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I know, your thinking Cellar dweller? That sounds like a poor sad
excuse of a horror film with camp acting and a low budget monster, I
don't think i'll bother with that, Well more fool you! Yes it has camp
acting and yes it has a low budget monster, but what do you want from a
horror movie? Blood, Gore? You sick people! Why not instead get your
hands on this comedy horror, Switch your brain off for 85 mins and
enjoy this ace movie. I think more people should remember the roots of
the 80's horror generation, Its movies like this that made my teens so
memorable, along with other stuff too of course but that has nothing to
do with movies!
Anyway fool as ba from the a-team would say (keeping with the 80's theme) get off your bum and go get a copy of this film, watch it and fear the cellar dweller! Then join my crusade to bring these gems back to life and give this film the top rating it deserves...What you waiting for? Go, Go get it now..
Cellar Dweller is quite an original horror offering as well as my first
Jeffrey Comb's flick. Of course I didn't know it was a Jeffrey Combs movie
back then, I didn't even know who Jeffrey Combs was. But, being the huge
Tales From the Crypt (if you see the movie you'll know what I'm babbling
about) fan that I am, the movie had an impact on me. Cellar Dweller is a
very loving tribute to the EC comics that are cherished by many a horror
fan. It's also a John Carl Buechler film and he created the Ghoulies. That
explains why the Cellar Dweller is simply an oversized Ghoulie (some people
even say that he's cute). I spent quite some time looking for this movie
and gave up. It's one of those movies you see when you're a kid watching
Showtime after midnight and you never expect to see it again (especially
since you don't remember the title). Then you run across it in a ghetto
Blockbuster years later and you realize that this is the movie you've been
looking for, and, indeed, one of your heroes is in it. Great gore effects,
gratuitous chewing, and Lily Munster (Yvonne De Carlo) make Cellar Dweller a
classic in my book, no matter how many people disagree. "Whenever there is
imagination, I will dwell."
Note for genre buffs: Look for a Troll and a Ghost Town poster on the walls of the colony. John Carl Buechler did the effects for both of those films.
This is a fun little horror film about a comic-book artist played by Jeffrey Combs("Re-Animator","Castle Freak")whose creation comes to life and kills him in 1950's.Now,the monster still hides in the basement of his house,which is a home to a group of artists."Cellar Dweller" is a decent horror film from special effects wizard John Carl Buechler.It's very entertaining and it features some cool gore scenes and funny-looking monster.Check it out,if you like this genre.Nothing special,but it will entertain you!
One can do worse than this if they're partial to the cheese horror of
the 1980s, a decade when the genre really came to life. Not that it's
anything special at all, but it IS reasonably amusing and thankfully
pretty short in duration (78 minutes all told). A production of Charles
Bands' Empire Pictures, it's got a cool, gnarly monster, a decent cast,
some gore and some suspense, and lots of impressive horror themed comic
book art. It even comes up with some twists along the way. It's one of
the directorial efforts of makeup effects expert John Carl Buechler,
who'd previously helmed "Troll" for Empire.
Debrah Farentino, acting here under her maiden name Mullowney, stars as Whitney, an aspiring comic book artist whose inspiration was the reclusive Colin Childress (played by Jeffrey Combs in a regrettably brief cameo appearance). In the opening prologue, Colins' creations manage to come to life and commit murder. 30 years later, his house is an art academy, and Whitney is the latest student. She finds that when her imagination is fired, the panels in her strips likewise take on life. So now she and others at the school are in big trouble.
The conclusion isn't altogether satisfying, but getting there, one can still have an agreeable enough time. There are some fun moments, and some hoots to be had. Brian Robbins ('Head of the Class', "C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud") is likable as a fellow student, as is Miranda Wilson as Lisa. Pamela Bellwood ('Dynasty') is effectively bitchy as Whitney's rival. Veterans Vince Edwards ("Return to Horror High") and Yvonne De Carlo ("The Silent Scream") are enjoyable to watch. Robbins's father, actor Floyd Levine, has a bit as a cabbie, and experienced monster performer Michael Deak plays the titular Cellar Dweller.
In the end, "Cellar Dweller" is forgettable but worth a viewing for genre devotees who want to see as much from this decade as possible.
Six out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Cellar Dweller" is a fun, harmless cheesy creature feature.
Arriving at the isolated Colony, Whitney Taylor, (Debrah Farentino) meets Mrs. Briggs, (Yvonne De Carlo) for an interview to do a relaunch of a famous, favored comic book, Cellar Dweller at the place. Gaining employment, she meets the other cadre of artists there, including Phillip Lemley, (Brian Robbins) Amanda, (Pamela Bellwood) Lisa, (Miranda Wilson) and Norman Meshelski. (Vince Edwards) who all warn her away from the basement. Determined to uncover the truth, despite the story about a horrible murder that occurred there and eventually decides to move there to create the comic series. After a while, they start to notice that the other tenets are disappearing, and eventually realize that her drawings are coming to life, and since her series is of a ravenous creature, they try to stop it before they all disappear.
The Good News: This one here does have some good parts to it. The fact that the film contains a rather unique and creative storyline is something to be commended. Taking the literal world of the comic books and turning them into actual scenes is quite nice, making this one feel really clever and creative, and using a rather complicated but still understandable back-story gives it even more flair than expected and really goes a long way towards making this one fun. There's also the fact that this one comes with the complete story with this one and it makes the film feel really good. The film also has a nice amount of cheese, which is really helpful. The creature attacks at the end, with the good one being the one on the victim in the shower meaning that there's the nudity requirement fulfilled nicely, and it ends with a great chase through the house complete with the action also seen through the eyes of the comic scene that it's emulating. It's great fun, and the other attacks in here aren't that bad either, and they do result in some nice gore scenes as well. There's a great decapitation, an upper half of the chest and head ripped completely off, one is ripped to pieces and completely dismembered and another is set on fire, which is quite nice and allows for some really nice gore moments. It isn't all that bloody, but it's gory enough to satisfy, and that's what matters here. The basement where the majority of the film takes place in is pretty creepy, coming with the completely well-done look of disuse and making sure that there's nothing in here that looks recent or could be misconstrued otherwise. It's a great set and helps set off those sequences nicely. The last big plus is the monster in here. It's a fantastically-designed creature, making it an imposing threat while also using it's werewolf-ish look to be both unique and quite threatening. Combined, these here are the film's good points.
The Bad News: This one here does have a few flaws to it that are pretty hard to overcome. The cheese, which makes it fun to begin with, also manages to become a detriment as well. The main issue is that there's a unmistakable scent of the 80s, which gives it a cheap feeling and that reduces the cheese levels to greater emphasis. From the ability to find faults in the monster costume to the comic book-like scenes that play out in the middle in substitute for the actual action, it contains enough sequences in this style to make it apparent, and that can be something that few could avoid if not really interested in this sort of film. The creature itself also has a few flaws associated with it. The fact that it's never explained how it manages to get around to deliver it's kills when it's drawing powers from the animation, yet it does so by animating itself going after them instead. This is wholly confusing and doesn't make the least bit of sense, especially since it does them even after it's secret has been revealed. Then a later scene has it completely harmless when it lets a victim come back to rejoice with the heroine, then is talked down to and manages to let them celebrate, despite the evidence drawn in front of them which points elsewhere to other matters. This is all apart of the film's weak ending, which, besides these matters here, also manages to exploit the one thing that would've put an end to everything to begin with and stopped the rampage from even happening. When it happens, it's inevitable to be caught and it doesn't make the film any better for it but sends it off on a weak note. This is the weakest part of the film, and it's most obvious fault. The short running time could also be seen as a weak flaw, barely getting over an hour, but compared to the one before it, it pales in comparison but still manages to knock it down a little.
The Final Verdict: A remarkably fun creature feature, featuring enough cheese to make it fun while also having a couple of flaws that are pretty detrimental. Give it a shot if you're into this sort of film or have an urge to satisfy a harmless curiosity, while those that can't handle these would be advised to take caution.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and Nudity
Cellar Dweller (1988) was an 80's horror classic in my book.
It was good fun, it had an interesting plot and it's short running time meant that it never outstayed it's welcome, i love 80's horrors and this was one of the memorable ones, for it had a really cool monster, and it starred Jeffrey Combs, and thats a big plus indeed!!! If you like cool low budget monster movies then i highly recommend this fun classic from the late 80's, so if you haven't seen it then i suggest you get on ebay and see if there's any copies on there, if so then go for it!!!! I also recommend Monster in the Closet, that was another fun 80's horror with a cool monster.
My score for the Cellar Dweller: 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember watching this movie on TV when I was like.... 8 years old
and thinking it was really cool. Naturally being that it was regular
TV, all the gore and nudity was cut out, so when I came across it in a
blockbuster used videos for sale basket for $5.99, I snatched it up.
That was almost 3 years ago and I still watch it on a regular basis.
For the time it was made in, the effect were pretty decently done. The
monster was kinda cheesy, I have even heard some people call it "cute"
but his methods sure as hell weren't cute and thats what made the movie
better. The appearance of Jeffery-Herbert West-Combs was a treat for me
when I got the video home, because as a child, I always somehow managed
to miss the beginning of the film. When I watched it from the start and
saw him in in, I already had a smile on my face going into the movie.
It doesn't have a deep, life enriching story, its not gonna educate the
youth of America, but its a cool flick and I think most horror movie
buffs will side with me on that. As I said, the effects are pretty
decent- that decapitation was one for the record books.
This movie only had one thing that I really find to be a downer in horror films and that was off-screen kills. I hate it when horror movies cheap out like that, its like they are cheating the viewer. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the point of watching 9 out of every 7 horror movies is to watch people die in unique and gory ways? So when it happens off screen, the point is disabled.
SPOILERS AHEAD: There are only 2 off-screen kills in this movie. The one in the end, the death of Lisa, I might be able to attribute to them running low on the budget being that it was near the end of the movie. However, Amanda's off-screen death is the monsters first kill and if Lisa's death was off screen because of lack of funds, what was the reason for Amanda being killed off screen? Yes, I know, there was blood splashing on the walls, but that only gets you so far. There are people who are gonna read this and say "those 2 kills were off screen because you can't show people being ripped into pieces on screen" And as it happens, both Amanda and Lisa were ripped apart, and if I may go so far as to mention, the only nudity in the film, aside from the girl in the very start of the movie, is Lisa walking around in her room after getting out of the shower and finding her towel missing. She thinks the young guy (I don't remember his name off hand)took it and so she walks out into her room totally naked. It only shows her from the waist up, but her death is in that scene, which means the monster caught her, ripped her apart and ate her while she was naked. This could be another reason for the off-screen kill for that character. Some people would probably object enough to a woman being torn into pieces and eaten, and being that she was naked would have only made it worse. I don't know. But if thats the reason for the off screen kill, then again, why was Amanda's death off screen? Couldn't have been the budget, she was the monsters first victim and it couldn't have been the nudity, as in Lisa's case, because Amanda wasn't naked at the time of her death. As for it being because you can't show people being torn apart on screen, I'd say, why the hell not? The guys that made this movie should watch The Dead Alive sometime! I know, I know, Dead Alive was made in 1994 and all the gore happens to be in the Unrated version. OK, so why didn't they make an unrated version of this movie? If John Carpenter can show a guy getting vertically split in half (watch John Carpenters Vampire, you'll understand) then why the hell did what WOULD have and COULD have been this movies best 2 kill scenes get cut or not filmed at all? Anyway, if your looking for a culture enriching film, don't bother. But if you wanna sit down with a pizza and six pack of beer and watch a cool, but majorly under-rated 80's horror flick, then give this one a rent of you can find it, or pull it off of a cheap site like Half.Com for 2 or 3 bucks and give it a go. Overall, I'd give a 7 out of 10.
Cheap and trashy, this film didn't scare but thrilled me with its sense of camp. Yvonne De Carlo is such an underrated actress and is always worth taking a look at. The film is low budget and apart from De Carlo doesn't have any other well known names. The story is very simple a man writes a story about a scary monster. The monster comes to life and kills him but of course that is not the end of the monster. It waits round for more victims... This film may turn up late at night on TV, if it does turn off the lights curl up on the couch and enjoy the next hour or so. The plot cant be taken seriously so just enjoy the absurdities of it. I saw this film on VCR several years ago and cant wait for it to be released on DVD. Yvonne has made several low budget shockers over the years and this has got to be one of the best.
Cellar Dweller is a nice surprise for horror fans because it has a
mixture of winning elements. The only thing it lacked for me was gore -
but it does have a funny severed head scene. The storyline is quite
interesting and keeps you watching, and the acting is decent enough to
carry it. I quite liked Yvonne De Carlo, but then I've been a fan of
her since watching American Gothic.
I do however feel it lacked a little "something" to make it a great b-movie, and that something is gore. The severed head scene is good, but not enough. I also felt that the ending wasn't a good enough conclusion, and this is because the producers obviously wanted to leave room for a sequel.
Overall, Cellar Dweller is an above average b-movie that is not perfect but definitely worth a watch.
An Interesting film, beginning in the 1950's. A Cartoonist (Colin
finds inspiration from a book of magic spells. Whilst creating his latest
comic he accidentally unleashes a creature of pure evil created by his own
imagination. Luckily the creature is slain but only at the cost of its
30 years later a fan of the cartoonist (and his series Cellar Dweller) arrives at her idols cottage in the woods, to become part of a remote art community. She soon sets up a room in the basement. Later finding the same book Colin drew inspiration from, only to release the creature for the second time.
An awe-inspiring movie that can drag at times, most would lose interest. But at the end it does make one think. Ok graphics for the time and a wonderful performance enacted by Jeffrey Combs.
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