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Weekly Alibi Videodrome

By Scott Phillips

JANUARY 26, 1998: 

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (aka Breakfast at Manchester Morgue and Don't Open the Window) (1974)

I had high hopes for this flick when, immediately after the opening credits, a bosomy gal gets naked and scampers across the street for no reason whatsoever, her big ol' boobs jukin' and jivin,' but the damn thing let me down anyway. The adventure begins with hippie-guy George setting out on a business trip, but his plans are sidetracked when a young lovely backs over his motorcycle at a gas station. Insisting that she give him a lift, he soon finds himself on his way to visit the young lovely's junkie sister. When they get lost, George goes off to ask directions of some fellows who are testing an experimental device that kills insects and parasites with "ultrasonic radiation." Now, anybody with half a brain knows something like that is gonna make the dead walk, and sure enough, the young lovely soon finds herself pursued by a hungry zombie. However, nobody believes her story, and the zombie shambles off to kill the junkie sister's husband. Before you can say "Book 'im, Danno," the junkie is arrested for the brutal murder, and we find ourselves embroiled in a terrifically uninteresting murder mystery (since there's no actual mystery, as far as we're concerned) which left me pining for the flow of blood from freshly-chewed wounds. Things perk up for a moment when a strangely aggressive newborn baby pokes a nurse's eye out, but by the time any real zombie action ensues, Emily and I both felt like we'd been watching the flick for 17 hours. We never see more than a few zombies; and although they wheeze more than any walking corpse I've ever seen, they really don't do much else. This movie has a pretty good rep amongst fans of Italian gut-munchers, but too much lame murder mystery and not enough flesh-eating makes for an unsatisfying viewing experience, in my book. (Luminous)


To Sleep With a Vampire (1992)

OK, I've gotta 'fess up here--I went into this Roger Corman-produced flick only to see eye-candy actress Charlie Spradling shuck her clothes and shimmy around a pole, so you know I didn't have much in the way of expectations, but I never imagined how truly awful the thing would turn out to be. A remake of Corman's Dance of the Damned, Vampire features Scott (Mallory's boyfriend on "Family Ties") Valentine as one of those stinkin' candy-ass "tortured" vampires, who wanders into a strip club one night. After watching Charlie Spradling do her act (a terrific contribution to film nudity, I gotta admit), Scotty decides he needs to take her home for the night and chat with her before sucking her blood. Y'see, while Scotty accepts his place on the food chain, he's curious about us humans--especially the ones with breast implants and stiletto heels. In a performance so wooden it makes Tor Johnson look like Laurence Olivier, our boy Scott stalks Charlie around his seedy apartment spouting unbelievably earnest dialogue while Chuck wallows on the bed in skintight jeans and whines about her little boy whom she's no longer allowed to see. The whole thing feels like a high school play with the bonus of bobblin' gazongas, and the "artistic" moments will, I swear to God, make you poop your pants. After stumbling across a Polaroid of Chuck's kid, Scott takes her to see her sleeping youngster, who doesn't seem startled at all when a vampire knocks a hole in his window and tosses mom into his lap. To repay the favor, Charles takes Scotty to the beach, where she shines a light on him and jabbers about the sights and smells of a day at Venice beach--and I can tell ya, she was way off the mark about the smells of that particular stretch of sand. Coconut oil? Try "urine," sweetpants. And I can honestly say, the sight of Scott "Be My" Valentine lying spread-eagle on the beach in a pair of tiger-stripe bikini briefs will send your tasty dinner spewing right the hell outta your guts. After that, they return to Charlie's strip club to writhe in grease-slathered ecstasy on the stage, then the whole shebang winds down to a wrenchingly weak conclusion. However, I did learn an important fact about vampires: Shooting one will trouble him only slightly, but if you hit him with a two-by-four or startle him with a flashbulb, you'll gain valuable seconds in which to escape his evil clutches! (New Horizons)


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