Bucket of Blood (Weresquito: Nazi Hunter, 2016)

Mihm_Weresquito_CoverDuring World War II Cpl. John Baker is captured and experimented on by the deviant Nazi scientist Schramm.  He was saved by the Allied forces, but he is forever changed.  When he sees blood, he is transformed into the human-mosquito, or rather the Weresquito.  He is on a mission to find Nazis (and specifically Schramm) who are hiding out in America.

His search has unexpected complications as he starts to fall for Schramm’s niece (who is unaware of her uncle’s dark past).

Weresquito is one of those high-concept ideas that feels like it would have been at home in the late fifties.  It is promoted as being in Plaz-Mo-Scope which evokes, of course, the gimmicks of the era.  What this means is that anytime we see blood, it is red, and the only color in the entire film.  This makes for a neat effect.  If you have ever seen the horror film Popcorn, this film feels like it could have been one of the “fake fifties films” they made for that movie.

The performances are good (and James Norgard is clearly having fun going over the top as Schramm). The Weresquito himself is a great monster visually.  Listen, if you want to see Nazis get their blood sucked out by a man-sized mosquito (and I think you are lying if you say you do not)? This is your film!

 

The Secret Invasion (The Late Night Double Feature, 2014)

Mihm_Late_Night_CoverUnlike prior features, the Late Night Double Feature is two ideas that Mihm had where he felt they would not necessarily carry an entire film, but  he still wanted to tell.  Each episode is about modern TV show length, making them very quickly paced.

In X: the Fiend from Beyond Space an intergalactic mission in 2014 is awakens from deep sleep   They have brought aboard an alien corpse.  Well, they assumed it was a corpse.  After the alien disappears, the crew tries to locate it, but do not realize the creature is assimilating the crew one at a time.

This is kind of what you might get if Alien was made in the 50’s (Right down to the female leads taking on the alien fiend for much of the story).  The story has some fun dialog (at one point, they determine the alien must be intelligent as it was wearing pants).  The alien looks great with a classic sci-fi feel.  X hits the ground running very quickly, wasting no time (but still finding moments to make references to classic and modern sci-fi) .

The Wall People is interesting because the idea feels very modern.  Scientist Barney Collin’s wife was killed in an accident and then his son disappeared mysteriously.  Eight years later Dr. Edwards and Dr. Gabriel pay him a visit.  Barney is not quite…right.  He has been unable to convince anyone of his theory that there is an evil inter-dimensional being that takes children from their beds through the walls of their rooms.

The film plays with questions of Barney’s sanity and reality.  Is he dead? Is he on Pluto? It is very “Twilight Zone” in that nature.

This segment has some really nice stop motion action evocative of the time.  Most of this tale rests on the shoulders of Doug Sidney who does a real good job of conveying Collin’s as someone struggling to save his kid but having reached the edge of his sanity.

The double feature format works real well here.  Although there is an intermission between the films, it might have been fun to include one or two faux trailers (a la Grindhouse, though Mihm may have avoided this consciously specifically because of such comparisons).

 

Not of This Earth (Attack of the Moon Zombies, 2011)

Mihm_Attack_Moon_Zombie_PosterSet in the future of Cave Women on Mars and Destination: Outer Space, Attack of the Moon Zombies takes place in the Jackson Lunar Base. A new scientist arrives and while he is being given a tour, finds a unique item…a plant.  After he seems to die from exposure to spores, the inhabitants of the base move on.  But while preparing for an autopsy, the young man wakes up…changed.  Slowly, scientists are disappearing, being changed into the moon zombies.

It becomes a race against time as the survivors try and find a way to stop the zombies and escape.

All the films, of course, have had ties to each other.  But Attack of the Moon Zombies really feels as if it ties the Mihmiverse films together.  While Josh Craig appears as neither Jacksons, his Professor Jackson is mentioned (but has been upgraded to President). One character is related to the Deputy from Terror From Beneath The Earth and Dr. Edwards also returns.

The zombies look pretty good (the Mihmiverse films started to show a vast improvement in the makeup and costumes around Destination: Outer Space).  One of my favorite in-jokes the film has is its naming conventions. The Captain is named Herman Frehley, but constantly demands to be called Ace.  The Administrator’s last name is Ripley.  But observant viewers will notice that several characters are named after the characters of the old Buck Rogers TV show.

Attack of the Moon Zombies moves at a decent pace and is a lot of fun to watch.

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