Monday, September 13, 2010

DVD Boxset Review: Blood Bath 12 Movie Collection (2010)


Mill Creek Entertainment

ANGST aka PENETRATION ANGST (2006) “Some Girls are to DIE for” Directed by Wolfgang Buld/Starring Paul Conway, Fiona Horsey, Phil Hayden/Color/R
ANGST is a low-budget British horror/comedy from 2003 starring the quite attractive Fiona Horsey (TWISTED SISTERS, THE CHAMBERMAID) as Helen, a young woman afflicted with a carnivorous vagina, a real man-eater in the vein of TEETH(2005). Helen is on a date, making out in a car it's getting pretty heavy and she gives in to the gents sexual demands. Not happy enough to just have at it as she positions herself in the compact car the asshole roles her head up in the window. She's stuck there hanging out of the car as he stands through the sunroof, and basically date-rapes her from behind. She's screaming away in protest and THWAP! - he's gone. Only a pile of clothes left behind, apparently absorbed into Helen's twat, I kid you not.  Shaken and disturbed by what has transpired Helen goes to the her OBGYN to have it checked out, he’s skeptical but offers to give her a pelvic examination. The creepy doc the proceeds to sedate and rape her unconscious body, and you guessed it - THWAP! …more flesh for the angry snatch. She wakes hours later, still strapped to the exam table, to a pile of clothes and a condom. I really enjoyed this madcap film, her pussy is like Belial from BASKET CASE, constantly imploring her "Feed Me!". To satisfy her murderous coochie's blood lust she takes up prostitution which leads to more zany hungry-hole action. Sadly, the budget did not afford the filmmaker the effects that could have enhanced the scenes in which the would-be partners are “devoured” offer no blood nor gore, only the clothes left behind, the process of which is never explained. While we follow her and the hungry snatch we meet a colorful cast of side characters including Dennis (Paul Conway, THE LAST HORROR MOVIE), who’s madly in love with Helen, conjoined twins Sonia and Silvia, and a stripper turned murderous robber. This was a fun film, and I highly recommend it to fans of madcap horror/comedies. Horsey is an attractive gal, and if you are a fan of horror films with a decent amount of nudity you shant be disappointed. RATING ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5 stars)
A BRUSH WITH DEATH (2006) "Your blood will run cold" Directed by Wolfgang Starring Seanna McDonald, Missy Sturges, Nicholls Melancon Color/Unrated/83 Min.
Five cheerleaders hit the road and head to a countryside mansion for a weekend getaway. Because they’re dumb and they run out of gas (it’s a plot device so that can meet…) and are assisted by a passing gas station attendant and his stuttering sidekick Caleb. The disgusting old man is licking his lips, making lewd suggestions and generally being a creepy pervert. While Caleb is making conversation with one of the girls we are treated to a poorly edited flashback of the old man back at the gas station blowing the head off of a young man, knocking out his female companion and then coercing Caleb into posing with her unconscious body and while he takes a series of lewd pictures. It’s the first of several bizarre and confusing flashbacks throughout the film. So, the creepy dude tops off the girls Jeep with gas and leaves them on their way. The gals arrive at the mansion and head straight for the pool and the film promptly misses the first of several opportunities for some nudity, cause this film needed a diversion, and nudity would’ve really helped right about now. Once there they meet a creepy neighbor who tells them the tale of a nearby house where thirty years earlier a family was slaughtered by their son. The film is fairly incomprehensible after this and were inundated with confusing flashbacks, fully clothed actresses, and mind numbing dialogue. The script is atrocious, the acting is abysmal, and the cinematography terrible. How do you fuck up a film about five cheerleaders in peril being killed off? This film fails on every level imaginable. Fail, fail, fail. RATING *1/2 (1.5 out of 5 stars)

THE CHAMBERMAID aka LOVESICK: SICK LOVE (UK)(2004) "Who can you turn to when you can't even trust yourself?" Directed by Wolfgang Buld/Starring Fiona Horsey, Paul Conway, William Rowsey/Color/R
Another film from director Wolfgang Buld (TWISTED SISTERS, ANGST) and his collaborators Fiona Horsey and Paul Conway. Horsey is Julia, and chambermaid at a hotel managed by Michael (Paul Conway), his mother owns the hotel, however, she has taken ill and has been hospitalized. Julia is dating Istvan (William Rowsey), Michael has a crush on Julia, Julia is a bit of a slut. She is fired when it is revealed that she has performed sexual  favors for the hotel's clientele for money. Istvan runs into trouble with the a loan shark and lays low, the rents not being paid and Julia finds herself evicted from their apartment. It's at this time that she takes advantage of Michael's infatuation, getting her job back and moving into his home in the process. Michael is a strange, awkward fellow, and I love Conway's depiction of the character, aloof and obsessed. Julia is only faining interest in Michael to serve her needs and is still seeing Istvan on the side. Paul puppy dogs after her, unknowing of the betrayal, while Julia denies him sex for a myriad of reason. Eventually, Michael suspects Julia is up to something, that's when things get super dark. Horsey is fantastic in her role, I've only seen her in the three films in this collection, and I was sad to hear she's left genre film making to pursue acting on a Colombian soap opera ...WHAT!?! THE CHAMBERMAID is a highly satisfying dark comedy/thriller. Recommended!  
RATING ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5 stars)

 DEATH ON DEMAND (2008) "Turn On. Log On. Watch Out." Directed by Adam Matalon/Starring Jerry Broome, Elisabeth Jamison, Suzannah Lawson Matalon/Color/R/90 Min.
Sean Mcintyre is a mountaineer having just returned from the Hymalyas where he apparently killed two people, believing them to be Yetis. Apparently, if you go out of your mind  in Tibet and kill people under the assumption their Yetis its all right, cause next we know its 3 months later and he's at home having Thanksgiving dinner with his family, snaps, and brutally kills them all before hanging himself. A few years go by and a young internet entrepreneur arranges a contest wherein 6 people, the usual array of college-aged douchebags, including a porn actress, spend the night in the haunted house while being filmed and broadcast via the internet for a $5,000 prize. Uh-oh ...this sounds a bit similar to HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION doesn't it? I almost forgot, one of the contestants is psychic, so we get a bit of FRIDAY THE 13th PT. VII: THE NEW BLOOD feel as well ...oh Lord.  Okay, so this isn't a good film, but it is stacked heavily with breasts and gore, and for your average teen it will be a lotta fun.  The acting is uniformly sub-par throughout, the characters are of the worst kind of cliches, and the film is just generally lazy in it's generic set-ups. I'll say I enjoyed Jerry Broome's portrayal of Sean Mcintyre, the murderous mountaineer who returns from the grave after the contestants reach-out to him via Ouija board. On the plus side, the kills are surprisingly brutal, not for the squeamish. My problem here is that there's no tension, even by slasher standards, it's a line 'em up, who's next sorta affair. RATING **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)
DEMONIC aka FOREST OF THE DAMNED (UK) (2006) “Thrown out of heaven …they’ll take you to hell…” Directed by Johanne Roberts/Starring Tom Savini, Daniel Maclagan / Nicole Petty/Sophie Holland/Color/R/83 Min.
A young couple are parked in a wooded area, making out. The woman hears a rustling in the forest, we see quick moving shadows dart through the trees, and the man goes to investigate. Personally, I say "honey, get in the car, we’re leaving", but few horror films are based on good decision making. He’s confronted by a gorgeous naked woman, apparently bewitched by her unearthly charms. they embrace and deeply kiss. It is revealed that the woman’s mouth is toothed with gnarly razor sharp teeth as she tears a chunk of flesh from the young man’s neck. A great start, well done, I was on board immediately. From there we are introduced to five friends on a road trip to a countryside lake. Along the way they get lost, as youngins are apt to do in films such as this. They pull into a darkened gas station to get directions and are accosted by a crazed fella spouting warnings about fallen angels who were banished from heaven for having been infected by an earthly lust and how they now prowl, seduce and kill people in Miranda Forest. A total “It’s got a death curse” moment, right outta FRIDAY THE 13th. No one ever believes the crazy guy, and the group tears outta there quickly and proceed down the road through the forest. After a bit the driver is getting sleepy, he notices something strange in the woods. Momentarily distracted he doesn’t see a woman in the road, violently striking her. The van is damaged beyond drivability, the woman in need of immediate medical attention, and the cell phones don’t work (OF COURSE!). Miles from anywhere, on a desolate road, the group splits into three groups in search of assistance. Once separated the groups each encounter the nymph-like creatures and a mysterious man named Stephen (Tom Savini, GRINDHOUSE, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, DAWN OF THE DEAD) who is aware of the creatures and has a sinister agenda of his own. A promising start, not a bad idea, but the film is spoiled by shoddy stylistic decisions regarding editing, cinematography and film score, and a thin script. A particularly poor choice is the night vision camerawork which pulled me out of the film and the painful electronic score. On the plus side, this film is genuinely eerie at times, there’s an abundance gorgeous naked woman from start to finish and the special effects are well executed for a low budget affair, not gory but pretty bloody. ** (2 out of 5 stars)

HALLOWED (2005) "Say your prayers" Directed by Rocky Costanzo/Starring Corey Foxx, Rosslyn Roberson, Andrew Martin Color/R/80 Min.
Witnessing the murder of his mother at the hands of his father causes 10 year-old Gabriel to lose his sanity and be institutionalized. Twenty years later, the now-grown boy leaves the clinic and sets out on what he believes is his sacred duty in life. Seeking out those around him who he feels is in need of spiritual help; Gabriel alleviates their woes through murder. Wow, talk about a film steeped in HALLOWEEN homages. This murderous bible thumper rides past several key locations from HALLOWEEN, including the Doyle House, the Meyers House, and the Strode house. Quite a few of the shot selection are also obvious homages to the film as was the score. It was a lot more interesting spotting the homages in this film than actually watching it. Not to be unfair, but this slasher was none too original, it's a tribute to the classic slashers of the 80's and it has its share of decent kills and effective atmosphere but the terrible acting destroyed it for me.
RATING *1/2 (1.5 out of 5 stars)
HARVEST OF FEAR (2004) "Terror is growing" Directed by/Starring Ryan Deal, Justin Ament/Color/R/95 Min.
HARVEST OF FEAR opens with a couple camping in the woods, perhaps making up for the lack of nudity in A BRUSH WITH DEATH, we are treated to some gratuitous breasts right from the start. A masked killer takes out the boyfriend and chases the woman through the woods. It’s a cliched and unimaginative beginning to a cliched and unimaginative film. The annual Harvest Fest is about to begin, but the killings are eerily similar to the unsolved murders that happened two decades earlier, a retired police officer fears the killer has returned, but the authorities won’t listen to him, of course. There’s little I can say positive about Harvest of Fear. It holds little intrigue and fewer scares, the characters are one-note clich├ęs, that acting it terrible across the boards, the FX are of little interest. 
RATING **(2 out of 5 stars)


 Directed by Olaf Ittenbach/Starring Natacza Boon, James Matthews, Daryl Jackson/Color/Unrated/86 Min.
This film was fantastic right out of the gate as a clown-masked killer enters a hippie compound and just starts hacking hippies to shreds. Chock full of gore galore, nudity and flashy editing, fun stuff and a great intro. The lone survivor is young Rebecca (Natacza Boon, AEON FLUX), whom falls into a coma after the attack.  Awakening 2 years later she is adopted by her aunt and uncle. All seems to be well, then ten years after the massacre she begins seeing grotesque visions of her dead father and dead hippies, they're out for revenge and bloodthirsty. I don't think I've ever seen ghosts portrayed  as such violent, revenge starved spirits, let alone hippie ghosts, man. Peace, Love and Bloody Fucking Revenge! They tell her she needs to bring the killer to the compound so they may take their revenge. The kills are completely over-the-top splatstick, almost comical in a DEAD ALIVE kinda way. What this film has working in its favor is German special effects maestro turned director Olaf Ittenbach. He gets the most possible gore for the low-budget buck, the FX look amazing. What doesn't work?  I thought the ghost story/murder mystery aspect of this film was overly convoluted and it's slightly derailed by the flat acting, trite dialogue, and overly convoluted storyline, but the over-the-top gore held a lot of sway for me. Not a great film, but this supernatural horror-thriller was a lot of fun when it was on it's game.
RATING **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)

RED RIDING HOOD (2004) "Don't tell this tale to your kids" Directed by Giacomo Cimini/ Starring Kathleen Archebald, Susan Satta/Color/R/92 Min.
Jenny (Susanna Sattas) is a precocious 12 year-old girl residing in Rome. She tries to deal with her father's murder and her mother's abandonment by becoming a twisted vigilante. Jenny and her mysterious companion torture and kill their victims to punish them for their perceived crimes, and the punishments are extremely brutal. I adored Susanna Satta's portrayal of the 12 year-old psychotic child with a mad sense of justice. When pursuing the guilty Jenny dons a black shroud, red gloves and boots, the RED RIDING HOOD persona she inhabits while on the prowl. This is a twisted fairy tale indeed, it's brutal and blood splattered, full of gore, much more than I expected. We get beatings, decapitations, limb severances, stabbings and even a nail gun to the eye - this film does not shy away from brutality. When her grandmother (Katheen Archibald) arrives to take her to New York City, Jenny must find a way to stay in Rome by keeping her grandmother incapacitated, and does she ever. She drugs and restrains her grandmother throughout the better part of the film, and these scenes are quite brutal, even I squirmed a bit. Sadly, I looked up Susanna Satta and she's not acted in any other films. RATING ***1/2 (3.5out of 5 stars)

SHADOWS OF THE DEAD (2004) "We'll be together, 'til the end" Directed by Carl Lindberg/Starring Jonathan Flanigan, Beverly Hynds, Nick Schirmer/Color/R/92 Min.
In a typical horror film set-up, a couple is driving to the countryside for a weekend getaway and instead find a horrific nightmare when they bust a tire and end up staying the night in the foggiest wooded area I've ever seen. They discover a "dead" body not far from where they busted their flat, they choose to ignore it and grab a few winks 'til morning comes. Later that night they notice the body has disappeared and the man goes to investigate and is bitten by something while taking a piss. The next day they seek medical attention for the infected bite and are alarmed to discover that the man's heart has ceased to beat. The Dr. suspiciously excuses himself and the two bolt from the hospital in fear of being made lab rats. The two sequester themselves in a cabin,  it seems the bite carried a mysterious virus that infects the couple and ravages their bodies. Their skin begins to discolor and blister, so much so that they bandage their faces like mummies, and they describe (not show, a budgetary decision, no doubt) how their skin is tightening around their skulls, we also see his eyes turn opaque. Soon they discover that their bodies are rejecting food and are developing a lust for human flesh. The woman adamantly refuses to kill, and this causes tension between the two. So, this sounds pretty good as I'm writing it, and it's not without merit, but the films is slow moving and heavily dialogue driven, which is not always a detriment, but in this case ...yawn. The films comes across as more an examination of the lovers relationship than a horror film, and the ending is highly unsatisfying. RATING *1/2 (1.5 out of 5 stars)

TWISTED SISTERS (2006) "Nobody get in her way..." Directed by Wolfgang Buld/Starring Fiona Horsey, Andrew Southern, Paul Conway/Color/R/97 Min.
Who's excited? Another partnering between director Wolfgang Buld and actors Fiona Horsey and Paul Conway. This time out the always attractive and more often than not nude Fiona Horsey portrays both Jennifer and Norah, twin separated at birth. Jennifer lives a good life, a good family, and a loving fiance. Things are great until one day she's fingered as the suspect of a brutal slaying. Someone's going around picking-up men at bars and slicing off their wieners after banging 'em. It is revealed to Jennifer that she indeed has an evil twin sister who's escaped the asylum, it all very Brian DePalma-esque (DRESSED TO KILL). Her twin is out to frame her for the murders, hoping to steal her identity as she takes the fall. This is a very dark thriller, the comedy is not as prevalent as previous Buld films, but then again, can lighting a rocket up a man's arse and blowing his intestine out through his abdomen NOT be funny? RATING ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5 stars)

 UNINVITED (1993) "Only the brave would dare to awaken the guardian of the dead" Directed by/Starring Christopher Boyer, Bari Buckner, Jack Elam/Color/R/90 Min.
 This is the last film of the legendary Jack Elam (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST), a man known for his western persona, he gets top billing, and he's in the film for maybe 3 minutes. UNINVITED is that most rare of horror sub-genres the western-horror, most recently visited by THE BURROWERS. This is the tale of several disparate folks who've pooled their money and to lay claim to a goldmine, intending to split the profits. A good cast of characters; the hooker with a heart of gold, the couple looking for a down payment on a homestead, a priest with a past, and a cagey survivor of the Donner Party. Along the way they disturb an ancient native American burial site, and that's never a good idea. Afterwards, violence and tension erupts between the group as one by one they die off at the hands of angered spirits and each other. I feel the filmmaker overstepped the films meager budget trying to capture the look and feel of a gold rush-era western here and it hurts the film and it feels thin in parts, but the film is steeped in mountain mist and a sense of doom for all involved. It works to a point, but the film is too slow moving. RATING ** (2 out of 5 stars)

DVD: These 12 films contained in this set are presented in their original non-anamorphic widescreen aspect ratios with stereo sound. The image quality is good throughout, a sight better than most of Mill Creek's public domain collection without a doubt. It's great to see Mill Creek Entertainment licensing films and releasing them, as I think a lot of people assume they only release public domain films from inferior source materials, and this is a misconception.

VERDICT: A definite buy in my estimation. While I rather disliked A BRUSH WITH DEATH and HARVEST OF FEAR I was pleasantly surprised by the three Wolfgang Buld films starring Fiona Horsey and Paul Conway. The other highlight for me was RED RIDING HOOD, really interesting stuff. Great titles I'd never heard of 'em til now. That's the beauty of the budget box sets, it's a give and take proposition, but it only takes a few gems to make a collection shine.  OVERALL RATING *** (3 out of 5 stars)