30 May 2008

Exterminator City

Exterminator City
United States - 2005
Director – Clive Cohen
York Home Video, 2005, DVD

A woman is taking a shower when a skull faced robot barges into the room and murders her. Damn, these robots are awesome. Credits, oh crap, Julie Strain is in it, and I have a hard time dealing with this whole clique of on-the-cheap meat-for-hire scream queens. And I wasn’t expecting boobs in this movie.

Oh, right, robot puppets! Lots of creepily lit model high-rise buildings make a rain soaked noiresque atmosphere of tilted walls and tinny canned sound. Aero-cars zip through the semi-darkness suspended from strings.

Skull face robot, a former pest exterminator-bot catches another well-endowed woman in the bathroom with her top off and chops her up. He halucinaties an evil bloodthirsty Christian God for a little while, sweats, fingers his killing blade, and then goes to robo-confession.

So, this is basically a low budget blasphemous, stripy, puppet, robot, noir gorror film?

A detective robot, programmed to be hard boiled, and unleash a string of crusty hardwired catchphrases teams up with the killers shrink, another chromed cookie-cutter charicature to solve the rapidly mounting top-heavy death-toll.

As the Exterminator carves up another preening prosthetic princess, the detective is subjected to the lo-bugit data-onslaught of robo- serial-killer psychology and his own sweaty unrelenting vice.

An merciless onslaught of bitter, hard-boiled and unscrupulously corrupt robots populate this emotionless evisceration of genre standbys. Little attention is given to building a living, breathing world for these characters to fill. Rather, they mutter cynical, cliché sarcasm, gazing out through dimly glowing LED eyes and let their dark digital void fill the world.

Whether by conscious intent or haphazard compromise, easily the best use of puppets since Henson or the Feebles. A blundering, full-force low-budget exploration of the boundaries of creative insanity exploitation filmmaking.

18 May 2008

Portrait of A Hitman

Portrait of a Hitman
United States - 1977
Director- Alan A. Buckhantz
Program Hunters Inc., 1983(?), VHS

Before the film there is a preview for a lousy looking film called Cat In A Cage, starring Sybil Danning.
Some guys in a helicopter chatter at each other as they track down a coyote or a wild dog, and take potshots at it. When they hit it, they land and one guy gets out to make sure its dead, but Jack Palance, standing nearby in his western shirt kills him.

At home some time later, Jimbuck (Palance) paints a crappy portrait of his wife, refusing to answer her innocuous questions with anything but steely brush-offs. Nevertheless, she is seduced and is somehow coerced into a lovemaking montage with the sandpapery Palance.

Receiving a call from his contractor, Mafioso Max Andreiotti (Rod Steiger), Jimbuck finds that his next hit is to be his old buddy Dr. Bob Michaels played by Bo Svenson.

Later, Bob and Jimbuck race around the mountains in their fancy sports cars and over some drinks Jimbuck comes clean. Insults accusations and dull dialogue are unleashed, and when Jimbuck storms out, Bob sticks around to pressure Jimbucks wife into another raspy sex montage.

You would think that catching the two of them going at it would seal the deal for old Jimbuck, who seems like he’s just about to nuke the whole world anyway, but nope. He refuses to make the kill, instead tracking down the hit contractor; one fake accented “black-pimp” caricature Richard Roundtree as “Coco”. There is a gunfight in which it is difficult to see anything, and Jimbuck returns to Mafioso’s house to beg for a way out of the lifestyle.
An awkward strip club scene is inserted here to fill out the boob-quotient, and the whole movie is played again in a quick yellow flashback. Which leaves me wondering; why, if they can edit all the garbage out of this shit for a 90 second montage, did they expect anyone to sit through the whole boring hour and a half just to see a bunch of rich snobby racist white people drinking champagne?

12 May 2008


United States - 2003
Director – Johnathan Mumm
Aztec Home Entertainment, 2003, VHS

Trailers for gangsta movies “Flossin”, “Tha Bothahood” and one other.

Instantly reeks of shot on video,and this is gonna hurt. Some damn kids playing monster around the farm are menaced by superstitous dinner cooking mother.

A slumlord threatens a woman with eviction, and so, her son, who appears to be at least s old as her, assaults him. There’s a bit in here also about a guy who owns the town newspaper, and who emotionally abuses his reporter wife. The slumlord steals a car and drives around drinking whiskey, and is suddenly attacked by a fangy person in a greenish leotard and no music cue.

At a nearby bar, a drunk attempts to hit on the music act, a gratingly quaint folk singer, but when rebuffed, resorts to homicide. While another fellow grills the barmaid about a treasure map, the drunk is attacked and killed by the fangy person and the folk singer escapes. Other diverse characters are introduced, given many long, agonizing minutes of banal dialogue and then forgotten.An old man lies in bed and swills whiskey, offering banal ironies to the crucifix staring back at him from the wall. In another doublewide trailer, a trashy blowhard pastel-clad wannabe mayor discusses political strategy with his bloated hausfrau.
Chosen for some reason to live a life of alcoholic hell guilt for his participation in an El Chupacabras Event in the 50’s, old drunk guy is forced to engage in a second, modern El Chupacabras hunt with all the other main characters in tow. But sadly, his grandson has stolen and sold his map to the Chupacabra lair in order to pay the rent on his mother’s house.
Plot threads are randomly revivified and cast with haphazard earnest like the Chupacabras zombie victims in front of the desperate camcorder lens for this homemade head-trauma.

05 May 2008


United States - 1992
Director – Mansour Pourmand
AIP Distribution, 1992, VHS

Nothing special about this movie, nothing surprising about it, until you find it in your mailbox. I ordered this film on the name alone, partly because of my familiarity with the term “zipperhead”, from the Vietnam War that referred to enemy “personnel”. The video cover on the other hand, was quite a surprise and I was wondering what masochist experiment I had gotten myself into.

After a boring shot for video police shootout, beat cop Lisa Ryder is surprisingly promoted to detective on the coattails of a hardcore law-&-order ticket woman political candidate. Next, three hooker types go into a long-creepy-corridor laced warehouse to meet a kinky John. The two experienced hookers attempt to coerce the terrified newbie into joining their game and the John, clad in spike studded full body leather, wraps his whip around her neck as she flees, breaking it. The two surviving ladies also flee, and one of them ends up at her friend’s house, an older hooker with whom it is insinuated there is a sexual relationship.

Detective Ryder is partnered with a sexist old-dog detective, but instead of proving herself competent in an oppressive environment, flirts drippingly with the creepy denim clad erotic-photographer who is the primary suspect. While correcting her partners sexist vocabulary later, Ryder gets a call from the photographer, Michael who demands that she come over for a shoot that night, then hangs up. She exudes sexual excitement.

Coerced into a bondage session by her sexy guardian, the witness-hooker witnesses the killer hacking off her girlfriends head with a machete before she herself is thrown off the roof to an unimpressive splat.

Ryder shows up at Michael’s house where he plies her with wine and soon cuts her loose of her professional façade, her neckerchief and the top buttons of her shirt. Responding with a huff and another swill of wine, she playfully tosses her hair and bites on a string of pearls and soon is sucking face with him. After a brief murder - investigation/plot interlude, Michael shows up at her house with a bottle of booze and a hardon, and really? Even at this point, I was still surprised at the sheer cautionless unprofessionalism with which officer Ryder flings herself into the creep’s sweaty grope.

After another intimidation copulation session or two there’s got to be some swilly redemptive status quo ending in which everyone is happy in their proper place, and emasculating power grabbing feminists can be held responsible for male sexual frustration and violence. Way to show ‘em.

A German video sleeve from Filmflausen.de