Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Movie Review: Bus Party to Hell (2018)

Bus Party to Hell (2018) - USA - Horror Comedy - Mature
Directed by Rolfe Kanefsky
Story by Michael Mahal and Sonny Mahal
Starring Tara Reid, Sadie Katz, Stefani Blake, Shelby McCullough, ViDonna Michaels, Devanny Pinn, Richard Hochman, Ben Stobber, Demetrios Alex

The jokes are flying even faster than the tops are coming off in this horror comedy which shows its Las Vegas roots in having more pairs displayed in it than a poker tournament.

A young woman showing up in Las Vegas conveniently gets dropped off by a ride she hitched just as a bus is leaving for the Burning Man festival. The offer of a free ride on the bus with a party all the way is something she can't refuse. She'll soon wish she had as will the rest of the passengers as a detour on the way there leaves the bus stranded with some uninvited newcomers to the party.

Mummies, talking heads, outcasts from Mad Max and Tara Reid.. oh MY! The definitive common denominator in this film is a party bus. Throw in cultists, monsters, and more tits than Einstein can count and you have a truly mixed bag. What holds it all together is the humor coming from every corner that amplifies the comedy part of this horror comedy and keeps the film moving from start to finish... even if you do take a few moments to gawk at the flesh on display. But keep your tongue in your mouth and your pants zipped and you might just succeed in not messing yourself.

Bus Party to Hell is a B-movie at heart. Tasteless in many places and unapologetic for that throughout. It's main and frankly only goal is to be sleazy fun and it succeeds at that very well offering plenty of nudity, blood and humor.

Recommend? Yes!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sex and Satanism in 70s Cinema

Following on the heels of the rising popularity of Wicca and the passing, long past due, of the Hays Code in the film industry of the United States, these two elements to some degree contributed to what would be a flurry of sex and satanism is the movies and their rising (pun not intended) popularity in America.

One aspect of Wicca the media latched onto was the practice of nudity during rituals. Say what you want about going back to the old ways and other BS excuses, Gerald Gardner, the father of modern day Wicca, was simply an old man who found a way to get young women to disrobe in his home by claiming it as a religion. Hmmm...maybe I should start a religion. Add to this media popularity the introduction of the MPAA rating system in the U.S. allowing mainstream movies to cater more to an adult audience rather than limiting it to the seedier grindhouse and roadshow cinemas and the basic ingredients came into being.

Cinema of the late 60s and early 70s picked up on pop culture. This was natural for any movement in the history of cinema. The drug culture of the 60s and the free love movement made natural fodder for movie makers. With the rising popularity of interest in the occult and the usual grave misunderstanding of a populace brainwashed by the church to believe anything associated with the occult was akin to satanism, a group of witches having rituals in the nude and worshiping satan was ripe for the pickings.

Though such movies were made from the late 60s onward, they were pretty much the province still of smaller backstreet theaters, midnight showings and the drive-in circuit. What an industry of largely independent filmmakers needed was something to propel the subject of satan on film into the mainstream conscience. Though there were varying degrees of success along the way, the true break for filmmakers came in 1973 with the release of The Exorcist.

Where The Exorcist succeeded was in presenting Satan as bad. Not that other films did not present Satan as bad, but a group of robe wearing, or nude, satan worshipers meeting their demise would be "just desserts" in the public eye. The Exorcist offered up a child as the would be victim of satan, and that's truly bad. There were not people in robes or naked witches running around but priests and doctors and a mother dealing with it; people the audience could connect with. Making these basic connections and presenting evil in a way never before seen on screen made it real to people and made it a success.

The Exorcist was not a sleazy movie, The sex part of sex and satan was not present. But it did one important thing and that was to propel the idea of satan on film into the mainstream, to make it acceptable in the public conscience. Adding sex to that equation then was just one more element added to an already acceptable premise.

Though many of the movies incorporating the combined elements of sex and satanism which became popular were made before The Exorcist, as much of Europe was far ahead of the United States in social consciousness and breaking the sex taboo in film, it was not until after The Exorcist that the distribution of many of these films to the United States became profitable.

The List

This short list is not intended to be a guide for every movie from the 70s which has anything to do with satanism, witchcraft, or any number of occult subjects often improperly grouped as satanism. The qualification for a movie to be on the list is to contain both nudity and supernatural elements associated with satan. For that very reason there are several movies some may feel are missing from the list, but they simply do not contain both elements. This list is also by no means complete. I have included screencaps and posters where I have them available and links to them on media if available.

Alucarda (1978) - Mexico - Horror - Rated R
Directed by Juan López Moctezuma
Stars Claudio Brook, Tina Romero, Susana Kamini

A young woman arrives at a convent after the death of her parents and is befriended by Alucarda. The two women become involved in satanic practices which unleash a series of disastrous events on the convent. A horror classic if for no other reason than the amount of wanton nudity, blood and screaming throughout.  Available on DVD

Antichrist, The (1974) - Italy - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. L'anticristo, Blasphemy, The Tempter
Directed by Alberto de Martino
Stars Carla Gravina, Mel Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Anita Strindberg

A young woman searching for a cure for her paralysis since the age of 12 is treated through hypnosis to unlock a trauma from a previous life, but in the process is possessed by the same demon that possessed her ancestor and an exorcist is called in. Available on DVD

Blood Sabbath (1972) - USA - Horror - Rated R
Directed by Brianne Murphy
Stars Anthony Geary, Susan Damante

A young man traveling through the woods is captured by a coven of witches and caught in a power struggle between a witch and the leader of the coven. And yes, that Anthony Geary before he went on to play Luke on General Hospital. Available on DVD

Devil's Nightmare, The (1971) - Belgium - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. La plus longue nuit du diable, The Devil Walks at Midnight
Directed by Jean Brismée
Stars Erika Blanc, Daniel Emilfork

Seven tourists become reluctantly stranded at a castle during a storm. Each represents one of the seven deadly sins and an alluring succubus, part of the castle owner's past, has come to tempt each of them to their deaths. My personal favorite of the whole lot. Not much nudity outside of a lesbian scene, but entertaining and re-watchable. Available on DVD. Dig around. You can find good copies in various cheap collections.

Don't Panic (1978) - Spain - Horror - Not Rated
A.K.A. Satan's Blood, Escalofrío
Directed by Carlos Puerto
Stars Ángel Aranda, Sandra Alberti, Mariana Karr

A couple out for a walk with their dog take up another couple's invitation to join them at their isolated estate where they end up staying the night due to a storm and engage in occult activities including the use of a ouija board, and lots of sex. One of the many Spanish (Spain) horror exploitation films to take advantage of the easing of restrictions on cinema during the Franco regime, in an attempt to globalize the cinema of Spain more, which used allegory of an oppressive evil to speak out against the regime. Despots are too stupid to get allegory. Available on Blu-ray and DVD

Eerie Midnight Horror Show, The (1974) - Italy - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. Enter the Devil, L'ossessa
Directed by Mario Gariazzo
Stars Stella Carnacina, Chris Avram, Lucretia Love, Luigi Pistilli

An odd religious icon exerts a sexual influence on an art student causing her to be tormented by a statue that comes to life. A monk is brought in to exorcise the situation. Perhaps best known for the naked whipping of Lucretia Love on a bed. Available on DVD

Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fey (1971) - France - Horror - Not Rated
A.K.A. Morgane et ses nymphes
Directed by Bruno Gantillon
Stars Dominique Delpierre, Alfred Baillou, Mireille Saunin

Women are given the choice of becoming immortal sex slaves of the witch Morgana Le Fey as part of her all female lesbian commune or rotting in a dungeon. Available on DVD

Nude for Satan (1974) - Italy - Adult Horror - Not Rated
A.K.A. Nuda per Satana (Same title in Italian)
Directed by Luigi Batzella
Stars Rita Calderoni, Stelio Candelli

Could you possibly ask for a more accurate title for a movie? A doctor stops at a remote castle to seek aid for an injured woman only to find the woman of the castle could be the injured woman's twin...then strange things happen. Lots of nudity. There is even a hardcore version out there, though I don't believe it is in English. Available in Various Formats

Reincarnation of Isabel, The (1973) - Italy - Horror - Unrated
A.K.A. Riti, magie nere e segrete orge nel trecento...
Directed by Renato Polselli
Stars Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni

A group of people show up at a castle, because castles apparently happen to be around every corner, and encounter a group of vampires looking to resurrect a witch with virgin blood. People get naked. What more can be said? Available on DVD and Instant Video

Satan's Slave (1976) - England - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. Evil Heritage
Directed by Norman J. Warren
Stars Michael Gough, Martin Potter, Candace Glendenning, Barbara Kellerman

Definitely sleazy but slow movie about a young woman coming to meet her uncle and cousin for the first time in the face of tragedy, finding out secrets about her own family's evil past and present. Incredibly annoying characters who all should die anyway. Not one of Michael Gough's shining moments in film. Available on DVD

Virgin Witch (1972) - England - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. Lesbian Twins
Directed by Ray Austin
Stars Ann Michelle, Vicki Michelle, Keith Buckley, Patricia Haines

Sybil Waite runs a modeling agency which also recruits virgins for induction into a witch's coven. Christine and Betty, twin sisters, are lured to a country estate for such a reason, but Christine is not so innocent as she seems and soon challenges Sybil for control of the coven. Overall a dull and talkative movie with a decent amount of nudity, but not near enough nudity to make up for putting you to sleep. Available in Various Formats

-Toxic Fletch

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Movie Review: Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell (1990)

Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell (1990) - USA - Horror - Unrated
Directed by John McBrearty
Starring Debbie Dutch, Eric Clark, Carl Johnson, Len Lesser, Gloria Hylton, Dori Courtney

Dear god this was fucking awful!

When I am up front with my overall opinion about a movie, I try to provide some criticism other than just saying it is a bad movie, but when a movie is just simply this bad, I can't even form any other opinion than to say this is fucking awful.

This movie starts out with convicts escaping from a work detail, killing prison guards on detail with them while several of them are shot in the process. The escape incentive was sparked by a female cyclist innocently enough distracting one of the guards by riding past them. This same girl is a member of a sorority going on a weekend getaway at a cabin belonging to one of the sorority girl's uncle. Her uncle is an archaeologist digging at a local cave uncovering an ancient idol which in turn possesses him, turning him into a super strong and hideous creature instructed to bring the idol sacrifices. Now there is a murderous creature on the loose with a cabin filled with unsuspecting sorority girls and frat boys, and an escaped prisoner on the loose.

Wow. I actually surprised myself I got that much of a summary out of it.

The movie is mostly a bunch of good looking girls who can't act, guys who really can't act, and one girl who takes her shirt off a lot; I would say she takes her shirt off whenever the script hits a lull, but if that were the case she would be naked for the entire movie. There's one or two decent actors, and one recognizable veteran actor in the movie, but there is little any of them can do with such a horrible script seemingly written by third graders; my apologies to third graders everywhere for even suggesting they couldn't do better than this. Even the veteran actor, Len Lesser you may recognize as Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, is falling on his face having no intelligible script with which to work.

Even with as bad as this movie is, it does actually have some good points; none of which improve it, but perhaps I can say they ease up the thumbscrews just a tad. They obviously did post-production audio loops as the dialogue is well recorded throughout the movie, and some moments when the audio does not sync with the lips. There was also a well done stunt where an escaped convict gets hit by a car.

The nudity factor is one girl who takes her top off a lot. With as many good looking women in this movie as there are, this is a huge disappointment. At least more and full nudity might have eased up those thumbscrews a tad more. I cannot really comment on the video quality as my copy was a VHSrip downloaded from and was not that good. You can get the download here.

Recommend? Not unless you are a masochist. If you don't find pleasure in torture you may want to skip this one. I wish I had.

I found out about this movie from Christopher Zisi's review of it here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Movie Review: Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)

Satan's Cheerleaders (1977) - USA - Horror Comedy - Rated R
Directed by Greydon Clark
Starring John Ireland, Yvonne De Carlo, Jack Kruschen, John Carradine, Sydney Chaplin, Kerry Sherman, Jaqueline Cole

Rah rah sis boom bah, this movie's a dud. With a title like Satan's Cheerleaders how could it miss? Yet, like a tipsy redneck in a public restroom, it does.

A janitor at a college upset with being laughed at by the school's cheerleader squad, not that it has anything to do with his spying on them during showers (ahem), is also a member of a satanic cult. He has plans to get even with them with the help of Satan, and have the pretty blond girl, Patti, for himself. Satan has other plans for her as the squad ends up in a small town where everyone from the sheriff on down is a member of the cult and out to sacrifice the girls in a black mass.

I presume this was intended to be a comedy. With corny names like Nether, California for the town and B.L.Bubb for the sheriff, it certainly seems like it was headed there, unfortunately like the squad of cheerleaders in the movie, it gets lost along the way as well.

Kerry Sherman plays Patti who is the focus of the story, and who is definitely an attractive woman. She is the primary skin content of the movie, yet what is in the movie is not very much. The comedy as I mentioned is much the same.

Recommend: No. They had the right idea to take a popular theme of horror movies of the 70s, Satan, and mix it with a comedy exploitation movie theme, but the ingredients just are not there in any substantial proportion. Not enough sleaze, comedy or horror.

It is available on DVD and is now in widescreen. As you can tell from my screencaps my copy is not widescreen.