Is a found footage film porn if It’s about a horny ghost?

ghost team one movie

This is the kind of indie horror comedy/semi-parody movie I can really appreciate, because the young cast nails the material with just the right comic tone, timing, and delivery. Plus, it weaves nonstop dirty sex humor into a traditional found footage ghost film format. And while there’s plenty of cheap adolescent humor to be found here, it refreshingly avoids the pitfall of going for extreme gross out visuals. For whatever reason, that repulsive shit still thrives in sex comedies – I blame it on what I assume are the tasteless proclivities of straight male audiences.

A year before Paranormal Activity decided to add some Latin flavor to its franchise with The Marked Ones, this film featured a bunch of young ghost hunters of color with cameras. Two buddies – one confident, one shy – have a party in the house in which they rent rooms. The shy guy tells a girl he likes that they’re doing a documentary about ghostly activity in the house just to impress her. Turns out she’s totally into the paranormal, finds out there was indeed a murder in the house, and decides to join their investigation…which stirs up some actual activity…

ghost team one nightly visitor

A horny female ghost begins haunting them.

ghost team one ouija

While the girl is busy trying various paranormal methods to communicate with the ghost, the boys end up competing for the girl, using those same methods in their attempts to get with her. Funny scenes include a sexually charged session fingering a Ouija board and a staged sexual performance to turn on the ghost, which turns into an unexpected—and unwelcome—threesome.

Ghost Team One

Meanwhile, the boys have a third roommate, who is your typical white asshole racist. But his tune seriously changes in the final act…when he becomes the conduit through which the horny ghost communicates with them. This guy is hilarious.

ghost team one exorcism

He basically becomes possessed by a geisha girl, dressing the part, playing with his nipples, and tucking so he can flash his girl parts.

ghost team one roommate pinch

He also talks dirty to the boys during the exorcism…quite graphically when he describes what one of the boys needs to do to get the demon out of him.

ghost team one go down

If anything needed to be changed about Ghost Team One, it would be that the climactic finale should arrive sooner. Yes, as usual, my wish is for a shorter running time. The film is 85 minutes long, and I’d say losing a good ten minutes would tighten up the pace. For instance, an entire segment involving an author that wrote a book about the murders at the house could be completely eliminated; it becomes somewhat of a one-note joke and isn’t all that funny. Plus, the scene runs about ten minutes long…

Also, I wouldn’t mind more found footage of the roommate in his Speedo.

ghost team one roommate cheeks

Posted in The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boys battling beasts from beyond

Here are two very different types of indie horror comedies about goofy guys thrust into otherworldly situations. So did they charm the pants off me?

ORCS! (2011)

orcs cover

I have to admit, despite being a horror diehard, I loathe any sci-fi that isn’t Star Wars, so my hubby had to explain to me that it’s Orc with a “c” and it’s not the planet Mork is from. But the good thing about the film Orcs! is that it’s a comedy that speaks to both horror and sci-fi fans. And the three leads appeared in horror comedy Vamp U, which is a plus for me.

The first part of the film plays out like an old school slow burning creature feature with a comic twist. Two park rangers, a lazy veteran and a newbie, investigate some strange occurrences in the woods, and the newbie begins suspecting there’s a Bigfoot on the loose.

orcs scream

Although the pacing is a bit slow at first, stars Maclain Nelson and Adam Johnson are a great comic duo, and as an added bonus, the woman who plays the head ranger is a hoot. The comic moments blend perfectly with the classic “there’s something out in the woods” horror elements so that this doesn’t feel like a parody.

orcs head on stake

When the first Orc attacks – yikes! Things get crazy within minutes, and the Orcs are no slouches. This is some serious movie monster design, not some cheap horror spoof crap makeup job.

orcs orc face

The pace picks up, and main girl Renny Grames steps in to join the guys (she plays a tree hugger type) to take on an army of Orcs!

orcs hiding out

This is also where the movie shifts from the horror feel to a more playful sci-fi action flick straight through the end. This is definitely fun for the whole family (of gays…one of us who likes horror, the other sci-fi).

CHAINSAW MAIDENS FROM HELL (2016)

chainsaw maidens from hell cover

I added this one to my streaming watchlist through gay blinders. This is what I saw when it caught my eye on Amazon Prime:

Blake is captain of the football team and destined for a career in the pro leagues – that is if he passes his chemistry class. But destiny has a way of tackling the toughest of players when demons invade his college and begin to enslave the student body. A divine angel descends to give Blake an invincible suit of super football pads and send him out to battle the forces of evil. Unfortunately, the suit is missing one vital piece – the jock strap. In order to get it back, Blake must descend into the underworld and face the guardians of doom

Somehow, I failed to see that the blurb ends with “known as The Chainsaw Maidens from Hell.” I also failed to notice that the title of the film is called Chainsaw Maidens from Hell. Well, guess what? Instead of a whole lot of scenes of a hunky football player fighting demons for a jockstrap, I got scenes of not just chainsaw maiden demons, but lesbian chainsaw maidens.

chainsaw maidens from hell maidens

Chainsaw Maidens From Hell is one of those low budget, high school performance type indies, with Lloyd Kaufman leading the charge as the football coach. The goofy cute (not hunky) football player lead is soon visited by an angel (horror icon Kane Hodder) who informs him that he’ll be the one fighting the demons with a uniform that will make him invincible once he gets back the jockstrap.

chainsaw maidens from hell demon

So he’s sent down to hell with his geeky tutor, who is a big hit with the lesbian chainsaw maidens. Sigh.

chainsaw maidens from hell leads and hodder

The movie has some moments that will almost make you crack a close-lipped smile on the inside, but the leads are rather shrill and annoying most of the time and the general tone of the film is very amateur.

chainsaw maidens from hell alchemist

On the bright side, despite Kaufman being attached to the film, there’s absolutely no crude Troma sex or shit humor. This is pretty tame stuff. The down side of that is, we never see a football player in a jockstrap, the only reason I watched the film. I don’t even know why I bothered when I can simply do a “football player in jockstrap” Google video search….

chainsaw maidens from hell football cheer

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just axe and you shall receive…but not an axe

What to do when you stream two movies with the word “axe” in their titles…but very little axetion in the axetual films? Blog about them, of course!

AXEMAN (2013)

axeman cover

Director Joston Theney’s Axeman 2 is already on the way, and although it took a while to get me hyped for it, by the time I reached the end of Axeman, I was ready for part 2.

The fact is, Axeman feeds the most basic slasher needs – sex and violence. Things start off strong with scream queen Tiffany Shepis and some buddies as baddies up to no good in the woods. There’s hell to pay when a towering man breaks into their place, which gives the impression that some sort of criminal business deal went wrong. But no, this big assed dude is just our psycho killer (and former NBA player Scot Pollard).

axeman killer

Up next, a whole load of pretty people—especially the boys.

axeman pretty boy bod

So I can’t complain about the copious amounts of sex talk and sex scenes that take place throughout much of the film…except for the fact that most of it is girl-on-girl.

axeman les peep and film

Although, one pervy dude does make a deliciously nasty beat-off buddy suggestion to director Joston Theney (who also stars in the film) while they’re peeping some lesbian action.

axeman circle jack

The group also has some relationship drama and sits around discussing an urban legend of…the Axeman! Then they split up for more sex, and periodically someone gets killed by the big guy with…a knife. Yeah, the legend is bullshit, because the Axeman uses a knife for a majority of his kills.

axeman knife in eye
“Careful, you have an eyelash in…oh, wait. That’s a knife.”

While the movie feels like it’s not going anywhere but the cabin bedrooms, all of a sudden, the killer comes in and starts going to town! Shit gets violent and bloody fast and several of the deaths are viciously prolonged.

axeman cutie kill

Scream queen Brinke Stevens joins in on the fun as the local sheriff in a brief cameo that captures the campy style for which she’s known. Seriously, the climax delivers hard and good, with the promise of more to come. Just the way I like it.

THE AXE MURDERS OF VILLISCA (2016)

axe murders of villisca cover

Enjoy the slick home axe massacre enacted by horror veteran Sean Whalen (aka: Roach of The People Under the Stairs) at the beginning of this fictional ghost film built around a real life massacre, because that’s the hottest piece of axe you’re going to get in The Axe Murders of Villisca.

axe murders of villisca axe man

Next, we meet three high school outcasts. In a refreshing twist, the butch brooding boy is gay.

axe murders of villisca gay
Pretty gay…

His sensitive, pretty boy buddy is straight and invites a slut-shamed girl to join them on a tour of the supposedly haunted Villisca house, where the axe murders took place back in 1912.

axe murders of villisca straight
Pretty straight…

The girl suggests they break into the place for a closer look at the off limits areas at night. I have to admit, the movie was really holding my interest, not only because it focused on few characters, but also because it was avoiding the obvious cheap scare tactics.

axe murders of villisca dolls in bed

For instance, when the girl takes a selfie in the dark basement, there is not a creepy apparition standing behind her in the photo.

axe murders of villisca seance

The slow burn builds right to the point when the trio sits down for a séance. I have to ask, do straight boys really try to impress girls with fart humor? Anyway, once the fart cements the straight stereotypes, out come the cringeworthy gay stereotypes. This time, we get the gay guy who is disturbingly possessive of his straight best friend and hateful toward any girl that shows an interest in him. Sigh. Personally, after the fart, I’d be like, “Bitch, he’s all yours.”

Moments after the gay guy flips out on the girl, the trio’s archenemies, a couple of bullies from school, break into the paranormally inactive house, and it’s suddenly supernatural evil to the MAX. What’s worse, this clusterfuck tries to explore the feelings and issues of each character by putting them through the motions of being haunted and possessed and blaming it all on the house. Yet the movie fails to in any way develop what is making the ghosts of the past act out against the characters or why the haunting is unleashing the characters’ guilt and misery.

axe murders of villisca knife attack

As for the horrors, you get demon eyes, crawling ghost girls, a gay kiss that immediately morphs into a gay bashing, a cameo by the axe, a couple of deaths, a big redemption moment for a main character, and a totally cheesy tag revealing the ghostly new tenants in the house.

 

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exorcising those found footage demons

With possession films, found footage films, and the combination of both all the rage these days, I try to avoid that combination as much as possible. Once in a while, I cave and watch a popular title, or slip and put a less familiar title in one of my streaming watchlists. This blog is a result of both instances.

THE DEVIL INSIDE (2012)

devil inside cover

One of those mainstream possession/exorcism movies I was in no rush to see – aka: wait until it’s free on a streaming service – The Devil Inside was even worse than I expected.

It starts on October 30th, 1989, because the end of October makes everything scarier. Some woman calls 911 to let them know she’s killed a bunch of people. Cops show up at the house, we get to see all the bloody bodies in found footage POV, and there’s a really bad attempt at a jump scare done Paranormal Activity final frame style.

devil inside mother lips

Years later, the woman’s now grown daughter is doing a documentary film about the possibility that her mom is possessed. She goes to a lot of seminars and meetings that tell us everything we already learned from The Exorcist 40 years ago. She connects with a priest that breaks the Catholic Church’s rules on exorcisms, because that’s what happened in The Exorcist.

devil inside basement exorcism

She attends an exorcism that looks like it’s taking place in Jigsaw’s lair for some reason, where a possessed chick is tied to a bed. She snarls, growls, talks dirty, bleeds from her va-jay-jay, and gets in the spider crawl position, because that’s what happened in The Exorcist. Seriously younger generations. Just fucking watch The Exorcist.

 devil inside found footage demon walk

The daughter attends an exorcism performed on her mother, the demon jumps bodies, and a possessed person roaming through a dark house while everyone else runs around screaming with flashlights, because that’s what happens in found footage films. Yeah, I’m done writing about this movie.

THE QUIET ONES (2014)

quiet ones cover

John Pogue, director of the deliciously entertaining Quarantine 2: Terminal, brings us this very different horror experience. While it takes place in 1974, which happens to put its time period within a year of the release of the film The Exorcisteureka! It’s a fricking original take on the possessed girl genre.

quiet ones doll

More complex than your standard possession film, The Quiet Ones isn’t an exorcism through de-demonizing film, but an exorcism through debunking film. A college professor/psychiatrist is trying to prove that his possessed patient is actually creating paranormal chaos with her own mind. He invites one of his male students to film his work with her in an old house, and shit gets freaky, considering séances are a daily part of the professor’s experiments.

quiet ones seance

Only occurrences involving the possessed girl are shot “found footage” style, which is refreshing and makes them all that more effective and eerie. And because she doesn’t look and act all “demonized,” she becomes a character you sort of feel bad for. Of course, you’re also thinking, “This poor innocent girl is going to start doing really obscene things with her tongue any minute.”

quiet ones bile snake

But not the main kid. He fully believes she’s being abused, and tries to convince the professor’s two assistants that they need to help him get her out of there. And that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke) and Brian McNeil (Sam Claflin) in THE QUIET ONES. Photo Credit: Chris Harris, from Lionsgate publicity site

The Quiet Ones avoids the most annoyingly predictable clichés of both possession films and found footage films and delivers a unique story with a few twists and EEK! moments along the way. It also heavily features the rock classic “Cum On Feel The Noize,” but…surprise! It’s the original 1973 recording by Slade, not the Quiet Riot 1983 hit cover version. And here’s the video to prove it actually is a different guy singing…

 

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Take a Hard Ride to Hell and enter the Devil’s Den

It’s always fun finding lesser-known indies packed with horror veterans being dropped into familiar scenarios, to see how they’ll handle shit we’ve seen before with different actors. For instance, these two films…

DEVIL’S DEN (2006)

devils den cover

Director Jeff Burr has decades of cheesy horror under his belt – From a Whisper to A Scream, Stepfather II, Texas Chainsaw III, Puppet Master 4&5, Pumpkinhead II, Night of the Scarecrow – so it’s no surprise that Devil’s Den sticks with that tradition. It’s sort of like From Dusk Till Dawn meets the campy monster hunter shows of the 2000s, with a fun cast of familiar horror faces. Essentially, this could have been a pilot movie for a SyFy TV show.

Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Idle Hands, 388 Arlette Avenue) and Steven Schub (The Thirteenth Floor, Dead & Deader) are drug dealing buddies on their way back from Mexico when they make a pit stop at a strip club. You know where this is going…

devils den at club

When all hell breaks loose, the booty-shaking babes turn into snarling ghouls!

devils den face

No vamps this time. Horror icon Ken Foree is a patron who proves to be the authority on the creatures, and Kelly Hu (Jason Takes Manhattan, Succubus: Hell-Bent, Farm House) is a mysteriously well-trained fighting machine. And bringing the most humor to the mix is a ditzy chick who works at the club (Karen Maxwell of Zombie Nation).

devils den cast

The first monster assault is a bloody blast and the ghouls are way cool.

devils den attack

Following that, the film continues to entertain, but it most definitely begins to feel more like a hokey SyFy Network show, so you have to prepare yourself for the more action-oriented, mission-based plot and low budget look.

devils den boss redo

It totally works for what it is, but doesn’t live up to the promise made by the initial setup.

HARD RIDE TO HELL (2010)

hard ride to hell cover

I think for anyone who saw the film Race with the Devil back in the day, no other movie that picks up the premise will ever manage to be quite as chilling and effective. Smartly, Hard Ride to Hell doesn’t try to be. Instead, it goes for a more gruesome, exploitative approach.

A bunch of friends is traveling through Texas in an RV, most of them with horror resume in hand. Leading the pack are Katharine Isabelle of Ginger Snaps fame and Brandon Jay McLaren (Hybrid, Scar, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, Dead Before Dawn, TV shows Harper’s Island and Slasher).

hard ride to hell brandon

When they stop for the night, Brandon meanders off into the woods and witnesses a biker gang performing a sadistic Satanic ritual on a bunch of girls at a campfire.

hard ride to hell cult leader

BUSTED! The gang spots him and chases him right back to the RV. Shit gets crazy fast, the bikers spend a nice amount of time torturing the group – which includes biting them like vampires even though they’re not vampires – and become fixated on one girl who has been having fertility problems but is apparently just the vessel they’ve been waiting for…

hard ride to hell bite

As in many of these backwoods movies, luckily there’s some odd character waiting in the wings to come and save the day.

hard ride to hell chainsaw

When he does, there’s a thrilling chase scene with the RV and bikes that eventually leads to a church in a ghost town, where the whole pregnancy issue comes into play. The amount of actual demonic threat is saved for the end, so this is predominantly a human-vs-human horror flick.

hard ride to hell demon attack

The highlight for me is Katharine Isabelle. Her character is pretty much a quivering mess, but she brings rational snarkiness to the situation, and her character’s lines get funnier as the film progresses.

Hard ride to Hell

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Halloween…I wouldn’t go in there if I were you

Looking for cheap thrills on Halloween is all tricks and treats…until someone gets killed. That’s what kids learn in this trio of flicks I streamed in June because I just needed a dose of the holiday season.

6 DEGREES OF HELL (2012)

6 degrees of hell cover

I love my Halloween haunted attraction movies, but although this one is described as such in places (probably to draw in suckers like me), and even though director and star (and cutie) Joe Raffa (left below) appeared in Halloween haunted attraction film Hallow’s Eve, 6 Degrees of Hell is not particularly a Halloween film. It is most definitely about a haunted attraction though.

6 degrees of hell cast

Here’s the issue you’ll have to get past in order to enjoy the wickedly entertaining final massacre in the haunted attraction. The plot of 6 Degrees of Hell is all over the place. The first thing it easily have done without is having Cory Feldman as a psychic investigator interrogating a cop about what happened at the haunted attraction.

6 degrees of hell feldman

In other words, the film itself is a flashback as told by the cop. However, it’s more than that. There are flashbacks within flashbacks about various characters, but we’re never quite made aware of any of the timelines or how they all connect. The main group of friends is tied together by their work on the haunted attraction and the death of one guy’s sister a year before. There’s also a psychic who lent some of her haunted items to them for the attraction and a ghost hunting crew that wants to film at the attraction. And everyone has a paranormal backstory. HEADACHE.

6 degrees of hell hottie

But damn the guys are cute. I found it particularly sexy whenever the studly police chief spat anti-gay slurs at Raffa’s character. They seriously need to make a whole different kind of cop and delinquent movie together.

6 degrees of hell cop

Although the jumping timeline is confusing, I really liked the playful, late 90s slasher vibe of the film, and the characters were oddly likeable. And when the horror hits, it hits hard.

6 degrees of hell sister

There’s a gruesome flashback/vision of what happened to the dead sister that clashes with the lighter tone of the rest of the film, but then the horror gets fun when two of the guys decide to go dig up the sister’s grave to make sure she’s still there.

6 degrees of hell demon girl

This scene hits a bit too late in the film, because it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for…demonic killer madness!

6 degrees of hell clown

There’s possession, walking corpses, and ghoulish antics inside the haunted attraction as the workers become possessed killing machines and the ticket holders become part of the show! Sadly, it’s over in a flash.

6 degrees of hell table bend

In a sense, 6 Degrees of Hell is like actually going to a haunted attraction. You spend a majority of the time waiting around for the fun to begin, talking to your friends on line about totally random, unrelated shit you won’t even remember tomorrow, you’re finally let in for a wild ride of monster madness, and within minutes it’s over and you’re like, “That’s it? The good stuff was just getting started!”

ABANDONED MINE (aka: The Mine) (2012)

abandoned mine cover

The first ten minutes or so of this film are loaded with Halloween atmosphere. The main guy playfully taunts trick or treaters as he drives down the street.

abandoned mine halloween spirit

He stops at a store covered in Halloween décor to pick up his girlfriend. There’s a montage of girls getting dressed in costumes for a party. There’s even an awesome killer in a mask…that turns out to be a prank.

abandoned mine costume

Then…the kids spend Halloween night in a supposedly haunted old mine. They recount an old legend about miners raping a family and entombing them down there. They find signs of life down there. They get stuck down there. They get attacked by bats. See a spider. Have close calls with death. Talk about whether or not they believe in ghosts.

abandoned mine crawlspace

FINALLY, kids start dying, but it’s always far off. Eventually, a couple of them turn up dead and the others run around the tunnels screaming. Although it’s not a found footage film, the POV and bouncing flashlights often mimic the style.

abandoned mine kid faces

Finally, the only real entertaining part of the film: the twist. But honestly, if you’ve seen the film Catacombs, you’ve seen a much more frightening film leading up to the same twist.

HELL HOUSE LLC (2015)

hell house llc cover

Structured somewhat like a documentary about an inexplicable catastrophe at a Halloween haunted attraction, Hell House LLC shifts to found footage format after the initial background is presented (very The Blair Witch Project).

hell house llc sign

The film isn’t actually about what happened on opening night when all the visitors of the attraction fled screaming in terror. It’s about the freaky shit that went on while the group of haunters was crashing at the location in which they were setting up the attraction beforehand: an old hotel.

This movie is intense as hell. Initially, the workers are terrorized by a damn freaky clown figure that seems to keep moving around on its own. Naturally, they at first keep blaming each other for playing pranks.

hell house llc clowns

But weird incidents begin to build and more and more of the props seem to be coming to life and moving on their own. It is absolutely unnerving. The strobe light scene alone will mess you up…

hell house llc strobes

Now for the problem. It becomes so fucking terrifying that it is inexcusable that these kids continue to stay at this place and continue to blame it on pranks and continue to run around in the dark with just flashlights looking for pranksters after every terrifying incident. ARGH.

But the absolute most offending moment for the sake of a good cheap scare has to be when one dude wakes up to see a possessed girl just sitting on the floor across the room, and pulls his fricking blanket over his head for some cheap Darkness Falls scares. SERIOUSLY. A grown man pulls a blanket over his head instead of, I don’t know, maybe throwing the blanket over her fucking head and running out of the room???

hell house demon girl

We do finally get to see what happened the night of the grand opening incident, but don’t expect it to answer any questions as to why it happened. And the movie doesn’t end there, as the chick making the documentary about the incident feels the need to sneak into the old hotel with her cameraman, delivering one last found footage scare that also doesn’t explain anything…

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

STREAM QUEEN: dead in the woods and dead under the wheels

Hey. When horror keeps coming at you in a never-ending stream, you’ll watch anything. Maybe that’s dulled my senses, but I didn’t hate either of these films.

SUPER HYBRID (2010)

super hybrid cover

The director of the U.S. version of One Missed Call brings us a movie about a killer car. You’re probably thinking this guy doesn’t have an original idea in his head, but forget everything you know about The Car, Christine, Maximum Overdrive, Phantom Racer, and any others I’ve failed to mention.

super hybrid cornered

This killer car is a super hybrid. What does that mean? It means a bunch of shit. But most importantly, it can shapeshift into any kind of car it wants, because this 4-wheel fucker isn’t actually a car! It’s some serpentine monster masquerading as a car! AWESOME!!!

super hybrid crash

The killer car is brought into an underground impound garage after it gets into an accident. Serpent monsters masquerading as cars can’t drive for shit. Perhaps it’s that infrared POV that messes them up.

super hybrid POV

Anyway, when a few of the guys on staff go missing, our main girl soon realizes the car is to blame and has to convince all her coworkers, including her dick boss, played by Oded Fehr (aka: Carlos of the Resident Evil films), that they need to get the hell out of there.

super hybrid cast

I’m telling you, this seems like some typical killer car crap…until they pop the hood and CGI serpent heads hiss “Why the fuck aren’t we on SyFy every other day???”

super hybirid teeth

This movie is a blast, with only some serious slowdown during an elaborate setup scene of the survivors rigging a trap to catch the car.

super hybrid motorcycle

But after that excessive montage, our main girl – Shannon Beckner, who needs to score more roles as a horror action hero – rox the capture and kill plan, even when it goes horribly wrong.

GET DEAD (2014)

get dead cover

Part Bigfoot parody, part backwoods slasher parody, Get Dead seems like it is going to be a low budget hillbilly buddy movie. To me, the pair’s “storyline” is almost second fiddle (or banjo) to that of all the other characters that head into the woods looking for some cheap thrills.

get dead couch

By cheap thrills, I’m talking about a local legend of some sort of killer beast, killer woman ghost, or killer “she-foot” that supposedly roams the woods. I’m not going to lie. As overplayed as the hillbilly buddy shtick is at this point, every time the one hillbilly buddy called her a “she-foot,” I laughed.

The hillbilly buddies spend much of the movie talking with their female friends about going into the woods to look for the beast. When not doing that, they’re sleeping on a couch together, and the one hillbilly is having homoromantic dreams about the other hillbilly, dressed in drag and all.

get dead dance

I found the various groups that head into the woods more entertaining, because they also bring the body count. There’s a male/female team hoping to uncover the truth about the legend, and the guy is super gay.

get dead gayguy

The moment he queened out on the beast, I knew the filmmakers were about to make the big mistake of making him a premature number in the body count.

get dead gayguydie

There’s also a “queer” loner of a fellow living out in the woods…with a pretty boy banjo-playing buddy…

get dead banjo

The main group consists of obnoxious assholes from the city, naturally. As much as this film is a spoof, I have to say, the she-foot is pretty creepy, and her attacks are vicious. Plus, she’s got a quip or two up her sleeve – or hairy arm in this case.

get dead tied up

Even so, there’s plenty of cheeseball foolishness here, including an onscreen head count for each kill.

get dead head count

The movie is 80 minutes long, and could have gotten the job done in 70 or less, but it definitely has its charms if you stick with it.

The hillbilly buddies finally make it to the woods to take on the she-foot in the end, and the twist is perfect for this kind of comedy. Not to mention, their response to the truth rules because it totally spits in the face of predictable buddy movie endings.

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Head trip horror at the beginning and end of the 2000s

Sometimes you just have to give in to the pleasure of the horror even if you’re not sure what the frick is going on. As with this double feature I took on, which happens to bookend the first decade of the new millennium.

THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS (2001)

The Attic Expeditions (2001)Directed by Jeremy KastenShown: poster art

After recently streaming, blogging about, then purchasing director Jeremy Kasten’s film The Thirst on DVD, I realized that along with The Wizard of Gore remake and All Souls Day, I had all his horror flix from the 2000s in my collection except The Attic Expeditions. Fixed that quick. I overlooked it back in 2001, so I’m glad it didn’t pass me by completely. The cast alone makes this a horror gem to own.

attic expeditions raimi and combs

Interestingly, it reminds me of the more psychotic/cerebral horror flicks of the late 80s/early 90s, considering it stars Andras Jones, best known as Alice’s brother Rick in 1988’s Elm Street 4! He wakes up in a mental institution after brain surgery, and his doctor, horror icon Jeffrey Combs, sends him to a special “home” to recover.

attic expeditions surgery

With no memory of what transpired before his operation, Andras experiences visions and dreams of being drawn into the occult by his fiancée.

attic expeditions occult ritual

He has nightmarish dreams about going up into the attic of the home, which is off limits, where he finds a trunk he wants to open up. He begins to suspect that something was done to his brain during his operation and he’s actually being manipulated. And then other patients start getting murdered…

attic expeditions elm street bloody

It’s almost like Andras never left Freddy’s clutches, because this whole film is a trippy, surreal nightmare. As Andras tries to uncover the truth with the help of his housemate Seth Green, things take a wickedly surprising turn in the final act.

attic expeditions seth and elmstreet

This is one of those more abstract movie concepts, which isn’t usually my thing, but the framework of the plot, including the twist, works within a sense of reality (you know, killer on the loose in a crazy house reality). Therefore, it’s possible to enjoy the most basic premise and the awesome climactic massacre it delivers even if you don’t want to dwell too much on the more complex levels.

attic expeditions set bloody

The cast also includes Ted Raimi, Wendy Robie of People Under the Stairs, and Alice Cooper (super brief hit-n-run cameo as mental patient)

attic expeditions alice cooper

Plus, Seth Green is at his best as Andras’s new BFF, although it turns out Seth’s looking more for a friends with benefits arrangement…

attic expeditions seth kiss

FEVER NIGHT aka BAND OF SATANIC OUTSIDERS (2009)

 fever night cover

As someone who never dabbled in hallucinogens beyond Cherry Coke, I can only assume that the cinematic style of Fever Night aka Band of Satanic Outsiders is meant to emulate that sensory experience. You need to be mentally prepared to go on a trip before attempting to watch this one.

fever night cast

As for the plot, I’d describe it as imagining what happened for all those hours in the woods after the satanic ritual in Jennifer’s Body. This film is about a sort of unlikely trio of Satanists – a girl, a pretty boy goth, and a sort of jock type. They head into the woods and perform a ritual around a fire.

fever night ritual

Nothing seems to happen, so they head back to the car. Again nothing happens, because the car won’t start. During an attempt to push start it, there’s a horrible accident that leaves the girl a bit of a mess. The jock sees a mysterious light in the distance and heads off for help, leaving the terrified pretty boy by himself.

fever night boys

And he should be terrified. The ritual did work. They unleashed something and are about to experience some seriously fucked up shit all night long.

fever night skull

Fever Night is darkly comic and quirky with great performances by the two guys (the girl’s…um…body is MIA for most of the film). The trippy horror tone and atmosphere is reminiscent of late 1970s/early 1980s horror, with close, warped camera perspectives and eerie, shadowy lighting.

fever night uplight

The bizarro situations the guys experience include discovering trails of mutilation, floating and bleeding animal skulls, visions of pleasurable temptations, and, well, for the pretty boy…a horrific hillbilly humping that would make Ned Beatty sound more like a whiner than a squealer….

fever night top

fever night squeal

I was really into the film for a majority of the time, but I think it runs a little too long. The unique style starts to wear on you after a while.

fever night boy zombie

Plus, there’s an incredible sense of foreboding that just keeps building, then just when it seems like it’s really going to pay off – in an Evil Dead sort of way – the horror is discarded for an even more extreme level of way out there that just completely lost my interest.

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The rest of Vincent Price in the 80s

The king of horror left his mark on the 1980s simply by leaving his mark on the title track from the king of pop’s massive album Thriller. But he also continued to appear in horror flicks, most of which I’ve already covered: The Monster Club, Dead Heat, House of the Long Shadows, and From a Whisper to A Scream.

At last, I take on what I believe are the final two Vincent Price horror flix from the 1980s that I’d not yet blogged about – horror comedy Bloodbath at the House of Death and horror anthology Escapes.

BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH (1984)

bloodbath at the house of death cover

This British horror parody manages to deliver touches of the slapstick humor of American comedies like Airplane. It also accomplishes something American horror spoofs fail to – it actually includes genuine horror elements, including gore! The goofy shenanigans do not detract from the gothic atmosphere and finely crafted horror setups, so you’re never allowed to forget that you are indeed in the horror universe even though you’re watching a comedy.

bloodbath at the house of death axe man

The intro scene has robed figures totally annihilating everyone sleeping inside a mansion.

boodbath at the house of death opeing gore

Decades later, scientists gather at the mansion to investigate strange occurrences surrounding the massacre. Little do they know a sinister cult led by Vincent Price was behind the killings and is out for more blood!

bloodbath at the house of death cast

Much like Clue, Bloodbath at the House of Death features quirky characters delivering deadpan lines as they contend with the insanity of the mansion. Among them is a pretty boy with amnesia, a scholar with a prosthetic leg, a woman with a tormented religious past, and a handsome gay couple.

bloodbath at the house of death gay couple

And the horrors include dead bodies, an incubus, a bleeding bathroom, a killer Teddy bear, and of course, that evil cult.

bloodbath at the house of death vincent

Vincent Price’s presence is large, but his role is contained to his scenes instructing his cult members in their plot to destroy everyone in the mansion. This is Price at his campy horror best – he should have gotten his own horror sitcom after this performance. There’s a particularly funny exchange that was way ahead of its time. Out in the woods, Price repeatedly orders his minions to gather up all the faggots to burn, and one of the men keeps expressing how uncomfortable he is with Price saying it. Price’s reaction has me convinced if he were alive today, he would totally be a guest host on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

 bloodbath at the house of death bathroom

Price is the icing on the horror cake in this comedy. It’s astounding how much detail is put into the horror. A scene parodying Carrie has a woman beheaded with a can opener.

bloodbath at the house of death can opener

A “mole” bursts open to reveal something gruesome inside. A botched surgery is both darkly comic and bloody. Plus, there are classic comic moments poking fun at horror, like tension-building orchestral stabs actually coming from a man playing a cello, and a woman screaming at the sight of a bat in a dark tunnel, which results in a baseball bat falling from the ceiling and hitting her male companion in the head.

bloodbath at the house of death corpse

If there’s any flaw to Bloodbath at the House of Death, it’s that more and more strange “twists” are tossed in as the story progresses and never quite come together. Yet, considering this is a parody, it kind of makes perfect sense that it’s so fricking weird in the end. However, it’s not even funny weird. It’s more like, “that shit was bizarre” weird. And that once again reminds us – at the last moment – that we were immersed in a horror universe, not a comedy universe.

ESCAPES (1986)

 escapes cover

While this isn’t exactly the most memorable “anthology film,” it definitely has some notable aspects. For starters, it didn’t originate as an anthology film. A bunch of short films were just lumped together so it could be marketed as a movie. These days, gathering short films together for release as an anthology film has become standard practice.

Also, the film revolves around stories originating from a videotape. Yes indeed, a horror anthology about stories seen on a V/H/S…. Plus, the wraparound that was filmed featuring Vincent Price as a mailman that delivers the videotape has all the baddies from the short stories come back to get the main guy who watches the tape, another twist used very often in horror anthologies these days.

escapes remote
The face we used to make when we hit play on the VCR remote.

Price is not a “star” of any of the stories here. His role is extremely minor. He does serve as “host” of the stories – when the young man who gets the tape pops it into the VCR, it’s an anthology film called Escapes hosted by Vincent Price (trippy).

escapes price

The Twilight Zone hook of the wraparound is befitting, because these stories aren’t exactly “horror.” Some are eerie, but I’d say they’re mostly like low budget attempts at Amazing Stories episodes. Here’s the breakdown:

“Hobgoblin Bridge” – This is one of my faves and a perfect Spielberg wannabe. Bratty boys warn another boy that the hobgoblin will get him if he tries to cross the covered bridge on his bike. Little monster time!

escapes bridge

“A Little Fishy” – A quick and silly nature strikes back tale.

“Coffee Break” – This one has a good 80s horror vibe, complete with neon lights at just the right moment, but the creepy townsfolk plot is nothing new. It feels like one of the weaker Tales from the Darkside episodes.

escapes rednecks

“Who’s There” – This one starts out with promise of horror. Something has escaped from the nature preserve. But after some POV in the woods and a chase scene with a jogger, the big confrontation turns whimsical!

escapes woods creature

“Jonah’s Dream” – This is definitely a sappy Amazing Stories clone about a woman waiting for the moment her deceased husband’s dream from years before about finding gold on their farm will come true.

“Think Twice” – Another Amazing Stories plot, this one is about a homeless man finding a magic crystal.

escapes tape

Now that I’ve outlined each story in Escapes for this blog, I must say…my “fave” is pretty much the only story I really liked here, with “Coffee Break” being a welcome addition because at least it’s a horror theme. And the Vincent Price VHS tape hosting job in-joke is a bonus, as is him closing out the film with his diabolical laugh.

escapes TV

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Living in the 80s - forever, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weird shit through the 80s

From January 1st, 1980 – December 31st, 1989, I didn’t miss a moment of the 80s. I had cable. I worked at a video store. And yet, there are still horror flicks from the decade that I haven’t yet seen. Hopefully, the supply will remain unlimited…despite shit like these four films being the bulk of what I missed back then.

SCREAM (1981)

scream 1981 cover

Before there was Scream 1996, there was…Scream 1981! It’s probably better to call it by its other title, The Outing, because you won’t scream once.

The intro is plenty intriguing and creepy. It’s just a shot of a wall clock and a bunch of figurines with their heads chopped off while perfect 80s horror theme music plays.

scream 1981 dolls

All that is shot to shit when the next scene shows people rafting to some sort of Hill Street Blues theme song knockoff crap. That’s one way to remind you this movie is from 1981. Anyway, this group of rafters hikes into an old ghost town for the night. Initially, there’s some great 80s slasher atmosphere as night falls—the shadows, the lighting, the POV, the sound effects. And while we don’t see the first kill, the shot set up and reveal of the body are uber cool and eerily effective.

scream 1981 ghost town

Unfortunately, an eerie moment here and there is the extent of it. The kills are infrequent and happen off screen, mostly because this movie is the poster child for why everyone should make the stupid decision to split up in horror movies.

scream 1981 wall cleaver

These people DON’T split up and nothing happens. They all stay in a building for a majority of the film, and whenever there’s a noise or odd occurrence to check out, they go together. How fucking boring!

The only one who seems to keep ending up on his own is the chubby guy they all pick on, and for some reason, he still survives! Plus, his scenes are accompanied by whimsical, cheesy 80s music that kills the mood.

scream 1981 chubby guy

Finally, some mysterious cowboy rides into town and the simply bizarre twist as to what’s really going on comes to light.

scream 1981 group

There are finally a couple of halfway decent kills—mostly because we at least get to see them on screen—before the film comes to a head-scratching conclusion with tons of survivors.

scream 1981 axe

It’s fascinating that a movie can have atmosphere and a creepy theme going for it, but nothing else.

BORN OF FIRE (1987)

 born of fire cover

How do you torture a dark soul? Make it watch Born of Fire. Imagine all the slow pacing and symbolic visuals in the archaeological opening sequence of The Exorcist filling an entire film, and you have this snoozefest.

A flutist and astronomer team up because they’re both hearing strange music and a volcano has erupted in Turkey where the flutist’s father died and some sort of supernatural Master Flautist awaits. So they decide to head there to investigate…despite the MFer making his freaky presence known during a drive in the rain.

born of fire windsheld

Within the depths of cavernous Turkish structures, the pair tries to uncover the truth of the father’s connection to the Master Flautist – a demonic figure (aka: man with bad skin) plotting to destroy the world.

born of fire fire small

born of fire water

In an effort to keep us entertained, there’s a little deformed man, irritating ancient rituals, endless water and fire imagery, a sex scene with bugs and skeletons, and a bug birth, pretty much the highlight for this horror fan—which is saying a lot, because I find bug births to be repulsive.

born of fire bang

born of fire birth

INCIDENT AT RAVEN’S GATE (1988)

incident at ravens gate cover

Sleepy time continues despite a promising 80s vibe.

incident at ravens gate leads

An ex-con comes to work on his brother’s farm in a rural area. He fucks around with the brother’s wife. He fucks around with the local cop’s lady. A football trophy is stolen from a local bar. A Close Encounters style light attack on a house promises something momentous down the line.

incident at ravens gate door light

incident at ravens gatg crop

There’s a distinct edge to the atmosphere in this film that keeps you watching and waiting, sensing something horrific is going to happen as hints of odd occurrences slowly build around the main characters.

incident at ravens gate cop

45 minutes in, we see a flash of a freaky creature attacking the cop’s car. But don’t expect much more than that.

incident at ravens gate windshield

It seems from that point on any threat to the two brothers comes in the form of some sort of alien beings mimicking or taking over the bodies of humans.

incident at ravens gate gun

incident at ravens gate corpse

It feels and looks suspenseful and I guess there’s a hint of “body snatchers” going on here, but the initial slow burn that feels like it’s holding on to something terrifying just never delivers and it’s really hard to determine exactly what the hell is going on.

LAS VEGAS BLOOD BATH (1989)

las vegas blood bath cover

The biggest thrill in this shot-on-video exploitation flick is the sexy 80s daddy in the black Speedo during a sex scene at the beginning.

las vegas blood bath daddy

Next, we learn that the daddy was banging some clean-cut dude’s wife. So the guy goes on a rampage, driving around and calling women sluts and whores.

las vegas blood bath lead

First he ties a prostitute up in an alley, sticks a knife through her chin (looks pretty nasty), and then rips off her limbs by tying them to the bumper of his car.

las vegas blood bath arm rip

After that, 80s chicks sit around a living room talking, trying on swimsuits, playing cards, watching female oil wrestling on TV, and ordering pizza for at least thirty minutes.

las vegas blood bath girls

FINALLY the killer comes in with a gun and begins to take the girls upstairs one at a time, where he does a variety of disgusting things to them…like cutting open one chick’s belly, ripping out her unborn baby, and throwing it against a wall!

las vegas blood bath baby

As bad as it all is, the killer has a couple of really funny and campy moments near the end. His reaction when a Jehovah’s Witness comes knocking on the door is hilarious. 

las vegas bloodbath jehovah

But his shining moment comes when a hot cop in jeans and a tank top busts in while he’s…um…taking a bath. The whole movie should have gone for this level of dark, twisted humor.

las vegas blood bath tub

Posted in Living in the 80s - forever, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment