Greaser’s Palace (1972) is deeply weird west


Much like rock-&-roll and professional wrestling, the Acid Western is one of the few truly American art forms. It’s a deconstructionist approach to the highly stylised American-myth making of the Western, itself a deeply political genre, that was steeped in the counter-cultural of the 60s. Whilst it’s heavily influenced by European new wave cinema, and its most famous creator is Chilean-French, it’s fundamentally America looking at itself looking at itself, and that’s strange before you get to all the uneasy weirdness that gets poured on top. And given the amount of religious fervor in The Old West, it’s almost an inevitability that Robert Downey Sr – satirist, firebrand, and reputably terrible father – would make one that’s based on the life of Jesus.
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End Of The World (1977) couldn’t end soon enough


One of the greatest things about Sir Christopher Lee (of which there is a long list) is that he always gave an incredible and committed performance regardless of the quality of the film he was in. As such, whenever someone finds one of his lesser-known works it’s always worth a punt, even if the film is otherwise quite bad. And by golly does this 1977 John Hayes directed movie prove that!
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Thrashin’ (1986)


Of the many things that Josh Brolin did between The Goonies and The MCU that no one knows about, this David Winters directed mishmash of skateboarding and Romeo & Juliet is absolutely one of them. Featuring a whole load of people that you’ll half recognise whilst going “oh my lord, they look so young!” and with a guest appearance from The Red Hot Chillie Peppers, it’s so 80s it [Insert Horrible Thing About The 80s That Everyone Forgets]. But on skateboards!
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The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Because “Why not?”, and as it makes picking viewing easier, Trash Or Treasure is going through every movie in “Science Fiction – Double Feature”, the opening song for that trash culture classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This week 

Michael Rennie was ill, the day The Earth stood still. But he told us where we stand

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Project Nightmare (1987) is bad and you should watch it


Currently, this bit of obscure techno-thriller is sitting at 4.4/10 on IMDB. This is quite fair, as it’s quite badly and very cheaply made. But, when I watched it as part of the Bela Lugosi’s Shed Poor Quality Film Club, I unironically enjoyed it. It’s possibly because I spent most of the time working out the film director and writer Donald M. Jones was trying to make, or I just have an unquenchable thirst for proto-cyberpunk concepts. Either way, I wanted to share news of its existence.
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Lieutenant Jangles (2018)

The inherent danger of making parodies of bad movies is that if you’re not careful, what you end up with is a bad movie. This 2019 released parody of Ozsplotation and general 80s renegade-cop action movies skirts dangerously close to that outcome, and then dives headfirst into it whilst literally pissing all over the place. This is a shame, as it had the potential to be really good.
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FairyTale: A True Story (1997)


As a long-time reader of The Fortean Times, and having a general interest in the more esoteric bits of social history, I was keen to find out what this dramatization of the Cottingley Fairies story would be like. I could remember it making some noise when it first came out, but that was mostly because it was a British costume drama that had some bits of CGI in it rather than because it was a great film. So I was also curious if was going to be bogged down with The Great British Worthiness that meant we had tried to pretend we never had a genre cinema industry after the 70s. Continue reading

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is an okayish disappointment.

If psychotronic cinema, or, when you get down to it, any cinema, is about experience then The Texas Chain Saw Massacre must be one of the greatest movies of all time. It is an unrelenting, exhausting, almost total-body experience; be it during its moments to shocking terror, its nightmarish social observations, its frequently disjointed surrealist turns, or its nihilistic horror spectacular. Even its soundtrack, which for the final third of the movie is dominated by the constant screams of its Final Girl being dredged through a stygian hellscape, is an emotive and evocative tour de force.

Obviously, it’s not to everyone’s tastes and the bulk of its greatness comes from pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, seeking to indulge the worst excesses of exploitation cinema, budget and talent constraints, and just plain dumb luck. But it is a singular, majestic vision that few have come close to matching. Especially its sequels, which for the most part cranked up the gore they thought was in the original and pissed away the cultural commentary that they clearly thought was an irrelevancy. So, when I heard (in the same week it was being released) that Texas Chainsaw Massacre* was coming out I was filled with indifference towards it.

Then I spotted it on Netflix, draped across the front page as its big welcoming offering, and it was Friday night and it would be rude not to.
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Grandmother’s House (1989)


It’s time for some more 80s horror, and this one is the directorial debut of Peter Rader! You know, the guy who then went on to be one of the people who wrote Waterworld. It stars no one I’ve ever heard of, is a title I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere, and seems to be one of those strange “aimed at teenagers, but just that bit too violent for them to see it” movies like The Gate. Still, it’s not a strong cover and is juxtaposing something nice with the promise of being terrifying so let’s crack this open!
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Dark Planet (1997)


Dark Planet is directed by Albert Magnolia, who also directed Purple Rain, Sign ’o’ The Times, and Tango & Cash. As such, it’s fair to say his carrier has been “varied” and that if you watched this without never having had me tell you that you’d call me a filthy liar. Then again, Michael York is also in it, so clearly a lot of people had cars to fix when the casting for this project was doing the rounds.
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