Posts Tagged ‘Video Nasty’

night_of_bloody_apes_poster_01

Director: Rene Cardona, Jerald Intrator

Starring: Jose Elias Moreno, Carlos Lopez Moctezuma, Armando Silvestre, Norma Lazareno, Gerardo Zepeda

Synopsis: In an effort to save him, a mad scientist transplants a gorilla’s heart into his dying son. What follows is a spree of violence and rape.

Thoughts:
In the 60s and 70s it was very popular for Mexican genre films to luchadors into their monster movies. It seems like a great idea to me! Night of the Bloody Apes is the English version of Cardona’s 1969 La Horripilante bestia humana, or The Horrible Man-Beast, which in turn is a remake of one of his earlier films!

Night of the Bloody Apes has a lot of features you would look for in a genre film. You have a Mad Scientist, a deformed lab assistant, a rampaging beast, tons of nudity and of course the added Mexican flair of Luchadoras! Sadly, the Luchadoras aren’t really involved in the plot as much as they should be. I would have liked to have seen a couple of fights with the “man-beast”!

Even though this was on the Video Nasty list, I was a little surprised at the amount of gore and nudity throughout, something you just didn’t see a lot of until later in the 70s. Although pretty tame by todays standards, I can see how the BBFC flagged this movie. To think, had they not out it on the list, I probably would have never watched it!

If you’re thinking about watching this movie, you must be making your way through the Video Nasty list, or picked up the Something Weird DVD at some point. It’s not a film that is talked about a lot, nor is it really that good. There are worse movies on the list, but Night of the Bloody Apes isn’t too terrible to watch.

How Nasty Is It?
There are a handful of scenes where the man-beast rapes women. It’s not on the level of I Spit on Your Grave, but it’s still there, and you end up with the “blood on boobs” that was essentially an auto-inclusion for censorship by the BBFC. I didn’t feel like I needed a shower after this movie.

 

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Cannibal Holocaust

Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

Starring: Robert Kerman, Gabriel Yorke, Francesca Ciardi, Luca Giorgio Barbareschi, Perry Pirkanen

Synopsis: A documentary film crew goes missing in The Amazon and a rescue mission finds only their lost footage.

Thoughts: This is quite possibly the most notorious of the Video Nasties. Director Ruggero Deodato was charged with obscenity shortly after the premier and would later, he would even have to defend himself against murder charges! Only after gathering the actors for an interview, and showing footage of how the rigged the impalement scene, were the murder charges dropped.

Cannibal Holocaust is a very well made film. The social commentary and raw violence will shake all but the most hardened viewers. Included in that violence are a couple of scenes of animal cruelty (animal deaths really). Deodato would later regret introducing the animal scenes in the film. Scenes like this don’t bother me too much, as I grew up on a farm. It helps knowing that the animals killed here were eaten by the cast and crew.

The cast did a phenomenal job, even though I hated almost all of them! The original crew that went missing were the real savages here, which is what Deodato was striving to show. We fear what we don’t understand, such as indingenous Amazon tribes, but in reality, we can be much more terrifying.

You don’t see a lot of discussion around it, but Cannibal Hoocaust is one of the early “found footage” movies. Deodato used this method to great effect, without giving us the “shaky cam” that makes recent found footage difficult to watch at times.

Cannibal Holocaust is one of the those movies that every film fan, not just genre fan, should see. It’s not something that I revisit often, but have seen it enough times that the shock has worn of a bit. It’s still not a pleasant experience, but that’s what Deodato wanted. It truly earned its place as a Video Nasty.

How Nasty Is It?
Pretty damn nasty! There are gruesome scenes throughout the movie. There’s on screen animal deaths. There’s cannibalism. Many of the movies on the Video Nasty list make it based on one scene, or even a title or VHS cover. This is not one of them.

Night-Of-The-Demon

Directed By: James C. Wasson
Starring: Michael Cutt, Joy Allen, Bob Collins, Jody Lazarus, Rik Fields, Michael Lang, Wanda McGinty, Shannon Cooper, Ray Jerris

Synopsis: A professor and his students trek into the wildnerness to search for Bigfoot. Bad news; they found him.

Thoughts: In a lot of ways, this movie epitomizes the 80s independant horror scene for me. It’s a pretty basic story, but one that works. The camera work is not good, nor is the lighting. There are some scenes that you can barely see because they are so dark. The imagination of the film makers far exceeded their budget, but there were some pretty impressive scenes, both of which I am sure contributed to this making the BBFC’s Video Nasty list.

The first scene is without a doubt where Bigfoot surprises a guy taking a leak in the bushes and proceeds to rip of the old bait and tackle. Between the full frontal shot and genital mutilation, the BBFC cronies may have shut off the tape after this one scene, but later in the movie, there is another pretty great scene. Towards the end of the movie, Bigfoot busts into the cabin and deals some major damage, forcing one poor victim’s face into a stove and using the disemboweled intestines as another as a weapon.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good movie. The acting is pretty atrocious, and like I mentioned, there are times you can barely see the screen. Yet, with all it’s deficiencies, it has some charm to it. I’ve watched this 3 or 4 times since really getting interested in the Video Nasties. There are plenty of the Nasties that I wouldn’t rewatch.

If you’re a Bigfoot fan, or interested in the Video Nasties, check this out. Otherwise, I can’t really recommend this one.

How Nasty Is It?
I’d be willing to place a wager that the BBFC needed nothing more than one scene to place this on the list. Full frontal nudity, followed by Bigfoot ripping off a guys junk probably induced some horrified groans. There are a couple of scenes that are pretty gruesome as well, but nothing out of sorts from the early 80s.

FILMS
Night of the Living Dead (1968) 1h, 36m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – George A. Romero)
Felt right to start a tribute with a tribute. I hope somewhere in the afterlife, George and James are getting a chance to talk about zombies. The Umbrella release looks great!
10/10

Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) 1h, 31m
{Zombi 2}
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Lucio Fulci)
Fulci has earned his his nickname many times over, and this is no exception. There are several notorious scenes, including Shark vs Zombie and the eyeball scene. This is one of my top zombie movies of all time!
10/10

Dawn of the Dead (1978) 2h, 7m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – George A. Romero)
More Romero social commentary delivered via the walking dead. While I thouroughly enjoy Dawn, I’ve come to rank it a little lower than some in the genre. I just feel it drags some in the mall and that the makeup holds it back, especially when you compare them to Fulci’s zombies a year later.
9/10

Night of the Demon (1980) 1h, 32m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
Bigfoot just ripped that guys dick off! After the pre-Madness challenge to watch 3 Bigfoot flicks, I knew I was going to revisit this one early on. Some scenes are impossibly dark, and others should be. Not a good movie, but it’s on the Video Nasty list, so you should check it out at least once (call me a glutton for punishment)!
5/10

Victor Crowley (2017) 1h, 33m
Total Points: 10 (Where is Kane Hodder? Challenge)
If you liked the Hatchet series, you’ll like Victor Crowley. It’s closer to the first movie than the third in that the kills are a little fewer and far between, but they are all pretty insane, especially Felicia Rose’s! That’s all I can say as Adam Green swore the audience to secrecy with respect to any spoilers. I do have to say that he is a pretty amazing guy, very passionate and extremely funny.
7.5/10

Adam Green

Picture with Director Adam Green

Eaten Alive (1976) 1h, 31m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
I think this is one of Tobe Hooper’s most bizarre movies. First, the filters he uses throughout are reminiscent of Dario Argento, creating a surreal atmosphere, and the characters throughout are just bizarre.
6/10

Baron Blood (1972) 1h, 38m – European Export Edition
{Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga}
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Mario Bava)
This is one of Mario Bava’s most panned movies, at least critically. It is actually one of my favorites. I love the gothic feel of the movie and the chase through the city in the fog. It’s also a great villian.
8/10

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) 1h, 26m
{La ragazza che sapeva troppo}
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Mario Bava)
Widley considered to be the first Giallo. Bava shows his chops in this beautiful movie.  Also, John Saxon is young in this one!
8/10

StageFright (1987) 1h, 30m
{Deliria}
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Michele Soavi)
Underrated Giallo / slasher hybrid from Michele Soavi. If you haven’t watched this, check it out!
7.5/10

Pieces (1982) 1h, 29m
{Mil gritos tiene la noche}
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Paul L. Smith)
Pieces is a blast! Over the top violence, corny lines and lack of any logic whatsoever have turned this into a cult classic and midnight movie favorite. There are a couple of great releases for this; one from Grindhouse and the other from Arrow. I own both, mostly because I seem to have a problem!
7/10

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) 1h, 36m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
Quite possibly the most notorious of the Nasties, and the most well-known cannibal movie as well. It’s also one of the earlier “found footage” movies. This is amazingly well done and powerful, but not a yearly watch for me.
9/10

The Mummy (2017) 1h, 50m
Total Points: 6 (FILMS RELEASED in 12/2016 through 2017 are AUTOMATIC TRIPLE BONUS)
I wanted to like this movie, I wanted it to succeed. I love the Universal Monsters and was loking forward to this new universe. However, this was not a good start. It ripped off American Werewolf in London and was more boring than the Brendan Fraser Mummy flicks (or Tomb Raider or National Treasure). The plot was forgettable. There were some cool easter eggs and looks at the next movie, but who’s to say there will be a next movie.
5.5/10

Body Bags (1993) 1h, 31m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Tobe Hooper)
I had never heard of this anthology until Scream Factory released it. It’s a fun offering with John Carpenter pulling in a lot of colleagues for cameos and to help out.
7/10

Delirium (1987) 1h, 45m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Lamberto Bava)
First time checking this one out! Pretty great Giallo with some great kills and ridiculous amounts of nudity, mostly from Serena Grandi.
8/10

The Howling (1981) 1h, 31m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Pino Donaggio)
Classic werewolf movie that spawned several bad sequels. Great cast and great FX. If you haven’t seen this one, don’t miss it!
8.5/10

Evil Dead (1981) 1h, 25m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
Another classic! Personally, I prefer Evil Dead II for its comedy, but this is a great movie. It’s amazing to think of what Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell would go on to do, and this is the start of it.
9.5/10

Piranha (1978) 1h, 46m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Pino Donaggio)
One of my favorites to come from the influence of Jaws. Really love the remake from Aja as well!
7/10

Don’t Go in the Woods (1981) 1h, 22m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
It’s just laughable how bad some of the FX are in this movie. I can’t believe I own multiple copies of this movie.
5/10

SS Experiment Camp (1976) 1h, 34m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Video Nasty)
I was really bored with this one. I think my imagination of what this movie would bring was worse than the movie, although there is more bush here than I was expecting! Checked the box on another Video Nasty!
5/10

Djinn (2013) 1h, 25m
Total Points: 6 (ATB – Doc Terror Memorial List – Tobe Hooper)
I believe this is the worst Hooper movie I’ve watched. Seems like he was here just for the paycheck.
4/10

That’s it for the week! Plenty of Italian horror, Video Nasties and a few random movies as well.

 

Contamination_Poster
AKA Alien Contamination
Directed By: Luigi Cozzi

 

Starring: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Siegfried Rauch, Marino Mase, Gisela Hahn, Carlo De Mejo, Carlo Monni, Mike Morris

Synopsis: Alien eggs are showing up everywhere, spewing goo that causes people to explode. How are they spreading, and who can stop them?

Thoughts:
Following his modest success with Starcrash, Director Luigi Cozzi set out to make another Sci-Fi film. As many Italian genre movies tend to do, eyes turned towards American success, settling on Ridley Scott’s Alien. Cozzi couldn’t match the budget that Scott worked with, so the film takes place on Earth.

The film’s producers were in the same office that cranked out Fulci’s Zombie 2, so Ian McCulloch was selected for one of the star roles. Cozzi wanted to add Caroline Munroe, but was over-ruled, which is too bad, as she is a great actress and absolutely gorgeous.

In typical fashion, the movie was filmed quickly over 8 weeks. Cozzi had different plans for the alien at the end of the movie, but budget ultimately overruled his vision, and what we saw on the screen was a poorly crafter animatronic puppet that Cozzi claimed didn’t ever work and he was forced to use clever editing as the alien was moved off-screen. Watching the movie, the alien is not impressive.

In the end, Contamination isn’t as big of an Alien rip-off as I was expecting. Sure, it has alien eggs that spell certain doom for people, but the similarities pretty much end there. I really enjoyed the first two thirds of the movie, but when they get to the alien at the end, they lost me to a degree. Even still, Contamination has a certain charm to it and I can see myself watching this again. There is a very nice Arrow edition available if you are looking at adding it to your collection.

How Nasty Is It? As far as Video Nasty’s go, Contamination isn’t that bad. There are loads of exploding people, but it just isn’t very graphic. It’s pretty obvious how the effects are pulled off, as the camera cuts away, then goes back to a dummy with an explosive pack on it. I think Contamination is one of those moves that made the list more on the thought of what is happening rather than actually judging what is on the screen.

Absurd-1981-movie-3

AKA: Anthropohagus 2; Monster Hunter; Horrible; The Grim Reaper 2

Directed By: Joe D’Amato

Starring: George Eastman, Annie Belle, Katya Berger, Kasimir Berger, Hanja Kochansky, Charles Borromel, Ian Danby, Ted Russoff

Synopsis: A psychopath with a healing factor escapes and goes on a killing spree.

Thoughts:   Absurd is short on plot, but goes the extra mile with the gore. Although it is often referred to as a sequel to Anthropophagus, there is very little tying the movies together. Both feature George Eastman as a homicidal maniac, both were written by Eastman and both were directed by Joe D’Amato. I’ve read that critics accused Absurd of being nothing more than a Halloween rip-off upon its release. The basic premise is the same, with a silent killer stalking his prey, being near impossible to kill, and both films feature a babysitter. As I was watching Absurd, I didn’t feel like it was a Halloween rip-off, or at least any more so than other slasher films from the 80s.

It’s easy to see why Absurd landed on the BBFC’s radar. It had the pedigree of Anthropophagus and Joe D’Amato and is filled to the brim with gory deaths. Other than that, I find Absurd to be unremarkable. There isn’t an overly notorious scene like one from Anthropophagus, the story is straight forward and the acting isn’t memorable. 88 Films released a good-looking version of the film in their Italian Collection if you want to check it out, and if you are a completest like me, you’ll pick it up because they numbered their releases.

Fans of the Video Nasty list will surely check this one out, as will people exploring the filmography of Joe D’Amato, but frankly, there are better examples of Italian horror and splatter films.

How Nasty is it? The gore starts from the very beginning here as George Eastman eviscerates himself climbing over a fence and his intestines are hanging out and doesn’t relent until the end.

ZombieCreepingFlesh_quad-1

 

Directed By: Bruno Mattei

Starring: Jose Gras, Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garafalo, Selan Karay, Joseph Lluis Fonoll

Synopsis: Government experiments lead to a zombie outbreak.

Thoughts: The success of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead led to many, many zombie movies flooding the market in the 80s. It just so happens that many of those zombie movies came from Italy. Bruno Mattei, already well on his way to becoming a master of Italian genre cinema, set out to make a film similar to Dawn, but lighter in tone. What was delivered was a bit of a mash-up of Italian action movie, cannibal movie and zombies.

The story, although basic in premise, is drawn out for a bit too long. The runtime, at just over an hour and forty minutes would have benefited from some tighter editing. The effects were also all over the place. In some scenes, the zombies and attacks were very well done and realistic. In others, it looks like some amateurs first attempts at creating zombie make-up.

The acting is also laughable, especially that of the team of commandos that are dispatched to deal with the outbreak. Unlike a lot of movies from this era of Italian horror, there aren’t any recognizable names here.

Even with Zombie Creeping Flesh being a bit too long and sloppy at times, and the acting being subpar at best, I had a good time watching this. It embodies the term “so bad it’s good.” If you want to watch the best of zombie cinema, stick with Romero and Fulci. If you want a movie that you can sit back and crack jokes about the acting and camera work, this is a great candidate.

How Nasty Is It?

This has some pretty gory scenes of gut munching nastiness, especially during the portion of the movie where the group encounters the cannibal tribe. It’s something that is seen throughout the zombie and cannibal genres, but you can see how it caught the eye of the BBFC.