Sunday, October 29, 2006

October Horror reviews- International Edition

MURDER ROCK (1984) - Later period Lucio Fulci giallo. Someone is killing off the best dancers in a class from which the top students will be offered prestigious jobs. A wily police detective suspects someone in the school but can’t pin the murders on anyone- not even the people with the most to gain. This one has always had a bad reputation because of the terrible 80s music that permeates the story. It’s true the Flashdance style tunes are abysmal and unintentionally funny but they don’t make the film any less solid as a good thrill tale. The murders are fascinating and the amount of nudity on display is ……plentiful. Handled like a throwback to the 70s heyday of the great Gialli the killer is inventive and lucky with an identity always hovering just out of sight until the end. Well done if not brilliant and a welcome return to form for Fulci at a time he was being regularly attacked. The man could really make exciting cinema. (3 stars)

WILD ZERO (2000)- When is a film not very good but a whole lot of fun? When it’s this one, baby! Best described as ‘Japanese Rock ‘n’ Roll band VS. A Bunch of Zombies’ there isn’t a logical moment to be found anywhere in its 90 minute running time- and that’s just fine. Completely insane from beginning to end it must be seen to be believed. Flying saucers swarm about the Earth somehow causing the dead to rise and eat the living. It’s up to Guitar Wolf and a few friends to battle these evil things and play loud rock ‘n’ roll at the same time. It’s as if someone had too much money for a music video shoot and just went berserk. The Farm Film Report guys would have loved this movie! (2 &1/2 stars)

A HOUSE OF MAD SOULS (2004)- A ghost story from Thailand that I can’t really tell you too much about. The subtitles on the DVD I watched were awful and didn’t even bother to start until after the opening credits leaving some apparently important info a complete mystery. Over long even at 82 minutes this one might have been good trimmed of about 20 minutes and subtitled by someone with a working knowledge of English- but who knows. Beautiful lead actress but what the hell was going on there at the end? Damned frustrating! (1 star)

BEAST OF BLOOD (1970)- Now that the Blood Island films have been issued on DVD in spectacular special editions the petitions can stop and other, lesser films can be pressed onto digital disc. Yes- the Holy Grail of all film history is now available and the weeping can subside. All Hail the Blood Island series- the greatest film accomplishment of all---Ok, OK! I’m bullshitting! The Blood Island films are all pretty bad but most have fantastic elements and some are even great guilty pleasures. I’m slowly working my way through them and this one is pretty damned fun. John Ashley’s doctor character returns to the island for a poorly scripted jungle romp with that maddest of mad scientists Dr. Lorca. Insanity ensues with plenty of naked breasts and green blood everywhere. If you’ve seen one of these you know what to expect and this one doesn’t disappoint- if you know what I mean. (2 stars)

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