Wednesday, April 20, 2011

REWIND: Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Review

Jason Lives Poster

The sixth film in the Friday the 13th series is one of my personal favorites. The film is about Tommy (made famous in the previous effort “A New Beginning” by Corey Feldman), who wants to incinerate Jason’s body so that he can never be brought back again. In the process a lightning bolt hits the grave and resurrects Jason!

Tommy runs to the police and tries to convince them that Jason is at it again, but they don’t believe him and they try to run him out of town. Meanwhile, a new camp is being set up by a bunch of inexperienced people and Jason is on the loose. He starts to kill people left and right, meanwhile Tommy is put into jail and things get out of control fast in this slasher film from 1986.

This movie is an easy one to watch. The film quality is not half bad, and the movie doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is; a slasher film featuring Jason Voorhees. The budget on this film was 3 million dollars and it grossed 19 million dollars, so it was a great success for Paramount films back in the mid 80’s and rightfully so. The actors in this film actually try harder than most films that land straight to dvd these days. There are laughable situations, however there are moments where you really believe the emotion that is thrown at you via the actor’s portrayals of different characters.

On an interesting sidenote, this film was produced by Don Behrns. You might not know him very well and to tell you the truth, I don’t know him all that well either. However, I was in high school and on the Varsity Football team and we had a football party of sorts, where at the end of the season we has a bbq. It was held at the house of Don Behrns in Santa Monica, California. He was very nice and I told him I loved horror in which case he showed me the original script for this film alongside an original Jason Mask. It was surreal indeed, and he told me all kinds of cool stuff about movies and the making of this film. He’s a strange dude, that’s all I can say about that. His house was nice though. Maybe that’s why I have an affinity for this film. I don’t know.

Here is a trailer for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives:

This movie still holds up and with 86 minutes, goes through standard Friday the 13th fare without complicated the script with odds and ends. That might be it’s ultimate failure, it seems like a rehashing of other Friday the 13th films and really doesn’t do a whole lot to separate itself from the 5 other films that have already made its way into American screens at this point. Even with a horrible storyline, and laughable sex crazed people, this movie still finds a way to entertain and it’s relegated to a notch above a popcorn flick in my opinion.

Jason on Bus

Why it’s scary: The movie itself is somewhat laughable now. I don’t even know anyone that sends their kids to sleepaway camp of sorts. I don’t know any person that goes camping with cabins and other kids and counselors. However, when I was a kid, my parents let me go to a camp with other kids and church leaders. It was NOT like Jesus Camp, just to make that clear. However, the camp eerily looked like the one in the Friday the 13th films. The idea of a slasher attacking people in a revenge scheme or just as a punisher of the wicked appeals to me in a sense, however, as an adult I’m not necessarily scared. While the film offers plenty of gore, and that in itself can scare many fragile minds (my mom for instance can’t see a horror movie cause she gets nightmares easily). However, the scary part of this film and all Friday the 13th films is two fold.

1) No one believes the truth. Tommy in this film knows Jason is alive and is killing again, however the police and those in charge of the camp do not believe it until it is too late to stop him. They then rely on Tommy to save them, and rightfully so. (Naturally you should remember that Tommy, played by Corey Feldman, killed Jason in part 5 of the series) This piece of the puzzle is the first and foremost scary notion in these films. While many might argue that the dumb police and dumb people have it coming, you might also consider that if you saw a similar act of violence set to the backdrop of an urban legend in your city, the police might not jump at the chance to hunt them down. Furthermore, it is scary to think that such hysteria is not treated with even an ounce of credibility and that to me is scary. To think that someday, maybe (even though I believe it’s farfetched), I might need to count on authorities for help, there is a chance that they won’t believe me, is scary. That portion of these films is far scarier than the slashing of so called “innocent” victims.

2)The second part of the horror of this film and therefore throwing a “scary” title on it, is the unstoppable nature of Jason Voorhees. They shoot him, they try to maim him, they even drown him and cut him with the propeller of a boat, and he doesn’t go down. I’m reminded of a Sam Raimi film called “The Quick and The Dead” in which one of the characters is a Native American that claims he can not be shot with bullets. He shows up for a gun fight and then is riddled with bullets and keeps on coming. You might also consider “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and how much offense it takes to bring the villain down. This is a recurring theme in horror, having a villain seem nearly impossible to kill, and it lends itself well to video games too. This sort of reanimation is scary on a lot of levels. What if you can’t kill something that is attacking you? I was bit by a dog once, and I tried to beat it up to let go of my arm and it didn’t help. Eventually the owner got the dog away from my arm but the damage was done. I know that it’s hard to compare an animal to a horror movie villain, but Jason has no speech, has no real conscious, he’s just for the lack of a better word, a killing machine. To fight an evil and/or killer that just doesn’t die is insane and scary. This is true on the microscopic level too, imagine a disease you can not kill? (I’d say aids, but Magic Johnson seems to be fine)

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a scary movie, but not unless you think about it. Sure, over thinking such a “laughable” movie is not exactly why many people watch movies. However, I’m not the average movie watcher, and therefore I think about these things when watching stuff like this, or else why even watch it? If logic is applied to Jason Lives, then there’s no reason to even watch. Logically, this movie makes little sense, and even if you’re a believer in the supernatural or re-animation (which I don’t believe, unless you consider the Bible, which I’m not going reference right now, at least not more than I’ve already done by mentioning it), it still won’t work well for you.

I highly recommend Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives if you’re a fan of the series, however, do one of two things. Consider why this is a scary film, or simply grab some popcorn and turn off your brain because if you do not do either one of these things you will most likely hate seeing Jason Lives and you’ll end up thinking I’m a complete moron, which maybe the case.

Alice Cooper

Bonus Points: The film's main song was done by none other than Alice Cooper! That's right, the end credits roll and this infectious tune roles through and it's Alice Cooper! He's at his 80's best and it's funny to listen to, if you can find it. I wouldn't recommend the soundtrack to this film, but it's nice to see that the budget for the film at least garnered them with some new music from the legend of macabre theater music Alice Cooper. Make sure you take note of this, because you can use it for trivia down the road.

and here you go kiddies...the song I speak of:

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives will never look the same to you again, now will it? I still like this film, dang, it's 22 years old.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Satans Slave Review

satans slave


Before I reviewed this film, I had no idea it was in fact a British horror film, or at least in the UK, which covers a lot of ground. I guess that's my fault. I did in fact find that this film wasn't as good as the moniker of "Grindhouse" double feature made it out to be, but alas, this is what it is.

Ah yes, it's time once again for a review! Today we will try and discuss the film, Satan's Slave. I'm not big on satanism movies because they are usually badly acted, terribly shot, and lacking any sort of saving grace. But alas, it is my job to keep writing even if no one reads this thing.

First and foremost the film opens up with a satanic ritual, a goats head, some dude reciting crap and a naked woman! Yes, this film is r rated and rightfully so. The movie moves from that point to more subtle fare. I say that only because the opening scene is so graphic compared to the second scene that you don't get a sense for the rest of the film, but after the short interlude there is an attempted rape scene which reminds the viewer that this is in fact an exploitation film after all.

This film, i found out is a British film, and maybe that's why I found it somewhat boring. The pacing wasn't very good and despite flashes of nudity and ritual this film was rather dry. The plot revolved around a woman who goes to live with family after her father's car mysteriously explodes. She then is drafted into a weird ceremony as the house he now lives in is a house for the devil!

The movie is weird, it truly is a good example of grindhouse cinema. The majority of the film is just plain and boring. I got tired of the film by the second act. The final points of this film try to be heavier handed and move forward with relative ease, giving some gore for being patient, but the resolution of the plot leaves much to be desired.

Satan's Slave is not good, it's not worthwhile. The poster is awesome but the film is kind of boring and most won't like it. I wouldn't recommend this one, unless you're a glutton for punishment, like I am.

Now, the director (Norman Warren) did a good job with Inseminoid, but this thing? Terrible. This is just a tiresome movie. Oh and yes, it was filmed in the UK, was it a full British horror movie? I don't know. There is a ton of nudity here, lots of horrific violence at times, but it is so spread out that you have to really invest in the film to enjoy it. I don't necessarily like it, and while David McGillivray's writing is not half bad, it just come across as boring, instead of thrilling, which is the main reason I am watching horror.

This film is relatively rare. Unless you see it in this double feature dvd, but it was originally called Evil Heritage in 1976. I liked the original poster better than the updated one. Oh well. That's the end of this review. There's a second film on this double feature dvd, and I'll review that one next time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Transitional Champion

What's up readers of this blog. For those that aren't familiar with the antics of one Sir Jorge of Culver, let me introduce myself, my name is Jorge. I'm a Mexican idiot that now lives in Los Angeles.

I don't usually air out my personal life on this site, but I think that some of you are wondering why the site isn't getting updated at a breakneck pace like before. Well, here is your chance to dive into my hell.

In February my now ex-wife wanted to leave me and took some "confusing" time to think. She divorced me, and we are now in different places. I flew back to my mom's house in Los Angeles and am now writing to you from the bedroom that my sister stayed in while I was on an adventure through the northwest. It sucks. I'm not going to sugar coated, this was not my dream, and I didn't want this to happen, but life has a way of punching you in the balls then hitting you with reality. I'm not bitter, I'm enjoying my new life here, and the transition is now starting to settle down a little.

I have upgraded my equipment to a BLU RAY player and a flat screen television for the full HD effect. I don't have surround sound, so those that are looking for tips and tricks and reviews on the digital sounds, I can't provide that. I can provide picture quality, smoothness, and special feature counts on some of the dvd's that I will be reviewing in the near future.

The upgrade cost me a lot, and that's why I'm going to ask you for money. If you have an extra dime please buy something through Amazon links found on this site. I need every dime I can get. I'm unemployed, and haven't landed on my feet at all. I barely even had a job interview, so please bare with me as I beg you for some change.

The reviews will be forthcoming. I have 4 movies ready to be reviewed, I just need to stop procrastinating and get to them! I do not believe that they are British, so no one panic. They are older grindhouse era pictures, and I'm hoping for blood, and guts, and sex, as is the custom to this site.

I'm not sure if I'll be posting quite as often as before, but I'll try to chime in as often as possible. I've had a long hard road in this time, but I'm doing well now, and I'm looking forward to a brighter future, a single existence full of goregasms.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Virgin Among The Living Dead Review

A Virgin Among The Living Dead

So this was a great find, I loved the artwork and wanted to see this film, since it was the original directors cut. The notion was killed though, as the movie is NOT a zombie film at all, and really just another run of the mill horror movie. A Virgin Among The Living Dead is NOT a movie you're going to love, that's for sure.

Franco is a revered cult director, so I was expecting far more from him. There were some spots with blood, but the story makes little to no sense. The plot revolves around a woman who loses her father and now must contend with a sick family (sick as in psycho) who are all trying to gain the fortune left behind. However, amidst all that there are odd scenes full of nudity, and 70's bush, lots of random killing for no apparent reason, and just maddening at times.

The pacing aside, the film looks like a grindhouse picture. There is no updates here, no major clarity, and the rip seems like a vhs rip at best. All the original specs, cigarette burns, pops and noises are here and it can really take you out of the movie. The editing is terrible, the transitions are amateur at best.

The majority of horror fans will fall asleep with this one. The movie has a certain appeal, but the eroticism aside, this 1970's attempt at horror is NOT something you're going to want to see again and again. I love the poster, I love the idea, but man the execution leaves a lot.

It's interesting to note that there are 10+ edited versions of this film floating around in VHS land. If you have seen those copies, they might be far more entertaining than this director's cut. Some reviewers argue that this is Franco's best film, but I say, it's not nearly as good as his other work. But that's just my humble opinion. I love the poster, I'll get that for my room, but the dvd? It's not that great, it's just not.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Rat Man

Ah yes, Eurotrash cinema! One of my delights, and today we talk about an out of print work of genius called Rat Man. The film is dark, not in story but in visuals, devoid of anything now known as high definition. This one is going to be hard for most to find and see, but for those willing to venture out of their way to see exploitation film, this will be another instant classic.

Finding this film would have been impossible before, but since moving back to Los Angeles I've managed to find a much better selection of movies they meet the criteria of this blog. This particular film I found at cinefile, as it is the type of film that is not going to be seen by anyone that doesn't want to see it "all".

Much like other monster movies this film follows the work of a mad scientist. He spliced the sperm of a rat into a monkey to create our unholy beast. Fans of Weng Weng will probably think that the rat man is in fact him, but all signs point to someone else.

As the film goes through the simple story of a photographer in location taking pics of women, to subplots involving our man of science and a killing spree the viewer is treated like an idiot, throwing caution to the wind in order to get gag reflexes going with gratuitous gore.

The film seems dubbed, and the acting is sub par. You really feel like you're watching made for cable horror as the shots, acting, and low light make for something straight out of The Hitchhiker or early HBO studio films. Many will find this low quality style boring and crude, while horror buffs will love the constant use of the damsel in distress, mixed with laughable violence.

The actual rat man is not scary, the idea and premise lends itself well to nightmare worlds, but the execution is too clumsy to make it more than a low budget horror piece. The film is so dark that most of the time you won't even see the creature.

All that being said, Rat Man is worth checking out. It's got some sick moments, an while as a whole it fails to scare, there are points in the sound design and visuals that will stimulate the imagination to scare even the most jaded of scary movie fans. I kid you not, however, this film is very hard to find. You won't see this in Blu ray any time soon, and I had to really seek it out. Fans of Argento and Bava will appreciate the tense pieces, as the director here uses the same rubric as the other Italian masters of suspense. I liked it, you might too.


After writing this review I found several copies on dvd, rather than the VHS rip that I received as a rental. I apologize for over hyping this film as a rare gem, as you can find this one online and through random dvd stores across the nation. However, the vhs rip is the one I saw, and will testify as being awesome. Who needs dvd? VHS FTW!
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