Directed by Roger Corman
Stars: Susan Cabot, Michael Mark, Barboura Morris, Fred Eisley
"...Janice Starlin has built her whole life on youth and beauty. Now that she's losing it, she's scared to death."
If there is anything we've learned from horror movie history, it's that scientists are cuckoo. An intellectual mind + scientific experiments + craziness = disaster every time.
Dr. Zinthrop, not so lovingly referred to as "crackpot" by his associates, is fired from his research position after it is discovered that he is extracting royal jelly from queen wasps (?!!) instead of bees. His claim that he has developed a youth compound as a result of his work is ignored.
Cosmetics icon Janice Starlin is in a jam too. Sales are falling and she wants to know why. One executive bluntly tells her that's she's too old to be the face of the company and that is why nobody wants to buy their products. He obviously doesn't care whether he gets a Christmas bonus or not. Enter Dr. Zinthrop and his crazy jelly solution. Vain Ms. Starlin, desperate to rejuvenate her looks and brand, buys into the idea immediately. She even demands that she be guinea pig to see how the formula affects human beings!
Holy Jeckyll and Hyde, Batman...the results are not quite what the good doctor expected. Yes, Janice looks younger and more attractive. However, there is a side effect that proves to be troublesome. She also transforms into a giant bloodthirsty wasp in black high heels. Wasps are Satan's butterflies, and a sting from one is awfully painful. Imagine a 5 foot 3 wasp in pumps. Scary, huh? In this case, not so much.
Obviously a drug allegory (there's more shooting up in this movie than at the OK Corral) Wasp Woman isn't frightening unless you're afraid of needles. What makes this interesting is the time period in which it was made, watching Janice become a full tilt junkie, and the fact that this is a Roger Corman movie. Corman is required viewing for cult film afficionados. He's the master of low budget filmmaking and has launched some huge careers on both sides of the camera.
My results from this experiment are:
1. Don't inject wasp jelly.
2. People who rely solely on their looks for success are stupid.
3. Scientists are one good idea away from insanity.
Directed by John Florea
Stars: Robert Foxworth, Stephanie Powers, Elke Sommer, Sue Lyons
"I never wanted to hurt you mama..."
Sicko rejected son of a famous actress kills her and is sent to the nuthouse for felonious crazy folks. We are led to believe that whilst incarcerated, he masters the power of astral projection, amongst other powers. Fact- movies with titles that bear no resemblance to the action usually suck. This movie sucks. It is a grade A stinker.
But it is also pretty damn hilarious. How can a flick with a Mike Brady look-a-like, Rod Stewart's ex-old lady, and that Hart to Hart chick be bad? Plus, it's got the original Lolita in it!
Did I mention NOT ONCE does this fucker astrally project?!! It should have been called The Invisible Factor. The killer is invisible; also unseen is any evidence of talent or a logical plot. You can still enjoy this train wreck, nonetheless. Stephanie Powers is a hot piece of ass and is never fully clothed. Elke Sommer is a hot foreign piece of ass, and her performance is high camp. I am sure Harvey Fierstein will play her role in the remake. The best scenes are the weird avante garde dance performances. They're hysterical! I've said it once, and let me reiterate- NO DANCE SCENES IN HORROR MOVIES, EVER. If you were kidnapped and forced to watch Staying Alive (that's my excuse, find your own) then you have an inkling of how ludicrous these scenes are.
By the way, no astral projection takes place in this film. Did I mention that before? Well, I am saying it again! I mean, I was all excited, like, "Hot damn, I'm gonna get my astral projection on tonight!" Didn't happen.
Side note- this film was originally titled Invisible Strangler. Oh...
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Stars: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams
"No, TRY not...Do, or do not...there is no TRY."
My favorite episode of the Star Wars series! Though the Death Star has been destroyed, the troubles are far from over for our merry band of rebels. They've set up camp on the ice planet Hoth, which appears to be where the Yeti has made himself a home (no wonder we can't find it here.) Princess Leia is taking care of business as usual while combating her growing feelings for the lovable rogue, Han Solo. Han still has Jabba to worry about. And Luke needs to get on with his Jedi training if he wants to reach the full extent of his powers.
Episode V is where we meet smoothie king Lando Calrissian. I kept expecting him to bust out a 40 of Colt 45, but it never happened. More importantly, the character of Master Yoda is introduced. Though we don't get to see him in action (that comes later...er, earlier...whatever) he is a powerful presence and you don't doubt for a minute that he's a major ass-kicking machine if necessary. Pretty much at this point in the story, as you watch Yoda trying to teach Luke the Jedi way, you realize that Luke is a hot-headed, whiny bitch. Damn Luke, shut up for a minute! If you're not going to listen to the master, at least let me learn a few things!
By the end we have a Hansickle being delivered to Jabba the Hut via Boba Fett Overnight, and Luke reeling from the realization that evil Lord Vader is his daddy. The adrenaline's still pumping when the credits roll, leaving the viewer ready for the next exciting installment.
Directed by Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Gary Kurtz
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Bob Payne
"I am still emperor, I am...aaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!!"
A dazzling example of fantasy filmmaking, and further proof that Jim Henson and his Muppet Workshop team were geniuses, this movie still stands today as one of the best in its genre. Though not a CGI fueled extravaganza, an entirely creditable otherworld exists in The Dark Crystal due to the talents of a large cast of performers and artisans. The story, sets, costumes, and performances are all perfect.
The two last Gelflings in existence journey to the castle of the evil Skeksis to place the crystal shard into the dark crystal and fulfill the prophecy that a Gelfling will end Skeksis rule. "When single shines the triple sun/What was sundered and undone/Shall be whole, the two made one/By Gelfling hand or else by none."
The tale is simple, but one that is richly told and illustrated. The film bears up to repeated viewings because there are so many details in design and nuances to the performances that make the movie always enjoyable to watch. It works on many levels, and adults will love this as much as children do (though there are plot elements that will disturb some younger audiences- this is not a "Muppet Movie".)
Directed by Denis Sanders
Stars: William Smith, Anitra Ford, Cliff Osmond, Wright King, Victoria Vetri
"We balled, and we balled, and we balled, until he dropped dead!"
Yes! This movie is awesome. The gist- a scientist working on a government project dies and an investigator from Washington is assigned to the case to find out what exactly happened. Suddenly, he's dealing with a rash of male deaths, caused by overexertion during sexual intercourse. Ladies and germs, these guys are being fucked to death. Is it some new form of VD? No, it's the BG's, and I don't mean Robin, Maurice, and Barry either.
I love the soundtrack to this film. I knew I would enjoy this flick the moment I heard the title theme. Someone put a lot of hard work into the music and it never strikes a wrong chord throughout.
Funniest scene- the townspeople are asked to abstain from sex until the authorities can figure out what is going down. Their reaction is priceless! Overall, this movie is a real hoot (or should I say "buzz"?) It's good old fashioned sci-fi zaniness at its best, with healthy doses of sex, comedy, and death by balling. This is perfect drive inn fare that you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch. Beware women wearing Jackie O. sunglasses!
Directed by Don Dohler
Stars: Greg Dohler, Richard Ruxton, Fay Tilles, Ann Frith, Don Leifert
"If we run away from Harleyville, things will NEVER be right!"
Really? From what I can see, Harleyville is a perfect place to run from. You'll actually feel sorry for the "monster" (who looks like he's wearing a green shag carpet and a cheap rubber mask) for being so unfortunate to land in this little shitburg.
Obviously Don Dohler got together with his friends and family and said, "Gang, let's put on a show!" This is a pretty (unintentionally) funny little flick. It is an allegory about racism thinly disguised as a science fiction movie, but you'll be laughing too much to pay attention to the message. The alien is constantly running away from this town of Bud drinking rednecks as they try to capture it to make big bucks. Holy yokels on the loose, Batman!
Directed by Arthur Crabtree
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Kim Parker, Kynaston Reeves, Stanley Maxted
"It's as if some mental vampire were at work!"
A military base is the setting for this sci-fi classic. A scientist's thoughts become invisible monsters that attack people, sucking out brains and spinal cords from the victims. With a boost of Vitamin A (also known as "atomic energy") these creepy creatures become visible. When you see them, you'll probably die laughing.
The sound effects in this flick are supremely revolting. Sliding, grunting, crunching, sucking, slurping...It's enough to make you puke. When the monsters are revealed in all their stupefying, animated glory, it justifies sitting through everything prior to this moment, as the film is slow going and a bit on the dull side. The big showdown between our heroes and the creatures is fantastic and must be seen to be believed!
Basically, another science fiction spectacle about an eccentric scientist creating mayhem and destruction in a world he disdains, reiterating the fact that crazy smart people are really just crazy crazy people.
Directed by Paul Morrissey, Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Monique Van Vooren, Arno Juerjing, Srdjan Zelenovic
"To know death Otto, you have to fuck life in the gallbladder!"
Andy Warhol presents...a great piece of awesome trash. This is not my favorite of the Warhol films, Bad has that dubious honor, but this baby is right on its heels. Incest! Necrophilia! Gratuitous armpit sex! Heard enough? No? Good.
What makes this film fantastic is that EVERYONE is freaky, creepy, weird, or just fucked up mentally or physically. If you want non-stop madness, Flesh for Frankenstein more than delivers.
Baron Frankenstein and his sister/wife live in a huge castle with their children (are they really his...he has a strong aversion to intercourse...with living women!) While she fucks whoever catches her fancy, he works on creating his master race of superior beings by reanimating the dead with his creepo assistant Otto. Meanwhile, peasant Nicholas stays busy screwing whores and local girls, and his friend Sacha (who is BEAUTIFUL, I wanted to lick the screen every time I saw him) ponders becoming a monk because he is obviously in love with his pussy crazed buddy. Maybe it's Nicholas' Brooklyn accent that turns him on. Seriously. Joe Dallesandro doesn't attempt to hide his New York origins at all. You will laugh every time he says anything.
This flick is a swift rocket to planet crazy. Once the Baron spots Sacha and his perfect Serbian head, all hell breaks loose. It's funny, spooky, and disgusting. I love it!
The music is so tasteful, you'll think you're watching fine art. The costumes and scenery/sets are luscious as well. But this is NOT fine art, this is trash cinema at its best. Udo Kier and Monique Van Vooren are fabulous as the Baron and Baroness. I have a weakness for Udo, a weird attraction that I will discuss with my therapist some time in the future. Dallesandro does not act. He's just himself. Srdjan Zelenovic spends the entire time looking pouty and gaylicious, not much acting going on there either, but I don't give a damn, he's so sexy it doesn't matter. The gory special effects are excellent and very realistic.
On a scale of 1-10, this flick gets a 7, only because of Joe Dallesandro. Every time he opens his mouth, he jolts you out of the perfection of everything else. It's a crying shame, because you must listen to this film. There are some especially cuckoo lines that have been masterfully written.
Directed by Peter Yates
Stars: Ken Marshall, Liam Neeson, David Battley, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones
"I am Ergo the Magnificent- short in stature, tall in power, narrow of purpose, and wide of vision!"
Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa wish to marry and unite their kingdoms against a common enemy who is enslaving worlds. In the midst of the ceremony, the Slayers, minions of the evil Beast, attack and spirit Lyssa away to the Beast's mobile lair. With both kings killed in the wedding melee, Colwyn is now king. In order to fulfill and ancient prophecy he must defeat the Beast and rescue his lady-love. The fate of the entire galaxy is at stake, and if Colwyn wishes to triumph, he's going to need the power of the Glaive!
This beloved cult fantasy is a delicious cocktail of medieval magick, romance, and science fiction. It has the perfect mix of action, comedy, and heart. This flick holds up quite well today even compared to more modern fare of this sort.
After Colwyn retrieves the Glaive (a metal boomerang-ish type of weapon) the movie really hits its stride and becomes a road trip adventure. In his quest to find the Black Fortress, Colwyn assembles a rag-tag army or thieves, rogues, magicians/healers, and one melancholy Cyclops. (And yes, that is a young and smoking hot Liam Neeson as one of the criminals that joins Colwyn's journey.) All the characters are interesting and you care about what happens to them. You want them to succeed and feel regret at the comrades who fall along the way. Highly recommended! Ken Marshall deserves a special award for wearing shiny striped disco hot pants the entire film without seeming in the least bit swishy.
Challenge your intellect and your imagination as you explore unknown realms. Scientific experimentation, myth and legend, alien entities...Boldly go where no man has gone before!