Entries Tagged 'moustaches' ↓

The Witches Mountain

I knew going in that Category 7 of Operation: 101010, movies pulled from my 50-packs, would frequently cause me to find myself swept up in a Category 7 storm of crap. If the Spanish film The Witches Mountain (1972), the first film I'm ticking off that list, is any indication...well, I may have to upgrade it to a Category 10 and call in Nancy McKeon or Randy Quaid or someone else who's portrayed a Stormologist to help me survive.

Now, I'm not gonna lie: the first five minutes of The Witches Mountain are completely awesome and completely insane. As some of the softest soft rock plays, a woman arrives home and finds that someone has plunged a knife through a wig, pinning it to her front lawn. Wanton wig abuse! I was immediately smitten with this movie.

She goes upstairs and spies her cat all bloodied and dead on her bed. A little girl comes in, calls the woman an infidel, admits to the kittycide, then heads to the garage to play with her pet snake (not a euphemism). The woman follows and...promptly SETS THE CHILD ON FIRE. Cue The Witch Chorus Singers (redundant I know, but it sounds better), the opening credits, and a look of What the fuckery? that would remain until it was time to cue the end credits.

Wait, there are no end credits in The Witches Mountain...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Whenever I set a child on fire, the first thing I want to do afterward is go on a nice vacation with my boyfriend. This mystery woman is no different, so she gets two tickets to one paradise or another and tells Mario (Cihangir Gaffari) to pack a bag. Mario is the very picture of delightful 70s sleaze, from his fluffy proto-mullet to his ambitious moustache to his chest carpet and medallion. He is kind of amazing.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone that a moment ago the woman SET A CHILD ON FIRE.

Perhaps he can sense that she's a nutcake, or perhaps he's just a cad. Whatever the case, Mario declines the offer of a free vacation and calls his boss to ask for a new "photo assignment" starting, like, now.

Mario must be a photographer for the CIA or something, because all we ever find out about his assignment is that he must go take some pictures of some mountains. Where, exactly? Eh, somewhere in the Pyrenees, it looks like. Why, exactly? 'Tis a mystery.

Along the way, Mario stops to take some photographs of a woman out sunbathing. The two begin talking and the woman, Delia (Patty Shepard) agrees to accompany Mario on his trip. This makes total sense. I mean, who wouldn't drive for hours deep into the middle of nowhere with a total stranger? It's not like anyone knows where she's going, so no one's going to bitch that it's a bad idea.

Anyway, they end up at a hotel run by Andorra's own answer to Marty Feldman. He is kind of amazing.

Thus begins our slog through the excruciating middle 65 minutes of The Witches Mountain. People talk, people sleep. Mario takes some pictures. Delia sleepwalks. They encounter a mysterious goat herder. They walk around. They say everything twice to the Marty Feldman innkeeper because he's deaf. Delia says she sees a face in the window in her room, but as usual, the picture is too dark for me to see anything.

mysterious goat herder

At one point, Mario and Delia are out taking pictures- well, Mario is talking pictures...Delia just sort of stands there- and someone drives off in their Jeep. They run after it and find it abandoned far down the road, outside of some little village that appears abandoned. It turns out that one house is occupied by a little old witchy-looking woman who claims she knows nothing of the Jeep thievery and she's totally the only person around.

Hey, remember when that woman set that kid on fire? Me too.

Mario and Delia invite themselves to stay with the old woman. Lest the sounds of The Witch Chorus Singers (they're back) lead you to think something is actually going to happen...well, don't get your hopes up because we're still ensconced in the 65-minute negative zone. They talk, they sleep, the old woman makes a big cauldron of something or other, Delia sleepwalks, Mario goes out and takes pictures. He stays out too long and after the sun goes down, the eeeevil fog rolls in. He gets lost, but spots some robed figures carrying torches and singing; yes, I think we've found The Witch Chorus Singers' Secret Hideout.

The next morning, Mario makes his way back to the old woman's house. He busts out his portable picture developing kit and...develops his pictures, anxious to see those robed figures again. The pictures of them are blank- however, random women appear in other photographs despite the fact that Mario did not see them and what's even more eerie, there's a photo of Mario and Delia that they did not take. Then some women drag the old woman out of her humble abode.

Finally, some GD action and stuff in this movie! Mario and Delia follow. They end up at the spot where The Witch Chorus Singers were hanging out...then they leave. Then Mario goes back. Then Mario finds some blood on a rock. Then I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that The Witches Mountain will probably never make any sense.

Now, I'm going to sum up the rest of the film using this series of rapid fire questions my roommate asked me when it was over. My answers are in parenthesis:
  • So, they grab her...and she wears a bridal gown? (yes)
  • Then she's in a dungeon? (y-yes)
  • And there's...a hairy, oily guy in there? (umm...)
  • And the witches are dancing? (It's like a failed musical.)
  • Then someone hits him over the head? The lead guy. (I think so.)
  • Then the girl he likes runs away? (yeah)
  • And he chases her. (yes)
  • And she runs off a cliff. (that was awesome!)
  • So he sets the village on fire. (It looked like it...)
  • Then all the witches are at his house. (I guess so.)
THE END, no credits.

The Witches Mountain leaves one with oh so many questions. What's the deal with the witches? And the bridal veil? And the dungeon? And the guy in the dungeon? And...why? And what the fuck is the thing that one of the witches is holding at the end? Seriously, your guess is as good as mine: I see a door hinge and a Zuni Fetish Doll.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE WOMAN WHO SET A CHILD ON FIRE? Well, she was there at the very end, but that doesn't explain anything. Oh, Witches Mountain, thou art verily a place of mystery.

This movie is so, so bad. So bad. Bad. Bad movie. If it consisted solely of the first and last 5-minute portions, though, I'd be sitting on a 50-pack of gold! The Witch Chorus Singers are purely and simply awesome, and they need to be heard by all. How you can achieve this without sitting through the film, I don't know. It may not be possible, but it may be worth the risk.

Nah, that's not true. The Witches Mountain may be a bad movie that's just plain bad. That's so hard for me to say, especially because of all the wig violence and singing and Mario's moustache. Siiigh.

greetings from Camp Arawak part 2

In the midst of all of the hullabaloo surrounding the upcoming Return to Sleepaway Camp, the fourth film in the series, I thought I'd take a moment to make a list I've decided to call

Some Things I Love About Sleepaway Camp

Christ, that's clever! And yes, I know there's no "hullabaloo" surrounding Return to Sleepaway Camp. First off, "hullabaloo" was today's highlighted word on my Word-A-Day desk calendar and I wanted to use it in a sentence- I mean, how else am I going to remember it? Secondly, I just wanted to pretend there's some hullabaloo going on to add a little spice to this boring Friday afternoon. Is that so wrong? To want some pizazz? To want to turn this post from the equivalent of dull, rote calisthenics to the equivalent of exciting, death-defying Jazzercise?

And no, I don't actually have a Word-A-Day desk calendar, but I don't really see how that makes any difference. Get off my fucking back already!

It goes without saying that there are bound to be spoilers on this list. It also goes without saying that if you've yet to see Sleepaway Camp, you should probably leave right now and not come back until you've seen it. We don't want your kind around these parts, unseer!

Some Things I Love About Sleepaway Camp

1) Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo), the jacked-up counselor who wears super-tight tops, super-short shorts that create disturbing crotch bulges, and matching tennies.

2) "You're just jealous!" Omifuckinggod, Judy, yes we are! I love Judy and her sour attitude, her massive side-ponytail, and the shirt she wears with her name on it. I want one...yeah, one that says "Judy".

3) Death by bees, death by hot water, death by boat, death by curling iron...despite the low-budget, there are some rather creative kills going on here- and the effects aren't half bad!

4) Gay, gay, gay. From the bizarre black box theatre performance of Men, Petting to the homoerotic baseball game to the homoerotic night swimming to the homoerotic water balloon fighting, there's just a lot of...homoeroticosity going on in this movie.

"Homoeroticosity" is totally a word- I saw it on my Word-A-Day desk calendar last Tuesday.

5) Ricky's foul mouth. As you may have noticed, I do so love a good swear word, and Ricky manages to bust out with some choice ones: dickface, asshole, prick, cocksucker, chickenshit, fuckin' pussies...it's almost enough to make my gramma blush.

6) "Hey, bob-a-ree-bob..."

7) The cop who shows up early on, then returns later sporting THE BEST WORST FAKE MOUSTACHE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. You can tell I feel strongly about it because I used all those capital letters.

But really, is that shoe polish?

8) "Oh my god, we hit a boat!" This girl tries so hard at the acting thing, it's awesome. I love her, whoever she is. Also of note from the opening scene: the Noo Yawk accents. "Did not, you lie-uh!"

9) "The name is Meg. M-E-G." I totally want to cop Meg's attitude and spell my name out when meeting people from now on. I also totally want to know exactly what it is that the girl in the red shirt loves. Maybe Meg's headband! I mean, H-E-A-D-B-A-N-D.

10) Ricky's hat, which he wears unironically. Look at that strut! He totally pimps around in that thing like he's George Jefferson.

11) The many stares of Angela. Whether she's watching Judy unpack, getting pelted with water balloons, coming dangerously close to being raped by the sleazy cook, getting yelled at by Judy and/or M-E-G, or simply sitting on a bench, the girl is indeed a "nutcake". A stary, stary nutcake.

12) Umm...

No one saw that one coming. Anyone who says they did is a lying liar. Sure, maybe you guessed the killer's identity, but there's no way you guessed that the innie was actually an outie.

There you go, some things I love about Sleepaway Camp. Don't you feel that we've grown closer during this process? I do.

the rig is up

It is a well-known fact that one of the sides comprising the equilateral triangle that represents the best television shows in the history of ever is the new Battlestar Galactica (the other two sides being, of course, Melrose Place and Dallas).

Wow, writing that sentence totally got me jonesing to do some alg/trig, what with all the letters and formulae and angles that are involved. Scalene triangles are the best triangles, don't you think?

Wait, I mean I hate math! Christ, I keep forgetting that I'm a girl. Damn this moustache!

The point is, when one loves Battlestar Galactica as if the show is one's own child and one is browsing at Video Hut and one spots a movie called Ghost Rig (2003) and one notices that the words "Jamie" and "Bamber" are emblazoned across the top of the box, one gets very excited and one brings Ghost Rig home. Jamie Bamber, see, plays Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, and Ghost Rig is ostensibly a horror movie. A squared + B squared = 2 great tastes tasting great together, my mathemagical friends!

In Ghost Rig, a bunch of environmental activists occupy an abandoned oil rig that's about to be demolished. Believing that the "artificial reef" formed by the rig debris will do more harm than good, the crazy kids of "Action Planet" intend to stay on the rig until...until...uh, I guess until the government promises not to destroy it. You know, they use the strategy of those folks who sit in trees to protest the chop-chop.

After what seems like 453968 minutes of activists walking around with flashlights, we learn that the rig is not, in fact, abandoned! There's someone on board, though whether corporeal or otherwise it's unclear. This someone's intentions are perfectly clear, however, and soon the someone makes with the Black Christmasing of an unlucky activist.

After the body is found, the group is divided into two factions: those who want to stay and those who want to split. The stayers outnumber the splitters so the activists decide to keep...activisting.

Captain Action Planet decides this is a good time to casually mention to the group that the rig was quarantined before their arrival. Nothing like a little exposure to unknown viruses and the such to liven things up a bit!

At this point, Ghost Rig becomes the rig-ified baby of John Carpenter's The Thing and that movie I've seen ten minutes of about seven times, Fallen. The virus ain't a virus per se, but rather it's a...demon of sorts, and the possession is passed from person to person and therefore no one can be trusted. The ragtag group of activists must overcome their differences (Captain Action Planet is an a-hole! Jamie Bamber is totally a double agent, which kind of doesn't make any sense!) as they fight for survival. Will they be able to?

People flip out and whale on each other with hammers, wounds heal via dodgy CGI, there's a 'demon voice' which proves that Mercedes McCambridge is the only person who could do a believable demon voice and she didn't need any fucking help from a computer thank you very much, there are corpses tucked away in the walls, and the activists piece together what happened on the rig before it got all possess-y, starting with the discovery of a giant devil's hopscotch.

By the way, the term "devil's hopscotch" reminds me of Devil's Hopyard, which is a state park near where I grew up. Obviously it's the best name for a state park EVARRRRRR. It also has the coolest legends of any state park I've ever encountered, which, as you can imagine, fueled wee Final Girl's imagination:
Another tale focuses on the potholes near the falls, which are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in this section of the country. Perfectly cylindrical, they range from inches to several feet in diameter and depth. These potholes were formed by stones moved downstream by the current and trapped in an eddy where the stone was spun around and around, wearing a depression in the rock. When the rock wore itself down, another would catch in the same hole and enlarge it. We know this now, but to the early settlers the potholes were a great mystery that they tried to explain with references to the supernatural. They thought that the Devil has passed by the falls, accidentally getting his tail wet. This made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away.
Stupid, awesome, superstitious settlers.

But! Now is not the time for southeastern Connecticut's geological history. Now is the time for mediocre horror movies, so back to Ghost Rig.

I must admit, just when I was thinking that this movie was a let down, Apollo or no Apollo, Ghost Rig surprised me with a twist ending that was interesting, satisfying, and undoubtedly the best part of the movie. I'm not going to give anything away here because not only was the ending completely unexpected, but it's also complicated and I'm too lazy to type all that shit out. Suffice it to say, when Ghost Rig ended I had to give it a begrudging "Not bad, kid...not bad at all." Then Ghost Rig gave me a Coke and I threw my shirt at it*.

So. Should you seek out Ghost Rig? Well, if you're anything like me, then perhaps yes. "Anything like me" means that you want to make out with Battlestar Galactica so badly that you even consider rewatching Halloween: Resurrection, a movie that opened with fifteen minutes that made you want to kill yourself and the entire world the first time you saw it, just because Starbuck is in it. "Anything like me" means that a movie about a haunted oil rig is something that makes you genuinely go "Ooh, hey, this could be good". "Anything like me" means you would buy an algebra workbook just for fun, but I suppose that's sort of beside the point.

*I realize that there are plenty of you out there who have absolutely no clue what I'm referencing here, so voila. Great Caesar's ghost, I've dated people who are younger than that commercial. How is this possible? In related news, does Coke really add life?