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Friday, August 10, 2012

Zombie Women of Satan (2009) horror comedy

Zombie Women of Satan (2009) - A traveling freak show that main freak attraction is that they are very annoying heads to an isolated country farm to appear on a web cast. The farm is manned by a crazy scientist doing experiments that lead to the creation of female zombies in their underwear.
 That is the most basic of explanation for this really horrible piece of film making. Before this poor piece of screen writing is through we have to suffer through camp styled crap scenes that establish some of the character.
  The film starts with a woman in the woods who seems to be tracking something. The scene does nothing and only acts to let us know this person exists, but we learn nothing else before the credits. Later we see she is part of the freak group and so know we should circle round to this first scene again. After the credits we get introduction to the freak show group starting with the lovely Harmony Starr (Kate Soulsby) doing a feather dance, followed by the introduction of rock singer Skye Bannigan (Victoria Hopkins) by or painted face MC Johnny Dee Hellfire (Seymore Leon Mace) the poorly lip synced song is the first indicator that this movie might not be the best quality. The next act is even worse with a strange clown character named Pervo the Clown (Warren Speed) who basically does a joke instead of an act and runs off stage with assistant Harmony instead of the act he describes throwing knives. Then there is the midget Zeus (Peter Bonner) and chainsaw wielding Damage (Joe Nicholson)
  Inter cut are scenes of a older man Henry Zander (Bill Fellows) doing some kind of experiment on a woman in her underwear. He injects her with a serum and the cut backs show him writing notes while the body (dead maybe) becomes animated to the point that he has to stab her in the head with a knife. There is a secondary setting where a cult leader is welcoming into his family a young woman. Later we learn that this is the sister of Skye. Early on though the primary focus is showing the freak show that does nothing freaky in their act. At least on screen so it is really just establishing these characters as the main players.
 There is this horror comedy line that the film plays but early on it seems more committed to the comedy end of the spectrum. The music and setting we get to see Pervo and Hellfire in are meant to be humorous but really fall flat. The Pervo character is really unlikable including the stupid idea that he never takes off his face paint and clown nose. Who cares that he has several women in his room to play twister, or that after Hellfire returns to his own room there is a gagged woman and two other topless women wearing gas masks. Just being strange is not character development, its just strange and off putting so how does the writer Warren Speed expect any sympathy for his characters later in the film when the shit hits the fan?
  The strangeness does not stop with the freaks, at the farm the Zander family has their own quotient of loony. There is the experimenting Henry who has his dominatrix dressed daughter Red (Marysia Kay), as an assistant, apparently bringing drugged party goers down to be the next subject. The son Tycho (Christian Steel) is leader of a cult which is a fine way to get the women the father needs, and the mother (Kathy Paul) chained to the wall in the cellar is a rude crazy woman who may be cannibalistic. I would guess from the early scenes of this film that Henry is trying to cure his wife.  The last daughter is Blue (Gillian Settle) who assists Tycho with his cult. The cult is controlled by drugging the women with punch and after the freak show arrives at the farm we get to see a contamination of the punch when a subject bleeds into the bowl. The punch is dutifully distributed by Blue to the large room of underwear clad nubile young ladies. Who after drinking it fall to the floor in convulsions that surprisingly make them pull there bras off.
  When Blue runs to Tycho to tell him that the girls are going crazy, Skye sees her long lost sister through the barn door and is instantly determined to save her. So let me get this straight, just by chance the rock singers sister is a cult girl. It couldn't have been that is why she was in the woods in the very first scene, scouting the location of her sister? It couldn't be that she arranged the interview for Tycho's web cast to get in to save her? Instead it is happenstance? Really? Well anyway the fun is about to start with the now zombie girls starting to appear and craving flesh so it is a fight for survival.
  The comedy is poor with bits about the electric fence, masturbation, family dynamics that are challenging to get through. The freak group splits up, which really is the thing you want to do when confronted with flesh eating zombies. The ridiculous music does not let any kind of tension to develop just so we can get these bits before getting back together. Even with the crisis all they can do is bicker for minutes at a time instead of doing anything.
 The running joke of Pervo sneaking off to jerk off is absolutely the worst. They wander around the estate without a plan until they run into topless crazies they have to fight off. Damage takes a bite and goes down apparently dead but we can guess soon to rise. Again for no good reason the freak group breaks up into two groups, Zues Pervo and Skye heading out to find her sister, then of course Zeus needs to take a shit and thus needs to go off alone. Fart and squirt jokes associated with it are less than juvenile. The giant, and I mean giant pile he leaves certainly echoes how big a dud this movie is. Some strange editing has them all together again minus Zeus, to fight off Damage and a couple more zombie girls.
  While the freaks story lines struggle to be remotely funny or exciting the family at the farm apparently has been walking this whole time between the barn and the farmhouse where Dad is happily doing experiments on his latest zombie. Somehow the distance has grown from just a hundred yards or so to miles so in the time we were following the freaks, the family not only failed to reach dear old dad but failed to keep track of Skye's sister Rachel (Victoria Broom) and she has wandered off.Most of this movie is people wandering around the woods and every now and again running into zombie girls with bloody eyes. Almost all of it is played for laughs but it is a bit too stupid to laugh at.
  When the family gets to Daddy and start to load up with the few weapons they have, they develop a plan to kill not only the zombie girls but also the freaks. They want to keep Rachel in the cult so can't have word of their actions leaking out.
  In yet another bizarre turn the strapped down zombie's behavior changed when Tycho felt her breast, so Dad suggests her fuck her. Why? We have already established that the family is strange as strange can be. It makes no sense that this scene his here. There are so many things wrong with this film but also all the inevitable cliches, accidental deaths, bitten changing colleagues, and chainsaw kills. There seems to be an endless number of  semi nude not so attractive zombie. You think things can't get worse until you have Zombie Midgets, and wheelchair bound zombies. The final confrontation between the freaks and family with Rachel as the prize it stellar in a bad way. This movie is not one of my favorites, they even had difficulty focusing the camera at times. So there is no real recommendation coming in but watch it at your own risk.
Rating (2.7) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

The Gore Gore Girls (1972) - The Godfather of gore Herschell Gordan Lewis brings us this film of a crazy psychopath who kills girls in a strip club and then mutilates their bodies. The film pulls no punches, the very first scene we see a figure from the neck down in a black leather coat with black gloves coming up behind a woman, Suzie Cream Puff (Jackie Kroeger) in a dressing room or bedroom. Immediate the killer begins to repeatedly smash the woman face into the mirror. Not satisfied with the results the murderer then stabs the woman repeatedly. The whole scene last 40 seconds before the credits role and defines what is to come.
  Nancy Waxman (Amy Farrell) is a reporter who, for her paper hires the famous private detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to help solve the stripper murders. The paper is looking for exclusive rights to the story and I guess the cops are inept enough that the paper doesn't think they will solve the crimes. Gentry got a lead in like 5 minutes and off he goes in his sweet early sixties corvette with Waxman in tow.  Making sure we don't forget that this is a murder mystery we shift to the scene of another murder. A woman, Candy Cane, comes into a room violently chewing gum and notices herself in the wall mirror. You would wonder why on earth is she being so blatant about chewing gum. Well that is the hook and as she stands there touching her own breasts, like a fumbling fifteen year old boy, she blows a bubble, as the killer comes up behind her. Clocked with a rubber mallet she we get the gag which is the bloody bubble. Of course for good measure the killer then slices the throat of the unfortunate woman and then I guess because low budget gore is a thing for Herschell Gordan Lewis she is violently mutilated by the killer in what can only be deemed a disgusting gross display of gore as he smashes her head open and plays with her brains
  Through their leads from the club it is Waxman and Gentry who find the body. Gentry is a snide prick who makes quips about the dead and seems to have a real disdain for people in general. Lt. Anderson (Russ Badger) seems inept enough that he will never solve the murders. I think that they were going for the lovable jerk with an air of Sherlock Holmes, what they got was an unlikable prick you want to punch in the face.
  As they go from lead to lead we get to see some strippers dancing in pasties and are forced to listen to Waxman and Gentry verbally spar. Gentry is working on the case and every now and again he has to talk to a waitress or bartender to further his endeavors. Always he is difficult and it really is not very pleasant to watch. Then there are always strange things in these films. Like when Gentry goes to talk to Barney the bartender, not only is there a strange setup, with Gentry unable to get to the bar because the patrons won't let him in, but there is a strange 30 second double speed scene of the bartender making drinks. It was so weird and out of place that you barely notice that there is a second guy at the bar drawing faces on vegetables and then smashing them with his fists. Gentry of course noticed and got the stories from the bartender. Grout smashes the veggies to relieve the tension from his experiences in Vietnam. Is he a suspect or a red herring?
 This is really not a very good movie and when Gentry breaks the fourth wall it is all I can do not to just shut it off. The striptease with the circus music made no sense, but who am I to critique Lola Prize's routine.  The women activist barging in angry at the strippers but not the men watching them seems a bit misplace, The "Lewd is Crude" and "Quit with Tit" signs are amusing but ugh!
  Poor Lola gets killed too after she talks to Gentry back at her apartment. She recognized the killer so it must be someone we have seen before in the film? We learn from her conversation that the lead woman in the anti-stripper movement could be the killer or at least she is threatening to the stripper, and that one guy owns all the clubs Gentry has been to, Marzdone Mobilie (The late great comedian Henny Youngman). Again we are forced to watch a gruesome display of mutilation as the killer takes a meat tenderized to Lola's ass and then salts her before ripping her eyes of in squishy grossness all the while that silly circus music is playing.
  There are some more primitive yet creative murder scenes but you can watch this film is you want to see. Each is just gruesome and shown in the goriest of detail. The cops in this film are just there for comic relief bungling fools.  Mary McHenry (Emily Mason) the leader of the women's lib group is a suspect, also the veggie smashing Grout could be the killer, so could the bartender Barney. Another possibility is the angry waitress Marlene (Hedda Lubin).
  When the killer is revealed it happens so quickly and without excitement that the film really disappoints. The killer even dies in the most stupid of ways, I can't really understand why this film exists other than as an experiment in gory effects. The women in the film are targets for the killer and idiots. Even Nancy is easily manipulated and a bit of a lush. Really all she wants is a story and a roll in the hay with the smarter in control Gentry.  The snide and condescending Gentry is so unlikable that there is not even hero in this film. When he breaks the fourth wall a second time, and a third time it is infuriating. I suppose you can call it cute, or stylistic if you want but there is really no context for it. In the end if you want to see the early development of gore effects this is a movie you want to see, but if you are looking for an interesting smart balance horror film you will have to look elsewhere.
Rating (3.7) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.