30 July 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

German Title:
Ab in die Ewigkeit

Canada, 1981
Director: J. Lee Thompson

7/10








Very entertaining and surprisingly pretty intelligent slasher with a solid cast, a great twisted plot, a huge amount of tension and atmosphere, some fantastic kills and a brilliant ending.
Only flaw: it's definitely much too long (110 min - probably one of the longest slasher ever made).

29 July 2009

THE BRAIN

THE BRAIN

German Title:
Das Gehirn

USA, 1988
Director: Ed Hunt

4/10








A laughable and super-cheesy but entertaining low budget schlock including a stupid plot, terribly bad dialogue, horrendous actors and some really lousy special/make-up effects. At least there are 3 things that make it worth watching: the surpringly outstanding first 10 minutes (weird but quite suspenseful) the nice performance of
David Gale and, of course, the silly-looking monster-brain, one of the 80s' most hilarious 'creatures'.

CHOPPING MALL

CHOPPING MALL

Alternate Title:
Killbots

German Title:
Shopping

USA, 1986
Director: Jim Wynorski

4/10



Generic 80s flick, very cheesy, very silly, full of lame actors and terrible dialogue - but in some kind of way also pretty entertaining. Cool robots, some great action-packed scenes and some gorgeous kills (especially the exploding-head-scene). Turn off your brain and enjoy!

GRADUATION DAY

GRADUATION DAY

Alternate German Title:
Graduation Day - 7 Tage zur Ewigkeit

USA, 1981
Director: Herb Freed

4/10








An extremely cheesy 80s slasher, full of horribly bad actors, awful pop-muzak and terrible dialogue. The suspense-level is low and the script is crap - but nevertheless, it has its entertaining moments: a gorgeous opening sequence, a funny ending, some great atmosphere and a couple of absolutely fabulous kills (highlight: the spikes under the landing mat).

THE STUFF

THE STUFF

German Title:
The Stuff - Ein tödlicher Leckerbissen

USA, 1985
Director: Larry Cohen

7/10






Undoubtedly one of the freakiest and craziest 80s movies, of course from camp-master Larry Cohen. A mad but also pretty critical horror-satire full of funny ideas, crazy characters, amusing dialogue and really nice special effects.
I really can't get enough of that wonderful Stuff :-)


Wiki ~
Imdb

MOTEL HELL

MOTEL HELL

Alternate Title:
Hotel Hell

German Title:
Hotel zur Hölle

USA, 1980
Director: Kevin Connor

7/10



Highly entertaining and quite original, but also pretty freaky and a bit disturbing horror-satire with a good script full of brilliant ideas, a bunch of gorgeous actors and a nice score. An underrated must-see-flick!

27 July 2009

DEAD & BURIED

DEAD & BURIED

German Title:
Tot und begraben

USA, 1981
Director: Gary Sherman

8/10






Great and highly original 80s variation on the zombie-theme, pretty tense and extremely atmospheric with many suspenseful and frightening scenes, a terrific and brilliantly-twisted script, a wonderful soundtrack, some gorgeous gore and an entertaining cast (James Farentino, Robert Englund...). A must-see classic!

Wiki ~ Imdb

EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS

EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS

German Title:
Arac Attack - Angriff der achtbeinigen Monster

USA, 2002
Director: Ellory Elkayem

5/10






An ok homage to the 50s monster movies but IMO nothing special. The first half is utter boring and slow, gladly the second half is fast-paced and action-packed. The spider scenes are all pretty entertaining, the special effects look ok. Unfortunately the whole cast is extremely disappointing: the acting is lame, most of the characters are extremely annoying and David Arquette... well, I just don't like him.

23 July 2009

The SLEEPAWAY CAMP series

SLEEPAWAY CAMP

Alternate Title:
Nightmare Vacation

German Titles:
Blutiger Sommer / Camp des Grauens

USA, 1983
Director: Robert Hiltzik

8/10




Clearly one of the best and most interesting slashers from the 80s. A really good and original story combined with some nice atmosphere, great characters, a bunch of absolutely terrific kills + one of the most shocking end twists in history. Classic!






SLEEPAWAY CAMP II: UNHAPPY CAMPERS

Alternate Title:
Nightmare Vacation II

German Title:
Camp des Grauens 2

USA, 1988
Director: Michael A. Simpson

7/10




A decent sequel which comes pretty close to the original. Fuck the lame dialogue and the shitty actors - the movie is great fun with many suspenseful scenes and, again, a couple of brilliant kills (especially the nasty toilet scene!).





SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND

Alternate Title:
Nightmare Vacation III

German Title:
Camp des Grauens 3

USA, 1989
Director: Michael A. Simpson

4/10




Part 3 desperately tries to surprise and impress you - but totally fails. The kills are once again great but the rest is just boring and uninteresting.






SLEEPAWAY CAMP IV: THE SURVIVOR
(Partially filmed in 1992 but never completed. The unfinished footage was released in 2002 as a bonus disc in a Sleepaway Camp Box-Set.)

USA, 1992/2002
Director: Jim Markovic

-/10 (unrateable)






The footage looks cheesy but in some weird kind of way worthwhile. Could have been good, could have been bad, who knows?





RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

USA, 2008
Director: Robert Hiltzik

4/10










A bit similar to Part 3: absolutely fun and brillant kills (the penis scene... ouch!) but the rest sucks. What was Hiltzik thinking to do a movie with no single likeable character? Thankfully most of them get killed.

AUDITION

AUDITION

Original Title:
Ōdishon


Japan / South Korea, 1999
Director: Takashi Miike

10/10






Super-sick and extremely disturbing masterpiece from provocateur Miike, unbelievably tense and atmospheric with a great story, awesome actors, brilliant cinematography, a haunting score and a finale so phenomenally gruesome, you'll never forget it. Outstanding movie!

20 July 2009

ROGUE

ROGUE

German Title:
Rogue - Im falschen Revier

Australia, 2007
Director: Greg McLean

7/10






Fully entertaining croc horror, quite tense and atmospheric with beautiful cinematography, a decent cast and some great effects. The crocodile looks absolutely stunning and is absolutely believable and authentic.
It could have been gorier and more fast-paced, apart from that it's absolutely top-notch and thrilling.

ERASERHEAD

ERASERHEAD

USA, 1977
Director: David Lynch

10/10









One of the weirdest, most bizarre, most surreal, most grotesque, most disturbing movies ever made. So unique, so exceptional, so unbelievably outstanding. Not a film, but an excellent work of art, a fascinating masterpiece. Indescribably brilliant and original.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE

MULHOLLAND DRIVE

Alternate Title:
Mulholland Dr.

German Title:
Mulholland Drive - Strasse der Finsternis

USA, 2001
Director: David Lynch

10/10


Nearly as good as Lost Highway, but way more disturbing, haunting and confusing. Again with an amazing cast, stunning cinematography and a fantastic soundtrack. Pick of the bunch is the plot which you could call the definition of mindfuck: whenever you think "Ha, got it!", something indescribably weird suddenly happens and you realize that Lynch fucked your mind real hard again :-)
Anayway, it's hard to tell more about it. Mulholland Drive is a movie so weird, you have to see it to believe it, so strange and mysterious but also so beautiful, wonderful and excellent.

LOST HIGHWAY

LOST HIGHWAY

USA, 1997
Director: David Lynch

10/10









Definitely one of the best movies ever made and beyond all doubt David Lynch's defining masterpiece. Extremely weird, confusing and disturbing, but also pretty haunting and disturbing, with astonishing cinematography, a fantastic cast and an amazing soundtrack.
The one movie that totally made me a Lynchian.

BLUE VELVET

BLUE VELVET

Alternate German Title:
Blue Velvet - Verbotene Blicke

USA, 1986
Director: David Lynch

10/10







An absolutely tremendous kinda-arthouse classic from grandmaster David Lynch, highly disturbing and rousing, but surprisingly also quite funny and entertaining. It's packed with stunning performances from awesome actors like Kyle MacLachlan (wonderfully weird), Isabella Rossellini (admirable) and of course Dennis Hopper (insane!!!). Cinematographically it's plain beautiful (great shots, excellent images, awesome light and colours...), musically it's plain brilliant (Roy Orbison, Julee Cruise, Chris Isaak...).
Highlights: nearly every single dialogue line from Hopper ("Goddamn, you're one suave fucker!" / "Shut up! It's daddy, you shithead! Where's my Bourbon?" / "Heineken? Fuck that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon!" / "Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck!" etc. etc.) and a couple of remarkable and absolutely unforgettable scenes, f.e. the ear discovering, Hopper's unsettling first appearance, the hilarious lip-sync performance and the dazing confrontation with the naked Rossellini.
I'd say, it's a masterpiece.

Wiki ~ Imdb

THE FLY 1 & 2

THE FLY

German Title:
Die Fliege

USA, 1986
Director: David Cronenberg

9,5/10








From all Cronenberg-movies I've seen so far (not that many), I enjoyed "The Fly" the most. It's one of those movies where almost everything is perfect. The cast is outstanding (terrific performances from Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis & John Getz), story, script and dialogue are all simply brilliant, the pacing is awesome (always tense or thrilling, no dull moments) and the special / make-up effects are just amazing (f.e. the fantastic-looking Brundlefly).
An impressive and smart work of art




THE FLY II

German Title:
Die Fliege 2

USA, 1989
Director: Chris Walas

5/10









- Review Coming Soon -

BRAINDEAD

BRAINDEAD

Alternate Title:
Dead Alive / Dead-Alive

New Zealand, 1992
Director: Peter Jackson

10/10









Peter Jackson is a brilliant director who made great movies like 'Heavenly Creatures' or the 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy, but seriously: THIS is his masterpiece. By far the most excellent comedy/horror/splatter flick in history, unbelievably funny, hilarious and silly, unbelievably gory and extreme, unbelievably lovely and sweet, unbelievably over-the-top and groundbreaking, absolutely magnificent and excellent.
I repeat: a masterpiece!

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE

Alternate Title:
Cemetery Man / Of Death And Love

Italy, 1994
Director: Michele Soavi

10/10








Michele Soavi's last horror movie, a masterpiece. One of the best Italian horror films ever made and one of my alltime horror favorites.
An incredible blend of horror, comedy, arthouse and romantic movie with a refreshing and inventive story, brilliant images, brilliant cinematography and a great cast.
A tremendously magnificent work of art.

The "OF THE DEAD" Films

Proper Franchise Review soon!!

Night Of The Living Dead (1968) - 10/10
Dawn Of The Dead (1978) - 9/10
Day Of The Dead (1985) - 8/10
Night Of The Living Dead (Remake, 1990) - 7/10
Dawn Of The Dead (Remake, 2004) - 5/10
Land Of The Dead (2005) - 9/10
Diary Of The Dead (2008) - 8/10
Day Of The Dead (Re-imagining 2008) - 3/10
Survival of The Dead (2009) - 5/10

18 July 2009

DON'T LOOK NOW

DON'T LOOK NOW

German Title:
Wenn die Gondeln Trauer tragen

UK/Italia, 1973
Director: Nicolas Roeg

10/10









Masterpiece! One of the first horror movies I've ever seen and still one of my favorites. Unbelievably tense and suspense-driven, highly atmospheric and creepy with an amazingly eerie Venice, a terrific cast (Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie...), an amazing script and a super-shocking ending. Simply brilliant!

Wiki ~ Imdb

SOCIETY

SOCIETY

Alternate Title:
Dark Society

USA, 1992
Director: Brian Yuzna

10/10






Probably one of the most underrated horror movies of all time, an incredibly bizarre and weird but also extremely intelligent satire about the 80s upper ten thousand, very tense and thrilling, with a great cast and some mindblowingly fantastic effects. The finale is undoubtedly one of the most disturbing AND most impressive things I've ever seen. A total must-see!

THE SHINING (Original & TV Series)

THE SHINING

German Title:
Shining

USA, 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick

11/10







Absolutely magnificent classic, one of the greatest horror movies ever made. A perfect cast (Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd...), perfect locations, perfect cinematography, outstanding atmosphere, outstanding tension, unbelievably frightening and scary - hell, I daresay that this is one of the few horror movies that is 100% perfect.
An uber-brilliant masterpiece.


Wiki ~ Imdb




THE SHINING
(TV mini-series)

Alternate Title:
Stephen King's Shining

USA, 1997
Director: Mick Garris

7/10






Very good adaptation of King's cult novel which stays extremely true to the book but sadly can't hold a candle to Kubrick's adaptation.
Of course I know that this was only made because King hates the Kubrick-version (which has got not much to do with the book) and wanted something that is actually true to the original. Well, in this kind of way they really did a great job: it's extremely faithful to the novel, pretty tense and supenseful with a good cast (especially Steven Weber), brilliant-looking locations and a great score.
Sadly it's a bit too long and lengthy, completely overshadowed by Kubrick's version and IMO the kid who plays Danny is simply untalented and ugly.
Nevertheless it's definitely one of the few good and watchable King-adaptations.

The PHANTASM series

PHANTASM

Alternate Title:
The Never Dead

German Title:
Das Böse

USA, 1979
Director: Don Coscarelli

9/10




The brilliant start for one of the weirdest and most original franchises in horror history. Unbelievably atmospheric and eerie with a bizarre but great plot, a bunch of great actors (A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Banister...), a wonderful score, beautiful settings, great gore, great effects and of course 2 of the most interesting creations in movie history: the Tall Man (played by the magnificent Angus Scrimm) and the flying killer-spheres.
A brilliant cult-classic.




PHANTASM II

German Titles:
Das Böse II / Phantasm II - Das Böse 2

USA, 1988
Director: Don Coscarelli

9/10






Generally I could use my Part1-review for all the other parts because they are all absolutely great. Part 2 is more action-packed and also a bit funny, nevertheless it's as great as its predecessor. Highly atmospheric and tense, fast-paced and entertaining, atmospheric and creepy. Simply a brilliant sequel.




PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD

Alternate Title:
Phantasm III: The Third Power

German Titles:
Das Böse III

USA, 1994
Director: Don Coscarelli

9/10



I can't help it, I liked Part 3 as much the first 2 parts. The story gets more and more weird, atmosphere and style changing to something more and more surreal. It's visually stunning with fantastic special effects, great effects, great acting and superb action.
Excellent sequel that totally keeps up the high quality level.




PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION

Alternate Title:
Phantasm: oblIVion

German Title:
Das Böse 4 - Phantasm

USA, 1998
Director: Don Coscarelli

8/10




The 'weakest' of all Phantasm-films, still an absolutely fabulous sequel. Often a bit too slow-paced, apart from that it's just great with fantastic-looking locations, magnificent atmosphere and an highly interesting and enlightening plot that revails many of the secrets and mysteries of the Phantasm-universe.
Let's all hope that this is not the end of this magnificent serties. Please Mr. Coscarelli, come out with Phantasm 5!!!

CLOVERFIELD

CLOVERFIELD

USA, 2008
Director: Matt Reeves

9/10










Absolutely rad and impressive blend of mocumentary and monster movie, extremely suspenseful and action-packed with a bunch of great-acting actors (Michael Stahl-David, Odette Yustman...), fantastic handheld-camera work, a brilliantly written script, many awesome special effects (all the monsters in here, whether the'y'e big or small, look just terrific!) and a lot of extremely intense edge-of-seat-scenes. Where's the sequel?

Wiki ~ Imdb

CREEP

CREEP

UK, 2005
Director: Christopher Smith

3/10











When I first heard that they do a horror movie in London's tube I was very excited because it's an amazing and creepy location and I have to admit that I generally love subway flicks (f.e. the amazing "Kontroll"). Unfortunately Smith wasn't able to tap the full potential of this location. The first half hour was quite scary but afterwards it went downhill pretty fast. Waaay too boring and tedious, the plot is crap, the acting is underwhelming and the main villain is totally unimpressive. A huge disappointment.

The CUBE series

CUBE

Canada, 1997
Director: Vincenzo Natali

9,5/10









Terrific horror/sci-fi/psycho thriller mixture, proving that low budget doesn't equal quality. A fantastic concept combined with an idea-packed script, good actors and a minimal but brilliant-looking setting - a true gem!




CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE

Canada, 2002
Director: Andrzej Sekula

4/10









Disappointing and shiftless sequel that feels more like a remake than a sequel. Actors are ok although the characters are way too similar to Part 1. A great opening sequence, an intesting ending sequence - apart from that the film is pretty dull. Endless boredom, annoying dialogue and some extremely shitty CGI.




CUBE ZERO

Canada, 2004
Director: Ernie Barbarash

7/10









A surprisingly great prequel that makes you totally forget about Part 2. An interesting plot that takes us outside the cube, a thrilling atmosphere, some great deaths and a brilliant ending. Sadly it's often a bit too boring and some of the actors are rather annoying, but overall it's an unexpectedly entertaining movie.

DISTURBIA

DISTURBIA

USA, 2007
Director: D.J. Caruso

8/10









A surprisingly terrific re-interpretation of Hitchcock's "Rear Window", perfectly written and paced, extremely suspenseful and thrilling with a couple of nice actors, a powerful soundtrack, beautiful camera work and lots of really amazing edge-of-seat-scenes. I'm sure Hitch would be proud of it! :-)

THE DARK

THE DARK

UK, 2005
Director: John Fawcett

4/10










Weird and way too slow borefest that starts out extremely creepy and atmospheric but gets horribly tedious and confusing after the first 30-40 minutes. The acting is quite nice, settings and cinematography look pretty cool and the scares are great but overall it's just another disappointing, cliché-laden and vapid ghost story.

THE EYE

THE EYE

Original Title:
Jiàn Guǐ (Gin gwai)

Hong Kong, 2002
Director: Danny and Oxide Pang

8/10






One of my alltime horror movies from Asia, a haunting ghost story, very well written and brilliantly paced, highly suspenseful and thrilling with 2 of the scariest scenes I've ever seen (the old man in the elevator and the moaning woman in the hospital). The acting is great, there's some wonderful camera work and I totally love the creepy soundtrack. A wonderful horror classic!

Wiki ~ Imdb



THE EYE
(US Remake)

USA, 2008
Directors: David Moreau and Xavier Palud

7/10









A surprisingly great and entertaining remake, not as good as the original but still terrifically creepy and suspenseful. Jessica Alba's performance is breathtakingly brilliant, settings, soundtrack and cinematography are most of the time very strong and there is at least one scene that is so shockingly scary, I nearly got a heart attack.
Undoubtedly one of the better Hollywood-remakes of an Asian horror film.

17 July 2009

FIVE ACROSS THE EYES

FIVE ACROSS THE EYES

USA, 2008
Director: Greg Swinson & Ryan Thiessen

2/10










Weird and pretty bad lowest-budget indie horror-flick, written and directed by 2 untalented young filmmakers, packed to the brim with untalented and annoying actors who are constantly screaming, yelling and shrieking.
The handheld camera work is annoying, the cheap-electro-meets-bad-metal soundtrack is annoying and most of the dialogue is annoying too.

A few tense scenes and some neat violence - the rest sucks.

GOTHIKA

GOTHIKA

USA, 2003
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz

7/10











A pretty nice and entertaining kinda-ghost-story, nothing special but at least waaay better than I expected. The plot is unspectacular and a bit cliché-laden, other than that there's nothing wrong with "Gothika": it's highly suspenseful, creepy, atmospheric and full of great scares. Halle Berry's acting is terrific, settings and cinematography are awesome, the special effects look great and there's even some cool gore in here.
Absolutely enjoyable!

Wiki ~ Imdb

HARD CANDY

HARD CANDY

USA, 2005
Director: David Slade

10/10










One of the greatest and most impressive debut films of all time: unbelievably suspenseful, creepy and disturbing including many scenes that kept me shivering on the edge of my seat because of the emotional brutality. The acting is outstanding (Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson... what a team!), dialogue and script are awesome and the camera work looks splendid. Masterpiece!

Wiki ~ Imdb

THE MESSENGERS 1 & 2

THE MESSENGERS

USA/Canada, 2007
Director: Oxide & Danny Pang

7/10









A decent and entertaining suspense-horror with creepy atmosphere, a brillant score and some amazing scares that makes you jump out of the seat. Unfortunately it gets lame after the twist, so the last third is more or less unspectacular.





MESSENGERS 2: THE SCARECROW

USA, 2009
Director: Martin Barnewitz

4/10









Not as bad as I thought it would be but... well, it could have been way better.
Good start, great showdown and a brillant-looking scarecrow. However, the plot was really, REALLY terrible, the actors were lousy, and overall it's just too lengthy and boring.

Wiki ~ Imdb

KONTROLL

KONTROLL

Alternate Title:
Control

Alternate German Title:
Kontroll - Jeder muss bezahlen


Hungary, 2003
Director: Nimród Antal

10/10


One of my alltime favorites and IMO one of the greatest movies ever made. "Kontroll" manages to be scary, creepy, thrilling, funny, entertaining, emotional and action-packed at the same time. The plot is terrific, the cast is unbelievably amazing, the settings (Metro of Budapest) look just fabulous and the dialogue is hilariously fantastic.
An absolutely amazing movie, highly recommended!

VACANCY

VACANCY

German Title:
Motel

USA, 2007
Director: Nimrod Antal

6/10






A decent suspense movie with a pretty good cast and a neat plot that starts out great in the first half (eerie atmosphere, suspenseful, lots of great scares) but disappoints in the second half (lack of suspense, terrible ending). Could have been way better.





VACANCY 2: THE FIRST CUT

German Title:
Motel - The First Cut

USA, 2009
Director: Eric Bross

5/10






Ok sequel, quite similar to Part 1: decent acting, ok story, tense and promising in the first half, tedious and disappointing in the second half.
Maybe they get it right in a probable Part 3?

THE MACHINIST

THE MACHINIST

German Title:
Der Maschinist

USA / Spain, 2004
Director: Brad Anderson

10/10






Omg, how I love that movie: "The Machinist", Brad Anderson's impressive mindfuck-masterpiece, one of my favorite movies of all time. Dark and creepy as hell, but also pretty touching, thrilling and a bit disturbing. Nearly all acting performances are brilliant, but absolutely no-one can hold a candle to an uber-outstanding Christian Bale who plays the role of his life.

 Visually it's mindblowing with loads of outstanding-looking images and excellent-looking settings, the script is terrifically written and highly intelligent, and it's packed with scary moments and suspenseful edge-of-your-seat-scenes. The soundtrack is effective, the dialogue is highly interesting and the atmosphere throughout the film is simply fantastic.

A stunning and unique movie without equal.

PULSE (1988)

PULSE

USA, 1988
Director: Paul Golding

9/10









One of the most underrated horror movies ever made and definitely one of the best horror flicks from the 80s, that totally creeped the shot out of me when I was younger. A weird but highly interesting story with decent actors, very scary and suspenseful, full of brilliant effects and fantastic atmosphere. A forgotten gem you really need to watch!

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