“This is the most outrageous spectacle I’ve ever witnessed . . .” An incoherent version of the H.G. Wells’ classic, this total piece of crap stars Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando—as the insane scientist who creates man-beast hybrids on a remote island. If you want to see the story actually done well, skip this one, avoid the insipid 1977 version with Burt Lancaster and Michael York, and instead opt for Island of Lost Souls with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi. Besides Marlon Brando’s over-the-top performance (which has to be seen to be believed, by the way), one of the most amusing aspects of the The Island of Dr. Moreau is the epilogue, whereby the narrator tries to turn the absurd flick we just witnessed into some kind of meaningful statement about today’s society (complete with video clips of violent imagery): “I look about me at my fellow man and I’m reminded of some likeness to the beast people. And I feel as though the animal is surging up in them. And they’re neither wholly animal or wholly man but an unstable combination of both, as unstable as anything Moreau created . . . And I go in fear.”

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“A horror film that will stiffen you with laughter!” Directed by the infamous William “One Shot” Beaudine, Brooklyn Gorilla features Ramona the Chimp and the late great Bela Lugosi in another mad scientist role right before he starred in a string of legendary Ed Wood Jr. turkeys.

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This rather depressing historical drama directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Al Pacino as a revolutionary soldier proved to be a universally panned box office disaster, but I
believe the cinematography is outstanding and worth a look. One British critic likened Pacino’s performance to an “impersonation of a distraught short-order cook.” See if you can spot singer Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics as a Revolutionary graffiti artist. Pacino didn’t make another film until Sea of Love in 1989.

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“I’m going to ask you a straightforward question: isn’t it true that you have, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a certain habit through association with certain undesirable people?” Wholesome high school kids take a few puffs of the “killer weed” and become totally insane. Also known as Tell Your Children, The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth and Love Madness.

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John Carradine (looking a little worse for the wear) portrays Dracula in this warped      Western from Director William “One Shot” Beaudine. Filmed in “Shockorama,”      whatever the hell that is! Also check out Beaudine’s Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter [1965].

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ENVY [2004]


Interested in a comedy that features the talents of Jack Black and Ben Stiller about a dog shit-removal product called Va-poo-rizer? Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Envy is simply a steaming pile of dog shit but for some reason I find it strangely appealing. Here’s the so-called plot in a nutshell: Two total losers, “Tim Dingman” (Stiller) and “Nick Vanderpark” (Black), who work in a sandpaper-making factory, dream of coming up with an idea that will make them rich. Vanderpark comes up with “Va-poo-rizer,” a miracle spray that makes dog shit disappear. The guy makes a fortune with this product through the world of infomercials and decides to build a gaudy mansion in the same neighborhood across the street from the envious Dingman. One night, Dingman gets drunk and accidentally shoots an arrow into Vanderpark’s white steed, killing it instantly. Dingman and a bum named J-Man (Christopher Walken) dispose of the horse (a scene that compares unfavorably to Animal House). J-Man blackmails Dingman, who later accidentally shoots J-Man with an arrow. You get the idea . . . Incredibly, Envy was actually directed by Barry Levinson, the once-talented director who gave us great comedies such as Diner and Tin Men. According to the Internet Movie Database, Black and Dreamworks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg both apologized for Envy at a press conference during the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. By the way, a friend of mine remarked that he would rather step in a steaming pile of freshly shat dog excrement than sit through this film again. Watch at your own risk!

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The Southern town of Pleasant Valley was totally wiped out by Union troops during the Civil War. Now, 100 years later, the ghosts of those murdered have risen up to exact revenge! The “Wizard of Gore” himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis, directed this masterpiece. was filmed in 14 days in St. Cloud, Florida, on a miniscule budget. Look for a moving performance from former Playboy Playmate, Connie Mason. Here’s an actual quote from the movie poster: “An entire town in pulsing human blood! Madmen crazed for carnage! Brutal . . . evil . . . ghastly beyond belief! . . . Gruesomely stained in Blood Color!”

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