Z-List: The Unimmaculate Collection

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Guy Moon Creepozoids

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I know what you’re thinking. Hasn’t he tired yet of speaking about bad movies? Not even close Grueheads, I’ve barely even gotten started. Turns out that the eighties in particular, for all their memorable horror, were also the breeding ground for bacteria. When you consider the velocity in which the genre had been catapulted into the limelight, it’s only natural that every chump with a 16mm camera and fifty bucks in their back pocket would attempt to grab themselves a slice of the lucrative pie. Alas, for every Alien there’s a Star Crystal. It’s what lends horror its equilibrium.

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What better place to start than with Lance Lindsay’s aforementioned Star Crystal. Sci-fi horror had enjoyed something of a resurgence after Ridley Scott’s indisputable classic set some pretty distant goal posts. Despite their low budgets, many of them were actually pretty good with Bruce D. Clark’s Galaxy of Terror, Allan Holzman’s Forbidden World, and William Malone’s Titan Find worthy of particular mention. Lindsay’s film brings up the rear and ironically has much in common with a daily bowel movement. After spending the first two acts methodically slaughtering any dead weight, the alien creature (which looks suspiciously like the lovechild of E.T. and The Last Dragon), decides that it has grown fond of the survivors and befriends them when it should be licking their cerebral fluid from its tendrils. I kid you not, they even end up playing space checkers together. I’d love to see this film remade and, should we all throw in 50 cents, we could be on a winner.

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Even if you kill them, they’re still deadly!

How does one follow an extra terrestrial with a change of heart? With another extra terrestrial of course; only this one with no intentions of sucking dick and thumbing titties. David DeCoteau’s Creepozoids is a marked improvement on Star Crystal; however that is akin to saying that gonorrhea is nowhere near as irritating as herpes. DeCoteau earned a mention in Keeper’s previous Z-List for Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama and I mean the guy no harm, especially given the fact that he has directed well over a hundred movies at barely fifty. He even convinced our B-movie scream queen extraordinaire Linnea Quigley to return on the strength of Creepozoids so how bad can it be right? It’s reasonably bereft of artistic merit although Quigley is never less than a joy to watch. However, it could have raised its bar some with a little nausea-inducing splatter and there just isn’t the remaining budget to implement any. As a result, we are supremely short-changed. Great title though.

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“He attacked me with a thingy!”

Who here picks their nose? Come on, don’t hold out on me Grueheads. Don’t try telling me you weren’t just running one between your thumb and forefinger mere moments ago. I’ll tell you who does…The Nostril Picker. Mark Nowicki’s 1993 oddity centered around a repellent lowlife who learns the art of morphosynthesis, enabling him to morph into whomever he wishes. Of course he uses this for malevolent means and, of course, this is down to childhood trauma. You see Grueheads, even The Nostril Picker had something relevent to say. Mercifully, for as shocking low-rent as this film is, you may still find yourselves mildly entranced. As for Nowicki’s choice of title, well it grabbed your attention didn’t it? Who’s laughing now? Nowicki is as he’s currently an attorney at law flicking rolled-up boogers across a courtroom as we speak. Oh wait, that’s the wrong Mark Nowicki.

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“My heart is just fine as long as my stomach is not empty”

How on God’s earth do I follow that? I know, I’ll talk about Crazy Fat Ethel. Nick Millard’s no-budget 1975 exploitation flick (I apologize, it’s hard to say the last two words and maintain composure) is unremittingly awful and struggles to fill even its slender 60 minute running time. However, what is even more discombobulating is that, twelve years later, and in a bizarre fit of madness, its director actually decided that a sequel was necessary. That’s right, Criminally Insane 2: Crazy Fat Ethel is out there in the universe and this time it’s 71 minutes long. The bad news is that a lot had changed by 1987 but presumably the news didn’t travel back to Millard as the sequel makes the original look like Citizen Kane and that is no minor feat. Padding is inevitable in a film such as this but we even get to watch the chubby bitch eating a dessert in real-time. Meanwhile, a living room chase scene is almost enough to ensure Criminally Insane 2 cult status.

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A Padlocked Shed, Hooks of Cold Steel – a Maniac on the loose

William Girdler’s Three on a Meathook is a movie which I desperately desired to love. I mean, what a wondrous title! It really rolls off the tongue. Anyhoots, as charitable as I may be, it is with heavy heart that I report this to be nowhere near as invigorating as the title suggests. For a start there are actually four women. And all four have been killed off within the first twenty minutes leaving another sixty to watch paint dry. Its one saving grace is a suitably grisly but fleeting decapitation. Once that’s done, all that’s left is a little shoehorned in female nudity as that don’t cost a dime. The most astonishing thing is that Girdler went on to direct a personal darling of Keeper’s, The Manitou in 1978. One would assume he negated to show Tony Curtis his showreel.

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“I knew it for what it was seargent … it was horror!”

The late Wally Koz only ever made one movie. In 1988, with the title 666 appearing too unoriginal and 976 already reserved for evil, he brought the world 555. The cover art speaks volumes and is the reason why, nearly thirty years later, it is still sought after now. The good news is that, while shot on video, amateurish in the extreme, and barely legible half the time, Koz knew exactly how to shot a gore scene. The kills, particularly the one used to shamelessly advertise it, are mean-spirited in the extreme, revel in the red, and linger long enough for you to marvel at how well they were put together. I can’t be too hard on 555 as it was clearly a labor of love, proven by the fact that Wally’s own mother is credited for catering duties. It also has an unsettling tone which other made-for-a-nickel trash would kill for.

Tim Krog The Boogeyman

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“Where I come from, we don’t have boogeymens, we only have goblins”

Bruce Pearn’s Revenge of the Boogeyman is the worst kind of offender and, under no circumstances whatsoever, should you donate it your time. In 1984 Ulli Lommel’s notorious nasty The Boogeyman was tried for crimes most heinous by the DPP along with its sequel. Neither films were prosecuted. I guess it made sense that they chastised both films as the first forty minutes of Revenge of the Boogeyman is stock footage of the first. Shameful right? That’s right essentially the best parts of the follow-up were actually from the predecessor and, while it wasn’t bad, it was certainly no Superstition. There’s little more I can say to surmise how deplorable this really is. The fact that it exists makes me want to punch through a thin plaster wall in rage. Bruce, if you’re reading this, shame on you.

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“The library is closed. All white people must leave”

I almost dropped Chris Bearde’s Hysterical during my previous Z-List but now seems the right time, considering I’m still furious at Bruce and need to smile some. Screenwriters The Hudson Brothers were looking to become the 80’s answer to The Marx Brothers and horror was there to be lampooned so it seemed like a no-brainer. Uh huh, that it is. Spoof at its most unhysterical ensues but there’s just so much damn charm. Hating on this would be akin to mugging a chihuahua; just plain mean. Besides, it has its own Crazy Ralph. For the record, Greydon Clark’s Wacko should keep looking over its shoulder as I’m coming for it. Greydon, you’re still doomed.

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“Well.. it’s a wild guess but I’d say that this is an ancient Cantorian warlock’s demon spellbook from late seventh century England, brought here by Gideon Fisk in the early nineteen thirties and the source of all the problems in this house”

I’m feeling much better now Grueheads. So much so that I feel like breaking out the toons. That’s correct, Bugs and Roger can fuck off as I speak of the Evil Toons. Fred Olen Ray, bless him, seems to be populating the Z-List with alarming regularity and that’s okay with Keeper as I still love him dearly. Bearing the catchy slogan “First they undress you, Then they possess you!” this is just as sleazy as it sounds and almost as bad too. However, David Carradine and Dick Miller get to camp it up and that alone makes it worthy of more than a cursory glance, if only to ask yourself why.

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“Look at him now….gentle as a lamb. And blank as a fart”

Greydon Clark, I told you I’d be back for you. Bet you weren’t expecting it to be so fast…well nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Keeper likes to keep you on your toes you see. Poor man’s Pandemonium, Wacko, is up next but don’t worry Graydon, I was only fucking with you earlier. I actually love this movie…well…like. Both eminently quotable and utterly absurd, Clark’s spoof boasts a cast which includes Charles Napier, Andrew “Dice” Clay, and George Kennedy; minus the Drebin of course. To quote a line from the movie, Wacko “inflicted emotional wounds which may take years to heal!” Well it’s thirty years on and guess what? They never healed. Greydon Clark of Niles, Michigan, I place upon you an ancient curse which will cause your head to shrink to such a diminutive size that I can place a Lego bouffant on your head. Now be gone with you. There, that should do it. By the way Greydon, don’t tell a soul, but your movie rocks!

Peter Bernstein & Mark Goldenberg Silent Rage

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The king of martial arts versus a bionic killing machine!

I’ve already appraised Michael Miller’s Silent Rage on the site and it walked away with a just deserved six. Alas, it still makes the Z-List, courtesy of a man who I’m sure you’ll be only too familiar with. I’m speaking of Carlos Ray Norris or Chuck as he is affectionately known, a man so devastatingly handsome that women’s clothes fall to their feet at the very mention of his next door neighbor’s dog (also named Norris after the great man himself), so tough that enemies fall to the ground with seemingly no contact being made whatsoever, so … undeniably … Norris. The murderer he is tracking is mute which suits Chuck fine as he uses numerous facial expressions to make his point. There’s the “you really want to sleep with me despite the fact that I never called you after sex years ago” look and a vaguely concerned look. Silent Rage affords Chuck the opportunity to display his entire repertoire.

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“There’s evil on this island. An evil that won’t let us get away. An evil that sends out an inhuman, diabolic power. I sense its vibrations now. The vibrations are an intense horror. It will destroy us! The very same way it did all the others!”

I cannot resist ending with another film which I awarded a six, Joe D’Amato’s wonderfully titled Anthropophagus The Beast. D’Amato’s film, and its unrelated sequel Absurd, were both made an example of during the great video nasty debacle of 1984 and are more deserving of their notoriety than many of the prosecuted films. Or, at least, that was the case back in 1984. Now the once mighty Anthropophagus is reasonably mild and nowhere near as misogynistic as other guilty parties. It’s poorly acted and needlessly drawn-out of course but does have a certain je ne sais pas and a fair amount of tension. It also has one of the most hilarious endings ever conceived as our beaten beast punishes the two survivors for bettering him on his own turf by…chowing down upon his own intestines. All the while his eyes emote in such a manner that it is hard not to feel a dash of sympathy for the old fellow. Alas, the budget was spent, thus George Eastman received the somewhat paltry payment of his own innards for services rendered. Still came back for the sequel though.

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I have to say that I had rather a lot of fun with The Unimmaculate Collection. In the tradition of Jerry Springer I feel it necessary to end with a final thought but none spring to mind so, instead, I shall leave you with a quote from Evil Toons which I have already used earlier in this article just because I pee a little in my pants each time I recite it. Thanks to all of the films which have allowed me to rib them mercilessly and a particular nod of the hat to The Hudson Brothers. They may not have ever quite scaled the heights of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, or even Gummo but they did give us Hysterical. That has to count for something right?

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“Well.. it’s a wild guess but I’d say that this is an ancient Cantorian warlock’s demon spellbook from late seventh century England, brought here by Gideon Fisk in the early nineteen thirties and the source of all the problems in this house”

That shit never gets old.

The Unimacculate Collection

Star Crystal
Creepozoids
The Nostril Picker
Criminally Insane
Criminally Insane 2: Crazy Fat Ethel
Three on a Meathook
555
Revenge of The Boogeyman
Hysterical
Evil Toons
Wacko
Silent Rage
Anthropophagus: The Beast

Click here to read The Deplorable Collection

 

Sequence Thus Far

The Diabolical Collection
The Abominable Collection
The Unfathomable Collection

Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

#BrutalWordWrangler #CrimsonHoneyDripper #CruelWordSculptor
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2015

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4 Comments

      1. It’s too hard to find new great films in the horror genre. But it’s easy to enjoy the deliciously bad. And to that end you, sir, are a connoisseur.

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