29 November 2011

THE URANIUM CAFE NECROFILES/HUMONGOUS/ATOM AGE VAMPIRE/ZAAT/THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO



HUMONGOUS

1982/Director: Paul Lynch/Writer: William Gray

Cast: Janet Julian, David Wallace, John Wildman, Janit Baldwin, Joy Boushel, Layne Coleman, Shay Garner

This is a Canadian slasher film from the 80's that despite trying to be different in some ways is nothing special. If you're a fan of deformed slashers who stalk horny teenagers in the woods and kill them off one by one (and who the hell isn't?) then this film will not a be total waste of time. Some scenes are shot way too darkly and I actually read how some fans of the film said that, in their opinion, that was done intentionally by director Paul Lynch (who also did Prom Night) to achieve some sort of desired effect. That's is like saying you walk into in a roem and see someone banging themselves in the head with a hammer and then say "hey stop hitting yourself in the head with that hammer!" and they reply with "but this is want I want to do". The teenagers are all so stereotyped 80's slasher fodder it is pointless to describe them in depth. There is a nude appearance by Joy Boushel who would later appear as Seth Brundle's arm wrestling prize in The Fly, another Canadian horror film by David Cronenberg. The deformed creature, the result of his mother being raped, is not shown too much and the poster is pretty misleading I feel. The film is not that freaky really. For 80's slasher/stalker fans only maybe. I was a little disappointed. Not campy enought to excuse the bad filmmaking and acting.


ATOM AGE VAMPIRE (Seddok, l'erede di Satana)

1960)/Director: Anton Giulio Majano/Writers: Alberto Bevilacqua, Gino De Santis

Cast: Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni, Franca Parisi

This film explores the theme of mad doctor trying to restore the face of a once beautiful woman that has been ravaged by some sort of accident. Like the French film Eyes without a Face (Yeux Sans Visage) the woman in this case has her face disfigured in a car accident and contemplates suicide before Prof. Alberto Levin takes her in as an experiment. The catch is that he expects her to fall madly in love him and she is not interested. A crucial element of the serum used to restore Jeanette's face must be taken from the blood of women who have recently died. The doctor (who changes into some sort of monster on his nightly trolling) figures, rightfully, that the best way to get the element is extract from women he has just murdered. Makes sense to me. While the story is not too different from other ¡®facial restoration' films of the time the dark atmosphere and heavy mood of the Italian production make it something fans of atmospheric b/w European horror will not want to miss. Leaning towards the trash cinema end of the celluloid spectrum and what's wrong with that? Over the top acting and corny dubbing add to the film's cheesy charm.


ZAAT

1975/Director: Don Barton/Writers: Ron Kivett, Lee O. Larew

Cast: Marshall Grauer, Wade Popwell, Paul Galloway, Gerald Cruse

What separates the low budget independent horror far of the 60's and 70's with the so called indie stuff of today is just how serious the old guys tried to be and in the process made some unintentionally riotous films. The guys of today are trying, I feel, to make an "instant camp classic" (and some movies are even billed that way on the DVD box cover) and they just make a camcordered mess. Zaat is no doubt a mess but a reasonably watchable mess if you like this sort of thing. Mad scientist bent on revenge and nothing less than the conquest of the Universe. Not the world, but the entire Universe. And he will do this by transforming himself into a giant catfish and by enlisting the help of all his water dwelling friends. His spends his time walking around really slowly and bumping off people who scoffed at his theories as well as girls who are soaking up sun near the river banks he swims around in. The suit is really goofy looking and the narration is up there with Women of Lost Mesa in terms of pomposity. The narration is spiced up with ample mad doctor laughs and insane phrases indicting delusions of grandeur. The "action'" takes place in Florida and some of the dialog is more than dated, especially the scenes of a fat white bubba type calling a black scientist "boy" over and over. Let this Z-grade gem speak for itself. Here is some of the opening narration's dark phrophicies: Sargassum, the weed of deceit. Sargassum fish -- mighty hunter of the deep! What an inspiration you have been in my plot! Your life of hiding, waiting... stalking your prey. At just the right moment... ATTACK! [chuckles] I love you. I hope I'll be a good imitator. And my friend, the shark. Cunning, swift... wretched humans, they're afraid of you! I admire you. Soon, I'll swim with you! They'll be afraid! [chuckles] Oh, mighty scorpion, dangerous beast of the ocean with your powerful daggers, and your camouflage... you have little to fear from other fish. [laughs] They think I'm insane! THEY'RE the ones who are insane! Oh, my friends of the deep! This day, this very day, I'll become one of YOU! My family! And together we'll conquer the universe!


THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO

1958/Directer: James L. Wolcott/Writer: Cedric Rutherford

Cast: Jean Hawkshaw, Mary Ann Webb, Cande Gerrard, Adrienne Bourbeau, Ed Fury

This is truly an incredible film. Incredible in the super cheesy sense and one that only schlock lovers, like myself, could tolerate. I am giving you fair warning here. The plot is fairly simple. The gods tried various experiments with the human race until arriving at the present state of affairs. One bad experiment was the civilization of Wongo and neighboring islands where beautiful women were paired up with ugly, rude guys and hunky, good looking guys were mated with fairly unattractive gals who also happened to pretty bitchy. The conclusion here seems to be that ugly people are also dumb and ill mannered. One day a good looking guy from another island than Wongo arrives in a canoe to warn the Wongonians about the impending invasion by ape men. The king of Wongo decides he will have to kill the studly beefcake the next day because is presence is making the lovely ladies of Wongo antsy. Te guy manages to escapes with the help of some of the Wongo lasses and after the apemen issue is settled and the men of Goona are captured by the Women of Wongo and by the end of the flick the ugly folk go off with the ugly and the sexy ones pair up with the other sexy ones. The moral being, I guess, that birds of a feather flock together or something. The while thing was shot on some little islands around Florida that look too well maintained to look like anything but some sort of resort or public park. You can almost picture some golf carts rolling by right outside camera range. Horrible acting and script with worse camera work and stick music that would turn up in 1959's Plan 9 from Outer space (a much better film I promise you). A small role by body builder Ed Fury (Colossus and the Queen) and the Adrienne Bourbou credited in the film is NOT the same chesty Adrienne Barbeau who played in TV's Maude and in horror films like The Fog, Swamp Thing and Creepshow.

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