Saturday, January 17, 2015

TROPHY HEADS (2014)

TROPHY HEADS (2014)

Label: Full Moon Features
Region Code: Region-FREE 
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 97 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 
Director: Charles Band
Cast: Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, Darcy DeMoss, Jacqueline Lovell, Michelle Bauer, Irena Murphy, Denice Duff

Max (Adam Noble Roberts) is a Full Moon Entertainment junkie who lives in his Mom's basement where he spends every waking hour pouring over his precious stacks vintage VHS horror. His love for b-movie scream queens runs very deep, a little more than your average horror fan. He obsesses over the fact that his beloved ladies of cult cinema are slowly fading into obscurity and the years wear on. This simply will not do and superfan Max hatches a diabolical scheme to kidnap and imprison six of he most famous scream queens of the 80s and 90s.

Max's mother (Maria Olsen) is only too happy to help her troubled son on his twisted scavenger hunt of b-movie scream queens. One by one he tracks down his favorite fright girls from the 80s and 90s and sets about capturing them.  We have Brinke Stevens (SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-A-RAMA), Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), Darcy DeMoss (JASON LIVES: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI), Jacqueline Lovell (HEAD OF THE FAMILY), Michelle Bauer (HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS), Denice Duff (BLOODSTONE: SUBSPECIES II).

It's silly and fun as Max and his mother devise ways of ambushing the scream queens whom have gone on to boring day jobs in the years since. They have careers selling smoothies on the beach, one's massage therapist, another is struggling to land roles in low-budget horror films and then we have Linnea Quigley as a born again Christian going door-to-door spreading the word. Max cattle prods them and imprisons them in a make shift basement prison back at mom's house, keeping them in cages like some bizarre scream queen petting zoo. The end game being that he takes the out one by one and forces them to re enact scenes from his favorite films before he cuts off their heads to display as trophies, now that's a true one of kind collectible!

I will admit that aside from Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley the other scream queens are not familiar to me, but that did not stop me from enjoying the film and the wisecracking dialogue exchanges in the least. I would never accuse them of being very good actresses but I think I can safely say these fine queens of horror are more notable for willingness to drop their tops and scream bloody murder than their acting chops, and that's just fine by me. 

It should be noted that none of the now middle-aged six scream queens appear in the nude but do showcase their top drawer assets with ample cleavage. Without being disrespectful to our scream queens I will say that's probably a good thing! To that end we have the voluptuous Irena Murphy (WEREWOLF RISING) appearing nude for pretty much the entirety of the film.  

My favorite scene would be a casting call with director Stuart Gordon (FROM BEYOND) who appears as a fictionalized version of himself. Here we have younger b-movie starlets Jean Louise (PUPPET MASTER X), Robin Sydney (THE LOST), Jessica Morris (THE HAUNTED CASINO), Amy Paffrath (EVIL BONG II), Jackie Lovell (THE KILLER EYE) mixing it up with scream queen Denice Duff (SUBSPECIES II). I love how they introduce each other by first and last name, just in case you may forgotten who they are if you ever knew to begin with. They play off each other with a fun mix of slight ditziness and cattiness, and are clearly having a blast. Pretty sure this is one of the better films any of these young starlets have featured in for quite some time. 

The gore hounds will be let down with just some digital blood spatter and a handful of practical decapitated heads,  but this is more to be enjoyed for the fun premise and inherent humor and not a gore-drenched movie, this is a comedy with a smattering of horror. Charles Band has created a fun, campy love letter to the scream queens of the past that is both and respectful and in a way sort of passes the torch to the younger generation of horror babes. 

It is Adam Noble Roberts and Maria Olsen as the demented b-movie nut and his mother who steal the show. These two are just awesome, a truly twisted depiction of a weirdo who lives in his mom's basement watching horror movies in his underwear while she entertains his every whim and putting up with his bratty outbursts. As he mounts his trophy heads he carries on strange little  conversations with the scream queens, he gives Max a soul and while I wouldn't say he was sympathetic he is a lot of fun. 

Surely not a classic slice of horror cinema or even one of the better horror-comedies this year but the film succeeds as a fun, low-budget homage to the scream queens of yesteryear and the cheesy b-movies that made them famous. 

Special Features:
- Audio commentary by stars Darcy DeMoss, Brinke Stevens, and Jacqueline Lovell and producer/director Charles Band
- VideoZone making-of featurette (10 Minutes)
- Uncut behind-the-scenes footage (23 Minutes)
- Full Moon Trailers
- "Submit Your Head" photo gallery


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