Sometimes you’re watching a horror movie, and you can’t help but think, “I could be watching a much better movie right now.” Here’s seven times I did this in one weekend.
For a movie that opens with people getting attacked by werewolves in broad daylight at JFK airport, this one goes downhill immediately. Sure, they’re cheesy GGI werewolves, but that’s to be expected from a SyFy Network movie. On the bright side, the close-ups of people turning into werewolves look pretty good.
The real problem is, the military is the star of the film. In fact, the military is pretty much responsible for the situation. The whole movie is a military movie. I only like this many military men in porno movies. 80s cutie Craig Sheffer stars, along with commanding Allstate spokesman Dennis Haysbert, but neither of them can save this rubbish.
There’s almost something so awesomely absurd about Gingerclown—it probably would have been a favorite of mine if it had been made in the 80s. It has that kind of weird vibe. It also has an awesomely gothic cartoonish look, with vivid horror-colored lights and dark, eerie settings. Plus, the setup is perfect. A bunch of bullies convinces a nerd to go into an abandoned amusement park in exchange for a kiss from the girl he likes. He goes, she follows him, and eventually, the other kids follow them.
There’s no real clown star of the show, but there are a load of cheesy, talking monsters, voiced by the likes of Tim Curry, Lance Henriksen, Brad Dourif, Michael Winslow, and Sean Young. Occasionally, there’s a pretty creepy monster that feels like it’s from a different film—the scary film this could have been. I honestly have no fucking idea what’s going on in this movie. I even started it over from the beginning, but after the very spooky and intriguing setup, it completely goes into la la land even upon a repeat viewing, and I just couldn’t bring myself to follow it there. This film makes Full Moon movies look logical.
KINGDOM COME (2014)
A guy gets into a car accident then wakes up trapped in a hellish building with a bunch of other people who also don’t know how they got there. Look at the title and think of movies like Devil and you pretty much know the big twist in this film. Sad it’s such a recycled plot, because there’s actually some fantastic horror atmosphere, Silent Hillish demon women crawling around, and pretty dang eerie and disturbing kills.
Of course, this being a movie with a higher calling, the focus is on the painfully stereotypical, awful things these people have done in their lives. A black guy raped a bunch of white women (the first deadly sin in the King Cracker Bible, I believe). Another guy killed his daughter for dating a black guy then pinned it on the black guy (the one simple step in the book Getting Away with Murder for White Dummies, I believe).
The scummy roster wouldn’t be complete without a pedophile so unable to control his perverted urges that even though he’s being pursued by demons, the moment he’s alone with a little girl, he goes into full molestation mode (kudos to the filmmakers for not having him target a little boy…it must have taken a lot of faith to suppress that urge). Finally, fear not, all ye who love judgment-themed horror. Abortion is on the slab as well.
To make it clear that we’re dealing with the devil here, there’s the “man in the blue suit” (my favorite color). He comes along to tempt the wrongdoers while spouting religious horror shit about heaven and hell and blah blah blah. He completes the ruination of what could have been an intensely scary film if it had just stopped trying to be so moral. Horror movies are supposed to pride themselves on being immoral, you dipshits.
If The Exorcist went on tour, this Euro horror flick would be it. An old man and his granddaughter go on a road trip to exorcise demons. The old man tells a story about their bloodline being cursed because long ago, a woman tricked everyone by giving communions in priest drag. Lord knows women pretending to be God is pure blasphemy. Along with an occasional appearance by a possessed person and a Jesus statue crying blood (you have to have a Jesus statue crying blood), the movie eventually ends up in a mental institution for an exorcism that morphs into a great big, incest celebration.
Honestly, this shit is like The Exorcist III (as in, there may be one scary scene that somehow convinces everyone it’s actually a good horror movie) meets Twister (why should we give a shit about these assholes who repeatedly continue chasing the life-threatening danger?). Instead of trying to be artsy and stylish, Asmodexia should have gone for total bad Euro horror throwback goodness—it should have been dubbed in English with a really cheesy 80s-synth score, and the possession sequences should have been amped up with more puke and perversion—especially the incest stuff.
Here’s one for horror fans who think they’re somehow more advanced than the rest of us, with a higher IQ and a more refined taste in zombie films. In other words, this movie will bore the fuck out of you. Hey genius, I want a zombie film with a brain too…but at some point, the brain needs to be fucking eaten. And yet, I forced myself to finally sit through this one until the end after numerous tries over the years.
Pontypool lets you imagine what it must have been like before TV, when all your entertainment was delivered by a radio…or what it would be like to have someone read the script to a horror movie out loud to you instead of letting you actually watch it.
Here, we get an entire movie in which a DJ listens to people calling in to describe the outbreak to him. This exercise in tedium totally disproves the notion that what you can’t see is scarier. I was watching the film while taking down all my Halloween décor, and it totally got me in the mood to have nothing scary going on in my house anymore.
There are some timely (dated) references to Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan, and during about the last 20 minutes of the film, a few infected people make an actual appearance on screen. There’s also some dark humor that comes way too late to break up the monotony. And the deep message here? Cruel words are infectious and can hurt and even kill! Well, damn. I’m re-taught that lesson on social media everyday.
As a bonus, for you lovers of holiday horror films, it’s referenced once or twice that the film takes place on Valentine’s Day. Plus, it turns out a kiss might just save the day and stop the outbreak. So romantic.
DARK SUMMER (2015)
Keir Gilchrist (Tales of Halloween, It Follows, Dead Silence, and the gay son on United States of Tara) is a kid under house arrest, ankle monitor and all. His friends sneak him a tablet with Wi-Fi, and he ends up witnessing a chick from his school committing suicide online.
After that, she begins haunting him in some of the most uninspired scary sequences ever. Eventually, there’s a good Tales from the Darkside twist…that would have been more worth working towards if this had actually been a half hour episode of Tales from the Darkside….
Home invasion horror goes to college. You’ve really seen all of this before. A chick stays on campus during Thanksgiving break. A small group of cult crazies in masks chases her, calling her Kristy for reasons we never really learn. While delivering predictable jump scares, they also kill what few people there are on campus who could help the main girl.
They also seem to be able to teleport, considering that no matter where the main girl runs on this huge campus, they are there seconds later. On top of that, you spend the movie wondering why she doesn’t just run off campus to get away.
Completely forgettable, and the main girl never even gets any turkey dinner.