Entries Tagged 'moon shot' ↓

Day 13 – "I got my beer, my sex partner…I’m fine."

Hey, happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Don't worry, despite the fact that nearly every entry in that storied franchise appeared on the big ol' list back in 2020, I'm not going to discuss any of the antics of Jason or Pamela or Roy today. Lawd knows I've talked and written and drawn more about it than any one simple human probably should. But still, today is a slasher high holiday, is it not? So I got out my oversized novelty magnifying glass (that is usually reserved for my detective work) and scoured the aforementioned list until a slasher I've never seen caught my eye, and that slasher is...

Widely considered one of the worst slasher films of all time, I had to give Blood Lake a chance and try to figure out what one brave citizen-reader might love about it enough to call it a favorite horror movie.

Ah, 1987. It was a time of tennis sweaters, Swatches, and barely-there muscle tees. It was not a time for slashers, as the heyday was well in the rearview mirror and the subgenre was drowning in the dregs. But "heyday"s and the such have never stopped anyone with a dream, and history has proven that there are countless people out there whose dream it is to make a slasher movie--especially people who have access to a camcorder.

Yes, Blood Lake is perhaps the quintessential shot-on-video slasher flick, filmed by a group of mostly-friends who basically said "Hey, want to make a horror movie?" while on vacation. Knowing that, you mostly know what you're going to get. Perhaps you will be more amenable to its charms if you've made one of these movies yourself, or if you're an SOV enthusiast. Even so, you might find that Blood Lake will truly test your mettle as you are pushed to the brink with how much padding you can endure.

That said, we do get a delightful kill in the first minute of the film, when our killer Jed (Tiny Frazier), sporting his signature look of tucking one pant leg into his cowboy boot (talk about iconic!), walks up to a gardener whilst brandishing a knife. The gardener says "I just work here," to which Jed replies "That's good enough for me!" and then stabs him. All this before the credits! 

Credits, I might add, that are accompanied by the mild hair metal stylings of an Oklahoma-local group called Voyager. Further, the credits are in the Garfield font and no matter how many sins Blood Lake might commit, I cannot and will not be mad at a horror movie that uses the Garfield font for its opening and closing credits. 

That there boss as hell t-top Firebird is driven by Mike (Doug Barry, who also wrote Blood Lake) (yes, Blood Lake had a writer), and his precious cargo includes not only that powerboat but also his girlfriend Becky, another couple (Kim and Bryan), tween girl Susan, and Mike's tween brother, THEEE real star of this show, Li'l Tony. Li'l Tony is the mulleted, punk-ass, misogynist, virgin sex pest 12-year-old who will delight you with lines like "Hey Mike, are you gonna be a butthole this weekend, or are you gonna let me drink?" I wish Li'l Tony was in every movie, horror or otherwise.

The King

This gang is headed to Becky's family's house (aka the family house of lead actress Angela Darter) for a weekend of the kinds of things that slasher movie characters get up to on their weekend getaways. But here's where Blood Lake differs from movies with, you know, actual budgets and production companies and actors: rather than actually doing the sex, they just talk about the sex they are gonna do. They do "party," by which I mean we watch them play a game of Quarters in real time as most of them turn down the joint being passed around, and one person "chugs" a third of a beer. It is a very long scene.

During the day, in another scene that is very long and then you think it's over and then it continues for a lot more time, the gang--joined now by a couple of local fellows--goes water skiing. This interminable passage is accompanied by a Voyager track, one whose sick guitar riffs and repeated cries of "feelin' freeeeeee!" will likely be stuck in your head for a while. I'm not sure whether or not that is a complaint, or if any of this is a complaint, really, because somehow--despite my brain rationally recognizing that I was mired in abject tedium--I was under the spell of Blood Lake's very distinct charms.

feelin' freeeeeee!

While watching Blood Lake, you would not be remiss if you found yourself wondering if that pre-credits kill was the only kill in the film. But lo! about an hour in, Jed makes his move. We get the de rigueur killer POV shot as he stalks his victims, but Jed-vision is red. Is this meant to imply that Jed is a Terminator? Or he is supernatural? Or is he literally "seeing red" because he is so mad? Blood Lake leaves the interpretation up to your discretion, because director Tim Boggs refuses to spoon-feed his audience.

A couple of people end up stabbed, and the effects are about what you'd expect from a backyard slasher movie with a likely budget of "pizza for the cast."

What are Jed's motivations for turning Lake Cedar, Oklahoma into Blood Lake, Oklahoma? Well, it turns out that Becky's father bought that house from him but never paid for it, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. (Don't think about it.) I will leave the bizarre coda for those of you brave (or foolish) enough to endure Blood Lake on your own. No need to thank me! Your inevitable joy over experiencing Li'l Tony is thanks enough.

Blood Lake features a moon shot, so you know it's night time

"Endure" really is the right word to use when it comes to this movie. It bears all the hallmarks of shot-on-video cinema: amateur acting, garbled sound, terrible effects, bad lighting, a dreadful pace, and on and on. But it's also true that "charming" is the right word to use for it, even if those charms will not be enough to carry it for the vast, vast majority of viewers (it definitely has that reputation I spoke of for a reason). 

Maybe it's because it captures and exudes that feeling of "Anybody wanna make a movie?" to those of us who have done that very same thing. Maybe it's because this group of friends actually feels like a group of friends, unlike the friends in every other slasher movie. Maybe it's because there's what's gotta be the Oklahoma of it all, which means characters can be oddly, unfailingly polite with each other, shaking hands and thanking a host for having them over to party. Maybe it's because characters will say things like "We shouldn't be fishing. We should be diving--muff diving!" but it's practically a PG-13 movie at best.

Maybe it's because Li'l Tony.

So, fair warning to those of you who may want to give it a go, you may regret that choice and every choice you ever made that led you to that moment. But to the reader who christened Blood Lake a favorite: you are seen. I see you. 

But as to why my POV is red, you'll never know!

Day 5: “I’ve never felt like this before.”

It's a wonder to me that Mausoleum and I have both been walking this planet since 1983, yet last night marked the first time we'd crossed paths. Approximately three minutes after I started playing the DVD, I realized that I'd found my one true soulmate. It doesn't matter where Mausoleum has been all my life- the important thing is that we've found each other at last, and we're now destined to walk the earth together!

Whilst visiting her mother's grave, li'l Susan decides she no longer wants to live with her Aunt Cora. She takes off running through the graveyard, stopping only when she hears someone whisper-singing her name. She peeks inside one mausoleum, but then spots another one across the way that's far more interesting in that it features its own weather system.

She enters the crypt, which is all lit up in greens and purples like the finest Spencer's Gifts. We learn that this is the tomb of the Nomed family...yes, NOMED. That's some seriously Nilbog shit, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, a clawed hand rises from the sarcophagus, things that defy explanation happen, and Susan's eyes light up all green and make a laser noise. The girl done went and got herself possessed!

Fast forward! Susan is now all grown up- she's portrayed by ex-Playboy Bunny Bobbie Bresee and she's married to Marjoe fucking Gortner. A charmed life, you say? It's easy to assume so, but there's a dark side to this fairytale existence! See, a woman of Susan's...err, attributes finds herself constantly subjected to the lechy gaze of creepy weirdo peeping tom gardeners and creepy weirdo Dan Haggerty-esque disco patrons.

All Susan wanted to do was go dancing with her husband (yes, Marjoe fucking Gortner disco dances!), but that Dan Haggerty-esque jerk made it so difficult that she was left with no choice but to use her magic green gaze to set his car on fire while he was locked inside.

The next day, the creepy gardener makes a bold pass at Susan while her husband is at work- her eyes get their green on and we know it's time for some demonic justice! But not before we bear witness to an eerily silent montage that clues us in as to just what, in fact, a gardener does with his day after making a pass at his employer:

He puts down fertilizer!

He mows the lawn!

He reads whilst eating lunch!

He takes a nap on the dock!

He sharpens his axe...

...and uses it!

Finally, Susan gets around to launching Operation: Get Back At The Grope-y Gardener: she strolls out onto her balcony wearing only a towel, then sips Riunite as if she's straight from a Jackie Collins novel.

Okay, in reality that's only Phase One of her plan. She continues the seduction approximately 9 hours later, when it's pitch black outside...insert helpful moon shot!

Susan's plan includes actually sleeping with the gardener- boy, this really teaches him a lesson! He suggests they partake in another round, but instead, Susan does her green-eyed thing, turns into some sort of a monster, and kills him with a garden implement. Okay, I guess that really teaches him a lesson.

Soon enough, Susan's victims don't actually have to trespass against her in order for her to unleash the NOMED lurking inside. Poor Aunt Cora, for example, shows up for a visit only to find herself floating around and killed dead thanks to her monsteriffic niece.

One person spared Susan's wrath is Elsie the maid (LaWanda Page...yes, Aunt Esther from Sanford & Son!). Intended as comic relief, Elsie is, in fact, a whopping slice of politically incorrect pie. Yet while she's given to saying things like "Great googily moogily!", Elsie is a rarity in that she's a black character who makes it 'til the end of the picture. When faced with a green fog emanating from Susan's bedroom, Elsie admits there's "Some strange shit goin' on in this house!", yells "No more grievin', I'm leavin'!", and splits.

There's so much more to Mausoleum, but I don't want to give away the whole package, as everyone should be allowed to discover it for him- or herself. Director Michael Dugan has truly given the world a gift! However, a few highlights:

- Susan undergoes hypnosis where she reveals her NOMED nature and corn teeth!

- There's the use of the term "facial fantasy"
- Dialogue includes "Yes...there's a history of possession."
- When possessed, Susan's depravity has no limits- she steals art from the mall!
- Something happens- I cannot reveal what it is, for you must witness it with your own eyes, but suffice it to say, it causes Marjoe fucking Gortner to pull what can only be called a Ridiculous Face of Pre-Death:

- While Mausoleum makes no sense as a whole, the very last shot of the film is so illogical that it actually defies the laws of science and mathematics. Even if you've never seen the film, your guess as to what the fuck is going on here is as good as mine:

- Then we get the end credits, which feature a tender song called "Free Again", written and sung by Frank Primato. It boasts lyrics like "Let's blow the fire dead...that's burning in my head..." and it's every bit as dreadful as you think it would be.

In case you haven't guessed, Mausoleum is a terrible, terrible film. The acting is horrendous, the dialogue atrocious, and the timing between the players is so off that every scene comes across like rejected audition tapes. There's a charm to Bobbie Bresee, but it's one borne of a performance that feels bathed in quaaludes. The sound is awful, as if there's a muted coffee pot percolating somewhere just off camera for the duration of the film. The direction is all but incompetent at times with dull compositions, pointless zooms and pans, and bizarre insert shots. The end of the film, featuring the "exorcism" (I use that term wicked loosely), takes 20 minutes but should only take seven. The creature effects, by genre vet John Carl Buechler, are '80s-style cheesy.

All of that is true, but oh how I loved this movie! I never wanted it to end, ever. On a scale of 1-10, I'd honestly rate it infinity. Lawd help me, it's true- the depths of deliciousness achieved are face-rockingly limitless. Forgive me, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon...step aside, Pieces...there's a new love of my life, and its name is Mausoleum!