Hostile aliens touchdown on the farmlands of a rural Ohio community, intending to rid Earth’s current human and non-human inhabitants. The green and bulbous-headed extraterrestrials’ attack plan is simple, anally probe every lifeform and insert into their cavities an extreme intestinal gas inducing capsule. As the atmosphere fills with the strong and continuous methane gas odors, the Earth will become uninhabitable which would be easy pickings for otherworldly aliens seeking an easy target after years of plucking cows and the occasional rural-ite. While the probed stink themselves into extinction, a ragtag band of moonshine drinking college kids, local law enforcement, and the Johnson family, the moonshine distillers whose farm is being invaded, arm themselves with bullets and beer against the aggressive anal attacking spacemen!
As if to the long for the days of yore, back when humanoid aliens, cladded in tinfoil space suits topped with bulging eyes jetting from big, green heads, landed onto Earth’s soil in the traditionally believed tripod-legged oval of a UFO saucer and armed with hi-tech laser weaponry to formally engaging in a planetary invasion, “Revenge of the Spacemen” dapples in mock-nostalgia and mocks the rudimentary narrative with crude humor of the independent film kind. First time feature film director Jay Summers helms the outlandish Sci-Fi comedy, penned by Conor Duffy as the writer’s first credit, that excruciatingly relies heavily on butt humor and beer banter. Obviously fitting for the forgivable friend to the indie filmmaker, Troma Films, “Revenge of the Spacemen’s” degree of plot and technical quality shouldn’t be a surprise to any viewer familiar with Lloyd Kaufman’s lavishly loony label who takes shameless pride in disrupting conventional filmmaking and creativity. That’s why we adore Troma and Lloyd Kaufman! However, the Jay Summers’ 2014 space invader romp is hard to love and will be found guilty of heresy by celestial geeks and their alien affectionate fandom.
Amongst the college kids, a sense of level headed character dispositions exist and, as a whole, are perhaps the better part of the written characters. George, whose motivation is to investigate the flying saucer that he only saw, is teamed up with a quasi-blind date and roots out the aliens to the core of their dastardly plan, becoming the thin bearing-like hero “Revenge of the Spacemen” couldn’t quite establish. Played by an actor actually named George in George Tutie (“The Brave Souls Who Fought Against the Slave Vampire Women”), Tutie plays the part well with little-to-no extra hamming. His friends Ozzy, Liz (“The Murders of Brandywine Theater’s” Kayla McDonald), Jan (“Easter Casket’s” Janet Jay), and Eddie (“Raw Focus’” Benny Benzino) follow more than embody their own will on the story, but compliment the hero in George to rise and shine, such as a Ozzy being a loyal buddy and Liz being the romance that George was missing in his casual life. On the opposite side of the spectrum and the more radical faction are the Johnson family, led by the matriarch, the rootin’-tootin’ ready for shootin’ and boozin’ Mrs. Johnson, while the Husband away. “Dying 2 Meet U’s” Janine Sarnowski’s no foolishness approach to Mrs. Johnson is hard nose kicked into overdrive with the shifter broken off. Her back and forth spouts with Sgt. Taggart are nicely confident and verbose, a quality needed in a mean old hag! The cast rounds out with Fred Munkachy, Bogusia Chmielewski, Logan Fry (“Clowsploitation”), Brianna Harding, Andrew Santa, Richard Raphael (“Return of the Dead”), Kathie Dice, AJ Nold (“The Demon’s Odyssey”), and Danny Bass as Catfish Bob who I thought was the funniest character out of the bunch.
Aside from the cut out flying saucer spinning through two-dimensional space, hitting and passing the moon, heading toward a blurry Earth in the background, and the composition against a live-action woodsy background, “Revenge of the Spacemen” is zero budget when on the subject of special effects. The green aliens, with bulging heads and bugged out eyes, are not trying to hide anything underneath the latex mask that flashes it’s edges from overtop the silvery foil space suit. The anal probes remind me of Ringling Bros. light up souvenirs and the green skin body paint comes in 50 shades of not grey, but does glow at times and can sprout boils on the face.
The Troma Team entertains the “Jay Summers'” “Revenge of the Spacemen” onto Blu-ray home video in a widescreen, 16:9 aspect ratio, and even though I know very well that this is a Troma Team Video release, the image quality is upsettingly blurry with aliasing and doesn’t colorfully pop, especially when you’re trying turn people green and saucers fly around hillbilly central. Sharpness never comes through the entire 1 hour and 15 minute runtime. The dual channel audio track requires much more filtering to clean up crackling and ambience around one of the more important aspects of any film, the dialogue, and the severe feedback during more shrill moments doesn’t go unnoticed. Bonus features include a classical harebrained Lloyd Kaufman introduction, deleted scenes, and the original trailer. The Blu-ray also comes with some well illustrated cover art that recollects the past and is visually stimulating for the film inside the casing. “Revenge of the Spacemen” is supposed to be a monstrous, alien invasion, and campy homage to the 1950’s science fiction classics, but the aliens versus hillbillies melee is more attuned to a low-rent, laclluster production of “Mars Attacks!”
In an alternate universe, Charles Manson didn’t get incarcerated for his heinous cult murders. Instead, the sect creating and drug taking Manson goes deep underground with his acolytes after committing a vile crime that becomes the foundation of a nationwide race war. Manson’s followers preach hatred and distain for the blacks and rape their own white women to produce an inbred underground white community. When Manson falls ill and dies a violent and horrible death, he leaves behind a sole child, Kendra Manson, in the most intolerant racist hands of Dan who raises Kendra with a flood of mind altering hate for non-whites. When Dan receives a subconscious message from Charles Manson to surface from the bunker and rule the world with white supremacy, they’re met with a surprise that black people are the majority and whites, known derogatorily as albis, are the lower, socially mistreated class subjected to the same race discrimination during Charlie Manson’s above Earth reign. Separated from her bunker family, Kendra becomes lost in what she perceives as an upside down world, but has is opened her eyes to the real subject matter on race?
“Honky Holocaust” is without a single doubt a Troma masterpiece. Director Paul McAlarney’s shocking bizarro world of racial social commentary is just not another run-of-the-mill message of inequality, but an contemplative insight of role reversal. The mirroring of the nastier portions of race discrimination from 1950s to 1980s has been set in the present day and extends beyond the usual racist America regions, that are typically Mississippi or Alabama, with the film set in San Francisco; perhaps the most tolerable and friendly city in the world set in the most liberal state that is California. While McAlarney’s spews the carnage and the vulgarity that’s very Tromaville worthy, the Boston director has written a thought provoking concept that’s masked in dick jokes, sex and drugs, and a girth of gory practical effects.
Maria Natapov takes the lead with her misadventure role as Charles Manson’s bunker daughter, Kendra. Natapov acts dumb and plays stupid when face-to-face with the very race her character’s been bred to hate for more than 30 years while maintaining Kendra’s naivety through the heat of racially tension moments. The restaurant scene comes to mind that’s a real eye opener in where Natapov walks amongst a barite group of black patrons and the scene sells the powerful reversal with Natapov’s unflinching performance. “Honky Holocaust” has a romantic side when Kendra comes under the safe haven wing of the racially suppressed Lucius, played by softly charming Constantine Taylor, and they team up to stop Kendra’s stepdad Dan, a role fitting for the film’s producer Lucas Fleming. When Flemings on screen, racist ooze just seeps from his portrayal of Dan, even if Dan didn’t sport a gaudy swastika belt buckle. Other characters pop in and out, some memorable, some not. Krisoula Varoudakis, Mauricio Viteri, and Thomas Delcarpio costar.
McAlarney’s 2014 offensive exploitation amusement ride starts gnarly enough with the director going through a monologue about how to make a film surrounding racism; all the while sitting on the can. Through his comfortable exposure of his manhood and the exaggerated flatulence filling the audio air, he painfully yells into a microphone about the birth of his idea as he discharges chocolatey waste into the toilet and sends off an unforgettable farewell by reaching behind him, scooping up some backside waste, and licking it into his mouth with the statement, “that’s some good shit” quickly following. McAlarney has successfully set the tone for “Honky Holocaust.” Troma’s renowned celebration of their bread and butter of tasteless cinematic garbage (which Its Bloggin’ Evil adores) certainly incorporates this social commentary gem, but McAlarney is more than what meets the eye. Beyond his thought provoking story, McAlarney has a talented production eye. With a micro budget being filmed mostly in the streets of San Francisco, McAlarney was able to construct an alternate reality and leaving behind a flawless perception that whites are truly the scum of the Earth. I’m not totally onboard the McAlarney train, however, as I became a bit lost in the character development near the end, especially with Kendra Manson, but I did like the path the character took, mowing down and massacring the primeval in order to rebuild a better future for all.
Troma Entertainment and CAV Distributing proudly introduces Bloddy Hammer Films’ “Honky Holocaust” on high-definition Blu-ray via a MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image quality is a mixed bag as none of the quality is consistent, familiar to other early grindhouse imitated features, but the unbalanced hues and, sometimes, lack of popping colors battle back and forth for quality domination. Early on, noticeable aliasing can be caught during the lynched scene, leaving less defined objects and creating chaos in the pixels. As the film progresses, outlines and textures get better, more consistent. The dual channel LPCM audio mix suffers horrible as the dialogue track is sorely underfoot with the ambient LFE overlaying place it’s robust boot right on the dialogue’s neck. Soundtracks are inconsistent as well, being too loud for comfort or being too loud for the rest of the implemented tracks who become lost. Bonus features have substance with a “Behind-The-Scenes Honkumentary” that’s a twitching handheld camera look at some of the film’s best scenes, deleted footage labeled “exterminated scenes,” and a video containing director Paul McAlarney pledging his allegiance to Tromaville. There are the usual Troma bonus pieces about protecting the environment and the film’s theatrical trailer along with Troma’s president, Lloyd Kaufman, giving his usual satirical introduction. The obscenities in “Honky Holocaust” mingle regrettably well with story’s racial social inequalities in a chaotic melee, pointing out the senseless violence and asinine nature in social jest. Paul McAlarney knew what he was creating from within the belly of the beast of his darkest comedy, even if the punk parader’s LSD-inspired trip through hell seems misconstrued on the surface.
Boobs. They are the supreme catalyst toward obtaining professional achievement. They are the driving force behind stabling a lustful relationship. They are the cat’s meow for curbed catcalling. For flat chested Betty, a cavernous cleavage praising society doesn’t show her a lick of titty-twisting respect, being the constant butt of a running joke for her asset-less figure, until she schedules a life altering, boob-enhancing appointment with Dr. Thulu, an uncredited and unlicensed plastic surgeon seeking the perfect, wholesome vessel to host her blood hungry, elder world creatures for planet domination. Betty’s implanted funbags are all but fun when the mammary monstrosities begin devouring hounding perverts when getting handsy with Betty’s girls. The diabolical double Ds slowly take control over Betty’s consciousness and will, eventually, take full mastery, but will true love put a permanent road block toward ruling the world?
Horror-comedy “Killer Rack” is a Lovecraftian inspired schlock film from “Slice City” and it’s sequel, “Slime City Massacre,” director “Greg Lamberson and penned by Paul McGinnis, who also has a co-starring role. The slapstick riot embellishes the real life battle of young women’s self-esteem, the constant struggle with the female physique, and with lots and lots of different levels of sexual harassment to the point where “Killer Rack” is basically becomes a social awareness film. Even though “Killer Rack” is blatantly farcical, the representation of men objectifying women is quite scary and Lamberson and McGinnis hone very meticulously on every facet related from gawking to catcalling and from sleaziness to potential rape. The manufactured, boob-infatuated universe McGinnis and Lamberson create isn’t a far stretch from this one with every single scene so ingrained with breast obsession that’s, as an American, I feel almost ashamed of myself for watching “Killer Rack,” but my European bloodline revels in this type of perverse gratification.
Lamberson, also known for his novel publications stemming from the early 2000s, continues his schlep of low-budget filmmaking over the course of three decades as a producer, writer, and director and the refreshing part of his career is that Lamberson has kept the course, providing fans of undiluted horror trash in a resilient body of work with “Killer Rack” being no exception. The ambitious undertaking stars a fresh faced indie actress Jessica Zwolak in the lead sporting the killer rack and Zwolak nails the intended comedy, pulling off the center of gravity gag numerous times post-implant surgery and being able to effectively switch between conscious Betty and puppet Betty. Surrounding Zwolak are collective years of a indie filmmaking experience that solidify Lamberson’s shtick filmmaking including long time industry leader and co-founder of Troma Entertainment, Lloyd Kaufman, being his great idiosyncratic character onscreen, but the buck doesn’t stop there with a roster of vets. The fiendish Dr. Thulu is embraced by one of the genre’s favorite, hard working indie scream queens Debbie Rochon (“Tromeo & Juliet,” “Dollface”) who submerses herself elbows deep into the film’s H.P. Lovecraft mythology. By far, my personal favorite genre star making a brief cameo was Roy Frumkes, the Jim Muro “Street Trash” businessman who melts away in a glorious death, reliving that well-known death scene once again but sprayed in the face this time with toxic breast milk!
“Killer Rack” nestles snuggly in between the two dirty pillows that are indie pop culture and social undercurrents, but only hardcore fans who follow this particular niche filmmaking will understand and enjoy the special effects puppetry, the outlandish absurdity, and the homage barrage of references. Lamberson and McGinnis’ 2015 horror-comedy was completely made for us, the dedicated fans, and that’s also the downfall as many popcorn cinema goers will become lost and probably offended, especially in this particular modern culture. That’s why we should embrace actresses like Debbie Rochon, Jessica Zwolak, Brooke Lewis, and Brittani Hare for being strong and good-natured actresses for being subjected to culturally deplorable material delivered by the actors, such as by the one-man show that is Michael Thurber (“Sins of Dracula,” “Model Hunger”). The play on words titled film follows a very simple, if not already on some obsolete plane, structure of comedy that’s not necessarily a negative aspect of the film, but rather sets a modest tone for the whole blood thirsty boobies concept.
Akin to Mitchell Lichtenstein’s “Teeth,” the Slaughtered Lamp Productions produced and Camp Motion Pictures home entertainment distributed “Killer Rack” provides a similar feministic horror in a screwball, dystopian world. The unrated DVD presents the film in an anamoprhic widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio with image quality that really details the budget. Flesh tones look natural, blacks are fairly solid, and no sign of major aliasing or compression issues. The English 2.0 audio sustains clean and clear quality throughout with forefront dialogue and appropriates ambient and sound effects properly during sequences of Chtulhu inspired bone crunching, blood splattering, and torso piercing. Bonus features are nicely stacked for “Killer Rack,” including a commentary track, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a bonus short film “Kill the B!tch” and “The Camper,” and trailers. “Killer Rack” fondles around the sexual harassment issues and hilariously denaturalizes, as if implants weren’t already unnatural, with a diabolical pair of creature infested tatas!”