Monday, March 28, 2016

PANIC IN YEAR ZERO! (1962)

Ray Milland and family (wife Jean Hagen, daughter Mary Mitchel and son Frankie Avalon) leave Los Angeles early one morning to go on a fishing trip.  After they're only a few miles out of town a nuclear explosion levels all of L.A.  They soon hear on the radio that major cities all over the world have also been blown to smithereens.  Father Milland goes into panic mode and starts gathering up all the supplies he can get his hands on, even if it means armed robbery!  Eventually they move into a secluded cave way off in the woods, but they're not totally alone.

As far as apocalyptic films of the 1960's go PANIC IN YEAR ZERO! is entertaining.  The action starts off immediately and keeps going at a steady pace for the entire film.  My biggest complaint though, and the reason I'll probably never watch it ever again, is it's just too dated, low-budget and tame.  There's talk of looting and violence, but practically none of it is shown on camera.  The tagline in the poster even promises "An ORGY of LOOTING and LUST..." but that doesn't happen at all.  Not even close!

PIYZ! is interesting from a historical point of view to see the filmmakers vision of what the collapse of society would look like, but nowadays it just seems naive.  Worth a watch, but it's nothing to get excited about.  The snazzy music by Les Baxter was sweet though.

If you need me I'll be in my room reading Robert McCammon's "Swan Song".
Hard to believe, but I think that's Paul Gleason from THE BREAKFAST CLUB and  DIE HARD.

Not sure what's going on here, but Frankie straight up gives the camera the bird for 7 seconds.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

THE GREEN INFERNO (2013)

A group of ultradouchers quit smelling their own farts long enough to travel to South America to save a remote village from getting bulldozed by loggers.  The villagers repay their kindness by chopping them up and eating them for lunch...and dinner..and breakfast...and maybe even a few leftovers for a mid-morning snack.  The End.

Other than eye-rolling annoyance for the first 40 minutes or so, I didn't really have any emotions during THE GREEN INFERNO.  The activists during the first act were unbearably annoying and when the cannibals finally showed up the the second act I just found them to be boring.  Then when the victims were captured and taken to the village I was hoping for some APOCALYPTO-style jungle chase excitement or maybe some RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II escape and running around in the jungle action, but no.  Instead there was just a bunch of sitting in a wooden cage bitching and moaning interrupted by the occasional cannibal feasting scene.

I can only imagine that being captured by a village full of cannibals would be mind-destroyingly terrifying, but unfortunately none of that terror is expressed in THE GREEN INFERNO.  I had zero compassion for the main characters.  I hated them all.  And even when they were captured I still didn't give a shit.  And on the other side of the spectrum, the villagers were all bland.  The one standout was the yellow and black-painted guy but he didn't come off as being a badass or anything.

Overall, THE GREEN INFERNO is a watchable film, but just kind of soulless and meh.

EVIL LAUGH (1986)

A group of 30-something-year-old medical students gather together for a weekend getaway at an abandoned house.  Ten years ago it was the site of a massacre and unknown to this new group of inhabitants the killer is still hanging around and not too happy about these nerds dancing, swimming, having sex and talking about horror movies in a pre-SCREAM way.

EVIL LAUGH is in no way a good film, but if you're in the right frame of mind (and preferably hanging out with like-minded friends) it's rather enjoyable.  For me, I knew EVIL LAUGH was going to be a fun movie right from the beginning when in one of the first scenes some of the leads were on the side of the road fixing a flat when this one guy announces that he has to go "drain the lizard." so instead of simply walking over to some bushes 10 feet away he goes up to the top of this hill that's like 300 feet away then starts pissing off the top of the hill...onto two fully-dressed people that are just laying there for no reason.  Of course, the guy soon realizes what he's doing and runs away, but the entire series of events makes absolutely no sense.  It was awesome.

Less forgiving audiences will probably dislike EVIL LAUGH, but I think that experienced fans of 80's slashers will get a kick out of it.  Non-threatening looking killer (who can somehow appear in two places at once), ridiculous story, low budget, silly and endearing main characters, good pace, two mild topless scenes, goofy ending and some hilariously memorable kills including a microwave head bursting and a knife to the dick and out the butt!!!

Would make a good double feature with THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE.
I'm guessing this shot was included because the director (Dominick Brascia) was the nerd that was axed in the back in FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING by Suicide.