Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Escalofrio (aka Satan's Blood) [1978]

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Andy's soft, delicate, invisibly pregnant wife, Annie, develops a powerful lust for the dance floor one ho-hum afternoon. After Andy reminds his little flower of what everyone already knows (that dancing kills babies), they decide to load up on coffee and cigarettes, and drive recklessly about the city, instead. When that brand of crazy action proves not quite enough, they decide to kick up the heat a few notches by following a couple of perfect strangers back to their secluded mansion for wine and cheese.

Clearly starved for a night out, Annie is delighted by the rather forward invitation. Andy, however, is fixated on his host, Bruno, an old college chum. Why can't he remember him? The facts don't seem to add up. Once inside Bruno and Mary's sprawling love nest, they slowly begin to discover that not everything is as it appears on the surface. A table and a goblet, for example, are merely inanimate objects to most people. However, to some, those two objects can be used in unison to create a mechanism for communication with the world beyond.

The happy couple of squares lap up every drop of weird served them by their gracious hosts. Those two sure know how to throw a party, what with the booze, the necromancy, and the... "swinging from the chandelier," and all.

When a rather convenient storm brews outside, rendering the crude roadway impassable, Andy and Annie are forced to spend the night with their new pals. Annie awakens, and goes wandering in the night, only to be near-raped by a lurking hobo, who seems to have full use privileges in Bruno and Mary's kitchen. When she returns, moments later, with Andy to look for the attacker (unarmed; we are left to assume that Andy planned on giving the guy a stern lecture), they instead find their friendly hosts sitting naked inside a Satanic Circle.

Bruno is chanting, Mary is writhing, and the happy couple of squares can't help but want to know more. Finally, their presence in the room is detected, and they are approached by the ferocious, buxom blonde. For the purposes of the film, the couple is placed under a powerful Satano-trance, but my own, personal reading on the scene(s) to follow is that Andy and Annie were simply craving a ride on the wild baloney pony. The chemistry is definitely interesting: Bruno is depicted as little more than a sad leather freak, his masculinity beaten from him by the insatiable Mary, who is impossible to resist.

"You who are of death
You who kiss death on the mouth
Protect us, and lead us out of our misery."

Not only does this firecracker of a film confirm that Satanic orgies are safer for a developing fetus than dancing, it also contains step-by-step visual instructions on how to complete a Satanic orgy properly. From the correct application of evil head cheese, to the prolonged, piercing scream at the end of the ritual, this movie provides all the information necessary for those wishing to start a Satanic cult or group of their own.

Unfortunately, things get a little too wild and wooly during the orgy, and Mary is left bed-ridden, but still wanton. She takes a spin with just about everyone, including Annie, whom she visits in a rather violent lesbian dream-encounter. It is around this time that Annie begins to notice an absolutely terrifying porcelain doll is following her around. Remarkably, Annie pushes through all the evil weirdness to tend to Mary's ailments. She is a nurse, after all. Personally, I think she just wanted to wait around to see if there might be another orgy.

When the couple of squares finally awaken, and try to leave the house of sin, all Hell most assuredly breaks loose. To top it all off, Bruno finally comes correct on his end of some sort of suicide pact with Mary, and Annie is forced to care for her oversexed hosts once again. Mary leaves to fetch a doctor, and returns in a semi-catatonic state. When the doctor enters the room wearing a black trench coat, you just know it's bad news! Although the man utters a clearly-Satanic verse over Bruno's corpse, Andy and Annie decide to remain helpfully at the scene upon his doctoral authority. What a pair of patsys!

"By the dreadful day of our Judgement
By the four beasts before the throne,
having eyes before and behind
By the fire which is around the throne
Take thy servant, I command thee
Into your world of darkness."

While Andy and Annie lament upon how much their situation blows, Mary sneaks off to slit her wrists in the bathtub. Finally, the happy couple have had enough! They decide to wipe the place of their fingerprints (only to replace them with fresh, new ones) and get the fuck out of dodge before Dr. Death comes back with the law! The house itself turns against them, slamming doors and barring exits. Fortunately, the forces of darkness leave the side door open for them, and they are ultimately able to escape.

The breathless couple finally return home, only to discover that their door no longer opens to their apartment, but instead, to a never-ending Hell. Foolishly, they allow themselves to be taken in by the friendly, old couple living across the hall... in Apt. 66!!! Once inside, they are greeted by all their friends from the Satanic mansion: Bruno, Mary, the bum that near-raped Annie and got stabbed by the weird gatekeeper who Andy and Annie drove over with their car as they were escaping... It's a homecoming fit for a Dark Prince!

Ángel Aranda and Sandra Alberti are impeccable as bickering, Satanic swingers. Bruno is like an early-model Danzig, without any of the corresponding cool, while Mary is a (literally) snarling, rabid sex kitten, with a body that was made to glorify the gods. Andy and Annie (José María Guillén and Mariana Karr) are presented in sharp contrast to their Hell bound hosts, poster children for the sanctity of marriage.

In spite of the fact that Annie is first presented as somewhat of a delicate flower (in a family way, no less), she proves herself capable of managing the myriad of threatening situations presented before her. Not only does she cope well with these situations, but she also seems strangely drawn to them. Her husband, Andy, is oddly attractive, with the face of a more handsome Sylvester Stallone, and the body of a squash-playing accountant. Certainly, he cannot be counted on for protection against the forces of evil.

ESCALOFRIO (aka SATAN'S BLOOD) has all the necessary components of a great devil movie, with an outstanding cast of characters, to boot! Even the voice over actors hired for the English dubbing of this Spanish title from writer/director Carlos Puerto were really quite superb. Although full of blatant plot holes (the foremost being the fact that Andy and Annie were silly to have not taken their chances on the road following the incident with the Ouija table), intriguing character development, along with skillful art direction, save this film from Satano-mediocrity.

Thanks to Karswell for tucking this titillating title inside my Christmas stocking!

And, to read hilarious quips from a different perspective, be sure to check out this review of the same film, posted by The Vicar of VHS of Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies.

4/5 Kitty Skulls ... Video Cocaine!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rasputin and the Princess

A voluptuous blonde playfully disrobes, then settles herself upon a coffin-like structure for a statuesque nap. A lurking monster appears, ravages her, and then gently sets her back upon her pedestal for sleepies once again! The bombshell awakens to discover that the fearsome scene was merely a nightmare... Or, was it?

was released as an archival short with THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP SPECIAL EDITION (2000) by those cwazy wabbits at Something Weird Video. While not quite as WTF? OMG! HOT! as the film's other vintage smut offering, THE GIRL AND THE SKELETON, this 7 minute clip features plenty of music, dancing, and monstrousness!

As with all online video clips featuring the (mostly) undressed female form, please be sure to watch while supplies last. And, don't forget to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Girl and the Skeleton

A delicate, young flower frolics nude with a paper skeleton in this silent short, which is sure to quicken the pulse and warm the blood of all who dare to behold THE GIRL AND THE SKELETON.

Released with Something Weird Video's THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP SPECIAL EDITION* (2000), this archival short subject is nothing less than voyeuristic heaven; 2 minutes and 49 seconds of heaven, to be precise.

I've taken the liberty of posting the clip to YouTube (you're welcome), so go on and take a peek, before some Bible Belter flags it as inappropriate! Please note that the clip is not safe for work, or anyone with a Halloween decoration fetish and a heart condition.

Yup, the video got banished from the t00b,
so I'm now providing it directly through Blogger.

* Thank you, Stephen J., for keeping my erotic needs in mind this Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blood on Her Lips (1953)

A scheming she-wolf stalks a dashing, young Mountie as he treks through the frigid Canadian wilderness to catch a fur-trappin' murderer. It's man versus beast and the elements, as Corporal Dennis Keefe fights for his life in a harsh, unforgiving landscape.

Thanks to The Horrors of it All for this four-legged frightener from Journey Into Fear No. 11. From puck-shootin' ghouls, to werewolves prowling the tundra, Karswell has kindly provided all the essential tools needed to fill my Sub-Zero Survival Kit!

So, put on your mittens, slap on your touque, and get ready to taste the BLOOD ON HER LIPS... And for those who really wanna wolf-out, be sure to check out THOIA for yet another tale from the lycanthrope files, WEREWOLF OF THE ALPS. It's Wolfy Wednesday!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Creepshow (November 26, 2008)

Canada's Premiere Psychobilly band, THE CREEPSHOW, brought their high-energy, low-filler act to town once again on November 26 @ Bar None in Kingston. The official band the Rue Morgue Festival Fear for two years running were fresh off a European tour, and re-acclimated themselves to the fretfully low temperatures in the Great White North by playing to a packed house of dedicated fans and followers.

While showering the crowd with product-placement gifts of Jägermeister t-shirts, pins, and stickers, they played a lineup of favourites from their acclaimed debut album, Sell Your Soul, as well as a collection of tunes from Run For Your Life, the follow-up album they released in September, 2008.

THE CREEPSHOW is touring extensively right now, so who knows? You may find them creepin' into a honkey tonk near you in the not-too-distant future!

"Take My Hand"
on YouTube

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Goal is Death (1974)

In celebration of a hard-earned Saturday night, also known as Hockey Night in Canada to millions of airhorn-blowing fans, your feline hostess has acquired yet another treat from the haunted longboxes over at The Horrors of it All! Feast your eyes on Vicente Alcazar's arena-chiller, THE GOAL IS DEATH, which appeared in Sorcery No. 9 (1974).

Go on, pull your neighbour's sweater over his head before you begin punching him furiously, then become acquainted with Baron Torak, a lonely vampire who comes to find the love and acceptance he has always craved somewhere between center ice and the blue line.

Curtsies to Steve for this penalty-killing classic, and also for the excellent Evil Hockey Night in Canada graphic!

"I must score...
If it's the last thing I ever do...
I will score!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

In Drear-Nighted December

For those of us in the north, the dead season is most certainly upon us! Although Winter won't officially begin until December 21, I thought I would brace for the grueling months to come with some moon mythology, followed up promptly with a Keats Toddy!

Full Cold Moon: On Friday, December 12, the Full Cold Moon will bathe us in its luminous glory. "The winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun." -- Farmers' Almanac

In Drear-Nighted December

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

John Keats (1795 - 1821)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Brainstorm (1991)

So, we all know that Karswell over at The Horrors of it All is famed for posting the best in frightening horror comics. What some may not know is that he's starred in a few of them, himself! Pssst -- he's the one in the leather jacket!

The moment I laid eyes on BRAINSTORM, inked by Guy Burwell, I knew that I wanted it to appear among the piled corpses here at Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave. The murders are so violent, so random, so precisely the way in which the slasher hero would commit them, if he weren't such a fine, upstanding citizen...

Put on your reading goggles, friends, and prepare to become more acquainted with Karswell, and his blood-spattered alter ego, The Comic Book Killer!!! Also, it looks like Jessie from HARD ROCK ZOMBIES has made a special cameo appearance as the Permed Dude on page 2... Enjoy!!!


... and when he wasn't spilling the blood of innocent passersby,
he could most often be found fondling his RAM.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Caution: Mild Spoiler Alert

Leon Kauffman's girlfriend, Maya, is, like, totally awesome. She got him a meeting with Susan Hoff, one of the city's most renowned art snobs, in the hopes that he could leave crime scene photography behind, and get back to taking pictures of the things he loves. Clearly, Maya is, like, totally hinting that he should be taking more pictures of her.

Leon's real passion is the city. He wants to be the first person to capture it the way it really is (whatever that means). Susan Hoff (played by the iconic Brooke Shields) is unmoved by his portfolio. Her mannish features fixed on him, she urges Leon to come back and see her when he's shot something a little more "brave." So, Leon sets out on a late-night fact-finding mission, far beneath the streets of the city.

He encounters a group of subway thugs hassling a beautiful, young Asian woman (played by Japanese pop starlet Nora) on her way down to the trains. So desperate is he to gain recognition in the art world, that Leon does something crazy: he intervenes. He is able to frighten away the thugs, but not before snapping a career-defining photo of the malevolent tableau. The young woman thanks him (with tongue!) for his bravery, and gets on a waiting subway car. Leon probably should have let those dudes rape her, as a far worse fate awaits her on THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN.

When Leon learns of her "disappearance" the next day, he is understandably shaken, having been one of the last to see her alive. But, at least he got those fabulous photos of her for the art snob before she went missing...

Susan Hoff is something like The Wizard of Oz. No matter what Leon brings back to her, she is always wanting something more. She promises him a spot in her next art showing if he can capture two more images as arresting as the one he had taken of the subterranean near-rape. Leon is not only up to the challenge, but seems overly confident in his abilities after a night of celebratory binge-drinking with Maya and his Art World Gateway Pal, Jurgis.

In place of any recurrent sexual harassment action, Leon encounters a strange, silent hulk of a man coming up from the subway trains in the wee hours of the morning. He is drawn to the man for some reason, and begins regularly following his nocturnal activities after he recognizes the man's ring in the photograph he took of the Asian woman getting onto the train. Leon's shutter-buggy senses are all a-tingle. The man was connected to her disappearance, somehow, and Leon was determined to illuminate the truth.

So, what does Leon learn about the guy? Well, he is very meticulous about his personal grooming habits and appearance. He never leaves home without the big, leather medical bag with his name, "Mahogany," printed on one side. Oh, and he works at a meat packing plant. All signs are definitely beginning to point to serial killer. But, what does he do with the bodies? Those he butchers only turn up missing in the media, not murdered. And, how does he clean up all the bloody fucking mess before anybody at the transit authority knows it's there?

Unbeknownst to poor Leon, he is about to uncover a plot that is older, deeper, and more diabolical than anything he could ever have imagined. Moreover, Susan Hoff would probably eat her own excrement for access to this hidden world for her next big show. But none of that seems to matter to Leon anymore. He can't even bring himself to take pictures of his hot, blonde pre-fiance while she's taking off her bra! Not to mention the fact that his tofu-tamed taste buds are starting to crave meat ~ red meat ~ and lots of it! His interest in solving the subterranean mystery becomes an obsession, as the young photog is sucked into the cold, steel allure of THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN.

"Before you were born,
or the birth of any other human thing,
that's how long. Or longer.
Now, you've found us,
as only a few before you have;
the intimate circle that keeps the secret.
We protect and nurture them,
and order is thereby preserved...
Now serve, as we all do,
without question."

Nobody brings monstrosity living amid our world to life like Clive Barker! The undisputed master of modern-day horror holds top writing credits for his short story, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, published in Books of Blood Volume One. Jeff Buhler wrote the film's screenplay.

While THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN sported a number of gaps and holes, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film, in spite of those few moments of groan. For instance: the character development leaves truckloads to be desired. The male leads (Bradley Cooper in the role of Leon, and ex-English Football Leaguer Vinne Jones as the brooding Mahogany) delivered sound, stable performances, while the remainder of the cast seemed to just sort of hang there. Leslie Bibb reminded me too much of Jessica Lange, and all of her shrill, irritating qualities, while Robert Bart's character, Jurgis, could easily have been written out of the plot entirely. The non-essential friend does, however, make a handy, human pin-cushion during the climactic final subway showdown.

Sometimes, an unknown cast of skilled actors can be refreshing. In the case of THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, I simply couldn't bring myself to care whether certain characters lived or died. The film had, at times, a prime-time blockbuster feel to it, which I guess isn't all that surprising, considering the fact that the cast was comprised almost entirely of small screen veterans. It is clearly evident that Director Ryûhei Kitamura concentrated far more intently on the elaborate gore and special effects than on ensuring that the character dynamics made sense. As a result, the hack-and-slash scenes are taut, fast-paced, and gratifyingly gory, while the interplay between the characters is dull, even painful at times.

Heavy use of CGI usually aggravates me, and tends to look to me like a rather obvious flip between a movie and a high-end video game. Remarkably, I wasn't the least bit put off by Kitamura's artfully-digified version of the classic slasher film. Those victim's-eye view sequences were pretty darned cool!

4/5 Kitty Skulls = Video Cocaine!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Cat With Hands (2001)

Last night, as I slumbered, I had a strange dream
One that seemed to bring distant friends near
I dreamt of the faces of people I loved
And I awoke with an 'eart full of cheer

Recently, my paws came upon* the spine-tingling short, THE CAT WITH HANDS, and the brilliantly-realized nightmare world created therein continues to haunt my unguarded moments. Part live-action exchange between a rot-mouthed old man and his young assistant on the dreary, English countryside, and part sumptuous, animated feast of imagined terror, the film lends a macabre, new meaning to the old adage about cats and tongues. You know the one...

This time, you can not count on me to give it all away, other than to say that this film is a real dark chocolate treat for the senses, although super-short at just over 3 minutes long. Creator Robert Morgan apparently snatched the idea from a recurring dream that plagued his sister: "a cat with human hands chased her and some friends around a graveyard. When it touched them, with those hands, the girls turned into spastics."**

Make sure the window is cracked enough to admit the scent of burning leaves, grab your favourite afghan from the closet, and enjoy this visually stunning, Poe-flavoured morsel!

5/5 Kitty Skulls ... Pick of the litter!

* Thanks, Karswell
* Source: No fat clips!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout (1990)

Caution: Video Spoilers Galore

How prepared are you to handle a hostile zombie takeover? Can you ride a bicycle, lying on the floor, with your legs jacked up over your head? Could your hips, buns, belly, and thighs stand a little aerobicization? Have no fear, LINNEA QUIGLEY'S HORROR WORKOUT is here!!! The Scream Queen and Hardbody Extraordinaire woke up at the crack of 1990 to bring you this spookier, sexier version of the home fitness video. Whether you are looking to work your entire body, or merely your wrist, Linnea and her enthusiastic team of zombies and slumber party sluts are sure to get your heart rate up, and your blood pumping!

After opening with a steamy, pre-workout shower scene, the brassy blonde dons a pair of fishnet stockings, high-heeled boots, and a metal-plated bra n' panty set before getting down on all fours to communicate a little of her body language. The background music is terrible, but serves its purpose in getting a nice, little beat going for Ms. Q to gyrate to. For those who choose to participate in the activity, you'll know that you're doing it right when you get to the lingering ass shots!

Upon completion of her floor exercises, Linnea decides to go for a jog through the cemetary. When a gaggle of flabby zombies follows her home, she leads them in a poolside aerobic routine which is sure to whip them into shape! The terrible background music returns, but it's surprising how well the dilapidated freaks move to it!

Poolside Zombies (YouTube Clip)

After a long day of working out, Linnea is finally ready to kick back at home with a bunch of buxom, scantily-clad hussies she's invited over for a slumber party. This sequence was a little on the long side, and regrettably uneventful up until the last few minutes. Kitty's advice to viewers: wait for the pelvic thrusts, they are soooo worth it. Further, the more satin-covered crotch they cram onto the screen in each frame, the better the limp-wristed guitarfluff background music seems to sound! By the end of the dry-air-humping sequence, you'll be scouring eBay for your very own copy of the soundtrack!

Slumber Party Sluts Spread 4 U (YouTubeClip)

LINNEA QUIGLEY'S HORROR WORKOUT is not rocket science; it's a thinly-veiled excuse for one of the hottest bodies in horror to do what she does best: wear as little as possible in order to maintain her seat in the House of Scream Queens. Linnea's voiceovers are funny, but poorly-executed, and it's clear that she won't be successfully acting her way out of a wet paper bag any time soon, but all of this is really quite irrelevant. HORROR WORKOUT takes two prominent staples from my 1980s upbringing, and combines them in a way that is both fun and unique. And, when Linnea Quigley says "Jump!" the only appropriate response is "Let me get my lube!"

Unfortunately, I can't speak to the efficacy of the actual workout, as my metal-plated bra is in the shop.

3/5 Kitty Skulls: Wait for this one to hit the Bargain Bin (and don't forget the lube!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Entity (1981)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Carlotta Moran (played by Barbara Hershey) is a young, single mother trying to give her children a decent upbringing. The stylish brunette is shown leaving her clerical day job to attend typing school at night. She returns home to her two young girls (Natasha Ryan* and Melanie Gaffin), already asleep in their little beds, and finds her older son, Billy (David Labiosa), tinkering around in the garage. The close relationship between mother and son is instantly palpable: the way Carlotta speaks to Billy in such a relaxed and easy manner; the way she looks at him with such tender emotion in her eyes; and the way she sensuously caresses the back of his neck with her long, sinuous fingers… Waitaminnit -- neither of my parents ever touched me like that! If they had, I would have turned them in to Children's Aid.

Carlotta (Carla to her friends) leaves Billy in the garage, and enters her bedroom. Her head is suddenly thrown backward by some unseen force, leaving her mouth bloodied and her eyes wet. Her entire body is then heaved upward, and thrown down onto the bed. A pillow is pressed against her face to muffle the sounds of her screaming, as she is hammered into the mattress, over and over again, as though she were being raped. The musical score is urgent, and overbearing, while the camera settles in on Carlotta’s headboard rhythmically pounding the wall. The lamp shakes on the nightstand before finally falling over. Then silence returns, the pounding stops, and Carlotta screams hysterically on the bed.

The children come running to their mothers’ aid, and Carlotta orders Billy to look about the room, and then the entire house, for the person who had just attacked her. When the boy returns to report that nobody was, or could have been, inside with them, Carlotta’s terror mingles with confusion. Could a bad dream really leave you feeling sore?

The following night, Carlotta is visibly on edge, as though she is waiting for something to happen. She picks up a book, feigning interest in it while she stretches out across her bed. A small tremor shakes the nightstand. A larger tremor shakes the bureau across from the bed. Soon, everything in the room is pulsating violently, coloured glass bottles of perfume are exploding, and Carlotta doesn’t wait around to see what else might happen. She flees from the room, scoops up her children, and loads them into the car. They spend the night with her friend, Cindy (Margaret Blye), and her bellyaching husband, George (Michael Alldredge), but young Billy does not seem convinced that their house is unsafe. The next morning, when Carlotta finally gets around to telling Cindy what had driven them out of their house, she receives even less emotional support.

“Carla, you’re one of the most stable people I know,
and you are definitely not insane. But when men who
aren’t actually there come into your room and have
intercourse with you, then it is time to see
a good psychiatrist.”

Carla returns to her house reluctantly with the children. She begins preparing for another night of terror when Cindy pops in to spend the night. Such a ray of sunshine, that Cindy! And not afraid to speak her mind when it comes to what Carla ought to be doing with her life.

After spending a quiet and uneventful night in the house with Cindy, Carlotta heads off to work feeling refreshed. She is fiddling with the radio dials when her vehicle lurches forward, and proceeds to drive maniacally of its own volition! Shrieking, Carla wrenches the steering wheel, and stomps on the brake, but it’s of no use: she is the proud owner of Josephine, Christine’s half-sister! Narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian), Carla’s highway ordeal finally comes to an end when she wraps Josephine around a telephone pole. She is not physically harmed in the accident, but her eggshell psyche has clearly taken another sharp uppercut.

In the next scene, Carlotta is shown looking beaten, like a victim of spousal abuse, as she awaits psychiatric assessment by Dr. Phil Sniderman (Ron Silver). She recounts the whole of her strange, sordid tale to him, and he plays the typical, patronizing Psychiatrist. She submits to some very “routine,” and very “boring” psychological testing, and returns to her house of horrors by taxi cab. Night has already fallen.

Carla is brutally raped by the unseen entity again that evening. She turns up the next day in Dr. Sniderman’s office presenting the markings of a violent attack, hoping to finally validate her sanity with physical evidence. Sniderman is unmoved. He offers her the consolation that crazy people sometimes do crazy things to their bodies, and also some tranquilizers. He insists that there is something preying upon her from within her mind, not her house, and invites her to join him in a drawn-out, difficult exploration of her past. At this point, Carla feels she hasn’t much choice but to accept his invitation. Sniderman’s colleagues are even less inclined to believe that there is anything strange going on, besides in Carla’s mind.

“She’s masturbating. This entire circus, she’s invented
it to cover up what every little girl does.”

In spite of Carla’s willingness to openly submit to all of Sniderman’s evaluations, the attacks on her body continue. She awakens in the night to find herself in the midst of an orgasm while invisible hands tenderly fondle her. Carla once again seeks refuge at her friend Cindy’s apartment. To her immense relief, Cindy and George witness their house being torn apart by the unseen demon that has been terrorizing Carla. The next day, she and Cindy set out to do some important shopping at their Friendly Neighbourhood Occult Book Section, and Carla meets a couple of nerdy parapsychology students there by happenstance. She brings them back to her house for an investigation.

Just when the parageeks are about to recommend Carla seek psychiatric help, and leave her to her crazy delusions, an unsettling tremor shakes the kitchen where they all stand. Carla feels ever so vilified when they decide to set up shop for the night, adorning her bedroom with a complex array of scientific gadgetry. Somewhere in the darkness of the early morning hours, Carla and the scientists are awakened by an electrical disturbance. At last, the entity that has been tormenting Carla has been captured on film! The parageeks cream in their pocket protectors.

“The entity” appears weakened somehow by the presence of the scientists, and the young family is finally able to get some respite under the watchful eyes of the cameras. Things almost seem to be returning to normal when Carla’s boyfriend, Jerry (Alex Rocco), returns home from an extended business trip. She does her best to explain away the presence of the scientists, but Jerry doesn’t seem to place much stock in what she tells him, until he follows her into the bedroom for a game of Hide the Weiner. To his dumbfounded amazement, she is already lying on the bed, playing it with some invisible d00d! Jerry lashes out in futility, busting a wooden chair over the phantom rapists’ back, rendering poor Carla unconscious in the process.

She is taken immediately to the hospital. Desperate times call for desperate measures. She agrees to a dangerous experiment, designed to physically capture the powerful force of her unseen attacker.

“I’ve always believed that there were several planes of
existence, distinct, and separate, and we as human beings
inhabit only one.”

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Cooley (Jacqueline Brookes), the parageeks build a replica of Carla’s home within a controlled setting. The intention is to freeze the bastard entity in liquid helium, using Carla as a decoy. She is assured her perfect and complete safety, in the form of a double-paned, triple-ultra-mega heat-sealed something-or-other glass “protection area.”

Sniderman is, of course, seething with rage when he learns about what those parapsych charlatans have cooked up for his patient. His beautiful, fractured, helpless, sensuous patient… Methinks the bearded headshrinker hath fallen in love with Mrs. Moran! He makes it his personal mission to interfere with Dr. Cooley’s work, and seeks the counsel of his mentor, Dr. Weber (George Coe). Together, they try to put a stop to Cooley’s “potentially lethal” experiment, but it’s of no use. The environmental simulation proceeds, and Carla Moran is left to dwell in her laboratory home, while dozens of anxious onlookers observe her every movement.

Finally, the entity comes for her…

Something is wrong: the hi-tech super computers start going haywire, and the massive liquid helium zapper gun comes to life on its own above Carla. The bastard entity is trying to kill her! Carla darts frantically from room to room as the contraption fires off round after round of deadly helium mere inches from her lovely face. The “protective area” the scientists constructed for her shatters under the force of a good blast. Carla must face her demon alone. Bravely, she confronts that which torments her. All look on in horror as the helium tanks erupt.

Sniderman swings in heroically, like a mighty Tarzan moving gracefully on a vine, and rescues Carla in the proverbial nick of time. Glancing back at the ruptured habitat, they stare wide-eyed at the hulking, incredible mass which has been frozen in its tracks. The physical manifestation of the entity is witnessed by dozens of astonished scientists before the giant ice block shatters, and an ominous-looking mist washes over Carla and Dr. Sniderman.

Carla returns home, to the place that she has come to fear so intensely. It seems much less sinister in the daylight, as is the case with most haunted places. She moves with trepidation from room to room, as though waiting for the thing to announce its continued presence in her life.

The front door slams shut. A low, unearthly voice groans: “Cunt.”

The Entity, directed by Sidney J. Furie (Iron Eagle, Superman 4), is a reasonable adaptation of Frank De Felitta’s chilling novel of the same title. In the tradition of The Exorcist, The Entity’s screenplay is stripped of much of the psychobabble found within the novel. Both William Friedken, and Sidney J. Furie, in their directorial wisdom, coax the viewer into identifying with the victims’ version of events, rather than with the scientific theories presented. The psychiatrists are seen as cold, unfeeling clinicians in their attempts to help Carlotta, while the team of parapsychologists are presented as heroic, perhaps even angelic beings. The intense, deeply-personal explorations of Carla’s troubled psyche remain, for the most part, confined to the pages of De Felitta’s novel, while “the entity” is left to wreak havoc on the screen, unhindered by psychoanalytical mumbo jumbo.

The novel also features a more detailed, intimate account of the twisted courtship that took place between Carla Moran and the entity, which literally chilled my flesh as I tore hungrily through the chapters.

All the players do a commendable job in keeping the tension factor up, while maintaining a remarkably low level of overall cornography. The victims in this film are easy to relate to; especially Barbara Hershey’s taut, convincing portrayal of a desperate, young woman hunted nightly by a vicious attacker she cannot see. In addition to her formidable talent as an actress, the classic lines of her striking, nude body are not to be overlooked, as the leading lady is overpowered by invisible hands in various stages of undress.

A solid, supernatural thriller!! Hideo Nakata is apparently slated to re-make, and re-release the film in 2010. Lord of Horror, please deliver us from CGI titty-grabbing!

4/5 Kitty Skulls = Video Cocaine!

* Those who watch closely will recognize Natasha Ryan (who played Carla’s daughter, Julie) as Amy, the little girl who was taunted by the pig-faced apparition “Jody” in The Amityville Horror.