Category Archives: Movies You've Probably Never Heard Of

Movies You’ve Probably never Heard Of #35 Crack in the World (1965)

crack in the world 1965Here’s a movie that awkwardly straddles the great sci-fi movies of the 1950s and the big budget disaster films of the 70s. It’s a pretty damn wacky plot: A bunch of international scientists have dug themselves a bunker 2 miles underground and concocted a ludicrous plan to release an endless energy supply from the Earth’s core by detonating a nuclear bomb! SCIENCE! Obviously this goes tits-up and the lab-coats have set off a chain reaction that could literally split the earth in two. Queue even more SCIENCE and nuclear bombs to fix the solution (nuke the crack caused by a nuke, that’ll fix it)- including one particularly terrible miniature shot of the morons nuking a volcano! Remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer fixes Lisa’s VCR with fireworks? Yeah, like that. Anyway, after more nuking of nature, a whole lot of stock-footage, and a love triangle that’s just plain weird, the scientists succeed in not destroying the world.., sort of.., a huge chunk of the planet explodes out into space to create a second Moon (which is kind of cool). These mother fuckers should be arrested! Anyway, next time your cable brakes don’t call on these assholes to fix it. Fire in the hole!

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Insane Clown Possy Fireworks

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of #34: Something Weird (1967)

something_weird_poster_1967In the words of Bear Grylls “let’s get into this“. The plot of this Herschell Gordon Lewis nonsense sees an electrician facially disfigured by an electric shock leaving him with the power of ESP which in turn attracts the attention of a haggard old witch who promises to return his good looks in exchange for sexy times. As it happens this isn’t such a bad rub as the rancid old sorcerous happens to appear as an attractive, nubile vixen to the people around her. Imagine having sex with Margret Thatcher if she could transform into Jessica Alba. You’re still having sex with the iron lady but you’d get mad man points from your chums. Anyway this arrangement works out quite well for the burn victim (a kind of crapy Harvey Dent) until a kung-fu cop falls for the witch thinking she’s a Maxim cover-girl. Ahhh shit bro you in trouble now. There’s a lot of colour filters, tripy LSD sequences, and best of all a killer blanket; and I don’t mean Blanket Jackson. Of all the inanimate objects to try a make scary a blanket is a very brave choice. As the trailer says, “Only a madman could explain it all” – indeed.

So step right up, who’s seen this one?

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Blanket South Park

Sorry wrong blanket..,

something-weird blanket

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #33: Hausu (aka House – 1977)

hausu house poster 1977Quite possibly the most bizarre hypnomatic movie I’ve ever had the confusion of watching. Only the Japanese, and I mean, only the Japanese are capable of this level of tumour ensuring, surreal, pulp nonsense. And of course it just had to come from Toho,  the studio behind the Godzilla movies (this movie even out-weirds Godzilla vs Hedorah 1971 – which is pretty fucking weird). Imagine if the The Mighty Boosh had sex with Muppet Labs.

Without even mentioning the plot this movie is just so out there, so unconventional, on every conceivable level that saying it’s a movie is one of the only things you can say with any degree of confidence. Nothing fits together at all. The filmmakers (clearly fucked up on all the drugs) deploy all manner of erratic editing techniques, colour filters, slow motion, stop motion, split screen, lurid expressionist sets and mat-paintings, a score that lurches between romanticism, saloon piano, swing, and children’s sing-along …, oh and Sesame Street style animation vignettes. It’s just total hallucination-town from start to end. The filmmakers seem determined to cram every possible aspect of genre, production, photography, and post production into one paper and smoke the shit out of it. It’s quite incredible.

If it’s worth mentioning the plot at all it revolves around a group of Japanese school girls visiting a secluded country house (via magic rainbow train and bus) only to be terrorised by a malevolent blood spewing cat, carnivorous furniture, talking fruit, and floating heads. It is, quite frankly, impossible to describe this movie adequately without yourself being hopped up on horse tranquilliser and antifreeze.

See below for floating heads and hyno-cats.

House Hausu 1977 cat

House Hausu 1977

house Hausu heads 1977

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #32: The Lost Continent (1968)

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There’s something about a boat-full of boozed up British wankers that always ends up in on the wrong side of seaworthy. In this Hammer Horror effort various 1960s British stereotypes board the tramp steamer Coritia bound for Caracas from Freetown. Now I’m no Geography George but I’m pretty sure Freetown is in SIerra Leone (that’s West Africa to all you “me no know places so good” loathsome types) and Caracas is in Venezuela (South America). That’s a lot of British people who are a long way from home that happen to meet a bunch of other British Hooray Henry’s to head even further from home. Various exposition is given to explain why these Brits are all heading from random port A to random port B, but it’s so bloody convoluted in the first place that you already don’t give a shit. Oh, and the Captain’s smuggling chemicals onboard that explode when they come into contact with water. What a twat. Anyway the ship starts to sink, the chemicals might explode, so everyone abandons ship only to find themselves lost, adrift, engulfed in some wacky tentacled seaweed, and in some timeless vortex (aka The Lost Continent). But hey the Coritia turns up unharmed, meaning abandoning ship was a complete waste of fucking time (yours and theirs!). The titular Lost Continent is populated with various figures from naval history (Conquistadors, pirates etc) who wear snow-shoes on their feet and balloons on their backs and have taken up some cult that worships a kind of vagina sea plant.., this happens. I don’t know. I’m confused. Characters flip-flop so frequently between douchebag and hero that I didn’t know who to root for. An absolute car crash of plotting and characterisation. Crazier than a Greek sank’n’crack wax. Needless to say, I fucking loved it.

PS This also features smoking hot Suzanna Leigh.

Suzanna Leigh The Lost Continent 1968

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #31: The War of the Gargantuas (1966)

war-of-the-gargantuas-poster-2Depending on whether you watch the Japanese or US subtitled version this is or isn’t a sequel to 1965’s Frankenstein Conquers the World (is if it’s the Japanese version, isn’t if it’s the US one). The one thing you can guarantee in any language is that this is as wacky as a frozen turd Sunday and more fun than a frozen turd Tuesday. Gargantuas by the way are giant humanoids – a departure from Toho’s usual giant creature output – which bare little-to-no resemblance to Frankenstein’s Monster, save for the flat-top. In true Toho style there is naturally one good beast and one bad beast; how else would there be a good old-fashioned Tokyo Throw Down? The kindly brown Gargantua is from the mountains, the nasty green motherfucker’s from the sea. Thumbs up to the filmmakers for making it a little more complex than that, with one touching scene featuring good Gargantua rescuing evil Gargantua from the military before their differences become insurmountable. This is great stuff, with green Gargantua getting some especially epic moments such as an opening ocean attack on a fishing boat and an unbelievable crazy camp sequence at an airport. The end fight is spectacular with the rubber suited stuntmen permitted way more freedom of movement as a humanoid when compared to their lizard clad colleagues. It’s whimsical giant monster wonderment.

war-of-the-gargantuas-airport

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #30: The Devil Times Five (1974)

deviltimesfiveThe 70s saw quite the splurge of evil children flicks, and while this offering has never made a splash as a game changer it did precede  the likes of The Brood (1979), The Omen (1976), Who Can Kill A Child (1976), and even same year killer baby movie It’s Alive (by all of four months). That being said what you you can expect here is a bunch of kids who couldn’t look less psychotic or menacing (but doesn’t that make them more scary? No. No it doesn’t) escaping from a crashed looney-bus and making their way across a snowly landscape (yeah that is cool) to terrorise a gaggle of adults held-up in their alpine lodge. Most of the kills are group beatings in slow motion, which is kind of creepy as well as an editing copout. Although there is one ingenious kill sequence where the kids dump a bunch of Piranha into a bath tub! The best part is probably the trouser bulge enducing bitch-fight between two of female adult leads.., which is nice. As for the kids, keep an eye out for 70s pop star Leif Garrett and his little sister Dawn Lyn as two of the adolescent slow-mo assassins.

PS, check out the badass Lobby Card from the movie below (with alt title The Horrible House on the Hill), which is actually quite disturbing.

That’s 30, count’em, 30 Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, here’s the other 29.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #29: The Day Time Ended (1980)

THE-DAY-TIME-ENDED-Poster

Never has a film so aptly demonstrated the transition between two decades. The Day Time Ended is so 70s and yet so 80s it’s a visual brain freeze. Fashions, setting, characters, and direction couldn’t be more 70s (think classic 70s b-movie like Kingdom of the Spiders) while the family in jeopardy sci-fi theme and visual effects (save for the stop motion) point straight to the burgeoning fantasy adventure movement that would define 80s cinema. I’m going to take a deep breath and try to explain the plot in as few words as possible:

Grandpa surprises his entire family with a new home bewilderingly built on a secluded desert plain. A time rift occurs (off screen!), spitting out various creatures and machines from the past and future during the course of one night. Visitors include the worst stop motion dinosaurs (?) seen in 40 years, a floating plastic drone (imagine what a Death Star vacuum droid might look like), little green aliens, and glowing pyramids. These occurrences are strangely localised to one house in the desert and none of this is explained at all, in any way, ever. If this all sounds utterly awesome it isn’t, but it should have been, because it’s so fucking bonkers.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #28: Neon Maniacs (1986)

Neon Maniacs Poster 1986Aside from being a clear contender for most 80s sounding exploitation horror title ever (neon the decade’s palette of choice, and maniac appearing in at least a butcher’s-dozen* horror titles) this low-brow effort is actually very good fun. The Neon Maniacs are an odd bunch of Thriller rejects who live under The Golden Gate Bridge by day and kill teens by night. Their killing sprees are only haulted by their singular Achilles heel, WATER! That’s right they’re afraid of water yet live under a bridge. Go figure. Bad estate agent I guess. The members of the Neon Maniacs pose even more baffling questions. Let’s see there’s an ape man, a zombie motorcyclist in drag, a samurai, a Green Arrow esque archer, a deceased doctor, a dead soldier, and, my personal favourite, a Native American (amongst others I can’t recall). How the fuck did these Village People Of The Damned (awesome pun, you’re welcome) get together into a gang of the evil dead? Utterly nonsensical and brilliant! Starring Leilani Sarelle (Who? You ask. Well remember in Basic Instinct Sharon Stone had a girlfriend who she made-out with in club toilets? Yeah her) as the only teen who can stop these Maniacs from becoming a gay super group, this is more than worth a watch.

*I can think of Maniac Cop 1 & 2, Maniac, Freeway Maniac, and Maniac Killer 1 & 2, all from the 80s. Meaning a Butcher’s Dozen is six by my calculations.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #27: Bloody New Year (1987)

bloody_new_year_1987Borrowing it’s name from horror themed favourites like Bloody Birthday, this little known British exploitation offering is actually a rather neat effort and arguably the best of the (very limited) New Years holiday horror flicks. When a bunch of English teens head out to sea (questionable judgment call that one) to escape a bunch of fair-ground yobos they’re marooned on a mysterious island populated by a singular hotel caught in a time warp of never-ending New Years Eve complete with zombie/demon types. Get yourself through the slow opening third and you’ll be rewarded with a rather satisfying horror film when the action finally kicks-in at the hotel. There’s also a bad-ass poster right out of the VHS video nasty era .Who knew Britain would lay claim to one of the horror holiday seasons?

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #26: New Years Evil (1980)

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From my five minutes of research I don’t believe that News Years Evil is a sequel to Christmas Evil (as is often reported – when I say often I mean rarely ever), given that they were released within a month of each other in the same year and have completely different producers.., If they are somehow connected by one genius executive producer then it was quite the achievement of holiday-horror planning. This end year exploitation flick is even lower budget that its festive counterpart but has a very neat’o narrative hook; A dude in various disguises (think Hannibal from the A-Team) will murder some poor reveller at midnight on New Years Eve in each time-zone across America until he reaches the West Coast where his spree will culminate in the murder of the hostess of a New Years live music show. Not too shabby eh? You’ll love the killer’s costumes and masks (someone’s been to the dollar store), Shazam frantically the family friendly ‘punk’ soundtrack, and laugh hysterically at a chase sequence which only narrative purpose is to fill time.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #25

Killer Shark (1950)

So obscure is this melodramatic bmovie effort that if you type Roddy McDowell Killer into google it doesn’t preempt the title. And talk about misleading. It’s almost as if this movie had been shot at the same time as Jaws (1975) and the makers attempted to re-market it because it has one scene featuring shark stock footage. Except it wasn’t shot in 1975, but rather 25 years earlier. It’s title is as optimistic as McDowell’s tighty-whitey wardrobe choices. But it is strangely watchable. McDowell is the film’s saving grace, cast as the camp embarrassment to a working-class shark fisherman who has to learn to man-up to save his father’s boat and reputation, he excels as the plucky underdog. And then there’s the rest of the cast, a kind of West Side Story version of Mexican fisherman who perform fight sequences the likes of which Bob Fosse would be proud. And When you’re not enjoying McDowell and his camp crew of seamen you will bask in the glory of their fat, alcoholic ship’s chef Maestro, who is a sheer delight during the movie’s climactic bar fight, which he belly laughs throughout whilst throwing the world’s worst choreographed punches. Now where were we.., oh yes the title, Killer Shark.., this doesn’t happen, there are no sharks. A better title would be Roddy McDowell and a bunch of gay Mexicans in tight white shorts go to bar fights. Would you watch that? I did, and quite liked it.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of #24

Gore-Met Zombie Chef From Hell (1986)

Let’s just analyse the title for a moment:’Gore-met‘, dare I say mega-lols in regards to this most wonderful of puns? ‘Zombie‘, is our walking-dead in question; an exiled member of an ancient sect doomed to walk the earth for eternity, slowly disintegrating unless he eats copious portions of man-flesh, which brings us nicely to the ‘chef‘ part of the equasion. We’ll give them ‘from hell’ as a little artistic licence, or should I say garnish?

Hilariously for Ghostbusters fans, our zombie-chef is called ‘Goza’, a Hawaiian shirt wearing sea food restaurateur who’s serving up the local beach-bums in his patty’s and wieners. Prone to outbursts of very swanky funk-blues dancing, Goza sets about ensuring meat is always on the menu. Be prepared to be astonished by visual story telling on par with a 1980s wedding video, special effects which defy realism at all costs, and dialogue gems such as “It looks a little evil in there“. All of this and a huge over reliance on the zinger “fuck off asshole“.., oh and did I mention sporadic outbursts of fuck-jazz dancing? Because If Gore-met Zombie Chef From Hell taught me anything it’s that you can never get enough of a good thing and that repeating yourself over and over again is legitimate content.

Boy I love me some funk-jazz dancing.

Funk-jazz dancing.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #23

Stuff Stephanie In the Incinerator (1989)

There’s two obvious reasons to watch this movie, the kick-ass poster and the ludicrously entertaining title. A more suitable title would be ‘The Twisty Adventures of Captain Twisty McGoo‘.., that’s to say that the plot has more twists than a ten ton Twizzler. In this 80s attempt at meta-horror (PG-13 horror at that) a sexed-up couple are obsessed with elaborate role-play, so obsessed in fact that both the characters and the audience are equally confused as to what’s real, who’s who, what the fuck is going on, and when is Stephanie finally going to get stuffed into the incinerator? Think David Fincher’s The Game (1997) but way shitter. An attempt to describe the plot any further would be futile, but save to say that the theme of role-play is stretched far beyond the point of breaking, logic, and tolerance. Oh and here’s the kicker, not a single SOB, including Stephanie (who isn’t actually Stephanie by the way) get’s stuffed into anything let alone an incinerator. In fact the only thing to get stuffed is Stephanie herself. Totally incomprehensible from beginning to mind boggling end.

So who’s seen this one? Stand up and be counted.

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