Gabe Davis writes: Do you think we'll ever see a DVD release of the 1995 Shannon Whirry-Stella Stevens horror/comedy masterpiece "The Granny"? It's right at the top of my "most wanted" list. Indiana Jones? Star Wars? Yeah, they're okay, I guess, but give me The Granny! Please! If you haven't seen it, I can't recommend it more highly.
Noel responds: How the heck did I miss THIS one?! I'd have sworn up and down to having seen EVERY flick Ms. Whirry ever made. Sounds fantastic! It's good to see you've got your priorities straight. We don't see NEAR enough of Shannon these days. Pretty tragic if you ask me. Let's hope the DVD gods hear our Granny prayer.
Lance Henriksen rules
Charles Power writes:
I think the Stuart Gordon 1991 version of The Pit and the Pendulum, which it seems very few outlets carry (after all, they've got the Vincent Price version) deserves a review. Lance Henriksen at his overest-the-top (as a witch-hunting Torquemada, despite the fact that the historical Torquemada had the surprisingly modern view that "witches" were mostly nutty old ladies who needed help) and a leading lady who looks great nekkid.
Noel responds: Clearly, this is a grievous oversight on my part. Lance is the best there is! Heck, he even made Piranha II tolerable. I'll do my best to rectify this error in 2002.
Bombs, Babes and Thanks!
Producer Arlene Sidaris writes: Andy and I just read the reviews you wrote and, if I didn't know my mother better, I'd think she had you on salary. Thank you for your generous treatment of our efforts. It's so nice to know when someone "gets the joke" and you go way over the top. ... Many, many thanks.
Noel responds: I'm so pleased that you and Andy got a kick out of my reviews! Y'all have launched the collection with a pair of outstanding discs (with fantastic bonus material). I look forward to perusing more titles in 2002!
Russ Meyer DVD update
Bill Foley writes: I'll believe it when I see it but I received this reply from [Russ Meyer] yesterday: "Up, Mondo Topless and Cherry, Harry & Raquel will be released on dvd early next year. Possibly in January. Other titles will follow. Thank you for your interest in RM Films." Hopefully they'll be from the camera neg, not off tape like the French DVDs. Maybe he'll give you, the schlock master, a scoop. Spread the word!
Noel responds: Thanks for passing along the can-tastic news. It's about time the Breastman Extraordinaire made his triumphant DVD debut here in the States. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on those circular orbs of video conveyance!
Highway to the Peach Pit
Margie Bertucci writes: Okay, I just caught [The Highwayman] last week, and I've been totally addicted. Call me crazy, but I like it. I think I like it for a lot of the reasons you didn't like it. But then, since last week, I've seen it probably 6 times. I like the girl more now than I did. Thanks for the heads-up on The Faculty role. Didn't recognize her. I did watch [Jason Priestley] in 90210, but that's three years ago and frankly I can't remember much of his "emotes." But, I still liked your review of it. Just one more thing: I think the movie haunts me because of the less than satisfying details...like I said, call me crazy.
Noel responds: Six times!?! I've got close kin that I haven't even seen SIX times. Sometimes these flicks find a whole new life on cable, so maybe you won't be alone for long on the Highwayman bandwagon. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the commentary with Mr. Sideburns. It's a hoot.
Cary Burch writes: You could not have summed up Jurassic Park III any better.....GREAT review..........
Noel responds: It's always reassuring to know others share my warped view of entertainment value. Thanks for the encouraging words! Let's hope they continue on the low road in Part 4! Maybe even some genetically engineered cave babes who enjoy mud rasslin'?
Gil Jawetz writes: Your assignment for the holidays is to rent the video of Watermelon Man if you've never seen it and add it to your MOST WANTED list. It's one of the craziest movies ever made and if Melvin Van Peebles doesn't record a commentary for it soon, he'll be dead!
Noel responds: I swear I saw this before. Maybe I'm confusing it with that deal in The Twilight Zone where the racist up and turned Jewish, or Soul Man. Regardless, I'll scan the asiles for it, but I doubt it'll unseat Mario as my favorite Van Peebles.
Jason writes: Thanks so much for taking the time to watch & review each Planet Of The Apes TV episode! I have very limited time to watch DVD's, so I'm glad I can now pick & choose which episode to watch! Keep up the great work, and get some ice for your bum!
Noel responds: I'm pleased to help you make the best use of your viewing time. That's at least one benefit of my frittering away my life with such pursuits. Now if I can just finesse a way to write off the marathon as a charitable donation on my income tax.
Dave writes: Great review..but I skipped most of it..saving some 'spoilers'. The ONLY other marathon like this I have endeavered was when I RELUCTANTLY plopped a gift of Sopranos Season 1, Episode 1 in and ..well, once the credits started rolling, my wife and I COULDN'T stop!!! All 13 eps...living off of Diet Coke with Lemon, Twizzlers, Popcorn..and uh, the cats? (Have to count...) Anyway, I picked this up for $40, and while I hated the re-make, and hell, don't even like the MOVIES that much, I like episodic TV...makes DVD time easier to schedule. Do you feel this can stand alone without having to watch my Apes set again? I only really remember the first....? Thanks for a great review...and the time!
Noel responds: Sopranos or Apes. Apes or Sopranos. That's sorta like comparing nuns and strippers -- with Sopranos being a 13-hour lapdance. Regardless, I think you'll get a kick out of the set even without revisiting the sequels. Glad you appreciated the review.
ErmanEmh writes: I love this column. I'm as happy as a pig in slop!!! KEEP SENDING TO ME UPDATES; I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Noel responds: Happy as a pig in slop!? That may be the most apt review I've ever received. Notes like yours make all this foolishness worthwhile.
Joe writes: I enjoyed many of your recent "CineSchlock" columns; keep 'em coming! Though I see lots of regular movies, I particularly enjoy the so-called "schlock" genre, as I find such movies often have more genuine entertainment value (and, yes, sometimes more artistry!) than the "real" films hyped by the studios. I particularly like schlock horror movies and exploitation movies featuring nubile young things-- LOL. ... Anyway, keep up the good work!
Noel responds: Ah, grasshopper, you perceive much. It's my hope that CineSchlock-O-Rama will help more folks realize the wealth of entertainment just waiting for them in fringe cinema. There's no reason not to celebrate Citizen Kane AND Citizen Toxie. The gutter's the limit!
Faster Pussycat, DVD! DVD!
Bill Foley writes: These flicks are too good maybe to be in a CineSchlock-O-Rama but we have to start getting serious about demanding all of Russ Meyer's flicks on DVD. Why should the damn French have all the fun?
Noel responds: If your dream and mine comes true, it'll most definitely be on Mr. Meyer's terms. The famed breast auteur has hawkishly kept control of the distribution of his films. If you want a VHS copy of The Immoral Mr. Teas, it'll set you back $80, but there's an excellent chance Russ will actually take your order himself when you dial up RM Films International. I'm still saving my pennies for his 3-volume magnum opus known as A Clean Breast that was recently marked down from $350 to just $199. Given that as an example, we might need to take out a second mortgage for the DVD boxed set if it ever materializes.
Baby buggy butchery
Mark writes: Just an update regarding my inquiry about "Lone Wolf & Cub" on dvd. I just received word from one of the customer service folks at hkflix.com that they expect to have two titles from the series by the end of this week or early next. It all depends on getting them in from the people they work with overseas. The details I have for the discs are few: They'll be in Region 0 format and that one of the titles will be "Baby Cart at the River Styx". I don't have any idea regarding the disc specs such as 16x9 anamorphic, Dolby, original aspect ratio, bonus material etc. but the fact that they are making an appearance is good news. Hopefully, I can look forward to seeing your reviews for these titles.
Noel responds: That's excellent news. I'll see if Santa Kleinman can track those down for a future column. Thanks for passing along the info.
John writes: Hey man, love your reviews! One of the few worthy reviewers of the films that I love on the net........two questions that I have not yet found the answers to and figured a film expert like yourself might know: They're advertising a film now issued by Anchor Bay entitled, Mountain of the Cannibal God starring Ursula Andress....is this the same film under a different title, Slave of the Cannibal God? Did Andress make many cannibal films? Not really a fan of cannibal movies ('cause of real animal deaths not down with that) this one was one of the tamer versions and actually decent. Other question: HUGE fan of Karloff and Lugosi when is the movie, The Invisible Ray (which I've never seen) coming out on DVD? It'd be a great candidate for double-feature releases but I sure hope that Universal puts some extras on 'em this time! Isn't it about time Universal released an official version of Chaney's Phantom... also? On another note it'd be cool to have an interview sometime with Laurie Wallace (a.k.a. the third and blonde chick from Erotic Witch... glad she's making a return to the Seduction flicks) Thanks again, man, I'm inspired to one day become an internet reviewer of horror and B-movies because of CineSchlock-O-Rama!!
Noel responds: I'm with you on the queasy animal butcherings common to cannibal flicks. I guess they figure if they're roasting tourists on spits, what's the big deal about braining a petting zoo or two? You're right about the alternate title for the recent Anchor Bay release. Foreign pictures were especially subject to the titling whims of states-side distributors. Besides everyone likes the notion of having Ms. Andress as their slave. Don't they? Great idea about chatting with Laurie Wallace. I was fortunate to see her at Chiller earlier this year, and lemme tell you, she's a doll. But your guess is as good as mine about those Universal flicks. I've given up on predicting future releases.
James McMullan writes: Nice review of GINGER SNAPS. I foolishly bought the no-frills US edition, which claims in small print that its full-frame 1.33:1 presentation is the same ratio the film was originally shot in. I understand the deleted scenes run full-frame as well. I wonder which version was cropped from which. Any idea?
Noel responds: Beware the small print. Ginger Snaps was filmed for theatrical release at 1.85:1. I haven't had the opportunity to look at the Artisan disc, so it's difficult to say whether it's simply an open matte transfer or not. If so, you may get more vertical image area than the filmmakers intended. The playground scene with the horse in the foreground and the girls in the extreme background seems like classic widescreen framing. Also, the tight-to-wide horizontal crop of the flick's final scene wouldn't be as powerful in fullframe. The CE's deleted scenes do indeed run fullframe with timecodes along the bottom. I'm pleased you enjoyed the review and hope you pick up the Canadian version. You'll be glad you did!
Mark writes: Loved your review about "Ginger Snaps" however I have just one question: Is this DVD released only in Canada and overseas? After reading your review I went looking to order a copy on dvdplanet.com and I found an earlier version of the dvd without all the extras.Ditto on half.com. I saw nothing regarding a street date for this version so I'm wondering how long until this particular version makes it's debut here in the US ( if at all )? ... [And] any chance of that 70's cult classic "El Topo" making an appearance on DVD? Howzabout the six tape set of "Lone Wolf & Cub" movies that are ( were ) available on VHS from Animiego coming out on DVD? Thanks for the great reviews!
Noel responds: Gory kung fu flicks about a guy with a tricked out baby carriage!? Gimme! Gimme! Thanks for clueing me in on those and that El Topo sounds El Neato. Who do we have to strip nekkid and horsewhip to make this happen? Great to hear you loved the Ginger Snaps review! Let's see if I can clarify things. TVA's collectors edition is exclusive to Canada, which means you'll have to purchase it from one of the many e-tailers from the Great White North like Chapters.ca, EntertainMe.ca or ABSound.ca. When you charge by credit card the currency conversion is automatic and will be roughly $10 less than the total in Canadian dollars. And put me on the guest list of your next film fest. Clearly, you're my kinda people!
Patrick Mcdonnell writes: Hey my goal right now is to see the film "Band of the Hand" released on DVD. Is there any way to encourage the progress on this venture?
Noel responds: Now there's one I'd forgotten about. Them drug dealers didn't know what hit 'em. I'm pretty sure that's a Columbia TriStar picture. You might try rattling some cages over there. They could also tell you if the rights have migrated elsewhere.
More to come
Producer Sam Sherman writes: Thanks so much for the really excellent review and presentation on NURSE SHERRI. I and the folks at EI put in a lot of effort to make a good product. Being a movie fan and collector myself, I usually try to make up tapes and DVDs which I would like as a collector. That is why I left in the phone call when I could have edited it out. It was a another example of how a low budget company works in its own offices doing these commentary tracks instead of going to an expensive pro studio. I have quite a few more films licensed to EI and we will be putting first class effort into those upcoming releases also. Thanks again.
Spiderblood writes: Another great obscure movie that should be on DVD is Scarecrows or if it is on DVD please tell me where so I can get it right now! Thanks for the great and entertaining reviews. You rule!!
Noel responds: It's funny you should mention Scarecrows because the fella that made the cult fave, Bill Wesley, has a new flick that just hit video stores called Route 666. Lou Diamond Phillips and Lori Petty discover an all-new meaning for "road rage" when they make a wrong turn down a forgotten desert road and tangle with the zombies of a murdered chain gang -- who literally rise up from and are MADE OF asphalt. Also, Wesley bucks convention by staging his whole story in broad daylight. So weird it's bound to be good. Let's hope it's a hit, so maybe we really will see a Scarecrows disc!
BatCon Comic & Toy Expo
Andy Fish writes: Enjoyed your article very much on the show. As a cartoonist, and former Bat-artist, I was invited to attend but was committed to a show in Boston the same weekend. Any chance you have a print of your picture of the Batmobile for sale? My son and I saw the car a few years ago and then proceeded to lose the disposable camera we took the pictures with, and I'd like to get a decent shot of it.
Noel responds: I'm glad you enjoyed my BatCon musings. It's a real shame you missed the show as I'm sure you'd have loved the scene and I'll bet folks would have been glad to meet you. Point out whichever Bat-photo you'd like and I'll be happy to email it to you at a size you can print out. Maybe we'll see you out this way next year!
Wes McCue writes: Got onto your BatCon article via Computer BatLink from the 1966 Batman BatFan Message Board. Very nice work although you really missed the BatBoat (Where's your picture of the slinky babes clambering over the Bat-hydro-conveyance, for crying out loud?!?) by not getting a Bat-picture of the revered Bat-star himself, the one, the only real Batman - Adam West. Holy Telephoto Lens, Batman! Holy Photo Op, Batman! Shall I go on? Anyway, thanks for the pics. BTW that Batmobile looks better than any of the 'originals' I've seen up close! They're mostly falling apart! Anxiously awaiting my own Giant Toy Batmobile to fit my own Adam West Bat-doll into the driver's seat, (No, I didn't pay the big ticket price, made a neat trade deal....) so I was interested to see another view of that as well. But, again, I begin to ramble...Thanks for a swell report!
Noel responds: A better picture would have been of the fevered throng of horn-dog fans wildly snapping photos of those Bat-babes, but I was too busy tittering to myself to take advantage of that opportunity. As for Mr. West, well, it's always been my schtick to never actually belly-up to the stars at the Sci-Fi Expo, although the organizers graciously gave me a pass to do so. Maybe next Bat-time. Say "howdy" to the folks on the BatFan board for me and thanks for letting me know y'all enjoyed the piece.
Dennis Stines writes: I'm the owner of the "Bat-Car" on display at the Bat-Con and would like to clear up some impressions you seem to have got. You could take all the pictures and stand beside the car as much as you wanted. IF you wanted to sit in the car, the fee was 10.00 and you could take as many pictures with your own camera as you wanted. 10.00 standing beside the car was for our prints. 15.00 got you a 4x6 glossy print and for 5.00 more you could get another print. I would also like to point out that nobody was turned away. We had numerous people with families and small children that obviously didn't have even the 10.00. Did we charge them, no. We even gave them the 2 prints. I didn't see Mr. West handing out any freebies. He even stood up the charity silent auction for lunch with the stars and he even got all his travel expenses paid! He also refused the Q/A after he originally promised the promoters. He felt he was making too much on the autographs to take a 30 minute break. For the record, I came for free. I was promised nothing. The trip was 1200 miles one way. My wife and I spent 5 nights in a hotel not to mention taking off 5 days of work for each of us. I did it because I enjoyed doing it. I would do it again with no promises just because of the joy it brought to everyone who sit in the car. Nobody made any money off of the deal when everything was considered. Like I said, we did it for FUN! You should have came up and talked to me and I would have let you take all the pictures you needed for no CHARGE! All you had to do was ask instead of making assumptions and "running like hell". Hell, if you came back Sunday afternoon when it closed down you could have even taken a ride in it around the convention center. We burnt out about half a tank of gas doing that for anybody who asked. Be sure to talk with me next time, my wife was the one snapping the pictures.
Noel responds: Thank you so much for pointing out my Bat-blunder. I'd like to blame some dastardly villain like The Joker or The Penguin, but alas, the fault is mine! I've made the appropriate corrections to my report and will post your letter in the reader feedback section so my fellow CineSchlockers can also see the light. I hate that I missed a free ride in the Batmobile. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, and my sincerest apologies for getting my facts tangled.
Frank Estrada writes: Are you a fan of ultra-sleazy Euro-director Jesus "Jess" Franco? Have you seen his film entitled EXORCISM? I hear that it will be released on dvd by Synapse at the end of this month. Those who have seen this film claim that this is Franco's bloodiest and most sexually charged(!) film of his career. To add insult to hilarity, I hear that there is a XXX rated cut of this film. AND, to add sickness to insult and hilarity...supposedly Franco himself participates in the hardcore action. That's a cameo that even Hitchcock could appreciate! I haven't seen any Franco films except the wonderfully named VAMPYROS LESBOS. Mmmmm...Lesbos. Please let me know what you think of these deliciously Schlock-tastic films.
Noel responds: With a fella as prolific as Jess, it's impossible not to have run across at least one of his flicks. I haven't seen any of the varied incarnations of Exorcism, but seriously doubt Synapse will deliver the hardcore version (Sexorcisme). I'm not so sure that's a bad thing, as I've read the scenes were only added to make the film marketable to adult theaters. Personally, I can only take Franco's work in small doses. I get woozy otherwise. I just saw this flick he did a couple years back where he had Scream Queen Michelle Bauer staggering around nekkid as a jaybird with bolts in her temples. It's called Lust for Frankenstein and I'll be forever grateful if anyone can explain it to me. Ms. Bauer actually HUMPS A TREE at one point. That wacky Franco! Since you asked about him, pass me your mailing address and I'll send you the Shock-O-Rama Cinema DVD that has TWO versions of the film, a 30-minute behind the scenes reel and an interview with Michelle at Chiller.
The drive-in will never die!
Michael Butcher writes: I have been reading your reviews for a while now and I just wanted to say I love them. I definitely see the nod to Joe Bob. October 20th Joe Bob Briggs is going to be at a movie marathon here in Columbus and I can't wait to see him.
Noel responds: Always take advantage of any chance you get to catch Joe Bob in person. You'll not be disappointed! I was fortunate enough to live the Drive-In Mutant's dream of being allowed to lurk around the set of his old MonsterVision show on TNT for a day. He's doing another date here in Dallas with the Metropolitan Winds called "Blazing Zombies," which will showcase all our favorite horror movie themes. Should make for a festive Halloween evening! Joe Bob Briggs remains THE drive-in movie authority after nearly 20 years, and more than that, he's a fantastically gifted writer and devilishly brilliant social commentator. While I'm just a hack. Thanks so much for reading my ramblings anyway.
Keep coming back
Jason writes: I just wanted to let you know you are one of the few reviewers i actually keep coming back to for more reviews. I don't know if you actually review the films that are worth watching (Killer Klowns,Tremors series,etc) or what but please keep up the good work.
Noel responds: I guess there really is no accounting for taste, but it's reassuring to know someone other than my mother is reading my nonsense. Come to think of it, even SHE doesn't, so your support is doubly appreciated! Send me your postal address and I'll reward your loyalty (or foolishness) with either Seduction Cinema's heartwarming Erotic Ghost, or Troma's Evil Dead-ish Frostbiter. Both are loaded with the appropriate digital goodies. If it helps, Darian Caine told me she's especially proud of her performance in Erotic Ghost, and I'm pretty sure she'd scratch our eyes out if either of us were to disagree.
Adventures in geekdom
Russ Cripps writes: I am sure you get a ton of emails such as this but i have grown up a horror fan and have collected my share of collectibles. Now at the age of 24 I want to begin a journey into the horror world and meet each of the actors i have idolized for years. My first step in this journey was meeting Doug Bradley (Pinhead)last weekend at a hayride in Pennsylavnia. I have heard that Mr. Vorhees is in town this weekend. There has to be an easier way of being informed on appearances rather then hearing them on your local radio station or hayride brochures. Do you have any suggestions on how to more informed on these appearances? I look to you an experienced individual in this area for some help. Thank you very much.
Noel responds: My friend, I have three words for you: Chiller Theatre Expo. It's the granddaddy of ALL fan fests. I made my first pilgrimage back in April and will definitely return. I'd always poked fun at folks who went to these things. You get this mental picture of some pizza-faced yahoo in Spock ears. Sure, he's there, but there's a lot of NORMAL people milling around that'll put you at ease. Here in Dallas, we have what they call The Sci-Fi Expo & Toy Show a few times a year. They'll haul out Six of Nine from Star Trek, or some such, and we all come a-runnin'. It's sad, really, but a heckuva lot of fun. That's really what got me hooked. Then, like you, I decided I wanted to hit something more horror intensive, so I wandered out to Orlando for Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors and had a big time. While I was there, everyone kept telling me how fantastic Chiller was, which I'd certainly heard of before. When I realized Dr. Smith from Lost in Space was going to be at their next show, well, that was enough to put me on the plane right then and there. Oh, dear! Beyond Chiller, you might keep an eye on the websites of stars you'd like to meet, as they'll often keep a list of their upcoming appearances. And when you catch up with Kane Hodder, bug him about Project: Metalbeast for me -- he just loves that.
Andrew Peick writes: I picked up Suspiria: LE and Maniac: LE and was disapointed that u did not have a review on them, nor any info. I think these both are worth mentioning and u shoud take a look at. But, if u have already done this, and I have missed it somewhere please tell me what u thought.
Noel responds: Sorry to disappoint. You know, it's funny, Anchor Bay sent me this really nifty blood-splattered ballet slipper to promote Suspiria, but no disc. I can't review footware. I'm actually more interested in checking out the new Maniac disc, if only to compare it to the previous version from Elite Entertainment. That Bill Lustwig just up and ran off with half their catalog. Ouch! Anyway, I'm certain each disc would have been favorably reviewed. Even if my personal opinion of Dario isn't quite as fevered as most.
Mike Ferri writes: Do you know the best place on the web to get or rent older DVD's?
Noel responds: Your best bet is eBay.com if you're looking for Out of Print (OOP) titles. They can get REAL pricey, though. I've also had some luck landing obscure discs over at Half.com, as one fella's trash is another's treasure! For rentals, I highly recommend DVDOvernight.com. They make it SO easy and deliver your picks in just a couple of days. I hope that helps.
Hurray for lesbians
Frank writes: I enjoy your reviews, so I thought I'd throw a couple questions your way. Do you enjoy: PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (Mario Bava). CANNIBAL THE MUSICAL (um...the South Park guys). those sausages you see floating in the jars (in a dirty tavern)- HOT MAMAS. VAMPYROS LESBOS (Jess Franco?)
Noel responds: Great to hear you enjoy my reviews! Let's see. Gal vampires are ALWAYS compelling, especially when the tender caress of Sappho is a major player. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are beyond brilliant with musical comedy, as they proved with their more mainstream hits "Kyle's Mom is a Big Fat Bitch" and the Oscar-nominated "Blame Canada." I still can't believe those Academy codgers voted for that weenie Phil Collins. While I'm ashamed to admit I've never seen Planet of the Vampires, but I'll rectify that transgression as soon as possible.
Stuart Galbraith IV writes: Just wanted to offer my two cents on one sentence of your review of Elite's "Drive-In Vol. 2." Regarding the image quality of the two features, you note "Neither is in pristine condition, but keep in mind this is a drive-in experience." These masters were provided by a fly-by-night operation calling themselves "The National Film Museum," an organization which claims to be "dedicated to the restoration and preservation of our motion picture heritage" or some such nonsense. In point of fact, they are neither a museum nor affiliated with a legitimate restoration/preservation organization of any kind. They are a group of shysters out to make a quick buck, nothing more. They have released nothing but titles (presumed to be) in the public domain and, near as I can tell, don't even master their own titles beyond renting old VHS tapes and laserdiscs and using them as masters. A collegue of mine got an early screener of their "House on Haunted Hill" which had clearly been stolen from Warner Bros. laserdisc; the change from side A to B had been left on the screener. On my 16x9 set, neither title is remotely watchable, a stark contrast to Elite's nicely packaged drive-in ads, etc., which the American "Film Museum" had nothing to do with. As the author of six books on cinema history, and a former archivist for Warner Bros., I am disappointed that reviewers like yourself should confuse this appalling practice with "keeping with the drive-in experience." They weren't trying to enhance the viewing experience. They're trying to make as much money as quickly as they can before people catch on that absolutely anything with their name on it is pure garbage. I made the mistake of renting one of their Universal/Sherlock Holmes titles, only to find their master so poor you can't read "Universal" on the Universal logo. Even my old VHS copy looked better. With crooks like these guys littering the market with their "product," rest assured they're accomplishing nothing more than discouraging legitimate organizations from doing genuine restorations in the future.
Noel responds: Don't short change yourself there, Stewart. That's way more generous than two cents! However, no matter how well framed your comments are, I still have to stand by my statement. Clearly my expectation level for this drive-in oriented disc wasn't remotely as lofty as yours. In fact, in this rare instance, I believe the sketchy image quality actually enhances the overall novelty of the experience. But I encourage you to bend Elite Entertainment's ear about your concerns, as it's certain they'll also appreciate your constructive feedback.
Joe writes: Just a note to say I enjoyed your reviews of the various "Blair Witch" parodies out there ("Bare Wench", etc.). I'm going to have the guys over one night soon and I thought one would be fun to watch. Your piece will be helpful when I make my final selection for our evening of fine cinema! Hey, have you ever seen Something Weird's DVD of "Kiss Me Quick" and "Night on Bare Mountain"? They both belong to that ridiculous "nudie cutie" genre of the 60s and 70s, and are both on the same DVD. Might be a fun DVD for you to review. ... I popped that DVD into my player late one night recently when my sweetie was working night shift, hoping for a few laughs of the "Plan 9" variety. I DID get the laughs, but damned if both movies weren't genuinely kinda sexy, too! ...
Anyway, take care! I enjoy your contributions to DVDTalk.com.
Noel responds: I'm most pleased to be your fearless guide to sleazy parodies. These Blair Witch stabs have really taken on a life of their own. Recently, breast auteur Jim Wynorski struck again with Book Of Babes: Bare Wench 2 featuring CineSchlocker favorites Nikki Fritz and Julie Strain. While the folks over at Seduction Cinema already did their Erotic Witch sequel and are threatening to do another. Personally, I'm more intrigued by their upcoming Playmates of the Apes and Misty Mundae's star vehicle Mummy Raider. Great tip on that Something Weird disc! It's tough to go wrong with those guys.
Blood Feast 2 starlet Michelle Miller writes: Laci Hundie's here!!! Thanks for being so kind in revealing to the world my moral values on what I will and will not show on film. I did not show my "Pubic Hair" during my Playboy shoot, I sure as hell was not going to show it in this film. Aside from feeling like you were upset at the fact that you did not get to see my nekkidness on the set, I enjoyed your article and the exposure you are giving Blood Feast 2, even if it makes me look like a pain in the ass actress. All kidding aside I really do appreciate your article, and look forward to reading more in the future.
Noel responds: I won't pretend I wasn't sorely disappointed to not witness your undoing -- both wardrobe-wise and gore-wise. But you're an absolute doll to endure my snarky ramblings with such grace. I hope you'll remember me and my fellow CineSchlockers when you're rolling nekkid in Bunny money. Best of luck to you and Blood Feast 2!
Blood Feast 2 director Herschell Gordon Lewis writes: Noel, your story is brilliant. It should run in Vanity Fair. ... I'm now at least as much your fan as you may be mine.
Chris writes: God that was awsome!!!! I cant believe this is happening. Im glad Lewis is back making movies. If the pictures are any indication, this suckers gonna rock. Any pictures of John Waters, Phil Ansolmo, or Rob Zombie in their roles? Most importantly, when is this coming out? I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Noel responds: It's good to see someone as excited as I am by the Godfather of Gore's triumphant return! They're early into the editing phase right now, and plans are for a 2002 release. ... Sorry to disappoint with no photos of Waters. He wasn't due on set until a few days after I left. Last I heard, Pantera's Phil Anselmo was still committed to working on the soundtrack. As for Rob Zombie, yes, he's among the names I've heard have an interest in participating at some level (including Quentin Tarantino), but I can't confirm anything as of yet. Stay tuned to CineSchlock-O-Rama and, of course, the official BF2 website. They just released a killer teaser trailer.
All Points Bulletin
John writes: I've just read your review of an Orlando FANGORIA convention from last Fall. In your review, you mention the wonderful caricature figures that were being sold by Barry Crawford. I was wondering if you've seen or heard from him lately. His website (www.clayguy.com) hasn't been working for over a month now, and messages to his e-mail address are just bouncing back. I last saw him at the Chiller Theatre convention in New Jersey last April. I'd love to order several of his figures, but I don't know how to get in touch with him. Can you help me?
Noel responds: The Clay Guy is MISSING?!! Hmmm. I spotted him out at Fango in Pasadena earlier this month, but the internet can just open up and swallow you whole, as anyone who's ever sat on hold with the draconian billing department of their ISP will quickly tell you. I'm still torn between getting either his sculpture of Pinhead or The Tall Man. Heck, they're ALL so cool! Anyway, I'm afraid you're going to have to do things the old fashioned way and actually CALL him on his Attack of the Clay People hotline at (630) 830-3413. And, Barry, if you're out there, buddy, let us know when the website is alive and kicking.
Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors
Erik writes: GREAT report Noel.....glad to have gotten the inside scoop from you since I was unable to attend. If it's in California again next year, I will defientley go. Before I go, one quick question.....DVDfile reportedly said they wanted 1,500 signatures on the Halloween II petition for a SE......that petition has collected over 3,000.....so are they going to release the SE now? If you have any info and you get a chance let me know...... P.S. I love your reviews...they are the BEST!
Noel responds: Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed my Weekend of Horrors coverage! It makes sitting between two linebackers on that America West flight (with a layover in Phoenix) seem entirely worthwhile. And by all means check out Fango next time it's out your way. I'd comment on the future of Halloween II on DVD if my crystal ball weren't busted. Universal must surely realize it can't be a good idea to have more than 3,000 Michael Myers fanatics FURIOUS with you. Glad you're digging the column!
Twins of Evil
Tuco writes: Hey, I wasn't sure if you have seen this Hammer film starring playboy's first twins the Collinson sisters from Oct. 70. It's pretty cool, there's a petition for MGM to release it on dvd. You gave me a tip on Rhona Mitra in Hollowman a few months ago and I thought I would return the favor. :)
Noel responds: I'll never understand why Hollow Man isn't more widely appreciated. To me, it's right up there with Cronenberg's The Fly as far as mad-scientist pictures go. And Ms. Mitra's supreme screen presence more than makes up for that Jason Voorhees ending folks love to whine about. Seems as though the petition bug is really in the air these days. Regardless, I'm all for identical Playboy bunnies cavorting around in phony vampire choppers. Let's hope MGM agrees.
David's Most Wanted
David Negrin writes: You list some good choices on your most wanted list. Here are a few others (at least I wait for with baited breath): Fast Food - Jim Varney and Traci Lords star in a comedy about hamburgers that feature an orgasmic "special sauce!" Private School - Phoebe Cates and Matthew Modine star in the cross-dressing teen sex comedy. Last American Virgin - 80s teen classic! Better Off Dead - John Cusack at his best as Laine Myer! The Kiss - Joanna Pacula stars in this creepy snake-in-the-mouth evil chick... (my words don't do it justice!) Night of The Creeps - Cult Classic! How could this NOT be on DVD??? Night of The Comet - Cheesy 80s zombie flick.
Noel responds: Clearly you're a man of discerning tastes. I salute you! My two dollars is on Better Off Dead popping up on DVD before any of the others. The Kiss is simply chock full of African voodoo weirdness and there's that gory car crash. You can absolutely count on Night of the Creeps being featured among CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted in the future. Tom Atkins battling space-alien slugs that wriggle around inside corpses and make 'em wanna drop by sorority houses for snacks -- that's a bona fide classic.
Boobs and Justice for All
Ryan writes: This is Ryan Thomas Johnson, star of that cinematic feat known as Carnosaur 2. A friend just sent me your review of the Carnosaur trilogy, and I've got to say....right on the money, daddy-o. I kept wondering how and why I ended up in one of the few Corman flicks with no boobs. There's no justice in the world.
Noel responds: It's not often that I correspond with someone who actually impaled a T-Rex with a forklift and shoved that bad boy down an elevator shaft, so for that alone I'm beside myself. Thanks for your kind words about my ramblings. Who knows, maybe Carnosaur 4 will teleport Jesse back in time where he'll frolic with nekkid cave babes. Wait, Corman already did that with Dinosaur Island. There's a REASON them dinosaurs look familiar.
Uncut zombies, please
Manning writes: I've read your excitement about the upcoming Return of the Living Dead 3 DVD as I was but unfortunately it is going to be the rated version. It will not be the unrated version because whoever is putting it out does not have the rights to the uncut version. This is a sin and I'm no longer excited about its release.
Noel responds: You're right, and it's a tragedy. I plan to do a shot-by-shot comparison to my VHS copy of the Unrated version, so it'll be absolutely clear what we're missing on DVD. Yet ANOTHER reason not to malign those out-dated video tapes. However, this is one of those titles that I'm SO excited about, that I'd probably buy it even if the soundtrack were in Esperanto. But let's not give them any ideas.
Steve Lorenz writes: What do you know about this Faust DVD (eBay link withheld). What do you know about the American version coming out on Aug 28th? Do you know if that version is cut? Thanks for any help that you can be.
Noel responds: I've seen the trailer for Brian Yuzna's Faust: Love of the Damned at least a half dozen times, and I'm still perplexed by why anyone would be interested in such a picture. But clearly YOU are, so I'll keep my trap shut until I see the flick. You're in luck as it looks like Trimark is going to do this one right with an audio commentary by Yuzna, deleted scenes, production photos, interviews and the like. Oh, and none of that R-rated business either.
'Sup with Subspecies?
Gerry Gonzalez writes: I was wondering if u have ever heard of a movie (horror) called SUBSPECiES. they also had two sequels that i know of called bloodstone and somethin' else. i was wondering if they are out on DVD or coming out soon Or I'm I the only crazy FOOL to have seen these B movies.
Noel responds: Sure, Subspecies (1991) is this naughty vamp vs. nice vamp flick that a guy named Ted Nicolaou made in Romania for less than half what it cost to supply coffee on the set of Interview with the Vampire. Look for CineSchlocker favorite Angus Scrimm (Phantasm's The Tall Man) somewhere beneath that giant grey fright wig. You must not be the only fan, because Ted hauled off and made Subspecies 2: Bloodstone (1993), Subspecies 3: Bloodlust (1994), Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm (1998) and odds are high for a fifth entry. Unfortunately, only Bloodstorm is available on DVD in these parts, as the original is currently out of print.
Tony writes: I liked your review but you left out one amazing thing. The kid you quoted nagging about the aliens not looking like E.T. -- that was Marc Singer's kid, right? The actor who played his kid was Luke Perry, he of sideburn fame.
Noel responds: Do you HONESTLY think I'd miss a ripe opportunity to assail Luke Perry? But eagle-eyed CineSchlockers rarely get their minutia tangled, so I decided to consult an EXPERT in such matters -- Ilana "Lizard Lady" Rapp. Now Lizzy, as I like to call her, rubs scales with every V celeb there is and puts it all down on her website for the rest of us to sit in awe of, including a recent note from Ken Johnson saying Warner's DVD sales have already leapfrogged their mousy projection of 15,000 copies to 58,600. Victory, indeed!!! Here's what Lizzy says about your 90210 theory: "That was Marc Singer's CHARACTER's kid -- Sean Donovan ... his name in real life is Eric Johnston. That was in V: The Original and V: The Final Battle. In V: The Series, Sean Donovan is played by Nick Katt (now known for his role on Fox's Boston Public)." Don't feel bad, Tony. We'll probably catch up with Luke someday soon if Santa Kleinman sends me that new Buffy the Vampire Slayer disc.
Manning writes: For the most wanted DVDs how about Night of the Lepus? The great movie about radioactive rabbits that turn into giant human eating machines? This classic starred Janet Leigh and is hard to find on VHS so DVD may never come. It seems like a film Something Weird might pick up. Have you heard anything about re-releasing this movie?
Noel responds: Giant killer bunny rabbits?!! I join in your hope that a team of digital Samaritans are slaving away on this gem as we speak!
Jack writes: I read your column of most wanted movies on DVD. Last Thursday, after a Bible study I'm in, we were talking movies. One of the movies mentioned (no one knew the name) was about Johnny Cash as a sheriff and Andy Griffith as a bad guy. Imagine my shock when this very movie was mentioned in your column!!! Thanks!!! Keep up the good work!!!
Noel responds: The Lord doth move in mysterious ways. Now, it'd be a near miracle if you could lay your hands on the video. ... While we're on the subject of the Good Book, I learned this week that my favorite "The Anti-Christ is Gonna Git You!" flick -- A Thief In the Night (1972) -- is coming to DVD in September.
Return of the Living Dead?
Malcolm O'Brien writes: Perhaps you could shed some light on a mystery for me. One of my all time favorite films is Return of the Living Dead. I have anxiously awaited it's release on DVD but so far no news is availabe ... Hell at this point I'd be happy to track down a copy on VHS. ... Thanks and keep up the good work, love the column. So far i've added a dozen new titles that I might have missed without your recomendations. I expect hollywood chainsaw hookers to arrive tomorrow.
Noel responds: You're not alone, Malcolm. In fact, some fans are so desperate they've hauled off and bought the recently released PAL disc from Tartan Video. I do know, however, that my second favorite of the series -- Return of the Living Dead 3 -- is due in the weeks ahead. The folks at Lions Gate kindly invited me out to ogle Mindy Clarke while she recorded her commentary, but it pains me to say I was unable to attend. Stay tuned, though, as they'll be helping me herald one of my most eagerly anticipated titles of the year. I can't tell you how learning of your CineSchlocker library acquisitions has warmed my slimy green heart.
V caption hard to swallow
Mike writes: "Ms. Badler demonstrates how she won the role of Diana." No, you didn't just say that. lol, yup, you did. Great piece.
Noel responds: Yeah, I guess that'll probably mean I won't be getting a Christmas card from Jane this year. But it serves her right for eating all those poor defenseless rodents when perfectly good steak abounds.
Wish upon a DVD
Serpico writes: What about, The Creeping Flesh or The Gorgon from Hammer? Love your articles. Why is Warner Bros. not releasing a lot of the classic RKO and Hammer films? Will we see King Kong or Browning's Freaks anytime soon?
Noel responds: Ah, a fan of Peter and Chris. Very good. I try to avoid predicting when this-or-that is going to debut on DVD as it takes valuable time away from my pondering next week's lottery numbers and is equally futile. Anchor Bay has been gobbling up titles for their Hammer Collection, so keep an eye on them and the official Hammerfilms.com site. There was a recent flap about an impending Freaks disc, but the distributor backpeddled. And for now, you'll just have to watch Kong paw Jessica Lange atop the world's largest phallic symbol. Ignore Charles Grodin, as he'll spoil the mood. Seeing how I've pegged you as a Christopher Lee fan, pass me your mailing address and I'll send you Horror Hotel. My buddy Ronnie "Raygun" Thomas over at Troma snuck this great easter egg onto the Roan disc where Chris gets batty and sorta calls Forrest J. Ackerman a loon. They did a real nice job with the disc.
One breast or two?
Cosey writes: When you count BREAST in a movie, do you count the same BREAST twice, or just
58 different BREAST as in SHOWGIRLS? I love your REVIEWS.
Noel responds: We're actually talking nekkid nipples here, Cosey. And each is counted only once, so that you the consumer can make the most informed decision about your DVD purchase. Legendary Drive-In Movie Critic Joe Bob Briggs first began counting breasts as part of his reviews in the mid-80s, and being a duly sworn Drive-In Mutant, I do so as well. Thanks for your question and kind words.
Troma President Lloyd Kaufman writes: Thanks for the great review of Terror Firmer...very truly, Satan
Worst review ... EVER!
The Posers writes: I just wanted to let you know your review of Possession is the most pigheaded review ever. We better just stick to movies where they just blow things up. [email protected]#%ing [email protected]#hole. Really I hate people like you, people who shouldn't be alowed to watch good movies in the first place.
Noel responds: Oink! Ordinarily, I'm a huge fan of onscreen slime-monster nookie, but not even THAT spectacle can dilute two exhausting hours of domestic shouting matches and uber-weenie whining. We'll just have to respectfully disagree about Possession and my being a [email protected]#%ing [email protected]#hole.
Schlock in, Schlock out
Gore legend Herschell Gordon Lewis writes: One schlockmeister deserves respect from another. ...
Noel responds: Never have I been more highly complimented, Mr. Lewis!
Thank you very much
Composer Brian Tyler writes: Thanks for the great mention in the "4th Floor" review. Music sometimes gets overlooked. I was in Chicago doing an interview with Roger Ebert last week and half-jokingly gave him a hard time for naming "Panic" one of the best of the year and not mentioning me in his review. Anyway, also many thanks on the great review of "Terror Tract" which I also scored. By the way, look out for "Frailty" starring Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton coming out in theaters in October. Killer film and it is very frightening. And I composed the score. :)
Noel responds: It's so clear that music is critical to good storytelling. That's certainly evidenced by your work. I try to acknowledge musicians whenever I'm especially affected by their work during a picture. I'm pleased you ran across my compliment.
Michael J. Hoover writes: I enjoyed reading your [Herschell Gordon Lewis] interview a whole lot. Herschell is one of my heros, too. Keep up the good work.
B-starlet Darian Caine writes: Thanx hun its funny. I have to admit I enjoyed this interview more than most. LOL!
Troma star Joe Fleishaker writes: Great review of chiller!! (my opinion is not affected by the picture of you, me & lloyd). I didn't realize it was you who emailed me awhile back to ask my advice on attending the convention. I'm glad you were not disappointed. If you ever have any other questions I can help you with regarding chiller, troma, or anything else in the world, please contact me.
Noel responds: Thanks, Joe! And your advice was right on. Very cool to meet you there. Thanks for your willingness to help out. That's always appreciated!
Chiller Theatre mania
Toby writes: thats awesome that you went to chiller theatre. my girlfriend and i go every year, and we love it. i saw little flyers for your column laying
around chiller, which i was suprised to see because i am a regular reader of
your column. i was so psyched that michael berryman was there, i am a huge
fan of his. how did you like chiller? we absolutely love it, and cant wait
until the next one. ... well keep up the good work on the
column and ill keep reading it. later man. toby
Noel responds: Thanks for writing, Toby. Chiller sure lived up to all the good buzz. Sorry I missed meeting y'all, but I'm glad to hear my pimping the column via the flyers was noticed. ... Glad to know you keep up with the column. That's always great to hear!
Itchy 'n' Scratchy
+ripps writes: CineSchlock-O-Rama itches a scratch I didn't even know I had. Thanks!
Noel responds: Great to hear it! Thank you for checking out the column, and taking the time to let me know you enjoy it. Be sure to sign up for the biweekly e-mail version.
B-producer Sam Sherman writes: You are doing good work. "The Secrets of B- Moviemaking" should not be secrets but should be spread to all young filmmakers to help give them a chance.
Noel responds: I'm pleased to pass along your insights. Hopefully, there's a new generation of Al Adamsons and Sam Shermans brewing out there.
Mark writes: just read you review of COMMUNION, and thought Id inform you....a far
superior, contentwise, LASERDISC edition of this came out from ANCHOR BAY
about 1995. Though the transfer was not quite as good, there were many
extras that didnt show up in the DVD. The commentary from Moire was more
engaging, and all extras were in widescreen....
Noel responds: Thanks so much for the info on Communion. ... I've got to add a laserdisc player to my world, so I can catch all the cool stuff that slips through the cracks on the way to DVD.