Sunday, June 30, 2013

Slumber Party Massacre II

Director - Deborah Brock (Rock N' Roll High School Forever)
Starring - Crystal Bernard (Wings), Jennifer Rhodes (Night of the Demons 2), and Kimberly McArthur (Easy Money)
Release Date - 1987
Genre - Horror
Tagline(s) - "A new kind of rocky horror" "Thrills, chills, and guitar drills" and "The party begins when the lights go out"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Slumber Party Massacre I, II, and III Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     Before I said sequels can be bitter sweet.  When you watch a movie you really love you wish it would never end.  You want it to continue but the credits cut you off.  Cue in the sequel.  People get so excited to see a continuation of a movie they love.  They spend their hard earned money to see where the story takes them and normally they are let down because the film is no where in the same ball park as the first film.  It is very rare to see a sequel that is better than the original but it does happen.  After watching the first Slumber Party Massacre for the second time I was pretty pumped to see the second film but deep down I knew it would not be on the same level as the first...right?
     The film follows the younger sister of the girl not invited to the party in the first film.  Her older sister is now in an institution because of the events that she fell in to in the first film.  Unlike her sister, she has grown up and tried to live a normal life aside from the horrible nightmares she is having.  She keeps having nightmares of a leather clad rocker sporting a guitar with a drill at the end.  Anyway, as her birthday approaches her mother lets her go with her fellow band mates to one of the member's family condo for a little weekend of boozing and screwing.  However, things don't go according to plan when she starts to dream during the day often confusing reality with her nightmares.  When a group of guys come over to get their dick wet all hell breaks loose when the rocker with a guitar drill crashes the party and starts killing them one by one.
     Most of the time sequels are not as good as the original but most of them are still entertaining as hell and this one is no exception.  I knew this movie would not be as good as the first and I was right, however, it was still a fun little film.  The acting is actually a little better than the original but sadly you miss out on the nudity you got in the first film.  No surprise because the lead role is played by Crystal Bernard who went on to star in the hit television show Wings.  The story is almost the exact same as the first film with the dream element added to it.  Just like the original, this film still has that entertaining quality but does not offer anything new.  Finally, this film offers the same kills as the first one but with one major difference.  That difference is amazing special effects.  For a low budget slasher this film has some of the best special effects I have ever seen.  The movie looks absolutely amazing.  Overall, this is a fun sequel that serves it's part at continuing the story.  I highly recommend it.


Slumber Party Massacre

Director - Amy Holden Jones (Love Letters)
Starring - Michelle Michaels (Death Wish 4: The Crackdown), Robin Stille (Vampire Knights), and Michael Villella (Getting Away with Murder)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Tagline(s) - "You bring the pizza....I'll bring the drill" "Close your eyes for a second... and sleep forever" and "The Ultimate Driller Killer Thriller"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Slumber Party Massacre I, II, and III)

Rating (out of 5):
      There are so many slasher flicks from the late 70s and early 80s that I could (probably) start watching them all now and by the time I die of old age I will still have hundreds left.  I exaggerate a bit but my point still stands.  Slashers have always been able to adapt.  When people stopped watching all the slashers that took place in the woods, the sub-genre quickly shifted to busty high schoolers and sorority babes dying in full nudity.  Then the 80s slashers slowly died off until their resurrection in the 90s which only lasted a few years...thank god.  Once again in present day the slasher has risen paying homage to slashers from the past.  That brings me to this Roger Corman produced slasher.  I have always seen the poster for it at the local video store but he did not have the actual VHS.  I was lucky enough to finally see it on IFC the same night I saw The Boogens for the first time.  I actually liked it and not long ago I ordered the first three Slumber Party Massacre movies in a nice little set for $15.  This is part of the slasher movement that I have sadly not seen a lot of films from.  House on Sorority Row is about the only one I can think of that I have seen.  
     A group of high school ladies plan on having a slumber party while one of the young girl's parents are out of town.  She does not invite another young lady on the basketball team that lives nearby because she does not like her.  Recently a killer has escaped from prison and is wielding a giant industrial drill.  The killer starts stalking and killing young girls, and pizza delivery boys, while the uninvited girl and her sister sit at home nearby out of harms way.  That is until her little sister sneaks out to go to the party thrusting her older sister in to the middle of the madness.  The girls scurry from room to room to hide from the killer.  With the girls facing their most bleakest moment, the tides turn and they are able to kill the drill wielding killer.
     Most slashers have the same plot but what sets them apart is how the director envisioned their final product.  That is also what makes the film worth a damn.  After watching this film it is clear that the director was not trying to tell a new story but an old one in new light.  The film at times feels like a cliched filled parody.  In fact, from beginning to end the film in filled with cliches but the parody look and feel ends halfway through once the killing starts.  Contrary to the way that sounds, the film is actually fun as hell.  The film used everything we like about the sorority babe slasher films and amplified them.  We get nude girls in the shower, a crazy killer with an absurd weapon, horny guys trying to knock off a piece only to be murdered, and a crazy story all pieced together by the king of cheap, Roger Corman.  The acting is what you would expect from the best slashers...which is mediocre at best.  Some of the girls did a better job than the others and they looked a lot better too.  The story is nothing new nor original but is pretty damn entertaining.  Old stories can be retold if the director knows what the hell they are doing.  Finally, we do get a lot of kills and special effects.  They are nothing like you would get in a slasher that was lucky enough to hire Tom Savini.   They are not Savini good but they are good enough to make this slasher a little better than most.  Overall, this is a very underrated slasher that is bloody and fun.  I highly recommend it.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Exorcist Chronicles

Director - Philip Gardiner (House of Sin)
Starring - Rudy Barrow (The Dead Inside), Liz Mente Bishop (Body Count: To Murder a Twink, to Slaughter a Hoe), and Nathan Head (The Harvest)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     The Exorcist is one of the most popular horror films to ever be released and subsequently spawned a plethora of films hoping to make some quick cash by using similar titles with similar plots.  One of the many reasons The Exorcist was so successful was because it was the first to use the exorcist angle and preyed on the audiences faith.  That is also the reason so many films using the exorcist gimmicks fail is because The Exorcist was flawless and worked well on so many dimensions.   That brings me to the Exorcist Chronicles.  Not that long ago I watched the original Exorcist film and followed it up with the xxx parody XXXorcist.  Those that read my review for XXXorcist know my true feelings about that film and how much I really respect The Exorcist.  I received the screener to this one with All American Horror and Alien Crash at Roswell.  I put this one off because I knew that this one would be the weakest of the three films and I was right.   
   The film follows the Vatican as it struggles to hide a string of possessions that have sprung up all over the world. The church turns to a priest that is known for being harsh to get to the bottom of it.  He teams up with a young lady and the two discover that it is not Satan and demons behind the possessions but something older than Christianity and the Catholic church.
     Please don't get me wrong, I wanted to like the movie and I held nothing against it.  I tried to enjoy it but the movie refused to play nice.  I want to address my biggest complaint about the film and that is the found footage segments.  They show those possessed locked in a room starring at the camera.  These segments have no purpose but to be creepy and they fail at that.  They are not creepy and drag on for way too long.  One or two would have been more affective.  The acting is fairly decent but nothing great.  Most of the cast did a decent job portraying their characters but are not really that compelling.  The story had so much potential but fell completely short.  I loved the idea of a town/world being possessed by an ancient evil with a priest combating it in the name of the lord.  Sadly, the story did not unfold that well on screen.  Finally, we do not get any real special effects and on screen deaths.  Instead, the film makers tried to deliver a film filled with horrifying images and cheap scares that play out way too quickly and continues to try to scare the audience with the same cheap tricks they just witnessed.  Overall, this is a weak film that could have been so much more.  I don't recommend this one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


PURGATORIUM Trailer from Travis Miller on Vimeo.
Director - Travis Miller (Dead Girls Don't Cry)
Starring - Jeremy Castaldo (The Killer Inside Me), Libby Chancellor (The Cook), and Tatum Chancellor
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Thriller
Tagline(s) - "A fate worse than death" and "Abandon all hope"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I often wonder why people can bitch and complain about bad movies all the time and never take the time to praise those that are worth a damn.  I actually find it amazing how people can dedicate so much of their time to bash a particular film or series instead of just ignoring it and spend that time spreading the word of a film that actually deserves it.  That brings me to Purgatorium.  This is a film I had no clue that it even existed.  You can argue that is because the film did not have a big enough budget to hire a marketing team to advertise and blah blah blah but we all know that is straight up bullshit.  Now-a-days Facebook, youtube, and vimeo makes it so much easier for indie films to get the word out.  Sadly, people would rather share shit about stuff they hate like movies, politics, religion, and gay marriage.
      The film centers around a group of twenty-somethings that wake up in a house.  The group has no recollection of who they are or how they ended up there.  The group scrambles to recover their identities while fighting with each other and the dark entities hidden within the house.  The more they look the more they remember what happened that lead to them being locked in the house.  One by one they all fall victim to time and those same dark entities that haunts the hallways. 
     Normally I am not a fan of thrillers and I usually despise psychological thrillers but this one definitely made it fun.  I went in to the film knowing it was a thriller but I kept an open mind and it more than entertained me.  The main praise points of this film is the camera work and the moody atmosphere.  The film looks beautiful and has some genuinely creepy moments.  However, the movie comes off as very cliched but I think that was intentional.  For the most part it made me laugh but as the movie progressed it became old very quick.  The same could be said for the dialogue.  When the characters would carry on a conversation they would literally say what should have been implied.  This actually took away from the feel of the film tremendously.   Like I said earlier, I don't know if this was intentional to get a few laughs but it became a little annoying as time went on.  The acting is extremely hard to judge because of the dialogue.  The film could have went two directions that would have made the movie a lot better.  If the film wanted to be funny then it should have went that route and added more humor.  Also, the film could have went the darker route and been something completely horrific. Instead, the film just rode the line of awkwardness.  The story is honestly nothing original and I called it from early on.  The film may be predictable but there is plenty of atmosphere and tension, as well as, many scares.  Finally, we do get some on screen kills but they are nothing graphic.  The film relies heavily on atmosphere and suspense to get the point across instead of gore.  Blood junkies will not be satisfied with this one.  Overall, this is a moody thriller that will make your skin crawl.  I highly recommend it.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Amerikan Holokaust

Director - Chris Woods (The Sleaze Box)
Starring - Jules Sceiro (Metagod), Bob Glazier (Dark Comedy), and Cyndi Crotts (Feeding on Fear)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     A few months ago I was browsing around Facebook and I noticed a few of my horror heavy friends had liked a page entitled Amerikan Holokaust. I checked the Facebook page and liked what I seen.  Just like usual I headed over to youtube to check out the trailer for the film.  The trailer looked fucking nuts.  I honestly did not know what to think of it except it looked really disturbing.  I messaged the Facebook page to see about getting a screener to review for the site.  Sadly, the film was not finished.  So I waited patiently for the film to be completed.  In the mean time I discovered that the film was made by the two guys known for their sleaze box videos on youtube.  I only recently discovered these series of videos and really enjoy them.  I waited in the film and when it arrived I quickly threw it in.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
     The film follows two Vietnam Vets that returned home from the war with a warped sense of ownership and moral obligations.  The two kidnap young women and have their ways with them sexually.  The two live out their sexual fantasies with these young ladies regardless how perverse the act is and record every second of it with stolen video cameras.  During the entire film they spill out speeches about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket and they are the only ones who can liberate us from the coming storm.  The two meet their match when they pick up a super hot hooker and have their way with her just like normal except this time they do not actually kill her.  She tricks them into thinking she is dead and bites off one of her captors dick of and and force feeds it to him before killing them both like the dogs they are.
     Wow.  That is honestly the only thing that comes to mind after watching this movie.  Sometimes when I watch movies to review my wife will sit with me and do her own thing on her smartphone, laptop, etc.  However, after 5 minutes of this movie she had to leave the room and I don't blame her.  I have been addicted to horror for damn near 15 years and I have yet to find a movie that shocked and tormented me like this movie did.  This movie has everything I find uncomfortable and terrifying in the real world in it and displays it in such a way that it will leave you feeling disturbed.  The acting is great by the two lead actors, Jules Sceiro and Bob Glazier.  The two do an amazing job at portraying true deranged psychos.  Rue Goregrinder did a great job in her role but the remainder of the cast needed some more experience to be more convincing.  The story is truly the most disturbing and shocking one I have seen to date.  The film is filled with rape, torture, a man screwing guts, and women being fed laxative and then force fed her own shit.  The story was made to shock and disgust and it does just that.  Finally, the film has great special effects and on screen kills.  The special effects and kills go hand in hand with the disturbing story rounding out one truly demented masterpiece.  Overall, this is truly disturbing film that will leave you unnerved and disgusted.  Sadly, this is not my cup of tea.  If you like the sick and perverse then I highly recommend this one.  If you're like me and prefer cheese on your horror then avoid it because you will not satisfied.


The Man Who Collected Food

Director - Matthew Roth (No Presence)
Starring - Mike N. Kelly (Holy Car!), Gary Wagner (Rockwell), and Lila Miller
Release Date - 2010
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline(s) - "What do YOU collect?" and "Keep your collection pristine, eat out"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     There is no feeling in the world like throwing in a movie you have never seen before and be blown away by it.  However, that is the intent every time a movie fan throws in a movie they have never seen before.  It takes a special kind of film to really impressive movie fans now.  A majority of directors have the right script or talents to pull of the film but rarely has the budget to pull off the ambitious film.  That brings me to The Man Who Collected Food.  With a title like that one would assume it was something other than a horror film.  In fact, it is hard to tell how many times I skipped over it on because I thought it was some sort of documentary or drama.  After kept recommending it to be I decided to venture to youtube where I saw the trailer and instantly ordered it.
     The film follows a compulsive food collector whose collection has consumed his life.  He refuses to eat anything from his collection and now calls the grocery story the food convention.  When he becomes hungry he simply goes into his walk-in freezer and kills one of his many victims depending on what kind of meat he wants.  No one knows about his obsession until one day his mother picks the lock to his freezer and discovers just how sick he is.  He kills her and before he can dispose of her corpse his crazy neighbor (who is covered in alien blood) discovers his dark secret and holds him at gun point.  While holding him at gun point those that are held hostage in his freezer break free and bloodshed ensues.   
     I love this movie and no amount of words can convey just how much I liked it.  This film takes a different approach to your typical horror film and offers a refreshing film that entertains.  The acting in this is great.  Every role was well cast and each actor and actress does an amazing job at portraying their character.  The cast definitely does their job which only makes the movie even more better.  The story is simple and brilliant all at the same time.  The director was able to take that simple story and make a dark film filled with humor.  Roth needs to return behind the camera and make more films just like this one because this is what the horror community really needs.  This movie also shows that simple, when in capable hands, is very effective.  Finally, the film is running over with blood and guts.  We get some amazing on screen kills and great special effects.  From watching the trailer I had no idea the film would be this gory.  I just assumed it was a straight forward black comedy but I was wrong.  This movie has all the blood and guts those sicker fans crave.  Overall, this a fun and entertaining film that will sadly go unnoticed by most horror fans.  I highly recommend it.