Back to the days when VHS ruled and barely anything in the horror genre was actually making it to the theater. That might explain why there was like NO quality control in the 90s when it came to the genre, with very few films that were actually scary, most of which get crammed into multi-pack budget DVD releases these days. Like these 3 films.
THE FEAR (1995)
While this is essentially the same plot as its sequel, which takes place on Halloween (it’s included in this boxed set, but I blogged about it previously here), this film is an absolute mess. If took me years to finally see the unedited version (all releases of the DVD have been edited by ten minutes), but that didn’t help it make any more sense.
Wes Craven appears as the main guy’s psych teacher, clearing the way for him to go to his family’s cabin in the woods with his friends to work on a thesis exploring their fears.
We meet the group, we learn their fears, a dude who plays Santa in town shows up and seems to still think he’s Santa even though it’s not Christmas, and they find “Morty,” a man-size wood statue that used to be the main guy’s “best friend” when he was a kid.
Then the statue keeps appearing in unlikely places. I wish I could say people start getting killed off slasher style, but instead there are a few kills and mostly a whole lot of soap opera drama and one of the most confusing backstories ever.
It takes about half the cast to chip away in a failed effort to help us make sense of it all. There’s even…incest?
Oh, and one chick gets possessed. Plus, the score sounds like it heavily borrows from the Puppetmaster music.
It’s nonstop nonsense, gore, and rubber creature costume perfection with a bunch of confusing occult shit thrown in to make it as horrorific as possible.
It begins with a group of people using a Ouija board in a cabin. This causes the creature to break up through the floor and drag one girl down, proving that it’s what you can see that makes horror fun. It’s balls out, in your face, slapping you across the nose monster madness from start to finish.
Those from the cabin join a group of excavators on a trip down into underground tunnels to find their abducted friend, and pretty soon everyone is being attacked by the creature…or dragged away for later use.
Yes, this creature abducts women and keeps them chained up and in cages. It also passes through walls thanks to the neon glow of a Xanadu aura. And it’s handy with a cleaver.
I have no idea what the hell was going on, but it was creature feature fun from beginning to end.
KILLER TONGUE (1996)
This campy queer/sci-fi/horror hybrid mess is about as indie as 1990s cinema gets.
We meet a gun-toting pair in the desert, on the run after a robbery, with two cops captive in their backseat professing their love for each other.
The (straight) couple is forced to split up; he goes to jail, she hides out as a nun in a convent.
Four years later, her man is getting out of prison and planning to join her again. This is at the same time as some sort of life form falls from the sky, turning her poodles into drag queens…and her into a psycho bitch with a killer tongue.
What makes her the perfect involuntary hot babe monster is the fact that she’s Melinda Clarke of Return of the Living Dead III!
Hey, it might not demonstrate any acting range, but it will pretty much guarantee you a spot at every con in existence in 20 years, with a line of 40-something basement dwellers waiting to tell you that they still jerk off to your tongue bath scene when their mom isn’t home.
While she struggles to contain her tongue and not allow it to kill people, her man is on his way to her, navigating all the threats in his path in the desert. Meanwhile, another tongue shows up to try to steal her heart.
As a bonus, Robert Englund and Doug Bradley appear and show us what it would be like if Freddy and Pinhead fell in love. Why the cops get to actually kiss and they don’t is beyond me. It would have made horror history.