Monday, January 30, 2017

Episode 34: Prom Night (1980)

“It’s not who you go with, honey. It’s who takes you home.”

When I started recording B-Movie Bonanza again, I promised myself I’d post at least one new episode per week and, for the most part, I’ve stayed true to that promise. At the start of 2017, however, my motivation has been lacking. I can’t see how anyone can be motivated to do much of anything when we’re clearly at the dawning of the apocalypse. News reports over the weekend are clear proof of that. But I’m not (much of) a political person and this was never intended to be a safe space to talk politics, so let’s get on with the blood n’ guts.

I’m sure this will shatter your impression of me (damn, there goes another Sarcaz-O-Meter), but I was not at all popular in high school. Didn’t have many friends. Spent lunch periods in the library reading books, or in the computer lab penning pretty pathetic R.L. Stine copycat manuscripts. Extra-curricular activities were limited to one, Drama, and that’s only because I harbored some ridiculous delusion that I’d one day be a professional actor. That dream died a quick and painless death when I saw a VHS recording of one of my shows. Good thing it was the final show of my senior year, otherwise I never would’ve had the nerve to take the stage again—and I sincerely doubt anyone would’ve blamed me.

Seeing as how I spent most of those four years on my own, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that come prom night, I wasn’t within ten miles of the venue, which, much to my surprise, was not our school gymnasium. I’d seen dozens of teen-oriented movies that revolved around this rite of passage, at least in some way, so it was more than a little jarring when I discovered there wouldn’t be crepe paper strung along the basketball hoops, or tin foil-wrapped stars draped from the ceiling. And, much to my chagrin, there was no prank-gone-awry which sent the student body fleeing for cover. If that had been the case, I might’ve made the effort. On the night of the event, I was probably curled up in bed, revisiting one of my favorite slasher movies for the 7,000th time.

Admittedly, I have more than a few regrets in life, but not attending my high school prom isn’t one of them. I wasn’t a joiner. I sure as hell wasn’t a leader. As clich├ęd as it may sound, especially since I ended up a professional writer (though one never would’ve guessed judging by this less-than-stellar piece), I marched to the beat of my own drum. I lived vicariously through characters both on the screen and on the page. Can’t say I’m better for it. It’s just the way things turned out, and there’s sure as hell nothing I can do about it now. Womp womp.

For this episode, I used the Blu ray edition of Prom Night, running 1:32:44, so if you’d like to come along for the ride, pop it in and feel free. Think I'll dig out my old high school yearbook and re-read the endless pages of non-existent signatures.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Episode 33: Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)

“I think your sweetheart’s been taking too many diet pills.”

Happy motherfuckin’ New Year, B-movie fanatics! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been counting the seconds until 2017. The past 365 days were by far and away some of the worst this country—nay, this world—has seen in quite some time. So many deaths, so much senseless violence, I even have to say it? No, but I will: DONALD FUCKING TRUMP IS HEADED FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. If I didn’t know better, I’d assume I was stuck in one really long nightmare. One really, really, really long nightmare. On a personal level, things have been less than stellar, too. And no, I’m not again referencing the suspension of my YouTube account, or the fact that I got text message-dumped by someone I thought I was to spend my future with. It’s a little deeper than that. But hey, I’m not one to air my dirty laundry via public media. I know it might not seem that way, what with the things I’ve shared in blog posts, on Facebook, and during the commentaries (the most telling being the revelation that my very first crush was Creepshow 2 star Daniel Beer), but believe it or not, there’s a lot I don’t say. Perhaps I’ll save it all as the basis for an memoir one day—a really long, really depressing one at that.

As loyal subscribers of B-Movie Bonanza have already ascertained, all episodes of this little rinky dink operation are recorded several months in advance. This tebds to be both good and bad—bad because I can’t wait to share all of my oh-so-hilariously compelling anecdotes (oh look, the needle on my Sarcaz-O-Meter just broke off) and good because a lot tends to happen in between the recording and the uploading, thereby giving me fodder to include in the text read by all six of you (I know, I’m flattering myself. All three of you). In this case, something I never thought would happen is on its way to becoming a reality: Scream Factory is scheduled to release Slumber Party Massacre II & III as a double-feature Blu ray set! Why did I believe this would never come to be? Well, first and foremost, I didn’t think a widescreen print of Part III even existed (Concorde isn’t exactly famous for keeping pristine 35mm negatives of their titles tucked away in some fireproof vault) and, well, I was told by whoever runs Scream Factory’s official Twitter page that it just wasn’t going to happen. Some rabid fans, however, managed to change their minds and I couldn’t be more excited (untrue; I’d be more excited if someone actually tracked down Keely Christian for an on-screen interview).

So, not only are fans finally going to see these gems in crispy clear high-definition, but...wait for it...they’ll be getting two—that’s right, TWO—versions of both features! I don’t know about you, but I had absolutely no idea that Slumber Party Massacre II was available in an 85-minute version, which means that fans of this bizarre little rock ‘n roll horror classic will be treated to an extra 10 minutes of thrills, chills, and guitar drills! Also, Slumber Party Massacre III will be presented in its heavily censored R-rated cut (first released by New Horizons Home Video), which runs 75 minutes, and the extended version, which runs 87. Why do I hear Ren and Stimpy singing “Happy Happy, Joy Joy” in the back of my head?

Unfortunately, since this episode was recorded several months ago (and I had absolutely no idea that this incredible two-disc set was on the way), I was forced to use the version of the film included in Scream Factory’s Slumber Party Massacre Collection, released back in 2010. Hopefully, the episode will whet your appetite and keep you licking your chops in anticipation of the Blu ray, set to be released on January 27th!