Posts Tagged ‘Vinegar Syndrome’

hqdefault (1)Sometimes we watch films just based off of maybe a movie poster, the DVD cover, or even the title of the film could be a good reason. Nonetheless, some of the titles that we do choose to watch based on that don’t quite live up to the hype. While at Rock and Shock, I picked up a title from Vinegar Syndrome and that is Mountaintop Motel Massacre which was directed by Jim McCullough Sr. (Charge Of The Model T’s) and written by his son Jim McCullough Jr. (Creature From Black Lake). The film stars Anna Chappell (The Man In The Moon) as Evelyn, a woman that was recently released from a metal institution that is in charge of a motel. One day, she accidentally kills her daughter out of an anger fit and convinces the police that it was an accident. The only problem is that something has snapped in Evelyn and she begins trying to kill all of the guests staying there. The film also stars Bill Thurman (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind) as Reverend Bill McWilley, Major Brock as Crenshaw, James Bradford (300) as Sheriff, Amy Hill as Prissy, Marian Jones as Mary, Gregg Brazzel (Evan Almighty) as Vernon, Jill King as Lorie, and Will Mitchell (The Aurora Encounter) as Al.

hqdefault (2)The film just kind of falls short for me as far as how good it was because the idea was there, but the execution was not. At first, she’s not really as slasher styled killer because she’s releasing various rodents, creatures into their rooms to make it all look like accidents, but when she figures out that it wasn’t entirely working, she then becomes a slasher killer with her sickle. The problem with the film is I don’t think they had much of a budget for the film because there were so many missed opportunities where money for effects could have come handy. The idea of the underground tunnel was cool because she could bounce from place to place, but they didn’t do a great job hiding it. I suppose unless you trip on something why would you look at the floor to begin with and suspect that there would be a trap door? I think a lot of her kills were lame because it looked like a lot of the characters just allowed her to do it and for Pete’s sake she was an short (probably barely 5 feet) old woman. For a film that featured a lot of no names that this was their only credit, some of them did a great job. Major Brock to me was one of the best in the film of the no names as he played Crenshaw who I thought was a preacher, but I think he was a carpenter. This is an OK film that you could do without watching I suppose, but hey if you’re a horror fan then check it out. At least, they did something! I am going to give the film an C- for a final grade.

cutting_shot0lA lot of actors who are huge today or have been for the last 20 years or so actually got their start in Horror films. Kevin Bacon was in Friday The 13TH, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, Johnny Depp in A Nightmare On Elm Street, Tom Hanks in He Knows You’re Alone, and so many more. That is why I have decided that for today (and with the help of Vinegar Syndrome) that we would check out an early film with Brad Pitt (Thelma & Louise) in 1989’s Cutting Class. Paula Carson (Jill Schoelen) is your everyday indecisive teenage girl who is facing quite the dilemma in this film. She has two guys in her school that are competing for her affection. You have the high school bad boy Dwight (Pitt) and the weird, just released from a mental institution for supposedly killing his dad in Brian (Donovan Leitch Jr.). As soon as things start to heat up, the bodies begin to as well and now she has to figure out which one of the two is doing it? The film also stars Roddy McDowall (Fright Night) as Mr. Dante, Martin Mull (Clue) as Mr. Carson, Brenda James (Slither) as Colleen, Robert Glaudini (Mississippi Burning) as Schultz, Nancy Fish (The Exorcist III) as Mrs Knocht, and the film was written and directed by Rospo Pallenberg (Exorcist II: The Heretic).

cutting-class-lgThe film is a classic whodunit film because they drop clues every where that could make you think that it’s possible that Dwight did it and then they drop clues that make you think that Brian could be the killer. The thing with Brian’s character is that all of his details were thrown in there to make you believe that it was him that was the killer because he had “killed” his father and after all the shock treatment therapy there was no way he could be normal. Then they throw Dwight in there and he was the one that taught Brian how to cut the brakes on a car, he was having a real hard time in school, and he a little bit of an anger management problem that made it easy to suspect him. The only problem is that to figure out who it really was, you’ll have to watch the film yourselves because I won’t spoil that. For the most part, the acting was really good from all parties and we already know Jill can act as we saw her earlier in my review for The Stepfather. You can definitely see a lot of the mannerisms that we would all grow to love from Brad in this film and while there were a couple of hiccups, I kind of blame it on the writing which I thought was spotty at times. Other than that, it has your feel for an 80’s slasher/thriller film with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. For all of you that can’t get enough of Jill, there’s a little T&A in this film for all of you. I am going to give Cutting Class an B for a final grade.

blood harvestEvery year when I attended the annual Rock and Shock Horror Convention in Worcester, MA, I make it a point to not only chat with the special guests they have, but to also check out the various vendors like my personal favorite in Vinegar Syndrome. For the last two years, I have been featuring their stuff for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween and this year I have a fun one in 1987’s Blood Harvest which was directed by Bill Rebane (The Giant Spider Invasion). Things have been rough in a small farming community in Wisconsin to the point that banks have been foreclosing on properties and poor Mr. Robinson has been taking the brunt of it because he is the figurehead of the bank. Poor Jill Robinson (Itonia Salchek) has come home to find out that her parents are missing and she is being stalked by someone who is taking out everyone she cares about. The film also stars Tiny Tim (Masters Of The Gridiron) as Mervo, Dean West (Twister’s Revenge) as Gary, Lori Minnetti (The Game) as Sarah, Peter Krause (The Truman Show) as Scott, Frank Benson as the Sheriff, Leszek Burzynski (Love and Action In Chicago) as The Priest, and William Dexter (The Capture Of Bigfoot) as Man In Cafe.

BLOODHARVEST7The film is very deceiving in a way because Tiny Tim is painted up to seem like he could be the killer because his character is a little deranged himself. As you’ll find out for sure in the film that there is someone more troubling to be looking out for. I do have some issues with the continuity of the film and some of it’s events as in how did Gary manage to get all the paint and the fake body out of Jill’s house in the amount of time it took for her to go to the sheriff’s office and back? Oh and he also fixed a broken window and disposed of all the glass as well. Other than that, it was actually a pretty good film that had some redeemable moments in it and Tiny Tim actually does a pretty good job himself. He actually really creeps you out after a while whenever he shows up on screen which is quite often. Itonia Salchek also does a really good job for someone who acted in one film and that was it especially as she bares a lot of skin in this film so if you’re into the T&A then this one is for you. You definitely have to stick around during the credits to hear the full Mervo the Magnificent song that was sung by Tiny Tim because it’s a real treat. Overall, the film has some flaws in the writing as far as some of the action, but overall it’s a really decent horror film. So, visit Vinegar Syndrome here if you would like to purchase the film or find any other great titles they have. Otherwise, I am sure it is online somewhere, but you should definitely check it out. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

76d29-slaughterhousecreditsYesterday despite the disappointing lineup, I traveled to my favorite horror con in the world in Rock and Shock because the con is more than just about the actors that come there. The reason I say that is because there are a ton of different vendors like the Troma Entertainment Booth, VHSPS, and my personal favorite Vinegar Syndrome to name a few. So much like last year, I chose one of the films that I purchased from Vinegar Syndrome to present to you guys today and that film is 1987’s Slaughterhouse. The film stars Don Barrett (Hobgoblins) as Lester Bacon, a man who has owned a slaughterhouse in Lakeside for decades. Unfortunately for Lester, the new machine operated Slaughterhouse forced his business to close and now people want to foreclose on it. That is when he decides to get his mentally ill son Buddy (Joe B. Barton) to do his dirty work. The film also stars Sherry Leigh (Sid & Nancy) as Liz Borden, Bill Brinsfield (Top Dog) as Tom Sanford, William Houck (Speak Of The Devil) as Sheriff Borden, Jason Collier (Surf Nazis Must Die) as Ronnie, Jeff Grossi as Buzz, Hank Gum as Herb, Jane Higginson (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker) as Annie, Joel Hoffman (Pumpkinhead) as Kevin, Linda Harris (Bikini Bistro) as Barbara, and the film was written and directed by Rick Roessler.

slaughterhouse-1987-screen-1The most graphic this film really gets is in the beginning of the film when they show you the way a pig is slaughtered in a modern (at least in 1987) slaughterhouse. After that, the film doesn’t really have any unique kills other than the weapon that Buddy uses which is pretty cool. Buddy is a unique character who all he does throughout the film is that he just snorts like the very pigs that he kills and he looks like the most disgusting human being on the planet as if he has been sleeping in the pig pen. So, the film is listed as a horror comedy and some of the parts that I think they were funny were kind of cheesy in my opinion like Buddy driving around in the police car, but what they do accomplish with the film is the creepy slaughterhouse set. For some reason, kids in Lakeside think that it’s OK to break into the old slaughterhouse and that nothing bad will come of it. I thought Don Barrett in the last 20 minutes of the film was brilliant as this twisted old man who wants to prove a point that he is the best at what he does and that is slaughter. I definitely think the film could of used more of that and less of Buzz’s comedy antics. I definitely think the film is worth a watch because it was entertaining, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade, but I can’t say that no pig was harmed during the making of the film.

Count Draculas Great LoveI have done so many Cheeseball Cinema posts on this blog that sometimes it is hard to find new material to talk about. I try and cover films that I find to be interesting and then I report them back to you and I hope that the least I can do is entertain all of you. This year at The Rock & Shock Horror Convention in Worcester this past October, I stopped by The Vinegar Syndrome table and I purchased some DVD’s to watch and you saw some of the reviews for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween, but I saved one for Cheeseball Cinema. Some people do not realize that some great horror has come out of Europe and today’s film Count Dracula’s Great Love comes to us from Spain. The story follows four college girls as they travel back from a brief vacation in Europe. One unfaithful day, the carriage loses a wheel and the driver is killed by one of the horses leaving the girls stranded. With no other choice, the girls are forced to spend the night in a creepy old asylum that was purchased by a mysterious doctor (Paul Naschy) who may or may not be a Vampire. The film also stars Haydée Politoff (Bora Bora) as Karen, Rosanna Yanni (Fangs Of The Living Dead) as Senta, Mirta Miller (Bolero) as Elke, Ingrid Garbo (Maniac Mansion) as Marlene, Víctor Barrera (The Terrorist) as Imre, and the film was co-written and directed by Javier Aguirre (Sol).

Count Dracula's Great Love On Big ScreenI just wanted to say that I actually wish that I withheld this one and saved it for next year’s Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween. That is how surprisingly good that this film really was for a 70’s Spanish horror flick that had it all from the vampire to the beautiful women and even a great set that helped paint the picture. The acting seemed to be very well, but the film is overdubbed in English so I’m sure it was great in Spanish as well. There is a cool sequence in the film when Karen is reading from Van Helsings book and it shows one of Dracula’s kills, but it does it with a negative filter which I thought was pretty cool. The film kind of has a hiccup in one aspect of the writing that kind of bothered me towards the end of the film so I’m throwing a spoiler alert warning right now. Dracula’s whole mission in the film was to find a girl who fell in love with him on her own meaning that he didn’t convince her with his powers. The reason for that is that it will bring back his daughter from the dead. He decides to drop all of that in favor of love because he has never felt a love like hers and he dumps his daughters casket in the river. When she refuses to turn willingly into a vampire, he then kills himself which is poetic justice because that is what a woman will do to a man or the undead! The women in the film are beautiful and the film is actually pretty damn good so I am recommending this one to any horror fan. On a scale of one being close to an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I am going to give the film an 1.9 for a final grade.

Ingrid Garbo, Rosanna Yanni, and Loreta Tovar

demon windSometimes I treat my films like I treat heavy metal records. I simply sometimes choose a film to watch based on the movie poster or DVD cover and that is what I have done with some albums and that is what I did with today’s film. Today’s film Demon Wind is another film that I picked up courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome at the previous weekend’s Rock and Shock Convention. Cory (Eric Larson) has never really known where he was from or who his dad really was. After a weird chance meeting with his father, he decides to go back to the family land where his grandparents once lived. Along with his friends, Cory will discover and unlock the truth behind what happened so many years ago to his family and the land they lived on. The film also stars Francine Lapensée (Hollywood’s New Blood) as Elaine, Rufus Norris (Broken) as Harcourt, Jack Vogel (Presumed Guilty) as Stacy, Stephen Quadros (Cradle 2 The Grave) as Chuck, Mark David Fritsche (Somewhere In Time) as Jack, Sherry Leigh (Sid and Nancy) as Bonnie, Bobby Johnston (Loveblind) as Dell, Lynn Clark (My Fellow Americans) as Terri, Richard Gabai (The Wasp Woman) as Willy, Mia M. Ruiz (Witchcraft II: The Temptress) as Reena, and the film was directed by Charles Philip Moore (Angel Of Destruction). 

demon wind 2'I actually really liked this film, but I did have some issues with it in general and one of them was the corny dialogue. I loved the story and what the film was about, but there were just too many instances of awkward dialogue. It was either that the writer didn’t know how people communicate or the cast just made the dialogue real cheesy. They had this big jock who every time his girlfriend said something, he made sure to tell people that that was the reason that he kept her around. I wanted to go through the screen to tell the guy that no one gave a sh**. Now some of the things I liked is the way the townspeople looked or the friends looked when they were bitten or possessed by the demons that plagued the land. They acted like zombies, but they had the sense of humor that reminded me of The Evil Dead. Some of the kills were cheesy, but overall some of them actually were pretty cool. The one issue I had was what the hell does Cory turn in to when he battles the head demon at the end? He looked like an alien from Alien Nation with the ears of a demon. That part just made no sense to me because he wasn’t possessed at all by the demons. I thought overall that it was actually a pretty fun film to watch, I definitely enjoyed it. That is why I am going to give it a grade somewhere between an C+ and a B-. It’s somewhere in that grade range.

demon wind

blood beatRock and Shock is now long gone and in the books for another great year that featured some cool guests and some great vendors. One of the vendors that I had to visit at the site was Vinegar Syndrome who is a cult film restoration company that restores films from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. So with that being said, the film I chose for today is a film that was restored by the company by the name of Blood Beat. While on Christmas break from school, Ted (James Fitzgibbons) and his girlfriend Sarah (Claudia Peyton) decide that it would be a good idea to spend the holidays with Ted’s family in rural Wisconsin. The only problem is that when they get there, Sarah starts to have weird vibes that she has never felt before. Soon after that, she is possessed by a vengeful Japanese Samurai spirit who decides to take out all of the local townsfolk before setting his sites on Ted and his family. The film also stars Helen Benton as Cathy, Terry Brown (The Princess Diaries) as Gary, Dana Day as Dolly, Peter Spelson (The Psychotronic Man) as Uncle Pete, Franck Miley as Paul, and the film was directed by Fabrice A. Zaphiratos (La grande frime). 

blood beat 2This has to be by far one of the weirdest films I have ever seen and not weird in the sense of weird happenings, but rather in the style. First of all it makes no sense that a Japanese Samurai spirit would be in rural Wisconsin and that was my first problem with the film, but I can suspend reality for the time. The second thing I had a problem with in this film is that is starts off making you think it’s going to be a film about the mother being able to see everything that goes on through her art. That would leave you to believe that something would happen between her and her son’s girlfriend. Instead, it all leads to the samurai being the focus of this supernatural slasher flick. The other thing that gets me is the corny special effects, but that actually made the film more interesting. They would have these beams of blue light around the samurai while the family channeled their inner Ryu with the red beams around their hands as they hadoukened the Samurai spirit together. Oh the other thing that gets me is when something bad happens, it turns into a 70’s Sabbath/Alice Cooper video with all the colors overtaking the screen (you know what I am talking about). Stylistically, it’s actually a pretty artsy film so I get why someone may want to restore this one for sure. I also loved how the climaxing scenes feature the classic O Fortuna (Carmina Burana) to help drive home the action. I thought that was a very nice touch for the film, but it probably won’t help the final grade. While I enjoyed watching the film, there were just way too many faults for me which is why I am giving the film an C for a final grade. This would’ve made an excellent Cheeseball Cinema film for sure.