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Nice New York City Adult Film
Mascara (1983)

*** (out of 4)

Harriet (Lisa De Leeuw) notices that her boss (Robert Kerman) is banging a hooker named Lucy (Lee Carroll) so she asks for a few pointers. Pretty soon the two women become friends and go on a sexual odyssey.

MASCARA was directed by Henri Pachard with an uncredited job by cult favorite Roberta Findlay who also produced the film as well as shot it. If you're a fan of the New York City era porno movies from this era then you're going to enjoy this one as it offers up a pretty good story, some great sex scenes as well as a very fun cast.

What I enjoyed most about this film was the actual performance by De Leeuw who really does seem to have a fire going on inside her. She was really good in the various sex acts throughout the film and I thought she was also quite believable with her performance when it came to the acting. She and Carroll had a nice chemistry together and they both really made you believe the story. Several familiar faces are on display here including Ron Jeremy at the star as well as cult favorite Kerman in a brief scene.

There's certainly nothing ground-breaking about this picture but at the same time it's very much an entertaining movie, a fast-paced one and one with several nicely shot and erotic scenes.

The Pink Ladies

Better Than the Director Wanted You To Believe
The Pink Ladies (1980)

*** (out of 4)

To reveal too much of the plot to this Roger Watkins directed porn movie would be a mistake because there's really not too much plot but the main thing going on is that various people have sexual fantasies and us viewers get to witness them.

Apparently Watkins didn't like this movie, didn't want to make this movie and after he had made it he hated it, which is a bit strong in my opinion because I found it to be quite good for what it was. Perhaps Watkins didn't want to make the film but it still seems like he wanted to turn in something more than just your run-of-the-mill adult picture.

What really impressed me about this film was simply how well-made it was. Yes, you can call an adult film "well-made" and especially this one because it is. I really loved the editing style of the film because you could tell that Watkins was having fun with these fantasies and even more fun just showing off the cast doing their tricks. The editing of the film was terrific but so was the cinematography.

It certainly helps that you've got a fun cast as well. Samantha Fox is always fun to watch perform and Vanessa del Rio gets special attention because, well, she's Vanessa del Rio and can do whatever she wants. Horror fans will also be happy to see Robert Kerman (CANNIBAL FEROX) and Michael Gaunt (CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) among the cast.


Interesting Film About an Unhappy Director
Skin-Flicks (1978)

*** (out of 4)

Tony Hudson plays adult film director Harry, a man who is ten days behind schedule on his current film and his bosses (the Mob) want a finished product. Harry is struggling with life because he wants to do something other than just a sex picture and this is starting to have an impact on his actress/girlfriend (Susan (Sharon Mitchell).

While watching SKIN-FLICKS you can't help but notice the various things that director Gerard Damiano was trying to say and get across. There's a lot of interesting things dealing with the behind-the-scenes making of an adult picture but this film mainly works because of its story, which is basically a director not being happy because they're unable to expand and do something that they really want.

The film benefits from two very strong performances in the lead. In fact, both Hudson and Mitchell are so strong that you really could see their performances in a mainstream Hollywood picture. Both of them were perfect for their roles and certainly very believable as well. You've also got Jamie Gillis showing up in a brief part playing a creep.

The film also benefits from some nice cinematography and one would argue that the director has perfect control over the material and really manages to make a rather deep and interesting film.


Standard Sexploitation
Ballgame (1980)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Sexploitation master Erwin C. Dietrich co-directed this "feature" about some female's in a prison who get a softball game going against the guards. The prisoners decide to use their sexuality to try and get some added benefits.

If you're looking for some sort of ground-breaking cinema then you certainly won't find that here but at the same time, if you're looking for some sleazy fun, well, you're really not going to find that here either. BALLGAME pretty much offers up a lot of nudity and sex but there's very little entertainment to be had here.

Ann Perry-Rhine was also in the director's chair and who knows whether she or Dietrich were calling the shots. The film is rather weird as the majority of the sex scenes are softcore but there are a few shots of oral sex given but it seems rather unclear just what type of sex picture they were going for.

What limited plot there is borrows from THE LONGEST YARD with only the sport changing of course. At just 76-minutes there's not as much plot as that film as we're pretty much just given the sex and a few jokes about the mean warden. Overall there's just not enough here to really warrant watching it unless you want to see everything Dietrich was involved in.


Fun Spoof of the Casting Couch
Tinseltown (1980)

*** (out of 4)

Carter Stevens wrote, produced and directed this spoof of Hollywood. We're introduced to three different ladies who show up in Hollywood expecting to make it big but it doesn't take long for them to be passed around from one producer to the next.

In the commentary track for the film, director Stevens talks about how he was wanting to get out of the porno business and try his hand at a legit film. He agreed to make this picture as long as he was allowed to go to California and the rest is pretty much history. While his career didn't lead to anything "mainstream" he at least got to deliver a rather clever and fun film.

TINSELTOWN isn't a masterpiece but there's no question that Stevens had a talent for getting his cast in the mood of what he was trying to do. We've seen this type of story countless times before but I really liked the comic tone that was on display here and for the most part the film was well-made and fun. It certainly helped that Danille Raye was so good in her role as a country girl seeking fame.

Chic '69

Bond Fans Should Enjoy It
Chic '69 (1971)

** (out of 4)

Lenny (Ric Lutze) is a womanizer who is in bed with his woman when his sister Sissy calls to complain about her cheating boyfriend. Lenny manages to track down the girlfriend (Rene Bond) and the two have sex.

There's really not too much plot to this 34-minute adult film that really doesn't have too much going for it outside of Bond. Yes, I've admitted countless times that I'm a big fan of hers so I will track down any movie of hers that I can. This one here is worth watching if you're a fan but just don't be expecting too much.

The film does manage to have a couple good sex scenes, which is certainly the most important thing in a film like this. Lutze struts around and gets to sleep with three ladies including Bond at the end. There's certainly nothing overly special about this picture and the dubbing doesn't help but Bond fans will enjoy seeing her.

Femmes de Sade

Wild Adult Film That Lives Up to Its Reputation
Femmes de Sade (1976)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Alex de Renzy's notorious and sleazy porno has Rocky DeSade (Ken Turner) raping his friend's woman before he heads off and starts stalking various hookers. He sexually and physically abuses them but they plan for some revenge when he shows up to a S&M party.

FEMMES DE SADE is a film that has a pretty wild reputation and there's no question that it lives up to it. I had heard all sorts of things about this film but you can never be quite prepared until you actually sit down and watch it. The most amazing thing is that de Renzy manages to put the viewer through all sorts of different feelings while watching this film, which really wasn't an easy thing to do.

Case in point, the opening scene has a man being released from prison and finally being able to get it on with his girlfriend. This sequence just comes across very real and at the same time it was weirdly erotic. You follow this up with a violent rape sequence and you really start to realize that this film isn't going to be shy about anything. We get all sorts of notorious scenes including Turner performing oral sex on himself so he can show a hooker how to do it.

Then, of course, there's what happens at the S&M party, which is just wild to say the least. What starts out as an orgy quickly takes a very dark and disgusting turn. I wouldn't say that Turner gave a great performance but it was certainly a raw one and there's no question that he fit the role perfectly. You really can see him as this dirty monster and it certainly sells the plot.

FEMMES DE SADE is certainly one of the most memorable adult films out there even though it certainly won't be for everyone.

Memories Within Miss Aggie

Very Serious and Dark Adult Feature
Memories Within Miss Aggie (1974)

*** (out of 4)

The middle-aged Aggie (Deborah Ashira) is sitting around taking care of her wheel-chair bound partner and wondering where her life has gone. Through a series of flashbacks we see the various sexual encounters that she has had in her life.

MEMORIES WITHIN MISS AGGIE was the third feature from director Gerard Damiano after the ground-breaking DEEP THROAT and the much better THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES. This film here is about as dark and as somber sa you can get and when it was originally released there was all sorts of controversy surrounding it. If anything this proves that Damiano was a lot more talented than something like DEEP THROAT would lead you to believe.

What I enjoyed the most about this film is how the various flashbacks are all performed by a different actress. I really thought this brought a surreal feel to the picture and mix this in with the bizarre atmosphere and very laid-back approach and you've got an adult film with a real adult subject matter that plays everything straight. This certainly isn't a fun picture or one that simply goes for cheap sexual thrills.

MEMORIES WITHIN MISS AGGIE really tries to tell a real story and have some character development and for the most part it really works. At just 75-minutes the film never overstays its welcome and the performances by the entire cast were really good. The stand-outs were certainly Ashira and Kim Pope as well as Harry Reems who gives one of the best performances that I've seen from him.

Muhammad Ali: A Life

Good Documentary on Ali
Muhammad Ali: A Life (2016)

*** (out of 4)

This 52-minute documentary, made just after the death of Ali, has interviews with sports reporters as well as Ali fans, as they discuss his career and legacy.

at such a short running time it's impossible to get to all of Ali's highlights and lowlights but for the most part the film does a good job playing a greatest hits like package. We hear about his loud mouth, we hear about his battle against the Vietnam and we hear about three or four of the biggest fights in his career.

Just about every single thing heard in this documentary is something we've heard in countless other documentaries on Ali so in many ways there's nothing new or fresh here but then again, Ali is such a fascinating subject that these stories never really get old. There are some fun stories told throughout the running time and the majority of the running time is devoted to the speakers themselves.

There are a few clips from the boxing matches that are discussed but the main focus is always on the ones telling their story. I thought this was an interesting approach and it let the viewer get a better connection to the one talking and giving us a chance to see that person's excitement in telling the story and recalling their original emotions of the event.

The Ribald Tales of Canterbury

Funny Adult Picture with Great Cast
The Ribald Tales of Canterbury (1985)

*** (out of 4)

A group of people are traveling to Canterbury and along the way they decide to play a game to see who can tell the most erotic story. From here they tell and we see these sexual stories play out.

THE RIBALD TALES OF CANTERBURY is a well-made, lavishly produced adult film from writer-star Hypathia Lee and it was directed by her husband Bud. If you're looking for a strong adaptation of the various Canterbury stories then you might be disappointed but if you're just a fan of the genre then I have a hard time believing that you're going to be disappointed with what you get here.

It's rare whenever the sex and nudity isn't the strongest point of an adult film but what impressed me the most here were the wonderful costumes, set design and even the cast members were all on the right mark. I was really surprised at how good the performances were because this here is basically a comedy and the film goes for a lot of laughs and I thought the comic timing by the majority of the cast was right on and made for a very fun film.

Of course, you have to talk about the actual sex scenes and for the most part I thought they were strong. The highlight of the film has to come towards the end when a mother hears her daughter taking on a couple guys so she goes to get some for herself.

Too Naughty to Say No

Great Cast Makes This One
Too Naughty to Say No (1985)

*** (out of 4)

Betty (Angel) and Catherine (Ginger Lynn) are Catholic school girls who couldn't be more opposite. Catherine is a sexually active wild child who takes the overly shy Betty out to show her what she's missing. Before long Betty starts to get passed around and experiencing the art of sex.

TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO is a pretty strong and entertaining adult film that manages to take stars from the 70s and 80s and throw them into an all around fun movie. There's no question that this here is sort of a "greatest hits" of stars as we get current people like Angel, Lynn and Lisa De Leeuw but then you've got throwbacks like Jamie Gillis, Harry Reems, Eric Edwards and various others.

There are some extremely good scenes here including the opening sex scene where Gillis is on the bed with Lynn while talking dirty to Angel who is watching them. This was an extremely erotic sequence and certainly the highlight of the picture. The film moves along at a nice pace and the story itself might not be anything too original but it's at least done in a fun manor. The cast is certainly great and makes the film worth viewing.

Flaming Youth

For Bond Fans Only
Flaming Youth (1971) ** (out of 4)

This here is yet another very low-budget porn movie that I won't waste your time writing a "plot" out for but I will say that if you're expecting anything flaming or any sort of youth then you're at the wrong movie no matter what the title says.

Basically this thing clocks in at just under a hour and it features a few different stories, which are basically just people getting in the mood to have sex. The only real plot comes from the final story where Ric Lutze and Rene Bond are a couple. The husband comes home and sees that she has been shopping so she distracts him with some oral sex.

In all honesty there's really nothing too special here as the ladies aren't the greatest looking and it was certainly shot very cheaply and produced even cheaper. There's really nothing "good" on display here until the final story, which I'm sure the casting of Lutze and Bond will be the main reason people watch this today. Both of them were quite good in their roles and even though the film itself isn't that good, there's no question that the two had a nice, fun and playful chemistry with one another.

Lust Inferno

Tobalina With a Little Plot
Lust Inferno (1982)

** (out of 4)

Reverend Jerry (William Margold) is a man of God who is constantly preaching the word of the Lord. That's what he's doing in public but behind the scenes he's a rather evil man who pays to sexually abuse young girls.

This is a rather rare film from director Carlos Tobalina as it actually features a plot. As I go through the director's work it has become clear that he wasn't the greatest filmmaker and more times than not his films were plot-less and just featured a lot of mindless sex. Part of that is true with LUST INFERNO but I will give the director credit for at least trying to do something a bit more serious.

This was obviously an attempt to go after the various preachers you would see on television who were ranking in major dollars while being hypocrites to what they were saying. The events in this film are taken to the extreme and go behind good tastes with the ending, which I won't spoil here but it's certainly out there to say the least.

I thought Margold was good in the role of the preacher and for the most part the supporting cast were interesting as well. There are several goofs in the picture including various times where you can see the shadow of the cameraman but would you expect anything less in a Tobalina film? The film isn't all that well-shot and there's no question that the director's orgy fantasies take over a large portion of the film and we go without the main plot but there's enough here to make the film mildly entertaining.


Worth Watching for the Cast
Marathon (1983)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A large group of people gather in an apartment for a party, which quickly turns into a full blown orgy. When they get word that a couple friends are in the hospital they decide to take the party and orgy there.

As I make my way through the films of Carlos Tobalina it's becoming very clear that he liked orgies. MARATHON is basically two different locations with orgies at both but the gimmick here is that you've got some of the biggest legends in porn. John Holmes, Jamie Gillis, Ron Jeremy and William Margold are among the men and then you've got Crystal Lake, Sharon Mitchell, Mai Lin and Sultry Drea as some of the women. Don't worry there are plenty of other people as well.

MARATHON is a mildly entertaining movie as long as you don't go into it expecting too much. Again, as I got through the films of Tobalina it's clear that he wasn't all that interested in making great looking pictures or well-made ones. The editing here is quite poor and there are times where there are goofs but apparently no one wanted a second take. The film isn't all that well shot and more times than not it doesn't seem the cast knows what they're supposed to do either.

With that being said, the film remains entertaining because of how poorly shot it is plus the fact that you've got so many legends in the same film. That alone makes MARATHON worth watching.

Oriental Hawaii

Decent Hardcore Feature
Orietal Hawaii (1982)

** (out of 4)

Parents Bob (John Leslie) and Mildred (Jesie St. James) can no longer afford their adult children who are still living with them so they decide to rent out their rooms to a couple local ladies (Mai Lin, Jade Wong). Before long the ladies are experimenting with everyone in the house and soon an all out love fest breaks out.

Carlos Tobalina's ORIENTAL HAWAII isn't the greatest film ever made but if you're looking for a bunch of mindless sex then it will get the job done. There really isn't much of a story and it seems that the writers didn't even worry about the fact that they were dealing with a "family" here. If you're familiar with Tobalina's work then you'll know that pacing is always an issue for him and I think that's the case here too because scenes do seen to drag on a bit too much.

With that being said, everyone in the cast was certainly game with both Leslie and St. James turning in fun performances and Lin and Wong were also very fun. Rhonda Jo Petty and Danielle play the daughters and get several good scenes together. The sex scenes are fun and will certainly get the job done for the viewers.

Mai Lin vs. Serena

Better Than I Expected
Mai Lin vs. Serena (1982)

*** (out of 4)

Director Carlos Tobalina calls Mai Lin and Serena into his offer and tells this about his upcoming picture that will pay one of the $25,000. In order to see who gets the part, the women make a bet on who can satisfy more people so they head out to do just that.

MAI LIN VS. SERENA is yet another Tobalina film where there's very little plot and instead of it there's just one sex scene after another. What little plot is here is something that made me laugh at times but I'm really not sure how many people are watching films like this for their plot. This one here offers up some rather long winded sex scenes that take place in a restaurant, a gay bar, a police cell and then a flat out gang bang.

There's obviously nothing ground-breaking about MAI LIN VS. SERENA but I'd say fans of the two stars will certainly enjoy them here as they go through a wide range of people as all four settings pretty much turn into a group sex thing. I thought both ladies were quite charming and fans of Tobalina will be happy that he's on hand here again playing himself. The sex scenes are poorly shot at times as there's certainly no creativity but that is just pure Tobalina.

Demon's Brew

Strange and Rather Silly
The Bride's Initiation (1973)

** (out of 4)

This here is a really bizarre mix of hardcore sex and horror. A newlywed couple are leaving their wedding and the husband is eager to take the bride's virginity but before he can do so their limo driver gases them and takes them to Count Dracula (Marc Brock). It turns out that Dracula needs sperm so that his witch servant can create a serum that keeps his sex parts working.

THE BRIDE'S INITIATION is known under a couple different titles but no matter what you call it the film is certainly a very weird one. There have been several films that took horror elements and threw in hardcore sex but this quickie shot in Florida has to be one of the strangest out there for a number of reasons but the overall vibe is just something unlike anything else out there.

There are some pretty funny moments throughout the film and I must admit that I got a kick out of the "virgin" bride because it seems she knows a lot more about sex than the two women who are Dracula's sex assistants. I also got a kick out of the performance from Brock who is incredibly over-the-top as Dracula but it made for a fun time. If you've seen THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW then you'll get the same type of vibe from Brock but remember that this film came first!

The film starts to wear off its welcome around the forty-five minute mark as the sex dries up as does the comedy. The entire finale where Dracula goes after a new woman is pretty bland and there's no doubt that it drags the film down a bit.


The Return of Laurie Strode
Halloween (2018)

*** (out of 4)

Forty years after the events in the original film, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) finds herself face to face with the night that she has been preparing for. Michael Myers (Nick Castle) has escaped from the hospital that has kept him for the past four decades and Laurie knows who he is coming for.

HALLOWEEN, the sequel to HALLOWEEN (weird saying that, isn't it?), is a film that I've been quite hyped for and I must say that my adrenaline was pumping out of control as the lights in the theater dimmed and I got adjusted in my seat to watch it. As the end credits started to roll I just stayed in my seat thinking about what I had seen. There's no question it's going to need a second viewing but I must say that there were a couple sequences that I truly hated and a few others that I had mixed feelings about but at the end of the day I found this to be an entertaining movie.

With that said, where do fans go with this series? There have been so many different storylines that you can have a wild time just picking which line you want to follow. This film here is a direct sequel to the original movie and for the most part I thought the approach they took was a good one. This here is basically a Laurie versus Michael plot and there are some really exciting moments throughout the film as the masked killer makes his way around Haddonfield trying to track down the person he's looking for. There's some personal drama about Laurie's life that is handled okay but at the same time HALLOWEEN: H20 covered that type of thing better.

Back to this film, it has a strange vibe throughout because it wants to be a follow-up to the original but there's no question that it doesn't come close to that film's suspense or power. I will say that the suspense finally picks up during the finale but before that there's really not too much outside a couple well set-up jump scares. The film has quite a bit of graphic violence in it as the Myers here is basically a killing machine. Some of the gore might have stopped some of the scares and there's also some comedy bits during a critical scene that was so horribly done that it should have been edited out.

As far as the performances go, there's no question that Curtis gets back into the role with ease and I really liked that they made her look like the grandmother that she is and doesn't try to make her a superhero. I thought Curtis was very good in the role and it was fun getting to see her back in it. Judy Greer and Andi Matichak play the daughter and granddaughter and both are quite good as well. Castle gets back into the role of Myers with ease and you can spot some of his classic touches to the character. Will Patton is also good in his role.

At the end of the day, as I said, there are some flaws with HALLOWEEN and I did question a few of the moves by director David Gordon Green. Still, there are enough moments that really work here that make it a nice entry to the series and I'm sure most fans will be happy with it.


Effective Anthology Film
Asylum (1972)

*** (out of 4)

Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) shows up at an asylum for a job interview given by Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee). Rutherford feels it would be best for Martin to interview four different patients and hear their stories. The first is a young woman (Barbara Parkins) who tells her about being a mistress to a man who murdered his wife. the second story involves a broke tailor who is asked by a mysterious man (Peter Cushing) to make an even more mysterious suit. The third story centers on the young Barbara (Charlotte Rampling) who talks about her relationship with a mysterious woman (Britt Ekland). Finally, the fourth inmate (Herbert Lom) has an interesting hobby that includes robots.

ASYLUM is a film that I first watched when I was around ten-years-old and I honestly didn't care for it too much. Having finally revisited the film after all of these years I can see why my younger self didn't like this since there's really not any gore or violence but seeing it after all these years has really made me appreciate it even more. All anthology films are going to be uneven and that's certainly the case here but director Roy Ward Baker did a very good job with all of the stories and the screenplay by Robert Bloch (PSYCHO) was also extremely good.

Out of the four stories I'd argue that the fourth one was the weakest but it too is still rather good and especially how it connects everything. I think my favorite was the first one because there are some genuinely creepy moments throughout it including various scenes where "something" just shows up. I'm saying "something" so that I don't spoil things but it is very effective. The second story is more of a slow burn but the pay off is extremely good. As far as the third story goes, you've got two great actresses really bring it to life and there's no question that it too works.

As you can tell, there's a terrific group of actors here and there's no doubt that they help bring even more life to the picture. It was great getting to see a young Rampling here and there's no doubt that Ekland is always worth watching. Lom was good in his role as was Magee in his. Then you've got Cushing who turns in a very touching performance but, again, I won't reveal too much to avoid any spoilers. Add in an effective music score, the nice cinematography and a good atmosphere and you've got a nice little gem.

La noche de los mil gatos

Surreal and Wacky Film
The Night of a Thousand Cats (1972)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Hugo (Hugo Stiglitz) is a millionaire playboy who flies around in his own helicopter looking for beautiful women. He puts the women into the helicopter with him and takes them to his house, which is also the home to hundreds (not thousands) of cats. He then brutally murders the women, puts their heads in his collection room and feeds the rest of them to his cats.

René Cardona Jr. is best remembered for some rather strange and crazy films but THE NIGHT OF A THOUSAND CATS has to be one of the weirdest. In fact, this movie is just so strange and bizarre that I'm somewhat shocked that it isn't better known by cult fans. I'm not sure if there's an alternate, longer version out there but the one making the rounds on various sites clocks in at just 62-minutes.

There's very little plot going on in this film and in fact there's very little that actually happens. Throughout the short running time we see Hugo flying around, spotting the beautiful woman, picking her up, showing her his home and then we see them killed and fed to the cats. None of the murders are overly graphic but the director loves showing the chopped up bodies that are being fed to the cats.

That there is pretty much the only thing that happens in the film. Over and over the exact same thing happens and while the film is somewhat poorly made it's just so crazy that you can't help but enjoy what's going on. I certainly haven't seen a movie like this before. On one hand you can bash that plot-less film but then again you have to respect a sleaze movie like this that just gives the viewer the same thing since the director obviously believes that's what they want.

THE NIGHT OF A THOUSAND CATS has a few scenes towards the cats that will offend those who love the animals so those people should be cautioned. With that said, the film is certainly a unique one and fans of cult films should enjoy it.

Help Me... I'm Possessed

Entertaining For What It Is
Help Me... I'm Possessed (1974)

** (out of 4)

After a couple bodies are discovered the local sheriff goes to visit Dr. Blackwood (Bill Greer) who is running a sanitarium with his wife (Deedy Peters). Even though the doctor is acting suspicious there's nothing the sheriff can do. However, what the doctor is really up to includes a basement full of torture devices as well as woman chained up.

HELP ME... I'M POSSESSED is a film that not too many have heard of and that's somewhat too bad because this is certainly a bizarre little film that is worth watching if you're a fan of those no-budget drive-in films that are sadly no longer made. If you're looking for some sort of art film or Oscar-winner then you can obviously skip this.

What makes the film work is the fact that it is campy in all the right spots and that includes the lead performance from Greer. He plays the type of mad scientist that we've seen countless times over the years and he so fun doing it that you can't help but enjoy the character. It certainly doesn't hurt that you've got some really nutty scenes in the basement where a lot of the fun comes from.

This fun includes a lot of ladies either chained to the wall or stuck in cages. You've got some very silly and over-the-top scenes where the women are being tortured and in a lot of ways this reminded me of BLOODSUCKING FREAKS, which was released a few years after this and pushed the subject matter to the extreme. The ending is also pretty wild in its own way.

With all of that being said, there's no doubt that there are plenty of flaws including the pacing of the picture but at the same time it does well enough for what it was trying to accomplish.

Cardiac Arrest

Really Awful Detective Thriller
Cardiac Arrest (1980)

1/2 (out of 4)

Detective Garry Goodrow (Clancy Higgins) gets sick at the sight of blood, which isn't a good thing considering his latest case. Set in San Francisco, the detective is trying to track down a serial killer who is ripping the hearts out of his victims. It turns out that the killer might be involved in a harvest program.

CARDIAC ARREST hit video shelves and was being sold as a horror movie with a pretty good cover showing an evil doctor holding a heart. I'm going to guess that this film was put into theaters as a detective story but it flopped so the producers tried to make their money back on video by passing it off in the slasher era. Sadly, the film is just really awful from the start and has very little working for it.

I will say that the idea of an evil doctor, hearts being stolen and sold is a pretty good idea but sadly nothing is done with it here. I really thought this was a poorly made movie right from the start as it lacks any real tension and there's never an atmosphere or anything else built. Even worse is how awful some of the performances are as you'd really think that they filmed a rehearsal because the performances are that bad.

The mystery of who the killer is was well kept but at the same time the viewer is so bored by the film that by the half hour mark they won't even care who is doing it. The lead detective isn't very interesting and neither is everything that happens for him to solve the case. With the mystery side of things not working you'd hope for some good kill scenes but that doesn't happen either as we usually just see the aftermath so those expecting gore or violence should go somewhere else.

CARDIAC ARREST is a film that just doesn't work and should only be viewed by those wanting to see the bottom of the barrel.

Bride of the Gorilla

Better Than Its Reputation
Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

*** (out of 4)

Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills a man in cold blood so that he can steal his wife (Barbara Payton) and he thinks he's gotten away with it but he didn't realize that a voodoo witch has placed a curse on him. The curse turns him into a gorilla but he really changing or is it all in his mind?

Curt Siodmak wrote and directed this low-budget "B" film and that's worth noting because he wrote some of Universal's biggest hits of the 1940's. One such film was THE WOLF MAN, which was obviously the inspiration for this movie. If you're familiar with that 1941 film then you might remember that the screenwriter originally wanted to make it unclear whether the Lon Chaney, Jr. character was a werewolf or if it was all in his mind. Well, that scenario is basically what plays out there.

If you look around at the reviews you'll notice that the majority of them are negative but I feel that's a bit unfair. While this here certainly isn't a classic movie it's at least a lot more entertaining than a lot of the "B" horror movies that were out there around this time. The film obviously doesn't have much money and this is rather clear when you see how cheap some of the special effects are. In fact, the majority of them are off screen or POV shots.

I thought the film was at least entertaining enough to hold your attention throughout and I must admit that I really liked the Burr character even with what he did. I thought it was interesting seeing what he was going through and of course there's the mystery of what exactly is happening. Burr turns in a good performance as did Payton. Then you've got Chaney, Jr. in a supporting role and while it is a throwaway part he's at least fun.

BRIDE OF THE GORILLA is a bunch of low-budget non-sense but I've always found it to be mildly enjoyable.

Bloodthirsty Butchers

Another Awful Milligan Film
Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970)

1/2 (out of 4)

Barber Sweeney Todd (John Miranda) and baker Maggie Lovett (Jane Hilary) realize that they can be a service to one another and team up in this maddening Andy Milligan film. Sweeney Todd murders the patrons who sit in his barber chair and he sends the meat over to Lovett for her pies.

I've seen the majority of the Milligan titles that are currently available and I must say that I'm amazed that he has such a following. Well, let me take that back. It's easy to see why such horrible films would have a following since many people love bad movies. What shocks me is the fact that there are many people out there who feel that Milligan was a great director and that something like BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS was a great film.

It's pretty darn hard to mess up the Sweeney Todd story but Milligan manages to do that with this incredibly poorly acted film that doesn't do a thing in regards to entertainment. We start off with a man betting chopped up by the butcher and the special effects are so awful that you can't help but laugh. In fact, Milligan doesn't even try to hide how poorly the rubber hand and fingers are!

From here the film pretty much turns into a boring melodrama as we see Todd and Lovett talk, argue, fight, make up and do a wide range of other dialogue scenes that just really drag the film down. It doesn't help that the performances are on the bad side and it really doesn't help that the dialogue is some of the worst that you'll ever have to listen to. There's not much real gore or violence so that's another letdown.

What really shocks me about Milligan and films like this is that he apparently felt that someone wanted to watch them. His films are basically arthouse movies that try to pass themselves off as exploitation or horror movies. The problem is that those elements are never delivered an instead we are left with rather poor films.


Worth Watching
Filmgore (1983)

*** (out of 4)

Back in the 80's there were a number of compilation videos that were put out to highlight various horror topics. THE BEST OF SEX AND VIOLENCE, ZOMBIETHON and FAMOUS T&A were just some of the others. FILMGORE features Cassandra Peterson in her Elvira role as she hosts various clips from some classic and not-so-classic films.


If you've never seen any of those films then you might want to skip watching this becuase just about every death scene in those movies are displayed here so obviously there are a lot of spoilers in this. With that being said, I thought FILMGORE was the best of all these compilation videos and it got off to a very good start with a mix of the death scenes from the various films.

There's certainly nothing ground-breaking here and there's no question that you should watch the films complete but at the same time there's no doubt that this thing does its job by showing off the violence in these movies and there's no question that people would watch this and then want to go out and see the actual films.

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