Dr. Shock

Directors: Douglas G. Agosti
& Lance Otto Smith

Director: Lance Otto Smith

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Wilbur's Dead & Breakfast Dr. Shock (Doug Agosti), emulating old timey television horror-hosts, really did these routines for a Toledo tv station between 1988 & 1991.

Reviving his clowning mad scientist for a direct-to-video production, he introduces three short films of comedy-horror, or goofy-horror as the case may be.

Dr. Shock & his brain-operated patient (credited as Thaddeus X. Blair) do shtick between each film, none of it very funny, but if you remember the golden age of Friday Night Horror Film Hosts, it's definitely that level of lame, & evokes considerable nostalgia for childish times.

The individual films are no-budget amateur items, but if you share my inexplicable fondness for badly done shlock, these are enjoyably crappy. The first film is Wilbur's Dead & Breakfast (2005), which stars the anthology's producer Douglas G. Agosti in a double role as Wilbur & his twin brother Swilbur.

Swilbur runs a rural tow company & auto parts scrap yard. He sets traps for automobiles passing through, which is how he gets his car parts for resale. The travellers he turns over to his brother Wilbur, who houses them in his bed & breakfast until they can tortured to death & turned into dried jerkey to sell over the internet. The acting is on the level of circus clowns.

Bloodsucking HillbilliesThe second film introduced by Dr. Shock is Bloodsucking Hillbillies (2005) which poses the pressing query, "What if Troma couldn't make films even as well as they do?"

This is about three snaggletooth hillbillies of the Furko clan who run moonshine in their Model T auto. There's a little bit of "miniature" work with the antique auto on the open road, & I must admit I found it funny indeed to see such intentionally bad FX spoofing Ray Harryhausen.

Two of the hillbillies fall into the clutches of ghoulish vampire hill-janes. The third manages by accident rather than design to kill the vampire she-devils, but by then his brothers have crossed over into vampiredom, though they kill him by a mundane method. Stereotypes like these must drive hill people mad.

The Black RoseThe last of the trilogy is The Black Rose (2006) about four stoners in their hippy van who get the munchies.

They don't have money for pizza, so they take a commission from a tabloid reporter to get photographs of the inside of a mysterious house.

In a series of totally juvenile & amateur gore scenarios, the stoners get picked off one by one, so that the psycho can make fertilizer for his award-winning black roses. This is the least funny of these largely not very funny films.

The primary charm of Dr. Shock's Grindhouse of Horrors is how bad it is & how obviously the filmmakers were having fun. A good movie by no means; indeed, just the opposite. But there's something to be said for juvenility, & I wasn't bored or disappointed.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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