Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Day Horror Challenge Day 13 - Your favorite horror comedy

When I was thinking about what horror comedy to write about, I didn’t want to go with the obvious ones everyone’s gonna pick. As I pondered, I thought back to a movie I haven’t watched in years, Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburg. I’ve often wondered if anyone else had ever heard of this buried treasure since it never gets mentioned, so I googled “best horror comedy” and clicked on the first 20 or so top 10, 50, or 100 lists I came to. Not a single one mentioned this flick. It’s a shame, because this is a bizarre, campy, fun little B movie. Think Naked Gun meets Bloodfeast meets LSD. Not the movie, the hallucinogen. Now you’ve got the right idea. Plus it’s directed by Alan Smithee, so you know what you're in for . If you don’t know who that is, stop trying to pretend you know about movies and go look it up.

We have two bumbling detectives, Sweeney and Blocker. Sweeney has a chain smoking, voice box talking wife. She’ll be important later. Blocker throws up at the sight of blood. This presents a problem, because someone is killing young ladies and taking various organs. This is no ordinary killer. Oh no. No wimpy butcher knife will do. Machetes are so blasé. Some dumb knife glove? Forget it. This killer is into power tools! Jackhammers. Circular Saws. Hedge trimmers. Shopvacs. Yes, Shopvacs. This killer’s love of power tools goes as far as to wheel a generator around on a little red wagon when out hunting. That’s dedication! The killer is also leaving behind notes written in hieroglyphics. This is eerily reminiscent of a string of murders Blocker worked on in Las Vegas. The ones that gave him his aversion to blood, and apparently made him develop a sexual problem his wife left him over. Poor guy, that sexual problem gets brought up A LOT. Blocker sends for his old partner, whose daughter shows up instead. Together the three detectives decipher the hieroglyphics, and it appears that these body parts are the ingredients in some sort of Egyptian ritual. Where do they go to search for clues? Egypttown, of course. Apparently Pittsburg has an Egyptian Quarter, complete with camels. Can they find the killer? Will they stop this mysterious ritual in time? Can Sweeny’s wife stop smoking?

I must state at this point that while Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburg has one hell of a catchy title, there are no Pharaohs. There are Egyptians, but no Pharaohs. I’m not even sure they were in Pittsburg. It’s more or less just a generic city. Come to think of it, no one sucks any blood either. Hmmm. While it may lack blood sucking, what it does have are some pretty messy Savini effects. Faces melt off, brains are scooped, and some nasty corpses are found. There is definitely blood too, everywhere! It does, however, look like it was edited down some in the gore department. You’ll see what I mean. It’s still pretty gooey, but I’d love to find an uncut copy. Another thing this flick has going for it is that you never know what kind of craziness it’s going to throw at you next. A homicidal police chief? Guys in gorilla suits wielding a fire hose? Blood gags galore? Midgets smearing some substance on a rather corpulent woman with paintbrushes? A cute fluffy puppy licking up blood? It’s all here. Not convinced yet? How about gratuitous ninjas? No? Gratuitous female ninjas? No? How about gratuitous female shirtless ninjas? I knew that would get you.

There are so many great scenes in this flick that I won’t spoil for you. Watch for the “Anubis” on the stairs scene, the electrocution scene, and the coroner scene especially. It’s not just a horror parody either. It’s also a spoof on those hard boiled 80’s cop dramas. The way they turn the old “down and out cop is at home about to shoot himself and just can’t do it” scene on its head is priceless. This movie is extremely low budget, extremely cheesy, and extremely fun. It’s also fairly unknown, so you can show your friends a movie they’ve never even heard of before and get horror geek points. I won’t tell them where you heard about it. Hell, I discovered this one randomly at a flea market. I was drawn in by the title and some pretty cool cover art. Sometimes, digging through those boxes of dusty VHS tapes pays off. Funny, gory, and ridiculous, Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburg is a cult classic just waiting to happen. Spread the word. Two severed thumbs up. Nathan says drink or smoke a couple with some friends and pop this one in. That’s the way to check this one out.

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