Heaping Muthafuckin' praise! Kudos, kind sir! Bravo, Mr. Stanley
for pouring us a warm cup of YOU via ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES.
Michael Stanley who has faded into oblivion, somewhere in this
cold, cruel world, no doubt tells current friends and relations,
"I made a movie once, back when I was living in Connecticut."
The friends and relations of this Michael Stanley more than likely
reply, "Really?! Which One? Have I ever heard of it?"
Stanley, more than likely, retorts "Probably not, but I still
have a video copy of it, want to watch it?" Little do the
unsuspecting souls realize that what they think they know about
movies, and in particular, the horror genre, is going to be tested
to the limits when they hunker down in front of the ol' Zenith
to catch a glimpse of Michael's handy work.
The back-story of ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES (AOTBC) is a
lofty one for sure. A supposed period piece, (I think it is, although
the feathered hair, 'staches, and flare legged tux pants smell
disgustingly like the early 80s) we are introduced to a cast of
shipwreck survivors set adrift from the sinking Obelisk. As the
credits creep by in a painfully long sequence, the astute viewer
will catch that Obelisk is the name of the production company
behind AOTBC. No doubt a reference to the sinking feeling the
backers felt as they came to grips with the fact that might have
very well, pissed their money down the drain by financing AOTBC.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Our eight castaways spy an island
in the distance, dry land, maybe some food and a chance hopefully
to rescued. The rag tag group of passengers and a couple crew
members hit the beach, and thus our epic tail of survival begins,
survival from the elements, each other and ultimately something
the folks who titled the film dubbed the BEAST CREATURES, one
of the most redundant tiles in moviedom history. Its AKA might
actually be a truer title, HELL ISLAND
for all involved,
Once on the island, AOTBC enters into typical zero budget problems,
inane dialogue and character motivation that lacks both. Stanley
can't take the credit for wunderkind Bob Hutton's crafty lack
of scriptwriting penmanship when it comes to the story. You will
probably remember Bob Hutton from having a name that reminds you
of Lauren Hutton or Raw Mutton or Knob Glutton, but not for anything
remotely related to movies. The characters follow along the well-established
formulaic cardboard cutout variety. The Handsome Captain, The
Trusty First Mate, The Snobbish Asshole, The Passenger With a
Heart of Gold, A Couple of Cute but Weak Gals, An Older, Stronger
Female and some guys which die quickly. Now to this point you
might think that I don't care for AOTBC that this may turn out
to be a review that asks you not to view this tripe, but I'll
tell you prematurely, nothing, I mean nothing, could be further
from the truth.
You see, describing various events that our characters run into
wounded survivor having his flesh devoured off, only to leave
nothing but a Biology 101 Class budget, plastic skeleton, complete
with skull hinge, a gentlemen starved for fresh water only to
find the gentle, calm lagoon is some sort of acid that eats his
hand and face off, impalements, maimings, none of these things
and the hows and whys really matter. This film is all about those
Beast Creatures, those glorious, stupid Beast Creatures. The trail
of Michael Stanley isn't about whether or not he made a good movie
(the jury is in he didn't) it is only about those Beast Creatures.
What sort of man has the balls, the nutz, the grapefruits, the
fucking intestinal fortitude to take a lower echelon version of
the little Devil Doll from TRILOGY OF TERROR, make about a hundred
of them, out of wood, paint them red, give them unblinking eyes,
no joints, cheap wig hair and expect an audience to buy into the
fact that these are scary!
Granted these might just be the nastiest little 14 inches of
wood ever to grace a screen but frightening they ain't. I dare
anyone to sit there the first time you see the Beast Creatures
and hold in a giggle, can't be done. Nonetheless with the confidence
of Kid Rock at a blood test, Stanley brings them on and on and
on. These Beast Creatures are in your fucking face, in droves.
Of course, if you can just get a hold of one, you can fling him
into a tree, or rock, or the ground, or stomp him with a shoe
or my favorite, actually throw one at the camera. They're not
hard to kill; there are just so damned many of them. When in full
bore attack mode, a victim can have up to a dozen of the boogers
pinned all over him, kind of like a little Beast Creature leisure
suit or something. They also may some sort of high pitched hiss
sound that must really fuck you up because it seems to stun folks
into actually struggling with the beast creatures instead of just
introducing one to a hard rock maple stump. And when they run,
boy they sure get with it. You know how realistic it looks when
ElmoTM from Sesame Street tap dances? Well, this ain't that realistic.
I have to admit I didn't find this gem on my own, famed underground
filmmaker Nathan Schiff (Vermillion Eyes, Long Island Cannibal
Massacre) sent it my way, just knowing it was up my alley. Expect
a full-blown Nathan Schiff interview and film overview very soon
here at BOF. Master Schiff was right on the money. AOTBC is well
on its way to becoming true BOF classic material in my book.
I would be doing my job if I didn't give you at least a little
information about the cast of AOTBC. Robert Nowfi is the Captain
and really the only character capable of much acting, many of
the individuals involved must have been acting students and or
right out of the New England community theater circuit. Don't
get me wrong Nowfi is horrible. He delivery borders on 8th grade
reading level with truly believable lines like, "Let's keep
our differences to ourselves, we have to worry abut getting off
this island." Nowfi sounds as if he is reading them, and
for the first time, not just the lines but also the actual words.
Stanley's direction is right in line with stage directions as
well. Each character generally strolls into the frame and saunters
out, unless it is a long shot, almost always done without sticks
(handheld). Focus seems to be another shortcoming during key establishing
shots. Our "asshole" character, Morgan, brought into
being by John Vichiola, does a fair, less effete' Thurston Howell
III, and at least he makes you hate him, which is his point. It
seems to be the only truly developed dialogue in the film; at
least Morgan effectively makes you want to bust his fucking mouth.
The rest of the survivors are fairly forgettable (I should note
that all the cast just like any other major films that are made,
are also the crew, the Special Effects are handled by Bob Firgelewski,
Bob Hutton, helped edit and other duties and Ms. Stanley drowns
as well as is 2nd Asst. Director, Vichiola was the Casting Director!)
and the fact there are 10 of them really mucks up the works, because
you loose track of who's dead, who isn't, and find yourself realizing
that they are basically Beast Creature Chow so why worry about
anything they are talking about because they will eventually be
covered in tiny red Miles Davis action figures. After one of the
nameless characters, melts in the acidic pond, a four man discussion
of the nifty red berries they have found disintegrates into a
pissing contest about who's going to pick them. One cannot help
but think of CBS's Survivor during this sequence
they had some acidic water and tiny red demon fuckers on the runaway
reality hit, now that'd be something, I wouldn't have to spend
so much time watching just to see if I can catch a glimpse of
some ineffective female intimate shaving. But walking, man this
cast can do the walking, in and out of the frame around and around
like the God damned Blair Witch kids, every scene God damned Mike
Stanley has them walking
Am I the only one who's asking if
you are looking to get saved on an island why in the fuck are
you tromping around in the jungle portion of the island on not
on the beach? Did I say jungle; I meant luscious green Connecticut
woodland. The scenery looks as tropical as the back seat of my
car, ask any $10 crack whore who's been there and she'll tell
you, it just isn't that nice. Morgan and John the Captain (hmmmm
Captain Morgan) ultimately are the only 2 characters worth giving
a shit about, even the ladies, the potential love interest of
the Captain (hey he's suave), the elderly lady and the forgetful
other two, barely peak any sort of emotion at all, just get to
the beast creaturing you'll be screaming. Much of the dialogue
seems to have gotten one take; there are noticeable flaws and
fuck-ups but the film rolls one. Okay, maybe I should have left
out the shit about the characters. BUT WHO CARES? Beast Creatures,
I may have already said it. All that really matters is the Beast
Creatures, seriously, they make the movie. They make me demand
your attention. I will come to your fucking house, drag you out
by the knape of your neck, put you on my back and run 17 miles
to a VCR to get you to view this thing. I will, you son of a bitch!
I am not fucking kidding. If you bother to see something this
week, take the time to track this one down, email me I'll get
you a copy, cheap! Rarely am I so fucking vehement about you assholes
seeing a film, so listen up ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES deserves
something, anything from you. So many "bad" movies are
held in reverence as if they potentially mandatory but poor old
AOTBC has wallowed in obscurity for far too long. Do not make
me come over there
Don't make me
Cuz I will. And if
you do make me you're getting as ass whopping for not listening,
fucker. You had better bow down and worship these red, little,
super, jiggaboos. Oh that reminds me, in what might be my favorite
scenes in AOTBC, a bazillion little Beast Creatures have a sort
of church service all standing worshiping a big Beast Creature
idol. Imagine lining up a bunch of those little lucky TrollTM
dolls in front of one of the bigger models and you basically have
the dramatic impact you get to bare witness to. It's a moment,
man, oh Manechevitz it is a moment.
ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES, 5 fucking stars. Red wooden hooga
booga men, plastic Chem. Lab skeletons, strawberry jam, dry ice,
inane script writing, hollow characters and gutter level acting.
WHAT THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO SAY HERE? SEEEEEEEEE IT!
Discuss this baby.
|You had to get the
|Dead Man Sinking,
please note the hinged skull.
|Sunday morning at
the island. Got Wood?
|Extreme Beast Creatures,
that's in my face!
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