Category — two heads one body
Our Halloween hangover continues with this greasy piece of gruesome fluff courtesy of schlock-meister Antony Balch, Britain’s answer to the Herschell Gordon Lewis‘s, and Stuart Gordons of American film – we’ll call them the lowbrow auteurs. Just check out this incredibly hokey opening – from 1973’s Horror Hospital (a.k.a. Computer Killers [!?]) – which has more decapitations per square midget than any other film in history (apologies to anyone offended by that last sentence but I’m pretty sure it’s true even without the benefit of googling it). Pretty fantastic stuff! I mean, as they say at the Isle – “How can you scoff at a film starring Gough?” I should apologize for that last one too – we’ve never actually said that – not at, on, near, or even around the Isle.
November 3, 2011 No Comments
FREAKED is a guilty pleasure that works thanks to its sheer audacity.
Here’s a cult comedy from 1993 that’s entertaining as all Hell. Alex Winter, the other dude from the Bill & Ted films, co-directs (with Tom Stern) and stars in this mishmash of genre homage and lowbrow comedy that came out of the short lived Idiot Box MTV show and was originally supposed to be a horror vehicle for the Butthole Surfers. Freaked tells the story of child actor Ricky Coogan (Winter), who becomes spokesperson for a toxic chemical company named E.E.S. (the ‘Everything Except Shoes Corporation’) and starts promoting “Zygrot 24.” Concerned over his image, he travels to South America to investigate claims by environmentalists concerning the dubious sounding chemical. There he’s captured by freak-show ringmaster Elijah C. Skuggs (Randy Quaid) and turned into a half man-half mutant monster. When the execs from the mega-corporation (led by scene stealing William Sadler) arrive, things get crazy, and Coogan and the rest of the “Hideous Mutant Freakz” plan their escape. The movie thrives on its love of freak show and horror conventions, a plethora of sight-gags (including twin machine-gun-toting “Rasta-Far-Eyes” who spout Yellowman) and some inventive art department concoctions. It’s full of zany, over the top sequences, crazy characters, and liberal skewering of memes such as child actors, social consciousness, corporate greed and Hollywood shallowness. Best of all it never takes itself too seriously and features the talents of some fantastic actors having a ton of fun and a slew of hilarious cameos (including Morgan Fairchild, Mr. T, and even an uncredited Keanu Reeves). It’s one of the very first comedies for the ADD generation, overflowing with eye-candy and fueled by an exuberant energy, and it’s definitely worth your time – like watching an entire season of sketch comedy rolled up into one insane feature!
November 11, 2010 No Comments
MARQUIS is the other, lesser known “puppetry of the penis” movie.
1989’s Marquis is absolutely riveting, and so visually striking it’s like nothing else you’ve ever seen. Henri Xhonneux directs from a script co-written with Roland Topor, who was screenwriter of the animated classic Fantastic Planet and Polanski’s The Tenant. The characters in this film are played by dancers in full costumes and elaborate masks (sort of like the ones in Garbage Pail Movie but not as creepy, being less human-like). Their movements are subtle and hypnotic and weave a spell around the viewer, which when synced up to the overdubbed dialogue lends everything a sing-song-y quality. It works on some profound levels – I’m no psychologist but I can tell you there’s something deeply unnerving about watching a curvaceous body in a dominatrix costume sporting the head of a horse! The two main characters are the Marquis and his penis, and they spend a lot of time locked in prison, discussing various philosophies, among them the appeal of holes in nearby walls. And as you find yourself sucked in to this bizarre world where the photography is lush and the camera lingers on an adorable little penis face urging its master to take him out to play, you’ll no doubt feel several mixed emotions, many of them wrong – but in a good way.
May 21, 2010 2 Comments
THE MANSTER is entertaining, educational, and only a little bit racist!
What’s up with me and movies where two heads share one body? I love ‘em! Guess it gets a little lonely up here, with my one head, and it’d be nice to have someone to talk to on long subway rides. But though it would have you believe it’s about the duality of heads, at its core this movie is a time capsule – of good-ol’-fashioned American values – like orientalism and xenophobia. See, a nice American reporter in Japan falls under the sway of an evil Japanese doctor, who gives him a potion that turns him into half man, half monster – and total asshole! Soon he cuts off all communication with his beautiful American fiancee, is plain rude to his American friends, and descends into drink and decadence – courtesy of those irresistible Japanese geishas! But good woman that she is, his fiancee crosses the Pacific to fight for her man – and what results is mad-science at its finest, punctuated by theremin and ambient beeping and highlighted by cave mutants, bad over-the-top acting, and an evil doctor who walks around explaining what he’s about to do! Pure hokum – you’ll laugh your heads off!
May 12, 2010 No Comments