Monday, August 06, 2018

RECENT WATCHES: Dutch Slashers, Demon Winds, Albino Apes and More

We're officially in the dog days of summer here in Maryland and this year that has meant a multi-week stretch of heat, humidity and rain of Biblical proportions that has kept us from doing fun stuff like drinking beer and reading men's action novels by the pool. Luckily it has not affected our ability to drink beer and watch movies.

Between streaming, rentals and the box of 400+ genre titles I recently picked up to sell on eBay (check our store for the latest offerings) viewing has been all over the place of late. Also happy to finally move past "PG only" flicks with my daughter, which certainly opens up our options.

"Are we having fun here?" I'm surprised it took me so long to catch up with AMSTERDAMNED (1988) from director Dick Maas (THE LIFT). An oddball blend of the slasher and aqua-horror genres I love so much, AMSTERDAMNED follows decorated but world-weary detective Eric Visser (Huub Stapel) as he investigates whatever is emerging from the canals of Amsterdam to hack and slash unsuspecting hookers, boaters and bikini-clad babes. There are plenty of suspects to go around – including a fellow cop still bristling because Visser stole his gal – and a meh subplot featuring Visser's daughter and her oddball pal who thinks he's psychic, but Maas packs the flick with enough blood and action to keep you guessing. Feels a bit rushed and anti-climactic but still an enjoyable enough genre mashup.

In ACTS OF VENGEANCE (2017) Antonio Banderas stars as a hot shot lawyer whose wife and kid are killed, leading to a so-so revenge flick from the usually reliable Isaac Florentine. There are some major plot holes and plain old gaffes along the way but it's a halfway decent time-waster and I'm enjoying Banderas' work as he joins the ranks of the Straight To Redbox All-Stars (including SECURITY [2017] which pits Banderas against the always reliable Ben Kingsley in a low-rent riff on DIE HARD.

RAMPAGE (2018 aka THE FAST AND THE CURIOUS) stars Dwayne The Rock Dwayne Johnson as The Rock... nope, wait, Hobbs... nope, uh, Davis? Yes, Davis, some sort of zoological expert who can sign language with a giant albino gorilla (and I don't mean Vin Diesel) named George who goes all ape shit after huffing the contents of a space experiment gone wrong. Unfortunately the space doobie also affected a wolf and gator so we get a loose approximation of the awesome multi-player video game that I dumped a zillion quarters into while waiting for movies to start. Totally worth the $2.12 rental and an instant Background Flick All-Star. Here's hoping the next Godzilla flick is this fun.

“And now my pig… you die!” After a Depression-era prologue we’re thrust into the early 1990s as Cory and the world’s most inexplicable group of “friends” travel to a cabin in the woods and encounter slimy demons in Charles Phillip Moore’s 1990 way out horror flick DEMON WIND. You’ll need more than a handful of beers to get through this blend of Raimi demon gore and dopey Craven dream shenanigans complete with a guy who does magic tricks and front spin kicks.

Other recent watches include: the incoherent AMERICAN STREETFIGHTER (1992) with Gary Daniels; Bruce Campbell and Angus Scrimm in BRAINSLASHER (1992 aka MINDWARP), which seemed sorta fun but the print made half the flick unwatchable; a busty Linda Blair in the frat horror HELL NIGHT (1981); and THE DARK (1979), which I missed at the latest Exhumed Horrorthon, tried watching three times and finally gave up on. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and The Hungover Gourmet. No new issues are in the works but he is hard at work getting ER 51 back in print and compiling a Hungover Gourmet omnibus featuring writings from the blog, zine and more.

No comments: