1. "The Long Hair of Death" - A Renaissance festival worker pushes some hippie into a waterfall, and the chemical reaction of hippie and water results in the growth of a movie plot. The sheer TERRIBLE TERROR of such a TERRORIFFIC event causes a car mechanic wearing pajamas to violently fondle a sleeping woman's breasts. A person then disappears and reappears, culminating in the epic conclusion of a grown man openly weeping next to a paper mache Halloween statue of Carol Channing, which closes on him and (I assume) results in his death. So it's not really "The Long Hair of Death," as much as it's "The Halloween Statue of Carol Channing... Of Death."
2. "The White Gorilla" - Lots of animal stock footage from 1923 is combined and edited to form some feature-length film about a man who professionally pokes cats with a tree. This enrages a group of hobos in ape suits, who flail at each other like drunk backyard wrestlers. According to the movie jacket, the White Gorilla turns into a "murderous monster," although this is technically impossible since murder wasn't invented until at least seven years after this movie was created. The film ends with more stock footage of zoo animals while the voice over guy mumbles something about gorillas or proper dental hygiene or something. The essential underlying message here is that gorillas shouldn't be trusted, especially white gorillas, with managing our 401k accounts.
3. "Condemned to Live" - Cowboys / the Amish run around waving torches and pitchforks until they enter a cave and point at some object. Eventually somebody rings a very large bell, which confuses the people waving torches and pitchforks (they are allergic to bells). They chase a vampire / homeless person into a completely different cave and shout incoherently while an elderly pharmacist hugs the bum. "Hugs the bum" sounds like a dirty sexual euphemism, or possibly a popular Saturday morning cartoon character. The shame of their primitive manlove forces the homeless guy and his pharmacist to fall off the edge of a one-foot tall cliff, triggering the credits to roll.
4. "The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave" - A man resembling a very drunk father of Keanu Reeves tries to escape a mental asylum while wearing pink socks. Through the power of terrible - er, TERRORFULL - voice over dubs, a man declares his intent to sleep with a lot of English women despite the fact that the average English woman has a full set of childrens' molars growing from their vagina. Some people die and I think maybe somebody was set up by somebody else, but I'm not quite sure because I was distracted by the colorful fungus growing from their chests. Oh, "George" was the guy who was caught, and he fights back by punching a guy in the balls with a tree branch and plunging into a deadly swimming pool full of sulphur. After crawling out of the water, he screams "IT BURNS!" and tries to tear the clothes off him. Ha ha, silly English people, fire burns you, not water!
5. "Devil Monster" - Natives of a tropical island dance with an ice cream salesman and light a big bonfire to celebrate their friendship. There is lots of festive chanting and stock footage of fish. A sea captain asks, "is there any place around here... WE CAN STRIKE TUNA?" and says the last half of that sentence in a really weird voice that suggests "strike tuna" is a filthy metaphor meaning "sit on my face." Some highly sweaty and shiny guy named "Jose" gets off a boat and a man says "look here he comes" and then it shows the same shot of Jose walking and cuts back to the man who says "look there he goes." Oh that Jose. His girlfriend or possibly mother announces "it's okay" to console his lack of a left arm. Maybe he lost it striking tuna. It certainly wasn't from the Devil Monster, since there was absolutely NO Devil Monster anywhere in this movie. I was really hoping he'd show up so I could determine if he's more devil than monster or vice versa. It's like naming somebody the "Outer Space Alien From Another Planet."
6. "The Head" - A scientist uses science to behead folks and keep their heads alive. Apparently this is possibly through the miracle use of "lots of tubes and a machine with a knob on it." The scientist's eyebrows, which look like pyramids of charcoal briquettes, slowly grow to consume his entire forehead. Some more science is used to arbitrarily swap the heads and bodies of random women who are either pleased or horrified. There's a big fire (small fire) and the crazy scientist uses copious amounts of science to effeminately prance off the side of a house. TO HIS DEATH.
7. "Chloe, Love Is Calling You" - Happy southern black folks wearing derbies use voodoo to communicate with a bat. The mother, named "Mammy," raises a white girl and tells her she's black, and when she disagrees, Mammy threatens to hit her with a stick. There seems to be a lot of people hitting each other with sticks in these movies. I think this is why I hate the rainforests so much. A white guy shoots another white guy who is hiding in a tree, and a different white guy (I think) tackles a black man about to stab the black white woman in some voodoo sacrifice. This just goes to prove that despite global deforestation, race relations haven't really changed much since 1934. Hopefully there's less bats.
8. "Crypt of the Living Dead" - I couldn't really understand much of what anybody said in this movie, mostly due to the fact that the vocals were dubbed under the producer's kitchen sink, using a microphone buried in a Foldger's coffee can. There is a lot of walking around and talking during nighttime in this film, resulting in a movie that's 90% pitch black and seems to take place in the dark vacuum of space. An archeologist travels to an island, possibly in a different galaxy, so he can bury his father in the tomb of the "vampire queen." Out of all the places to bury a beloved family member, I would imagine the crypt of a vampire queen would probably rank towards the bottom, but then again I'm no archeologist. The vampire queen (who you can tell is a queen because she wears a crown) is mercilessly mocked by group of bullies with torches, who stab her in the heart with a table leg. The archeologist then leaves the island, presumably to bury his dead dad somewhere safer, like directly inside the Ark of the Covenant.
9. "The Phantom of Soho" - Yet another film from England that had to be dubbed into English for reasons unknown. Perhaps the Queen Mum ate the soundtrack. Two men with voices resembling Peter Lorre trapped in a meat grinder smoke cigarettes and talk to hookers while trying to solve the eternal mystery of their phantom moustaches. There's a 60-minute scene of a woman being rapidly rotated on a wheel while a gypsy man throws knives at her. Unfortunately, he has terrible aim and misses every time. Midway through the movie, two pirates push each other in a foggy alleyway. The one who wins the shoving match is rewarded by being stabbed to death. It turns out somebody is stabbing people and Scotland Yard must stop them before the movie has a chance to end. I don't want to ruin this fine film for you, but the killer turns out to be... THE POLICE CHIEF! Just kidding, I didn't watch the end, who the hell knows. This movie stars "Dieter Borsche" whose rise to popularity can be traced back to the popular 1960's catchphrase, "who the hell is Dieter Borsche?"
10. "The Ape Man" - Bela Lugosi forgets to shave for a day and turns into a half man, half ape creature (not to be confused with the average Italian, who wears significantly more gold jewelry). I guess everybody was absolutely terrified of apes and gorillas in the 1960s, because I really can't see any other reason why they were featured in so many horror films. Now we have an AIDS epidemic, so I suppose they were onto something. The evil Ape Man must find a cure for his ape-itis by teaching his pet ape to jump through windows and choke medical professionals. This is all part of the job, and if you don't agree with his methods, then you're violating the hippocratic oath and you can serve up to 10 years in a federal prison. The climax of the movie occurs when Bela Lugosi wrestles an ape who Heimlich Maneuvers him to death.
11. "A Walking Nightmare" - The exciting sequel to "A Sitting Nightmare" and the prequel to "A Sleeping Nightmare," which critics dubbed "frightfully redundant." In this movie, some banker gets hypnotized and a detective must determine what happened to him. Somewhere towards the end of the movie, the detective tells everybody to repeat the phrase "this is Doctor Carson, I want to rent the house into Blakely Road," to which they ask, "why are you making us say this?" I asked the same question too, but didn't bother skipping to the part which explains it, a luxury the audience didn't have back in 1942 because back then they were too stupid to work DVD players. In short, this is a detective movie with absolutely no terror in it, as opposed to the other 49 movies in this DVD set which lack both detectives and terror.
12. "The Sadist" - Arch Hall Jr. is "The Sadist," which explains the effect he has on both the people in the movie and the people watching the movie. In case you're wondering, "sadism" back then meant "guy with a scrunched up buttery face, whose entire central nervous system is being operated via Radio Shack remote control." When their car breaks down, three travelers decide to stop in an auto yard so The Sadist can look really smug at them shortly before pistol whipping the guy with the silliest moustache. Features such incredible Arch Hall Jr. remarks as "ooohhohohoho" and "eeehehehehe," while spastically gesturing like a brain damaged clone of Mike Denton from "Teenage Crime Wave." He eventually dies when his stunt double is pushed into a ditch full of Petco shopping mall snakes.
13. "Night Fright" - Okay, get this: a mutant ape driven crazy by "cosmic rays" goes on a killing spree and murders various white college students who honestly deserve it. This doesn't prevent them from gathering and spontaneously breaking into dance in the middle of the woods, in the middle of night. The cameraman uses this as an excuse to film the women's asses for as long as he can until either he ran out of film or was issued a restraining order. And for the curious readers out there: a mutant ape crammed full of cosmic rays looks like the bastard lovechild of a gorilla and Skeletor. You know, Otis Nixon. I didn't bother watching the end, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess the mutant ape was killed. If somebody out there has actually seen this movie and can prove me wrong, don't bother. This is one of those eternal mysteries I'm gonna have to live with until the day I die.
14. "Scared to Death" - Bela Lugosi and a midget conspire with a Nazi proctologist to drive some broad crazy by "scaring her to death." According to this movie, scaring people to death in the 1940s involved buying fake heads of the person you were intending to scare (to make them think their head had fallen off) and bribing a maid to deliver blindfolds to dinner parties. I can almost feel myself dying right now! OF SCAREDNESS. The midget creeps around and engages in sinister, midget-like activities, while a floating clay replica of Marlon Brando's head floats towards the camera. Are you scared to death yet? No? Well how about if we throw an ape in somewhere? Man, apes, those things are scary as all hell! Hit 'em with a stick!
15. "The Man With Two Lives" - Most men have one life. Some people on the Internet have significantly less than that. This guy has two, but they're both boring as hell. A scientist and his son as using "science" to prove things that can be proven by exclusively using science. You know right then that something bad is going to happen, because in addition to the fear of gorillas, people back then were terribly scared of science. "Oh science?" people would occasionally remark in casual conversations back then. "I hate that stuff, I tried using science once and it caused this ape to murder my wife! No more science for me, thank you very much!" Some rich guy's son gets killed in a traffic accident, so he asks the scientist to use science to revive him. He is brought back from the grave by using "soul transmigrational" technology, but instantly turns into an evil gangster. Oh what's wrong, the poo widdle baby is mad because his soul was created in a vacuum tube by an obese man breeding teeming colonies of spores in his hair? How about we use some science to turn you into less of an asshole, jerk?
16. "The Sound of Horror" - An invisible Greek monster kills a bunch of archeologists. The aforementioned "sound of horror" resembles the noises a cat makes when its tail is caught in the garage door. I'm not quite sure why, granted the power of invisibility, the monster would prefer to piss it away by creating goofy shrieking sounds every half second, but I guess that's what folks in the gaming industry call "class balance." You can either be the really fast guy with a shitty weapon, or the really slow guy with a ridiculously powerful weapon. You can either be invisible and emit supersonic farting noises constantly, or you can be visible and actually have clean underwear. 88 minutes into the movie and the creature gets burned to death on the top of a Jeep. The hills are alive with the sound of horror.
17. "The Ironbound Vampire" - New Jersey college film students make a movie about vampires. Features such fan favorites as "we're smart and creative because we filmed this scene with the camera on the ground" and "we put too many goddamn filters on the camera which is why the corners of the screen are black and blurry every scene." The narrator boasts "my vampire theory was proven CORRECT!" at the end of the movie, which is refreshing because, you know, the entire movie was about vampires. Her theory must've been "the subject of vampires, when filmed by clueless community college students, is incredibly gay." The entire movie is filmed in black and white, ensuring it will undoubtedly be the closest any of these kids will get to seeing an actual black person.
18. "Hands of Steel" - John Saxon plays the role of, well, John Saxon, who uses his pet cyborg to kill elderly men. Unfortunately, the cyborg's evil chip malfunctions and causes him to temporarily stop killing non-evil people, although he has no problem beating up multiracial gang members. A replacement evil cyborg, a blonde aerobics instructor, tries to kill the less evil cyborg, who has decided to start working as a bartender in a post-apocalyptic truck stop. Eventually John Saxon hires somebody to fly him around in a helicopter so he can blow up a trailer truck transporting valuable, precious hay, which really ticks off the not-so-evil cyborg. There's a few hundred scenes that take place in boiler rooms, because nothing says "the future" like a boiler room. World War III will be fought in the basement of a large metropolitan grade school. There is no terror in this science fiction movie, but there is John Saxon, so oh well.
19. "Vampire's Night Orgy" - A busload of tourists stop in a town inhabited by folks displaying an assortment of vampiric qualities. Well guess what? They're vampires! SURPRISE. They chop off a guy name Ernest's leg and serve it as dinner to the travelers, who naturally make uncomfortably loud comments such as "THIS MEAT IS EXCELLENT" and "THIS MEAT IS SO TENDER!" and "BOY WHERE'S THAT IDIOT ERNEST, HE SURE WOULD ENJOY THIS MEAT!" How come every time folks unknowingly eat human meat in movies, they blabber on nonstop about how awesome it is? If cannibalism was such a blast and resulted in so many prime choice cuts, we'd be eating the homeless on the daily basis. Naturally the movie ends with a man and woman escaping the evil vampire village, telling their story to the police, and then learning the town never existed. BUT IF THE VAMPIRE VILLAGE DIDN'T EXIST, THEN WHO'S LEG DID WE EAT?!?
20. "One Frightened Night" - A mystery film from 1935. What it lacks in horror, it makes up in lamps. Every scene features at least 500 lamps in it. Maybe lamps are horrifying, at least compared to apes. As for the plot, it's anybody's guess. Something about a millionaire giving away his fortune to his family... his fortune of OVER ONE MILLION LAMPS.
21. "The Werewolf of Washington" - Dean Stockwell gets bitten by a werewolf and uses his connections as the Press Secretary for the President of the United States to mail out pro-werewolf propaganda, lobbying for increased federal funding in the field of werewolf protection services. Like all werewolves, Stockwell eventually gets his hand stuck in the holes of a bowling ball while talking to the President. To make things even worse, he transforms into a werewolf in the middle of a very important meeting between the President and a Chinese diplomat. I think this is an analogy for puberty.
22. "A Strange Adventure" - One time I took some Xanax and drank a six pack. Now THAT was a strange adventure, one which ended up with me falling asleep in the bathroom of the 13 Coins restaurant in Seattle, while Drew from Fark ate spaghetti. This movie, eh, not as much. A car driving nerd is seduced by little grey riding hood, who unwittingly ends up driving some bank robbers to hide in a cabin. They hang out and have a fun time but ultimately things could've been better because they end up getting arrested and possibly killed. It turns out the money was inside them the entire time. What a strange adventure.
23. "The Island Monster" - In the opening credits, it reads "STARRING (with)" like just in case nobody knew what the word "starring" meant, they could read the text in between the parenthesis and say, "oh, it means 'with'!" and suddenly understand the core fundamentals behind feature films. "WHAT YOU ARE SEEING IS BEING PROJECTED ONTO A FLAT SCREEN" should've followed, and perhaps the movie could end with "THE END (THAT MEANS YOU CAN LEAVE AND GO HOME NOW)" Boris Karloff plays a fat sea captain looking for some businessman's kidnapped daughter, who was taken to an island run by drug dealers. I didn't even know they had drugs in 1954. I assumed delinquents spent their days racing cars and leaning against walls. I think drugs were first invented around that time, and they were simply named "drugs." "Hey man, do you want some DRUGS?" is what one bad guy would say to another bad guy. "Sure man, I love the DRUGS!" the other man would reply, and then they'd eat their DRUGS and feel like a million bucks, which back then was equal to 100 billion bucks. As for this movie, who knows what happened in it.
24. "The Rogue's Tavern" - Another movie from the 1930s that revolves around people talking for inordinate amounts of time. I don't think folks in those days understood the transition from radio to movies, since a majority of the films are simply radio serials with the added bonus of visually presenting overexposed white folks pace around in their living rooms.
25. "Terror Creature From the Grave" - Terror creatures are bad enough, but when one comes from the grave? Oh, you'd better forget it brother! A thrilling horror film from 1965 so blurry and overexposed that it resembles a boring real estate film from 1925. Some lawyer uses the power of long distance phone calls to revive undead plague victims in a castle, who proceed to engage in horrific activities like "walking around" and "walking around some more," which oddly enough is the same thing the non-undead non-plague victims do the entire film. The "scary" scenes are the ones where the theremin starts going nutso, usually to signify the fact that a boring white person is about to get killed. If my pasty ass was alive back in the 60s, I'd be more afraid of theremins than giant apes or tree branches, since those invariably spell out somebody's doom. Watch for the thrilling climax when one of the main characters attempts to shoot the cameraman to death.
Ugh, 25 more to come soon.
Game of Thrones has mercilessly killed off characters over the years, but these lesser characters are still waiting to meet their fate.
What movies other than Rat Race could be improved by the surprising entrance of Smash Mouth?
day 2: still working on the car
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.