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CineSchlock-O-Rama: It Came From The Vault #3

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CineSchlock-O-Rama: It Came From The Vault #3

Old 03-15-09, 05:03 PM
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CineSchlock-O-Rama: It Came From The Vault #3

The Convent

4 of 5 stars / 2000 / C

It was two years ago at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors when I first witnessed the opening scene of The Convent (2000, 81 minutes). I watched a Catholic school girl in shades and a black leather jacket strut into church mid-mass backed by Lesley Gore's 1964 pop anthem "You Don't Own Me."With a cigarette dangling from her lips, she took a defiant swig of whiskey before busting the bottle on the floor, pulled out a baseball bat and proceeded to beat and bloody several nuns! Unsatisfied, she doused them with gasoline (in slow mo) and set them ablaze -- then ventilated their flaming bodies with a pump-action scatter gun!!!

Once I relocated my jaw, I knew there was still hope for the horror genre in a post-Columbine reactionary culture. It just takes a heckuvalot longer coming around. The Dead Alive meets Night of the Demons gore-comedy also dropped a lot of jaws at Sundance, but had to find its theatrical home in Germany (?!?) while stateside distribution efforts floundered.

The movie: It's been 40 years since young Christine (Oakley Stevenson) shotgunned a priest, a half-dozen nuns and got carted off for a lengthy stay at the crazy house. Today, the abandoned convent and her story are local legend, which serves to encourage dim-witted college students to go nosing where they shouldn't. Once inside, virgin-hungry demons soon swoop in to possess them one-by-one. The cheerleader. The jock. The stoner. The goth chick. Spotting these devil-fied victims is mighty easy because their faces glow like neon signs and they stagger around like fast-motion zombies while trying to take a bite out of any mortal in reach.

Meanwhile, a ridiculous gaggle of recreational Satanists have also broken into the convent. They're led by Saul, who prefers to be addressed as "The Prince of Evil," and proclaims his father Lucifer desires a human sacrifice. Actor David Gunn grabs the flick's absurdity knob and cranks it into comic oblivion with his over-the-top performance that seems to partially channel Kevin McDonald's Sir Simon Milligan. That'd probably make Dickie-Boy (Kelly Mantle) his swishy Hecubus.

Together, they manage to nudge a nasty situation even further toward all-out mayhem. Goth-gal turned sorority babe in training Clarissa (Joanna Canton) narrowly escapes her possessed friends and runs screaming to the door of the toughest broad in town -- Adrienne Barbeau -- who delivers a double-barreled hasta la vista to them twisted sisters!

CineSchlockers will spot a cameo by Bill Mosely as Officer Ray. Bill earned his B-immortality as the steel-noggin'd Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and recently starred in another missing-in-action horror epic -- House of 1000 Corpses.

Notables: No breasts. 18 corpses. Atomic wedgie. Hypodermic closeup. Blood shower. Flying panties. High-speed nun pull. Puking. Knife to the eye socket. Reefer madness. 'Shrooming. Inter-outhouse powwow. Possessed pooch. Multiple decapitations. Satanic rituals. Forceable abortion. Amazing mid-air fry-to-pickle transformation.

Quotables: Officer Coolio lays down the justice, "I'm gonna lock your ass up so tight they gonna have to have a combination to visit yo nuts, white boy!" Clarissa can't believe her ears, "My brother's gonna be the new Anti-Christ?! Mom's gonna be PISSED!!!" This particular form of spiritual change isn't flattering, "You look awful demonic and [email protected]#%!"

Time codes: Gratuitous "Scooby Doo" reference (26:35). Writer/producer/star Chanton Anderson's ample bosom gets bloodied (32:55). Biff takes a magic mushroom ride (36:10). Monica drops to her knees and permanently defelates Biff (37:40). Juicy baseball bat to the brainpan (44:22). Ms. Barbeau joins the picture (51:00) and breaks out her arsenal (58:52).

Final thought: Worth the wait! EVERYTHING works in this gloriously gory and riotous ode to '80s slapstick horror.

Texas Frightmare Weekend

Recent guest additions: Blood Feast legend Mal Arnold. Exploiteer extraordinare David F. Friedman. Trick or Treat's Marc "Skippy" Price. Friday the 13th final girl Adrienne King and Jason Lives' C.J. Graham. Plus, grand lady of the silver scream Barbara Steele! Make your plans to attend all three frightful days of the southwest's premier horror convention and film festival May 1-3 in Dallas!

Check out this YouTube reel featuring clips from all our guests!

More from The Vault

Send your comments to [email protected]
2009 G. Noel Gross, CineSchlocker.com
Distribution courtesy Texas Frightmare Weekend (Dallas) May 1-3, 2009

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