A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

30 September 2007

Dante's Cove (Season 2), 2006

CREW: Godawful movie director Fred Olen Ray is one of the executive producers.

CAST: Includes Tracy Scoggins (Dynasty, The Colbys, Lois & Clark, Babylon 5) and Queer As Folk's Thea Gill as a pair of witches.

PLOT: A group of gay teens live in the spooky town of Dante's Cove and reside in the local Hotel Dante. 500 years before a young witch, Grace (Tracy Scoggins), finds her warlock lover Ambrosius on the receiving end of another man and casts an ageing spell on him and locks him in her dungeon. The spell can only be broken by the kiss of a young man. In the first season the spell is broken by newcomer to Dante's Cove, Kevin. Now Ambrosius is free and obsessed with Kevin, who as taken up with local barman Toby. Grace is furious and is determined to seek further revenge for Ambrosius' betrayal and seeks out local lesbian Van to be her apprentice in order to increase her powers.

THOUGHTS: This is the first ever gay themed horror show (how ever did we live all these years without one!). I can honestly say this show is almost beyond words. If Tracy Scoggins' hilariously camp performance complete with dodgy British accent doesn't have you rolling around the floor in fits of laughter, the ridiculous story lines and horrible acting from Charlie David who plays Toby certainly will! It's a pure guilty pleasure and non-stop fun! There is so much random nudity and sex that it defies belief quite frequently, especially during the scenes set in the local sex club (every town has one of those, of course!). The main attraction is indisputably Tracy Scoggins who I just happened to have met a few months ago, she's a legend! I can't think of too many well known actresses who'd have the sense of humour to be in this for even one episode, never mind two (albeit short) seasons! It's a definite future cult classic. Season 3 begins this October on HereTV in America. Seasons 1 & 2 are on DVD.

EXTRA: Season 2 trailer

Chained Heat, 1983

CAST: And what a cast! We have Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame as fresh meat in a tough women's prison. Sybil Danning is the leader of the white gang and Tamara Dobson (that's Cleopatra Jones herself!) as the leader of the rather small black gang. Stella Stevens is a rather butch and ambitious prison captain who pushes drugs and pimps the girls with John Vernon as the sleazy warden.

PLOT: Poor young Carol is sent to prison for dangerous driving. She encounters all manner of depravity while inside; rape, drug dealing, and brutal beatings - and that's just the staff!

THOUGHTS: Amongst the trashiest movies I have ever seen! And I loved every minute. I'm not all that familiar with the 'Women in Prison' (or WIP) genre, my knowledge being limited to a few seasons of Bad Girls. Well let me tell you, I am determined to be ignorant no longer. If Chained Heat is anything to go by the WIP will become a staple of this blog. My favourite scenes were the vicious exchanges between rival gang leaders Tamara Dobson and Sybil Danning.

This movie has everything, shower scenes, copious amounts of cat fights, brutal violence, and lots of language. The sleazy warden who makes porno movies of himself and the inmates is great fun too. The showdown between Linda Blair and Stella Stevens is pretty fun too. The movie takes every cliche in the book and just goes for it to great effect! Sadly the only versions available are slightly cut, they remove part of a scene in which one of the guards is murdered with a great big hook! It's only toned down, not removed totally thankfully.

EXTRA: Sybil Danning vs Tamara Dobson (clip)

Halloween, 2007

CAST: We have Malclom McDowell doing a great job as Dr Loomis, quite a lot of the cast of The Devil's Rejects show up in cameos including Sid Haig as a caretaker, Leslie Easterbrook as a cop and Ken Foree taking a dump! Sherrie Moon Zombie even gets to play Mrs Myers as a stripper! B-Movie queen Sybil Danning also shows up as a nurse as does Dee Wallace of The Howling fame!

CREW: Rob Zombie (rock singer turned director of House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.

PLOT: Little Michael Myers brutally murders his family on Halloween night, 15 years later he returns to find his baby sister. He's pursued by his former doctor Sam Loomis who is the only one who might stand a chance of stopping him.

THOUGHTS: I hate to say it, but it's crap! And it's such a shame. This is a classic story that has spawned no less than 7 sequels and countless rip-offs, most famously Friday the 13th which has had 9 sequels itself. Zombie has totally taken Halloween down the wrong path. Yes, it's more realisic and more gory than the original. But where is the fear? The suspense, the chase? Zombie's Michael Myers simply lurks around waiting to stab his victims, there is no run around, no anticipation, no energy!

The first half hour goes into the childhood of the young Michael, which I thought was quite effective and quite funny. Zombie is great at creating horrible characters and he does a great job with the Myers family. In the original we don't learn much about them and making them into white trash misfits was a great idea. I am always impressed with his casting too and enjoyed seeing stars of yesteryear making long overdue appearances on the big screen. The movie itself though, is a waste. It has done extremely well in America so hopefully there will be a better sequel to follow.

EXTRA: Official Site

EXTRA: Video interview with Sybil Danning