VHS Review: Wrongfully Banned in the UK

My obsession with completing the Video Nasty list sometimes leads me in the wrong direction when all I want is to watch a decent exploitation flick. To my surprise, there are films that have no business being on the list.

frozenscream

This rare 1975 horror film landed a spot on the video nasty list for reasons unexplained. What were the censors thinking? A lot of films were banned solely for the fact that the VHS covers were ‘obscene’ or because their titles were unsuitable. A good example of this is “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” starring Dolly Parton. Even the cover art can help a film make it to the list. The movie may not be offensive at all but if the cover art was, they were pretty much fucked. Mary Whitehouse *cough* bitch *cough* even stated in an interview that she doesn’t have to see a movie to know it has unsuitable material. Whitehouse couldn’t have been more wrong. Frozen Scream is not an unsuitable title and the initial cover is pretty tame. Maybe Frozen Scream was put on the DPP list because of the subject matter, zombies. Several zombie films were thrown on the list. Might as well throw as many on there as possible.

This isn’t your typical zombie flick. There are no flesh eaters. No skin problems. Just cold, dead bodies roaming around wearing hoodies. It’s very boring.

An evil scientist has been working on a drug that is suppose to make humans immortal. A cult kidnaps the scientist after learning that this drug and low temperatures is the perfect recipe for creating frozen zombies. A detective and the scientists wife pair up to find her missing husband. Ann, the scientist’s wife, is hospitalized after discovering her husband has been murdered by hooded strangers. The detective and only living soul that believes her story is a former lover of Ann’s. There’s is a possibility that he can win her back now that her husband is dead. Soon, Anne begins having retarded nightmares of the cult controlled by the evil scientists that had her husband killed. I might not have explained this shit plot carefully but it’s so bad, you can forgive me just this once.

The acting in this movie has to be some of the worst acting I have ever seen and I am being nice. There’s absolutely no emotion or connection between the actors which is disappointing because I was told all about Renee Harmon and her ‘talents.’ She has a background in ballet and not only did she have parts in films like Cinderella 2000, Van Nuys Bld, The Executioner Part 2, and Night of Terror but she was also a producer and a writer as well. It’s just too bad her writing isn’t that good and her acting in Frozen Scream was hard to watch. I don’t know what the hell was going on in that editing room and what made them think, “This looks good.” The editing and dubbing is just plain atrocious. Some scenes were hard to watch because it’s so dark. There’s not even a good score provided for us. Some of the music also appears in Don’t Go Into the Woods… Alone, yet another God awful video nasty.

As for the special effects, it’s quite poor. There are some axe to the face scenes and an injection into an eye but nothing spectacular. You can thank Heinz Ketchup for that.

missyou

leftfordead

It’s hard to decide which is worse, I Miss You Hugs and Kisses or Frozen Scream. It’s apparent that this wasn’t wrongfully placed on the DPP list because of its title. I Miss You Hugs and Kisses sounds more like a shitty romantic comedy or melodrama. It’s obviously the repetitive blows to the head that landed its place on the list. It looked like Sherman Williams red paint in my honest opinion.

Also known as Left For Dead and Drop Dead Dearest, I Miss You Hugs and Kisses is a story about love, betrayal, and murder. It’s a bit of a mystery and a trial movie. A man is on trial for the murder of his model wife Magdalene and we are provided several flashbacks leading up to the murder. We get to see how the couple met and after Magdalene begins to show Charles the cold shoulder, he begins to fondle other women and even falls in love. In return, Magdalene fucks Charle’s uglier best friend. Charles, who looks a lot like Arnold Friedman, gives me creepy vibes. Not like he’s a pedophile vibe but… I just don’t know how to explain this. I will leave it at that. He looks like a creepy Jew but he’s Canadian.

There are several ‘what if’ scenarios as to how Magdalene was murdered. It seems that Charles is not the only suspect. A few people had reasons to kill Magdalene. There’s even a serial killer on the loose. Evidently, this is based on a true story but I couldn’t find any information on the case which saddens my obsession with true crime. An IMDB user provided some interesting facts on their post, “Peter Demeter was an immigrant real estate developer that got rich and married a former model. When she was found dead in their garage, he was arrested and, with the help of friends-turned-prosecution witnesses, convicted of either committing or contracting her murder. An award-winning book, By Persons Unknown, written by George Jonas and Barbara Amiel, is an excellent account of the case.”

As interesting as this plot sounds, it never really comes together. That’s the films fatal flaw. We don’t even know for sure who killed Magdalene. No questions are answered and our interest is taken for granted. The picture quality is the most obscene thing about this film. Just horrible.

I was surprised how decent the acting was. Elke Sommer is a beauty and can pull off the role as a conniving mega bitch.

So why was this banned? The bright red paint as a result to all the blows to the head? The stabbing with a touch of necrophilia? I guess you can say those are legitimate reasons.

killernun

Psychotic nuns, lesbianism, sexual perversion, morphine addiction, and unjustified murder of old people are obvious reasons to ban this lackluster nunsploitation entry. That and the full frontal nudity from both genders. That body in the morgue was well endowed. I couldn’t help but notice.

Sister Gertrude (Anita Eckberg) is a sadistic nun with severe mental problems, sex addiction, and a penchant for morphine. Maybe she is going through a mid-life crisis. Seems reasonable. Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest doesn’t have anything on her. As horrifying as Sister Gertrude may be, I cannot help but feel sorry for her. She was even abused as a child. Her boss is a dick and working with smelly old people is just no fun. Trust me, I know. It’s funny, I feel sorry for her then I remember a scene where she takes an old codgers dentures away from him then smashes them on the floor. How rude.

The patients in the hospice begin dropping like flies and naturally, Sister Gertrude is a suspect but a bit of a predictable twist proves she hasn’t murdered anyone. When Sister Gertrude isn’t busy using drugs and sleeping with strange men, she is sleeping nude and so is her roomy Sister Mathieu. Paola Morra plays this twisted sister and for some reason, she was in Italian Playboy. It’s not that I don’t find her attractive. I just don’t like her teeth.

There’s a horrifying scene featuring an old geezer in a wheel chair getting laid by a 20-year-old followed by his death for being a naughty, dirty old man. I wonder how much they paid those actors.

Apparently, Killer Nun is based on a true story. Director and co-writer Alberto Tarallo claim that they got the idea for the story after reading about a nun that was killing her patients. The old Angel of Death extravaganza. Guess they decided to put their own spin on the tale. I have actually written about the true story in the past and plan on writing a full review for the film compared to the real story in the near future.

Anita Eckberg is known for La Dolce Vita and 4 for Texas. She’s also a former Miss Sweden 1950.  How does a former Miss become a sadistic nun with sex and drug addiction?

Some naysayers will completely shun this film but it has its perks and I just might pull it off of my shelf again in ten years.