June 15 - Apesploitation!: Congo (1995, dir. Frank Marshall) One of my ultimate secret shame movies. I love Congo. It's monumentally stupid but even more entertaining. I have been quoting this movie since I saw it in 1995. I wish Tim Curry's character from this movie was in EVERY MOVIE.
June 17 - Free Space!: The Brother from Another Planet (1984, dir. John Sayles) I caught this at a Sci-Fi Spectacular a few years back and remember very little about it other than it was a pleasant surprise. Give it a look. It's entertaining and very idiosyncratic.
June 19 - '80s Horror!: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988, dir. Tony Randel) All horror movies should be this imaginative. It's such a bonkers movie. My favorite of the Hellraiser series.
June 14 - Cars!: Hit & Run (2012, dir. David Palmer, Dax Shepard) This ended up being one of my favorite movies of 2012 and made me a fan of Dax Shepard, an actor I hadn't previously cared for. He directs and stars with his real life wife Kristen Bell as a guy in the witness protection program who decides to drive his girlfriend to a job interview, setting off a chain of events that gets progressively crazier. It has everything you want in a modern exploitation movie: a sweet car, tons of chases, Tom Arnold, and Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks. I don't want to oversell it, but this movie really resonates with me.
June 15 - Apesploitation!: Congo (1995, dir. Frank Marshall) I have a suspicion that I won't be the only person recommending this movie, which somehow manages to jam genre stars Ernie Hudson, Joe Don Baker, AND Bruce Campbell into the same story about angry apes. While Congo is not great, it's been reevaluated in recent years as not being the worst -- which it was widely considered to be for many years.
June 16 - Zombies!: White Zombie (1932, dir. Victor Halperin) If you've never seen the Bela Lugosi film White Zombie, this is a perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with a classic. Even though it pioneered the zombie craze that would come later, it's really different from what we've come to expect. These zombies are very much in the Haitian voodoo tradition, predating Romero's zombies by over thirty years. Plus, obviously Rob Zombie loves it. Oh, and in case you aren't sold yet, it's a little over an hour long.
June 17 - Free Space!: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012, John Hyams) I initially watched this based on Patrick's recommendation and love it almost as much as he does. It sits at the crossroads of so many different subgenres within exploitation (action, sci-fi, and horror, to name a few) and yet finds fresh and engaging ways to do all of those things. It's riveting and disturbing, exhilarating while also being an exercise in dread. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and Scott Adkins all give great performances and kick major ass. I'm tempted to say that you need to have seen the first Universal Soldier movie to understand this installment, but I actually think Hyams gives you all you need to know here.
June 13 – Friday the 13th!: His Girl Friday (1944, Howard Hawks) Rather than watching Friday the 13th, Part Seven: The New Blood on this special, unlucky day, might I suggest that you either: 1) Hit yourself in the head with a hammer for 88 minutes, or 2) Watch this delightful Howard Hawk’s screwball comedy with the word “Friday” in the title? Please don’t pick the hammer option just to be contrary.
June 14 – Cars!: Hot Cars (1956, dir. Don McDougal) Cheapie exploitation film features tough-guy dialogue, hot 50’s chicks, and an amazing number of plot twists for a film that runs one minute over an hour. Oh! Almost forgot—there are lots of cars in it too.
June 15 – Apes!: Monkey Trouble (1994, dir. Franco Amurri) Laugh all you want, but this kiddie movie has a cast that will make you want to fling poop all over your cage: a young Thora Birch, Harvey Keitel, Mimi Rogers, and Christopher McDonald. This is the kind of movie that gets made thanks to actors who need the work!
June 16 – Zombies!: MST3K: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964, Ray Dennis Steckler) This is one of the worst movies ever made, so it’s not as if the pithy, disrespectful commentary by the Satellite of Love guys is going to ruin it. TISCWSLABMZ is only famous because of its title; not many people have actually watched it (all the way through). Actually, on Zombie day, I will be re-watching the new Cary Roan restoration Blu-Ray of White Zombie—stunning transfer and great commentary track!
June 17 – Free Space!: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2004, dir. Larry Blamire) I know I love this film more than most other humans, perhaps because I have met the charming and delightful writer director, but this film nails what we all love about quickie fifties drive-in fare, even down to the shitty pacing of individual scenes! Featuring a scientist who loves science, an evil skeleton suffering from hubris, and a monster made out of carpet samples. Also, Animala is hot.
June 18 – Nuns!: The Nun (2005, dir. Louis De La Madrid) FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven’t seen this. On June 18th, I might try to watch it, but you must understand. I attended a Catholic school in the sixties. I was taught by nuns—real nuns. They hit me, with metal rulers, a lot. It’s not that I didn’t deserve it, it’s just that I still bear the scares of my religious education, so I need to tread lightly in this area. This film looks deliciously bad, but… again… Nuns. (shudder)
June 19 – 80’s Horror!: Not of This Earth (1988, dir. Jim Wynorski) Rather than just recommending Re-Animator again, I’ll go with this cheapie remake. Not of this Earth features so many aspects of classic exploitation films: it’s based on a 50’s Roger Corman film, the lead is a former porn star, and it’s completely unwatchable! God, I love Junesploitation!
June 13 - Friday the 13th!: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988, dir. John Carl Buechler) There is only one Friday the 13th movie available on Netflix Instant, so if you're relying on Netflix Instant for Friday the 13th day, this is the Friday the 13th movie you are going to watch. Sure, you should probably own one (or all) of the movies on DVD, because otherwise you end up having to watch Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood on Friday the 13th day. This isn't one of my favorites. Mike loves it. At least it's Kane Hodder's first appearance as Jason and has the famous "sleeping bag" scene. Also, Bernie.
June 14 - Cars!: Eat My Dust! (1976, dir. Charles Griffith) I don't like this one as much as the other car movie Ron Howard made for Roger Corman, Grand Theft Auto, which he directed one year later. But this one's ok.
June 15 - Apesploitation!: King Kong (1976, dir. John Guillermin) This has been playing a lot on WGN in the last month, and goddamn if I don't end up watching it every time. This was the King Kong I grew up on, and because I hadn't seen the original classic as a kid I had no idea this was terrible. It is. I still kind of like it.
June 16 - Zombies!: Fido (2006, dir. Andrew Currie) Underrated horror comedy takes place in an alternate history in which every suburban family has their own zombie pet/servant. Told in the style of a '50s sitcom, it takes a while for the movie to cut loose with the zombie business but even the buildup is worthwhile.
June 17 - Free Space!: The Incredible Melting Man (1977, dir. William Sachs) Originally written as a comedy horror spoof of old sci-fi movies, The Incredible Melting Man was changed into a straight horror movie in the editing and the finished movie is a weird, interesting mess. It's worth seeing just for the very goopy makeup effects from Rick Baker, some really dark comic moments (the ones that survived) and Dr. Ted Nelson.
June 18 - Nunsploitation!: Black Mama, White Mama (1972, dir. Eddie Romero) Pam Grier and Margaret Markov play female convicts who are chained together, Defiant Ones-style, and disguise themselves as nuns. The "nun" content is somewhat low, but the "Pam Grier" content is decidedly high.
June 19 - '80s Horror!: Vamp (1986, dir. Richard Wenk) A fun and VERY '80s horror comedy starring Grace Jones as a weird vampire (typecasting), Chris Makepeace and the ADORABLE Dedee Pfeiffer. Watch it just for her. Also, Heather Wixson loves this movie and screened it at her CineMayhem film festival back in March. So watch it for her, too.