Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hell Night (1981)

Four fraternity and sorority pledges must stay over night in a possibly haunted mansion.  The initiation takes place on the 12th anniversary of a mass murder, where a man killed everyone in his family except the family gork, which apparently is their term for mentally retarded psychotic mutant.

After the killings were discovered, the police could find no signs of the gork or the three bodies. Legend has it that the gork still lives in the deserted mansion.

The head of the frat padlocks the gate behind the pledges, who  conveniently are two boys and two girls.  The loose girl and guy head upstairs to satisfy their lustful desires.  The chaste couple sit downstairs and talk innocently until they hear a horrifying scream from upstairs.  As the couples react in fear, we are privy to a scene of the frat president snickering and holding a microphone attached to an elaborate group of wires running inside the mansion to a speaker system.

When both couples investigate, they meet up and realize the scream wasn't one of them.  After a search, they find a speaker hidden behind a drape and disable it.  I was impressed that they not only found the speaker,  but also rendered it useless since most horror flicks would have the kids running in circles screaming before accidentally dismembering themselves on an old suit of armor holding an ax.

Turns out the frat rigged the house for the initiation, complete with dummy corpses and projected apparitions.  Also it's the night of the frat costume party.  So if you see anyone in a gorilla mask, or a strange disguise it is explained away  That also makes it easier for a killer to walk among them.  So is there really a mutant psycho killer living in the mansion, or is this all a prank?

The answer becomes obvious once the frat boys tormenting the pledges get killed by a man with large dirty hands. From the size and filthiness of the hands, perhaps this is a psycho retarded mutant killer?  Of course it is!  Who else is going to kill frat kids preforming an initiation at the ancestral home where their father murdered their entire family?

Hell Night is classic 80s horror - the frat, the deranged mutant killer, the abandoned mansion, the pranks on the pledges, and when the police are notified of the killings, they won't believe it due to the  frat's propensity for hijinks.  Plus it has Vince Van Patten and Linda Blair.

Claw of Terror (1973)

aka Scream Bloody Murder

The title on the film says Claw of Terror, but the original title is Scream Bloody Murder, which makes a lot of sense since his claw is not used that much for terror.

As a child, Matthew ran over his dad with the tractor, and then somehow ran over his own hand.  He's put in an asylum, where he stays until he's released at 18.  His mother is not notified and he arrives home the same day she is getting remarried. So it's safe to say they aren't close.

Matthew kills his step dad with an axe, and Mom accidentally hits her head on a rock after finding Matthew with the body.  In a panic, Matthew runs away and hitches a ride with a couple.  But  he's crazy  and starts hallucinating, thinking the couple are his mom and step dad.  As you can guess, it doesn't end well.

The first time he uses his claw he destroys a painting.  Next he kills a sailor but he uses a knife.  Again, no terror from the claw.
Oh my god, this claw is terrifying!

Matthew meets Vera, a prostitute with a heart of gold.  In order to impress her, he goes to a mansion, kills it's owner and tells Vera it's his home and he wants her to move in.  When she says no, he goes nuts, and she falls down the staircase trying to escape.  He ties her to the bed, and the lack of terror from his claw is palpable.

"See what I do for you. I get groceries and clothes and art stuff and kill people."  Now that's a man who should have a restraining order.

Vera, who is kept hogtied, tries to escape by hopping out of the room.  She's the worst ever at hopping.  She's so slow - hop, pant, rest, repeat.  In the stupidest scene yet, the phone rings and Vera knocks it off the hook.  But instead of trying to tell the caller she is a prisoner and needs help, she uses the holder for the receiver to push the gag out of her mouth, which hangs up the phone. Aargh!

Angus Scrimm is a doctor who chews the scenery and is smart enough to be suspicious, but stupid enough to get killed.

Vera finally tricks Matthew and gets the door open to escape - oh no, he's waiting!  At least we finally get some terror from the claw.  Then Matthew goes into a crazy Phantom of the Opera keyboard church, scratches himself with the hook and dies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Banshee!!! (2008)

A group of friends on spring break go camping, and end up in the woods where a Banshee is on the loose.  Soon after they make camp, the Banshee attacks, several are killed and the group flees to find help.

After managing to find a farm house, they hole up inside with the owner and his nephew, Rocker. The phones don't work, and the creature is able to make people hallucinate.  Rocker ends up having a showdown with the Banshee, using his guitar to fight it.  Yeah, you heard me - he fights the monster with killer licks from his guitar.

The biggest problem with the film is that it wasn't very interesting.  I found myself doing other things while it was on.  The kills start early in the movie which is preferable to one of those films where you wait fifty minutes before anyone dies. But the characters are supposed to be friends, and they don't seem all that concerned about the deaths.  At one point those who managed to successfully get away start joking around and seem to have forgotten that they just saw their friends die in horrible senseless ways.

Ghost Month (2011)

Alyssa takes a job as a housekeeper for Ms. Woo and her creepy Aunt.  The home is isolated, which is just what Alyssa is looking for as she's trying to get from from her psycho ex-boyfriend and start a new life.  Ms. Woo asks Alyssa to follow the rules, which include things like, don't make calls without asking and don't have anyone over the house, especially boys.  Alyssa isn't good at rules.

She's the snoopiest housekeeper.  She looks through a chest in her room, reads a diary, and asks questions that are intrusive.   Later Alyssa tries on a dress found in the chest and makes a personal call, getting caught at both.  Instead of being worried that she's wearing someone elses dress, she proudly informs her employer that it fits great and looks fantastic on her too.  She takes a polaroid she found in the chest and asks Ms. Woo who the girl is in the photo.  Ms. Woo backhands her and tells her to know her place... no, actually she just says it was the former housekeeper.

It is Ghost Month and Ms. Woo and her Aunt spend their nights doing rituals to keep the spirits away.  Alyssa doesn't believe in such things until she starts seeing ghosts and having nightmares.  More snooping brings her to in a room with urns, and to a neighbor who is a vet and may have have had something to do with the last housekeepers disappearance.

Alyssa proves to be an idiot as she confronts the vet at his stable and call him a liar.  If he really is a liar, then its foolish to go there alone.  Later  that night she pops up as he is burying something in his yard, calls him a liar again, and yells at him to "keep away from me!"  Stupid girl, you're on his property.

This film will drive you nuts.  The psychotic boyfriend tries to track down Alyssa.  Alyssa snoops around the house and does things she's told not to do.  Ms. Woo and her creepy Aunt do their rituals and act odd, and the neighboring Vet is alternately pushy and friendly.

Altitude (2010)

Sarah, whose Mom died while piloting a plane that crashed, is a new pilot who rents a plane to take her friends to a concert.  While on their way, the plane has mechanical problems. Sarah, who is only rated to fly when she has can see the ground, ends up above the dark threatening clouds, loses contact with the tower, and discovers the plane is low on fuel.  Oh, and there may be some sort of monster outside the plane that's trying to kill them, plus the plane is so high its icing up.  Yay!

While in the middle of the crisis, Sarah chooses to have a talk with her boyfriend and leaves someone else with no flight experience to monitor the autopilot.  Since she's going off to college next year, she has decided to dump him, clearly not the proper time to reveal this bit of news.  Then she gets angry at him when she finds out his plans for next year were not what she thought.  Who cares, you just dumped him.

Throughout the flight, Sarah proves why it's a bad idea to rent planes to teenagers. (I'm surprised you can even do that since they can't rent cars).  She does everything except fly the plane: breaking up a fight; sitting in the back while the autopilot is on; getting philosophical with her jerk friend; and letting her boyfriend fly the plane even though he is terrified and doesn't want to do it.

The characters are stereotypes - nasty jock, girl with camera who documents everything, lost love interest, shy guy who doesn't fit in, etc.

In one of the more ridiculous moments, Corey goes outside the plane to try to fix the stuck flaps while tethered to a rope.  Seriously?  He doesn't want to take the only parachute as it may get in his way and anyway, he's an awesome rock climber.

I would have enjoyed this more if there were more monster in it.  They appear to be going for a Twilight Zone type of twist, but it isn't satisfying and is a let down.  Also you don't care about the people on the plane because they aren't very likable, and at least one is downright despicable.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)

Christopher Lee is Count Regula, who is drawn and quartered while wearing a huge gold mask which would be so heavy it would make his head go clunk along the ground.

Thirty five years later, Roger and Lilian, who look just like the people who convicted Regula, are heading to the castle after receiving an invitation regarding an inheritance.

The coachman tells them they need to get out of the forest before dark.  But our intrepid travelers force him to continue, although they should be alarmed due to the human limbs hanging from the tree branches.

There is endless traveling with music right out of a 1960s light comedy, which is totally inappropriate.  Once at the castle, they wander about endlessly before anything happens.

This movie is similar to Bloody Pit of Horror and makes about as much sense.  It's got a 1960s Hammer film pace.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Die You Zombie Bastards! (2005)

I hate this movie.  It's a terrible amateur production with unlikeable characters, bad dialogue, and way too many penis jokes.  It tries to be funny, but fails miserably.  The sound is often synced incorrectly.  Think of the worst Troma film and you've got the feel of this one.  The only thing didn't hate was Hasil Adkins and the surprise of seeing my old neighbor as one of the non-nude Swedish women in the bar.

Rosewood Lane (2011)

This looked promising as the plot revolves around a Doctor who moves into her deceased fathers home and starts having trouble with the psycho paperboy.  Who doesn't love movies where the paperboy is the bad guy?

The problem is the Doc, who is a radio therapist, is an annoying idiot.  Someone has been in the house!  Does she call the cops... or call her ex-boyfriend who lives in the city?  Does she get a large dog... or get a cat which she tries to teach to go through the human sized cat door?!  Does she install security cameras, change the locks, and get an alarm system... or just hope it doesn't happen again?  Arrrrggghhh!!!

We couldn't watch it because she was so stupid.  Nowadays you can use video to capture images of any unwanted intruders. So when the police don't believe you and the suspects parents say he was home in bed, you can whip out the video that shows someone who looks just like him in the house.  Dang, woman!  Protect yourself!  The neighbors live in fear of the kid and won't back up your story to the police because they're afraid they'll be targeted.

We couldn't take it anymore.  So we fast forwarded to see how the movie ended. Oh, there's a twist. Imagine that.

The biggest question is what happened to Rose McGowan's face?  The poor lady has massive collagen lips and reminded me of Lindsay Lohan, which is never a good thing.  It's especially apparent from the side where her collagen duck lips noticeably stick out from her face.  Why does everyone do this?  It  makes their face look weird.  It's not a good thing to look just like everyone else, especially when it's fake and stupid looking.  She used to look attractive, now she just looks strange.

Hatchetman (2003)

Stripper Claudia is trying to get into law school and is dating Sonny, a detective who works long hours and is never around when she needs him.  For their first anniversary, Claudia gets Sonny a tie, one of the more impersonal gifts you can give your beloved.  But it's much better than what Sonny gets her, which is nothing.

Sony is investigating the murders of strippers - four in the past 48 hours - who were all killed with a hatchet and are missing their hands.  The prime suspect is Daniel, Brittany's ex-boyfriend, who was released early from jail.  While the police try to track him down, the murders continue.

All the strippers work in the same club, and live in the same building, yet the cops seem clueless.  They don't put any police  at the club, and only station one cop at the apartment building even though four girls who live there have been killed. Once they have a cop on guard, he is downstairs while all the remaining  girls live in second floor apartments.

There's a limited number of suspects and you can bet that if everyone thinks it's Daniel, then it's not.  Even Claudia says it's not Daniel as he was a thug, not a killer.  The film is padded with lots of stripping scenes and you will not be happy with the abrupt ending.  Damn you, Hatchetman!

Low rent Tony Curtis is not pleased.
So her hands were attached to wooden dowels?
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet your killer.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Dark Half (1993)

As a child, Thad had headaches which were believed to be caused by a brain tumor.  When doctors operate, they find that it isn't a tumor, but an unborn twin (only an eye, a nostril, and a few teeth exist).

Now an adult, Thad teaches at a small town college and is a noted (but not well selling) author.  But he has a successful writing career  under the name George Stark, who writes violent detective novels.  After a student threatens to reveal his alter ego unless he gives him a payoff, Thad decides to reveal his secret and thus eliminate any blackmail attempts.

Shortly after the article and photo shoot where Thad declares his  alias to be dead, someone starts killing everyone involved with the reveal.  Evidence points to Thad, but he insists he's not the killer.

Timothy Hutton does a fantastic job in a duel role. He was so good I wondered if it was another actor made up to resemble him.  While the physical changes are minimal, the difference in persona and swagger is impressive and shows Hutton's talent.  In a lessor actor, this role would not have been handled as well.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Midnight Matinee (1988)

When a teenager is murdered during a horror movie festival, the local theater shuts down.  Two years later, the theater is opening back up with, you guessed it, a horror festival!  The townsfolk are not happy as the murder remains unsolved and they are afraid it will happen again.

We meet a dysfunctional family who are all tied to the theater.   Dad is a writer whose film is being shown at the festival, and is coming to town to introduce it since he's a hometown boy.  Kelly lives with Dad in Los Angeles and was the girlfriend of the boy who was murdered two years earlier.  Sister Sherri works at the theater and hasn't seen her dad or sister in two years. And mom is the projectionist and stone faced pain in the ass to daughter, Sherri.

Sherri is dating bad boy Larry, and Mom doesn't approve. Bob wants to date Sherri and works at the theater with her Mom, so he bad mouths Larry every chance he gets.

The film is fairly slow moving.  The murders all take place in the theater.  You can tell this was made in Canada as most of the actors have Canadian accents.  It's an okay way to pass the time, but nothing special.

After Midnight (1989)

On the first day of the semester, Allison and Cheryl attend their  Psychology of Fear class.  Allison has a bad feeling about the class, but Cheryl isn't having any of it. Then the Professor puts a gun to the head of a student, before blowing his own head off.  Oh ha ha, he's fine.  It was all a joke. Yes, that was a good one.  No one would ever be traumatized by that.

After sanctions from the college, the Professor returns to his boring old lectures, but tells the class that anyone who wants to  discuss real fear should meet at his home that night. Oi! Allison doesn't want to go because she has a bad feeling about the meeting, but Cheryl will have none of it. After all it's at the professor's home, so what could go wrong?

A small group of students arrive at the professor's home and meet in the library where they take turns telling scary stories.  The stories are all pretty tame, but Allison has a bad feeling about it and as usual Cheryl couldn't care less.  At this point Allison's lack of action in response to her psychic intuition makes you not care about her well being.  She's had plenty of internal warnings, but she just ignored them. So good luck, chickie.

The storyline with the professor is the glue that holds together this anthology, which consists of the stories the students tell:
  1. A young couple look for help at an old house rumored to be haunted after their car breaks down on an isolated road at night.
  2. Four teenage girls stop for gas late at night at an isolated gas station where they find a crazy redneck with killer dogs.
  3. An overnight answering service gets repeated calls from a creepy nutcase who gets angry when it appears the messages are not being conveyed to his target.
The story I enjoyed the most was the couple in the haunted house. It followed a standard storyline up to the twist that I didn't see coming.  

I'm not a big fan of anthologies as the stories aren't usually that good and aren't tied together convincingly.  Overall this was well done for an anthology.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Terror House (1998)

Imagine my horror at receiving this film right after I watched Hellgate: The House that Screamed 2, and realizing that this film was made by the same people. I was not happy.  Why aren't I more diligent in checking out movies before I rent them?

The good news, such as it is, is that this is better than Hellgate.  The bad news is that it's only almost watchable because I just watched Hellgate. It was necessary to fast forward through much of the padding where there is no dialogue and people wander aimlessly through the house.

College students Crawford, Nelson, and Bucky receive a letter offering them $25,000 each if they come to the home of eccentric billionaire Mr. Ashbury for a "personal survey of average college students and their views" which will be published in a book.  Crawford, Nelson, and Bucky appear far too old to be typical college students.  They could be summed up by college students as the condescending guy with the weird line delivery, the bald guy, and the blind guy.

The guys pull up to what they call a creepy house, but which is actually a large, nice home in an affluent suburban neighborhood.  When they find the front door unlocked, they head inside.  No one is there, but a bottle of foul tasting wine is left for them.  Turns out to be a bad idea to drink things that taste horrible as the wine is drugged.  When they awake later, they find the doors and windows are bricked up.

The rest of the film involves them trying to get out of the house, meeting the monster that lurks inside the finished basement (complete with shag carpeting), and discovering the diary of a woman who fell for the same ruse they did - although I guess she must have lasted awhile since she had time to write a diary.  Be prepared to watch them go into every room in the house and rattle every doorknob trying to find a way out.

This was shot on video, has tons of padding and poorly written dialogue.  It's a Polonia Brothers film, which isn't a good thing, but you have to admire their dedication as they made quite a number of films.

There are brief interviews in the extras where it's obvious they had fun making the movie and know that it's not a masterpiece.  Even though they didn't make the best films, they were doing it long before the days of every kid having access to a computer and camera, and calling themselves a filmmaker.

This is ultra low budget and shot over a weekend, and it shows.  The acting is horrible and the film only clocks in at a little over an hour.  But since it's just them walking around inside a house, it's not a bad thing that it's so short.  Also the monster sounds reminded me of the Predator, but since I haven't seen that movie in awhile, I could be mistaken.

Expect plenty of references to Bucky's blindness - although you can see Bucky's eyes and he regularly looks around, including looking up at the huge entryway when they walk into the house for the first time.  He also needs to immediately sit down in a chair, which is never explained as being blind doesn't make you out of shape.

Bucky - "Sorry, Nelson."
Nelson - "That's okay, Bucky.  You're blind."

photo of Bucky pointing at something - continuity
error or  was Bucky newly blind? It's not explained.
Crawford, Bucky and Nelson looking up... Damn it Bucky!
Stop looking up - you're supposed to be blind.  
The house after it's doors and windows are bricked up.
If you're going to pretend all the doors are bricked up,
make sure you can't see the siding outside the door.
Can you contain a monster by wedging a chair under a doorknob?
No. No, you can't.  The monster can get out.
Monster alert - if by monster you mean fright wig,
rubber mask, rubber hands, frayed shirt and pants.
I guess your other senses don't get better when you're blind.
Bucky sticks his nose in a gas can, pours gas on his hand
and inhales to confirm it is actually gasoline.
Somewhere a house burns... please pretend
it is the same house we entered.  
This is the only way we would ever know
they are supposed to be college students.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hellgate: The House that Screamed 2 (2001)

When writer Marty Beck disappears, paranormal investigator Dr. Pollenfox and assistants try to find proof of paranormal activity.  The three set up their equipment and then walk around the house. Then at one point two of them get locked out the house by a ghost. There are lame deaths and you'll fast forward through most of this.  Yup, that about sums it up.

This is absolutely awful.  My mistake for renting this.  I should really check out the movies before I put them in my queue.  I thought it was a sequel to the Ron Pallilo flick, Hellgate, which although bad was slightly amusing.  But this has nothing to do with Hellgate.  It's actually a sequel to The House that Screamed.  I have a bad feeling that I've seen that movie already as the house in this one looked really familiar.

The first ten minutes of the film is all padding.  There is no dialogue and footage mostly consists of a woman with fake breasts rolling on a bed.  There are also a few scenes of a guy pretending to dig his own eyes out, some fake fire, and the credits.  I can't remember if the paranormal investigator walked around the cemetery during this time, but if not, prepare for more padding.  This film is a whole lot of nothing.

Note to the producers - demons are not scary when they're shot from below in front of a drop ceiling.  This is a Polonia Brothers film, which means shot on VHS, super low budget, using their home as a set, tons of padding, audio that sounds like it was done via the oncamera mic, bad writing and poor acting.

The best part of this film is the tv host who interviews the paranormal investigator. He is so over the top horrible.  I can't believe he's ever acted before.  His delivery was equal to extremely bad community theater.

This was so horrible I had to fast forward through much of it.  So why didn't I eject it and watch something else, you might ask?  I have no idea.  It was a bad decision.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Necessary Evil (2008)

Journalism student Deborah decides to do an expose on Edgewater Psychiatric Institute.  Her professor urges her not to as the Institute provides lots of funding for the college.  He also advises her that she is not doing serious journalism because her theories are more like creative writing.  It doesn't help that the title of her paper is Necessary Evil.

But Deborah is not to be dissuaded and her professor gets her an interview with Dr. Fibrian.  Upon arriving, she starts with her first question to try to pin down some wrong doing at the Institute, which is not the way to get any information out of a potential source or wrongdoer.

Deborah is asked if she would like some tea.  When she says yes, they reach under the reception counter and pull out a cup full of tea.  Deborah proves her perceptive powers are not that great when she it not at all suspicious about a full cup of tea being under a desk after accusing a potentially unethical doctor of wrongdoing while in a place where she could potentially be locked up and never seen again.

As she starts getting drowsy, she asks, "why are you doing this to me?"  Well it's probably because the good investigative journalists are discrete and don't barrel into lock down accusing an evil doctor of unethical behavior.

There is also a detective who is not too bright as his main personality trait is that he keeps getting attacked from behind.

The big reveal is the drug they are using is Reficul..... say it backwards.  Lucifer?  Oh my!  Did I miss why they gave this girl fake parents and memories?  What is the purpose and why would they let her get out in the world?  Terrible!  Why did I watch this?  Oh yes, it has Lance Henriksen as the doctor.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

aka Monster

It's the annual Salmon Festival and hundreds of people are in town to spend money.  But there is conflict brewing as the fishing industry is dying and many of the town folks blame the Native American population, represented in this film by Johnny.

Johnny is against pollution and is fighting against the wishes of a  large company who wants to build a cannery in town.  The towns people believe it will provide jobs in the dying economy but Johnny points out that it will just kill the town sooner since the fish population is dwindling and they'll exhaust it sooner.

Johnny invites a teenage couple to his house for a fish fry, which is the perfect time for the racist fisherman to firebomb Johnny's house. Things go horribly wrong and among the flaming wreckage, the monsters come out and attack the fisherman.  More blame for Johnny!

While Doug McClure tries to figure out what the hell is going on and why people keep disappearing and dying, he meets a scientist who reveals that they've been trying to repopulate the fish colonies by doing genetic experiments on some salmon. Yes, it's always a good idea to genetically mutate something humans are going to consume.

When the salmon are accidentally released into the local waterways near the cannery, they are eaten by other fish who mutate into killer creatures from the sea.  No man or woman is safe, but women are especially unsafe as the mutations want to breed.

When McClure tries to warn local authorities, they don't take him seriously.  How can they?  It's the Salmon Festival! They need tourists to spend their hard earned money to support the towns economy.  Who cares if they die and can't come back next year? Consequently, the creatures attack the carnival and carnage ensues.

The monster costumes are cool - love the days of rubber costumes rather than cgi.  The characters have the typical fashion of this time period, with their down vests and perms.

Watch for the mistake near the end when you can see a stage hand behind merry-go-round with what looks like poster board, fanning smoke towards the scene.  When he sees camera, he stops and walks behind ride.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

Abe, who knows a thing or two about zombies since his home town was infested with them when he was a kid, selects twelve men from the newly formed Secret Service to cross enemy lines and go undercover.  It's probably not a good idea to accompany them since he's the president.  It's also not the best idea to use Mr. Brown, since he's an African American and it's the middle of the Civil War.

For reasons unknown, Abe does not tell the men about their mission.  So they are hopelessly ill prepared when the zombies attack.  Some of the men refuse to believe it's anything other than a sickness and are promptly eaten.

Abe and pals hole up in the fort which is under the Command of Stonewall Jackson, who refuses to cooperate with them.  After all, Southerners hate Abe, what with the war and that pesky slavery issue.  But since Jackson only has two men left, he's not much of a threat and eventually realizes it's best to put differences aside.

Mix in a young Teddy Roosevelt, John Wilkes Booth, and a swaggering, sickle-wielding Abe and you've got something that could have been insane, but manages to be a typical release by the Asylum.

Asylum could be doing something really great.  They have great titles, potentially interesting plots, but dull scripts full of lots of exposition blah blah blah.  They should either go totally insane with nonsensical stuff like something out of crazy Japanese films, or do it so poorly that it's funny - although they couldn't do that second option on purpose.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Evil in the Bayou (2003)

Low rent detective Jake LeClaire is hired by a man whose wife has disappeared.  The scene is only noteworthy because when they shake hands, they freeze mid shake and stand still as the camera zooms in on their clasped hands.

In another story that will eventually intersect, a herd of Satanists kill a goat and drug a priest in an attempt to call forth Satan.  They shout Hail Devon, which is apparently Satan's name?  Two more human sacrifices and Satan will control the world which means the cult will be immortal.  So... a sheep, 3 humans, and the Devil rules the Earth?

In their bid to find a sacrifice, they pick up a hitchhiker whose car has broken down.  They pull out a bottle of wine and pour her a glass of wine which she gladly accepts.  The fool!  How can she not think it strange to be offered an actual GLASS of wine in a moving car?  Also of note: our hitchhiker, who is desperate for a ride, was on a busy road and there appears to be a mall up ahead.  Yet she still acts like they're rescued her from the middle of a desert.

This was much worse than I expected.  It appears to be shot on video, and recorded live with no ADR.  It's sometimes it is hard to hear the dialogue.  The soundtrack sounds like it was done on a Casio.

The more credits one person gets in a film, the more likely it is to be poor.  Perhaps because it's a good idea to have constructive feedback rather than have one person in charge of everything.  The additional input can keep a movie on course rather than veering off into self indulgent or poorly done territory.  Stephanie Beaton is credited as actor, producer, executive producer, director, writer, costumer and dog trainer/owner.

It was filmed on location in Hollywood, New Orleans, and London.  Maybe they should have saved their money as you can't tell which scenes were filmed in which location.  They're all interchangeable.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the rhymes in the lyrics to a bad song in the film:
Devil on my mind
His destiny ain't kind

Friday, October 19, 2012

Area 407 (2012)

A warning - if you're prone to motion sickness, you will not want to watch this movie.  I had to stop looking about half way through it, and keep glancing at the screen every once in awhile.  The camera spends a lot of time swinging around as the footage is supposed to be shot by a thirteen year old girl.  An hour after the movie ended, I still felt kind of nauseous.

With that out of the way, you still may not want to watch this anyway since it's filled with annoying characters, as well as lots of shrill and irritating yelling.  Supposedly the film was ad libbed which explains a lot since everyone just sort of shouts in panic and no one is very interesting.  It's like watching some teenage girls home movies, except for the plane crash.

Our main characters are two teenage girls flying home to Los Angeles on their own.  The younger girl is filming their trip.  She's cheerfully talking to and filming everyone on the plane, including the requisite a-hole character.

When the plane hits turbulence, it crashes into an isolated area and  only the tail of the plane remains intact.  The surviving passengers all have head wounds, so you keep expecting them to lose consciousness, but nothing much comes from it.

Soon the survivors realize there is something in the dark and it is a predator.  Will they survive?  Is anyone trying to rescue them?  Will we care?  The shrill and constant yelling is not enjoyable.  Also why are they filming after the crash?  Don't they have better things to concentrate on?  And how does the battery last so long?

The mystery menace in the dark is only seen a few times.  This can be an effective way to build tension and fear as often imagination is scarier than what is seen on screen.  But in this case, the first glimpse we see was aptly described by my friend as a "drive by dinosaur."  Instead of being scary, it was hysterically funny.

There is a twist ending that people familiar with horror movies should see coming a mile away.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sorority Sister Slaughter (2007)

In 1959 pregnant Dahlia kills herself in her sorority house after being dumped by her boyfriend.  Cut to Valentines Day 2006 - the house has been empty for many years. Now sorority girls are moving into the house again. Soon some guys show up and it's party time - until the ghost of Dahlia comes back for revenge.... which will leave you wondering why she's targeting these kids who had nothing to do with her death.

This is so bad it's hard to get through.  The audio is constantly drowned out by background noise or the soundtrack.  At first I thought maybe we weren't supposed to hear the dialogue since the girls were walking outside.  But when they got inside, you still couldn't hear them.

You will constantly be cranking up the volume to hear the super low dialogue, and then frantically turning it down when the music starts blasting.

Along with the bad audio, there are mistakes with continuity, lots of scenes in the dark with bad lighting and when you pop in the DVD, there is no menu. It's just a blue screen with LP1 on it - not even a movie title.

At one point a girl vomits bugs and is not alarmed. In fact, she doesn't react at all.  Who wouldn't be freaked out by that?  There is a guy who is killed by a basketball, so I guess that's something in the plus column.  But ultimately it's utter crap.

1313: Night of the Black Widow (2012)

Cut to a white mansion. A guy in underwear gets out of bed and starts walking through the hallway.  He walks and walks, and then he walks some more.

Meanwhile a lady in black walks along the patio by the in ground pool.  She walks and walks, and then she walks some more...aaaaand we're done.  Nope, not even going to watch this one.  Do you really need to start your film with padding?  No. No, you don't.

Another of the 1313 series by David DeCoteau, which I'm sure isn't all that much different from any of the other 1313 features.  Entry level acting, lame dialogue, lots of padding, and tons of footage based around buff young guys in their underwear spending too much time rubbing their own chests and abs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Greenskeeper (2002)

Assistant greenskeeper Alan is having nightmares and is treated poorly by his mean stepfather, who is part owner of the country club.

It's Alan's birthday and he's looking forward to seeing his not so nice girlfriend.  But instead of a birthday celebration, she convinces him to let all her snobby rich friends into the club after it is closed to have a huge party.  There are drugs, alcohol and couples pairing off, but then a killer dressed as a greenskeeper starts picking them off.

Is it Alan?  Is it the weirdo Otis?  Or is it the ghost of a former greenskeeper who burned in a terrible freak accident and just happens to be Alan's father, back for revenge?

John Rooker, former major league pitcher, has a small role.  Also watch for the mistake when Elana opens her mouth and screams but there is no scream heard.

Deadly Game (2006)

aka Complexx

While attending a gamers convention, a few hardcore gamers get invitations to join in the ultimate game.  They must get locked in the complex to compete and the prize is a ton of cash.

The gamers aren't told that they're playing a survival game with real deaths.  After the first one dies, they wonder whether it's an accident or part of the game.  No one knows who to trust anymore or who is running the game.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vampires: The Turning

Amanda dumps her Muy Thai fighter boyfriend Conner in Thailand after she gets angry that he's fighting.  Yeah, I know... Amanda  stomps off on her own through the streets of Thailand, which isn't very bright, and finds herself in trouble as a some motorcycle riding vampires kidnap her.   Conner sets out to rescue Amanda before she turns into a vampire, by teaming up with some vampire hunters.

This was much better than I expected.  Having said that, keep in mind that I was expecting to be tortured by this, but it had a bigger budget than I thought and was entertaining in a mindless way.

Haunted Forest (2007)

Sean and two friends go to the forest to locate a tree where a spirit lives.  Sean's grandfather had a journal which shows the location of the tree and when they start searching the forest,  weird things begin to happen.

They meet up with another group so there are more people for the ghost to trap. Every once in awhile the ghost shows up and people disappear.

The ghost is pretty creepy in a Japanese horror way. There are pale hands coming out of ground which looks creepy.  Also twigs under people's skin is the spirits mark so her minions can make sure the marked don't leave the woods.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Evil Spawn (1987)

The film opens with narrative that a spaceship has returned to Earth carrying alien microbes. This is never mentioned again.  Perhaps they were part of an experiment gone wrong?  But honestly when science goes wrong, it's more likely something other than aliens, such as evil.

Dr Zeitman, played by John Carradine (in footage culled from footage shot separately from the rest of the film) is poisoned by his assistant after offering aging actress Lynn Roman a chance to become young via experimental injections.  Desperate to get a leading role in an upcoming blockbuster, Lynn decides to inject herself with the serum. Unfortunately the Doctor lied.  It's actually an experiment in cellular mutation which turns humans into monsters who eventually morph into giant bugs. Why would anyone want to do that?  Seems like a rather useless experiment.

Lynn regains her human form when the serum wears off.  But with another injection, the cellular instability causes her transformation again.  Even when the serum causes her to look younger between turns as a hideous monster, the producer won't hire her because she's too old for the job. Serves her right for taking monster serum.

Her agent represents a young actress who gets the role and her boyfriend is secretly seeing a younger woman who he brings to their house.  Why?  Why?  No idea.  Needless to say the old, raging, bug-like hag is not happy to see some young thing in her house messing around with her man and carnage ensues.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Evil Laugh (1986)

A group of med students arrive at an old building that one of their friends wants to purchase.  When their friend doesn't show up - because he was murdered before the opening credits - they start picking up which leads to a wacky cleaning montage.  No one shall ask why they are cleaning a house that their friend has not yet signed a deal on, or why the realtor is letting them stay there for the weekend.

The house has a bloody past.  It was previously an orphanage  where Martin, the teenage caretaker, was accused of molesting the kids.  Martin's father was so distraught he committed suicide.  Later the case is dismissed when the kids admit they lied.  Martin was so happy to be acquitted of the false accusation that he heads  back to the orphanage, kills all the kids, and burns the house down.  Oddly enough the home shows no signs of a fire, let alone being burnt to the ground.  It just needs a good cleaning.

The characters hit all the typical stereotypes, jock, nerd, good girl, loose girl, and preppies. What is not stereotypical is the homosexual overtones with the guys.  I'm not sure if this is intentional or the humor is at the level of junior high boys.  But it is definitely awkward when Barney spends way too much screen time fondling Mark's bare ass which he supposedly thinks it's Tina's. As if that isn't weird enough, Barney is hiding under the bed and sticking his hand out of a hole in the middle of the mattress that Tina and Mark are  on.  How could they not notice this hole?  Please note that Tina remains clothed, while Mark is completely naked.
Barney grabbing Mark's butt through a hole in the
mattress. Nothing gay about that prank.
Barney is the horror nerd who reads Fangoria and knows horror movie cliches.  He warns the others that it's a bad idea to stay in a murder house and that if they have sex they will die.

Scott Baio's brother Steven stars and was a co-writer.  There is an interview at the end with Baio and Dominick Brascia which is interesting. However they seem to think the movie is far better than it is.  They seriously talk of using tension for effect but this movie has no tension whatsoever.
Death by microwave - oddly enough it works
even with the door open.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Darkness: The Vampire Version (1993)

A small town is besieged by vampires.  After witnessing an attack, Tobe gathers a shotgun and holy water to try to survive.  He runs into some other kids who haven't been affected yet and the small group tries to save their friends and fight the vampires.

The vampires are more like zombies since they are in large groups and swarm their victims.  Also the victims get ripped apart rather than just bitten on the neck.

There is no explanation of what caused this darkness or what is really going on. The make up is hit or miss, but it's really good considering the budget was around $5000.  There is tons of blood, including massive amounts spurting out of the kids bodies.

Super 8mm requires dedication since you needed to have access to a  camera, and pay for film and developing, as well as edit and splice the film by hand.  There was a line between those who had the passion and drive to make a movie and those who didn't, as opposed to today when any idiot with a computer can make a movie.

Although it was done by amateur's, many of them teens, it does have some charm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Voodoo Mooon (2007)

Twenty years after a demon named Daniel destroyed an entire town, the only survivors try to make him pay for killing their parents.  Cole, a demon hunter who has trained with a voodoo priest, and his sister Heather, who has psychic abilities, go to a hotel near where they grew up. The destroyed town is completely underwater with only the church spire sticking out of depths.  Can you say foreshadowing?

Cole asks people he has helped in the past to meet at the hotel so they can combine forces to fight Daniel, who is after him.  Cole spends most of his time at the hotel sleeping and not washing his hair.  The rest of the gang hang out and talk, while waiting for Cole to take charge.

Not much to this one, but Jeffrey Combs is great as a friend of Cole's who Daniel pushes down some stairs, breaks his neck, but still insists on zombie stumbling all the way to the hotel to help  Cole.  Too bad it wasn't a bigger role.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Savage Harvest (1994)

Karen and her friends go to her Uncle Gary's cabin in the woods for the weekend.  The cabin is near an old Indian burial ground.  Uncle Gary tells the kids a story of how years ago a medicine man was killed by his own tribe after performing rituals that invoked evil spirits.

Demons are accidentally summoned by touching rocks in the area with strange symbols on them and no one can escape from the woods due to the invisible force field who surrounds it.

This film has long boring exposition, tons of padding,  is kind of tedious, but it's also so ridiculous that it can be awesome at times.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Pool (2001)

To celebrate the end of the semester at the Intenatinal High School of Prague, Gregor organizes a party for his friends in a secret location.  The uber exclusive party turns out to be at a huge indoor pool in a fancy building.  The pool has covered slides and a bar area filled with alcohol.

Our lead girl who is Gregor's girlfriend, is not happy as she is deathly afraid of water.  As the others splash around, she hangs out nearby at the bar.  Soon people are splitting up to go off by themselves, which makes them easy prey for the masked killer lurking within the building.

Once the first murders are discovered, the group tries to leave but find they are locked in.  As they try to find a way to escape the building, people keep getting picked off and the killer seems to know their every move.  How can it be?  Could he be one of them? Will we even care? Oh the humanity!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Ferryman (2007)

Two couples charter a boat and on the second night out the Captain picks up a distress signal.  Per the rules of the sea, the Captain responds - against one couples wishes -  and they find one survivor.  The old man seems kind of odd which turns out to be because he is possessed by a spirit that cheats death by killing other people using a sacred knife and possessing their bodies.  The new body repairs itself once the spirit is inside and there is no wound once the knife is removed.

The film is kind of creepy as it takes place in on a boat in the ocean in the middle of a storm.  There's no escape and something's wrong, which would be horrifying and claustrophobic.  But it's also sort of stupid as there are signs that the guy they rescue is not normal, but they don't seem to pick up on it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Streets of Rage (1994)

Oh my god!  This was amazing! If you're looking for something that will make you laugh with it's unintentional humor, check this out.

Melody Sails works at the local paper and wants to be a reporter.  So she decides to do an expose on homeless kids.  She heads out on the mean streets, and cold calls at a homeless shelter asking to do a story.

Later Melody sees a kid who was turned away from the shelter while she was there. He's about to be beaten up, so Melody saves him from an ass kicking.  After he disappears, our hard boiled reporter uses her wits to track him down for an interview.

Melody lets the kid and his friend stay at her place after she discovers one of their friends was murdered by Lunar, the mysterious rich guy who runs the streets and victimizes the kids.  After inviting them to stay, Melody takes a shower with the door open - creeper.

Melody is creepily affectionate with the twelve year old Steven, constantly touching him and being overly familiar.  When she hears another street kid was murdered, Melodys' only question is ,"was it Steven?"  When she finds out it was the girl with Steven who stayed at her home, she doesn't show any emotion or concern.

If Melody is going to use this story as a way to jump into being a reporter, she needs to learn to keep her big mouth shut.  Every time she meets someone she tells them about her big expose and what she's discovered so far.  She even goes so far as to give detailed descriptions of the homeless kids who are her sources.  Oh no, nothing bad will ever come from this.

Her dating skills are also lacking.  Her boyfriend, who also works at the paper, is cheating on her and keeps standing her up. Yet she doesn't break it off.  Then she goes on a date with a guy she's only met twice before.  His mansion has a locked gate at the entrance so she can't just leave when she wants. But is our heroine concerned about her safety?  Nah, she polishes off three bottles of wine with him over dinner.

Also it's odd that everyone refers to her as young lady.  She's not old, but she's definitely not young enough to be called young lady, unless the person saying that is 80 year old and none of the characters are.

Junior (2003)

Two friends on a vacation park behind a seemingly abandoned building in the middle of nowhere to look at their map. They determine they're lost, but can't restart their car.  Since the car is borrowed, they don't want to leave it alone.

So one girl decides to walk back to the creepy gas station they just visited while the other stays with the car.  Never a good idea to split up, especially when you're in the middle of nowhere and you're young females.

When the first girl doesn't come back, the other one flags down a driver who rigs the car so she can follow him back to the garage to look for her friend. Also he can do a quick fix to make sure the car will start.

Eventually the girl ends up in another isolated are, the car dies again, and someone hiding in her trunk starts taping on the car.  At that point I fell into a stupor as there had to have been at least twenty minutes of this girl stranded in her car while it bounces up and down, and she screams and acts afraid.  Just terrible.  And wouldn't you know it's another inbred killer hick movie...  This is why I was able to get this movie as part of an eight movie set for $5.