Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter

And we are back! Welcome back to Rotten Reelz Reviews and... I have a ridiculous over the top film. Yeah you knew the first review of the year would be something just odd. This time around we are step into the duo genre of Horror Western. While this phenomenon has been a constant replenishing itself in the last 4 decades, this film is part of the first notion of introducing historical figures with fictional characters. Okay enough positive. Now let's get through this.

This is Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter.

First off the title is wrong. Yes Jesse James is the key character but he meets Frankenstein's Granddaughter. So yeah already right out of the gate and we got issues.

No, not a ten gallon hat, I'm just pleased to meet ya.

This film is part of a drive-in/marque double feature also directed by director/actor William Beaudine who did TV episodes of Naked City, The Green Hornet and dozens of Lassie episodes. Both features were shot in 8 days at the Corriganville Movie Ranch and you can honestly say, that was clearly shot in 8 days. Along with this opus came the Horror Western, Billy the Kid vs Dracula. Oh don't worry, we will have a video review coming soon all about that stink nugget.

Jesse James (John Lupton of Airport 1975, Julius Caesar, Red River, B.J. And the Bear, Miracle on Ice, Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files) is the notorious Kansas City outlaw hiding out in Mexico avoiding the Marshal MacPhee (character actor Jim Davis of Big Jake, Time Tunnel, Dallas, The Day Time Ended, Comes a Horseman, Project U.F.O., Oregon Trail and The Choirboys). Brother Frank is, well he's not here. Maybe they went their separate ways, maybe he died from syphilis and maybe he atoned and became a priest. All those options would be theatrically sound and a decent flashback sequence but nope! Not this film.

Doll, my milkshake brings all the dead to the yard.

So the other oddity in this here one horse town is a European castle in Mexico. A tad out of place wouldn't you say? The castle is owned by a Frankenstine? Frodrick perhaps? No it is in fact granddaughter Maria Frankenstein (Narda Onyx of Wire Service, Broken Arrow, Steve Canyon, The Third Man, 77 Sunset Strip, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, North to Alaska and The Tall Man) who has taken up the family business. And by that, yes digging up corpses attempting to reanimate them. You lack Dr. West's formula!

Back to Jesse, who is not traveling alone as he has a huge slab of beef watching his back. Seriously this dude makes Jason Vorhees' Kane Hodder look small. Hank (not Hardware but Cal Bolder of Bonanza, One of Our Spies Is Missing, Daniel Boone, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek and Cimarron Strip) looks like he could wrestle a Kodak bear and the bear would tap out.

After a gunfight ensues and Jesse is the victor, Hank got injured and the villagers tell him of Lady Frankenstein (no not the Italian Softcore Porn/Horror) and how far her castle was. Given you could see this gaudy out of place castle quite easily I guess pointing to the matte painting wasn't really needed. Over a half hour into the movie and our leads finally meet up. That robbery subplot was vital I guess.

Maria is overwhelmed by these visitors and goes right to assisting Hank...with of course her own ideas in mind. Frankly I thought she was going to jump his bones from all the eye banging she was doing.

Me and Boomstick's getting hitched.  IT'S NOT WEIRD!!!

Will Hank be okay? Can Jesse stay above the law? Will Maria turn to outlaws into walking corpses?

Hey kids! Who wants a fun, film fact?! No one? Tough titty.

Bought and built by Stuntman Ray "Crash" Corrigan, this ranch has been the scenic background for movie and TV such as: Star Trek, Fort Apache, The Lone Ranger, The Robe and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. With a oak woodland providing terrain like caves,lakes, mountains and rock outcroppings. There is even a man made lake and waterfall giving a bunker with thick windows gives way to underwater shooting, allowing camera and crew to stay nice and dry.

Now thankfully we have an older man rather than the usual fresh faced twenty something portraying this bandit and well, his performance is better than this film deserves. No I do not think it rivals Robert Duvall in The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid nor do I feel it comes close to Bill Paxton's depiction in Frank and Jesse but at least we have a harden cat playing like a man on the run. Twitchy, on edge and sharp to dealing with trouble with his coffin nail driver. Or if you prefer, six shooter.

With the charming location, the deep woods and the quaint folksy environment, the stage is set but alas the film is too confusing for this to be deemed worthy of a Hammer productions or the Universal Studios Movie Monsters alumni. I took away from a professional creation in the allotted 8 days they shot it and with the quality it is a sound production but again just felt silly.

Damn, these castle orgies do go on all night.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year's

Well folks a year has passed, we've explored the audio reviews and moved into video reviews.

I promise you all that I will continue this pace, try to do more written blogs now that I have a bit more experience under my belt.

Hopefully we will have podcasting with Shawn who you can get ahold of at Rotten Realmz Group, more video reviews the resurrection of Rotten Riffs for the OGBklynGirl and I could get back to mocking shorts and perhaps movies as well.  I can definitely promise better editing.

So with that, have a Happy New Year's!

Have some Hellboy

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Hey folks.
Enjoy your holiday with family and friends.  This year has been a bit of a ordeal but we will get the blog back on track.

Gotta love the exploitation films

With audio reviews and video reviews being able to make them quicker and better now. 

I will make a Patron account so I could actually get paid for it.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Public Domain Goodness: Plan 9 from Outer Space

And I'm back. Hey readers welcome back to the blog of Public Domain Goodness and again nothing that good in it. Today's flick has been deemed "The Worse Movie Ever Made," and I call that. I have yet to view the worse movie ever made because every time I am ready to declare that flick, another film bashes that one over and I am back at square one. Whomever decreed this the worse movie ever hasn't sat through Andreas Schnass Violent Sh*t movies but I digress. This film is brought to us by Ed Wood himself as writer, producer and director. Is it a massive steaming pile or just low budgeted, poorly written and edited? This is Plan 9 from Outer Space.

A sperm whale? Oh wait, that's Tor.

Given 8 plans came prior I shudder to think how dumb those were. Ed Wood (Outlaw Queen, Bride of the Monster, The Bride and the Beast, The Sinister Urge, Married Too Young, Glen or Glenda) brings us a very clunky plot as aliens who have contacted Earth prior threaten to take over the planet...apparently one town at a time. They're not very organized but they do have a plan. Plan 9 involves the resurrection of the dead and using them as a disposable army to swarm the populous and subjugate them to their dastardly will. 

No Timmy, you cannot have more than 4 cookies.

Thus far they decided a late bride, played by character actress/horror glamour model/chorus girl Vampira a.k.a. Maila Nurmi. A flight from Burbank is going on at 4 in the morning, in spite of the daily stock footage looking about 3 in the afternoon. Co-pilot Danny (David De Mering of Plan 9 from Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls) and Captain Jeff (Gregory Walcott of The Sugarland Express, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Eiger Sanction, Kojak, Midway, The Six Million Dollar Man, ChiPs and Vega$) witness a spectacle not common in their skies. A flying saucer...that looks like a Jiffy Pop bag on a string. Shocking!

Somehow the wife of Old Man (Bela Lugosi of Dracula, Island of Lost Souls, The Black Cat, The Black Sleep, Bride of the Monster, Brooklyn Gorilla, Suspense, Scared to Death and Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein) animates and kills two grave diggers...presumptuously.  It was off camera.

No sooner is Old Man is buried a couple of family friends found the sweaty grave diggers and their sweat coated pants. Dead Swamp Ass!!!

L.A.'s finest are hot on the case led by Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson of The Unearthly, Bride of the Monster, The Black Sheep, Journey to Freedom, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Night of the Ghouls, The Beast of Yucca Flats and Head) as they explore where the grave diggers' bodies were found. While his team secures the scene (sound stage), Clay decides to knock around a whale. Yeah folks, if you are the many that complain about Schwarzenegger's accent, GOOD LUCK deciphering what the hell Tor Johnson said. Close Captions told me he was having a look around.

Jeff reminisces over the flying saucer to his wife and Army Brass told him to keep his yap shut. In spite of telling his wife.

Clay is buzzed by the saucer and then attacked by Vampira and Not Bela Lugosi (a stand-in had to step in when Bela passed away during filming) thus killing him off camera on the lone sound stage they had. So yes they bury Clay in the very same graveyard.

Soon it is revealed by an Army Colonel to Jeff that aliens are responsible for all of these shenanigans of the dead. Colonel, Lt. Harper and Jeff spring into action to fend off these incompetent aliens. With pistols.

Bring in the space steamer for the space drapes.

Our best army stock footage from Korea new reels couldn't stop these aliens.

What do we take away from this ambitious film? Well the film attempts science fiction/gothic horror and the period piece term Atompunk (From 1945-1965 atomic age, jet and space age dealing with Soviet communism, Cold War era and superhero films and comics) a 50s take on what the future looks like. Nonsensical dialogue, theatre with way too much melodrama and an introduction by Ed Wood's friend Criswell, a psychic. Narrative approach to explain the action. Trying a hand at government conspiracy to cover up the UFO sightings.

The problem is shots do not match from scene to scene, Afternoon to mid evening to suddenly jet black at night on a sound stage and most of the dialogue just sounds like odd rambling. Trying for a The Day the Earth Stood Still, a more advanced civilization attempts to invade the Earth but clearly they did not have the budget for spaceship models, scale work or even that large of a cast. Props of the "spaceship" look like they have been lifted from previous Frankenstein movie sets, ham radios and loads of curtains when they clearly couldn't get some set builders.

No objectives are clear, the plot does not add up the subplots, the characters really have no motivation and there is no real direct meshing of these scenes. I did get to enjoy (loathe) several sweaty large men swamp ass shots. This film is great for maybe a drinking game, something a gathering of friends to make fun of and yes thankfully Rifftrax made a version to mock outright.

He's a tween, his partner a goob. Stay tuned for Cop and 3 Quarters.

(US) Image Entertainment, 2000
(Germany) Winkler Film/Alive AG, 2009
(Austrailia) Force Video, 2011
(US) Legend Films 2009

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Public Domain Goodness: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

And we're back with more Public Domain Goodness. Actually that is a contradiction because there is nothing good to be had about today's gut wrenching pain. Dragging at the speed of a snail on a leave, our film tops off at a whopping 96 minutes of pure unadulterated Hell. Tis' the season after all and given I am in warmer climates I have to look a bit harder for Christmas.

This is Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.

I can't see in this mask.  Was that a log or a hobo I ran over?

This particular abomination in the eyes of God and humanity is brought to us by R&S Film Entertainment from the year of 1972. Written, directed and musically scored by R. Winer (Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny) and clearly gone and never seen nor heard from again. Production comes from a children stories/exploitation producer Barry Mahon (Cuban Rebel Girls, Rocket Attack U.S.A., The Dead One, Santa's Christmas Elf Named Calvin) and boy oh boy are we in for a treat. I mean, if you can't trust quality morality and noble intentions from the producer of Sex Killer, Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico and The Wonderful Land of Oz, then frankly you are a touch cynical.

Santa is stuck in Florida as all his reindeer revolted and left his bulbous ass in the heat and surf.    No real mention why and Santa doesn't exactly seem to be busting his hump to fix this.   This thread bare plot was linking a jolly old fat man, some zany kids and helping good old Santa out of his plight so he can get back to delivering toys. This film is so poorly executed aside from finding out the actor playing Santa, I think the parents of the kids demanded their names stricken from the bill. Seriously most of them didn't even have names.

Now children, you must be wondering why Santa has no pants.

Santa has been baking in the sun for a while as we were treated (and by we I mean I suffered) saggy sweaty swamp ass. Yup that pan about of Santa getting in and out of the sleigh was a treat for all to behold. HOLIDAY SWAMP ASS!!! Or Santa's saggy diaper sprung a leak.

So the kids find alternative animals to pull the sleigh while Santa decides to have a musical number. Did I mention this was also a musical? Probably still reeling from experiencing it myself. After many vain attempts at different animals, the kids are tired and stumped what to do. To pad the film uh I mean pass the time, Santa apparently dropped acid and has a flashback about a story he heard.

A completely separate fairy tale, told at a theme park in Dania Florida called Pirate's World. A tale that has no bearing on Christmas, a moral lesson or any relevance WHATSOEVER!!!!

Instead the kids get to delight at the whimsy of a crazy old man in a Santa suit as we have stock footage from Pirate World and Thumbellina.   Because Thumbellina is so...Christmas like.  At best guess as this story is narrated from a PA speaker system in the park, you get the idea they originally had these live action fairy tales as a means to entertain the kids when the rides made them throw up too many times.

I tell you elves, we need to strike.

Dig this. The bloody story is almost 36 minutes long. Yup Santa and the kids share in this wondrous tale with paper mach'e toadstools, large creature suits and music that had all its potential charms strangled from it.   Over a half hour this diverting story and what does it have to do with Santa and his reindeer on strike??? Absolutely nothing.  A complete and deliberate waste of your time.

Swamp Ass Claus finishes this long winded tale and if you look at it analytically, he speaks of a narrator telling the tale. So then kids, the nice lady spoke of how Thumbellina was lost in the woods with the poor backdrop, the high school production quality sets and the lighting that changes from moment to moment.

Bearing this time wasting bastard no more, several of the kids head out in search of the one being that could summon all his might to do what's right. Yes the Ice Cream Bunny. With it's cold, dead shark-like eyes and not saying a single word, this nightmare fuel proves Santa a lift in his old timey fire truck of which I can't even guess how the guy in the suit saw to steer it. Moving at speeds of maybe 10 mph, they head over to pick up Santa and then...well more music and roll credits.

I kid you not. That's it. Again like Planet of the Dinosaurs, this also has been picked apart by Rifftrax and they have a holly jolly time mocking this hellish creation. Andrew Lloyd Webber plays are more enjoyable. Shot in 16mm and converted to 35mm print, normally I cheer at this but no, I have no love for this film.

I am not even certain who this film could entertain.   I guess if you have a small child that smacks him or herself with a brick, this would be a distraction.  If your child suffers from eating too much lead paint when you are not looking, well this film might induce vomiting, clearing the toxic material from him or her.

If you were planning on creating a Saw based torture chamber and just simply force your victims to watch a movie, with locked and bolted doors, a projector against a tile wall and turned up the built-in speakers encased in shatterproof boxes so they can never drown out the sounds of this awful movie... well you're unhinged and have an excellent flick to cause agony.

Personally I would make it part of my last will and testament to torment family members greedily awaiting a good sized payoff. Ya wants the dough, on wif da show.

96 minutes does not seem like much normally and I would agree if it wasn't for the incredibly slow pace, next to no plot, the child actors looking like they can't wait to leave and this asinine link to Pirate World and... yeah I lost my point. Oh yes, skip the original incarnation of this movie. If you have to stare at this in order to believe in its existence, watch the Rifftrax version.

A witch's brew...for Christmas.

Public Domain Goodness: Planet of the Dinosaurs

Hey gang. I know it has been a while for a write up. Trying to create some video reviews and YouTube is...well currently having a few issues but we are not going to talk about that.

Instead I am going to find us some nice, safe public domain films I can review. Loosely translated, I am tired of copyright issues and placating to egos. Today's movie brings us the intrepid starship Odyssey crew forced to make an emergency landing on a planet that has a hostile environment.
This is Planet of the Dinosaurs.

Are you guys SuperTramp?  I'm a huge fan!

Director James K. Shea (Suburbia Confidential, The Scavengers a.k.a. The Grabbers and Planet of the Dinosaurs) had a vision. Spirit quest or just tripping balls on some peyote aside, it was still a vision.

Set way into the far time line of...yeah they never point that out but apparently they had a seventies revival look and slang to go along with it, this 1977 Sci-Fi wonder forces Captain Lee (actor and producer Louie Lawless of Manson, Shame, Shame on the Bixby Boys, Mind Games and Abducted II: The Reunion) to make an emergency landing on a planet near to Earth conditions. Apparently the engines had a MacGuffin drive and with no Scotty or Geordi to fix it, down they plummet. Much like the writing. (Again a MacGuffin is also known as a plot device depicting a goal, desired object, place or other such motivation)

As the ship sinks in the massive lake, our crew has to swim for shore. Of course the communications officer forgets the beacon, Bad Cindy! No wonder everyone prefers Marcia.
Yes I just pandered to the 50 plus crowd for a moment. Don't worry. More of those on it's way.

Cindy (Mary Appleseth of Slumber Party '57 and Planet of the Dinosaurs) has to strip down to her undies to swim back. Guess nudity clause issue but bikini lingerie is fine. She and Chuck (Chuck Pennington of Planet of the Dinosaurs) both go swimming for this huge metal clamshell camera case when Cindy is attacked by an aquatic creature and thus does her part to thin the cast out.

Oily T zones ahead, Captain Harry Reems!!!

A lot of complaints, ribs and comments made about this magnum opus of a movie. The biggest comment made about this movie is the uniform. The full body blue onesies with a white v pointing to everyone's crotch. Men and women alike. The officers' oneises were white with orange shoulder and neck line so not much better.
I realize they are fighting for their lives, struggling to find shelter, edible food and a means to communicate back to Earth but my God these uniforms are just making me laugh.

 Many pig folk complained the "Hot Asian Chick" or Derna (Derma Wylde of Partners in Crime, Wonder Woman TV show, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie) isn't nude in every scene.

Relax piggies, go see her in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie or Chained Heat. There, your problem of lack of flesh is solved. Your psyche, well that's not my department but seek help.

Still trying to decide if the menfolk of this crew look more like Starlight Vocal Band or Supertramp.

Debbie, you're supposed to be in the shot.  Whatever.

Captain Lee's extensive training in wildlife gave them the ability to produce fire, edible plants, rudimentary grain meals and my favorite, a crappy barrier made of some weak branches. YOU HAVE LASERS!!!! Saw down some trees, drag them up and start relearning making hemp rope!!!

Dear God I have seen snow forts that looked more durable. Now for me the best of the bunch is the fellow playing Jim.

Rugged and manly. (James Whitworth of Black Angels, Fandango, Emergency!, .357 magnum, The Rockford Files and The Hills Have Eyes) actually has a few acting credits so that was good.

First off, he looks a bit like George Eastman from Absurd, Warriors of the Wasteland, 2019: After the Fall of New York and Stagefright.

Rocking that Andy Gibb beard and has enough muscle to be a decent linebacker. Secondly, he is Jupiter from the original Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes so he has an alpha male fear factor working for him.

Throughout "rest periods" and general padding of the film, this troupe of morons managed to misplace a blaster, drop one and lose party members by simply not using their coconut for something other than keeping a hat on it. NO ONE is wearing any hats. Or sunscreen, that could be dangerous and bad for the complexion.

A T-Rex roams the area killing the planet eaters and subjugating terror across the desert and plains.
Lee tells everyone to get to high ground so he cannot pursue them. Or LASERS!!!!! Meat for days!

Well in the end, this is a film with a substantially low budget, less than trained actors, some really good scale stop motion animation for the dinosaurs and the ambition was there. It just fell short of grace due to so much walking and forced dialogue, bad blocking so not all the "actors" are in scene, not much story to begin with and the characters were more wooden than Big Sur.

That being said, watch the RiffTrax version and laugh your ass off. God I wish I saw this flick prior with their jokes. My comments throughout the movie consisted of, "So are they all dead yet? No? How much longer?"

Dragging pace ends at 84 minutes, thanks to rest periods and in general, a decent story could have been made. Months of roughing it, their senses improve, instincts take over and find the life they lead prior was soft and weak. Alas, that is not this film. If you need a drinking game, grab this flick. If you need a nap, grab this flick. If you need a complex, compelling story with good arc, motives, characters developed and fleshed out. Grab a better movie.