Thursday, October 6, 2016

October Horror Challenge 2016 - Days 3, 4, 5

Days 3, 4 and 5 were a surprisingly solid stretch without any real stinkers. It's nice to enjoy to many movies in a row.

First up was THE MIND'S EYE which I reviewed in full so if you didn't read that be sure to check it out HERE

AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS was next and was a decent Gothic chiller that suffers from a convoluted plot that really holds everything back. The film picks up the energy and excitement a bit when Peter Cushing shows up just after the halfway point and we get to see some really memorable scenes including a man smashing open a tomb, ripping the skeleton from it and wrestling around with it. Glorious.

Day 3 came to a close with THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS, a creature feature from the late 50s centering around a coastal town that is under attack by a large fishman type monster that has a penchant for ripping the head's off his victims. It's standard creature feature fare but that isn't a bad thing.

I started day 4 off with GRIMEWAVE - a 2013 production released on DVD by Wild Eye Releasing and let me tell you how funny, offensive and raunchy this one is. It's a perfect movie to get wasted with! The legendary Cock Face Killer crosses paths with some of New Orleans toughest gangs, ninjas and drug dealers and puts and end to anyone having sex! GRIMEWAVE is super low budget, would fit alongside Troma's recent output and isn't for everybody but if it sounds up your alley definitely check it out.

Next up was PHANTASM RAVAGER which was one of my most anticipated movies. I knew to keep my expectations in check as the film didn't have huge budget and it is the 5th entry into the series and by this point things tend to start going downhill but the PHANTASM series is one of the most consistent in terms of quality so I was still wildly excited and I can't say I was let down. The film is very much a proper PHANTASM film, expanding a bit on the ever growing mythos as it takes place across various planes of time and space. Angus Scrimm is still excellent as The Tall Man but I wish we got a bit more of him. The film brings back the heartfelt companionship and brotherhood of the first film. The film is flawed, with some shaky acting and CGI but overall I think any PHANTASM fans will enjoy this entry.

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE was next and was another highly entertaining 50's creature freature that I can't believe I hadn't seen before. I sort of fell in love with this movie as a group of astronauts stranded on Mars are being stalked on board their ship by a hulking alien creature that resembles the Gillman. It's a bit claustrophobic and has good tension and would make a great double feature with The Monster Of Piedras Blancas.

And then was my first re-watch of the challenge - CHOPPING MALL - I had to check out the new Blu-ray and it looks awesome for the most part. If you don't know about this one then you've been living under a rock in the horror world. An 80s slasher set inside a mall but the killer isn't a masked psychopath, it's a squad of security robots run amok frying everyone with their laser beams! Kelli Maroney, Barbara Cramption and lot's of gore sum up this Jim Wynorski classic.

My favorite first time viewing so far is MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD. I want to watch this bizarre fever dream of a movie over and over. It lacks almost any narrative instead going for this surrealistic approach of a carnival filled with cannibals and oddball killers who take out the families who move in to work at the carnival. I love how low budget and raw it is because it only adds to the realism and familiarity to the setting.

Next up was BLUE SUNSHINE - another re-watch thanks to a new Blu-ray and this movie might get better with each viewing. Jeff Lieberman made some excellent films in the 70s and 80s and this one about a strand of acid creating crazed killers a decade later is something more fans should be aware of. It's well acted and has a good story.

THE RIFT is next up and I'll be giving it a full review very soon so I'll keep this brief and say if you're a fan of JP Simon's other films like Slugs or Pieces you'll enjoy The Rift.

And finally to wrap up this post was William Friedkin's THE GUARDIAN from 1990. This was an interesting fairy tale type horror film that felt very much like a Saturday afternoon made-for-TV movie. It does have some great gory scenes and nudity which keep things interesting. I enjoyed it but I'm not in love with it.

Today's Rundown
The Mind's Eye - 7/10
And Now The Screaming Starts - 6/10
The Monster Of Piedras Blancas - 6/10
Grimewave - 6/10
Phantasm Ravager - 6.5/10
It The Terror From Beyond Space - 7/10
Chopping Mall - 8.5/10
Malatesta's Carnival Of Blood - 8.5/10
Blue Sunshine - 8/10
The Rift - 7/10
The Guardian - 6/10

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