Archive for david hess

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: David Hess – Water Music/Sadie and Krug

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by goregirl

Music and images from Wes Craven’s 1972 film The Last House on the Left. Music by David Hess (as David Alexander Hess). This slideshow is part three of three. To check out yesterday’s two slideshows click here. The pictures follow the film in chronological order.

David Hess – Water Music/Sadie and Krug

In honor of All Hallows Eve, tomorrow night I will be posting another Favourite Five. It will be chocked full of horror-liciousness!

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: David Hess – Music from The Last House on the Left

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by goregirl

Music and images from Wes Craven’s 1972 film The Last House on the Left. Music by David Hess; credited as David Alexander Hess on the soundtrack for The Last House on the Left. These are part one and two of a three part slideshow. The pictures follow the film in chronological order. David Hess is one of horror’s all time most spectacular bad-asses!

Intro and Opening Credits for The Last House on the Left – David Hess.

Now You’re All Alone from The Last House on the Left – David Hess.

HITCH-HIKE (1977) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by goregirl

If you happened to noticed I added a “What’s In The Queue” section in my sidebar than you might have caught the next film in my queue was supposed to be Horrors Of Malformed Men. I actually watched it on the weekend, but when I started to hash out a review I noticed IMDB had it listed as 1969. Oops. Because it doesn’t qualify as 70’s I’m going to wait until January to post that one. I mentioned in my previous review that I had intended to review a lot more Italian films from the 1970’s and what shows up in my mailbox but TWO Italian flicks! SWEEEEEEET! Hitch-Hike is not a horror film, but a violent road trip flick with three of the most wonderfully obnoxious and fascinating leads I’ve seen in a long while. But how could Pasquale Festa Campanile have gone wrong with this ironclad casting?! Franco Nero, Corinne Clery and David Hess are a most admirable trio that plays off each other very well. In fact, there is plenty to admire about this slow-boiling, intense and sleazy flick.

Vacationing couple Walter and Eve Mancini have grown tired of each other and do nothing but nag, irritate and argue. Picking up stranded motorist Adam Konitz gives them a much-needed break from one another. Initially the trio make friendly until Adam makes a sexual comment to Eve. Adam and Walter have a fistfight on the side of the road, which Adam ends by pulling out a gun. With a quest to make it to Mexico with a suitcase full of money, Adam takes the Mancini’s on a nightmarish trip across California.

It is, in fact, a nightmarish trip somewhere in Italy. The director does a nice job choosing outdoor scenery that resembles California’s landscape. Most of the film takes place on the road and the relatively quiet desert land they drive through is the perfect compliment to the characters interaction. Once the Mancini’s pick up Adam the film almost exclusively centers on the trio (a couple other characters relevant to the plot do show up towards the end of the film but mentioning who they are would be a spoiler). Hitch-Hike has a slower pace and only a handful of action scenes. The director chooses to focus on the dynamic between the three characters and it’s probably a little more talky than some might care for. Personally, I dig character development and putting a psycho, an asshole and a princess in the same car together sure did make for some great tension and suspense.

Fans of horror will be familiar with the work of David Hess in House On The Edge Of The Park and Last House On The Left and the man is definitely on his game here as Adam Konitz. No one plays a psycho quite like Hess! Hess gets a fair amount of dialog in this one and is even somewhat charismatic. When it comes to manly men of the 70’s no one tops Frano Nero. Nero plays Walter Mancini, one half of a very unhappily married couple. Walter is a middle-aged writer for a newspaper that happens to be owned by his wife’s father. Writing hasn’t been coming easy lately and he’s taken to hitting the bottle on a regular basis. Nero’s classic 70’s ‘stache can be seen wrapped around a liquor bottle often. He is rude, chauvinistic, and for an alcoholic, he doesn’t hold his liquor very well. The stunning Corinne Clery plays his wife and carries with her an air of privilege. Clery’s character is the least offensive of the trio and is forced to take more abuse than she deserved. There is anger and resentment between the couple but there is a fair amount of codependence thrown in for good measure. The two seem to feed off each other’s negativity and every now and again a little bit of caring accidently seeps in. All three characters are generally unlikable and you aren’t really motivated to root for any of them. It’s a brave move putting three such unlikeable characters in a film, particularly when two of those characters are supposed to be victims. As unlikable as they are I must admit there were brief moments I had a wee bit of empathy for each one of them. Each of the trio divulges something about themselves through words and actions and while it is often self-serving, despicable, and downright psychotic it does occasionally illicit a bit of empathy.

Hitch-Hike wasn’t as exploitative or violent as I expected it to be. It does however have its moments. There is a fistfight, nudity, rape, shooting and at the end of it all there is a small but significant body count. None of this however is particularly graphic but it certainly is effective. There are some cool twists in the plot and the ending is absolutely superb! The cherry on top is the awesome score from none other than the brilliant Ennio Morricone. Hitch-Hike is considerably more intelligent than your average exploitation flick. Top-notch performances, smart dialog, suspense, intensity and just the right amount of sleaze make it all work beautifully. Highly Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Pasquale Festa Campanile

Starring: Franco Nero, Corinne Clery, David Hess, Joshua Sinclair, Carlo Puri, Ignazio Spalla, Leonardo Scavino

SMASH CUT (2009) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in Canada, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by goregirl

‘Smash Cut’ is directed by Canadian Lee Demarbre (Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter) and was filmed in Ottawa Ontario. I came for the Canadian content but I stayed for the loving tribute to one of my favourite B-Movie directors of all time, Herschell Gordon Lewis, who even makes an appearance in the film. I’ll spare you endless rambling about how much I love Lewis, but if you enjoy ‘Smash Cut’ you should definitely check out some of Lewis’ films. The Wizard of Gore, Two Thousand Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome and of course Blood Feast and Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. But enough about Lewis, this is Demarbre’s film! It is every bit as charming, cheesy and cheap as ‘J.C. Vampire Hunter’ and this time he’s added some much-needed gore. Making a film tribute to H.G. Lewis without the gore just wouldn’t be right!

I usually create my own plot summary, but Ian Driscoll, the guy who wrote the screenplay for ‘Smash Cut’ posted this on IMDB. How could I possibly sum it up any better? Smash Cut is a satire of the filmmaking industry and the challenges of independent filmmaking, with a story that draws on the filmmakers’ real-life experiences. It follows the murderous exploits of Able Whitman, a horror-film director whose films are panned by critics and audiences alike – until he starts killing people and using their body parts as props in his new flick.

It is an unfortunate accident that initially gives Able the idea to use real body parts in his film. But now he must come up with new body parts, and the only way to do that is to kill more people. He begins with a few people on his personal shitlist but then his crew start disappearing one by one. By the end of the film he amasses a pretty hearty body count. I think one of my favourite bits is when Able uses a harpoon to kill a victim whose death is suppose to look like a suicide. He ends up calling his screenwriter to help him figure out how he can fix this problem. There are plenty of severed body parts, a few creative death sequences and a pretty funny but cringe-worthy eye gouging, but there was still not as much of the gooey stuff I would have liked. In a film of this ilk, I really don’t think there is such a thing as too much. I’m not really complaining though, the schlocky and fake looking effects are perfectly suited to the film. They made me laugh and still grossed me out; I’m just saying there could have been more.

The unfortunate accident that starts the ball rolling is what also brings our other central character April into the picture. It turns out the victim was her sister, who at this point she believes is still missing. April hires private investigator Isaac Beaumonde who suggests she audition for Able. Of course the lovely April bags the part and is soon on the “inside”. It would seem that April might be the only character in Able’s film. Every scene we see Able shoot has April in the same nurse uniform on the same set holding different severed body parts and screaming.

The film is stuffed to the gills with appearances from horror icons starting with its star, David Hess who was unforgettable in ‘Last House on the Left’ and ‘The House on the Edge of the Park’. Hess is great as Able Whitman, he really pours himself into the role and plays it humorously deranged. Michael Berryman from ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ makes an appearance in a very bad toupee as film exec Philip Farmsworth Jr. and Ray Sager who played Montag the Magnificent in H.G. Lewis’ Wizard of Gore’ has a minor role as Reverend Ezekial Boone. And of course the great Herschell Gordon Lewis himself makes an appearance as Fred Sandy. Rounding out the cast is Porn star Sasha Grey who is cute and likeable as April and surprisingly is never called on to get naked. Jesse Buck is pretty entertaining as the arrogantly amusing detective Isaac Beaumonde.

‘Smash Cut’ is a rare treat for those who like films that are so bad they are great. You will be tickled pink by the awesome opening and closing credits and the outrageously entertaining score that compliments all the silliness. Yes, ‘Smash Cut’ is cheap, cheesy, schlocky and ridiculous. It is also hilariously entertaining and gory good fun! If this sort of thing moves you, I really don’t see how you could be disappointed with ‘Smash Cut’. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Lee Demarbre

Starring: David Hess, Jesse Buck, Michael Berryman, Ray Sager, Sasha Grey, Jennilee Murray, Michael Dubue, Barry Blake, Parisa Kasaei, Peter Michael Dillon, Meghanne Kessels, Jeff Lawson, Mercedes Papalia, Herschell Gordon Lewis

HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK (1980) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , on January 4, 2010 by goregirl

‘House On The Edge Of The Park’ was a recommendation left for me some time ago. Directed by Ruggero Deodato the man behind ‘Cannibal Holocaust’, I was all ramped up for some extreme violence. ‘House’ has its disturbing moments to be sure but the film is actually a slow boil and is almost gore-free. It is a film that definitely gets under your skin though.

Mechanic Alex and his friend Ricky invite themselves to the party of an attractive socialite couple after they pull into his garage with car troubles. When it becomes obviously that the group are having fun at their expense Alex lays siege and terrorizes the group. But the group of attractive well-to-do’s may have their own agenda.

In the films opening scene we see Alex forcing a woman to stop her car, who he then rapes and strangles to death. ‘House On The Edge Of The Park’ is a harsh film, make no mistake about it. But for a harsh film not all that much really happens. Alex is a rather unsavoury character, but the group of young, arrogant well-to-do’s don’t exactly garner any empathy. The only character in this film I had any sympathy for at all is Alex’s simple friend Ricky. Well, him and poor Cindy, the neighbour who drops by uninvited. Poor Cindy is in the films most brutal scene, and she even gets her own theme song. I was engrossed by the stark and brutal film style and it definitely has a sleazy exploitative quality. I did have some issues with ‘House’ however. I felt really annoyed by the group’s inability, or outright refusal to fight back. This is explained to some extent in the films ending but still didn’t work for me. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the ending. On one hand it does answer some questions, but on the other hand it poses a few new ones that are never answered.

The performances are pretty good. David Hess cuts an intimidating figure and is a memorable sociopath. Giovanni Lombardo Radice is convincing as Ricky, his dim-witted friend. He emulates Alex but is incapable of being his equal. This is clear in a scene where Alex insists he have his way with one of the women at the party. Ricky cannot bring himself to violate the shaking and crying woman. Annie Belle is spot on as the snobby Lisa and takes teasing to a whole new level. At one point in the film she actually invites Alex to shower with her and refuses to see it through.

It’s not much of a surprise when Alex goes ape shit on the group. It’s clear he hasn’t come for the martinis and the good company. The group have a lot of fun at Ricky’s expense, getting him drunk and then cheering him on as he does a striptease and then stealing all his money in a rigged poker game. Meanwhile Lisa is teasing the hell out of Alex, who all things considered, seems to be on his best behaviour. But his last nerve is trampled on and all shit breaks loose. Both male party guests have the snot beaten out of them. One of the guys is thrown into the pool to cool down and is then pissed on by Alex. He spends the rest of the film tethered to the leg of a coffee table. But it’s the women in the film that endure the real humiliation.

There is lot’s of nudity in this film. The camera lingers often on the naked bodies of its female cast. Even Hess gets naked. But if you are looking for a body count, you’ll want to look elsewhere. ‘House On The Edge Of The Park’s’ strong menacing atmosphere is quite effective but it is a little slower paced than I would have expected. The inability of the victims to fight back as well as an iffy ending did leave a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, but I still found the film strangely compelling. The films soundtrack is excellent and that Cindy Oh Cindy song still haunts me. The disc we rented had a lengthy interview with Hess that is actually quite interesting, as well as considerably shorter interviews with Giovanni Lombardo Radice and director Ruggero Deodato. Enjoy would be the wrong word to use here, but I actually liked this film. Recommended…with warning.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

Starring: David Hess, Annie Belle, Christian Borromeo, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Marie Claude Joseph, Gabriele Di Giulio, Brigitte Petronio, Karoline Mardeck, Lorraine De Selle