Despite their varying horror quality, these three will make you nostalgic for the last great decade of VHS tapes. Also known as the second and last decade of VHS tapes.
THE GUARDIAN (1990)
The hand that rocks the cradle…on the tree top. Really, you would never believe William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist, had anything to do with this mess, which scores high with me simply for its late 80s/1990 camp value.
A nanny steals babies to feed to a fucking tree! Come on. I can’t. I just can’t. And the big question is…how does this tree conveniently end up in the woods near every household for which she babysits?
So the babysitter is a great asset at first, but then she starts doing weird things like bathing naked with the baby. She gets to sacrifice a gang of bad boys who harass her in the woods—delivering some splatter moments for us. At night, she lounges naked on the tree—and gets fondled by it—while a pack of wolves guards her.
The cute husband walks around shirtless most of the time, suspecting the nanny is a psycho.
The wife is completely oblivious to the fact that she’s even a character in a movie. There’s a bit of great gore—but there needed to be a lot more to save this embarrassment.
Eventually, the nanny turns kind of into a floating tree person and joins the wolves in chasing the couple and their baby through the woods. Don’t expect any chills or scares from this one.
HIGHWAY TO HELL (1991)
Highway to Hell is nothing less than a fantastical sci-fi action horror comedy. Chad Lowe and original Buffy Kristy Swanson (so 90s) are on a road trip to get married in Las Vegas. But the route they take leads to them being stopped by a cop—a hellcop that abducts Kristy (using “hand” cuffs).
Now Chad has to chase Hellcop down a desert highway in an alternate dimension before he can make it to Hell City, where Kristy will be lost forever. It’s like Chad is on the hunt for Maniac Cop! And behind the zombie cop makeup is cutie CJ Graham, who played Jason in Friday the 13th Part VI!
We get a diner full of zombie cops and Stillers (seriously, like the whole Stiller family is in this movie), 80s rocker Lita Ford as a hitchhiker, a freaky ice cream man that seems to have been ripped off for the 1995 film Ice Cream Man, A stripper club (with boobs), a biker gang, Gilbert Gottfried, a heinous naked demon woman (love her)…
a cheesy 3-headed demon dog…
and even the devil himself as Chad races against time to save the woman he loves.
Call me confused. This movie is so obviously a remake of the 1986 movie of the same name (blog here), but I could find no evidence of it, and the director of this film gets sole credits for writing it. In the 86 movie, men turn into bug creatures and rape virgins, who then head into underground tunnels to give birth. Here, a meteor hits a college, and out pops a totally cool alien creature and a sexy leather chick.
There’s this really cute college professor, played by scream king Todd Jensen, who has been in loads of horror flix (The Mangler, Boogeyman 3, It’s Alive remake, Wrong Turn 3). He spots the leather chick roaming around the campus and spends most of the movie trying to track her down. Eventually, he ends up in slimy underground tunnels, a police team is called in—and taken out one by one, and women file into the tunnels like they’re under a hypnotic spell.
Sadly, despite the fact that the creature is so fucking wicked, the movie completely fails to make it the star attraction. Even the final battle is as generic as any alien-themed flick that came out in the 90s. Not to mention, the leather chick is nothing but a distraction, adding nothing to the plot. She doesn’t even supply the kind of sexy b-movie sleaze the 1986 film offered.