29 November 2013

Post Thanksgiving Stuff(ing): "HOME SWEET HOME" (1981)

HOME SWEET HOME

Alternate Title:
Slasher in the House

German Title:
Bloodparty

USA, 1981
Director: Nettie Peña

4/10





Thanksgiving is over - care for another Thanksgiving Turkey?
Of course! And although it's not a good one, I promise, it's far from being as bad as "Blood Freak" =)


"Home Sweet Home" is a pretty lame and unoriginal ripoff of "Halloween" about an insane bodybuilder with a terrible laugh who escapes from a mental asylum and makes his way to a remote ranch where he kills off the guests of a weird Thanksgiving party...

What sounds like an annoying dumbfest, is actually a mildly decent lowest-budget slasher, somewhere between John Carpenter's slasher blueprint, "Hollow Gate" and "Hide and Go Shriek". Two-time director Nettie Peña isn't what you'd call a talented filmmaker, but she was able to turn the horrible screenplay - written by Thomas Bush, assistant sound editor in "Evil Dead 2" - into a somewhat watchable flick by creating a few memorable kills and adding some nice atmosphere.


Brawny beefcake Jake Steinfeld is a horrible actor, but I couldn't help enjoying the hell out of his silly performance. He looks like a complete idiot and constantly laughs like he's demented, but he's one helluva killer, running over old women, slashing throats, and (my fave) electrocuting one of his victims with an
electric guitar.

The rest of the actors are mostly lame and the characters all pretty unsympathetic, except the little girl (very first acting performance by the gorgeous Vinessa Shaw) and the kid wih the KISS face paint. He's annoying as hell, but it's just too damn funny seeing him running around, constantly playing guitar, performing silly magic tricks, "seducing" Spanish girls etc. 


The cinematography is a bit trite, but the score is very well done, maybe a bit too repetitive, but hum-worthy. What's bad: too many POV scenes that are directly ripped off "Halloween", the tone is all over the place, and I think it's extremely disappointing that they didn't do anything with the Thanksgiving concept. No Thanksgiving-related kills, no Thanksgiving traditions, nothing. Bleh.

All in all, not the Turkey I expected. An ok slasher flick, recommended to die-hard 80s fans.

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - with "BLOOD FREAK"

BLOOD FREAK

USA, 1972
Directors: Brad F. Grinter
& Steve Hawkes

3/10










Here in Austria, Thanksgiving is faaaar from being as big as in America & Canada. Still, I wanted to do a special Thanksgiving-post for all my American & Canadian readers, and of course to everyone else who's celebrating it - and since Eli Roth still hasn't made his "Thanksgiving" slasher, I needed to check out something else, something that fits this holiday like "Night of the Lepus" fits Easter...


...something like "Blood Freak", an unbelievably stupid crapfest about a biker called Herschell (um... yeah) who gets in contact with a bloody hot Christian girl and her drug-addicted friends. After quickly getting addicted to Mary Jane, he gets a job at some Turkey farm where he eats genetically mutated Turkey flesh(!) which somehow transforms his head into a... um, giant Turkey head(!!!). He goes on a rampage, kills all drug-addicted people in the area and drinks their drug-infested blood, because that's what people with Turkey-heads do.
Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving film, right?

I have no idea how this movie could have made, and how anyone of the people involved thought that it would be a good idea to shoot a Pro-Christianity/Anti-Drug film that involves a man with a papier mâché Turkey-head killing off young people in brutal and gory ways. Did I mention that director Grinter appears throughout the whole movie smoking cigarettes, looking like an old pimp,
talking nonsensical religious shit?


I admit, the kills are all pretty cool and gory (slit throats, sawed off legs), and the Turkey scenes are all simply hilarious, especially because of Herschell's constant gobble gobble, and the fact that most characters find it ok that he looks a bit different now. His lover even talks about how it would be when they're married, and if their kids would look like turkeys too!!
At least, there's one moment that comes off as slightly disturbing: when some guy tries to cut off Herschell's head, the scene cuts to a real Turkey that just got beheaded. A really nasty scene.

The non budget is very obvious, the direction is inept, and all the actors give terrible performances. There's nothing worth mentioning about camera work or music, and the editing is so flawed, it seems as if the editor was high on drugs... or on cold Turkey ;-)


"Blood Freak" is one helluva Turkey, but it's worth seeing, especially if you're into the [I quote imdb-user TimothyFarrell] "pro-Christian / anti-drug / gore / Turkey-headed-monster sub genre" =D

27 November 2013

LIVER (2007)

LIVER
(16minute short)

Italy, 2007
Director: Federico Greco

7,5/10










Another Italian short film, another winner. "Liver" is one of the early short films of director Federico Greco whose TV pilot "E.N.D." highly satisfied me earlier this year. "Liver" tells the story of an insane serial killer who seeks revenge for his imprisonment and ends up in a deadly encounter with his own subconscious.

It's not without its flaws: certain plot points are a bit questionable, and the first half could have been paced a bit faster. Aside from that, it impressed me a lot, especially because of the stunning performance of Ottaviano Blitch who gives a freaking awesome impersonation of "Clockwork" Alex, "Snatch" Brick Top and "Pulp Fiction" Jules, and although his English isn't perfect, it's just hilarious to see him quoting famous movie lines like the Pigs monologue from "Snatch" or Ezekiel 25:17 in a staccato-like and slightly over-the-top way.


What's even more awesome is the incredible and wonderfully eclectic soundtrack in combination with many awesome visuals: excerpts from epic Wagner overtures, opening credits with Dalida's "Une Femme à Quarante Ans" playing over it, a weird slow motion scene accompanied by oldschool "The Art Of Noise" stuff, and best of all: the amazing finale with all the super-creepy images, built around Peter Gabriel and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's fantastic "Signal To Noise".

Bizarre and probably not for everyone, but I got an immense kick out of it!

26 November 2013

THE CABINING

THE CABINING

USA, 2013
Director: Steve Kopera

7/10











"The Cabining" is the debut feature of Steve Kopera (director, writer, editor, producer) and Mike Kopera (main actor, writer, producer), a horror comedy about 2 screenwriter-buddies who head to a remote artists' retreat called "Shangri La" where they try to finish their horror film script, but instead of calm and peace, they find death and murder...

Go away if you think this is anything like "Cabin in the Woods" because it's not. "The Cabining" feels more like an Agatha Christie novel turned into a slasher parody, a silly but effective concept, very well developed and executed. It's not perfect because of some pacing issues in the middle and a few expendable scenes, but overall it's decent enough to give you a bloody good time.


Kopera's direction is solid; he handles the script and the actors with charm, wit and ease, which leads to some damn funny performances and a handful of really hilarious scenes, such as the table-read sequence or all the amusing scenes in the woods. Bo Keister and Mike Kopera are awesome as the odd writing buddies, same for Chuck Saale as silly detective and the two talented hotties Angela Relucio & Melissa Mars.

Jeffery T. Schultz' cinematography is excellent: there's some stunningly composed images and other cool visuals, as well as lots of pretty cool angles. A treat for the eyes! Also, a fabulously old-fashioned score by Steve Sholtes. Love all the little references to "The Shining"!


Best of all, one-liners and dialogue gems like:

~ "Actually, I... I didn't mind the tits! Sorry... boobs... I mean... breasts."
~ "I had some success overseas." - "Cool. Where?" - "You know... overseas. Places like that."

~ "Any suggestions for a better murder weapon?" - "How about a butter knife?" - "Oh, that's cool. Or how about something a little bit more clever, like a wine bottle? Or a book? Haven't seen that before."
~ "Did I tell you that Celeste has a tramp stamp? (...) It's a Kanji. It's like right above her buttcrack. It's supposed to mean "Passion" but I mean... you know, it's kinda freaky with it being like right above her ass. I mean, what kinda message is that trying to say?"

Overall, not perfect, but perfectly entertaining!

Imdb

Thanks to Mike Kopera for providing me with a copy of the movie!


25 November 2013

THE COLONY (2013)

THE COLONY

German Title:
The Colony - Hell Freezes Over

Canada, 2013
Director: Jeff Renfroe

4/10








So, there is a new horror movie that takes place in a winter wonderland and obviously looks a bit like "The Thing", at least when it comes to its marketing. Oh, and it stars awesome actors like the mighty Laurence Fishburne ("Matrix") and the super-cool Bill Paxton ("Aliens"), as well as youngsters like Kevin Zegers ("Wrong Turn") and Charlotte Sullivan ("388 Arletta Avenue"). Well, what could go wrong? Um... quite a lot...

"The Colony" is far from being something in the vein of "The Thing", but more like a blend of post-apocalyptic rubbish like "The Day After Tomorrow" or "Tooth And Nail", and mediocre vampire stuff like "30 Days Of Night" or "Prowl". The basic concept isn't really original, the execution is lame, and the final film is a huge letdown.


Ok, the first half is somewhat solid, even though it's packed with horrid-looking CGI landscapes and it lacks any atmosphere. There are a few pretty tense moments, some cool-looking locations and most of the characters are sympathetic, even the ones who aren't meant to be sympathetic + a hilarious scene where our main heroes talk about masturbation and porn magazines.

Then in the middle, we get introduced to our main creatures, some kinda vampire-cannibal hybrid - and suddenly, it all goes completely downhill. Gone is the tension, gone are the thrills. From this moment on, it gets predictable and annoying with lots of really terrible fight scenes, lame-ass gore and violence, stupid character decisions and baffling plot point mistakes. I mean, it's snowing like hell, yet, the creatures are still able to find footprints that were left hours ago? Aw, come on!

Direction and pacing are weak as hell, and the script is all over the place. The score is boring the cinematography is trite, and as I already mentioned, the CGI is bloody awful.
Overall, charmless, clinical and highly underwhelming. Not worth checking out.

21 November 2013

HOUSE OF BAD

HOUSE OF BAD

USA, 2013
Director: Jim Towns

3/10











"House of Bad" is a low-budget horror thriller with a promising story and an interesting concept: 3 sisters, a suitcase of stolen drugs,
a raging ex-boyfriend slash drug dealer, and a haunted house. Sounds cool, right? In some kinda way, it could be described as weird mix of "Sisters of Death", "Satan's Blade" and the "Ju-On" flicks.


Unfortunately, there is not much else positive to say about it.
"House of Bad" is... bad. The title sounds silly and the cover looks laughable, but the movie itself is just bad. Plain and simple. As good as the plot is, director Jim Towns and screenwriter Scott Frazelle (who was involved in the god-awful "Creepshow III") are both completely unable to do anything with it. The pacing is dull and pedestrian, there's hardly anything thrilling or scary, and the execution comes off as stiff and incredibly heavy-handed.


Questionable character decisions, obvious and gaping plot holes, horrid plot points, nonsensical and/or pointless twists... man, I could go on and on. More than once, I yelled at the screen "What? Why? Really? AYFKM?" in mere frustration, because it all makes no sense, and it's all so predictable. I don't wanna go into details but... *sigh* the fact that these girls hide in a house with a bunch of stolen drugs, and one of the girls is a drug addict...
guess what happens... *yawn*

The acting is mediocre. Heather L. Tyler and Cheryl Sands are quite ok, while Sadie Katz and Clint Jung's performances are just weak. The score is plodding and the cinematography is pretty unimaginative. The nudity is hawt, but of course, it doesn't help making it more watchable. Also, including unnecessary nudity just for the sake of including nudity... oh puh-lease.

 A lame and impressively forgettable piece of indie cinema. The title says it all.


Nevertheless, thanks to Clint Morris for providing me with a screener.


19 November 2013

THE BAY (2012)

THE BAY

German Title:
The Bay - Nach Angst kommt Panik

USA, 2012
Director: Barry Levinson

9/10








Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that Barry Levinson, director of masterpieces like "Rain Man", "Good Morning, Vietnam" or "Sleepers" would ever dive into the horror genre, especially not into the found footage subgenre - but he did! And it turned out to be a stunningly fascinating found footage quasi-mockumentary about an ecological nightmare that happens in a small Maryland town. A mutant breed of the parasitic crustacean Cymothoa exigua (better known as "tongue-eating louse") start to infect the residents one by one, causing chaos, panic and death...
 

By telling a realistic story that comes off as something that really could happen, and by effectively combining all kinds of camera methods / techniques (TV camera, videotelephony, security camera, smartphones...), Levinson fully succeeded in creating one of the cleverest and most frightening found footage flicks I've seen so far, incredibly tense and suspenseful throughout the entire 85 minutes, from the opening that comes off as some kinda mix of "Jaws", "Growth" and "The Crazies", right to the grim open ending.

There are tons of scenes that feel so real, I almost forgot that I'm watching a movie, be it scenes of people covered in blood, walking around, screaming, or all the sequences of a desperate doctor interacting with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
There's lots of gore and brutality, disgusting-looking wounds, unsettling parasite attacks and tons of dead bodies everywhere. A few unexpected jump scares and some slightly disturbing moments added to my amazement.



The editing is absolutely genius (Aaron Yanes, "Europa Report") and the overall camera work is fabulous. Not your average shaky-cam rubbish! Love the brooding and almost catchy score by Marcelo Zarvos ("Winged Creatures") and despite its low budget, we get to see some top-notch CGI effects.

Another highlight in the excellent filmography of Mr. Levinson, and another cinematic highlight in this terrific movie year 2013.

Wiki ~ Imdb

THE HAUNTING OF HELENA

This review was originally written for the horror blog "Real Queen Of Horror" 
(see here!)

THE HAUNTING OF HELENA

Alternate Title:
Fairytale

Italy, 2012
Directors: Christian Bisceglia
& Ascanio Malgarini

8/10








I've said it before and I say it again: after years and years of inactivity, Italy is finally back on the horror map with lots and lots of young, creative filmmakers shooting all kinds of horror-themed shorts and features, combining classic Italian horror tropes with contemporary horror. Why, you may ask? Hm, maybe it has something to do with the country's massive financial crisis, or the end of Berlusconi's long era of retarded politics. I don't know. All I know is that there is something awesome going on in Italy, and I can't wait to see more new, fresh Italo-horror stuff - like this one!


"The Haunting Of Helena" is an excellently creepy and wonderfully old-fashioned supernatural horror flick about a single mother and her daughter Helena who both get terrorized by the Tooth-Fairy-like ghost of a woman whose husband murdered her by pulling out all her teeth and locking her in a wardrobe where she miserably bled to death...

Don't get fooled by the term "Tooth Fairy"! The basic premise may be a bit similar to films like "Darkness Falls" or "The Tooth Fairy", but the film as a whole is a completely different monster, dealing with the Italian Malaria plague during the 20s and 30s and dicator Mussolini's "Battle of the Swamps" in the Pontine Marshes, as well as with topics like fascism, divorce or mental alienation.


Script and direction are tight, the pacing is brisk, Antonello Emidi's ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") is beautiful, at times pretty Argento-esque, and Michele Josia's violin-driven score is just ace. There's lots of highly effective jump scares and gripping suspense sequences, some nice gore and many gruesome teeth scenes. Highlights: a terrifying "teeth rain", and a "Phenomena"-like
insect attack.
Also, very solid performances by Harriet MacMasters-Green (what a name!), Sabrina Jolie Perez as Helena and Paolo Paoloni ("Cannibal Holocaust").

During watching, I was close to give the movie a 7/10 due to some weak CGI and a few flawed and unnecessary plot points, but then I got to the ending which blew me away with its gobsmacking and unforeseeable twists, and so I just had to give it a 8/10.


I have a history of enjoying certain supernatural flicks that everyone seems to hate except me, for example "Psalm 21" or "Case 39".
"The Haunting Of Helena" already got some really terrible reviews on Imdb, and to some extent I can understand the reviewers - but... well, I can't help it: I had a damn great time with this film!

17 November 2013

NAPRATA

NAPRATA

Serbia, 2013
Director: Mladen Milosavljevic

8/10











After last year's "Evil" from Slovakia (which was good) and "Haunted Poland" from, um, Poland (which was awful), this is now the third East European Found Footage movie I've seen so far, and also the second Serbian movie I've ever seen - and it turned out to be a very nice surprise! Mladen Milosavljevic's full length debut "Naprata" is a very well made and effective little creepfest about a television crew who arrives in a small Serbian village to shoot a report on violence against women, and ends up discovering the secrets of an ancient vampire-like demon called "Naprata" who's haunting the local environment.


The movie perfectly manages to be tense and gripping over the entire 65 minutes (yup, it's that short!). The first act is slow but stunningly interesting, even though there's no mention of Naprata yet, and the main protagonists 'just' do an interview with a weird but likable guy about a completely different topic (a YouTube video of this guy beating his mother). In the second act, we get in medias res and learn about the history of "Naprata" and the dangers of summoning this demon.

The grande finale is what makes this movie so awesome. Without expecting it, the whole third act scared the shit out of me, by delivering eerie images of a strange creature, unexpected jump scares and stunningly uncanny scenes that highly unsettled me, and a final scene that is simply amazing.


Milosavljecic' direction is powerful and compelling, script and plot deliver a highly believable folklore-concept, a good story and a few sympathetic characters, well played by talented actors like Marko Backovic, Branko Radakovic and the super-hot Ivana Bogdanovic.
Best of all: the funny horror-popculture-related dialogue. One guy calls a female reporter "Serbian Gale Weathers", one guy's act of pissing into a well gets explained as "Well, he said he wants to shoot Serbian Ringu, and there, he's pissing all over Japanese Horror.", or - best of all  - "That's why Serbian filmmaking is where it is now, because of the 'real' stuff." (got it?).


"Naprata" is a textbook example of a good Found Footage flick: thrilling, captivating and scary. Yes!

Imdb

Thanks to Mladen Milosavljevic for providing me with a copy of the movie!

16 November 2013

Yay for 500.000 Pageviews!!!

After reaching 400.000 pageviews back in August, something happened in the meantime and the pageviews suddenly exploded in September and October. On 12th of November the Horror Movie Diary officially reached 500.000 pageviews which is fan-fucking-tastic!

MASSIVE THANKS to everyone who ever visited my blog. This was an insane year so far, and it continues to become more and more insane.
Also, 250 followers - badass!! :-)

15 November 2013

PONTYPOOL

PONTYPOOL

German Title:
Pontypool - Radio Zombie

Canada, 2008
Director: Bruce McDonald

10/10








A droning bass, strange noises, a wavering line (a.k.a Fourier Transform) and the mighty voice of Stephen McHattie, telling the weirdest opening monologue
in film history:

"Mrs. French's cat is missing. The signs are posted all over town.
'Have you seen Honey?' We've all seen the posters, but nobody has seen Honey the cat. Nobody. Until last Thursday morning, when Miss Colette Piscine swerved her car to miss Honey the cat as she drove across a bridge.
Well, this bridge, now slightly damaged, is a bit of a local treasure and even has its own fancy name: Pont de Flaque.
Now... Collette, that sounds like Culotte! That's Panty in French. And Piscine means Pool. Panty Pool. Flaque also means Pool in French, so Colette Piscine, in French Panty Pool, drives over the Pont de Flaque, the Pont de Pool if you will, to avoid hitting Mrs. French's cat that has been missing in Pontypool.
Pontypool. Pontypool. Panty Pool. Pont de Flaque. What does it mean?
Well, Norman Mailer, he had an interesting theory that he used to explain the strange coincidences in the aftermath of the JFK assasination. In the wake of huge events, after them and before them, physical details they spasm for a moment; they sort of unlock and when they come back into focus they suddenly coincide in a weird way. Street names and birthdates and middle names, all kind of superfluous things appear related to each other. It's a ripple effect.
So, what does it mean? Well... it means something's going to happen. Something big. But then, something's always about to happen."


Yup, that's how it all begins: "Pontypool", probably the most intelligent, most bizarre and most fascinating Infection-themed movie of all time. I've never seen anything like that and I doubt I ever will (unless the long-announced sequel "Pontypool Changes" will be made sometime in the near future...).

 Acclaimed director Bruce McDonald ("Hard Core Logo") turned the stunningly clever screenplay of Tony Burgess (adapted from his very own novel "Pontypool Changes Everything") into a thought-provoking, complex and absolutely mindblowing movie. If you expect this to be your average run-of-the-mill zombie/infected-flick... go away! This is something totally different. There may be certain references to films like "Night of The Living Dead" or "The Signal", and of course Neal Stephenson's classic novel "Snow Crash", but aside from that it's something totally unique, something you definitely haven't seen before.


Almost the entire movie takes place in a little radio station in the small town of Pontypool where radio announcer Grant Mazzy, producer Sydney and technical assistant Laurel-Ann experience an unbelievable nightmare when they receive dozens of call and reports from the outside about a bizarre virus that infects the English language itself and turns people into babbling, stuttering and apparently cannibalistic lunatics...

The weird intro and the eerily unsettling opening scene set the tone for a linguistic horror-scenario that will scare genre-fans, arthouse snobs and English teachers equally. The first 15-20 minute are somewhat calm, but then the first eye-witness reports come in and all hell breaks loose.
Nerve-wracking suspense rises as we get to hear frightened people talking about "an explosion of people (...) a herd of people", or "a couple and their children trapped in their car under a mountain of people"...


...or some really creepy stuff like:
"They're pulling two people out of a van... there's a bunch of them... they are people, but... but they're crazy (...) they're biting them... they're carrying them to the ground in their mouths... they're biting them, just biting (...) it looks like these people are trying to climb or eat their way inside... they're so desperate, like they have to be inside... one has its entire leg, and another his arm... it's right inside!"

Shit gets real when we get to see how the virus kicks in. One girl gets stuck in a sentence, repeating "Pra... Pra... Pra..." over and over again - a simple but incredibly effective scene that gives me the chills every single time.
Another one loses himself in senseless rubbish:
"It's a symbol of a disorder... it's a symbol... ah, it's... I have a problem. (...) Do you have a sample? Just a sample. I think a simple kind of sample. (...) Simple questions. Simple... simple... simple..."


According to director Bruce McDonald, the 3 stages of this disease are:

The first stage is you might begin to repeat a word. Something gets stuck. And usually it's words that are terms of endearment like sweetheart or honey. The second stage is your language becomes scrambled and you can't express yourself properly. The third stage you become so distraught at your condition that the only way out of the situation you feel, as an infected person, is to try and chew your way through the mouth of another person.

...which leads us to the movie's scariest scene when Laurel-Ann can't find any words and starts slamming herself against the sound booth window, chewing off her lower lip, splattering blood all over, vomiting large amounts of blood and gore, and finally falling down, dying.


[Sorry for being so detailed. It just came over me.]
The camera work is subtle but smart (Miroslaw Baszak, "Land of the Dead"), the music is unobtrusive but very well fitting (Claude Foisy, "White Noise") the direction is strong and effin' powerful, lighting and editing are amazing.
Bruce McHattie gives one of the best performances of his entire career, Lisa Houle (McHattie's wife) and hottie Georgina Reilly are fantastic, Hrant Alianak is fun and "Pra"-girl Hannah Fleming just gives me the creeps.


"Pontypool" is a friggin' piece of awesomeness.

Wiki ~ Imdb

14 November 2013

Project Terrible: "ABBY"

Alex (Mondo Bizarro) made a baffling choice by giving me this excellent 70s gem as final movie of this round. What is wrong, Alec? Next time, you better give me some serious crap ;-)

ABBY

USA, 1974
Director: William Girdler

7/10











Seriously, who needs "The Exorcist" when you can have "Abby"? Trashmeister William Girdler's ("Grizzly", "The Manitou") blaxploitation version of William Friedkin's overrated cult classic is a fabulously entertaining piece of 70s trash and undoubtedly the best of all Exorcist ripoffs - though also the rarest since the film's distributor American International Pictures was sued by Warner Bros. (guess why?) and so they had to pull it from theaters. And because of uncertain propriety of distribution rights, it got never released on VHS.
First official DVD release: 2006!


Aside from "The Exorcist III", I'm not a big fan of exorcism-themed horror films, especially because they're all basically the same (possessed girl in a room, levitating, vomiting etc.) and mostly feel like religious propaganda. Gladly, "Abby" is different. There's not much church / priest nonsense going on, and religious symbols are kept to a minimum.

Here, we get to see young girl Abby getting possessed by the sexual African demon Eshu, turning her into ball of energy who's going downtown to seduce and fuck men in hearses, beating and throwing people around the room, talking obscene stuff with a demonic but also groovy voice. She goes completely over the top, laughs, screams, jumps around, and it's all pretty hilarious, but at the same time, it's surprisingly pretty uncanny because possessed Abby looks freaking creepy, especially when she's drooling or when she's baring her teeth.


The acting is terrific, most notably William "Blacula" Marshall as exorcist, Juanita Moore as chicken-eating momma, Austin Stoker as detective, and of course Carol Speed who's just awesome as Abby. There's lots of cool and funky music, very good photography and a few very decent special effects. Highlights: the scene where Abby gets possessed in her shower, the scene where Abby cuts herself, the whole sex-in-a-hearse sequence ("Oh, Jesus!" - "Do you have to be so damn religious about everything?") and the ridiculously amazing
Exorcism-in-a-Disco finale!

"Abby" is a true gem and definitely one of the coolest exorcism flicks
I've ever seen.

13 November 2013

Project Terrible: "A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL"

Robert (Gaming Creatively) wanted to punish me by sending me to Dinosaur Hell, which is actually a quite nice place ;)

A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN
IN DINOSAUR HELL

USA, 1990
Director: Brett Piper

4/10










The title is completely misleading as there are no Dinosaurs and there is nothing "nymphoid" (sic!) about our main barbarian Lea, played by sexy one-time non-actress Linda Corwin. The movie feels more like a post-apocalpytic low-budget version of prehistoric fantasy films like "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth"
or "One Million Years B.C.", especially because of the slow execution and lack of any dialogue.


Troma was so keen on selling it as a trashy/sexy monster flick, it wasn't enough to give it a silly title and a cheesy cover, no, they even created a trailer and a prologue, edited from films like "Troma's War" or "Class of Nuke 'Em High" with a stupid voice-over that makes you think, it's a super-funny flick - which it is not ("Sometimes my juices start to flow and I feel like... a Nymphoid!")

It's dull and tedious and far from being really entertaining. The story is paperthin and the acting is bad - but hey, that all doesn't matter since there are shitloads of cool-looking monsters [none of them are dinosaurs, but at least some of them look slightly Kaiju-like] and practical effects, strange-looking mutants, grinning villains and reptiloid peeps with or without masks.


The synth score (composed by someone named "Astral Warriors")
is partly cool, partly just boring. Photography and editing are neat, script and direction are tolerable. Hm... there's nothing more to say about it. It's an unimpressive and easily forgettable flick, but it's watchable and definitely far better than its reputation.

12 November 2013

Project Terrible: "NIGEL THE PSYCHOPATH"

Alex Jowski (Geek Juice Media - Alex Jowski Movie Reviews) gave me a movie that is sooo obscure, I had to create a Imdb-site for, because... well, there was no entry for it!

NIGEL THE PSYCHOPATH

Alternate Title:
Nigel The Psychopath At Large

USA, 1994
Director: Jim Larsen

6/10








"Nigel The Psychopath" is a no-budget shot-on-video fun-slasher, made by Jim Larsen (director of the Troma-distributed "Buttcrack") and a couple of his friends.
I couldn't find much information about it, except some offers on Ebay and a few mentions on various film sites - scraps of evidence that this movie was actually released on VHS (Distributor: "Cemetery Cinema").



The movie is bad, no doubt. It was amateurishly filmed and edited, badly written and directed, and none of the "actors" have any acting skills whatsoever. Nevertheless, I ended up having a fun time with this weird piece of ultra-trash, mainly because nothing about it wass meant to be any serious
which makes it highly enjoyable.

Nigel is a silly and clumsy, but somewhat clever killer, running around with a gas mask and a rake, murdering everyone that comes along his way, constantly changing clothes and costumes, which makes it hard for the
oh-so-cool detectives to catch him.


Whenever Nigel appears, we get to hear a hilarious sound effect of someone laughing in a retarded way (a bit like Tom Hanks in "The Money Pit") which made me giggle a lot. Same for the scene where he's boxing against one of his victims, or the scene where he's posing with his rake, screaming, laughing, stumbling and tumbling over his own feet.

The gore effects look weak, but the body count is high and the kills are all fun (death by broomstick, death by staple gun, hacked to death on a playground slide...). There's also a few amusing dialogue lines, all delivered in a totally-serious-but-actually-not-so-serious-at-all tone ("Hey look, it's a killer!" / "Oh look, a swing set! Whee! Whee!" / "Man, you be illin', when you should be chillin'!").


Other fun moments: one character dressing up as Nigel's mommy, a drunkard who's singing "I've had the Time of my Life", a boy who loves to say 'real stupid', and a wacky 'detective' who constantly shoots civilians instead of shooting the killer. Oh, did I mention the cool soundtrack? Some neat 80s pop tunes, melancholy harmonicas, R.E.M-like jingle-jangle and entertaining stock music.

If you get a kick out of no-budget stuff like "The Night Brings Charlie" or Chuck Conry's "Morbid", you will definitely dig this one too!

11 November 2013

Project Terrible: "THE GIRL WHO RETURNED"

Michele (The Girl Who Loves Horror) gave me a completely obscure, but somewhat watchable... um, sports-comedy, I guess?

THE GIRL WHO RETURNED

USA, 1969
Director: Lloyd Kaufman

4/10








Undoubtedly one of the most obscure, yet most interesting PT-movies I've got so far: "The Girl Who Returned", the directorial debut of Troma-boss Lloyd Kaufman - and no! It's not a trashy horror flick, it's actually a really weird avantgarde-comedy, made during Kaufman's sophomore year at Yale university on a budget of about $2,000,-!!


The film isn't exactly good, but its basic premise is genius: a world that consists of only 2 countries, Luxembourg, inhabited only by women, and Mongolia, inhabitated only by men. Every 4 years, they hold an Olympics competition to contest for the ascendancy of the world. It's a bit like with "The Purge": great concept, poor execution.

The whole thing is quite dull and boring, and there's not enough humor in it, though they are a few funny scenes where the narrator mentions silly stuff about the "Bureau of Missing Misses", or the whole talk of the 'No Woman's Land', the uninhabitated area between Mongolia and Luxembourg - but since there's no dialogue and only narration, and since the acting isn't really good, there's actually not much to enjoy.


Cinematography and editing are solid, and there's also some nice and effective music, but that doesn't help in getting you entertained, since most of the footage is pointless and redundant, and you could trim the 66-minutes movie down to 20-25 minutes.

I recommend "The Girl Who Returned" to everyone who's interested in checking out early works of famous directors, and to Hardcore Troma fans. Everyone else can happily ignore it.

10 November 2013

Project Terrible: "SUCKER: THE VAMPIRE"

Yeeha, PROJECT TERRIBLE is back in the house! This is now the 12th round of PT, and the 10th round for me. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. 10 rounds of crappy movies. Well done, Maynard.

Last round in June was really, really terrible: 4 movies, two of them got a 0/10. Highest rating: 2,5/10. My fellow bloggers seemed to feel sorry for me, so this time they gave me a few nice and enjoyable surprises. Prepare for a week of terrible movies that aren't so terrible *yay* :)

Starting off today with the movie I've got from
Alec (Mondo Bizarro):

SUCKER: THE VAMPIRE

Alternate Title:
Sucker

USA, 1998
Director Hans Rodionoff

5,5/10 








"Sucker: The Vampire" is the directorial debut of Hans Rodionoff, screenwriter of b-flicks like "Man-Thing", "The Skulls II" and both "The Lost Boys" sequels, and it was produced / distributed by Troma Entertainment. I wouldn't say that this is a good movie, but I surprisingly enjoyed it way more than I expected or wanted.


The story is silly but entertaining, interesting and slightly original: Anthony, modern-day vampire and frontman of a popular rockband, and his somewhat dumb and highly necrophiliac assistant Reed, they both lead an almost perfect life. Anthony constantly fucks, kills and sucks the blood out of hot, big-boobed girls - Reed dresses up the corpses, fucks them and eventually disposes the bodies. But then super-hawt vampire killer Vanessa Van Helsing comes along and infects both of them with AIDS...

As cool as the plot is, the movie could have been way better if done in a more serious tone, and not in that wacky over-the-top tone that can't decide between comedy, parody, classic vampire horror and comedy-drama. Also, the pacing is horrible, a few scenes are terribly boring, several characters are annoying, and it's sooo unnerving to hear Reed singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" off-key all the time


That said, the overall performance of Alex Erkiletian as Reed is pretty hilarious, especially the scene where he's making photos together with one of the corpses. Also decent: Monica Baber (Van Helsing), Yan Birch (Anthony), the super-gorgeous Colleen Moore who's madly in love with Reed, and Harvey J. Alperin as awkward doctor. The cinematography is surprisingly gorgeous and the lighting is just fabulous. Lots of hot girls & sexy boobs, and some really kewl tunes by At The Drive-In, Groovy Ghoulies and Blue Meanies.

Recommended to fans of trashy vampire flicks and Troma productions in general.


Oh btw, a prop of good ol' Pumpkinhead has a small cameo here!


Total Pageviews

:-)

:-)