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Sleep Inducing.
5 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Tony Roberts, Candy Clark, Meg Ryan, and Lori Loughlin join hands for this third go around, a rather sluggish and dull entry in the hit or miss Amityville series. This basically adds nothing new to the series. Chose to jump on the 3-D wave when released, I'm sure it was fun to watch, but not without those goofy glasses. Slim story with unappealing characters, and features a tiresome build up to the big finale. The last few minutes are good (which features demons, flying swordfish, people being thrown around and crushed, and the big house completely exploding) but not worth the time it takes to get there. Strangely released with a PG rating (it's violent), originally released as a non-entry to the series, and shown on TV channels like TBS and WGN as Amityville: The Demon. One Star.
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Midnight (1982)
"You're On Your Own..."
5 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A teenage girl runs away from home after her drunken cop step dad tries to take advantage of her. She hooks up with two average Joes who are on their way to Florida in a van. They pass through a backwards hick community, rob a grocery store, hide out along a two-track, and find themselves up against a family of Satan worshippers, who have been killing off some of the townspeople. A pretty good horror film, brimming with creepy atmosphere and some unexpected shocks. The acting is sometimes a little over-done, but it doesn't ruin anything. The tight pace keeps things moving along fine and a few unexpected twists keeps things interesting. The setting gives the film a dreary, doomed feeling, which goes fine with the storyline. The last 20 minutes are pretty grisly. This is another film House Of 1000 Corpses obviously pays homage to, with that Easter-loving, devil-worshipping, trap them and kill them theme. Over-looked and forgotten, but definitely worth a look if you love the drive-in horrors of yesteryear. Three Stars.
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Boo (2005)
Forgettable.
3 June 2006
I really shouldn't be reviewing horror movies made after 1995 because I find that I just don't like them. They lack almost everything that made R rated horror enjoyable in the '70's, '80's and early '90's. But I watched Boo tonight so let's go. A group of people find themselves trapped in a haunted mental hospital on Halloween night. Some angry ghosts lurking there decide to torment them, possessing some of them and so forth. The film chooses wisely to use some real special effects instead of the cheesy now-common digital effects (mostly with the blood splattering and possessed monsters) but the film still moves at a sluggish pace and is hampered with some wretched characters, all of which come off clichéd or completely fake. Borrows from The Evil Dead, Session 9, Thirteen Ghosts, Night Of The Demons, and every PG-13 rated horror film released in the last 3 years, but to no avail. Features a guy whose arm turns to mush after he stupidly punches a wall, but thats about it. Boring, chintzy and forgettable. One Star.
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Scalps (1983)
Average Horror.
31 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Gritty, low-budget horror film from Fred Olen Ray. A group of teens on an archaeological dig disrupt the angry ghost of an Indian. One member is possessed, and by the end of the film, the cast is pretty much dead. The first half takes a while going nowhere, but a certain feeling of dread hangs over each shot of the film, and helps things move along a little bit smoother, especially when nothing is really happening. The murders come quick and are quite bloody, something this movie is known for. The special effects rank as pretty good, to just plain cheesy. The acting is passable and the characters are not a pain to watch. The film was shot on a pretty creepy piece of land, and it keeps the story moving. The movie is pretty flawed though. Scenes are shown out of order, creating confusion to a basically simple story. Some of the action takes place in complete darkness, which is just annoying. The video print I saw many many years ago was basically unwatchable at times. The DVD release is cleaned up but still pretty bad in spots. For the basic horror fan, this is fine for a view. Two And A Half Stars.
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Average Stuff.
5 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A middle-aged loner who lives with his abusive mother has a breakdown when the mother dies. It seems she delighted in burning him as a kid, and now in the wake of her death he finds he must burn pretty young girls alive while tied up with a flame thrower in a fire proof room in his giant house. They just don't make'em like this anymore. Average horror film is pretty slick and well-made, it just suffers from unlikable characters and a lack of build-up with some of the more suspenseful situations. However, there are a few good shocks here and there (some are fun, some are nauseating). Many say this a slasher film, but it is not. Many also say this film is too sick and sleazy, with a narrow-minded point of view, but thats what makes a shocker, right? Not bad, but not the greatest. Two Stars.
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Terror Night (1987)
Good Slasher Stuff.
5 May 2006
The empty mansion of a legendary movie star who hasn't been seen in twenty years is set for demolition. A biker couple and a group of teenagers decide to give the place a visit. Once inside the old place the characters meet grisly deaths at the hands of a killer dressed as the movie star's film's characters. I found this to be a pretty enjoyable '80's slasher film, likable due to the fact that there is a lot of messy killings, a tight pace, creative kills, better than average acting from some of the actors, a creepy enough setting, and some out of place cameo appearances. If your only a fan of current horror movies then you probably won't like this, but if your an '80's slasher fan and you haven't seen this, then put this on your to-do list. Features chopped off heads and hands, a guy torn in two, impaling on a wooden fence, woman falling on spikes, and lotsa blood (hence, the title of the movie. It was filmed as Terror Night). The teen couple that makes it to the end of this movie is played by the same actor and actress who played a teen couple that gets murdered in the beginning of Friday The 13th Part 7. Three Stars.
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Play Dead (1983)
Forgettable Horror .
25 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Trashy looking horror movie about an angry old woman (Lily from The Munsters) who uses her devil worship on a dog to get even with her family members. The dog stalks the family members and many 'accidents' occur. Sluggish in many spots, and never really entertaining. It looks like it was slickly produced at times, but also seems like maybe the production was rushed. The horror scenes are pretty bland and the most exciting come when Lily Munster holds demonic séances. The horror scenes with the dog are pretty much forgettable. Features some nudity, some violence, a woman electrocuted in a bath tub, and that's about it. One Star.
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Street Trash (1987)
Good Stuff.
25 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Street Trash is a silly, entertaining movie. Anyone who likes shocking, gory, tasteless, senseless, over-the-top, exploitative, dark-humored movies should watch this, because thats all this movie is. It's also funny, clever, and sometimes even hip, and was shot pretty well considering it's meager budget. The thin story is about greasy drunken alley bums that come across a box of cheap booze (Tenafly Viper). When consumed by the bums, they melt and/or blow up. The gore here is sometimes stylish, with some of the melt-down scenes. The insides of the bums turn bright blue, bright green, and bright yellow, after consuming the booze. Other disgusting spectacles occur such as gang-rape, a dismembered penis, necrophilia, puking, and dismemberment. This is a fun film that any fan of bad-taste cinema should enjoy. It also features some pretty funny lines, and has good acting. The director of this went on to become one of the best steady-cam operators in Hollywood. His talent is very obvious in this picture. Three Stars.
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Forgettable.
25 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Flat, boring horror movie shot and directed with little talent on a low-budget. A group of annoying, over-aged teenagers on vacation, come across a possessed movie script that basically makes life miserable for them. Some of them are killed off in dumb, cheesy, supernatural ways. The others try to make sense of what's going on and try to stop the evil movie script. Ken Sagoes stars in this, and when things start to get hairy, as usual, he has his swearing fits (see A Nightmare On Elm Street 3+4). Features evil bikers, a psychotic glam/cheese rock band, monsters, gore, a smashed in skull, boobs, bad-acting, an idiot running around with a kite, and so on, but none of it is as fun as it sounds. The story is horribly paced, making this a bore to watch, even with all the crazy elements it tries to throw in. You might wanna see it if you are trying to see every horror movie in the world, but otherwise, find something else. One Star.
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Well I Liked It.
21 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If your a fan of James Camerons's big-budget billion dollar major studio money-makers (True Lies, Titanic, etc.), then you will hate this movie and pretend that he had nothing to do with it, because that's what many tend to do. This is a fun, bloody horror flick, that should appeal to most horror fans. The story is about flying killer piranha that attack the guests at a ritzy resort. The story moves nicely, there's some nudity, and some of the attack scenes are pretty gory. The dumb idea of flying killer piranha is enough to make you smirk through the whole viewing. It's cheesy stuff, but it's fun. Apparently, Cameron had a horrible time shooting this thing. Fans of '80's horror, take note. Two And A Half Stars.
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Love Object (2003)
Something To Watch...
7 April 2006
Oddball movie directed in a low-key manner. Starts out as a drama, but turns into a psychological horror film. However, dark humor runs rampant through the film, but it is handled in a well orchestrated way, never ruining the impact the film tries to get across to the viewer. Many films these days stumble when they try to tie dark humor in with serious subject matter. A seemingly average joe falls in love with the new girl at his meandering office job. He buys a life-size sex doll that he models after her. He has sex with it, watches movies and dines with it. Soon, average joe and living girl start a relationship, and he starts to believe that the sex doll is getting jealous. A series of lengthy events then take place, involving the living girl finding out about the sex doll, the death of the doll, the average joe trying to turn the living girl into the doll, and the average joe coming out as the good guy in the end. Udo Kier gives us another irritating performance, but Rip Torn is fun to watch. I liked this movie. It's pretty fun and original considering the rubbish horror we have been getting served the last 10 years. Low on blood and gore but features a lot of style and imagination. Will probably be either a hit or miss in the avid horror viewers book. Three Stars.
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Open House (1987)
Average Slasher Viewing.
5 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Low-rent slasher movie about real estate agents being slaughtered by a maniac in the homes they are selling. The local radio talk show host receives strange calls from the killer. The slasher story of a maniac picking off real estate agents is original enough for this genre, however, the filmmakers just can't seem to bring this thing to life. It starts off promising with a bloody double killing in a bathroom and scenes of a dead bloody woman covered in flies, but after the first half hour mark, everything goes stale. Boring characters, and stupid situations hamper the story telling. Things start to get rolling again in the last 20 minutes, but by then it's to little, to late. Features gratuitous nudity, boring conversations, and a couple whacked to death with razorblades attached to a toilet plunger (the highlight). Should be fine for a single view by the avid slasher viewer. Otherwise, stay away. Two Stars.
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Epitaph (1987)
Okay Another Movie.
4 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A family moves to a new town because the mother is a schizo who murders men who she believes are out to rape her. The father covers up the crimes, and the daughter suffers the trauma. The daughter soon gets a boyfriend and the mother goes over the edge. Low-budget, crude, and basically stupid horror film, with a story that is on a level of marginal originality, but is filmed on such a level of incompetence. Everyone in this film either overacts or underacts, and the pace goes completely slack in the second half. Some gory, memorable moments (rat eating it's way through a woman's stomach, old lady carved up with an electric knife) are brought into the story but they don't keep this from being a flat horror movie. I like low-budget horror, and this is not bottom-of-the-barrel for low-budget horror, it's just nothing I would like to see right away again if I was in the mood for something bad. It's fine for a single view. Two Stars.
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The Children (1980)
Good Horror.
4 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A toxic leak creates a chemical cloud that hovers through a small woodsy town. A school bus drives through it, and the cloud turns a couple of the kids on the bus into monsters with black finger nails that go after their parents and burn them to a crisp with just the slightest touch. Good horror film, made fun with it's '50's horror vibe it somewhat, sometimes gets across, and the cheesy acting helps out also. I also liked the setting. The woodsy real life setting in an obvious real town is effective. Some moments are truly chilling, such as when the children stand together, reaching out at a victim. A horror film for the '80's horror fan. I just viewed the Troma DVD release. Many fans of this movie seem unhappy with their release (it is grainy), but I'm just happy that I was able to finally get my hands on a copy. I haven't seen this since it was on the USA Network 16 years ago, and I have never been able to find it in video stores for rental. A must for anyone who enjoyed the low-budget drive-in horror films of the early 1980's. Three Stars.
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The Kindred (1987)
Average '80's Horror/Sci-Fi
4 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Slight horror movie from 1987, features some good special effects and good horror bits, but is hampered with hollow characters and a slack pace. '80's horror fans might wanna check this out for a single view. A woman is killed by a watermelon monster while driving a car and Rod Steiger gives us another staggering performance, this time as a mad scientist. The story starts out good, but the second half looses it's footing, and too little of the monster is seen. Originally I saw this on the USA Network about 15 years ago and just saw it for the second time the other night because I found this in a video store for sale for two bucks. Not great, but not bad. Two Stars.
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Mortuary (I) (2005)
Confusing Video Dreck.
30 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Tobe Hooper once made some pretty good horror/fantasy movies. It now looks like he is grasping whatever project he can get his hands onto. Mild horror flick with many plot-holes and confusing situations. A single mom moves her young daughter and teenage son into a mortuary on a creepy graveyard (HUH!!??). A local ghost story about the property proves true and soon the cast start turning into crazy zombies. The zombies here reminded me of the zombies in Return Of The Living Dead, but in a bad way (Tobe Hooper was originally slated to direct that in 3-D). The story starts out good and holds your attention for a while, but then everything gets thuddingly stupid. The characters get more and more annoying as the film roles on and plot holes pop up on a routine level. The story gets weaker every 10 minutes and the conclusion fails to satisfy. The lame-ass digital effects are distracting, too. I saw this on the Sci-Fi Channel. It looks as if the Sci-Fi Channel is starting to show the sort of movies the USA Network ran about a decade ago. Remember Saturday Nightmares and Up All Night? Sci-Fi Channel needs to do stuff like that if they are gonna air movies like this. One Star.
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Monster Man (2003)
Whirl Worthy
3 March 2006
An average horror flick with doses of comedy that borrows elements from many other films such as Duel, Nightmares, Jeepers Creepers, Road Games, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Road Trip. A nerdy teen and his goofy buddy (who reminds me of a sleazy Jack Black) are on a road trip through a barren stretch of road to stop a wedding. They encounter a beautiful hitchhiker and are soon terrorized by a phantom-like monster truck (which is very cool) whose driver is disfigured. The movie is hampered with comedy which is accompanied with annoying funny music. The horror is really good and the first hour is told well, with a tight pace. Plus, it doesn't rely on cheesy digital effects like most horror films do these days. Even though some of the comedy bits are funny, it just doesn't flow right with the serious horror, and the irritating comedy score gets annoying. The last 20 minutes are a downer with one character explaining to the camera why all the frightening events occurred through out the film. Better than most horror films being made these days, just has some flaws. Give it a whirl. Two And A Half Stars.
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The Video Dead (1987 Video)
Zombie Blood Nightmare
2 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A pretty likable take on the zombie genre, this '80's low-budgeter should prove good for a view by any horror fan. A T.V. set showing the movie Zombie Blood Nightmare unleashes the film's zombies into reality and unto an unsuspecting suburban community. A brother and sister team up with a zombie hunter from Texas to stop the terror. Some good bloody moments blended with occasional gore should keep most viewers entertained. The zombies are original and memorable and look great. Each one has their own character. Cheesy acting and some lame-brained dialog keeps things on a not-so-serious level. Good setting, likable characters (the brother looks like a young Emilio Estevez), some truly goofy lines and colorful zombies make this worthy. Features some strange scenes of a dead fish and spats of spit hitting hard surfaces. Three Stars.
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The Tomb (1986)
Boring Boo-Haw.
17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Tomb is one of those stupid movies I remember seeing when I was around 7 or 8 and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. Now, watching it almost two decades later, I realize I must have been a pretty stupid kid. Ancient Egyptian artifacts are stolen from a dead princess's tomb. She returns from the dead to exact revenge on the individuals who now possess them. Sounds like it could be good for average '80's horror cheese fodder, but it isn't. Slow-paced boredom with an irritating group of actors (minus Michelle Bauer, who is always fun to watch even though she can't act). The pace is horrible and many horror scenes never seem to deliver. Whoever wrote this must have been on speed for the story jumps around a bit for really no reason at all. For some reason the title of the movie is shown twice in the opening credits. Tedious schlock with really nothing to offer. Features goofy violence and gratuitous T and A. One Star.
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Scarecrows (1988)
Good Horror Flick.
17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A group of army deserters kidnap a pilot and his daughter and hijack their plane. They must make a pit stop on a remote piece of land with a deserted house and cornfield. Before long, supernatural events take place with the characters each dying at the hands of possessed scarecrows. A pretty good horror film, with good characters and some pretty bloody special effects. The first half takes a while going nowhere, but the last half is a good ride. Some clever ideas are brought in and out of the story and for the most part the movie is pretty original. A little more thought could have been put into the setting. A few more atmospheric touches could have helped, but I'm not complaining, for this is a good horror film to be seen by any horror fan. Some truly gory moments make you wonder how this got an R rating when at the time horror movies were being the victim of the MPAA's censorship. Three Stars.
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Not To Shabby.
4 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A group of young adults head out into the woods in a camper to check out an isolated piece of property inherited by one of the campers. A giant monster-like guy starts offing them. Made in the early eighties, this is a good find for any horror fan of that time period. Well shot on a nice location, with believable characters, and moves at a nice pace with a few good shocks here and there. The story of course is simple and pretty much unoriginal, but everything unfolds nicely with a couple good twists near the end. It's obvious 2003's Wrong Turn got it's ideas from this. Even a few scenes in that were copied from this. Two And A Half Stars.
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The Unborn II (1994)
Typical Horror Sequel.
28 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sequel to the average 1991 horror flick, this one relies on a paper thin story with few surprises. A single mom with an infant moves into a suburban neighborhood. Before long her baby starts killing people (a couple social workers, the babysitter and her boyfriend, etc.). Also on hand we have an angry woman who is one the loose gunning down children who we discover are the evil offspring of the original film's mad doctor villain. The special effects are pretty dumb and the killer baby looks like an ugly doll. The movie goes nowhere with it's chintzy story and the shocks the movie sometimes gives us to keep us watching are pretty tame. The un-thrilling conclusion takes forever to wrap up and the movie's obvious attempts at humor (with the nosey neighbors) are cringe-inducing. Michael McDonald (Mad TV), who is out of character here, is fun to watch in an early pre-comedy role, but otherwise, avoid it. One Star.
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The Unborn (1991)
Creepy Baby Movie.
26 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A couple who cannot have children decide to go to a clinic for a little help conceiving a baby. Before long, the mother starts having eerie symptoms hinting that something is not right with the fetus, and soon after she discovers that she is the victim of a heinous genetic engineering experiment involving the creation of super-human babies. A somewhat drowsy approach to the killer baby genre, the first hour moves along well with a descent story about an unstable woman who thinks a monster is growing inside of her, but may just be going insane. The last bit relies on cheesy shocks and takes some of it's cues from It's Alive. The killer baby is quite fake looking, and nothing really seems to happen in the big finale. The final scene, however, is good. Brooke Adams carries the movie, and James Karen is good in his role as the evil doctor, even though he is given little to do. Lisa Kudrow appears in one of her early pre-Friends B-movie roles, and Kathy Griffin co-starred in this before she broke through with her stand-up "comedy" act. She gets whacked with a hammer, in a horribly staged fight scene. Two Stars.
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Lady in White (1988)
Good Ghost Story
11 January 2006
Set in the '60's, a young boy is locked in the cloak room of his elementary school by bullying classmates on Halloween night. There he witnesses the murder of a young girl which took place ten years earlier. Well-crafted ghost story brimming with good characters, plenty of atmosphere, and a spooky setting. A tight pace keeps everything flowing fine and the story itself is pretty good. Some horror fans might be put off with the somewhat sappy approach the story sometimes rings with. Pretty dramatic in areas and some of the scarier scenes are padded too thinly with a light approach. But all in all, a well told ghost story. Two And A Half Stars.
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Chillers (1987)
Watchable.
11 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A group of strangers waiting for a bus tell each other their nightmares. What we get is a bunch of horror tales. A young boy is terrorized by a crazed camp leader, a college student is possessed, a woman encounters a haunted swimming pool, a guy can bring back the dead, and a lonely woman has a crush on a news-caster who happens to be a vampire. Bad acting and half-baked story-telling is masked by the tight pace and good production values. The movie moves along fine, and each story starts off promising, but eventually, each one fails due to a stupid conclusion, unconvincing shocks, and an awkward way of just telling the whole story. Not hard to sit through. Just nothing great. Two Stars.
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