Face The Slayer!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2018 by Brain Hammer

She searched through the dark corridors of the unknown only to find…


Kay is a struggling surrealist painter with recurring bad dreams. When she sleeps she has horrifying visions of agonizing death and is chased by a hideous looking murderous monster. Is it a nightmare, or…

Kay’s husband David, who also happens to be her doctor, wakes her from the madness and offers to take her to the next best place to paradise – an island in the middle of nowhere. Kay’s successful director brother Eric, and his actress wife Brooke also come along for the trip. Brooke isn’t excited about spending a week with the always emotionally distraught Kay, but Eric assures her it will be a vacation she will never forget. Once the gang loads onto a small plane and leaves for the isolated island, there’s no turning back. Kay is now on vacation weather she likes it or not.

After arriving at the cold and barren beachfront, Kay remarks that feels like she’s been there before. The plane’s creepy pilot (and part time prophet of doom) Mr. Marsh tells her she ain’t the first he’s heard say that, and that she won’t be the last. “This island is the kind of place folks dream about.” As the group begins making the mile long trek to the vacation house where they are staying, Brooke gets the creeps and feels like she’s being watched. Eric again assures her that there’s nobody on the island but the four of them…nobody living, that is. They then pass the remains of what appears to have been a large theater. Kay is mysteriously drawn to the abandoned building, and is eerily convinced she had already painted it. David tries to convince her that it’s a coincidence and Eric tells everybody to hurry and leave before they get eaten alive.

The couples finally make their way to the large house, which appears run down on the outside but is nicely furnished and fully stocked with food and booze. As they begin to settle in, Mr. Marsh returns with a warning. A violent storm is brewing, and despite the calm outside… things ain’t always what they seem to be. Eric dismisses Mr.Marsh as “one weird dude” and ignores his warning. We then get to meet a good hearted old salt named Wally who is fishing on the beach. Just as Wally starts to crack jokes, the unseen slayer shows up and cracks his skull with an oar. BUT IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM! Kay wakes up on the beach with a sudden fright, as the rest of the gang is having fun in the sun. Later that night, the couples have dinner and drinks on the beach, but the night is ruined as Eric begins harassing Kay about her unsuccessful career and her shitty surrealist paintings. Kay later tells David that the island is giving her the creeps, which angers him. He tells her that she’s building a wall of depression around herself because of those damned dreams of hers and he fears she might be slipping over the edge.

David later apologizes to Kay in bed, where Kay agains explains how scared she is. As Kay drifts off to sleep sometimes she feels like when she wakes up her real life will be gone, and her dreams will haven taken their place. David assures her it’s all her mind and not real. “It’s just one of those demons that surface every once in while. We all have them.” They then make love and go to sleep together. David wakes up in the night hearing a strange thumping sound. He wanders into the basement, investigates the empty elevator shaft, and incredibly enough winds up being graphically decapitated by the elevator doors! The next morning, Kay wakes up in bed next to David. She rolls over and proceeds to give her lover a tender kiss on the lips to wake him. To her horror, David’s eyes slowly open and blood begins to pour from his mouth. Kay then pulls back the covers to discover his body is missing and that she was kissing his now decapitated, but still apparently still alive head! BUT IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM, AGAIN!! Kay wakes up with terror, now alone in bed with no sign of her husband.

Kay screams for help, and Eric & Brooke come to investigate. Kay tells them about her dream, and the trio then unsuccessfully look all over the house for David. Kay is sadly convinced that David is dead, but Eric assures her that it was just a nightmare and that David is probably off on the coast somewhere taking photos. Eric and Brooke then proceed to spend the next two days searching the surrounding areas for David while Kay sits around on the porch in a daze working on, and then tearing up a drawing in her sketchbook. Kay finally gets off her ass and slowly investigates the abandoned theater, and eventually stumbles upon David’s headless corpse, which has been hung up from the rafters like a trophy!

Kay tells the others about her grisly discovery. She also tells Brooke that she has seen his slayer in her dreams, and if she goes to sleep they will all be killed. “Have you ever had nightmare that was so real, that you thought it was actually happening?” Brooke tells Eric about Kay’s warning, which leads Eric to tell her a little story about his sister. When they were kids Eric & Kay’s parents gave Kay a kitten for Christmas and two days later they found the animal frozen to death in a meat freezer. Kay said something in her dreams did it. Kay then spent years in therapy because of her nightmares. Later that night, Brooke slips Kay some sleeping pill laced coffee, which is perfectly logical thing to do to a manic depressive person with years of nightmare fixation.

Kay breaks down and again tells Eric about the dream, the same dream over and over again. When poppa gave her the kitten. She woke up screaming, something far away coming at her. It did terrible things, and the more she dreamed it the more real it became. She created the slayer with the dream, and it will keep happening until it no longer needs her to give it life. She then drifts off to sleep against her will. Brooke begins to believe Kay’s story, but Eric remains convinced that something alive -not a dream, dragged David out of bed and killed him. He starts to suspect that the “weird dude” himself Mr. Marsh might be the culprit. In desperation, Eric leaves to go fire off a few emergency flares on the beach. He promises Brooke he won’t be long, and sure enough, he is promptly dispatched by the monster – who drags him away while still screaming for a midnight snack. Brooke makes the mistake of looking for David and takes a pitchfork in the tits for her efforts. If it’s only a nightmare, why is everybody DEAD?

This leaves Kay all alone in her world of dreams. She wakes up the next morning and wanders the beach in horror as she discovers the rotting remains of her brother and step-sister. She then locks her doors and windows and tries in vain to prepare herself for a final battle against her unholy creation. She searched through the dark corridors of the unknown only to find terror that strikes again and again. She could not anticipate a web of diabolical horror. This time the nightmare is real. Tonight she will face the slayer!

THE SLAYER has to be one of the most underrated and overlooked low budget horror flicks ever. I am a huge fan of this one and think it gets better every time I watch it. From start to finish, this flick has an unmistakable, eerie, dream like quality. It’s also punctuated with some really nice gory moments like the aforementioned decapitation and pitchfork impalement, and it features one of the coolest looking monsters in horror history. Most horror flicks with triple the budget can’t manage to be this convincing. There’s something about these low budget early 80’s horror flicks that just scream absolute perfection to me, and THE SLAYER is a prime example of that. It’s all about the little moments. My favorite scene in this one is the incredible “head in bed” gag, which I find be truly disturbing. There’s something about the way that the head opens it’s eyes and seems to be alive that really gives me the chills.

Much credit must be given to director and writer J.S. Cardone and co-writer Bill Ewing for writing such a fantastic little horror story. The script is fantastic, full of fun lines that are later ironic or prophetic like “hurry up before we get eaten alive.” Some people over the years have complained about the wrap around story and the film’s ending, but I have no complaints whatsoever. I think the ending of the flick is a real pisser, and wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone. The special effects by Robert Babb and the special effects makeup by Robert Short are also worth a mention. This flick has some very memorable death scenes, including the infamous pitchfork impalement, (which proceeds the notorious shower scene in “The Prowler” by a year or two) and when we finally get to take a quick look at the monster, he is one ugly, ugly bastard. It was all enough to have the film branded a “Video Nasty” in the UK, where it was unavailable for many years.

It’s worth noting that this was the very first horror flick to feature a nasty looking large clawed dream monster, and it first introduced the “don’t let me fall asleep or we will all die” gag. This all proceeds “A Nightmare On Elm Street” by a few years, and it does seem a bit unfair that THE SLAYER remains so widely unknown and unseen by horror fans. I would personally take this one over the Elm Street flicks any day.

THE SLAYER is probably best known and remembered by horror fans today for it’s very cool looking Continental VHS release, which was a double feature release paired with the 1983 Fred Olen Ray epic SCALPS. This heavily edited double feature came packaged inside a huge canary yellow box that was ugly as shit, but must have been hard to miss on video store shelves. Continental Video also used the violent scenes from THE SLAYER in their incredible VHS clip-collection TERROR ON TAPE, which was “hosted” by the one and only Cameron Mitchell. Sadly, both THE SLAYER and TERROR ON TAPE have never received a proper DVD release. TERROR ON TAPE is a bit more understandable to me, considering the legal logistics of releasing such a haphazard compilation film, but the lack of THE SLAYER on DVD was a crime against friggin’ humanity.  This was one flick that was always screaming for a remastered, special edition release.


Fortunately, the good folks at Arrow Video finally made my dreams come true and recently released a FANTASTIC special edition Blu-Ray/DVD release of THE SLAYER that is totally uncut, beautifully remastered in both standard and high definition, and packed with exclusive bonus features. For the first time ever, the film can now be seen fully intact with a fantastic picture quality. This is one of those examples of really “seeing” a flick for the first time. Night and day difference to the old DVD-R copy I’ve been watching for the last two decades.  The bonus features include a director’s commentary track, a brand new behind the scenes documentary entitled “Nightmare Island: The Making Of The Slayer,” and a very cool “Return To Tybee: The Locations Of The Slayer” featurette that highlights the film’s special home-town screening. A still gallery and the very cool theatrical trailer round out the package. Consider this release Brain Hammer approved in a BIG way and BUY OR DIE!




Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2017 by Brain Hammer

You’ve made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas…


This family favorite begins on Christmas Eve 1971. The Chapman family – Jim, his wife Ellie, and their two young sons Billy and infant Ricky are making a pilgrimage to visit Jim’s institutionalized Father. Along the way Billy asks Mommy if he can stay up to see Santa Claus but she tells him that it would be naughty to stay up past his bed time. She tells her son that Santa doesn’t bring presents to naughty children, and that Santa has a “big surprise” for him that night.

Silent Night Deadly Night (0)

When they get to the hospital the family is saddened to find Jim’s Father in a state of catatonia. He sits in silence, dazed and staring into space. When the Doctors and Billy’s parents leave the room to discuss his Grandfather’s condition they leave Billy alone with the “harmless” old man. That’s when the twisted old fruit (played by Will Hare of “Enter The Ninja” legend!) suddenly snaps to life to warn Billy about the dangers of Santy Claus. He asks Billy if he’s scared, and then tells the wide eyed boy that he should be because Christmas Eve is the scariest damn night of the whole year. He then informs the terrified tot that Santa only brings presents to boys and girls that have been good all year – the rest he PUNISHES! When Billy sheepishly tells his Grandpa he hasn’t been good all year the mean old bastard tells Billy if he sees Santa tonight he’d better run for his life!

When the rest of the Chapman clan returns Grandpa goes back to innocently staring into space as if nothing happened. The family leaves, and Billy promises to his Grandpa that he will be good from now on. On the long car ride home Billy reveals to his Mommy what Grandpa said about Santa Claus wanting to punish him. Mommy gets angry and calls Grandpa a “crazy old fool.” This causes Billy to gasp and warn Mommy that it’s naughty to say bad things about old people. Billy then warns his Mommy that Santa will want to punish her too.


We then meet a two bit thief in a Santa outfit. After filling up his tank at a gas station the evil impostor Santa pulls an armed robbery that ends in murder and earns him a lousy 31 dollars. Merry fucking Christmas. Scumbag Santa’s getaway car breaks down and The Chapman’s have the misfortune of running into him on their way home. Jim pulls over to offer a little roadside assistance and gets a bullet in the head. Then the very bad Santa pulls Ellie out of the car so he can expose her breasts before slitting her throat. Little Billy runs away and watches all of this transpire as he hides in some bushes across the road.

We then flash forward three years and find Billy & Ricky attempting to adjust to life inside the Saint Mary’s Home For Orphaned Children. Billy has a profound hatred and fear of Christmas that gets worse every year. The sensitive Sister Margaret wants to get the boy professional help, but the domineering and abusive Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin) prefers more brutal means of keeping Billy in line. Bad little Billy gets an eyeful of sex when he sneaks a peek at a pair of orphans fucking upstairs. Mother Superior catches the kids in the act and proceeds to beat “the devils” with her large leather belt! She then turns her attention towards Billy and informs him that “when we do something naughty we must be punished. Punishment is necessary. Punishment is absolute. Punishment is good.”


Mother Superior practices what she preaches and routinely beats Billy silly and ties him to his bed at night. Her brutal methods seem to have a calming effect on the boy, but it all unravels at the big Christmas Day bash when Mother Superior attempts to force Billy to sit on Santa’s lap. Billy freaks out and unleashes a devastating left hook that knocks the jolly old fat man on his ass! Billy runs upstairs and cowers in his room, where he awaits his inevitable punishment from Mother Superior.

We then flash forward yet again, this time several years. Sensitive Sister Margaret attempts to get the now 18 year old Billy a job at the local toy store around Halloween time. The store’s ambiguously gay owner Mr. Sims is reluctant to hire an orphan but quickly changes his mind when he gets a steaming eyeful of Billy – who has grown into a big buttery slab of blonde beefcake. Billy gets a job working in the stockroom, and we spend some quality time with him as he drinks milk, smiles, and stocks the store shelves during a delightful musical montage set to the tune of a blustery blues ballad entitled “The Warm Side Of The Door.”


We first get a glimpse of Billy’s inner torment when the sight of a Santa Claus banner makes him cower with disgust. Billy begins slacking off at work and staring into space like a moon goon. He wrestles with the memories of his parent’s violent murders, which he fuses with his own repressed feelings of sexuality. Things go from bad to worse when Mr. Sims forces Billy to dress up as Santa when the original store Santa breaks his leg while ice fishing. The sight of himself in a full Santa Claus outfit is enough to drive the already disturbed young man completely insane!

At first, Billy seems like a natural in the role. No one suspects that Billy’s secret to keeping the kids that sit on his lap quiet is that he whispers threats of punishment into their little ears. Later that night the after hours Christmas party turns deadly when Billy stumbles upon an attempted rape in the stockroom. Billy stops the attempted rapist from jamming his yule log into the girl’s stockings by strangling him with Christmas lights. When the girl fails to show Santa the proper gratitude and calls Billy a crazy bastard instead he proceeds to gut her with a box cutter. Mr. Sims investigates and gets a hammer in his brain for his efforts. That leaves this one haggard old skank (her name escaped me) alone to repeatedly yell“MISTER SIMS?!?” over and over again until Billy shows up to chase her down with an axe and then put her out of her misery with a bow and arrow.

We are then introduced to Denise – a sexy and short lived babysitter played by the one and only Linnea Quigley (Return Of The Living Dead). Denise is nice enough to spend some quality time wandering around in only a pair of cutoff shorts before Billy punishes her for being such a naughty little slut by impaling her on the antlers of a mounted deer head in the living room! Billy then has a brief run in with Denise’s Van Patten-esque and apparently deaf (he was downstairs while the front door was smashed in and his girlfriend was being slaughtered and didn’t hear a thing!) boyfriend before sending him crashing through a window. His next victim is an obnoxious sled stealing bully that gets swiftly beheaded. His freshly decapitated corpse is enough to make his partner in crime to break down into tears and unleash some of the best male screams in all of horror history!


As Billy’s body count increases, sensitive Sister Margaret and the cops try to track him down. An unfortunate officer shows up at the orphanage looking for Billy and accidentally shoots a deaf old man that was playing Santa for the children. The cop apologizes to Mother Superior for the mistake and warns her that a killer is on the way. He then pads out the final reel of the film by wandering around the grounds before Billy finally slams an axe into his chest. Billy then decapitates a snowman and heads inside the orphanage for a final showdown with Mother Superior. Santa’s Here!

As you can probably tell by my excessively detailed ramblings above, I am a HUGE fan of this eternally controversial 1984 effort from director Charles E. Sellier Jr! I consider SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT to be one of the all time greatest 80’s slasher flicks. Few other horror flicks from that incredible era can come close to matching this one in terms of sheer outrage and controversy. Exceptionally well shot and photographed and thoroughly disturbing from start to finish, it manages to be both polished and sleazy at the same time. And make no mistake, this is easily one of the most infamous horror films of all time.


When originally released in December 1984, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” was met by numerous protests from angry parents. Critics like Siskel & Ebert also went out of their way to crusade against the film. It didn’t help matters that the distributors fueled the controversy by temporarily running TV spots for the film during Saturday Morning cartoon hours. The end result was some originally brisk box office before the film was quickly pulled from theaters and then shelved until the spring of 1985, when it was briefly rereleased. Despite, or more likely because of the controversy, the low budget films was still a financial success. It then went on to become a staple of the home video horror section. My first introduction to the film as a wee Brain Hammer was my father renting the unrated VHS release of the film. I was hooked from my first viewing and have been a huge fan of this flick ever since.


That unrated VHS release proved to be a big seller, and a series of increasingly ridiculous and unrelated sequels quickly followed. The first sequel –SILENT NIGHT, DEADY NIGHT PART 2 (1987) was a complete cash-in project. The producers simply wanted a recut version of the original film to rerelease into theaters. The writers and director created the brand new wraparound footage featuring Billy’s younger brother Ricky continuing the family tradition of Christmas carnage, and pressed for a little more time and money to create a complete, stand alone sequel. The end result is about 40 minutes worth of recycled footage from “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and another 40 minutes of garbage. SND2 can be neatly summed up in two words: GARBAGE DAY! And as much as it sucks, it still somehow manages to be the best of the three SNDN sequels. It was also the last SNDN film to get a limited theatrical release. The other two SNDN flicks went straight to video, where they eventually found a cult following. I think the sequels are entertaining trash, but they don’t hold a candle to the original.


Over the years I have watched “Silent Night, Deadly Night” more times than I could possibly count. I have the film’s dialogue committed to memory from repeat viewings. Watching it again all these years later, it still stands up to the test of time. As just a straight up 80’s slasher flick, I would have to rank this one as one of the most lurid and graphically violent. The unrated version of the film contains some absolutely savage throat slitting, stomach slashing, sledding decapitation, and of course – the notorious deer antler impalement. That scene alone earns SNDN a permanent spot in the 80’s horror hall of fame. The deranged Santa Claus killer, running around with an axe and yelling “PUNISH!” has become as legendary and iconic as any other other slasher killers of the era.


And for my money, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” is the second greatest holiday horror flick of all time, ranking just after Bob Clark’s immortal “Black Christmas” in terms of quality and overall impact. SNDN is one of the rare Christmas horror flicks that really has a Christmas-time feeling. The snow, the Xmas lights, the cool toys in the store, the holiday music, it all combines to make movie magic. This one always puts me in the proper spirit, and I routinely watch this one every year around the holidays. It’s just not Christmas until I hear “The Warm Side Of The Door.”


SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT has an enduring legacy as one of the all time great holiday horror flicks, and the film and it’s sequels have remained available on the home video market over the years in a variety of different releases, usually just in time to cash in for the holidays. As of December 2017, the definitive release of the original film is the collector’s edition Blu-Ray from Shout! Factory. This new high definition release features 4K scans of the film’s R rated theatrical print and an extended unrated version with standard def inserts. Both versions are far superior looking to anything that’s been released so far. As if that wasn’t enough, the package comes stuffed with exclusive bonus features, including the “Slay Bells Ring: The Story Of Silent Night, Deadly Night” retrospective. There’s also freshly recorded commentary tracks, and a new “Oh Deer!” interview with Linnea Quigley. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Don’t be NAUGHTY, buy this one immediately or be PUNISHED!


Blood Rage!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2017 by Brain Hammer

That’s NOT cranberry sauce!



Back in 1974, a single mom named Maddie Simmons and her new boyfriend decide to bundle up Maddie’s twin boys Terry and Todd into the back of his station wagon and settle in for a cozy night out at the Route 35 Drive-In. The adults hope the kids will fall asleep before intermission, leaving them alone in the front seat to enjoy a romantic viewing of “The House That Cried Murder.” But unfortunately, for everyone at the drive-in that night, Terry woke up. That’s when the nightmare began.

Terry gets an eyeful of mommy’s make out session, and then wakes up his brother Todd to let him know “Mom is at it again.” The two of them then proceed to sneak out the back of the car undetected. Terry then does the next logical thing any normal kid his age would do, he grabs a large hatchet out of the back of nearby truck and stares at it like a goon. Then he sneaks up to another nearby car and gets himself a good long look at a meathead plowing into his plump young date in the backseat. When caught in the act and called a creep, the little monster grins, and then gives the meathead seven good whacks in the face with the hatchet, literally turning his head into sliced deli meat.


When the inevitable chaos ensues immediately after the murder, and just before the two boys are about to be confronted by a crowd of confused witnesses and their eternally frantic mother, Terry does something even more unspeakable. He smears his victim’s blood on Todd’s face and then blames his twin brother for the murder. Todd is then rendered catatonic from shock, unable to defend himself from the false accusation, and is eventually shuffled off to an asylum for treatment.

It takes 10 long years of therapy before a doctor is finally able to break through Todd’s wall of silence. Todd is finally able to remember what really happened on that horrible night and begins professing his innocence. His therapist immediately believes him, but Todd’s mentally unstable mother Maddie is another story. She refuses to believe Terry is guilty of anything, ignores Todd’s cries to be released, and prefers to treat him like the naive child that he was all those years before the murder. She even goes as far as trying to sedate Todd with some pumpkin pie, which he winds up smearing on the walls in frustration.


Later that night, Todd breaks out of the institution and heads home to finally confront his brother and convince his mother of his innocence. The murderous Terry had been living an seemingly normal life in freedom, and for ten long years had maintained the illusion of sanity. That illusion finally shattered at Thanksgiving dinner, when Maddie suddenly announces she is getting married again to her former boyfriend and now fiance Bob. Then the news of Todd escaping reaches the Simmons house, and Terry goes off the deep end for good. The wholesale slaughter begins with Bob getting violently hacked to pieces with a machete, then degenerates into a murderous rampage as Terry begins seducing, stalking, and slashing the neighborhood kids, while also pretending to lead the search for his “crazy” brother. Can Todd stop Terry from carving up the kids like turkeys, and will there be any leftovers?


BLOOD RAGE is an ultra violent and campy low budget slasher flick that was shot in and around a housing development in Jacksonville FL. The film was shot in 1983, during the peak years of the 80’s slasher craze, but wasn’t released theatrically until 1987. The flick was scissored of some of its violence and re-titled “Nightmare At Shadow Woods” for the film’s run in theaters. Then the flick got a “hard” home video release with all of the gore intact under the title “Blood Rage.” That version of the film was nastier, but was also missing some scenes that were featured in the “Nightmare” theatrical version. It all gets a little confusing, and might explain why the film wasn’t a big hit in the 80’s. It kind of fell though the cracks on video and didn’t get an extended run on cable.


I must confess I was not familiar with this one at all until finally watching the blu-ray release in 2015. The title and artwork looked familiar, but I had never previously run into this flick while rabidly collecting horror flicks, especially slasher flicks on VHS. I may have heard the title in passing online, but I had never really heard a lot of praise, especially for how gory and outrageous this flick is. And make no mistake about it, BLOOD RAGE is one of the all time great 80’s slasher flicks. I am kicking myself for not seeking this one out YEARS ago. It’s chock full of graphic violence, easily ranking as one the most bloodthirsty slasher flicks. The over the top make up and gore effects were created by the notorious madman Ed French, and people are literally hacked to pieces in this one.

I also really enjoy how original, funny, and totally off the wall and just batshit crazy this flick is. Louise Lasser is convincingly insane as the frazzled baby doll mother. Mark Soper is equally excellent in the dual starring role of Terry and Todd. He really steals the show as the psycho teen Terry. There’s some shades of Patrick Bateman in his cool, detached sense of humor. He smokes dope, romances the ladies, and drops the closest thing the film has to a tagline with his immortal catchphrase “It’s not cranberry sauce.” This flick, along with the infamous “Home Sweet Home” from 1981 were two Thanksgiving themed attempts in the 80’s to join in on the then successful holiday horror craze. I’d rank this one as one of the very best of that sub-genre, right up there with the legendary “Silent Night, Bloody Night.” Perfect holiday viewing for horror freaks: stuffed with blood and guts, and always a crowd pleaser.


The good folks at Arrow Video released an incredible 3 disc limited edition release of BLOOD RAGE back in 2015. This release is about as definitive as could possibly be expected, and includes three different, freshly restored versions of the film: the “hard” home video version of “Blood Rage,” the 1987 “Nightmare In Shadow Woods” theatrical version, and a composite cut with all of the footage from both versions. All three are interesting, so have at it. My preference was the “hard” version. There are more bonus features than you could shake a severed limb at. The highlights include interviews with stars Louise Lasser and Mark Soper, and an interesting chat with the film’s producer Marianne Kanter, where she claims there was no market for “blood and guts slashers” in 1983, which seems like a bit of a dubious remark. There’s also a director’s commentary track, an interview with Ed French, and an extra special “three minutes with Ted Raimi.” I really can’t recommend this one highly enough. An essential slasher flick with a killer score and tons of gore, and a must have for any respectable horror collection.


The Hills Have Eyes!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2017 by Brain Hammer

They burned the father, killed the mother, and raped the sister!



A retired Cleveland cop with a bad ticker named “Big” Bob Carter packs up his clan into a trailer and heads out west on the holiday road to California. Along for the ride are Bob’s dimwitted and annoying wife Ethel, their two eternally bickering teenage children Bobby and Brenda, their oldest daughter Lynne, her husband Doug, and Lynne and Doug’s newborn baby, Katie. As if that wasn’t enough, they also bring along their two huge, bloodthirsty Alsatians – Beauty and Beast.

The Carter clan decide to celebrate Bob & Ethel’s silver anniversary in high style by taking a detour deep into the Nevada desert, so they can finally see Aunt Mildred’s old silver mine. They stop for directions and fuel at a rundown gas station on the outskirts of the desert. The station’s shady old proprietor Fred swiftly tries to steer them away from such foolishness, warning them that there’s no silver in those hills anymore, only animals…and the sort of people they wouldn’t want to meet.

The Hills Have Eyes (original teaser) Quad

Big Bob doesn’t heed the old man’s warning to stay on the main road to California and instead takes his family for a long drive down Dry Creek Road, which also happens to be a former nuclear test site…and an active Air Force bomb range. The combination of roaring fighter jets and a goddamn wife and her goddamn road maps and her wrong turns and her goddamn hysterical screaming is too much for Bob’s bad heart to handle, and he finally wipes out and snaps an axel, stranding the family up shit creek without a paddle to become human french fries. What began as a vacation ended as a nightmare.

The Carters try to make the best of the bad situation and put their faith in the good lord and a little gunpowder. Big Bob grabs his cannon and makes the long trek back to Fred’s gas station, while Doug hikes north towards a military installation that he notices on a road map. Things then go from bad to worse when Beauty breaks free and runs off into the hills, chasing after something. Bobby runs off after her, and eventually stumbles upon her freshly gutted carcass. Bobby winds up knocking himself unconscious while running away in horror, and then later says nothing to the others about what he found. Doug doesn’t fare much better, as he comes back from his hike that night with only some discarded military surplus. They wanted to see something different, but something different saw them first.


The Carter’s fates are left in the hands of Big Bob, who eventually makes his way back to Fred’s gas station. Bob is greeted by the smoldering remains of Fred’s pick up truck, and then a gunshot. When Big Bob moves in for the kill he finds the old man with his neck in a makeshift noose. This prompts Bob to ask the immortal question “Do you always try to stop trespassers by hanging yourself?” Old Fred then proceeds to fill Big Bob in about the horrors of his monstrous offspring. This thing Martha gave him back in ’29, was so big it came out sideways and almost tore poor Martha apart. When he was 10 years old he was full grown and hairy as a monkey, running around biting off chicken heads and throwing dogs down wells. After the bestial bastard burnt down their house in ’39 and killed poor Martha and his favorite Daughter in the process, old Fred finally had enough and hit him with a tire iron, splitting his ugly face wide open. Fred then took his mortally wounded monster boy out into the desert and left him in the blazing heat to bleed to death.


Bob dismisses the old man’s “ghost” story, by saying it was a long time ago. But Fred knows all too well that it was long enough for his savage spawn to steal a drunken whore that nobody would miss, long enough to raise a passel of wild kids, long enough for a devil kid to grow up to be a devil man. Big Bob learns this the hard way when Papa Jupiter suddenly comes crashing through a window, tire iron in hand, looking for revenge! Old Fred is quickly dispatched. The lucky ones died first. Big Bob is not so lucky and winds up running for his life, which is a bad thing for a fat pig with a heart condition to do. Bob’s flabby heart finally explodes, and he is then crucified on a large cactus and roasted alive. However, this is only a momentary, explosive distraction that allows the REAL horrors of the night to take place!

As Big Bob screams in agony while being becoming human barbecue, most of the Carter clan runs outside of their trailer to try to help him. This allows Papa Jupiter’s passel of wild kids to descend upon the trailer. The savage Mars and mutated Pluto then take turns violating poor Brenda, who was left sleeping inside during the confusion. They then proceed to ransack the trailer, taking every scrap of food they can find, including the blood of a freshly decapitated parakeet, and incredibly – the fat and juicy baby Karen! When Ethel and Lynne attempt to intervene they are both blasted with gunfire for their efforts. This rampage leaves Doug a widower on a desperate mission to save his baby from becoming the pack’s Sunday dinner, and Bobby and Brenda as orphans who have to use their mother’s corpse to defend themselves against the fury of Papa Jupiter. A nice American family. They lost everything except the will to survive. Murdered, raped, burned, but not beaten. They didn’t want to kill. But they didn’t want to die.


THE HILLS HAVE EYES was director Wes Craven’s highly successful follow up to his eternally controversial 1972 clas-sick “The Last House On The Left.” Much like “Last House,” “The Hills Have Eyes” was a graphically violent, shock filled endurance test for audiences. The producers even went as far as recycling the “it’s only a film” tagline. “Hills” doesn’t compare in terms of sexual sadism though, the emphasis here is raw, violent horror, and the blood relations between families – civilized and savage.

The inspiration for this one was the legendary Sawney Beane clan from 14th century Scotland. A morbid tale of rampaging marauders waylaying and devouring transients, moved forward into the 20th century isolation of the barren Nevada desert. Serious comparisons can also be made to the immortal “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” “Hills” has a similar sort of sunburnt homemade horror vibe, and the sets and costumes are full of leftover bones and carnivorous trinkets created by TCM’s legendary madman Robert A. Burns.


The highlight of the entire movie for me is the incredible, ass kicking performance of James Whitworth as Papa Jupiter. There’s an old movie cliche called “chewing the scenery,” and Papa Jupe pretty much devours everything in sight. The incredible fireside monologue where Papa Jupe munches on some dog and gets face to face with the freshly roasted remains of Big Bob always gives me chills. “I’m gonna watch your goddamn car rust out, yes I will. I’ll see the wind blow your dried up seeds away. I’ll eat the heart of your stinking memory. I’LL EAT THE BRAINS OF YOUR KIDS KIDS! I’M IN! YOU’RE OUT!”


No discussion of THE HILLS HAVE EYES can be had without mentioning the immortal Michael Berryman as the deformed desert dweller Pluto. His creepy looking face is the single most memorable thing about the entire film, the posters, the VHS covers, etc. Michael had already memorably appeared in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” but this was the film that made him an all time icon of horror. It was truly lucky and inspired casting to find an actor with a truly unusual appearance caused by a rare medical condition, instead of relying on makeup or prosthetics. It’s much scarier knowing you’re looking at a real face, rather than a mask.

This one ranks as one of the nastiest horror/revenge flicks of the late 70’s. There’s no shortage of gritty intensity as we watch an all American family massacred and finally forced to retaliate. The desert setting immediately inspires unease, and the music creates a great sense of dread. I’ve watched this one more times over the years than I can count and it still manages to deliver a gut-punch every time. Killer performances, memorable dialogue, perfect pacing, and packed with animal attacks, runaway whores, stabbings, shootings, explosions, violent vengeance and red meat, just an all around perfect genre flick.


THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977) is now available on blu-ray from Arrow Video. This limited edition release features a brand new 4K restoration and is unquestionably the best the film has ever looked on home video, or otherwise. Most of the special features were ported over from the previous Anchor Bay dvd release, including the excellent “Looking Back On The Hills Have Eyes” documentary and a very entertaining commentary track with producer Peter Locke and writer/director Wes Craven. There’s also a brand new interview with the film’s composer Don Peake, as well as six collectible postcards and a fold out poster. All in all, an excellent package and a film that no respectable horror fan’s collection should be missing. See it before it sees you!


I Drink Your Blood & I Eat Your Skin!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2016 by Brain Hammer

I Drink Your Blood!

Rabid, drug-infested Hippies on a blood-crazed KILLING RAMPAGE!


A wandering hippy devil cult’s van breaks down, so they set up shop in a small backwater town which is nearly deserted thanks to the recent construction of a nearby dam. When night falls after a busy day of catching rats to barbecue, the hippies take acid, pledge themselves to master Satan, and proceed to freak the fuck out. Their leader Horace Bones is a Capricorn living in the Tenth House – the House of their lord Satan. Horace was born into Hell and reborn onto this Earth, the first born son of Satan.

Let it be known, sons and daughters, that Satan was an acid head. Drink from his cup; pledge yourselves. And together, we’ll all freak out!”


Horace commands his Earthly followers to drink from the chalice of psychedelic insanity. They pledge to live and kill for the father of damnation. One of their mock Satanic rituals degenerates into the brutal gang rape of a pretty young girl from town who was caught sneaking a peek from the woods. The poor girl wanders home the next morning dazed and drugged, conscious but unable to speak.

When her Grandpa, the town veterinarian, finally figures out what happened he foolishly decides to confront the drug infested Satanic hippies. They quickly dose Gramps up with LSD and send him packing. Grandpa is quickly reduced to an incoherent imbecile who uses salt & pepper shakers for rabbit ears. This indignity infuriates Grandpa’s chubby and feisty Grandson – Pete, who in turn shoots a rabid dog, expertly extracts a blood sample (!) and then injects the rabid dog blood into the hippies’ meat pies!

The hippies are duped by Pete into buying the tainted meat pies and quickly suffer the brutal effects of hydrophobia after eating them. The rabies combined with the hallucinatory drugs coursing through their veins makes them homicidal and they quickly turn on each other before wandering around the town, infecting others. One of the female hippies with a particularly roaring sex drive winds up getting gang fucked by several of the local construction workers, and they all become infected with rabies as well. Pete’s attempt at vigilante justice infects an entire town with rabies and turns a group of men into a band of bloodthirsty zombies, ravaging a peaceful countryside.

You will sit there and suffer through the tortures of the damned. You will sit and watch this shocking ugliness splashing across the screen. You will ask yourself, what acts of sadism will this electric knife be used for? What horrors will be performed with this axe, this hose, this dagger, this gun, this sword? All the implements necessary to make this the ultimate in adult horror films. We have painted a bloody picture, but it is only a small part of what takes place. Can you take it?


I am a long time fan of this legendary, bloodthirsty 1971 effort from director David Durston. My introduction the cult of Bones was initiated with the purchase of an “uncut” VHS from Midnight Video. As a Satanist, I get a lot of enjoyment out of dialog like “Let it be known brothers and sisters that Satan was an acidhead!” This has to be considered truly one of the most over the top and EVIL horror flicks of all time. There are lots of highly memorable performances from the rabid drug infested hippies to enjoy, including a master showing from the one and only Bhaskar as “Horace Bones,” the charismatic cult leader. Jadine Wong tears up the scenery as the deadly Asian beauty “Sue Lin,” and George Patterson rules over Hell as the wild eyed “Rolo.” George does his best to steal the movie (which is no small feat) and is very convincing as a slobbering, axe wielding lunatic. I also have to mention Riley Mills, who plays the pugnacious “Pete.” This kid is absolutely hilarious. Something about the supreme confidence in the way he delivers his dialog, and the way he carries himself really cracks me up. No one could say “Gran-Paw” better than Riley.

The breathtaking Lynn Lowry (The Crazies, Shivers) made her second uncredited on screen appearance (she had previously appeared in a small role in Lloyd Kaufman’s “The Battle Of Love’s Return”) here as the mute hippie who pledges herself to Satan and wields a mean electric knife. Lynn gets naked and looks absolutely beautiful here. She says more with her eyes than some actresses could say with a lengthy monologue. It’s a crime that she wasn’t credited here because her role is arguably the most memorable of the film and her image was frequently used in the ads…and much later, the dvd covers. “I Drink Your Blood” has a huge and well deserved cult following for a LOT of reasons, but Lynn’s memorable appearance in the film, and her many years of promoting the film, along with her legions of fans have definitely helped keep the legend alive.

This clas-sick Jerry Gross (the legendary producer responsible for I Spit On Your Grave, Zombie, Blood Beach and countless other exploitation clas-sicks) production was a perennial grindhouse and drive-in favorite, almost always paired with “I Eat Your Skin,” which was a rather lame 1964 black & white jungle/zombie effort from director Del “Horror Of Party Beach” Tenney. The one-two punch of I DRINK YOUR BLOOD and I EAT YOUR SKIN looked unbelievably cool on movie posters and the blood-curdling, skin-crawling promise of “the Biggest and Bloodiest double horror show in history” and “2 great blood -horrors to rip out your guts” was too much for audiences to resist…then and now.


Fans looking for a bloody good time might have been disappointed however, depending on where and when they saw the film, as the film was originally rated “X” for violence (the FIRST film in horror history to ever earn this dubious distinction!) and the prints were often butchered by local theater owners in a lame effort to tone it down. When you see this flick uncut it is chock full of bloodshed. The primitive & savage splatter is applied by the bucket full in the proud H.G. Lewis gross out tradition, and is sure to satisfy gorehounds. It’s also worth mentioning that were two different endings for the film. The original version climaxes with an extra gory gut-punch and then a moment of comic relief, and was director David Durston’s intended ending. Timid theater owners howled for a different ending, and most viewers of the film were unfortunately used to seeing a less shocking version of the film than intended.

Fortunately, those of us experiencing the film for the first time in the digital age didn’t have to worry about such indignities. The fine fiends at GRINDHOUSE RELEASING along with Fangoria (in association with Box Office Spectaculars) put out a fantastic special edition DVD of I DRINK YOUR BLOOD way back in 2002 which was completely uncut, and beautifully remastered. The bonus features included a very entertaining commentary track with director David Durston and star Bhaskar, four never before seen deleted scenes (which include the aforementioned more downbeat alternate ending), interviews with David Durston, Lynn Lowry, Tyde Kierney, and Jack Damon, the incredibly cool theatrical trailer and radio spots, and an extensive gallery of stills and poster art! There’s also “rare and shocking film” of Bhaskar performing “THE EVIL KING COBRA DANCE” and nifty day-glo cover art that glows in the dark. Trippy!!! This dvd also has some of the very coolest animated, interactive menus that I have ever seen. The whole package is good gory fun, and for many years has remained a proud staple of my DVD collection.


But once again, GRINDHOUSE RELEASING has gone a step beyond with their latest deluxe edition Blu-Ray of I DRINK YOUR BLOOD. This brand new high definition restoration is absolutely the best the film has ever looked, ever! The film is beautifully remastered and presented in two different versions: the uncut theatrical edition and the original uncensored director’s cut. This state of the art high definition presentation of the film alone would make this a must have Blu-Ray, but the new special features go a step further and make this a mandatory purchase.


For starters, there is a brand new commentary track with I DRINK YOUR BLOOD stars Jack Damon and Tyde Kierney. There’s also a brand new in depth interview with the late great director and creator David Durston. Fans of the man will be excited to see his long lost X rated psychedelic shocker from 1969 “Blue Sextet” included here as a bonus feature. Drive-in lovers and longtime fans of the clas-sick “I Drink Your Blood” and “I Eat Your Skin” double feature will be delighted to see that the 1964 Del Tenney film “I Eat Your Skin” is presented here as a bonus feature, for the first time ever in HD. There’s also a wealth of additional content, including all of the bonus features from the previous release, newly shot features highlighting the film’s theatrical re-releases, the always incredible Grindhouse Releasing trailer reel, and best of all…a limited edition OFFICIAL I DRINK YOUR BLOOD HORROR HYPO that allows blood-crazed collectors the harmless fun of drawing blood from rabid dogs and infecting their friends with rabies! This is yet another INCREDIBLE release from Grindhouse Releasing, and should be considered nothing less than an essential purchase for all lovers of LSD and Satan!


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2016 by Brain Hammer

After a decade of silence…the buzzz is back!



On the afternoon of August 18th 1973, five young people in a Volkswagen van ran out of gas on a farm road in South Texas. Four of them were never seen again. The next morning, the one survivor, Sally Hardesty-Enright, was picked up on a roadside. Blood-caked and screaming murder.

Sally said she had broken out of a window in Hell. The girl babbled a mad tale: A cannibal family in an isolated farmhouse…chain-sawed fingers and bones…her brother, her friends hacked up for barbeque…chairs made of human skeletons…Then she sank into catatonia. Texas lawmen mounted a month-long manhunt but could not locate the macabre farmhouse. They could find no killers and no victims. No facts; no crime. Officially, on the records, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre never happened.

But during the last 13 years, over and over again reports of bizarre, grisly chain-saw mass-murders have persisted all across the state of Texas. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has not stopped. It haunts Texas. It seems to have no end.  


The nightmare returns with a BANG! as we are introduced to couple of vintage slices of 80’s yuppie meat: two beer swilling, gun toting rich cretins named “Buzz” and “Rick the Prick” who are on the road to nowhere…aka Texas OU Weekend in Dallas! In between rounds, the boys call up and harass a local DJ named “Stretch,” who plays headbanging music and hosts the Red River Rock ‘n’ Roll Request Line on KOKLA. As if tying up Stretch’s phone lines wasn’t bad enough, the boys decide to play a little chicken with one of the local hicks, and run the WRONG farmers off the road. Shame on you for having too much fun.


Later that night, Buzz & Rick the Prick decide to call up Stretch again, and Rick puts in his immortal request to see some “Bright Lights and Big Titties!” The boys’ fun is short lived this time around, because the pick up truck they ran off the road earlier suddenly shows up to block their way. What follows is a never ending ride into Hell, as the coked-up pencil necks attempt to speed away from the demented pick up on a narrow overpass, as the pick up truck magically manages to keep up with their sports car while driving 90 miles per hour in reverse! The boys first get to meet “Nubbins,” who is actually the rotten corpse of our old friend “The Hitch Hiker” from the original TCM! When Rick the Prick blasts Nubbins in the face, the boys get a look at the REAL horror of Leatherface…who uses his trusty saw to slice up Buzz’s skull.


The boys crash and burn, and all of this chainsaw carnage was broadcast live over the air to the shock and horror of Stretch, her studio assistant and best bud L.G., and her handfuls of listeners. The “accident” also catches  the attention of an old Texas Ranger named Lt Enright, who immediately drives up from South Texas to investigate. Lt Enright is an old cowboy who has been chasing chainsaws and ghosts for 14 years, ever since his brother’s kids Franklin & Sally fell victim to the chainsaw killers back in 1973. Lt Enright refuses to believe the case was “just an accident” and knows all too well that HELL was exactly what those two wild punks had raised.


Stretch sees a newspaper article about Lt Enright and his quest for justice, and reaches out to him with a tape containing the recording of Buzz & Rick the Prick getting the slice. Stretch hung on to the tape because it just got to her, and decided to use it as an attempt to stop playing headbanging music and do something real. Lt Enright initially refuses her offer for help and sends her packing, with a warning that this bunch of mad dogs that he is running against lives on fear. As Lt Enright sits in his hotel room and stews, the Sawyer Family becomes number one again, when Texas clobbers Oklahoma…in chili. Dallas’ favorite caterer, and the last Round Up Rolling Grill Chef himself, Dreyton Sawyer is the big winner. The secret of course is no secret…it’s the MEAT. Don’t skimp on the meat.


Meanwhile, Lt Enright stops off at the local Cut-Rite saw shop and arms himself with a trifecta of brand new chainsaws in assorted sizes. When the dumbfounded proprietor encourages hims to test them out, Lt Enright fires up the biggest one and begins taking out 14 years worth of frustration on the giant logs outside. Oh my aching banana! When that fun’s over, he drives over to KOKLA to make a personal request to Stretch. He comes clean and lets her know that the killers are there, and asks her to play the tape of the two yuppie punks getting the slice on her radio show. He asks her to bend the rules, and just do it, despite the inevitable flood of complaints and trouble she would receive.


Stretch agrees to help Lt Enright, and plays the recording of the kids getting murdered as a special request  for “Lefty” on the hour. Unfortunately for Stretch, this macabre special request quickly earns the attention of two of her biggest fans…and they decide to pay her a special visit that night. When L.G. goes off for coffees at the Big Steak he leaves Stretch in the radio station all alone, and unfortunately for her, she will have to come face to face with her most FAR OUT FAN…a creep who we later learn goes by the name “Chop-Top,” because of a machete wound sustained in Vietnam that left him rather unhinged and with a large itchy metal plate in his head. Chop-Top asks for his own personalized copy of the Rambo III soundtrack, and then a tour of the station. Leatherface suddenly shows up to spoil the fun and accidentally fucks up Chop-Top’s Sonny Bono wig before chasing after Stretch. Dog will hunt. Chop-Top gets his own BONUS BODY when plump ol’ L.G. returns from the Big Steak, and rains hammer blows down onto L.G.’s skull like incoming mail!


Stretch tries to hide from the maniacs, and winds up gets up close and personal with Leatherface and his beloved chainsaw. Stretch uses her feminine wiles to charm the skin-masked ghoul and Leatherface in return gets to use his saw to closely examine every inch of her legs and devastating short-shorts before finally firing it up and thrusting away in passionate delight. Spent, the dimwitted killer then runs away without actually killing Stretch. Leatherface then lies about it afterwards, assuring his brother Chop-Top that he had not only gotten her, he had gotten her GOOD. The boys then flea the scene with L.G.’s battered bonus body in tow.


Stretch composes herself from the chainsaw assault and decides to give chase. She follows the lunatics as they drive back to the lair and winds up stumbling headfirst into the abandoned amusement park from Hell that they now call home. Lefty shows up too late to save Stretch and then has to arm himself with severed limbs and chainsaws before finally running screaming inside the Devil’s Playground and bringing it all down…down to Hell. As Lt Enright runs around the catacombs screaming like a lunatic and sawing up the place, Dreyton blames the property damage and dirty meat on his nap haired coon shit brothers. Leatherface somehow finds time to have a tender face-to-face moment with Stretch and L.G.’s freshly removed face, but the young love isn’t given time to blossom, because Leatherface is forced to choose between scex and the saw. Scex is, well, nobody knows. But the saw…THE SAW IS FAMILY!!! Wait until Grandpa hears about this…


I have been a HUGE fucking fan of this one ever since I first saw it on Joe Bob Brigg’s Drive-In Saturday Night on The Movie Channel back in 1987 or 1988. I can’t remember the exact date, but I know it was shortly after the theatrical run had ended and shortly after the film was already available on VHS. I have no memories of seeing this one at the local video stores, but I do vividly remember seeing the ads for it in the monthly cable guide my parents would get with their bill. It was the classic “Breakfast Club” shot of the Sawyer family…and that was more than enough to have me salivating at the thought of seeing it. Hell, I even remember my dad telling to stop staring at the ad like a freak or he wouldn’t let me watch the movie! At 11 and 12 years old, I was already a big fan of the original TCM, and was getting more and more obsessed with horror flicks.


I remember finally staying up late one Saturday Night and watching and recording it, and I can still remember Joe Bob’s intro where he lamented not being able to show the original TCM instead, and then said TCM Part 2 was a good movie but not a GREAT movie. (this was a lot more positive than what he was saying in print at the time) Needless to say, I was blown away by how fucking GORY and outrageous TCM Part2 was! As a wee Brain Hammer, I had yet to encounter such jaw dropping amounts of blood and guts being spilled all over the screen! The head slicing! The walls full of guts! The skinning! The Chainsaw disembowelment! This was all far and beyond anything I had ever encountered before. And best of all, the infamous scene where Leatherface gets a close up look at Stretch and her long legs and short shorts. This was the one scene that truly drove the film over the top, and I can vividly remember my father and a couple of his drinking buddies at the American Legion talking about that one the following weekend. “I thought he was gonna fire up that chainsaw and split her in two!” The thought of multiple households all across my sleepy little town, all tuning in for a Saturday Night with Chop-Top & Joe Bob Briggs warms my fucking heart. That was the kind of world I grew up in, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. A few years later, I was lucky enough to buy a VHS copy of TCM Part 2 at my local Ames and practically wore out that cheap “Video Treasures” tape with repeat viewings.


In my humble opinion, TCM Part 2 is one of the RARE horror sequels that while not as good as the original film, is still a worthy and entertaining follow up. Most sequels just straight up suck and shouldn’t exist whatsoever, and others manage to be decent in their own right but nothing really special. TCM Part 2 on the other hand is a sequel to THE greatest horror film ever made, which gives it some impossibly big shoes to follow. The reason TCM Part 2 is such a winner is the fact that it doesn’t try to precisely copy the first movie, or even closely match it in terms of feel or tone. TCM Part 2 does not have that much acclaimed “Documentary feel” of the original, it’s a total freak show: a colorful non-stop blast of puking insane energy, the visual equivalent of a throw up ride at a carnival. Fast, loud & greasy. When the original TCM succeeded with just drops of blood, TCM Part 2 goes over the top with BUCKETS of the red stuff. It’s a totally different experience, but with a similar goal: to eventually drive the audience into a screaming hysterical frenzy!


The other big reason for the sequel’s enduring success, besides the legendary splatter, is the incredible cast that was assembled. You have to start with the one and only Dennis Hopper, who brings exactly the sort of intensity & insanity you would expect from the man in 1986. Having him star in the film as an older relative of the first film’s victims was absolute genius, and allows the heart wrenching moment when he discovers the skeletal remains of Franklin, still clutching that flashlight for dear life all those years later. Then there’s the leading lady, Caroline Williams, who is also fantastic. She’s very likable and realistic, and it’s easy to sympathize with her as she is repeatedly tortured and descends into total screaming lunacy by the film’s deranged climax. She’s also undeniably “Texas,” there’s just something very genuine about her. And then finally there’s the family themselves…the one and only Jim Siedow returns as the public “face” of the family, the “Cook.” Having Jim onboard immediately makes this feel like an authentic TCM sequel. The lack of Ed Neal’s “Hitch Hiker” was sad but understandable, and the addition of Bill Moseley as his long lost brother “Chop-Top” more than makes up for it. Bill’s itchy plate and coat hanger routine are as iconic as anything in the first movie. Bill pretty much carries the whole film along with Dennis Hopper in the manic intensity department. The other star of the show is Lou Perryman, who spits his way into our hearts as the lovable, fry house building bonus body.


Then there’s big Bubba himself – Bill Johnson. Bill stepped into the shoes of Gunnar Hansen and had the make or break chance to make the character of Leatherface his own. In my opinion, Bill did a great job and more than lived up to the original. He got to rock a nastier looking flesh mask, have more moments of chainsaw swinging glory, and got to strut his stuff as a romantic lead. It was more of a multi-faceted performance, and Bill deserves a world of credit for doing the role justice, and for always being a gentleman who is willing to speak with nutjobs who pester him with interview requests: https://brain-hammer.com/2011/10/05/leatherface/


The cast is top notch, the music was a lethal combination of creepy and cool, the gore was state of the art and totally over the top, and Tobe Hooper and the notorious Cannon Films were good enough to side step mass markets & give the fans what they wanted by releasing TCM Part 2 unrated, with all the juicy gore that the MPAA would have demanded removed proudly intact. Over the years, I have seen fan estimation and public opinion of this one go up and down, when it was first released it was universally hated, and then over the years it became a fan favorite with a huge cult following that rivals even the original. In my humble opinion, TCM Part 2 is one of the all time great 80’s horror flicks, one of the highlight “gore” flicks of the 80’s,  and one of the greatest horror sequels ever made.


The good folks at Scream Factory obviously agree with me, as they were wise enough to recently release a beautiful collector’s edition Blu-Ray release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. For longtime collectors of the film, it’s well known there are already multiple releases available to choose from, including everything from special edition dvds to bare bones blu-rays. Scream Factory goes one step further for diehard fans with a brand new 2K HD scan that looks better and brighter than anything previously released. There’s also a brand new behind the scenes commentary track, and brand new interviews with the makeup effects artists, Leatherface stunt man & performer Bob Elmore, and best of all – Buzz & Rick the Prick themselves! There’s also a brand new interview with the film’s editor, and a new featurette revisiting the locations of the film. All of this new content made the purchase more than worthwhile for me, and I’m sure other long time TCM Part 2 fanatics will feel the same way. LOOK AT THAT BEEF!


Cat In The Brain!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2016 by Brain Hammer

“Sadism, carnage, brutality, lust, and utter psychosis…delivered as only Lucio Fulci can!”



Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci stars as…Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci in this “real life versus reel life” shocker. The film within a film begins with a fevered Fulci pouring over his latest script, which promises such delights as a woman hacked to death with an axe, her face cleaved in half. Another strangled. Yet another hanged. Someone chopped to bits with a chainsaw, or drowned in boiling water, or throat ripped out by a maddened cat! Buried alive, tortured, scarred, stabbed, sawn in two, crucified, decapitated…the beastly roar of a savage cat tearing at his brain distorts his inner voice…devouring the remains.


We then join Fulci’s latest masterwork in progress, with a loving closeup of a female cadaver with a large bloody chunk of flesh missing from her leg…that we then see being panfried with mustard and eagerly devoured by a madman. The bloodthirsty maniac then uses his trusty chainsaw to hack away her limbs and head, and grinds her bloody meat into fresh hamburger which he then feeds to his pigs. Fulci calls cut and then dons his trademark red flannel coat & hat before dashing off himself for a quick bite to eat. Unfortunately, the images of his latest grisly scene flood his mind  and turn him off from enjoying a nice filet or some freshly minced tar tar.


Lucio goes home to rest but is disturbed by the sounds of his next door neighbor’s chainsaw in action, and soon begins to have visions of the blood soaked bastard coming after him with murder in his eyes. Fulci retaliates by grabbing a hatchet and smashing a couple cans of red paint. Plagued with a chronic fear of hamburger & gardeners, he turns to a local shrink – Egon Swharz for help. Swharz quickly concludes that Fulci is suffering from an identity crisis, breaking down the barriers between what he films and what is real. The barriers are further erased when Fulci later has to stage a Nazi orgy scene, a wonderful orgy with all the sex, cruelty, degradation, sadism and torture you can think of. Enraged with madness afterwards, Fulci strikes out at a visiting tele-journalist and begins violently tearing away her clothes…which the closeted reporter readily admits was the greatest thrill of her life. “Sadism? Nazism? Is there any point anymore?”

Meanwhile, the good doctor Swharz watches all of Fulci’s gore flicks on VHS and is struck with an evil idea of his own. He will subject Lucio to hypnosis to once and for all pass over the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Not in an effort to help Lucio restore his shattered sanity…but in order to create an evil being. A bloodthirsty monster totally possessed by madness, living out scenes he thinks are real. After the hypnosis, Fulci is tormented even further with nightmare visions of macabre death, rupturing wounds, violent stabbings, and severed heads melting inside his microwave. The mad doctor then plans to get rid of his cold & unloving wife once and for all and to use Lucio as the scapegoat, believing his gory films will condemn him as a violent murderer. Can Fulci find a way to end this nightmare concert before the final curtain falls?


Cat In The Brain (aka Nightmare Concert) was one of the final efforts from Italy’s master poet of the macabre, and serves as both a middle finger to his various critics and a loving wink to his legions of fans. Fulci gets the rare chance to step in front of the cameras, have a laugh at his reputation, and let the stuffy opposition of his films know exactly what he thinks about “that stupid old theory that seeing violence on the screen provokes violence.” Meanwhile, the fans of his macabre masterworks are treated to a “greatest hits” package of some of Fulci’s gory late-career highlights.


Cat In The Brain is perhaps best known for being an “odds & ends” package of recycled gore footage from various films that Fulci had a hand in creating, including scenes taken from Fulci’s “Touch Of Death” & “Sodoma’s Ghost.” There’s also footage from films that Fulci produced, including scenes lifted from Mario Bianchi’s “Murder Secret,” Leandro Lucchetti’s “Bloody Psycho,” Enzo Milioni’s “Escape From Death,” Giovanni Simonelli’s “Hansel E Gretel,” and Andrea Bianchi’s “Massacre.” Scene for scene, Cat In The Brain is easily Fulci’s most violent and gory film ever. It really doesn’t matter where the footage comes from, it’s way that Fulci effortlessly combines the assorted bloody scenes into one nightmarish whole that makes Cat In The Brain such a gory good time.

Make no mistake, this is a must see flick for lovers of the juicy red stuff! The numerous gory highlights include cannibalism, dismemberment, decapitation, piano wire strangulation, gouged eyes, and a shower scene knifing that makes the one in “Psycho” look like kid’s stuff. There’s also more chainsaw action here than in your average TCSM sequel. There are multiple chainsaw decapitations, including the unbelievable moment where a tyke on a tricycle loses his head. Cat In The Brain might never get as much attention from fans as Lucio’s earlier efforts for various reasons, but it’s still an excellent tongue in cheek horror flick that deserves a larger audience. And what diehard fan of Fulci’s wouldn’t delight in watching him take a final bow, sailing away in a boat named PERVERSION with plenty of freshly cut bait?


Cat In The Brain comes fully loaded on Blu-Ray in an overstuffed 3 disc set from Grindhouse Releasing, that includes the film’s fantastic Fabio Frizzi soundtrack on CD! The special features on this deluxe edition include in-depth interviews with Lucio Fulci and star Brett Halsey, new interviews with Fabio Frizzi and the film’s screenwriter, cinemattographer, and poster artist, theatrical trailers, stills and poster art galleries, and some very extensive liner notes, including thoughts from Lucio’s daughter Antonella Fulci. The package also comes complete with a nice postcard sized portrait of Lucio, and is topped off with some truly RAD glow in the dark packaging! Once again, huge credit must be given to the hard working folks at Grindhouse Releasing for putting together such an incredible deluxe edition blu-ray release. They have earned their spot as the leading purveyors of high definition chainsaw dismemberment, and this is yet another must have release. All Fulci fans need to pick this one up while they still can, or forever feel the torment of a maddened cat tearing at their cerebellum!