Wednesday, October 19, 2016

THE GORE, THE MERRIER

In honor of October, the Halloweeniest month, I made a blood oath to watch one old horror movie per night before bedtime and tweet quick 140 character GIF reviews the next day. The original mandate was "the gorier the better," though not all of the selections ended up being splatter fests. Below are the gruesome results. The butcher knife rating system is as follows: πŸ”ͺ to  πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ (i.e., the more knives, the better the film).

1) BLOOD FEAST (1963) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Godfather of Gore H.G. Lewis' 1st "stab." Red paint & Piggly Wiggly meat aisle scraps. No tongue!


2) 2,000 MANIACS! (1964) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ What the U.S. becomes if Trump wins: a deadly Confederate speed trap w/ Yankee-in-a-barrell contests.


3) COLOR ME BLOOD RED (1965) πŸ”ͺ Tortured artist subs paint for blood, goes on half-assed  hydrocycle murder spree. Color Me Zzz.



4) A BUCKET OF BLOOD (1959) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ If you can't join the beatniks, beat 'em by knifing cats inside walls & bludgeoning Bert Convy.


5) SPIDER BABY (1968) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Someone tell Tim Burton to do a remake of THESE peculiar children & cast Eva Green as Adult Virginia.



6) IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH (1970) πŸ”ͺ ½ Hybrid giallo with too much plot, too much Freud, too many vultures, not enough blood.


7) NIGHT OF 1,000 CATS (1972) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Hugo Stiglitz picks up women in a helicopter, feeds them to hungry horde of cats, occasionally tosses one.


8) AT MIDNIGHT I'LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (1964) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Brazil's first horror movie & world's first taste of Coffin Joe, sadist in a top hat.


9) THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE (1967) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Coffin Joe returns from the dead, seeks bride, enters Technicolor Hell.


10) EMBODIMENT OF EVIL (2008) πŸ”ͺ½ Coffin Joe gets out of jail 40 years later, tortures, sires child, dies. Goriest but worst of the trilogy.


11) BEYOND THE DOOR (1974) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Exorcist rip-off with a few laughs, decent soundtrack & voiceover narration by the Devil himself!



12) EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977) πŸ”ͺ Hypnosis, locusts, James Earl Jones in a bug costume. Zardoz this is not. Heresy? Maybe.



13) THE SENTINEL (1977) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Brooklyn Heights brownstone infested with dead priests, devils, Goldblums & nosy pervs. Only $400/month? Where do I sign?


14) TOURIST TRAP (1979) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ½ Do you love Psycho but wish it had more homicidal mannequins? Happy birthday to Tanya Roberts (tomahawked below).


15) MOTEL HELL (1980) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ I'm guessing Vincent & Ida's secret garden of human heads is non-GMO verified. But the Wolfman Jack cameo surely is. (Note: One of these heads is Cliff Clavin from Cheers...just "a little known fact")


16) HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Beware Silver Shamrock brand, the Samsung Galaxy 7 of Halloween masks. It has Stonehenge microchips!


17) SLEDGEHAMMER (1983) πŸ”ͺ½ 80s shot-on-video slasher w/ cheapo FX, many feathered hairstyles, goofy DIY charm. No, that's not Keith Hernandez.




18) AEROBICIDE aka KILLER WORKOUT (1986) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Tanning bed burn victim turns aerobics instructor/safety pin killer. Jane Fonda meets Freddy Krueger! This '80s slasher truly has the GIFs that keep on giving.






19) ANGUISH (1987) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, squashed snails, extracted eyeballs. A horror movie about watching horror movies. Hypnotic.



20) BIRDS OF PREY aka BEAKS (1987) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Hitchcock's THE BIRDS but dumber, bloodier & w/ hang gliding scenes (fun!) THE BIRDS > BEAKS > BIRDEMIC.



21) THE VIDEO DEAD (1987) πŸ”ͺ Watched this solely for the Michael St. Michaels cameo (Young Greasy Strangler!). Not good, but still better than THE WALKING DEAD.


22) BLOOD DINER (1987) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Vegan diner owning brothers harvest body parts for "blood buffet" to raise ancient goddess Sheetar from the grave. Not bad.


23) STAGE FRIGHT (1987) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Owl's head killer stalks actors trapped inside theatre. Great shooting & soundtrack from Argento protΓ©gΓ© Soavi.




24) I, MADMAN (1989) πŸ”ͺ ½ Horror movie for people who love used book stores. But, for slasher movie fans, it's mostly a weak reprint.


25) DEATH SPA (1989) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Some fun scenes, but no killer workout. To quote shredded gym rat below: "Aerobicide is Beta; Death Spa is just VHS."


26) NIGHTBREED: DIRECTOR'S CUT (1990) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Surprise! It's the director of Dead Ringers! What? You weren't expecting a Canadian, were you?"


27) VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1995) πŸ”ͺ Only John Carpenter movie I'd never seen. By his own admission, a contract gig. JC, I fall on my sword (broom) for thee.


28) MURDER PARTY (2007) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ Jeremy Saulnier's bloody good debut, great for Halloween viewing. Note: Don't eat the pumpkin bread. It has raisins.


29) THE WICKER MAN (2006) ½ Agent: "Wanna do a B-horror remake, Nic?" Cage: "I looove bee horror!" Agent: "Great, sign here with this EpiPen."


30) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (2013) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Great atmosphere, great Michael Parks but long wait for the gore & "human stew" parts. Cannibal Slowlocaust?


31) BRAINDEAD (1992) πŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺπŸ”ͺ ½ Goriest film all month & also the last. Happy Halloween & Birthday to Peter Jackson. Nobody slings goop like you do, mate.






If you've made it this far, congratulations, and I'm sorry. Check back around the end of the December for the yearly Best/Worst List. After 31 movies in 31 days, I think it's safe to say I'm blogged out until then.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

CASHIERS DE CINEMA'S GREATEST "HITS"


It's that time of year again. Autumn, sure, but also when I annually ask myself: "Why do I bother keeping this 10+ year old film blog?" Last year, the question resulted in a lengthy bit of soul-searching, possibly some oversharing. I nearly shut the whole thing down with a summary "Delete." A few months later, a Seijun Suzuki retrospective at Lincoln Center pulled me back into blogging by my fingernails. There are just some sentiments that cannot be communicated in a 140-character tweet. I gave myself the remainder of the year to determine the fate of Cashiers De Cinema. To delete or not to delete? Save a few favorite reviews and ax the rest? Turn the .blogspot into an honest .com? Heaven forbid, add a few Google AdSense ads?!

This year, I decided to resort to hard data. For the first time ever, I actually took a glance at this blog's Page View Stats. What I discovered was shocking, disturbing and, given that this thing exists on the Internets, not in the least bit surprising. Long story short, people are perverts! When they're not Google Image searching breasts, butts and dongs, they'll settle for the closest thing they can find to porn. Sometimes, it's just good old fashioned gore. The accompanying words on those pages? I'm pretty sure those are an afterthought, if read at all.


This blog has always been a passion project. Part movie journal, part writing exercise, part extended therapy session. I never really cared how many "hits" my posts received and, therefore, never considered the user stats any time in the last decade. I'm completely fine with the damn thing going largely unread. But some of these statistical findings are just too hilarious and depressing to keep to myself. I decided I had to share Cashier De Cinema's "Top 20 Greatest Hits" with the world.

Here they are, in Casey Kasem style countdown order, with links and embarrassing current page count views included. Also included: My best educated guess as to why these, of all the 600+ movie reviews, are the "popular" ones.

#20) Howling 3: The Marsupials (1,207 page views) - It's probably the pictures. There are definitely a few freaky WTF screen grabs. That, or a lot of people are keyword searching the term "werewolf nuns."

#19) Equus (1,300 page views) - Combine horseplay, sexplay, a shot of a naked dude in a stable and, ta-da, you've got a recipe for a semi-popular blog post. The term "zoophiliac" probably didn't hurt.

#18) Excalibur (1,389 page views) - No racy images here.  I can only assume its clickability has something to do with my harsh review or the fact that there a TON of sword and sorcery nerds out there.

#17) Possession (1,419 page views) - Some very gruesome and funny pics accompanying this post. But I prefer to think its decent page view count is due to Possession being such a damn good movie.

#16) Black Moon (1,429 page views) - This one took me by surprise. Who would've thought an obscure Louis Malle art film would get more than a handful of clicks? Then I took a second look at the post, the bottom picture especially. To give the Internet the benefit of the doubt, maybe people are just really into unicorns.

#15) Combat Shock (1,513 page views) - Three words: "Agent Orange Baby."

#14) Tango and Cash (1,597 page views) - Truth in advertising, I might as well have called this post "Tango and Man-Ass."

#13) The Man Who Fell to Earth (1,647 page views) - If David Bowie hadn't passed away this year, I'm guessing this post would have fallen much further in the rankings.

#12) Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1,833 page views) - The first of two Lucio Fulci appearances on this hit list. Given his widespread popularity among film geeks and the inclusion of the term "eviscerated dogs," not a huge surprise.

#11) Conan the Destroyer (1,877 page views) - This one kinda perplexes me. A very short review, yes, but is there a combined Grace Jones/Wilt Chamberlain meme out there that I don't know about?

#10) Jason and the Argonauts (1,877 page views) - Currently tied with Conan for 10th/11th place. There are numerous allusions to another sword and sorcery movie higher on this list, which probably helps. There's also a cool pic of stop-motion skeletons fighting and tons of references to the Kraken. Release the clicks!

#9) Wild Things (1,910 page views) - Perhaps my most perversely keyword-rich post of all time. "Three-way triple decker skin sandwich." "Pre-Saul Goodman ambulance chaser." "Kevin Bacon's freshly showered schlong." Shocker of all shockers: The accompanying jpeg is rather tame.

#8) 12 Angry Men (2,452 page views) - An old Sidney Lumet movie? I have no explanation for this one other than the Amy Schumer parody which came out a few years ago. I'm guessing that earned me at least 1,000 accidental clicks and many disappointed users. Let's see if I can get a few thousand more by mistake: "Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer nude, Amy Schumer's freshly showered schlong, Amy Schumer triple decker skin sandwich, Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer..."

#7) The New York Ripper (2,703 page views) - Another non-shocker. Some seriously salacious screen caps in this Fulci review. Severed hands, bloody breasts, Times Square peepshows, lurid games of footsie. Dare to click, and see for yourself. 

#6) Easy Rider (2,803 page views) - I'd like to think this has something to do with the included pic of a giant goiter. But it probably has more to do with the multiple mentions of cocaine. Note to casual Cashiers readers: This blog is not a secret distribution hub for cocaine!

#5) Best and Worst of 2010 (3,496 page views) - Hey! Lookee there! One of my "Best Of" lists made it into the Top 5! But why this year and not all the others? Guessing it has something to do with "Worst Of" pics...Bitch Slap, Human Centipede. Or maybe people were desperate for images of Danny Trejo's severed head atop a tortoise.

#4) Caged Heat (3,677 page views) - None too surprising. A very "cheeky" review of a classic WIP movie. My favorite part of this post is in the Comments section, a thumbs-up from the wonderful Erica Gavin herself. It links back to her website, so I'm going to assume it's really her. If it's a fake, please don't tell me.

#3) The Warriors (3,680 page views) - I know this is a hugely popular cult movie that has spawned comic books and video games, but the accompanying pic is tame and the link to it doesn't seem to work anymore. The only real keywords seem to be "Ralph Macchio" and "Gramercy Park." What is the Internet hiding from me? "Random searchers, come out and play-ee-yay!"

#2) Clash of the Titans (1981) (3,764 page views) - That sword and sorcery classic I mentioned earlier. This one riding high on the list makes complete sense. Besides the regrettably harsh review (must have been in a foul mood that day), there are a few great pics, nods to The Wire, "alcoholic little people," 'Ricardo Montalban on acid," underwear models and, of course, The Kraken. Interesting Side Note: The terrible 2010 Clash remake reviewed the same day only earned a meager 811 clicks, despite being much "fresher" news. This makes me very happy.

And drumroll, please...

#1) Cannibal Holocaust (17,825 page views) - Far and away the most popular Cashiers blog post of all time. Just take a look at its whopping 13,000+ page view lead over Clash of the Titans. It has everything Internet pervs are craving. Graphic disturbing images, lurid keywords aplenty. I'm guessing it also popped up in innocent Google sessions about the circumcision debate or people simply craving "Chili's Babyback Ribs." Whatever the case may be, it leads me to the conclusion that, if I'm going to keep Cashiers going, I should only blog about cannibals, found footage gore movies or Ruggero Deodato movies from now on.

However...

If you've stopped by Cashiers to ACTUALLY READ a few of my mini-film reviews, here are a few that I stand behind and think are generally well-written. Good or bad verdict, they are all lesser known movies with no racy pics. Therefore, they unsurprisingly have paltry page view counts. Give them some click love, people!

Nuts in May (1976) (184 views)





So, what have we learned, class? Basically, what I already suspected. That the people on the other side of my screen generally looks like this...