If David DeCoteau’s homoerotic fluff has got you down, you really must turn to Pete Jacelone’s hardcore hunky horror to get you up. It’s probably the perverse exploitative kick in the ass you’ve been bent over waiting for. Pete makes some nasty little indie flix, many of them loaded with man meat. After all, he and his business partner Alex Pucci, the director of such films as Camp Slaughter and Violence of the Mind, are the men behind Scream Kings, a company dedicated to objectifying the men in horror flicks for a change.
POETIC SEDUCTION: THE DEAD STUDENTS SOCIETY (1998)
When Poetic Seduction: The Dead Students Society opens, you’re pretty sure you’ve been suckered in to a softcore porn under the guise of a horror film. There’s naked stud torn right from the cover of a cheesy romance novel, complete with a tan and curly locks, and he’s having sex with a bodacious blonde with huge tits.
The best news is that a majority of the flesh in this sleazoid exploitation flick is of the male variety! Wahoo! For the straighties, we get some familiar faces (and tits and ass), including Tina Krause and Misty Mundae. But don’t worry, there are also plenty of kills.
We cut to September 1979 for a story line! A woman appears to be giving one of her young male students private lessons in poetry—and more. Her husband catches them in the act and chokes the hetero twink to death (even calling him a faggot). Domestic violence ensues…as two young children watch from the closet….
Years later, we are catapulted to a college loaded with hot studs. They’ve got a new poetry teacher, and she is smoking hot and quite a flirt. We soon find out why; she’s the little girl who was in the closet in 1979…along with her mentally challenged hunk of a brother, who is now a maintenance man at the school. Their plan is to seduce all the bad boys in poetry class and kill them!
There’s a rather rinse and repeat formula for most of the flick; the teacher lures some hunk to her cave to join her “poet’s society,” gets him shirtless (and often, into only his underwear), and then she and/or her brother chokes the cutie to death. That’s my kind of rinse and swallow…I mean, rinse and repeat. One of the best scenes has the psycho siblings pitting two total stud muffins against each other. These hunks wrestle and fight to the death in only their underwear.
Now here’s the fun part (as if the wrestling underwear dudes weren’t fun enough). The big slow brother often feels up the dead guys before disposing of the bodies! At one point, he even appears to be moving in to kiss a dude he just choked to death, but is interrupted by his sister! This unique “gay” angle is wickedly twisted, but it kind of gets shot to shit when the brother tries to have sex with the body of one of only a few chicks they kill. Okay, so maybe he’s a bi necrophiliac. Can’t deny I was a little disappointed that he swings both ways.
Amazingly, a male duo is introduced at the end that tries to save the day. These guys are pretty funny! Their comic relief and one-liners are perfect and I wish they had been prominent characters throughout the entire film. Their presence really changes the tone of Poetic Seduction: The Dead Students Society from a low-budget slaughter/sexploitation flick to b-movie fun. But their shtick is really just a blip on the radar. The film is schlocky, but it’s definitely not a horror comedy.
PSYCHO SISTERS (1998)
This is how you do a “rape/revenge” film right. I can’t believe I just said that. I’m just so not a fan of movies like Last House on the Left and I Spit On Your Grave because they are so serious and brutal. If I must watch this genre of film, I want campy and over-the-top…like Psycho Sisters. While the short rape scene here is pretty dark and serious, it’s the only part of the film that is.
This is one of Pete’s earliest films, and it’s simple exploitation dark comedy. The guy victims are hot as hell. The first stud they kidnap is fricking adorable with a great bod (one sister is so hot for him she doesn’t want to kill him). Then there’s another dude with a banging bod who gets off on being treated like a little bitch. And yet the film avoids any excessive use of nudity to entertain.
The hedge clipper-wielding sisters give great campy performances, the cartoonish gore is perfect, there’s a decaying ghost, and the classic sitcom What’s Happening is referenced generously.
And it doesn’t get any better than a gang of bikers out for revenge when they think the queers are killing their men in the woods.
On top of all that, the end twist is so satisfyingly devilish.
BEEF: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (2007)
Beef: You Are What You Eat is a perfect example of one of Pete’s low-budget exploitation flix—exploitation of the male physique, that is. It’s the tale of a cute photographer with some serious body dysmorphic disorder. You could say he wants a body of death. So he buys this BEEF book that’s supposed to have a miracle answer. The answer? You are what you eat. Bwah hah hah!!! If that were true, I’d eat every hottie I could get my lips on. Of course, then I’d just end up looking like an ass.
We are treated to almost an hour of the photographer luring straight dudes to his place for lengthy photo sessions in which these gorgeous guys pose and flex in speedos. It really feels like gay hookups that just won’t commit. And then…the photographer kills them, blood flies, body parts are severed, and big green trash bags are brought to a Dumpster.
Just when it seems this is all that’s going to happen for the entire movie, two skateboarding kids sneak into the photographer’s place in a scene that is suspenseful and has a jump scare that totally got me. There’s also an interesting flash of a page in the BEEF book that references the Book of Leviticus. Is that a wink-wink about our photographer lustfully desiring the bodies of other men?
There’s a scene-stealing juice head loving himself in the mirror at one point (his scene is rather funny), a campy confrontation with a bodybuilder by the dumpsters, and then a pretty effective twist at the end, with a brief cameo by horror hunk Marv Blauvelt.
If you’re a fan of sick and sexy schlock with a dose of dark humor—and you also love men—then Sculpture will definitely satisfy. It takes me back to the days of direct-to-VHS low-budget horror that was gratuitously gross yet bizarrely erotic. But there’s a difference here. The nudity in Sculpture is predominantly ALL MALE hotness.
The film is loaded with blood, and dripping with machismo and testosterone. It was co-written by Marv Blauvelt, the hunky founder of Muscle Wolf Productions, who made sure to cast a line-up of fricking studs. The male beauties are a perfect assortment, including juiceheads, lean-muscled smoothies, and even more average cuties with fuzz on their chests and butts.
B-movie scream queen Raine Brown plays a young female artist commissioned to create a male sculpture. So she turns to the local gym for inspiration. As she begins to lose her mind, the men begin to lose their pants (wahoo!), and then their limbs (oh the humanity!). Sculpture is a gay guy’s nightmare the way Pieces was probably a straight adolescent male nightmare in the 80s. But the conclusion of Sculpture is a much nastier delight.
Some of the most humorous moments in the film come from the banter between the differing body types at the gym. Misty Mundae appears in the film, and it’s also great to see indie horror filmmaker and thespian Alan Rowe Kelly in a more glamorous role for a change instead of covered in gore!
That’s all saved for the horror hunks of Sculpture. It’s campy, icky, and loaded with naked guys. It’s definitely a refreshing break from mainstream sequels and remakes if, like me, you occasionally dabble in films that are a bit sleazy and gritty; the kinds of movies that make you feel so wrong afterwards.
PSYCHO STREET (2011)
Pete directed “Hypochondriac,” the first tale in this horror anthology. It totally brings back the spirit of early John Waters. It’s absurd, campy, obscene, and loaded with over-the-top characters at a clinic. The gorgeous muscular male patients have some seriously suspect and hilarious sexual emergencies.
Raine Brown plays the bombshell blonde nurse with comic perfection. Alan Rowe Kelly pretty much steps into Divine’s shoes as a lady patient with some serious issues. And horror hunk Marv Blauvelt plays a funny, awkward, germaphobic geek doctor. It is so cool to see these three hardcore indie horror actors go for classic bizarro humor. To complete the feel of the segment, we get some no-budget monster special effects. This one is made for the gay underground crowd.
See my blog for the entire Psycho Street movie here.
ROAD HELL (2011)
Indie Horror anthology Road Hell features three stories and a wraparound, each with a very different tone. Pete directed the shorts “Deep Into the Rabbit Hole” and “Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere!” The story entitled “The One” is directed by Alex Pucci.
Let’s start with the wraparound about an arguing couple who stop in a hotel overnight. This is the sleazy, gross out segment! It’s got a nasty hotel clerk who does really disgusting sexual things, as well as very graphic shit humor involving the chick—surprising and awesome, since usually, directors make shit jokes at the expense of male characters. The three stories are spun-off of the experiences the couple has while staying at the hotel….
“The One” is the sexy vampire story. REALLY sexy. Leave it to Alex Pucci to deliver the man flesh. There are gay digs between tough guys at a bar, and then there’s a sort of vampire cult orgy, in which beautiful people of every persuasion feel each other up and make out. Plenty of hot man bods in this one.
Aside from being uber-gory and violent, Pete Jacelone’s “Deep Into the Rabbit Hole” feels like a “coming of age” horror short (think Stand By Me). After his dog is mutilated in the woods, a boy vows to find out what has killed it. This segment has a great horror feel and suspense, and while some might mock the “plush toy” look of the monster, it not only relates back to the wraparound, it also perfectly fits the tone of the segment, considering it’s about innocent young kids. Especially if you consider the irony of stuffed animals often being cute versions of really vicious man eaters.
And finally, there’s Pete’s other segment, “Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere!” This is my favorite. It’s zombedy gold. Edward X. Young, who also starred in The Green Monster, which I blogged about here, is a b-horror movie icon. Seriously. He is fricking awesome.
Here, he’s the subject of a zombie-killer documentary, and has some brilliant dialogue mocking conventional zombie movies (you must see his take on “fast” zombies).
There’s also a great moment when he’s trying to show a video of a zombie attack—that accidentally has some leftover footage of him getting pegged by an Asian chick in leather.
This should have been the wraparound…if you know what I mean. Also, the DVD includes the three stories as standalone shorts—and “Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere!” features a goretastic opening credits sequence. Plus, Edward X. Young moons the camera. I love you, Edward X.!
If you appreciate low-budget direct-to-DVD films and horror anthologies, Road Hell is a goodie to add to your collection, especially if you’re a big zombie fan.
THE POGO FILM PROJECT (2012)
The Pogo Film Project is a very bizarre addition to the myriad of films about serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Rather than being a “docudrama,” it’s a series of speculative shorts—almost like a true crime show. It doesn’t need to be watched as a full movie. In fact, it has a three hour run time.
B-movie oddball John Link narrates and his presence adds to the creepy factor. He gives us the actual history of the John Wayne Gacy case and then introduces each segment.
The first segment considers why victims may have fallen for Gacy’s handcuff trick. It predominantly uses the camera as Gacy’s perspective to intensify the disturbing death scenes. We also hear Gacy laughing maniacally and breathing heavily. A similar second segment simply imagines how Gacy was able to get two construction worker victims at once.
Then we have the short film “Pogo.” This macabre and bizarre fiction story, set to circus music, is about Pogo the clown doing away with the young men who show up to a birthday party.
The short film “Gacy’s Curse” uses a more basic horror movie premise. A young man doing a school paper on Gacy gets a piece of the rope Gacy used to strangle his victims. Before long, anyone who touches the rope uses it to commit murder. There’s a very unexpected twist at the end of this one.
The final short film is called “Gacy, Hippie, Cop.” This one is very unique in that it imagines what would have happened if things didn’t go the way Gacy planned. What if one of his victims wouldn’t die? What if the authorities were on to him? And what if a would-be victim challenged Gacy’s suppression of his sexual orientation?
The Pogo Film Project is not for everyone. You really need to have a morbid curiosity about the hypothetical, horrific details of Gacy’s killing techniques, complete with unrelenting depictions of strangulation.
When it comes to Pete Jacelone’s horror films, he’s really done it all: slashers, zombies, serial killers, horror anthologies, midnight movies, exploitation flicks. And he does it all with an unapologetic style that is uniquely his own—dark, twisted, and loaded with men. For more Pete Jacelone and Alex Pucci films, check out Scream Kings.
And I end with my vlog about Pete’s movies: