selection “B-Series” : from the 80s

To help you make your choice in the multitude of series B generated by the cinema operating for the past fifty years, here is a selection of films distinguished by their high degree of improbability, their errors of taste assumed, and their leadership qualities-works well known.


Released in 1988, directed by Stephen Chiodo with Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder

So often, exploitation films are abusing our trust and confidence in us selling a visual delirium which in truth will only appear for a few minutes at the screen, the Chiodo Brothers have the merit to use it with generosity and jubilation, their concept thrillers. A concept aptly summarized by the title of THE CLOWNS KILLERS From ELSEWHERE, that mary in a baroque assumed fear of clowns grimaciers and aliens resort in the small towns of the u.s. campaign. It will also be a day of revelation, identifying all the backwoods of the USA who has suffered an alien invasion since the fifties, where it was then impossible for a couple of high school students to fondle in a convertible without being able to see land a flying saucer.

All by developing a pure product of pop in the 80’s, The Chodio Brothers are fully aware it is part of a lineage of cinema on the Saturday evening and we handed out a kind of beard-to-dad visual which one will enjoy just the fun side and naive, especially in the use of matte painting old school. Balloon Sculptures, ventriloquie, shadow puppets, CLOWNS KILLERS From ELSEWHERE operates fully the collective imagery associated with the clown in order to transform each element of the grotesque, in fact, horrific. The kind of sweet spicy and sticky, which makes us regret the great era of the drive-in.


Released in 1980, directed by Lamberto Bava with Bernice Stegers and Stanko Molnar

Lamberto Bava is the definition of a child of the ball, hanging from the teenagers on the making of his father Mario Bava, a key figure in the fantastic cinema Italian, before becoming the assistant of Dario Argento and Ruggerio Deodato. By passing to the completion with the KISS of DEATH, Bava Junior sign movie disarming of improbability, a work of which it is difficult to separate the share of ridicule in the poetry of death, as his cruelty is only matched by his naivety. In the first minute of the film appears bright, bathed in the sun of New Orleans to the tune of a saxophone worthy of a television movie erotic. But this lightness fades as the plot settles into the decor mortifying of the apartment, within the confines of the horror and intimate atmosphere.

A crazy wife locked up in a setting oppressive, a neighbor, a blind man, a little girl demon, necrophilia suggested, it is not a bit much for a single movie ? Clearly yes, so it is best to enjoy the incredibility of this story through the prism of the wonderful, and estimate that by entering into this apartment with dark wood paneling and the decor outdated, the film has crossed the threshold unseen from another universe. A fairy gothic, and cruel the idea, the most poetic is to be entrusted with the role of a protagonist in Stanko Molnar, a actor to grace the angelic and the blue eyes ethereal. Usually in genre cinema, this type of physics is used as the element of mystery, as an object of fascination strangely other; in KISS of DEATH , one follows the point of view of a young blind man, and it is with him that the audience shares the emotion of this tale on the coexistence of two solitudes.


Released in 1985, directed by Tobe Hooper with Steven Railsback and Mathilda May

This summer, Tobe Hooper left the world of the living. With the texas chainsaw Massacre, the filmmaker signed a radical, transgressive and traumatic that was imposed immediately as a milestone in the history of horror cinema. Therefore, it was impossible to separate the reputation of Hooper one of his masterpiece in the memory of the general public. However, if the career of the director texan was somewhat tumultuous, and we forget that it follows other works ambitious, such as LIFEFORCE, the fruit of a collaboration with the duo of producers Golan/Globus. For once, it is not quite appropriate to describe this science-fiction film apocalyptic, B-series, since the two nababs of the Cannon released a budget of blockbuster filmmaker, so that it adaptât the novel Space Vampires by Colin Wilson. When one knows the title of the original work, we can better understand the journey aesthetic of the film breaking through the shell, the cosmetic of the 80’s, and their marvelous pink lights.

The plot revolves around an object of fascination, embodied by a young Mathilda May , starting from a mood of thriller space, justified by the collaboration on the script by Dan O’bannon, creator ofAlien. And then gradually, returning to the Earth and coming back to haunt the old England, the story takes on the ceremonial robes of fantastic film in that it has more heritage, more folk would say critics. Of the alien invasion, the story moves towards a final worthy of the vampires, with the crypt, the white dress of dreams, bat and all it takes to revive the soul in sleep of this good old London gothic.


Released in 1988, directed by Fred Olen Ray, with Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer

Difficult to disentangle the filmography of stakhanoviste Fred Olen Ray rich of more than one hundred films, some of which boil down sometimes to three playmates filmed in a jacuzzi. Shot for 23 000 dollars only, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS “all-in” on the irresistible program that promises in its title : hookers and chainsaws, what more could you ask ? A title which looks back, not without humor to the Texas Chainsaw massacre (the original title of the texas chainsaw Massacre), and even allows you to engage Gunnar Hansen, the colossus of the cult film by Tobe Hooper in the role of the unlikely event of a guru of a sect preaching transcendence, physical and spiritual by virtue of the chain saw. Then of course we can tax Olen Ray with cynicism and accuse him of resorting to ridicule, to destroy the last bit of ambition which could claim this, B-series, trend Z.

Aware that it makes a product of exploitation that can in no way compete with the classics of the cinema, Olen Ray chooses the angle of parody in dressing her narrative codes of the film noir. Thus, each component of this survey in a Los Angeles craspec and degenerate is of interest in its comparison with the classical Hollywood of the 40s. Nudity starlets hysterical, and the violence is anything but calibrated not only become bearable but really fun, thanks to their combination of explosive with a voice off to the Raymond Chandler spinning replicas voluntarily nanardesques.


Released in 1989, directed by Brian Yuzna, with Billy Warlock and Devin DeVasquez

As Hollywood Chainsaw hookers, SOCIETY plunges into the shadow areas of L. A, installing his story in the upscale neighborhood of Beverly Hills. Brian Yuzna , producer of Re-Animator, goes behind the camera to deliver a portrait to the vitriol of the affluent californians addicted to the carotene and hairspray. It must be confessed that in the first few minutes, we folded painfully in the eyes with the frames tristounets and the acting worthy of a soap opera. A soap opera ? Good blood, but it is of course ! This realization, this aesthetic, these physical of actors, all of it is there to evoke a soap opera, a silliness television that plays on our fantasies about the lives of the family of the rich. It therefore supports the questionable quality of the show, with the understanding that the varnish will gradually crack and tilt the narrative towards anguish, then horror.

Gradually, since a major part of the storyline fits more in the genre of thriller, and only exacerbates the paranoia of the protagonist and the spectator by touches of strangeness scattered here and there, based on skillful effects of dissonance, in the position of the body, the contortion of a member who could just pass for a hallucination stealth. Thus, the turning towards the genre of body horror is long delayed ; we announced an orgy, a story of incest and one dreads the worst as the tension mounts. And the least we can say is that the final, festival of pratical effects , signed by the make-up artist Screaming Mad George is confined to what we will have seen more disgusting and more unhealthy at that time in the cinema.


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