Monday, August 19, 2019

The Visitants

Director - Rick Sloane (Hobgoblin, Blood Theatre)
Starring - Marcus Vaughter (Nightmare Sisters, Sorority House Massacre), Jordana Capra (Hired to Kill, After Midnight), and Joel Hile (Deadly Friend, Surf Nazis Must Die)
Release Date - 1986
Genre - Sci-Fi/Comedy
Tagline - "There goes the neighborhood"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I absolutely love the 80s.  It was such an awesome fucking decade.  The music, the movies, the fashion, and everything else is just so fucking enjoyable to me.  I love when I toss in a movie from this decade and getting lost in the scenes.  Just staring at the backdrops of each scene to see everything from that time period.  These movies are such a nostalgic rush.  Sometime ago Vinegar Syndrome released a Rick Sloane double feature with Blood Theare and the sci-fi comedy The Visitants.  I was extremely excited to check out Blood Theatre but The Visitants was the real gem in this set.  Once again, thank you Vin Syn for sending this one over. 
     The story for this one follows a high school student who discovers that his neighbors are aliens who was sent to Earth 30 years ago to gather information on the planet before their forces invade the planet.  He finds them using a ray gun and tells his science teacher who then asks him to get his hands on it.  The student steals the ray gun and the aliens have to retrieve it at all costs.
     The Visitants is a bit of a black sheep on this release.  The film's poster is the reverse side of the blu artwork but the discs make no mention of the film.  Hell, I didn't realize it was in the set until I carefully read the special features.  With that being said, this movie was the highlight of this release.  I love movies centered around Halloween and those campy sci-fi comedies from the 80s are always fun.  The acting in this one is not perfect.  The characters are not traditional characters.  Instead, we are given characters that are goofy and unpredictable but the cast does a decent enough job.  The scenes are fun and that's all you can really ask for.  The story for this one blends 80s coming of age comedies with 50s and 60s sci-fi.  It is a bit of a simple story but I liked it.  The movie has a fun speed to it and a lot of camp.  I know many don't care for the film but I had a great time.  Finally, you will not be happy if you go into this looking for blood and gore.  We get some cheap sci-fi props and some DIY effects here and there but these are not the focus of the film.  Overall, The Visitants is just stupid fun.  If you are looking for an obscure 80s movie for your next late night watch then look no further.  Check this one out. 


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Blood Theatre

Director - Rick Sloane (Hobgoblin, The Visitants)
Starring - Mary Woronov (Night of the Comet, Warlock), Jenny Cunningham (Record City, Christiana), and Jonathan Blakely
Release Date - 1984
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Who will survive opening night"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Slashers from the 80s will always have a spot in my home.  I absolutely love slashers and any from the 80s are like crack to me.  I can't get enough.  Even if the movie sucks I still find myself enjoying certain aspects of it.  I get even more enjoyment when I come across an 80s slasher that I had never seen before.  Sometime ago Vinegar Syndrome released a Rick Sloane double feature that included his first feature film.  The 1984 Movie House Massacre would later get retitled as Blood Theatre which is not as cool as Movie House Massacre if you ask me.  Either way, I was excited to check this one out.  Thank you Vin Syn for sending this one my way.
     The film follows the employees of the Spotlite Theater who recently acquired another location that was closed due to a killing spree but they were not told about that by the owner.  They attempt to clean and reopen the theater but they unaware that the killer from before still stalks the theater. 
     I have a weird love for slashers.  I have fun even with the bad ones.  With that being said, Blood Theatre was all over the place.  I love goofy and cheesy horror films so I can usually look through generic characters and plots to find value but Blood Theatre is a slasher that doesn't know what it wants.  The acting in this one is solid but definitely has room for improvement.  The characters are extremely clichéd and flat but the cast still tried their best.  Some of the performances fall short but a majority are still enjoyable to watch.  The story for this one is a little confusing and struggles to find what kind of film it wants to be.  In a few scenes we get items flying off the shelves or being thrown around the room that felt like it was setting up for a strong supernatural setting but that falls out the window in the last portion of the film when we get the standard slasher fair.  The film almost feels like two different movies flowing together inside a theater before meshing together at the end.  Honestly, I enjoyed the first portion of the film a lot more than the slasher portion.  The slasher portion was just thrown together with no thought applied to it whatsoever.  Finally, the film has several deaths but they use camera tricks and camera cuts with minimal effects.  The viewer doesn't really get to enjoy the typical slasher deaths that they come to love.  Overall, Blood Theatre is a slasher that misses it's mark.  The first 45 minutes was actually very entertaining but that goes down hill once the murders start.  It does get bonuses points for being set at a theater but not enough to redeem it. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Death O'Lantern: The Remake

Release Date - 2019
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     I randomly get messages from people asking me for indie horror film recommendations.  I cover so many indie films at Horror Society so I often draw a blank but one name that I'm consistent in recommending is Chris Seaver and his many indie labels.  His Low Budget Productions, Midnight Kids Productions, and Warlock Home Video are all something that I avidly collect and have done so for many years.  Several months back I saw a post on Instagram that Warlock Home Video had remade one of their more popular slashers Death O'Lantern.  I had to own a copy so I reached out to the page and ordered a copy.  I'm glad I did because I absolutely enjoyed this one.  I haven't laughed that hard at a movie in a long ass time. 
     The film follows three friends that are part of a horror club in Sleepy Hollow.  Their love of horror and death has them getting involved in a murder and their investigation uncovers the old legend of Stingy Jack who has to kill 6 kids in order to become human again.  He was summoned by a local witch who has a hatred for Halloween after he mother was murdered on the day many years ago.  Now they must stop him before he get the 6 kills and in order to do so they must enlist the help of the toughest girl in town and the ancient magician Ichabod Crane.
     I've watched my fair share of Low Budget Pictures and all of the Midnight Kids Productions and Warlock Home Video releases and I have to say that this ties with The Weirdsies as my favorite film from their catalog.  This one was packed with laughs and hilariously raunchy dialogue.  The acting in this one is fun.  Warlock Home Video has a way of giving viewers unforgettable characters.  The acting may not be perfect but the characters are always entertaining and over the top.  They really have fun with their characters and it shows in each scene.  I do have to say that I was a little upset when I popped the disc in and was not greeted with the warlock that is a typical intro for the other Warlock releases.  The story for this one is mostly what we got in the first two films but with some added here and there to make it stand on it's own.  The portions that was taken from the previous films was still funny but the additional elements is what made this one so fucking funny.  Finally, the film has several on screen kills.  They use classic movie techniques and practical effects that are far from perfect but their intent is to deliver additional laughs.  The kills are modeled after classic slasher kills but with a Seaver twist.  Overall, Death O'Lantern: The Remake is a no budget horror comedy that delivers everything I love about indie horror.  Fans of sleazy slashers will want to check this one out. I highly recommend it.  

The Slit Mouthed Woman and Other Tales


Director - Dustin Mills (Applecart, Her Name Was Torment)
Starring - Joni Durian (Devil's Trail, Halloween Spookies), J. Ania Lupa (The Hornet's Disciples and the Scars She Left, Horndogs Beach Party), Haley Madison (Space Babes from Outer Space, In Memory Of)
Release Date - 2019
Genre - Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I've been writing reviews for about 8 years now and 6 of those have been here at Horror Society.  Sometime around 2014 I found Dustin Mills' film Puppet Monster Massacre on Amazon and grabbed a copy.  This looked like a movie right up my alley and it damn sure was.  I fucking loved the film.  I searched him out on Facebook and became friends with him.  It was around this time he was running a crowdfunding campaign for Easter Casket.  From this point on I was a fan and followed his career closely until the last few years when Facebook changed their algorithm.  I rarely see his posts now and there it times movies are released and I miss them.  Several months ago Mills' released the short anthology The Slit Mouthed Woman and Other Tales.  I ordered it and was finally able to finally check it out.  I'm glad I did because it was another fun one from an very talented filmmaker.  
     The segment The Slit Mouthed Woman follows a young married woman who is having an affair with another woman.  Her jealous husband finds out and kills her lover before disfiguring his wife with a pair of shears.  Now another young woman suspects that someone was following her and her roommate tells her the story of the Slit Mouthed Woman.  She laughs at the idea but that night she is visited by the disfigured woman and she is asked a very important question; is she pretty?
     I'm a huge fan of Dustin Mills.  His movies are always gorgeous, sexy, and intriguing.  He always brings something different to the table and his films really stand out against other indie horror flicks.  His last flick wasn't for me but that is the first film of his that I grabbed that I was not a fan of. I can't say that about many filmmakers.  The Slit Mouthed Woman and Other Tales was a fun short with several other shorts that were not as fun as SMW but still very enjoyable.  The acting was great.  We get performances from several prominent Ohio actresses.  Erin R. Ryan was great as the Slit Mouthed Woman.  She is extremely beautiful and skilled in front of the camera.  She made this performance her own and did a fantastic job with it.  She was not as benevolent as I was expecting but her sexy approach to the character still worked.  We also get great performances from Joni Durian and Haley Jay Madison.  Both have been is several films I've reviewed over the years and they never disappoint.  The supporting cast is solid as well.  Mills' has an eye for beauty and talent and this film is just another example of that.  The story for this one flows very well for the running time.  We get a sleazy take on a fun urban legend that fits right at home with other releases from Crumpleshack Films.  It does get rather slow in a few scenes but Mills' livens these up with some nudity which pulls the viewer right back in.  Finally, the film has several death scenes.  The gore isn't there but we get plenty of blood with some great practical effects.  The kills are rather generic but we do get some solid practical effects that at least make them fun.  Overall, The Slit Mouthed Woman and Other Tales is just what fans of Dustin Mills need while they are waiting for his next feature film.  He's an amazing filmmaker and this is just another prime example of why he has so many fans.  Check it out. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bigfoot Country

Director - Jason Mills (Beyond the Line, The Changing of Ben Moore)
Starring - Darren Andrichuk (Murder Box, Phantom), Kiana Passmore (3 Hours till Dead, Alone We Are Not), and Hans Potter (DC's Legends of Tomorrow, The Valley of the Rats)
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Horror has so many amazing sub-genres that are, sadly, subject to exploitation.  If a horror movie makes money then you can expect to see dozens, if not hundreds, of copy cats come out of the woodwork.  I'm a product of the 80s but I would give anything to have been born in the late 60s to live through the 70s when the drive-in was the thing to do.  All the classic monster, sci-fi, and exploitation films that played on those screens.  This was the golden age of bigfoot flicks.  So many classic sasquatch movies was released during the 70s.  Their success spawned so many horrible films that the sub-genre is now known for the shitty bigfoot costumes and the cheesy effects.  This is something that has continued to this day with several poor quality bigfoot flicks hitting store shelves a year.  Recently, I received the 2017 bigfoot flick Bigfoot Country in for review.  I had never heard of it before receiving it for review but I can never turn down a bigfoot flick.  
      The film follows four twenty-somethings that decide to go camping in the country.  They stop for lunch on the way and are warned not to camp in the woods but they refuse to listen to the man.  That night they find themselves being stalked by something hairy in the woods.  One of them has a gun and shoot at the creature which only angers the beast.  They split up and run but soon find that was a mistake and regroup only to find that the woods is full of other hairy beasts that want nothing more than to turn them into a snack.
     I hate giving a movie a negative review especially if it was sent to me but I refuse to lie.  Bigfoot Country was a rough one to sit through.  I try to always look at the positive for any movie but it was really difficult to find something with this one.  The acting in this one made me laugh a few times unintentionally.  The cast really gives their performances everything they have but in several of the scenes it comes across is overdramatic and comical.  Many of the more suspenseful scenes lose their affect due to the cast over doing it.  The cast really needed some direction.  The story for this one is one we have seen so many times especially in the bigfoot sub-genre.  Most of these films follows a group camping in the woods and are then harassed or stalked by bigfoot and we spend the majority of the film watching them try to escape the woods.  Nothing new here.  Sadly, the film struggles to find it's footing as well and we watch characters that you want to try to escape the bigfoot you only get a small glimpse of.  It is clear the team was just trying to throw together a quick film to sell over quality.  Finally, if you want blood and gore you will be disappointed here.  We get a little blood but most of the death take place off screen and the effects we do get are minimal.  Overall, Bigfoot Country was a struggle to finish.  I can usually find something positive with every movie I watch but this one is just so tossed together and rushed that I failed to find anything.  Crypto fans may want this one for their collection but this is one I can't recommend. 


The Devil's Nightmare

Director - Jean Brismee (Forges, Jean Rouch)
Starring - Erika Blanc (Kill Baby...Kill!, A Man for Emmanuelle), Jean Servais (Donkey Skin, Black Jesus), and Daniel Emilfork (Babel, Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!)
Release Date - 1971
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Nothing in your wildest imagination can prepare you for what happens"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     My Mondo Macabro marathon is coming to an end.  The movies I watched were very entertaining, sleazy, and fun but the last blu I tossed in just didn't sit well with me.  Up until this point I have watched 6 films on 5 blus.  The first three were fantastic.  I can see myself revisits a few of them.  Sadly, the last three were not up to my speed so to speak.  They missed their mark with me and I just did not have fun with them.  The last film in my Mondo Macabro is The Devil's Nightmare.  This 1971 Belgium production is another new one on me.  I hoped it was better than the previous two Greek exploitation flicks and I was lucky because this one was fun.  Once again I want to thank Mondo Macabro for sending this one my way.
     The film begins with a German general who discovers that his wife has given birth to a girl.  His family is cursed and the first daughter is to become an evil succubus so the general kills his daughters.  We move forward sometime and that general is living in a secluded castle with his servants when a bus full of tourists arrive seeking shelter.  He lets them in and they make themselves at home.  When some of them are found dead the rumors of the general and his family curse surfaces and the succubus becomes the talk of the tourists.  Many dismiss it as nonsense but are soon face to face with something far more sinister than they could have imagined.
     I love a good gothic horror film from the 70s.  Hammer killed during this time but there was still so many amazing gothic horror films from all around the world.  The Devil's Nightmare is a great period piece with some great atmosphere and characters.  I'm a little disappointed that I'm just now getting to check this one out.  The acting in this one is great.  I absolutely loved the characters.  Some were extremely clichéd but the film balances those out with some unforgettable characters.  The cast does a phenomenal job at bringing these characters to life.  I'm honestly impressed by the cast and what they were able to accomplish.  The story for this one works for the film but it does have several extremely predictable scenes that you will see coming from a mile away.  I loved the dark atmosphere the film is able to capture along with the gothic scenery.  It works for the film and really makes the story that much more fun.  It does move on the slower side but the viewer will enjoy the character's interaction especially those involving the priest.  Finally, if you want blood and gore you will be disappointed.  We do get a few death scenes but they use camera tricks with minimal practical effects.  Overall, The Devil's Nightmare is a fantastic late night horror watch.  The characters are very entertaining and the story does have it's moments.  Don't let the predictable story ruin a fun late night movie watch.  Check it out now on blu from Mondo Macabro.  


Monday, August 12, 2019

Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling

Director(s) - Joe Murray (Camp Lazlo: Where's Lazlo?, Rocko's Modern Life) and Cosmo Segurson (Pig Goat Banana Cricket, The Green Sheik)
Starring - Carlos Alazraqui (The Fairly OddParents, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob Squarepants, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon), and Charlie Adler (Transformers, Cars)
Release Date - 2019
Genre - Comedy
Format - Streaming (Netflix)

Rating (out of 5):
     I was born in the middle of the 80s so I grew up in the later part of the decade and all of through the 90s.  A lot of my friends were Disney fans and were obsessed with WWF but I was a huge Nickelodeon fan that loved WCW and ECW.  Shows like Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, AAAHH Real Monsters, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Rocko's Modern Life were some of my favorite shows.  Hell, I still watch these on DVD that I've picked up from Shout Factory several years ago.  When Netflix announced their Rocko's Modern Life reboot I was shitting my pants.  As it got closer to the release date it was announced that it was not a new show but a special for Netflix.  When it was released last week I didn't have time to check it out until now.  I was a bit upset that the film is only 45 minutes log but I still fucking loved it.  It was amazing and definitely catered to fans of the original show and not reimage it for the younger crowd.
     The special picks up 20 years after Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert has been shot into space when a Conglom-O rocket went through Rocko's home.  While looking out the window they discover that the rocket's control is stuck to Heffer's butt and they are able to use it to return to O-Town.  However, their town is not the way they left it and an accounting error caused by Ed Bighead has caused Conglom-O to go bankrupt which financially cripples the town.  Rocko is fearful of all the change and wants to bring back his favorite show The Fatheads but needs their creator and Ed Bighead's son Ralph to do that.  The revenue from the show would be enough to stop Conglom-O from going under.  His journey takes him all over the world where he witnesses all the changes the world has went through in the last 20 years and how change is a good thing in some aspects.  He is able to find Ralph, who is now Rachel, and convinces her to bring the show back and save O-Town.
     I couldn't hold my excitement when I turned on Netflix and hit play on Static Cling.  I honestly despise Netflix aside from their originals.  I much prefer Hulu but Netflix was worth it's weight in gold when I finished the special.  It was just as clever, funny, and raunchy as the show was with a more modern look.  The voice acting in this is one takes me right back to the mid-90s.  The special pulls together the talent from the original run to reprise many of the characters that made the film so much fun.  These voices are iconic and Netflix did the right thing by bringing on the original cast.  The story for this one works for a 45 minute special.  It brings Rocko's Modern Life into 2019 and the humor that was there in the original run is applied to the modern setting.  The humor is spot on and the delivery is extremely effective.  I was laughing harder at the satire in this than I do at most modern comedies and that's really saying something.  Finally, the animation is the same style as the show.  Instead of opting for a newer approach, they went back to the drawing the storyboard by hand.  This does give the viewer that classic 90s cartoon look and sets it out from other animated films and shows currently under the New Releases tab on Netflix.  Overall, Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling is a trip back to my childhood when bills didn't matter and I could really enjoy the shows on television without life consuming every thought.  It was fun with the short running time being my only complaint.  Check it out. 

The Deserter

THE DESERTER - Coming soon to Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro from Mondo Macabro on Vimeo.

Director - Christos Kefalas (Snoken, Hemresa)
Starring - Hristos Politis (To the Last Man, Hell in the Aegean), Franca Parisi (Atom Age Vampire, The White Angel), and Stephanos Stratigos (Proud Eagles, Fire and Blood)
Release Date - 1970
Genre - Drama/Romance
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I had a bad taste in my mouth after watching The Wild Pussycat.  I love exploitation and all the creative sub-genres that spawned from it but I can quickly tell that Greek exploitation was something in it's own right.  The double feature from Mondo Macabro had a second Greek exploitation film titled The Deserter.  This 1970 film was another first time watch for me but I would be lying if I said I was excited to see it.  If The Wild Pussycat was the main attraction I could only imagine the quality of film the second billed film was going to be.
     The film follows a military deserter who is running from the horrors of war.  After running for what feels like forever he decided to stop by a small pond to cool off.  A woman that lives nearby spots him and the two immediately get a sexual attraction.  The woman is too shy to make her move so she decides to steal his clothes and run away.  The man wonders to a farm nearby where a lonely housewife takes him in and hides him in the barn where a relationship blooms.  Her husband often neglects her sexual needs for work so she seeks it out with the deserter.  However, the young girl from earlier is the housewife's cousin and a love triangle begins with the woman fighting for his attention.  The young, shy woman refuses to let go of him and turns to a witch to make him love her.
     I really do dislike writing negative reviews for movies sent to me for review.  I always try to remain respectful and find positive things within the film but I can't like everything sent my way.  The Deserter was a step up over TWP but it wasn't as good as I had hoped.  The acting in this one is a step up over the other film.  The characters are a little more detailed and the cast has something to work with.  They do a great job at taking those characters and taking them off the paper.  With that being said, they are still rather clichéd and their scenes are very predictable.  The story for this one does flow like a day time soap but tosses in a few twists here and there.  I really enjoyed the dark atmosphere centered around the witch but this aspect was not fully explored.  There is so many amazing possibilities with this and the film did itself a disservice by not fully exploring it.  The film movies at a slow pace and mostly hits like a romantic drama.  There is several scenes that are just too long and the interactions between the characters is just all wrong for the tempo of the scene.  Finally, if you want blood and gore you will need to seek it elsewhere.  However, if you want a character driven romance with some dark moments then you are in luck.  Overall, The Deserter is not an amazing film but it does deserve at least one watch.  It does have it's moments but no replay value what so ever.  


Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Wild Pussycat

WILD PUSSYCAT promo teaster #2! from Mondo Macabro on Vimeo.

Director - Dimis Dadiras (A House in the Clouds, Taxi Driver)
Starring - Kostas Prekas (Intimate Relations, City's Jungle), Gisela Dali (Lust for Sex, The Executioner), and Maria Foka (The Runaway Kid, Naked in the Street)
Release Date - 1969
Genre - Crime
Tagline - "Purring on the outside.  Seething on the inside"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
        I've been slowly working my way through my Mondo Macabro films that was sent to me for review.  I believe I have six blus with seven movies total so it wasn't that big of a task but finding time between work and home life seems rather difficult right now.  I'm finally moving forward with getting my house repaired after the fire.  My time has been very limited but I have been able to work through several releases which brings me to Mondo's double feature with two Greek exploitation films.  The first is The Wild Pussycat which was finished in 1969 and released in the early 70s. 
     The film follows a young woman who lost her sister recently.  She killed herself after she was in an abusive relationship with a man.  He was cheating on her and was often physically and emotionally abusive to her which was the reason she took her life.  She plans her revenge on the man.  She lures him back to her place and drugs him.  She then puts him in a room and chains him up like a dog with a two way mirror.  He can see out but no one can see in.  He is then subject to her perverse acts with no way or touching her or satisfying himself.
      I was not a fan of Bloodlust.  The movie was way too slow with no atmosphere and a story you could see coming.  Out of the Mondo Macabro releases in my marathon this was the weakest one.  I was hoping that The Wild Pussycat would take me back to a more enjoyable release but the film could barely hold my attention.  I wanted to like it but I just couldn't.  The acting in this one is strange.  I get every culture or society has different ways of doing things but the acting in this film is just odd.  The characters make eye contact briefly before their eyes bounces around like they are high on speed.  The dialogue has no emotions behind them and the scenes are painfully dry.  Even the scenes that are meant to be sexy fall flat because the cast has no dedication to their role.  The story for this one moves at a snails pace and does not have the affect on the viewer that was intended.  The movie tries to be sexy while flirting with being a thriller but all it really does is put the viewer to sleep.  The sex or sexy scenes are so underwhelming that you may get the impression that this is a parody.  If you can make it through this film in one sitting I will be thoroughly impressed.  Finally, if you want blood and gore you wont find it here.  The film is a character piece that relies heavily on the character's interactions.  Overall, The Wild Pussycat is not the film I was expecting.  I'm a huge fan of exploitation and I was expecting a fun sexploitation flick.  Instead, I get something else that just wasn't for me.