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"How to Make a Monster"

How to Make a Monster (2001 TV movie) is a self proclaimed Sci-Fi Horror Thriller, that was made for the Creature Features HBO series. Too bad, as I saw a few things of merit when I thought it was a comedy. The basic premise is that a game company has already announced the release of a scary new POV game, and the rug-rat FOCUS group trashes the demo, saying the monster looks like it came from Sesame Street, etc. They fire the programmers, and bring in a "really scary" new team, including Tyler Mane as Hardcore. He is a weapons expert, and has way too much adrenaline. Next is Jason Marsden as bug - typical pimply-faced nerd, and sound expert. Last is Karim Prince, Sol, who has all the warmth of an avalanche. He is a hardware and software expert, and is working on an AI module, so the game will learn. The team is lead by Steven Culp. The owner of the company promises a $1m bonus to the person who makes it scary, and gives them 30 days to finish.

After spending much of their time fighting with each other, and overloading the electrical system in the building, they succeed, but too well. They bring in Julie Strain (who plays Julie Strain) to take off her clothes and wear a telemetry suit, so they can digitize her movements to provide the motion for their animation. Later, the game itself starts controlling the now empty suit, and trying in earnest to kill the players. Julie is topless, and has what amounts to a g-string in the telemetry suit, but never shows her backside. IMDB voters say 5.5 of 10. Critical analysis is hard to come by, but is split between 2 and 3 stars. Special effects were good, and the monster was especially effective, but the film itself is in the so-bad-it's-good category. If the idea of Strain's monsters and poking fun at a film appeal to you, go for it. C.

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  • Julie Strain (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    "Le Notti del terrore"

    Le Notti del terrore (1980) is an Italian zombie splatter film with virtually no plot. The proponents, of which there are many, think that is a good thing. The film has a little sex, and a whole lot of gore. In one brilliant moment, a character actually said, "They are really slow, we can stay away from them." This concept could have made for a very interesting twist on the normal zombie theme, but the mindless slow-motion zombies out-think and out-run the living characters. Three couples are invited to a villa by a professor who wants to share his recent discoveries. These include how to reanimate and release zombies, which he has done by the time they arrive, and is already himself a zombie.

    The director, in an interview on the DVD, says he expected nothing in the way of popularity from this film. It was shot on a very low budget in 4 weeks, and only had one experienced cast member - Mariangela Giordano. She has 69 credits, mostly in Euro-gore films. The part of her son was played by a short 25 year old unknown, as censers wouldn't permit miners to appear in these films. Frankly, he was the creepiest character in the film.

    It has been known variously as Burial Ground, Night of Terror (UK) and Zombie Horror, and the current dubbed region one release is called Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror. Giordano provides the only exposure in this film, which includes full frontal, buns, and several breast shots, including one where her son turned zombie eats one of her breasts.

    The IMDB score is 5.0 of 10. Among genre fans, it is a cult classic, but is a weak film by any objective standard. To illustrate, a couple is running away from zombies in the garden. She steps in a bear trap (the bears must have been eating the daisies). We see her foot caught, then her husband trying to open the trap, then her calling to him that she stepped in a trap, then him running to her to free her. I don't know if you would call that sequence a continuity or editing faux pas, but, to me, it was really jarring. Based on the cult following, this is a C. Genre fanatics will love it, but there is nothing for anyone else here.

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  • Mariangela Giordano (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    Bound was the first directorial effort from the Wachowski brothers, the same guys who did the Matrix movies. They did a helluva job on this one, as well. It is basically a one-set play, and yet it maintains tension and interest throughout.

    • Jennifer Tilly (1, 2)
    • Gina Gershon. Please note that these frames are the same as the ones for Tilly, except with different tops. They are kinda cool, but fair warning that they are repetitive. (1, 2)

    I went back to look at a couple things in Vanilla Sky

    Other crap:



    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that I inexplicably determined there might be something of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.


    "Bye Bye Monkey"

    It is fortunate that this film is filled with sex and nudity. If not, it would be suitable for torturing political prisoners, and would test to the limit the human capacity for pretentious symbolism.

    Gerard Depardieu, a virtual acting machine in the English language, is money again as a lighting technician who works for a feminist theater group. The performers tie him down and rape him once in a while, just to pass the time, but one of the feminists is not so tough and treats him kindly. She becomes his girlfriend, when he isn't having sex with grannies. In theory, this movie is in English, but Depardieu is so incomprehensible that the director conceived of a gimmick to eliminate the big fella's lines. Depardieu wears a police whistle around his neck. He communicates by blowing it in different ways for different occasions. I had an ex-girlfriend that did the same thing, but that's another story.

    The central event of the film occurs when Depardieu is just strolling along the beach one day when he spots a life size replica of King Kong. Funny he missed that in previous walks. Inside the giant plaster ape is a living baby ape. Since the little female chimpanzee doesn't seem to have a home or an owner, Depardieu adopts her. The radical feminists ridicule him for being a pussy because their own liberation is so complete that they don't understand the need to nurture. Depardieu may understand the need, but he needs some work on the mechanics, because he leaves the helpless chimp untended and she is overwhelmed by rats.

    Meanwhile, the man who owns the local wax museum imagines that he is still living in Ancient Rome, and burns down the museum, apparently to create a genuine feel for what it was like to be Nero. I think this symbolizes history repeating itself. Or perhaps it symbolizes man's eternal need to burn shit down in order to create a nifty and dramatic movie ending.

    This film won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes, the same award that we would call The Most Pretentious Piece of Gibberish in the States. Its defenders claim that it portrays the disintegration of sex roles and the decline of the nuclear family, proving that mankind is doomed to destruction unless sensible people find a way to avoid repeating history's mistakes. I would contend that it portrays the disintegration of screenwriting, proving the movies are doomed to destruction unless sensible people find a way to avoid giving any more money to the people responsible for films like this.

    I suppose you are wondering about the title - why is it "Bye Bye Monkey", when there is no monkey anywhere in the movie? Shouldn't it be "Adios, Ape"?

    Several reasons.

    First, English is the rare language which makes a distinction between an ape and a monkey. We are certain that an ape is a higher form of primate, so if you slip up and call a chimp or an orangutan a monkey, some anal-retentive will jump on your case and remind you that they are apes. Other languages don't produce this argument. The director is Italian. Get yourself an Italian dictionary and look up "ape" and "monkey" - you will see that they are both "scimmia" The production company is French. Get yourself a French dictionary and look up the two words - you will see that they are both "singe". In German, both "Affe". In Spanish, both "mono", In Polish, both "zeszexcnykrzebrzeprzewiak". I'm just kidding about the Polish word. The actual word for both is malwa, which is pronounced, simply enough, "zeszexcnykrzebrzeprzewiak", like all other Polish words. Getting back to the point, the people involved in making this movie were not aware of the fact that there were no monkeys in it. For them, a monkey is an ape, an ape is a monkey.

    Second, the translation is not literal. The original Italian title is Ciao Maschio. Maschio isn't a monkey. It is pretty much equivalent to the Spanish word "macho", a word which Americans have adopted as well. The original title would mean something like, "The End of Macho" or "A Farewell to Macho", which is actually what the movie is supposed to be about, if I understand it, which I probably don't.

    Third, "Bye Bye Birdie" was already taken, so they changed the name of Depardieu's character to Conrad Monkey, or as they say in Polish, Conrad Zeszexcnykrzebrzeprzewiak.

    • Gail Lawrence (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

    • By the way, Geraldine Fitzgerald was 64 when she did this scene with Depardieu. He was 28. Is she wearing underwear? It sure doesn't seem like it.


    Today's featured girl is Stacey Leigh Mobley in "Rod Steele 0014: You Only Live Until You Die", a Skinemax James Bond spoof released straight to video. Made in 1997 and just released in 2002. The cast is a who's who of late night ladies, including:

    Michelle Bauer, Gabriella Hall, Jacqueline Lovell, Delphine Pacific and Kira Reed.

    Also today a few more "Babes in Peril" detective magazine covers.

    • Stacey Leigh Mobley, topless (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    • Detective Covers (1, 2, 3)

    Garcelle Beauvais Cleavage seen through a dress that has saran wrap built in. Vidcaps from the World Music Awards. Even though her name may draw a blank, you've seen her in the movies and on TV. Some of her credits include the new Chris Rock/Anthony Hopkins movie "Bad Company", "NYPD Blue" and "Wild Wild West".

    Irm Hermann The German actress shows all 3 B's in scenes from "Der Händler der vier Jahreszeiten" aka "The Merchant of Four Seasons" (1972).

    Ingrid Caven Topless and full frontal scenes, also from "Der Händler der vier Jahreszeiten".

    Michaela Schaffrath aka busty, German adult star Gina Wild. Appearing topless on German TV.

    Monique Covet Working out topless on "Liebeslust".

    Shannon Whirry Breasts and pubes in a nice sex scene from "Dangerous Prey" (1995).

    Gail Lawrence
    (1, 2)

    aka adult actress Abigail Clayton. Here she is going full frontal in scenes from "Ciao maschio", aka "Bye Bye Monkey" (1977).

    Katie Holmes Her one, only, and amazing topless scene from "The Gift". These 'caps by nmd feature thong views not visible in the widescreen version.

    Shannon Elizabeth Her best acting job also happens to be her most nude. Once again, her famous topless scene from "American Pie". Also by nmd.

    Sandra Beall Excellent toplessness from the movie "Key Exchange" (1985), by Raja.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    A sad day for lovers of bad, bad cinema. Note the connection to Ed Wood in the second-to-last paragraph...

    Maker of teen horror flicks dies in Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Producer Herman Cohen, who invented the teen-age fright flick and launched Michael Landon's film career with "I Was a Teenage Werewolf," has died of throat cancer in Los Angeles at age 74, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday.

    Cohen died on June 2 at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

    "Werewolf," starring Landon as an affable teen transformed into a hairy horror by a diabolical hypnotist, became a cult classic after its release in 1957 and confirmed Cohen's conclusion that teenagers were movie tastemakers.

    Made for less than $100,000, "Werewolf" grossed more than $2 million. The success inspired Cohen to do six more horror films in which hapless teenagers were terrorized by evil adults.

    "I have always felt that most teenagers think that adults -- their parents, or their teacher, anyone who was older and who had authority -- were culprits in their lives," Cohen said in a 1991 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

    Through his cult horror films, which included "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein" and "How to Make a Monster," Cohen put American International Pictures on the map and established himself as the "king of the drive-in horror movie," film historian Tom Weaver told the Times.

    Cohen co-wrote many of his films, naming many characters after family members and friends and including cameos for himself, in the manner of Alfred Hitchcock.

    The horror genre was a departure from Cohen's earlier work in the 1950s in mainstream films such as "Crime of Passion," starring Barbara Stanwyck.

    The Detroit native began his association with motion pictures at 12, as an assistant to a movie theater janitor. He traded his services for free movie passes for himself and his family, the Times reported.

    After serving in the Army, Cohen landed a sales job at the Detroit offices of Columbia Pictures.

    He moved to Hollywood to work in Columbia's publicity department. In 1951, he earned his first screen credit as assistant producer of "Bride of the Gorilla."

    Cohen stopped producing movies in the 1970s. He is survived by a brother and sister.