DIRECT TO STREAMING: 4 from Scott Jeffrey

Director Scott Jeffrey is so prolific I suddenly found I had fallen behind in keeping up with his filmography, so I quickly delved into his four latest. Here’s how the marathon turned out for me.

THE CURSE OF HUMPTY DUMPTY (2021)

As usual, Jeffrey takes a basic horror concept—in this case a killer doll—and infuses a little more intrigue with a plot that isn’t too complicated but also not totally typical.

Many movies in recent years have made horror out of dementia, but The Curse of Humpty Dumpty does it with the added fun of a fucking doll from hell!

When a woman begins suffering memory loss after her husband runs off, her two daughters struggle to help her cope.

They take her to an antique store, where she becomes attached to a human-sized Humpty Dumpty doll she insists she remembers her husband giving to her. However, the store owner won’t sell it to them.

But then it shows up on their doorstep. Eek!

There’s a clever nod to Chucky if you pay attention, Mom has some horrific nightmares about this damn doll walking around and opening its mouth of multilayered teeth at night, and mom also has flashbacks hinting of a tragic occurrence in the past.

Meanwhile, her sister-in-law starts poking around the house to uncover what really happened to her brother. And we all know what happens to people that poke around a house where an evil doll just sits on a chair in a corner watching everything…

The final act sure does deliver on the doll action, and brings several surprises to what could otherwise be an obvious conclusion.

BATS (2021)

Scott co-directs this creature feature with his frequent collaborator Rebecca Matthews. Despite having the same title as the 1999 flick starring Lou Diamond Phillips, this isn’t about swarms of killer bats.

It’s about a man-sized mutant bat living in a family’s attic. Double eek!

This is classic creature feature costume stuff, so naturally there’s some review on IMDb whining about it and calling it the worst movie ever. You young whippersnappers today, I don’t know how you would have survived growing up on horror that came before CGI.

This bat man is awesome and I would be terrified if he showed up in my fricking attic (hence the double eek).

Amazingly, the film manages to stay confined to the claustrophobic space of the house. The problem I had was that when someone gets bit by the bat man, they get a sort of rabies thing going on and start to mutate, yet it always feels like there’s only one bat man running around. This easily could have been a sort of Evil Dead situation with bat people instead of Deadites.

I was liking the closing song called “A Devil & The Harem” by Greg Birkumshaw, so it’s going to end up on my Future Flashbacks show for sure.

 

CANNIBAL TROLL (2021)

Scott again teams up with Rebecca Matthews for this backwoods horror flick, which jumps right into the horror action.

A couple is trying to escape the cannibal troll’s cabin, but things don’t totally work out for them thanks to some sharp objects…

Next we meet a bunch of girls on a camping trip. There’s chick flick drama like secret lesbian love and a mother-to-be, plus a priest that tries to warn them to stay out of the woods.

And of course the cannibal troll starts wreaking havoc.

It’s standard backwoods slasher fun, with a few icky, involuntary cannibalism moments and the most intense scene in the movie for me…the birth. My only disappointment was the key to killing the cannibal troll.

CONJURING THE GENIE (2021)

Scott sort of made a Djinn movie but avoided using the word in the title because there already are movies that have utilized it.

This demonic little genie is way cool, but, ok…I’ll accept that this costume might be a little problematic since the genie talks and the mouth barely moves.

This is also a rather odd wish granting demon movie.

A girl doing research on an urban legend gets her friends to join her in summoning a genie. When it suddenly starts appearing to each of them demanding they make a wish, the results are barely even figurative. Basically he turns everyone into some sort of creature.

The reason is explained near the end as him “playing with your wishes”, but it’s really a stretch that kind of spoils the plot, but I still had fun because this genie is just so devilish with his big, toothy smile, demonic voice, and evil laugh.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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