Monday, April 30, 2012

eX-Fest II: The Revenge in Retrospect

I'm awake.
I'm have a knock knock Neo, down the rabbit hole kind of morning, where coffee offers little solace and small gains toward awakening. I've survived eX-Fest II but not without first having my brain scooped out to marinate in a jar of the tastiest cast off juices that 70's revenge celluloid has to offer. Being the flavor of the day, vengeance belonged to whomever had the biggest balls and baddest ass, regardless of gender. Let's talk a walk , you and I, down my sequence of yesterday's events while I regale you with what whimsies struck me and wreak vengance upon the lesser members of the accompanying audience.

The No Mercy Man

  • 1973. AKA: Fire in the Wind, Trained to Kill, Vietnam Soldier.
  • Genre fave Sig Haig looks really good and is absolute slimy bad ass here as Pill Box, the leader of a biker gang.
  • Society's condemnation of interracial relationships among carney folk leads to breaking and enter, theft, murder and a bad ass biker on soldier gun battle sequence.
  • Hardened Vietnam veterans of the highest training often high five in 80's action broseph style after RPG'ing a truck rather than taking cover to avoid submachinegun ventilation.
  • If your son comes back as a highly decorated veteran with PDST, the best way to help him is smug disregard, urging him to fist fight you and making him live in the shed. No harm can come of this.
  • All it takes to snap a commando out of PDST is the brutal beating into unconsciousness of his father. And the near crucifixion of his mother. And the rape of his sister. Oh, and the rape of his other sister. Make it that far and it's game on for the no mercy man.

Fear is the Key

  • 1973.
  • Barry Newman, John Vernon and Ben Kingsley - Oh my!
  • This film is absolutely boss bad ass for the first thirty minutes while Barry Newman is beating up cops, escaping from court, enjoying hard liquor on Sundays and leading Lousiana state police on a really fucking sweet 20 minute car chase.
  • After that half an hour, it takes a shovel to the noggin and begins to believe that it's a second rate James Bond flick.
  • I never wanted a 1972 Ford Gran Torino before the first third of this film. If I'm not mistaken, Lousiana state police have an excellent car budget; affording a good number of Pontiac GTO's to wreck at will.

The Man From Hong Kong

  • 1975. AKA- The Dragon Flies (get it? With the hang gliding and- nevermind)
  • An honest to goodness Ozsploitation Kung-Fu film. Kick arse!
  • Relations between Austria and China were not comfortable in 1975. Inspector Fang Sing Leng looks to change all that. With his dick. One Aussie babe at a time. He's a dick-lomat.
  • George Lazenby should have played Ron Burgondy by way of Tom Selleck's mustache.
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne plays the aptly named police detective Grosse. You might remember him as Toe Cutter, the main antagonist from the first Mad Max film. Lucky for him his role as a police detective didn't require a more conservative haircut, just a slightly smaller dangly earring.
  • Watching fat guys in spandex shirts run up Australlian mountain sides should be a god damned Olympic sport.
  • I never want to watch hang gliding again. Ever.

Death Weekend

  • 1976. AKA- The House by the Lake
  • Under the oily thin vaneer of a rape and revenge romp lies the true heart of this film: it's really Yuppiesploitation. I hated Doctor Black the perverted peeping tom womanizer; the elitist consumerist; the purchasing power braggot; on the same level that I hated the gang of alcoholic murderous thugs (bravo film makers!)
  • If wanting to add brevity to any diabolical life or death situation, just show quick cuts of the hated dead yuppie's shutgunned face as it ackwardly gets in the way whilst our heroine attempts her mad dash escape.
  • Helplessly alcoholic gas station attendants are hysterical. This is especially true when their crippling addiction prevents them from coming to the rescue even when they realize something is amiss through their inebriated haze.
  • There was audience appluse during the revenge killings of three of the four gang members. Incredibly strangly the most elaborate comeuppance, involving a boat house, gasoline, a flare and a well hidden valkyrie of vengance, received little fan fare.


  • 1973. AKA- The Boss
  • I fucking love Henry Silva! He only has one facial expression, but it's a classic: Wax museum Chevy Chase. He pimps the hell out of that look, no matter the circumstance. Killing dudes with a grenade launcher? Wax Chevy Chase. Banging a girl he loathes? Wax Chevy Chase. Taking a phone call? Wax Chevy Chase but with raised eyebrows! Genius.
  • The theme in this film is a hard rockin' bit of guitar and vinegar piss. I felt 13% more awesome everytime it kicked in. (if you know where I can acquire a copy of it, please contact me)
  • Nick Lanzetta hates skin flicks.
  • Main heavy and over all dick Cocchi heavily resembles Bruce Campbell during the second half of The Man With the Screaming Brain (which was also screened by Exhumed Films).

Vice Squad

  • 1982.
  • A more fitting title would have been "Inept Police Squad". Seriously: a pimp named Ramrod in a bright blue satin cowboy shirt and on the run from the law manages to be a more effective dectective then all the members of Vice Squad combined.
  • I might have mistook this for the early 90's. The only excuses I can bring to bear are exhustion and failing memory.
  • The Johns manage to be a slimy collection of harsh truth ground into the patina of the Hollywood prostitute lifestyle (glamorous as it must certainly be).
  • If a chauffer hires you on behalf of his master and goes to elaborate pains for the fantasy's illusion, bitch don't you that ruin shit by talking when you see the old man in the pine box waiting to bang you. You're a Hollywood hoe, how much stranger can this possibly be over your normal day to day?
  • I really wanted the main cop as protrayed by Emilio Estavez, especially after his star rose at the last Exhumed Films marathon event: the annual 24 hour Horrorthon.

Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS

  • 1975.
  • While seriously jazzed as the preemptive red backed warning made it's how-do-you-do on screen, as the film proceeded my jubilation escaped me. The situation is simply to close to reality to be entertaining overall. The sequels are much more campy and fun. I'm missing the point though, as exploitation is not always supposed to be fun, infact it rarely can be considered as such.
  • This is a nessisary experience on the exploitation spectrum (which is like a much slezier autism spectrum) and anyone who left early is now substantively less whole then they otherwise could have been.

And so the second eX-Fest drew to a close. Overall I would have to say that I had more fun with last year's selections. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy what I witnessed yesterday as it was much more in line with what I'd expect from an exploitation festival. It was sleazier and the price of admission included a small part of what remains of your soul. I'd prefer a healthy mix of the exaggerated sleaze and the over the top fun, but I would by no means complain about the film selections. They were all excellent and they all fit into a day of vengenace laden fun. Yet another bill of entertainment from the fine fellows over at Exhumed Films.

Before I close the book on twelve plus hours of my life, I would be remiss in avoiding some ugly truths.

  • To the rectal pieces of human refuse who decided that your need to know the time, the hockey score, what your friends were up to or that anything else on your cell phone out weighed everyone else's right to not be sucked out of their movie going experience need to step into traffic. You're incosiderate to the extreme, likely irredeemably so and I respectfully request that you spend your time doing something other than burdoning the planet's population with your continued existance.

  • To those sitting in the middle section, most notably near the top, it is your responsibility when moving to and fro not to obstruct the projector's radiant beams. If that means you have to bend further forward while moving, by all means do so. I understand that as a sweaty neckbeard film nerd, this might classify as exertion beyond your normal means but by all means attempt to exert anyway. I can literally see you getting fatter as you obstruct the reason why everyone is tolerating being in your presence in the first place.

  • To the back row, center section folks (most of whom are guilty of the previous two cinematic war crimes) your taste in alcoholic beverages is fucking abismal. Everyone gets one go on this rotating rock around the sun and you're wasting yours drinking fucking Four Loko? I know that you don't know how to properly select what to pour into your mouth hole because despite numerous requests that you not do so from the fine folks of Exhumed Films, you entitled pricks left a bevy of garbage in your wake.

  • Which brings me to my last point: Hey you entitled nerdbodies who left your trash behind, go fuck yourselves. These guys put on a great show of rare goods to entertain you yet despite that you can't pick up your soda bottle as you exit? Your massive corinary can't arrive soon enough to remove you from our presences.

    1. Bring the fury Chuck!!! Seriously, That made my day and I agree on all points.

    2. Great comment: I fucking love Henry Silva! He only has one facial expression, but it's a classic: Wax museum Chevy Chase.

    3. I actually enjoyed this year's show much better than last. Like the last 24-hour show (my favorite one that I've been to), last night evoked the adventurous spirit of taking a chance on a pile of VHS tapes picked up on a whim (a happening that is well known to any genre fan who grew up during the 80s or 90s and is unfortunately missing in today's media consumption).

    4. It's very interesting that you say that, second Anonymous. I've been simmering article ideas about the nature of viewership from the time I grew up until now. The truthis that we watched what was on TV a lot of the time because there weren't many other options and in doing so we suffered through many bad films but also found excellent once which we never would have watched if we were picking and choosing.

      Instant streaming access is super convenient but something of the random discovery is lost in the trade. didn't mean to get off on a long tangent second Anon- your post just brought that forth from me. I too enjoyed this year's show, I just had more (admittedly) campy fun with last years.

      Bottom line is I'd reattend them both again.

    5. I enjoyed the hell out of the first ex-fest. The second,not so much at all.

    6. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on why that is, Anonymous #3. And I'm sure the guys from Exhumed would like any feedback, good or bad, to help them in future panning.

    7. People purposely leaving trash behind are total scum. I always make sure to get my garbage. Last year I left an almost full half gallon of iced tea. Obviously that wasn't on purpose, and I was annoyed when I got home and discovered had left it behind.