The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Las Vegas Bloodbath (1987)
Recently I got a mention on Twitter from Moe Porne at Drunk on VHS, telling me that a great flick called Las Vegas Bloodbath was on the same DVD set that had Hip Hop Locos. Based on how right he and his Daily Grindhouse Podcast partner Doug Tilley were on how bad Hip Hop Locos would be-- which made it perfect for our Halloween outside the box posts, because it was very scary!-- I trusted their judgement here, and figured I didn't have anything to lose. Also, you can check out Moe and Doug's podcasts here (you can get Moe's Drunk on VHS podcasts there as well), and Doug's Daily Grindhouse No-Budget Nightmares review of Las Vegas Bloodbath here.
Las Vegas Bloodbath is about a guy who looks like a cross between Nicolas Cage and Scott Baio, and has a good job and a bemulleted girlfriend with a penchant for cheating (the mullet is in the Palm Tree style, a la the bassist for Cinderella). Long story short, our hero hopes to surprise her with the red sports car she's always wanted-- a Toyota Carolla (which must still be on the road)-- and news of his new promotion. She has a surprise for him too: a nude blond deputy sheriff in bed with her. Our hero snaps, kills them both, cuts off her head, and goes on a killing spree, railing about "daytime whores". Unfortunately while looking for more "daytime whores" to kill, he comes across the ladies of Beautiful Ladies Oil Wrestling, who are having a make-up baby shower for the baby shower they missed while doing an oil wrestling gig out in New York. Can the girls escape this nightmare alive?
I'm going to start with the bad, just to get it out of he way. There are some scenes that go on too long, and might test your patience. For instance, when our hero picks up the "daytime whore", he asks her to direct him to a spot to consummate their transaction, and instead of just cutting to them getting there, we're treated to real time driving and real time instructions-- take a left here... now take a right...--, then there's a scene with the girls playing cards and talking about crap, that just drags on too long to the point that any so-bad-it's-good element is worn away. That stuff I could do without, and it's something I need to mention before I get into how awesome I found this overall.
Because it is pretty awesome. I have no idea what "daytime whores" are, but when our hero is driving the prostitute around, another driver gives them the finger, and the prostitute asks "what's his problem?", to which our hero responds "I don't know, maybe he doesn't like 'daytime whores'!" I'm having issues with my video editing software, otherwise I'd post that scene for you guys, because it's amazing. Then you get into the massacre of the oil wrestlers. On the one hand, it's kind of chilling, because these poor girls are tied up and taken one-by-one upstairs to be murdered; but man, those deaths are so awesome that any tension evaporates into laughter. I'm afraid to tell you too much, because I don't want to ruin it for you. Then there's the actual oil wrestling itself. It's the kind of thing that would've sucked to see in 1991, but in 2011 is totally too sweet due to the nostalgia factor alone. My final verdict: this is the opposite of a bad movie night with friends kind of flick, because the lulls are a bit much to keep a large group engaged; but if you're relaxing at home by yourself and just want a funny, low-budget horror flick, this is the one for you.
Don't get me wrong, this is very bad. The acting is as atrocious as it gets, even worse the script is ad libbed, and the action to get to the deaths looks like kids making a video on YouTube quality fake. But somehow the aftermath of the deaths themselves look really good. I mean, kids on YouTube wish their blood and guts looked as half as good as this. That doesn't mean it's not funny, because it still is, it's just a better looking funny. It's the kind of thing that makes me want to make my own no-budget film. Maybe that's what separates a movie like this from a Hip Hop Locos-- well that, and the fact that this has edits, shoots from different angles, is well lit, actually has women in it, has dialog that consists of more than three words... you get the idea-- anyway, what separates this from a Hip Hop Locos is that this looks like the people making it had a lot of fun, and sometimes that's all you need to make a movie fun for the viewer too.
I have to admit, I kind of had a crush on Cherry Blossom here. If this was made in 1989, what does that make her, fifteen years older than me, give or take. Geez, that would mean she's nearing 50. I wonder if she can still rock a bikini like that? I wonder if she has any hair left after all that bleaching? What did she do after this? Carry on with her oil wrestling career? How long did that last? According to imdb, this was her only movie role. Maybe she's married with kids and living in a Vegas suburb. If so, I wonder if her kids know about their mom's career in oil wrestling. I hope so, and I hope they're proud of her.
This shot here really struck me as reminiscent of one of Yasujiro Ozu's famous Pillow Shots. Yes, I'm bringing up Ozu while talking about Las Vegas Bloodbath. I wonder what Ozu would've thought of this. He really liked the color red, and this movie uses a striking shade of it, and uses it a lot. Another interesting thing is that the director, David Schwartz, doesn't move the camera that much. No, it's not the classic camera sitting on the floor looking up at sitting characters shot, but the girls do spend a lot of time sitting on the floor. It's also shot in full screen, which is what all of Ozu's films were shot in. I better stop comparing Las Vegas Bloodbath to an Ozu film before representatives of the Criterion Collection come to my house and kill me.
And we wouldn't want that, would we? so I better wrap this up. As with Hip Hop Locos, this is on the Serial Psychos two-disc six movie set, and it only set me back five bucks when I got it about five years ago. I think it's worth it for Las Vegas Bloodbath alone. Daytime Whores!
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240670/