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The Lightning Bug

The Lightning Bug is the Boss Man of the Moon. When he’s not teaching people how to talk like him (“reaaaal sexy”) or taking his flying wing out for a spin, he enjoys watching and reviewing all kinds of cult, exploitation, sci fi, b-movies, and horror goodness to bring to the people of Earth. New reviews come out every couple of days so check back early and often.

From the Desk of T.L. Bugg

My thoughts about movies can’t be contained by a brief profile. Legend has it they are bigger than a breadbox, and four times as dangerous, and with a better beard than George Eastman. Ok, that last part is not true… Here’s what is true. Five days a week. One year running. Reviews at your service. Thanks for visiting the Lightning Bug’s Lair.

-T.L Bugg
Greenville, South Carolina, United States

Reviews

Terrifying Tuesday: And Soon the Darkness (1970)

I will never go to France. Well, I suppose that is I will never go back to France. Yes, I’ve been there before, smelled the odor of Paris, walked on the damnable rocks lined beaches of Nice, and avoided anything that had a legend attached to it that would bring me back there someday. Then top that off with the new wave of French horror, High Tension, Frontiers, and Martyrs, et al., and I’m pretty sure I’m better off staying put. Seeing as I’m not going anywhere, I thought I might put on a little film suggested by one of your Lair-ers out there. It’s a film full of mystery, thrills, …… And Soon the Darkness (1970) starring Pamela Franklin, Sandor Elès, John Nettleton, and Michele Dotrice. Directed by Robert Fuest. Two young nurses on holiday, Cathy and Jane (Dotrice and Franklin) are on a cycling trip along the back roads of France. Jane is focused and determined, full of plans and destinations, but Cathy wants to meet people and have a more leisurely trip. After having an argument about how to spend their time, the girls split up, but when Jane gets to feeling guilty about ditching her friend, she goes back to find her. When she arrives back at the woods where they split up, Cathy is nowhere to be found. With her friend missing, with no one to turn too, Jane accepts help from the mysterious Paul. He claims to be an agent of the French secret service, but Jane is unsure of that and what he might know about Cathy’s disappearance. The Bugg Picture This film came to my attention though a comment from one of my longtime regular readers who I affectionately refer to as the Snob. Now the Snob, who is a Brit, vehemently ...
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B.L.O.G Presents Angel (1984)

Hello folks and welcome to the first post of April, and let me tell you March was a great month. Not only did I get to watch a lot of movies, but more of you came to check out what was going on at the Lair as well. So I just wanted to say thanks to all the repeat visitors and first time lookie loos that catch this post. April is a really religious month with Easter, Good Friday, and Passover all going on and probably not in that order. You see, the Bugg subscribes to no religion, and only prays at the alter of cult film. Keeping that in mind, I’m devoting days this month to religious themes. Each Friday this month we’ll be on a journey through heaven and hell, but this ain’t Friday is it? That’s right it’s B.L.O.G day. And this month each of these heavenly bodies will also be getting some of that old time religion. So without further ado, ‘cause this is already way too much ado, I give you the sweet little vengeful prostitute played by… Donna Wilkes first made a splash on the genre film screen with the 1978 shark fest Jaws 2, and after a few small TV parts appeared in the Klaus Kinski vehicle Schizoid. Then in 1982 she went up against a legend when she co-starred with Frankie Avalon in the slasher Blood Song. Yet it was her 1984 film which is probably most engrained on the masses, that is if the masses are boys that went to video stores in the late eighties. Yes I remember the box art well, and it was about time that I got around to seeing…. Angel (1984) starring Donna Wilkes, Rory Calhoun, Dick Shawn, Susan Tyrrell, and Cliff Gorman. Directed by Robert ...
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Tomb of Forgotten Film: Absurd (1981) a.k.a Antropophagus 2

Hello folks and welcome to the new weekend feature here at the Lair. I'm changing things up a bit, and on the weekend you'll be treated to an out of the way gem here from The Tomb of Forgotten Film. Basically this will give me a chance to cover more titles with less restrictions. So what will you see here? Films that you can't get at your local big box store, VHS classics, and out of print of hard to find features. This will span all genres and so you're just as likely to see horror as you are comedy or westerns. When you get down to brass tacks, like The Grab Bag, it gives me another day to talk about whatever I want. So that being said this week I've got a rare gem for you tonight. Some months back in the first edition of Terrifying Tuesday, I covered the Joe D'Amato opus Antropophagus. So to kick off this new feature, I dug up a copy of the Eastman/D'Amato pseudo-sequel to their infamous film. So let's get into a film that is just as gory, just as good, and just as... Absurd [Italian: Rosso Sangue](1981) starring George Eastman, Annie Belle, Charles Borromel, Edward Purdoff, and Katya Berger. Directed by Joe D'Amato. Escaped and presumed dead genetic experiment, Mikos Stenopolis (Eastman), turns up in a sleepy American town on Super Bowl evening. He is being pursued by a scientist/ priest (Rusoff) across the countryside. Attempting to escape, Mikos impales himself on a fence. He manages to get himself to a nearby house and gets taken to the hospital. There he makes an amazing recovery as the doctors discover that his blood coagulates at an exponential rate. Escaping from the hospital, after killing a nurse with a drill to the head, ...
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B.L.O.G Presents: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Hello folks and welcome to the Valentine’s week edition of B.L.O.G. I am spotlighting a film that I have been wanting to ‘BE MINE’ for a number of years now. It has sat on the shelves, played the festivals, and been shuffled around by the Weinstein’s, but I finally, by hook and crook, got my hands on a copy. Therefore, I am pleased to bring to you the story of a girl named Mandy Lane and the girl who brought her to the screen. I give you….. She got her big break back in 2004 when she was cast in the movie version of Friday Night Lights, and then went on to make North Country and Alpha Dog. She didn’t come to the attention of genre fans until she appeared in tonight’s film. Recently she has appeared in the stoner action/comedyPineapple Express, and she will return to genre work with the remake of The Stepfather due in 2009 and John Carpenter’s The Ward slated for 2010. This is probably the film that most horror fans will know her from, but is it hailed because of its release troubles or is it just that..... All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) starring Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himmelston, and Luke Grimes. Directed by Jonathan Levine. Mandy and Emmett were best friends, even after the summer where she got hot. That is until at a pool party he convinces Mandy’s would be suitor to dive from a roof into a pool. The jock doesn’t make the leap and injures himself badly in the fall. After that, Mandy got herself a new group of friends. She joins them for a weekend party at Red’s ranch house, and all the teens get involved in drinking, swimming, drugging, and ...
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Tuesday Terror: Anthropophagus (1980)

Welcome to the first edition of Tuesday Terror. Each week you can be sure The Bug is going to bring you the finest in guts, gore, and general horrific goodness. I elected to start off tonight with a flick that started off the career of another esteemed genre reviewer, Joe Bob Briggs. The Grim Reaper was the first film reviewed by Joe Bob in his column for the Dallas Times Herald. Way in the back of their entertainment section on page 34 the article got an immediate response, or as Joe Bob says on his site "resulted in such a frenzy of popular support (two people called the paper, or one more than had ever been the case in the staid institution's first 100 years of existence)", and from there the Drive in King was born. A few columns in the future Joe Bob even attended Cannes (pronounced Cans I assure you). He was sadly mislead that Cannes is where all the French Drive In's were. There in a hardtop movie house he saw Anthropophagus and called shenanigans as it was the same movie he had seen properly, as God intended, within the confines of his blue Dodge Dart a few months prior. So tonight I proudly bring to you my review of Anthropophagus which I watched as Tom Savini intended, from the comfort of my couch with a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. Anthropophagus(1980) starring Tisa Farrow, George Eastman, and Saverio Vallone. Directed by Joe d'Amato. Synopsis The film opens on a couple of German tourists enjoying their stay on a quiet Greek island. They stroll along the narrow streets with their dog until they make their way down to the beach. The gent lays back and puts on his headphones so he can enjoy the soothing sounds of ...
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The Lightning Bug Dollar Deals: Abraxas

So with bailouts going on left and right, I'm back to pitch in again to bail out your genre movie collection. Tonight's movie is one that has been a "value" title nearly since it's release in 1991. I recall seeing it on video for three or four bucks back in the nineties, and while I was intrigued, it hadn't hit that magical price point. Lo and behold, I found it in a Wallgreens for a buck paired withSlipstream starring Bill "Game over,man" Paxton and Mark Hamill. Sadly that flick will have to wait for another time for tonight's film stars a man who's popped up in a couple of my favorite genre films. He was a bad ass in Predator, a supposed bad ass in The Running Man, and a governor in.....hmm, not a movie you say you mean that was real? Well I digress. I can only be talking about one man and that's Jesse "The Body" Ventura and he is... Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe (1991) starring Jesse Ventura, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Marjorie Bransfield, and Francis Mitchell. t's a normal kind of day for "Finder" Abraxas (Ventura). After being retrofitted with all kinds of plas-steel reinforced skin and warping through the universe, he's sent to Earth to bring in his ex-partner Secundus. It seems Secundus has gone rogue and is looking to find a female to impregnate. He is looking to spawn the Kolaner (just guessing here I really could have used subtitles to tell what they kept calling the kid.) who is supposed to be able to produce the Anti-Life Equation. This formula would either a) destroy the universe b) make Secondus a god c) allow him to travel to the Anti-Life universe or d) some or all of the above as if it actually mattered. After a ...
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The Halloween Top 13: Number 2: Army of Darkness

Happy All Hallow Eve Eve to you fine folks. Tonight as you rush around to carve your pumpkins, make those last minute changes on your costume, or making sure you have enough candy or booze to make it, it's time to kick back and watch a rarity in horror, the epic hero. Ashley J Williams, better known as Ash, had already survived the events of Evil Dead 1 &2, or just 2 perhaps. Needless to say he's been having a bad time of it. Having crossed the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, he lost his girl. Then when his hand went bad, he had to cut it off. Now the book has sucked him into the past. To the land of kings and monsters, where it's up to Ash to face the.... Army of Darkness (1992) starring Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, and Ted Rami tends to show up a lot. Directed by Sam Rami. Synopsis In the 1300's, Ash has already been making enemies. After being captured as one of King Henry's men, he is taken to the castle of none other but Arthur. After they attempt to sacrifice Ash to a ghoul, he escapes and with his trusty chainsaw and his boomstick in hand. Ash is eager to get back home, but he must first retrieve the Necronomicon. He prepares himself for his mission by building himself a new robotic hand and romancing a local wench by the name of Sheila. Soon Ash must leave on his quest. As an unseen force peruses Ash though a haunted woods, he takes refuge in a windmill. Once there his problems multiply in the form dozens of tiny mischievous Ash's. They attack him like Gulliver's ugly brother, and once they get Ash to swallow one of them, Evil Ash begins to split off of ...
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Leatherface Shows His Tender Side

It's often assumed that there's few things Leatherface cares about, his chainsaw, his family, and the zesty taste of real human meat flavored chili. Well, that's not true. I hate it when someone wanders around in a bloody smock and a mask made of human flesh and everyone assumes that murder and rampage are the only things on his mind. Monsters are very interesting people (just ask Bugs Bunny he knows), and they are not always as one dimensional as you'd think. Just take a look at today's feature. A Real Friend (Adivina quien soy) starring Goya Toledo, Nerea Inchausti, and Eduard Farelo. Directed by Enrique Urbizu.   A Real Friend is part of the 6 Films to Keep You Awake series which was the Spanish equivalent to our Masters of Horror series. I haven't had time to check out the other films included, but when I heard about this one, I went right for it. It's the story of Estrella a young girl who lives alone with her mother. Well, I suppose not totally alone as Estrella has an imaginary friend. What sets hers apart is that it's Leatherface. (It's never expressly said to be the Chain sawing Wunderkind and in the credits he's listed as Hombre Gordo, but there's very little mistaking that tiny tie and, well, that leather face.) Estrella is bookish and shy, and she has few friends. So when she meets a man on the street who looks like a cross between Anton Levey and Max Schreckshe becomes friends with this "vampire", but is the vampire real of just another one of the little lady's imaginary friends. I would love to tell you more, but the run time on the film is so short, as it was made for TV, to give much more away would be to tell all the juicy bits. I will have to say that it could have been a tad shorter ...
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Who’s The Fool Now?

Greetings, everyone. The Lightning Bug transmitting another  review from my secret lair on the moon, and have we got a good one for you. This flick is awesome. Some great gore. Hardcore graphic sex from some really hot chicks. A totally original plot that's never been heard of before. Even an ending that is so great you'll be pissing your pants. Do you believe me? Crap. Oh well, then I was about as convincing as this hunk of junk. April Fools Day (1986) starring Deborah Forman, Ken Olant, Amy Steel, and Clayton Rohner. Directed by Fred Walton.     Muffy St. John invites her friends up for a party at her lake house. Muffy and her friends are all ivy leaguers, and it seems they are about to graduate school. The group of party goers start to pull pranks on each other before they even get to the house, and one of them goes awry when one of the ferry workers gets his face crushed against a dock. Then at dinner Muffy seems to have a few  surprises planned as well. There are dribble glasses, bendy legs on chairs, and exploding cigars. After dinner as the party goers retire to their room, they discover some rather cruel things planted in their room; S&M toys, a heroin setup, a tape of a baby crying in one girls room (it's later revealed that she had an abortion). Starting over that night and into the next day, the kids start to get picked off. The kids suspect that the ferry worker is behind it, but when the local constable finally calls, he tells them to stay together and to keep an eye especially on Muffy. She has been acting more and more weird over the course of the day and goes from pretty ivy leaguer to mousy hospital ...
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