"The best of this kind are but shadows..." -(Midsummer Night's Dream)

Thursday, June 04, 2020


"We know less about the deep oceans than we know about the surface of the moon!"
There's never any question of getting the bends in the fun and oceanic quasi-sci-fi adventure film Around the World Under the Sea. In fact it's the one element that seems the most unscientific about this charmingly odd duck of a movie, produced by the ever-adventurous Ivan Tors and ably achieving just what it wants to do, i.e. pleasurably evoking the previous nine or so years of ocean-related TV adventure series, Irwin Allen sci-fi films, and Jacques Cousteau documentaries; and I say that as someone who is totally fine with the uncommented on presence of a macro-scoped moray eel doing the duty as the requisite giant sea monster (ala what kept us kids watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea reruns). In fact, I love it. I wish there were more (no giant squid or octopus) but what can you do? There's a deep-breathing Shirley Eaton, so it skews slightly older, and that's cool, too.

Lloyd Bridges (from TV's Sea Hunt) co-stars with Brian Kelly (from TV's Flipper) as two divers on a mission to assemble a team of the leading oceanographers, tech gurus, oxygen mixers (Shirley Eaton), and undersea miners (dull as dishwater William Thompson) to travel the oceans deep and plant seismographic detection devices around the 'ring of fire' and other places via an experimental yellow submarine, the Hydronaut ("she can circle the globe on one cartridge of nuclear fuel!") Are you down for the trip yet? Or would you rather slog through another week of CNN watching the world above you burn, like it does in Irwin Allen's movie version of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?

Along the way there are rescues (the best one being early on when Bridges dives down to help his sinking buddy with no oxygen tank, and swims 100 feet or so down -doing no real good except to bang on the top of the window). I love it, as no one is perfect. The steam heat of Eaton almost crashes the sub as McCallum is busy trying to woo her and nearly collides with an undersea cliff.

Keenan Wynn co-stars as one of the breathing mixers. And I am fascinated by his bachelor pod under the sea (he lives in a giant NYC studio apartment-sized diving bell several thousand feet down). I have had dreams about just such a place; in these apocalyptic times it's looking better than ever! The only difference is that his lacks a VHS player and TV, instead has an LP player and a nice stack of records, and an ongoing chess game via shortwave. That's OK, too.  Lloyd Bridges dives down there and tries to convince him of all the lives he'll save by helping install a chain of underwater earthquake detectors along the Pacific 'ring of fire': "I don't care - let 'em all go." Wynn fires back. "I got it made down here! I got my research, my books, my music!"

Bridges and Kelly, reminding us of a time when men looked like men. 
To provide evidence, he shows a shark hatching from its egg: "He's trying to free himself from his nourishing egg yolk! He wants to be born!" The analog is clear. Wynn doesn't want to, preferring to stay in his nourishing egg under the sea. Like I say, I relate to his churlish disposition; it doesn't seem quite fair to drop in and guilt trip him like some crafty Greenpeace canvasser.  So he's going to leave all his lab animals to just die in his undersea cave because some scientist wants to save Asia? To prove Wynn's misanthropy is just a lazy doge, Bridges leaves the pod without the right oxygen mix to get back to the surface alive, banking on his old pal coming to the rescue. 

Another of my favorite crew, Eaton has that wry knowing look--both haughty and turned-on, dismissive of your interest in her yet intrigued, steaming up the cramped ocean spaces, and throwing the alpha male young buck Kelly into a state of mating season heat; and vexing the Metalunan forehead of David McCallum as the wizard at communications and computers. (Meanwhile dull as dishwater Marshall Thompson occasionally puts his arm around her, presuming she'd marry him in a minute if he asked). I'm no fan of McCallum (he's like Klaus Kinski without the froth) but I like the way the he and Keenan begin their ongoing chess game (magnetically attached to the side of the sub so as not to take up space) without a single word but he's way better an option for Eaton than Thompson, who'd be more believable as her father, even in the 60s. (though he's only 12 years her senior). Luckily, providing handsome manly gruffness as the guy who gets Eaton into whatever bed there is onboard, because he treats her the worst, Kelly beats them all.

The reason for Kelly's gruffness is clear: once they're all submerged on this groovy experimental vessel, the steam rises. You can feel Eaton's pheromones oozing off of her into the mix of sweat and salt water steam. What makes her allure so unique is her rather harsh face --she's not afraid to keep those jet black roots and big black eyebrows, with wide, cunning eyes (as she showed in the The Million Eyes of Sumuru), that devouring face, those gnashing teeth. She's from a brand of mid-60s Bond girl that includes Honor Blackman that, with the era's preference for inch-thick eyeliner, could be seen staring at you with a wolfish smile from a mile away without binoculars. "I've caught them all," is her first line of dialogue, seen on land, after rounding up escaped guinea pigs. But by the end, it's clear who she really means is the entirety of the Hydronaut crew. "You're a lot on a man's blood pressure," admits Bridges. But he also notes she's excellent at her job and men are going to have to get used to women like her being around, i.e. it's not her fault, and she's not just here as eye candy, or a secretary. She's the leading expert in her field and we regularly see her proving it. There are a few shots of her bringing orange juice in and out of rooms on a tray, as if the filmmakers felt the need to satisfy some archaic gender typing; but we also see her injecting the men with chemicals that will help them absorb more oxygen from the limited air, and keeping an eye on her guinea pigs for signs of changing in the breathing. She's a great one for oxygen.

The climax involving a last minute extra sensor right at the foot of an underwater volcanic eruption includes lots of great, albeit unconvincing, miniatures and colors as the bright orange light of the magma creates deep blue dark shadows on the sub and its interiors, evoking Suspiria and early two-strip color films like Dr. X and Mystery of the Wax Museum, with the ship balanced on the lip of a volcano, then sliding vertically so that they're all trying to work while literally falling on top of each other.  and the last minute plan to blow the sub in half to rocket the top half straight up to the surface ensures the framing gets understandably messy--even Twister-esque--in the interiors but man the exteriors look gorgeous in this big climax, with the deep volcanic stock footage and model work casting a cool contrasting blue and orange lattice of shadows as the colors filter through the dark ocean water.

 It's not for everyone, and I'm no specific fan of underwater TV shows from the 60s, but I have warmed up on movies where the sea monster is a normal-sized predator in an aquarium battling a tiny model and there's something downright Hawksian about these professionals all working together and the slow burn romance bathed in steam.

Truth be told. Not even sure why I like this movie, its title seems designed to weld Around the World in 80 Days to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and it sure is derivative of a lot of different TV and movies like Fantastic Voyage as well. But that's all okay. One amazing element is just how little the film seems to care about the usual oceanography documentary stuff. We see the Great Barrier Reefs and so forth but only in passing. The only dolphin is one programmed to attach magnetic mines to ships.Clearly most of this was filmed on the dry dock or with miniatures in big tanks but I love that. In CGI or life-size 'reality', with endless digressions on the wonders of aquatic life, it would be a snooze (or more of a snooze than it is). Instead, it's almost Hawksian. And in these trying times, regardless of whether you think, like Wynn's salty dog, we should "let 'em all go" or be like Kelly and Nolan and "want to be born," getting far under the sea away from the dizzy situations back on land seems hard to resist. I know a lot of harried dads would love this movie with a few cocktails after their nagging wives go off to bed. Submarine movies work a special kind of magic for us air-conditioning-dependent summertime older males, and provide the ultimate metaphor for late night viewing itself, that special privatized sphere of buzzed insomniacs, when the lack of prying eyes frees you to unfurl all your hidden tentacles, and--even if it's all too dark to see except through a single glowing window--the world is yours.

Friday, May 15, 2020


"Drugs can be dangerous," notes Nick Offerman, dressed as a scientist in this cautious documentary, playing off all the anti-drug 'educational' films they used to show us in school. "But they can also be... hilarious."

The new Netflix documentary, full of animated renditions of famous comedians' flashbacks, is more than just an LSD documentary or an extended episode of Party Legends. With the presence of pro-therapeutic model doctors like Deepak Chopra on hand (who points out the impossibility of objective reality), it's both a hilarious trip story montage and a medical vindication (with psychiatrists like Charles Grob who use it in clinical trials to help terminal cancer patients let go of their fear of death, etc.) with a final putting to bed of the demonizing double talk. All those phony DNA-warping trials that went into making it illegal during the Vietnam war are finally booed out of the room.

That's not to say it's not full of sound advice on the dangers of dosing. They put cautious stress on set and setting--but it's really an attempt to ease off the stigma that has too long associated good drugs like mushrooms and LSD with 'bad' drugs like cocaine and heroin. Non-addictive, not always 'fun' but nearly always insightful about one's own psychological make-up (even a bad trip can provide ten years of normal psychotherapy in a single night), as long as you don't do nothin' stupid, like dose when you're already drunk and its 5 AM, or try to drive. (Not that I haven't done both).

While it made me very glad to see HAVE A GOOD TRIP, and it gave me a tang on my tongue and sweaty palms, that burning sensation in the third eye (lodged above/between/behind the eyes like a blazing solar bullet), that excited feeling I used to get when my psyche could sense an imminent drug trip even before I maybe had decided to have one. During my own acid/shrooms heyday, approximately 1986-1998 (did you know I invented 'micro-dosing'? You're welcome!) there was something much cooler and more political about drugs because of the war on drugs was at its nadir. Even spoiled white college kids could go to jail for life just for having a few shrooms in their pockets at a Dead show. The danger made it all so sexy and intimate, we were outlaws! Narcs would show up at college asking for larger amounts of course, trying to sweet-talk dumbass freshmen into big enough deals that could send them away for life; the trick with cops was always to act nonchalant, no matter how thuggish they may get and how many drugs you had stashed in your car. Narcs would show up at our parties with all the subtlety of Jack Lemmon in Glengary Glen Ross talking about their friend Joe, or whomever was dumb enough to mention one of us could hook them up. Narcs like Johnny Depp in that show 21 Jump Street were supposed to be cool! (It wasn't until Ed Wood that we were ready to forgive him.) Nancy's "Just Say No" campaign made it mandatory for insurance rates that companies gave urine tests to their employees, like it was some kind of 1984 gulag. Maybe some still do, I don't want to know.

All of which I mean to say, well, man. A documentary like this, right out in the open on Netflix. I would never have thunk this thing possible. Today, it's only the older talking head celebs they have on this show, like Sting, who really understand just how bad things used to be. For us older folks the very idea of an acid documentary seems like, in order for it to have funding, it would have to lean on the down side more than the up. As Sting puts it, stressing his initial reluctance, "I wouldn't want to be an exercise in the Just Say No campaign." I'm not a fan of his music but I fell in love with him here, especially talking about assisting in the birth of a calf while tripping on peyote, and his clear-eyed admission of having plenty of bad trips, noting: "Sometimes it kicks your ass, sometimes you need to have your ego kicked down a rung or two." Indeed, a bad trip is just a sample of the Buddhist idea of Hell, where the burning flames are the demons devouring the shreds of ego still clinging to your soul like crusty flesh moths around a burning lightbulb until at last its full wattage may shine forth. Try to telling that to yourself when you're writhing around on the floor moaning pitifully as little carpet gnomes shred your eyeballs, though. It doesn't help.

Unsurprisingly for his general uptight persona, Ben Stiller didn't jibe with his acid. Stiller talks about the one time he did it and wigged out ("fear and anxiety just being amplified"), walking past the half-inflated animals late at night on the UWS the night before the Thanksgiving Day parade, etc. Incidentally, I had that same experience in the mid-90s, but I loved it! Tripping to a half-inflated Snoopy at 4 AM = pure weird bliss, but Jerry got so wigged he ended up calling his parents! They were off somewhere shooting an episode of The Love Boat! Great details though, gotta love him for that. Elsewhere are those two knuckleheads at the left, enacting an Anthony Bourdain story of a narcoleptic stripper dying on them in a hotel room where they're doing massive amounts of shrooms and cocaine. Noice! She snaps back to life, but they really bring home the full dose of paranoia that can result when you can all but smell the naugahyde in the back seat of the cop car just from thinking about the trouble you might now be in. (The presence of the late Bourdain and Carrie Fisher lets you know--if the startling young age of some of these talking heads didn't give it away beforehand--that this film is many years in the making. Since it's presented as a new documentary, the effect is unintentionally (I presume) quite jarring. Was the film so long in the making because the director was all stoned and whatnot? Bro, I don't even want to tell you what a mess Max and my acid documentary for America in the 60s class was. (We got an F!) In the words of Otto, man, people who party hearty show up tardy, man.

Since his dad is Jerry Stiller, I guess it's OK, and I do like Zoolander, but still, Ben proves my hunch was right, and that he's the type of guy we called a wally, i.e. they don't want to trip but they also want to hang out with you while you do, dragging you down with their banal straight insights. And if they do trip, an hour or two in, they want someone to drive them to the ER as they think they're dying (or worse, they want to give themselves up to the cops). Other comedians in the doc talk about the idiot "friends" it's good to avoid --the ones who find out you are tripping and give you a hard time going "Woo! Woo! You're going down a tunnel!" and all this other moronic townie dirtbag shit. We get a sampling of the wrong crowd too in an a hilariously over-the-top Afterschool special re-enactment that again, only those of us of a certain generation X will be able to relate to (the afterschool special being a thing purely from the 70s, when shows like Go Ask Alice gave us such confusing demonizations of high school drug use we were left as misled as if we read a Judy Blume book for a guide to human sexuality.)

Along the way there is plenty of groovy candy-colored animation ala the other big trippy Netflix animated show, Midnight Gospel. Among other treats, we get a groovy sound mix of how voices and music sounds when your hearing is slipping in and out of the space-time continuum, animated "trees are waving kind of musically at me" There's a bit about wigging out at the Van Gogh Museum as one of the fields of rippling wheat paintings in while scared tourist families gawk (I've been there, but at the Met). We get Nick Kroll remembering being covered in seaweed down at the beach and running around being the seaweed monster. We get Bill Kreutzmann (drummer for the Dead, left) talking about being so high his cymbals were melting. (I've seen his cymbals melt too! I've also seen his tongue hanging out down to his socks with his head rolled back like he's a bloated corpse!) Ae$op Rocky mentions having great sex and when he cam "a rainbow shot out of my penis." (Never saw that one myself, but I've never been much for sex while tripping, it's too intense already.)

As Rocky points out, acid is "not for everybody. I'm an artiste. It's my lifestyle." Man, I totally agree. One of the reasons I stopped trying to be such a keen promoter, was the realization people weren't using it the way I did, originally, as an artistic/spiritual quest device (with overcoming paralyzing depression being a nice side effect) but to get fucked up.  Sure, I've done that too. But it's wrong, man. Still, if you take it to get fucked up but then see God, that's way cooler than taking it to see God and just seeing yourself, fucked-up.

Too many funny bits to name, but you can tell this is assembled by someone 'in the know' and they took their time to get all the details right. I love how the first half of the documentary stresses the danger of looking in a mirror while tripping (which I don't agree wit!). The second half stresses how cool it is to look in the mirror while tripping (I was right!). With a little kid dressed as a machine elf pointing out helpful dos and don'ts that sometimes contradict. Watching this I felt my self nodding excitedly, my palms getting clammy with flashback sensations. I got a little misty remembering my mindset back in the late 80s, the total political drug war making a documentary like this all but impossible except on the DL. (I was long afraid to put our acid doc on youtube, for just this reason).

As one of the talking heads notes, tripping visuals have never been captured very well on film except for the carpet patterns in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. 
Donovan gives us a natural history. Zach Leary (Tim's son) notes DMT "is the express train to the ooze." Reggie Watts gives us a sage bit of bad trip-avoiding advice: "When it doubt, zoom out."

Evie Oddly - Drag Race winner,
a sign o' the trippy times
As usual, however, it's Deepak Chopra who makes 'reality' seems suddenly to have never been a dangerous or confusing place: "In reality there is no such thing as colors and sounds, just a fluctuation of energy in an infinite void." Right on.

As one who's long stuck up for psychedelics as a viable therapeutic and creative tool, even in the un-PC 80s or in AA groups, this documentary made me feel as vindicated as the movie Ed Wood did back in the glorious early 90s. I set this blog up back in 2006, the way Claudia Cardinale's fake-Irish husband Mr. McBain started setting up his station in the middle of nowhere, knowing the train was headed his way... little did I suspect that I too would be more or less killed by Henry Fonda by the time the train got here! I mean, here we are, in the age of Midnight Gospel, Climax, Mandy, Midsommar, The Beach Bum, Evie Oddly, and now this. And I am alive... but at what cost? I can't even do a hit of cough medicine without having an anxiety attack.  What's important though is that I have made peace with that, too. Is no longer needing to be hip more important than being so? Is having tripped 100+ times 20 years ago as important as wanting to trip once tomorrow?

It depends!

I no longer don't fear death they way I used to, if that makes sense. But isn't that the province of the young, to face death through some scary gauntlet and come out a better, calmer person? Now the thought of just going to the hospital terrifies me so I keep myself constantly distracted. It's not the same, but sobriety makes a clear-eyed stare into the void rather hard to do, which is why AA stresses prayer so much. Drunk, I could look down the barrel of a gun without flinching. Tripping, I could feel death's cold hands on my just seeing a picture of a gun in a magazine. Sober, I can't even sneeze without having a COVID panic attack. I believe in God, but only because I've had so many religious experiences I'd be a fool not to, like giving back a lifetime of Christmas presents because I refuse to "believe" in Santa.

Ultimately that's the big issue Have a Good Trip skirts around in favor of funny stories; the nature of reality and the link to a higher power. Of course, whether or not there is a God is irrelevant to faith. There is no this, so how can it not be that? Once duality is transcended, the game, the seeking, is over. Once one goes back down from the mountain, knowing what lies beyond, what can one do but pick up their burden again, and continue on, participating joyfully in the sorrows of the universe, so as not to spoil the surprise for everyone else? Knowing this, as the Upanishads say, the rest is known. This is the trick Luke could never figure out when fighting Darth Vader in the awful Return of the Jedi. To fight with love in your heart is not violence. When someone tells you to just say NO, tell them to KNOW is better, but be sure and name check John Lennon in The Yellow Submarine who does that to the Blue Meanies' big marching NO font-monster.

When I saw John do that the last time I was in a mystical experience (during the 2012 galactic alignment). I suddenly, in that satori moment, understood how true love transcends duality. But what does that give you in the end? Lockjaw from too much smiling, a high fever, and... when you see some long... long in the making documentary like this... a kind of pleasant tang in the parasympathetic nervous system, tinged with the regrets of blown, flown youth, and tainted by the realization that, in this life, and maybe even the next, the amount of positive energy it takes to vibrate at a higher frequency is never going last.

Still, if the wave ever comes my way again, and the set and setting is just right, I'm ready to surf. All you got to do is roll right past my house. When the tide is that high, swear to god I'll surf it, like Desolation Williams and Lt. Melanie Ballard at the end of Ghosts of Mars!  Momma, I shall surf again!


June 17, 2012:
Tripumentaries: MAGIC TRIP, DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE, 2012: Mayan Prophecy and Shift of the Ages, and ROBERT THURMAN ON BUDDHISM

June 25, 2015:
Summer of my Netflix Streaming I: A Psychedelic Odyssey- Though all these films are long gone from Netflix streaming, woe is us. You can still program a nice 12 hours of dosed post-whatever viewing from them if you can track 'em down. 

And of course, the films of THE PSYCHEDELIC CANON in yonder right hand sidebar (top) and my other 'weirder' sites, like Medsitation and Divinrorum Psychonuauticus + Surrealist Collage Exercises!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

13 Great Films for Week X of a Pandemic (on Prime)

There's a pandemic going on outside and a bad year for spring pollen makes us indoor kids all sneezy and paranoid, thus robbing us of the schadenfreude we'd normally feel at being told we must stay inside in front of the TV all day. But that doesn't mean we don't make excellent guides through the jungle of weird and justly forgotten films from the 60s-80s with which Prime is overrun. So forget about too "on the nose" downers like Outbreak and Coughs on a Plane -and forget about ROTM Prime film recommendations on RT, and the like. Instead, let me hack you a path through 13 wildly post-whatever films, starting from the first failure of CDC style checkpoints in Cassandra Crossing (1978) onwards to Italian cannibal zombies all the way back around to the past-post-apocalyptic Rats: Night of Terror--not to mention all the groovy psychedelic stops along the way, for this carefully programmed series of 13 films dares examine the drastic things humanity is simply too 'human' to do to save itself, until it's too late. And what happens after that.

So, if you can still drink, open up another packet of powdered whiskey and sneak some peeks through the dirty thumb-print looking glass end of reality!

(1976) Dir. George P. Cosmatos
**1/2 / Amazon Image - A-

The dad of the director of Beyond the Black Rainbow and Mandy is clearly highly qualified to tell a tale of what happens when a plague-contaminated terrorist winds up hiding on a speeding international incident of a train, requiring colonel Burt Lancaster to make some tough decisions, like having the military in hazmat gear welding bars over all the train doors and windows so no one can escape, then rerouting it onto a disused line so it can crash into a ravine (thus saving the world and the secret germ warfare program). Ingrid Thulin is the voice of compassion and reason butting his head, maybe she can fly in a cure! Passengers include Martin Sheen and Ava Gardner as an odd pair of con artists; OJ Simpson and Richard Harris try diplomacy and then machine guns to get the hell off; Lionel Stander is a conductor! Lee Strasberg is a stereotypical old European Jew for whom all the brutal revocation of civil liberty is just a little too familiar. Alida Vialli, Lou Costell, Sophia Lauren, John Phillip Law, and Ann Turkel all run around in the background, hoping to help or hinder one side or the other. In other words it's pure 70s cinema: a bloated cast of international stars on a runaway moving vehicle and one of those unresolvable "many must die so more can live" kind of tough choices that let us sympathize with both the military and the innocents battling against their sudden loss of human rights.

(1973) Dir. George Romero
*** 1/2/ Amazon Image - A

This early-70s horror film of George Romero's offers a clear indicator why it's so important to let people shelter in their homes rather than herd them into high school gymnasiums at gunpoint in the dead of night. The drastically under-equipped Major Ryder and the cool whiskey flask-packed Colonel Peckham (Lloyd Hollar) figure the best way to contain an outbreak of 'Trixie' --an experimental depopulating agent designed to infiltrate the enemy's water supply like a fatal dose of really bad acid--is to round everyone in the affected sleepy PA town at 2 AM with no explanation of why  ("We've been promised bullhorns and loudspeakers," notes Ryder, blithely. "No telling when they're going to arrive!"). But Ryder and Peckham have a problem: this is rural PA in the early 70s, full of bitter and and armed Vietnam vets (ala them Deer Hunter) in no mood to let the military start pushing them around again ("the Army's nobody's friend, man," a vet cautions a father who wants to give himself up. "We know. We've been in it".) An infectious military drums spurs on the very well-edited scenes of Ryder's outfit trying to set up a field office in the local doctor's cramped offices. We sympathize for everyone involved. Peckham, where's that flask!?

It's long been one ugly looking film but recently The Crazies has gotten a loving restoration; Prime's print glows with warm colors; you can tell right off as now the blue eyes of a blonde girl seem otherworldly and rampant fire burns bright orange and the naked skin of nurse Lane Carroll is a heavenly in its rosiness. Romero edits in the same multiple camera semi-documentary style that made Dawn of the Dead still the best zombie movie of all time.

As with our own Corona, this virus travels faster than the ability of the governmental operatives to contain it ("If Trixie jumps perimeter, it could could travel across the entire continent!" notes the guy who orders a nuke-loaded B29 into the air.) When instructed to send in one of the scientists who worked on the virus, they grab the great Richard "Dummies! Dummies!" France (Romero's equivalent to Cronenberg's Joe Silver):"Jesus Christ this is so RANDOM!" he shouts as he's thrown onto a plane with no chance to collect any useful material. In his peevish portly way he's utterly masterful, and centers the film with that great deep booming voice.

Lastly, you have to love any film as clued in the magic of the morning hours: it's a film that starts at one in the morning and sees the sun come up on a whole new world about halfway through the film. It's not unlike the morning after one of those old SU block parties in the late 80s, with zonked still-tripping kids and bikers still awake, staggering around the town, feeling they and the world are so altered by chemical craziness that nothing will ever be the same again. If you were there, you know what I mean. And there's the ever-surprising and deliriously 70s babysitter alluring Lynn Lowry as a sheltered young hippie-ish girl who winds up losing her virginity to her father during one of the more disturbing sequences. Don't let it throw you. She doesn't. Before the rebel vet hero can find her she's outside running around with the sheep.

PS -There are numerous uploads of this film on Prime, so if the image isn't sublime and HD, try another link.
PPS - The remake is also on Prime, and pretty good but now that it's been restored to glowy perfection, the original is the way to go

(1977) Dir. David Cronenberg
***1/2 / Amazon Image - A

Cronenberg's second film (after the similar Shivers which you should also see if available) mixes all his pet ingredients: a wintry experimental clinic in the Montreal wilderness, accurate medical jargon, motorcycles, a keen appreciation for the uneasy relationship between the body, viruses, and the mind; and deeply disturbing gore. The latter includes a scene were Dr. Keloid uses what looks like an electric cheese sliver to peel off the upper epidermis of heavenly Marilyn Chambers' legs for an experimental graft. Luckily it grows back and she gets a chance to really show her stuff when she wakes up from her post-crash coma in the early hours of the night and commences to slinking around the cozy clinic in search of surprised patients and staff to drink from through a retractable penis-esqe proboscis on the inside of her elbow. You heard me!

Soon she's back in Montreal and watching her saunter down the street in the neon lights of the city in her fur coat, flashing a hint of a smile as he walks past a poster for Carrie at a downtown theater, makes the film worth watching all by itself, especially in glorious restored HD which captures the mix of warm inviting colors of interiors and flesh tones contrasting with the endless white grey of the outdoors. Ultimately, as in most Cronenberg films, Rabid is about the way sexual addiction and drug addiction are the same blood chemical trip and Chambers is the poster child for both (and can really bring a kind of sneaking sexual invite into a line like "I've been lying in bed so long; I ache all over" without being gauche or overly obvious about it). As with his other 70s films, Cronenberg proves himself a master at believable medical dialogue: when Chambers closes in on a nurse alone in the dead of night hot tub, she says "I better get out soon - I'm getting all wrinkly." And there's a great details like when a rabid lunatic is shot on the hood of Joe Silver's car and the men in hazmat suit spray sterilizing agents on the windshield where the blood and saliva landed before waving him on (and he just turns on the wipers as he drives away) Those kind of details are why Cronenberg rules. He doesn't forget a thing when it comes to the horror of human biology and the way what's monstrous and horrible can become routine almost instantly.

The film doesn't quite gel together as well as Shivers- which kept itself safe inside a singles-friendly high rise, or The Crazies, which kept itself to a small PA town; but Rabid is the shit as a film about Canada's vastness, where empty white expanses are criss-crossed by lonesome highways, and high-end socialized medicine and the niceness of neighbors gives new viruses all sorts of edges, and how a warm Yankee kitten like Chambers can drive a city to its knees with just six deadly embraces. And who doesn't love gravel voiced Joe Silver as the doctor with the new baby on his lap watching TV in the middle of the night? ("Look," he tells the kid, "Mr. Potato Man.") Luckily, we never get to what happens to the kid, if you know what I mean. As in all Cronenberg, we cherish the good times, as the bad loom as inescapably as a Canadian winter.

(1987) Dir. Nico Mastarakis
* / Amazon Image - A

If you need a shitty-ass late-80s Cannon-esque version of The Crazies as bad as I do, then check out this typically dumb Nico Mastarikis movie. Wings Hauser and Bo Hopkins drift separately into a small midwestern town (George Kennedy is the sheriff; his deputy is his cute single daughter) and find themselves swept up in green blood and madness. It's pretty laughable, especially Kennedy just stands there with his gun pointed at a lunatic local whose shooting everyone in sight, but won't fire on him, instead keeps moving around behind cars even though he has a perfectly clear shot. The highlight is when "Sharon" (Wings' wife) goes nuts in the police station and starts growling and waving her claws like Divine at the end of Multiple Maniacs. "I got a wife in there who's acting nuts!" Wings yells, singlehandedly trying to ratchet up the nonexistent tension. Outside, as the town falls to shit (the best it can when the budget affords almost no extras), a shades-wearing bunch of goons in black vans watch through high-tech binoculars from yonder cliffs. Brion "Wake up! Time to Die" James is their leader- he never speaks, is an albino, and dresses like the Lone Ranger (with wraparound shades instead of a mask). When he runs out of targets in town, Brion shoots his own men!

If it all seems too bad to endure, stick around until Sharon goes nuts, that's when you'll be hooked, even after the good guys lure Brion and his flunky-fillled black vans over to the desered town drive-in (where showing High Noon. Oy vey!)

So yeah, a lot of Wings-on-van violence follows. Lots of shooting at inanimate objects. Heavy fireballs and for some reason Bo Hopkins turns out to be the real star; a drifter with military ops connections, he can't just shoot a shotgun like an ordinary person; he has to run and jump and fire from the hip--aiming, apparently, at the drive-in screen rather than the bad guys in the parking lot, as her runs around on snack bar roof. Later, keeping up the heavy-handed classic western pastiche, Bo, Wings, and the cute girl deputy (Kimberly Ross), ride from one stunning Utah Red Rocks vista to another, chasing our albino ranger. Seriously, how do some of them rocks stay way up there? At least the henchman bad guys seem like they've shot guns before the making of this film. Since they never speak or take off their shades, we gather they're all stuntmen. We don't get a lot of that from our heroic threesome. They all but close their eyes and hold their breath when shooting. Luckily there are plenty of bullets to go around.

Turns out, Bo really is a hell of a guy. When it's all over, he even kisses the deputy--young enough to be his daughter by a half mile--and I mean with tongue. Ew. Gotta love the 80s. Even so, it's pretty gross, and I say that as an old reprobate with the morals of a gangster. And what about those poor horses? I always feel bad for the horses left stranded in the desert with no idea where the water is or if anyone will ever come along and take the bit out of their mouths. By the end, you'd think the film had totally slipped its moorings and become some tedious TV western movie for the Hallmark Channel. But then Bo and James square off across the rocks, each having a helicopter flying stationary behind them, real helicopters, flying crazy and chasing each other around. Gotta love that. Bo's is bigger, with rocket launchers! Get 'im, Bo!

Dir Gaspar Noe
**** / Amazon Image - A

Sofia Boutella (center above), the lush sinuous Algerian dancer/actress (she was the latest incarnation of The Mummy and a cute alien in Star Trek: Beyond, etc.) stars, or is the most recognizable and sympathetic of the gathered dancers in this ultimate in bad trip dance movies from France. We only follow her about 1/3 or so of the time as the prowling camera weaves in and out of various conversations and dancing characters with the restless rhythm of a jonesing coke fiend roaming a crowded party looking for the slightest telltale sniffle, disguising his mounting sense of metallic panic and pungent sexual desire by constant movement to the throbbing music. I wanted to list some of the atrocities that result when they're all dosed against their knowledge by LSD (in the sangria), but one is better off not knowing beforehand, just expecting a kind of R-rated dance movie and winding up with a kind of dance floor version of Shivers. Just know the dancer/actors's ferocity is so convincing and the flow from organized normalcy to total insanity seems seamless. Their wild-but-controlled arcane dancing style--a mix of modern and urban street, filmed in long medium takes (the Suspiria remake could take a lesson) - gradually succumbs to insane madness so organic that--being dancers all--even in their wracked frothing state their bodies never cease moving and twisting to the throbbing incessant music, blurring the lines between this as an 'acid test' tragedy horror film and a kind of extended 90 minute dance performance. It seems almost impossible this isn't cinema verité from some weird circle of Hell, with Noe capturing a very real experience (anyone who's had a bad trip will relate) with some magic invisible camera. Imagine if the floating soul eye from Noé's 2009 masterpiece, Enter the Void, found an impromptu Panic Theater happening down at Aronofsky's Chilean basement, and tried to get incarnated by following the sexual heat trails. Since we barely see anything of the outdoors, or any 'sane' perspective after a certain period in the film, we lose contact with the real world as much as the actors, leaving us lost in the same weird cabin fever collective break which we all, trapped in our hovels, can relate to by now. It's the best. See it the same night as Shivers for a great double feature!

(1980) Dir. Bruno Mattei
*** / Amazon Image - A-

Directed by the sturdy and reliable Italian talent Bruno Mattei, boosted by a deliriously frantic Goblin synth score (some of which is recycled from past zombie outbreaks), Virus welds elements of the Mondo Cannibal genre (thanks to its New Guinea setting and rather revolting stock scenes of tribal post-mortem rituals) and Romero's Dawn of the Dead (as in a combination of a male and female journalist + male members of a SWAT team banding together in a zombie nightmare), with a screenplay co-written by Claude Troll 2 Fragasso (and Mattei). Margie Newton is the journalist who winds up accidentally embedded with the boys on a secret mission (they're all familiar faces to zombie fans, with familiar dubbed voices). A highlight is when she casually strips down and paints herself crazy colors before leading the group into a nearby village, there to bear witness to grotesque and disturbing mondo stock footage. ("Why should nature suddenly start breaking its own laws?"). Great moments: when one of the commandos kisses a native during the drunken revelry as a zombie  takes a bit out of her shoulder, all very casual 1-2-3, the way the zombies seem at first indistinguishable from the painted revelers all drunkenly grinding and chattering. Stock shots of vast bands of natives all covered head-to-toe in red mud (to keep the flies off?) running en masse toward some unknown destination are deftly mixed with shots of zombie attacks and a chaotic meeting of UN reps in ever-dwindling numbers (above) to create a disturbingly foreboding 'found' overpopulation meaning (we get the idea everyone in Africa and all its surrounding islands are just running away from the zombies, forever running, in swarm strength, to nowhere, as they can't escape themselves once themselves are dead) And there's a stinger of a grisly ending. It could happen!

(Aka Atlantis Interceptors)
(1983) Dir. Ruggero Deodato
***1/2 (Amazon Image - B-)

Right up there with Nightmare City and Contamination as far as recently-discovered Italian psychotronica I can return to again and again when the never-ending Italian horror film marathon of my life runs low, I've already seen Raiders at least four times since discovering it for an older Prime marathon list back in 2017. Christopher Connelly and Tony King are a pair of mercs who own a boat together and demonstrate Hawksian cool via cigarettes, alcohol, and manly camaraderie; Ivan Rassimov plays their helicopter pilot buddy; Giola Scol is an archaeologist flown from her Machu Picchu to a remote oil derrick translate an ancient plaque found down on the ocean floor. Then... shortly after the sunken Russian sub is raised by George Hilton... Atlantis, covered in a big protective dome, rises! This triggers a massive tidal wave and an outbreak of marauding savagery in a certain percentage of the nearby population. They instantly begin driving around in their pimped-out bikes,  slaughtering everyone who's not infected with their strange madness. The leader calls his gang 'The Interceptors' and announces that all others "but one" must die. Time to get the molotov cocktails lined up, and--luckily--find a warehouse full of guns and ammo.

Naturally we wonder if John Carpenter ever saw this movie as it bears striking resemblance to his last great film: 2001's Ghosts of Mars. In both films the ghosts of a violent, ancient genocidal race are accidentally awakened from their timeless sleep, possessing normal humans to dress up like metal mutants, wiping out all non-infected human life in preparation for the long dead original inhabitant's return.

Naturally with the word Raiders in the title, and it being the early-80s, one expects a certain amount of ancient booby-trapped tomb robbing but that's only towards the end, and is replete with lasers and a hilarious giant fan. Mostly there's a lot of molotov cocktails being thrown and stunt men dying in explosions and good guys jumping out of helicopters onto speeding busses, or vice versa). The whole thing leaps around giddily from one scrape to the next as if there are "reels missing" like in Planet Terror but we can always figure out what's going on and never what's going to happen next, and what better combination is there in early-80s Italian psychotronica? It's not on DVD so Prime is the only place to see it. Be smart and grab the next showing.

 7. SHE
(1984) Dir. Avi Nescher
***1/2 / Amazon Image - A

Sandahl Bergman is the goddess of her little slice of the post-'cancellation' wasteland but decides to wander to the north with a handsome idiot (since it's pre-ordained by her oracle) and in the process runs into scrapes with everyone from New Yoahk-accented mutants to crazed warriors in a post-war ruined city and even acolytes of a 'one god' mutant boy who can control matter with his green flashing eyes. There's also a powdered-wig naturalist and his tutu-wearing henchman; and decadent werewolf aesthetes listening to a gramophone (led by David Brandon at the peak of his gorgeousness!). Sandahl and her right hand woman must endure the rack, flogging, the old trash compacting wall cliffhanger, and other travails, and always display a lot of cool feminist force. Israeli auteur Ari Nesher wanted to make sure women weren't objectified, but man do we become thankfully acquainted with Bergman's incredibly lithe dancer legs. They are symbols of great strength as well as dancer grace and beguilement. And she did her own stunts and fights.

Bits like Sandahl's being startled into sword out readiness after stepping on a stray rubber duck by the werewolf elite's swimming pool all come tumbling and it's very well paced, relentlessly entertaining and packed with rock anthems galore. The Prime print is great clearly taken from the latest must-have Blu-ray edition. (full review)

(1978) Dir. Allan Arkush
** / Amazon Image - B-

"Remember your code," Richard Lynch tells 'guide' David Carradine in a great low whisper threat monologues: "every tear of patience builds the value." A film for the dirt bike-riding 16 year-old arsonist in all of us, Deathsport was meant to be a Death Race 2000 sequel but instead gives us moody crypto-poetry, blazing fireballs, matte paintings of futuristic dystopian cities, and that old LA desert scrub being ground underfoot by tricked-out dirt bikes. With no sense of humor about its own absurdity, the mix of Arkush-shot action and Niciphor shot pretentious dialogue wizzes along with lots of crazy lasers shot out of Pringles cans and swords made of colored plastic are held vertically as much as possible since they must weigh a ton. Claudia Jennings is a female ranger guide  (as in the best Corman stealth-feminism, she's as tough and wise and as combat-proficient as any of the men - and prettier too)

Still, it's Richard Lynch, as the bad guy / master henchman, who steals the show. He gets all the best lines, purred in a mellow emotionless forceful calm: "You call me animal, after all I tried to do to make you feel at peace?" Whatever his fall from grace, he's openly admirable towards the memory of Carradine's warrior mother (whom he killed in battle), giving him the ultimate warrior greeting: "Salute your mother for me." Andrew Stein's synthesizer score provides a great minimalist mess of wind sounds, zaps, and sustained notes somewhere between the Bebe's Forbidden Planet and faux John Carpenter. His attempts at actual melody are terrible, but then---who should appear?-- Jerry Garcia noodles his Gibson forth, in and around in the mix, coming and going at the darndest times. And, as anyone who ever sat through a Dead show can tell you, if you depend on Jerry to lead you out of the caves of aimless noodling, well, you're going to be in there a long while. Best take another hit and meet him halfway.

(1984) Dir. Bruno Mattei
**/ Amazon Image - B+

This is not the usual rat movie, so don't be fooled! It's a post-apocalyptic gang war style cousin to the Warriors of the Wasteland, and Escape from the Bronx, etc. all made in Italy in the wake of the creative and box office success of Escape from New York, The Warriors, The Road Warrior, and Conan the Barbarian. All four elements were swirled together in the Italian trash auteur tradition --it makes a meaty stew, from which swarms of rats may nosh. SNAP.

I still would have run the other way seeing this on some 80s pan-and-scan cable channel, but El Rey and HD have brought new life to it: the restored deep blacks and deep rich grime shades help us get over the general displeasure seeing masses of rats congregated in a room with no clear motive or cheese incentive. In fact these poor rats all seem rather bewildered, tired, underpaid. Luckily director Bruno Mattei made sure no rats were harmed during filming. Oh wait, this is Italy, so yeah they probably were. But in a hellscape like this, the dead are the lucky ones. And at least we don't see them look all betrayed and startled as they're shot with a Bert I. Gordon pink pellet paint gun in slow motion like we do in Food of the Gods. We see one running on fire, but in general they're mere extras; we don't see them much (when they crawl out of mouths or stomachs they're often puppets) but hey, they and the editor try hard to seem like a James Herbert-ish swarm and I suppose it might if you were half asleep in a dark drive-in.

So these Bronx "Rifts" pull into a deserted (bombed out in WW2 and never restored?) Italian (?) villa and soon are besieged by molti ratti --never funnier than when being pulled en masse via an 'unseen' carpet underneath their feet, towards our "terrified" antiheroes and their molls on the other end of the dusty, empty room (they're supposed to be moving on their own, but don't seem too keen on hitting their cues). Keeping up the sci-fi end, there's a secret chamber with futuristic radio equipment and an opening scrawl that delivers a whole series of post-apocalyptic upsets. You know: evolution amok, up and under. None of it matters or makes sense except as setup for a Big Twist. Until then, laugh at the terrible dubbing and game if amateur acting, and the ridiculous rat effects, and the dubious wisdom of gang leader Kurt. He must have got the job for being best looking since he spoils his credibility when he says lame shit like: "open up in the name of humanity!!" after his rival for power locks him out of the room with the debs. This gang has trouble just walking down a small flight of basement steps (there's lots of walking in place and reacting to rats that were presumably going to be overlaid in a process shot) but the print on Prime is sublime, so whaddaya gonna do? (Whatever it is, do it fast: it's coming down off Prime at the end of the April.)

(1980) Dir. Luigi Cozzi
*** / Amazon Image - A 

Note: there are many different uploads on Prime for this film, so make sure to see the one in HD and the correct anamorphic ratios - the one I like has a kind of 80s comic book illustration cover of a big brain with eyes.

Luigi Cozzi's Alien-inspired sci-fi adventure gets a bad rap in some circles. Cozzi fans like me adore it. Rather than just have some amok alien stalking a space ship crew like every other imitation, the "Italian Ed Wood" keeps the action mostly terrestrial and focuses on the pod / stomach-bursting stage. Shipments of watermelon-sized slime pod eggs explode and cause all those in the vicinity to suddenly have their stomachs padded with what looks like phone books during slow motion rubber bladder explosions. These 'stomach bursts' get kind of monotonous but I love the Freudian-cave-on-Mars flashbacks, the unearthly humming whale-ish noise the pods make when they're fixing to blow, and the 'gentleman's agreement' synergy between the NYC cop (Marino Mase), sexy-but-commanding female colonel of the Army's special disease control unit (Louise Marleau), and the traumatized astronaut (Ian McCulloch) she initially helped get kicked off the space program after his fellow Martian astronaut [Siegried Rauch] wouldn't back up his space egg story. Just as Cozzi's Starcrash turned out to be more like Flash Gordon and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad than Star Wars, so Contamination turns out to be more like Corman's It Conquered the World than Alien. Cozzi also delivers one of his great signature motifs, a sexy female associate (Gisela Hahn) for the evil mastermind. And I love the alien itself, especially that bicycle reflector eye, big slobbery hoover mouth, and glistening artichoke coloring.

Lastly, what really earns my goofball admiration is the kickin' Goblin soundtrack. That late-70s-80s European prog rock style has aged very well. I don't know what else you need to make you love this dumbass film the way that I do. Whatever's missing, you don't need it.

(1998) Dir. Abel Ferrara
**1/2 / Amazon Image - A
William Gibson's camera phone future was here awhile ago; Ferrara's 1998 adaptation doesn't even seem like science fiction anymore. It's got some problems as a film, too: one has to get used to its haphazard sense of economy (the whole last part replays key scenes from the first, as high end corporate saboteur Willem DeFoe hides out in a storage unit, reviewing where his scheme went wrong. But before then, it's a pretty sexy, strange ride, with Christopher Walken at his glib fancy pants best, a very druggy and erotic Asia Argento singing Cat Power at a druggy and erotic cabaret, and a mise-en-scene that seldom leaves a high-end hotel room, from which a high-level headhunt steal--using Argento in a honey trap to lure a big-time Japanese chemist across corporate lines--is conducted almost totally via camera phones and laptops. As with Gibson's other work, it's scary how ahead of the curve it is in predicting a 'work from home' future, where early FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom have becomes the preferred means of business communication, how one might become impossibly rich and then poor again without ever getting to spend or see so much as a sou. It fits that the movie falls apart so dramatically in the back end, looping back on itself in a zonked quest to unravel meaning from itself; and--finding none (and probably running out of money before he can finish the shooting script thanks to producers shadier than the ones in the film) Ferrara just focuses in on how damned hot that Asia looks in a red bathing suit, slinking around the hotel indoor pool like she owns the continent. If I was Defoe, that's what I'd be kicking myself over too. Money comes and goes, but Asia is one in a trillion.

OK - the next two films are worse, but they are amazing; so bear with me, if you dare,

(1953) Dir. Phil Tucker
* / Image - B

Though the post-apocalyptic fantasia Robot Monster is not as wondrous as Al Zimbalist's other 1953 production, Cat Women of the Moon, (also on Prime) it's like the yang to its yin. The two films are opposites on every front: Robot Monster is shot entirely outdoors; Cat entirely on sets; Robot during one eternal sunny afternoon; Cat during eternal night. The women of the moon are seductive, powerful and strong-willed. From there the plot gets very similar. The cat women want to invade and take over the Earth, but one 'good' cat woman, who--like some badly written Eastern European defector-- longs for a nice boy to buy her "what you call.. a Coke" topples the attempt. Ro-Man (the infamous gorilla with a diving helmet) in this film is the vanguard of a bunch of all-powerful invaders whose plan falls apart because he hesitates destroying the last woman on earth, Al-lice (Claudia Barrett), who has a great habit of sticking her chest out, chin up and assuming a sublimely haughty, challenging "I am not afraid" look. Robot Monster has too much maudlin praying and sentimental pleas for mercy from John Mylong as Alice's German father, but on other hand, Ro-Man strangles a five year-old girl, and then lustily (as far as lust can be conveyed through a gorilla suit and diving helmet) rips Alice's dress. Bam! Elmer's church chimes come blaring down like someone shot a hole through Goldsmith's OMEN theme. "The great one himself sends the cosmic blast!"

It's so good you can see it again mere minutes after its over, especially if you stop watching after the melange of One Million Years BC outtakes, thus giving you the impression that--fed up by Ro-Man's stalling on killing Alice--the 'Great One' decides to destroy the entire planet, which is a bit like intentionally totaling your new car just because you found a dead wasp in the glove compartment.

A must for bad film completists, it unveils new marvels with every viewing: Al-lice being tied up in shoelaces to stop her from going on a date with Ro-Man; the bewildered uncertainty in Ro-Man's deep echo-drenched voice when he first sees her through the viewing screen; sexist lines like "you're either too smart to be so beautiful or too beautiful to be so smart";  the still visible white-napkin-covered hand holding the sparkler-besieged model rocket as it flies against a cloudy wall. 

Quit watching before the kid wakes up and finds out is was a dream. As you can tell from looking outside on the deserted streets... it was no dream.

Bonus Round: 

(2016) Starring Lindsay Sullivan
*** / Amazon Image - A

This South African-shot Asylum joint imagines a post-waterworld globally-warmed future where the humanity has dwindled down to an advanced functioning matriarchy full of lady doctors and saltwater-damaged blonde hair and sun-blackened tribal markings all living on a network of rafts and boats, but they're still trying to launch a rocket into space with enough Co2 scrubbers to refreeze the caps. And they're using HARP to trigger an ocean earthquake in order to fuck up the ampullae of a massive flock of giant intelligent sharks, since these sharks have no problem jumping up onto networks of rafts and boats to snap up human morsels.

Lindsay Sullivan plays the no-nonsense leader, Dr. Roy Shaw; Christa Vissar is Dr. Caroline Munroe (!) who coordinates the various operations from her boat's CB radio. There's lots of white knuckle suspense too as her colleague Dr. Shayne Nichols (Stephanie Baran) parasails a few leagues ahead of the badass alpha sharks to move a target dingy for the HARP. It's a very well done action sequence, with her riding along on the wind, surfing and flying, leaping up off the surface of the waves, as sharks jump up at her. Another great tense sequence: when the boat sails right into an oncoming HARP-triggered tidal wave, hoping to roll over it before it reaches megalithic heights.)

And if that wasn't enough Bechdel brilliance, consider Angie Teodoro Dick as the wild neopagan shamaness with the spear (above), leader of the rogue New Orleans voodoo style outpost, who deals with the advancing shark issue by a kind of savage Stomp performance on the floating docks, drawing the sharks in so she and her warriors can stab them with old school whaling harpoons. Their growling and chanting and thumping goes on about three minutes too long, but the initial bad vibe created by their eventual senseless shark slaughter is interesting in context, as is the dimly lesbian look Teodoro shares with the incredulous Dr. Shaw. It's the perfect way to end this series, imagining a future that's both better and worse than we've come to dread or dream of.

And Brandon Auret's in it!

See also on Prime and Recommended:
THE TRIP (1967)

and of course these (note: not all the titles listed may still be avail):
3 Neo-Jungian Fairie Wave
3 Off the Road Vehicles
7 Ennio Morricone-scored Giallos (1970-75)
6 Badass Post-ROAD WARRIOR Gang Violence Trips (1982-85)
4 Post-CONAN Barbarian Sagas
6 Dope Analog Sci-fi Nugs (1978-87)
6 Post-JAWS New World Horrors (1978-80)
7 Badass New World Rebel Girl Uprisings (1971-79)
13 for Halloween, Lost Causes and Autumnal Catalepsies
10 Swingin' Monsters of the 70s
15 Cool/Weird Horror/Sci-fi Films
12 Weird/Cool Italian Films
10 Fairly Bad Sci-Fi Gems
13 Best or Weirdest Occult/Witch movies
12 Nifty Vampire Films
6 Surreal Wuxia Wonders
5 Awesomely Psychotronic Films to Prepare you for the New Trumpmerica

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