Psychos in Love (1987)

Starring Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Cecelia Wilde, Robert Suttile, Lum Chang Pang, Danny Noyes, Herb Klinger, Wally Gribauskas, Peach Gribauskas, LeeAnne Baker, Michael Citriniti

Directed by Gorman Bechard

Expectations: Low, but it has a funny title, so who knows?

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


The ’80s were a special time for film. Low-budget cinema came to a real prominence thanks to the home video market, paving the way for fun, depraved movies like this. Psychos in Love was the labor of love of director Gorman Bechard, who shot the film when he had free weekends on the ends of film from other productions (a common cost-saving method when low-budget stuff was still shot on film). The film’s star Carmine Capobianco also co-wrote the film, composed the film’s music and helped out on the FX duties. The methods of production remind me greatly of another filmmaker’s 1987 shot-on-free-weekends film, Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, but Psychos in Love unfortunately didn’t lead Bechard to ascend to quite Peter Jackson heights. Based on the quality of the filmmaking on display here, he should at least be something of a known quantity in the industry, instead of a largely unknown filmmaker with a few other credits to his name (two of which I’ll eventually visit on my trek through the Empire/Full Moon catalog).

So what is Psychos in Love about, you ask? Well… psychos in love, of course! Joe is a strip club owner who kills random women on the side, and Kate is a manicurist who murders random men on the side. They both hate grapes too, so naturally they get along famously and begin a serious relationship. To say any more would betray the film, as plot and narrative aren’t exactly the strong point of Psychos in Love. It’s not that what’s here is bad, it’s just very light on story. There’s a point where it feels like a traditional narrative could have naturally grown out of the introduction of a third killer, but instead of a genuine plot, it becomes merely a single scene later in the film that’s nothing more than funny.

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Mutant Hunt (1987)

Starring Rick Gianasi, Mary Fahey, Ron Reynaldi, Taunie Vrenon, Bill Peterson, Mark Umile, Stormy Spill, Doug Devos, Warren Ulaner, Mark Legan, Asie Kid, LeeAnne Baker

Directed by Tim Kinciad

Expectations: Low, but I hope for some good B-Movie fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Mutant Hunt is another Tim Kincaid joint that delivers on the promise his previous films Breeders and Robot Holocaust built up: shitty plots with shitty acting. Where Breeders had little to redeem itself (unless ridiculously gratuitous nudity or women bathing in alien cum is your thing), Robot Holocaust was actually enjoyable in its shittiness. Thankfully, Mutant Hunt continues the upward trend and is easily the most enjoyable Tim Kincaid movie I’ve seen yet. That’s not to say it isn’t a piece of shit though.

I’m really not capable of summarizing the plot of Mutant Hunt. I seriously zoned out every time the characters spoke; my mind compelled me to think of something else every time they started speaking, something of a fail-safe system I guess. What I was able to pick up between battles with my mind dealt with an evil genius with a bunch of cyborg mutants that have been given a drug that makes them find pleasure in killing a human every six hours. After one robot mutant rips the head off of another (the movie has my full attention at this point), the fleet of mutants goes out on the street to kill some mortals. Somehow a few people band together to hunt said mutants, but I was unable to grasp why or how they were connected to the story overall. I know they were at some level, but like I said, I couldn’t fight that fail-safe on my brain.

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Robot Holocaust (1987)

Starring Norris Culf, Nadine Hartstein, J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner, Jennifer Delora, Andrew Howarth, Angelika Jager, Michael Downend, Rick Gianasi, George Grey, Nicholas Reiner, Michael Azzolina, John Blaylock

Directed by Tim Kincaid

Expectations: Super low. The previous Tim Kincaid movie I saw, Breeders, was pretty awful with virtually no redeeming qualities.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


The line between science fiction and fantasy is one that very few stories dare to cross. This trepidation is with good reason, as the two nerd camps don’t usually have a lot of crossover. Sometimes though, a film comes along that has real balls. These films usually go with the kitchen sink approach, such as last week’s Eliminators, and Robot Holocaust is a film that features a very similar philosophy. The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where robots rebelled and almost destroyed society. It is now controlled by the evil “Dark One” and his minions Valeria and Torque, who take a mysterious man hostage. His daughter hooks up with the nomad Neo and a bunch of other dudes and they go on a quest across the barren wasteland to vanquish the Dark One and rescue the kidnapped man.

This might make Robot Holocaust sound like an interesting, enjoyable movie. And it is in its way, but a true appreciation of shit movies is needed for the film to ascend to this level. Chances are if you’re watching a movie called Robot Holocaust, you’re pretty well dialed in to the mindset needed though. The acting is ridiculously bad from everyone except maybe Norris Culf who plays Neo, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that his acting is good. Robot Holocaust also features a robot sidekick named Klyton, who is basically C-3PO. It’s interesting to me that last week’s film Eliminators featured a rip-off R2-D2, and this one features a budget version of his wordy companion. I honestly didn’t know going in, but it definitely added something to the experience.

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Intruder (1989)

Intruder (1989)

Starring Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes, Sam Raimi, Eugene Robert Glazer, Billy Marti, Burr Steers, Craig Stark, Ted Raimi, Alvy Moore, Tom Lester, Emil Sitka, Bruce Campbell, Lawrence Bender, Scott Spiegel

Directed by Scott Spiegel

Expectations: Moderate. I expect the film to be awful, but the FX to be awesome.


 

Two years after co-writing Evil Dead 2 with Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel got his chance at his own full-length feature film. Based on an earlier short of his, Intruder is quite modest in its budget and aspirations, but achieves true terror and suspense. I’m sad that I never happened upon this film before, as it would have easily been a favorite for many years. Up front it’s important to be aware of a couple of things though. On the DVD boxart, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi’s names are prominently displayed. Red flags should come up at this, as low-budget trash horror has a knack for playing up the small cameos of big names to trick people into buying or renting. Thankfully, I knew beforehand that Bruce Campbell was only in the final thirty seconds, as this could have been a very different experience if I went in blind.

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Breeders (1986)

Starring Teresa Farley, Lance Lewman, Frances Raines, Natalie O’Connell, Amy Brentano, LeeAnne Baker, Matt Mitler, Adriane Lee

Directed by Tim Kincaid

Expectations: Moderate. The poster looks awesome.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


If I had noticed that this was a Wizard Video release prior to sitting down with it, I might have tempered my moderate expectations a bit. The only release of theirs I’ve reviewed so far was the god-awful trashfest Dreamaniac, so after the opening titles I had flashbacks to the boring mess that was that film. Thankfully, Breeders isn’t quite as bad, but it’s nowhere close to good either.

In what is probably the most impoverished story yet in our horrific October, an alien is under the city raping virgins. That’s literally it. There’s a doctor and a cop trying to figure out what is going on but they don’t have a fucking clue and neither does writer/director Tim Kincaid. After doing some research, I learned that Mr. Kincaid, in addition to directing a couple of science fiction B-Movies, is primarily a homosexual porn director. You never would have guessed it from the footage taken in Breeders though, as it features hands down some of the most gratuitous female nudity of all time. Whenever nudity comes around in any film, I always find myself questioning it and wondering if it is necessary or gratuitous. The debate only raged for about a second on this film, as it is clearly exploitative. Does every girl in the city strip nude when they arrive home? They do in this movie! The film ends with all the nude women writhing in an alien pool of white goo (symbolism?) for about the last five minutes of screen time. No shit.

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Dreamaniac (1986)

Starring Thomas Bern, Ashlyn Gere (as Kim McKamy), Sylvia Summers, Brent Black, Cynthia Crass, Lisa Emery, Brad Laughlin, Linda Denise Martin, Bob Pelham, Lauren Peterson, Matthew Phelps, Michael Warren

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low. I have a bad feeling about this one.

On the general scale:
nostar (NO STARS)

On the B-Movie scale:
halfstar


Now this is what I’m talking about when I talk about a piece-of-shit movie. Dreamaniac makes Troll 2 look like a Lawrence of Arabia style epic in comparison. Where Troll 2 backs up its poor execution with tons of fun, Dreamanic is an absolute chore to sit through whilst retaining your sanity. One of the worst knocks against a low-level horror movie is boredom and let me tell you, Snoremaniac would be a more apt title. Having to recall and write about this film may end up being more painful than actually viewing it.

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