November 5th, 2012

BLOODY MOVIE (1987) ** ½

Lance Hayward is a reclusive old timey movie actor. When his mansion is sold off, a bunch of horny teens think it’s a good idea to go and check out his rundown estate. Pretty soon, people start dying at the hands of a murderer dressed up as characters from Hayward’s films.

I’m not here to proclaim that Bloody Movie is a good film. I am just here to give you the facts. The facts are these:

• John Ireland, Cameron Mitchell, The Skipper, Aldo Ray, and Grizzly Adams are in this movie.

• 80’s porn star Jamie Summers is in this movie and gets naked in the bathtub for a sex scene.

• 80’s scream queen Michelle Bauer is in this movie as a hot biker chick who in one scene runs around completely naked for no reason whatsoever.

• The gore highlights include a guy being ripped in half, a spear to the stomach, a hook to the head, a decapitation, a chick falling onto a bed of spikes, hands chopped off, and a guy being impaled on a white picket fence.

• There is not necessarily a whole lot of bullshit in between the death scenes.

In fact, the 80’s slasher fan in me probably would’ve given it Three Stars had it not been that every time someone gets killed, there’s a needless montage of clips of Hayward’s films, posters, and lobby cards interspersed with the murder. So, I had to take points off for that. But still, if you want to see lots of character actors getting killed off and 80’s porn stars and scream queens getting naked, you really can’t go wrong with Bloody Movie.

AKA: Terror Night.

A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (2003) * ½

I got this movie off of Netflix because the DVD box looked cool. (It had two chicks lying on a sofa covered in blood.) It also didn’t hurt that the director, Jee-won Kim is doing Arnold’s latest flick, so I figured I’d give it a shot to see what he’s all about. But as it turns out, A Tale of Two Sisters is just another one of those Japanese horror films about a ghost girl on a bad hair day haunting somebody.

The two titular sisters go to live with their dad and his kooky new wife. Pretty soon, they start seeing ghosts and no one believe them. The one sister pretty much flips her shit over the whole thing and winds up in a mental institution.

A Tale of Two Sisters is a mostly dull slog of a movie. There is one good moment where a hand comes out from in between the ghost girl’s legs, but that’s about it. Since most of the shock moments just revolve around hands appearing from out of nowhere (like the sink), it all gets a bit repetitive after a while.

Also, if you’ve seen plenty of horror films in your time (like I have) you’ll be able to predict the big plot “twist” of the flick (like I did). The thing is, when the big reveal finally happens, the movie still isn’t over. If it just ended right there, it would’ve been a tolerable 75 minute movie, but it goes on for another 35 minutes. Why? I have no idea.

The film was later remade as The Uninvited. I haven’t seen that one yet. Because Elizabeth Banks plays the loony tunes stepmother, I may have to check it out sometime.

AKA: Two Sisters.

IT CAME FROM THE THRIFT STORE: SKETCH ARTIST (1992) **

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This VHS (a former rental screener) kicks off with a preview for… Sketch Artist. Then the plot begins. Drew Barrymore plays a bike messenger who witnesses a mysterious woman leaving the scene of a murder. The cops make her describe the suspect to the police sketch artist, played by Jeff Fahey. As Fahey sketches, he slowly realizes he’s drawing a picture of his wife (Sean Young). Frantic, he alters the picture at the last minute, so she won’t become a suspect. Later, Barrymore winds up murdered and Fahey begins to think his wife just may be the killer after all.

You know, I watched Sketch Artist 2 a while back as a part of Sequel-Palooza. Now that I’ve watched them both, I have to say that they suffer from the same basic problem. They have a great set-up; but from then on, everything else is pretty mediocre. This one stings a bit more because the set-up is so good (imagine if Hitchcock had gotten ahold of this premise) that it’s especially depressing to see it go into the shitter so quickly. And the predictable ending requires Fahey to act as stupid as humanly possible because if he didn’t, there would be no suspense.

The film is anchored by a good Fahey performance. His character may act like a complete imbecile, but he still gives it 100%. Barrymore fares well with her limited screen time. This was when she was in her transition from bad girl to “actress”, so seeing her in any movie from this era is sorta fun. And Sean Young looks hot and gets naked, so I can’t completely write this movie off.

Next week’s Thrift Store flick: Michael Pare in Dragonfight.

THE HELLBENDERS (1967) *

Shortly after the Civil War, Confederate Joseph Cotten and his loyal sons go around cheating Yankees out of their money. When the one broad they use for their scams croaks, they buy a whore to help them. Of course, one of Cotten’s sons falls head over heels for her and eventually wants out of the family business.

I knew I was in trouble on this Spaghetti Western when I saw the name “Albert Band” in the credits. Even though such reliable Italians as Ruggero Deodato, Enzo Barboni, and Sergio Corbucci were involved, I knew that Band’s name canceled them all out. Band of course is the man who directed Zoltan, Hound of Dracula; one of the worst Dracula movies I’ve ever seen.

And my instincts were pretty dead on because The Hellbenders is one of the worst Spaghetti Westerns I’ve ever seen.

The whole movie is rather lifeless and repetitive. The only thing that keeps you awake (well… mostly) is the awful dubbing. The ending is particularly lame; mostly because the brothers’ actions are so stupid. I mean when you dig up a coffin you think is loaded with money, wouldn’t it make sense to open it up in the cemetery and not days later.

Apparently Quentin Tarantino loves this movie; but take that with a grain of salt because he’s also the guy who prefers Psycho 2 to Psycho 1.

AKA: The Cruel Ones.