Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cute Little Buggers

I was passed a CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS screener today and I gave it a watch at once. I had seen a teaser and few articles on it and then it dropped off my radar. When I saw the screener link roll in, I was super excited. Now, before I really get rolling, I'm going to address the elephants in the room.

• This is a low budget film. Relatively, of course. I just saw a short with the budget of $25, so....

• This does have some rather dodgy 3D in it. Some bits more wonky than others. I mean...we're dealing with CGI rabbits on a low budget. But, even though it may not be "A List", it was solid.

• Lastly, we have almost a full ADR dubbing situation. Some of it comes off as odd, but seeing as I'm a huge giallo fan, I was over that within 10 minutes.

But, none of that matters in the long run.

Tony Jopia, Garry Charles, Andy Davie, Kristofer Dayne, and the cast and crew of CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS have managed to do something highly entertaining and fun here. That means a lot to someone who was a teen horror lover in the 80s. Their press kit was saying that this is "Hot Fuzz meets Gremlins", but - while those ARE fun films, I'm going to give this film an even bigger complement. This totally reminds me of the fun I had watching the awesome Peter Jackson work of the 80s and 90s with films like MEET THE FEEBLES, BRAIN DEAD and BAD TASTE.  It's wacky, silly, funny, and a bloody good time.

The plot is throwback as well. Aliens are using our women to breed. And, what better tool to use as a hunter / gatherer for said women than...rabbits. The rabbits are altered to become fierce creatures of death that the aliens use to drag women back to their breeding chamber and to defend. When the towns folk find out what's happening, they have to fight back to save their women...and their world!

I had a blast watching this. It's just a lot of fun all around. While the budget might have been low on this, it had a ton of things going for it that elevated it immensely. At the base, of things the writing was lively and highly entertaining. The overall look and feel of the film was very professional and far better than many indy films I've seen. It was clear that the filmmakers knew what they were doing. The lighting and camerawork were grand.

The 3D in the film was ambitious and totally got the job done. The 3D and effects production teams were doing a lot of work here and it shows. I was watching the film and trying to think of just how long the effects production work took seeing all the shots that had some sort of 3D or post effects work done on them. I believe the aliens had post work done on their eyes and tongues, ALL the many rabbits...moving around and attacking. But, the thing that I found to be the most fun about this was the CG gore.

I'm not usually a computer gore fan. Blood sprays that used to be done with squibs back in the day were far more visceral and real than 75% of the CGI stuff we are seeing today. When used sparingly, computer generated gore and blood can be a big help. (see Greg Nicotero and Team's WALKING DEAD work)  What I loved about the use of computer aided nastiness here is the fact that they didn't dabble.

It's like they just said, "Ok...we have rabbits whose heads split open with tentacles attacking humans. Let's go big!" And big they go. Blood sprays, limbs are ripped from bodies, and deadly rabbits fly!

The characters were a hoot as well. Over the top caricatures of small town residents were in abundance from the slightly bumbling police officer, to the crazy old folks, to the wondrous Caroline Munro appearance as Mystic Mary. This really had a BRAIN DEAD feel for me because I love over the top characters being alive, energetic, and invested in films. You could tell that these folks were not just phoning it in. They were going above and beyond and they were having fun doing it.

 And, while I'm chatting this film up, I have to mention the women. :::swoon::: While they are not going to be seeing a passing grade on the Bechdel test, they are taking things back to the 80s here again with the amount of beautiful women finding various ways to "get their kit off" as they say.  It's comical in it's own right and really did remind me of 80s movies. Shirts were flying.

This film managed to entertain me, but it also did more than that. It provided some genuine laugh out loud moments that had me giggling and chuckling at all over the place. By the end of the film, I found myself being very surprised and just how much I was laughing and how I wasn't doing my usual indy film groan & eye-roll ® combination. A refreshing treat!

You're going to want to down this as soon as it comes out. Get some food and beverages, gather your friends round the TV, and prepare to have a silly good time!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Endless looks amazing

There are times when I see a trailer and just shrug it off as something that's not for me. Happens a lot. I don't bash the film. Why do that? People spent time on it. I just know I'm not the target and move on.

However, THE ENDLESS is the polar opposite of that. When I saw the trailer, I was so excited that I started posting it all over the place, doing a little happy chair dance and talking about how good it looked.

And, seeing as it's coming from the same folks that made SPRING and RESOLUTION, I have very good feelings about how much I'm going to love it unless something really went off the rails somewhere. Those other films were fantastic.

I NEED A SCREENER, STAT! hehehehe    Well...I guess that would only be a value add for them if I had more followers. :::grin::   BUT STILL - send me a sceener!    ((Is that how you do it? Beg?))

Monday, September 25, 2017

Eyes Without a Face (1960) (Les yeux sans visage)

I managed to make it out to see the wondrous French film Eyes Without a Face at a 9:15pm showing at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland (More on that later) and I was very happy that I did. I've seen the film before, but seeing it on the big screen was a real treat and well worth being a little tired the next day! Looking back on it, the film really isn't solely a horror film. I see it as more of a sad drama with some horrific elements.

We have Docteur Génessier who is trying to make things right after causing a terrible accident that's disfigured his daughter, Christiane, leaving her with a disturbing, mangled face. With the help of his assistant Louise, the doctor kidnaps young women and removes their faces to transplant onto his daughter using a technique he's trying to perfect. Grim, indeed, for it seems like every attempt goes wrong, but the doctor's guilt drives him on.

The film is shot beautifully and the scenes take on various feelings from beautiful to nightmarish. And the sadness of the film weighs on you - almost physically. The doctor is awful - killing women to fix his daughter, but you understand what's driving him . His assistant does what he says without much thought about it because she longs to help him any way she can.


And poor Christiane is the saddest of all. She watches as these horrible things are done to other women to help her and has to watch as the efforts fail over time. Her new face fails and withers away forcing her back into the mask to cover her ruined visage - an expressionless, sad face with eyes that stare out at her small world sadly. And more sadness is added when she slips away to calls her fiancé so she can hear his voice again knowing that he thinks she's dead.

Georges Franju's direction paired with the fairy tale soundtrack of Maurice Jarre tops things of wonderfully. The music is slightly off and creates a dreamy, nightmare landscape when paired with beautiful shots of Christiane gliding around the house in her long coat and sad mask. And of course, Eugen Schüfftan's cinematography was at play here as well.

I can see this being a Criterion purchase in the future. I really love the film. If you have not seen it, check it out when you're in the mood for an atmospheric, sad, dark fairy tale. 


I forgot how much I love the New Parkway Theater. They had shut down at one point and I was so sad. The theater was filled with sofas, comfy chairs, and a general eclectic mix of places to sit. Paired with their pizza, beer, and fresh popcorn, it was a GREAT night out. When they reopened in a new location, I kept thinking it was far away and didn't really think about it much. When I went last night, I realized that it was only 11 short minutes away and it still had the great mix of seating, the food and beer, and the FANTASTIC popcorn - served in a real bowl, not a paper one. The theater prides itself on cutting back on waste this way, being one of the "greenest" theaters in the Bay Area, And being able to have at home comfort sitting on a sofa, but still having the giant screen to view the film is a winning combination!

Friday, September 22, 2017

SUSPIRIA playing at the New Parkway Theater October 6th 10:30pm!

Dario Argento's masterwork SUSPIRIA is going to be playing at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA on October 6th - 10:30pm.

From what I've been told, this is the newly restored, 4K print, so it should be glorious.

What better way to kick off GIALLOctober Fest?! I'm going. Are you?


The New Parkway Theater is located in the Uptown/KoNo section of Oakland, near the corner of Telegraph Avenue and 24th Street:
474 24th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Movie and Information Hotline: 510-658-7900
Theater Administration (not for rentals or job inquiries–see below!): 510-338-3228
Fax: 510-338-3537

GIALLOctober Fest 2017

We're doing our GIALLOctober Fest again this year, covering a range of giallo films we have not covered before. Who Saw Her Die? , Don't Torture a Duckling, Death Walks at Midnight and many more!

The films we've covered so far can be found here:

Have a favorite giallo film that we have not covered before? Let us know and we'll seek it out!


I'm a Jean Rollin fan. I get that his works isn't for everyone - totally makes sense. I've watched a handful of his films and love the strange storylines and pace choices. I'm all in. However, the IRON ROSE had me blinking blankly at the screen and questioning whether or not I was going to fast forward or simply switch films.

When I looked it up later, I saw that many sites bill it more as a fantasy rather than a horror film.

We have The Girl and The Boy who see each other at a party and make plans to go for a bike ride together. The ride around and play flirty games. It's very sweet. Then they decide to take a break from cycling for a bit and do a bit of exploring in this large, beautiful cemetery. Now, you may want to call shenanigans here, but I could totally see doing the same thing. The place was beautiful.

Here's where things run a bit off the rails. They decide to get some privacy by climbing down into this crypt and end up making love. Spoiler. :) Well, they stay down so long that day turns to night and all the visitors have left. They can't find their way out and slowly slip into a hysterical state as they try to find their way.

And they wander, pontificate, scream, explore.....

All the while, it's very pretty, but it's also so arthouse it hurts. I was happy that I got to see the film that was called out as one of his best. It is gorgeous. But, man is it an odd one! heh Knowing what I know now, I'd settle in for more of a fantasy or self exploration film and wouldn't expect horror elements. I believe that that is what confused me more than anything. I thought one of the characters was going to be the "villain" or that the dead would rise or something, but it really never goes there.

Françoise Pascal, though. My goodness. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She's amazing and mysterious and super interesting. 

There are some rather haunting images in the film as well. It never goes into "horror", but they can be creepy and scary in their own way for sure!

I do recommend watching the film, but make sure you check out some of his other films as well - like THE GRAPES OF DEATH or THE LIVING DEAD GIRL if you're looking for true horror. THE IRON ROSE is a beautiful and poetic film and well worth a viddy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Marilyn Manson - WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE (Official Music Video)


Mr. Marilyn Manson - you are doing things up BIG!

Marilyn Manson's new video - WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE - features home invasion, explosions, LOTS of guns.....and fetish nuns...who eventually get inside the family's home....and sexually assault them.   It's right out of the grindhouse, 1970s catalogue! Wild stuff!

Needless to say....this is not for the mild hearts in the world. Whew!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Black Cat


THE BLACK CAT is a fun film that's slightly silly at times, but that delivers the Fulci deaths we've grown to love. The basic premise is that this evil cat is killing people all over a small town. An investigator and reporter try to solve the murders and figure out that the cat is at the bottom of it, but why is a cat killing people?

Yes, silly at times for sure - like when the cat scratches a man's hand and causes him to fall to his death. However, the film is played totally straight and the POE-ness carries it through for sure. We're treated to some true Fulci nastiness and some of the wonderful shots and staging he's known for.


Poor Daniela Doria taken out again. "It's an airtight room. They use it for storing sails or something." (What could possibly go wrong?) Poor Mimsy Farmer is put through hell yet again which is always fun ::grin:: , the wonderful Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) chews the scenery expertly, and David Warbeck James Bonds his way around being smart and dashing in a fun way. As the plot ramps up, things get more and more strange and magical.  Things heat up between Farmer and Warbeck as well....which....honestly....looks more awkward than anything else in the movie. But, in a fun way.

The musical score is grand. I heard it and thought THE HOWLING at once, then found out Pino Donaggio was the composer on this as well as the Howling. It's a sweeping and lovely series of compositions. 

I just love how Farmer's character is dragged in to photograph corpses - just because she's a photographer. "We need someone to photograph crime scenes. You're a photographer, right?"  And we get CAT-O-VISION POV shots galore, which adds to the fun.  It's a bit hard to believe that people can't fight off a small, black cat, know...horror trope.  And, there are some really awful parts, but they are awful in a fantastic way. Lines like, "The cat did it, but it couldn't have acted alone...." hehehe   Like the cat was involved in plotting a series of murders. hehehehe  I love it.

And....bats.   :)

This is a fun little gothic horror tale and a cool little retelling of Poe's Black Cat tale. It's well worth a watch. Invite some friends!