Monday, May 5, 2014

Uncanny eX-Fest 2014

This past weekend, Exhumed Films held their annual celebration of exploitation cinema, eX-Fest. Here's a rundown of the day's shenanigans:

-We celebrated a birthday.

-Prizes were given away to lucky members of the crowd.

-EF announced upcoming shows for the Summer of Sci-Fi:
Starman and Escape from New York on June 20th
The LOST Film Fest on July 20th
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Dune on August 23rd

-And then the film spools rolled:

I did not grow up watching kung fu films, and I'm not a real big fan of them as an adult, so I was not thrilled when the first film was indeed Kung Fu-y. Thankfully, Eagle's Shadow was a lot of fun.
This early Jackie(or Jacky in the credits[which I pronounced JACK-AYE]) Chan film featured the greatest fighting style in history: Kitty Cat Style! Me-OW!
When Snake Style fails Jack-Aye, and he recieves one too many ass-whuppins', he gains Kitty Cat Style after watching a cat fight a cobra for several minutes. If only everything in life could be learned that easily. 
Great stuff, and highly recommended.

I gave this spaghetti western 20 minutes, and then bailed when I realized that it severely lacked spaghetti. I fed the meter. Chatted with people. Probably took a leak.
This is great stuff why am i not a professional writer yet?

A "women in prison" film, that was about 75% enjoyable. Somewhere in he middle the movie became really boring, but regained steam during the finale. If you took a shot every time you saw boobs or heard the term Jap, you'd be dead.

This is a trailer compilation movie, so a few of us took this time to go get a nosh at Pizza Rustica. Despite my love for all day film festivals, it was way too gorgeous of a day to spend all of it indoors, and this pizzeria has a great outdoor section. We bullshitted about everything from wrestling to ex's for an hour, and then we trotted back to the I-House for our next film.

I had no idea what the good goddamn christ was going on in this film for the first 15 minutes. I kept asking "What the fuck's a mafu and why is Carol Kane going to kill herself for one?"
As it turns out, Mafu was an orangoutang.
Carol Kane plays Cissy, who, as a child, grew up with her father in Africa, and is now living with her sister in America after Daddy died, and raises monkey's in a large cage at her house. The problem is, Carol is as nutty as a pile of hammers and keeps killing her Mafu's. Then things get crazy.
This was a slow burn, and I loved every minute.

Was this film a little too mainstream for eX-Fest? Not at all. Although I'd heard of this gem, I had never seen it. This gritty 35mm print made my first watch all the better.
The plot is simple enough: new music teacher in a inner city High School has to deal with a sleaze-ball gang that "runs" the school.
If your still not interested, just know that it features the always awesome Roddy McDowall.

I wanted to like this film, I really did. It had a lot going for it, like Barry White and Scat-man Crothers, dirty 1970's Harlem and being animated by the great Ralph Bakshi. The problem is there's too much time that passes where absolutely nothing happens. Most of my friends went home during Coonskin, but I'm glad I stuck around for the final film.

Eager Beavers
Despite the ridiculous title, this was not a porn.
Some dude in the worst fake beard in film history gets ornery with a waitress at a nightclub, and decides to follow her home and murder her to death. He then proceeds to "shave" and get a job as a bouncer at the same club so he can kill the rest of the girls who witnessed the crime.
This was highly entertaining, but I feel that eX-Fest should end with something a little crazier.
If I had set the order of films, I would've put Eager Beavers first, and ended with the Jack-Aye Chan Joint. Definitely more of a crowd-pleasing ending.

That brings us to my only real issue with this year's event: there was nothing too crazy shown. After the big "to do" the EF guys made about the van-load of film prints that they acquired, we really thought that this was going to be an insane event, which I feel it was far from.
Maybe they're saving those for the LOST Film Fest in July?

Still had a great time, though, and I can't wait for the Summer of Sci-Fi.

Friday, May 2, 2014

VHS is going Viral for it's third installment

VHS is easily the most polarized horror film to come out in forever; people literally love or hate it. Even amongst my fellow horror bloggers.
I loved the first VHS film. I did a "blind buy" a few years ago, and was pleasantly surprised when the stories were all supernatural based. I'll admit that I almost gave up on VHS on my first watch because within three minutes, the shaky cam gave me a splitting headache.
I'm glad I stuck with it, because the VHS experience was a fun one.
The following year we got VHS2, and I'm ashamed to say I have no finished watching it. I viewed the first two segments and I did enjoy what I'd seen so far.

Yesterday it was revealed that we will be getting a third VHS installment: VHS Viral. I wonder if it's going to be "videos on youtube" set-piece?

No release date, but it's likely to debut at Sundance, like the previous two.

Info courtesy of Viewer Discretion Advised