It’s another mish-mosh of flicks I just tossed into my Prime watchlist and watched because, you know, they’re just sitting there. So are any of them worth checking out?
THE CURSED (2010)
The Cursed boils down to your basic 21st century supernatural slasher, with a shadowy, transporting killer terrorizing a small town. With a 2010 release date, it feels more like it would have been a direct-to-DVD release around 2005 followed by a few airings on SyFy (where I think it actually has landed on occasion).
The Mandylor brothers – two cute guidos who have been around for years and you’ll totally recognize if you see them – finally play brothers in a movie (if they haven’t before and I just don’t know it). One is the sheriff, the other is his deputy. Sounds like the setup for a really disgusting porn flick, but they don’t have time for fun because they have a case of slaughtered cows on their hands.
How do I tell him we don’t need to be messing with those pigs in the barn when we have each other?
Meanwhile, some hot dude comes to town to bang the librarian…I mean, do some research. He’s so cute he also catches the attention of the supernatural killer, which seems to set its sights on him.
There’s plenty of back lighting in the woods and fog machines, but only sporadic kills as the main players bounce from one location to another trying to piece together exactly why there are pieces of locals turning up around town.
It’s not until all the gun crazy hillbillies have a town meeting and decide to take matters into their own hands to stop the killer that the body count rises. Finally we get to sit back and watch some good slaughter before the main characters face off against the killer at the end. If you were around in 2005, you’ve seen this all before, but it’s a serviceable time killer if there’s nothing else to watch. What I’m saying is, in this day of streaming technology, there’s always something to watch…
If you’re looking for a gross out horror comedy about a zombie STD, watch Night of Something Strange.
Zerpes is almost entirely comprised of two kids (one of them the director/writer) walking the streets at night talking while they try to figure out how to cure one kid of his STD zombie infection, while occasionally being joined by some girl they know.
This is as minimalistic as horror gets. The intro credits in an 80s font and the awesome 80s-inspired music used throughout the movie were the highlight for me. Some funny lines and moments are virtually lost in an endless stream of dialogue.
It’s one kid’s eighteenth birthday. The other kid walks with him to an apartment building where his gift awaits – a prostitute so he can become a man. The kid goes inside, gets fucked (we don’t see the prostitute or sex) then comes out and begins groaning a bit, dragging his feet a bit, and randomly saying the word “brains” every now and then.
The guys eventually conclude he got a zombie STD and, like I said, spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to cure him of it…by walking and talking.
There are a few distractions (a vampire boy, a burial), but believe me, they aren’t distracting enough, despite this being a really charming attempt at a cute premise.
THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS (2016)
There’s so much I could really like about The Unkindness of Ravens: gore, disturbing visuals and eerie encounters like something out of Silent Hill, and what would be some bone-chilling tension and suspense if not for one thing…
We know from the very start that everything that is happening is all in the head of the main character, a war veteran suffering PTSD. Staying in a cabin in the mountains and keeping a journal to cope with his mental state, he’s plagued by continuous horror hallucinations, nightmarish visions, gruesome flashbacks of the war, and an antagonizing version of himself.
There’s plenty of imagery and metaphorical scenarios abound, but the attention to detail in creating each one with techniques used to scare horror audiences feels bizarrely misplaced to me.
For instance, guy hears sounds outside his bedroom, ominous music plays as he slowly approaches door to peek out, then music crescendos to raucous stabs to send fear through the viewer as we see there are some sort of robed figures roaming his cabin. Problem is, we know this insanity is all in his head so there’s really no danger. And with this happening over and over again, there’s just nothing for a fear seeker like me to cling to.
And just when we step into a scene that started to get my heart pounding…it ended up getting things throbbing instead. I’m sick.
Plus, the movie takes a turn into hallucinatory war battles in the woods, which is where I completely check out.
I do think fans of Jacob’s Ladder and other films that draw parallels between war and horror should give this one a look though, because it goes really deep into the psyche and the horror segments are pretty damn good.
How to cash in on the Annabelle craze? Put together an anthology film with a doll on the poster art and in the wraparound. But hey, she’s a pretty fun doll, enslaving and torturing a babysitter while making her watch a bunch of scary short films on TV…
There are quite a few fun stories in this one, and a few I’ve seen before (I know I just said this recently in another anthology blog, but because I’m so backed up in my blogs, I got my notes mixed up), such as a story about a guy terrorized by two Girl Scouts selling cookies at Christmas time, which was also on one of the Hillbilly Horror Show volumes.
And speaking of holidays, while this isn’t specifically a holiday anthology, there are a couple of goodies that take place on Halloween, one about a guy who makes the mistake of bringing a trick or treater’s purse to her address after she leaves it at his house, the other a gruesome creature feature about a babysitter who tells a story of Tic Tac, the (foot-stealing) tickler. EEK!
A Saw-like torture lair short has a dark, disturbing (Saw-like) twist.
there’s an awesome little tale of a young girl who wants to get into a theatre to see a horror movie…and even mistakes Frozen of Idina Menzel fame for the Adam Green horror flick.
Plus we get a stand-alone (if cliché) doll story.