Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exhumed Films Forgotten Film Fest Review

Exhumed Films, the fearsome foursome from the murky banks of New Jersey, are celebrating their 18th birthday this year. Over those 18 years, they've put together some of the most fun movie double feature/festival/marathons on the East Coast. You can tell that these guys really enjoy what they do, because it shows in the work they put in.

It seems, though, that they've shown almost everything there is to be shown, mainstream-wise. This leaves the EF crew with 2 choices:
A. Start repeating a lot of the shows they've already done. Or:
B. Time to get freaky and unknown.
Going by the shows they've put on this year, they are going with option B.

That's awesome, but no matter which option they'd choose, you're absolutely not going to please everyone(I still remember the ridiculous complaints that they showed too many sequels at one of the Horror-thons). You're either going to get people complaining that EF has shown these movies already, or you risk the chance of people no-showing because these are films they've never heard of.

Cut to this past Sunday, and what may be their most daring show yet: The Forgotten Film Fest. EF put together 5 films that have never been put on VHS/DVD/BluRay in the US, and 4 of which haven't been viewed by human eyes on 35mm in 40 years. That notion alone made this Fest sound very interestinmg, as I am one of those film fans who loves the unknown.

My only issue with this event was the order in which the films were shown. If anything, Skatetown USA should've ended the show. You don't open a boxing card with Mike Tyson, and then end with Foxy Boxing.

Before the first movie, a montage of trailers and music-related ads were shown, to put everyone in the mood. My personal highlight of the day happened immediately, when a 35mm ad for Live Aid, complete with Mick Jagger & David Bowie singing Dancin' In The Streets in it's entirety. I nearly choked on my own laughter; great stuff.

1. Skatetown USA

Here's what I was able to piece together, narrative-wise, from the scattershot comedy from 1979:
A white-afro'd Disco warlock runs are skating rink with his magic powers. This warlock is getting old and is looking to pass his power to another, so Skatetown USA holds a skate contest to see who will take his magical afro and rule with a bedazzled-gloved fist.
Enter a buffet of typical comedy stereotypes(missing only was the ME SO SOLLY Asian guy) to skate-it-out:
-A white guy who may or may not have been a mexican conquistador.
-Some ugly blond kid and his cute Marcia Brady sister(managed by the probably 12 years old Scott Baio).
-Another random skater I honestly can't remember.
-And, the main event, the world premiere of Patrick "Don't Put Baby In A Corner" Swayze!

Swayze's great in this, as his character is just a son of a bitch. Even better is the fact that his gang, featuring Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter as the heavy, looks like they fell out of the movie The Warriors and landed in the side dimension where Skatetown resonates, which I assume is somewhere near the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

The movie's soundtrack is fantastic, as it sounds like an endless mash-up of some of the hottest tunes the late '70s had to offer. Sadly it would seem that the soundtrack is the very reason why we haven't been treated to any real home video release of Skatetown, which is a real shame.

Hopefully, whomever owns the rights to both this film and the music will need some extra folding cash someday and will allow an unedited version of Skatetown USA to skate across America on Blu-ray.

2. Son of Dracula

From what I can barely remember, Vampire Harley Race arrives in modern day NYC to take over as King of the Underworld, which gets halted as he falls in love and decides he wants to be human. Scandal!
Produced by Ringo Starr(who just HAD to star as Merlin for whatever coked-up reason). Throw in some decent musical numbers to round the film out, and we have a movie that wants to be something, but to me, ended up being nothing. I had high hopes for this, but it bored me to sleep. The whole movie is on YouTube, so I am willing to give it another chance.

3. Blood

This one I completely bailed on, and I soon regretted that decision. Apparently despite it's slow opening, Blood got quite good and had a great ending. This one is also on YouTube, so I'll be giving that one another watch come October.

4. Murder on the Emerald Sea

This cheaply made comedy wasn't bad. A cop goes undercover as a beauty queen to enter a contest on a cruise ship to find out who's been killing all the other beauty queens. Includes a really goofy score that will haunt your dreams.

If they make a 23 jump Street, they should lift this plot, as it's ripe for a remake.(yes fine. i just want to see jonah hill in drag.)

5. The Satanist

The isn't a movie. I'm not sure exactly what to call it, but it isn't a movie by any means. This seems like a stag film you'd show your boozin' buddies at a mid '70s bachalor party.

Released in 1968, The Satanist was considered pornographic by the standards of the time. These days, minus the implied oral, The Satanist would barely get an R rating. This is why I found The Satanist to be the most fascinating film shown at the Fest. Not because of the content, or the 'story', but thinking that at one time, this reel of film was considered something that could ruin the moral fiber of a young mind.

My only issue with this event was the order in which the films were shown. If anything, Skatetown USA should've ended the show. You don't open a boxing card with Mike Tyson, and then end with Foxy Boxing.

If loads of boobies and making out(I mean A LOT of heavy petting here) are your thing, then The Satanist is right up your alley.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go put on Human Centipede 2, while watching some Bum Fights on my iPad.

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