Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Body Melt (1993)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Philip Brophy's Australian gore freak-out, Body Melt, begins with an infomercial about a health spa which promises to revitalize and rejuvenate body and mind. The following scene features the woman from the infomercial (Regina Gaigalas), naked and glistening with sweat, pumping a funky-coloured substance into her also-naked (I saw cock!) lover's arm with a syringe. It would seem as though Loverboy (Robert Simper) knows too much about the "experiments" her evil corporation, Vimuvulle, is conducting in suburbia on a promising new drug they have developed. He is dealt with in the usual way: nailed by a sweaty cougar, and then dosed with a compound intended to expediate his gruesome and painful demise considerably.

"The first stage is hallucinogenic,
the second stage is glandular,
the third stage is..."

Loverboy was about to notify the good people of Homesville that the "vitamins" Vimuville had been so graciously letting them sample were really more like mind and body-warping drugs. He doesn't get much farther than the Welcome to Homesville sign before he enters the third phase of the drug, wrecks his car, and is then fatally assaulted by what I can only assume are his own guts. Makeup Guru Bob McCarron also lent his skills to the astoundingly gross Braindead (aka Dead Alive) in 1992, if that provides any indication of the sorts of treats Body Melt has in store for the discerning viewer of weird, way-over-the-top gore.

The horriffic car accident on their quiet street does not deter Paul (William MacInnes) from going about his usual routine of being an a-hole, nor does it stop wannabe pimp daddy's Sal and Gino* (Nick Polites & Maurice Annese) from going on a poontang-findin' road trip. Paul begins to have Nam flashbacks (though he never went to Nam), while the Italian Stallions get stuck at a 26th-rate stopover joint where the chromosomes are few in number, and the birds are labelled "sexy." Basically, it's the Australian version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Gene Simmons' Demon with his face in a pair of tits. Now, and forever.

The not-so-bright Stallions seem to really enjoy hanging out with the Goonie-brothers (Neil Foley & Matthew Newton) while they wait for their vehicle to be repaired. After a game of Kill Kangaroo & Eat It's Adrenal Gland To Get High with the Goonie-brothers, Gino decides to have a go at the ugly, inbred chica with all the sores on her face (Anthea Davis). Unfortunately, she eats him before he gets his rocks off. Sal hears his friend screaming and makes a break for it, but the fam closes in on him. "Breakfast, lunch, and tea!"

Skipping on down to the city morgue, Loverboy is lying (naked, again. Cock, again) on a table, post-autopsy, while a drug enthusiast/medical examiner in a tie-dyed t-shirt explains the strange things he discovered while giving the dude's innards a look-see.

"Now, I'm talkin' new drugs here, ugh?
Not just 70's designer shit, or 80's ghetto powders.
I'm talkin' 90's, man. Cognition enhancers,
designed to take your mind into new
intraphenomenalogical dimensions."

Back in Homesville, Paul is having another one of his episodes, this time involving a hot lady who lives inside his mailbox and steals his rib (massages it out of his body, to be precise) for her collection. To make the town news column even worse, the attractive, young couple with the bun in the oven (Brett Climo & Lisa McCune) begin to experience strange side effects from the "vitamins," as well. Though I'm sure it's really nothing to get excited about, Mom-to-Be's womb belches forth a hideous, sting ray-like creature that can move like the Dickens! The bouncing baby beast pre-empts years of child abuse by leaving both of his (possibly her) parents in the wake of his (or her) destruction.

That's some good baby *burp*

Nice sack, buddy!

This kid doesn't even get to experience the 3 stages of Body Melt;
he eats it while doing skateboard tricks on a halfpipe.

Even those who work for Vimuville are beginning to experience some rather unsettling side-effects of the drug. While they knew it could be fatal in high doses, they seemed perfectly content to ingest it themselves in much smaller portions. Intraphenomenalogical dimensions are pretty f'n cool, after all. What they didn't know was that Paw Inbred (Vincent Gill), who used to work for Vimuville, took one of the essential additives with him as a parting gift.

"Without that little additive, the body cannot control
its new powers. It might even, ugh... Explode!
Very fucking messy."

Sackman has seen better days.

Shit gets really wild at the health spa when employees and guests alike all start melting (and mutating!) right, left, and centre**. The bumbling cops (a horror essential) finally close in in the operation, and shut it down.

Next stop, Bonerland!
Musclehead's penis explodes all over what appears to be a gay porno on television.

Now I'll never get younger guys to fuck me!

Phil Brophy is obviously a HUGE Gene Simmons fan.

All of Vimuville's products are removed from the site with great care, however, the "vitamins" are still flying off the shelves in local shops. It's time to get intraphenomenalogical, baby!



* Coincidentally, Sal and Gino's last names are "
Ciccone" (pop icon Madonna's surname), and "Argento" (as in Dario, I should think).

* I didn't spell that wrong. Canadians speak English-English.

4/5 Kitty Skulls = Video Cocaine!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Body Parts (1991)

Caution: Spoilers Galore!

Body Parts, directed by Eric Red (Bad Moon), looks promising from the very beginning. The opening titles feature a series of anatomy drawings (rendered in blood red, no less), set to to an award-winning, profoundly creepy arrangement by Loek Dikker. Mmmm... foreshadowing. Best of all, Jeff Fahey, the genre veteran with the piercing, blue eyes, appears in the list of players. Yes, it's Lawnmower Man! You may also remember him from such films as: Sketch Artist (with Sean Young and Drew Barrymore); and Sketch Artist 2 (with Courtney Cox, who fumbles in the role of a blind woman). Fahey. Need I say more?

Okay, since you asked so nicely...

Bill Crushank (Fahey) is an academic working on a prolific piece about "how demons are introduced to the self," and an expert in the field of criminal psychiatry. His charmed life with his beautiful wife, Karen (Kim Delaney), and their two mop-headed children is interrupted when he is involved in a horrific car wreck. Bill loses his arm as a result of the accident, but survives. The brilliant surgeon, Dr. Agatha Webb (Lindsay Duncan), approaches an overwrought Karen with the opportunity to replace her husband's severed arm with one that will come from a donor. Not a prosthetic, but an honest-to-goodness, flesh-and-bone arm. Karen's decision is a no-brainer, and the operation is soon underway.

In an OR that looks a bit like a military training facility (guns for everyone!), Bill finds himself lying on a table being prepared for surgery. Just before he is gassed into oblivion by the anaesthesiologist, he watches in horror as Dr. Webb, looking fresh in mint green, buzzes off the head of the "donor" with a bone saw. After a few lingering shots of the OR gadgetry (a medical fetishists dream), Bill finally loses consciousness. When he later awakens, he is looking more than a little worse for the wear, but the operation has been a success, and the rehabilitation phase of his stitch n' sew journey may now begin. He makes a remarkable recovery, and is sent home from the hospital to be with his family again.

Udo Kier's Kult Aktor Training Kamp

All better now, right? Wrong!

Bill begins to have bizarre, blood-stained visions, and makes unusually aggressive love to his wife. He's also not as steady with the razor as he once was, and he's got a super-short fuse when it comes to those little mop-headed, little bastards. To top it all off with a cherry, upon making a head-shrinking visit to a prison facility, he learns that his new arm was "donated" by a death row inmate; it says so on the tattoo which marks his inner-wrist.

Bill decides to bite the information worm. He has his buddies at the Police Department run his fingerprints, and discovers that the previous owner of his arm was most assuredly an associate of Satan. Understandably, Bill is distressed about the fact that he and Charlie Fletcher (John Walsh), murderer extraordinaire, have something so uniquely in common. He confesses to his wife that he thinks something has gone terribly wrong with the operation, but his surgeon later assures him:

"It's your arm now, not Charlie Fletcher's."

Bill decides to seek out some other recipients of Charlie's meat products to see if they have been picking up on the same weird vibes. Remo Lacey (Brad Dourif) is a slightly off-balance artist who has been suddenly and inexplicably inspired with dark, visceral images, which have catapulted his beleaguered career to the heights of a "searing, original talent." Remo is uninterested in Bill's concerns about the origin of their new body parts; he is preoccupied in the quest for his first million.

"Death... Transfiguration... Total re-birth!"

Back at home, things are getting much worse for Bill. He's fighting more and more with his wife, and finally blows his top and sucker-punches his young son clear across the room. While Karen is icing the kid's fat lip in the kitchen, Bill stands by himself, contemplating the monster he has become. To pick himself up emotionally after brutally nailing Little Billy (Nathaniel Moreau), he decides to check out Charlie Meat Recipient #2, Mark Draper (Peter Murnik), doing some fancy footwork on the basketball court with his new legs.

Bill is nonchalantly tailing Mark home from the game, when Mark's leg suddenly goes crazy and pounds on the gas. Narrowly averting a number of potentially-fatal crashes, Mark is finally able to pull his vehicle to the shoulder. Bill comes to check on Mark, who simply states that his foot "just stomped on the gas there, and I couldn't get it to hit the fuckin' brake." Bill can certainly empathize.

"My arm's been doing things on it's own, and something's wrong. Something's wrong with this operation, and I don't know what it is." He gives Mark his business card, and asks him to call if he decides that he wants to talk. Like Remo, Mark isn't interested in talking. He's just glad to have legs, and wants to get to steppin' with them. Bill is left utterly alone with his problem after he tries to strangle Karen in her sleep, and is thrown out of the house. He bids his children goodbye in a sugary Daddy's going crazy, but he still loves you speech, then steps up his efforts in the search for the bits and pieces of his flesh and blood brother, Charlie Fletcher.

He pays another visit to Dr. Webb, and pleads with her to remove the demon arm that she sewed on to him. Webb is unreceptive to his proposition, as the experimental surgery has placed her at the forefront of the scientific community.

"Can't you see this arm is killing me?!"

Bill is left with no other option but to go out drinking and philosiphizing with his brothers in arms (and legs), Remo and Mark. Everything looks better through beer goggles. Soon after the happy reunion (including a dynamite barroom punchfest with some of the local hicks), young Mark Draper's situation takes a tragic turn for the worse. He loses his legs, again, this time torn from his body by an unseen marauder.

Bill happens to be on the phone with Mark as this happens, and travels over to his apartment where he discovers the body. Bill must warn the others; Karen first, and then the weird artist, Remo. Unfortunately, while Bill is ensuring the safety of his wife and children, Remo is being chucked out a window, not to mention having his arm ripped off by, again, an unseen marauder. At this point, I am beginning to think it might be the same marauder that killed Mark. It could even be...

Charlie Fletcher, back to avenge his stolen apendages!!! He pulls up alongside the killer-catchin' mobile holding Bill and Detective Sawchuck (Zakes Mokae), and takes them on a crazy, handcuffed ride through the city at night. Yes, Charlie Fletcher is driving a car. It must have been some kind of screw-up at the MOT*/DMV. The killer-catchin' mobile finally frees itself of The Chuckwagon of Terror, leaving Bill and Sawchuck standing in the dust as they watch Fletcher speed away with some of his re-claimed limbs resting up on the dash. The Frankenstein-like Fletcher loses control of the vehicle, causing him to whine like a hamster before he crashes in a ball of fire.

Charlie pulls his prized killing limbs from the fiery disaster, and kneels before his doctor, arms full of his gory proposition. He wanted to be put back together again, and that bitch Dr. Webb was just crazy enough to do it for him.

From the drivers' seat of the killer-catchin' mobile, Bill pens what may be the final entry in his meticulously-kept journal. The life-and-limb battle (pun definitely intended) between Bill and Charlie Fletcher is on! He heads to Dr. Webb's laboratory, and beholds a most gruesome sight: all the pieces of Charlie Fletcher are prepped and ready to go. All that remains is the arm attached to Bill's shoulder, and the medical team is ready to take it from him now. Bill is filled with nothing but contempt for Webb's ghoulish work.

"Saving Charlie Fletcher's head,
so he can run around and kill people?
That's quite an achievement, doctor."

After a Charlie-delivered blow to the back of his head, Bill once again finds himself on Dr. Webb's operating table. Just before the bone saw tastes his flesh, he awakens from the anaesthetic and hulks-out in a fit of rage, busting through his restrains and lunging at Charlie like a panther! He snaps Charlie's neck, then puts high-powered rifle holes in all his bits and pieces, just to make it official. Dr. Death is also blown away in the excursion.

"It's my arm now, Chuck.
I won it, fair and square."

Based on the novel Choice Cuts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, Body Parts is a stick-to-your-ribs mixture of classic horror and science-fiction. It was nominated for Best Horror Film by the USA Academy of Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, and isn't nearly as bad as much of the press about it would indicate. There are a lot of bad reviews for this film floating about on the Intertubes, and I honestly don't think that all the harsh criticism is well-deserved. Say what you will about Jeff Fahey, but he is perfect in the justice-seeker under pressure role. Not afraid to emote from the very pit of his gut, he delivers some of the best facial expressions ever captured on film. Brad Dourif is another clear and obvious asset to the film, playing a half-cocked dickhead the way nobody else can.

While, at times, the scenes reeked heavily of fromage, the overall impact of the film was quite impressive. I have yet to watch this with anyone who isn't noticeably enthused by the time the final credits roll. The story had some definite weak spots, but the trick is to allow yourself to adapt to the fact that you are watching a Jeff Fahey movie, and everything should be fine after that. The special effects are decent; the explosions look like they cost a lot of money, and the gore was passable. I would have liked to see more of it, but that's somewhat of a tired refrain coming from me. Heap those guts on, don't be shy! I'm certainly not, when it comes to movie-magic entrails.

4/5 Kitty Skulls = Video cocaine!

* Ministry of Transportation. I'm a syrup-sucking Canadian, remember.

"When the music's over..."

After an all-out knife fight of a Lyrics Challenge over at The Horrors of it All, there are not one, but two victors to announce:

Kitty's Pick: Mr. Cavin
Patrick's Pick: Silvano

And now, we leave the winners to get cleaned up in the locker room.

Many thanks to all who participated for the rawkin' good time, and to Mr. Karswell for hosting yet another great contest.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Index of Titles & Kitty Skull Rating System

Kitty Skull Rating System

1 Skull......Somebody should have turned the hose on this movie's parents.
2 Skulls ...This movie should have been aborted in the first trimester.
3 Skulls... Belle of the Bargain Bin!
4 Skulls...Video cocaine!
5 Skulls...Pick of the litter!

Index of Titles


  1. Don't Deliver Us From Evil (aka Mais ne Nous Délivrez Pas de Mal)
  2. Monster Man
  3. Nightmare Castle
  4. Paranormal Activity
  5. Rasputin and the Princess
  6. Ratman
  7. Rock n' Roll Nightmare (aka The Edge of Hell)
  8. Satan's Blood (aka Escalofrio)
  9. Satan's School for Girls
  10. Season of the Witch (aka Hungry Wives, Jack's Wife)
  11. Tapestry
  12. The Cat with Hands
  13. The Devil's Nightmare
  14. The Entity
  15. The Girl and the Skeleton
  16. The Funhouse
  17. The Midnight Meat Train
  18. The Peanut Butter Solution
  19. Warlock Moon
  20. Witchery

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Killer Kittens Purrrrrrfected by Karswell

Young, tender, innocent Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave has received a slick, sexy, sinister new look! The fiercely frisky banner was designed by the object of all horror chicks' wet dreams: Mr. Karswell, Master of the delightfully-spooky pre-code horror comic crypt The Horrors of It All (and also, my heart). Aww shucks, Kind Sir. I am ever-so grateful to you for gifting me with this fancy, new hide!

But wait..! There is even more scary-love in store! The Horrors of It All is hosting a contest this week, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Lyrics War.
  • Fucking A.
Match up killer comics with aptly-chosen song lyrics, and you could WIN, WIN, WIN a spooktacular THOIA tee shirt, and a copy of Question Authority: Over 1,000 Abrasive Music Trivia Questions To Grind Your Mind! by Patrick Kendall and Jeb Branin.



Monday, July 21, 2008

The Edge of Hell [aka Rock n' Roll Nightmare] (1987)

Caution: Spoilers Galore, Eh?

It all begins in an unassuming farmhouse, with a little boy whose mother really likes to "cook," followed by an extremely nauseating, Evil Dead-reminiscent lens romp through a series of rooms. Cut to a scene of a tricked-out van cruising the open road, blaring metal music (circa. 1987), and you have the beginnings of a beautiful relationship with Canadian B Cinema.

Complete with custom "DUCKER" plates! USA!

Like most other Canadian-made movies, John Fasano's The Edge of Hell (aka Rock n' Roll Nightmare) is decidedly ashamed of its Canadian-ness. In an effort not to alienate American money - I mean audiences, the film centres around a fictitious American metal band, the Tritons. Lead singer John Triton (played by the one and only Jon Mikl Thor, who also served as the film's head writer) and his comparatively less colourful collection of bandmates have journeyed into the wilds of Canada to record material for their next album. Why Canada? "'Cause Toronto's where it's happening, man!"

"In yon barn-like structure,
we have constructed
a 24-track recording studio!"

The adjacent farmhouse (coincidentally, the same one depicted in the foreboding opening scenes of the film) will serve as home for the plume-haired metalheads while they solidify their place in music history. They have brought along plenty of permed, spandex-clad hussies for the task at hand, which is to make kick ass rock n' roll! But then, something Satanic starts happening. Or, was that just a bad spot on the tape?

Definitely not the tape. A weird, penis-shaped cyclops creature pops up out of the darkness, throws up a little, then disappears back into his hiding place, as the Tritons wail: "We live to rock!" Something evil must be going on; how else could the Wonder Manager (Adam Fried), a guy in a graphic guitar print shirt, manage to score a hot piece of groupie ass like this?

Gee, gang. What do you think that was?

The Dream Team - I mean Triton, hears Wonder Manager screaming and rushes off to look for him. In spite of their best barn-searching efforts, they find no trace of their friend, or their van. Maybe he went into town to buy some new drumsticks? Mr. Triton ain't buying it. His spidey-senses are all a-tingle, though he isn't sure why. He can't be bothered to search any longer; he is anxious to get to his bedtime reading.

Meanwhile, one of Triton's bandmates, Max (David Lane), is telling the hot keyboardist chick (Jillian Peri) - who presents herself to him in her underwear - that he doesn't feel like staying up and talking with her because he is "really wiped out," and doesn't think he'd be very good company. Only in Canada, I suppose. The chap re-thinks his decision in the end, but falls asleep before he sees any action. Nice going, MC Smooth. In the next room, another bandmate and his wife are lying in the bed, kissing each other softly, while saying stomach-churningly romantic things. Bo-ring!

Luckily, Stig (Jim Cirile), the drummer with the poorly-executed Australian accent, is humping the stuffing out of Skanky Groupie # 4 in yet another of the farmhouse's rooms. When Bad Australian Accent Guy (BAAG) goes down to the kitchen for an after-Skank snack, a scantily-clad blonde with some jelly donut on her lips comes out of nowhere. This house really did come fully-stocked! The Seductress (Rusty Hamilton) invites BAAG to play a unique version of pull my finger, a game which he is simply dying to pass along to his hussy back in the bedroom.

While the Tritons are nestled all snug in their beds, a blue Chevette pulls up outside the farmhouse carrying (you guessed it): even more hussies! Cindy Connelly (Carrie Schiffler), President of the Mississauga Chapter of the Triton Fan Club, introduces herself to Wonder Manager, who has mysteriously re-appeared after his incident with the ghouly girl in the barn. "So, let's whip out those breasts, girls!" The ladies run back to their waiting Chevette, clearly unable to sink to the required depths of professional groupieism.

The next morning, the gushy newlyweds vanish from their post in the kitchen where they were happily doing dishes. Unaware of the bizarre events happening inside the farmhouse, John Triton is out in the barn making musical magic, and has has changed into a chest-baring, red silk tunic with white polka dots for the occasion. Stig's drumming is supernaturally good, but Triton, being the bloody band's namesake, takes full and deserved credit. Oh, baby. "You give me en-er-gy!"

It's a bold choice, but also an aluring one.

For those who like the ladies, the hot girl on keys is
not wearing a bra with her sky blue unitard.

After the jam, Stig: Upgraded takes a walk with his hussy while face-melting metal provides a musical interlude. Going immediately for the valuables, the hussy strips off her shirt while Stig (whose Bad Australian Accent is mysteriously gone) calls his little buddy to attention. Of course, when I say "little buddy," I really mean the giant, man-sized hand that erupts from a hole it tears in his chest.

Keyboard Girl and Quiet Guitar Guy are f-i-n-a-l-l-y getting it on inside the farmhouse, and pause for a moment when they hear a woman screaming. They dismiss it as merely Stig giving his hussy "what she deserves," and go back to the business of imitating a couple having exploratory intercourse.

Still strutting around in his fierce red silk number, Triton finally gives in to his own hussy's sexual advances. Like a true flaxon-haired Norwegian god, he takes his gettin' bizzy in the shower. It's wetter and better! A delightful, softcore music video/sex scene-o-rama plays itself out, consisting mostly of ass grabbing, titty-rubbing, and tongue-kissing. And they showed the woman in the scene a little bit, too.

Keys and Quiet have put their clothes back on while Triton steams up the shower, and are surprised when a little boy peeps in on them as they are smooching on the bed. It's the little boy (Jesse D'Angelo) from the opening scene! What a creepy little pervert! They chase him down into the basement only to discover that, really, he is more a flesh-eating monster than he is a little boy. Unfortunately, the realization comes too late, and it's curtains for the young lovers. When Triton and his hussy finally emerge from the shower, they eventually realize that they are alone in the farmhouse.

Triton decides to do a few dishes, and it's about time, as the kitchen is infested with strange, sharp-toothed vermin! The flaxon-haired god goes off to work on his music, while the little boy/monster boy pays the Final Hussy a visit upstairs. Presumably, it's curtains for her, too.

Now, back to Triton. As he strikes a hunky pose, slouched over his sheet music, the penis-shaped cyclops makes a triumphant return (in the midst of a brilliant product placement shot, I might add). Suddenly, the place is crawling with slimy, slobbering demons!

Triton's hussy re-joins him, but unfortunately, she's not the pretty lady she used to be...

"Nice effect, Randy. I like that look."

Little do the demons know that the hair metal hottie they see before them is actually none other than The Intercessor!! He is Triton the Archangel! Oh, man. I had no idea this flick was going to get Jesusy. "When will you ever learn?"

"It is the Creator's law that keeps you in place,
and yet you and your brethren still insist
on coming into this world."

A prolific battle between Good and Evil ensues, and The Intercessor's efforts are very Blackie Lawless, stylistically speaking. Thankfully, once The Intercessor's eyes start to glow, there is absolutely no stopping him. With the strength of ten flaxon-haired Norwegian gods, he chokes the demon into oblivion. The fate of all mankind (or at least the next people to rent the farmhouse) has been saved by metal. Again.

Rock n' Roll Nightmare is clearly and obviously not the sort of thing you want to reach for when you're in the mood for an actual horror picture. In fact, don't reach for it if you are in the mood for any kind of actual picture, at all. It is not an actual picture, but rather a cheesy, poorly-acted, absentee ballot-directed, incredulously-written, rotten piece of garbage. On the other hand, the one-liners are but-gusting, the setting is hilarity-inducing, the effects are guffaw-rendering, and Jon Mikl Thor is truly awe-inspiring.

Oh, and did I mention the soundtrack?

1/5 Kitty Skulls = Somebody should have turned the hose on this movie's parents.


5/5 Intercessors, for it's sheer Intercesserousness!


Be sure to check out your once-stop source for all things JMT, Thor Central. There are lots of tasty treats up for grabs, including (but not limited to):

Thor Photo Gallery (including shots from the 1974 Mr. Canada competition)
Thor Movies (including a sequel to The Edge of Hell/RNR Nightmare)
Thor Music (all the music in The Edge of Hell/RNR Nightmare? All Thor, baby)
Thor Interview (the man himself chatting about the movie, and The Intercessor)
The Intercessor (he has his own movie. Oh, yes)