Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Horror Rises from the Tomb and Flying Dog IPA

There's good zombie movies, bad zombie movies, and then there's the "so bad they're good" zombie movies.  This one teeters on the edge of bad and so bad it's good.  Bad acting and terrible special effects can be funny, or it can be terribly boring.  I'm still not sure which one this is.  This movie was made in Spain in 1973 and then released in the US in 75.  I believe i read somewhere that one of the heroes and the villain are the same actor.  They do look pretty similar now that I'm thinking about it.  I don't know a lot about the 70's.  I was alive (although pretty young) for some of the 80's and I've read and seen a lot about the 60's, but the 70's was a decade that i just never learned about.  Ok so there was disco and coke, but there had to be more to it than that.  So i dug a little further.  Now you're talking!  The birth of punk rock and sleazy drive in style horror!!  I had no idea the 70's were so great.  But that's not all....these boozy, drugged out disco maniacs were having sex like the world was ending.  There wasn't a lot of full on sex scenes in these movies but everyone was naked.  Not just this movie either.  In Zombi you get a taste of it.  Who scuba dives naked?  I'll touch on this more later.
I picked up a mix pack of flying dog in an effort to make further amends.  It appears that i was wrong about flying dog.  But if it weren't for Hunter S. Thompson i would never have realized it.  I picked up his book on sale at some book store in Colorado.  I had heard of him and it seemed like something i would like so i picked it up.  I'm really interested in rebels.  I love punk rock  and all it's rebellious grittiness so i thought it's quite possible i would like Hunter S. Thompson.  In the book it referenced Flying Dog a couple of times so I thought maybe i should give them another go.  I'm glad i did.  I realize after doing the math that i tried my first and only flying dog mix pack 5 years ago when i was 22.  I had just started drinking beer and hadn't yet worked up to the refined palate that i now possess.  So i picked out my most despised beer of 5 years ago... their Snake Dog IPA.  It poured a clear dark gold into my Sam Adams glass.  It had that typical American nose of big citrus hops.  But the first sip surprised me.  It was bitter without being biting and had a nice toasted malt back.  It finished clean and smooth without that puckering bitterness that i look for.  It's absence in this case was appealing.  There was still a big citrus flavor with green resinous hops all over it.  But it didn't bite my tongue the way most of my IPAs do.  Well done Flying Dog....well done.
The movie starts out in medieval France where this bloke is getting hung for being all buddy buddy with Satan.  Not big fans of "freedom of religion" those Francs were.  Before they cut off his head and bury them separately he places a curse on his executioners.  His wife was hung upside down tortured and killed, topless none the less.  Fast forward five hundred years or so and you've got a rich guy that thinks the body is buried in one of his estates.  They have a seance to see if they can't figure out where the body is.  I'm not sure if they were looking for some type of treasure associated with said body or if they are just gore hounds.  The seance goes terribly wrong as is typical of at least one other 70's zombie movie.
They all travel to the rich guys house where they find a buried chest.  It's locked so even though it might be treasure and three other people know about it they decide they should just keep it in the basement.  Well I'll be damned the poor servants tried to open the chest.  They find the head and become possessed.  Two out of the three don't make it out of the basement.  The remaining guy (possessed) does some killing of his own.  Here's where it gets interesting.  Every woman who gets killed gets her shirt ripped off before hand.  In one case it looked like the killer realized there wasn't enough boob in the shot and adjusted her ripped shirt accordingly.  Another thing while I'm at it.  Judging by this movie everyone in Spain in the 70's slept naked, men and women.  Not only that but the first thing a naked sleeping woman does when confronted with a resurrected French devil worshiper is throw off the covers.  The director must have realized he didn't have much of a plot and the actors weren't great so he just stripped them down and got extra boobie shots.  I'm surprised it beat out One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!
So our Hero is rocking a textured turtle neck tucked into his jeans.  Not exactly fitting by modern standards.  Not a lot of films with Vin Diesel and Jason Statham running around with textured turtle necks on.  The hero's girlfriend (wife maybe? no idea?) gets possessed and becomes part of the "Final Ritual".  It doesn't really explain what the ritual is but it does involve a lot of boobie touching???  Highlights of this movie include a scene where the undead wife rips a mans heart out.  That's about it.  There are a bunch of okay scenes and i learned a lot about the oversexed seventies but nothing stands out as amazing.
There are zombies in this movie.  At first i was worried it would just be possessions.  Those pre-Romero White Zombie type.  But in fact when the possessed people die they become honest to goodness zombies.  So technically it counts.  The only protection from these zombies and the unholy couple is a necklace of Thor's hammers.  Why the Greeks have anything to do with this I have no idea.  But it works.  The naked sleeping Spaniard keeps safe only because captain evil saw the necklace hovering above her bosom.  His wife isn't harmed by the necklace and needs a silver needle through the heart???  Whatever.  Our main characters end up slaying the evil duo but not before our hero hunk takes an ax to the chest.  And he almost made it!!
All in all this wasn't a bad movie.  Only because i assumed it was going to be a terrible movie.  It moved well enough, had decent gore, a unique plot, and the acting wasn't the worst I've ever seen.  Would i recommend it?  Mer?  If you have a lot of time and a couple of beers than give it a shot.  If you want to snuggle with the Mrs. and watch a feel good film, look elsewhere.

The Beer:
Aroma – 7/10
Appearance – 4/5
Taste – 8/10
Palate – 4/5 
   Overall – 14/20
Total = 37/50

The Movie:
Production – 3/5
Plot – 2/5
Gore – 3/5
Zombies – 3/5
  Overall – 3/5


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