Day 21: Julie Strain!
Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)
Heading into another day for Junesploitation the prompt for Day 21 is ‘Julie Strain’, a familiar name in exploitation cinema, but not one I was personally familiar with. Going through her filmography, one film stood out and that was Heavy Metal 2000 (2000), mostly because I was not aware there was another Heavy Metal film and Julie is the lead. This film ties into the first but goes with different characters and is based on the graphic novel ‘The Melting Pot’.
The plot revolves around Julie (voiced and based on Julie Strain), there is something to do with a crystal and immortality and a character named Tyler (voiced by Michael Ironside) is the main villain. Unfortunately, this film is difficult to follow and understand what is going on and for the most part my poor brain just could not engage with the film whilst trying to take in all the information. The animation itself is fairly weak, it just doesn’t have much of a spark and looks very dull. Heavy Metal 2000 is quite mean spirited, it does not shy away from violence or sex and nudity, and it is difficult to understand just who this film was meant for.
On the plus side, Julie Strain does a good job voicing Julie, at least shes engaging when the character is on screen and the likeness between the character and Julie herself is great. Michael Ironside is also good with his voice role, adding a bit of extra life and charisma into the experience, his presence was welcome. This film sadly really isn’t very good, even fans of the original Heavy Metal are likely to leave disappointed, at least Julie Strain was memorable here and some of the songs are enjoyable.
Day 22: Zombies!
Burial Ground: The Nights Of Terror (1981)
Day 22 for Junesploitation provides the prompt of ‘Zombies’, definitely a fun and gorey sub-genre to dive into, with so many films to choose from. The one chosen however is an Italian zombie film Burial Ground: The Nights Of Terror (1981) with a reputation for being cheap and trashy, and it certainly lives up to that reputation and then some! This film has a little bit of everything, generally bad make-up effects and gore, weird characters, sex and nudity, a plot that makes no real sense and it culminates in much hilarity.
The plot (is it even one?) sees an archaeology professor some how unleash some sort of evil curse that resurrects the dead as zombies, they soon make quick work of the man. Meanwhile at his house three couples arrive, one couple bring their son (who is meant to be maybe 12 but looks 35, he was played by Pietro Barzocchini who was 25 at the time) along to this retreat that the professor had invited them to. Soon enough the zombie’s begin attacking and all hell breaks loose as they fight to survive but also find time to get naked and have sex and have a really weird incest sub-plot with music that never matches any scene.
This truly is a weird film, who was it made for? Did they really think Burial Ground would be scary? Has the dubbing in English only made the film more hilarious or were they accurate in interpreting the material? Who knows? Nothing exactly works with the film, it is extremely cheap with some of the most comedic zombie make up ever seen on film and it’s hard to tell if this was meant to be taken seriously or a spoof of zombie films. For as bad as this film is though, it is well worth watching because it is hilarious, this is an example of a film being ‘so bad it’s good’. If this film shows up to watch, do it and be terrified of the boy (man) crying out for his Mumma with a classic bowl hair cut.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea
Please check out FThisMovie.net, with many thanks to the crew for the concept of Junesploitation and some excellent prompts for 2021!