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Friday, June 24, 2022

The Unholy


Watched October 22, 2021

1988

Starring: Ben Cross, Jill Carroll, William Russ, and Ned Beatty.

After watching the trailers for Alienator (1990) and Cyclone (1987), we decided on The Unholy which seemed to have the highest production value. Plus Ned Beatty!

A Catholic priest is praying alone in his church altar when a mysterious red haired lady shows up. She is nude except for a sheer tunic. She seduces the priest, they kiss and she shreds his throat, killing him. 

Three years later, the two church leaders Archbishop Mosely (Hal Halbrook) and Father Silva (Trevor Howard) hire a new priest, Michael (Ben Cross). We are introduced to Michael as he is driving around for a while then he gets to an emergency scene when another priest has been throat mauled. The priest warns Michael about the demon before he dies. Lieutenant Stern (Ned Beatty) is the detective who worked the cases of both of the two dead priests. His lead is Millie (Jill Carroll) who works at The Threshold, a sex club run by Luke (William Russ), the dad from Boy Meets World and "star" of Deathbed: The Bed that Eats. Michael does take the job as the new priest, even though he has been warned. A caretaker who has been watching over the church for the last three years helps him clean up the place. Michael instantly has a dream vision of the red haired demon lady. 

Archbishop Mosely and Father Silva wait to disclose more information to Michael about the demon that is haunting the church. Before Michael officially got the job, he went to help a potential suicide jumper at a hotel. Michael gets the jumper, Claude (Peter Freschette) to come off the ledge but then the jumper throws Michael out of the window. Michael survives the ten story fall without injury, this is when the two priests know that Michael is the one who can defeat the demon.

Michael contacts Millie at the club. She's supposedly 19, ran away from an abusive father and is working as a waitress. Luke does weird rituals as a show at the club. Millie does visit Michael at the church. Then Luke visits Michael because weird stuff has been happening to him too. Luke asks Michael to come to his apartment above the club and watch him sleep. Michael does and a crazy wind thrashes Luke's black, gold and glass bedroom but doesn't wake him up. Millie ends up in a padded room as she claims that Luke tried to rape her. A padded cell seems hard to clean as Millie's bloody lip gets all over it.

Millie escapes the hospital and goes to Michael in the apartment attached to the church where he lives. Michael lets her stay. An old bible shows up on Millie's nightstand with a section describing Lucifer being a fallen angel. Michael thinks Luke gave it to her. Luke says he's never touched Millie. The demon made Millie think that. With the book, Millie says the Unholy roam looking for virgins and priests to seduce and kill. She offers herself to Michael thinking if she wasn't a virgin and he breaks his vow, the unholy won't want them. Michael is tempted but says no. The previous priests dog's throat is slashed/mauled.

Archbishop Mosely and Father Silva finally tell Michael what's up, that he needs to resist the demon to send it back to hell. Michael heads back to the church where Luke is already disemboweled and crucified upside down. Claude is there and tells Michael the demon made him throw him out the window. Then the demon makes Claude throw all his guts up and burst into flames.

Michael gets on his priest robes and prays. The demon comes but he casts her aside. She turns into two lumpy baby demons that nail Michael's hands to the altar. Then the big demon shows up alternating between looking like a sexy lady and a weird four legged, but with boobs, demon dog thing with a mouth with four rows of teeth and big tongue. Millie shows up after hearing all the commotion. The demon tried to attack her/lick her. The floor opens up to hell. Michael sees a crazy montage of the tortures of hell including a butt being out, biting flesh, poking eyes, etc. He summons the power of god, and is able to get his nailed hands out. The demon touches his face making him blind just like Father Silva. The demon is sent back to hell. The church is restored, it was pretty trashed and had an open hell pit. Millie and Michael leave together.

It's hard with Catholic church movies that include altar boys not to think of the abuse. Michael is fine, but he doesn't quite do it for me. Luke's look is awesome, bleached hair banded collar shirts. Plus he wears a crazy black banana hammock for sex rituals at the club and for sleeping. Great special effects and gauzy '80s vibes.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Terrible Movie Nights zine issue 6



Issue 6 of Terrible Movie Nights is here! It took me awhile, but I finally put it all together. This one is fun, it's got some great '90s internet/VR movies like The Net and Virtuosity. Don't miss out on the real nightmare that is Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare, it's awful but will leave you with many indelible images. Also if you ever end up in a coma make sure they send you to the L.A. Coma Center like they did for Steven Seagal in Hard to Kill.

You can order it in the store.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Dracula 2000


Watched January 14, 2018

2000
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Justine Waddell

Abraham Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) operates an antique art dealership in London. Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) and Selena (Jennifer Esposito) work for him. Simon hits on Selena but is rebuffed. That night, after Simon leaves the building, Marcus (Omar Epps), Nightshade (Danny Masterson) and a couple other dead meats break into Van Helsing's super secure vault. Using both hacking and straight up breaking and entering they manage to get it open. Selena is in on it, and she's dating Marcus. She doesn't know what is in the vault but is convinced it must be very valuable because of the security measures. Inside they find a bunch of skulls with vampire teeth. They continue deeper into the crypt and in the main room find a metal coffin that they can't open. They push the coffin off its pedestal and that activates further security measures that impale two of the thieves, and traps the rest of the group in the room. They came prepared though, and they blast through the wall. Old Van Helsing had been in his office injecting the blood of leeches into his body. He goes to investigate but the thieves managed to steal the coffin and escape.

Simon comes back the next day and the security guards are all gone. He talks to Van Helsing, trying to figure out what happening. Van Helsing doesn't want the police involved, Simon doesn't know what was in the vault either, or that this was the Van Helsing from Dracula lore. Van Helsing tells Simon he's leaving to deal with the stolen item, Simon decides to secretly follow him.

Meanwhile, Mary (Justine Waddell) is in New Orleans. She works at the Virgin Megastore. She keeps having weird visions of a strange man, like waking nightmares.

The thieves took the coffin and are in flight on a cargo plane. Nightshade is trying to get the coffin open. Each time that blood is spilled near the coffin, it's sucked into the coffin but no one seems to notice. Nightshade cuts his hand trying to pry the coffin open, and the blood makes the coffin open. Inside is some smoke and a corpse with a full face helmet and a bunch of leeches. A leech somehow gets into Nightshade's eye. Dracula, the corpse, then comes to life. Another thief hears the commotion and comes to investigate what is happening in the cargo hold. He is attacked by Dracula. Everyone on the plane is bitten.

The plane crashes outside of New Orleans, in a "swamp of death." The coffin and bodies are taken to an old city hall in the little town. Jeri Ryan is the local news reporter, she is attacked and turned into a vampire while reporting on the crash.

Van Helsing shows up in New Orleans, somehow he know this is where the thieves/Dracula would be headed. Van Helsing goes to the little town hall where all the bodies are being kept and manages to kill a couple of the thief vampires. Simon shows up demanding an explanation. Van Helsing explains how he initially captured Dracula but then felt obligated to forever watch over him to make sure he didn't come back to "life" and kill again. So he has a bunch of leeches that suck the corpse of Dracula's blood, then he takes the leech blood and injects himself. This gives him a touch of immortality. The cops show up, arrest the vampire Selena.

Van Helsing explains about his daughter Mary having a touch of Dracula blood in her and she's the reason that Dracula came to New Orleans. Simon goes to find Mary and tries to  explain what her dad was doing with the vampire blood and why she's been having visions of Dracula, but she didn't want anything to do with him. Vampire Marcus shows up and attacks Simon in the shipping dock of the Virgin store. Simon decapitates Marcus. Simon shares Van Helsing's diary with Mary to try to further explain the weird blood connection.

Mary goes to confessional to talk to Nathan Fillion, a priest about her visions. They also happen to be old friends. Dracula (Gerard Butler) finds Lucy (Colleen Fitzpatrick), Mary's roommate and coworker at the Virgin megastore. He hypnotizes her and she takes him back to their house. They have crazy ceiling sex and Lucy is turned into a vampire. Van Helsing comes to the house but Dracula kills him. Mary comes back to the house, finds Lucy's room torn apart and Van Helsing, her dad, dead and stuffed under the bed. Lucy is now a vampire and along with Selena and Jeri Ryan they kind of attack Mary but they know that Dracula wants her. Dracula shows up, Mary runs outside into Simon who shoots wolf form Dracula into a bunch of bats.

Simon is captured by the three lady vampires. Dracula bites Mary and gives her a vision to explain that he is Judas Iscariot. After he was hung for being a traitor to Jesus he somehow managed to survive by drinking the blood of Jesus's children. That's why Dracula hates Christianity. After the vision Dracula invites Mary to feed on Simon. Mary pretends to bite him but then decapitates Lucy and stabs Dracula. Simon beheads Selena with some garden shears. Mary hangs Dracula from a giant cross with a light up Jesus image on it. But it falls off the building and she is only held from falling by Dracula. She falls to the ground, but is kind of a vampire so she survives. As the sun rises to kill Dracula, he releases her from the vampire curse.

Back to being a human, Mary decides to follow in her Father's footsteps and become a supernatural hunter/vampire killer. With Simon as her companian, they'll make sure Dracula doesn't come back.

Pretty whatever movie, it takes place during Mardi Gras, for no particular reason.  Mary wears a tank top, sweater, cropped loose pants and thick black slides. It was cool at the time but quickly became middle aged mom attire. The time capsule of a Virgin megastore is neat. The special effects are actually pretty good, they hold up as a nice practical with digital combo.Nothing really stands out as either super great or super terrible. Gerard Butler has a weird mouth. Mary is unremarkable. The leech thing is pretty weird.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Amanda and the Alien


Watched September 4, 2017

1995
Starring: Nicole Eggert, Stacy Keach, Michael Dorn

Oakland Military Facility
Two aliens are captured and the military and FBI are trying to figure out how to kill them. In their holding cell, the aliens look like a human man and woman. The woman turns into a leathery blob,  slides under the door and consumes one of the guards. Consume to the alien means that they both eat and take over the body. So the alien is now in a male guard body. The male guard/alien goes to get a sandwich in the lunchroom, that's where it runs into Connie (Alex Meneses). The alien consumes Connie, takes the body and her car and leaves the facility for San Francisco.

Amanda (Nicole Eggert) is a young college student. She lives at home but her parents are gone all the time, so it's almost like she lives alone. She works at a clothing store called the Fashion Mill. Amanda works with two girls who seem to be her friends but she also doesn't seem to like them at all. While they work they all talk about their weekend plans, including poetry slams and raves. Amanda is supposed to hear from her on/off boyfriend Charlie (Michael Bendetti). Amanda is an aspiring artist. Charlie calls to say he's hanging out with his cousin this weekend, that's why he can't do something with Amanda. It's pretty sketchy because Charlie is seen kissing this cousin. Amanda funnels her rage into some terrible art.

Amanda heads to her local beatnik coffee shop. There are a lot of close up shots of lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee drinks being made, along with making sandwiches. Amanda is sketching a woman in the shop, it happen to be Connie the alien's current body. Somehow Amanda knows that this woman is the alien, it doesn't make any sense how.  But Amanda approaches this lady and lets her know that she can help her hide. It's been on the news that the cops are looking for a mysterious person. There is a weird show of the hot coffee cup ripping the skin off Connie's alien hands. Amanda takes the alien Connie home with her. Somehow it's still daytime, this is the longest day.

Amanda helps the alien Connie take a shower, which leads to the alien masturbating when Amanda tells her to wash her private parts. After the shower, Amanda makes the alien a peanut butter, tomato and pickle sandwich. This is where the alien explains that it consumes only live things, like people. That is why it came to Earth in the first place, to see if they could farm it for food. In the kitchen, the alien lady discovers paprika, which causes her to orgasm. The alien lady needs to eat someone, since it's been in this lady body for awhile and it's are getting hungry. First Amanda suggests going to club to meet some dudes, but then Charlie calls because he left some CDs at Amanda's house. Amanda arranges for Charlie to come pick up the CD while the lady alien is there, so the lady alien can consume him.

Amanda heads back to the coffee shop while the lady alien waits for Charlie. Charlie comes over, immediately hits on lady alien, they have sex and afterward she consumes him. During this sex/coffee shop scene, they keep cutting back and forth and they use the milk steamer as a visual for the sex that Charlie and the lady alien are having.

Amanda goes back to the house to find the alien in Charlie's body, and she is very attracted to the body. Amanda takes Charlie to the coffee shop and they meet some of Amanda's friends, who just think it's Charlie. Then Amanda takes Charlie to make-out point, then back home where they have sex. But the cops are on their trail, since the alien is basically killing people, even though they mostly just disappear. The alien has to get to the Hollywood sign to be taken home, but they are currently in San Francisco. They drive to Bakersfield to spend the night. Amanda and Charlie/alien stop at a weird theme hotel and have some paprika sex.

The cops/FBI find Amanda and Charlie/alien at the hotel but Amanda pretends to be the alien while the Charlie body hides in the closet. They take Amanda into custody and lock her in a van, then the alien takes over the Liutentent Vint (Michael Dorn) body. Amanda is in the truck that Vint is driving, they ditch the other cop and head towards LA. Amanda and Vint/alien end up at a truck stop and need to ditch the van. Amanda uses her charm to get a trucker to give them a ride to LA. In the morning they are dropped off near the sign. Emmitt Mallory (Stacy Keach) follows them and once they are dropped off the SWAT team surrounds them. Vint is shot by Emmitt, but the alien is able to consume Emmitt before he dies. The trucker comes back and saves Amanda and Emmitt/alien from the SWAT team and drops them off much closer to the Hollywood sign.

Emmitt turns back into an alien blob, but not before it mind melds with Amanda and gives her an unnamed gift.  Amanda heads back home, she goes on a crazy talk show about peoples with experiences with aliens. She is still working at the Fashion Mill, but she has to get more questioning by the FBI. Her paintings get a little better, perhaps that's her gift from the alien.

I love the '90s vibe that the movie starts with, there is some great fashion or just talking about raves and poetry slams is pretty great. Amanda has some great fashion montages too. That's where my interest ends. The characters aren't every interesting, so there journey is hard to get invested in. The sex is gross. It should have gone either stronger with the horror alien aspect or just gone into porn territory, but it just falls into a bland middle ground.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Witchboard 2


Watched July 29, 2017

1993
Starring; Ami Dolenz, Timothy Gibbs, Laraine Newman, John Gatins

A friend sent me this, even though the first Witchboard isn't very good. It was also a video store promo copy, so it was watermarked at the bottom throughout. Because of that at the beginning of the VHS we got to see the Witchboard 2 trailer plus a horror four pack to sell at your video store. Including Howling 2, The Hills have Eyes 2, Dawn of the Dead and ?Hound of Satan

Paige (Ami Dolenz) is CPA who has always wanted to be an artist. She breaks up with her cop boyfriend Mitch (Timothy Gibbs) moves out and rents an artist's loft. The landlord is super hippy Elaine (Laraine Newman) along with her handyman husband Toby. Elaine's brother, Russel (John Gatins) also lives in the complex, he's a photographer. As Paige unpacks and sets up her place, she finds a Ouija board in the closet. It strangely moves on its own, so she is compelled to give it a try. Using the board, Paige connects with Susan Sydney, a ghost who tells her that Paige will get the promotion at work. Paige is pretty shy at work and Carla, the other woman up for the same promotion is trying to sabotage her. Carla has stolen one of Paige's client files and Paige is aware but can't stand up to her.

Toby is working in the basement of the building when he is attacked by a floating ax and flying saw blades. He escapes into the boiler room only to be steamed to death.

By talking with Susan, Paige gets some confidence to be more assertive at work. She calls out Carla for hiding the file. Then Paige takes up Russel on his offer to photograph her. With her new ghost confidence, Paige start dressing sexier too. All this time, her ex-boyfriend Mitch is trying to get back together with her. Mitch helps look up info about Susan Sydney, since Paige shares that she has been contacting her.

Paige uses the board with Elaine and Russell and they get a hint to where Susan's body is buried. Mitchell doesn't find a death certificate for Susan or a forwarding address, so he's not sure that Paige is really taking to the ghost of Susan. In the middle of the night, Paige and Russel try to find Susan's burial ground, somewhere in the woods. Mitch finds them instead and Russel warns Paige to stop using the board.  Later, Mitch is driving alone when Susan uses her powers to cause a major car accident that lands him in the hospital.

Paige goes to a mystic shop where the shopkeeper gives her a definitive book on using the Ouija board along with a drawing planchette to try to confirm if it's really Susan who is contacting her. Paige has also been having a lot of dreams about Susan, which she has been turning into charcoal drawings, it's really unleashed her creativity.

 Elaine is killed in front of her hippy van by a stray wrecking ball. Paige suspects that Russel is the killer, and she goes to his studio to confront him. He seems crazy but says that Elaine killed Susan for having an affair with Toby. Paige locks herself in the darkroom of the studio, with Russel trying to attack her. Mitch shows up and stops Russel, but then Paige is now possessed by Susan. Susan kills Russel and Mitch is pushed out the window but doesn't fall to his death because he gets tangled in some wires. Mitch manages to make it back inside the studio. Susan is half ghost powers, but Paige is still in the body too. Susan tries to kill Mitch, but Paige resists and smashes the Ouija board which unleashes Susan's ghost into the universe. Paige moves out the loft, decides to go to art school and starts dating Mitch again. I guess she isn't convicted on killing Russel since a ghost inhabiting her body did it.

Not great, but I still enjoyed it more than the first one. Paige is a more likable character than anyone in Witchboard but that's not enough to make it a great movie.  I'm surprised that a sequel was made at all, but then again this movie was a low budget cash grab. There isn't much connecting the two movie, but they do both use the concept of Progressive Entrapment as the main premise for the ghost in the Ouija board to be able to take over a living body, so that's something.