There’s horror in the halls… lynching in the lunchroom… murder in the metal shop. Welcome to “Slaughter High”, where the students are dying to get out! In high school, Marty was the kid all the students teased, taunted and tortured mercilessly. One day, things went too far; one of their jokes backfired, disfiguring Marty for life. Now, five years later, Marty has arranged a special reunion for all his high school “friends.” The prom queen, the jock, the class clown, the rebel and a few select others have been invited… and it’s going to be a gala of gore!
1986 – Certificate: Unrated – American Film
7.0 out of 10
I’m crap at everything. However, I try very hard and surround myself with more able and talented people, which in some limited cases enables me to function in society without everyone pointing in my direction, or crossing the road when they see me coming. Yesterday was a good case in point. I spent all of it trying to complete a quotation (that a colleague had already done most of the work for), in response to a competitive tender document for a project to help set up a new community group, to care for the areas along the line of an old railway. It didn’t really come with any sort of structure for what it was asking for, which means trying to do it was like trying to play a game that no one’s explained the rules to me about. All that choice! Vegans don’t deal with choice well; it’s typically the green salad, or chips, or nothing for us. At about half past four I found myself staring at the words on the screen, able to read and understand them, but totally unable to work out what they meant, or how one string of them (a thing we call a sentence) related to any other. Talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees. Somehow I managed to complete about 98% of it, although when I proof-read it this morning most made less sense than a wall covered in a bucket full of scrabble letters and monkey sick. There was one little bit that I had to complete by hand and I swear it looks like a six-year-old did it. I don’t think I can write anymore; I used to have lovely handwriting too. Sometimes I feel like life is teasing me for a laugh. One day I’ll react like Marty in this film….
Oh dear, it’s the uncut version of a ‘forgotten classic’. To be fair it’s probably not that obscure and it’s probably not that bad either. It’s not boring anyway. Here we have a group of young adults who behave in an almost entirely irrational way, an isolated location, a seriously pissed off guy harbouring a grudge… and you know the rest. The murders are a mixed bag; I guess my favourite was the electric shock during sex, although the lawnmower one isn’t too bad either. Did I like Marty the vengeful killer? Well he was/is a dork, but clearly after his injury the law failed to provide him with the justice he genuinely did deserve, so in a way I can’t blame him for taking things into his own hands. The guy had probably had a very successful and exciting career ahead of him too. Actually, the more I think about it the more I realise that he really is the victim here. The fact that the group that bullied him didn’t even seem to have any remorse for what they did, even though the outcome probably was an accident and unintended, just makes things worse. What a nasty set of individuals. Awful. I’m glad they’re all dead now. And another thing, the level of health & safety in the school’s science lab was woeful. Seriously, no one would store a really large, glass bottle of nitric acid on top of a narrow, wobbly, free-standing shelf unit that itself is sitting on top of a table in the middle of a room, not even in the 80s. And the bottle wasn’t labelled properly either. And where were Marty’s gloves and protective goggles? He didn’t strike me as the sort of guy who wouldn’t wear them because he didn’t look cool. Then again, he does appear to take the time to take his Doddsville County High School jacket off in the middle of his science experiment starting to blow up all around him, so I guess his appearance did matter a lot to him, which probably explains why he got so worked up about being hideously burnt. For that matter, why wasn’t he being supervised? I know the school only appeared to have one teacher, who worked in the gym, but even so. I know, I’m probably over analysing things. Despite its intentions, the most offensive thing in the whole movie was the dreadfully racist scene involving the Black caretaker. I image this is one of Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite movies.
Musically we’re deep into 80s low-budget territory. Yes, very deep.
The trailer isn’t so bad, although it does manage to give away the entire plot and partly show a number of the murders too. Then again, the plot isn’t exactly an original and you don’t get to see all of the murders.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. Surprisingly.
Top badass moment? No one likes a bully. And we like groups of bullies even less. So it’s high-fives all round for Marty, as he slowly dispatches them all one by one. Also, given the speed at which he appears to be able to get from place to place at around the school, he’s apparently invented some sort of personal teleportation device too. That’s seriously badass; or just dreadful editing.
Welcome to Pridemore Juvenile Facility For Girls, where forbidden passion and violent death are a shocking way of life. But when two innocent teens are thrust into this world of degradation, they must battle sadistic guards as well as a violent gang of lust-crazed lesbians (led by the legendary Wendy O’Williams of The Plasmatics). In a hellhole gone mad with chaos and desire, can they survive the ultimate orgy of naked rage? Sybil Danning and Pat Ast co-star in this cult classic of bad girls gone berserk, written and directed by Tom DeSimone (“Hell Night”, “Concrete Jungle”) and featuring songs by Wendy O. Williams, Etta James and more!
1986 – Certificate: R – American Film
6.0 out of 10
I have a microwave oven in my kitchen. (Actually I have two, but that’s not important right now.) It has a big sticker on it, which enthuses at some length about all its great features, of which there appear to be many. (Apparently it’s got a “digital clock”. Real state of the art stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.) However, I’ve never really bothered myself to read this sticker. The only reason it’s still there is that I thought it might contain some ‘important stuff’. Although as the oven is now about ten years old, I can’t imagine there’s much especially important about it that’s worth learning now. If there was something I wasn’t supposed to do to stop it exploding in a fireball of microwave energy, I’d probably have found out by now. However, this afternoon I found myself reading the sticker in an idle moment, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. (By which I mean the water in the kettle to boil; waiting for the kettle itself to boil would probably take quite a time, as I don’t think the Sun is expected to suddenly expand and engulf the Earth today.) Amongst my oven’s many interesting features, I learnt that it has “Easytronic Operation”. As you might imagine this got me pretty excited, as it sounds like the sort of thing Thunderbird 2 would have had fitted as standard. I’ve no idea what it really means though, but as the oven has a few buttons on it that are quite easy to press, I guess it might mean them. I wonder how much some marketing guru got paid to think up that one? Honestly, what a load of twaddle. This film is a load of twaddle too, but just like my microwave oven, it does have some entertainment value.
It’s hard to be too nasty about this movie, as it’s really not meant to be taken seriously. As far as B Movies go, it’s pretty entertaining. It’s a film set in a “juvenile facility”, which I imagine is meant to cater for those under the age of 18. This doesn’t stop Wendy O. Williams (who was the vocalist with overrated punk/metal band The Plasmatics) playing one of the main young characters in it, even though she must have been about 36 at the time. Then again, she looks so scarily tough that the makers probably didn’t want to bring it up. (Really sadly she committed suicide in 1998. She was a committed vegetarian and spent much of her latter years caring for animals.) This film also features the infamous kitten stomping scene, which I really shouldn’t approve of. Lots of mal-adjusted teens worldwide have probably gone on to become serial kitten stompers as a result of this film, in the same way that everyone who’s ever played Guitar Hero is now a world-class guitarist. I was a little disappointed to see a number of tools being used for weeding a field that weren’t really appropriate for the job. Long tail shovels and garden rakes really aren’t the correct equipment for that sort of thing. Then again, perhaps that was part of their punishment?
The soundtrack is mostly small sections of forgettable incidental music, mixed in with a few rock tracks. Unfortunately, the latter is that special brand of boring American rock, which tries to act tough but just ends up sounding old-fashioned. However, the film’s big saving grace is Wendy O. Williams’s “It’s My Life”, which plays over the end credits. Top stuff. I’ve got it as a 7” single.
Recommended for juvenile delinquents, lesbians, prison officers and psychiatrists.
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A really beautiful, fluffy, ginger tabby kitten has both a speaking role (that sadly looks like it was dubbed by another cat) and a proper action role. The kitten stomping scene, where it has to do a runner, is now considered a standard-bearer for cat-based action movies. Tragically, it doesn’t even get a credit!
Top badass moment? Fighting ‘the system’ is never easy, so whether it’s trashing the dormitory, trashing the dining room or trashing the whole facility, it’s all badass.
Following the unrelated deaths of four old school friends Danny, William, Kevin and Steve, they find themselves meeting in the afterlife waiting room, a state of limbo between heaven and hell – Purgatory. The four friend’s topic of conversation turns to their strict catholic upbringing and the possible wrongs that each has done through their lives that have earned them a seat in Death’s anteroom. Now will their actions as children forgo their future and determine the final resting place of their eternal souls? A thought provoking film that explores the youthful coming of age and the views held by the catholic church of these adolescent years.
1986 – Certificate: 12
Rating Details: Moderate sex references
6.0 out of 10
I’ve been having some pretty disgusting, impure thoughts myself recently. However, mine concern iTunes’s so called customer service. Not for the first time, my iTunes account got hacked a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t able to reset it so I was forced to contact iTunes to sort it out. Tying to find out how to get hold of the right person in the right part of the world, was akin to discovering how to levitate through the power of thought, whilst learning to write traditional Chinese, inside a crater full of molten magma in a volcano on Titan, with a bad hangover. I did eventually find an e-mail address to use and got a reply from Umair, who sounded like he’d find helping me with my problem as much fun as a three-in-a-bed session with Mila Kunis and Rihanna. (I’m not a reader myself, but they topped the FHM Sexiest Women in the World poll for 2013.) Seriously, I really thought my little issue was going to change his whole life for the better, provide him with eternal inner peace and a place in heaven, such was his enthusiasm for wanting to assist me. Sadly, the latter only went as far as telling me to e-mail someone else and providing a link to another page of Apple-crap®. What’s wrong with these people? Haven’t they learnt how to forward an e-mail to the right person yet? After trawling through more pages of advertising masquerading as ‘customer support’, I finally found out how to arrange for a call-back at a time convenient to me; (as long as it wasn’t for a day or two, as they seemed to be too busy to manage anything any earlier). So I waited in at the appointed time, my hand poised over my phone, ready for action. Of course, it never rang. This evening I e-mailed Umair back and told him that if my account being compromised caused any problems they could argue it out with my credit card company. I signed the e-mail an ex-iTunes customer. Bollocks to iTunes. Bastards. I hope they all end up in Purgatory, which strangely is where the main characters in this film spend most of their time.
This is a pretty lifeless little movie that only occasionally brightens up. Not only that, but it’s in mono and the print that was used to master the DVD I watched was dirty and dull too. I couldn’t even find a trailer for it either, so I’ve just picked a bit of it to show here, although this does seem to have all the best parts in it. If I’d gone to a convent school, had a Catholic upbringing or a ‘thing’ for nuns, I might have found it a bit more interesting, but I didn’t. (How such a weird system manages to turn out reasonable well-rounded people most of the time, I’ve no idea.) I did however, learn the difference between venial and mortal sins. There is in fact only one real reason to watch this film and that’s to see the world’s most beautiful woman, Alyson Hannigan, in her first ever role. I guess she was about 11 when she made it. And despite her age, she’s already playing the sort of quirky, sexually ‘interesting’ type of character that she later made famous in “Buffy” and “American Pie”. That probably makes me sound terribly Stuart Hallish, but honestly, she’s such a tease!
The film’s soundtrack is about on par with the rest of it. However, it does have “The O-men” as the band at the school dance, which does show it’s got a bit of a humorous, dark heart.
Recommended for Catholics, nuns and Hanniganites. (I just made that last word up, but I’m sure they probably exist.) I still can’t get into “How I Met Your Mother” though. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and it didn’t look very good; too much like old-fashioned American sitcom humour, which anyone with a sense of humour will tell you isn’t actually very funny.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It’s a toss-up between the lads stealing/drinking the communion wine and Alyson Hannigan’s first film role. Then again, she’s busy stuffing her bra whilst they’re not even getting pissed. So really, in the end there’s not a lot of competition. Given her age, I guess it’s not appropriate to shout, “get ‘em out for the lads”?
Listen up, this is important. I believe the Earth is about to be invaded and taken over by an evil alien, whose sole purpose is to enslave the entire human race and laugh in a really, really annoying way at our suffering. Proof? For a start, this film. The main male character in it is called Zorg. Is Zorg a common name in France? I doubt it. This film is clearly a message from the future sent back into the past, to warn us of the impending doom to come. No one really calls their son Zorg, do they? I hope not, because it’s the sort of name only megalomaniacs in 50’s pulp sci-fi and B-movies should have. Emperor Zorg; Zorg the Mighty; Lord Zorg, Ruler of the Flatulent Empire and 10,000 Worlds; that sort of thing. We never get to meet Zorg’s parents in this film, but honestly, what were they thinking? They must have been smoking something when they came up with that name. Then this evening I had my shopping delivered by someone called Zoltan. Again, another clear example of a Flash Gordon era baddie, who was obviously casing the joint and looking for weaknesses in the Earth’s defences. You shouldn’t allow the fact that he came not in a gigantic spaceship, but in the “cabbage van” (so the text from Ocado said), to deflect your attention. He even had a bit of an accent, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t of this Earth. These aliens, clever people, that’s why they’re ‘here’ and we’re not ‘there’.
1986 – Certificate: 18 – France
Rating Details: Strong scenes of sex and nudity and some strong violence
Clocking in at almost three hours (it was the Director’s Cut), this is a loooong, French, romantic movie that takes us on a trip with young couple Zorg and Betty. From painting beach houses, through to working in a pizza restaurant, writing books and selling pianos, it chronicles their relationship and the effect Betty’s (undefined) mental illness has on it. Having a friend with the latter, I found it intensely saddening at times. But I also enjoyed it in a rather Thomas Hardyish way, in the sense that I knew the relationship was probably doomed from the start and I was just waiting for it to crash and burn. Now having just compared it to a quintessentially English author, it’s actually a very French film. There’re plenty of examples of tasteful love-making (because the French are supposed to be good at that), as well as lots of ‘unconcerned nudity’ in it, most of it of the male variety it has to be said. It also had several somewhat bizarre and funny scenes of what you might consider to be almost slapstick comedy too. The ending is somewhat inexplicable as well, which seems to happen a lot in French films. Ultimately though, it’s a downer of a movie and after spending three hours with the characters, sharing virtually every aspect of their relationship with them, it’s hard not to be affected. I really felt sorry for them both. It’s a nice looking film too (and I’m not just talking about the main characters) and the mono soundtrack is actually pretty decent.
Recommended for those who are willing to invest an evening in lusting after Betty or Zorg.
1 cat, no decapitations or chainsaws. The cat, a lovely white one, appears in three scenes and has a pivotal role right at the end, including a bit of (dubbed) dialogue.
Top badass moment? Betty throwing a bucket of pink paint all over Zorg’s boss’s car. He was a serious asshole and quite frankly a load of paint on his car was the least he deserved. When you’re boyfriend’s being a wimp and not sticking up for himself, someone has to be badass about it. And let’s face it, who hasn’t thought of doing something like that to a crappy manager at one time or another?