Olaf Ittenbach's THE BURNING MOON (1992, 99 min.) on YouTube for the first time.If you're fluent in either German or dubbed Spanish (watched the latter) or don't mind going along without understanding the easy-to-follow minutia, "The Burning Moon" is an above-average SOV entry. The linking tale of this three-story anthology deals with a drug-addicted, no-good punk youth (Olaf Ittenbach, a kissing cousin with the crazed killer in Gerald Kargl's "Angst") telling her younger sister some effed-up tales of violence to try to put her to sleep. The first segment, "Julia's Love," is a straight-up 'psycho on the loose' giallo thriller that Argento or Martino would nod approvingly at. The second, "The Purity," follows a priest who uses his position of authority in a small town to hide his more sinful tendencies. If Ti West and Lucio Fulci had a cinematic bastard child (who'd be the mother? :-O), it'd probably look/feel like "The Purity."Though it's clearly an amateur production (background music sounds muddled) "TBM" wasn't made by an amateur. He may be dialing the smoke machines to 11 to hide wires, but Ittenbach knows where to put the camera and when to cut away from a shot for maximum impact. I've seen professionally made movies that fall below this one, not just in June but year-round. Olaf went on to become a special effects technician, which is warranted since the gore gags (particularly the eyeball-swallowing tunnel) will be what most people remember. A little too rough around the edges to earn my 'DING! DING! DING!,' "The Burning Moon" comes highly recommended. Now bring me a Coca-Cola, by which I mean a Pepsi. :-PJames Nguyen's BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR (2010, 93 min.) on Amazon Prime.Because 'Shot-on-Video' doesn't necessarily mean videotape, right? LOOPHOLESPL... you know. :-D I can live with the in-your-face environmental message. I can live with the bad acting because Whitney Moore delivers a likable performance in a sea of human robots (Alan Bagh) and civilians who are either hit (the 'Hanging Out With My Family' guy) or miss (everyone else). Heck, I'm even okay with the CG birds being static canned animations that dive/explode like WWII bombers (with sound effects to mismatch).What I will not tolerate is James Nguyen not learning the Filmmaking 101 basic lesson of recording tone and sound in a scene so that the audio doesn't skip from one cut to the next. For an SOV so-bad-it's-good new classic "Birdemic's" crap sound is what will bother you the most about its non-existent production values. Still, it's a 'DING! DING! DING! WINNAH, WINNAH!' across the board.M̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶C̶r̶a̶w̶f̶o̶r̶d̶ David DeCoteau's A TALKING CAT!?! (2013, 85 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.IMDB says the budget for this shot-on-HDCAM feature was $1 million. BULLSHIT! Eric Roberts's voice-over for the titular cat (who rarely talks to the group of humans he's trying to get to fall in love with one another; most of the time it's inner monologue BS) sounds like the man just woke up from a bender and the phone recording him was across the room. There are 59 establishing shots (rivers, woods, lakes, even Caribbean beaches) for a movie taking place in two primary CA locations. The younger actors look like they're auditioning for DeCoteau's bordering-on-soft-porn "1313" SOV flicks made in the same rental mansion (available on Prime too, but I wouldn't go there if I was you). At least the veteran actors (Johnny Whitaker and Kristine DeBell) are surprisingly likable. "A Talking Cat!?!" is a wannabe 'PG' "Look Who's Talking" with all the charm and joy drained from it, leaving behind a so-bad-it's-laughable 'Z-grade' flick that squeezes into SOV! by the whiskers in Duffy's face. Recommended with strong reservations.
BAD KARMA (1991, dir. Alex Chandon) 36 minutes, Viewed on YoutubeI have got to say… not bad. Gore and general weirdness presented with enthusiasm. There are Hare Krishnas show up at a house in London and turning into monsters desiring to kill all the humans they can. The young men playing the killer Krishnas give it their all. For a homemade production, the gore and special effects demonstrate an admirable resourcefulness. To add to the weirdness, the “heroes” of the film are not who you would expect. Running only 36 minutes, I did not find the film wearing out its welcome. I remember one scene from Bad Karma showing up in a Video Nasties documentary.MUTILATIONS (1986, dir. Larry Thomas) – Watched a 66-minute version on Youtube.I was not unfamiliar with Mutilations before this viewing. It was shown during the first VHS festival at the Mahoning Drive-In as the third movie of a triple feature. With triple features in June going past 2:00 a.m., I was too tired to push my way through the film and left. Mutilations is undoubtedly a film that you have to push your way through part of. The story is one that has been used countless times: Alien creatures come to earth to attack humans. These aliens, however, are equal opportunity eaters. The film being made in Oklahoma, the aliens have their pick of cattle herds to munch on. There is a hilarious stop-motion scene of a writhing half-eaten cow. A college astronomy professor and a handful of his students come to the area to investigate the incidents and quickly find themselves trapped in a house being stalked by the deadly creatures. The acting is wooden, the dialogue is clunky and frequently expository in nature, the special effects are laughable, and the sets are always shrouded in a mist from the fog machines. Perhaps the most challenging part is a dragging conclusion. There is, though, a 1950s low-budget sci-fi vibe to Mutilations that I did favorably respond to. Mutilations, for all of its faults, at least feels like a movie. It was clearly a labor of love for the director, who put a lot of effort into creating it. You can find much worse to watch for today.
As a recommendation, I suggest staying away from a film called The Abomination. Part of the same bill as Mutilations, it was 100 minutes of sheer boredom. The sense of relief when it ended could be felt in the atmosphere of the drive-in.
After Goblin and Shock Chamber, Mutilations seemed like high art.
The Abomination is amazing. Any film that has the balls to show you every kill and everything that happens in the first ten minutes of the movie then proceeds to go 90 minutes and show the same scenes again is a 10/10! Also, people often mistake The Abomination being a SOV film. In reality, McCormick shot it on 16mm. Mutilations is fun. Goblin is one I still need to see.
How long have you watched these SOV productions, Chaybee?The Abomination does not just repeat a shot once. It does it again and again and.... It looked like a SOV film to me. At least there is no reason for anyone to feel any pressure to watch it today. Mutilations is certainly not the worst thing ever, Brent. When it was over, I could think of several films with far bigger budgets that I would avoid more than Mutilations. There is a lot of heart in it.
Ever since I was able to rent them from video stores as a kid. I would say Sledgehammer or Boardinghouse were the first I saw though I can't say for sure. I really started digging deep into them and my love for the sub-genre grew in the early 2000's when they started becoming more accessible. Whoever thought you could clink on YouTube and there is "Trashcans of Terror" readily available to watch?!
"Spine" 1986, Dirs. John Howard, Justin Simmonds. Ugh. Tough category. Tougher watch. A killer is stalking and stabbing nurses because he thinks they're "Linda", a woman who hurt him in the past. Or something. I dunno. I want to get my eyeballs scrubbed after sitting through this. Watched on YouTube... in increments... with lots of scrolling... while uttering "Ugh, Jesus."
Unsane (2018)I guess this is the modern version of "shot on video", and I had been wanting to watch it anyways. It was alright, but I expected the "is it real or not" to last further into the movie. Spoilers! Fairly early on we realize that the orderly is in fact the stalker. (And has somehow gotten a job at the asylum in anticipation that she would end up there? OK). Also, do all the crazy inmates, male and female, sleep in a communal room? That can't be right? But nitpicking aside, it was pretty enjoyable. I'm not sure if the iPhone gimmick added much in terms of it's look, or whether they got shots they wouldn't have been able to get otherwise. I honestly forgot about it after the first 10 minutes.
Goblin (1993)I can't imagine many people watching these SOVs. It takes a certain level of tolerance. I have that level but even I have my limits. Most of this is people getting picked off one at a time by a guy goblin? makeup. He kills them then spends a few minutes pulling out their insides. If you want to see someone's dissertation on it, check out imdB. I've tried to watch at least 3 each day. This will be my biggest challenge.
I'm pulling for you, Brent. Godspeed.
I honestly fear for the mental health of anybody who watches more than two of these in one day. I watched three SOV's in a row (four actually), but I'm a professional. Godspeed, BP. :-P
That was quite the dessertation. I love how he starts out "Let me start off by saying that Goblin, directed by Todd Sheets, is not a perfect movie." Curiously, this has the same IMDB rating as Baby Geniuses, a movie I see myself going to bat for as often as possible in the future, even though it is also "not a perfect movie".
Don't do it Brent! Life is worth living!I'm not even halfway through my first one (72 minute movie) and I feel like ripping my arm off just so I have something to throw at the tv.
Thanks, guys! Your support means a lot during these trying times. I must, Mikko! For God and country! We will persevere!
The Necro Files (1997)Unfortunately, I went through a phase where I watched a lot of shot on video stuff, so now that I'm trying to watching something new for each of the 30 days I don't have much good left for this one. A lot of bad overacting, worse, dialogue, bad effects (although at a certain point I feel they knew it was all bad and just started having fun with it), and a rotten zombie whose massive penis is somehow still intact and is able to rape women through their underwear: that's what any other masochistic soul who decides to check this one out has to look forward to.
Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998, dir. John & Mark Polonia)Papier-mâché aliens attack a family at Christmas. Oh and Santa's there too. Bad acting, bad camerawork, bad writing, bad everything. SOV is definitely not my scene.
Things and Boardinghouse are 2 SOVs that I consider fun. That's about it. Although, I'm watching Mutations and it's not the worse thing ever!
Blood Lake (1987)I want to respect this movie, I really do. I appreciate people who go out with a camcorder and do it themselves in order to make their filmmaking dreams come true. That being said...holy shit what a bore. A group of obnoxious rednecky kids are on a weekend getaway and proceed to waterski, play quarters, etc all in seemingly real-time while the audience waits for anything of consequence to happen. Eventually (more than halfway through the 80-minute movie) a shadowy murderer emerges from the same after-effects package that made my uncle Stanley look sinister in my bar mitzvah video. Once people start dying it gets somewhat engaging, but good lord is it a slog getting there. Even still, it has a weird kind of charm that you only get with true DIY projects. Score one for gumption, I guess.
Much like "Woodchipper Massacre", the beauty of "Blood Lake" is that it feels like you just discovered some VHS tape in the attic of a house you just bought and it turns out it's footage of some families summer vacation. Big fan of this one. Woodchipper Massacre is even more egregious as there is no massacre at all. It actually should be rated G! (again, I love it, adds to the charm.)
Shock Chamber (1985)3 stories. All terrible. Yet, combined...they form to be even more terrible. 1 + 1 + 1 = 0. I'm no mathematician but that just don't add up. Ok, maybe a half point for the twist at the end. But that is being generous.
Bloody Anniversary a.k.a The Dummy (1995) Dir. Dante FalconiSecond watch and boy does it hold up. A psychic possesses a ventriloquist dummy to kill the friends of two newlyweds who pissed her off and didn't pay her. The dummy is super creepy and the kills are great and hilariously executed. 1995 was the tail end of SOV and there was a TON of unimaginative and stale films being made during the last years of the genre. This and a handful of others can hang with the best of the "golden years". Also stars the Linnea Quigley of the genre - the great SOV scream queen Lisa Cook (she was inspired enough by Linnea she even did an SOV Workout Video!)
Truth or Dare (1986)A man see's his wife's boob's with another man, and then precedes to loose his mind. And then the system continues to fail him. I did find it amusing how many times he went to hospital. I did not expect a comment on mental health system, I mean a kind of comment in a lets watch a man put a grenade in his mouth kind of way. This seems like a good entry (I think) to start with for a VOD horror movie. I was expecting gore, and I got gore. I was amused, replused, bored, disturbed all at the same time. Though kids, please do not play Truth or Dare on your own. You'll just gorge your eye out for no reason.
Great choice, Lindsay! Now you have to watch 2 and 3 to complete the trilogy!
SORORITY BABES IN THE DANCE-O-THON OF DEATH (1991) I guess we’re cashing in the more well-known ridiculously titled “Sorority Babes” horror/comedy. Except the famous one at the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama had genuine laughs and sexiness and weirdness. This filmed-in-our-own-backyard effort is a lot of filler as the filmmakers are desperately trying to capture enough footage to call this feature-length. (The super-slow opening credits feel like one-third of the runtime.) It’s six sorority babes in search of a movie. Bonus #Godzillasploitation: GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA (2002) Here’s another new Mechagodzilla, named “Kiryu” throughout the movie, and I believe this cements my feeling that G vs. MG fights are my favorites in this franchise. The human side of the story is about Mechagodzilla’s pilots. This keeps them a part of the action throughout the movie, which just adds to the fun. Really enjoyed this one.
Beyond the 7th Door (1987)This was a boatload of fun. I enjoyed the dialog immensely! The main male protagonist smokes SO much! Often lighting up at bizarre times. He even gets called out for "smoking too much", and like a tried and true addict swears he will quit.. if he lives.Very entertaining, another disc I must order. This is becoming an expensive month!
Violent S*** (1989, dir. Andreas Schnaas, First Time Viewing)Gore movie with basically the production values of a home movie. This has been on my radar since I started getting into horror movies over 20 years ago, just due to the amazing title. Even at 75 minutes it was a brutal chore to get through though. That being said, I've never seen anything like it and will probably never forget it so I'm glad I watched it question mark?
Death By Love (1990, dir. Allan Grant)The dinosaur scientist from Jurassic Park writes, directs, and stars in a vanity project about an artist who sleeps with every woman he meets, but also turns into a demon monster during sex. SOV Day looks like it was kind of a bust, huh?
Nah, it's just the Troma Day! of Junesploitation! 2019. ;-)
Being a fan of the genre I appreciate it being included, Patrick. I think the aesthetic and limited accessibility of the films dissuaded people from watching.
Mutilations (1986)I didn't hate this. In fact, I almost liked it. I have a feeling if I saw this in a group it might be enjoyable. I chose my SOVs today without doing much research. There are some decent ones out there. I don't think the day was a bust. You never know what you are going to like unless you try it. If this is one of the days next year, I'd watch them, again.