Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! was y'all's Christmas?

Picked up some cool stuff.

Including cash.

Some of which I've already used to pickup some gialli from

Private Crimes TV miniseries
A Dragonfly For Each Corpse
Spirits Of Death
Killer Reserved Nine Seats
Love Me Strangely

Boy am I happy.

Merry Christmas.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Claus' Torture Session

Funny how working in retail takes all the fun out of Christmas.  Carolers become crazed madmen and sugar plums become projectile display boxes.  Finals pile up and the window of opportunity to go to the gym closes.

In other words, whenever I sing "It's the most wonderful time of year," I'm not happy.  I'm really being sarcastic and bitchy.

Also, whenever I'm on the clock and mention I'm looking for the "goodness gracious" remote/TV/accessory/whatever, "goodness gracious" is my code word for "mother fucking."  Just thought I'd throw an FYI.

One more week 'till Christmas.  Lemme just say it:  Buy your gifts now.  If you wait until Friday, then give me shit about how Christmas is ruined because something isn't in stock, I will pull out your intestines and use them to decorate my tree.

So...onto other things...

My original plan for Thursday/Friday kinda fell down the tubes.  I spent Thursday watching my niece.  So no gym.  And since she's four, it's probably not a good idea to show her any Video Nasty trailers (even I have my limits).  Then yesterday, I was just spent.  So I watched about an hour of the trailers.  With intros.  That dude who talked about Absurd really needs to know when to STFU.  He went on for, like, seven minutes talking about it.  I don't even think I spent seven minutes blogging about it.  Just shut your yap.

I got a 95 on my treatment for The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet.  Very happy.  He hasn't sent feedback, though.  I thought it would.  Maybe he's just waiting.  I dunno.

OK.  Off to relax a bit before jumping back into the warfare known as the Sunday before Christmas.


P.S.-Just got my grades back.  A- in Acting, A- in Voice, A- in Screenwriting, and an A in Intro to Digital Filmmaking.  Woo-hoo!  3.775!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick mention...

The outline for Orchid got a 95!

Still waiting to hear about the treatment.  Part of me wants to say I know I'm all right, but I don't wanna get my hopes up.

Wish me luck.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet-a faux trailer

Here it is-my Filmmaking final.  We had to edit footage to a song.  I decided to make a faux-trailer for The Orchid with the Petals of Velvet.

I used footage from Case of the Bloody Iris and All the Colors of the Dark.  The music is the main theme of Iris.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting back on track...

Yes, I've digressed over my past few posts.  Je regrette.  Lo siento.

It's just once one final finishes, another one pops up.

So I'm gonna try to make it up to y'all.

Next week, finals are FINALLY gonna be over.  And then I have some plans that'll please fans of both my blogs (the other one is

Next Thursday will be my first full day off after finals.  And I am going to celebrate another semester without going postal by having a gym session to end all gym sessions.  No machine left behind.  Full force, total body workout.

Then that Friday, I'm gonna be in bed, cursing myself for being so stupid for having done as much as I did.  And watching Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide.  All of it.  All 72 trailers for every single Nasty to make the list.  It's supposed to be 7 1/2 hours of nothing but Nasty.

And maybe I'll finally get around to Cannibal Holocaust.  Yes, I do still have the Netflix disc of it.

Okay.  Gotta take the trash out, pee, and go to bed.  Meeting my partner for one of my acting finals tomorrow before work.


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Right when I thought I was finished with my assignments for my Intro to Digital Filmmaking class, my instructor gave us our final: Get footage from movies/videos of whatever type, re-edit it, and set it to music.  So I decided to make a trailer for The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet.

I used footage from All the Colors of the Dark and The Case of the Bloody Iris.  The music is the main theme from Iris.

I think it turned out all right, but it's not loading.  Whatever.  I'll find out when I turn it in.


Monday, November 29, 2010


My treatment for The Orchid with the Petals of Velvet is finished!  Done!  Completed!  Some other word that means!

Savage yet stylish, Sexy yet sensual.  I love how the story turned out for the most part.

Now I can't wait to turn this baby in.

Wish me luck.


Due tomorrow...

And I'm only on page 6.

Of 10.

I can do it.  This is gonna rock.

Listening to Siouxsie and the Banshees as I write.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Starting on my treatment.  It's due next Tuesday.  Wish me smarts, brilliance, and sanity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So I had class tonight...

Last class, we turned in our synopses and the professor started reading them aloud.  He'd then give us constructive criticism and invite everyone in the class to do so.

Mine was next in line for evaluation...then we ran out of time.

Darn it!

I was looking forward to hearing feedback.

The professor said if our synopsis hadn't been read, we could revise it and turn it in again.  I debated about it, but I was afraid of over-thinking everything.

Yes, believe it or not, the guy who begged on this blog to help come up with an alternate title was afraid of over-thinking everything.

I decided to leave things as is.

My synopsis was read first.  So, here's what I took from it:

Nobody said anything about the title.  I shit bricks for nothing.  The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet it is.

Going by the synopsis, the film is missing a protagonist.  Yes, the film lingers mostly on one person, but their actions are too passive.  I need to figure out how to give this person a more active role in the plot.

I need to change the name of the female lead.  I call her Gia, but the professor kept pronouncing it with the G in "gust" instead of the G in "genius."  Relatively easy fix.

The professor said my setting was fresh.  He really liked the potential of setting the story in and around a brothel.  The possibility of colorful characters excited him.

There aren't enough red herrings.  Agreed.  There's one main red herring in the synopsis, but to add others would have made the synopsis too long (we were only allowed 2 pages).  I can easily rectify this in the treatment.

The revelation of the killer comes off as a cheap surprise.  I knew this one ahead of time.  Not having 100 pages to plant subtle clues makes it look cheap.  I could have made the red herring the killer and it still would have looked cheap.  I know how to make it a genuine surprise.

The opening threw him off.  The beginning revolves around one character who dies fifteen minutes in.  I tried to use Dressed To Kill as an example, where you think Angie Dickinson is gonna be the lead...only to be killed early on.  He didn't recall that film.  Had to use Janet Leigh in Psycho.

Now that I have some outsider perspectives, I can use them for the treatment, which is due in three weeks.  Ten to twelve pages.  Wish me genius and sanity.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Essential Gialli

Hey, y'all.  I dunno why but I'm anticipating somebody might be interested in gialli after reading my screenplay synopsis in class.  So I'm reposting my intro/description to gialli from my first post and writing a list of some to check out.

What is a giallo, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Back in the day, crime/detective novels were incredibly popular in Italy. Mainly they were penny dreadful cheapies involving murder, sex, femmes fatales, and intrigue. Not too far from noir, but with a style that was clearly its own thing. These novels were published with bright yellow covers. The word for 'yellow' in Italian is 'giallo.' So eventually this genre was known as the giallo.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much, directed by Mario Bava, is regarded as one of the first cinematic rendition of a giallo. It was released in 1963 and owes more to Hitchcock than later gialli.

Later Bava directed the first giallo shot in color: Blood and Black Lace. This film is one of the classics of the genre, and a prime example of how to make a horror film in color (to paraphrase Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas). It's beautiful, haute-couture, candy-colored mayhem.

Gialli didn't really have much of an impact until Dario Argento's directorial debut-The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. The film was such a huge hit that one theater played it in Italy for three years straight. It was even the #1 film in America for a while (Take that, Love Story!).

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage set the standard for gialli: Highly convoluted plots, unconventional camera angles, long drawn out murder set pieces, and beautiful scores (mainly by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai). Many of these films dripped with style and '70's flair.

Gialli were also known for the bevy of beauties who graced them: Erika Blanc, Barbara Bouchet, Nieves Navarro, and especially Edwige Fenech, the queen of the giallo (Google them).

Gialli have had their ups and downs, with sharp rises in the 80's. Luckily DVD has enabled the world to fall in love with them all over again. 

Available on Netflix:

Films by Dario Argento:

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage
Cat O'Nine Tails
Four Flies on Gray Velvet
Door Into Darkness
Deep Red
Phenomena (NOT the John Travolta movie)
The Stendhal Syndrome
The Card Player
Do You Like Hitchcock?

By Lucio Fulci:

Dont Torture A Duckling
The Psychic
Perversion Story
The New York Ripper
Lizard in a Woman's Skin

Other notable gialli on Netflix:

The Case of the Bloody Iris
All the Colors of the Dark
Blood and Black Lace
Hatchet for the Honeymoon (also available via streaming on Netflix)
Twitch of the Death Nerve (AKA Bay of Blood)
The Black Belly of the Tarantula
The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
What Have You Done To Solange?
Who Saw Her Die?
The Bloodstained Shadow
Seven Bloodstained Orchids
A Blade in the Dark

If you have a region-free player, check out:
Plot of Fear
Eyes of Crystal
Iguana with the Tongue of Fire
The Vanity Serum
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
Sleepless (The one on Netflix is Full Screen.  Artisan sucked).

Also, if you have a player that does PAL-NTSC, go to and scope out their selection.  Some of their gems include:
Nothing Underneath
Death Occurred Last Night
Eye in the Labyrinth
The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive
The Police Grope Around In The Dark
Death Laid An Egg
Eyes Behind The Wall

Just a word of warning.  If you're anything like me, gialli are like Pringles.  Once you pop, you can't stop.

And if you're new to Italian Lemonade, welcome!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Assignment DONE!

Ah...gee I feel better.

Sure, it's not a staggering work of cinematic genius.  Yet.  But it's my first synopsis/character bio.

Here's a super-truncated version for y'all, minus the ending.  See if you can spot my references

The Orchid With The Petals Of Velvet

Famous porn star Ruby Rain is in New York City promoting her upcoming gig at the Melody Ranch in Nevada.  After a radio interview, she is murdered on a subway platform.

Back in Nevada, Detectives Eric Wade and Pauline Campbell are assigned to investigate the Melody Ranch and see if there were anybody who may have known anything about Ruby's death.  There the detectives meet Gia, a popular girl at the Melody.

Other girls at the Ranch start dying brutally at the hands of a murderer, and Gia is becoming the center of the case.  Will she survive the ordeal?

That's all for now.

Okay.  I'll let y'all go while I get ready for work.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Okay. I Think I Have This Figured Out... goes.

I'm sticking with The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet.  I love the title.  Screw it.  I need to stick to my guns and edit later.

I also figured out how to do what I originally wanted to do with the female lead, which was make her the main protagonist.  The crisis is gonna be hard, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.

2/3 through page one.  This is gonna be good.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thinking is Hard

So...I'm trying to work on this synopsis/character bio/whatever.

And I'm debating on something else, now.

For the sake of the class, and our understanding on the screenplay form, we have to choose one protagonist, and have the bulk of the story revolve around them.

Who exactly to choose?

I could go with the female lead, one of the most popular girls at a brothel.  Think Edwige Fenech in Case of the Bloody Iris...only instead of modeling, she sells sex.

Or I could go with the male lead, a detective assigned to investigate a series of murders involving girls who work in the brothel.  Only reference I can think of is Liam Cunningham in Card Player.  Only younger.

While I want this to be led by the female lead, I have a feeling the male lead is gonna be the more logical way to go for the story to propel forward.  But I think the female character is far more interesting.

I dunno.  Maybe a little sleep and a day at work, where I do my best daydreaming, will help.

In case my boss reads this, I'm just kidding.  I don't daydream at work.  I work diligently and sell like a pro.  My last name should be Credible.  Just say it aloud.  Justin Credible.  Dammit, I'm gonna make that catch.

Anyhow, off to bed.  Gotta start Halloween with a morning meeting.  Blah.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Okay, I'll Explain

This whole title situation...

I'm in a screenwriting class.  I was anticipating a big assignment by coming up with my own giallo to write an outline and treatment for.

I've been having a hard time with a title, because I love my title for it, but I have a feeling the people in the class who are unaware of gialli (in other words, all of them) will look at me like a dumbass.

My title for the script: The Orchid with the Petals of Velvet.

I dunno why but I love this title.  Lurid yet delicate, like a lost giallo from 1971.

I've tried shortening it to Velvet Orchid but it sounds like some Zalman King Skinemax softcore thingy to me.

Anyhow, we ended up getting the big assignment about an hour after I posted the last entry.  So now I'm really debating on what to do with the title.

I'm sure I'll figure it out.  Maybe something will hit me when I start the synopsis/character bio.

If you come up with any more ideas, please let me know.  I am reading them, and I like what I've seen so far.  The first part of the assignment is due Tuesday, so I have until Monday night to make a decision.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Need Your Answer

This one may require Babel Fish translation.  I had to use it to write this question.

You're a hip film distributor and the year is 1970.

You just picked up a groovy little thriller from Italy by some guy whose name you can't pronounce.  All you know about him is right now he's making more money than Fellini in his home country.

The film revolves around "working girls" of a brothel getting killed by someone in a trench coat and fedora.

In its original language, the movie is called "L'orchidea con i petali di velluto"

The marketing guy tells you the literal translation is gonna be too long for theater marquees and posters.  You need something shorter yet still snazzy.

What do you name it?

I'll explain after I get your answers.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wonderful News! is back in business!

All is well in the world.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Blog!

Come check out my new, non-horror related blog, Perro Sexivo: Becoming the Funny Sexy Guy.  It's about my trials and tribulations as I try to finally lose this weight I gained back...and then some.

And, yes, I WILL get to Cannibal Holocaust.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Yes, I still haven't watched Cannibal Holocaust.  Yes, it is still in my possession.  Yes, it will be done soon.

I've been busy lately.  School started, work picked up, and last weekend I was a part of the F Bomb Comedy festival in Richmond.  It was my first "grown up" trip by myself, complete with the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept in.

As much as I wanna pop the disc in my laptop between classes, I have a feeling others wouldn't appreciate it.  But I need to watch it within the next week, because I have to return it and get my copy of Jerry Maguire for screenwriting class.  I should see if anyone wants to meet so we can watch it and go over the analysis together.

Okay.  Killing time before class.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I haven't forgotten

I do have a copy of Cannibal Holocaust at home.  School started today and now it's gonna be hard to find time to sit down and watch it.

Especially since my Screenwriting class is gonna force me to use my movie time for, like, prestige pictures.  We gotta watch Jerry Maguire this semester.  Renee Zellweger.  Barf.

At least this week I will finally get around to watching Saving Private Ryan.  Always wanted to see it but never have.

Okay.  An hour left before class.  Gonna start reading my book and get a head start.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

This weekend...

I gotta watch the discs I have from Netflix so I can send them back and get Cannibal Holocaust (It's at the top of my list, and another Nasty is #2).

Luckily, it's only one movie (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane).  The other disc is the special features disc.  Just gotta get around to watching it.  Either tomorrow afternoon after seeing Piranha in 3D...or Saturday after work.

Okay.  I gotta shave and get all clean and stuff.  Performing tonight at Cinema Cafe in Pembroke.  If you're in the area, come see me.  It's FREE!


Sunday, August 15, 2010


Congrats to the Horror Blogger Alliance for making it into the pages of Rue Morgue Magazine!

As part of the alliance, I kinda feel like I'm in Rue Morgue, too.  Kinda gives me the warm tinglies.  But that may be the extra crushed red pepper I put on my pizza tonight (burns so good...).

So for those of you who don't know about the Horror Blogger Alliance, check them out (they are on the My Blogs list to the right).  They're a cool group and they have introduced me to a lot of cool blogs and bloggers.

What are you still doing here?  Click on their link.


So...y'all have chosen...

Cannibal Holocaust.

It's on my Netflix.  It will be watched.  Or at least attempted.

Having a Friday the 13th weekend like USA used to have.  Taking a mini-break because I'm watching my four-year-old niece.  She got into Part 7 for the brief amount of time she caught of it.

But if my sister isn't home by 1:00, I'm sitting my niece down to watch Part 4.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: Don't Go in the House

Welcome back, ladies and gents.  Sorry it's been a while since my last Nasty, but Blockbuster had no selection whatsoever.  So I switched to Netflix.  On top of a better selection, their on-demand streaming is free with membership.  And they have Lars Von Trier's Antichrist.  Guess what I'm gonna be watching sometime this week...

Now if I could just get Blockbuster to quit sending me stuff...dude, I cancelled my membership.  Quit shipping movies.

Anyhow, onto my latest Nasty.

This is another one I'd been looking into since I was a wee lad.  However, I don't recall seeing this one in many video stores.  Instead I read about it in my Video Movie Guide...

Back to memory lane for a moment.

Every year my grandma would give me the latest and greatest edition of the Video Movie Guide by Mick Martin and Marsha Porter for Christmas.  It was one of the things I looked forward to every holiday season.  Ah, my grandma was always an enabler in my cinema addiction.  R.I.P. Grandma.  I miss you.

Now back to Don't Go In The House.

The Video Movie Guide gave it a low low rating.  Either one star or a turkey.  I don't remember off the top of my head.  Either way, I remember the one sentence review, which pretty much read, "Guy lures women into house and burns them to death."  Not exactly a review.  But that's common for horror movies, so I was kind of used to it.  Their review of New York Ripper simply said, "4 1/2 minutes were cut from this movie to avoid an X rating."

So my knowledge of the film was limited until I started researching the Nasties for this blog.

So the film follows Donny, a lonely duder (Richard from Doomed Moviethon, you got me using that word.  Hope you're happy).  Donny works at an incinerator.  Which is a strange occupation considering his mom used to burn him over the stove as a child.  I dunno about you, but if my mom held my arms over a stove when I was little, I'd probably choose to work for Ben and Jerry's.  Cold, flameless, and three free pints of ice cream every day.

Donny witnesses an explosion at work, standing mesmerized as a coworker runs around in flames.  See.  This would never have happened at Ben and Jerry's.  The other workers put out the fire and chew Donny out for standing and staring.  Except for one guy, Bobby, who for some strange reason wants to reach out to Donny.

When Donny gets home that night, he finds that his mother has passed away.  Something inside him snaps and he starts to hear voices.  And since this is a Video Nasty, they don't tell him to pick up some milk on the way home.

Donny reinforces a room in the house to be completely fireproof (imagine that conversation at Home Depot).  Then he lures young women into his home, strings them up, and goes at them with a flamethrower.  When they're finished toasting, he raids his mom's closet and dresses the bodies in her old clothes.

All the while, Bobby keeps trying to reach out to Donny.  Donny finally bites and goes out for the first time in his adult a disco.  Inserted in between the murders and the disco scene is a strangely fitting scene where Donny goes shopping for something to wear.  This scene actually adds a bit of emotion to the film.  Here's somebody who has been locked up his whole life, who can finally go out into the world, and he's totally lost.  But that's just me.  Maybe it's really just five minutes to pad the running time to 82 minutes.

At the disco, Donny is his usual withdrawn self.  Not even the hot Farrah Fawcett haired chick Bobby set him up with will get him out of his shell.  When she tries to get him to dance, his burn scars start poking out from his sleeves, and all hell breaks loose.

Which came first, this or Maniac?  They're very similar.  Crazy abusive mommy, murdering women because of crazy abusive mommy, visions of his victims coming to haunt him.  Where the films differ is during the murders.  After the first (understandably Nasty-worthy) death in Don't Go in the House, the killings are more of an afterthought.  In Maniac, each murder is a long, choreographed exercise in tension...almost its own little short film (and most certainly nastier than anything in House).  Meanwhile, Maniac doesn't have as much of a backstory, while Don't Go In The House is more character based.

Don't Go in the House is a better film than I expected.  That said, some bits do date the film quite a bit.  First of all...Disco.  I love disco, so that doesn't bug me, but it will bug others.  Also, the scenes of Donny playing the radio and dancing after his mom's death...hmm...

Either way, this is an effective film, and a decent way to spend 82 minutes.  Would make a great double bill with Maniac.  And would also make a good remake in the right hands.

Anyhow, I'm off.  Another Nasty is on its way from Netflix.  All is well in the world.


Friday, August 6, 2010

First Netflix Nasty...

Watching my first Video Nasty from Netflix.  I'll try to post my opinion tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Switching from Blockbuster Online to Netflix.  The main reason is the selection.  I've been having a hard time locating gialli and Video Nasties lately, hence my lack of contributions to the blog.  They piled up on my Blockbuster queue, but their status hadn't changed from Very Long Wait.

Meanwhile, seems like everything I put in my Netflix queue is available immediately.

Another reason: I'm gonna be moving in a few months, and I have a feeling Blockbuster will be too far away to make in-store exchanges as convenient as they are now.  And every time I get an in-store exchange, I feel bad for the revenue they're probably losing on my free transaction and get their popcorn, pop and candy combo.  Not exactly the best way to keep weight off, is it?  Even if I get Orville's Smart Pop.

Got a good Nasty on the top of my list.  Can't wait till it gets here.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: The Beyond

Okay.  Finally getting around to writing about The Beyond.  Found some free time.  Not exactly feeling the greatest today so I'm skipping the gym and going tomorrow.  Think I just need a lazy day.

So, onto The Beyond...

I found it at the Naro Expanded Video store while waiting for the box office to open up (Also found Twitch of the Death Nerve, George).  Unfortunately, Virginia's super hot this time of year.  Didn't wanna risk having it sit in my car, so I had to wait until the movie was over.

So I went next door and saw the restoration of Metropolis.  Excellent, but I realized why I don't often see movies over 100 minutes in the theater...I don't have the butt-cheek fortitude.  Not even Metropolis can offset the effects of a numb backside.

Raced back to the video store, as if The Beyond were the last copy of...the latest new release of some type.  Dunno why I worried so much.  The only other person in Hampton Roads who I've spoken about Fulci with face-to-face totally destroyed the pronunciation of his name.  And that duder doesn't like Argento or Italian horror in general.  He prefers the Asian stuff...If I wanted pale, dark haired chicks, I'd rent Twilight....

So I popped this bad boy into the player that night.  Two movies in one about ass-cheek fortitude.  Even watching the second movie stretched across my bed.

The sepia toned prologue was quite well done.  Sure, the gore was kinda cheap, but it's Fulci.  I'm starting to see the light...Thin stories held together by gore setpieces.  This one takes a cue from Don't Torture a Duckling's chain-whipping scene and ups the ante with acid to the face.

The rest of the film doesn't disappoint, either.  Face meltings, eye-gougings (this time from the back of the head to the front), face-eating tarantulas...All outlandish, all fun.  One can see why the Brits got their knickers in a bunch.

And speaking of the tarantulas, I HATE spiders.  I have a history of arachnophobia.  I can kill them if need be, but other than that...ugh...If I see a big ugly spider on TV, I end up having nightmares that night.  And I sure did that night.  Brr...I don't care if they were fake during the actual flesh eating.  There were REAL spiders in some of those shots...

This film is truly one of Fulci's golden greats, and one every self-respecting gorehound should see it.


Friday, July 16, 2010

A new Nasty

I watched The Beyond the other night.  I'll write about it soon.

Just gonna say one thing.

I f***ing HATE spiders.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not a horror movie, but...

I just saw a movie last night that I want to recommend to y'all.

Go see Lars and the Real Girl.

Just trust me on this one.

When a video nasty on my queue becomes available, I'll continue the Video Nasty-thon.  The only Nasties at my video store are movies I've already seen.  And I'm now searching for NEW Nasties.

So, until then, find a way to see Lars and the Real Girl.


Saturday, July 3, 2010


Worked out today.  Ran 4 1/3 miles.  And worked on my abs.  Soy un perro sexivo.

And I rented the remake of The Crazies.  I'll probably catch it tonight or tomorrow.

I was in the mood for a comedy, but every comedy I wanted to see was rented out.

Got some Nasties in my queue, but it might be a while before I can get to another one...I'm not planning on revisiting any Nasties that I've already seen quite yet.  The giallo month is still wearing on me.

So Evil Dead is gonna have to wait.  Besides, that movie is rereleased so damn often that I refuse to buy or rent it until they promise to STOP.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: Absurd

I'll refer to the movie as Absurd.

George Eastman is being chased by a priest...and ends up impaled on a gate.

At the hospital, surgeons discover he can heal super quickly.  This intrigues the surgeons, but George kills a nurse and escapes before they can investigate.  He then heads to a house in the woods.  Inside are a babysitter, a bratty kid, and a girl who seems to be paralyzed from the neck down...whose nurse is gonna be there soon.  Will the priest be able to stop him before the night takes a tragic turn?

Sometimes Absurd is referred to as a sequel to Anthropophagus.  I wouldn't know how closely they go together, because I haven't seen Anthropophagus.  It's out on DVD, but I'm holding off on it for now.

Anyhow, the plot is rather thin.  It does riff on the first two Halloween films, but reverses the order.  Things start in the hospital, and end in the isolated house.  Everything else is the same: Psycho monster goes on the loose, Dr. Loomis type is trying to stop him, kids/babysitter/nurse in peril.

Instead of boring things like characterization and subtext, Absurd focuses on gore.  While it's not the goriest thing I've ever seen, I do understand why it made it onto the Video Nasty list.  The murder of the nurse in the hospital is quite gruesome, though not in the realm of Fulci.  Another gory-highlight is the head-in-the-oven bit near the end of the film.

The most interesting aspect of the film has to be the use of the paraplegic girl confined to her bed for most of the film.  Her actions change everything at the end of the film, and also manage to provide some emotion to the film.  To tell you would be to spoil it for you.  And I know you don't want that.

All in all, a passable Italian slasher flick.  With some plot retooling, this could make a decent remake.  The ultra-healing monster could lend itself to either a supernatural spin or a sci-fi spin, depending on how you want to take it.  Maybe if I ever do make it in the movie biz...but then again, I'd have to do it after that movie about Ed Kemper I promised my mom...yes, my entire family is weird.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Certified Video Nasty-Visiting Hours

Here's a blast from the past that I totally forgot about.  This is another one of those video boxes that beckoned me as a wee lad in the back of nearly every Mom and Pop video store.

Of course, I never got around to watching it until tonight. was it?

Barbara (Lee Grant) is a news reporter and a "strong, independent woman."  Cue Destiny's Child song.

This is evidenced by a confrontation she has with a lawyer regarding a battered wife's self-defense claim against her attacker.  The fight goes a bit too far and her producer (William Shatner) pulls it from the news program.

However, the creepy, woman hating station janitor Colt (Michael ironside) has seen the whole thing.  And he isn't too happy.

So he beats Barbara to her house and kills the cleaning lady before putting on all of her jewelry/makeup and trying to kill her.

Barbara survives the attack, and when Colt finds this out, he goes to the hospital to finish what he started.  And of course, it doesn't go as easy as planned.

Visiting Hours probably wasn't a Video Nasty because the film is covered in wall-to-wall gore.  The movie is a bit dry.  Some murders are offscreen, while others are relatively bloodless.  If anything, the Nasty status most likely came from the scene where Colt makes a local Valley-Girl looking hottie (played by Lenore Zann, who I remember was the voice of Sizzle on Stunt Dawgs and Rogue on X-Men) strip before beating her.  More specifically, he traces a knife across and down her body.  Not exactly BBFC friendly, guys.

Visiting Hours itself is a mixed bag.  The film starts out well enough.  But then at one point things split into two films.  Colt decides stalking one woman isn't enough, so he decides to stalk Barbara's nurse, Sheila (Linda Purl), as well.  However, he decides to stalk Sheila at her home rather than at the hospital.  This causes many shifts between Sheila's house and the hospital setting.  The film becomes very inconsistent as a result.  Too bad, because if the film had stayed in the hospital, it could have been a tense little sleeper.

Why aren't there that many horror movies that take place in a hospital?  Hospitals are creepy places.  I've spent a few nights alone in a hospital room as a kid.  It's cold and strangely empty and the night nurses aren't attentive as they should be...but that's another story for another day.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: Zombie

As y'all who have followed my blog know, I've kinda had a hard time getting into Lucio Fulci's work.  While I thought he had some decent stuff, the majority of his work came across as super-cheap gorefests with lots of cheap gore.  I do still think he made some stinkers (Manhattan Baby), and some frustrating movies (I know I'm gonna dodge some projectiles for this one, but House by the Cemetery falls into this category for me).

I started to turn the corner when I decided to check out The New York Ripper.  Yes, the subject matter isn't exactly uplifting or something you'd want to revisit on a constant basis (unless you hate women and their lady which case, go to therapy).  But it was actually a well done little thriller.

Now comes Zombie.  This is one of those movies where the video cover has beckoned me for as long as I remember.  It had one of those big-ass cardboard boxes with that zombie with worms all over his right eye.  One of those covers that made my sister cringe every time she swung by the horror section to see if I had (finally) made a decision.

I'm pretty sure I even had this one in my hand once or twice before switching to something else at the last minute.  Wonder what I chose instead.  Whatever.

Anyhow, onto today.

I had a free rental that was gonna expire if I didn't use it soon.  So I swung by Blockbuster and picked up this bad boy.  And a 1 liter of Coke.  And a box of Starburst Sour Gummies...that I only had three of.  Those things are nasty.  Blech.

So.  How'd it go?

I actually kinda liked it.

Zombie was an obvious attempt to cash in on Dawn of the Dead's success (Dawn was titled Zombi in Italy, so Lucio titled this one Zombi 2.  Try doing that in America.  I'd make millions with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 2.  But the tweens would freak out when instead of sparkling, they'd explode in gushes of blood when in contact with the sun--and the female lead would actually be able to breathe with her damn mouth shut).

That said, it actually manages to hold its own.  Sure, there are some dull spots here and there, but when Zombie hits, it hits HARD.  Flesh-munching, gut chomping, splinter-in-the-eye, zombie vs. shark (Interrobang)...damn.  And the climax is actually quite engaging, taking place in a medical cabin overrun by zombies.

One element I enjoyed was the score.  The composers mixed African drums with a synth beat and managed to make it entrancing yet menacing all at the same time.  Well done.

All in all, I actually liked the movie.  Dunno how often I'll visit it, though.  Next time probably won't be until it gets its eventual Blu Ray release.

Should be getting a couple more Nasties in my mailbox before long...I love renting by mail.  Just wish they had The Beyond.

Yes, I actually want to see another Fulci movie...

Fulci Lives (?)!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pimping Myself Out...

Okay.  Here's the deal.

I signed up for the Clash of the Comics at the Virginia Beach Funny Bone.  I need to bring as many people as I can to get onstage.

So I'm pimping myself out.

Here's a free pass you can print out.  If you bring this and are one of the first 150 people, admission is FREE.  After the first 150 peeps, it's 1/2 price.

So print this bad boy and come out and see ME!


Monday, June 21, 2010

It's been a while...

My bad.  After the giallo marathon, I needed a break.  Watched The Blind Side and Halloween 2.  Just did blank, non-giallo related activities.

Though I did buy a copy of Puzzle.  After being KO'd by Death Occurred Last Night, I had to catch up with Duccio Tessari.  I've seen Bloodstained Butterfly, too, but my VHS copy got lost and mixed up with Dad's movie collection when he moved to Michigan...and I don't have a VCR anymore, anyway.  I'll eventually re-buy that.

I still have a couple gialli I haven't watched.  I'll visit them soon...once I get the giallo overload out of my system...Fiber bars can only do so much at a time...

I am taking a screenwriting class in the fall when I start at my new school.  I'm gonna try to see if I can write a giallo.  I have a few different ideas that have been rolling around in my head for a while.  To put one on paper (well, computer screen, anyway) should help me get the other ones together.

Okay.  I gotta start getting ready for work in a bit.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Palette Cleansers

Just watched Inglourious Basterds.  Very good film.  Thanks for voting.

It's a long film, though.  One I will rewatch every now and again, but it won't be for a while.  I always have a hard time with long movies...

BTW, all four of the movies on my palette cleanser poll were movies that I own but haven't gotten around to watching.

Traded in two of my gialli to Blockbuster (they were part of the rent-by-mail thingy) for two more palette cleansers: The Wolfman and The Blind Side.

Yes.  I rented a Sandra Bullock movie.  Guess the month of gialli did do a number on me.

I'm gonna watch one of them soon, then return it so I can get the MYA DVD of Absurd in the mail.  The plot sounds like Halloween 2 w/a killer that actually heals himself (!).  Plus it's a bonafide Video Nasty.  Always a plus.

That's probably gonna be my next project...Video Nasties.  I won't do a marathon again anytime soon, but I'll spend some time catching all the Nasties I can.  The whole ordeal of the Video Nasty era fascinates me.

Anyone got a copy of Ban The Sadist Videos I can borrow?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 30: Opera

Well, ladies and gentlemen.  It has arrived: Day 30 of the month of gialli.

It has been a long, arduous journey, filled with some great surprises and some nights that tested my butt-cheek fortitude.  But I did it.  30 gialli in 30 days.

So what did I choose to close out the month?

Opera.  By that great maestro of gialli: Dario Argento.

The plot revolves around Betty, a young understudy who gets her big break after an opera diva is hit by a car.  Betty's breakthrough role?  None other than the female lead in an Verdi's rendition of The Scottish Play.

I'm a thespian.  If I say the name of the play, I have to spit, cuss, and turn around three times.  And if I spit on the floor, I think my mom would have a shit conniption.

After Betty's triumphant debut, some sicko ties her up and kills her lover.  And here's the kicker: He taped needles under her eyes so she has to watch every single moment of it.  If she closes her eyes, the needles will tear her eyes apart.

The killer frees her, only to continue to toy with her and kill those around her.

It's been too long since I last saw this film.  I totally forgot how great it is.

I mean, I always held it in high regard, but this film packs more of a wallop than I remembered. Merely the taping of the needles under Betty's eyes would have made this film memorable.  But there's so much extra.  The sheer brutality of the murders, the psychosexual themes, the twitching brain (if ever there were a need for an interrobang, it would be here), the autobiographical character in the horror movie director turned opera director.

And the ravens.  Oh, man.  The ravens.

Interesting thing I thought about while revisiting this movie.  The use of the ravens in this film builds upon some ideas Dario touched on in his previous film, Phenomena.  The ravens ultimately uncover the identity of the killer, much like the fly leading Jennifer Connelly to the killer's lair.  Strange how I hadn't thought of that until recently.

There are a couple of stumbles, however.  First off, the soundtrack.  Claudio Simonetti did compose some lovely, lyrical themes for the film, but the murders are scored by heavy metal music.  The same thing happened with Phenomena.  Simonetti's compositions for both films rank among my favorite musical works associated with Dario's films, but the heavy metal just throws things off.  The thing that baffles me, however, is how some Argentophiles feel the metal music works better in Opera than in Phenomena.  I've always thought the opposite.  But more on that at a later time.

The second stumble lies in the final final ending, set in the Swiss mountains.  While there is nothing wrong with the ending itself, it belongs to a completely different film...a sequel to Phenomena, perhaps?

That said, Opera is still a fantastic film that every self respecting giallo fan...heck, even overall horror fan, needs to check out.

In upcoming posts, I will have more giallo reviews, a write up of my palette cleanser (Inglourious Basterds, voted for by you), and reflections on this past month.

As for right now, I'm spent.  It's been a great journey.  Thanks for taking it with me.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 29: The Strange Story of Olga O

Basic Instinct is often referred to as an American giallo.  I dunno how accurate that is, because I've only seen bits and pieces of it.  And most of us only remember seeing Sharon Stone's bits and pieces in it.

After Basic Instinct, a small boom in "erotic" films occurred, not only in America, but in the rest of the world.  Of course, Italy jumped on the bandwagon, bringing Serena Grandi on board.

Serena Grandi was not new to the giallo game.  I mainly remember her as Gioia in Lamberto Bava's Delirium.  But apparently she was kind of a sex symbol back in the day.  I'll admit she's very good looking, but she's no Edwige or Nieves.  Doesn't help matters that her nudity is usually obscured somehow.  The 70's giallo queens were freely nude, but Serena plays it prudish here compared to them...and even compared to her costars.

The story revolves around Olga, who has recurring nightmares about her mother being covered in blood and shooting her father.  Turns out she blames her now deceased mother for her father's suicide.

In an attempt to put the past behind her, Olga and her husband go to the town where Olga grew up.  Olga catches up with her old flame, who has since married her old rival.  But of course that doesn't mean they're not gonna hook up.

Olga also begins to get strange phone calls, threatening her.  Later, her friends start dying.  What's going on?  And how long before two randomly matched characters do the horizontal mambo?

The giallo elements take a backseat to the soft core elements of the film.  The story mostly serves as a way to string sex scenes together.  I'm normally never one to bash soft core Skinemax movies.  But this one really holds back the goods.  The sex scenes are tame.  More like the R-Rated mid-90's movies that would play on HBO at 10:00...with Ron Silver showing up to grab a paycheck.  If you're gonna go soft core, throw some more boobies and booties our way.  Show her on top.  Show her.  Period.

Sorry.  I've gone a long time without sex.  26 years, two months, and 23 days to be exact.

The movie starts to become a giallo again about an hour in.  For the most part it isn't too involving, but the resolution provides a decent twist.  One that wouldn't have tested well with American audiences back in the 90's.  Or even now for that matter.

Well, tomorrow is the last film on the month.  How has it been for you?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 28: Rorret

I finally got the answer to a question that's been bugging me since I got my copy of Blood and Black Lace by Adrian Luther Smith.

On page 145, there's a full-page picture of someone peeking out from behind a curtain.  There's no caption, I'm assuming from some editorial gaffe, since every other pic in the book has a caption.

It's from Rorret!

Always nice to have questions answered.

Rorret begins with Carlo showing up at a new movie theater specializing in horror movies called the Peeping Tom (a reference to the Michael Powell film of the same name--more on that later).  Carlo is there to inquire about a projectionist job.  He, along with a bunch of others, show up at 3:00.  But nobody lets them in.  Hours pass, and everybody else gets fed up and leaves.  Carlo stays and somehow manages to let himself in.

When Carlo enters, a phone rings in the office.  Carlo answers.  On the other end of the line is Joseph Rorret.  Carlo passed the test.  He's now in charge of running the movie theater, with instructions to be given to him every day.  Rorret refuses to meet Carlo in person, saying things are better this way.

We then shift focus to Rorret.  He lives in an apartment behind the movie screen, spending his days peering at the women in the audience as they watch movies like Blood In The Shower (a riff on Psycho).  Rorret then finds a way to weasel himself into meeting the women that intrigue him the most, gaining their trust and then killing them.

Rorret (spell it backwards) could be best described as a horror buff's Peeping Tom.  And director Fulvio Wetzl doesn't hide his influence whatsoever.  At least two scenes are recreated and played in the theater in the film.  The film also lifts a lot of the themes of Michael Powell's picture, but manages to be different enough to keep from being a direct remake.

Rorret was a pleasant surprise.  It's another slowly paced movie, but one that is worth a watch.  It managed to build some suspense, and boasts a killer performance by Lou Castel.  Check it out.

And while you're at it, definitely do yourself a favor and check out Peeping Tom.  It's one of my favorite thrillers of all time, and a film that is terribly under the radar.  When I get the money, I am so ordering it.  Mad at myself that I don't have it yet.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 27: The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive

The home stretch, ladies and gents.

I noticed something tonight.  Murderous priests are a staple of gialli, yet this month I haven't yet watched one giallo which reveals the killer to be a priest.

Well, this one continues the trend.  The killer in this one isn't a priest.  Rather, the first victim is a priest.

Don Giorgio is a young priest who has been carrying on affairs with two women: Guilia and Orchidea.  Consumed by guilt, Don Giorgio punishes himself by whipping himself at night.  He finally can't take it anymore and makes a decision to end one of the affairs.

Not long after, Don Giorgio turns up dead in the church.  The nuns move his body, tampering with the scene.

All the while, a young boy who is being cared for by the nuns, knows more than he's been letting on.

The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive is truly a slow burn giallo.  The story unfolds deliberately, but in a manner that is always engrossing.  While those who prefer their gialli wild and crazy (Argentophiles and Fulci fans) will be let down, those who invest in the film will be greatly rewarded.

Truly a great find, and one I'm glad I finally got around to watching.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 26: One on Top of the Other


Decided to watch today's entry early.  I'm performing at Cozzy's tonight.  If any local followers aren't doing anything, come check it out.

One on Top of the Other (aka Una Sull'atra aka Perversion Story aka many other titles) is an early Fulci giallo.  It may have been his first, but I don't have my reference material on me at the moment.  While it isn't the world's greatest giallo, the pitfalls of this film come more from the style of the proto-gialli of the mid-to-late 60's than from Fulci himself.

Jean Sorel plays a doctor whose wife dies while he's out with his mistress.  See, ladies and gents, men can be whores in gialli, too.

Anyhow, the doctor stands to inherit $2,000,000 now that his wife is gone.  Meanwhile, he goes to the strip club.  What better way to mourn?  While there, he finds a stripper who looks exactly like his wife...but blonde...

The strongest parts of the film lie in the beginning and the end.  The scenes in the strip club, as well as the copious amounts of nudity, spice up the first half hour or so. But the second act really drags on.  When the third act starts, things pick up, but the resolution is a clunker.  Yes, everything is explained, but instead of showing us the action, we have some reporter on a news program telling us what happened at the end.  Dude, SHOW US WHAT HAPPENED!  Show, don't tell!  It's a movie.  Not a radio program.

Too bad the final moments brought the film to a screeching halt.  If Fulci had actually shot the ending, rather than have some long monologue, the film would have had a satisfying conclusion.  Now I understand what my screenwriting books meant by "Show, don't tell."

Four days left.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 25: 2 Males For Alexa

Decided to watch today's selection a bit early.  Gonna try to do that tomorrow, too.  Ended up getting booked for a local comedy showcase on Thursday.  And I don't wanna do another double feature.

Let's make this one short and sweet.

Alexa is a young college dropout who meets Roland, the father of one of her friends.  After a whirlwind romance, the two get married.  However, Alexa's a whore.  And she's sleeping with Pietro on the side.

Roland isn't quite fond of this, and he's planned revenge.  He walks in on the two making love and kills himself.  Then all the doors and windows suddenly lock and nobody can get out.

The plot is relatively simple, and the film makes for a breezy 75 minutes.  While I expected an hour-long two-person show in one setting, the film decided to go back and forth in time.  Alexa's relationships with both Roland and Pietro are examined in flashback, breaking up what could have been monotonous.

All in all, not bad.  Not brilliant, though.  At least the beginning has Rosalba Neri nudity.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 24, Part 2: Black Sabbath, "The Telephone."

Okay.  My copy of The Room Next Door was a VHS-DVD copy.  About an hour or so in, the tracking got so screwy I couldn't watch it.  Eh, I don't think I missed much anyway.

Onto The Telephone.  Very simple story.  Rosy (Michele Mercier) comes home and starts to undress.  She gets a phone call from someone who wants to kill her.  She then hears about her ex, who has escaped from prison.  Of course, any logical person would call the police. But she decides to hide her valuables.  After repeated threats over the phone, she calls her friend to come over.

I dunno about you, but if someone threatened to kill me, I'd call the police.  But that's where suspension of disbelief comes in.

Anyhow, Mario Bava's touch is all throughout this segment.  The photography is gorgeous.  The story itself is short enough to not wear out its welcome.  Pretty good.

Maybe it's a good thing The Room Next Door got all busted.


Day 24, Incomplete: The Room Next Door

I got about an hour into The Room Next Door, a pseudo sequel/remake of the classic House With the Laughing Windows, but then my copy started going willy-wonkers.

All I saw of the film wasn't very intriguing, anyway.

I'm gonna probably watch the Telephone segment of Black Sabbath to make up for it.  After the Kathy Griffin special on Bravo.

Not gonna start a whole new giallo.  This is really starting to fatigue me.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 23: Calling All Police Cars

After being blown away by Death Occurred Last Night, I decided to visit another giallo with a similar theme.

However, if anything, Calling All Police Cars just proved how great last night's choice was.

The story is somewhat similar, with a missing girl who's involved in some sort of sexual shenanigans.  One thing about gialli: schoolgirls and priests are never up to any good.

But everything Death Occurred Last Night has, this film lacks.  I didn't care about any of these people or situations.  I wasn't engaged.  Not even the nudity managed to keep me interested...and I'm always a sucker for nudity.

Ah, well.  There's always tomorrow.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 22: Death Occurred Last Night

I was originally going to watch a sleazy, softcore-esque movie, but at the last minute I decided to change things up and pop this into my player.

And all I can say is--


Just.  Wow.

This movie knocked me on my ass.

Of all the new gialli I got to catch this month, Death Occurred Last Night is far and away the best.  It's a gripping, tense, and ultimately heartbreaking work that I'm honestly surprised isn't discussed often in genre circles.

The film revolves around Amanzio.  His daughter is 25, but has the mental capacity of a three year old.  In her state, she has been taken advantage of by men who use her for sex, so Amanzio has to have six locks put on every door to keep her safe while he has to work.  One night, he returns home, and she is missing.

Honestly, I hate to do this to you.  Again.  But this is truly a case where I do not want to divulge any more.

The story, the direction, and the performances (especially by Beryl Cunningham, who almost steals the show) are almost perfect.  I give this film one of my highest recommendations, and want to tell you this gives me the energy to finish the month.

Go find a copy of this film somehow.  Now.