Case Number 16886: Small Claims Court

SLIME CITY GRINDHOUSE COLLECTION

Slime City
Shock-O-Rama Cinema // 1988 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Undying Love
Shock-O-Rama Cinema // 1991 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Naked Fear
Shock-O-Rama Cinema // 1999 // 79 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 24th, 2009

The Charge

One for four.

The Case

Director Greg Lamberson pulls together his original splatter pic, the two that followed, and a new rock-n-roll zombie short for yet another genre "Grindhouse Collection." Here's what you get, if you crack open the package:

Slime City
A micro-budget cheeseball horror film that, to its credit, knows exactly what it wants to be. This isn't a pretentious attempt to revolutionize-the-genre, but a film comfortable with its Z-grade pedigree. The gore effects are economy, but not short on the fluid, the plot is a derivation of pretty much any haunted house story, and the acting is rudimentary. In other words, it's just what you'd expect from a B-movie, and the kicker is, it's pretty fun. There's nothing terribly inventive about the whole "cursed dwelling" plot, and Slime City isn't trying to add an inspired twist to a familiar tune.

The setup merely serves as a vehicle for the gross-out, via plumes of bodily fluid. The demonic possession angle serves solely as a way to get Alex's face all caked up with make-up and to start slaughtering the homeless. Yeah, it's pretty much that straightforward but, to his credit, Lamberson does inject some surreal, stylistic imagery into the proceedings, livening things up a bit. For example, Alex's black and white dream sequence with his seductress is weird and ends in a gooey, not-so-subtle riff on the wet dream.

Still, the meat and potatoes of Slime City is the slime. For the miniscule budget it was made on ($35,000), the gore effects are surprisingly well done. Again, these aren't of the scary, disturbing ilk, but more of the slapstick severed-head-on-the-floor-instructing-its-body-to-kill variety.

Lamberson slowly introduces his gross-out scenes, before blowing his whole budget on Karo syrup in the last fifteen minutes. And while my biggest gripe is the fact that these good parts were swamped by slow, overly talky sequences, I won't deny that that when the sinew flew, it was fun. Street people are killed, dismembered, their heads beaten to a pulp, and all of it followed by Alex vomiting up a gallon of sludge. Plus, the climactic showdown at the end, which is just swimming in gunk.

Are the effects cheap? Sure, but they're copious, and Lamberson isn't afraid to show as much as he can. He chooses to live or die by his gore, and I'll respect him for that. Just don't expect to be blown away by any particularly adept storytelling, and you should have a decent time with this midnite cult flick.

Undying Love
When Scott Kelly (Tommy Sweeney) tries to commit suicide by slitting his wrists in the bathtub and fails, he becomes obsessed with death. This brings him into contact with a model named Camilla who can't stop talking about morbid crap. The two hit it off and begin an erotic relationship of nudity-free shenanigans. Then comes the big twist: she can offer Scott everlasting life because...she's a vampire. The price is his soul and, of course, appearing in this stupid movie.

Standard-issue wannabe vampire seduction film that adds very little to the genre, besides the most un-erotic vampire seduction you can conjure. A fair amount of streaming blood and a decent Eurotrash vamp with Valvoline-matted hair isn't enough to rescue Undying Love from the Crypt of Garbage Vampire Flicks.

Naked Fear
A loser named Camden (Robert Sabin) lives in an apartment all by himself, enduring a bad case of agoraphobia. Desperately alone and pathetic, Camden searches for a roommate and settles on a shifty dude named Randy who has a penchant for stabbing people and may or not be harboring a plan to visit emotional trauma on Camden. Once Camden sheds his syndrome and finds himself a girlfriend he doesn't have to pay to see topless, Randy makes his move.

I'm not entirely sure what the title means, but that's the least of this effort's problems. Poorly acted, stocked with idiot characters, and featuring a half-baked storyline lifted from the lamest of Lifetime original movies, Naked Fear about as entertaining as a root canal and twice as long.

Johnny Gruesome
A 2007 horror short that's far more fun than its full-length counterparts. Johnny Grissom is a high school rock musician who finds himself killed and resurrected as a zombie. He then runs around biting off people's faces. Also, Misty Mundae is in this. That's all.

Slime City is a serviceable B-movie, but the rest are pretty worthless. Between this set and the stand-alone Slime City release, choose according to price. Also, can I just say, if you're going to employ the overused "Grindhouse" moniker on your release, there are some expectations you're going to have to deliver on -- and this set is lacking.

The first two films look fine, transferred in anamorphic widescreen and shot on film, giving them a nice retro look; the latter two are full frame video stock. Stereo sound for all. Extras include commentary tracks on Slime City, Undying Love, and Naked Fear, making-of featurettes for all except Naked Fear, and some liner notes.

The Verdict

Guilty of largely wasting my time.

Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Slime City
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Slime City
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Slime City
* Commentary
* Featurette

Scales of Justice, Undying Love
Judgment: 50

Perp Profile, Undying Love
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Undying Love
* Commentary
* Featurette

Scales of Justice, Naked Fear
Judgment: 50

Perp Profile, Naked Fear
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 79 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Naked Fear
* Commentary
* Short Film
* Liner Notes

Accomplices
* IMDb: Slime City
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0234748/combined

* IMDb: Undying Love
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0183575/combined

* IMDb: Naked Fear
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0373183/combined

* IMDb: Johnny Grusome
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1422673/combined