Friday, September 30, 2011

The Ripper

The Ripper (1985)
Dir:Christopher Lewis (Blood Cult/Revenge)

So today I felt like taking things back to review the kind of film I started this site for and that is the 80's Slasher flick. It's just too bad I decided to do so with this shit of a film... I was prepared to watch Torso but for some reason my player would not allow screen shots of it so, As a friend and longtime horror fan Dave and I sat down too watch a flick, I stumbled upon this one in my collection and the moment I stated who ws starring in it (Tom Savini) my friend was sold.
                             The film opens with a flashback to the original Jack The Ripper in action as he kills a woman of the night before we are flashed forward to a college class where the students are studying crime ,Murderers in particular when the Teacher Prof. Richard Harlowe focuses on Jack the Ripper. We then meet the teachers love interest, The aerobics teacher and just as we enter an 80's dance montage out of nowhere and the film is quickly becoming horribly boring ,(At this point My friend fittingly decides to do a line of coke off of my notes.) After the dance sequence Richard and his love interest enter a antique shop looking for some furniture and he happens to set his eyes on a large ruby ring that seems to have a pull over him. He decides to pass on the ring and the couple leaves . From here the film really hits a boring stride as the movie focuses on the teachers class and the studies of Jack the Ripper. We learn that Richard has sort of a close relationship with one of his students named Steve who shares a love for horror flicks. As Richard falls asleep while watching a campy horror flick (Much like me and my friend at this point) he has a vivid dream of murdering his girlfriend in a very similar way to The Ripper.

Soon Prof.Harlowe finds the mysterious ring he was fascinated by in a book on The ripper  and apparently it was once his and he becomes obsessed with purchasing the item. Harlowe returns to the shop to pruchase the ring but the shop owner is holding it now for someone who wants it, After a pointless padding scene of about ten minutes of him waiting to see if the prospect buyer arrives he finally is sold the ring. After obtaining the ring Harlowe begins to act strange and suspiciously people begin turning up dead around the campus. From here I think we all can see what this is leading to. Strange things start happening like Harlowe suddenly becomes left handed ,Like The Ripper and his dream continue to be filed with murder. One night Steve is on a date at the lookout point with his girlfriend when she suddenly disappears out of nowhere and he finds her dead behind some bushes ,carved up only feet away from where he was standing so how no sound was made is beyond me. Steve spots an officer approaching just as a man dressed as jack the ripper flees the scene. After a long chase in which two cars are chasing the ripper on foot but still cannot catch him ,he escapes.

After some research Steve comes to the conclusion that it is in fact Harlowe that is responsible for the murders and is being possessed by the ring of the ripper. He decides t pay Harlowe a visit and prepares to shoot him, the two fight over the gun and Harlowe escapes to meet up with his dance instructor girlfriend, Now is a race to get to the date first as Steve gives chase. Once inside a warehouse (Strange place for a date) Harlowe has been turned into Jack the ripper (Played by Tom Savini). He appears to be invincible as Steve arrives and shoots him a few times to no affect. He realizes that the ring makes him immortal and cuts his fingers off leaving him vulnerable just as the police show up on the scene. The Ripper appears and the police unload on him putting him out of his misery as he turns back into Harlowe. The film closes as a group of young kids find the ring on some railroad tracks and take it home to their parents , I guess leaving this film open for a sequel that  to my knowledge never made it out.

Now before I trash this film, I will give it credit as it is one of the first shot on video films and by those standards the cinematography is not bad at all and the gore in this flick is pretty well done , I'm sure that was thanks to Tom Savini. Now with the bad, This film is just downright boring , Over half of the film is just lame dialog about students learning of Jack the Ripper. The film never really picks up until the last twenty minutes or so and other than that it is just sleep  inducing, I mean my friend who was here watching it with me did a damn line of coke and still managed to pass out during the film. I have seen some bad horror flicks in my day and no this is not the worse by far but it just lacked any real suspense or entertainment to keep me interested. This film is truly only for Slasher completists and huge fans of Tom Savini although he is billed as the star and is only in the film for about ten m minutes in the end which was obviously a gimmick to sell the vid. Unless you are a collector of the genre you are not missing much by skipping this one.

Overall: 4 out of 10

P.S. Thanks to my friend Dave for sitting through this one with me, Otherwise I may have turned it off 20 minutes in.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Christina Lindberg: Face of an Angel

Christina Lindberg hands down is one of the most gorgeous women to  grace the grind-house cinemas across the globe. From her angelic,youthful face to her flawless natural body. She stole the breath away from many a film goer through the 70's and on. Her most famous role is that of playing Madeline.One Eye the kidnapped young woman who gets her revenge on her captives after fighting through a forced drug addiction and rape in brutal and beautiful fashion in Thriller:They Call her One Eye. Lindberg recaptured some resurgence of fame years later when Quentin Tarrantino  made Kill Bill and sited Christina's character in that film as a major inspiration for some of the characters. Lindberg was also quite well known for her innocent look yet being a real sexpot on screen, Starring in several romance/Soft Porn films and even some featuring full on penetration. Her list of cheesecake films sport such titles as Maid in Sweden , Anita, Swinging Co-Eds , Young Playthings and The Pornstar Travels Japan. Along with more exploitation cinema like her popular film Exposed. With the popularity boost of Grindhouse cinema over the past few years Linda's films have been getting DVD transfers and I could not be happier because before that many of these films were near impossible to track down unless you knew someone who  was an avid collector.So as a tribute to this spectacle of the female form here is a few shots of the lovely queen of Swedish exploitation cinema Christina Lindberg

Feast your eyes and I hope you enjoy the first instalment of my tributes to the beauties of Off Beat Cinema.
I could not think of a better first feature than this Swedish dish. I hope you love looking at her as much as I do. Lindberg is a beauty that dos not come around to often and it is hard to imagine anyone ever capturing the same balance of innocence and sexuality as hers.

Tributes to T& A in cinema and Site Update

After the Hollywood Hot Tubs review I found a woman that sparked my interest enough to search for nude phoos and more films featuring her. It is not too often that a lovely lady graces the screen and impacts me so much to do so. With that said I have decided that instead of posting a top 10 or whatever list of my favorite actresses of yesteryear  , I will be posting a tribute to one of my favorite nudie film actresses each week. I will however attempt to give a bit more detail about the actress than I did with the Jewel Sheppard post though. I hope you guys enjoy this little addition to my site as I know I will enjoy doing the research for sure.

        I also would like to thank all the readers here yet again as I have now reached a little over 19,000 views and the site continues to grow in popularity. I could not be hapier , although again I gotta preach about the readers being more interactive. I am always trying to work on making this place better and I would love some feedback as to what i can do to provide a better place for Movie fans to check out. Any help and criticism is encouraged.
                                                        Nathaniel (Dick Swift) Guest

Jewel Sheppard

After watching Hollywood Hot Tubs and not getting to see the beautiful woman with the bouncy breasts playing Crystal Landers get nude I did some research and found some very nice pics of one of the lesser known 80's scream Queens Jewel Sheppard . I now have another lovely lady to add to my ranks of favorite B-Movie actresses of yesteryear along the likes of Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley. I gladly present you with some shots i found while searching the net of this adorable young lady.

You are welcome fellas. I think after posting this I am going to do some hunting for pics of my other favorites and post some sort of tribute to my favorite women of old school cinema on here, so don't be surprised if some of these pics pop up here again sometime soon.

Hollywood Hot Tubs

Hollywood Hot Tubs (1984)
Dir: Chuck Vincent (Preppies/Sex Drive/Sexpot)

After watching Hot Resort last night it kind of put me in the mood to watch another one of these 80's classics. This time I was hoping for something a little more satisfying. Luckily Hollywood Hot Tubs delivered the goods I was looking for. I found this one is truly a rare one in the genre and honestly one of the first of it's kind being made in 1983 and released in 1984. Obviously most of these films don't offer much in story but this particular film is one of the few of it's kind that has a ton of charm about it.

             Shawn is a troubled youth who is having problems finding direction in life and after he and some of his pals head out to vandalize the famous Hollywood sign he gets busted and is facing some serious jail time for his actions. After a meeting with his parents and his Probation officer, everyone comes to a mutual agreement that of Shawn can prove he can keep a job he will be spared the time behind bars. Lucky for Shawn his uncle Al owes his father a favor and he happens to own a Hot Tub repair/plumbing company in Hollywood. Right away Shawn is sent off to live with his uncle Al and begin working to prove he can change.

Al's business is not doing as well as he would like it to and he is trying to establish a working arrangement with Hollywood Hot Tubs a local booming business run by Pam Landers and her beautiful valley girl daughter Crystal played by Jewel Sheppard (Return of the Living dead/Christina). After meeting his uncles small staff of Jeff and Leslie, Shawn is sent on his first job where he is thrown to the wolves and has a awkward run in when he is repairing a film directors hot tub.Meanwhile Al sets out to close the deal with the Hot Tub establishment to no avail. Shawn also immediately takes a liking to Leslie which does not sit well with Jeff who has been trying to win her affections for some time , only to be denied several times due to her motto of not mixing business with pleasure.Shawn continues to learn the ropes and finds himself getting work at some questionable establishments along the way , This however does not please his Probation officer due to the sexual nature of some of the places he is sent to do maintenance.

Shawn starts to get to Leslie and the gang all head out to a local arcade for a after work party where we see signs of Leslie starting to like Shawn as they find they have some things in common such as video games. Jeff begins to get seriously jealous and starts plotting ways to get him in trouble with his love interest. Before that though Jeff shows his sneaky side as he goes to Hollywood Hot tubs in order to sabotage their tubs in order to get the the job for himself in attempt to get a promotion and impress Leslie. Lucky for Jeff this goes on without a hitch and he gets the contract.Before the job is set in stone we meet a eccentric character named Edgar Blood who is a classic horror movie actor who is a little too much into his work as they fix his hot tub in his limo.Soon Jeff finds the perfect way to set up Shawn and get him on the bad side of Leslie after she finally agreed to go on a date with him, by Tricking some women soccer players into believing they were movie execs. while cleaning a hot tub in their locker room. Jeff then calls Leslie in for a part and she arrives to see Shawn and Jeff in the tub with a big group of topless ladies. This of course ruins any chance for Shawn right as the big job comes through and Al and his staff set out to celebrate.

As Shawn's Probation officer begins questioning Al about the establishments he is getting jobs at , Jeff begins to hit it off with the owner of Hollywood Hot Tubs. As his feelings grow for her Jeff begins to feel guilty about his underhanded ways and he comes clean to Leslie about Shawn as well as Pam about sabotaging her company in order to get the job. Unfortunately for Jeff this moment of clarity does not go over well with Debbie and she alerts her older brother about his actions, this spells disaster for Jeff as her brother is a leader of a biker gang that just happens to be in town to visit for her business anniversary party. Before all hits the fan she has a change of heart and now the wackiness ensues. The party begins and Jeff is forced to play hide and seek while we witness allot of crazy clients of the hot Tub establishment along with the party goers at the same time. While a ton of hilarity ensues, Edgar Blood happens to have snuck into the place in full monster costume and begins scaring the patrons. Lucky for Jeff the monster manages to take out the bikers before chasing off all the party goers. After the party wraps we get the typical end of these kind of films where we get text telling us what happened to key cast members after the film,and in this one some of which are actually funny and are good pay off's to the rest of the film.

As far as 80's sex romps I have to say this is definitely one of the best i have seen yet. That of course does not mean the film is good by main stream standards but this is a fun film and definitely a good choice for a party with a few drinks and friends. One of this films strong suits is actually what hurts allot of the films in this genre, as the addition of so many side characters actually is a nice touch in this movie because they happen to all be likable and just get enough depth for the viewer to care without taking away from the main story line. If you enjoy the sex romp I would say if you can track this gem down it is a definite must see for the genre. As for the nudity this is another strong suit of the film as all the women in this flick are breathtaking and honestly the entire film I was anxiously awaiting to see Crystal , who had been running around with her breasts bouncing in tiny cut off shirts the entire movie to get topless which she never does and that in itself was such a let down but the hopes that it would happen honestly kept me watching with high expectations the whole time and I think that added to the greatness of the film in a weird way. Hollywood Hot Tubs is certainly up there with the best of it's kind like Screwballs,Porky's and a few other I can think of . In a genre filled with real stinkers this is a fun ride and well worth the time it takes too watch it. One last thing that this film has going for it, is that it is not over the top goofy and at times is actually funny which is where allot of these kind of films fall flat.
SO this film delivered exactly what I was looking for and that is all I can ask from such a film. Now that I have my T&A fix, I am gonna throw myself head first back into the horror next. So enjoy the fluff for now as I will be supplying the gore very soon.

Overall: 6 out of 10