Welcome to B-Movie Enema, my friends! This month, we’re kind of setting aside time to cover two things. The first will be sequels to other movies we’ve covered in the past. The second is to cover the first movie and subsequent sequel in a series that I’ve been looking forward to dealing with for some time. It’s the latter that we are dealing with this week and the final week of June.
Hot off the heels of two quite successful sword and sorcery films in 1982, Conan the Barbarian (grossing somewhere near $80 million on a $20 million budget) and The Sword and Sorcerer (grossing around $40 million on a much more economic $4 million budget), audiences were hot for these types of movies. It’s kind of funny that the early 80s saw the rise in three distinct genres: fantasy, which sword and sorcery falls right smack-dab in the middle of, science fiction, thanks to Star Wars, and ninja action films. I think it’s safe to say that the fantasy genre lost the battle relatively quickly. More on that in just a moment.
It was thanks to Conan the Barbarian and The Sword and the Sorcerer that this week’s movie, Deathstalker, was made and was a modest hit, bringing in nearly $12 million against a $457,000 budget. This was brought to screens by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. This was the first of ten international co-productions with Argentina. I’m not being facetious here, but I can’t name any other U.S.-Argentina co-productions. But this was definitely Roger Corman doing Roger Corman things. He quickly jumped on the fantasy trend and loaded this full of tits.
Happy Memorial Day weekend, my Enemaniacs in the USA!
This week’s B-Movie Enema is going to take a look at a pretty obscure one that got a little bit of a boost from a fairly recent Blu Ray remastering at Vinegar Syndrome – Memorial Valley Massacre. This is a bit of a weird one for multiple reasons. But let me know if you’ve heard this one before… I first saw this a few times on everyone’s favorite Roku channel, Bizarre TV. That’s not the only time the word “bizarre” might come to mind in this article.
This movie is mostly known for kind of squirting out of the cinematic butthole that supplied video stores and cable with content. And when I say it’s known for that, it’s a pretty unknown movie that blended into the landscape of video store shelves and late night cable TV fodder. Some people who saw the names in the cast like William Smith or our great B-movie daddy in the sky, Cameron Mitchell, and those names might have been juuuust good enough to get people watch or rent it, but they would have likely been quickly turned off by it because it’s a horror film.
But… let’s back up to some of the most bizarre stuff about Memorial Valley Massacre.
When you get to the month of May, and you’re in school (especially high school), you’re all about getting the hell out of there for a summer of goofing off and sleeping in. So, with this week’s B-Movie Enema review, let’s celebrate the impending graduation of the class of 2023 with a look at the 1981 slasher horror film Graduation Day.
This comes from director Herb Freed who made only about ten movies. In 1976, he made Haunts with everyone’s favorite B-movie star, Cameron Mitchell. Then, in 1980, just before making Graduation Day, he made another horror film called Beyond Evil. Now, what’s interesting is that Beyond Evil starred Linda Day George. when he made Graduation Day a year later, he cast Linda’s husband Christopher George as his lead. Interesting how that comes around. Then, in 1985, he made another kind of cult classic 80s film, Tomboy, starring Betsy Russell. However, by the end of the decade and into the 90s, it seemed that Freed then mostly made video store and cable type movies that have a bit of a reduced budget and lesser marketing.
So, yeah, we have Christopher George in Graduation Day. Now, we saw him previously in City of the Living Dead. This is definitely at the end of his career. He would die in 1983 from a heart attack at the age of 52. He’s not the only character actor to be found here in this movie, as we also have Michael Pataki. Pataki appeared in the Spider-Man TV movies of the late 70s as well as bit parts in Rocky IV and Halloween 4 where he appeared as Dr. Hoffman. Additionally, we have an appearance of Linda Shayne who as in classics of B-Movie Enema lore like Humanoids of the Deep, Screwballs, and Lovely But Deadly. Not only that, but we have Linnea Quigley who has been in too many of B-Movie Enema alumni films to list. Finally, we have the queen of gameshow letter flipping, Vanna White, in one of her seven feature and television film appearances.
This article was written, edited, scheduled, and completed prior to the unfortunate passing of supporting star Giovanni Lombardo Radice.
Welcome back for another B-Movie Enema review. This week, I’m taking a look at 1980’s TheHouse on the Edge of the Park.
This is one, and let me know if you’ve heard this line before, that I remember catching a part of on Bizarre TV. I don’t remember anything that I saw, but I remember this movie’s lead star, David Hess. Hess is quite the recognizable guy if you’ve seen Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left. Let’s face it, most of you reading this blog have seen that one. But Hess would basically go down in “infamy” as Krug, the leader of a group of nogoodniks who kill two innocent girls just looking to score some weed before going to a rock concert.
Beyond that, Hess also would become best known for playing scuzzy villains. In House on the Edge of the Park and Hitch-Hike, he plays guys who either murder people or take them hostage… or, well, both. Most of the other movies that he appeared in just had him play bit parts as in the case of his reunion with Wes Craven in Swamp Thing. But he actually had other talents as well. He directed the Christmas slasher To All a Goodnight. Despite being recognizable for being the leader of a horrific gang of rapists and murders in The Last House on the Left, Hess actually was quite the singer and songwriter.
What is it that they always say – “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop?”
Yeah, that probably best sums up this week’s new B-Movie Enema review. We’re making a run for the border, and, no, it’s not for Taco Bell… unless you want me to have explosive diarrhea. Well, maybe you do, but I don’t want that for myself. No, it’s for Alfredo Zacarías and his supernatural thriller, Demonoid!
You know what’s great about that? This is the second time we featured a movie written and directed by Zacarías. Oh yeah, I covered him way back in 2018 with his nature-gone-wild epic, The Bees. Even though the reviews of this movie isn’t exactly kind, calling Demonoid a “tedious possession movie” and what have you, I know what I saw in The Bees. I could argue that one was also sort of tedious in how it was made, but goddammit if it wasn’t fucking bonkers at times too. That gives me a tad bit of hope that I could get something decent here in Demonoid.
What do you think? More Roberta Findlay? Sure! Why not?
Welcome to this week’s new B-Movie Enema review. I’m Geoff Arbuckle, and this is 1988’s Lurkers. Now, if you think back to 2019, I took a look at Findlay’s Prime Evil. That movie was okay for the most part. However, what I think everyone could agree on is how freakin’ awesome the devil creature that shows up is. The year before Lurkers and Prime Evil, Findlay also did Blood Sisters. That one was a little less than interesting but not without some fun.
The far more interesting elements of those movies, of course, is Roberta Findlay. I’ve mentioned about how Findlay worked with her husband, Michael, on films, but it wasn’t a great relationship. That said, she worked with him while they were separated. She did porn and horror… That’s about it. But that’s perfectly fine too. Most of her movies weren’t particularly high budget, but she often worked as both director and cinematographer on her films. The number of credits as either role on a film is fairly impressive considering she really only had a roughly 25 year career. My point is she kept busy making movies.
Welcome to a new review right here at B-Movie Enema.
Nightwish is one I’ve wanted to do for some time. The primary reason is that I saw this some years ago on the defunct Roku channel that we all love and miss, Bizarre TV. This movie has a nice mix of spooky horror business and sci-fi elements. And when I think about it, this is kind of what you might expect in the late 80s moving into the early 90s now that the genre was moving beyond the, at the time, quickly deflating slasher subgenre.
This movie is somewhat unremarkable when it comes to the behind the scenes business. Director Bruce R. Cook made only two films in his directorial career. This was his second of those. Interestingly, the art direction is quite good, though. It calls back memories of something that Stuart Gordon would have made. These would be movies like Re-Animator and From Beyond, and it really should look like that because the art direction on Nightwish was done by Robert A. Burns, the art director on Re-Animator and From Beyond – as well as other genre classics like The Howling, Tourist Trap, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He also did two more B-Movie Enema alumni Disco Godfather and the B-Movie Enema: The Series selection Microwave Massacre.