PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 5
HEY BASTARDS. Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! This week we’ve got a bowling lane’s worth of flicks, including summer camps, ghostly mobsters and hockey-masked psychos that aren’t near Crystal Lake!
10. Amok Train (Beyond the Door III) (1989)
Jeff Kwitny’s Yugoslavian-shot horror pic about a group of college students led by their professor (Bo Svenson!) into a Satanic trap aboard a train isn’t what you’d call “good,” but it delivers the Eurosleaze, and it’s never dull. Released in the U.S. as BEYOND THE DOOR III for some reason, this is dumb late ‘80s fun.
9. J.D.’s Revenge (1976)
Arthur Marks was responsible for many of the most notable blaxploitation flicks of the ‘70s, including MONKEY HUSTLE, FRIDAY FOSTER and DETROIT 9000, but this ghost story about a ‘40s mobster who returns from the dead for revenge by possessing a law student may be his best. Glynn Turman stars, with Louis Gossett Jr.
8. Act of Vengeance/Rape Squad (1974)
Netflix has this listed under the more tasteful title of ACT OF VENGEANCE, but Bob Kelljan’s tale of a hockey-masked maniac who faces the wrath of an all-female revenge league also goes by the more exploitation-friendly RAPE SQUAD. It’s not great, and it’s not even that sleazy, but who can resist that title?
7. Queen of Blood (1966)
Curtis Harrington directed this beautifully-shot space vampire flick a year after Mario Bava’s similar PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES. A group of scientists (including John Saxon, Dennis Hopper and Basil Rathbone) respond to a distress call from an alien ship on Mars and discover a survivor, the title beast who hypnotizes the crew to steal their precious, precious bodily fluids.
6. Encounter at Raven’s Gate (1988)
Rolf de Heer is responsible for some of Australia’s odder genre flicks, including BAD BOY BUBBY, EPSILON and this oddball sci-fi flick about a farm in which strange things start happening and the residents start to go insane. More moody and cryptic than exciting, but it’d make a fine double bill with LONG WEEKEND.
5. Soldier Blue (1970)
In one of the most brutal American-made westerns, two survivors of a Cheyenne massacre, one a devoted soldier and the other a young woman who lived with the tribe, attempt to reach the US cavalry’s main base. As the two bond despite disagreements, things come to a head when they find the cavalry is preparing a return attack. With Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence and Dana Elcar.
4. Wheels on Meals (Kuai Can Che) (1984)
Jackie Chan may be retiring from stunt work, but he leaves behind a vast legacy of amazing stuntwork. For those used to his American films, Sammo Hung’s action/comedy about a pair of cousins who team up with a bumbling detective to save a woman, is a good gateway film and one of his most accessible. With Hung, Yuen Biao and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez.
3. Pontypool (2008)
Bruce McDonald (HARD CORE LOGO) directed this horror pic about a radio DJ (Stephen McHattie) who stays on the air during a contagion. Creepy, atmospheric and makes excellent use of the minimalist locale.
2. Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)
Lucio Fulci steps away from the gore but manages to be just as creepy in this 1972 child murderer, starring Florinda Bolkan, Tomas Milian and Barbara Bouchet. Disturbing and eerie, this is one of Fulci’s best.
1. GORP (1980)
Before he directed the likes of THE STEPFATHER and DREAMSCAPE, Joseph Ruben helmed this summer camp comedy about a resort for Jewish kids from the writer of THE SENTINEL. With Dennis Quaid, Fran Drescher, an M-5 Stuart tank, panty raids, Rosanna Arquette and Michael Lembeck.
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