House Sitting, Day 4

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abandoned spooky houseDay Four of watching the Rinas household while my sister’s family visit our father down in Nevada. I have finally acclimated to sleeping on the couch, as last night I was able to sleep through, instead of tossing and turning most of the time.

Went into Freakmont to pick up a bit more grocieries; the trip reminded me why I don’t go into Fremont too often anymore. I couldn’t get back to the homestead and away from interacting with society fast enough.

Continuing on with the steady stream of writing, napping, and watching really bad movies on the Amazon Stream; as I metioned to my nephew earlier today, the 80s was a magical time for bad movies, as we watched the over-the-top fight scene in Deadly Prey…someone gets his arm chopped off and is beaten up with his own arm. That’s going to factor in somewhere in my dreams.

Up in the air with going into Omaha tomorrow for the standard Holiday Lunch + Writing at Sean O’Casey’s. The dog seems to get along fine with being alone for a few hours; Annie wasn’t kidding that she seems to be a bit clingy, though. She is eating, though, which is one of the things to keep an eye out for. Steve the Hamster rushes around inside his Death Star.

Mesa Of Lost Women plays as I pound out my brain droppings. The cheese level is very high on this one.



Movie Review: DEAD WEST

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dead westRLJ Entertainment

A charismatic serial killer embarks on a murderous cross-country road trip in search of true love. Along the way he meets and kills several women whom he deems unworthy, eluding capture from the authorities by moving from one town to the next. When the brother of one of his victims decides to track the killer down to get vigilante justice, a revenge-fueled chase ensues. Along the way, the killer finally meets the girl of his dreams; but will they live happily ever after?

This is the third movie that I picked out going strictly by the cover art itself (the others being Abattoir and Candiland, in case you’ve clicked on this one first), and the one of the three I completely regret renting. I mean, judging solely by the cover art above, you can understand why I was expecting something in line with a horror western hybrid. Look at it. The skull on the cowboy hat. The fact that the movie is titled Dead West. I was hoping for some fun undead wild west wackiness. Instead, not only did I discover that the cover itself is several shades of misleading, but the title itself is as big of a lie as is the promise of cake.

So, apparently Dead West originally had the working title of Lady Killer, but was changed to Dead West because reasons. It would have been logical to leave it with the title that would have made more sense to the plot, but whatever. My grievances run deeper than the title and DVD artwork, though (I do wish to get the fact that, at no time during the movie, does the main character wear a hat, let alone one with a skull on the front, out of the way before proceeding).

What we have here is a kind of low-budget neo-grindhouse flick about a serial killer who favors the classic 50s look of leather jacket, white t-shirt and blue jeans, slicked back hair and traveling around this great country of ours in a muscle car with rock n’ roll cranking out of the stereo. He’s on a road trip to find the perfect girl. And he figures he’ll find ’em in the seedy bars in the small towns in the American south. And every time he discovers the perfect girl in fact has a flaw he deems unworthy (usually smoking, or having a less than virtuous reputation, or something he’s surprised to find at a roadhouse bar, those bastions of family values and all that) he kills them with his pocket knife and dumps the bodies. Somehow, he’s able to not get a drop of blood or anything onto himself–let along that pristine white t-shirt of his–in the process. He’s being pursued by the brother of one of his victims, each stop they make bringing him closer to confronting the slayer to get his revenge…which happens around the middle of the film, to which the Serial Killer wins and spends the rest of the movie’s running time meeting and talking a lot with a former call girl, to which he falls in love with, takes out her former pimp that goes by the name Sug White (gads), where they then get married by an Elvis impersonator…and he kills her on their wedding night. The end.

As you can probably imagine, Dead West was quite the slog to sit through. The setup is decent enough…only that’s pretty much dashed when you get around to the acting itself. Yes, it’s what you would expect for an ultra-low budget movie of this sort. The biggest insult is when you realize that this movie is attempting to be a much deeper movie than what it is, and is failing miserably.

Dead West sucks. It’s forgetable, and a complete waste of your time. Pass on this one.


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rocktober-bloodVestron Video

It’s the most dangerous concert ever–it’s the Roctober Blood Tour–a “killer” show with everything you wouldn’t expect to see…screaming fans, bright lights, guitars…and murder! Billy “Eye” Harper, one of rock’s megastars, was electrocuted for several brutal murders and the near-fatal stabbing of Lynn Starling, his back-up vocalist and lover. Two years have passed and Lynn has taken over the band. Now they’re out on the road in the ultimate concert spectacular. One person can stop the music…Billy! He’s out of the grave, ready to rock and rule!

I love the 1980s, I really do. I grew up in the era, and have many fond memories of the often over-the-top kitschy and brightly coloured pop culture of the time. But even I have to admit that the brand of cheese that was unique to that decade could get rather funky, and I’m not talking about the music style. Especially in the horror movies of the time, especially when it came to low-budget slasher movies, and especially when it came to low-budget slasher movies that pandered to a certain sub-culture. In this case, it’s one of my favorites: ROCKSPLOITATION!

If you go off of the title Rocktober Blood alone, you already know what kind of movie you’re going to be getting yourself into when you press play on that ancient VHS player of yours. Yeah, I’m pretty sure this title has yet to see the light of day on DVD, and the only way I was able to watch this thing was via You Tube, which seems to be a good place to unearth these almost forgotten gems of yore. If you do happen to come across Rocktober Blood on videotape, or if you’re like me and just want to watch it once out of morbid curiosity utilizing a more non-traditional (yet still completely legal) route, allow me to forewarn you that Rocktober Blood barely manages to rate a “So Bad It’s Good” rating from yours truly.

Ruining a low-budget slasher is about as hard as ruining a bowl of corn flakes: it’s so easy to do, a toddler could do it. Well, maybe a bit older than a toddler, with better motor skills to pour the milk. Okay, I’m over thinking this analogy. Point is, the husband and wife team who wrote, directed and produced this movie managed to ruin the bowl of corn flakes by using bad ingredients. The story–that of a rock star singer who goes nuts one night and kills a bunch of people, is put to death and then comes back from the dead a couple of years later to continue his killing spree–is rather thin and poorly written, my disbelief not so much suspended as it was merely hoisted up onto its tippy-toes, with a big “twist” that somehow manages to insult the intelligence of the viewer further beyond what they’re going through already. The acting was so wooden and boring that I just didn’t care. Even a little bit of ham would have made it more enjoyable. And the biggest issue here is, for a movie that has the word “Blood” featured prominently in the title, there’s surprisingly little of it in here. Which doesn’t really matter, as the obviously amateurish effects used on the few scenes that called for this elusive blood resulted in groans of incredulity rather than gasps of revulsion.

The only thing they got right in this movie was the music. For the “rock” part of this rocksploitation, the music stylings of metal band Sorcery, which lends a much-needed air of authenticity. Members of the band are featured as the band Headmistress in the movie. Also, the live stage show in the movie was pretty neat, having that kitchy “evil” metal theatrical thing going. Other than that, Rocktober Blood is mostly 90+ minutes that you will never get back. Watch it once if you’re really, really morbidly curious, and maybe even drag some friends along. Because misery loves company and all that. Otherwise, this one can remain an obscure VHS only release.