Kevin Tenney: in the wake of the great demon incident

kevin tenney

I was the guy my boss turned to back in the 80s when the horror movie screeners arrived at our video store—it was my job to watch them and let him know if they were worth buying for the store once they were released. The added bonus was that I got to keep the tapes at a time when VHS cassettes cost up to 90 bux a shot. Night of the Demons was one I cherished most, so there will always be a place on my shelf for any horror flick Kevin Tenney directs. Naturally, there’s his first, Witchboard, and I’ve already covered the sequel, as well as Pinocchio’s Revenge, Endangered Species, and Brain Dead. So it’s time to look at three more.

ARRIVAL II (aka: The Second Arrival) (1998)

arrival 2 cover

This is the only time that Kevin took on directing a sequel for which he didn’t do the first film. This is the follow-up to the 1996 alien film The Arrival starring Charlie Sheen, but got very little notice. In terms of direct-to-video sequels of the 90s VHS era, it gets the job done as well as can be expected. Actually, it would have been more expected if this were some sort of made-for-TV sequel.

arrival 2 leads

Patrick Muldoon of Melrose Place plays Charlie Sheen’s stepbrother, and he gets shirtless, so that’s a plus. Ross Geller’s lesbian ex-wife Carol needed to work more than 5 minutes a year, so she took the job as a reporter in this film. The pair teams up after it’s learned that Sheen died and left them and a few scientists some evidence of aliens invading the planet to make it a scalding hot oasis to fit their own natural living environment.

arrival 2 transform

There are some cool alien reveals as the aliens close in on Melrose Muldoon and lesbian Carol in an attempt to stop them from exposing the truth.

arrival 2 run

Soon, pretty much the entire world is after them, thinking they’re a couple of nuts, and of course they can never tell who is really human and who’s an alien in disguise…especially since aliens know how to wield a hammer like your everyday average human.

arrival 2 hammer

Chases abound, there’s time spent on a spaceship, and there’s even a little alien spider robot thing thrown in because the aliens aren’t all that scary on their own.

arrival 2 spider

It’s the usual 90s alien nonsense that’s easily digestible and nostalgically entertaining, especially if you’re deeply involved in a project organizing your itunes on your computer and not really paying much attention to the movie.

WITCHTRAP (1989)

witchtrap cover

In essence, Witchtrap should be my favorite in this trio because it’s the most “Kevin Tenney” of the bunch and is virtually a love letter to Night of the Demons. It’s astonishing that it adores the 1988 classic as much as the rest of us do with less than a 2-year span between their releases. See, there was no Internet at the time to pump Night of the Demons to immediate cult phenomena status – consider that the sequel didn’t come out until 6 years later and you’ll get an idea of how long it took for everyone to realize how much the film ruled – so Witchtrap was really an early champion of the film…

witchtrap jump

Tenney himself plays a small role as a guy who owns an inn so haunted by his witch uncle that people have died there, so it can no longer be used for guests. He has a team of ghost experts come in to cleanse the place, with a couple of ex-detectives tagging along to keep them safe. These two detectives are rivals that partake in endless verbal sparring using anti-gay sentiments.

This silly movie has none of the suspense, atmosphere, or jump scares of Night of the Demons, not to mention no kick ass demon makeup. When the group gets to the house, one chick starts having convulsions as she sort of connects with the witch ghost, and people start dying in supernatural ways – death by showerhead, death by killer car, death by bullet to the head with no gun in sight. Even locking themselves in their rooms in true House on Haunted Hill fashion doesn’t help them escape the evil force.

witchtrap linnea

Linnea Quigley appears just about long enough to get completely naked and Stooge from Night of the Demons is the groundskeeper who just won’t die, leading one chick to refer to him as a demon (wink wink).

witchtrap door

Also, the cute main detective guy had a small role in Night of the Demons and happens to have voiced demons in all three movies…which would explain him teasingly breaking out into demon voice early in the film (awesome).

witchtrap lead

In true 80s fashion, shit just gets weird at the end, with flying axes, a random door growing arms, some sort of ghost box, and one chick turning into the witch ghost.

witchtrap face melt

There’s also an ooey cool melting witch scene. Eat your heart out, Wizard of Oz.

THE CELLAR (1989)

cellar 1989 movie

Tenney actually took over directing this film after the original director left early in production. It would be nice to see this one make it to DVD or Blu-ray because it is about as comforting as a softcore 80s creature feature can get.

cellar 1989 dad smoke

Smokin’ hot Patrick Kilpatrick (The Toxic Avenger, The Stand, The Granny, Parasomnia, The Zombinator) is shirtless for most of the movie. Wait. What I meant was, he plays a man who comes to live in a house in the middle of the desert with his new wife and baby. His son from his first marriage comes for a visit and manages to unleash a monster created by Indians year before to kill the white man for stealing their land.

cellar 1989 bones

This movie is so timely even today, other than everyone calling the Native-Americans Indians, including the Indians…I mean, the Native-Americans.

cellar 1989 fire ritual

Despite the Indian character still being quite hostile towards the white man, he does try to warn the family of the threat and gives the boy tips on how to combat the creature.

cellar 1989 fire demon

The monster is actually living in their basement, yet the kid is the only one who sees it, can’t get his dad to believe him, and even gets attacked by it in a pretty damn scary scene when he’s swinging on a tire over a sinkhole in their sandbox…uh…yard.

cellar 1989 hand in #2CCF92

There are a couple of kills, but it’s always someone being dragged off screen, and with the movie focusing on a young boy figuring out how to conquer the creature on his own, it really captures the 80s tween vibe perfectly. We only see glimpses of the monster until the final battle, but it bears a striking resemblance to the Terror Dogs in the original Ghostbusters.

cellar 1989 monster

This is just pure late 80s horror fun and definitely my favorite of this trio.

cellar 1989 dad chec#2CD0BD

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From the 90s VHS graveyard comes…

Killer video games, a giant woman, bloodthirsty dinosaurs, and aliens. I take a look at 4 from the last decade of the 20th century.

BRAIN TWISTERS (1991)

brain twisters cover

Clearly a product of its time, Brain Twisters may have a 1991 timestamp, but it feels totally 80s, starting with a jogging chick’s Walkman going rogue in the opening kill, followed by a synth score during the intro credits.

This oddly disjointed film is about a clearly weird college teacher who gets students to participate in his experiments with video games. Problem is, the experiments are causing the students to commit murder.

brain twisters video game

The movie was kind of ahead of its time, with aspects of the plot having since been recycled in bigger films. However, this one has the distinction of having late 80s/early 90s sensibilities: nonsense, that is. As kids start getting murdered, there’s a detective on the case, but his investigation is hampered because one of the dead kids has left his body to the professor, who refuses to turn it over…and keeps the head in a jar in a fridge. WTF?

brain twisters head

While there’s obviously not one specific killer, the general structure is that of a slasher. The kill scenes are bizarre and almost surreal at times, even visually and stylistically reminding me of Argento.

brain twisters smash hands

One of the best sequences takes place at a costume party—not sure if it’s supposed to be Halloween or not.

brain twisters masks

The glue that barely holds the film together? The characters.

brain twisters main girl

The main girl Farrah Forke would have been a great 90s scream queen but instead went on to join the cast of the TV show Wings, and the detective has a pretty funny dry wit about him. But nothing tops his straight reaction to having spaghetti thrown in his face.

brain twisters spaghetti

ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN (1993)

 attack of 50 ft woman 93 cover

When you imagine Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap fame directing a 90s remake of a goofy 1950s sci-fi movie about a woman growing to the size of Godzilla, you kind of expect some totally disastrous midnight movie slapstick spoof.

The only thing funny about this film is watching Daryl Hannah take herself seriously as she stomps around acting like a 50-foot woman. Granted, it looks awesome…in a totally disastrous midnight movie slapstick spoof sort of way. Sad thing is, there’s nothing tongue-in-cheek about the film.

attack of 50 ft woman head through floor

Daryl is the wife of forgotten Baldwin brother Daniel, who cheats on her constantly. He and her father are both planning to fuck her over for her inheritance.

attack of 50 ft woman spaceship

After an encounter with a spaceship on a deserted road, Daryl grows into a giant when she becomes angry with the men in her life. Suddenly, she’s got a backbone and is spouting lines about growing up and finding her strength against all the men who have been dicking her over, even making blatant statements about feminism. There’s absolutely no subtlety to the message here.

attack of 50 ft woman barn

She spends a majority of her big girl time hanging at a farm while the people in her life try to figure out what to do with her, and only unleashes her attack at the end when she goes hunting for her cheating husband.

attack of 50 ft woman 93 grabs girl

The most fun you’ll find here is when she cuts through the drive-in theater and the original film is playing on the screen.

CARNOSAUR (1993)

carnosaur cover

Leave it to sci-fi/horror schlock master Roger Corman to have a hand in producing a movie that totally bastardizes the spectacle of game changer Jurassic Park.

Carnosaur was the gore hound’s and old school dinosaur lover’s answer to Spielberg’s family-friendly box office bonanza. Campy dinosaur puppets and rubber costume dinosaurs, vicious dinosaur attacks, loads of blood, and belly-bursting dinosaur births abound.

carnosaur jeep kill

On top of all that, considering this pretty much came out at the exact same time as Jurassic Park, it almost seems like there was insider info about that film that shaped this movie.

carnosaur leg feast

Is it a coincidence that it stars Diane Ladd, mother of Jurassic Park star Laura Dern, as an evil scientist planning to kill off all humanity to give the planet back to the dinosaurs? Or that someone says to her, “Sounds like a great idea for a theme park”?

carnosaur tractor

All this fun takes place in a desert town, the body count is way up there, Clint Howard has a typically weird Clint Howard cameo and a juicy death, the main guy gets in a Tonka truck to fight a dinosaur model, and as a “fuck you” to the Academy for not giving her the Oscar the year before for Rambling Rose, Diane Ladd gives birth to a dinosaur on celluloid.

carnosaur diane ladd

DARK BREED (1996)

dark breed cover

Hard to believe there were still direct-to-video Alien rip-off movies being made in 1996. Dark Breed stars 80s pretty boy Jack Scalia, and I’ll never understand why I am so familiar with him from way back then because he was literally in nothing I ever watched.

dark breed ship

There are actually some cool horror effects in Dark Breed. A small group of astronauts crashes back to earth with an alien infection that causes freaky, mini-mutations as they go around killing anyone in their path.

dark breed 1st change

Problem is, while there are some major high-speed chases at first, this shit gets boring after a while, especially since they’re chasing military guys! Yawn.

dark breed ex

A cool aspect of the film is that one of the astronauts is Scalia’s ex-wife and she sort of fights the infection, so she works with him to conquer the alien invaders. Also wicked cool is when the astronauts finally turn into actual monsters in the last fifteen minutes of the film.

dark breed tail

Too bad it takes so long, because they rock, bring on some good blood and guts, and bitch slap Jack into the DVD era.

dark breed scalia

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Cleaning out the DVR: The Summer 2017 Edition

With streaming services consuming our lives these days, and the fear that if we don’t watch that shit fast it’ll be gone, I’ve been putting off viewing DVR recordings for longer periods of time. It was getting all blocked up, so it was time to purge!

PET (2016)

pet cover

Carles Torrens, director of Apartment 143, offers up a film that sounds so much like just another case of a stalker abducting a girl and torture porning her for 90 minutes that I would have passed over it on streaming services. I’m so glad it was on cable, because I record every horror movie that airs in an attempt to get a return on my investment.

Dominic Monaghan of Lost stars as the weirdo working as a security guard at an animal shelter when he runs into a girl he used to go to school with. She’s polite enough, but she really doesn’t remember him.

Commence stalking. And abducting.

pet cage

Conveniently, there are unused cages in the basement of the shelter, and all the barking dogs drown out any cries for help. I was immediately annoyed at what a sniveling mess of a main girl we were stuck with.

pet main girl

Man, was I wrong. We need more Ksenia Solo, whose only pseudo-horror appearance is in Black Swan, because she rules. She begins to play her abductor at his own game as a power struggle takes place between the two.

pet blood

This isn’t a physical battle—it’s all mind-fucking. No worries about gruesome torture, and there’s only limited gore as well. The really sick part of Pet is how it plays out…

THE MAZE (2010)

maze 2010 cover

There’s a double dose of director Stephen Shimek in this blog, starting with The Maze. This is basic slasher stuff about a group of friends that sneaks into a corn maze after closing time. I love that one of the girls is basically like, “This is going to get old and boring fast.”

To cut down on the boredom…they split up to play hide & seek, leading to the usual faux scares, nicely packaged in excellent atmosphere and the spirit of post-Scream slashers, with suspense, tension, chases, and kills that are all blade-oriented and brutal, but low on detailed gore. 

maze 2010 tea party

The only real issue is that the killer is some fricking scrawny dude in a red hoodie, yet everyone’s running in terror like they’re being chased by Leatherface wearing Freddy’s glove while Chucky rides piggyback waving Jason’s machete.

maze killer

The big surprise is that the whole maze craze only lasts 55 minutes, with the remaining 35 minutes moving to a police station for the main girl chase and a particularly long-winded twist. It makes for a unique final act, but I was still left thinking, “So what the fuck was this killer’s deal?”

NOCTURNE (2016)

nocturne cover

Next, Stephen Shimek takes on the Ouija board craze. You know, back in the 80s, there was one fricking Ouija board movie. The cheesy sequels didn’t come until the 90s. These days, someone could make a movie about a killer toothpick, and no matter how fucking dumb the concept, within a year, there would be at least a dozen more horror flicks about toothpicks.

So yeah. Kids play with a Ouija board at a party, which brings up old wounds about prom. Then they play a game of “Never have I ever” that also goes bad. So clearly there are issues between them, as well as personal issues that come out as the night drags on.

nocturne possessed girl

And then one chick starts to act all weird. You know, possessed and shit. Aside from the awesome scene where she fucks the soul out of a guy with her va-jay-jay, this movie is like “serious” horror dealing with everyone’s issues rather than scary horror.

nocturne under floor

The possessed chick simply goes around making everyone confront their self-loathing then giving them all the ammo they need to just kill themselves. Hell, she even gives them a gun for that ammo.

EH.

DEMONIC (2015)

demonic cover

What do you get when you cross police procedural horror, psychological profile horror, found footage, and séance/possession horror? A narrative so choppy that there’s absolutely no building of tension or fear.

demonic grillo

Hottie Frank Grillo of The Purge franchise is the detective, Maria Bello (Lights Out, The Dark) is the psychologist, and they’re on the case when kids turn up dead at an old house. One kid is still alive and tells his story to the psychologist in found footage flashbacks…

demonic cast

He and his friends went to do a documentary about murders in the house in which one guy’s mom grew up.

demonic seance

They explore the house, doors lock, paintings burst into flames, they have a séance, and finally someone gets “demonic” and chases everyone with an axe.

demonic demon

Just watch Nocturne. And I don’t say that lightly.

SiREN (2016)

siren cover

After the first segment of V/H/S delighted many horror fans with its horny “I like you” girl, it was no surprise when an announcement was made that she was getting her own full-length movie. Siren comes from director Gregg Bishop (Dance of the Dead), who did bring us a story from V/H/S Viral, but not the story on which this movie is based.

Along with original scary girl Hannah Fierman reprising her role, this sausagfest includes a bunch of horror guys:

Siren is just what you’d expect when a highly effective short is expanded – it’s a predictable creature feature that dilutes the monster’s mystique by adding too much backstory that makes her much less terrifying, yet still provides some fun but familiar thrills.

siren cast

Buddies go to a private strip club party in the middle of nowhere for a bachelor party, and the groom is ushered into a private peep room with…our scary girl! She sings a mysterious song that gives him hallucinatory orgasms, and then he becomes convinced she’s the victim of sex trafficking and that they need to break her out. BIG mistake.

siren main guy

Now they’re on the run from her and the guys from the underground strip club, who want her back. There’s plenty of crazy action, suspense, and freaky girl moments, but it’s definitely a far cry from the succinct, chilling story told in the original short from V/H/S and has the huge disadvantage of not having the advantage of surprise. We know this chick’s deal.

siren monster

BEHEMOTH (2011)

behemoth cover

When watching Behemoth, I was reminded of the lack of closure that keeps me mourning the sudden cancellation of 2 Broke Girls, because it stars Max’s on-again/off-again boyfriend and horror hottie Ed Quinn.

behemoth

He’s the bright side.

The down side is, this is SyFy Original monster movie stuff at its most boring. Tremors start hitting the earth in the town where Quinn does construction. An old man is convinced it’s a sign of the end of the world, and that a giant creature in the big mountain nearby is coming to get them all. He’s right.

behemoth monster head

While Quinn’s off dealing with the death of one of his men due to the quakes, his sister and her boyfriend hike up the mountain. It’s funny when they’re attacked by CGI tentacles and a giant eye peers from the mountain wall, but it really is one of my worst nightmares when they are hanging on the edge of a fricking sinkhole from hell and a monster starts chomping up out of the center.

behemoth pit

As bad as the CGI is and as hokey as the movie is (naturally Quinn has to head into the mountain to save his sis), it looks pretty cool in a 60s SyFy monster movie throwback way when the monster bursts out of the mountain. And it’s straight up video game shit when Quinn busts out a rocket launcher. He even looks like he’s having fun and knows he’s going to take this final boss down the first time.

behemoth rocket launcher

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016)

ouija origin of evil cover

Mike Flanagan, the director of Absentia, Oculus, Hush, and Before I Wake, does a bit of damage control to extend the life of shitfest Ouija and make it into a franchise.

Set in the 60s, this prequel focuses on a widowed mother and her two daughters, who run a business doing bogus séances to help grieving people find closure (I need to go to them to get over 2 Broke Girls). When the teen daughter has an encounter with a Ouija board at a party, the mother decides to start using one in their séances.

ouija origin of evil family

The younger daughter gets her fingers on it, officially guaranteeing young actress Lulu Wilson (Deliver Us from Evil, Annabelle: Creation) a spot on every list of scariest kids in horror from this point on. Her performance is chilling.

While the film is at times entrenched in cheap modern ghost/possession film scare tactics to appeal to tweens that thought the first film was the scariest movie ever (it’s most guilty of this in the final act, when Henry Thomas steps in as the priest for the exorcism), the buildup leading to the money shots is what really gets under your skin.

ouija origin of evil crawl

The movie makes the effort to demonstrate why the Ouija board is able to target and influence this family, giving much more depth to a generally throwaway horror subgenre. The throwaway part comes in the slapped together, absurdly extravagant explanation dumped in near the end of the film as to why there are supernatural forces in the house.

The film smoothly incorporates elements of the first film, such as the sewn mouth and planchette looking glass aspects, and even ties the films together directly if you stick around until after the closing credits.

But the scene that really did it for me is the moment when we actually see the evil force enter the little girl. Beginning with her complaining about her neck hurting, it has never been presented in quite this way, and it’s truly nightmarish.

ouija origin of evil demon

And I’ll admit, the final jump scare is a hoot in all its cheesiness.

 

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Horror hottie time: Randy Wayne

randy wayne 1

April Apocalypse, Hold Your Breath, Ghost Town, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Terror Toons 2, Grizzly Park. I’ve seen and blogged about a majority of films by Randy Wayne, so it was time to clean shop and see as many as I could access at the moment, which is how this triple feature was born.

THE FUN PARK (2007)

fun park cover

From the decade that brought us some of my favorite “wrong turn” flix, many of which led pretty people to sinister carnivals, wax museums, and amusement parks, The Fun Park is the ultimate example of how not to make one of these movies. WTF with this film?

fun park clown old shot

Framed around a psychiatrist working with the lone survive (Jillian Murray of Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero and The Graves) the film is about a group of friends that decides to check out the old amusement park where a clown was hacked up years before at closing time, leading to the place being closed down and abandoned.

fun park randy bent

The atmosphere and music are excellent as the group splits up after some initial roadblocks to getting into the park. Then almost immediately…BAM!

fun park bat sneakup

The clown strikes and they are all bound and terrorized in his grisly lair. For the rest of the movie.

fun park lair

Hey, I’m no fan of torture porn, but while there’s some implied here, we don’t even get any gratuitous gore to keep us entertained. Just nonstop whining and whimpering from the victims.

fun park girl grabbed

I’m absolutely dumbfounded that a movie with such little substance would not only run an hour and half, but would actually get all the way to distribution without a complete overhaul to make it…to give it more…to…to rewrite and reshoot the whole fricking thing so something actually happens.

 fun park clown face

To top it all off, Randy Wayne gets completely lost in the shuffle of nothingness going on, even though he’s the lead.

fun park leads

SCAR (2005)

scar 2005 cover

It’s Scar’s lucky day on my blog, because it has the advantage of being the movie I watched right after The Fun Park, which makes it seem much better than the pile of crap it is. It has none of the potential, atmosphere, and horrific advantage of The Fun Park. But what it does have is Randy Wayne in good lighting, Dee Wallace, plenty of bloody kills, and…axe-wielding ghosts.

scar 2005 gore

Randy and his buddy are out hiking when his buddy goes to hook up with a chick he spots cutting wood outside her cabin.

scar 2005 beginning duo

Things turn out really bad for him apparently…

scar 2005 axe

A year later, the buddy’s sister needs closure, so she drags Randy back to the place where it all happened. They spend the rest of the movie running around the forest in circles…as does the plot.

scar 2005 randy shirtless

B-movie man Joe Estevez plays the sheriff and Dee Wallace runs the local motel, and they both factor into the story as Randy and the sister begin to unravel the truth of what really happened in the cabin…and the cheesy as hell ghostly forces that still haunt the woods.

scar 2005 supernatural split

Dee steps up to help the pair combat the supernatural evil in the final act, but it’s all so silly it’s almost incomprehensible to see her taking part in any of it.

scar 2005 seance

I mean, how am I supposed to sit back and enjoy an absolutely asinine slasher when Dee Wallace’s credibility is on the line?

PARANORMAL ISLAND (2014)

paranormal island cover

Even having Randy, scream queen/dancing queen Briana Evigan (Sorority Row, Rites of Passage, The Devil’s Carnival, Mine Games, the Step Up franchise), and Lance Henriksen at the helm of this boat ride to Paranormal Island can’t stop it from crashing into the reeds. Hell, this shit is trying to move with the anchor lowered the whole time.

Lance narrates the awful period piece opener about a murder at a bar on an island in 1927. Like, the bar is the only thing on this island apparently. The bartender hears a sound after closing, we hear a gunshot, fade to…

paranormal island body

A couple having sex on a dock in 2014. They hear noises, she gets spooked by something in the water, they run for their boat, we hear a scream, fade to…opening credits.

Our main gang is heading to the island to work at the bar. The bar is the only reason people go to this island. Boats have gone missing for decades, people have turned up dead for decades, people are urged to get off the island as soon as the bar is closed. This bar should have been shut down years ago and this movie should end right now.

paranormal island bo#2A485C

But it doesn’t. I really hoped this daddy was going to be their ride to the island, Instead, weirdo Lance is their ride.

paranormal island cast

While working, Randy also plans to film footage to prove that paranormal activity doesn’t exist for a thesis he’s writing.

paranormal island gu#2A484A

So he’s going to film nothing happening and say, “Look! See, no ghosts! I proved it.” Seriously, his little side project is an absolutely pointless addition to this fairly pointless movie.

There’s some really good club music, and with Briana on board, it was like “Step Up to the Paranormal Island.” The party ends quickly, Lance is nowhere to be found to give them their ride back and then…well, we get one of the lamest ghost movies ever. The most you see of the supposed ghost is this image of its face in the monitor. It’s there. Really, it is. Look really, really, really close.

paranormal island monitor

Some of the kids are eventually thrown around on the dock, some bodies turn up dead, and due to bad editing or something, one shows up in the water under the docks accompanied by a musical stinger chord to announce that it’s a big scary moment, yet the two characters in the scene don’t even react.

paranormal island leads

Eventually Lance returns to pick them up and claims all these ghosts that suddenly appear in the water helped save them. Save them from what I’m not sure, because barely anything fricking happens in this movie.

paranormal island ghosts

Now, with all this pretty boy Randy Wayne horror of the past behind me, I think it’s time we get some fresh horror with new improved, rugged Randy…

randy wayne 2

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Go to a cabin in the woods and you’re either going to get slashed or demonized

They’re two of my favorite reasons to go to a cabin in the woods in a horror movie, so that’s why slasher WTF! And demon flick Bornless Ones have been on my radar for a while. Finally got a chance to check them out as a double feature. But did they double my pleasure as anticipated?

WTF! (2017)

 WTF cover

When a chick runs out of a cabin naked, covered in blood, and screams, “WHAT THE FUCK?!?!” – you’ve got my attention.

WTF! starts strong for sure, but I’d highly advise that you find your strength and get through the first part, because it’s some time before  WTF! finds its strength again. For slasher lovers, it’s worth it in the end.

WTF pool

Perez Hilton makes a big gay appearance at a pool party – so gay he can’t even stomach being around a female.

WTF perez

But he doesn’t get invited along for the rest of the slasher party when all his friends decide to spend spring break at a house in the woods. Our main girl has issues; she lost all her friends to a crazed killer several years before. Even so, this wouldn’t be a slasher if she didn’t make the really bad decision to go along anyway.

As the fun at the cabin gets in gear…it doesn’t. The guys needle one kid repeatedly about his sexual orientation.

WTF pit

The main girl’s boyfriend is a dick about her frigidity caused by her PTSD. The guys play video games. The group hangs by the pool.

WTF girls

The girls suck pseudo-lesbian face for the boys. The boys cheap scare each other and play more video games. The entire group is really obnoxious in that white privilege/red Solo cup college kid way.

At this point, we’re pretty deep into the film and my ADHD needle is quaking in the red. Then suddenly, it happens. WTF! becomes the movie it should have been all along.

WTF backstab

The first kill hits simultaneously with some fleeting but nice boy booty.

WTF bottom

The cast magically has fantastic material to work with – clever, fast, funny – to showcase their talent.

WTF killer

We are quickly knee-deep in a kick ass modern slasher, with brutal kills and some of the best character reactions to their predicament I’ve seen in a slasher flick in recent times.

WTF burn

Here’s hoping if there’s a sequel, it picks up right where this one left off, and by that I mean, right where the creative juices really started flowing.

BORNLESS ONES (2016)

bornless ones cover

In Bornless Ones, a young woman and her boyfriend move to a house in the woods so she can better focus on caring for her brother with cerebral palsy. They bring along a handful of friends to kick off their new peaceful existence…with a party.

bornless ones cast

Once again, we have a boyfriend that can’t get any from the main girl because she’s suffering from emotional distress.

bornless ones intro

That doesn’t stop one of the other couples from having some juicy-titted sex. There’s a party montage, a demon takes advantage of the sleeping brother and…

bornless ones brother

Let the Evil Dead games begin! Don’t expect an homage to Ash taking on Deadites as much as a sleek, contemporary production ridiculously in line with the 2013 remake.

bornless ones tongue

Bornless Ones seems like a re-imagining of the 2013 film for those of us who felt the remake took itself way too seriously and lacked any of the fun midnight movie spirit of the Bruce Campbell original.

bornless ones wall art

Gory (with no CGI) and devilish yet injected with some subtle dark humor, this remake…um…I mean…coincidentally similar film is what the 2013 Evil Dead could have been if not paralyzed by the fear of being a pale imitation of its original source material had it dared be even slightly humorous.

bornless ones guy demon

Not much time is wasted on character development because who cares? I just want to see these bitches get possessed with demon eyes, drooling mouths, and demonic voices, and tear into each other with a snarky line from hell.

bornless ones knife

And that’s exactly what Bornless Ones gives us. The lighting is dark, ominous, and atmospheric, the makeup is classic demon stuff, and the high-pitched voices of the possessed are so obnoxious and taunting you just know their demon heads need to roll.

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Digging through the 80s obscurities

Still chipping away at my ultimate goal to eventually blog about every movie in my personal collection, excluding major horror flicks – unless I find something new to say about them that hasn’t been said ad nauseam by every diehard fan that feels the observation hasn’t been validated until they say it. So I bring you four more flicks – 3 from one of those cheap boxed sets and one from my days as a video store clerk, since it just finally hit DVD.

NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1980)

night of the demon 1980 cover

I actually didn’t even bother to watch this one when I bought a 6-movie collection for a Debbie Harry horror flick. That was a mistake, because this Bigfoot flick blows away all the crappy found footage ones coming out these days (except Exists, the best Bigfoot movie ever).

This gritty monster flick leans more towards a late 1970s vibe, but don’t let the horrendous flute muzak after the opening monster POV kill scene deter you from sticking with it.

night of the demon 1980 windshield

A college professor discusses true cases of Bigfoot with his students, and even has a chick who lost her dad to Bigfoot come in to tell a story of an attack on a couple fucking in a van! WTF? It makes for one great kill scene, the guy’s got a great ass, and the body sliding down the windshield rules.

night of the demon 1980 truck ass

The group heads into the woods to find some crazy lady who supposedly knows a whole lot about Bigfoot, but the kills are all that really matter. It’s not long before we totally see our big hairy monster as he swings a dude in a sleeping bag in a brilliantly long scene complete with dizzying POV.

night of the demon 1980 sleeping bag

But even better than that is the biker who stops to take a piss in the bushes and learns that Bigfoot plays rough when he gives handjobs. FULL frontal dick in a 1980 movie! How did I miss this one back in the VHS days?

night of the demon 1980 handjob

night of the demon 1980 crotch bleed

Shit just goes more bizarr-o, with a Satanic cult thrown in and more tales of Bigfoot attacks around the campfire, including an amazing scene of Bigfoot making two Girl Scouts hack each other up with knives.

night of the demon 1980 girl scout

The final massacre in the crazy lady’s house is just the icing on the cake, with slow mo carnage as everyone is torn to bits. This scene goes on foreeeeever and I fricking love it.

night of the demon 1980 inside house

SHADOW PLAY (1986)

 shadow play cover

I felt my horror queen Dee Wallace slipping away from me back in the day when she made this “supernatural” romance co-starring Cloris Leachman as the mother of her deceased fiancé. What a relief that I’m Dangerous Tonight, Popcorn, and Alligator II, brought her back to us in the early 90s.

Dee plays a grieving playwright suffering writer’s block due to the anger she feels towards her fiancé for committing suicide.

shadow play dropped glass

Hoping for some sort of closure she accepts when Leachman invites her to stay at the family home…on a creepy isolated island…with a creepy lighthouse.

shadow play dee and cloris

Pretty soon, Dee is seeing transparent footage – I mean – the ghost of her fiancé in windows.

shadow play ghost

She starts to get romantically involved with his brother, played by Jan Brady’s husband from The Brady Brides on.

shadow play brother

Dee runs a theatre group. Dee gets hit on by a pretty boy from the group who looks so 80s gay (aka: so 80s).

shadow play pretty boy

Dee keeps seeing the ghost. Dee makes love to the brother. Dee fights with the brother. Dee gets angry at a photo of her fiancé numerous times. Someone keeps reframing it. Dee goes to a psychic medium.

shadow play psychic

Dee gets ample opportunity to demonstrate her amazing ability to have emotional meltdowns on demand.

shadow play crying

Dee looks so good with her long hair grown back to its The Howling length after having it short while playing a mom during the E.T./Cujo years.

The dark secret that has her fiancé trying to communicate with her finally comes out in a melodramatic climax up in the lighthouse. Is it horrific or shocking? No. But it has probably been recycled on Lifetime originals at least once yearly for the past two decades.

SISTER, SISTER (1987)

sister sister cover

This is the directorial debut of Bill Condon, who would go on to bring us Gods & Monsters, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Dreamgirls, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2.

sister sister house

It’s actually a pretty atmospheric gothic mystery with touches of horror…although I did pass it up back in the day when I worked in the video store.

sister sister cemetery

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a weird chick (her range is astounding) who runs a B&B with her older sister in Louisiana.

sister sister dream

Plagued by sexy scary dreams featuring a guy with a great ass looking kind of like he’s riding her dick instead of fucking her, she is constantly nagged by her sister to take her pills, but we’re not clued in as to what she takes them for (clearly she would be diagnosed with JJL Syndrome today). They also have some sort of knowledge about what became of a young man who went missing years before.

sister sister cruella

Their eccentric guests include a Cruella de Vil lady and Eric Stolz, who takes a shine to JJL. But her sister is determined to keep them apart. The big moment when the couple defies her cock-blocking is so ridiculously melodramatic it feels like it was filmed just to arrive at the perfect publicity still of Stolz and JJL.

sister sister still

Meanwhile, JJL spouts shit about ghosts, is spied on by someone through a hole in her bedroom ceiling, and begins to grow increasingly paranoid as tensions build between she and her sister.

sister sister peephole

Something awful happens to her dog and there’s one murder that’s right out of Friday the 13th.

sister sister arrow victim

But soon after, the killer comes out in the open and brags-brags-brags about the brilliant, dastardly plan…that resulted in a body count of ONE? Yawn.

sister sister 3way mirror

While my sudden hopes for slasher madness in the final act were quickly dashed, the flashbacks to what really transpired between the two sisters is vicious and adds an interesting twist.

sister sister bloody wall

However, it’s immediately negated by the silly inclusion of actual ghosts and a hilarious return to bad slasher tropes for the final frame, when Stolz leaps in for one of the most graceful, robotic, well-dressed cheap jump scares ever.

sister sister mirror jump

TRUTH OR DARE?: A CRITICAL MADNESS (1986)

 truth or dare cover

You knew the well had run dry in the video store horror section when you finally got around to renting Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness by Tim Ritter, director of Killing Spree.

Turns out when a killer commits murders, gets thrown in a mental institution, escapes, and repeats the cycle all over again multiple times within a single movie without a sequel in sight, you seriously start to feel like you’re going crazy.

truth or dare pencil in eye

As straightforward as that plot sounds, Truth or Dare? manages to present so many hallucinations, flashbacks, and time jumps that it loses any sense of cohesiveness.

truth or dare chainsaw

Some dude catches his wife fucking another guy. Everything busted but the nut…

truth or dare busted

He imagines a fucked up encounter with a prostitute (with amazing 80s hair) by a campfire. He gets tossed in a mental institution. He gets released. He commits murder.

truth or dare 80s hair

He’s locked away again. He does insane shit at the mental institution. He escapes. He has major explosive car chases with cops. He wears a mask.

truth or dare mask

He kills random people. But his ultimate goal is always to get the wife that cheated on him.

truth or dare aj mclean

Quirky, bloody, often comical, and featuring a young A.J. Mclean of the Backstreet Boys in a flashback as the young killer slicing his wrist with a razor, Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness is…it’s…a direct-to-video movie from the 80s that apparently was in high enough demand to get a DVD release now that the format is nearly 20 years old, following in the shadows of Blu-ray and Ultra HD, and probably going to go extinct soon. So you be the judge.

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Direct to DVD and Streaming: Bryan Brewer

Well, I found me a new horror cutie to keep an eye on after two films Bryan Brewer directed, wrote, and starred in hit Amazon Prime and ended up in my watchlist. Hi, Bryan!

bryan brewer

I liked what I saw (and the movies were fun, too), so I found another film in which Bryan was involved on FrightPix and watched that as well so I’d be up to date on his horror output. Let’s get into it.

INFECTION: THE INVASION BEGINS (2010)

infection invasion begins

Bryan Brewer wrote and stars in this one, which you could say is “in the tradition of Night of the Creeps and Slither.

infection the invasion begins comet

A small meteor crashes to earth in the woods near a small town, releasing little squirmy wormy spermy things longing to be swallowed. Open wide and get drunk on space sperm!

infection the invasion begins tongue guy

Once you do, you pretty much become a zombie that spits gummy sperm at others.

Brewer stars as the boy with the bad reputation who breezes back into town, much to the shock of his ex-girlfriend and the sheriff, played by Lochlyn Munro.

infection the invasion begins brewer and munroDamn! Been a while since your last cavity search. You’re tight.

I wasn’t surprised to see Munro in the film as the sheriff (he’s virtually made a career of playing sheriff/detective/deputy), but it was cool to see that he wasn’t just there for the sake of a cameo. He’s one of the major players. Taking over for him in the deputy role and bringing some comic charm is cutie Kent Faulcon of the show For Better or Worse.

infection the invasion begins deputy

I’m all about any film “in the tradition of Night of the Creeps and Slither.” Infection ticks off all the right boxes as an indie interpretation, begins strong with plenty of potential, and has a likable cast, but in the end, nothing makes it stand out from the crowd. Hokey melodrama between the characters fills the time like something from a SyFy original, and there’s lots and lots and lots of dialogue as the characters move from one location to another, but they have very little interaction with any of the infected victims! Where are all the wannabe actors looking for roles as extras in a zombie movie when you need them?

infection the invasion begins tongue girl

Infected makeup is virtually non-existent, there’s no gore, and little in the way of horror effects, perhaps due to budget constraints. The movie also doesn’t commit to being either fully horror (scares and suspense are on the light side) or horror comedy (there are hints of humor, with the science geek being the highlight but having a small role), so the overall tone is often on shaky ground.

infection the invsaion begins science geek

And with a very repetitive narrative and dialogue-heavy plot, there are no major standout moments, making this a mostly flat viewing experience.

infection the invasion begins mother

The shining moment for me was the woman playing Brewer’s infected mother. She’s creepy as hell! We needed more of that. Much more.

infection the invasion begins worms

And I can’t forget these little guys, which don’t quite get the campy treatment they so deserve.
 infection the invasion begins torso

I mean, come on. When you’re the writer and you have nipples like this, exploit those babies with a scene in which two little spermy space suckers are hanging off your teats.

THE WAKE (2017)

wake cover

Bryan co-wrote and co-directed The Wake, and it’s a hoot.

wake chainsThe killer has Bryan just where I want him…

Basically a warped take on the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” premise, it sees a group of friends attend the wake of a child at a house in the middle of nowhere.

wake cast

They only know the child because…well…they killed the kid when they hit him with their car!

wake basketball

Things feel kind of awkward when the friends realize they’ve apparently arrived early and are alone with the grieving mother. But before they can get too uncomfortable, terror takes over. There’s a killer outside with a knife.

wake other guy

Let the classic slasher scenario commence. No lights. No way out. Everyone splitting up. People being killed off one by one.

wake victim

The killer taunts them, playing a game of cat and mouse.

wake mask

And to top it all off, Bryan and adorable scream king to watch out for Michael Aaron Milligan (Don’t Kill It, SIREN, V/H/S Viral, Dance of the Dead, Shark Lake) make a great horror team, delivering the perfect dose of humor to blend with the horror atmosphere.

wake bros

As much fun as it is, just when you think this is simply another predictable home invasion flick with a sleek, late 90s slasher throwback vibe, we get a whole different kind of horror monkey wrench thrown into the mix.

wake dungeon

The unexpected final act not only ups the humor, it also left me crestfallen once I discovered the film isn’t on DVD yet.

THE RAKING (2017)

raking cover

This is the second time in a couple of blogs that I can say a movie reminded me of the days of cheesetastic creature features like Rawhead Rex and Pumpkinhead (Eyes of the Woods was the other). Bryan Brewer co-writes this one, but takes on full directing responsibility.

With the opening scene (which gave me The Beast Within flashbacks), Brewer shows us how a good creature feature scene should be done – totally awesome suspense and scares when a couple’s car gets stuck on a desolate road at night.

raking intro scene

Next, Brewer shows us how a good sex scene should be done – you include a shirtless Bryan Brewer.

raking brewer noshirt

After the sex scene, Brewer’s girlfriend hands him a gift, and he says, “But my birthday’s not until tomorrow.” Whenever someone has that response in a movie, I think, who SAYS that? When my hubby gives me an early gift, my response is always, “Yay! Early gift! But bitch, you better be giving me another gift tomorrow because that’s my official birthday.” You probably think I’m just trying to be cute for the sake of my blog, and I think it’s cute that you think that. My hubby, on the other hand, doesn’t think it cute that any of this is going on public record.

So a group of college classmates is doing a project on urban legends, and they pick one that requires them to go to…the woods! Wahoo!

raking cast

After the usual encounter with a strange dude who warns them away from the place they’re headed, little time is wasted in getting to the good stuff.

raking campfire

The campfire is lit, the stories start, and then the monster strikes!

raking monster red

The Raking features a ghoulish, demonic creature that makes a hideous sound.

raking shooter

Luckily, the strange dude from earlier comes back on the scene to help the kids stay alive as long as possible as they spend the night running, screaming, splitting up, and being split to pieces in the woods. Oh what fun it is.

raking attackThere’s a bit of a lull in the middle of the film when the group takes cover in the strange dude’s place and he gives them backstory on the monster.

raking hunter

But once the action picks back up, it’s creature feature thrills straight to the end.

raking hand outside car

There are plenty of painful looking kills, loads of screaming, and an old school CGI-free monster that even dares to come out of the dark and into the light. And I have to say, the final frame gave me a chuckle in an 80s horror final scare kind of way. My horror collection will definitely be seeing an influx of Bryan Brewer films.

raking has the girlfriend

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The queen that hated scream queens made them too scared to scream

too scared to scream cover

Ah, the 80s. The decade when even respected veteran actors like Mike “Mannix” Connors got in on the slasher craze. But Connors wasn’t going to get chased around on Halloween or hacked up by a guy in a hockey mask. He did it on his own terms, by producing the 1985 “mystery” Too Scared To Scream himself…and simply copycatting Hitchcock’s Psycho concept while completely exploiting every gay stereotype possible.

Before I start completely spoiling the entire film discussing the gay elements, let me first look at it from an 80s slasher perspective. Female tenants of an upscale apartment building begin turning up dead, so Connors is on the case with the help of his partner, played by pre-Fatal Attraction Anne Archer.

too scared to scream washing machine

While Too Scared To Scream has all the elements of sleazy New York City horror of the early to mid-80s – female nudity, prostitution, porn strips, hot tubs – it generally feels like a cheesy 80s cop show. It simply doesn’t look gritty enough. There’s no gore – nothing graphic during kill scenes (a raised hand with a knife is the extent of it), and the most blood we see is on victims during body reveals.

too scared to sceram elevator drop

There are loads of those, including one on Halloween! The holiday isn’t specifically mentioned, but trick or treaters and costumes are cleverly integrated into a scene right before the best body drop of all.

too scared to scream trick or treaters

This isn’t a masked killer slasher, so it’s mostly shots of weapon in hand or approaching feet. Some kills don’t even happen on screen; they’re either implied or revealed when the body pops up. However, the few kills we do see feature by-the-book 80s slasher suspense, and the climactic chase scene with Archer as the “final girl” is the horror highlight of the film.

Now to delve into the gay insanity. Be warned, it’s all coming out of the closet.

too scared to sceram makeup

It’s pretty obvious it’s going to be the gay blame game from the very start. During the opening credits, veteran actor Ian McShane is getting all dolled up in makeup as he stares in a mirror with that “I’m so fierce I’ll stab a bitch” look. You know the one I’m talking about.

Turns out Ian is the odd yet adored night doorman at the apartment building. Hell, women who live there even call him up to see if he’s free to come turn the knob on their doors. He lives with his mother, who is confined to a wheelchair and can’t move or speak, the result of a tragic car accident. He also becomes the prime suspect because all the murders happen on his watch. When Connors comes to question him, his mother is all wide-eyed and seems like she wants to scream something out to Connors. Something like, “My son is a huge makeup wearing cocksucker!”

too scared to scream mother and son

Meanwhile, the first victim was a prostitute, so Connors tracks down the client who dropped her off the night she was murdered. He finds the guy naked, tied up and gagged, with cigarette burns all over his ass.

too scared to scream cig burns

After screaming bloody murder upon being freed (men are not too scared to scream), the guy lays on the couch with his ass up in the air as Connors interrogates him and applies a wet cloth. The guy says his chauffeur assaulted him because he’s jealous and to go get the fucker. Connors thanks him by slapping him on his scorched ass. After all, violent sexual assault against a male is funny and worthy of a good playful slap on the ass.

too scared to scream butt spank

A co-worker at the office pulls up a file on the chauffeur that shows he has a record: male prostitution, two attempts of rape, child molestation (the writers must have heard it on the street that they all go hand-in-hand). Connors again jokes about what the chauffeur did to the poor guy’s ass by looking at his cigarette and commenting that it makes him want to give them up. Later on, his co-worker, who sleeps on a cot in a secret room during a stakeout, curls up on it to take a nap facing a wall, realizes his ass is sticking out and vulnerable to attack, and flips over. The power of gay panic.

too scared to scream cot

Meanwhile, the chauffeur is later caught…in the porn district of the city…and arrested. When Connors confronts him about the ass burns, he makes some snarky comment about it making Connors wet in the pants…because sexual deviants have absolutely no fears of repercussions and still think only of sex and perversion when they’ve been caught and are face to face with authority figures?

Now to our doorman with his blank stares, aloof behavior around women, and rather cold treatment of his mother. Anne Archer goes undercover as a new tenant in the building and tries to strike up a friendship with him. He’s very touchy when questioned about why he’s single and doesn’t have a woman in his life. He doesn’t take kindly to that question at all.

too scared to sceram jazzercise

Is it any surprise Anne becomes a target when she’s in her apartment alone, jazzercising? What’s more surprising is that someone agreed to give Anne a role in Fatal Attraction after she committed this solo jazzercise scene to celluloid. Oh how I pray this never gets removed from YouTube…

 

This kicks off the final chase, which is deliciously long…and suddenly has Archer acting not like a fricking trained detective with a gun, but like an actual terrified, screaming and crying final girl who can only be saved when Connors eventually comes in with his powerful manhood pointed straight out in front of him and blows the guy away. WTF?

AND NOW…THE BIG GAY TWIST! See, there was this other doorman. The day doorman. He had minor interaction with the night doorman while changing shifts, but the weirdo night doorman seemed uninterested in chatting with him. Yet they seem to have a past, because he laments the fact that the night doorman no longer goes to the theatre. Uh-oh…

That’s right! The doorman by day and doorman by night were backdoor men together when off duty! At first we’re supposed to think perhaps the night doorman’s mother is actually the killer, for someone in a dress is rolling around in a wheelchair knocking the last few people off to get to Archer.

too scared to scream wheelchair

But when the killer finally chases Archer on foot and corners her, things get very Norman Bates. Archer is horrified when the killer whips off a wig to reveal she is…the big gay day doorman!

too scared to scream drag

And he reveals all. He and the night doorman were in a theatre group together several years before (hence the reason Ian McShane was seen putting on makeup during the opening credits), and they were in love. But the night doorman’s mother was against it and tried to keep them apart. She is not in a wheelchair due to a tragic accident. The night doorman crashed their car on purpose because he wanted to die when she forbid him to be with the man he loved: the classic suicidal gay boy.

And so now, the day doorman has tracked his former lover down and taken a job to be close to him, but is still being rejected. So he started killing all the women in the building because he hates them for stealing all his lover’s attention, just like the mother. This woman-hating gay finally just killed her, too, and then dressed up as her to bring her back to life. But not even a last ditch effort to conform to societal norms by becoming a woman for his man worked, so now the night doorman is upstairs dead, too.

What’s a girl to do about all these fucking psycho faggots?

Emasculate them even more! Archer knees him in the balls, of course. Connors pops in just in time to shoot him, catch Archer in his arms, and request a kiss, thereby restoring heteronormativity. The end.

too scare to scream kiss

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

STREAM QUEEN: stab orgy, men and mutants, demon creature in the woods

My latest streaming marathon was a complete smorgasbord, but there’s definitely a winner in the bunch for me.

ATROCITY (2014)

 atrocity cover

Ah…another “horror” movie about the pricks society is producing these days. And to make it even more obnoxious, it’s even shot from this generation’s perspective: video footage being pieced together as authorities conduct interviews about the terrible incident…

Some pretty boy decides to get his friends together to film it as they catch his girlfriend cheating.

Naturally, they have to loosen up by getting shit-faced. One of the very first lines of dialogue the man guy speaks directly to the camera is “Drunk fucking faggots!”

atrocity main guy

Mainstream Scriptwriting 101. They make some jokes about the token black guy, behave inappropriately with some girls, and get confrontational with another group of guys.

atrocity token dude

This 2014 shitfest practically predicts the country heading toward electing Trump for president.

After the boys arrive at the girlfriend’s house and the white trash party starts, the film cuts back to the interviews…lots and lots of yawn-inducing Q&A.

atrocity interview

Finally, we head back to Trumpland. The ex-girlfriend’s ex-convict stepdad comes on the scene and calls in backup to take care of the unwanted guests.

atrocity stepdad

Blades and finger knives are drawn, and it quickly turns blood red, white trash, and blue lives don’t matter right now. After the first round of dicing and slicing, the ex-girlfriend goes on an anti-gay tirade against the ex-boyfriend because he killed her stepdad and brother. Lord knows that after someone stabs your stepdad and brother to death, your natural reaction is to blame the gays. Her tirade goes something like this – actually, it goes exactly like this if you pluck out the minor interruptions:

“You disgusting faggot! So are you the girl or the boy?…Come on, gay boy. Your buddies want to know what you did with him in his bedroom…I’m going to make sure you spend the rest of your life in prison. It’s not so bad. You get to have lots of gay sex there…He fucking takes it up the ass from Jerry and kills little kids…You want at me, gay boy?…Dick sucker.”

Poor girl. I feel her grief. I ache for her. And I appreciate her recognizing that gays just kill little kids rather than equating us with pedophiles.

atrocity girlfriendRESTING ANTI-GAY FOR NO REASON FACE

Was she supposed to be revealing some kind of truth about the ex-boyfriend actually having had some kind of gay sex with his buddy? Or was she just delivering the kind of dialogue that would emasculate him enough to kick off the second round of knife fucking?

atrocity fight

After sitting through an entire found footage film just to watch a bunch of kids stab each other to death in a room, I didn’t care.

WHERE THE JOURNEY ENDS (2015)

where the journey ends cover

Where the Journey Ends is a post-apocalyptic indie grindhouse flick that is pretty damn epic in scope for such a small budget feature and does a good job of pulling off what it intends. If I have one gripe about it, it’s the usual…too long. I’d vote for 102 minutes to be shaved down to about 85 minutes. The first thing I would scrap are black and white clips sprinkled throughout of a Jon Landis clone giving lessons on post-apocalyptic life.

where the journey ends black and white

The film is rather segmented. It begins focusing on one young man (he’s a cutie) surviving on his own, fending off any weirdos he encounters in the desolate wasteland (one in a hockey mask also thinks he’s really cute…), and haunted by dreams of past and the love he lost.

where the journey ends main kid

He joins a group of well-armed survivors (they have guns, too), and the movie kicks into gear as an action/horror flick with the introduction of the “mutants.”

where the journey ends good guys

They’re essentially zombies, except they’re not because Jon Landis clone specifically notes that they’re worse than zombies.

where the journey ends mutant

There’s a good old school zombie horror flick feel here (even though they’re mutants), and while the grindhouse look is quite genuine, the “missing reel” novelty moment has worked effectively once (Grindhouse: Planet Terror), so any use since simply comes across as unoriginal. Not to mention, if you’re going to have a missing reel moment, take advantage of it and cut your 102-minute movie down to 85 minutes.

where the journey ends bites

The final act has the group abducted by psychos led by a masked creep with a demonic voice. He looks just like a video game villain/boss because, well, he kind of is.

where the journey ends king

They’re a sadistic bunch—often sexually.

where the journey ends hatchetstrap
This is still going to hurt you a lot more than it’s going to hurt me.

The group is loaded with freaks that bring on warped grindhouse situations…and a couple of hunks.

where the journey ends muscle guy

A whole lot of mortal combat comes into play, as does mortal/mutant combat. Where The Journey Ends is definitely heavier on action than horror or storyline, but it’s entertaining nevertheless.

EYES OF THE WOODS (2009)

eyes of the woods cover

There’s a reason I ignore all the shitty reviews of movies on streaming sites. It ensures that I don’t skip movies like Eyes of the Woods. Are there elements of indie horror weakness? Sure. But it’s so easy for me to overlook because the creature fricking rules, the gore rocks, the stylization – whether intentional or based on budget constraints – is wicked cool, and the film overall reminds me of 1980s creature features like Pumpkinhead and Rawhead Rex.

The intro “scene” could be a short film on its own. It’s colonial times, and while doing a blood ritual to save his dying daughter, a furry dude proves that horror movies intentionally make Satanism seem sexy.

eyes of the woods father

Unfortunately, there were no warning labels back then, so daddy didn’t know that he would suffer the side effects of his daughter’s treatment. He turns into a monster and butchers the whole town. Hey, at least he prevented senseless murder of innocents in inevitable witch trials.

eyes of the woods monster red

Cut to modern times, and a group of friends on a road trip ends up in the woods with a crapped out van, no phone service, a campfire, and talk about the legend of the creature.

eyes of the woods campfire

See, kiddies? This is why you should always carry marshmallows with you.

The group gets lost and makes some creepy discoveries, complete with a Blair Witch comment from this guy, who’s both adorable and funny.

eyes of the woods bone

Then Eyes of the Woods kicks into monster chaos! To add to the confusion, plenty of other people are thrown into the mix to up the body count, so I’m not complaining. But I am complaining that this guy isn’t a main character, because he’s a cutie. And I’m not saying that just because he can do that thing with his tongue.

eyes of the woods tongue

Were treated to humor, bloody kills, monster POV, and old school dark scenes that make it hard to see what the hell is going on.

eyes of the woods monster

There are also oddball moments, such as a colonial ghost girl…

eyes of the woods ghost girl

…and characters finding a collage of victim photos pinned to a tree.

eyes of the woods collage

This creature is just like all the other classic horror movie serial killers.

eyes of the woods victim discovery

The main girl’s fight with the creature is a blast and freaky good since it takes place in his lair.

eyes of the woods lair

However, our main girl kind of negates all her kick ass cred when she doesn’t sense something is still not quite right…

eyes of the woods final frame

But hey…there’s nothing like a cheesy old school final frame. Yeah, this one is definitely getting added to my DVD collection.

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: girls gone batty

Are the main girls in these four horror films just seeing things…and real or imagined, are those things actually scary?

ABANDONED DEAD (2015)

abandoned dead cover

So there’s this awesome movie I covered a while ago called Last Shift, about a lone cop terrorized by otherworldly beings in a police station the night it’s closing. Good stuff.

So…Abandoned Dead is basically the same movie with an alternate ending. This time, the main girl is a security guard. On Memorial Day weekend, her boss is in a pinch and convinces her to work the night at a psychiatric clinic.

She immediately starts getting spooked because she’s alone. Maybe she should have chosen a different career. She does a lot of walking around with a flashlight in dark rooms and calling out “Who’s there?” She makes a gross discovery explained away by a creepy caretaker – who is pretty much forgotten for the rest of the film. He may as well have been listed in the cast credits as “the cheap jump scare.”

abandoned dead goreface

The main girl then starts having run-ins with zombie-like people and dead bodies, which is my kind of party.

abandoned dead crawl

There are mysterious flashbacks giving us some insight into the main girl’s backstory. And there’s a distracting side plot of some male doctor thinking aloud in his mind as he goes over a case. His presence and his scenes feel “cheaper” than the main story, which really takes you out of it. A LOT. Otherwise, there are some fairly chilling and suspenseful scenes with the main girl.

abandoned dead eyes

In the end, the twist (which you eventually see coming) makes this film differ from Last Shift. And we also get a cameo from Night of the Living Dead star Judith O’Dea.

abandoned dead judith

NECESSARY EVIL (2008)

necessary evil cover

Lance Henriksen and Danny Trejo bring horror cred to a movie that entertains simply because it’s such a convoluted mess.

necesssary evil henriksen

Necessary Evil feels like it could be an elongated episode of Freddy’s Nightmares – one of the ones that didn’t revolve around Freddy.

necessary evil milit#25B888

Danny Trejo and a team of military baddies head into an underground cave with no idea why…I think? They unleash a demon from a tomb and it possesses one of the guys. Lance Henriksen is a mad doctor that abstracts the demon from the guy, so I guess he tricked their asses?

necesssary evil demon door

Whatever. Now Henriksen goes around terrorizing individuals in a nice suburban town and injecting them with demon juice.

necessary evil father

And he seems to have a supernatural power himself – he gets to walk around with a cool fog machine swirling around him.

necessary evil smoke#25B8E0

A cop and a reporter join forces to investigate when a young teen becomes one of his victims.

necessary evil teen

The reporter eventually becomes Henriksen’s target and spends the second part of the movie being chased by the demons of her past in a hypnotic state/alternative dimension/our bland old regular dimension? I’m not quite sure.

necessary evil demon hand

And the poor cop gets dragged into the whole mess—his confrontation with the actual demon kicks ass.

GRINDSTONE ROAD (2008)

grindstone road cover

It’s like an alternative universe when wicked witch Fairuza Balk plays the emotionally broken woman in what feels like a made-for-TV haunted house movie from the 1970s.

grindstone road couple

I really struggle to see Balk as anything but a psycho bitch from hell who can kill all the sharks in the ocean with her mind and shit, so I don’t find it all that scary when she gets spooked by dripping water in the basement of her new house.

grindstone road dripping water

Anyway, she and her hubby move into their new home hoping to get past the fact that their son is in a coma. Weird shit starts to happen (even weirder than the dripping water), and hubby thinks Balk is having post-traumatic responses to the accident that left their son comatose.

What would a 1970s made-for-TV haunted house movie clone be without nosy neighbors who know more than they’re telling about the history of the house? The nice old couple here tries to warn Balk of the dangers of living in the house…and the house warns them to stay the fuck out of it.

grindstone road neighbor

Balk begins to uncover a history of tragedy in the house. Ah the nostalgia. All that’s missing is the microfiche. And then come the people only Balk can see. Raise your hand if you remember how husbands used to treat wives who experienced supernatural shit in their new homes in 1970s made-for-TV movies.

grindstone road gun

I guess you could consider this a little throwback if you miss that kind of film. If you weren’t around back then and missed Balk in her ultimate roll in The Craft in the 90s so have some sort of objective perspective on her, maybe this film will give you a few goose bumps?

THE SNARE (2017)

snare cover

A third wheel joins a hot guy and his girlfriend…for a weekend getaway on the top floor of an empty high-rise apartment building? You know it’s time to start taking ADHD meds when a good number of sentences in your movie blog end with question marks.

snare hot bo 2

The third wheel begins to get weird vibes about the place…and from the boyfriend. Personally, I was liking the vibes he was giving off.

snare hot bo with main girl

Soon, she begins having horrific hallucinations and is all ready to cut the vacation short when…the threesome gets trapped in the building with no way out.

snare bloody body

The horrors intensify in the apartment as the threesome struggles to survive on minimal food. Tensions escalate between them, and our main third wheel begins to dabble in the occult hoping to contact the presence she believes is keeping them captive in the building.

snare occult

It’s the final act when shit gets FUCKED UP…because the friends begin to turn on each other.

snare get boyfriend

There’s gore, there’s insanity, there are other unspeakable acts that force our main third wheel to really step out of her comfort zone.

snare boyfriend attack

Although I’m not a huge fan of The Snare, the final act definitely saves it for me because it gets so down and dirty.

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