by John Bikowski
illustration by Eric Johnson
Not a Good Day for Nasal Passages
Remember when I was babbling about the fun-filled misery in the Faces of Death flicks? Well… one more thing I need to say. A rip-off of Faces is called Traces of Death, and it boasts a truly gut-wrenching scene of a politician blowing his brains out through his balding skull. What hit me is that I remember reading about this a few years back. When I actually saw a death, I knew was real, I felt the impact that much more. The bullet wound opened up geysers of blood that swiftly drained out his nasal passages. Also included on the tape are scenes of kiddie brain surgery that will churn your guts faster than chunky, warm, lowfat milk poured down your gullet with an anal siphon.
By the way, if you’re one of those Internet freaks, there are tons of cool sites with sick stuff on most of the movies I discuss in this fine column. One of the top 100 sites is called Video Wasteland. One of its sub-menus is a Calendar of Death that lists deaths and atrocities for any day you are curious about.
Our feature film of the month is a real oddity that showcases several stars embarrassing themselves. The Sentinel came out in the ’70s, and it churned in the wake of such classics as The Exorcist. The story concerns a model who moves into a New York brownstone that has a blind reclusive priest in the top apartment window. The priest, John Carradine, will freak you out with his white pupils and age-wracked body. The apartment turns out to be a portal to hell that evil spirits try to reopen. Check out these cameos! Chris Sarandon (Fright Night, Child’s Play) is the boyfriend. Tom Berenger is a potential tenant. Jeff Goldblum is an annoyed photographer. Burgess (Rocky) Meredith is a lovable yet psychotic neighbor who may or may not exist. Also, check out Beverly D’Angelo (the wife in National Lampoon’s Vacation) as a mute lesbian who, completely out of the blue, masturbates to orgasm in front of company. I’ll bet this flick won’t turn up on her resumé! Worth viewing just to see these folks in ’70s leisure suits and hairdos.
The sickest scene of the month also comes from The Sentinel. When the model investigates strange sounds in the abandoned, dark apartment above hers, she discovers a skinny, naked man cowering in the dark. The corpse-like being turns out to be her father, who has been dead for months! Understandably shaken, she rips a bloody knife wound in his arm, slits open his squiggling eyeball and then lops off his spurting nose! Wow!!!! Thank God for the rewind button!