1 week ago
Remember The Last Circus? I reviewed it back in 1973 years before it was made. Anyhow, it was a genre-hurdling masterpiece framed by Alex de la Iglesia, a cult filmmaker who has been at it for well over two decades. I didn't know that he was responsible for 2013's Witching & Bitching when I saw the trailer, but I did know that I was interested. Like most of Alex's filmography, it's a paste-up of incommensurate styles. Horror (duh), comedy, heist, romance...it tackles each flake of the cinematic spectrum with respect for the medium. That's something a professional critic would say, isn't it? Am I doing well?
There is almost too much plot for one movie. Two men stage a fairly elaborate jewelry caper, the artifice involving the son of the dude in charge. It's a risky play, but they pull it off and attempt to vamoose across border lines. And they come so close to getting away with it, too! That's just the first act of a 112-minute bijou, so I'm not spoiling anything. By all means, rent this spooktacular. It's entertaining as hell, especially if you fell in love with From Dusk Till Dawn. It's easy to make that connection, as the two flicks are partitioned in the same manner. For 30 solid minutes, you would never guess that you're watching a witchy wing-ding.
Of course, evil bitches eventually emerge. They kidnap the little boy, tote him to an underground lair and prepare him to be devoured by The Great Mother. Christ, wait until you see her (think Dead Alive). There are also subplots running parallel to the cardinal thread. Witching & Bitching is a lot to digest, but as much fun as I had scoping its chaos, I had to finish it in two separate sittings. My eyes were heavy after trying to keep up with the subtitles. Dialogue is copious, and the Spanish cast gabbles fleetly. Jerry Seinfeld would call them "fast talkers." I call them "fleet gabblers." Hi, my name is Dom Coccaro, and I'm going to die alone.
The acting is first-rate. It's hard to single out any one performance, so instead, I will adulate Carolina Bang's heat. Because she is HOT. She manages to be sultry and intimidating, which isn't easy to achieve. Believe me; I can recall night after damaged night in front of a mirror to prove it (please don't ask). For the most part, the special effects are fantastic. If it weren't for that fucking CGI. The Last Circus braved the exact same misfortunes, and it's extremely vexatious to have avoidable goofs crimp an otherwise fabulous picture. Some of the minute details in the action went over my head, but aside from that, Witching & Bitching is rocking.
Shit, that would have made for a perfect closing sentence. But! I wanted to mention that the pace is harefooted. It's faster than a pussycat. Argh, was that really worth starting a new paragraph? Review ruined!
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 9:21 PM
In my mind, I've compared maintaining this website to being a pro-wrestler. Ridiculous, right? Well, hold on. For almost six years now, I've worked on it under the imperial aegis of a full-time schedule. Granted, that has been broken up by surgeries, tragedies and mandatory moves. But when I commit to Random Reviews Incorporated, I commit full-bore. Full-blast. Full-shaft. Full-fuck. Full-cheesecake. Inevitably, I have reached the part-time phase of my career as a "writer." What does that mean? Will I only work four or five PPV's per year? Maybe one or two house shows?
It means that until further notice, I will post something (a review, a Geek Out, a Match That Time Forgot, etc.) once or twice a week. It may be more frequent; it may be less frequent. HOLY SHIT A NEW WYATT MEMBER JUST DEBUTED HOW TALL IS THAT MOTHERFUCKER--Woah, sorry. I had to stop typing to watch Raw.
So basically, I'm going to update this digital narthex of nostalgia whenever I damn well please. It all starts...whenever I damn well please!
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 9:17 PM
The new Ghost record is upon us in streaming form! Hell, it's on YouTube. That's where we are as a nation. Bands just put their new shit on fucking YouTube. Whole albums! I'm not complaining. I'm broke. I can't even afford to be broke. That's how broke I am. BROKE.
What the fuck was I talking about? Yeah, Meliora is stupid catchy, and the production is redolent. I'm not reviewing it, though I find it strange how fans are so easily divided. This is a band that takes love/hate kinetics to new heights...lows? They might as well call themselves Kiss. Aside from the pre-release singles, I advise checking out "Spirit" and "Mummy Dust."
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:22 PM
BLOOD DINER (1987)
The last capsule I wrote was an appraisal of 1991's Teenage Exorcist. I mention it only because that film and this film try to do the same thing. They are both horror/comedy zappers, but Blood Diner gets it right. It's not perfect; it's just a fancy-free pleasure trip, an entrada into a cannibal's kitchen. Literally! The plot concerns two brothers who want nothing more than to do right by their uncle (pictured). I guess I should explain that Uncle Anwar died trying to appease an Egyptian goddess by hacking up virgins. Naturally, his nephews endeavor to perpetuate the...family enterprise? They're killing people anyway and selling the "leftovers" as bistro chum.
Initially proposed as a sequel to H.G. Lewis's Blood Feast, Blood Diner remodels the pillars of exploitation. You want blood? How about boobs? Director Jackie Kong has you covered, and yes, that's a woman's name. She knows how to drive this car. She had driven it before with the less tantalizing The Being. You're going to want to take it out for a spin if you haven't already. It's a nice saturation of Frankenhooker, Bride of Re-Animator and of course, Blood Feast. And Blood & Donuts! That's a fun one.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:09 PM
I fucking took yesterday off. I do that from time to time, which is my right as a goddamn American. Anyway, for the past couple of months or so, I've been trying to find this film online somewhere. It has to be an online viewing because the most affordable copy I have found scrapes a hundred duckets, and I'm far too broke for that shit. The movie film picture show? An obscure giallo by the name of The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. Watch the clip. Awesome, right?
If you know where I can gargle it, drop me a line. Must. Review it.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 5:38 AM
Also known as The House on Tombstone Hill, Dead Dudes in the House (a bozo title coined by Troma) is a decent little slasher. I have no idea how much Troma had to do with the production, but Lloyd Kaufman did distribute the VHS/DVD. No doubt, it was Kaufman who designed the asinine cover "art." Is that *NSYNC? God, why did I bother with the asterisk? Regardless, those House Party understudies are not actually in the film. And that's the least surprising sentence I've ever typed. The marketing materials want to sell you a carefree horror parody, something in the vein of Idle Hands or Scary Movie. Admittedly, Dead Dudes does have a funny bone, but it's bearded in a fibrous membrane of terror.
You do come here for medical analogies, don't you? For the most part, this flick is played straight. I will cop to being worried at first. The opening fifteen minutes are deplorable. I despised every character, as it seems that their only purpose is to squabble and antipathize with each other. You know what I'm talking about because you've seen this shit before in almost every Friday the 13th sequel. Just fifteen fleeting minutes, and I was already boiling over with malice. Execration! Ignominy! Dead Dudes was shaping up to be an arduous time, but it started calling plays out of the "haunted house" handbook. I went with it.
It had to change up the formula, so it did. The elemental plot is still exceedingly generic. A clique of pals spend a weekend renovating a house that one of them bought at an auction. Maybe this was the cool thing to do in the late 80's? I swear to Mylanta. Anyway, the oxidized homestead appears to be possessed by the spirit of an elderly killer. An old lady, to be exact. She has standard supernatural powers, though we never discover their source. This is such a vague conflict. Oh, her name is Annabelle Leatherbee. That's important, I guess. I know I sound surfeited, but for whatever reason, I watched Dead Dudes to the end. I wanted to see its denouement, so writer/director J. Riffel must have hit a few checkpoints along the way.
Leatherbee is a creepy bitch. Of course, she's impossibly strong, despite moving slower than my grandmother. I realize that's not a particularly romantic juxtaposition, but it's true! The pace is similarly bloodless. Certain scenes are practically extinct, and you can forget, y'know, seeing stuff. I'll bet that Dead Dudes was lit with a pygmy's flambeau. Or a small torch. Either/or. Gore is average, and come to think of it, I don't recall any f-bombs. Was Dead Dudes in the House lensed with a PG-13 rating in mind? This question - and more - will be answered on tonight's episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Man, now THAT was a shit joke.
This is a rainy day rental. Remember those? It's 2015, so I can access any obscure cult classic from the discomfort of my bedroom, and yet, I miss video stores. What's that all about? Humbug.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:47 PM