It’s bears vs. bear in a gay backwoods slasher

bear creek cover

As every gay male horror fan clings to the hope for a definitive, worthy all-gay entry in the horror genre, indie filmmakers continue to pour their blood, sweat, and tears into low budget productions hoping to break the gay horror curse. Problem is, in an industry that has even makers of mainstream horror begging for money to produce their films and barely reaching their budget goals, the chances of gay directors getting enough funding to put together a film that even vaguely lives up to their vision are slim.

Keep that in mind with a really open mind when watching Bear Creek. Celebrate the fact that Bear Creek takes the simple slasher formula of young, pretty straight people heading into the woods for a weekend of camping only to be killed off by a masked killer and swapped in burly, furry, cute gay bears. Because Bear Creek is a rough production and it shows from the start.

You can expect frustrating audio problems—for instance voice levels are all over the place so numerous lines of dialogue are completely lost, and mikes are slammed by outdoor wind conditions, also drowning out dialogue. Video is generally good, but there are odd moments of film quality changing, most noticeably during a campfire scene. A sudden downgrade in quality and steadiness between camera angle shifts had me thinking perhaps killer POV was being implied, but then the same change in quality suddenly happened mid straight-on shot. There are also varying levels of acting abilities. Some guys are more natural, some seem like their main goal is just to deliver their lines…and make sure they can remember their next line. The really good news is that our final bear is not only adorable, he is one heck of a screamer.

bear creek lead

Yeah, I’m talking about you, so stop giving me that look or the letters on my keyboard are going to be sticking pretty soon and I won’t be able to finish this blog.

The final bear helps make the final act of this film the highlight, so let’s get to it. I’ll start off by noting that I watched the film on Amazon Prime and it had a running time of 68 minutes, while it’s listed as running 90 minutes on imdb. Either imdb has an incorrect time, or the film has been butchered for Prime now that Amazon is demanding major censoring of many of its movies—particularly horror films and films with male nudity. I hope that’s not the case, but if so, I really need to see what I’ve missed by grabbing a copy of the disc, which you can get here. I’ll see if I can get director George Climer to verify for me if there is a 90-minute version.

bear creek cast

The setup is basic. A bunch of bears (and one pseudo cub) are hanging at a bar and decide to go camping at Bear Creek. The setup is so basic that there’s a bit too much filler here, such as unnecessary focus on the bartender mixing the guys drinks –time that could have been used to better establish the relationships between the guys or to at least give them some fun lines that would endear them to us. We really don’t get much of that at all before everyone starts getting killed off (it’s also possible I just couldn’t hear them).

bear creek fire

Bear Creek also does no slasher embellishing beyond a scary campfire story, and not even that ends with a traditional jerky prank scare, such as a bear jumping out in a hockey mask. There is no encounter with a local weirdo warning the guys away from the woods. No one gets the unnerving feeling that he’s being watched. There is no killer POV. No shadows suddenly dart across screen behind characters. There are no extraneous characters to provide us with a warm-up kill. The only suspense created before the murders begin comes via misplaced, ominous music cues, and it’s an issue I see (or hear) time and again in indie horror. A sustained tension chord is played for no reason at completely inappropriate times with no payoff, not even a cheap bogus scare: while a guy is just sitting smoking, while a guy is fishing, while two bears are walking and enjoying some playful flirtation. This not only clashes with the tone of the on-screen situation, it also creates a false alarm scenario, numbing viewers for when the time comes to actually deliver the horror.

But before we even get to the horror, there’s the sex. Some find it very frustrating that gay horror movies include pointless sex and nudity because it adds nothing to the horror and portrays gay men as nothing more than sex fiends. I understand what they’re saying and I wholeheartedly think they should shut the fuck up. As a horror-devouring teen in the 80s, I had to put up with endless unnecessary female tits, ass, and 80s bush in my horror, so I want tons of big fat hairy moobs, asses, and dicks in my gay horror now.

bear creek 3some

In fact, I hope there is a 90-minute cut of Bear Creek and the extra 22 minutes is predominantly sex and nudity. In the 68-minute version, there’s just some brief threesome foreplay, and the climactic moment of our final bear taking it like a man—with a smile on his face.

bear creek layed out 2

Look at that smile. I said the smile. Guys, the smile.

bear creek sex

And then the killing begins…

bear creek fisherman

Conveniently, the next morning, all the guys get up and split up to go off into the woods to do their own thing.

bear creek stuffed bear

The kill scenes are of the classic 80s slasher sort, they’re all cutaway kills, and they all take place during the day.

bear creek trap

My favorite is actually a straightforward knife kill because the setup shot is so simple yet highly effective, the attack is fast, furious, and brutal, and the musical score in that moment kicks ass, reminding me of good old 80s Euro horror music. There are also several appearances of the bear killer that made me jump without relying on a musical sting, so color me impressed.

bear creek tied up

And then we have our final bear’s fight to the death with the killer. It just tickles my whiskers seeing a big bear rolling around on the ground with a knife-wielding killer. I was so psyched when he knocked the fucker out and reached to take the mask off…but then looked away and decided against it! WTF? Well guess what? Audio problems strike again. It turns out a cop car was pulling up in the distance and that’s what makes the final bear walk away from the killer before the unmasking, you just can’t hear it. The cop’s arrival brings even more indie horror quirks. The final bear leads the cop into the woods where he left the killer in broad daylight, and when the camera cuts, it’s pitch black night and the cop is carrying a flashlight!

The final final battle involves some good old torture and our scream bear delivers big time. All I’m going to say is, only in a gay horror movie would an iron come into play in the middle of the woods.

bear creek scream king

This is what I’d call a “leftfield” killer: has absolutely no connection to anything that happened previously in the movie and therefore a whole lot of exposition is suddenly necessary to give the audience a backstory.

Will there be a sequel? It’s quite possible based on the final frame, which actually gave me and my hubby chuckles rather than chills. Even so, it accomplished its task. I will so be back to watch our final bear’s seam again…I mean, to watch our final bear scream again.

bear creek booty

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

STREAM QUEEN: time for a cabin in the woods marathon

I wish there were a way to have films with descriptions that begin “A group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods…” on streaming services automatically deposited into my watchlist. In this case, the cabin films got me a mixture of werewolves, infected, demons, and a slasher.

THE SHATTERING (2015)

shattering cover

Initially, The Shattering feels like it has a whole lot of potential. A group of friends is driving to a meet a healer that is supposed to have a cure for their friend’s cancer.

shattering handmouth

When their car breaks down, something attacks, they run for it, and someone starts shooting at them as well.

shattering gore2

They take cover in a cabin in the woods. They find diaries and videos that offer revealing information about werewolves and the healing power of wolf saliva, plus they fight among themselves.

shattering shoot

We also learn that when a female finds out her man is cheating on her, it doesn’t matter that there are werewolves and sharpshooters outside. She’ll take the risk and run out of the cabin just to get as far away from him as possible.

shattering gore1

This werewolf film runs only 75 minutes long, but feels longer. That’s because, well, although this is a major spoiler, it’s one you’ll want to hear – you never see a werewolf. What I’m saying is, this movie is all words, no wolf.

FROM BENEATH (2012)

from beneath cover

This is a film about a couple trapped at the girlfriend’s family lake house as some sort of leech virus starts to severely affect the boyfriend.

from beneath couple

He begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations as he slowly becomes “infected.”

from beneath intro

The intro scene is dark and foreboding, and the general setup of the couple’s predicament is ominous, but dialogue and plot become repetitive for a majority of the film and get bogged down by a sleep-inducing piano score, despite the film having some generally great horror atmosphere.

from beneath couch

Just when the suspense at last kicks in for the climax – a repeat of the scenario from the intro scene – the horror is accompanied by an instrumental imitation of Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” that drones on and on just as much as the 10-minute goth rock classic.

from beneath girl

While the acting in indie horror isn’t often make or break, in the case of From Beneath, it really matters.

from beneath carry

While the acting in indie horror isn’t often make or break, in the case of From Beneath, it really matters. There’s simply a level of intensity needed for the circumstances and the clash between the protagonists that isn’t reached here. These characters experience some gnarly, horrific, and devastating shit…the actors, not quite as much.

NEVER OPEN THE DOOR (2014)

never open the door cover

I almost want to go against everything I stand for to say that I wish this film from Bloody Bloody Bible Camp director Vito Trabucco ran about ten minutes longer. Never Open the Door is only 64 minutes long, so just when the horror really had me going, the big Twilight Zone-esque twist hit and it was over! But hey, I know if those extra ten minutes were there, I’d probably be like, “if only it had been edited down by ten minutes.”

never open door window

The nod to Evil Dead is undeniable from the very start as shaky cam comes upon a house in the woods where a group of friends is celebrating what sounds and looks like Thanksgiving dinner (Turkey, cranberries, etc.). The film is shot in black and white, so it also captures the spirit of the edgier horror of the 1960s.

never open door tie up

The good thing about the short length is that we get just the right serving size of character development before moving on to dessert – a knock on the door.

never open door doorway

A bleeding man stumbles inside spewing blood. Uh-oh. Is Cabin Fever on the menu, too?

never open door demon guy

Not quite. There’s still demonic indulgence to come, but most of it is teased until closer to the end of the film.

never open door lick

The chaos that erupts because these friends opened the door involves them turning against each other as they try to locate the mysterious force they’ve invited inside.

never open door shower

While it does leave some unanswered questions and not as much demon camera time as I would have liked (because what we get is quite effective), Never Open the Door is creepy, funny, and fast-paced, making it a good way to squeeze in an extra hour of horror during a marathon. I’ll definitely be adding this one to my film collection.

never open door demon in back

CABIN FEAR (aka: Seclusion) (2015)

cabin fear cover

So glad the title of this one was changed. Seclusion sounds way too serious and drab, because Cabin Fear is a blast and took me right back to the days of good old 80s slashers.

cabin fear couple

It’s all very simply. A guy and girl are getting married so they head to a cabin in the woods with their friends to celebrate.

cabin fear old man

In between having sex, fighting, and listening to stories from the weird old caretaker, the friends get killed off by an unseen psycho with various sharp weapons.

cabin fear arrow

Classic kills and body reveals galore offer up that old school slasher vibe.

cabin fear bug

Cabin Fear also delivers the perfect blend of fun and funny, thanks to a likable cast that has a good time and a good grasp of comedy, including director Joe Bandelli, the dude with an arrow in his dick above. Personally, I think he should have kept himself alive a bit longer, because he was giving me a good giggle.

cabin fear scream

Plus, the guy who gets the big sex scene is the guy who should get the big sex scene. Yummy. And I’m not talking about the cake (but I am talking about the cakes).

cabin fear cake

And finally, the main girl’s battle to the death with the killer kicks ass. Cabin Fear is definitely another one I’ll be adding to my movie collection.

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zombie turns into Zombi 2 turns into loads of Zombi

The time has come at last for me to delve into the “franchise” spawned by Lucio Fulci’s zombie classic. Despite these 4 films not being an official series, they make up one of my favorite cheesy 80s Euro zombie gorefest marathons. It really doesn’t get much better than this for me.

ZOMBIE (aka: Zombi 2) (1979)

zombie 79 cover

When Romero brought his zombies back from the dead after a decade at the end of the 1970s, Lucio Fulci was pulled into the game of the dead with Zombie. It even got marketed as an unauthorized, unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead in Italy, where Dawn was titled Zombi. Zombie was released as Zombi 2 there, which is why you won’t find a Zombie 2 on the U.S. market.

Zombie sets up the general template for the majority of films in this franchise – a group of people encounters zombies on a desolate island.

From the very first scene of cops boarding an abandoned boat in New York and being attacked by a big angry zombie, this classic delivers on the Eurogore and Technicolor blood. Some of the zombies do look like they just had sand pies pasted onto their faces, but they are apropos once we get to the tropical island location.

The daughter of the boat’s owner, a scientist, wants to know what became of him. So she and an investigative journalist (Ian McCulloch of The Ghoul, Zombie Holocaust, and Contamination) hitch a boat ride with a couple to an island where another scientist has been running the hospital, practicing voodoo, and shooting dead patients that rise back up.

Fulci pretty much tells Romero’s blue-painted Dawner dead and pie-throwing bikers to go play in the kiddie end of the pool. This shit is where the zombie future was at back then, taking the living dead to new horror heights with some of the most iconic moments in zombie film history.

There’s the amazing scene of a zombie fighting a shark.

zombie 79 shark

The excruciatingly drawn out scene of a zombie impaling a woman’s eye on a huge splinter of wood.

zombie 79 eye

The discovery of the same woman’s body being absolutely devoured at a sit down meal by a zombie family.

zombie 79 feast

The ultimate eerie scene of zombies rising from the grave, worms pouring from their orifices, in broad daylight.

zombie 79 stand and wait

An equally chilling scene of the zombies hogging the camera when it’s suddenly night time about 2 seconds later…

zombie 79 night zombie

And of course there’s the absurdity. Like the one woman who has already seen zombies, yet just stands there and watches as a zombie very slowly rises from the grave only inches in front of her, giving her all the time in the world to run. And later, when her man comes face to face with her zombie form in the jungle…and just stands there, with a gun in his hand, and waits for her to go in for the kill.

zombie 79 headed for city

Or the final scene, which shows zombies crossing the bridge into New York City (cool) as a voice-over has a newscaster reporting that the zombies are coming, that “They’re right outside the studio, they’re breaking in, they’re….aaaaahhhh!!!!” Classic.

ZOMBI 3 (1988)

zombi 3 cover

In some markets, the 1974 classic Let Sleeping Corpses Lie was re-titled Zombi 3, while Nightmare City gets that distinction in yet others, but this is the official unofficial Zombi 3.

Fulci started this film, then his version was edited down and completed by Bruno Mattei (Rats: Night of Terror, Hell of the Living Dead, Scalps, The Other Hell) and Claudio Fragasso (Hell of the Living Dead, Monster Dog, Rats: Night of Terror, Scalps, Troll 2), who wrote and filmed more scenes, making this a delicious disaster.

Scientists are performing secret experiments with a drug that reanimates the dead on a tourist resort island (because, where else?). The intro experiment gone wrong scene is uber awesome, with the subject looking freaky before he even morphs into a mutated mess.

zombie 3 intro experiment guy

Someone infiltrates the lab and steals the drug, spills it all over himself, then hides out in the nearby luxury hotel, where he gets a facial – zombie facial!

This film is utter chaos. There are military men, tourists, they all encounter hordes of zombies, I have no idea who is who, they eventually cross paths and continue encountering zombies, and that’s all that matters.

zombie 3 approaching zombies

One hunky army dude has a great acrobatic action sequence avoiding zombies. They tear his T-shirt, knock him in the water to make it a wet T-shirt, and seem to set off fog machines simply by existing.

zombie 3 t shirt hunk

In fact, the whole movie is like a haunted funhouse of fog machines, spider webs, and neon lights.

zombie 3 spider web

There’s a swarm of zombie birds, a fast zombie with a machete, a talking zombie on a mission to kill one particular woman over the course of the film, a zombie baby, and a zombie head that leaps from a fridge. It’s ridiculous how entertaining this film is.

zombie 3 fridge head

There’s one character named Kenny and one named Roger, so at one point, a terrified female character is crying out “Kenny Roger!,” which I found hilariously distracting in a “Coward of the County” kind of way. During a zombie ambush, a guy cries to one of his buddies, “Don’t come!” which makes me wonder if that’s the origin of the “Don’t come” called out by victims in the light gun arcade game The House of the Dead. Hell, so much of what goes on in the Zombie films seems to be the inspiration for the plots of every zombie video game of the past 20 years.

zombie 3 DJ

And finally, we get another dopey good ending. The film has a Greek chorus of sorts, in the form of a cute DJ that periodically interrupts proceedings with commentary on what is happening. His final word sounds very optimistic, but when he turns to the camera, we get the impression that his optimistic outlook is more in favor of the zombies…

ZOMBIE 4: AFTER DEATH (1989)

zombie 4 cover

Director Claudio Fragrasso is back for this installment. As for other versions of Zombi 4, Fragrasso and his buddy Bruno Mattei have managed to get their film Hell of the Living Dead from 9 years before slapped with the title in some markets, and it’s a good fit for a marathon since it’s another “zombie island” flick. And in the U.S. of all places, 1973 film A Virgin Among the Living Dead was pawned off as Zombie 4 on VHS at one point apparently. 

I’d say this is one of my favorites simply because it is as 80s as they get. The “Living After Death” pop rock theme song alone got me going, and there’s plenty more where that came from on the soundtrack.

 

The intro scene has a black bear daddy voodoo priest playing with his nipples –

zombie 4 witch doctor

I mean…performing some sort of ritual in a cave to make some dancing chick go all Geretta Geretta Demons on a bunch of white researchers in a flurry of gore.

zombie 4 demon chick

Years later, the daughter of two of those researchers comes to the island with a backup team to try to uncover what happened to them. She has dreams of zombies, she wears a key around her neck that’s supposed to keep the doors to hell closed, she knows all about voodoo rituals. Therefore…she just stands silently by and watches when Jeff Stryker reads ancient text from a book they find on a candlelit altar.

zombie 4 stryker

Yes, I said Jeff Stryker, as in 12-inch cock Powertool gay porn star Jeff Stryker.

zombie3 jeff

Even he stops himself and says he can’t do it. So…some other dude picks up where he left off.

zombie 4 book

Not that it matters. They ran into some crazed zombie guy that bit one of their friends when they first arrived on the island, so trouble was already brewing.

zombie 4 zombies

It’s zombie island paradise as Stryker and co. run through clouds of fog machines and red and green neon lights, get torn to pieces by zombies, turn into talking zombies, and dodge shooting zombies.

zombie 4 shooting zombie

The only real letdown here is that the crazy demon bitch from the beginning doesn’t play a bigger role throughout the film.

ZOMBIE 5: KILLING BIRDS (1987)

zombie 5 cover

Finally, there’s Zombie 5: Killing Birds, made 2 years before Zombie 3 and Zombie 4 and directed by Claudio Lattanzi and Joe D’Amato of Antropophagus fame. Another film that landed the Zombie 5 title in the U.S. was some 1983 Edgar Allan Poe adaptation called Revenge in the House of Usher. Meanwhile, Killing Birds even managed to get promoted to Zombie 4 in Thailand. And while we’re at it, since Joe D’Amato made this film, his 1981 film Absurd, known in some parts as Antropophagus 2, is known in other parts as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter. Hey, I wonder if every horror movie ever made could be linked as one big franchise using the “also known as” titles listed on imdb.

Now back to Zombie 5. If only this film had been set on an island, it would have fit in a bit more with the other films, despite some nonsense involving birds in this one. It’s a stretch, but it’s possible to make a connection—and explain why there are even zombies, since the movie doesn’t—by pretending that the caged birds in this movie are residual zombie birds from Zombi 3 that maybe spread the infection in this film.

The opening scene has a soldier returning from war. He uses a knife to kill a man and woman sleeping in bed and then kills a couple that shows up with a baby.

zombie 5 forehead knife

It’s completely impossible to know who any of these people are if you don’t read the description of the movie on the Internet. Honestly, it doesn’t even really matter. After the soldier kills them, he starts to clean up the bloody mess and is attacked by large birds that escape from cages around the house and pluck out his eyes.

Years later, college students are on the hunt for a rare bird that’s about to go extinct. So they go bird watching around the house of a bird expert with an eye patch, played by veteran actor Robert Vaughn (CHUD II: Bud the Chud, Transylvania Twist, Buried Alive). After an agonizing montage of them bird watching in the area, they find a dead corpse in an old pickup truck in the woods…then just continue going about their day.

zombie 5 window POVWindow POV – never a good sign.

They set up camp in an old house filled with birdcages, and pretty soon a couple of them are having nightmares about zombies and being stabbed to death by Robert Vaughn. And still, they stay. That night, one chick has a creepy encounter with a zombie in a storage room that perfectly captures the spirit of all the films that came before this one and finally kicks off the zombie fun.

zombie 5 through wall

There aren’t hordes of zombies here, but the quality of the zombie segments are up there with the best and the gore won’t leave you hungry.

zombie 5 neck rip

There’s an attempt to escape by vehicle that is pretty much stolen directly from The Fog, and another scene has a guy being lifted right out of a room by the head when a zombie crashes through the ceiling—echoing a similar attack in Zombi 3.

zombie 5 fog

The weakest part of this film is the absolutely pointless and inconclusive story about Vaughn and his birds that opens and closes it. It makes no sense in the context of the zombie plot…but it does make it appear that Stephen King stole a major aspect of his novel The Dark Half from the film Zombie 5.

Posted in Living in the 80s - forever, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACTING DEAD: Tate’s dying to get the part…

acting dead title

Acting Dead is one of those fast-paced, quick-witted, blink and an episode is over shows that is perfect for the format in which it is presented – web series! If you watch all 8 episodes straight through, it clocks in under an hour.

acting dead carolyn hennesy

And it feels even shorter because it’s funny, campy, sexy, horror themed, and features plenty of familiar faces, including Debbie Gibson, Carolyn Hennesy (True Blood), and horror hottie Sean Kanan (Hide and Go Shriek, Hack!).

acting dead debbie gibson

acting dead sean kanan

Tate is an actor who has tried everything to land a role—including a fleeting stint in gay porn. It was just more than he could handle…

acting dead locker

Yet he can’t even get cast as a zombie, so his agent is about to give up on him. Seeing his dream coming to an end, he decides to turn that dream into a living nightmare. A living dead nightmare, that is.

actin dead woman zombie

With a new lease on death, Tate pounds the pavement (actually, he drags it), and encounters a variety of unique fellow actors, such as a big guy who would rather be doing a whole different kind of flesh eating movie with him…

acting dead affectionate actor

Tate even befriends a ghost girl struggling to be noticed at auditions ever since her cold dead body was dumped in a garbage bin.

acting dead ghost death

Meanwhile, he has to hide his zombie identity from his roommate (who is convinced he’s a closet case), and make sure to take a special pill that suppresses his urge to eat the delicious slabs of beef on the menu wherever he goes.

acting dead gym

If Tate can just score a leading role he could clean up come award season…as long as he doesn’t shoot himself in the head by chowing down at the wrap party.

acting dead attack

 

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t break down in the cold or the aliens will get you!

A deformed masked killer flick, a chilly thriller from an established horror director, and a low budget alien indie. So did any of these streaming selections win me over?

ENGINE TROUBLE (aka: Junior) (2002)

179647876

What begins as an ominous intro scene of a woman combing her hair in front of a mirror by candlelight becomes overly long before any payoff…and pretty much foreshadows a problem of drawn out scenarios that plagues this entire film.

night feeders intro

Two pretty young women head out on a road trip to a driving montage set to blaring rock music, which gives us little time to learn much about the girls.

engine trouble main girls

Their car breaks down in “the middle of nowhere”…between a couple of buildings…so one girl heads off on foot to get help. The other stays at the car, and her nightmare begins.

I suspended disbelief for quite some time after she got the car working again, realized there was someone in the trunk of the car fucking with her, got out of the car, failed to flag down help, and so…got back in the car. I mean, it’s pretty hard to continue watching from any perspective other than, “Bitch deserves to die,” at that point.

engine trouble car attack

But, hey. It’s pretty thrilling when the freaky masked killer with the scary blade finally comes out to play and really fucks with her in and around the car. Yes, she gets out of the car and then gets back in again.

Fast forward to her finally being held in the killer’s lair, and the remainder of the movie becomes like nails on a chalkboard. And by that, I mean, it’s like someone grabs your hand and starts scratching your nails on a chalkboard for an hour straight.

engine trouble killer

There’s another chick tied up, screaming and whining nonstop. When another character suddenly appears and immediately launches into an unsolicited monologue describing the entire backstory of why the killer is how he is, I was just about to shout “KILL THAT BITCH ALREADY!” when the new character interrupted himself and made the same not so subtle request for me.

engine trouble throat

After that kill, it’s virtually all dialogue as the main girl tries to weasel her way out of her predicament for the remainder of the film.

NIGHT FEEDERS (2006)

night feeders cover

Well I’ll be damned if this isn’t the little low budget indie alien flick that could – could keep me from contemplating what I might want for Christmas three years from now, the type of thought that usually whirls through my mind when I watch movies. I was actually riveted if you exclude endlessly looking at my two pups and telling them how cute they are—and I do that in my sleep. Seriously, I wake up about once an hour throughout the night, reach out in the dark for a furry form on the bed and whisper, “You’re so cute. I love you,” then feel around to find another furry lump, think, “oh, that’s just my husband,” then finally touch a third furry body and say, “You’re so cute. I love you, too.”

Night Feeders comes from the same year that brought us Altered, another film about country boys that spend a night battling vicious aliens in the woods.

night feeders cast

Take that movie and apply some SyFy grade CGI for many of the special effects, and you’ve got Night Feeders. But you have to look past the cheesy graphics that are used at times for the alien moments (and fire effects), because this is really a well-crafted creature feature with plenty of tense atmosphere, jump scares, gore, dry humor, and a cast of charmingly goofy guys.

night feeders cast in car

Hunting buddies are camping in the woods when hostile aliens of the classic bug-eyed variety attack. The guys hole up in a house in the woods, but that doesn’t stop the angry aliens, and it turns into a battle to the death!

night feeders arm

Despite the use of CGI, much of the more traditional alien effects are shrouded in shadow, dark lighting, and fleeting camera work, giving this a more traditional “what you can’t see is scarier” approach.

night feeders window grab

And considering this alien looks cool after I did a screen grab and lightened it, there really wasn’t a need to mask the effects. This little bugger perfectly fits the tone of this creature feature.

night feeders alien

Chill a case of cherry cola, pop a huge bowl of popcorn, turn off the lights at midnight, and do this one as a double feature with Altered.

FROZEN (2010)

frozen cover

Adam Green of Hatchet fame shifts away from mutated monster slasher madness to bring us a familiar thriller plot device—a small group of friends faces the natural horrors that come with being trapped in a situation from which there’s no immediate escape.

In this case, Shawn Ashmore (The Barrens, Mother’s Day remake, The Ruins, Blood Moon), Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead remake, The Curse of Downers Grove, The Colony, The Hollow, Wrong Turn, Fear of the Dark), and Emma Bell (Final Destination 5) inadvertently become trapped on a ski lift at the end of the night…right before everyone heads home for the weekend.

frozen cast

As is always the case with these stranded situations, they have a near brush with rescue (cameo by ex-Jason Kane Hodder in a snowplow that’s just too loud and too far below for him to see or hear them). They make a stupid mistake (Zegers believes he’ll make the jump from the ski lift in one piece).

frozen leg

And humans learn a harsh lesson on why they should just stay home in front of the TV watching bad thrillers about people stuck in ski lifts (frost bite sets in, sun sizzles them, hungry wolves arrive).

frozen wolves

There was just one part of this film that got to me. Emma Bell starts to fall apart worrying about her pet at home, and how it’s going to starve to death thinking the whole time that she betrayed it, deserted it, and left it there to die. That part killed me.

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting through the 90s with Full Moon

There was a point in the 1990s when you had pretty much no choice but to watch a film by Full Moon Productions if you wanted to see something vaguely resembling a horror film. The studio carried horror through the decade with some cheesy films that look like masterpieces compared to the stuff Full Moon “Features” turns out these days. There were at least some pretty damn good monsters thrown into the mix, plus notable horror directors and actors. So it’s time to cover the bulk of all the films I’ve not yet covered from that era!

SHADOWZONE (1990)

Shadowzone cover

Prolific director J.S. Cardone (The Slayer, The Forsaken, Wicked Little Things) started the 90s off with the type of movie that saw the downfall of 80s horror: the dreaded low budget other worldly portal horror. Ugh. Full Moon definitely had an obsession with attempting Lovecraftian horror—and butchering it.

Louise Fletcher, who thankfully became the queen of shitty horror after winning an Academy Award for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, plays a scientist fucking with humans in an underground facility.

shadowzone autopsy

A hottie from NASA comes to investigate the accidental death of a subject, but for a good part of the film all we get of horror aside from the nasty body he examines is a nightmare he has.

476bc4720.JPG

He connects with a blonde scientist, there’s a bratty monkey pet hanging around, and Miguel A. Núñez Jr. of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, The Return of the Living Dead, and Leprechaun 4: In Space firmly establishes the horror time period.

shadowzone miguel

Finally, the scientists demonstrate their experiment for the NASA hottie, open a portal to another dimension, and let in something deformed at around the 55-minute mark. They go hunting for it, and “it” essentially turns out to be pulling a body snatcher pod game on them.

shadowzone alien

Unfortunately, only the initial scene revealing the situation delivers any good horror. The crew spends most of the time roaming around the boring sets, so you just have to sit around until the end of the film to see a genuine monster with its own identity…and the main girl conveniently naked. Ah…1990.

NETHERWORLD (1992)

netherworld cover

Another prolific director, David Schmoeller (Tourist Trap, The Seduction, Crawlspace, Puppet Master, The Arrival) gives us a Full Moon erotic occult mess.

The intro scene is better than the rest of the film. A guy roams a whorehouse that looks more like a fun house, and despite freaky deformed freaks popping out from around corners, he enters a room with a pretty whore and forces himself on her.

netherworld maze freak

A cement hand flies off a wall and through the halls, eventually attaching to his face with gory results. Awesome.

Next, a pretty boy inherits his dad’s mansion, fully staffed, complete with a hot chick, and finds his dad’s book on the occult. He reads it, learns all about his dad’s efforts to resurrect himself, and is sexually harassed by some big weird dude at a bar.

netherworld whorehouse hunk

Following leads to a woman who knows all about how to resurrect the dead, he visits the whorehouse, where a different pretty boy with a great ass gets his eyes gouged out by that damn flying stone hand.

netherworld eye gore

Meanwhile, our main guy spies on sex that turns pretty freaky with masks. Just when you think it can’t get any weirder, daddy returns as a talking zombie, and shows a really inappropriate appreciation for his son.

netherworld dad looks at son

netherworld dad kiss

Don’t even ask me how birds play into all this supernatural sex.

BAD CHANNELS (1992)

bad channels cover

Bad Channels didn’t deserve to be released in 1992. At the latest, it should have been a 1989 film. 1987 would have been ideal.

bad channels rock band

This is not a 1990s film.

bad channels fungus

Director Ted Nicolaou, the man behind Subspecies, Full Moon’s most successful 1990s franchise, charmed us with the new wave sc-fi/horror comedy TerrorVision in 1986, which is why this heavy metal sci-fi horror comedy would have been a perfect follow-up a year or two later.

bad channels cow singer

Original MTV VJ Martha Quinn stars as a reporter covering a story about a shock jock when an alien invades the radio station.

bad channels martha

bad channels alien

While a group is trapped inside, an alien fungus is also taking over, using the airwaves and the blaring of heavy metal music to abduct women, shrink them, and put them into little test tubes.

bad channels test tubes

Bizarre music videos, heavy metal hair bands, a soundtrack and score by Blue Oyster Cult, fungus monsters that look like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, a giant alien, Martha Quinn…

 

Can I rewrite history and pretend Bad Channels came out in 1987 and not the year MTV became “The Real World Channel”?

 

SEEDPEOPLE (1992)

seedpeople cover

Director Peter Manoogian, who brought us Full Moon’s Demonic Toys, is given the task of making what is essentially a mash-up of Critters and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

seedpeople slime

In a small town, These nasty pods in the woods start bursting and shooting goo all over people, forming pods around them. Furry creatures pop out of the pods, and while they may bring to mind all the critters of those low budget 80s movies that followed Gremlins, they’re bigger, and have none of the personality.

seedpeople monster

These are mean bastard. But they do look absolutely hilarious when they roll into a ball and knock people over like bowling pins.

seedpeople scientist

It’s stupid fun for sure with some quirky characters, but by the end of the film it begins to feel like dialogue has been lifted directly from Invasion of the Body Snatchers as all the locals become blank, emotionless pod pushers. I prefer the Seedpeople bowling parts.

LURKING FEAR (1994)

lurking fear cover

Full Moon gives us one of its coolest creatures (that looks kind of like a full-sized Crypt Keeper)…but it doesn’t show up until 51 minutes into the movie and barely gets any starring time!

lurking fear monster

Supposedly based on an actual Lovecraft story, Lurking Fear opens strong, as a new mother is dragged into a vent by an unseen creature as her sister protects the baby.

lurking fear pretty boy lead

Next, we meet a whole bunch of greedy people after riches supposedly buried with the father of a hot guy just released from prison. They all end up in a church, fighting and pointing guns at each other, until eventually the creature breaks through a window and takes a bite out of a guy.

lurking fear family

Good news is, there are even more of the creatures underground, so at least there’s finally some horror payoff.

lurking fear leads

Plus, it stars Jeffrey Combs, Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser, and Vincent Schiavelli, the psycho subway spirit from Ghost.

SHRUNKEN HEADS (1994)

 shrunken heads cover

Richard Elfman, brother of Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo and director of 1980 cult film Forbidden Zone, brings us another pretty dang bizarre movie. He even gets his brother to supply the main title music.

 

Shrunken Heads is almost like a charming family-friendly horror movie…only it’s not. There are these three boys who regularly hang out at the corner newsstand with the old guy who runs the place (veteran actor Julius Harris). But they’re constantly bullied by the local street gang.

shrunken heads bullies

One night, three boys make the mistake of getting in the way of some gang/crime related business…and are killed! Conveniently, the old newsstand man is into voodoo.

shrunk heads old man

He tosses them into a cauldron, resurrects them as flying shrunken heads, and sends them off into the night to exact revenge on the bullies.

shrunken heads in cauldron

Yep. It’s a charming movie about shrunk head boys that go and kill their bullies.

shrunken heads floating

Even better, the dead bullies turn into zombies that then go help kill the other bullies.

shrunken heads zombie

Even better than that, one of the kid’s has a little love interest, and her virginity becomes a crucial part of all the voodoo magic.

shrunken heads meg foster

Toss in an appearance by 80s horror/sci-fi icon Meg Foster as—a drag king?—and Oingo Boingo’s “No One Lives Forever” from 1985 on the soundtrack, and this is pretty much another Full Moon flick that probably should have been made in the 80s.

 

CASTLE FREAK (1995)

castle freak cover

Castle Freak is in a totally different realm than any other Full Moon film, clearly because it comes to us from director Stuart Gordon of Re-Animator fame, and stars Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton of Re-Animator. Oh, and it has a kick ass monster, nasty gore, and a gothic setting.

castle freak gets daughter

Combs and Crampton inherit an old castle complete with a staff, thunder and lighting…and a grotesque monster locked away in a dungeon somewhere. When their blind daughter begins exploring, she has a pretty damn creepy near-encounter with the creature, which causes it to break free from its chains and start terrorizing the family.

castle freak combs

Castle Freak is unforgettable for its absolutely nasty scene of the freak’s encounter with a prostitute.

castle freak prostitute

The creature also takes a nice bite of a cop’s eye, takes an amazing leap from a castle window, and has a great fight to the death with Combs in the rain. Castle Freak is a classic.

HIDEOUS! (1997)

hideous cover

Man in charge Charles Band directs Hideous!, and the title says it all. This is pretty much the point where Full Moon decided that some bad humor, tits, and flirtations with lesbianism should be enough to keep young straight boys interested. Don’t ask me if it works.

There’s this group of rich people that buys and collects deformed freaks. One guy’s latest purchase is stolen by a shirtless woman wearing a gorilla mask, so he goes to the FBI for help.

hideous thief

The investigation leads them to the mansion of another collector. Yet another quirky Full Moon cast ends up at a mansion, where this guy keeps his deformed freaks in tanks.

hideous in jar

Turns out, the little freaks are missing from their tanks. And they’re missing from the majority of this movie. Man, it’s bad. This Puppet Master cookie cutter is no Puppet Master.

The cast just talks and fights and runs around trying to get out of the mansion. Eventually, they accidentally unlock a door that reveals the freaks, and decide they’re going to capture the critters. So…they run around some more.

Finally, a monster makes an appearance, sucking on the tit of a sleeping chick—a Full Moon go-to—and then the cast runs around the set some more.

hideous boob suck

This shit is BORING. It’s not even about the hideous monsters. It’s about the hideous people so obsessed with collecting them.

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, Sound Check - The Songs Stuck in My Head, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boys, bears and the backwoods horror of Slasher.com

slasherdotcom cover

And now for something completely different from Chip Gubera, director of the horror musical Song of the Dead. Actually, since that 2005 film, everything Gubera has made seems pretty unique. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done enough in terms of full-length films. There were two campy horror/wrestling movies that I kind of want to see now, because Chip just does whatever the frick he wants, playing by no horror rules or market expectations. Even Slasher.com, which seems like it’s going to be one of the most predictable backwoods torture porns ever, melts the mold.

The intro definitely sets a tone, with a black and white kill scene, reports of cyber dating murders, and raids on people having sex.

slasherdotcom main couple

This establishes our concerns for the young main couple. They meet face to face for the first time after hooking up online. Their first date is…a weekend at a cabin in the woods! They pick up a key to the place from the couple that owns it, played by Texas Chainsaw II’s Leatherface R.A. Mihailoff (Pumpkinhead II, Revamped, Dark House, Krampus: The Devil Returns) and Jewel Shepard of Return of the Living Dead (the new waver that wasn’t Linnea Quigley).

slasherdotcom family

The couple also has a pervy daughter.

slasherdotcom doll playYou know a guy’s straight when doll parts and boobs
don’t send him running and screaming back to the city.

Things get very No Vacancy, with the couple having some fun sexy times and clearly being filmed.

slasherdotcom dip

Any you know where it’s leading when the weird owner brings them some goodies to eat and drink. It was the main guy shirtless that kept me watching, even after the couple fed him a spoonful of some other guy’s…well, let’s just say this is one kinky couple that is into everything. 

slasherdotcom other caught guy

If daddy would just dump his bitch, he and our main man could make Mapplethorpe magic together.

slasherdotcom bound

The shocker is, if you tune out the screams, the movie is not about the torture, but the main guy’s attempts to escape his captors and get help…in his undies. Delicious.

slasherdotcom main guy still

Unfortunately for the people the main guy runs into along the way, there’s some fun gore.

slasherdotcom mouth stick

But at least the last thing they get to see is a cutie in his black boxer briefs.

slasherdotcom tent guy

slasherdotcom kneel

Our main guy makes some pretty smart decisions and puts up a damn good fight under horrific circumstances.

slasherdotcom body pile

Then suddenly, things get unexpectedly campy before a whole lot of totally fricking awesome surprises are tossed in during the final act.

slasherdotcom wrestle

A movie in which a hottie runs around in his undies and wrestles a murderous daddy bear, leading to a devilish climax? Now that’s my kind of backwoods horror.

slasherdotcom knife

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

STREAM QUEEN: THE DEAD ZONE

I’ve finally done it. I loaded my watchlists with all those zombie films rotting away in various streaming service horror categories, and made it my goal to sit through as many as I could to see just how bad they could possibly be. And so I give you the breakdown of what you’ve been skipping—I mean—missing. And to make it all worth it, I finish the blog off with the one must-see zombie flick in the bunch…the best Asian zombie flick since Train to Busan, which came out a year before Train to Busan

GERM Z (2013)

germ z cover

Germ Z is so ridiculously competent in its whirlwind of zombie movie clichés and low budget restraints that I couldn’t help but like it.

germ z running zom

Essentially, it does everything we’ve seen before just right, there are cute guys, and there’s a hunky shirtless zombie, so I was in my comfort zone.

germ z fireman

I mean, it’s not every day that a zombie film has a scene that practically looks like a gay zombie romance when you freeze frame it.

germ z zom hunkplay

The film takes place in a small town and touches upon the military situation that causes the outbreak just enough without getting bogged down in technical mumbo jumbo.

germ z autopsy

The characters are very likeable, and there’s some fairly quirky humor, particularly revolving around cute main character Deputy Max Brody.

germ z zomhunk1

The zombies at first look pretty bland – guys covered in blood and making snarly faces. But the makeup effects increase as the film progresses as if signifying that the infection is having a more severe impact. While initial zombie sightings are creepy and subtle, they also build until the zombies are fast and vicious, and the action scenes become intense and gory.

germ z ear eat

The film’s final frame is open-ended – it can be read as either hopeful or fatalistic. It can also signify that a sequel would pickup right at the point this film ends.

germ z zompile

A ZOMBIE INVASION (2012)

zombie invasion cover

Nice to see filmmakers out there just wanting to make good old fashioned zombie movies. Much like Germ Z, A Zombie Invasion is as straightforward as zombie movies get.

zombie invasion zombie

Once again we’re in a small town. UFOs are the cause of the infection this time. The zombies are classic Romero slow movers with simple pale faces and mouths dripping with bright red blood. Also, a majority of the main characters are trapped in one location together – a diner.

zombie invasion cast

A large portion of the film is about the diner crew attempting to escape, but there’s also a muscle hottie trapped elsewhere in a house with his new bride. i could watch him slaughtering zombies all day long.

zombie invasion hunk beheads

zombie invasion hunk smash face

The film has plenty of action, hick humor, a gritty grindhouse look, and some gnarly gore.

zombie invasion face shoot

A face devouring scene is particularly heinous.

zombie invasion face rip

Plus you never really know who the hero is—and who the total dicks are. There’s no telling who’s going to get out of this film alive by the end.

LET THERE BE ZOMBIES (2014)

let there be zombies cover

This zomcom definitely has the spirit and dedication behind it, but despite some okay moments, it is riddled with the lowest common denominator of stereotypes and other weak material that just doesn’t get you laughing all that much.

let there be zombies main girl

Unable to control her students, a young teacher runs for the hills. Suddenly she’s lost in an isolated area. The first zombie attack delivers good tension and the zombie is a combination of pale skin, prominent veins, bloody mouth, and zombie eyes, setting me up for disappointment as the film progressed.

let there be zombies granny

An average chubby dude rescues her and they set off on an adventure meeting some quirky characters. There’s a Spanish guy, a redneck farmer, and a seemingly slow black guy the redneck notices has “problems,” to which the chubby dude responds, “He’s probably a homo.” And speaking of unnecessary anti-gay sentiments in a zomcom, there’s also gay panic when a male zombie attacks the redneck.

let there be zombies redneck attacked

The film doesn’t bother to include any actual gay characters to balance out the anti-gay jabs, nor does it bother to point out that all rednecks are pig fuckers and actually makes this disgrace to humanity a main character.

let there be zombies redneck and kid

Nothing new happens here. They fight off zombies. They struggle with the idea of shooting their own when they get bitten. They have a big battle with a horde of zombies at the end. Really, if you’re going to watch a totally generic zombie film, there are a lot more entertaining ones with more enjoyable characters than this one.

ZOMBIE UNDEAD (2010)

zombie undead cover

Again we have a young woman and an average chubby guy teaming up to survive an outbreak, but this low budget indie is no comedy. It’s gritty and suspenseful with nonstop zombie action. Plus, you become much more invested in the characters by the end. And this chubby guy is a cutie. Actually, this lucky chick ends up the center of a bear sandwich for a while.

zombie undead leading guy

The two leads are in a hospital filled with sick people and chaos.

zombie undead doctor attention

In a rather confusing transition, the hospital is suddenly empty then classic slow zombies start shuffling out.

zombie undead zombie face

It’s pretty much nonstop horror from that point on as the two leads try to find the loved ones they brought to the hospital, encounter other survivors, and seem to weave their way into more and more harrowing areas of the hospital while attempting to get out of it.

zombie undead guts

There are some intensely effective zombie sequences in Zombie Undead – a dark hallway scene using just flashlight beams is particularly creepy – and the zombies have an unnerving presence.

zombie undead hall

And don’t expect any kind of hopeful moments in this film. It’s as doomsday as they get.

THE DEAD OUTSIDE (2008)

dead outside cover

This film is more about the relationship between two strangers after the zombie apocalypse than it is about the zombies. Even so, I was totally feeling the moody atmosphere and foreboding vibe.

dead outside zombie face

The dark and desolate location, minimal number of zombies, and lack of focus on their appearance when they do attack is somehow chilling in its own way.

dead outside main guy

Unfortunately, other than the fact that the main guy is really cute, I wasn’t totally drawn by the characters. He enters the house of a young woman who doesn’t take kindly to strangers, but they end up living together for survival.

dead outside leads

There are flashbacks revealing why each of them is messed up, and she is particularly untrusting for good reason. So much so that the big twist in the film is basically annoying as fuck.

dead outside shot face

After the entire film focuses on the two breaking down emotional walls and getting closer, in an instant it feels like the script just flippantly turns its back on that premise for the sake of having a big climactic action sequence in which zombies are the least of their problems.

dead outside main girl abducted

The same place could have been reached without betraying all that character development.

DEAD AND DEADER (2006)

 dead and deader cover

Dead and Deader is pretty much a perfect product of its time. It was still early in the days of the zombie revival that began in the new millennium, but late enough for it to begin poking fun at itself. It is also a time when movies that premiered on the SyFy Channel aimed for a bit better quality than they do these days.

dead and deader cain leather

Dean Cain is adorable as an army man who gets bit by a scorpion in a lab during a military mission. Believed dead, he awakes just when he’s about to be cut open for an autopsy. And…a scorpion pops out of him. Gross! Turns out Dean is half zombie and appears to have some superhuman powers.

dead and deader zomcain

Meanwhile, another military guy comes back from the dead all zombie, and pretty soon scientists are getting their flesh torn off big time! Dean teams up with a young military cook to stop the infection from spreading into town.

dead and deader at bar

Dead and Deader knows it’s a low budget film that’s either going to go straight-to-DVD or straight-to-cable, so it just has fun with itself, and it shows. Cain is perfectly charming handling the campy humor and is quite comfortable playing the hero once again.

dead and deader pale cain

His sidekick drops endless pop culture references and offers self-deprecating race jokes so indicative of the time, not to mention an ambiguously gay sidekick joke. The zombie action is fast, furious, and chaotic, and the zombies are cheesy good and gross.

dead and deader second zombie

It all leads to a major zombie blowout battle in a lab at the end. There’s never a dull moment in Dead and Deader.

dead and deader ellie cornell

Plus, Ellie Cornell of Halloween 4 makes an appearance, and there’s a debate over which Dawn of the Dead is better. I know which side of that argument I’m on—the only correct side.

LIVELIHOOD (2005)

livelihood cover

If ever there were a movie that should not be an hour and 43 minutes long, this would be it. Sure it’s low budget, indie comedy horror, but…no buts. That’s pretty much the reason it should be about an hour and 10 minutes tops.

This is sort of like an anthology film linked by an outbreak. We’re introduced to three unrelated characters – an 80s metal singer who is a real dick to his other band mates, a nice guy who’s a real loser both at work and at home, and a young woman who hates her overbearing mother-in-law. Characters from each segment die just when a zombie outbreak occurs. Aaaaaand…they come back.

livelihood mother in law

Jumping from story to story, the movie looks at how each character tries to go on living with the complications of having a zombie identity to contend with. There are funny moments here and there, but not enough to sustain 103 low budget minutes. The only story I really liked was the one about the chick with the bitchy mother-in-law.

livelihood rock zombie

The 80s metal singer’s story was extremely goofy and the 80s elements were too exaggerated for me—although I did like the concept of a guy who died in the 80s having to adapt to dealing with openly gay businessmen in modern times.

livelihood gay couple

And the loser guy’s story became yet another one of those zom-rom love stories. I really hate zom-roms.

livelihood romance

BONG OF THE DEAD (2011)

 bong of the dead cover

Wearing various hats in the film industry, including actor, handsome Thomas Newman made his directorial debut with this zombedy that starts off a lot more hardcore than I anticipated.

bong of the living dead thomas newman

In fact, the opening scene gave me flashbacks to Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. It’s a nasty good introduction to the zombie apocalypse as a lone man in his garden is infected and then takes the disease inside, mutating just in time for dinner with his wife. Gross.

bong of the dead intro zombie

That’s when the tone shifts to better fit the title. We meet our two stoners and get some goofy buddy shtick as they discover zombie soil that grows major weed.

bong of the dead dirt discovery

And then they try some of the weed and have some stoner fun with each other…

bong of the dead crotch dance 2

bong of the dead crotch in face

bong of the dead crotch dance

bong of the dead spank

They encounter some zombies and we meet their main enemy—a smart zombie that is pretty dang evil looking and is planning to form a zombie army to destroy humanity.

bong of the dead zombie cop

bong of the dead scared of zombie cop

The guys team up with a kick ass bitch who initially isn’t up for any of their shenanigans, but eventually loosens up after a night of bonding over pot and booze. Once again, the guys really loosen up…

bong of the dead leopard print

bong of the dead bartender

bong of the dead sock in face

bong of the dead spooning

As the trio sets out on a journey together, the film slows down considerably.The humor isn’t as over-the-top (or dumb) as you’d expect from a movie called Bong of the Dead, there’s lots of talking, very little zombie action for long stretches, and the energy level drops considerably for much of the movie.

bong of the dead child zombie

The three main characters are quite likable, which helps you hang in there, but the film definitely could have used a bit more excitement in the middle…or a shorter run time.

bong of the dead main 3

However, you  must stick around for the final act when all hell breaks loose. The trio makes a zombie killing machine and the blood and guts fly!

bong of the dead zomb kill

bong of the dead zomb battle

bong of the dead zombaby

We also see the return of the main enemy, who we’d virtually forgotten about after his introduction, because the movie itself forgot about him.

bong of the dead baddie

Essentially, the center of Bong of The Dead doesn’t live up to its wild opening and closing acts.

ABSOLUTE ZOMBIES (2015)

absolute zombies cover

This 75-minute film is part “this is the cool kind of visual shit people can make if they think outside of the box” and part “this is what you can make with a computer when you have no money.”

I kind of gave up trying to follow the plot. There’s a couple driving across country. She’s the narrator.

absolute zombie couple

There are two douche bags in a van wreaking havoc on every zombie and human they come across.

absolute zombie jerks

Eventually, the four cross paths and battle it out. Throw in an underground cult, an evil madman’s plot, and constant visual chaos, and, well, just enjoy the visual chaos.

absolute zombie cult

absolute zombie scientist

Loads of still frames, freeze frames, animation, and video game graphics are interspersed with live action and all the editing tricks modern computer software has to offer to totally numb the brain until viewers become zombies. 2D dicks are blown off zombies and fly at the screen.

absolute zombie lapshot

A kindergarten of children zombies is actually just dolls with zombie makeup.

absolute zombie doll

Zombies are picked off in such a way that you’ll be reaching for your NES light gun.

absolute zombie graphics

I could go on, but you should get the picture. It’s up to you to decide how unique you like your zombie action presented.

ZOMBIES OF THE LIVING DEAD (2015)

 zombies of the living dead cover

Only 65 minutes long? Why did I avoid this one for so long? Zombies of the Living Dead begins with some over-the-top zombie chaos and zombie action drenched in neon, then shifts to the outbreak on the street, delivering some awesome gore.

zombies of living dead neon zombie

zombies of living dead zombdead

We are also introduced to our major cutie and his supporting cast, including the assholes that bully him, the girl he likes, his dad, and his friends.

zombies of living dead lead

Our core group of survivors holes up in a building, the usual interpersonal drama plays out, and finally, the group goes out for a CGI zombie massacre as rock music blares.

zombies of living dead fight time

Then suddenly, the cast breaks the fourth wall and makes reference to this whole experience being an instructional video, not a movie. I guess that’s a novel twist, but it doesn’t add much to a really cliché yet entertaining zombie viewing experience that, most importantly, is only 65 minutes long. So who am I to complain?

I AM A HERO (2015)

i am a hero cover

While the American market is beating zombies to death, it appears the Asian market has totally resuscitated the genre with mind-blowing visual spectacles. I didn’t think anything could come close to Train to Busan, but action horror comedy I Am A Hero, based on a Japanese horror manga, comes pretty damn close.

i am a hero shooting final boss

The self-proclaimed hero of the title is a man in his thirties who dreams of being a famous graphic novel creator, but merely works as an assistant. Just after his girlfriend kicks him out for being such a loser, she calls him back. But she sounds…off. It’s when he arrives at her apartment that shit gets craaaaazy.

i am a hero city

Our main guy is thrust right into the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, with people turning right in front of him all over the city streets. The awesome thing about this film is that every single zombie looks and acts differently, as if the infection affects each individual person in different ways.

i am a hero girlfriend

Some zombies grumble random shit, others crawl and bend like contortionists, and yet others can leap around like gymnasts.

i am a hero zombie mouth

This is no low budget film. There are wild car chases and amazing zombie sequences. And with its combination of humor and action, the film moves at a quick pace…except in the middle. The film runs a bit over 2 hours long and suffers slowdown after a fantastic escape from the city. Our hero and the girl he connects with end up joining an established community, but the community is a mix of both good and bad people, so it’s not until all that conflict is dealt with that we finally get back into the zombie action. And the final act fricking rox to make up for it.

i am a hero boss head

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you’re going to torture me and make me watch one zombie film with depth…

So, in the midst of a major trashy zombie film blog project that’s on its way, two films stood out as much higher quality films than the rest. I watched them anyway, but I’ll make this blog as brief as possible.

ANTISOCIAL 2 (2017)

antisocial 2 cover

What could be worse than a movie studio taking a director’s original film and making a sequel that just shits all over the legacy of the original? The director doing it.

antisocial 2 hand

Antisocial was a blast. College kids get infected by the Internet and turn into crazed zombies. The only way to save yourself is to drill out the tumor that forms in your brain.

antisocial 2 main girl

Now it’s post-apocalypse, the main girl from the first film is trying to survive in a wasteland, she’s pregnant, and she gets abducted and taken to an underground lair.

antisocial 2 doctor

A mad scientist believes those who fixed themselves are “defects” and never really cured. Holy Antisocial message.

antisocial 2 cross redo

The experiments begin. Little children with special powers get thrown into the mix.

antisocial 2 zomboy power

Cult-like psychological cyber possession might play some part in all the confusion, I could barely make it through this film, and my OCD shall forever live in torment because I will not be buying this movie to complete my Antisocial collection.

antisocial 3 zomgirl

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2016)

girls with all the gifts cover

It stars Glenn Close. It’s based on a book. It has the magical Hallmark title The Girl with All The Gifts. The movie poster projects unthinkable treatment of an innocent child. The film runs nearly two hours long. I braced myself for the worst.

girl with all the gits girl and zombie

Glenn Close fights zombies. Seriously. Glenn Close fricking sticks sharp objects in the ooey gooey heads of gnarly snarly zombies.

girl with all the gifts glenn fight

girl wth all the gifts wheelchair

Infected hybrid children are experimented on by Glenn Close’s uncaring clinical hands, and one woman is determined to stop her from dissecting one special girl, so there are obviously themes of social injustice and crimes against humanity desperate to mask the fact that we’re talking about Glenn Close vs. zombies here.

girl with all the gifts glenn run

If they would just cut out all that meaningful nonsense, this would be one damn intense 75-minute zombie flick starring Glenn Close.

girl with all the gifts baby

But what are you going to do? Some people have hearts and find that shit entertaining. So power through the stuff about feelings and emotions to experience the horror of it all.

 

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll have the Xtro, hold the Xtra Xtros

Ah, Xtro. One of those drug trips I took as a teen just by watching cable. I miss the 80s, when the shit that happened in a movie could make absolutely no sense yet bombard my young mind, heart, soul, and nerves with so much freaky shit that I was yanked a few steps farther away from God and closer to sanity. I’m also glad I was a kid when the first movie was released and not a decade later, when the 90s got a hold of the Xtro name for two sequels and did the one thing the 90s was good at doing—elevating the 80s even higher on its pedestal.

XTRO (1982)

xtro 1 cover

While E.T. was busy selling Reese’s Pieces and playfully fingering kids, Xtro was showing us how to be a real alien, eating snake eggs and orally impregnating women with adult embryos.

A young boy’s nightmare shows us his memory of the day his father was abducted by an alien spaceship in a burst of light while they were playing in the yard of their vacation house.

It’s several years later, and his mother has a new man, the boy is all messed in the head, and no one believes what he saw that day. They think he made that story up to explain away his father just walking out on them.

Meanwhile, there’s a fiery crash in the woods and the film wastes no time with the money shot. A couple driving down an isolated road almost hits this hideous creature…and gets out to check on it. Bye bye couple.

xtro 1 in road

The creature then heads over to some woman’s house for that whole oral fuck session, which turns into a nasty birth moments later!

xtro 1 birth

Soon after, guess who shows up at school to pick up the young boy? His dad! And mom brings him home to meet her new man. Awkward!

xtro 1 cast

If you think the new living arrangements are weird, the son sees dad doing that snake egg eating trick and just buys the whole, “I’m ‘different’ now” excuse.

xtro 1 clown

The son also suddenly has a circus friend appear in his room, his toys start coming to life and killing people, a black panther materializes out of nowhere, people end up in cocoons, and the boy even sucks some female tummy. WTF?

xtro 1 tub web

xtro 1 belly suck

All this while mom and dad run off to the cabin where dad was abducted to help spark his memory, and to have sex. So what does mom’s new man do? He brings the son with him to catch them in the act. He fell right into Xtro’s trap.

xtro 1 dad face

XTRO II: THE SECOND ENCOUNTER (1990)

xtro 2 cover

I guess director Harry Bromley Davenport needed the money 8 years after making his masterpiece, so he took full advantage of it being the 90s and slapped the Xtro name on a shitty movie.

xtro 2 leads

He even cast has-been Jan-Michael Vincent as the “lead.” You know a dude is a has-been when he’s the star of an underground complex alien action movie, but instead of being the hunky hero that takes off his shirt and runs around the facility shooting the creature, he just sits safely in a room for the whole movie talking about the creature.

xtro 2 bod

xtro 2 guns

Pretending there was no movie in 1982, this film is about a secret science lab that opens a dimension that lets an alien in.

xtro 2 face

Guys run around the halls shooting at it with their big military guns as a military soundtrack plays endlessly.

xtro 2 guts

Cool creature. Some cute guys.

xtro 2 pits

Terrible straight-to-VHS 90s movie.

xtro 2 corpse

“Terrible straight-to-VHS 90s movie.” That shit should be included in Autofill.

XTRO 3: WATCH THE SKIES (1995)

xtro 3 cover

5 years later, daddy director needed to eat, so he made another Xtro. With his The Greatest American Hero earnings drying up, Robert Culp pops in to send a military team to a deserted island to diffuse some bombs or some shit like that, and Andrew Divoff starts his bid as horror icon in a minor role as their leader.

xtro 3 boys

After the team settles in, a crazed man crashes their camp, and before long, the encounter classic looking aliens.

xtro 3 first alien sighting

But these fuckers are mean and vicious. Their lust for blood and guts is the only thing that makes this movie worth a watch.

xtro 3 web face

Not even a seeming attempt to hint at any relevance to the first film by throwing in some webbing can serve as an apology. After forever tarnishing the Xtro name by attaching Jan-Michael Vincent’s name to it, you’ll have to do a lot better than that. Maybe if you’d had Jan-Michael Vincent back for this sequel and forced him to eat real snake eggs on camera. But as it stands, Xtro 3 is really just a SyFy movie about military guys running around a tropical island fighting aliens, only with better special effects.

xtro 3 alien

 

Posted in Living in the 80s - forever, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment