March 19th, 2009

BLADES (1989) **

Troma released this spoof of Jaws set at a golf course where a killer lawnmower runs around making mulch out of golfers.  It's probably the closest thing we'll get to the aborted National Lampoon's Jaws 3, People 0.  Nearly everything from Jaws has been lifted and transplanted to the country club setting.  There's the greedy owner who wants to keep the murders on the Down Low because the big golf tournament is coming up, the nervous town meeting, the grieving slap-happy mother, the autopsy, the POV stalking shots, and a variation on Quint's famous speech.  Of course, the music is a straight rip-off to John William's iconic score.

The gore is OK for this sort of thing.  We get body parts that end up in sand traps, blood spraying out of the bushes, and limbs being cut to pieces.  We're not really watching Blades for the gore though; we're watching it to laugh.  Unfortunately it isn't all that funny.  It's almost as if the filmmakers didn't know it they wanted to make a horror-comedy or a straight-up spoof.  As a result, the movie falls somewhere in between.


Although the humor is kinda spotty, I did enjoy the suggestive way the horny MILF referred to the hunky golfer's club as his "shaft".  ("It will improve your stroke!")  Since I'm a huge Jaws fan I was probably be a lot more tolerant of this flick than most people.  It's not great or anything but at least it's funnier than Caddyshack 2. 


The police chief gets the best line of the movie when he says, "I've got enough evidence on him to make him do the high wattage jig!”

BLOOD HOOK (1987) ½ *

Jim Mallon, the man who produced the cult classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, got his start by directing this insipid horror flick that was later picked up by Troma.  It's all about a bunch of fucking idiots going to Wisconsin on vacation who get murdered by a maniac (who has a metal plate in his head) that uses a fishing pole to reel in his victims. 


Just about every review of this movie I read beforehand commented on the irony of one of the founding members of Mystery Science Theater, the paragons of making fun of bad movies, actually made a MST-worthy film himself.  I hate to be THAT guy, but Blood Hook is far worse than 95% of the films show on MST3K.  Maybe Mallon felt that by producing Mystery Science Theater, he was atoning for directing this shit heap.


Mallon exhibits ZERO style behind the camera and all of the death scenes are thoroughly lame and interchangeable to boot.  All of the "actors" are grating and annoying and will get on your damn nerves in record time.  The inept gore effects are just as amateurish and are few and far between.  This flimsy premise wouldn't have even cut it as part of an anthology, let alone a 92 minute movie.  It just goes to show you why there aren't more killer fishermen movies out there.  (It makes I Know What You Did Last Summer look like Halloween in comparison.)


David (Mister Deathman) Broadnax stars and produced this middling Troma flick   There are no zombies (except for one who briefly appears during a fake voodoo ceremony), but luckily there is an island and plenty of people getting massacred.  The plot has a bunch of vacationers setting foot on the titular island where they all get picked off one by one by a killer wearing a costume made up of grass, weeds, and leafs.  In the weak ending we learn that the killer is just a drug dealer trying to get his hands on a briefcase full of cash.


The flick is mostly remembered as a vehicle for Rita Jenerette, who apparently was a wife of a scandalous senator or something.  I'm not really sure about that, but I do know one thing:  She has a great rack.  While her "acting" talents ain't much, Rita is at least smart enough to show off her puppies in the shower and while having sex.  Consequently, her exquisite frame is easily the best thing about this ho-hum horror flick.  The death scenes are pretty decent as well and include strangulation, bamboo traps, limb hacking, impalement, machete to the head, and decapitation. 


The film starts off rather promising as a lot of people bite the dust before the halfway mark.  Unfortunately, things slow down considerably once the tourists find their way to the abandoned mansion in the jungle where the killer lives.  Sure, the film is more or less shitty and boring, but the kills and titties are there, and let's be honest; that's why you watch a movie called Zombie Island Massacre.  (I do have to knock off a half-star for not having any zombies in it though.)  The score was done by Harry Manfredini and if you've heard his score from Friday the 13th, you'll pretty much hear the same thing here, except Harry adds some native drumming in with the screeching violins.