Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price #55 - The Haunted Palace

The latest in the series focuses on one of my favorite of the Roger Corman/Vincent Price collaborations. This is still one of the best adaptations of Lovecraft for the big screen.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

TV Viewing - The Expanse

I don't write a lot about television series here and I'm not sure why. Some of the best storytelling I see each year is produced for the small screen. Often I will try a new television show to see if it has anything to keep my interest and then drop it if it turns out to be dull, dumb or too derivative. This shotgun effect has led me to several very good shows that only seemed mildly interesting but turned out to be excellent. Right now the top of the Unexpectedly Excellent list is the new SyFy (it pains me to type that asinine name) series The Expanse.

I originally tuned in because the preview images looked like the production had spent enough money to make the science fiction world realistic and because I'm a fan of lead actor Thomas Jane. After only two episodes I was shocked by what I was seeing. This was a complex, credible and exciting vision of the future that felt like a lot of thought had been put into every single aspect of every single level. This universe feels lived in and genuine in ways that most science fiction TV series rarely attempt. All of the characters have depth and color with relationships that seem believable and complicated by past break-ups, bad decisions and job conflicts - you know- like real people! This is helped by fine performances from a large and diverse cast. I expect good work from Jane and Jared Harris but the less famous actors are doing great jobs as well. Iranian born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is a revelation as U.N. Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala who is incredibly adept at politics and subterfuge but still callous enough to use an old friend in high stakes, dangerous intelligence gathering.

The series takes place two hundred years in the future in a fully colonized Solar System. The story revolves around three main plotlines that are interconnected even if they don't seem so from the beginning. Ceres police detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) is given an under the table assignment to find a missing young woman named Julie Mao. Julie is the daughter of a wealthy Earth businessman and she has recently gotten rebellious about the ways Earth controls and suppress the asteroid belt colonies. Meanwhile the acting Executive Officer of the ice freighter Canterbury James Holden (the excellent Steven Strait) tragically involves his ship in an incident that ends with it destroyed by unknown attackers. This attacks threatens to destabilize the fragile political situation between Earth, breakaway colony Mars and the Asteroid Belt. Back on Earth United Nations executive  Chrisjen Avasarala (played by the aforementioned Shohreh Aghdashloo) is working to prevent war between Earth and Mars by any means necessary - and some of those means are pretty distasteful. Slowly these three threads converge as they find links between the missing woman and the ice freighter's destruction that point to a conspiracy that threatens all of humanity.

I've not read the books this series is based upon but I think the writers have to be proud of this show. This is easily one of the best shows on TV right now regardless of genre. Yes, I was drawn to this show for the whizz-bang nature of the effects work but what has me excited is the characters and the story. The plot is part political intrigue, part film noir mystery, part relationship drama, part military action and it's wrapped in a brilliantly realized science fiction world. This is great television and I'm thrilled that there is a second season already in the pipeline.  "Remember the Cant!" 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Caroline Munro images!

Just because! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Bloody Pit #34 - CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE (1980)

John Hudson returns to the Bloody Pit to help me discuss this amazing cannibal gore film from director Antonio Margheriti. Shooting in Atlanta, Georgia during the cooler months of the year gives some fascinating texture to the film and lends a little gravity to the plot about deranged Vietnam Vets. And when your story revolves around a virus that somehow transfers cannibalism between people like the flu you need all the seriousness you can muster! Luckily this is one of the very few Margheriti films that has been released to DVD in the US with extras! Among those extras is a very nice 54 minute long documentary about CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE that includes interviews with the director as well as actors John Saxon and Giovanni Lambardo Radice a.k.a. John Morghen. This gives us a little more insight into the film than we usually have and allows for some examination of the ideas presented, which I like!

Before we dive into the film Hudson and I catch up a bit with discussion of our upcoming Alice Cooper encounter; John's history with Tarantino theatrical screenings; his rewatch of The Sopranos; my journey through the Hannibal TV series and a general concern for the winter weather. Once we attack our main topic I start with some information on the legendary Italian screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti who is responsible for so many of the classic Euro-Cult films of the 1970's and 80's that entire books should be written about him! As the podcast continues we complain about the often inappropriate score along with an audio example of the sound of blood dripping from meat - high strangeness. There is some talk about flamethrowers and exploding dogs as well as the real animal cruelty in the sewer scenes. We touch on the use of wood as a metaphor (I'm not kidding) and end up wondering what words rhyme with Saxon. Yeah, we're all over the place in this one.

Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. We can be contacted at for any comments or complaints. At the end of this episode we lay out the plans for future Bloody Pit shows about Antonio Margheriti as well as the other movies that will be covered in the next few months. We hope you enjoy what we're doing and please stay safe and warm.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Recently Turner Classic Movies showed this all black cast oddity and my curiosity pushed me to check it out. I have seen very few black cast films from the classic era with Edgar Ulmer's MOON OVER HARLEM from the same year being the only example that springs to mind. I assume all such productions are as threadbare and brief as these two. Both are clearly working with extremely low budgets and a very little time to get the script onto film. I suspect that often a second take of a flubbed scene was just not possible and the actor's best try was what ended up going to the editing room. I'm sure money was not allocated to do much more than pay the technicians and cast, strike a few cheaply made prints and purchase postage to ship them to the theaters that catered to the minority audience. I guess if costs were low enough it was easy to turn a profit.

Here's the plot synopsis from IMDB - " In a quiet, all-black Oklahoma community live the Wilsons, whose pretty daughter Margaret is courted by awkward Buster and suave stage mentalist Prince Alihabad. On one busy night, Mr. Wilson shows his valuables to Alihabad, who plans to elope with Margaret; a mysterious man hangs around while another burglarizes the house; and someone murders Mr. Wilson! Will the killer be caught by the police, or by bumbling correspondence-school detective Junior Lingley?"

I'd love to be able to call this little effort a hidden gem that has now escaped being lost to history, but unfortunately it is not. In fact, it's a pretty bad film on almost every level. The shoestring budget is evident in every scene. The entire 54 minute story plays out on about three sets that get redressed to serve as a few different locals. The actors are mostly terrible with a few good moments shining through when the talent of the performers was able to overcome the production hurdles of a quickly shot movie. The direction is basic and unimaginative, rarely adding much energy to the proceedings. The story is so silly and obvious as to be pointless and I have to confess that by the end I was not sure that the story had even been wrapped up at all. What is worse is I didn't care. I'm glad I saw this little rarity but past the novelty of a peek inside a small sub-genre of classic film there isn't much to recommend. Of course, if you're interested I can't stop you! Here it is on YouTube. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jim Aparo draws The Spectre

While Aparo will always be my favorite Batman artist he was fantastic no matter which character he brought to life with his pencils and ink. With these cover images you can see his flair for expressive faces and the dynamism of his action scenes . He was amazing at action and always captured the right moment and movement to make the story come alive. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dame Diana Rigg on The Avengers

If you have any interest in what the wonderful Dame Diana Rigg has to say about her time on The Avengers TV series this is the interview for you! Miss Rigg will always be one of my favorite actresses and this delightful talk is just another demonstration of why my admiration is correctly placed. If you share my love for her or are just curious about the show this twenty-six minute interview will be well worth your time. Hell! Her story about Vincent Price alone  is worth watching this all by itself!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Naschycast #55 - MUCHA SANGRE (2002)

2016 brings us back to the much feared (by Troy and I, anyway) genre of Spanish comedy. Followers of this podcast will know that we've had little to no luck with our exploration of the various comedy/horror movies Naschy made over the years and MUCHA SANGRE features examples of each reason why we struggle to understand and enjoy them. That's not to say that we didn't have fun with the film but, as we discuss, we don't have the cultural references to get some jokes and often that kind of context matters. Truly, with any comedy your mileage will vary and with one like this that fancies itself a kind of Rock 'n' Roll movie warnings are appropriate for newbies. Luckily we have a friend in Madrid to help us out with some questions about the movie's odder moments! Yes, Elena of Horror Rises From Spain and comes to our rescue yet again! It's always good to get a lady's perspective on Naschy. Oh, and we spoil the hell out of the film's story, so be aware! Sorry.

Of course, we also touch on a few other subjects as the show progresses including our recently seen films, a brief discussion of 50's sci-fi movies, Kurt Russell westerns and the current spate of depressing celebrity deaths that have hit both of us so hard. Also in this show we announce some news about the podcast's future that will be of interest to fans and lay out the next few months schedule of films to be covered for those who wish to play along. Long story short- expect more Toho film talk over on the Bloody Pit podcast and the return of Amando de Ossorio here!

The mailbag section allows us to catch up on our correspondence, answer a few questions and, as you will hear, take a few suggestions for shows down the road. I can't wait to one day podcast about the films of Bruno Mattei! We can be reached at with any an all comments and we thank you for downloading the show. Please let us know what you think and what movies you'd like us to cover in the new year. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Loving the Alien - David Bowie

It's been a very difficult few weeks for celebrity deaths. Legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, Phantasm film star Angus Scrimm, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and acclaimed actor Alan Rickman are just a few of the talented and beloved entertainers that have left us recently. Truly it seems that Death is overdue for a damned long holiday after this string of reaping.

But the death that has hit me the hardest is the passing of David Bowie. Not only was it unexpected but it comes so soon after the release of his latest album that it seems like something seriously wrong has occurred. As if there was some odd crack in reality I've stepped through where Bowie is creating some new project that requires his apparent death to set up a third act revival to the strains of a song that will forever be a part of my internal soundtrack. Because that is what so much of his music has become over the years - the soundtrack of my life. I love much music and the playlist in my head is vast and diverse, but one eternal is that I always return to Bowie's albums year after year. And, much like any good piece of art, I see new things in his work each time I revisit it. Things I thought and felt in my teens or twenties seem incredibly distant but his music can bring those memories rushing back even as my older self reflects on how different I am now. A song I've listened to hundreds of times can remind me of my youth and simultaneously clarify something that I'm experiencing at that moment allowing me to see a connection between the past and future I could not imagine before Bowie's voice and music threw it into sharp focus. It is this stunning ability, this magical gift for showing us ourselves in the mirror that he could hold up, that makes me weep that he is gone. He helped me know myself for over thirty years just by being the creative man that he was naturally. And now that is gone. And I know I'm not done looking in that mirror or needing the help he afforded me. And I fear that the time will come when I need his voice - a new song, a new insight - and I'll have to hope that age continues to bring me fresh ways of understanding what he has already said. Because David Bowie is dead. And he won't be there to offer his vision or his sound anymore.

Loving the Alien 

Watching them come and go
The Templars and the Saracens
They're traveling the holy land
Opening telegrams

Torture comes and torture goes
Knights who'd give you anything
They bear the cross of Coeur de Leon
Salvation for the mirror blind

But if you pray, all your sins are hooked upon the sky
Pray and the heathen lie will disappear
Prayers they hide, the saddest view
(Believing the strangest things, loving the alien)
And your prayers they break the sky in two
(Believing the strangest things, loving the alien)
You pray 'til the break of dawn
(Believing the strangest things, loving the alien)
And you'll believe you're loving the alien
(Believing the strangest things, loving the alien)

Thinking of a different time
Palestine, a modern problem
Bounty and your wealth in land
Terror in a best laid plan

Watching them come and go
Tomorrows and the yesterdays
Christians and the unbelievers
Hanging by the cross and nail

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


In my 2016 project to see more films directed by Michael Curtiz I delved into this silent effort from his early European career. I was expecting a full-on Biblical epic in the DeMille vein but what this turns out to be is a mostly contemporary set tale of sin and redemption. Yes, make no mistake - this is definitely a morality tale - but for the first hour of this two hour long film the Bible story of Lot and his wife in no where in sight. But right at the one hour mark we get our principal actors recast in the classic tale to illustrate the moral lines that are being delineated. The plot has older, widowed multimillionaire Jackson Harber wanting to marry the young model Mary who is not sure she wants to throw away her freedom. Her mother convinces her that this is her chance to lead a life in luxury and leisure and after some thinking she agrees even though she knows another man loves. This other man is the sculptor Harry Lighton who has been casting Mary in clay. Harry is poor, with few prospects and when Mary tells him of her choice he is despondent.

The engagement is celebrated by hundreds of revelers with an extravagant party at Harber's huge estate. The wealthy man's son Eduard arrives from Cambridge, accompanied by his tutor, the priest Varconi. The priest is disgusted by the bacchanalian party with its rampant sex and drinking. Mary spots young handsome Eduard and quickly moves to seduce him while Harry tries to convince her to break the engagement and be with him. When she refuses Harry shoots himself and is carried off to the hospital. As Varconi spirits Eduard away from temptation, Mary falls asleep and is transported in her dream into the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the dream she is the wife of Lot leaving her husband so that she can play a central role in the pagan rites of the goddess Astarte. An angel arrives to lead Lot and his wife out of Sodom but (as you knew from Sunday school) when the city starts to collapse Lot's wife cannot resist looking back and, because of her disobedience, is turned into a pillar of salt. This horrible (if fascinating) dream opens the eyes of Mary who wakes up, leaves the party and goes to Harry in the hospital to watch over him in his recovery.

Yeah, it's just as cheesy and obvious as you might think but it's a film made in 1922 so it's also exactly what I expect. And this is an entertaining film, by the way. SODOM AND GOMORRAH isn't some boring drama dragging it's story out in long shots and broad performances. The direction here is fluid for the era with some smartly chosen close-ups and well choreographed sequences that rival anything being done in Hollywood at the time. You can see why this Mihály Kertész fellow might have been seen to have a career in pictures in front of him! I might have preferred a shorter film that just told the Biblical story at more length, but I still really enjoyed this. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Michael Curtiz - Film Director!

Today I started watching the classic Bogart film WE'RE NO ANGELS (1955) and, although I had (sadly) never seen the film before, I knew I was in good hands as soon as the Directed By Michael Curtiz credit flashed onto the screen. I've been aware of Mr. Curtiz for most of my life because he directed several of my favorite films of all time. He made CASABLANCA, CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE SEA HAWK, DOCTOR X, THE MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM, DODGE CITY and about 90 other English language movies. Remembering how impressed I alway am by his work I decided to look up his list of credits with a joking eye toward seeing how difficult it would be to try to watch everything he ever made. Damn! I knew he had emigrated here from Hungry in the 1920's but the length of his credits both before moving to Hollywood and after is astounding. He made around fifty films in Europe and another hundred in the US. Wow! His first film stateside appears to be the 1926 silent Biblical epic SODOM & GOMORRAH and his was the John Wayne western THE COMANCHEROS in 1962. I need to see both of those to start!

Closer examination of his output shows that he was often directing as many as five films in a single year with the count for 1933 being seven! Clearly, any viewer that sets out to see his entire filmography has their work cut out for them. I'm not going to claim that I'll find a way see all of them or even most of them, but I think that in 2016 I'm going to try to watch more of Curtiz's work. Many more. I've lined up copies of SODOM & GOMORRAH and his 1931 John Barrymore horror film THE MAD GENIUS to begin this project and I'll try to check in here with my thoughts as I watch them.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

The Simpsons Couch Gag to Beat All Couch Gags!

This is possibly the greatest thing created by human beings in all of history! Of course, to get the meta-meta-joke level of this madness you will need to watch the magnificent KUNG FURY.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Thursday, January 07, 2016

What I Watched in December

Even though it is always a busy time of year I caught four movies in the theater last month. I've already written about KRAMPUS and THE HATEFUL EIGHT so let's look at the other two cinema experiences for December. 

I caught the first MAZE RUNNER film on cable a few months ago and was impressed with it. It wasn't something I wanted to go out of my way to see but having the DVR catch it was worth the effort. The mystery element was interesting enough to keep me watching, the performances were solid, the dialog pretty good and the visuals were rather arresting. I did wonder why a group of young men never broached the subject of girls or romantic feelings in any way. Of course, I knew this was based on a series of YA novels so I suspect the absence of sexuality was built into the tale.

So, having enjoyed the first one, when the sequel popped up at the cheap theater I spent my two dollars and I must say that I think THE MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS is actually a better film. This one opens up the world quite a lot introducing the overarching plot, mysterious characters and setting the table for a very dark dystopian future that plays very much like a variation on what Logan's Run was doing decades ago. I began to really like the characters in this one as they started to have a definable goal with the young cast finally getting some able assistance from a very good group of adult actors. In fact, no movie that has Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson and Aiden Gillen stirring the plot/pot can be unwatchable and they are given some juicy parts to play.

Also, although this movie is primarily an action adventure, it sports one of the creepiest and downright scary sequences I've seen on the big screen in years. I won't spoil it for anyone one other than to say there are some frightening things lurking in the dark deep underground. Whew!

Far too much has already been said and written about the new STAR WARS film and I'm sure my opinion will mean just as much as everyone else's - i.e. not much. Understand that I really was hoping for the best with this one. After the garbage pit that was the prequel trilogy I was surprised that Disney wanted to do this but I guess $ will always be there for this franchise. And J.J Abrams essentially spent two Star Trek movies trying really, really hard to prove he could make a Star Wars film if given the chance so he was probably the right choice as director. But - and this is a big problem - I think that fear guided the creation of THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Fear. Not love, not hope, not even optimistic glee. Fear is behind the story that was chosen to be told in this film much more than any other single thing. I think everyone involved knew that if they didn't give the fans what they wanted they were going to be savaged from every internet hilltop in the world. I think that after 16 years of justified weeping about how bad the prequels were they felt that they had to be safe, so they stuck to the plot of the original film as if it were holy writ. I think that this is the reason the film fails on several levels for me and for quite a number of other people as well. The simple fact is that I've seen this movie before - back in 1977 - and what I was hoping for was something new. Not 'the same thing gussied up with cool new FX and fresh faced actors' but a NEW story. And what's even more frustrating is the outlines of a new story are in this movie - rebelling storm trooper escapes from fascistic army and becomes hero - but it is buried under the OLD story as it is recast and rerun. Some great performances are wasted in this mistake and the action scenes are actually very exciting but overall this is a missed opportunity. I got some enjoyment out of it but as I think more about it, the less happy I am. I wanted a new adventure and I got a spit-shined remake.

Yes- this was a story crafted from fear and Yoda taught us decades ago that fear is the way to the Dark Side. Acting out of fear will get you short term benefit but in the long term the cost is very high.


TRAPPED WOMEN (1986)-  6 (variation on Franco's FURY IN THE TROPICS with a completely different story and ending) 
KRAMPUS (2015)- 8 
DEVIL'S ISLAND (1939)- 6 (solid tale of the French penal colony with Karloff) 
FANTOMAS (1980) - 7 (French TV movie by Claude Chabrol) 
REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1947)- 9 (rewatch) 
NEW YEAR'S EVIL (1980) - 4 (rewatch) 
BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941)- 6 (message melodrama)
SCROOGE (1970)-  10 (rewatch) 
THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES (2015) - 9 (amazing documentary) 
RUN ALL NIGHT (2014)- 7 (good crime film with great cast) 
AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS CAROL (1979) - 7 (Solid TV version with Henry Winkler as Scrooge) 
IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947) - 6 (sweet Christmas tale that is just a bit too silly) 
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (2015) - 9 (sprawling western from Tarantino - caught the Roadshow version) 
JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS (2015)- 8 (great animated tale) 
THE DAY THE WORLD EXPLODED (1957)- 5 (silly, short SF) 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Noriyoshi Ohrai's Amazing STAR WARS Art

While pulling my thoughts together about the latest Star Wars sequel I got to thinking about the incredible poster art done by Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai. He was commissioned to create art for the original trilogy and I have always found his work to be some of the best the films have ever had for promotional purposes. The great man passed away just this year back in October but we will always have his beautiful work to dazzle our eyes. 

Monday, January 04, 2016

THEATER OF DEATH (1967) Poster Art

I know I shouldn't be surprised but I don't think I've seen this little horror film under either of its most common titles. I'm pretty sure I have it stuck on a double feature DVD somewhere in my collection but the plot description does not ring a bell at all. Time to dig it out and see if I ever watched this one!  

Saturday, January 02, 2016

ASYLUM OF SATAN (1972) / SATAN’S CHILDREN (1975) Double Feature DVD Review

For years now Something Weird Video has been the savior of the drive-in exploitation film. SW has rescued hundreds of low budget or no budget flicks from (in most cases, well deserved) obscurity and made them available to fans of cheesy, badly made classics the world over. No other company is as tireless in their efforts to bring American regional filmmakers to the notice of an appreciative audience and thankfully, SW has taken to the digital video era the way a turkey-headed drug maniac takes to sin! After first issuing several single movie DVDs with loads of extras the company decided that they could do better if they packed two (or more) movies on each disc and loaded them with juicy extras. This was a brilliant idea as, for the most part, the movies on these DVDs are not very good. But the sheer amount of fun material turns each disc into a three hour bad movie party. Fans of strange cinema can find everything from adventure films, horror films, sword and sandal epics and crazed biker movies on SW double feature DVDs — truly something for every bizarre taste.

Here I present a review of one of these double feature discs but I must warn you that it is now out of print. There are ways to see these two mad films but this disc now fetches ridiculous prices on the secondary market. Just think - I bought this DVD off the shelf at a Borders in 2002. Wow! Both disc and store are long gone.

I can honestly say I've never seen a good William Girdler film. I haven't seen all of his movies, but having screened several of them I can truthfully state that they all stank. Of course, I must also admit that although they were all bad, each successive film was a little better made than its predecessor. (Of course this gradual improvement ultimately results in The Manitou, so it's not as if this path led to greatness.) While it's tempting to call him the Ed Wood of the South the analogy doesn't quite work because Girdler seemed to be aware of his faults and tried to compensate for them. I would like to think that if Girdler hadn't died in a tragic helicopter accident he could have eventually been a major player in Hollywood. He might still have never made a good movie, but it would've been fun to watch him try. Since Asylum of Satan (1972) was his first movie I'm willing to cut it some slack, but it's still pretty damned bad. Filmed entirely on locations in Girdler's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, the film follows the story of hapless concert pianist Lucina Martin (Carla Borelli). While recovering from a nervous breakdown she is transferred against her will to an asylum run by the sinister Dr. Jason Specter (Charles Kissinger). Here she's introduced to several fellow patients with phobias or anxieties as well as seeing strange silent inmates who wear hoods at all times. When Lucina's beefy, plaid-wearing boyfriend Chris Duncan (Nick Jolley) starts trying to locate her the film shifts from neutral to first gear and doggedly stays there for the duration. It soon becomes apparent (even to Lucina) that the good doctor is up to no good as the other patients are forced to suffer their worst fears come to life. (Or at least as close to their worst fears as can be handled on a shoestring budget.) As Dr. Specter and his staff prepare his girlfriend for a satanic sacrifice, Chris goads the local police to raid the asylum to save the poor girl. 

Complete with a fiery and incomprehensible finale, this is fine low-budget cheese. Never once scary or involving, Asylum of Satan still manages to entertain on the so-bad-it's-good level. There are a number of things to love about the film — the groovy 1970s guitar-laden soundtrack, the multiple roles played by Louisville TV personality Charles Kissinger, the hysterically overdone dialog between Chris and local cop Tom Walsh, the loud plaid clothing Chris sports throughout the film, the inept special effects, etc. The movie is a bad film lover's goldmine and this DVD even makes it more fun by including a great commentary track with Majestic International Films' Jeffery Houge and William Girdler biographer Patty Breen. Ms. Breen, webmistress of, truly loves the flick and understands that it's awful but endearing at the same time. She packs the track with tons of information and is also very funny when suggesting possible drinking games for the film as well as pointing out how Nick Jolley is the most anti-sexy leading man of all time.

The second movie on the DVD is Satan's Children. This one was lensed in Florida and is actually a step further down in quality from its co-feature. Troubled teenager Bobby (Stephen White) has a lousy time at home with a jerk of a stepfather and a sexually teasing stepsister making life unbearable. He storms out of the house one night only to be beaten up and gang-raped by gay bikers! Let me say that again - Gay Bikers. He is raped by gay bikers. Madness!

The bikers dump Bobby near a compound of Satanists who take him in and, under the orders of Sherry (Kathleen Archer), nurse him back to health. Sherry is in control of the commune... uh... I mean coven while their leader Simon is away. She takes a liking to Bobby but others in the group feel he's unworthy of suckling at the Devil's teat. After Sherry tortures a lesbian coven member (Satan appears to really hate homosexuals) and hangs several others that disagree with her orders, Simon shows up and punishes Sherry by burying her in the ground to the neck and letting ants sting her. Simon then tells Bobby that because homosexuals raped him he is too weak to be a member of Satan's worshipers. Bobby decides to take matters into his own hands, starting with tracking down the biker trash that started this whole mess. 

This film is truly demented. Hilarious and mind-bendingly homophobic it seems to have been made by folks with little or no idea of reality or filmmaking. It does reach a wonderful level of twisted sleaze that keeps it fairly entertaining but all the fun to be had is unintentional. Satan's Children is a great example of mid-70s regional filmmaking at its best...or worst, depending on your outlook. Inept, cheap and poorly done on almost every level, it could only be loved by the people who made it — or sick freaks like me!

Something Weird has packed this DVD with plenty of extras to make the wretched movies go down easier. There is the aforementioned commentary track and also about seven minutes of rare Asylum of Satan behind-the-scenes footage. Included in the DVD keepcase is a 4-page booklet of liner notes by Patty Breen (entitled The Devil Went Down to toLouisville: Girdler, The Devil and Asylum of Satan) that go into detail about the making of the film and provide an outline of Girdler's life and career. Other extras include a welcome set of drive-in horror film trailers, a gallery of horror comic covers set to music by The Dead Elvi, and two shorts from the Something Weird vaults. The first is a short bit of burlesque called Satan's Dance that's exactly what you would guess. The second is the almost indescribably insane 30-minute featurette entitled The Soul Snatcher, which tells the story of a pair of evil, satanic shoes. Has to be seen to be believed!

While the audio and video on this DVD is far from top quality, I'm sure everything looks as good as possible. I'm just grateful for the chance to see these odd little films which would remain hidden if it weren't for Something Weird Video. Some may complain that the films are awful — and they are — but if you watch a movie called Satan's Children and expect a quality production you're living in a dream world. These movies are a different kind of cinema. Eccentric cinema! So gather some like-minded friends, make some popcorn, grab a drink and settle back for a close approximation of the 1970s drive-in experience.