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‘The Curious Dr. Humpp’: Outrageously pervy 60s softcore zombie sex cult film (TOTALLY NSFW)
02:52 pm


cult films


“From every act of pleasure comes an equal act of perversion!”

In The Curious Dr. Humpp, a demented Argentinian doctor (who gets his instructions from a talking, megalomaniacal brain-in-a-jar that is all that’s left of his late mentor) kidnaps attractive and horny couples—as well as a few hippies, strippers and lesbians, natch—and uses them for his own nefarious ends.

Dr. Humpp and his team of goofy, rubber-masked zombie henchmen (and a buxom blonde nurse who likes to be smacked around) keep them prisoners in his creepy island mansion. They are injected with an aphrodisiac drug that turbo-charges their sexual desires and they have orgiastic group sex as the doctor drains a “sex particle” fluid from their bodies. The resultant libido smoothie prevents him from doing a Dr. Jekyll and turning into a blood-thirsty monstrous Mr. Hyde


“The strength of human body-fluids taken during coitus … they help me go on!”

The original early 1960s Argentinian film—which must have been pretty racy to begin with—was spiced up with additional sex footage when a North American distributor picked up this tawdry cult item in the early 70s. The name was probably meant to call to mind the XXX box office smash, I am Curious Yellow, although the two films have absolutely nothing in common, except for perhaps a high nipple count.

“Sex dominates the world and now I dominate sex!”

I doubt that I’d have ever heard about this kooky celluloid atrocity had it not been for these two brothers, slightly older than me, who went to my parents’ church. When I was like ten or maybe even younger, my parents were visiting their parents and they showed me how they lived behind a drive-in movie theater. But not just any old drive-in showing Herbie Rides Again or Jaws, but one that often screened R and even X-rated movies!

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Baba Yaga’: The best ultra-stylish, sexy mid 70s lesbian witch cult film you’ve never seen

If you find yourself endlessly clicking through the entertainment fare being piped into your home by Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Now before ultimately deciding that—to paraphrase something Bruce Springsteen once sang—there’s 57,000 channels and nothin’s on, have I got an amazing, little-heralded practically unknown cult film for you!

1973’s stylish Italo-French quasi-giallo Baba Yaga—there’s very little blood or violence so let’s call it instead a “supernatural erotic thriller”—stars American actress Carroll Baker (best known for her younger roles in Giant and Baby Doll) as the oddly named Baba Yaga, a sexy lesbian witch who wants to take control of Valentina (Isabelle De Funès), a Milan-based Marxist fashion photographer and photojournalist, both body and soul. Their apparently fated meeting occurs when Valentina, walking home alone late one night after a party with some left wing intellectuals, saves a stray dog from being hit by Baba Yaga’s Rolls Royce. When Baker—who was then still an absolutely stunning 43-year-old beauty—steps out of her car and the camera pans up from her boots to her incredible pasty white face, well, it’s quite an entrance.

The plot, which comes from Guido Crepax’s “Valentina” fumetti—one of the first instances of the modern graphic novel—has been called confusing, but I don’t think that’s true at all. There are some weird artsy avant garde dream sequences throughout (complete with naked chicks in leather bondage gear and Nazis) intended to indicate how Baba Yaga was haunting Valentina’s dreams with images of sadomasochism and perversion, but other than that it’s pretty straightforward stuff, scarcely more complicated than an episode of Scooby-Doo or a story on Night Gallery. Basically Baker’s eerie sapphic sorceress casts a murderous spell on Valentina’s Rolleiflex camera so that wherever she points it, bad things happen. There’s also an amazing doll that’s dressed in something like Cosey Fanni Tutti might’ve worn in 1973, but I don’t want to spoil that bit for anyone.

Aside from Baker’s unique female villain and commanding onscreen presence—-there are many, many reasons to recommend Baba Yaga (aka Kiss Me, Kill Me as it was retitled for VHS video release in the US). First off, it looks freaking amazing. Gorgeous eye-candy from the first frame to the last. The director, Corrado Farina—who died last month at 77—had previously made a documentary on the “Valentina” comics and used not only comic panels drawn by Guido Crepax but also “animated” black and white still photos to keep his adaptation very much in sync with Crepax’s highly stylized vision of Valentina’s fashionable world. Isabelle De Funès, a French singer and actress, is large-eyed and totally foxy, not unlike a young Liza Minnelli and her goofy but memorable hairstyle comes straight from the comic character’s coif (which was based on Louisa Brooks). She’s the perfect “Valentina” in the flesh (and we see a lot of hers in it).

Farina really knew how to move a camera and his framing (and fantastic use of color) recalls Jean-Luc Godard; the claustrophobic interiors remind one of Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell’s moody Performance; and the overall “mod” production design puts it closer to a film like Danger: Diabolik or Modesty Blaise—even the Batman TV series—than a Dario Argento film, but fans of his movies would most certainly enjoy Baba Yaga, too. Another way to describe it is like Antonioni’s Blow-Up meets Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers. Baba Yaga straddles quite a few genres nimbly, and for this reason I’d rate it a “crowd pleaser” (among certain very specific crowds, I suppose).

Baba Yaga is not a particularly erotic (or violent) film but it’s tres creepy, extremely atmospheric and genuinely gripping. The film wasn’t a success upon its initial release—the production company went bankrupt—and was simply dumped on the VHS market at some point in the 1980s under various titles. I can’t imagine such a visually appealing film coming across that great with a VHS “pan and scan” cropping on an old TV set, but lemme tell ya, on Blu-ray and a large flat screen, Baba Yaga is pretty spectacular (and big fun). And the soundtrack! The ultra “modern”-sounding jazz soundtrack (heavy on the Hammond organ) was a product of the remarkable Italian composer Piero Umiliani (best known for writing “Mah Nà Mah Nà”) and adds much to the proceedings.

It’s been said of Carroll Baker that she was simply just too sexy for her own good and that this held her career back in the US forcing her to base herself in Europe if she wanted to work. Make no mistake about it… how do I put this tastefully: she is inspiring in this role. The biggest let-down about Baba Yaga to my mind is that Baker—who got naked quite a lot in her films—doesn’t get naked in a film full of gratuitous nudity (although they did shoot a full frontal nude scene with her, it was sadly cut from the final edit).
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Wake up, bitch!’: It’s time to watch ‘Black Devil Doll from Hell’
04:41 pm


cult films

The original VHS box art

The truly perplexing “film” that is Black Devil Doll from Hell would be on a lot more of those “100 Worst Movies of All Time” lists if only more bad shitty cinema buffs were aware of its existence. Still in recent years hardcore trash culture vultures and aficionados of WTF filmmaking have managed to raise its profile higher than might’ve ever been expected. The New York Times of all places even published a feature article on Black Devil Doll from Hell and its place in the trash film firmament (or cinematic sewer if you prefer). Few seem more surprised about the film’s unexpected, long-fuse fairytale ending than the director himself.

Made on a VHS camcorder in Chicago in 1984 for a buck or two ($3 tops) by a character named Chester Novell Turner, Black Devil Doll from Hell is an obvious—and absurdly brain-damaged—rip-off of the cult classic TV movie Trilogy of Terror starring Karen Black. Apparently the original title was “The Puppet” but the name changed to Black Devil Doll from Hell due to the demands of the video distributor, obviously a man with dollar signs in his eyes. (I think his instincts were right on. “The Puppet” just doesn’t cut it. Not for this.)

The plot, if there can be said to be one, revolves around a virginal church-going good girl (Turner’s girlfriend at the time Shirley L. Jones) who buys what appears to be a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist dummy in blackface and dreadlocks—allegedly a “tribute” to Rick James. (The Black devil doll says “bitch” A LOT, but he unfortunately never says “I’m Rick James bitch.”) He is demonically possessed, comes alive and does bad tings to her. Sexual tings! The crappy text-only opening credits last for nearly eight minutes! And the fucking music, don’t get me started on the music. (The Times charitably described the soundtrack as “Kraftwerk with an R&B swagger.” Try the sound a farting Casiotone would make!)

Detail from the VHS box cover

The so-bad-that-it’s-just-absurdly-bad Black Devil Doll from Hell is something that came and went without much… fanfare, first as “midnight movie” fodder in video rental shops, then on the tape trading underground scene, before VHS originals eventually started selling on eBay for several hundred dollars. In 2010, a devoted fan of Black Devil Doll from Hell released a deluxe DVD with a limited edition 3-D lenticular cover. A 2007 porno parody was even produced because… they’re seriously running out of ideas?
After the jump, watch ‘Black Devil Doll from Hell’

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Criterion of shit movies’: Arrow Video’s lionization of lowbrow

“Take a little piece of my heart”—Still from “Bride of Reanimator”
My primary job here at Dangerous Minds is to essentially say “Here, look at this cool thing”—a job I’m well-suited for because it’s something I generally find myself doing anyway. Lately, I find that when I’m telling friends about whatever cool new thing that’s fascinating me at the moment, more and more often it’s some cool new thing that came down the pike from Arrow Films.

The U.K.‘s Arrow Films has been making a name for itself the past few years with their tricked-out DVD and Blu-Ray issues of cult horror films, westerns, science fiction, sex comedies, yakuza epics and neo-noirs.  Arrow sits alongside Grindhouse Releasing and Mondo Macabro as the holy trinity of digital video companies specializing in genre films. All three companies go above and beyond the call of duty with attention to detail in their transfers and bonus materials. Arrow has very quickly become my favorite, though, and I recently described them in conversation as “The Criterion of Shit Movies.”

To be perfectly honest, some of their packages put Criterion’s fine work to shame.

I wrote here recently about one of my favorite ‘80s slasher movies, The Mutilator, which just got the deluxe treatment from Arrow. For a relatively unknown (outside of cult horror-fan circles) low-budget splatter film, Arrow went totally balls-out on the double-disc release with a beautiful 2K restoration of the unrated version of the film (from the only surviving intact print that they managed to track down at the Library of Congress) and a slew of extras, including a feature-length documentary on the making of the film. The amount of love poured into this single release is remarkable when you consider that fans of the film (which had been previously unreleased on a digital format) would have bought the thing whether or not they had produced a documentary or recorded audio commentaries, or loaded it up with behind-the-scenes footage. They didn’t have to go the extra-mile, but they DID.
Much more on Arrow Films after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Blood Freak! The ultimate Thanksgiving gore film (and a true Golden Turkey!)
02:57 pm


cult films

For those of you true seekers out there, here is the ultimate Thanksgiving film on so many levels. First thank the universe this was even made, wasn’t burned or left in a dumpster like so many other small weird films and is waiting for you to devour it. From my buddies Something Weird Video, here is the perfect rundown on this, the world’s only marijuana-addict-turkey-monster-anti-drug-pro-Jesus-gore film!

For those that think they’ve seen everything comes Blood Freak, a rampaging turkey monster on a marijuana high!

Finding himself sandwiched between Bible-thumping good-girl Angel and her bad-girl sister Ann, a muscle bound biker named Herschell (Steve Hawkes, star of two obscure Tarzan films) falls under Ann’s seductive spell when she offers him some weed. Quickly becoming a writhing, spastic addict - “I have a feeling I’m hooked!” - the big galoot then gets a job at a turkey farm where he’s fed meat treated with an experimental drug and, like any junkie who eats tainted turkey meat, turns into a man with a giant turkey head. Yes, A Man With A Giant Turkey Head. Who also gobbles like a big dumb bird.

Still hungry for a fix, Herschell-the-Turkey-Man proceeds to attack fellow drug addicts whose blood he drinks with his pointy little turkey beak. In one magical moment, he even buzz-saws the leg off a pusher who holds his stump and howls for what seems like days. All of which is punctuated by philosophical pondering by co-director Brad Grinter (Flesh Feast) before two potheads with a machete decide to go on their version of a turkey shoot…

Wow. A monster movie quite unlike any other, Blood Freak is a jaw-dropping almost legendary milestone in crackpot filmmaking, and the ultimate cinematic turkey. Gobble-gobble!

To top it off there is a narrator who reads from a page on his desk, chain smokes while babbling about the dangers of ingesting chemicals, and at one point has a coughing fit ON SCREEN! This came out on video in the 80’s and it is one of a very small handful of films that still make my head spin.

For those of you who just want a quick dabble, here’s the trailer:

And for the tried and true freaks here is the complete film (with a silly three minute intro by a non-scary horror host)! Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
‘Acid, Delirium Of The Senses’: Sixties Italian LSD exploitation at its finest!
06:05 pm


exploitation films
cult films

Part psuedo-documentary about the Italian counterculture and drug scene (Dr. Humphry Osmond appears as himself) and part straight up LSD exploitation film, Acid Delirio Dei Sensi (“Acid, Delirium Of The Senses”) is an obscure Italian cult movie directed by Giuseppe Maria Scotese. The plot involves some free-livin’, free-lovin’ hippies who get mixed up with the Mafia.

Acid Delirio Dei Sensi is one of those films best known for its poster art—some examples here—which is highly collectible and molto expensive. The little-seen film itself, however is surprisingly decent.


If you click on subtitles, an English translation will appear. Buy Acid Delirio Dei Sensi on DVD at ModCinema.

Thank you, Daniel Gibson!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
It’s 1980’s trash-horror films a go-go with Bleeding Skull!

For those of us who grew up during the golden era of VHS, the shelves at the local Mom & Pop video store were the equivalent to visiting some king of gloriously mutated version of Disneyland. The beauty of that era was that because the format being new, all kinds of movies came out of the woodwork. Films like First Blood or E.T. had a great chance of playing in theaters ranging from the metropolitan to box-shaped bergs in the smallest of corn-town America. But what about titles like Psychos in Love, Death Spa or Black Devil Doll From Hell? Forget it, but that was the beauty of VHS is that it truly made the movie going experience more personal and democratic.

This was never more true than for the horror genre, with the 1980’s being the apex decade for some of the most lurid, grue-filled, nudity-ridden and straight up crazy films in the field. Thanks to the fine folks at Headpress, there is a funhouse ride of a book dedicated to these films. The tome in question? Bleeding Skull: A 1980’s Trash-Horror Odyssey. Originally a website started back in 2004 by Joseph A. Ziemba, who was later joined by Dan Budnik, Bleeding Skull, both as a website and book, is a compendium of all the horror films that more academically minded or overall discerning writers would quickly bolt from. This is, naturally, a highly positive thing!

That fact alone makes Bleeding Skull worth noting, but the added bonus is how entertaining both Ziemba and Budnik are to read. They both have the whole “snark with love” vibe down to a fine art. There are some incredibly funny lines in this book, but they never override the overall reviews. There’s a sensibility to the whole thing of a guy sitting next to you at a bar,  telling you about this weird movie that he just saw that was directed by the guy that made The Giant Spider Invasion and stars Tiny Tim as a sweaty and depressed clown named “The Magnificent Mervo.” (The film in question, by the way, is Blood Harvest. and yes, it exists. Glory.) Who else is going to talk about obscure, made in Wisconsin horror films with Tiny Tim as a clown in them? Not many but that right there captures the essence of Bleeding Skull.
Bleeding Skull Book Cover
Another impressive thing about this book is that Ziemba and Budnik have truly combed the depths of ultra-obscure horror films for your enjoyment. This was an area of film that before reading this book, I was fairly confident that I knew more than the average bear. Which, while I still do, compared to these guys, I AM the average bear. If it was a no-budget, shot-on-video one day wonder from two guys in Duluth, Minnesota, then dollars to donuts, it is written about in this book!

Headpress continues to cement their already solid reputation as one of the finest purveyors of fringe culture with Bleeding Skull. So crack open your favorite libation, dust off your VCR that’s been gathering dust in your attic and be prepared to read about some of the best, worst, trashiest, sleaziest and gonzo trash-horror films from one of the darkest decades in cinematic history.

Below, for your viewing pleasure (?) Blood Harvest starring Tiny Tim as “Mervo the Clown”:

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
‘Vampyros Lesbos’ director Jess Franco, RIP
11:35 am


cult films
Jess Franco

Jesús “Jess” Franco (real name Jesús Franco Manera)  the Spanish cult film director known best for his horror/sex/schlock fare such as The Awful Dr. Orloff, Vampyros Lesbos and The Blood of Fu Manchu has died. Franco passed away at 11:00 AM local time from complications related to a stroke in Malaga, Spain. The director was just a month shy of his 83rd birthday.

The news was posted on the El Franconomicon Facebook fan page, by Frank Munoz, a friend of Franco’s, who had been with him since the stroke, which occurred last week:

“Estoy en el hospital. Acaba de fallecer. Se lo han llevado ahora mismo. Lo siento.” (“I’m at the hospital. He has just passed away. They are taking him right now. I am sorry.”)

Franco is known to have directed 199 films (at least), many that he wrote, shot, edited, and sometimes acted in. His wife and longtime cinematic muse, actress Lina Romay died last year on February 15, 2012. Franco’s final feature is the newly completed Al Pereira vs the Alligator Women.

Below, the trailer for Franco’s Venus in Furs starring Klaus Kinski:

Thank you Steven Otero!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cinderella 2000: Low-budget sexsploitation sci-fi musical from 1977
04:28 pm


cult films
Cinderella 2000
Al Adamson

Cinderella 2000 is grindhouse schlockmeister Al Adamson’s low budget sci-fi sexploitation musical from 1977. If that doesn’t sound like something that would interest you, move along…

Here’s a description of the film from DVD Drive In:

In the year 2047 (so what if the film is titled CINDERELLA 2000?), the world has been taken over by an authoritarian government that forbids sexual activity, due to population overgrowth. Surrounded by this oppressive atmosphere is Cindy, a dirt-covered maid living with her heavily-accented German stepmother and two stepsisters (a nasty white girl and a surprisingly nice black girl). While crooning a tune about Cinderella after reading a fairy tale book, she is visited by an intergalactic Fairy Godfather, who introduces her to the art of making love by transforming woodland animals into humans in tights and giant masks who grind crotches and perform a musical number. Ugh?

Here’s the great trailer:

After the jump, the complete film…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment