“Unholy” stars horror veteran Adrienne Barbeau who does her best to cope with the material she’s given in this shlocky, dull ghost film. In one of the only gripping moments of the film, Barbeau’s character Martha arrives home for her daughter Hope’s birthday to find her in the basement preparing to commit suicide. Truly, Barbeau and co-star Siri Baruc sell this moment sans any dramatic pitch in the score. Subsequently, director Daryl Goldberg can never seem to break out of the vicious cycle of clichés, predictable plot twists, nor enough to provide material that will put the talents of its infinitely small cast to work.
BOOTLEG FILES 676: “Nimbus Libéré” (1944 propaganda animated short).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: It was included in the 1993 Claude Chabrol documentary “The Eye of Vichy.”
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Unauthorized use of copyright-protected animated characters.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is in “The Eye of Vichy,” but it is also posted online without authorization.
By early 1944, Nazi Germany saw its control over Europe weaken dramatically due to Soviet advances from the East and the arrival of Allied forces into Italy. An invasion of France was expected, and the Germans were not eager to see their brutal control over the French removed.
In one of the weirdest attempts to convince an occupied nation that they should not welcome liberation, the German authorities commissioned an animated short designed to show the stupidity and recklessness of the liberating Allied forces.
The mix of war movies and horror movies have always been a natural combination, since they’re both manage to examine the dark sides of combat and humanity. It’s just a shame that there haven’t been many movies of the sub-genre that have been worth watching. Thankfully, while “Overlord” isn’t a complete masterpiece, it manages to come out in the end as a sleek and very clever amalgam of horror, fantasy, and war oriented action. It might also sweeten the pot that Avery’s horror war hybrid feels like a spiritual prequel to “Re-Animator.” Director Julius Avery approaches the idea of a horror movie set during World War II with great right balance of both genres, allowing “Overlord” to be a character piece first and then delve right in to the horrendous grue and human ugliness.
BOOTLEG FILES 653: “Heil Honey I’m Home!” (1990 British sitcom that ran for one episode before being cancelled).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: One of the most notoriously bad productions in British television history.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nein.
Imagine “I Love Lucy” with Adolf Hitler as Ricky Ricardo, Eva Braun as Lucy and an obnoxious Jewish couple as the Mertzes. Welcome to the production that makes “The Day the Clown Cried” seem like the pinnacle of fine art: the 1990 British sitcom “Heil Honey I’m Home!”
Horrible Imaginings Film Festival San Diego 2015
Forest, zombies, Germany, sounds like a match made in horror-comedy heaven. Caedes: Forestglade of Death, or Caedes – Die Lichtung des Todes, follows a group of friends as they go to Happy Camping for a weekend of relaxation and beer, lots of beer. Quickly a leader is established in Dan who approaches a blond babe named Leen only to be shot down. Everyone settles in, meets their camping neighbors, and parties all night. When morning comes, some awake with one hell of as hang over while others wake up as zombies, something clearly having happened overnight. Zombies go looking for food where they can, attacking the remaining campers who defend themselves as best they can. San and his friends Manesh, Jose, and Jorrun all survive along with Leen, Fritz, Tina, and a few others. This band of survivors then works together to live, finds the zombie source, and get out of there.
Tarantino is often touted as a filmic sensation, a director who understands film and the art of storytelling and despite the backlash he gets from some, the man simply knows how to tell a damn story. In a world where blockbusters and animated films shake us down for cash in exchange for a movie that only acts as an amusement park ride (experienced now, easily forgotten later), Tarantino opts instead to give us bang for our buck with films that surpass their genres and provide us with the old fashioned art of storytelling. With his flair for dialogue and his mastery of the film camera, Tarantino is always performing at his best regardless of his film’s quality (erm–“Death Proof”) and “Inglourious Basterds” is one of his best works yet.
Ah Nazisploitation, one of my favorite sub-genres of the Grindhouse niche. After watching the “Ilsa” movies last year, I found the subset to be a very fascinating and varied area with titles attempting social relevance and failing immensely. “Blitzkrieg” is the incredible ambitious and sophisticated dip into the nazi exploitation gallery with a very unusual and original story that hearkens back to Jess Franco and Don Edmonds. “Blitzkrieg” sets down on 1955, a little over a decade after the holocaust where a secret group of officers are busting ex-Nazi death camp owners and arresting them.
Based on the actual Nazi Ilse Koch, “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS,” takes the actual person Ilse Koch who tortured prisoners and collected skin from the prisoners who had tattoos, and turns it into a rather shameless exploitation film. Let’s be honest, this is mostly just pornography with a plot, and yet I was lost in its story. The actual Ilse Koch was a lowlife dog, a monster fit to be hanged and pelted with rocks. She was an inhuman jellyfish who took great pleasure in tormenting the poor prisoners, while this film is really just porn. And, I’m not begrudging it for that. This is a capsule of its time. Period.