Cinema Wasteland: The Flicks

Cinema Wasteland:  The Flicks

What would a movie convention be without plenty of kick ass movies to sit and watch over three days? Last weekend’s Cinema Wasteland once again had a hefty handful of films from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s as well as some independent flicks still looking for distribution. Of course I couldn’t see everything screened as they have two film rooms running at the same time, but I did make quite a dent in the schedule. Without further ado let’s get too it.



SANTO IN THE WAX MUSEUM (1963)    I gotta admit this was my first taste of famed Mexican actor/luchador Santo, but it was an entertaining little flick.  A mad scientist is turning people into monsters and disguises them as exhibits in his wax museum (ala Vincent Price in House of Wax).  To try and help with his cover story the mad scientist calls Santo (or Samson as he was called in this English dubbed version) to help him find the killer as it is bad advertising for his museum.  The pacing and editing of the movie is laughably cheesy as Santo will be working hard on the case, then inexplicably leave to have a wrestling match. 


DARK INTRUDER (1965)  This was originally a pilot episode for a television show that wasn’t picked up, so instead ended up playing in theatres.  The late, great Leslie Nielsen stars as an occult investigator who is called in to help investigate a series of unusual murders.  He eventually comes face to face with a demon from hell and does his best to banish him forever.  Nothing truly special about this monster movie, as you can tell it was all being set up to continue as a series, but wasn’t a bad movie and was worth the 59 minutes.


WILLARD (1971)  This one I was looking forward to as I’d never seen the original version, only the Crispin Glover remake.  I can gladly share that it did not disappoint.  Willard is the story of the pushed around office boy that is picked on by his cruel boss (played by Ernest Borgnine no less).  He befriends and trains some rats that he raises in the cellar to attack those that make fun of him, but eventually neglects them as he begins to fall in love with a fellow office employee.  Good stuff!


BUG (1975)   William Castle’s last production is about a giant earthquake that unleashes insects known as “firebugs” that will burst into flames when provoked.  After losing his wife to the bugs, a science teacher tries to figure out how to deal with the bugs, but also can’t help but try and figure out how they work and how to make them breed.  A fun little animals gone awry movie that doesn’t always make perfect sense, but when do they?


BASKET CASE (1982)   What needs to be said about Frank Henenlotter’s horror classic? Duane Bradley plays an out of place person in New York city helping his deformed twin brother, Belial find the doctors that separated the two of them when they were boys, and left Belial for dead in the trash.  A horror classic that I would assume most readers of this site are familiar with.


BRAIN DAMAGE (1987)   Story about good guy Brian who becomes the host for Alymer, a parasite that helps Brian get high with his psychedelic blue juice.  The only issue is that in return Brian must help Alymer feed on human brains.  Once the addiction is too hard to fight Brian has little choice but help Alymer.  Being a drug addict also puts a damper on Brian’s relationships with his girlfriend and roommate who try to figure out what is wrong with there friend.  Another horror/comedy classic from Henenlotter!


555 (1988)   Ultra low budget slasher flick released direct to video back in the day that is so awful it’s good.  Story is about a hippie who kills  5 couples over 5 consecutive days every 5 years.  Lots of blood and boobs and bad acting in this one.  Had it’s DVD debut at this years show from Massacre Video.



BASKET CASE 2 (1990)   Second outing of the Bradley brothers, this time taking up residence in a house of freaks.  Belial loves his new home, but Duane starts to wonder if it’s time for him to be out on his own.  After a nosey tabloid reporter stumbles upon the freaks house, they have no choice but deal with the problem the only way they know how to!!  More comedy than the first, but still an entertaining movie.


FRANKENHOOKER (1990)  Hilarious take on the Frankenstein tale with mad scientist Jeffery Franken who loses his wife in a lawn mower accident, and decides to use hookers body parts to rebuild her.  If not familiar with it, trust me it’s funnier than it sounds!  Wanna date?




BAD BIOLOGY (2008)  Henenlotter’s latest was finally released on DVD about a year ago and it is a hoot.  It’s about a man with a drug addicted giant penis and a woman with a sexual hunger that is a little tough to fulfill, and has a little problem with giving birth about two hours later.  These two unfortunate people are like everyone else and just trying to find someone to love.  Can these two find each other before it’s too late?


DEGENERATES INK (2010)   How many people here have tattoos?  Quite a few of you, ok.  Next question is how many of you would get a new tattoo from a van in the middle of nowhere?  A few of you would, wow.  What if I told you that these tattoo artists realized they could make more money by just killing the people and driving off? Nobody.  Good,  I was hoping you’d be smarter than that.  A fun little indy ride that comes to an abrupt end. 


MOURNING WOOD (2010)   Zombie comedy about an infomercial salesman whose newest product Sham-pube causes people to become goo spewing zombies.  This was a lot funnier than I expected it to be, but still had its share of bad jokes.  Fans of Troma films and the like will enjoy this one. 


THE COLLAPSED (2011)   A post-apocalyptic tale about a family of four is trying to escape a dangerous city to the country where they believe they will be safer.  After finally making it out of the city they take to the forest where they hope to be safe.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere safe anymore.   I see it’s being distributed in Canada by Anchor Bay, so hopefully someone picks this up soon.  Definitely one of my favorite indy flicks of 2011!


REVENGE IS HER MIDDLE NAME (2011)   A drug addicted prostitute named Kat decides that she’s ready to clean up her life and have a baby.  Her plan to rob her pimp and start a new life in theory is a great idea, until he finds her and gives her a beating/gang raping of a lifetime.  Years later she is still trying to put herself back together when a creep she meets at a bar gets a little too rough and triggers a dark side in Kat that she didn’t know was there.  Now it’s time to track down her ex-pimp and his buds because she has revenge on her mind.  Another very good movie that was a few goofy jokes from being another revenge classic like I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left.  Still for fans it’s well worth a watch.


Overall this was an excellent lineup, possibly the best overall lineup I’ve ever seen at the convention.  Cinema Wasteland returns March 30-April 1st, 2012 featuring PJ Soles (Halloween, Rock ‘n Roll High School), John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Tenebre, Enter The Dragon), and Jim Kelly (Enter The Dragon, Black Belt Jones)!


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Matt has been a fan of horror films since his first trip to the video store when he was transfixed by classic vhs cover art. Now he primarily enjoys films from the grindhouse era of the 70's and 80's, but holds a soft spot in in his heart for low budget flicks.

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