For a change, I watched a half-dozen films during the weekend and came out with more winners than losers. So let’s get to them.
MODEL HUNGER (2016)
B-movie queen Debbie Rochon gets behind the camera for her directorial debut, and the result is a feminist/social commentary/torture porn!
Horror veteran Lynn Lowry is a psycho bitch who resents girls that are still young and beautiful—so she takes them into her basement and tortures them! Meanwhile, scream queen Tiffany Shepis moves in across the street…and begins to notice girls going into the house but never coming back out.
With Lynn’s intense performance and the copious amounts of grisly gore and brutality (it’s hardcore), it’s easy to write this one off as torture porn. But it truly is a horror movie with a deeper meaning—so either way, it might not be everyone’s type of movie.
All the characters in the film are obsessed with an infomercial type show about the beauty of fat women–and each of them has a different reaction to it. The show doesn’t have a direct effect on the plot, but works more as a Greek chorus that speaks to the actual theme—women. Model Hunger is a statement about how women are treated by men, how they allow their self-esteem to be destroyed by men, and how, instead of lifting each other up, they end up tearing each other down to get the approval of men. Adding even more complexity to the issue, the model in the TV show that has everyone mesmerized is played by an oversize male drag queen, further challenging the male/female perspectives on beauty.
THE VOICES (2014)
This film was horribly mis-marketed as a horror comedy. Despite the fact that it’s about Ryan Reynolds being coaxed by his talking cat and dog into killing women, there’s absolutely nothing funny here, not even in a dark comic way. It’s straight up depressing.
Ryan lives a bland existence as a factory worker who can’t get a date. He sees a psychiatrist, is on meds, and hears voices—namely, those of his cat and dog. He also had a horrible childhood, which we see in tragic flashbacks.
Eventually, Ryan accidentally kills a chick—and is soon talking to a growing number of female heads he’s collecting in his fridge.
Even with that aspect, this isn’t much of a horror movie, although Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick gets a pretty good scream queen sequence.
To show just how bad the concept of tone is applied here, after all the downer shit that goes on throughout The Voices, it ends with a fricking campy musical number in heaven. What a fucking disaster this movie is.
TROPHY HEADS (2014)
Speaking of keeping women’s heads, Charles Band of Full Moon Features brings us a self-referential horror comedy about a crazed fan who kidnaps and kills a bunch of b-movie queens with the help of his mother—then mounts their heads on a wall.
In the process of spoofing on the careers and movies of our favorite indie queens like Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, and Linnea Quigley (all playing themselves here), Charles Band shows his director buddy David DeCoteau how a movie like this should play out. These three ladies were first reunited—and totally wasted—in the homoerotic DeCoteau messes 3 Scream Queens and 1313: Cougar Cult, which I blog about here.
Anyway, the ladies discover that they are essentially going to be killed while being forced to reenact one of their famous movie scenes! Linnea scores the best chase scene, especially since she’s being hunted by a killer in a freaky mask.
And just when you think the killer is running out of scream queens, a new batch is brought in! Denice Duff (the Subspecies movies) and Jacqueline Lovell (Head of the Family, The Killer Eye) steal the show as they play off each other, first bickering about the worth of their films and then teaming up together to take on the killer.
Also keep an eye out for cameos by David DeCoteau and director Stuart Gordon. This one is definitely a must-see for fans of these ladies and their films.
MEMORY OF THE DEAD (2011)
Artspoltation Films delivers once again. Memory of the Dead perfectly captures the “WTF is going on” feel of classic 80s Euro films. There’s no telling what will happen next when a bunch of people come together in a creepy mansion to remember the death of their friend. Little do they know, the dead guy’s wife is using black magic to bring him back to life.
Shit gets crazy, with each person facing the demons of their past—in demon form—as they relive childhood abuse, incest, scandalous pregnancies, and more. There are nods to everything from Argento to Evil Dead, plus wicked horror atmosphere, pervy sex and gruesome gore, and some nightmarish demons.
On top of all that, there’s a gay character whose shocking truth gets even more surprising right up to the end of the film.
This is one of those movies I knew I needed to have on DVD before it was even over.
It’s I Know What You Did Last Summer…on a computer screen. This one is definitely for the new generation of ADHD horror fans. The entire story is told through the windows on one chick’s computer screen. The action is fast and furious—simply because she jumps between IMing, Skyping, Skype texting, Facebook messaging, and Googling nonstop throughout the film. Yes, the entire movie looks like THIS:
We learn at the beginning that a video was posted on the Internet that made a girl commit suicide. Now, a group of her former friends go online for what they think is going to be a closed Skype chat. However, someone has joined their connection. They can’t get rid of that person. And that person soon claims to be the chick that committed suicide.
And instead of walking away from their computers—even when they think one of them has had a seizure—they spend the entire time engaging this person…and then watching in horror as each of them is killed off during their Skyping session.
To make this film even more obnoxious and headache-inducing, the filmmakers have decided to give it some “realism” by making the fucking video break up whenever something meaningful or supposedly scary is happening. And the only explanation (finally) for what’s happening to them is that apparently they’ve been targeted by a dead girl’s ghost on Skype.
Howl went straight to the top of my list of favorite werewolf movies, and it’s one even my hubby could love (I forced him to watch).
With a classic buildup to mount the tension, it begins with a train that suddenly comes to a screeching halt in the middle of nowhere during a rainstorm at night. When the engineer goes outside to see what the problem is, you know it’s just a matter of time….
There’s gore and jump scares as the passengers trapped on the train begin to get dragged off it by a snarling beast. You quickly begin realizing how vulnerable a single car of a train is as the group tries to board it up so the beast can’t get in. The fun really begins when the freakish looking wolfman gets right into the fricking car with them! Their reaction to the situation is quite realistic, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything like it in a werewolf movie before.
The action and suspense are nonstop as the passengers come against not one, but an entire pack of these monsters. Plus, the characters, while seemingly stereotypical at first, prove to have a bit more depth, and don’t always do what you’d expect. And that werewolf makeup—creepy. Instant classic for me.