Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Gruesome Twosome

Watched September 14, 2013 

Starring: Elizabeth Davis, Gretchen Wells, Chris Martell, Rodney Bedell

As a teen, Blood Feast was one of my favorite horror movies. It's so ridiculous, gory and low-budget. It's so bad that it made me think that anyone could make a movie so I started making my own movies. That included a video project for my drama class called Camp Blood, a mash up of Sleepaway Camp and Blood Feast.  It never occurred to me to look up more movies by gore and exploitation master Herschell Gordon Lewis. So I'm starting now with The Gruesome Twosome.

 The Gruesome Twosome is awesomely terrible but it delivers everything I'm looking for in a movie. I'm a fan of camp and gore, so it's pretty easy to please me. It begins with two mannequin heads with construction paper faces. They talk to each other about what's gonna happen in the movie, concluding with one of the mannequins being stabbed and having blood squirt out of it's head.

The basic plot is that Mrs. Pringle (Elizabeth Davis) runs a wig shop out of her house with help from her son Rodney (Chris Martell.) They don't just sell wigs, they sell genuine human hair wigs and they get these wigs by scalping young co-eds. Mrs. Pringle lures the girls in with a room for rent sign, then traps them in a room with Rodney where he cuts off their hair and most of their head with it.

Several girls have gone missing so the local college is on alert. Kathy (Gretchen Baker) lives on campus with several other girls and she is curious about the strange disappearances and murders. She thinks she has a lead and calls the police but it's just a strange old man who was bringing some bones to his dog. One of Kathy's roommates wants to move out of the dorms so she hears about a room for rent. She is then captured and her hair is removed. Since Kathy knew what this friend was up to she goes to check out the room for rent and finds Mrs. Pringle. Kathy is stuck in the room with Rodney and about to get it when Kathy's boyfriend and the police show up. They arrest Mrs. Pringle and her son and the wig shop goes out of business.

With the minimal plot there is a lot of filler. One scene has all the girls in their pajamas in their dorm room eating KFC chicken and dancing. They also go to the beach and hang out in bikinis and frolic in the water. There is a fair amount of dialogue re-dubbed and it sounds terrible. I still loved this movie, it's so silly. The acting is terrible and you know what's going to happen, but it's great. The gore is super gross though, Rodney rips out one of the girls guts and it's super disgusting. Even if you still see the actors moving when they're supposed to be dead. All the shots last too long, but it's okay. Since it was made in the '60's all the wigs and hairstyles are big and fun. 

Herschell Gordon Lewis is still alive and well, no longer making exploitation movies but instead is a master of direct marketing! Check out his site:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Neon Maniacs

Watched August 4, 2013

Starring: Clyde Hayes, Leilani Sarelle, Donna Locke.

I just recently walked over the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time this summer, it was quite an experience, but I never knew about the horror lurking at the base of the bridge...until now. Little did I know that there are a bunch of mutant freaks, all with different signature characteristics, that come out at night and attack people. They drag their victims back to their lair where I assume they eat them.

Natalie (Leilani Sarelle) is just your typical teen out for a fun time with friends in San Francisco. What does that mean? Well, piling in a van and going to the park where everyone pairs off to make out. The neon maniacs show up and kill all of Natalie's friends, she barely manages to survive by staying in the van. By they way, these maniacs don't wear neon clothes, nor do they glow neon, but their blood is neon green, so that's where they get their name. The cops find Natalie in the van, she tells her story but they don't believe her. She heads home, her parents are conveniently in Europe. To de-stress after watching all her friends die she takes a dip in her pool, she falls asleep and is woken up by a blood rain, no, that was just a dream.

At school, no one believes Natalie's story, and they're pissed that their friends haven't reappeared. Steven (Clyde Hayes) has had a crush on Natalie for a long time and uses this opportunity to make a move, and surprisingly it pays off. Meanwhile, junior monster hunter Paula ( Donna Locke) is hounding Natalie for more information about the monsters. Paula has a video camera so she goes down to the bridge and finds the monsters, she tapes them but when she gets home the tape is blurry. 

Since Paula was around the monsters they got clued on to her scent and they track her down at her home. She eludes one of them and pushes it in the shower where she figures out that water destroys them. Paula lets the police know that she's seen the same monsters that Natalie saw but they still don't believe the monsters exist. 

Now it's time for the battle of the band costume party and Steven's band is playing. Everyone dresses up super awesome except for Natalie and Steven. Paula arms them all with squirt guns to protect from the monsters. Steven's band is Rick Springfield lite and they compete against a bunch of 40 year old in a hair metal band. Soon enough the maniacs show up and start dragging teens away. It takes Paula, Steven and Natalie awhile to get their squirt guns, but they do take out a couple of the maniacs.

Now that even more teens are head the police assemble a special squad to investigate under the Golden Gate Bridge. They don't find anything, but they don't really look that hard. The chief is the last guy looking around when he's attacked. It ends with Paula, Natalie and Steven in his car driving off, it's really unsatisfying.

While the ending was strange there is a lot of great stuff happening in this movie. Paula has a super nerdy friend who tips her off to monster happenings who is eating C-3PO's cereal, he's also wearing a may the force be with you shirt later on. Paula is just a super cute girl, too bad the actress didn't make any other movies. One of the maniacs is a snake cyclops and is super cool looking. I recommend this silly fun movie.