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773

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

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Bunnyman Massacre

franchisebannerimages2100 minuets? Oh man, someone is optimistic. There’s no WAY this shot on video film should be 100 minuets.

We start off with newsreel type imagery flickering under credits and then shift to a schoolbus on a desert road. The bunnyman comes out of nowhere with a chainsaw and shotgun and goes to work on the kids. The blood flying up to hit the camera is obviously ment to be dramatic and styalized, but it just comes off as annoying and sloppy. The title comes up as blood hits a traffic sign (this one is a nice touch).

indexWe immediately shift to a cornfield where the bunny man is stalking campers, Friday the 13th style (Who camps in a cornfield anyhow?). Yet for all the killing (beautifully done for a micro budget production) it’s a while before we get anything resembling a story….good thing it’s 100 minuets huh?

Bunnyman has obviously found a new family, and we get vague references to the previous film as he comes home, then shift to exteriors of the town the film takes place in. Almost a ghost town (Someone had access to an old west set or amusement park or something…) that an unsuspecting family drives through.

Oh look. Beef Jerky.

Almost half an hour in we get a troup of college girls hiking through the woods and imagesthe Bunnyman is sent out. Time for things to really begin. The problem is, it then goes on to focus on the pervy redneck t hat has adopted Bunnyman and we get a very diffrent kind of movie for the next thirty to forty minuets – as if they just kind of grafted two disparate films together.

Much like the first one, this film really wants to be Texas Chainsaw in an Easter Bunny suit. However, where homages like House of a Thousand Corpses really succeeds in paying tribute, this merely imitates in the basest ways, and the schizophrenic nature of the spliced films only works to it’s detriment. Yet they manage to throw a level of blood and gore that keeps me entertained even as I roll my eyes. I’m so conflicted, I just don’t know what to make of this stuff.

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772

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Batmobile

Costume

The wife bought me a black car! How could she NOT have expected I’d make it into a Batmobile?

batmobileUnited race

bat


Cinema Wasteland Retro Movie Night (Part One)

Movie bannerimg_4272If you’ve been following the blog or Facebook account for any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about Cinema Wasteland. It’s my favorite horror convention. I never miss the twice yearly celebration of bad movies. It’s not just that Wasteland is home (though it is), and wastelanders are family (though they are). Back when I was still a stranger there and roamed the halls alone and anonymously, what kept me coming back were the films. Wasteland curates the strangest films known to man. They screen movies I’d never think to seek out on my own. They show the best (actually more often it’s the worst) stuff I never knew I NEEDED.

When word came down that Wasteland was going to host a movie night, it seemed like a perfect fit. Ken Kish (showrunner and founder of Cinema Wasteland)  announced that he basically had so many movies he wanted to screen that even with as many as he shows at img_4270the convention, it’d still take dozens of cons before he’d get through them, so he decided to try this out and see how it went. From what I can see, it went well. I set the DVR to record Svengoolie and drove out to the Elks Lodge in Berea Saturday night. We got our first real bad snow that night and while roads were challenging coming in, they’d be a nightmare going home. Still, it didn’t seem to deter anyone. The hall filled up quickly. As I took my seat on the uncomfortable steel chairs I noticed light glinting off a bald head that struck me as familiar. I popped over to find Mark and Brandi from Michigan who had made the trip over to Cleveland just for the show. Next to them, Mike Watt and Amy Lynn Best from Happy Cloud media in PA. Our buddy Jason joined us right after his work shift down the street, about halfway through the event. (That’s what I mean by Wasteland is family).

img_4279I’ve heard stories about movie nights at Quentin Tarintino’s house. How he would screen double features, but add a short or a cartoon and some trailers into the presentation, and then proceed to screen things no one else had ever seen. This had that kind of vibe to it. Local Horror Hosts the Mummy and the Monkey had teamed up with Wasteland to help Emcee the show (they’re regulars at the con) and run a raffle, then the lights went out. A cartoon and an old “Our Gang” short preceded the film. Ken was playing it safe for the first feature by running a reliable old Vincent Price standard. Nevertheless, “Last Man on Earth” is a solid film and was made more fun watching it with an audience. We got about img_4267ten minuets into it when there was a sprocket malfunction. The print shook and blurred.

“I’m just trying to give you a REAL grindhouse experience!” Ken shouted as he swapped out the faulty projector with a spare.

“There’s not enough hookers or broken needles for it to be a genuine grindhouse experience!” I shouted back, then took the opportunity to nip back to the bathroom. Sure enough, needle and hooker free.

Intemission was marked by a trailer reel of the strange and wonderful, along with another cartoon and a raffle drawing. The seats were getting uncomfortable and the snow continued to fall as we headed into the second feature “The Man Who Turned to Stone”. This was the one I was waiting for since I had never even heard of this. It’s a 1957 classic and I knew I was in for something good when I saw Victor Jory in the credits. Jory Was the Shadow in the only film outing that matters, and that dark tone made him perfect for a sinister old-world type. Jory leads a group of immortals who stay young by draining the life force of others. Young women in particular are the best nourishment and they just happen to be running a women’s prison. Hijinks ensue.

The event went well enough to justify a second film night. This one will fall on Feb 9th, and feature “Voodoo Woman” (1957) and “Motorcycle Gang” (1957). I know I’ll be back. I hope to see all of you there too!

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771

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Occupied

box10movieindexWhen Occupied opens to a pretty blonde with a nice spiral perm sleeping on the beach under a blue filter and new age music, it immediately got me worried that this is going to be an art film. Rolling her bicycle down the woodland road to a log cabin does nothing to allay my fears.

Still, the production values are good – video and sound are professional quality as the blonde is greated by what appears to be an extended family member (a niece?) that she is staying with at the house. Weird that we don’t see the parents though, the father – who has set up in cameras all through the house – makes a phone call to check up on our characters and about the 21 minute mark, but otherwise there’s not another human it sight.

Our first act is spent getting to know our main character and her niece, exploring the index2area – the little girl with a video camera constantly in her hand.

As we begin the second act, the voices began to swirl in our main characters head. More creepy new age music pops up as she writes strange things in her notebook and tries to find her way into the forbidden room… Did I mention, the log cabin has a forbidden bedroom? It’s always locked and off-limits the niece informs her. Her father works in there and keeps it locked even when he’s working (Don’t sweat it. That whole thing is a red herring. So are the cameras).

It’s the notebook though, the notebooks seems to be the trigger of her madness. As she begins her descent in earnest I find myself wondering more and more what’s going on – is this a procession flick? Is it just a crazy girl movie? A haunting? This is kind of information I need, and it’s index.jpgnot apparent on the box.

In the end, The best way I can describe this is as a suspense film made by an art film student who watches too many lifetime movies. Being under 90 minutes, it’s not over long – the film takes exactly as much time as it needs, no more, no less. There are some interesting moments here, and occasionally we hit a really well done emotional beat. You really do feel for the niece in particular. Ultimately though, nothing actually happens in the film.  It comes off too much like a soap opera and feels out of place in this horror set (Though I can’t imagine where else it would play).


770

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Directors Spotlight : Dave Parker

directorsdpBack in the day, one of the things that drew me to Full Moon features was their bonus features. every movie had a “Video Zone” featurette on the making of the movie. This was back before the was such a thing as DVD extras – in fact, it was back before there was such a thing as DVDs!

Dave Parker got his start making a lot of these short making-of documentaries. Eventually he’d graduate to doing his first feature with Full Moon, though he’d keep working on special features for films like X3 and Superman Returns. Chances are, you’ve seen his work and never even knew it.

In addition to he proficient behind the scenes work, Parker is a talented feature director. His work sometimes gets confused because while he’s done three features proper, he’s also got credits in things like “The Dead Reborn” (Which uses footage culled from his first film, but isn’t as a whole, his actual movie) or “Bimbo Movie Bash” which is just a clip show compilation. We’re going to ignore stuff like that and his “Masters of Horror” TV doc and really focus on his feature work and the stuff that reflects his most creative work. There’s only a few of these, but he’s one of these guys I really wish more people knew about!


768

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday