Friday, April 29, 2011

DVD Review: There's Nothing Out There! (1992)

Dearest friends, it is I, the Duke of DVD, once more entering into sexual congress with all that is MAD in cinema, an unholy coupling that will spawn wretched, unnameable things best put down with alacrity, lest they grow in power and finally destroy the world in a black tempest of wanton deviancy. I have traveled far and wide, my dearest subjects, and delved into many a’ forgotten hole, in order to mine the choicest of stinky nuggets for your cinematic pleasure.

From the top of Bihor Massif in the west Carpathian Mountains, to the lowest valleys of forgotten islands in the South Pacific, I’ve searched. I’ve made profane trades with entities whose names I cannot commit to this page, in exchange for the best of the worst, the sort of movies that burrow under your flesh and deposit night-black eggs, which gestate unknown to you, until such time as you are devoured from within, your eyes becoming black orbs as your tongue swells, your sphincter loosens, and blackened blood pours from your gaping mouth.

I do this, my friends, so that you don’t have to. So that you may sit in your mud-dobbed hovels, a sheep’s-dung fire warming your wizened, twisted hands as you gulp down the few spoonfuls of watery gruel that serve as your only meal that day. Knowing that a glimpse of my written word is the only thing sustaining your will to live, I take it as a sacred duty to risk life and limb in order to procure movies to watch that no mere human is capable of. What monstrosity do I have for you today?

Journey with me, let us find out... (MORE MADNESS)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Man Enough to Admit It...

...I wept.

Big. Fat. Wet. Tears.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Naschy Beach Party!

Hello out there, parishioners and subjects! As you've doubtless noticed, things have been slow around here lately. It's been a dark time around the Vicarage the last couple of months--abandoned by my Dark Muse, I have found myself adrift in the black waters of the Sea of Despond, arms flailing uselessly against the waves as I seek purchase on its unforgiving and indifferent surface. Times I have thought I spied land on the horizon, only to discover instead the slime-glistening husk of a gigantic dead creature, its rotting shell home to nameless, slithering things that smell strongly of rancid yogurt.

Still, things are perhaps not entirely bleak; I've been kicking around some new ideas I hope to act on soon, Cthulhu willin' and the crick don't rise--so watch out for that. And I've also found inspiration in another medium, in the form of this wonderful piece of art I recently commissioned from the immensely groovy and talented Becca of the excellent blog No Smoking in the Skull Cave and the aptly titled tumblr Becca Rocks! Feast your eyes in wild wonder on this morsel of Molina-centric awesomeness:

"The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman: Tiki Verson," by Becca
Seriously, how awesome is that? Very, is how. Needless to say, I'm extremely pleased with what Becca did to bring my skewed vision of a vampire/werewolf beach party to life, and will definitely be cooking up more fiendish ideas to test her sketchy prowess in the future.

And of course I encourage any art-loving parishioners out there to do the same: if you have a spooky, sexy, or otherwise off-kilter idea for a piece of art but lack the necessary skill to bring it to fruition, you can do as I did and commission Becca to achieve your nefarious goals. Details and prices can be found at The Becca Shop and the abovementioned blogs, along with lots of cool pin-up inspired art of varying work-safety but uniform awesomeness. Check it out!

And thanks again, Becca, for giving me something to stare at for inspiration. After all, how bad can things be, how terrible a world can we live in, when things like this can exist in it?

"Chin up, Vicar," the Mighty Mai-Tai Molina seems to say. "And Aloha!"
The Vicar


Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Swedish Sensationfilms: A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema by Daniel Ekeroth

One of the great things about doing this blog, besides constant exposure to the raucous and bawdy adventures of my corpulent, concupiscent compadre in crime, The Duke of DVD, is the opportunity it has afforded me to delve into the dark recesses of world cinema. In the years since we started this project, the Duke and I have discovered the wonders of Indonesian Black Magic, Canadian Canniblism, Brazilian batshittery and even Finnish sexploitation featuring lustful Laplanders. And still there remains so much to be uncovered, so much out there awaiting experience, the task can be a little daunting. Without the hand of a dark deity guiding one's steps to the altars of the Mad, Forgotten Gods we worship here at MMMMMovies, one might swim through oceans of cinematic sludge before alighting on a paradisaical beach of wonderment.

Luckily for you, dear readers--and indeed, for us all--one such Dark Deity has sprung from the Scandinavian hinterlands to offer said guidance. In earthly form he goes by the name Daniel Ekeroth, and his tome of knowledge, Swedish Sensationsfilms: A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema, is a book that should be on the shelves of mad movie fans the world over. With 200+ reviews of Swedish exploitation films from the 1950s through the 1980s, Ekeroth gives readers an encyclopedic tour of the maddest the Swedes have to offer, and also paints a nostalgic picture of a bygone time in international filmmaking when anything went--and when it did, usually went through Stockholm.

(Note: Bazillion Points Publishing provided a copy of this book to MMMMMovies for review purposes.)

Ekeroth has an engaging, conversational writing style, both in the reviews and in his wonderful introduction, in which he traces the origins of the "Sensationsfilms" genre as a reaction against the stringent censorship Sweden's homegrown product was subjected to. If you know nothing about Swedish culture and history, don't worry--Ekeroth broadly but helpfully sketches the Swedish cultural mindset circa 1950 and how it changed over time, a change documented by the sensationsfilms and later influenced by them. He also traces his own personal history, growing up in the most frenzied era of sensationsfilms (the 70s, of course) and how he, like his country's filmmaking heritage, was shaped by their peculiar and often insane forms of excess.

The reviews themselves are organized alphabetically, none more than a page long but full of concise synopses, interesting facts, critical reactions, and often witty authorial asides. Ekeroth sees the sensationfilm as a big tent concept, including sleaze merchants like Joe Sarno (whose sensationsfilm Vampire Ecstasy is reviewed on MMMMMovies here), and Bo A. Vibenius (Thriller: A Cruel Picture) as well as acknowledged masters like Ingmar Bergman. (Bergman's 1960 film The Vigin Spring [Jungfrukällan] was of course the inspiration for Last House on the Left and its many grindhouse imitators; and Ekeroth also reckons it includes the first ever onscreen vomiting in cinema history! Take that, Mr. DeMille!)

The types of films run the gamut from the sexy (Kärlekens språk, 1969) to the comedic (Här kommer bärsärkarna, 1965) to the violent (Stockholmsnatt, 1987) to the downright baffling (Breaking Point, 1975). Through it all, the author displays an affection for the mad and an adherence to the Doctrine of the Glorious Failure that marks him as a kindred soul to your ever-lovin' Vicar. Which I like.

In his afterword, "A World Without Sensationsfilms," Ekeroth narrates the downfall of the genre in the 90s, though he closes with a little hope for the future thanks to some modern blockbusters with sensationsfilms sensibilities--most notably Let the Right One In and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But whether a new golden age is dawning in Sweden or not, the author makes a strong argument for mad movie gluttons everywhere to go in search of the obscure and insane movies he's just lovingly detailed. And with his ultra-helpful appendix, 20 Sensationsfilms to See Before You Die, he even provides a shopping list to start from!

Also included is a detailed interview with the Queen of Sensationsfilms Christina Lindberg, brief biographical sketches of some of the most important actors and directors in the genre, and a glossary of Swedish cultural terms that is nothing short of hilarious. Cover to cover, a wonderful read, and 3 Literary Thumbs Up!

Swedish Sensationfilms: A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema is available from Bazillion Points (publishers),, and god knows where else. A worthy addition to your library, and worth every penny!

Nota bene: if you're into extreme metal as well as extreme movies, you might also check out Ekeroth's first book, Swedish Death Metal--a subject about which he's no doubt as passionate and knowedgeable. It's on the Vicar's wishlist, for sure.


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