“What did you expect? A Holiday Inn?”- Mountaintop Motel Massacre

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The title card assures us that Evelyn is certifiable. In the first scene, we see her gardening with a sickle. And guinea pig blood. Meanwhile, Evelyn’s daughter, Lorie is conducting a séance. She’s trying to ask her dead father for advice on how to deal with Evelyn’s relapse.  Sadly for Lorie, Evelyn bursts in brutally murders her. Proving she has some tenuous grasp on sanity, Evelyn hides most of the evidence and phones the police. When the sheriff arrives, Evelyn’s only friend and motel guest, Reverend Bill comes to her defense. Oddly, the sheriff buys the story of ‘vague accident’ and leaves.

 

After Lorie’s funeral, Evelyn comes completely unhinged. Luckily for us, this is when guests start arriving. First up is Crewshaw the spiritual handyman. He practically has to pry the key out of Evelyn’s hand. Next, the Newlyweds Vernon and Mary arrive. Using her network of tunnels under the cabins, Evelyn begins to have some fun. She fills Reverend Bill’s room with rats and gifts a venomous snake to the newlyweds. Vernon gets a bite to the face and swells grotesquely. A frantic Mary runs outside and meets the last of our guests. Al is pretending to be a record producer to score with cousins Prissy and Tanya.

 

Things are going to shit at the motel. Torrential rain, no power, phone lines down and a large tree has fallen across the only means of escape. Playboy Al comes to the rescue with his fancy, totally 80s car phone and flash light. He gets a hold of the questionable sheriff, who promises to head over. Elsewhere, Evelyn seems upset no one has died of fright from the rat/snake attack. She moves to up the ante. Taking to the tunnels, she fills Crewshaw’s room with cockroaches. Prissy is the first to be killed (and Evelyn makes off with her body) Now, Evelyn is on a roll. Al and Crewshaw team up to get to the bottom of things. Rev. Bill bites it next and our heroes hustle over to the newlyweds. The news there isn’t good either, finally our heroes stumble upon the tunnels.

 

Crewshaw and Al go underground to find Evelyn, after locking Tanya in the car. The guys conduct the most relaxed underground search for a sickle welding maniac imaginable. As exactly as you’d expect, it leads to Crewshaw’s death. With Al still bebopping around, our sheriff arrives after what seems like six hours. A terrified Tanya sends him right into the tunnels. Following a little more aimless pursuit, Evelyn is killed with her own sickle.

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Bobi Lobotomy: Another clunker, I fear we’re having a bit of a bad streak. There’s an unnameable quality to GOOD Bad horror films. I’m sure we could debate forever the exact qualities and in what quantities it takes to elevate something bad to something Positively, Legendarily Bad. We’ll save that for another day as this one is just bad (lower case bad). Were you to look at the cover art and imagine the kind of film that would feature a deranged senior citizen with a sickle, the film you’d imagine would win an Oscar compared to this. The most fun Mountaintop Motel Massacre has to offer is its tongue twister name.

 

There are a few interesting bits to this one. You could view it as a low budget, crappy prequel to Psycho. Evelyn, as a villain, isn’t the typical immortal, hulking mute of textbook slashers. We also see an African-American character survive almost the entire film! I had high hopes for Crewshaw being the hero; he’s arguably the only likable guy in the movie. With a name like Major Brock, I was sure he was going places. Those places were likely adult and graphic in nature. When I saw Amy Hill (50 First Dates, All-American Girl, and Strip Mall) in the credits, I squealed. I waited as all the characters were introduced and I couldn’t find her. My partner in crime had to IMDB it to find out she plays Prissy. It was almost worth the 95 minutes to see a young Amy NOT playing an ethnic grandma.

 

This one follows the basic format of unsuspecting people encounter psychopath, psychopath starts killing until incapacitated. The only curveball it throws is more confounding than interesting. Why does Evelyn bother with the half-hearted pest torture? Is she trying to warn them? It’s like she wants them to run away. However, being the kind of people to stay in a Mountaintop Motel they’re barely fazed by the critters, with the exception of Vernon. The death scenes are all pretty underwhelming, with the possible exception of the guinea pig. Although he had no lines, his death touched me the most. Sidebar: Who lets a guinea pig play outside? The goat is hanging out at the occult tea party in the basement and your guinea pig is roaming the yard? *Sigh* Anything I wanted from this movie, I didn’t get. This gets one bloody sickle.

Alisa Ramone:   I picked Mountaintop Motel Massacre because I was sure it would be a superb bad horror quickie! A crazy old woman with a sickle sounded perfect.  I was hoping for a crazy, campy good time, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The acting is bad, the corny dialogue is worse and I can’t find a cohesive plot to save my life.  This film contains no boobies either. I am still a little frightened by Evelyn, but I feel ridiculous admitting it. This is one of the only times that I think more money and time could have helped. Usually the magic of campy 80’s horror is the lack of money and time, but not MMM. We are introduced to a lot of ideas that are never real followed through; the dead husband, the daughter doing dark magic, and the daughter showing up again after being killed. I wish the plot had been a little more fleshed out. We spend too much time getting to know the characters that are going to be killed off and not enough time on Evelyn’s craziness. I was also constantly annoyed by the pace of MMM. It was way too slow. I’m not even sure how that is possible because so much is missing from the story. I will give the film only two positive comments and then just conclude that it just wasn’t for me. First, the atmosphere was fantastic. It was the only thing that could place this film in the horror genre. Second, the guests at the inn and their stories were almost interesting to me. I liked several of the secondary cast members and wished that the entire film had been about them. The sickle was definitely my favorite character by a head! How is it possible to make a dull movie about a crazy old woman who hears voices that tell her to kill people with a sickle? Somehow Mountaintop Motel Massacre managed to be pretty bad with such a wonderful plot idea. I give it one bloody sickle.

“So be it” – Crawlspace

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A young tennant is searching for the landlord, Karl Gunther. She wanders into his apartment/torture chamber and meets his tongueless captive, Martha. Gunther isn’t far behind. He laments that he ‘liked’ her before springing  a long blade from the ceiling to impale her. After, Karl plays Russian Roulette alone and lives to torture another day.

Meet Sophie. She’s giving boyfriend Hank an intentional eyeful as he hides in the bushes. Karl is also treating himself to an eyeful from his air duct hiding space. The next day Karl rents the vacant apartment to young student Lori. He wastes no time being creepy, cooking his hand on the stove until she agrees to rent. At home, Gunther is regaling Martha with tales of his childhood exile in Argentina.

Sophie and the rest of the girls in the building invite Lori over for tequila milkshakes. Karl invites himself and introduces the girls to a few of his rodent friends. A little later Karl initiates Lori further with his ritual vent tapping torture he uses on all the girls. Sophie sets out to rile Hank up again, this time with music. Karl has other ideas and takes Hank’s eyes. Then he plays another round of solo roulette, again he wins.

A very expository guest comes to visit Karl. We learn that when Karl was chief of medicine in Buenos Ares sixty seven people died of routine illnesses. Including this man, Josef Steiner’s brother. He also reveals that Gunther’s father was a Nazi doctor. Gunther kicks him out but Steiner is tenacious. He returns the next day, speaking first to Lori then letting himself into Gunther’s apartment. Unfortunately for Steiner he sit in the only booby trapped chair and is killed. Gunther plays another winning round of roulette.

Rapidly spiralling out of control, Gunther punishes Lori for talking to Steiner by dropping Steiner’s corpse in her tub. Karl applies some sloppy makeup and give Lori a blank look from outside her window. Lori’s no dummy, she attempts to make a break for it but Karl locks her in. She attempts to alert the other girls only to find them all dead. Ok, maybe Lori is a dummy. First, she chooses to hide from Gunther in his torture chamber and then in his beloved crawlspace. Lori frees Martha and then plays hide and seek with Gunther in the air ducts. When Karl is momentarily distracted faking his death, the girls make a break for Karl’s apartment. As he advances, laughing, Lori finds his roulette gun. Karl Gunther loses.

Bobi Lobotomy-

HA! Bet you thought we were dead, we’re back!

I was legitimately excited when we stumbled across Crawlspace. An eighties German torture flick sounded like just what I needed. Sadly, it was an American flick with a German in it and no visible torture. The real selling point to this one is the absolutely bat shit Klaus Kinski. Actual Nazi, Actually crazy.

Generally, my biggest problem with this movie was that I overhyped it for myself. In the ten minutes between when I’d heard of it and when I decided to watch it, I’d already played out dozens of wonderfully bloody scenarios.  Nothing that I came up with was featured on screen. I think I was expecting the eighties precursor to Saw. Instead, we’re given a slightly bloody, nipply Lifetime cautionary tale. Of the eight murders Gunther commits, only two are actually on screen.

So… Klaus Kinski. He is the real reason to tune in to this one. His performance is unsettling in the best possible way. Crawlspace is not quite a complete picture of his mental decline, Gunther isn’t in good shape when we meet him but it does offer a fairly satisfying look at a man finally parting with reality. I won’t actually say that I think his acting is spectacular, I honestly think this was Klaus being Klaus. Watch him and tell me you can’t picture him scooting around in his air ducts at home terrorizing his children.

Overall, I wasn’t terribly impressed with this one. I was generally bored and underwhelmed, which seems difficult to achieve in eighty minutes. That being said it is worth it to see Klaus in action. This one gets one and a half tongueless captives.

 

Alisa Ramone-

I had really high hopes for Crawlspace.  I was thrilled stupid about it when I read the synopsis, but I was incredibly disappointed by the actual film. How could you possibly screw up a film about a crazy German Nazi who tortures people? Other than Klaus, the acting was sub-par at best and I wanted to see way more blood or guts. None of the female characters, even Lori, were memorable except the captive. Even without a tongue she was the best actress in the bunch. The death traps were pretty awesome though, even if the deaths were mostly off screen. I don’t think I will ever watch Crawlspace again, but I will also never forget it.

Klaus Kinski was the only redeemable part of the film and that’s only because he was terrifying in a quiet, creepy way. Even though he’s a murder; I’m more interested in the fact that he also plays Russian roulette by himself every day. He pulls the trigger at total of 6 times and lives to torture another day. So, I guess he is a suicidal sadomasochistic Nazi wannabe? How can someone that interesting have such boring things to say to his journal?

I don’t quite understand why there’s a side plot about a person he killed while he was a doctor, but it lead to my favorite death scene – the trap chair. I cringed for several minutes after that scene.

I ultimately wasn’t thrilled by this film and wouldn’t recommend it to others, but I was frightened by Klaus, so I give it two tongueless captives.

What the hell is a tequila milkshake?

“For the same reason you have a taco tattooed on your ass” – Dreamaniac

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Totally Metal Adam is dreaming. His dream girl is visibly deranged and taking a literal blood bath. That doesn’t deter him, they enjoy a bloody makeout until Adam’s real world girlfriend wakes him. Pat, the real girl, drops in for some afternoon sexy time and a friendly reminder. Adam has agreed to rent the place out to Pat’s sister for a sorority function tomorrow. He’s having second thoughts but Pat tells him to stuff it.

That night, to prove how much he wants to get out of the party, Adam calls forth his dream succubus into our world.

It’s party day! Pat and her sister Jodi begin their setup. They find Adam still sleeping well into the afternoon and no trace of his otherworldly friend. He tries once more to call off the party and, again, Pat tells him to stuff it. Soon the sorority Bitches and Bros begin to arrive. First to arrive is Francis, queen bitch. She detests Jodi. After she find that Jodi is dating her former flame, Brad, she makes an internal pledge to bang him. More guests trickle in, including Ace. He’s picked up a hitchhiker in the form of Lily, the succubus. Adam makes a half hearted attempt to get rid of her but can’t bring himself to actually send her back to Whereverland.

Everyone hates the party. Even with the pot brownies, coke and booze. Sister Rosie heads upstairs to fix her makeup and meets Lily’s knife. Next, Ace and Lily play a little bondage game. Ace is electrocuted and plunges the party into darkness. Jan and Foster are next to go in a less inspired fashion. Sensible Jamie warns Pat and Jodi that something is very wrong. Worried, Pat searches for Adam, she finds him watching Lily biting off Brad’s penis. Pat takes off quickly, she runs into Francis and tries to warn her to leave. Francis, being Francis, instead knocks Pat out and goes to fuck Adam. Bad news for Francis, Adam has been convinced to join in the bloody fun. He cuts her throat, Lily gives him his next targets, Pat and Jodi.

When she comes to, Pat finds Jamie and tells him to bring the car around while she finds Jodi. Jamie has been reading Adam’s journal. He tells Pat they’re dealing with a succubus and that she must be beheaded or staked. Pat seemingly files this info in her ‘Fuck that Noise’ folder and heads out. In the process of finding Jodi, Pat finds Zombie Ace. She kills him with a ski pole. Poor Jamie makes it to the car and runs into Lily. She strangles him from the backseat (“Monster in the backseat? Oldest trick in the book!” – Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlorama). Pat takes a few more steps only to be attacked by Zombie Francis. She smothers Francis, turns around and is attacked by Lily. After seemingly choking Lily to death, Pat runs upstairs to find Jodi.

Pat arrives in Adam’s room to find him standing over a prone and bloody Jodi. Jodi begins to sit up, it was Adam’s blood. Adam starts screaming. He…he runs to the basement and starts spitting blood on the walls? When he comes back Pat and Jodi have a drill. They decapitate him with it. Finally, Pat remembers she sent Jamie outside awhile ago. She leaves Jodi alone with the drill to check on Jamie. Jodi cannot and should not be left alone. She practically finds Lily and stands under her knife. Pat rushes back in, ready to save the day but so does a doctor. Lily is an escaped mental patient. Pat and Jodi both look toward the camera and we flash to a clean(er) cut Adam. He’s on the phone recounting his latest novel, the events of which we just watched. As he ends the call, there is a knock on the door. It’s Lily! She kills him, messily. We get a close up of a script on Adam’s desk. Presumably, it used to say succubus, now due to some blood editing, it says ‘SUC’. Which it did.

Bobi Lobotomy –

Another one from David DeCoteau. Made before Sorority Babes, this, sadly, has none of the charm or magic. The acting is slightly less than mediocre. Out of the two effects I remember, one was okay and one was pretty ridiculous looking. It also suffers from a head-shaking triple twist ending. Possibly, the worst (or hell, most merciful) part of the film is it’s forgetability. I had to watch it twice to get the synopsis together.
What are the high points, you ask? Well, we have breasts (and possibly the tip of a penis) within five minutes. In another five, we get the first sex scene. That’s getting right down to the point for you. A lot of what this movie has to offer is grinding and semi-nude posing. There is also a literal bathtub full of blood, which is pretty rockin’. Pat, our heroine, is kinda cool. When she finally gets her shit together, she uses a power drill as her main mode of defense.
Then there’s the rest. Aside from Pat, most of the characters suck and I’m glad they die. Ace is a douche, Foster is a douche and Brad is a douche. Anyone that walks into a party and announces himself deserves to be electrocuted. I won’t go as far as to call the acting really bad, it’s not great though. For the most part, the problem is the acting is underwhelming. The entire production is underwhelming, I forgot it as soon as the film was over. Except the triple twist ending, which is still stuck in my craw. I like David’s other work, so I’m pretty sad I didn’t like this one. I’ll give it two twist endings.

Alisa Ramone –

I was really disappointed by Dreamaniac. We were really excited to see something else from the man who brought us Sorority Babes… First of all, why were the opening credits so painfully long? If you only have an hour and a half to tell a story, why waste so much of it on the credits? Second, almost every scene in the film was entirely too dark. I would normally be really angry about that, but my brain stopped paying attention after about 20 minutes. Every character appeared to be a bad stereotype and the acting was pretty horrible. I agree with Bobi – you basically forget the entire movie even happened right after you watch it, which is probably a blessing. Normally B horror films can redeem themselves in the gore department; this film couldn’t even pull that off. The succubus was such an awful/boring villain and the only death that was even remotely interesting was the aforementioned electric drill death. Several scenes felt like bad soft core porn. I would have to say that the worst part of the film was the triple twist ending. I’m normally not a fan of twist endings anyways, but this was the most ridiculous one I have ever seen. I really wish I had better things to say about this film because I’m a huge fan of Sorority Babes, but I wouldn’t subject my worst enemy to the torture that is Dreamaniac. At the end of the film there is a piece of paper that has Succubus typed out on it, but the only part you can read is “SUC,” I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about the film. I give it one twist ending.

On a side note – We have been arguing since last weekend about the opening scene. Bobi thinks you can see the tip of his penis and I don’t. If you happen to subject yourself to this horrible film, please give us your opinion.

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“God Bless America, Limp Dick!” – Class of Nuke ‘Em High

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Since the nuclear power plant went in next door, things have been strange at Tromaville High. A teacher lost her hair and become covered in grody boils. The Honor Society has become a gang of vile, violent, drug pushing Cretins. More pressing, there is a toxic waste leak in the basement. The super shady plant manager refuses to clean it properly, fearing bad publicity. Even goody-goody, geeky Dewey has a nuclear freakout and throws his melting body out a classroom window. The other students start putting the pieces together.

Squeaky clean Warren (Gil Brenton) and Chrissy (Janelle Brady) haven’t gone all the way yet. Warren’s buddy, Eddie, has hatched a plan to finally get them together. Eddie rounds everyone up for a frat party that night. Unluckily, the Cretins have just harvested a new crop of weed from a puddle of atomic waste. They call the new batch an ‘Atomic High’. When they cross paths with Eddie, they force him to buy one of the improved joints. That night, Chrissy and Warren smoke the green glowing joint and under its effects, have sex. Once at their respective homes, they each have strange hallucinations. Warren becomes a crusty monster with a giant dong and Chrissy dreams of being pregnant with something inhuman.

Back at school, still feeling awful, they confront Eddie about where he got the drugs. When he confesses the joint came from the Cretins, Warren is livid. Cretins could have put anything in the joint! Not feeling any better, Warren leaves school. It’s not long before he’s turned into the oozing monster from his hallucination. Spike (Robert Prichard), leader of the Cretins, and a few other Cretins are trying to scare up some cash. They’re using the old alka-seltzer seizure routine to steal an old lady’s hand bag. They succeed but are intercepted by Atomic Warren. He brutally dismantles two Cretins and knocks Spike unconscious.

During cheerleader practice, Chrissy’s hallucination starts to come true. She runs to the bathroom and vomits/births a spiny tadpole baby. The tadpole gets flushed into the toxic waste in the basement and Chrissy is rushed to the hospital. The doctor confirms that she’s ok but she’s just had a full term miscarriage. Worried(?), Warren goes back to school and runs into Eddie. Together they check out the brand new laser in the science lab. They beat a hasty retreat when the science teacher finds them and Warren blunders right into a fight with the Cretins. Warren is pretty quickly overpowered. Their little party is crashed by a teacher. It’s the final straw for the principal, The Cretins are kicked out of school. For some reason, this really upsets them and they vow revenge against Warren.

Super Creep from the power plant starts sending workers to take radiation reads at the school. They close the east wing. One of the workers heads to check out the fallout shelter, this is where the school is keeping their open containers of toxic waste. Totally normal for Tromaville. This poor nameless worker meets the mutant radioactive offspring of Warren and Chrissy. Let’s call it Warssy. Warssy is not friendly, he rips the worker apart. The Cretins use the confusion of the east wing closure to enact their revenge against Warren and the school.

Most of the Cretins capture the principal and make the emergency evacuation announcement. The students stampede out. Spike and the remaining Cretins kidnap Chrissy. They hold her in the fallout shelter and send for Warren. By the time Warren gets back to the school, The Cretins are joyriding through on motorcycles, destroying the school and trying to keep him from Chrissy. Warren finally bursts into the fallout shelter and Spike halts him with a gun in the face. Spike and his sidekick, Taru, brandish weapons and make threats. Then Warssy joins the party. It punches through Taru’s face and chases Spike out of the shelter. Now, Warren and Chrissy are on the run, they must get past The Cretins and Warssy to get out alive. Warssy takes out The Cretins one by one. Except Spike, he finds Warren and Chrissy cowering in the science lab. Warren, ever the gentleman, warns Spike to just give it up and stay away from Warssy. Spike is not a good listener, Warssy gives him a very interesting headbutt and kills him. Warssy goes after his mom next and papa Warren uses the laser we learned about earlier to zap his ass. Warren and Chrissy escape but the scuzzy plant manager brushes past them, convinced it’s a joke. He gets an eyeful of Warssy before the both explode.

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Whoa, it’s our first Troma movie! What took us so long? This was actually the first Troma movie I saw, it does a wonderful job of throwing open the door on the weird world of Tromaville. Class of Nuke ‘Em High is a great example of everything we’re looking for on this blog. Let’s jump in and get slimey.

Again, we’ve got another one with a super catchy theme song. Somehow, I’ve had a medley of ‘Nuke ‘Em High’ and ‘Roxie’ (from Chicago) stuck in my head for DAYS. If I wasn’t already a little nuts, this would have put me over the edge. If you gently poke around the internet, you should be able to find it.

What’s a Troma movie without effects? We get quite a few special treats in this one. Dewey’s freakout and subsequent meltdown (ha!) is pretty spectacular. I’m especially pleased with this effect because it’s not claymation. As I mentally playback all the other great melting scenes of the 80s, it seems to me they were all clay. Warrren’s monster make up is pretty funny, with the bulging, pus-y sacks on his forehead. We get a great fist assisted suffocation. Then, of course, Spike is killed by spikes to the face. All great fun.

The other telltale sign you’re watching Troma? Perverse, oddball humor. Here there is an undercurrent of ‘nuclear power is bad’, the more subtle (ha!) visual gags play on this. Watch for the plant workers eating lunch out of isotope containers, posters and basically everything in the background.  The Cretins also seem to be one long running joke. Especially in the scene where the principal frisks them. Not to mention when Gonzo tells Muffy they can’t hang out because he’s busy with work and “That’s what you get for dating a yuppie”.

Class of Nuke ‘Em High has nearly everything I look for in a horror film. It hits on all the main points: high schoolers or other people with compromised judgment, a high school for them to play in, Punks! or generally out there characters, interesting effects and copious amounts of goo. As far as I’m concerned the only thing we’re missing is a strong female character. Muffy and Taru do not count, they are still under Spike’s control. I’m giving this one four spiney tadpoles.

Alisa Ramone –

For once I actually completely agree with Bobi! Instead of writing the same ideas again I will ask – Why are there vats of toxic waste in the basement of a school? I also give it 4 spiney tadpoles!

P.S. Very shortly the world should have Return to Nuke ‘Em High. Normally I scoff at remakes, but I’m actually excited to see what Lloyd does this time.

“Keith, I have your pants” – Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl O’Rama

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Three bored guys, Calvin, Jimmie and Keith, are drinking in their dorm room. Keith has an idea for some fun, crashing the Tri Delta initiation that night. At the sorority house the festivities began as the boys sneak up to the window. Initiates Taffy and Lisa are awaiting punishment from sadistic Babs and her sidekicks, Frankie and Rhonda. After witnessing the girls being mercilessly paddled by Babs, the guys decide they need a closer look and break in. To cap off the beating, Frankie and Rhonda spray the Initiates with whipped cream. Lisa and Taffy hit the showers and the boys follow.

Taffy and Lisa give the boys an unintentional eyeful. Unfortunately, Babs catches the guys almost instantly. She calls a meeting, the last task for initiation will be for Lisa and Taffy to steal a bowling trophy from her father’s mall with the boys in tow. Brutal Babs has a secret plan. Since Daddy owns the mall, she and her minions sneak in to make more trouble for Taffy and Lisa. When our five adventurers do their little act of B & E they find the place is already being robbed.

Tipsy Calvin buddies up to tough as press-on nails Spider. She ridicules the entire bunch, save Calvin, but finally resorts to helping them steal the trophy so they will go away. Jimmie picks the largest trophy in the case and they prepare to head out. Babs and the minions watch on the security cameras as a scuffle breaks out and the trophy drops. Smoke fills the air and out pops a little grey Imp. Uncle Impy is very grateful for being sprung. He offers the group wishes. Calvin is skeptical and Spider is blatantly hostile, they are DQ’d from wishing. Jimmie wishes for gold, Taffy wants to be prom queen and Keith wishes that Lisa would put out.

As soon as the Imp grants his last wish, he reveals his true colors. He knows Babs and the girls are watching so he turns Rhonda into a scaly faced monster and Frankie into the bride of Frankenstein. Uncle Impy electrifies the exits in time to shock a fleeing Babs. The wishes start to go bad and the group turns on the Imp. Demon girls Rhoda and Frankie and kill Jimmie with the ball shiner before bowling with his head. Calvin and Spider shoot Rhonda twice to no avail. Keith attempts to get a break from Uber clingy Lisa only to have his face deep fried. Taffy is stretched a bit too far and winds up in two. Babs wakes up and has a pleasant chat with old Uncle Impy. That is, until Rhonda crashes the party. Babs beats on her as only she could and with Calvin and Spider bowling clean up, they put an end to Rhonda. Uncle Impy just laughs, he demonizes Babs into her replacement.

Calvin and Spider do some more exploring and come upon a janitor. Although laughably heard of hearing, he knows all about the Imp. When enclosed in a small space an Imp will lose it’s power. After a few false starts they agree the best course of action would be to get him in a headlock, kick him in the butt and stuff him back in the trophy. They decide the deaf guy should wait there and ‘listen’ if they need help. Ha. Calvin and Spider head back downstairs to find Babs has killed Lisa. Spider fights with Babs for a few moments before that gets boring and Calvin hits Babs with a molotov cocktail. While Spider prepares to capture the Imp, she sends Calvin to bring the car around. SURPRISE! Rhonda isn’t dead, she’s in the backseat strangling Calvin. In the Imp’s own words “Monster in the backseat? Oldest trick in the book”. Luckily, those are some of the Imp’s last words as Spider slams a Prince Albert can over his head. With the Imp in the can, Rhonda loses her powers. Calvin still flips the car, but he’s safe. Spider rescues him and they ride off into the dawn on her moped. For some reason, they leave the can with the Imp in it on the sidewalk. Right out in the open where anyone might open it. More shocking, there is no sequel.

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Bobi Lobotomy:

Starting from the very beginning, the opening theme is a wondrous piece of synth trash called ‘Here in the Darkness’. The version used for the opening and closing has no other lyrics than ‘here in the darkness’ over and over. This song is still stuck in my head. I’m not mad about it.

I like this movie. The plot is dumb. It’s The Monkey’s Paw if, the paw itself was a bald, homicidal, donkey puppet. This donkey puppet is kinda funny, not like “OMG, I can’t stop laughing”, more like “at least the Imp knows he kinda sucks.” Despite two decapitations, there is almost no blood. Frankly, the worst part of the movie is that it’s so dark. Half the time, I swore something really awesome was happening and I just couldn’t see it. I was left feeling that there were far too many people in the cast. Logically, I guess that’s not true, we need the cannon fodder. I couldn’t tell you who I would have eliminated, it just seemed crowed.

On to the good stuff, in this one we have more Linnea (Spider), more Michelle (Lisa) and a first time appearance on the blog of Brinke Stevens (Taffy). According to IMDB, this one was of only two movies in which all three ladies appear. I feel that may be an old factoid, due to the ‘1313’ movie series, maybe someone can confirm. I like to imagine the three of them negotiating over who has to get naked and how naked they have to get. We get a fully nude Brinke, boobs from Michelle and some fully clothed under boob from Linnea. Michelle is a bit too worldly to be believable as the innocent she is supposed to be here initially. This is my favorite role for Linnea. I know Return of the Living Dead fans will want my head for that remark but she and Uncle Impy make the movie.

By far, my favorite exchange is between Spider and the Janitor. It’s a very stupid scene, nothing new or clever about it but I laugh every time. Anytime Spider rags on Calvin is funny. Really, any time Spider talks is good for me. Then there’s Uncle Impy (I feel compelled to add that he is voiced by Dukey Flyswatter because that’s a pretty kickass fake name) and that’s what he’s like, an Uncle. He tells corny uncle jokes and terrorizes you. What I’m getting at is, the dialogue is awful, but it’s the good kind of awful. I’m a fan, I say three and a half Imps.

 

Alisa Ramone:

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama is a campy, low-budget, 80’s horror spoof, complete with all three scream queens, Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens! It’s basically the “genie in a bottle story,” but with an evil imp instead of a genie. SBinSB grabs your attention right away with the catching opening song (that Bobi won’t stop singing) and amuses you all the way to the end. It has a comical plot, great one-liners, lots of gratuitous nudity and several really creative death scenes. I also loved Uncle Impy; he’s hysterically bad, but in a good way.  My biggest complaint was that most of the film was shot at night in a bowling alley, so the lighting is really terrible. SBitSB is an incredibly tongue-in-cheek, entertaining and well paced film that I would recommend to all B movie fans.

Three college boys (Jimmy, Calvin and Keith) go to a sorority house to secretly watch an initiation. They get caught and forced to tag along with Lisa and Taffy to steal a bowling trophy. This isn’t your ordinary trophy; it has an evil imp inside it. They drop the trophy and release Uncle Impy, which results in mayhem and death, but not before he gives Taffy, Jimmy and Keith a wish. Not surprisingly, these wishes turn out to be horrible. The sorority girls (Babs, Rhonda and Frankie) also go to the mall to make sure that the group doesn’t complete their task.  Uncle Impy turns the the three of them into demons similar to their personalities; Rhonda becomes a zombie with bad skin (obsessed with skin/appearance), Babs becomes a dominatrix (obsessed with power), and Frankie becomes the bride of Frankenstein (because her name is Frankie?). Uncle Impy is a cool cat with a deep jazzy voice (Dukey Flyswatter). Sadly, he isn’t made very well, but because the lighting is so bad it was hard to see him anyways.

The deaths are spectacular, even though there were only a few. I’m even willing to forgive the lack of blood. First, we have Jimmy, who gets beheaded by ball shiner and they use his head as a bowling ball (gutter head). Next, Taffy get pulled apart limb from limb (like taffy) and finally, Rhonda shoves Keith’s face into a deep fryer. I wish the lighting was better so I could see each death a little better though. I know I keep mentioning the lighting, but it really did take away from everything.

The most interesting part of this story is that a woman (Spider) is the hero and a man (Calvin) is the blundering sidekick. If you have read any of my other reviews, you know that I’m a little obsessed with gender roles in horror. This movie had a complete gender reversal between Calvin and Spider. Spider is the strong, cunning, bad ass, punk rocker and Calvin is a timid, submissive nerdy guy. He falls for the bad girl immediately (usually that is a girl falling for the bad boy). He physically hides behind her, lays his head in her lap, gives her the gun, gets rescued several times by her and even rides off at the end of the film on the back of her moped. Spider is an exceptionally unique character. She was there to rob the place, but she wouldn’t take “uncle impy” up on his offer to give her anything her little heart desired. Spider was the one to kill all three demons (with Calvin’s help) and capture the Imp. Babs seems to be a strong female character too, but in the face of actual danger, Spider decides to “man up” and Babs cries.

I’m left with two burning questions; why didn’t Lisa get a wish (she was only the object of Keith’s wish) and why did they leave imp on sidewalk in a canister? Someone could just walk by and open it! Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama is a fun, campy film that’s totally worth watching at least once. I give it 4 imps!  

“Who’d want to eat a live cat?” – Night of the Comet

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Tonight the World is preparing for Christmas and a sighting of a rare comet. Sixty-Five million years ago was the last time the comet passed Earth, near the extinction of the dinosaurs. People are lining the streets the world over. Comet parties are raging in every major city.

Regina Belmont is ‘working’ at the local movie theater. ‘Working’ consists of keeping up every high score on the Tempest game in the lobby and sneaking off to be with Larry the Projectionist. Someone named ‘DMK’ has taken spot number six and Regina is annoyed. After dodging her boss, she meets up with Larry to spend the night with him in the steel projection booth. Regina calls home to have younger sister Samantha cover for her with their stepmother, Doris. Sam and Doris get into an argument about Doris’ ‘close’ relationship with neighbor Chuck. Doris punches Samantha. Sam runs away and spends the evening in the metal tool shed.

The comet passes over Los Angeles bringing neon lightning and cartoon clouds. Larry wakes Regina with his loud ranting. He rented a movie reel to a friend that was supposed to return it that morning. The friend has not shown up. When Larry leaves to track down the print, Regina heads to the lobby to take care of her Tempest problem. She successfully removes DMK from her scoreboard and steps outside to have a look around. All she finds are piles of clothes, red dust and the fact that she is now locked out. Heading to the alley behind the theater she finds Larry’s keys and bike are still here. Regina calls to him but instead, attracts an angry, zombie-like creature instead. The zombie appears to have been munching on Larry. After trying to talk her way out of the situation, Regina kicks his ass and escapes on the motorcycle.

Riding through the city, Regina finds it empty except for more clothes and red dust. At home, Regina finds a thankfully intact Samantha. After spending the night in the shed, Sam returns home to get ready for cheerleading practice. She’s had no luck getting any of the girls on the phone. Regina demands that Sam call someone, anyone, else and Samantha, suitably freaked out declines. They head outside where Regina continues to try to make her point. She points out clothes, calling out their former owners. Finally demands to know that for a Saturday morning, where are the children? The girls take the argument indoors, but stop short when the radio DJ makes a broadcast.

Unfortunately, the DJs voice was a recording. They do meet Hector. He pulls a gun on them, thinking they might be some of the ‘freaks’ he’s run into outside. Once he finds that they probably don’t want to eat him, he apologizes and explains why he’s so jumpy. Heck used to have a traveling companion, she ran off when they first saw a zombie eating a cat. When he caught up to her, she had been torn apart by zombies. Regina runs off to be sick, finally realizing what must have happened to Larry. Hector goes to check on her. Alone, Sam decides to play DJ. She spins a few tracks and invites callers to give her a ring. Someone calls. She’s so shaken, she can only remember that they are some kind of research group in the desert.

Sam realizes the Regina is probably going to snake the last guy in the world out from under her and she goes for a drive. As Sam is enjoying a cold beer and a joyride, she is actually relieved to be pulled over. Until the cops get to her window. They’re zombies! Sike! She was dreaming. Sam heads to the bathroom to wash up in the sink a little. While in the bathroom she is attacked by another zombie cop. Sike again!! She was still dreaming, she wakes up screaming bring Regina and Hector to check on her.

Now that they’re awake Regina and Hector do some more bonding. Hector says he needs to head to San Diego to see if his mother and sister made it. Regina advises Hector against it but his mind is made up. While Hector is gone, the girls do some target practice. They have a sisterly squabble over Hector and head to the mall for some retail therapy. Meanwhile, the scientists arrive at the radio station. They’ve been exposed to the comet and are on the way to becoming zombies themselves. The group wants the blood of the healthy teenagers to make a syrum  to reverse the effects. One scientist, Audrey, is not comfortable killing people for something that may not even work. The psychologist of the group works out that the mall would be a likely place to look for the girls.

Hector makes it to San Diego and finds his family gone. He encounters a child zombie that he doesn’t have the heart to kill. After he gathers some photographs, he races back to the city. Regina and Sam are blissfully shopping until they encounter a group of half-zombie stock boys. The girls put up a valiant effort in the ensuing shoot out but they are captured. Just as the round of one-sided russian roulette is about to come to an end, they are saved by the scientists. Audrey convinces the rest of the bunch that Sam has been exposed. Most of the group leaves with Regina, Audrey stays behind to deal with Sam and wait for Hector.

Audrey gives Sam an injection and she quietly slips off. The other scientist suggests they go wait for Hector at the station. Audrey shoots him. When Hector returns to the station he finds Audrey, she’s not doing well. While she still could wrote down everything Hector would need to know to save Reggie. With that done, Audrey gives herself an injection and dies. At the undisclosed desert location, Regina is being questioned about her medical history. She sees two children and coupled with the line of questioning realizes something is very wrong.

Hector arrives and with some help from the totally not dead Sam, they take out the guard. Hector sets to work booby trapping a truck and Sam runs off to rescue Regina. Regina has the same idea and begins bashing her way through the guards but she’s captured again. Luckily, Sam cuts the power and in the resultant chaos Regina is able to escape. Sam and Regina are reunited while rescuing the children. They rendezvous with Hector outside. The scientist pile into the booby trapped truck to give chase and are blown to bits.

Los Angeles is bathed by a healing rain storm. The sky returns to blue, the dust and clothing are washed away. Sometime later the new family are taking pictures in their Sunday best. Hector and Regina are teaching the kids not to cross against the light, which Sam thinks is ludicrous. To prove her point, she crosses the street. Sam is almost mowed down by Danny Mason Keener, he apologizes and asks to take her for a ride. She happily agrees and as the car pulls off we see his vanity plate says DMK.

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Bobi Lobotomy:

Night of the Comet is one of my all-time favorites. It’s probably the biggest reason I’m doing this today. I saw it for the first time when I was around twelve and I was blown away. In Regina and Samantha, I found unlikely but highly relatable horror movie heros. This was the first movie to show me girls had a place in horror beyond screaming and dying. Is this the best horror movie I’ve ever seen? No. Are the effects fantastic? What effects? Are there boobs? Nope. Are there plot holes you can drive a buick though? Yes, of course. This movie kicked the door open on B horror for me and I love it dearly.

Judging by the looks of Los Angeles, the body count for this one is something like 99% of the population. Which is pretty respectable. We’re left with a dumbish cheerleader, somewhat slutty ($15 in exchange for sex???) movie usher and a kinda helpless truck driver. The burden of civilization is upon them. That might be what is so much fun about this movie. You can either relate to one of the characters to see how well you do in a post-human world, or realize how much smarter you are than they are and map out how you’d take over the west coast.

I think this was the first piece of post-apocalyptic work I’d ever encountered, and thanks to Night of the Comet I’ve never lost my fascination for it. Being alone in the world didn’t look scary, the power still worked and they could go to the mall. Yeah, yeah, they were captured by zombies but really they only ran into about seven zombies the whole movie. Those are pretty good odds.

Reggie and Sam made the biggest impact on me. They were tough and resourceful. Hector didn’t show up and immediately become the hero. The girls got in gun fights, beat the crap out of zombies, saved the children and outsmarted the think tank geniuses.Reggie and Sam were also real, they fought over boys and went shopping at the end of the world.  I’m not alone, Joss Whedon has said part of his inspiration for Buffy was Samantha. They both turn horror movie logic on its head, the blonde cheerleader dies in the second act. Here, she helps save the day and gets a boy of her own.

How does Night of the Comet stand up to adult scrutiny? I still really like it. The girls are funny and still pretty badass. Don’t think too hard about the plot or the science. Both get a little thin under the microscope. There’s not too much in the way of horror and nearly no blood. I’d say other than the girl’s hair, it stands up pretty well. I’m going four and a half killer comets on this one.

Alisa Ramone:

Night of the Comet is a witty, refreshing post apocalyptic sci-fi film with the least likely, but most likable heroines I have ever seen. Night of the Comet breaks the mold by taking a light-hearted, almost wholesome approach to life during and after the apocalypse. This is one of the rare times that I enjoy the fact that comedy often overshadows tragedy. There is very little nudity, blood/gore, but the film still holds its own among the 80’s cult classics with fantastic dialogue, great acting and unpredictable lead characters. It also has a killer new wave soundtrack.
Throughout this film, we follow two teenage sisters dealing with the aftermath of a comet that wiped out most of humanity and turned the rest of them into zombies. These aren’t your ordinary teenagers; they were trained by their Green Beret father to fight and shoot guns. Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart), an usher at El Rey theatre, and her sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), a cheerleader with a chip on her shoulder, are among the last few survivors and normally this idea would devastate someone, but they have a military father who is never around and a wicked step-mother who treats them badly and hits them. Their mother ran away when they were young so it’s been just the two of them taking care of each other for a long time.  My favorite  Regina and Samantha scene is when they decide that instead of mourning over the loss of humanity, they should go to the mall – because what teenage girl wouldn’t want to go shopping without having to worry about having the money to pay for anything.
Even though I really loved both of these characters, Reggie really had a deep impact on me. I really love that whenever she is faced with someone trying to hurt or kill her, she tried to negotiate with them before resorting to violence, but if it comes to punches or gun fire, she is able to hold her own. She’s also smart – Reggie is the one that figures out the being in a steel enclosure is what saved them from becoming dust or zombies. She was able to rescue and care for two children and escape from an underground lab and she takes care of Sam, emotionally and physically. (I was surprised though that her desire to win over Hector was for sibling rivalry and not to repopulate the earth, but what eighteen year old would be thinking about that). She is an incredibly atypical heroine, which is refreshing.  I love the fact that these two girls weren’t just eye candy that was waiting to be rescued. They took an active role in their own survival. Standard gender roles are a little blurry throughout the film. I started to notice the difference when the first zombie we see kills Larry, the man, instantly and Regina, the woman, fights off the same zombie that and gets away.  When Hector shows up, it is clear that he is not meant to be the hero of the story. He takes a secondary role to two teenage girls, he even gets a small handgun, while the girls get a semi-automatic weapons. I’m impressed that all of the women in this film are strong, nonconforming characters. In most horror movies Reggie and Sam would be dead in the first half hour, but in Night of the Comet they get to not only survive, but exceed the audience’s expectations.
On a side note – I was really intrigued by the zombies. They aren’t the main enemy; in fact they were almost an afterthought and we only see a few throughout the entire film. These zombies are unique though, in that they are not just flesh eating monsters; they are capable of intelligent thought for awhile after they start to turn. They can talk, use weapons and banter with our heroines. I’m a huge zombie fan, so part of me wishes we had just a little more zombie interaction. The mall zombies were great though!
Regina, Hector and the children choose to normalize life even though they are among the last few people on earth. They formed a patriarchal family unit and follow conventional rules. “The whole burden of civilization lies with us.”Sam feels excluded and has less regard for the rules now that all the people are gone, which is apparent when they argue about crossing at the crosswalk against the light. At the end of the movie, after DMK drives off with Sam, I’m left wondering how they will survive. They chose to drive/walk into the proverbial sunset instead of dealing with the problems of long term survival. Night of the Comet takes a lighter approach to a dark situation. Instead of gathering supplies and food, these two girls go to the mall to get a new wardrobe. The film never addresses how they plan to survive or what will happen to them in the future. The girls deal with everything moment by moment, which is a refreshing realistic take on the apocalypse from the perspective of a teenager. I love this movie and give it 4 killer comets!

“What’s the matter? Chainsaw got your tongue?” – Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers

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Meet Jack Chandler. He’s a hard boiled private investigator on the trail of a runaway named Samantha. Chandler is a bit preoccupied with a recent series of chainsaw murders. The P.I. is concerned Samantha may have something to do with the murders. He arranges to meet with an unnamed prisoner that fits Samantha’s description. This prisoner was arrested ‘making mcnuggets’ with a chainsaw.

Meanwhile, Mercedes a hard working, working girl, is chatting up construction worker Bo. After flirting for a bit they agree to head back to Mercedes place. She does some light pre-sex prep work, including the donning a hair net and placing a tarp over Elvis. Then they get busy. By busy I mean, Mercedes carves him up like a turkey while a Mysterious Stranger watches from her window.

When Chandler sees the prisoner, it’s clear she isn’t Samantha. Chandler flashes a picture of Samantha and the look the prisoner gives makes he sure he’s on the right track. After stealing a bloody match book from evidence, Chandler heads home to call the number on it. In a short interlude, Lisa, a friend of Mercedes, chainsaws an old man while the same Mysterious Stranger looks on.

The match book number belongs to Mercedes, she and Chandler set a date at the bar. They have a few drinks and Chandler spots Samantha dancing. Sadly, he can’t get to her because Mercedes has drugged him. When he comes to, he is surrounded by the girls, including Samantha. They are shooed out of the room by the Mysterious Stranger. He makes a predictably long villain speech which amounts to this; he is the leader of an ancient Egyptian chainsaw worshiping cult that requires a lot of sacrifices. Currently, the group plans to sacrifice Samantha and Chandler that night. Mysterious Stranger leaves and send the girls back in to kill him. Luckily for Chandler, the girls are out of gas.

With Mercedes and Lisa off getting gas, Sam unties Chandler and tells him she’s here to avenge the death of a friend. They escape and flee to Chandler’s office. Once there Chandler calls the cops and he and Samantha make love. Unfortunately, they decide to break into the warehouse where the sacrifices are to occur and put a stop to them. They are captured instantly. The chainsaw hookers drug Sam so she can be one with the gods for the ritual and they prepare Chandler to be sacrificed. After a very impressive two chainsaw dance Samantha guts Mysterious Stranger and chainsaw duels with Mercedes. Samantha defeats her and the cops arrive in enough time to watch the bad guys go up in smoke. Jack makes Samantha his new secretary and they live happily until the movie ends.

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Bobi Lobotomy:

Two words: Chainsaw. Duel. This movie has everything you could want. It’s a 40s detective story, a revenge story, there are hookers, chainsaws, cults and two scream queens. That’s right, we get Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer (McLellan) in this one. They each made about one hundred horror films in the eighties and early nineties. The body count is fairly low at four but, they use the blood of at least ten people. At 72 minutes there’s not even enough time to get bored.

This is a horror comedy that is actually funny, starting with the credits. Which warn that the chainsaws are real and not to try the stunts at home ‘Especially if you are naked and about to engage in strenuous sex’. We’re off and running from there. Jay Richardson as Chandler is pretty funny. All the dialogue is funny and not accidently either. The casting is fantastic, Linnea and Michelle, as Samantha and Mercedes respectively, are true stand outs. Of course, Gunnar Hansen is playing Mysterious Stranger, you’d think the man would have had enough of chainsaws.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers saves the best for last. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the movie is bloody, funny, hookery and chainsawy but, the stuff you came for is here. It all gets kicked off with Linnea’s virgin dance of the two chainsaws. My heart rate picked up a bit because I realized, they weren’t fucking around, those are real chainsaws! Surely, the best scene in the movie is the chainsaw duel. I’ve got to hand it to Michelle and Linnea, I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough for a chainsaw fight. It looks like the girls are a little scared but they gave it their all. The movie is entertaining, start to finish. I give it four dueling chainsaws.

Alisa Ramone:

“Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” is a hilarious nod to 40’s style detective films complete with a cheesy voice over.  The acting was surprisingly good, the one-liners were great and there was a just the right amount of blood and boobs! The dialogue (especially between Jack and Samantha) was exceptionally hilarious. And even though there were only four deaths, they were each impressive in their own way. I was really excited to see this film and it did not disappoint. It delivers chainsaws and hookers a-plenty, just like the title suggests.

Jack Chandler, a private investigator in Los Angeles, is hired to find a missing girl, Samantha (Linnea Quigley). His search leads him to a cult of chainsaw worshipping hookers led by Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen. The first hooker we meet is Mercedes (Michelle Bauer). She invites a gentleman from the bar back to her apartment, does a sexy naked dance for him and then hacks him to pieces. She is careful to cover her Elvis poster with plastic and put on a shower cap before splattering his blood all over her naked body. If I were that guy, I would have been a little more freaked out by someone covering their house in plastic and putting on a shower cap before sex. I was glad that the killing was done from the victim’s perspective so that we could see the crazed expression on her face.

The next hooker, Lisa, is asked to pose in lingerie with a baseball bat. She goes along with it for a little while before hitting Herman in the head with a bat and dragging him into the bathtub to slice him to pieces with a chainsaw. This was again from the victim’s perspective, so all you could see was the blood covering Lisa’s naked body. Part of me believes that this was so the audience could see the naked women get covered in blood, but it’s also smart because you really don’t have any special effects to film. The film was shot in 5 ½ days, so they wouldn’t have had much time to stage a scene where a person gets hacked up with a chainsaw.

Later, Jack gets to have a little chat with Leatherface about the origins of the cult.  After listening to his description of the ancient cult that worships chainsaws, I am inclined to agree with Jack that “we have let out religious freedom go too far.” What kind of an ancient cult worships a modern invention? A couple of times in the movie the chainsaw runs out of gas at an inopportune time, this is why ancient Egyptians actually worshipped cats.

Once we finally get to the sacrifice, it’s pretty obvious that the film doesn’t take its self too seriously. There are signs telling our hero/heroine that the “Temple is this way” and the entire ritual is incredibly over the top, but in a good way. At one point the followers even drink motor oil. I really loved the “Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws” performed by Samantha. She dances mostly naked with a chainsaw in each hand, which leads into an amazing chainsaw dual with Mercedes. There are two chainsaw deaths at the ritual, Mercedes and Leatherface, both performed by Samantha. After everyone has either fled or been slaughtered, she and Jack get to walk away mostly unscathed and live happily ever after.

“Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” captured my attention right away and was able to keep me interested right up to the very end. This is one of few horror comedies with the right mix of both horror and comedy. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of B horror movies and I give it 4 dueling chainsaws!