I was limited to a single movie each day during this stretch so I'm combining them all into this single post.
Day 24 was possibly my favorite viewing of ANTHROPOPHAGUS that I've ever had due to the fantastic new Blu-ray from Severin Films. The movie has never looked this good before, even in the previous UK Blu-ray release from 88 Films. Severin's disc really improves the A/V quality. I love the atmosphere created in this gore classic and who doesn't love watching George Eastman munch on everyone within arm's reach before finally chowing down on his own intestines? People call this thing boring? Boring? Boring!? Absurd surely but boring it is not.
The 80s nostalgia boom these last few years has been extremely hit or miss and SUMMER OF '84 is another case of that. While I think the mostly child cast does a really great job and the movie is undoubtedly well made it offers nothing new and feels like all of the effort was put in to creating the 80s look and setting and nothing into writing a fresh story. I don't want to rag on it too hard because it really is well made but it feels like a checklist of 80s nostalgia projects.
Onto THE WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL, a nostalgia project that creates an entire world around a simple but effective story. This was the perfect thing to relax in bed with before having to wake up around 5am the next morning. It's silly, light and pure fun.
KNOCK KNOCK is an Eli Roth film starring Keanu Reeves as an architect who is intruded upon by a pair of beautiful girls while working alone at home one night. These girls proceed to feed him lies about their situation and seduce him and then their true intentions come out the next morning and they drive him to his breaking point. Keanu's acting is about as bad as it has ever been which actually makes his freak out monologue worth seeking out on Youtube. Otherwise this movie is stupid and not worth a damn.
A movie that has an alternate title of Dead Dudes In The House can't be bad, right? Especially when the art work has a group of dudes looking like a bootleg New Kids On The Block who aren't even in the movie hanging tough on the cover right? Right. THE DEAD COME HOME is quite a bit of fun featuring a group of teens fixing up this old house that is haunted by this ghastly old woman who slices and dices the teens bringing them back from the dead to help her bloody rampage. It's filled with some memorable kills, a good bit of blood and gore, and a fun spooky vibe. I dug it.
Screw the haters... I like Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN. Remove your expectations of what a Halloween movie should be and who Michael Myers is and just enjoy this entertaining modern slasher. It's laughable at times, especially early on when the movie is in full blown white trash mode but it's pretty brutal, has good music and Ken Foree's Joe Grizzly character is great. It's cheap entertainment and I'm okay with it.
Revisiting Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 was an experience. I was a full on hater of the sequel. I thought it was absolute trash, a laughable attempt at being artistic. Abysmally bad. Inept. Shit. Puke. Well, maybe I was a bit harsh on it. It still ranks toward the bottom of the Halloween franchise for me but I appreciated what Rob Zombie was trying to do here. I actually liked his version of Dr. Loomis who says fuck it and tries to get rich off of the whole ordeal from the first movie. I like that Rob Zombie tried to do something different. I felt like I had to take a good hard look at myself in the mirror and admit that I didn't hate it. I still don't think it's great, and that the white horse shit just doesn't add anything to that entire part of the story but this may be the biggest turn around I've ever had in the 10 years I've been doing this challenge. From absolutely hating something to thinking it's okay. I never expected that to happen with this one.
Despite being the target audience upon its release I had never seen more than a few minutes of HOCUS POCUS. This early 90s Disney flop has gained a cult following over the years with Disney even trying to turn it into Halloween's version of A Christmas Story with a continuous 24 hours marathon of the film. I can see why it has gained a following - it's cute and funny. It has some moments that younger kids would find spooky but not too scary. This is a fine movie to celebrate the season with but isn't top tier Disney.
THE ALPHABET KILLER... more like the generic horror thriller... The ABCs of been there, done that.
HELL HOUSE LLC isn't something I knew anything about until seeing a handful of people praise it for being an effective and well made found footage film. With reluctance I gave it a chance and by the end of it I found myself agreeing (for the most part) with the positive reviews. The acting was believable and it had some creepy moments. It's nothing groundbreaking but worth a watch especially for fans of this style of horror.
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE has been highly praised in most of the reviews for it that I have seen. The film grabbed me immediately and pulled me in and I was excited to see where it was going. Something about Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox working as a father and son medical examiner team was just plain interesting to me and I liked their relationship and their dynamic. The "Jane Doe" corpse came in and a few of the things they found about the dead body were weird and creepy, building to something I was getting more and more excited to discover. And then the film turned into the horror movie it would be and it became entirely too obvious and familiar letting a promising slow burn build stumble and come up a few yards short of the goal line.
Then I decided to take a trip back to the Abbadon Hotel with HELL HOUSE LLL 2: THE ABBADON HOTEL and let me sum this one up as fast as I can for you. The filmmakers took everything that worked for the first one and threw it out the fucking window. The acting sucks. The story sucks. The twist ending sucks. It is simply fucking awful and everyone responsible for it should feel bad.
You might think that a movie called I MARRIED A VAMPIRE from 1986 would be fun right? What if I told you Troma distributed it theatrically? Well you'd be wrong, just like I was. The comedy isn't funny. The main girl is an obnoxious twat and I really don't have much nice to say at all.
And the long wait was finally over... The new HALLOWEEN film from director David Gordon Green forgets every film of the franchise except the original, wiping away the sister storyline, the Mark of Thorn storyline, and anything else you knew about Michael Myers post 1978. The storylines with Halloween are already messy enough so I wasn't upset about the direction they took this in and for the most part I had a good time with it. I didn't love it but I definitely liked it. Jamie Lee Curtis gives a strong performance, John Carpenter's score is a throwback to the quality of his classic soundtracks and there's some nasty kills.
Hell House LLC - 6/10
The Autopsy Of Jane Doe - 5/10
Hell House LLC 2 - 1/10
I Married A Vampire - 3/10
Halloween - 6.5/10
The fun thing about these marathons is finding hidden gems and pleasant surprises. DEAD SHACK was one of those unexpected hits. This 2017 release is about a brother and sister and their friend who are travel to a run down cabin for a small getaway with their father and his girlfriend. The family encounters a nearby cabin where the owner is kidnapping people and feeding them to her undead family. The three teens in this movie have good chemistry together and the dad is genuinely funny. There's some gory moments and plenty of laughs to be had. I had good fun with this one.
Another fun thing about these marathons is finally getting around to check out movies I have either missed out on or simply put off for a long time like I did with BLOOD HARVEST. This slasher film is infamous for co-starring folk musician Tiny Tim as a weird creepy clown character and for doing some of the music. To my surprise he's actually pretty damn good in his role and I found the film to really work at being creepy and a bit weird. I'm glad this one finally has a nice home video release.
One of my main thoughts about JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER is that there was a lot of Jesse James and a good bit of Frankenstein's Daughter but it took a while for them to meet and even after they meet their stories take a bit for their stories to really meld together but this one was surprisingly competent even if it was longer than need be which made it drag. There's some goofy moments but the acting was better than expected and the story somehow made sense. It's still far too boring to give a positive review to but I expected this to be way worse than it was.
I finished day 19 with THE EVIL DEAD. What more is there to say about it than that? It's one of my favorite movies ever.
Hot off the heels of their successful and attractive limited edition VHS releases of Jorg Buttgereit's Nekromantik, Cult Epics has announced an extremely limited 20th Anniversary Edition VHS Box Set for their arthouse horror release PIG! See below for synopsis, product information and links to purchase! Hurry, because these won't be around long!
Pig, a film depicting the relationship between a killer (Rozz Williams) and his victim (James Hollan) where all lines are crossed, blending fantasy and reality. This poetic film is a transformation of the subconscious mind of a killer, graphically showing the manifestation of itself into abstract forms and material, all deriving from his suffering and desperation.
Debut underground short film by Cult Epics founder Nico B.
PIG, was the last project of Rozz Williams; writer, artist, musician; formerly known from the rock group Christian Death amongst others. R.W. (Who died 1.4.1998) spoke of the film as a form of exorcism and transition of his personal demons.
Feature film + 5 Outtakes
Original edition of 1334 copies, numbers #775-#799
Growing up I was a lover of all things Goosebumps. R.L. Stine wasn't my introduction to horror but he certainly helped cultivate the seeds that had already been planted. I have fond memories of reading the books during free time at school, when I was stuck inside on a rainy day and whenever a book report was due it was Goosebumps I turned to. Though my fondest memories of the books were when my grandfather would read them to me until I fell asleep which usually didn't take more than 10 minutes so one book could last an entire's week worth of bedtime stories. I was also a fan of the TV show but have had mixed emotions on it upon revisiting the series that directly adapted stories from the series in to half hour (and sometimes hour long) screen versions. And my fandom really has never stopped because even a couple years ago as I was pushing 30 years old I was ecstatic to hear of a feature length film. In short I thought the movie was good fun and would gladly take another. Now on the wrong side of 30 we got GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN and in short I yet again say it was good fun. The film revolves around a group of kids that unleash Slappy, an evil ventriloquist dummy from an unfinished R.L. Stine novel. Slappy plans to use the magic in the book to bring Halloween to life and take over the town. Combining famous monsters from the book series including the lawn gnomes, jack-o-lanterns, Abominable Snowman of Pasadena and the werewolf from Fever Swamp with animated Halloween decorations includng light up witch hats and a 3 story balloon spider, the kids must use their wits to outsmart the evil dummy. This one is more of a kids adventure film drenched in Halloween than a proper Goosebumps movie but the addition of the Goosebumps character and even a small appearance from Jack Black reprising his role as Stine from the first movie make it all the better. It's flawed and I would rather see a studio adaptation of some of the Goosebumps books I am satisfied with the movies we've seen and I think GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN will be an unsung favorite of the Halloween season for families to enjoy together in years to come. On a personal note, it probably gets a slight boost in my mind because I was able to enjoy it in theaters with my grandfather who read the stories to me all those years ago and we enjoyed a nice trip down memory lane.
DEVILFISH aka MONSTER SHARK is the exact type of awesome trash I love from Lamberto Bava! Earlier this month I watched his film Ghost Son and absolutely loathed it and pretty much knew I would but loving so much of his early work made me interested in his more recent stuff... I'm a masochist in that way. MONSTER SHARK did not disappoint. Michael Sopkiw rules as he runs around shirtless, messing around with women and drinking beer while still trying to find and take down this massive shark/octopus/fish thing that is royally fucking up the boaters in this town. Evil villains and explosions and gore and 90 minutes of me having a great time. This movie rules.
And then we end with EXPOSURE, yet another random TV watch while I was laying in bed for the night. I thought this was going to be a bad Evil Dead ripoff. I wished it was a bad Evil Dead ripoff. It wishes it was a bad Evil Dead ripoff. If you can get past the bad acting, the bad writing and the go-nowhere first half you get to a spot where this dude runs off into the woods and his long lost grandfather comes back looking all shitty and fucked up and so does the first guy and then spooky shit happens. I tuned out of this nonsense about the halfway mark. It honks.
THE BLACK SCORPION... Picture this... gigantic volcanoes in Mexico rivaling Vesuvius, a world of giant insects inside of these volcanoes with wars between these massive bugs, then they come to the surface and terrorize everything from trains to towns before the military sends tanks and bombs after them in a soccer stadium all in glorious stop motion animation. Yeah I had a ton of fun with it.
Somethings you just have to see for yourself to realize how fantastic they really are. DOOM ASYLUM is one of those things. This is cheese of the moldiest and stinkiest order. Limburger ain't got shit on this! It's gory, filled with so much fodder for the cannon it isn't even funny and it's very fast paced with a kill happening every time the camera cuts it seems. The characters are outlandish at times and the dialogue is ridiculous. I love it.
PINOCCHIO'S REVENGE was another random TV pick to fall asleep with that actually made me perk up a bit when I saw that it was directed by Kevin S. Tenney of Night Of The Demons and Witchboard fame, two classics of the 80s. Maybe this will be surprisingly good I thought to myself as I lay awake now. It didn't take but half an hour for me to fall asleep and finish this snoozer the next day. It's a 4th rate Child's Play ripoff without anything that Child's Play has going for it. Today's Rundown The Black Scorpion - 7.5/10 Doom Asylum - 8.5/10 Pinocchio's Revenge - 3/10
This Halloween tune in to COMET TV as they bring you the horror classics that will send shivers down your spine. Before Buffy, before Edward, and before a certain Count, there was Nosferatu. The classic Vampire film, which is followed by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The original Phantom of the Opera.
Sure to send you to another world, COMET TV brings Space: 1999 and Babylon 5 back for classic spacey adventures! Everyday you can see Babylon 5 and Space: 1999 has back-to-back episodes on Saturday and Sunday evenings! Talk about out of this world!
So you can’t sleep? COMET TV has the solution with cult classic midnight movies airing Mon - Fri! You can pencil in Night of the Creeps, get sucked into Vampires on Bikini Beach and do your best to escape The House on Haunted Hill!
And CHARGE! has the classic series CHiPs! Join Ponch and Jon as they cruse the freeways of Los Angeles solving crime… Back when you could cruse the freeways of Los Angeles!
To usher in the spooky happenings of October we want to give your readers the chance to win he COMET TV and CHARGE! October Prize Pack!
The Comet TV and CHARGE! October Prize Pack has:
1 - Limited Edition Nosferatu Shirt: Only available via this promotion, this creepy T-Shirt is sure to make your neighbors and friends shriek with envy! AHHHHHHHHH!
1 - COMET TV Blood Bag Water Bottle: I would like some Type-A Negative please. No matter what your flavor, this novelty water bottle is the perfect thing to fill up for an on the go refreshment.
1- COMET TV Stargate Magnets: Show off your spacey side with these super fresh Babylon 5 magnets. Perfect for any new recruit looking to sign up for new spacey adventures!
1 - COMET TV Midnight Movies Blood Splattered Candy: Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth? This candy assortment will give you that sugar rush you’re craving! There’s Ghost Poofs, suckers, bugs, lizards and more!
2 - Exclusive CHARGE! CHiPs Ticket Memo Pad: Do you see someone breaking the law and you just have to sound off and tell them? Is someone’s parking THAT bad you want to be like… Dude come on? Now’s your chance! Write them a little note, and maybe mention that CHiPs is heading to CHARGE! as well!
TO ENTER 1. Send an email entitled "October Comet Giveaway" to CelluloidTerror@yahoo.com and include your full mailing address (US only, sorry!) 2. Tell me your favorite movie to watch at Halloween and your favorite fall treats
Airing on COMET in October
YOU DON’T NEED A SUBSCRIPTION TO WATCH THESE GREAT MOVIES…
THEY’RE AIRING FOR FREE ON COMET!
Babylon 5 (series)
New on COMET in October! Creator J. Michael Straczynski's ambitious and complex futuristic space opera charts five years in the lives of those aboard the titular 5-mile-long space station, where personal drama plays out against a tense political backdrop of looming war between bitter enemies the Centauri and the Narn.
In October, Babylon 5 airs every day at Noon/11 C and every night at 9/8 C
Hushaween (Halloween Marathon)
This Halloween tune in to COMET as they bring you the silent horror classics that will send shivers down your spine. Before Buffy, before Edward, and before a certain Count, there was Nosferatu. Catch the classic Vampire film, followed by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Phantom of the Opera.
Halloween night October 31 starting at 10/9 C
at 10/9 C
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
at MIDNIGHT/11 C
The Phantom of the Opera
at 2:30a/1:30 C
So you can’t sleep? COMET TV has the solution with cult classic midnight movies airing Mon - Fri! You can pencil in Night of the Creeps, get sucked into Vampires on Bikini Beach and do your best to escape The House on Haunted Hill!
Weeknights at MIDNIGHT/11 C
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
COCKNEY VS. ZOMBIES
VAMPIRES ON BIKINI BEACH
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
THE RAGE: CARRIE 2
House of the Long Shadows (1984)
Four horror masters team up for chills, thrills and comedy! Join Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine as they head to a seemingly deserted manor. One by one the visitors are picked off, and trapped in the giant estate! But who could be the killer?
Friday, October 26 at MIDNIGHT/11 C
Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
You've heard of Carrie White, haven't you? Well, don’t worry because she’s not here in the sequel to the classic, instead we get Rachel who inconceivably is Carrie White’s half sister. And… She’s also telekinetic! Say wha? It’s up to Sue Snell to try and save her from succumbing to Carrie White’s fate!
Wednesday, October 24 at MIDNIGHT/11 C
Airing on CHARGE! in October
California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers Jon Baker and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello cruise the freeways of Los Angeles, solve crimes and help people in trouble in this cop show. The stakes usually weren't very high -- the better to highlight the personal lives of Ponch and Jon.
Weekdays at 11a/10 C
Weeknights at 6/5 C
An estranged family finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places: the MMA ring. Tommy (Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine with a tragic past, returns home and enlists his father (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic and former wrestling coach, to train him for "Sparta," the biggest MMA tournament ever held. But when Tommy's underdog brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), fights his way into the tournament, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart.
Day 14 had but a single viewing and it was further confused my opinion on Dan Curtis. He's very hit or miss with me and his made-for-TV anthology DEAD OF NIGHT is a miss. It's dull as pile of wet grass.
And we conclude the REC series with REC 4: APOCALYPSE. It gets a little wacky with some new twists in the story but the setting has now shifted to a ship where the military has set up a makeshift lab and hope to eliminate the virus with a new antidote. The infection spreads, and the tight confines of the ship make for fast virus transmissions. It's the most adrenaline driven of the series and remains bloody as fuck. I'm not a big fan of every decision they made with this one but I still think it is great.
I'm pretty easy to please with Satanic horror from the 70s and ENTER THE DEVIL is proof of that. Honestly, not a whole hell of a lot happens in this one but give me some moody devil worshippers in their robes, doing some evil shit around a pentagram and chanting in a cave and I'm on board. It's human sacrifice, desert caves, beer drinking sheriffs and a Satanic cult from the 70s... this shit was just better back then.
If Dan Curtis' Dead Of Night was boring well at least it made sense and had good production values. ROCK-A-DIE-BABY was a fucking mess. It starts with a shitty band in a shitty damp basement with their shitty agent who hires them to write a song for a shitty movie and they accept it so they can make a shitty video in a shitty cemetery that for some reason has a half naked chick hanging out with a giant tiger in it. Then it cuts to a mom telling her daughter inappropriate bedtime stories of a small platoon of soldiers in the Vietnam War who capture a naked woman hiding in a small village who turns out to be a vampire. Then there's some lameass story about a group of drunk teens who play a prank with a Ouija board and end up actually finding a spooky surprise. There may have been another story after that but I honestly don't even remember anymore. This is all cut up with scenes in that stupid cemetery of that band playing their shitty song.
Dead Of Night - 4/10
Rec 4 - 8/10
Enter The Devil - 5.5/10
Rock-A-Die-Baby - 2.5/10
Constance Wu, Amanda Fuller, Jonathan Kite, Jocelin Donahue, Graham Skipper and Ashley Clements
Directed and Written By
David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry
Ho, ho, no! The joyful spirit of the holidays is about to take one dark turn after another. From sadistic office parties and last-minute shopping nightmares, to vengeful stalkers and immortal demons, there’s plenty out there to keep you from getting out of bed to see what’s under the tree this holiday season. Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) and Jonathan Kite (“2 Broke Girls”) headline a sensational ensemble cast in this devilish stocking stuffer of a movie.
REC 3: Genesis was a pretty hotly debated film when it was released in 2012. The highly regarded REC sequel had a bit of a format change, as the found footage style was used sparingly and the movie took a decidedly more comedic and action oriented approach, branching out of the apartment building setting we spent our time in during the first two films and placing us amongst the crowd of a fun and fancy wedding reception that quickly falls victim to the same infection we've come to be quite familiar with. The most important thing is to watch this film for what it is and not condemn it for what it is not. Most of the time the complaints about the film revolve around it being a shift in style and tone from the first two. If you let your guard down I think you'll find that REC 3 is genuinely funny and well written, equally as exciting and uber gory as the first two films. Hell it's even a bit heartwarming.
Having a big social media following can be invaluable, especially if you're looking to crowdsource funding for a film. That's how RED EYE was funded. This West Virginia slasher film had surprisingly good direction from Tristan Clay which made the film look better than I was expecting but even at 73 minutes the movie is filled with padding and boring stretches of obnoxious stupid dialogue. There's a twist to the story that made me perk up the tiniest bit but by that point I was pretty much checked out. There's some potential here in the crew but for a film that raised over $12,000 it looks like a chunk of the funding went elsewhere.
I ended with a re-watch of HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION and I'm sure you're wondering why. Well I am too. I don't know, I felt like giving that one another watch. It still isn't good but I do think the plot is an interesting idea putting a bunch of people in the Myers house to spend Halloween night while it's being streamed live on the internet. Unbeknownst to them Michael has been living in the house living of of rats and pissed off that people are in his house. He goes on a basic killing spree until Busta Rhymes karate kicks his ass into the morgue. It's a bad Halloween movie and a pretty generic slasher film but for 2002 I think the set up and main idea is actually pretty damn good and innovative.
I started my journey through the REC series on day 12. It had been a bit since I watched any of them and I've never watched the whole series in a short period of time. With the new Scream Factory boxset in my hands the time was now. I think the first REC film is a damn near perfect horror movie and the best found footage movie ever made. It is well written and acted, suspenseful and tense, has an interesting setting, a likable lead and a story you can grasp on to immediately. It's also bloody as shit and scary as hell. It's one of the few movies I put on and immediately get a feeling in the pit of my stomach because I know what it lies ahead.
I switched things up with PET, a film I'd heard a good amount of praise for a couple years ago when it was released onto DVD. The film revolves around a quiet man working at an animal shelter who becomes obsessed with a girl he knew in high school after seeing her on the bus one day. He eventually kidnaps her and keeps her caged up in the shelter and learns she is a much darker person than he could ever imagine. And so is he. Meh. He goes from normal nice guy to kidnapping weirdo in about 2 seconds flat. It's incredibly hard to believe. It's okay I guess.
Back to REC with part 2 which follows the original just minutes after it ends. This entry takes a bit more of a high adrenaline action route to a very similar progression of events as the first but make no mistake, this is still a film built on suspense but has no problems getting up in your face with blood and violence. Again the characters are easy to like and you route for them. It expands on the story of the first one adding in a new element that keeps the first one in line but still spins it in a crazy direction. It is the smallest possible step down from the first but remains one of the best horror films of this century so far.
BREEDERS was a spur of the moment decision when I stumbled upon it on Comcast's free On Demand listings. and one I'm glad I decided to watch. This is total 80s trash that is filled with T & A and silly gore. It's a 75 minute movie about women in New York City getting raped by slimy alien creatures and are reproducing in the subway tunnels. Is it great? Nope. Is it art? Nope. Is it fun? Yeah, it's good fun.
Another day and another disappointment from Jose Ramon Larraz... what is going on? At least I didn't hate Emma but I sort of hated ESTIGMA which is a dire bore about a teen boy who believes he is committing violent crimes telekinetically without any control of his own because it all ties back to fucking his sister and killing her in a previous life. If this thing wasn't so boring it has a sleazy set up that I'd normally be a fan of but it's just such a damn bore.
BRAINSCAN is a movie I previously enjoyed but was never crazy about. It's been several years since I last saw it and upon viewing the new Scream Factory Blu-ray I have to say that this is so wonderfully 90s that I can't stand it. The soundtrack that could have been a Kerrang! magazine compilation, to the use of CD-Rom technology and the fact that Fangoria magazine was still relevant and celebrated in the horror community this movie embodies the early part of the 90s and provides a weird industrial goth monster villain that should probably be an icon of 90s horror but somehow isn't. It's a cool look into video game and virtual reality horror ideas and is mostly successful at what it does. Sadly there's a deleted scene that has some insane practical make-up effects work during the climactic "meshing" scene that is reminded me of the special effects work done in The Thing and Society. Sadly the scene was cut but I understand why as it really didn't make any sense with how the rest of the movie played out. I do wish they had done more prosthetics and make-up effects in the film though.