Ever since Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino released their unfairly box-office "failure", GRINDHOUSE, the grindhouse trend seems to be making a comeback on DVD. Watching exploitation B-movies of the 1970s and 1980s that played at drive-ins and single-screen theater houses was a great experience for many. Now, BCI Eclipse are releasing double-feature grindhouse DVDs. I've seen many of them at Best Buy for $10, but I haven't bought any since I wasn't sure if the films would be worth owning or not. So I checked on Netflix and they had a few. WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE: BLACK CANDLES/EVIL EYE was the only one I could find not on "short wait". So I decided to check it out and...well, it was quite the experience. I didn't say it was a GREAT experience, but I was left kind of weirded out after three straight hours. So instead of the usual review I post, I'm just gonna give quick reviews for everything on the DVD.
The DVD starts out with three trailers for some grindhouse films.
1. PICK UP - I'm not even sure what the film is about because the trailer sure didn't help. Apparently, it's about this girl who's a free-spirit who likes young men to touch her breasts and ride in strangers' cars to get high and expose herself. The end shows her alone with a group of horny men, ripping off her clothes and scaring the hell out of her. That's pretty much it.
2. LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI - You remember that faux-trailer for Eli Roth's THANKSGIVING? You remember how that made you laugh at how ridiculous it was? Well this trailer is like that, but a hundred times funnier. Seriously, I had tears running down my face just by watching this trailer.
First of all, this is a kung-fu movie with some horse riding, magic crystals, and glowing bow and arrow.
Secondly, the trailer [while depicting action] is playing this soft rock tune that's so inappropriate for this film that even the members of Air Supply would point and laugh at it. I can't even describe to you how the song is like. You just have to listen to it while you watch people getting their ass kicked. It's hilarious.
And finally, I don't think the makers of this film knew what this film was supposed to be named. At the beginning, it's called LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI. At the end of the trailer, it's called LEGEND OF THE EIGHT NINJAS! Even I couldn't make that stuff up.
All I gotta say is...BEST. TRAILER. EVER.
3. DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE - Infamous 80s slasher about some sweaty dude who beats up women and is obsessed with some female radio psychiatrist who says she's scared but sure doesn't act like it. I've seen this film and it's one sleazy flick.
BLACK CANDLES (1982)
This is the first film shown and BOY...is it a doozy. I've seen some really weird films, but this one takes the cake. This film is about some woman and her boyfriend who go to London because her brother just passed away while having sex [no joke]. Her sister-in-law is there and she brought some weird ass friends with her that may be Satan worshippers. That's as much as the plot goes because the director felt that making the film 90% sex and nudity would be a better draw.
I gotta say that this film is the hardest softcore porn flick I have ever seen. Within the first 20 seconds of the film, people are already getting it on. And I mean GETTING. IT. ON. I mean there was a sex scene every 5 minutes! The lead actress even had sex scenes with her brother! And the sister-in-law! And the guy who apparently was the leader of the Satanic cult! And the sister-in-law had sex with the leader, the lead's boyfriend...let's just say this was the MELROSE PLACE of films. There's no point really in the Satanic plot line as it only leads to more sex scenes as the film closes. At least I was awake for these erotic scenes but the film seemed only to be made just for the sake of getting every actor naked for some really weird heterosexual and homosexual orgies.
The direction was also very bizarre. We got random close-up of frame photographs every once in a while. Dream-like sequences that were really disjointed. At least the sex scenes were filmed well.
You also know what was filmed well? The girl who banged the billy goat. Yes, you read that right. There was a girl who was banged, really well I must add, by a goat. While really disturbing, even to the point that my jaw literally dropped as I watched, it was unintentionally funny. The girl actually said, "It hurts!" when the goat entered her. And then she starts having the most major orgasm ever as the goat mounts her and humps away. She even LICKS and KISSES the goat! I've never seen anything like it. And not only did this goat screw a chick, another woman actually masturbated it while rubbing its back. Um yeah.
Honestly, this film is more pornographic than horrific. This so-called Satanic cult only performs orgies with each other rather than actually hurt and kill people. The only horror-like thing that occurs is when the cult members shoved this long sword up a fat dude's butt [again, no joke]. There's no atmosphere. There's no good dialogue. No good acting. Nothing that really has a point or makes sense. Just al ot of sex and a freaky goat. If you're into that, BLACK CANDLES is your film. I won't be watching this one again any time soon...
RATING: 1 Howl Outta 4
After BLACK CANDLES, we get two more trailers.
1) PRIME EVIL - Another film dealing with Satan. At least there's no goats screwing chicks in this one. Looks bloodier and actually a bit creepier than BLACK CANDLES. Might be worth a look.
2) SISTER STREET FIGHTER - This one is about a kick-ass chick who...um...kicks ass! I've seen this one before and it's awesome. Tough chicks are hot.
EVIL EYE (1977)
The last film isn't about Satan, but a pretty weak Giallo [Italian slasher film] about some European pimp who starts going insane and begins killing women. How do I know he goes insane? Because his eyes twitch and his hand shakes. I mean, the director focuses on his eyes and hands for 3 straight minutes before he strangles these stupid women who apparently love his "shirtless in denim/polyester" look. The real question that this film is trying to ask [I think] is whether he's really the killer or not? Honestly, this is never answered for whatever reason and when the film is all over, you go..."Hey, that was it!? WTF!?" Just a really weird film that had no cohesion whatsoever.
For a Giallo, this film barely has blood or any cool kills. Just women getting strangled. The rest of the film is just as boring. The sad part is that the acting really isn't all that bad. And the women in the film were really gorgeous. Hell, the lead actor banged all of them in the film. But every once in a while, I was wondering when the point of the film was gonna be made because characters just seemed to blur and there seemed to be more than one potential killer hearing this really annoying buzzing sound. Nothing good happens on screen. No nudity [well except for the guy's dreams where he sees both female AND male nude people screaming at him], no on-screen murders, no logic - I was wondering what the hell this film was about. I still don't even know what it's about. Nor do I care.
Honestly, EVIL EYE is a mess. What the hell was the Evil Eye used for anyway? If someone watches this film, will you please tell me? I mean, this film should only be watched for the 70s cheese that it is. There was a cool film here, but I never got a hint of that coming through. BLACK CANDLES is the more entertaining and memorable film [for all the wrong reasons]. If you decide to pick up this DVD, watch that film and skip this one. You'll be saving yourself 90 minutes.
RATING: 0.5 Howls Outta 4