Thursday, January 1, 2009

Marathon Update Part One

So day one has ended with just three movies down out of ten. The first two were so bad that I needed a break before I dared to put in Ghoulies IV. Man, talk about incompetent film making. The guy who directed Carnival of Blood and Curse of the Headless Horseman was a porn director who for some reason decided to try his hand at mainstream film. The results are so bad its surreal. Oh and according to IMDB, after these two drive-in flicks, he would go on to make such classics as The American Adventures of Surelick Holmes and Teenage Masseuse. Fun for the whole family.

Carnival of Blood (1970) is the better of the two and has a bit part for the guy who played Paulie in the Rocky movies (this is first film, under a fake name!). The plot is that someone is going around slicing up really annoying women at a carnival. Could it be the guy who runs the lame pop-a-balloon booth? Or is it his retarded hump-back assistant gimpy? Does it really matter? Of course its basically a rip off of Herschell Gordon Lewis's gore films which as bad as they were, were still miles ahead of this piece of junk. The climax is so stupid though that it's almost genius and achieves a kind of surreal brilliance. This is also the only movie I've seen where a teddy bear is stuffed with entrails. How come the Saw movies never tried something like that?

Then we have Curse of the Headless Horseman (1974). Wow. I'm a seasoned bad movie veteran and this one was hard for me to sit through. Here's the plot, such as it is: A bland looking doctor inherits a ranch when his uncle kicks the bucket. For God knows how long it's been host to some sort of crappy wild west show, but lately the people really haven't been showing up. Probably because they have paint they can watch dry. The lawyers tell him he can keep the land if he can manage to make it turn a profit. So what does he do? He moves out there with a group of stupid free-loading hippies who think that doing lame improv and getting the old fart cowboys to sing incomprehensible songs is going to drum up some business. And theres this rich woman who shows up for no apparent reason and tries to buy the place and she's carrying a Superman lunchbox?! My head started to hurt and my eyes glazed over after awhile but apparently there's a guy dressed up as The Headless Horseman who's going around showering the hippies with blood to try and get them to leave. Seriously. He never kills a single one. In a horror film with hippies in it this is simply inexcusable. Sure a couple die but one falls down a hill and the other one gets hit by a car. If I made a movie with stupid stinky hippies they'd be getting chopped up left and right. The whole movie I was like, "there's perfectly good hippies for you to kill man, why are you not using your knife to hack them to pieces?" Then I just got bored. Pah, I've given these movies too many words already.

So how as Ghoulies IV? Surprisingly not bad. Granted while I've never seen the other Ghoulies movies, this one was stupid but quite a bit of fun. Boobs, and explosions, and gunfights, and midgets running around in costumes stolen from Troll 2 thats what this movie is all about. I looked up on the internets to see what other lovers of crap cinema thought of this movie and all of them hated it. One called it the worst movie ever made. People who say any movie other than Troll 2 and Monster a Go-Go is the worst movie ever made have not seen Troll 2 and Monster a Go-Go, says I. So yeah, Ghoulies IV washed the bad taste out of my mouth left by the first two movies and tomorrow I'll see how much more cinematic excrement I can stomach.

Something Weird Video put out the DVD set for Carnival of Blood and Curse of the Headless Horseman and as usual the movies got better treatment than they deserved. SWV is like The Criterion Collection for crap and they always include a ton of extras. On this DVD we have two short TV ads for both the movies when they played as a double feature at drive-ins and a ton trailers for other drive-in movies. These trailers are so cheesy they're always great, if you've seen any from this era you know what I mean.
Then we have a gallery of Drive-in advertisement art, pretty cool. They knew their movies weren't that great so they made their ads so over the top that you just had to go see them.
Then we have a three short films. Why don't more DVDs have short films on them? It's such a cool idea. The first one is a really short piece from the 30s about a side show that doesn't show any freaks! Instead it has cute girls dancing and a decidedly un-pc jazz band and comedy show. The hawker kept talking about freaks though, but I guess the reception the movie Freaks got proved that putting actual deformed people up on screen was a bad idea.
Next we have two back-yard horror films, both made in the suburbs! Amazing stuff, where the Hell did they get these from? It's amazing what you can do with a couple of friends with free time and meat from the local butcher. These were a lot of fun to watch, much more fun than the main movies!
Something Weird is a godsend for weirdos like me who love these awful movies, hopefully I'll be writing more about them in the future.

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