In each issue, self-described "Videophiliac" Dave Lewis gives the low-down on indie horror flicks on video . . . because it's so much more fun to get scared in your own living room.
Until this 1998 release, Psycho Sisters had been a work-in-progress since 1993, when Pete Jacelone wrote the original script. The 20-minute demo version released in '95, though, is nothing compared to this full-length version. Definitely a four-skull masterpiece.
Theresa Lynn (Howard Stern's Private Parts, 1997) is awesomely cast as revenge-motivated psycho man-mutilator, Jane Sicole. She is great! She's every man's worst nightmare: a gorgeous Playboy lingerie model who will slash any guy who even glances in her direction. She asserts, "The only good man is a dead man!" and the way she delivers that line, you believe it.
Lynn is reunited with J. J. North, with whom she costarred in Vampire Vixens From Venus (1995) and who plays Jane's younger sister, Jackie Sicole. Concerned about her sister's hateful disposition and generalization that all men are bad, Jackie asks her if she is a lesbian. Jane replies, "Just because I hate men does not mean I wanna munch carpet, for Christ's sake!"
Jane and Jackie's father, played by Jeffrey Stackhouse, confesses to raping and murdering a young Vietnamese girl while he was serving Uncle Sam. His wife (Nancy Sirianni of The Scoldees, who also co-wrote the song "Jolene's Theme" for the film) is not as understanding as he thought she would be. She pulls out a gun, shoots him, cuts off his penis with a butcher knife and then kills herself as her three young daughters look on.
The newly orphaned sisters are later raped, and one is killed. The survivors, Jane and Jackie, are institutionalized but released prematurely by Dr. Samuel Lawrence (John Knox). They then go on a three-year bloody rampage to avenge the death of their sister. They slash college-aged men and sever their penises, which they collect in labeled jars in a kitchen cupboard.
Both sisters lose their jobs on the same day. Jackie resolves that they collect the results of effective hand-jobs with a turkey-baster (prior to killing their victims, of course) and sell the loads to the sperm bank, which yields them $20 a pop. Jackie also develops a romantic interest in Todd (Antony Bruno), the sperm bank's manager.
But as the sister's slash-fest continues, people begin to persue them. For instance, when they waste a pair of horny bikers, the bikers' gang declares war on the killer.
Dr. Lawrence joins the police in their pursuit. Nancy Alison plays Christine, a tabloid jounalist and closet dominatrix who harasses a local police lieutenant (Mac Winslow) with psychic tips revealing that the "College Boy Slasher" is actually the ghosts of various stars of long-cancelled TV shows.
Christine kicks off the climactic blood bath when she shows up in full dominatrix regalia and weilding a shotgun. Thanks to special effects artists Ralis Kahn and Bob Yoho (only two of the eight-man special-effects team), the sisters' treatment of Christine is not for weak stomachs. Guaranteed to make your friends squirm and blow chow.
This isn't a B-movie; it's primed for mainstream. And check this out: It's the first horror flick where women can live out their secret fantasies. They've all wanted to lash out violently at men at one time or another and now they can vicariously through Theresa Lynn's exquisite character portrayal. It's the perfect sports widow's video.
Psycho Sisters was originally released at $60 and is available now from the Video Addicts Hotline for $24.99 so buy two and give one to a friend.
Writer/Director Charles Pinion takes a big-ass step over all boundries with this bent, LSD-inspired, erotic slash-fest. C'mon, let's face it: We all want to own a video we can show to our friends for years to come, so when they later meet anyone and think of us they'll say, "[Insert your name] made me watch this weird-ass movie!" Ahhh, We Await (1996) is the flick they'll be talking about. Pushing the limits of reason and sanity, it has something to offend everyone.
Shot on a combination of video and 8-millimeter, it's not too serious or funny; it just lingers in the balance, forcing your brain into overdrive as your eyebrows raise, lower and scruntch, and your eyes squint at the unbelievable imagery.
R.K. Tipple (Thomas Angel) is a two-bit con who selects a religious fanatic, Peter (Winston Smith), and his equally religious wife (Becky Wilson) as his next marks. Tipple stuffs an oil-filled condom into the tail pipe of the couple's car, then hitches a ride. When the car starts to smoke, he offers to call his mechanic-friend, Clyde (Andrew Powers), to come fix it. But Clyde can't come to the phone right now, because he's tied up -- literally. He's hanging from the ceiling, vice-grips clamped on his 'nads, while his girlfriend (Simone 3rd Arm) heats up his genitals with an acetylene torch.
Pinion plays Barrett, who is watching a wall of TV sets -- each on a different station (mostly religious stations and a few shopping networks thrown in for flavor) -- when he decides to take a stroll.
He sneaks up on Peter, who's looking for help in an abandoned warehouse, and cracks his skull wide-open with his steel-toed cowboy boots (off-screen). Barrett then shoots Peter's wife and carries her back to the warehouse where he scalps her.
Meanwhile, Tipple returns and finds blood spattered on the car. He goes back to the warehouse to find the killer and catches him toying with Peter's wife's body. Barrett spots him and Tipple makes a break for it. He flees on foot and while looking over his shoulder to see if he is still being chased by Barrett, catches his nuts on a gate and nearly knocks himself out.
Xena (Annabel Lee) -- a bystander and good Samaritan, dressed in leather and spandex -- offers refuge at her place so Tipple can use the phone. As he relaxes at her kitchen table with a cup of tea, Tipple has no idea he's in the same home Barrett lives in. He's eventually abducted by Uncle Jack (Connell Little) and his "family."
Xena is the "ChosenWon," and her unborn child is in need of a hero's soul (Tipple's, that is). Tipple is force-fed green psychedelic "nectar," and the meat group is supplied by fresh victims of Uncle Jack's family. Sister Josie (Alyssa Taylor Wendt) feeds Tipple, who borders on the edge of delirium, and takes him for a joy-ride, followed by the family's "Spirit Drive": a psychedelic trip in a '57 Chevy where they encounter a 60-foot obese and naked Jesus (David Aaron Clark, who appears to be comfortable displaying his genitals on camera), who poses an ominous Godzilla-like threat until Barrett shoots him in the eye.
Mom's buried in the backyard. The family have two dogs: one born that way and the other a human (Peter Weiss) who just chooses to live like a family dog, humping unsuspecting legs when he gets the chance. The local Safeway is a great place to pick up unsuspecting meat sources whose innards are displayed and fondled for the viewer's enjoyment. To spice up the show, 8-millimeter psychedelic treatments of a topless belly dancer (Venus Fly Trap) are intercut.
So, if you've got the balls, order a copy of this three-skull wonder so you can demonstrate your weird taste in cinema to your friends for only $20 postage paid ($25 US outside the United States) payable to: Charles Pinion, c/o Fireball, P.O. Box 642622, San Francisco, CA 94164.
POSSESSED BY EVIL
Harley fanatic/indie gore-flick producer Michael W. Johnson has been making budget horror films in St. Paul, Minnesota, since 1981. If you see only one of Johnson's films, it should be the three-skull Possessed By Evil (1996).
An eerie Satanic ritual sets the pace as Denny (played by Johnson) and Charlotte (Jill Johnson) sacrifice a cat, drain its blood and drink it. (and all the animal rights activists shout, "Wait-a-minute! That don't look like no friggin' special effect. They killed that cat!" Before you start lining up to kick Johnson's ass, be aware that this is simply a very real-looking special effect provided by Jill, a veterinary assistant who successfully sedated the cat for the scene.)
When he's not studying Satanic rituals with Charlotte frompaperback edeitions of incantation collections in an effort to obtain more power, Denny is invited by Tony (Kevin K. Smith) to a party hosted by Jenny (Roechelle Simpson), and he attends without Charlotte. A trio of biker babes have been partying all day. By the time Denny and Tony arrive, they are fairly wasted. Denny starts telling gross stories, and Sue (Dianne Lee) gets sick and starts to puke. The boys decide to take advantage of Sue's weakened position and rape her -- forcing her into some positions of their own.
Later, Charlotte hears about the incident and locks Denny out, forcing him to sleep in the garage cramped in the backseat of his car. Sue's boyfriend and his pal (Mike Lee and Jay Saari) also hear about the incident. In vengeance, they break into Denny's house (not knowing that he's sleeping in the garage) and kill Charlotte.
At the funeral Denny promises that he and Charlotte will be reunited. Denny moves up to hardback editions of Satanic rituals and abducts a 7-year-old girl (Stacy Johnson), who is sacrificed in the updated ritual designed to resurrect the dead Charlotte. Denny joins his now undead girlfriend as a vampire (wearing a T-shirt that says, "Vampires Suck") and recruits friends Tony and Jay (Mark Betzold) into the vampiric fold to avenge Charlotte's death.
Charlotte provides a pair of naked women (Julie Sullivan and Nicole England) to attack and feed upon. The terrible trio (Denny, Tony and Jay) are free to navigate in the daylight hours as long as they wear their biker sunglasses. (Yep -- they be stylin' bad-ass biker vampires!)
Can three vampires in leather and cool shades avenge the death of Denny's true love reuniting them once and for all? (How romantic . . . )
It'll cost you $25 to find out, payable to: Michael W. Johnson, 2074 Princeton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.
THE NECRO FILES
Just when you think you've seen it all, a Sam Raimi-wannabe overdoses on Viagra and records his hallucinations to film. Todd Tjersland's original work was titled Psycho Zombie Love Butcher and was a XXX-rated script full of blood, guts, gore and hardcore sex scenes. The original script called for an animatronic demon with three 6-foot tentacle penises. It was too cost-prohibitive to film as written, though, so a more affordable (and commercially palatable) version was created with the help of director Matt Jaissle. The result is Tjersland's The Necro Files (1997), and it makes Bloodsucking Freaks look like the Keystone Cops.
This three-skull video was shot in my backyard (Seattle and Olympia, Washington) in three weeks, and the result feels good, like a cross between Scream and The Evil Dead. It works for me -- although I'd still like to see Psycho Zombie Love Butcher, but I think they'll have to make it in Italy.
Logan (Isaac Cooper) is a maniacal madman on the loose. In the opening scene he strangles a naked woman (Theresa Bestul) with a phone cord (by the way, nice shower scene, Theresa) and handcuffs her to the fridge while he rapes and stabs her (a lot), then feeds on her bowels, carves out her nipple and chomps it down like dripping sushi.
Detectives Martin Manners (Steven Sheppard) and Orville Sloane (Gary Browning) arrive on the scene and take him out. End of story? Nope, just the beginin'.
Enter Seattle Satanic cult, The Satanites (led by a masked Tjersland) who at Logan's gravesite perform a ritual to sacrifice an infant (OK, so it's actually just a baby-doll, but bear with me) born by one of Logan's victims. Tjersland pisses on the dead baby. Logan (now a grotesque zombie creature) springs to life, rips off Tjersland's dick and stabs it into the neck of another victim as he reprises his role now as a super demon with a 3-foot penis beginning a new reign of terror, sex and bloodshed.
Two of the Satanites escape and realize that they've done something terrible (and they only joined the cult to "get chicks" in the first place), so they launch a counterattack by resurrecting the baby-doll, which flies through the air (wait, there's more . . .) in search of the demon monster.
Logan's gigantic schlong leads him around like a divining rod to his next victim. Interrupting an S&M session, he murders another naked babe (Jenn O'Cide) from behind with his enormous appendage and feeds on her body.
When another woman (Anne R. Key) is making out with her inflatable love doll in the privacy of her own home, Logan shows up, kills her and then falls in love with the blow-up doll.
Drug-addicted Det. Manners and his straight-man sidekick, Sloane (whose sister was killed by Logan while alive) and the flying baby-doll are hot on his trail . . . what could happen next?
"What the hell?" you ask? Exactly! Don't even try to figure it out. The only way you're gonna find out is to sell $35.50 worth of your blood to the local plasma clinic and send your earnings to: Todd Tjersland, c/o Threat Theatre International, Inc., P.O. Box 7633, Olympia, WA 98507-7633.
NUDIST COLONY OF THE DEAD
Mark Pirro, author of the book Ultra Low Budget Movie Making, knows his craft. He has produced films for as little as $300 (such as Buns in 1978). His claim to fame includes B cult classics, A Polish Vampire in Burbank (1983) and Curse of the Queerwolf (1988), both shot on Super-8.
My favorite Pirro film is a lesser known two-skull musical comedy, Nudist Colony of the Dead (1991), that, if Pirro hadn't made it, the Monty Python troupe would have -- if they had been born and raised in Hollywood.
Nudist Colony is a wild, hilarious romp. Vengeful nudists who get their "Sunny Buttocks" nudist camp taken away by the Merciful Father of the Holy Guiltridden Church commit collective suicide. Leading the nudists is Mrs. Druple (Rachel Latt), one of my favorite characters in this film, a wrinkled up old lady whose sagging breasts that hang down to her knees swing freely in the air and could be dangerous. She vows: "I denounce this land from all religious fart bubbles. May any goddamn Bible-thumpin' pile-o'-monkey smit'ma who walks on these grounds be tormented by our spirits."
Five years later, the Rev. Ritz (Dave Robinson) sends the town's rebellious and fornication-crazed youths to a religious retreat at Camp Cutchagutsout and chastises, "Remember your children can't praise the lord if they've got genitals in their mouths."
The ranger (Marcus Auralius Daniels) tries to warn the camp counselors with a hip-hop song and dance number, the counselors join in. The songs are a damn hoot, and the choreography is obviously inspired by Grease and Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
Notable characters include the half-Mexican, half-Japanese Juan Tu (Peter Napoles), who pronounces his Ls like Rs ("I see are dees kids with brud on 'em, and I hide in my tent. I no Bruce Ree!"); uptight religious teen Fanny Wype (Heather McPherson); and a Bible-thumping youth (Steve Wilcox) who dies by getting his Bible stuffed down his throat by a zombie.
You get the idea: naked gut-munching, singing and dancing zombies, comedic songs and one-liners, country hicks who play strip poker and have an inflatable love slave in their tent, a talking severed head, limbs scattered about the set, dead church-goers, etc . . . . Count me in.
You can have a copy to call your very own for $19.95 plus $3 shipping and handling to: Artistic License Inc., P.O. Box 19407, Sacramento, CA 95819-0407.
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Dave Lewis, a non-recovering videophiliac, is constantly on the lookout for
strange and unusual videos. If you have an independent film (with or without
good production values) or know of a rare or unique film that may be good for
review, please write:
Dave Video Addict, P.O. Box 1753, Aberdeen, WA 98520. Or,
e-mail Dave at
This review was featured in Bloodsongs Magazine Issue
number 11. You can obtain a print copy from the publishers for $5, payable to:
Implosion Publishing, 777 Twenty-Eighth Street, Orlando, FL 32805
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