Two Front Teeth (2006)

Gabe Snow writes for a tabloid with a very limited audience — The X-mas Times — which is all about holiday conspiracies. The latest is Flight 1225, which was brought down one foggy Christmas Eve by a flying creature with a glowing nose.

To keep this a secret, Clausferantu — a demonic vampire anti-Santa Claus — has unleashed zombie elves, demonic snowmen and an army of ninjas known as the Silent Nights.

It makes sense that this was directed written by one of the people who worked on the WNUF Halloween Special, Jamie Nash, who created this along with David Thomas Sckrabulis.

There are animated sections, Gremlins flashback stories to horrible holiday secrets, a karate fight with Santa coming back to battle his evil twin, an evil bunny, a horrifying story about pulling out teeth to get money and an SOV aesthetic that I absloutely loved.

This movie has jumped up on my list of favorite weird holiday horror and feels like a spiritual sequel to Elves, which is the highest praise I can give.

You can watch this on YouTube.

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006)

How to tell this movie was made in 2006:

  • It was made for SyFy.
  • It was shot in Bucharest, Romania.
  • It has two titles, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes and Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud, but is not called Pumpkinhead IV.
  • It pretty much follows the original film and just subverts it slightly by having Lance Henriksen’s mummified body be the host for Pumpkinhead. For what it’s worth, Henriksen claims to have crawled out of the theater during the premiere, referred to this movie as “an alimony movie,” “just a nightmare, a nightmare of mediocrity” and “an absolute piece of shit.*”
  • Beyond Henriksen, Doug Bradley shows up. Those two must have had insane frequent flyer points, as it seems like they were flying to Eastern Europe for almost every role.

Bradley plays a mortician who has been selling organs and dumping bodies, leading to the town calling in the Pumpkinhead to kill him. He decides to kill everyone who summoned the demon. You can see a bunch of Lament Configuration boxes in Bradley’s office at one point.

Director Jake West also made the documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape and the movie Razor Blade Smile.

*Thanks to Letterboxd user FakeVorhees for this!

SLASHER MONTH: The Pumpkin Karver (2006)

You think you didn’t get along with your siblings? Jonathan and his sister Lynn have a major issue: he was pranked by her boyfriend Alex, who was dressed like a slasher and accidentally killed him. And not that Halloween is here, it. turns out that that man is back from the grave in a new and much more horrible way. I mean, the dude makes people walk backward into drills and pumpkin carves out their faces, so there’s that.

This movie was shot over two years and there wasn’t much time to get everything that was in the script shot. But director and co-writer Robert Mann (whose co-writer was Sheldon Silverstein, not The Giving Tree author but the producer of The Erotic Adventures of Robinson Crusoe) did everything from voiceover work to making the props and parts of the Halloween costumes to get it done.

For metal dudes, this movie is worth watching because Nergal from Behemoth shows up. You can watch it on Tubi.

Evil Bong (2006)

Man, I can make it through some rough films but I really feel like this is the bottom of the barrel and then several levels below that. Like, this is somehow a sub-Troma movie that I’m mad at myself for watching, upset that I’m writing about it and even more disturbed that there are so many sequels.

The Evil Bong is a sentient malevolent hookah that takes its smokers to The Bong World, which has strippers and Full Moon characters like Ooga Booga, The Gingerdead Man, Ivan Burroughs from Decadent Evil, Jack Attack from Demonic Toys and Jack Deth, as well as Bill Mosely and Tommy Chong.

One of the bouncers within Bong World is Sylvester “The Predator” Terkay, a former pro wrestler and MMA competitor who finished second in the 1992 NCAA Division I Heavyweight tournament, losing to future Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle by points.

I know that sometime, somewhere, I will force myself to watch Evil Bong 2: King Bong, Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong, Evil Bong 420, Evil Bong High-5!, Evil Bong 666, Evil Bong 777 and Weedjies!: Halloweed Night.

I’m already upset.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Return to Halloweentown (2006)

This is the only film in the Halloweentown series not to feature Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie. Brown herself has claimed that not only was she available, but she wanted to finish out the series. Instead, series creator Sheri Singer would just state that Disney and Brown’s camp couldn’t come to terms and make a deal work. That said, Joey Zimmerman, Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag and Lucas Grabeel did all come back for the film. Sophie, who was played by Emily Roeske in the previous Halloweentown installments, is mentioned but does not appear. It was directed by David Jackson, who also made the Yasmine Bleeth-starring The Lake.

Marnie decides that instead of college that she’ll attend Witch University in Halloweentown on a full scholarship. But when she starts classes, she learns that all they do is study Shakespeare and the history of magic. She makes a new friend — Aneese the Genie — while reconnecting with Ethan and running afoul of the Sinister Sisters, the daughters of Silas Sinister.

The reason why magic is no longer taught? It’s all Marnie’s fault. Witch University was originally established exclusively for warlocks and witches to learn how to use magic. But Marnie destroyed the portal between the worlds, most of the magical children went to college in the mortal realm.

There’s also the matter of a locked box in the dungeon of the school that only Marnie can open, with a sinister group called the Dominion working to force her to break open its seal. Once open, it allows the Sinister Sisters to control Halloweentown. As you can imagine, everything works out — this is a Disney Channel movie, not the usual Filmirage gorefests we watch around here and even sets up future tales.

Due to the recasting, most fans of this series kind of wish this movie never existed.

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: The Jail: The Women’s Hell (2006)

When most Italian men get to be 75 years of age, they become kindly older men, their rough edges filed down and replaced with good humor and happiness. Bruno Mattei was not one of those men, because if you think his return to the women in prison genre would start pulling punches, you don’t know Vincent Dawn. Or David Hunt. Or Werner Knox.

The first moment in this movie would be the roughest in anyone else’s film. The warden of the prison hell on an Adian island asks for a woman to be released from the hole that she’s been in for a month. When the guards take her out, she’s already dead. She orders her to take twenty lashes anyway to the shock of everyone, even the hardened people guarding the prisoners. In another director’s hands, this would be enough. But we’re in the world of Mr. Mattei and that means we have to watch a dead body literally get the deceased horse treatment.

Three new fish — prisoners 50-52 — are coming to this jungle hell. They’re Carol, who killed her pimp. Lisa, who was part of the wrong crowd. And finally, our heroine Jennifer (Yvette Yzon, who was in two other late Mattei films, Island of the Living Dead and Zombies: The Beginning), who we know won’t crack under pressure. Or high pressure hoses. Or whatever other horrifying things the mind of Mattei can bring.

Jim Gaines — who shows up in plenty of Mattei movies like Zombies: The BeginningIsland of the Living DeadRoboWar, both Strike Commando movies — plays the Governor of the island who runs a strip club, because I guess that’s the kind of business that thrives in a hellhole, and uses the girls as talent. If you don’t play along, they make you stand in a bamboo cage filled with corpses, so most of the ladies get on the pole.

During a huge party at the Governor’s club, the girls make a break for it, turning the film into The Most Dangerous Game slasher territory, yet it’s somehow some of the best-lensed stuff Bruno did. Life’s funny that way. Somehow, the Philippines were just made for the director.

That said — this movie is 100% not for anyone. Really, it’s filled with such repellant imagery that it goes into near parody territory. The House of the Lost Souls is not a place that anyone wants to go to and the film shows you all of it.

Somehow, someway, Bruno didn’t rip anything off in this other than every women in prison movie ever.

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: The Tomb (2006)

Remember when there were a whole bunch of Brendan Fraser mummy movies? What if Bruno Mattei made his own version of those movies — using the name David Hunt — and filled it with all of the wonderful things that his movies are known for? Well, he did. He sure did.

Over the last few years of his career, Mattei began working with Giovanni “Gianni” Paolucci, who wrote and produced his films Dangerous AttractionSnuff KillerMondo CannibalIn the Land of the CannibalsThe Jail: The Women’s HellIsland of the Living DeadZombies: The BeginningCapriccio VenezianoPrivéBelle da Morire and the sequel to that film. Before working with Mattei, he also wrote and produced Antonio Margheriti’s The Ark of the Sun God and was the producer of Argento’s Dracula 3D (as well as the upcoming Antropophagus II, which will be directed by Dario Germani).

The amazing thing is that now that Bruno has moved on to digital video, he’s able to completely not just rip off movies — this is The Mummy right down to the bad guy who looks kinda sorta like Arnold Vosloo — he’s now able to even more easily copy and paste footage from other films directly into his own. Now, when a major Hollywood film takes a plot point, I get apoplectic. Yet when Matti outright takes entire scenes from other movies, I get overjoyed. Such are the weird ways of how I enjoy film.

That means that while Bruno takes the Titty Twister scenes that were a major part of From Dusk Till Dawn and films his own version, he is just as comfortable with directly taking footage from Army of Darkness and The Mummy and inserting them into The Tomb.

Somehow, the guide that a group of students is using to get through the Aztec pyramids is the reincarnation of an evil priestess and one of those students is the reincarnation of the girl who her lover never got to sacrifice because movie logic demands these things occur. Again, in any other movie, I’d roll my eyes, but I kind of demand these kinds of things from the Italian masters of beyond basement value movies.

Then, to show us all that Mattei does not care at all about the world of Hollywood, he outright takes footage from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I doubt Spielberg had any idea who Bruno Mattei was, but just the sheer “Che palle!” of Mattei brings a tear to my eye. Then, to top that, he also ripped off footage from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!

This isn’t the best movie Bruno ever made — I cannot and will not answer that impossible inquiry — but damn if it isn’t a million times better than any mummy movie Hollywood has made said the black and white Universal days.

LEE MAJORS WEEK: The Witnessing of Angels (2006)

When I looked through the bionic eye of my Steve Austin figure at four years old, never did I think four decades later that I would be listening to Lee Majors narrate the story of Erik Estrada surviving a motorcycle accident thanks to an angel.

How can it get any better? What if Patrick Macnee also came on board and told us about his experiences with the seraphim and cherubim?

David McKenzie, who directed this, used to use the name David L. Stanton to make action movies like Chill Factor, which has Paul Williams and — hey! — Patrick Macnee* in them. Or under his own name, TV documentaries and specials such as The International Magic AwardsThe Secret KGB Sex Files and for the last two years, the Emmy Awards.

So yeah. The Six Million Dollar Man, Ponch and John Steed talk about angels. So I watched that.

You can watch this on Tubi.

*He also made the made-for-TV movie Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with Macnee.

ANOTHER TAKE ON: Southland Tales (2006)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: We originally covered this movie all the way back on February 28, 2020, which feels like a million years ago. With the new Arrow Video release of this movie, it feels only right to watch it one more time.

Richard Kelly made Donnie Darko, a film that had a cult that is still obsessed with it, and then followed that movie with Southland Tales, which has, well, probably me still trying to figure it out.

Luckily, the new Arrow release has the 160-minute Cannes cut, which has about 15 minutes more footage than the original, which was one of my holy grails. Between that and a new documentary, It’s a Madcap World: The Making of an Unfinished Film, which has new interviews with Kelly and the crew of this movie, plus everything else in this set, I’d like to say that I’ve figured out more of this movie and have an answer as to what it all means, but let’s be honest. I’m not even sure Kelly is completely sure what this is all about.

Much like Boxer Santaros/Jericho Cane, the character played by Dwayne Johnson/The Rock, who has a script to a new movie The Power basically downloaded directly into his brain that isn’t just the best movie he’s ever considered, but also the way that the world will end, I think that either Kelly had his soul split in two by Fluid Karma or — most likely — had access to the best in drugs after the success of his first film.

The thing is, while so many people dismissed this movie as five years dated in the wake of 9/11, which inspired Kelly to rewrite his story in light of “some of the biggest issues that I think we’re facing right now …the increasing obsession with celebrity and how celebrity now intertwines with politics,” the fact that we are still in the end stage of having a celebrity in the White House who created a cult — not just a cult of personality — makes this film even more relevant in the last twelve months than it was for the past fifteen years.

Somehow, this film — which made $374,743 worldwide against a production budget of $17 million — still obsesses and confuses me long after I forget the latest movie that everyone can’t stop chatting about.

In our world of influencers and bubbles and a public who doesn’t understand the meanings of words like socialism and fascism — while at the same time our leaders on one side misrepresent what defunding means and the other side knows exactly the talking points to speak most directly to the blood and circuses heard of the easily swayed — Southland Tales feels like it really could be the world outside my door. Is it because it was so prescient? Or has life over the COVID-19 confined and protest filled year of 2020 moved reality to science fiction?

I don’t really recommend this movie to many people, because ten minutes in they’re going to realize that it feels like chapter four of a narrative that has already been going on without them — this is exactly what is happening, there were three graphic novels that begin the movie’s story that no one would ever know about or should have to read, but there you go — which never works for any movie other than the ones that I get all mental over.

Therefore, instead of a traditional narrative review — the one we did last year does that and you can refer to it right here if you’d like — I’m going to instead list off some of the questions in my head in the hopes that they will get answered by the universe (or Kelly is Google searching for himself, manages to make his way here and decides to bless me with whatever passes for answers).

Why is the neo-marxist porn-based conspiracy army — as well as USIDeath — staffed by nearly all actors with Saturday Night Live origins, like Amy Poehler, Jon Lovitz, Nora Dunn and Cheri Oteri?

How did the overdubs of Justin Timberlake, who plays Private Pilot Abilene, change the story that Kelly intended? Adam Lorincz, who commented on the original review, said that Kelly redubbed “only the parts when he doesn’t speak on-screen, we just hear his inner monologue, and keep the parts where he is actually speaking, resulting in a character that’s sometimes almost sage-like in it’s wisdom, other times an absolute douchebag.” What’s going on there?

Did Kelly just want to work with a collection of his favorite actors from movies? Like how do you get Wallace Shawn, Zelda Rubenstein and MIranda Richardson and throw them in a film with people like Christopher Lambert and Bai Ling? Building off the SNL question, why are there so many comedic actors — John Larroquette, Curtis Armstrong, Janeane Garofalo, Will Sasso — in this movie? Sure, Kelly has said that he “sought out actors that he felt had been pigeonholed and wanted to showcase their undiscovered talents,” but is there a deeper message to their casting?

What is the point of Kevin Smith’s legless veteran, Simon Theory?

Come to think of it, what is the point of why the zeppelin needs to be shot down and why Boxer has to be there and what the point of the dance number is, other than to entrance the audience of USIdent people so that they all stay and die?

Why is the soundtrack so stuck in mid-90’s — Jane’s Addiction, The Killers and Moby figure prominently — yet the rest of the movie not feel lost in time? I mean, even the chapters take their titles from songs from that time period: “Temptation Waits” is a Garbage song, “Memory Gospel” is a Moby song in the movie and “Wave of Mutilation” is by the Pixies.

Did he pay any of the artists or credit them for taking lyrics as words that the characters say? For example, the line “We saw the shadows of the morning light, the shadows of the evening sun until the shadows and light were one,” comes directly from Jane’s Addiction.

Does it make the movie make more or less sense when you know that The Power was not written whole-cloth by Boxer, but was written by Krysta and given to him after he’s found with his memory wiped away in the desert? Oh yeah — this is another fact that you’d only know if you read the comic books.

Why is Boxer’s other name — Jericho Cane — the same name as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in End of Days?

I don’t have the answers. I do have the new blu ray set, which you can get from Arrow Video.

Legacy of Fear (2006)

Detective Jeanne Joyce (Teri Polo) watched her mother get murdered by a serial killer thirty years ago. Now, she’s still obsessed by the BPS (Bound, Photographed, Strangled )Killer*, a case that drove her father insane and was the whole reason why she became a cop. Yet when the murders start again, she’s not convinced it’s the same killer, even when he or she claims that Jeanna — who pushes away anyone and everyone around her — will be the last to die.

This is the kind of movie that is begging to be either a legit Hollywood film or a giallo, yet is constrained by being a Lifetime movie, so it can’t wallow in the sleaze like it should. However, you can also read that as an indictment of myself, a person who needs fashion, black gloves and a jazzy soundtrack to accompany my murder stories.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

*In no way is this killer related to the BTK (Bind, Tie, Kill) Killer, right?