Digging through the 80s obscurities

Still chipping away at my ultimate goal to eventually blog about every movie in my personal collection, excluding major horror flicks – unless I find something new to say about them that hasn’t been said ad nauseam by every diehard fan that feels the observation hasn’t been validated until they say it. So I bring you four more flicks – 3 from one of those cheap boxed sets and one from my days as a video store clerk, since it just finally hit DVD.

NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1980)

night of the demon 1980 cover

I actually didn’t even bother to watch this one when I bought a 6-movie collection for a Debbie Harry horror flick. That was a mistake, because this Bigfoot flick blows away all the crappy found footage ones coming out these days (except Exists, the best Bigfoot movie ever).

This gritty monster flick leans more towards a late 1970s vibe, but don’t let the horrendous flute muzak after the opening monster POV kill scene deter you from sticking with it.

night of the demon 1980 windshield

A college professor discusses true cases of Bigfoot with his students, and even has a chick who lost her dad to Bigfoot come in to tell a story of an attack on a couple fucking in a van! WTF? It makes for one great kill scene, the guy’s got a great ass, and the body sliding down the windshield rules.

night of the demon 1980 truck ass

The group heads into the woods to find some crazy lady who supposedly knows a whole lot about Bigfoot, but the kills are all that really matter. It’s not long before we totally see our big hairy monster as he swings a dude in a sleeping bag in a brilliantly long scene complete with dizzying POV.

night of the demon 1980 sleeping bag

But even better than that is the biker who stops to take a piss in the bushes and learns that Bigfoot plays rough when he gives handjobs. FULL frontal dick in a 1980 movie! How did I miss this one back in the VHS days?

night of the demon 1980 handjob

night of the demon 1980 crotch bleed

Shit just goes more bizarr-o, with a Satanic cult thrown in and more tales of Bigfoot attacks around the campfire, including an amazing scene of Bigfoot making two Girl Scouts hack each other up with knives.

night of the demon 1980 girl scout

The final massacre in the crazy lady’s house is just the icing on the cake, with slow mo carnage as everyone is torn to bits. This scene goes on foreeeeever and I fricking love it.

night of the demon 1980 inside house

SHADOW PLAY (1986)

 shadow play cover

I felt my horror queen Dee Wallace slipping away from me back in the day when she made this “supernatural” romance co-starring Cloris Leachman as the mother of her deceased fiancé. What a relief that I’m Dangerous Tonight, Popcorn, and Alligator II, brought her back to us in the early 90s.

Dee plays a grieving playwright suffering writer’s block due to the anger she feels towards her fiancé for committing suicide.

shadow play dropped glass

Hoping for some sort of closure she accepts when Leachman invites her to stay at the family home…on a creepy isolated island…with a creepy lighthouse.

shadow play dee and cloris

Pretty soon, Dee is seeing transparent footage – I mean – the ghost of her fiancé in windows.

shadow play ghost

She starts to get romantically involved with his brother, played by Jan Brady’s husband from The Brady Brides on.

shadow play brother

Dee runs a theatre group. Dee gets hit on by a pretty boy from the group who looks so 80s gay (aka: so 80s).

shadow play pretty boy

Dee keeps seeing the ghost. Dee makes love to the brother. Dee fights with the brother. Dee gets angry at a photo of her fiancé numerous times. Someone keeps reframing it. Dee goes to a psychic medium.

shadow play psychic

Dee gets ample opportunity to demonstrate her amazing ability to have emotional meltdowns on demand.

shadow play crying

Dee looks so good with her long hair grown back to its The Howling length after having it short while playing a mom during the E.T./Cujo years.

The dark secret that has her fiancé trying to communicate with her finally comes out in a melodramatic climax up in the lighthouse. Is it horrific or shocking? No. But it has probably been recycled on Lifetime originals at least once yearly for the past two decades.

SISTER, SISTER (1987)

sister sister cover

This is the directorial debut of Bill Condon, who would go on to bring us Gods & Monsters, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Dreamgirls, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2.

sister sister house

It’s actually a pretty atmospheric gothic mystery with touches of horror…although I did pass it up back in the day when I worked in the video store.

sister sister cemetery

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a weird chick (her range is astounding) who runs a B&B with her older sister in Louisiana.

sister sister dream

Plagued by sexy scary dreams featuring a guy with a great ass looking kind of like he’s riding her dick instead of fucking her, she is constantly nagged by her sister to take her pills, but we’re not clued in as to what she takes them for (clearly she would be diagnosed with JJL Syndrome today). They also have some sort of knowledge about what became of a young man who went missing years before.

sister sister cruella

Their eccentric guests include a Cruella de Vil lady and Eric Stolz, who takes a shine to JJL. But her sister is determined to keep them apart. The big moment when the couple defies her cock-blocking is so ridiculously melodramatic it feels like it was filmed just to arrive at the perfect publicity still of Stolz and JJL.

sister sister still

Meanwhile, JJL spouts shit about ghosts, is spied on by someone through a hole in her bedroom ceiling, and begins to grow increasingly paranoid as tensions build between she and her sister.

sister sister peephole

Something awful happens to her dog and there’s one murder that’s right out of Friday the 13th.

sister sister arrow victim

But soon after, the killer comes out in the open and brags-brags-brags about the brilliant, dastardly plan…that resulted in a body count of ONE? Yawn.

sister sister 3way mirror

While my sudden hopes for slasher madness in the final act were quickly dashed, the flashbacks to what really transpired between the two sisters is vicious and adds an interesting twist.

sister sister bloody wall

However, it’s immediately negated by the silly inclusion of actual ghosts and a hilarious return to bad slasher tropes for the final frame, when Stolz leaps in for one of the most graceful, robotic, well-dressed cheap jump scares ever.

sister sister mirror jump

TRUTH OR DARE?: A CRITICAL MADNESS (1986)

 truth or dare cover

You knew the well had run dry in the video store horror section when you finally got around to renting Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness by Tim Ritter, director of Killing Spree.

Turns out when a killer commits murders, gets thrown in a mental institution, escapes, and repeats the cycle all over again multiple times within a single movie without a sequel in sight, you seriously start to feel like you’re going crazy.

truth or dare pencil in eye

As straightforward as that plot sounds, Truth or Dare? manages to present so many hallucinations, flashbacks, and time jumps that it loses any sense of cohesiveness.

truth or dare chainsaw

Some dude catches his wife fucking another guy. Everything busted but the nut…

truth or dare busted

He imagines a fucked up encounter with a prostitute (with amazing 80s hair) by a campfire. He gets tossed in a mental institution. He gets released. He commits murder.

truth or dare 80s hair

He’s locked away again. He does insane shit at the mental institution. He escapes. He has major explosive car chases with cops. He wears a mask.

truth or dare mask

He kills random people. But his ultimate goal is always to get the wife that cheated on him.

truth or dare aj mclean

Quirky, bloody, often comical, and featuring a young A.J. Mclean of the Backstreet Boys in a flashback as the young killer slicing his wrist with a razor, Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness is…it’s…a direct-to-video movie from the 80s that apparently was in high enough demand to get a DVD release now that the format is nearly 20 years old, following in the shadows of Blu-ray and Ultra HD, and probably going to go extinct soon. So you be the judge.

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Direct to DVD and Streaming: Bryan Brewer

Well, I found me a new horror cutie to keep an eye on after two films Bryan Brewer directed, wrote, and starred in hit Amazon Prime and ended up in my watchlist. Hi, Bryan!

bryan brewer

I liked what I saw (and the movies were fun, too), so I found another film in which Bryan was involved on FrightPix and watched that as well so I’d be up to date on his horror output. Let’s get into it.

INFECTION: THE INVASION BEGINS (2010)

infection invasion begins

Bryan Brewer wrote and stars in this one, which you could say is “in the tradition of Night of the Creeps and Slither.

infection the invasion begins comet

A small meteor crashes to earth in the woods near a small town, releasing little squirmy wormy spermy things longing to be swallowed. Open wide and get drunk on space sperm!

infection the invasion begins tongue guy

Once you do, you pretty much become a zombie that spits gummy sperm at others.

Brewer stars as the boy with the bad reputation who breezes back into town, much to the shock of his ex-girlfriend and the sheriff, played by Lochlyn Munro.

infection the invasion begins brewer and munroDamn! Been a while since your last cavity search. You’re tight.

I wasn’t surprised to see Munro in the film as the sheriff (he’s virtually made a career of playing sheriff/detective/deputy), but it was cool to see that he wasn’t just there for the sake of a cameo. He’s one of the major players. Taking over for him in the deputy role and bringing some comic charm is cutie Kent Faulcon of the show For Better or Worse.

infection the invasion begins deputy

I’m all about any film “in the tradition of Night of the Creeps and Slither.” Infection ticks off all the right boxes as an indie interpretation, begins strong with plenty of potential, and has a likable cast, but in the end, nothing makes it stand out from the crowd. Hokey melodrama between the characters fills the time like something from a SyFy original, and there’s lots and lots and lots of dialogue as the characters move from one location to another, but they have very little interaction with any of the infected victims! Where are all the wannabe actors looking for roles as extras in a zombie movie when you need them?

infection the invasion begins tongue girl

Infected makeup is virtually non-existent, there’s no gore, and little in the way of horror effects, perhaps due to budget constraints. The movie also doesn’t commit to being either fully horror (scares and suspense are on the light side) or horror comedy (there are hints of humor, with the science geek being the highlight but having a small role), so the overall tone is often on shaky ground.

infection the invsaion begins science geek

And with a very repetitive narrative and dialogue-heavy plot, there are no major standout moments, making this a mostly flat viewing experience.

infection the invasion begins mother

The shining moment for me was the woman playing Brewer’s infected mother. She’s creepy as hell! We needed more of that. Much more.

infection the invasion begins worms

And I can’t forget these little guys, which don’t quite get the campy treatment they so deserve.
 infection the invasion begins torso

I mean, come on. When you’re the writer and you have nipples like this, exploit those babies with a scene in which two little spermy space suckers are hanging off your teats.

THE WAKE (2017)

wake cover

Bryan co-wrote and co-directed The Wake, and it’s a hoot.

wake chainsThe killer has Bryan just where I want him…

Basically a warped take on the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” premise, it sees a group of friends attend the wake of a child at a house in the middle of nowhere.

wake cast

They only know the child because…well…they killed the kid when they hit him with their car!

wake basketball

Things feel kind of awkward when the friends realize they’ve apparently arrived early and are alone with the grieving mother. But before they can get too uncomfortable, terror takes over. There’s a killer outside with a knife.

wake other guy

Let the classic slasher scenario commence. No lights. No way out. Everyone splitting up. People being killed off one by one.

wake victim

The killer taunts them, playing a game of cat and mouse.

wake mask

And to top it all off, Bryan and adorable scream king to watch out for Michael Aaron Milligan (Don’t Kill It, SIREN, V/H/S Viral, Dance of the Dead, Shark Lake) make a great horror team, delivering the perfect dose of humor to blend with the horror atmosphere.

wake bros

As much fun as it is, just when you think this is simply another predictable home invasion flick with a sleek, late 90s slasher throwback vibe, we get a whole different kind of horror monkey wrench thrown into the mix.

wake dungeon

The unexpected final act not only ups the humor, it also left me crestfallen once I discovered the film isn’t on DVD yet.

THE RAKING (2017)

raking cover

This is the second time in a couple of blogs that I can say a movie reminded me of the days of cheesetastic creature features like Rawhead Rex and Pumpkinhead (Eyes of the Woods was the other). Bryan Brewer co-writes this one, but takes on full directing responsibility.

With the opening scene (which gave me The Beast Within flashbacks), Brewer shows us how a good creature feature scene should be done – totally awesome suspense and scares when a couple’s car gets stuck on a desolate road at night.

raking intro scene

Next, Brewer shows us how a good sex scene should be done – you include a shirtless Bryan Brewer.

raking brewer noshirt

After the sex scene, Brewer’s girlfriend hands him a gift, and he says, “But my birthday’s not until tomorrow.” Whenever someone has that response in a movie, I think, who SAYS that? When my hubby gives me an early gift, my response is always, “Yay! Early gift! But bitch, you better be giving me another gift tomorrow because that’s my official birthday.” You probably think I’m just trying to be cute for the sake of my blog, and I think it’s cute that you think that. My hubby, on the other hand, doesn’t think it cute that any of this is going on public record.

So a group of college classmates is doing a project on urban legends, and they pick one that requires them to go to…the woods! Wahoo!

raking cast

After the usual encounter with a strange dude who warns them away from the place they’re headed, little time is wasted in getting to the good stuff.

raking campfire

The campfire is lit, the stories start, and then the monster strikes!

raking monster red

The Raking features a ghoulish, demonic creature that makes a hideous sound.

raking shooter

Luckily, the strange dude from earlier comes back on the scene to help the kids stay alive as long as possible as they spend the night running, screaming, splitting up, and being split to pieces in the woods. Oh what fun it is.

raking attackThere’s a bit of a lull in the middle of the film when the group takes cover in the strange dude’s place and he gives them backstory on the monster.

raking hunter

But once the action picks back up, it’s creature feature thrills straight to the end.

raking hand outside car

There are plenty of painful looking kills, loads of screaming, and an old school CGI-free monster that even dares to come out of the dark and into the light. And I have to say, the final frame gave me a chuckle in an 80s horror final scare kind of way. My horror collection will definitely be seeing an influx of Bryan Brewer films.

raking has the girlfriend

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The queen that hated scream queens made them too scared to scream

too scared to scream cover

Ah, the 80s. The decade when even respected veteran actors like Mike “Mannix” Connors got in on the slasher craze. But Connors wasn’t going to get chased around on Halloween or hacked up by a guy in a hockey mask. He did it on his own terms, by producing the 1985 “mystery” Too Scared To Scream himself…and simply copycatting Hitchcock’s Psycho concept while completely exploiting every gay stereotype possible.

Before I start completely spoiling the entire film discussing the gay elements, let me first look at it from an 80s slasher perspective. Female tenants of an upscale apartment building begin turning up dead, so Connors is on the case with the help of his partner, played by pre-Fatal Attraction Anne Archer.

too scared to scream washing machine

While Too Scared To Scream has all the elements of sleazy New York City horror of the early to mid-80s – female nudity, prostitution, porn strips, hot tubs – it generally feels like a cheesy 80s cop show. It simply doesn’t look gritty enough. There’s no gore – nothing graphic during kill scenes (a raised hand with a knife is the extent of it), and the most blood we see is on victims during body reveals.

too scared to sceram elevator drop

There are loads of those, including one on Halloween! The holiday isn’t specifically mentioned, but trick or treaters and costumes are cleverly integrated into a scene right before the best body drop of all.

too scared to scream trick or treaters

This isn’t a masked killer slasher, so it’s mostly shots of weapon in hand or approaching feet. Some kills don’t even happen on screen; they’re either implied or revealed when the body pops up. However, the few kills we do see feature by-the-book 80s slasher suspense, and the climactic chase scene with Archer as the “final girl” is the horror highlight of the film.

Now to delve into the gay insanity. Be warned, it’s all coming out of the closet.

too scared to sceram makeup

It’s pretty obvious it’s going to be the gay blame game from the very start. During the opening credits, veteran actor Ian McShane is getting all dolled up in makeup as he stares in a mirror with that “I’m so fierce I’ll stab a bitch” look. You know the one I’m talking about.

Turns out Ian is the odd yet adored night doorman at the apartment building. Hell, women who live there even call him up to see if he’s free to come turn the knob on their doors. He lives with his mother, who is confined to a wheelchair and can’t move or speak, the result of a tragic car accident. He also becomes the prime suspect because all the murders happen on his watch. When Connors comes to question him, his mother is all wide-eyed and seems like she wants to scream something out to Connors. Something like, “My son is a huge makeup wearing cocksucker!”

too scared to scream mother and son

Meanwhile, the first victim was a prostitute, so Connors tracks down the client who dropped her off the night she was murdered. He finds the guy naked, tied up and gagged, with cigarette burns all over his ass.

too scared to scream cig burns

After screaming bloody murder upon being freed (men are not too scared to scream), the guy lays on the couch with his ass up in the air as Connors interrogates him and applies a wet cloth. The guy says his chauffeur assaulted him because he’s jealous and to go get the fucker. Connors thanks him by slapping him on his scorched ass. After all, violent sexual assault against a male is funny and worthy of a good playful slap on the ass.

too scared to scream butt spank

A co-worker at the office pulls up a file on the chauffeur that shows he has a record: male prostitution, two attempts of rape, child molestation (the writers must have heard it on the street that they all go hand-in-hand). Connors again jokes about what the chauffeur did to the poor guy’s ass by looking at his cigarette and commenting that it makes him want to give them up. Later on, his co-worker, who sleeps on a cot in a secret room during a stakeout, curls up on it to take a nap facing a wall, realizes his ass is sticking out and vulnerable to attack, and flips over. The power of gay panic.

too scared to scream cot

Meanwhile, the chauffeur is later caught…in the porn district of the city…and arrested. When Connors confronts him about the ass burns, he makes some snarky comment about it making Connors wet in the pants…because sexual deviants have absolutely no fears of repercussions and still think only of sex and perversion when they’ve been caught and are face to face with authority figures?

Now to our doorman with his blank stares, aloof behavior around women, and rather cold treatment of his mother. Anne Archer goes undercover as a new tenant in the building and tries to strike up a friendship with him. He’s very touchy when questioned about why he’s single and doesn’t have a woman in his life. He doesn’t take kindly to that question at all.

too scared to sceram jazzercise

Is it any surprise Anne becomes a target when she’s in her apartment alone, jazzercising? What’s more surprising is that someone agreed to give Anne a role in Fatal Attraction after she committed this solo jazzercise scene to celluloid. Oh how I pray this never gets removed from YouTube…

 

This kicks off the final chase, which is deliciously long…and suddenly has Archer acting not like a fricking trained detective with a gun, but like an actual terrified, screaming and crying final girl who can only be saved when Connors eventually comes in with his powerful manhood pointed straight out in front of him and blows the guy away. WTF?

AND NOW…THE BIG GAY TWIST! See, there was this other doorman. The day doorman. He had minor interaction with the night doorman while changing shifts, but the weirdo night doorman seemed uninterested in chatting with him. Yet they seem to have a past, because he laments the fact that the night doorman no longer goes to the theatre. Uh-oh…

That’s right! The doorman by day and doorman by night were backdoor men together when off duty! At first we’re supposed to think perhaps the night doorman’s mother is actually the killer, for someone in a dress is rolling around in a wheelchair knocking the last few people off to get to Archer.

too scared to scream wheelchair

But when the killer finally chases Archer on foot and corners her, things get very Norman Bates. Archer is horrified when the killer whips off a wig to reveal she is…the big gay day doorman!

too scared to scream drag

And he reveals all. He and the night doorman were in a theatre group together several years before (hence the reason Ian McShane was seen putting on makeup during the opening credits), and they were in love. But the night doorman’s mother was against it and tried to keep them apart. She is not in a wheelchair due to a tragic accident. The night doorman crashed their car on purpose because he wanted to die when she forbid him to be with the man he loved: the classic suicidal gay boy.

And so now, the day doorman has tracked his former lover down and taken a job to be close to him, but is still being rejected. So he started killing all the women in the building because he hates them for stealing all his lover’s attention, just like the mother. This woman-hating gay finally just killed her, too, and then dressed up as her to bring her back to life. But not even a last ditch effort to conform to societal norms by becoming a woman for his man worked, so now the night doorman is upstairs dead, too.

What’s a girl to do about all these fucking psycho faggots?

Emasculate them even more! Archer knees him in the balls, of course. Connors pops in just in time to shoot him, catch Archer in his arms, and request a kiss, thereby restoring heteronormativity. The end.

too scare to scream kiss

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

STREAM QUEEN: stab orgy, men and mutants, demon creature in the woods

My latest streaming marathon was a complete smorgasbord, but there’s definitely a winner in the bunch for me.

ATROCITY (2014)

 atrocity cover

Ah…another “horror” movie about the pricks society is producing these days. And to make it even more obnoxious, it’s even shot from this generation’s perspective: video footage being pieced together as authorities conduct interviews about the terrible incident…

Some pretty boy decides to get his friends together to film it as they catch his girlfriend cheating.

Naturally, they have to loosen up by getting shit-faced. One of the very first lines of dialogue the man guy speaks directly to the camera is “Drunk fucking faggots!”

atrocity main guy

Mainstream Scriptwriting 101. They make some jokes about the token black guy, behave inappropriately with some girls, and get confrontational with another group of guys.

atrocity token dude

This 2014 shitfest practically predicts the country heading toward electing Trump for president.

After the boys arrive at the girlfriend’s house and the white trash party starts, the film cuts back to the interviews…lots and lots of yawn-inducing Q&A.

atrocity interview

Finally, we head back to Trumpland. The ex-girlfriend’s ex-convict stepdad comes on the scene and calls in backup to take care of the unwanted guests.

atrocity stepdad

Blades and finger knives are drawn, and it quickly turns blood red, white trash, and blue lives don’t matter right now. After the first round of dicing and slicing, the ex-girlfriend goes on an anti-gay tirade against the ex-boyfriend because he killed her stepdad and brother. Lord knows that after someone stabs your stepdad and brother to death, your natural reaction is to blame the gays. Her tirade goes something like this – actually, it goes exactly like this if you pluck out the minor interruptions:

“You disgusting faggot! So are you the girl or the boy?…Come on, gay boy. Your buddies want to know what you did with him in his bedroom…I’m going to make sure you spend the rest of your life in prison. It’s not so bad. You get to have lots of gay sex there…He fucking takes it up the ass from Jerry and kills little kids…You want at me, gay boy?…Dick sucker.”

Poor girl. I feel her grief. I ache for her. And I appreciate her recognizing that gays just kill little kids rather than equating us with pedophiles.

atrocity girlfriendRESTING ANTI-GAY FOR NO REASON FACE

Was she supposed to be revealing some kind of truth about the ex-boyfriend actually having had some kind of gay sex with his buddy? Or was she just delivering the kind of dialogue that would emasculate him enough to kick off the second round of knife fucking?

atrocity fight

After sitting through an entire found footage film just to watch a bunch of kids stab each other to death in a room, I didn’t care.

WHERE THE JOURNEY ENDS (2015)

where the journey ends cover

Where the Journey Ends is a post-apocalyptic indie grindhouse flick that is pretty damn epic in scope for such a small budget feature and does a good job of pulling off what it intends. If I have one gripe about it, it’s the usual…too long. I’d vote for 102 minutes to be shaved down to about 85 minutes. The first thing I would scrap are black and white clips sprinkled throughout of a Jon Landis clone giving lessons on post-apocalyptic life.

where the journey ends black and white

The film is rather segmented. It begins focusing on one young man (he’s a cutie) surviving on his own, fending off any weirdos he encounters in the desolate wasteland (one in a hockey mask also thinks he’s really cute…), and haunted by dreams of past and the love he lost.

where the journey ends main kid

He joins a group of well-armed survivors (they have guns, too), and the movie kicks into gear as an action/horror flick with the introduction of the “mutants.”

where the journey ends good guys

They’re essentially zombies, except they’re not because Jon Landis clone specifically notes that they’re worse than zombies.

where the journey ends mutant

There’s a good old school zombie horror flick feel here (even though they’re mutants), and while the grindhouse look is quite genuine, the “missing reel” novelty moment has worked effectively once (Grindhouse: Planet Terror), so any use since simply comes across as unoriginal. Not to mention, if you’re going to have a missing reel moment, take advantage of it and cut your 102-minute movie down to 85 minutes.

where the journey ends bites

The final act has the group abducted by psychos led by a masked creep with a demonic voice. He looks just like a video game villain/boss because, well, he kind of is.

where the journey ends king

They’re a sadistic bunch—often sexually.

where the journey ends hatchetstrap
This is still going to hurt you a lot more than it’s going to hurt me.

The group is loaded with freaks that bring on warped grindhouse situations…and a couple of hunks.

where the journey ends muscle guy

A whole lot of mortal combat comes into play, as does mortal/mutant combat. Where The Journey Ends is definitely heavier on action than horror or storyline, but it’s entertaining nevertheless.

EYES OF THE WOODS (2009)

eyes of the woods cover

There’s a reason I ignore all the shitty reviews of movies on streaming sites. It ensures that I don’t skip movies like Eyes of the Woods. Are there elements of indie horror weakness? Sure. But it’s so easy for me to overlook because the creature fricking rules, the gore rocks, the stylization – whether intentional or based on budget constraints – is wicked cool, and the film overall reminds me of 1980s creature features like Pumpkinhead and Rawhead Rex.

The intro “scene” could be a short film on its own. It’s colonial times, and while doing a blood ritual to save his dying daughter, a furry dude proves that horror movies intentionally make Satanism seem sexy.

eyes of the woods father

Unfortunately, there were no warning labels back then, so daddy didn’t know that he would suffer the side effects of his daughter’s treatment. He turns into a monster and butchers the whole town. Hey, at least he prevented senseless murder of innocents in inevitable witch trials.

eyes of the woods monster red

Cut to modern times, and a group of friends on a road trip ends up in the woods with a crapped out van, no phone service, a campfire, and talk about the legend of the creature.

eyes of the woods campfire

See, kiddies? This is why you should always carry marshmallows with you.

The group gets lost and makes some creepy discoveries, complete with a Blair Witch comment from this guy, who’s both adorable and funny.

eyes of the woods bone

Then Eyes of the Woods kicks into monster chaos! To add to the confusion, plenty of other people are thrown into the mix to up the body count, so I’m not complaining. But I am complaining that this guy isn’t a main character, because he’s a cutie. And I’m not saying that just because he can do that thing with his tongue.

eyes of the woods tongue

Were treated to humor, bloody kills, monster POV, and old school dark scenes that make it hard to see what the hell is going on.

eyes of the woods monster

There are also oddball moments, such as a colonial ghost girl…

eyes of the woods ghost girl

…and characters finding a collage of victim photos pinned to a tree.

eyes of the woods collage

This creature is just like all the other classic horror movie serial killers.

eyes of the woods victim discovery

The main girl’s fight with the creature is a blast and freaky good since it takes place in his lair.

eyes of the woods lair

However, our main girl kind of negates all her kick ass cred when she doesn’t sense something is still not quite right…

eyes of the woods final frame

But hey…there’s nothing like a cheesy old school final frame. Yeah, this one is definitely getting added to my DVD collection.

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

STREAM QUEEN: girls gone batty

Are the main girls in these four horror films just seeing things…and real or imagined, are those things actually scary?

ABANDONED DEAD (2015)

abandoned dead cover

So there’s this awesome movie I covered a while ago called Last Shift, about a lone cop terrorized by otherworldly beings in a police station the night it’s closing. Good stuff.

So…Abandoned Dead is basically the same movie with an alternate ending. This time, the main girl is a security guard. On Memorial Day weekend, her boss is in a pinch and convinces her to work the night at a psychiatric clinic.

She immediately starts getting spooked because she’s alone. Maybe she should have chosen a different career. She does a lot of walking around with a flashlight in dark rooms and calling out “Who’s there?” She makes a gross discovery explained away by a creepy caretaker – who is pretty much forgotten for the rest of the film. He may as well have been listed in the cast credits as “the cheap jump scare.”

abandoned dead goreface

The main girl then starts having run-ins with zombie-like people and dead bodies, which is my kind of party.

abandoned dead crawl

There are mysterious flashbacks giving us some insight into the main girl’s backstory. And there’s a distracting side plot of some male doctor thinking aloud in his mind as he goes over a case. His presence and his scenes feel “cheaper” than the main story, which really takes you out of it. A LOT. Otherwise, there are some fairly chilling and suspenseful scenes with the main girl.

abandoned dead eyes

In the end, the twist (which you eventually see coming) makes this film differ from Last Shift. And we also get a cameo from Night of the Living Dead star Judith O’Dea.

abandoned dead judith

NECESSARY EVIL (2008)

necessary evil cover

Lance Henriksen and Danny Trejo bring horror cred to a movie that entertains simply because it’s such a convoluted mess.

necesssary evil henriksen

Necessary Evil feels like it could be an elongated episode of Freddy’s Nightmares – one of the ones that didn’t revolve around Freddy.

necessary evil milit#25B888

Danny Trejo and a team of military baddies head into an underground cave with no idea why…I think? They unleash a demon from a tomb and it possesses one of the guys. Lance Henriksen is a mad doctor that abstracts the demon from the guy, so I guess he tricked their asses?

necesssary evil demon door

Whatever. Now Henriksen goes around terrorizing individuals in a nice suburban town and injecting them with demon juice.

necessary evil father

And he seems to have a supernatural power himself – he gets to walk around with a cool fog machine swirling around him.

necessary evil smoke#25B8E0

A cop and a reporter join forces to investigate when a young teen becomes one of his victims.

necessary evil teen

The reporter eventually becomes Henriksen’s target and spends the second part of the movie being chased by the demons of her past in a hypnotic state/alternative dimension/our bland old regular dimension? I’m not quite sure.

necessary evil demon hand

And the poor cop gets dragged into the whole mess—his confrontation with the actual demon kicks ass.

GRINDSTONE ROAD (2008)

grindstone road cover

It’s like an alternative universe when wicked witch Fairuza Balk plays the emotionally broken woman in what feels like a made-for-TV haunted house movie from the 1970s.

grindstone road couple

I really struggle to see Balk as anything but a psycho bitch from hell who can kill all the sharks in the ocean with her mind and shit, so I don’t find it all that scary when she gets spooked by dripping water in the basement of her new house.

grindstone road dripping water

Anyway, she and her hubby move into their new home hoping to get past the fact that their son is in a coma. Weird shit starts to happen (even weirder than the dripping water), and hubby thinks Balk is having post-traumatic responses to the accident that left their son comatose.

What would a 1970s made-for-TV haunted house movie clone be without nosy neighbors who know more than they’re telling about the history of the house? The nice old couple here tries to warn Balk of the dangers of living in the house…and the house warns them to stay the fuck out of it.

grindstone road neighbor

Balk begins to uncover a history of tragedy in the house. Ah the nostalgia. All that’s missing is the microfiche. And then come the people only Balk can see. Raise your hand if you remember how husbands used to treat wives who experienced supernatural shit in their new homes in 1970s made-for-TV movies.

grindstone road gun

I guess you could consider this a little throwback if you miss that kind of film. If you weren’t around back then and missed Balk in her ultimate roll in The Craft in the 90s so have some sort of objective perspective on her, maybe this film will give you a few goose bumps?

THE SNARE (2017)

snare cover

A third wheel joins a hot guy and his girlfriend…for a weekend getaway on the top floor of an empty high-rise apartment building? You know it’s time to start taking ADHD meds when a good number of sentences in your movie blog end with question marks.

snare hot bo 2

The third wheel begins to get weird vibes about the place…and from the boyfriend. Personally, I was liking the vibes he was giving off.

snare hot bo with main girl

Soon, she begins having horrific hallucinations and is all ready to cut the vacation short when…the threesome gets trapped in the building with no way out.

snare bloody body

The horrors intensify in the apartment as the threesome struggles to survive on minimal food. Tensions escalate between them, and our main third wheel begins to dabble in the occult hoping to contact the presence she believes is keeping them captive in the building.

snare occult

It’s the final act when shit gets FUCKED UP…because the friends begin to turn on each other.

snare get boyfriend

There’s gore, there’s insanity, there are other unspeakable acts that force our main third wheel to really step out of her comfort zone.

snare boyfriend attack

Although I’m not a huge fan of The Snare, the final act definitely saves it for me because it gets so down and dirty.

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4 from the end of the millennium

Sure the 1990s was a tumultuous decade for horror. Sure most of the movies sucked. That’s why it’s tragic that the most unique films of the era are often ignored, have been forgotten, or are just never mentioned. For instance…

BURIED ALIVE (1990)

buried alive 1990 cover

If you have to go for an awkward yet nostalgic 80s to 90s transition flick, Buried Alive is about as good as bad video store horror gets: pathetically “based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe” (a black cat runs by a lot, someone is buried behind a brick wall); featuring absolutely pointless cameos by Donald Pleasence and John Carradine; and set in a girls school run by former mental patients (?). Yep, that’s late 80s/early 90s horror.

buried alive 1990 pleasence

Robert Vaughn is the strange “headmaster.” The students are a bunch of troublemaking bitches. As if that’s not enough to deal with, the young woman who comes to teach at the place begins having trippy hallucinations of talking brick walls, hands reaching from toilet bowls, and ants. Lots of ants.

buried alive 1990 toilet

There’s also a killer in a mask, but the murders aren’t shown on screen all that much.

buried alive 1990 mask

However, our main teacher girl begins sniffing around as some sort of excuse is made for why each girl is missing.

buried alive 1990 hair

The disjointed atmosphere as she explores the creepy place and weird, random characters just show up in odd places gives the film a bit of an Argento quality, plus John Carradine makes his usual shocking scary appearance, so what’s not to like?

buried alive 1990 carradine

This awesome piece of crap is from Gérard Kikoïne, director of Edge of Sanity.

buried alive 1990 head

CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (1991)

children of the night cover

Tony Randel, director of other shitty movies of the era like Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Amityville: It’s About Time, and Ticks (which really needs a reissue on Blu-ray), scores his best flick with this Subspecies/Return to Salem’s Lot mash-up.

children of the night granny attack

Part freaky as hell, part absurd, Children of the Night begins with a Spielberg small town intro. Then two girls go swimming in the local crypt as part of a sort of teen rite of passage. A fricking crypt filled with water? It’s as nightmarish as it sounds, especially when they awaken the dead they don’t realize are underneath the depths. Fuck me.

children of the night swim

Adorable scream queen Ami Dolenz (Stepmonster, Ticks, Witchboard 2, Pumpkinhead II) is our main girl, and Peter DeLuise is the teacher who tries to protect her when the local mess of a priest (who’s pretty cute) reveals to him that the town is overrun by vampires…

children of the night deluise and priest

The film is part Evil Dead and part Evil Ed in look and feel as DeLuise, Dolenz, and the priest take on  an army of vamps that plan to hand the gang over to their hideous master.

children of the night master vamp

We get Karen Black in Exorcist mode.

children of the night karen black

There’s also a little mortal boy who works for the vamps (his reaction is classic when he gets staked).

children of the night kid stake

And joining the fun as a homeless dude with a vamp killing truck is Earl from 2 Broke Girls!

children of the night earl

PARANOIA (1998)

paranoia 1998 cover

Paranoia is a real oddity. There are a good number of slasher tropes, Dr. Giggles himself plays a serial killer that escapes from prison to come back for the girl that got away the first time, but there’s virtually no body count. It’s more like a 90s video thriller.

Our main girl is a home decorator who does some major transformations…she even gets hit on by a gay client when his husband’s not around. She’s struggling to come to terms with having escaped with her life when a serial killer slaughtered her family.

paranoia 1998 main girl

Now he’s starting to reach out to her via the Internet. So she turns on voice synthesizer to make things even more creepy. In 1998. She has a computer with voice synthesis in 1998. History lesson for the young ones. People didn’t have voice synthesis on their home computers in 1998. People pretty much couldn’t afford home computers in 1998.

The killer escapes prison. He takes his anger out on a pumpkin.

paranoia 1998 pumpkin

Meanwhile, the main girl hooks up with a cute guy from her past and they begin dating.

paranoia 1998 boyfriend

Dr. Giggles is not surprisingly awesome as the killer as he has unnerving interactions with people as he travels toward his victim…leaving could’ve been victims behind. Bummer. He does kill one dude in a public restroom, and his explanation why is so chilling that it virtually makes up for the fact that he only kills the one dude.

paranoia 1998 bathroom victim

It’s when Dr. Giggles reaches our main girl that Paranoia finally finds its unique angle.

paranoia killer

And it’s so good that this could have been an amazing post-Scream slasher if he had just gone on a nice juicy killing spree before reaching her. It’s worth watching to get to the twist, but it’s a plodding journey.

TERROR TRACT (2000)

terror tract cover

This cult favorite anthology is a team directing effort from Lance W. Dreesen (Big Bad Wolf) and Clint Hutchison (Conjurer), and I sure wish they had worked together again, because Terror Tract is a classic.

We get another Spielberg-esque opener, this time on a suburban street…before the foreshadowing of the darkness to come in the wraparound. The late great John Ritter is a real estate agent desperate to sell a house to a couple – David DeLuise (this is getting weird) and Allison Smith of Kate & Allie.

terror tract wraparound cast

The stumbling block for Ritter sealing the deal is that he can’t stop himself from telling the couple about the awful things that happened in each house he shows them…

1st story – When hubby’s away, the wife will play…with her hot boyfriend.

terror tract boyfriend bod

This tale is kind of like the Leslie Nielsen/Ted Danson segment of Creepshow with a twist.

terror tract dead husband

When hubby finds out about the cheating, someone ends up swimming with the fish, then someone else does just what you don’t want them to…goes underwater later on to make sure the body is still there and isn’t going to come back from the dead.

terror tract underwater

2nd story – Bryan Cranston plays a dad whose little daughter – who looks uncannily like young Chastity Bono – finds a monkey in her yard and convinces him to let her keep it. It’s not long before the little fucker goes ape shit! And of course the whiny little brat keeps protecting it.

terror tract killer monkey

My stomach sank when the exterminator came over, and I just knew how things were going to turn out for him. But when he pulled out his big tool, all I could think was, “We’ll deal with the monkey later. What are we going to do with that?”

terror tract exterminator

3rd story – End an anthology strong with a granny masked slasher! Yes!

terror tract granny

A cute guy comes to a psychiatrist to tell her that he’s having visions of the murders right before a serial killer strikes. The kill scenes are great, the killer is freaky as hell, and the main dude takes a shower.

terror tract shower1

Plus, it looks like we may learn what really happened to Mary Alice on Desperate Housewives…

terror tract mary alice

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Two backwoods horror flicks to leave you scarred and plank faced

A seemingly cheesy indie slasher gets brutal, and a seemingly brutal backwoods horror gets too disturbing for my fragile male ego to handle.

SCARRED (2013)

scarred cover

Although I haven’t seen Lady Krampus as of this writing, having already blogged about Hellweek and Voodoo Rising, I’d say Scarred is indie director Eddie Lengyel’s strongest flick yet. Hard to believe this one came out before Voodoo Rising, because it kind of blows that one away.

The one thing you need to know before getting into it is that you have to put up with the b-movie slasher feel of the first part of the film. There’s lots of hokey dialogue as models are assembled by an agency and sent to a location shoot in the woods with a small crew.

scarred pumpkins

There’s an early kill of a chick on a car hood to introduce us to the vicious masked backwoods killer, an awesome pop rock tune during the opening credits/model montage, the introduction of the weird couple that runs the place at which the models are staying, and the presentation of their odd little daughter’s obsession with a legendary killer they forbid her to talk about.

scarred killer

Then in comes Ari Lehman – original drowning Jason Voorhees –in a cameo as a local who tells the models the legend of the killer around a campfire.

scarred fireside

Considering this is a big, menacing old school killing machine with absolutely no “personality,” who better?

scarred chainsaw

And then the slaughter begins. Scarred has some great hardcore kill scenes, with no CGI crap. You can also expect to see some nasty pain inflicted on those the killer hates the most.

scarred eye burn

Plus, rather than the usual pretty boy hero, our “final guy” is a cub with a sense of humor. He manages to stand out and steal the show more in the final act than he does earlier in the film.

scarred main guy

PLANK FACE (2016)

plank face cover

Few horror directors these days can make me go into a movie with a pit in my stomach like Scott Schirmer (Harvest Lake, Found). He has the ability to go to all the places I really don’t want to go when it comes to combining horror and sex. Unfortunately, he manages to make me feel so uncomfortable so damn well that I keep coming back for more.

With Plank Face, Schirmer begins by pretty much showing other indie directors how fricking simple it is to make a kick ass intro kill scene to a simple backwoods slasher, complete with girl tits, man ass, and a killer. But the real kick in the face? This isn’t a simple backwoods slasher.

plank face first couple 1

plank face first couple 2

A pretty couple heads into the woods for some weekend camping. When a fricking hillbilly tries to force himself on the girlfriend, nothing is as it seems, and just when you think the boyfriend is really going to teach this hillbilly a lesson…

plank face payback

You end up with a movie that is a fuck you to every straight male viewer that has ever gotten off on every misogynistic moment of every horror movie ever made that put women through some of the most vile, violating experiences imaginable.

plank face old lady

Plank Face is a movie about three primitive backwoods women – a senior lady, a pretty younger woman, and a woman hidden behind a bunny mask – that abduct the boyfriend and begin a horrific process of making him one of them.

plank face first feel

Torturing him, raping him daily, forcing him to take part in cannibalism, affixing a permanent wooden mask to his face…

plank face bathing

I couldn’t stop squirming in my seat as I watched this young man being physically and mentally broken.

plank face mid splatter

I was terrified, repulsed, devastated, and heartbroken at the hopelessness of his situation. And the things he was made to witness and do…

plank face victim

Scott Schirmer has done it again. He has destroyed my faith in humanity and torn out my soul and stomped all over it, leaving me an empty shell of nothingness. Holy shit, he’s a genius. He has made me…Plank Face.

plank face bod

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STREAM QUEEN: zombies, a rat man, and a bat man

I’ll make this trio quick – creeps from between 2003 and 2013.

ZOMBIE NIGHT (2003)

zombie night cover 

As far as valiant low budget zombie efforts go, I give this one a thumbs up, especially since it’s juggling a whole lot of characters and a much bigger environment than it probably should have.

zombie night 2003 cast

 Zombie Night throws back to the good old days of slow moving Romero zombies, with tons of gut-munching, atmospheric darkness, and loads of infighting between survivors,

zombie night 2003 silver zombie

However, it has a vast cityscape as its playing field, so characters, motivation, and story begin to get lost in the zombie shuffle.

zombie night 2003 female zomface

However, the upside of this being an indie is that it goes where most mainstream films don’t these days—a good old sex scene. Right in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, no less. And this chick could zombreast feed an entire army of the undead.

zombie night 2003 zombface eat

It also delivers a ruthless traitor to the group, making for some vicious conflict.

zombie night 2003 bad guy

There is one major monologue to God that I could’ve done without.

zombie night 2003 bite

Dude, if you’re still asking an invisible man in the sky if you’re being tested when everyone around you is being eaten by zombies, expect me to turn quickly between shooting zombies in the head to blow yours off, because clearly you’re one of the brain dead.

BOTTOM FEEDER (2007)

bottom feeder cover

While I was hoping for a nasty gay porn (I think the kid on the left in the pic below was, too), I was still pleasantly surprised. This is a low budget creature feature done just right.

bottom feeder teammates

It doesn’t get any seedier than a sick man with a fucked up face meeting a guy to buy a special underground drug underground.

bottom feeder sick guy

This miracle medicine regenerates cells, and will do wonders for your face—as long as you don’t suffer the nasty side effect that makes you so hungry you’ll eat and then turn into the nearest thing you see. In this case, a sewer rat…

bottom feeder monster

Meanwhile, Tom Sizemore plays a sanitation worker who brings his crew on a special cleanup job…take a guess where.

bottom feeder sizemore

While the tunnels in the sewers make for a dark movie, it works to great effect to keep the hideous rat man in shadows. Even so, we see more than enough of his oozing, slimy skin to know he’s topnotch horror monster goodness.

bottom feeder face cuts

Action, scares, and gore galore – a total jaw detaching moment is my fave – make this highly recommended when you need some cheap thrills to wash down your popcorn and cherry cola.

bottom feeder jaw

LIKE A BAT OUTTA HELL (2013)

like a bat outta hell cover

As bad as CGyFy films are, at least there’s usually action thrown in at a fairly steady pace. Like a Bat Outta Hell gives us an hour of a handful of young documentary filmmakers exploring the same abandoned slaughterhouse and surrounding area over and over again with just vague hints that they’re eventually going to see something to explain the occasional signs of blood and glimpses of a mysterious creature.

like a bat outta hell cast

There’s the usual old dude who knows a little more than his cryptic warning is revealing, some hot guys, and plenty of arguing going on between characters, but an hour passes before the action finally kicks in—when the group wakes to find one friend’s face completely ripped off.

like a bat outta hell face

Okay, that’s pretty damn cool, but it doesn’t make up for an hour of no hot guys getting naked—I mean, no monster.

like a bat outta hell wings

As CGI as the flying bat monster is at times, it’s a step above most SyFy trash (okay, maybe a baby step).

like a bat outta hell bat hang

The action is about as generic as it gets and pretty brief, but it is fun while it lasts, especially since most of it takes place in flashlight beam. We also get good old bat night vision POV.

like a bat outta hell cemetery

When all is said and done, the movie comes to a rather confusing as hell conclusion. There’s a lot to put up with here just for a short span of monster madness and a couple of hot guy, one who is shirtless just long enough for this quick peek into the back of a truck, and the other who is barely in the film, pretty much just standing there like that with his arms crossed for his entire appearance as he takes a conference call with the kids.

like a bat outta hell guys

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It’s bears vs. bear in a gay backwoods slasher

bear creek cover

As every gay male horror fan clings to the hope for a definitive, worthy all-gay entry in the horror genre, indie filmmakers continue to pour their blood, sweat, and tears into low budget productions hoping to break the gay horror curse. Problem is, in an industry that has even makers of mainstream horror begging for money to produce their films and barely reaching their budget goals, the chances of gay directors getting enough funding to put together a film that even vaguely lives up to their vision are slim.

Keep that in mind with a really open mind when watching Bear Creek. Celebrate the fact that Bear Creek takes the simple slasher formula of young, pretty straight people heading into the woods for a weekend of camping only to be killed off by a masked killer and swapped in burly, furry, cute gay bears. Because Bear Creek is a rough production and it shows from the start.

You can expect frustrating audio problems—for instance voice levels are all over the place so numerous lines of dialogue are completely lost, and mikes are slammed by outdoor wind conditions, also drowning out dialogue. Video is generally good, but there are odd moments of film quality changing, most noticeably during a campfire scene. A sudden downgrade in quality and steadiness between camera angle shifts had me thinking perhaps killer POV was being implied, but then the same change in quality suddenly happened mid straight-on shot. There are also varying levels of acting abilities. Some guys are more natural, some seem like their main goal is just to deliver their lines…and make sure they can remember their next line. The really good news is that our final bear is not only adorable, he is one heck of a screamer.

bear creek lead

Yeah, I’m talking about you, so stop giving me that look or the letters on my keyboard are going to be sticking pretty soon and I won’t be able to finish this blog.

The final bear helps make the final act of this film the highlight, so let’s get to it. I’ll start off by noting that I watched the film on Amazon Prime and it had a running time of 68 minutes, while it’s listed as running 90 minutes on imdb. Either imdb has an incorrect time, or the film has been butchered for Prime now that Amazon is demanding major censoring of many of its movies—particularly horror films and films with male nudity. I hope that’s not the case, but if so, I really need to see what I’ve missed by grabbing a copy of the disc, which you can get here. I’ll see if I can get director George Climer to verify for me if there is a 90-minute version.

bear creek cast

The setup is basic. A bunch of bears (and one pseudo cub) are hanging at a bar and decide to go camping at Bear Creek. The setup is so basic that there’s a bit too much filler here, such as unnecessary focus on the bartender mixing the guys drinks –time that could have been used to better establish the relationships between the guys or to at least give them some fun lines that would endear them to us. We really don’t get much of that at all before everyone starts getting killed off (it’s also possible I just couldn’t hear them).

bear creek fire

Bear Creek also does no slasher embellishing beyond a scary campfire story, and not even that ends with a traditional jerky prank scare, such as a bear jumping out in a hockey mask. There is no encounter with a local weirdo warning the guys away from the woods. No one gets the unnerving feeling that he’s being watched. There is no killer POV. No shadows suddenly dart across screen behind characters. There are no extraneous characters to provide us with a warm-up kill. The only suspense created before the murders begin comes via misplaced, ominous music cues, and it’s an issue I see (or hear) time and again in indie horror. A sustained tension chord is played for no reason at completely inappropriate times with no payoff, not even a cheap bogus scare: while a guy is just sitting smoking, while a guy is fishing, while two bears are walking and enjoying some playful flirtation. This not only clashes with the tone of the on-screen situation, it also creates a false alarm scenario, numbing viewers for when the time comes to actually deliver the horror.

But before we even get to the horror, there’s the sex. Some find it very frustrating that gay horror movies include pointless sex and nudity because it adds nothing to the horror and portrays gay men as nothing more than sex fiends. I understand what they’re saying and I wholeheartedly think they should shut the fuck up. As a horror-devouring teen in the 80s, I had to put up with endless unnecessary female tits, ass, and 80s bush in my horror, so I want tons of big fat hairy moobs, asses, and dicks in my gay horror now.

bear creek 3some

In fact, I hope there is a 90-minute cut of Bear Creek and the extra 22 minutes is predominantly sex and nudity. In the 68-minute version, there’s just some brief threesome foreplay, and the climactic moment of our final bear taking it like a man—with a smile on his face.

bear creek layed out 2

Look at that smile. I said the smile. Guys, the smile.

bear creek sex

And then the killing begins…

bear creek fisherman

Conveniently, the next morning, all the guys get up and split up to go off into the woods to do their own thing.

bear creek stuffed bear

The kill scenes are of the classic 80s slasher sort, they’re all cutaway kills, and they all take place during the day.

bear creek trap

My favorite is actually a straightforward knife kill because the setup shot is so simple yet highly effective, the attack is fast, furious, and brutal, and the musical score in that moment kicks ass, reminding me of good old 80s Euro horror music. There are also several appearances of the bear killer that made me jump without relying on a musical sting, so color me impressed.

bear creek tied up

And then we have our final bear’s fight to the death with the killer. It just tickles my whiskers seeing a big bear rolling around on the ground with a knife-wielding killer. I was so psyched when he knocked the fucker out and reached to take the mask off…but then looked away and decided against it! WTF? Well guess what? Audio problems strike again. It turns out a cop car was pulling up in the distance and that’s what makes the final bear walk away from the killer before the unmasking, you just can’t hear it. The cop’s arrival brings even more indie horror quirks. The final bear leads the cop into the woods where he left the killer in broad daylight, and when the camera cuts, it’s pitch black night and the cop is carrying a flashlight!

The final final battle involves some good old torture and our scream bear delivers big time. All I’m going to say is, only in a gay horror movie would an iron come into play in the middle of the woods.

bear creek scream king

This is what I’d call a “leftfield” killer: has absolutely no connection to anything that happened previously in the movie and therefore a whole lot of exposition is suddenly necessary to give the audience a backstory.

Will there be a sequel? It’s quite possible based on the final frame, which actually gave me and my hubby chuckles rather than chills. Even so, it accomplished its task. I will so be back to watch our final bear’s seam again…I mean, to watch our final bear scream again.

bear creek booty

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

STREAM QUEEN: time for a cabin in the woods marathon

I wish there were a way to have films with descriptions that begin “A group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods…” on streaming services automatically deposited into my watchlist. In this case, the cabin films got me a mixture of werewolves, infected, demons, and a slasher.

THE SHATTERING (2015)

shattering cover

Initially, The Shattering feels like it has a whole lot of potential. A group of friends is driving to a meet a healer that is supposed to have a cure for their friend’s cancer.

shattering handmouth

When their car breaks down, something attacks, they run for it, and someone starts shooting at them as well.

shattering gore2

They take cover in a cabin in the woods. They find diaries and videos that offer revealing information about werewolves and the healing power of wolf saliva, plus they fight among themselves.

shattering shoot

We also learn that when a female finds out her man is cheating on her, it doesn’t matter that there are werewolves and sharpshooters outside. She’ll take the risk and run out of the cabin just to get as far away from him as possible.

shattering gore1

This werewolf film runs only 75 minutes long, but feels longer. That’s because, well, although this is a major spoiler, it’s one you’ll want to hear – you never see a werewolf. What I’m saying is, this movie is all words, no wolf.

FROM BENEATH (2012)

from beneath cover

This is a film about a couple trapped at the girlfriend’s family lake house as some sort of leech virus starts to severely affect the boyfriend.

from beneath couple

He begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations as he slowly becomes “infected.”

from beneath intro

The intro scene is dark and foreboding, and the general setup of the couple’s predicament is ominous, but dialogue and plot become repetitive for a majority of the film and get bogged down by a sleep-inducing piano score, despite the film having some generally great horror atmosphere.

from beneath couch

Just when the suspense at last kicks in for the climax – a repeat of the scenario from the intro scene – the horror is accompanied by an instrumental imitation of Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” that drones on and on just as much as the 10-minute goth rock classic.

from beneath girl

While the acting in indie horror isn’t often make or break, in the case of From Beneath, it really matters.

from beneath carry

While the acting in indie horror isn’t often make or break, in the case of From Beneath, it really matters. There’s simply a level of intensity needed for the circumstances and the clash between the protagonists that isn’t reached here. These characters experience some gnarly, horrific, and devastating shit…the actors, not quite as much.

NEVER OPEN THE DOOR (2014)

never open the door cover

I almost want to go against everything I stand for to say that I wish this film from Bloody Bloody Bible Camp director Vito Trabucco ran about ten minutes longer. Never Open the Door is only 64 minutes long, so just when the horror really had me going, the big Twilight Zone-esque twist hit and it was over! But hey, I know if those extra ten minutes were there, I’d probably be like, “if only it had been edited down by ten minutes.”

never open door window

The nod to Evil Dead is undeniable from the very start as shaky cam comes upon a house in the woods where a group of friends is celebrating what sounds and looks like Thanksgiving dinner (Turkey, cranberries, etc.). The film is shot in black and white, so it also captures the spirit of the edgier horror of the 1960s.

never open door tie up

The good thing about the short length is that we get just the right serving size of character development before moving on to dessert – a knock on the door.

never open door doorway

A bleeding man stumbles inside spewing blood. Uh-oh. Is Cabin Fever on the menu, too?

never open door demon guy

Not quite. There’s still demonic indulgence to come, but most of it is teased until closer to the end of the film.

never open door lick

The chaos that erupts because these friends opened the door involves them turning against each other as they try to locate the mysterious force they’ve invited inside.

never open door shower

While it does leave some unanswered questions and not as much demon camera time as I would have liked (because what we get is quite effective), Never Open the Door is creepy, funny, and fast-paced, making it a good way to squeeze in an extra hour of horror during a marathon. I’ll definitely be adding this one to my film collection.

never open door demon in back

CABIN FEAR (aka: Seclusion) (2015)

cabin fear cover

So glad the title of this one was changed. Seclusion sounds way too serious and drab, because Cabin Fear is a blast and took me right back to the days of good old 80s slashers.

cabin fear couple

It’s all very simply. A guy and girl are getting married so they head to a cabin in the woods with their friends to celebrate.

cabin fear old man

In between having sex, fighting, and listening to stories from the weird old caretaker, the friends get killed off by an unseen psycho with various sharp weapons.

cabin fear arrow redo

Classic kills and body reveals galore offer up that old school slasher vibe.

cabin fear bug

Cabin Fear also delivers the perfect blend of fun and funny, thanks to a likable cast that has a good time and a good grasp of comedy, including director Joe Bandelli, the dude with an arrow in his dick above. Personally, I think he should have kept himself alive a bit longer, because he was giving me a good giggle.

cabin fear scream

Plus, the guy who gets the big sex scene is the guy who should get the big sex scene. Yummy. And I’m not talking about the cake (but I am talking about the cakes).

cabin fear cake

And finally, the main girl’s battle to the death with the killer kicks ass. Cabin Fear is definitely another one I’ll be adding to my movie collection.

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