie friend and he’s worried about getting his ice cream dirty?

Lovelock: Well the ooze is all thick and yellow… it could get mixed in with the sorbet and then who would know?


[After a crash, they go to open the freezer to see if the zombie thingy is still in there.]

Starkwell: Oh come on, why would he open it?

Lovelock: Hopefully not to get ice cream.


[The main character decides the safest thing to do is to lock his little brother in a room while he goes after the bad dudes.  Little brother starts creating a bomb, to escape with.]

Starkwell: Why would you lock him in a room when those things are after him?

Lovelock: He knows what he’s doing.

Starkwell: Tape, shotgun shell, hammer, bead.  And just like that, MacGyver is invented.


[Main character jumps out of his car right before it slams into a pole, and explodes.]

Lovelock: Car hits pole, instant explosion, bigger than the Death Star.

Starkwell: He just jumped out of a moving vehicle, how is he ok?

Lovelock: Shhhh… just give in.  It feels better.


[Little brother sticks his head through a magic gate and sees a desert and some creatures, and somehow figures out EXACTLY what is going on.]

Starkwell: While this is all visually appealing and spectacular, that the kid got all that from one short trip through a magic window is just stupid.

Lovelock: You’re able to suspend your disbelief enough to allow dwarf zombie slaves, but not to allow the kid to be a genius?

Starkwell: Just look at his hair and denim jacket.  MacGyver moment aside, he’s no genius.


[Turns out the girl he picked up at the bar earlier WAS the creepy tall bad guy that has been after them all along.]

Starkwell: Hang on, the girl was actually the Tall Man?

Lovelock: So he had the old man’s panties in his mouth?

Starkwell: So the kid was spying on his brother doing it with the old dude?


[The movie ends, very suddenly.]

Starkwell: Well, I’m confused.

Lovelock: I just realized his name was Jody.

Starkwell: What the-

Lovelock: Best ending ever!


While I’m still apologizing to Starkwell, Lovelock is off in a corner writing “WE NEED MORE SPHERE” with permanent marker on at least three of his undershirts.  Maybe the three follow-up films will help convert Starkwell.  Until we meet again, Coscarelli.