Here’s a bunch of crap I’ve been re-visiting lately, so let’s see how they hold up.
THE EERIE MIDNIGHT HORROR SHOW (aka: Enter the Devil) (1974)
This Italian knock-off of The Exorcist was renamed to sound more like Rocky Horror, with the latest Blu-ray release even giving us big lips.
An artist is hired to restore a freakishly real looking statue of a man on a crucifix (is it Jesus without a beard?). We are treated to the artist’s two-timing mother getting whipped with roses. Horrified, the artist runs to her studio, only to be banged by the statue, which has now come to life—and is pretty dang good looking with a cute butt.
Who wouldn’t let this devil come inside them?
The artist is soon doing her best Linda Blair impression, with the addition of trying to get her father to fuck her. But all the great perversion comes to an end quick when her parents seek out an exorcist. The Eerie Midnight Horror Show becomes a total yawnfest until the artist is finally dragged to a convent. By the time the priest exorcises her—in a courtyard—she is pale with chapped lips and black circles around her red eyes. That’s the extent of the makeup.
They should have just kept up the perversion. What a Eurotrash letdown.
THE HEARSE (1980)
Trying to get over a bad divorce, a woman moves to a house left to her by her aunt. She is quickly given the cold shoulder by all the locals, begins to see her dead aunt around the house, starts a relationship with a handsome young man, and is being terrorized by a hearse.
There are occasional creepy scenes and tame jump scares, but The Hearse feels mostly like a slow, boring rip-off of 1970s supernatural flicks like Burnt Offerings and Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. The best scene in the whole movie is when the leading lady finds the hearse driver in her bed and he chases her around the house.
ZOMBIE HIGH (1987)
This one should have been called “Zombie-like State High.” No flesh-eating zombies here. The faculty at a private school is simply lobotomizing students. Virginia Madsen is the smart new girl in school who starts to realize things are weird—while she begins a relationship with her science teacher. Uh-oh.
It’s pretty much a not-so disturbing Disturbing Behavior. And it’s not particularly scary. But the 80s vibe is great. The soundtrack rocks. And at a party, the students do a creepy zombified slow dance before the band breaks into a funk performance that would make Morris Day & the Time jealous.
The cast includes Sherilyn Fenn and an actor named Scott Coffey, who was in loads of 80s stuff, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Shag, Satisfaction, and the awesome “Go to the Head of the Class” episode of Amazing Stories.
CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH (1989)
Shannon Tweed is a feminist college professor sent by the government to the avocado jungles of…California. She is to convince a man-hating tribe called the Piranha Women to leave. She takes along her bimbo student and hires Bill Maher, a chauvinistic tour guide, to accompany her.
Despite the fantastic title and being a product of the 80s, this feminist satire is lame! Nothing funny, bloody, or sexy happens. Bill doesn’t even seem to want to be in the movie, especially when he has to masculinize a tribe of men who are scared of the Piranha Women in a scene that goes on way too long and fails to be even slightly humorous in its mockery of machismo.
And you have to love when the trio sees a dangerous hippo while boating down the river—a hippo that we never see, not even through bad stock footage. And finally, they find the Piranha Women and their leader…Adrienne Barbeau. What was she thinking? She did this movie but passed on The Return of Swamp Thing?
Yeah, there’s a fight between Shannon and Adrienne, but I don’t have to be straight to tell you—there’s nothing hot about it. What kind of crap z-grade movie misses an opportunity to have these two rolling around in mud in just loincloths? However…you do get to see Bill Maher in a speedo, as well as a lot of other shirtless guys.
The fact that by the mid-90s filmmakers were trying to make copycats of Leprechaun is the ultimate indicator that it was the worst decade of horror ever.
Borrowing on the old Grimm’s fairy tale, baby-stealing Rumpel is cursed by a witch and turned into a little statue. Fast-forward to modern times and a single mom with a new baby buys the damn thing from some witch in an occult shop—a witch who warns her not to buy it and then not to make a wish on it. But who could resist the temptation of wishing her dead husband back?
Instead, she gets baby-napping little bastard Rumpel. And the chase is on. First at her house. Then her friend’s house (friend being the goofy chick from Moonlighting). Then Rumpel jumps on a motorcycle to chase her. Then he switches it over to a big 18-wheeler…and chases a dude on a buggy.
Eventually, the mom hitches a ride with an obnoxious TV show host who reminds us of a time when we thought screaming loud mouth comedians like Bobcat Goldthwait and Sam Kinison were funny. The BEST part of the movie is when the mom slaps him upside his head to get him to stop screaming for pretty much the rest of the movie.
The chase lands them in a police station. After the massacre there, it’s on to a cemetery, a tractor chase, a big explosion, fire, electrocution…and it turns out all they had to do was say Rumpelstiltskin’s name three times. Fuck you, 90s Rumpel. And stop trying to hide behind a soundtrack of 80s tunes by the likes of A Flock of Seagulls and Roman Holliday to mask the disaster decade from which you come.
SNOW WHITE: A TALE OF TERROR (1997)
I had to end this crapfest on a high note—and another Grimm’s fairy tale given a horror twist. Snow White: A Tale of Terror flips Disney the bird. This mean-spirited tale features Sam Neill of Jurassic Park as the king, Gil Bellows—Billy of Ally McBeal—as one of the “dwarves,” David Conrad of The Ghost Whisperer as the prince, Monica Keena of Freddy vs. Jason as Snow White, and Sigourney Weaver as the wicked stepmother. Any wonder this is a good movie?
Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful…and Sexy?
While it’s not “scary horror movie” material, it’s a dark, supernatural twist on the classic (just the way the Brothers Grimm would want it). Snow White is actually a little bitch to her stepmother and fricking deserves that poisoned apple.
The cool thing here is that Sig is so much more than her mirror. She turns into a witch before she even turns into a nasty old witch. She has some serious supernatural powers, hangs her husband upside down on a crucifix, and can bring trees crashing down in the woods to crush Snow and the dwarves.
And speaking of the dwarves, for starters, only one of them is actually a little person. And they are not kind to Snow White. They have some nasty plans for her. That is until the queen starts to fuck them up as well. The twists keep coming right until the bitter end, and even Snow’s prince in shining armor is not what we expect.