28: Month of the Alternative Living Dead

Posted on November 10, 2008

Here’s a terrible thing to contemplate: for the past eight years, the B-Masters Cabal has sat silent and unprotesting as a blatant act of discrimination was committed in its midst. For eight years, one of our number – there’s no need to mention names – has devoted one month a year to the Undead….but not just any Undead, ohhhhh no: zombies only need apply. No welcome at the country club for you, Mr Vampire! No seat on the bus for you, Ms Mummy! Well, it’s past time that we balanced the ledger; and that’s why the next Roundtable will be—

Month Of The ALTERNATIVE Living Dead

Join us all through November as the B-Masters pay belated tribute to – the other dead meat!

Site: Review: Sneak Peek:
Teleport City Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter Although other Hammer films had taken swipes at certain established authority figures — witness, for example, the corrupt men in Taste the Blood of Dracula, or the ineffectual and cowardly priest in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave — this one the first time since perhaps The Pirates of Blood River that the studio gave audiences an uppity, charismatic, young firebrand willing to buck the system. Hell, Kronos even smokes the occasional 18th century doobie! At last, there was a Hammer movie and a Hammer hero that young people could actually get behind and perhaps even relate to. Someone who was more like one of them rather than like a parent, standing around waiting to disapprove and tell the whippersnappers how to properly do things.
The Unknown Movies Dracula 3000 Dracula 3000 is a cheap movie. In fairness, I should admit that the movie is not as cheap as it could have been in other hands; if the Roger Corman of recent years had been behind this, the look of the movie would have been hideous to view. It’s not that cheap, but it still looks impoverished. From the first few minutes of the movie you know that it’s going to be tacky
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Buffy the Vampire Slayer Meanwhile, the vampires have come to Los Angeles, too. These aren’t just any vampires, either, but some big-shit vampire king guy named Lothos (Rutger Hauer, from Blade Runner and the second TV version of ‘Salem’s Lot) and his seriously tweaked henchman, Amilyn (Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, looking remarkably like his mugshot from that time the cops caught him beating the bishop in a porno theater). Now you’d think a vampire as important as Lothos is supposed to be would have an army of the undead at his disposal, but evidently the recession of the early 90’s has meant layoffs in the blood-based sector of the economy, too, because Amilyn is it— at least until his recruiting drive among the students of Hemery High has a chance to gain some traction.
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Daughters of Darkness The glamorous blonde in the antique red coupe calls herself Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Delphine Seyrig), and wouldn’t you know it, she asks specifically for the Royal Suite. Immediately upon hearing that name, those of you with some grounding in either vampire lore or Eastern European history will be able to guess why the concierge gets so freaked out when the countess walks into the lobby. Yes, she’s stayed at this hotel before— 40 years ago, when the concierge was but a lowly teenaged bellhop, and the reason that’s so freaksome is that to all outward appearances, Countess Bathory still has several years to go before her 40th birthday. I guess that whole “bathing in the blood of virgins” thing really works, huh?
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting The Kiss of the Vampire The morning before Gerald and Marianne’s arrival, the other lodger’s daughter was buried in the village churchyard. Professor Zimmer— for that is the sour-faced recluse’s name— showed up late (and drunk) to the funeral, interrupting the ceremony between the end of the vicar’s benediction and the beginning of the burial proper to drive a sharp-headed spade through the lid of the coffin and into the dead girl’s heart. Zimmer’s performance wasn’t nearly as horrid as the corpse’s, though. As the spade pierced her heart, the deceased let out a terrible shriek, and vast gouts of conspicuously uncoagulated blood sprayed out through the rent in the coffin lid.
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Lady Frankenstein Okay, so the Equal Rights Amendment was a bust, equal pay for equal work has stubbornly remained just over the horizon, and issues of gender equity ranging from sexual harassment to the division of marital property in divorce would take decades to reach any remotely satisfactory resolution. There was still at least one field in which the women’s movement of the 70’s achieved prompt and decisive results, shattering a glass ceiling that most of the public never realized was there in the first place. In 1971, the world (or at least the portion of it that watched shitty Italian horror movies) saw at last that a woman could be as mad a scientist as any man!
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting 30 Days of Night Fairly early on, the lead vampire in 30 Days of Night muses, “We should have come here centuries ago.” He’s referring merely to his own pack of bloodsucking fiends when he says that, but he might as well be talking about the vampire genre as a whole. Given that vampires, in most bodies of lore on the subject, have a serious problem with sunlight; given that regions above the Arctic Circle experience darkness unbroken save for short periods of dim twilight for up to six months at a stretch during the winter; given that permanent human settlements above the Arctic Circle exist in six different countries (seven if you count Greenland)— how in the hell is it possible that nobody thought to send vampires to the uppermost reaches of the globe until the 21st century?
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Two Thousand Maniacs! Yes, that’s right. When the Pleasant Valley Boys sing, in the main title theme, that the South is going to rise again, Herschell Gordon Lewis means that in an unusually literal sense.
Teleport City Mummies of Guanajuato One need only glance over the many titles in the lucha movie genre to see that there is a long history of enmity between Mexican wrestlers and mummies. This goes all the way back to 1964, when Elizabeth Campbell and Lorena Velazquez threw down against a pop-eyed, reconstituted Aztec warrior in their sophomore effort as The Wrestling Women, and continued throughout the rest of the sixties, during which Santo, the most celebrated movie luchadore of them all, would come up against shambling bandage jockeys. But the conflict didn’t really kick into high gear until 1972, when the success of The Mummies of Guanajuatoguaranteed that, for the next several years, Mexican movie screens would seldom see respite from the spectacle of colorfully-garbed, masked Mexican grapplers working their moves on a seemingly endless series of inexplicably muscular mummified adversaries.
And You Call Yourself A Scientist! The Mummy (1932) The glimmer of an eye, the movement of an arm; a hand, bandaged and crumbling, clutching at the scroll; a trailing bandage…and Ralph Norton, as he recoils from the impossibility before him and splits the night with a nightmarish scream – and then begins to laugh. By the time Sir Joseph and Dr Muller re-enter the room, Ralph is beyond their reach. “He went for a little walk,” he gibbers. “You should have seen his face…” And he begins to laugh again, the laughter of the utterly, irretrievably insane…
And You Call Yourself A Scientist! The Walking Dead (1936) The Walking Dead is an amazing melding of disparate components, part horror, part science fiction, part crime drama and part religious allegory, which somehow blend perfectly to make up what is arguably the last great film of the first wave of American horror.
Cold Fusion Video Reviews Frankenstein Reborn (1998) The mad science lab is in the basement, so there are going to be no arcs of lightning reanimating the Doctor’s creation. What there is is a pit in the basement floor into which Victor and Ludwig lower their subject (appropriately wrapped in gauze, as per Frankensteinian regulations); they throw some switches, wait a few seconds, and presto! When they bring up the vaguely human-shaped bundle strapped to its steel framework, it twitches, then strains against its bonds, then breaks free and runs out into the night, making the moaning roar which conclusively identifies either the Frankenstein monster or a recent diner at Taco Bell.
Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension Dracula’s Dog The camera tracks in on the dog’s face and the screen starts to go blurry. Then, at the very millisecond your disbelieving brain begins protesting, “THERE’S NO F***ING WAY THEY’RE GIVING THE DOG A FLASHBACK!!”…they give the dog a flashback. I mean, wow. Seriously, it’s for stuff like this that you slog through the endless piles of almost uniformly mediocre cinematic dreck out there. One such brief, shining moment can restore your faith in humanity’s glorious capacity for grand artistic stupidity.
The Bad Movie Report Blood of the Vampire (1958) In all, it is possibly Blood‘s determination to not be pigeonholed as a vampire flick that works against it. It is, in effect, a mad scientist movie, with the monster being the scientist himself; but with a title like Blood of the Vampire… well, the story is concerned with the Blood of a so-called Vampire, but… but…

I’m going to stop there before I get too cynical about audiences and their seeming inability to think.

Braineater Death Smiles at Murder (1971) Later on, though, we’ll find that one of Greta’s supernatural powers is the ability to turn random objects into cats.