Movie of the Week: Class of Nuke ’em High

A high school located just a mile from a nuclear power plant… what could possibly go wrong? Everything, that’s what! But don’t worry, the school was a cesspool before the inevitable radiation, and that only made things more interesting.

Readin'... Writin' and Radiation! (This poster exaggerates things a bit)

The school is terrorized by a gang composed of punks, lowlifes and cretins who call themselves… the “Cretins” (makes perfect sense). Meanwhile the rest of the school experiences the bizzare after-effects of the radiation by causing horrific mutations and a “thing” that comes out of a girl’s stomach (it’s not a baby).

There isn’t much of a plot to speak of, but these are not the kinds of movies you watch for depth in story. You watch it to watch weird stuff and though this movie delivers in spades, it still doesn’t have same charm of something from John Waters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still weird, but it’s a bit bereft of the charm, if that’s the operative word, of a John Waters film. Still definitely worth a weekend watch.

Watch the trailer

Warning: The Earth-shattering trailer is heavily narrated to let us know that this movie is about “The Class of Nuke ’em High” and may contain scenes not appropriate for everyone. Also, it’s 20 kinds of awesome!

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Movie of the Week: The Brain that Wouldn’t Die

What happens when a doctor keeps his girlfriend’s accientally severed head alive in desperation and tries to find her replacement bodies? Calamity!

Alive... Without a body... Fed by an unspeakable horror from hell!

The story follows Dr. Bill Cortner (Evers) who has few qualms about radical procedures that at first border on outright human experimentation. We see later how easy it is to cross that line. The movie starts off in the operating room where Dr. Cortner’s dad is the lead surgeon who had just failed to save a patient. The good doctor then takes over from his dad and tries something truly radical “because he’s dead; I can’t do any harm”. It all starts there.

Dr. Cortner’s girlfriend is Jan Compton (Leith), the nurse (naturally) who was present during the “succesful” operation.

The story truly takes a turn for the bizarre when Jan loses her head in horrific car crash and the doctor manages to still keep her head alive, and talking, using a special compound (“Adrenal Serum”) he had invented and other scientific apparatuses. Of course, this still leaves her without a body and the doctor goes body hunting by tracking down attractive women to behead, much to the horror of the Jan-head.

Let me die! Let me die!

Though the film has little gore for the genre, even with a mutated abomination attack, and we’re spared some of the bloody horror. Having said that, there are some interesting dialog in the lab including several memorable lines from Jan’s head juxtaposed with rather amusing pickup lines from the body-shopping doctor.

Released in 1962 (fimed in ’59), the film stars Jason Evers (then going by the name of Herb Evers), Virginia Leith and Leslie Daniel.

Be sure to sidestep the oozing puddles of sexsim even considering the era it was released (like the doctor driving Jan’s car with Jan in the passenger seat) and take it for what it is. Remember this was filmed in the late 50’s.

Watch the trailer

Watch the full movie

This is one of very few older movies that I’ve been able to watch online instead of VHS or DVD due it being in the public domain. Yes, I still keep a VCR, just to watch old movies.

You can also download the whole film at the Web Archive.

Movie of the Week: The Cars That Ate Paris

Every once in a while, I get to watch a movie that really puts things into perspective and brings clarity to my view of society. This isn’t one of them.

The traffic in the township of Paris was murder / They were the cars that ate Paris

This is the story of the small town of “Paris” in middle-of-nowhere Australia, where the residents are causing fatal accidents on purpose to profit from the victims; the unsuspecting visitors. Those who survive the grusome outcome of the locals’ antics — the unlucky ones — are lobotomized and turned into “vegies” and the surgeon has his way with them as medical experiments. The other locals go all Monster Garage on the visitors’ wrecks and turn them into demolition machines for the next round.

That is… until the town’s own unlikely anti-hero turns things around amid the chaos caused by the hotrod hooligans.

Released in 1974, this is an all Australian production and the first feature length movie directed by Peter Weir, better known for his later American films, Dead Poets Society, Master and Commander and The Truman Show.

With a plot that’s a horror-parody of sorts and, although not of the same vibe as Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, is still just low-budget and ridiculous enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. And just goes to show that directors who make silly low-budget sci-fi/horror/comedy films early in their careers can really surprise you later.

The taglines vary from the original “They were the cars that ate Paris” to the DVD’s “The traffic in the township of Paris was murder”. The American release was retitled “The Cars That Eat People”. If possible, get the original Australian version because it doesn’t have the annoying narrator and is the best one overall.

Watch the trailer

Movie of the Week: Gumnaam

There are few things as enjoyable to me as watching old movies and once in a while you get to see adaptations of even older movies in a foreign language; the term is “Gold” ladies and gentlemen.

We’re rekindling the Movie of the Week series with Gumnaam released in 1965. Essentially a Hindi cinema adaptation of the Hollywood film, And Then There Were None (1945 Twentieth Century Fox) which in turn was an adaptation of the book of the same name by Agatha Christie (1939).

Taking that rich line into account, the movie then pours in all of the wacked out Indian goodness all over (including the obligatory music and dance numbers with the 60’s vibe). The interpretation is “unique” to say the least and the beginning features a song and dance routine that is legendary even by Bollywood standards.

The song Jaan Pehechaan Ho, was so popular, it was featured in credits of the movie Ghost World and, more recently, all over the place in Heineken commercials. I have to say the commercial does try to capture the wackiness of the original routine with clever gimmicks, however nothing there really compares to the actual scene in the movie.

The scene features Laxmi Chhaya as the masked front lady. The vocals are by the legendary Mohammad Rafi with lyrics from Anand Bakshi, music by Ted Lyons and His Cubs and the choreography by Herman Benjamin.

Behold, the original…

Believe it or not, this is actually in the thriller genre and the rest of the movie follows quite faithfully to the original 1945 production.

Movie of the Week: Fur

An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus…

It’s been a long time since I was able to post a good one here and this was mostly due to not having any free time any more. But after seeing this flick starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr, I thought I’d better take a break and bring it some attention.

FUR

An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

 

Kidman plays the title role and the film follows her relationship with Lionel Sweeney, played by Downey, the neighbor and how her life takes a twist into the bizzare as an indirect result of the relationship and her own dissatisfied life with her husband. 

It’s touching at times, sad and often strange, but it’s a good watch for a weekend night.

This isn’t a true to life depiction of Diane Arbus whose photography is (unfortuantely) known for the bizzare and sometimes surreal and outright frightening picularities of human nature. As such there are some heavy artistic licensing applied here and there. The film isn’t for every taste, but then again, I’m not known for my “conventional” film tastes either…

To give you a small sample of her subject matter, try an image search for her name on Google. (WARNING: Not for the easily disturbed or irked.)

I’m not quite sure whether Arbus’ exploration into the oddities of humanity was caused by boredom, uhappiness, repression or some combination thereof. Either way, her works are truly something to behold.