Tremors 5: Bloodlines takes the giant worm horror comedy films to South Africa where the beloved gunslinger Burt is contracted to take down some of the most vicious Graboids ever seen, and the first outside of North America. The movie fits perfectly in tone with the rest of the series. It's silly, campy and worries more about the viewer having fun than creating anything groundbreaking. The effects were better than I expected and even Jamie Kennedy wasn't bad.
Then came a movie I've been dying to see for what feels like years and years - Call Girl Of Cthulhu. This was a production local to me in Baltimore which made it even more near and dear to my heart aside from the Lovecraft inspiration. This one did not disappoint despite its low budget. Plenty of cool practical special effects, a fun story line that gave us a good bit of action and boobies and simple but effective costumes and set design. If you're looking for a comedic take on classic HP Lovecraft mythology you definitely need to check this one out.
And with the good must come the bad. We go from the a great independent horror comedy to a dreadful one. Pro Wrestlers Vs. Zombies is fucking awful. This would be Roddy Piper's final film role and it's sad he had to go out on such a low note. Piper does give it his all and he does smash a zombie in the head with a coconut so the movie isn't a total loss I guess. Unfortunately the rest of the movie is just plain terrible. While my buddy and I had fun ripping on it I would have been utterly miserable had I been watching it alone and I can't guarantee I wouldn't have turned it off. There's no reason anyone should ever think about casting Shane Douglas in their movie let alone actually doing it and then making him the star. The only thing I really wanted out of this movie was for the wrestlers to do wrestling moves on zombies to kill them. It may have happened once. I didn't see a single piledriver, DDT, Stone Cold Stunner or RKO with an exploding zombie head as the result and that's fucking stupid.
The final movie of day 9 was Amnesiac which plays out as sort of a cross between The Stepford Wives and Misery with a twist or two tossed in. It stars Kate Beckinsale and Wes Bentley and they both give good performances but the movie itself is very familiar and has a "been there, done that" feel to it throughout. Nothing special to see here.
The lone movie for day 10 was Wes Craven's Deadly Friend. Previously I had only seen the famous basketball scene so this was all very new to me and I found myself enjoying this R-rated horror take on Short Circuit - Johnny 5 alive! Give an award to Kristy Swanson for believably acting like a robot. Give more awards for this movie not being a total disaster of stupidity and actually being a decent movie filled with a few fun and messy kills. The ending doesn't make a damn bit of sense though and I can't decide if I like the film just a little bit more because of it.
The reason I was only able to fit in one film on day 10 was because I had plans to go to a haunted house attraction with a friend and some other folks. The haunt is called Jason's Woods. Long story short I was forced in to seeing a live performance by the band First Jason, who is fronted by Ari Lehman who if you couldn't figure it out, was the first actor to play Jason Voorhees and he's been milking that 5 seconds of screen time ever since. His band is fucking awful but it used to be funny to put on as a joke as his songs referencing the Friday the 13th franchise (including many many things he had nothing to do with) and other generic horror themes were filled with his weak, wanna be power metal vocals, and his shitty keytar riffs. Yes, he plays a keytar. And it is shaped like a giant machete. It's fucking embarrassing. It was funny to play one of his songs or watch the music video for "Victim", their "hit single". It's all terrible but in a way that makes you laugh instead of groan. Being forced to sit through a live performance at this haunted house in bumfuck Pennsylvania with the stench of port-o-pots in the air? Groan inducing doesn't begin to cover it. First Jason was legitimately the worst sounding thing I've ever heard. Having to see this asshole, who I have a genuine disdain for on a personal level due to his antics and poor business reputation) in person while he wails into a microphone about Jason's Bride or his mother doing "stuff" on the projector across the field, I was disgusted. I was angry. And I considered trying to bull rush a police officer head on in hopes of getting shot. And the set went on and on and fucking on. 45 minutes of this bullshit while he thanked the audience and told them they were great despite the fact that there was nobody within 50 fucking feet of the stage. I asked God to strike me with a lightning bolt while sitting on a picnic table but he didn't oblige. There was no escaping my own personal hell at that moment and what was once a funny joke between my friends and I is now an experience I have to live with and a memory I will not be able to forget anytime soon.
Day 11 came and I was at least able to carry on with living, First Jason hadn't beaten me down totally. The first of two movies on the day was From Beyond The Grave, a 1974 anthology film produced by Amicus and co-starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance. The film features four stories about cursed items from an antique shop ran by Cushing. There's some nifty set pieces and designs, good performances throughout, it's an overall rock solid production. It's also pretty tame and at times predictable. The film is definitely worth a look but it isn't among the best anthology horror films.
And finally there is Grotesque starring Linda Blair who plays the daughter of a famed hollywood makeup artist. The family is having a get together at their mountain home but a gang of punkers plan on crashing it in hopes of finding the stacks of cash or drugs that they think has to be hidden at the home. They attack and kill most of the family until they come face to face with a real life monster and the few that escape with their lives have to escape the law and revenge from a relative. The movie is rather boring and feels like it was made in 10 minute sections. Most of the cast is drifting through it with no real interest in dedicating themselves to their performance and are more interested in getting their paycheck and getting out of there. The makeup effects are also quite shoddy.
Tremors 5 - 6/10
Call Girl Of Cthulhu - 8/10
Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies - 1.5/10
Amnesiac - 4.5/10
Deadly Friend - 7/10
From Beyond The Grave - 6.5/10
Grotesque - 4/10