Redemption & Salavation Review Explosion Part 1
Posted 04-21-2009 at 08:18 PM by Sam@Cult Labs
Salvation/Redemption Capsule Reviews
From my time writing for a "well known high street chain"...
I won monthly prizes for the sheer volume of reviews I posted to their website. Bearing this in mind, please allow for some repetition in these pieces as they were meant to be viewed by customers browsing individual titles rather than en masse.
Requiem For a Vampire
Vampiric eroticism from French Sapphic bloodsucker specialist, Jean Rollin. In an almost wordless movie we are introduced to twin girls, characters that would be renewed in several later movies from the director. They are fleeing the scene of a robbery they have committed, across country on foot as their car has broken down. They, of course, end up in a lonely castle occupied by a vampire cult. This is the films cue to jump off the deep end into a series of trippy, sensual encounters with vampires and a particularly perverse bat! All this eads to a violent and disturbing climax where the two girls succumb utterly to the will of the evil fiends.
Almost entirely visual, the characters serve as part of the look of the film rather than having anything to say. It's a dreamlike, lyrical piece of softcore horror for adventurous genre fans.
As the tagline goes, it's "One endless night of terror" as four mental patients escape from their secure hospital and go on the rampage in this seedy and joyfully inept British horror semi-classic. The deranged nutjobs have all been used to test a new form of experimental LSD/Dream therapy, which has conveniently left them with no concept of the reality. The line between fantasy and the real world is successfully blurred, allowing the band of psychos to locate a busload of rather old and well-developed schoolgirls on a trip. Cue pointless nudity and axe murder! The girls' bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they are forced to camp, leading to some unpleasant Last House on the Left stalk and rape sequences, only without the obvious class of Wes Cravens nasty classic (and when I start saying Last House is a class act, you know this film is B movie trash heaven!).
The acting and directing are all fine but the tone and script are completely off. If you love bottom feeding horror then this film is good entertainment but don't expect miracles, the film feels like an uncomfortable cross between a really grim grindhouse flick and a knockabout 70s British sex comedy, the kind that used to star Robin Askwith. Fans of similar Brit horror of the time, such as House on Straw hill or House of Whipcord will find a lot to love in this movie as it has a certain grimy charm.
Heavy on the sex and nudity, this 70s Spanish production plays on the then current vogue for demonic horror that was kicked off by The Exorcist earlier in the decade. A lot of Satanic cult movies were made in the mid 70s before Halloween came along and made cutting up teenagers the central focus.
In Satan's Blood a young couple, Andy and Anna, meet another couple who claim to know them from years ago. Their politeness forces them to go and hang out in the new couples country spread. During the night, an intruder attacks Anna before running off. Investigating, Andy and Anna are horrified to discover that their two new 'friends' are stark naked in the living room, covered in oils and chanting to the dark lord. Hypnotized, the new couple are dragged into a devilish orgy by the Satan worshipping heretics, which turns into a game of carnal twister that seems to be the main point of the movie. Black magic is a fine excuse for lots of bare flesh in these kind of films.
Next day, memories are fuzzy but even weirder stuff is about to assault the senses of the unlucky couple. Severed heads in ice boxes and blood soaked living dolls are enough to drive the most well balanced individual to the edges of their sanity...Can Andy and Anna escape with body and, more importantly, soul intact? Not a film for the devout, Satan's Blood is a sacrilegious trashfest that ups the sex at the expense of horror and coherence. This is all about the orgy, in all its church baiting glory.
Jess Franco's seemingly bottomless well of sleaze is a long way from drying up. The Spanish master of horror smut's huge catalogue of depraved grindhouse epics never fail to entertain, even if they do leave the viewer feeling a little grubby and jaded. 99 Women is Franco trying his hand at the Women-in-Prison genre, a fantastically un-PC style of movie making that he seemed to return to often. It's basically an excuse for a feature length excursion into the directors S&M domination fantasies. On the Island of Death there is a both a male and female prison. The poor women who get sent there can look forward to be abused by everyone, Cops, dyke cellmates and male prisoners alike. The food sucks and the clothing consists of grey sacks that leave little to the imagination.
What follows is basically a check list of prison sleaze cliches; Beatings, torture, sex and murder, all set to a cheesy euro-score with plenty of Franco's wild zooms and shaking editing for connoisseurs of his work to enjoy. No classic then, but if your a fan of nasty grindhouse goodies, this is descent, if suspect, entertainment. Me? I like being shocked and appalled by a movie! This isn't as all out depraved as some of his later WIP flicks like Sadomania but it's close.
Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine
In the 70s Catholic countries started churning out a peculiar little sub genre of films called, after the fact, "Nunsploitation movies". Horror films always work best when they attack our taboos and, following the international success of Ken Russell's church baiting art-sleaze epic "The Devils", the floodgates crashed open and a deluge of tacky, cut price sex 'n' horror movies featuring wayward sisters hit the fleapits of Europe. "Sinful Nuns of St Valentine", along with "the Nun and the Devil" and "Killer Nun", offers a good introduction to this queasy brand of exploitation as it features all the clichés of the genre in one neat package. Sapphic couplings, demented inquisitors, demonically possessed nuns and vile torture scenes, this movie has all the nasty stuff you want in spades!
The basic plot has two lovers, Esteban and Lucita, torn asunder when the girl's father has her banished to a convent. Isn't it just typical? The mother superior is a satanist! Now Esteban must free his captured love despite the lusting advances of the sex hungry abbess. Flogging rituals, devil-crazed nuns and cannibalism all ensue as the movie leaves no stone unturned in it's quest to offend the religious. The final moments when the possessed nuns are walled up inside their convent and they all turn on each other is shocking. A magically deluded movie with relatively high production values, this is the kind of sleazy diamond that makes trawling through all the B-movie crud worth it.
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