Archive for August, 2012

Confessions of a Necrophile!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2012 by Brain Hammer

Pretty Sally Mae died a very unnatural death, but the worst hasn’t happened to her yet.

 

DERANGED (1974)

A newspaper columnist named Tom Sims narrates the incredible story. A human horror story of ghastly proportions and profound reverberations. But because it is human perhaps we can learn something from it. Something of ourselves, of our own fears, and needs. But please be warned, nothing has been left to the imagination. It is not a story for the squeamish or fainthearted. It is the story of Ezra Cobb: murderer, grave robber, necrophiliac perhaps, or as you may remember him from the stories of long ago – the butcher of woodside.

Ezra spent the entirety of his deranged life living on a desolate farm with his overbearing religious fanatic mother. Years of loving devotion masked a growing psychosis which came to the surface when his mother became deathly ill. On her deathbed, Ma Cobb instructed Ezra to call after Maureen Selby – the only woman she ever did trust. Ma Cobb trusted Maureen because she’s fat, a big heifer, but a good hearted woman. As for the rest of them, they’re a lot of filthy black souled sluts with pus filled sores. Ma has told Ezra many times that the wages of sin is gonorrhea, syphilis, and death. She also offered a prophetic warning that they’ll use their bodies to steal his life and soul. Ez listens like a good boy and then lovingly shoves pea soup down her throat until she finally pukes up blood and dies.

More than a year passes, but Ez stubbornly refuses to accept the reality of his mother’s death. He visits her grave almost daily, and at home he kept her bed room neat and warm, as if waiting for her return. The outside world found him eccentric but harmless, but the loneliness inside him had grown into a vast abyss. The pain of his loss had pushed him at last over the precipice of madness. One night as he tries to sleep Ezra hears his Mother’s voice, commanding him at last to bring her home. Ezra as always obeys his mother and grabs a shovel.

Perhaps in his twisted mind he imagined she would look the way she had in life. After exhuming her corpse he learns the hard way that momma is not as pretty, or as sturdy as she used to be, especially when one of her rotting limbs comes loose. So he brought her home. The next step was her restoration, which was not an easy job. Ezra began to experiment with various embalming and taxidermy techniques. He patched her decaying features with with fish skin, wax, and any other substance he thought resembled human flesh. It wasn’t until later that the idea of using real flesh occurred to him.

Ironically enough, it was one of Ezra’s neighbors who accidentally gave him the inspiration. A casual suppertime conversation about a former teacher of Ez’s named old Miss Johnson kicking the bucket leads to Ezra discovering what an obituary is. How when a person dies they print all of the information about how they died, where and where they’re being buried, and all that kind of stuff. Yes sir, that there is some real valuable information. Ezra decides to dig up old Miss Johnson and donate her face to science. He also keeps her skull as a bizarre trophy and companion to his mother’s corpse. After that, Ezra made many more visits to the graveyard, bringing home bodies or parts of bodies to keep his mother and himself company. He was a ghoul, a necromaniac, a defiler of the dead, but he had not yet turned his sickness on a living victim. It was only a matter of time until he did.

The same helpful neighbors that taught Ezra the values of the obituary column take an interest in his love life and pressure him into getting married. Ezra’s first attempt at finding a living female companion had him getting all gussied up and calling upon that big heifer Maureen Selby. Maureen winds up being almost as eccentric as Ezra however, and she happily admits to talking to the spirit of her dead husband Herbert. Ezra takes a liking to her flabby arms and her cute little belly, but also fears he might get stuck in all that fat. He also suspects she might not be right in the head. His suspicions are later confirmed when she attempts to seduce Ezra via a seance. Ezra is tempted by the pleasures of the flesh and gets a happy handful of the heifer’s milkbags, but ultimately is overpowered by his dead mother’s warnings about the wages of sin and decides to permanently put the cow out to pasture with a bullet to the head.

The violent death of Maureen Selby did little to effect Ez, except he now started craving the companionship of other women. He left the farm and began spending his evenings at a local watering hole called Goldie’s Tavern, lusting after an over the hill 34 year old barmaid named Mary Ransom. Ezra had never seen a beautiful, promiscuous woman before, and the thought that she might make herself available to him was overwhelming to him. Ez gets smashed for the first time on whiskey sours and finally summons enough liquid courage to bring Mary home to meet his mother. Predictably, Ez & Mary’s first and only date does not end well.

Ez then sets his murderous sights on a pretty young thing named Sally who worked at the town’s hardware store. This is where the worst begins. There is where we must stop, for beyond is the work of madness, the nightmare of insane murder and lingering death, for Mary it was only the beginning, for Maureen it was already too late, for Sally the worst was yet to come, and only Misses Cobb knew what he would do next. Sometimes you don’t want to believe what you see, but sometimes it’s true.

1974 was truly a banner year for fans and followers of Wisconsin’s notorious necrophile Ed Gein. That year saw the release of not one, but two incredible motion pictures that were based upon his real life atrocities – Tobe Hooper’s immortal clas-sick “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and Jeff Gillen & Alan Ormsby’s DERANGED. Old Ed had previously been the inspiration for Hitchcock’s blockbuster “Psycho” back in 1960, and the Gein inspired low budget shocker “Three On A Meathook” directed by William Girdler was released in 1973. Ormsby’s script for “Deranged” stands out from the pack by being the most accurate depiction of Gein’s story, and the film possesses an especially gritty and realistic documentary style. It’s also more a lot more morbidly amusing than “TCM” or “Meathook.” This is a true “Geiner” – a sick nasty joke that inspires gross out giggles.

Deranged” was co-directed by Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby, who had both previously worked with Bob Clark on “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” and “Deathdream.” Interestingly enough, Clark was originally approached to direct “Deranged” but wound up turning down the offer because the film was too explicitly gruesome for his tastes and made “Black Christmas” instead. The one and only Tom Savini had made his debut a year earlier working on Clark’s “Deathdream” and got the gig on “Deranged” creating the film’s impressive makeup effects, alongside Jerome Bergson and the multi-talented Alan Ormsby. Sadly, many of the film’s most disgusting moments, including Ezra’s attempts at patching up his mother’s face and the revolting sequence where Ez removes his old teacher’s eyeballs with a spoon and then saws open her skull and scoops out her brains were later trimmed from the film so it could secure a GP rating and receive a wider release. Even in a truncated form, “Deranged” still manages to trump “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” in the blood, guts, and breasts departments and has earned a reputation as one of the earliest and most savage of the many Gein inspired “meat” movies.

The highlight of the film for me is the incredibly horrifying sequence where Ezra brings home Mary to meet his mother and the rest of the ladies. Roberts Blossom is fantastic as he describes the many nights the ladies spend playing bridge on the porch, laughing and eating. His fiddle and drum talents are equally impressive. Blossom did an incredible job with his performance as Ezra Cobb. He plays the role with just the right combination of bat shit insanity and tongue in cheek black humor. His performance as a necrophile is sometimes chilling, often comical, and always unforgettable, and he truly deserves a mention as one of the screen’s all time great maniacs. It’s a shame that this film is so often overlooked in favor of “TCM” or even the more recent “Ed Gein,” as it possesses more of that gallows humor and comes much closer to capturing Ed’s deranged spirit of wide eyed wonder as he stares into the necrosphere.

MGM released DERANGED on dvd as one half of a kick ass Midnite Movies double feature along with the 1980 hicks in the sticks epic “Motel Hell.” On the positive side of things, both films were nicely remastered and the double sided disc includes the original theatrical trailers. Sadly, MGM used the heavily edited AIP version of“Deranged” for this release – which unfortunately makes this a good, but not great purchase. I would love to see special edition dvds of both of these clas-sicks, but “Deranged” in particular is screaming for an UNCUT special edition release. Do it for momma! And apologize for calling her a hog!

 

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

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Earn a Higher Degree in Terror!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 by Brain Hammer

Where the school colors are blood red!

SPLATTER UNIVERSITY (1984)

SPLATTER UNIVERSITY starts off with a bang inside an insane asylum where a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic named William Grayham is discovered missing. An orderly goes looking for him and gets stabbed in the dick for his efforts. The maniac (we never see his face) then slips into the orderly’s bloodstained uniform and escapes. We then flash forward three years later to the campus of St. Trinians College. A pretty young sociology teacher is grading papers in her classroom and a killer whom we assume is William Grayham shows up to stab her in the tits.

A new teacher named Julie Parker (Francine Forbes) soon arrives on campus as a replacement. The head of the university – Father Jansen (Dick Biel), welcomes Julie to the faculty, but also warns her about the supposed “curse” on her classroom and the murder that recently occurred there. He then assures her that the murder was an isolated incident. Julie is shocked to discover that a violent death had taken place in her new classroom, but she is strapped for cash and decides to accept the job anyway. As Julie struggles to make a connection with her brain dead students she eventually develops a relationship with a handsome teacher named Mark Hammond.

It doesn’t take long before the killer strikes again. Various dimwitted students and teachers are slashed in the forehead, stabbed in the back, disemboweled on the toilet, and have their throats slit. When her best friend is found mutilated in a stationary cupboard, Julie finally decides that it’s time to pack up and leave town. As she attempts to break off her relationship with Mark and give her notice to Father Jansen she gets closer to the psycho killer than ever before. As the madman’s secret identity is finally revealed, the teacher becomes the student and earns a higher degree in terror!

Incredibly, four different writers are responsible for creating this flick. Co-writer and director Richard W. Haines was apparently warming up for his more well known slice of school savagery – “The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High.” “Splatter University” was originally a Troma production, and Lloyd Kaufman gets a credit as a “creative consultant.” As you might expect, this is a very cheesy horror flick with a lot of dumb humor. Some folks will bust a gut laughing at the wacky hijinks including booger eating mental patients and beer swilling college cretins and others will simply find this to be stupid as hell. I fall somewhere in the middle. I think this flick is actually a lot better than most people give it credit for, but it is still not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s obvious that this flick was intended to be a joke, so the key to enjoying it is to have a drink or seven and just go along for the ride.

Slasher fans should certainly enjoy the classroom carnage. The uncut version of this flick features some nice bloody stabbings and sliced up corpses. One of the film’s clas-sick taglines was “Where the school colors are blood red!” and the film more than makes good on that promise. There is no shortage of blood and violence. There’s also quite a few tense moments leading up to the climax of the film. While a lot of fans and critics seem to dismiss this one as being pure schlock, I think the serious horror elements are there and that they are convincingly effective. The mystery of the killer’s identity is sort of a joke, but perhaps I find wheelchair bound priests that spy on people and tremble uncontrollably to be overly suspicious. I blame my Catholic upbringing.

Special attention must be given to actress Denise Texeira, who plays a smoking hot freckle faced ginger chick cleverly named Denise. Denise sports a thick “New Joisey” accent, fifteen pounds of poofed up red hair, and rocks a pair of tiger print panties OVER her black tights! I fucking love her! Speaking of smoking hot ginger chicks, lead actress Francine Forbes is also pretty damn easy on the eyes. She has a great smile and a likable quality about her. It’s not surprising she later went on to become a staple of annoying infomercials. She now goes by the name Forbes Riley, and you can currently catch her hawking Jack Lalane juicers and comfort shoe inserts. I wish she had done more horror flicks over the years, but I was happy to see she once made an appearance on “Boy Meets World” as a reporter.

This flick also has a really cool punk rock connection. George Seminara appears in the film as a character named Tony. George went on to appear in a couple other flicks, but is better known as a producer and director. He directed The Ramones home videos “Lifestyles Of The Ramones” and “It’s Alive 1974 – 1996,” as well as an excellent documentary/concert called“Live In New York” featuring Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, and Gorilla Biscuits! It’s too bad The Ramones or Agnostic Front didn’t contribute to the “Splatter University” soundtrack. The crap music in this flick is credited to Chris Burke, and I’m not entirely sure that he isn’t the same Chris“Corky” Burke who stole America’s heart as a lovable teenage retard on“Life Goes On.” 

Elite Entertainment released SPLATTER UNIVERSITY on dvd. The only bonus feature is a pair of theatrical trailers, but at least the film is presented uncut and uncensored. I would love to see a special edition dvd release with a Francine Forbes commentary track and a “where is she now” piece on Denise Texeira, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that one! This flick always makes me laugh, even with repeat viewings, and I highly recommend it to all slasher fans and survivors of the gloriously awful Eighties.

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

The Mutilator!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 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 film 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 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 wooden and 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. 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. I usually 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. I consider it a crime against humanity that this film is still not officially available on dvd. 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 in the first place. Idiots. Like a lot of other slasher fans, I still treasure my unrated Vestron VHS, and can only hope that one day this immortal cult clas-sick will get the kind of special edition upgrade it so richly deserves.

 

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!