Back to the 90s with monsters, a killer clown…and the cannibal dead?

This trio isn’t exactly the cream of the 90s crop (very few films were), but it sure did keep me entertained with a mix of creature feature cheese, slasher slop, and backwoods bizarreness.

THE TERROR WITHIN II (1991)

terror within 2 cover

A while ago, I blogged about the 1989 creature feature The Terror Within. Well, the creature returned in 1991, and so did star Andrew Stevens (who also directs this time). And it’s back to the bunker for both monster and man…eventually.

In the first film, a group of survivors living underground after chemical warfare has destroyed the planet takes in a pregnant woman…who gives birth to a mutant monster that infiltrates the ventilation system. This time, a majority of the film takes place above ground. The virus has gotten into the bunker, so a small team is sent up top to locate a plant needed for a vaccine. Problem is, there are mutant monsters roaming the desolate planet now.

There’s some hilarious crap going on here. We don’t really see monsters at first, just arms coming from off screen to slap attack victims. Assault rifles make plenty of noise, but there is absolutely no sign—neither smoke nor spark—that any of them is releasing any kind of bullets.

terror within 2 rock push

A chick crushes a monster by single-handedly pushing a huge boulder off a cliff, and the man she’s saving is none other than Pepe/Enrique Mas from The Golden Girls! He’s actually one of the stars of the film. Awesome!

 terror within 2 pepe

But of course the true star is Andrew Stevens’s beard. Sadly, he shaves it off after he saves a young woman from a monster.

terror within 2 beard

He never learns, because he plans to bring her back to the bunker! Along the way, he has sex with her, they meet a psycho cult, the girl is raped by a monster…and Stevens still brings her back to the bunker.

 terror within 2 stevens vs man

So essentially, the last part of this film is the first movie all over again. Stevens pretty much even makes that point after the baby monster is born and hops up into the ventilation system.

terror within 2 baby

However, due to other complications, there are now two monsters, and they look more like deformed humans than the genuine monsters in the first movie.

terror within 2 monster

But it’s still stupid creature feature fun, and Andrew’s real life mom Stella Stevens even gets in on the action.

THE CLOWN AT MIDNIGHT (1999)

clown at midnight cover

This lost slasher of the post-scream era gets more DVD love overseas than in the U.S., where it only finally got released in a double disc set with the 2009 film Phantom Racer…and is already out of print. The fact that it would have only been worthy of a direct-to-VHS release in the dying days of that format back in 1999 may have something to do with it…

clown at midnight tatayana

Hey, this might be a really bad slasher, but the late 90s nostalgia factor totally overpowers that. Tatyana “Ashley” Ali of Fresh Prince convinces her friend to join her in a project to clean up an old opera house…even though it’s the same opera house where the friend’s mom was murdered years before by a clown. The friend, our main girl, is played by Sarah Lassez, who has since gained some scream queen status with a list of films like Mad Cowgirl, Lo, LA Sucks, The Dead Inside, and The Wicked Within.

clown at midnight james duval

Joining them are Ryan Bittle of Sweet Valley High as the pretty boy asshole with the bitch girlfriend, Kea-no Reeves James Duval as the mysterious outsider weirdo, the geek girl, the flamboyant gay guy…you get the picture.

clown at midnight kidder plummer

Running the show is Margot Kidder and Christopher Plummer, who immediately tells the kids about the ghost of the opera house…the main girl’s mother.

And yet she still stays to help.

And then the kids decide to break into the room where her mom was killed.

And yet she still stays to help.

There are still bloodstains on the floor from the murder years before.

And yet she still stays to help.

She immediately has visions of her mother’s murders.

And yet she still stays to help.

They find old love letters revealing dirty secrets about her mother’s past.

And yet she still stays to help.

clown at midnight head split

Really, it doesn’t get any dumber than this. Anyway, the usual happens: cheap scares, a cleaning montage, the gay guy flirts with the straight guys (spanks one during a mock sword fight) and gets called a freak and other not so pleasant names, people go off to have sex, and eventually, they start dying.

clown at midnight sword spank

The kills range from average to pretty good (Tatyana’s encounter with the killer clown is my fave, and at least the gay guy fights back—with his spank sword). There are some body reveals and newspaper clippings to fill in story details, and this R&B groove from Camille Douglasis featured to remind us The Clown At Midnight could only be from one decade.

 

BLOOD MASSACRE (1991)

blood massacre cover

This low budget film looked like it was going to be crap, so I was shocked by some of the surprises it threw my way by the end of its short 73-minute length.

blood massacre first kill

An opening kill scene has a fairly decent low budget grindhouse feel before we get a bit of boring introduction to the characters—a girl who came to visit a friend and a group of thieves rolling through town to wreak havoc. They rob patrons at a video store, which made me all nostalgic.

blood massacre kim carnes

One of the thieves is wearing a Kim Carnes “Mistaken Identity” shirt and one shooting victim slides down a poster for Endless Love. Don’t ask me, imdb says the film was made in 1991, not 1981…

blood massacre endless love

The thieves eventually abduct a young woman on a desolate road and force her to bring them to her home in the woods, where they hold her family captive…but not for long.

blood massacre captive family

Turns out the family is a bunch of freaks that turns the tables on the thieves.

blood massacre love bite

The look and feel of the film gave me The Last House on the Left flashbacks, only this film is better. Sorry, Wes, but I said it. That crap film is an amateur mess. Blood Massacre ends up being way more entertaining despite its budget limitations.

blood massacre spear red light

Shit gets weird and surprisingly bloody! People are beheaded, sliced up, speared, eaten, the girl visiting her friend at the beginning of the film randomly reappears in a closet and just runs out of the house screaming, there’s some Evil Dead shaky cam POV through the woods, one of the thieves is able to build weapons to turn the tables back on the family…and shit actually TURNS Evil Dead! WTF???

blood massacre evil dead girl

If Blood Massacre had just cut down on some of the boring crap at the beginning and expanded on the horror in the second half, it would be a total winner.

blood massacre evil dead guy

As is, it’s still an undeniable curiosity that shall remain in my collection even though it’s in a 6-in-1 DVD collection I got for free with 5 other films I have no use for.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
This entry was posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply