STREAM QUEEN: Scream and Stream Again

It’s 4 times the fun—times however many tales were in this collection of 4 films combined (I don’t feel like counting). So are these flick worth the bandwidth?

MONSTERLAND (2016)

Considering Monsterland is nearly two hours long, you’re bound to find at least a few stories that tickle your fancy. Again considering the two hours, it really should be more than a few tickles.

The wraparound sets up the perfect popcorn movie tone—literally—as a dude barges into a theatre that looks like it has been hit by a bomb, grabs a bucket of popcorn, then sits down to enjoy the show…

1st story – We get man butt and girl boobs as a group of friends jumps in a lake at night.

The story is super short, so it gets right to the blood flow as they’re dragged under water by a monster…that we never see.

2nd story – This quirky story feels kind of unfinished. A dude suffers a terrible head injury and the side effect is a cartoonish parasitic worm that talks to him.

3rd story – Another quirky, cartoonish, dark humor story, this one is completely without dialogue. A young boy using a chemistry set accidentally creates a radioactive rat that races around his house causing campy, slapstick, gory chaos.

To give you an idea of what you’re in for, my hubby, who was in the room while I was watching but staring down at his iPad the whole time, at one point said out loud, “It’s so gushy!”

4th story – One of my favorites because it’s truly creepy along with the camp, this one has a man suffering from sleep paralysis…and seeing a gnarly witch hovering over him when he does. Sleep paralysis continues to be all the rage in horror.

5th story – This quickie is an animated man vs. monster clip that looks like an old 2D side scroller video game.

6th story – Nothing ever turns out good when a dentist is forced to pull teeth at gunpoint in the middle of the night. This is fast horror fun.

7th story – This is annoying, futuristic stop motion space monster claymation with trippy music and video games sounds from 1982.

8th story – A clever and thought-provoking premise about gender roles and stay at home dads moves into killer baby territory!

9th story – It’s colorful and cartoonish beach day fun and CGI monster madness when giant jellyfish attack. This is like a really cool music video riffing off old sci-fi monster movies…minus the music. 

With the movie being sooooo long, I was surprised to find that the wraparound conclusion was sooooo short. It was too underdeveloped and disconnected from the rest of the movie for my tastes.

SIN (Self-Induced Nightmares) (2016)

This low budget quickie (about 70 minutes) is a series of cautionary tales about sex and dating. In the wraparound, a guy meets a writer at a bar and asks her to tell him about some of the stories she’s working on…

1st story – Sort of a dark romance about a date gone horribly wrong when a ring falls down the sink drain.

2nd story – I just love the tone and vibe of this one—very 1970s gothic gory macabre weird. There’s a cabin, lesbianism, murder, and blood.

3rd story – A killer Teddy bear! It’s campy, it’s gory, I’m good.

4th story – Concerning a bitch who sexually and psychologically abuses her wheelchair-bound boyfriend, this is perverse, offensive, nasty sexploitation with loads of wiener (not always pretty wiener…and maybe this pic will stop you fuckers who put ketchup on your hot dogs once and for all).

Don’t expect me to do anything but add points to a flick that dares to go this route. Some people like horror that makes you think. I like horror that makes you drink…

5th story – It’s called a bonus story. Cereal killer!

Overall, as someone who grew up on direct-to-video horror, I think SIN delivers a good balance of different types of stories that use practical effects, get right to the point, and stick to the theme, all things many indie anthologies fail to do these days.

MIDNIGHT MACABRE (2017)

This is one of those low budget films that looks like it was shot in the homes of cast and crew, and my mind would have needed prescription glasses to properly focus on 2 out of them. It runs only 73 minutes long, and rather than a wraparound, we have a horror hostess introducing each tale. Hell, even she doesn’t get a macabre setting; she’s standing in front of someone’s busted window blinds.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown of tales:

1st story – 3 girls sit on a couch drinking and talking about an occult game once played by another group of 3 girls sitting on a couch drinking.

So we flash to those girls.

No really, it’s a different set of girls. They get naked, show off tits and twat, and invite over two dirty old pervs, who turn out to be the highlight of this segment. Their interactions with the girls are pretty funny. They might not turn on the girls, but they definitely have the dog sprung.

I wish we got more of them, but as soon as the group decides to play the occult game, it cuts back to the original group of girls! They play the game and experience a bunch of confusing demon stuff with cheesy CGI effects.

2nd story – This one is the easiest to comprehend, probably because it’s the shortest and gets right to the point.

Two notably bearish ghost hunters enter a house and experience a bunch of low budget haunting clichés thanks to effects kids seem to be able to pull off on YouTube videos these days.

So, yeah, this is my favorite of the three.

3rd story – Seriously, I watched this one TWICE in a row in an attempt at successfully comprehending it.

There’s a girl, there’s her brother, there’s a psychic medium, and I think people are getting taken to some hellish otherworld. Not that we ever actually see it.

DEADTIME TALES 2: THE NEXT CHAPTER (2018)

The 2 hour and 30 minute running time may seem ridiculous for this film, but that’s because just like the first Deadtime Tales, this is actually Full Moon editing several full-length films down into short films then compiling them together as an anthology. So here’s what you get this time around:

1st story – This is an edit of the movie Cryptz, which I blog about here.

2nd story – This is an edit of the film Horrorvision. Horror queen Brinke Stevens makes an appearance as a photographer in one of the film’s best, cheesetastic scenes.

She discovers the Horrorvision site and then gets sucked into the computer by her Ethernet cables.

The story ends up focusing on a handsome duo that encounter various creatures and demons in cyber hell.

This could easily get some heavy rotation on SyFy.

3rd story – An edit of Reel Evil, this is essentially a knockoff of the found footage movie Grave Encounters, with a bunch of kids filming in an old insane asylum.

There’s lots of green-tinted footage, apparitions flickering across the screen, flashes of macabre scenes, and some sex. 

The group eventually runs around screaming while being chased by zombie doctors.

4 – Listed on imdb as Ghost Month, I found this one on Amazon Prime as The Offerings. It’s about a young white woman who goes to work as a housekeeper for a Chinese family, and soon begins to notice they dabble in some mysterious rituals.

This edited version takes a confusing leap right into the center of the film with no buildup, but it does condense it into a nonstop onslaught of Asian horror scares.

While I’m all for the idea of editing down movies that need it and putting a few together as anthologies, seeing this final story in both long and short form, it does make me question which films they choose to shorten…and if they’re making the right editing choices when they do.

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Sometimes things get gay when there’s horror at The Hotel Barclay

The Hotel Barclay is a short series on Amazon Prime, with 2 seasons so far that top off at 13 episodes total (perfect). Each episode runs about 10 minutes long and focuses on various situations of debauchery (sex, drugs, violence, etc.) that lead to supernatural or macabre outcomes in a room at the hotel.

And within each season there are two episodes dealing with gay characters and situations, which scores it a spot on my homo hell-evision page! Here’s a quick glimpse at the gay episodes.

SEASON 1

“The Duo”

Two guys run a gay erotic fight club, charging gay guys money to fight for sexual arousal.

Calling a guy faggot enough while wrestling him shirtless does the trick every time…

But eventually, this particular form of “hate the gay for pay”…

really starts to mess with their minds.

“The Boys”

Boys with beers will be boys…

who dig boys…

Little do they know, there are ghosts watching…

and judging…

Personally, if I were a ghost judge, I’d give them tens across the board…

SEASON 2

“The River Lethe”

After a young man break-ups with his girlfriend, his best buddy comes to see him.

Soon, the truth of their bond comes out when the dark details of the break-up are revealed.

“The Star-Crossed Lovers”

A young lesbian couple has a male friend donate his sperm so they can get pregnant. Of course, it totally does not work like this…

The only way not to waste that seed is to drink it. But, when there are crotchety old religious extremist ghosts involved, everything about the situation is so offensive there’s bound to be hell to pay…

Learn more about the series on the official site, and watch all 13 episodes on Amazon Prime.

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We have rooms…come stay for the knife…

When you check in At Granny’s House or the Hotel Inferno, are you in for a snorefest or a gorefest? Let’s take a look.

HOTEL INFERNO (2013)

hotel inferno cover

Giulio De Santi of Adam Chaplin and Taeter City fame takes his nonstop gore to the first person realm with what quickly becomes a repetitive visual experience that I’d personally have more fun with if it were an actual FPS video game.

hotel inferno leather dude

Although Hardcore Henry isn’t a horror movie, once you’ve seen that film, you’re pretty much ruined for any other valiant efforts at an FPS action splatterfest, which could explain why this one didn’t blow me away—although, it sure did blow away a load of heads.

hotel inferno splatter

There’s very little in the way of story here. A guy is sent to a hotel, hired to assassinate a couple in the room next to his with very specific instructions involving dissection. That makes for some kickass icky stuff to start off the horror.

hotel inferno dissect

It also launches the movie into classic De Santi freaks and mutilation madness, which pretty much never lets up except for the occasional phone call interruption from the boss man to carry the “story” through.

hotel inferno tub man

It’s as over the top and often cartoonish in its graphic depictions as the other De Santi films, so you’re either into this kind of fun or not.

hotel inferno woods creature

Good news if you are is that there are apparently a load of sequels on the way.

AT GRANNY’S HOUSE (2015)

at grannys house cover

If you love movies about kids that come to visit granny, only to discover she’s a little “off” and something weird is going on in her creepy house…this isn’t one of those movies.

at grannys house toy

It’s a bizarre little film about an older lady who doesn’t want a caretaker but has one forced upon her. Pretty soon, the sweet young woman wins her over then convinces her to put an ad online to rent out one of her rooms to strangers.

at grannys house selfie

And that’s when the sweet caretaker shows a whole different side of herself.

at grannys house needle

This isn’t really a slasher because the kills are few an they’re more like druggings. Plus, the plot thickens with granny and another dude getting involved in the caretaker’s shenanigans, so it’s more like a thriller.

at grannys house shirtless dude

Even horror king Bill Oberst Jr. makes an appearance as an investigator looking for a missing woman. At first I was kind of bummed that he wasn’t playing the kind of psycho he’s so good at, but within seconds I was like, “Damn, he pulls off the good guy bit without a hitch, too.”

He does it so flawlessly that I wanted to kill him myself while screaming, “Do you not see that these crazy bitches are going to swallow your soul for asking questions, you dumb shit???”

at grannys house oberst

As the film winds down, it just…winds down. It is oddly anti-climactic. Not to mention, I kind of didn’t get the ending.

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How about a little off-season witching season?

When a Halloween-themed anthology series with only 5 episodes running mostly under 15 minutes each hits Prime, naturally I’m going to check it out. And now I’m wishing there were more episodes of The Witching Season.

Not skimping on production value, this limited series of shorts is clearly intended to delight those who grew up on Tales From The Darkside in the 1980s.

The title sequence and theme song perfectly capture that spirit, along with the Halloween spirit to get you in the mood, and each episode is virtually an homage to 1980s horror tale tropes.

Here’s a brief synopsis of each episode:

EPISODE 1

This is how you start off a Halloween anthology. A woman being chased on Halloween night hides in a house aglow with decorations and Night of the Living Dead playing on the TV. Then a guy in a mask enters…

EPISODE 2

A mom and daughter move into a new home, the daughter finds a box of stuffed toys in the basement, becomes attached to one, and you can guess the rest. The Halloween spirit in this episode is limited to a few decorations around the house and a clip of a holiday cooking show on their TV that seems to inspire the evil to come. It sure inspires me to take any shiv Chef Tony and his assistant thrust at me…

EPISODE 3

There’s a nice nod to the second episode at the beginning of this one via mention on the radio. This is a quickie and a fun one about a guy who gets spooked by a radio show’s discussion of alien invasions.

EPISODE 4

This 31-minute episode is the only long one in the bunch. It’s about a man trying to write a horror story on Halloween night by going through a series of horror movie clichés and having his main character experience each of them—masked killer, killer clown, killer scarecrow…

5th EPISODE

The finale is another quickie that closes with as much holiday spirit as the series opener. A girl sitting in her room on Halloween night while her mom gets all into the holiday downstairs is terrified by the sound of someone…or something…entering the house…

It would be great if this series would come back with more episodes, but considering it was originally created in 2015, I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

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Variety is the spice of these 4 slashers, but is that enough?

Each of these four films I’ve watched recently brings a little something different to the table…but none of it is something that hasn’t been served up before. So which ones are worth going back for second helpings? 

A BRUSH WITH DEATH (2007)

brush with death cover

The title alone is as off the mark as everything that happens in this backwoods movie that you can’t help but keep watching in hopes that it will finally make some sense. It never really does.

A bunch of babes heads to a mansion for a weekend getaway. The horror starts as soon as their car breaks down. A pervy old dude and his hot, slow, stuttering sidekick stop to help them, and we get total spoiler flashbacks of the pair doing awful stuff to another couple!

brush with death slow guy

The girls get to their destination and have a pool party. A cute guy next door stops by and joins the fun.

brush with death neighbor boy

He tells them an urban legend of a murderous child that lived on the premises—and he fantasizes about killing one of the girls! Is he bad, too?

brush with death creepy house

It’s just part of the convoluted mess this film is as the girls constantly split up and walk into what seems to be inevitable danger that turns out to be nothing despite all the killer POV. Meanwhile, we are distracted by confusing footage of the little boy urban legend that fails to make anything any clearer.

brush with death children flashback

In the end, while it’s nice to get a corpse dinner party, the “twist” introduces us to an entirely new character as the killer!

brush with death corpse table

THE HOARDER (2015)

hoarder cover

A group of people gets trapped in a storage facility overnight and is hunted down by a viciously life form.

hoarder flame

No, it’s not Storage 24. But really, The Hoarder is actually different. Granted, it’s not much different than any movie about people trapped in an underground location and plucked off one by one by a creature in the shadows, but if you like these kinds of films, it gives you exactly what you’ve come here for (as long as you haven’t come for excessive gore or major terror), plus a bit of a twist at the end.

hoarder cast

Mischa Barton stars as a woman who drags her friend with her to break into her fiancé’s secret storage unit to read his diary to see if he’s having an affair.

It’s only a matter of minutes after they get there that the shit hits the fan. The formulaic characters on the scene provide the usual fights, backstabbing, and systematic thinning of the herd by a creepy man creature like the kind you’ve seen in dozens of other movies…

hoarder creature

…and no apparent reason for the movie to be called The Hoarder. That is until we learn of the twist, the only thing that makes this a little different that every other film just like it.

31 (2016)

31 cover

Rob Zombie’s 31 hasn’t quite made the impact on the horror genre as his previous films have, and I can see why.

In an age when there are loads of films about people trapped in a location with either a bunch of psychos or a bunch of killer clowns—Slasher House, Slashers, ClownTown, Circus Kane, etc.—31 is simply a combination of all of that done with Zombie’s self-indulgent style over substance or scares.

31 pentagram

It also means we get the usual Zombie white trash and 1970s classic rock soundtrack. Although this time it’s white and black trailer trash on wheels in an RV.

31 cast

There’s a load of familiar faces (many of them from previous Zombie films)—Malcolm McDowell, EG Daily, Meg Foster, Jane Carr, Tracey Walter, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ginger Lynn—as this skanky hillbilly bunch gets abducted when they come upon a creepy roadblock on Halloween night.

31 freak

They are set free in a building filled with a bunch of psycho misfits, and the goal is for them to stay alive for 12 hours.

31 chainsaws

Brace yourself for this shocking spoiler…Sheri Moon Zombie is the badass final girl.

31 sheri

I’ll just continue to pretend House of 1000 Corpses is Zombie’s only movie until he makes another one I like.

CUT SHOOT KILL (2017)

cut shoot kill cover

It’s the good old horror movie being shot in a horror movie premise…which led to me thinking over and over again that the really good shit was starting to happen only to find out it was just a scene being shot in the movie. This happened so much that at some point the death scenes became real and I didn’t realize it. Or maybe my attention was just focused elsewhere…

cut shoot kill crotch

The plot revolves around a woman who gets the lead role in a horror movie after her main competition on the audition circuit dies.

cut shoot kill cast arrives

It’s a horror film in the middle of nowhere. The sexy director uses unorthodox techniques to get performances from his actors, which creates some serious clashes with the main girl.

cut shoot kill director

Naturally, his pushing her as an actress is what she needs to tap into survival mode in the final act, when she discovers she really is the final girl.

cut shoot kill bed victim

Despite the film/reality lines getting really blurred, this one definitely breaks away from the usual masked killer plot when the twist hits.

cut shoot kill corpse

Plus, the really good faux kill scenes keep the horror vibe going, but the film could perhaps have been shaved of about 15 minutes to improve the pacing a bit, because it starts to feel repetitive as it goes from faux kill scene to talking scene over and over again.

 

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20 times there were twice as many gay guys in a single horror flick…

hazark jack POST promo photo

You know I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for even the slightest sign of gay fun in every horror movie I watch, which I then report to you right here on Boys, Bears & Scares. But putting aside specifically gay horror films and mainstream horror with a single gay character, gay surprises, gay twists, homoerotic moments, queer interpretations, gay humor, self-loathing gay psychos, etc., I’ve started to realize there have even been a good number of films that actually feature gay couples.

So, in no particular order—actually, alphabetically because I need organization—I present you with 20 of the most memorable gay couples I’ve encountered in horror. While most of these films appear on my complete die, gay guy, die! page of horror movies with gay content, a few of them have scored honorary positions on my complete homo horror movies page. Be warned…some of these gay couple reveals are spoilers.

axeman-2-gangleader

AXEMAN 2: OVERKILL (2017): The bad ass crime gang leader in this backwoods slasher sequel is genderqueer and has a boyfriend. I blog about the film here.

blacula

BLACULA (1972): Is it any surprise that one of the early gay couples in horror appeared in a blaxploitation flick…or that they were interracial…or that they are basically the reason Blacula is released in the first place?

bloodbath-at-the-house-of-death-gay-couple

BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH (1984): Does it get any better than a 1980s horror comedy starring Vincent Price that also features an interracial gay couple? My blog here.

bloody knuckles

BLOODY KNUCKLES (2014): A gay couple is the target of homophobia in this horror comedy. Good thing there’s a leather daddy out for vengeance. Check out pix of him in my blog.

buzzard-hollow-beef-hug

BUZZARD HOLLOW BEEF (2017): I was as confused about this couple as they seem to be. Check out my blog to find out why.

condemned-gays-5

CONDEMNED (2015): These muscle pigs are one of my favorite gay couples of horror. I know, shocking. More pix of them in my blog.

everyone-must-die-gay-bang

EVERYONE MUST DIE! (2012): Refreshing to see an unlikely gay couple—and to see them have sex. My blog about this horror comedy here.

frankensteins hungry dead couple

FRANKENSTEIN’S HUNGRY DEAD (2013): Leave it to gay horror director Richard Griffin to have a gay couple butt fuck in Dario Argento lighting. My blog here.

grey-skies-gay-kiss

GREY SKIES (2010): Gay couple, gay kiss, straight dude watching. My blog here.

hazard jack couple

HAZARD JACK (2014): Very genuine gay couple in this slasher, which I cover here.

heavy-mental-dads

HEAVY MENTAL (2009): Gay dads! My blog here.

killing-gene-lead-chained-2

THE KILLING GENE (2007): It all comes down to the interracial gay couple in this one, which I look at here.

livelihood-gay-couple

LIVELIHOOD (2005): This is one close gay couple. My blog here.

night before easter couple

THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER (2014): These love bunnies start the fun off in this holiday flick. I blog about it here.

nikos the impaler couple

NIKOS THE IMPALER (2003): A gay couple in a museum…with Felissa Rose! I blog about the film here.

presidents-day-zombie-almost-kiss

PRESIDENT’S DAY (2016): Gay love will never die…just like zombie presidents. I blog about this zombedy here.

silent-screams-ron-jeremy

SILENT SCREAMS (2015): Ron Jeremy goes gay! I blog about it here.

teenage-ghost-punk-gaycouple

TEENAGE GHOST PUNK (2014): Would you believe, another interracial gay couple? I blog about this lighthearted film here.

zombie-death-house-couple

ZOMBIE DEATH HOUSE (1988): Gay couples aren’t going to let prison stop them from creating the perfect home. My blog about this 80s gem here.

zombiesmassdestruction-gays

ZMD: ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION (2009): A gay couple as the heroes…once they get past their squeamishness. My blog here.

And there you have it. 20 notable gay couples of horror. What horror movies feature your favorite gay couples? Any out there that feature couples that aren’t all white or interracial? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Terror of the Blind Buy—were they as scary as I feared (or hoped)?

Blind buys are mostly a thing of my past…unless they come with some actual foresight. Perhaps the film is part of a franchise for which I have all the other installments, or is by one of my favorite directors, or stars a favorite actor, or just looks so unquestionably up my alley based on the trailer, cases that see my OCD dictating that I must own the film.

These days, a blind buy is sometimes a last ditch effort to see a film that has been on my radar for a while but simply never appeared on any streaming services or cable, so I’ll grab a used copy of the DVD cheap.

As for this trio of films, it’s a mixed bag of all those excuses.

LAKE NOWHERE (2014)

lake nowhere cover

It’s been hyped as an amazing homage to 80s slashers. So I waited…and waited…and waited, but never found an outlet to view this film. I finally ordered the Blu-ray. Two days after I received it, it showed up on Amazon Prime. Sigh. On the plus side, I probably would have bought it after watching it on Prime anyway because it’s pretty much as “Dan movie” as they get.

Hair-splitters may take issue with the fact that Lake Nowhere is a bit of a mashup homage to both late 70s grindhouse theater celluloid and early 80s VHS horror at the same time.

lake nowhere play screen

For instance, it opens with the classic VHS PLAY screen and a legal notice with tape warp…but then has a bunch of kickass faux horror trailers in the style you’d see before a movie in the theater.

lake nowhere pumpkin

There were rarely ever trailers on VHS tapes. Not to mention, the film is presented in widescreen format, and VHS tapes were trapped within the confines of a full screen television frame back then.

lake nowhere legal notice

The awesome horror soundtrack is quite 80s sounding, yet visually, the film looks like it comes from the 1970s, right down to the authentically cast actors. Even so, it all so flawlessly captures what it’s going for that it’s easy to overlook the slight anachronisms.

lake nowhere station wagon

Running only 50 minutes in total (including the trailers) Lake Nowhere has a bunch of kids arriving at a house in the woods in their station wagon. Naturally, Evil Dead comparisons are impossible to ignore from the visual style to part of the plot: a Deadite-esque situation after one character reads an epitaph on a tombstone in the woods at the same time as another dude goes skinny-dipping.

lake nowhere skinny dip

Thing is, there’s only time enough for one Deadite, what with the trailers, a partying montage that goes on far too long for a 50-minute movie, and…the masked maniac that seems to have been raised from the water by the reading of the epitaph. So these kids have twice the trouble.

lake nowhere killer eyes

lake nowhere killer pov

There’s single eye killer POV (despite the killer’s tree-like mask having two eye holes), tons of classic artificial red blood, tits, man ass, chase scenes, a flesh-hungry dead guy who just won’t stay dead… (this scene rules)

lake nowhere foot drag

What I’m saying is, both Deadite and slasher segments are a blast, but don’t expect anything here to come together or make sense in the brief time allotted.

lake nowhere killer at car

lake nowhere axe to head

In the end, the load of horror and lack of logic makes this even more of a genuine reproduction of the era it is mimicking.

CarousHELL (2016)

caroushell cover

As a big fan of Steve Rudzinski’s comedy slasher Everyone Must Die, which had a major gay segment in it, I just assumed there would be a rainbow colored bloodbath in his movie about a unicorn that detaches from a carousel and starts killing people.

caroushell park boy

Instead, there is virtually nothing openly gay about this film—just some sexually repressed flirtations.

caroushell guy ride

caroushell penis face

That might explain why CarousHell is disappointingly lacking in clever or campy humor, despite the silly plot. There are moments of wit, but most of the humor falls flat or just isn’t funny enough to sustain itself for the entire film.

When a carousel unicorn is abused by a kid at the amusement park, it gets a mind—and voice—of its own. It detaches from the carousel and sets out to hunt down the boy and get revenge.

caroushell dead clown

Conveniently, that hunt leads it to a house party loaded with horny teens.

caroushell party time

Essentially, this is the same film structure as Killer Piñata. Actors react to a completely inanimate horse object that appears on screen, and then get massacred in various bloody ways. Only, it was way more hilarious when Killer Piñata did it. That film just seemed to better tap into and exploit its absurdity for a good laugh.

caroushell gore face

However, the gore here is way more hardcore as it amps up throughout the film. And to ensure some serious notoriety, there’s a scene in which a girl totally gets freaky with the unicorn. Like…totally.

caroushell girl ride

Creator Steve Rudzinski also stars as a pizza boy, but not even his comic acting talents can elevate the humor, since he didn’t write enough funny material for himself this time around!

TERRIFIER (2017)

terrifier cover

Art the Clown of All Hallows’ Eve has finally arrived in his own movie (like he didn’t totally own All Hallows’ Eve), and director Damien Leone is back in action rather than handing his character over to another filmmaker.

Once again it’s Halloween, and two girls have an uncomfortable run-in with Art on the street before encountering him again at a pizza parlor.

terrifier pizza place

This first segment definitely has some Halloween spirit, but note that once the movie gets going, it’s pretty irrelevant that it’s the holiday. That’s because one of the girls having a pee emergency leads to them entering an old abandoned building, which is where the rest of the action takes place.

terrifier missing face

Art is as freaky as he was in the original anthology, and his kills are absolutely brutal, with fantastic practical effects. Plus there’s loads of perfect horror suspense, and the edge-of-your-seat chase scenes just keep coming as the night wears on. Overall, I think this is a great little horror film and slasher.

However, there’s a catch for me personally that caused a touch of disappointment. As I see it, Art the Clown as we were introduced to him in All Hallows’ Eve was a sort of evil entity that wasn’t actually of our realm of existence. He had a way of being everywhere—seeming to materialize through supernatural Halloween magic wherever he needed to be to terrorize, appearing in every story even when it wasn’t about him.

In Terrifier, creator Damien Leone kind of does what I call pulling a Rob Zombie – House of 1000 Corpses dragged us into an underground house of horrors that was an alternate reality of inexplicable occult insanity, then spit in the face of all that horror awesomeness by morphing it into a story about a dumb ass family of psycho hillbilly Trump voters in The Devil’s Rejects.

terrifier drag

Art the Clown retains his otherworldly mystique to some extent for quite a while, but he ends up being much more grounded in reality as Terrifier progresses. He really isn’t a supernatural “terrifier,” but merely a creepy psycho in a clown costume who goes around slaughtering people on Halloween. The first sign of this is when he has to inject people to knock them out so he can take them to his lair. I kind of overlooked that at first, since Art to me represents the boogeyman we all fear—the dirty old man in the dark alley who is going to kidnap us, bring us to some unimaginable hell hole where we’ll never be found, and do unthinkable things to us. He wants us to experience the horrors of humanity, the things adults (and scary movies) warned us could happen to us if we talked to strangers. So I was all in on the drug, drag to a dungeon, and dissect with sharp tools while smiling gleefully without saying a word scenario.

But then, pretty much smack dab in the middle, Art whips out a gun and starts shooting a bitch up! Ugh! What the fuck is with the Samuel L./Travolta posing?

terrifier gun

This is the kind of shit you might expect from a later film in a franchise after the original creator has sold off the rights and a bunch of Hollywood hacks make ridiculously uncharacteristic missteps in their portrayal of the iconic killer. I would never have expected it to go this way with the original creator at the helm, but there you have it. At a time when gun nuts are terrified they’re going to lose all their bad assery if they lose their guns, I have to tell you…guns are so not bad ass.

For me, seeing Art wield a gun is the equivalent of Michael Myers being like, “I’m done walking after this Laurie Strode bitch for 40 years,” whipping a pistol from his pocket, and shooting Jamie Lee Curtis in the back of the head as she runs away. Or Jason dropping into a hammock by the shore of Crystal Lake with a shotgun and just waiting for camp counselors to step out of their cabins so he can blow them away.

Art is just another pussy afraid of anyone not in white face when he’s shooting people up…it’s when he’s sawing pussy in half that he’s a real man…uh…I mean…monster.

terrifier split

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BOXED BLOG: creature features and slashers

It’s time again to look briefly at a bunch of movies that landed in my collection because I bought one of those 8-movie packs. These are mostly a mixture of slashers and creature features. I actually already blogged about Monsters in the Woods here, so in its place, I’m throwing in a bonus—I’m covering the sequel to one of the films in this set.

PELT (2010)

pelt cover

Yay! Pretty girls and asshole horny boys head into redneck hell, have a run-in with bikers at a bar, rag on a gas station attendant redneck, and then, naturally, get what city snobs deserve!

pelt knife

I was concerned going into Pelts because there’s a nasty episode of Masters of Horror with the same name, but this is actually totally my kind of cheeseball backwoods horror flick with a dose of humor. The only real disappointment was that the killer is a pretty lame looking hick! What the hell?

pelt killer

Other than that shortcoming, once the killer arrives on the scene, the action never stops.

pelt hottie body cheater 2

There are funny moments (including gay panic quips), sexual situations, and kids that become more likable as the film progresses. These two in particular are adorable…

pelt pajama cutie

And even though the killer has a lair lined with cages, there’s no gruesome torture porn, just plenty of gruesome kills. Total popcorn movie.

pelt strapped in lair

DOGMAN (2012)

dogman cover

Funnyman Larry Joe Campbell of 90s sitcom According to Jim stars in this odd little creature feature that should have come with the warning: Do not watch this film unless you are prepared to invest time in the sequel, because it ends with a cliffhanger and no payoff whatsoever.

That’s right. There’s a sequel that was released 2 years later, which is not included on this boxed set, but which I will cover as a bonus in this blog since you simply have to watch these two together as one movie to get the full picture.

dogman deer

In this one, Campbell starts to see signs of a large animal living in the woods surrounding his house. He sets up cameras to catch footage of it. Pets in town get attacked by it and die. When two young guys encounter it, one gets attacked and begins getting sick. This caused my mind to drift to a whole different kind of boys vs. hairy beasts movie for a moment…

dogman nurse checkup

dogman campbell and boys

We only see slight glimpses of the Dogman in the first film, in an old school 1970s creature feature way, and there’s some fun suspense and light humor as Larry Joe Campbell teams up with the sheriff and his neighbor to hunt down the beast and an antidote to save those who are sick.

dogman sheriff

But like I said, just as this charming little film feels like it’s about to reach its climax, it ends! Which is why I had to go and buy the second film on its own, since it’s not included in this boxed set.

dogman dog arm

So much for starting right where the first one left off, which is what I thought was going to happen with Dogman 2: The Wrath Of The Litter.

dogman 2 cover

This sequel picks up a year later by showing us exactly why we never saw the Dogman first time around…they chose to show him in full daylight immediately here, and it looks like a store-bought, man-sized dog costume.

dogman 2 first dog

The mouth doesn’t even move…on any of the costumes, considering there’s a pack of Dogmen this time.

dogman 2 dog pack

Campbell is back and bickering with his sister-in-law, while the sheriff returns to town just in time to witness police take down a Dogman at the scene of the first attack on a deserted road.

dogman 2 ambulance dog

And the neighbor from the first movie is also back, and she’s all worried because it turns out she ended up adopting a Dogman as a pet and now it’s missing!

dogman 2 hunting in woods

Between the goofy costumes and the goofy plot, this sequel fails to save the first film from its teetering position on the edge of terrible! If the budgets of both films had been combined along with the movies themselves, chances are we could have had one pretty darn good Dogman movie instead of 2 mediocre ones.

THE EVES (2012)

eves cover

A year before he made the awesome horror comedy Buck Wild, director Tyler Glodt made this okay but pretty forgettable backwoods horror flick that deservedly ended up on an 8-in-1 collection.

The cast is horror-ready, and includes Matthew Albrecht (Bunnyman, Buck Wild, Detention…also the co-writer of this film and Buck Wild with Tyler Glodt!), Amelia Meyers (Office of the Dead, Buck Wild), Mark Leslie Ford (Buck Wild), and Cathy Baron (The Lights, covered below since it’s also on this disc).

eves church

They’re a group of kids on a road trip, their car breaks down, they end up crashing at an old farmhouse, we get the usual cheap scares galore (half the time it’s them scaring each other) as well as hints of something ominous going on at the farm, and some of the kids split up to have sex.

It might be totally wrong in this day and age of sexual assault accusations, but the funniest scene in this film has a couple fucking in the barn and getting off on slapping the shit out of each other. It only gets funnier when one dude later takes note of the marks all over their faces.

eves smack

eves smack 2

It also kicks off the best part of the film with the most traditional backwoods slasher segments as kids go missing and bodies start piling up.

eves dead bod

Then the film turns “contemporary” for the final act, going the torture pornish route for a while, with the twist coming in and giving us the whole dark side of humanity messaging that’s played to death these days in horror.

eves delivered door

It’s all very predictable when it comes down to it, but I do like that the final frame twists us out of the twist that has become so cliché it’s no longer a twist.

THE LIGHTS (2009)

lights cover

Definitely a silly little low budget slasher, this one features horror king Joe Estevez, Cathy Baron (of The Eves, above), and Survivor judge Oscar Lusth. But the person who makes this one worth the watch is the guy playing the killer, just a crazy old dude who totally camps it up.

A group of friends hits the road to travel to a good location to see a meteor shower.

lights cast swim

Meanwhile, a few poor suckers find reasons to ring the crazy dude’s doorbell, like a couple of young missionaries and a guy who had a biking accident and needs to use a phone. They all get hammered…

lights mormons

The kids eventually stumble upon the house, decide to crash in the barn at night and, well, you can guess the rest.

lights barn fun

But you can’t guess what a kick the killer gets out of terrorizing, torturing, and hacking up these kids.

lights arm hack

And the way in which the final two survivors get back at him is just so swift and satisfying you have to laugh.

lights chase

NIGHT DRIVE (2010)

night drive cover

While I initially thought this film was about a South African native tribe that conjures some sort of monster to hunt down a tourist group invading its territory, I honestly think the film was about the tourist group being hunted and slaughtered by the tribe itself.

night drive native butt

YAWN.

night drive hunk1

Two of the lead guys on the tour are muscle hotties (although one of them is an asshole).

night drive hunk2

The tribesmen are fricking vicious and brutal in their slaughtering techniques.

night drive hanging woman

night drive arm missing

But this ends up feeling like an action film loaded with running and gunning.

night drive native attack

Which would explain why I lost interest and have absolutely no idea what was going on with the plot at the end. I just know it has something to do with the muscle hottie who isn’t asshole and his ties to the tribe.

night drive hunk with gun

They really should have included Dogman 2 on this boxed set rather than this film.

THE RIDGE (2005)

ridge cover

It’s another movie about a bunch of friends that goes to a house in the woods, tells an urban legend about a crazed killer, and then gets hunted and hacked by a masked killer with an axe.

ridge killer

But first, they spend 40 minutes hanging out and bickering over relationships.

ridge pants undo

Yeah, it’s a major yawnfest, but as soon as the first body turns up, it’s nonstop stalking, slashing, and jump scares.

ridge pool scream

However, this is about as underdeveloped as a killer’s story gets, because killer comes, killer kills, killer is killed, credits role…no follow-up, no unmasking, no nothing. Just watch this one for the cheap thrills and kills.

THE CRAVING (2008)

craving 2008 cover

Sometimes a sloppy horror flick reminds me of how ridiculous 1970s and 1980s horror was at times, so I have to overlook all the nonsense and let the sex and violence carry me through to the end.

Such is the case with The Craving. I have no fricking idea what’s going on when all is said and done. But who cares?

craving lantern guy

There are loads of cute guys with their shirts off, a creature shows its face a few times, kids run around screaming, and…nothing else, but I’m easy so that’s all I really need.

craving monster

We see the creature right away when a dude spots it on his property in the desert, which seems to cause him to become possessed.

craving truck orgy

Along comes a group of kids having an orgy in a van on the way to a festival.

craving kiss

They end up stranded on the dude’s property for the night, and shit just gets weird thanks to a subplot about the creature releasing a scent that guys find gross, girls find delicious, and everyone finds intoxicating enough to keep them there despite the dangers. One dude even has a messed up sex dream that’s part straight, part gay, and part necro.

craving face blood

Then the creature starts attacking (we see very little of it), and all the screaming begins.

craving tent attack

Chaos ensues, and the overall tone and atmosphere remind me of a mash-up of 1972’s Gargoyles and 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes.

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A holiday horror triple feature just in time for Halloween!

That’s the headline you get when Easter falls on April Fools’ Day and I don’t have any new killer bunny movies to blog about (see the holiday horror page for all the ones I’ve done so far), but I do have 3 Halloween flicks to cover. Let’s get right to it.

KARPENTER (2017)

This short “full-length” Halloween film runs 47 minutes long when you subtract the 13 minutes of credits and outtakes tacked on at the end.

As far as Halloween horror movie plots go, Karpenter sticks with the tried and true: a killer escapes an insane asylum and skulks around a town on October 31st, eventually slaughtering a bunch of kids at a party.

There’s some good 80s style soundtrack music, plenty of axe killings, loads of Halloween spirit, and a killer all dolled up for the holiday.

It’s also as basic as you’re going to get for this subgenre with nothing new or frightening to blow you away…aside from a farcical crap humor scene that feels ridiculously out of place.

And finally, you won’t find yourself connecting with any characters here, so there’s no standout protagonist POV to carry you through the film.

When everything is whittled down to one girl, you just have to accept that she’s the final girl because she’s the last one standing.

LOST CREEK (2016)

I’ve been anticipating this one since seeing the trailer, which makes it look like a charming, festive, and creepy throwback to 1980s PG Halloween movies that focused on kids in a scary predicament in a small town, but with an underlying heartfelt message.

When it at last showed up on Amazon streaming, I was bummed by the dismal reviews populating the page.

Even so, I went for it. To my horror, I got…a charming, festive, and creepy throwback to 1980s PG Halloween movies that focused on kids in a scary predicament in a small town, but with an underlying heartfelt message. Yeah, to my happy horror, I got exactly what I’d wanted.

I won’t even go into the specifics of the bashing that Lost Creek receives online. Personally, based on the amount of indies that I still appreciate despite their…um…let’s call them budgetary restraints, I say this is one seriously well-polished production. It’s well-written, well-paced, beautifully shot, atmospheric, nails the holiday spirit, and has a great balance of creepy moments, suspense, emotional impact, and light humor. Plus, it perfectly captures the world through a child’s eyes.

A young boy moves to a new town with his single mother and has only one buddy in school. His loneliness finds him stealing away to a creek in the woods on a regular basis. There he meets and befriends a young girl. But it’s the only place she’ll spend any time with him, because she refuses to cross the creek to join him on any kind of excursions.

Meanwhile, he is having terrifying dreams of a monster in the woods. Beginning with the disappearance of his pumpkin from his front steps, he starts to see evidence that the monster is actually real and roaming his neighborhood.

As the threat mounts, he teams up with his school buddy and the girl from the creek to face off against the monster and its ghoulish minions on Halloween night.

Rather than hamming it up like Hollywood child actors often do in an attempt to “steal the show,” the three main kids here are refreshingly genuine in their innocence, which really allows Lost Creek to feel like a day spent inside a child’s imagination.

As a result, the audience gets to live vicariously through them as they come up against something fantastical and frightening on their journey towards a touching life lesson.

10/31 (2017)

10/31 is the most crucial inclusion in this blog for two reasons. First, it was a blind buy! Blind buys aren’t something I do often these days, but I knew I was in good hands this time, which is my second reason for blind buying this one. It comes from the guys who brought us Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories and The Barn, and segments are directed by the likes of Brett DeJager (Bonejangles), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Hunter Johnson (2 Jennifer), and Justin M. Seaman (The Barn). Plus, I love anthologies, Halloween horror, and throwback flicks loaded with a synth-heavy, 80s-style score, so those are a whole bunch of bonuses.

Things kick off with a very simple and basic wraparound. Trick or treaters sit down in front of the TV to watch some horror movies hosted by Malvolia: The Queen of Screams.

Hey, I get that busty gothic mistresses of the macabre are a tradition, but at this point, if I were going for the horror hosting thing, I might try a different angle. Maybe a big burly bear dude taking jabs at his masculinity while squeezed into ridiculously tight and skimpy horror costumes that can barely restrain his fat, hairy tits and ass.

All 5 stories here perfectly immerse you in the Halloween spirit, and even if some of them are a little more abstract and stray a bit in their narrative, they all deliver on the good old popcorn movie horror by the end. Here’s a brief breakdown of each:

1st story – This one totally has a classic Tales from the Darkside vibe.

When aspiring filmmakers come to an old B&B to shoot a commercial for the owner on Halloween night, one guy is terrorized by an old hag that look likes like she stepped off the set of Creepshow.

This story touches upon the sleep paralysis phenomenon like so many horror flicks are doing these days (especially anthologies), yet I’m hooked every time. However, even with 10/31 being a fun midnight movie, the final cheap scare here is a total groaner! I love it.

2nd story – Unsatisfied with the scares being offered at the local theater on Halloween night, a couple decides to take a tour of a murder house. When they come across a creepy scarecrow…we get something way more original and refreshing than the usual killer scarecrow plot!

3rd story – It’s like 1979 all over again when a young woman goes to her job at the roller rink on Halloween night, taking her little brother with her, all dressed in his costume and unwilling to break character. This one feels like it’s going nowhere beyond an excessive roller skating montage for quite a while, but eventually, the Halloween night blood starts to flow…

4th story – Holiday signals really get crossed in this rather confusing tale when a snowstorm hits on Halloween night. I did my best to tune out the extraneous stuff and focus on the macabre part with the creepy trick or treaters…

5th story – An escaped mental patient, a Halloween party, a Ouija board, a witchy demon chick, a masked killer, a pagan ritual, a cornfield…

it might be unclear what the hell is going on in this final tale, but it sure is an effective way to ensure a high body count as this Halloween horror anthology comes to an end.

You can purchase the DVD and soundtrack CD of 10/31 on the same site that sells The Barn. I’ll just note that while a lot of bells and whistles went into producing the materials for that film’s physical releases, a much more modest approach is taken with this release. It’s understandable, and I’m just appreciative that this indie team is still making the effort to release physical media for collectors. The DVD and CD are both real pressings, not recordable media, but they are as bare-bones as you can get. The DVD “menu” is simply PLAY. And the CD does not come in a jewel case—just a clear plastic sleeve with a printed artwork insert.

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From tanning salons and reality show houses to beauty parlors and lakeside cabins

You know you’ve entered 21st century horror territory when you watch 5 slashers loaded with pseudo-lesbian bimbos, fabulous gay guys, pretty muscle boys, voluntary cohabitating, and techniques for looking good for those video confessionals.

REALITY KILLS (aka: Reality Check) (2002)

reality kills cover

If nothing else, this is a great product of its time—affected post-Scream slasher crap with early 2000s MTV reality show type characters mocking The Real World concept.

reality kills gay guy

The two big names in this film are Eliza Dushku’s brother Nate as the fabulously flamboyant (mostly) gay guy, and Sticky Fingaz as the show producer (pre-Blade on the short-lived series).

reality kills stick bod

reality kills sticky back

The cliché characters hang and fight and talk about sex. Occasionally, one of them is killed with some sort of taser gun while being filmed.

reality kills cast

When bodies begin turning up dead, everyone starts distrusting each other, assuming any one of them could be the killer. So they all walk around the house with knives as thunder and lightning set the mood.

reality kills mask

It’s not until there are about twenty minutes left that we finally see a robed, hooded, masked killer and get some final boy and final girl action.

reality kills killer approach

reality kills gay lick

As for the gay guy, despite his big personality and aggressive sexuality, he’s less exciting than this dude, who is into nipple play and even offers up his ass for a tasering.

reality kills nip play

reality kills ass zap

Plus, the gay guy negates his entire flamboyant, out and proud existence in his dying breath.

SAM’S LAKE (2006)

sams lake cover

Sam invites her friends to her family’s cabin by a lake in the woods, where her father died a year before in a hunting accident.

sams lake ghost dad

Once they arrive, she’s haunted by memories of him…even with her best gay buddy there to keep her safe.

sams lake gay guy

Naturally, the group sits around a campfire telling scary tales. Sam’s is a shocker about a house nearby that was the site of a mass murder, and stories of people going missing to this day, only corn husk dolls left in their place.

It’s such a goody that it’s befuddling when the details are completely dropped from the rest of the proceedings, despite the kids going to the house to explore! WTF?

sams lake stud killer

However, they find a diary that the gay guy starts to read aloud, which piles on a whole bunch of different details and delivers the kick ass twist. Well, kick ass because it’s a surprise and also triggers a sleek slasher segment, even if it could have used a few more victims.

sams lake cute guy

In actuality, the spoon-fed diary backstory is really forced based on what was already presented, and only gets even more muddled before all is said and done, as more information is dished out right up until the end of the film.

sams lake stud hurt

I didn’t totally get it, but like I said, that turning point twist rocks.

869 (2012)

869 cover

It’s another reality show slasher. This one’s claim to fame is that it stars Dee Wallace’s daughter Gabrielle Stone.

869 stone

Hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere, but when you consider that Dee started with Wes Craven, Joe Dante, and Steven Spielberg, well, it isn’t really fair to put any pressure on Gabrielle for being her daughter.

869 limo

I mean, this is about as trashy slashy as it gets, filled with hokey reality confessionals as a bunch of slutty bimbos, most of the predatory lesbian variety, live in a house while hoping to win the coveted contest to become the next big scream queen.

869 machete

This movie never even bothers to go into the technicalities of the show. The girls just hang until eventually one is possessed by a little ghost girl and then kills one bimbo after another like an assembly line slasher in the last fifteen minutes or so.

869 ghost girl

Some of the practical gore effects are wicked cool, but don’t expect any suspense or scares, and the slapped on explanation for the little ghost girl’s evil at the end in no way validates her killing a bunch of horny chicks…or where she learned do such things with an electric knife…

869 electic knife

SLINK (2013)

slink cover

For me, director Jared Masters delivered a tighter movie with After School Massacre, the film he did after Slink, which is very uneven in tone, pacing, and plot.

slink tanning kill

Part of the plot is about a crazy tanning salon owner who hires pretty girls and then kills them. Another part of the plot is about two girls who come to stay in their recently deceased uncle’s house.

The girls find themselves sharing the house with their odd aunt, who tells them scandalous stories about their uncle’s presumed sexuality…and the way he died. This doesn’t sit well with their father, who comes to intervene—because he doesn’t even know who this supposed aunt is!

slink bloody table

Without even realizing it, the girls get tied into the shenanigans going on at the tanning salon—and become the ultimate targets of a much bigger psycho tanning salon killer ring than is really necessary!

slink corpses

Scream king Anthony Del Negro (Anarchy Parlor, The Doll, Dark Haul, Deep in the Darkness, Dead Souls) comes into the picture as the sidekick of the tanning salon owner’s wife, who is using the flesh of dead girls to create a successful handbag business.

slink purse lady

It’s a bit of a campy mess, and you start to feel like you’ve stepped into an old Herschell Gordon Lewis film, which is possibly just what Jared Masters was going for here. If so, then he nailed it.

SCAREYCROWS (2017)

scareycrows cover

This film has a great setup for the short horror comedy it wants to be, plus the cast is a delight and perfectly plays up the fun angle. The only problem is that the script simply isn’t funny, no matter how much charm the cast members pour into their performances.

scareycrows cast

Basically a young hairdresser and her friends start to notice things are amiss during a big annual event marking an historical day in their small town—the Scareycrow Festival.

scareycrows hot dog

They feel that the scareycrows displayed around town are moving. They’re right. And it’s all part of a magic spell cast by a witch!

scareycrows tent

Pretty soon, the hairdresser and her pals are on the run from the witch and her army of axe-wielding scareycrows! Seriously, it’s as fun as it sounds…it’s just not as funny as it should be.

scareycrows barricade

It just seems to hold back and go for subtle humor, even when golden opportunities open up. For instance, a straight guy and a male hairdresser character—we can presume he’s gay, but the film never clarifies—are hiding from the scareycrows in the bushes. The straight guy tells the hairdresser he needs to take off his shirt because it’s too loud. End joke.

scareycrows male cutter

Personally, I noticed him a lot more when he took the shirt off…which is exactly where the bigger, better joke about two young cute guys trying to be inconspicuous in the bushes together practically writes itself. Hence, Scareycrows is the little film that could…but didn’t.

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