As a victim of my own disease—impulsiveness—many are the times I’ve bought horror just because it was there and maybe the cover looked good or I had nothing better to buy. So I’m starting a segment on movies you should only check out if you can stream them or see them on cable.
NO TELL MOTEL (2012)
If you want a horror flick in which there’s character development of the group of kids who die one after the other, No Tell Motel is a good place to start. Of course, the characters develop into all the clichés: drug addict, hit and run driver, pregnant chick, suicidal case, boozer.
Conveniently, all their afflictions fit right in with the insanity that befell a family years before at a motel the kids hole up in after their RV crashes. It appears ghosts are killing these kids using their fatal flaws. That is until an actual living psycho shows up at the end—seemingly in cahoots with the ghosts? It’s a convoluted mess and the chick who should have been the final girl is the first to go.
DONNER PASS (2012)
If you love to see shallow, unlikeable kids getting slaughtered, plus a touch of The Crazies thrown in for good measure, then don’t pass up Donner Pass. It plays off and totally fictionalizes the well-known case of the Donner party turning to cannibalism in the 1800s when they became stranded in the snow.
A bunch of kids head up to a cabin in the mountains, hear a legend about the Donner story being a curse and that Donner actually absorbed the life force of those he ate. There’s gore galore and a combination of traditional slasher killings and gut-munching thanks to some unique twists.
I love that one dude says “I gotta whiz.” I thought I was the only one who said that. Plus, there’s a shirtless guy in a hot tub.
HOUSE OF BLOOD (aka: CHAIN REACTION) (2006)
The good news is, there are some gnarly vampire/zombie/demon things in House of Blood and they provide some serious carnage. The bad news is, they get two 5-minute segments and the rest of the movie sucks.
A prison transport bus is involved in a crash. The convicts take the doctor from the other vehicle so he can fix up one of their hurt guys. They find a house with a weirdo family that seems to come from a different era. The doctor operates, the family turns monster and feasts, and the doctor gets away.
Next thing you know, the doctor is in prison for not telling authorities what they want to hear about the crash! He is now on a prison transport bus. It crashes. The new convicts drag him along to fix their hurt friend. They end up at the house and, well, you can guess the rest. No. I’m not kidding.
The doctor gets away…and another prison transport bus appears. To make matters worse, for no reason at all, the film’s events do not unfold in chronological order. It’s just not worth it for the 10 minutes of cool monsters.
THE WICKED (2013)
The Wicked is average fun, with a group of pretty kids deciding to test the legend about a witch who comes and eats you if you throw a rock at her house. Idiots.
The witch is pretty creepy looking and there are plenty of chase scenes that she’s bound to win every time considering she teleports. Then the cops come poking around the house, upping the body count and making the movie too long. It should have been about 20 minutes shorter.
When the witch strings her victims up to a wall with some weird mesh and sticks apples in their mouths as part of her food prep, it’s hard to take it seriously, so it’s rather jarring (in a gore way—I mean, good way) when the witch fricking hooks a guy’s crotch just for the hell of it considering she starts feeding him into a hand-cranked meat grinder! Gross.
What I disliked most about the movie is that the sexy sheriff with a lazy eye is killed almost immediately! Aside from that, the film is a little long, the setup and action are pretty typical, and the tone is inconsistent. But if I want to watch a movie with a cool witch, I’d watch The Wicked over The Blair Witch Project any day because, you know, there’s actually a witch….
There’s also hottie Justin Deeley, who played gay in the screen adaptation of the novel The Geography Club.