It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday
…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror
– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.
And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes & DVDs comes…
w/ #JamesHong #KarenLorre #MichaelWong
A world famous winemaker invites several actors to his estate to audition for a movie he’s financing.
“An island of death fueled by the blood of its victims.”
The Vineyard (1989) is not a movie that I saw back in the ’80s or ’90s. I had never even heard of it, to the best of my knowledge. I found the DVD for a reasonable price back in 2001 and decided to give it a shot. As I recall, I enjoyed it quite a bit, even though it was clearly a “bad movie”. Looking it up in my review books certainly confirmed this, as it was pretty universally panned. One and a half stars in Terror On Tape by James O’Neill: “A bad hybrid of the mad doctor and stalker subgenres…”. Still, it entertained me so I added it to my personal library…
…and then I never watched it again. So, last week I realized that it was time to put it to the #TrashOrTerrorTuesday test.
I’m going to keep this short. The Vineyard (1989) is a minor trashterpiece, and James Hong is the man to blame/congratulate. He co-wrote, co-directed and starred in it. I could be wrong about this, but it almost feels like Hong was trying to capture some of the same over-the-top energy as Stuart Gordon’s brilliant films Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986). The Vineyard is nowhere near as good as that, but it makes me think of those films. On the other hand, it also seems to channel something much sleazier, like some of Al Adamson’s work, or perhaps SCTV’s brilliant parodies Dr Tongue’s 3D House Of Stewardesses, and Dr Tongue’s 3D House Of Slave Chicks. One of my twitter friends (hello grendelvaldez) referred to The Vineyard as “1 of the Greatest Sleaze Turkeys Ever” – and I think he’s right.
So, what’s the verdict?
The Vineyard (1989) is somehow both Trash and Terror. It’s a whole lot of fun, and more than deserving of a place in my permanent collection. I hope to watch it again before the next twenty years blows past.
A world famous winemaker invites several actors to his estate to audition for a movie he's financing.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) August 18, 2021