Beach Babes from Beyond (1993)

BeachBabesfromBeyond_1Starring Sarah Bellomo, Tamara Landry, Nicole Posey, Michael Todd Davis, Ken Steadman, Joe Estevez, Joey Travolta, Linnea Quigley, Burt Ward, Don Swayze, Jackie Stallone

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: If I expect anything other than babes on a beach, I’m asking to be disappointed.


Estevez. Stallone. Swayze. Travolta. Names you know and love. Each one can carry a film on its own, but Beach Babes from Beyond contains them all… plus Burt Ward and Linnea Quigley! Beach Babes from Beyond was the first release from Full Moon’s off-shoot softcore comedy company Torchlight Entertainment, so they really brought out all the stops! The only catch is that the names belong to relatives of the stars you generally associate with them. So if you’ve ever wanted to see Patrick Swayze’s brother and Sylvester Stallone’s mom bickering in a spaceship cockpit, you’ve just found your movie!

Beach Babes from Beyond focuses on their daughter, Xena (Sarah Bellomo), and her friends Luna (Tamara Landry) and Sola (Nicole Posey). With Xena’s parents out of the house on holiday, the girls decide to take Xena’s dad’s prize “T-Bird ship” out for a joy ride, but wouldn’t ya know it, they crash land on Malibu beach! Meanwhile, Dave (Michael Todd Davis) and his friend Jerry (Ken Steadman) have come to the beach to visit Dave’s uncle Bud (Joe Estevez), in hopes of saving his beachfront home from redevelopment. The laws of film and nature demand that these male and female groups must come together for the greater good, and they do so with an insane amount of people wildly dancing on the beach and some sexy hilarity along the way!

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Dr. Alien (1989)

dralien_2Dr. Alien (1989)
AKA I Was a Teenage Sex Maniac, I Was a Teenage Sex Mutant

Starring Billy Jayne, Judy Landers, Olivia Barash, Stuart Fratkin, Raymond O’Connor, Arlene Golonka, Jim Hackett, Robert Jayne, Julie Gray, Scott Morris, Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Not much.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Looking at the poster, it would be easy to assume that Dr. Alien is nothing but ridiculous, low-budget trash. Even with that weird alien face, it doesn’t look especially interesting to me. But over the last six years of reviewing films here at Silver Emulsion, one truth has continued to resonate: Keep an open mind. It’s a good piece of advice in general life, as well; being closed off to the unknown corners of the world doesn’t allow for much personal growth. I’ve also come to look forward to the David DeCouteau movies, as they are generally some of the better and more interesting offerings among the Full Moon catalog. So I started Dr. Alien hopeful and optimistic, despite not expecting much.

When the film ended 80-some minutes later, with a big grin plastered on my face and my commitment to pursuing artistic, creative endeavors bolstered, I was shocked. Dr. Alien might be one of DeCoteau’s best films; it’s certainly one of my favorites. Sure, it’s got all the dumb jokes and female nudity you’d expect of an ’80s sex comedy, which will definitely turn off some viewers (and keep the film out of the Criterion Collection), but it is a real achievement on DeCoteau’s part to craft a film that satisfies on both a lowbrow and intellectual level. Perhaps I’m overselling it, as the morality only comes in at the end, but regardless, the film excited me thoroughly. I expected sex comedy and nudity, but to leave the film reinvigorated in my appreciation of art as a vital component of the human experience, that’s something special.

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Quick Takes: City of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons, Not of This Earth

gates_of_hell_xlgCity of the Living Dead [Paura nella città dei morti viventi] (1980)
AKA The Gates of Hell
twohalfstar

Starring Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine
Directed by Lucio Fulci

Take a moment to consider the film’s title along with its poster art. Zombies, right? Wrong. City of the Living Dead really isn’t much of a zombie movie. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I’m somewhat unsure what the actual plot was, but the gist is that a priest kills himself and becomes a zombie mage, which somehow also opens the gates of Hell. These gates being open doesn’t really lead to the zombie hijinks you might expect, though, as City of the Living Dead is dreamy, haunting and supernatural where other movies would just go for your standard horror shocks and zombie kills. The plot is so nonsensical and chaotic at times that it makes it hard to get through, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. By far my favorite aspect of the film is the incredible gore, which really must be seen to be believed. There’s not much of it overall, but boy do they make up for lost time! I don’t want to spoil anything, but I definitely won’t be hankering for any pig guts and organ meat any time soon!

nightofthedemonsNight of the Demons (1988)

Starring Cathy Podewell, Amelia Kinkade, Linnea Quigley, Alvin Alexis, Allison Barron, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo, Lance Fenton, Philip Tanzini, Jill Terashita, Harold Ayer
Directed by Kevin S. Tenney

Despite its legacy and name recognition, I wasn’t really feeling this one until the 2nd half (which is pretty much non-stop entertainment). Demons in a haunted house chasing a girl dressed as Alice in Wonderland is as fun as it sounds. Dope Steve Johnson FX work too. The lack of any likeable characters is what made the first half kind of slow and boring, and I was surprised just how trashy a movie it was overall. If I didn’t know this came from the same director as Witchboard, I’d never have guessed it in a million years. Witchboard feels like solid, classic horror filmmaking, while Night of the Demons feels amateurish and naive in comparison. Two completely different types of movies, though. I really should hunt down some more of Tenney’s movies to see which style is the more prominent in his career.

not_of_this_earthNot of This Earth (1988)
onehalfstar

Starring Traci Lords, Arthur Roberts, Lenny Juliano, Ace Mask, Roger Lodge, Rebecca Perle, Michael DeLano, Becky LeBeau
Directed by Jim Wynorski

Man, Not of This Earth is some high level B-Movie shit. You need nerves of steel, forged through hundreds of horrendous B-movies, to make it through this one. Bad acting, bad writing, bad everything abounds, although Traci Lords — in her first “mainstream” acting role — is actually really good and easily the best actor in the film. There’s also some stock footage from other Roger Corman-produced films, and even though I haven’t seen the movies they came from, the sections stuck out as being completely unrelated to anything else in the movie. The behind-the-scenes story is great, and without a doubt more interesting than the movie itself. Notable low-budget director Jim Wynorski bet that he could remake Corman’s original 1957 film with the same budget (adjusted for inflation) and the same 12-day shooting schedule, and he did it (in 11 days)! As a low-budget experiment, it’s interesting, but as an actual movie it’s kinda boring. It’s not without its delights, though most of them come from Traci Lords and are prurient in nature. I also got a kick out of seeing Roger Lodge, the host of Blind Date, playing Lords’ love interest. Watching this makes me really curious to see the original, as this one is so trashy and ’80s that I have a hard time understanding what the ’50s movie must be like.

Trophy Heads (2014)

trophyheads_1Starring Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Linnea Quigley, Jacqueline Lovell, Denice Duff, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Darcy DeMoss, Irena Murphy, Jessica Morris, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Amy Paffrath, Robin Sydney, Carel Struycken, Kristine DeBell, Gregory Niebel, Stuart Gordon, David DeCoteau, J. Scott

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: As long as it’s fun I’ll be satisfied, and with this many classic scream queens I don’t see how it won’t be fun.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


For many years now, Full Moon has made movies that a mainstream viewer, or even an old fan from the glory days who missed Full Moon’s last 15 years of questionable movies, wouldn’t hesitate to call “strange” or “out there” or “shit.” For those that stumble upon the movies unaware of what they’re getting themselves into (like the Redbox patrons), I’m sure the general reaction is something close to, “Who would watch this?” Hardcore Full Moon fans, that’s who! Throughout changing video landscapes and formats, Full Moon continues to pump out films for their fans (and pretty much no one else). So it makes perfect sense that their latest venture, Trophy Heads (which debuted in June as a five-part web series exclusively on Full Moon Streaming), is not just a film for their fans, but a film about those very fans.

Well… perhaps that’s a little too broad, as I doubt most Full Moon aficionados would kidnap our favorite stars, murder them, and mount their heads on the wall, but you get the idea. Anyway, yes, Trophy Heads is about a fan who rounds up six of his favorite ’80s scream queens, keeps them in his home-built basement dungeon, and then murders them while making them recreate situations from one of the Full Moon movies they were in way back when. There’s not really any depth beyond that, but as this is something directly for Full Moon fans, I don’t think anyone really cares. I certainly didn’t.

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Auditions (1978)

auditions_5Starring Bonnie Werchan, Rick Cassidy, Linnea Quigley, Carolyn Burch, Robert Staats, Linda York, Alan Simons, Molly Manning, Jennifer West, William Margold, Peter Risch, Greg Travis, Adore O’Hara, Michael Hardin, Freddie Dawson, Jeffrey Lampert, Joey Camen, Tony Popson

Directed by Harry Hurwitz

Expectations: Very interested, but I don’t expect much.


Auditions isn’t much of a good film (or a film at all for that matter), but it is an interesting document of a time. Whether it is truly a documentary — as the opening of the film and its DVD intro by producer Charles Band suggests — or more of a pieced-together recreation of reality is a question ever-present while watching the players disrobe and reveal their various sexual fantasies. Regardless of the reality it may or may not contain, Auditions was made during the late ’70s, and as a low-budget film shot on 16mm in a Santa Monica office building, it captures the vibe of the late ’70s exactly how a big-budget film never could.

The premise is really where the film gets its basic attraction. Sometime in 1978, Charles Band placed full-page ads in all the Hollywood trade papers, announcing an open audition for his next film, Fairy Tales 2. They were looking for the world’s sexiest woman and man, as well as the world’s most unusual act or personality. That’ll sure get ’em to come out of the woodwork! The thing is, there never was a Fairy Tales 2, and as far as I can tell, there never was any intention of making one. That’s one way to make a low-budget movie!

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Fairy Tales (1978)

fairytales_6Starring Don Sparks, Sy Richardson, Robert Staats, Brenda Fogarty, Linnea Quigley, Irwin Corey, Robert Harris, Simmy Bow, Martha Reeves, Frank Ray Perilli, Angelo Rossitto, Bob Leslie, Jeff Doucette, Lindsay Freeman, Nai Bonet, Angela Aames, Anne Gaybis, Lee Arries

Directed by Harry Hurwitz

Expectations: Fairly high, after how surprisingly enjoyable Cinderella was.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


Hot off the heels of Cinderella and her snapping pussy, Charles Band was eager to recapture the audience that craved erotic musicals based on fairy tales. But instead of picking just one and running with it, he decided to lump a whole bunch into one movie. For me, this makes Fairy Tales a far less successful film as the narrative has no drive other than to take us from one scene of nudity to the next, but I guess that’s kinda the whole point in a movie like this.

The poster and the trailer proudly display what type of movie Fairy Tales is, but as the stately opening credits played I imagined a couple of clueless parents bringing their kids along for an old-fashioned good time. “Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and this one’s going to be a lot of fun, kiddos!” I know this type of movie wouldn’t have played a general cinema in the ’70s, but just imagine! They’d storm out in a huff during the first scene when the royal doctors experts sex-perts sing the flaccid prince a song of how he must rise to the occasion and get to producing an heir by Thursday or he’ll lose his kingdom. The first nudity comes just six minutes in, but our imaginary family would be long gone by then, with lyrics ushering them out the door like, “They only make semen white and urine yellow so that you know whether you’re comin’ or goin’.”

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Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)

sororitybabes_4Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)
AKA The Imp, Beast You!

Starring Andras Jones, Linnea Quigley, Robin Stille, Hal Havins, John Stuart Wildman, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Kathi O’Brecht, Carla Baron, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Michael Sonye

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Pretty high.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Hmm… I thought there’d be more bowling. But despite a lack of bowling in a film boasting a “Bowl-O-Rama” in its title, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama is an absolute B-Movie gold mine. If you enjoy watching thin ’80s characters run away from demons more hilarious than scary, then this one fits the bill rather nicely. Everyone else will probably not make it past the first few minutes, but I’d say that anyone willfully sitting down to a movie titled Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama probably knows what they’re getting themselves into.

Instead of opening with sorority babes or bowling, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama opens in the dorm room of three dudes that don’t have a whole heck of a lot going on. The ultra nerd, Calvin, is watching Dreamaniac on TV, the fat guy, Jimmie, is laying back with a six-pack of brewskies, and the horny guy, Keith, is deep in an issue of Penthouse. But Keith’s got a secret up his sleeve: the location of the Delta Delta Delta (AKA Felta Delta) sorority initiation and the perfect vantage point to sneak a peek.

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