Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'm not a superhero fan. As a kid, when it came to comic books my favorites were the eerie ones like Tales from the Crypt (I know, big surprise, eh?), then funny ones, then superheroes. I was happier with a copy of Richie Rich than I was of Superman, Fantastic Four, etc. Now that I'm older (I won't claim grown up), I've never seen Spiderman or Iron Man or the Hulk movies. Just never felt compelled to.

But I heard amazing things about Heath Ledger's final role as the Joker. Last night I sat down and watched Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, courtesy of Netflix. Something like five hours of Gotham City, Alfred and Inspector Gordon, all in one swell foop.

It was pretty good. Not good enough to ignite an interest in seeing all the superhero movies (or even the earlier Batman flicks), but I did enjoy them.

Heath Ledger was excellent, but kind of a letdown because there was no way his performance could've lived up to the hype.

Next up on my watch list are volumes one & two of the Mario Bava collection (Christmas presents - yay!). Hot diggety!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Nyquil-Induced Inspiration

Considering the amount of snot that's poured out of my head in the last six days, I think DARPA should develop a fire-smothering version. That way, one smoke jumper with a super-soaker full of the stuff could probably handle all of the west coast next wildfire season.

File Under: Brass Bra

Originally seen at Q&O.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


After casual observation, I've come to the conclusion that I'm one of the very few people who can't stand mango.

Monday, January 04, 2010

What I Watched - 4th Quarter 2009

Ok, here's the list of the movies I watched during the last three months of 2009. My final stats for the entire year are at the bottom, so if you'd rather skip the embarrassing details, feel free. Also, I don't want to hear any crap about not being in the Christmas spirit. I only list DVD's here (my own and from Netflix), and I watched many of my favorite Christmas classics on television (Holiday Inn, White Christmas, The Santa Clause, etc.).

Monster-A-Go-Go – not a good start to the quarter.
Psyched by the 4-D Witch – I didn't think things could get worse. I was wrong.
Two Thousand Maniacs! - Somehow, I'd never gotten around to seeing this cult classic. I was impressed with the barrel roll scene.
The Man & The Monster – Classic Mexican horror, about a man who sells his soul to the Devil and predictably gets way more than he bargained for.
Gruesome Twosome – Old lady has the most realistic looking wigs.
Blood Feast – Have you ever had an Egyptian Feast?
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken – Don Knotts classic. I love it.
Color Me Blood Red – An artist finds the perfect red. Interesting-ish bit of bondage at the end.
Country Cuzzins – Rene Bond. Enuf said.
Midnight Plowboy – More hixploitation. Fun but dumb.
How To Be A Serial Killer – This started out so promising, but fizzled badly.
The Incredible Mr. Limpet – Don Knotts as an animated fish, kicks Nazi ass.
The Girl Who Shagged Me – Misty Mundae couldn't save this mess. There's a part 2 to complete the story, but I won't even bother.
Old Boy – Memorable Asian horror. It does finally make sense at the end, which doesn't make it any less disturbing.
Sin Sisters – Misty Mundae is truly scary as the cold, psychotic half of the title duo. Surprisingly effective flick with a twist ending that completely blindsided me.
Night of Lust – Believe it or not, the film The French Connection was based on this nudie from France. Great jazz score.
Sleepy Hollow – Depp in this decent retelling of the Washington Irving tale.
Donnie Darko – Nope, still makes no sense. But I re-watch it periodically, much like Terry Gilliam's Brazil.
Images in a Convent – Nunsploitation. I have a dirty, dirty soul.
The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hide – Not a misspelling. Rene Bond again, in a nicely done, nicely twisted variation on the classic.
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals – I've been slowly working my way through the franchise, and this is one of them.
A Dirty Shame – Funniest movie about sex since Orgasmo, starring Tracy Ullman.
House of Wax – Vincent Price at his best. Classic.
Night of the Hunter – Robert Mitchum wows, right up until Lillian Gish steals the show towards the end.
Zack and Miri Make A Porno – Sweet and funny, I liked this one enough that I'd buy it if I see it on sale.
Drag Me To Hell – The surprise ending didn't. Eh.
The Brown Bunny – I admit it, I watched this mainly for the non-simulated blow job by Chloe Savigny. Other than that, this movie is so dull that I fast forwarded through long stretches without missing anything.
Dark Habits – Nunsploitation. Didn't we already have this conversation?
Gladiator – Fun but formulaic. Overrated in my humble opinion.
The Haunting – The awesome original version scares with nothing more than sound effects and your own imagination.
My Bloody Valentine – An early slasher flick. Not being a big fan of the genre, I still enjoyed it.
April Fool's Day – Underrated 80's horror.
United 93 – This was very difficult to watch. The DVD extras includes pictures and bios of each passenger on the flight and I cried.
Satan's Baby Doll - Let's see... nymphet daughter is possessed by her dead mother in order to murder the rest of the family one by one. Not nearly as good as I'd hoped.
Star Trek – The new one. This was another 'Earth vs. Soup' movie. As long as I didn't think about it too much it was enjoyable.
Fritz the Cat – Does not survive the test of time, other than as a reminder that assholes are part of every generation. Oh, and cartoon animal sex is creepy.
Just the Two of Us – A 70's era grindhouse morality play, with lesbians and boobs.
Jason and the Argonauts – Skeletons swordfighting. Harryhausen FTW!
Flesh and Lace - A movie about an innocent and naive nymphomaniac. Ends with a shootout in a toy store.
Passion in Hot Hollows – For all the B and C grade crap I watch, this one stands out for having an actual plot, and for piling twist upon outrageous twist onto the story.
No Country For Old Men – As long as you remember that this was a Cohen Brothers movie, you won't be surprised by anything that happens. Quirky enough to win the Oscar, but I wasn't that impressed.
Macumba Sexual – There are five women in this Jess Franco movie, and in the first 10 minutes four get completely full frontal naked and the one that doesn't gives a beaver shot. Lots of man junk on display too. Not awful. The movie, I mean. You can make up your own mind about the man junk.
Trading Places – Ackroyd, Murphy, Curtis, Ameche and Bellamy. Need I say more?
The Pornographers – Japanese classic about a guy doing whatever it takes to support his weird family. Despite a couple of disturbing insinuations and the general subject matter, there's only one very brief boob on display.
The Toybox – This softcore sex movie turns into a murder mystery before ending up as a Sci-Fi alien monster flick. Weird.
The Joys of Jezebel – Jezebel persuades Satan to let her go back to Earth for revenge against her husband, who had her murdered for political expediency. Ambitious plot considering that this is really just another nudie movie.
My Tale Is Hot – Satan tries to tempt the “World's Most Faithful Husband”. Basically, this is one long vaudeville routine on camera with plenty of naked women on display. Includes one spliced in dance routine from the legendary stripper Candy Barr.
Clerks 2 – I'm still laughing at the ending of this one.
Uzamaki – Something is spreading through a small Japanese town, turning the residents into snails. Very atmospheric and creepy.
Bubba Ho Tep – Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK. If that doesn't send a thrill down your leg then there's something seriously normal about you.
Entrails of a Virgin – A gory Japanese flick. According to the director, the movie is like Crackerjacks: you get horror, plus you get sex. Quite a bit of sex. In fact, there's so much sex going on that the horror part gets short shrift. That's not a good thing, especially since the sex isn't all that hot.
Violence in a Woman's Prison – Another flick in the Emanuelle franchise, starring the stunning Laura Gemser. Typical WIP plot: evil warden, dykes and sadistic guards, etc.
Fangs of the Living Dead – Anita Eckberg inherits a castle full of distant relatives. And vampires. A lesson in intersecting sets ensues.
Women of Devil's Island – Old swashbuckler complete with an island prison for women, pirates, and gold.
The Defilers – Two hep cats looking for kicks decide to kidnap a young model.
Scum of the Earth – A look at the sordid world of naughty pictures and the ways that women were blackmailed into posing. If you've ever watched a Something Weird video, part of the opening soliloquy is the infamous “You're dirty, do you hear me? Dirty!” The whole speech comes from this movie.
Breaking Her Will – I did a complete review of this movie here.
Blood for Dracula – Andy Warhol's take on the vampire mythos. Campy, surreal and fun. The count needs virgin blood, and his local population has been depleted.
Dirtbags – A disjointed comedy based on the premise that instead of humans being intrinsically altruistic, they're opportunistically selfish. Some outrageously funny jokes, but definitely not for everyone. Odds are, you'll hate this offensive (to most everyone) movie.
Prime Time – Mediocre flick along the lines of Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube.
Brotherhood of the Wolf – This is on my all-time favorites list. Lush, gorgeous, mysterious, and unlike anything you've ever seen before. Highly recommended.
Brainiac – Mexican horror classic. This was the slightly goofy original Mexican version, as opposed to the re-edited and re-released American version, which is over-the-top goofy.
Freaks – Classic. If you've never seen this, your cinematic resume is sadly lacking.
Sex by Advertisement – pseudo documentary from the 60's (translation: excuse for softcore porn), most notable by being hosted by a “doctor” played by legendary porn actress Georgina Spelvin, before she got into the biz. The doc never gets naked, most everyone else does.
Career Bed – Mom will do anything, and I do mean anything, to make her daughter a star.
Office Love-In – more 60's softcore. Forgettable. Big surprise, eh?
Suburban Confidential – Another pseudo-documentary, this time about bored and neglected housewives.
Cat People – Star studded thriller, full of New Orleans atmosphere.
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde – This is the 1941 release featuring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. I've seen many versions of this story, and watching performances like these brings out the depth of the characters like no other.
Silence of the Lambs – Best watched with a nice chianti.
Les Chic – Early 70's grindhouse flick, notable for a few reasons. 1. It was shot in San Francisco (surprisingly, that wasn't common), 2. It stars Rene Bond, and 3. Parts of it are positively hardcore porn, which I didn't expect.
Les Chic 2 – This 2002 remake/sequel features some of the original characters, but the story itself is new. The lead is still a 70's style swinger named Chic, but whereas the original had the self-confidence to pull off weird, the new Chic is more the likable loser type. This time, the hardcore scenes are lesbian.
National Treasure – Something about this movie left me unsatisfied. Maybe it was because the bad guy wasn't bad enough or consistent enough (shoot to kill one moment, “let 'em go” the next), or the chemistry between the leads didn't quite click, or that it felt like a whirlwind tour of American History: here is the National Archives, here is the Liberty Bell, here is... Instead of being historically important places (and I'm a history buff), they were reduced to just movie sets. The film was ok, but I wanted more.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – Third in the franchise, and as happens all too often, each sequel falls short of the one before. Not bad, but not great.
Yojimbo – Another Kurisawa classic, this time based on a Dashiel Hammett story. A masterless Samurai encounters a town where two rival factions are poised to do battle. If that sounds familiar, it's because Sergio Argento made practically the same movie starring Clint Eastwood, and A Fistful of Dollars spawned the Spaghetti Western genre.
Renaissance Man – I love this Danny DeVito comedy.

76 movies for the quarter. Lest it seem that I do nothing except park myself in front of the television, I'll admit that often a movie will take me a couple of days to finish because I'll start watching at the end of the day and fall asleep part way through. I also watched maybe another 10 hours of TV total during the quarter, which included the aforementioned holiday movies and a couple of hockey games. So I love my movies, but I'm not much of a television fan.

For the year, I watched a total of 195 movies. Considering my count for this last quarter, it's pretty obvious that my movie viewing falls way off when the weather gets nice. Which is how it should be.

You can find my lists for the first quarter, second quarter, and third quarter by clicking on those links.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Movie Review: Breaking Her Will

A few weeks ago I came home from work and saw a large envelope in the mailbox. Getting those envelopes is almost like Christmas morning for me, because it usually means that some obscure bit of cinema history has arrived.

This time was even better, because inside were two unexpected screeners sent to me by The Grimoire. These deliveries are made possible by you folks, who read these reviews and then leave comments, thus proving to the distributors that Rocket Jones is worth sending screeners to. It's a self-perpetuating cycle, and I love it.

There were two movies in the package. The first was a comedy called Dirtbags, along with a horror flick called Breaking Her Will. Dirtbags was hilariously offensive to just about everyone, but overall I liked Breaking Her Will better.

In fact, I absolutely loved Breaking Her Will. Read on for the sordid details.

Both films were from independent moviemaker Bill Zebub (which is on my list of all-time favorite names). From these two samples, I'd say he takes a concept and doesn't just run with it, he runs with scissors with it. His movies are blind to the boundaries of “normal” decency, and that's where they excel. Whether you're (guiltily) laughing your ass off at Dirtbags, or squirming while watching events unfold in Breaking Her Will, there's no doubt that this guy knows which buttons to push, and he gleefully has his thumb mashed down on those buttons. You know, the ones labeled “uncomfortable”. For more information about Bill Zebub and his movies, check out or

The first part of the movie feels like bondage porn, or at least this is what I imagine bondage porn would be like*. One thing is for certain though, this isn't porn, not by a long shot. A young lady hitchhiker is picked up, subdued and taken into the antagonist's basement. There, over the course of days and weeks he keeps her restrained while he psychologically tortures her (and the viewer too, truth be told). It's only when you see him writing in his journal, making notes about what her reactions are to various torments, that you realize he's more than just a sicko toying with her for kicks. He's experimenting. He's practicing.

And that's where the real creep factor comes from. You have to wonder, how many times has he done this? He's pretty good at it. He's not winging it, for he has a plan, and you watch as his methods work to gradually break her defenses down.

When she's finally and completely subservient to him, the story really gets moving. As I jokingly told my wife, "halfway through the bondage porn, plot broke out!" That glib remark doesn't give due credit to the movie though, because suddenly you recognize all the subtle foreshadowing that was presented early on. She wasn't a test subject, she was a dress rehearsal.

The ending hits you like a punch in the gut, and after the ending credits rolled, I just sat there for a few minutes, mulling over what I'd just watched.

The acting is outstanding. Jackie Stevens gives an incredible performance as the kidnapped victim. You'd think that when your role is to be tied up and blindfolded for much of the movie, that there's not much to do, and you'd be wrong. She plays it to the hilt, and the authenticity of her reactions really stand out.

Brian Gleitz is superb as the kidnapper. He's scary in a likable way, reminding me of the guy the neighbors always describe as “polite and friendly” on the evening news.

Details, details... the movie runs about 1:35, which is surprisingly lengthy compared to a typical indie horror flick. From the end credits we learn that the movie was written, directed, produced, edited, and shot by Bill Zebub. Mostly brilliantly too, I'd add. This movie looks great and the story flows right along.

Bill Zebub is a death metal fan, and his soundtracks reflect that. Good stuff by groups I'd never have experienced otherwise - on the Dirtbags disk he gives complete score information and song snippets as a main menu selection. A slight nitpick is that the sound goes from mute to fairly loud in one click of the remote. No doubt it's because his mixer board goes to 11.

Disk-wise, the main menu offers a sneak peak at another Bill Z flick, and “play movie”. Chapters would have been nice, but since this is a low-budget indie movie that's a small gripe.

To sum up, I'm torn about Breaking Her Will. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who loves horror (or bondage porn I suppose) because this is an excellent movie, but I really can't think of anyone I know who would like it. Obviously, I need more unconventional friends.

According to the websites, Bill Zebub movies are available at Blockbuster and Netflix. What the hell, rent one and make up your own mind. It's not like your opinion of my taste in movies can get any lower, eh?

* Ok, I admit it, I've seen actual bondage porn and I found that if you're not into really into bondage it's boring as hell. The exciting part to a bondage fan isn't sex or even nudity, it's the ropes. So tie someone up in an interesting way – bonus points for gag and blindfold – and watch them lay on the floor and struggle against their bonds for twenty minutes, and you've got a happy bondage porn audience. Please wake the rest of us up when it's over.**

** Notice how many times I used the phrase "bondage porn?" Like chum to a (Google) shark.***

*** And since you've read this far, how about leaving a comment?