Unless I'm requested to, very rarely do I ever have the urge to review in length a movie of the non-Asian persuasion. But occassionally I do get the inkling to throw thanks at a flick that deserves it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. But I swear, BRENTWOOD's owed some sort of recognition for the massive amounts of crappola they continue dishing out packaged in colorful, visually attractive DVD boxes.
I know you've seen 'em before, those BRENTWOOD "50 Shitty Horror Movies For $10" sets. They've got great cover artwork, truely eye pleasing stuff but they contain some of the most god awful films in horror history. BLOODY BABYSITTERS or THE PREGNANT BUTCHER or SLASHER PROM NIGHT or ATTACK OF THE SPACE LEPERS would all be excellent examples of the mess you'd find in one of these sets. Of course, these are made up titles but you get the idea, right?
Anyway, just the other day, I went to the local DVD store and there they were, five or six new BRENTWOOD horror boxsets featuring four movies on two double-sided DVD's. After surveying the selection, I decided to pick one up. Ah, c'mon, they were only $6.99 for christ's sake. I went with the set called SKINNED ALIVE. The cover features a guy and a girl splattered in red sauce standing in a forest. And after further inspection, it looks like BRENTWOOD must have emptied out TEMPE VIDEO's trash bin because all four flicks in this set come from their library of titles.
So, without further delay, let me see if I can do my best oldschool SPASMS review here. And away we go...
[I 90w sademonsummercover I]
A group of obnoxious teen types who live in a world where wearing a black leather jacket makes you a tough guy, beat up some bum and steal his book on conjuring demons (!). They then sucker this dimwitted Catholic chick into a seance where they hope Satan can help them get into her pants. Instead, they summon a demonic hellspawn to Earth. Once he's here and possessed one of them, the rest of the movie plays out like a cheapjack forest bound NIGHT OF THE DEMONS only minus the horror, the humor, the sex, and the enjoyment.
What we really get with DEMON SUMMER is an outrageously inept attempt by dorky youths pretending to be thespians in a flick that looks as if it was filmed in the vacant lot behind their mom's house. Enthusiastic attempts at creating some mighty fine gore covered murder scenes are certainly to be commended but all in all, the bozo FX looks like it was bought from one of Wal-Mart's Halloween clearance sales. Press-on monster nails and white contact lenses are the soup of the day here. Yes, it's that lousy even for being of the amateur kind. And we, the audience, have to suffer for it.
The highlights of this festuring shitpile include some dolts trying to decide what to do with their stash of Mary Jane before the cops show up and the thugging of a little boy on a bike by an older tuff. Oh, this one stinks, folks. And it stinks bad! A tooth ache is actually more entertaining. Let's move along, there's nothing to see here.
[I 90w samidnightskatecover I]
Holy shit! The spastic cast of DEMON SUMMER return but this time as college students (yeah, right) and drug peddlers (this I can believe). And wearing the same clothes as before too. I'll be damned, it really is them!
Stooopid name! MIDNIGHT SKATER starts off as simple minded teens-in-peril slasher fare shot on shitty home video but it's ambitious offbeat antics show a faint hint of promise had this endeavor had an actual budget, actual actors, and an actual director. Then suddenly, like an unexpected slap to the back of the head, the film turns into a sexually deviant, half-assed DEAD ALIVE zombie ripoff drug pic. Y-O-W-Z-A!
If it wasn't for a villian that talks like a comic book bad guy from the 50's and a talentless supporting cast undermining the whole affair, this one might have rattled your cage with it's seemingly jubilant scenes of necrophilia and post mortem body foddling. Natch! My favorite being the "I'll screw your corpse as I spank my own ass with your severed hand" sequence. Shameful, sinful, and laughable at the same time.
Other note worthy aspects include Alvin the gay role player/anime geek, the zombie penis rot, the vacuum cleaner sex, and the award for the most boneheaded horror film victim goes to the loser who allowed himself to be tied up and castrated by knife. It'll have every male viewer in the room clutching at his crotch.
MIDNIGHT SKATER is an unwatchable phlegm ball but recommended only if you've recently been lobotomized and in dire need of a few sick yuks. ATTACK OF THE COCKFACE KILLER fans will be in sheer heaven with this one.
[I 90w saskinnedalivecover I]
Fifteen years prior to THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, there was SKINNED ALIVE, the titular film for which this boxset was named after. And for what it's worth, this is the most sound of the movies in this set. Then again, that's probably no better than saying you'd rather burn to death in a fire than be crushed by a cement roller. Touted as "the most realistic 'crazy backwoods family' movie since THE HILLS HAVE EYES and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE", it's more like a shoddy but bloody episode of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES that'll put ya to sleep in the first thirty minutes.
Grandma "Crawldaddy" and her cornpone young'uns, Violet and Phink travel smalltown backroads on the prowl for twits to terrorize. Their van breaks down and the three shack up with some yokels who, you guessed it, pay the price for their stupidity. It's up to a violence prone drunk cop to set things right. While all this may sound promising, too much airheaded chatter and needless buildup make the eyelids go heavy.
But hey, there's a catch. If you can stay awake just long enough, there are some moist and meaty, wacky and rude rewards to be had in the "Could Have Been Cool If..." category. There's entry-level human antics and even though the second rate splatter is of the "Gore 101" variety, there's still plenty of it and the film should be given points for it's righteously violent bravado and verve alone.
As wretchedly pitiful as they can possibly come, SKINNED ALIVE is by no means, a good movie. But I confess, it could have been worse, ALOT worse. Unfortunately though, age and better movies from the same sub-genre containing far more unsavory subject matter eventually leave SKINNED ALIVE seeming desperately inadequate. Truely for the "crazy backwoods family" film completist only. Everyone else will be asleep.
SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT
[I 90w sascreamcover I]
This was probably the deciding factor for me to buy this bullshit. I loved and still do love the fabled horror movie "Scream Queen". So, this film, I just had to see because my personal fav BRINKE STEVENS herself hosted it.
This documentary chronicles the exploits of the leading ladies who over the years have provided the horror geek fanboy a wad spanking time and time again. These bloodsoaked beauties explain to us the how's and why's of getting into the biz. But contrary to what they may tell us, we all know the answer to that one. Can you say "Birthday Suits"? They also talk about the pitfalls and hardships of being a B-Movie starlet. Like what, no money and lotsa undersexed fans?
Some of the trouser arousing damsels in distress include JULIE STRAIN, DEBBIE ROCHON, DENICE DUFF, and a gaggle of gals I'd never heard of before but definitely wanna see more of now. But sandwiched 'tween the babes of such sphincter irritating gems as WITCH HOUSE 3 and THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE was a surprise... JUDITH O'DEA! Who? She played Barbara in the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, you knucklehead! Even though she was obviously out of place, it was pretty cool none the less.
Overall lightweight, SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT was entertaining and informative but it just might leave some of you feeling unsatisfied because our horror hotties DON'T EVER GET NAKED! And that, my friends, is what ultimately pays the rent around here.
Whew! So, there you have it. BRENTWOOD's latest offering of crap-tacular titles is effectively, a miserable bust. Had it not been for the few bogus cheap thrills found scattered throughout the three films and the Scream Queen featurette, I'd say you would probably get more enjoyment out of sticking toothpicks under your fingernails than what you'd find on these DVD's.