Monday, January 31, 2011

GH Film #1: Reefer Madness (cautionary films)

Grindhouse Cinema Week
Film #1: Reefer Madness (cautionary exploitation films)
Reefer Madness was a 1936 “anti-drug” film that was, in reality, an exploitation film playing into people’s curiosity about marijuana.  The film follows several teens through the problems that occur from smoking marijuana cigarettes.  The main characters get high from smoking marijuana, make stupid decisions, and end up murdering multiple people (in various ways).  The end of the film shows the inevitable result of deciding to use marijuana… you just have to see it to believe it!!!  This is a classic 1930s propaganda film that is so over the top that you will be talking about it for years to come!  Check out this cult classic… sober of course!

written by DAW for and

JAN 31st - FEB 5th is GRINDHOUSE week!

"Grindhouse" is a term that describes a type of Movie Theater that would typically show exploitation films.  Grindhouse theaters would often show multiple films back to back that featured topics and themes that were frowned upon in the mainstream cinemas. Exploitation films generally have some kind of extreme or taboo topic in them and/or focus on a specific group to “exploit”.  Wikipedia lists the following categories of exploitation films:  1930s and 1940s cautionary films, Biker films, Blaxploitation, Cannibal films, Carsploitation, Chambara films, Eco-terror films, Giallo films, Mockbusters, Mondo films, Nazisploitation, Nudist Films, Ozploitation, Rape / Revenge films, Sexploitation, Shocksploitation, Slasher films, Spaghetti Westerns, Splatter films and Women in prison films [link].  With the advent and popularity of Video Cassette Recorders/Players, Grindhouse Theatres died out in the 1980s; however, exploitation films continued to be produced for play in the home on videocassette.
written by DAW for and



February is theme month on!  Look above to see the different, upcoming themes.  Check to see a new film EVERY DAY!

Friday, January 28, 2011

 The Driller Killer - 1979
Directed by Abel Ferrara - MPAA Rating: Unrated
     Originally released in 1979, The Driller Killer follows the mental decline of a young "starving artist" named Reno who is played by the film's director Abel Ferrara.  Produced on an obviously low budget, the poor, and sometimes shaky quality of the filming actually seems to do this movie a favor as it tends to match up well with the main character’s chaotic and unraveling state of mind.  Early on in the film, the story follows our leading man from an apparent state of distress about his father, recurring dark dreams, and dislike for homeless people.   His unstable personal life and increasing money troubles set the stage for things to come.  As events continue to unfold and agitate Reno, he turns to killing the homeless as a way to cope.  Things pretty much progress and get worse from there.

      Though received positively in the United States, the film did not fare so well overseas.  Most notably in Britain, this film would be labeled a "video nasty", due mainly to its graphic violence, and would be banned along with many similar films from this time period.  As a film surrounded in controversy in its time, it is definitely one worth viewing in the present.

Film review by R.J.A

Mutant (aka Night Shadows) - 1984
Directed by John "Bud" Cardos - MPAA Rating: Restricted
    Mutant is an entertaining piece of 80s horror starring Lee Montgomery and Wings Hauser (The Young and the Restless) as brothers josh and Mike Cameron on a getaway road trip through the country.  All too quickly, the boys receive some fine southern hospitality as they are run off the road by a pack of local rednecks.  Misfortune ensues from there on as they are stranded in a small town, get separated, and something generally seems a foul.  

Although movie posters and DVD cover art seem to want you to believe this is a creature film featuring some fanged beast hunting people in the dark, the movie falls more into the zombie range.  By the end of the film there are hordes of these "mutants" running around terrorizing and devouring the town, school children and all.  Although not always the most creative film, it is definitely an entertaining ride full of rednecks, bar fights, toxic waste, and Molotov cocktails.  If you are into classic eighties horror give this one a watch, you will find yourself amused.  
Film review by RJA


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