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  • Watching Old Movies on the Big Screen: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    Posted on June 15th, 2018 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    Most of us were born too late to watch flicks like The Maltese Falcon and Gone With The Wind in the theater. In my case, I was born too late to even see things like Jaws on the big screen.

    Luckily for us, over the years some local art house theaters showed some of the best…lucky, if you were lucky enough to live near one. For most of my life the best I could hope for was a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, although in the 90’s I did get to see Casablanca at the local 4-screen cinema, and Dracula vs. Frankenstein at an Art House.

    Now, between Fathom Events doing special viewings at out local multi-plex, and multiple art houses doing special engagements, I’ve been lucky enough to catch some great ones…and some not so great but really fun ones.

    In the past two years I FINALLY got to see The Shining on the big screen…Raiders of the Lost Ark again…The Maltese Falcon…and more recently Killer Clowns from Outer Space. Not all from the mid-century era, I know, but still cool.

    Tonight we are going to see one of my top favorite movies of all time…The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original from 1974. It’s part of the Popcorn Fright Nights Film Festival being held at Savor Cinema, aka/previously Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In a wonderful tribute to the theme of the movie, they are including a BBQ dinner. I’m not asking what kind of meat it is.

    It may seem odd to consider “Chainsaw” to be an old movie. But when you think about it…Maltese Falcon is from 1941…which means Falcon was only 33 years old when Chainsaw came out…and Chainsaw, at the time of this writing, came out 44 years ago! Mind blown yet?

    What’s the big deal about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

    When I was a kid, the movie was already a legend. This was before VHS or cable, so the only way to see old movies was on TV. And this movie, as far as I know, NEVER made it to TV. It was talked about as being so violent, so gory, that it had been banned in several countries (this turned out to be true). So kids like us never got to see it, at all.

    Then HBO came along in the 1980s, along with video tape rentals. I got to see The Shining for the first time on HBO (and it screwed with my head for years). Then I finally got to rent Chainsaw as a teenager. I was not disappointed. Not only was it a good horror movie, it was just insane. The way it was filmed, the art direction, everything about this movie was so different from Freddie and Jason and Micheal, so gritty and a REAL. Disturbingly real. The low-budget only affected the quality in so much as it made it more realistic, more insane.

    Some of the things that stood out to me, that made the film really stand out and enjoyable:

    (Spoilers ahead):

    • That claustrophobic van. It reminded me of the stifling heat riding in my Dad’s van, no AC, middle of the summer. Horrifying.
    • The creepy guy washing the bugs off the van at the gas station.
    • Realizing later in the movie what the “barbecue” they ate at the gas station actually was.
    • Creepy abandoned looking house with dozens of cars parked close together, under camo. Who’s cars are they?
    • That sliding steel door.
    • The body jumping around as his nervous system reacted and died out.
    • Are those real chickens? Are those real bones?
    • Nice sofa.
    • Girl on a hook.
    • Finally killed that annoying guy in the wheel chair.
    • Poking the girl with the broom handle and laughing.
    • Whack on the head with the hammer.
    • Are those dead bodies mummified in those chairs?
    • Holy cow that guy isn’t a mummy, he’s still alive!
    • Who’s your interior decorator? Oh, right.
    • Guy getting run over with all the wheels of the truck.
    • Chainsaw on the leg!

    I can go on and on, but I think you get the idea. If you’re a fan of the movie, you’re saying, “Oh yeah!”, if you haven’t seen it, you’re saying, “Whut?” That’s ok. You need to see it. Here’s the trailer:

     

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from the Screening Room at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Creature Double Feature Movies for Mod Movie Monday: Satan’s Cheerleaders, 1977 and Cheerleader Camp 1988

    Posted on October 5th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    cheerleader-horror-posters

    It ain’t often I recommend a move I haven’t seen yet…but I truly dig Satan’s Cheerleaders, and needed another cheerleader horror flick to complete this week’s duo. I searched around and found a flick that looks like it will be a 10 on the cheesy, so-bad-it’s-good meter: Cheerleader Camp. So kats & kitties, without further ado, here’s

    Satan’s Cheerleaders from 1977

    and Cheerleader Camp from 1988

    What can be better than watching dim-witted cheerleaders get partially naked and wind up dead?

    Satan's Cheerleaders

    Satan's Cheerleaders

    How about them being victimized by a Satanic Cult-leading Lilly Munster? I first came across Satan’s Cheerleaders after discovering “The Cheerleaders” sort-of-trilogy from the ’70s. Satan’s Cheerleaders wasn’t part of it, but continued the cheerleader movie tradition in a very wicked way. It’s one of those late-70s, low budget movies where you just know the cutest girl was given and extra fifty bucks to do a topless scene. It features John Ireland and Yvonne De Carlo along with a small part by John Carradine, along with a bunch of jailbait that will make you wish the cheerleaders at your school were really like them. The special effects aren’t very special, and the movie doesn’t take itself very seriously which makes it lots of fun to watch. Poorly written, poorly acted, who cares; the girls are hot and you’ll be screaming at the ridiculousness of it all!

    Cheerleader Camp

    Cheerleader Camp

    Now this other flick, Cheerleader Camp…Haven’t seen it yet but I know it’s going to be a blast. It’s got a rating of two stars on IMDB which insures its absurdity. But how could you not enjoy a movie with Leif Garret and Teri Weigle (the porn star) from 1988? I would imaging the cheerleaders are loose and wear leggings even in the summer. Reviews point out that there is plenty of flesh and plenty of blood, and the plot is so bad you’ll have it figured out in the first five minutes…so you can sit back and enjoy the ’80s silliness without worrying about a plot!cheerleader-camp-betsy-russell-1

    Food & Booze: The cheerleaders at my high school drank Peppermint and Peach Schnapps, so I’d say take a shot every time someone gets slashed. Or your can try this recipe for

    The Bloody Cheerleader

    1 oz  Peach Schnapps
    1 oz  Coconut Rum
    1 oz  Silver Rum
    Cranberry Juice

    Fill a tall glass with ice and add the shots of peach schnapps and rums. Stir lightly, the way you’d softly touch a cheerleader on the third date, then add the cranberry so it looks like blood gushing in. Garnish with a cherry, of course.

    For food, I’m thinking camp stuff…hot dogs, burgers, pop corn, fries, maybe grill the dogs over an open fire. Finish things off with Devil’s food cake, of course. Or Devil Dogs. Or Deviled eggs. You get the idea.

    Here’s the trailer for Satan’s Cheerleaders:

    And for Cheerleader Camp (AKA Bloody Pom Poms, of course)

    Lilly Munster trying to be evil

    Lilly Munster trying to be evil

    – Tiki Chris reporting from the alter concealed behind the wall of the Tiki Bar.

    Tiki Lounge talk, you’re Halloween Headquarters for spooky movies all through October.

    Note: For the bloodiest, most disgusting murdered teenage cheerleaders ever put on mainstream film, see House of 1000 Corpses.

  • Bucket of Blood, 1959 & House of Wax, 1953 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on September 14th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    bucket_of_blood_poster

    Double click to open full-size...read the comics, they're great!

    OK Swingers, the leaves are falling, the air is turning chilly (for most of you kats) and Halloween is just around the corner. So you know what that means… It’s time for some vintage horror flicks! So from now until Halloween, Mod Movie Mondays will feature some creature double features to get your blood flowing…possibly into the fangs of a vampire…Let’s kick it off with one of my favorite B&W dark comedies,

    A Bucket of Blood (1959)

    Staring Dick Miller (You’ll know him when you see him) as a mildly mentally-handicapped busboy working in a Bohemian cafe, who learns somewhat by accident that he has a talent for sculpture. But his talent, you’ll see, isn’t as amazing as one might think, as this modern-era Michelangelo sort of…well…cheats.

    Beatniks, jazz, pretty girls and ‘innocently’ unintentional murder for the sake of art. This early Roger Corman film is as dark as dark comedy can get. Creepy, BW & even an actual bucket with blood in it. This is one of those movies where you’ll be saying “They got away with THAT in 1959?”a_bucket_of_blood

    The idea and outline of the film was developed in one day, and the whole thing was shot in less than a week on a very limited budget, but Corman’s concept to stray from mainstream horror films of the time and create a dark comedy routed in Beatnik culture puts this film as one of my favorites as a truly enjoyable, kookie and fun flick from one of our favorite eras.

    houseofwaxposterHouse of Wax, 1953

    In 3-D! Starring Vincent Price, this classic horror flick embodies the spirit (all puns intended) of the movies we love. A far-out story, creepy effects and VINCENT PRICE. Plus it was the first mainstream studio film to be made in glorious 3-D, opening up a trend in movie making that would have its highs and lows and finally come full-circle 50 years later when the technology finally caught up with the idea. vincent_price2

    Even if you don’t watch it in 3-D, its such a gory flick for the time that you’ll be amazed, once again, that they got away with this stuff in the puritan ’50s. As a point of trivia interest, this film and the above-mentioned Bucket of Blood share some story ideas…and an actual line: “(He sure) knows his anatomy.” Crazy.

    -Tiki Chris P. swingin’ in the balcony of the movie palace down the block from the Tiki Bar. Dig it, Daddy-O!