Saturday, October 30, 2010

Color Me Blood Red (1965) plus The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

It's almost Halloween, a perfect time for a double feature from H.G. Lewis and his cavalcade of tasteless, blood soaked cinematic madness from the fringes.

First up is 1965's Color Me Blood Red, a story of an unhinged artist who finds creative inspiration in spilled hemoglobin. Followed by 1972's The Gore Gore Girls, a "murder mystery" centered around a bucket of blood strip club and the freak show regulars, on stage and off. Both push the limits of on screen bloodshed with very limited budgets and sensibilities far removed from politically correct notions.

H.G. Lewis was a true pioneer of do it yourself, guerrilla film making. Whether in genres of soft core sex comedy or horror, his exploitation movies often turned a modest profit. The Gore Gore Girls was Lewis's last film for many years and easily one of his sleaziest features, also utilizing set design that would be at home in any number of porno films of the era. It was also one of the few films he submitted to MPAA, were it received the X rating.

the trailer

the feature


the trailer

the feature

Friday, October 22, 2010

Possessed - 1987 - Baltimore

Formed in 1983, Possessed were an early and heavily proficient thrash/death/black/crossover/etc. metal combo from the San Francisco Bay area. Initial membership shakeups eventually lead to this line-up: Mike Torrao - guitar, Larry LaLonde - guitar, Jeff Becerra - vocals + bass and Mike Sus - drums; which put out three releases - Seven Churches (1985), Beyond the Gates (1986) and The Eyes of Horror (EP) (1987). Their sound moved from Satanic themed hyper-fast death brutality towards a more thrash infused style.

After Possessed broke up, guitarist Larry LaLonde joined San Francisco metal band Blind Illusion in 1988. Soon after in 1989 he and Blind Illusion's bass player, Les Claypool, started up long running funk metal act Primus.

Here's some footage of Possessed playing Baltimore in 1987.


Holy Hell

Swing of the Axe

Burning in Hell

The Exorcist

Fallen Angel

Satan's Curse
from the Seven Churches lp

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Sabbath (1963) - American and Italian versions

Mario (Black Sunday, Planet of the Vampires, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs , Danger: Diabolik, etc.) Bava's 1963 horror show Black Sabbath seems almost quaint in comparison with the gut wrenching (literally) ongoing output as modern scare films ramped up the realism, blood and gore from the late 60s onward.

Even a few years after it's release, the film proved powerful enough to provide a fledgling blues/rock band from the UK with a suitably "heavy" name, changing from Earth to Black Sabbath - the rest of that story is music history.

Genre stalwart Boris Karloff introduces the festivities and also appears in "The Wurdalak" segment. Heavy on suspense and atmosphere throughout, my favorite of the three tales of terror that make up the movie is the one titled "The Drop of Water, which is the first up in the American version. "The Telephone" is the middle segment in the US release and is also the one most altered from the Italian original.

American version

Italian version

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peeping Tom (1960)

Michael (The Red Shoes, Stairway to Heaven, The Tales of Hoffmann) Powell's 1960 film Peeping Tom caused quite a bit of controversy upon it's initial release. The very dark subject matter proved shocking to many movie goers, putting this in the same league as Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 fright flick Psycho. Also troubling to some was the combination of violence with a then rather unrestrained kink and sexuality on display, with some of the first views of female nudity in a big budgeted, Western studio produced film. An example is shown in the photo below. Heavily censored and initially unappreciated in the United Kingdom, the film also failed to find much of an audience in the United States or elsewhere until many years later. A chief supporter was Martin Scorsese, who would eventually assist in the films re-release in the late 1990s. In Roger Ebert's Chicago Sun-Times review of the 1999 reissue, Mr. Scorsese is quoted as having stated that this movie, and Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, "contain all that can be said about directing."

Much like Dario Argento's eyeball numbing Suspiria (1977) Peeping Tom also pursues an almost over saturated spectrum of vivid colors, brought richly to the screen. Actor Carl (Karlheinz) Böhm does a superb job of portraying a fragile and very dangerous character who produces a wide array of emotional responses in both those he interacts with in the film, as well as those watching the story unfold.

the trailer

the feature

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Voivod - 1986 - The Ritz, NYC

photo © 1986 Ronald Mc Gregor

Presented below is some nth generation video of French Canadian favorite Voivod's first U.S. show at NYC's The Ritz back in 1986 opening for Cro-Mags and Venom. I have been digging on the Voivod concept, artwork (executed by drummer Away) and sound since first hearing them back in 1986/87. Their live shows were/are always a superb showcase for bringing their "cosmic drama" to the masses.

This footage displays the band taking things from a somewhat more conventional extreme heavy metal milieu (Venom, Motorhead, etc.) into a bit more progressive, thrash centric and more hardcore punk influenced realm. As always, Piggy's guitar transcends the norm with a powerfully unique resonance. He may be gone, but the music he helped create continues.

1 of 5
1. Thrashing Rage
2. Warriors of Ice

2 of 5
3. Korgüll The Exterminator
4. Fuck Off & Die

3 of 5
5. Live for Violence
6. Order of the Blackguards

4 of 5
7. Nuclear War

5 of 5
8. Voivod

Saturday, October 2, 2010

La Nave De Los Monstrous/Ship of Monsters (1960)

This offbeat hybrid western/sci-fi/musical from Mexico, The Ship of Monsters, is entirely entertaining. The fact that this is in Spanish, a language I cannot understand, does little to stop the highly watchable fun. Much effort went into the superb set designs, special effects and especially the rocking monsters from outer space.