movie, movie review

February 28th, 2017 Movie -Guru, The Mad Monk

guru-the-mad-monk

So I am going to go on record here and say that this is probably going to be a messed up movie. Normally I tend to give a movie a chance before making such an assessment but just going on the little plot summary that is given on IMDB, this looks like it is going to be messed up. Now since this is a movie based during the 15th century, and there was a lot of torture done in the name of religion, I have a feeling that there will be quite a bit of maiming involved, which makes it fit with the Pure Terror box set that it is part of. So let’s see exactly what I will be getting with today’s movie, Guru, The Mad Monk.

The plot: At the Lost Souls Church of Mortavia, the chapel for an island prison, 2 hooded men drag a woman towards a cell. The jailer, Carl, tries to get the men to stop frightening the girl and after they place her in the cell and leave, he attempts to talk to the woman. When he learns her name is Nadja, he has her look at him and when she sees who it is, the two kiss through the bars. Carl asks what happened, as they were supposed to meet long ago, and she tells him she was kidnapped by gypsies and forced to steal for them. The leader of the gypsies forced himself on her and when she wound up pregnant, abandoned her and when Nadja gave birth to a stillborn child, she was accused of killing her baby and the court ordered her execution. Carl goes to see Father Guru, who is in charge of the church, and ask for his help in saving Nadja. Seeing how much Carl loves Nadja, Guru says that he will help her and tells Carl to go see a woman named Olga, who will make a potion that will fake Nadja’s death, but afterwards he must bring the body to him in order to give her the antidote. I exchange for his help, Guru asks Carl to leave a body or two off the register every month, as Guru plans on selling them to help raise money for the church. Carl goes to see Olga, who says she will help him in exchange for his help in letting her collect blood from the dead before they are buried and Carl reluctantly agrees. The next day, people are brought to see Guru before they are executed and when it is Nadja’s turn, he asks if she would like to receive last rights and she agrees, allowing him to give her the drugs. Heading outside, they see Nadja collapse and after he pronounces her dead, Guru tells Carl to take Igor, Guru’s hunchbacked servant, and bury Nadja to keep up the pretense, then quickly unbury her and bring her to him. Meanwhile, the various prisoners are given their punishments/executions, Olga is shown to go down and lick the blood from the execution table. After Nadja is revived, Guru has Igor take her up to the tower to hide, then sends Carl away to keep his promise for saving Nadja. While Carl is away, Guru is shown to be suffering from split personality, with the cruel personality gaining more and more control. When Igor tells him he has a visitor, Guru goes to the church and sees a young man from a fishing boat asking for mass. Guru questions the man and when he learns that he is alone and has no family or friends, kills him and has Igor take the body away, with Olga following after him. As Nadja tries talking with Igor in order to pass her boredom, she sees a young woman enter the church. Guru speaks with the woman for a while then leaves as Olga enters the chapel and speaks with the girl before using a necklace to hypnotize her, then quickly bites her neck to kill her. When Carl returns and goes to see Nadja, she tells him she wishes to leave, having misgivings about the church, but Carl says they have to wait 3 months, as he will have paid off his debt to Guru by then. Guru receives a letter from Bishop Kopel, saying that he will be arriving with Father Polanski, a young member of the church who will be taking over Guru’s duties at the prison chapel. When Guru tries to protest, Kopel sends Polanski to look around, then tells Guru that he will be returning with him on the afternoon ship but Guru refuses to leave and kills Kopel. Polanski runs into Nadja, who tries to warn the young priest about the strange occurrences on the island and he says he will look into it. As Polanski goes looking for Kopel, Igor tries to guide him away but Olga shows up and sends Igor away before telling Polanski to follow her. She takes him to the basement and has him remove a cloth from a nearby table, where Polanski sees the severed head of Kopel and as he turns his face in horror, Olga attacks and kills him. Nadja heads down to the basement and runs into Olga, who begins talking to her. When Nadja refuses to talk to her, Olga attempts to hypnotize her but Igor saves Nadja and Olga leaves. Nadja thanks Igor and says that when she leaves with Carl, they will take Igor with them as Igor takes her back to her room. Guru goes to see Nadja and after speaking with her, attempts to rape her. Igor saves her and attacks Guru but Olga stops him and Guru and Olga nail Igor’s hands to the wall. Carl returns and Nadja tells him what has been happening while in the chapel, Guru tells Olga he is leaving and refuses to take her with him. Olga attempts to kill Guru but he stops her and she ends up stabbing herself with a dagger. Suddenly, Igor appears, having ripped his hands free from the nails, and chases Guru up to the tower. Guru manages to kill Igor but as he tries to escape, Carl loops the bell rope around his neck and Guru ends up hanging himself, and Carl and Nadja leave the church together.

I was right, this was a pretty messed up movie and I honestly don’t know where to start with this. The acting was pretty bad for the most part although the times that Neil Flanagan (Guru) was arguing with himself were pretty good as he did a good job portraying different aspects of himself. The basic plot about Guru trying to stay in power was good but they left so many unexplained plot points that it just made things confusing. The special effects, involving the maiming and killing of people, were pretty cheap looking, mostly involving cut aways to avoid showing any real violence actually occurring. The copy used in this box set was pretty bad, with a lot of lines and scratching sounds in the film which made it look even cheaper than it possibly was. Great idea but a really bad execution.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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February 27th, 2017 Movie – Green Eyes (1934)

green-eyes-1934

I generally don’t watch award shows but I wish I was watching the Oscars last night. Man, what a TV moment that was. Now for some reason, I just can’t seem to focus this morning. I am hoping that today’s movie will help snap me back in focus. Apparently I am getting a mystery to watch today so I will definitely need to keep my wits about in order to keep up with what’s going on. Here’s hoping it works as I watch Green Eyes (1934).

The plot: During a costume party at a mansion, many of the guests are trying to locate Stephen Kester, the host, but while they are searching the mansion, his granddaughter Jean and her fiance Cliff Miller are leaving the house. Jean worries about them being followed but Cliff tells her that he disabled all of the cars and cur the phone lines so they couldn’t call ahead. Back at the mansion, the guests find Kester’s body in the closet and see that he was stabbed several times. One of the servants goes to the neighbor’s house to phone the police and Detective Regan calls Inspector Crofton to tell him what happened. A bulletin is sent out about Jean and Cliff and they are eventually located and brought back to the mansion. At the mansion, Jean and Cliff are sent into a room with an officer to keep watch on them while Crofton and Regan go to see what the doctor has to say about the body. In the room with the body, they find novelist Michael Tracy in the room and Crofton is suspicious of him and says he will talk to him later. As Crofton starts to question the people, he learns that the murder happened during the third dance of the evening, as that was when people were supposed to unmask. When he asks Cliff why they left, Cliff tells him that Jean wasn’t feeling well and asked him to take her for a drive as the fresh air might do her some good. When Crofton asks if they had car trouble, Cliff says the wires on the distributor cap were cut but he fixed them and they left. When a someone says they say Jean leave Kester’s room before the murder occurred, Crofton questions Jean who says she was in her room until leaving with Cliff, and the maid confirms her whereabouts. Tracy seems suspicious about how Jean, Cliff, and the maid all had the same response about Jean and Cliff’s relationship and tells Crofton that he saw Jean leaving her grandfather’s room looking upset. Crofton asks the butler where he was and if there were any quarrels that Kester had with anyone. The butler says that he had an argument with his granddaughter and Mr. Pritchard says he witnessed part of it. Mr. Pritchard says that Kester was selling off shares of his stock in a mine in Mexico and changing his will to write Jean out of it. The next day, Crofton has Kester’s lawyer brought in and questions him about the new will, and the lawyer says that the information would be in Kester’s safe. the lawyer and an officer go to retrieve the information and return with the lock box but find that the lock has been jimmied open. The only thing inside is Kester’s bank book and Crofton accuses Jean of stealing the $1200 that was inside but she declares her innocence and refuses to say anything else. When Cliff also refuses to answer, Crofton has them held as suspects. Tracy notices Mr. Hall trying to leave through the back fence so Crofton has some officers stop him and when they question him, he says he was trying to catch a train to New York to meet with a lawyer. Crofton questions Hall about a knife that was found outside Kester’s window and Hall said it had been missing for two days. When the $1200 is found in the maid’s room, they question her about it but she swears that she knows nothing about it. Tracy and Crofton both think she is lying but are not sure what it could be. That night, Hall sneaks out of his room and makes his way to the basement, with Tracy following him after checking on the cop that is asleep keeping watch. Tracy sees him poking around in the ashes of the furnace then quickly leaves the cellar and hides as Mrs. Pritchard enters the hallway. Mrs. Pritchard sees the door open to the basement and goes to check only to see Hall, who says he was looking for the icebox. They head to the kitchen and Tracy joins them, trying to make conversation with them. The next day, Tracy and Regan are talking in Tracy’s room when they hear a shot. Everyone rushes out and they believe it came from Pritchard’s room but when they enter it, they find Pritchard is asleep and no sign of his wife. As everyone goes to check on Hall, who is next door, Pritchard goes back to sleep and Tracy examines the glass on the night stand. In Hall’s room, they find Hall is dead from an apparent self inflicted gun wound. When Crofton shows up and is told what had happened, Tracy tells him about the glasses and says it appears that Pritchard was drugged, as was the officer keeping watch the night before while Mrs. Pritchard apparently was sleeping in the maid’s room. Tracy gets permission to head to town, and he goes to speak to someone about the price of the mine’s stock. Mr. Hall’s lawyer arrives with the letter that he received from Mr. Hall. Crofton reads it out loud to everyone, where it states that Hall was in love with Jean’s mother but she was set to marry Jean’s father. When Kester didn’t approve of the marriage, her mother left anyways and Hall was the only witness to their marriage. When Jean’s father died, Hall sent money to her mother and she came to live and work with him, though he begged her to get in touch with her father. As things got bad for the mine, the strain wore down Jean’s mother and she ended up dying and Hall considered trying to raise Jean himself but couldn’t and wrote to Kester, who sent Dora, the maid, to bring her to New York. Hall came to visit Kester and see how Jean was doing but when he saw how controlling Kester was regarding Jean’s life, he planned to kill Kester and then himself in order to spare Jean the same fate that befell her mother. Crofton considers leaving things as they are but after he leaves, Tracy goes to talk to Pritchard. Tracy questions Pritchard about how he changed the numbers in Kester’s book to hide his embezzling money and Pritchard admits it but swears that he didn’t kill Kester. Tracy leaves and tells Crofton he believes someone will try to kill him that night but tells Crofton not to have anyone their. That night, Pritchard comes into the room to try and kill Tracy but Tracy stops him and gets him to confess. Pritchard admits to buying two costumes and killing Kester earlier in the night, then wearing the second costume to make it seem like Kester was alive during the party. The next day, Crofton and Regan arrive just as two shots are heard and they find both the Pritchards dead. As the police check the bodies, Tracy pulls Jean and Cliff aside and says he knows that they took the $1200 in order to get married and suggests that they just go ahead and get married, then waves from the window as they drive off.

This was a pretty decent movie but I don’t think it really belongs in the Pure Terror box set. The acting was good, with Charles Starrett (Tracy) and John Wray (Crofton) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was good, with quite a few good twists to keep you guessing as to who the real culprit is. There wasn’t really any special effects but the tension that was written into the movie made it very effective. Not a well known mystery movie but an effective one none the less.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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February 26th, 2017 Movie – Grave Of The Vampire

grave-of-the-vampire

I really wish the weather would make up it’s mind as to what season it is going to be. In the span of a week it has gone from a warm winter weather (upper 40’s), to a nice spring day (70’s-80), only to drop back down to the 30’s today. Normally I wouldn’t mind too much as I love when the weather is cold enough for me to wear my jacket but the constant fluctuations has played havoc with my sinuses for the past 2 weeks now. So as I deal with all that this morning, I might as well get into today’s movie, Grave Of The Vampire.

The plot: Leslie Hollander and her boyfriend Paul leave a party at a friend’s house and head out to the nearby cemetery, where Paul proposes to Leslie. As they get in the back of Paul’s car to fool around, a vampire named Caleb Croft emerges from his tomb and heads to their car. Croft rips the door off the car and attacks and kills Paul, then drags Leslie into an open grave and starts to attack her. When a homeless man stumbles across the scene, Croft runs for it and hides in a basement to avoid the coming daybreak. Meanwhile, the police question the homeless man about what he saw, then go check on Leslie at the hospital. The doctor tells them that Leslie was raped and the lead inspector, Lt. Panzer, tries talking to her and then begins showing her mugshots to have her identify her attacker. After going through the mug shots with no reaction from Leslie, Panzer holds up one last photo and the doctor asks them to leave as Leslie begins having a panic attack. Outside the room, Sgt. Duffy asks whose photo it was and Panzer says it was the photo of Caleb Croft, who had been electrocuted year before and whose grave is now empty. As Leslie is being checked out of the hospital, her doctor talks to her and tells her she is pregnant, and Leslie believes it is Paul’s baby but the doctor says the baby is not alive and will end up killing her. When the doctor suggests getting an abortion, Leslie refuses and yells for Olga, the woman that has raised her, to take her out of there. Leslie and Olga return to their home, where Panzer tries to talk to them, but they refuse and head inside. Panzer notices a fully restored Croft watching them in the distance and follows him to the graveyard, where Croft sneaks up and kills Panzer. Some time later, Leslie gives birth to a son but as shoe goes to feed it, it refuses to eat. When she accidentally cuts her finger, some of the blood drips in the baby’s mouth and when she sees it licking up the blood, she cuts her breast and lets the baby feed from her wound. As the baby grows up to an adult named James Eastman, he begins a quest to track down his father and kill him, eventually tracking him to a college, where he is teaching under the assumed name of Professor Lockwood, so James enrolls in the night class that Lockwood teaches. That night, Lockwood kills a woman on his way to class, then enters the class and begins teaching. During the course of the class, the subject turns to vampires and Caleb Croft’s name is brought up by one of the students, Anita Jacoby, who says she read about it in a book. After class, Lockwood speaks with another student, Anne Arthur, privately and comments about her looking like his dead wife Sarah, then leaves and heads to a bookstore to search for the book Anita spoke of at the library, but when the librarian refuses to let him leave with it, he kills her. Meanwhile, Anita invites James to a party at her place, and speaks with him about the book and Croft’s connection to another suspected vampire named Charles Croighton. Anita then tells James she thinks he knows more about Croft than he is telling and she suspects Lockwood does as well. When Anita tries to kiss James, he gently lets her down and starts to leave but is stopped as Anne, who happens to be Anita’s roommate, shows up. Anita asks Anne about her meeting with Lockwood, then suggest Anne go up to James’ apartment with him in order to avoid the party going on and as the two leave, Anita thinks about what Anne said about her meeting with Lockwood and becomes more suspicious. Up in his apartment, Anne starts to cook dinner for her and James and the two end up talking and eventually have sex. Meanwhile, Lockwood shows up at the apartment and expects to find Anne there but is surprised to find Anita awake and waiting for him. Anita tells him she knows what he is and wants him to make her a vampire just like him. The two kiss and Lockwood admits he is Caleb Croft and says he will do the ceremony the next night but as he goes to leave, he grabs a knife and slits Anita’s throat. Meanwhile, Anne and James say their goodbyes and she goes back down to her apartment but as she is taking a shower, she turns and finds Anita’s corpse in the back of the shower. Anne then sees Lockwood on the other side of the glass and she starts screaming, which causes Lockwood to leave. James hears her screams and races to her apartment, and comforts Anne. The next day, Lockwood holds a seance with James, Anne, and 4 other students taking part. Lockwood attempts to have the spirit of his dead wife Sarah take over Anne’s body but instead, Anita’s spirit takes possession, telling everyone that Lockwood killed her. Lockwood manages to break the seance and James takes Anita from the room so she can rest, but as soon as he leaves, Lockwood locks the door and proceeds to attack and kill the other students. James hears the screams and breaks into the room and attacks Lockwood but Lockwood manages to throw him into the fireplace, setting him on fire. As James extinguishes the flames, Lockwood heads for Anne, who starts to scream but Lockwood causes her to faint. James begins fighting with Lockwood again and when Lockwood asks who he is, James admits to being his son and the two continue to fight through out the house. James gets the upper hand and breaks a table leg in order to kill Lockwood but Lockwood curses him before he drives the make-shift stake into his chest. Lockwood dies, his body falling down the stairs, and James goes to check on it when he suddenly is overcome by a sudden pain. Anne awakens and goes to check on him and James tells her to go away. When James turns to face her, he is shown to have grown fangs and Anne turns and runs as he starts up the stairs, with the screen going black saying “The End Or Is It?”

This was an interesting concept of a movie but to be honest, it was kind of a let down. The acting was ok but honestly lacked any sort of humanity from just about everyone involved. The story was interesting at the beginning but just kind of fizzled out when it came to the end game. I honestly was expecting more about the kid growing up and having to fight his vampiric urges and the Leslie and Olga trying to keep watch over him, as well as more involving his hunt for Croft later on. The special effects were pretty weak to the point of being non existent really and special effects could have made this a little better, but not by much. All told, there are hundreds of vampire movies and this is one that will definitely be lost in the shuffle and forgotten by most.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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February 25th, 2017 Movie – Gorath

gorath

It has been way too long since I have watched a new Toho kaiju movie. Well, let me rephrase that. It has been WWWAAAYYY too long since I have watched a classic Toho kaiju movie for the first time. Now today’s movie is a kaiju movie in a very loose sense of the word, as there is a giant monster in it but it is not the main focus of the movie and it is only on screen for about 6 minutes. I have known about this movie for a long time but honestly never put a whole lot of effort into picking it up, and every time I did consider it, I would find the American version, which had cut the scenes involving Maguma (the giant monster) from the movie. Finally, I went to one of the sites I go in order to find rare movies and they had both the US and Japanese version of this movie available and I decided to finally obtain a copy. So let’s see if this was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Gorath.

The plot: In Japan, the space rocket JX-1 Hawk is launched from the Mt. Fuji Interstellar Exploration Agency launch site and proceeds on it’s mission towards Saturn. As they pass the moon, they are radioed further instructions about their mission, which is to examine a new planetoid, called Gorath, which has entered the solar system and is determined to be 6000 times the mass of the Earth. As they pass Saturn, they pick up Gorath on their sensors and begin collecting data on it but quickly learn that not only is Gorath smaller than they thought, roughly 3/4 the size of the Earth, but they end up caught in it’s powerful gravitational field. Unable to escape, they collect as much data as they can and send it back to Mt. Fuji before their rocket is destroyed. Back on Earth, the collected data is studied by astronomers and they learn that Gorath is on a collision course with Earth. Scientists from Japan and other nation members of the United Nations work together to try and solve the problem and essentially break it down to two possible ideas; destroying Gorath or moving the Earth. The UN asks that Japan sends the JX-2 Eagle rocket up to further study Gorath, and the captain goes to collect the flight crew, who were out celebrating the assignment. Instead of celebrating, Tatsuma Kanai goes to see Takiko Nomura, who he has a crush on, and gives her a gift as he doesn’t know whether he will survive his mission but she tells him to take it back. As the JX-2 takes off, construction of giant rockets begin at the South Pole, with all of the world’s nations supplying workers and materials for the project. The rockets are being built in a 600 kilometer radius, 500 meters below the surface, and when activated, will produce a force equal to 6.6 billion megatons, with the plan being to move the Earth 400,000 kilometers out of it’s orbit until Gorath passes, then move it back to it’s normal orbit. Out in space, the JX-2 nears Gorath and discovers that it’s gravitational field has become even stronger, due to it’s increased mass as debris from objects striking it have made it larger. Kanai is sent out in a survey capsule to collect more data and warned of the increased dangers but he chooses to continue with his mission. As he observes Gorath, his ship is damaged from meteors that are being drawn towards Gorath but he successfully manages to get away and return to the ship. As the crew bring him back on board, they discover that the light from explosions of the meteors hitting Gorath has caused Kanai to lose his memory and the ship makes it’s way back to the Space Stations orbiting Earth. Back on Earth, construction is finished on the engines and they are quickly activated. The rockets work and the space stations report back to Earth that the Earth is successfully moving out of it’s orbit. As the Earth continues to move, Dr. Tazawa, the project leader, stops in Tokyo to speak with Dr. Kono and warns him that due to Gorath’s increased mass, their initial projections won’t be enough and they need more rockets in order to save the Earth, but leaves with Tomoko when tempers start to flare. After he leaves, Kono admits to Kensuke, Tomoko’s grandfather, that Tazawa is right about Gorath’s mass but that there isn’t anything they can do about it. The JX-2 is ordered to check on Gorath’s course, then head back to Earth and as it leaves, the space stations are called back to Earth as well. Meanwhile, the heat from the rockets has caused a giant walrus called Maguma to emerge from the Earth and it destroys part of the research station on the surface. Kono calls Kensuke and asks him to accompany him to the South Pole to examine what happened. Kensuke examines the blood found at the wreckage and determines it is proof of an animal attack. Taking a small VTOL craft to examine the area, Tazawa, Kono, and Kensuke spot Maguma in a ravine and use the craft’s laser to bury it in a landslide. As they land to investigate, Maguma breaks free and so they are forced to take off and, in order to keep it from destroying the rockets, use the laser to kill Maguma. Out in space, the JX-2 watches as Saturn’s rings are pulled towards Gorath, increasing it’s mass even more. As Gorath gets closer, people are warned about possible effects Gorath will have on the Earth, such as a rise in tides around portions of the planet. Tomoko is helping Takiko pack so she can stay with them when Kanai, and two other astornauts, show up. The astronauts had hoped that seeing Takiko would help him regain his memory but when it doesn’t seem to work, Tomoko suggests that he stay with them as being around them might help him. When Gorath nears the Earth, the moon is drawn into it’s orbit and destroyed. Tokyo is flooded by a tsunami while the JX-2 and the space stations at the Mt. Fuji launch site are destroyed by a landslide. At the South Pole, flooding occurs that causes some of the rockets to be extinguished and people worry if they have managed to successfully move the Earth to safety. As Gorath reaches the closest point to Earth, the images of the star on TV causes Kanai to black out but when he regains consciousness, his memories have returned. As time counts down, Gorath passes safely by the Earth, and the people all celebrate the good news. At the South Pole, Tazawa celebrates briefly before setting in on his next assignment, returning the Earth to it’s proper orbit. Meanwhile, Kanai, Takiko, Tomoko, Kensuke, and some others all return to the flooded Tokyo and Kanai says they can rebuild it into a model city, as the news anchor suggest that the way the citizens of Earth worked together to avoid destruction should be a model of how they do things in the future.

This was actually a much better movie than I expected it to be. The acting was pretty good and, although I watched the subtitled version for review purposes, the dubbing in the US version wasn’t that bad. The plot was actually pretty good and definitely made for a good sci-fi thriller. Considering when this was made, I kind of think that this might have been some inspiration for some of the apocalyptic movies later on, such as Armageddon or Asteroid Vs. Earth. In fact, there was honestly no need to include a giant monster to make this movie entertaining but the producer insisted so Ishiro Honda (the director) reluctantly agreed to do so. The special effects tended to be a mix of good and bad, with several scenes involving Gorath and it drawing objects close to it, as well as some of the explosion as the objects collided with it, being really well done, but some of the other scenes with the models, such as the rockets flying past the planets, or Maguma itself were a little weak. A good sci-fi movie that is definitely worth watching if you get the chance.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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February 24th, 2017 Movie – The Fury Of The Wolfman

the-fury-of-the-wolfman

Well, this should be interesting. A few weeks ago, I watched a Spanish/Italian horror movie called Dr. Jekyll And The Werewolf, which was apparently it was part of a series of werewolf movies that Paul Naschy did back in the 70’s. Today’s movie happens to be another one in the series, the 4th movie to be precise. So let’s see what we will get with today’s movie, The Fury Of The Wolfman.

The plot: Professor Waldemar Daninsky returns home from a trip to the Himalayas, in which his team was killed in the mountains but he survived with only a bite wound on his chest. As he lays in bed with his wife Erika, he is woken by a storm outside and begins having flashbacks to what happened in Tibet, where he was apparently bitten by a yeti and tended to by a local monk. The next day, Dr. Ilona Ellman is teaching her class and discusses the possibilities of making a hybrid human before dismissing her class.She then heads to Waldemar’s class and he talks to her about the illness he is suffering from and hands her a container, saying the answers can be found there. As Waldemar is leaving, an associate hands him a note but before he can read it, he is approached by Ellman’s assistant Karin, who is worried about what Ellman has been working on but can’t say much more. Waldemar gets in his car and reads the note, which tells him that his wife is having an affair with one of his students. Angered, he drives off but ends up losing control of his car and getting in a wreck. Meanwhile, the student meets up with Erika and tells her that he sent Waldemar a note about the affair and sabotaged his car so he would get in a wreck and the two embrace before discussing plans for the future. Waldemar survives the wreck and makes his way to Ellman’s house, who tends to his wounds. Waldemar returns home and confront’s Erika before changing into a werewolf and killing her, as well as her lover when he shows up, then runs from the house but ends up being electrocuted and dies. Ellman reads the news story and tells Karin to prepare for a possible trip before she leaves for a trip, during which Karin is questioned by a reporter about Ellman’s experiments. Ellman hires some men to dig up Waldemar’s body and they discover that he is still alive, but very weak and they take him to a secret lab. Ellman summons Karin to help her and introduces her to two assistants that she hired to help them, but Karin is shocked to see that Waldemar is still alive and the subject of Ellman’s experiments. Meanwhile, a reporter friend of Karin’s is concerned and breaks into Ellman’s home to try and find papers on Helmut Wolfstein, whose work Ellman was highly interested in, but he is caught by Detective Kaufmann. Back at the secret lab, one of Ellman’s assistants is unnerved by her experimenting on people and so another assistant kills her. Karin hears the screams and goes to investigate but is frightened by a man walking around in a mask. When Karin asks Ellman about him, she tells her that she hopes to make the man human again and Waldemar is the key to her success. Waldemar regains consciousness and asks Ellman why she is keeping him alive but she chains him to a wall and when he transforms into a wolfman, she proceeds to whip him. Waldemar makes his way through the city and breaks into a house to kill a young man. When his mother finds the body, she calls the cops and they show up and use a scrap of cloth in the boy’s hand to try and track the killer. Meanwhile, Waldemar breaks into a house and lays in bed with a woman but quickly leaves when he hears the dogs. He later breaks into another house and kills the people inside before finally making his way back to the castle that Ellman’s lab is in. The next day, Ellman leaves to get more supplies and when Karin asks what Ellman is really trying to do, Ellman says that Karin is too young to understand. When she leaves, Karin goes down to the lab to free Waldemar but as they are trying to leave, Karin is grabbed by a man in a suit of armor. Waldemar makes his way to the dining room, where he sees Ellman’s servants and assistants drinking and partying and quickly grabs an axe from a display case. He the heads back to where he left Karin but is attacked by the armored man and forced to kill him, then he grabs the unconscious Karin and carries her away. Meanwhile, Ellman heads back to the university, and tells Karin’s reporter friend Frederick that she hasn’t seen Karin, saying Karin told her she was traveling with him. The police arrive and question Ellman and when she leaves, Frederick decides to follow her. Back at the castle, Waldemar tries to use the axe to open the door but is unable to escape so the try and find another way out. Seeing a wall that is recently paved, Waldemar smashes it and discovers the bodies of some of Ellman’s servants. Continuing on, they find the dungeon that Ellman hides the people she is experimenting on and Karin decides to free them. They then find Ellman’s journal and learn that she caused Erika and the student to have the affair, then decided to cause Waldemar to kill them and commit suicide, all under the belief that he is a werewolf. They also learn that Ellman is the daughter of Helmut Wolfstein. Leaving the dungeon, Waldemar attacks some of Ellman’s servants before he is attacked by the masked man and the masked man falls from the banister and is revealed to be a horribly disfigured Helmut Wolfstein. Frederick stops at an inn near the castle and learns the truth about Ellman and calls Kaufmann, who says he had learned the same thing and plans to meet him at the castle. That night, Karin is laying in bed with Waldemar and as he is asleep, she decides to get up and check Ellman’s desk but is caught by Ellman, who finds her injured assistants and learns that Waldemar killed her father. When Waldemar goes looking for Karin, he finds Ellman in a room with her assistants and her father’s body. Ellman says that if he wants to see Karin again, she must do as she says and she chains him to a wall. She then shows him the body of Erika, saying she brought her back to life but that Waldemar had also infected her with his disease. She then shows him Karin lying on a table, and says that she is curious to see what will happen. As the full moon rises, both Waldemar and Erika transform and Erika breaks her restraints and goes to attack Karin. Waldemar breaks his restraints and attacks Erika and eventually kills her. Ellman chains up Karin and tells Waldemar to kill her but he refuses and attacks her instead, throwing her from the top of the stairs. Severely injured, Ellman manages to pull out a pistol and shoot Waldemar, killing him, then crawls towards his body and dies next to it. The police and Frederick arrive and free Karin, then leave hoping to forget the horrors they saw inside the castle.

Holy cow, this was a convoluted mess of a movie. The acting was ok, with Paul Naschy doing a good job as Waldemar, and while I liked Veronica Lujan as Karin, Perla Cristal (Ellman) honestly seemed to emotionless and robotic to be truly effective. The story was a confusing mess that honestly didn’t really seem to do a good job explaining itself. The special effects were not the best but the funniest aspect was several of the scenes of Waldemar as the werewolf, as they were actually from other movies and the settings seemed out of place and just looked odd at times. Definitely not the best wolfman movie out there but does make me curious about some of the others in the series.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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February 23rd, 2017 Movie – Freshwater

freshwater

You know, it has been a while since I have watched a new killer alligator/crocodile movie. I think it is a genre that doesn’t get as much love as some of the other killer animals. I mean, sharks obviously get the most love, with snakes being a distant second. And while I do enjoy watching a killer shark/snake movie, there is something about the crocodilia family of reptiles that I have always found interesting. Whatever reason, when I saw that a new movie was being released, I had to go ahead and pre-order today’s movie, Freshwater.

The plot: In a small Louisiana town of Helena, Matt and Jamie are riding around the lake on Matt’s jet ski and after Matt drops her off at the dock so she can go to work, they make plans for Jamie to meet Matt at 4 to go to a friend’s party. After Matt leaves, Jamie notices the water bubbling near the dock and when she goes to investigate, she ends up being dragged into the water and killed. Elsewhere, Fish & Game officer Brenda Gray arrives at the scene of where some of the town residents killed several alligators in order to try and find the one that ate a dog. She is then called out to the house of Mrs. Biggins, who claims to have seen a 20 ft. gator but the only thing Brenda finds is a log that looks like a gator’s head. Deputy Clyde meets with the new town sheriff, Sheriff Jones, to show him around and as they are at the bait shop, Clyde asks Kim Whitley where Jamie is, as he has a crush on her, and Kim says she was supposed to work but never showed up. As the two men leave, Clyde decides to go check on Jamie and after he leaves, Jones saves a kid from getting run over by Travis Beecher, a rich kid that is back in town for the summer. Travis goes to pick up Kim to go to the party at his house but she has to work and he ends up inviting Melody, another girl from town, to come to the party. Meanwhile, an old man is killed by an alligator as he is fishing off of a dock, as is Mrs. Biggins when she goes to retrieve her dog’s ball from the lake that she threw it in. Clyde goes to Jamie’s house and speaks with her grandmother, who hasn’t seen her, and as he goes out onto the nearby dock, he finds the various body parts of Jamie floating in the water. Jones is called out to the scene, as is CSI Sam Collins, and Sam tells them it was a gator attack. Sam goes to find Brenda, who has discovered a large gator nest, and tells her about the body and she calls the sheriff’s office and says she needs to take a look at the body, which Jones is not happy about. As she is on the phone, Sam notices something in the lake and tells her he believes he saw an albino alligator, but she is skeptical of what he saw. Meanwhile, eight teenagers (Travis, Kim, Matt, Melody, Cassie, John, Claudia, and Jason) arrive at Travis’s family house on Beecher Island and as most of them head inside the house, John and Cassie go out on the lake in a boat for some “alone time”. The two decide to go swimming but when John ducks underwater, Cassie starts screaming. The others go outside and see John thrashing about in a pool of blood before he is dragged underwater and Cassie tries to swim back to the boat but ends up being killed as well. The others quickly head back inside and find that the power is out in part of the house and the phone line ends up being cut as Travis tries to call for help. Back in town, Brenda shows up at the sheriff’s office and introduces herself and as Jones goes to handle a call, Clyde offers to show her to the morgue and Sam, who was there to drop off some files, accompanies them. At the morgue, Brenda examines the body parts and says some of the wounds look like the wounds from a gator attack and some don’t. Feeling like she has seen this before, Brenda examines her photo book and finds that the wounds are similar to a case she had worked in Atlanta years ago. When she finds something strange stuck inside the wound, she has Sam dig it out and examine it while she goes out with Clyde on the lake. Back on the island, Travis gets fed up with sitting around and takes Jason to see if they can get the boat started. When they get to the dock, they find the boat has drifted away from the dock so Travis ties a rope around him and jumps towards the boat, so that Jason can pull him and the boat back to the dock. Jason tells him this is a bad idea and attempts to pull Travis back but Travis ends up being killed. On the lake, Brenda and Clyde are heading to where Jamie was attacked when Brenda notices a strange log in the water. As she goes to retrieve it, the log turns out to be some kind of snare, which injures Brenda but she was able to get her hand out of the way before it did any serious harm. Heading back to the sheriff’s station, Clyde gets the message from Travis and heads out to rescue them while Brenda examines the snare. As she is looking through the sheriff’s desk, she finds a knife and the file on the Atlanta case and remembers Clyde saying that Jones was originally from Atlanta. Fearing Jones might be involved somehow, Brenda calls Clyde to warn him and then calls the state police for help. Clyde heads to the island and is met by Jones on the dock, who says he heard the call while Clyde and Brenda were out and came to help. Jones tells Clyde he found something at the back of the house and the two head out to investigate. The next morning, Sam receives the results from his tests and, shocked by the news, calls Brenda, who tells him it is Jones and that she is heading to the lake as that was where Clyde was going. At Travis’ house, Jason notices the lights flickering and decides to go check the fuse box but while he is there, someone attacks him. Hearing the scream, Matt, Kim, and Claudia go to check it out but Melody refuses to leave, saying it is safe there. The three go outside and see Jason’s arm still holding onto the fuse box and run back inside to find Melody is missing. Kim accuses Matt of killing Jason, as he was not in the room when he heard the scream but even though Matt and Claudia defend his innocence, Kim punches him and runs from the house. Making her way through the woods, she runs into Jones and tells him about what happened but Jones tells her that Matt isn’t the killer, as he quickly stabs her and drags her away. Meanwhile, Brenda arrives on the island and finds an injured Clyde with his foot caught in a bear trap. Clyde tells her that Jones was working with the albino alligator, which he had raised as a pet when he found it in the sewers in New York. Clyde dies from blood loss and the albino alligator appears but Brenda manages to chase it away, and it ends up killing Sam when he shows up. Brenda finds Jones and attacks him after he kills Kim but before she can kill him, Brenda is knocked unconscious by Melody and Jones shoots her. While she was happy to work with Jones in getting revenge on the kids that tormented her in high school, Melody is upset about Jones shooting Brenda and he tells her that he doesn’t want any loose ends, then pushes her into the path of his pet, which quickly eats her. Back at the house, Matt and Claudia manage to get in touch with the police just as the state police arrive. As they are leaving, they run into Jones, who says he shot the killer and offers to take Matt and Claudia back home while the state police handles the crime scene. As they get into the boat, Matt and Claudia are thankful to be alive while Jones simply whistles a tune as he steers the boat back to town.

As much as I was looking forward to this movie, this was kind of a disappointment. The acting was ok at best, but there were a couple of times where you could simply consider it bad, and not to sound sexist but most of the the bad acting revolved around the girls when they were being the “typical screaming horror movie girls.” The story was interesting, kind of switching from your basic killer animal movie and adding a serial killer twist to it. The special effects were pretty laughable regarding the alligator, with several times where the CGI didn’t sync up well with the live acting, like when the alligator attacked the old man on the dock, which admittedly was kind of funny. Definitely not the greatest alligator movie out there, but there are some worse ones out there.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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February 22nd, 2017 Movie – Frankenstein 80

frankenstein-80

Another day, another horror movie. Now when it comes to the Pure Terror box set, this is the type of movie I expected to see; an Italian horror movie that offers up some blood, gore, and chills. To be honest, I have never seen this movie and am only speculating as to what type of movie this actually is. It could be a complete bust of a movie, as some Italian horror movies have been. But considering that this is something of a retelling of Frankenstein, I have some high hopes for today’s movie, Frankenstein 80.

The plot: A young woman is strangled to death as she walks home from the store and afterwards, the killer uses a scalpel to cut her open and remove some of her organs. Meanwhile, a man is killed in a car crash and the body is taken to the hospital, where Professor Schwarz plans on performing heart transplant surgery to save a sick woman’s heart, using his experimental serum to prevent her body from rejecting it. That night, someone steals the serum, then goes to the morgue and removes the liver from the dead body. With the serum stolen, the woman dies and her brother, reporter Karl Schein, is given permission to investigate and begins questioning some of the hospital staff that was working that night, and one of the men says he smelled formaldehyde near the professor’s fridge but there was no reason for it to be there. Meanwhile, a strange man goes to the local butcher shop and when the butcher goes to get some meat from the back freezer, the man follows her inside and proceeds to beat her to death with a bone. Some time later, Dr. Otto Frankenstein, the man that stole the serum, is working in his secret lab on Mosaico, a man that he pieced together from dead body parts, and who also happens to be the man that killed the young woman and the butcher. Using Schwarz’s formula, Frankenstein hopes to keep the various organs and body parts from being rejected. As Frankenstein is working in his lab, Karl pays a visit to his house but gets no answer when he rings the door, so he goes next door and speaks to Frankenstein’s niece, Sonia, and asks her to have Frankenstein call him when he gets back. That night, Mosaico leaves the house and attempts to get a prostitute, with the first one running away but the second one takes him to her room. Mosaico has sex with the woman, who is horrified at his appearance but when she tries to leave and damages his eye in the struggle, he ends up killing her. Frankenstein had gone looking for Mosaico and finds him just as he kills the prostitute and they quickly leave. The police are investigating the first girl’s murder and are puzzled as the fingerprints appear to come from two different people, but they are on the same hand. When Karl reads the story about the prostitute’s death, he goes to talk to the police and they mention that they smelled formaldehyde in the prostitute’s room when he asks them. Karl goes back to see Frankenstein, who is expected to be back soon and Sonia invites him in for a drink. Meanwhile, Schwarz goes to see Frankenstein, as the police traced the lancet used to cut the organs from the first victim was traced back to the hospital. When a crashing sound is heard behind a bookcase, Schwarz asks about it and Frankenstein admits to having a secret lab and shows it to Schwarz, but as they witness Mosaico thrashing about, Frankenstein kills Schwarz, then uses his eye to replace the one injured by the prostitute, and then sends Mosaico to grab the male nurse that knew Schwarz had gone to see Frankenstein. Mosaico grabs the nurse and brings him back to the secret lab, where Frankenstein begins a blood transfusion for Mosaico. The police arrive at the hospital to investigate the missing nurse and Karl shows up and has Schneider come with him to speak with Frankenstein. After speaking with Frankenstein, Karl and Schneider goes back to the hospital and start searching Frankenstein’s office and find the secret lab, with the remnants of Schwarz’s serum as well as Shwarz’s head. MEanwhile, Mosaico breaks into Frankenstein’s house and attempts to grab Sonia but Frankenstein stops him and has Sonia run. When Frankenstein threatens to destroy Mosaico for attacking him, Mosaico grabs a cleaver and uses it to kill Frankenstein. Karl and the police head back to Frankenstein’s, running into Sonia along the way, and discover Frankenstein’s body. Back at the station, they try to figure out what to do, as according to Frankenstein’s notes, Mosaico will die in 48 hours but they want to find him before that in order to ensure nobody else is killed. That night, Mosaico murders a stripper, as well as several other people throughout the night. As the 48 hours is nearly up, Karl has Sonia stay at his house in order to keep her safe but Mosaico breaks in and attempts to grab her. Karl begins fighting with Mosaico to keep him from Sonia but Mosaico is easily able to overpower him. Mosaico begins strangling Karl but before he can kill him, he loosens his grip and clutches at his head as blood begins pouring from his eyes, mouth, and wounds before he collapses to the floor. Karl and Sonia leave the house as the police arrive and Karl tells Schneider it is all over as they walk off, leaving Schneider to deal with the body.

A little confusing at first, but otherwise a pretty decent horror movie. The acting was pretty decent from what I can tell, though the dubbing at times was pretty bad in a funny way, especially a lot of the scenes with Schneider and his cops. The story was essentially a bit of a retelling of Frankenstein, though with a bit of a modern twist. The make-up and special effects concerning Mosaico were a lot better than I expected, doing a great job of making him look mostly human, with some scars showing how he is essentially a patchwork man. A decent movie that is good for a couple of scares and worth watching if you are in the mood for some classic 70’s style horror.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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