January 5th, 2009

EVIL DEAD TRAP (1988) ** ½

Nami (Miyuki Ono) is a chick who hosts a Night Flight type of show in which she plays home movies sent in by her viewers.  One night someone sends her a snuff movie of a woman being killed.  Along with some of her colleagues, Nami finds the warehouse where the murder took place and they investigate.  Everyone starts dropping like flies pretty quickly until only Nami is left to contend with the murderer, who has a mother fixation and a really odd brother. 


Despite the title, the film is less an Evil Dead rip-off (although there is a lot of swooping POV camerawork) and more of a Dario Argento style horror flick.  The filmmakers ape Argento’s style left and right and lift a lot of things from Phenomena too.  Seeing an Italian influenced Japanese horror flick is a bit discombobulating to say the least but Evil Dead Trap delivers the goods more often than not, which is more than I can say for most Japanese horror flicks.


The flick does have its share of problems though, chief among them is the fact that most of the cast gets killed off too quickly, leaving the heroine way too much time to hang around and do a lot of nothing.  This makes the second act of the film a bit dull, however once the murderer’s malevolent murderous munchkin sibling makes his messy entrance, things perk up considerably.  The final shot is quite memorable and is really sick too.


Speaking of sick, there’s an eyeball stabbing scene in this movie that ranks right up there with the one from Zombie.  That’s right folks, it’s that gross.  We also get to see a bunch of steel skewers shoved through a girl, a pole punched through the back of some guy’s head and out his mouth, strangulation, decapitation, and a gnarly machete to the face.  There’s also some nudity in there to keep the horndogs in the audience happy as well.


Ono gets the best line of the movie when she tells the killer:  “Split personality or mama freak?  Either way, you’re crazy!”

HANCOCK (2008) ***

Will Smith stars as Hancock, a superhero with a surly demeanor, a bad drinking problem, and a horrible public image.  When Hancock saves the life of a PR man named Ray (Jason Bateman), he returns the favor by giving Hancock some much needed good publicity.  Trouble starts brewing though when Hancock learns that Ray’s hottie wife (Charlize Theron) is actually a superhero too.  Hancock also starts losing his powers, which isn’t a good thing since his hook-handed nemesis is looking to kill him.


As directed by Peter (The Kingdom) Berg, Hancock is an uneven but entertaining mindless summer movie.  The fact that I finally got around to watching it in the winter time probably knocked a ½ * off the rating, since at home it loses a little something on the small screen.  While the first half of the flick is great, with the drunken Hancock flying around the city and causing untold amounts of property damage; once Theron reveals her true identity (a “twist” that you can see coming a mile away), the movie threatens to go off the rails. 


Luckily the movie is saved by the considerable charisma of Smith.  Usually I can take or leave Big Willie Style, but he’s proved with this and I Am Legend that he’s capable of doing other stuff besides his usual “Aw, Hell no!” shtick.  Bateman is also mighty fine and he and Smith have a lot of chemistry together.  It’s just a shame that he isn’t given a whole lot to do during the third act.


Naturally, Smith gets the best line of the movie when he tells a gawking onlooker:  “I will break my foot off in your ass, woman!”


“I needed sex, and I needed it now!” 


That’s the rationale Maria (Uta Erickson) gives for answering a sex ad that requests a full time sex servant.  Since she is bored of parading around naked for the neighbors and her lesbian lover isn’t socking it to her like she should, Maria heads on over to the home of Spenser (the director, Michael Findlay), the titular wheelchair bound degenerate.  There, she has sex with a bunch of lesbians, has extended nude photo sessions and has more sex with a bunch of lesbians.  To keep her always ready for more sex, Spenser drugs her up with an intravenous aphrodisiac, which looked pretty effective from where I was sitting.  In the end, Spenser’s manservant Bruno (Earl Hindman) gets jealous of all the attention his master gets so he switches Maria’s aphrodisiac with a psychotic substance that makes her go crazy and murder Spenser.


I’m a big fan of Findlay’s Flesh Trilogy, and while The Ultimate Degenerate isn’t quite in the same league as those flicks, it’s still a pretty decent slice of sexploitation.  Like The Curse of Her Flesh, this film features a chick pleasuring herself with a vegetable.  Somebody also must have had an insanely powerful whipped cream fetish because this flick is loaded with scenes of girls getting whipped cream squirted on them.  There’s also a disturbing scene in which a girl gets fucked by a dildo that gives her electric shocks too.


The Ultimate Degenerate isn’t exactly a “good” movie.  It’s technically crude and the flimsy plot goes nowhere for the better half of its 71 minute running time.  Then again, it features a chick naked in just about every scene and has a high quotient of lesbianism, so what more can you really ask from a movie?  Granted, most of the chicks are Butterfaces, but I’m not really going to complain since the nudity is so copious.  While the majority of the film looks awfully shoddy, the freakout scene in which our heroine sees a lot of lingerie clad chicks wearing gas masks was particularly well done.


Hindman later went on to play Tim Allen’s neighbor Wilson on Home Improvement!


Best line:  “It’s 1969, so let’s 69!”


AKA:  The Degenerate.


Lusting Hours is a sloppy, slapdash, slipshod, “expose” of women who sell their bodies for sex.  It features a generous amount of nudity and is broken up into three segments.  The first segment is called “House Girls” and is primarily about women who hock their hoo-has in a brothel (“sometimes called a road house”).  The second part, “Street Girls” is mostly about prostitutes who pick up Johns on the street and the final portion, “Call Girls” is all about, well… call girls.


If you notice in that first paragraph I used the words like “primarily” and “mostly” to describe the plots of the various segments of the movie.  That’s because this flick will go off on a tangent about halfway through a segment and start focusing on something totally unrelated when it should be telling you all about what the title is promising.  For instance during the “House Girls” part of the movie, the flick switches gears midstream and starts focusing on photographer’s models.  This is all well and good, but these girls don’t even work in the brothel!  Instead of shoehorning these girls into the “House Girls” chapter, the filmmakers should’ve made a separate segment reserved just for the photographer’s models.  Also, the “Street Girls” section focuses more on gay street hustlers than female prostitutes!  C’mon, isn’t the title of this part called “Street GIRLS”?  Talk about a rip-off. 


On the plus side, the flick does contain a bunch of girls getting naked and that’s always a good thing.


AKA:  The Love Hours.  AKA:  The Wanting Hours.