Saturday, March 29, 2008

Exorcism (1979)


Defrocked priest and recent asylum escapee (Vogul) makes a living by writing tawdry tales of depravity for a local sex publication, Dagger & Garter weekly. When turning in a manuscript for his latest story, he becomes infatuated with magazine secretary, Anne. Whom he overhears discussing plans for a black mass with the magazine's editor (Franval).

What Vogul does not know is that the magazine throws elaborate parties for it's rich & pervy clientele, who's taste for the unusual encourages Anne and her lesbian lover to enact staged satanic rituals for their receptive audience, who whipped into a sexual frenzy help themselves to various hedonistic activities. (aka orgy)

Convinced that true demonic behaviour is taking place, Vogul decides that the imposing influence of the lord is necessary to ward off the devil. So he begins to strategically target certain individuals (usually female) involved with the black masses in an attempt to purify them with his trusty blade.

A mounting body count, displaying the same methods of butchery lead a certain detective to theorize about the murderous sadist involved. He concludes that the methods of torture resembled strategies used by the Inquisition when attempting to exorcise a possessed individual. The same occurances also play out in several "fictional" tales published in Dagger & Garter magazine.

Can the authorities stop Vogul, before he continues his misguided rampage against those he claims to be bewitched? Or will all deviants involved with the staged black masses feel the wrath of Vogul's "Sword of the lord."

In Conclusion:

There are many picture jumps & color shifts that may prove distracting for some viewers. The various changes can only hint at just how many changes the film has endured over the years. (Like many Franco titles, many cuts and versions baring various titles exist.)

The minor distractions really did not affect my viewing experience, I found that at every turn there was some beautiful nude woman to enjoy (Franco regulars, real life companion Lina Romay & Monica Swinn most notable as The Directress from Barbed Wire Dolls) as always have no problem displaying their various attributes regardless of the scenario.

And much like, Barbed Wire Dolls the film has a very off kilter, abrupt ending that if properly fleshed out could have only heightened the whole experience.

Worth a rental if an individual is unfamiliar with Franco's brand of exploitation. (I also thought that Synapses reversible dvd cover was a pretty neat idea.)

Screen Captures: (Please note: all screen captures are taken by me. Please, give me credit if you intend to use them.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs (1974)


A female undercover police officer (Rei) is imprisoned for killing a rich diplomat responsible for the death of a close friend. The vigilante cop is now forced to waste away in the confines of prison, with fellow inmates that thrive on subjecting her to their fits of sadism.

But...not for long..

An unruly gang member is released from prison, where he promptly resumes his life of crime with his gaggle of barbaric goons. They embark on a crime spree, first by intruding on an unsuspecting couple engaged in conversation about their engagement. The men quickly dispatch the boyfriend, before taking turns repeatedly violating his poor fiancee. (Rather then give their nude and prone victim a chance to divulge their crimes to the authorities, they decide to kidnap the girl and attempt to extort her family for money.)

Fortunately for our anti-heroine, her old colleagues have unorthodox plans for her. To have her prison sentence revoked, she must infiltrate the gang, dispatch its members and return their hostage safely. (The gang unknowingly kidnap the daughter of a man with political affiliations, who is also attempting to become the next president. Their demands include a ransom of 30,000,000 yen.)

The authorities manage to bait the gang with promises of a suitcase, filled with the ransom they requested. And insist that their leader meets an assigned patsy at a train station to confirm the transaction. As expected the plan goes awry, and the gang's leader makes a run with the suitcase only to be chased by a group of police officials. Fisticuffs ensue, before Rei puts a quick end to the confrontation by slicing the faces of several polices officers, enabling her escape with her purposed target..who openly welcomes her to join his gang.

Unfortunately for Zero woman, his distrusting cronies have other plans for her.... Will Rei save the future president's daughter and avoid creating a political scandal, or will she also become another victim?

In Conclusion:

I have always had a fetish for badass beautiful women, with this film I could not help but be slightly disappointed. I wished that Rei had participated more in the violence at hand, as opposed to idly standing around doe-eyed while she is repeatedly raped and beaten.

Other then a few minor complaints, the movie is's cartoon-ish depictions of rape and violence are always a worthy source of entertainment. (& Miki Sugimoto is absolutely gorgeous, thankfully I will have more opportunities to see her, since the vast majority of her filmography consists of Pinky Violence titles.)

If you happen to enjoy stylish violence & vast quantities of female flesh you just might enjoy Pinky Violence. I know I am hooked.

Screen Captures: (Please note: all screen caps are taken by me, please give me credit if you intend to use them)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dark Waters (1994)


Unexplained events occur at a Convent, leading to the demise of several of its spiritual inhabitants. A priest is impaled through the throat by a crucifix as the church around him is completely enveloped by water. A fellow nun also meets her demise, as she is pushed off a cliff by an unknown force to the jagged rocks below, clutching an amulet engraved with the image of an ancient beast.

20 years after the atrocities occurred, a young woman (Elizabeth) ventures out to the mysterious island where the Convent is contained. Her father's recent demise results in his remaining estate being left for her to manage. She uncovers records of his monetary endeavors and discovers that he had been making monthly payments to help sustain the Convent's crumbling infrastructure.

Elizabeth arrives on the island with plans to discuss the financial situation of the convent with the mother superior. There she is confronted by an ambiguous sect of self-flagellating nuns that succumb to murderous compulsions when not roaming the island brandishing burning crucifixes. With fellow fledgling nun, Sarah as her only companion (albeit a suspicious one).

Elizabeth roams the island, her various encounters with its residents allude to a previous existence at the Convent, before she was moved to the United Kingdom by her father when she was 7. Her fleeting memories only further disturb her when she endures unnerving hallucinations in sleep of a forsaken evil that lurks in the confines of the religious community.

Will Elizabeth escape the hordes of murderous nuns, or will the beast inside consume her as her past is slowly revealed?

In Conclusion:

Between the disorienting musical score, and the blasphemous dreamscapes exuding oppressive creepiness. I cannot decide which messed with my head more.

I love the movie, and it's dashes of Lovecraftian terror. Need I also mention (The NoShame 2-Disc Special Edition, released last year is superb! Worthy of a purchase for the stone amulet alone.)

Screen Captures: (Please note, all screen caps are taken by me. Give me credit if you intend to use them.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Satan's Blood (1978)

Review :

A young gullible couple (Andy & Annie) foolishly accompany two eccentric lovers (Bruno & Berta) back to their home for drinks. (After Bruno manages to convince a skeptical Andy of their previous friendship in College.)

On their arrival at a looming estate, located off the main road in a remote location. The couples overwhelming feelings of apprehension do little to hinder the two from following their strange hosts inside to discover interior adornments that consist of ceremonial paraphernalia and an extensive library on the occult.

The topic of the supernatural is discussed, before the foursome curiously decide to use the assistance of a Ouija board to communicate with the beyond. An encounter with a malevolent spirit during their seemingly helpless party game, causes turmoil among the couples when acts of infidelity and distrust are divulged. The experience proves to be too overwhelming for Bruno & Berta's guests, who try to no avail to leave the premises.

Each time the helpless couple is faced with a convenient situation (thunderstorm, faulty automobiles, etc.) or bouts of outright stupidity that only continue to halt any attempts for departure.

Will Andy & Annie persevere and live to regret their nightmare weekend? Or will they succumb to the corrupting influence of their party hosts and be condemned to an existence ruled by an allegiance to a malevolent cause?

In Conclusion:

Our young naive couple provides myriad wtf moments as the viewer is forced to watch slack-jawed in disbelief at their outright stupidity. Most people would not return to a place stricken with madness because they forgot their purse. Or ignore the frustration of finding their car in a state of disrepair because their stomach was rumbling.

I found myself at times just shouting at the television screen, "Goddammit, just leave!" to no avail. Yet despite the air-headed lead characters, the movie does have a certain charm and atmosphere that cannot be denied. I still found myself really enjoying the movie despite its flaws.

Thankfully the title is available for your viewing pleasure in both dubbed (the dubbed version is actually pretty decent, compared to previous Mondo Macabro titles.) and subtitled versions. To those unsure about an immediate purchase, this would prove to be a worthy rental.

Screen Captures: (Please note: All screen captures are taken by me, please give me credit if you intend to use them.)