Sunday, March 31, 2013

Slaughtered (2010)

After a pub closes for the night, the employees hang out and have a few drinks.  When one girl's obnoxious boyfriend shows up, the party stalls. Then they discover a drunk who was asleep in the bar and ask him to leave.  While he's walking to his car, he's killed.

The next night, the owner and another worker find the dead drunk lying in the pool room upstairs.  They decide to call the police and lock the all doors of the pub to make sure the killer doesn't escape. Doesn't seem like a very bright idea since it means they're all locked in with a killer.

It's low budget and not all that exciting but it's okay considering it's on one of these cheapie DVD packages.  Locking themselves in with a killer is ridiculous and the twist as to who the killer is, well not real surprising.  I guess the best thing I can say about it is that it's better than two of the other movies that I've watched on this DVD set.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

One Dark Night (1982)

I picked this up because I thought Jimmy McNichol was in it.  There's a guy on the cover who has a similar haircut and I was always curious about McNichol doing a horror movie since he was a teen idol for awhile.  But then the credits started, and I discovered he's not in the movie.  While I was originally disappointed, it turned out to be decent.

Julie has always wanted to be one of The Sisters, the coolest group in school, what with their three members, their satin jackets with the neon word Sisters emblazoned across the back, and the girl who chews a toothbrush all the time. But Julie is dating the ex-boyfriend of the Sisters leader, who wants him back and hates Julie.

The Sisters haven't exactly been nice to Julie so it's odd she wants to join.  They've been hazing her mercilessly and have one more initiation.  If she passes the test, they'll let her in the club.  Trouble is that their plan is to make sure she fails and ban her from group.  Oh well, that's high school for you.

The last test is spending a night inside the cemetery's massive mausoleum.  The Sisters drop her off and tell her they'll be back in the morning to pick her up.  However they plan to come back in the middle of the night to scare the hell out of her. Then when she runs away in fright, her chances of joining their group will be ruined.  And to make things even freakier, they've given her a pill to take if she gets scared. It turns out to be acid but I'm sure that won't cause her to have any sort of nightmare visions.

Coincidentally earlier that day, famous psychic Raymar was interred in the mausoleum.  Raymar was found dead in his apartment, along with a bunch of women who died during a psychic experiment.  Good old Raymar doesn't intend to let something like being dead hold back his telekinetic powers. So pretty soon we've got lightening blots and dead bodies flying all over the place.

The mausoleum reminds me of Phantasm.  Although the corpses movements, or lack thereof, are kind of silly, there's still something creepy about them gliding along the floor towards the girls. It's even creepier with the shots of the feet about an inch above the ground. There aren't really any big scares, and it looked silly but somehow it still creeped me out.  Most of the action is in the last half hour.

So although I bought this by mistake, in the end it was a good decision because I liked it.   Shriek Show has a double CD with the directors cut of the movie on the second disk.  I haven't watched the directors vision yet. It's a rough cut of the film, and I believe it's supposed to be a bit darker without the teen angst and perhaps less satin.  I'll have to check that out too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Curse of Lizzie Borden 2: Prom Night (2008)

For the past five years, Cassie has been in an institution.  She was committed after being diagnosed with a split personality.  But her psychiatrist isn't very good since he can't figure out when she's turned into Lizzie.

When he turns his back on her to speak to a tape recorder to provide exposition, you know it's not going to end well.  Oh yeah, she kills him.

Cassie sleeps with a real estate agent at a home for sale, which just happens to be the same house from the first movie where the Lizzie Borden museum was located and Cassie killed everyone.  So why would Cassie go there? She wouldn't want to be at the scene of the murders.  But if she's still possessed by Lizzie, then why is she sleeping with the agent and jogging?  Lizzie is a 19th century prude.

While jogging, Cassie is almost run over by a female professor who just happens to be teaching a college class on American Folklore, which coincidentally just happens to be currently studying Lizzie Bordon. What are the odds?  This college must be the king of Lizzie Borden studies.

The professor decides it would be a great idea to go to the murder house since it ties in with their studies.  Six students from the class show up because they can get extra credit.  The professor  organized this field trip even though it's at the end of the semester and grades have already been submitted. So.... she already gave them the extra credit?

The professor has lived in town all her life, but had no idea that five years ago in this very house a mass murder of college students by a woman claiming to be Lizzie had taken place.  Honestly, that would be news in any town, especially with the murders occurring at a museum for the same infamous ax murderer.

Basically, the movie can be summed up the same way as the first one: I'm Lizzie and I'm innocent of the murders I've been accused of, and to prove it I'm going to kill everyone with an ax.

Lizzie's brilliant disguise enables her to walk right
past security, although based on the lettering on his
sign, he may not be the brightest bulb
Over the top decor
The shovel looks normal....
.. ummm something looks a little off here...
..... oh good lord, that's just ridiculous. Did you even
have an editor? 
Yeah.... this is not good.
The amazing bending axe! Shot 1 - straight
handle. Shot 2 - rubber bendy handle.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hypothermia (2010)

Ray and his family have gotten together at the lake to do some ice fishing.  Ray is on the lake alone at night and falls through the ice, but manages to pull himself out of the water.

His family, wondering why he isn't back, send his son out  looking for him and Ray is helped home before he gets hypothermia.  Hmmm, well that's odd considering the title.  Maybe they're teasing us and that someone will get hypothermia when we least expect it using the old "boy who cried wolf" routine.

The next day the family goes ice fishing.  After setting up a small enclosure, they hunker down to wait for a bite.  There don't seem to be any fish, which is odd. So they sit around staring at each other and sometimes talking about family issues.

Later in the day, an obnoxious father and son with a huge trailer pull up next to them.  It's a huge lake, but they've chosen to fish right next to Ray and his family.  Wouldn't they maybe want to go somewhere else instead of competing for fish in this small space?

But the fish are gone because there's something under the ice that wants everyone dead, and it's waiting for it's chance to kill. Sometimes when a movie starts slow, it builds tension. Other times it just makes you lose interest.  This is the latter. All the sitting and talking about family issues became tedious.  So we shut them down and put in another movie. Too bad, because Michael Rooker stars as Ray, but even he couldn't save it.  We expected more monster and less talking about mundane things.

Monday, March 25, 2013

1313: Bigfoot Island (2012)

If you know anything about the 1313 series or about David DeCoteau, then you know what you're in for and it's not pretty, except for the shirtless guys. But it's Bigfoot Island, so how could I not check it out?

The film starts with scenery of forests, waterfalls, and a ferry going across the water. A shirtless teen goes hiking on Bigfoot Island. He hikes and hikes and hikes.  He keeps hiking.  Then he hikes some more.  A girl peers at him from behind a tree.  He keeps hiking.  He jumps over a bent tree. He makes a cell phone call to a friend - although maybe he's a lonely shirtless lunatic pretending someone's on the other end of the line since we only hear his side of the conversation.  He resumes hiking and jumps over a bent tree.  It's the same footage we've already seen. The girl peers at him again and ducks back behind a tree.  This is the first seventeen minutes of the film.

Is anything going to happen?  Are we going to keep having to watch this kid hike?  Where's Bigfoot?  Is the girl the Bigfoot?  Was she supposed to be replaced by a CGI creature and someone forgot?  We begin to fast forward eventually stumbling upon something that looks like it could be the creature.  It turns out to be the mangiest rental ape suit we've ever seen. They only give you flashes of it, but even so you can tell it's not a prize winning costume.

This movie is mostly padding.  There are other shirtless and semi-shirtless guys who hike and run on Bigfoot Island.  They're all friends and Bigfoot doesn't seem to like them.  In between hiking scenes, we see the girl doing some sort of hippie ritual.  Does this have anything to do with Bigfoot?  Just fast forward to the last six minutes of the movie.  Everything will be explained, although not to your satisfaction. But then again, what did you expect from a movie called Bigfoot Island whose title screen boasts a font that makes 1313 read like 7373.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Loaded (1994)

A group of friends go away to a country estate for the weekend so they can make a horror movie... and that's the only part of this film that can even remotely be considered horror, which is odd since it's on a horror collection which boasting the subtitle, Hatchets and Cleavers.

If you saw this movie on TV and were in the mood to watch a drama, maybe it would be okay. But since it is being marketed as a horror movie I was severely disappointed.  I kept waiting for one of the characters to murder another.  One of them has a collection of clippings on serial killers/murderers. Another is jealous of his girlfriends relationship with another male. But ultimately, there is no horror, hatchets, cleavers, or killers anywhere in the film.

So if you want to watch a bunch of British twenty somethings sit around talking, shooting a terribly bad horror movie, and taking acid which sets up the ending, then be my guest.  But just make sure you know it's more about the characters, their relationships and psychological musings than anything else.

Another in the long line of budget horror collections which pad their running time with non-horror films whose descriptions can be disguised as horror.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Black Roses (1988)

The Black Roses are coming to Mill Basin and all the kids are excited. But the parents and teachers are not happy and want to shut down the concert, which leads me to wonder why this wasn't addressed when the concerts were booked and before the band actually got to town.

Johnny and Julie are super excited as this is their favorite band and it's an honor for their town to have the first shows on the tour.  Cool teacher Matt is on the kids side because hey, it's only rocknroll.

Lead singer Damien meets with Matt and assures him everythings cool.  On opening night, teachers and parents fill the back of the venue to determine if the concert can continue.  They're going to shut down the show if the band is too scary for the old folks or the lyrics are a bad influence on the children. But the band is pretty mellow and the adults leave.

As the doors close on the snooty adults, the group starts rocking and the kids go nuts. Hurrah!  But each night the kids get more and more brainwashed as Damien and his band aren't really the sweet little heavy metal singers they pretend to be.  They are actually demons who plan to take over the world by brainwashing the kids into being violent and taking over the town... and eventually the world.  Pretty silly actually, but kind of fun to watch.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bruce Lee From Beyond the Grave (1976)

aka Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave

If you're not aware of the movies that Bruce Lee actually made, then you're sure to be taken in by the photos of Bruce featured on the cover as well as his freakin' name in the title.  So I'm sure there are people who watch this and end up disappointed when they discover that the star is actually Bruce K. L. Lea.

Wong Han suspects that his old friend was murdered, although the official word is that he committed suicide. Han goes to Los Angeles to investigate the death, saves a damsel in distress, and discovers his friend had become a successful businessman until a lawyers son was injured at his gym and a lawsuit took every penny he owned.

This is a sometimes boring, but super ridiculous movie with bad acting/dubbing and funny foley.  The voices sound like the same ones who would dub all the films I'd see back in the 1980s on Kung Fu Theater.  The line reads are stilted and often hysterically bad.  Dialogue is unintentionally silly and fake Bruce aka Wong Han makes funny noises when he fights. I know he's trying to sound like Bruce Lee, but Lee's sounds were not an imitation of the noises someone else makes. 

The music is funky 70s stuff.  In one scene where Bruce is teaching Susan kung fu, their mouths are moving and you can tell they're speaking, but there is only a 70s music soundtrack. The foley is so odd, I bet if you closed your eyes and tried to guess what the sounds were, that you would not be able to figure it out.

Also of note, ninja great Sho Kosugi is the unnamed Japanese ninja in this movie. Go Sho!

Here's a sampling of some of the more ridiculous dubbed dialogue:

Susan: "Then one day a group of strangers came to see him.  A Japanese, a Black man, a White man, a Mexican and a cowboy.  They looked a pretty mean bunch."
Wong Han: "And then what happened?"
Susan: "Nothing at all...."

Wong Han:"Leave her alone."
Masher: "Damn you!"

Susan: "I don't know where they are by now.  They could be anywhere in Los Angeles for all I know. This is an enormous city, you know."
Wong Han: "I understand.  Los Angeles is an enormous city."

Wong Han: "I'm looking for a karate school." (said to guy smoking a cigarette who promptly punches him in the face).

Wong Han: "Why did you kill him?  Speak up! Speak up! Talk!"
Killer: "I will tell you.  He was arrgghhhhhh....." (hit by shuriken and dies)
This is exactly what happened in all the plays I wrote when I was kid. A flunky who was just about to reveal the killers name would be killed mid-sentence.

The Many Moods of Susan
Bruce jumps out of his grave and right out
of this movie, never to be seen again
And the disappointment begins...
Surprise!  It's not Bruce Lee, but an incredible simulation.
Tonight on Overacting, Loud Plaid Theater...
Nothing awkward about wearing a box and your
dead friends 8x10 glossy tied to your neck by a sheet.
The literal rendering of Susan's story - "Then one day a
group of strangers came to see him. A Japanese, a
Black man, a White man, a Mexican, and a cowboy."
My favorite Ninja, Sho Kosugi
Bruce Lea, safari fashion plate
This guy reminds me of the Skipper from Gilligans Island

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Motor Home Massacre (2005)

A group of friends load into an old RV and head out to a campsite to party for the weekend.  On the way they stop at a gas station where the clerk tells them the back story and provides so much exposition that by the time they leave it's night. Either that or there's no one doing continuity on this film since it was day when they stopped.

The gang finds a camping spot and get ready to party when the Sheriff shows up to investigate a murder.  Since everyone is a suspect and they're in the park, they are unable to leave unless he gives them the okay.  And that's a shame since there's a killer on the loose and these kids are so dumb that they're easy pickings.

Okay, there is definitely continuity problems with this movie.  At one point one of the guys (can't remember which one) puts on a shirt, tie and sweater vest.  He gets in the van wearing the tie and sweater vest.  He goes outside to look for his friends and it's gone. He goes back inside, it's on again.

Watch for the wrinkle in the machete and be prepared for no explanation for everything that just occurred. Also this is listed as a horror comedy, but there's no way to tell while you're watching it because it's not funny.  So that's a big problem.  No satisfaction, indeed.

American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 (2006)

This overview of the hardcore scene is not comprehensive, but some of the band included are Black Flag, DOA, Minor Threat, Gang Green, Bad Brains, MDC, and Flipper, to name a few.

These were bands that you knew even if you didn't live in one of the big cities that had a flourishing hardcore scene.  The film covers major cities like Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Minneapolis and a few other scenes.

At first I was disappointed because the film seemed to be mostly  current day interviews interspersed with a little bit of old footage.  Either I got used to it, or they had more older stuff as the film went along. I found it interesting so maybe I got used to it. But I would have preferred old video footage, photographs, and flyers.

It's funny to see these hardcore kids now that they're middle aged.  Some look exactly like what they were rebelling against. Others are trying to look young with their rock haircuts/clothing. It's hard not to look ridiculous as you get older. Some seem to be perpetual adolescents.  But thankfully there are some that have aged well.

Make sure to watch the extras, or at least some of them.  The most interesting ones are another hour of short interview clips which didnt' make the final cut and a short piece on one of two photographers they interview.

Both Thurston Howes and Edward Colver have some great photos.  I really enjoyed hearing them talk about their experience and was glad they were included in the film.  They talked about how these were just photos of their friends, and not meant to be anything else. One of the guys said the only people who had seen his photos were the bands and himself.  I can identify with this as I spent several years shooting photos of bands and it was because I love photography, loved the bands, and many of them were friends.

The best lines in the film come from Corrosion of Conformity (in the extras) who talk about how things started to change for the worse in the hardcore scene when people started questioning their method of nonconformity. "We're fighting conformity and the way that you guys are doing it... you're appalling.... Don't you know how not to conform in the correct manner?"  Hilarious.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dream Warrior (2003)

When a meteor hits the Earth, there is an apocalypse.  Some people gain powers, such as reading minds, healing the sick and injured, telekinesis, and lightening hands.  Others are under the power of Parish, a dictator who seeks to destroy all the freaks aka those with powers.  Then out of nowhere there's a goth mime village who only has a limited purpose so I really shouldn't mention them. But they look really stupid, so how could I not?

Parish has convinced his followers that those who are impure should be put to death.  He needs an heir and his wife is about to give birth to a son.  So no nonsense will be tolerated by the freaks.

Rage, who was in jail and scheduled for death, manages to escape and Parish sends his best men after him.  After Rage's car goes off a cliff, they believe him dead and return triumphant to Parish.

When some freaks happen by, they notice Rage is still alive and one of them heals him.  They form a tentative alliance and help each other, even though there is division among the group as to whether they should trust Rage or have anything to do with him.

I swear Parish has a minion named Dokken which is fantastic since this is Dream Warrior.

Nothing like the front cover exists in this movie.  It's mostly Lance Henricksen (resembling Eddie Vedder) wearing a backwards driving cap while standing on a partially destroyed structure and brainwashing his followers to kill the freaks with the super powers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Being (1983)

A small town in Idaho experiences a rash of disappearances.   Cars abandoned at the drive-in have pools of green slime on the seats and doors.  Even the Sheriff even finds a pile of green jelly under the covers  in his bed.  Eeek!

The Sheriff knows there is something strange afoot. But scientist Garson Jones says there is nothing to worry about regarding the nuclear waste that's being disposed of in town.  He's tested the water and it's got a clean bill of health, so says Jones while his third eye blinks uneasily from the glare of the TV lights..

He doesn't really have a third eye, but wouldn't that be fantastic?  It would actually be a better than the real monster which looks exactly like the one on the cover.  Part alien, part dinosaur, all nuclear green slime, one eyed, creature-y, small town goodness. Well, it's kind of fun seeing that one eyeball roll around in it's head.

When Landau goes camping in the local nuclear dump, he discovers something strange and calls the Sheriff. Both spend the rest of the movie trying to track down and kill the evil creature. But not before the Sheriff and his girl are attacked at the local diner after hours.  Why he opened that door after getting safely inside is anyone's guess.

Watch for the continuity error at the beginning while the boy is running away from the monster. When he runs along the cliff, it is daylight, but by the time he's running through the junkyard, it's night.  That is one long escape!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Scar (2007)

Joan returns to her hometown to visit with brother Jeff, the town Sheriff, and niece Olympia.  Joan hasn't been home in years due to a horrible  experience she had as a teenager.  She and her best friend were chloroformed by Bishop, the local mortician. After a lengthy torture session, her friend was killed but Joan was able to escape and took out Bishop before he got her.  This is all told via flashback segments which is sometimes confusing as it will just go off into a flashback.

Niece Olympia wins the title of Fish Queen and dons a human sized fish costume with her head seen through the mouth - and yes, it is considered an honor.

But when the teens go out to the woods to party, one of them disappears. The next day the teen turns up dead at the opening of the lake festival. Then other teens are found dead and Joan starts having more flashbacks since the teens are being tortured. Also she believes she sees Bishop as she sees someone running away who has the same coat and hat that Bishop used to wear.  Since Bishop has been dead for years, the cops think she's nuts and consider her a prime suspect in the murders.

There's not a lot of cranial functioning on the teens part as they keep blundering around getting themselves killed. The Sheriff turns out to be not too bright either. And since Joan can't convince the cops she's not the killer, there's not much hope for her either.  It's not much of a mystery who the real killer is, but no one seems to figure it out.

The film uses an overkill of different filters/colors. It starts out normal, but then flashbacks are more muted and sometimes sepia.  Then at the lake scene, you start noticing the color has gotten retro and it changes from scene to scene.  But by the end, even single scenes have multiple tints.  And to cap things off, the movie ends with torture montage to give you the feel good movie of the year, yeech!

The dvd cover makes me cringe. Yet when you see poor scarred Joan, your reaction will be, "Is that it?  Is that her scar?"  Because unlike the horror on the cover, what we get in the movie is not a mouth to ear nightmare scar.  But a little two inch, razor thin scar on her jaw line, which actually looks more like a fresh cut than a scar.

Really? Is that it? That's your scar? That little red line
near your chin? Um, after seeing the cover,  that's nothing.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Film student Alex and his friends figure out where the original Grave Encounters was filmed and decide to investigate whether the building is actually haunted.  Alex thinks it might be real because the cast were all only in that one movie and he's heard that's because they're all missing. Guess he never considered the fact that sometimes people are only in one movie because the movies sucks and they're horrible actors.

When the kids get to the asylum, they find a Qwerty Ouija board - really? You couldn't just have it in alphabetical order like every other Ouija ever on Earth?  Well I hope it's not supposed to be olde tyme because it screams hipster film student all over it.

When they are caught filming inside the building, the police hear noises upstairs and go to investigate.  Soon they heard gunshots and Alex decides to check it out.  Bad idea. You could get shot. Then he decides they need to look for the cop instead of gathering their equipment and leaving to get help.  He's so annoying.  

The film opened with vloggers reviewing the first movie.  Alex was one of those, yet he acts like he has no idea that doors disappear and hallways that you just walked down are now dead ends. Yay, what a genius.  Then Lance from the first movie appears as a wild caveman and Alex is overjoyed to see him.  I'm not loving this.

First 30 minutes is film kid Alex and his stupid film student friends partying and being videotaped. It's pointless and just like watching someone's home movies.  The camera swings wildly and is  slightly nausea inducing if you have motion sickness. Yay I do, lucky me.

If you want to watch all found footage movies, then watch this.  But it's a disappointment and the film students are super annoying.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Grave Encounters (2011)

Paranormal investigators from the show Grave Encounters travel to the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital to film an episode of their show.  After a tour of the abandoned building, they are locked in for the night and set about investigating whether the place is haunted.

For years there have been rumors of paranormal activity in the building.  Is the ghost of patients? Or is it the spirit of a cruel doctor who was murdered by patients that were tired of his experiments?

The group is able to film plenty of odd occurrences, which increase in violence as the night goes on.  As their safety becomes an issue, they decide to pack up and go.  But as they're gathering their equipment, one of them disappears.

The others can't find him and start panicking. While trying to escape, they find hallways are now dead ends and doors won't open.  The building seems to have a life of it's own as doors they know they passed through now lead to other places they haven't been.

The guy who plays Lance is amusing as he seems to be channeling Zak from Ghost Adventures.  My friends liked the movie, but I wasn't enamored with it.  It was okay, but nothing special.

Friday, March 15, 2013

100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck (2012)

Another in the proliferation of crappy found footage movies that are dumped on the unsuspecting public every week.  Let's face it, they're almost all the same and usually horrible. Yet I still watch....

Paranormal investigators go to the site of the infamous Speck murders to look for paranormal activity.  They walk around, start getting murdered, scenes move slowly, people do stupid things, and there is a lot of screeching by some of the girls.  Sure, constant screaming is a realistic reaction, but it's annoying as hell for the viewer. Don't subject the viewer to it!

The building in the film is supposed to be a college dorm.  It  looks nothing like the building on the cover, and instead is the abandoned Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles.  Horror movie fans will recognize it immediately as tons of horror movies have been filmed there.  I wonder if anyone's bothered to make a list of them?

The investigators are clueless and will have you thinking about what idiots they are when they do things like this:
  1. while trying to escape a malevolent force, they stumble into a utility room with lots of bird cages. Wow, this is sure is a lot of bird cages, they note. But even though it was previously mentioned that Speck was known as the bird man, no one is able to put it together.  
  2. they leave one of the girls alone to go follow a massive trail of blood from a colleague that was dragged off.  After pondering his fate, all of a sudden they realize they've left someone alone. Yes, you knew that when you left because she refused to go with you.   
  3. they see a man on one of the monitors behind one of the girls.  When they scream that someone's behind her, she says there's no one there. They keep screaming at her, she keeps saying it's all clear. Eventually they say, "how can she not see him?"  
Good god, you're there to investigate paranormal activity. Are there no synapses firing to tell you that you might have found exactly what you're looking for at an inopportune time?  You idiots!

And what's up with using a real murderers name in your subtitle?  Speck isn't necessary for the film.  You can tell the same story without using his name.  Also I would argue that he's not, (as the cover claims), America's most notorious mass murderer.  This just seems like a really bad idea.

Plus if you're going to use his name and murder details, why make up a different location for the murders? The real Speck murders took place in a townhouse which would be closer to the size of the building on the DVD cover rather than a massive multiple story hospital.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Night Fright (1967)

When I first saw this a number of years ago, I thought it was awful and pretty funny.  After viewing it a second time, I think I must have been out of my freakin' mind.  It felt like it took forever to watch.

At one point, I thought it had to be almost over so I checked to see how much time was left.  Thirty minutes.  Are you freakin' kidding me?! The movie only clocks in at around 75 minutes. How can there be a half hour left?  I kept checking because I thought I must somehow be mistaken, but it was not to be. So I resigned myself to finish watching so I would never question whether to view it again.

So here's the plot, such as it is. A monster starts killing local teens who go parking, and have dance parties in isolated spots down by the lake.  John Agar is a tough talking sheriff who won't take any guff from the teens.  I hope they're supposed to be college kids, and not in high school because they're far too old.   There's dancing, preening, jealousy, and ignoring the sheriff's advice. Plus there's a man in a monster suit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

976-EVIL (1988)

Poor Hoax is bulled by his ultra religious mother at home and by the kids at school who give him swirlies in the restroom. And let's face it, he's going to be a target since his name is Hoax, which is just terrible.

Hoax looks up to his older cool cousin Spike, who lives in an apartment over the garage.  Spike rides a motorcycle and his bad boy persona brings him luck with the ladies.  Plus he can make the bullies leave Hoax alone.  Why is this reminding me of Fonzie?

When Hoax snoops through Spike's room, he finds a flyer which advertising a phone line to get your Horrorscope.  Hoax decides to call but the recordings on the phone line are kind of dark.  Unlike Spike, who took the calls with a grain of salt, Hoax starts considering the advice he receives.

It makes prefect sense when you figure Spike is cool and dating girls, while Hoax is crying and being bullied by his mother and the world in general.  So there's nothing left to do but that Satanic ritual the phone line suggested. Uh oh, this doesn't bode well for anyone.

I thought this would be better than it was.  It's got Stephen Geoffries from Fright Night as lead Hoax, it's from the 1980s, and it name drops Robert Englund as director. I like Geoffries odd delivery in Fright Night, and he's got the same thing going on here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009)

Unfortunately named 12 year old Mary Hatchet kills both her parents and gets locked up in an asylum.  Ten years later she is unwillingly impregnated by an obese orderly and gives birth but is told the baby doesn't survive.

Shortly afterwards Mary escapes from her room, kills a nurse with a nasty head twist, and leaves a trail of bodies behind her until she is shot dead by the police.  Yes, she was naked and carrying a human head, but seriously? You're going to shoot a naked girl who threw a head at you?  Seems like some misconduct there, other than the plot convenience.

Twenty years later the kids in town are celebrating Blood Night, which is based upon Mary, her killings, and her rages when she had her menstrual cycle.  Those kids sure do pick strange things to celebrate.  It's never explained why they have a yearly party for murdering Mary and her killing spree, but there you go.  Stupid kids.

The cool kids party starts at Mary's grave site, where they light candles, and bring a Ouija board.  Old Graveyard Gus warns them not to do it, but you know that those cool kids never listen.  After some spooky stuff happens, they go back to one of the girls houses to continue their party.

Two dorky sophomores show up, but they decide to let them stay because they brought beer.  A few more people show up and the party is in full swing when a rutting couple upstairs gets killed.

Sounds typical, but what you have to realize is that other than Mary's back story,  this kill occurs around the half way point in the movie.  That is not good, especially since most of this time is made up of watching the kids party. We're subject to way too many scenes of kids telling stories, joking, drinking, and being idiots.

Bill Moseley, who plays Graveyard Gus, isn't in the movie much. Neither is Danielle Harris, but she does get more screen time since she's at the party.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Madhouse (2004)

Craig arrives at an asylum to start his internship and immediately alienates Dr. Franks before even starting his job, when he questions the patients treatments and hands in a list of changes that would be beneficial to their recovery.  Dr. Franks is not amused and tells him to shut the hell up and do his job.

Craig has a hard time distinguishing the staff from the patients, which isn't surprising since besides the evil head nurse, the only person who appears wearing a white doctors coat is a patient who thinks he's a doctor.  Here's an idea - maybe the crazy people shouldn't be allowed to wear white doctors coats?   Other staff members dress inappropriately, including his new friend Sara who wears shirts you'd wear on a date rather than to work.

Shortly after settling down in his apartment on the grounds, Craig sees a small boy in his room.  The boy disappears. But he sees him again in the hospital hallways at night. Craig runs after the boy, but can't find him.  He hears rumors of ghosts, and strange things start to occur.  But he doesn't put the sighting of the boy together with this information.

Craig starts having long talks with a mysterious patient in one of the basement cells, where the most dangerous, insane offenders are housed. In an attempt to find out who the boy is and why strange things are happening, he talks to all the patients.  He questions them as if they're normal sane adults. It's  sweet of him to be so sincere, but good god man, they are insane!  You can't believe everything they say and you really shouldn't be taking their word as valid research.

Soon patients are dying, staff are getting murdered, and Craig uncovers something odd about the medication the patients are given.  There's a twist ending which you'll probably figure out in advance, although I must admit I only figured out one of the two parts of it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dead Teenagers (2006)

I've done it again. I accidentally rented a Brain Damage film.  Bad move on my part, although this one wasn't as bad as most of their movies.  It's an anthology, which I'm not really a fan of as many of them aren't that great.  So that's two strikes just going into it.

The wrap around that holds the stories together is a man in a library.  As he's browsing the shelves, a notebook mysteriously falls off a shelf behind him. He picks it up and decides to read it.

First problem with this is that the notebook looks disgusting. If I saw it on the floor, I wouldn't touch it. It's gross. Second, it's got hand written lettering on the front that says Book of Lore. Sounds like some kids writing about his fantasy card game again.  Not interested in your sticky, discolored, poorly written lore, ya teenaged maroon.  End of movie.

Here's a run down on the stories:
  1. The Boo Men - a sackheaded creep in flannel haunts a guy with mental issues... besides seeing sackheaded creeps. The ending is lame but otherwise it's okay as you keep trying to figure out what the sackheaded creep wants.
  2. Full Moonlighting - a kid with awesome 70's hair returns from backpacking in Europe, and his ex-girlfriend gets in touch. But he's got this strange bite on his leg and he doesn't want her around. This isn't exactly original (cough, American Werewolf in London, cough), but it was probably the best one. Perhaps that's because it was short.
  3. Skeleton Key - a girl and her boyfriend go to her dead Grandmothers house to look through stuff before her parents sell everything. They hear noises and the guy goes to investigate even though his girl is smart enough to want to leave. Stupid. Worst of the bunch.
  4. Suckers - a couple of guys running a movie theater discover an old film behind the screen and decide to watch it.  It's ancient but one guy swears he saw the girl in the theater that night.  Includes the only vampires who can be thwarted by shining flashlights in their eyes, or hitting them in the face with a door.
The movie is called Dead Teenagers, but everyone is obviously older than that.  Even their story lines don't portray them as teens.  So what's up with that except that it makes a better title than Dead College Students?

The acting was passable except for two guys in the last segment that were so horrible it was painful to watch. I actually had to go back and watch some of it again because I couldn't believe they were really that bad.  They were.

I would also be remiss in mentioning that when they open the book, each story is two pages long. Yup that's it.  It almost makes me wish they had just filmed the notebook itself as I could read it in less time than it took me to sit through this.

Nope, I'm not touching it. It looks disgusting.
Who knows what unsavory fluids have stained it.
Behold his awesome feathered hair -
no seriously, it's fantastic.
Nope, still not going to touch it.  The inside is almost
as bad as the outside, what with it's yellow stains - yeech!
Who knew this was a viable option for stopping a vampire?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Berserker: Hell's Warrior (2004)

A Viking king seeks help from his ostracized son Boar, who has become a berserker and wears a bears head and pelt. Boar agrees to help defend the kingdom if his brother Barek will agree to become a berserker too.  The King agrees, but reneges on his promise after vanquishing the enemy and dooms Boar to a fiery death.  But Barek can't bear to see this happen and screams to Odin, a Norse god, to save Boar in exchange for his soul.

In an abrupt jolt, we switch from dirty men wearing animal pelts to a modern psychiatric hospital. It's like the projectionist has put on the wrong reel and we're in a different movie.  Nope, there's Barek chained up in a cell. How did he get there? Why is he wearing the same clothing?  What the hell is going on?

See the cover?  That's how they've got him chained up.  Every time someone goes in to see him, they chains suspend him from the ceiling. But they let him wear his leather suit, so he's got that going for him.

Anya, the new doctor, decides Barek doesn't need to be chained because she's unprofessional and feels drawn to him. Oh maybe that's because they both keep being reborn or never die or whatever the hell is happening because they're both from the Viking period and are repeating the same patterns over and over because stupid old Boar is still alive.

Soon Boar and his filthy, animal covered men holding broadswords showing up at the facility and begin taking lives.  How does everyone end up in modern times, but is still dressed like dirty Vikings?  They look like people right out of central casting.  How did they get to the hospital?  Can they just materialize?  What's up with that?

They call them Valkyries, but they glow and have fangs.  Now I don't remember any legends about Norse vampires, so I think they're either very confused, decided their target audience wouldn't know  the difference, or decided to take huge liberties with the story and go for broke.  It's hard to suspend disbelief when the movie isn't super interesting or exciting.

This is a super wordy, dialogue driven movie.  Every time they start talking in their low, deliberately slow voices, I just started hearing blah blah blah Odin blah blah.  Characters keep screaming "Odin!" as if they're some crazed drunk at a party.  And Odin must be the most popular guy ever because no one can stop talking about him.  Odin this and Odin that. Oh I need Odin to save me. No, he's going to save me. No, Odin likes me better.

Bottom line - with a title of Berserker, I expected to see a whole hell of a lot of berserking, and I was sorely disappointed.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Evil Ed (1997)

Milquetoast film editor Ed is transferred to another department to work on the Loose Limbs series, a series of about eight films of graphic gory violence.   Ed doesn't watch horror and hasn't edited any of these films before. So he's surprised that he's been chosen to work on this violent, bloody series

After a couple of days of editing, he makes an appointment with the famous director of the films and requests to return to his old editing job because the gory films are making him ill.  The director, who is only concerned with his own needs, threatens to fire him if he doesn't continue with his new assignment in the horror department.

In order to help Ed concentrate, the director sends him to a vacant  house where he will have no distractions.  But instead of helping him, the isolation starts to drive Ed crazy. He starts hallucinating and acting freaky, eventually beating up a delivery boy and attacking some thugs.

Every time I hear the name Evil Ed, I think of the original Fright Night.  But this has nothing to do with that.  It's not the fastest moving film, nor is it laugh out loud, but it's interesting.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Frozen (2010)

Dan and best friend Joe decide to go snowboarding. But much to Joe's chagrin, Dan's girlfriend Parker tags along and she's not much of a snowboarder.  But Parker comes in handy when flirting with the lift operator and bribes him to get cheap passes.

As the mountain is getting ready to shut down the lift, they convince the lift operator to let them go up in the lift so they can do one last run down the mountain.

On their way up, the operator is called away and tells his replacement there are still people on the mountain/lift.  But a misunderstanding occurs, and the lift is shut off leaving the three friends stranded above the ground.

At first they assume it's a temporary problem and expect it will start right up.  But then the lights go off and they realize that everything is shutting down.  Even worse, the resort isn't going to be open again until the next weekend.

As a storm moves in and the temperature drops, the group must decide what to do.  Do they wait on the lift and hope for help?  Do they jump several stories to the ground?  Do they try to climb along the cable to the tower holding the cables in place?  The cables are like razor wire, they aren't dressed for the freezing temperatures, and there are wolves in the woods.

While this was technically good. But the kids ticked me off by conning the lift operator and laughing at him for falling for their scam.  They weren't the most sympathetic characters. It doesn't mean they deserve to die, but they do deserve a beating.  If I snowboarded, I would probably be kind of freaked out by this movie.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Rig (2010)

The crew on an oil rig hit something that damages the drill and destroys their underwater camera.  With a big storm brewing out at sea, all non-essential personnel are evacuated because the rig is right in the storms path.

As the storm is almost upon them, the skeleton crew split up to  secure everything on the rig and batten down the hatches.  When one of the crew turns up missing, the Captain is not happy because they should know better than to leave someone alone in bad weather.  They search the ship but don't find anything and speculate that he may have gone into the water.  But the real problem is a creature that they've unearthed with their drilling and he's on a mission to kill.

The characters are stereotypical and the creature has big claws and looks more like something alien.  You don't see it that much, but when you do, it's just confusing.  William Forsythe deserves better.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rabies (2010)

aka Kalevet

Why did I think this was a zombie movie?  I have no idea.  It's not like the title or cover screams that there are living dead in the film.  Needless to say, but when you're expecting zombies and there's nothing of the sort, it gets mighty confusing.  It may also be confusing if you expect there to be any rabies in the film.

Various peoples lives overlap when each ends up in the forest.  There are two cops, two couples, a brother and sister, a man and his dog, and a serial killer.  The forest is full of bear traps and unexploded land mines. So getting away from the killer or anyone else is more than a little difficult.

The movie was made in Israel, which is noteworthy since I can't recall any other horror movies from that country.  It's well done, and the characters lives interweave in unexpected ways.  They  aren't exactly the most likable people, but at least they aren't your stereotypical assholes.  Worth a watch, although it's not something I'd probably watch again.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's My Party and I'll Die if I Want To (2007)

For Sara's 18th birthday, her friends decide to throw her a surprise party in Burkitt Manor.  The Manor has been abandoned for years, ever since it was the site of some grisly murders.

As the gang is setting up, they awaken a demon/ghost/whatever that starts killing, which doesn't bode well for the party that night.  Tom Savini appears briefly as an electrician.

This movie has one of the most puzzling lines of dialogue said between two guys, "Hey ass bag... I'm going to fuck start your face."  What does that even mean?!

Watch for the wig heavy enough to turn on a boombox. Ridiculous!

There are comic book transitions between scenes and they play the disco version of Beethoven's Fifth. Everyone used to roller skate to that song in the 70s.  But overall I was horrified when I popped this in because I realized I'd seen it before, and it didn't improve upon a second look.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966)

Barfly Brenda flirts with out of towner Driscoll West who reveals he is in town as he believes there is oil to be found in the swamp.  Brenda keeps Driscoll busy as her boyfriend Richie goes to Driscoll's hotel room to rob him of any paperwork that shows where the oil is located.

When Driscoll catches Richie in his room, Richie decides the only way to escape is to kill him. Brenda is not amused as this seems to put a damper on their quest for undeserved wealth.

Bartender Frenchy's not too happy either since he is asked to get rid of the body.  What a great hotel. They're only worried about their own inconvenience, not that they're covering up a murder and plotting how to steal the money/oil/riches, etc.

When geologist Barry Rogers arrives, Brenda pretends to be Driscoll's wife and Richie masquerades as an assistant.  They explain that Driscoll can't make it, so they will accompany Rogers into the swamp.

After traipsing around in the wilderness, they find a village full of natives and a huge house where mad scientist Dr. Trent and his sweet young wife reside.  Trent's wife is tired of living in the middle of the swamp, but Trent is working on some strange crocodile-swamp-human experiment.  Oh that can't be good.  And the natives aren't happy about their kinfolk being used as subjects or the evil mojo being fed to alligators.

John Agar is Barry Rogers, professional geologist, so I think we know about where we stand with this one.  Yup, we've got some downright primitive make up in this one, my friends.
This is not what I picture when I hear the words
Swamp Creature.