Friday, October 21, 2016

109. Keep My Grave Open and 110. Curse of Bigfoot

Jump to Curse of Bigfoot (1975)

109. Keep My Grave Open (1976)
Director: S. F. Brownrigg
Writer: F. Amos Powell
From: Pure Terror
Watch: archive.org

Lesley is trying to protect her brother Kevin from the outside world, but he keeps murdering people who come to the house and townsfolk are asking Lesley about her mental health.

We open with a drifter getting off a truck near some land with a "No Trespassing" sign that he of course ignores. He winds up at a seemingly empty house—it must be empty for all the time he spends shouting "Hello?" into its echoy depths—steals some food, and then is killed by the katana-wielding person who was hiding in the house.

I'll admit, the katana's a nice touch, the one interesting thing in this otherwise uninspired slasher film.

The next morning, Lesley, the resident of the house, is trying to give her brother/husband/lover (?) breakfast, but he won't come out of his room. I'm sure the movie wanted us to think Kevin's the killer, but it's immediately clear that Kevin doesn't exist and Lesley's the killer. In fact, that element is clearer than Kevin's relationship to her.

Anyway, Lesley kills a few more people—the girlfriend of a local boy doing work on her property, the local boy after trying to seduce him, the prostitute the local boy admitted to visiting just before Lesley killed him—without much consequence, and then feels guilty. She calls her doctor to the house, tells him she's made him executor of her will, and then relates a pointless story about hating the aunt that raised her and Kevin.

The doctor leaves, Lesley takes a fistful of pills, and, just before she dies, finally sees Kevin on the balcony. Cut to her graveside where the real Kevin is paying his respects. He goes into the house, which is now his, and calls to somebody upstairs. We hear them giggle, but it's not clear if it's someone Kevin has brought or if he's delusional the same way Lesley was and is imagining her there. Then he goes outside to bury the bodies, laughing to himself how Lesley was always leaving messes for him to clean up.

That's the movie. There's nothing particularly impressive or compelling about it and a lot of it is annoying. This has, hand's down, the worst bed music I've heard in a film so far. It's tinny, generic, and relentlessly annoying. On top of that, the twist is immediately obvious and there's no drama. The movie doesn't even offer up any camp pleasures so I wouldn't recommend watching it.

However, it seems this is in the public domain so I've uploaded a copy to archive.org here.


110. Curse of Bigfoot (1975)
Director: Dave Flocker
Writer: James T. Flocker
From: Pure Terror
Watch: archive.org

A group of students on an archaeological field trip uncover a perfectly preserved mummy. However, once they remove the mummy from its tomb, it awakens and starts killing.

This is a remix, if you will, of an earlier film called Teenagers Battle the Thing. That movie was the students uncovering the mummy that comes to life. This movie provides an extra half-hour of footage that’s largely a frame narrative happening in a class about cryptids like Bigfoot.

So we open with a voice over about human evolution that notes that monsters evolved alongside humans and still exist. Then we cut to a dog barking in the suburbs and shots of an approaching monster. The dog’s owner comes out, gives it milk, and gets attacked by the monster. Then it’s revealed that this is merely a movie the class is watching. The teacher is trying to tell them about cryptids and says they’re having a special to tell them about Bigfoot.

While they’re waiting, the professor tells them about two men involved in a Bigfoot sighting which involves cutting away to footage of that situation. They’re lumberjacks who see Bigfoot cross the road in front of them. They go walking through the forest to find it and one gets killed off-screen. It has no impact on the plot and takes ten minutes which, let’s be honest, is why it’s in the movie.

This is bad and you should feel bad about it.
The guest finally arrives and tells the story about leading a field trip years before. The group was looking for burial artifacts of Native American tribes—so desecrating graves—and stumble across a sealed tomb with a mummy. Opening the tomb releases a strange gas, one they suspect helped keep the mummy so well-preserved, and they take the mummy back to camp. One student says he saw it move, but no one believes him. He returns that night and the creature is revealed in all its laughable paper mâché glory.

Burn, baby, burn, Bigfoot inferno!
The Thing goes into town, kills a person, gets shot by a hunter without being harmed, and the sheriff comes to the camp to find out the truth. He puts together a plan to set the Thing on fire, but it’s not showing up. Finally it attacks the sheriff. The students go to check on him, find the Thing, douse it in gasoline, and set it on fire. The sheriff stumbles out of the woods, apparently unharmed.

This is Coast to Coast AM: The Movie with all the aesthetic quality of Manos. It’s silly-bad and really dull. Definitely riffable, and there is a Rifftrax version, but I wouldn’t recommend watching it on its own. A group of people could make this a hilarious watching experience, but it’s a slog to watch on your own. As an experiment, though, as a demonstration of how films can be remixed into something new, it’s kind of interesting.

The movie’s in the public domain and there are several copies on archive.org. I’ve added an MPEG-2 copy here, although the quality isn’t great. Mill Creek’s copy clearly is taken from an old VHS dub, but I don’t imagine there are any hi-def versions of this floating around.

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