Hell Night is the Scooby-Doo of slasher movies and I mean that in the best possible way. It's an 80s college hazing movie set in a creepy old house. A house which may or may not contain a deformed murderer. And all of the protagonists have just come from a costume party. And Linda frickin' Blair is the lead. If I have any complaints, it's that the movie is a little too long. But otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised by this flick.
A touring low cash punk band is desperate for some money after a cancelled gig so they agree to do a show for some (ulp) white supremacists. That's a bad move in my opinion, though they do lead off their show with a cover of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" which is bitchin. They do their show and are about to leave until they witness a murder, and wind up having to fight their way out. It's from the director of Blue Ruin, so you can imaging it's pretty brutal.
A girl tries to contact her dead mother but accidentally winds up in touch with one of those evil demons who wants to possess a living body, you know the kind. When spooky stuff starts happening, the girl's dad gets in touch with the elderly medium from the first two Insidii - obviously this is a prequel since she died in part 1. One of my major gripes with these movies is that most of the scares just come from loud orchestral stings. Like that's cheap as heck!
Once upon a time, David Zucker made Airplane! and it was good. Later, he made the Naked Gun movies and they were good. At least at first, there's a real sense of diminishing returns there and that's not even touching on the whole O.J. Simpson thing, which has really made those movies difficult to return to, but I digress. Scary Movie 3 is terrible. It's dumb. It's cheap looking. And it's not funny. But the greatest shame of it all might be that it manages to taint the legacies of Leslie Nielsen and George Carlin, both of whom appear in this movie. Carlin only ever appeared in a handful of films during his career and, regardless of how you feel about Kevin Smith's filmography, this is easily his worst one.
The first Scary Movie was a fairly focused parody of 90s slashers, while Scary Movie 2 was aimed more towards supernatural thrillers like The Haunting. It also aimed for the gutter as much as possible. There was some gross out humor in the first Scary Movie, sure, but they really went overboard in the sequel. The opening sequence, which had very little to do with anything that followed, featured a scene of James Woods taking a painful shit, followed by a scene where he, Andy Richter and Natasha Lyonne get covered in wave after wave of vomit. Once again, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I laughed during the part where Anna Faris' character fights the cat puppet. I'll just come right out and say it, if laughing at a cat puppet wielding a broken bottle is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
When last we saw our Insidii, the old psychic woman was killed by the husband person who hired her because he got possessed by an evil ghost. This movie is all about having to depossess the guy and get rid of all the ghosts, except now they don't have the powerful psychic woman to help out. The movies just a lotto loud screaming and piano crashes though - not exactly manufacturing lasting dread.
When people say, "they don't make 'em like they used to," it's usually with a sense of nostalgia. When that thought occurred to me while revisiting Scary Movie, it was more like a sense of relief. There's no subtlety in this movie. All of the amps are turned to eleven. But in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I liked this movie when it first came out. I bootlegged it on VHS, because that was a thing we did once upon a time. But much like those magnetic tapes, my appreciation for this movie is a thing of the past.
Moving into a spooky new house a bunch of scary stuff starts happening after a couple's oldest son gets knocked into a coma. Maybe the house is haunted??? Good guess, but actually it's their comatose son who is haunted! They call up a ghost hunter who happens to be a family friend to deal with the ghostly trouble. Like, in movies people always know somebody who can deal with a haunting! I don't know anybody like that - what am I supposed to do if I'm ever haunted, huh??? Back to the movie, the ghost hunter convinces the father of the haunted kid to take a magical journey to a haunted ghost realm to get his son back, but there are three more Insidii so I bet you can guess things don't all go according to plan.
Woof. This one was rough. Howling II was pretty bad, but I still managed to get some laughs out of it. Howling III really only had one moment that made me laugh. And since I don't recommend you watch this movie, I don't mind telling you what it was. Some army dudes come upon the burnt skeletal remains of a werewolf. One of the army dudes gets in close, that's when the smoldering werewolf skeleton comes to life and attacks the guy. It doesn't make any sense, like so much of this film. I'd be surprised if there was an actual script for this movie. And I'd be blown away if anyone actually read it and thought that making it was a good idea.
There once was a time when you couldn't put nudity, violence, profanity or drug use on television. There were only a few stations back then and even fewer shows than we have access to now. Sometimes those stations would want to show movies. But if the movie they wanted to show featured any scenes of nudity, violence, profanity or drug use, those scenes had to be edited. This was often done very poorly. Nobody knows why. Take for instance, Halloween II. The Television Cut of Halloween II edits or removes every scene from the film that featured nudity, violence, profanity or drug use. You may be thinking, "Wouldn't this ruin the movie, seeing as it's a horror movie and horror movies are pretty much required to have scenes with nudity, violence, profanity and/or drug use?" You'd be right, of course. It pretty much ruins the movie. "Then why would you watch the Television Cut of Halloween II?" you might ask. Well, due to the fact that the movie was going to be much shorter without all of the nudity, violence, profanity and drug use, a number of additional scenes were added to the Television Cut. They're mostly additional scenes of dialogue between the hospital staff. "Was anything cool added?" Nope. "Is it worth going out of my way to see this version of the movie?" No, not really.
Halloween II isn't as good as the original Halloween, but how could it be? The music isn't as good as the original. The mask isn't as good as the original. Laurie gets sidelined for the bulk of the movie while she recovers from the injuries she sustained during the original. And it sprinkles in some unnecessary back story which will eventually be purged from the mythology of the series. It just doesn't cut the mustard. It cuts a few throats, sure, but not the mustard. And yet, it's not all bad. I've seen The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween: Resurrection. It's definitely better than those two movies.
A guy who had a terrible childhood trauma (he murdered his parents with an axe - maybe a little more traumatic for them tbh) decides to drive from New York to Florida and kill a buncha people on the way to kill his ex-wife and kids. This movie is famous for being the only "video nasty" (movies deemed by the British government to be harmful to society for violence and forced to make cuts) for which the distributor actually went to jail for refusing to make edits to the violence. I mean good to stick up for your art but also this isn't exactly a terrific movie to spend a year and a half in prison for!
A couple is trying to revitalize their failing relationship so they go to a remote cabin and do one of those sex games by handcuffing the woman to the bed. But uh oh! The husband has a heart attack and dies, leaving the wife stranded on the bed in the middle of nowhere and with no possibility of help. It's a pretty simple concept with a lotta stressful situations, though I really didn't get the whole last ten minutes where they talk about a serial killer who barely had anything to do with the movie.
I'll say this about New Year's Evil, the theme song kicks a whole lot of ass. The rest of the movie is alright, I guess. They certainly throw a lot of stuff at the wall, but not all of it really sticks. The plot doesn't really make a whole lot of sense either. At times, it seems like there are two (or three) separate movies going on at the same time. And there's at least one plot thread that doesn't really go anywhere. It's definitely a Cannon film. It's got that vibe. You can imagine that there was a conversation at some point that went something like this: "Friday the 13th made a lot of money. We should make a slasher movie like that." "I know, we can make one called New Year's Evil." "What would it be about?" "I don't know but I can have it ready in a month." "That's good because I've already sold the international distribution rights." ...and scene.
Wowzers. This movie is bad. Laughably bad. It's chock full of awful acting, poor dialogue, terrible ADR, gross werewolf sex, repetitive music and nonsensical plot points. It's almost a parody of a movie. It might also be my new favorite bad horror movie. On the plus side you get Christopher Lee dressed up for the most part like he's auditioning to play the Tall Man, except for one great scene where he's wearing a pair of those thin eighties sunglasses. There's also a couple of great werewolf attack/gunfight sequences. But above all, this movie is a must see for the editing. So many cut-away shots to puppets and owls. I tip my hat to the hopped up lunatics who cobbled together this film.
A disillusioned disc jockey in Salem (Massachusetts, please!) gets a record sent in by a band but maybe it's one a those secret message Satan type rock records that hypnotizes women into becoming witches. I think it's good and funny that Rob Zombie, a rock musician probably accused of making "devil music," made a movie playing on those old rumors. It's got some great atmosphere, though for me in this our year 2018 it was hard not to root for these witches. I mean I guess it is too bad they serve some loser like Satan who lives in a poop pit but they're pretty much in control, mostly!
In this notorious German gorefest a young couple is feeling a little bored in their sex life so they decide to spice it up by introducing a rotten corpse into their doing it. You know, German stuff. All the corpse sex stuff is obviously disturbing but this is also one of those movies (like Cannibal Holocaust) that tries to up the ante by showing a real animal get killed. Yeesh, ya didn't have to up the ante from your graphic corpse sex scenes, sleazos! At least it's a professional rabbit farmer this time and not like some repulsed actors coerced into killing a sea turtle like in Cannibal Holocaust. Anyway, I don't exactly know how to rate this movie - it grossed me out and that's what it was going for?
Piranha II is not a good movie. At times it can be slow, boring, poorly edited and incoherent. The special effects don't look very good. Some of the effects may even have been re-used from the first movie. And seeing the movie now on blu ray certainly doesn't help hide any of its imperfections. Don't be fooled by the fact that this movie claims to have been directed by James Cameron. While he may have been behind the camera for most of the filming, the blame should fall at the feet of Ovidio G. Assonitis, the man who brought us Tentacles. Cameron was hired to replace the movie's first director but within days of starting on the project Assonitis took control of the film. And while Piranha II is certainly better than Tentacles, it still isn't very good. Also, if you can believe it, there are some reports out there that Lance Henriksen has described his time working on Piranha II as one of the worst experiences he's ever had making a film. Which is hardly surprising, considering they spelled his name wrong in the credits.
After hitching a ride to a secluded beach, a surfer is attacked by a great white shark and left stranded a few hundred yards from the shore. With no help coming can she survive or will she die in The Shallows? This movie is honestly better than it has any right to be. Chalk it up to some really clever directing and an incredible performance from Blake Lively. It's certainly not a perfect movie, but it delivers the goods. You may, however, be left with the unfortunate impression that women in Hollywood only ever get these showy roles when it involves violence against them and/or they are required to wear a bikini for the majority of their performance.
I like think of myself as a horror connoisseur, so I'm a little embarrassed to only just now see this Lovecraft adaptation from the same crew as what made Re-Animator. Plus also Ken Foree from Dawn of the Dead who I met once at a comic convention and he was super nice! The plot is a couple scientists make contact with a dimension full of worm monsters, but then the older scientist gets possessed and turned into a half blob man. The younger scientist (everybody's favorite Weyoun Jeffrey Combs) gets booked for murder so a psychologist gets him out in order to show her what was up. Lot's of fun and wild body horror type stuff follows!
Before lighting the world on fire with Jaws, Steven Spielberg was a struggling director. Unable to get the material and opportunities he wanted because of his young age and lack of experience, he threw himself into directing for television. His first real breakout success came with the 1971 Movie of the Week Duel. The original TV movie received such acclaim that it was eventually padded out with some extra scenes and was released as a feature film in Europe. The most easily accessible version of the movie today is the European cut, which can definitely feel a little overlong at times. This movie is definitely a must-watch for Spielberg fans though. There are so many hints at where he'll go as a film maker in the first decade or so of his career. The masterful use of tension and release that proves so effective later in Jaws is here. The use of snakes and spiders and the incredible shots of cars and trucks moving at high speed that work so well in Raiders of the Lost Ark are here as well. Duel is the filmic equivalent of the basement tapes that proceed a great album.
Usually I'm opposed to remakes of horror classics but ya know Evil Dead 2 was already basically a remake of Evil Dead 1, so why not do it again? Five friends go to a cabin in the middle of the woods to help one detox from heroin or cocaine or some kinda white powder never explained. Things are all well and good until one of them reads aloud some ancient Sumerian from a book made of human flesh, as one does, and demons start possessing everyone. It's pretty gruesome though kinda by the numbers until the last half hour, which is phenomenal. It does do a weird thing though where it feels like it has to explain the image from the original Evil Dead poster? Like why?
Bride of Frankenstein is one of those rare sequels that might be better than the original. And that is, by no means, a slight to the original. Bride takes everything that was good about the first film and elevates it. James Whale, the director, never wanted to make a sequel to the original Frankenstein. Universal wanted to cash in on the success of the first film right away, but Whale refused. They made several attempts to get a sequel off the ground without him, but came up short after a number of attempts. It was only after Whale was given a considerable amount of creative freedom that he agreed to direct the film. Jack Pierce, the special effects makeup artist returned as well, improving on the iconic makeup designs he created for the first film. Sadly, censors cut several minutes from the film and the cut footage remains lost. What remains, however, is a stone cold classic.
I wonder how many dang horror movies there are that try to make the point that misogyny is bad by showing horrific violence against women for two hours. Like, there's got to be a better way! The plot in this one is that a seemingly (at first!) normal family guy finds a wild woman living in the wild and decides to chain her up in the cellar to civilized her. Yes, she eats raw animals and etc but maybe it's hm the extremely toxic dude who is the real monster, right? There's obviously some decent comeuppance but ya know, there's a lot to get through before that.
I Bury the Living is an odd little movie. With a run time of 77 minutes it feels like an extended episode of the Twilight Zone. And while it's classified as a horror movie it's almost a film noir thriller with light science fiction elements. After taking over a large cemetery, the lead character begins to suspect that he has gained the power of life and death. He struggles to get anyone to believe him. He even begins to believe that he might be going crazy. And while I have no problem telling you that the ultimate reveal of the film is pretty disappointing overall, this movie certainly has enough style to elevate it slightly over other similar movies from the 50s. I mean, it was directed by the same guy who would go on to direct Ghoulies II aka the best movie in the Ghoulies series, so you know you're in good hands here.
Don't let the fact that this movie was shot on VHS, has like six different names, features nobody who ever acted again, and is available in its entirety for free on YouTube - it's a definite blast to watch. Despite having seemingly no budget whatsoever, the movie has incredible and numerous gore effects - I don't wanna say it exactly rivals Dead Alive in execution, but it at least rivals it in sheer guts quantity. The plot is the first "fallen angel," even before Lucifer, gets resurrected after a dude gets hit in the balls. He brings a bunch of zombies back to attack people and they do. I forgot to mention the English dub is hilarious, so check it out!
The movie starts with a window washer on a high rise getting his head torn off by a giant flying lizard creature and it only gets weirder from there. Michael Moriarty is the main character, I think. He certainly gives the biggest performance. He plays a rambling ex-con, ex-junkie, piano playing screw up who stumbles out of a heist and into the nest of the monster. If you thought he was something in The Stuff, then you will love him in this movie. David Carradine's character is a sarcastic tough guy cop and Richard Roundtree is barely in the movie. It's a weird movie that really isn't focused enough but it's also an enjoyable watch.
An artist’s difficult mother dies and then spooky stuff starts happening to her and her kids. Sorry to not be more specific but it’s kinda hard not to spoil what’s going on beyond the metaphorical level of the hereditary nature of mental illness. It’s really good though I feel like the first half is more of a depressing movie than a horror movie - also the movie lost two grade marks for the last ten seconds being a total ripoff of another famous horror movie. It does have one of the most uncomfortable sequences of any recent movie horror or otherwise when a character makes a biiiig mistake and then the camera just lingers on them while the other people figure it out. Also the Oscar’s Toni Collette’s to lose!
This is a really pleasant found footage style movie that purports to be a 1980s local news broadcast that spirals into ghosts, murder, demons, haunted house, carpet warehouse commercials, etc. It replicates the style of 80s news and local commercials really well, but of course it kinda falls apart once things have to start being scary or whatever. I personally have a lot of mental strands connecting 80s low budge VHS situations to the proto horror neurons that exist in my brain, so you might enjoy it if you’re in your 30s, otherwise, IDK?
Dee Wallace plays a television news anchor being stalked by a serial killer. After a particularly intense encounter with the killer, her therapist recommends spending some time at his secluded resort in the country. The locals seem a little odd and there's plenty of howling in the woods at night, but surely these things are unrelated. Or are they? They are. Very much so. The Howling is a Joe Dante movie through and through. Expect to see Dante regulars like Dick Miller, Robert Picardo and Belinda Balaski alongside Hollywood ringers like Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine and Slim Pickens. Heck, there are even cameos from Roger Corman, Forrest J. Ackerman, Mick Garris and John Sayles. The effects from Rob Bottin look pretty good, but there are definitely a few effects sequences that don't hold up. I'm looking at you, poorly animated fireside man-to-wolf transformation sequence.
On Halloween some goblins sneak into the Ghostbusters headquarters and bust Samhain out of the containment unit. Samhain turns the firehouse into a freaky fortress guarded by ghouls and ghosts. Will Samhain finally succeed in his quest to inflict eternal Halloween on the world? Nope. Samhain gets busted by the end of the episode, never to be seen again. This ends up being a pretty good episode of The Real Ghostbusters though. The animation quality has definitely improved since Samhain's first appearance. The voice cast has changed too, with Dave Coulier replacing Lorenzo Music in the role of Peter Venkman. Janine doesn't sound so Noo Yawk anymore and the Ghostbusters get some help from a trio of kids calling themselves the Junior Ghostbusters.
Some Detroit ne'er-do-wells try to rob an old blind war vet of some money he got after his kid was killed by a rich teenager, which if you ask me is not a very nice thing to do! Of course since this is a horror movie and not an, I dunno, action comedy thriller things get pretty fucked up!