Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bargain bin bounty!

So, after I got "Donnie Darko", "I Spit On Your Grave", and the TCM Sci-Fi set, but before I got "God Bless America", "Some Guy Who Kills People", and "DKR 2", I grabbed this set for 5 bucks in the Wal-Mart bargain bin.

10 Movie Original Cult Classics.

So, these come on 2 discs in separate clamshell cases, 5 movies crammed onto each at about VHS quality, but, hey, for 5 bucks, what the hell, right?

Well, I dunno how "classic", you could call some of these, or how big their cult is,, let's go over 'em.

Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Okay, this really is a classic, and if all the others had been home movies of dogs taking a shit, I still would have grabbed the whole set to get just this for 5 bucks.
Still a bargain.
My prime motivating factor for getting the thing.

Prequel to "Dawn Of The Dead", and great-grandpappy of the zombie genre that still goes strong today.

Video quality is watchable, original film quality is scratchy, but the audio sync is a helluva lot better than the torrented* and burned one I made on my old laptop, so, I consider it an upgrade.
(*Gimme a break, NOTLD is public domain).

Little Shop Of Horrors (1960)

A Roger Corman classic, the inspiration for the musical, and Jack Nicholson's first film.

The second one I got the whole set for.

This one saddened me the most, I dig the film, but it was clearly transferred from a shitty VHS copy with repeated watery tracking errors.

Watchable, but only because I'm fucking stubborn.

Carnival Of Souls (1962)

I've always heard the name floating around, and it's got a strong cult, including a lot of famous directors that were inspired by it.

I'm....not in that cult.
It's interesting as hell to look at, but....can't say it had me hopping around in my chair with glee or nothin.

Dreamy, and pretentious.
That's my quickie assessment.

If you wanna know what it's ostensibly "about", here's Wikipedia.

Oh, of course, this one played perfectly.
As crisp as arctic air.

Maniac (1934)

No, not the 80's one with Tom Savini getting his face blown off, and the cameo by Sharon Mitchell.

I was hoping it was that one too.
But, alas.

No, this is this weird mess from the 30's, and it has gore and tits!

A guy eats a cat's eyeball, some broads get fondled, it's like Sean S. Cunnigham hopped into a time machine!
Alternate title is/was "Sex Maniac".

Even with the historical curiosity factor, goofy and cheesey as hell though.
If MST3K never did this one, they're slipping.

Piranha (1972)

Nope, not the classic 1978 one that the new 3-D reboots owe their lineage to.

This is some other fuckin' mess.
More so-bad-it's-funny stuff, and the only one of the set that's in color.

A wilderness guide turns out to be a psychopath, and he keeps fucking winning.
Burns houses, rapes the heroine, murders, and never really see the fucking piranha!
One already-killed good-guy gets fed to them, and you just see the water get all stirred up.

That's it, one scene.
No actual piranha onscreen.
It's really about the loony guide.
Um, amusing once, don't think I'll be watching it again.

So, that's disc one, on to disc two.

The Last Man On Earth (1964)

Reviewed it before here.

The inspiration for "Night Of The Living Dead", therefore, the great-great-grandpappy of the zombie genre.
Fortuitous that they were both in this set.
The third reason I grabbed the set.

House On Haunted Hill (1959)

A William Castle classic, and another Vincent Price!

The fourth reason I grabbed the set!

You've got Vincent Price being all Vincent-y and Price-y, and, you've got an acid bath in the finale.
What's not to love?

The Bat (1959)

Another Price one, but pretty cheesey.

Some corny thing off of 50's TV, it kinda plays like an ancestor to "Murder She Wrote".

The killer, "The Bat", is interesting though, a guy with a clawed glove, kinda the prototype for Freddy.
Wonder if Wes Craven ever saw this as a kid.

White Zombie (1932)

The first zombie movie period.
First to have zombies, first to use the word, first to have the word in the title.

So, before "Night Of The Living Dead", before "Last Man On Earth", this is the great-great-great-grandpappy of zombies.

And, of course, it's the flick Ed Wood and Lugosi watch together in "Ed Wood".

Finally, it's the fifth reason I got the set.

The Devil Bat (1940)

Another Lugosi, and so bad, it's hilarious.

Lugosi tinkers with the chemistry of bats, so that they grow to eagle sized proportions, then makes a pheromone aftershave lotion that attracts the bats to his intended victim's necks.

We spend the rest of the flick waiting impatiently for the dopey detectives to figure this out.

Also, the giant bat is the fakest fuckin' thing you ever saw.
Horror flicks took a long time to get bats right.
Even in the 70's and 80's they still didn't have it worked out.

Anyway, a pleasant surprise.
Very amusing.

So, that's those.
I got quintuple my money's worth.
5 true gems, 2 ironic howlers, 2 curiosities, and only one sorta-dud.
Not bad at all.
You never get value like that these days.
I think I can go ahead, and call that a boon.

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