Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Alan Dorich ""

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Alan Dorich

Alan is an avid movie watcher that I recommend you follow on twitter and letterboxd:

Check out his 2013 discoveries list too:
1. DEATH WISH CLUB (D: John Carr, 1984)
Vinegar Syndrome released DEATH WISH CLUB (a.k.a. GRETTA) as one of the special features on their Blu-ray/DVD pack of NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR, since the film was edited into one of NIGHT TRAIN's segments. But DEATH WISH CLUB is actually the better of the two, telling the deranged story of a medical student who falls in love with Gretta, an adult film actress who hangs out with a group of friends who play Russian roulette-style games. Things get even stranger when Gretta slips into her alternate personality, a tough-talking Leo Gorcey-type with a taste for cocaine and prostitutes. And just when you think DEATH WISH CLUB can't get weirder, it thankfully does.  

Perhaps you watched A FIELD IN ENGLAND and thought it wasn't trippy enough. Well, Tsui Hark's 1983 epic is a constantly hallucinatory cinematic acid trip, telling the story of a Chinese soldier who deserts a civil war, finds himself in a cave full of demons and ultimately has to save the world from a blood demon! People fly constantly, fish chuckle at you, and one aging master can fight with his bushy eyebrows and beard. Jodorowsky would be proud.

3. MS. 45 (D: Abel Ferrara, 1981)
Abel Ferrara was really in top form here, directing this famed exploitation classic about a woman (the late Zoe Lund, in a pitch perfect performance) who goes on a killing spree after being sexually assaulted twice in one night. The combination of Lund, Ferrara and writer Nicholas St. John depict her descent into madness excellently, in the film's tight, efficient 80-minute running time. 

4. PHANTOM OF THE MALL: ERIC'S REVENGE (D: Richard Friedman, 1989)
Morgan Fairchild. Pauly Shore. Ken Foree. Today, they would probably all be cast in a SHARKNADO film. But in 1989, they were in PHANTOM OF THE MALL: ERIC'S REVENGE, an 80s-tastic spin on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. This is a pretty goofy, fun slasher film, with a Phantom who has trained himself in kung fu and Shore showing a heroic side! A very fun flick. 

5. THE KINDRED (D: Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow, 1987)
In their third and final collaboration as directors, Carpenter and Obrow delivered their most enjoyable film, THE KINDRED, an unabashedly gooey, slimy monster movie. It's topped off with a gloriously over-the-top climax, with creatures, tentacles, slime and a screaming Rod Steiger. What's not to like?

6. PRIMAL RAGE (D: Vittorio Rambaldi, 1988)
Before 28 DAYS LATER, there was the infection horrors of PRIMAL RAGE, and boy, is it fun. A self-described "gonzo" college reporter breaks into professor Bo Svenson's lab, gets bitten by an infected baboon, and begins to act out with rage and near-caveman level behavior. Of course, he spreads it to others, who reap terror on the college's Halloween dance. Written by Umberto Lenzi, PRIMAL RAGE is an entertaining festival of mayhem with lots of gore, evil frat boys and a Claudio Simonetti score.

7. HELLHOLE (D: Pierre De Moro, 1985)
There's no denying it -- HELLHOLE is trash. But when a movie sets out to be as entertaining as this one is, it's a cause for celebration. Susan, an amnesia victim is locked in an asylum after the murder of her mother by the creepy Silk (Ray Sharkey, having the time of his life). But her problems increase when he infiltrates the staff as a orderly. There's also the evil doctors (Mary Woronov and Marjoe Gortner!) who are doing experiments on the patients that make them even more violent. Oh, and did I mention that Robert Z'Dar plays a nasty orderly? Hell? Bah, this is more like B-movie heaven.

8. DEMONWARP (D: Emmett Alston, 1988)
Good? Bad? The standards of quality don't apply to DEMONWARP, which is really just an enjoyable feast of horror movie junk. It begins with a UFO landing in the 18th century. Then, we cut to 1988, where George Kennedy gets attacked by a sasquatch-style creature and his daugther gets taken away. Then, obnoxious youngsters show up, looking for a missing uncle, prompting more Bigfoot attacks. And then the movie throws in zombies. But even then, there's more craziness yet to come. Check it out!

This marked the third film in the CHILDREN OF THE CORN series I've seen, and I have to admit, I'm tempted to call it a day after this one. Not only was it the most enjoyable, but it was also the funniest, and it wouldn't surprise me if the filmmakers were in on the joke. Director James D.R. Hickox and writer Dode B. Levenson take the premise of two of the Gatlin children being brought to the Windy City and run with it, raising hell with humorous and splattery glee, with makeup effects by Screaming Mad George and Charlize Theron, in a role she probably prefers to leave off her resume.

10. THE GATE (Tibor Takacs, 1987)
This is probably the best of the movies on my list, with young Stephen Dorff finding a gateway to hell in his backyard. But don't be fooled by its PG-13 rating -- THE GATE is one freaky flick, with tons of potential childhood traumas being tapped during this horror show: the family dog dying, your parents and best friend turning on you, and your sister bringing home her new asshole friends. Not to mention the armies of demons that emerge from the gate. This movie probably traumatized millions of children, but it was all worth it. There would be no MONSTER HOUSE with this movie.

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