Archive for the ‘sci-fi films’ Tag

Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015)   2 comments

When Quint says, “Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark’s in the water. Our shark.”, he probably means salt water, since that’s where sharks live.


“Farewell and adieu…”

Not so fast, bub!

When an evil oil company uses fracking to find oil, they open the floodgates and let stealth sharks into the Arkansas bayou. Since the sharks’ new feeding ground is miles from any major population centers, you might think, “Hey, what’s the harm?”


“We’re coming to get you, Bubba.”

Sharks don’t live in a vacuum. Remember I said that.

While the muscle-bound predators cruise the spillways looking for lunch, folks at a nearby women’s prison send a few inmates on a field trip.


“This prison issue is so confining.”

Two guards accompany a van full of female prisoners to a work detail near the swamp. Dressed in ridiculously tight shorts and tank tops from the Desperate Spring Breakers collection, the women get to work pretending to dig things as an excuse to bend over provocatively. After the obligatory cleavage and pouring water on their chests sequence, the real fun begins. Inmates separate from the pack and soon everyone’s tripping over body parts in the woods.


“Hey, anybody lose something?”

At the same time, Detective Kendra Patterson (Traci Lords) and her partner, Detective Adam (I know.) (Corey Landis) follow the trail of a crew of robbers that leads them to the same remote area. They find some bones and some stolen money and apparently lose interest because they go out for tacos and never mention the case again.


“Case closed.”

Just when you think two plot lines are enough, director Jim Wynorski of Chopping Mall fame, adds a third. As guards and prisoners head back to jail, Anita’s (Cindy Lucas) girlfriend hijacks the van and takes them all hostage.


“Going my way?”

Honey (Dominique Swain), the kidnapper, drives her charges to a double-wide in the woods where they’ll all spend a few days changing clothes, eating peaches and beans, and lounging in the hot tub. Ah, paradise.


Just another day in stir.

There’s some infighting and general nastiness and then, a geologist and his cute, young assistant show up. They all realize they must band together or die at the hands fins of the weird, burrowing sharks. Oh, did I forget to mention that? The sharks not only thrive in the brackish and unsalted water of the swamp, but also plow through the earth in their quest for blood. No, really. The spiky-headed monsters muscle their way through the ground and make a beeline to their suitably astonished victims.


“Landshark!”

That’s my favorite part. That, and watching the women hightail it away from subterranean killers wearing pants so tight, they can hardly run.

Back to the sharks. The sharks in Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre make the graboids from Tremors look like amateurs. Nothing slows these guys down. They move through the earth like a hot knife through butter, pushing rocks and dirt in front of them like a groundhog in a cartoon. They also jump a lot and seem unaffected by automatic weapons.


“You can’t get me!”

They talk and create a diversion and Detectives Patterson and Adam drive around and then the escapees go into a cave and it’s over. Phew!


Cave o’ sharks.

To Wynorski’s credit, the production values are pretty good and the music, by Chuck Cirino, had a nifty James Bond theme sound. The acting, especially by Traci Lords, Corey Landis, and John Callahan, as Carl, the prison guard, was far better than average for these sharktaculars. I was rooting for Carl the whole time.


“Game over, convicts.”

Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre entertained me. The effects were cheesetastic, but that’s ok. I liked a couple of the characters and I’m a big fan of Tremors so this film was fun. I mean, the title alone makes it worth the price of admission. I can’t wait for the sequel.


“Look for us again in Shakansas Five: Parole Denied.”

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The Creeping Terror (1964)   2 comments

creep poster

Wow.  Where do I begin?

Police in tiny Angel City, California see a rocket crash on the outskirts of town. Immediately they crawl into the rocket for a look and we hear screams of agony. Other cops watch from outside the ship, but just stand there and cringe as their brother officer turns into a cube or a pile of salt or some pus and a femur. We don’t know. Since the producers of The Creeping Terror believe in tell, not show, we see nothing. Even more mystifying are the cops’ reactions. They shake their heads and go home. Someone calls a scientist, but no one alerts the good citizens of Angel City and they continue to fish, picnic, neck, and have a hootenanny all in the feeding grounds of the space monster. As weird as this may seem, it doesn’t approach the level of weirdness displayed by the producers in terms of the narrative style of this film and the creature itself. The narrative style consists of a narrator. That’s it. There’s almost no dialogue. We see characters talking to each other, but can’t hear them. We just hear a guy describing what happens. It’s bizarre. He not only describes the actions, but the motivations and feelings of each character. That makes sense because no one in this film can act. You need someone to tell you what they’re feeling, because you certainly can’t tell by looking at their faces.

face

“I feel things.”

Then there’s Mr. Creeping Terror himself. If you asked a group of elementary school children to build a scary monster out of things from the landfill, they’d do a better job than these guys. The monster looks like a guy inside a suit made of cardboard and bath mats dragging a canvas tarp behind him.

creeping terror

“I’ve been sick.”

You can even see the guy’s feet. The beast moves at a snail’s pace so it’s amazing that it catches anyone.  My best guess is that the Bath Mat Monster so stuns those who see it, they’re paralyzed with disbelief. It then opens its gaping maw about waist high and devours all who cross its path. The victims have to help him by climbing into his weird opening and you see the effort they have to make to get all the way in. A few times the meal’s legs stick out the Bath Mat Monster’s mouth for a while.

help

“Does anyone know the Heimlich?”

You’d think after such an effort, he wouldn’t have to eat again for a week, but no. Soon he’s out carousing again. He shows up at Lovers’ Lane and even crashes a dance at the local VFW. The horrifying shots of the people at the social waiting in line to wrestle with a bunch of shag rugs made me shudder. Well, actually they didn’t. What did make me shudder were the shoddy production values and the complete lack of a story. The entire plot consists of a hungry bath mat eating people and humping cars, and a scientist arguing with a heavily eye-browed Army colonel about whether they should kill it or capture it to learn its ways.

car

“Vroom vroom!”

Another big feature in this dud is all the making out. The main character, a policeman, just got married and takes his new bride along in the squad car as he patrols the countryside. Sounds legit. On a break from the search for our favorite pile of ambulatory bath mats, the two make out in the police car. Couples make out in Lovers’ Lane, during picnics and on the sofa sitting next to another guy. It’s strange. I wonder if the makers of The Creeping Terror wanted an excuse to get a little action going with some girls so one of them said “Hey! My dad has a movie camera. Let’s tell these chicks we’re making a movie and see where it gets us.” I doubt they were the first.

creepy

“Uh, guys? I’m still here.”

Vic Savage directed (?) The Creeping Terror based on a script. Shocking, I know.

vic

Yeah, not really.

Robert Silliphant wrote the script for this and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? Unfortunately, that’s another cool title/crappy movie combo but at least Incredibly Strange Creatures has Ray Dennis Steckler to keep things moving. No such luck here. Aside from its status as number one in the worst film of all time competition, The Creeping Terror has the dubious honor of being one of the few non-Tom Mix cowboy films shot at Spahn Movie Ranch. The ranch gained fame a few years later as the hide-out for Charles Manson and his family during the Tate/LaBianca murders. So while The Creeping Terror isn’t the worst thing to happen at Spahn Ranch, it’s definitely the worst film to happen there.

never

Nevermore.

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