31 Mar 2012

Human Experiments - Will's Review

With a title like that I expected this to either be, or attempt to be, incredibly nasty, Perhaps detailing atrocities similar to those committed at Unit 731, or at very least something akin to the Nasty Nazi movies we have seen so far.

And yet, once again, I am made to fondly look back on trash like The Beast In Heat as "the good old days"...

Our Heroin is accused of a mass-murder she didn't commit (and which a simple print-dusting and ballistics analysis would have cleared her of - she never touched the gun that was used in the killings) and sent to the world most lax prison.

We never see her trail, but she arrives at prison in a red dress, heeled shoes and a necklace - clothes clearly unsuitable for court or prisoner transport.

Once she arrives, her and the other new arrivals are showered and given their prison uniforms (fetching blue numbers). What follows is mostly like a very, very, dull version of Prisoner: Cell Block H, except with a secret lab in the basement.

And that's where things should get interesting...but don't.

The only "Human Experiment" on display, is one where women are reduced to a child-like state (we don't see how) in order that they can be 'raised' properly, thus re-rehabilitation. as best i can tell, the extent of this 'raising' is asking them to locate a cut-out of Mickey Mouse's head, among an assortment of geometric shapes, and occasionally being presented with a 'grown up' meal, to see how well they eat their mashed potatoes.

There are only 14 minuets left of the film before our heroin gets involved in (or even learns of) the experiments, and before that point we only see them twice; the rest of the film is literally nothing more than women doing prison stuff - Tending the garden, playing arcade games in the rec room for boxes of sweets (no cigarettes, although some of them do smoke), taking roll call... dull!

And either I blinked and missed him, or we didn't even get the strange dwarf dude promised on one of the video covers I found online:

Sadly, This appears to be a different movie.

Body Count: 4
Boob Count: 4
Animal Body Count: countless insect specimens are on display, and a few bugs probably get squished, but not close-up enough to confirm.
Most Memorable Death: Just Hangin' in her cell...

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Human Experiments - Lisa's Review


Sooooo.... Human Experiments.  Where to start?   Firstly I will say I had to rewind this movie several times to see if I missed anything as I seemed to keep missing things happening.  This was because I had problems staying conscious throughout.  I found my mind kept drifting.  This movie was so incredibly dull, it just didn't hold my attention at all... EVER!

Here we have a woman (Sarah - who seems to be a travelling entertainer/singer in crap pubs) wrongly convicted of the murders of a family as she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I say convicted but the actual process by which she is sentenced to a prison sentence is laughable.  Something they obviously had to fit in there for contingency purposes but didn't want to bother putting any actual effort into.

So as I say, she finds herself in prison.  If you were a man watching this and thought you were going to find some interesting lesbian action or at least a lot of nudity, prepare to be disappointed.  This movie didn't even have that in!  Apart from the mandatory forced shower the inmates have at the beginning and a rather tame masturbation scene, there is nothing to be seen, so its not even worth it from that perspective guys!

The premis here is a nutty doctor who makes inmates 'better' and 'rehabilitates' them by brainwashing them and returning them to a childlike state.  They seem to relive their lives as adult children, down to their dress and behaviour.  They are also all given new names.  Eventually they are taught how to 'behave' and become responsible citizens.

The only person in this who seemed in any way lacking in the brain cell department was the warden and perhaps a couple of guys at the beginning of the movie .  In fact it seemed that although this movie is using women as the victims, it in fact is poking fun at the men or at least making them look like complete b*stards.   It almost came across to me as a movie made by a woman with a man grudge.   It had the definate appearance of a TV movie and even reminded me of Prisoner Cell Block H (but more happened in that).

The ending of the movie is of course as predictable as you'd expect with our leading lady getting her revenge and walking off triumphant (allbeit with her newly aquired name).

I don't see the point in going into any more detail or wasting any more time reviewing this than I did watching it.  Dull, Boring, Predictable.  If you can watch it all the way through without losing interest or your mind wandering at least once, you have my utmost admiration.

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25 Mar 2012

WEEK 45: Human Experiments

Alternate Titles : Beyond the Gate, Women in Prison
Year: 1980
Reviews / Author Comments due: 31/3/2012
DPP Status: Removed from list March 1984
BBFC Status: Still banned by virtue of never being re-released
Wikipedia: No Page
DVD: Not Available

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24 Mar 2012

The House on the Edge of The Park - Will's Reviews

This is one of the few (3 so far I think) nasties I have already seen, It turned up on a 10 movies budget pack I bought on import from Canada years ago, I remember being impressed then, and I enjoyed it on a re-watch too..

Yes, I liked it! I know that Lisa will have a very different opinion, I haven't checked her review before writing mine (I never do) but I just know we will disagree on the Rape and sexual harassment scenes - and once you disagree on those, you aren't going to reach a consensus as they make up 90% of the movie!

In short, I'll have to be proven VERY wrong for this one to get a VNAW Recommends badge...

The film (directed by Cannibal Holocaust's Ruggero Deodato) opens with our lead character, Alex (the late David Hess), stalking, raping and killing a woman - the stalking is very well filmed, just the right amount of shaky cam to make it feel very claustrophobic, and i think the rape itself is well handled. While I am sure there exists a certain type of man who might'get off' on this, I felt that the rape was shown as a nasty and violent act - yes, the camera go up close and gave us lingering shots of breast and genitals, but this was not a posing woman 'sexing it up' and to me, these close ups were a violation, in much the same way the rape was shown to be. I'm sure there exists a type of man (possibly even woman) who will enjoy this as titilation, but to me it drove home the humiliation.

Alex apparently gets away with his crime, and we join him some time later (a year later, as we will find out) where his is finishing up for the night at the garage he owns, where he works with his (slightly challenged) friend, Ricky.

When a couple of Yuppies pull in to the garage as he is closing, he agrees to let Ricky fix their car, in exchange for an invite to the party they are headed to.

Once at the party, the hosts and their well-to-do friends waste no time in humiliating the duo, encouraging Ricky to dance and strip (while they point and laugh), while one of the women does everything she can to lead Alex on - even inviting him into the shower with her and washing him, before telling him he has no-chance.

I don't want to use the phrase "Asking for it" - but these idiots sure could have seen it coming... invite two strangers into your house then humiliate them - Not. Smart.

And so, when Alex decides that enough is enough the tables turn and it becomes a home-invasion movie - think Ils, The Strangers or even Week 37's Fight for your life - but with more sexual abuse and, in the case of fight, less racial hatred.

The women are all forced to bear at least there breast (most are stripped comply) Alex's Cock-tease gets taken up-stairs and raped, and Ricky is "gifted" his first choice of the women (Although he seems to like the idea, the reality is a different story and he is unable to go through with it).

There is also a particularly brutal razor assault on virginal time younger woman who drops by, that is hard to watch - made harder by those damned intrusive camera shots like the opening rape.

It's not without it's faults one of the women's behavior towards Ricky is just ridiculous in context, and the 'twist' is both predictable and pathetic, but all in all this one is worth your time... if you have the stomach for it.

Body Count: 2
Boob Count: 5 pairs
Animal Body Count: 0
Most memorable death: Like a floating pinata; only with bullets instead of sticks...

As an aside - Hess was set to star in a sequel to be released this year, reprising his roll as a 75 year old, newly released from prison, Alex. As far as I know though, this was never filmed before his unexpected death.

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The House On The Edge Of The Park - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

As I start this review, I don't know what I'm going to write so there may be spoilers.

I struggled with how to review this movie without bias, trying not to let the fact i'm female affect my viewpoint, but sadly its not something I was able to do, so.. if it makes me a feminist whinger, then so be it.

I won't go into serious levels of detail with the plot, but the main male lead (Alex) starts the movie by raping a young woman in the back of a car. I knew by this stage I wan't going to like this one. Ok, so how do I explain this... rape happens, it's nasty, so sure it has a place within 'Video Nasties' but what I have a real problem with is the execution of a rape scene being filmed as a 'love' scene for titilation. A womans body being used to get as many shots of her various parts as possible, rather than concentrate on the vile act that rape actually is. As I watched this first rape and we zoomed in for chest and genital close-ups, my stomach turned over. I don't know whether this is because I am female or whether men would feel similarly.

We move on in the movie and Alex and his slow friend Ricky are invited to a party with a bunch of rich individuals. Its made clear early on they've been invited for kicks for the yuppies to laugh at. They cheat at poker with Ricky cleaning him out of all his money, they make him dance, cheering him on, all while laughing at him and encourage him to strip. Our supposed smart switched on guy is even taken for a fool by one of the women who does everything possible to lead him on and then won't have sex with him.

What follows is similar to 'funny games' I suppose. Alex turns nasty and holds the houses occupants hostage. He beats the 2 men and we get to see every woman in the house completely naked (ok so, 1 woman only goes topless, but we have every other female in the movie to make up for that). Ricky is easilly led, but when it comes down to it, he doesn't want to perform in front of the group at Alex's request by forcing himself on one of the women.

So its a typical bad guy holds a group hostage and does bad things movie. What I found different about it however was the sheer amount of uncomfortable forced female nudity. Women being abused, raped, stripped, having razors held to their throats, even a teenage babysitter (a virgin of course) being stripped, humiliated and cut all over with a razor. The scenes made me squirm and not in the way they should have. As I have said before, I don't like scenes of sexual abuse and i dislike them even more when every angle, shot and movement is to cause excitement to the viewer. As the women are being abused, the director is very careful to make sure their leg is at just the right angle for maximum body exposure and to make the most of what they've got. As with the first rape, we are 'treated' to close-ups of all the females breasts and genitals through-out the movie. I just wanted to give the people responsible a big kick in the nuts from all rape victims who might be unlucky enough to come across this piece of drivel!

We have a 'twist' at the end of the movie which might surprise a retard, but I saw it coming from the initial invite of Alex and Ricky to the house. I won't give it away for anyone who feels compelled to watch this movie from my review, I seriously hope however, most people I know would have the intelligence to avoid!

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18 Mar 2012

Week 44: The House on The Edge of the Park.

Alternate Titles: La Casa Speruta Nel Parco, La Casa al Confini del Parco Der Schlitzer
Year: 1980
Reviews / Author Comments due: 24/3/212

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The House By The Cemetery - Will's Review

This movie is one third of the Fulci "Gates of Hell" 'Trilogy' (The Beyond being another third, and the non-DPP 'City of the Living Dead' being the other) As 'The Beyond' is one of only 5 movies so far o earn the 'VNAW Recommended' badge, I was looking forward to this...

From the outset it is a wonderfully shot film, looking so visually similar to The Beyond that i checked if it had the same DP (it did) - even the early exterior shots manage to have a claustrophobic feel to them, and the sequence of the first victim being dragged off is (and it seems odd to say this) beautiful.

Unfortunately, this is limited to the pre-credit sequence; once the film proper gets going, it's just another (albeit competently made) 70's Italian horror movie.

And by 'Just another 70s Italian horror movie' I mean 'Large chunks of it make no sense, and the monster is sub-early Doctor Who quality'

The movie is about a family who move into a house because the dad is reasurching it, the house has its own graveyard, and the basement is boarded up. Clearly, the family have never seen a horror movie before, because the almost imidiatly open the basement, but then when weird stuff starts happening, it takes them fodder to actually attempt to flee the house and never come back.

There's a sub-plot with a girl from the past communicating with the boy of the family but, like all of the supernatural elements of the film, this dissent make sense in the context of, or tie into the reason behind, the murders that surround the house once the 'twist' is revealed.

To be honest, I found this one a little dull, unfortunately, crew aside, the only thing this movie has in common with the beyond, are some decent effects, and a nonsensical ending.

Body Count: 7
Boob Count: 1 Pair
Animal Body Count: 2
Most Memorable Death: Poke her with a Poker.

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17 Mar 2012

The House by the cemetery - Lisa's Review

A nice little movie this week! Another Fulci offering. This movie is apparently a part of an unofficial trilogy with The Beyond which we watched a few months ago when we were still on 'B' and City of the living dead.

*** SPOILERS ***

Although the movie is quite dated as you would expect and the poor dubbing is irritating, I still managed to enjoy this movie. Its a good little afternoon view. I didn't find anything particularly scary, but the makeup in places is very good. Its just in shame in some other places, its so bad.

The basic premis without going into too much detail is a family (Mum Lucy, Dad Norman and young boy Bob) moving to a town called New Whitby due to the the father (Norman) having to research some old houses. The house they move into however is not as innocent as it seems.

We 'the viewer' already have this information on board from the opening scene of a young woman (topless at that... why do women never wear bras in these movies?) who is murdered via a knife to the back of the head (which protrudes from her mouth) as she is looking for her boyfriend. Also Bob keeps seeing the ghost of a young girl Mae who warns him not to go to the house.

Of course they go anyway and the inevitable happens.

They have gravestones in the garden and even in the hallway, of a family called 'The Freudsteins (on a side note, this really bothered me as they were referred to as Freudsteens in the movie, but german pronunciation dictates that with an ie or ei, you pronounce the last letter, so they should have been referred to as Freudstine!) anyways I deviate. We find out that Dr Freudstein does what all historical doctors have done in movies like this....illegal experiements. He also ends up killing his family.

We find out Freudstein is in fact still alive and in the cellar of the house as he is using parts from his victims to regenerate his blood cells. The reveal is kind of disappointing. He looks kind of like a withered ET and a scene which shows only his eyes glowing in the cellar when young Bob comes across him is just laughable.

Nothing much more to the story really. Bad stuff happens, people die.

Points worth noting in the movie are the doggedly determined, haemophiliac bat (very amusing scene), the stabbing by poker (what a horrid way to go and very good effects) and the slow decapitation by knife (again good effects, but let down by the poor severed head rolling down the stairs later).

The movie has its faults, but on the whole, it was a fun watch and something I would watch again. This one gets a 'recommended' from me.

Something I've gained from watching these movies is an appreciation of Mr Fulci!

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12 Mar 2012

Week 43: House By The Cemetery - The

Alternate Titles : The House Outside the Cemetery, Quella Villa Accanto al Cimitero
Year: 1981
Reviews / Author Comments due: 17/3/2012
DPP Status: Successfully Prosecuted
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2009
Wikipedia: The House By The Cemetery
DVD: R2 uncut as part of the "Gates of Hell" Trilogy, With City of the Living Dead, and The Beyond
Watch For Free: Details here

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11 Mar 2012

The Gestapo's last orgy - Will's Review

*****Spoilers from opening paragraph*******

Opening with a VoiceOver from a war crimes trail, the movies story is actually pretty strong.

Lisa (yes another one) is a young Jewish woman, who turned her own family over to the Nazis, believing that they would be incarcerated but not harmed, and that she would be able to be loyal to Germany and lead a 'normal' life, rather than hiding in the attic.
Predictably, her parents are killed and she is captured and sent to a concentration camp where she is physically and emotionally abused - at first she doesn't care, wanting only death, but upon learning that her parents location was already known to the nazis loses her guilt complex and submits to the general in charge of the camp in order to stay alive, eventually falling in love with him.

When she has his son however (still at the camp) the general has the baby taken away and killed, as 'a Jew will have no good life in the new world'.

Lisa, devastated by the betrayal, continues to fake her affection for the general, eventually testifying on his behalf at his war crime trial in order to get his charges dropped - so that she can return to the camp with him and kill him herself!
See? A pretty good story!

Unfortunately the film is utter crap - the camp in question is a sex-camp, where attractive Jewish women and taken to serve German solders on leave.

It's a nasty little rape-for-titillation movie, that manages to be offensive not only to women - but to the nazis.

I know it's odd to think that the Nazis could be badly portrayed in a movie (as in, portrayed in a negative light) but here, ordinary German solders are portrayed as sex crazed idiots, who would enthusiastically charge across a room to rape women en-mass, simply because they have permission.

It's also badly acted, and what few 'scare' scene there are are atrocious - women are dissolved in quicklime which stays white, and out heroin is at one point dressed in knickers made of human hair (!) and dangled over a pit of ravenous... Gerbils.

Both better and more offensive than 'Beast in Heat' but still one to avoid.

By the way the one 'good' German (a doctor who tries to help the girls) is by far the best endowed - he also just happens to be ginger - just sayin'

Body Count: 15
Boob Count: 37 pairs
Animal Body Count: O
Most Memorable Death: Clean and Quick(Lime)

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10 Mar 2012

The Gestapo's last orgy - Lisa's Review

Where do I start with this one? I thought we had another 'Beast in Heat' here, but although on the surface, it may appear to be your typical Nazi sexploitation movie (bit cheesy with hammy sex scenes, lots of nudity and a pretty sparse story line - the sort of thing your average person who thinks they like a bit of S&M might enjoy). I wasn't that long into the movie before I had decided this one wasn't for me.

This movie contained 1 of only 2 subjects I find deeply uncomfortable, that of sexual abuse (if any regular readers exist, they will know the other subject is animal cruelty/torture/death).

While The Beast in Heat was too ridiculous and camp to find offensive, this one definately has an altogether different feel. The abuse is cruel, violent, humiliating and degrading and it was something I found hard to watch. I didn't find the rest of the movie was handled in a serious enough light given these kind of scenes.

Something I found even more repugnant was the leading lady (yet another Lisa.. what is it with nasties and Lisa's) and her switch from refusal to give in to the Nazi's and wanting to die, to her falling in love with the lead Nazi, even simulating giving a gun he points at her a blow job. It kind of cheapens what the POWs are going through and to me, the 2 completely contrary viewpoints didn't gel in a movie that was in any way poignant. Sure I've heard of Stockholm Syndrome and they may have been angling that sort of direction, but for me, it wasn't an intelligent enough movie to carry this off with any sort of conviction.

I won't waste my own time or any other readers time going into any significant detail about the movie other than to say if you enjoy crap movies with bad acting, a weak plot, a laughable script and delight in seeing women degraded and abused for sexual kicks, then you may enjoy this. I for one wouldn't recommend it.

A mention must go however to the cute gerbils masquerading as rats. I did enjoy them.

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4 Mar 2012

Week 42: The Gestapo's Last Orgy

Alternate Titles : L'Ultima Orgia del III Reich, Bourreaux SS, Last Orgy of the Third Reich, Des Filles pour le Bourreau, Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler
Year: 1977
Reviews / Author Comments due: 10/3/12
DPP Status: Successfully Prosecuted
BBFC Status: Still banned

Trailer unavailable

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3 Mar 2012

The Funhouse - Lisa's Review


I'm still pondering over what I thought about this movie and to be honest I can't come to a conclusion. I would say had I watched it at a similar time to all the horrors my dad rented in when I was a kid (Carrie, Maximum Overdrive, Christine, Firestarter.. yup he liked Stephen King) then I would have enjoyed it, but as an adult with a love of horror, I can't say I was very impressed.

The movie is mostly set in a carnival (an idea which I loved) where 4 teenagers discover some altogether darker things are occuring behind the scenes at the hands of one of the fair workers son, who is monstrously disfigured and obviously not the full shilling. He's a bit of a sad character who in places just seemed to want some companionship and love, but as with so many 'monsters' mans nature turn it bad. Some character building and a bit more background would have helped matters enormously there but I just don't feel we were invited to care enough about the unfortunate 'monster' of the movie.

Initially, when I read that Tobe Hooper was involved with this movie, I was looking forward to watching it and when I think about it, I quite enjoyed the half of the movie where we are introduced to the main female lead Amy, her younger brother Joey and her boyfriend and another couple. Some of the aspects of the carnival were either interesting or amusing like the 2 headed cow and the worlds crappest burlesque show, but once we supposedly 'got going' I started losing interest.

The murders are all pretty tame stuff and I struggled to work out why this movie was ever placed on the infamous list. We have one murder completely off screen by way of a air conditioning fan (at least I think that's what it was), a hanging, a hatchet in the head of a dead body with hardly any blood, a conveniently placed sword impaling... you get the drift.

I didn't feel any empathy with the characters or the would be monster. The makeup for the monster was quite good for its time, but I struggle to think of much to say about most of the movie other than 'it was ok'. I was disappointed with the lack of that ominous undertone Hooper is famous for, especially with a carnival as a backdrop!! Ultimate in creepiness, but in this movie, it was sadly lacking.

The only part that I thought was of any interest was a prank Joey plays on his older sister Amy at the start of the movie. The ultimate in pranks and rather sick but bloody effective! Big nod to Psycho there.

In conclusion, I would say, big slasher buffs could give it a watch purely for it being another of 'those' movies of 'that' era, you may find it a pleasant enough watch, but I found it rather dull after it lost pace for me.

Bring back the scares please!!!

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The Funhouse - Will's Review

A fairly mainstream entry this week, distributed by Universal, and with creature makeup design by Rick Baker, this is NOT the kind of movie you expect to see sandwiched between  Cannibal Holocaust and Faces of Death. It has an innocuous enough title, and even the box art isn't particularly menacing (the wonderful deformed mouth of the theatrical poster is replaced with a jack-in-the-box that I don't think even appears in the movie).

If fact, the only thing that could possibly have red-flagged this movie to the puritans is the director - this is Tobe Hooper's 2nd entry on the list (after Week 18's Death Trap), but even that doesn't make sense as his most famous (and nastiest) work The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is conspicuous by its  inexplicable absence from the DPP list.

Still, here it is; so enough about why...


Looking the film up online, you'll find it tends to get listed as a slasher, although I'm not sure there's enough actual slashing for it to qualify; that said the atmosphere is pure 80's slasher movie, so I'm willing to class it as one on those grounds.

Plot wise, 4 teens go to the carnival and decide, for reasons best known to themselves, that the funhouse (ghost train) would be a good place to spend the night, so they buy a ticket and bail out of the cars to get themselves locked in.

While inside, they peer down into the basement (how a traveling carnival has a basement to its rides I don't know) and see one of the ride operators pay the fortune seller for sex - except he finishes early (way early) and loses his temper (with fatal consequences) when she won't refund him.

Said ride operator, by the way, communicates in grunts and wears a pretty cool Frankenstein mask, which he refuses to take off even for his paid-for rumpy-pumpy. Predictably enough, when the mask finally does come off (while his father, the barker, is beating him for killing 'one of their own') he is hideously deformed.

I have a problem with this; if you are a carnival barker, and your son is a 2 nosed, gnarl toothed albino, why on earth would you cover that with a Frankenstein mask? He could preform his job just as well as-is, and have people assume it's a mask or (even better) teach him how to eat lightbubs or bite the heads off of chickens and stick him in the freakshow! It seems like to great of an opportunity to miss!

But no, his father dresses him up as a different freak and sets him to work loading people into funhouse cars... Whatever...

Anyway, the father realises that our teens have witnessed the murder, and so sets his son to work getting rid of the witnesses.

The monster makeup is, I have to say, disappointing; his 'real' face looks more like a mask than the mask he covers it with! I expect better from Baker, and can only assume that the budget didn't allow for much time or great materials.

The funhouse itself offers a nice claustrophobic setting, although it gets a bit limited after a while, and it might have been nice to see the action spill out into the carnival grounds.

All in all not a bad little movie if you like low-rent 80s slashers, not the best film we've seen so far, but far FAR from the worst!

Body count: 6
Boob Count: 1 pair (plus 3 more with nipples, but only nipples, covered)
Animal Body Count: 0
Most Memorable Death: Electrocution on screen, seizure in your living room!  

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