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.
Well, well, well… Last week I did one of those rape revenge exploitation films from the 70s. The week before, I revisited a horror film I once saw on Bizarre TV. Now, I’m looking at a good ol’ fashioned women in prison films. It’s like I’m on a greatest hits of B-Movie Enema tour.
Yes, it’s time to take a look at 1978’s Escape from Women’s Prison. You know what other box this movie ticks? Oh yeah… It’s Italian, baby! This movie was written and directed by Italian actor Giovanni Brusadori. In the director credit, he’s actually credited as Conrad Brueghel, but whatever. Brusadori was best known for appearing in the Laura Gemser Emanuelle: Queen of the Desert in 1982. For whatever reason, he decided to make a movie this time around. Now, supposedly, George Eastman, star of Anthropophagus, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, and Porno Holocaust, co-wrote this movie on (though without credit).
I guess what I’m getting at is that these types of late 70s and early 80s Italian sleazefest movies were all made by a small group of people so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see George Eastman involved in some way.
Alrighty, here we are, dear Enemaniacs – the end of B-Movie Enema’s trip through Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy.
The House by the Cemetery is a peculiar flick. It is the type of movie that either you love it or you hate it. However, here’s the thing… You could say that about all of Fulci’s stuff. A lot of his films are very stream of consciousness or dreamlike in structure. The House by the Cemetery is one that I think that love/hate kind of reaction is quite severe.
There aren’t many people in the middle who kind of shrug and say, “It’s alright.”
Now, this is the Italian stuff I look forward to covering.
After taking on Hercules twice in a row, now I get to return to the warm embrace of Lucio Fulci with his Gates of Hell trilogy. I’ve already knocked out the first chapter, City of the Living Dead, last month. Now it’s time to get to what most would usually list as the best of the trio, The Beyond. So, buckle up and prepare for this week’s dose of B-Movie Enema!
Welcome to this week’s new B-Movie Enema article. Last week, I took a look at Luigi Cozzi’s attempt to revive the classic sword and sandal movies starring the Greek demigod in Cannon Films’ Hercules. This week, we’re just going to go ahead and knock out the sequel, 1985’s The Adventures of Hercules. Now, I typically don’t do stuff like this where I just take two random weeks in the course of a month that has no theme and cover a duology, but, frankly, if I don’t do this right now, I never will.
These movies are dreadfully bad and boring, and I struggle to say they are so in a fun way.
Here’s the first of two more movies I’ve wanted to cover on B-Movie Enema for quite some time – 1983’s Hercules. This is Luigi Cozzi’s update of the 50s and 60s tradition of the Italian sword and sandal movies that ran from 1958 to 1965. You might think that, oh, there were only five or six or so Hercules movies released in that time frame. NO! there were a total of NINETEEN Italian Hercules films starring a handful of various American stars with bodybuilder Steve Reeves being among them.
Yeah, the Italians loved them some Hercules. It kind of makes sense. These movies were almost like comic book style movies. You have a beefy hero, scantily clad (and absolutely gorgeous) women, and high action and adventure. It basically offered something for everyone. They were badly dubbed when brought over here and they were kind of goofy. After all, a few of them would be lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Still, they were popular enough to continue to be made with multiple movies released each year.
Hercules, the movie character and Italian cinema was so well tied together, I’m honestly shocked that it took 18 years between the last of the Italian produced Hercules movies to this one released by… OH BOY… Yup, this is a Cannon Films flick.
Fulci is back yet again on B-Movie Enema. Why? Because ol’ Lucio needs more attention if I’m being honest. Sure, I’ve covered many of his movies in the past, but there are oh so many more that I could cover. What better place to dig into more of his filmography than with the Gates of Hell trilogy of his?
So, here we are. I’ve packed my bags, bought my plane tickets, and have landed in the City of the Living Dead. This is Fulci in what’s likely his prime. He’s not too far off from his major success of Zombie (known in Italy as Zombi 2, but I’m not going to get into all that Italian titling business). That pretty much wrote a check for Fulci to do whatever he really wanted. He first stopped off with a crime action flick, Contraband, but started developing the idea of City of the Living Dead. This film was greenlit while he was working on the action flick, so, he took off and left Contraband under the direction of his assistant to get to work on City of the Living Dead.
It’s wild to think that a director can just leave a production to start his next, but Italy is a wild place, man.