I have an excuse for watching each of these four films…

Not that I need an excuse to watch cheesy horror flix, because that’s all I do, but this is a combination of director fandom and sequel…obligationom? Conveniently for my OCD, this foursome spans a perfect decade’s time, from 2007 to 2017.

BATS: HUMAN HARVEST (2007)

Bats: Human Harvest has its moments, but it’s missing the fun of the first film, which I just blogged about recently. And because it’s a made-for-SyFy film, it is just the typical template—military men on a mission encounter monsters that attack mostly in CGI form while the military men are busy trying to accomplish something else we don’t really care about, but which monopolizes most of the plot.

This time it’s the U.S. military trying to abduct a doctor from Russians. It’s just so weird to watch movies from the days when Russia was the enemy instead of running our country. It’s actually heartbreaking.

Leading the team is (always shirted) Davis Chokachi of Baywatch and horror queen Polly McIntosh in the early days of her career.

Most of the battacks look like something from a video game, with army men shooting digital blurs out of the air in bursts of digital blood.

There are rarely close-up moments with virtually motionless bats as in the first film. In the original, the bats were essentially a main character; here they’re background noise.

Some of the kills are funny, with cheap Halloween store body parts being tossed at military men (and a woman).

So to go from that to swarms of bats suddenly taking down helicopters is just absurd. At least the helicopters bring some action to this worst of the worst SyFy films.

VAMPIRE IN VEGAS (2009)

Director Jim Wynorski has been around forever making some of the best of the bad movies of horror: Chopping Mall, Not of This Earth remake, The Return of Swamp Thing, Transylvania Twist, Sorority House Massacre II, 976-Evil II, Ghoulies IV. Holy crap do I have a lot of his trash in my collection.

Unfortunately, after watching it, I can say I won’t be adding Vampire In Vegas to my Wynorski collection, although it does have its charms. You would never expect a vampire flick starring Tony Todd to look this direct-to-video rough, but it does.

If you can adjust to the cheesy feel and effects (bad vampire red eye and fast moving vamp effects), this is a watchable film. At least the blood effects are better than the effects of the vampire drinking it.

Tony is an old vampire that has a scientist working to figure out a way to stop vampires from burning in the sun. They decide their best cover is a strip club in Vegas.

Meanwhile, three cute guys head to the strip club for a bachelor party. There’s some stripper action, and then the guys are divided by three strippers…because Tony wants to turn the guys vamp so they can be lab rats in the sun experiments!

Horror hottie Paul Logan appears as his henchman/bouncer, and the main guy gets some funny fights in with the lady vamps before going up against Todd, complete with goofy flying—seriously, Tony sprouts wings.

Hey.

It’s better than Ghoulies IV.

And sexier.

LUMBER vs. JACK (2014)

Before Jack vs. Lanterns, there was Lumber vs. Jack, Yep, I went back for more Jacking having just blogged about the second film here. This is the film that started it all. It’s Jack taking on killer trees!

It’s just as cheesy as the sequel, but I definitely like the sequel better…obviously because of the Halloween vibe.

Debbie Rochon is Jack’s ex-wife and a scientist whose team runs into some trouble in the woods. So Jack comes to help out.

Before long, everyone who enters the forest is attacked by low budget, howling Evil Dead branches.

Laughable gore effects abound, and Jack has his funny moments later in the movie when taking on the killer trees, but the real stars are two girls who get attacked early on then spend the rest of the movie getting into comic situations while trying to escape the forest.

And just when you think the Jacking fun is done, we get a teaser for the killer pumpkin sequel! 

DEMON HOLE (2017)

You wave Demon Hole in front of my face, I’m gonna bite. Even better if it’s attached to the director of Salvage, one of the cherished indies in my collection. That’s why I blind bought this one.

Demon Hole does actually show its demon in the opening scene, which is kind of surprising, after which there’s a scene inside a little boy’s closet that I didn’t understand at all.

Then we meet our group of kids heading for a cabin in the woods…to do community service on a fracking site.

Oh yeah, it’s a “fuck fracking” movie. Why can’t demons come out and kill fricking frackers in real life?

The kids hang, party, and have sex, complete with a montage featuring the track “Why Can’t You Just Be” by The Gang, which I will totally be playing on my Future Flashbacks show.

 

Really weird shit starts to happen, including the kids tripping and acquiring special powers. Then it’s demon-turning time! As they slowly begin to realize there’s a demon in their midst, the black guy gets all the funny lines.

That is until they run to the fracking site for help, which is when…another black guy gets all the funny lines! It turns way too briefly into a fast-paced slasher, with some major killing. Naturally the violence, gore, and demon action intensifies, complete with a journey into the demon hole. Eek!

Fun and fast, this flick seems surprisingly restrained when all is said and done. There are some great moments of horror and sexual humor, yet the film holds back instead of giving us tons of the best it has to offer. I would have been fine with that weird closet scene being omitted for more time with the kids and the demon.

I’m also a little annoyed that now I can’t name one of my Comfort Cove novels Demon Hole

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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