A journey back to the bad VHS and cable days with four perfect pieces of crap.
HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)
The hungry die and become…hungry. This is zombie/3rd world cannibal Euro trash with a combination of people in blue face and people in gore face. Hell of the Living Dead has to have been one of the inspirations for The Dead.
The movie boils down to a pretty news reporter and a bunch of army dudes running through the jungle and witnessing some great blood and guts as they try to figure out why the starving segments of society are coming back to life and eating everyone in sight. The zombie gnoshing scenes are gore-tastic. Best scene involves a cat and an old lady….
DEADLY EYES (1982)
Man. I loved this piece of crap when it was on cable back in the day. A health inspector, a basketball coach, and Scatman Crothers take on mutant rats the size of small dogs (because they’re actually small dogs in costume).
We have to watch the romance between the coach and the health inspector unfold and we get some absurd drama from a high school girl who is hot for the coach and very aggressive about it. Meanwhile, the rats attack people at a burger joint, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and finally, a subway.
Rats on a train…
RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR (1984)
Another rat movie. It’s the future…actually it’s virtually this year. The surface of the planet has pretty much been decimated (we’re getting there thanks to global warming deniers). Most people live underground (see? We’re all going to hell in the end). But a group of Mad Max looking bikers in some of the best bad 80s fashions still lives above ground, scavenging for food. Unfortunately, they tap into the sugar supply of rats.
Rats: Night of Terror might just be the inspiration for the rat scene in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. A rat gets into a naked chick’s sleeping bag, she starts screaming…and when her biker buddies find her dead, there isn’t a scratch on her. Then a rat crawls out of her mouth. So where could it possibly have entered…?
EEK! Why do I look like La Toya Jackson in this pic?
There’s also full-frontal male nudity as the rat shenanigans begin. But most importantly, Geretta Geretta, the most famous demon of all from Demons, ends up being the main girl! Her name here? CHOCOLATE!
And just wait until the final twist when the exterminators come. 80s cheesy awesomeness.
DR. BLACK, MR. HYDE (1976)
Sorry, Hyde. But no black monster was going to overshadow Blacula in the 1970s. Especially when that black monster was white! Awesomely bad in its consideration of race issues, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde has veteran actor Bernie Casey (the main gargoyle in the classic Gargoyles!) as a black doctor who does some experimentation that turns him into a prostitute-killing white guy!
The fun premise isn’t enough to carry this boring movie that is at its most exciting when the monster attacks to the kind of disco funk musical score that made Charlie’s Angels so exciting. It all ends when the movie borrows from the classics, with Mr. Hyde being chased by a mob like Frankenstein, up onto a rollercoaster, where he is then shot down mercilessly like King Kong off the Empire State Building.
Keep an eye out for Michael Zbornak’s wife Lorraine from The Golden Girls. And I really wish they would have called it Dr. Black, Mr. Honky.