Gross Movie Reviews #495
Hot Dog the Movie! (Blu-ray) – One of the most talked about sex comedies of the 80s has been restored and has goodies added to it by Synapse Films. We have a wholesome farm boy whom an amazing skier is making his way Squaw Valley, CA, for the winter skiing competition. Along the way Harkin our main character picks up the cute-next door type of girl hitchhiking who decides to tag along with Harkin to see where this leads. Once there Harkin soon makes quick friends with a group of skiers known as ‘The Rat Pack’ with his skills on the mountain during practice. As they all have a common foe in an Austrian skier named Rudi who has disrespected Harkin from the beginning. From there when not on the mountain for the competition ‘The Rat Pack’ is busy partying, creating chaos, and debauchery. Just like films of the same era in “Hardbodies”, “Losin’ It”, and “Porky’s” it gives you all the beautiful naked bodies you can handle in many party scenes. But what separates this fun sex comedy classic from most is not just its romantic element between Harkin and the hitchhiker but the amazing ski stunts and the ‘Chinese Downhill’ event to end the film. The way its shot and how its perform is perfect and I believe sometimes gets lost in all of the glorious nudity that we all remember watching as teenagers in the early 80s on Skinamax or HBO! Now imagine that restored with all the bright colors and cleared to perfection… Yes, I know there will be a few of us that will pause on the scenes of breasts for nostalgia? Believe me I don’t blame you even knowing then that the perfect Shannon Tweed was in the film. But the shots of the ‘Chinese Downhill’ are something to behold my friends. With this new restoration we also get a 50-minute documentary about the film which surprisingly they get a lot of who was involved. We also get a commentary and interviews with director Peter Markle and producer Mike Marvin which were not your usual boring stuff. These guys still show much love to the film and proud of the product they put on film. As usual Synapse Films did a supreme job at restoring one of the best sex comedies of the 80s and bringing it to Blu-ray for us fans to enjoy for many years to come. I give this Blu-ray 4 out of 4 stars and more info or to purchase the film can be found at www.synapse-films.com .
The Rake (DVD) – A slow burn horror flick from the talented Tony Wash whose story involves a brother and sister named Ben and Ashley whose father a doctor was working on a diagnosis for an insane person Jacob. One night Jacob shows up in their home to slaughter the parents in front of the children and then commits suicide. Years may have passed since the deaths but Ben and Ashley were adopted by a well-adjusted family and Ben was able to get past it. Ashley on the other hand has been in and out of asylums. Nikki their adopted sister whose family took them in is having a house warming party and wants the siblings to attend. Ashley once there begins to regress and speaks of “The Rake” and explains Jacob wasn’t a serial killer but a vessel for something more terrifying that can infect us all. Again a lot of dialogue, slow burn but the payoff with the monster thing is freaking awesome I give the film 3 out of 4 stars.
Dead Residence (Blu-ray) – Sean Donohue and Gator Blade Films latest is a found footage flick that has first time house flippers in Tampa tackling a home maybe haunted or worst yet, someone besides them living there? Debbie and Patrick have found the perfect home to flip for their first time. Everything goes great and they spend their first nights in the home so they can get they don’t have to travel to work on the interior of the home. But while they sleep each night the new surveillance video picks up something is in the home watching them. During the remodel tools begin to disappear as does food but the couple are unphased until they find a flash drive that has disturbing snuff videos on it. By time the couple realizes where the videos are being filmed at it is already too late for the two. Sean did a great job in keeping someone like me interested in a found footage film as I am not the biggest fan of them. A fun keeping it simple independent film from Sean that serves as a legit warning to house flippers in the future as I give it 3 out of 4 stars.
Scary Movie (DVD-R) – A definite unknown flick from 1991 that really never got released but pops up a cable network from time to time. Warren is a very sheltered young man who is out for the Halloween holiday with a so-called friend at a haunted attraction. Of course the friend tries to hook up Warren to no avail but Warren’s attention is elsewhere when he hears on a police radio about a convict possibly escaping nearby. This sends Warren into a full panic attack that leads to the misfortune of the attraction shutting down. Interesting movie if there weren’t literally full scenes of nothing going on but Warren losing his grip on reality staring into space. This is one of those films for only the cinema die hards as I give it 1 star.
Haunting Inside (DVD) – Sylvia is a young woman who had a mental break because of her parents’ death and her brother Sam is forced to take care of her. She has her good days and bad days as Sam just tries to keep his own life together. Sam, per doctor’s advice goes and purchases several games for Sylvia to help keep her focus and not beat herself up. This excites Sylvia and she takes the Ouija board to her room to play but nothing happens. This disappoints Sylvia but does not stop her interest in the game that is supposed to be about talking to spirits. Second night she tries contacting her parents, still nothing but the next night she breaks through to something or some spirit. The spirit and her develop a relationship even if her doctor doesn’t see much good in this because it is only a game. The spirits look after Sylvia at first but they are actually just preparing her since she is in a fragile state that she doesn’t understand she is being taken advantage of. An absolute wonderful paranormal flick that is well written, well casted, and wish future paranormal flicks will pay attention to “Haunting Inside” as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Church of the Damned (DVD) – Another long lost unreleased Polonia Brothers film that wasn’t finished from 1985. It has intro from Mark Polonia recently explaining the issues with the project. It is a project they started in their senior year of high school about a couple cops who are investigating missing persons. While investigating the two cops stumble upon something called the ‘Brotherhood of Darkness’. It isn’t anything groundbreaking but fun to see again the early work of this talented duo as I give it 1 ½ stars for nostalgic sake.
5 Years After the Fall (DVD) – A low budget post-apocalyptic affair where five years ago the world walled off 90% of its population because the lack of food. Now present a young man is having a debate with an older man about what humans should do now until the train derails and he finds himself on the other side of the wall. Jacob soon learns the world has survived but only through cannibalism and the strong taking advantage of the weak. Now in the savage land Jacob must fight off cannibal marauders in order to escape a home he thought he found was safe. From the beginning you are able to see there is a disconnect between script and what is on screen as I give it 1 star.
Pickaxe (DVD) – Alex Black is a killer in the woods during the early 80s who slaughtered several people in Woodland Hills. Now 1988, he is believed to dead but rumors begin again as a couple go missing recently. Several high school students head to the parents’ cabin for some hard partying, sex, and preparing to attend a concert. After much nudity Alex gets his slaughter on until Tiffany Shepis and the great A. Michael Baldwin try to put a stop to his killing ways! Getting past the enormous amount of nudity the filmmaker thought the film needed there is some great gore shots but I feel if the film is distorted or confusing? I feel the film may have come across better if scenes were in a different order. The concept seems solid but scenes don’t fit together like it was edited to serve some kind of purpose the filmmaker wasn’t sharing with the viewer as I give it 2 stars.
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