LEE MAJORS WEEK: The Brothers Solomon (2007)

Between being directed by Bob Odenkirk and written by Will Forte, who also stars, I had high hopes for this goofy comedy and they were definitely lived up to.

John (Will Arnett) and Dean Solomon (Forte) grew up in isolation as they were raised by their single father Ed (Lee Majors) at an Arctic research station. Now that they’re in the normal world, they have no idea how to interact with other people. Now that Ed is in a coma, the brothers decide that they can wake him by having a child, which proves to be nearly impossible.

I mean, it’s mostly a one-joke premise — the woman they pick to adopt a child from (Kristen Wiig) is having a baby with a black man (Chi McBride) — but I was in the right mood for a ridiculous comedy, much less one that had Majors in it.

Lee Majors Week: Spring Break ’83 (2007)

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran on February 23, 2020, as part of our “Box Office Failure Week” of film reviews. We rerunning it as part of our “Leek Majors Week” tribute.

If you ever wondered: Is there a film with an almost $20 million dollar price tag that the acting and technical unions had to shut down because none of the actors or crew were paid? Is there a film that still hasn’t been released—thirteen years after it completed production? More importantly: Is there a film where Lee Majors (being a really good sport about his “pop culture” status) goes “Six Million Dollar Man” on Dan Conner’s ass? Is there a film where Lee Majors makes prank phone calls looking for “Phil McCracken” with Johnny Brennan of The Jerky Boys?

Yep. There is.

Tag! You’re it. Whoomp! There it is!

And that movie is this reported “remake” of director Sean S. Cunningham’s second post-Friday the 13th project, the 1983 teen comedy, Spring Break. (That film’s theme song by Cheap Trick is below.) The story is a familiar one: a group of four friends who were bullied in high school decide to seek revenge against those now college freshman bullies during a Florida Spring Break in 1983. Shot in outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the film was produced by Big Sky Motion Pictures, the production company of the film’s writer and director, Mars Callahan, who’s best known for the acclaimed Poohall Junkies starring Chazz Palminteri and Christopher Walken (and the little seen What Love Is starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.).

While the title makes you think this is a direct-to-DVD knockoff of a Judd Aptow sex-joke fest, you’d be wrong. Spring Break ’83, co-directed by Sam Raimi associate Scott Spiegel (Intruder, co-writer of Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn), carries an $18 million dollar price tag and was intended as a theatrical release.

And look at that cast. The talent we love here at B&S About Movies is everywhere you look! It’s a B-Movie fan’s dream wet dream with Robert Davi (Maniac Cop II), Erik Estrada (Do or Die, the Hallmark Channel’s Dead Over Diamonds), Morgan Fairchild (American Horror House), John Goodman (C.H.U.D), Lee Majors (The Norseman), Joe Pantoliano (The Final Terror) Joe Piscopo (Dead Heat), Richard Portnow (Howard Stern’s dad in Private Parts), and Adrian Zmed (The Final Terror, William Shatner ‘80s TV series TJ Hooker).

It’s been reported the film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. However, it actually didn’t screen at festival: the film was shown at an (unnamed) venue in Park City, Utah, at the same time Sundance was taking place. Piggybacking the film onto the festival did nothing to help the film find a distributor. The film’s once official website now leads to a 404 error and the legal disputes over who owns the film’s negative still continues. . . . And we’re sure Lee has stories to tell. We wonder if he ever got paid?

About the Author: You can read the music and film criticisms of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook.

LEE MAJORS WEEK: Ben 10 Race Against Time (2007)

Based on the Cartoon Network series and directed by Alex Winter — yes, that Alex Winter — Ben 10 Race Against Time is a great live-action version of a kid-friendly series that you may have slept on.

Ben Tennyson has the power of the Omnitrix, which allows him to transform into a multitude of super-powered different characters (for ten minutes at a time) to protect the galaxy, a job his grandfather (Lee Majors!) has done for decades. But now, Eon wants to destroy our her and use the Hands of Armageddon to open a gateway to his home dimension and unleash war upon our planet.

It turns out that Eon is an alternate reality version of Ben gone wrong, one that has learned how to get past the time limit of the Omnitrix. Only four of the powered forms — Diamondhead, Grey Matter, Heatblast and Wildmutt — show up here, but I really enjoyed getting to see a live-action version of a cartoon that I really dig.

Winter would also direct a sequel, Ben 10: Alien Swarm. And hey — Lee Majors is the perfect actor for Max.

KAIJU DAY MARATHON: Kong: Return to the Jungle (2007)

After the Peter Jackson King Kong movie, this animated spin-off told the story of another Kong, a more heroic and human-friendly version. After beauty killed the beast, a young scientist Dr. Lorna Jenkins cloned him and took him back to Kong Island. Her grandson Jason (voice actor Kirby Morrow, who has played everything from Cyclops to Michaelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) and his friend Tan (Scott McNeil, whose voice was all over Dragon Ball Z) decided to take their teacher Ramon De La Porta (David Kaye, the narrator of Fido) to meet Kong, but it turned out that he was evil, using the Primal Stones of the island to unleash the evil elder god Chyros. Luckily, Jason, Kong and an island named Lua (Saffron Henderson, who was the rocking J.J. in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan) have always been around to protect the world.

Unlike the animated series, this is all 3D rendered and has not aged well, but the story itself is still pretty good. If you have young kids at home who love Kong and monsters, well, this is perfect, with the big ape battling alongside and against cyber hunters, wooly mammoths, saber toothed tigers, raptors, a T. Rex, a giant cave snake and more.

You can watch this on the official YouTube channel of the Kong Animated Series. You can also watch it on Tubi.

Tomie vs. Tomie (2007)

The seventh Tomie film, this one is directed by Tomohiro Kubo and based on Junji Ito’s story The Gathering, which appeared in the third volume of the manga.

For some reason, someone thought that it would be a good idea to inject two kids with the blood of Tomie. This meant that they would grow up into two full Tomies, but flawed as they need the blood of pure Tomies to sustain themselves.

In case you’re wondering if this series has gone on too long…

So where does the male love come in? Well, there’s a factory worker who is pining over his dead girlfriend and can’t move on. Because of that, he won’t fall for the Tomies, who soon get angry about why he won’t fall for them and they begin to fight one another. You know, when two unkillable women go to war over a man showing no interest in either of them, it isn’t pretty.

So yeah, somehow Tomie has moved from being the cannibal queen of a snowy mountain to running a mannequin factory because, well, Japanese horror movies. And as she lurks in the shadows, you know that by the end of the film she’ll be set ablaze and probably eat her way through a man’s body. Both of these things happen, so if you’re a Tomie fan that has stuck around this long — this series is becoming my Japanese Amityville — then you kind of have to watch this. Right?

You can watch this on YouTube. The subtitles are beyond bad on this and are barely even intelligible, even renaming Tomie as “rich river.” Yeah, maybe they actually make this one better. Or funnier, at least.

Ten Inch Hero (2007)

If you haven’t already guessed: this is another John Doe flick in our week-long tribute to his acting career. And even though John Doe brought us here — and does a great turn as a romantic lead — if he wasn’t here, I still would have loved this under-the-radar sleeper. The feature film writing debut for Lifetime and Hallmark movie scribe Betsy Morris, you may have watched SnowComing (2019), her most recent offering as result of its direction by Peter DeLuise — yes, son of Burt Reynolds’s buddy Dom (The Cannonball Run), and of the Stargate TV-verse.

And while Peter got me to watch Morris’s latest film and John got me to watch her first film, it was the fan base afforded to Elisabeth Harnois, Danneel (Harris) Ackles, and Jensen Ackles of TV’s One Tree Hill and Supernatural that got everyone else to watch.

It’s a simple story (with nicely-arced, complex characters) about the Empire Records-esque crew of Beach City Grill, a Santa Cruz sandwich shop owned by Trucker (John Doe), a surfing-hippie and de facto father to the staff of “not normal” twenty-somethings dealing with romantic issues and personal skeletons. Yes, even John Doe, who pines for Zo (Alice Krige of Sleepwalkers and Thor: The Dark World), the owner of a Wiccan store across the street. For me, it all comes across as a lighter, less dramatic inversion of one of my all-time favorite films, Inside Moves (1980), a post-Superman film by Richard Donner concerned with the employees and patrons of a local bar.

John Doe as a romantic? You bet, and he’s great at it.

Of course, as with most of the John Doe flicks we’ve watched this week, his character and its related subplot (well-written and buoyed by John’s heartfelt performance) are secondary to the youthful, female stars of the ensemble cast that also features Clea DuVall (Veep, Better Call Saul, and American Horror Story; John Carpenter’s Ghost of Mars).

Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) is a new-to-Santa Cruz artist searching for a lost family member and meets single dad Noah (Sean Patrick Flanery of Boondock Saints fame), Tish (Danneel Ackles) is a promiscuous temptress, Jen (Clea DuVall) is a humanitarian so shy, she searches for love on Net, and Priestly (a great Jensen Ackles), is a smarter-and-more-sensitive than-he-looks punk rocker who hides his insecurity through quips and off-the-cuff debates about Kurt Cobain and John Lennon.

To say anymore would be telling and ruin your experience of watching this charming, charismatic film. John scored himself a great role here, and you can enjoy it as a free-with-ads stream on TubiTV.

Yeah, this is my favorite John Doe performance of all the films this week. Yeah, Doe as Pat McGurn in Road House and his work here, as Trucker. Great stuff. Watch it.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies and publish music reviews and short stories on Medium.

2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 27. 666: Beware the End is at Hand (2007)

DAY 27. ALKEBULAN: Watch something from the second largest continent.

Religious men try all ways to reach out to the unwashed. There were those that tried TV shows like Davey and Goliath. Jack Chick gave out billions of tracts. And then there are those like Ron Ormond and Estus Pirkle, whose If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? is a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie in ecclesiastical finery. Hal Lindsey, whose tabloid end times film The Late Great Planet Earth made me not sleep for most of the late 1970’s. Russ Doughten, whose apocalyptic saga that began with A Thief In the Night converted thousands. And pastor Kenneth Okonkwo, who seems to have inherited their willingness to go absolutely and wonderfully bonkers just to make you see the light.

Lucifer has sent his demons to Nigeria, impregnating a woman — in horrifying 1980’s direct to video gore detail — with the Antichrist, who ends up being a small child dressed in a bootleg Jordan jersey with glowing rainbow eyes.

Only Pastor Lazarus can stop him, as he and Pastor Chucks (Okonkwo) walk through the streets, screaming the word of God at real people like some Christian ministry version of Jackass while the demon child beats up homeless women and gets yelled at by his father before committing patricide, then engaging in Street Fighter style battle with the priest.

By the second film, gay sex is equated as always rape and often demonic possession and demons pay women $10,000 to lick their scabs. The demon child has also grown a horn and is able to leave the Mark of the Beast on the foreheads of anyone he touches.

Take it from someone who listened to Bob Larson’s Talk Back every single afternoon, this is the real deal. Everyone in this movie believes completely in what they are saying, despite having the effects budget of a trip to the grocery store. Imagine if the worst public access show decided to make a two-hour blockbuster and you have a good idea of what you’re about to watch.

There’s really no other movie-watching experience that can prepare you for this. Bouncy pop music plays alongside cheap flames that dance across cardboard visions of Hell while little kids smoke cigarettes. Also: a devil baby.

You know how you should build up to the really hard drugs? I recommend that if you haven’t watched enough religious films or handled snakes after drinking poison that you ease your way into this. Here’s the YouTube link, but trust me. This isn’t for everyone.

You can also download this from the Internet Archive.

2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 26: Naked Fear (2007)

Day 26: Don’t Mess with Texas: Watch one set deep in the heart of Texas. (Okay, we cheated . . . it starts in Texas and ends up in the pancreas of Texas, aka New Mexico.)

Yes, Sam . . . this does, in fact, fit into our “Slasher Month” for October. Although, technically, this is more of a serial killer “stabber-impaler,” but more on that later. . . .

One of the wonderful aspects of writing for B&S About Movies (i.e. cleaning the grease pits and dumpster pad out back) — besides the movie-themed drink recipes acquired during our Saturday Night Drive-In Asylum Double Feature Watch Parties brought to you by Bill Van Ryn, the publisher of the quarterly Drive-In Asylum and webzine Groovy Doom — are the rabbit holes: those wonderful analog white rabbits that lead us into a strange and absurd celluloid universe of once unwanted and forgotten direct-to-video gems. The “rabbit hole” in this case began with our review of Dennis Devine’s second film, Dead Girls, and his most recent film, Camp Blood 8, which lead to our upcoming “Drive-In Friday: Dennis Devine Night” tribute where we reviewed Get the Girl starring Danielle De Luca.

And . . . are we really inside a rabbit hole . . . or is it the psychedelic experience of the libations flowing forth from the B&S Bar n’ Grill? Whow, dude. I just blew liver . . . and my mind. Nope. Your mind and your optics’ rods n’ cones processed that DVD box correctly.

Joe Mantegna of CBS-TV’s long-running Criminal Minds (aka Joey Zasa from Godfather III, Warren Beatty’s Bugsy, Stephen King’s Thinner, and, most importantly, one of the greatest faux-DJ’s to ever grace the silver screen, Ian the Shark from Airheads . . . oh, okay, yeah, and Fat Tony in The Simpsons) did an “Eric Roberts” (i.e., appear in few scenes to get a “name” on the box for marketing purposes) to help his ol’ buddy, Thom Eberhardt. (But Mantegna is in more scenes that the usual Eric Roberts gig (The Evil Inside Her). In fact, Naked Fear is third time Eberhardt and Mantegna worked together: their other films are (the really good) TV movie Face Down (1997), with Peter Riegert (Animal House) and Kelli Maroney (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Chopping Mall), and I Was a Teenage Faust (2002), with Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man).

And, as we’ve said many times before in the digital ethers of B&S About Movies, that “Eric Roberts” casting-marketing works: if I didn’t see Joe Mantegna on the box, I wouldn’t have clicked deeper into the film. But wait a sec . . . no, it can’t be? It is! That’s under-the-radar directing-favorite Thom Eberhardt of the video rental and HBO subscription-favorites Sole Survivor and Night of the Comet (with Kelli Maroney; it’s “all in the family,” after all).

We say “under the radar” not as an insult to Thom, as we believe his name should be as remembered-revered as Tobe Hooper (Lifeforce), William Sachs (Van Nuys Blvd.), and Jim Wynorksi (Forbidden World). You’ve watched more of Thom’s movies than you realize. He directed the always-awesome Sir Michael Caine as a drunken Sherlock Holmes in the comedy Without a Clue (1988), Keanu Reeves (alongside the recently convicted Lori “Aunt Becky” Loughlin) in The Night Before (1988; which Thom also wrote), and Gross Anatomy (1989) with Matthew Modine and Daphne Zuniga (The Dorm that Dripped Blood). But the biggest film of his directing career, that is, the best-distributed and best remembered — courtesy of its star, Kurt “Snake Plissken” Russell — is Captain Ron (1992). Oh, and we can’t forget Thom wrote Disney/Touchstone’s Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992).

“Ahem. Sam?”

“Yeah, R.D?”

“Since your Christmas Movie goofy ’round ‘ere, did you know that the guy who made Soul Survivor and Night of the Comet wrote a Christmas movie, All I Want for Christmas (1991)? December’s coming up . . . so put that on your review’s shortlist for December.

“Hmmm. Lauren Becall, Leslie Neilson. Interesting . . . I’m on it.”

Anyway, sadly, Thom drifted away from mainstream Hollywood courtesy of the negative reviews for Captain Ron — and the $22.5 million gross against its $24 million budget. (Personally, and in spite of Martin Short’s camera-mugging, I liked it; come on, it had Kurt Russell in another eye patch!) At that point, Thom transitioned into low-budgeted TV movies — with Twice Upon a Time, Ratz, and the aforementioned Face Down and I Was A Teenaged Faust — with Naked Fear being his last feature film, to date. But, as you can tell by the title, there’s nudity in this one, full-frontal nudity (of the non-sexual nature), so this one’s strictly a direct-to-video release (I’ve never come across it on subscription cable). In fact, that “nudity” aspect is pushed to the forefront in its overseas release. So, if ‘ol Joe doesn’t inspire you . . . it’s all in the marketing.

Geeze, did John Howard of Spine (1986) fame make this? Did the art deparment at 4-Play Video, Inc. and Xeon, Ltd. design the box?

Okay, so . . . now for the Halloween-cum-October theme month-cum-slasher purpose behind this review. And, no. While you may think this is all influenced by Cornel Wilde’s (Sharks’ Treasure) The Naked Prey (1965), which had its roots in the 1924 short-story by Richard Connell, which became the 1932 film of the same name, The Most Dangerous Game, and Robert Sheckley’s grandfather of sci-fi “death sport” films, the Italian-made The 10th Victim (1965), based on his 1953 short story, The Seventh Victim, you’d be wrong. In fact, another variant of Connell’s novel — with its production also inspired by a serial killer we’re about to discuss — is 1994’s Surviving the Game, a present-day variant starring Ice-T as a kidnapped homeless man hunted on preserve by Gary Busey and the late Rutger Hauer.

So, in our last week’s reviews for Black Circle Boys (and this month’s upcoming reviews for Deadbeat by Dawn and River’s Edge; search for ’em) we discussed the real-life serial killer/murders that inspired those films. And in the case of Naked Fear, screenwriter Christine Vasquez used the exploits of the “Butcher Baker,” aka Robert Christian Hansen (he was a baker-by-trade, learned from his father), who, between 1971 and 1983, abducted, raped, and murdered at least seventeen women (mostly prostitutes) in and around Anchorage, Alaska. His modus operandi: he flew them out to (he was a licensed bush pilot) and dumped many of them into the wilderness and hunted them down with a semi-automatic rifle and a knife — and he kept their jewelry as mementos. He was also an avid hunter who excelled at archery (which carried over into the movie) — and took up arson. Sentenced to 461 years and a life sentence without the possibility of parole, Hansen died in prison, in 2014.

So, yes. While you’ve seen the “human death sport” plot many times before, such as the sci-fi variant Predator or the in recent, controversial-flop The Hunt (or the recent mocksploitation knock-off American Hunt), and all of the celluloid grandchildren born that we discuss in our review of Elio Petri’s aforementioned The 10th Victim, you’ve never seen the “human hunt” done so effectively on a small budget. Yes, it’s inherently better than American Hunt, which attests to Thom Eberhardt’s directorial skill set.

Danielle De Luca (also of 2011’s worth-the-watch Grizzly Flats with Judd Nelson, 2009’s pretty cool, award-nominated horror based on The Donner Party, Necrosis, and the Dennis Devine rom-com DeWitt & Maria), who’s very good here in her physically-demanding role, stars as the new-in-town Diane Kelper. Also new to town is recently hired sheriff deputy Dwight Terry (Arron Shiver of George Clooney’s The Men Who Stare at Goats, and as Dean O’Banion in the awesome Boardwalk Empire with Steve Buscemi, and Billy Barnes in AMC’s Longmire), a big city disgraced cop.

Deputy Terry, of course, wants the hell out of Podunk, New Mexico, and sees career redemption in the town’s recent rash of missing women — and ulterior-motive driven Sheriff Tom Burke (Joe Mantegna) wants Duputy Terry to back off the case. Of course the Sheriff does . . . and no one in the town cares, either; the missing are (in a nice subtextual turn-of-the-script) just strippers, prostitutes, or drifters that are just as worthless as the deer that’s killed for sport in these parts; the girls are, like the deer, are just “meat” after all.

After winning a bar dance contest in her Texas hometown, the naive Diane is lured to this small, dusty New Mexico boomtown — where game hunting is its main industry — and discovers her “dancing job” is at a seedy strip club. The club’s owner and his agent promised Diane a dancing gig as a “stepping stone” to a prestigious job in Las Vegas — but not the one in Nevada, but in New Mexico, east of Santa Fe (“. . . there’s two? Shit!”). Then she comes to realize she’s been scammed into a twisted form of indentured servitude of no financial escape. So, to make ends meet, she takes up prostitution as side job — which also benefits her bosses and was always their endgame. Her first client is Colin Mandle (as with the discussed Robert Christian Hansen), a successful food industry owner, avid bowhunter, and bush pilot who spends his evenings in strip joints and beds prostitutes. And Diane wakes up naked and alone in the wilderness. The hunt begins.

To tell any more would be to give away the effective, twist ending of who the newest serial killer to emerge in these parts — “The Southwest Slayer” — really is.

The upside to Thom Eberhardt’s direction is that, while those overseas video boxes push the nudity angle, and Danielle De Luca is fully nude for a (short) portion of the movie, the nudity is neither gratuitous or offensive and is essential to the plot; even the torture Diane endures before “the hunt” is downplayed. So, in the hands of a lesser, low-budget provocateur, Naked Fear could have degraded into a pseudo-soft core porn film (see Spine; yes, that was “the point” of that film, but work with me, here; while it bears similarities to Richard Speck’s July 1966 Chicago murders of eight student nurses, the film was not based on those killings). So kudos to Thom, not only for keeping the nudity at bay, but for dialing back the graphic horror to create a tight, survivalist thriller. And De Luca wasn’t cast because of how she looks in the buff: she illcits sympathy in her role, and pulls out all of the stops when the hunt is on. I’d really like to see De Luca her rise out of direct-to-videodom into smaller, featured roles in mainstream productions, or pop up in a Law & Order: SVU or Blue Bloods (you know my fandom for those two series). Ditto for Arron Shiver, who recently turned up alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon in Ford v Ferrari (2019).

Yes, the film is a little long on the hour forty minute side, but since this wasn’t intended as a TV movie — which would require an 80-minute cut to fit into a 40-minute, two hour commercial block – Eberhardt’s frames aren’t superfluous. Changes are, as with most domestic TV movies or direct-to-DVD productions, and with Mantenga’s name, Naked Fear most likely had a limited, foreign theatrical release; thus, the length works.

The only issue I had with the plotting of the film: the cliff scene. After a blow to the head with a pretty large rock and a 30-foot cliff fall, our killer pulls a “Jason Vorhees” and come back, again — sans head wound, blood, disorientation, and nary a broken bone. Eh, that’s how all movies of this type roll (i.e., the victim has a false sense of victory-redemption). But it’s excused, thanks to Christine Vasquez’s solid scripting, Thom’s directing, and good acting against-the-budget from all that keeps you gripped in fear — and shocked that the story, while it seems preposterous, is actually based in fact.

You can watch Naked Fear as an account log-in on You Tube or as a non-log in, free-with-ads stream on TubiTV. Parental Guidance is suggested as result of the nudity.

Thom Eberhardt and Christine Vasquez have recently reteamed for the currently in-development Los Wildcats del Norte. You can keep abreast of that production’s developments at their official Facebook page. Some of the other films that you’ve seen from Naked Prey‘s producer and distributor, CineTel Films, include 976-EVIL (1988), Class of 1999 II: The Substitute (1994), Christmas Icetastrophe (2014), and Nic Cage’s Kill Chain (2019).

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies and publishes on Medium.

2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 24: Devil Girl (2007)

Day 24: At the Gig: Something with live scenes.

I don’t want to hear it Sam. This one’s got a ’69 Chevelle muscle car, vamps, zoms, goo, blood, slashings, lesbian sex with devils, a crazy clown on a motorcycle, a Rob Zombie tie-in, and Satan-influenced rock. So, while it’s not a straight slasher per se, I’m posting it. I mean, shite dude. Every time I think I got one that’s a perfect fit for October’s “Slasher Month,” you’ve already reviewed it. Even grease bit scrubbers need a break at the B&S About Bar n’ Grill.

Anyway, it’s all “Tails, Horns and Rock n’ Roll” according to the multiple-art work DVD covers of this low-budget, hallucinatory joyride crossing Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk ‘Til Dawn with the film works of alternative rocker Rob Zombie — House of a 1000 Corpses, in particular. The caveat: If you’re not into non-linear storylines with a dreamlike-psychedelic vibe and cackling clowns, you’ll be pissed. But if you have an appreciation for a low-budget filmmakers and actors giving it their all and shooting for something a little bit different, then you’ll enjoy getting lost in this desert purgatory where nothing is as it seems.

After the death of her father, Fay, a small town girl, aimlessly hits the road in her mechanic pop’s cherish ’69 Chevelle, leading an Easy Rider existence (less the existentialism) as she searches for meaning and purpose. One of those “searches” result in a drag race that blows her engine and strands her along the desert asphalts of Route 66. To raise the funds to repair her car, she takes a job stripping in a dusty town’s night club (in a dominatrix outfit, natch). Her life quickly descends a film noir spiral as she raped by a someone in a leather mask, she stalked by a neurotic, drug abusing clown, deals with a creepy motel clerk of the Bates Hotel variety, a skeleton-ratting, bible-thumpin’ preacher with secrets to hid, and a sexy-strippin’, red-skinned lesbian devil (sporting great, head-to-toe red make-up, complete with horns and a pointy tale) who drives a classic T-Bird.

But is it any of this real? Is it all just a recreational drug fantasy? Or has Faye made her last stop in a purgatory stop-over to hell?

What this one has going for it: Awesome, unsigned-cum-indie-cum-pseudo local-cum-underground metal courtesy of the Los Angeles metal band the UV’s—featuring “Blare N. Bitch” of L.A rockers Betty Blowtorch—as the strip club band (again, know your Tarantino). The soundtrack also feature several songs by Scum of the Earth, a band formed by Mike Riggs, who served as a member of Rob Zombie’s solo band for the albums Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge, and John Tempesta of Testament (now I know you remember their ‘80s MTV Headbanger’s Ball hit “Over the Wall”).

And, if you’re a radio dork like me, you’ll remember the American TV series WKRP In Cincinnati featured another Scum of the Earth — a fictitious band portrayed by ex-Silverhead leader Michael Des Barres and his band late ‘70s band Detective (Episode 104, if you want to search for it).

Devil Girl is the feature film writing and directing debut for upstate New York filmmaker Howie Askins who, like us kiddies frolicking the wilds of Allegheny Country, likes his comic books, dusk till dawn drive-in movies, and metal music. He’s since released his second feature, Evidence (2012), a POV found-footage romp about a camping trip gone wrong. Based on its 40 critic and 60-plus user reviews on the IMDb and its 3 out of 5 stars review based on 132 Amazon users, the horror-mystery mixed with sci-if received solid distribution, is easy to find, and worth dropping the .99 cents to watch it on Amazon Prime. It definitely has a nice twist beyond the usual POV-Blair Witch norms. Unfortunately, Devil Girl is currently unavailable on Amazon Prime and no other streams are available, but DVDs are easily found in the online marketplace.

I know. I know. Go scrub the grease pit. . . .

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

SLASHER MONTH: Possession: Until Death Do You Part (1987)

Canada, I love you. Seriously, you have made so many crazy slashers that you’ve won my heart. And just when I think I’ve seen them all, I find this 1987 rarity that features a killer named Frankie who kidnaps women, forces them to dress up like his mother and then stores their used up dead bodies in a closet. But now that he’s found — and lost — Madeline (Melissa Martin, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan) thanks to dear old mom, he decides to commit matricide and take off into the night looking for the one that got away.

This ones comes to us from Lloyd Simandi — whose resume is packed with wonderful junk like Empire of Ash films, Chained Heat IIMedieval Fleshpots 2: Hot Wenches and Forbidden Rage: White Slave Secrets — and Michael Mazo, who also directed Empire of Ash III. In case you’re wondering who did Empire of Ash II, the secret is that these guys were so scumtastic that they just released the first film all over again as the second one.

For all the scenes of women soaping up in the shower — seriously, this movie must have employed a 35,000 gallon hot water heater to ensure all those showers remained piping hot — there is also a scene of women going to the male strip club. And everyone chasing the killer. And the killer chasing them back. And, perhaps most amazingly, the killer stabbing a woman and then using the same knife to slice up some pizza.

This is the kind of movie that Twitter kids would today label as problematic and that my wife walks past and shakes her head, wondering why I always end up watching movies where everyone is either stupid, naked or stupid and naked.

You can watch this on YouTube.