Monday, 13 January 2014

Movies: Sgt Kabukiman NYPD, Dracula (The Dirty Old Man), FrankenHooker.

Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990)

Sgt Kabukiman NYPD is just a little short of Shakespeare. Not only is this film a jewel in Troma's fabled crown, but it has all of the hallmarks of a stellar stand alone film, independent of Troma's great legacy. It has everything you could ask for in a film about a police officer and the trials and tribulations of demonic Kabuki possession. There's action, there's laughs, there's romance and there's a monkey driving a Jaguar.This movie is what happens when you put sushi in a blender with a vial of epinephrine and pour the sickly contents down T.J. Hooker's throat.

KaaaaBUUUKiiiiman sanjo!

A Japanese legend foretells the coming of a great evil one that will consume the entire universe if it isn't challenged by...you guessed it...the chosen one. Unfortunately for haphazard New York cop Harry Griswald, he happens to be that very chosen one. With crime at an all time high in the city, corruption from the very bottom to the very top, and the looming danger of a cosmic evil, will Harry don the kimono and use his new powers to dispense some sakebigoe o ageru o shiri?

You know he does.

The absolutely glorious score for the film by Dan Skye and Paul Short. It's fantastic.

Honestly, this movie is testament to the power of imagination. Lloyd Kaufman, bless him and everything he does, is an inspiration to us all. That's not some kind of ironic blogger bullshit either, I mean it; Lloyd Kaufman is inspiring. That one man can envision and go through with writing and directing these spectacular slabs of madness is inspiring to anyone who wants to use their imagination for good. Sgt Kabukiman NYPD will entertain you, and if it doesn't, you simply cannot be entertained.


Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (1969)

It's basically a porno. I thought this was going to be a fantastically ridiculous off-shoot of the popular Hammer Horror Dracula series (featuring the one and only Christopher Lee), but it wasn't. You can summarize this entire film in three sentences. 

Dracula turns some guy into a werewolf and commands him to bring female victims back to his cave. Dracula ties the women up to bondage crosses and drains the blood from their boobies while the werewolf rapes them. Dracula sounds more like a stereotypical Jewish lawyer from a bad action film than a sadistic Transylvanian count.


There's good silly and then there's lazy silly, this film happens to be the latter. William Edwards no doubt wrote this entire film with one hand on the typewriter and the other firmly grasping his member. Maybe it was supposed to be a porno? It certainly isn't advertised as such. Nonetheless, if this review has in any way sparked your interest in this film, I'd recommend you watch it when you have absolutely nothing else to do. Nothing. Do not use it to procrastinate, you will only make yourself feel worse. It'll leave you with that rare post-movie guilt where you feel so terribly wrong about the gender you were assigned. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to see a doctor about having something removed.


FrankenHooker (1990)

FrankenHooker is one of those movies that changes direction suddenly and catches you off guard, leaving you wondering if what you just experienced was an anticlimax or the perfect curve ball. You really need a minute to digest what you've just seen. Like many a good b-flick, moments of goofiness blend seamlessly with seething black humor and that cocktail alone is enough to take the edge off the film's shuffling pace.

Jeffery Franken is a Jersey electrician gone deranged scientist whose latest project is to bring his deceased fiancee back to life. There is a huge bastard of a problem though as there isn't that much left of her to bring back, good job Jeffery. Luckily for our hero, just across the bridge is a hive of human activity, revelers, thieves, drug addicts and of course, hookers. By Jeffery's logic, hookers WANT to sell you their bodies, so why not indulge in their services and use them like a fleshy Ikea contraption to mount your lover's head on?

There's a lot of surprises in FrankenHooker. It's surprisingly sharp at times, where humour is actually found in the dialogue as well as the eyefuls of crude slapstick. The story seems to collapse all over itself as the ending nears, but I'm not certain as to whether that was intentional or the result of writer's fatigue. James Lorinz actually makes a funny and entertaining lead role even though most of his dialogue is either frantic mumbling or scolding himself. The same can't be said for FrankenHooker herself though, who seems to lose the plot by the end.

At the end of the day, this film is worth your time if you like it stupid, silly and over-the-top. It's camp, crude and as sleazy as a sticky VHS, but at times it manages to surprise you with an intricacy not found in many other films of its ilk. 


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