Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Red & Rosy (1989)

... aka: Frank Grow's Red & Rosy
... aka: Red and Rosy

Directed by:
Frank Grow

In 1968, legendary drag racing champion Richard “Big Red” Friedman (Raymond Espinoza) has a career-ending crash. While undergoing 32-hours worth of life-saving surgery, doctors are forced to remove his adrenal glands and from then on out he's subjected to “adrenal therapy.” No longer able to race, Richard can now only get his kicks from an adrenal drug that simulates the rush of speed and soon becomes addicted to it. After Big Red is elevated to superstar status on the drag circuit, a bunch of Big Red impostors start showing up at races across the country impersonating their hero. They even take it one step farther by becoming adrenaline drug junkies themselves. Underground adrenaline laboratories begin cropping up all over the place but aren't quite able to meet the demand. As a result, some of the new junkies become violent and bloodthirsty and willing to kill to get their fix. One guy (Rico Martinez, also a co-writer and cameraman) slices up his friend's arm and collects his blood in a bucket and, at a tattoo parlor, one of the artists carves up a guy's arm while a few other workers kidnap two young boys carrying a box with a severed penis and testicles inside (!), kill them and sell jugs of their blood on the black market to the Big Red impostor in their area.







While all of the above madness is going on, the real Big Red has quietly relocated to a small town and married trophy queen, actress and scrap metal baroness Samantha “Rose” Canyon. With his wife away in Hollywood, Big Red operates her “Scrap & Steel” business and hires a pair of big-haired female assistants who sit around listening to “Harper Valley P.T.A.” in between helping him create an adrenaline-powered drag racing simulator. They lure victims there with an employment ad in the paper, knock them out, hang them upside down and then drain their blood, which is then pumped directly into Big Red's bloodstream as the simulator gives him the closest drag race simulation possible under the circumstances. When Rose returns, she too  becomes addicted to the adrenaline drug, which leads to some rather interesting complications...






By 1971, the couple continue to kill for blood and are now targeting Big Red's former drag race (and romantic) rivals, like some schmuck named Larry (Larry Schultz) who still has the hots for Rose. However, something has changed... Big Red has turned into a giant, grinning piece of machinery and Rose is missing her head, arms and legs, but is still very pregnant with a pair of flamethrower-eyed, beer-drinking scrap metal babies! The amazing special effects in these scenes are from Mike Weix and others at the Survival Research Laboratories; a “machine performance art group” who promise “Dangerous and Disturbing Mechanical Presentations Since 1979” on their website.






According to the director, he shot more than enough footage to turn all of this into a feature but he instead opted to trim it all down to just 18 minutes so this wouldn't (no pun intended) drag. That turned out to be a wise choice because this lightning-fast flurry of flatly-narrated stock footage, new footage, still photos, surreal artwork and animation perfectly fit the director's obvious affection for drag racing plus the entire theme of adrenaline rush. A movie like this simply cannot move slowly. It also cannot be quiet. Lots of revving engines and squealing tires are heard and there's a mostly-rock soundtrack, including a few familiar songs (like Black Sabbath's “Sweet Leaf”) as well as new music by The Blood Pumper Racing Club. It was shot in black-and-white on 16mm and is dedicated to the director's father, who apparently was a drag racer himself. Grow followed this up with the feature-length horror-comedy Love God (1997), which received excellent reviews on the festival circuit but has strangely never been issued on DVD or VHS.






Despite not having an IMDb entry, Red & Rosy actually was officially released on home video (in a rather plain case) by the now-defunct Film Threat Video, who were best known for distributing Jörg Buttgereit's gory shockers Nekromantik (1987), Der Todesking (1990) and NEKROMANTIK 2 (1991), as well as Corpse Fucking Art (1992), a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of those three films. Their other output included a combination of low-budget underground films – the Dark Romances anthologies (1990), Lisa Houle's Puss Bucket (1991), Leif Jonker's Darkness (1992) and Jim Van Bebber's My Sweet Satan (1992), Doper (1994) and Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1994) – and shockumentaries like Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies (1993), Lydia Lunch: Malicious Intent (1994), the NAMBLA-centered Chicken Hawk (1994) and the S&M kink-fest Euro Fetish (1995). The Film Threat line of video releases stopped in the early 2000s and most of the films they once released haven't been picked up by other distributors since.







In addition to the video release, Red & Rosy has also been screened theatrically a number of times over the years. In the UK in 1991 it was shown during a (very fitting) double feature with Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989) as part of an “Aesthetics of the Future” series which dealt with “...exploring the radical impact of new technologies.” The main monster used in the film turned up on the cover of Steel Pole Bath Tub's 1990 album Lurch.

★★★

The 2015 Orloks - 1975 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1975
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Jaws
USA / 68 points / Steven Spielberg
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Profondo rosso (Deep Red)
Italy / 51 points / Dario Argento
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Shivers (They Came from Within)
Canada / 35 points / David Cronenberg
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Race with the Devil
USA18 points / Jack Starrett
* * * * * * * * * *
5. The Stepford Wives
USA17 points / Bryan Forbes

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. (tie) Picnic at Hanging Rock / Australia / 16 points / Peter Weir
6. (tie) Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom) / France, Italy / 16 points / Pier Paolo Pasolini
7. L'assassino è costretto ad uccidere ancora (The Killer Must Kill Again) / France, Italy / 10 points / Luigi Cozzi
8. Trilogy of Terror / USA [TV] / 7 points / Dan Curtis
9. (tie) Black Moon / France, West Germany / 6 points / Louis Malle
9. (tie) La noche de las gaviotas (Night of the Seagulls) / Spain / 6 points / Amando de Ossorio
9. (tie) Thundercrack! / USA / 6 points / Curt McDowell
10. L'ultimo treno della notte (Night Train Murders) / Italy / 5 points / Aldo Lado

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Breaking Point / Sweden / Bo Arne Vibenius
- Change pas de main (Don't Change Hands) / France / Paul Vecchiali
- Criminally Insane / USA / Nick Millard
- Dead Don't Die, The / USA [TV] / Curtis Harrington
- Devil's Rain, The / USA / Robert Fuest
- El asesino no está solo (The Killer Is Not Alone) / Spain / Jesús García de Dueñas
- El extraño amor de los vampiros (Strange Love of the Vampires) / Spain / León Klimovsky
- Fireworks Woman, The / USA / Wes Craven
- God's Bloody Acre / USA / Harry Kerwin
- Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS / Canada, USA / Don Edmonds
- Lèvres de sang (Lips of Blood) / France / Jean Rollin
- Love Butcher, The / USA / Don Jones, Mikel Angel
- Más negro que la noche (Blacker That the Night) / Mexico / Carlos Enrique Taboada
- Morte sospetta di una minorenne (Suspected Death of a Minor) / Italy / Sergio Martino
- Nazareno Cruz y el lobo (Nazareno Cruz and the Wolf) / Argentina / Leonardo Favio
- Nude per l'assassino (Strip Nude for Your Killer) / Italy / Andrea Bianchi
- Peur sur la ville (Fear Over the City; The Night Caller) / France, Italy / Henri Verneuil
- Satanico Pandemonium: La Sexorcista / Mexico / Gilberto Martínez Solares
- Satan's Children / USA / Joe Wiezycki
- Satan's Triangle / USA [TV] / Sutton Roley
- Sensations / France, Netherlands / Lasse Braun
- Story of Joanna, The / USA / Gerard Damiano

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1974                    Continue to 1976 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1982 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1982
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. The Thing
USA / 99 points / John Carpenter
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Tenebre
Italy / 51 points / Dario Argento
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Creepshow
USA50 points / George A. Romero
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Poltergeist
USA / 25 points / Tobe Hooper
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Basket Case
USA22 points / Frank Henenlotter

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. Q: The Winged Serpent / USA / 16 points / Larry Cohen
7. White Dog / USA / 15 points / Samuel Fuller
8. Cat People / USA / 14 points / Paul Schrader
9. Litan / France / 13 points / Jean-Pierre Mocky
10. Entity, The / USA / 12 points / Sidney J. Furie

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Alone in the Dark / USA / Jack Sholder
- Android / USA / Aaron Lipstadt
- Brimstone & Treacle / UK / Richard Loncraine
- Der Fan (Blood Groupie; The Fan) / West Germany / Eckhart Schmidt
- Don't Go to Sleep / USA [TV] / Richard Lang
- Forbidden World / USA / Allan Holzman
- Friday the 13th, Part III / USA / Steve Miner
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch / USA / Tommy Lee Wallace
- Invitation au voyage / France, Italy, West Germany / Peter Del Monte
- La morte vivante (The Living Dead Girl) / France / Jean Rollin
- Lo squartatore di New York (The New York Ripper) / Italy / Lucio Fulci
- Madman / USA / Joe Giannone
- Midnight / USA / John A. Russo
- Mil gritos tiene la noche (Pieces) / Italy, Puerto Rico, Spain, USA / Juan Piquer Simón
- Mizu no nai puuru (A Pool Without Water) / Japan / Kôji Wakamatsu
- Night Warning / USA / William Asher
- One Dark Night / USA / Tom McLoughlin
- Sender, The / UK / Roger Christian
- Slumber Party Massacre, The / USA / Amy Holden Jones
- Swamp Thing / USA / Wes Craven
- Trapped (Baker County U.S.A.; The Killer Instinct) / Canada, USA / William Fruet
- Turkey Shoot (Escape 2000) / Australia / Brian Trenchard-Smith
- Unhinged / USA / Don Gronquist
- Variola vera / Yugoslavia / Goran Markovic
- Visiting Hours / Canada / Jean-Claude Lord
- Wu gong zhou (Centipede Horror) / Hong Kong / Keith Li
- Xtro / UK / Harry Bromley Davenport

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1981                    Continue to 1983 >

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