Friday, November 25, 2016

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

Happy Thanksgiving, jerkwads!

With today being the official start to the mad dash to the finish line that is the Christmas shopping season, I figured I'd feature a Christmas themed movie to celebrate the occasion.  I will admit that I pretty much did not want to do anything Christmas themed for December because there are a LOT of bad Christmas movies out there - none of which I want to watch.

Enter Don't Open Till Christmas, a curious little British slasher film from the producers of Pieces.  If you don't know what Pieces is, it's a badly acted, pretty gory, slasher film.  On the poster and the box art, it tells you that it is exactly what you think it is too - which is pretty brilliant because, at that point, no critic can bash you if you do it to yourself first.  Anyway, Don't Open Till Christmas stars Edmund Purdom (who also directed the movie) and features Caroline Munro as herself in a cameo.

Being a James Bond fan, I'm looking forward to that Caroline Munro scene, personally.

From the Drive In Movie Classics 50 Pack Box Set, we're told: "A deranged killer is stalking the streets of London murdering people dressed as Santa Claus, in a number of gruesome ways.  An inspector from Scotland Yard vows to solve the case before any other Santas are found brutally murdered.  Working on some leads brought to him by a reporter, the inspector desperately tries to track down the psychopathic killer."

This seems like some pretty standard slasher fare.  I like that instead of teenagers and stuff like an American flick would have, the British go with the Jack the Ripper style killer and the inspector from Scotland Yard chasing him.  As if that's any classier.  Let's crack this bad boy open and see what's inside.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

This week's B-Movie Enema is going to take a look at 1964's The Last Man on Earth starring the great Vincent Price.

Based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend, this film puts a new spin on the post-apocalyptic wasteland type of story by featuring a man who is trying to stay alive not against zombies or crazed bad guys (see any post-Romero zombie movie or Mad Max for reference), and not strictly mutants of that wasteland (see... Judge Dredd... I guess?  And not the good one either).  Instead, our hero is fighting off people who have mutated into vampires.

That's a crazy idea if you ask me.  It's not that they aren't just mutants or crazy people gone mad from the end of the world.  No no no...  Nothing so mundane.  They are fucking Draculas!

This film was made in Italy and is an America-Italian co-production.  The exterior shots oddly don't look like they were filmed outside of Hollywood and that's kinda interesting itself.  Matheson would have several of his novels turned into movies (What Dreams May Come, Somewhere in Time, though that is not the original title of the book, and A Stir of Echoes to name just a few).  He also had a short story called Duel adapted into a television movie that launched the career of Steven Spielberg, though I have no idea why that is noteworthy.  I've never heard of that guy.  Matheson ALSO write sixteen episodes of Twilight Zone including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" starring William Shatner.

I Am Legend, though, would be the crown jewel in terms of his adapted works - being made at least three times into movies (explanation for "at least" at the end of the paragraph).  After The Last Man on Earth, it was made into the 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle The Omega Man (though the adaptation is much looser), and the 2007 I Am Legend starring Will Smith.  I suppose it should also be said that 2008 found The Asylum producing the mockbuster I Am Omega to capitalize on the Will Smith production and so I guess it counts as an adapted piece.

But for The Last Man on Earth, our synopsis comes from the 50-pack Horror Classics DVD set: "The film opens on Dr. Robert Morgan (Price) awakening to another bleak day of existence.  It's been three years since a world-wide plague has changed Earth's population into zombie-like vampires and Dr. Morgan is the only man to survive due to an immunity he acquired working in Central America years before.  Finding food and fuel and looking for other possible survivors is his only existence all the while battling hordes of blood thirsty vampires.  Hope springs to life for Dr. Morgan when he is able to cure a young woman of her vampirism through a transfusion of his own blood.  Can Dr. Morgan create a cure for the human race before the vampires get him?"

Let's dive in, shall we?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Firewalker (1986)

Whoa-ho boy.  It's been far too long since I last talked about a Cannon Films/Chuck Norris action flick, and I think now's as good a time as any to revisit the 80s' greatest hero.

For this week, I decided to cover the one Chuck Norris movie I've seen more than any other - Firewalker.  When I was a kid, this movie was on HBO or some other cable channel ALL THE TIME.  It's just a good old fashioned Chuck Norris flick that tries so hard to be Indiana Jones.  Also Academy Award Winner Lou Gossett is there too.  And Melody Anderson who I think almost every guy my age had a crush on, thanks in no small part to Flash Gordon.

This was the type of movie that no matter the time of day it came on, I watched it in its entirety.  It's also the type of movie, when you watch it as an adult, does not stand up to the lovely memories you had as a kid.  Still, it holds that special place in your heart and  you just can't help but love this turkey.

I still have such deep feelings for it that I actually bought the movie on DVD.  Therefore, it's the back of that box where I'll take our synopsis: "After a long career of mishaps, wrong turns, and utter failures, archaeological adventurers Max and Leo (Norris and Gossett) are read to call it quits... Until a spunky blonde beauty (Anderson) with an ancient treasure map hires them to guide her into Central America to find Aztec gold.  But as they draw closer to the priceless bounty, they are unaware that a powerful, vengeful spirit is tracking their every move and will stop at nothing to protect the sacred treasures!"

Doesn't this just sound like a blast?  Also, I do love me some treasure maps, Aztec gold, and, naturally, spunky blonde beauties!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Special: The Werewolf of Washington (1973)

My fellow Americans...  In this time of strife, unrest, dangers from threats inside and outside our great nation, I call on you to do your civic duty and vote.  Don't vote Democrat or Republican.  Libertarian or Green.  Vote Werewolf.  He is a man with voracity and spirit!  He is a man who would later appear on a cult classic television show about a guy who time travels by leaping into bodies and helping right historical wrongs.  As his poster says he "Makes it Perfectly Clear!"

Wait...  Whaaaaaaaaaaa?

Folks, today's movie is The Werewolf of Washington and it was made as a satire against the state of the nation under Richard Nixon's reign as President.  I've seen this movie too many times.  For reasons I don't want to go into here...  But let's get back to that little tagline again.

"Makes it Perfectly Clear."  Is that his campaign slogan?  Is that a play on a real politician's campaign slogan?  Frankly, I think I have a pretty strong argument that it does NOT make anything perfectly clear.  There's a fucking werewolf or puppy dog or yeti wearing an Uncle Sam hat.  I mean, that's clear.  This is pretty bonkers really.  I want to know exactly what is being made clear and I want to know it right now.  But since this is B-Movie Enema, we all know that is a fool's errand on my part.  These movies are goddamn terrible and I'm sitting here watching them like an asshole.

Sigh...  Okay, let's pull up the plot synopsis here from IMDb: "A reporter who has had an affair with the daughter of the U.S. President is sent to Hungary. There he is bitten by a werewolf, and then gets transferred back to Washington, where he gets a job as press assistant to the President. Then bodies start turning up in D.C..."

Makes it perfectly clear.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Doctor Mordrid (1992)

Woopidee doo!  You know that brand new Marvel Studios movie coming out today???  Yeah, Doctor Something or Another?!?  I'm going to talk about it today for B-Movie Enema!  What exciteme...

Wait.  What the shit is this?  Doctor Mordrid?  I'm fairly certain that isn't the name of the new Marvel movie.  I'm about 99.9% sure the character's name is Doctor STRANGE.  I mean, he looks like Doctor Strange.  He's got that tunic thing and that amulet business.  He's doing magic lightning stuff with his hands.  There is a trippy, weird shit thing going on with the universe in there.  This is Doctor Strange, right?  I mean that's Benedict Cumberbatch there playing this wizard dude, yeah?  No.  Wait, that says Jeffrey Combs.  Huh.

For all seriousness, Charles Band, schlock auteur extraordinaire, possessed a film option to bring Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange to the big screen.  With his Full Moon Features unable to produce a movie in time before the option ran out, Band, doing what all good schlock auteurs should do, just said, "fuck it" and made some small changes to the script to remove all the Marvel-ness from it.  The result was this direct to video flick, Doctor Mordrid.

That's it, kids.  That's the whole backstory to why this thing exists.  But what is it about?  IMDB tells us: "An unspeakable evil has come into our dimension and wants to rule over Earth, and only a mysterious sorcerer known as Doctor Mordrid can stop him."

Righy-o!  Let's welcome Full Moon Features to the B-Movie Enema family and crack open this Doctor Strange ripoff!