AUSQUATCH or how a THROWBACK made me say YOWIE!

NOTE:  It has been brought to my attention that the MVD release of THROWBACK contains a glitch that omits NINE MINUTES of footage from the running time.  While I stand by the review as published, it certainly is unfair to all involved to judge an incomplete film.  Wait…VERNON WELLS does not have just a cameo?  Sigh… a shame that this has happened.  Let’s hope that MVD can remedy the situation.
Now then…
I certainly love Bigfoot films of any stripe, and this Australian film takes the myth of the Yowie (or as I shall call him, Ausquatch!) and brings it to life.  While not exactly a rip roaring adventure or heart rending horror, there are a few bits worth checking out.
The first thing I learned was that there is a BOGGY CREEK VINEYARDS, because they drink some wine from there. HAH!  Irony. Humor!  Actually, I need a bottle. Thank you, Throwback!!  But the film proper isn’t quite as informative.  It’s quite simple. Two rather unlikeable chaps are after the lost treasure of Thunderclap Newman, a rogue fella that apparently enjoyed taking prospector’s gold many years ago. It’s still out there, but nobody has found it. Why?  YOWIE!  No, not a Batman show expletive, but the Aussie Outback Beast…THE YOWIE!

But the Yowie is more an element of action than a full blown threat for most of the film, as the two former bug exterminators (!!!) betray each other over and over with attempted drowning and many many leg woundings (and even a hand wound…woah!) .  After a beautiful woman is thrown in the mix, and this blogger learned to pronounce Rhiannon, the action doesn’t pick up so much as the use of human bait for the Yowie becomes a strategy to find some gold. And then there is this bit, which made me smile a whole lot.

Surprise!  Yes, VERNON WELLS!  Wez!!  Plughead!!!!  Very cool, it’s a fun cameo that comes, literally, out of nowhere.  As it should be. Now I’m all nostalgic to watch T-Force again. Always room for PM and Wez.

Oh, and the leading guy, he looks like a deflated Brett Favre to me for some reason. Maybe it isn’t obvious in the still, but…wow, it just struck me.  When he has to throw something at the Yowie in the final reel, I kept waiting for Wez to reappear and intercept it!

Uh…you aren’t going to text me anything inappropriate no matter how hot it is when I say Baboon with my accent, right?
Anyhow, the movie proper is definitely more a bit of heist and doublecrossing than anything Bigfoot related, even though the monster does appear several times in the daylight and seems to have a lot of good Ausquatchy times playing “Hide Behind The Tree While I Try To Hit You!”  The movie looks pretty good and features an EXCELLENT soundtrack by Richard Band and Amotz Plessner that elevates the visuals and gives life to some of the chase sequences.

In the end, THROWBACK takes all the chunks of ‘Foot Meat you could want, stirs it around and comes up with the basic sauce, no more no less, though yes…I never heard “baboon” sound so…sexy.

The DVD from MVD Visual is interesting (and now incomplete), the transfer is solid enough and there are plentiful extras including a nearly 18 minutes alternate ending that is less explosive.  But it would have robbed me of the interception / Favre joke. I’m glad they went with this one!  Short films and behind the scenes footage are included also.  You’ll certainly get your fix of Yowie’s in cinema with this film, which says…well, it’s the only Yowie movie I know!

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Cinesludge Podcast 9 – THE LUNGING LYCNANTHROPES OF FRED OLEN RAY!

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The latest episode of CINESLUDGE – A MANGLED MEDIA PODCAST is live!  Join myself and Dan Taylor of Exploitation Retrospect as we take a look at the shockingly underrated DIRE WOLF, a mutant monster on the loose film, followed by a deep probing softcore rubbing down of one of my favorite discs of the year, THE UNLIVING featuring Paul Naschy!  It’s EuroShock action with BOOBS, BLOOD AND BEASTS galore!  Click HERE for the link or listen below!

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/i9286-549ddd/initByJs/1/auto/1?skin=108

Strippers In Peril Cinema – Midnight Tease

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For many years I found myself wanting for a Giallo set in a strip club. I was busy watching actual Italian thrillers and while the occasionally dancer would come along, it wasn’t until I turned my eye back to the United States Of Trashy Cinema that I discovered what my CINESLUDGE co-host, Dan Taylor, called the STRIPPERS IN PERIL genre.  I have found a deep and abiding love for these, as have several of the iconic directors and producers of the stuff that kept us awake and up in the cinerect sense during the 90s cable television years. Now I have what feels like an endless pile of them to pull through. While they occasionally are little more than fluf(fer) it’s a distinct pleasure when you find one that features EVERYTHING a skin n’ sin film fanatic could want.  Now, MIDNIGHT TEASE isn’t up in the stratosphere of NAKED OBSESSION or anything, but it’s got the elements of excitement for maximum delight…ment.

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MIDNIGHT TEASE gives us the tale of Samantha, a stripper with a big heart and a big chest…but something is wrong.  She has these visions! Visions of a slimy looking guy being killed and screwed in weird fantasy scenarios that usually involve naked women thrusting and gyrating and killing.  But why?  And when other girls start showing up dead, it’s on as we get positively Edwige Fenechian.  But in perfect Giallo fashion, there are some nifty red herrings. You have the scuzzy bartender that first lays on the charm, and then seduces the “good girl” at knifepoint. It’s OK, she thinks it’s sexy!  CLONK!

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And there is a positively epic relationship between Samantha and her therapist that includes him looking at his watch as she comes undone AND then heading down to watch her strip.  That doesn’t pan out, but…he still ends up in her bed.  And could we forget the good girl?  What could SHE be up to?  Fascinated by the stripping lifestyle, she seems to be transforming into…oh, you might have seen something like this before. You’ll figure that part out!

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The plot and dialog is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT on target, never getting too heavy, but also ladling in some uncomfortable and cross edited dark secret stuff with the slinky sensualism of the dance du strip!  And running just barely under 80 minutes, the opening riff AND entire WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE track is played THREE TIMES!  That right there makes the film a must.

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Director Scott Levy does a good job channeling his second assistant director chops from the Corman exploitation cinema classes into a film that maintains a little style and translates a fun screenplay that isn’t afraid to twist on the audience by inserting a rather nasty bit while cutting back and forth to a strip club montage at the awesomely titled CLUB FUGAZI!  I was struck at how well the cast, many of whom I’m unfamiliar with, are at nailing down the vibe you get from the more established sexploitation crews.  Lisa Boyle and Rachel Reed are great as the leading ladies, playing off each other in the best Blonde / Brunette and head cases of a different variety with ease and you would swear that Justin Carroll was channeling his best Richard Grieco.  And come to think of it…. Grieco played an extremely similar role JUST LAST YEAR in the Fred Olen Ray film, AFTER MIDNIGHT!  Time warp…Stripper Drama!!  And please, you must pay respect to the great Bob McFarland (Sonny from the Half Shirt Girl Cop classic…ANGEL OF DESTRUCTION!) as he sleazes it up as a cop!  Well, I can stop carrying on, because the doc is looking at his watch and even though I’m huddled in my cinematic leather coat and ready for the Jim Wynorski produced MIDNIGHT TEASE 2, he says I have to go.  Definitely a Stripper In Peril Film for any afficiando of the genre. It doesn’t just tease, it even comes with a happy ending!

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And hey…bow down to the songwriting credits for Welcome To The Dark Side…I always do!!!

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Cirio Santiago Badass Theatre – THE MUTHERS

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Vinegar Syndrome is back with more Cirio H. Santiago mayhem on DVD!  Now, there have been plenty of discs of the Maestro’s work, but VS always goes the extra mile. Even better than the DEATH FORCE / VAMPIRE HOOKERS release, we get a standalone edition of the Badass Pirates On A Plantation Seeking Vengeance classic, THE MUTHERS!  And they did this one up proud.  I mean…look at this!

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Now that I have your attention, THE MUTHERS is the saga of a pair of freewheeling Pirate Women that terrorize the men, take what they want and live the way they want to.  But when disaster strikes and the leader of the crew’s sister is missing, it’s up to them to go deep undercover at a violent work camp on an island run by the vicious Montiero, a scenery stomping unkempt ass that will string a woman up by her hair for disobedience.  Add in one Justice Department agent that wants to use The Muthers to bring down the camp, stir some interpirate relations of a negative nature as The Muthers piss off Turko and his gang into the mix, toss a shower scene in and don’t forget to have plenty of action ranging from guns to flipping flying kung fu fightin’!  It’s perfect fun for fans of exploitation and adventure films with plenty of sass, ass and bad bad badguys. And, it even comes with this survival technique.  If you are escaping a Vicious Island Overboss and find beans be sure to have a can opener. But if you don’t..well, here you go.

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NOM.

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Cirio Santiago films are usually great Drive-In movie fare, and THE MUTHERS is one of his best. The pace is fast, the dialog is hysterical (“just like every other snake I ever met, can’t leave my tits alone!”) and there is so much action between all the cool action atmosphere that it’s hard to get bored. The cast is outstanding, with the pulchritudinous presence of Jeannie Bell (the real TNT JACKSON!) and Rosanne Katon taking no shit from the professionally sweaty and evil Tony Carreon.  And let us not forget Jayne Kennedy, who cuts one striking figure on horseback and even gets to scrap it up in good form!  Part Action Film, part Women In Prison…ALL SANTIAGO SALACIOUS SWEETNESS! This is a great little exploitation film to start your Saturday Night Supershow Of Sexy Cinema.  Grab it!  It’s so hot, it’s super cool. And when it’s super cool, it’s a bit nippley, eh?

vlcsnap-2015-03-04-10h40m01s17Vinegar Syndrome’s disc is a 2K scan from 35mm negative and it’s done damn well and damn right for a movie and a filmmaker that is always gonna be damn good.  Dig it!

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Hungry for Leslie Bovee? Have CHAMPAGNE FOR BREAKFAST!

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Finally… freed from the chains of a Vinegar Syndrome drought, TOMB IT MAY CONCERN is back and ready to rumble through some vintage porn for your perusal!  First up is the release of CHAMPAGNE FOR BREAKFAST, and when I see that VS puts out a single disc dedicated to a film I assume it is something very worthwhile. This one sure is.  This film has laughs, hot women and men and a goofy sense of style that feels like a Hollywood farce of days gone by.  Champagne (Leslie Bovee) is one women headed to the top of the advertising world, but her sex life may be active, but her choice of men is the pits.  Be it paying for an all dicks on deck pounding or picking up a random “beer kinda guy” that has a name for his schlong and no manners at all when athletic sex goes awry, what could she do?  Enter our man, Harry.  John Leslie is in top form throughout, be it getting his schlong long when the time is right or cracking the audience up as Harry’s weird sense of morality shines through. Watch for one of the absolute best mid blowjob “come on down”s EVER early on. So, Harry is screwed both literally and figuratively because he needs work while his brother in law fucks him over on some investments.  Problem is…his blue balls problem seems to always end him up working on his thrusts over working on getting his paychecks.  Enter, Champagne and Harry’s plan to pretend to be gay to get a job as her bodyguard. Her VERY close bodyguard.

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Hilarity ensues as the odd couple talk about life, and Harry paints a picture of his life as a gay boxer in the Navy, where massages were commonplace.  He protects his employer from herself on occasion, sure, but his constant attempts to avert his eyes from Leslie Bovee are really entertaining to watch. Never mind when Champagne rewards him with a nice gentleman that announces…”All night, my cock is yours!”

OH SHIT!

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The film is really funny, and Bovee is always a pleasure to watch because she has that classic beauty AND she really puts her all into making Champagne likeable and enthusiastic.  Her cracking up as a horny construction worker holds her upside down and pours a beer in her butt was just making me smile the entire time.  A porn film that rarely feels dirty, it’s good fun for all.

The DVD contains two trailers for the porn edition and a soft edit, and you can watch some of the sequences used to pad out the soft version as well.  I can’t say they did much for me, but it’s interesting to catch a gander of how they buffed up the running time while deleting the penetration shots as it usually is.  Directed by Chris Warfield (be sure and check out SEX WORLD on Blu Ray as well) and written by GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE’s John Hayes (who has been under the VS microscope already if you read my review of BABY ROSEMARY right here).  It’s just plain porn with a smile, and bubbly as champagne.  Even though I’m a beer man myself, I can’t resist a good naughty comedy!

SECTOR 4: EXTRACTION – GrunerTronic Dramatics!

You say GRUNER, I say WATCH!  Gruner! Watch! GRUNER! WATCH!!
“A mercenary that gives a fuck. Great.”

It’s a blessing and a curse, but Nemesis was so etched into my brain that I’ve made sure to see any Olivier Gruner film that crosses my path (see: RE-GENERATOR aka OLIVIER GRUNER X) and I bumped into the screen writer of his 2014 film SECTOR 4: EXTRACTION on Twitter (you can follow Richard Pierce right here).  Now, is it always a good thing? Eh…not always.  SECTOR 4 is pretty odd to be honest, but I’ve learned that Gruner, aside from the martial arts skills and the cool presence, has a particular kind of vision that shows up in his more..personal…projects.  I mean, you are getting this!

Plot? Well, it’s a strange hybrid of every “we left our boys behind, and now I’m gonna train my ass off and go get ’em!” film, minus the one white dude that escaped with our hero and now runs a bar back in the shit to keep his PTSD at bay and his liver functioning at a high rate while running weapons to fuel our heroes final vengeance and ultimate triumph.  I kind of miss that guy.  And that is where S4:E both thrives and struggles.  It’s pretty serious stuff, with a score that doesn’t rise and fall in triumph but sort of drones on laden with dread and guilt that drives our hero, an elite Mercenary from the BLACK KNIGHTS (yes, that part is awesome!) to go pick up his buddies that have been trapped and are kept prisoner in the usual bad area that cars in Repo Man may find themselves.  With the threat that his buddies will end up sans heads, Nash Olsen (good action man name by the way) will show his MMA skills (hey, Tony Fryklund grew up 10 minutes from me!) and train in CQC with Israeli instructors too.  I only know CQC because I play videogames, but that would be Close Quarters Combat if you don’t.

Umm…Olivier pulls it off, but this is where it gets kind of fuzzy. You know how they call porn films, “BLUE MOVIES.” John Holmes dong ain’t nowhere near as blue as THIS FILM.  Some legit night shots meld with the bluest day for nights I can recall.  Click these and you can start to try and sort it all out. I totally understand budget restrictions, but I seriously could not follow these parts at all.

Uh, action scenes!

The action is pretty much front and back loaded with Gruner actually doing something I appreciate a lot from him, when he shows his chops with the familiar theme of a dad trying to do better for his son, or sparring MMA to show of his non acting and more combative chops.  So, there is some chop showing. There is also CGI missle strikes. But, we’ll leave that on it’s own.

 I am endless amused by VENUM apparel by the way.  Putting the UM in spelling for years now!

SECTOR 4: EXTRACTION is very interesting for fans of Gruner, it is definitely caught between being an action film, with tremendous little action, or a drama that has a really simple conclusion that loses the fun, gravitas or punch of either genre.  Technically it looks really nice, barring the filtered to invisibility bits, and while I called the score a bit of a drone (and hey, look for the repeated shot of a drone!) it does the job of giving the film the dramatic tone Gruner is seeking.  But for me, I’ll stick to going G.I.A. (Gruner In Action) with my rentals.  Fans will note that Eric Roberts (who gives Edmund Purdom a race to the top of “guy with very pink lips that plays untrustworthy dickheads in genre films” in this film) is matched up with Gruner in a similar role to that of TNT!  Because you know, as a Grunerphile, it’s all important!

Jerry Warren Talksterpiece Thee-Ay-Ta : ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY

There are some things in life that I can say I SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO DO. But, that is never the case when it comes to my celluloid sins, and when VCI offered a 60 percent discount on Black Friday I had to purchase the first two volumes of THE JERRY WARREN COLLECTION. Why? Because it was there and even though I’ve seen these in my distant past as a stalker of all things monster movie, I must have forgot just how…special…they are.  First up…ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY!

Hard not to love the Aztec Mummy, unless Jerry Warren gets a hold of his already slow moving bandaged body and then adds THOUSANDS OF WORDS OF DIALOG ABOUT A PLOT THAT HAS NO INTEREST AT ALL AND CREATES FLASHBACKS WITHIN FLASHBACKS!  Egads, it’s just all talk this time around and I am now convinced that I’d not seen this. I’ve seen plenty of Aztec Mummy, but as a curiosity I found this exercise in cinematic futility pretty fun.  Let’s see… Instead of a movie about that Mayan Mummy attacking, what we have is a doctor telling a newspaper guy about research experiments. At length. AAAAAAAAAA TTTTTTTT  LLLLLLLength.

“So..uh…how long are we supposed to talk?  I’m starting to crack up..or act…or something…”

“Hmm… you need me to talk into the phone about stuff…for HOW LONG???”

Anyways, I won’t bore you with the plot, but there is a bit the lovely leading lady giving hypnotic regression testimony to Mexican Monster footage that made me smile at the sheer balls and POSITIVELY NO REFUNDS attitude as we start flashing back double deep!  The end is kind of neat as well, it gives us a car crash finish (which Warren used again as I recall, hopefully in one of these sets) and the Mummy!  Oh man, the poor mummy is barely in this!!

“I am not an afterthought…I’m in the title!!!  Oh, are those headlights…ARRRRGH!!”

Well, I asked for it, and I got it… I’m STARVING to watch the film that brought me to this one, I have wonderful memories of enjoying MAN BEAST, and it’s on Volume 1. After this chatty disappointment I can’t describe why I’m so excited for more Jerry Warren hijinx, but I am.   2015…the year of Cinemasochism is off to a great start… Because there is always something great to find in any bit of film (right? maybe…uh…for me?).  During one long chat there is a woman shimmying in the background with some sheer pants that would give Athleta Catalog fans (uh…I don’t know any….umm…well…ok, me) something to watch and zone out on the talk!  This film is one talky ass film, but it least it brought the booty!

ZOUNDS…