Archive for gore

Bloody Moon (1981) Review

Posted in Bloody Moon with tags , , on May 19, 2013 by Last Road Reviews


*** Out of 5

Tagline- Don’t Panic It Only Happens Once in a Bloody Moon

Release Date- March 27th, 1981

Running Time- 84-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Erich Tomek (as Rayo Casablanca)

Director- Jesùs Franco

Starring- Olivia Pascal, Christopher Brugger, Nadja Gerganoff, Alexander Waechter, Peter Exacoustos

Released in 1981 Bloody Moon was made to cash in on the growing popularity of the American slasher film and Bloody Moon also has some influence from the Italian Giallo, which are similar to slasher films with a slight difference in execution. However this far more plays up to slasher conventions and was directed by exploitation filmmaker Jesùs Franco and while I get the appeal of his work I can’t really say I’m a fan, but from time to time I will watch his films and I do enjoy some of his work. Going into a Jess Franco film you know you aren’t gonna see Martin Scorsese like quality, but his films were a little too sloppy and rough looking for my liking in general. Jess Franco died April 2nd, 2013 and according to the IMDb has 199 directing credits and when you make as many films as he did and under so many alias it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s done even more than that. With so many credits at some point you’re bound to get it right and will also have some truly terrible films, but like I said I never really cared for the bulk of Franco’s work with the exceptions being Female Vampire, which I didn’t love, but enjoyed it a bit more than most of his films, but my enjoyment had little to do with Franco and a lot more to do with Lina Romay (she was actually an assistant director on Bloody Moon under the name Rosa Almirail) and I also liked A Virgin Among the Living Dead.

Bloody Moon is quite different than the typical Franco film as here he was simply a director for hire with very little of his style on display since all the changes he wanted to make were shot down. He was also promised a lot of things on the film in terms of crew members and was even told Pink Floyd agreed to score the film of course this wasn’t true and Jess Franco wasn’t very pleased with being lied to, but all things considered Bloody Moon is in terms of production a step above most of his films and this looks a little more professional and is one of the few Jess Franco films I sort of enjoy. If you aren’t really a fan of his films you might still enjoy this since again very little of his style is on display and for better or worse doesn’t really feel like a Jess Franco film and if anything the best way to describe this is when an Indie filmmaker makes a film for a major studio.

After brutally murdering a woman with a pair of scissors, Miguel (Waechter) who has one half of his face disfigured is locked up in an insane asylum and after 5-years he’s released into the care of his sister Manuela (Gerganoff). Along with their aunt the two run a boarding school for women that teaches different languages. Not long after Miguel returns the murders start as someone is picking off the women at the school.

The screenplay was written by Erich Tomek under the name Rayo Casablanca who at the time was a production manager and was also the production manager on Bloody Moon. The script by Casablanca is weaker than most slasher films and the characters are among the most faceless victims ever seen in a slasher film, which wouldn’t be so bad if the film was action packed, but the middle sections Casablanca focuses more on characters and plot and this film had very little of both and therefore Bloody Moon can make for a frustrating viewing as you wait and wait for the action to start up again. All the characters are better off dead with the exception of the heroine Angela (Pascal) and even she can be a bit annoying at times. Characters can often do the dumbest things and rather than be fun its more frustrating and this is partly on Casablanca and Franco as well. There is also an incest subplot between Miguel and his sister Manuela, but overall yeah I know complaining about a screenplay in a slasher film might sound silly, but Casablanca’s script is one of the more shallow and lifeless slasher scripts and since he spends so much time focusing on the characters the film gets a bit boring. Perhaps Casablanca wanted to add more depth to his script rather than the typical stalk and slash, but he simply isn’t a good enough writer to do that.

More often than not in my opinion a lot of Jess Franco’s films can be a little rough looking visually and Bloody Moon isn’t exactly Dario Argento with the visual aspect, but it looks a lot better than a lot of Franco’s other films. Also in Franco’s films the editing can at times be choppy and when it comes to the editing even if Franco didn’t edit the movie as the director he does have involvement, but than again when you made as many films as Franco who could be very active at times, once it’s shot who knows how involved he was in the editing process. The editing in Bloody Moon can at times be choppy, but it’s better than what one might be used to seeing from a Jess Franco production. But hey this is is Jess Franco film after all and editing can be a little rough at times and from the visual side outside of the opening death, Bloody Moon looks more professional. The pacing of the film is a bit sloppy, but this has more to do with the writing as for a good portion of the middle the script focuses more on characters and seeing as they’re so bland and faceless not even the most talented director could get much out of these scenes. Franco does the best he can, but based on the script again there was very little he could do. The one thing that I did kind of find surprising is there is actually some decent moments of suspense. It’s not John Carpenter’s Halloween or anything, but Franco does entice a couple of scenes with a little bit of suspense and while its nothing really great or anything it’s not the typical Franco one might be used to.

The overall production is far better than the bulk of Franco’s films and while the film can be a little rough around the edges at times (again this is a Jess Franco film), but Bloody Moon while not greatly made is far more competent than I’m used to seeing from Franco. The biggest problem here again is the script and Franco who was simply a director for hire with very little say as as I stated before anything he wanted to change was shot down and he wasn’t happy with the production as he was promised certain things and none ended up happening, but Franco handles everything well and delivers a film better made than the good portion of his work and as I mentioned the suspense isn’t anything special, but there are some decent moments and this film doesn’t exactly change my mind on Franco if anything though Bloody Moon does show he can stage a decently made film (at least for low budget slashers). In the end the biggest downfall is the very subpar script and Franco actually manages to make a little more out of the film than there was, but in the end Bloody Moon still has too many flaws to rise above anything besides average at best.

The death scenes were fairly cool with one girl being stabbed in the back and the blade coming out of her nipple and we have a nasty decapitation from a circular saw and even though its clearly a dummy being used its still a really awesome death scene. Though with that said while Bloody Moon does feature a decent amount of gore I didn’t find it any gorier than the run of the mill 80s slasher film. I was expecting something more along the lines of Juan Piquer Simon’s Pieces, which for some reason this film is often compared to. I suppose both being set at a school and like J. Simon, Jess Franco is also from Spain, but these two films really are nothing a like, but I was expecting this to be an all out gore film and again while there is gore and some nasty death scenes I really didn’t find it as gory as its reputation.

Overall Bloody Moon is an entertaining slasher film and while by no means is it among the elite it does serve for a decent time killer. The middle sections when the film focuses on the characters is what in the end sinks the movie, but despite these problems I still think slasher fans will still get some enjoyment out of the movie. As I stated this isn’t exactly suspenseful, but Franco actually delivers a couple of decent moments. We got great looking women who are often naked or wearing see through clothing, some decent gore. This film is strictly for slasher fans and or fans of Jess Franco. Like I said even for those like myself that aren’t big fans of Jess Franco it really doesn’t feel like a Jess Franco film for the most part. Look for Jesùs Franco in a bit role as a Dr.







Day of the Dead (1985) Review

Posted in Day of the Dead with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by Last Road Reviews


**** Out of 5

Tagline- The Darkest Day the Horror World Has Ever Known

Release Date- July 19th, 1985

Running Time- 102-Minutes

Rating- NR

Writer/Director- George A. Romero

Starring- Lori Cardille, Joseph Pilato, Terry Alexander, Anthony Dileo, Jr, Gary Howard Klar, Ralph Marrero with Richard Liberty as Dr. Logan and Sherman Howard as Bub

Released in 1985 George Romero’s Day of the Dead was seen as the weakest of the trilogy (when it was still a trilogy that is) and it’s not really hard to grasp why. Upon first viewing of Day of the Dead it isn’t as eerie and creepy as Night of the Living Dead and isn’t quite the epic that Dawn of the Dead was; also released the same year was The Return of the Living Dead, which was a fun take on a tired sub-genre and Romero’s Day of the Dead was mostly forgotten about and cast aside and the only things that really kept the movie known was the name George A. Romero, Tom Savini and that it was a sequel to Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.

I’ll admit I was one of the people that casted this movie to the side as a nice try, but ultimately a failure on the record of George Romero and about the only real positive thing I could say about the movie was the brilliant gore F/X by Tom Savini. But over the years many people were revisiting Day of the Dead and suddenly the feedback was becoming and more positive where some have even hailed it better than both Night of the Living Dead and Day of the Dead. For the longest time the movie sat on my shelf and the only reason I even bought a copy was simply to complete the trilogy, but after collecting dust on my shelf I wiped it away and decided to give the movie another chance and even I had my opinion on the film totally changed; personally I don’t rate this higher than the first 2 films in the series, but it comes close however.

I think the writing in not just Romero’s zombie flicks, but his films in general is often over-looked and fact of the matter George Romero is an excellent writer. Everyone talks about George Romero the director and for good reason, but I really think more attention needs to be put on his scripts; the characters in Night of the Living Dead were interesting and Ben made for a great hero and Mr. Cooper made for a great jerk, but overall the characters may not be the best developed, but due to the plot it doesn’t matter. Even with the dead coming back to life we are still in a comfort zone since the primary setting is a house and all these characters are brought together and we feel the mass confusion with them and therefore we can relate to them and with Dawn of the Dead in my opinion Romero created the best characters as a unit in a horror film or any film for that matter. We the audience get attached to these characters and the mall setting is something that we can all relate to.

I think however this is part of the reason Day of the Dead was dismissed for the longest time since now we are in an underground bunker out of our comfort zone and stuck with characters that aren’t the most likable and the other characters are so close to going over the edge or borderline insane it’s kinda hard to find someone we the audience can root for and relate to. But when you really break things down George Romero creates some of his most complex characters if not his most complex; Day of the Dead relies more on the characters than any of the other Dead flicks. Night of the Living Dead isn’t action packed or anything, but what works is the mass confusion the characters feel and Dawn of the Dead while character driven also has a lot of action in the film whereas Day of the Dead has a little action through the movie, but it’s mostly saved for the final act and seeing as the characters are so different than the first two Dead flicks I can understand why I and so many others originally dismissed Day of the Dead.

Of all the Dead movies I think Day of the Dead just might be the best written and just might be George Romero’s best screenplay in his career. Like I said the characters here may not be as likable as the characters in the past two, but they are again very complex and interesting and Day of the Dead also starts to evolve the zombies as well, which is something a lot of filmmakers have attempted, but it almost always fails, but Romero on the other hand makes it work, which adds a lot of depth to the movie.

When rating the series Day of the Dead would be my 3rd favorite of the series, but there are many aspects I like more about Day of the Dead than Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Many people now rate this as the best of the series so it’s quite a drastic change in opinion on the movie.

As director George A. Romero crafts a movie a movie loaded with tension and a very bleak tone. Of all the Dead movies I’d say this one was probably the darkest. From the very opening scene, Romero establishes a bleak and dark tone with humanity at its final stand. As I stated before the action is mostly confined until the final act, but Romero is still able to keep the movie very interesting; again I think due to the characters and setting so different than the previous two it might be a little harder to get into, which is partly the reason for the longest time this was seen as the weakest. But when all is said and done George Romero creates a dark and ugly world where almost all hope for a normal life is lost. Once again if I’d rate this installment my 3rd favorite I think the writing is possibly the best of the series as well as the directing.

Possibly the highlight of the movie are the gore F/X by Tom Savini, which are nothing short of amazing; if I were to rate Savini’s work Friday the 13th might take my top spot simply due to the simplicity of the death scenes they simple, but effective, and of course the Prowler is nothing short of brilliant, but at the same time Day of the Dead might take my top spot due to how realistic they look for the most part. Not only are the gore F/X top notch, but the zombie make-up is amazing as well. Regardless of how you feel about the movie itself I think we can all agree Savini’s make-up F/X are brilliant.

Overall Day of the Dead is an excellent movie that has finally gotten its respect; the movie may not be perfect, but it’s very much on par with the first two Dead flicks.














Burial Ground (1981) Review

Posted in Burial Ground with tags , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by Last Road Reviews



*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- When the Moon Turns Red the Dead Shall Rise

Release Date- July 9th, 1981

Running Time- 85-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Piero Regnoli

Director- Andrea Bianchi

Starring- Karin Well, Gian Luigi Chirizzi, Peter Bark, Maria Angela Giordan

There are bad movies and than there are movies on a whole other playing ground such as films like Last Slumber Party and films like this from 1981 Burial Ground, which is one of the ultimate so bad it’s good movies. The film was made by Andrea Bianchi and besides this film the only other film I have seen by him is the ultra sleazy Strip Nude for Your Killer; besides those two movies I also saw Lucio Fulci’s Cat in the Brain, which features gore footage from some of his later films as well as other films he was involved with and one of them being from a film called Nightmare directed by Andrea Bianchi. Strip Nude for Your Killer was a fairly well made movie that put more energy into sleaze rather than suspense, but it did have some decent tension and in terms of style it’s hard to believe the same person made this film and the only thing they have in common is at times sleaze. Burial Ground is such a hack job it’s impossible not to love this movie.

The plot has something to do with some professor and some discovery he made and he invites a few people over to tell them about it. Unless I missed it I’m not sure anything is made clear in regards to the discovery or the connection between the professor and his guests, but who really cares honestly? I don’t think any of us go into Burial Ground for its plot. I often wonder when it comes to a movie like Burial Ground what the writer thought after the script was completed? Did the writer think he wrote a really good film or was the hack writing intentional? When watching Burial Ground one would have to assume everything was intentional but you’d be surprised. The script is absolutely hysterical with some of the worst best writing ever.

Writer Piero Regnoli delivers one of the most awesomely bad screenplays in all of cult cinema. Obviously there is no character development at all nor do the characters have any depth, but who really cares? All the characters are entertaining because they either do or say the dumbest things. Here’s a sample of some of the awesome dialogue;

‘You look just like a little whore, but I like that in a girl’ (someday I’ll have to use that as a pickup line and see if it works). We also have the amazing ‘You’re getting a raise out of me alright, but it has nothing to do with money’. Now tell me is that not brilliant writing?

What Burial Ground might be most famous for is Peter Bark as Michael; Peter looks like a mini-Dario Argento and he’s playing a child, but its clear he was at least in his late 20s. Peter Bark has built up quite the following from this film and nobody seems to have any clue where he is now or if he’s even still alive. Michael also really loves his mother, but not in a normal way. Michael is jealous seeing his mother with another man and one scene has Michael kissing his mother only not in a way you kiss your mom than he begins to slide his hand up her dress! And when his mother wants no part of it, Michael responds with ‘What’s wrong? I’m your son’. The screenplay is again hysterical and I have to assume much of what we have was intentional. Piero Regnoli according to the IMDb has 111 writing credits and looking through them the only ones I seem to know are Nightmare City and Lucio Fulci’s Demonia and neither of those come anywhere near the brilliance of Burial Ground.

Director Andrea Bianchi delivers a film that is so bad its damn brilliant! The pace though can be a bit sluggish as its basically the same scene over and over again, but the film is actually action packed as the zombie action starts quickly. Bianchi crafts such a hack job the film is just way too much fun. Much like Strip Nude for Your Killer, Burial Ground can be quite sleazy at times and the scene most talked about is the nipple ripping scene, which has to be seen to be believed! Like I said in the opening my review besides this film the only other film I know by Bianchi is Strip Nude for Your Killer ad of course that’s not counting the gore scenes from Nightmare used in Fulci’s Cat in the Brain, but based of the 2 films I’ve seen by Bianchi I am a fan. While Strip Nude for Your Killer actually had some nice moments of suspense mixed with the sleaze, the suspense and tension in Burial Ground are so silly and campy and rather than feeling the suspense you’ll be laughing at how absurd it is. The zombies also stray from the norm as we see them using teamwork at times and even using battering rams, which Nightmare City also featured scenes like that, which I assume has more to do with Piero Regnoli since he wrote both films.

The zombies look quite silly and really aren’t very menacing in the least, but even with the silly makeup F/X they still look kinda cool and there is a nice amount of gore scenes as well. Burial Ground pretty much has it all; gore, zombies, hysterical dialogue, nudity and Peter Bark! If you love silly and campy horror movies Burial Ground is a must! This rates as one of my all time favorite cult movies!





















Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980) Review

Posted in Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave


Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper

** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- It’s Not Fear That Tears You Apart. It’s Him!

Release Date- August 9th, 1980

Running Time- 91-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Joe D’Amato & George Eastman

Director- Joe D’Amato

Starring- Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Zora Kerova and George Eastman

Released in 1980 The Geim Reaper was heavily censored and was part of the video nasties for its graphic acts of violence. Over the years the movie has built up a large cult following and many cite this as one of Joe D’Amato’s best movies and in general outside of Beyond the Darkness I was never really fond of his work and the Grim Reaper might be one of his better movies in terms of filmmaking, but at the end of the day the film is quite boring and made more frustrating is it had all the elements to really be a true classic of the genre, but instead it ends being a movie that fails in general and the shocking scenes are surprisingly not as shocking as one might have heard.

Joe D’Amato was best know for his gore flicks such as Beyond the Darkness or his sleazy XXX flicks such as the Emmanuelle series and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, but with the Grim Reaper while there is plenty of gore on display, D’Amato opts to go for more atmosphere and it was an interesting idea, but as I stated it doesn’t really work as much as I had hoped. As I mentioned this film is sometimes noted for its extreme gore, but anyone that has seen enough of these films what you see here isn’t as shocking as many reviews state. If anything this flick does show D’Amato had a little more talent than might realize, but again the film at least for me doesn’t fully work.

The screenplay by Joe D’Amato & George Eastman has a group of tourists stranded on a deserted island where all the people have been murdered by a crazed cannibal killer (played by Eastman). And that is basically the plot in a nutshell. There is a backstory on the killer, but the plot is light, which is typical at times with the horror genre, but that’s not where the movie fails. The problem is the script by D’Amato & Eastman is rather dull with poor characters. I highly doubt anyone will remember the names of any of the characters. Nothing the characters say or do is very interesting and sure slasher movies aren’t exactly founded on great characters, but these are some of the weaker ones and none really have their own identities either basically all the characters are interchangeable.

As director Joe D’Amato actually crafts a fairly well-made movie; rather than focus on sleaze and gore, which was D’Amato’s trademark, he attempts at creating an eerie atmosphere with a film built on suspense. The problem though is the characters are so weak it’s impossible for them to carry the movie and therefore what D’Amato attempts fails and instead of atmosphere and suspense, Grim Reaper is just kind of slow and boring. With that said there are some nice touches and there are moments when what D’Amato was doing works well, but in general the pacing is just too sluggish. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the films I find the most suspenseful are the ones I can get some kind of attachment to the characters, but the fact they are so faceless it hinders suspense and tension.

The film has often been cited for its gore F/X and while to the more casual viewer the film would be quite graphic, but for anyone that knows these films it’s actually not as gory as many have made it out to be, but with that said the Grim Reaper does have some nice gore scenes. But just don’t expect as much as you may have heard.

The casting for the movie is excellent with a number of actors that appeared in countless Italian horror flicks in the 70s and 80s. We have Tisa Farrow, Serena Grandi (under the name Vanessa Steiger), Zora Kerova and of course as mentioned earlier George Eastman. Despite the solid cast they’re pretty much wasted here since the film is quite slow.

Overall Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper has slightly grown on me and while I like what D’Amato was attempting to do with the movie, but it is a little too sluggish in pacing and the poor script hurts the movie. While I never hated the movie I do enjoy it a little more now, but its still mostly sub-par. This was followed by a sequel of sorts the following year again directed by D’Amato and George Eastman returns as well playing the villain, but he isn’t the same person and I’m not quite sure why its billed as sequel since it really doesn’t have anything to do with the Grim Reaper outside of a semi-similar plot.










The Wizard of Gore (1970) Review

Posted in Wizard of Gore (1970) with tags , , , on September 13, 2012 by Last Road Reviews


**** Out of 5

Tagline- Is It Magic? Or Wholesale Slaughter?

Release Date- October 23rd, 1970

Running Time- 95-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Allen Khan

Director- Herschell Gordon Lewis

Starring- Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson

Released in 1970 The Wizard of Gore was yet another blood soaked horror flick by exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis; of all the HG Lewis movies I have seen, which is about 5 the Wizard of Gore is easily my favorite of the bunch with Blood Feast coming in 2nd.

Some have accused the movie of being boring with such witty comments about the movie calling it The Wizard of Bore and I suppose I can see why some might find it boring, but I can honestly say I was never once bored. As much as I liked The Gore-Gore Girls and Blood Feast when there were lulls in the action I did every so often lose a little bit of interest, but Wizard of Gore I can say I was never once bored at all. The Wizard of Gore lives up to its name; if you want gore you got in buckets! Some of the gore F/X may not look great anymore, but for the most part they still pack a punch and can be rather gruesome and I loved every second of it.

The screenplay by Allen Khan is pretty much what one can expect from a low budget gore flick, but there were some decent ideas presented even if they never really go anywhere or make much sense. The screenplay is pretty much the same scenes over and over again just worded differently, but overall while the script may not be great it was actually better than I expected it to be; but I doubt anyone will really care about the script since it’s just merely there to well kill time before the gore.

Director Herschell Gordon Lewis delivers a gore drenched cult classic; the pacing is fairly well done and like I said I was never bored during the movie even when there were lulls in the action. The Wizard of Gore is a bit sloppy and rough around the edges, but this is what makes the movie so entertaining. HG Lewis is very much a schlock director The Wizard of Gore delivers on that. The biggest selling point is the gore and Lewis never holds back in showing us the gore; from insides being ripped out and all being shown close up, HG Lewis delivers on what the fans want.

The acting is obviously wooden and that does make the movie all the more enjoyable, but the characters though were fairly interesting and likeable. Montag the Magnificent played by Ray Sager was just awesome. Sager’s performance is over the top and silly, but that is exactly how the character was meant to be played. Ray Sager actually went onto have a fairly successful career as a producer with the Prom Night sequels as well as the TV series the Eleventh Hour and was an assistant director on such films as My Bloody Valentine (original) and Terror Train.

The Wizard of Gore was a highly enjoyable splatter flick and we just don’t see movies like this anymore. It seemed once the 80s ended a lot of low budget horror flicks got terrible and not in a good way. Many try to make a cult flick, but I think it something that just happens. The Wizard of Gore has found a new lease on life with the remake with Crispin Glover and being mentioned in the surprise blockbuster Juno. If you are a fan of HG Lewis or schlock cinema this comes highly recommended.





















The Gore-Gore Girls (1972) Review

Posted in Gore-Gore Girls, The with tags , , , on September 8, 2012 by Last Road Reviews



*** Out of 5

Tagline- The Most Horrifying Film You’ll Ever See in Your Life

Release Date- December, 1972

Running Time- 81-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Alan J. Dachman

Director- Herschell Gordon Lewis

Starring- Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, Hedda Lubin, Russ Badger and Henny Youngman

Before there were filmmakers like Lucio Fulci there was H.G. Lewis who made a string of low budget splatter flicks. Herschell Gordon Lewis has been dubbed the Godfather of gore and for good reason. Lewis is seen as the first splatter filmmaker and while he isn’t a mainstream filmmaker he has splattered his way into cult status.

Released in 1972 The Gore-Gore Girls would be H.G. Lewis’ final film until 30-years later when he made Blood Feast 2: All You Can Eat in 2002. The Gore-Gore Girls was a great way for Lewis to end his career. Make no mistake about it; The Gore-Gore Girls is a bad movie, but this is one of those so bad its good movies. These kinda movies are very much an acquired taste. The films of H.G. Lewis you will either love or hate and odds are nobody will really say they were ok. Again it’s either a love it or hate it.

Besides boasting one of the coolest titles in cinema history The Gore-Gore Girls is also one of the most brutal horror flicks ever made; though as the years have passed and such make up F/X artists like Tom Savini, Rick Baker and the guys at KNB have come around the gore here isn’t quite as cool as it was in 1972, but with that said it’s still pretty damn sweet. The murder scenes are really cool and at times really silly. One girl has her face repeatedly stabbed and then the flesh ripped off and that was actually kinda disgusting, but I loved every second of it and the highlight was a woman having her behind mutilated with a meat tenderizer and then having salt and pepper put on it (I kid you not).

The screenplay was written by Alan J. Dachman and it’s exactly how one would imagine it. The script is quite poor with barley any plot, annoying and stupid characters that have the most idiotic things to say, which of course is what makes it so funny. The lead character Abraham Gentry played by Frank Kress is actually fairly interesting. Normally these splatter flicks have terrible characters and The Gore-Gore Girls is no exception, but Gentry is actually fairly interesting. He’s really eccentric, kind of annoying and obnoxious, but oddly enough sort of likeable.

The screenplay almost plays out like a Giallo and had this been an Italian horror flick it probably would be called one. The mystery is never really played up to however. I suppose one can figure out who the killer is, but no real clues are given for the most part. The cops are total dopes as is pretty much everyone actually. The script is filled with silly one-liners, but they are actually funny due to how idiotic they are.

Director Herschell Gordon Lewis ignores creating any suspense, scares or attempting any storytelling and gets right into the splatter. The movies run at a decent pace, but the longer the gaps in kill scenes you might slightly lose some interest, but there is enough silly things happening to keep the viewer mostly interested. When it comes to the gore, Lewis doesn’t hold back at all. As I stated before a girl is repeatedly stabbed in the face and has her flesh ripped off and the meat tenderizer scene is the highlight; a girl has her throat slit and then an iron pressed against her face and if things couldn’t get any worse she even has her nipples cut and milk pours out (yes you read that right).

The Gore-Gore Girls has no real plot and while the production values aren’t too bad despite the low budget, but the movie is really just poorly made in every aspect, from lighting, editing, acting, writing and directing, but yet these things are what makes this movie so much fun. I don’t think anyone can really say H.G. Lewis is a good filmmaker, but the guy clearly knows how to make an entertaining no budget movie.

The Gore-Gore Girls is one of my favorite splatter flicks and H.G. Lewis never attempts to make the movie more than that. The comedy aspect is intentional for the most part and Lewis just sets out to make a movie that is fun and he succeeds in doing just that. If you need your gore fix The Gore-Gore Girls will more than deliver on that.
























A Tribute to Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2 Posters and Lobby Cards

Posted in Zombi 2 Poster Gallery with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2012 by Last Road Reviews






































Absurd (1981) Review

Posted in Absurd with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye


** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- October, 1981

Running Time- 96-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- John Cart (George Eastman)

Director- Peter Newton (Joe D’Amato)

Starring- George Eastman, Annie Bell, Charles Borromel, Katya Berger, Kasimir Berger and Edmund Purdom

Released in 1981 Absurd is a sequel of sorts to Anthropophagus released the previous year; Absurd isn’t very well known, but has built up a cult following and the plot for the movie is clearly inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween as it takes several plot points from that film and there are even many similarities to Halloween 2, but I’d say it’s just a coincidence since both movies were released the same year and the same month. Absurd was directed by Joe D’Amato under the name Peter Newton and I like some of D’Amato’s work, but in general I find most of his flicks to be sub-par with the exception of Beyond the Darkness, which I felt was an excellent flick.

Absurd also goes under the title of Horrible, which just might be a better fitting name for the movie; ok so maybe Absurd wasn’t horrible, but quite honestly I didn’t think it was very good. The movie has its moments, but more often than not I found myself a bit bored throughout most of the running time. We have a killer (Eastman) escaping from a hospital and roams around killing a couple of people before setting his sights on Emily (Bell) who is baby-sitting, meanwhile a Priest (Purdom) is on search for the unstoppable killer. So as you can see the movie takes its basic premise from Carpenter’s film and several times the little kid in the movie refers to the killer as the boogeyman.

The screenplay by George Eastman under the name John Cart is the standard slasher flick of its era; I’m a big fan of Italian horror flicks, but I often find the screenplays very lacking and true you can also say this about many of horror flicks of the 80s in particular slasher flicks, but for the most part I often find the Italian horror flicks to be some of the more weaker ones in terms of writing. The characters are rather one-dimensional and also kind of boring at times. I love Italian horror and many films out of Italy easily would rate as some of my all time favorites, but these movies at least in the 80s sure weren’t known for their writing.

The Priest is sort of the Dr. Loomis character, but the character is rather boring and goes MIA during the 2nd half of the movie, which isn’t much of a loss. The only real likeable character here was Emily who is pretty much a clone of Laurie Strode. As the writer Eastman doesn’t really add much to this flick to really separate it from Halloween and while there were other 80s slasher flicks that totally copied Halloween more so than this, but at the end of the day it’s one of the weaker Halloween clones.

Director Joe D’Amato delivers an uneven movie that has some decent atmosphere, but it can also be quite boring during most of the running time. Absurd lacks any real direction and both D’Amato & Eastman are quite content with taking elements from Halloween. Joe D’Amato is a cult favorite, but as I stated earlier I find most of his work to be sub-par and Absurd is no different. There really isn’t much happening here and the pacing is quite sluggish. But when there is some action D’Amato delivers the goods; Absurd isn’t the goriest flick I’ve seen, but most of the death scenes are brutal enough to satisfy.

Overall Absurd was a nice attempt, but the movie is lackluster that’s poorly paced with boring characters. Absurd has built up a nice cult following and while I understand why so many enjoyed it I just found it rather dull, but it does have some decent moments and George Eastman is fairly creepy as the villain, but the movie is brought down by the sub-par production.

Cat in the Brain (1990) Review by Dave Kaye

Posted in Cat in the Brain with tags , , , on March 30, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye


*** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- August 8th, 1990

Running Time- 95-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli, Antonio Tentori

Director- Lucio Fulci

Starring- Lucio Fulci, David L. Thompson, Malisa Longo, Jeoffrey Kennedy, Paola Cozzo and Brett Halsey

Released in 1990 Cat in the Brain, which also goes under the title Nightmare Concert came out when Lucio Fulci had clearly seen better days. After the release of The New York Ripper in 1982 Fulci seemed to really lose it and started a major decline in his career. His later movies really lacked and even if they delivered on the gore most of these movies were rather dire and really the only late day Fulci flick I enjoyed was Zombi 3 due to how bad the movie was it ends up being really enjoyable some of the scenes for Zombi 3 were shot by Bruno Mattei, but even the Fulci scenes had a silliness to them, but even though I enjoyed the movie it was sad to see how far down Fulci’s career had gone. If your first introduction to Lucio Fulci came in his post-New York Ripper era I doubt many would have bothered to seek out his previous work and I really can’t say I’d blame them. Also when Cat in the Brain came out not only was Lucio Fulci making some of his weakest movies, but Italian horror in general really seemed to be in a rut and based on what was coming out at the time it really isn’t much of a surprise their film industry was dying.

It’s hard to really explain why I liked Cat in the Brain so much, but this is the only late day Fulci I really liked a lot and while this may not reach the heights of some of his earlier work I’d go as far to say I liked this more than City of the Living Dead & The Beyond. I really can’t defend the movie in terms of why I liked it better than some of his more popular movies or why this is even a good movie. I don’t have any response to debunk any of the negative reviews, but Cat in the Brain really won me over and while Fulci made a couple of more movies after this, Cat in the Brain makes for the perfect swan song and I personally see this as his last movie.

Despite popular belief Lucio Fulci was much more than a gore director with his movies such as Don’t Torture a Duckling and Seven Notes in Black, Fulci was a filmmaker who could tell a story and create scenes with suspense and tension. Even though Zombi 2 started his splatter era it’s also a movie driven by suspense and tension and some really great atmosphere. And while some of these qualities were in his splatter flicks of the 80s they were more of a showcase for over the top, but excellent gore F/X. Cat in the Brain is sort of a combination of both styles. The gore level is very high and most of the footage is taken from other Fulci directed or produced movies. Rather than use gore footage from his more popular titles, Fulci uses gore scenes from such movies as Touch of Death and Andrea Bianchi’s Massacre and Mario Bianchi’s Murder Sect, which Fulci supervised. Some have hailed this as one of the goriest movies ever made and even if most of the gore scenes are taken from other movies I suppose that doesn’t matter, but I don’t think this is one of the goriest flicks ever made, but gore-hounds surly won’t be disappointed.

The screenplay by Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli & Antonio Tentori was fairly interesting; the plot follows Lucio Fulci (sort of playing himself in a sense) and after years of making horror movies he’s starting to lose his grip on reality and is haunted by violent images and is beginning to have a breakdown on what’s real and what’s fantasy. The script in many ways can often repeat itself as the same scene basically plays out over and over again. Many of Fulci’s 80s work featured plots that were incoherent and while as director Fulci was able to create a nice use of atmosphere, but when there were lulls in the action the messy script and incoherent plots would in my opinion hinder the films whereas his 70s work was very much driven by characters and the story and the films would remain interesting regardless of action. Cat in the Brain is a bit incoherent and while I felt that hurt movies like City of the Living Dead and The Beyond here it really helps the movie since we’re seeing the breakdown of Lucio Fulci and when suffering a breakdown things often lack any logic so that works to the films advantage as Fulci is quite confused on what’s happening and it does add to some character development.

At times the script never really moves forward and like I said we often get the same basic scene played out a few times, but yet it still works and Cat in the Brain is very much driven by Fulci as he’s in almost every scene. The motivation for the killer is never really made clear and while the script at times does lack depth it was nice to see Lucio Fulci attempt a more character/plot driven movie like he did back in the 70s. Cat in the Brain is also sort of a satire of Lucio Fulci’s work and horror in general; it’s an interesting idea to see how years of horror films impacted Fulci and sort of drove him near the brink of madness. Cat in the Brain isn’t a straight up satire, but the satirical elements work very well and while Fulci, Simonelli & Tentori may not write the greatest script they do deliver an excellent movie despite the flaws.

Let’s be honest here Cat in the Brain is a movie by a director who is past his prime and clearly seen better days. As much as I enjoy the films of Lucio Fulci again I really had a dislike for the majority of his post-Ripper movies and I think even the most loyal of Fulci fans would most likely agree. But with Cat in the Brain, Lucio Fulci showed he had one more excellent film left in him. While Cat in the Brain may not have the eerie feel of some of his past movies, Fulci creates a movie that is weird, twisted and sometimes funny. The pacing of Cat in the Brain can be a bit sluggish in some spots as like I said the same scene often repeats itself, but Fulci still manages to keep things interesting with the exception of a few scenes that can drag.

Besides a few lulls in the action, Lucio Fulci is mostly able to deliver a really entertaining movie that while not his last film it does serve as a nice ending to a legendary career even if he did make a couple of more films after this. Cat in the Brain may not have anything really special going for it, but yet Fulci still is mostly able to deliver an excellent flick flaws and all. Based on the past few films he made I’m surprised Cat in the Brain turned out as well as it did and again this may not be the best Fulci flick, but its highly entertaining.

Cat in the Brain is sort of a highlight reel of gore F/X as I stated most of the gore is recycled from prior Fulci directed or produced movies. Cat in the Brain is really gory with body parts chopped off, slit throats, decapitations and even if most of the footage are from other movies it still works well and is enjoyable even if you’ve seen the movies the gore scenes are taken from.

Overall I greatly enjoyed Cat in the Brain, but I really can’t defend the movie as much as I’d like to since I very much understand the negative reviews, but regardless I really liked the movie and as long as you aren’t expecting Lucio Fulci to deliver what he did in his prime I think you’ll be pleased, but this movie is really only meant for fans of Lucio Fulci and this film is best watched after you’ve seen a majority of his flicks. Lucio Fulci actually claimed Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was a rip-off of this movie and while they have a few things in common I don’t think New Nightmare ripped this movie off at all. Also Brett Halsey plays a pretty big part in the movie, but yet all his footage was taken from previous Fulci flicks and he actually doesn’t appear in the actual production.