Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Curious Case of Dr. Humpp (1969)

Cult 60's Schlocker for the Sexually Curious

The Curious Dr. Humpp was one of the first signs that the carnal upheaval of the psychedelic 60s was getting out of hand in South American filmdom: Better known by its original name, La Venganza Del Sexo is an Argentine (black and white) cult flick that kicks off with a mosaic of virile people making out, smoking grass, performing stripteases, groping each other, getting naked, panting and licking one another and drinking themselves into nothingness.

However, since as is the way with films of this kind - these drooling hedonists cannot relish bodily pleasures without paying a heavy price, all of them suffer a violent retribution. This punishment takes the form of a grotesquely (albeit funny) monster with gray hands and a blinking light on his forehead, who etherizes these luckless sensualists, piles them into the back of a gunmetal station wagon transports them back to the estate of the mad Dr. Humpp, where they are subjected to experiments of a, um, (you guessed it) sexual nature.

An agile young reporter leaps onto Dr. Humpp’s trail (aided by surprisingly carefree eyewitness accounts of a saucer-eyed, forehead lighted creature at the numerous abduction scenes), but a gang of guys in Buck Rogers suits wearing pantyhose on their heads detain him and make him have sex with a couple of stunning models. Meanwhile Dr. Humpp, in the manner of a James Bond villain, tells the reporter everything.

Here’s Dr. Humpp’s problem: another doctor subjected him to similar experiments years before in Italy, and now Dr. Humpp has developed a vampiric addiction and to stay alive must slurp the blood of experimental subjects who have been supercharged with turbo lust. The original doctor is now a respiring brain in a jar, so he’s not doing that great, either. Besides, Dr. Humpp is also working on a way to boost the human race’s collective brain capacity by souping up everybody’s latent libido.

If it was 2011, Doc Humpp might have got a robust grant from the Viagra Foundation but the reporter hero decides, for some reason, that what Dr. Humpp’s doing isn’t such a great idea. And he spends the rest of the movie trying to shut Dr. Humpp’s operation down, and even though he’s the good guy, you will not be rooting for him at all.

I usually try to retain my impartiality and prudence, but in this case I am on my knees, blubbering, begging you to pilfer, commit traffic violations, leap from rooftop to rooftop of tall buildings, swing from jungle vines, do what you have to but see this movie. It is beyond belief (really).

A exasperating mix of genres from horror to sci-fi to pure morality play, The Curious Dr. Humpp absolutely does not give a fuck about conformist film narration and yet spins a untamed yarn with the abnormal lucidity of a paranoid vision or a death-bed vision. What sort of wild world is this where deformed ogres wearing metal boots stumble into strip clubs without eliciting more than a flummoxed nod from the clientele? Where the act of sex becomes laced with dim-eyed horror, and yet captive experimental subjects are actually given pretty nice rooms with telephones and framed pictures on the walls? Where mad scientists create inhibition-addling aphrodisiacs using items found at an everyday pharmacy? And where all this is made to seem prosaic, as though Emilio Vieyra (the movie’s director) was merely chronicling what was happening routinely in the cities of Argentina in 1967?

I don’t know why, but this movie ís truly enthralling. And for those who are after less cerebral pleasures, the erotic scenes are often aggressively arousing. But even if the dirty stuff is all you’re in it for you still won’t be able to help thinking about this one a little bit. When you watch two lesbians make out with bated breath while the monster plays a pulsating song on a guitar-like instrument, all forcefully punctuated with hazy, surreal shots of half-dead people wandering through a garden, you may wonder if Vieyra and not mad Doctor Humpp, is the one touched with a crazy kind of brilliance.

Free Streaming/Download Avi Link: VeeHD

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cents and Gremlins

I was talking to my colleague today at the Nice airport on my way back from Monte Carlo about cents and pennies; seems to me like coins of small denominations are all like furry little virile rabbits: if you've got a couple of 'em in your garden and you let 'em rub around a bit, pretty soon, you've got a bunch of 'em – like in your pocket or bag.

Kinda like Star Trek’s Tribbles.... Have a couple of tribbles and let 'em rub around a bit near food and... before you know it, you've got a crazy big pack of troublesome tribbles. Hey! Didn’t you read the sign - don't feed the tribble!

And don't feed the Gremlins after Midnight either. Let's face it, if you don't know what Gremlins are, you shouldn't feed them. Don't ever feed the Gremlins.

Anyway, this kinda sounds like the track "Don't pay the Ferryman". Chris deBurgh, who also wrote "Lady in Red" Romantic drivel... dribble....Tribble-dribble! which is apparently more tribbles.

If you feed a Gremlin, you get more Gremlins, which leads me to believe that Gremlins and Tribbles are just sweet, hairy balls of dump. I mean, food goes in... they come out.

Yes, indeed, it's just basic shit. Rather like this silly post. Somewhat worthless.... rather like a penny. Which, if you've got a couple of 'em and you let 'em rub around a bit…

(For people who are clueless of what this is about, watch Gremlins, Critters or episodes of Star Trek!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

This Time Staying Awake Won't Save You!

Wes Craven's New Nightmare is originally the 7th part of the successful Nightmare on Elm Street cult horror series which recently saw a reboot last year. They probably changed the title to New Nightmare because they might have been unsure how many they had made. This one's got a remarkable twist, though: most of the actors play themselves including Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund. The metafilm screenplay also takes on some hazy but ambitious themes about storytelling and its connection with eternal evil.

Turns out Freddy Kruger is a symbol representing an undying evil spirit so terrifying as to defy description (though if you were to describe him, you'd say he looked a lot like Freddy Kruger). This fiend is awakened in some other dimension whenever someone tells a ghost story. Bringing the story to a close -- having the woodsman hack grandma out of the big, bad wolf's belly, for instance - is the only thing preventing the devil from invading everyday reality.

Enter Nightmare on Elm Street, which has resisted bringing itself to a close via an endless string of sequels and so has enabled the demon to approach the portal to our dimension. Once this hypothesis is established, which takes some time, the movie races ahead with enough splatter chills and slasher thrills.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a sort of quasi-snuff film. It uses self-reference to imply that something terrible happened to the people who helped make it, but doesn't insist that you take the implication seriously the way a few low-budget horror movies of the 70s and 80s did. This makes the movie's self-references much more than a mere gimmick. And you’ll admit, New Nightmare takes on some big ideas and doesn't always succeed but it’s still a fun scary ride to take.

Free Streaming/Download Avi Link: StageVu or VeeHD

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dim Sum On Wheels

A Dim Sum Stall at the Food Street in Kuala Lumpur!

You get the most delicous Dim Sums at the ever busy food street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My staple for 3 nights besides other (much bizarre) foods. More pics to follow soon.

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