Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dawn Of The Dead

#1 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

So the number one pick for my list shouldn't be a surprise to basically anyone who knows me, because I've made every one of my friends watch this at least once. This horror movie sequel to Night of the Living Dead imagines a zombie apocalypse that disintegrates society more and more, so a quartet decide to hole up in a shopping mall where - oh, why am I even explaining this to you? The blood is a weird color and it's a rough movie in construction, but the writing, atmosphere and characterization are the best. No movie makes me feel better watching it than this one. If you haven't seen it, and I can't imagine that's true since the site's audience is mainly people I've probably forced this movie on before, then you really need to go rent it from wherever even rents movies anymore, pronto buster.

RATING: 100%

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jason X

In the future, 2008, Jason is captured by the government and held in a research facility. Unable to kill or transport him, Jason is placed into suspended animation. In the even futurer, 2455, Jason's body is found by some students among the debris littering Earth's abandoned surface (Wall-E was right). Jason wakes up on a spaceship and starts killing everyone. Some other stuff happens, but it's all so fucking terrible I don't even want to write about it. Ye gods, this movie sucks!

Rating: Face frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed on counter%

(Image from impawards.com)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nosferatu

As far as blatant copyright infringements go, Nosferatu is probably one of the most famous and best. Basically, it is the story of Dracula, except they couldn't get the rights so they changed "vampire" to "nosferatu" and "Dracula" to "Orlok" (they got sued). It's pretty boring, but the Count looks awesome. But I guess if you wanted to see a better movie that is about this movie you could always check out Shadow of the Vampire, which I forgot existed until just now.

RATING: 50%

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Jason's killing days seemingly come to an end after he's gunned down by the FBI. But then, wouldn't you know it, Jason's remains hypnotize the coroner, allowing Jason's demonic spirit to move from body to body. While a mysterious bounty hunter tries to warn everyone that Jason can only truly be killed by a blood relative. Did I mention the estranged marriage subplot? Or the sleazy tabloid news reporter? Or the creepy couple who run the local greasy spoon? Or the appearance of props from the Evil Dead series? No? Then, boy oh boy, you're in for a treat.

Rating: Stabbed with a magic dagger%

(Image from impawards.com)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New York Ripper

I guess in 1982, at the height of the slasher genre, Lucio Fulci must have seen a couple of American slasher movies and said "Oh, ok, sex and violence against women, I can do that. TO THE EXTREME!" I mean, I knew Fulci could do violence, but I really don't think I've seen any non-porns with sex this graphic. Anyway, the plot is a serial killer quacks like a duck and kills women. Sounds pretty straightforward, but don't worry - Fulci crazies it up enough by the end so nobody knows what's going on.

RATING: 52%

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pieces

Have you ever looked in a funhouse mirror? The reflected image is familiar yet humorously/freakishly distorted. Pieces is the funhouse mirror reflection of slasher movies. When American filmmakers attempted to cash in on the slasher craze they usually just tried to amp up the levels of gore and/or sleaze in their films, the Spanish filmmakers behind Pieces decided to amp up the crazy. And when I say crazy, I don't mean crazy in a sadistic, violent, mean spirited, especially misogynistic way. I mean crazy insofar as the movie contains, among other things, a random and pointless kung fu scene.

Rating: 62%

(Image from thevaultofhorror.blogspot.com)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Them!

Speaking of bugs, Them! is a movie about ants who got all giant due to atomic bombs. According to Wikipedia, the source I tell all my students to use, it is regarded as one of the best science fiction movies of the 50s. According to me, the only source I ever use, it is regarded as a boring piece of dookie. The ant effects are pretty good, but too much of the movie is this scientist with one of those old-timey "smart person" accents claiming that they're witnessing biblical prophecy. Thanks, doc! Hope you got that opinion peer reviewed.

RATING: 44%

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Return of the Fly

I was going to write a legitimate review for Return of the Fly but I don't think anyone can sum it up better than Glenn Danzig already did:

Return of the fly
With Vincent Price
You guinea pig
Yeah, return of the fly

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

Rating: 70%

(Image from movieposterdb.com)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carrie

As everybody knows, Carrie is the story of this girl who gets made fun of and has a crazy religious mother. Then she goes to prom with this nice boy and everybody finally accepts her except for three or four douche laroues who dump pig blood on her, which makes her go all telekinetic Columbine on the whole school. I guess the lesson is either don't make fun of people or don't let people get on your nerves, I'm not sure which. It's hard to review this movie because it set the tone for a million horror movie/Stephen King cliches, but I guess it's pretty good, 1970s split screen and all.

RATING: 73%

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Thing

Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and a bunch of other dudes are at an Antarctic research station when they unwittingly bring a shape-shifting alien into their midst, much gore and paranoia ensues. Holy frigballs, I love this movie. Every time I watch it, I wish I was watching it again for the first time, just so I wouldn't know what gooey surprises were lurking around the next corner. And even though I'm a big Halloween fan, this is quite possibly my all-time favorite John Carpenter film. The special effects work by (an apparently coked up) Rob Bottin are amazing.

Rating: 95%

(Image from impawards.com)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An American Werewolf In London

#22 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

I thought I ran out of horror movies on my top 100 movie list (WHICH I SWEAR I'LL FINISH), but hey, here's the best werewolf movie ever made. I really miss the days when talented, non-genre directors like John Landis would take a shot at making a horror movie. I guess the Grindhouse double feature kind of counts, but those dudes weren't even trying to make something good. Anyway, the plot is an American college kid gets turned into a werewolf, except he's in London. Co-starring lots of shots of the main dude's wang.

RATING: 93%

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a faux documentary about Leslie Vernon, an up-and-coming serial killer. The documentary's crew follows Leslie around as he prepares for his latest killing spree. Most of the film is shot in a hand-held documentary style, but there are a number of sections in the film that are presented in a traditional cinematic style, mostly whenever Leslie springs into action. Though Behind the Mask deconstructs a lot of slasher movie conventions and clichés, it avoids most of the pitfalls of post-Scream horror movies by placing its characters in a world where Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are real-life serial killers. Clever horror movies rarely work, but Behind the Mask is an interesting, post-modern take on the slasher genre.

Rating: 79%

(Image from best-horror-movies.com)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Survival Of The Dead

Another George Romero zombie movie, and perhaps a chance to redeem himself after Diary of the Dead. The plot here is a couple of Irish families have conflict on an island off the coast of Delaware? Ugh, we get it, we get it, we're the real bad guys. Also all of the gore is computer generated and looks tres fake.

RATING: 43%

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Slumber Party Massacre

This movie has one of my favorite old-timey movie clichés in it: the important news bulletin that the characters don't hear. Two or three times near the beginning of the movie, we're shown characters who are listening to the radio when a news bulletin comes on warning of an escaped mental patient/serial killer/whatever. But without fail, every time this potentially vital piece of information is broadcast, the characters get distracted or they turn off the radio. I don't think this particular cliché gets used too much anymore, but it shows up all the time in older horror movies. On a completely different note: The Slumber Party Massacre is supposedly a feminist horror movie because it was written and directed by women and features a killer who uses an over-sized drill to kill his victims, but it's pretty much a standard, by-the-numbers, exploitation flick. Heck, the biggest gag in the movie is a woman in a refrigerator.

Rating: 61%

(Image from impawards.com)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chopping Mall

Oh, sweet, look at that poster. I bet this movie is totally about killer security robots that go out of control and zap people with their lasers.

RATING: 11%

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shredder

A lot of bad slasher movies were made in the wake of Scream's success, Shredder was one of those movies. In Shredder, a bunch of horny, snowboarding douchebags break into an abandoned ski resort and are picked off, one by one, by a masked skier with a hard-on for winter sport etiquette. It's kinda like Friday the 13th crossed with an episode of Scooby-Doo, just nowhere near as good. "You kids stay away from that abandoned ski resort. It's haunted." "Screw you, old man. We came here to party! Woo!"

Rating: 49%

(Image from Amazon)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Horror Of Dracula

Also known as just Dracula, Horror of Dracula is a movie about this foreign dude named Dracula who likes to drink people's blood. At the beginning of every Dracula movie I always want Jonathan Harker to end up being pals with Dracula, and then maybe they play some board games or go for a nice walk or something, but that's never how it works out. I hate to admit it, but I'm 30 and this is the first time I've ever seen a Hammer horror film. My bad, ok!

RATING: 76%

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Phantasm

How can I explain Phantasm? Well, there's this creepy Tall Man who's killing people and turning them into midgets in Jawa cloaks. He's also got these floating silver spheres that can drill a hole in your head. Oh, and there's these guys who drive around in a sweet Hemi Cuda who are trying to stop the Tall Man. Did I mention that the Tall Man was killing people and turning them into midgets so he could send them into another dimension?

Rating: 76%

(Image from impawards.com)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is a horror movie that everybody knows about some friends who go to a cabin and then accidentally turn into demons, known in this movie as "deadites." It is not to be confused with another movie with this exact plot, called Evil Dead 2. That's standard fare for horror movies, sure, but in this case a bunch of the exact same things happen and one of the characters is the same and no reference is made to the first movie. Um. If you haven't seen this movie, that's totally crazy and I'm not even going to address it.

RATING: 73%

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jaws 2

The great white spectre o' death returns to Amity Island, this time with some cool scars courtesy of a flare gun (because chicks dig scars). Chief Brody knows something's up, but no one wants to believe him. So it's not long before water-skiers, divers, pleasure boaters, and helicopter pilots are getting chomped down with a vengeance. The original Jaws was a masterful thriller, but Jaws 2 plays out more like a slasher film, with most of the shark's victims being horny teens. After directing Jaws, Steven Spielberg would go on to direct films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. After directing Jaws 2, Jeannot Szwarc would go on to direct films such as Supergirl and Santa Claus. 'Nuff said.

Rating: 75%

(Image from impawards.com)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thinner

This movie is about a fat lawyer who gets cursed by a gypsy for accidentally killing his daughter. In movies people always seem to have very negative opinions about gypsies, but, like, are there even roving bands of gypsies in America? To be fair, the curses the gypsies place on people always seem to be way worse than the transgressions committed. Maybe not so much in this movie, since the guy did get a mob boss off for murder and also killed somebody, but in Drag Me To Hell that curse was way worse than the nice lady doing her job at the bank. Anyway, this movie kind of sucks and the makeup effects are terrible, so don't bother.

RATING: 36%

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Burning

The Burning is a sleazy little slasher movie from 1981 that has the distinction of being one of the first movies ever made by the Weinstein brothers. The story involves a bunch of camp counselors and horny teens being stalked and killed by a deranged former camp caretaker who had been horribly burned years earlier in a prank gone awry. The Burning's big draw, more than anything, has to be Tom Savini's practical makeup effects. Having recently done the effects for such horror classics as Dawn of the Dead, Maniac and the original Friday the 13th, Savini was at the top of his game. The Burning is also notable for starring a young, though already balding, Jason Alexander.

Rating: 77%

(Image from Amazon)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Teeth

Teeth is the heartwarming story of a high school girl who has vagina dentata, more commonly known as tooth coot. In a better movie this could have been used as a great metaphor about struggling to come to terms with one's sexuality or something, I don't know, but here she seems to be cool with it pretty fast. Also, I thought the premise would be pretty limited for a horror movie, but she manages to dismember a lot of members without actively setting out to do so. As far as genital based horror movies go, it has to be in the top three, although to be fair I've never seen Killer Condom.

RATING: 57%


Friday, October 8, 2010

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Michael Landon plays Tony, a latchkey kid with anger management issues. Tony seeks help from Dr. Brandon, a quasi-mad scientist type who "treats" Tony with a combination of drugs and hypnosis. The treatment, for reasons that never make a whole lot of sense, causes Tony to turn into a werewolf whenever he gets upset. And seeing as Tony already had a short fuse, it's not long before he wolfs out and kills some chick who was just trying to practice her gymnastics. I Was a Teenage Werewolf has yet to be released on DVD, but I definitely recommend checking it out if you can find it.

Rating: 67%

(Image from examiner.com)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Christine

Christine is a movie about a jealous car who gets mad and kills people. Also, it repairs itself, so in my opinion it almost might be worth it? It's a high quality 80s horror movie, which means the characters are pretty likable and the dialogue is sharp, but there's almost no blood at all. According to Wikipedia, you should "See also: The Love Bug." I always knew Herbie was up to no good (Start the clip at 5:30 to see what I mean).

RATING: 70%

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Alligator

Alligator is way better than it has any right to be. An unapologetic, low-budget, Jaws rip-off that manages to find the perfect balance of schlock and awe. The titular alligator even looks surprisingly good, thanks to the mixture of practical special effects with old timey forced perspective shots. The plot of Alligator is pretty standard for this type of movie: our hero, Robert Forster playing a balding cop, teams up with a sexy redheaded reptile expert to find and stop the renegade gator (renegator?) before it's too late. Throw in Henry Silva as a whacked out big game hunter, a subplot involving a shady chemical company, sleazy reporters, a big wedding, and some kids getting killed at a birthday party and you've got yourself one heck of a movie.

Rating: 89%

(image from impawards.com)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

From A Whisper To A Scream

I miss the horror anthology - the movie like Creepshow or Cat's Eye that is actually a combination of 3-5 shorter horror movies. Trick r Treat was pretty good last year, but this is a phenomenon that seemed to exit with the horror boom of the early 90s. Anyway, this particular horror anthology is not that great, but at least it has Vincent Price in his twilight years I guess. The best stories are the last two, in which a glass eating carnival freak tries to break his contract, and a cruel Union soldier is held captive by a group of maimed Civil War orphans. If you're going to watch a movie from the end of Vincent Price's life that features an undead fetus beating up an old man, I suppose it might as well be this one.

RATING: 38%

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lifeforce

A spaceship hidden by Halley's Comet unleashes sexy space vampires and boredom upon London, mostly boredom. Tobe Hooper directed Lifeforce for Cannon Films, the notorious studio behind countless Chuck Norris flicks and the American Ninja franchise. I was actually surprised by the special effects and production value featured in Lifeforce, but even with all the spiffy spaceship sets and exploding vampire zombies, there isn't too much to get excited about in this movie. The mostly British cast come across as too prim and austere, even as an apocalyptic vampire plague threatens to end all life on Earth. Not even a sexy vampire chick, who spends most of the movie completely naked, and a slightly unhinged performance from Steve Railsback can save the film. But I suppose if you're in the mood for a movie that features Patrick Stewart being forcibly drugged and restrained, then Lifeforce just might be the perfect film for you.

Rating: 57%

(Image from impawards.com)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

City of the Living Dead

You gotta feel a little bad for Lucio Fulci - in the 70s and early 80s, he was an Italian horror movie director at the same time as Dario Argento, and it seems like Fulci always lost whenever they were compared. It's easy to see why; Argento's movies are pretty straightforward, linear narratives shot in bright colors, while Fulci's movies are disjunctive, shadowy affairs which eschewed plot in favor of more expressionistic imagery and tonal atmospheres. On VHS, Fulci's movies looked terrible, but I've found as an adult I appreciate them a lot more than Argento's movies. As far as this one goes, there's like some gates of hell that might be opened and some dudes try to stop it? I'm not exactly sure, but there's a scene where a lady pukes all her guts up and also a scene where live maggots pour from the windows into a house, what more do you want?

RATING: 68%

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

I'm just gonna put this out there: A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge is quite possibly the gayest horror movie of the 1980s. It starts off with Jesse and his family moving into the old Thompson place on Elm Street, the same house from the original film. Things start to get strange for Jesse after he finds Nancy's diary, detailing her dreams and dealings with one Mr. Freddy Krueger. Soon enough Jesse is running from his horny girlfriend, spending a suspicious amount of time with his rarely dressed rival from school, and picking up his creepy gym teacher from an S&M leather bar. The people behind the film have since claimed that they were unaware of the film's homoerotic subtext, which could very well be true, it was the 80s after all.

Rating: Welcome to Pride Week, Bitch%

(Image from nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Return Of The Living Dead Part II

31 Days Of Horror Movies # 1

The first Return of the Living Dead was a great pastiche of punk rock music and 80s horror, but this movie blows. The plot is some stupid kids open up a canister of zombie gas and then everybody turns into zombies. The 70s and early 80s had a lot of pretty terrific zombie movies, but watching this last night I realized that this is the precise moment the zombie movie jumped the shark. There's only been, like, two good ones since then. What I'm trying to say is I liked zombies before they were cool, dagnabbit. (They're still cool, right?)

RATING: 45%