While driving alone on a long stretch of mountain highway, Helen crashes her car trying to avoid hitting another vehicle stranded on the road and is knocked unconscious. Some time later she wakes up, unable to get a signal on her cell phone or get her car to start. She investigates the area and finds the driver of the other vehicle in the woods. But wait, oops, it was really a deranged killer. We all make mistakes.

After that Helen is abducted by this huge guy who apparently makes a habit out of killing people and then tying their bodies to large crosses before leaving them to rot in his front yard. Little does he know that Helen’s husband was a survivalist, and he taught Helen everything he knew.

I really dug this episode. It was really two stories in one; the life of Helen and her husband Bruce, and of course the present-day killer situation. At the end both of them merge into a great twist revenge ending. I love a story where the victim becomes the hero. No damsel in distress here!

I was worried after the villain first came into view that it would be some sort of run-of-the-mill Jeepers Creepers ripoff but it was far from that. Entertaining, good storyline, and humorous at time, this Masters of Horror episode is on my good list.

For fans of drill presses, baby skeletons and weird old men.

Advertisements

The Final (2010)

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Revenge

Seeking revenge against their tormentors, a group of high school outcasts throw a party at a house in the woods. There is drinking and dancing, followed by roofies and some torture. Sounds like a good time!

This film had such potential! I was really stoked on the premis, but after an hour I was done. The film is 90 minutes long but could have been edited down quite a bit. There seems to be a lot of useless material floating around in there.

Basically here was my issue with The Final: I love the idea of it. Misfit students filled with anger, who would like nothing more than to inflict pain and suffering unto those who spent years forcing that pain unto them. I expected some really fucked-up shit. What I got was a few decent scenes…One involving plyers and another involving needles to the face. What I didn’t get was any gory deaths. Why?! Add some really bad acting and obvious plot holes and we have a pretty standard FAIL of a movie.

SPOILER! DONT LOOK! (or do…): In the first scene where the main female character puts that acidic substance on the girl’s face saying that it will eat her flesh away in two minutes, I recall thinking it was weird that the girl didnt scream or even make a sound. The camera just cut away to the jock in the chair. Hmm. If my skin were melting off of my skull I’d be screaming and pooping my pants.

I will admit that a redeeming aspect of the film was the character devoloplment. There was sufficient backstory to allow you to get involved with the characters. Each member of the misfit group was covered and their motivations were quite clear. I find that is a quality that many horror films lack these days.

Let’s recap. Fantastic potential, good characters, minimum output, bad acting…Overall a disappointment. Bummer.

PS. I couldn’t find any still for this one, sorry!

Horror Hotel (1960)

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Classics

Another good one from Christopher Lee. This is one of my very favorite black and whites. Nan Barlow, a young student, takes a vacation to the small village of Whitewood, Massachusetts to do research on witchcraft for a paper. Nan’s professor who is familiar with the town, suggests the Raven’s Inn as a good place to stay. Nan arrives in the evening at the small village, silent and thick with fog. It certainly seemed a good place for the occult. Upon arriving, Nan is stared at by some of the town residents as if she were an intruder. In addition she is warned by the town priest to flee immediately, for the town was cursed by the spirit of an evil witch. Nan stays, but finds out that there is more to this town than just stories.

I really love this film! It’s so classic with it’s style. Delightfully atmospheric and a great storyline to keep you interested, if you’re like me and are totally into the occult thing. So metal.

Another quality I can appreciate is the suspensful build-up. There are little clues and lots of foreshadowing that lead to a great final sequence. This movie can be compared to films like Black Sunday.

This movie is one of a kind and unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but has a little bit of everything. Think Adams Family meets Evil Dead meets Hocus Pocus.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Dellamorte Dellamore is the film for you. Rupert Everett (YES PLEASE) plays Franscesco Dellamorte, the caretaker of a cemetary in a small town in Italy. It’s his job to dig the graves, keep things neat, and shoot zombies when they rise from the dead. No big deal. Franscesco and his assistant Gnaghi live life the same every day, until a strange woman shows up and sweeps Franscesco off his feet. Things don’t go as planned, and Franscesco’s heartbreak makes him so self-absorbed that he can no longer differentiate between life, and death (hence the title, meaning “Of Death, of Love”).

Franscesco is definitely a weirdo. He loses touch with reality and has bizarre fantasies and hallucinations, but as you watch you get sucked into his turmoil. It’s hard to distinguish between reality and fantasy, reflecting his own perceptions.

You get the sense throughout the film that he really wants to leave the town but for some reason he stays there and does the same things, day after day. He and Gnaghi make an interesting pair. Gnaghi reminds me of Uncle Fester. Not only that but while Franscesco is off being a weirdo, Gnaghi falls in love with a little girl, vomits on her, and then digs her head up after she dies. Then they fall in love. Yeah.

You need to watch this. For fans of: nice breasts, zombie boy scouts, messy eaters and human remains.

Triangle (2009)

Posted: June 7, 2010 in Blood & Guts, Psychological

In this psychological horror, a young mother finds herself caught in a twisted deja vu when a day of sailing goes awry, and she is forced along with some friends to take refuge on an old ocean liner that seems to be deserted. So if it is deserted, then who is driving it? Why does everything look so old? And more importantly…why is everyone dying?

Triangle is a very original movie. It’s non-linear approach has been done, but this film manages to create a complex storyline that you really won’t be able to guess. Things just get more and more bizarre.

My few annoyances include the main character and her seemingly one-sided acting. Though the film is set upon some dire circumstances, you really don’t see much range in her. She is bewildered and dazed through the entire film. I would have liked to see some more depth out of her. For someone in her unique and terrifying position, you’d think she would seem more desperate? Unhinged? Completely fucking wrecked? I’d be tearing my hair out.

My second critique is that though the film is nicely paced through the first hour or so, the remainder drags ON and ON and ON. I found myself wanting to turn it off until I had the strength to continue. I think they could have shaved off 20 minutes at least. We get the picture, people!

Overall a very interesting and unique film. Incorporates a nice villain and some icky shootings.

Cube (1997)

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Psychological

This is a good mind-fuck movie that I quite enjoy.

Imagine, waking up with 6 other strangers in an enclosed cube with no way out. The only place to go is to move through small hatches from one cube to another that looks exactly the same as the one before it. Well that’s what happened to 7 people in this film…they are stuck in a giant maze with thousands of rooms, some of which are booby-trapped with deadly devices. Each person in the room comes from a different walk of life, and each possesses some sort of talent; whether it be mathematics, architecture, or medics. Together they must find a way to get out of the endless maze before each and every one ends up dead.

What I find to be most terrifying and captivatin about this film is that it is set within such a confined space. This provides a feeling of claustrophobia for the audience, and a sence of urgency. You get the sense that each of the 7 lucky contestants are well-to do types, a bit self-involved. It reminds me of the film Saw, the killer targets people who don’t appreciate life. I find this to be really similar to Cube in a way. The characters are taken from their swank and self-important lifestyles and put in a situation where survival is the only matter at hand.

Cube keeps you on the edge of your seat as the characters argue and debate, trying to make sense of everything. They eventually put their heads together and form some sort of plan. One thing is clear, they have to get out. They discover that each cubed room has a square-shaped hatched on each side (including the floor and ceiling) that serves as a door to the next cube. However I as I mentioned previous some of these rooms are booby-trapped with for example, poisoned gas or razors.

Cube has a sequel or two that I like as much as the original. This brand of film is right up my alley, a psychological horror if you will. As much as I love a mindless slasher, I equally appreciate a horror film with a brain.

The Haunted Palace (1963)

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Classics

Another adaptation of an Edgar Allen Poe work, The Haunted Palace is a goofy flick about a man Charles Ward, who inherits a huge mansion from his great-grandfather, who was burned alive 110 years earlier for being a warlock. Ward and his wife journey to the small town of Arkam, where they are most unwelcome. Unbeknown-st to Ward, he resembles very closely his great grandfather, Joseph Curwen, whom the citizens of Arkam blamed for practicing black magic, and causing multiple deaths in the town generations before. Upon their arrival, the Wards inspect the castle and decide to stay only for a short time. That changes however as Charles begins to ask stranger and stranger over the next few days, and begins exhibiting traits that are curiously similar to those of his dead grandfather. Perhaps great grandpa Curwen isn’t so dead after all. He’s back, for revenge. (Isn’t that the lamest thing to say ever? Haha.)

I love me a good 1960’s film, especially adaptations such as this one. They are SO corny, but usually entertaining. This was no exception, to a degree, but it was very difficult to finish since I found myself falling asleep during several parts. This is not a serious film. It’s the type of thing you watch with a group of people so you can laugh about the awful dialogue and inconsistencies of the plot. I found myself cracking up at one scene where a group of mutant zombie things are closing in on Ward and his wife, and they just stand there “frozen in fear” for like 5 minutes. I mean HELLO. Some weirdos are walking slowly toward you, you should probably GET OUT of there.

Vincent Price is pretty good and switching back and forth from one character to another. Bizarrly, whenever he turned to the evil character his face became greenish. WTF? I couldn’t stop laughing at it.

Only praise I can make is the set. The house was great, I found myself wondering if it was real but there are some scenes in the film that make it difficult to believe that it was just an elaborate set. I can’t imagine anyone getting a budget that big for a little film like this.

Anyways, mainly, this film is goofy and worth a watch if you’re bored but nothing I’d go out of my way to see.