R-RATED REVIEWS

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So, we can’t animate fast enough to give you Scream Freaks full blown reviews of all the horror movies we’ve been watching lately, but we can give ya our straight shoot’n thoughts in bite size chunks. We like to think you trust our opinions, but remember, we’re fans of Killer Tomato movies!

Look up a review: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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BA’AL (2008)

While globetrottin’ archaeologists are busy stoppin’ a geezer from cheatin’ death by resurrectin’ a thunder god named Ba’al, the US military’s weather department’s got its own movie goin’ on with scientists debatin’ whether or not to nuke the destructive storms caused by the supernatural quest. This ain’t that bad of a watch for Syfy flick, but it could be so much better. Mainly because its competin’ stories never intersect ‘nough, the more interestin’ actors are never in the same scene together, and the titular big bad is barely present as an abstract face in the clouds. Careless excavations, medallion collectin’, CG energy beams, “London Bridge is blowin’ away, blowin’ away,” sky dustin’, jet rides, impalement, godly resurrections, and security guards ironically bein’ the only reason a museum heist even happens! 2/5!

SLASH (2002)

The lead singer of Slash returns to the MacDonald family farm to bury his dead aunt, but engine trouble leaves him and his band stranded and strugglin’ to prepare a new album while a Jeepers Creepers wannabe’s out to kill ’em fer his blood harvest. An overall solid flick outta South Africa, this fantastic lookin’ horror keeps up a great pace with subtle laughs and escalatin’ danger. If only it had a tougher soundin’ soundtrack and more creative kills with the exception of the rocker turned to minced meat with a hay baler. ’90s soundin’ emo rock concerts, horse shit doobies, barnyard burials, human matchsticks, rural rituals, belly button bitin’, sex without boobs, car wrecks, hints of a Halloween party openin’, soup can shootin’, tarot card readin’, stabbin’s, impalement, and barn fires! 4/5!

MOMMY (1995)

When a gold diggin’ murderer of a mama with man hands kills her daughter’s 5th grade teacher for not recognizin’ her for academic excellence, she’s gotta cover her tracks with even more murders while bein’ investigatin’ as the prime suspect in her last two husbands’ deaths. More Ruin My Lifetime thriller of the week than horror, this is a very respectable well-put-together flick on a budget but could stand to punch up the energy more and stop belaborin’ the nitty gritty details of every scene. Big plus is includin’ scream queen royalty Brinke Stevens (who doesn’t die or take her top off) as the concerned aunt, and Jason Miller as a weathered cop. Fatal freefalls off ladders, miscast hotties playin’ electrocuted janitors, junkyard chases, dead guard dogs, gunshots to the chest, and stranger danger interviews! 3/5!

GHOST CAGE aka THE JAILHOUSE (2009)

I could tell ya this flick’s ’bout a deputy slowly bein’ possessed by homicidal spirits in a antiquated jailhouse his family’s gotta share with temporarily displaced criminals upstairs, but accordin’ to the face slappin’ endin’ outta left field, none of that matters, ’cause this is all a meaningless dream or some bullshit after a fella somehow traps himself in the dump on a drunk dare. This flick has its fair share of sours, don’t get me wrong, but it coulda quietly rolled credits as a respectable movie with sharp camerawork and an engagin’ cast if not for its nosedive endin’. These sours include a lack of a backstory or legend to understand what kinda evil’s even goin’ on, combatin’ story perspectives, lack of family drama, and the ridiculous idea a female prisoner would ever be left to mingle with a pack of male convicts no matter how backwoods a town is. Do yerself a favor and skip this one. Lead pipe fightin’, head bashin’, bullet swallowin’ suicide, stranglin’, attempted rape, young’n punchin’, eerie young’n portraits with CG-eyes, possessions, wall-art girlfriends, and geezers on the can! 2/5!

THE KINDRED aka ANTHONY (1987)

When a scientist’s hospitalized mama asks him to destroy her secret experiments at his childhood home, little does he or his helpin’ friends know she created a squid boy with his DNA in the basement who’s lookin’ for his next meal. A bit of a slowburn, the actin’s good and the special effects are great, but I have a gripe with the evil Arcane-kinda scientist in the background who’s motives for stealin’ the secrets to creatin’ a race of squid folk never really makes sense. Even more confusin’ is what exactly his spy got into that mutates her into a gill woman by the end. Car flippin’, car wrecks, backseat beasts, bottled beastoid babies, lullabies for monsters, maintenance man murders, dead dogs, monstrous transformations, and explosions! 3/5! 

UNDERWATER (2020)

A minin’ operation six miles underwater is suddenly goin’ to shit in a handbasket, and as a handful of survivors in deep sea mech suits hurry to escape a watery grave, they discover a school of hungry sea monsters from the Mariana Trench are to blame. A creature feature that hits the ground runnin’, this special effects bonanza watches like a video game with a buncha nobodies racin’ the clock to make a series of checkpoints while fightin’ their way through an escalatin’ threat of mean marine life that culminates in a titanic boss battle. As light as all this is on character development, however, the flick still manages to make me care who lives or dies after awhile and creates ‘nough solid tension to make this an instant classic ‘mong sea monster fans. Implodin’ miners, human chum, lucky rabbit dolls, leg rippin’, explosive meltdowns, testicle lookin’ worm critters, wraith lookin’ sea vamps, mountain size monsters, escape pods, crushin’ depths, mile hikes through total darkness, and crawlspace corpses! 4/5!

CAVED IN: PREHISTORIC TERROR (2006)

A gang of criminals swindle an exotic tour guide to take ’em spelunkin’ through Swiss mines so they can steal emeralds, but no one expected to run into big-ass CG beetles wantin’ to bite ’em all in half. A better than average TV movie from SyFy, this creature feature’s gotta tight script with plenty of danger, characters worth rootin’ for, surprising gore, and predictable but satisfyin’ outcomes. Nothin’ sour to really speak of other than the unconvincin’ bug effects. Monstrous chases, disembowelin’, metaphorical and literal backstabbin’ galore, heads cut in half, decapitations, blood spewin’, bullets to the lungs, pew pew lasers, cave ins, fall apart rubble, grapplin’ hooks, shotgun action, rope bridges, big boss bug queens, beetle eggs galore, faulty elevators, and severed hands! 4/5! 

HAUNTED MAZE (2017)

It’s sometime ’round Halloween, and the cops stick a fright wig carnival clown in their tiny basement to watch the most amazin’ compilation of security footage ever assembled, hopin’ it’ll bust him for killin’ a gang of teens in a haunted house attraction. This waste of celluloid halfheartedly tries to go for some kinda Hannibal Lecter match of wits tension ‘tween the cops and their psycho in grease paint, but all they manage to produce is feature length B-roll with zero character, alotta incohesive meanderin’, and slasher who’s as scary as forgettin’ to lock yer doors at night. This flick has to be by folks who jumped at the chance to shoot a horror movie in a Halloween attraction on short notice. School house on the prairie massacre, axes to the head, flash of a clown nipple, chained and caged teenage cowgirls, mouths sewn shut, and merry go-rounds! 1/5!

ALLIGATOR (1980)

After a little’s girl’s pet gator’s flushed down the drain, she’s reunited with it years later as it emerges from Chicago’s polluted sewers as a flesh hungry beast of gargantuan size the whole police force has gotta put down. Arguably the best ‘gator movie out there, this is a well paced creature feature that keeps the action rollin’, the gore flowin’, and the monster footage at just the right suspension of disbelief without savin’ all the good stuff ’til the very end like Jaws. I love all the monstrous mayhem in downtown Chicago with hunts through its labyrinth of underground tunnels and was impressed with how a young’n bein’ accidentally marched into the gator’s chops hit me harder than any of this thing’s dog deaths. Severed arms and legs galore, fishin’ for body parts, sewer chases, attempted psycho-bombers, explosions, political garden party massacres, mangled politicians, crushed cars, monster eruptin’ sidewalks, gator wrestlin’, male pattern baldness, evil corporations pollutin’ the wildlife into bigger mutant critters without knowin’ it, inappropriate teasin’ over a fellow cop’s death on the job, science animal testin’, dogs with snipped vocal cords, boobs ‘tween the sheets, pits full of dead pets, and pirate lovin’ young’ns unknowingly walkin’ planks into gator infested pools! 4/5!

CRAWL (2019)

As if outrunnin’ a mean hurricane weren’t bad ‘nough, a rough ‘n tough swimmer’s gotta rescue her dad from a labyrinth of a crawlspace under their house that’s floodin’ with big ass CG gators. A well executed nail bitter that hits on all cylinders with plenty of what-would-ya-do moments, the only thang I’m a little turned off by is how superhuman our Joe Blow heroes are after numerous run-ins with their monstrous co-stars that shoulda left ’em in a lot worse shape. I’d imagine someone can only be chomped on the legs and arms so many times ‘fore those limbs are useless, and I don’t care how much fight or flight adrenaline’s pumpin’ through yer stringbean body, you ain’t matchin’ strength with a animal that hits with the force of a dump truck! Canine tag-alongs who’re never hurt, gator babies, spiders, rats, severed arms, lootin’ massacres, head rippin’, and gators eatin’ bullets! 4/5!

RAGING ANGELS (1995)

When a disgraced wannabe rocker’s girlfriend gets pegged to sing at a cult’s nationally broadcast concert preachin’ the pros of one world order, it’s the spiritual brawl of the ’90s as holy rollers convince him these coalitionists are in cahoots with the devil himself, and he needs to rescue her from an unholy assassination that’s supposed to kick off doomsday somehow. Overall, this is a respectable flick with some decent actin’ and tunes that plays like a live action version of Rock n’ Rule, but nowhere near as cool. This flick drags its feet gettin’ the action underway, has too few demonic scenes reserved for the last half hour of its runtime, and a less than epic endin’ featurin’ a fight ‘tween an angel and demon that curiously replaces its awesomely costumed actors with silly CGI stunt doubles. Holy cross defenses, computer warped face demon young’ns, fatal stairfalls, dead grannies, drunk drivin’, baby carriage decoys, car wrecks, holy interventions, collect calls to hell, conspiracy theory assassinations, demonic electricity, killer fridges, spirit vision, and flyin’ shadow demons! 2/5!

BURIAL GROUND aka THE NIGHTS OF TERROR (1981)

It’s as simple as it gets. A professor of somethin’ ‘nother disturbs a catacomb full of pajama shirt wearin’ zombies covered in creepy crawlies, and they don’t waste any time marchin’ to the house next door to disembowel every horn dog inside. Nothin’ more, nothin’ less. But while these Italian slow-peds from the grave are scarier than most with their ability to scale walls, use tools, and logically think through how to get ya, all that’s overshadowed by one of the most hysterically bizarre supportin’ characters I’ve ever seen captured on celluloid, the disturbin’ man-child, Michael. Not only can I not tell if he’s a miniature man playin’ a young boy or some teen with a growth disorder (much less grasp how the filmmakers want me to perceive him), but his weirdo vibe is magnified by an incestuous relationship with his mama that ends with her nipple gettin’ bit off like a rubber chew toy. Guarantee this image will imprint itself in yer brain fer better or worse! Blondes in beartraps, nails ripped through hands, danglin’ maid bait, flesh eatin’ galore, intestine gnawin’, severed arms and hands, head puntin’, lotta disembowelment, pendin’ circular saw death, undead monks, glass impaled faces, nipple chewin’, inappropriate touchin’ ‘tween relatives, boobs ‘tween the sheets, and head bashin’ on the tub! 2/5!

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT (2020)

Spoilers, ahead for what shoulda been called You Should Have Left This Movie Alone! Kevin Bacon takes his Fast and Furious trophy wife and their little girl from Hollywood to a remote getaway home in Wales for some R&R, and after an hour of family drama regardin’ his troubled past as a high rollin’ banker cleared of killin’ his wife, the movie finally starts to resemble a horror with the house turnin’ into some supernatural cat and mouse maze of the devil’s for trappin’ sin-ridden souls like Kevin’s. Why? ’cause after convincin’ the audience he didn’t kill his first wife the whole flick, it turns out he really let her drown in a tub outta hate when he coulda easily yanked her out. This is too much metaphorical, the hero’s their own worst enemy bullshit for me. There’s never ‘nough of a blatant physical threat to the characters, it takes forever to get to the horror, the openin’ scene makes no sense, and the endin’s anythin’ but satisfyin’ for everythin’ I sat through. The actin’ and cinematography is great, the story just sucks. Cheatin’ affairs, supernatural time travelin’, peepin’ toms with polaroids, tub ghosts, manic mazes, face bashin’ with crutches, evil doppelgangers, and yer best weapon in a house of the devil is a right angle! 2/5! 

DELIRIUM (1987) 

Someone’s killin’ a skin mag’s models for dead photoshoots to taunt their boss lady with and everyone from the competin’ publisher to the vulgar cripple next door is suspect. As if an ’80s who-dunnit spaghetti slasher with boobs wasn’t enticin’ ‘nough to watch this, the filmmakers make it even more entertainin’ with its killer who’s both a sweet and sour. Sweet, ’cause they’re someone seein’ the world through weird-o-vision, somewhat creatively killin’ girls they see as eyeball creatures and bee girls, but sour ’cause this madness and random method of murder is never explained. Best the filmmakers give us is the slasher’s motive for killin’ which is neither sensible or convincin’ due to an absent trigger for settin’ ’em off on a murder spree to begin with. Killer bee death, dead girl photoshoots, clothin’ store massacres, faked deaths, fatal hit and runs, boobs in the pool, pitchfork impalin’, dick shootin’, Hitchcock nods, Prom Night nods, movie biz romances that go nowhere, boobs in the sauna, bodies in the pool, publication buyouts, dumpster babes, cross dressin’, rape with a blacklight, nightmare jumpscares, killer bee keepers, and mood-ring vision! 3/5!

HELLBOY (2019)

In this unnecessary reboot of the first Hellboy from 2004, fans of the indie comic and the first two flicks starrin’ Ron Perlman are once ‘gain subjected to the paranormal investigator’s hellish origins with even his pops dyin’ all over ‘gain, but this time the big bad threat of Rasputin’s return is switched out for a powerful witch from King Arthur’s time who wants to usher in a new age of monsters while temptin’ Hellboy with his destiny as its D-Day overlord. With more than ‘nough new material in this flick to separate it from its predecessors, this newest movie really just needs to be a sequel with snippets of exposition to catch clueless viewers up on who and what Hellboy is. But rehashes of the origin aside, this is a fun, sharp lookin’ flick that not only keeps up the momentum of fantasy action started by the other movies but continues to expand Hellboy’s world as seen in his comics. David Harbour perfectly carries the movie as its title demon and is only hindered by a story that slaps one too many myths, legends, and quests together in addition to includin’ alotta expendable scenes and backstories that should’ve been cut. Fairy nappin’ babies, changelin’ piggies, boar men, jaw rippin’ and eatin’, human shish kabob, hellish eruptions, Merlyn’s undead corpse, witchy body part puzzles, were-jaguars, giant brawlin’, impalin’, stabbin’, shootin’, monstrous kisses, Mexican vampire wrestlin’, monstrous transformations, Rasputin, WWII Nazis, portals to hell, monsters galore, Excaliber, Baba Yaga scenes, contortionists chasin’, bone suckin’, decapitations, electric spear chuckin’, monk massacres, umbilical cord ghosts, mediums, poison twigs, folks split in half, corpse piles, and spirits of ’40s Nazi huntin’ super heroes! 4/5!

MAUSOLEUM (1983)

Decades after a blonde bombshell makes contact with her family’s demon in a mausoleum, the evil within her finally kicks into high gear for no real reason and turns her into a homicidal sex addicted demonoid her shrink’s gotta exorcise in as bafflin’ fashion as it arrived. While the rules of this green eyed curse from hell are kinda all over the place, this is still a fun watch with well paced punches of nudity right outta Playboy Forum followed by some pretty graphic gore. Flirtin’ and bumpin’ uglies with the gardner, explodin’ heads, supposed gardenin’ tool kills, mind control face meltin’ with eyeball poppin’, slashin’ from ‘cross the room, levitatin’ aunts, fatal freefalls that end with impalement on mall art, art theft, boobs in the tub, handful of topless scenes, demonic transformations, attics full of corpses, hypnosis, crown of thorns exorcisms, funerals, fireballs on wheels, and demonic boobs eatin’ through guys’ chests! 4/5! 

DOPPELGANGER (1993)

In one of the most bafflin’ flicks I’ve ever seen, Drew Barrymore’s sufferin’ an identity crises like no other and has to convince everyone it ain’t her killin’ her rich family members, but a ghostly doppelganger that’s been tauntin’ her for decades. Luckily, she bangs her new roommate into bein’ her puppy-dog protector, and nothin’ will stop him from exposin’ the truth behind all her craziness. This ’90s erotica is essentially a Ruin My Lifetime thriller of the week ’til a monstrous finale comes right outta left field and restores our faith in it as a horror at the last possible minute. A finale, I gotta say, that makes very little sense! When it turns out Drew legit suffers from a multiple personality disorder, it’s then revealed her doppelganger’s really been her Scooby villain of a shrink this whole time, manipulatin’ her with an ensemble of rubber masks for her fortune. But that twist is instantly overshadowed by an even more outrageous turn of events when Drew’s body twirls into a worm that becomes a cocoon for two stumblin’ meat puppets on sticks, throwin’ everythin’ I think is goin’ on out the window! Loony bin assassinations, stabbin’s galore, Scooby-Doo mask unveilin’s, blood spewin’ showers with boobs, sexy-solo dancin’, daddy issues, awkwardly dubbed FBI agents, bogus nightmare scares, questionable monster footage, fatal freefalls on fence posts, monstrous puppets, and a pointless build-up to an even more pointless scene with a sex phone operator with all the answers that ‘mount to jack squat when all’s said and done! 4/5! 

PANDAMONIUM (2020)

A slasher fer hire in a ridiculous panda/skull mask crashes a sexist law firm’s office party full of strippers and goes on a stabbin’ spree ’til we learn who (obviously) hired him and why. Nothin’ too wild or memorable ’bout this flick aside from the killer himself, but it’s an easy fun watch to pass some time. Could stand more creative kills, boobs fer all the strippers it packs in, and better color correctin’, ’cause the post work on the footage looks like shit. Neck stabbin’, corporate ladder bloodbaths, severed penises, restroom bangin’, blowjobs, head stabbin’, back stabbin’, door slammin’ decapitations with humorous stunt dummy heads, costumed themed strippers, booger sugar, and MacGuyvered weapons from office supplies! 3/5!

IMPACT EVENT (2018)

If ya read this movie’s description, it basically says the Earth has fallen into shambles after an asteroid hits it, and a handful of folks shacked up in a haunted funhouse have to defend their d-day home from a roamin’ band of cannibals. In reality, 90% of this sucker is folks goin’ over the measures one needs to take for survivin’ a radiated wasteland like a church-funded instruction video, 5% is Michael Berryman showin’ up long ‘nough to collect a cameo paycheck and split, and the last few handful of minutes is dedicated to the whole hook that got us to watch this dud with the self-proclaimed cannibals (yup, all mentioned in passin’) bein’ effortlessly killed in the funhouse. A valiant effort for an apocalyptic flick that flies by without alotta noticeable drag, the biggest fault of this movie is simply not exploitin’ its own material ‘nough for a more entertainin’ story that can be as engagin’ as educational as it’s tryin’ to be. More funhouse and cannibalism, period. Prison breaks, fire sales on hazmat suit, bullets to the head, radiation worries galore, stabbin’s, and celebrities playin’ supportin’ characters from their own kitchens! 2/5!

MONSTER ARK (2008)

In this Syfy original, an Indiana Jones wannabe discovers the location of a second Noah’s ark said to contain some monstrous doomsday cargo and unexpectedly releases a rock ’em sock ’em video game creature in the Middle East he’s gotta stop with the help of secret societies, Xena: Warrior Princess alum, and Deebo from Friday as the comic relief. An overall interestin’ premise Tim DeKay wonderfully energizes with his lively performance as the lead tomb raider, the only real sour I find with this made for TV movie is how its pacin’ ain’t quite in sync with its escalation of danger with the action kinda startin’ and stoppin’ with folks goin’ on all these treasure huntin’ quests right after the monster’s on the loose. Tomb raidin’, Raiders of the Lost Ark nods, pit falls, excavation massacres, stabbin’s, secret orders, scroll studyin’, and gun fights! 3/5!

DEVIL’S JUNCTION: HANDY DANDY’S REVENGE (2019)

In this web of plots within plots, a fella invites his friends to an abandon TV station his pop buys, and they end up ambushed by a gang of evil ventriloquist dummies. Turns out their master is Mr. Jolly, the presumed dead host of an ol’ kids show, and he needs to sacrifice the gang of horndogs to extend his life while sharin’ melodramatic banter with a hogtied Bill Moseley who’s on his own Masonic mission. This is entertainin’ to say the least, but could be waaay better. The characters were all one trait away from bein’ interestin’, there’s some confusin’ parallel action with a welder killin’ girls, Handy Dandy could stand to be more front and center as the hook for seein’ this thang, and I don’t even know what the hell’s bein’ done to the two chicks at the end of the movie. Well shot and decently acted, ya could do much worse for a killer puppet movie. Severed hands, life or death pong, hand tied nookie with blood splattered boobs, leg carvin’, face carvin’, rough beauty makeovers, hangin’s, possessions, super blood moons, magical Masonic relics, magical CGI portals, and masked killers! 3/5!

THE HOARDER (2015)

A chick goes huntin’ for a diary in her fiance’s storage unit for reasons that’re unimportant to the plot and ends up trapped in the underground facility with a handful of nobodies bein’ chased by some nut hellbent on makin’ ’em permanent residents who suck liquid meals like hamsters through stapled lips. All the sours in this flick can be pinned on its failure to properly develop believable characters worth carin’ ’bout. Every interestin’ yahoo with any screen presence is takin’ out too soon, the supposed cop’s presence is never explained, the lead chick’s slightly confusin’ quest for the diary ‘mounts to jack shit and results in a forced endin’ with her fiance that’s just stupid, and the villain makes absolutely no sense. Why does he feel compelled to capture and care for every rando that stumbles in from the street? Wouldn’t someone like this be more selective with a type he goes after? Throat slittin’, lip stapplin’, kidnappin’ galore, teeth removal with a chisel, stabbin’, storage unit squatters, elevator escapes, and accidental shootin’s! 2/5! 

SHOCKING DARK aka TERMINATOR 2 (1989)

When a corporation’s research site under the polluted ruins of a quarantined Venice goes to hell in a hand basket, they send in a laughable mix of commandos to investigate and fight fer their lives ‘gainst mutant muck men and cyborgs. An Italian copycat of Aliens with a dash of The Terminator at the very end, this is entertainin’ ’80s trash with alotta humorous dialogue, respectable effects, and cheesy action. As great as it starts out, however, it unfortunately loses steam ’bout halfway through and drags things out with a fair ‘mount of pissin’ time ’til the story takes some unexpected turns with time travel. Tough talkin’ chicks who like to randomly give gifts in the middle of missions, surfer dude commandos, circuit board faces, wire wounds, chest bursterin’ mutants, cocooned victims, time travelin’ bunkers, electrocuted cyborgs, pregnant pauses galore, leather vests that disappear and reappear like magic, lost young’ns who look way too ol’ for pigtails, hand bitin’, and gunfire galore! 3/5! 

EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET (2020)

A priest boards a plane for ‘nam with Bill Moseley’s possessed corpse, and unexpectedly finds himself rescuin’ a plane full of horror icons from demonic rinse repeat possessions ambushin’ ’em through the ventilation system. A fun time in the unfriendly skies where Catholic horror meets the disaster film, this genre shake-up is never borin’ and brings a lot of familiar horror favorites together in a way more satisfyin’ way than Death House ever does. The only sours I can fault it for are its inconsistent comic delivery that teeters ‘tween the extremes of a Troma movie and the slapstick sight gags of flicks like Airplane!, and its lack of escalatin’ danger that gets pretty derivative toward the end. Kelli Maroney breast feedin’ a Dwarf boy with Tourette, barf bag rippin’ upchuckin’ galore, nacho cheese lookin’ face melts, bodily pools of adulterers, head spinnin’ doggy style mile-high club initiations, booger lips, bloody tampon jokes galore, drinkin’ and flyin’, ammo packin’ crosses, bullets to the head, fatal freefalls through windows, The Exorcist nods, possessions galore, topless nun on nun action, Bill Moseley on the wing, The Twilight Zone nods, explodin’ muscle heads, terrorists with removable nose bombs, rabbis makin’ out with priests, Adrienne Barbeau scalped by a re-animated pooch, wacky tobacky smokin’, and a nutty plan for freezin’ a demon to the point of defeat! 4/5!

THE TURNING (2020)

It’s the ’90s for no good reason, and a college gal with a loony bin mom to support takes a job homeschoolin’ some dead rich couple’s orphaned kids she eventually thinks are out to get her, possibly under the influence of a child molestin’ rapist’s ghost. This flick looks promisin’ with its polished camerawork and interestin’ lookin’ cast, but tarnations, the story sucks sooo bad. There’s no real tension, very little scares, the kids in Problem Child 2 and Mr. Nanny come off more threatenin’ than these feather weight yard monsters, and the whole ghost angle never comes together in any satisfyin’ way ‘fore the movie abruptly wraps up in one of the most vague endin’s I’ve seen since Mulholland Drive. Waste of time and film. Creepy mannequins, bodies in the pool pranks, maze mansions, bedtime creepers, accidental murders, nightmare psych-outs, whipped horses, koi stompin’, and filmmakin’ bullshit galore! 2/5!

CRUEL JAWS aka JAWS 5 (1995)

In this unofficial spaghetti Jaws sequel from Italy, a beach town’s become chum for  a shark that’s supposedly trained by the military to be a killin’ machine, and the only hope for stoppin’ the hungry stock footage is a marine biologist who can’t tell tiger sharks from great whites, and a Hulk Hogan wannabe tryin’ to save his water park from greedy real estate mobsters exploitin’ the attacks. Cruel Jaws not only saves ya the trouble of watchin’ every Jaws flick by combinin’ each one’s plot points into a single feature, but even throws in bits from ‘nother spaghetti Jaws copycat, The Last Shark! Yup, it’s guilt-free copyright infringement at its most absurd, and I’m laughin’ from beginnin’ to end with its creative re-editin’ of all too familiar stories with a comically low-budget approach. Dolphin performers, seal pranks, sail boat races, shark huntin’ teens, Lex Luthor wannabes, copycat tunes that lift from John Williams’s greatest hits like Star Wars and Superman, big plastic shark heads, wheelchair young’ns, sharks vs helicopters, chewed up scuba divers, Chrissie wannabes, sunken ship finales right outta Jaws 4 without the tension, and shark attack spectators! 4/5! 

THE HUNGER (1983)

After a bloodsuckin’ David Bowie confusingly shrivels up into a livin’ corpse, his ice queen of a vamp lover sticks him in a pine box with other past flings and effortlessly seduces a clueless Susan Sarandon into a scissorin’ fang bang that ends as soon as it starts. Arguably the most pretentious vampire flick ever committed to celluloid, this melodrama’s full of classical overtures, slow-mo doves, artsy nudity, and aloof cinematography that’s in a league of its own. It has its memorable moments thanks to Dick Smiths’ special effects and Susan’s lesbo scene ‘tween the sheets, but the story’s pretty dull without a lotta character development and doesn’t feel like it starts to take off ’til the end credits roll. Lab monkey on lab monkey violence, stabbin’ with pendants, neck stabbin’, lotta failed attempts at murder, neck bitin’, vampire hickies, extreme stair falls, zombie-lookin’ vampire lynch mobs, young’n killin’, rapid wrinklin’, blood suckin’, boobs, David Bowie lovemakin’ in the shower, and body stuffed furnaces! 2/5!

WINCHESTER (2018)

A poison addicted doctor is hired to assess how many screws the heiress to the Winchester firearm fortune has loose while stayin’ in her mad maze of a mansion she’s constantly buildin’ for ghosts of folks killed by her guns and must unexpectedly rescue her from the digs’s newest homicidal booga boo blamin’ her for his whole family’s demise. Based on the real life Winchester Mansion and its eccentric owner, this flick’s got some high production value and decent actin’ but suffers from one borin’ script. It ain’t scary, the stakes feel non-existent, the supernatural rules don’t always make sense ( like the ghosts easily breakin’ free of the 13 nails or coat hooks meant to keep ’em trapped), and no one has ‘nough personality for me to relate to much less root for. Valiant effort but pretty blah. Ginger possessions, near fatal freefalls, round the clock carpentry, head knockin’, bogus scares, secret passage ways, retail shop massacres, parlor magic, mediums, ghost killin’ bullets, lucky 13 defenses, dead wife drama, and sixth sense sight! 3/5!

ABOMINABLE (2020)

Jumpin’ into the action feet first without any buildup or character introductions, a mixed team of Navy SEALs and scientists assault a snow capped mountain to investigate a missin’ expedition in search of a plant that grants immortality but piss off a limb rippin’ yeti in the process. This creature feature has a decent chance for bein’ an entertainin’ movie with its plot and production value, but its story is for shit. It never takes the time to develop anyone’s character much less designate a main protagonist, it drops me in the middle of the action without a whole lot of context to put it all in perspective, everyone’s runnin’ ’round with their own agendas from hackin’ computer secrets to lookin’ for the sacred plant and huntin’ the yeti for folks wantin’ to buy his blood on the black market, and there’s some bullshit ’bout time travel shoehorned in for good measure. Only salvageable thing in here for comedic value is the bad actin’ and laughable reveals, specifically ‘tween the woman with brain cancer and the hunter who likes screamin’ in the yeti’s face to look at him. Arm rippin’, face tearin’, lotta shootin’, jaw rippin’, corpse pummelin’, and yeti’s bitin’ new airholes into folks’ necks! 2/5!

EVERFALL (2017)

A desperate woman accepts an invitation to compete in a remote town’s ice skatin’ competition to help her bounce back from a career endin’ injury, but she and her extreme video star boyfriend are immediately swept up in a continuous flow of supernatural non-sense that’s more pretentious than scary. I have to admit, I’m hooked by the idea of a figure skatin’ horror, but this sucker goes downhill fast thanks to a few bad edits here and there, unrealistic relations, pointless characters who feel like they’re from an entirely different movie, and a scary legend that is ridiculously convoluted with witches, sacrifices, infernos, and ghosts of dead ice skatin’ lovers and their families. The most laughable scene is when the skater’s mysterious accident is finally revealed. Her extreme boyfriend dares her to hop what looks like 2-3 feet ‘tween rooftops, and she completely spazzes like a crazy person to the ground below with only an injured knee. Seriously?! Hauntin’ suicides, bullets to the head, camera boy sacrifices, magically disguisin’ rings, witch hags, human matchsticks, drone footage standin’ in for extreme sport footage, wildfires, pointless fmaily drama rescues, psych-out mulligans, little ghost girls, wood choppin’ henchmen, and arena infernos! 2/5!

DELIVERED (2020)

In one of the lamest Into the Dark entries yet, a couple with a baby on the way is invited to dinner at a woman’s remote farm, and (as any good horror fan worth their weight would predict) become permanent guests ’til their demented host gets the baby she always wanted. This is either lazy filmmakin’ or an amateur’s first stab at a horror flick who’s playin’ it safe with tried and trusted tropes. While the film is well shot and cast, it lacks any kind of tension or scares, and that’s ’cause the lead prego has as much personality as curdled oatmeal which leaves me with zero fucks for whatever happens to her or the baby. I don’t know if she wants the baby or not, what I’m supposed to take away from the thin’ ’bout a second man in her life which doesn’t ‘mount to a hill o’ beans, and her and the husband act more like strangers than a three year ol’ relationship. Kidnappin’, roofies, knock-out shots, useless men, vehicular chicken, abortion fake-outs with skinned cats in the toilet, neck stabbin’, lakes full o’ bodies, too many dumb nightmare psych-outs, births, mucus plug covered TP, and childbirth roleplay ‘fore bed! 2/5! 

JACK IN THE BOX (2019)

A museum worker unknowingly releases a demonic clown from a Victorian age jack-in-the-box and has gotta stuff it back in its cursed hidey hole ‘fore it puts him outta work with its hunt for six souls to take ‘nother 15 year nap. A well made Euro flick, the filmmakers do their homework and successfully follow the blueprint for a good horror movie full of heroes with tragic pasts, memorable monsters, jump scares, Cassandra figures, and well paced deaths. Despite bein’ familiar with the recipe for a solid story, however, the hero could stand to be more engagin’ and get a clue anythin’s wrong sooner, and the monster needs to be pushed a lot further regardin’ its kills and execution. Gut stabbin’, face slashin’, folks dragged into cursed boxes, supernatural frame jobs for murder, and magic word fuck-ups! 4/5!

OUIJAGEIST (2018)

In a town where nobody’s ever heard of a Ouija board, an unlucky mom dicks ’round with one she finds in her backyard and unintentionally welcomes a buncha bad mojo into her life that results in one fatal incident after ‘nother. A modest attempt at Euro-horror, this ain’t awful but far from great. We don’t get any real backstory to where this particular board comes from or any insight to what kinda evil’s even after the mom, much less any clear cut rules for how to stop it other than a shot in the dark exorcism that’s anythin’ but excitin’. Most memorable scenes include a random zombie that pops up outta nowhere, and who I’m guessin’ is a Satanist that goes sorta Deadite while projectile vomitin’ milk ‘fore droppin’ dead. Decapitated dog head throwin’, fatal stair falls, near boiled babies, and dimensional rifts via witchboards! 2/5!

MUTILATIONS (1986)

In this low-budget horror that reminds me of a church play, a “space science” professor takes his students to a yokel’s house and offers to help him with his cow mutilatin’ e.t. problem like they’re the Scooby gang. Lot o’ good that does anybody, ’cause as soon as the claymation from outer space crash lands in the front yard, everyone becomes a target for their next special effects meal. While this is terribly acted and features campy special effects on par with Winterbeast, this ’80s trash is alotta laughs and doesn’t overstay its welcome with a run time of 70 minutes. A great example of so charmingly bad it’s watchable fun. Repetitive lines out the ass, inconsistently sized double jointed e.t.s, stop-motion u.f.o.s, puppet e.t. feet, mutilated cow-mation in its death throes, live action green screen battles with claymation, tunnel chases, stuffed rats from the toy aisle, melted classmates, e.t. fists through the chest, painted lightnin’ bolts, painted explosions, and random TNT! 4/5! 

RECOVERY (2016)

When Jessie’s new friend disappears from the club scene with her cell, her gang helps her track it to a ghetto of horrors where they stumble into a den of kidnappers still practicin’ caveman tactics for findin’ a date. The biggest thing this sucker suffers from is pacin’ and tension. The horror doesn’t officially start ’til ’bout the last 30 minutes and kicks off like it’s already the final chase scene, endin’ in a handful of struggles the heroes overcome too easily ‘gainst their wannabe Stockholm family who ain’t scary in the least. Well shot and acted though. Houdini box escapes, jaw removals with a bat, booger sugar in club restrooms, attempted carjackin’, kidnappin’, women in chains, snuff film stashes, pickaxes to the head, neck stabbin’, throat slittin’, stabbin’s, and impalin’ on a swing set! 2/5!

DEMONWARP (1988)

In this cheapo boonies horror that attempts to check all the boxes for monster fans, a gang of curious yahoos investigate strange happenin’s in a mountainous region and are regretfully mixed up in a slimy e.t.’s plot to turn hapless randos into big foot zombies to build it a ride back to space. While Demonwarp sports a decent cast, satisfyin’ effects, and a pretty creative mash-up of subgenres, it unfortunately suffers from a weak script that prefers to meander with strangers wanderin’ in and out for boobs and body count rather than develop its core characters with any meaningful story arc. Lacks any real substance to enjoy, but weird ‘nough to wanna see and share. Heart rippin’ and eatin’, fallin’ e.t. meteors, head twistin’ and rippin’, arms caught in bear traps, mangled faces, boobs in bed and the shower, gut twistin’ with branches, monstrous transformations, religious nuts, TNT defusin’ big foots, home invadin’ beasts, nightmare psych-outs, and Michelle Bauer sunbaths topless! 3/5!

THE FEAR OF DARKNESS (2015)

A college student takes an hallucinogenic drug that breaks down the walls ‘tween dimensions and allows a vague darkness to kill her boyfriend. Now, a psychologist has gotta psycho-analyse the wackado survivor to crack the case while the movie slowly sticks its head up its own ass for a less than satisfactory endin’. Beautiful imagery and solid actin’, it’s a cryin’ shame this European flick fails to deliver on what sounds like an otherwise promisin’ creature feature. It’d be ten times better if it just escalated the danger more, had a better grasp on its own monster who needed more screen time, and ixnay all the who’s who head trip twists. Birthmark lookin’ bruises, solar eclipses, offscreen deaths, CGI smoke monsters, near death hypnosis, nightmare sequences, and loony bin escapes! 2/5! 

THE WRETCHED (2019)

It’s Fright Night with witches when a nosy teen turns amateur sleuth to investigate his weirdo neighbors who’ve been seduced by a young’n eatin’ she-beast from the woods. A great lookin’ flick with a solid cast of likable ‘nough characters fightin’ top-shelf special effects, this doesn’t fail to impress and ain’t really got anythin’ worth bitchin’ ’bout save its silly twist endin’. Gutted roadkill bucks with spillin’ guts, skin tight disguises, woodsy shrines, kidnappin’ galore, young’n eatin’, underground tunnel chases, mind controllin’, sacrificial suicides, bullets to the face, attempted drownin’, dogs shot off camera and later revealed to be fine, chum trashin’, Jedi mind tricks, bleedin’ ears, bully pranks, witch humpin’ with no boobs, and creatures clawin’ outta other creatures! 4/5!

THE JURASSIC GAMES (2018)

It’s The Running Man meets Jurassic Park as death row inmates fight for their freedom in a televised VR world of killer dinos where game overs mean real life death by lethal injection. While I’m hooked by the idea of criminals bein’ hunted down by prehistoric predators, the fact it’s a shmancy video game deflates all the tension and fun for me. The dinos are gonna look CGI no matter what, so why not just make ’em sophisticated robots and let us enjoy all the crazy deaths as real? Not to mention the hero’s pretty lame and lacks that same innocent man charisma Schwarzenegger displayed in The Running Man. A great lookin’ flick overall, but eh as far as characters and story are concerned. Rebel takeovers, Caveman protesters, lethal injections galore, inmate eatin’ t-rex, maze chases with raptors, weapon upgrades, neck bitin’, stabbin’ galore, landmine explosions, pterodactyls, sad copy/paste explosions over folks’ heads for TNT collar effects, man-eatin’ plants with corrosive drool, desert duels to the death, fatal bug swarms, and firefights! 3/5!

BEHIND YOU (2020)

Two sisters are passed ‘long like hot potatoes after their mama dies and end up at their estranged aunt’s house where a jerky demon trapped in a mirror tries usin’ ’em to escape its supernatural bonds to wreak havoc on the world. Great sets and set-up for a tense little monster movie, but there’s barely anyone with a personality, the story feels like it ends more than once, and there’s a few details the filmmakers could delve into more. Like how did the evil end up in this house, why does the movie start with an evil mirror in the bathroom then put all the focus on a completely different evil mirror in the basement, why doesn’t the aunt just burn the house down or destroy the mirrors, how could the young’ns forget to mention a peanut allergy ‘fore diggin’ into a near fatal meal, and what exactly was the plan when the girls were ’bout to be let loose in the streets as orphans? Not bad by any means, but I’ve seen better mirror horrors. Demonically possessed little girls, lifelong debts of gratitude, mirror daggers, supernatural messages in blood on the walls and dusty ol’ mirrors, forbidden rooms, whisperin’ dolls, throat stabbin’, ripped out throats, murder cover-ups, young’ns with guns, siblin’ violence, folks yanked through the air, and a possible horror first – exorcisms by peanut butter! 3/5! 

WITCHES IN THE WOODS (2019)

A carload of friends go offroad to bypass a road block and end up stranded in the freezin’ wilderness where one of ’em may or may not be possessed by witchy forces makin’ her wanna kill everybody ’round her. This well-shot flick wrangled some decent talent with ‘nough boilin’ conflict ‘mong characters to blow-up their fragile survivor’s pact, but I just need a little more supernatural/horror elements thrown in the pot and someone to really care ’bout who’s not an annoyin’ idealist or passive pansy. Dead bears, mutilated deer, disembowelin’, bear traps, corpse sickles galore, bitch slappin’, impalin’, finger bitin’, seizures, neck stabbin’, and ski poles to the chest! 2/5!

SCHLOCK (1973)

The missin’ link ‘tween man and monkey has thawed from his Ice Age burial, and now this nigh invulnerable Banana Killer stalks a small town where he’s happily takin’ in the sights and meals of the 20th century when he ain’t mutilatin’ folks left and right by the dozens. John Landis’s first swing at directin’ with monkey make-up by equally buddin’ talent, Rick Baker, this B-movie parody ain’t nothin’ phenomenal but has ‘nough charm and jokes that land to be entertainin’ from beginnin’ to end. It’s almost more fun to test yer trivia knowledge and see how many sci-fi/horror nods ya can pick out. Arm rippin’, post- park massacres, missin’ link babies, more than one blind gag, dual piano playin’, repetitive fetch, over dramatic banana robbery, banana flingin’, dance crashin’, gunfire executions, clips from The Blob, vintage ice cream vendin’ machines, and a cameo by Forrest Ackerman! 3/5!

URBAN MYTHS (2017)

After a gang of high schoolers spin their wheels explorin’ haunts in their own town’s backwoods with some dead end daddy drama goin’ on at the same time, the story finally starts when they arrive at an Indian burial ground the last 20 minutes and get picked off one after ‘nother by Lou Ferrigno’s son who thinks he’s a wolf. This flick is shot and acted well ‘nough, but it’s unfortunately edited by a narcoleptic who must’ve been workin’ from a script that was shuffled out of order. There’s never a scene transition with any finesse, the students ain’t at the mercy of the elements, 2/3 of the movie end up bein’ an elaborate prank, the trip should’ve been outta town, and whatever’s goin’ on with the dad has no payoff or relevance whatsoever! Not much of a horror movie at all, even with the questionable supernatural twist at the very end. Trippin’ balls in the woods, hangin’s, bestial assaults, ghost huntin’, psycho slasher spirits, random dogs, crawlspace secrets, and gunshots to the chest! 2/5!

SHOCK WAVES (1977)

After Captain John Carradine gets his cruise ship stuck on a reef, his passengers hop skip it to a nearby island where a marooned Peter Cushing warns ’em his ol’ WWII squad of zombie Nazis are invadin’ from the watery depths to indifferently kill anyone in their path. Points to the filmmakers for creatin’ a forebodin’ atmosphere with an impendin’ threat Cushing perfectly convinces me to be ‘fraid of, but in the end — the underwater goose-steppers are pretty underwhelmin’. There’s some cool B-roll of ’em marchin’ ’round like snippets from a lost music video, sure, but their kills ain’t nothin’ impressive to see, and Cushing’s shortchanged alotta interestin’ scenes he coulda shared with his secret death squad he sank all those decades ago. At least Carradine gets more screen time than usual, makin’ this the most actin’ I’ve ever seen from him in one flick! Women drowned in aquariums, faceplants into sea urchins, deadly face grabbin’, fatal baptizin’, claustrophobic panics with a flare gun, merrily bobbin’ bodies, haunted rust buckets, distractin’ phonographs, confusin’ eye strain weaknesses, rapid deterioration, shallow water naps, Marco Polo lynch mobs, white wall endin’s, and hide and seek in a furnace! 3/5! 

VOODOO MOON (2006)

Some big bad demon’s ’bout to strike a generic blow for evil, but a pair of supernatural siblin’s have an ax to grind and call in every favor they have to stop him. A TV movie that plays like a series pitch no one picked up, this is a mildly fun watch for the most part, featurin’ a nice round-up of sitcom actors and horror icons keepin’ my interest from beginnin’ to end with some surprisingly impressive effects. A few forgivable sours include a large chunk of the movie bein’ dedicated to supportin’ characters gettin’ acquainted, and the filmmakers’ amazin’ ability to deliver an epic endin’ that felt anythin’ but. Impalement on crosses, eye eatin’ magic folk who shapeshift into a murder of crows, truck stop blowjobs, death by peckin’, fortune tellin’ doodles, fatal stair falls, demonic possessions, bullet flickin’, underwater zombies, voodoo zombies, folks skinned alive and hung by chains, full frontal chicks strapped to crosses, kidnappin’, decapitatin’, mid-air pyro battlin’, insta-dry magic, baby daddy drama, and Jeffrey Combs hilariously portrayin’ the gun totin’ dead! 3/5!

DROWNING ECHO (2018)

While visitin’ Florida, Sara ‘comes entangled in a monstrous drama at her best friend’s apartment complex where folks splash ’round in a pool hidin’ a mythical water creature who snuffs ’em out like the rapture. An overall solid movie, the only sour I can’t help but bitch ’bout is how long this sucker is with what feels like a handful of different endin’s. There’s just so many build-ups to what feels like satisfyin’ stoppin’ points, but the filmmakers either cop-out of the delivery like the quickie pool party I expected a lot more from or needlessly keep things rollin’ like episodic cliffhangers. Folks drownin’ from the inside out, stabbin’s galore, kidnappin’, poolside fisty cuffs, stepdad death sentences, chunks of found footage breaks, booga boo monks, immortal human hosts, flooded eye effects, nose bleeds, shower traps, repetitive teleportations to the bottom of the pool, The Abyss nods, failed Jaws nods, evil CGI water, unhelpful psychics, dick wailin’ with a lead pipe, and forced strippin’! 3/5! 

TOKOLOSHE: AN AFRICAN CURSE (2020)

In this African version of The Shining, a woman confronts her childhood trauma and revisits the cursed hotel that ruined her family. I don’t normally review a flick I didn’t watch from beginnin’ to end, but I had to call it quits ’bout halfway through when it was painfully obvious this is nothin’ more than a poorly edited mess of spooky snippets that’d be better served as visual fodder for some horror band’s music video. It’s got ’bout one or two decent actors, and some respectable camerawork, but that’s pretty much it. Just skip it. Hoodoo dolls, ghost bartenders, unhinged writers, little girls on even smaller you bikes, spooky twins, creepy dolls, cursed lands, and supernatural messages! 2/5!

DEVIL’S FAIRGROUND aka ANNA 2 (2019)

The yahoos from Anna are back, and make just a little more sense than before. Teamin’ up with a competin’ gang of ghost hunters, an amatuer exorcism tips Specs and Pecs off to a haunted fairground where an evil tree is infectin’ their nowhere town with – well – evil. They take it upon themselves to storm the grounds and destroy it, but get separated right away and stretch this shit show beyond my tolerance with a bunch of non-sense vignettes that’s better served as music video fodder for garage horror bands. The cinematography undercuts the tension, only half the cast can act, the same shitty sound engineer musta returned from the last flick, there’s no tree much less much of a fairground versus a haunted attraction in its off season, I can barely tie one scene to ‘nother as far as the narratives concerned, and why the hell didn’t they just burn the place down to begin with if that’s ‘nough to take care of the problem? Best part is Pecs draggin’ his buddy with broken legs ’round. Saran wrapped spook chasers, catchin’ ghosts with bags and sticks, demonic possessions, hand puppet monsters, bug-eyed hamburger face demonoids, airborne ghost hunters, informative ghost films, and folks dragged ’round galore! 2/5! 

SEASON OF THE WITCH (2011)

Nick Cage and Ron Perlman get their medieval on as defective knights who land in the hot seat and gotta transport a witch suspected of startin’ the Black Plague to a buncha monks to stand trial. This flick is an oddity. Despite its epic scale, big score, semi-interestin’ premise, and star power – it’s kinda borin’. It has all the elements for a entertainin’ ride through the Dark Ages with the groundwork for some compellin’ character development, but it feels flat with no one for me to really latch on to and care ’bout. I’ll give this flick props for an unexpected twist I never see comin’, but that doesn’t make up for Nick’s awful period piece accent that’s ’bout as convincin’ as Keanu Reeve’s in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Decapitations galore, wolf pack attacks, hangin’s, a castle worth of demonically possessed monks, Black Plague victims, stabbin’s galore, rickety bridges, hand stabbin’, jailbreaks, deceitful whispers, barbecue bear hugs, eye scratchin’, cartoony lookin’ demons, heavy hittin’ holy books, exorcisms, cage meltin’, and witch hunts! 3/5! 

TRENCH 11 (2017)

As the first World War winds down, British soldiers explore a secret underground bunker behind enemy lines and end up trapped with Nazis protectin’ their experiments with livin’ spaghetti zombies. A solid flick through and through, this period piece delivers a sweet mix of convincin’ characters, cleverly staged sets, and impressive gore and effects. The only sour I’d knock it for is not makin’ the parasite infected soldiers a bigger threat than they are. Buried alive, detonations, infectious vomitin’, noodle crawlin’ autopsies, eye gougin’, impalement with test tubes, gunfire galore with plenty of folks shot to pieces, faces chewed off, broken legs, one dead dog in a pile of dead soldiers, extreme eye bulgin’, and mad Nazi scientists! 4/5!

CORONA ZOMBIES (2020)

As Coronavirus zombies overwhelm the world, a special task force is assembled to locate the motherload of TP and fight the epidemic at its source in a Chinese bat soup factory. Exploitation filmmakin’ at its best, Full Moon’s fast track response to the Coronavirus epidemic is made possible by humorously redubbin’ an edited down version of Hell of the Living Dead like a lost episode of Rifftrax and slippin’ in clips from Zombies vs Strippers with newly shot bimbo footage bookendin’ it all. A funny new spin on an Italian splatter classic that keeps me laughin’ from beginnin’ to end, the only curious sours I’ve got to gripe ’bout is why the bimbo’s shower scene is in her clothes and how or why she randomly teleports to a different scene at the very end! 4/5!

HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)

Mostly comprised of alotta National Geographic stock footage, this Italian splatter flick features a team of commandos in fucked up hats fightin’ their way to the source of an island’s zombie epidemic with the help of a tag-along news crew. Nothin’ too excitin’ to watch here, but there is some memorable gore and nudity, and a commando or two do some pretty laughable things if ya stick with it long ‘nough. Ritzy cross dressin’, rescues from terrorists, kidnappin’s, zombie young’sn, disembowelin’, power plant massacres, flesh bitin’, zombie grannies, bulged out eyes, heads turned inside out, zombie teasin’, zombie matchsticks, tribal stock footage galore with some nasty nudity, animal stock footage galore, and naked white devil woman greetin’s in random make-up! 2/5! 

BEASTER DAY aka BEASTER BUNNY (2014)

A behemoth of a crippled ragdoll rabbit is turnin’ a town’s citizens into green screen effects and the only folks who can stop him are a failed artist and a pants stuffin’ dog catcher ‘fraid of loud noises. This cheap monstrosity of filmmakin’ is in a league of its own, Scream Freaks! The moviemakin’ gusto is there, but for some reason it’s not as charmin’ as it could be or even as funny as say a Troma film which is the closest thing to relate it to. It’s unique in its own twisted way and really can’t be held to any normal standard of criticism. The only thing I am willin’ to bash it for is workin’ the actual Easter holiday in like an afterthought and not followin’ up on the whole giant egg thing. Severed limbs galore, drone shots galore, boobs galore, missin’ sound effects, cheap hippie mayors who won’t give his cops guns, human soccer, impalement on Party City award props, blood gushin’, decapitations, full frontal, pig squealin’ fetish games with bacon on a string, some of the stupidest jokes ’bout tools killin’ people, and some of the easiest monster kills ever captured on celluloid! 3/5!

WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS (2019)

It’s 1988, and a metal head after party in the boonies turns deadly when some faux rocker chicks’ attempt at stagin’ a devil worshippin’ massacre in the name of Jesus goes to shit. Remindin’ me a little of Heathers, this flick’s well produced and fun with a great cast of femme fatales, but has its sours with pacin’ and momentum thanks to a couple of long winded scenes my attention expires durin’ and lack of escalation halfway through. Fireball hairdos, roofies, neck stabbin’, crooked televangelists, shot to the head and gut, pesticide attacks, lotta ladies poppin’ a squat, chest stabbin’, attacks with a boat motor, near fatal freefalls, drive-by milkshakes, firecracker paybacks, and offscreen roadkills! 4/5!

SEA FEVER (2019)

It’s Deadliest Catch meets The Thing as an Irish fishin’ boat sails where it shouldn’t and encounters parasitic glow-in-the-dark semen that tries to blow its crew up from the inside out after mistaken ’em for a whale-size dinner. An overall good film with a solid cast and superb effects, the only thing I can’t really buy into is the heroic science student whose naive approaches to workplace safety and moral convictions make it hard to root for her. What sane scientist fingers mysterious goo, goes wrist deep in other folks’ blood without protection, and think hospitals are a bad idea to rescue someone from a fatal infection? Sea fearin’ superstitions, gashed wrists, explodin’ eyeballs full of parasites, giant glow-in-the-dark sea beasts, parasitic showers, eye sperm, hands in machinery, non-stop bleedin’ wounds, attempted stranglin’, infectious NyQuil goo, deterioratin’ wall fingerin’, suicidal ships, euthanasia, mad sea hags, electrified defenses, fatal freefalls, and infernos at sea! 3/5! 

MA (2019)

Octavia Spencer opens her basement to underage alcoholics wantin’ to party, but her desire to be popular spirals into psycho stalker drama as the dimwit high schoolers learn she’s really usin’ ’em to get revenge on their parents who tricked her into suckin’ some rando’s dick years ago. A Ruin My Lifetime kinda drama with a budget, this flick’s ridiculous but entertainin’. The kids make alotta dumb decisions, and Octavia gets her crazy on with a murder happy endin’. The only sour that makes me look at the screen funny is the whole thing with Octavia’s daughter that feels pretty unnecessary as underdeveloped as it is. Must be a casualty of some deleted scenes. Texts galore, bosses stuffed in cages, fake illnesses, injured doggies offscreen, hangin’s, slit wrists, dog blood transfusions, black kids in white face, kidnappin’ with pinchy collars, stabbin’s, horse tranq roofies, jewelry theft, housefires, demented photos, disturbin’ shrines to tragic pasts, upstairs lock-ups, ironed abs, bimbo roadkill, and a laughable preacher’s daughter pretendin’ to be passed out to enjoy a party! 3/5! 

I AM FEAR (2020)

A high profile reporter gets kidnapped by decapitatin’ terrorists wantin’ to make a political statement at ‘merica and after a buttload of semi-borin’ drama, she turns into a demon at the last second and flips the whole movie on its head. I don’t know what this is ’bout, Scream Freaks! It’s 95% spies and lies twisted up with some kinda revenge story, and 5% horror with an almost random demonic outburst that lacks any motivation or history I can sensibly follow. This movie has the right ingredients for a decent story, but it’s all blended together wrong with too many convoluted details preventin’ me from rootin’ for any particular characters. Only worth watchin’ for the make-up effects and Bill Moseley pretendin’ to be Larry King. Decapitations, CIA spies, kidnappin’s, throat slittin’, nightmare sequences, demonic transformations, neck bitin’, explosions, political cover-ups, mean lookin’ coked-out visions, and bullets to the head! 2/5!

THE FINAL SANCTION (1990)

After a few nukes are exchanged ‘tween ‘merica and Russia, their respected leaders chicken out of nuclear annihilation and agree to have two guys slug it out in the woods ‘stead. A Snake Plissken wannabe with a hick speakin’ chick in his head fights for baseball and apple pie, and Robert “Maniac Cop” Z’Dar does his best Terminator impression as Russia’s greatest shovel chuckin’ warrior who’d kill his own mama to survive. I really wanna like this flick, but the story kinda drags, there’s zip tension, not alotta character development (save Z’Dar’s emotional turmoil right outta Rocky IV), and it feels anythin’ but epic for a global conflict reduced to a Road Runner cartoon. I don’t even know what’s at stake. Natural resources? Land? Braggin’ rights? This concept’s a lot more fun when it involves big ass war machines like in Robot Jox. Shovel hurlin’, prison yard brawls, head implant radios with hurtful rubberband twangs, headtrip trainin’, explosions, shootin’ galore, political backstabbin’, and magically healin’ burn scars! 3/5!

ESCAPE ROOM (2017)

When Skeet Ulrich ignores everyone’s warning ‘gainst decoratin’ his escape room with a demonic box for Halloween, the season’s first customers get more than they bargain for when their chained psycho performer ends up possessed and slowly inches toward ’em for the kill as they race to beat the clock. While this umpteenth escape room themed flick manages to be a little less of a Saw wannabe with its supernatural element, it’s still mediocre fun at best with a small gang of friends runnin’ ’round a single room to avoid bein’ stabbed with scissors by a demon who doesn’t do anythin’ all that demonic. Demonic entities, body jumpin’ possessions, glass shards through arms, eye gougin’, head stabbin’, murder suicides, unnecessarily longwinded expositions, gunfire executions, and some filmmaker’s home doublin’ for three separate ones! 3/5!

POOKA LIVES! (2020)

Into the Dark’s first sequel, a spiteful writer and his friends create a new creepypasta-like challenge with the Pooka doll based on its creator’s murder-suicide and unwittingly manifest a murderous world-wide booga-boo through the web’s unwaverin’ belief in it. Racin’ to reverse what they’ve done, things ain’t any easier as the internet adds more grisly details that make the legend more dangerous everyday. By far, this is the best flick I’ve seen from Into the Dark. It’s funny, easy to follow, the characters gel well together and are likable, and there’s a lotta of cool monster action with some creative entrances like the datin’ app and bedroom lightshow. Sooo much better than that emo head trip bullshit the first movie was. Scissors to the head, maulin’s, parkin’ lot assaults, vandalism, stabbin’s, eggin’s, ash eatin’, dancin’, hell holes in unbelievably well kept abandoned homes, endin’s that feel like the filmmakers ran outta money, and Wil Wheaton shows up long ‘nough to be killed! 5/5!

ANIMAL AMONG US (2019)

A writer is invited to the re-openin’ of an infamous camp with unsolved murders that inspired his hit novel but finds out there’s more to the story as he arrives in time to help the staff hunt for a big foot-like creature whose capture could reveal a lotta secrets and agendas for the worse. This all starts well ‘nough with a quasi- likable hero strollin’ into an apparent monster movie, but it unfortunately breaks down into a bit of an overthought mess at the end that tries bein’ too clever for its own good to defy audience’s expectations. And while it’s laughable how tough it is for the lead German actor to speak in a consistent American accent, I can’t root for him as the story’s hero when he’s selfishly cheatin’ on his prego wife with more than one woman. Makin’ out in the shower without boobs, Scooby-Doo unmaskin’s, kidnappin’s, staged maulin’s, child beatin’s, mental murderers, gunshots to the chest, stabbin’s, women beatin’s, knock-out darts, ATV booties, maulin’s, blackmailin’, masked classrooms, and UFC fighter Don Frye as the camp’s resident bad-ass quotin’ some of the funniest tough guy lines I’ve heard in awhile! 3/5! 

MIDSOMMAR (2019)

A tragic girlfriend halfheartedly joins her disinterested boyfriend and his buds on a trip to a foreign compound their Swedish friend invites ’em to, and participates in a 90 year ritual that slowly spirals from hippie lovin’ narcotic fun to disturbin’ human sacrifices. A slowburn from the director of Hereditary, this flick accepts the challenge of tellin’ a horror story in bright daylight and cleverly builds tension and fear without the victims really knowin’ anythings wrong ’til it’s too late, packin’ the most memorable scenes in the last 20 minutes of this two and a half hour build-up that reminds me a little of Green Inferno. Hallucinatory drugs, plant sproutin’ skin, fatal cliff jumpin’, head crushin’ with mallets, skin masks, full sprint dongs, human matchsticks, knock-out powder, upside down garden burials, eye gougin’, strung up lung removals, hair pies, doped up dance contests, scarecrow corpses with branches for limbs, lotta wailin’ and sing-song harmonizin’, ritualistic pyres, death lotteries, folks sewn into disemboweled bears, and one of the most awkward sex scenes ever committed to celluloid with a naked tribe gettin’ up in a guy’s face and assistin’ his thrusts to get the job of deflowerin’ a virigin done! 4/5!

HOME WITH A VIEW OF THE MONSTER (2019)

Told in a Pulp Fiction kinda narrative, this painfully indie flick is anythin’ but horror. An almost unconvincin’ couple rent out their harmlessly haunted house for the weekend, and when they cut their romp in the woods short, they come back to find a semi-interestin’ hitman tyin’ up loose ends to murderin’ a loony tunes chick. Aside from the decent to so-so actin’ and somewhat pretentious editin’, the biggest sour I can’t forgive is how the filmmakers completely fail to deliver on the monster/ghost/floodlight/whatever they promise in the title that sends paranormal investigators packin’. It’s never explained, explored, and barely plays into the movie save for one lame payoff that didn’t make the most sense. Waste of time. Possessed murder prep, distorted shadow ghosts, OD cocktails, dead birds in the garbage disposal, home invasions, dead daughter drama, and brain storm mantras galore! 2/5! 

THE INTRUDER (1975)

In this TV horror flick, the promise of gold lures a bunch of bores to an island hotel, but ‘stead of riches, they find a lurchin’ slasher wantin’ to kill ’em all to impress his vindictive crush. More snoozefest than anythin’ else, the real payoff for watchin’ this poor man’s murder mystery is the laughable kung-fu fightin’ that randomly breaks out toward the end ‘tween characters you least suspect wannabe like Bruce Lee. Almost worth it. Hairy flabs in bed, camel toe wardrobes, obvious wigs, fatal freefalls, impalement with pitchforks, lighthouse deaths, wackos overboard, circle sailin’ sea captains, punctured necks, David and Goliath battles with the Addams Family’s Lurch, inappropriate reactions, electrified kitchen death traps MacGyver’d be jealous of, deaths in the bath, and twist endin’ twins that feel like an afterthought! 2/5! 

THE MANGLER (1995)

A hysterical cop and his mystic neighbor comically set out to exorcise a possessed laundry-foldin’ machine Robert Englund and the rest of hickville’s crooked elite have been routinely sacrificin’ teenagers to for power and fortune. From Tobe “Chainsaw Massacre” Hooper, this is the goofiest, most ridiculous Stephen King related flick I’ve ever witnessed, and I love every minute of it! The flick’s played ’bout as straight as it can be for such a silly concept and is epically presented as all get out, but the pacin’s a hair too fast, the ADR really takes me outta the movie, everyone in make-up looks like a Dick Tracy villain, there’s some abrupt scene jumps, the twists ain’t the clearest, and the laundry machine looks like it was bought from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! A fun oddity from some of horror’s biggest icons ya have to see to disbelieve, Scream Freaks! Severed fingers, possessed minions, mangled and folded factory workers, blood spewin’ death coughs, suffocated young’ns, ticket happy traffic incidents, supernatural ice box light shows, obscured CGI monsters, folks cut in half, arm choppin’, exorcisms, virgin interrogations, hotel doorman lookin’ cops, safety bars, smilin’ dogs, burn effects that look like spaghetti sauce mishaps, and blood contracts with demons! 5/5!

THE SITTER (2017)

After a virgin accepts a cat sittin’ gig in the boonies for the weekend, she slowly succumbs to a horny force in the shadows of her clients’ estate that’s got one monstrous crush on her. A straight played slow burn with ‘nough boobs and mystery to keep me engaged, the only criticism I have for this so-so Euro-horror is its lame monster make-up when the supernatural admirer is revealed, and the surprisin’ lack of cat footage for a flick that centers ’round a gal cat sittin’. The flea bag’s never even on screen ’til halfway through the movie and only for a two to three fleetin’ moments! Artsy full frontal dream scenes, off camera decapitations, dream-like monster rape with boobs, God-crusadin’ nutsos, peepin’ toms, panty sniffin’, naked offerin’s, throat slittin’, hacked up hellions, possessed transformations, backseat ambushes, muscular butt shots, and cunnilingus! 3/5! 

THE GRUDGE (2020)

A sideways sequel to the original 2004 Grudge with a plot right outta Grudge 3, some poor woman’s haunted all the way back to ‘merica by our favorite shower spook and kills her whole family in a fit of possessed rage that creates an all new family of Grudge ghosts. Now, an overachievin’ cop’s gotta catch up to what the audience already knows and solve a series of murders and suicides the angry dead’s responsible for whenever folks enter their cursed abode. Kudos to the filmmakers for excellent lightin’ and make-up effects, but this whole thing is soured by its divided points of view that rob it of any meaningful character for us to follow from beginnin’ to end, and the confusin’ logic behind the next generation of pissed off spirits is a little confusin’. Like, should the mom be cursed as a Grudge ghost if it was really the pissed off spirit from Asia that possessed her to violently kill her family? Not a terrible movie, but certainly the weakest in Grudge’s ‘merican series. Prego killin’, severed fingers, human water balloons, fatal freefalls, attempted bullet swallowin’ suicides, filthy tub scares, shower hair scares, ooze vomittin’, arm rupturin’, cars full of corpses, rottin’ husbands, house fires, shapeshiftin’ tricks, eye gougin’, drownin’, and stabbin’s! 3/5!

CLOWNDOLL (2019)

In this Chucky sorta knock-off, a serial killer’s spirit inhabits a big-ass clown doll and steadily frames his new prego owner for the murder of her friends and family. A surprisin’ little flick I completely underestimated, this European horror may echo a lotta other killer doll movies I’ve seen ‘fore, but it manages to stand out in an already crowded toybox thanks to a compellin’ last girl and effectively creepy slasher the filmmakers strategically film with thoughtful edits. Sequel worthy in my opinion. Pencils through hands, human matchsticks, electrocutin’ baths, hangin’s, supernatural strangers callin’ from inside the house, pill poppin’, roofies, knives to the noggin, and possible twist endin’ possessed babies?! 4/5! 

THE RAKE (2018)

Two traumatized siblin’s reunite for their foster sister’s housewarmin’, but their childhood boogeyman, the Rake, crashes the party for some long overdue bloodshed. Featurin’ a solid cast of diverse characters, well paced edits, and one helluva monster whose design reminds me of Pumpkinhead, this is one of the better flicks I’ve seen based on a Creepypasta monster. The only sour is the foster sister’s frustrated husband who I think the filmmakers want us to dislike, but his asshole moments feel unjustified and over the top without the troubled siblin’ he’s upset with doin’ somethin’ more severe than bein’ a Debbie Downer at the party. Eye gougin’, disembowelin’, home invasions, psychic viruses, wine cellar scares, throat slittin’, semi-possessed suicides, and monstrous skin-rippin’ transformations that give Nightmare on Elm Street 2 a run for its money! 3/5!

SATANIC PANIC (2019)

After a fed-up delivery chick gets stiffed on a tip deliverin’ pizzas to a ritzy neighborhood, she demands change for gas and ends up hunted by a devil worshippin’ cult of fat cats wantin’ her virgin womb to birth their favorite demon. A stylishly fun flick full of eye candy and gore, this is one of ’em rare times I get to enjoy a likable hero worth rootin’ for and a villain I can’t get ‘nough of. Especially when that villain is portrayed by the sinfully statuesque Rebecca Romijn, deliverin’ one of the most memorable characters of her career. The only sour I’m disappointed by is the surprisin’ lack of monster action. We’ll see hellish creatures every now and ‘gain, but the flyin’ pot roast is replaced with a cheap bed sheet, and I swear the entire demon rape clip at the end is removed. Unexpected rabbit magic, instant pregos, dirty voodoo tricks, devil powered drownin’s, killdos, electrocutions, poisoned sodas, impalement, head stabbin’, inside out pukin’, intestinal readin’s, body scribble defenses, resurrections, attempted rape, heart removal through open neck wounds, satanic orgies full of boobs, salt circles, botched devil rituals, bunny snacks, little demonic girls, golden shower propositions, bullets to the neck, decapitations, and blood suckin’ hearts cooked to monstrous size! 4/5!

BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)

Completely re-imaginin’ the ’74 classic, this new spin on one of the first Christmas horror movies is ’bout a sorority house of  pissed off ladies fightin’ a supernatural frat house of Dr. Doom lookalikes carryin’ out the death wish of male chauvinist ooze. Personally, I think this movie’s too bogged down in its battle of the sexes message. Instead of givin’ me dynamic characters with depth I can care and root for, everyone’s annoyingly flat with personalities that can only be identified by their feelin’s toward the opposite gender. There’s a handful of visual nods to the other Black Christmas movies from the colorful lightin’ to the pace of deaths, but too serious to be nearly as fun. Suffocation by plastic, slime spewin’ busts, possessions, stabbin’s, Christmas carol paybacks, neck snappin’, attempted rape, snow that looks like sand, throat slittin’, sorority house massacres, and frat house infernos! 3/5! 

VFW (2019)

In a future where an illegal street drug is tearin’ the world apart, a bar full of bad ass veterans fight like the Alamo ‘gainst a pissed off army of punk junkies after a stash of narcotics hidden in their drinkin’ hole. For starters, this is one sweet ensemble of veteran actors bringin’ their A game to a well constructed montage of gory action. Everyone’s distinct and memorable, the bloodshed’s over the top without bein’ overdone, and the film’s infused with this retro vibe that makes it all feel like a rediscovered gem from the ’80s. The only things I feel are worth bitchin’ ’bout is the heavy use of color filters kinda bleedin’ everythin’ together, and how lame the druggies are for folks supposedly pumped on somethin’ comparable to PCP. It certainly didn’t add to Fred Williamson’s fight scene at the end when he face plants the stuff. Shotguns to the head, impalement, skull stompin’, face shatterin’ knees to the face, booby trapped bars, strangulation, firin’ squad executions, half severed arms, piggyback stabbin’s, explodin’ heads, human water balloons, fatal freefalls, fatal car wrecks, flamin’ bags of drugs, circular saw action, chainsaws through the windshield, lynch mobs, and bar talk ’bout pussy hair! 4/5! 

CAMP COLD BROOK (2018)

In an effort to save his spook chasin’ reality show from cancellation, Chad Michael Murray banks everythin’ on a haunted camp no one’s heard of for his piece de resistance, but his TV crew underestimates the number of unhappy ghost campers bound to the grounds by a big boobed witch’s unfinished ritual to revive her roadkill daughter. Spoilers ahead, this top shelf production starts off strong with terrific performances from Chad and Danielle Harris but falls apart storywise as soon as they arrive at the camp with minimum interactions ‘mong characters, weak escalation of danger, and a twist that makes less sense than the ulterior plot that’s revealed. Without a head injury, how can Chad simply forget bein’ present for such a huge massacre, and how was he not found in any research of the camp as one of the only survivors? The other survivor’s been livin’ with the witch’s ghost hauntin’ her for 20 years with seemingly no problem, so why’s she suddenly hot to do whatever it takes to be rid of her? How or when did the witch even die, and why is she still after sacrifices for resurrectin’ her daughter if they’re both on the other side of the grave now? Was the witch killed by the campers’ parents Nightmare on Elm Street style, ’cause I feel like that musta been a cut scene that was alluded to near the end? Splash splash falls, spiritual photography, hunts for magic symbols, loop de loop nature trails, neck snappin’, mass drownin’s, head bashin’, Blair Witch nods, and bunks of young’ns goin’ ape shit under some suicide spell! 2/5!

THE HUNT (2020)

Some highfalutin fat cats are pissed and steal a page from The Most Dangerous Game to take their anxiety out on a handful of regular folks they hunt for murderous satisfaction. Problem is, one of their victims turns out to be an unstoppable spaz faced killin’ machine who’ll stop at nothin’ ’til they’re all dead. Not a lot of story or even tension to this familiar plot. Just an hour and a half of a bad ass beauty effortlessly tearin’ through amateur game hunters without breakin’ a sweat ’til one epic cat fight with Hillary Swank at the end that puts Kill Bill throwdowns to shame. Junk food violence for the brain, and we loved every second of it! Head explodin’, shot up piggies, bunker massacres, shotguns to the chest, poisonous gases, poisoned donuts, death by arrows, trunks full of bodies, human roadkill, neck stabbin’s, twisted new takes on the tortoise and the hare story, kitchen appliance impalement, first aid with a creme brulee torch, and grilled cheese victory meals! 4/5!

DON’T LET THEM IN (2020)

Two social workers spend Halloween checkin’ on a recently released murderer livin’ in his family’s abandoned hotel and are surrounded by masked demons needin’ to fulfill a satanic ritual started years earlier. Mediocre at best, this European flick’s savin’ grace is the comedic liveliness of the male social worker who serves as the sensible everyman viewers can relate to. Not to say there ain’t a little tension with pops of face splatterin’ gore, but the endin’ does drag a little with everythin’ wrapped up in a slightly complex twist. Decapitations, stabbin’s, last stand hotels, demons in the cellar, back stabbin’ betrayals, eye gougin’, hitch hikin’ regrets, and demonic lynch mobs! 3/5! 

CLOWNTERGEIST (2017)

To end a college girl’s fear of clowns, an ice cream man gives her a heads up he’s sickin’ a demonically cursed jokester named Ribcage after her on a specific date and time to end her grease face fueled misery. While this low-budget flick’s fun to watch with believable ‘nough characters, the rules are kinda all over the place and don’t make the most sense. Like the whole movie is a countdown to Ribcage’s attack on the girl, yet he’s attackin’ her the whole movie! Not to mention his demise as a supernatural powerhouse is ’bout as pathetic as Pennywise bein’ ridiculed to death in It. Still worth checkin’ out, though! Human roadkill, deceptive nightmare visions, dead dog meals, nods to It with lotta explodin’ blood balloons, arrows to the back, vengeful fathers, face full of bile, lotta grabbin’, ice cream shop massacres, disembowelin’, and pitiful box knife stabbin’ finales! 3/5!

SCHOOL OF THE DAMNED (2019)

A idealistic principle uses a class of mentally superior brats for controllin’ his grade school with psychic powers, but when their temper tantrums start turnin’ up dead bodies on a daily basis, one teach takes it upon himself to try and stop ’em. A bit of slow burn, this European horror none the less keeps me engaged from beginnin’ to end, and boasts a convincin’ cast with some unexpected death scenes that were pretty sweet. Only sour I can think of are the distractin’ wigs the evil young’ns wear. Brooms shoved from mouth to anus, stop-hittin’-yourself beat ’em ups, school bullies, heart crushin’, psychokinesis, nose bleeds galore, shotguns to the face, in sync clappin’, pregos spontaneously combusted from the inside out, secret agent operations, and fatal freefalls! 3/5! 

DEVIL IN THE DARK (2017)

Two estranged brothers take their sweet time draggin’ their weak family drama up a remote mountain for a huntin’ trip and end up bein’ shoved ’round and harmlessly possessed by some antler lovin’ creature that looks more e.t. than devil. The ingredients for a great flick are here regardin’ the cast, camerawork, and plot, but it slowly falls on its face with repetitive trips to the same locations, ineffective escalations of danger, and just when the movie feels like it’s finally gettin’ underway with the horror, it ends. Nightmare visions, lotta black eyes . . . ain’t really much more than that! 2/5! 

GOTHIC HARVEST (2019)

In this drawn and quartered narrative, some party girls lose one of their own to a mysterious Louisiana native durin’ Mardi Gras, and with Bill Moseley’s help, find her hog tied at a house belongin’ to a family of sadistic immortals with one of the most convoluted backstories for bein’ evil I’ve ever heard. This flick’s hard to peg when it comes to what kinda tone the filmmakers are goin’ for, ’cause they’re tryin’ to convey scary fun suspense with some BDSM sauce, but it’s all ineffectively layered on thanks to ’em waterin’ the story down with too many POVs robbin’ it all of any emotional impact. Pick a last girl (or guy) and stick with ’em to the skin crawlin’ end, dammit. Dead girl dollies, fake as hell neck snappin’, blood harvestin’, bitter cripples, neck stabbin’, cursed babies, livin’ prunes, voodoo witches, stabbin’s, ear cuttin’, flesh carvin’ BDSM, surprisingly no boobs or gore, roofies, threesomes gone all kinds of wrong, and a chuckle worthy scene of Bill Moseley hittin’ on a younger gal with a list of cheesy pick-up lines! 2/5!

DOLL FACTORY (2014)

When a gang of friends crack open a spell book to see ghosts for Halloween, they accidentally resurrect an evil toy maker who unleashes a homicidal army of squeaky voiced baby dolls on the town a magical negro and a virginal sword swingin’ nerd have any hope of stoppin’. Fans of Full Moon’s sillier monster movies will love this low-budget gem of blood drenched humor. The characters are fun and distinctive, the story has nice escalation, and the special effects are better than anyone would expect, includin’ the dolls’ strings-attached action sequences. Ain’t perfect, but far ways from a bad flick. Sliced off faces, barbwire decapitations, severed feet, green puke in the face, crispy corpses, resurrected loves, possessed sword fightin’, ecto-swords, dolls firin’ cartoony holes through people like mini-plastic torpedoes, dolls burstin’ gals open through their vagina, severed hands, theatrical geezer make-up, eye gougin’, green screen effects galore, news teams vs sheriffs, explodin’ houses, buckets of blood, and strangulation! 4/5!

CRAWLERS (2020)

A secret hive of copycat e.ts. get spooked by a town’s St. Patty’s bar crawl and ruin everyone’s holiday with a body snatchin’ plot only a handful of college yahoos have any luck of shuttin’ down. One of the better Hulu flicks from Blumhouse’s Into the Dark series, the set dressin’ and wardrobe do an awesome job deckin’ nearly every scene in a celebration of green that puts most other St. Patrick’s themed movies to shame. The cast is pretty enjoyable as well, but there’s just too much dull dialogue with a lotta hit and miss chuckles keepin’ ’em from shinin’ the way the filmmakers were obviously strivin’ for. Somethin’ I’d be willin’ to overlook if there were more e.t. effects stuck in here. Green blood, bitin’, knives to the head, CG explosions, knife throwin’ to the face, attempted butt-dialed assaults, e.t. meteors, cop cars full of corpses, lotta lotta drinkin’ games, e.t. blood tests, and e.t. doomsday mamas! 3/5!

THE LODGE (2020)

In what I’m assumin’ is a love letter to movies like Hereditary and The Shining, it’s been six months since a couple of young’ns’ mom ate a bullet, and they’re none too happy their dad wants to temporarily strand them with his ex-suicide cult girlfriend at a remote cabin for the holidays. As soon as he leaves, their bondin’ time goes to hell in a hand basket as their supplies go missin’, the power cuts off, and a blizzard rages outside. Did they die? Are the rugrats playin’ a sick prank? Or is it all in the woman’s head who’s one pill away from sheer madness? All I know for sure is it’s a looong dronin’ flick with barely any dialogue or action happenin’. There’s never any immediate danger, no escalatin’ threat – it’s just a buncha forebodin’ shotgun camera angles, pops of nerve shreddin’ noise, and folks givin’ each other the stink eye ’til the director decides to leave things open endin’ for the audience to decide how it all wraps up. Dead dog-cicles, staged hangin’s, kneelin’ on fire logs, bullets to the mug, frostbitten faces, boobs in the shower, frozen lake rescues, hangin’ turkey decor, Thanksgivin’ in the cold, zero Christmas spirit, and movie night with John Carpenter’s The Thing! 2/5!

THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

After runnin’ away from an abusive relationship with a controllin’ scientist, Cecelia is convinced her ex-squeeze is gettin’ payback by fakin’ his death and harassin’ her in an invisible suit he built. Now, it’s a war of wits as she fights to prove he’s alive ‘fore he convinces everyone she belongs in the nuthouse. A different take on an invisible man flick that doesn’t follow the title character’s journey, this offers an entirely new kinda story told from the victim’s perspective. Despite the audience knowin’ what they’re gettin’ into from the get go, the filmmakers still manage to deliver plenty of suspenseful moments with whodunnit teases and some of the most bad ass invisible man kills I’ve seen yet. It’s not without it’s sours, however, like the non-sense logistics behind the scientist’s faked death and the lack of iconic imagery for such a universal monster. Slit throats, framed murders, kitchen fires, roofied job interviews, airborne women, young’n beatin’, macin’, car window punchin’, car wrecks, stabbin’s, fatal gunshots, bed sheet pranks, and nuthouse massacres and escapes! 4/5! 

CLOWN FEAR aka CIRCUS ROAD (2020)

When a carload of bridesmaids breakdown in Clown City, USA (not even jokin’), they mingle with the grease face fearin’ locals ’til their forward thinkin’ ways land ’em in hot water with a gang of homicidal clowns sworn to protect their town’s way of life from outsiders. Inspired by the real-life Clown Motel ‘cross from a cemetery in Nevada, this cheap laugh has its moments, but not ‘nough to justify its nearly two hour runnin’ time! While it manages to spotlight a handful of good actors and deliver some respectable scenes like the fairgrounds trial at the end, there’s still alotta poorly shot scenes (the filmmakers can’t properly light a black man to save their life), needless blow by blow editin’, ridiculous actin’, and confusion whether or not the clowns are supernatural. Head bashin’ with bats, kidnappin’s, Stockholm syndrome, driver seat grindin’ with boobs, topless swimmin’ hole dippin’, Russian roulette, throat slittin’, stabbin’s, boobs in the bath with nude undies, scared girls pissin’ ’emselves, throwin’ knives to the face, exploitative clown flashbacks, and cellphone boob pics! 2/5!

FANTASY ISLAND (2020)

Based on the classic TV show, a gang of contest winners are flown to a remote island where its overseer, Mr. Roarke, turns their deepest desires into reality. When their dream vacation turns into a twisted nightmare, however, they suspect they’re really part of someone else’s revenge fantasy. First off, for you Fantasy Island fans out there, this flick could actually fall in line with the original series if ya just imagine Michael Pena as someone who found the island and somehow assumed the role of the original Mr. Roarke. Other than that, the island still serves as an exotic escape for tourists, fantasies are still tainted by ironic twists and self awakenin’s, and Mr. Roarke is still a gracious host but forced to indulge one person’s dark fantasy thanks to the new origin behind the island’s powers the filmmakers felt necessary to include which is somethin’ the TV show never explained. There’s zip boobs and gore, and the plot’s a little hard to follow, but still a worthy watch that doesn’t shit on its source material. Wishin’ water, fantasy rocks, eyeball poppin’, panic rooms full of bikinis, lotta firefightin’, masked home invadin’, off the chain pool parties, time travelin’, torture chambers, stappled mouths, fatal freefalls, cave mazes, explosions, drownin’ reunions, covert jungle missions, resurrections, evil doppelgangers, electro shock, bullets to the head and chest, flame engulfed flashbacks, and Michael Rooker as a filthy P.I.! 3/5!  

CUPID (2020)

A bullied teen summons a demonic Cupid on Valentine’s Day for payback on some mean girls at school but accidentally curses her teachers and classmates in the process. Now, she has ’til midnight to beat a 24 hours curse and save everyone from bein’ pumped with poison arrows. A lot like an episode of Supernatural without the Winchesters, this is a solid watch with a decent ‘nough cast, story, and effects, but tarnations, Cupid’s makeup looks awful save for his wings. Arrows to the eyes, sawed off arms with unconvincin’ reactions, fast spreadin’ infections, restroom stall murders, throttlin’ specters, love spells, long winded storybook expositions, and arrows through the face! 3/5! 

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