Saturday, May 13, 2006

Graduation Day

Spoilers Below

I'm straddling the fence on this little slasher 'epic'. I get the idea that Herb Freed, director -(now there's a name) thought he had himself a slasher gem on his hands. This film takes itself way too seriously, but does deliver on a few levels, albeit mediocre at best.
Good old stand-by Chris George (Pieces, The Gates of Hell,)is an overbearing track and field coach and likes to push his students over the edge. He must have pushed just a little too hard, because one girl decides to 'give up the ghost' during a public track meet, falling over dead from an apparent heart condition [from a race] due to over exhurtion. Uh oh! We just know that someone has got to avenge the death of the girl, and much to our expectations, someone does. Whomever it may be is doing away with people on the track team, donning a sweat suit, giallio-esque black gloves, and a stopwatch. It seems as if the killer times his victims deaths - from the time he spots them, he/she hitting the button, until the murder is over. The haneous killer tries to orchestrate his kills in under thirty seconds, the same amount of time our little female track star had to please the coach's demand for a fast time. (Before she kicked the bucket)
Graduation Day is filled with would-be red herrings, but none of them played out too extensively. The fomulatic layout of the slasher film in the earliest of the 80's was still in its infancy, so-to-speak, so Chris George's character COULD have been conceived as being the killer. (Although we find out later he's not, when he's confronted by the killer)
I'll give Herb Freed SOME credit. I'll not detract from his wanton slasher 'masterpiece'. There are some very Italian-like shots that present themselves in subtle ways throughout the entire film, but it was quiet hard to enjoy my old RCA vhs and its constant glare throughout. It's like watching a movie through a sunlit riddled window, a light haze hovering above everything.
Hey, I almost forgot big sister (who is in the Navy, doesn't get along with her father and is 'tough as nails') and the mock Friday the 13th scene - ala Annie being given a ride by a husky old truck driver, as this time, its the big sister of the fallen track star making her way home for her sisters funeral. Is it big sis in a rage, murdering everyone in her path, via different weapons and black gloves?
We also have 'Kevin'. He's probably one of the ugliest individuals I've ever seen. He looks like someone the casting agents picked up off the streets, decided to shave, and ultimately, give the part as a mourning boyfriend who planned to marry 'track girl' on 'Graduation Day'. To be totally honest, it's not real hard to guess who the killer is. He does have a unique, albeit cheesy way of offing his victims. We have one chic getting murdered in the girls locker-room. The last time I checked, it's pretty much hard to kill someone in a school without getting caught- or- at least blowing their own brains out. Nevertheless, slasher films don't make room for much continuity, so there's not much to pick at if one has conceived this idea from the get-go.
I'm not totally gonna diss Graduation Day. It has its flaws, but it also has its moments. There's some really good chase scenes entwined with some off-beat atmosphere, and a few original murders - Like a spike horizontally stuck through a football, thrown in a perfect Dan Marino spiral directly into its human target -or- the loley pole vaulter lands on a pad full of strategically placed spikes. At least a little bit of thinking went into the death scenes. By some odd means, I find myself watching this one more than I should, even though I don't watch it very much. (Is that a paradox?) Anyway, for the slasher completist like me, this is a must have, simply becuause its Graduation Day. For fans of old 80's horror in general, if you can find it, it's well worth the 99c rental at your local videostore. While you won't get many scares along the way, you'll get a full stomach by getting extra helpings of cheese.

Friday, May 12, 2006

EU and America's. Closer Ties.


I sort of predicted in the Surprise letter from Iran post that U.S. ties with the EU would slowly writher away. A stepping stone to proving my point came today, when the EU vowed stronger relations with the America's -Bolivia, Venezuela and Hugo Chavez were main players in the role, as Brussels was the main factor in establishing EU/South American ties. This is probably raising an eyebrow with American politicians who support the war in Iraq, and favor the EU as their closest ally. Of course, we all know of President Bush's disdain for Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. This is why I must stick to my guns with the statement I made in the aforementioned post. Again, energy/oil plays the main factor involving surprise political agendas and new team-ups. We all know of the energy crisis facing the world today. We also know that the EU is facing a gas shortage (even moreso than the rest of the world) and establishing ties with Venezuela and other Latin countries is a stepping stone for cheaper prices at the pump- and a better long-run outlook for the citizens of The European Union. Below is a link.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4763999.stm

Zombie Lake

If you like your zombies with green make-up that gets washed off by the water as they rise and submerge from a stagnant pond, you'll love this cheesy flick. It's more along the lines as a softcore porn than a zombie film. There's a storyline that involves Nazi soldiers, somewhat teetering on a love-story. I bought the Euro-Collection dvd just because it was quiet hard to find around here. I wish I had saved the eight bucks I spent on it.

The Nastiest Man in the World





























Giovanni Lombardo Radice -aka- John Morghen - By alot of cult filmmakers and cult cinema lovers, he's considered 'The Nastiest Man in the World'. No matter what horror film he's in, you can count on him do die an excruciating painful death. Drills through the head, penis chopping, being scalped, crushed, you name it. You can also expect the film you're watching to be filled with vile imagery and content. Aside from all this, Giovanni is one of the nicest people in the world. I love the Italians. Really. Cultural, yet open minded. Back in my hay-day, I did an interview with Lombardo-Radice, which I'll post soon.

Lucio's Antonella


To the left are pics of Antonella, the daughter of the late great Lucio Fulci. I got a chance to speak with her back in 2003 (as mentioned in a previous post) , but also did a very extensive interview with her. Some of the questions were about her, but alot of them reguarded her father as well. She's a kind and gernous soul and I hope to meet her again one day. BTW, be looking to the long interview with her, coming soon.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Horror, the horror!

It's a shame. Good old America. It's full. Seriously put, America IS full. There's no more room for foreigners. This isn't because we hate you, or despise you because of your cultural beliefs, or simply don't want a 'chink' , 'wetback' or a 'kike' living next door to us. For the most part, the American citizen can get along with everybody. The everyday blue collared workers who make up America are a rare breed. Where I'm from, just think of the main cast in George Mihalka's 1981 slasher film, My Bloody Valentine, and you pretty much have an inside look at the people who make up my area. (With better hair and a better wardrobe, of course. Although, you still see the occasional VW bug now and again.) Hell, we love everybody. You really cant blame someone from the bowels of El Mexico to want to just cross the border - an invisible line. They should change the old saying from 'Grass is greener on the other side' to ' A Mexican's grass is greener on the other side. Hell, you can pick up a good lb of Mexico's best for a hundred buck a pound, but I'd hate to be the runner who had to stick the goods up his ass before crossing the border. I wonder if he would ever get the munchies, since, well, the weeds already, well...
We love you all, we just can keep you. We might even have to send some of you back. True, there's some of us Americans who hope you die and wish you a thousand deaths, not only upon you, but your families and the traitors you associate with. This is only a small percentage. (The rest of Americans are too politically correct to come out and say, "we wish you would just get the hell out', but let me assure you, they're feeling it, but still, we don't hate you. If we could, we would just blow all other countries off the map (but not before giving everyone a deadline to come to America. The ones who didn't make it, well...) and call America 'The World'. We'll do away with the globe and make new ones called 'plasitic hemispheres'. We can't tho.

Lucio Fulci: In The Office

Everyone horror fan knows who the 'Godfather' is, the Godfather of Gore, that is. Back in 2003, I had the chance to speak with Antonella, daughter of Lucio.
I incidently had the chance to ask her some personal questions, and a few about her horror making father. Antonella is a very generous person. She gave me a couple pictures of Lucio 'in his office'. I'm not sure if they've ever been published after being shown briefly on an old site of mine about four years ago, so here's a few for you Fulci fans to gander at.

Copyright: 2006
BOTH PICS

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Driving School

Just got home from my driving school from an incident that occured back in January - on the 25th to be exact.
Well, what the hell do you have to go to driving school for, you ask? It's really a simple story.
Both my wife and I had to spend the night in jail - Me, for driving under the influence. Under the influence of what? Marijuana. I've been a smoker since I was fourteen. My wife spent the night in jail for NOTHING. She takes a prescription medication for a nervous condition (which she stated to the cop). He made her to the heel-to-toe walk-and-turn -- on gravels to beat it all. He stated that he saw powder in her nose, which God 'nose', you couldn't pay my wife a million dollars to snort anything up her head. The absolute main reason he took her jail was because her 'eyes were jerking'. (Which is a side effect of the medication) We have a major problem in my small town with cops illegally arresting people. This case with my wife was a blatent illegal arrest, which was later beaten in court with the judge precluding the case, but not before making crude remarks about the carelessness of her arrest. You could tell the cop was furious she beat her charges.. I've been trying to get her to file a lawsuit, but, she's a procrastinator, but is also busy with her job. She needs to do it quick. I told her that if she and a few other people would stand up to the overbearing police assholes around here, all this bullshit would at least halt a little.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Coolest Guitar EVER.

Romero Bytes

George Romero. When someone mentions the name, scenes of an apartment complex in seige of zombies, or an underground bunker full of mouthing soldiers and disgruntled scientists come to mind - not to mention the cemetary zombie and 'Bub'.

It's sad, but true - Romero is getting older. Along with this comes the fact that he'll probably never make another truly epic zomvie film. Land of the Dead will pass, but it just wasn't the magnus opus I was hoping for. Day of The Dead 2: Contagium, that's simply a disgrace to the wonderfully gory 'Day of the Dead' - a slap in the face, if you will.

Here's a quote from an article I read sometime back:

''We were all sad when George Romero’s Land of the Dead – a fierce and brilliantly good entry in his Dead series – didn’t do as well at the box office as the current crop of crappy horror films. I worried that this would be the end of the series – not because I wanted to see an endless rehash of the same stuff but precisely because Romero does the opposite, bringing new themes and ideas to each of his films.

The Dead films could be continuing, though, in a whole new way – as a series of direct to DVD releases.

Today I spoke with John Harrison, who has worked with George Romero throughout his career as assistant director, composer, and even as the Screwdriver Zombie in Dawn of the Dead. I was talking to John about the recent DVD release of the lost horror classic Effects (starring Tom Savini and Day of the Dead’s Joe Pilato the excellent new Effects DVD from CHUD!), and he mentioned that he had been working with Romero on some new projects.

“I can’t talk about them too much because they’re in the nascent stages,” he told me. “There are a couple of smaller projects, including one that could be really fun. I can’t talk too much about it, unfortunately, but what I can say is that it remains in the world he is known for and it would be a new DVD franchise.”

There’s more – including talk about Romero’s Dracula film, upcoming Clive Barker movies, and the possible future of the Dune franchise, as well as lots of great information about the lost classic Effects – in my full interview with Harrison, which should run in the next day or so!''

Script Writing Game


The daily members of the discussion forums over at bodycount-continues are doing as little screenwriting game. Each one who participates writes a scene to a slasher film set in the 80's. Check out the forums and sign up. The game is taking place in the General Bullshit Section.

http://bodycount-continues.com

Monday, May 08, 2006

Surprise: Letter from Iran

Well, it's late, and I'm still up, as usual. As my wife snores to her hearts content, I'm left up, pondering on lifes adventures and certain little mishaps, dwelling on the days activities.

It seems as if a surprise infiltrated the airwaves today. I just got a chance to catch the news this evening and found out that the leader of Iran (I'm not going to even try and spell his name) personally sent a letter to President George Bush today. Supposedly, it was to contain a more lighter tone, something very different and unusual coming from such an eccentric leader who publicly denied the holocaust, and called for Israel's complete destruction. I'm not really sure what to make of it. It's supposed to state that Iran is willing to take certain options in reguards to a diplomatic approach to solving the spliff between Iran, the U.S. and The United Nations. Sec. of State Rice stated in a conference that the letter sent by Iran's President would not "resolve standoff".

I don't know about the world and its population sometimes. Doesn't the world know by now that George Bush is not going to backdown until his last second in office? He's stuck pretty much by everything he said he was going to in reguards to Iraq and Afghanistan, and even let the world get a first hand look at his view of the world by naming off countries he considerd to be an 'axis of evil'. George Bush is not one to be taken likely, and it's no surprise to me that the letter was probably used to light one of Bush's cigars. It's just a matter of time before a showdown between the US and IRAN, (with GERMANY as the key ally. By this time, the British will have backed off a bit.) occurs. The world should also know by now that the UN is useless. There's been alot of talk lately of dismantling the UN completely, or simply tossing Annan to the curb - (which should have been done along time ago). The IAEA is another organization that's helpful to a certain extent, a 'watchdog' if you will, giving a public eye to who's doing what, but they've been completely useless in their attempts at a resolution. BTW, take a look at the first name of the president of the IAEA.. Anyway, we'll have to see in the weeks ahead how the President of Iran publicly disgraced himself in front of his Muslim fanaticals and the reactions thereof. Will he raise his rhetoric even more, out of sheer anger? Will he do it out of embarrasment? Does he realize now that nothing he said or done detorued Bush in any way? Looks like me may slowly be getting the picture.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Drink Your Blood


I just bought this dvd sometime back ( Cheezy Flicks release), but I loved it. I love old drive-in type flicks, and this is the epitimy of such. We have a band of satanic hippies who make their way to the country to lodge. They're simply a bunch of acid dropping idiots who like trouble. They're headed by a looney Indian named Bashkar (which incidently was paralyzed shortly after the film was made) who likes forcing old men to drop acid. Needless to say, the old man freaks out (Which is eerily comical, yet disturbing at the same time)
Just before this, the group gang rape a girl when they catch her spying on one of their satanic rituals. Well, it just so happens to be the grandaughter of the old man they force-fed LSD. With the acid droping senior citizen escapade and the raping of the girl, the grandson of the old man takes matters into his own hands. He shoots a rabid dog, drains the blood, and sells a load of meat pies to the hippies, as they've by this point taken over an abandoned house full of rats.
It's not long before the group start freaking out - foaming out the mouth, bugged out in this horrorific daze, hellbent on murderous intentions, whether by axe or large sword.
There's one truly scary part that would really be horrorific in reality. You have this crazed black man, frothing out the mouth, carring this large axe. He's got you bayed and has abnormal strength - crossed with the rabies and the drugs - He runs very very fast at you, hollering and screaming, freaking out after every high pitched sound he hears. Very intense scene for such a schlocky film.
A group of dam builders come to rescue, not until after a bunch try to take advantage of one of the infected chics - she going wild and biting her agressors. Needless to say, the rabies infection blows out of porportion as a bunch of frothing brutes come running full speed ahead with various sharp instruments. They're razing through the town, trying to viciously attack anyone who doesn't look infected.
There's alot of hig pitched bangs and squeals which goes along with the effect of the whole rabies symptom pattern - getting angry and upset at high pitched noises.
Nonetheless, while not a perfect film, this one delivers on a few levels. One can't deny it's one of the most original films ever made. The guy Bashkar was a really good actor (although I didn't care much for him), but incidently died this past year.
I didn't realize until after finally getting to see it that alot of films were inspired by this one.

AKA: Phobia