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Critical Mass

The crush of schlocky goodness arriving at CineSchlock-O-Rama HQ has long since outpaced yours truly's ability to trumpet it all, so here's a scattershot means to highlight titles that particularly pique MY interest ...

 NOVEMBER 29, 2004

Girls on Bulls: Vol. 1 proudly purports to showcase bar babes who "hop on top, hold on tight and ride real hard!!!" Great idea? Maybe if the yawn-inducing hour of barely bouncing bosoms weren't saddled with a bafflingly lethargic mechanized bovine or the spastic hamster editing hijinks and criminal camera work didn't seem purposefully orchestrated to spoil this opportune ogling opportunity. The result: Urban Cowgirls Gone Mild.

Seduction Cinema's funny bone splintered just after the bazzillionth fart joke in Lord of the G-Strings. More than a year later, the mending's finally begun thanks to The Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing's giggle-wrought writing and a slathering of rejuvenative sapphic salve by comely newcomer Erika Smith and B-goddess Darian Caine. Let's hope mysterioso honcho Mike Raso (a.k.a. Michael Beckerman) signs the same checks for his studio's next Tee-hee-and-A spoof! Until then, sexploitation aficionados should give a listen to his intriguingly curtain-tugging commentary.

All the sadists in da house say: "Owww!!!!" [OWWW!!!] Mark of the Devil is a dungeon dweller's delight with every conceivable torture device demo'd by 18th century witchfinders to the vaguely artful peril of many a nubile wench. Among oodles of shrieking extras is an interview with CineSchlocker idol Udo Kier in his native tongue. Don't worry, he gets to keep it! Even after getting downright snippy when his 10-minute Q&A goes 20.

Killer Nun sounds like more fun than it is -- mostly because Swedish siren Anita Ekberg made the unholy nunsploitation relic about 20 years too late. Although, between the mother's less-than-superior murders, our frau'd La Dolce Vita vixen DOES endure fleeting sister-on-sister advances by Italian Playboy Playmate Paola Morra.

A moment of silence please. There's a critter classick crammed alongside EIGHT flicks on Rhino's Horrible Horrors Collection: Vol. 2. (A single-disc flipper!?!) That'd be Bill Grefe's immortal rattlesnake revenge sssssensation Stanley. Looks like an oft-duped TV cut too! Sadly, those sainted samaritans at Something Weird Video can't save 'em all.

"You make me do this!," breast auteur Fred Olen Ray half-jokingly apologizes. No more cheeseball saxophones. No more foggy lenses. Today's late-night cable market demands panting, grinding, Sock 'n' Band-Aid larks such as The Erotic Dreams of Jeannie. In fact, Fred's commentary is dern near a State of the Union address to B-fiends explaining, among other trends, just why we'll be seeing a lot more of "pros" like Nicole Sheridan.

 OCTOBER 25, 2004

Ousted "Cheaters" host and CineSchlocker idol Tommy Habeeb (a.k.a. Tommy Grand) appears poised for a stripper-slathered return to reality TV with Stag: Last Night of Freedom. His half-hour pilot salaciously birddogs Randy and April as they gingerly navigate nefarious rites of passage toward wedded bliss -- with some eye-popping detours. Tommy says it best: "I don't believe I'll ever be able to look at whip cream the same way again!" This "Raw & Uncensored" DVD-R is a limited release.

Retro-Seduction Cinema's outdone itself with a two-disc hurrah for The Seduction of Inga -- erotica auteur Joe Sarno's saucy sequel to the Marie Liljedahl classic. The set even boasts a fresh documentary headlined by the former ingenue herself and a far fleshier "grindhouse" cut! Such a savvy preamble to Mr. Sarno's long-awaited return with Lust For Laura!

Who's the sure-fire savior of the '80s slasher in its waning years? Leif Garrett!!! OK, well, casting the former pop heartthrob must've sounded pretty swift at the time. Thankfully, CineSchlockers will find plenty of nubile distractions at Cheerleader Camp, which is also known as Bloody Pom Poms, a more apt title given the killer's sis-boom-bah MO.

How 'bout a sapphic slasher made by lesbians for lesbians? It's about goldang time! Make a Wish ogles the murderous misadventures of a birthday grrl and her conspicuously non-coed camping companions in the wilds of Texas. (Sorry, no chainsaws!) But despite its micro-budget moxie, the flick's sadly snakebit by crummy kills and coy canoodling.

What the girls and yours truly can surely rally around is Angelina Jolie's oh-so tasty turn as troubled supermodel Gia. HBO's finally, finally, finally dusted off the Unrated version that fully fleshes out the biopic's lesbian themes. No word if any of THAT footage contributed to her Golden Globe win! For those keeping score: This marks Ms. Jolie's THIRD uncut release.

Just when you thought every critter worth a creature feature had its day ages ago! Behold the hungry, hungry horror of Frankenfish!!! No kin to ol' bolt neck, just a hilariously stone-faced exaggeration of real life "snakefish" fears fashioned into a flick where anyone or any fish can become swamp squeezings at any moment. Let's hope that juicy sequel-bait ending pays off!

 OCTOBER 11, 2004

Think you're a Misty Mundae fan? Test your mettle with Voodoun Blues, the B-siren's FIVE-minute student film, inspired by a "freaky [email protected]#&ing lady at Target" and Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer. Included among a smattering of extras aimed at beefing up this "EP" is a reel from the scoring session necessitated by not being able to license Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You." (So, humor Ms. Mundae and throw on the CD during her silent opus.)

Misty's Play-Mate of the Apes maestro John Bacchus (a.k.a. Z. Winston Brown a.k.a. Zachary Snygg) -- glaringly absent from Seduction Cinema's recent sapphic spoofs -- angles to boost his street cred with an uneasy exploration of bloodsucking gangstas in Vampiyaz. Look for Zack's cameo as the white dude who gets cap'd in his PJs.

The busy bees at Blue Underground have unearthed a pair of David Carradine gems -- the car-crashin' Cannonball and the would-be Bruce Lee showcase Circle of Iron (a.k.a. The Silent Flute). Between the discs, fans net nearly a half hour at the feet of their beloved Grasshopper who boldly proclaims Circle his favorite film. Perhaps because he plays F-O-U-R distinct roles!?!

Speaking of Mr. Carradine, wince as he fruitlessly makes eyes at "cutie pie" Tiffany Shepis by lifting his shirt to show off his navel ring and nether-trailing tattoo in UnConventional. The liquor'd up B-vixen headlines this docu-comedy alongside chainsaw two-stepper Gunnar Hansen, grindhouse guru 42nd Street Pete and breast auteur Gonzo in an ambitious attempt to capture the horrific fandemonium of New Jersey's Chiller Theatre convention (oft huzzah'd by yours truly). "Nerdy guys and scantily clad women," observes an astute Ghoul Gone Wild. "You put them together and you've got magic there -- MAGIC!" About 3,000 extras-laden discs will be available at the show this Halloween. Expect a wider, possibly theatrical release to follow.

At last a film for all of us who, in fits of youthful exuberance, ordered X-Ray Specs or Sea Monkeys from the back of a funny book. Kirk D.'s gleefully nostalgic short follows young Flip's imaginative noodling over how best to spend grandma's birthday buck and the comically deflating reality of his wide-eyed selection. Bonus features befitting the most lavish Hollywood production herald this 15-minute jewel. Personal faves include the gallery of vintage Johnson Smith nicknacks and original web toons.

Troma's turd polishing prowess is peerless. Yet for all their grunting and straining only two stars worth of final-reel Tromania erupts from Tales From The Crapper. (Even with Julie Strain, 52 breasts and innovative "Boner Vision" technology!) What's more entertaining is CineSchlocker idol and Crapkeeper Lloyd Kaufman's video confessional chronicling how TWO films and the reshoots meant to stitch 'em together were plunged, flushed, plunged and then flushed again down the cinematic sewer.

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

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