David Allen writes: I read your review of Dog Soldiers and was VERY VERY PLEASED! I am the producer of the film; I also completely financed it myself. You did a great review and I just wanted to thank you! Btw, did you know that the line from Spoon that you quoted, about "I hope I give you the shits" was written by me? I just felt that if you KNOW you are about to be eaten, shouldn't you WANT to give the werewolf diarrhea as one last act of defiance?!? heehee Thanks again.
Noel responds: You have every reason to be proud on all counts. Especially that line of particularly inspired dialogue. Great fun all around. I'm pleased to tell everyone I can about the movie. In fact, let me take this opportunity to hound you about a Dog Soldiers sequel. Woof! Woof! Let's have it!
Give us a Hand
David writes: I have looked all over for The Hand for so long, that I was starting to think it was never really a movie to begin with. Love the reviews, and love genre. Thanks for doing this for those of us without the time or smarts.
Noel responds: I'm surprised The Hand isn't more famous -- or even infamous. Rewatching it the other day made me long for Ollie Stone to get back to his horror roots. Maybe make a giant critter flick or two. Thanks for taking time to share a few kind words.
Dog gone Region 2
Glen writes: Hey, nice Dog Soldiers review. I love that film. I saw that and Ginger Snaps in the same room about 6 months apart. For once, it ruled to be English. You mentioned in the review that it was a shame the director didn't get offered a commentary track. This isn't true. He was offered it. And so was the cast. And they accepted and it's on the R2 disc and for some unknown reason it isn't on the R1 disc. You're press - start some shit!
Noel responds: I was alluding to the salivatory R2 content when I lamented the lack of commentary by Neil Marshall and pals. Clearly, Artisan sought to put as much of an American slant on its marketing of the film as it could. That's an unfortunate reality of the video distribution biz. It's my hope, that as the flick gains recognition by stateside fans, it'll prove financially fruitful to revisit the film with a more expansive special edition. At least Artisan didn't COMPLETELY drop the ball as it did in the case of Ginger Snaps. Fortunately, that error was righted by our Canadian brothers. Let's hope the same holds true for Dog Soldiers. Oh, and to this East Texas son, the English most assuredly rule. It's them Yankees I've got my eye on.
Full Moon puppetry
Hello, I saw that you knew of some fullmoon dvd releases. You didn't happen to ask them about the puppet master series that has been in limbo for 3 or 4 years now. If you know anything about the series can you please let me know. Thanks I appreciate it.
Noel responds: Last I heard, the eighth flick was still going to be Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys for the Sci Fi Channel. However, that's been in the hopper for ages and it didn't come up during my Chiller chat with the Full Moon folks. But they did underscore their commitment to produce new films in 2003. Just speculating, it seems more than probable that they'll also work to keep their flagship franchise afloat. That is if the right financial circumstances materialize. To that end, it might be a dandy notion for Puppet Master fans to poke the Sci Fi Channel honchos with a stick. They'll likely welcome a diversion from Battlestar Galactica fans giving them the stink eye.
Chiller Theatre Expo
Sue writes: I just recently viewed your web site and it is fantastic. My husband and friends were also at the Expo. This was our very first Expo, so you can imagine how thrilled we were. I had heard that it was unusally crowded, but somehow we put that past us and truly unjoyed everything!!! It was thrilling all those celebrities. Like my childhood coming back to life. I was truly disappointed when Jonathan Harris had to cancel. But now we know why. He was truly my favorite of all time. And he is missed. I enjoyed your photos and was happy to be able to take many of my own. We also plan on attending Chiller in April. I look forward to it. I would like to hear back from you and we could compare more Chiller notes!
Noel responds: Ah ha! Already planning your next Chiller outing, eh? Proves just how habit forming the show is! My first trip was to the spring expo, and from what I hear, it's traditionally smaller attendance wise. So maybe you'll be able to navigate the place with a little more ease. Kevin Clement and his staff do an outstanding job with this thing. I'm sure they'll work hard to address the show's growing pains. Like you, I'm already looking forward to my NEXT pilgrimage. Glad you enjoyed the coverage! Response has been tremendous.
Noel responds: You're doing the lord's work, sir. Bring on the next DVD!
Stuart writes: I just wanted to let you know that I love the site and say a big "THANK YOU" for all the hard work you do to bring me(us) the readers info on movies we might not ever know about otherwise! Also...I'd buy a few of your tee-shirts if the logo was on the Back!!! Just an idea!
Noel responds: That's a terrific endorsement! As always, I'm pleased to be of service. Have a look at the store and see if the revised CineSchlocker Tee is in keeping with your excellent suggestion. Oh, and be certain to order an official CineSchlock-O-Rama THONG for that special lady friend in your life!
Slaughterhouse and the Art House
If my DVD collection is testament to anything it's that for true film fanatics there's more than enough room for both the Slaughterhouse and the Art House, and in fact if a few more "respectable critics (tm.)" learnt the stupid joys of Troma or axe weilding Santa movies or the schlocky greatness of the likes of Russ Meyer or Dario Argento or Stuart Gordon's catalogue of films. CineSchlock-O-Rama at least gives me hope that there are others like me out there that can enjoy Martin Scorsese and Clive Barker with equal measure, so thanks for that. As for Most Wanted here's three titles that I can't wait to get on DVD, and should already be here if there was any real justice in the world:
Flesh + Blood: Probably my all time favourite Verhoeven film, with a cast that includes b-movie greats Rutger Hauer and Brion James, along with Jeniffer Jason Leigh, Bruno Kirby, Jack THompson, Susan Tyrell and Tom Burlinson this one has it all, sex, blood, violence, plague, dead babies, gratuitous lightning strikes. A classic deserving of the deluxe DVD treatment.
Class Of 1984: The film that started the b-movie trend of punk kids terrorizing fellow students and pushing their teachers over the edge into bloody acts of revenge, this is still the best of it's sub genre, with great performances by the likes of Timothy Van Patten as the psychotic Stegman, the late, great Roddy McDowell as a teacher who can't take it anymore and snaps in class and Perry King as the put upon teacher who ends up fighting back in predictably violent and bloody style. Not forgetting a great title track from Alice Cooper, plus which who wouldn't like a film where Michael J. Fox gets himself stabbed for commencing a career playing 'nice guys'.
Alone In The Dark: Jack Sholder of The Hidden fame delivered a great little under rated horror gem with this flick. I mean Jack Palance with a crossbow and a personality problem, Martin Landau as a pyromaniacal Preacher, A serial killer who has nosebleeds every time he kills called aptly enough "The Bleeder", and a fat child killer all escape whacky Donald Pleasence's asylum to terrorize new doc Dwight Schultz and his family, whats not to like?
Noel responds: Phew! I'm speechless, buddy. Now there's a rare occurrence. Couldn't be in fuller agreement with every word!
Love your reviews! I know you're a busy man (too many classics, not enough time...), so I'll keep this short and sweet. Is there any updated word on an Ice Cream Man release? My wife doesn't believe half the things I tell her about the movie, and I refuse to buy VHS! Also, I want to expand my collection of CineSchlock -- Troma seems to be a great studio to start. What specific movies/collections do you recommend? Keep up the great work!
Noel responds: Few things pain me more than the tragic fact that Clint Howard's tutti-frutti classic ain't whirling in my DVD player at this very moment. Unfortunately, it's a rights issue, and some legal eagles who make way too much loot to care about my FEELINGS, have a strangle hold on the flick and several other drool-worthy titles from the late, great A-Pix Entertainment. Keep saying a little prayer, though, and remember, "Not every day is a happy, happy, happy day." As for my friends in Tromaville, there's no better place to start than Terror Firmer and The Toxic Avenger (recently re-released in a deluxe "Tox Box" with two sequels and toons.) Look for more Tromatic news in my Chiller Theatre Expo report.
Jeff writes: Hi. I love your reviews. I buy a DVD a week and split between Criterion Collection and Schlock (although I prefer the category "Others.") Since the Criterion labels are pretty expensive, I depend on your reviews to maintain a level of quality ;) and stay within my budget with my Schlock collection. I just bought a copy of ROCK N ROLL FRANKENSTEIN and noticed there were two different versions of the DVD. One listed the movie with no extras; the other listed the movie as the "uncut" version and also contained a few extras, including a commentary track. They both sold for $14.99. Are there two printings of this DVD that you know of? Thought you might want to warn the other CineSchlockers. Thanks.
It warms my little black heart to encounter such a well-balanced moviephile as yourself. Someone who clearly grasps and gleefully embraces the fact that there's more than enough room within our entertainment pantheon for both Citizen Kane AND Citizen Toxie. I may be bias, but I have a gut feeling that such enlightenment puts our ilk within a whisper of the next stage of human evolution. So, see you at the astral drive-in, buddy! As for R&R Frankenstein, yep, there are two versions. But I always, always review the Unrated version, so I can't comment on the R-rated cut. Director Brian O'Hara tells me even HE hasn't seen it, so beware. Distributors only offer MPAA-neutered versions of such flicks to appease a certain Draconian rental giant who won't carry them otherwise. Let me know what you think of the movie. I'll continue to do my best to avoid your spending that discretionary income in vain.
Under the Rainbow
Lambchop writes: Normally I support any movie with a cast full of midgets, but if this is the flick where Chase says, "look Streudel, the Hindenberg," then I really need this on dvd.....(for 20 years, I've used "look, the Hindenberg" to distract people: no one gets it or thinks it's funny, but that's never stopped me from continuing to think it's hilarious...)
Noel responds: Hear, hear! More roles for the vertically challenged! Personally, if there's a Chevy line I'm guilty of abusing to no end, it'd have to be the immortal "Big Ben! ... Parliament!" traffic-circle gag from National Lampoon's European Vacation. But, of course, I insist on pointing out landmarks of far less grandeur. So, you're not alone in being gawked at like a jackass by friends and family.
Chomping for Chopping Mall
Ed writes: Hey, just wanted to drop a note saying that I love the site (as I love many sites who review the same type of "cult"/"schlock" films I enjoy). I like how you find the balance between writing a helpful review (as opposed to the millions of schlock haters out there whose reviews consist of "This movie sucked it wasnt scary at all!!!!") and over-analyzing and making every obvious joke ... Anyway, I'm not just going to praise you, I'm going to comment on your Most Wanted list!
In regards to "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and its sequels, you've probably heard this before already, but I think Anchor Bay is releasing "Silent Night, Deadly Night 2" next year on DVD. I was a little mad that they got the rights to the sequel and not the original, but then I remembered the sequel has half the original spliced into it anyway. So yeah, just thought you'd like to know.
And now, the obligatory fanboy whine... where's "Chopping Mall" on your list? I've been waiting for years for this to make an appearance in digital format. I read some time ago that a DVD commentary was recorded, but alas, no DVD was ever released (sure, JAPAN gets a limited edition DVD release, but even those are impossible to find anymore). Anchor Bay says they don't have the rights, and I wrote New Concorde (who do have the rights) several times and they've never gotten back to me. We need to spearhead a movement or something... "Chopping Mall" is my favorite film (period) and has all anyone could ever want in a movie: killer robots, boobies, in-jokes, lasers, and explosions! I swear, one of these days I'm just going to take a loan from the bank, license it and release it myself. Can't be THAT hard to license a film and press a DVD, right? Anyway, keep up the great work.
Noel responds: Oh, praise if you must! There's always some other yahoo poised to remind me what a blathering bozo I'm more than capable of being. Your compliments are much appreciated, in fact, I'd like to send you a small token of thanks from my Gunnysack O' Goodies (a.k.a. stuff studios send me that I'm weary of tripping over). Like you, I'm pre-salivating in anticipation of Anchor Bay's SUMMER release of SNDN 2. Linnea Quigley is JUST as tasty in flashback form. And you're right, the great Jim Wynorksi's Chopping Mall is so ripe for Most Wanted induction that it almost goes without saying. Jimbo's hauled off and recorded beer-enthused commentaries for lesser works, so I doubt he'd require any arm twisting, if he hasn't already done one. Unfortunately, New Concorde's less-than-speedy release schedule doesn't quite match the hunger of its fan base. Enjoy your copy of the clown-rape sensation Vulgar courtesy of Lions Gate and CineSchlock-O-Rama.
Back in time
Clyde Lucas writes: As the Producer/Director of "Time Machine: The Journey Back" I want to thank you for your kind words about the Journey Back, Rod, Alan, Whit, Bob, Gene, Wah and David Duncan put their hearts and souls into the project. Something I will never forget and honor to have worked with them.
Noel responds: It's you that deserves the thanks of every Time Machine fan! Your labor of love is a true treasure. If only the remake producers had really taken "The Journey Back" to heart. No doubt they'd have gotten a tighter grasp on what makes Pal's picture so special! Personally, I was most mesmerized by the saga of the Time Machine prop's resurrection and, of course, the charming epilogue. My thanks again to you and your entire team!
Ripper: Plot From Hell
Emma writes: I just saw Ripper: Letter From Hell last night and I didn't get the ending at all. Can you please explain it to me? For Example ... Why is Molly smiling when she chops her friend up in the propeller of the boat. Why does Molly appear to be rich following the execution of Professor Kane, but then wake up in a mental institution (I think). It really bugs me when I don't understand a film, though I didn't think it would be a film like this that would stump me.
Noel responds: Heaven help ANYONE who tries to wrap their noodle around that wriggling stream of red herrings! My answer to both your questions is that Molly's a FRUITCAKE. And the rubber-room ending is so tacked on I'd swear it came from a different movie. I did like the gal who played her, A.J. Cook, who's gone on to score a lead in the Final Destination sequel due next year. This time it's a CAR WRECK as planes tumbling from the sky aren't quite as entertaining as they were a couple years ago. Candyman Tony Todd will return to growl more stern warnings about the Grim Reaper.
Paula writes: I really, really enjoyed your review about the 24 DVD, I'm a huge fan of the show --and Kiefer--. In my opinion this is the best show on TV ever and Kiefer Sutherland performance is fantastic. He deserves the Emmy, don't you think so?
Noel responds: I knew the 24-O-Thon was a kooky idea, but the response from readers like yourself have made it more than worthwhile! I'm really, really tickled you enjoyed the piece. Never fear, Kiefer has that Golden Globe to lessen the sting of his Emmy loss. And the show DID win a WRITING award. Now that's a stunner even to a fan such as myself. I'm glad Kiefer got the Golden Globe, but it's a little tainted in that the foreign press seem to love shocking the world when it comes to their TV picks. Remember when comely Keri Russell won "Best Actress" for gazing at her shoes while yapping into a tape recorder and having gorgeous hair in "Felicity"!? (Had it been my vote she'd have won for her sprinkler frolicking in "Eight Days a Week.") Heck, I'd have to double check the attic, but I'm pretty sure even *I* won a Golden Globe awhile back. The point is that WE dig the show. That's the real reward.
Georg writes: Read your great Al Adamson Story.You got a feedback from a reader asking about his film "Carnival Magic" -- I have a original german videotape (PAL) of this film -- it is released by "SK VIDEOFILM - SAUERLAND KUNSTOFFE GMBH." Running time is 70 minutes (PAL). Condition is near mint !! If you are interessted in the video please contact me. I enclosed a scan of the front cover !!
Noel responds: Always good to hear from readers from across the pond! But it's fantastic to know Carnival Magic isn't lost to the world. Even Al's friend and frequent collaborator Sam Sherman wasn't quite sure whatever happened with that one. I've forwarded your email to Phil who'd written me back in March to ask about the flick he'd crewed on but never saw. Glad you enjoyed my ode to Al Adamson. Now there's a legend!
All outta bubblegum
JT writes: I read your review of They Live and was wondering if there was any news about a special edition released in the future.
Noel responds: Last I heard there was a special edition brewing, but it wasn't for stateside distribution. Grrrr. Sooner or later, we'll see it again. It's among my all-time favorites, so stay tuned for the sounds of me squealing like a giddy school girl if there's any rerelease news.
THEM! THEM! THEM!!!
Bob writes: Am I the only one who has not missed seeing Leonard Nimoy as one of the
airmen/soldier in the telecommunications center after they put out the
all-points bulletin? Naturally it's an uncredited character. I cannot
find my VHS copy of "Them" to confirm the exact scene. But, as I
remember it he walks in and hands a message to a women center scene, and
turns and walks away.
Noel responds: Yep, ol' pointy-ears is in there alright. Check along about timecode 54:12 where he pulls that item off the wire from Brownsville that's later stamped "STRANGE PHENOMENA / FLYING SAUCERS." He's even got a wiseacre line about we Texans and our tall tales. You've got an eagle eye indeed!
Rob writes: I just wanted to send a little note to you about Them!!! Don't know if you've ever noticed this, but James Cameron's
Aliens is eerily similar to this flick. It's a good bet that a young, impressionable Mr. Cameron saw this on tv late one evening. The plot is similar and even some shots are uncanny in their similarity. Check out the "hive" with all the eggs. Or maybe I am just crazy.
Noel responds: Ye gods! If your theory holds, it gives me the heebie-jeebies to imagine what some young, impressionable kiddo who sat through all three-and-a-half hours of TITANIC is going to unleash on an unsuspecting world 30 years from now. Just HOW do you expect me to sleep restfully with THAT cartwheeling in my brainpan.
BMac writes: You basically ripped the The Time Machine remake to shreds. I dont really have a problem with that because I didnt think to highly of it either. However, you gave the 'Recommended' rating. I was just curious why you would recommend a movie that got low marks in the 'Movie' and 'Replay' categories. The audio and video received decent marks but four stars in those categories isnt saying a whole lot given the quality of recent dvds.
Noel responds: Shreds?! OK, I did call it a "CGI circle jerk." Let's see THAT on a box cover! In spite of all my unsightly frothing at the mouth, it's still an undeniably well-produced DVD and that's why the overall rating eeks out a "Recommended." I make an honest attempt to divorce my opinion of the flick from the quality of the presentation, so hopefully, even those who disagree with me can take one and leave the other when deciding how to spend that hard-earned discretionary income. Also, as my "striptease" comparison suggests, there's moments that dazzle, even if fleetingly so. For many, that's plenty.
I just wanted to tell you that I loved your review of Empire of the Ants. Back in 1977, I was about 8 years old. My older sister took me to a double
feature, of which one film was the stinky Jodie Foster flick "Nickelodeon"..
At some point during the intermission, I had to go to the bathroom. Feeling
like I was old enough to go on my own, I headed for the restroom area in the
theater, which was a 4 screen quadriplex. I went, did my business, and
exited the restroom area..I then headed back into what I THOUGHT was the
screen I was supposed to be in. When I entered the darkened theater, there
was action on the screen. I had assumed that they were playing previews. I
was already a little put off by the fact that I couldn't see my sister, but
when I looked up at the screen it was right at the part where P. Shoop and
JD Carson find the bloody clothing belonging to the old woman that I screamed
"Mom!" and then they showed all the ants floating in air. I freaked out,
and started screaming all the way back up the aisle and out the door. I
calmed down a little, looked up at the individual marquees, and figured out
which one I was supposed to be in. As I started walking towards it, the
usher grabs me and starts to tell me that I have to go back in and watch the
rest of the movie I was there to see. I started crying, and told her that my
sister took me to the Jodie Foster movie, and that she was in there RIGHT
NOW waiting for me..The usher started saying, but I saw you come out of
Empire of the Ants...Anyway, my sister heard me screaming from within the
theater and came out to get me, end of story. Of course seeing the movie many years later, it was a hilarious crock...but, to an 8 year old, TERRIFYING! Again, I love your site, I've bookmarked it, and will no doubt continue to return to it, as I love schlocky movies...Many years of Famous Monsters magazine, Fangoria, Creature Features movie nights...lots of memories and experiences. Keep it up!
Noel responds: Fantastic story! When I was about that age, I saw Piranha on TV and was so throughly traumatized that I still catch myself fearing the little buggers are going to come up the shower drain to feast on my feet. Oh, I hate to remind you of that OTHER horror, but Tatum O'Neal was in Hollywood blowhard Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon. Too bad for Tatum folks still aren't confusing the two. Thanks for bookmarking my corner of the web!
Three Days In Roswell
To be honest, I figured my travelogue and ode to Six Days In Roswell would be of very, very narrow appeal. Boy, was I wrong! CineSchlockers, of course, showed their usual enthusiasm, but the piece was literally DEVOURED when late-night radio icon Art Bell (and a personal hero of yours truly) featured it on his website. Also got lots of great mail, here's a sampling:
Six Days producer Roger Nygard writes: That's hilarious! I had a great time reading your report. Glad to see things haven't changed much there. I love that you tracked down Norm and his Coachmen. Norm's 15 minutes of fame starts now!
Six Days star Rich Kronfeld writes: Real cool! I hope you had a good time and I appreciate the pilgrimage you made in the honor of the film. What an honor to know that somebody went on a big trip like this in response in part to a movie I was in. Thank you!
Roswellien Mike writes:
Just spent some time perusing through your pictures of Roswell during the recent festival -- very nice job! Also, really got a kick out of the "comparison shots" correlating with the "Six Days" movie -- what a hoot! Thanks for attending the festival, and hope you come back to visit soon!
Well, I'm glad you had fun. ... Your slide show was a good indication of how much fun you just had. Lots of wacky stuff some truth and some myth. ... Make sure your protective head gear is in optimal operational condition cause as you know the government AND the aliens are after us !!! (That's why we Canadians live so far North . . . it's just too cold for them both.) They both want control over us so I've invented my own protective head gear. The tin foil works as a great heat insulator ... confuses the hell outta the aliens and the government. [Note: Kevin included several bizarre photos of himself wearing a tin-foil chapeaux.]
Roswell!? Bah Humbug!
Joe writes: Ha! I live not that far from Roswell and the whole UFO thing is the best carny swindle since PT Barnum (I lived in Bridgeport, CT too the home of PT).
Noel responds: You invoke Barnum like that's a BAD thing! From very early on, I've had a warm appreciation of what you call the "carny swindle," but I'd pefer to describe as "showmanship." Heck, my column shamelessly CELEBRATES so-called EXPLOITATION films. But you're right, having spent my Three Days In Roswell, there's no question there's a collective twinkle in the eye of the townsfolk when it comes to UFOs, the alleged 1947 crash and all it has spawned. It's a good-natured twinkle, though, and I'm fairly certain P.T. would've cooked up a saucer AND a freeze-dried spaceman or two by now. You can bet I'd gladly pay a nickel to see them!
Joel writes: Hey, just would like to say how much I enjoyed your diary of the
Blood Feast 2 shoot. I really appreciated the in-depth coverage. I live in
New Orleans and I'm kicking myself that I didn't drive across the
Pontchartrain Causeway and somehow weasel my way into the production. I
would like to see the finished product. I hope I get to see it aside from the
home video release. I'm originally from Peoria, Illinois... I've read it's where the original
Blood Feast premiered. Coincidence? Work of Ishtar? (I really should've
made that drive!) In any case, lf you know of any future showings in the New Orleans'
area let me know. Thanks again!
Noel responds: New Orleans AND Peoria?! Whoa, like, cosmic, dude. You're exactly who I wrote that piece for! Well, folks LIKE you, and myself, who hold Lewis and Friedman's gore epics so near and dear to our little black hearts. In fact, it's been almost a year and I still very nearly wet myself upon reflection on the experience. Had you trekked across the Pontchartrain, they'd have likely put you to work dragging light cables and the like. When I last spoke with Blood Feast 2 producer Jacky Lee Morgan he was finishing some post-production aspects of the picture and had just returned from a less-than-fruitful trek to Los Angeles to peddle the flick to distributors. All of whom LOVED the humor AND gore, but in these lean times, didn't want to commit the necessary funds. That'll change, though, especially as the historic sequel gets seen on the midnight circuit. Last month, it was featured at the Florida Film Festival, before that Rue Morgue hosted screenings in Canada and it also caused quite a stir at Ain't It Cool News' "Butt-Numb-A-Thon." Unfortunately, the official website, BloodFeast2.net hasn't been updated in six months, so keep a severed eye on those weekend newspapers for a screening.
Forget Trees and get a copy of BLADES!! This shot for shot version of Jaws on a golf course
with an evil lawnmower is out on Troma video. There is also a seveties' porn called GUMS with a mermaid that [lovingly amputates] victims' members. I have not seen it, but I have read a review online.
Noel responds: Sure, Jaws has been spoofed before. Land Shark, anyone? Roger Corman just plain ripped it off in the CineSchlocker fave Piranha and let's not forget Stevie himself borrowed from Creature From the Black Lagoon. But, regardless of what came before it, Trees' wry wit easily earned my recommendation.
Patrick writes: I go to Miami University in Oxford, OH (Miami was a university before Florida was a state!), and I have the opportunity to design my own (2nd) major (1st is in finance). I have chosen to focus on film specifically "B" sci-fi and horror movies since they always been a passion for me, and to pass I'll need to write and present a thesis. I'll be working on it all summer through to the end of the year, and I know that some studios and/or production companies give movies to reviewers such as yourself. Can you give me any idea how this works and how to get it started? It would help a bunch and ease the strain on my wallet. Thanks for any help you can give.
Noel responds: MIAMI University in OXFORD, Ohio. I'm still trying to wrap my noggin around that, let alone that those yahoos will let you major in B-movies. Makes me want to go find my old guidance councelor and punch him in the face. All he ever yammered about was Algebra. But I digress. Studios send me material because my ramblings spew from the nuturing bosom of DVD Talk, which through a great deal of effort by Santa Kleinman, commands an audience they'd like to reach. If I were to yap into the ether all by my lonesome there'd be little reason for the MGMs and Anchor Bays of this world to bother. My advice is to sell your soul to an independent video store, or one of the many genre publications and websites. Good luck, and when you get in a bind, meditate on the simple gospel of blood, breasts and beasts as proclaimed by the great Joe Bob Briggs.
Scott writes: I must say how much I enjoy reading your column. I can't tell you how many times I've re-read reviews because I get a chuckle out of them. Although this may seem like another arse smooching letter I do have a question for you. I have been patiently waiting for a DVD release of Student Bodies. It's damn near impossible to find the VHS version to rent or otherwise purchase. I would appreciate any information you may have on the release, if any.
Noel responds: You'd think Student Bodies would've rolled out during the Scream/Scary Movie craze. Guess it doesn't pay to be so many years ahead of the game. Paramount is notoriously slow to get with the program, especially in regard to its catalog titles, so better hang on to that out-of-print video tape if you've got it. I love the poster. In fact, I foolishly passed on a chance to snag one from The Hitchhiker from Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Yep, Ed Neal is a dealer now and I happened to run into him at an expo. Great guy. Thanks for reading AND re-reading. You're EXTRA brave!
I'm no right-wing lunatic
Mark writes: Please tell G. Noel Gross to grow up. His cracks about Fox News in his review about Starship Troopers were quite infantile and reveal an appallingly unexamined prejudice to the millions of adults out here in cyberland who watch Fox News. His naive stupidity has stained your othiswise fine efforts at DVDTalk.com. And please let his know I'm no "right-wing lunatic." While at fifty-one I'm probably much older than he, I own and love hundreds of DVDs, including Criterion's version of Sid and Nancy, Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and His Lover, as well as Verhoven's Showgirls, Robocop and this new edition of his Starship Troopers. He should really come to realize the world is significantly more complex than his black-white, nice liberal-evil conservative view of things. Then again, perhaps he believes Starship Troopers was a documentary about George Bush's secret plans to take over the entire universe.
Noel responds: Infantile? Naive stupidity? Only my sainted mother has NICER things to say about the wholesale foolishness I insist on pecking into my laptop! Consider my feet held to the flame, but it was Verhoven himself, who said the Federal Network was, in part, modeled after a Gulf War-era CNN. In my mind, the swirling graphics and flapping Old Glorys of an Attack on America-era Fox News is merely the next generation of an increasingly incestuous and journalistically bankrupt fourth estate. Regardless, we'll have to agree to disagree on the slim prospect of my growing up. At least as long as I continue writing this column.
Gary writes: I can't believe you didn't mention RoboCop [in your review of Starship Troopers]. I think it's Verhoven's best work. When do you think RoboCop will get the same DVD treatment? I hear about the original cut of RoboCop being so off the wall that it got an X rating (for extreme violence) because Verhoven wanted it to have a comic book feel. I think that RoboCop would benefit more from all the special features, it always helps when you start out with a better product.
Noel responds: No slight was intended toward the greatness of RoboCop. I purposefully didn't mention the flick as it's a HUGE franchise title that's spawned two sequels (maybe three if you count Prime Directives), video games, cartoons and even a syndicated TV show. While Showgirls, Hollow Man and, to a degree, Starship Troopers haven't been as widely heralded. Trust me, I'm right there with you on wanting MGM to get off its keister and get us some bonus material that'll put Criterion's out-of-print "Director's Cut" to shame. It's also troubling MGM hasn't reissued Parts 2 and 3.
Russell writes: Ah, yes. Bumfights. The most reprehensible piece of video in recent memory, acknowledged in your opening line. And yet you go on to describe it as "hilarious" and provide a link to order the film. Are you really that stupid, or just an ass?
Noel responds: I'd hardly call my review FAVORABLE. But as slimy as I felt during and afterward, I too tittered like a Rhesus monkey during those relatively harmless "Bum Hunter" clips. To deny that would've been hypocritical. The sort of column I write requires a good bit of gutter wallering, and what's found there isn't always pleasant, even for one with such a liberal take on entertainment value as myself.
TV on DVD
I just read your review of the Planet Of The Apes TV series. It was one of my favorites, and I also hope they come out with the cartoon soon. The cartoon was really cool - it looked to me like Jack Kirby had drawn it. I just wanted to let you know that Ron Harper also played Uncle Jack in Land Of The Lost. The first few episodes of LOTL are out on DVD, so maybe you could review them. Harper wasn't in the first season though, so he may not be on these - I think Krofft is releasing them in chronological order. [SIGH] Now if only the Logan's Run TV series was available ... :))
Noel responds: Sleestaks rule! I'd forgotten all about Harper's role in Land of the Lost. Dug around and it turns out he replaced Will and Holly's papa (Spencer Milligan) as "Uncle Jack" who also got himself lost for the third and final season of the 43-episode series. Rhino Home Video's DVD only has episodes 5, 6, 10 and 11 from the first season. Never heard of the Logan's Run TV series until now. Let's see it! I did, however, find the movie for just $5.88 at Wal-Mart of all places. Now there's a steal. Glad you enjoyed the Planet of the Apes piece. My next feat of endurance (or insanity) will be to join agent Jack Bauer of "24" on the longest day of both of our lives.
Griffith Gone Wild
Lots of great feedback came in on the capture of Murder In Coweta County, including some exellent CineSchlocker suggestions of other decidely anti-Sheriff Taylor performances by Andy:
Phil writes: "Murder in Coweta County" is a fine bit of TV drama, but good ol' Andy Griffith's bad guy brava performance will be no surprise to anyone who' ever caught the B&W
classic "A Face in the Crowd" in the wee hours of the morning on late
night TV. Griffith plays Lonesome Rhodes (Roads), a folksy charming country
crooner who is discovered and becomes famous, not unlike Griffith
himself. Turns out Andy isn't REALLY such a great guy after all, in fact
he's really a lyin', thievin', connivin' sociopath who even knocks up one
of his nubile teenage fans before finally getting his come-uppence on
live radio. This is actually not too bad a flick as I remember it, though
it's been many years since I last saw it. It doesn't air very
often, probably a conspiracy by Griffith's legions of silver-haired
Paul writes: Murder in Coweta County - Yeah! I was so glad to see you include this title in your list - Andy Griffith has always been amazing when he's allowed to go psycho - from "Face in the Crowd" to the made-for-TV classic, "Savages." Any chance that gem will come to DVD,
or maybe you could put it on your list? While you're at it, could you include another Griffith made-for-TV classic, "Pray for the Wildcats"? I really enjoy your webpage - thanks!
More Most Wanted
The first successful capture for CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted also spurred even more readers than usual to pitch their own pet titles for induction. One of these CineSchlocker picks -- already under induction consideration -- even got bumped to the head of the line:
John writes: I'm certain a writer as well versed in crap as yourself must have plently of material for the Most Wanted section of your column. But in the event that that particular well has run dry, I would like to offer two suggestions. The first is 1973's The Cheerleaders. It is essentially a softcore Debbie Does Dallas. Spectacular. Even more entertaining, and curiously, occasionally on AMC is the 1967 or 1971 (depending on where you reference) Equinox. This film (also known as The Beast) has everything, stop motion monsters, crazy hermits in caves who wait and giggle for years until they can give the Necronomicon to college kids, and a park ranger named Asmodeus. There can be no rest until Equinox is released in a digital form.
CVC writes: Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie needs the dvd treatment. It is one of Tarantino's favorite movies! See Mackenzie "Brother of Sean, Son of Patty Duke and Gomez Addams" Astin in his finest role! This sucker deserves the full dvd treatment.
David writes: If ever there was a b movie that should be given a home on dvd, it must be Kindom of the Spiders, starring Capt. Kirk himself, William Shatner. Not sure if you have ever been fortunate enough to see it, but I thought I would offer it up to you. So good, that sometimes I forget it exists. Love the reviews. Thanks much for finding great b movies so I don't have to.
Sal writes: What about Ssssssss??? a guy turns into a snake! or maybe it's not schlocky enough.....when I was 11 or 12 and saw this, I thought it was mostly stupid, but I liked it....
you rule. i wait for your newsletter every week!!!! keep up the good job.
what can you tell me about the duel :se thats coming out? motel hell may not be on your most wanted list but i can't wait for it to come out. but i really wish it was a special ed.
Noel responds: Always astounds me to hear from someone who actually LOOKS FORWARD to my ramblings, but brother, I sure thank you for the kind reminder. Universal's gone all squirrely over its Collector's Edition release of Stevie Speilberg's Truckosaurus classic Duel. It was originally slated to street May 21st, but they then April fooled us, as major studios will do. A new release date's probably floating around beyond my knowledge. Previously noted extras included new audio mixes, "making of" docs and that sort of thing. Forgive me, but I'm a heckuvalot more excited about Motel Hell due this fall from MGM's Midnight Movies. CineSchlocker fave Rory Calhoun is danged brilliant as pig-headed, fritter-peddlin' Farmer Vincent. The classick is being packaged as a double-feature with the Ed Gein-inspired Deranged (1974), which is somewhat distressing as BOTH flicks probably deserve better.
I'll start, as usual with thanks for the introductions to all the great schlock that I would have never discovered without you. So, thanks! Surely, as a man who lists breasts prime amongst film notables, you should be agitating for the instant release of all of Russ Meyer's films, each in a triple DVD box set with transfer enhancements and extras galore. And yet, there seems to be nothing - and not one on your most wanted list. There is a letter on your correspondence page from last year which suggests there should have been a couple of releases earlier this year, but none have appeared and rmfilms.com makes no mention. Do you have any info on his films? Keep it up.
Noel responds: I to will begin by expressing what a pleasure it is indeed to guide kind folk like yourself down this weird path of cinematic iniquity. As for Mr. Meyer, well, I just phoned his offices to check the digital progress of Up, Mondo Topless and Cherry, Harry & Raquel. I was assured they'll be available SOON, like any minute, but not exactly certain, um, WHICH minute. No additional info on supplements either, however they DID promise to alert me post haste with any definite details. Stay tuned.
Gabriel writes: In your reveiw of the Andy Sidaris DVDs, it says that "Savage Beach" and "Guns" are coming out in June. It looks like they've been pushed back. Do you have any inside information about when they'll actually be released? Thanks.
Noel responds: Excellent question! I'm itching for those discs as well. Yes, the street date got nudged again, but upon gazing into my crystal ball (a.k.a. the honchos at Ventura) all signs currently point toward a July 9th release. Mr. Sidaris hit a snag health-wise early in the year, which understandably put a temporary kink in his collection's roll-out. Never fear, Savage Beach and Guns are on the way, and I'm certain Arlene and Andy will see to it they're just as loaded with goodies as their first two titles.
From Dusk Til Dawn 3 director P.J. Pesce writes: Many thanks for your excellent review of my film "The Hangman's Daughter," which I just stumbled across.
Noel responds: You're most welcome! I'm still waiting on Part 4! Is there such a thing as a prequel-sequel, or perhaps a prequel-prequel? Could be some bold new territory worth charting. Thanks making Hangman's Daughter kick so much hiney. I look forward to your next picture.
Peter writes: It is not often that i write e-mails to website owners. i did however want to take this opportunity to thank you for two things. First,for your excellent site,which i find to be very informative,helpful and enlightening. keep up the good work. Secondly , i wanted to thank you for the chance to help support the Ernest Goes to Camp Special Edition campaign. I remember watching these movies fondly, both by myself and with my children,and miss the humor of Jim Varney. In closing,and so as not to go on forever,thank you again and continue fighting the good fight.
Noel responds: Thanks so much for such kind words! Enlightening isn't something I'd readily ascribe to my juvenile ramblings, but come to think of it, there ARE certain scenes in Play-Mate of the Apes that one COULD deem enlightening. So, clearly, you're on to something, buddy. As for the Ernest Goes to Camp campaign, well, I think it was in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington where Jimmy Stewart said something like "it's the lost causes that are worth fighting for." And if I've learned anything in this first week, it's that Jim Varney and Ernest P. Worrell mean a great deal to the 650 or so folks who've written Disney -- without a public response thus far. Let's maintain hope they'll do the right thing.
Hey there! I'm from Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is relatively close to Denver, Colorado---anyhow, me and my friends frequently go to Denver to check out some cool flicks, especially on weekends, where the Landmark's Mayan Theater does their "Midnite's at the Mayan" series....well, I am terribly anxious for next weekend--May 3rd and 4th...for that is the Denver premiere of TOXIC AVENGER 4: CITIZEN TOXIE! But I don't think Lloyd Kaufman will be there, that'd be freakin' awesome if so....Lloyd is da man! Also, I have a question....maybe you know some info, or could find out some info regarding the status of the ORGAZMO! dvd....it was originally supposed to have been released last week (April 23rd), but with the demise of USA Video, I'm afraid we may never see it's dvd release.....GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love Terror Firmer so much it's dern near impossible for any other Troma flick to woo away my admiration. Citizen Toxie comes mighty close, though. The 3-disc set they've been cooking for the last YEAR will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in itself. As for Orgazmo, well, the special edition march continues. Fall looks more realistic release-date wise, but from what I hear it'll be worth the wait. Check out OrgazmoDVD.com for the latest.
Noel responds: Ah, Cheerleader Ninjas! The filmmakers are swell folks! Why? Well, because they sent me a VHS screener of the flick, which is as yet unavailable on DVD. It's a tender tale of small-town cheerleaders and the geekazoids who drool (and fart) at the mere sight of them. Somewhere amid a migraine-inducing plot the squad runs afoul with an ornery gaggle of Catholic schoolgirls who've seen too many Bruce Lee movies and are bustin' pompons at the behest of an anti-Internet movement. Feel a cranial twinge coming on? Not to worry, there's oodles of slapstick girlfights and Star This-Or-That references to fix what ails ya. Late-night cable siren Kira Reed (of the CineSchlocker fave Alien Files) prances around nekkid in a few bizzaro dream sequences, including an amusing ode to American Beauty. 10 breasts. Two corpses. Yogurt slinging. Panty torture. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Girls jumping on trampolines. Guys in chipmunk, squirrel, chicken and bear suits. I give it 3 of 5 stars. Let's hope this quirky sucker finds a distributor.
Jason X has been in theatrical cryogenics longer than the big guy himself! All those release-date delays finally resolve in a coast to coast debut this weekend! I for one WILL be there. Early word is that New Line is mighty motivated to do the DVD right. Let's just say Mr. Voorhees is, well, PERSUASIVE.
In search of ...
I'm looking for a film That I think was made in the 70s. Most people think
I'm nuts when I describe this to them and I have to keep repeating, "It's a
real movie!" It's called "The Bermuda Depths" Burl Ivies Searches for a giant
sea turtle. It's sort of a Jaws rip-off thing if I remember right. I'm
Wondering if you know where I can find this?
Second Question: What is the name of the French film with Jean Reno where he
plays the same person that he played in The Professional? This film came out
before the Professional and was in Black and White. Do you know the name of
the movie and where I can get it?
Thanks for your time.
Noel responds: Burl Ives and a giant sea turtle?! I might have to track this one down myself! It's an ABC movie of the week from back in 1978 that's out of print, but at the moment, a few copies are available over at eBay. You've stumped me on the B&W appearance of Leon. He's based on Reno's character in La Femme Nikita, maybe that's what you're thinking of? I'll post your note in my letters section and we'll see if anyone out there has your answer.
Gil writes: Your review of Ultimate Fights is cool but it sounds like they left out my all time favorite filmed fist fight. Even though it lacks the eye-popping gore of modern fighting, Robert Mitchum's battle with some goon in Out of the Past has got to be the fastest, weirdest, most rhythmic duking ever doled out. It's maybe an obscure reference but I remember being astonished with the speed and consistency of the punches traded back and forth. Too bad the makers of Ultimate Fights didn't get around to it.
Noel responds: Amen!!! They didn't include JOHN WAYNE either! If there ever was a man who knew how to deliver a bare-knuckled hide tanning, it was The Duke. John Carpenter claims it was Wayne's clobber fest in, of all things, The Quiet Man that inspired the 10-minute brawl in They Live. So I guess by its inclusion Wayne gets a nod by association. Maybe the FlixMix marketing whizzes should crunch some numbers on an "old school" edition? Until then, I'll sic my trusty TiVo on Out of the Past.
Phil writes: Hey, great review (as usual) of the "Cheaters: Uncensored" DVD. Plain folks
here in Naples Florida have known for awhile this wrestled the
"White-Trash-TV-at-it's-Finest" mantle from Jerry Springer long ago. I do
have a question though, anybody know what particular combination of
anti-depressants/and/or alocohol host Tommy Grand is on?
Doesn't matter if Tommy is facing an irate large guy, gyrating large
breast, nubile lesbians, or bad nielson ratings,the guy's facial
expressions never changes! I particularly love his swarmy self-serving
explanations of how it's your RIGHT to know what your significant other
is up to......
And one last question,I have heard a new version of the cult fave
"Silent Running" is coming out soon.I know the breast count is zero, and
only the earth's last forest roll, but you got any details on what's new?
Keep up the Good Work!
Noel responds: I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't roll out Tommy's name if I were made to pick a hero right here and now. Like you say, the fella's an enigma. Certainly not your average, smooth-talkin' Hollywood yahoo. Far from it, and his presence makes this weekly crash of humanity appear somehow redeeming. But I definitely get the feeling he's in on the gag. A truly savvy exploiteer. Take the episode when a young immigrant's girlfriend up and leaves him before "Cheaters" can swoop in for their trademark "confrontation." You can pratically see the "TV GOLD!" flashbulbs going off in Grand's eyes when he's asked by the guy, who can't read English, to decipher a note left by the girlfriend that turns out to be a crushing "Dear John" letter. Springer's tired, manufactured drama just can't compete. Be sure to swing by Tommy's official site TommyHabeeb.com where you can get the latest scoop on his happenings, or simply fire off some fan mail. Incidentally, he gave my review a thumbs up, so he's good people. As for Silent Running. Looks to me like they're doing it right. Director Douglas Tumbull and star Bruce Dern contribute a commentary. There's a couple "making of" featurettes. Photos and other goodies. We'll know for sure soon, as it's due to street in May.
John writes: Have you ever heard of 'THE BEAST' some odd French movie (?) about an ape-like creature that lurks in the woods and goes after young maidens? I've heard a lot about this film...and yet, have not heard enough! Is it available on DVD yet, and if so, where can I purchase it? Thanks and your site is why I enjoy the internet.
Noel responds: You're in luck! La Bete (The Beast) is readily available for your demented DVD viewing pleasure (try Amazon.com). The "controversial" flick was made by this Polish painter turned filmmaker named Walerian Borowczyk, or as I choose to call him, Wally. What folks get THE MOST fussy about is exactly to what you alluded. In the final reel, this man critter who looks like the love child of Tommy Lee and Ron Jeremy -- we're talking furry and, um, massive -- wanders out of the woods looking for romance and commences to chase this rich gal around her estate until she succumbs to his animalistic desires. It's either kinky, disgusting or hilarious depending on who you ask, but that's Wally for ya.
Yik Yak Feedback
Scooter McCrae writes: The Perils of Gwendoline is available on Japanese DVD, fully uncut (20 minutes longer than the American release) and in eye-popping 2:35 widescreen. Unfortunately, the audio is French only with no English subtitles (Grrr....!), but it's still a very enjoyable view without fully-comprehensible (was it ever?) dialogue. Great website!
Noel responds: You mean to tell me the Japanese can ogle Tawny's Yik Yak T-back in glorious W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N?! You'd think I'd be in luck because my player was MADE in Japan, but alas, it won't play discs from its native land! Seems danged UNNATURAL if you ask me!!! But I'll pass along the news to those CineSchlockers with Region 2-capable players. Now if I could only remember how to say "bodacious ta-tas" in French.
Lost Al Adamson film
Phil Smoot writes: Reading your review of the Al Adamson movies. I worked on a picture that he did in 1980 call CARNIVAL MAGIC, but I've never seen it. Have you heard of it being available anywhere?
Noel responds: Unfortunately, despite my digging I couldn't turn up a domestic release, so I asked Independent International's Sam Sherman about the flick. He was Al's longtime friend and business partner, but wasn't involved with Carnival Magic and didn't know whatever became of the flick. However, my last bit of research did turn up Excell Film Agency who claim the German rights. Maybe if you write them, they'll be able to fill in the gaps for you. Good luck! And congrats on working on one of Al's last pictures before his tragic demise.
Viva Jack Hill!!!
Steven Millan writes: Really enjoyed both your article and interview with the great Jack Hill, a man who is a truly underrated auteur of low budget cult cinema. Now here is a man who has worked hard, and brought both depth and subtext to the B movie when it needed it the most (in the 70s drive-in period), but never got quite the recognition that he fully deserved, for every one of his films (with the exception of both "The Bees" and "Sorceress", which was badly mangled by that auteur schlockmeister Jim Wynorski) is a certified classic. Not once does any of his films have a scene that is uneven or wrongly conceived, for they all perfectly fit in the films that they were made to entertain the masses (and, boy, did they ever entertain!). It's too bad that Hill is unfortunately retired today, for he would be most certainly welcomed to come back in, and show a thing or two to the many countless hack filmmakers who think that they wisely have what †it takes to make a decent movie (yeah, right!!!), but heavily lack the class, texture, and elegance that Hill put into his films that make them so entertaining that they're still contemporary with the times of today.
Noel responds: We're certainly on the same page when it comes to Mr. Hill. What a pro! I'm so pleased you enjoyed the tribute. It's funny you should mention The Bees, because I recently acquired the movie poster which features a GIANT slobbering bee's head that dwarfs a woman fleeing in only a bra and panties. Now that's salesmanship!
Mark writes: Loved your Jack Hill interview! I picked up "Coffy" on DVD and was blown away by how crisp and clean the picture was. Not bad for a nearly 30 year old movie! Now, if only they put Pam Grier's "The Arena" out on disc... Here's a nominee for your Most Wanted column: Infra-Man. This little gem was available on Prism video and then resurfaced as an EP budget video. I would love to see this one make a comeback and as a fan of schlock films I'm sure you'd get a real hoot out of it ( if you haven't seen it already, that is ). PS: You gonna review the new "Evil Dead" DVD from Anchor Bay anytime soon?
Noel responds: The planets must be perfectly aligned, because Pam Grier's Arena (a.k.a. Naked Warriors) hit stores February 19th. Corman sorta remade it recently with Playboy Playmates Karen McDougal and Lisa Dergan to coattail a certain other mainstream hit. Hence, I prefer the Russian title Gladiatrix. Let's hope your luck extends to Infra-Man, as I'd love to check it out. As for, Evil Dead, well, I surely recognize its greatness, but personally, I'm a bigger fan of Bruce Campbell than I am of his wacky gore trilogy. Blasphemy, I know. But Deadites will surely devour my review of The Convent, which is a brilliant and spectacularly gooey ode to '80s horror comedies.
Shoot the an-tennie!
J. Grefstad of Auckland, New Zealand writes: I would love†a DVD special edition of my favourite sci fi film THEM! Please see if you can get someone to release this great movie SOON!
Noel responds: As soon as I hear something, I'll spread the word ... even to New Zealand! Always good to be reminded that schlock cinema knows no borders.
Hello, Mummy ...
Mummy Raider's Bruce Hallenbeck writes: Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed your riotous review of MUMMY RAIDER. Thanks for giving me the credit (or the blame) for it being my "vision," but it was really Michael Beckerman's vision more than mine--I was just the hired gun who wrote the script. And, of course, the actor in the really bad pith helmet. For a fuller look at my "vision," check out EI movies such as VAMPYRE, FANGS, THE WITCHES OF SAPPHO SALON and THE EROTIC CASE OF JEKYLL AND HYDE, and Brimstone's BLOOD OF THE WEREWOLF.
Noel responds: Don't sell yourself short there, buddy! Anyone who'd scribe dialogue like "What's the matter? Never been kissed by a NAZI before?!" deserves every accolade I'm able to chicken peck into my word processor. Great to know you dug the review and be careful you don't further ding that pith helmet or heir Beckerman might actually have to replace it.
Breasts, breasts and breasts
Craig writes: How about a section for the actress whose performance, look, attitude, or attire inspires the most impure thoughts amongst your loyal readers? After all, I too am a loyal follower of the Joe Bob Briggs' gospel of blood, breasts, and beasts. Especially breasts. Sigh.
Noel responds: So let me get this right. You want a CineSchlock-O-Rama centerfold!? Sans staples, of course. I think you're on to something. But the ladies and fellas of alternate persuasion among my readership MIGHT suggest we widen the scope a bit. Are you seriously prepared to risk an Andrew Stevens pictorial WITHOUT the distractive benefit of Shannon Tweed's melon-heavy bosom? Regardless, your proposal demands further and painstaking research.
L.A. go boom-boom
Phil Marlowe writes: Have you heard whether the excellent cult flick "Miracle Mile" will be released on DVD? Though the breast count was zero (Hey, the choices were Mare Winningham and Lindsy Crosby, so we didn't miss much if you know what I mean,and I think you do) and heads do not roll, it was a pretty twisted little flick that generated real suspense untill the very good ending, not to mention the added attraction of Anthony Edwards when he still had hair, or was in his toupee' stage, I can never tell which. Love the column, keep it up.
Noel responds: There ain't much of a market for Cold War/Doomsday/Romance pictures starring a guy who isn't a doctor, but plays one on TV. Sounds like there should be, though. I believe HBO Home Video was its last distributor. You might quiz them about it. But those yahoos only released the R-rated version of Gia on DVD. Grrrrr!
Charlie Coates writes: Hey! First off, I'm a fan of your site, keep up the good work! I've got a problem: I ran out of great horror movies to watch! I want something that will really scare the hell out of me, with suspense and gore to boot. I thought you'd be the one to ask. Ive seen the classic Dario Argento Films, Chainsaw Massacares, John Carpenter's, classic Night of the Living Dead movies, and the classic of classics: Dead Alive. Those dont include other mainstream horror flicks. Ive searched the net for top ten lists, and recommendations, but found nothing! What are your recommendations for over the top gory scare fests? Thanks for your time!
Noel responds: Now there's a tall order. Getting "scary" and "gory" working in unison is tough, so I'm just going to rattle off some personal faves and maybe one or two will be useful to you. His work is all giggles and no screams, but Herschell Gordon Lewis REMAINS the Godfather of Gore and Two Thousand Maniacs is his crowning achievement (Blood Feast being the epicenter of gore cinema). Basket Case follows those bloody footprints with laughs AND genuine suspense. Other modern gore-comedies include Return of the Living Dead 3, Bride of Chucky and, most recently, Bones. If you're a fan of Chainsaw, check out The Funhouse, an under-appreciated Tobe Hooper flick. Both Cronenberg's The Fly and its slimy sequel work good shocks into the grue. Even the R-rated cut of Cherry Falls splatters everywhere it should. Another classic you didn't mention is Clive Barker's immortal Hellraiser (and I even like the interplanetary sequel). Everyone is effected differently by fright flicks, though. I actually BELIEVE in demons so The Exorcist scares the bejesus outta me. Same goes for Communion. When Chris Walken says "Is that someone there" and that alien peers from behind the wardrobe. Ahhhhh! Gives me the willies just thinking about it! No matter how PHONY that skinny grey looks. And finally, it skirts the horror genre, but no other film has effected me PHYSICALLY to the extent of I Spit On Your Grave. Yep, the bathtub castration! Great, now THAT'S going to haunt me for the rest of the day. Good luck on your demented little quest.
Paul Guyot writes: Hey, there. I'm BoatDrinks when it comes to DVD Talk, and I just wanted to fire off a quick e-mail telling you that I've been reading your interviews/etc on the site and think you're doing a great job. Really nice work. Keep it up!
Noel responds: Quick emails rule! Glad I've been able to lure you out of the forums and down the path of iniquity. Stay tuned because the plan is to lower the bar even further in 2002!
Terror Firmer is garbage!!!
Richard Deming writes: Did you make Terror Firmer #1 just to get attention? Well it worked. I was so embarrassed that I had bought Terror Firmer that I threw it out. First time for everything. I mean I didn't want the garbage man to know I had this crap so I hid it under some stuff. I'd rather get caught watching three ugly women, a blind midget and some infested farm animals getting it on than getting caught watching this garbage. ... It's kind of like -- let's try to come up with something sick/dumb fail at that but still put out a movie anyway. ... This is not some some wink and a nod kind of movie laughing at itself ... this movie has nothing to wink and nod about -- other than selling this junk to us. I just think that with the numbers of titles out there and the 300+ titles I purchased in 2001 - this made last place. Now, I don't know how you define Schlock -- seems just to be another word for "camp." I also liked the reader's choice. Did you post the complete results? -- because I would be interested in seeing them. Each to his own. It is just disappointing that you choose to give this crap attention when other films are much more worthy. I feel sorry for the folks that are going out to purchase this garbage on your recommendation. What about the Bad Taste DVD? Or are you anti-Anchor Bay? Matter of fact, I don't see too many Anchor Bay titles that you have reviewed. It that because you don't get freebies from them? Happy New Year!
Noel responds: Your reaction to this flick isn't surprising. In fact, it's pretty dang NORMAL! Somehow I just got wired to enjoy a good gutter waller now and again. Terror Firmer scratches my itch. That's all. But regardless of the MOVIE's merits, the 2-disc set far exceeds -- in both content and quality -- any other B-title I encountered last year (and all but a few mainstream DVDs). As for being, gulp, "anti-Anchor Bay" I'll kindly point to Maximum Overdrive right there on that same list.
James Stone writes:
I just wanted to extend a hearty, heartfelt thanks for making me want to see the marvelous
GINGER SNAPS. I was only vaguely aware of this title
and most certainly wouldn't have rented or purchased
it before reading the review. But, wow, am I glad that
I started subscribing to the CineSchlock-O-Rama
newsletter! Because of the extras cited in your
review, I sought out the Canadian DVD and saved
watching it until my brother came home for Christmas.
After screening five mediocre movies that week, we
ended our fest with GINGER SNAPS and were both totally
entranced. I've seen A LOT of movies in my life, but
this one grabbed me like few others.
I'm sure it's corny to write a 'Thank You' note for a
movie review, but I couldn't care less. Thank You for
recommending GINGER SNAPS!
Noel responds: Corny? Not at all! I really appreciate your taking time to tell me y'all enjoyed the flick. And I know exactly what you mean by "entranced." Mike Shields' score STILL wafts fondly through my brain. That and various impure thoughts about Ms. Isabelle. But, seriously, I'd love it if TVA had added an isolated score to their already stellar presentation. Stay dialed in to the column and I'll do my best to keep you abreast to other worthwhile cinematic diversions.
We all scream for Ice Cream
Scott J. writes:
Hi, Noel. I have a question for you. Image posted on their site today something about a DVD release for a film called "Mr. Ice Cream Man." I can't find a film at the IMDB with that title, so I was wondering if you could please tell me if that is the same film as the 1995 film "Ice Cream Man." The only description of MICM given at Image is "A young brother and sister find out their father is the sick and twisted Ice Cream Man." I've never seen ICM (but would love to), so I don't know if that summary fits in with ICM or not. Any info you can give me would be great.
Noel responds: Now my heart just skipped a beat because Clint Howard's Ice Cream Man is HIGH on my Most Wanted list. Trouble is the description is all wrong and seeing Spectrum as the distributor also makes me suspect we're getting our hopes up too quickly. Guess we'll know soon since it streets next month! Thanks for the heads up.
For Your Consideration
CineSchlockers weren't shy when I put out the call for their favorite genre DVD of the year. The Canadian special edition of Ginger Snaps gained the top honor of CineSchlockers' Choice, but here are some other great nominees:
Scooter McCrae writes:
Hands down Best DVD of The Year: Walerian Borowczyk's THE BEAST (released by Cult Epics). Who cares about all the bonus crap they stuff onto a disc when there are so many important titles like this one languishing in Video Purgatory just waiting to be released on an unsuspecting public?
James Chambliss writes: I don't know what your requirements are for nominations such as the year the movie was released and whatnot, but my personal recommendation is for the film SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS from this very year. This movie that I read about and that I finally seen fits perfectly in the realms of cult cinema and indie production. The subject matter of reality television going to an extreme is definitely not big studio fare, despite what THE RUNNING MAN hinted at. (Though I'm surprised Stephen King hasn't considered some legal action since this film does draw more than a passing semblance from the original novella in THE BACHMAN BOOKS.) The writer/director Daniel Minahan uses his experience in television to make a quite believable satire not just of an industry eager to cater to the lowest forms of human nature to score a quick buck, but also of the hypocrisy we use on ourselves and others to think it's a fair and just world and that we wouldn't do the very things the characters do...or that we would lose our humanity if we keep doing it enough. Ms. Brooke Smith does an excellent job as Dawn Lagarto and I wish she would get more scripts like this to further showcase her talent. She's an overlooked gem that should be seen more often than some of the hyped-up actresses Hollywood seems to enjoy unloading on us. Glenn Fitzgerald also shines as Dawn's dying first love and fellow 'Contender' Jeffrey Norman. There's a chemistry between these two actors that makes the drama work, as if they had have known each other since high school. Another crowning moment was the scenes with Lindsay Berns(Merritt Wever) and her parents. What they did goes beyond mere description. It was horror at its purest. The DVD itself does more to express the director's vision and the actors' motives with its superior special features filmography section that goes beyond the simple photo and listing of credits. I only hope they'll use the PSA in the deleted scenes section as a part of its promotion campaign for cable since this would heighten the satire effectively. I can't express my enthusiasm enough about this film. It's truly a classic in the making, worthy of its reputation. I highly recommend this film for consideration. Markaveli writes:
If we are talking total DVD, with the movie, video, audio, extras, and value all taking equal billing, you have to at least consider Killer Klowns form Outer Space. While the movie itself is a few breast short of a five star rating, the total DVD is over and above the $10 to $15 price of admission. The video and Audio are on par with all of the other top DVD contenders, but the extras were more than enough to put this over the top. If every CineSchlocker-style film was released like this we would all be better off. This is how B movies should be done.
Ann Rotolante writes: That one is easy! My favorite genre title of the year was the special edition DVD release of THE WICKER MAN. It's been a looooong wait for it to come to DVD, and when it finally arrived, it arrived with a bang! The wooden box it comes in is just wonderful too!