Thursday, December 30, 2010

Siskel and Ebert karaoke go!

Here's a clip from Siskel and Ebert where the boys examine the newest technology (circa 1989) in home karaoke machines. They even attempt to out "sing" each other, as competitive as they tend to be. Consider it your moment of zen. Konichiwa!

TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT (1980) - the lost pseudo-gem of the Santa slasher genre, hidden beneath an onslaught of disorientating film exposures

here's part 1 of the movie, posted by some wondrous soul on the Youtube gizmo

To All a Good Night could be seen as the “other” Santa Claus slasher, a precursor to the festive delights of Silent Night, Deadly Night (with all apologies to Christmas Evil, which is more of a “real“ movie). Unfortunately, the Christmas aspect is somewhat incidental. For one, the movie involves a group of young people on Christmas vacation, but takes place somewhere in Los Angeles. Sunshine and palm trees doesn’t exactly evoke the spirit of the holidays. Also, the killer is more or less an average psycho schmuck wearing St. Nick attire. There are no cool scenes where the big red fat ass throws a hand grenade down a chimney, or dismembers a naked girl with a razor sharp sled. It just doesn’t contain the “Christmas season gone very wrong” aesthetic the way Silent Night, Deadly Night does, and hence the film managed to skirt notoriety and outrage, and, resultingly, ticket sales.

We begin with a young girl during a vaseline smeared flashback (she isn’t smeared in vaseline, the camera lens is). She is being chased by her finishing school classmates over the side of a balcony, and her cranium structure gets irrecoverably rearranged on the concrete below. This will no doubt fuel a series of revenge murders when we flash forward to Christmas time two years later. Throughout, we bear witness to the unmistakable auteurist stamp of its creator, the indomitable David Hess, star of Last House on the Left and similar sicko epics. This amounts to cutting thick slices of hamfistedness (like repeatedly cutting away to the killer’s knife and gloves, or to a photo of the dead girl), mismatched/inadequate lighting, and a score that sounds like someone molesting a cello with a cheese grater while a dying robot weeps in the background. This was his only directorial effort, so maybe he was less an auteur than a flat out amateur. I guess we’ll never really know.

Our final girlisms rest capably in the sympathetic, sweet virginal hands of Jennifer Runyon. I myself remember her from Charles in Charge, as she repeatedly diverted my attention (with some help from Nicole Eggert) from the double A toolness of Willie Aames. She sits around and mopes while the other girls get frisky with the opposite sex. Intriguingly, the token nerd is seduced by the token slut in the bikini, and this results in actual sex sans a humiliating rebuttal. Me thinks she may be less a token slut that is selfish, conniving, and evil, but rather, an honest soul who wants to screw whoever happens to be around. God bless her.

Occasionally, a crazy soothsayer (the gardener Ralph) pops up and lectures the young people on the presence of evil, presented in plant metaphors, as opposed to Friday the 13th, where a soothsayer named Ralph makes no such allusion to soil and seed, and comes with the more direct “you’re all gonna fucking die!”. St. Nick ends up obliging his rants, showcasing what a truly ruthless fatty he is. My favorite murders are when he sticks a victim’s severed head on a shower nozzle for a soon-to-be victim to find, and when he sneaks into the small getaway plane that doesn’t fly (eschewing the stereotypical getaway van that never starts) and turns on the rutter while two victims are trying to fix it, thereby slicing them into Vic Morrow sized nuggets.

The final showdown is the true golden highlight of the film. Leah, the nutty ballerina, at some point completes a descent into batshit Kate Bush territory, and just starts dancing and singing as if no one else is around (let alone a dude in a Santa suit running around killing people). Santa is revealed to be the mother of the dead girl from the beginning (surprise), and she chases Jennifer Runyon around for a while, with Leah twirling and warbling in the background. Eventually, Jennifer pushes the killer over the balcony, and the mother ends up just like the daughter, although we never actually see the fall. We see her get pushed, and the film suddenly cuts to her spread out on concrete. I guess they couldn’t find a stunt double for an aging female Santa.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Jennifer is then attacked by another killer Santa, this time the useless pork chief from earlier in the film, who happens to be the dead girl’s father. At least when a police officer is wearing his standard uniform, you can spot captain piggie from a distance and haul ass for the proverbial hills. Then again, at the rate this is going, it's also probably safe to assume malfeasance of some sort when confronted with a fella wearing a Santa costume. Anyway, the nerd shows up, grabs a crossbow, and bags himself a fat fuck fairy-tale/pork-trough hybrid asshole, and then runs off with Jennifer. I guess he would now have to be officially classified as an ultra cool super stud, assuming he dumps the glasses and gets contacts. Meanwhile, crazy Leah continues her melodic moans, eventually pirouetting her way out on to the balcony for her big freeze frame finale; a walking non-sequitur amidst a pretty righteous dual Santa slaughter.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1982) - not an Amityville kegger, but rather, a Christmas slasher closed off from any outside festivities

Here's the badass poster

Things begin much like Antonioni’s Blow-Up, what with a truck load of college students careening down the road during homecoming or some such event. A student is hiding in the brush, just as David Hemmings lurked through the park, accidentally photographing a murder while engaged in his artistic process. Hemmings eventually reinvigorates his craft by attempting to solve this murder, and the identity of the killer becomes irrelevant. Rather than a murder victim inspiring an artist, the student becomes the murder victim, thereby removing the narrative wall (and, consequently, the “big idea”) that “respectable” cinema deems so important. Maybe the comparison is a bit of a stretch, but hey, I'd thought I'd give it a stab.

The real story begins at a hopping dorm party, where our heroine Joanne and future almost-star Daphne Zuniga party down by standing around and providing exposition. It seems Joanne is heading up a Christmas time cleaning of an old dorm building, and does so with strong organizational leadership and a cheerfully seasonal sweater. Daphne says she can help out for only one day, but then has to bolt to attend to some Jesus-day family bullshit. While her parents are waiting outside to pick her up, she finishes up her business in the deserted hallways of these hopeless, sanguinary living quarters. Her impatient father goes in to fetch her, and is promptly bashed in the head with a spiked baseball bat by someone wearing Chuck Taylors. He then strangles the mother and backs over a dummy of Daphne with the car, which thankfully frees up the real Daphne to later star in Melrose Place, and whatever else she has accomplished.

As you would expect, the red herrings come fast and fishy. There’s a homeless nut named John (ominously wearing Chuck Taylors, and played by Woody Roll, which sounds like a really shitty ventriloquist dummy). We also get a craggy handyman and some contractor guy that Joanna has to deal with. Mr. contractor suspiciously wants to drive around alone at night, despite the subtle yearnings of his girlfriend, who flashes her tits, asking “you're gonna walk away from these?”. Unfortunately for her, titties shalt not coral a man into an alibi, freeing him up to remain suspicious in the minds of the viewing public.

Meanwhile, one of the schmucks along for the dorm cleaning ride pulls the old "toss a plastic spider on a fried egg" trick, which used to be hilarious back in…oh wait, never. He also explains how he is able to maintain a solid GPA with the intellectual drive of a drunken weasel; forget about learning stuff and whatever, just kiss up to the professors. He also constantly hits on a girl who is clearly annoyed by his advances. In summary, please get fucking killed ASAP. The group finally splits up to search the darkness for the homeless asshole in the Chucks. To placate the audience throughout this long stretch of dark wandering, the killer sticks an electric drill through the skull of the handyman, effectively ending his apparent fishiness. Some unseen asshole then takes that pesky spiked bat and lays waste to the dinner table, which prompts them to call the pork patrol. A friendly officer leaps into action with the following queue:

1. The breaking information that the homeless guy may or may not have already been arrested.

2. The hopeful revelation of a possible future phone call to confirm or disconfirm #1.

3. The comforting reassurance of the knowledge that, if someone should start murdering you or someone in your party, go ahead and give the boys in blue a call. They will be more than happy to assist you at that point.

Against all odds, the murderer stays several steps ahead of the fuzz, and immediately cuts the phone and power lines after the bacon train heads back to the station. This allows the killer to really get down to business, while doing so in familiar fashion. One of the guys (the non-schmuck) gets killed in a scene copied verbatim from Friday the 13th, in which a guy has a flashlight shone in his eyes in order to blind him during a machete hack. This and the other murders are accompanied by a Friday the 13th-ish score that sounds like the string “orchestra” (i.e. three college band nerds ) having their violins and cellos slowly hacksawed in half. I guess that's the know, free form dissonance and what have you.

After the other girl gets boiled alive in a steamer, Joanna, schmuck boy, the contractor, and the homeless guy are left to their own devices, running around this blood soaked dorm in insufficient lighting. The horrific tunelessness of the score washes over this numbing, nihilistic, grain soaked, festival of drab hokum. Joanna tumbles around with these jerkys until schmuck boy reveals that he has been, in fact, living a lie. His annoying jackass persona was in fact a façade. Indeed, he is less an annoying jackass than a homicidal retard. In a last ditch holdover of the killer’s previous loud mouth persona, he explains all of the various plot holes and inconsistencies. However, he never does explain, nor does anyone else, the fierce conundrum known as the “Chuck Taylor discrepancy”, where-in both the stalking figure and the homeless guy wore Chucks, yet I don’t recall seeing schmuck boy wearing them. I guess it’s one of those ripple in the universe deals, maybe the "Chuck Taylor black hole paradox".

The motive becomes clear. Joanna turned down his advances (he admits he “is the smartass nobody likes“, a surprisingly lucid bit of self-examination), and everyone had to be murdered as a result. He should’ve realized that homicide is not the answer. Instead, maybe he could have started a literary revolution, one in which smartass losers gain acceptance in society by starting blogs about how they’re annoying putzes that nobody likes. Just like David Hemmings in the Antonioni film, he could have funneled his ennui into a jug of artistic production, or whatever pretentious metaphor you wanna throw out there.

Well, Joanna is forced to plead for her life by agreeing to become his girlfriend, but luckily, she is saved by the red herring contractor. Unfortunately, she is promptly unsaved by the pork patrol, who immediately show up and blows the “hero” away. They then have the utter blasé temerity to leave the murder scene, saying they’ll be right back, when and if they get around to it, because, you know...donuts and shit. This leaves an unconscious Joanna alone with the killer. Not only does he get off scot-free, he completes his transition from annoying schmuck to total and complete asshole by coldly tossing Joanna into the furnace.

The end.

Fuck you.

Well…at least Christmas is coming up. Yay presents!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) - a Christmas-y assault on bullshit family values that warms the cockles of my coal black heart

here's a trailer for my all time fave Christmas movie

Boy it’s hard to rape the spirit of Christmas.

Oh sure, you could head over to the local mall during the holidays and interrupt St. Nick and his bratty lap fest, rest the wrong (right?) end of a sawed-off shotgun underneath his chin, and robustly proclaim “YOU LITTLE FUCKS WERE NAUGHTY THIS YEAR! ALL OF YA!”. When the children start weeping uncontrollably, you could yell out “BUNCH OF NO JOLLY LYING MAGGOTS!!!”, right before sending Santa’s skull fragments splattering across center court, pelting the cardboard Alf display in front of Spencer’s Gifts.

Granted, this gets the job done, but also proves impractical. Snuffing out fat, mythical symbols is mostly frowned upon in society, and not to mention, totally against the law. It takes a pretty monumental effort to ruin Christmas through legal means, as the promise of merchandise and/or cash and/or a gift certificate for Hot Topic tends to override the impact of your more standard holiday horrors, like watching daddy smack mommy in the head with a giant candy cane for screwing up the Christmas ham.

Silent Night, Deadly Night, however, is clearly up to the task, presenting everyone’s (i.e. minus a few straggling Muslims and Jews) favorite holiday as a circular madhouse of rape, murder, decapitated snowmen, shitty acting, inappropriate mammary glands, deaf priests getting blown away, old, fucked up nuns, and, most importantly, a secret weapon: the unrelenting mutilation of hope.

The opening is almost as disgustingly perverse as the last 700 Club Christmas special. A family is headed to the “Utah Mental Facility” to visit their zombiefied grandpa and presumably chill with other Mormons. On the drive over, mommy is laying down the commercialized rhetoric to innocent little Billy, about how the good are rewarded, Santa is awesome, etc. Billy, his innocence not yet ripped out and tossed in the garbage disposal, dutifully believes what she is shoveling. The visit with Grandpa seems to be going as planned; a perfunctory acknowledgement of relatives during the holiday season, to give the illusion that the family bond has not yet totally disintegrated.

However, Grandpa somehow manages to unzombiefy himself briefly in order to let Billy know that, yes, Santa is awesome, but only if you rigorously accept the formalism of society. Outsiders, free thinkers, and general shenanigan facilitators will be greeted with a punishing ass load of coal. Of course I’m paraphrasing. Soon after, by sheer unadulterated coincidence I’m sure, a dude in a Santa costume robs a convenience store and blows away the clerk. He then hails down our family of protagonists in their all-American station wagon, shoots daddy in the head, rapes mommy, and slits her throat. This is all in full view of little Billy and his baby brother. This tub of bearded jolly is truly not fucking around.

Several hopeless years pass. Billy is now an orphan trying to cope with the rigmarole of a school run by some asshole nun. This structured superstition is responsible for further fracturing his psyche, and sporting a horrible mullet certainly doesn’t help matters. The aforementioned Mother Superior represents this cold fist of crushing authority, while another nun voices logical solutions with caring and understanding, only to be scoffed at and ignored. Mother Superior’s misguided attempt at therapy exemplifies this, as she forces Billy to cope with the Santa-based rape and murder of his parents by forcing him sit on Santa’s lap. This of course backfires in spectacular fashion, and by spectacular, I mean he cold cocks Santa right onto his plump, reindeer-stroking ass.

Jump forward another 10 years, and Billy seems to be finally integrating into society, what with a budding romance between himself and a sweet, lovely, soon-to-be-raped female. He also seems to be moving up in the world professionally speaking, and this is illustrated with a montage showing him gainfully employed as a stock boy in a toy store, accomplishing many a rewarding task, like making sure the Krull board game stays stocked on the shelves. Holy shit…they made a board game based on Krull? I need to get on Ebay pronto. Anyway, things start to fall apart. His supervisor is a swearing prick. and Christmas is soon on the horizon. Any mention of Santa causes Billy to convulse and sweat like he just mainlined some tainted egg nog. By sheer unforeseeable coincidence, Billy is promptly called upon, as a last minute replacement, to play Santa for the store. Ho ho ho motherfuckers!

However, what ultimately makes him jolly in the head, and rightfully so, is seeing his vision of loveliness getting frisky with his asshole supervisor; his last bastion of hope in humanity being felt up by a sweaty hog. He sees her get sexually assaulted, just like mommy, and so begins a parade of punishment unparalleled in the history of Santa Claus. He punishes a bunch of less-than-jolly fucks with less-than-classy means, including Linnea Quigley in daisy dukes and absolutely no top whatsoever. During his mission, Santa Billy also keeps repeating his catch phrases (“PUNISH!!!” and “NAUGHTY!!!”), as if to subtly indicate that he has zealously adopted the inflexible standards that were pounded into his head.

Only one victim is spared; the young girl that Linnea was babysitting. Her confident assertion that she has been good all year spares her from certain doom (like, say, getting impaled by a Christmas tree). Rather, per Santa’s contract, she gets a gift. In this case, a worn and bloody exacto blade. This proves rather quizzical to a young innocent mind, as she is unable to process this symbol of rusty, hopeless nihilism. Well, not to give everything away, but two Santas end up being shot dead right in front of a flock of moppets (not at the same time, that would be confusing). However, out of all of these newly traumatized tykes, only Billy’s brother Ricky gets twitchy enough to inspire a sequel, which I believe is called "Silent Night, Deadly Night- The Next Entry in the Series Part 2 the Revenge". This one is famous for having a forty minute flashback consisting entirely of scenes from the first movie (“Remember back in that earlier film, when this scene occurred? Well, I sure do!”), as well as a bunch of ass ruling nonsense that I think is supposed to be funny. In the middle is a little detour where-in Ricky goes on a date with the lovely Liz Caitin, and they decide to go see a movie, namely, Silent Night, Deadly Night (the first one). Seriously. No shit.

In summary, I’ll just relay that Roxanne T. Mueller of the Cleveland Plain Dealer proclaimed that “Silent Night, Deadly Night is a sleazy, miserable, insulting piece of garbage”. Maybe so, but sometimes that’s exactly what it takes to counteract the pervasive cancer of holiday cheer.

P.S. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I'll throw up some other Christmas related slasher reviews in the next couple of days.

P.P.S. If the little date on the carton of egg nog is earlier than the current date, FOR GOD SAKES STAY AWAY! The nog is officially tainted. If this proves confusing or you are unable to tell, just go ahead and guzzle beer instead. With the family around and all, you're gonna need it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

a few words on the passing of Jean Rollin

It seems a perfunctory movie blog "thing to do" to make mention of any notable deaths in the film world. Personally, that's something I want to avoid, for a couple of reasons. Instead of blogging about film news, I'd rather concentrate on writing about films separate from any sort of ongoing timeline. Also, I don't feel all that comfortable writing about the death of someone I don't really know. Granted, one can feel as if they are greatly connected to someone through their work, but even if an artist passes on, the art still remains for anyone to connect to as they wish. But alas, a dead artist means no more new art, and, for a fan, that's certainly sad. The last artist's death that I remember being really crushed by was George Carlin, who was not only a personal hero, but his comedy was like an ongoing conversation between two friends, and his death ended this relationship. Not only that, but George can put this whole death thing in perspective a lot better than I ever could.

If I have once piece of obvious wisdom to add, it's that it's better to appreciate someone in life rather than in death. Waiting until the funeral to tell your dead gay son that you love him is a rather tragic form of procrastination. Maybe your son wouldn't have agreed to a suicide pact if you had told him you loved him while he was actually alive, accepting his gay football ways unconditionally. Then again, he was actually murdered by Slater and Winona, who then made it to look like he committed suicide out of his forbidden love for another man, so maybe that's not the best example. I've been debating with myself on how I should show tribute in death to Jean Rollin, one of my all time favorite directors, but I realized I've already written a living tribute to his work. Namely, my review of La Rose de Fer, a (probably feeble) attempt to encapsulate Rollin's art, along with a short description of how I discovered his films; how a supposed "euro trash sex horror" filmmaker revealed himself to be something else entirely.

P.S. By the way, Captain Beefheart died this week too. Fuck.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

initiation horror recap, or how the Greeks cleverly subverted a future culture and their aggro-male, "no fear" bullshit

Here's a rundown of all the reviews that were part of my special focus on horror films revolving around college initiation rituals. Here's the lineup yo:

The Initiation of Sarah
The Initiation
Pledge Night
Blood Sisters
Final Exam
Rush Week
Hell Night

Through my exploration of the genre, I think I've gathered a couple of important lessons about life and the world around us (or at least about horror movie conventions). Namely:

-Schoolwork is fucking boring. The only time a school based horror film cuts to a scene of people learning is when there is plot info to be articulated, like a teacher writing the definition for "psychopath" on a chalkboard. If learning is so uninteresting and horrible, you'd think someone would make a horror film that directly revolves around schoolwork, like a kid getting burned with a cigarette by his psycho dad every time he doesn't get an A on a math test. Actually, that sounds even more depressing than just a regular math test. Perhaps there's a good reason why this horror movie rule is rarely ever broken.

-Every couple of years, a hazing goes catastrophically sour, and some nerd suffers a horrible fate. He or she will later return, despite being disfigured or even killed, to seek revenge on those responsible (or, in fact, any and all classmates, innocent or otherwise). It's really just the same dynamic that you see in high school horror films, where a nerd is picked on, but without the Greek initiation context. Instead, the character is humiliated and/or disfigured just out of gleeful teenage cruelty (see Carrie).

-I find it pretty ironic that the supposedly manly tradition of fraternity rituals is based upon a vast array of homoerotic hazing activities, all descended from an openly gay society. I'm sure the ancient Greeks would have a hearty chuckle that their big gay fun is living on under the ironic umbrella (an umbrella covered in glitter, natch) of the ultra straight modern male.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HELL NIGHT (1981) - a hazing slasher via the Linda Blair-sploitation genre, dressed up in gothic period garb

Director Tom DeSimone must have absorbed a plethora of lessons from directing gay porn, not to mention Chatterbox, that talking vagina movie with Rip Taylor (Rip unfortunately doesn’t play the title role). This seasoning allowed him to whip up the slasher classic Hell Night, which separates itself from the usual “frat hazing hose heads mangled by man-child mongoloid” plot by making the cast members (including Linda Blair and some surfer asshole) wear gothic period costumes.

Take special note of beautiful Cindra, who lives "kinda in Van Nuys and kinda in Reseda". I think she may the girl that Tom Petty is talking about in "Free Fallin'".

Anyway, these kids have to spend the night in a creepy old mansion where a supposedly murderous “gork” named Andrew still resides. Going through my medical journals, I was unable to find a definition for the term “gork”, so I’ll naturally have to assume it is in fact not a medical affliction, but rather, a nickname given to roadies to semi-popular Russian heavy metal outfit Gorky Park. Presumably, Andrew was burnt out on consuming otherworldly amounts of vodka and raping comatose groupies, and decided to come back to the U.S.A., holding up in his murdered parent’s estate. Naturally, when frat hazing assholes decide to stay the night, play pranks on each other, and “recite” dialogue, Andrew the gork, deciding he’s had enough, attempts to murder the shit out of Linda and her compadres.

Hell Night excels amidst the usual trash, what with the tightly wound suspense (courtesy of Mr. DeSimone), and the great location. No horror movie ever suffered by taking place in a big creepy mansion, complete with cobwebs, and, most importantly, secret passages. You might be sleeping in a bed with the door locked, but, lo and behold, some hunchback maniac has access to a secret trap door and pays you a night time visit. Maybe you’re in the study, reading about the history of Pez while your headphones blast The Alan Parson’s Project on your Walkman. Suddenly, and quite unbeknownst to yourself, the bookcase swings open, and a maniac with perfect posture creeps up behind you with a trident.

Relevant footage begin at 1:22. It's a stretch, I know, but if you're gonna stretch it, do so with Bob and David I always say.

Watching Hell Night as a child terrified me, as I was not witnessing some teens being slaughtered but, true to the slasher ideal, joined them in the nearly hopeless endeavor to escape their plight. It also left me with the yearning to live in such a mansion, what with this blend of elegance and decrepitude, as well as it fostering the never ending suspicion that a clearly defined space may not in fact be what it seems.

This movie was written for the Final Girl blog film club more than a year ahead of time. That's foresight folks. Here is Stacie's review way back in 2006. Maybe she will write a new review to celebrate the film club. I do not know.

THE CRAZY NEVER DIE! (1988) - ruminations on the word "gonzo", or an open letter to an imaginative pervert

Here's the first part of easily the most obscure of the Hunter S. Thompson docs. Thanks to whomever uploaded it for saving me the trouble of uploading it.

Now, when your blog has the word "gonzo" in it's title, you're gonna get internet stragglers popping in looking for porn. I thought placing the word "cinema" first would have a certain "artistic" connotation, hopefully conveying to people that the blog is not really about people fucking. After all, that's what really separates art from pornography. Pornography is about watching people have sex, and art is about other stuff (including stories about people who have sex, if you follow the distinction). Granted, "other stuff" occasionally happens in pornography, like a scene of a pizza boy's car breaking down, forcing him to hitch a ride with a van full of cheerleaders on their way to a wet T-shirt contest. However, it's just some dumb filler meant to pass the time between the rumpy pumpy. Actually, on second thought...cheerleaders in a wet T-shirt contest? That's actually pretty damn genius. Maybe the line between art and porn isn't as clear as I'd originally thought. Look at it as more of a fuzzy rule of thumb than a rigid fence.

Glancing at my traffic sources, one particular keyword search caught my eye: "gonzo Dora the Explorer". I can respect the impulsive desire to search the internet for pornographic parodies of Dora the Explorer, assuming it's four in the morning and you're drunk, single, and lacking a certain forward impetus. However, it takes a special kind of interweb maverick to search for this very specific type of Dora porn, that which breaks the fourth wall in order to remove the distance between porker and porkee. Although really, it's just a filmed interview between a pervert who has money and a broke female, with predictable results. However, keep in mind that Dora is an animated character, so I'm a little lost as to how this sort of thing would work. Then again, Dora is no older than twelve. Some forms of "entertainment" are probably best left unexplored, free speech or otherwise.

So, in closing, I find it a bit unfortunate that the word "gonzo" (and, consequently, it's revolutionary implications) has been hijacked by the pornographers, to refer to a most unrevolutionary filmic technique (that of jettisoning story and any pretense of cinema along with it). Of course, it was the great Hunter S. Thompson that gave birth to gonzo journalism, rooted in a subjective narrative both emotional and satirical (and fucking funny to boot). I could write some boring thesis describing gonzo journalism, but it's best experienced than dissected. In other words...go read a book.

A true "gonzo" take (via Hunter Thompson) on Dora the Explorer would indeed be interesting, much more so than whatever it is you were hoping to find. Unfortunately, Hunter is dead, and I can't watch more than 90 seconds of that foolishness, and no one else would bother. Why don't you write your own gonzo take on Dora? Wait a second...doesn't Dora talk directly to the audience at times during the show? Maybe that's the "gonzo" aspect of the show you were trying to find edification on, and the only pornographic context to your google search is within my own dirty mind. Either way, the mere breaking of the fourth wall constitutes a highly reductive definition of the word "gonzo". Well, I think that's my ultimate point, even if my initial interpretation of your Google search might've been completely off base. I would also like to apologize to Dora herself, for further dragging her through the mud of this perverted superhighway of information. She has enough to worry about, what with all that useless shit she has to find. Sorry.

I'm not gonna pontificate at length about Hunter, nor exalt his greatness like he's some kind of sports hero. The Crazy Never Die! is already a wonderful portrait, both rambling and piercing, and a sort of companion piece to later docs Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson and Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride. Also, I shouldn't really have to describe it when you could just watch the fucking thing yourself. It's only a half hour long and embedded throughout the review for the sake of convenience. Hunter S. Thompson died for your sins, so it's the very least you could do.

P.S. I also referenced Dora the Explorer in my Human Centipede review, despite never having watched a full episode of the show. Then again, that reference led directly to this one. Sometimes a vicious circle can unfold in a straight line.

Monday, December 13, 2010

RUSH WEEK (1991) - a whole week of Geddy Lee and the boys...oh wait, no, it's The Dickies in a boring college slasher...still pretty sweet

I couldn't find a trailer, but this shit rocks harder anyways

The BDB frat house is throwing a Hawaiian themed party, which is really just a standard frat party riddled with hula skirts and coconut bras. In other words, the keg is flowing, the band is rockin’, white people are dancing poorly, tits are flying out, etc., all under the pretense of paying tribute to another culture foreign to theirs (despite Hawaii being located in the same country). The BDB rules of living are as pig headed continental Americana as you can get: rock ‘til you drop, party ‘til you puke, and screw ‘til you’re blue. Not that I’m judging mind you.

“Rush week” is that time of the collegiate calendar when the expansion of the mind is put on hiatus in order to engage in some heterosexual defying pledge rituals. It officially begins when some guy cuts a bit of twine with a battle axe, accompanied by some caustic metal riffage, as overdoing something with a battle axe demands that sort of background noise. The pledges start out dressed in drag, and god knows what gender bending activities we’re in store for if this is where it begins.

Meanwhile, the main plot thrust gets underway when a nerdy 19-year-old female student (i.e. 32-year-old model wearing glasses) is being stalked while walking home alone in the dark. She gets to her nudie photo shoot in tact, and all she has to do is take off her glasses and unfurl her hair to transform into the pin-up model she most definitely aspires to (on screen and off). The mystery photographer tells her he wants some “pink" (that’s code for beaver). She calls him a sicko, and he retorts with "I'm not the one posing for nude pictures." I guess he has a point, but she could come back with “at least I don’t photograph beavers!”. However, this could just descend into some sort of infinite meta regress, a seesaw of nudie photo character aspersions. It never gets that far though, as some guy in a robe whacks her with a battle axe, while the official Rush Week guitarist screeches out a wicked solo. Toni, our heroine, is a journalism major no doubt down for some Nancy Drew silliness. The movie alternates between these modeling sessions/axe murders, the homocentric Greek rituals, the unfettered partying, and Toni’s pursuit to make sense of it all.

The hazing rituals run a truly bizarre gamut, and are sometimes directed towards BDB’s arch rivals, the “GAE” fraternity (rhymes with “gay” as they frequently point out, which may be ironic considering the ass related festivities these pledges get into). We head to bio class, where they are dissecting a human being (I hope they pay well). However, one of those pesky BDB pledges, wearing nothing but a jock strap and a "scary" monster mask, jumps out of the body bag, scaring the heck out of the professor and no doubt disappointing those who sat in on the class just because they wanted to see some sick shit. BDB pulls the "moon bus" trick, where they all stick their bare asses out of a school bus window and drive it around campus. Our pledges crash the GAE pledge drive, where, in a brilliant stroke of homosexual displacement, switch the initiation film with some cowboy themed gay porn, featuring cowboys with bullseyes painted on their asses.

They also charge people to watch a sex show by peeking through a Hills Have Eyes poster. This entails a paid sex “artist” getting busy with what looks to be a frat boy…oh no, it’s that corpse from the biology class. She runs away in her G-string, and all the guys think it’s just hilarious. I guess they’ve never felt the shame of accidentally fucking a corpse. Next we get the rush week bike race, and our BDB's show up dressed as real bikers, not bicycling assholes in spandex shorts. However, the homoerotic distinction between spandex and leather is rather moot at this point.

The murders are mostly bloodless axings of aspiring models, the most curious one being the girl made to dress as a Native American. I guess there’s a market for photos of white chicks dressed up as slutty Indians (I mean, a market apart from myself). Anyway, in the final showdown, Toni is chased into the animal lab, just as a bunch of tarantulas bust free from captivity (this same gag was used in Chopping Mall, for the record). She hits the killer on the head with a lead pipe, but it turns out that he wasn’t the real killer, but rather, someone that just likes to run around in the dark, wearing a robe and carrying a battle axe, just like the “real” killer of the movie Rush Week. No, the real killer is the dean of the school, as we all know that deans are complete assholes (see Animal House). Toni heroically cuts his head off and, some time later, the new dean shows up and congratulates the two survivors for triumphantly decapitating his predecessor.

Lost in the formula of Rush Week are three surprising cameos. There’s Freddy Krueger (not the real one, but some dude dressed up as Freddy), showcasing the self-reflexive state of the slasher post-1987. There’s also a frat party performance from The Dickies, one of the great punk bands (though apparently not great enough to avoid having to play a frat party in a mediocre slasher). Most unusual of these cameos is “special guest” Greg Allman, who is seemingly involved to add name value. A consumer might pick up the VHS box for Rush Week and see “a special appearance by Greg Allman!” emblazoned on the cover, and think "holy shit! One of the Allman brothers is gonna go toe to toe with some mad zombie slasher!".

Well…no, not really. He shows up to do some meditation with a topless girl, who’s presumably following the teachings of a zen stripper. He also tells Toni to “live long and prosper”, which is what amounts as profound advice when you’ve destroyed your brain with drugs and seen a couple of episodes of Star Trek. I guess Greg is supposed to represent the cool hippie teacher, in touch with “alternative” ways of discovering knowledge. Unfortunately, he is surrounded by meathead jocks and ascot wearing poseurs, who think profundity is merely a cover-up for the material emptiness that comes with not owning a BMW.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

FINAL EXAM (1981) - when stress from academic deadlines prove insurmountable, terrorist-esque plans and cinematic-induced anxiety help relieve tensons

Here's an opening clip from the film. The cynical viewer might point out the inherent cliches, but, keep in mind, this shit was released way back in 1981.

Immediately grabbing the bull by the balls, Final Exam begins with a series of Friday the 13th-esque establishing shots of a lake, married to sub-Halloween score. Two college kids are making out by said lake, under a silvery moon. The killer tears through the roof (luckily it’s a convertible) and stabs the shit out of the putz with the blonde mullet, and his girlfriend screams her last words, which are “WHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” Of course, I'm paraphrasing for emotional effect.

It’s the day of a critical college exam, and people are stressing. The nerd hurriedly enters the frame (wearing a pocket protector and carrying 50 pounds of books), alerting the others about the killing, and doing so with gleeful abandon. His joy is cut short when the asshole jock (wearing a “Wildman” jersey) knocks his books down. However, his joy quickly returns when the teacher mentions Charles Whitman. I guess he’s one of those nerds that likes to read about serial killers (when not masturbating to reruns of Lost in Space).

The teacher runs off while everyone takes their tests, supervised by his assistant. He has to take care of some important business, which amounts to running off to the hot blonde on campus for a little sugar time (i.e. what a studmuffin). Curiously, a van full of armed terrorists descend upon the school, using their machine guns to go Columbine on some asses. The two hottest girls are laughing about it, not because they’re heartless bitches, but rather, because they’ve recognized that the van belongs to a frat house, and correctly diagnosed the shooting as a really funny prank.
Nowadays, if a frat boy even discussed pulling a prank like that, he would be arrested immediately. Personally, I think if you’re in college, you should be allowed to get drunk once and while and shoot machine gun blanks at large crowds. You’re at that age when you should be allowed to live a little.

The prank doubles as both an initiation and a diversion to get the test cancelled (that’s actually a pretty brilliant stunt for a bunch of frat stooges). The local pork patrol shows up to investigate the shooting, but he's annoyed when he is told it was all a joke. Not because it’s illegal to commit fake machine gun terrorism, mind you, but rather, because he had to haul his fatass down to the campus to investigate, depriving himself of being able to watch re-runs of Starsky and Hutch while inhaling donut holes. Actually, I take that back; I don’t think donut holes were invented yet circa 1981. I apologize.

The hot blonde slut informs the still kinda hot final girl brunette on how to get ahead in life sans studying and working hard. The brunette is conflicted between the two worlds (independent thinking woman and freewheeling hussy), so she visits the nerd to have a heart to heart about this conflict. However, I’m too distracted by the movie posters in his dorm to pay attention to any conversations about life and stuff; Murder is My Beat (an obscure Edgar G. Ulmer homicide/noir, probably inserted as a post-modern confirmation of the nerd’s primary character trait); The Toolbox Murders (an awesome choice, showing he likes horror movies), and Ted V. Mikel’s The Corpse Grinders (showing he appreciates complete and utter garbage). Of course, since there is some frat hazing going on, we are privy to a highly homoerotic sequence where a pledge is stripped to his underwear and tied to a tree, his tighty whities filled with ice cubes; his young body covered in whipped cream. Maybe if these fraternity hose heads just went ahead and succumbed to their man meat desires, they wouldn’t feel the need to occasionally run around with machine guns (or play football).

The pledge manages to escape from his pansy tree-bondage, only to be stabbed in near darkness. This sets off a flurry of murders in the third act, including “Wildman” getting killed by a weight machine in the middle of an empty gym. I know you wanna concoct a fitting comeuppance, but sometimes it’s easier to just stab someone in the face. The nerd finds one of the bodies and calls the donut patrol, only to be rebuffed as a prankster by the useless slab of pork meat at the other end of the line. He tries to save the day on his own, but meets a sadly vague death. My sadness is quickly squelched when the hot blonde shows off her ass, despite being stalked from the recital hall to the art studio. She thinks it’s her boyfriend, and the whole scenario turns her on, but her vagina doth fatally protesteth.

This leads to the final girl running through the entire campus in the dark, before ending up in the belfry of a church tower. Luckily, a bow hunter happens by at this late hour (he’d really rather be bow hunting), but is no match for our plucky killer. The brunette is forced to take matters into her own hands. She grabs the nearest 2x4 and pulverizes the killer until he falls to his doom. Of course, he’s still alive, and she has to finish him off with his own butcher knife, completing the transition from brainy college brunette to savage killer of psychos. Interestingly, we never learn anything about the killer, except that he likes to walk into the frame like Michael Myers. This allows the viewer to come up with their own motive. I’m guessing he was a former pledge forced to do a naked rendition of YMCA while being pelted with eggs. Presented in this light, I guess he had no choice but to start a homicidal rampage.

Final Exam, despite the terrorism bit, is pretty much a college version of House of Death. However, while the authentic feel of the location really captures the college milieu (it was shot at “Isothermal Community College”, which sounds like really really really shitty school of thermodynamics), much of the movie is lifeless and dark, peppered with annoying ass jocktards. At least it stars an authentic nerd, one who actually appears to be much smarter than his fellow students, not just merely another idiot wearing glasses and a pocket protector. It’s too bad he couldn’t shag the brunette before his untimely death. In the end, though I personally found it impressive, I’m not sure having a Toolbox Murders poster over his bed really helped his cause with the ladies.

BLOOD SISTERS (1987) - sorority pledges spend the night in a haunted whorehouse, a high concept twist on boring academia

Their Hazing was a Night to Dismember
- words that are printed on the VHS box for Blood Sisters

Hmmm. Although this makes no literal sense, I would hate to think this to be merely a pithy display of wordsmith switcheroo. Digging deeper, we learn that director Roberta Findlay’s closest competitor in the feminine trash movie sweepstakes is Doris Wishman, who may have succeeded with a horror film of her own had it not been partially destroyed in a lab and resultantly cobbled together out of outtakes and unrelated footage, and thereby promptly forgotten (and since resurrected on DVD, and forgotten again). The name of the film? Yes. A Night to Dismember. Pure unbridled coincidence? Me thinks no. The tag line may be a private dig at the movie, in the sense that their hazing shared the less than flattering qualities of said movie; that is, thrown together, nonsensical, psychotic, and occasionally out of focus (read: unfocused). Never has a vaguely catty comment been buried in plain view within such a nonsensical pun on a VHS box. All of this illustrates once again that feminism is (often) a bottom line business. Equality, in this case, is achieved only when women are allowed to out-exploit each other in the game of carving up coeds and/or porn stars.

The story begins with little Jesse D'Angelo who, amongst many other unchronicled achievements I’m sure (getting laid maybe), is a bit player in no less than three heavy metal horror movies (Rock N' Roll Nightmare, Black Roses, and Zombie Nightmare; the loyal punters may have noticed that I have now reviewed every single film Jesse has appeared in, except for something called The Jitters). He’s walking home from school when a little girl unsubtly takes verbal jabs at him, implying (more stating outright, actually) that his mother is a whore. This proves devastating to little Jesse, and he runs home crying to said parent, who indeed lives in a whorehouse, because she, indeed, sells her ass. The thriving family business hits a bump in the road when someone barges in and unloads shotgun spray at any and all hookers within shouting distance.

Thirteen years later, we’re at one of those sorority pledge rituals where a bunch of girls are wearing hooded robes and holding candles, literally spewing a mouthful of Greek salad (well, not literally…that would be gross). Later, at a party, we start to get to know the girls through some lusciously straight forward character development. For example, one of them walks up to the nerd girl in glasses and says "do you have a date tonight? No? Well I've got three!". This quickly segues into a lusciously synthy sex scene that further develops the story (no it doesn’t). The next day, a bunch of frat buddies decide to set up some trick scares in that old spooky whorehouse where a bunch of prostitutes were murdered. This includes fat guy Larry, played by John Fasano, the borderline genius director behind the Jon Mikl-Thor vehicle Rock ‘n Roll Nightmare. Poor Larry is seeing and hearing things that may qualify as "paranormal activity", and is so shaken to his jelly-roll core that he accuses his friend of having “tampon breath”. He then promptly flees for his tubby life, resulting in a Dukes of Hazzard-esque roll across the hood of a car, reminding me of the time I accidentally sideswiped a big fatass swan.

So the girls all get in a van and head out to the scary whorehouse to spend the night as part of their hazing. One of the girls is a cross country runner, and this is readily apparent to the viewer, as she is wearing a reflector vest and is constantly stretching. Another girl remarks that the house is "like a Hitchcock reject" (and I tend to agree with her in the sense that this film is not quite as good as Psycho), and there is also a character named Marnie, providing the fairly common, yet no-less-exciting “dual ham-fisted Hitchcock homage”.

Well, the girls start glimpsing the ghostly apparitions and gags set by the “fratasses” (that’s frat + fatass…P.S. I occasionally make up my own words). The main girl tells a campfire story in front of a fireplace (close enough), proclaiming that "they say the ghosts of the dead prostitutes and their tricks still haunt these hallowed halls". They correctly attribute the ghostly activity as being the handiwork of drunken assholes, but they continue on with their scavenger hunt, despite the various dead hooker legends that are brandied about. They split off and form pairs, searching the dark house with flashlights in hand while some unruly prick repeatedly headbutts a keyboard. One girl is not particularly interested in the scavenger hunt, and instead invites her boyfriend over to scavenge the inside of her pants. Periodically, there is a nice effect where a girl will stop and glance into a mirror, becoming hypnotized and feeling herself up, while a brothel scene from way back when is projected in the mirror. This allows the girls to free themselves of any social conditioning, becoming engulfed in the erotic ways of the world’s oldest profession.

Well, the girls start getting offed in lame, bloodless ways by some stalker wearing a dress. Once they start to figure out that they are being killed (spoiler alert!), they head for the van and try and escape, but of course the piece of shit won’t start, "just like in any good horror film" one girl proclaims. This seems to imply that Blood Sisters is not a good horror film, as no such distinction would otherwise have been necessary. Usually when a van doesn’t start in a horror movie, a character will lament that “this is straight out of a bad horror movie!”. I suppose they’re referring to Blood Sisters. Sometimes, I wish characters would shut up about vehicle issues people are having in other movies and just get the fuck out of dodge.

The girls lock themselves in the van, but (despite the pretense of a higher education) decide to go back in the house because it’s cold outside. The cross country girl decides to put her talents to use and run through the woods to find help, all the while being chased by a dress wearing mad slasher. Luckily, she’s a burner, and manages to get to a road and hail down a station wagon. Meanwhile, her friends are not enjoying much success staying alive. The nerd girl drops her glasses and accidentally steps on them, eschewing the influence of Alfred Hitchcock for the less subtle work of Scooby Doo. Just like Velma (and pretty much every nerd girl character that made it on to the silver screen in the 80’s), when she loses her glasses, she becomes a raving Hellen Keller, unable to make out so much as the Hindenburg sitting three inches from her nose. The glasses define these characters, and therefore they are powerless without them, and, not to mention, easier to kill.

Well, in the end, the killer turns out to be the final girl's boyfriend from the earlier bump ‘n grind segment. Surely he must have a legitimate reason to off his hot piece of ass girlfriend and her homies, all in the prime of their young lives. The girlfriend, sobbing uncontrollably as her one true love is about to hack her up into coed fillet, asks him how he could plumb such horrific depths. He explains that he’s “just crazy", and then promptly stabs his girlfriend with a Rambo knife. I assume he’s little Jesse all grown up, the trauma of his dead hooker mom having lead to his psychosis…or maybe not. Either way, if you don’t have a solid reason to hack up your girlfriend, at least show a little class and make some shit up.

The pork patrol finally arrives the next morning with the cross country girl, as apparently the house is a seven hour ride from the nearest telephone. Of course, Mr. bacon bureaucracy doesn’t believe her and leaves, and this display of apathy from NYPD's finest drives her totally bonkers. No worries. Her mental faculties may have evaporated, her academic future disintegrated, her friends slaughtered like pigs, but hey, at least she can safely drive away in the van and head back to the warm comforts of a girl’s dormitory. Unfortunately, the crazy boyfriend is still out there roaming the streets and, more to the point, hibernating in the back seat.



The end.

Credits roll.

Fuck You.

PLEDGE NIGHT (1990) - college life presented through a homoerotic prism, all to the tune of Anthrax

trailer, yo

With the opening credits of Pledge Night pronouncing that the film "features Joey Belladonna as Young Sidney Snyder", (Joey being the former lead singer of Anthrax), I perk up like a fawn sensing the oncoming of spring. I then say to myself "self, this shit is gonna be good". Then I do the move where I realize that I’m talking to myself and pretend like I’m singing a song instead as to not look like a crazy person. You know what I’m talking about. “Gonna be…good, baby, gooooooooooooood”.

Well, some poor schnook is abducted from the fraternity bathroom (unsurprisingly to the tune of Anthrax) and tied to a tree, but saved by his brave girlfriend. We then see six pledges getting the third degree (if my math is correct). and cruelly being forced to perform push-ups. This is par for the course during hell week, as a parade of naive schmucks are forced to perform various depravities to try and gain membership into a frat house, thereby informing their 7 years of college with masochistic spirit and homoerotic undertones.

One trainee can't handle the pressure, so he stabs one of the frat members, perhaps out of Freudian frustration. He is dragged by the others, bleeding and screaming, to…Tony's Cheesesteaks. The film must take place in Philadelphia, where people are taken out for one last cheesesteak as they are dying…oh wait, the whole thing was faked. I guess they were testing the pledges, seeing whether they would consider ratting out a frat member to the fuzz (which they don’t). Then again, maybe they just don’t give a shit if one of these dime a dozen frat fucks departs our humble planet. I’m voting both ways here folks, although I recognize that the latter reasoning may only function on a subconscious level.

Once loyalty is established, the "cherry race" begins, the object of which is to use your buttcheeks to snag a cherry sitting on a block of ice, and then race over to another block of ice and deposit the cherry, so your "partner" can then repeat the process. The losing team has to then eat the cherries. I guess masturbating to gay porn is considered "old fashioned". If that isn't enough, they have to hang a cob of corn around their neck, which is then tied to their penis, while another “man” pulls on the corn (sort of a tugjob once removed). Maybe I’m old school, but I think gay anal sex would be more “direct” and altogether less fussy.

The frat dudes take a break from the fancy pants shenanigans and head to a titty bar, molesting some girls in front of an American flag backdrop (a la the opening speech in Patton), as if they were trying to recruit the general populace into accepting the premise that they’re not a group of deluded flamers. Real men don’t need to flaunt it in public, and most certainly don’t devise butt-related Olympic events as mandatory rites of passage. Right on cue, the next scene shows the pledges getting their bare asses paddled while reciting "thank you sir…may I have another?", famously featured in National Lampoon’s Animal House (via Kevin "his foot is loose" Bacon). Admittedly, I still can’t figure out if the question is supposed to be rhetorical, sarcastic, or just a direct order to smack someone on the buttocks. As a coup de grace, a Grecian insignia gets branded into their bare, naked asses; their supple, tender posteriors singed with the hard, scorched steel of the...oh, the noodle wanders. I apologize.

The pledges now have to stay in an old abandoned frat house, but a concerned mother mentions to her son that someone died there 20 years earlier “performing” the same type of pledge. The frat boys defend their “traditions”, implying that standards have progressed by pointing to the fact that the pledge group includes a black guy, a Jew, and an Italian guy (I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised to see them walk into a bar together). Regardless, this doesn’t stop the mother from instigating a flashback on everyone. More specifically, sometime in the late sixties, several frat members (looking suspiciously like members of Iron Butterfly) make an acid bath, and poor Joey Belladonna is forced to take a dip. Shockingly, he ends up dead, but at least there’s a silver lining, what with this incident inspiring the eventual Iron Butterfly album "Acid Bath of Sure Fire Deathliness". See, I knew I recognized them.

Well, it’s back to present day, where more phallically charged tests of will flood our corneas. The pledges now have to stuff an egg in their mouth (read: ball washing) while doing push-ups. They are forced to bob for potatoes (i.e. “Bob’s potatoes”) in the toilet, eat worms (which are really just thin, wiggly penises), and munch on cockroaches (“cock” roaches; I rest my case). They are forced to wash it all down with a mysterious "fraternity cocktail", which no doubt metaphorically entails fraternizing with cocks. Few movies have ever been so committed to cinematically exploring the mysteries of phallic symbolism. If Sigmund Freud was a diehard Anthrax fan, he would LOVE this movie.

Later, one of the frat members is sitting on the toilet while reading a copy of “Juggs” (which is not a magazine dedicated to water receptacles). A hand reaches up from the toilet, rubbing up against his testicles before killing him in unseen fashion. This hand belongs to Dan the pledge, and he begins a murder spree while performing some giggly insanity routine (complemented with some unibrow shading). One of the girls helping with hell week is taking a bath, and Dan cackles his way into the bathroom. He plugs in a radio (set, as it usually is, to the 24 hour Anthrax station) and drops it in the tub, short circuiting her ample headlights (or, if you prefer, sending them to the great juggyard in the sky). He then ties up the hot girl in the kitchen and plants an electric egg beater into her skull (I guess he scrambled her brains…hee hee). Dan then ties up a frat dude and explains to him that he is actually the spirit of the acid bathed Belladonna, and, to prove it, he rips open his own body, revealing a charred, sub-Freddy presence: Sid, the hippie zombie. He celebrates this miracle of reincarnation by lighting a cherry bomb and sticking it up a frat guy's ass. Considering the “cherry race” pledge from earlier, I guess this qualifies as sweet irony, in a toilet humor sort of way.

Sid then pops out of a homemade coffin and asks what any respectable undead hippie might ask: "which way to the protest?". A pledge jumps into action, yelling "yo zombie!", and stabbing him with a nearby sword. His large intestine falls out, but Sid is rather nonplussed about it at first, totally stoked at a second glance. He now has something to choke the token black dude with. The victims try to escape through the front door, but Sid just happens to be standing there (fucking teleporting hippies). The door slams shut and, for some reason, he plants about ten knives into the door. One of the pledges rings up the pork trough, explaining to the fat boys in blue that some zombie dude is strangling innocent bystanders with his own intestines. Of course, the bureaucratic swine ignores his pleas, chalking it up as a frat boy crank yank.

The pledge, no doubt disillusioned with the system, starts hearing the voice of one of the dead girls and follows it, but, alas, it’s only Sid doing his voice copying act. Despite having an axe in his chest, he chokes the pledge to death. Now, you’re probably annoyed at this point that they keeping introducing new powers for Sid from out of left field. Other than a quick flashback, there really isn’t enough running time to have a whole super-hero origin story. However, all of his various super powers and what have you are clearly explained in the liner notes of the Iron Butterfly record. It’s one of those concept album deals.

Sid hides out in the room of the dude that owns the sword (understandably replete with Conan posters), luring one of the other pledges before forcibly assisting him into a bad Linda Blair impression, turning his head 180 degrees. The dude with the sword shows up to save the day and slices Sid open, but this only leaves a hole in his abdomen. While most would see this as a setback, enterprising bogeyman Sid views it instead as an opportunity, sticking the pledge’s head into his gaping wound, thereby melting his noggin. Townie pledge Larry now has the unenviable task of competing with Sid in a sword fight, but, alas, only being armed with a baseball bat. Thankfully, the girl that’s still alive is a bit of a brainiac, noting that acidic flesh is susceptible to pressurized stuff and whatever, so she grabs a fire extinguisher and royally sprays him with whatever that fire extinguisher stuff is. Adding extra phallic gravitas, Larry shoves the sword down Sid's throat. A couple of other “twists” round out this epic adventure of cock-fueled foolishness.

While most of the one liners Sid spits out during the movie are admittedly forced-in, hippie related stupidity, one line in particular sticks out: right after killing someone, he zings "that's for Spiro Agnew!”.


Not making this shit up.

I guess in Sid’s crispy mind, the tyranny and power of the fraternity mirrors the U.S. government, what with Nixon and his lap dog Spiro bending and breaking laws in order to maintain their grip on those not fortunate enough to be born into the privileged life of a professional bullshitter. These hippies apparently have had enough of the bullying from the Alex Keaton types, and, more to the point, are tired of having deeply repressed homosexuality shoved down their throats in ritualized fashion. Of course, none of this applies to any gay hippies hoping to join a fraternity, as they would undoubtedly be chuffed to bits to partake in such a bountiful barrage of meaty man games.