Killer alligators, a vengeful tick, and a horror anthology

It’s another random trio of movies I plucked from my streaming watchlists, so let’s get right to them.

THE FLOOD (2023)

Crawl meets Deep Blue Sea as a flood draws alligators into a prison facility in this cheesy fun creature feature.

Convicts are being transported to the facility by horror hottie Randy Wayne.

Among the criminals are Casper Van Dien, horror daddy Mike Ferguson, and Bear Williams, whose name says it all.

With just one main female character working in the facility, this is definitely a movie for the sausage fest scares page. Hell, the shot of the muscle bound convicts walking through the rain in their T-shirts tells you all you need to know.

As the convicts are brought in and the waters rise in the building, another group of baddies shows up to bust Casper out.

Sure the CGI alligators suffer the usual issue of never staying in the same size proportions from one moment to the next, but there are plenty of cool underwater shots, loads of victims getting torn apart, and enough unintentionally funny scenes to make this a popcorn movie treat if you’re itching for a new nature strikes back flick.

And best of all, the various groups with different motivations do not all come together peacefully to escape the situation, which means tensions rise as fast as the water, and there are a good number of fight scenes.

NOCEBO (2022)

This is a pretty unique take on the voodoo/black magic revenge genre. Think Drag Me To Hell with a sweatshop worker getting revenge with the help of a tick…

Let me explain. A fashion designer has a weird, delusional experience where a dirty dog comes into her boutique and shakes a bunch of ticks off its body—one of which penetrates the fashion designer’s neck. Ew.

As a result, she contracts something on par with Lyme disease. She doesn’t even remember having called for a caretaker when a Filipino woman shows up at her door. The creepy performance by actress Chai Fonacier in the role is what saves this film for me.

Using unorthodox practices, the caretaker starts healing the fashion designer, but the husband in particular begins to think she has darker ulterior motives.

If you like movies with mysterious voodoo practitioners ruining a family’s life, this one has that vibe. I found the whole tick aspect unique, not to mention quite odd. Especially when the wife sees a giant tick crawling over her body at night. And yet, as bizarre as that moment is, it’s my favorite part of the movie because it’s generally the most excitement the film has to offer.


This anthology is a curiosity, because there’s a 2018 title with the same name (although subtitled 11pm Central) that includes several of the same directors and actors, but is listed as a series with episodes—none of which is a story in this movie. I would love to see those tales as well, but I can’t find that show on the internet anywhere. Also confusing is that the title of this film makes it sound like a New Year’s movie, yet the description references Halloween (a holdover from the description of the other Dead By Midnight), and there’s only one or two references to Halloween in this film.

It begins with an internet reviewer covering the other Dead By Midnight! What a tease considering that one is nowhere to be found to watch as of this writing.

Hannah Fierman of V/H/S is the hostess introducing each story. There are also faux advertisements in between each tale, including Kane Hodder for a pill that prevents you from murdering people, a PSA about dangerous substances in Halloween candy, a satirical Republican vampire election campaign ad, a commercial for a cleaner that washes away all evidence of a crime, a commercial for an extreme version of Alexa, an ad for ordering a bag of dicks, and a clip of Satan calling into a conservative news program.

As for the stories, I didn’t find any of them incredibly compelling—the episodes in the episodic Dead by Midnight sound better to me. Here’s what you can expect from this movie:

1st story – a woman abducts a televangelist and makes sure he gives to other people like he claims he does. Clever concept.

2nd story – a lesbian cartoonist must save her wife when her creation becomes a real-life cartoon killer. As you would imagine, it’s campy and silly.

3rd story – a sloppy slacker is terrified by a monster made by his own mess. There’s bit of gross out bathroom “humor” here, but overall it’s a fun quickie.

4th story – a medieval video game is presented with real people as friends play a virtual reality game. This tale feels really out of place in a horror anthology.

5th story – two young guys step into a hellish gym class where they have to wrestle a demon.

This is another quirky, silly tale. In other words, there isn’t much in the way of scary horror here.

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
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