Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blood, Boobs & Beast!

I feel like I should have one of Johnny Carson's characters, The Great Carnac,  respond here:  "What will the new Troma film be about?"  That's about the best I can come up with for now. 

I ran into this documentary, Blood, Boobs & Beast! on Don Dohler who was associated with Troma films, and I guess the title says it all.  Their lowbrow films have a certain cult status.  I can't say I'm a huge fan or care too much for a diet of such fare, but they have their place. I watched the Toxic Avenger way back when they were popular on HBO or on one of the other paid cable networks.  They were fun and goofy, and just something out of the ordinary.  I haven't watched this entire film yet, but have saved it on my YT to watch later.

Blood, Boobs & Beast! from what I have found is the life story on Don Dohler, whose low budget science fiction and horror films have been called everything from "oddly brilliant" to "some of the worse films of all time."  (Remind you of anyone?)  Following Dohler through the last few years of his life while he was making his last film "Dead Hunt."  It also mentions his underground comix character ProJunior (sort of like Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman) and his film making how-to magazine, Cinemagic.  It also features several interviews about him and his work by other people in the film and comix community.   easttthh

At any rate, with Troma you knew you weren't watching anything trying to aspire to high art, it was just campy fun, escapism, and I always suspected they were inspired by directors like: Roger Cormen, Ed Wood Jr., and others like that.  At any rate, they carved out a niche for themselves, and I don't expect their films to appeal to everyone, but they are what they are.  At any rate, I found this documentary on Dohler, and thought I'd post it here.  Some of the movies he directed were The Alien Factor, the sequel, Nightbeast, The Galaxy Invader (also parodied by the RiffTrax crew), Fiend, and others.


Also I found some of his film magazines, Cinemagic, over on the Internet Archive site if you are interested in reading or downloading them. Once you get to the Archive site scroll down to get to them.  I barely looked at them, but they looked like they'd have some interesting articles in them if you're interested in special effects, movies, and behind-the-scene stuff.  Here's a link for that. 

While on the subject of films, I ran across this site that had free movie scripts to read.  It's over at SimplyScripts.com  so check the link to that.  There are a lot of scripts over there to peruse. 

4 Comments:

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

"So bad it's good" is a tough trick to pull off intentionally, but Troma has done it a few times. Tolerance for the "bad" part of that trick varies from viewer to viewer, of course; I know some people who can't watch this stuff at all and others who will sit through any of it. For myself, I find most Troma unwatchable but find the odd film enjoyable.

That is true of Troma competitors too such as the nearby E.I. Independent Cinema here in NJ. I see Amazon featured my review of Shock-o-rama, for example; I saw the NY premiere in a 99 seat theater. The cast and crew were there and there were still empty seats. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E3LGP6/ref=pdp_new_dp_review
For a slightly more ambitious so-bad-it's-good (with small parts for Lucy Lawless and Kevin Sorbo of all people), try Bitch Slap. Marvelously awful.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Well, I guess if it's so bad you can make it to the greatness of a MST3K or RiffTrax treatment, you've done pretty well (and you get a wider audience).

I think the last couple of Troma films I saw were Tromeo and Juliet, which was kind of fun, and Rabid Grannies. Grannies is somewhat notorious for the gore, but I didn't think it was over done more than some other films of that ilk. I'll have to say, I thought Grannies was shot and directed way better than what I was expecting. As shown in the documentary, Blood, Boobs & Beast, a lot of these smaller films have to add the gore or blood, boobs, and beast just to get the financing, whether or not it's against the directors intent or wishes. But they need the money to make the film, and also probably get distributed particularly back in the day of VHS. One film, as shown in the Don Dohler doc, even got ripped off and stolen by his financiers upon completion. They rushed him in post production phase and he didn't have time to make a duplicate copy, and then they disappeared with it. Bad deal.

I hear what you're saying though, some people shrug off this type low budget filmmaking, while others embrace it or will give it a chance. Sadly, movies have gotten so expensive to make these days, even independent films, that it leaves a lot of film makers out of the picture.

I think that one of the most recent well executed low budget, high concept films was Primer. Again it's in the SF genre about time travel. Basically shot in two young filmmaker's garage and around town in Dallas, Tx. I thought the concept was well executed.

I ran across a Shock-o-rama recently irrc, that was introduced by Texas own, Joe Bob Briggs. I watched parts of it, and it was pretty bad. I think it was produced on a worn out shoestring budget. :)

A 99 seat cinema and some of the seats were empty, ha, wow, that's a small opening. Still I have to give these directors credit to be motivated enough by their dream to direct that they go against the odds to produce something and follow their dreams. (I read your review on Amazon, Rich, good review.)

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Oh man, "Alien Factor" and "Galaxy Invader" are both really poorly made films. But they are a lot of fun to watch. Of the two, "Alien Factor" is the better made, has some interesting creature effects. But the writing, the acting, and the camera work is all pretty bad.

You are right that Rifftrax tackled "Galaxy Invader" and it's a pretty fun riffing session. But the other half of the MST3K crew (called Cinematic Titanic) tackled "Alien Factor" and I think that riff is a lot funnier. Definitely check it out if you have a chance. It is on Hulu.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Wow, ok Roman, thanks for the tip on Hulu's riff session of Alien Factor. I know these are shoestring budget films in the mold of say, Ed Wood Jr. Even so, it didn't deter Don Dohler from making them and enjoying what he loved: making movies. Plus it also (maybe) helps to know that some of these films were shot and came out as early as Alien Factor in 1977. This was a time in the VHS market and Star Wars, and fans were hungry for more SF and horror and aliens. He capitalized on that trend, and I'm guessing some of them are straight to video releases.

The documentary though, Blood, Boobs, and Beast! is a well made film on independent film making and the life of Dohler. It's well worth watching.

 

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