Saturday, 17 January 2015


The first Blaxploitation film I remember watching was 1979's Penitentiary, a gritty prison drama and boxing film. But today we are going to look at a film far on the other end of the blaxploitation scale, this my friends, is Blacula!

Released in 1972 Blacula sees African Prince 
Mamuwalde (William Marshall) cursed by Dracula to become a vampire, his wife murdered and himself sealed away under Draculas castle. Nearly two hundred years latter Mamuwalde, or Blacula as he was dubbed by Dracula, awakens when his coffin is taken to Los Angeles and started to feast upon the blood of anyone he wants. It's only when he comes across Tina (Vonetta McGee), a young woman who because of the striking resemblance he believes to be the reincarnation of his wife. While drinking blood and seducing Tina, Blacula must also contend with Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala), a pathologist who works for the LAPD and the first to realises that a vampire is behind the recent string of murders.

Outside of this been a blaxploitation film it is really a very standard vampire film and doesn’t stray from the formula very often, that been said it isn't a bad thing because the film is made with great style, the rhythm and blues soundtrack contrasts with the classical music used in similar horror films in a good way, but in my opinion the best thing this film has going for it is William Marshall who brings dignity and lots of cool to what could easily of become a very campy character. The ending is also unexpected and caught me off guard, a very nice surprise.

This is a stylish and fun film for fans of vampire films or 70's horror, if you have never seen a blaxploitation film you could find a worse places to start.

Eureka Video has recently released both Blacula and its sequel Scream Blacula Scream in a blu-ray set.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Trancers: City of Lost Angels (Trancers 1.5)

After talking about Trancers it is only fitting that I talk about the sequel that was thought lost for years. City of Lost Angels was a short thirty minute Trancers sequel filmed as part of the anthology film Pulse Pounders in 1988, unfortunately Pulse Pounders was never released and went lost until 2011 when a work print was found. City of Lost Angels saw a UK release as a special feature on the 88Films blu-ray of Trancers in 2014.

It's been four years since the first film and Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) has started a detective agency, but a lack of clients and Deth been more interested in enjoying his 20th century life instead of finding work has left his girlfriend Lena (Helen Hunt) angry and close to leaving him. To make matters worse super assassin Edlin Shock (Velvet Rhodes), who Deth's put in prison in own time has escaped and followed him to the past with deadly revenge on her mind.

Now since this is just a thirty minute short I don't want to give much more away, if you enjoyed the first film I say check this one out, it feels a bit like an episode if they had ever done a TV series. We don't just get to see Deth and Lena again but also some of the supporting characters from the future return. Just like the first film the cast is great and a joy to watch.

Check it out if you get the chance, because lets face it, more Jack Deth is always a good thing!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


I love time travel, it's one of the coolest concepts we can use in fiction, from my favourite TV show Doctor Who to top dog films of the genre like Back to the Future or The Time Machine (1960). The idea of been able to visit a different time has great appeal for me. And after hearing so many great things about the Charles Band directed Empire Pictures 1985 time travel detective film Trancers I went in with high hopes.

And the film didn't disappoint!

So we start in the far future of 2247 where Jack Deth in pure noir style narrates to us about Trancers, victim's Martin Whistler, a powerful psychic who can use his powers to turn people into his own personal zombie slaves. Eventually Whistler escapes into the past using a special drug that allows him to take over the body of his ancestor, now he plans to kill off the government council of his own time by killing their respective ancestors. Jack Deth is sent back after him, taking over the body of his own ancestor Phil Deth and must protect the council's ancestors and stop Whistler.

Tim Thomerson plays the twin roles of Jack and Phil Deth, and though he only ever plays both with Jack's mind theres subtle parts of his performance that differentiate the two body’s. Jack is a tough gumshoe who has likely been drinking and smoking heavily for a long time, a long scar down his face implies that he has been through the wars so his body probably isn't in the best of conditions, but in the body of Phil he seems more active, both are the same age but Phil's body seems to be healthier and the performance shows this. I love the character, a dry detective from the future, armed with an ice cold stare and his wits, ready to kick ass and save the day.

And if you are wondering they do point out that his name sounds like Death in a couple humorous scenes.

Supporting cast is fab too, Helen Hunt plays a 1980's punk rocker with blue hair who helps Deth when he comes to the past, while Michael Stefani who plays Whistler and his ancestor makes for an enjoyable villain who has the upper hand for most the film. But my favourite supporting character has to be McNulty, Deth's boss from the future, a gruff police chief who seems to both like and hate Deth at the same time, played by Art LaFleur in the future he is sent back at one point to deliver a message to Deth, it is one of the best scenes of the film with McNulty stuck in the body of the only ancestor they could find in the city, a nine year old girl, and young actress Alyson Croft is perfect, you really believe she is the same character as LaFleur.

Deth is given a few items to go back with him and the coolest is the Long Second Watch, allowing him to slow down time, giving him ten seconds while the rest of the world only has one (dialog says ten seconds but in the film it seems like he has longer, though the scene is in slow motion so it's hard to tell). The Long Second is a great scene and effects wise is good as he passes slow moving bullets been fired at him.

If I had anything bad to say about the film it is that the time travel is a little confusing and paradox full if you try to think about it, but I can let that slide and just imagine some future technology is at play. It's a small gripe you could have with the film but don't let it stop you enjoying what is a wonderfully fun film.

Oh, this is also a Christmas film, it's set in December and there is a mall Santa, Christmas trees and decorations. If we can call Die Hard a Christmas film, we can call Trancers a Christmas film!

Monday, 12 January 2015


So I was telling some friends about this film the other week. “Have you heard of this film called WolfCop?” I asked. And after I spent five minutes explaining that in fact I didn't say WolfCock and the film wasn't some sort gay furry porno they let me continue, and soon another five minutes of explaining followed after I mentioned that the film does in fact feature full frontal nude werewolf cock.

(I think I should have saved the Troy McClure quote I used in the Scream Queens post and had it here instead, oh well.)

Wolfcop is a 2014 Canadian horror comedy about Lou (Leo Fafard), a small town cop who doesn’t seem to give a crap, preferring to spend his time in a local bar, even when he's on shift. But one night everything changes when he's made the subject of a satanic ritual which curses him to become a werewolf. What follows is his investigation into what happened to him that night, figuring out the link between brutal murders and a local hunting event and trying to get into the panties of the local barmaid.

This is a fairly new film so I don't want to give a lot away as I really enjoyed this film, it was funny, gory (in an over the top cartoon kind of way), action packed and the story was pretty solid. I liked all the cast in this film, especially Jonathan Cherry as Willie, Lou's conspiracy nut bast friend who wants to document the transformations, in his own words “for science”. One scene I'd like to highlight is the second or third time Lou transforms, he pulls on a police uniform, customises a squad car into what I'm calling the Wolfmobile (because why wouldn't I call it that), then him and Willie drive out and deliver violent justice to local thugs and drug dealers.

WolfCop is entertaining as hell, you'll have a good time going along for this ride, so get some friends together and enjoy!

Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed

A couple years ago a direct to dvd documentary was released by 88Films called Slice and Dice the Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, I'd picked this up and loved it, great interviews and loads of extras from cometary, trailers and even an extra documentary. So when I heard director Calum Waddell and High Rising Productions had done another documentary I was looking forward to seeing it, especially after hearing it would be Scream Queens in their own words.

Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed comes as a special feature on the recent UK Graduation Day Blu-Ray release, yes, I watched the bonus documentary before the film. The documentary is great, the only people interviewed are the Scream Queens themselves and it's great to hear their opinions on what their role in film is, what the title actually means and why the do/don't bear their breasts on film. Because in the words of Troy McClure, “and I'll leave you with what we all came here to see, hardcore nudity!”

(Note: this blog post contains no hardcore nudity.)

Debbie Rochon hosts as we get a cavalcade of Scream Queen legends including Danielle Harris, Caroline Munroe, Forbes Riley , Linnea Quigley, Sybil Danning, Jennifer Lim, Patricia Tallman, Adrienne King, and the mistress of the dark herself Cassandra Peterson among many others. Theres a lot of entertainment in the film but they do talk frank a bit in discussing just what is a Screem Queen and weather or not it's empowering or demeaning.

Joking aside (there was jokes? I imagine you thinking), this is a great feature length documentary, if you are a fan of scream queens, horror films, or both then this is a must see.