Thursday, February 08, 2007

B-Fest Wrap Up 2

When you've come to B-Fest before, the routine kicks in pretty quick: You drop your stuff off in seats, wait for them to kick you out, stand in line, grab the swag, take your reserved seat and wait for the crap to begin. In this case, you wait, and then wait a little big more, but I'll get to that in a second.
Before I start, I want to make an admission: When talking about B-movies, I'm on the B team. I know a few actors and movies but most who come to B-Fest know a hell of a lot more about B-movies than I do. I'm about to put this on display.
In order to avoid stealing any sort of ratings system, I'm going to put a final thought on the bottom of each synopsis. I chalk it up to watching Jerry Springer for the first time in 5 years or so the morning before.

Before the flicks begin, Wyatt gets up and gives the best piece of news I've ever heard:
Wyatt: We are in the process of getting the heat turned down and the air conditioning turned up.
God bless you A&O. I've been in the isles during years where B-Fest seemed more like an experiment in olfactory overload because of the heat. Add yeast, some years, and you'd have they mystery booze from "Street Trash." Anyway, it's good news and the three of us put in a good natured chant of "murder, murder" before things get fired up.
The fest kicks off in inauspicious fashion as the lights go dark, the crowd lifts their voices and we're treated to the word BRAIN way to big on the screen. Then the familiar sound of a projector dying fills the auditorium, and the lights go back up.

What's great about the near-death of a movie so early on is it supplies us all with hope. To be honest, it was this hope that got me through a movie later on.
Anyway, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die," is a classic in the B-movie world. Jason Evers takes his fiancee on a drive, only to wreck the car for no particular reason, grab her (apparently) severed head from the ashes, stuff it in his coat and jog about three miles back to his lab where he proceeds to keep the head alive. He then begins trolling for a body while his fiancee gets more and more bitter, eventually scheming with a big monster behind a door of the lab.
The best part of this movie was the ending, where the monster finally, finally comes through the door only to have the film melt down again, at which point Josh asks "can you imagine how bad Hot Rods To Hell must have been?" He has an interesting point. Tim and a friend quickly re-enact the ending on stage to thunderous applause.
Final thought: Sitting through a movie for 80 minutes only to see have the film break just as the monster appears is the cinematic equivalent of blue balls. That, and it's really more "The Head That Wouldn't Die," which might have gotten more men in the theater.
Ladies and gentleman, let's get ready to MEAAAAANERRRRRRR!
Gawd this movie can't pick a tone, path or mission. Marc Singer, in all his oiled up glory, starts off as a villager who likes animals and ends up on top of a pyramid sacrificing a ferret in order to kill Rip Torn. In the meantime, he befriends fleshy creatures who deliver a hug that sucks all the flesh off of bones, has a sword fight with a guy in the middle of a forest fire, almost drowns in quick sand, runs around a dungeon and sort of kind of romances a boosemy Tonya Roberts.
In reality, this isn't a terrible movie and as a rule I like Don Coscerelli, but you know you're in trouble when ferrets get the biggest round of applause. It's also hard to take anyone seriously who spends 90 minutes shirtless and oiled up unless you're a stripper, and even then, 90 minutes is a little long.
Final Thought: Marc Singer controls birds, ferrets, a panther and that's about it. Only one of those animals I would even remotely classify as a beast, but I'll be the first to admit "The Animal Master" sounds dirty for some reason.
We were treated after to "Flip The Frog Buys A Car," which Chad lamented wasn't toon porn just about the time the anthropomorphic car put on lip stick and got drunk. From my digi:
Mike: The car is drunk
Chad: Now it's sober
Mike: Now it's drunk again.
Classic cartoons usually have this minorly subversive feel to them and "Flip" was no different.
This film is 82 minutes long, 70 or so of which is John Agar showing us all how he courts a lady. Agar and his girl go to dinner, the frolic in the water, they exchange awkward conversations in an aquarium hallway, and oh yeah the Creature From the Black Lagoon goes on a rampage. The 3-D was fantastic, which made the dating pop right off the screen. If there had been any sparks, we would have been singed.
I guess I've seen so many "nature gone wild" movies, it fails to even register anymore. Yeah yeah, man is paying for his insolence, is anything else on? Still, this movie has it's charm, most of which has to do with alcoholism jokes anytime Agar takes a sip of anything.
Final Thought: For the life of me, I can't remember how this movie ends. The last thing I remember is Agar swimming with his girlfriend.
I don't partake this year, for no particular reason. The sound doesn't work, which made the noise from the audience participation portion all the funnier.
I ducked for most of this one, but I have noticed how the audience participation has organically evolved over the years. Since I started coming to the fest, they've added "hot" whenever Vampira is on screen, started yelling "what" when Tor talks, and started making cautionary noises when the detectives wave their guns around.
Final Thought: Insert obligatory "for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives" joke here.
Govat involves two French little people fighting over a chair. From my digi
Chad: Govat is French, and lasts about 6 hours, and is French and I don't get it.
Matt: Um...uh
Chad: Yeah, that's about right.
The pain begins. "Savage Sisters" is the only film I can think of that somehow show horns multiple genital torture and mutilation with the slapstick sensibilities of an episode of Three's Company. It involves three woman, thrown together by a casual aquatinenship, who along with their hustler friend whose fond of bikini briefs, get revenge on Sid Haig in a sombrero and his sidekick Butt Crack.
I hated this movie so much. At one point I turned to Chad and said this was one of the top five worst movies I've ever seen at the fest, only to have it knocked out of the top five by one movie that takes up 30 of those places in about an hour. Savage Sisters makes three principal mistakes.
1) It assumes, incorrectly, that the female breast should be covered at all times under all circumstances which include, but are not limited to, showering, sex and topless beaches.
2) It also assumes, incorrectly, in place of naked breasts the principal audience is much more interested in men ham handedly seducing women while in their underwear. In fact, I saw more men in their underwear in this movie than I've seen in my actual life. This isn't an exaggeration.
3) Sid Haig is cool enough without talking like Frito Bandito, though without him I would have set fire to the screen or myself.
Or, as Chad put it, this is the first ambiguously gay women in prison movie ever made.
Final thought: You have to respect a man who has sex with three women, works out before and after each encounter and still has the ware with all to misuse almost every piece of slang popularized in the 70s.
Comedy is based on one of two things: a misdirection or other people's pain. Either the chicken crosses the road to get to the other side, or Johnny Knoxville gets hit in the nuts. All humor grows from those fertile trees.
Invasion of the Star Creatures, sweet Lord, is a 60s attempt at a goofball comedy. Every bit of humor, with only two exceptions I was able to identify, stem from typical comedic material. Basically it's 17 hours of two guys mugging. Painfully. And each time they mug for the camera, which is once a second or so, it adds to the unfunny. By the end, you have a pile of unfunny the size of Mt. Fiji, and pain I haven't felt since my wife backed over my foot with the car.
It seems straight forward why and how this movie earns its scorn, but I assure you, there is no way to accurately describe how much I despised this movie. In the first five minutes I wanted to hurt the two leads. After 10 minutes of their shtick, I wished ill on their families. The fifth time they pulled a gag where they ran through a series of caves like some Benny Hill from hell, I was physically nauseous. But the time the leads visited an Indian camp or some other sort of contrivance that allowed a white guy to don a head dress and go "hey ya ya ya hey ya ya ya," I needed to leave. Not wanted to, needed to.
Notice I didn't bother with the plot. Neither did the writers.
Final Thought: I'd rather rip my dick off and throw it in the river than ever watch that again.
And, on that note, STAY TUNED FOR PART 3


Blogger E. Mark said...

It's "Gavotte," like the old dance. Which, incidentally, is also French.

9:37 PM  

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