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Yes, yes—grindhouse movies of yesteryear are clumsy, gross and silly. We get it. For those who don’t, here’s a 76-minute geek-out inspired by the likes of CANNIBAL FEROX, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET and TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD from Dire Wit Films, the folks who brought you ISLE OF THE DAMNED.
Enthusiastically advertised as a 1979 film presented in a newly edited “European Cut,” this is actually an extraordinarily indulgent comedy about a satanic biker gang that revives ancient cult zombies. Bad wigs, bad dialogue, bad lighting, bad everything… The effort these goofballs put into this premise made me smile a lot during the first 10 minutes. Then I started wanting to hit someone. The dialogue dubbing is intentionally horrible to mimic flicks like FEROX, but that joke wears out its welcome really fast. As for the gross-outs, there’s a lot of stabbing, a fellatio castration, a man in a gorilla suit raping someone in the woods…yet it’s all somehow very tame and goofy because we’re such a part of the “joke.”
I watched this with a group of friends. I heard a few chuckles from time to time, but they assured me they’d much rather watch the real thing than a pack of fanboys running around in the woods, playing dress-up. In the end, the group decided on a *1/2 rating, but I have to bump that up to **1/2, simply because of the hard work and “imagination” that went into it. Even though I may not pop it into my player again until I want to aggravate someone, I’ll smirk every time I happen it upon it on my shelf.
Extras include a drinking-game menu (“Anytime someone teleports,” “Anytime a zipper is undone”), full MP3 soundtrack, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, an interview with Carl Cephas of the Washington Psychotronic Film Society, a faux commentary by the actor who voiced the character of Jack Steele and “Donatello Giallo” (son of the fake writer/director “Antonello Giallo”), trailers (including two for other fake flicks that fit in with PLEASURE’s mythology) and an Antonello Giallo bio. The commentary features a moderator (“Mark Kohl Groves” is what I think he says his name is—it isn’t mentioned anywhere else—who seems to have been involved in another cut of the film somehow) and the mythology of the film is further explored by the trio, who bicker and recap phony stories…it’s as clever as it is annoying, because it’s painfully unfunny yet informative (?). I enjoyed the deleted scenes quite a bit, perhaps because this flick’s wacky slashing and masturbating works better in small doses than as a full-feature. And isn’t that why we love grindhouse trailers so much—even the fake ones?
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