We got the news that after decades in limbo never finished sequel of Grizzly(1976)- Grizzly II: Revenge (1983) is finally about to be released! Movie of course follows the  aforementioned 10 foot Grizzly terrorizing young concert goers on a giant Woodstock- style festival. Freshly completed version just had it’s premiere in Los Angeles last week and we can hope to hear more details about the release soon.

With a stellar cast such as everyone’s favorite rascal Charlie Sheen, young George Clooney, Laura Dern and even John Rhys- Davies it’s incredible that the movie was just gathering dust all this time.  The only way to view film was a bootleg that surfaced in ’07 ripped from VHS copy of the workprint copy. This version unfortunately had most of the the animatronic bear scenes left unfinished (due in part to the disappearance of the producer Joe Proctor).

Crewman in charge of the bear scenes had this this say on imdb -I had an agreement with Joe Proctor to direct the half size effects unit and all elements ( other than the man in a suit version which was almost complete) were finished and ready to shoot in coordination with the storyboard that I also supervised with artist Tony Beasley. The money dried up and the crew’s PERSONAL equipment was seized by the Government who told us they were held against non payment of production bills.-

Original movie producer Suzanne Csikos Nagy explains the sudden halt in production on the first day of filming the concert:

The principal photography started on Monday. We had 45 days to finish the film. Everything was mapped out. Sunday was a break. Everybody relaxed when the call came to my home. My partner from Chicago was looking for my husband who was not in the film business and asked him to come to the InterContinental Hotel. When he returned he was pale and devastated.

I asked him, “What is wrong?” And he replied, “Joe, your partner, is leaving Hungary. If you want to save the movie, you do what you need to do. He is leaving in half an hour because there is no money for the production.”  I thought this was a joke, but then I realized, I was left alone with 300 members of the film crew from 4 countries.-

With the footage restored and transferred to digital in summer of ’19 GBGB proceeded to film the missing scenes with assurance of preserving the authentic ’80s spirit of the movies.  We hope to see it soon and confirm that that’s true. In the meantime you can see the new trailer right here.

 

You can also visit the official Grizzly 2 page for more information and updates: https://www.grizzly2revenge.com/

You wonder what this movies is about? Well, in 1980s we were still in the first wave of Jamie Lee Curtis career as a Scream Queen. She followed up the all- time classic John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) with another Carpenter gem- The Fog (1980). The she took a bit of a detour to Great North with Prom Night (1980) and then continued the Canadian tour some months later with a New Year themed Slasher featuring none other then at the world famous illusionist David Copperfield! So, how did it go? We’ll let’s go through it step by step.

Movie predictably starts with a bunch of nerds. Sigma Phi fraternity pulls a prank by promising him young Kenny a hook- up with a hot chick. They just fail to tell him that the chick was dead for a long time! Can you imagine someone going to all the trouble of getting a dead body into a student bed just for a stupid prank. I know they’re medical students but still. Kenny is horribly traumatized by the prank ends up in the mental institution!

When going insane make sure to spin in circles!

Three year later the gang is back to it’s usual hijinks, this time preparing to board a train. They are already drunk and wearing costumes (not a must have for a New Year celebration, but to each their own) but the real party is just about to begin.

Nerdy prankster with a Groucho Marx is looking for his girlfriend. Girlfriend is of course a blow up doll. He keeps spouting his lame comedy routine to everyone’s delight. Now, predictably he is the first to go (seemingly killers hate pranksters even more than their regular victims- slutty blonds). They board the train not noticing that somebody put a (real) sword trough the comedian and then took his place.

                                                                                                                          Being a funny guy always ends in tragedy

The Magician (David Copperfield) is talking with his assistant, tall blond called Charlie, feeling he is not yet prepared for his performance. Who is financing his thing? You’d espect these students to be in debt by now- not living it up.

Black dude in a lizard costume compliments the “new and improved” Groucho and his comedy and offers him some hard liquor. Groucho accepts and then proceeds to murder him in one fall swoop by busting his head on the bathroom mirror. That’s what you get for liking bad comedy.

 

Train conductor finds the murder victim in the bathroom .The only logical thing to do-hide the murder! I’m not sure that’s helping anyone in the long run. They even say “Bathroom is out of order”– man, that’s cold.

At some point the main organizer and OG Prankster Doc (dressed like a monk) comments that he didn’t hire a magician at all? But Alana’s boyfriend Moe just shrugs it off like it’s no big deal. The killer somehow manages to throw the body away and take the lizard costume (this is starting to become a pattern) and conductors decide to just accept that the dude was just drunk (ignoring all the gallons of blood that were there just minutes ago). It seems people will believe anything as long as it’s easier for them.

Bubbly girl Mitchie (also a bit drunk at this point) runs into train conductors carrying the Lizard. She helps Lizard Man walk and starts hitting on him instantly. That will prove to be a fatal mistake.


I guess she likes them coldblooded it seems.

After finding Mitchie dead too conducter finally figure out that there’s something wrong with this whole trip. Alana (Curtis) figures out that she’s gone and they finally admit they found her dead. If that wasn’t enough we are treated to another Copperfield act but thankfully Moe shows up bleeding like a pig in the middle of it. It seems bodies are starting to pile up.

 

They finally stop the train to try to prevent further killings. They trice to organize everybody and make them take of their masks. While freezing outside Alana finally figures out that Kenny is back and Doc then seals himself in the sleeper car where murderer is hiding. Naturally he doesn’t make it. After finding his decapitated body Alana figures out that the Magician must be Kenny in disguise.  Carne looks him up but the Magician manages to disappear?

Now with a new gimmick, a witch killer goes after Alana. She barely escapes with her life and manages to lock her self up in the compartment. He still tries to stab her but she turns the tables on him and stab him in the face. He continues going after her but she pushes him from the train car. Nightmare seems to be finally over.

 

Or is ti? They finally find the Magician but he is in fact murder by his own swords.Alana tells that to Charlie, his assistant but the wig comes off and it turns out that she is in fact Kenny! Kenny was cross- dressing as the assistant this whole time. She tries apologizing for her part in the prank but he doesn’t want to hear it. He insists on a kiss, and she finally obliges him. Unfortunately for Kenny he again looses his mind and starts spinning uncontrollably. Old man conductor shows up and whacks him with a shovel. He drops like a rock (and something rolls out from the ovbious stand in dummy). Water washes the body away with only a single shoe remaining while the train rolls on.

This scene is comedic gold

Verdict: Even thou I must say I sincerely enjoy the early part of Jamie Lee Curtis‘s career I would still say that Terror Train is a bit of a weak link for me. Gimmick of changing the costume after every kill sounds interesting on paper but in reality murderer lacks visual identity (see Jason Voorhees) and that definitely hurts the movie. Also, it takes them way too long to “get the train rolling”, it takes pretty much an hour for tension to really rev up.  And as much as I loved Coperfield‘s stuff as a kid, cutting to his performances every 10 minutes is not helping the pacing of this film.

Trivia: Jamie Lee Curtis would continue with the Horror genre with Australian Roadgames (1981) and go back to playing Laurie Stroude with Halloween II and her Horror streak would finaly be broken in ’82 with a comedy Coming Soon. She wouldn’t return to the genre ’till Halloween H20 (1998) and now mostly forgotten but batshit crazy SF/ Horror Virus (1999).

Trivia #2: Marie was played by none other than D.D. Winters, real name Denise Katrina Matthews– later known as Vanity. You might remember her from another cult classic- The Last Dragon. She was also in a Carl Weathers‘s awesome Action Jackson and had a sucesful musical career with Prince– produced Vanity 6 trio and two solo records. Unfortunately, she died way too soon in 2016.

 

 

After the release of his anthology movie Verotika (inspired by the comics series of the same name), Rock legend Glenn Danzig (Misfits, Samhain, Danzig) is working on his second feature, a vampire-spaghetti western- Death Rider in the House of Vampires! Yes, you heard that right. That sound like something akin to Kevin Eastman/ Simon Bisley excellent Fistful of Blood (2002) published by Heavy Metal magazine.

Here’s what he said at Verotika premiere in Chicago earlier this year: “My next film, which I’m hopefully starting this summer, is a vampire-spaghetti western. The soundtrack has been done for two years and of course it sounds almost exactly like an Ennio Morricone soundtrack. I think I’m actually going to do a small part in it too. Everybody in the movie is a vampire. So, you won’t have to wait around to see the vampire. They’re all fucking vampires!”

And as far as casting goes we know we have the veteran Danny Trejo, Danzig himself in a cameo role and greatest of all-  Warlock himself, Mr. Julian Sands! Can’t wait to hear more ’cause it sound like a bloody good time.

After the premiere as a part of Midnight Madness selection of Toronto International Film Festival Richard Stanley’s comeback feature, Lovecraft’s Color out of Space staring Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson and Tommy Chong we finally got a release date and the official trailer.

Stanley haven’t lost his weird, supernatural touch and Cage looks to be in a fine form.  Critics are of course divided with some praising it as one of the best Lovecraft adaptations (OK track record for those isn’t that great) and an awesome comeback for Stanley while others deemed it unwatchable.

RLJ Entertainment will release the film in theaters on  January 24, 2020. Hope to see you in the cinema.

Trivia: Producers of the movie, SpectreVision’s Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) and Daniel Noah also revealed that they are in the early stages of development of The Dunwich Horror adaptation with Stanley too, saying that they hope there’s enough interest to make at least three HP Lovecraft adaptations. It seems they could give Brian Yuzna run for his money.

 

Most first time directors begin their careers with a zombie film. Why? I don’t know, I guess it’s a cheap way to make a first feature film. Shot on 35mm foralmost no money by first time director Brett Leonard  (also known for Lawnmower Man) The Dead Pit is perfect example of this claim. It features some impressive make up and effects work, especially considering the budget. Michael Hinton created the film’s optical effects, while the prosthetic special effects were created by FX artist Ed Martinez. Other than that it is complete crap with unintentional black humor.

deadpit

 

At an overfilled and under-staffed mental hospital, Dr. Colin Ramzi (played by Danny Gochnauer) decides to use the excess patients for his own personal experiments into death and the unknown. His evil deeds are ended abruptly when his colleague, Dr. Gerald Swan (Jeremy Slate), puts a bullet in his head. Dr. Ramzi and the corpses of his experiments are then sealed up in a mass grave beneath the hospital and forgotten. Well, only for twenty years, until a mysterious Jane Doe (played by Cheryl Lawson) arrives at the hospital with no memory of who she is or where she came from. She complains about not losing her memory but rather someone got it stolen from her. Hm I think I know where this movie leads to. Anyway, apparently Jane Doe got so upset about her memories theft that she causes an earthquake and unrest at the, until then, peaceful underground mass grave. Result of this: we get to see Dr. Ramzi gets free from captivity, leading the army of loyal zombies. And also we get to see Jane’s tits in wet shirt.

Untitled

 

While Jane is wandering around freely wearing only underpants and tight shirt Dr. Ramzi continues his research. So that means he needs more bodies. You can guess what comes next. Meanwhile, Dr. Gerald hypnotizes Jane where he discovers her real name is Sarah and that mother tried to take her away from her father when she was only 3 years old. Hm I wonder why? Of course, all of this is followed by inconvenient flat acting. The following night good Dr. Ramzi is back. He kills one of the lunatics and one of the staff member, whose head he later uses to scare Jane and drive her insane.

 

Dr. Gerald hypnotizes Jane once more. She remembered crazy surgeon experimenting on her. Dr. Ramzi somehow takes control of her body and in his own voice threaten Dr. Gerald. Ok now we got The Exorcist element here. This movie keeps expanding in a way no one could possibly expect. Dr. Gerald gets so upset about this that he throws poor Jane out of office and then helps himself with his secret stash of whisky. On the other side of asylum, Jane and some Irish madman are making a plan for escaping. Of course, that plan is foiled by Dr. Ramzi and Jane ends up captured in the dead pit. Mad surgeon raises his army of the zombies from the pit and they all together start stealing brains from mental patients. Mad Irishman saves Jane from imprisonment and they return to fight Ramzi and his ever-growing army of zombies. Meanwhile, Dr. Gerald got drunk and slept through entire chaos in his office.

They discover that holy water kills zombies (I am no shitting you here) so with help of demented nun who happens to be in asylum as mental patient (how convenient) Jane and Irish dude devise a plan to bless entire nearby water tower and blow it up with handmade bomb. Sounds bulletproof to me enough. Meanwhile, Dr. Ramzi has haptured Dr. Gerald and performs brain extraction operation on him, despite Gerald’s plea “Don’t cut my brain please”. He shows that juicy brain to Jane during their next encounter spiced with silly one-liner “Dr. Swan wants to give you piece of his mind”. Classic! And yeah, we also find out he is Jane’s father. What a twist, would you say? Anyway, mad Irishman (*cough* pleonasm) took the opportunity of this family reunion to sacrifice himself (due to his stupidity of making the fuse too long) and blow up water tower which leads us to scene of mass melting zombies, including Dr. Ramzi, which is second to none even compared to famous scene from The incredible melting man.

Conclusion: Zombies, mad scientist, body possession, holy water, exorcism, tits, wide open heads, this movie has it all, you just name it. I haven’t seen such  concentration of madness since Beyond Re-animator (and believe me, that movie is so fucked up). As for the acting, it isn’t heinously bad, for the most part, but you’ll still wince from time to time. The zombies actually look fairly decent. With Brett Leonard, when you look at his earliest picture, all you can really see are hints of the mediocrity that would spell out his career. The Dead Pit isn’t a bad movie, it’s just very forgettable. At least, it provides some nice gore so it is worth watching.

At least the cover is cool. I like that Mad Max/ Road Warrior pose.

Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research. A prototype robot intended for crime combat escapes from the development lab and goes on a killing rampage.

Brilliant scientist of this movie Barrett Coldyron turns out to be a farmer. He also feeds his horse his morning coffee (not sure that’s good for him) and eats the carrot himself.  This seems to be the theme of this whole movie, by trying to subvert our expectations director Cullen Blaine manages only to spoil everything in this middle-to-low budget production and make it have no sense whatsoever.

Sometimes, it’s much better to just play the cards that you’ve been dealt (instead of trying to change the whole game).

Coldyron lead a fun presentation of Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research aka R.O.T.O.R. including a horrible stop- motion dancing? Or was that Karate?

One thing is for sure, that thing is EVIL.

Now, according to him it will take anything from 4 to 25 years(!!!) for R.O.T.O.R. to be functional but his boss’s career depends on it and he want’s it now! Even worse than those video- game crunch times we have right now. It seems the programmers will never get a break, it will only gets worse in the future. So, Coldyron tells him to show it and goes back to being a private citizen, or a Cop? I’m not really sure- he seems to contain multitudes.

And did we mention the retarded robot side-kick they have in the police station.

 

On the other hand his mustached subordinate doesn’t have the guts to quit and ends up being a project leader. Predictably he manages to fuck things up with the R.O.T.O.R.‘s program. Then a bizarre gay- looking Native American scientist starts boasting like mad and manages to activate the damn robot!

 

Now that the R.O.T.O.R is on, he starts cruising in his police- motorcycle. First car he stops is one with the young couple arguing like idiots. We’ll things escalate with yelling at a (robo)cop and you would think that machine wouldn’t get his feelings hurt/ get too emotional but R.O.T.O.R is activated. And as we all know, it takes time to iron out the kinks in the program. First car he stops is one with the young couple arguing like idiots.

We’ll things escalate with yelling at a (Robo)Cop and you would think that machine wouldn’t get his feelings hurt but R.O.T.O.R. is special. Driver tries to come him down and even pulls out a 20 dollars bill (39 dollars in today’s money). R.O.T.O.R. just shoots him point blank.  Also trajectory of the bullet seems a bit strange, bullet seemingly ricochets of a dollar bill and hits the dude straight in the forehead! His girlfriends goes into a panic- mode and tries to get away.

R.O.T.O.R. keeps pursuing her like she’s freakin’ Sarah Connor and not just a girlfriend of the random lousy driver. He follows her all the way to some Trucker Bar but where R.O.T.O.R. ends up in honest-to-God bar brawl with rednecks who know Martial Arts with one of them seemingly being a Bodybuilder too! You couldn’t make this shit up.

Coldyron then finally catches up to them a saves a girl and it’s all far from over. Coldyron prepares for a final showdown by picking up Dr. Steel, an engeneer who designed  the robot’s chassis and she’s for some reason a super- muscular woman with a skank haircut? Yeah, you heard that right. Hell, she’s the biggest Alpha “Male” of the whole movie! And she does Martial Arts too.

When they lay the trap for R.O.T.O.R. shes the one kickboxing and wrestling with the machine. I guess she made him so she knows all of his weak spots.  And she did have some sucess before being pummeled to the ground. They finally trap him by forcing him to step on lasso (does Cowboy skills of Coldyron finaly came in handy) and then tearing him apart with cars! He then of course explodes, ’cause everything explodes.

Police interogates Coldyron with him being the only survivor and he’s just about to drive into the sunset when his old boss shows up and shoots him in a head with a riffle!!! That’s lesson for you all, don’t disrespect your boss at work or else!

We’re still waiting for this one!

 

Verdict: Combining different franchise elements ala Philip J. Roth ( A.P.E.X, Total Reality (1997)) with R.O.T.O.R.  we end up with a redneck version of RoboCop gone bad crossed with a healthy dose of The Terminator and a dash of Judge Dredd.  That doesn’t automatically make it bad,  but on the other hand- bad voicover, idiotic humor and nonsensical plot really don’t help it’ cause.

Director Cullen Blaine of the movie worked almost exclusively in animation and I can’t help but think that with over the top quality of this movie, it would work much better in the animated form. Even the name reminds me of the Saturday Mourning Cartoons (like the M.A.S.K etc). Maybe if we start a petition it’s still not too late to get that done, why do you think?

Trivia: Richard Gesswein plays Coldyron buth he’s dubbed with the voice of Loren Bivens that makes everything a bit surreal. And super- muscular Dr. Steel is played by Jayne Smith who’s only other credit is sequel of the erotic- parody of Flash Gordon, Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders (1990). How ’bout that?

Earlier this week we saw Fox’s The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space (in 3D) as one of the number of projects (including The Sims movie?) that Disney has canceled after the acquisition. But now it seems that things are actually looking up for the Chiodo Brothers.

In a Hollywood Reporter interview Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Jungle Book) casually mentioned an animated project with Chiodo Brothers, and it seems it’s a done deal.  He said “…even talking to [an outlet] like Quibi about doing short-form stop motion, working with Netflix on a stop-motion Christmas special. I’ve been trying to work with these guys the Chiodo brothers, who did the stop-motion on Elf, it took over 15 years, only because the business model changed.”

Then the brothers let it slip that the special is actually based on their ’15 Christmas picture book ALIEN XMAS.

Nothing says Christmas like marauding aliens who mistake Santa’s workshop fora weapon-building facility.

 

Color me interested! We don’t know how far along it is, but hopefully we’ll get it this Christmas on Netflix.