Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis (Saturn’s Core Releasing) Blu-ray Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis (Saturn’s Core Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	317862142_588148086649309_8933171127683540137_n.jpg Views:	1 Size:	31.3 KB ID:	407153

    Released by: Saturn’s Core Releasing
    Released on: December 22nd, 2022.
    Director: John Michael McCarthy
    Cast: Sherry Lynn Garris, Portia Jeffries, Brady Debussey, Adumo Ajanaku, Darin Lin Wood
    Year: 1994
    Purchase From Amazon

    Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis – Movie Review:

    Written and directed by John Michael McCarthy and released in 1994, Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis opens with a prologue of sorts set on October 30th, 1991 - The Last Days - where we see a Black Jesus (Adumo Ajanaku) preaches to his flock. He has a volunteer come up and has an assistant shoot him in the head, only to then raise the man from the dead. This all happens on the side of a highway near three giant crosses.

    From here, Black Jesus has his biker gang followers head out to find a cute blonde woman named Ilsa Damselvis, (Sherry Lynn Garris), a pagan mistress of sorts, to stop her from raising her father, Helvis, from the dead. Ilsa is attacked by a dark haired gal all decked out in leather named Candy (Ghetty Chasun), but she survives the stabbing attempt and meets a guitar player who gives her the details of her mission before suddenly disappearing.

    See, Helvis is a deity but one that passed away from time ago. Still, there are followers of Helvis about who Black Jesus would prefer weren't around at all, such as a strange, wheelchair-bound man who seems to live in a junkyard and was once a famous guitar player/stunt rider named Evel Knievelvis (Robert Gann). At any rate, Ilsa embraces her past and her mission, puts on a white fringe jumpsuit, hops on a Harley-Davidson and hits the road to travel to Memphis to do what needs to be done to bring her father (Brady Debussey) back to life. Once she does, however, there's still the matter of the crazed Woofman (Adimu Ajanaku again) to deal with!

    Shot on video for peanuts in and around Memphis, Tennessee a few years before he'd make Sore Losers, John Michael McCarthy's debut feature is an utterly bizarre but completely enjoyable sixty-three minutes of rock n roll craziness. Set to a great score and featuring some completely gratuitous but no less welcome female nudity, it's an odd mix of parody, black comedy, exploitation and overall cult movie strangeness.

    Shot by none other than ugh Gallagher of Gorotica fame, it's a fairly ambitious micro-budget picture that features a pretty fun performance from its attractive lead, Sherry Lynn Garris (who worked with Gallagher on Gore Whore), and Brady Debussey (who appears in Gore Whore, Gorotica and Sore Losers) as her character's crazy father. Adimu Ajanaku is also pretty entertaining here as the movie's villain and Adimu Ajanaku, who appeared in Gorotica, Sore Losers and Donald Farmer's Red Lips, does a nice job as a character who is essentially Black Jesus' personal hitwoman.

    While the movie can't try to hide its low budget, it's very quickly paced and, like Sore Losers, has a crazed energy to it that goes a long way towards making it as entertaining as it is. What it might lack in production value it easily makes up for with an appreciable DIY spirit, fun characters, bizarre humor and a gleefully obvious trash film aesthetic. Oh, and having The Compulsive Gamblers and a few other kick ass bands on the soundtrack doesn’t hurt anything either.

    Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis – Blu-ray Review:

    Damselvis – Daughter Of Helvis arrives on Blu-ray in its proper 1.33.1 aspect ratio in an AVC encoded 1080i high definition transfer with the feature taking up just shy of 13GBs of space on the 50GB disc. There’s no denying that this looks like the micro-budget camcorder epic that it is, so expect the image to look soft throughout with some visible color fading noticeable throughout. But hey, it is what it is, given the elements that exist this isn’t likely to look any better than it does, nor does it really need to. If nothing else, this is would seem to be a pretty accurate representation of the source material available.

    Audio chores are handled by a 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 mix in the film’s native English, with optional subtitles provided in English only. The score sounds pretty solid here but there’s some background noise and hiss noticeable throughout pretty much the entire duration of the movie. Again, this is a case of doing the best you can with the elements available. It certainly isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done.

    Extra features are plentiful, starting with an audio commentary track from writer/director John Michael McCarthy, who offers up details on pretty much every cast and crew members that worked on the picture, discussing how and why they wound up in this very low budget picture. Moderated by Mike Hunchback of Seminal Psychosis, the conversation also covers the history of the roadside crosses that are used in the opening of the movie, the casting choices, the locations that are used in the movie, collaborating with Hugh Gallagher, his thoughts on the SOV movement of the time, how the movie is basically a metaphysical take on the Elvis mythos, trying to get Lisa Marie Presley to play the Damselvis role in the picture, what McCarthy learned about storytelling while making the movie, the dreamlike aspects of the movie, the depictions of religion in the movie, what it was like directing a homemade movie in Memphis, the different bands that are used on the movie's soundtrack like The Compulsive Gamblers, McCarthy's comic book work, using actress Kristen Hobbs as a "surrogate Tura," getting access to the local university's room full of Egyptian relics, the effects and a lot more. It's a very good track that does a great job of exploring the movie's history.

    Resurrecting Helvis is a new interview with McCarthy that runs just over nineteen minutes. In this piece, McCarthy talks about his life doing comics, movies and sculpture before then discussing the influence of exploitation and sexploitation movies and Famous Monsters Of Filmland magazine, the 'genesis image' of Brigitte Bardot on a motorcycle that inspired the film, creating the Damselvis fumetti/comic, self-releasing the movie on VHS, having his mother design the Damselvis costume based on seventies Las Vegas Elvis, casting the lead actress based on her ability to fit into the suit that was already made, his work for Eros Comix, wanting to keep Elvis as an inspirational device, what he learned from working with Hugh Gallagher on his SOV movies but wanting to make this feature on film, doing it on video for various reasons including financial concerns, getting Hugh Gallagher to work as his cinematographer, getting the soundtrack together for the movie, using a lot of the cast members from Gore Whore in the picture, having to shoot location footage quickly while trespassing before the cops showed up, his thoughts on religion and propaganda and Elvis as the messiah.

    Making Something Out Of Nothing: The Making Of Damselvis is a collection of three hours and seven minutes’ worth of raw behind the scenes footage. It’s presented without any context but it does have sound. A lot of it is location footage but we get to see some of the actors prepping for their roles and McCarthy directing them. We also get to see a facial cast being made, motorcycles being ridden all over the place, makeup being applied (with some Elvis playing in the background) and lots more.

    Up next is a featurette where McCarthy reads the Damselvis and SuperSexxx comic books that he made for Eros Comix in 1994 and 1993 respectively. The Damselvis piece runs just under thirty minutes and features stills of the pages that McCarthy is reading from as a slide show timed to the readings. The Supersexxx piece runs twenty-six minutes and it plays out over images from the comic featuring some seriously cool art and seriously mind melting lettering.

    Helvis On Tour is a collection of concert footage with different characters from the feature playing live at the Antenna Club in Memphis. This forty minute piece is taken from an older tape source but it's pretty fun, giving us a rare chance to see Helvis in action in a small club complete with a very familiar and dramatic opening sequence, blasting through covers of tracks like Suspicious Minds, Burning Love and Evil before we then get an oddball 'exotic' number featuring a belly dancer that then segues into a crazy cover of Heartbreak Hotel done on a saxophone, a version of Good Luck Charm and then an instrumental dedicated to Ghandi!

    Finishing up the extras is a twenty minute gallery of stills and artwork, trailers for a few other Saturn's Core Releasing titles (Sixteen Tongues, The Good Books, Mail Order Murder, No Resistance and Red Spirit Lake), menus and chapter selection options. This release also comes with some reversible cover sleeve art.

    Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis - The Final Word:

    Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis is a pretty fun watch, a trashy rock n roll movie made with little money but lots of energy and creativity that is as entertaining as it is straight up bizarre. The Blu-ray release from Saturn’s Core presents the movie looking as good as it probably can and with a load of interesting extras that do a great job of exploring the movie’s origins.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Damselvis - Daughter Of Helvis Blu-ray screen caps!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00005.jpg Views:	1 Size:	162.4 KB ID:	407155

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00014.jpg Views:	1 Size:	108.7 KB ID:	407154

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00018.jpg Views:	1 Size:	208.1 KB ID:	407163

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00022.jpg Views:	1 Size:	201.9 KB ID:	407166

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00023.jpg Views:	1 Size:	209.5 KB ID:	407168

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00019.jpg Views:	1 Size:	190.0 KB ID:	407165

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00020.jpg Views:	1 Size:	167.0 KB ID:	407157

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00026.jpg Views:	1 Size:	200.3 KB ID:	407158

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00025.jpg Views:	1 Size:	160.6 KB ID:	407160

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00030.jpg Views:	1 Size:	140.6 KB ID:	407156

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00035.jpg Views:	1 Size:	159.5 KB ID:	407162

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00037.jpg Views:	1 Size:	183.2 KB ID:	407164

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00042.jpg Views:	1 Size:	175.9 KB ID:	407167

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00043.jpg Views:	1 Size:	171.4 KB ID:	407161

    Click image for larger version  Name:	vlcsnap-00044.jpg Views:	1 Size:	149.2 KB ID:	407159
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1 1976 – 1982 (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Shout! Factory
      Released on: January 24th, 2023.
      Director: Lo Wei, Chen Chi-Hwa, Lo Wei, Chen Chi-Hwa, Lo Wei, Robert Clouse, Jackie Chan
      Cast: Jackie Chan, Jimmy Wang Yu, Hsu Feng, Nora Miao, James Tien, Kristine DeBell, José Ferrer, Shirley Yim
      Year: 1976/1976/1977/1978/1979/1980/1982
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1 – Movie Review:

      Shout! Factory brings together seven films featuring the legendary
      ...
      01-27-2023, 07:06 PM
    • Home Grown Horrors Volume Two (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Jimmy Lee, Michael S. O'Rourke, Dennis Devine
      Cast: Barry Wyatt, Jake Henry, Francine Lapensée, Blake Gibbons, Ingrid Vold, John Marzilli, Tom Hamil, Diana Karanikas, Angela Eads, Kay Schaber
      Year: 1989/1989/1990
      Purchase From Amazon

      Home Grown Horrors Volume Two – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome second Home Grown Horrors collection assembles three films
      ...
      01-27-2023, 06:54 PM
    • Attack Of The Beast Creatures (AGFA) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: AGFA
      Released on: February 28th, 2023.
      Director: Mike Stanley
      Cast: Robert Nolfi, Julia Rust, Robert Lengyel, Lisa Pak, Frank Murgalo, John Vichiola
      Year: 1985
      Purchase From Amazon

      Attack Of The Beast Creatures – Movie Review:

      In May of 1920, somewhere in the North Atlantic, a ship that is not the Titanic but very much like the Titanic goes down. A few survivors manage to make their way into a life board and a short
      ...
      01-23-2023, 11:52 AM
    • The Invisible Maniac (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Adam Rifkin as Rif Coogan
      Cast: Noel Peters, Shannon Wilsey, Stephanie Blake, Melissa Moore, Clement von Franckenstein, Rod Sweitzer, Debra Lamb, Marilyn Adams, Savannah
      Year: 1990
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Invisible Maniac – Movie Review:

      Directed by Adam Rifkin, credited as Rif Coogan, 1990’s The Invisible Maniac, opens with a scene where a psychiatrist
      ...
      01-20-2023, 06:53 PM
    • Don’t Deliver Us From Evil (Mondo Macabro) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Mondo Macabro
      Released on: February 7th, 2023.
      Director: Joël Séria
      Cast: Jeanne Goupil, Catherine Wagener, Gerard Darrieu, Bernard Dheran, Michel Robin
      Year: 1970
      Purchase From Amazon

      Don’t Deliver Us From Evil – Movie Review:

      Don't Deliver Us From Evil is a very loose adaptation of the notorious story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hammond, the two murderous maids who also inspired Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures
      ...
      01-18-2023, 01:32 PM
    • Freeway (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Matthew Bright
      Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Brooke Shields, Dan Hedaya, Brittany Murphy, Amanda Plummer
      Year: 1996
      Purchase From Amazon

      Freeway – Movie Review:

      Written and directed by Matthew Bright, 1996’s Freeway tales the story of a high school student named Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) who lives with her crack smoking prostitute
      ...
      01-17-2023, 06:31 PM
    Working...
    X