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Best of Schlock 2000
BY G. NOEL GROSS | January 1, 2001

All right, listen up. We all know how swell Fight Club and Seven are, but WHAT ELSE is worth crowing about? More importantly, what was worth MY putting pen to paper over in 2000? Of all the DVDs I reviewed last year, which ones still make ME feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Well, here they are in very particular order:

1. Blood Feast: SE
(Read original review)

A marketing whiz and former school teacher by the name of Herschell Gordon Lewis was the first to capture the attention of American drive-in audiences with this his crowning achievement. It was the ground zero of in-your-face GORE and would FOREVER change the horror genre. Follow Fuad Ramses as he spends his evenings hacking up nubile young girls for the sacrifice necessary to reanimate his goddess, Ishtar. Two breasts. Eight corpses. Brains tumble. Swimming pool frolicking. Coed whipping. Best line in the flick is from Suzette, "Hey! You wouldn't sacrifice ME on this altar, would you?!"

2. Piranha: SE
(Read original review)

I was in grade school the first time I saw Piranha on television. For months, I just knew the little buggers would come up the bath tub drain and nibble my toes off. In 1978, it arrived on the heels of Jaws II and was an unapologetic ripoff of the original (and "Jaws" was a throwback to the '50s classic Creature from the Black Lagoon). Six breasts. More than 20 corpses. Nipple ripping. Piranha to the ear. Gratuitous camp counselors in hot pants. Best line is from the crooked real estate fella's squirrelly assistant who says, "The piranha -- they're EATING the guests, sir."

3. The Fly/The Fly 2
(Read original review)

There are classics and then, on very rare occasions, there are classics born of classics. The original version of The Fly (1958) featured the great Vincent Price as the brother-in-law of the first hapless scientist who accidently becomes all-to-acquainted with a common housefly. Nearly 30 years later, the fiendishly perverted David Cronenberg injected his version with healthy doses of pseudo-science, eroticism and good old fashion gore. No breasts. One corpse. One beast. Arm snapping. Inside-out baboon. Ear tumbles. Best line is from the ever-twitchy Jeff Goldblum when Seth asks Ronnie out, "I've come here to say one magic word to you -- CHEESEBURGER!" Its under-appreciated gorefest of a sequel: No breasts. Six corpses. Three beasts. Fingers fall. Gratuitous budding-romance montage with dancing to K.D. Lang's "Lock Stock And Teardrops." Cranium squishing (extra messy). Best line is when Martin throws a fit and breaks up with Beth, "Stay out of my sector! You no longer have clearance."

4. Razor Blade Smile: SE
(Read original review)

Jake West is a pale fella from across the pond who wrote, directed, edited and basically gave birth to the best female- bisexual- kung fu- vampire-assassin flick to come out of the land of rotten molars since, well, forever. The 28-year-old British filmmaker's debut is slick, sleazy, funny and damned entertaining. And filling out a stunning array of sinfully snug catsuits, is the can-tastic Eileen Daly (as Lilith Silver). Four breasts. 14 corpses. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Heads tumble. Two-fisted gun shooting. Best line is from Lilith, "Beyond sex lies a greater orgasm. That of taking life. It may seem cruel, but for the right victim, I can make it the most beautiful way to expire. To die of pleasure."

5. Six Days in Roswell: SE
(Read original review)

Probably the greatest docu-comedy of late is an unblinking, hilarious journey into the world of "Star Trek" fanaticism called Trekkies. And those same documentarians dern near top themselves with this similar foray into fringe culture. It's a brilliant flick that just gets funnier with every viewing. Richard Kronfeld is masterfully quirky, with a wry wit that expertly bleeds every bizarre Roswell encounter of its last drop of absurdity. No breasts. No dead humans. Multiple dead Martians. Yodeling. Gratuitous manure footage. Deep-chakra massage. Best line is from a Roswell pilgrim who sums up the famous crash, "It's incredible, because what might have happened, might have happened."

6. Dance With The Devil
(Read original review)

Rosie Perez is pretty goldang talented. In this movie, she gets REAL naughty three or four times, but manages to keep most of her clothes ON during the frantic diddling. Apparently, director Alex De La Iglesia didn't have the sort of dinner-o it takes to get Rosie to unleash her true talents. But he's smart enough not to give her too many lines, saving us the inhuman torture of her squawky voice, which has been scientifically proven to make babies cry. The movie takes on added importance these days, because a huge TV star has a small, but amusing role ... that'd be James Gandolfini (Anthony Soprano of HBO's "The Sopranos"). So, this is a big movie, a wild ride with kinky-voodoo sex and guns-blazing violence. Five breasts. More than 21 corpses. Corpse dismembering. One road pizza (extra gooshie). Hair pulling. The best line is from Ms. Perez, "I have one or two holes that I need filling myself."

7. Komodo: SE

First-time director, but longtime FX guru, Michael Lantieri (Jurassic Park) and screenwriter Hans Bauer (Anaconda) both know the nature-run-amok formula well, but they extend this creature feature to a superior level of smaller-budget filmmaking. It's the story of an island infested with 15-foot Komodos whose natural food sources died, leaving people as lizard chow du jour. No breasts. Five corpses. Six dead beasts. Station wagon munching. One doggie snack. Deadly drool. Best line is from young Patrick who isn't hopeful about the dragons' intentions, "I think they're contesting our place on the food chain."

8. Hellraiser: SE

Novelist/director Clive Barker wonders what would happen if a cheating bride was reunited with the object of her lust, only to discover he's become a gooey, living corpse. And in Barker's deliciously twisted story she'll do ANYTHING she can to get back in the saddle as she agrees to round up human blood, a la The Little Shop of Horrors, to bring her hunk of burning love back to fighting strength. Truly Pinhead and shoulders above most of the murder-by-numbers horror flicks of the '80s. It's a skillfully-woven story filled to the gills with dark imagery and masterful moments of fright. One breast. Six corpses. Imitation Rubik's Cube. Gratuitous Dario Argento-style dream sequence. Wriggling maggots. Best line is a friendly greeting from Pinhead, "WE'LL TEAR YOUR SOUL APART!!!" (There's also a limited edition "tin" featuring both the original and Hellbound: Hellraiser II along with numerous goodies.)

9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
(Read original review)

Leatherface In Love. The best of the Saw sequels. The original first ripped across screens way back in 1974 and even today folks STILL point a freakafied finger at it when they talk about what's WRONG with Hollywood. Still, in Hollywood sequels are king, so it was only a matter of time before audiences heard, once again, the familiar whur of a chain saw. No breasts. Eight corpses. Face tumbles. One Sonny Bono wig. Buttocks sawing. Best line is from Drayton Sawyer when he schools Leatherface on the facts of life, "Sex or the saw?! Sex is -- hell, nobody knows. But the saw? The saw is FAMILY!"

10. Showgirls
(Read original review)

When it pranced out, Showgirls was director Paul Verhoeven's much-anticipated follow up to the sinfully successful, Basic Instinct. But the film tripped and fell flat on its pasties, amid a rain of critical and public raspberries. Still, it's deliciously awful. A true guilty pleasure. And also one of the better B-movies masquerading as a mainstream flick ever made. It has all the qualities one looks for: cheesy dialogue, paper-thin characters, barely-recognizable plot and gobs of gratuitous nudity. But perhaps the biggest hallmark is an actress DESPERATELY trying to shake her good-girl image. Namely, 21-year-old Elizabeth Berkley. 58 breasts. No corpses. Pole licking. Nipple twisting. Multiple cat fights. Best line is from the ultra-slimeball Tony Moss who berates a buxom auditioner, "What are these!? Watermelons? This is a stage, babe -- it's not a patch. See ya!"

Send your comments to [email protected]

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

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