Friday, October 17, 2008

Saw V? That's nothing compared to this....

"Legacy of tough, tough stain"

That from Mary Jo Pehl, a member, or maybe a prisoner (?) of the Cinematic Titantic Project, still trying to preserve the electronic scaffold that preserves all digital media. Never mind that tank that's blocking the exit.

The latest volume tackles a movie that's clearly in the same league as Hobgoblins, Ring of Terror or maybe Manos. It's painful for everyone in the CT crew, but still hilarious for the rest of us. Legacy of Blood, from the Elvira's Movie Macabre series along with Doomsday Machine, is about a hateful family who's glad the patriarch, played by John Carradine, is finally dead. They can't wait to get his money, but they have to stay in his house for a week. Whoever is not dead gets the money.

One look at this family, and you root for none of them: They all drink to excess, only to forget they are related. There's Greg, the older brother, sister Veronica, younger siblings Johnny and Leslie, who may be too close because there are hints of incest between them, followed by loud admittance. Leslie, by the way, is married or something to Carl, her shrink. She spends much of the movie in bed, in her slip, and demented. The help features Igor ("Body by Charles Atlas, head by Mel Brooks"), Helga (who was Frau Blucher before Cloris Leachman was), and Frank (who looks very familiar to longtime MST fans).

Anyway, we see lots of awkward conversations, near-pool playing and some of the ugliest deaths, and even uglier seduction scenes, from an 1970's horror movie. The only scenes that make sense are Johnny's nightmares about his hate for his dad and lust for Leslie...especially the one where Igor gets caned by Carradine whle wearing a bellhop's hat.

I'm not kidding.

The CT crew hold their own aganist this type of horror. I'll just describe some of the choice riffs...

The house, first of all: "This house is listed by the Remax Amityville office"

The funeral, such as it is: "This isn't a graveyard. They're doing a dump and dash" and "You know, I think hate is finally going to bring this family together" (which is actually true).

The law is brought in, but as usual is of no help: "Looks like a vigilante Maytag repairman". Even his patrol car is cheaper than generic: "This is the official logo of Peel and Stick County". Of course, his luck runs out very quickly.

Veronica tries to seduce the two poor replacements for father figures, both Carl and later Frank, who looks like Russ Tropp, the heavy in Untamed Youth. That's because it is the same guy, John Russell. He didn't age well since then. The best way to describe Veronica is "She's oozing something. I just don't think it's sexuality." Meanwhile, he's got plenty of Nazi souvenirs, including a lamp that used to a guy he killed in the war. Between that and her nightgown that would "make Hannah Montana look old", sparks won't fly between them, but disappointment would.

When she raids the icebox, she finds a severed head instead: "Let's go put this in a horse's bed."

As for those creepy flashbacks: "Salavdor Dali just called. He says he doesn't get it."

As for how the family deals with the bodies that soon multiply: "In this house, you never know if they're grieving or hung over".

One other lovely scene was Leslie describing a dream where she's in a cave, and Johnny tries to get inside. Her lack of clothing and acting skill makes Frank yell "Future Mrs. Frank Coniff." That feeling passes in the not-seduction scene where Johnny tries to have his way with sis, and winds up drowning in his sins...or something. Leslie then runs in terror, leading Frank to do a callback on one of his previous riffs as a tribute to himself.

This comes before one of Johnny's flashbacks showing his forbidden love for Leslie, which horrified Mary Jo to say what brothers should really do: "They're supposed to sit on your head and fart."

I'll just say the climax occurs inside "David Hasslehoff's pantry", with the real killer revealed too quickly because of too much lighting. It also leads to the strangest riff anyone has said in this series: "I think I'll have a TV dinner. We do have fresh transvestite, don't we?"

Jigsaw, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger have nothing on this movie. It was trying to be arty more than bloody and shocking, and wound up being neither. All this inspired was a "group throw-up", whcih means mission accomplished once again for Cinematic Titanic.

Of course, there are skits: Frank learns about the PTB's no gum policy, and we get a weird game show where Josh risks his life to find out what won't kill him.

This movie is usually what the guys at Incognito Cinema Warriors XP would tackle, and have with Lady Frankenstein. I'm surprised CT would go this far, and I commend them. I understand we're supposed to get a "holiday" movie soon, but what kind will we get that will measure up to Santa Claus and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?

We may soon find out.

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