Friday, October 31, 2014

Elvira Mistress of The Dark Review

As much as I wanted to review every film of the 13 Day of Elvira showcase on HULU, I found myself not being able to meet the demands. The main reason is that I’m a freelance writer and just didn’t get to everything I wanted to get to. However, amidst all of that, I was able to check out the 1988 cult classic “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” in which we get a bit of horror, a lot of comedy, and some good acting chops in this movie about the tv host with the biggest….hair.

This movie came out in 1988, and Elvira is the main character, played by Cassandra Peterson. She takes on the role and goes behind the scenes of sorts, in which Elvira has had enough of the sexual harassment of her show. She quits when she realizes that she’s going to be rich when her aunt has died and left her something grand. So with that in mind she ventures off to Massachusetts, where small towns bring about small minds. It’s there that we get the main plot point, Elvira has to sell off the house given to her and hope to get enough money to get her showcase on Vegas going. It’s through the plot that we learn there’s an evil uncle that is trying to get his hands on a book of spells to take over the world. That starts off an incredible push that ends up turning more and more impressive as you watch the movie.

Like most horror movies, you get the villain that will stop at nothing to get his hands on what he desires. Meanwhile, Elvira’s antics are played up as she plays aloof to the constant attention that is given to her by the town’s people, and teenagers. Her cleavage shows as usual, and there are moments where comedy overtakes horror, as it should with this type of movie. In the third act, the rails fall off of this and you get a more comedic approach to everything and it’s hilarious to watch. Elvira hams it up as she runs away from her uncle’s satanic influence and fights back only to win in the end. With a little help from her punk rock poodle, she overtakes the bad guys and wins in the end.

This is a straightforward story, fast paced, and full of clichés. If you’re a fan of Elvira than this is a classic for you to watch. However, there are moments where you might find yourself a bit bored. If you haven’t seen this in a while, then you should know that it hasn’t aged very well. Elvira has though, wow, but the movie is not how I remember it. It’s funny, there are some great gags, but it’s not this grandiose thing. Perhaps it’s because I’m older and things that I missed before are now in my face, or perhaps I’m just tired. I’m not sure.

Overall, “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”, is a cult classic that deserves your attention. On this Halloween, why not buy it, watch it, rent it, or dress up as her? I know I will. Or rather, I will just search for Cassandra Peterson’s adult magazine spread and sit alone in the dark, as I usually do. Until next time, unpleasant dreams!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Cannibal Women in The Avocado Jungle of Death Review – Elvira’s 13 Nights of Horror Edition

Hulu and Elvira Team Up 2014

Hulu is running 13 Nights of Elvira and I have been watching, but haven’t had time to sit and review all of them. But low and behold, here I am with another review of the movie and the comedic antics of Elvira on this latest and greatest release. I still pine for the days that I stayed up late to catch her show, and while I did appreciate the boobs, I loved her quick wit, and that’s what you get here.

This time around in the creature feature, we get an absurd horror comedy
“Cannibal Women in The Avocado Jungle”, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen this one. Bill Maher’s role in it was hilarious, so you know, but the premise of the story is beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and it’s just absurd. I grew up in Los Angeles, and the things mentioned in this movie are just insane. The script is about as good as my favorite porno movie “Sex Commandos”, which tells you how deep this one is. I did however appreciate Shannon Tweed. She is absolutely beautiful here, at least in my opinion. I love the “smart” woman cliché here, and of course the Karen Waldron as “Bunny” is also a funny take on the bimbo in college. I sometimes wish my college years had a “Bunny”, but instead I got a sausage fest at art school when all the ladies dropped out and left me without any sort of engagement opportunities.

Right, back to the movie. The movie has a professor being asked to go into the jungle to find a feminist leader that has gone lost and perhaps may have been taken by cannibal women. When Dr. Margo Hunt is asked to go in, she takes on a young student and seeks out a bounty hunter named Jim to go into the jungle and rescue the lost feminist doctor. The trio move into San Bernardino, California (where there is no jungle), and encounter topless females and lots of action. Ok, no action, no sex, just topless women and Bill Maher’s one liners and stupid bandana on his neck.

The movie flows well enough and at every chance Elvira’s notes come up like “pop up video” and she comes through in full video and sound a few times. She’s more absent here than in the “Hobgoblins” movie, but she’s still featured readily. The movie progresses with a fight to the death between Dr. Hunt and Dr. Kurtz with Jim nearly getting sacrificed by the Cannibal Women. Kurtz of course has become the leader of the feminist cannibal tribe, and Dr. Hunt wants peace between another tribe that is in the region. All in all this gets convoluted and tiring to really watch and explain, but Shannon Tweed and Bill Maher’s constant back and forth made it watchable.

“Cannibal Women in The Avocado Jungle of Death” wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously, and it shows. It’s a laughable movie at best. I would’ve rented it as a teen because it was boxed in an “18” and over box and it promised or at least looked as though there would be more nudity than there was. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it. Elvira’s quips made it watchable, and Maher is funny with his random rants. The slapstick humor here is classic, including Disney jokes, sex jokes, and the whole bar scene where mercenaries were just randomly hanging out was great too. A good romp, worthy of this season and beyond.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hobgoblins Review – Elvira’s 13 Nights of Horror Edition

Hulu is running 13 Nights of Elvira in classic slapstick horror glory. I didn’t see anyone else reviewing these, so I decided to take it upon myself to deliver on the promise of good old fashioned reviews. We start with the first movie I saw from this series and it’s Hobgoblins!

First, let me start by saying that I love Elvira. I always have, and used to stay up late when I was a kid to watch the scary movies on channel 13 here in Los Angeles. Back then it was called KCOP and it was the only channel that played late night horror schlock and I loved it. Her show and subsequent airings of “Tales From The Crypt” were awesome, as well as “Twilight Zone”. This time around, she seems a bit older (because she is) but her iconic slapstick humor and timing is all there, alongside with her breasts that just make you want to motorboat, even though it’s probably unbecoming of us civilized gents, right?


To the movie!

This one is a rip off of the movie “Gremlins” and it shows. Released in 1988, this horror movie is really bad, and not in a good way. There are some moments that are somewhat compelling, but you’re going to be banging your head against the wall when most of this plays out. The story is simple, a night watchman and warns the new guys on the crew not to open a vault, and they go ahead and do that. When they do, outcome the Hobgoblins and they make everyone feel as though their dreams are coming true, and that only poses major issue.

The majority of the movie involves characters that are not even B-movie quality running around with slapstick sex jokes, and trying to play straight for the camera. The goblins run around and terrorize, and it all culminates in one man becoming the hero of the day.

Intertwined with the movie is Elvira’s jokes and random moments, mostly in the moments where you’re going to fall asleep. There’s some good humor here, but without the commercial breaks where she talks, it’s a bit forced.

As for the movie itself, there’s only one major awesome moment and that’s when a band plays one song before chaos reigns in the night club that the young people find themselves in. The band reminded me of The Cramps, but alas, it was not the band.

Overall, Hobgoblins is a bad movie. Bad enough to be honored by Elvira and Hulu this time around. However, if you really want to get this movie in all the glory it was meant to be seen in, get the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Edition of this movie. Otherwise, get yourself on Hulu and watch it with Elvira’s two cents thrown in for good measure. I found it to be a nice change of pace from the normal crap I have to watch. You’ll love it, if you like Elvira, otherwise you’re not missing much with this one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Most Underrated Horror Movie Series Ever

As a horror fan, I've seen many horror movies go unwatched, untouched, and generally panned by critics and so called "fans" alike. These movies are not as bad as people think they are, and they are generally below the radar, and/or mistaken for something else. This is exactly the case with a series of films from the 1980's that rivaled any camp movie out there to date. The series in mind is none other than the infamous: Sleepaway Camp series!

First and foremost, the original film can be a little annoying, with its slow pacing, and its lack of clear cut gore or explanation for some of the dream sequences. The film follows a hard line of boredom, until after the turning point that is marked surprisingly enough by a long winded game of baseball! That's right, in the middle of the film, to mark the turning point, the director decided to have a full three or four innings of baseball! This was a bad idea, but it did make the movie a little longer, and therefore a full length release at the time of showcase. The movie followed along a mysterious plot of killings in the camp grounds, and it all came down to a shocker of an ending that is still talked about to this day. The reason why this film didn't make it to most homes and horror fans is because it was panned as a knockoff of a similar film at the time: Friday the 13th, which also featured a killer in the midst of a camp setting. It also boasted a young Kevin Bacon, and that doesn't seem to hurt.

The second film, had a grown up serial killer that was played by Pamela Springsteen, in another romp through the campgrounds. This time around, more people seemed to take notice, but the comparisons to similar films was rampant at time of release. The vhs cover featured the Freddy glove, and the Jason Mask, so the film makers and distributors saw a potential revival on vhs, and it did quite well in video rental circles.

The third installment of the film featured some cleavage on the cover, and a more distinct artist rendering that took horror fans by surprise, considering that by the time of its release more established brands had already begun to use full character models for their covers. One might make the argument that there was a saturation of horror sequels flooding the market in the late 80's and this one fell by the wayside in the midst of more prominent, household names. The film quality on the third one was surprisingly good, but the story and plot were so thin that the gore made up for any sort of length problems.

Underrated films exist in all genres. This is just one series that seems to be seeing a lot of recent press, but more on the lines of a remake and restructuring of the original story. We have seen this done recently by Rob Zombie and the Halloween franchise, and it's a winning formula in many senses. The most underrated films in my opinion usually revolve around similar stories in the genre. Sleepaway Camp could not get away from the constant comparisons to Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, even if the series was making a good attempt at breaking ground with a woman as the main killer. It just didn't sit well with the over saturated market. Underrated films usually don't get much attention until years and years after the release.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 Must Have Items For Zombie Apocalypse

It’s coming, you know it’s coming, the zombie uprising is going to happen and when it does you could either be ready or you can be lunch. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, and when I caught wind that Man Crates was coming up with a zombie survival box right around the time the new season of the big show was starting, I had to take a look. They have some good stuff, but I got to thinking about my own box. What would Scary Film Review’s box of insanity contain? I need 5 definite items.

Item #1: Military Helmet

Why a helmet? Simple, you can’t eat brains through a helmet. I can charge forward and at least get a good push in before I attack a zombie. Of course they can try to grab me and reach for other parts, but if I’m head-butting people with my helmet and knocking zombies over like bowling pins, things are looking good for the bad guy (that’s me).

Item #2: Machete

I don’t need a gun. Guns run out of ammo. I need a strong machete, and I am going for gusto with one. Henry Rollins was right, “This thing doesn’t run out of ammo”, and that’s what I’m going to have going for me. It’s light, it’s easy to use, and it can go straight through a neck and give me an edge moving forward.

Item #3: Duct Tape

Why duct tape? Simple. I am going to need to tape my sleeves, gloves and any exposed area of skin that I can. I want to be able to traverse areas of blood without having to worry about anything getting on me, and that’s where the duct tape comes in handy. I guess I could use waiters, but that’s hard to run through. Duct tape will help, and it will give me leverage and grip for some sweet brass knuckles or makeshift bats if I find them. I know, this seems too obvious, but honestly, it's one of the best things you can have with you. You never know when you'll need to tape your fists and go for the ultimate in zombie payback.

Item #4: Backpack

A back back is going to be key to moving forward. It will hold my granola bars, water bottles, and med kit. Those things are of course part of this bigger package, but it’s important. I need alcohol too, just in case I need to disinfect a cut or a stiff drink.

Item #5: BMX

What’s this? A kickass ride? That’s right, nothing is more versatile than a BMX. Sure, you could have a car or a truck but when that runs out of gas, you’re a lame duck. A bike of this size can be easy to carry, easy to fix, and can get me flying, jumping, and tearing through all sorts of terrain. It’s light weight enough to chuck if I need to, and I can customize it to allow for some protection if I get hit by a swarm.

Of course, this is all conjecture, as I don’t know if the zombies will be fast, thinkers, or slow. Whatever the case is, I have a weapon, backpack, sweet ride, and tape ready for action. Until then, Man Crates has a good set up going.
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