Category Archives: Halloween Season

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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DRIVE-IN MASSACRE (1976)

drive-in-massacreDRIVE-IN MASSACRE (1976) – Category: Gimmick movie worth watching once, but never again.   

This movie has that certain charm to it that most low-budget 70s horror films possess. When watching Drive-In Massacre you can’t help but reflect on the fact that the talent of John Carpenter is the only thing separating his milestone film Halloween from the many other 1970s slice and dice films like this one. 

The plot of Drive-In Massacre involves a serial killer who strikes only at drive-ins and, in the tried and true custom that countless subsequent slasher films would follow, he thrives on killing couples who are making out. At least at first. The killer’s motive varies throughout the movie, but the murder weapon remains a sword.  Continue reading

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DIAL: HELP (1988)

 DIAL: HELP (1988) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9- sized cult following. 

This 1988 horror film from Italy (but dubbed into English) deals with a young model, played by Charlotte Lewis, who finds her life turning hellish when she begins being tormented by living phones … yes, living phones. As always with me, I love to laugh at bad horor movies like this that are NOT trying to be funny, but are so disastrously bad and have such ludicrous premises that they are unintentional comedy classics.

Remember my reviews of movies like Death Bed, about a killer bed; Deafula, about a deaf vampire and The Lift, about a killer elevator? Lump this flick in with those. 

Hardcore horror fans will be stunned to learn that the man behind this laughable mess is none other than Continue reading

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ASSIGNMENT: TERROR (1969)

 I’ve been getting emails requesting that I review this movie, but I already did in 2010. For the folks requesting it, here it is again.

ASSIGNMENT: TERROR (1969) – If they gave a Nobel Prize for bad movie premises this baby would easily wind up wearing one of those big medallions around its neck! Spain’s King of Horror (and John Belushi look-alike) , Paul “Jacinto Molina” Naschy is in this film playing his recurring character, tormented lycanthrope Waldemar Daninsky.

The premise of this movie is that aliens plan to conquer the world by frightening humanity into submission by scaring us with monsters. Call me crazy, but I think Continue reading

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DARK INTRUDER (1965): LESLIE NIELSEN IN A HORROR STORY

dark-intruder-2DARK INTRUDER (1965) – This thoroughly enjoyable piece of Forgotten Television was a failed pilot for a series. Supposedly the network passed on it because they thought it was too scary and gruesome for tv viewers of the time. Instead they released this 59-minute black & white gem to theaters as the second title for double features.

The story is set in 1891 San Francisco with Leslie Nielsen himself starring as Brett Kingsford, an occult expert and investigator. If this had been picked up as a series the title was going to be The Black Cloak and apparently would have been a forerunner of The Norliss Tapes, Kolchak and Spectre. In my opinion the period setting would have given The Black Cloak the edge, though.

dark-intruder-4Brett Kingsford maintains a quasi-secret identity. On the surface he’s known in San Francisco as a bon vivant and ladies’ man and when the police want to consult him over something supernatural he dons various disguises to rendezvous with them. That way nobody in his usual social circles is made aware of his connections with the cops.  Continue reading

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SCREAMTIME (1984): FILM REVIEW

Screamtime 1Screamtime is one of the forgotten horror anthology films from the 1980s. Supposedly the three main horror tales were originally filmed as individual episodes of a British tv series. Depending on which source you use either the series was cancelled (or never picked up) OR the episodes were deemed to be of too poor a quality.

The trio of horror stories were then edited into movie format for theatrical release with a wraparound story set in New York City. The oddity of the hard-assed New Yorkers watching three veddy, veddy British horror tales is part of the fun of this lame but bearable film. VHS it ain’t. Hell, it’s not even Beta Continue reading

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