STREAM QUEEN: slashing, sucking, and summoning the supernatural for laughs

My latest streaming marathon consisted of four humorous horror flicks, so let’s see how that worked out for me.

KILLER CONCEPT (2021)

Killer Concept has an apropos title because it’s a clever idea, but it does get a little bogged down by dialogue, despite being a slim 80 minutes long.

The opening scene is old school slasher stalking POV perfection.

Then we meet two guys and a girl that decide to formulate a movie idea based on murders taking place in their town.

There is some humorous meta fun, especially from one guy who totally wants to go for an all-out slasher.

Now here’s the catch. One of the three is much closer to the murders than the other two realize and it begins to affect the working relationship, because the…um…guilty party starts to take suggestions about the killer in their movie very personally.

The letdown here is that we simply don’t get much of the killer in action or an unfolding of events that has the other two catching on slowly to the predicament they are actually in.

The film instead leans heavily on the trio hashing out their ideas, and then the truth simply coming out all at once in the final scene.

There is a nice twist, but just when the climax feels like it’s really going somewhere, the film ends.

HAWK & REV: VAMPIRE SLAYERS (2020)

If you’re a fan of loser buddies turned monster slayers horror comedies, chances are you’ll have some fun with this one even if it doesn’t make it to the top of your list of faves.

This is one of those cases in which the director, writer, and star are all one and the same. However, it’s not one of those situations in which he makes it all about him and doesn’t allow any other character in the film to have any fun (cough…The Wolf of Snow Hollow…cough).

So our leading man is obsessed with vampires being real, and is kicked out of the army and his parents’ house after trying to stake a fellow military man.

That doesn’t stop him from continuing his hunt for vampires…like a kind of queer, gothic, S&M trio he spots in an alley. He enlists the help of his only buddy who believes him, and together they meet a variety of oddball characters, make plenty of pop culture references, crack adolescent jokes, and naturally get themselves into situations that flirt with homosexual innuendo.

On top of that, there’s even some good blood and gore, especially closer to the end, even though it’s contained within the silly tone of the film.

MANDAO OF THE DEAD (2018)

Mandao of the Dead is a quirky little supernatural “buddy” comedy in which the buddies are a white guy and his Asian uncle, who look to be about the same age. I can’t explain it, so don’t ask. The Asian guy, Scott Dunn, is also the writer and director.

He allows his deadbeat nephew to come live with him and soon reveals that he has wild dreams in which he can see his own body. His nephew predicts that he’s actually astral projecting.

After a Halloween party, that ability comes in handy when the pair discovers a dead body and the ghost of the dead man starts communicating with the uncle.

The ghost wants him to use his astral ability to travel back in time to stop the murder.

It’s not a total laughfest, but it’s cute and enjoyable with a likable cast and a fun, spooky feel. Plus, its only 70 minutes long, it takes place at Halloween time, and it prepares us for the Christmas time sequel…

MANDAO RETURNS (2020)

The “series”, if that’s what it’s going to be, really finds its footing in the sequel. The characters are further developed, the actors are more on their game and in tune with each other, and the humor and horror elements are both stronger.

It’s now the Christmas season, and the pair’s landlord, who is also a bogus medium, asks the uncle to use his astral powers to bring some authenticity to psychic readings with clients.

Things take an unexpected turn when the guys find themselves drawn into what seems to be an accidental overdose of a famous actress….

In order to find out what really happened, the medium has a plan that involves nephew and uncle swapping bodies when they astral project into the past.

The twists and turns are more complex in this one, plus there’s a masked figure with a knife to spice up the slasher feel. This one totally had me hankering for another installment.

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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