Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Fine Art of Sequential Credits :: Jay Wade Edwards' Stomp! Shout! Scream! (2005)

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"The cop's called me in to take a look at some enigmatic 
debris on the beach. It's got an aberrant odor, they said."
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And as a special bonus, here's the closing credit character cards by Radical Axis Inc., because a good cast is worth repeating:

And to give credit where credit is due.

Jay Wade Edwards' Stomp! Shout! Scream! (2005) is less of a spoof and more of a dramatic (and hilarious) recreation of those mash-up films of the 1960s that threw a monster at Frankie and Annette while Dick Dale or the Del-Aires thundered and wailed away like The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965) and The Horror of Party Beach (1964) -- it even throws in a late Horror of STD curve-ball that I never saw coming and left me flat on the floor. 

I'll admit when if first started, I was a little leery as the film's opening coda nuzzled up to THEM! (1954), right down to two officers finding a little girl wandering the beach in stunned silence, with what's left of her parents strewn about the sand. One officer takes the girl back to town, the other remains to investigate a reeking pile of debris near the water only to find it occupied. Splat. Slash. Screech. OK, I said. Is that all you got? And then the theme song cranked up and those nifty animated credits kicked in and the film had me -- I'm just a sucker for bouffants, mini-skirts, go-go boots, and lo-fi guitar licks. Sue me.

What did follow was a checklist of B-Movie nods and pilfered plot points that were set up and knocked over by The Violas (Bronson, Evans, Kraft), an upstart band with a broken down car, leaving them stuck in a small Florida town where some thing is terrorizing the locals and ripping them to shreds. And while they negotiate a trade for *ahem* services with a local mechanic (Young), enter the squarejaw with the thin tie (Green), a flora and fauna expert from the local university, who realizes the latest hurricane has washed ashore a deadly Skunk-Ape -- Florida's very own version of Bigfoot, who has a taste for blood and a thing for female lead singers. Mayhem ensues.

While poking around Edwards' making of blog, he had originally envisioned a trilogy, with the next feature paying homage to the nature's revenge flicks of the 1970s (Day of the Animals (1977), Night of the Lepus(1972)) with a country soundtrack, and the third a TBD theme (but I'd go with extraterrestrials) with a punk band leading the way (Repo Man (1984)). Here's hoping these, too, come to pass.

What I appreciated most about this flick is it never once stopped to acknowledge what it was sending up and just presented what always drew Edwards and we in the audience to these things in the first place: goofy monsters with crappy costumes (the suit is an off-the-rack gorilla costume, and special shout-out to Edwards for the Skunk-Apes vocalizations being horked from the ultimate crypto-doc, The Mysterious Monsters (1975)), endearing characters, and a kickin' soundtrack with our all girl three-chord power trio standing in for the group Catfight, whose provided tunes are so hideously infectious it's downright sinister. And just like with those old movies, we love them best when they over-achieve to something far beyond their budgetary limitations and perceived lack of skills on both sides of the camera. That's not a knock, honestly. And Stomp! Shout! Scream! not only met my expectations but exceeded them. Give this one a spin, Boils and Ghouls, whatever title you find it under.

Stomp! Shout! Scream! a/k/a Monster Beach Party A-Go-Go (2005) Stomp Shout Scream LLC :: Indican Pictures / EP: Jay Wade Edwards / P: Arma Benoit, Evan Lieberman / D: Jay Wade Edwards / C: Evan Lieberman / E: Jay Wade Edwards / M: John Cerreta / S: Claire Bronson, Cynthia Evans, Mary Kraft, Travis Young, Jonathan Michael Green, Adrian Roberts, Bill Szymanski

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