Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dr. Buddha Man!

Buddha Man is back, and the golden boy is getting even less verbose!

Now he wants his column to feature really brief reviews of three movies. He also wants to jump on the Bond Wagon this year by using his names mixed with the 007 movie titles. Who am I to argue with such a renowned cinema personage?

Not the worst, not the best...middle ground, you might say...

The Sound of Horror  (Europix Consolidated Corporation, 1966)

From the looks of this victim, the sound of horror might be a squishy
tearing sound...

Treasure hunters blasting a cave somewhere in the Greek mountains inadvertently release a fast moving dinosaur who proceeds to turn the expedition into his own all-you-can-eat buffet. The really tricky part is - the beastie - though incredibly noisy -  is invisible!

This one is now supposedly in the public domain, and turns up in several of those 50 movie pack DVD box sets. I finally saw it from one of those, having never seen it as a kid - and it's not bad. The first 50 minutes or so are a little slow, but not murderously so. Once the creature, er, doesn't appear, the movie is really pretty cool. I like the idea of the invisible monster, which in the end is cheaper, but more effective than whatever special effect these guys might have used to show the thing. Give this one a try - especially in a group where the slow spots can be chatted over!

Unhinged  (Anavisio Productions, 1982)

Does your hatchet lose its flavor in her forehead overnight?

Three young women off to a jazz festival have a car accident. They find refuge in the spooky old mansion owned by a nasty old woman and her strange daughter. Eventually, some guy starts offing the women, and all clues seem to point to the gardener - as the deaths are caused by gardening tools, and he appears to be the only guy around for miles. But we've seen too many of these movies to fall for that one, right?

This flick rather inexplicably fell onto Great Britain's Video Nasty list and was hard to see for decades, unless you tracked down a VHS copy released here in the US after the hoopla overseas. That's how I first saw it, by the by, though much later. Its legend grew in the intervening time until people imagined it must be wall to wall gore in nearly every frame of the film. Finally, there was a DVD release a few years ago - with actual special features and everything (although the "comedy commentary" doesn't do much for anyone involved, including you if you listen to it). The movie is incredibly low budget, not particularly well directed, indifferently acted, and features a script padded to the point of ridiculousness. But you know what? The movie still has 'something.' The murder scenes are also not much, in terms of graphic nastiness, at least, despite the movie's long standing reputation, yet they still pack a small punch. And there's an atmosphere about the movie; a sense of dread and of inescapable destiny; and an ending that while maybe not the surprise the filmmakers were hoping for, is sufficiently demented and off putting that it sticks with you. Those factors make me almost recommend it. If you're almost intrigued, then check it out!

Now that's more like it!

Silent Rage  (Columbia Pictures, 1982)

In this scene, a guy in a white truck tries to speed by Chuck Norris and Stephen Furst, but
comes to an abrupt stop when his bumper meets Chuck's foot.

Another early Chuck Norris picture, this one sends him over into horror territory a bit. A psychotic loon (Brian Libby) takes to chopping up people with an axe, until he is stopped by Sheriff Norris, who is forced to kill the guy - yes, he looks at him hard. However, in some really bad luck, three doctors over at the hospital have been experimenting with wild new techniques of restoring life and making the human body more resilient to damage. If only they had a dead subject to try out their theories on... Sure enough, the guy makes an amazing recovery from dying, and now gussied up into a super psycho, he hits the streets again. Can even some devastating roundhouse kicks stop...the Silent Rage?

This one is purt'near a must see - it is chock full of Chuck Norris badassitry, and features a pretty solid supporting cast with Ron Silver, Toni Kalem, and Stephen Furst for comedy relief. What more could you possibly be looking for?

And that completes our time together. Until next we meet, always remember...no one likes a tattletale.


  1. I've read about Sound Of Horror a long time ago but forgot about it. You say Public Domain? Downloading!! :)

    Never, NEVER heard about Unhinged before. Banned? Video Nasty? I need to see this!!

    Not interested in Silent Rage. I guess it might be quite cool but I'm an avid Chuck Norris hater, so I skip that one :)

  2. Maynard! I'll be interested to see what you have to say about the two you're planning to check out. Chuck Norris will get over his disappointment, somehow. Cheers!

  3. These three look like a treasure trove of Saturday Night Drive-In deliciousness. I'll have to check them out. I think I remember Silent Rage. Chuck Norris is so badass he doesn't swim, water just wants to be around him. ;) I got that from this little gem of a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y

  4. Hey Craig!:) Out of curiosity, are you close to Michelle Williams? If that is, tell her I love her. :) Still haven't seen My Week with Marylin, but I loved every single one of her performances so far.

  5. Nebular - we've been less in touch the last few years, but four seasons of Dawson's Creek together left us good pals. The next time we communicate I will pass along your affection.

  6. Creepy cool. If it weren't for you, Craig, I would never know these films existed! As for Chuck...yeah, I'm a fan. He's one of my favorite tough guys. Wish he was my body guard.