Burke and Hare

HERE WE ARE.

Finally, I bring you the most amazing horror movie to ever come out of goofy, sexploity 1971 AND it is the last of the Bs! That’s right, after months of Bads and Blacks and Bloods and Brains and Belphagors, we are finally at the last B horror movie in the Netflix horror section (and yet we have only begun with actual b-horror-movies god all -fuckin-mighty Netflix with your film selection).

How do you all feel? Accomplished? You’ve come so far. I’m very proud. Thanks for tuning in once every couple of months when I remember I sometimes have a blorg. I know you’re all very proud of me as well. I am too. I think I’ve earned it.

AND NOW GET READY FOR ONE OF MY VERY VERY FAVORITES.

First of all, this isn’t the Burke and Hare movie from 2010. This isn’t the Burke and Hare movie from the 90s. No no no. This is much much better. This is motherfucking NINETEEN SEVENTY-ONE. This is a Burke and Hare story with FALSE EYELASHES and BIG SIDEBURNS and SO MANY BOOBIES. LONG HAIR AND BIG LAPELS AND CHEESY MUSIC AND SERIOUSLY SO MANY BOOBIES AND ALSO BUTTS. (Goddamn, the 1970s must have been fucking spectacular.)

If you’re not familiar, Burke and Hare were actual real live serial killers in Edinburgh in the 1830s. At that time, cutting up a body for science was seen as the worst possible thing to happen to your discarded flesh tube after death, so medical students were only permitted to use the corpses of executed convicts to learn about anatomy and surgery, as we had not yet figured out what science was and so we were already prepared to just shit all over it with religious regulations BUT NOT ANYMORE HAHAHAHAHAHA. So of course skeletons and corpses became extremely valuable and, because humans are awful and 1827 UK was the fucking worst, William Burke and William Hare (I know, how are these called “the Burke and Hare Murders” and not “Double William Death Squad,” fucking tell me about it) went into the lucrative murdering-people-and-selling-them-to-medical-school business.

Which brings us to this delightful, boob-filled romp through 19th century serial murder.

William Hare ran a shitty boarding house for shitty people, and William Burke lived there. In their spare time they dug up reasonably fresh corpses to sell to medical schools, which was about as happy and prosperous a life as one could have in 1827 Edinburgh.

One day, one of the other shitty residents of the shitty boarding house keels over and our Williams, seeing oldy timey dollar signs, decide to bury a fake body and sell the real one to a local surgeon, who didn’t ask too many questions because if you wanted to teach medicine in 1827 you had to turn a blind eye to black market cadavers because WHAT IN THE SHIT 1827 YOU HAD TO HAVE KNOWN WHERE THIS WOULD END UP. Great job, 1827. We got stuck with H.H. Holmes because of your shit. Way to go.

Realizing how much could be made by having anonymous people “accidentally” die at your boarding house, both Williams decide to go into business together. CORPSE BUSINESS. (1980s, please come back and produce a Magnum PI-style show called Corpse Business. I want lots of guns and lots of skeletons in giant shoulder-padded jackets. Please and thank you.) Burke and Hare Incorpseporated goes actually pretty well for a while until they accidentally pick the wrong lady to smother to death and all hell breaks loose.

But wait. Before ANY of this, before the movie even begins, we have the single greatest intro theme song of all time. I’m not going to attempt to describe it, I’m just going to link it here and allow all of you to bask in its glory: WATCH IT HERE WATCH IT NOW.

And let me tell you, the whole fucking movie is like that. It’s silly and anachronistic and could not be less serious about its subject matter. Eventually William^2 start bringing home prostitutes and killing them for their cadavers and we get ENTHUSIASTIC 70S SEX FROLICKING BEFORE MURDER. IT’S THE GODDAMN FUCKING BEST.

This movie makes me inordinately happy and I can barely make myself summarize it much more because my hope truly is that you all watch that intro and immediately go seek out the full movie and stick it directly into your eyeballs and hearts. Burke and Hare is one of the few bright spots in this whole stupid alphabetized project I have forced myself into and I am literally going to stop writing this blog and go watch it again right…….

(FIVE FUCKING HORRORS YOU GUYS FUCK IT’S THE BEST)

………NOW.

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A shot from the movie, and also my face the entire time I was watching it. LOOK HOW HAPPY THEY ARE TO BE A PART OF THIS MASTERPIECE.

 

 

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Burke and Hare

Borderline Cult

HURRAY NOVEMBER IS OVER I DID IT.

Okay, so I didn’t quite do all 31 Days Of Horror, because November is only 30 days and I started on the 3rd and then I took several days off because ughhhh writing words is JUST SO HARD but whatever. I probably did like 20 maybe. Maybe 15. I for sure did at least ten. Probably. (I could count but ughhhhhh counting things is JUST SO HARD.)

So from now on I will be posting at least once a week on Sunday, THE LORD’S DAY, and I promise to actually keep up with this thing because holy shit I don’t want to be still working through the letter J when I’m 45 and Netflix owns the entire internet.

And now for today’s movie: Borderline Cult.

And HOOOOOOOOOOLY SHIT it’s the worst.

I’m going to admit something to you. I did not watch the entirety of this movie.

That’s how bad it is.

I watched all of 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck. I watched every fucking minute of The Amityville Haunting. I did everything short of build a Clockwork Orange-style eyelid opener to keep watching The fucking Bell Witch Haunting.

But I could not make it through this.

Borderline Cult is about three serial killers torturing and killing women at the US/Mexico border. That is all. That is the whole thing. And it literally looks like it was shot on a cell phone camera. It’s a blurry mess with zero sound or lighting equipment and is entirely done with some sort of washed out grainy filter that I think was intended to hide the fact that this was filmed in someone’s backyard with Halloween store plastic knives and wigs. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that every costume, set piece, and prop was purchased at Spirit Halloween.

Fuck man.

It’s just the fucking worst.

I’ve only given up on watching a movie in this project one other time and I feel like this one is somehow WORSE than that. The other movie I couldn’t force myself to waste my life with was Baseline Killer, directed by Ulli Lommel, and

wait.

Ulli Lommel is the director of Borderline Cult.

…….

FUCKING. MONSTER.

THE MINUTES OF MY LIFE THIS MAN HAS TAKEN FROM ME, NEVER TO BE RETURNED. FUCK THIS DUDE. WHAT IS THE FUCKING MATTER WITH YOU, LOMMEL??? WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS??? IS IT THE MONEY??? IS IT WORTH IT TO YOU TO SPEND TWELVE DOLLARS MAKING A MOVIE THAT GROSSES FIFTEEN???

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU AND YOUR WASHED OUT SNAPCHAT FILTER YOU FUCKING USE ON EVERYTHING.

FUCK YOU AND YOUR SINGLE PLASTIC BLONDE HALLOWEEN WIG THAT YOU APPARENTLY STORE IN A BOX OF RATS.

FUCK YOU FOR MAKING A BOX OF RATS DEAL WITH YOUR SHIT – THEY GODDAMN DESERVE BETTER.

…….NO HORRORS.

NO HORRORS FOR YOU.

THE ONLY HORROR IS THAT NETFLIX SPENT THAT $15 BUYING YOUR SHIT ASS MOVIE AND THAT I SPENT HALF AN HOUR OF MY LIFE TRYING TO WATCH IT WITHOUT REMOVING MY EYES WITH MY COMPUTER MOUSE. THE HORROR IS THAT SOME POOR L.A. WAITRESS HAS THIS PIECE OF SHIT ON HER IMDB PAGE. THE HORROR IS THAT HOLY TITS YOU HAVE SIXTY ONE FUCKING DIRECTING CREDITS.

FUCK.

JESUS.

I’ll be back next week hopefully with a movie that DIDN’T ALMOST FUCKING KILL ME AND MY CAPS LOCK BUTTON.

UGH.

THIS GUY.

FUCK.

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FUCK. 
Borderline Cult

The Blood Beast Terror

Welcome to the “blood” section of the alphabet! Brought to you by: 1960s monster movies. What’s the monster this time, you ask?

WEREMOTH.

IT IS A WEREMOTH.

HALF MOTH.

HALF LADY.

WEREMOTH.

A mad scientist from the Victorian era starts fucking around with genetics and, naturally, he starts by combining a death’s head moth and a beautiful woman, because fuck curing cancer or whatever. The resulting WEREMOTH is a pretty lady during its pretty lady phase, and a Blood Beast Terror during the moth phase, in which it roams the streets of London, killing attractive young men and draining them of all their blood, which is not something I understood to be a feature of moths, but I am not A Scientist.

I mean. That’s really all I have to say about this. It’s cheap and dumb and from the 60s and all of those things put it somewhere between awful and great. It also tries to be a detective movie at the same time, starring Peter Cushing as a policeman who thinks that maybe it’s a bloodthirsty eagle going around killing everyone, a theory that makes marginally more sense than WEREMOTH.

….

….

I got nothing.

………THREE HORRORS.

WEREMOTH.

te9en0r
WEEEEEEEREMOOOOOOOOOOTH
The Blood Beast Terror

The Big Bad

Here’s the thing – there are those on the internet who are impressed with this movie. Those people on the internet have either never seen a movie or have perhaps only seen this movie. Allow me to explain why.

First of all, the cover looks like every horror movie ever. It features a lady in a tank top with a lot of dark eye makeup getting her throat grabbed by a hairy, clawed monster hand. The background is a greyscale forest of dead trees and cloudy skies. The foreground is flames. Fuck this cover. It’s like they gave the graphic designer the title of the movie and half an hour and he slapped something together that a group of 50 year-old executives decided was “cool” and “sexy.”

Also, as a side note, I am decidedly over werewolves and vampires, which I lump together because they are ALWAYS always involved in the same shitty tv series/shitty movie/shitty young adult fiction. No, netflix. No one wants to watch Hemlock Grove. NO ONE. And, with the possible exception of fifteen year-old sparkle goths, no one wants to watch *anything* featuring generically attractive white people with prosthetic fangs wander around wearing all black and being “edgy.” No. No and bad and stop.

So, out of obligation, I made it through that and started playing this thing and holy shit the camera work why what are you doing why. You know how in oldy timey movies they used to smear a little vaseline on the lens when shooting an attractive actress to give her a soft, ladylike glow? Oldy timey movies did this for a single shot at a time, because oldy timey cinematographers were not idiots, but OH NO, that is not enough for The Big Bad, which is filmed EXCLUSIVELY in vaseline mode. The whole. Fucking. Thing. Is a blurry, glowy mess. Already, regardless of content, this movie has been rendered largely unwatchable because WHY WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. I decide to charitably believe that this was not on purpose and perhaps the camera man had a sandwich in one hand and accidentally got some mayonnaise on the lens and no one noticed until after filming had wrapped. This is the only way I can make this acceptable to me. So I soldier on.

The Big Bad opens with our protagonist, Frankie, at a divey leather bar looking for a man who knows something about the beast that killed her whole family. Unsurprisingly, no one wants to talk to her about this, until she runs into a woman in the bathroom who seems to have had a run in with this guy and now has a slight itch that OH GOD TURNS INTO FANGS AND SHE ATTACKS. Please note, we have had maybe ten lines of dialogue and we cannot hear any of them because the sound quality is so bad, so essentially we have just watched a lady follow another lady into the bathroom and then get almost eaten for it. Fine, it’s low budget, whatever. Maybe the plot is good at least?

And the sad part is, it ALMOST could have been. Frankie enters a surreal wooded world and finds out that her father was a werewolf who betrayed his clan to marry her mother, a human, and accidentally killed her in a particularly bad transformation. She runs into an underground colony of werewolves set upon hunting her father down and destroying him. This could have created a moral dilemma for Frankie and for the viewer. Will she side with the werewolves, and will they accept her or eat her? Will she side with her father, and will he accept her or eat her? Will she just kill everything in sight? Does she have werewolf powers? And, if so, who will she eat? (Note: I haven’t had lunch.)

NOPE who cares, this movie drops that entire plot like a fucking rock because you know what sounds great, if Frankie has to run around in the blurry blurry woods for two hours, finding random items she won’t use and killing people by splashing water on them (???). And then it’s just….over. I feel bad for this movie, because its creators clearly wanted to do something different and were willing to be creative on a low budget. But unfortunately you can’t just put a woman in a leather jacket, string together a bunch of random horror-themed moments, and smear it all with KY jelly to make it better.

This thing gets…..TWO HORRORS.

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Here, KY – Horror in Order will give you the product placement you deserve.
The Big Bad

The Asphyx

FIRST OF ALL, I need to vent about how Netflix freaked me the fuck out by reorganizing its genre categorization. Horror is no longer a genre in the dropdown menu on the home page.

Netflix, take note.

THIS IS NOT OKAY.

It’s also hard as shit to find specific categories in Netflix because you can’t just search for genres, which would be a thing that makes sense; rather, you have to search for a movie WITHIN that genre, hope it has that genre LISTED as a tag, then click on THAT link, and then eventually there you are, back to the fairly large and all-encompassing genre of horror which totally merits a goddamn link in the dropdown menu, you fucking twatfucks.

Jesus.

Okay, anyway.

Looks like you can still search alphabetically FOR NOW, which means that you can, if you are so inclined, find The Asphyx predictably near the top of the A-Z list. Not that you have to, because I think I may summarize the whole thing so put your reading eyeballs on.

The Asphyx is from 1972. It has the look of one of those made-for-tv movies that your high school English teacher showed you because it’s the most recent version of Taming of the Shrew or whatever that is considered appropriate by the school board for educational consumption. It sort of looks like maybe it was going to be a low-budget play and then someone was like “hey, I have a camera, who wants a film credit in their resume” and everyone shrugged and went “eh” but no one argued so Steve went and got his fucking tripod, which is JUST LIKE STEVE.

The premise of The Asphyx is that there is a scientist in Victorian England called Sir Hugo Cunningham (of course) and he has been studying photos of people at the moment of death in which you can see a blur hovering around the dying person’s head. Some Victorian scientists have taken this to be evidence of the soul, but you know what? NOT SIR HUGO CUNNINGHAM.

So then Sir Hugo Cunningham ends up at a party in a sunny place by the lake and in the 70s-est scene ever, everyone is prancing around having a grand old time until Sir Hugo Cunningham’s son and his fiancee are killed in a boating accident (it is, of course, the least explainable and most boring boating accident known to man) while he, Sir Hugo Cunningham, is filming the whole thing on his Victorian video camera. And Sir Hugo Cunningham sees a blur moving TOWARDS his son and not away.

This blur must therefore be…..THE ASPHYX.

What is an asphyx, you might ask? Sir Hugo Cunningham will tell you.

Sir Hugo Cunningham explains that the Asphyx is a weird little grim reaper within each individual that comes to get them at the very moment of death, and Sir Hugo Cunningham postulates that perhaps if one can almost die, one can capture one’s own asphyx and keep it in a decorative asphyx container and then LIVE FOREVER.

So Sir Hugo Cunningham and his young ward, Giles, learn how to capture an asphyx and manage to almost kill a guinea pig and then trap his asphyx so that the guinea pig can LIVE FOREVER. Sir Hugo Cunningham then decides that the next logical step is to capture his own asphyx as his contributions to science are clearly too important to lose to something as plebeian as mortality. Asphyx capturing apparently takes two people, so Sir Hugo Cunningham convinces Sir Hugo Cunningham’s daughter to help Giles by saying that he’ll let them marry if she helps out, and Giles is hella dreamy so she does. Sir Hugo Cunningham then almost dies and they trap his asphyx and put it in their family tomb behind a combination-locked door because fuck if anyone is gonna get in there and let it out. (The guinea pig’s asphyx is stored in there too, worry not.)

Next they go to immortalize Sir Hugo Cunningham’s daughter, because one small rodent and one mad scientist are enough practice for two dudes to definitely NOT fully decapitate their daughter and fiancé, respectively. Except, for some reason, this one is really hard to pull off and the excitement gets the guinea pig all riled up and he goes and chews through some very important cables and the lady totally gets decapitated and dies because WHY DID YOU LET THE IMMORTAL GUINEA PIG RUN AROUND FREE IN THE LAB.

Giles then kills himself out of grief and destroys all the asphyx-capturing equipment and Sir Hugo Cunningham destroys the slip of paper with the tomb’s combination on it because he decides that a shitty, guilt-ridden immortality is just the punishment for allowing his hubris to destroy all those he loved. We then see a hobo-ish Sir Hugo Cunningham in the FUTURE OF THE 1970s, wandering the streets of London with his guinea pig until he causes a fatal car crash, but police are stunned to discover that HE HAS STILL SURVIVED THE ACCIDENT.

AND SO HAS….THE GUINEA PIG.

Here’s the thing – this movie is kind of fucking great. It has this weird nostalgic feel of an oldy timey sci-fi short story like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark or something. I also just LOVE the 70s take on Victorian London. Were the lapels REALLY that big back then? Did women REALLY wear that much eyeliner? Did they REALLY groom their chest hair? It’s wonderful.

But also, the asphyx itself is AMAZING. First of all, it’s a weird godzilla-looking puppet. Second of all, it’s been filmed with the absolute pinnacle of 1972 special effects, that is, under blue lighting and lots of fades in and out of focus and sometimes that wibbly look that usually signals the beginning of a flashback. I dream of the day when I will go to a comic-con and see someone dressed as an asphyx. Or carrying a giant asphyx in a glass case. Please do this for me. This would make me so happy.

But most of all, I appreciate the pay off of the guinea pig.

He is cute. He stays safe. He has a grand old life of being cherished by someone who has nothing left and therefore dotes on him.

He must get a fuckload of lettuce. FOREVER.

You know what, fuck it FIVE HORRORS. Not because it’s good, but because I goddamn wanna. Write your own blog.

guinea-pig-1
I fucking dare you.

 

The Asphyx