Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Halloween Moviethon - A Taste of Blood, Cannibal Campout, Amityville 7: It's A Mirror This Time

I've already fallen way behind on keeping up with the posting here. I've actually watched probably 20 movies since I posted but I've had to start working again after a few months off, so my posting time has been limited lately. Turns out laying around watching movies for months and then jumping right back into bust-ass manual labor makes you kind of tired. But here's my thoughts on a few of my latest viewings. Try to get some more up sooner this time.




A Taste of Blood or Herschell Gordon Lewis' Dracula


John Stone receives a package from England with a couple of very old bottles of brandy inside. Like the best booze, it comes with instructions. He must toast to his ancestor before enjoying his newly inherited beverage. Long story short, this "brandy" actually happens to be the blood of Dracula, and with the unholy plasma now coursing through his veins John turns into a ghoulish bloodsucker whose white peeling makeup makes it look like he took a run through the Krispy Kreme glazer.

This is the closest to a prestige picture we ever got from Mr. Lewis. It looks like more money was spent than usual and the acting, while not good, is still quite a bit better than usual. I didn't notice any really bad line readings until that guy with the dog showed up at the end. Why was this guy in the movie? His attempts at comedy relief were pretty pitiful and he flubs a couple of his half dozen lines, including a doozy where he refers to his "beloved" dog Impy as fucking Picket.

Unfortunately at 117 minutes and with none of the patented H.G. Gonzo Gore this movie really drags ass. Not bad at all, just too uneventful to justify the epic running time. Definitely worth a look for Herschell fans, but if you're new to his work, start elsewhere. Start at Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs and work your way to this one later.

Best credit: Bill Kozak as "Man Running from Tomb"


Cannibal Campout 

The best part of this movie is the disclaimer at the beginning:

WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS
BASED UPON TRUE ACCOUNTS
AND CONJECTURE AND IS A
DELINEATION OF ACTUAL EVENTS
WHICH TRANSPIRED AT AN
INDETERMINATE TIME TO PERSONS
OF LESS THAN GENUINELY
EQUIVOCAL AUTHENTICITY

That opening is ridiculous, it's a nearly Monty Python level of absurdist comedy. Naturally I thought this was going to be hilarious. That little bit of text is as funny as it gets.

The movie goes like this. Four dorky white people, including director McBride head out for a weekend of camping. While driving through the woods a couple of miles from their final destination they are attacked by a couple of bumpkins in overalls. They manage to escape, but as to be expected from something called Cannibal Campout, the woodfolk soon find the camping yuppies and the gut eating commences.

Now, these people aren't going to any specific campsite, they could've driven another 20 miles in any direction and camped there. Nope, these toolbags drive a mile or two further into the woods and set up camp anyway. Their logic being that the guys who were hanging out in the woods "probably don't even live around here". Except those guys absolutely look like people who live in the woods. Not near the woods. Literally in the woods. I'm from the South, I've known people who lived in the woods. You know who they looked like? These guys:


There are some decent enough gore effects (including an epic cleaved mullet) but I couldn't really get to into this one. I liked Woodchipper Massacre, which is considered much worse, but this one just didn't work for me. Campout is well made from a technical standpoint given the budget, but this one is actually kind of grim and depressing compared to the other SOV stuff I've seen - with friends forced to eat each other's intestines and a month old fetus sexed before being devoured. Maybe I'm softening up in my old age, but the more torture-y gore scenes here kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

Bonus points! This movie features what might be the worst movie scene ever filmed, and I'm not talking about the fetus eating scene. When the rapebillies track down the campers after a grueling 8 minute search one of them quips "It's a small world". For most movies, after this sentence the actor might say something more, or another actor might speak. Nope. This guy repeats his line a few more times. Then he proceeds to say "small" another 20 times (literally). "Small, small, small, small..." You get the point. This whole scene goes on FOREVER. Think of the longest thing you can think of and double it. It made me yell "Oh, my fuck!" That phrase doesn't even make sense but I needed to hear something other than the word "small" - anything else, and that's what my brain and mouth collectively came up with. I haven't heard a man say the word "small" this many times since I last heard that Mellencamp song.


Amityville: A New Generation

In this fifth or sixth Amityville sequel a mirror from the original house finds its way into the home of an art douche named Keyes Terry. Why do screenwriters love to give their characters stupid names? I spent half the movie wondering why his girlfriend was calling him by his last name like she was a college bro before I realized Keyes was supposed to be his first name. Keyes is not a name. Nobody has ever been named Keyes in the history of ever. I checked. How about Terry Keyes?

This is about on par with the post-original trilogy sequels I've seen. Which is all of them minus Dollhouse. A good supporting cast featuring David Naughton, Richard Roundtree and Terry O'Quinn (see, Terry is a perfectly acceptable first name) and a few hilarious death scenes, but nothing particularly memorable. For me the coolest thing about this movie was actually this darkwave song by a band called WILL.

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