Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Short Film: Le Noeud Cravate / The Necktie (Canada, 2008)


Here's a semi-melancholic little tale, dabbed with a dash of horror, from the French-speaking northernmost of the Americas, written and directed by Jean-François Lévesque. Lévesque, born in Saint-Gabriel, Quebec, Lévesque is now Montreal-based, but other than that we know naught.
The short is an interesting mixture of animation styles, and it reflects an experience that most people have in their life: the erasure, if not eradication, of one's joys and dreams by the meaningless drudgery of the modern working world. Will it kill you, as it does so many others?
But as the film points out, don't lose all hope: it is never too late to rediscover that which made or makes you happy — you just need to wake up again. (Wakey-wakey.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Herschell Gordon Lewis – Godfather Of Gore, Part VII: 2002-2008


15 June 1929 26 September 2016

"He seen somethin' different. And he done it."
A seminal force in the world of trash filmmaking, he is considered the inventor of the modern gore film. (In theory, a position he holds with David F. Friedman, but when the partnership ended Friedman's true interest proved to be sexploitation.) To use his own, favorite words: "I've often compared Blood Feast (1963) to a Walt Whitman poem; it's no good, but it was the first of its kind." And a truly fun gore film, too — which makes it "good" in our view.
Unlike Blood Feast and his "better movies", many of the projects he worked on are unbearable cinematic experiences; but more than enough of the others are sublime, otherworldly, like the best of Ed Wood, Juan Piquer Simón or John Waters. Were it not for innovators like him, A Wasted Life probably wouldn't be.
One of the truly great has left the building.

Go here for Part I: 1953-60.
Go here for Part II: 1961-63.
Go here for Part III: 1964-66.
Go here for Part IV: 1967-68.
Go here for Part V: 1969-72.
Go here for Part VI: 1973-98.


(2002, dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis)

Suddenly, three decades after The Gore Gore Girls (1972, see Part V), HGL suddenly came out of the woodwork and once again sat in the director's chair again. We saw and reviewed the result; the title above is linked to our typically verbose review. Blood Feast 2 was fun enough… and, yes, we would watch it again.
Lewis claimed that throughout those three decades (during which HGL accrued a fortune as a junk mail specialist), this or that person always approached him with the suggestion that he return to direction, to which he would more or less say something like "You put the project together, and I will [for money]." Jacky Lee Morgen finally did, with a script by some unknown named W. Boyd Ford that Lewis made numerous "suggestions" on; one assumes many were taken. Over at The Daily Public, Lewis gushed, "Now, for Blood Feast 2, I was — The Director! I sat in — The Director's Chair! I could watch the action on a television monitor! So if there was a microphone in the picture, I fix it, instead of seeing it that night in the rushes. Big difference — I even had an assistant director, if you can believe it. I never worked less and had a better time. […] It [Blood Feast 2] was released to DVD in two versions, the rated-R version [missing most of the gore] for Blockbuster, and the special edition for everybody else. Those who might rent that movie at Blockbuster will wonder, 'What is this all about? All you have here is a bunch of mediocre acting'."
The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre, a site not known for easy praise, liked the movie, too: "Thirty years after film-retirement and forty after the first Blood Feast, and Lewis has still got it. The only things that have changed are the gore effects, which are more extreme and convincing, but the entertaining mix of camp, splatter, silly comedy, politically incorrect humor and mediocre acting are all served on a bloody platter as before. Ramses the Third (J.P. Delahoussaye) re-opens his grandfather's shop and is worshipping Ishtar in no time, vigorously collecting the ingredients for a blood feast by slicing, chopping, mincing, skinning, and eviscerating the local bimbo models who prance about half naked and provide the caterer with kidneys, fingers, brains, livers, etc. An eating machine and idiot serve as the local bumbling policemen, and John Waters makes an appropriate cameo. Hit-and-miss campy splatter comedy with extreme gore."
Trailer:


Hunting for Herschell
(2003, dir. Robert Hooker)

Herschell Gordon Lewis goes meta and plays himself in this independent and unknown digitally shot regional no-budget horror movie, seemingly the first and last and everything of director Robert Hooker. (Ditto, it would seem, with scriptwriter Jarrod Canepa,* who also played one of the lead roles.) Little can be found online about Hunting for Herschell, and the "official website" no longer works: "The website you are looking for, www.huntingforherschell.8m.com, has been disabled due to billing issue."
*According to DVD Talk, Jarrod was involved with another HGL project that never saw the light of day, Herschell Gordon Lewis' Grim Fairy Tales in its originally intended format. In an interview at Love It Loud, HGL said that "The Uh-Oh Show is the new title for Grim Fairy Tale." Jarrod does not seem to be part of that project, which we will look at in a month or two.
The most common synopsis of Hunting for Herschell found online comes from the imdb, where it is credited to Erynn Dalton, who plays a newscaster in the flick: "It's a story as American as apple pie. Two star-struck boys write a screenplay to honor their great idol, a famous filmmaker who is visiting their small town. They do everything in their power to show it to him, including sneaking into events the filmmaker is attending, posing as caterers, and even brutally murdering anyone who gets in their way. OK, so maybe it's not as American as apple pie, but that's exactly what happened to the famed Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis. The ink on the newly written screenplay was barely dry when 24-year-old Thomas Montero (Jarrod Canepa) and Eddie Gagliano (Ford D'Aprix) began their relentless rampage throughout South Florida, leaving in their wake a cast of cookie-cutter victims perfect for any horror movie. In a gesture of almost divine irony, Mr. Lewis literally uses religion as a defense making him one of the most unique Bible-Thumpers in history."
In regard to the film, in an interview the "73-year-old Fort Lauderdale millionaire Herschell Gordon Lewis" gave to the Miami New Times, HGL said, "I thought the whole thing was a joke. They asked, 'Would you object if we did this?' How do you answer something like that? How many people who are still alive have a movie made about them? They actually had a script calling for me to be in it. […] I am not going to rain on their parade. They are extraordinarily serious about this project, and who could ever jump on people who are serious about what they're doing? Especially when it's about me!"
HGL even appeared at an occasional special (and local) screening, going by what the Sun-Sentinel said about the movie: "Hunting is a dark comedy with amateur amputations, strewn intestines and even a meat grinder, and it was all made possible by Lewis, a Fort Lauderdale resident who will appear at a screening of the film tonight at Cinema Paradiso."


Chainsaw Sally
(2004, writ & dir. JimmyO)

Herschell Gordon Lewis acts in this horror flick from "the First Family of Indi Horror", playing the "kindly hardware store owner" Mr. Gordon. Another guest appearance of note in the movie: Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen (4 Mar 1947 — 7 Nov 2015) as Chainsaw Sally's Daddy.
The interview conducted by Nic Brown of JimmyO (aka Jimmyo Burril) over at B Movie Man reveals that director "JimmyO didn't start out making films though; he started with children's musical theater. Then he had the idea to combine his love of horror with his desire to create something for adults to enjoy too. Thus was born [the stage show] Silver Scream, his musical homage to classic horror films. To help promote Silver Scream, JimmyO and his wife April created a 'hostess' to appear at conventions and on the internet to help gather interest in the film. Little did they know at the time that Chainsaw Sally would become an internet favorite and eventually spark her own film!" (But before Chainsaw Sally got her own eponymously named movie, Silver Scream saw the light of day as a direct-to-video feature-length music film in 2003.)
Chainsaw Sally
Teaser Trailer:
Dr Gore, who asks the pertinent question "Why didn't Chainsaw Sally get topless?", gives Chainsaw Sally a score of "2 out of 4 psycho Sallys". He also explains the plot as follows: "Chainsaw Sally is about a girl and her chainsaw. Sally (April Monique Burril) has had a tough life. Her parents were killed by a roving gang of madmen. This incident scars young Sally for life and blossoms her into the bloodlust crazed Chainsaw Sally. She takes on a shy librarian persona for cover. No one will suspect! Chainsaw Sally likes to rip and tear into anyone who is rude and obnoxious. Talkative library patrons, snotty ice cream girls and foul mouthed guys in bars all get to taste Sally's blade. A rich guy (David Calhoun) rolls into town to try to sell his property which houses Sally and her equally twisted brother (Alec Joseph). Will Sally allow someone to sell her psychotic homestead? Not bloody likely."
The Video Graveyard likes the flick, saying: "In the small town of Porterville, […] Sally and Ruby kill off anybody who happens to piss them off — or try to take their home away from them. This gives the makers plenty of opportunity for various death scenes, but apart from a few bloody moments in the finale (involving a chainsaw and gross use of formaldehyde), it seems like the murders are cut fairly short — which may be one of director JimmyO's various nods to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973 / trailer) […] But I will admit when a womanizer gets a sparkler in a very uncomfortable place it certainly was creative. Chainsaw Sally is certainly a demented ride and it's filled with quirky characters and dark humour. I had a fun time with it even if a few minor problems did spring up. The main things holding this back from outright greatness (it'll still be a cult favourite, mark my words) is the fact the movie is a bit loosely structured and the script never really develops its set-up of having Sally and Ruby being deranged cannibals — sure, we're given flashbacks to their parents murders […], but a build-up to their nuttiness might've been cool as well."
Chainsaw Sally
Trailer:
Chainsaw Sally went on to spawn an internet series, The Chainsaw Sally Show, episodes of which have been edited together into two movies, The Chainsaw Sally Show (2010) and The Chainsaw Sally Show Season 2 (2012). It seems, going by the poster below, an animated series is currently in the works.


Horror Business
(2005, writ & dir Christopher P. Garetano)

A video documentary that seems to divide the (non)masses of the few who have seen it, HGL is one of the "established" talking heads sandwiched somewhere between the newer, currently (and probably forever) unknown talking heads upon which the documentary actually focuses.
Trailer:
Film Guinea Pig points out that Horror Business "serves as a quick way to help raise understanding (if not appreciation) for the horror B-movies of the twenty-first century. […] [P]ut together in true guerrilla film fashion by director Christopher P. Garetano. […] Garetano's doc certainly conveys the exuberance (if few new craft insights) of the low/no budget end of the cinematic scale. […] Perhaps more than anything, Horror Business acts as a primer for those who wish to be introduced to a few of the more recent players in the micro-budget film biz. (I'll admit it's sometimes painful to refer to these works as 'film' when they are not only shot on video but REALLY AWFUL looking video with amateur porn-flic lighting to boot. However...)
Movies Made Me says: "The subject at hand in this documentary is independent movie-making, and to be more specific, independent horror movie-making. Telling the stories are a mixture of the truly independent guys who most of you probably haven't heard of as well as a handful of the bigger names in horror. […], [H]onestly, there's no real subject to be found. The independent guys talk about how hard it is to make a movie, they question their own motives for continuing in the business, and they discuss their own movies for a while. […] [T]his material felt less like a documentary on horror in general and more like something that should have been included as a bonus feature on their latest DVD releases. A solid ninety percent of the material is simple behind-the-scenes stuff mixed with 'Gee, it's really hard to make a movie with no money!' and 'We need more drive-in theaters' observations, and while I won't disagree with those statements, they didn't make for a very interesting time in front of the tube. You may be thinking that the 'name' appearances could make this film worth watching, but that wasn't to be as each of the involved men only received a few minutes of screen time […]. Everyone involved is fun to listen to and it's obvious that everyone knows what they're talking about, but when you try to extract some real information from what they're saying, you either come up empty or realize that what they're saying is completely obvious. In my humble opinion, this film was a failure."
Among the impassioned featured are Dave Parker, whose 2000 movie The Dead Hate the Living! we totally hated; David Gebroe, whose flawed but intriguing Zombie Honeymoon (2004) is definitely worth a gander; and Rodrigo Gudiño, a man who might yet become a name, and whose short film The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow (2008) was our Short Film of the Month for July 2016.


2001 Maniacs
(2005, dir. Tim Sullivan)

Filmed at the "living history" town of Westville, Georgia. Thirty-seven years after the release of 2000 Maniacs (1964, see Part II), HGL's early gore masterpiece — and one of his personal favorites — got the remake treatment. HGL never saw the remake, it seems, and was not part of the project; his former partner David F. Friedman alone of the two got any credit, as co-producer. Three years later, in 2008, HGL had the following to say about the remake at The Daily Public: "Someone remade it [2000 Maniacs] in 2005 as 2001 Maniacs, which may have missed the idea. I haven't seen it, but I'm told it's somewhat more polished and somewhat more mean-spirited than the original. I can't imagine anyone coming out of 2000 Maniacs and saying, 'This is for real.' I can imagine them coming out of 2001 Maniacs, based on what I'm told, and being somewhat downcast at what they've looked at."

His opinion aside, over at imdb, which probably pretty well reflects the tastes of the masses, the current approval ratings (date: 23 Jan 2017) of 2001 Maniacs is 5.4/10 (10,575 reviews) verses 5.9/10 (3,369 reviews) for 2000 Maniacs — no big dif, in the end. And while 2000 Maniacs never had a sequel, 2001 Maniacs was followed five years later by 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010) — same director, mostly new cast, noticeably lower budget. (We'll look at it later.)
Trailer to
2001 Maniacs:
As far as we can tell, 2001 Maniacs was the feature-length directorial debut of Tim Sullivan, an active man in the field of horror film (producer, actor, scriptwriter, whatever). His first directorial project, proudly credited to "Timothy Michael Sullivan", is the 1985 Christmas horror short A Christmas Treat, which we just haven't yet found ourselves willing to choose as a Short Film of the Month, even when the season might've call for it.
Tim Sullivan's
A Christmas Treat:
The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Review has the plot to 2001 Maniacs, which Sullivan co-scribed with regular co-scribe Chris Kobin: "Three male college students drive to Florida for Spring Break, intending to spend the time partying. They and several others on the road are directed by a detour sign to take a different route and end up in the Southern town of Pleasant Valley. They are welcomed by the locals who are in the midst of the town's Guts and Glory Jubilee. The three guys are tempted by some of the hot-looking women, while the girls from one of the other cars are wooed by local guys. However, this is only an opportunity for the locals to lure the travelers away and kill them."
As can be told by the above, the adult Joe Schmoe victims of the original were, in accordance to modern dead-teenager film expectations, converted into (over-aged) sex-hungry college students. And in accordance to changing times, the Northern fodder is no longer lily white but also includes an Afro American (Mushond Lee as "Malcolm") and Asian American (Bianca Smith "Leah").
Over at the Worldwide Celluloid Massacre, where 2001 Maniacs is labeled "Of Some Interest" on their Gore & Splatter list, they say: "A campy homage to Herschell Gordon Lewis's classic splatter movie featuring good ol' Southern hospitality […]. Campy, over-the-top death scenes ensue with gleeful sadism, wisecracks and creativity, including death by acid, horse-quartering, smashing under a huge bell, impalement and others. Despite the campy, over-the-top sadistic approach however, the actual gore is borderline conventional for modern movies of its kind, with only about two scenes of extreme splatter."
Among the various faces of note: Peter Stormare (of Clown [2014]) is there briefly as Professor Ackerman — ctch the name? — to introduce both the fodder and explain the movie's nominal theme ("those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"); character actress Lin Shaye (of Dead End [2003 / trailer] and Snakes on a Plane [2006], among many films) as Granny Boone; an uncredited Bill McKinney (of She Freak [1967 / trailer], among many movies) as the Chef, Christa Campbell (of Day of the Dead [2008], Mansquito [2004], and Lonely Hearts [2006]) as the Milk Maiden, and Robert Englund (of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge [1985], Wishmaster [1997], Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer [2007], and Zombie Strippers [2008]) as Mayor George W. Buckman — a huge improvement over Jeffrey Allen's take on the character found in the original movie.
Many years prior to his apparent retirement last year, Dr Gore, whose favorite scenes in the movie were the lesbian ones — "Ahh, kissing cousins. Would any movie about maniacs in a Southern town be complete without them?" — was very succinct in his opinion of the movie: "It's hard not to like 2001 Maniacs. It's nowhere close to being a horror film, but the maniacs enjoy causing bodily harm so much that their sick bliss starts to get infectious. 2001 Maniacs treats anybody getting violently killed as the most hilarious thing you ever saw. Bodies are mutilated with great joy. It does not skimp on the red stuff."
And wimen get nekkid — a rarity in the exploitation movies of the naughts.


Death's Living Room
(2006, dir. JP Wenner)
OK, we're stretching things a bit by including this short: its only connection with Herschell Gordon Lewis is that he is one of those given "Special Thanks" during the final credits. Why or for what, who knows. If you go to JP Wenner's website — click on his name above — HGL is also quoted as saying (in regards to the short itself) "It's Zen like." Uh, is that a complement? View and decide for yourself.


The Wizard of Gore
(2007, dir. Jeremy Kasten)

"Based upon the motion picture [of Herschell Gordon Lewis]." The fourth feature film directed by the very busy neuvo horror meistro Jeremy Kasten, whose feature film directorial debut, the low budget flick The Attic Expeditions (2001 / trailer), is an interesting WTF horror film. The Wizard of Gore was scribed by Zach Chassler, who also worked with Kasten on three other projects: Thirst (2006 / trailer), The Dead Ones (2011) — a lost film? — and The Theatre Bizarre (2011 / trailer).
Trailer to
The Wizard of Gore:
Varied Celluloid has the plot: "Edmund Bigelow (Kip Pardue of But I'm a Cheerleader [1999]) writes for his own magazine, a little 'zine that focuses on the strange and the unusual. Ed travels through various seedy parts of town trying to find new forms of amusement to entertain his audience with. He finds just the perfect oddity in Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover of Willard [2003]). Montag has a show nightly in a seedy warehouse [for] only those privileged enough to have run into his personal geek (Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator [1985], Castle Freak [1995], and Sharkman [2005]) […] and been given a business card. The show is your average magician's routine, until Montag brings a girl from the audience up on stage. In one instance he lays her behind a curtain of smoke and mirrors, then begins to saw her apart and pull out her intestines. Ed is struck in the audience and begins to leave along with everyone else — however, the lights come on and there the girl is back on stage as if nothing had ever happened. […] After repeat viewings of the show Ed's bones are creaking and the girls in the show are all showing up dead in the exact same fashion that they were killed on stage. What is Montag's secret and how dangerous will this become?"
Trailer to
But I'm a Cheerleader (1999):
Video Vista was not impressed, blasting "The film's primary problem is that it is dull. […] The problem is that the second act is spent endlessly re-staging the same trick as the protagonist returns to the show again and again hoping to work out the magician's secrets. Once the director gets bored with this, we are dragged through some tiresomely sub-Philip K. Dick plotline involving mind-control drugs that can force you to see whatever the person administering the drugs wants you to see. This sets up a rather tedious hall of mirrors as we move from considering the nature of the magician's trick to the nature of reality itself as the trick seems to involve not just murder on stage but a huge conspiracy of murder, sadism, slavery and prostitution. Under the special effects and the Goth posturing, The Wizard of Gore is a film full of paper-thin characters. The film's standout personalities are undeniably Brad Dourif's scenery-chewing Vietnam veteran chemist, and Crispin Glover's preposterous, ranting stage magician, but […] Kip Pardue and Bijou Phillips are utterly vacuous as the male and female leads […]."
Last Movie Review on the Left, however, disagrees, saying: "This is one of those rare occasions when the remake surpasses the original. The performances are pretty good, and it is helped by the fact that there is actually a plot, however confusing it may be. This one is definitely worth hunting down."
According to imdb, "The bulk of this film was shot at the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles". We mention this only because the building, which we had a room there for about a half year in the 1980s prior to taking a flat in the Bryson, is one of our favorite structures in the City of Angels.
Three years after making The Wizard of Gore, Jeremy Kasten, like HGL, was one of the talking heads found in American Grindhouse [2010], which we look at later.


Book of Lore
(2007, dir. Chris LaMartina) 

"This film is copyrighted. Don't be an asshole."
 
The mind boggles. The (imdb and others) give Herschell Gordon Lewis credit as being the uncredited voice on a Bingo record. Where or how it fits into the plot of this low budget flick from the Baltimore-based regional horror filmmaker Chris LaMartina, we have no idea. Hell, we never even knew that there were "Bingo records" — wouldn't the same card win all the time?
Trailer:
The plot, as found on Amazon: "Twenty years ago, in the town to Latonsville, a notorious serial killer known as 'The Devil's Left Hand'” kidnapped eleven babies and left local police stumped. When Rick (Aj Hyde) discovers his girlfriend has been murdered in the same grotesque fashion as The Devil's Left Hand crimes, he begins a quest to unravel his town's unspeakable past. Using a cryptic encyclopedia of local murders called The Book of Lore, Rick and his friends race against time to unlock the secrets of the past."
And what does the fake news say about his film? Well, B-independent says: "There's so much to enjoy in Book of Lore that it would be easy for me to continue singing its praises, and I haven't even started on the wonderful Mario Bava-osity of the stylized visuals or the various visual metaphores and devices symbolic of Rick's journey. This j-horror giallo hybrid gets so much right that it's hard to figure out why so many people get it all wrong. Everything I want in a horror is right in LaMartina's worn and mangled composition book: tension, scares, chills, and a well told story that's full of deliriously creepy twists and turns."
Buried.com shares the view, claiming this "Hardy Boys investigating The Blair Witch" flick "is a well-written, well-shot, well-acted feature that's extremely ambitious considering its non-Hollywood budget. If you want to see a good example of a recent 'Do-it-Yourself' horror movie, here it is. Highly recommended."

American Swing
(2008, dir. Jon Hart and Mathew Kaufman)

All Movie reveals the focus of this documentary: "Plato's Retreat — New York City's most notorious, 1970s-era sex club. The year was 1977: the city was in the suffocating grip of a heat wave, nerves were rattled due to the energy crisis, and the social unrest was growing. But when the sun went down over the city, the nightlife flourished. The discos were packed, cocaine was all the rage at Studio 54, and over at CBGB the punks were smashing it up. Inspired by the open sexuality in gay clubs all across town, Larry Levenson hatched the idea to open a club where people could have sex freely, without shame or threat of lawful consequences. […] There were no inhibitions at Plato's Retreat, as highlighted by the numerous vintage clips showing the swingers paradise in its heyday. But while the city ultimately failed in their efforts to pass ordinances that would close Plato's Retreat, the club flourished until the closing of its doors on New Year's Eve, 1985, an erotic casualty of the growing AIDS crisis. […]."

Full film:
HGL was involved with this documentary about the rise and fall of Larry Levenson and Plato's Retreat? Was he a talking head revealing a secret past and the true inspiration behind his 1968 suburban swinger's film Suburban Roulette? (See Part IV.) Not really: The title track to that movie, which Lewis wrote, was used at the start of American Swing — so the link to Lewis is indeed as thin as the documentary is interesting.
Of the film, Shock Mania says: "Larry Levenson's story has finally been told, albeit in a judiciously filtered style, in American Swing. The basic outline has a classic 'rise and fall' ring to it. Levenson was an average joe whose sexual appetite caused him to chafe under the yoke of 1960's, family-oriented American attitudes. […] Thus, Plato's Retreat was born in 1977. This members-only swinger's club quickly became the talk of the town and, after being publicized via a voyeuristic press, became an international destination for the sexually curious. […] American Swing is a blast while you are watching it. Documentarians Jon Hart and Matthew Kaufman weave together an easily-digested narrative from a series of talking-head interviews, including Levenson's family & friends, porn scenesters like Al Goldstein and even law enforcement officials. The smoothness of the narrative is further enhanced by well-chosen archive footage […] It's witty, eye-opening and fun. Unfortunately, holes in the narrative pop up if you look a little closely at the historical events. […]Despite such omissions, American Swing remains an entertaining portrait of a unique place and time in American cultural history. It may dodge the more difficult elements of its chosen subject but the film does succeed in conveying the unique vibe of Plato's Retreat and what endeared it to its fans. The full mystery of Larry Levenson has yet to be revealed but this will suffice as an opening salvo. At the very least, you won't be bored."

Retardead
(2008, dir. & writ. Rick Popko & Dan West)

Another film from the non-master filmmakers who brought you the direct-to-video MonsterTurd (2003 / trailer)! In fact, this flick is sort of sequel to that enjoyable masterturd. The bad guy of the earlier flick, Dr. Stern (Dan Burr), returns to be the same bad guy doing new nasty stuff in Retardead. And what does Herschell Gordon Lewis have to do with the movie? Well, he's there invisibly as the person who does the opening narration — good enough reason for us to take a quick look at the direct-to-video movie.
Trailer:
I Like Horror Movies, which thinks that Retardead "is the kind of B-movie gold that Horror fans search tirelessly for", has the plot: "The feature picks up immediately where MonsterTurd left off, with the conniving Dr. Stern narrowly escaping his own demise from the city sewers. Stern takes on a new position at the school for the gifted in town, and administers an experimental serum to its special needs children that gives them a heightened intelligence. Unfortunately for Butte County, the drug also has an unforeseen side-effect that turns his test subjects into the retardead! […] Dan and Rick use crude and idiotic humor in a brilliantly dark and twisted way that is always sure to offend. […] When it does come time for the horror, Retardead spares nothing in the gore department! The bloody special effects are top-rate for a low-budget feature, with plenty of flesh-ripping and gut-munching goodness to please the fans."
Depressed Press, however, watched Retardead as part of a home-triple-feature alongside Dahmer vs Gacy (2011 / trailer) and Zombie Driftwood (2010 / trailer), and wimped out, saying: "I've sat — in a theater — through every Ed Wood movie.   Hell – I even finished (again in a theater!) Starship Troopers 2 (2004 / trailer).  Student projects?  Watched them.  Ultra-low budget?  Check.  Foreign art films… with subtitles… in black-and-white?  No problem! But I could not sit through these. I tried. I really did. I suffered through at least half of each hoping that something redeeming would occur. Nothing did."
Jello Biafra — a much rarer face in films than that other former punk icon of the early 80s, Henry Rollins — appears for seconds as Mayor Anton Sinclaire. We mention this only as an excuse to present one of his better cover versions, below, Love Me I'm A Liberal (written by Phil Oaks [19 Dec 1940 – 9 April 1976)], 1966).
Love Me I'm A Liberal:


Living Dead Lock Up 3: Siege of the Dead
(2008, dir. Mario Xavier)

The third part of director Mario Xavier's 3-part "Living Dead Locku Up" series, this seldom screened 50-minute-long direct-to-video no-budget flick was preceded by the even less seen direct-to-video no-budget home movies Living Dead Lock Up (2005) and Living Dead Lock-Up: March of the Dead (2007). All three were projects were co-written by some guy named Mike Hicks who, like Xavier, stars in the "movie". According to the all-powerful imdb — and as indicated by the credit shown in the crappy trailer — HGL appears somewhere in this no budget project, which we here at A Wasted Life have yet to see. Have you seen it? No, not many people have… But you can get it at Amazon, where "When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply."
In his book The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Vol 2: 2000-2010, author Peter Dendle bothered to write: "For this third and final outing of Xavier's unwatchable Living Dead Lock Up saga — which is actually just the second half of  two-part sequel — there are CGI zombies to look fake alongside bad actors who have been doing that all along. Xavier bravely leads his adulating cohorts in a final stand against zombies in a hospital. […] All we see is characters running back and forth in hallways. […]."
A Cheap, Crappy Trailer:

More to Follow … Eventually
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