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Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Apologies

  I messed up and got too busy but will review more 8 more films as promised.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #15: Slaughter High

   Trust me the poster is the coolest thing this film has to offer. There are some movies where you root for the killer. Not because you feel sympathy for him or understand him but because his victims are all pretentious a-holes. They are so annoying that you do not want them to exist fictional or otherwise.

   We meet school nerd, Marty played by Simon Scuddamore. Sadly, Scuddamore committed suicide shortly after the film wrapped. Like all '80s nerds he is tormented by the popular kids on a daily basis.
   As far as bullies in an '80s teen movies go, these guys are the worst. They stab him in the crotch with a javelin. They give him a poison laced joint. And finally they cause poor Marty to be scarred by acid and leave school. The budding sociopaths move on with their lives.

    Years later, the gang is mysteriously invited to a reunion. Every character in this films is an idiot. When your class reunion only consists of the people who disfigured a boy all those years ago, somethings up. This brings us to one of the film's most awesome kills, a beer that blows up someone's stomach.

   The gang wises up to the fact that they are trapped in a school with a killer. So they do what comes natural to stupid people in horror films, they split up. And have sex and take long luscious baths and generally just be dumb asses. This just gives Marty more opportunities for ingenious kills like and acid bathtub or an electric bed. Marty is the most likable character in the film.

   Then something terrible happens we find out that it was all just a dream. Marty is in an institution conjuring up elaborate fantasies about revenge. This is a bummer, these characters were awful, awful, people. Death is the kindest thing Marty could do for them.

    But the tacked on sequel ending had Marty killing a doctor and nurse and possibly escaping the hospital. Let's hope that little scamp makes all his fantasies come true. I know I sound psycho but watch this movie. Trust me you'll hate the other characters as much as I do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #14: Cheerleader Camp

A.K.A Bloody Pom Poms
  For starters I love this poster it reminds me of an R.L. Stine cover. Cheerleader Camp is one of those so bad it's good kind of movies.

   The films stars Betsy Russell, a veteran actress of bad '80s movies such as Avenging Angel, Private School, and Tomboy. She plays Alison, an All American good girl cracking under the strain of being perfect. She and her bevy of bimbos are attending Camp Hurrah for the summer. Unfortunately nobody in a hockey mask comes to put us out of our misery.

    Alison begins being plagued by hallucinations and bad dreams. This stress keeps her from knocking boots with the dreamy Leif Garrett who finds other pom poms to shake. Soon the bodies start piling up and Alison is unsure if she's a killer or just a scapegoat for someone else.

    The killer is predictable but not because of a bad script. If you watch the trailer on Youtube, you will see every single character who dies. It's called process of elimination not that the script tries too hard to retain any sense of mystery. The movie is too busy devoting it's time to jiggly, bouncy breasts and bad dialogue.

    The ending is actually good with Alison being convinced that she is the killer. The real killer dances in victory as Alison heads off to a future of  shock therapy and Xanax.

    But as far as '80s slasher films go this is still pretty decent. If you can sit through a Jason film then you can definitely appreciate this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #9-13: The Child's Play Movie Guide

   I am very bad blogger. To make up for missing five days, I've decided to do one of my movie guides spanning five movies. Lazy and irresponsible, I know, but hopefully fun.

  Child's Play (1988): A young boy's dream come true becomes a nightmare after his toy becomes possessed by a serial killer.

   The Good: Child's Play was an edgy and original addition to the slasher genre. It had some good scare scenes, some original death scenes and could be funny without appearing cartoonish. Brad Dourif is an incredible voice actor and does the impossible, makes a doll appear really scary.

   The Bad: Child's Play is hindered by an uneven storyline and unnecessary characters. Even though you know from the start that Chucky is the killer, they try to make you think it was the little boy. That red herring tactic would've made more sense if everything associated with the film wasn't Chucky based.

  Notable Stars: Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, and Chris Sarandon. The true tragedy is that Sarandon is a fine actor but even he couldn't make too much out of his role.

 Child's Play 2 (1990): Proving that you can keep a good doll, Chucky's back to wreck havoc on Andy's life.

   The Good: Even it's worst films the Child's Play franchise has two things to be proud of humor and creative kills. That is the only thing that really saves this film from being a total snooze fest.

   The Bad: Child's Play 2 is simply a tepid rehash of part one. Once again the movie tries to make Andy look like the bad guy when the audience knows that the killer is Chucky. There are way too many characters introduced to simply be killed off moments later.

 The thing that really ticks me off about the movie is the way they got rid of Andy's mother. She is alleged to have been committed due to her rantings about Chucky. Which would have made sense if two police officers hadn't seen Chucky alive and well at the end of the first films. What about them? Were they committed to? A simple throwaway line about what happened to them would've been cool.

    Notable Stars: Jenny Agutter, Graham Gerrit, and Christine Elise. Oddly, newcomer Elise outshines the two more seasoned actors in the film.

   Child's Play 3 (1991) A now teen aged Andy finds himself battling his childhood foe once again.

    The Good: Nothing

    The Bad: This is by far the worst installment in the franchise. Even the world's most creative kills and funniest lines would save this film. There is nothing redeemable about this film, the characters are unpleasant assholes, heroes and villains alike. Even the doll appears dismayed at being involved with this crap fest.

    The whole point of the first two movies was that Andy is the only way Chucky can resurrect himself. However now the writers go oops never mind any kid will do. This won't be the first time a sequel messes with the mythology of the series but it is the the worst.

   Bride of Chucky (1998): Chucky is back and better than ever and this time he is not alone.

   The Good: The best part about hitting rock bottom is that you can only go up. And up this movie goes. Bride of Chucky is a perfect synergy of humor, action, and horror. The actors are phenomenal and really get into their roles. The kills are simply filled with over the top awesomeness. Plus this film has one of the best horror movie soundtracks of all time

   The Bad: Nothing it's just that awesome.

  Notable Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Katherine Heigl, John Ritter, Alexis Arquette, and Kathy Najimy in a hilarious cameo. Jennifer Tilly and Brad Douriff who voices Chucky are an awesome pair with an amazing chemistry.

 Seed of Chucky: Chucky has a baby. "Whoop De Doo Basil!"

 The Good: The film gives actress Jennifer Tilly considerable screen time as Tiffany and herself. She is the only thing that saves this otherwise dreadful film.

  The Bad: Where to start the uneven story lines, the desperate attempts at humor and cavalcade of celebrity cameos. The majority of the film centers on Glen, son of Chucky and Tiffany. Is he a boy or girl, a killer or hero? Who cares? It's like someone ate the other four Chucky scripts and puked up this mess. The film even resorts to toiler humor to garner a couple of laughs. The Child's Play franchise may have been gory but they were never juvenile avoid at all costs.

  Notable Stars: Tilly and Dourff revise their roles dragging Redman and John Waters along for the ride.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #8: Return of the Living Dead 3

Welcome to the O.C. bitch.
   In my opinion Return of the Living Dead 3 is one of the most well-written and thought provoking zombie films in recent history. For the most part the Return series was mostly campy and light hearted, more gore than actual story. This film however changes the rules and the result is 97 minutes of awesome.

   We meet teenage lovers Curt and Julie, Curt's father is a soldier experimenting with Trioxin, the zombie-creating gas from the first two movies. When the project goes sour, Curt's father is dismissed and relocated. An angry Curt runs away with Julie but she winds up dying in a motorcycle accident. Curt sneaks into the labs to bring her back to life.

  At first Julie seems alright but is soon gripped by the urge to eat brains. Unlike typical zombies, she is still self-aware and tries to fight her deadly urges. She learns that intense pain can stave off craving and does some damage that would make any masochist proud. The unlikely couple finds themselves on the run from gangsters, the military, and zombies alike.

   This is probably one of the few zombie films that you see from a first person point of view. Julie comes off as sympathetic and not just a bumbling bag of flesh in search of brains. I was impressed by the actress who played Julie, Melinda Clarke from the O.C. I didn't think much of her acting but this film changed my mind.

  The ending is quite beautiful and tragic which is what really sets this film apart from other movies in this genre. This is a must see for zombie fans even if you do find yourself tearing up at the end. If you are squeamish though, you might want to give this film a past. It is a lot gorier than your standard zombie fare.

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #7: The Initation of Sarah

   As far as horror goes, this film is a toss-up, it does have the common elements of a horror movie but it is also an ABC Family production.

   To start off I have never seen the '78 film so I have no basis of comparison. I do know that actress Morgan Fairchild appeared in both of them. The film is about two twin sisters Sarah and Lindsay who are heading off to college. Sarah has had some problems in the past and the girls hope to have a fresh start.

  Their mother urges them to join her sorority, Alpha Nu headed by the prim and proper Corrine. The girls are also being wooed by Pi Epsilon Delta headed by a the slightly odd Doctor Hunter. It turns out that Alpha plans to sacrifice Sarah in an effort to keep their youth and powers.

   The movie is pretty decent, it lacks gore and only has a couple of murders that take place off screen. The actors are pretty awesome, Mika Boorem who plays Sarah is a likable heroine. Jennifer Tilly as always is seductive and gets a couple of good one-liners throughout the film. The films also stars Amber Wallace a talented but woefully underused actress.

  Summer Glau is also in this film but she really is a blank slate, there is none of the awesomeness that she would later bring to Firefly and TSCC.

   The film also gets some serious awesome points for featuring T.Rex's Children of the Revolution for the climatic end battle. This is one the few films with sequel hooks that made me actually want a follow up film. This is a great film for horror and non horror fans alike.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #6: Maximum Overdrive

Many people have trashed Maximum Overdrive but I am not one of them. To me, this film is one of the better Stephen King film adaptations. There is action, comedy, cool cars, kickass music, and hot chicks, everything the '80s stood for.

   The movie based on the King short story Trucks where the very things that man made turn on them. The main action takes place at a tiny truck stop in North Carolina where a few survivors plot to escape. However they are surrounded by thousand hungry trucks demanding to be fed or else.

  Yeah flimsy plot but the movie manages to overcome it. You got what is probably Emilio Estevez's best role since Breakfast Club. A soundtrack consisting of nothing but AC/DC. The voice of Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith playing a neurotic newlywed. Marla Maples killed by a watermelon. Or the obligatory Stephen King cameo where he gets to utter this awesome line "Honey! C'mon over here, Sugar-buns. This machine just called me an asshole!"

  The kills are phenomenal, steamrollers, soda machines, and video games get to lay waste to the humans who underestimated them. There is not a single death scene in this picture that isn't worth applause.

Even the star of the film is not human, it's a kick ass semi truck bearing the face of the Green Goblin. This truck is fab, fab, fab. One day I will get my license, buy this truck and drive cross country scaring tourists and children alike.

If you like the '80s, you must watch this movie. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #5: Deadly Friend

The original Lady Ga Ga

  Wes Craven is a fabulous director and a horror icon, creating some of the best horror films in our lifetime. But sometimes he can also bring us disasters such as My Soul To Keep and of course Deadly Friend.

  Deadly Friend is just awful, dark, depressing, and just unpleasant to boot. It also inexplicably is home to one of the best kill scenes in recent horror history, but more on that later.

   We meet uber geek Paul who has just moved to town with his mother. Paul is owner of a robot named BB who looks like the product of a one night stand between Johnny 5 and the yellow Power Ranger.

  Matt soon befriends Samantha, the typical girl next door. Samantha's father is an abusive alcoholic who is getting worse every day. One night Samantha and Paul play a prank on a crotchety old neighbor woman played by Anne Ramsay of the Goonies fame. She winds up shooting BB and essentially destroying it.

  Tragedy strikes again when Samantha is killed by her father. Paul realizes the odds of finding another hot blond who thinks robots are sexy are slim to none. So he takes the BB's AI, steals Sam's body and implants said chip right into her brain.

 Sam 2.0 stumbles around expressionless and talking in a monotone. Not too different from pretty much every role Kristy Swanson ever played. Sam's true self keeps flashing through and eventually she takes our her revenge on her father and the evil neighbor. This is where the awesome kill scene happens, she decapitates the neighbor with a basketball. The reason I think this scenes is so badass is how uncovential and unpredictable the weapon was. Check out the scene here if you are interested.

   Eventually Sam 2.0 gathers the attention of the police and Paul tries to hide her in a woodshed. Cops find her, she finally becomes the old Sam, cops shoot her, Paul cries, it's a feel good film for the whole family. Now the end scene confuses me as I have no idea whether it was a dream sequence of the stupidest scare ending ever created.

  Paul just hasn't learned his lesson and goes off to steal Sam's body. All of a sudden she comes to life, tears off her skin to reveal an evil BB who then apparently strangles him to death as the credit roll.

   Avoid this movie, there is only one good aspect and you can find that on Youtube. Attempting to view the rest of this film will just result in 91 minutes being cruelly stolen from your life.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #4: Chopper Chicks in Zombietown

   Chopper Chicks in Zombietown is one of the best worst movies in history. (Suck on that Troll 2). It is a wonderful blend of horror, action, and comedy and is must see for any horror fan.

   The plot is pretty simple. A gang of bikers stop by a small town for a little R&R. A demented mortician has been raising the dead and forcing them to work in mines. The townspeople refuse to fight their dead relatives leaving the biker chicks to defend the town. Throw in some blind orphans, a midget, and Billy Bob Thornton and you got a hit.

This film could have succeeded simply based on babes in leather and zombies but Chopper Chicks takes it one step further. They actually have character development and a plausible back story. These are not random biker sluts from the planet bimbo. They are smart, funny, and kick some serious ass.

The film has a pretty eccentric cast. There's the aforementioned Billy Bob Thornton who plays a former boyfriend of one of the bikers. Martha Quinn plays a towns person and Hal Sparks fills the role of the head blind orphan. Mr. Sparks, if you ever read this: I must interview you or marry you, whatever comes first.

A girl can dream

Find this movie, watch it, absorb it's message, it is the holy grail of bad movies. Why are you still sitting here and reading? Go!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #3: Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2

    For this entry I'd thought I'd look to the cinematic style of our good friends from the Great White North: Canada. Mary Lou is an in name only sequel to the '80s horror flick, Prom Night. In truth I like this one better and appreciate it not keeping in touch with the original.

In my opinion the original Prom Night was a snore, a tepid whodunit that wasted the talents of poor Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. What can you say about a film that sets it final chase scene to disco of all things. Mary Lou went supernatural and improved itself over it's predecessor.

    The film opens in the '50s where we meet bad girl Mary Lou Mahoney. The only thing that that Mary Lou wants in life is that coveted prom queen title. Give the girl a break, this was before Woman's Lib. A prank played by a jilted lover goes horrible wrong and Mary Lou is burned alive.

   The film fast forwards thirty years ahead when highschooler Vicki finds Mary Lou's prom attire in a storage room. The discovery releases Mary Lou's vengeful spirit who tortures and eventually possesses Vicki. Mary Lou sets out to avenge her death and don her crown.

   Mary Lou is not bad for a B movie horror. There are few slow suspense scenes that hinder most slashers of that era. The kills are pretty good, from possessing a computer and electrocuting  a teen to stabbing a priest with his own cross. The hardest thing an actress can do is the possession storyline, but Wendy Lyon pulls it off. She channels Mary Lou's voice and movements with surprising ease.

Not too much gore but there is a particularly squicky scene where the possessed Vicki attempts to make out with her father, luckily it's a short scene.  There are some hysterical one liners most of them uttered by Mary Lou. The ending was actually kind of tender with Mary Lou confronting the kid who inadvertently ended her life. The movie does lose points for the tacked on sequel hook at the very end though. It also loses points for the senseless murder of a pregnant girl.

 Most of the actors are unknowns safe for '80s bad ass Michael Ironside who plays a principal and father of Vicki's boyfriend, Craig. I don't really mention Craig simply due to the fact that he had the screen presence of a Pop Tart. He would later utilize that talent by playing a zombie in the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.

  Still, this is a film I would recommend for '80s horror fans and luckily made the transition to DVD so it will be easy to find. If you like the original Prom Night then you might want to avoid as it is a completely different movie.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #2: Daddy's Girl

The '90s were a breeding ground for the killer tot genre. You had Mikey, The Paperboy, and even Macaulay Culkin in the Good Son. However, Daddy's Girl set itself apart as being the only film where the killer was a girl. 

    Gabrielle Boni plays Jodie the aforementioned Daddy's Girl. She predictably slices and dices her way through anyone who stands in her way. Boni is a great child actress and possibly the only really good part of the film. It also stars William Katt, Whip Hubley, and Peggy McRea who just seem to be going through the motions.

   The chief problem with this film is that it is phenomenally boring, with drawn out suspense scenes and one too many nightmare sequences. The kills are mediocre and the majority of the characters are just assholes.

  Seriously, there are no redeeming qualities to anyone in this picture. We are supposed to care about these victims not root for the killer.   They even shoehorn in a orphaned cousin  who realizes what Jodie really is about. This leads to a vague attempt at a back story for Jodie, which like this film is uneven and half baked.

   The ending is the real insult of the movie. The boy killer movies always have their killers going out in a blaze of glory and sometimes even surviving. The lone girl killer movie goes out with a whimper.

  She attempts to kill her mother who unfortunately survives. Daddy saves the day and realizes what a holy terror he was raised. He is very disturbed by this knowledge and turns away from his crying daughter. Does she grab a garden tool and punish him for his betrayal?

  No, no, a thousand times no. She simply bursts into tears and begs her Daddy to love her again. And that's how this film ended. No follow up or grand finale. Just tears and jeers for all. Avoid this film, you've been warned.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #1: Trick Or Treat

    Welcome boys and ghouls as you all know I am a horror movie fanatic. In tribute to my favorite holiday Halloween, I will cover one horror per day until the big day. First on the chopping block is the 1986 lost classic, Trick Or Treat.

    This movie was released on DVD in 2002 and quickly fell out of print. Unfortunately music copyright laws are preventing this film from being re released. Which is a shame since this is one of the most awesome horror films to come out of the '80s.

    We meet metal head outcast Eddie (Marc Price) who is mourning the loss of his idol, Sammi Curr. A sympathetic DJ gives him a rare final record of Sammi's to be played on Halloween. The spirit of Sammi uses the record to contact Eddie, helping him exact revenge on his high school bullies. But when Sammi's plans progress from pranks to murder, it's up to Eddie to stop his idol before it's too late.

     The movie avoids the pratfalls of just hiring pretty people who can't act, something that plagued most '80s horror films. Marc Price best known as Skippy from Family ties sheds the nerd image and puts in a likable performance. Doug Savant also plays against type as the main bully. The film is blessed by two metal gods, Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy is hysterical in a cameo as a priest decrying rock n roll. And he's oddly intelligible to boot. The actor who plays Sammi Curr, Tony Fields puts in a pretty scary performance. Not bad for a former Solid Gold dancer.

    What's impressive about Trick or Treat is it's pacing, there's very few slow or pointless scenes. It also with the exception of one scene avoids the obligatory horror movie sex scenes. The kills are quite creative, one scene consists of Sammy blowing up another singer's head via microphone. The singer is played by Kevin Yagher who also did the special effects. He would later go on to providing special effects for Freddy Krueger and the Crypt Keeper.

     If you are an '80s, horror or metal fan you must seek out this movie, it will be hard due to it's unavailability but worth it.