Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Like any other flick in Plotdigger history Famine is packed full of wacky, over the top characters. This is what gives the film that trademark "Plotdigger" stamp. The over the top characters keep things fresh even when much isn't going on. Another thing that will catch the eye upon first viewing is the production value. If any Nicholson film is going to bring Plotdigger a wider audience it will definitely be Famine. The production value is in a completely different ballpark when compared to their past films. Even with the production upgrade it is obvious that Nicholson hasn't changed his ways much. Oddball humor is still injected frequently and the acting is still about on the same level as previous efforts (ranges from pretty good to pretty bad).
The gore is outstanding as usual. Any Plotdigger fan knows what to expect in this department. If there is one thing that is always on point in a Plotdigger flick it is the violence. The kills aren't necessarily up to par with the many epic ones we saw in Gutterballs but they certainly aren't underwhelming. With that being said the killer in this flick is awesome. The villain sports a school mascot costume while picking off the oddball teens one by one in grizzly fashion.
Overall Famine is another great flick from Plotdigger films. I wasn't quite as impressed as I was with Gutterballs, Torched, and Hanger (which I consider to be my favorites) but it was definitely up there with Bleading Lady (which I found to be nothing short of superb). With all that being said it is obvious that I am a gigantic Plotdigger fan, so the fact that I don't consider this to be my favorite should not detour you from checking this out. This film is great. Nicholson has proven to be one of the most consistent current directors, and Plotdigger is definitely near the top of the list when it comes to independent companies churning out horror. Recommended. Plotdigger fans will get the goods delivered to them and this may just be the film that expands the audience. Definitely worth the wait.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69 is Keith J Crocker's(The Bloody Ape) low-budget take on Nazi cinema. Blitzkrieg, for the most part, takes place at a Nazi camp where the people being held are planning to escape. The Nazi community in this camp is beginning to have some serious problems amongst themselves about the way they handle their business. The uprising is being planned at the perfect time and it may just work considering the bond between the Nazis is at its weakest.
The last thirty minutes of the film really makes it somewhat worth watching. The violence gets cranked up. We see nipple cutting, castration, and some fairly sleazy moments that involve the sexy Nazi women. This whole section, leading to the conclusion, brings back that trashy feel that caused me to enjoy The Bloody Ape so much. Some scenes of dialogue are fairly interesting, and surprisingly the dialogue isn't completely ruined by the acting (which actually isn't too bad from most of the cast). The conclusion is very pleasing and is pulled off well. The writing for the film is certainly not bad, it just needs to be trimmed down in a major way.
The movie shows a bit of both worlds while we are guided around the Nazi camp. It dedicates a major chunk of time to showing the shenanigans that the Nazis have from day to day in the camp, but at certain points we get to see things from the perspective of the people that are being held there. These sections are where the movie really shines most. Unfortunately these moments aren't utilized very often. This wouldn't have been too much of a con but due to the fact that the movie is heavily driven by dialogue seeing things through the eyes of the Nazis grows to be quite tiring.
The main problem with Blitzkrieg is the runtime and pacing. The flick clocks in at around two hours and twelve minutes. For a no budget film (with a few exceptions) this length is practically suicide. As mentioned before it is mainly driven by dialogue and fairly low on action. The pace of the film rarely changes up until the last thirty minutes or so. Once things do really pick up in this last section it is great but sadly the hefty section before that causes the overall film to suffer.
Overall Blitzkrieg is by no means horrible, but it doesn't really have enough going for it to warrant any replay value. Popping this in right after viewing The Bloody Ape and going in with high expectations I can safely say I was left disappointed. On a rainy day with nothing to do this could possibly be slightly enjoyable. The main flaw is the fact that right when things begin to pick up the average viewers attention will be completely lost. I found the final half hour to be GREAT, but even at that point it couldn't save the film from falling somewhere below average.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
This is the first full-length feature from Keith J. Crocker (who more recently directed Blitzkrieg: Escape from Stalag 69 in 2008). An artwork tagline has never been more accurate. "100% PURE UNDERGROUND TRASH!", truer words have never been spoken. The Bloody Ape is an oddball sleazefest from start to finish and is sure to fulfill all of your trashy cinema needs. The film was shot on Super 8 for maximum drive-in style pleasure and sports the dirty look of many of the exploitation classics we all know and love.
A man running around with a carnival showing off his ape and bragging about how safe and harmless he is has been rabidly approaching his breaking point. After a series of unfortunate events he turns his ape loose to go on a vicious rampage. The ape goes around and takes out all of his masters enemies by following the scent of delicious bananas. Meanwhile a black man has stumbled into the bigot filled town, and naturally the law enforcement (even with the knowledge of the violent ape on the loose) concludes that all of the murders must be his doing. As the plot unfolds we quickly discover that the black man the crimes are being pegged on is actually the only half decent person that is located in this shithole town.
The Bloody Ape doesn't hold out on the violence and nudity. Crocker knew exactly what the audience wanted when making this flick. While the gore may not be the best in the world it is made up for with all the comedic elements throughout. One of the highlights would definitely have to be the castration scene early on in the film. This happens right when a change of pace is needed to keep the film interesting and kicks off the apes killing spree quite nicely. While the ape pillages the town we also get to see a few naked women whom he completely violates and kills.
What more could you ask for in a Poe "Murders in the Rue Morgue" adaptation? The cheese is cranked to the max and within the 77 minute runtime you will be introduced to some of the biggest scum of the earth. This town is crowded with racist people and you, the viewer, get to see them picked off by a giant bloodthirsty ape. Watching characters getting picked off has never been so satisfying (aside from that Bible thumping bitch from The Mist). The acting of course isn't the greatest but they isn't really anyone particular in the cast that makes it unwatchable. If you're a fan of cheese flicks there isn't much of anything here that will have you rushing for the eject button.
Overall The Bloody Ape is a solid trashy flick. It does an amazing job paying homage to an era of sleazy flicks packed full of offensive material. This film may not appeal to everyone and that is probably very apparent after viewing the coverart and/or reading the description on the reverse side. So obviously as long as The Bloody Ape finds the right audience complaints should be kept to a minimum. Definitely an extremely fun watch. Recommended.