Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Grindhouse VHS

Seriously, I could write a book about Mardi Gras Massacre. I'm only sixteen minutes into the tape and had to stop to record my impressions. That's quality! Or something. So, a guy walks into a bar and asks the hookers which woman there is the most evil. They immediately send him over to Shirley, who continually strokes the plunging neckline on her blouse in a manner that I think is supposed to be sexy, but looks like a nervous tic. She tells him, "Listen, honey, I could probably take first prize in any evil contest."

That could totally drive Miss America off the air!

This movie, directed by the genius behind the oiled-interdimensional-swamp-witch epic Crypt of Dark Secrets, has a release date of 1978, but its packaging is such classic early 80s/birth of home video kitsch that it's worth the price alone. The movie is just gravy.

There's an ad, framed in cartoon theatre marquee lights, for blank videotapes ("The VCX difference!"), that could be right out of Videodrome, and the cheesiest early computer graphics trying to make flying video boxes look exciting. It also has a trailer for a film version of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler...with Mardi Gras Massacre!

Low budget filmmaking makes for strange bedfellows...

Update at 42 minutes: the murder scenes are a little Blood Feast for my taste (which I guessed might happen when I read the phrase "Aztec priest" on the box), but the soundtrack is pretty great. Breathing, moaning, rattling electronica interspersed with porno music and some disco that's downright parodic.

And some of the dialogue hits the spot. When the so-called Aztec priest is tying up his second prostitute in the sacrificial chamber, she gets some fabulous lines, like "I don't know what kind of scene you've got cooked up here with all your dewdads on the wall," and my favorite so far, "This reminds me of back in Baltimore." Ha ha ha!

For the record, I can't possibly recommend this movie, except for those specialized tastes that just won't be dissuaded. I can't resist mentioning a few other quick points of interest, however: the cop/hooker falling-in-love-montage, after which the cop's partner (the deadpan victim/faux beefcake in Crypt of Dark Secrets) tells him that a former vice detective and a hooker would be a marriage made in heaven -- and he's serious! He thinks the girl is getting the worse part of the deal, since he knows what a dick his partner is. That was unexpected, especially since the most popular one-word description of this movie on the IMDB is "misogynistic," and it made me chuckle.

Then the Aztec priest picks up a prostitute he seems to like, and hesistates to sacrifice her. He tries to throw her out, but, offended, she insists he get his money's worth, so he sort of grudgingly puts on his hood and ties her up. Before that, though, he gets Chinese food delivered for her when she mentions it's her favorite. This may be the best scene in the movie, because when he calls in his order, he does it with the same intensity he has when talking about evil: "Aaaaaaannnnnddddd........a fortune cookie."

I promise this will be out of my system by tomorrow. Or maybe I'll be entrenched in a Talk Like a Pirate Day kind of thing: Talk Like a Low Budget Dracula. "Greeeetings, my friends..." That could really annoy people at my work place. Which would be really fun up until the point where I got fired.

No comments: