You’ve seen all the most popular horror flicks on your favorite streaming service. So you begin poking around the scraps. You know, the films with cool names, cool covers…and 1 to 2-1/2 stars and “an hour and a half of my life I won’t get back” reviews. Are they really that bad? Here’s my quick take on four of them.
JEBADIAH’S AXE (2013)
Out in the middle of bum fuck, Jebadiah is way behind on his property taxes. Also, his wife has mysteriously disappeared. So when the taxman and the hot sheriff come calling, there’s a shootout. Jeb loses and they want to cover up his death, so they bury him on the property…with a headstone!
Like a month later, two couples come to the property to check out the house. But first, a local feeds them a story that Jebadiah killed his cheating wife and simply has to still be lurking around the property.
Before long, undead Jebadiah is walking around with an axe croaking, “Stay off my land!” And since two couples aren’t enough victims, another couple sneaks onto the property for sex, the real estate agent shows up, and the sheriff and taxman come to move the body (even though the couples already found the headstone).
There are flashbacks to what really happened with Jebadiah’s wife (her fuck buddy has a hot bod and ass). Then the final girl—a Charo sounding chick whose nearly busting out of her skimpy clothing—takes on the killer.
What I got out of this one? Hot, hot sheriff, hot naked fuck buddy, and one jump scare. The killer is pretty cool too.
Lock me up (with him) and throw away the key.
MACHETE JOE (2010)
In the opener of Machete Joe, it’s 1974 and a kid watches his mother being sexually assaulted and killed by a guy with a hot bod and great ass.
Cut to modern times. A film crew is making a low-budget horror flick about the incident in the very desert castle where it took place. And the director is fricking Erica Gimpel, who left Fame in season 3 back in the 80s, taking the crucial main character Coco from the series way too early (I’ll never forgive her for that). But at least now she can add final girl to her 80s cred even if it took 30 years for her to become one.
Machete Joe is endless painfully boring arguing about the film making process between totally forgettable characters. Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters plays a cop. And finally, paint-by-numbers, off screen kills start. When Machete Joe is eventually revealed, we learn why he has a slightly deformed face and then there are some okay chase scenes.
Reason to watch this one—Erica Gimpel as a final girl. Also, the last third of the film had some okay cliché slasher stuff going on.
THE TERROR FACTOR (2007)
First we learn Warren Wilcox killed his parents years ago and just escaped from the mental institution. Then we meet some naked peeping Tom with a hot hairy ass and hairy back who likes to jerkoff while in a rocking chair.
Then we meet our hot bald leading man, who’s having girl trouble.
Meanwhile, kids plan to break into Warren Wilcox’s old house to party. And in a unique twist, we have two killers—Wilcox and the naked peeping Tom. And they sort of seem to be working together (?). Anyway, one killer wears a sack, the other what looks like a either an executor’s hood…or a black KKK hood?
The Terror Factor intentionally feels and looks like an 80s slasher (camera angles, dark shadows, fog machines, neon lighting, grainy film) which is a huge plus. But there isn’t much of a plot here. It’s virtually a series of unrelated kills that does little to deliver an actual narrative. A random guy gets it in his house in a scene that is meant to create suspense but goes on way too long. The main guy’s sister is involved in a pretty lengthy and pretty good chase scene. She also calls things she doesn’t like “gay,” which took me out of her scene quite a bit; it’s as distracting as the endless use of the “n” word in a Tarantino film. There’s a kill by a campfire. And finally, some actual kills happen in the Wilcox house.
As for the final confrontation, it takes place in a warehouse parking lot. WTF? This movie had so much potential for a tight plot. An escaped mental patient returns to the house where he killed his parents, only to find a group of kids are partying there…and another killer is already on the loose. Instead, it meanders all over the place, occasionally delivering an effective kill or chase scene.
The main buff baldy should have been the focal point of the whole movie—especially considering he is Garry Medeiros, the man who wrote and directed the movie! He makes an awesome final guy. His scene against Wilcox is awesome—as is the reveal of what’s really under Wilcox’s mask. EEK!
DARK FIELDS (2006)
As five kids jump in a car to head to a concert, if you can stand to listen to the endless adolescent banter (complete with an obnoxious guy you’ll want to die first), you’ll eventually arrive at the moment when they run out of gas and one of them heads to a nearby house looking for a phone.
When he doesn’t return, the others all go to the house, starting what becomes pretty much an entire movie about four kids exploring a really, really, really dark house. Eventually, a couple die with little gore, we meet the killer—a big guy in a jumpsuit with Samara hair over his face—the two remaining girls find a shrine room with newspaper clippings on the wall that explain everything, and they end up being chased to a butcher shop, where the big final confrontation takes place.
There are so many stretches of nothing happening in the film, a low body count, and no feeling of connection to the characters. Even the killer gets little chance to deliver a menacing experience. And the main girl seems to want to be killed, because she just keeps making stupid, ridiculously brazen moves.
There was one part of the film that I really liked because there was something humorous about it, and it involves the girls interacting with a guy who gives them a ride to the butcher shop. Great scene.