Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 14


Day 14 starts with INVISIBLE INVADERS which was a rather familiar and typical martian invasion horror movie from the 50s. These moon men have demanded Earth's surrender and because they're invisible they inhabit the bodies of recently deceased humans to terrorize Earth to get their way. John Agar stars as one of the scientists in charge of finding a way to stop the invaders and he's always a nice addition to these cheesy sci-fi casts. I had enough fun with this one and there's some memorable moments, mostly involving the zombies, but it isn't anything groundbreaking. If this is the type of movie that speaks to you I highly recommend it otherwise it's fun for a rainy Sunday afternoon.


Greg McLean is the closest thing we have to Ozploitation these days with his Wolf Creek films and the movie I watched nearly a decade after becoming interested in it -ROGUE. This giant killer crocodile film is set on a scenic river in the Australian wilderness where a tour boat enters an off limits area to respond to a flare that was sent up and that's when they encounter the super aggressive 30 foot croc that sinks their boat and strands them on a small island that disappears with high tide. With only hours to figure out a plan before they're stuck in that water with the croc tensions rise, people get eaten and people act like dickheads. It's a lot of fun to choose sides from the comfort of your chair and cheer on the good people in the group while hoping the croc munches on the more annoying characters like Koboyashi at a hot dog eating contest. Yes, I know Koboyashi hasn't held the world record for hot dogs in a decade but that was reference was funnier than a Joey Chestnut reference. The movie stumbles a bit in the last 20 minutes when we enter the croc's lair but ROGUE proves there's plenty of life left in movies we've seen dozens of times before when it's done with skill.


The Friday The 13th fan film by director Vincente DiSanti NEVER HIKE ALONE is probably the best fan film I've ever seen. This is a fan film that looks like a studio production if the F13 series took a bit of a found footage turn. This movie breezes by at just over 50 minutes and it's a perfect runtime for this movie that follows hiking enthusiast and vlogger Kyle as he stumbles upon the remains of Camp Crystal Lake and Jason Voorhees. Slickly shot, well acted and featuring some well done practical special effects I don't have much bad to say about the movie until the last few minutes that felt like unnecessary fan service meant to get a cheap pop from the audience and add to the body count. There's nothing wrong with the way that it's done except that it really adds nothing to the movie. It's a minor gripe on an otherwise stellar fan film that fits in perfectly with the franchise.

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 13


I like Jean Rollin's films but I can see why someone wouldn't. The majority of them are very slow without much in the way of action. They're dreamy, visually poetic affairs dealing in metaphor and style over traditional storytelling. I love the style and look he gets his films, and his penchant for using absolutely stunningly beautiful women isn't bad either. THE IRON ROSE may be the least exciting of his movies that i've seen but I loved it. A lustful young couple spend their day in a sprawling old cemetery and find themselves stuck inside after dark. The night shows a slow changing of personalities as the nihilistic, arrogant boy begins to crack and panic while the girl who was a bit reserved and nervous inside the cemetery begins to become entranced with the night and the dead, losing any inhibition and letting herself be taken over. That is what makes this movie an engrossing experience to watch because again, not much actually happens but it's a beautifully shot film and was yet another moody experience from Rollin.


I needed to find something that I could watch while getting some work done and Dario Argento's Masters Of Horror episode JENIFER fit that bill. I've seen it before but it has been a long time since I last saw it andddddd it's pretty much exactly as I remember. It's gory, a little bit sexy but it's largely a soulless affair devoid of Argento's style. That doesn't make it a bad film but it could have been made by anyone. Thankfully Argento would add some of his signature flourishes to the season two episode Pelts.


Next up I was excited to check out EVIL TOONS for the first time on the new Blu-ray that director Fred Olen Ray has released. Well it turns out I have seen the movie before. I'm not sure where or when but I was familiar with everything going on so this wasn't the first time viewing I thought it would be but I still had a good time watching this schlock involving a cartoon demon that comes straight from the pages of a demonic book and possesses a sexy young coed who is cleaning an old house with a group of other sexy young coeds. Add in doses of Dick Miller and David Carradine looking like he's doing his best Vincent Price in Witchfinder General impression and you've got yourself a bloody good time filled with lots of boobies. Otherwise there's not much that sets this movie apart from anything else. There's actually not much animation especially for a movie called "EVIL TOONS" and this movie could have just as easily not had any at all. It's an interesting and sleazy idea to turn Roger Rabbit into a bloody horror film filled with nudity but what else would you expect out of Fred Olen Ray?


Seeing as this was Friday the 13th I couldn't possibly let the day pass without watching a Friday the 13th film could I? Well I suppose I could, I have seen the entire series plenty of times but I figured who better to tuck me in to bed for the night than sack head Jason. That's right, I watched my favorite entry of the franchise, Part 2, which features my favorite Jason as well. The machete to the face on Paul which sends him and his wheelchair down the steep flight of stairs outside is my favorite kill in the movie and is a truly iconic slasher scene. And mean spirited as hell too. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 has everything you want out of a slasher film of the 80s and perfectly embodies the summer camp body count films. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 12


What's there to say about BUTTCRACK. It's a movie called BUTTCRACK where gazing upon an evil undead buttcrack will turn you in to a zombie. Sounds stupid, right? Well it is. It's really fucking stupid. And it's pretty damn funny. Mojo Nixon is great as Preacher Man Bob and did a good job handling the music. If you're a fan of stupid fart joke comedy horror films, from Troma in this case, I recommend it.


Then it was time to revisit a couple films that I haven't watched in a decade or more. First was TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION, the much maligned fourth film in the series that stars a young Renee Zelwegger and Matthew Mcconaughey. Well, the film didn't get any better and it's actually duller than I remember. There's a couple of things I enjoyed about it like the RV chase scene which is really just a lesser version of opening bridge scene from part 2 but I'll take what I can get here. I also thought Mcconaughey gave a really good performance as the main antagonist. Otherwise the movie is pretty crappy and that's all I have to say about that.


CAMP BLOOD was next, a 1999 shot on video slasher film from Brad Sykes who is no stranger to the shot on video world. There's really nothing about this movie that I should like, it's a generic Friday the 13th ripoff with a janky looking clown mask killer stalking the woods surrounding a camp that have been nicknamed Camp Blood which apparently nobody enters but are covered with graffiti. The acting is poor but the special effects are okay. Something about this movie works for me at least on a minor level. I'm certainly not a lover of this movie but to my own surprise I still found myself entertained by it all these years later. It may be the rawness of it and how it looks and feels like something I would have made with friends in high school if we could organize anything but no matter what it is about it that speaks to me I think it's an okay watch even if its not a good movie at all.

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 11


Do you want a safe, do-nothing, go-nowhere, piece of shit anthology? If so this is for you. The first story takes entirely too long to wrap up, the second is the only half decent thing about it and by part 3 I was tuned out. Apparently it was made for TV which would help explain why it is so void of anything even mildly exciting but that couldn't be the entire reason. 


THE SPELL was also made for TV in 1977 and this Carrie-esq movie (I didn't plan on watching this many Carrie ripoffs in such a short span) manages a few excitingly memorable moments of death but otherwise is a quite a melodramatic family drama based in a bit of black magic. And I dug it. Rita's family and schoolmates give her shit for being fat which she's not, maybe chubby or husky but certainly not huge, and keeping to herself and her needlepoint projects. They make all sorts of shitty off handed comments and then those turn into deliberately awful and loveless remarks. Her bratty younger sister played by a young Helen Hunt is a daddy's girl and gets her way in that regard but her mother is a bit more down the middle or at least tries to be. For my money it's nice to see at least some support for Rita but it's pretty empty and shallow when she's also trying to tow the line with her father. This slow burn build tension until a few people involved with the family fall sick or die and eventually Rita's family decides to send her to England but Rita has other plans. THE SPELL isn't terribly exciting but it has good performances, a central character you can really empathize with and one very memorable death scene. I think the finale was fun even if my hopes for the outcome didn't get realized I think this one is an above average ripoff. 


Do you ever watch a movie that gives off a feeling that movies of today just don't give off anymore? That's what happened to me with LADY IN WHITE. It gave me this warm feeling of nostalgia even though I'd never seen the movie before. It made me feel like this movie was going to be an old friend, something I was strangely familiar with even though I had never even watched a trailer. From the opening credits sequence riding bikes through a small town main street as store owners prepare their storefronts for Halloween I knew I was going to like this. And I did. The horror elements are fleeting here showing up sporadically across the two hour runtime but they play an integral part of the plot. The film deals with a child murderer, ghosts, the afterlife and the potential loneliness of death, race relations in the 50s and 60s, family dynamics and coming of age maybe a bit too soon. It features effects that were dated even for its time in 1988 but I like to think director Frank LaLoggia made a style choice with those because it added to that familiar, warm feeling the whole thing gave me. That does sound a bit weird saying about a movie that centers around a movie that deals with a serial killer who focuses on children but if you've seen the film and appreciate it you'll know what I mean. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Comet TV October Lineup and Giveaway


This October there is so much happening on COMET TV!
First up, The Robocop trilogy is airing Saturday, October 21 and Thursday, October 26! Who doesn’t love Robocop, talk about classic sic-fi!
Then, there’s the Underground Horror series airing throughout the month of October! Check out the schedule at CometTV.com/underground-horror
There is something for everyone!



The Comet TV October pack pack has:
1 -Robocop Omni Consumer Products T-shirt: A perfect T-shirt for out and about and to show your Robocop love. It sports the famous Omni Consumer Products logo on the front and looks amazing on!
1 -Limited Edition COMET TV Card: You’ll get 1 of 3 limited edition designs that feature one of the Underground Horror Titles showing this month on COMET TV!
1-Limited Edition COMET TV Pin Set: There’s nothing better to add a little flair to any ensemble that this limited edition COMET TV pin set. It features six different designs including Stargate and Andromeda.
1 -COMET TV Syringe Pen: Oh the horror! This green liquid syringe pen will have you the envy of everyone in your office. I mean let’s be real, who else has a COMET TV green liquid syringe pen? The answer… It could be you!

TO ENTER:
1. Send an email to CelluloidTerror@yahoo.com and include your full name and address (US only!)
2. Tell me your favorite scene from any Robocop movie!
3. Winner will be selected on Halloween!

About COMET TV - October 2017
ROBOCOP TRILOGY
Robocop (1987) 
Robocop 2 (1990) 
Robocop 3 (1993)
Saturday, October 21 Starting at 10P/9C 
Thursday, October 26 Starting at 4P/3C
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NEW ON COMET IN OCTOBER
Andromeda 
Classic Space Opera is coming to COMET! Based on materials from sci-fi legend Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda stars all action hero Kevin Sorbo as the Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a highly advanced ship whose crew is charged with restoring power and stability to the Systems Commonwealth. But, to succeed the Andromeda crew must battle one of sci-fi’s weirdest looking bad guys....the sinister Magog! 
Weekdays at 2P/1C and 10P/9C
Stargate: Atlantis 
If you thought gate-hopping action was fun in the Milky Way, just wait until you see what it’s like in the Pegasus Galaxy. Stargate: Atlantis sees a team of international scientists unlocking the secrets of a legendary ancient city, discovering a whole new stargate network in a whole new galaxy, and bringing them face to face with the Wraith, a powerful enemy who are best summed up with the term 'Evil Space Vampires'! 
Weekdays at 3P/2C and 11P/10C
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UNDERGROUND HORROR
October, demons, blood guts and gore, that’s what the month will bring to viewers. Join COMET TV for a horror retrospective of some of the most ingenious films, sure to scare the most die- hard fans of the genre. From classics to contemporary, COMET TV has them all.
Airing daily throughout October, check schedule at CometTV.com/underground-horror

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OCTOBER FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIES
Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C 
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C
Real Genius (1985) 
Friday, October 13 at 8P/7C
Lord of Illusions (1995) 
Friday, October 20 at 8P/7C
The Silence of The Lambs (1991) 

Friday, October 27 at 8P/7C

Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 10


Sometimes Netflix will surprise you and you'll stumble across something unexpectedly good. That happened with DON'T KILL IT. Dolph Lundgren stars as a demon hunter tracking a demon that moves from victim to victim whenever the person it is inhabiting is killed and it moves on to the killer. This makes it tricky as the demon has superhuman strength and isn't afraid to die, you must trap the demon to stop the carnage. And there's a lot of carnage. The kills in this movie send blood splattering everywhere. It has a good energy, Lundgren is funny but tough, and Kristina Klebe is a good co-star to him. The demon is a bit generic in its screeching screams, black eyed presentation but the movie is a good way to turn your brain off for 90 minutes and watch a fun action horror flick that absolutely flies by.


Next was THE SLAYER, a slasher with its feet planted in psychological horror set on an abandoned island in a creepy old beach house. It's a bit slow with a small body count but it has a good eerie feeling, a naturally creepy setting and some nasty kills. I hate to say that I let my preconceived notions of what to expect were wrong (thanks to the artwork) and I did find myself a bit let down because of that but still liked it. Knowing what to expect on future viewings will definitely allow me to settle in and watch it for what it is instead of waiting for what I expected it to be to not happen.


The Slayer may not have been what I was totally expecting then came DEADLY GAMES from 1982 that I just don't have a fucking clue what anyone in this movie was thinking or why it was made. This is a mystery slasher where Keegan Lawrence (don't worry, every character in this piece of shit is constantly referred to by their full name) returns home to solve the murder of her sister. That's the plot but good lord it's a disaster. Chicago Bears legend Dick Bitkus is here with a speaking role and plays football. There's a character that reminds me of Kelly Leak from The Bad News Bears who is a constant third wheel on dates. The copy I watched randomly broke in to German and Spanish language tracks but it doesn't matter because there wasn't a damn good thing about this piece of shit. DEADLY GAMES feels like it is at least 2 and a half hours and it's as dull as a dollar store knife. What a pile of shit.


More Tim Ritter is always welcomed, especially when I was righting a wrong and finally seeing TRUTH OR DATE: A CRITICAL MADNESS - something I had only seen a handful of scenes from before. What is there to say? It's mid 80s shot on video madness. Gory, stupid, cheesy and just a fantastically fun time.


The night came to a close with TALES OF HALLOWEEN, the 10 part anthology film from 2015 that I liked a lot on my first viewing. The good news is that I still like it. The bad news? Well I guess it's not really bad but I don't like it quite as much as I did. It tries to put together a similar look and feel to Trick 'R Treat but it's not on the same level as that modern classic. It's still more hit than miss and I suggest checking it out this Halloween season.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 9


Most Bigfoot movies suck. The world needs more quality Bigfoot movies. In an effort to find fun movies involving the legendary creature I've come across some trash and it happened again with 2002's SASQUATCH starring Lance Henriksen. How bad can a Lance Henriksen be, right? Well he's not too bad but the rest of the movie goes over like a wet sasquatch fart in a crowded elevator. The Sasquatch suit is laughable looking like black pleather with a bit of fur randomly glued around. His face looks okay though. The only scene worth a damn involves pleather Sasquatch fighting Lance Henriksen with a tree stump. Otherwise the acting sucks, the characters are grating and the effects remind me of a shitty episode about ghosts from Unsolved Mysteries. And for the record Unsolved Mysteries rules but SASQUATCH certainly does not.


The suckage continued but this time it was a much bigger let down with Tobe Hooper's NIGHT TERRORS starring Robert Englund. I like Hooper and Englund a lot and their previoius collaboration Eaten Alive is fantastic. Sadly this collaboration is poorly realized. Englund plays a dual role as the Marquis de Sade and in present day as a descendant of the Marquis. When he's the Marquis he spends his time chained in a dungeon being tortured and whipped in shitty makeup and hamming it up way too much. The dungeon looks damp and dark and is my favorite part of the movie but I don't think I've ever liked a Robert Englund performance less than this. As his present day character he's still over the top and irritating. The rest of the cast including Zoe Trilling and Alona Kimhi are perfectly suited for day time soap operas with the range of a 2x4. The cult scenes are bland and everything about it felt like they didn't have the money to really produce what they wanted. At least it was better than Sasquatch.


The day wasn't a total loss... JENNIFER is an entertaining ripoff of Carrie. Jennifer is a new girl at a private school where money is all that matters. The rich kids have all the privilege over the scholarship kids and most of the popular girls give Jennifer all sorts of shit for no real reason even though she's a perfectly nice and kind person who isn't even all that weird despite having a father deeply devoted to the bible and Jennifer's past involving the deep south snake churches where she was able to control the snakes and had "the power". He pesters her about the bible and the snakes and his dinner but never really comes across as the psychological threat that Piper Laurie did in Carrie. Eventually they fuck with Jennifer too much and she loses it, reverting back to her Godly snake powers and punishes her tormentors. The movie is a bit of a slow burn and makes you sit around with a lot of spoiled bratty girls that deserve everything they get which makes it all worth it even though it's not the most exciting or expertly crafted film in the world. I think this could have been some serious 70s exploitation gold had they made this trashier and more violent with the snakes instead of trying to compete stride for stride with Carrie and keep a sense of "class" about it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 8


Day 8, the day where nothing was amazing but then again nothing was particularly awful. The worst of the bunch was the first of the bunch, MURDERDROME. This Aussie production from 2013 features a lot of roller derby girls fighting with other roller derby girls about ex-boyfriends, on-rink beef and whatever else they fight about. Then the roller derby girls get to fight more roller derby girls... from hell. It's intentionally campy as you can imagine but much of the attempts at humor aren't funny and the acting is rough. The special effects are okay and it's not offensively bad. If you have a fetish for derby girls you might even enjoy the thing. Thankfully it doesn't last too long at 75 minutes and features a handful of decent kill scenes.


DEADLY DREAMS may not have been the slasher film I expected. Hell, it was barely the horror film I expected. The movie spends most of its time feeling more like a soap opera than anything else but it works for the psychological aspect of driving the main character to the brink of insanity mixed in with some sporadic moments of horror. I don't know why I liked this one, it's nothing special and the multiple twists worked for me but don't do anything new or surprising and there's nothing memorable as far as horror goes. There was something about it that I latched on to and enjoyed it a bit.


I finished with my favorite movie of the day which is made solely on the lead's performance - the 2003 remake of WILLARD featuring Crispin Glover as the titular character. Glover's performance is perfectly offbeat, sympathetic and creepy all wrapped into a rat burrito where he plays a brow-beaten mommy's boy with a shithead boss who hates him and fires him as soon as his mother dies. Willard gets revenge with his pet rats and then the rats take over and it gets as crazy as you think a movie about a thousand rats being led by a fat one named Ben and taking over a man's shitty life would be. The movie isn't very violent or gory, there's no nudity and it has a dark sense of humor. It all comes down to Crispin Glover getting the audience to care about him and we do. We might not want to hang out with the guy or get a beer with him after work but you can care about him and hate his boss who is out to destroy his life. R. Lee Ermey plays Willard's boss and is definitely an unlikeable dickhead but he's playing his same old Full Metal Jacket schtick that worked in that movie but feels so out of place here. That said, Glover is so great that I really did enjoy this one.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Snowman Giveaway and Killer Quiz

When the next snow falls who will he take?
Based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller, The Snowman stars Michael Fassbender (X-Men series) and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation)
When an elite crime squad’s lead detective, Harry Hole (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.
Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) also star in The Snowman, a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese
Website: http://www.thesnowmanmovie.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesnowmanmovie/
Twitter: @thesnowmanmovie
You Could Have Saved Her I Gave You All The Clues
The Snowman, a terrifying thriller based on the novel by Jo Nesbø is being released on Oct 19th. A sociopath who calls himself “The Snowman Killer” has targeted the one person for whom he wants to showoff his methodical, unthinkable skills: the lead investigator of an elite crime
squad. With cunningly simplistic baits, he begs to have a worthy opponent to play his sick game.
To celebrate the release of this terrifying thriller starring Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson we have a Snowman Killer Blog App and a giveaway for your readers.
The Snowman pack has:
1 - Limited Edition Snowman Plush Doll: This limited edition Snowman plush is only available via this promotion and has a run of 200 pieces worldwide. It is a replica of the killer’s Snowman and features a detachable head and the Snowman logo on the bottom.
1 - The Snowman Official Promo Shirt - An official promo T-Shirt featuring The Snowman logo on the front and the signature design on the back.
1 - Replica Snowman Killer Letter - A replica of the Snowman killer’s note, sealed.
TO ENTER:
1. Send an email using the header "Snowman Giveaway" to CelluloidTerror@yahoo.com 
2. Include your full name and address (US and Canada only!)
3. Tell me your favorite movie with a snowy setting and your favorite Michael Fassbender role
4. Winner Will be picked on October 30
 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 7


When Intervision announced they were releasing a film called SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN and I saw the trailer of this 1983 shot on video movie starring a bunch of kids and a few unfortunate adults I knew I had to see this obscurity. It didn't really look good, most shot on video movies don't, but damn if it didn't look interesting. Well that pretty much sums it up. It isn't good. The acting is predictably shitty and large chunks of the dialogue is so poorly recorded that it's inaudible under the synth score which just pounds and pounds. Luckily the story is simple enough that we don't need those bits of dialogue to figure out that a girl who has shown up at the orphanage ("children's home") is controlling the other kids to do harm to the adults and is of Satanic nature. It's definitely interesting with the kids acting and it's no budget nature and seeing how creative they could get but seeing it once is probably more than enough in a lifetime. It's an oddity and a curiosity but there's better shot on video, better Satanic horror and better evil kids movies out there.


Next was a bit of a disappointment, 1953's THE MAGNETIC MONSTER from writer director Curt Siodmak who is a familiar name in the science fiction and horror genres having been a writer on dozens of projects. Unfortunately THE MAGNETIC MONSTER isn't one of his most exciting. The production is solid, with good performances but there's little in terms of anything exciting or action that isn't implied. 50s sci-fi enthusiasts and completists might appreciate it more but it's a good looking production that doesn't offer a ton of fun.


It's been a decade since I last saw BLACK SHEEP and decided to see how it holds up. I didn't love this movie the first time I saw it but I did think it was an interesting mashup of nature run amok and zombie tropes with a hint of werewolf movies tossed in just for some seasoning. I still feel that. BLACK SHEEP is a very comedic film and it works more often than not but there are a few moments where the comedy turns into fart jokes and those scenes just plain stink but otherwise I had fun with it all. Look for some creative and well done makeup and creature effects. This product of New Zealand carries on the tradition of Peter Jackson's early work in gory and comedic horror films.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 6


Are there any movies you see being swapped among collectors that have always caught your eye but you know nothing about? That is EDGE OF THE AXE for me. I really don't have any past with it from my early days in video stores, I'd never seen it before and other than knowing it was a slasher film by Jose Ramon Larraz, a director whose work I really dig, I know nothing about it. Well, I know it only has a VHS release and is a sought after release. Now THAT is all I knew about it. Now I know it was apparently made for TV, features a boring love story subplot and the most obnoxious 80s computer chat program I've ever heard. That said, I love the killer's mask that reminds me of Dustin Rhodes when he left WWF as Goldust and WCW saddled him with that shitty Seven gimmick that he shat all over. The kills aren't inconic but they're bloodier than I'd expect for a TV production. The acting and script are hokey but it works as a slasher movie and I had a bit of fun with it. I wouldn't rush out to see it and I certainly wouldn't pay big bucks in a VHS collector's market but if you get a chance to see it and enjoy 80s cheese, go for it.


Then there's RAW. Oh,  RAW.  This is a French film that has been receiving exceptionally high praise for months as a masterpiece of meaningful and disturbing horror. Well I'll give it this. It's a really fucking well made movie. It's beautifully shot. The performances are excellent and the make up effects are incredible. But here comes the but. But, I just didn't find anything to connect with. I didn't find any meaningful message. I didn't get hit hard by anything deeper than a superficial level and I certainly didn't see it as a groundbreaking masterpiece. There may have been some metaphors that didn't hit me or that flew totally over my head but everything I saw was straight forward and I got it but it was hollow. Feel free to tell me I'm stupid and missed the point, I'd like to hear about what I missed.


Do you remember the Stephen King adaptation The Night Flier? That came out in 1997, 20 years ago. It was directed by Mark Pavia and by most accounts it was a decent movie, nothing special but not bad in a time when King adaptations weren't always quality. It's been two decades since we've heard from Mark Pavia but he has returned with FENDER BENDER, a suspenseful home invasion horror film with a creepy killer. Is it a new or innovative idea? Nope, but it damn sure is an effective movie. FENDER BENDER has a cast that total in the single digits and the rest of the film is just as tight. A small auto accident leads to a night from hell with a deranged killer who wears a mask straight from a S&M Slipknot concert from hell. Pavia creates suspense and tension throughout with memorable and meaningful deaths without having to rely on gimmicks. It's not a perfect movie and it isn't innovative but damn it was rock solid. If this is what Mark Pavia is bringing to the table I warmly welcome his return to filmmaking.

Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 5

Only a pair of movies for day 5, though I technically get to count one twice since I watched it with and without commentary... score.


By 1996 Jess Franco had more or less made every type of movie you could imagine so he decided to make his own version of Scooby Doo. I actually have no idea if that was his thought process but somehow I doubt it. Either way KILLER BARBYS is very much Jess Franco doing Scooby Doo with an alternative/punk band from Spain called The Killer Barbies... yes, apparently Mattel made them change the spelling of the film's title (but had no problem with the bands name). After an opening performance scene by the band which is reminiscent of Franco's love of including scenes in jazz clubs in his films the band gets stranded outside an old gothic castle and are invited in for the night. Most of them take up the creepy butler on his offer while two of them stay in the van to have seemingly endless wild sex. The castle has a few little minions running around creating all sorts of trouble and collecting ears and other weird things. Heads get lopped off, blood flows and the countess of the castle has an extended scene of rolling around in blood and sweat after fucking one of the band members. The movie is as much a music video for the band with their songs blasting through most of the movie as it is a gothic horror film. It's a very hit and miss affair but Franco creates some incredible atmosphere at times, especially around the exteriors of the castle and even at its worst it is still interesting and definitely worth a watch if you're at all interested in Jess Franco films.


Euro horror fans will want to take note of BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES which is a love letter to the sexy lesbian vampire films of the 60s and 70s with a feminist and female empowerment foundation. The story is muddy and convoluted which is the film's weakest point but the general idea is that 2000 years ago Bathor established the land and left and violence has broken out as all of the men have been stricken with a strange disease leaving them with sickly blood spots all over them. They blame their condition on the vampire women of the land and wage war on them, staking them and shooting them with arrows whenever possible. A pair of lovers band together with others and try to stop the war and bring peace before Bathor returns... or something like that. Here's the good - co-writers and directors Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein are definitely fans of the movies they're paying homage to. They deliver a nicely shot film filled with stunning locations, incredible costume work, and some beautiful set design. The girls are gorgeous and the skin factor would rival anything from Jean Rollin. The effects are simple but effective. Here's the bad - The acting is uneven, while some performances are good there's a lot of rough ones which isn't surprising for an indie film but it does hurt the movie. I've already mentioned the writing but I have to mention it again, there were points where I just had no idea what they were talking about. And there are points in this movie that feel remind me of early 2000s indie horror and not in a good way. The direction and overall look of the film takes a dip in these scenes and it feels like they just plain ran out of money. The sets are noticeably less stylish and void of the great look throughout the rest of the movie. The direction felt less stylish and more of a rush job to hurry up and finish which would make sense if there was a problem with money during these scenes. I can't say I loved the movie, I'm not even sure I'd say I really liked the movie but I admire it and I do love the effort and passion behind it. This could have been a train wreck trying to recreate the look and feel of those amazing Euro films from the past but hats off to Sophia Cacciola and Mike Epstein for getting more right than they did wrong.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 4


Day 4 was the busiest day of the month so far but unfortunately it was more bad than good. At least it started out strong with HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP which was my first re-watch of the month. I spent most of the day watching these movies with a buddy and asked for a good creature feature and having never seen this one I had to introduce it to him. He loved it. And for good reason. This Roger Corman production is trashy and gory, violent and sleazy. There's blatant racism against Native Americans, sea monsters killing and raping women, blood and guts being spilled and plenty more good natured fun. The carnival scene is classic and your life will be better having seen this movie.


Mike Flanagan's new movie GERALD'S GAME, adapting the Stephen King novel was next. This Netflix production was really solid stuff. Carla Gugino is fantastic and every bit as good as she needed to be for the film to be a success. This is a tight psychological and survival horror that suffers from a final ten minutes that feel tacked on for no good reason than to extend the runtime. I have not read the novel so I can't comment on whether it works better in that format but I didn't care for it at all in the movie. Mike Flanagan has been a hot name in horror over the last few years and to be honest I never understood why. I think the majority of his directorial work is passable at best and some I just plain didn't care for. GERALD'S GAME is my favorite thing he's done so far even with the ending scene that I don't care for.


This is where the train came off the rails and our day went downhill fast. Often times I get curious about a movie even when it looks like absolute shit and I remain curious about it, at least mildly, until I see it. That's the case with LIGHTS OUT, a feature film based on the director's short film of the same name from a couple years prior. This movie involves a ghost that is haunting a woman and her family that can't enter the light but in the darkness and shadows is quite dangerous. This movie was awful. The backstory to the ghost is shit and doesn't even make sense when you really think about it. It only exists when the woman let's it exist in her mind which would suggest it's merely a psychological thing with the mother but the ghost physically manifests itself and harms people so it obviously isn't just a product of the woman's mind. Except it is? And throughout the entire movie as soon as it enters the light it simply vanishes but at a key moment during the climax the kids shine a light on it and it begins to burn the ghost? Fuck off with your lazy continuity for the sake of convenience. LIGHTS OUT sucks eggs.


Changing things up a bit to hopefully lighten the mood and bring some fun back to the day we picked out another new Netflix production - LITTLE EVIL. This comedic take on The Omen features some spoofing on other classics such as The Shining and Ghostbusters among others and stars Adam Scott who is a pretty funny guy. Scott stars as a newly wed stepfather to a creepy young boy who looks just like Damien from The Omen and has all sorts of deadly and tragic events follow him. Eventually it becomes evident that his son is the antichrist and something must be done to stop him. Unfortunately I didn't find most of LITTLE EVIL to be funny. Most of the jokes fell flat and then some totally bombed when they were repeated later. The characters try their best to be funny but the writing just was not funny the majority of the time. The movie wasn't awful and I'd even say to give it a look if you're interested or intrigued by it because it might work for you. It's not awful and it was a step up from Lights Out but there's nothing funny about an unfunny comedy.


I'd happy watch Little Evil again if it meant I could wipe the memory of THE GALLOWS from my mind. Hell even Lights Out was better than THE GALLOWS. Fuck this movie filled with cookie cutter stereotypical douchebag high school characters. Fuck all of the awful generic found footage bullshit within. Fuck the stupid backstory about a boy that accidentally died from hanging in a school play in 1993 and taking his revenge from the grave on the son of the boy who called in sick to the play 1993 which put him in position to play that part. The twist sucks. The second twist sucks. The ending sucks. I won't even say I dislike the characters. I hated these characters. I wanted to cheer their deaths and demise so bad but it was all so weak and uninspired. If you can't tell that i hated this movie let me tell you again - FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cult Epics To Release Death Laid An Egg On Blu-ray/DVD This November

DEATH LAID AN EGG Blu-ray/DVD Combo Releasing November 28, 2017


Arguably the most insanely idiosyncratic giallo ever directed, DEATH LAID AN EGG (1968) is a true wayward masterpiece of kaleidoscopic Italian counterculture cinema.  Directed by largely unsung iconoclastic auteur Giulio Questi (DJANGO KILL!, ARCANA) and starring legendary leading man Jean-Louis Trintignant (THE CONFORMIST) as a married man that may or may not be a serial killer, Gina Lollobrigida (John Huston's BEAT THE DEVIL) as his delectable yet overly domineering careerist wife, and Swedish blonde bombshell Ewa Aulin (CANDY) as his murderous double-crossing mistress, the film is the virtual giallo equivalent to Godard’s WEEKEND in terms of its crass car crash fetishism, savage anti-bourgeois sentiments, and overall anarchic spirit.  Set largely in a hi-tech automated poultry factory that breeds mutant boneless chickens.

DEATH LAID AN EGG is a socio-politically sophisticated avant-garde giallo that is more pertinent today than when it was first released in terms of its quite modern depiction of the battle of the sexes and the perils of technology. The original Italian “superbly edited” giallo version is presented by Cult Epics in High-definition and with new bonus features.


Italy . 1968 . Approx. 86 Mins. . Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 . Italian language with optional English subtitles . Color

DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

SPECIAL FEATURES
. HD presentation
. Original Theatrical Trailer
. Lobby Cards photo gallery
. Isolated Score by Bruna Maderna

Death Laid an Egg was part of our Indiegogo campaign. You can Pre-order the 3 disc limited edition still here, 70 copies left with Cult Epics HC book.

Comet TV October Lineup - Robocop, Underground Horror And More!

AIRING ON COMET in October

YOU DON’T NEED A SUBSCRIPTION TO WATCH THESE GREAT MOVIES…
THEY’RE AIRING FOR FREE ON COMET!


ROBOCOP TRILOGY


Robocop (1987)

Robocop 2 (1990)

Robocop 3 (1993)

Friday, October 6
Starting at 8P/7C

Sunday, October 8
Starting at 2P/1C

Saturday, October 21
Starting at 10P/9C

Thursday, October 26
Starting at 4P/3C



NEW ON COMET IN OCTOBER

Andromeda
Classic Space Opera is coming to COMET! Based on materials from sci-fi legend Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda stars all action hero Kevin Sorbo as the Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a highly advanced ship whose crew is charged with restoring power and stability to the Systems Commonwealth. But, to succeed the Andromeda crew must battle one of sci-fi’s weirdest looking bad guys….the sinister Magog!
Weekdays at 2P/1C and 10P/9C

Stargate: Atlantis
If you thought gate-hopping action was fun in the Milky Way, just wait until you see what it’s like in the Pegasus Galaxy. Stargate: Atlantis sees a team of international scientists unlocking the secrets of a legendary ancient city, discovering a whole new stargate network in a whole new galaxy, and bringing them face to face with the Wraith, a powerful enemy who are best summed up with the term 'Evil Space Vampires'!
Weekdays at 3P/2C and 11P/10C



Underground Horror 
October, demons, blood guts and gore, that’s what the month will bring to viewers. Join COMET TV for a horror retrospective of some of the most ingenious films, sure to scare the most die-hard fans of the genre. From classics to contemporary, COMET TV has them all.
Airing daily throughout October, check schedule at CometTV.com/underground-horror



October Friday Night Movies
Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C

Robocop (1987)
Friday, October 6 at 8P/7C

Real Genius (1985)
Friday, October 13 at 8P/7C

Lord of Illusions (1995)
Friday, October 20 at 8P/7C

The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

Friday, October 27 at 8P/7C