30 March 2011

"HANDS OF STEEL" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #9)


Original Title:
Vendetta dal futuro

Alternate Titles:
Fists Of Steel / Atomic Cyborg / Arms Of Steel

German Title:
Paco - Kampfmaschine des Todes

Italy, 1986
Director: Sergio Martino


Yay, Eurotrash at its best! 
"Hands Of Steel", one of the few sci-fi/action flicks from Sergio Martino, one of Italy's most productive exploitation-directors, is an extremely entertaining piece of futuristic-80s-trash in the vein of "Terminator" and "Blade Runner".

Of course, it's faaar from being perfect, due to a really silly and implausible plot, mediocre pacing and an underwhelming ending
- but who cares about such trifles when everything else in this movie is just kick-ass?
I mean, look at the cast: Daniel Greene from 'Falcon Crest' as terrific cyborg Paco, the amazing George Eastman as arm-wrestling Mexican, John Saxon as uber-villain, a bad-ass Darwyn Swalve and a cool Claudio Cassinelli, who sadly died in a helicopter-crash during shooting.

I also love how tense and fast-paced it is (no dull moments), it's filled with terrific-looking and highly atmospheric settings (the filthy slums, the desert bar, the strange-looking buildings in the climax...) and Claudio "Goblin" Simonetti's soundtrack is just great.

In addition, it's packed with lots of remarkable and/or unforgettable scenes: the drive through the acid rain, all the arm-wrestling scenes, the battle with the female cyborg, the Terminator-like self-surgery scene, lots of gory kills, the tow-truck torture, the laser gun etc. etc.

Highly recommended to fans of 80s-stuff and Italo-cheese, a must-see!

29 March 2011

The Holy Grail of Horror: "GRIZZLY 2: THE PREDATOR"


Alternate Titles:
Predator: The Concert / Grizzly II: The Predator

USA, 1987
Director: André Szöts

-/10 (unrateable)

Yes! Yes! Yes! I've finally seen it!
The holy grail of horror: "Grizzly 2: The Predator", the long lost workprint of the unfinished (and completely unrelated) sequel to William Girdler's 70s classic "Grizzly".

The movie was shot in 1983/1984 in Hungary (for whatever reason...),
directed by André Szöts, written by David Sheldon (writer and producer of the original "Grizzly")
with an quite impressive cast, including oscar winner Louise Fletcher, John "Gimli" Rhys-Davies and TV star Deborah Raffin,
plus: early appearances from Laura Dern (!), Charlie Sheen (!!) AND George Clooney (!!!).

According to Wikipedia, principal photography of Grizzly 2 was largely completed, with the Grizzly effects to be added in later.
However, before they could even begin to shoot all the bear-stuff, the production stalled and the film crew was told to leave the country.
Reasons why are unknown. There are at least lots of rumours going 'round about a non-working animatronic bear, problems with the Hungarian government, problems with the rights to the Grizzly-title and a bankruptcy lawsuit.

Though it never was finished, a workprint of the movie did surface on the internet in 2007, much to the joy of many horror geeks who were searching for the remaining footage for about 20 years.

A few days ago I finally managed to get a copy of this workprint and I have to say that I really, really enjoyed watching it. I mean, it's obviously bad - not only because it's unfinished (f.e. the last 10 minutes consist only of various action scenes pieced together, sometimes with sound, sometimes without sound)
but mainly because it's... well... it's just bad.
I'd say the true reason behind its unfinishedness is that the shot footage is so bad, they could have never made a good film out of it :-)

The plot is unoriginal and quite similar to other animal horror flicks (raging Grizzly on the loose attacking an open air concert in a national park), the script is predictable and unsurprising, and it's filled with cliché-ridden and one-dimensional characters (good guys, bad guys, dumb teenies, hillbillies etc.).

The soundtrack is weird: most of the time we get to hear the 3 Michael Jackson tunes "Wanna be Startin' Somethin'", "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" - actually 3 neat tunes but they definitely don't fit into that movie.
The rest consists of cheesy 80s music from 'Toto Coelo' and the fictional band 'Predator' who are shown performing lots of hilarious songs like "Don't give me War, Give me Action" or "You take the Milk from the Coconut".

The acting is lame. Most of the actors look and act like they don't know what they're doin' in this film. The performances of Sheen / Clooney / Dern are sadly only about 5 minutes long.

Worst of all: the bear scenes.
 Due to the fact that most of them weren't shot at all, there are actually only 3-4 scenes where we get to see parts of the Grizzly (head, paw).
In every other scene where there shoud have been a bear, we only get to see a brown screen and/or hear some laughable growling.

Overall, it's of course a bad and disappointing piece of rubbish that doesn't fulfill any expectations.
Nevertheless, it's something you really have to see, whether you enjoy watching bad movies or you're just interested in experience the feeling of watching an unfinished film :-)

Wiki ~ Imdb
Twitch - nice little article
Mecha-Blog-Zilla - great article

27 March 2011



Alternate Titles:
Devil Bear / Grizzly 2

USA, 1977
Directors: Richard Bansbach & R.E. Pierson


William Girdler's "Grizzly" was already quite bad - this dumb rip-off is even worse.
"Claws" is quite obviously one of the 70s' worst animal flicks, due to an extremely stupid plot (Satan Bear!), an awful script, hardly any tension, loads of terrible dialogue, shitloads of completely wearisome scenes and a high amount of annoying flashbacks (If only those flashbacks would have been as great as in "Night Of The Demon"... *sigh*).
At least, it contains a few atmospheric night shots, the bear attacks are all decent (especially the scene at the boys camp) and the acting is ok but apart from that, it's rather forgettable.



Alternate German Title:
Bear - Stell dich tot

USA, 2010
Director: John Rebel


"Bear" (not to be confused with The Bear :-)
is a surprisingly entertaining little low-budget animal-horror-flick that feels like a blend of "Grizzly" and "Cujo".

Of course, it's pretty flawed and far from being a 'perfect' movie: the plot sucks, large parts of the dialogue are tremendously horrible, the acting is so-so and the characters are all highly cliché-ridden. Besides, the editing is often a bit shoddy, the camera work is lame and due to lack of budget, the whole movie has a cheap look.

Fortunately it's quite fast-paced, never boring and packed with many, really suspenseful and thrilling scenes (nearly every single bear attack, the scene where they hide in the pipe). The bear (a real one!) looks absolutely terrific and the brilliantly composed soundtrack is extremely rousing.
Highlight: the wonderful ending which was completely different to what I expected.

A higher budget, a few more experienced actors and more gore - then it really could have been a killer of a movie.

"THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #8)


USA, 1960
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer


One of countless adaptations of H.G. Wells' "Invisible Man" novella, in this case a lame and boring low-budget crime-thriller about an invisible safe-cracker.

The acting is quite ok, the special effects look decent and the settings look nice. Sadly, the director was completely incapable of creating any kind of suspense or atmosphere. Nearly nothing happens in the first half, and there's also not much going on in the second half - gladly the whole movie lasts only 57 minutes.

26 March 2011



German Title:
Insane - Hotel des Todes

Sweden, 2010
Directors: Anders Jacobsson & Tomas Sandquist


A weak Swedish low-budget rip-off of "Psycho" including some typical slasher-elements. Not as bad as many Imdb-reviews might suggest, but still nothing great.

The killer with his gas mask looks fabulous and the weirdly designed hotel looks pretty creepy. We get to see some brilliantly gory kills and there is at least one scene that creeped the shit out of me.
Sadly, everything else kinda sucks: the acting is below-average, the dialogue is mostly quite annoying, it's never really tense and the plot is rather stupid. 
The cheesy soundtrack is often almost unbearable, the camera work is pretty shiftless and it's sad to see how the directors completely fail on creating any atmosphere or suspense.



Original Title:
Les 7 jours du talion

Alternate Title:
Seven Days

Canada, 2010
Director: Daniel Grou


What a huge disappointment!
I was very excited about "7 Days", due to an amazing trailer and lots of raving reviews. Unfortunately I ended up not enjoying it as much as I thought I might.

A great first half with superb pacing, lots of shocking images and unexpected plot points - a bad second half, incredibly boring and tedious, with too many dull and unsuspenseful scenes.

Pros: The acting is fabulous and extremely believable, especially Claude Legault and Rémy Girard's performances. I love the beautiful shooting locations (the forest, the lake, the cabin...), the camera work is well done and the scene where they find the dead daughter is impressively shocking.

Cons: There's hardly any tension or suspense. The torture scenes are underwhelming and totally unimpressing.
The script is a big mess, mainly because of many missing character connections, many scenes that feel rushed and a really lame ending.
Furthermore, 'lack of music' might work in a Haneke-fim but in here it doesn't work at all. Some scenes seemed to beg for some rousing strings.

An overrated psycho-drama that didn't do much for me.

Wiki ~ Imdb

24 March 2011



Alternate Title:
Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus

USA, 2009
Director: Jack Perez


From the studio that brought you rubbish like "Mega Piranha", "Transmorphers" and "Titanic II" comes another craptacular and almost unwatchable CGI-disaster: "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus", an ultra-horrible no-budget giant-monster-schlockfest - so bad, it's bad.

I admit that I liked Deborah Gibson's performance and even enjoyed a few hilarious scenes (mega shark eats airplane, octopus destroys oil rig, mega shark fights octopus), but besides that, everything about it is just bad: the horrid acting (Lorenzo Lamas - nuff said), the badly written and paced script, the complete absence of suspense, the incredibly awful camera work, loads of shitty dialogue and the worst CGI / special effects I've ever seen.

Utter nonsense.

Wiki ~ Imdb


Alternate Title:
Mega Shark versus Crocosaurus

USA, 2010
Director: Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray


Basically the same crap as its predecessor but fortunately a bit more entertaining.
Of course it's full of awful actors (most notably the annoying Jaleel 'Urkel' White), unbelievably bad CGI effects and terrible dialogue. The plot sucks, the script is one huge mess and the ending is one of the most stupid endings in movie history.
At least it's a bit more action-packed and entertaining, the croc-scenes are all hilariously funny, a few parts of the soundtrack are quite nice and the one slow-motion scene towards the end looks (surprisingly) pretty good.

23 March 2011

"THE THIRSTY DEAD" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #7)


USA / Philippines, 1974
Director: Terry Becker


The title may suggest that this is about blood-drinking zombies and stuff - but actually, it's just a horribly dull and boring lowest-budget adventure/horror snoozefest with absolutely no zombies and hardly any blood. Just an uninteresting death cult that drinks blood to gain immortality.

The first 15 minutes or so are quite ok, everything else just sucks: an unbelievably lame plot, a bunch of awful and annoying actors (most notably the totally talentless John Considine), shoddy effects, tiresome dialogue and loads of extremely cheap-looking settings.
Not much more to say about this schlock.

22 March 2011

"THEY SAVED HITLER'S BRAIN" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #6)

(lengthened TV version of the film "Madmen Of Mandoras")

USA, 1968
Director: David Bradley


A horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE mess of a movie, consisting of a z-grade flick from the 50s and some additional low-budget footage from the 60s.
There's absolutely nothing entertaining or interesting in here, no funny oldschool sci-fi, no hilarious nazisploitation, just loads of incredibly boring and tedious dialogue scenes, loads of untalented actors, many crappy-looking special effects, and countless, obvious continuity errors.

Furthermore, the title (which is actually quite funny) is completely misleading, as there is no Hitler-brain. Just a few scenes with Hitler's head kept on life support and one scene with Hitler alive and kicking in the fuehrer's bunker, all badly performed by some guy called Bill Freed.

Forgettable and almost unwatchable. Avoid!!

Wiki ~ Imdb

20 March 2011

"THE WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #5)


German Title:
Der Werwolf von Washington

USA, 1973
Director: Milton Moses Ginsberg


Actually I expected "Werewolf Of Washington" to be some kinda cheesy wolfman-crap, but surprisingly, it turned out to be a witty and entertaining political satire about the US president's press assistant who gets bitten by a werewolf.

Of course, it has its flaws: it's an obvious low-budget production, mediocrely directed, written and paced.
The sets all look extremely tacky, the special effects are poor and the werewolf costume looks rather silly.

Apart from that, I totally enjoyed it. It's filled with hilarious and memorable scenes that made me laugh my ass off, f.e. the hilarious scene where the assistant's fingers get stuck in a bowling ball, the funny telephone booth attack, the werewolf transformation in the helicopter, the hiding-in-the-toilet scene, the appearance (and disappearance) of Dr. Kiss, and many, many more.

Furthermore, it's also filled with loads of
hysterical dialogue lines, f.e.:

"The sign of the pentagram." - "Ah, the Pentagon is behind all of this!" 
"He says it's a werewolf." - "A weird wolf?"
"I have called this conference because of the mass hysteria in our tragedy surrounding a case, we're all very much a Were... (coughs) aware! ...were."
"Jack, Jack, would you just pay a little attention over here, Jack?" - "No Jack! This is hijack! HIJACK!!"
"I have already sent the chopper over there to pick you up... Chopper! Um...Heli... Heli-Chopper. You know... Brrr-rrr."
"Sir, if we can make this one last quick thrust into his sanctuaries, covered by, um... reactive, protracted reconnaissance... an active, radiative reconnaissance... a protective, reactive reconnaissance... an active..."
etc. etc.

In addition, the acting is quite decent, especially Dean Stockwell and Biff McGuire as goofy president. The werewolf attacks are mostly quite atmospheric and there's even some ok gore.

An absurd but unique and totally enjoyable political werewolf comedy you really have to see!


(12minute short)

Alternate Title:
Bad Robot

USA / Ireland, 2010
Director: Ruairi Robinson


Ok, this is something everybody should check out ASAP!
I totally fell in love with "BlinkyTM", an absolutely stunning and incredible-looking indie-short about a boy and his best friend Blinky, one of the creepiest robots I've ever seen. 

It's thrilling, tense and extremely atmospheric over the whole runtime. Youngster Max Records delivers a terrific and believable performance, the camera work is fantastic (just check out the very last shot), the suburban settings look cool and stylish, and the soundtrack is extremely gripping...

...but that all is nothing compared to the main attraction Blinky, a brilliantly designed robot who constantly says things like "No problem!" or "I just wanna be your friend" with a friendly but unsettling voice, who has the ability to do everything you tell him to do. Really everything...

Simply excellent! Hope they turn this into a full-length feature soon!


This review is part of the Film Club
from Final Girl, the blog of all blogs!


Original Title:
Et mourir de plaisir

German Title:
...und vor Lust zu sterben

France / Italy, 1960
Director: Roger Vadim

Note: "Blood And Roses" is one of countless 60s horror movies which are not yet released on DVD - though in the USA it's available on-demand,
sadly not on amazon.com (which I can enter by proxy as an Austrian) but on Netflix (which I can't enter by proxy for whatever reason).

So I decided to roam the internet and luckily, I stumbled upon 2 VHS-rips in acceptable quality.
The original French version with English subtitles
and the cut US version which differs pretty much from the original.

French Version, 84 min.

A highly impressive, intelligent and mesmerizing kinda-lesbian-vampire-tale, quite rightly considered a masterpiece. 
The romantic but tragic story is wonderfully written, developed and told, due to a haunting and slow-paced script.

The beautiful rural settings are captured in wonderful shots and images, accentuated with a terrific soundtrack consisting of pompous violins, melancholic harps and depressing pianos.
The acting is superb, great performances from the director's wife Annette Vadim, Mel Ferrer and Elsa Martinelli.

Highlights: the fireworks scene, the incredibly atmospheric scene with Carmilla walking to the crypt, the killing of Lisa, Carmilla's bleeding heart, the infamous and outstanding dream sequence and the shattering ending
(plus: the funny scene with the 2 kids saying their prayers).

A brilliant movie, highly recommended to fans of "Picnic At Hanging Rock" and "Martin".


US Version, 74 Min

Far from being as good as the original, mainly because of an added narration that destroys every single bit of atmosphere, unnecessarily added screams and shots of dead roses, and many scenes that were cut or at least shortened.

Even if I would have seen this version first, I still would not like it as much as the French version.


19 March 2011


I'm a completist and therefore, I have to see every movie of a franchise,
no matter how bad it is. 
That's why I rented "Rave To The Grave" today, 
the awful final part of the "Return Of The Living Dead" series.

Click the pic to check my review.

Brandon, the guy from "Big Daddy Horror Reviews", needs the help of us horror bloggers!

He plans on shooting an oldschool slasher called "Trespass... at Your Own Risk" this year, 
and you can help him by doing the following 3 things:

~ Check the official Trespass-Facebook-page and click on the "Like"-button

~ Check the official Trespass-Blog and be a follower

~ Check the official Trespass-IndieGogo-page and make a donation


I did it. I finally did it.
I gave "The Exorcist III" a 10/10.

Since I bought it a few months ago, I kinda fell in love with it. There's something about this masterpiece that cast a spell over me.
To date, I watched it 7 times and upped the rating twice (from 8 to 9, from 9 to 10).

If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor
and buy/watch/stream/download it as soon as possible
and then do me a favor and tell me how much you liked it.
In return, I promise to give Part 1 another chance. Maybe I will finally love it after a 4th watch?



Original Title:

German Title:
Humans - Sie haben überlebt

France / Switzerland / Luxembourg, 2009
Directors: Jacques-Olivier Molon & Pierre-Olivier Thevenin


After the lame "High Lane", the next horror-disappointment from France - though I'd say that "High Lane" is quite a masterpiece compared to "Humans", a ridiculous rip-off of survival/backwoods-stuff like "Just Before Dawn", "Deliverance" and "Wrong Turn" - with Neanderthals. Yeah, you read right. No mutants, no retarded maniacs - Neanderthals (whatever).

As you can guess, the plot totally sucks and the script is an awful mess, full of annoying characters, illogical plot points and many super-boring scenes (especially a few completely superfluous scenes where they show wanderers wandering around. Absolutely nothing happens in these scenes, they just show them wandering - *yawn*).
The acting is mediocre, the dialogue is annoying, there are some really crappy CGI effects (worst explosion I've seen in a long time)
and, worst of all, the Neanderthals look like drugged or piss-drunk peasants who became lost in the woods after a costume party.

The 2 only good things about this crap are the beautiful-looking Swiss landscapes and 2-3 mildly tense scenes in the first third.



Alternate Title:
ProSieben Funny Movie- H3: Halloween Horror Hostel

Germany, 2008
Director: Michael Karen


A horrible German made-for-TV spoof on horror films like "Halloween", "Hostel", "Friday The 13th", "Scream", "Saw", "Evil Dead" etc.,  that tries hard to be as funny as the "Scary Movie"-flicks but, of course, totally fails in doing so, due to a few super-annoying actors and loads of damn stupid gags.
2 or 3 mildly entertaining scenes and a nice ending, the rest is just forgettable.

Wiki (German) ~ Imdb

18 March 2011



(TV-series, 2008-2009;
anthology series with thirteen 40minute horror episodes, created from a few well-known and not-so-known horror-directors and -writers)

Wiki ~ Imdb

Season 1

Episode 1:

German Title:
Die Opferung

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Breck Eisner


A terrific start from shooting-star Eisner: a brilliantly haunting and highly atmospheric vampire tale, thrilling and creepy, incl. a wonderful cast (Rachel Miner!!), wonderful settings (that totally reminded me of "Ginger Snaps Back"), a superbly written story, a few great-looking creatures and some decent gore

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 2:

German Title:
Die Heimsuchung

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Brad Anderson


Cool episode from the ingenious Brad Anderson. At times a bit too slow and tedious but overall really great. An interesting story with a few nice plot twists, a wonderful cast (Eric Roberts - brilliant as always), terrific-looking settings and a couple of outstandingly scary scenes and moments.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 3:

German Title:
Im Körper der Bestie

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Ronny Yu


Yu's episode is a quite mediocre body-swap thriller, not very tense, not very original, but fortunately with some neat dialogue and a really badass ending. There's also some ok gore and the acting is decent - except for Colin Ferguson whose performance is just annoying.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 4:

German Title:
Bis dass der Tod...

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: John Landis


I'm really surprised about the huge amount of negative reviews this episode has gotten, because I totally enjoyed it. John Landis and script-writer Victor Salva deliver a super-suspenseful and well-paced little chiller, full of nice acting, cool camera work, funny dialogue and many, many terrific plot twists.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 5:

German Title:
Der Kannibale

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Stuart Gordon


A tense little horror-thriller, about a creepy-looking supernatural Hannibal-Lecter-like cannibal, from godfather Stuart Gordon. Most of the time it's highly atmospheric and thrilling. The acting is pretty great (especially Elisabeth Moss), the settings all look quite eerie and there's also some really cool gore. Only flaw: the last third is a bit dull and implausible.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 6:

German Title:
Blutiges Erwachen

USA / Canada
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman


Bousman's episode is about as lame as 2 of his 3 "Saw"-sequels.
I like the story, the cool ending twist and the beautiful Briana Evigan - I dislike the boring and badly paced script, and all the completely uninteresting-looking zombies.

Wiki ~ Imdb 

Episode 7:

German Title:
Vorort zur Hölle

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Mary Harron


The overrated Mary Harron desperately tried to create something like Truman Show vs. Wives Of Stepford vs. Orwell's 1984, but in the end she totally failed. Some tense and atmospheric moments and a few good actors, but overall horribly slow, tedious and uninteresting, due to a awful script. Bad highlight: the ending which made absolutely no sense.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 8:

German Title:
Haut und Knochen

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Larry Fessenden


Wonderful story about a gruesome Wendigo-possession, from producer/actor/director Fessenden and the 2 "Cigarette Burns" script-writers. A bit too slow in the beginning, but thereafter it gets more and more suspenseful, scary and action-packed. Doug Jones' performance is outstanding, all the settings look just beautiful, it's filled with great scares and the climax is just brilliant.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 9:

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Ernest R. Dickerson


A solid but unspectacular werewolf-adaptation from Dickerson. The first half is quite funny and original (mainly because of Wendell Pierce and Paula Jai Parker's hilarious performances), the second half is sadly rather dull and predictable. Some nice gore and cool-looking wolfmen. The climax sucks, the epilogue is mediocre.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 10:

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: John Dahl


Another episode that everybody seems to hate, except me. John Dahl delivers a rousing and highly suspenseful little mystery-story, full of super-thrilling and nerve-wracking edge-of-seat scenes, a few pretty good actors, great-looking settings and some brutal kills. Loves it!

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 11:

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Rob Schmidt


It's funny how I'm not a big fan of Schmidt's full length films but totally enjoy his TV stuff. "Right To Die" was awesome and the "Spirit Box" is also really terrific. A great plot combined with a brilliantly paced script, two surprisingly excellent teen-actors (Anna Kendrick & Jessica Parker Kennedy), lots of suspense, lots of atmosphere, a few great scares and a cool ending.
My favorite 'Fear Itself'-episode.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 12:

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Rupert Wainwright


A super-dull and tiring reincarnation-story, about as dull as Wainwright's "Fog" remake. An ok ending, some ok gore but apart from that, just forgettable.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Episode 13:

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Eduardo Rodriguez


The disappointing finale of a good but quite underwhelming series: an "Evil Dead"-inspired episode from a pretty unknown director which starts out pretty interesting in the first half but falls flat in the second half. Pros: cool story, nice acting - cons: a horrible script, many lame-looking CGI effects.

Wiki ~ Imdb

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