Monday, July 15, 2013

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK - When Italian Sea Monsters Attack!!!

So this year I decided to go a different path for Italian Horror Week. Instead of a list, or a review, I figured a drunken marathon was in order. So many angles I could go with this, but in the end I wanted to jump in the water with some crazy animals. The five I went with were not chosen in any order. There are plenty more I could of used. I just went through the collection and picked five, grabbed a fifth of Bushmills(I know it doesn't fit the Italian theme) as it's my favorite, and sat down for the ride. These marathons are always a gamble for me. I start them hoping I won't get too drunk and pass out, or be persuaded to go out as once the grog starts flowing and my social bug kicks in, sometimes I can't resist an invite. Well, I am happy to report I made it through, and even had a couple people stop by for some of the action. That is enough back story. Lets dive into the water and try not to be eaten by octopi, crocodiles, sharks, or in some cases a mixture.

Peter Poison and I sat down to watch the first film on the roster.......

This is pretty much what the weeds and awesome bad creature films do to Peter Poison 

Tentacles: AKA Tentacoli
Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis

Deciphering my drunken notes the next day can be quite the mental workout. I take take this, and give you this....

Like many of the films during this marathon, "Tentacles" was a big cash grab thanks to the money that "Jaws" made. At least this one made it a different animal.

The basic idea behind this is that a baby gets the drown, so some dudes read some books, go see Shamu, and set out to rid the world of this giant pissed off octopus. The octopus is on a rampage, eating fat men, sexy bitches, and some boats. Scuba Rambo suits up and is on a mission to ruin this beasts day as he doesn't take kindly to all the dead kids.

Super atmospheric and full of some amazing underwater cinematography, Tentacles remains one of the best of Italy's killer creature flicks. The score alone makes this film a masterpiece. They tease you with it all the way until after the hour mark. Just snippets of the amazing that will be revealed. Once it hits, I dare you not to stand up and dance your ass off.

After the great "Tentacles" it was time to get back in the ocean with a pissed off shark.....

Cruel Jaws: AKA The Beast/Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws
Directed by Bruno Mattei (under the pseudonym William Snyder).

"Cruel Jaws" is basically the first Mockbuster, while it only came out a few years before The Asylum was founded, it feels like it could be its long lost Grandpa. It basically took "Jaws" and made a way shittier, cheaper version that ends up being super entertaining.

Right off the bat we get a shark ruining someones day. Then Hulk Hogans long lost brother(hot dog skin and all) along with some others set out to get rid of this beast so the town can still party like it's 1995, and make some money at the amusement park.

The movie is full of bad acting, ridiculous edits, and it basically plays off like "Saved by the Bell" with sharks. The music is hilarious, while somehow still ruling. It sounds like it was recorded at The Peach Pit. Imagine Goblin mixed with Color Me Bad.

With all of this said, "Cruel Jaws" is super entertaining and holds a special place in my heart, as I feel it helped pave the way for The Asylum and films like "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus" and "Transmorphers."

For the third feature I traded watching partners. Peter Poison was done for the night, so Gabe Nye the Science Guy came by, sporting a "Piranha 2" shirt nonetheless.

By this point I was feeling all the effects of the toxins I was purposely putting in my body. I was questioning how many more I would be able to make it through. As soon as the croc showed up and I saw that Riz Ortolani was the composer, I was ready to power though.
Killer Crocodile
Directed by Fabrizio De Angelis

A bunch of hippies go to investigate as they fear some toxic waste is being dumped into a river. They meet a bunch of assholes from the town that don't want to be interrupted. They also meet a super pissed off giant croc that is basically the Toxic Avenger of crocs. Will they save the beast? Or be forced to become hunters themselves to save their own asses.

The gore in this film is excellent. Some great dismembering, and the crocodile itself looks so awesome.

Some of the highlights would be the couple that goes to the beach so the dude can play some really annoying song that I think James wrote for Donna. Well, the croc seems to be as annoyed as me, so he eats the shit out of her, and not in a "2 Girls, One Cup" kind of way. The crocvision in this is great, so many great shots of his little legs running about from his perspective. The moment that solidifies this movie into greatness would have to be the hunter surfing on top of the crocodile while stabbing him with a spear. Yeah, surfing on top of. I said it. It's like "Teen Wolf," but a croc instead of a chimo van.

"Killer Crocodile" is a lot of fun. It is a rip off of many things, it doesn't try and hide it. The music is so close to John Williams score for Jaws that is quite laughable. That is all part of its charm. I seriously want to hang out with this crocodile, outside of all the killing he seems like a cute little guy.

I have now spent time with Crocodiles, octopi, and sharks. I am far beyond intoxicated so what better time to bring in a creature that takes elements from all the beasts I am spending time with. I am of course talking about the original Sharktopus........Monster Shark.

Monster Shark AKA Shark: Rosso nell'oceano/Shark: Red on the Ocean/Devouring Waves/Devil Fish
Directed by Lamberto Bava(under the pseudonym John Old Jr.) 

This is where The Asylum was born, well not really, but might as well be. Basically, a secret project is being held where the military is breeding octopi with a prehistoric shark. The beast escapes and starts eating all the people just trying to enjoy their synth and side boob.The creature runs amok until a bunch of Exterminator 2's show up and set out to destroy it.

Out of all the movies I watched, this is probably the worst. The acting is atrocious, the effects are terrible, and the writing is pretty nonsensical. With that said. I love this movie. So much to love. I mean this really is the precursor to "Sharktopus."There are some great one liners, and the music is hilarious. Tons of synth, and when they are trying to portray sadness they play a music cue that is basically Briggs' theme from the "Lethal Weapon" films.

Gabe Nye and I decided to finish up the night with the most famous of them all. The one that actually was sued, and lost for straight up stealing from "Jaws."

The Last Shark AKA Great White/L'ultimo Squalo
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari

I am not even going to bother writing up a synopsis for this. It is "Jaws." It isn't just kind of like "Jaws." It is the Italian counterpart to "Jaws." It is not a bad movie, it is not a good movie. It is entertaining, and holds a place in history, but outside of that not a lot to offer. I will include a few of the things that do stand out for me.
The opening is epic. It is like the opening to "Rad" but with slomo windsurfing tricks instead of BMX.

The shark swims up and knocks a dude and a boat into space, or at least I assume they went that far. I mean if Lou Ferrigno can throw a bear into space, I will buy that a shark can push a boat there.

The rubber shark they used for all the scenes involving models is the realist looking thing I have ever seen. When it blows up, wow.

Well there you have it. Five films out of Italy about some of the waters deadliest animals. Lots of whiskey was consumed. Lots of laughing occurred, and all in all it was a super entertaining night.


TROMERIC can be found sitting in a dark room watching Homeward Bound followed by A Serbian Film. He found a secret potion called the grog. It is similar to The Gummi Bears Gummibear Juice but instead of making him bounce from here to everywhere it gives him the ability to endure movies such as Blood Freak and The Room on a regular basis. When he drinks the grog he also has the ability to have more references that you don't understand than Wikipedia. In the off chance he is taking a break from the grog you can find him drinking coffee from a cup with half of the Black Dahlia pictured on it eating Count Chocula and making lists about whether The Taint has a better soundtrack than Voyage of the Rock Aliens.Find his blog Guts & Grog over HE

1 comment:

  1. Awesome write-up about a few hilariously silly flicks. Believe it or not, I actually seen them all :D