Thursday, September 26, 2013

Adults Only Giveaway: Driller: A Sexual Thriller

In yesterday's post, I told you all to get your minds out of the gutter.  Well, now I want you to put them right back because we're getting dirty today.  That's right, SOC is giving away smut!  Here's your chance to win your very own copy of Driller: A Sexual Thriller courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing.
What is Driller, you ask?  It's exactly what you think it is, a porno version of Michael Jackson's Thriller.  I'll wait for you to make your kiddie jokes.  Done?  Can we go on now?  Good.  Anyway, this is old style porn from the Golden Age.  There's actually a plot surrounding the sex.  In this one a girl is infatuated with a Jackson type singer.  He shows up in her dreams, turns into a werewolf with a comically huge "drill" dong that shoots blackish/greenish... well, you know.  Then he drags her back to his dungeon.  Along the way we have song and dance numbers featuring some pretty decent choreography and professional dancers, hunchbacks, a hilarious soundtrack, dubbing that will crack you up, and lots of bush (it was the 80's).  Speaking of ex-presidents, a couple of them show up in the climatic orgy (no, I'm not kidding) along with zombies, gimps, and more mid-group sex dancing.  This is a flick that really has to be seen to be believed.  I doubt anyone's gonna be getting off to this one, but it's insanely entertaining.
You're gonna have to get a little creative to win this one, Cellmates.  Well, first you have to go like the facebook page HERE.  Yes, that is a requirement.  Then we get to the fun part.  There's been a lot of horror porn parodies released in the past with great titles like Evil Head, Re-Penetrator, A Clockwork Orgy, Edward Penishands, The Sexorcist, The Texas Dildo Massacre, Muffy The Vampire Layer, and Night of the Giving Head (my personal favorite).  What I want you to do is leave a comment on this page with your email address and your best porn parody title.  Try to make it something that isn't already out there.  On October 10th, I'll pick the one that makes me laugh the hardest as the winner.  Ok, let's recap.

1. You have to be 18.  I'm giving away porn here, so this one is for the adults only.  If I don't know the winner, I may ask for proof.
2. Like the facebook page HERE.  
3. Leave a comment with your email and the cleverest, funniest, porniest  XXX horror parody title you can muster.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the perverts and weirdos who read this blog come up with, so get those entries in folks.  Then, you can throw in this DVD at your Halloween party this year.  I guarantee it'll get a reaction one way or another.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vampire Double Feature Review: Blood For Irina & Dracula's Orgy Of The Damned

I’ve never been shy about the fact that vampires are fairly low on my movie monster totem pole.  I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the sanguine cinema that’s out there, but there are rare vamp gems like Near Dark or Leif Jonker’s Darkness that I absolutely love.  It was in the search for these blood diamonds in the rough that I decided to watch two vampire flicks back to back.  One is Blood For Irina, the debut film from Fangoria editor and Jack (the Ripper) of all horror trades, Chris Alexander.  The other is Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned, an irresistibly titled low budget romp from Great Lakes Artist Group.  In hindsight, I could not have chosen two more widely divergent flicks.  So, did they suck veins dry or just suck?  Let’s start with Irina, shall we?

Synopsis: Irina is dying. A predator who stalks streets at night looking for blood, she has lived over a century; tormented by memory, living in a run-down motel by the sea, Irina has reached the end. Her perceptions skewed, her body and mind revolting against themselves, she waits for an exit. Her private hell is echoed by the motel manager, driven by an obsession to protect Irina and keep her secrets safe, and a broken prostitute whose desperate plight may be worse than Irina's. It's the tale of three people living a life on the fringe, trapped in world of literal and figurative decay.

A lot of people have compared this to the vampire films of 70’s eurotrash auteurs like Jess Franco and Jean Rollin.  While the hallucinatory, dream like qualities do call this era to mind, particularly Rollin’s work, I think the comparison is a little too broad.  Those flicks were steeped in sexuality.  I don’t get that feeling from Irina.  While some of the bloodletting could be interpreted that way if that’s what you’re looking for, this a movie about addiction and death.  There is no nudity, and all of the scenes of Irina feeding have all of the eroticism of watching a junkie shoot up.  I love the blood and bush flicks of Franco’s heyday as much, if not more, than anybody, but this ain’t one of those.  I think that comparison is made more out of not having anything else to compare it to.  It strikes me as more experimental than throwback.

This is the kind of cinema that my film school professors all had a hard on for; an existential character study that leaves room for interpretation.  It’s obvious that the plot isn’t the point.  It’s all in the metaphors, but it’s left ambiguous as to what the metaphors are.  As I said, I took it to be the story of a world-weary blood fiend and the crippling loneliness, repetition, and meaninglessness that comes with that existence; a truth which easily transfers to the mortal realm.  I can also see a slew of alternate interpretations that are just as poignant and thought provoking.  This isn’t so much psychological horror as it is horrific psychology.

I like a lot of what Alexander has done here.  He’s really got an eye for interesting shot composition and cool imagery.  The score is exactly what the movie called for.  From ambient, droning noise to the perfect placement of a couple of beautiful classical pieces, it just works.  He uses a handheld camera the way it is meant to be used.  The motion is fluid and dynamic without ever devolving into shaky-cam.  A lot of other filmmakers could learn from that.  I can’t say enough about the locations.  The decrepit hotel that serves as Irina’s home base is an absolute treasure.  According to the commentary track, they did no set dressing at all.  They found it that way.  That was an incredible stroke of luck, because I don’t know if the greatest art directors in Hollywood could have come up with this crumbling monument to decay.  The streets that she stalks were chosen perfectly, and the deserted beach strikes a perfect balance between beauty and despair.  The setting almost becomes a character in and of itself.

This is not a movie for everyone, though.  It’s slow.  Glacially slow.  Sometimes painfully slow.  Even the half of the movie that isn’t in slow motion feels like it is.  It seems much longer than its 70 minutes.  Viewers looking for a traditional vampire movie and those who prefer flicks that move at a swift clip will find it frustrating.  I’m one of those people who generally accepts movies on their own terms, and even I had to fight the urge to hit the fast forward button from time to time.  Alexander states on the commentary track that he intended for Irina to be a challenging slog to get through.  It’s almost a form of confrontational cinema.  In the end I think it works.  Cutting a few minutes definitely would have made it more palatable to the masses, but it would have made it a fundamentally different movie.

Blood for Irina is a film that a lot of people aren’t going to get, and I think Alexander likes it that way.  Visually, it’s gorgeous.  It’s emotionally evocative.  The score is splendid (still bringing that word back).  The beyond-gradual pace will put a lot of horror fans off; but those who can keep an open mind, take the ride, and appreciate what Alexander and his crew were attempting will find it a worthwhile venture.  You really have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate a movie like this.  Apparently I was, because I did.

On the opposite side of the coin we have Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned.  If Irina is arthouse, Orgy is outhouse. Sweet Mother of Hell, this movie is awful.  I dig crappy movies, and there were some moments that made me really want to like this one, but it ventured a little too far into “so bad it’s bad” territory a few times.

Synopsis:  The young and beautiful country girl Patricia witne… ah screw it.  The official synopsis sounds like it’s talking about an entirely different movie, so I’ll just tell you what happens in my own words.  Minor spoilers are ahead, but it all makes so little sense that it doesn’t really matter. 

Synopsis: Our host, Lord Victor Flemming (who will pop up between every scene in a vain attempt to tie the story together) introduces us to the tale of Patricia.  Hot Topic Dracula killed Patricia’s family when she was but a wee lass and reappears years later at her shrink’s office.  After enduring an exorcism, Patricia decides to even the score.  Meanwhile, Drac is using his immense powers to make goth chicks get topless and rub blood all over each other.  In all fairness, that’s pretty much exactly what I would do with immense power too.  Anyway, he then pops up in some redneck’s backyard to enjoy watching a meeting of Catfight Club.  Once winter falls, Patricia finally hunts down Dracula and his number one minion for a showdown at his castle.  Ten years later, two students from Miskatonic University meet with a professor and his mentally handicapped brother (who talks through a leprechaun dummy).  They send the girls to Crooked Hollow, Massachusetts.  Apparently that’s where Castle Dracula is.  They arrive, check into a bed and breakfast run by a ghetto voodoo lady, and encounter the Wolfman.  Somewhere, a completely unrelated character gets turned into a werewolf (I think).  When the girls follow a guy in a bad Grim Reaper getup (named Reaper Madness, which is admittedly kinda clever) to a ruined castle, we’re treated to about 10 minutes girls screaming in the dark, which is how I’m gonna send the next month and a half. What?  No, it’s because I work at a haunted house.  Get your minds out of the gutter, perverts. 

If that synopsis sounds disjointed and just plain batshit bonkers, that’s because it is.  Nothing in this movie makes sense.  The Dracula stuff is treated fairly seriously, then the tone shifts into annoyingly jokey mode.  The acting is bad, the dialogue is bad, the effects are bad, the soundtrack is bad, the lighting is bad, the camera work is bad, and the story is bad.  I bet the catering was bad.  That’s not to say that I hated this movie.  As a trash connoisseur, I found things to dig here.  I loved every second Lord Flemming was onscreen.  That guy should be a horror host.  I would watch the hell out of that.  A couple of the sets, mainly those involving Flemming, were cool.  Most of all, it has that madcap energy that only micro budget backyard outings like this have.  That’s what makes them fun.  It also had plenty of those “um, ok” moments that you only get from these movies, like… 
And now, young Skywalker... you will die.
- Dracula wielding blue Force Lightning, Return of the Jedi style.
- The most powerful vampire on Earth bursting into flames after a splash of holy water.  Seriously, it’s a little splash.  Most people wouldn’t even get pissed if you threw this much water on them.  They’d just look at you like you’re crazy.
- A hilarious attempt at a subliminal scare a-la the Exorcist reissue.
- People  battling with weapons like spray painted nerf guns (complete with awful CGI muzzle flash) and that Party City skull pitchfork thing sans stick.
- Gratuitous big black dick balloon animal.  Yep, you heard that right.
- In my favorite moment of the film, Lord Flemming spending a full 20 seconds jogging down a staircase and traversing the lawn just to deliver the line “Patricia begins her path of revenge.”
A lot is forgivable in this type of film.  You kinda know what you’re in for.  What is not forgivable is for the disc to barely work.  The copy I got was from Cheezy Flicks (how apropos), and it continually skipped and froze despite the disc itself being pristine and scratch free.  I tried it on three different players, and it did the same thing every time.  This being the first screener I’ve reviewed from this distributor, I can’t say whether or not it is an isolated incident.  I can say that I would have been one very disgruntled customer had I paid for it.
If I were to draw any comparison between Blood For Irina and Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned, it would be that their audiences lie in groups outside of the horror mainstream.  Irina will be too slow for the average viewer, but fans of avant-garde, artsy horror will eat it up.  Orgy is WAY too schlocky for most, but if you’re the type to get tanked with like-minded friends and laugh at a low-rent fringe flick, this is for you.  Or, if you like it all (like me), get ‘em both and go from one end of the bloodsucker spectrum to the other in less than three hours.  Blood for Irina gets 8 arterial geysers out of 10.  Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned gets 3 cardboard fish gods out of 10.  Nathan says check ‘em both out and support independent horror!

Monday, September 16, 2013

And The Winners Of The You're Next Masks Are...

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to give away these masks.  Man, a LOT of you wanted these.  Before I give them away, however, I need to remind you to follow the directions on these contests.  Quite a few entries got deleted because they either had no address or they didn't answer the trivia question.  The answer, by the way, was Home Sick.  Then, I had someone win and then get disqualified because they hadn't liked the facebook page.  Pay attention to the eligibility requirements.  I always make 'em easy, but I do check 'em.  
You know, Tiger Mask?  Nevermind.
Ok, lecture over.  Let's see who's gonna be sporting... hey, wait a minute.  Does anyone else get the wrestling connection here?  Of course the sheep mask is similar to the one worn my the bald dude from the Wyatt Family whose name no one can remember, but the other one is a tiger mask.  You know, like Tiger Mask, the legendary Japanese wrestling character that, like, nine dudes have played?  The sound of those crickets tells me that I'm probably the only puroresu fan here.  Moving along.
Anyway, the people whose names were drawn are... you know, I haven't actually seen Home Sick.  It looks pretty good.   I need to find a copy somewhere.  What?  Oh, the winners.  right.  The masks go to...

Benjamen Sager
Cliff Rockwell (I hope to god that's your real name.  If it is, you go thank your parents for that badass moniker NOW.)
and Melinda Krausman

Congratulations guys.  I'll be sending those masks out shortly.  As for the rest of you, stay tuned because I'll be announcing the next giveaway this Friday and this time... we're getting dirty!

Friday, September 13, 2013

How I Drank Crystal Lake: SOC's Visit To The Friday The 13th 7 Shooting Location

The Pack (a tightly knit, hard partying group of absolute degenerates that I am proud to call my closest friends) spent last weekend drinking, doing drugs, and having sex in close proximity to Crystal Lake… and we all lived to tell the tale.  You could even say that those cursed waters that spawned the most prolific masked psycho in horror history are now a part of me.  Here’s how it went down.

The family of one of the Pack members owns a trailer in a place known as Camp Paw & All in Stockton, Alabama.  We decided a road trip was necessary, and this seemed like a grand destination to do the kinds of things that keep people from surviving slasher flicks.  While we were researching things to do in the area, Leah discovered that Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood had been filmed in Bay Minette, a machete’s throw from where we were staying.  It was perfect timing too; just a week before an actual Friday the 13th.  Needless to say, as far as I was concerned, this became the focal point of the trip.   
What it looked like in the movie.
After a night that will not be discussed for fear of incrimination we headed out Saturday afternoon to find Byrnes Lake, Part 7’s Crystal Lake stand in.  When we arrived, we discovered that not much is left of the shooting location.  The Shepherd’s house, where Lar Park Lincoln had her legendary freak-outs, is obviously not there.  It was blown to smithereens during the film’s climax.  The water table has changed at the location, and the spot where it stood is now submerged.  The party house was just a shell and was removed years ago.  What is still there is the dock where Tina’s dead father drug Kane Hodder to a watery grave.  It’s been remodeled a bit, but it’s the same pier alright.  I love visiting shooting locations, and this one was positively awesome.  It was just a really cool spot.  There were a couple of trucks, but their occupants were nowhere to be found.  That definitely added to the ambiance.  We shot an intro segment for the Son of Celluloid youtube show (debuting later this year) and just hung out for a while; taking turns donning the hockey mask, hacking things with my machete, and discussing what order Jason would kill us in.  As we watched the sunset over Crystal Lake, I decided to take a bottle of the water, which we all agreed was truly disgusting, as a souvenir.  We eluded Jason for the rest of the weekend even after standing on the dock and crying out for him to come get us, but that’s not why I make the claim of being tougher than Mr. Voorhees.  Oh no, it gets better.

What it looks like now.
Fast forward to the next morning.  After a night of heavy…no, heavy doesn’t cut it.  Severe?  No, still too soft.  After a night of apocalyptic drinking, I awoke with a mighty need for hydration.  I rolled over and asked Leah if we had any water.  Groggy herself, she handed me the one I had left beside the bed.  I promptly downed the whole thing and slipped back into oblivion.  A few hours later it was time to leave.  As we gathered our belongings I began searching for my prized keepsake from Crystal Lake.  When we couldn’t find it, the realization hit that the water she had given me wasn’t our drinking water.  It had been the lake water.  That also meant that, due to the lack of running water (it’s a long story), Leah had brushed her teeth with it.
This was the same water that put an end (well, until the boat to Manhattan) to the onslaught of the mighty Jason Voorhees.  He was zombie Jason by that point, so he didn’t breathe.  This means that he didn’t drown, and the water didn’t actually end up inside of him.  No, he went down to the sheer power of the water itself.  I trumped him by chugging an entire one-liter bottle of that very water and suffering no ill effects.  I drink the stuff that puts Jason down.  This leads me to one conclusion; I, Nathan Hamilton, the Son of Celluloid, am a bigger badass than Jason f**king Voorhees.  Argue with my logic if you want, but I know the truth.  I can survive drinking it and he can’t even take a dip in it.  Thanks to my visit to that hallowed shooting location, I can now lay claim to the title of  “undisputed baddest sumbitch in Camp Crystal Lake.”  Just please, whatever you do, don’t tell Jason I said that.  I don’t want to, um… hurt his feelings.  Yeah, that’s it.  So there's my story.  Happy Friday the 13th, Cellmates!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Giveaway: You're Next Lamb/Tiger Mask Sets

What do you say we go ahead and get the next giveaway rolling?  This time around I've got 3 sets of the much sought after Lamb and Tiger masks from You're Next.  I may or may not have a couple more to give away later, but you wanna jump on these 'cause I have a feeling they're gonna go quick.  I think I'll conduct this one a little differently than I usually do.  Whether you're looking to display some cool promo items from this damn good flick or complete your Wyatt Family Halloween get-up, here's all you have to do.  First, you have to like the SON OF CELLULOID FACEBOOK PAGE.  Then, email your mailing address (so I know where to send the prizes) and the name of You're Next director Adam Wingard's first feature length flick (so I know you're paying attention) to  Make sure you put YOU'RE NEXT GIVEAWAY in the subject line.  On Friday the 13th, I'll randomly pick 3 winners.  Yep, that's all there is to it.  If you haven't seen You're Next yet, what are you waiting for?  It's still playing in theaters everywhere.  If you have seen it, it's worth seeing again.  You can check out my review HERE.  Send me those emails, Cellmates!  And don't worry, I'm not going to do anything nefarious with those addresses...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

And the Coffin Joe Winner is...

Well folks, it's time to give away that killer Coffin Joe custom figure.  Honestly, aside from maybe the screen used Dear God No! props, I think this is probably the coolest thing I've ever given away here at SOC.  I mean, this is a one of a kind graven image of one of horror's grand masters, Jose Mojica Marins himself.  It is my fondest hope that this giveaway might have introduced a couple of new, virgin souls to The Strange Word of Coffin Joe.  You have no idea how much I want to keep it for myself.  If I have to let it leave my hands, however, I decided to do it in a way that was at least as Zé do Caixão appropriate as possible.  So, at the witching hour I threw all of the names into my most evil top hat and chose a winner.  For those of you who don't believe that I actually drew it out of a top hat, here's a pic of the very hat that sealed the winner's fate (along with me being all goofy like).
So, who is the lucky bastard?  Well, if I can't keep it, I'll do the next best thing... give it to Nathan.  Nathan Erdel to be exact.  Congratulations Nathan.  May you and mini-Coffin Joe take many souls and possess many corpses together.  Thank you to all who entered, and an extra huge thank you to VonKlingele Customs for supplying the awesome prize.  Make sure you keep your eyes on Son of Celluloid, 'cause the next giveaway wil be underway before you know it.
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