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!”

CAT IN THE BRAIN (1990)

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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!

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!! 

The Mutilator!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2016 by Brain Hammer

By sword. By pick. By axe. Bye bye!

THE MUTILATOR (1985)

This delightful film starts out innocently enough with tender music and soft focused shots of a wife lovingly preparing a birthday cake for her husband, Big Ed. Little Ed Jr decides to give his Daddy a big birthday surprise by cleaning Daddy’s beloved gun collection. Ed Jr goes from being meticulous to matricidal when he accidentally gives his poor Mommy a back full of buckshot. Big Ed comes home to find his son cowering over his dead wife and becomes unhinged. He drags his wife’s bloody carcass into the living room and begins pounding booze to steady his nerves. He even pours some into the mouth of his dead wife for grins.

Then we flash forward several years and find Ed Jr all grown up, nursing a Budweiser and sporting some impressive chest hair. Ed Jr was enjoying an evening out at a bar with his frigid and horrible girlfriend Pam when he receives an unexpected phone call from his long estranged Father. Big Ed wants Ed Jr to close up his condo on the beach for the winter. Big Ed encourages his son to “take the responsibility and face it like it man.” Ed Jr is none too pleased at the idea of having to go to the isolated condo for the mundane tasks of turning off the electricity and water, but his bossy and manipulative girlfriend decides it would be the perfect chance for four days of rest and relaxation on the beach. Their annoying friends Ralph (a beer obsessed law student who wears a sweater on his shoulders), Sue (Ralph’s pretty puritanical love interest), Mike (a big blonde doofus), and Linda (Mike’s horny girlfriend) invite themselves along, and the next morning the six pals all load into Ed’s car for a fall break getaway.

When the gang arrives at the condo they are shocked to find the front door wide open. The place is trashed, full of garbage and empty bottles of booze. Ed Jr assures his friends that there is nothing unusual about this because his father and his redneck pals are notorious drunks. He does get a bit worried when he notices that his pop’s prized battle axe is missing, however. What Ed Jr and his friends don’t know is that Big Ed is lurking inside the garage. There he silently wrestles his inner demons and is confronted with his violent memories. As he clutches his axe, he closes his eyes and dreams of the different ways he should have killed his young son.

Mike and Linda wander around the garage and eventually stumble across Big Ed’s trophy room. This allows Mike to make a crack about “Goose – the moon god” and grab Linda’s ass. Then they go back to the condo and have dinner with the others. Then they go for a moonlit walk on the beach. For some reason we watch all of this. This stretch of the flick is torturous to put it nicely. Things finally pick up when doofus and the slut go skinny dipping in the condo’s pool. This allows Big Ed the opportunity to drown Linda. Mike doesn’t notice of course, and then spends the next several minutes walking around looking for his missing clothes and girlfriend. Being an especially big retard, Mike doesn’t suspect anything is wrong and instead has fun playing a game of hide and seek with himself. This all ends rather violently when Mike utters his immortal line “I’m…coming…to get you!” and Big Ed shows up to rip his chest apart with an outboard motor!

As all this is going on the other four kids are taking a stroll on the beach. They run into a friendly police officer who warns them to be careful on the beach at night. The cop should have taken his own advice, as shortly thereafter he has a large piece of wood slammed into his face and is swiftly beheaded by Big Ed! Then the kids play an extended game of “Blind Man’s Bluff,” which is yet another retarded variation of hide and seek. (a recurring theme throughout) This pads out the film nicely, as the kids and the killer stalk after each other in the dark for a while. Then the game ends without incident and the scene whimpers out like a dying rat.

Then as the kids decide to settle in for the evening, Ralph goes out on one last mission to track down Mike and Linda. Instead of finding his friends he finds Big Ed and gets the business end of a pitchfork in his throat. Sue becomes worried when Ralph doesn’t return and convinces Ed Jr and Pam to join her in the search. They make the infinitely wise decision to split up, which gives Big Ed the chance to get up close and personal with sweet little Sue. He drags her into the garage and in one of the most notorious moments in horror history proceeds to slowly insert an oversized fishing gaff into her crotch!

Ed Jr. and Pam eventually find Sue’s mutilated body and the bodies of their other missing friends, which Big Ed had displayed as gruesome trophies. As they attempt to escape the hellish condo with their lives intact they have an unbelievably drawn out and agonizing final confrontation with Big Ed that results in massive loss of life and limb. Their horrifying fall break vacation was no longer just a day at the beach, it had become a nightmare. By sword. By pick. By axe. Bye bye!

I’m a huge fan of this infamous slasher shocker from writer/producer/director Buddy Cooper that so proudly pushes the boundaries of good taste. This clas-sick flick starts off with a brutal scene of accidental matricide, and then degenerates into a series of increasingly perverse and lurid murders. There is no doubt that the single most effective and memorable element of the film is the graphic gore. The multiple death scenes in “The Mutilator” are about as over the top as they come. The juicy fishing gaff and boat propeller murders in particular are the stuff of legend for gorehounds. In terms of sheer splatter, “The Mutilator” easily ranks right up there with other truly brutal 80′s slasher flicks such as “Maniac” and“Nightmare.”

The pacing and acting on the other hand are abysmal. All of the actors are uniformly awful, with the exceptions of Jack Chatham as the silent but deadly killer and the one and only Morey Lampley – who steals the show as the rather dimwitted Mike. Morey’s performance in “The Mutilator” is not good by any means, but it is one of a kind to say the least. Acting or not, he comes across as a guy who never quite learned his multiplication tables, and the film never fully recovers after his quirky character is quickly dispatched. I just wish the incredibly annoying character Pam could have been snuffed instead. She rivals the lead actress in “The Dorm That Dripped Blood” in the “unlikable cunt”department. The biggest flaw of the film however is the pacing, as it takes a good long while before finally getting down to bloody business. That said, I always find the film’s down moments more than silly enough to overlook this and just go along for the ride.

No review of “The Mutilator” would be complete without mentioning the incredible toe tapping theme song – “Fall Break,” which was performed by the aptly named Peter Yellen & The Breakers. The film was originally going to be titled “Fall Break,” and obviously Vestron Video decided not to bother replacing the theme song after changing the title to the more graphic (and commercially appealing) sounding “The Mutilator.” Some critics complained that “The Mutilator” was just another run of the mill massacre, but I assure you, your average slasher flicks did NOT feature a hideously catchy theme song with lyrics like this:

When the leaves of summer turn red and gold, and the football games bring a hint of the cold, time to get away. We’ll pack the car with escape in mind, forgettin’ our classes leavin’ books behind, time to get away. We’re goin’ on a fall break! (Fall break!) Running in the sand, feelin’ all right. And when you fall into my arms I’ll break into your heart…”

THE MUTILATOR  is a treasure from the glory days of the independent horror craze. It’s also one of the all time great slasher flicks. For far too long, this flick languished in semi-obscurity due to a lack of a proper DVD release. Every other 80’s slasher flick under the sun would get a DVD release (and a remake) over the years, or at least a crappy bootleg. The Mutilator wasn’t even that lucky in the States. A few years ago the retards at Code Red DVD promised a special edition release but in typical fashion they produced nothing but bullshit and excuses, even stooping as low as blaming Buddy Cooper himself for not providing them with “pristine” source materials that didn’t exist at the time. Idiots. Fortunately, the good folks at Arrow Video USA recently stepped up to the plate and released an absolutely AMAZING special edition Blu-Ray/DVD combo set!

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As I’ve quickly come to expect from Arrow Video, their release of THE MUTILATOR is nothing short of spectacular. The film is presented totally uncut and has been beautifully remastered for high definition presentation. Trust me, this is a HUGE difference from the old unrated Vestron VHS that most of us are familiar with. There’s also an incredible wealth of bonus features, including an in depth 75 minute feature length behind the scenes documentary titled “Fall Breakers: The Story of The Mutilator.” There are also two shorter pieces titled “Mutilator Memories” and “Tunes For The Dunes” that cover both the makeup and music, respectively. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also two different cast & crew commentary tracks, trailers and TV spots, still galleries and storyboards. It’s a fully loaded package that will be a mandatory purchase for fans of the film and 80’s slashers. The only drawback of this release is the overuse of the “FALL BREAK” theme song, which blasts throughout the menus, and accompanies most of the special features. I love that song as much as the next Mutilator Madman, but after a couple screenings it did start to drive me batshit insane…so have the mute button handy. I can’t recommend this one highly enough, it was well worth the wait.
KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

It’s Exactly What You Think It Is!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2016 by Brain Hammer

You don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!

PIECES (1982)

Boston 1942. A blossoming young pervert named Timmy Reston sits alone in his bedroom putting together a jigsaw puzzle featuring a nude pin up girl. His emotionally unstable mother walks in and catches him red handed. Infuriated, she asks him where the filth came from and slaps around the little brat while demanding answers. She warns the boy that he will end up like his father and proceeds to slam a picture of the man into a mirror. This violent act appears to have a profound effect on the boy. Mrs. Reston sends her son off in search of a plastic bag so she can junk all of his toys. Timmy returns with an axe instead and repeatedly slams it into mommy’s skull! Then the pint sized psychopath removes mommy’s head with a saw! After shutting his mother up for good Timmy goes back to work on his blood splattered puzzle.

A friend of the family becomes concerned when she can’t reach Mrs. Reston and shows up with police. When the cops break in they discover a gruesome sight in the bedroom – enough blood on the floor to ensure that something had been butchered. Then they find Mrs. Reston’s severed head in a closet. Little Timmy is found cowering in another closet, covered in blood and whimpering about a big man that hurt his mommy. We are told that Mr. Reston is overseas in the Air Force and that the murderous little bastard Timmy will be sent to live with an Aunt who lives nearby.

After the opening credits we flash forward forty years to find an unseen killer (who is obviously Timmy Reston all grown up) on the prowl at a large New England university. A bizarre skateboarding accident involving a large pane of glass reminds the madman of his mother smashing the mirror with his father’s picture forty years before and inspires him to go on a brutal killing spree. The unseen slasher stalks after the sexy young students so he can remove their limbs with a chainsaw and use the pieces to create a human version of his prized pin up puzzle! His first victim is a tasty young co-ed that he decapitates with a chainsaw in broad daylight.

Hard boiled police detectives Lt. Bracken (Christopher George of “Grizzly” &“Enter The Ninja” fame!) and Sgt. Holden (Leslie Nielson lookalike Frank Bana, who also appeared in “Return Of The Evil Dead”) are sent in to investigate the murder. They start with the Dean, who seems more concerned about bad publicity than the murder itself. The Dean (Edmund“Don’t Open Til Christmas” Purdom) turns the detectives on to the head of the anatomy department and closet campus queen – Professor Brown. (Jack Taylor, who appeared in numerous Spanish horror epics including “Ghost Galleon” & “Night Of The Sorcerors”) Professor Brown seems to think it might be one of the boys, but Sgt. Holden assures him that at this point the investigation consists of buying clothes without labels and trying them on for size.

Shortly afterwards we are introduced to the campus stud Kendall James. (Ian Sera, who also appeared in “Pod People”) A blonde hardbody sends Kendall an invitation to fuck in the campus swimming pool later. Kendall accepts the invitation of course, but the killer beats him to the pool room and proceeds to net the girl like a large fish and then shear away her limbs with his trusty saw. This time the madman takes the girls’ torso as a souvenir. The temperamental and sneering campus gardener WillArd (unforgettably portrayed by Paul “BLUTO” Smith!) stumbles upon the bloody crime scene and has a wild run in with the cops that ends with Sgt. Holden threatening to BLOW his brains out!

The detectives question Kendall and his nerdy best friend “Goggles” and wind up believing that Kendall had nothing to do with the murder. Lt. Brown even decides to turn to Kendall for help with the investigation. He also arranges for an undercover police officer named Mary Riggs (played by Christopher George’s wife – Lynda Day George, who also starred in “Mortuary” and “Day Of The Animals”) to join the campus faculty as the new female tennis coach.

Meanwhile, the killer decides he needs a pair of arms and decides to relieve a pretty young dance major of hers inside an elevator. Kendall hears her screams of torment and barks out orders to the police officers on the scene. The sight of the limbless girl in the elevator is enough to make a seasoned police officer puke his guts up, but Kendall immediately seizes control of the situation and tells the guy to go call an ambulance! The girl initially survives the attack but dies in the hospital from the massive shock and loss of blood before she can identify the killer. Mary searches for clues and stumbles upon the fucking Kung Fu Professor (Bruce Li!) who attacks her because of something he ate. Bad chop suey maybe.

The mad butcher then sets his sights on the legs of Susie Billings, a sexy young tennis player. The ever resourceful killer sabotages the campus P.A. System so it continuously plays canned intermission music. This makes a perfect cover up for the sound of his chainsaw. While Mary, Kendall, and WillArd are fumbling around with the music the lousy bastard kills her. It’s all enough to make Mary unleash a devastating display of sheer frustration! BASTARD!!!

Lt. Brown turns to Kendall yet again for help and sends him to the record vault with Sgt. Holden to pour over files looking for any reference to the campus staff. Mary goes to a suspect’s house that evening for a cup of coffee and a few questions and winds up getting a lot closer to the killer than she bargained for. Just as Mary is drugged and her lovely feet are about to become the final addition to the murderer’s supreme creation, Kendall unearths a clue that reveals the killer’s true identity. Kendall and the cops have to race to stop the killer before he can finish his human jigsaw puzzle. This all culminates with an unbelievable mind blowing genital crushing grand finale that must be seen to be believed!

PIECES is one of my all time favorite flicks, and I consider it to be one of the “blueprint” flicks that had a profound effect on me and my tastes in horror. My father was demented enough to rent the VHS for me when it was brand new…and I was about 10 years old. I can still remember him stumbling home drunk that night, muttering something about how “the box said something about going to Texas with a chainsaw or something.” I have been a HUGE fan ever since, and I have seen this flick more times over the years than I could possibly count. I make everyone I know watch this movie if they haven’t already. Whenever I talk to people about horror flicks I always have to mention PIECES as one of my favorites and as one of the all time great 80’s slasher flicks.

This flick is absolutely hilarious, it plays out like a really gory and outrageous version of an Italian Giallo. The unseen, black gloved killer is pure Dario Argento. The soundtrack from Carlo Maria Cordio (aka CAM) is atmospheric and excellent, even if it borrows heavily from Goblin’s score for “Zombi.” ”Pieces” was written by the terrible trio of director Juan Piquer Simon, producer Dick Randall (“Slaughter High”), and the infamous Joe D’Amato. (“Antropophagus”) No wonder this sleazy slasher flick is so full of brutal violence and perverse sexual overtones. There’s some especially tasty nudity to enjoy and even a little something for the ladies when Simon slips in a full frontal shot of Ian Sera. IT STINKS!

There’s more sidesplitting dialog in this howler than any other I can think of. From the cross eyed girl with the HUGE tits that dreamily coos how“the most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time,” to WillArd proudly proclaiming  he “ain’t getting’ paid by the hour,” to Christopher George imploring his partner to“take some uppers, anything, just get me a lead!” The dubbing and dialog definitely make this work an unintentional comedy, and this is one of the rare flicks I find actually gets funnier with repeat viewings.

“Pieces” also works as a slasher flick. Big time. The graphic violence is very nasty and convincing. In the gruesome scene where the killer chainsaws into the abdomen of a girl in the shower a real pig carcass was used which makes the scene very effectively disgusting. From start to finish this flick takes no prisoners. Watching it recently I was stuck by just how SPLASHY the gore is in this one. Pieces is easily one of the most gruesome and mean spirited slashers. This gory little gem definitely lives up to its’ immortal tag line: “You don’t have to go to Texas to have a chainsaw massacre!” and has to be considered essential viewing for any self respecting fan of 80’s horror.

PIECES also currently holds the record for the movie I have bought the most times in my lifetime. I first picked up the strangely edited TZ VHS release (which is missing the entire opening scene and starts with the opening credits!) when I was in junior high. I watched that one a shitload of times in the early 90’s with my buds, even though it made even less sense without the opening scene, and I would always have to tell them what the intro was supposed to be from my memory. A few years later I stumbled upon a used copy of the Vestron VHS at a local video store and quickly snapped it up. When I got heavily into collecting obscure horror flicks a few years down the road I bought the “uncut” Japanese version of Pieces (with Japanese subtitles) on VHS from the legendary Midnight Video for a whopping $25 bucks! I remember being REALLy excited to see that one, and then being really bummed to see it was exactly the same as the Vestron VHS, with the subtitles being the only difference. All said, that’s about $60 that was spent on those three copies.


All of that went out the window when I went to the chopping maul one day and found the Diamond Entertainment DVD release of Pieces sitting there…for $5. That cheap ass, shitty bootleg dvd was the exact same quality, and had the exact same content as all the other“uncut” versions I had previously owned on VHS. I had that one for years, and also bought bought a cheap ass “horror collection” DVD set that included Pieces. That was my fifth purchase. The sixth and what I assumed to be final purchase came along years later when the fine folks at GRINDHOUSE RELEASING released an amazing 2-disc deluxe edition dvd release of PIECES, which was fucking incredible and a must-have for hardcore fans of the film. The highlight of that one for me was the optional Spanish soundtrack with original score by Librado Pastor, which made watching the film again a totally new and bizzare experience, and the really interesting in-depth interview with director Juan Piquer.

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Like I said, I assumed that bad ass 2 disc dvd release would have been the last word, but then Grindhouse Releasing went ahead and blew it out of the fucking water with their latest release of PIECES – an absolutely KILLER 3 disc blu-ray/cd set that includes a bonus CD featuring the original soundtrack freshly remastered from the original studio tapes! This stunning, brand new high definition presentation of PIECES is easily the best the film has ever looked, EVER, and as if that wasn’t enough, which believe me it would be, there’s also an exclusive commentary track from the legendary star Jack Taylor! This rare chance to get to hear from Jack, speaking at length about this film makes this an essential purchase for all diehard fans. But that’s not all, there’s also a brand new full length documentary included, titled “42nd Street Memories.” As you expect from the title, this one covers the gory daze of the exploitation flick craze, and contains interviews with icons like Bill Lustig, Frank Henenlotter, Buddy Giovinazzo, Jeff Lieberman, and best of all, the notorious Terry Levene from Aquarius Releasing! This documentary could easily stand on it’s own as a separate release, and the fact that it’s included here as a bonus just adds to the incredible value of this release. I’m probably guilty of throwing around the word “mandatory” too much in my reviews, but what else could this one possibly be considered?!?

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And speaking of bonus features, there’s one more thing worth a special mention – the first 3000 units include a replica PIECES “naked lady” jigsaw puzzle! How cool is that? This sweet little bonus was again, strictly limited and advertised as such from the get go…and yet somehow the internet and specifically the mailboxes of the good folks at Grindhouse Releasing were FLOODED with nasty complaints from greedy and grubby little cunts complaining about the “limited” availability of this puzzle replica! I have to say this, if you have the nerve to complain about such things, you don’t deserve one anyways. It blows my mind people can’t see the bigger picture here, and instead of pissing and moaning about stupid shit like a little puzzle, revel instead in the glorious HIGH DEFINITION presentation of the film, and the aforementioned wealth of bonus materials…including a fucking CD of the soundtrack, and perhaps show some gratitude to the hard working people who made it possible. Grindhouse Releasing has all of my hard earned respect for their incredible efforts, and REAL fans of the good stuff should give them praise for these kind of top notch, absolutely stellar releases. I for one, want to see more of them in the future, and I am proud as hell to have bought the film a 7th time.

BUY OR DIE YOU LOUSY BASTARD AND KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

My Bloody Valentine!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2016 by Brain Hammer

Brain Hammer's Picks From The Crypt

There’s more than one way to lose your heart…

MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

Once upon a time on a sad Valentine, in a place known as Hanniger Mine…a legend began. Every woman and man would always remember the time. And those who remained were never the same, you could see the fear in their eyes. Once every year as the 14th draws near there’s a hush all over the town. 20 years came and went and everyone spent the 14th in quiet regret. And those still alive know the secret survives, in the darkness that looms in the night. In this little town when the 14th comes round there’s a silence and fear in the air. Remember the morn that the legend was born, all the shock and the horror was there. For the legend they say on a Valentine’s Day is a curse that will live on and on, and…

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Cannibal Ferox!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2015 by Brain Hammer

Positively the most VIOLENT film ever made! Guaranteed to upset your stomach!

CANNIBAL FEROX (1981)

A young pair of brother and sister anthropologists – Gloria & Rudy Davis (Lorraine De Salle & Danilo Mattei), take a trip to the jungles of South America to help prove correct Gloria’s theories on the “myth” of man eating man. Gloria intends to prove that cannibalism no longer exists, and has NEVER existed! How she can prove cannibalism never existed by simply visiting a jungle is not explained. Also not explained is why she would want to bring their hot pussied little whore of a friend Pat (Zora Kerova) along for the trip. After Pat has sex with a stranger in exchange for a shower, the three idiots quickly manage to crash their jeep and then have to trek through the jungle on foot.

After a tasty encounter with a native who is contently munching on some fat green worms, the gang runs into a dead body and pair of lowlife drug pushers that are on the run from the New York mob after pulling a sting on a couple of Brooklyn horsemen and running off with $100,000. At first, the rather strung out Mike Logan (the legendary Giovanni Lombardo Radice!) tells a tale about a tribe of vicious cannibals that attacked them and mutilated their Portuguese cocaine and emerald harvesting companion. His buddy Joe is wounded, and lets Mike do most of the talking. Later that night and the next day Mike has some fun with Pat. After a few coke fueled fuck fests he asks her if she would like to “make” an Indio girl. Pat, being a well established slut, is intrigued by this offer and agrees, which leads to the attempted rape and cold blooded murder of one of the young natives.

Shortly after this senseless murder the now sick and delirious Joe finally breaks his silence and tells the real story behind the death of the“Portuguese.” It turns out that the story Mike told the gang was a lot of batshit. The so-called “Portuguese” was really a young Indio boy that Mike had tortured and murdered for not producing any Emeralds from the local rivers. With the cocaine Mike was on, he went completely crazy and seemed to get a perverted kick out of make the poor bastard suffer. Mike gouged out one of the Indio’s eyes, then castrated him and left him to bleed to death. After telling Gloria and Rudy his incredible story Joe dies from an infection. This gives Mike and Pat enough time to steal all of the supplies and leave the others for dead.

The adult men of the Indio tribe had all conveniently been away on a hunting trip while Mike was on his rampage. After returning home and discovering this incredible outrage the tribe decides that all of the white people must die, slowly. It doesn’t take long for all four of the survivors to be captured and brutal and primitive justice is dished out in short order. Once the unholy cannibal ferox has begun the natives have a blast hanging Pat with hooks through her tits and then give Mike more than a little taste of his own medicine. Humiliation and mutilation are only the appetizer for this blood feast – castration and decapitation are the main course. And of course no jungle revenge would be complete without a little cannibalism for desert.

This totally outrageous 1981 Umberto Lenzi film begins with a thoughtful pre-credits disclaimer that warns viewers that “the following feature is one of the most violent films ever made” and that “there are at least two dozen scenes of barbaric torture and sadistic cruelty graphically shown.” I lost count somewhere along the way, but that number sounds about right to me! Pretty much every other scene consists of nauseating footage of animals being killed, either by other animals or humans. One particularly disturbing moment features a tied up and defenseless little mongoose being savaged by a large snake! However, with all the flack that Lenzi (and Ruggero Deodato, and all the other “jungle” flick directors) deservedly gets for his completely unnecessary cruelty to animals, I’m left wondering why more people don’t hate Francis Coppola for doing the exact same thing in “Apocalypse Now,” or despise Walter Hill for similar scenes in “Southern Comfort.” I guess when they do it – it’s considered art. I always rationalize these scenes by remembering the cruel reality of jungle life, where animals are killed and eaten every day, and then remember the real cattle being primed for the final slaughter are the humans.

CANNIBAL FEROX (aka Make Them Die Slowly) is my hands down my personal favorite of all of the incredible Italian cannibal/jungle flicks. I find this one to be ridiculously entertaining. Say what you want about the quality of the film, it certainly isn’t boring. The dubbing, the dialog, the score – all cheesy and sleazy perfection. This one wins the prize for featuring the most plentiful blood and gore of all the early 80′s jungle flicks, with a “tit torture” scene that tops the more notorious “impalement” scene in Cannibal Holocaust!” It also wins the prize for the most frequent use of the word “twat” in any non porno film! Speaking of porno, the infamous Robert Kerman of “Cannibal Holocaust” “Debbie Does Dallas” legend makes a brief appearance as a NYC cop tracking down Giovanni’s character. It’s too bad Robert didn’t make it down to the jungle this time around. This one has a delightfully sleazy vibe throughout that lends itself to a lot of repeat viewings. I was first introduced this flick back in high school, when it was first hyped to me as one the sickest flicks ever. I wasn’t let down with my first viewing, and countless viewings later I’m still a huge fan.

The freaks at GRINDHOUSE RELEASING have topped themselves with their latest release of CANNIBAL FEROX, which is an absolutely STUFFED 3-disc special edition blu-ray/cd combo. The blu-ray features two different versions of the film, including a brand new extended cut with newly discovered violent footage! The pig-killing and piranha attacks are now available in extended versions, which can also be watched separately. The other incredible highlight of the blu-ray is the amazing 85 minute documentary on the Italian cannibal craze entitled “Eaten Alive! The Rise and Fall of the Italian Cannibal Film.” This extensive and comprehensive documentary features interviews with legends such as Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, and Sergio Martino, as well as a slew of others. I personally would have bought this documentary as a separate release, it’s that damn good.

The second disc is loaded with additional interviews, including in-depth sit downs with director Umberto Lenzi, actors Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Zora Kerowa, and Danilo Mattei, and special effects artist Gino De Rossi. There’s also a nifty Easter egg that hides an interview with the infamous Terry Levine of Aquarius Releasing! There’s also the usual trailers and still galleries, which are killer. The highlight of this whole release might be the third disc, which is a CD containing the freshly remastered soundtrack from Budy-Maglione! As if this wasn’t enough of a treat, the CD also includes 20 different alternate takes and remixes! Suffice to say, this is hands down the coolest release of the year so far. This is a MUST HAVE if you are a fan of FEROX. I will even go a step further and add that no gorehound’s collection is truly complete without this gem, SHITFACE, so buy or DIE!!!

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

Class Of 1984!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2015 by Brain Hammer

We Are The Future!

…And Nothing Can Stop Us!

CLASS OF 1984 (1982)

An idealistic pacifist music teacher named Andy Norris (played by the bearded and sensitive looking Perry King) is transferred to Lincoln High, an ultra violent and dangerous inner city high school. Unfortunately for Mr. Norris, the teachers at Lincoln High have a very dangerous problem…their students! After settling into the neighborhood with his pregnant wife (Merrie Lynn Ross) he immediately runs afoul of the local teenage gestapo, led by the brilliant yet twisted student Peter Stegman (played by Timothy Van Patten of “White Shadow” & “Master Ninja” infamy).

Stegman is a sensitive, classically trained pianist AND a ruthless kingpin of crime who controls the booming high school drug and prostitution rackets. His slightly less than impressive gang consists of: Drugstore: the skinny and strung out drug dealer and wisecracker, Fallon: the muscle who beats people up and breaks in the new prostitutes, Barnyard: the token fat slob (played by Keith Knight, who also played the token fat slob in “Meatballs!”) who loves The Clash, and Patsy: the punk rock skank. The five of them somehow manage to control the entire school population and staff AND dominate other rival gangs via intimidation and brutal violence.

There’s an awesome racially fueled gang fight between the Swastika sporting punks and a Black gang highlighted by the young Caribbean accented gang leader saying “No one messes around with my man Leroy. I’m gonna cut you white meat!” We’re also treated to an extended sequence where Stegman auditions prospective prostitutes and drug dealers. A fresh faced and non twitchy Michael J Fox appears in an important supporting role as a lovable band geek who takes a shank to the kidneys after narcing on Drugstore for selling his pussy best friend a lethal dose of dust.

Mr. Norris tries his best to do things by the book and keep the kids in line but it ultimately proves useless. He tries to turn the kids in but the police are unable to do anything because the kids are underage and there’s no real evidence. The school’s Principal and security staff are equally worthless. His only ally in the school is the burnt out and booze addled Biology teacher – Terry Corrigan (played very convincingly by the legendary Roddy McDowall). After a sick and disgusting act of retribution where the vicious punks skin every cute little bunny in the bio lab, Terry eventually snaps and decides to teach his class at gunpoint! Mr. Norris barely manages to talk him out of blowing the students away, and he will soon regret that decision.

Terry tries to get the last laugh by running the punks over but winds up crashing and burning. After a bizarre bathroom showdown with Mr. Norris, Stegman violently smashes his own face into a mirror and convincingly blames the teacher for it. Andy finally gets pissed off and destroys Stegman’s beloved automobile in return. Stegman then declares all out war on the teacher. “Life is pain. Pain is everything. You will learn. I will teach you.” The movie reaches a whole new level of nastiness when the punks show up at the Norris household and gang rape his pregnant wife!

This unspeakable act leads to the final showdown at the big band recital. The punk rock skank shows up and presents Polaroids of the dirty deed to Mr. Norris, which is enough to finally make him ditch his pacifist ways and start spilling blood like a man! Andy Norris: a teacher equipped to deal with students. But they pushed him to the limit that has gone too far. Now he’s about to teach the Class of 1984 the most dangerous lesson they deserve. This teacher will assure that the class of 1984 will earn a higher degree in pain!

I’m a HUGE fan of this masterpiece of prophetic punk rock perfection, which was written and directed by Mark L. Lester, who also helmed the all time 80′s action clas-sick “Commando.” Few revenge themed genre flicks are this satisfying. The gut crunching sequence where Mr. Norris has to fight his way though the high school and finally gets his revenge on the gang is fantastic. Arms are severed, table saws sever spines, people are set on fire, plummet to their deaths, and are crushed with cars! This flick is also exceptionally well made and acted. It almost plays out like an after school special, only with a really bad case of herpes.

This flick drips with a genuinely sleazy punk rock atmosphere. There’s a nifty scene where Stegman and his pals go to a punk rock club and skank to the ripping sounds of Teenage Head! The non-violent highlight of the flick for me has to be the incredible scene were Stegman “auditions” for Mr. Norris’s “asshole band” by unexpectedly busting out a stunningly beautiful classical composition on the piano, and then demands to know if he got “the fucking gig!” This scene is especially cool because Timothy Van Patten actually composed and performed the piece! Talented guy. Speaking of music, I almost forget to mention the incredibly cheesy theme song “I Am The Future” which was provided by none other than the incredibly cheesy Alice Cooper. Quite an embarrassment for old Alice, as it sounds like a very lame Broadway tune! But as much as I hate the song, I have to admit, it’s impossible to watch this flick without getting it stuck in your head.

Anchor Bay was the first to release a beautiful DVD of CLASS OF 1984 back in 2005. The goodies include the trailer, a commentary track with writer/director Mark Lester, the “Blood And Blackboards” featurette that includes interviews with Perry King and his on-screen wife Merrie Lynn Ross, and a killer booklet full of cool photos and extensive liner notes. This DVD was the best available release of the film for many years, until the good folks at Scream Factory recently topped it by unleashing their unbelievable collector’s edition Blu-Ray! 

class of 1984 cover

This brand new release features a stunning looking high-definition transfer of the film. CLASS OF 1984 has never looked or sounded better. This new Blu-Ray is much brighter and more colorful than the previous DVD release. The exclusive bonus features consist of new interviews with director Mark Lester, actors Perry King, Lisa Langlois and Erin Noble, and composer Lalo Schifrin. The rest of the bonus features, including the trailer and still galleries have been ported over from the Anchor Bay DVD. This collector’s edition is now the definitive home video release of CLASS OF 1984 and I highly recommend a purchase! This one definitely gets better each and every time I watch it, and I don’t think I could count how many times I’ve watched this one over the years. A true cult clas-sick! 

Mark Lester went back to school in 1990 with his campy sci-fi semi-sequel CLASS OF 1999. Leaving the gritty realism of “Class Of 1984″ far behind, this one takes a one way trip into Goofytown. Set in the not too distant future, schools across the nation have become the setting for widespread bloodshed and gang violence. Some of the areas surrounding the schools have become so deadly, they are declared “free fire zones”with no police presence. One of the very worst is Kennedy High School, which is understandable because the Principal is Malcolm McDowell. There’s just one subject at Kennedy High…Survival!

Malcolm hires an especially creepy looking albino Stacey Keach to clean up the school with the help of his specially trained robotic “tactical education units.” These robot teachers include none other than Blaxploitation legend Pam Grier, John P. Ryan from “It’s Alive” & “It Lives Again” and the always awesome Patrick Kilpatrick of “Toxic Avenger” infamy. As to be expected, the androids eventually snap and start using their deadly force against innocent students. It’s up to a punk kid named Cody (Bradley Gregg – who also starred in “Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”) to avenge his younger brother Angel (the one and only Joshua John Miller from “River’s Edge!”) and to unite the warring student factions and uprise against the cyborg substitutes. It’s the last lesson they will ever learn!

This one fails as any sort of sequel or follow up to the far, far superior “Class of 1984,” but as a stand alone action flick it’s pretty entertaining. Especially if you have any fondness for familiar faces and the gloriously cheesy early 1990’s. The futuristic fashions in this one are absolutely ridiculous, and the fact that the lead character is named “Cody” doesn’t help me take things any more seriously. It’s interesting to note that this film was actually written by “Cody” himself – Bradley Gregg. It makes the flick seem a bit more of a vanity project, but also adds to the unintentional comedy. It’s hard to say how serious any of this was meant to be taken, but the flick is so silly & stupid that it doesn’t really matter. With lots of laughs and plenty of action, I can easily endorse this one for anyone who wants to kill a few brain cells. CLASS OF 1999 is currently available on a bare bones DVD from Lionsgate. 

CLASS DISMISSED! KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

Massacre Mafia Style!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2015 by Brain Hammer

The most violent picture ever made!

MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE (1974)

The late great Duke Mitchell commands the screen as Mimi Miceli, a proud Sicilian, ruthless mafioso and expert killer. After many long years living in exile alongside his father, the patron and lord of organized crime – Don Mimi, Miceli returns to the states looking for payback. With his right hand man Jolly Rizzo (Vic Caesar), Mimi forms a small army of guts, balls, and trust and invades Hollywood. Although his father warns him that the law is not for sale in Los Angeles, and there is no money to be made, Mimi wants the black pimps and the bookmakers. It’s that simple.

Mimi gets what he wants. A crippled prick learns this the hard way when he is wheeled into the john and electrocuted in the urinal. Mimi and Jolly make an immediate impact in Los Angeles by snatching the number one man right out of church and sending his finger home as a warning. Pay up or they will send him home in pieces. The local mobsters pay largely out of respect for Don Mimi, and Mimi is in business. As promised, Mimi begins putting the heat on the pimps and bookmakers. “You’re in, or you’re in the way.” A jive talking pimp that Mimi dubs “Super Spook” is the first to get in Mimi’s way, and bloody shotgun blasted corpses promptly begin stacking up like cordwood.

Mimi eventually steps on a few too many toes, and his father steps in with $50,000 and the demand that Mimi stop his Sicilian slaughter immediately and start a legitimate business. Mimi funnels the funds into porno flicks with dreams of scoring the most mainline broads you’ve ever seen in your life. After a few years trying to go straight and not making a nickel, Mimi decides it’s time to go back into business for himself again. If a Sicilian is going to known as a killer, then Mimi will show them how to kill. When a contract is put out on Mimi, he doesn’t wait to find out who did it, he nails every last son of a bitch. Office buildings and restaurants full of people are blown to pieces, tubby martial arts enthusiasts are pumped full of lead, double crossing mobsters are hung from meathooks, and jive talking pimps are crucified.

When Mimi kills the son of a boss, he finally goes too far and becomes a marked man. The few people in Los Angeles that Mimi can love and trust are brutally murdered in retaliation. After one last explosive act of revenge, Mimi is forced to leave LA in disgrace. He spends a few years on the mattresses, and then goes back to the old country for a final, emotionally charged reunion with his father and son. An Italian son’s future is not written in the galaxies, but dictated by the code set down by generations before him. Like father, like son.

Duke Mitchell’s MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE has to be one of the most underrated and overlooked crime flicks ever made. After a few repeat viewings, I now consider this one to be the definitive mafia movie of all time, far surpassing both “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas.” Duke Mitchell is probably best known as a singer, but he deserves all the credit in the world for creating such an unbelievably bad ass flick. This is an incredibly authentic display of proud Italian American power violence! MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE is definitely a low budget, grimy ass action flick, but it still has a ton of class and a polished production value. It’s an incredibly emotional picture, heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time with a lot of passion and some truly epic dialogue about the suffering of the Italian immigrants.

This is also one of the most violent pictures of all time! Anyone who has ever seen the incredible trailer for this one knows that the first five minutes of this flick are a non stop blast of carnage. I lost count along the way as dozens of people are blown to pieces throughout the entire film. The promises of “more guts, action, and dynamite than The Godfather” are more than lived up to. No false advertising here. This flick makes The Godfather look absolutely pissworthy by comparison. MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE should be more than bloody and mean spirited enough to make even the most jaded splatter and exploitation fans stand up and cheer.

The good folks at GRINDHOUSE RELEASING recently unleashed an absolutely incredible deluxe edition blu-ray/dvd release of MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE. After many years spent watching the trailer for this flick on other Grindhouse Releasing dvds and salivating at the thought of finally seeing it, I can say that the wait was MORE than worth it! The flick is even better than the trailer, and the blu-ray/dvd set is loaded with cool special features. The goodies include interviews, extensive still galleries, radio spots, the theatrical trailer, almost an hour of never seen before Duke Mitchell home movies, lost audio recordings and bonus TV specials! There’s also a few other surprises that I don’t want to spoil for anyone, but I will give a hint or two and say that they include pin up pics and Brooklyn gorillas! This is yet another top notch release from Grindhouse Releasing, who continue to set the standard for special edition releases that all other companies need to try to live up to. After reading the liner notes from David Szulkin, I can truly say that MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE perhaps more than any other flick truly represents what Grindhouse Releasing is all about. A film with BALLS, presented with the sort of love and attention to detail that it deserves. Needless to say, this is an essential purchase. You’re in or you’re in the way, so buy or die!

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

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