With a massive horror makeup effects career dating all the way back to 80s classics like Night of the Creeps, Evil Dead II, The Hidden, Phantasm II, 976-EVIL, Halloween 5, Bride of Re-Animator, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Robert Kurtzman stepped behind the camera to direct for the first time in the late 90s.
After bringing us Wishmaster, which I just blogged about here, he didn’t direct again for an entire decade. It’s not surprising that since his two comeback films feature kids being ripped to pieces by an axe-wielding crazy and zombies, I’d have them both in my collection. And so…it’s Robert Kurtzman double feature time!
BURIED ALIVE (2007)
Things starts off with cutie Steve Sandvoss of gay film Latter Days showing off his abs and ass for a bathtub scene.
After all, some sorority sisters and their boyfriends bring a few pledges to a house in the woods for some hazing fun.
This is a rather oddly paced film that uses a supernatural slasher angle to throw in some early appearances of the killer—as well as some cheap scares by the caretaker, played by Tobin “Jigsaw” Bell.
There’s one early kill—and it’s a delicious split down the middle—before the kids spend a lot of time hanging around the house, having sex, partaking in some naked initiations, exploring the house, and unraveling a tale of a wife murdered in the house then coming back from the grave for revenge. Uh-oh.
Seriously, it’s not until only 12 minutes remain in the film that the freaky killer corpse lady with the axe truly kicks into high slashing gear and chases the majority of victims around.
It’s fun while it lasts, I just wish it had lasted longer, because she’s a bad ass bitch.
THE RAGE (2007)
The Wishmaster is back! Andrew Divoff plays a mad scientist injecting humans with a rage infection and turning them into monstrous mutant zombies! The first few minutes in his lab are super gory (the benefits of having a makeup master as director).
After an awesome zombie attack on a couple having sex in a car following an outdoor rock concert, the movie takes an immediate turn into horror la la land. The zombies drop dead…and get devoured by vultures…that then become infected.
This is a flick about a group of kids in an RV trying to escape mutant zombies and mutant zombie vultures.
There’s gore galore, a fall in a pond of huge leeches, a chase through a cornfield, a cameo by Reggie Bannister, and cheesy good vulture action.
And just when you think things can’t get any weirder, the kids end up in Divoff’s lab and it starts to feel like a part Texas Chainsaw/part House of 1,000 Corpses backwoods horror flick, complete with a dungeon of horrors and a handful of freaks as Divoff’s assistants, including one referred to as a “transvestite freak.”
One girl ends up stealing the show when she takes on the freaks, hanging a little person freak on a hook and beating it like a piñata and giving another a rectal with a machete.
The only unnecessary part of the film to me is Divoff’s long monologue, complete with flashbacks, in which he describes the reasoning behind his evil plot. Who cares, Wishmaster? You granted us fricking mutant zombies, mutant zombie vultures, and mutant zombie freaks. Those are the best three things we could have wished for.