Good horror is more than a body count and a familiar horror face

Sometimes I just need to see people die to be happy. But kills and cameos aren’t enough. At least one of these three fulfilled my need with some cheesy fun….

SELF STORAGE (2013)

self storage cover

Sexy director Tom DeNucci also stars in this “slasher” as a slacker night guard at a storage facility. When he invites his friends to come party during his shift, little does he know that his boss (Eric Roberts), along with an assistant (Michael Berryman), is harvesting organs from humans for sale on the black market, and can always use more bodies.

selfstorage baddies

Self Storage doesn’t take itself seriously at all—so it’s a shame that it is so lacking in humor. There are moments that show how funny this film could be if DeNucci had just let the jokes keep coming. He and  several actors have great comic delivery, but they’re just not given enough material to carry it through.

self storage denucci

Instead, the movie simply strings together numerous partying montages, some sex scenes, footage of Roberts dissecting victims for their body parts (what little gore there is does look good), and a side story involving fricking Jonathan Silverman as one of the goons in the organ harvesting ring.

self storage silverman

Eventually, Berryman acts as the “killer” in the “slasher” segment of the film, simply clocking people in the head or stabbing them, then bringing them to Roberts to cut up. Unfortunately, this isn’t really a comedy, it isn’t really a horror film. It’s just a generic, low budget organ harvesting film with some light humor.

THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS (2015)

girl in the photographs

It’s a bad sign when horror darling Katharine Isabelle serves merely as the big marquee name—and first victim—in a movie. The Girl in the Photographs is a slasher I don’t want near even the worst slashers in my collection. It goes nowhere, it doesn’t scare, it barely tries to pretend to have a plot. It is not a matter of not being able to understand what is going on—it’s not being able to understand why any of it is going on at all.

girl in photographs isabelle

After Isabelle is killed, some random new girl who works at a grocery store starts receiving photos of murdered girls and begins an investigation into where they are coming from. I wish I could say she’s the final girl, the smart one, the fighter, but in the end she’s just another dumb victim who accomplishes fucking nothing in this movie and doesn’t get a chase scene of fight back. WTF with this movie?

A small crew has come to her small town to do a photo shoot. They’re led by Kal Penn of Harold & Kumar fame, who is so fucking annoying in this film it sucks that no one (him) dies until the last 23 minutes. Anyway, his group invites the grocery store girl to go hang out at the cabin they rented.

girl in photographs harold kumar

Meanwhile, two weird killer dudes—yes, we see them from the start—keep victims in cages, feed them cat food, and eventually kill them and take photos to send grocery girl.

girl in photographs cage

Also, the bigger guy (the other is thin) never wears a shirt and at one point, queerly fondles the thin guy’s shoulder. Don’t expect any expansion on that obvious moment—or any moments.

girl in photographs mask

The killers occasionally put on generic masks and stalk grocery girl, but don’t expect it to be suspenseful. In the final half hour, she suddenly decides she’s going to go to California with the photography crew to model for them, but before that can happen, they all get killed in the most generic ways possible.

BLOOD SAND (aka: The Sand) (2015)

blood sand cover

Combine the 1980 horror flick Blood Beach with Stephen King’s short story “The Raft” from Creepshow 2, and you have Blood Sand. You know what you’re in for so it’s easy to just enjoy the movie for what it is.

Kids partying on the beach at night find a giant slimy ball but are too drunk to realize how blatantly obvious it is they’re about to be in a horror movie. When they wake up the next morning—those who didn’t fall asleep on the sand—they soon learn that there’s something under the sand, disintegrating those who step on it and sucking them under.

blood sand face eat

Naturally, they spend the whole film trying to stay off the sand while tempting fate by trying to reunite. See, some of the kids are up in a lifeguard house, a few are in a car nearby, and as a prank, they stuck a big black dude in a trashcan with a dick drawn on his face. All the predictable suspense, dumb decisions, and gore are present. Plus, the sand actually releases little hair-like strands that attach to victims when they’re being attacked.

blood sand bod

Someone eventually does come along—Jamie Kennedy as a beach patrolman! While the film is not comedic up to that point, Jamie suddenly brings it on strong! He is perfect in the film.

blood sand jamie kennedy

And to mix things up even more, the hair-like strands under the sand get a whole lot bigger by the end! Sadly, the tentacles and accompanying scene involving fire are all bad CGI. Even so, it’s still makes for a good popcorn movie overall.

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.
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One Response to Good horror is more than a body count and a familiar horror face

  1. joshuaskye says:

    Been thinking about checking out the Photograph flick, but I’m gonna heed your warning.

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