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Die Hard Dracula (1998)
Avoid this like the plague!
In general, I tend to appreciate low-budget films. Either I admire them for being creative within limited resources, or I laugh at them for utterly failing to accomplish their goals. Thus, I went into this film at least expecting to be mildly amused. Unfortunately, the movie falls into the most unwatchable category of film: the failed comedy. The script isn't much to begin with, and the cast is very weak; combine these two things with inconsistent, hard-to-understand fake accents, and you have an unwatchable mess. Since the whole thing is supposed to be funny, the viewer can't even have the luxury of laughing at it for falling short of its ambitions. Unless you enjoy cringing, I'd recommend looking elsewhere for entertainment.
A fun little monster movie.
I just watched this movie, and despite (or perhaps because of) my low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. While there's certainly nothing brilliant here in terms of plot or acting, a lot of work and creativity went into the special effects. Not every effect works, but the ones that came out right are quite nice-looking. Fans of stop-motion animation should definitely check this out; early stop-motion effects in the film are pretty crude, but as the film progresses, the animation keeps getting better and better. At the end... well, just see for yourself.
Dance of the Dwarfs (1983)
A cruel atrocity against a mediocre novel.
Last summer I picked up a copy of Geoffrey Household's novel, DANCE OF THE DWARFS. I had recently taped the film on late-night TV and figured someday it would be interesting to compare the two versions of the work. I have now read the book and watched the film, and I must say that a comparison is difficult; if I hadn't known from the credits that the book had inspired the movie, I'd have thought the few vague similarities between the works were pure coincidence! The novel is written in the form of an agricultural researcher's journal and, while it has its flaws, manages to be suspenseful and to introduce some interesting ideas. The film, on the other hand, is a painfully unthrilling adventure movie reminiscent in many ways of the unfortunate 1985 remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES. The most tragic difference between the book and the film is that the interesting and graceful creatures of the novel have been replaced here by guys jumping around in rubber suits. The novel wasn't that great, but it didn't deserve this horrible treatment.
Creepozoids is just about what you'd expect...
This film is pretty much what you'd expect from an Alien rip-off starring Linnea Quigley. It makes little sense, has some gratuitous sex and violence, and ultimately isn't very satisfying. The effects, acting, and script are all quite bad, and the film has few redeeming features. Nonetheless, it can be kind of fun in a mind-numbing way, and there are two or three scenes where the creature effects don't look completely awful. These minor saving graces don't help much, however; this film should only be watched in emergency monster movie shortages.
Beyond Evil (1980)
Beyond Evil is bad but funny.
This is really quite an awful movie, but there are a number of moments when it is so awful you can't help but laugh. See the badly animated green laser eyes! See the car which explodes before hitting the ground! Hear the man explain to his wife that the accident at work occurred when a crane "came out of nowhere!" I definitely recommend this film if you like bad movies.
I'm quite a fan of the horror/comedy genre, but I found this film rather disappointing. There are a few laughs, and the make-up effects are very impressive, but overall this just isn't nearly as entertaining as Evil Dead II, or (strangely enough) Return of the Living Dead II. The film is not without merit, but it didn't seem to me to be the classic that so many claim it is.
The House That Dripped Blood (1971)
Fun horror from Robert Bloch.
This film is a quite entertaining horror anthology film (along the lines of Tales from the Crypt) written by Robert Bloch (author of Psycho). It's good fun for horror fans and has an excellent cast. The movie should also be required viewing for Doctor Who fans since Jon Pertwee (the third Doctor) has an amusing role as a rude and obnoxious horror star!
Fatal Sky (1990)
This is a very dull film.
Unfortunately, this film is not worth wasting time on. Despite a good cast and the occasional humorous moment, the film is almost unwatchable due to its slow pace and familiar plot. Watch an X-Files episode instead.
L'isola degli uomini pesce (1979)
Screamers is a fun, cheesy adventure movie.
Although the video box for many copies of this film claims it is about people turned inside out, this is a total lie. In fact, apart from the opening segment, the film isn't even a horror movie. With its sunken treasure, legions of fish people, and mad scientists, it's a lot more like a Doug McClure adventure movie. Obviously, this film is no work of art, but it's kind of fun to watch... Just be warned that the beginning is quite gory.
The Faculty (1998)
The Faculty is badly paced and poorly researched.
Ever since Kevin Williamson somehow managed to create a fairly entertaining script (for Scream), he has been ripping himself off and doing the same thing again and again. Unfortunately, he seems to do a worse job with each successive rewrite. This film, a tribute/parody of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, seems to support this descending quality trend; it fails in almost every area. First of all, the pacing is awful; what was tense the first time this plot was done is simply boring now. Secondly, the "clever" references to the novels of Robert Heinlein and Jack Finney suggest very strongly that Williamson has never read the books...or even the Cliff's notes! In fact, the only really redeeming feature of the film is a fairly nifty monster at the end. Wait till this comes out on video, then use your fast forward button liberally.