Going as far back as the 90s to cover this foursome of disastrous films…
BLACK MAGIC WOMAN (1991)
Because it was released during the peak of my days working at the video store, I have a soft spot for this type of pseudo horror/erotic thriller starring familiar faces just past their prime. In this case, Mark Hamill (after defeating the Empire), Apollonia (post purple reign), and Amanda Wyss (who made a wrong turn on Elm Street).
Unfortunately, this ends up feeling like an episode of the HBO series The Hitchhiker stretched into a 90-minute movie. The very final, delicious twist comes too late to make up for everything that didn’t happen before it.
Hamill and his sort of girlfriend/business partner Wyss run an art gallery that needs a boost. In walks mysterious and sexy Apollonia, who bangs Hamill and promises to send success his way.
She works her magic with great success, but then Hamill tosses her aside. For the rest of the movie he basically keeps finding a mix of blood and little animals in his bed. He starts to harass Apollonia demanding she back off, and it makes him look like the crazy one! Matters get worse for him when a few people in his life start turning up dead.
It’s a good plot, but the big disappointment is that Apollonia virtually disappears from the story for a majority of the movie when all you really want to see is her being the evil witch you know she can be. And the reason she doesn’t whip out cauldrons, brooms, and black cats isn’t revealed until that final clever twist. Definitely should have been a 30-minute episode of The Hitchhiker.
THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 (1999)
Gone is DePalma’s style and slow buildup that makes your stomach turn. Gone is the pitiful Carrie that breaks our heart, replaced by a trendy looking chick who could be the lead singer of a 90s alternative band. Present is Sue Snell as Carrie 2’s guidance counselor, because Amy Irving chose a paycheck over being out of work…and standing by the integrity of the movie that launched her career.
Carrie 2’s religious nut mom was sent to a nut house (mental hospital, not church). Her adoptive father is abusive. The jocks at school, including Brad from Home Improvement, play a fucked up game of fucking and dumping girls. When they do it to Carrie 2’s friend, Carrie 2 is determined to take them down.
But suddenly the guys seem to have a change of heart and invite her to a big party and she falls for it! WTF? Didn’t she ever see the movie Carrie?
Carrie 2 gets humiliated, and her powers come out full force…in the form of her heart and vein tattoo turning into a spider web of black marker all over her skin. What the fuck were they thinking?
No split screen, but some of the kills are gory good, a gym teacher pulls an Elm Street and gets hot for one jock’s ass, and you’ll never believe who Sue Snell learns is Carrie 2’s father…
BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2 (2000)
In a quick attempt to cash in on the first film’s success, the makers of the sequel decide that as long as it was anything other than an hour and a half of people filming leaves on the ground, it would be a better movie. They were right, yet this is still a piece of garbage.
However it’s also awesomely 90s, with Marilyn Manson’s “Disposable Teens”, a goth girl, a Wiccan girl, cute boys, nudity, and a lot of drugs.
In a meta move, fans are flocking to the woods where the first movie took place. Our main group goes to the remains of one of the houses from the original viral documentary, camps there for the night, and wakes up with no recollection of what happened the night before.
A messy hodge-podge of ghost kids, flashes of murder, and visions of witchcraft begin to haunt the group as the plot just spirals out of control. Plus, they all start acting weird after discovering they have witch symbols on their bodies.
It feels like the script was written while on drugs, but at least that means way more trippy stuff happens than in the first film. And the footage they take is more exciting because it reveals actual witchcraft rituals that prove a witch is really fucking with them.
The worst part of the movie? It’s told as flashbacks while the survivors are being interrogated by police.
KILLER BASH (2005)
This is from the period when DeCoteau went from making semi-genuine horror films loaded with pretty boys to his pure softcover homoerotic porn horror, so the horror is pretty cheesy.
An unpopular girl at college finds an old school ring, becomes possessed, and starts using her new red eyes to kill boys in their underwear after gawking at them and lusting over for them for a nice period of time, allowing us to get a good gander.
No real blood here, but the late Cory Monteith plays the nice guy who hangs with her while they’re stuck at school for Christmas break.
He also sniffs his own shirt, because that’s what college boys do in public.
Jason’s replacement mom from Freddy vs. Jason plays her therapist, there’s a Ouija board session, and the boys have a vodka shower party.
There’s also a bad house music soundtrack that sounds like something from 1994.
Am I saying any of this goodness makes it worth a watch? Absolutely not.