There’s nothing demented bad guys hate more than young people having sex. And in the case of Emilio Vieyra’s The Curious Dr. Humpp, the demented bad guy also happens to be a mad scientist hell-bent on harnessing the power of the libido to advance the human race — at least that’s what he keeps saying. Dr. Humpp’s (Aldo Barbero) curiosity only goes as far as tuning into his own personal pay-per-view channel to watch kidnapped couples get it on.

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Title card from “The Curious Dr. Humpp.”

The doctor’s real trouble happens to be that he’s rotting to death, and chugging the derived sexual essence from horny hippies and lusty lesbians has the added advantage of reversing his encroaching decrepitude. No copulating couple is safe as long as Dr. Humpp’s mindless zombies are on the loose, roaming the countryside in their Humppmobile ready to haul away unsuspecting fornicators and orgyists back to the Humpp compound for a prompt sex draining that renders the women nymphomaniacs, and the men shriveled into more of the curious doctor’s mindless minions: “The girl can; she’s still strong enough. …


I couldn’t help but be reminded of the old saying, “never meet your heroes” after seeing director David Fincher’s new film Mank, starring Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, a.k.a. the guy who wrote Citizen Kane; maybe you’ve heard of it. And maybe, like a lot of people, Citizen Kane is your favorite movie. It’s certainly maintained a stranglehold at the very tip-top of a boatload of lists from reputable places that make lists from all around the world. I won’t argue that it’s a great film. …


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North London’s Alexandra Palace, also known as “The People’s Palace,” the sister location to South London’s Crystal Palace, opened on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday in May 1873. Just 16 days later on the morning of 9 June “Ally Pally,” as it is affectionately called, broke out in flames caused by what the Sydney Morning Herald called “the heedless conduct of a plumber.” The local fire brigade couldn’t handle the blaze alone and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade was called into assist.

Not only were the large, open auditoriums and corridors inside The People’s Palace a problem that too easily caused the fire to spread quickly, the edifice was precariously situated atop Muswell Hill, and the arduous seven-mile trek to the top of the landmark overcame the 120 firefighters and horse-drawn and manual engines tasked with dousing the flames. …


I love any movie where people spend the majority of the time screaming at each other especially over mundane stuff that’s driven by frustration caused by something else, like oh, you know, laying low in Miami after you and your gay lover commit a robbery-homicide in Baltimore and one of you dresses in drag posing as the other’s aunt to keep the friendly neighbors from asking too many questions. A well-intentioned attempt at keeping suspicion at bay that sounds more like a toxic marriage with a confused role-reversal dynamic, but hardly what I’d call an air-tight alibi.

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Title screen for ‘Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things.’

Paul (Abe Zwick) and Stanley (Wayne Crawford, credited here as Scott Lawrence) have holed up in a rental down in weird, sunny Miami — where everyone is either just plain stupid or pleasantly unsuspecting of Paul’s fairly unconvincing but completely convicted drag role-play as Stanley’s Aunt Martha — after murdering a Mrs. Johnson and making off with a box of expensive jewelry. The next step in their big escape plan is to head to South America, which we only know because when Paul isn’t screaming at Stanley — “You know what you need? You need a broomstick up your ass!” — about getting a haircut and chasing him with scissors, or berating him about, God forbid, drinking from the faucet, or leaving the ice box open too long, he can be spotted boning up on travel brochures between beers. …


Squint your eyes and cult classic The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster, could be the B-plot on an episode of extra-quirky later day . Of course, it would be Kramer who joyously tells his pals he’s “going from pool to pool and swim all the way across the county home, Jerry!” It’s a fun thought, and if this were 1997, I might have a shot in the writer’s room with an idea like that. But we owe this premise to American literary exemplar, the “Chekov of the suburbs,” John Cheever (he’s got his own place in Seinfeld history). …


I didn’t need to know much more than the title of Night of the Juggler to know that it was something I wanted to see. The implication of a crazy street performer serial killer never makes it past my assumptions, however, the moment when Dan Hedaya is firing off shotgun rounds at James Brolin in crowded New York City streets during a foot chase through the Deuce is when this movie revealed its greatness to me. …


If anyone out there needs a great idea for their horror script, I invite you to investigate the life cycle of the Schistoma, also known as the more vile sounding blood fluke, responsible for the second deadliest tropical disease in the world behind Malaria, Schistosomiasis, which is liable for about 200,000 deaths per year. When it doesn’t kill, it pretty much wrecks anything to do with digestion, blood, and the brain. And as if snails weren’t creepy enough on their own, they also happen to be the secondary hosts for these little bastards. The Schistoma — let’s just go with blood fluke — larvae float around in lakes and streams until they burrow into the soft tissue of what eventually will be your next plate of escargot, reproduce asexually for a couple of months until thousands emerge back into the water as fork-tail cercariae looking for their final primary host — a.k.a., …


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As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its fifth month with its grip on the world, many continue to restrict social interaction, forcing families into the same space for extended periods of time. This burden, along with either having to work from home with a houseful of people or being without work, has created a boiling pot of stress and anxiety that in some cases is resulting in a spike in domestic violence.

The United Nations Population Fund predicts an estimated 20 percent increase globally in domestic violence for every three months of quarantine. …


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“All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don’t mind it,” is one of the first lines of dialogue out of real-estate salesman Ricky Roma’s (Al Pacino) mouth to a potential client as he launches into an eloquent stream of consciousness full of mind-bending wisdom that could be cross-stitched on a pillow. David Mamet’s whip-crack dialogue in Glengarry Glen Ross pulls double-duty giving us a thorough exposition for each character in this film as well as doing what dialogue does by simply moving the story along. Mamet is a master at making life-altering conversations out of sentence fragments, and being delightfully quotable, it’s the primary element of this film that gets the most attention. …


The zombification of the human race isn’t going to arrive in the form of a relentless virus or a stupid shadow agency or some damned governmental mandate conspiracy theory to make us wear masks. Instead, our undead destiny lies in the fate of the pepper weevil and our irresponsible place at the top of the food chain.

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Title card for ‘The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue.’

According to an article from the Canada Broadcasting Corporation, in 2016 the diabolical pepper weevil, unsympathetic towards the human proclivity for food with, you know, flavor, managed to obliterate Ontario pepper crops to the tune of around $83 million, and that doesn’t include costs to manage the infestation. But fear not, your salsa is safe as researchers from the University of Guelph — also human and thus also at the top of the food chain — developed a plan to clobber a mess of lab-hatched pepper weevils with the right amount of cobalt-60 radiation to make them sterile, but still ambitious enough to keep them horny, and release them into the wild in a long-game — not short of playing God — that will crack down on the pest’s desire to thrive under the supple skin of one of our most prolific flavoring agents. …

About

Lucas Hardwick

Mid-western film, comic, and TV enthusiast.

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