Saturday, April 28, 2012

KLOWN KAMP Redifines Clowning Around...

D. Phillip Gunn

This recent release from the insane (or is it inane) folks at TROMA seeks to tame the balance between horror and comedy once again, between camp and clowning around, between gore and balloon animals. The results are a game changer, the kind of film that redefines the genre. That looks at the rules of genre and decides that it is time to totally do away with them and start over fresh. You've never seen a movie like KLOWN KAMP MASSACE and more than likely never will again. 

The movie opens with a psycho Clown named Edward at Clown college going on a killing spree. The is being recorded. Jump forward a few years and the local clown camp is being re-opened, complete with a group of misfit, knuckle heads who hope to make it big as clowns. But psycho Edward is still running around the camp doing people in.

The movie uses the expected iconography of the slasher genre and deconstructs it using the comedy elements, fusing it with clown jokes and costumes, causing it all to be a juxtaposition of styles. By doing so this becomes a celebration of not only the horror film of which it constantly looks back at the audience with a wink and a grin, but of the idea of the scary clown but giving us those clowns as victims. Obviously the whole point of the movie is to say to the average horror fan that “Your expectations are too high, so we aim to shoot lower and keep those expectations in place. It is as if the filmmakers where looking at the horror fandom itself and saying “ Look we see that you think you are cooler than this material, but you really aren't not. We see what has come before and we have digested that and made this from all that has come before. All you fans with high and mighty expectations can just go get fucked because this is just us having fun. But completely restoring faith in the genre is the process.” The sting in the tail of the movie makes the while thing end up be oh so “meta” as it folds in on itself and changes once again. 

In all honestly the movie ends up becoming a little bit charming, with a couple of jokes that work including the ICP kid, and a couple of fake commercials in the final moments. 

So KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE kills the kompetition,

REVIEW © Andy Copp.

  • I actually Watched KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE after coming home from seeing CABIN IN THE WOODS a movie I really did not care for. The reaction to CABIN online has been overwrought at best with fans and critics falling to their knees in praise. This entire review of KKM is made of of actual hyperbole from online posts and reviews for CABIN but when applied to another movie not associated to a filmmaker with a set godlike status hopefully people can see how insane this stuff sounds.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thou shall KILL everyone...


THOU SHALT NOT KILL ... EXCEPT was one of the last gasps of the 80s exploitation indie movement. Directed by Josh Becker on 16mm with a budget you couldn't feed a family on, the film is really a triumph of where there is a will there's a way, up by your jockstrap style filmmaking. Typified by the fellas that came out of Detroit at that time. Josh Becker made this film, Sam Raimi, well we know what movies he has made, and their buddy Scott Spiegel made INTRUDER a few years later. This group all had the true indie spirit that shone through on all their projects.A lot of love and a LOT of time went inter their work. THOU SHALT NO KILL...EXCEPT is a shinning example of that spirit. 

 The movie opens with four buddies fighting their way through some stock footage in Vietnam (and some trees that are clearly up state Michigan). Soon the battle hardened friends are back home trying to adjust. Seeing family again, meeting girls, just trying to start over.

But a nasty cult of murderous fanatics have started cutting their way through the neighborhood and it is up to the boys to stop them. The cult gets all the good scenes with Sam Riami as the MANSON  styled leader and brother Ted Raimi as the efeminate gang member Chains who likes to torture people. Whether tormenting babies or feeling up babes with hands full of blood theses guys know how to party.

It all culminates in an ultra-violent low budget Peckinpah styled showdown that spreads the red stuff all over the screen. Are you looking for a gory action revenge movie to get you to your feet? This one delivers the goods. And then some. 

The long making of segment is shockingly thorough covering from the script stage all the way through the vhs release (they got $50,000  for the vhs rights!!! My god that is a dead era now!) I most enjoyed seeing the theaters playing the film first run. The marquee's with this title running along side the big films of the day was a kick to see. As it was only a few more years and these sorts of movies didn't get into theaters at all.

Also as an extra the Super 8mm version of the film, this time called STRYKER'S WAR and starring a very young Bruce Campbell. It is just as accomplished as feature version. A lot of the same scenes exist in the even lower budgeted version of the movie. Though at times it is even better as it is played completely straight, with no camping it up. At almost an hour long, it is just shy of being a feature. Too bad there was no way to distribute super 8mm films at the time as this one actually stands on its own as a gritty little movie. 

It is a funny thing that for my money the Blu Rays that have been the most impressive in my collection have turned out to be the completely no budget films. Movies shot on shoestrings, usually on 16mm for peanuts. When remastered with love and care they have turned into gorgeous Blu discs worth their weight in gold. Add THOU SHALT NOT KILL... EXCEPT to the list. Looking at this disc after the previous incarnations is almost mind blowing. It STILL looks like a 16mm film, with the grain and grit intact, but it is so clear and clean that it looks like it was SHOT yesterday. You can almost reach into your TV and put your fingers into the pools of coagulating blood. An astounding job in every way putting this movie back out in this format.

Review © Andrew Copp

Whores I tell ya!

aka. Dan Oniroku hakui nawa jigoku / White Uniform in Rope Hell
D. Shôgorô Nishimura
Torrent Sites
No Subtitles

ALL WOMEN ARE WHORES aka WHITE UNIFORM IN ROPE HELL is widely considered to be among the most offensive of the Pinku Ega films that flooded the market in Japan during the late 70's/ early 80's period. That is saying something considering the wildly offensive nature of the Nikkatsu output and films like BEAUTIFUL GIRL HUNTER STAR OF DAVID or ASSAULT! JACK THE RIPPER. But make no mistake this one is actually just as nasty as rumors have claimed. A sadistic rape fetish film that spirals into an all out horror orgy in the last reel that leaves one scratching their head about just what audience it was intended for in the first place. 


To be fair I watched it without subtitles so maybe I missed some overriding sense of justice or political polemic, but I kind of doubt it. This seemed to be all about the forced enema's, rope bondage, rape and what new and disgusting items could be forced into some screaming bound woman's vagina. 


The movie opens with two thugs in their twenties watching a pretty young lounge singer belting out a tune. They con her back to their filthy, disgusting rotting food covered apartment, where they tie her up, drug her with a huge fix of heroin and proceed to do unspeakable things to her for the first half of the film. These things include painful looking rope bondage, rape and forced enemas. This all goes on for a ridiculously extended period of time until they are found by some other members of the mob including a woman who is more sadistic than them. The movie then shifts gears to a second story with another lounge singer who this woman apparently has a huge hate-on for and the thugs help her kidnap and torture. But things start going wrong as the older and goofier of the two guys falls for the gal. Which sends the lady boss into a rage, making the torture of the first girl look like a walk in the park.

 Soon she is doing things like slicking up a real live snake with vaseline and shoving it into the poor girls vagina. Before things are over you will see a guy get his cock cut off while fucking someone and a girl get stabbed in the crotch and then then lovelorn idiot who was trying to protect her proceed to EAT HER OUT to show he still loves her. Some movies end in tears, this one ends in blood and more blood. 


To call this one crazy is to sell it short. To call it depressing it understating the matter. But in no way does the the English title make sense, as it should be called ALL MEN ARE RAPIST KILLER FREAKZOIDS, but I don't think that sells as well in the land of the rising sun.

Review © Andrew Copp

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Welcome to SEX HELL!

D. Koyu Ohura

This is the second release in the Impulse Pictures line of Nikkatsu Romano Porno releases after the intense and outrageous DEBAUCHERY. This one is not as outright bugfuck crazy as that one, but still manages to climb some heights of sexuality that are unseen in American product, so it will hit the spot for sleaze fans. But what SEX HELL does indeed offer is a more complex story, and richer characters than the standard fair, making it the odd film out in the Women in Prison genre.

The film takes its ques from the FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION films that were popular at the time in Japan (and I believe also being made at Nikkatsu) where a tough, unbreakable women enters a woman's prison and all hell breaks loose with lots of action ensuing. Here we have a similar story, where a quiet, unshakable woman entering with a group of new criminals into a all female prison, only to soon clash with the gritty already established criminal hierarchy there. In a very early scene (after of course a nude cavity search and the obligatory showers) there is a topless fight and our lead gal is held down and has her face pissed on to show she has been dominated. I can't recall having ever seen that in any other WIP movie from any other country! Another girl is put into solitary confinement for days on end as her toilet backs up and we clearly see her shit all over  the room.These are the kinds of boundaries being pushed here.

The first half of the movie is where the majority of the sex happens, we get some of the the expected lesbian romps, with lots of nipple close ups filling the screen, and a few flashbacks to give us some hetero couplings as well. But about the middle of the movie it shifts gears and we start getting flashbacks to why the girls are actually in the prison. The movie starts to become rather tragic, as we learn the most of them are victims of circumstance. Men have fucked them over, used them and abused them, letting them take the fall. By the third act it becomes a women on the run/revenge pic with the sex taking a back seat completely, and a pretty satisfying little revenge picture at that. 

SEX HELL is a great example of why the Nikkatsu Romano Porno films were successful. They took formula ideas such as the Women In Prison pictures and infused them with the over the top sexuality the studio was known for, but then went way out of the way to make sure they delivered as films too. They delivered characters you could care about, with performers that could carry those characters (even though SEX HELL has no real name stars from the Nikkatsu stable) and in this case threw in a hefty dose of crime action as well. These movies are just trying to make you love them, and most of the time if you aren't easily offended (and why would you buy this title if you are) you WILL fall for their charms.

Review © Andrew Copp



Bobcat Goldthwait's new black comedy is surely going to ruffle a few feathers and be wildly misunderstood by many others. If it had gone out wider upon the initial release I would have expected a pretty extreme backlash from the right wing media whom takes a pretty savage beating in the film. Though they are hardly the only targets the movie levels the gun sights on. GOD BLESS AMERICA is a hot lead enema to a society that has lost focus on what is fundamentally decent and kind; a violent black comedy of horror about what happens to a society that has lost the needle on the compass of compassion. .

Joel Murray
(yes the brother of Bill) stars as Frank, a man who has had a really shitty couple of days. He already suffers from critical insomnia and asshole neighbors who seem to thrive on being pricks. They are so bad he fantasizes about shotgunning their forever crying infant just to shut them up. He loses his job because he, in a kind gesture, sent flowers to the receptionist because she was having a bad day. She reported him for sexual harassment. His daughter refuses to see him because she is growing up to be just like the awful teen idols she watches on TV, and worst of all he just found out he has fatal brain tumor.

While watching a particularly disgusting evening of slop TV, including an AMERICAN IDOL riff where a clearly mentally handicapped kid becomes a national sensation because his singing is so awful that America embraces him just to laugh. Frank stops himself from committing suicide because he fixates on teen sensation Cloe and just how disgustingly awful of a human being she is. And decides she needs to die. He sets out to do just that, kill this teen bitch queen.

When he actually DOES this, he picks up a new friend in rebellious teenager Roxy (Tara Lynn Barr) who is not only thrilled to have witnessed the crime, but helps set him straight on trying to kill himself again. She then helps him see the light that there are a lot of other people out there just like Cloe that need to be put down for the betterment of mankind. Together they set out on the road to start rubbing out those who are not fit to be in the public eye. Those without the kindness to be around strangers or those close to them.

The film is preachy at times, but I must say I didn't mind because the things Bobcat is preaching are frankly, things I have found myself preaching more than once. The fact that as a society we have lost the ability to be kind, to be non-judgmental, to have actual conversations with out pop-culture or slogans plastered on us like armor. To praise people for lying, cheating and stealing, for making those with no talent absolute heroes.

There are at least three times the movie stops for Frank to go on speeches that are clearly Bobcat's voice where he rants on things like the over-sexualazation of teenage girls (“Fuck R.Kelly and Fuck Woody Allen for the follow your heart to love whoever you want no matter what age bullshit”) or how the media has become the new coliseums of the modern time where we bring in the weak and feeble just to laugh and mock them. He gives the pop culture attacks to Roxy where she goes after music, TV, and movies stars such as a pretty direct assault on the ridiculous and painful writing of DIABLO CODY and how horrific and pandering JUNO was to teenage girls.

Granted for a movie that is taking aim at how our culture has lost sight on being kind, the fact that the two main characters are endlessly killing people could be considered something of missing the point or a misnomer. But that really is just the black comedy of the situation. They are just as much a part of the problem as the people they are killing. Backed into the corner with no way out, no way to force people to listen in a culture that doesn't respond to anything else but violence, violence, violence. .

The first great film of the year. The scene of them killing the teenagers in the movie theater who wont shut up needs to be shown in front of every movie in the United States to get people to put away their cell phones and shut up before every movie.

See this at all costs. Then go be kind to someone.

Review © Andrew Copp

Monday, April 2, 2012

Can this madness be FIXED?

D.Douglas Freel
Gigantic Pictures

AL JOURGENSEN is certainly legendary in the music industry having earned his place birthing industrial music. He also is a legend for his copious drug use over the years and counter culture lifestyle. This documentary picks up in the late 90's as MINISTRY is on tour for the album DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON and are on the down side if being the record label darlings. The then current drummer is our tour guide through the land mine filled mind scape of Al Jourgensen as we look at what drives his madness.

Along for the ride are other music luminaries that have either worked with Al or been inspired by him such as TRENT REZNOR, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN, DAVID YOW, KING BUZZ, DAVE NAVARRO and several label people.

What the film does is give a decent look at the insanity of being on tour with Jourgensen. From his meticulousness of performing music to his obsessive belief in superstitions, such as making sure everyone has anointed oils at all times. But the meat of the film deals with the man's drug habit, his inhuman heroin intake. A drug addiction so frightening that other rock stars find it frightening. So extreme that the men Al looked up to in the counter culture like Timothy Leary were concerned for his well being. Watch as Al shoots up and Junky philosophizes and tells embarrassing stories about being an asshat rock star that night River Phoenix died. Experience the paranoia as Al believes he is being stalked by government operatives.Making everyone on tour were bullet proof vests between shows.

What the doc is missing is a good look at the band it self. There is some great performance footage but not much on the formation of the band, the early Euro-syth years, why Paul Barker eventually left and the eventual switch to political speed metal. All of which makes it feel uneven and slapdash. Thankfully the interview  footage with other musicians fill those gaps well enough.

If you are a Ministry fan you'll want this, but I'm not sure anyone else will get anything much from it. But you do get to see both David Yow and Al Jourgensen's dick's. So that is something I suppose. Al even fucks a cooked chicken. How very rock star of him....

The set comes with a music cd called FIX THIS I guess recorded by Paul Barker that is really good. Yet when I put it in a player it still comes up MINISTRY (see covering that break up would be really helpful indeed. I am sure die hard Ministry fans know what happened, someone enlighten me...)

Review © Andrew Copp