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!

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 (1987) 
Robocop 2 (1990) 
Robocop 3 (1993)
Saturday, October 21 Starting at 10P/9C 
Thursday, October 26 Starting at 4P/3C
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
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

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.