Spechtreum VIII

Draconis Blackthorne's Shadowmantivm


Spechtreum V. 8___________________________FILM REVIEWS___________________________Draconis Blackthorne
The Monster Maker | Burn, Witch, Burn | The Devil's Nightmare | Sisters of Death | School of Rock | The Pick of Destiny | Envy | Race With The Devil | Jaws of Satan | Penn & Teller: Bullshit! | Sorceress | Johnny English | Spiderman | Pleasantville | Master of The Flying Guillotine | The Ring | The Master | Wishmaster | House of 1,000 Corpses | The Devil's Rejects | Ghoulies | The Gate | Troll | Nightstalker | C E R E M O N Y | Elvira's Haunted Hills

S P E C H T R E U M VI
The Monster Maker
1944 c.e., J. Carroll Naish, Ralph Morgan, Tala Birell, Wanda, McKay, Terry Frost, Glenn Strange, Alex Pollard, Sam Flint, Ace the Dog. Directed by Sam Newfield

A most intriguing film about an immigrant named Markoff arrived in America after killing a Doctor in the olde country, thereby taking credit for his years of research and work in the field of glandular disorders, particularly a disease called "Acromegaly", which cripples with an enlargement of the extremities, essentially resembling elephantitis, which comes a particularly hard blow to a concert pianist, who also happens to be the father of a young lady who is the focus of Markoff´┐Żs amorous attentions, who actually strongly resembles his deceased wife, whom he himself afflicted with the dreaded "acromegaly" to prevent her from leaving him - the classic "if I can't have her, no one will" motive. After besieging her with unwelcome attention, her father decides to pay him a visit, and ends up being knocked on the head, thus becoming another subject for his experiments, inflicting him with the deforming malady.

Assisting Markoff is a lurch-like henchman and a pretty young nurse who harbors an infatuation for him, and whom is also his hypnotic power. Her infatuation ends when she learns the truth of his intentions, and the manner in which he "achieved" his medical prominence. Luckily for the Pianist, a cure is developed while under the subjection of the "doctor", using this knowledge to barter for the affections of the young lady. Her suitor does not appreciate this, and a scuffle eventually transpires in which the "doctor" is shot. All seems lost with no hope for the pianist to recover, but gratefully for all, the nurse just so happens to know the cure herself, subsequently attending a concert once the pianist recovers.

One pointless character herein is an ape kept in a cage at the "doctor's" office, who at one point wanders off to attack the nurse, released by Markoff with the intent that he crush the rebelling nurse.

So Markoff turns out to be an ersatz "Dr. Frankenstein" {without the noble intent of furthering forensic science} - ergo. the "monster maker" who infects all those who threaten his dishonestly-acquired "reputation", whose primary motivation was ill-gotten greed. There is nothing wrong with Greed of course, as it is a motivating factor to achieve success, but one must take an ethical issue by which it is utilized in this case, a rotten opportunist taking credit for a true genius' efforts.

What I found most outstanding about this presentation is the deportment of the characters herein exemplary in etiquette, aesthetics, and eloquence, when totalized civility was the rule of the day, which makes for a thoroughly entertaining and perspective-lending viewing.

Rating: 5/5.


Burn, Witch, Burn
[1962 c.e., Starring Janet Blair, Peter Wynegarde, Margaret Johnston]

A most intriguing film about a witch who uses her talents and skills to help further the career of her ungracious husband, a Cultural Anthropology Professor teaching at a prestigious University - a handsome gentleman who is desired by both the student body and the staff, thus complicating matters in his personal life.

It all starts when he discovers his wife's Witchcraft paraphernalia, and forthwith disrespectfully and sacrilegiously strewns it all out on the living room table for her to find upon her arrival - she is of course taken aback by this incredibly crude gesture, and surprisingly agrees to destroy it in the fireplace against her better judgment, catering to his unperceptive pretensions. So everything goes up in flames in fizzles and sparks - she even removes a locket from around her neck containing his photo and protective herbs which he so stupidly tosses into the burning embers - and she, driven by a love profound, lunges to retrieve it, under his ignorant gaze.

Now, at the very least, he could have been appreciative of her considerations, as it is truly the thought that counts here - personally, I found his actions to be incredibly insensitive and even antagonistic and unforgivable.

He, on the other hand {or should I say, cerebral hemisphere}, solely acquiesces to analytical observation, not able to comprehend what is not seen. Of course, there are merits to both mentalities, and it is wisest to seek the Third Side, the balanced comprehension. As t Magic, the concept of The Intellectual Decompression Chamber explains it all {see The Satanic Bible}.

Immediately after the immolation of her ritualistic articles, everything seems to go wrong. He is accused of coalescing with a female student {despite the fact that she is of legal age} who was infatuated with him anyway, thereby inciting the anger born of obvious jealousy, resentment, and frustration from her boyfriend who also accuses the Professor of thwarting his grades, and thereby holds him at gunpoint until quite literally slapped into submission; his wife becomes suicidal, undertaking a veritable death march for herself to the beach; on the way there, he figures out her intentions and races beside the bus she rides, and the cursed misfortunes continue- he is run off the road by a big black truck which seemingly materializes. He survives after plunging down an embankment, eventually making his way to the beach where upon inspecting some notes kept in an occult book entitled "The Rites and Practices in Black Magic", and goes forth in search of her upon the jagged cliffs until he finally reaches a lovely graveyard - a really peaceful and meditative place; and, taking indications from the grimoire, himself performs a makeshift ritual with the emotional intensity for the love of his wife, lighting some candles and placing her photo within the configuration along with some graveyard dirt. Midnight strikes, and finally tearfully knocks it all aside in exasperation. Then, to his joyful surprise, she appears at the crypt door zombified, and proceeds to take her to a Doctor-friend, where she is diagnosed as suffering from shock until she breaks out of her catatonic trance and demands to be taken home.

While she lays resting therein, she awakens and attacks him with a knife, lurching about with a very discernible and recognizable limp; so he decides to take a trip back to his office discovering one of his female colleagues with the very same limp, lurking about in search of her own ritualistic implements - a photo of the couple. He emerges from the shadows confronting her about it, which she at first denies any association of nefarious intent. but eventually yields to his interrogation, thus confessing to her spell craft against he and his wife; even providing a little demonstration by igniting some parlor cards which represent his home. He rushes home to find the house ablaze, yet Tanzi is safe, rescued by firemen. On his way out, however, he experiences a strong visualization-projection from the Witch, in which he hallucinates a giant hawk come alive from stone to pursue him {even though the statue was an eagle}. She blasts an eerie Theremin recording mixed into one of his anti-witchcraft lectures {nice touch!}, propitiating a hypnotic effect, causing an atmosphere conducive to Sorceric manifestation. Finally, the demoralization occurs where the "bad witch" is 'defeated' - in this tale, in quite a poetic fashion.

As an aside, I found the mansion to be quite familiar - then I recalled - it is either the same, or is one very similar to that depicted on the cover of King Diamond's "Abigail II: The Revenge" musickal novel.

I did notice a small parallel in subsequent cultural cinema. This film being released in 1962 c.e., precluded Bewitched - and one may notice the wife-witch / husband-mortal pairing {I maintain that Witches should only seriously life mate with Warlocks, and vice-versa, while others are for fun exclusively}. In either case, the question arises: "Why can't these spouses simply allow their mates to pursue their personal interests? Especially with the constructive attempt to make themselves successful?" In these cases, it is because they feel threatened and insecure, and thereby attach the diabolical label, vilifying an inherent predisposition and passion - in short, they feel inadequate. But this is only a mere fictional microcosm of what the herd feels when confronted with a Witch or Warlock, typically reacting in various passive-aggressive behavior, preferring to retain their ignorance. So be it. As it is written in The Satanic Bible, "Evil they name us, evil we are - why not take advantage of it and live!" ASLV.

Rating: 4/5.

"Do YOU believe?"

The Devil's Nightmare
Erica Blanc {Hilse}, Daniel Emilfork, 1971 c.e.

I actually did take quite a fancy to this film about a busload of tourists stranded by a storm, each with their own particular foibles coalescent with the "Seven Deadly Sins". They are accompanied by a priest to a beautiful, though cursed castle, wherein an erubescent Succubus {the "curse"} spontaneously appears and immediately goes about exploiting each of their prominent desires, dispatching them, thereby damning their souls. All succumb except for the priest who himself eventually ends up signing a pact with The Devil {here portrayed by a robed bald man with a skeletal smile} for the seemingly altruistic purpose of condemning his own soul unto Satan in place of the tourists' - however, there certainly is a lethal catch.

The strange occurrences begin with a bleeding dead cat whose orange? blood seeps through the floorboards, through the ceiling of the bottom level, and onto the arm of one of the girls - thus, first blood is shed, as is first scream {one would think there was a devil-worshipper lurking about!}. Such is the case with the tint of the blood in the movie.

The Succubus goes from 0 - 666 in 9 seconds shedding her eyebrows and rosy complexion upon the demise of her victims during the commission of their erstwhile "sins" - methods range from impalements to beheadings to poisonings, as well as the deadly embrace of the iron maiden.

In attempting to form the origin of the villainous character, one is subjected to at least between 5 - 10 minutes of Nazi derivation, the nativity of the baby girl who would become Succubus. A daughter of Nazis. I wonder what contemporary law-abiding German citizens think about that portrayal, in a country where signaling the "Sig Heil" salute is a crime and carries a penalty of incarceration.

Of note, a sizzling lesbian scene between a gorgeous brunette and modelesque blonde accompanied by some awful "music" {which is more like irritating sound effects, which may have been intentional} can be quite distracting.

Interestingly enough, there is no dramatic "good vs. evil" epic battle, just a subtle agreement between The Devil and the priest, wherein The Prince of Darkness derives what he desires, and apparently, so does the priest, as the redhead is no longer possessed, and joins him by his side, granting a gaze of acknowlegement unto Lucifer. So ultimately, the ill-fated tourists were mere puppets in the midst of the interaction between Scratch and priest.

The Devil's Nightmare is a French film with English dubbing, and was originally called "The Terrible Night of The Demon", containing a decidedly Hammer films flavor to it. Rating: 3/5.


Note 1: Needless to say, yet perhaps bearing a small though obvious commentary, Satanism does not recognize these catholic "sins", but instead realizes these traits as normal and natural in the humanimal, which motivates evolution in the awareness of the flesh. Ergo, "Flesh without sin, world without end!" ASLV.

Note 2: Christian Church founders declared these inevitabilities "evil", thereby assuring Christians to a life of guilt where they would have to pay for penance; thus keeping the church wealthy through misery of others.


Sisters of Death
Arthur Franz, Sylvia Howell, Claudia Jennings, Paul Carr, Sherry Boucher. Directed by Joseph Mazzuca; 1976 c.e.}

The film begins with a Sorority initiation of two prospective members attired in virginal veils who kneel before a Council with obscured faces, who play a game of Russian Roulette with the initiates until one is shot - yet this was supposed to be a test of trust, no bullets were to be in those guns. A few years go by and the girls receive mysterious invites containing a sizable amount of cash to a reunion at some unknown location, as if they were bribed. They all gather and are all collected by a Starchky & Hutch-looking twosome, and driven to a mansion deep in the isolated countryside where they find their accommodations. They all begin to wonder who their host is, eventually making an appearance - it turns out to be the murdered girl's father! Here is where the real fun begins as he carefully orchestrates each girl's demise in various suspenseful ways. At some point, the drivers who had dropped the girls off decide to "crash the party", as it were, propelled by their libidos in hopes the girls desire male company. So all enter, but none can exit, primarily because of the electrified fence {which would be a marvelous implementation for the nation's borders, in My opinion}; there is a touching scene in which the father undergoes his sad ritual at a shrine he erected to the memory of his daughter in which he plays a recording of her performing the flute, which he so compassionately replicates. Personally, I felt he had every right to avenge his daughter's death - and when loopholes in the legal system yield no justice, he took it in his own capable hands, and thus initiated his own version of "The Most Dangerous Game" of sorts, although the prey here are rather weak overall, and his vigilantism is actual justice, eye for eye and kind for kind. A distraught father seeking justice for his precious little girl - quite a noble endeavor.

Towards the finale, the last living girl fires what probably has to be the luckiest shot in all of cinematic history, and she dos reveal her true colors in a very surprising twist at the very end.

Quite entertaining in a Death Wish sort of way, I grant this film a 4/5 for the Lex Talionis perspective.


School of Rock
Jack Black, Joan Cusack / Genre: Comedy

The Birdman cometh! I don't know how many of you are familiar with the career of Jack Black, but I first became acquainted with his work through his musical project "Tenacious D" through a friend, and have received much amusement from his antics since then. inclusive of collecting all downloadable music including rare and hilarious pieces like "Sasquach", "Spiderman", and a vocal version of the Star Trek theme - all of which they do perform at their concerts, incidentally. I was initially attracted by the cover featuring a rendition of Tarot Card # 15: "The Devil". When it comes to music, as anyone will inform you, Jack Black loves to, above all, ROCK. He tends to focus on the rather exaggerated and epic aesthetics reminiscent to that of the Spinal Tap and KISS spectacles with a musical bent partial to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC in particular with a contagiously exuberant effervescence and comedy-style conducive to an eternal man-child, which is always a pleasure to observe, and with the right person, even participate in.

Now the lokian jester has starred in another film {for those unfamiliar, he has also been an actor for a number of years, acting in releases such as "Shallow Hal" and "Saving Silverman"} named "School of Rock" in which he plays a musician in need of some quick money - but being unemployed and recently ousted from his own band, who were basically jealous because he frequently "stole the spotlight" with his prolonged guitar solos and stage-diving antics; so from this, he seeks revenge upon those who did not appreciate his talent, subsequently garnering the cooperation of some 4th-graders to revive his Heavy Metal vision, by impersonating a "Mr. Sneebley", his room-mate, disillusioned ex-band-mate, and substitute teacher, intercepting a call intended for him.

He eventually meets up with the Principal {Joan Cusack, whom you may recall as playing the role of the despicable "Debbie Jilinsky" from Addams Family Values}, and after a series of secret musical instructions, convinces her through charm and inebriation to allow his class to go on a specialized "field trip" for some Beethoven, but is really "The Battle of The Bands". So after determining each student's talent, places them to participate in the aptly named "School of Rock", and they perform marvelously despite the protests from horrified parents {who along with the Principal, learned that he was an impostor}, and a doubtful event promoter {whom Finn convinced to have them perform because they were dying from a rare disease - which sounded remarkably similar to "stick it to the man"}.

Quite a fun movie overall, and I also particularly enjoyed the ending sequence during the "concluding jam", as it were.

The DVD includes a "making of" featurette , "The Diary of Jack Black" {in which he visits K.G. for an improvised session with the complete D!}, the kids' diary, the music video, previews, and an imploration unto Led Zeppelin, that they allow a song of theirs be included in the film, which it was.

So there you have it - the character of Dewy Finn and Jack Black are not at all too far removed, and this film works around his personality.

Rating: 4/5.

The Pick of Destiny
{XLI A.S. Directed by Liam Lynch. Starring Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Ronnie James Dio, David Grohl, Ben Siller, Jason Reed, Troy Gentile. Genre: Comedy.}

Tenacious D's "epic" movie, wherein Jack Black and Kyle Gass portray no less than a Caucasian version of 'Cheech & Chong', who embark upon a quest to possess the mystical 'pick of destiny', which is comprised of a demon's tooth, of all things, as all who have attained it have reached heights of stardom to the ranks of Metal Gods.

After a juvenile Jack beseeches a poster of Dio for guidance, and to be delivered from his oppressive environment including an abusive father reminiscent of Mark Metcalf {from Twisted Sister video fame}, played by no less than Meatloaf; he is instructed to engage upon a journey to possess the fabled demonic guitar pick, traveling to Hollywood and Venice Beach, where he meets his counterpart in a long-haired KG, who after some haughty deception, finally discover they share a gluteal birthmark which completes the other's, revealing the name of the band.

After being guided by a mysterious disheveled vagrant, and spurned by KG in favor of three sorority cuties, Jack takes to the road on the "shoelace express" as it were, where he joins up with Sasquatch in a mushroom-induced hallucination resembling a Sid & Marty Krofft kaleidoscopic world of adventure; but finally finds the Rock 'n' Roll Museum and is rejoined by KG.

Other mentionable scenes include a musical battle with an impressive demon {played by David Grohl}, a-la "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", who clearly wins the bout and retrieves his tooth, yet the luck of the gump manages to chip a piece of horn instead, sending the demon back into Hell through a portal in the shape of a pentagram. The manner in which the Magic of the horn is used later in the film is honestly quite repugnant.

The Pick of Destiny is essentially a stoner's Heavy Metal musical-fantasy escapade with some pleasing infernal aesthetics, although the serendipity and gauchery speaks to the proposed axiom "God takes care of drunks and fools".

Amusing for what it is, entertainment on a puerile level; and for fans of the music of Tenacious D, it does feature a pretty good soundtrack, serving as a worthy sequel to the first.

3/5.

Envy

{XXXIX A.S. Director: Barry Levinson. Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black}

Jack Black and Ben Stiller play two brainstorming businessmen fed up with their dead-end jobs and the monotonous mediocrity of it all - so Nick {Black} becomes inspired by witnessing a man on the street picking up after his dog with plastic gloves- so he comes up with the idea of a "Va-Poo-Rizer" spray which disintegrates dog leavings.

So after some experimentation, realizes his dream and markets it up, with his own infomercial and quickly becomes a millionaire. His buddy "Tim" grows increasingly more irritated and envious, which only compounds the stress in his life, until he blows up at the boss, is promptly fired, and his wife leaves with the kids on top of it.

Depressed and nearly suicidal, he enters a local bar where he meets "The J-Man" {Christopher Walken}, who is basically a derelict looking for a meal ticket, and takes advantage of Tim's inebriated state. After a talk amidst intoxication, he is convinced to cause some trouble and release the stress plaguing him. Unfortunately, Nick's horse becomes an unexpected victim of the venting, and is shot dead by an arrow, to which Tim buries the animal in a hole originally intended for a pool which he could not afford.

The J-Man returns looking to collect on a reward posted to find the horse, which then begins the intrigue as the two trek out into the rain with the horse's corpse on the roof of a truck, misplacing it, and relocating his family for the night to J-man's backwoods childhood cabin.

Along the way, Nick decides to include Tim as a full partner, and they travel the world until The J-Man feels that he should get a piece of the action, who then resorts to blackmail, but is eventually thwarted in quite an ironic manner.

In the end, a surprising turn of events relating to the ingredients of the Vapoorizer, to which Nick has to start all over again with his entrepreneurship, this time with his pal Tim beside him.

Jack Black's lokian personality shines through well; and the 'moral' of the story is that instead of brooding over someone else's success, use it to inspire one's own achievements. In other words, it is productive to be pro-active, instead of merely re-active and petty; or "greater is he who manifests his dreams than he who complains about others'". Use this erstwhile "sin" to motivate one unto personal success, which in turn will enhance Pride.

4/5.


Race With The Devil
{Lara Parker, Peter Fonda, Warren Oats}

A Devil-Worship cult dominates a rural town, which is incrementally discovered by two couples passing through in their RV after witnessing a sacrificial murder deep in the woods, thus attempting to seek justice where the local law enforcement is virtually powerless to act, even after a dog's carcass is discovered hanging from a tree nearby the spot. The girls decide to do some research at the local library, but cannot check the occult books they need out because, they are "reference material", yet the girls sneak them out nonetheless, and begin to decipher a cryptic note left on their vehicle, containing certain runes which turns out to be a curse.

Most of the film consists of car chases and stunts, rather than any "cult activity", until the very end, where the RV is surrounded by a hellish ring of fire by which robed, chanting cultists finally appear.

Fantoms of Dark Shadows will recognize Lara Parker herein, who portrayed The Witch Angelique DuPres in the magnificent series, actually seeing more of her here in her state of bikini-clad adornment, than ever before.

This film came forth in lieu of The Devil's Rain's theme, yet does not even come close to holding a black candle to that classic religious movie.

Rating: 2/5. An extra point awarded solely because of Lara Parker's presence herein, whose talent as squandered here, in My opinion.


Jaws of Satan
{Christina Applegate, Kim Perry}

A film capitalizing on the nefarious reputation of the serpent as representative of The Devil. The snake demon manifests as a giant cobra making its Lair in a nearby cave, commanding his minions across a small American town, terrorizing the residents, until a priest goes forth to combat this adorable monster, much like countering a Vampire with a cross gingerly removing a female human sacrifice from a stone altar erected by a snake cult long ago.

Somehow, utilizing an iconographic representation of a main archetype to portray a primary villainous character does not quite work in this sense, and would have perhaps done better to present a weresnake instead, or a horned demon altogether. Of mentionable note, I did detect a young Christina Applegate who encounters a snakeling in a broom closet.

Unfortunately, this movie is not worthy of its title, and perhaps a remake can be produced with a serpent as A manifestation, not THE manifestation of the villain.

Rating: 1/1.


Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Penn & Teller's Bullshit!

I have been surveying this presentation by long-since favorite prestidigitation performers Penn & Teller, and have found it to be humorous, elucidating, and edifying. Entering the various realms of the paranormal racket, they tear the lid off of charlatans and hoaxers with a critical eye and incisive commentary spiced with their particular brand of humor and intelligent, sarcastic wit. I find this to be useful as a form of stratification, dividing between all of the so-called "genuine" gobbledigook, and actual practitioners. But like LaVey said, "everybody is on the take", which I believe would account for about 99% of the genre, but there are certainly diamonds in the rough, although a sizable minority at that.

Topics that are covered is the objective study of "Feng Shuey", which in My opinion, is simply nonsense; the power of suggestion is practiced in a segment about bottled water - My favorite is "Agua De Culo"; Creationism vs. Evolution {the latter simply makes more sense}; Apocalyptic mythologies; "self-helpless" programs; urban legends, The Ouija Board, ghosts, mediums, and much more.

Segments are introduced and concluded with sharp and concise commentary based upon subjective reasoning, scientific fact, as well as visual demonstrations illustrating the wonderful element of Doubt, through which truth is obtained. Thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end.

It is known that the sheeple desire to be fooled for some sense of closure for tragedies, and will frequently seek out various placebos to fill their empty lives with some sort of external 'meaning', which, if they cannot figure it out for themselves, is none, but to remain puppets for the clever who will prey upon the suckers of humanity. And this is how it has been since the beginning of human evolution.


Sorceress

A quaint little film which crosses the erotic and the horror genres quite nicely, with very attractive young ladies, inclusive of a beautified Linda Blair, who plays the part of a Black Witch set on possessing the man of her desires, and not surprisingly, she does ultimately get what she wants. She has an elaborate Ritual Chambre inclusive of a huge red Pentagram with a demonic statue reminiscent of Pazuzu placed appropriately in its center configuration. Additionally to being quite a seductress, she is also a veritable puppet-master, speaking her will before the demonic altar, and her helpless subjects are powerless to refuse, despite the pedantic efforts attempted by erstwhile "white witches", who fail redundantly. It is certainly delightful to view the disrobed buxom bodies intermingled with scenes of the dark Sorceries transpiring. Sex and Satan are always a wonderful combination. And viewing the credits carefully, tongue 'n' cheek, one will eventually notice that the "Occult Adviser" is none other than "Abdul Alhazred" {the primary Arabian character from the book 'Necronomicon' by "Simon" / H.P. Lovecraft}. The expected demoralization occurs at the conclusion of the presentation, but there is a surprising and pleasing turn of events calling to mind the finale in The Devil's Rain.

Rating: 3/5 Black Candles 'round The Pentagram. Recommended as a rental.


Johnny English

Rowan Atkinson, one of My all-time favorite comedians, perhaps better-known as Mr. Bean, graces this film as a pseudo-James Bond character, typically bumbling, though remaining serious the entire time, never admitting to any of his own foul-ups, but instead seemingly blaming all incompetence upon his protege'; someone has stolen the Queen's Jewels, so it is up to one Johnny English to solve the crime, primarily because most of the best agents have been unfortunately killed in the line of duty, so they are forced to hire the most klutz-prone amongst them, and to very amusing results. Turns out that a French criminal {who owns a most impressive Office Elevator!} with distant ties to the Royal British Family systematically eliminates those who would inherit the title should anything happen to the queen who is threatened with the taking of the life of her beloved poodle, so she signs her title away to him - and just as he is about to be crowned, Johnny English saves the day in a feat of hilarious acrobatics, engaging in many adventures along the way, inclusive of a lunatic display at a fun-eral, swinging around in his sharp spy mobile on a crane, literally climbing up a "poop-shoot" to access the enemy's lair, parachuting on to a building, predictably, the wrong one, among many other instances interpolated with that distinctive Mr. Bean style, although much more talkative. Although I would have to say that probably the funniest scenes were when he was accidentally struck by a muscle relaxer, to which he sloshes and slurs about the place.

The character is intended to be unintentionally funny, but Atkinson does best as Mr. Bean however, and this film could have just as easily been named "Bean. Mr. Bean".

Rating: 3/5. Great for a fun night at home.


Master of The Flying Guillotine

Evocation: Among many of the presentations shown on a weekend showcase named "Black Belt Theatre" which aired on Saturday afternoons in the 80's, this one stood out as the most memorable by far. Driven by justified vengeance, a blind hermit monk with hefty eyebrows goes forth from his home in the clouds high above upon a mountain to avenge two of his pupils, seeking "the one-armed man" responsible. And as we know, in Chinese cinema, all monks are masters in Kung Fu. But what was most remarkable is the weapon he wields - literally, a "flying guillotine", actually, an ingenious design and idea in theory, in which when unraveled from its compact form, reveals what appears essentially like a red and black "bee-keepers hat" with five criss-crossing blades at its inner base, and a saw-blade design along the outer edges, which when thrown, a mesh enclosure is activated, descending around the head and neck of the opponent, decapitating them, as the head is retrieved by the thrower.

Probably because of this ponderation, I once arranged a weapon Myself by attaching a saw blade to a chain, affixed with a bolt and nut through the chain and the center of the blade, and what I essentially concluded with was a weapon that if thrown at an opponent, could wrap itself around their neck, and with enough force, the saw blade could quite possibly decapitate them. At the very least, some very palpable hits would be suffered, even if it struck an extremity or the torso.. Another time, I considered the arrangement of removing the blades from a chainsaw, wrapping electrical tape around one's hands, and what one would essentially wield would be flying knives.

The first kill transpires in a bar in which a drunken bum claims to be an invincible one-armed fighter in order to get out of paying the bill for his dinner. The monk just so happens to be nearby awaiting his "vegetarian noodles", and forthwith dispatches of the dreg, swearing to kill every one-armed man he comes upon.

The second kill happens at the actual tournament, upon which another one-armed fighter was present. The "one-armed man" turns out to be a Kung Fu instructor who becomes alerted to the monk's intentions at a tournament featuring several schools and styles including a Mongolian with a Vlad-like mustache, an Indian with extending arms {his accent dubbed in an accent reminiscent of Apu from the Quickie-Mart; to catch shoplifters and reach items across the store}, a Tibetan kick-boxing fighter here characterized as a filthy, barefoot, and uncouth barbarian, staff vs. tri-staff, tonfa wielded by a mysterious cloaked Japanese contender, a lovely girl proficient at the eagle-claw, the always amusing monkey style vs. snake style, preying mantis, etcetera {and I Am sure much of Mortal Kombat was based upon this movie} - and thus sets out to plan his clever methods of self-preservation.

Finally, the monk finds the Kung Fu teacher and pursues him into a coffin shoppe temporarily converted into a battleground, in which traps have been arranged. So essentially, he realizes that he was no match for the magnificent weapon, and cheats his way to survival. And with the help of his students, manages to kill the afore-mentioned kick-boxer who also happened to become the monk's assistant, in an exceedingly cruel manner of fighting him in a small shack with a metal floor, which has been fire-heated in order to singe the flesh from the soles of his feet. Any attempt to flee out the window was met with spears.

Also notable are the garments worn by the monk, most particularly the Grammadon on his robe, lest it be confused for the Nazi Swaztika, thus asserting that this is indeed an ancient symbol signifying the four elements. A Chinese character which means "ten thousand" and "longevity". It was originally a symbol of Buddha's heart, and was a term borrowed from Sanskrit.


The Ring

In brief, this film deals with a video tape that when watched, the viewer will allegedly perish in 7 days, so horrible and mind-bending are its contents - although it turns out that the very student-quality piece contains clues to a tragic murder. And after examining it intricately, it leads a single mother with a Damienesque son to investigate these clues in person, which takes her to a very delightful darkened island with a lighthouse, where she has a rendezvous with several dangerous secrets. The "ring" is also not what is seems. A very clever plot overall doused in the power of suggestion.


The Master

Evocation: I wonder how many people recall this incredible series which was far too short-lived for My amusement. Lee Van Cleefe, a face haunting the silver screen as various villainous Spaghetti-Western cowboys in black throughout his career, as he always opted for the 'bad guy'. I was very young when this aired, I was in "little league" Karate Class, as it were, and was already an orange belt at the time of its broadcast - this presentation was in fact one of the factors which motivated Me to later pursue Ninjutsu, after the Martial Arts basics of Tae Kwon Do was mastered - like "training wheels" for the serious Martial Artist, who wishes to pursue a deeper understanding and practice of the eastern martial mysteries - Ninjutsu is about the most profound one can delve into in My opinion, and I have noticed several parallels with Satanism, in fact, The Elemental Four-Crown Princes of Hell {also delineated as the compass points with incredibly similar characteristics described in The Satanic Bible}, the art of misdirection, Ninja Magic {clouding the opponents' brain}, visualization, meditation, transformation, the use of Greater and Lesser Magical principles, self-discipline, etc.

And to this I began to ponder, in lieu of the recent 'Devil's Mischief' Star Wars parody episode, that the closest thing to an actual Jedi or Sith is a Satanic Ninja - they even look similarly. The Dark Force FOR REAL. I definitely recommend The Satanist train in The Martial Arts in one form or another, as this is a fundamental feature to mastering the physical realm, as in "Physical Superiority", as one of the points of The Infernal Alignment. And this of course is linked in an ascending order of evilution as one transgresses and masters the levels of being.

I remember this series as being quite intense, and gleaned from actual teachings, with a technical adviser who was a trained Ninja himself, but the rest is rather hazy. I subsequently discovered through a web search that VanCleefe filmed a movie entitled "The Ninja Master" in Year XVIII A.S., which I have not yet seen, but shall purchase ASAP. Watching this program was quite an event as well - I would make absolutely sure that I was front and center when it came on, wearing My gi every Friday night at 9pm on NBC; and when it concluded, I remember there being a feeling of introspection, and motivated a higher state of mind overall.


Spiderman

From the pages of comic book legend, another hero materializes into the third dimension to ooh and ahh the masses with super-human abilities, to wish for a super hero in such proportions of terrorist pre-occupation. And indeed, the war propaganda was made evident in the closing scene where the webslinger was perched atop a flag pole demonstrating Olde Glory, which received a few handclaps of approval from the audience.

Besides this, I was accompanied by some friends to accompany them to this film - so being that I have had an affinity for the webhead since a Dracling, I decided to go. Remembrances of going to the corner store picking up copies of The Amazing Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, X-men, any of the Draculas I could find; and there was even a time when I went through a Superman phase {Note: Superman was actually inspired by the ideologies of Friederich Nietchzie, in his philosophies of the "Ubermenchten" or "Overman" / "superman"}; so it afforded Me particular interest to view this film.

Sam Raimi {The Evil Dead trilogy, Darkman} kept as close to the story as possible, so as to not disappoint discerning Spidey fans with minor modifications {such as the spider which bit Peter Parker was actually a mutated clone, which seems more timely, whereas the original story related that it was a radio-active spider}, yet these small changes do not really distract from the overall wonder of the character. CGI technology has advanced to the point where the spider stunts can now be brought into the 3D realm, whereas previously, Spiderman presentations were primarily relegated to either pure animation, or when actually using an actor, as on the short-lived television series, certain shots were made from a distance and whatnot, although that presentation seemed to have more of an air of believability, only because stunt men were used more frequently.

The only contention this writer had, was with the CGI in this particular presentation; was in the kinematics of the fluency of the character during swinging sequences, which was just a bit too animatronic. Yet again, these are small details that can be overlooked for the overall super hero drama of The Amazing Spiderman.

Raimi also decided to use the original portrayal of web shooting directly from Spiderman's wrists, rather than from the eventual web-shooters added in subsequent evolutions of The Spiderman Saga.

The Green Goblin {William Defoe} was quite impressive as well; the product of experimental radiation, he in encased in sinister armor bearing a demonic rictus, which also serves as a mirror / doorway to his dark subconscious in which his diabolical personality split speak to him in 360*, which gives the impression of possession; but the higher man would realize this as one's collective dark-side consciousness of the brain's expression of possibilities.

The Producer decided to use a mask instead of the anthropomorphic face used int he comic book scenario, and for these purposes, I think it worked quite well. The goblin mask represents an archetype of villainy, and in this Satanist's opinion, is well-hewn.

Of note, the Mary-Jane Watson character {who is a ditz in real life}, in one remarkable scene, during a kiss sequence she shares with the web slinger, the outline of her nipples and breasts are revealed drenched in the rain underneath a white blouse - which was quite a delightful surprise, really.

There is a touching scene with Peter's uncle really tugs at the heart-strings, in which he was shot by a mugger who exited the very same event Parker was wrestling at, even brushing past him in a getaway, stealing from an unscrupulous promoter {spidey fans will be very familiar with these events} - both the promoter and the thief receive dark justice.

Overall, this film is definitely recommended fir the Spiderman fan, who should not be disappointed; and for those new to the homosapien-arachnid's lore, this will prove to be a worthy introduction.


Pleasantville

I found this to be quite a Satanic film to consider in that it focuses on a McCarthyistic / Rockwellian environment, with its residents being virtual clones in a black and white world in dualism, remaining pleasantly ignorant of anything ouside the fetters therein.

A fan of a program named "Pleasantville" gets paid a visit by an unassuming, though a bit meddling TV repairman {Don Knotts} who observes his passion and extensive trivia of the show, thereby zapping him and his sister into the Letharginator turned virtual time portal, where they arrive in the quaint little towne complete with period clothing to match, and a remote controller which now has the power to transport them back through the letharginatrix when desired.

They are warned not to interfere with the goings-on, but to to only basque in the charming simplicities of the time. But little by little, gems of knowledge are released to the Pleasantvillians, to which an interesting enigma occurs - they begin to acquire COLOR - the more worldly knowledge that is accumulated, the more colorful the town and the people become; until this eventually causes a rift between the black-white civilians and the "colords".

Knotts notices the changes from the future, admonishing that they make a hasty return, but David is determined to remain as a veritable Lucifer enlightening the populace, along with his sister, who decides to become quite the succubus, to the delights of the flesh of the world, of the mind and the emotions, and the fortunate young men she chooses to bestow her beauty.

Of note, the relationship between David and the cook at the local soda shoppe, who in the beginning would not even close up shop without the help of his little waiter-friend, but who begins nurturing his talent for art, as Davis presents him with a veritable "forbidden book", which sparks an inferno of motivation; so much so, that he begins pursuing his bliss aggressively, making up for all that lost time when he was only allowed to draw one different painting per holiday season on the front window of the shop. And now, the place becomes strewn with paintings, although most of them are portraits of David's mother, whom he has been infatuated with for a long time - and there is a very interesting story behind that as well. She too has acquired color, by both pursuing her reciprocal infatuation with the artist, and finally experiencing an ORGASM - it seems as if the residents were not even aware of coitus much less masturbation - they didn't even defecate!

The ignorant populace subsequently become rousted when a new mural on the soda shoppe is spotted - that of a semi-clad David's mother in all of her elegant beauty. The grey-scale cretins smash it to bits and vandalize the shop for his creative efforts. Still, he follows his heart and eventually creates another masterpiece, this time on the side-wall of the place, which pictorially recounts the unfortunate occurrences as of late, most noticeably, the despicable burning of books which are depicted sprouting wings and flying up into the sky like so many angels. This was cause by David and his sister recalling the contents of certain literature in the librarium, to which the predictable blank pages in the myriad tomes begin to fill by the recollections of their memories.

Of course, because of the various libidinous and epystomological expressions thus surfacing in the once completely bland township, the politicians amongst the grey scale drones mobilize against the evolutions by passing restrictive laws to squelch all future manifestations of the imagination, until the mural incident, in which the artist is called into Court, where there is one judge, no jury, and the attendants therein are divided between the greys and the colords. David must act as his own and the cook's attorney until finally, he invokes a response emotional enough to surface color in the Judge himself, to which he goes out running amidst the laughter of all in the hall.

After this, the town is in brilliant Satan-O-Vision color, as if painted by the hands of daemons. So David finally returns, and all is as it was in his own time, with an additional kaleidoscopic flame of knowledge to boot.


Wishmaster

Wishmaster Be careful what you wish for! Indeed, a slant on the olde genie mythos harking back to its primordial origins in the Djinn, demonic creatures who exist between the worlds; and if granted the opportunity, would possess the realm of men for their own. In this instance, an ancient Djinn is seen coalescing with arcane rulers from the Middle-East in a truly memorable scene of horror and mutilation, as he twists the wishes of mortals to is own morbid design.

A Sorcerer imprisons him within a ruby gem, concealed inside a statue of Ahura-Mazda, the Zoroastrian deity of light and darkness, but is damaged upon transport in modern times, as it was scheduled to be added to the acquisitions of a Collector {played by Robert Englund}, but ignorance and intoxication brought the blood ruby {equivalent to a genie's bottle, as subsequent legendry would water-down and dictate}, and comes into the hands of a deck worker, an ignoramus who sells it to a pawnshop for a pithy sum - its proprietor who then himself takes it to be priced, but his own ignorance is evident as well, as he is also offered a small sum for this treasure.

A Jr. High School teacher, a friend of the pricer, comes into possession of it, who forthwith has it tested with certain infrared equipment, where it subsequently explodes, releasing the Djinn within, who goes forth upon the earth to wreak havoc upon a world of vengeful, vein, and greedy mortals. The Djinn basically amplifies the desires of the wishers, unto literal scenarios, with a deadly twist in every instance. She meets with a folklorist to gain more information on this terrible foe, who explains some of the origins of these creatures, but she also meets with a morbid and poetic demise. Each wish is imaginatively manifested with plenty of symbolic blood and gore, with marvelous prosthetics portraying the results with a thorough flourish.

Finally, the inevitable conflict between she and the Djinn face to face, so she cleverly utilizes the last wish to re-imprison him and save the earth from the Hell He wishes to bring forth.

5/5 Goat Skulls.

House of 1,000 Corpses
{Written and Directed by Rob Zombie}

House of 1,000 Corpses Hell on earth. It was high-time a horror movie of this caliber returned to the silver screen. This presentation incorperates elements in a Twin Peaks / Lost Highway, David Lynch vein, with intermittent flashes of images projected to be disturbing with a seeming antithesis of the current scene at hand, as if the pleasant life memories of the victim display within their mind as they die, to accentuate the progressive horror of their demise. The movie begins with carnival music resurrected by Dr. LaVey in his infamous Music Room scene from Speak of The Devil, accompanied by a mascot with a bald head and goatee bouncing about the place from time to time.

Suburban college kids travel with their girlfriends in 1977 to pursue the urban legend of "Dr. Satan" {obvious LaVey influence} and various roadside attractions of the bizarre kind along the way, when they come upon a backwoods museum of the strange, hosted by a yokle attired in clown motif who also runs a fun house called "The Murder Ride" featuring true crime displays, including profiles on Albert Fish the cannibal, among others, infamous in those parts.

So the foursome are out to to find out if any of the tales are true. Little did they know that a short while earlier, the place was almost robbed by a couple of incompetent brutish buffoons who are quickly outwitted by the clown and his elderly friend, both experienced freaks of the trade. Yet the likes of this was to pale in comparison to what they were yet to experience for real. After having taken the Murder Ride Tour, quite enjoyable as it was, with the host displaying an attire similar to King Diamond's , including face-paint and top hat, they persist to interview the keeper more about the legend; so he decides to direct them to an area where it was said to have originated from. On the way, they pick up a delightfully doll-like cowgirl {played by Zombie's girlfriend / fiancee' "Sherry"} who leads them into a trap in alliance with a shadowy phantom in the wilderness who shoots their tire out from under them. She offers to walk over to her brother's, who just so happens to own a tow-truck - then the true horror begins - one by one they are preyed upon by the resident homicidal hellbillies in various methods of mutilation, psychological torture until death is mercifully bestowed, in a very Texas Chainsaw Massacre style.

One scenario that I found to be of particular and amusing mention was when the remaining two of the suburban four are marched off to meet Dr. Satan {also seems to be an exaggerated composite of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death}, dressed in rabbit foo-foo costumes, which establishes the differentiation between the predator and the prey, both the more and less evolved creatures' interaction. Another notable bit was the use of Aleister Crowley's poem narration in slow-motion while the foos were being lowered into the Black Earth, while inside of a coffin displaying a cross on the lid, which I found to be meaningful symbolism, as crucifixes and crosses are symbols of death, which were also drawn upon one character's face who performed a priest role in the mock funeral of those who have gone below.

In the end, House of 1,000 Corpses is a recommended film, and definitely stands out amongst all of the films currently released in this time frame, but what really makes it work is the remarkable style of the 70's, which did spawn the remarkable constant-classic Halloween. And there have been few outright, gut-wrenching serious horror movies which have been able to reach this level of entertainment, most of which are usually relegated immediately to video shelves because they prove to be too frightening for the masses, but are preserved for the serious Horror fantom. This is not a goofy parody passed as a "horror" flick, as the humor herein is truly black, as My companion and I were the only ones in the theatre laughing many times. I noticed sheeple leaving on a couple of occasions, seemingly just too disturbed to remain there being subjected to the nightmarish progression therein, which I would consider to be quite a compliment for a horror writer, director, or producer, who also happens to be a Satanist.

"There is no good or evil. You just do what you gotta' do."

* Official Site

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Extra bit of horror trivia: There was also a movie named "House of Seven Corpses" starring John Carradine and John Ireland which was released in 1973.



The Devil's Rejects
{XL A.S. Written & Directed by Rob Zombie. Starring Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Michael Berryman, Priscilla Barnes, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Danny Trejo, Diamond Dallas Page}

Dirty, dusty, bloody, ugly, brutal, vulgar. Essentially, Rob Zombie brings back the B-movie tradition of the 70's/80's-style slasher-flick, utilizing aesthetics with a combination of influences from 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'Friday the 13th', even 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' {particularly in the resemblence of 'Tiny's mangled face to Freddy Krueger}. These personages are based on Marx Brothers characters in name only - these are entirely "hellbilly" in countenance, consisting primarily of Captain Spaulding, Otis, and Baby Firefly, with a couple of side characters, who are veritably 'awakened' from their slumber by vengeful Police from the massacres in the previous film House of 1,000 Corpses". Mama Firefly is taken into custody, and Tiny is nowhere to be found...

Set in the Texas desert, this white-trash family, each with their own neurosis, bounce their particular insanities upon eachother, experiencing the joys and dangers of life on a caveman level of existence. After all, a family of wolves can at one moment enjoy a freshly slaughtered rabbit or deer together, happily tearing limb from limb, then go off to later play together.

After another shootout, the pursuit begins again and they are on the run, pulling all their resources together at the expense of others, calling upon the evil clown to accompany Otis and Baby in this latest predicament. So after Spaulding accesses a car in the name of "important clown business", the three are reunited, spreading terror upon all those they encounter, usually ridiculing, humiliating, mutilating, and otherwise raping their victims before finally killing them.

Along the way they meet up with pimp 'Charlie Altamont' {Ken Foree, whom you may recognize from 'From Beyond'} and have one hell of a time in worldly pleasures, until he pulls a veritable "Lando Calrisian"*, betraying the group to the crusading Sheriff. Charlie has more of a moron than an imbecile in a henchman named 'Clevon' {played by Michael Berryman: 'The Hills Have Eyes'}, engage in a particularly amusing scene while purchasing chickens from an inbred cletus.

Sheriff Wydell, who fancies himself a "devil slayer", readies himself for a 'final confrontation' - a veritable "apocalypse" in his mind, employing the aid of a couple of nefarious bounty hunters called "The Unholy Two", comprised of imposing bikers 'Rondo' and 'Billy Ray Snapper', who interrupt the festivities and construct arrangements to Wydell's specifications. Continuing with his revenge-fueled righteous christinsanity, besides photos of victims being stapled to their chests, Otis is actually nailed into his chair a-la the nazarene {the fact that he has long hair and a beard added to the effect greatly}, and are set to burn alive in a literal "Hell". Now the punctilious "hunter becomes the hunted" scenario transgresses. "The Angel" is let loose to be pursued by the wolf on her heels receiving a taste of her own medicine, but in one of those unexpected 'twists', just when all seems finished, a mysterious ally appears...

With the odds stacked against them, the movie ends in a hail of bullets to a final end...?

With a relatively all-star cast, there will be some recognizable familiarities from time to time. Herein is one Priscilla Barnes {'Terri Alden' from 'Three's Company'}, being slapped around, fondled, deceived, and stabbed. Geoffrey Lewis, who has one of those faces materializing from many formative evocations.

This film displays, in an albeit base level, the might is right dynamic, and that man is a vicious animal in his most primal state, where so-called principles of 'good and evil' are completely subjective terms, where the clever and ruthless prevail, manipulating where necessary to gain selfish ends, moving the world according to what is placed into action. Perceptions will sometimes be tested in what one perceives is supposed to happen, and what actually can, and does, happen.

[Allman Brothers: Midnight Rider] | [Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird]


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* Interestingly, it is noted that some scenes contain subtle 'Star Wars' references from time to time, from a mention of having a Princess Leia fetish, to the subsequent betrayal akin to Calrisian's on Han Solo for Darth Vader.


GHOULIES

Ghouilies A young inheritor named Jonathan comes into possession of a stately mansion which contains many secrets, inclusive of those kept by his mysterious father, who said to be involved with The Occult, who ran his cult from within the recesses of his house.

The movie begins with a scene of ritual taking place, complete with a huge Pentagram behind The Altar, and a Goetic sigil of Belial on the mantle, in which an infant sacrifice is to take place, which is actually that of The Sorcerer's son, because he fears that one day he will turn to the light and grow to overtake him. He commands one of the robed cultists to come forth with the infant, but she dares disobey, considering the horror of murdering a child; The Sorcerer enraged, telekinetically tears the heart from her chest. He then orders another member to leave his midst after an energy field surrounding the boy resists the death-strike. And so the kindly, though somewhat 'touched' old man sets to raise him as his own unto manhood. Upon maturity, he sets to explore the mansion, and begins finding elements of his father's legacy - in the library, books on Black Magic, ritual tools, personal artifacts such as several medallions, a conjuring staff, and a robe. Bit by bit his natural interests beckon him to experiment with The Dark Arts, with a cover desire to "know what his father was all about", whenever his newlywed wife bids him to be more reticent in uncovering the nefarious rites. But his curiosity drives him on - and then he discovers The Ritual Chambre, and begins making the necessary preparations which yields him almost immediate Power, most noticeable by his glowing green eyes, which in this case, denotes his oneness with The Forces of Darkness. His wife becomes increasingly frightened by his evilution until finally, she decides to leave when he devotes his life to the persuit of The Occult rites. But he invokes his two imps from a Magic Circle to do his bidding, and she is consequently under his complete control.

Next, he invites a few of his friends to attend a feast and revery. Two fool-hearty stoners, a pretentious and 'cocky' guy named Dick {but you can call him "Dick"}, and two vapid girls.

But there was a purpose for them all being there that night beyond the mere dinner and party. They are all to take the place of those cultists for the Necromantic summoning of The Master Warlock. They are all placed under a spell, various imps {"ghoulies"} are called forth, and with everyone's united call, The Sorcerer is brought up from the grave located on the property, which displays a really nice gravestone with a Pentagram crowning it. Afterwards, the spell is temporarily lifted, and they are prepared by going down to the basement as sort of a party ruse, likened playing with a Ouija board for kicks, and Jonathan decides to open a book to conduct a rite from therein, but what they do not know, is this is yet another preparatory procedure to place them in the proper frame of mind of what is to come. A triangle is drawn upon the floor, and the ubiquitous ceremonial magician blindlight garbage of calling forth the name of jehovah in hebrew inunciated 'J H V H' {"joh-heh-vau-heh"} turning clockwise, but of course, the group do not take it seriously, and mock with such things as 'the hokey-pokey', and one of the moronic girls even screams in jest. Quite a pathetic lot. After waiting a little while, it is determined that nothing will occur, so they all decide to return to the kitchen for more beer and marijuana. Unbeknownst to them, the ghoulies appear in the conjuring trigram and are released to roam the grounds.

Blackie Lawless with Ghoulies Bit by bit, the 'ghoulies', which are essentially elementals, manifest one by one to cause havoc and spill the sacrificial blood until all of the guests are transformed into spechtrous participants in a hellish ceremony. The Master Warlock then sets out to reclaim his position as Prime Magician. First by entering the house with a mighty yell to stir the ethers, and one final sacrifice to bring him fully into the flesh, for at this point he resembles a decaying zombie - but with the application of a little transmogrification, a willing victim comes along - "Dick" - the strutting, boorish macho-man fooled by the Sorcerer's illusion of that of a beautiful seductress, followed by a deep kiss - the next thing which occurs, is he finds himself with a tentacle-tongue wrapped around his neck - and the next sacrifice is taken. So he is restored to full vitality, and heads straight to The Altar, where he reclaims his rightful place as Lord of The Manor.

So father and son eventually come face to face - a memorable line spoken by The Sorcerer comes to the fore - "I must admit you show promise, but at your age, I was much...better." A line I know too well. The battle is on, and the son is defeated, as he slowly sinks into The Abyss, but is rescued surprisingly by The Old Man in full ritual garb, who takes over the battle, so he and The Warlock battle Magically until someone is victorious. I will leave it up to the viewer to discern who, for it is actually unclear.

Considered a "B-Movie" by the masses, Ghoulies is highly entertaining, replete with occult themes, and quite comical at times, which makes it a favorite. Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. conducted a portion of the soundtrack for the sequal, which, in this reviewer's opinion, is not as amusing as this first film gem.

5 out of 5 Goat Skulls.


The Gate

THE GATE Two adolescent boys, Terry and Glenn, become fascinated by The Occult references in an album by a Black Metal band named Sacrifyx, which features a book insert containing photos of the band in ritual, various symbols and invocations, and, following direction carefully, the boys work to bring about The Great Apocalypse by a series of preparations, including a sacrifice that is to be tossed into a mysterious smoking pit that has opened up in the back yard. The carcass of the family dog is tossed therein after it had perished under strange causes thought to be due to natural circumstances, or perhaps more appropriately, "supernatural causes"?

The boys, one a quiet unassuming type named Glenn, quite regular in most every way; and the other, Terry, a hell-raising spitfire donned in denimFrom Hell To The Unknown with Heavy Metal patches {one noticeable one was a back-patch of Venom? "From Hell To The Unknown" double-album {which I had signed by the band in silver Magic Marker}, which displays the image of a blue transmutating phantom with red pentagrams for eyes. His room carries all of the elements as well ?posters wallpaper it with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC, and the occasional Venom and Slayer prints. Although instead of long black hair, a pentagram medallion and perhaps an inverted cross earring with rings on every finger, he is clean cut and wears glasses ?an interesting combination, as the former was said to always accompany the previous description, and the latter was said to accompany the "nerd" aesthetic. One would suspect that it is he who would undertake this perilous journey, but alas, it is the other, but it is his passion that fuels the adventure forward to manifest the nefarious prophesies in The Dark Book. As more and more omens become manifest, these little albino-like creatures begin appearing everywhere, chasing the boys about the house. When one is struck, they separate into smaller remnants of themselves. Finally, the boys realize what must be done after listening to the album backwards, and begin trying to banish "the evil" with passages from the moldy babble! According to the typical horror-movie scenario, this would normally work, but not in this case. Instead, the book erupts into flames, and Terry is pulled down into the foggy pit where he encounters a gaggle of the little pale imps with glossy black eyes pulling and tearing at his legs until his struggling finally breaks him loose, only to become subsequently possessed to attack Glenn {who is speared in the eye by a barbie doll}, as do all who accompany him in this quest, each of which he must dispatch in various gory manners, including his sister Alexandra, a pretentious air-headed cliquish assimilate who was also previously attacked by the zombified corpse of a workman killed and buried in the walls of the house long ago. Her clonish friends and she, three little quivering foos are locked in the closet until finally, Glenn faces the gigantic demonic creature who arises to dominate the planet along with the legions brought with him. Yet the secret is finally divulged in the method needed to destroy this foe, and so the prophesy is fulfilled. A recommended must-see.

Another dawn breaks, the night is ended, time to sleep, yet the shadows remain?

5/5 Goat skulls.

t r o l l
{XX A.S. Directed by John Carl Buechler. Writers: John Carl Buechler, Ed Naha. Starring Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck, Sonny Bono, Phil Fondacaro, Brad Hall, Anne Lockhart, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Genre: Horror / Adventure}

Torok the Troll King wants to dominate the world and bring his dark kingdom forth by starting at an apartment where a former Witch bride turned nemesis, now resides. With his Magical ring, he takes the form of a little girl named Wendy Potter, who just came to live there with her family, and was placed into suspended animation. He thereby goes about causing mischief among the residents of the rooms:

There's swinging playboy with the likely name of "Peter Dickinson" {played by Sonny Bono}, a fanatical Vet, diminutive Professor Malcolm Mallory {who gets a second chance at life, thanks to Torok}, a college student couple, and of course, Harry Potter Jr. and Sr. {much before J.K. Rowling's series, perhaps whence she lifted the name}. One by one, they are each engulfed into a pod which transforms them into various trolls.

Eunice St. Clair the Witch {Ann & June Lockheart} regails young Harry Potter with her troll tales, accompanied by a phallic mushroom creature she keeps in a planter disguised as a lamp. By far the most elegant and secretive of the group, she grows young, and it is up to her to counter Torok's efforts, but is instead turned into a talking tree stump.

Particularly enjoyable scenes include the singing chorus of trolls likened Ghoulies, a seductive frolicking nymph, the transformations, Torok's smile of diabolical satisfaction, and the final confrontation with an impressive demonic troll giant. With amusing effects, Troll remains a fun excursion into an enchanted mythological realm.

4/5

NIGHTSTALKER
XLIII. Hollywood House of Horror.

Watched this on Decades recently. It comes off as an amateurish college-made production for a film project grade with art project quality.

The main theme of the portrayed 'crimes' involves Ramirez roving from one irritating bickering couple to another {except for the airhead on the phone}, thankfully ending their whiny tantrums. One finds oneself eagerly awaiting, even encouraging the next slaying just to make them stop.

The primary weapon of choice here is a handgun, with a knife used on a couple of occasions to carve a pentagram on victims' bellies, while Ramirez was actually eclectic, utilizing a variety of murder weapons.

The actor appears Mediterranean, and displays the rather vexatious habit of constantly drawing upon a sucker like a pacifier all through the film. He'd more likely be smoking a cigarette, if anything.

Ironically, probably one of the most disturbing scenes is the squandering of a perfectly fortuitous opportunity for indulgence with a pair of succulent salacious beauties, perhaps to further establish the character's chaotic disposition.

With artistic license taken to the most extensive degree, the plot has little to nothing to do with the actual case, with the vague exception of being beaten by a small mob {although in this case in an alleyway, while on the street in actuality}.

The only devil worship angle involves Ramirez psychotically talking to himself, demanding victims say they love Satan, whispering 'demonic voices' throughout, and sharing narcotics with a junky girl in a restroom stall attempting to define Satan through a mind numbed haze.

This characterization depicts Ramirez more like a fictional boogeyman likened a Michael Meyers type, which is understandable after all, considering the director also directed the film entitled "The Boogeyman".

By far the worst of the docudramas of the genre, with the recent Phillips version as the best so far. ∞

2/5


C E R E M O N Y
Executive Producer: Rex Hickock / A Castro-Hickock Production.

Ceremony A fascinating, innovative, and unique storyline graces this film, which deals with an angel who became jealous of the nazarene because he was so close to God; which was to violate the Luciferian sin of Pride - and as such, was cast down from 'Heaven' and hits upon a desert where she is eventually visited by a most impressive Satan {with ingenious uses of both prosthetics and makeup by Joe Castro, whose credits include 'Weird Science'}, who imbues her with his essence, to which her eyes turn into a bluish hue, inclusive of cloven hooves, {it was later related to this reviewer that the hooves were actually camel toes, which works remarkable well}. So the angel is imprisoned within a box-like container likened a genie in the bottle, until just the correct circumstances are achieved again during a summoning ritual, which incorperates a red Pentagram with candles at the points - the "Pandora's Box" itself resembles a trapezoidal container.

So a group are gathered this night to accomplish this conjuration, but none may step within the Circle with the demon, lest they be consumed, for this is how it feeds. Little by little, bit by bit, the demon takes whatever victims it can, driving one girl insane, possessing her as well, by using the metaphor of the serpent as representative of The Devil / "Evil", which enters through her mouth upon which her ocular countenance transforms to the likeness of the demon. Eventually, she finally manages to escape through a "crack", as it were, of the circle by which the blood of a sacrificial dog resembling Benji, and the fact that not all the candles are lit. So she takes demonic form, which was a bit refreshing from the angelic veils of white image with the golden skullcap thusfar, is entirely red, naked, horny and bald, she lurks about in the darkness of the house until the possessed girl finally comes to her senses, but not after too much inane dialogue transpires. Another critique, is that I would love to have seen more of The Devil, who should have been given a much more prominant role.

Promotional Screening Eventually, as to be expected, the demon is returned to her container and is sealed up for another 1,400 years.

Forrest Ackerman/ makes brief surprise appearences as an ailing grandfather who imparts sage wisdom. By far, the star of the show.

In one particularly memorable scene during a dream sequence, the Nazarene is portrayed as a vampire with bared fangs when one of the characters petitions him for mercy from damnation. It is interesting to note that the Nazarene actually does resemble a vampire-leech in the sense of the blood fetishism as a resplendant theme in the nazarene cult - the drinking of blood, consuming of flesh, life after death {immortality}, the prosperity of his zombie-like followers to transform everyone they meet into clonish versions of themselves, etc.

This film manages to portray the J/C God and christ as petty, jealous, mercurial, and selfish, punishing one of their own by abandonment and excommunication, for such a thoughtful, adoring, complimentary desire. The ingratitude of it.

The prosthetics were good, but the film could have used a dose of CGI, to accentuate some of those more dramatic moments. Overall, in a relative vain of Ghoulies, Ceremony manages to create a "B-movie" flare on a relatively condensed budget, although this series has the wonderful possibility to release an improved part 2 which can bring a new dimension to the plot - one of few films who can boast a superior sequel. This underground film will be enjoyed by collectors of rare demonic sinematic memorabilia, and FX aficionados. Recommended party fair intended for amusement and comedic purposes.



[Scenes from her first film, "Elvira, Mistress of The Dark"]

Elvira's Haunted Hills
Starring & Written by Cassandra Peterson and Richard O' Brien; Directed by Sam Irvin / Spirit Entertainment; Good Times DVD.

Elvira's Haunted Hills Parody Queen Elvira {Cassandra Peterson} returns to the past amongst the legendary of Romania to tittilate and haunt the dreams once again. And she is as beautiful as ever, in that form-fitting thigh-split dress and buxom attributes. After a brief Bathory-esque interrment, The film begins with swirls of dark multi-colored paint churning ever-so elegantly to the sounds of a classical composition - quite a pleasing effect.

She continues to persue her dreams of fame and fortune, performing at various pubs in the countryside, when one morning, after an exhaustive night of performance, a crazed innkeeper demands his money, and even breaks through the door uttering a familiar, though modified "...here's Yohan!" She and her servant, a porky bess, escape through the window to the street below, but not before the maid makes off with some blood sausage from a vendor's booth. Soon afterwards, Elvira is mounted on the servant's back "piggy-back style" to save her the tremendous hike {what are servents for?}; they are left hitch-hiking on the side of the road when finally they are picked up by an English Doctor's coach, with a male version of a servant to match - a mute bald brute. So now The Mistress of The Dark embarks upon yet another adventure, this time, to Castle Hellsubus {exterior depicted in classic matte form, interior based upon that of 'The Haunted Palace'}, which is haunted by the vengeful spirit of Lord Hellsubus' {O' Brien} deceased wife {Peterson}, quite a beauty in her own right The morose and depraved nobility therein are taken aback by Elvira's resemblence to Lady Hellsubus; and in one humorous scene, she is greeted with a long, ear-piercing scream, which would also be another nicely comical way to deterr xian porch-pounders from soiling one's doorstep {of course, the best method, is that they would not even be able to make it through the locked gate, and the hounds}.

During a lethargic dinner, Elvira decides to liven up the atmosphere by performing her patented can-can dance which 'ends' in a delightful display of her choice assets, complete with black fishnet stockings and garter. And the werewolves howl at the moon...

While meandering through the castle to the library, Elvira discovers a strapping stablehand who is hilariously misdubbed like the classic Hercules pictures. He has a penchant for reading the books in the library, in a peasant shirt with long flowing locks, so the ladies will have a treat here as well. Actually, the original actor was to be Fabio, but at the last moment, he flaked, so the country's Romeo had to be substituted, but it worked well, much better than what that monosyllabic numbskull could have done. This actor actually appeared intelligent, and recited his lines in Romanian, but was just translated into English - the effect is great comedy.

A jaunt in the local graveyard {in which she dons a crushed velvet cloak and silky opera gloves} brings Elvira face to face with a Hellsubus ancestor, as well as a true horror chewing its sustainance, and Lord Hellsubus reveals more about the family curse, but seems to be suffering from a case of MPD as he transitions between gentleman and crazed lovelorn killer. She discovers a full-proof method to break him from his trance. However, his dementia eventually gets the better of him, as he sees his ghostly wife in the hallways, as well as imposed upon the ladies of the house, until he finally manages to capture them, although I consider the relative's imprisonment a justified recourse, as it was revealed that she and the Doctor were in league, and in lust, together to possess the family fortune for themselves, and actually dance about when they believe him dead. But he arises to punish the rotten parasites.

Finally, the Pit and the Pendulum element enters in, as it just so seems that the Hellsubuses were always fascinated with torture devices, and most of them were 'evil adulterers', and one a cross-dresser {they also all resembled 'Al Bundy'}. Classic implements such as The Iron Maiden, the vice, the stockade, and the body cage array this delightfully gloomy subterranian dungeon - and the most impressive pies-de-resistance, The Pendulum. What I enjoyed in this film, is that it actually fulfills its purpose,and does end up actually slicing some body in twain. So the classically inpirational scene unfolds in which the ravenesque, voluptuous Mistress of The Dark is chained into its cruel fetters - and what an opportunity...

As is Elvira de-regeur, tis movie is a parody of the horror classics. Haunted Hills is a combination of The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Pit & The Pendulum, and The Haunted Palace, rolled up into one with Elvira thrown into the middle for this ghoulish Halloween treat - and that ain't no trick!


* Also included on the DVD are interviews with Cassandra Peterson, and Richard O. Brien, who played 'Riff-Raff' of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame; a making-of featurette {revealing many little tidbits of information on backstage antics, accomodations in Romania, interesting prop usage, actor facts and origins, & various inspirations}; and a photo gallery.

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