Thursday, May 24, 2012


Directed By: Kurahara Koretsugu
Written By: Akira Momoi
Starring: Murakuni Shohei, Asami Ogawa
Color/67 Minutes/Not Rated

The Film
The 3rd entry into the Nikkatus Collection (yes, they're still numbering the spines for collectors) has arrived and it is a perfect fit. EROS SCHOOL: FEELS SO GOOD is a mix of sexploitation and offbeat comedy that somehow meshes together and flows smoothly. Ryu is a new student at the school after being expelled from numerous reform schools for raping his classmates. He arrives arrogantly with his pet pig and shows no remorse for his actions. He brags about his perfect ratio of beauty queen rapes and even refers to himself as Ryu the Rapist. He sets his sight on class president and track star Misa who prides herself on not only her school accomplishments but her virginity as well. As Ryu plows through Misa's friends he begins to stalk Misa with signs around the school and showing up at the big track meet. The only person that can possibly stop Ryu is Tadao, a nerdy student who obsesses over Misa, but he might have the wrong intentions as well.

There is little else in the way of a plot but there is plenty in the way of entertainment. While the sexploitation and comedy are certainly interwoven make no mistake, the emphasis is on the nastier bits. There is nudity and sex galore and it can sometimes come out of nowhere. The school staff does essentially nothing to stop it and aren't even seen in the movie but for a brief couple of minutes total. The pace is changed up with the comedy pretty well and it is never forced. Even with much of the movie focusing on rape it never quite comes across as dirty as you may think except for a scene toward the end which tries to lighten itself up with a bit of the oddball comedy but it really doesn't and it's just pure exploitation.

The Video
The new DVD of EROS SCHOOL comes to us from the Impulse Pictures line of Synapse Films with a 16x9 2.35:1 widescreen transfer and looks good. There are some outdoor scenes which are a bit on the grey side but that has more to do with the filming conditions than it does the transfer on this disc. The all important flesh tones are represented naturally and the few scenes with real artistic drive behind them are directed well enough with lighting in mind that colors can shine. Aside from a few soft spots the transfer is a success.

The Audio
A single Japanese 2.0 mono track is available with removable English subtitles. The audio is free of any hissing or crackling. The subtitles are easy to read and timed well with the corresponding audio. A perfectly serviceable track.

The Extras
As was the case with the first two discs in this line the only extras are liner notes from Pink Film expert Jasper Sharp. Sharp provides more history on the cycle of these films and EROS SCHOOL itself. It would be nice to have a trailer or interviews but these liner notes provide quite a bit of information in a small package. The notes also include original Japanese artwork for the film.

The Bottom Line
 This 3rd entry into the series from Impulse Pictures has been another winning romp into the world of sex and violence, this time revolving around school girls. This is 67 minutes of "close-the-door, shut-the-shades" entertainment.



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jack Frost 2 (2003)

Sometimes there comes a movie you just have to talk about. Whether it's so good you can't contain yourself or it's so awful that you have to bitch about it. I had no intentions on writing about this movie but Jack Frost 2 was so ridiculous I have to write a review.

A year after their first encounter Sheriff Sam and Jack Frost come face to face again during a Christmas vacation on a tropical island. Jack Frost has returned from the dead thanks to an error in a lab so he has no problem dealing with the heat of the islands... or the fire, guns or antifreeze weapons he is faced with while trying to settle the score with the sheriff.

I've never seen the first Jack Frost movie (unless we're talking about the lovable musician snowman dad) so I have no fucking idea what happened in it but if it's anywhere near as ridiculous as the sequel that was released 5 years later I'm sure it's fucking awesome. This movie is easily available on it's own or in a double or triple feature package and it's worth the price of admission alone. Jack Frost 2 is so Goddamn ridiculous with hilarious one liners like "Cowatonguea!" and more snow puns than you can imagine, the frosty killing sequences just make you smile. There is nothing serious here, it is pure comedy. And they make it charming enough to work. This is a movie Charles Band wishes he could make day in and day out.

Realistically this movie is complete shit, but it manages to pull it off with such grace. The snowman character is so funny with his one liners and the kills are full of shitty gore that will make you laugh hard. Jack Frost 2  is a fine piece of bullshit to pair with some beers and you have a winner if you appreciate crappy fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hellvetica (2012)

HELLVETICA is a short film from the mind of writer/director Kalen Artinian. The story surrounds a struggling writer named Simon who is constantly nagged by his girlfriend to get a "real job" since his writing isn't cutting it. When the phone rings with an offer for a writing gig all seems to be going well. The problem is the gig is for a horror story and Simon doesn't know horror. As Simon tries to come up with ideas, he's seemingly plagued with the company of a self-absorbed, douchebag hipster who is always around him and obnoxious. Simon soon realizes that you have to write what you know and the only way to write horror is to know it and snaps on the hipster to get his story.

The story is a simple but done effectively. The film is directed and photographed with skill and the film has a nice look to it. The actors all deliver solid performances, though I could have done without the hokey Dexter ripoff character or the silliness of the voice on the phone. The hipster was about as unlikeable as humanly possible and it was a pleasure to see him get what he had coming. Overall this is a pretty good short film that certainly shows bigger things are possible in the future of the film makers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Various Countries/Various Years
Directed By: Various
Written By: Various
Starring: Various
Color/225 Minutes/Not Rated

The Film
 The days of old New York, the seedy, grimy, dangerous New York are long gone. No longer is the biggest city in America anything other than a giant tourist attraction and essentially one big advertisement. The streets we saw  Frank Zito stalk in Bill Lustig's Maniac have been cleaned up, and you'll be more likely to encounter an overpriced dinner at a chain restaurant than a vigilante who uses a flame thrower to get even with the scum of the city such as in The Exterminator. The bright lights and marquees of the infamous 42nd Street, where only the bravest would dare catch the latest porno flick or gore drenched horror movie that was just too much for the multiplex of the suburbs, have long been dimmed and replaced with boutique shops. It was commonplace to have to fend off the advances of hookers, potential muggers and just plain crazy people to see whatever movie struck your fancy that week. Movie going will never be the same as it was in the 1960s-80s on and around 42nd Street in Manhattan.

Synapse Films was not satisfied with letting the tradition fade in to memory so in 2005 they released the first volume of the 42nd STREET FOREVER series on DVD. This was a 2+ hour compilation of trailers from the films that made the disc's namesake infamous. With everything from The Undertaker And His Pals to Centerfold Girls we were blessed with a chance to discover the previews to these movies, which was often better than the actual movie itself! Now, almost seven years and six volumes later Synapse Films has released 42nd STREET FOREVER: The Blu-Ray edition. This is a 3+ hours (closer to 4) compilation of trailers from across the series to form a best of in HD. Horror, sexploitation, blaxploitation, women in prison, sci-fi, it's all represented here for your enjoyment in the 80+ individual trailers.

The Picture
The condition of the trailers in 42nd STREET FOREVER: The Blu-Ray Edition were all over the place but Synapse Films has done a nice job of restoring them to a pleasant looking quality while not taking away from their natural film roots. They've also left all of the scratches, dirt and grain present in the trailers which only adds to what is trying to be accomplished. If you want sparkling clean trailers on this set than you're obviously missing the point and this isn't for you. If you appreciate these movies than you probably get it and will appreciate the work done. The transfer is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen in full HD 1080p. The disc is region ABC.

The Audio
Like the video side of things, the audio is properly restored while not taking away from the gritty roots of these films. A DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track is lively and clear, without sounding like they tried to pump up things artificially. The alternate track is an audio commentary track that is crisp and clear with no noticable hissing or crackling. The audio levels are spot on for both tracks.

The Extras
The lone extra is the audio commentary track that was previously mentioned. There are 3 contributors, Edwin Samuelson (AVManiacs), Michael Gingold (Fangoria) and Chris Poggiali (Temple Of Schlock). They work well with one another and the track offers up informative insight on each trailer as they play (except for one that no one wanted to say anything about... I happen to love that film, ha!). There are laughs to be had with the track as the guys have fun and seem to start get a little delusional towards the end of the nearly 4 hour brain melting romp. If there was to be only one special feature on the disc then this was a good choice.

The Bottom Line
If you've never looked into a trailer compilation it may not seem like something that is for you. A couple hour of previews of movies, I get the trepidation. The fact is, at least with the 42nd STREET FOREVER series, is that it's so well put together that it's a blast. Whether you're brave enough to tackle the whole disc in a single sitting or you want to make a movie night awesome by playing trailers before each movie just like a theater there is tons of entertainment here. Pack the fridge full of beer and the couch full of friends and pop in a few trailers during your next movie night and I promise you it'll be great. True movie fans will appreciate the art of the trailer.

42nd STREET FOREVER: The Blu-Ray Edition is available HERE

Disc Overview
Film - 8.5/10
Picture - 8/10
Audio - 8/10
Extras - 8/10

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dead (2010)

How much more popular could zombies be right now? They've been in film for decades but now they've taken over comic books, TV, board games and whatever else you can think of. They're being played to death (pun absolutely intended) and the quality is suffering... and has been for quite some time. Honestly I still love zombie movies, but good God does this trend need to end. It is still a good feeling when a new movie comes out that doesn't totally suck.

Military engineer Lt. Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman) survives a plane crash which happens to be the last evacuation flight out of the region of West Africa that has become overrun rather quickly with the walking dead. Murphy scavenges for supplies from dead soldiers to at least have a chance to get off of the beach he washed up on. As he escapes he runs until he comes across an abandoned village where he finds an old truck that was in the middle of being repaired. He quickly fixes it up and makes his escape, to where we don't know. As he drives he encounters more zombies and fights them off. Soon after he meets an African soldier who has left his post in order to look for his son. Murphy and Daniel decide to team up to help each other reach their goals and survive. The rest of the movie is a lot of driving around from place to place and fighting zombies until Murphy reaches his destination and finds out the severity of the situation.

THE DEAD was filmed in 2010 by Howard and Jonathan Ford on location in West Africa and partially in the Ford's home turf of the UK. The brothers put together a very competent movie with a few striking shots that truly are great. Where the duo failed was in the writing. The script is weak at best with the film playing out much more like a video game based around surviving from point A to point B with intermittent action to keep the player satisfied. A tighter script with a more defined agenda would have been able to trim the 105 minute runtime down so it doesn't drag towards the end. The acting is hit or miss. At times Rob Freeman shines in the lead role but he just as soon follows it up and feels like a soap opera actor is delivering the lines. Prince David Oseia who co-stars as Daniel is pretty good all the way through. The rest of the cast are bit players for the most part but none of them stand out in my mind for being bad. The special effects are ever important in films such as this and I have to say even when they are noticeably CGI they don't look bad at all.

The thing that really sets THE DEAD apart from other zombie movies is it's setting. The African desert is something entirely different from the malls, cities and farm houses we've come to familiarize with zombie movies. The sad part is that the landscape is sadly underutilized. This is Africa we're talking about. Where are the lions? Where are the elephants? Where are the snakes? Where is any wildlife at all??? The only animals we see throughout the movie are chickens in various villages. The film is very one-note for it's duration. The only real threat that the characters are faced with are the zombies. The heat and dehydration are mentioned but only in passing. A run in with some of the wildlife would have added a nice touch and sense of danger that is definitely very apparent within Africa.

THE DEAD is like the gifted trouble maker in a classroom. The kid that can dick around all year and still pass the class because he's smart enough but never put the effort in to really excel. This could have been a truly great horror movie with a few tweaks. As it is, it will be an entertaining albeit disappointing zombie romp through the African desert that leaves us saying "you were so close".