Category Archives: Halloween Season

TWIN PEAKS IN B-MOVIE TERMS

Laura Palmer wrapped in plasticIt’s been just over two weeks since the finale of the 18 episode run of new Twin Peaks chapters on cable. Like many other fans I’m still digesting some of those new episodes in light of the gloriously dark and nightmarish conclusion, so this particular blog post applies ONLY to the original Twin Peaks television series, the 1992 film Fire Walk With Me and its deleted scenes from The Missing Pieces.

Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m often surprised at the way so many detractors still try to insist that the show and the movie made no sense. And bear in mind I am NOT referring to the various theories over particular symbolism or the lengthy debates to be had over the ethical and philosophical implications of the storyline.

No, I’m referring to the way some people dismiss the entire project as if it’s a bunch of weirdness with no discernible plot or storyline. There IS SO a (very) easily discernible plot and storyline. And I’ll say again I’m NOT talking about deeper meanings which no two people may ever agree upon, but the basic tale. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Forgotten Television, Halloween Season, opinion

A THOUSAND DEATHS (2014)

A Thousand Deaths movieA THOUSAND DEATHS (2014) – This 22 minute suspense/ horror piece was directed by Adam Zanzie who also adapted the script from the 1899 short story by Jack London. Last Halloween Season I reviewed that short story HERE   

Adam Zanzie’s effort immediately improves on London’s original tale by at least giving the characters NAMES. I’m not kidding, by the way. The 1899 short story was Jack London’s first published work and he neglected to provide names for any character except the mad scientist’s dog, Dan.

Zanzie wisely decided not to retitle this Dan the Dog and Company and instead chose to just make up names for the characters. Ford Fanter portrays the main character Jack (nice little homage on the director’s part) and John Bratkowski plays Jack’s sadistically deranged father, Dr Chaney.

Like Stuart Gordon having to reconfigure Tales of Herbert West, Reanimator for modern sensibilities, Zanzie does an excellent job of “scrumblin’ up” (for Marx Brothers fans) most of the original story’s elements to accommodate pacing AND budget considerations.

Doctor Chaney tests his life-restoring process by using his own son as a guinea pig, killing him over and over in various violent ways. After each unpleasant resurrection he pumps his son for clinical details about how he felt as he experienced each horrific end. All in the name of science, of course.  Continue reading

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THE HANGED MAN (1974): WESTERN HORROR

Hanged ManFOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S LOOK AT OVER TWENTY MORE WESTERN-THEMED HORROR FILMS CLICK HERE

THE HANGED MAN (1974) – Steve Forrest starred in this excellent made for tv movie that was a failed pilot for a series. Forrest portrayed a gunslinger who seemingly meets his end on the gallows early in the film but who supernaturally rises from the dead to atone for his misspent life by combating evil in the 1800s west. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO, Halloween Season

DEATH BED (1977)

I got a reader request to review the horror film Death Bed, but I already did in 2011. Here it is again and remember, to see if I already reviewed a movie click here: https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/ 

Death Bed (1977)

DEATH BED – (1977) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following.     

A bed that eats everyone who lies on it is the hilarious premise of this actual straight-faced attempt at a horror film. You know how water-beds have water in them? This living bed has digestive juices in it. Its victims are somehow sucked through the membraneous material of the mattress and are broken down and digested by those juices. 

The viewer is treated to countless shots of human bodies (plus for variety an apple, a fly and a bucket o’ chicken) dissolving in the acid, looking like they’re being torn apart by millions of tiny piranha fish.

If you’re wondering how a four-poster bed in an abandoned mansion became a living being with a taste for human flesh, we’re told a tree-demon (no relation to the tree-monster in From Hell It Came) temporarily incarnated as a human being to seduce a woman on the bed. At one point in the tale the blood-colored tears of the demon fell on the bed, thus creating our hungry, hungry hero. Continue reading

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FATHER’S DAY (2011) HORROR FILM

Father's DayFATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.

Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.     

It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable.  Continue reading

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PSYCHO GOTHIC LOLITA (2010): MOVIE REVIEW

Psycho Gothic LolitaPSYCHO GOTHIC LOLITA (2010) – Also available under the title Gothic & Lolita Psycho, this ultra-violent and blood-soaked movie was Japanese filmmaker Go Ohara’s follow-up to Geisha Assassin from 2008.  

Rina Akiyama stars as Yuki, the black-clad title character whose fashion sense combines two Japanese fetish looks in one. The film begins with Yuki already enacting her revenge quest against a bizarre quintet of villainous supernatural figures. Disjointed flashbacks  provide background details as the story  unfolds, with the most crucial secret being withheld for last.  

In fact, I’ll give you my personal guarantee: if you aren’t as blown away as I was by this movie’s climactic revelation … I don’t know what you can do about it. (Just a little something for my fellow Marx Brothers fans out there.)

At any rate lovers of J-Horror know the type of surreal, over-the-top bloodletting and gory violence that awaits in Psycho Gothic Lolita. Yuki’s weapons of choice are umbrellas that are souped-up like the guitars in Once Upon A Time In Mexico and in many Spaghetti Westerns. If you don’t see the logic of her using modified umbrellas just remember it goes with her “look.”

Psycho Gothic Lolita 2Umbrellas are essential to Goth women to block out the sun and keep their skin pale, so Yuki makes a virtue out of fashion necessity by wielding high-tech bumbershoots that have razor-sharp points, shoot bullets like a machine-gun, are bullet-proof themselves and are stronger than steel. Burgess Meredith, eat your heart out!

Our main character expertly employs these weapons to impale, disembowel and shred her opponents to bloody, fleshy ribbons.  Yuki’s most blood-spattered move is to run a foe through with a closed umbrella, then open it while the victim is still clinging to life so they can feel their torso being torn apart by the opening of the umbrella. Look, you’re either committed to movies like this or you just aren’t.     Continue reading

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BEGOTTEN (1990): FILM REVIEW

BegottenBEGOTTEN (1990) – Written and directed by E. E. Merhige, this black and white art film runs 72 minutes. Merhige later directed Shadow of the Vampire, a surreal horror movie about the making of the silent film Nosferatu.

Begotten was grandly described by its creator as a depiction of “the death and rebirth of gods.” If that didn’t make critics and viewers of the time want to belt Merhige in his pretentious face then the movie itself did. Okay, I’m largely just joking with that remark, but I’m sincere when I say that Begotten IS one of those experimental films that practically dares viewers to dismiss it as nonsense masquerading as art. 

Begotten 2I like Begotten but if I was doing a promo blurb for it I would avoid its director’s lofty tagline and instead use something like “It begins with God committing suicide … Then it gets weird.”

The opening several minutes of this movie – the portion where God does indeed kill itself – have been all over YouTube for well over a decade. The footage seems to have inspired many of the creepy, black and white, nonsensically macabre videos that uploaders post when trying to start an Alternate Reality Game or just to get easy hits from sheer weirdness.  (Think of Plague Doctor masks and such.)     Continue reading

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