STREAM QUEEN: various apparitions and creepy crawly creatures in the shadows

As usual, there were various degrees of entertainment to be found in my latest selection of movies. And as usual, the most polished films are the ones that I would have been fine with skipping…

PARANORMAL APPARITION (aka: Cold Blood Canyon) (2007)

 

This cheesy little ghost film was tossed in for free with a DVD I bought online…with no case. Man, that gets my OCD going. I was hoping I’d totally hate it so I wouldn’t want to keep a caseless DVD.

It has that “shot-on-video” feel to it, and the plot is initially really typical. A couple buys a house with a murderous past because the price is awesome and the zip code in Beverly Hills is awesome. They don’t tell their teen daughter about the murder, but almost immediately she starts seeing a shadow of a woman in her room. The parents scoff when she insists the house is haunted.

Then the girl next door tells her about the murder…and she meets a really cute guy with a dog…and she befriends a quirky goth dude at an occult shop.

Honestly, the silly, oddly endearing interactions between the kids are what saved this movie for me. They are very reminiscent of the likable kids from 80s low budget horror (unlike all the assholes in today’s horror).

The shit hits the fan when the parents go away. The neighbor friend comes for a sleepover, gets drunk, whips out a Ouija board, and summons a scary ghost lady.

Goofy ghost special effects abound for a while, and eventually we get a pretty complex twist and backstory that’s much more unique and fun than you’d expect from such a low budget indie.

TOTEM (2017)

To think a guy could go from making Deadgirl, a movie about guys who regularly rape a female zombie they keep chained up in a basement, to a tween horror just like all the other Insidious/Conjuring/Ouija silliness out there these days. But that’s just what director Marcel Sarmiento has done.

What can I say? Is there plenty of formulaic spooky atmosphere and cheap scares? Is the plot as predictable as can be? Well, yeah, until the twist at the end. But is making a cookie cutter film just so you can throw in a twist reason enough to make a cookie cutter film? I don’t know.

So the plot is, a dad finds himself a new woman after the death of his wife. His daughters have to adjust to her moving into the house.

But they’re not really the problem. The problem is the mysterious force that starts pulling the usual stunts you’ve seen in every other tween supernatural flick this decade.

Just keep reminding yourself there’s a twist and you should make it through this one okay. The gruesome darkness of the very end makes this one a little more worth it than it should be.

BLOOD HUNTERS (2016)

Blood Hunters comes to us from director Tricia Lee, who brought us the 2013 film Silent Retreat. I can’t help notice the similarity in the creepy crawly creatures in the two films, and that’s not a bad thing.

I also get a Silent Hill vibe from Blood Hunters. A young woman overdoses, passes out on the street, and wakes up in a derelict hospital to find she’s in unexpected shape and mostly everyone is dead.

And there are creatures darting through the shadows.

Pretty soon, she discovers a live patient strapped down to a bed. I would have left him there…and had my way with him.

“Ooh! This seat looks so comfortable…”

Actor Benjamin Arthur is so fricking cute and even brings some comic relief to the film. And I just love his beefy body. Yummy.

Now I can barely focus because all I can think about is searching for more pictures of him online.

So anyway, they soon find a few more “survivors” of whatever the hell went on, and they all hide out in the hospital’s chapel, where the creepy janitor from Urban Legend seems just as creepy playing a priest.

There’s a whole lot of religious overtones here, and I can’t quite say I was able to totally follow the plot – or even cared to, because it kind of goes way off the deep end.

I was really just in it for the wicked cool battles against the freaky creatures and to ogle Benjamin Arthur.

BLOOD WOODS (2017)

This is a vampire film with a few delicious tastes of the main creature that are so creepy and atmospheric that it makes the rest of the film nothing but excruciating filler. It leaves you dumbfounded as to how so much potential could be missed.

The very disjointed intro has a mostly unseen creeper in a cabin feeding terrified, bound women before watching television…which turns out to be two male horror hosts introducing this film!

Next, we get an overly long scene of a guy going hunting. When he’s finally attacked by our main vamp – a big, muscular creepozoid – the footage is so eerily, uncomfortably intimate that my hopes were high.

But Blood Woods turns into one long stretch of low budget, low energy dialogue. Guys rob a bank.

Guys talk at a bar. The baddies hang out with some hostages at a cabin in the woods with a really cool fireplace. Seriously, I was fixated on  the fireplace for a majority of the film.

57 minutes in, the vampire comes knocking. 57 minutes! While there are a few more cool scenes with the big main bad guy, most of the vampire interactions are disappointingly low-key and involve his lame minions rather than him! It just could have been more fun than it is.

2 BEDROOM 1 BATH (2014)

We’ve seen plenty of films about a couple moving into a new place hoping to start a family, and then experiencing weird shit that drives a wedge between them. This one is just a little more indie and a little less polished than the mainstream tween supernatural stuff like Totem.

This time around, it’s mostly the husband who starts to see and hear all the weird shit, like visions of blood, a baby crying, and creepy children doing creepy things.

There’s also a mysterious dude who shows up at their door asking for some pregnant woman who clearly doesn’t live there.

And then comes the crawling contortionist ghost girl. Yep, it’s one of those. And for the third time in about a month’s viewing, sleep paralysis is worked into the plot of a movie I’ve watched. Take note, horror filmmakers. The bubble is going to burst really fast on this phenomenon’s usage in horror.

2 Bedroom 1 Bath has a couple of creepy moments, loads of clichés, and a plot that is way more complicated than it needs to be for a silly little ghost movie.

We also get Dee Wallace as the landlady of the condo complex, Eric Roberts as the fertility doctor, and Jack Donner as the creepy old man in one of the other units. Plus, we get to see the cute hubby showering.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (2016)

Well, I couldn’t make it through Troll Hunter, so perhaps it’s no surprise I couldn’t get through this one from the same director?

A father and son are a team of coroners. The son doesn’t want to be a morgue worker for the rest of his life, but doesn’t know how to tell his dad, but that’s really irrelevant to the rest of the film.

After about the third bullshit bogus scare before we even get to the actual plot of the film, I knew I was being duped.

So a body is delivered. A woman’s body. They start to examine it. Things start to go bump in their house as thunder and lightning strike outside. They spend the film running around the house convinced something is after them and talking through who this Jane Doe could be and what happened to her.

If you want to see an intriguing film about a dead body and a coroner, watch After.Life.

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Zombie comedies, zombie infections from outer space, zombies and young people

By pure coincidence, the four zombie films I recently watched share some common threads, even though two of them are hokey b-movies (Dead Country and Not Human) and two of them are more serious zombie flix (Darkest Day, Survivorz).

DEAD COUNTRY (2008)

I initially tossed this one in my watchlist because Lisa Wilcox of Elm Street 4&5 and Alex Vincent (aka: Andy of the Child’s Play films) were in the cast. Well, I’ll save you from being bamboozled like I was—they appear after the closing credits, making comments in quick clips shot at a convention.

Now on to Dead Country. Sure, this is as sloppy and cheap as a b-movie can get, but damned if it didn’t bring back memories of the days of Redneck Zombies and Class of Nuke ‘Em High, when Troma was fun without relying solely on toilet humor to fill 90 minutes.

I can totally do without the goofy storyline of some Chaz Bono looking dude in a spaceship crashing to earth, but the fact that it creates a zombie outbreak in the small town of Romero at Christmas time makes it all worth it.

Zombies crawl from a smoldering mound in the ground. Zombies chase screaming, bodacious babes through the woods. Zombies snarl all up in the camera.

Zombies conversations are translated for us in subtitles. A beefy martial arts dude takes on hordes of zombies.

And to get us in the holiday spirit, a chick wearing nothing but a Santa hat sings Christmas songs to her dog in a tub, and a zombie Santa eats people and saves their body parts in his bag of goodies.

It’s a hot mess, but stupidly entertaining. And best of all, Lloyd Kaufman’s cameo is restricted to a voice on a radio station.

NOT HUMAN (aka: ombis: alien invasion) (2013)

While it might have a low budget look and feel, Not Human hits a warm, fuzzy, 80s throwback spot in my soul.

The setup up is 80s classic – in a small town, we meet the sheriff and some locals. The town drunk sees something hit earth in the woods, goes to investigate, and is infected by the danger.

The “danger” – aka: the “alien” – is really a slime monster infection that pretty much takes over your body and makes you essentially a zombie that can melt into a mini version of the blob at will, travel in that form, and then reshape yourself as a slime zombie. Awesome!

Not Human is mostly a zombie b-movie. These zombies puke in your face to make you one of them.

And while they initially take over the town bit by bit (chunk by chunk?), the invasion goes full blast when they crash a town hall meeting. Slime City!

The sheriff is a cutie and lead Jason John Beebe – a bit of an indie horror movie king – is a hottie.

And stick around after the credits start to role to see horror icon Lynn Lowry in a cameo as a newscaster.

DARKEST DAY (2015)

As its title implies, Darkest Day isn’t exactly an uplifting zombie flick. This British indie is sort of like 28 Days Later if it focused on a younger, hipper cast of characters.

This young dude wakes up on the beach and soon gets fostered into a flat of survivors who are all conveniently like a bunch of kids who might as well be the cast of Rent just squatting in an old derelict apartment building while zombies take over the earth.

There’s some tension in the group, for the hot guy (above) is kind of a prick who hates the new guy. Shit gets complicated when the group begins to so amateurishly deal with zombies that try to invade the building. There are some jump scares and intense fights, but this one ends up being more about a bigger problem…military infiltrates the town and seems intent on annihilating any survivors.

The group takes its act on the road…on foot. They desperately try to avoid zombies and military men as they travel the desolate landscape. It’s not the most original plot, but it will scratch your zombie itch, and there is a kick ass scene of the group crossing a field while being chased by zombies and shot at by the military at the same time.

SURVIVORZ (2013)

What’s up with the serious movies about young people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse? Usually the younger crowd gets to have fun in campy zomcoms.

Survivorz popped up on SyFy, and it has the same vibe as Darkest Day. This group of young people is hanging out at a diner when the zombie outbreak is unleashed due to a woman checking out something that crashes into her yard from the sky.

At this point, there’s no way to make this blog any less redundant than the movie itself. They battle fast zombies through desolate street and buildings. They deal with numerous friends getting bitten. They meet a guy who has his wife locked up because he thinks there’s still a human left inside her. They have interpersonal relationship issues. It’s all the usual zombie movie stuff.

But it’s tightly produced, the zombie action is thrilling, there’s plenty of suspense, jump scares abound, and the final chase is super intense. Plus, the guys are really cute. Unfortunately, this movie is like a figment of my imagination because it’s not in imdb and I can’t find any images of it online.

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STREAM QUEEN: not your ordinary everyday slashers

The things I see by throwing every weird title I come across in my watchlist. Despite going off on various tangents, somehow this batch all managed to bring in elements of slashers or backwoods horror, so I figured I’d slap them together in one post.

ATTACKED ON SET (2012)

This exploitation horror flick is smart in having a running time of only 65 minutes, but even with plenty of pervy shit thrown at us, it totally can’t manage to keep itself together enough to entertain.

A film crew is more interested in doing drugs and having sex than making a movie at an isolated location. In completely unrelated and pointless news, a flamboyant gay tree hugger nearby is hoping to save a bird’s home by trying to stop a lumberjack from clearing an area for a new development. It’s completely unrelated to the main plot other than to up the body count…and doesn’t even bother to take advantage of the endless number of exploitative opportunities a flamboyant tree hugger and bearish lumberjack present.

As for the main story, the over-the-top characters are unfunny and boring until the killer in a creepy mask finally starts hacking them up.

There are a few good gross out scenes, including an ooey-gooey snowballing, a red wings scene complete with a bloody tampon, and a dick getting hacked off.

The sex and kills are the strong point, they just don’t carry the full 65 minutes.

BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY (2017)

2012 film Bad Kids Go To Hell was The Breakfast Club of horror. Turns out it’s also based on a comic book or something, as is this sequel, which fully integrates comic book panes into the film for a trendy style. Hottie Ben Browder returns as the janitor and also directs this time around.

Plot starts off the same. A bunch of kids in detention. It’s kind of Mean Girls-ish, with most of them part of a snobby group and the main girl a lower class outsider whose sister died at a recent party they all attended.

As the film unfolds, so do the flashbacks to that night, which ends up taking up way too much of the film and keeps us from the better part – the kids dying off “accidentally” and discovering they’re trapped inside the school.

In fact, there are way too few kills, which is a shame because they are nice and cruel. Even better, there’s a pretty wacky twist in the final act that makes it more complicated than just one of the kids being a psycho that decided to knock off fellow classmates.

I like the vibe, I like the kills, I like the appearances by people like Sean Astin and Gina Gerson. I just wish the film had been more about the kills and not the party. And I wish the gay guy had lasted longer, because he brought some major gay sexual situations to the film while he was around.

AS NIGHT FALLS (2010)

Amazingly, As Night Falls begins pretty rough, with that super hokey indie supernatural horror vibe that feels like it can only go down hill. But damned if this shit doesn’t eventually pick up steam and become a mini supernatural slasher blast.

A good old white trash couple and their kid move into a house in bumfuck…and are watched by a ghost girl projected with some pretty hokey computer effects.

During a sort of housewarming party we get to meet all their white trash friends, a rather lovable group that comes bearing plenty of meta movie references. Even so, they can only be so entertaining before the film kind of needs to start getting on with it already.

And at last, it does. The ghost girl makes more appearances…and so do her parents, a couple of weapon-wielding corpse bastards from hell! Not to mention, the mom is scream queen Debbie Rochon!

They start slicing through the partiers left and right, chasing them through the house and woods.

So the husband (funny guy and a highlight of the movie), teams up with the wife’s sheriff brother (Joe Davison, director and writer of the film), to fight the baddies…who summon even more undead. Awesome.

Highlights includes an awesome attack scene in the bathroom, metal music used right in a horror movie during a wicked chase scene with Debbie Rochon leaping onto a getaway van, and a massive shed fight, including one chick getting a hilarious smack down. Actually, it’s a smack up. WAY up.

CAMP KILLER (2016)

There’s a pretty traditional backwoods slasher in the first few minutes of this film—campfire story, couple going off to have sex, masked killer spouting one-liners as he offs everyone, a chase, body reveals—after which the film turns into a dialogue machine!

Seriously, this is supposed to be a satire, but virtually all of it is delivered through dialogue between the local sheriff and the killer as they hang out at a bar where original young drowning Jason Voorhees Ari Lehman is the bartender.

Eventually, the main girl from the beginning teams up with another girl to get revenge on the killer, which leads to some action at the end of the film. But believe me, it’s really hard to stick around that long.

SPACESHIP TERROR (2011)

This one ended up on my “to see” list because it’s from Harry Tchinski, who brought us the film Blood Demon Rising.

Considering this entire film is about a bunch of women in their underwear running around a spaceship being chased by a freaky psycho, Tchinski threw me a bone, opening the film with a shirtless hunk getting hacked up for the first kill.

Yes, I said a bunch of women in their underwear get chased around a spaceship by a freaky psycho. Oh, who the hell cares how or why? The bitches end up in this spaceship with their clothes off. For fuck’s sake, I’m gay and that’s all I care about.

They’re trapped in the ship, the halls are booby trapped, the boobs get booby trapped…hell, boobs even get bitten off. Oh yeah. Shit gets pretty gnarly. And with this many women in their panties, you know there will be a good number of bimbos doing all the wrong things to bring us just the right amount of gore.

And the freakazoid killer rox.

DEATH ON SCENIC DRIVE (2017)

Death on Scenic Drive sets up such an intriguing, unsettling scenario; a young woman drives to an isolated house in the snowy country to house sit. It’s just her and a dog…and the hot redneck ginge next door, who she barely gives the time of day.

She almost immediately begins to hear noises like someone else is entering the house at night (yet the dog never barks). She finds child-like drawings of pentagrams. She walks around the house, drenched in eerie shadows, followed by wonky camera angles, and to the tune of eerie music. She has trippy nightmarish dreams of the hot redneck ginge coming into the house at night.

And then she starts to seemingly become possessed. Don’t even ask me what’s possessing her here…

This is pretty much a one-woman movie that is agonizingly repetitive…until the shit suddenly hits the fan! It starts so not cool with a horribly graphic and disturbing scene involving the dog before this film very briefly switches to a vicious slashers in the last few minutes!

I can’t even explain. Just trust me. The last 15 minutes or so definitely tickled my slasher funny bone.

THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT (aka: The Frankenstein Syndrome) (2010)

Why did so many of these films require me to sacrifice at least an hour of my life just to enjoy a brief, kick ass slasher sequence here and there?

The bright side with The Prometheus Project is that Tiffany Shepis stars and gets a meaty role she is rarely afforded, which really lets her show off her acting talents.

She plays a doctor who becomes part of an illegal stem cell research group attempting to regenerate tissue to help cure people of illnesses.

Things don’t go as planned, and after more than an hour of your life goes by with mostly scientists talking…and talking…and talking, one of their “Guinea pigs” loses his shit and starts to kill everyone in brutal and graphic ways. Finally. And he’s shirtless.

Such a shame it took so long to get to this point.

EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH (2015)

After a whole lot of lesbian innuendo while hanging out with their friends, two white suburban girls head into the backwoods to work at an eco farm so they can make money to splurge on a trip to New York City. Clearly they need to pay for their privileged liberal lifestyle.

And oh do they pay. They take an offer for a ride from two cute guys at a diner…and are soon chained up and being whored out to sleazy backwoods freaks in the woods. Sigh.

BUT, here’s the catch. Even Lambs Have Teeth is like I Spit on Your Grave if it actually had a fricking sense of humor.

That’s right. There’s nothing too disturbing here. At least…nothing we see. Everything is just disturbing enough in how it is implied. Very well handled.

And when the girls get free, these bitches rock! They hit up a hardware store for a weapon buying montage and then get glorious revenge on the ass holes that tortured them.

In fact, all the violence, brutality, and gore is saved for the bad guys, with plenty of humor thrown in just for the fun of it. Awesome.

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STREAM QUEEN: Not exactly top shelf horror anthologies

Just like zombie movies, if there’s an anthology film available to stream, it’s going into my watchlist for sure. This time around I even stumbled upon one from the 1990s that I’d never seen. So let’s look at The First Date, Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania, Do You Believe?, Terror Tales, and With Friends Like These.

THE FIRST DATE (2017)

first date cover

Beginning with the wraparound, The First Date has some strong concepts that never quite pan out. But it’s not the obvious low budget that’s at fault.

A guy takes a girl to his home theater to show her a bunch of short films…which she insists must only be horror. Yet she quickly proves between tales that her supposed diehard love of horror is fricking weak! She whines after every story, from complaining one is too dark for children to wanting horror with a love story! I would be pissed if my date claimed to be a hardcore horror fan then turned out to be a pussy. Of course, I wouldn’t date pussy to begin with…

first date wraparound

So here’s a breakdown of the tales before I get to the problem that plagues pretty much all of them:

1st story – This one is narrated in verse like a children’s nursery rhyme. A young girl runs away from home and finds a doll at an abandoned house.

first date doll

2nd story – In terms of concept, this is my favorite, offering something unexpected to the overdone clown genre. Two guys sit around playing video games, then one tells a legend of what happens when you say “Sucko the Clown” in a mirror 3 times…

first date clown

3rd story –This is the “love story” the girl asks for, dialogue free and set to a strumming guitar ballad. Unbearable.

first date ballad story

4th story – The narrator of this tale stalks a woman he’s obsessed with through a park, found footage style.

5th story – A couple takes off to a cabin in the woods, but we begin to learn from their alternating narration that they have very different perspectives on why they are there.

first date cabin couple

6th story – Because this is strictly a cheesy/campy superhero geek scenario with no horror, I couldn’t bring myself to follow any of it, so I just enjoyed the cuteness of the bear.

first date bear hero

7th story – A silent film (aka: an ADHD wet dream when it comes to tuning things out).

8th story – My second favorite simply because it literally takes a human being and makes him walk around playing a survival horror game like a video game character, circa 1998.

first date video game story

While some of the ideas are really creative and it’s cool that there are various film styles and formats used to tell the stories, there is absolutely zero in the way of atmosphere or scares, so don’t expect your horror temperature to rise. The bigger issue is, virtually every time a story concludes, you have no clue what the ending meant until the wraparound couple works the explanation into the dialogue. For instance, after one tale the guy says something about “the creature ate him,” and I was like…WHAT??? WHAT CREATURE? THERE WAS NO CREATURE! Really, if you have to explain the twists to your stories between stories…rewrite your stories.

HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS’ BLOODMANIA (2017)

bloodmania cover

Touted as gore king Herschell Gordon Lewis’s final film, this anthology is half fun and half horrible. I could barely make it through the first two of four stories. Lewis directed two of them…and I only liked half of those…

The intro is fun: a black and white silent film gore porn set to a rockabilly theme song, complete with follow-the-bouncing-ball lyrics.

Herschell is our host, introducing each tale.

bloodmania herschell

1st story – Lewis’s first tale is an absolute mess about a guy with a hook hand. The gross out humor is about as successful as something you’d see from Troma these days. In other words, I shouldn’t have used “successful” in this sentence at all.

bloodmania hook eye

2nd story – While there’s some good gore here reminiscent of classic Lewis (even though he didn’t direct this one), it’s generally a plodding story about a woman who takes a man’s gruesome abuse until she finally loses her shit.

bloodmania crucify

3rd story – I think Lewis saved his best for last with this mini masterpiece. It’s campy, it’s creepy, it’s gory, it’s fucking weird.It’s the perfect blend of everything that made 80s horror the stuff of my generationX’s nightmares. And it’s based around one of the most basic premises…family moves into a new house, something freaky as fuck is living in the vents. Sleep paralysis is thrown into the mix, making this like the gritty, nightmarish, throwback Dead Awake wasn’t. Plus, the young daughters fricking rock. I wish this one had been a full-length!

bloodmania paralysis creature

4th story – The third story and this one are the reasons this movie will be a must-add to my collection if it hits DVD. This is slasher schlock at its best and nails the feel of early direct-to-video horror of the 80s. The leading man is awesomely over-the-top as he snaps and goes on a killing spree after he can’t satisfy his deaf girlfriend in bed.

bloodmania rock killer

Things only get worse when he’s fired from his job managing an all-girl metal band. Actually, that’s when things get even better for us, as he goes around a music studio slaughtering them.

bloodmania shower hands

There’s lesbian sex, goofy gore effects, slapstick horror humor…this one fricking rules and is the perfect way to end the anthology.

bloodmania zombie rocker

DO YOU BELIEVE? (2017)

do you believe cover

Holy shit, even 71 minutes is too long for this collection of short films gathered into an anthology film in which teens sit around telling stories—most of which are far from horror and barely even pass as bad Twilight Zone tales since they fail to deliver a surprise or twist.

do you believe wraparound

The more stories that came my way, the less ability I had to comprehend what the hell was going on. By the end it seemed the wraparound was trying to shoehorn them all into a psychic powers theme.

Here are the few stories I made any sense of:

-A magician has a relationship with his female assistant…but also has a male assistant who seems sort of like a gay third wheel. This one was subtitled.

do you believe magician

-A model being photographed in an empty building suddenly realizes she made a really bad career move. There’s absolutely no resolution, to the point that even the kids in the wraparound have to make reference to the fact. Still, this is one of the only ones that felt like horror so it’s a winner in my book.

do you believe model

-A “stuck in a cycle” story about a little girl dreaming about a couple dreaming about the little girl dreaming about them. Ouch, my head.

-A guidance counselor who reads minds seems to have a major malfunction, otherwise he would have heard that student saying to himself, “I’m about to stab my guidance counselor.” Sigh.

-A psychic support group meets and talks. One member is a big queen, another member is a doll.

do you believe psychic support doll

-A lesbian uses a Ouija board and has psychic powers. But then it appears she’s straight? Then she’s attacked by a demon woman covered in mud who wants to know how she got her powers.

do you believe mud girl

I was as confused as her sexuality, but there are a few really effective and chilling moments when the mud woman first comes on the scene.

TERROR TALES (2014)

 terror tales cover

This is some serious homebrewed horror—the kind in which it looks like friends and family all participated, running around their own hometown streets with camcorders and cases of beer on the weekends because they thought it would be a hoot to make a horror flick.

As with most movies of this sort, it looks like it was made by a bunch of heavy metal dudes in 1987. This type of indie film is a fascinating, genuine portrait of how unbelievably little humans have progressed in at least 30 years. This time warp phenomenon is endearing and nostalgic…while also being simultaneously terrifying.

terror tales melty face

Some of the stories are just gibberish and goofiness, but there was a highlight for me. A dude finds a guitar on his doorstep…and it turns him into a psycho killer. Actually, the guitar itself is a killer, spitting out deadly guitar strings left and right. And the guitar POV rules. Not to mention, that victim is fricking cuuuute.

terror tales guitar

Another oddly memorable tale is about a Christmas mummy.

terror tales mummy

Ater various encounters of Troma-like quality (a Santa shitting in the park, the mummy throwing a dog into a river), crashes a Christmas party and begins to massacre the partygoers…including a queenie guy! The queens are getting some recognition in the horror anthologies this time around.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE (1991)

with friends like these cover

Despite the fact that Mr. Roper himself Norman Fell narrates this anthology, it’s a no frills flick that feels more like 3 lost episodes of Tales from the Darkside tossed together to make a movie. Rather than horror, they’re more like tales of the campy and weird (and forgettable).

1st story – A guy buys a car that begins to talk to him…and to ruin his relationship with his woman.

with friends like these car

2nd story – A sloppy dude essentially conjures a slimy trash monster version of himself.

with friends like these slob monster

3rd story – Generally the most compelling because you don’t know exactly what to expect, this one is about a woman who begins dating a guy her friends set her up with…only to find he has some really strange patterns of behavior.

with friends like these date

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STREAM QUEEN: you’ve seen it all before…but which do you want to see again?

Found footage, slashers, ghosts, crawling girl ghouls, etc. How badly do you want to be scared in the same way you have dozens of times before? This is a bunch of quickies I figuratively crossed off my watch lists—and got what I deserved since I added them purposely because they looked comforting and familiar. Here’s what I thought of each.

DEVIL’S PASS (2013)

 devils pass cover

Devil’s Pass uses every found footage rule in the book—and unfortunately drags it out for 100 minutes. The good news is, the horror payoff at the end is really worth it.

A group of students goes to the location of an infamous mystery that took place in Russia 50 years ago. After getting some cold reception from locals, a guy offers to take them to the spot where it happened—in the middle of the snowy mountains.

devils pass outlines

Pretty soon, they think they’re being terrorized by a Bigfoot. Then they find a secret door in a mountain. They’re hit by an avalanche. They’re shot at. They take cover inside the mountain. And then they discover all the secrets about the evils the Russians have been up to, thanks to perfectly preserved, perfectly laid out files and reports.

devils pass passage door

But it’s the underground lair and the freaky monsters that chase them in the final act that give this one some excitement at last. While it does look a bit like footage from a first person video game at times, it’s still a bunch of cheap thrills that at least makes up for all the time you waste watching the first part of the film.

devils pass behind door

There’s also some good music in the film by bands Mirror Talk and Oh Boy Les Mecs, both of which I’m totally going to be playing on my Future Flashbacks show.

BLEED (2016)

bleed cover

This one gets points for its intriguingly weird premise…despite being as derivative as modern day ghost movies come.

A couple moves into a new house. She’s pregnant and plans to spit the kid out right there on the floor in the middle of the new house with a midwife. The locals act weird. The couple’s friends are kind of weird, too, considering they come to visit and decide it would be fun to go explore the local abandoned, haunted prison…???

bleed other couple

This after one of the friends is already being terrorized in the house by visions of a scary Rob Zombie looking dude. Then the wife starts seeing a little girl ghost who appears to be begging for help (aka: trying to warn the fuck out of her).

bleed zombie dude

So they spend most of the movie running around the gnarly prison and being chased by ghosts and visions as their flashlights  bob up, down, and all around. You know the drill.

bleed main girl

If you’re a diehard fan of this kind of horror flick, then grab the lube, because Bleed offers you just about every orgasm-inducing cliché you can hope for.

6 PLOTS (2012)

6 plots cover

I almost feel like this movie was made to be tedious just so we’d know how the characters are supposed to feel.

Bitchy high schoolers party at the house of one of their privileged friends. Next thing they know, they all wake up to find only one girl is free while the others are all trapped in confined spaces. Their only lifeline is that they have phone contact with each other. The free girl is given an ominous emoji message warning her their time is running out and she has to figure out where they are to save each of them.

6 plots on phone

Basically, everyone just cries on the phone as they wait their turn to die. I can’t with this movie. I…really…can’t. It’s like the future of horror movies is going to be people using Jigsaw apps so they can just torture and kill people trapped in confined spaces from the comfort of their couch.

6 plots emoji

13 HOURS IN A WAREHOUSE (2008)

13 hours in a warehouse cover

In this indie ghost flick, a bunch of thieves robs an art museum and waits in a warehouse for a guy who is coming to buy the stuff they scored. They inadvertently kidnap some chick along the way, so they chain her up in the basement.

Luckily for her, there are some evil assed ghost girls in the building that set her free and do everything in their power to help her escape her abductors for the remainder of the film.

13 hours in a warehouse ghosts

The first appearance of a ghost made me jump out of my fricking seat, and the ghost girls are pretty cool, even if the special ghost effects are of average computer quality. The real problem here is that the film drags on forever with not enough thrills and chills.

13 hours in a warehouse nooses

There’s one fucked up bathroom scene at the beginning of the haunting action that is so damn good that nothing ever lives up to it (man butt is just icing on the buns…I mean…cake).

13 hours in a warehouse bathroom

There’s some entertaining suspense for the final girl near the end, but it doesn’t make up for all the lackluster action during the bulk of the film.

PARANORMAL XPERIENCE (2011)

paranormal xperience cover smaller

This Spanish film has such ridiculously American sensibilities (hell, it was even in 3D originally) that at first I thought I was going to be bored to tears. Actually, I kind of was bored for a while.

Looking for an easy way to make the grade, med students make a deal with their professor…they’ll go investigate haunted mines in an old ghost town.

paranormal xperience cast smaller

Some very cheesy, very American cheap horror scares, really cute guys, and some boy butt fill the time while the group heads to the location and discusses the legend of a crazy killer doctor who was supposedly locked up in the mines by the vengeful town.

paranormal xperience killer smaller

Then they spend a bunch of time basically doing the found footage thing without the found footage POV. They explore the mines, they experience weird shit, they realize that the sister of the main girl seems to have a psychic link to the spirits in the mine…or actually, one in particular. The psycho doctor from hell! Well…from the mines.

paranormal xperience guy kill smaller
GITCHI GITCHI GOO!

Suddenly this shit turns into a brutal slasher! What the frick? And I’m not complaining!

paranormal xperience face tear smaller

It is good old trashy, brutal violence, blood and gore as the doc tears his way through the group in a swift, timely fashion. AWESOME.

DEAD AWAKE (2016)

dead awake cover

Horror queen Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil, Summer Camp, Holidays, The Burrowers, Insidious: Chapter 2) stars as twin sisters in this supernatural flick, which is a bit of a throwback to the PG-13 spookfests of the mid-2000s (think The Boogeyman, The Ring, Pulse, etc.).

With the phenomenon of sleep paralysis making its way into horror culture, this one attaches an old hag legend to the condition. Can you imagine having a spell and being unable to move as a withered old version of Samara crawl all up in your face?

dead awake hag

When her sister’s life falls apart as a result of sleep paralysis episodes, Jocelin joins forces with cutie Jesse Bradford of Bring It On fame to try to get to the truth of the situation.

dead awake jesse bradford

The pair also begins getting attacked by the hag whenever they go to sleep. They seek help from an expert, played by Jessie Borrego of Fame fame (I had to). He believes there’s a way to conquer the bitch while sleeping. Aw shit. We all know how that usually works out. Just ask Jessie (No, not Borrego – Jessie from Elm Street).

dead awake jesse borrego

The 3 Js (Jocelin, Jesse, Jessie) run around town trying to save all their loved ones from going to sleep and getting nightmare hagged. Unless you’re twelve, you’ve pretty much seen it all before, but if you still feel like you’re twelve some of the time (like me), you’ll get some cheap thrills.

WAKE THE DEAD (2017)

wake the dead cover

This low budget flick is coincidentally like a mashup of a bunch of the other flicks in this blog. A couple – he’s cute and gets shirtless, she looks like Brittany Snow – moves into a house. They invite all their friends over for a party.

wake the dead husband

The wife begins to see terrible visions of ghosts being tortured. The group discovers the diary of a psycho doctor that used to experiment on people in the building.

wake the dead doc with victim

They have a séance. They call a priest.

wake the dead against wall

There are gnarly gore effects but subpar ghost effects.

wake the dead mirror

For a low budget film, things start off better than they get. Instead of leaving, even after the priest gets tossed around the house and flees, telling them to just get out, they stay…and have another séance! So it’s hard to feel sorry for them when they have a stabbing circle jerk.

wake the dead seance knife

It becomes really goofy by and goes off the rails by the final act, when suddenly someone else becomes the “main girl.” I wasn’t paying attention to the movie anymore by that point. Hey, once you have a circle jerk with a knife, I’m ready to just roll over and play dead.

wake the dead mask

However, there is one classic part of this film that totally won me over. In response to the chick holding the séance saying, “Uh-oh,” the main guy responds with, “What? What’s uh-oh?” just before…

wake the dead demoneyes

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Killer Shrews vs. Cthulhu!

You can’t kill classic creatures! They just keep coming back, sometimes with comic results…especially when they work their way into indie horror. So here’s looking at Attack of the Killer Shrews! and The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu.

ATTACK OF THE KILLER SHREWS! (2016)

attack of killer shrews cover

As a fan of director Ken Cosentino’s more serious horror (Wolf House, Dead Inside), I was looking forward to seeing his campy b-movie spoof/remake of the classic 1959 creature feature The Killer Shrews. That film has already been given a trashy sequel in the 2012 film Return of the Killer Shrews, which used CGI shrews, whereas Attack makes good on its promise on the DVD cover art; it goes old school with puppets and dogs in costume…just like the original!

attack of killers shrews big head attack

I’m totally good with the bad low budget movie look and feel, the over-the-top performances, cheesy humor, and the silly shtick, which is what I would expect.

attack of killer shrews dark woods

The issue I have is that Lloyd Kaufman got his hands on the film. He does a spoken intro, but even without that, I would have guessed he crapped all over it—literally—because it’s filled with the stench of his unfunny, always out of place fart humor.

attack of killer shrews bloody face

It sux what indie directors have to do in order to get someone to back their films these days, but Cosentino did it: Troma fart-o-rama. Ugh.

attack of killer shrews hump

attack of killer shrews beefy boy

It’s something I can just never overlook and I’m totally taken out of the joys of bad b-movies (like Shrews humping guys in their undies and beefy boys with guns) when there are Kaufman shit stains on it. I’m just so glad Kaufman, who is distributing Cosentino’s film Dead Inside, didn’t mess with that one.

THE LAST LOVECRAFT: RELIC OF CTHULHU (2009)

last lovecraft cover

I would say that you don’t have to be a Lovecraft fan to have fun with this one…but I don’t know if Lovecraft fans will have fun with it because I’m totally not a Lovecraft fan. But I did have fun with it. Could that be…because I’m not a Lovecraft fan? You’ll have to ask a Lovecraft fan who watches this.

last lovecraft car window

Although it begins with a sinister and gory death of two guys out boating, this is just a silly little low budget buddy/road trip/creature feature/sci-fi comedy/geekdom movie.

last lovecraft at office

Two cute, bored guys working in an office are suddenly on the run from fricking fish people when a college professor says one of them is the chosen one.

last lovecraft earache

He gives them a relic they must protect to keep a cult from opening an underwater gate that will release the Cthulhu (for the Lovecraft ignorant, it’s all explained in a fun animated sequence).

last lovecraft cartoon

Clueless as to what to do when the fishmen come for them, the guys run to the house of a major geek they went to high school with.

last lovecraft relic in tank

Actually they go to his foul-mouthed grandmother’s house, because he lives with her. She’s a blast. I wish they had brought her with them on their road trip.

last lovecraft grandma

The road trip takes them through the desert in search of a man who can supposedly help them fight the sea creatures.

last lovecraft captain

This old geezer, who they find in an RV, is the second funniest part of the film. If only foul-mouthed granny had come along for the ride, these two could have hooked up.

last lovecraft tent

Anyway, believe it or not, Cthulhu and plenty of other freaky sea creatures make appearances right in the middle of the desert for the final battle, and it’s pretty epic for a modest indie flick.

last lovecraft cthulhu

This lighthearted film brings me back to the days of movies I’d watch dozens of times on cable in the early 80s.

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Still some leftovers in my Halloween 2017 Trick Or Treat bag…

Gone are the days when Halloween horror movies would simply hit DVD in October and I would blind buy them so I could see them in a timely fashion. Nowadays, I have to sit around hoping they’ll hit one of the streaming services—or hit any VOD service at all before Halloween. That didn’t go so well this year, so the majority of my Halloween themed horror viewing to the holiday horror page came via SyFy originals. Ugh!

But finally, I caught a trio of this year’s releases…just in time for Christmas. So let’s see if it’s possible to get back into the Halloween spirit by watching Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill!, Haunted Maze, and Talon Falls.

HALLOWEEN PUSSY TRAP KILL! KILL! (2017)

halloween pussytrap killkill cover

I discovered the trailer for this one pretty much on Halloween weekend, so I was psyched to actually get to see it at all this year.

In one of the oddest Halloween horror movie openings ever, U.S. military men in the Middle East are captured on October 31st, are mocked for celebrating Halloween, and then get treated to some brutal torture. I was immediately devastated that horror hunk Paul Logan was clearly going to have a minor role in the film. Anyway, one of the mutilated men vows revenge…

halloween pussytrap killkill main baddie

Which is the start of this film making pretty much no sense at all – unless you just want to put all the blame for what transpires on PTSD.

But first I have to note that the theme song “Last Halloween” by Jyrki 69 of hardcore goth band The 69 Eyes should be the official theme to the holiday itself and immediately gets added to my monster music page.

 

The film walks so close to being a slice of exploitation trash heaven, but never quite gets there, despite everything it has going for it. What does it have going for it?

– girl punk band.

halloween pussytrap killkill band

– a rape stopped by a dude in a wheelchair, who then gets beaten up.

– fricking RICHARD GRIECO as a creepy old gas station attendant.

halloween pussytrap killkill grieco

– Band is gassed in their van, wakes up in Saw-like setting.

– Wheelchair guy watches through monitors and pretty much puts them through the old Jigsaw fun and games.

Only it isn’t fun, because despite some initial freaky as hell delusions, they all kind of just stand around drenched in neon lights yelling and screaming at each other before killing each other.

halloween pussytrap killkill guys

Wheelchair dude has some bizarre sidekicks – a little person and a chick in a witch costume who regularly answers her ringing doorbell to blow away trick or treaters with a gun. That adds to the wild exploitation aspect, just not enough—and their presence also really confuses matters.

halloween pussytrap killkill crazies

Absolutely nothing is explained here, including the logic behind the dude killing Americans because evil dudes in the Middle East ripped his face off (logic being—you’re all spoiled brats that don’t appreciate my sacrifice…aka: my face). I’m not even sure which side of the political border wall this movie is trying to stand on, if any.

There is at least a final girl who gets into a chase scene and a knock-down, drag-out fight to the end, which also puts Richard Grieco to good use. But for the most part, this all-girl punk rock band is a bunch of pussies.

HAUNTED MAZE (2017)

haunted maze cover

Haunted attraction slashers on Halloween are becoming to the 21st century what babysitter slashers on Halloween were to the 20th century. We’re simply going through the motions and not breaking new ground, nor topping anything that came before. But I’m still a sucker for them.

haunted maze attraction ghoul

This one was on my radar for a while, particularly because Brian Krause (aka: Leo of Charmed) was listed in the cast, but the VOD and DVD release date got changed a few times and it didn’t hit Amazon Prime until after Halloween.

haunted maze teacher

The opener is my favorite part—a teacher is talking about it being October 31st to his class of young students, mentions that it’s also one kid’s birthday…and then all of a sudden there’s an axe and screaming children everywhere.

haunted maze trick or treaters

Halloween treat indeed.

haunted maze school kid

But the date is the most traction Halloween gets. Next, we meet that kid years later; he’s a big creepy clown being interrogated by police after a tragedy at the haunted attraction at which he works.

haunted maze clown

While the haunted attraction footage is great and visually freaky, the film seems to be almost entirely foreplay, in that the actual kills don’t begin until 64 minutes in!

haunted maze hotguyBeauty and the beast…

Really, the slasher part of the film is all compressed into about ten minutes of film near the end. It delivers in all regards—gore, violence, chases—but it’s way too short!

haunted maze clown drag

Since the narrative is presented in flashbacks, we regularly return to the clown talking to the detectives, which inevitably creates confusion, interferes with the pacing and horror atmosphere, and makes it hard to become attached to any characters at all.

haunted maze cast

Although I could see myself becoming attached to this guy…at the hips.

haunted maze barn guy

And this attempt at giving us a psychological profile of the killer falls totally flat. Not to mention, there are so many aspect of the ending of the film that I simply didn’t understand. AT ALL.

Although, the clown’s psycho flashbacks did provide an awesome – but way too brief – apple bobbing clip…

haunted maze apple bobRed delicious apples, anyone?

And as for Brian Krause, I didn’t see him anywhere, then noticed he isn’t in the cast credits in the film itself, even though he’s still listed in the credits on imdb as of this writing.

TALON FALLS (2017)

talon falls cover

Here we have a Halloween haunted attraction horror flick…told in flashbacks. But unlike Haunted Maze, this time the tale is being told by one of the victims, not the killer.

That’s where the problem lies—the intro scene absolutely, definitely gives away the “twist” ending. There is simply no way you won’t see it coming. Not to mention, slashers that show the “last” scene at the beginning are setting viewers up to watch a movie just to see how and when every character except the only one featured in that scene dies.

talon falls main girl body drop

Having said that, the opener was intense, so I knew I was at least in for some gritty horror.

talon falls electro

Friends on a road trip detour to a haunted Halloween attraction – them mentioning it being a Halloween attraction is the only reference to the holiday in the entire film.

talon falls the house

Just like Haunted Maze, the tour footage is pretty damn creepy. The friends split up during the tour, and before long they are attacked by actual goons and tossed in cages to be used for the “show.”

talon falls entering house

There are a whole bunch of baddies in this one, and there’s a good amount of torture as well. Shit gets brutal.

talon falls hammer

I just wish the kids had initially acted a bit more terrified when they realized what was about to happen to them once they were locked up.

talon falls killer

This is pretty traditional stuff, with some kids fighting back, some escaping, some dying, some getting tortured, and the few lucky ones getting away and being chased. Plus there are some good old jump scares.

talon falls body drop

While it offers the least Halloween spirit of these three films, it’s the best in this bunch in terms of delivering an overall horror experience. However, for me, that blatant giveaway of the ending at the beginning really cheapens what is otherwise a tight film with some sleek production.

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Zombie Smorgasbord: Feeds Six

While I was eating Thanksgiving dinner, I watched zombies eating brains…and legs…and thighs… So let’s see how this 6-movie marathon turned out for me.

ZOMBIE MASSACRE 2: REICH OF THE DEAD (2015)

zombie massacre 2 cover

Considering the first film, also known as Apocalypse Z, was more like a Resident Evil video game than the actual movie franchise based on the games, with army guys running around shooting up zombies and other mutations, it’s hard to believe this sequel takes itself so seriously. I mean, the first film even ended with a booblicious poolside zombie massacre.

Taking place during World War II, Zombie Massacre 2 might as well be Outpost 4. It pretty much borrows that franchise’s plot anyway.

zombie massacre 2 nazi

The difference is, this one is so heavy on the dialogue and war stuff that it doesn’t often feel much like a zombie film. And as intense as the zombies that do bother to show up are, there are so few of them and they are so easily mowed down with heavy artillery that I never quite felt the threat was as terrifying as the lead character made it seem.

zombie massacre 2 zombies

He eventually saves a woman who helps him find the hospital from which the zombie outbreak stems. The journey to the conclusion heads into even more cliché territory, especially if you’ve played all the Resident Evil games, proving that sometimes a good zombie film is about more than just a few cool looking zombies.

AFTER THE DAWN (2012)

 after the dawn cover

I’ll be very clear about this one – while there are a couple of high-intensity scenes with fast moving zombies plus quick, shaky, choppy editing, this movie is not here to scratch your zombie itch.

After The Dawn is a moody, stark film about one lone woman after the apocalypse who hopes to find the loved ones she’s been separated from.

after the dawn with boy

She connects with a boy, but spends most of the movie thinking in flashback form to her relationships with her brother and her boyfriend.

after the dawn boyfriend

As far as the few zombie scenes go, the zombies kind of look like rednecks with a bunch of veins on their faces running to a lynching of the lone black trans atheist in Trump’s America. They also make wildcat sounds. Seriously, they make wildcat sounds.

after the dawn zombies

The film take great care with its long homage monologue to Romero and Night of the Living Dead in a movie theater.

after the dawn theater

But the sole purpose seems to be to get to the big twist/reveal at the end, which is meant to have a much deeper, thought-provoking impact than the usual zombie movie. Does it? Depends on how many zombies films you’ve seen in your life, I guess.

E-19 VIRUS (2017)

e19 virus cover

E-19 Virus attempts a sci-fi plot that’s much loftier than its budget and production values—the dialogue and scenes between all the scientists in the film are pretty bad—but I have to admit, what saves it for me are the scene with the kids. Yes, the kids carry this film.

e19 virus face eat

The plot is so fantastical that it’s easy to mock it, but the truth is, if this idea came from Steven Spielberg film and had millions of dollars behind it, it would be a huge success. 3 kids in a town are quickly exposed to the realization that their friends and family have become flesh eating zombies.

e19 virus scientists

A scientist offers them a way to stay alive; he’ll inject them with a serum that will make them immune to the zombie infection, but in exchange they must transport a vaccine to a safe house.

e19 virus kids

Now here’s where shit gets weird. The stuff they get injected with not only gives them various super abilities, but it also gives them the power to teleport! So they spend the entire movie kicking zombie ASS as they travel to the safe house (why don’t they just teleport there?).

e19 virus gore

Oddly, the zombies are a blend of cop out “makeup” consisting of people simply smeared with fake blood, and some super gnarly rotting faces.

e19 virus zombie on stairs

And the teleporting effects look like old school 1980s state of the art technology. But the three boys really do have a fricking blast playing the heroes as they bash out the brains of endless waves of the undead, and I found that aspect ridiculously entertaining.

ZOMBTHOLOGY (2008)

zombthology cover

The title tells you everything you need to know; it’s a zombie anthology. There’s only one thing I hated about this movie—Tiffany Shepis in the wraparound, in which she plays herself being kidnapped by some dude who forces her to watch zombie films. Not because we only get the horror queen in the wraparound…because we get her at all.

zombthology tiffany

This is the only time I’ve ever despised Shepis in a movie. She screams, curses, and whines shrilly the entire time. It’s one of those moments when a female’s behavior makes me think, “I am so fucking glad I’m gay and don’t have to deal with that shit every day of my life.” Kind of like every time I watch any episode of The Real Housewives.

And speaking of being gay, as a gay guy who runs a gay horror site for gay guys, I can tell you gay guys love Tiffany. I can also tell you Tiffany knows that. So I have to say, it’s beyond my comprehension that most of Tiffany’s dialogue consists of anti-gay slurs. Yes, I know she didn’t write the dialogue, but here’s the thing. Tiffany pretty much has all the power when some indie director wants her to be in his movie to add some horror cred to it. Tiffany is playing herself in this movie. Tiffany can tell the director, “I’m not saying any of this. I’ll use every other expletive in the book, but not this anti-gay shit, because this is supposed to be stuff coming from the actual me, and the gays love me.” Still love you, Tiff, but you need to strap one on – one that includes a realistic set of big balls – when it comes to moments like this in your career.

As for the fucker who wrote all that brilliant dialogue, I’m going to show just how cool a fucking faggot I am by actually being totally objective and pretty much praising the rest of this damn movie despite the anti-gay shit.

zombthology water zombie

1st story – Specifically set in 1970, this looks right out of Leatherface territory, down to a bunch of hippies in a van that breaks down on a deserted road.

zombthology orgy

They have a sizzling hot orgy as rotten zombies from hell crawl out of a nearby lake…and the screaming and eating begin. The overused grindhouse effects make it feel like you’re watching on old VHS copy of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.

zombthology with sheriff

A Slinky even plays a prominent part in the story, so warm childhood memories came flooding back. Loved this one.

zombthology christmas tree

2nd story – This one has Christmas spirit, humor, gore, and unexpected twists. A dude gets the worst case of athlete’s foot ever in the gym shower, and soon craves raw meat.

zombthology feet

When his girlfriend comes home one night to discover him eating the hot bimbo next door, things don’t go as expected. Good tidings of fear.

zombthology carving

3rd story –It’s a sleazy, campy, gory sausagefest. Guys having a bachelor party are shocked when a smelly skank whore shows up at their door…but some of the guys are really turned on.

zombthology stripper at door

As she begins to take them into a bedroom one after the other, the guys conclude it’s some sort of bizarre kinky zombie fetish act.

zombthology stripper slime

Then things start to get really disgusting. One guy even makes a drug-induced confession about the great sex he had with a priest! Loved this one.

zombthology tongue

You heard right. I fricking loved every story in this piece of indie trash. I need this to hit DVD so I can add it to my collection ASAP.

THE GATEKEEPER (2008)

gatekeeper cover

The Gatekeeper captures the vibe of late 1970s Euro zombie films in all its cheesiness. Its biggest issue is that it takes too long to get going.

There’s basically a 3-way car accident on a desolate road, and the various groups of people take cover in a small building they discover nearby.

gatekeeper group in shed

One couple goes off to get help, and within minutes some gnarly-assed, rotten as hell, throwback awesome zombies attack.

gatekeeper zombies break in

They also kind of screech like wildcats. What’s with the zombie movies with zom-cheetahs?

gatekeeper first guy eaten

Anyway, the group plots several ways to get out of their predicament, which gives us both occasional zombie confrontations and loads of downtime for a majority of the film, although there are some funny parts, some of them intentional, others funny based on sloppy comic timing. Luckily, it totally works in the film’s favor.

gatekeeper group outside

Meanwhile, one of the men seems to know all the answers about the zombies. And his story is a doozy about a gatekeeper responsible for giving the zombies the hit they need to keep them dormant in the mines from which they’re coming.

gatekeeper arm bite

I’d say forget the hokey storyline, but there’s actually a twist to it that I kind of liked. Plus, the climax is an old school zombie party, with dark woods accosted by exaggerated lighting and smoke machines as the cast struggles to fight its way out of the predicament.

gatekeeper outside attack

THE BOG CREATURES (2003)

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The Bog Creatures is the perfect film to pair with The Gatekeeper if you’re looking for a double feature throwback to late 1970s zombie flix.

bog creatures zombie woman

Basically see all my thoughts on that film above, just change the storyline to college kids sent by their college professor to an old castle to excavate bodies buried in a bog nearby. Legend has it those bodies were treated in a way that would keep them from truly dying…

bog creatures dig

The kids are cute and likable and there are some funny moments, including one guy eating a pair of panties he was checking out when the girl they belong to catches him in her tent.

bog creatures undie eat

But outdoing that is a bi girl who decides she’s going to teach a straight boy how to let go of his societal constraints and open his mind to sex with other guys…by letting him imagine that she’s a guy.

bog creatures girl and boy

bog creatures wig guy

As the 1970s rotten zombie/smoke machine/dramatic lighting kicks in near the end, Debbie Rochon shows up to give us a good dose of scream queen fun.

bog creatures zombie surround

This one instantly gets added to my DVD collection.

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A horror Thanksgiving main course, a side of Christmas, and a dash of gay

Amazon Prime comes through just in time to carve the turkey with some new Thanksgiving horror, and throws in a Christmas short as an added bonus. So I take a look at Buzzard Hollow Beef and A Christmas to Dismember, two more to add to the holiday horror page and die, gay guy , die! the page.

BUZZARD HOLLOW BEEF (2017)

buzzard hollow beef cover

Taking on the often-overlooked Thanksgiving, first time director Joshua Johnson breaks with the tradition of holiday horror. Rather than the usual holiday slasher, Buzzard Hollow Beef is trippy backwoo—…canniba—…home inva—psychological thri—… Seriously, this one defies labels as it totally sucks you into its mind fuck scenario. You end up feeling as delusional as the characters in the movie, and you never really know exactly what the hell is happening, or what is real or not.

buzzard hollow beef arrival

For a family gathering at their parents’ house in the snowy mountains, a beefy brother brings his…um…”buddy”, and a pregnant and single sister brings her BFF. The dynamics are immediately weird. The brother’s buddy seems to have a past with the sister…but also seems to be with the brother now!

buzzard hollow beef hug

At first I thought they were serious, then I thought they were joking around, but then there’s a scene involving the brother alone in the bedroom with his buddy that brought me back to them being serious again.

buzz hollow beef bedroom

Their sexuality is quite fluid. Just one of many compelling mysteries in this bizarre film.

buzzard hollow beef pumpkin

After a day of mass shooting vegans…I mean, target practice with pumpkins out in a field, the family hits up a diner and a big argument ensues about consuming meat, with the creepy hillbilly owners of the restaurant even getting involved.

buzz hollow beef diner

Another snag is hit when the buddy reveals he’s allergic to turkey, so they have to come up with an alternate plan for Thanksgiving dinner, which leads to a strange visit to the butcher.

All the while, the dad is defending the local weirdoes…

Back home, everyone begins to have reeeeaaaalllllly fucked up hallucinations.

buzz hollow beef faceoff

Gross. Sexual.

buzzard hollow beef family dinner

And when it comes time for the actual Thanksgiving dinner, let’s just say if you decide to watch this one on Thanksgiving day, well…do not watch it before…um…or after dinner. I highly suggest you save this one for Black Friday.

buzzard hollow beef beef

Sure, the film may derive its name from the meat theme, but I want to believe it’s inspired by the brother.

buzz hollow beef shower

I’d like to be stuffed by his beef on Thanksgiving.

buzzard hollow beef lick

Shit turns backwoods/cannibal/home invasion crazy…or does it? Buzzard Hollow Beef might not be about jump scares, it may not be the definitive Thanksgiving horror you need to watch annually, but it sure as hell is an atmospheric, fascinating contribution to the slim pickings.

A CHRISTMAS TO DISMEMBER (2016)

christmas to dismember cover

There are so many horror lovers out there aspiring to make films just like the slashers they grew up on. It’s astounding how many of them, having absorbed so many films, still think it’s as simple as having a storyline, then filming people getting hacked up on screen by a guy in a mask. Rather than the obvious basics, it’s the many complex details that make particular slashers effective that should be what young filmmakers are studying and emulating, but that’s not often the case.

christmas to dismember santa

Hence we have A Christmas to Dismember. While there are some technical aspects here that are reminiscent of classic slashers (like practical kill effects of basic 80s low budget slasher quality), a sort of ode to The Breakfast Club, and some humor that gets a bit lost in the flat delivery, this is essentially 40 minutes of a gay guy and his fag hags sitting around and talking…and occasionally getting killed.

christmas to dismember classroom

christmas to dismember hall peek

Even the “storyline” becomes hard to follow because it’s virtually told entirely through dialogue. Two friends sit in the woods talking. The kids sit in an empty classroom and talk. They sit in a house exchanging presents and talking.

christmas to dismember girls

christmas to dismember tree

They play with a Ouija board and talk to their dead friend. They mention names of people we never actually see.

christmas to dismember ouija

Then there’s a disjointed hallucinatory dream segment that makes the film more confusing (there’s even a different killer costume) before we’re back in the house for the final twist—a twist that’s essentially given away in the first scene.

christmas to dismember dark axe

christmas to dismember other mask

It kind of feels like a school film project, so I wouldn’t discourage those involved from keeping at it and fine-tuning every aspect of the horror craft.

christmas to dismember santa stab

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I can never get enough of Rolfe Kanefsky’s sexy scary horror

What I love about director Rolfe Kanefsky is that his style has remained consistent since his first film There’s Nothing Out There way back in 1991. To this day his movies feel like sleazy direct-to-VHS schlock from that very year, and I can’t get enough of it. Plus, he gives guys as much naked screen time as the ladies.

While I covered a bunch of his films here, it’s time to look at two erotic horror flicks he made in the new millennium.

JACQUELINE HYDE (2005)

jacqueline hyde cover

Despite its rather campy title, this one doesn’t go for the humorous possibilities (you’ll have to stick to 1995’s Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde for that). This is a good old sexual reworking of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic work of horror fiction.

jacqueline hyde man booty

jacqueline hyde gramps corpse

A young woman inherits a mansion from the grandfather she didn’t really know she had (huh?).

jacqueline hyde mansion room

She soon discovers his lab, his research notes and tapes, and his test tubes full of glowing liquid.

jacqueline hyde potion

Not only is the stuff inside delicious, it makes her super horny and gives her the ability to turn into any kind of sexy woman she wants—or any kind of hunky man she wants! The possibilities are endless…

jacqueline hyde surprise stud

jacqueline hyde studly neighbor

There’s plenty of boobs, plenty of man bods and butts, and plenty of sex scenes, but the film also doesn’t skimp on the classic gore. As she begins to give in to her Hyde side, she uses sex as a weapon…literally.

jacqueline hyde morph together

She sexually assaults men and women and maims and kills those who resist. She pokes a guy’s eyes out with her tits.

jacqueline hyde titattack

Hell, she even licks a woman dry….

jacqueline hyde sucked dry

I can’t comprehend that this movie wasn’t made in 1991. They just don’t make them like this anymore. Actually they do, and Rolfe just did, with his latest film.

THE BLACK ROOM (2017)

black room cover

The Black Room is like a bad House sequel meets Hellraiser wrapped up in unapologetic, cheesy late 80s/early 90s throwback erotic horror. And in contrast to Jacqueline Hyde, the horny devil is a guy this time.

black room freak face

Natasha Henstridge, famous for playing Eve in the Species movies, moves into a new house with her hot hubby, and they immediately begin having sexual problems. They just don’t seem to be on the same schedule at all.

black room demon woman

That’s because there’s some sexual supernatural portal in the basement that is unleashing demonic forces to get the pair off when they’re alone. Awesome.

black room demon

Meanwhile, anyone who comes into the house—usually some sort of blue-collar worker—gets killed off.

black room hublick

black room hubbunbutton

And the husband begins acting very different…after he has a sexy encounter with the portal in the basement…

black room hubbutt

black room hubchest

But man, his demonic sex scene is even more fucked up.

black room throat

This wacky shit is Kanesky at his most fun, and includes appearances by Lin Shaye, Dominique Swain, James “Kea-no” Duval, and Tiffany Shepis.

black room lin

As far as I’m concerned, The Black Room is just the foreplay to his upcoming film Party Bus to Hell starring Tara Reid.

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