Final Girl Film Club Presents: The Beyond

Terrifying and unspeakable secrets of hell, huh?

Terrifying and unspeakable secrets of hell, huh?

What’s up my little chickadees? I know it’s been a while but I’m back in the Film Club Coolies Gang!

Can you believe I’ve missed four whole months of participating in Final Girl‘s Film Club?

Know why? Well, I’d like to tell y’all it’s because I’ve been super busy getting ready for the birth of my son…but the truth is…I’m kinda’ lazy and I haven’t been all that enthused with the Film Club movie selections recently…

Well laziness be damned and interest be peaked this month, boners!

Today we’re diving face first into Lucio Fulci‘s THE BEYOND…It’s a “graphic frenzy of gory crucifixions, chunkblowing chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulfuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies!”

Man, can the back cover of this DVD sell this fucker or what?

But before I get to my thoughts on this bad boy, I think we should start with a little song called, Seven Doors Hotel, by Swedish rockers, EUROPE! (Yes, that Europe!) It’s totally about THE BEYOND and does a pretty good job summing up the plot to a horror movie like only heavy metal lyricists can…but with guitar solos!

Okay…so…um…how to describe the “plot” to THE BEYOND?

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So there’s this warlock, right? And he’s all into magic and doors and painting and stuff…and, um, the sepia toned residents of 1920s Louisiana don’t cotton to no queer necromancers in their parts.

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Seriously, the Creoles are one thing, but they just can’t stand for no frilly wizard settin’ up shop in one of their fancy hotels!

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Soooo, they catch him, whip him with some chains, crucify him to a wall, and give him a face full of caustic soda as warning to all the other sissy Satanists round these parts! It’s a total “All warlocks, keep out! This means you! Love, Louisiana!” kind of thing.

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And there’s this book. It’s the Book Of Eibon and it’s full of cool stuff like a magical formulae for “the slaying of certain otherworldly horrors” and it even has the rites of Zhothaqquah in it! But for some reason the movie doesn’t really get into all that…I think it’s still a pretty neat book though.

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Anyway, the hotel where the warlock was murdered back in the 20s is inherited by a young woman in the 1980s…and woe be unto this poor woman that inherited this creepy money pit! The Seven Doors Hotel is all sorts of fucked up! Weather beaten exteriors, bad plumbing, crappy interiors, a flooded basement, two weirdo servants, the ghost of one dead warlock…oh, and it was built over one of The Seven Doors To Hell! Heh…who knew?

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This might be a bummer for her, but it’s too good to be true for us! Once she tries to get the hotel up and running all sorts of Hell starts breaking loose and the promises made on the back of the DVD all come true!

Eyeball impalements!
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Sulfuric acid meltdowns!
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Flesh-eating tarantulas!
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Throat-shredding demon dogs!
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Ravenous bloodthirsty zombies!…Well, kind of…they weren’t that ravenous or bloodthirsty…and some were zombie ghosts…or were they ghost zombies?
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Either way, they really weren’t very threatening and the guy with the gun shouldn’t have wasted so many bullets when he was perfectly capable of walking around the nonthreatening ghost zombies, uh zombie ghosts…or whatever.
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I won’t spoil the “mind bending” ending here but let me tell you, I was all, “Huh?” and “Wha?” and even a little, “Uh, okay?” And then I realized THE BEYOND was a surreal
hallucinatory masterpiece
and it all made sense in an André Breton kind of way.

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So that’s that! Let’s see what Stacie herself has to say and what the other Film Club Coolies thought over at FINAL GIRL!

Rocktober! Day 24

One of the main problems with Rocktober‘s 31 day celebration of all things metal and horror is that we seem to be hung up on one guy…SATAN.

Yeah, the Big Red Dude is all sorts of spooky and he’s a great spokesperson for the metal community, but come on already! It makes for a boring series of posts if it’s, All Satan All The Time, here at Awesomeness.

Luckily, Venom is here to help!

I know you’re all, “Venom? Are you nuts or just plain ol’ stupid, Canacorn?! They made their career singing songs about The Devil!

They sure did, but did you know they also wrote a killer jam about a Manitou!?

Since you refuse to click on any of the links I so graciously provide for you knuckleheads (like the one in the previous sentence) you must be wondering, “What in the Sam Hill is a Manitou?

Well, instead of me explaining it to you, you can check out Stacie P‘s Final Girl Film Club from February and get the dish from her and her Film Club Coolies!

Oh wait, that might not work for you, what with your strange aversion of actually clicking on my hot links. I know! Why don’t you just sit back and relax and peep the awesomeness that is “MANITOU” by everyone’s favorite black metal pioneers, VENOM, right here?!

How?

Well, with a clip from YouTube, duh.

It’s a damn shame that this song isn’t the theme from the film, Manitou…but a boy can dream right?

Today Is Brought To You By The Letter A.

A is for…

ASIA
I’m totally crushing on her and here’s why:

1. She’s hot.

2. I’m no medical doctor, but I’m pretty sure she’s crazy.

3. She’s a Virgo…just like me.

4. She’s not afraid to show some skin…and I can certainly get behind that level of dedication to her craft!

Peep this quote from her commentary on Scarlet Diva:

I grew this enormous bush, ’cause I thought it would sell the movie in Japan. ‘Cause the Japanese really like hair. Hairy…uh…female genitals. So I…uh, actually saw the movie in Japan…I don’t know if it was because of the bush or they just liked the manga-like story…I think it’s for the bush.

Homegirl knows what the people want and she’s not afraid to give it to ’em!

Here’s a screen shot of Asia in Scarlet Diva. You can’t see it here kids, but believe me, it is awesomely enormous! If you’re curious about the bush all you have to do is rent the movie (or just Goggle: Asia Argento bush…it works…I’m pretty sure Asia hates wearing clothes) and you’ll see what all of Japan went bananas for!

A also stands for something else! It stands for the alias of one of the best bloggers out there. He actually reminded me of Asia’s birthday with his post on Saturday. I’m totally crushing on him today as well. His name is….

ARBOGAST
While I’m not sure about the enormity of his bush, I do know that ARBOGAST ON FILM is essential reading for movie and pop culture enthusiasts of all ages! And here’s why:

1. I’ve never seen him so I don’t know if he’s hot, but he is mysterious…and that counts for something.

2. Again, I’m no medical doctor, but I’m pretty sure he’s a genius.

3. I’m not sure what his astrological sign is…like I said, he’s a mystery. I guess that’s not really a reason but I was going for consistency here, people.

4. He’s not afraid to give the people what they want either…but he never panders to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploits his reader’s weaknesses. Seriously, you need to make a daily pilgrimage to his blog…There’s The One You Might Have Saved Blog-a-Thon, The Kill Face Chronicles, and more reviews and musings of a madman than you can shake a severed limb at!

If you don’t believe me it will be your loss, turkeys! Hell, even Stacie Ponder over at Final Girl says, “Arbogast rules,” and you can’t argue with that.

So, that’s not all the letter A stands for today…it also stands for:

THE AWESOMEST!

‘Cause both Asia and Arbogast totally get the full on 5 Spaghetti Cat rating!

You two kooky kids rock my world! And that’s the truth!

Final Girl Film Club Presents: FOOD OF THE GODS

Yaeeyaae…..Well if you didn’t already figure it out by the title of this here post:

GET YA CLUB ON CAUSE WE BE CLUBBIN’ TODAY, Y’ALL!

So homeboys and homegirls, let’s show Stacie some love by reviewing the 1976 classic, FOOD OF THE GODS! You see, Stacie has been jonesing to do this one since the end of May…when her Film Club Coolies (myself included) unceremoniously decided to bump F.O.T.G. out of the running for the film of the month in favor of, Naked Space Alien Vampire Zombie Boobies (aka LIFEFORCE).

I really should start with a disclaimer of sorts for this one, kids. The American Humane Society probably had about zero involvement in the monitoring of FOOD OF THE GODS….which means, if you have any sort of problem with the possible unethical treatment of gigantic killer rats by Canadian filmmakers, turn back now

Because I’m pretty sure F.O.T.G. would have been slapped with this bad boy:

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s make with the reviewing. Oh, and as usual, please enjoy the various screenshots scattered throughout my ramblings.

I got three words to let you know how hard this movie rules: ARKOFF! GORDON! MEEKER! If those names don’t mean anything to you, you seriously need to stop reading so many books and start wasting more time watching awesome movies. So, the opening credits tell me F.O.T.G. is “based on a portion of the novel” by H.G. Wells, and I’m-a-guessin’ that means it was based only on the good parts and left out all the boring crap.

Now with more flavor and half the fat of mayonnaise!

Now with more flavor and half the fat of mayonnaise!

First up we meet Morgan (childhood evangelical huckster “MaryJoseph” Gortner), football player and son of an wise old Indian. Well, I’m not really sure if his dad was a real Indian or not, but with words of wisdom like these:

Morgan, one of these days the earth will get even with man for messing her up with his garbage. Just let man continue to pollute the earth the way he is and nature will rebel. You’ll never know when and where it’s gonna happen, and once it starts you’ll never know how and where it’ll stop.

He has to be an Indian…I mean, who talks like that? Wise old Indians from the 1970s, that’s who! Anyway, since Morgan’s dad was an Indian, I guess that makes Morgan part Indian…which is why he ends up knowing all sorts of stuff about sharpshooting, making pipe bombs, and fighting giant wasps, roosters, and rats!

Only a very limited portion of the population (one or two people out of 1,000) is allergic or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings.

Only a very limited portion of the population (one or two people out of 1,000) is allergic or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings.

Morgan and his buddies take a little trip to relax from all their ass grabbing and ball handling in scenic British Columbia, only to stumble upon some strange goings-ons in the form of giant wasps! One of Morgan’s friends meets the ass end of said giant wasp and ends up all swollen and dead-like. Morgan’s Indian tracking skills lead him to an old farm inhabited by crazy Mrs. Skinner (the “poor man’s Bette Davis,” Ida Lupino) and her ‘mazing menagerie of mastodonic monstrous mammalia! (Yes, I know what a mammal is…but work with me here people!)

No fancy city talk!  Make with the money deal!

No fancy city talk! Make with the "money deal"!

Before Morgan can get any information about what’s what from ol’ crazy lady, he runs amok of our second giant monstrosity! A giant carnivorous rooster! Which he promptly engages in a herky jerky, no holds barred, man vs. rooster, barn match to the death! Man-1, Rooster-0.

Watch yourself, sister! Everything in these woodsll either bite ya, stab ya or stick ya!

"Watch yourself, sister! Everything in these woods'll either bite ya, stab ya or stick ya!"

With the killer rooster out of the way Morgan exchanges the usual city slicker to country folk chit chat with nut job, Mrs. Skinner:

“I need a phone.”
“We ain’t got no phone.”
“My friend’s dead!”
“You ought not be messin’ around here.”
“What’s the deal with all these giant animals?”
“I feed them slime mixed with feed. You see, God has sent me some growin’ slime to make a big money deal.”
“Look lady, you’re nuts if you think feeding animals a God given growin’ slime is a good idea!”

And Morgan would be right…know why? Because not only have wasps and chickens been munching on the growin’ slime, but so have creepy grubs and rats! The grubs are pretty fucking gross, but it’s the rats we really have to worry about…and the rats make it perfectly clear they mean business when they start killing the giant chickens and Mr. Skinner.

Grody.

Grody.

Having just Morgan, his buddy Brian, and Mrs. Skinner terrorized by giant rats wouldn’t make for too exciting of a motion picture, so we’re quickly introduced to: Jack “Magnificent Bastard” Bensington (Ralph Meeker from KISS ME DEADLY), the opportunistic, chauvinistic, foul mouthed businessman. His assistant (not to mention Female Bacteriologist) Lorna (70s teevee mainstay, Pamela Franklin), along with a stranded couple, Tom and his pregnant girlfriend, Rita.

Im the real hero of this picture!

I'm the real hero of this picture!

With our cast in place we finally start truckin’ with an all out man vs. nature RATastrophe (See how I did that?)! There’s some dodgy special effects throughout the movie (I’m looking at you, wasp attacks) but I think they pulled off the giant rats pretty damn good for 1976. Sure, there’s the silly looking superimposed scenes of real rats with real people, but the rats on the miniature sets were cool and the life sized rat puppets were totally awesome looking. Oh, and the sound effects used for the rats’ growling and eating is a bone chilling mix of what sounds like a pride of tigers, four lions, and two bears feasting on two dozen baby gazelles…or something like that.

Were gonna need a bigger camper.

"We're gonna' need a bigger camper."

Speaking of the special effects, let’s talk about the gunshots…hoo-boy…here’s where I think some people might have a problem with F.O.T.G.‘s treatment of animals. It looks to me like the makers of the film used some sort of air gun (maybe with some sort of paint pellet or something) to make the little bastards look like they were getting all shot up and shit. Some of these guys look like they get hit pretty hard…and I swear, one rat got it right in the eye!

Youll never take me alive!

"You'll never take me alive!"

I was also wondering about the electrified fence scene…I mean, I wouldn’t put it past these Canucks to actually fry some of these pesky vermin for reals. You tell me:

Flash before my eyes, Now its time to die, Buring in my brain, I can feel the flame.

"Flash before my eyes, Now it's time to die, Buring in my brain, I can feel the flame."

You know I hate to give too much plot away, but the showdown at ol’ Crazy’s farm is one of the finer moments of any giant killer rat movie from 1976! All our characters stick perfectly to the script. Morgan plays tough guy hero, Lorna plays judgmental bitch and Morgan’s love interest, Brian plays the sacrificial friend, Jack’s the greedy bastard who gets what he deserves, Tom is the hero’s reluctant assistant, Rita’s having her damn baby at the worst possible moment, and Crazy Mrs. Skinner goes out fighting!

Hassan chop!

Hassan chop!

We got shotguns, pipe bombs, mason jar Molotov cocktails, a blown up dam and more dead rats than I ever did saw! I mean, the last 20 minutes is filled to the brim with gratuitous rat slaughter! So much so, I almost felt sorry for the little fuckers…almost.

Lorna gives a F.U. to F.O.T.G.

Lorna gives a F.U. to F.O.T.G.

Overall, we have a winner of a film here, kids! And based on my brand spankin’ new SPAGHETTI CAT AWESOMENESS SCALE, I proudly declare F.O.T.G. to be AWESOME!

That means it gets a solid 4 out of 5 SC rating:

Oh before I forget…the one last image from F.O.T.G. I want to leave you with isn’t rat related, but was one of the most unexpected special effects:

Full on childbirth, yall!  EEEEWWWWW!

Full on childbirth, y'all! EEEEWWWWW!

Now let’s head on over to Final Girl and see what Stacie and the rest of The Film Club Coolies have to say!

Final Girl Film Club Presents: LIFEFORCE

Well, well, well, look at me, participating in some sort of “big cyber caring circle“…I guess it’s better than playing a round of Ookie Cookie!

This is what’s doin’…Stacie Ponder over at Final Girl has created a film club. We all watch the same movie then post a review or whatever on our blogs or websites on the same day and link over to her site. She does the same and then we all geek out together through the tubes of the internet!

So today, let’s share our thoughts on LIFEFORCE!

Wow…VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE! VAM-PIRE!

I know you’re all excited about Space Vampires, and you should be, but we’re talking Tobe Hooper, not Vorvon, kids.

I haven’t watched LIFEFORCE in over a decade, so I was a little worried how it would hold up. Sure, sure, there’s a hot naked space vampire running around, but was the movie itself any good? Tobe was riding high (on the coattails of Stephen Spielberg) thanks to Poltergiest so I’m sure it wasn’t too hard to secure a three picture deal with Cannon. He somehow managed to fuck his whole career up though…but who knew COCOON was gonna’ be such a big hit and that remaking INVADERS FROM MARS was a stupid idea?

Working from a book by Colin Wilson, Dan O’ Bannon and Don Jakoby came up with a nifty script melding science fiction and horror…Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of vampire movies (especially the whole gay vampire thing Anne Rice forced the horror community into), but the idea of naked space vampires causing a zombie-vampire epidemic across the pond was pretty damn awesome in my opinion. So, as I ramble on about LIFEFORCE you can enjoy some screenshots I took while watching the film.


Hey, my eyes are up here, pal.

Oh, real quick, if you thought you were going to see a naked space vampire here, you can turn back now. Jesus, you’re all the same…just Google “Lifeforce” or “Mathilda May” and you’ll see all the boobs you want, perv. Sheesh


EEEEWWWWW……1,000s of dead man-bats in the creepy space-vagina.

The cast was pretty strong..we have Steve Railsback….man, what a cool name…Railsback….Railsback…..Railsback…you know, I think that’s going to be my new mantra from now on…anyway, Steve Railsback (Helter Skelter) gives the sweatiest performance this side of Harry Dean Stanton as the tortured hero…Peter Firth (Equus) is the cool as ice, but tough as nails SAS man…Frank Finlay (Count Dracula 1977) is the silver haired doctor looking for life after death…and Patrick Stewart (Excalibur) is the unlucky host for Space Girl, Mathilda May (uh….Lifeforce). Pretty solid, huh? They all do a fine job sweating, shouting, shooting, and well…walking around naked (sorry, nerd-ladies, Mr. Stewart keeps his clothes on) and playing the whole thing super straight.


This is it, kids….that’s the closest you’ll come to seeing space boobs.

The Fx were pleasing to my 35 year old eyes…very old school 80s stuff…Swirling lights, zombie makeup, a head shot, bullet wounds, exploding cars, full body burns, a severed arm (that’s still alive!), cool space floating around zero-g action, and a monstrous man-bat. You know, I can’t tell you how sick I am of all the damn CGI George Lucas and his little toadies have shoved down our throats for the past decade! Way to improve films, guys. What happened to you, Hollywood? Huh? What happened?! For shame, putting all those puppets and midgets out of work…for shame! Lucky for us, Lucas defector, John Dykstra and his team whipped up some computer effects and weren’t afraid to use puppets or real explosions (sorry, no midgets)!


Moisten lips, Angle your head, Close your eyes, Go slow…

I remembered the first half of the film pretty well, but once the Space Girl started jumping into other bodies and then Patrick Stewart showed up, well, it was like watching a whole new movie. Maybe I changed the channel once the nudity slowed down thirteen years ago or got forced into watching Cocoon with my mom, but whatever the reason, I’m glad I watched the whole film this time.


Puppets! I demand more puppets!

There were all sorts of cool ideas in this flick…the giant organic space vampire ship, the “geometric chain reaction” of space vampirism spreading through London, keeping Mathilda naked for 95% of the movie, the old timey sword that comes out of nowhere…did I mention the puppets? Tobe did a fine job directing and I was totally engrossed the entire time. I think LIFEFORCE gets some sort of bad rap, but it was waaaaay better than the snooze-fest that was the first STAR TREK movie and DRACULA 2000 put together. I say give it a chance if you haven’t seen it…but don’t just take my word for it, hop on over to FINAL GIRL and see what everyone else has to say!


Reports of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated….BLAUGH!

Anyway, this was a fun little experiment…all of us getting together and watching the same movie. I really can’t wait to see what everyone else has written so I can hone my skills for the next Film Club Stacie bestows upon us.

One last image…..


Uh, this just gets a simple, “FUCK YEAH!”

UPDATE, Y’ALL!!! 6/24/2008

Things I learned reading 22 reviews (so far) of LIFEFORCE:

1) A whole bunch of us used the same if not similar screenshots…which is kinda’ cool in a weird uni-mind kinda’ way.

2) Some people don’t dig on Railsback….Railsback…Railsback….I think they’re nuts.

3) This movie was way gayer than I even imagined (gay in a good way)…and I imagine stuff to be pretty damn gay most of the time.

4) There was a naked space girl/vampire in the movie.

5) Tobe Hooper most definitely did not direct Poltergeist.

6) There was some dude from Dr. Who in it….the people who pointed this fact out are indeed Super Nerds!

7) One review was in French…I don’t read French, but I bet it was similar to the rest of the reviews…except Frenchy-er.


RAILSSSSSSSSSBAAAAAAACK RULES, NERDS!!!!!!!