Archive for November, 2009

Just in time for Thanksgiving, nom nom nom.

Oddly enough, Jungle Holocaust (1977) wasn’t just a cheap little horror/exploitation crank-’em-out, though the budget certainly was paltry. In an attempt to imbue the movie with realism, he shot it all on location in Malaysia and Mindanao, using a mostly native cast; the title card which starts the movie claims it to be a true story. I don’t know about that claim, but I know that treating it as if it was a recreation rather than a tawdry B-movie adds something to it — a patina, almost, of respectability.

But wait– there's more!

In addition to my contribution to Stingathon ’09, I also offer you:

Giant from the Unknown (1958), in which a huge, freeze-dried conquistador emerges from his three-century slumber in the woods of Southern California, and we all wonder why the World Wrestling Federation never thought of that…

The Honeymoon Killers (1969), in which a pissed-at-the-world fat girl and her Spanish gigolo boyfriend make a killing, both figuratively and literally, from a mail-order matchmaking service…


Witchcraft VIII: Salem’s Ghost (1996), in which a good horror franchise is nowhere near as hard to keep down as a torturously terrible one.

It's a very special Roundtable…


It was the mid-1990s. The internet was more than just a gleam in Al Gore’s eye, but only just. It was a time when hour-long page downloads were barely even irritating; a time of getting lost in the cul-de-sacs of Geocities; and a time when the line, “It’s a UNIX system! I know this!” in Jurassic Park didn’t necessarily provoke a groan from the audience.

It was also the time when the appreciation of marginal cinema came into its own. B-movie websites sprang up like mushrooms; but it was not long before a handful of them separated themselves from the pack.

These webmasters and their works, the depth and breadth of their knowledge, their unabashed obsessiveness and perhaps above all their sense of humour would set a glorious example to those who would aspire to follow in their footsteps: Alan Gallauresi and Rob Trevino of Oh, The Humanity; Scott Hamilton and Christopher Holland of Stomp Tokyo; Kenneth Richard Begg of Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension (which started life as Ken’s World Of Awful Movies); and Freeman Williams, aka Dr Freex, of The Bad Movie Report.

In those days, giants walked the earth.

And even as the experts were decrying the “de-socialisation” supposedly caused by the internet, lovers of weird and wonderful movies were making new friends and enjoying an unprecedented sense of community. Inspired by the examples before them, others would found their own B-movie websites and bring their own peculiar perspectives to the reviewing table. It was not long before these webmasters, scattered all over the world, were corresponding by e-mail, coming together in an unofficial kind of mutual admiration society.

And then one day, one of them had an idea: suppose they came officially together? Why not hold a Roundtable, in which each of the participating sites reviewed the same movie? After some back-and-forthing, seven websites agreed to tackle the 1957 schlock masterpiece, The Brain From Planet Arous.

It was November, 1999. The event was dubbed BRAINATHON ’99. It was the birth of the B-Masters’ Cabal…



It is now November, 2009: our 10-year anniversary; and to celebrate, our member websites have again come together to wreak terrible vengeance upon a single, unfortunate movie. And not only is the occasion marked by the rare – unique? – participation of every single member site, but we have also succeeded in luring back to the fold the man whose suggestion started it all, way back in 1999: Andrew Borntreger of This time, the film in question is William Grefé’s drive-in non-classic, Sting Of Death.

Welcome, one and all, to STINGATHON ’09!!


Click the banner to do the jilla-jalla-jellyfish with the B-Masters’ Cabal!


More from the vault



In the wake of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection, it now seems that Universal are taking a similar tack to get some of their more obscure genre films into the market. First up, available either for individual purchase or as a box set, are House Of Horrors (1946), The Mad Ghoul (1943), The Mad Doctor Of Market Street (1942), The Strange Case Of Dr Rx (1942), and – hallelujah! – Murders In The Zoo (1933). I guess I’ll finally be able to do something about those screenshots.

In related news, Warners have finally opened up their online store to overseas customers, although their shipping costs are essentially prohibitive. However, all of the Warners and Universal discs are available through the Turner Classic Movies store (as are some RKO films; so far no genre entries, though); and they now seem to be available through Amazon, as well. So shop around.KOTSb

Edited to add:  After an earlier disappointment, we now have a new release date for the long-awaited (well…long-awaited by me) Special Edition of John Bud Cardos’s Kingdom Of The Spiders. Coming from Shout! Factory on 19th January next year, this release will include a new interview with William Shatner, plus a commentary by Cardos and others and a featurette on Jim Brockett, the production’s spider-wrangler.

On 1st December, Shout! Factory will also be releasing Volume XVI of MST3K, containing The Corpse Vanishes, Warrior Of The Lost World, Night Of The Blood Beast and (just in time for Christmas) Santa Claus. The first pressing will also contain a Tom Servo figurine.



A movie within a movie, a dream within a dream.

I seem to have stumbled on a weird little subgenre: B-movie slashers plying their trade on the sets of B-movies. Dark Reel (2008) is the third such movie I’ve seen, and has what visitors here would consider an all-star cast: Lance Henriksen, Edward Furlong, Tiffany Shepis, and Tony Todd.

Is it good?  Well, yes.  Or at least there are good parts in it.  Now if only we didn’t have to acknowledge the bad parts…

Squeal Like a Pig

As I said, I was blown away by Razorback’s visuals. I expected the film to be a runaway box-office success and Mulcahy’s career launched into the stratosphere. You see, like a mad sports fan, I was barracking for this film. In the ’80s, selling Australia to the world was like a sport. Musically we had sent bands like Men at Work, Mental as Anything and INXS off to attempt to break into the US market. Likewise, Australia was trying to do that with film. It wouldn’t be till the following year when Crocodile Dundee was released that Australian cinema made an impact overseas. Say what you like about Crocodile Dundee, but it was a very important film in its time. But back to where I was — I was barracking for this film. I had even gone to the trouble of finding the book that the story was based on by Peter Brennan. I can’t remember too much about the book now — after all that was twenty-five years ago — but it wasn’t at all like the film. I remember it being about diamond smuggling — there is a brief allusion to this excised plot where the hero of the film Carl Winters (Gregory Harrison) chases Benny baker (Chris Haywood) through the remnants of a mine field. Er, by mine I do not mean exploding mine, I mean this is a field full of mine shafts. Mounds from the diggings almost make it look like a lunar landscape. But generally the film throws all that diamond smuggling stuff out, and the film resorts to being a Jaws imitation. Or ‘Jaws on trotters’ as they now say. Regardless, I expected big things from this film.

Catching Up with the Aughts, Part 1

For once, the new stuff reviewed on my site is actually sort of new:


Cloverfield (2008), in which a big damn monster pays a visit to New York, and we get the bottom-up view for a change…

The Devil’s Rejects (2005), in which Rob Zombie takes a short break from ripping off classic slasher movies to rip off Bonnie and Clyde instead…

Hostel (2005), in which the pot loudly proclaims the kettle black…


The Mist (2007), in which a trip to the grocery store could not possibly go any more haywire.

Snakes, and sharks, and screenshots, oh my!



Just some house-keeping this time, folks. I have:

•  added screenshots to Anaconda

•  added screenshots to Red Water

•  re-formatted and added screenshots to Venom

•  somewhat revised, re-formatted and added screenshots to Silent Predators 


That was one helluva week’s viewing…



Somebody please make it stop!

The title of the movie I’m reviewing today, Rest Stop, was more accurate than I thought. There is indeed a highway rest stop where the bulk of the movie’s events take place, but also I needed a rest stop of my own by the time the movie ended. That’s because this movie is one of the stupidest I’ve seen for a long time. Stop on by the review and see for yourself.

Black and white and in color all over.

Can a noir be in Technicolor and still be good? Oh, yes. Yes it can.

Slightly Scarlet (1956)

(BTW, is there a Gravatar expert in the house? Cold Fusion has a new theme that’s supposed to support gravatars in the comments, and does for other sites using the theme, but for me not so much.)