What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971)
Director: Curtis Harrington
Main Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver
Storyline: Two women open up a dance school to get away that fact that their sons are convicted to murder.
Review (Spoils): Helen (Shelley Winters) and Adele (Debbie Reynolds) both have sons that committed a very gruesome murder and to get away from it all they go to California. They work together to open up a dance school for children. Adele being the dancer and the teacher and Helen being the piano player they work together to make a go of it. Through time Helen starts to get disturbing phone calls from someone that is blaming the mothers for what the sons did. Adele is obsessed on being rich and being famous and its not long before she is bashing her eyes towards one of the children’s fathers (Dennis Weaver). While during all this Helen is starting to crack.
The film is very dark and gloomy and written a bit cheesy. The acting done well but the writing leaves the character seem a bit off and I believe this is on purpose. Shelley Winters plays the mom next door as Debbie Reynolds plays the more ditsy want fame and love character. Dennis Weaver just looks like Burt Reynolds. The Film does have some holes in it and there is some characters thrown into the mix just to say it has more build. I was semi lost in the storyline to be honest as the whole film seems to be a secret.
We have bloody rabbits, strange phone calls, terrible music, stabbings and some nice brownish blood. The ending of the film makes the film worth the watch….trust me.
Rating: Along the veins of What Happened to Baby Jane? this film is not as good but it is darker. We have a couple leading female actresses that are thrown into a mix match storyline. Like stated above if it was not the ending the film was of fallen flat for me.
Die! Die! My Darling (1965)
Director: Silvio Narizzano
Main Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Donald Sutherland
Storyline: A young woman goes to visit the mother of a past fiancé and becomes overwhelmed with her need.
Review (Spoils): Patricia Carroll (Stefanie Powers) arrives in London with her new fiancé but before she can move on she promised that she would finally meet her old fiancés Steven’s mother (Tallulah Bankhead) (he died and Patricia has moved on). She travels out of town to an old beaten down house to finally meet the woman. She is old, strong opinionated, strangely religious and obsessed with her son. As Patricia tries to survive the visit she learns that she is not leaving anytime soon and has to keep lying to survive her visit. We quickly learn that mother is not all that she portrays to be.
Die! Die! My Darling is something a little different for a Hammer Film. This film is based mostly in an old house and a broken down mind. We have the very gorgeous Stefanie Powers playing the lead victim and lady who is being held against her will and captured because a mother is insane over the loss of her son. As the truth of Patricia starts to come to light the more nuts the mother is driven. The characters and acting is extremely well done and the even the storylines between the main plot is an interesting twist. Such as the hired staff that work for the mother and what’s in it for them. The religious over tones keeps the film entertaining and there are even some funny scenes but at the same time the mood can be very dark and icky at the same time. Some bright red blood, knives, gun shots, a green dead body, a couple prayers, lots of “poor Steven”, long legs and sexiness. This film has it all.
Rating: This title has been thrown around for long time from music from the Misfits right to the creepy and classic tunes of Alice Cooper and Steven. This movie is a classic! This is the perfect ex-mother in-law has lost her mind film. Tallulah Bankhead is one scary mom and very strong headed and when she finally snaps the fun begins. This is a classic horror film that everyone should checkout very entertaining.
Turbo Kid (2015)
Director: Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Main Stars: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Edwin Wright
Storyline: In the future we live in a wasteland lacking of water and full of destruction. A young man tries to change that.
Review (Spoils): This movie lies on the sci-fi horror line; picture Mad Max meets a Gwar show. A young man only known as the kid (Munro Chambers) is trying to survive on his own since the death of his father and mother. He collections junk to sell and survive and collects comic books of one known as Turbo Kid. When he crosses paths of his parent’s killer Zeus (Michael Ironside) and his gang of madmen he tries his hardest to be the hero he envies.
Like I stated above this movie is set in the future wasteland so do not get prepared for your standard horror film or scares. Instead prepare for a wild costume, great acting, fun storyline and buckets of spraying water filled blood. I mean buckets…………….. this film does not hold back on the gore or blood. The film has a solid cast from the young innocent man (Munro Chambers), the main bad guy Zeus Michael Ironside is awesome, the beautiful and delightful Apple (Laurence Leboeuf) and the mean mother fucker Skeletron (Edwin Wright). We have knives, guns, explosions, bodies being ripped in two, body explosions, hand being cut, arrows flying and of course saw blades that would give Blackie Lawless a run for his money.
Rating: This movie had me from the beginning right till the end. This will become a cult classic if it isn’t already trust me. Over the top gore and a fun trip of a storyline.
Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd, Noel Trevarthen, Kate O’Mara,
Storyline: A doctor’s model lover gets her face burnt and he does whatever at what cost to help restore her beauty.
Review (Spoils): Surgeon Sir John Rowan (Peter Cushing) is dating a high profile model (Sue Lloyd) who likes to hang around some hipsters. During one of the parties while she is posing for some pictures an argument breaks out between Rowan and the photographer and a light drops on her head. She gets badly burnt and her career hits rocks bottom. She pressures Rowan to start to use a gland from the brain to regrew her flesh on her face. This works but only temporary which leads them both on a non stop hunt for more glands.
This film is not a Hammer Film but the storyline is great. Sure there is some funky hipster music and sometimes the film feels like an acid trip but once the evil pours it pours like a fine wine. Peter Cushing plays the serious doctor but at the same time he just does not fit in the crowd of the film nor does he seem like a likely match for his model girlfriend. We have red blood once the film kicks into high gear, knives, slaughtering of young women, a nasty scar on the face, a bitchy model and the long hunt for woman to kill so his love can be beautiful.
Rating: I personally really liked this film and never heard of it before it I noticed it playing. It had Peter Cushing so I was like what the Hell. This film does not disappoint the acting is well done and the chase scene at the end was great. The photographer can seem a bit annoying but you can get around that as it is a couple short scenes. Thank you Grindhouse yet again for a nice horror classic.
A Quiet Place in the Country (1968)
Director: Elio Petri
Main Stars: Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Georges Geret
Storyline: A painter haunted by nightmares moves to the country with his lover to help get away
Review (Spoils): Lenardo Ferri (Franco Nero) is a popular painter and has a unique mind and vision. In the last few months he has not done anything new or completed anything. He seems to be struggling with strange nightmares and mental issues. One of the nightmares that haunt him is the sexual perversion and ending in death dreams with his lover and I believe real-estate agent Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave). Concerned for him she moves him to the country to get away from the trauma dreams and inspire his work but leads to even more mental trips and the dreams increase.
My wife introduced me to this film early this week as she knew my love for this era and Italian film. This film did not disappoint, it is much like an erotic acid trip of images, bright red blood and confusion. So the movie was right up my alley. Sure the film did not do much on the shock and gore much like a Dario or Lucio film but the film had some feelings that it may have influenced such films like The Shinning. The acting was done very well, the dialogue kept me locked on the film and of course the erotic beauty of Vanessa Redgrave and the visual images is what really drove the film home for me.
Rating: This film is not going to be for everyone or the standard horror fan who like teen scares or spookiness. This film is more like a piece of moving art that has a nice touch oddness going for it.
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
Director: Dario Argento
Main Stars: Mimsy Farmer, Michael Brandon, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Bud Spencer
Storyline: A musician is being blackmailed and stalked
Review (Spoils): A drummer (Michael Brandon) keeps getting threaten calls from a stalker. He finally faces his fears up front and in a struggle he accidently stabs and kills the man. Which becomes more stressful is the next day someone new starts to blackmail him about the secret and we start a whole new stalker game.
This is a Dario film so we have lots of red blood, knives, killings and of course a murder mystery of who did or doing it. Like other Dario films it is thick with who is the killer and was there the night of the opera house to witness the first struggle. While the film is setup with threatening blackmail the musician’s friends and love ones start to be killed off and him being setup as the murder.
Rating: You can tell from the start that this was one of the earlier films of Dario Argento as the plot itself has some serious holes and it does not gel like the later films of his. The main character does not seem very full of life and the film just moves slowly with its paces. Another of the opposite is that the female lead Mimsy Farmer does the reverse and she is too over the top with her acting. So the connection of the relationship and the story line seem to be silly at times.
Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
Director: Greg McLean
Main Stars: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus
Storyline: Some backpackers run into Mick Taylor and he makes short work of them as he hunts them down.
Review (Spoils): We have a quick opening as the mood and setting of the outback film kicks in. We have Mick Taylor (John Jarratt ) back and being labeled (by the film) as one of the main reasons Australia is known for so many missing people. We start with a young German couple (Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus) who Mick runs into and he makes short work of them. This leads to another traveller (Ryan Corr) who happens to try to save the young girl but ends up being on Micks shit list also. Through all this we learn more and more about Mick Taylor and his madness.
Welcome back to Wolf Creek, we have chainsaws, lots of stabbings, a nasty beheading, some finger grinding, mind games, drinking and of course the famous one liners from Mick Taylor. The film opens with a classic scene of Mick Taylor and some cops who are trying to give him a speeding ticket. Great opening scene!
Rating: Mick Taylor is back and so is the torment and gore. The movie tries to bring some more depth to the madman but at times (the long winded song and drinking scene could have been cut in half) but overall the film is entertaining. Near the end the film reminded me a bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 which is not a bad thing and I’m starting to enjoy Mick as a horror icon more. This is film is not for the weak of heart for gore and torture.