Friday, July 31, 2009

"One Million Heels B.C." review

One Million Heels B.C. (1993)

Director: Gary Graver

Michelle Bauer... Cavegirl
Cierra Knight
Jerica Fox... Savannah

I purchased the DVD for "Scream Queen Hot Tub Party" and this short film was the bonus feature. "One Million Heels B.C." is an interesting exercise in gratuitous nudity. Michelle Bauer is a cave girl who ends up at the house of two strippers. The girls are fascinated with their new roommate and decide to show her the ways of the 20th Century stripper. The rest of the movie covers such important topics as dressing, undressing, washing, scrubbing, soaping, rinsing, wearing heels, taking off heels, putting on stockings, taking off stockings, and, most importantly, putting on bras and taking off bras.

So if you are looking for non-stop T&A with no plot whatsoever, look no further. "One Million Heels B.C." is a milestone in the history of short films. It is a pure voyeurs delight. This movie is about admiring the naked female body. It is about nothing else. And who has the best body to lust after? Why, Michelle Bauer of course.

The real reason I wanted to talk about this mindless movie was to praise Michelle Bauer and her contribution to B-cinema. She has saved many dire movies from the landfill. Every time I see her name attached to a B-flick, it reassures me that the night won't be a total loss. Her hard body has been thrown into battle against dinosaurs, imps and other assorted B-creatures. Bauer usually ends up topless and proceeds to vanquish her foes. I've enjoyed watching her B-movie antics for years and would rank her up near the top of the scream queen list.

For pure Michelle Bauer satisfaction, check out "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers" or "Nightmare Sisters". They are her two best movies. But if you want to cut to the chase and see Michelle in all her cave-girl glory, "One Million Heels BC." could be a satisfying short cut to Michelle nirvana.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 B-queen Bauers

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"The Haunted Sea" review

The Haunted Sea (1997)

Directors: Dan Golden Daniel Patrick
Writer: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Krista Allen ... 2nd Mate Johnson
Don Stroud ... Chief Foster
Duane Whitaker ... Andy Delgado
Jeff Phillips ... Charlie Lane
James Brolin ... Captain Ramsey
Joanna Pacula ... 1st Mate Bergren

My friend and I watched this one the other day. A salvage boat stumbles upon a mysterious ship in the middle of the ocean. Crew members Krista Allen and Joanna Pacula board the boat to see if they can get into any trouble. They find a horde of Aztec treasure, which is guaranteed to cause them pain and anguish. Sure enough, the treasure turns out to be cursed. Somehow it turns one crew member, (not Krista Allen thank God), into a snake man/beast/cheap effect . The rest of the movie has the crew running for their lives down dark hallways from a spastic snake man.

The monster in this movie had an interesting way of charging his prey. He would first do a little dance shuffle. Then he would shake his arms back and forth and then charge. He looked like he was having an epileptic fit every time he saw someone. He was a dancing fool. My friend and I started singing "Shake Your Booty" every time we saw him. It was late and madness had started to set in. The dancing snake god wasn't helping me maintain my sanity.

"The Haunted Sea" is a typical B-movie. Cheap, lazy and stupid. Half the flick is taken up by stock footage of a presumably more interesting movie. The other half has the crew members wandering aimlessly around the boat until the snake god tackles them. The fight scenes were pathetic although the dancing snake god did have us laughing. I can give the movie some points for that.

The only thing positive to say about "The Haunted Sea" is that Krista Allen gets topless on a couple of occasions. She has a good shower scene to start the movie off and another topless scene where she is about to be sacrificed. Needless to say, these scenes saved the movie for me. Krista haunts my B-movie dreams. Well, that and dancing snake gods.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 haunted Kristas

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Orphan" review

Orphan (2009)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers: David Johnson Alex Mace

Vera Farmiga... Kate Coleman
Peter Sarsgaard... John Coleman
Isabelle Fuhrman... Esther
CCH Pounder... Sister Abigail
Jimmy Bennett... Daniel Coleman
Margo Martindale... Dr. Browning
Karel Roden... Dr. Värava
Aryana Engineer... Max Coleman

A couple decides to adopt a demon child. They head to the orphanage to seek out the most introverted, deranged kid they can find. They stumble upon Esther, a shy girl who likes to paint stories instead of hanging out with the other kids. She also likes to incessantly sing "The Glory of Love". Clearly, this girl is the embodiment of pure evil. But her prospective parents can't read between Esther's psychotic lines so they take her home to meet the family. In short order, Esther is causing havoc everywhere she goes but her new father just can't accept the fact that Esther has been spawned in Hell. Her adopted mother feels the weight of the world on her shoulders as she tries to figure out where Esther came from and how to stop herself from getting drunk dealing with all this maniacal daughter stress. Esther has come to stay even if everyone else must die.

"Orphan" is a movie full of secrets. I can't write this movie review without revealing most of them. So here's my short review before I reveal any spoilers: I liked it. "Orphan" is a creepy, sleazy horror flick that does a great job of keeping the suspense going throughout most of the movie. It doesn't waste a lot of time having Esther pretend to be a good little girl. Since we already know she's evil just by looking at the poster, "Orphan" jumps right in by letting Esther off the chain and be the demonic little girl we know she is.

Now back to Esther and her big secret. Stop reading now if you want to keep it a surprise. If you're going to check out this movie, it would be better if you didn't know.


Still with me? OK.

Esther is a very polite, mature little girl. She always seems to know what to do to push all the right buttons in people. Where does Esther come from? Throughout the movie, the mother is trying to figure out the origin of Esther. Near the end of the movie, she gets the call about Esther she's been waiting for.

Esther is not a little girl. She is a 33 year old woman who suffers from a rare disease which makes her look like she's nine years old. Her modus operandi is to worm her way into households, tear the family apart and make a play for the dad. When the dad rejects her, (judging by her body count it seems like every dad rejects her), she vents her anger by hacking up the family.

When this twist was revealed, "Orphan" takes a very sleazy turn. One scene has Esther putting on makeup and dressing up in black to try to seduce the dad. Even though he was drunk, he still couldn't give into her prepubescent charms. Esther storms off and reveals all the tricks she's used to hide her appearance. Fake teeth, breasts taped to her chest, etc. Then she goes on the attack as only a rejected psychotic dwarf can.

As an exploitation fan, I thought this twist was demented enough to make "Orphan" a memorable mainstream horror flick. But upon reflection, it may actually take away some of the shock value of the movie. Most of the movie we think we're watching a nine year old girl commit acts of deceit and violence. When they explain it away by saying she's a escapee from a mental ward, it actually lessens the impact of the horror she's inflicted on people. Now Esther makes sense where before she was a violent enigma.

But Esther's secret makes the movie fun too. It's not often you see a movie this warped in theaters. I had a good time watching Esther run wild over her new adopted family. "Orphan" is worth checking out.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 creepy Esthers

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Carnivore" review

Carnivore (2000)

Directors: Joseph Kurtz Kenneth Mader
Writers:Joseph Kurtz Kenneth Mader

Steven Walker ... Doctor Westmont
Jack Solem ... DIA Director John Burroughs
J. Douglas Martner ... General Stalwart
Michael Hogan ... Director Burroughs' Aide
Jill Adcock ... Dana Anderson

A secret government experiment is being carried out in an abandoned house. They're creating a monster for various nefarious reasons. Soon the monster will escape its prison in the lab but not the abandoned house. Opening the door or breaking a window to freedom is too much for the beast to handle so he wanders around aimlessly. A bunch of teens decide to break into the abandoned house so they can hang out and have really awful conversations with each other. Unfortunately for them, they've picked the lair of the Carnivore to have their party. Unfortunately for me, I picked this movie to watch.

The video box cover for "Carnivore" has a giant set of razor sharp teeth smiling at you. I was intrigued by the exciting possibilities this film had to offer. Those choppers belong to the monster that lives in the house. The Carnivore seemed like he would put his teeth to good use and tear some teens into little pieces for my viewing enjoyment.

Unfortunately "Carnivore" is too cheap and too stupid to be any good. It's a shame. Those teeth were something to see. They should keep remaking this movie until it's good enough to be in a stellar video box like that. The box deserved better than this. The marketing was genius. The movie was awful. A common problem in the B-movie world.

There are many things wrong with "Carnivore". The usual bad movie descriptions apply here. Bad direction, acting, effects etc. There's also nothing fun about this movie at all. It's boring, trite, brain dead, etc. The only thing that saves it from the landfill is its video box cover. I look at it and dream of a better Carnivore. Take the beast back to the lab and try, try again. The box cover demands it.

SCORE: 1 out of 4 carnivores

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"The Stay Awake" review

The Stay Awake (1987)

Director: John Bernard
Writer: John Bernard

I bought this video for five bucks. A serial killer gets executed and vows to return from the dead so that he can inflict horrible damage in a B-movie. A few years later a bunch of girls are having a sleep-over at a Catholic school which excites the killer out of his grave. He resurrects himself just so he can break up their stay awake party. I'm not sure how he manages to come back from the dead or why he decides to carry out his revenge on a girl's school. But when faced with incredibly complex movie conundrums like these, I can only respond one way. Ahh, who cares?

It could have been great. Well, at least good. Decent perhaps? A demon attacks a girls sleep-over at their school. Good Lord man! That's a great B-movie setup. So many avenues to exploit. This movie fails miserably.

What happened? Who was in charge? How can you possibly make a slumber party/demon attack movie and not put in any nudity whatsoever? A movie sin has been committed. I was really offended. It just doesn't make sense. Why not use the assets you've got to make the movie somewhat enjoyable? Where are the ethics?

Even the kills by the demon were lame. There's no blood and no naked women running for their lives from the cheap demon. There is nothing good to say about "The Stay Awake". This movie reeks. I bashed it with a hammer after it was over. My five bucks were gone and I was bitter.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Xtro II: The Second Encounter" review

Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990)

Director: Harry Bromley Davenport
Writers: John A. Curtis Edward Kovach

Jan-Michael Vincent ... Dr. Ron Shepherd
Paul Koslo ... Dr. Alex Summerfield
Tara Buckman ... Dr. Julie Casserly
Jano Frandsen ... McShane
Nicholas Lea ... Baines

A couple of B-movie scientists send three human guinea pigs into another dimension to see what horrible trouble they can get into. One doomed soul returns with an alien gestating in her womb. Xtro comes out to play as it bursts out of her stomach and makes a run for the air duct. Xtro plays hide and seek with the idiots in the lab as it pops its head out just long enough so that he can kill them.

Another exciting video box cover. Another crash landing once you hit play. Maybe I should just stare at the box cover and imagine my own movie from now on. "Xtro II" is a typical B-movie rip-off. It's video box cover proudly tells you that it's a hybrid of "Alien" and "Predator". There is no better marketing for a B-movie than to bombard your brain with thoughts of better movies so that you can be suckered into renting it. "Xtro II" exists to steal every Sci-Fi monster movie idea from the 80's and then recycle them for your supposed viewing pleasure.

"Xtro II" is a harmless monster movie that will flash before your eyes and leave no trace of its existence in your memories. It doesn't need to be seen because you've probably already seen it. If you've seen "Alien" and "Aliens" you've already witnessed the best ideas "Xtro II" has going for it.

One last thought, what is it about secret labs that drives monsters crazy? I'm not sure. The producers love labs because that allows them to save money by keeping the action on one or two sets. That leaves more money for the inevitable sequel: "Xtro III: The Third Lab Encounter". Then you can reuse the set from that movie for "Slither Critters: Lab Armageddon". The B-lab massacre must live on.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 alien predator critters