Friday, January 25, 2013

Bad Girls From Mars: A Typically bad film from Fred Olen Ray


Director: Fred Olen Ray (under pseudonym Sherman Scott)
Year: 1991
Review by: Vincent Daemon

This piece of shit opens with a silly "warning" about explicit scenes, wherein a squeak toy or cartoon sound effect will be used to alert the viewer to nudity/sex and/or violence. Sigh. This is the kind of film I loathe. Really a waste of my goddamned time.

It's about a film crew making a film called Bad Girls From Mars, and someone has been killing all the actresses. So the hire a world famour prostitute-writer (an obvious nod to/bust on Xaviera Hollander of the Happy Hooker fame) to be the new lead. And that's it. That's the plot.

From here on out the film is essentially a nonstop bombardment of breast, sex, and dick jokes, awful one liners, and a constant flux of nudity. I really would have enjoyed the nudity at, say, 12, but I really find it just kinda eh. In fact its so overwhelming that the nudity is more desensitizing than titilating. But that could just be me. I watch a lot of porn and am fairly jaded, so to me it just seems kind of pointless. As for the dialogue, there's a small chuckle here or there, a bunch of Ed Wood jokes that are far too self-referential and not funny in the least. Oh, and of course there is the inevitable cat fight and the big twist ending.

I'm fairly certain I've lost IQ points just by watching this piece of trash. I can't afford to lose any more of those, damnit!

The director is none other than that chronic shit peddler Fred Olen Ray, directing under the pseudonym Sherman Scott. Look, I wouldn't want my real name associated with this loathesome waste of time either. For those who don't know, Mr. Ray is responsible for tons of  unwatchable cinema (Christ do I use that word, cinema, fast and loose in this instance), and has just been crankin' out the crap like bad runny loads since 1977. In fact, while looking over the entirety of his work, I can't find one goddamned movie he's made that I like. The Alien Dead from 1980, maybe, but I haven't seen it since about 1985 and probably am not recollecting it right. I'm sure if I watched it now it would merely bring me boredom and disappointment. I know there was (is?) a market for this drivel, and I am not now, nor never have been, part of that market.

I am fairly certain that some 22 years ago this ran on the USA Networks Up All Night, and I kept waiting for Rhonda Shear or GIlbert Godfried to interject with some unfunny witicism and a commercial break but, alas, twas not to be. Hell, I would've taken a lil Gilbert Godfried stand-up over this crapola any day. Really.

I can't recommend this on any level, unless you are a fan of near unwatchable, mega-cheap comedy-sex romps rife with lil coke-bodied no talent scream queens. Heh, no talent scream queen, that's like saying the same thing twice. It was only 80 minutes, but that was time I could have spent writing, masterbating, or just staring blankly at a wall or the ceiling and waiting for the damned Lords Of Salem to hurry up and come the fukk out. Pass.

Stay Sick,

Vincent Daemon

---- Vincent Daemon's short fiction has appeared in over 24 publications, and he just put his first short story collection, Bury Me In A Nameless Grave: A Collection Of 11, together to eventually be published. He is also editor of the annual Grave Demand magazine, as well as a freelance editor for hire in his down time. He can be found on facebook, and at his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind , and contacted at ----

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Black Sabbath: Classic Karloff and Bravo Bava


Director: Mario Bava
Year: 1963
Reviewer: Vincent Daemon

There's not a lot that can be said about Mario bava's 1963 masterpiece Black Sabbath that hasn't been said already. I mean, there's full books written on the subject of Bava, and this film. But for those of you who haven't seen it, or are new to Bava's work ing eneral, here's a quick overview.

Black Sabbath is an anthology film (how I love them so). The wrap around segments feature a bizarre, slightly snarky and entertainingly off kilter performance from Karloff as the narrator. These are merely short, gallows humor infused splashes of bizarre across the screen, and a neat way to round out the ideas contained within the film.

1) The Drop Of Water

An interesting ghost tale. A crazed, drunk woman gets a mysterious late night phone call. She goes to her destination, a decrepit mansion, wherein the housekeeper takes her to see a hideous corpse in the back room, that the drunkard woman must dress for burial. However, she spots a ring on the corpses finger, and thieves it. This sets off a chain of events that involve hallucinations and lost of that rich, textured imagery Bava is so known for. Short and sweet, this segment tends to put me into small fits of laughter because the old womans angry corpse is not only frighteningly hideous, but actually really funny looking to boot. The piece excels in the last five minutes or so, and the overall story is fairly creepily presented. The sets are lavish and the acting suitably melodramatic, atmosphere being paramount to all else in classic Bava fashion.

2) The Telephone

An attractive socialite gets bombarded with phone calls from a mysterious, creepy stranger. The calls progress into death threats and the socialite being told "you know exactly who I am." A third party comes into play, and we find that there was a set-up and a double cross in the past, and that this voice may possibly be coming from a dead man. For the most part, this episode plays out like a classic giallo (there's even a black gloved killer fake-out that is really, really subtle and kind of neat). This piece was also extremely short, but again highly entertaining, and does include it's own very vague and bizarre ending.

3) The Wurdulak

This piece finishes out the film. It stars Karloff as an old man who returns from death a bit off, with strange wounds on his neck, a nasty temper, and a very strange hunger. I find this to be one of Karloff's creepiest roles in the history of his carreer as he leches around, a true monster in human form, feeding upon his family, and even his own grandson. His make-up is also quite unsettling, as he tends to look a bit worse every time we see him come creeping up out of the darkness, filled with bloodlust for his family. He is wide eyed, frantic, evil, and completely delightful to watch. I love seeing Karloff like this, really, as in real life he was apparently a total sweetheart, and the consummate gentleman. Again, Bava's use of imagery, bizarre camera and lighting techniques, and his own particular brand of spooky graveyard occurrences really amps up the gothic terror factor here. Pure genius, with a suitable hopeless and grim ending. Great stuff. The Wurdulak (a vampire who only feeds on the blood of it's own family) was originally a story written by Tolstoy, and if you want to read into it certainly contains an interesting philosophy about the destruction of "family units" from the inside out, and how often people will (literally, in this case) feed off of each other until there is nothing left. Sometimes, family can be a detriment.

And there you have, a great classic film from a couple of true terror auteurs. If you haven't seen this, get on the ball and check it out. It's a unique film from a unique period in film history, and while not Bava's full on best, it certainly ranks up there.

And one final thing, though most of you probably know this already. This film is indeed where the band Black Sabbath ganked their name.

Stay Sick,

Vincent Daemon

---- Vincent Daemon's short fiction has appeared in over 24 publications, and he just put his first short story collection, Bury Me In A Nameless Grave: A Collection Of 11, together to eventually be published. He is also editor of the annual Grave Demand magazine, as well as a freelance editor for hire in his down time. He can be found on facebook, and at his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind , and contacted at ----

Friday, January 18, 2013

Find a surreal catharsis in: The Theatre Bizarre


Directors: Multiple (check segment reviews below)
Year: 2011
Reviewer: Vincent Daemon

The Theatre Bizarre is a film I had been looking forward to for quite some time, and was so very happy to have come across it accidentally on Netflix last week. It is an anthology film, which I've always been quite fond of (perhaps because I am a short fiction writer). Featuring several transgressive filmmakers whom I have been a long time fan of: Richard Stanley, Karim Hussain, Buddy Giovannazzi, and more. These are mostly filmmakers whose previous work has been wholly original, challenging, perhaps even caused some issues-in-the-name-of-art for them. Which is exactly the kind of adrenaline shot of originality this genre needs to squelch out the shit like, well, just about everything else out there (staring directly at you, Texas Chainsaw 3D --- why?).

1)The Theatre Guignol (wraparound)
    Director: Jeremy Kassten

This is the wraparound segment, tieing the whole shebang together in it's own weird transgressive way. We see a strange looking and harried young girl, finneagling with her creepy artwork and the voices in her head that call to her from the abandoned theatre across the street. She wanders over, sits in mostly empty darkness, and watches the Peg Poet (Udo Keir) jump to life and begin to narrate out intros to these tales of woe and pain. Now, Udo is SERIOUSLY creepy here, the make-up job on him phenomenal as in between tales, he begins to become more human, and the strange girl begins to become the puppet. Very well done, and I felt a great wrap-around piece (so many of which are sketchy in the world of the antho-film).

2) Mother Of Toads
    Director: Richard Stanley

Our first actual segment is directed by none other than Richard Stanley. This brought me a great deal pleasure. I have been a fan of Richard Stanley's since his early 90's films Hardware (one of my favorites) and Dust Devil. Unfortunately he got screwed by Hollywood halfway through the making of The Island of Dr. Moreau, and disappeared into directing music vids and the occasional, hard to find short film. Fuck Hollywood. Anyway, this tale is a wondrously creepy, almost Lovecraftian bit of strange, based on a tale by Clark Ashton Smith. It's fairly simple in it's approach, and is about a young newly wed who is obsessed with the idea of finding the original manuscripts of the Necronomicon, which he does, from a lusty-crazed hermetic witch. The cinematogrophy here is beautiful, dreamy, and nightmarish, all at once. And the final outcome is, well, entertaining, and you'll just have to see it. Also, the frog-beast is one of the stranger creations I've seen in a bit and was glad this segment pulled no punches in showing it off. Excellent work, Mr. Stanley. How I've missed you, and hopefully we'll see more from you soon.

3) I Love You
    Director: Buddy Giovannazi

This tale is absolutely one of the most brutal things I've seen put on film in a while, in a wholly psychological way. Perhaps because it's subject matter hit so very close to the home of a wrteched, not entirely dissimilar dissolution of a relationship I have recently endured. A man finds his wife has been infidelitous to him, and for much longer than he had suspected. Most of the segment is the two of them talking, as she gets more and more vicious, descriptively, verbally, and we find just how deep this web of betrayal goes. She is an unapologetic monster, and he still so blinded that his reactions are merely pathetic and desperate. It's literally hard to watch, gut-wrenching at points even. Of course, there is an interesting payoff at the end, though not one to make anyone feel better about anything prior in the segment. This was brought to us by Buddy Giovannazi, whose 1984 American Nightmare (aka: Combat Shock) is one of my all time favorite mindfucks of celluiod misery. He nails this one on every level. I actually took a bit of a breather after this piece, had a smoke, and contemplated it. It was that well written and executed.

4) Wet Dreams
    Director: Tom Savini

This piece I found just ok. I'm not quite sure how Tom Savini fit into the group of directors but, eh, this was alright. Really, I'm not a fan of any of his directing work outside of the 1990 NOTLD remake. Oh, he stars in it too. It's about a man having these horrible dreams of being castrtated by an insectoidal vagina. He goes to his psychiatrist for help with this apparently chronic nightmare, and progresses wildly from there. This one will keep you guessing. It's a little goofy, fairly violent, and maintains a degenerate humor throughout. Short but sweet.

5) The Accident
    Director: Douglas Buck

I am not familiar with the director of this segment, Douglas Buck. There's not much to really say about this one. It's a simple tale of a mother and daughter who happen across a terrible motorcycle accident, and the daughter basically asks, "Why do we die?" The mother then answers her questions, which grow ever deeper, to her best and most honest abilitiers. A bit of a tear jerker, this may at first seem oddly misplaced, but really it fits right in, and makes a nice break for the truly viscious territory that the next two segments follow.

6) Vision Stain
    Director: Karim Hussain

Hussain is one of my favorite filmmakers, hands down. His 2000 Subconcious Cruelty is a film that needs to be experienced by an fan of strange, deep, violent transgressive cinema. And for those of you who have seen it, you know that Hussain plays for keeps. He keeps that going with his segment here, about a young girl with a bit of a habit: she's addicted to the memories which she drains from her victims occular fluid and injects into her own eyes. Fast paced, disturbingly violent, and filled with ghastly eyeball-violence imagery, this may actually be the strangest and most disconnected tale in the film. I thought the idea and execution were both brilliant, and it was a total charm to look at. Hussain also did the cinematography for another of my favorite films, Hobo With A Shotgun. Hopefully, he gets another full length of his own soon, as we need more filmmakers like Karim Hussain to keep the pot stirred and the audiences squirming, guessing, and most importantly, thinking.

7) Sweets
    David Gregory

The final installment is a truly odd bit of social commentary (which all the segments possess, in some way). This is another hard one to watch, and even to stomach. In fact, the particular kinds of food fetishism perpetrated here left me a bit queasy. It's just so awful, hahaha, and the human monsters perpetrating it are no better. It comes off at first like some sick break-up tale (which it is), then grows into something much more. I have no clue who David Gregory is, but I'd like to see more from him if this what goes through his warped little mind. This one will leave your jaw agape and your stomach a bit on the outs, especially when it hits it's fever-pitch conclusion.

In summary, I loved this film. If I had an actual star rating system, it would be a solid 4.5 out of 5. This is thinking persons horror for sure, and these trandgressive tales do their damndest to worm into those nasty little processing centers in your brain and attach themselves. Right after I watched this I made a series of phone calls to people telling them "hey, you gotta see this." Now, if you like your horror more on the high camp side of things, I would not recommend this so much. These are tales of intelligence with something to say. Beyond the sex and death and the gore and the strange, these are tales about us, at our absolute worst, which we all can and will be at some point in time.

This is not lightweight stuff, not for everyone, but I give it my highest recommendations.

Stay Sick,

Vincent Daemon

---- Vincent Daemon's short fiction has appeared in over 24 publications, and he just put his first short story collection, Bury Me In A Nameless Grave: A Collection Of 11, together to eventually be published. He is also editor of the annual Grave Demand magazine, as well as a freelance editor for hire in his down time. He can be found on facebook, and at his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind , and contacted at ----

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dark Side Of Non-Genre CInema: Overboard

The Dark Side Of Non-Genre Cinema:


Year: 1987
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Vincent Daemon

Every once in a while there is non-genre film, of a seemingly innocuous nature, with a serious dark side. That when you look past the veneer of of slapstick (or any other general convention) you find something so astonishingly horrific and of poor taste that it boggles the mind.

Take the 1987 "Romantic-Comedy" Overboard, for example. While no classic of it's genre, this film does deserve a place in the annals of "Hitchcockian Nightmare" territory for the sheer audacity of it's philosophy.

Starring the always creepy Kurt Russell (it doesn't matter, from Snake Plissken to Stuntman Mike to Cap'n fuckin' Ron, he is consistently a creep), the once sexy but now walking plastinated corpse of Goldie Hawn, endstage Roddy McDowell, and Edward Hermann (who gives a fuck, really), Overboard was loosely based upon the 1974 Italian (un)comedy Swept Away and apparently spawned the 2006 South Korean sitcom Couple Or Trouble. Good god. It astonishes me dreck like this could have such a wide and long lasting reach but, hey, it's 2013 and I'm talking about it. Fuck.

The film opens with a bitchy, spoilt rich broad (Hawn) giving the fumbling carpenter working on her yacht (Russell) a difficult time over woodgrain. She refuses to pay him and accidentally knocks he and all his tools overboard (get it) the boat he's renovating. (I worked for several years in the home remodeling biz and I can tell you this is NOT how this situation goes down).

Later that evening Hawn loses her wedding ring and, while looking for it, falls over the boat herself, conking her plastic-pretty head and getting amnesia. The next morning, as her husband Edward Hermann (like anyone cares) refuses to claim her, seeing once and for all an escape from life with this harpy.

Russell sees it all play out on the tv and evises a scheme that, in the real world, would be wholly monstrous and would get him jailed for life. Deservedly, at that.

So he goes to the hospital and claims her himself. When asked for proof it's his wife, Russell says something about a birthmark on her ass which this lecherous criminal mastermind noticed while leering at her earlier that day. You know, when he should've been installing the proper fucking woodgrain.

From here on out this rotten bastard essentially imprisons her to fix his life and to care for his unruly horde of neophyte-sociopath shitlings. She ends up falling in love with Russell, saves his ass on a job, and gets the kids to at least stop setting fire to neighborhood pets.

Eventually Edward Hermann (who cares) comes along and takes her back to his own particular form of imprisonment. After he catches her doin shots (and a possibly a series of blowbangs) with the current crew renovating their yacht, Mr' Hermann flips and claims he never loved her.

This Stockholme SYndrome addled mess of Hawn's character takes control of the yacht and drives it back to Russell, where they reunite in the nice blue waters and she goes back to her trauma-induced comfort zone of white trash motherhood in pure PTSD bliss.

Ah, the 80's.

Simply, this bizarre, twisted shit couldn't be made today. This film is not really good, and not really funny, but is kinda sick. Change a few minor details and this could be remade as a fuckin' horror masterpiece of, as previously stated, Hitchcock-inspired cinema. I'm not going to "recommend" this film per se, I refuse to be responsible for that 106 minutes you'll never get back. But it's a change, a lil something to laugh at, and lil something to occasionally drop your jaw with it's sheer political incorrectness. If this were done right, oh, it could be so much more.

Stay Sick,

Vincent Daemon

---- Vincent Daemon's short fiction has appeared in over 24 publications, and he just put his first short story collection, Bury Me In A Nameless Grave: A Collection Of 11, together to eventually be published. He is also editor of the annual Grave Demand magazine, as well as a freelance editor for hire in his down time. He can be found on facebook, and at his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind , and contacted at ----

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rites Of Spring: I'd Rather It Were A Nuclear Winter

Film: Rites Of Spring
Director: Padraig Reynolds
Year: 2011
Reviewer: Vincent Daemon

Happy New Year to all. Hope it was a good one, as the review I am about to bestow upon you is not.

The film involves some weird backstory about disappearing hikers, then we meet our current hikers. It's the same bland, annoying dullards we've come to expect. The film then abruptly shifts to some bank robbers, who can't stand each other, who hole up in a little cabin they find until the heat from their clumsy robbery dies down. This is all shot in the lackluster way so many of these cheap, seemingly direct-to-Netflix films are. There is no real excitement, just bland movement.

So, the hikers end up kidnapped and tortured by someone unseen, when this thing with a scythe jumps out of nowhere and begins chasing everyone around the woods. Sound a little disorienting and confusing? You betcha. This film gave me headache, and I found myself having a complete and utter lack of ability to pay attention or focus on it for more than 3 minutes at a time.

The film continues in this fashion until the various groups meet up. Then it merely becomes a standard slasher film, with minimal bloodshed.

I can honestly say I was disappointed, as I loved the poster art for this, and the description sounded like it may have had promise. It looked and sounded like perhaps a throwback to the good old days of survivaslist horror, old-school style. I am a fan of the genre, and I love flicks about demented hick families in the woods. Most of them stink, sure, but at least there is an entertainment value. There is no entertainment value here. Just a lot of people running around in the dark, screaming, being chased by a slightly deformed guy with a scythe. There were some points early on, however, that were reminiscent of the odd Hal Holbrook survivalist film Rituals from 1977. That gave me a bit of interest at first, but that interest quickly degenerated to my wondering if I should masterbate again as it was far more entertaining than anything I was going to find here.

Rites Of Spring is a mess of a film. It's a poorly put together mash-up of survivalist, crime, and slasher genres that never really goes anywhere, and in the end seems reminiscent of everything that makes me not want to watch movies.

Stay Sick,

Vincent Daemon

---- Vincent Daemon's short fiction has appeared in over 24 publications, and he just put his first short story collection, Bury Me In A Nameless Grave: A Collection Of 11, together to eventually be published. He is also editor of the annual Grave Demand magazine, as well as a freelance editor for hire in his down time. He can be found on facebook, and at his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind , and contacted at ----

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


2012 saw the birth of this blog, and while it started out strong due to some personal stuff posts came out fewer and fewer. But I didn't want to quit and now were going strong. I hired my first writer, the very talented Vincent Daemon. I plan to expand the blog with more writers. Another great addition is 42nd Street Pete who is a legend in his own right.

This blog is the real deal, where else do you get interviews with horror icons like Dick Warlock and Brian Yuzna exclusively to Gorehound Mikes.

This year we`ve got more great interviews plus a few surprises that will really make this blog stand apart from every other on the web.  So thanks for sticking with us in 2012 and will only get better from here.

Stay Sick
Michael Gorehound Vaughn and staff