October 31, 2010

List-o-Mania #1: The Worst

In the last few weeks many horror blogs compiled loads of best-of-lists (f.e. Final Girl, The Girl Who Loves Horror etc.).
I love lists and it's always a pleasure to read all those Top 10, Top 20, worst of, best of, etc. lists. 
- yet, it's even more fun to do one's own lists, that's why I'm also taking part in this recent list-o-mania

I start with the 
- 10 WORST HORROR MOVIES -

10. THE FOG (Remake)













"The Rape Of John Carpenter" would be a better title for this insult to the eyes of every horror fan.

9. BERSERKER













Take the worst slasher you ever seen and add a grizzly bear... that's Berserker, undoubtedly one of the most laughbale movies ever made.

8. HOBGOBLINS













Director Rick Sloane gave the word "talentless" a new meaning.

7. HOUSE IV













The 'highlight' of this rubbish is a talking monster-pizza - I think that says it all.

6. THE WICKER MAN (Remake)













In my review I said that Cage and the director should get burned for this rubbish - but from what I remember, I think it would be better if everyone who was involved in this horrid mess should get burned.

5. LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY













"The Rape Of Roman Polanski" would be a better title for this uber-crap.

4. TROLL 2













The absolute definition of a so-bad-it's-good-movie.

3. SHOCK LABYRINTH 3D













Highly recommended to everyone who loves flying Japanese 3D-plush-rabbits.

2. DON'T GO NEAR THE PARK













Not even I could have made a movie as stupid and pointless as this one.

1. MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE













This is not a movie... it's a crime. "Manos" is so unbelievably bad, it actually hurts.

Bonus:
QUEST FOR THE MIGHTY SWORD













Not a horror movie but at least a superdumb piece of crap which is just as bad as "Manos".

October 30, 2010

AEROBICIDE

AEROBICIDE

Alternate Titles:
Killer Workout / Aerobi-cide


USA, 1986
Director: David A. Prior

6/10








 One of the cheesiest, yet most entertaining 80s slashers I've ever seen (thanx to Final Girl who 'praised' this flick on her blog).
A super-hilarious schlock-masterpiece that feels like a blend of "Pieces" and "Graduation Day". It's packed with lame actors that are constantly overacting (except Marcia Carr's gorgeous performance), packed with beautiful girls all practicing gym, all in lycra, all in close-up.
It's packed with silly dialogue, gratuitous yet nice nudity, amusing pop-music-trash (songs like 'Woman On Fire' or 'Knockout' - pure pop gold!) and lots of gore and dead bodies.
On top of this: the mother of all 'Death by tanning bed'-scenes, lots of hilarious punch-ups and a killer who kills his victims with a giant safety pin.
"Aerobicide" is the perfect definition of a so-bad-it's-good-movie and undoubtedly an absolute must-see!

The HOWLING series

THE HOWLING

German Title:
Das Tier


USA, 1981
Director: Joe Dante

6/10








Wait... what? That's it? That's "The Howling", one of the most popular werewolf movies amongst horror fans? Aw c'mon, you're kidding me. I mean, it's not a bad movie, but there's hardly anything special about it; IMO it's absolutely mediocre.
The cast is decent but without any standouts. The story is quite interesting but the script is a poorly written mess, horribly predictable and badly paced. A couple of highly suspenseful scenes, but also a couple of pretty boring and tedious scenes. Very good editing, nice camera work, ok-looking settings, neat soundtrack, so-so dialogue.
At least the werewolf scenes are all brilliant, especially the unbelievably outstanding transformation-sequence which is so fucking incredible, it made me up the rating (actually I wanted to give it a 5/10).
Overall enjoyable but sadly quite disappointing.

HOWLING II: STIRBA - WEREWOLF BITCH

Alternate Titles:
Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf / Howling II: It's Not Over Yet / Howling II

German Title:
Das Tier II

USA / UK, 1985
Director: Philippe Mora

3/10



Holy shit, one of the most hilarious things I've seen in a long time! 
Ok, actually it's a really, REALLY bad movie from a totally untalented director - but in some "Troll 2"-kinda way I enjoyed it. The werewolves all look like teddybears and the special effects are laughably shoddy (worst transformations ever!). The editing is often horrible and the soundtrack is awfully dull. The plot makes no sense, the script is unbelievably bad and most of the dialogue is simply dumb ("That dwarf is staring at us.").
Yet, the acting performances are fun: lots of kinda-Transsylvanian people looking dumb and talking shit, lots of girls showing their tits, lots of stupid wolfmen and wolfwomen constantly transforming or humping each other - and Christopher Lee as werewolf hunter is so unintentionally funny, it's simply awesome. I laughed my ass of when he says things like "Your sister is a werewolf." or "Where is Stirba?". There's also some nice gore (most notably the brilliant-looking eye explosion) and loads of cheesy 80s atmosphere.
Yeah, it's a bad movie but at least it's so fucking 80s, you just have to 'love' it! :-)

Wiki ~ Imdb



HOWLING III

Alternate Titles:
Howling III: The Marsupials / The Marsupials: The Howling III

German Title:
Wolfmen


Australia, 1987
Director: Philippe Mora

1/10



 
Director Mora has outdone himself: Howling III is so unbelievably bad, it actually makes Part 2 look like an arthouse masterpiece.
The whole plot about 'marsupial werewolves' is outstandingly stupid and pointless. The special effects are so laughable, it's almost unbearable: the werewolves look like cheap teddybears, the transformations are awfully shoddy and the birth scene is (for lack of a better word) uncommentable.
There's absolutely no suspense or atmosphere, the acting is mostly horrendous, the settings all look poor and the supercheesy 80s-muzak soundtrack is horribly annoying.
When it tries to be amusing or entertaining, it fails.
When it tries to be scary or thrilling, it fails.
When it tries to be original or interesting, it fails.
This movie is simply one steaming pile of shit. My 'Worst List' now feels incomplete.

HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE

German Title:
Howling

UK, 1988
Director: John Hough

3/10







Thankfully a bit better than its crappy predecessor but not much more.
The basic idea behind Part 4 is actually quite good: they decided to re-adapt  Gary Brandner's novel and stay way more faithful to the book than Joe Dante's "The Howling" - unfortunately that doesn't help when the director is completely incapable of creating anything of interest. It's one of the dullest and most boring movies I've ever seen. 
It's overstuffed with endlessly tedious scenes, vapid dream sequences and completely uninteresting dialogue. The script is terribly written and paced, the acting is mostly below average and for whatever reason the only cool werewolf and gore action happens in the last 15 minutes. At least these final scenes are quite cool (great-looking werewolves, nice gore, a terrific melting scene...). Furthermore, there's some certain atmosphere throughout the movie and the camera work is also pretty well done - but apart from that, it's another forgettable entry in this unnecessary franchise.

October 27, 2010

JACK-O

JACK-O

Alternate Title:
Jack O'Lantern

USA, 1995
Director: Steve Latshaw

2/10








I expected a nice little so-bad-it's-good-flick, but sadly it turned out to be 
a good-idea-horribly-executed-disappointment.
"Jack-O", utterly unnecessary z-grade cinema, including horrid acting, lame cameos (Cameron Mitchell, John Carradine...), lame dialogue, an absurd and pointless plot, an annoying score and absolutely no tension. At least there's some nice nudity (Linnea Quigley!), a few ok kills and the quite cool-looking 'Jack-O' - but that doesn't make it better!
All in all, a silly cheesefest - only recommended to cheese-fans who should watch it together with "Hack-O-Lantern" as a double feature.

THE FOREST

THE FOREST

Alternate Title:
Deadly Weekend / Terror In The Forest


USA, 1982
Director: Donald M. Jones

1/10








AARGH! My gosh, that was stupid. Once again one of the countless early-80s low-budget backwoods-slashers that tries to be a blend of "Friday The 13th" and "Deliverance", but eventually ends up as something much worse - this one here feels like a horrid mixture of 'genre highlights' like "Berserker", "The Prey" or "Don't Go Near The Park".
Nothing in here is any good:  a really, really dumb and totally pointless plot, a horrendous script, unbelievably awful dialogue. One-dimensional and completely uninteresting characters, played by super-crappy actors. No suspense, no atmosphere, lots of horribly tedious scenes and a couple of boring kills.
Just avoid this piece of crap.
 

October 26, 2010

WHISPERING CORRIDORS

WHISPERING CORRIDORS

Original Title:
Yeogo goedam


South Korea, 1998
Director: Ki-hyeong Park

7/10








A difficult and weird but strangely fascinating and captivating blend of ghost story and social criticism. It's a bit too long and also a bit too confusing, aside from that it's a really wonderful Asian psychological horror flick, quite slow-paced but never gets tedious or boring, quite actionless but still always pretty suspenseful and highly atmospheric. The cast is great, every actor delivers a great performance. The plot is (despire its confusedness) highly interesting and quite remarkable. Some terrific camera work, an excellent score, beautiful-looking school settings and lots of super-scary kill/suicide-scenes.
Highly recommended to everyone who likes it Asian and/or spooky.

October 25, 2010

SHOCKER

SHOCKER

Alternate Title:
Shocker: No More Mr. Nice Guy


USA, 1989
Director: Wes Craven

4/10








Wes Craven's career is full of ups and downs - and "Shocker" is definitely one of his downs. As far as I know (a) he wanted to create something as successful as, and in the vein of, his smash-hit "A Nightmare On Elm Street", which (b) could also launch into a new franchise - gladly, neither happened.
Ok, I admit, it's not that bad. The first 45 minutes are pretty enjoyable with lots of tense moments, atmospheric scenes, funny one-liners and some decent gore 
- unfortunately the remaining hour (yep, "Shocker" is that long!) is mostly stupid: packed with awfully goofy scenes (the body swapping in the park, a couple of ridiculous ghost appearances, the horribly stupid finale...), awfully tedious scenes, lots of laughably bad-looking special effects, annoying hardrock music and silly acting, plus: absolutely no suspense or tension.
Expendable 80s rubbish.

October 24, 2010

VAMPIRES 1 & 2

VAMPIRES

German Title:
Vampire


USA, 1998
Director: John Carpenter

9/10








Never been a huge vampire-fan and I also don't like western flicks - so what's the point in watching "Vampires" which is some kind of vampire-western? Well, it's directed by godfather John Carpenter, one of my favorite directors of all time - and despite the fact that the 90s were a letdown for him, he totally nailed it with his last 90s film, one of the most entertaining vampire-flicks I've ever seen. Funny and rousing, but also pretty tense, creepy and dark.

The cast is kick-ass: a mega-terrific James Woods and some really cool performances from Daniel Baldwin, Thomas Ian Griffith & Maximilian Schell.
The plot is quite nice and the script is brilliantly written (great pacing, never gets boring, totally awesome opening scene, totally awesome climax...).
Like in every Carpenter-film the cinematography is fantastic, the settings look cool and the musical score is great and excellently fitting.
Highlights: the outstanding-looking oldschool vampire explosions, some wonderful gore scenes (bodies torn open or ripped in two, lots of beheadings...) and large parts of the uber-brilliant dialogue.

"You ever seen a vampire?" - "No." - 
"No... Well first of all, they're not romantic. Its not like they're a bunch of fuckin' fags hoppin' around in rented formal wear and seducing everybody in sight with cheesy Euro-trash accents, all right? 
Forget whatever you've seen in the movies: they don't turn into bats, crosses don't work. Garlic? You wanna try garlic? You could stand there with garlic around your neck and one of these buggers will bend you fucking over and take a walk up your strada-chocolata WHILE he's suckin' the blood outta your neck, all right? And they don't sleep in coffins lined in taffeta. 
You wanna kill one, you drive a wooden stake right through his fuckin' heart. Sunlight turns 'em into crispy critters." - LMAO 

I say: fuck the overrated "Blade" and other vampire-hunter crap, THIS is the real deal.
Bravo Mr. Carpenter!


VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTOS

USA, 2002
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

2/10











Clearly one of the worst vampire flicks I've ever seen. Director Wallace totally hit rock-bottom with this uber-lame quasi-sequel. Apart from a few good shots and some cool gore, nearly everything sucks in here (no pun intended).
The acting is extremely bad; especially the performances from Jon Bon Jovi and Natasha Gregson Wagner are absolutely awful. The unimaginative plot is basically the same as in part 1, the dialogue is totally dire, it's never tense, creepy or atmospheric, the soundtrack is boring and the vampire explosions look completely dull and unimpressing.
Forgettable.

October 23, 2010

DARK HOUSE

DARK HOUSE

USA, 2009
Director: Darin Scott

2/10










My goodness, that movie was really, really stupid. I expected some kinda entertaining haunted-house-cheesefest, but all I got was a lousy and awfully pointless rubbish. The first 5 minutes are quite ok, the rest just sucks: a lame plot, a poorly paced and written script, the dialogue is bad, the acting is mostly horribly annoying (time to retire, Mr. Combs!) and it's packed with loads of absolutely terrible special effects (I HATE CGI BLOOD!!!!!). Avoidable crap.

October 19, 2010

BLUE SUNSHINE

BLUE SUNSHINE

USA, 1976
Director: Jeff Lieberman

7/10











Undoubtedly one of the most interesting horror movies I've seen in a long time - ok, it's more of a psychological horror-thriller and it's definitely not without its flaws (at times a bit too slow, a weak ending...) - aside from that it really impressed me.
The plot is quite unique, the script is well-written and superbly paced. Most of the time it's pretty suspenseful and barn-storming. Decent cinematography, good dialogue and nice acting (especially Zalman King's performance). Highlights: every single baldhead-goes-apeshit-scene and the absolutely powerful score.
A totally underrated but enjoyable little 70s gem.

October 17, 2010

PRIMEVAL

PRIMEVAL

Alternate Title:
Primeval Kill

German Title:
Die Fährte des Grauens

USA, 2007
Director: Michael Katleman

5/10





I'm always in for some croc-schlock as long as it's entertaining - and "Primeval" is definitely enterteining. It's of course no "Black Water" or "Rogue", but at least it's mindless fun, best enoyed with a switched-off brain.
The story is somewhat interesting but extremely predictable, many of the CGI-effects look pretty cheap, it's hardly tense or suspenseful and most of the acting is lame (Jürgen Prochnow, what's wrong with you?).
Yet, all of the kills (croc and non-croc) are great, the gore is nice, camera work and settings look good, and it absolutely never gets boring, plus: Orlando Jones, the acting highlight of the film, constantly delivering fabulous one-liners like
"This crocodile's like OJ Simpson. He messed when he killed that white woman." or "I'd never say this in a front of a bunch of white people but slavery was a good thing. Anything you gotta do to get the fuck out of Africa is ok with me. I hate fucking Africa!". :-)
Overall, a trashy but enjoyable crocodile cheesefest.

October 13, 2010

THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE

THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE

UK / USA, 2007
Director: Dario Piana

6/10











A highly interesting and pretty remarkable horror-thriller in the vein of "Matrix" and "The Butterfly Effect", unfortunately a bit too flawed and unoriginal.

*Actors - all good and convincing, especially the underrated Mike Vogel
*Plot - imaginative and pretty gripping, sadly with too many holes and unanswered questions
*Script - quite good. Pacing and dialogue are great, yet the last half hour is a bit shiftless and too unsuspenseful
*Soundtrack - I just love it: powerful, sweeping and really eargasmic!
*Special Effects - terrific, absolutely terrific (considering that this is a low budget movie)
*Settings - look ok but there's nothing special about it
*Deaths - could have been way gorier, way more brutal

Furthermore I add that it's promising in the 1st third, brilliant in the 2nd third and disappointing in the 3rd third.
Could have been much better.

MIND KILLER

MIND KILLER
Alternate Titles:
Mindkiller / The Brain Creatures

German Title:
Mind Killer - Halb Alien, halb Mensch


USA, 1987
Director: Michael Krueger

2/10






Lowest budget horror trash of the lowest quality (the video cover says it all), yet I've seen worse.
The first hour is beyond horrible: some of the most awful acting I've seen since "Bloody Psycho", unbelievably stupid dialogue, an extremely annoying soundtrack, dull camera work and an awful lot of completely boring scenes. The final half hour is equally bad, but luckily it's filled with gloriously cheesy creatures, mutations and stuff like that (a swollen and pulsating head, a living brain, some kind of lizard-monster etc.).
Recommended only to fans of similar crap like "The Brain" or "Metamorphosis".

October 12, 2010

FROM WITHIN

FROM WITHIN

USA, 2008
Director: Phedon Papamichael

3/10











What is worse than a boring movie? A boring, predictable, cliché-laden and underwhelming movie - just like "From Within". Oh dear, this was one helluva disappointment: it actually starts out really great with a couple of creepy scenes and great suicides, but then after the first half hour it totally goes downhill right until the end. By the last 20 minutes or so I already lost the interest in the whole thing. 
Some religious crap, some lame "Grudge"-like ghost appearances, weak and hollow acting, a dumb and uninteresting plot, way too many super-boring and horribly tedious scenes and a poor ending.
Avoidable.

October 11, 2010

GHOULIES 1 & 2

GHOULIES

USA, 1985
Director: Luca Bercovici

3/10











Undoubtedly one of the silliest "horror" flicks from the 80s, of course produced by schlock-meister Charles Band. A super-cheesy kinda-creature-feature, pointless and totally ridiculous, but at least mildly entertaining.
It's hardly tense or thrilling, but rather unintentionally hilarious. The plot is terrible and full of holes. Many of the special effects are extremely shoody-looking and the acting is below-average.
Still, it has its moments: the Ghoulies all look pretty fun, there are some nice death scenes and the party at the beginning is sooo 80s, you just have to love it (incl. one of the goofiest one-liners of all time: "They call me Dick, but you can call me... (opens a beer can) ...Dick!" - LOL).
If you like it campy, then this is definitely your movie.




GHOULIES II

USA, 1988
Director: Albert Band

2/10











An unbelievably stupid and unnecessary sequel. The Ghoulies and the special effects in general look way better than in Part 1, sadly everything else just horribly sucks. The acting is so incredibly bad and annoying, it made me sick (especially the midget and the old drunken guy... horrendous!!). The soundtrack is bad, the story is crap and it's packed with loads of dumb meant-to-be-funny-scenes that are actually anything except funny.
Laughable and forgettable rubbish.

October 10, 2010

THE FINAL TERROR

THE FINAL TERROR

Alternate Titles:
Campsite Massacre / The Forest Primeval / Carnivore / Final Terror

German Titles:
Angst - Das Camp des Schreckens / Todesfalle am Mill Creek / Horror am Mill Creek

USA, 1983
Director: Andrew Davis

3/10



An obscure and disappointing backwoods slasher in the vein of similarly lame 80s flicks like "The Prey", "Just Before Dawn" or "Humongous". Starts out really great with a top notch opening kill, a decent character introduction and an entertaining campfire-tale-scene, but sadly after the first 20-25 minutes it goes completey downhill with loads of horribly boring and tedious scenes until it finally reaches a promising but eventually completely stupid ending. Acting, soundtrack and dialogue are mediocre, the gore is underwhelming and the killer is simply laughable.
Forgettable 80s dreck.

October 3, 2010

HOUSE (2008)

HOUSE

German Title:
The House - Die Schuldigen werden bestraft


USA, 2008
Director: Robby Henson

2/10








An unbelievably dumb, boring and extremely cliché-laden haunted-house/slasher/satanism/whatever-schlock.
1 point for the ok performance of Reynaldo Rosales and 1 point for the terrific-looking settings. Everything else in here just sucks. The acting is mostly horrid, f.e. Julie Ann Emery and Leslie Easterbrook are outstandingly lame and unbelievable, Bill Moseley simply is laughable, hell, even Michael Madsen is only a shadow of his former self. Every scene that could have been tense or scary is just annoyingly dull, the dialogue is often awfully bad and the ending is beyond stupid.
Avoid this crap at all costs.

BLACK ROSES

BLACK ROSES

German Title:
Freakshow


USA, 1988
Director: John Fasano

5/10








'Hardrock / Heavy Metal Horror' - undoubtedly the weirdest horror genre of the 80s. Yeah, back then Heavy Metal was so popular, there were even a bunch of horror flicks based on hard rock / heavy metal music. Well, I'm not a fan of that music, but I've already seen 2 of these films, "Trick Or Treat" which is quite good & "Hack-O-Lantern" which is quite bad. Now it's time for my third rock experience and surprisingly it's way better than I expected. It's of course no masterstroke, but at least it's pretty entertaining.
The plot is silly (a demonic hardrock band hypnotizing teens with their music and make them go violent? come on...), the script is badly written, the acting is quite lame and there's hardly any suspense or tension.
Yet, it's full of supercheesy and enjoyable demons and rubber monsters (that thing that comes out of the speakers... hilarious!), the songs are surprisingly all pretty good, it's full of brilliant 80s atmosphere and the dialogue is often simply ace ("Only 2 kinds of men wear earrings: pirates and faggots - and I don't see no ship in our driveway." - LOL).
Overall one helluva glorious cheesefest - now I definitely have to watch "Hard Rock Zombies" and "Rock'n'Roll Nightmare" as soon as possible! :-)

THE LOVELY BONES

THE LOVELY BONES

German Title:
In meinem Himmel


USA / UK / New Zealand, 2009
Director: Peter Jackson

6/10








Is it wrong to expect anything but a masterpiece from Peter Jackson? I mean... c'mon: this guy continuously created masterpieces, think about "Braindead", "Heavenly Creatures", "The Frighteners" and of course "Lord Of The Rings".
Unfortunately his newest effort (an adaptation of the novel of the same name) is no such masterpiece. Don't get me wrong: it's not a bad movie but it's sadly way too flawed to mention it in the same breath as the above-mentioned ones.
It's tense and visually stunning, and the story is interesting and quite powerful - sadly the script is just a mess, full of large plot holes and illogical or pointless scenes. The movie itself is way too long and most of the CGI scens are either poor-looking or just unnecessary. Thankfully the brilliant acting saves the movie from falling into mediocrity: an amazing Saoirse Ronan, a surprisingly stunning Mark Wahlberg, an amusing Susan Sarandon and a breathtakingly terrific Stanley Tucci who delivers the performance of his life.
Overall an ok but disappointing film.

October 2, 2010

PAINTBALL

PAINTBALL

Spain, 2009
Director: Daniel Benmayor

4/10











'Paintball', a petty little survival-slasher from Spain, quite silly, cliché-laden and unoriginal. Filled with annoying characters, stupid character decisions and awfully bad dialogue. The script is badly written, the plot is lame and the ending is just fucked up. At least it's mildly enjoyable with a couple of nice kills, a pretty tense opening scene, some ok cinematography and an entertaining kinda-"Graduation Day"-cheesiness.

Imdb

LINK

LINK

German Title:
Link, der Butler

UK, 1986
Director: Richard Franklin

7/10






Not the best but undoubtedly one of the most underrated horror movies from the 80s. Saw this ages ago and it totally impressed me - and fortunately it's still a really gorgeous gem, not very logical but highly entertaining and suspenseful, with beautiful-looking settings, a fantastic score from Jerry Goldsmith and some terrific camera work. The script is well-written, the dialogue is neat and the acting is just fine. Highlight of the movie is of course the terrifically trained orangutan and the 2 chimpanzees; it's just a pleasure watching them, especially the sinister-looking Link (the scene where he kills the dog... priceless!).
Calling all animal-horror fans: if you haven't watched "Link" yet, you immediately have to check it out!

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