Friday, August 31, 2012

Short Film: Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions (USA, 1991)

Anyone remember Liquid Television? Then you probably also remember when MTV was good – which almost makes you one old fart, to say the least. But for those of you who don't know what Liquid Television was, it was an "animation showcase" that appeared regularly on MTV (and BBC 2) in the 1990s that featured all sorts of fun original "alternative" cartoons and short films, some of which – Beavis and Butt-head and Æon Flux, for example – went on to spawn their own series and/or movies. Many others, however, never went beyond a single filmlet or a few odd episodes. Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions was one such short film that, though conceived as a possible series of episodes, never went beyond the pilot short.
Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions is an early product of the creative mind of Henry Selick, created during the days when he was doing MTV station IDs. Three years later, he directed The Nightmare before Christmas (1993 / trailer), "the first full-length, stop-motion feature from a major American studio," which contrary to popular misconception was only produced by Tim Burton. Less than truly commercially successful when released (despite its critical success), The Nightmare before Christmas has long surpassed simple cult popularity. Selick, robbed of reputation that the film should have brought him – Tim Burton harvested all the glory – went on to do James and the Giant Peach (1996 / trailer), an excellent film and critical success if only moderately successful, and Monkeybone (2001 / trailer), a cult-worthy flick that was a flop of such major proportions that it easily could have cost him his career (having a budget of $75 million, the movie brought in only $7.6 million worldwide). Luckily, Selick preserved and went on to do the fabulous hit Coraline (2009 / trailer) – which we here at A Wasted Life voted as one of the Ten Best Films in 2010 – proving again that he is a truly unique creative talent with vision.
Both this creative talent and vision is to be found in Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions, if only in an embryonic and unquestionably weird form and with a decidedly late 80s/early 90s aesthetic feel. Set to music composed by the legendary weirdoes of music, The Residents, the roughly six-minute-long film narrates the tale of a lad (Mark Steger of The Pact [2012 / trailer]) locked in an attic with only lizards and spiders as friends who is teleported to the lower dimension where flat photograph people are being terrorized by flying scissors. He saves the day – and the Princess (Hannah Sim of She Creature [2001 / trailer]) – but upon returning his room his set upon and tormented by his freaky two-headed sister...
To quote a well-written online article that is no longer online: Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions "seamlessly combines multiple animation techniques including stop motion for the two-headed girl, puppets for the lizards, and Monty Python like cut-outs in the second dimension." The film is indeed "both disturbing and charming," but it is also extremely interesting and frequently rather funny despite the often more-than-nightmarish visuals. We here at A Wasted Life are proud to present this sadly overlooked and forgotten short film to you as the Short Film of the Month of August 2012.
Enjoy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

R.I.P.: Richard Hugh Lynch, Pt. III

February 12, 1936 – June 19, 2012
Richard Lynch, was an Irish American character actor who, aside from his innumerable appearances on television, graced numerous horror, fantasy, science fiction and craptastic films throughout his career. A beloved character actor among cult and bad film fans, Lynch was found dead on June 19, 2012. The world of genre films is a poorer place without him!
Part I of his career review is found here.
Part II of his career review is found here.


 Total Force
(1997, dir. Steven Kaman)
Director Steven Kaman: aka "Sven Nuvo," the cinematographer of such fine palm-greasing films as A Passage thru Pamela (1985 / edited trailer), Wanda Whips Wall Street (1982 / NSFW X-rated trailer) and Dallas School Girls (1981 / full X-rated film). Total Force, which was filmed back-to-back with Kaman's next film, Absolute Force (1997) – in which Lynch does not appear – is an embarrassment on any resume it is listed. Aside from Lynch and his brother Barry Lynch, Total Force features David Carradine's daughter Calista Carradine and Sylvestor's brother Frank Stallone – a cast that reflects the quality of this road wreck of a movie. Comeuppance Reviews says: "The plot, if you can even call it such a thing, involves Dr. Edmund Wellington (Lynch) who has a super hi-tech Military weapon. Drake (Timothy Bottoms) is a tough soldier who only wants to drink beer and watch football, when he is not kicking and punching dudes. Frank Stallone joins the fray as Jack O'Hara, the swarthiest Irish gangster ever. O'Hara has his own reasons for pursuing Drake and it all comes to a head at a marina. Confusing, baffling, amateurish, incoherent, disjointed, irritating, and unexplainable are the nicest things we can say about this cinematic sludge that came directly from the sewer and into your VCR."
French-language trailer:


Ground Rules
(1997, dir. Patrick G. Donahue)
Ouch. Plot as given on Amazon.com: "'Battle Ball' is the new hot thing in the world of underground sports gambling. Motocross teams armed with metal claws and body armor fight their way to a caged car used as a moving goal. Led by corrupt bookmakers who want to up the blood and death to attract more people, one man (Sean Donahue) decides to take a stand the only way he can; he takes the sport by storm and begins on a path of carnage and blood that can only bring the league down." The blog Dusk Till Dawn with Hubbs Kowalski says: "This mess stars Sean Donahue (Pat's son), the ever badass Frank Stallone and forever creepy Richard Lynch. The sport is called Battle Ball but everyone in the film just refers to it as 'the game' most of the time. It's probably just as well since calling it Battle Ball constantly would only make the movie more stupid than it actually is. Stupid is not a bad thing. With the no-budget and general lack of any original ideas (it took four people to write the script), stupid is all this movie has to propel it along."
A trailer, of sorts:


Divine Lovers
(1997, dir. Babbar Subhash)
Now here's an obscure job, even for Richard Lynch, who supposedly plays someone by the name of "Gregory" in this film, the English-language directorial début of Bollywood filmmaker Babbar Subhash. The most-used plot description found online for this film is as follows: "Plagued by strange dreams, a young architect (Maxwell Caulfield) in New York takes a hotel design job in India in the hopes of finding an explanation. When he arrives, he discovers that the wife (Shannon McLeod) of his employer is the same woman he has been seeing in his dreams. As the two gradually become drawn to one another, he seeks out help in interpreting the source of his dreams, and what they may mean for his (and her) future." Babbar Subhash seems to have remade the film in 2009, now called London Calling, with an Indian-only cast – and without any of the nude scenes like the one below. (Don't worry, the scene does not include Lynch.)
A nude scene from Divine Lovers:

Divine Lovers (1997) von payback18


Under Oath
(1997, dir. Dave Payne)
Director Dave Payne followed this film with the absolutely, unforgivingly unnecessary direct-to-video Addams Family Reunion (1998 / lousy first 10 minutes) before eventually making the decent horror film Reeker (2005). Over at the New Horizon Pictures website, they give the plot to Under Oath as: "Two honest cops cross the line for a one time score, resulting in the accidental death of an undercover FBI agent. In a bizarre twist of fate, they are assigned to solve their own crime. Now they must play a dangerous game to uncover and destroy the very evidence that could them behind bars for life." Lynch is on hand as their boss, Daniel Saltarelli. I Hate Movies says the film isn't all that bad despite having a lot of points against it and a "half-assed, over-used To Live and Die in L.A. (1985 / trailer) storyline": "The shoot-outs are pretty cool, the photography's okay, and the whole thing moves fast enough that it doesn't get boring. I wouldn't recommend it or anything, but it doesn't suck."
Trailer:


Shattered Illusions
(1998, dir. Becky Best)
Richard Lynch in another low budget film populated by has-beens and unknowns about a female radio talk show host terrorized by a murdering psycho – this time around with a lot less nude scenes than in Allan Shustak's 1995 erotic thriller Midnight Confessions. Lynch plays the radio boss, Colette O'Connell plays the terrorized DJ/host with a troubled past, Morgan Fairchild is her coworker Angie Mason.
Trailer:


Armstrong
(1998, dir. Menahem Golan)
Lynch on the poster and in the trailer of this post-cold-war "thriller" – as in cheap, badly made trash. DVD plot description: "The cold war just heated up. Someone in Russia is selling live nuclear warheads to terrorists all over the world, and only Rod Armstrong (Frank Zagarino) can find the culprits. Taking over this top secret mission started by his recently murdered friend, Robert (Charles Napier), Armstrong teams up with his widow, Susan (Kimberley Kates), to find the killers and expose the black marketeers. From the crime-ridden streets of Moscow to the isolation of the nuclear weapons depot, the murder and mayhem are non-stop. Both Rod and Susan face gangsters and military might in their efforts to end the terrible, world-threatening trade. In the ultimate showdown, with the threat of a nuclear explosion counting down the final seconds, Rod and Susan lead the action to its hell-bent conclusion." Lynch, as normal, is a bad guy.
Trailer:


Love and War II
(1998, dir. James Tyler)
 
A totally obscure Z-film that we wouldn't bother including here if it weren't for the total ugliness of its poster above – don't you just love its unabashed unprofessionalism? "James Tyler" is also known as "Sartaj N. Kahn," but we're at a loss to say which name is the director's real one. Contrary to what imdb currently says, Love and War II (aka Love and War II: The Final Showdown) is a sequel to 1995's equally unknown Heaven's Tears (aka Love and War); rather, it is a sequel to Tyler's also equally unknown 1997 Z-film, All's Fair in Love and War. Zia Film, the distributors of the tacky horror comedy Boneyard (1991), offer the following surely unbiased description of the film: "Love & War II is a fast-paced stylistic mob drama with the finest combination of ACTION, SEDUCTION and SUSPENSE starring Richard Lynch, James Tyler, Chris Mitchum and international models Jennifer Palmer and Linda O'Neil. [A Wasted Life has noticed that O'Neil does not currently include this film on her resume of films on either imdb or Wikipedia.] Things turn deadly when Julian (Tyler / Kahn), a renowned mob boss, is called upon to rescue the daughter of the woman who once saved his life from a dangerous rival, and he also confronts his own true love, a sultry woman, who turns out to be an assassin-for-hire with a contract on Julian's head. A sequel to the U.S. theatrical and worldwide hit film All's Fair In Love & War, which was hailed as a "fine blend of The Godfather (1972 / trailer) and Basic Instinct (1992 / trailer), Love & War II takes the stakes even higher. The film was shot at 51 locations throughout the United States with a wonderful cast of 81 actors and very high production values. Love & War II is a roller coaster ride with a thunderous beginning and an explosive ending."


Enemy Action
(1999, written & directed by Brian Katkin)
Lynch, seen neither on the poster nor in the trailer, has a tiny part as "Dimitri" in this C. Thomas Howell direct-to-video movie directed by the man who brought us the direct-to-video masterpieces Scarecrow Gone Wild (2004 / trailer), Slaughter Studios (2002 / trailer) and If I Die Before I Wake (1998 / trailer) – the last which is actually rather good in a cheap and sleazy way. The plot of Enemy Action? Who gives a shit – it's a C. Thomas Howell movie, for Christ's sake.
Trailer:


Eastside
(1999, dir. Lorena David)
Though not on the DVD cover, Richard Lynch has a decent-sized and pivotal role as a good guy, for a change, in this film about which AMC says: "This sad imitation of Stand and Deliver (1988 / trailer) is so laughable it barely merits the time it will take to write this review. The acting, the direction, and the script are all so atrocious it's a miracle anyone rented the crew a camera to work with. Seriously, we're talking about dialogue like (and this is a direct quote), 'I fuckin' hate that fuckin' fuck!' And ladies and gentlemen, it just gets worse from there." The plot, according to Movie Review Query Engines: "Released from prison on his 21st birthday, Antonio (Mario "Muscles" Lopez of A Crack in the Floor [2001]) pays a visit to his older brother, Horatio (Mark Espinoza), an uptight attorney embarrassed by his Latino heritage. The brothers are connected by their work for crime boss Armando De La Rosa (Efrain Figueroa), for whom Horatio provides 'consulting' services and Antonio collects debts. When De la Rosa enlists Antonio to bully the proprietor of a youth shelter off his property to make way for a casino, the young man changes his priorities, thanks in no small part to his friendship with the proprietor (Richard Lynch) and his burgeoning relationship with the old man's granddaughter (Elizabeth Bogush). Together, Antonio and Horatio try to bring an end to De La Rosa's megalomaniacal reign over the neighborhood."
Trailer:




Lone Tiger
(1999, dir. Warren A. Stevens)
Why watch the whole 105 minutes of this crappy film when the trailer tells the whole story in roughly three minutes? A bad, bad film – but laughably entertaining if you're stoned enough. The plot synopsis at Amazon.com: "Kurenai (Bruce Locke) travels to Las Vegas to search for his father's killer. Broke and with nowhere to stay he seeks refuge in an alley where he hears cries for help from vicious bikers. Kurenai defeats the bikers and is invited to the warehouse where Rita and Chico live with other runaways. Meanwhile in another part of Las Vegas, an underground wrestling match is being fought where the stakes are high and the only rule is, the loser dies! Fight organizer Rossner (Richard Lynch) needs fresh blood for his fights and hires Jane Costello (Barbara Niven) to find him a new champion. In her search, Jane photographs Kurenai fighting the bikers who have returned with their gang to seek revenge for their earlier beating. He is wearing the fighting mask worn by his father. Rossner recognizes the mask from 15 years earlier where he lost half a million dollars in a fight to his then rival Marcus (Timothy Bottoms of Uncle Sam [1997]). Rossner entices Kurenai into underground fighting by promising him a match with 'Dark Tiger' so he can get even with Marcus for the money he lost years ago. Rossner arranges several underground fights for Kurenai who defeats his opponents but refuses to kill the loser. Finally, Rossner arranges an underground match Kurenai cannot refuse. He will take on three fighters at once for a half a million dollars. To ensure Kurenai fights to the death, Rossner kidnaps Rita and threatens to kill her if he doesn't win."
Trailer:


Lima: Breaking the Silence
(1999, dir. Menahem Golan)
Lynch appears as James Gallagher, the Ambassador of Ireland, in a seldom-seen film that gets a lot of flak for siding with the terrorists, the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Death Wish Industries watched the original VHS and decided the following: "Joe Lara is Hector Carpa, a [Peruvian] college student who wants to help spread the word about the suffering of the common man in Peru. He is under surveillance by the CIA though, and gets arrested when he returns to his country from the US. Rebels rescue Carpa from the corrupt Peruvian judicial system and then he helps them take more than 500 visiting diplomats and Peruvian officials hostage in order to draw attention to the plight of their people. Things go bad and the president sends in a ruthless general played by Billy Drago (of 7 Mummies [2006]) to eliminate the rebels." Aside from Lynch and Drago, two other noteworthy names found in this film are Christopher Atkins (of Shakma [1990]) and Charles Napier." The film purports to tell the true story of the events that began on 22 December 1996 when the MRTA stormed the private birthday party of the Japanese ambassador (at his home, not at the embassy as is commonly believed), which began a hostage situation that ended up lasting 127 days...


Strike Zone
(2000, dir. J. Christian Ingvordsen)
Richard Lynch has a small part as Adm. Douglass Lamport in this direct-to-video piece of trash that counts as one of Frank Zagarino's worse films. Death Wish Industries watched the original VHS and decided the following: "Strike Zone begins with some wonderful stock footage of various US military scenes! With a very modern day story line, Navy SEALS are sent into Iraq to stop the construction of a secret nuclear missile site, hidden beneath ancient ruins. Billy Drago plays an American army pilot who defected during the first Gulf War and became deeply and ruthlessly involved in Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Highlight of this movie, you get to see the same Iraqi guard get killed more than once, always the sign of a quality film with a mega budget!"
Trailer:


Death Game
(2001, dir. Menahem Golan)
Death Wish Industries watched the original VHS and decided the following: "Death Game is a pretty unintentionally funny movie which is obviously shot in Russia or somewhere thereabouts even though it is supposed to be taking place in the US. High-school basketball star Jackie Stewart (Bo Brown), is believed to be the next 'Michael Jordan.' Feeling there is money to be made by controlling a lad with such potential wealth in his future, Shakes Montrose (Billy Drago) enters the stage. Montrose is a man involved in many shady dealings and supported by many 'rusky immigrant' foot soldiers (a comment made perhaps to try and explain why so many of the actors seem to have Russian accents). There is one small problem with our villain's plans, Bo's coach, played by Joe Lara, [...] wants to save his star player. With his fists and the help of a corrupted police officer now turned guy with a conscience (Richard Lynch, a DWI favorite [...]), the coach enters a world where brutality is the law and revenge is... well, REVENGE!"
Trailer:

  

Reflex Action
(2002, written & directed by Kevin Rapp)
Reflex Action is the directorial debut of independent filmmaker Kevin Rapp, who three years later went on to do the independent horror flick Devoured: The Legend of Alfred Packer (full film) before falling off the face of the earth. Lynch appears as the "ruthless drug lord" Mr Smith. The plot, from the back cover of the DVD: "Emotionally scarred after a disastrous covert mission overseas, Special Forces soldier Quinn Taylor (Michael Baldoz) returns home to the Arizona-Mexico border, just in time to stop the sale of his family's land to international drug lords. Quinn's refusal to sell threatens the completion of an underground drug trafficking route between Mexico and the United States – initiating a battle in the War On Drugs against a ruthless enemy with unlimited firepower. His personal honor, his family's safety and the National Security at stake, Quinn and his foster brother (Michael Guerin of Curse of the Puppet Master [1998 / trailer] and Prison of the Dead [2000 / trailer]) take the gangsters on underground in an explosive match of wits, weapons and will power." Few people seem to have seen this film, but of those who have, Tobin Yamamura (of the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival) finds that "Reflex Action delivers with exceptional martial arts scenes and menacing villains, but it is the smoldering heat from a hot new actress (Monique) that ads the final spice ingredient to this independent film," while at the imdb max von meyerling of New York says that "The thin non plot just seems to consist of contrived opportunities to look at Michael Baldoz with his shirt off. What they saved on wardrobe for Mr. Baldoz they more than made up for with the body waxing. [...] Soft-core porn for the guys who buy Playgirl" Sounds good to us, were it true – Playgirl shows sausage, this film does not.


Outta Time
(2002, dir. Lorena David)
Lynch's second (and last) film for Lorena David, the director of Eastside (1999); as in that film, the non-actor Mario "Hot Ass" Lopez plays the lead. The Film Fiend says "the film follows the adventures of an injured soccer player (Lopez) who resorts to smuggling serums into Mexico to help pay for his bloated college tuition. In other words, there's plenty of stiff acting, ridiculous low-budget action, and an elderly Richard Lynch to feed those starving for something hollow and impossibly easy to digest." John Saxon plays Dr Darabont, the bad guy who hires Lopez, while Richard Lynch plays the über-bad guy Franco for whom Darabont works.
Trailer:
Crime and Punishment
(2002, dir. Menahem Golan)
Menahem Golan rewrites Fyodor Dostoevsky to produce a modern day version of his classic novel about sin and redemption. Great names appear in the film – Crispin Glover (of Willard [2003]), Vanessa Redgrave, John Hurt, Margot Kidder, John Neville, Ron Perlman and Richard Lynch – but boy, does it suck. Filmed in 1993, legal problems kept it from being released until 2002. Plot: Rodion (Crispin Glover) kills a nasty old lady, feels guilty, emotes a lot, eventually turns himself in.
Trailer:


Curse of the Forty-Niner
(2002, dir. John Carl Buechler)
Aka Miner's Massacre. Richard Lynch makes a rare appearance in a horror film as Old Man Prichard; he, along with John Phillip Law (of Night Train to Terror [1985]), Karen Black (of House of 1,000 Corpses [2003]) and Jeff Conaway (of Alien Intruder [1992]) are the best actors in a film populated by young, good-looking faceless slasher fodder. In regard to this flick, Final Girl says: "Sweet merciful crap, what a bad movie." Eat Horror says "This is a paint-by-numbers slasher flick about a group of idiots who go looking for gold in a cursed mine. A gnarly old prospector comes back to life and jealously guards his loot by killing everyone in the area. This is cheap and extremely cheesy stuff with terribly hammy acting." Dr Gore is more forgiving, and gives the film "3 out of 4 Elinas in action" because "Miner's Massacre has three to five hot babes, depending on your definition of hot. The only one who shows a bit of nudity is Elina Madison. [...] So a bunch of teens decide to go to a gold mine. Unfortunately for them, there is a zombie miner there who wants the gold all for himself. [...] I enjoyed Miner's Massacre. It was a simple and straight forward slasher flick. Annoying teens show up, they should die for being alive and the miner is happy to accommodate them."
Trailer:


Ancient Warriors
(2003, dir. Walter von Huene)
Going by the user reviews at imdb, most people who have watched this film use the fast-forward button a lot – going by the total lack of quality with which the trailer below was made, a believable concept. Walter von Huene hasn't directed a film since this turkey. The plot, according to Film Monthly: "Curtis Mayhew (Richard Lynch) is a terminally ill billionaire who believes the government is responsible for his wife's death. Seeking revenge, he and a band of mercenaries begin to develop biochemical weapons. Obsessed with the legend of the Ancient Warriors and their life-giving potion, he begins a desperate search for the cure, blowing up deserted mines and destroying the beautiful island [of Sardinia] in the process. Special Forces Captain Aldo Paccione (Franco Columbu) lives on Sardinia and learns of Mayhew's evil activities and is determined to stop him at any cost. He enlists the help of Jaz (Daniel Baldwin of Vampires [1998]) and their former World Team Delta Force. Deep within the mines, Aldo, his team, and the Ancient Warriors wage a supernatural battle against Curtis Mayhew in his quest for magical healing and fierce revenge."
Trailer:


 Corpses Are Forever
(2003, written & directed by Jose Prendes)
Racks & Razors, whence the nice drawing above was taken, offers the following plot description to Jose Prendes's second directorial effort: "A young government secret agent named Malcolm Grant (Jose Prendes) awakens with amnesia in a post-apocalyptic world in permanent darkness and overrun by the living dead and it's also dark all through the hours as the gates of hell have blown open. To find answers to his hidden in his conscious he teams up with an army led by a man named General Morton (Richard Lynch) and to stop the zombies and finding the source to do so. However, Malcolm realizes that Morton is the devil controlling the zombies and his wife Marguerite (Debbie Rochon of Nikos the Impaler [2003]) is also working with Morton and is trying to kill Malcolm. Malcolm has a little help with a spirit corpse named Elli Kroger (Linnea Quigley of Creepozoids [1987]), whom he has encountered a long time ago when she was alive and helps him survive being eaten alive by the zombies." Dr Gore rates this film as "Landfill", calling it "A sick joke of a horror flick. It is supposed to be some sort of zombie flick but it's all a lie. The movie is just an excuse to gather some B-movie divas together so that the filmmakers could waste their time. Mission accomplished." Analog Medium, which says that Jose Prendes "sports a goatee that looks like someone shit on his chin," is pretty much in agreement with Dr Gore: "CORPSES ARE FOREVER IS A PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!! [...] I haven't quite seen a movie like it since I graduated San Francisco State University film school. Corpses Are Forever is on par with the absolute worst piece-of-shit movies I saw worthless film students shit out. It's a horrible, awful, terrible movie, yet you can tell that the people making it didn't quite realize that they would have done more for their careers by getting a job at the local Denny's." (Perhaps neither of them knew that this flick was from The Asylum – one shouldn't expect anything remotely tinged with quality when watching an Asylum production.) ZombieRama.com was about the only website we could find that had anything half-way nice to say about the film: "Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Richard Lynch turn in game performances, but Prendes is only passable, and the rest of the cast made me wince."
Trailer:




The Mummy's Kiss
(2003, written & directed by Donald F. Glut)
 
Ah, the fate of ageing character actors – at one point or another, they always get caught in titty films. Not a bad job, if you ask us. Renaissance Man Donald F. Glut, who also made the much-detested titty horror film The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula (2001), has made a lot of bad titty horror films and, aside from Lynch, has worked with even more illustrious fading B-actors: his Dinosaur Valley Girls (1996) was William Marshall's last film, while Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood (2004) has Paul Naschy. But whoever he has in his auteur films, the biggest impression left is usually caused by all the freely jiggling silicone. In regard to The Mummy's Kiss, Movies About Girls says "Given that the sub-sub-genre is pretty tiny, I am going to go ahead and call Mummy's Kiss the Citizen Kane (1941 / trailer) of softcore lesbian mummy movies." On the other hand, Dr Gore, the ultimate connoisseur B-film boobies, disagrees; he is of the opinion that "Mummy's Kiss is not a good softcore flick nor is it a good B-movie. It's too serious and somber for a movie about a horny mummy babe. The sex scenes are weak. On the plus side, there are a lot of topless women but I was dismayed that the hot Asian teaching assistant didn't get topless until the very end. Dismayed I say. April Flowers AKA Diana Espen showed up for the party but they didn't give her much to do. She had a short sex scene with Regina Russell but it was over before you know it. The only saving grace for this one was Mia Zottoli. I love that Mediterranean look. Dark hair, dark skin. Not to mention the fact that her breasts are perfect. Hey, I just liked watching her walk around the college campus. That mummy knows how to strut." Plot? Let's go to The Video Graveyard for that: "[...] Another solidly made erotic horror flick this time set at Whemple University where a mummy is woken from its sarcophagus and takes female form (of the large-chested Ava Niche [aka Mia Zottoli]) in order to try and seduce young student Sasha Peralta who's a reincarnation of her former lover and who can bring her back to mortal life by stealing her heart (literally). With a cast filled with good-looking women, an okay looking mummy (designed by effects veteran John Carl Buechler) and a script that tries for more plot than most of this type[...]." Richard Lynch shows up as "Dr. Wallis Harwa."
We couldn't find a trailer, but the full NSFW film can be watched for free at this Russian website.


Wedding Slashers
(2006, dir. Carlos Scott)
Another direct-to-video movie, and seemingly the only one Carlos Scott has made to date. Arrow in the Head wasn't thrilled, as the following synopsis reveals: "Jenna (Jessica Kinney) is just a small town girl running from a mysterious past, hoping that marriage will be the key to a new life. But when her inbred clan come looking for her, murderously eliminating any and all in her wedding party so they can bring her home to marry her cousin, will any one of these really bad actors survive the hokey antics and piss-poor costuming of the Wedding Slashers! I know I almost didn't. Not even with beer." Dr. Gore, who rented the film only because Maria Ford was in it, enjoyed it more, despite the low boobie count: "Although she wasn't in the movie for very long, I still enjoyed seeing Ford going through the horror movie motions. It's comforting to see a familiar face even if Ford's was hacked to pieces. Wedding Slashers is a fun B-movie. It doesn't waste a lot of time on filler and other sleep-inducing scenes. You pay to see people get sliced and diced at a wedding and that's what you get. There are plenty of gory scenes as the guest list gets trimmed by the homicidal bride's family. Ford's early demise was a classic that I had to rewind a couple of times to get the full, blood-gushing effect. Wedding Slashers has heads being lopped off, eyes getting popped out and other wholesome scenes of carnage." Richard Lynch plays the hick homicidal "daddy."
Trailer:


Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy
(2007, dirs. Jeff Burr & Chip Gubera)
Here at A Wasted Life, we've only ever seen one luchador film: Santo Versus the Vampire Women (1962 / full film), and we though it totally fly – it was one of those films that turned us into bad film fanatics. The how and the why of the directorial team Jeff Burr (the director of The Offspring [1987 / trailer] and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 [1990 / trailer], among other genre efforts) and Chip Gubera (the director of the totally obscure zombie rock opera Song of the Dead [2005 / trailer]) doing an English-language luchador film is a bit beyond our comprehension, but according to B-Movie Nation, "The atmosphere [of Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy] faithfully echoes the original lucha/monster films, but with a modern twist. The filmmakers avoid adding any gratuitous grindhouse elements to spice it up – there is no nudity and the violence is minimal. However, the film is non-stop action from first bell to final pin. There is also humor, [but...] this is a sincere continuation of a cherished cinematic tradition, not a tongue-in-cheek parody, and it is also the first lucha film made in America. How's that for improving border relations?" The film also stars the "Big Three" of the genre (Máscaras, Blue Demon and Santo) – and features Richard Lynch as the President of the United States. The plot, according to Wikipedia: "An Aztec mummy is resurrected in a ceremony in which the blood of a human sacrifice is dripped onto the mummified remains. The mummy possesses a scepter with a jewel that can be used to control people's minds for purposes of world conquest. Mil Máscaras learns of the mummy's plans and is determined to thwart him. When the scepter fails to do so, the mummy attempts to control Mil's mind by exploiting the hallucinogenic effects of Aztec magic mushrooms and the allure of identical twin seductresses..."
Trailer:


Halloween
(2007, dir. Rob Zombie)
Never having been true fans of Carpenter's original version of Halloween (1978 / trailer), we never bothered to see Rob Zombie's remake. No one seems to have liked the remake, but obviously it did well enough – it earned a sequel, Halloween II (2009 / trailer) and Halloween III is currently in planning. Even when we don't like Zombie's films – we weren't too taken by House of 1,000 Corpses – what we do love is his tendency to populate his movies with genre greats and forgottens; aside from his growing repertoire of standard actors – Sid Haig (of Black Mama, White Mama [1972]), Bill Moseley, the eternally unjustly criticized Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe (of Larva [2005]), Ken Foree and Danny Trejo, in Halloween he also found space for Brad Dourif, Clint Howard, Udo Kier, Dee Wallace (of Scream and Run [2005]), Sybil Danning, Micky Dolenz and, the reason we're here, Richard Lynch, who is seen briefly as Principal Chambers. Plot synopsis – as if one is needed.
Trailer:


Laid to Rest
(2009, written & directed by Robert Hall)
A slasher flick directed by a special effects artist, which explains the good effects in the unrated version, Laid to Rest did well enough to garner a sequel two years later, ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011 / trailer), also written and directed by Hall. Richard Lynch's part, as "Mr. Jones", is of course way too small for him to be seen in the trailer. The plot description that seems to be used on dozens of websites, including ObscureHorror.com: "The story of a young girl (Bobby Sue Luther) who wakes up in a casket with a head injury and no memory of her identity. She quickly realizes she was abducted by a deranged killer in a rural town and she must survive the night from a killer who is hell-bent on finishing what he started." The deranged tech-savvy killer is dubbed Chrome Skull because of the mask he wears. Over at Oh the Horror, they found the film clever up until the first knife-in-the-head murder, but that "unfortunately, that knife to the head makes for a great image that metaphorically sums up just what happens to the film at that point. Basically, any hopes [...of a...] wry, clever, self-aware slashers were swiftly stabbed away, leaving only a script that's either braindead itself or aggressively insistent on the viewer leaving their brain at the door. Either way, brainlessness is a pre-requisite for enjoying Laid to Rest." Prior to the knife in the head, however, there is a rebar through a body – the body of the funeral director Mr. Jones (Lynch), who runs the parlor where the coffin is in which the young girl awakens.
Trailer:


Chrome Angels
(2009, written & directed by Leigh Scott)
 
Leigh Scott is also responsible for The Asylum flick Transmorphers (2007), which gives you an idea of what to expect with this Z-flick, which happens to be the swan song to date of actor Paul Le Mat (of Death Valley [1982 / trailer], Puppet Master [1989 / trailer] and Strange Invaders [1983 / trailer]) as the nutcase who makes the androids – he's spread 3500 of them, with built-in atom bombs, across the USA. Plot: Babes with guns with an odd boyfriend or two in tow vs. androids and a big robot. Richard Lynch appears in a flashback scene explaining the high cost of freedom to one of the babes with guns. Movies about Girls says "As far as I can tell, Chrome Angels was made specifically for the Syfy Network, so it's hobbled, like all of their made-for productions, by a glaring lack of nudity, graphic violence, and cuss-words. While any or all of those elements would have been wonderful additions to this goofy girl-on-robot battle royale, Chrome Angels is still a frequently delightful bit of low-budget nonsense, filled to capacity with hot chicks shooting off fifty zillion rounds of ammo in between cringe-worthy bouts of melodramatic girl-bonding and nonsensical flashbacks [...]."
Trailer:


 Dark Fields
(2009, dir. Douglas Schulze)
Douglas Schulze made this directorial debut with the trashy Hellmaster (1992 / trailer) and, most recently, had some minor success with Mimesis (2011 / trailer). But in general, he and his genre films are as unknown as this obscure but interesting if lengthy horror film (aka The Rain). OK, we probably all know who the first three people are on the poster (David Carradine, Richard Lynch and Dee Wallace), but do you know who Ellen Sandweiss is? Yeah, we didn't either – her claim to fame is playing Ash's tree-raped sister in Sam Rami's Evil Dead (1981 / trailer), which was pretty much all she did till 2006/07, when she suddenly popped up in films like Satan's Playground (2006 / full film), My Name Is Bruce (2007 / trailer) and Brutal Massacre: A Comedy (2007 / trailer). Killer Reviews, which dislikes Dark Fields, offers the following synopsis: "Set in the remote farming community of Perseverance, The Rain follows three families who experience a similar horror yet each lives in a different century. It begins in 1866 as the drought-stricken farming community turns to child sacrifice to bring healing rains to their land. Then in 1954 the descendants unearth an old relic that demands further payment for the sins of their forefathers. The third tale is set in modern day as a young girl is struck with a horrible affliction. She is soon faced with an insidious rite of passage that involves sacrificing her younger siblings so that a supernatural rain may be summoned to cure her and the community's ongoing curse."
Trailer:


Lewisburg
(2010, written & directed by William James Kennedy)
We have our doubts that this independent comedy has ever even been released on VHS or DVD, as we couldn't find an image of either on the web, but there is a trailer to the movie floating around on the web. The plot of this road movie is one of (chose your metaphor) fishes in the wrong pond or babes in the wood – to slightly alter the plot summary on imdb, which was supplied by Mari Yanuzzi Productions, the producers of the film: "After a late night of heavy drinking in a New York City pub, two middle-aged mob types (Willy [Liam O'Neil] & Sal [Sal Giglia]) embark on a long overdue road trip to visit Lewisburg Federal Prison in Pennsylvania. Along the way they decide to leave the interstate to eat and to nurse their hangovers. They encounter an attractive hitchhiker, Rita (Mari Yanuzzi), who directs them to a local pub and then steals their car. In pursuit of the femme fatale, they are sought after for burglary, before fleeing into the woods to the waiting gun barrels of Neo-Nazis (Richard Lynch), who mistakes them for federal agents. Time after time, the efforts of the sharp city duo are thwarted by the so-called, dumb hicks, including a weird night clerk played by Don Calfa (of Chopper Chicks in Zombietown [1989]). After Rita finally returns their vehicle the duo come to terms on how smart they really are and what is truly important in life." Lynch is seen in the trailer.
Trailer:


Resurrection
(2010, dir. Jeff Burr)
 
Lynch in another film by the ever-productive independent auteur Jeff Burr. An actor named Jim O'Rear has the following to say about the film on his blog: "Resurrection is a story about genetically modified corn that causes a town to go crazy. When a couple of college kids return home over the Easter holiday weekend, they find themselves caught up in a world gone mad. The film features Kayla Gill, Ervin Ross, and Shay Baker as the kids fighting for their lives against a town full of crazies. I play Dr. Tim Neilson, a scientist who uncovers the genetic plot and tries to stop the epidemic before it spreads further […]. The film also features the legendary Richard Lynch and a special appearance by Lloyd Kaufman." Think: either version of The Crazies (1973 / trailer or 2010 / trailer) or, to use small-town Europe, maybe even Rollin's Grapes of Death (1978 / French trailer). According to the credits listing at imdb, Lynch plays the President. Resurrection is currently in post-production.
Trailer:


Gun of the Black Sun
(2011, dir. Jeff Burr)
Bad music video to what surely must be a bad film:
For the last time, Lynch in yet another film by the ever-productive independent auteur Jeff Burr. This time Lynch plays the main bad guy, Damian Lupescu, in a low budget English production shot in Romania – effectively, Gun of the Black Sun is Lynch's last starring role and the his first "English" film. The lead good guy, Axel O'Rourke, is played by Gary Douglas, who also wrote and produced the film. He supplied the following synopsis on imdb: "A Nazi Luger pistol from WW II with dark and mystical powers re-emerges in modern day Bucharest and is taken to London. En-route, it falls into the hands of a media mogul intent on using its power to bring the return of the Fourth Reich through technology and music." (Bad music, going by the music video above.) In a well-written review of the film on the website HeyUGuysCoUK, Dave Roper says: "For a film of pretty meagre resources, Gun of the Black Sun is [...] pretty densely plotted. [...] Perhaps the problem though is the clash of tones and styles, with initial scenes revolving around cigarette smuggling, UK biker culture and pubs and clubs giving way to something altogether more fantastical by the end, which feels like part Highlander (1986 / trailer), part End of Days (1999 / trailer), part supernatural horror/thriller. For the first half of the sensibly brief running time (90-odd minutes) everything moves along pretty well. [...] Unfortunately as the film enters the home straight, everything begins to fall apart. [...] Yet again we have a great idea for a film clumsily mishandled in the execution as yet another good opportunity to make a guilty but enjoyable pleasure goes wasted. Disappointing and all the more so for the relatively promising start."
Trailer:


The Lords of Salem
(2012, written & directed by Rob Zombie)
Viral tease / title track music video:

To swipe the plot synopsis used at both Wikipedia and imdb: "Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a blonde rock chick, DJs at the local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey [Jeff Daniel Phillips] and Munster [Ken Foree]) forms part of the 'Big H Radio Team'. A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, 'a gift from the Lords'. She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords' record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords' record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon Heidi and her cohorts find that the gig is far from the rock spectacle they're expecting; the original Lords of Salem are returning, and they're out for blood."
Lynch's last film; he plays Reverend John Hawthorne. Currently in post-production, The Lords of Salem is due out later this year.
Fan-made cast review:
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