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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SALEM’S LOT (1979)

In this idiot box mini-series, a writer returns to his small town roots to confront ghosts from his past in the local haunt but bumps that trauma to the backburner when he figures out a nosferatu-wannabe’s blown into town and turnin’ everyone into slow-mo bloodsuckers. While it’s cool to see Tobe “Chainsaw Massacre” Hooper turn Stephen King’s stab at vampires into home entertainment the whole family can cringe at, I ain’t the biggest fan of this 1970s spin on Dracula. The characters, settin’s, and creep factor’s all fine and memorable, but it’s the devil in the details that prevent me from fully enjoyin’ it. Like, why make such a big deal outta the Marsten House and its history if it has nothin’ to do with the current vampire infestation? And just what exactly is Barlow’s motive as monster zero? Is he turnin’ Salem’s Lot into some kinda fanger revolution or is he some demented ol’ coot who just wants to watch the world burn? Doesn’t make sense. Hypnotic stares, cheatin’ wife smackin’ off camera, workplace flings, stubborn jeep doors, freefloatin’ guests at the windows, stakes through the chest galore, housefires, glowin’ holy water, neck bitin’ galore, DIY crosses, flesh searin’, antique dealin’ henchmen, and folks impaled on mounted antlers! 3/5!

SALEM’S LOT (2004)

In this remake of an idiot box mini-series, a writer returns to his small town roots to confront ghosts from his past in the local haunt but bumps that trauma to the backburner when he figures out a vampire’s blown into town and turnin’ everyone into mean bloodsuckers. A step-up in style and special effects compared to the original Salem’s Lot, this turn of the century interpretation trades campy ’70s vamps for campy 2000s vamps and puts more emphasis on Mears as a writer, but it unfortunately fails to improve the plot points I think are big sours in the original. Why make such a big deal outta the Marsten House and its history if it has nothin’ to do with the current vampire infestation, and what’s Barlow’s reason for turnin’ a whole town into vampires? This story would be so much better if those two details were ironed out. Demolition bus chases, vanishin’ CGI ash tricks, monstrous speedin’, hypnotic stares, stakes through the chest galore, blackmail, undead weddin’s, rat snackin’, suffocatin’ deaths, near-fatal freefalls, soup kitchen chases, icy deaths, ‘nam bus drivers, fatal wrist chewin’, sunlight defenses, blood guzzlin’, buzzed priests, and morgue stakeouts! 3/5! 

A RETURN TO SALEM’S LOT (1987)

A spiritual sequel in title only, an anthropologist hopes to beat some manners into his trash mouth brat of a young’n with a getaway to Salem’s Lot but gets in over his head when he finds out the town’s ran by vampires wantin’ him to write a bible fer bloodsuckers. This has absolutely nothin’ to do with the Salem’s Lot mini-series! There’s no mention of events, characters, or even the Marsten House, and while some may wanna argue these are the vamps who took over Salem’s Lot at the end of that series, even that don’t jive, ’cause these fangers talk ’bout how they’ve been runnin’ this town for hundreds of years. Deceitful cash grabs aside, this flick also surprisingly sucks — and not in a good way. Director/writer Larry Cohen usually delivers enjoyably quirky flicks I’m always excited to watch, but this is just chock full o’ terribly wooden performancesa and half-assed fight scenes that move at a mind-numbin’ pace. I’d only recommend this disasterpiece to die-hard fans and completists. Human drones, vampire huntin’ geezers, busloads of offscreen victims, fixer-upper shitholes, non-stop swearin’, young’n romances, river brawlin’, chest stakin’ galore, nap time bear traps, psych-out suicides, monstrous puppet transformations, neckin’ with boobs, town infernos, vampire pin cushions, and – somethin’ I’ve never seen ‘fore – a vampire gettin’ knocked up by a human! 2/5! 

SATURN 3 (1980)

A scientist with a superiority complex secretly kills his way to one of Saturn’s remote moon bases to develop a demigod series robot named Hector to replace the base’s isolated lovebirds, Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett, but things go awry when he and his science experiment get fightin’ mad fer Farrah’s heavenly body. Much like the lovesick Hector, this snoozefest of a sci-fi soap opera is stiff and wonky as all get out. The escalation of danger’s as thrillin’ as a ride on a rockin’ horse, there’s barely any character development to speak of, and so many longwinded shots are used to pad this sucker’s paper thin plot, 88 minutes feels like two hours. The sour that bugs me the most, however, is why the openin’ murder scene is never explained, robbin’ the warped scientist of any mystery and ulterior motives I thought he was bringin’ with him. Cut that scene out, it’s still the same movie! Couples exercisin’, big ass brain jars, severed hands, laughably HUGE interface needles, folks launched into space as bloody ice cubes, never endin’ hustlin’, claw machine attacks, dead puppers, naked stranglin’ geezers, icy pits, explosions, hats made of decapitated heads, and Farrah’s constant locks of perfection! 2/5! 

SPACE AMOEBA (1970)

Some entrepreneurs’ plans fer an exotic tourist attraction get seriously derailed when livin’ pixie dust from space crash lands on their remote island getaway and turns its wildlife into smash happy rubber monsters of gargantuan size. An amusin’ kaiju flick, this sucker successfully balances entertainin’ monster action with equally interestin’ folks caught in the middle of it all. With gnarly lookin’ creatures I think are a step above most beasts found in Godzilla flicks at the time, I can’t find any obvious sours worth bitchin’ ’bout ‘ but will point out this is the first time I’ve ever watched a dubbed picture that sounded a bit racist in its delivery. Icy cold squid monsters with light-up eyes, gross lookin’ crab monsters, mean rollie pollie turtles with extendo-necks, possessions, sabotagin’, tentacle chaos, bitin’, flashlight inspired freakouts, awkward weddin’s, burnin’ beasts, shoot ’em up defenses, explosions, bats galore, and volcanic finales! 3/5! 

BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1984)

An e.t. wind is turnin’ small town Texans into funny talkin’ zombies, and they all wanna drink the blood of a  fleein’ journalist and his nitrous-suckin’ fling ‘fore a bomb-happy general gets the go to nuke the town. While I respect this flick’s attempt to be a chuckle-worthy horror featurin’ a new breed of walkin’ dead, it leaves a lot to be desired in the story department. For every decent special effects scene involvin’ a zombie attack, there’s at least three unbearable scenes where the plot stalls for a buncha meaningless yammerin’ ‘mong yahoos strugglin’ to get their lines out. Not the easiest homemade feature to sit through, but at least it’s gotta pretty sweet theme song horror fans can add to their playlists. Severed hands, livin’ room massacres, blood pukin’ transformations, fourth wall breakin’ gags, nuclear explosions, research labs, blood vomitin’ galore, homophobia, roadside hook-ups, over the top car smashin’, street maulin’, army action, and overprotective check points! 2/5! 

LOCKOUT (2012)

When the US president’s daughter is caught in the middle of a prison riot in space, the CIA fires one of their disgraced agents into orbit to rescue her with smartass commentary. Often referred to as Escape From L.A. in space, this sci-fightin’ romp is constantly on the verge of somethin’ special but fails to make its mark with any real memorable moments or characters. Guy Pearce does an awesome job carryin’ the movie as its cynical badass with a soft side, but the script prevents him from truly knockin’ it outta the park with him performin’ ‘gainst a parade of cookie cutter inmates in a cartoony lookin’ future. Head buttin’, gunfire executions, stabbin’s galore, turncoat alliances, CIA moles, usurped presidencies, space divin’, jailbird cosplay, explosions, rough lookin’ motorcycle chases, sweet sets and spaceship models, brain damagin’ stasis, deep space ejectin’, and flash freeze fatalities! 3/5! 

HARDCORE HENRY (2015)

It’s POV the movie as we follow a mute cyborg’s non-stop shoot ’em up romp through Moscow to save his scientist fer a wife from a telekinetic albino, and his army of super soldiers. While there’s plenty of found footage horror puttin’ us in the shoes of terrified victims, this is an interestin’ (and sometimes nauseas) take on first person shooter gameplay bein’ adapted fer the big screen in a feature that’d probably kill someone with motion sickness if watched in one of ’em 4D theme park seats with VR goggles strapped to their peepers. The story’s as thin as a princess rescuin’ video game and things get a little hectic to follow from time to time, but I like this ‘nough to wish there was a traditional cinematic version to enjoy. Airship escapes, parachutin’, sky labs, firefights galore, tanks, explosions galore, chest rippin’, heart rippin’, spare part stealin’, topless brothels, booger sugar, musical avatar clones, humna matchsticks, flamethrowers, motorcycle chases, fatal shrapnel, fatal freefalls, helicopter brawls, parkourin’, song-and-dance numbers, dislodged eyes, explodin’ heads, and folks bein’ decapitated with eyeballs! 3/5! 

TRILOQUIST (2008)

A catatonic basket case and his homicidal sister are takin’ their livin’ dummy on the road to be as big a ventriloquist act as their dead mama was, but their plans fer fame and fortune are seriously derailed by alotta nonsense murderin’ and tryin’ to have an incest baby to carry their family name. This sucker has so many sweet things goin’ fer it from the cinematography to its core of an idea fer a killer dummy flick, it’s unfortunate how it just watches like the filmmakers made this shit up by the seat of their pants ‘fore desperately cobblin’ it together into any kinda coherent feature possibly inspired by the visual flair of Natural Born Killers. The one unforgettable thang this disasterpiece does offer, however, is a scene where the dummy bites a fella’s dick off after givin’ the clueless sap a blowjob. Ya won’t find Chucky or Annabelle doin’ that in one of their movies! Heroin overdoses, car jackin’, carcass puppeteerin’, severed fingers, Halloween massacres, kidnappin’, random bar dancin’ with shotguns, loony bin escapes, throat rippin’, flyin’ dummies, offscreen incest, fatal births, puppet babies, sicko snapshots, shoot ’em up stick-ups, molestin’, attempted rape, electrified deaths, and stripper auditions with boobs! 2/5! 

HOLOGRAM MAN (1995)

In the near future, criminals are imprisoned in digitized states to be reformed fer as long as it takes, but a roid ragin’ terrorist manages to bust outta computer jail and send the cops in a mad scramble to stop his quest for America’s return to democracy as an indestructible hologram in a powerful rubber suit. A bit of a Demolition Man knock-off, this sci-fightin’ action flick has a respectable ‘nough production value from recognizable actors to big set pieces and action sequences but suffers from poor pacin’ and shameful lack of character development for its hero cop performed by TV Tarzan, Joe Lara. Not bad fer a direct to video shoot ’em up with modest special effects, but a perfect example of a flick that missed the mark just ‘nough to fall short of somethin’ special. Explosions galore, bus jackin’, gunfire executions, flamethrowers, power overloads, mold press machines fer evil, confusin’ sex scenes with holograms, computer hackin’, political overthrows, future cars that look like soap box derby projects, electrical blastin’, hologram on hologram violence, bank robberies, cop killin’, and ridiculously easy VR target practices! 3/5!

THE CELLAR (2022)

As usual in a horror flick, a family blindly moves into a house unseen, and surprise surprise — it’s cursed. In this case, the house belonged to a devil worshippin’ mathematician who configured the place to be a gate to hell (’cause why not?), and the new homeowners are obsessed with openin’ it after their oldest young’n disappears in the cellar. Remindin’ me of director Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy, this flick looks fantastic and stars a talented cast but fails to effectively build tension with any satisfyin’ payoff. And as dumb as it sounds, I’m disappointed the gate’s purpose is never explored. Why did the mathematician want an express lane to hell? Did he wanna go there or was it made so the demon he worshipped could have a vacation getaway from his gruelin’ work torturin’ souls? Bottomless steps, Spirograph art, fancy Photoshoppin’ software, accidental geniuses, clues galore, Evil Dead nods with gramophones, bouncy balls, demonic goat men, soul crushin’ lines to the underworld, demon defyin’ doors, secret rooms, and gloom and doom endin’s! 2/5! 

BRAINSCAN (1994)

When Michael dares to play the hottest new game in home entertainment terror, Brainscan, the horror lovin’ high schooler is manipulated into embarkin’ on a real-life murder spree by a demonic gamemaster named Trickster. A terrifically made movie with a criminally underrated villain, this borderline slasher does unfortunately have problems in the story department. Just what is Trickster’s endgame? Is he after Michael’s soul? What exactly are the consequences if Michael just stops playin’ the game? Does Michael’s dead mama issues really play any significant role in the development of his character through any of this? Well, SPOILERS — none of it matters! It’s all a fuckin’ mulligan by the end with everythin’ revealed to be a simulation the game zapped into his noodle. Such a waste of a cool horror villain! Eye gougin’, finger bendin’, head chowin’, CGI shitstorms, severed feet, stabbin’s galore, home invadin’, manhunt fatalities, playful dogs, keep away with body parts, human remains in the fridge, rock posters galore, horror movie clubs, monstrous appetites, Primus jammin’, computer phone servants, house parties, evidence burnin’, mind control, and crushin’ deaths! 3/5! 

TARGET EARTH (1954)

A handful of confused strangers find each other after snoozin’ through a citywide evacuation and finds out it’s ’cause Earth’s bein’ invaded by killer arts and crafts robots a buncha evil fifth graders from space musta built. If these shoestring budget doomsday machines ain’t entertainin’ ‘nough fer ya, their sexist targets are. While I enjoy the comedic spats ‘tween the party hardy couple whose affection fer one ‘nother reminds me of Al and Peg Bundy from Married . . . with Children, it’s their companions’ ridiculously buddin’ romance that has me rollin’ with laughter. How often are audiences supposed to be happy a woman ends up in the arms of a fella who smacks her ’round while tellin’ her to shut-up and stay put most the time they’ve known each other? Only sour I’m knockin’ this black and white sci-fi fer, however, is its abruptly disjointed detours to the government’s side of the invasion which feels like its own separate flick as they plan the defeat of their ray blastin’ enemies with as much excitement as a janitor changin’ light bulbs one-handed. Painted laser ray deaths, noisy defenses, hotel hide-outs, well meanin’ lootin’, and jump scare corpses! 3/5!

THE BLACK SCORPION (1957)

After an earthquake creates a new volcano in Mexico, giant subterranean scorpions escape to the surface and wreak stop-motion havoc on surroundin’ villages ’til only one supreme bug remains fer a buncha eggheads to squish. A bit of a black and white snooze ’til it breaks out the puppet action in all its googly eye glory with drool, the one sour I have with this sucker is how it feels like it ends more than once with its repetitive risin’ and fallin’ climaxes makin’ it feel like serial chapters edited together to be a feature. Regardless, the cast is likeable ‘nough to be root worthy, and there’s plenty of Pee-Wee lookin’ special effects to enjoy. Phone line massacres, stingers to the chests, chinny chin chin weaknesses, monstrous cave explorin’, beast on beast violence, village massacres, big-ass worms and spiders, cave-ins, electrified spear gun huntin’ with meat, and romancin’ ranchers! 3/5! 

2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS (1983)

In an apocalyptic future where folks struggle to put the world back together, a nomadic gang of heroic Rangers make it their mission to avenge the death of a former brother-in-arms whose town has been overtaken by a neo-Nazi and his army of sci-fightin’ foot soldiers and dirt bikers. An interestin’ Texan take on The Road Warrior, this futuristic spaghetti western packs alotta unexpected twists and turns like the use of force fields and even manages to make me laugh a time or two such as when one Ranger tries hydratin’ his tortured buddy with water he didn’t know someone pissed in. Lotta bad-asses blowin’ through one action sequence after ‘nother, this ain’t high art, but it sure as hell is entertainin’! Russian roulette cheatin’, flesh bettin’, molestin’, rapin’, throat slittin’ suicides, explosions galore, settlement invadin’, knife throwin’ to the eye, enslavin’, salt mine escapes, salt shovelin’ torture, titty flashin’ attire, gunfire executions, and Native American attacks! 3/5! 

ANACONDAS: TRAIL OF BLOOD (2009)

Runnin’ with the aftermath of the last sequel’s plot, gangs of folks with different agendas are huffin’ it through the boonies of Romania and eventually cross paths at an experimental camp where a cartoon snake of abnormal size has escaped and can heal from any fatal wound they deal it. A lukewarm creature feature from the Sci-Fi channel that’s best suited fer passin’ a rainy afternoon, the plot’s a little all over the place with competin’ clicks of characters complicatin’ a plot that’s already bogged down with baggage from the last flick’s story. Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat) easily steals the spotlight as my favorite character fightin’ fer his life ‘gainst thugs and super CG snakes, but even his charmin’ screen presence can’t compensate fer half-hearted filmmakin’! Folks ripped in two, blood orchid garden, super snake serums, cave-ins, arm rippin’, gunfire executions, kidnappin’, explodin’ deaths, snake-o-vision, folks swallowed whole, super healin’ action, explodin’ reptiles, stabbin’s, head rippin’, and cartoony chases! 3/5! 

ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN (1958)

When a cheatin’ husband’s emotionally needy wife comes in contact with a giant radioactive man from space, she balloons to a jealous gargantuan on a mission to steal her man back from the claws of a hotel harlot. Semi-seriously presented silliness, this black and white classic does a great job settin’ up its players fer me to get invested in, but really botches the delivery on its promise of a rampagin’ lady of problematic proportions. Not only is she a pissed off eyesore for just a few scant minutes at the end of a measly hour runtime, the filmmakers humorously repeat the same 1-2 shots of her walkin’ everywhere, and with horrible blue screen effects that make her look like a gigantic ghost. Larger-than-life rubber hands, 30 ft transparent space invaders, spaceship balls runnin’ on stolen jewelry, hunchback lookin’ dances, public displays of horniness galore, attempted divorce, hotel smashin’, powerline explosions, fatal roof collapsin’, and butler brawlin’! 3/5! 

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)

Suspicion leads to full blown paranoia as a small town doctor finds out his friends and neighbors are bein’ quietly replaced with copycat pea pods from space that transform ’em all into emotionless bein’s whose only concern is survival. The most famous of the e.t. doppelganger flicks from the 1950s, this sci-fi thriller is a nerve-rackin’ roller coaster of one fella’s valiant fight to love and be loved as he tirelessly rebels ‘gainst seemingly impossible odds. The replacement process is a little convoluted with its explanation fer what happens to the original town folk and the endin’ is too vague fer my taste, but still a solid watch with an unforgettable performance by Kevin McCarthy. Late night rescues, town conspiracies, world dominatin’ farmers, transformative slumberin’, needle stickin’ defenses, town wide manhunts, and lotta lotta lotta runnin’! 4/5! 

FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND (1981)

A hot air balloon ride crash lands a gang of middle age yahoos on an island full of low budget oddities, and they all answer to Dr. Frankenstein’s great granddaughter who has use fer the new arrivals in her immoral experiments fer keepin’ her 200 year ol’ hubbie alive, her ancestor’s lab assistant — Van Helsing! It’s phenomenal just how borin’ this sucker is despite all the craziness it manages to pack in. Even when the screen is filled with scantily clad jungle girls, brainwashed beatniks, and a last minute resurrection of the Frankenstein monster, it’s alotta humdrum silliness that feels like the filmmakers are just makin’ shit up as they go. A meanderin’ plot with no real escalation or characters worth carin’ ’bout, this is truly one of the worst flicks I’ve ever sat through, and that’s sayin’ somethin’! Final dogs, human hammock initiations, zombie beatnik brawls, crazy eyes, obnoxious pirates, tribal girl descendants of e.t.s, kidnappin’, remote hand spasms, annoyin’ projections of John Carradine’s inane yammerin’, machine gun defenses, lab brawls, interspecies blood transfusions, and fatal experimentin’! 1/5! 

THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK (1958)

When a scientist’s genius of a son is turned to road kill, he scoops his noodle into a behemoth of a machine to preserve his intellect for the benefit of mankind, but the fella’s lack of humanity warps him into a mad monster with bafflin’ psychic powers who decides to stare folks to death with death ray peepers at the United Nations buildin’. One helluva sweet cyborg flick nobody talks ’bout, this monster movie cuts deep with problems it thinks up fer someone bein’ turned into a machine while showin’ off one of cinema’s more outlandish robot costumes. A slow but unforgettable watch, the only sour nearly sinkin’ this sucker is its harsh ivory key soundtrack and super annoyin’ radio sound effects whenever the Colossus talks. Basement labs, psychic links, mind control lightshows, psychic predictions, giant stranger danger, family feuds, United Nations massacres, water logged brains doin’ math, and emergency shut-off valves fer killer lab experiments! 4/5! 

WEDLOCK (1991)

Followin’ a backstabbin’ diamond heist, Rutger Hauer is forced to escape a private correctional facility fittin’ prisoners with randomly linked explosive collars and save his hidden loot from crooked wardens and ex-partners. Sci-fi without goin’ overboard, this is one sweet prison flick that’s right up there with Fortress in my opinion. Lotta action, tense chase sequences, plenty of characters to love and hate, and a couple of memorable head explosions to boot! Feels like the movie reaches an endin’ point more than once with all the run around but a minor sour ‘mong so much sweet fun! Explodin’ mannequins, sensory deprevation holes, golden showers, poo water, prison yard brawls to the death, sexual treats fer good behavior, human shields, hotel massacres, explodin’ helicopters, boat stealin’, elevator chases, cliff jumpin’, white water raftin’ with no raft, cop disguises, car chases, explodin’ keychains, and weddin’ crashin! 4/5! 

DEMON COP (1990)

As told by Rod Serling wannabe Cameron Mitchell, a botched blood transfusion leaves a probation officer afflicted with a werewolf-like curse that turns him into a gang bustin’ killin’ machine, and he’s itchin’ fer someone to stop him. A hard watch, this bargain bin cheapie pulls out all the cinematic tricks and shortcuts to offer some semblance of a feature length flick. Instead of a cult classic like The Toxic Avenger, it’s endless voiceovers of folks’ journals and letters to fill gaps ‘tween scenes and longwinded conversations with nothin’ but characters’ backsides. But it’s almost worth fastforwardin’ through for the few funny scenes of the Demon Cop kickin’ cartoon criminals’ asses ‘fore attemptin’ emotional scenes in the most laughable voice that reminds me of Christian Bale’s impression of Cookie Monster takin’ an angry shit fer Batman. Just skip to the Demon Cop parts for a chuckle and call it a night. Man ass, fatal crossfire, face splattin’, lawn chair throwin’, and out of place computer effect deaths?! 2/5!

ENDGAME (1983)

In the Mad Max wannabe future of 2025, the star of a televised death match show is secretly hired to assemble a team of bad asses to transport folks out of the policed ruins of a irradiated New York but might just call it all off when he learns he’s actually bravin’ savage outlands for a bus full of powerful muties the government wants to exterminate. Nothin’ fancy ’bout this spaghetti flick, but it ain’t half bad in the story department and delivers a few excitin’ scenes with a memorable gang of tough guys. Wish they could’ve pumped up the action in the openin’ Running Man act, but I love the part where they fight a town of mad blind monks usin’ a captive psychic for their eyes! Stabbin’ galore, fatal karate choppin’, kickin’ galore, psychics, ape men, lizard men, head twistin’, mutant armies, shoot ’em up galore, dirt bike armies, fatal demonstrations, awkward rapin’, topless arm candy, axes to the head, mind control suicides, crossbow gauntlets, and powerful psychokinetic young’ns! 3/5!

WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS (1971)

A roamin’ gang of desert bikers called the Devil’s Advocates pull over to party next to a Satanic temple and are lulled by devil worshippers into a dark tolerance testin’ ritual that turns its head honcho couple into a couple of werewolves the rest have to defend themselves ‘gainst. Awesome title, sucky movie. This top shelf lookin’ lycan flick promises some kick-ass scenes with an interestin’ ‘nough parade of detestable personalities, but it ultimately pisses its runtime down the drain with meanderin’ road antics and a marathon of a hoodoo ceremony. If ya can make it to the end of this supernatural spin of Easy Rider, you will be rewarded with A werewolf on a motorcycle, but just for a minute. Full frontal snake dancin’, gas station flashin’, dry humpin’ threeway, road ragin’ beat ’em ups, monstrous quicker than the eye transformations, extreme stranger danger, blood guzzlin’ with bread, lotta devil chantin’, junkyard bonfires, biker brawls, and offscreen disembowelin’! 2/5!

SPACE RAIDERS (1983)

Space pirates accidentally jack a big bad corporation’s ship with a CEO’s young’n onboard and futilely swipe at my heart strings as they bond with the doe eyed stowaway through a buncha backstabbin’ hijinks at an e.t.’s pit stop for criminals. There’s genuine effort here to produce a somewhat meaningful story, but this all just falls flat fer me with bland characters runnin’ from one snooze fest to the next written ’round alotta recycled sci-fightin’ footage and music from Battle Beyond the Stars. There’s a fun gag every now and ‘gain, the production value is nothin’ short of respectable, and I enjoy the e.t. design of the space station’s leader,  Zariatin, but overall, this is an unfortunate misfire in shortcut filmmakin’. Warehouse massacres, work droids, fatal laser shootin’, Groundhog Day space battles, stop-motion critters, fugly e.t. gals, bar brawls in space, quick draws with lasers, kidnappin’, spacecraft stealin’, and explosions galore! 2/5! 

BLACKENSTEIN aka BLACK FRANKENSTEIN (1973)

After a Vietnam soldier loses his limbs to a landmine, his fiancee signs him up fer Dr. Stein’s DNA experiments to replace ’em, but Stein’s jealous assistant sabotages the surgery in an effort to steal the vet’s wife-to-be and devolves him into a lumberin’ brute of a cannibal compelled to tear folks apart. A solid blaxploitation flick overall, this ain’t in the same league as Blacula, but is entertainin’ in its own right. I’m genuinely invested in Blackenstein’s continuous run of bad luck and there’s ‘nough story to ever keep thangs from bein’ borin’ with Stein’s other experimental patients and Blackenstein’s laughable mix of victims. Blackenstein himself could’ve been more of a personality, but no serious sours to speak of. Chest rippin’, stranglin’, bafflin’ tiger legs, needle injectin’, lotta pointless lightshow lab equipment, fountain of youth treatments, rapid agin’, straight jacket fits, murderous outtin’s, stand-up comedy acts, jazz concerts, maulin’ with boobs, attempted rape, and dismemberment by ferocious packs of dogs! 3/5! 

SMILEY FACE KILLERS (2020)

A van full o’ water obsessed killers pick a college jock at random and tease him with confusin’ text messages ‘fore finally kidnappin’ him fer a homoerotic ritual with no happy endin’. A pretty disappointin’ slasher from the author of American Psycho, this Hollywood take on loosely theorized murders behind a string of suspicious drownin’s is far from entertainin’. The biggest sour bein’ the main character havin’ no idea he’s even in danger ’til he’s kidnapped near the end, just to meet a grisly fate with no character arc to speak of much less any insight into the killers’ motives. Skip. Streakin’ with taped up genitals, blood drainin’, gas station massacres, car wrecks, bullets to the face, hacked phones, head hammerin’, softcore bangin’ with boobs, lotta man ass, and kidnappin’! 2/5!

MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL (1957)

A rocket full of mutant stop-motion wasps crashes in the jungles of Africa known as Green Hell, and it’s up to a couple of rocket scientists to go on safari and destroy the big-ass buggers ‘fore they bang out a world conquerin’ family. This sucker is disappointin’ as all get out. Not only is the movie 95% yahoos hikin’ through an endless stock footage parade of jungle critters and angry tribes, but when our heroes finally face down the wasps, they completely blow it, and their whole quest is proven pointless as a volcano fortunately destroys the nest for ’em. Only thang worse is the uncomfortable romance ‘tween one of the older scientists and a gal half his age. Spear chuckin’ through chests, brush fires, deluges, fatal lappin’ from contaminated waters, claymation fightin’ ‘tween big-ass wasps and snakes, cave chases, mutant crabs, and fatal stingin’! 2/5! 

BAD GIRLS FROM MARS (1991)

The troubled production of a low-fi skin flick ‘comes an indifferent rotatin’ door of death as a masked slasher keeps offin’ its leadin’ ladies, but the producers remain optimistic and cast a high profile bimbo to hopefully complete their picture. I’ve come to enjoy any movie directed by Fred Olen Ray, but this was a painful reminder how hard comedy can be. More Playboy humor than who-dunnit horror, the jokes are a toss up ‘tween cringe and chuckle worthy, and I found myself more interested in huntin’ fer Easter eggs from Ray’s other films like the recycled costume from Alientator. Drive-by wardrobe change with boobs, stranglin’ with celluloid, decapitatin’, liquor store stick-ups, wet tops, softcore hanky panky, awkward garbage turn ons, topless skinny dippin’, and Brinke Stevens as a gender swappin’ psycho! 2/5!

HEADHUNTER (1988)

An African bogeyman is blowin’ through immigrants in a fireworks show of decapitations fer leavin’ Nigeria fer Miami, but when he finds out two silly detectives are a threat to his mission somehow, he slows his killin’ spree down fer alotta confusin’ shapeshiftin’ games that are unnecessarily drawn out when he’s already proven multiple times he can just kill ’em without any effort. This flick is a bit of a tough watch, and that’s only ’cause of its inconsistent ability to find that sweet balance ‘tween horror and comedy. While the scenes of the monster are few and far ‘tween with kills that range from seriously dark to parodies of Jaws, the majority of the runtime is spent on this straight act cop helpin’ her overly animated partner work through a comical divorce while beggin’ their boss fer more help on their ever growin’ caseload of beheadin’s. Tolerance testin’ as this is, however, my patience pays off with a monstrous chainsaw swingin’ finale that proves to be the best part of the flick. As sweet as this is, though, it’s still a little overshadowed by my burnin’ question fer why the monster has to go as far as swappin’ spit with the cop when pretendin’ to be his ex-wife? Supernatural doppelgangers, explosive swords, underwater ambushes, decapitations galore, chainsaw fightin’, severed arms, possibly severed knee caps, resurrections, shoot ’em up perps, chantin’ crowds, shamans, and phantom shoot-outs! 2/5!

DAMNATION ALLEY (1977)

After World War III leaves America a nuclear wasteland, the remainin’ soldiers of a California missile base build themselves a G.I .Joe’s wet dream of an all terrain battle vehicle and bust ass through a mean stretch of mutant wildlife, hostiles, and disastrous weather to see if there’s any civilization left in New York. A wildly imaginative apocalyptic flick with one of sci-fi’s most memorable vehicles “The Landmaster,” this watches like a heavily condensed mini-series that speeds through alotta rough scenarios I’m sure would carry more impact if allowed to simmer a bit. Folks are killed off as quickly as they’re introduced, their replacements are half-hazardly brought ‘long fer the ride without a whole lotta regard fer safety precautions, there’s workin’ slot machines that defy the rules of nuclear aftermath, and the blue screen effects from big-ass bugs to tie-dye skies are pretty touch and go from beginnin’ to end, but it’s too fun of a ride not too enjoy! Big-ass scorpions, flesh eatin’ roaches, frisky hillbillies, rock throwin’ young’ns, junkyard disasters, nudie mag mishaps, human matchsticks, explodin’ bases, nuclear strikes galore, tornadoes, tsunamis, free floatin’ vehicles, fatal tumbles, and dirt bike stunts galore! 4/5! 

RAIDERS OF THE SUN (1992)

In a post nuclear future, two wasteland armies wage war over gunpowder ‘stead of gasoline, and two comrades split up to rescue one of their abducted wives while the other hunts down a rumored potassium mine fer superior firepower. Pure non-stop shoot ’em up action, this flick has very little story or character beyond a buncha cardboard personalities runnin’ through yer typical damsel in distress video game plot of killin’ every bad guy on the way to a end game destination. It’s excitin’ stuff, sure, but without anyone fer me to care ’bout much less root fer, it’s just an hour and a half of relentless gunfire and explosions. Besides a rope swingin’ death match, the most memorable scene I took away from this is a gang of scared little folk bein’ doused in gas fer a helluvit execution. Don’t see that everyday! Explosions galore, gunfire galore, Mad Max wannabe attack vehicles, harem dungeons, attempted rapes, plunderin’, village massacres, stick fightin’, nicks and scratches that require combustible healin’, tribal romances, stabbin’s, cave-ins, and money grabbin’ bets with venomous snakes! 3/5! 

I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957)

Professor Frankenstein works double-time as a genuine dick who’s secretly hodge podgin’ together a hunk of a teen freak he treats like lab equipment in his basement full of gators while bein’ one of the worst fiancés ever committed to celluloid to a hopeless romantic. Yup, I was naturally drawn to watch this black and white drive-in classic for its spin on the monster as a teenager, but his pop’s the real horror show I can’t wait to see get his comeuppance. His relationship (if ya wanna call it that) with his doe eyed fiancée is nothin’ short of a Ruin My Lifetime movie of the week, and the only thang more laughable than the breakin’ point bein’ him wantin’ to smuggle Teen Frank over international borders in pieces is the filmmakers’ startlin’ decision to suddenly have the movie in color ’cause someone gets electrocuted. Huh?! Offscreen car wrecks, corpse thievin’, face stealin’, home invadin’, escaped science projects, folks turned gator chow, electrocutin’, and stranglin’! 3/5! 

IT CONQURED THE WORLD (1956)

A joke of a scientist makes contact with a race of teepee shaped e.t.s from Venus and is manipulated into helpin’ one of ’em come to Earth on a quest fer peace that non-surprisingly turns out to be the first phase in interplanetary takeover with emotion killin’ mind control and electromagnetic pulse attacks. More talk than monster puppet action, this Roger Corman classic is a respectable flick with competent ‘nough actin’, but the real takeaway is Beverly Garland’s unforgettable rant at the monster ‘fore chargin’ into its infamous screen debut fer the grand finale ya have to see to disbelieve, Scream Freaks! Panned as one sci-fi’s sillier lookin’ monsters, I actually like the Venusian’s bizarre shape and how dramatically different it looks from most other humanoid booger beasts. Flyin’ star critters, mind controllin’, blowtorches to the eye, and messages from deep space! 3/5!

ATTACK OF THE EYE CREATURES (1967)

If ya seen Invasion of the Saucer Men, you’ve seen Attack of the Eye Creatures. Nearly a blow by blow remake of the campy classic, this flick spins the same tale of horn dog teens and out of town opportunists beggin’ the police to shoot e.t.s they encounter in the boonies ’til they figure out they can defeat the rubber suit invaders with their cars’ headlights. Barely a step-up from the original with this sucker bein’ in color, I hoped it would at least offer more impressive lookin’ monsters, but they barely live up to the title as these bulbous marshmallow men with big honkin’ zippers in the back. They’re put to much better use in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini. Severed e.t. hands with minds of their own, teens parkin’, angry old farmers with shotguns, explodin’ UFOs, e.t. roadkills, executions by headlights, and balloon blowin’ breathalyzer tests! 2/5!

SKINLESS aka THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE (2013)

An ego-trippin’ doctor injects himself with an experimental serum concocted from a flesh eatin’ parasite to cure his cancer, but he gets more than he bargains fer as he’s transformed into a skinless acid vomitin’ freak with a taste fer carcasses and decides now’s a good a time as any to act on his lust fer his reluctant lab partner. An impressively ambitious indie that makes the best with what little it’s got on a shot on video budget, this all too familiar tale of mad science exploits its limitations to their fullest and manages to make a fairly memorable flick full of DIY gore and nudity with a monster who reminds me of Kevin Bacon’s Hollowman crossed with Jeff Goldblum’s Brundle Fly. I don’t know why everythin’ happens in one place as if the filmmakers were under house arrest or why they think it’s important fer me to see a woman full on piss in a bucket, but I’m willin’ to forgive these oddball decisions in light of what they accomplished. Full frontal bush, dongs in a literal bloodbath, face peelin’, puppet dissectin’, inside out dog puppets, head pummelin’, face meltin’, limb eatin’, whip action tongues, hand tearin’, romantic fast food dinners, full blown body meltdowns, kidnappin’, and mace hidden in vaginas! 3/5! 

BATTLETRUCK (1982)

In an apocalyptic settin’ that could very well be sharin’ real estate with The Road Warrior, a militant band of marauders cruise the wastelands in a souped-up semi fer a mobile headquarters and meet their match when their leader’s daughter defects into the arms of a community’s fearless dirt biker. A decent Mad Max wannabe overall, this has ‘nough fender bender action to keep me interested in seein’ its toyetic foes battle it out on the back roads of New Zealand, but lacks any interestin’ character arc to really pull me into the heart of the story. One of the best moments is when the hero trades his dirt bike fer an armed stunt buggy and tears through the bad guys’ camp like a gimmicky RC toy commercial! Crossbows to the shoulder, malformed hands, stabbin’s galore, kidnappin’, beatdown initiations, tolerance testin’ helicopter shots, village massacres, explosions, fatal freefallin’ wrecks, and bazooka action! 3/5! 

TALES FROM THE HOOD 2 (2018)

Before a private contractor unveils his new crime fightin’ toon bot, he hires a professional storyteller to help develop its ability to recognize society’s biggest threats with a buncha twisted supernatural tales full of thieves and murderers at their worst. A decently entertainin’ sequel with a hysterically funny Keith David replacin’ Clarence Williams III as the devilish host, Mr. Simms, this top shelf lookin’ anthology boasts some humorously meaningful stories with alotta great actin’, but completely bombs when it comes to all their endin’s save the “Robo Hell” wraparound. Fer all the great set-ups its tales have with “Good Golly” and “The Medium” bein’ my favorites, most of ’em close out on a frustratingly sour note with confusin’ twists and ill fittin’ comeuppance. Especially in the clever yet overly preachy segment, “The Sacrifice,” which still baffles me why exactly the councilman was required to die to keep history on track given what little I know ’bout time travel. I still prefer the original Tales From the Hood, but this sucker’s worth a watch if just to see Keith happily hollerin’ ’bout “The shit!”. Torso chompin’ doors, dry humpin’ with larger than life gollie dolls, explodin’ gollie doll births, disembowlein’ whippin’, possessions, fatal punchin’, kidnappin’, home invadin’, head twistin’, glass eatin’, psychic show phonies, electrocutions, paranormal time travelin’, KKK dystopias, vampy ladies, roofies, and cartoon lasers galore! 3/5! 

TALES FROM THE HOOD 3 (2020)

While sneakin’ through a mysterious graveyard to a surprise endin’, Tony Todd gets an earful of a little girl’s humdrum tales featurin’ real estate scandals gone to hell, monologue heavy racists, Skeleton Key wannabes, and ironic voodoo justice. With the exception of Tony’s wraparound and the chuckle worthy tale of a guy rapidly decomposin’ in a pair of cursed kicks, this wet blanket of a sequel is nowhere near as fun or witty as the first two Tales From the Hood. As saturated of laughs as it is color, especially with no Mr. Simms to liven things up, these tales are painfully predictable with all too familiar twists and just a drag to watch. The best part of the movie fer me is rememberin’ a little girl is tellin’ the story when a kook in one of the more slightly clever segments happily orders a prop in his inflatable threeway to have some of his ass taco! Only recommended for die-hard Hood fans. Human matchstick ghosts, spooky prank calls, arson, bullets to the chest, fatal punch-outs, shitty britches, livin’ rigormortis, spiritual switcheroos, human zoos, demon young’ns, axe murderers, kidnappin’s, and decapitated ghost brats! 3/5!

THE DEEP HOUSE (2021)

Desperate fer YouTube views, a pair of urban explorers scuba dive to the bottom of a man-made lake to check out an underwater mansion and quickly find out it’s haunted by the ghosts of kiddie killin’ Satan worshippers who want ’em to stick ’round fer all the wrong reasons. Better than I expected, this gimmick of a (mostly) found footage flick delivers on creeps and tension while keepin’ things engagin’ with the two divers talkin’ and even listenin’ to music through their head gear, but is a little hard to follow at times with everythin’ shrouded in heavy shadows and debris ‘long with sporadically cut action sequences. Despite these minor sours, however, it’s a solid story with a clever spin on the ol’ haunted house tropes and even borrows a little bit from Event Horizon ‘fore all’s said and done. Supernatural influences, stabbin’s, hooks in limbs, underwater drones, paranormally blocked exits, torture chambers, drownin’s, and larger than life crucifixes! 3/5! 

THE CURSE OF HUMPTY DUMPTY (2021)

When two sisters take their mama back to their childhood home to deal with her dementia, she accidentally restarts a whole slew of bad luck she forgot surrounded a demon possessed Humpty Dumpty doll she already defeated years ago . . . or did she? This British flick has ‘nough interestin’ ideas and movie makin’ skill for a fairly entertainin’ movie, but it unfortunately drops the ball as far as execution is concerned. It constantly beats me over the head with endless scenes establishin’ the state of the mom’s mental health which was accomplished in the first two minutes, the twist is telegraphed so early on, it’s frustratin’ havin’ to wait fer the other characters to catch up, and worse yet — the filmmakers try pullin’ one of ’em Fight Club endin’s that might dismiss the whole killer doll theme. Good lookin’ actresses and a couple of effective scares in a cheap dummy costume is all this really has to offer when all’s said and done. Stabbin’s, buried bodies, tragically bloody pasts, and ritualistic sacrifices! 2/5!

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953)

An astronomer discovers a crashed meteorite is really an e.t. vessel, but ’cause law officials are too lazy to dig out his wild claim, the town finds itself invaded by shapeshiftin’ doppelgangers just lookin’ to leave their dirtball planet. The black and white 3D classic that kick-started the body snatchin’ trend buncha ’50s sci-fi flicks would ‘come known fer, this is a real solid production featurin’ some wild lookin’ puppet peepers from space. I find it laughable how dismissive everyone seems to be fer investigatin’ the meteorite crash site and can’t help but chuckle at some of the deep dialogue blue collar workers spew (thanks to Ray Bradbury contributin’ to the script), but the real sour to fault the movie fer is its lack of tension and stakes. Other than a few people missin’ with imposters in their place with no hostile motives, what am I supposed to be on the edge of my seat fer? U.F.O.s on strings, explosions, kidnappin’, painted laser rays, big ol’ ray guns, fatal freefalls, home invadin’ closet thefts, e.t. peeper-o-vision, and quick shot of a dead coyote! 3/5! 

EVIL DEAD TRAP aka TRAP OF THE DEAD SPIRITS (1988)

With absolutely nothin’ to do with Evil Dead, Evil Dead Trap is ’bout killer mutant brothers trickin’ a late late show host into bringin’ her TV crew to their abandoned factory hideaway so they can kidnap her to replace their absent mama. The first bizarre entry in a trilogy starrin’ a fetal mastermind, this Japanese flick plays like a forebodin’ spaghetti horror with some nutso action that questionably flip flops ‘tween bein’ supernatural or not. The guiltiest example of this is when a gal is pierced by bafflin’ larger than life stakes that erupt outta nowhere. Is this an elaborate booby trap or some reality bendin’ attack? Aside from that and sex scenes that linger waaay too long fer comfort (consensual or not), this flick does manage to reel me in with its bonkers reveal of the chest burstin’ fetus slasher at the end and wanna see the rest of this series. Definite and questionable rape with boobs, mind warped watch dogs, umbilical cord stranglin’, self sacrificin’ suicides, human matchsticks, fatal freefalls, decapitations, stabbin’s galore, crossbow shootin’, arrows to the head, booby trapped doors, blades to the side of the face, bottle rocket action, and mutant killers hidin’ in their victims’ ovaries! 3/5!

NUDIST COLONY OF THE DEAD (1991)

Church hatin’ nudists commit suicide after cursin’ Bible thumpers for shuttin’ down their colony and now rise from their graves for revenge by dismemberin’ the periodic spiritual retreat for the town’s horn dog teens. Havin’ watched the restored version that hacks together original footage with shot-on-video back-ups and redone credit sequences, I didn’t know what to expect from this flick, but I can honestly say I was pretty let down by the time the end credits rolled. It kicks off with hags, boobs, and an amazin’ theme song every horror fan should add to their Halloween playlist, but then spends most the run time on a van full of victims who’re just a buncha one note characters repeatin’ the same jokes over and over ‘gain ‘stead of actually tellin’ a story with the briefest topless ghoul action in the third act. Even worse — this is a fuckin’ musical! Nothin’ wrong with that mind ya, but I saved my eardrums the strain and just fast forward through that noise, savin’ me from watchin’ as much as a third of the movie. Folks cut in half, runnin’ leg props, suicide pacts, posionin’, campsite massacres, yackin’ decapitated heads, human roadkill, Bible swallowin’, fatal freefalls from cliffs, no flesh eatin’, ear severin’, no dongs, drivin’ dead, lowest hangin’ tits ever committed to celluloid, redneck strip poker, helicopter rescues, raps, and unexpected twist endin’s! 2/5! 

I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE (1958)

Men are bein’ replace by alcohol hatin’ e.t. doppelgangers needin’ to mack on their Earth wives to keep their race from goin’ the way of the dodo, but one housespouse is on to their plans and looks for help from anyone who’ll believe her. Kind of a less paranoid fueled version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this is a solid monster movie through and through’, but the characters ain’t all that compellin’, and there’s barely any escalation of danger. The most entertainin’ parts are the unexpected bursts of violence from a stalker shootin’ a cop in broad daylight to e.t.s zappin’ hussies dead in the street. Worst scene is the unbelievable treatment of a new pet dog whose screen time is really short if ya know what I mean. Spaceship invadin’, freefloatin’ folks, kidnappin’s, gunpoint street executions, accidental murder by oxygen, disintegratin’ rays, doggies killed offscreen, and oatmeal meltdowns! 3/5! 

THE EARTH VS THE SPIDER (1958)

After a small town manages to poison a big ass tarantula and stuff its carcass in the high school gym fer study, a band’s rowdy jam session rocks the critter back to life to be defeated all over ‘gain as it rampages through the streets. A stereotypical 1950s drive-in flick with hot roddin’ teens and lawmen fightin’ a live action critter through the magic of trick photography, this ain’t a bad watch. What’s really surprisin’ is the gore I didn’t expect to see, from a car wreck victim gettin’ blood splattered ‘cross his face in the openin’ scene to shots of victims the spider drained to mummified husks of a bein’s. Only sour worth mentionin’ is the annoyin’ dialogue and motives ‘tween the high school sweet hearts who first warn the town ’bout the mysterious mutant eatin’ their friends and family. Skeletons galore, curiously well lit caves, fatal swattin’, crushed spiders, fatal freefalls with impalement, electrocutions, explosions, house wreckin’, car wrecks, major extermination jobs, and pea shooter defenses! 3/5!

VOODOO WOMAN (1957)

Deep in the jungle, a tribe’s witch doctor helps a mad scientist combine the magic of voodoo with biochemicals to turn folks into fugly super bein’s, and just when they didn’t think they had the right test subject, a homicidal treasure hunter trades herself as a guinea pig fer gold while her captive tour guide fights fer an escape from the movie. A competent black and white flick with likeable heroes and damsels as well as entertainin’ villains, the only thang I’d bash this fer is its lack of monster footage and failure to ramp up the action the first (and what should’ve been the only) time the femme fatale’s turned into the cursed voodoo woman. I’d like to think the filmmakers were shyin’ ’round the monster fer a big reveal at the end, but I think they were just too embarrassed to show this recycled booger suit from The She-Creature (1956). Fatal gunshots to the back and gut, golden idols, monstrous dissolves, emotionally abused trophy wives, spears to the back, basement laboratories, attempted human sacrifices at the stake, insta-telepathy, voodoo dolls, conga drum concerts, lap singers, offscreen rape and murder, and one of the stupidest falls to someone’s death ever committed to celluloid! 3/5! 

THE SUPER INFRAMAN (1975)

In response to an underdwellin’ dragon woman tryin’ to rule the world with a small army of rubber suit monsters, a scientist turns a willin’ soldier into a chop socky cyborg hero with incredibly convenient super powers and turns him loose on the invadin’ enemies with explosive results. If ya seen Masked Rider, Ultraman, or Power Rangers, ya pretty much seen Super Inframan. It’s all the same high kickin’, painted laser mayhem I’ve seen a bajillion times ‘fore, complete with a hot minute of spontaneous larger than life fist fightin’ on top of miniatures. Regardless, it’s still a fun watch with barely any story to follow, and the endin’ is a beat ’em up bonkers of an extravaganza ya gotta see to disbelieve! Punchin’ galore, kickin’ galore, explosions galore (but not as many as ya might expect), brainwashin’, kidnappin’, monstrous boat rides, fatal freefalls to the Earth’s core, turncoat spies, mutant bug crushin’, plant tentacle fightin’, heroic transformations, monsters galore, dirt bike chases, car wrecks, human matchsticks, fast freeze fight moves, icy confinement, monstrous decapitatin’ galore, boneyard brawls, robot slinky fightin’, laser shootin’ galore, explosive trick hands, and some of the most confusin’ cybernetic surgeries ever committed to celluloid! 3/5! 

FULL ECLIPSE (1993)

A fearless cop with interpersonal hang-ups is seriously peer pressured into a new crime unit that uses a drug for takin’ a bite outta crime as werewolves, but this pack’s alpha ain’t all he seems to be the closer they come to cleanin’ up the streets fer good. While this flick has everythin’ from a respectable cast to a swank lookin’ production in its favor, it’s ultimately a snooze of a shallow action thriller featurin’ a two-pistol firin’ hero with as much personality as a pair of shades who doesn’t even go feral ’til almost an hour in. In desperate need of a little fun and characters with dimension, the one thang that almost makes this sucker worth watchin’ is its full blown werewolf fight at the end. Stress on “almost.” Garden party massacres, hot pursuits on foot, super jumpin’, drive-by shootin’s, club terrorists, sneaky hostage rescues, bodily fluid removal, bangin’ initiations without boobs, injectin’ galore, super workouts, monstrous transformations, confusin’ Wolverine claws, drug bust massacres, monstrous mugs, and bullet swallowin’ suicides! 2/5!

STAR SLAMMER aka STAR SLAMMER: THE ESCAPE aka PRISON SHIP (1986)

In a far flung future, an ex-miner plots her escape from space after bein’ wrongly sentenced to hard time on a cramp little prison ship full of feisty caged women under the watch of a masochistic warden and her torture happy crew. A women in prison flick set in outer space from B movie favorite Fred Olen Ray sounds like an awesome time to turn yer noodle off fer, but this sucker unfortunately fails to match my enthusiasm. Despite its respectable production value, it fails to give me a heroine with any substance much less character development to break her out from the rest of her one note cellmates and horribly squanders its more engagin’ heavies in one forgettable scene after ‘nother. This should be waaay more fun that it is with more cheesy scene chewin’ dialogue, laser fightin’, and boobs thrown in, but at least I get to see the e.t. from The Deadly Spawn get recycled for a space booger the jail birds gotta fight. Space leech bitin’, whippin’, offscreen paddlin’, puppet fightin’, flash o’ boobs while gettin’ dressed, malformed hands, little person violence, cat fightin’, humorous harmonica diddies, deadly frisbee slop plates, hand severin’, explosions, dry humpin’ with motorboatin’, ghost priests, misguided holy rollers, mind control procedures, mutant rat puppets, and ittie bittie RC bots! 2/5!

THE WHOLE TRUTH (2021)

When two teens’ mama ends up in a coma, their whisked away to their estranged whack jobs fer grandparents’ house where they find a mysterious hole in the wall revealin’ past family shame tied to a blood vomitin’ ghost. A stylish supernatural drama from Thailand, this flick keeps my interest with its engagin’ character interactions and twisty reveals behind the forebodin’ hole in the wall, but it does get a little too convoluted fer its own good. While I can forgive the family’s overcomplicated backstory fer their tragic past, the movie’s distractin’ subplots is where I start demandin’ cuts to the runtime due to a poor set-up fer the drama behind the mom’s car accident to the daughter’s confusin’ slut shamin’ side story over a peepin’ Tom’s video of her in the locker room shower. Maybe it’s a cultural thang. Disappearin’ ghost holes, poisoned kitties, fatal milk guzzlin’, near fatal hit-and-runs, human matchsticks, daddy justice, lotta blood vomitin’, obnoxious pervs, fuedin’ cheerleaders, handicap hatin’, bloody noses, shapeshiftin’ ghosts, and bum raps fer murder! 3/5!  

THE DEMOLITIONIST (1995)

An undercover pip squeak is kinda-sorta-maybe-not really killed on the job tryin’ to bust the ringleader of her city’s gang problem and is turned into the police department’s newest experimental weapon ‘gainst crime with insta-healin’ nanotechnology, an assload of guns, and a bullet proof bike. If ya suck all the cleverness and humanity outta Robocop, add a pinch o’ Universal Soldier, and set it in a slightly confusin’ Demolition Man-ish dystopia where nano tech exists in a world where folks still use flashbulb cameras from the 1950s, ya get The Demolitionist. Every character is so flat and one dimensional, it’s comical whenever its leadin’ ass-kicker Nicole Eggert tries havin’ a meaningful moment with any emotional impact. Between her rushed introduction and lack of development as the Demolitionist, there’s just nothin’ fer me to invest in much less root fer as she blows bad guys away in some of the laziest shoot ’em up sequences I’ve ever seen. This flick has one savin’ grace, however, and that’s writer/director Robert Kurtzman from KNB EFX Group castin’ an impressive round-up of who’s who in horror movies to play the secondary characters like a never-endin’ string of cameos. Makes fer a fun game to try and spot ’em all. Hotel shoot-em ups, bank shoot-em ups, self sacrificin’ games of Russian roulette, wishy washy pseudo-science, electric chair executions, accidental deaths by electrified pee, jailbreaks, bullets to the face, explosions galore, unfortunate tan colored pants, self drivin’ bikes that explode, acupuncture chairs inducin’ visions of devils, self healin’ wrist slashin’, rapid decomposin’, mens room meet-ups, city hall ambushes, botched taser attacks, and ear rippin’! 2/5! 

SCREAM (2022)

Ghostface survivors can’t believe Woodsboro is bein terrorized by ‘nother movie obsessed killer callin’ their asses ‘fore he guts ’em, and this time the murders center ’round the descendants of the folks involved in the original murder spree started by Billy and Stu in ’96. A completely unnecessary sequel – requel – whatever ya wanna call it, I feel like this sucker shoots itself in the foot parodyin’ the very trend it’s pokin’ fun at regardin’ fans’ extreme reactions to Hollywood’s laziness to constantly rinse-repeat bankable properties through the theaters with controversial results. This time, Scream’s knack fer bein’ a self aware horror kinda backfires, and it ‘comes the very movie it’s makin’ fun of which makes it a buzzkill of a lackluster watch. As a casual fan, I don’t give a shit ’bout any of the new characters, I ain’t too fond of what’s done with the series’ mainstays, and worst of all — it’s missin’ that fun factor Wes Craven always managed to slip in there without fail. His directorial presence is sorely missed. Stabbin’s galore, instant human matchsticks, surprisingly strong little girls, ridiculous hospital ambushes, impaled hands, cloned phones, redneck flings, throat slittin’, bullets to the chest, near fatal freefalls, knives through the neck, a tolerance testin’ sequence of bogus scares, home invadin’, mama drama, and ghost dads! 3/5!

VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTOS (2002)

On the warpath to exterminate every vamp killer in Mexico, a mean she-vamp has a change of plans when she learns a kindly vampirette has the cure fer sunlight in an experimental prescription, but she’ll have to fight through a bus full of fang hunters lead by rocker Jon Bon Jovi to get it. A spiritual sequel to John Carpenter’s Vampires, this sucker’s a well made film with all the benchmarks of decent storytellin’ accented by the bells and whistles of gory special effects, but it lacks character development, originality, plot consistency regardin’ the villainess’ goals, and more importantly — a fun factor. Without someone like James Woods bringin’ pizzazz to this thang, it’s just a soulless run of the mill action flick I never care to see twice. Most memorable moment is the oldest son from Family Matters puttin’ on his best tough act as he bows outta the picture sayin’, “You ain’t lived ’til you got head from a vampire.” Arrows through the torso, vampires harpooned and turned into screamin’ bonfires, decapitations galore, impaled hearts galore, confusin’ blood transfusions, church massacres, telepathic visions, thermal spyglasses, dirt naps, throat slittin’ galore, diner massacres, kidnappin’s, speedy bloodsuckers, spear fishin’ fer vamps, tow line strategies, ritual sacrifices, leg drainin’, attempted burnin’ at the stake, stake firin’ guns, sword fightin’, car wrecks, and blowjobs that make you vampires’ lackeys! 3/5! 

DINOSAURUS! (1960)

A TNT happy construction crew in the Caribbean accidentally blows claymation dinos outta extinction from a watery grave, and when their bafflin’ preserved carcasses are reanimated by a random bolt of lightenin’, all hell breaks loose as islanders ‘come dino lunch while a reawakened caveman is comically introduced to cross dressin’. A fun little slice of dino cinema ‘fore Jurassic Park turned every prehistoric themed flick into computer algorithms, this charmin’ monster movie never takes its self too seriously, packs a couple of gory surprises I don’t expect, and offers a nice round-up of quirky characters worth hecklin’ for all the best reasons. I kinda feel like the caveman wasn’t used to his fullest potential storywise, and the star young’n of this thang gets annoyin’ quick, but it’s all still entertainin’ none the less. Last stand fortresses, underwater rescues, prehistoric sized fishin’ tales, bus crushin’, Play-Doh stunt doubles, town drunk snackin’, flesh eatin’ t-rexes, dino back ridin’, overdone caveman gags involvin’ wonders of the 20th century, friendly brontosaurus, t-rex versus mechanical diggers, young’n abuse, steel drum nightlife, fatal freefalls from cliffs, and quicksand deaths! 3/5! 

FAUST: LOVE OF THE DAMNED (2000)

After a music therapist rocks a confused rubber room resident into rememberin’ he’s a demon’s perma grin assassin who haphazardly traded his soul to avenge his wife’s murder with super powers from Hell, his underworld drama turns her life upside down as she gets mixed up in his over the top fight outta his contract ‘gainst a kinky cult knockin’ on Satan’s door. When I hear the talents behind flicks like Bride of Re-Animator made a hard hittin’ Spawn wannabe based on an erotically gory comic fer adults (published years ‘fore McFarlane’s hit funny book FYI), I’m all in! Unfortunately, the editin’ of this down ‘n dirty super flick suffers from a wonky narrative structure cut at a pretty franetic pace. Scenes that’re supposed to develop characters and create an unravelin’ mystery just feel rushed and jumbled, leavin’ me confused by the villains’ overall reason for openin’ a gate to hell and indifferent to anyone’s plight. This is just ridiculous ‘nough to check out thanks to Screaming Mad George’s unforgettable creatures and effects, but I much prefer the filmmakers’ first time out adaptin’ super duper literature, The Guyver! Throat slittin’, satanic orgies, BDSM torture chambers, upsettin’ metal tunes, contemplative suicide, slashin’ galore, subway trains cut in half, rape trauma daddy issues, big ass puppet monsters from hell, human matchsticks, gut dwellin’ pythons fed into puppet heads, dinner party bloodbaths, floggin’, caged beauties, gals turned to puddles of ass and squirtin’ boobs, BDSM brainwashin’, monstrous off-screen transformations, bird flippin’ heroes, soul dealin’, flesh dissolvin’ acid, live burials, hell brawlin’ skeletons, portals to hell, dark rituals, shish kabob henchmen, and heart eatin’! 2/5! 

MY BEST FRIEND IS A VAMPIRE (1987)

After a cock-blocked night in bed with a bloodsuckin’ cougar, a high schooler reluctantly finds himself turnin’ into a vampire and, with the help of his friend and a ol’ bat of a mentor, outwits obsessed fang killers while scorin’ a date with the band geek of his wet dreams. Waaay better than I expected, this flick is like watchin’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer if Buffy were the vampire and is a fun flashback to how I wanna ‘member the 1980s with all its ridiculously layered fashion, pizza parlor neon, and overly hysterical songs. There ain’t any gore or boobs to see, but the rockin’ soundtrack, teenage hijinks, and David Warner cast as the Van Helsing wannabe more than makes up for that. Late night nookie with underwear ads, shower dreams with castratin’ nuns, trick mirrors, lotta car chases, jump cut wolf transformations, flyin’ teens, car thefts, crossbow stakes, handbooks to bein’ a vampire, pig blood drinks of all varieties, homophobia, finger suckin’, mansion torchin’, mi-stakin’ identities, and cruel intentions toward upset canines! 4/5! 

SEVERED TIES (1992)

A scientist luckily figures out how to regrow limbs usin’ reptile DNA just ‘fore losin’ his own arm in an automatic door accident, but one major side effect is his new appendage keeps runnin’ off as a sentient tentacle creature with more regeneratin’ in its place. Can he perfect the mutation fer the better of mankind ‘fore his smotherin’ fat cat mama steals his formula for a fat check? I would think Fangoria Magazine could make a great horror movie given — well — they’re FANGORIA, but their attempts are always “meh” at best. In this case, I’m excited to watch a mad scientist flick with special effects and creatures by KNB EFX Group and talents like Garrett Morris (Chocolate Chip Charlie from The Stuff!) on screen, but the lead actor ain’t all that compellin’, the cinematography feels flat, and the directin’ lacks any creative vision. Perfect example of an interestin’ ‘nough flick deservin’ a better executed remake. Small armies of reptile arms, lotta limb regeneratin’, hand bitin’ reptile puppets, human DNA blenders, mute love interests, monstrous leg growin’, family of handicaps, kidnappin’s, gene splicin’ with full body regeneratin’, chokin’, and chests impaled with monster puppets! 2/5! 

HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, PART 2 (1996)

While pickin’ up a few bucks as a shit shack handler, Henry ‘comes buds with a professional arsonist and introduces the torch to the stress relievin’ perks of murder ’til their friendship breaks bad. A completely unnecessary sequel, this flick tries its best at copycatin’ the nasty energy of the original without bein’ a total rehash, and nearly succeeds, but fails to capture that raw tenacity that kept me glued to the screen the first time ’round. Neil Giuntoli does a bang-up impression of Michael Rooker’s performance of Henry to keep things feelin’ consistent, but unfortunately, the story’s so damn depressin’, there’s zip entertainment to be had in all its forgettable doom and gloom. Awkward sex scenes with no boobs, bullet to the head suicides, emotionally disturbed girlfriends, throat slittin’, stabbin’s galore, explosions, kidnappin’, home invadin’, decapitatin’, suffocatin’ with pillows, roofied drinks, arson galore, neck snappin’, impaled noses, stranglin’ with trash bags, offscreen dismemberment, and dry humpin’ homeless shelter rape! 2/5! 

MY DEMON LOVER (1987)

As a monstrous killer is makin’ headlines in the news, sweet ol’ doormat Denny is out to prove love conquers all when she falls fer a bum who’s cursed to turn into a hideous demonoid whenever he’s sexually triggered. A sweet little flick that’s as funny as it is charmin’, this forgotten gem from the house that Freddy built deserves a watch by horror comedy fans everywhere. The leadin’ lovebirds have genuine screen chemistry, every character is worthy of me rootin’ fer or ‘gainst ’em, and the special effects are terrifically over the top from monstrous transformations to explodin’ heads! Flyin’ rescues, explodin’ cars galore, kidnappin’, demonic possessions, street fortune tellers, subway sax playin’, home thefts, psychics, demonoid dry humpin’, stabbin’s, manglin’, demon killin’ daggers, fruit burgers, castle hideouts, birthday pizzas, and shapeshiftin’! 4/5! 

TERROR TOONS 3 (2015)

The aftermath of the first flick is revisited with a confusin’ mulligan as Doctor Carnage and his victims rise from the dead at the hospital fer more Photoshop mayhem, but just when the gore starts flyin’, the movie takes an unexpected turn and devotes the majority of its skimpy runtime to the godfather of gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, readin’ an entirely unrelated fairy tale ’bout fucked up live action versions of Red Ridin’ Hood and the Big Bad Wolf fightin’ crooked cops in cartoon land. Don’t get me wrong, the Terror Toons movies are a hair’s breadth from bein’ totally unwatchable, but I absolutely hate how the filmmakers completely abandoned Satan’s plot for world conquest established in the last two movies and dupe me with this bait and switch bullshit to watch some inconsequential short crammed with Adult Swim humor cranked to 11. Even worse, the few minutes actually actual meant to be a Terror Toons sequel has zero plot. It’s just an unrelentin’ fever dream of chaotic splatter gore explodin’ ‘cross the screen in a bloodbath of home video practical effects and cut ‘n paste animation. I say skip it, and fangs crossed part 4 is closer to how these weirdo flicks were started! Gore galore and full frontal fer boys and girls with boobs big ‘nough to destroy buildings! 2/5! 

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2022)

When a gang of green lookin’ real estate investors try auctionin’ off a ghost town in Texas as the next hot spot for hipster renovations, they accidentally stress an ol’ local to death whose passin’ brings a pissed off Leatherface outta retirement to avenge her with an unrelentin’ bloodbath. Kinda its own direct sequel to the original Hooper flick, this is the best installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series I’ve seen in awhile, but it’s love/hate fandom at best. I dig the look and feel of this movie with its stylized camerawork intensified by a fantastically grim soundin’ score, and I absolutely love how fresh the story feels with the whole downtown scenario as opposed to the usual breakdowns and haunted house plots Leatherface’s movies are best known fer. Regardin’ the sours, however, the cast is far from convincin’ as a buncha land barons, the usual callin’ cards of a Chainsaw flick like cannibalism and psycho kin are completely absent, and worst of all — the filmmakers steal ideas from 2018’s Halloween and turn Texas Chainsaw’s original last girl Sally into an obsessed gun-totin’ watchdog like Laurie Strode which comes off as silly as Leatherface deflectin’ bullets with his saw. It’s the details over Leatherface’s retconned history that leave me hopin’ the filmmakers start the timeline all over ‘gain in the next one. Onscreen decapitations with a chainsaw, uppercuts with a chainsaw, sewage baths, crawlspace chases, party bus massacres, folks chainsawed in half, severed limbs galore, jaw rippin’, disembowlein’, face rippin’, head smashin’ with oxygen tank, ambulance wrecks, heart attacks, chainsaws to the gut, peculiar waterholes, staged corpses, hammer chuckin’, murder evidence hidey holes, and fatal ass whoopin’s! 3/5!

TERROR TOONS 2 (2007)

Satan’s son (the Antichrist?) continues Hell’s master plan to collect suckers’ souls with cursed bargain bin DVDs unleashin’ live-action toons on a murder spree, and he sets up shop at one poor girl’s birthday party he sics twisted versions of Hansel and Gretel on. Featurin’ Microsoft Paint lookin’ special effects, this shallow sequel is more or less a rehash of the original with new gore gags and party store costumes. The whole concept o’ the cartoon world and Hansel and Gretel’s monstrous origins don’t make a lick o’ sense given Devil Jr’s supposedly doodlin’ these guys into existence, the rules to who lives and dies durin’ a game of musical scares is confusin’, and some scenes have so little story, I just fast forward ’til something actually happens. That said, however, this is a truly bizarre indie flick to behold with some memorable upchuck worthy gore and deserves a little recognition for its resourceful originality. Head hammerin’, body horror cooties, monstrous transformations, arm rippin’, skin tearin’, needles in the ass, sloppy brain transplants, fatal ticklin’, explodin’ hearts, interdimensional portals, throwdowns with Satan’s seed, eye gougin’ with electric bolts, superhero transformations, traps, throat slittin’, and explodin’ birthday clowns with cracked brain spillin’ baskets! 2/5!

KING KONG VS GODZILLA (1962)

After a pharmaceutical company with a TV station kidnaps Kong from his island kingdom to be its new company mascot, the big ape gets loose in Japan and aimlessly wanders ’round ’til he crosses paths with one of Godzilla’s destructive strolls for an uphill street brawl. Seein’ the heavily re-edited American cut from Universal, this flick is a dumpster fire of a narrative mess. The story’s as thin as they come, there’s pointless subplots without any context, the repetitive Godzilla belch grates my last shred of tolerance, and a buncha hacked out scenes are lazily replaced with lame ass space station broadcasts featurin’ cardboard actors forcin’ what little plot there is ‘long from a church rec room. Significant ‘nough to watch at least once, but this rubber monster mash-up is ’bout as awful as they come. Flyin’ monkeys, Kong airdrop, voltage eatin’, longwinded tribal diddies, brown face galore, train wrecks, lightin’ power boosts, super growth berries, roofied apes, iceberg bustin’, explodin’ rafts, crushed buildin’s galore, submarine action, big ass octopus fights, boulder throwin’, atomic breath blasts, and big bad booby traps! 2/5!

KING KONG ESCAPES (1967)

After a Bond villain wannabe’s plans for minin’ a world conquerin’ power source with a robot doppleganger of King Kong flops hard at the North Pole, he resorts to Plan B, and bends the mind of the real deal to finish the job while entertainin’ captive UN agents on a mission to save the big ape ‘fore he and his robo-twin slap fight atop the Tokyo Tower. Campy spy antics with comical rubber monster suit brawlin’, this kaiju flick is just silly fun without bein’ stupid or borin’. While I can accept all the charmingly cheesy miniature effects and mismatched blue screen gags given filmmakin’s limitations at the time this was made, I can’t forgive how Kong looks like a paper mache turd smeared into a shag carpet. Surely more care could’ve been put into sculptin’ his goofy mug, but it does add to the absurd humor of the film like the captured UN agents bitchin’ ’bout bein’ horribly tortured with nightcaps and multiple opportunities to defect. Hover crafts, sea snake beat downs, fatal jaw poppin’, dino street fightin’, geezer deaths, hypno rays, sub rockin’ flirts, explosions galore, fatal freefalls, swimmin’ monkeys, bullets to the chest, sub zero torturin’, and speedy robot productions! 3/5! 

THE FINAL WISH (2018)

When a prodigal son returns home for his pop’s small town funeral, he stumbles ‘cross a demonic wishin’ urn ‘mong his belongings and has to learn all its confusin’ rules ‘fore the djinn inside kills everyone he knows and claims his soul. While this sucker looks great and features a respectable cast of talent (minus the ex-girlfriend’s misdirectin’ line deliveries), it suffers from a double whammy sour ‘tween the script and its execution. All the significant points of this story feel too passive and lack any meaningful acceleration of danger with a mostly absent devil genie followin’ a buncha half-assed rules for how exactly its wishes work. Endin’s pretty lame too, when the son thinks anythin’ short of wishin’ he never found the urn will save the day. Respectable ‘nough fer a watch, but this flick just makes me wanna go watch Wishmaster. Human roadkill, reconstructive face surgery, hairlip ugliness, dead daddy barn dances, re-animated besties, devil’s lettuce smokin’, library expositions, loony bin explanations, graphic doggie deaths, cursed yard sales, bullet swallowin’ suicides, home invadin’ shoot ’em ups, hangin’ suicides, and turd lookin’ demons! 2/5!

MANHUNTER (1986)

A traumatized profiler is nudged outta retirement to help the FBI catch the serial killin’ pen pal of his last twisted arrest, Dr. Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecktor, and is not surprisingly compelled to take charge in catchin’ this chomp happy Tooth Fairy ‘fore he slaughters more families. The flick that initially gets the ball rollin’ for the more popular Hannibal Lecktor sequels, this longwinded crime thriller’s like watchin’ an early Dirty Harry movie without the gunplay while milkin’ every ounce of melodrama out of its scenes that could’ve been cut waaay back. If you’ve seen the 2002 remake Red Dragon, you’ve pretty much seen this, ‘cept Anthony Hopkins was given more screen time as Hannibal while Brian Cox’s mouth gappin’ performance is underplayed for two to three fleetin’ moments. Modestly entertainin’ however ya slice it. Landline phone hackin’, kidnappin’, human matchstick rides in a wheelchair, gouged eyes with mirrors, nasty crime photos, ever changin’ cereal aisle of exposition, blind whores, newspaper decodin’, shoot ’em up endin’s, door crashin’, fake chompers, and stabbin’s! 3/5!

BARBARELLA (1968)

A futuristic space babe with an unspecified set o’ skills is humorously tasked by the President of Earth to rescue one of his scientists capable of buildin’ a super weapon from a far out alien planet, but she’ll need all the help she can get from hopeless rebels and a blind angel to save the doc from the tyrannical hold of a mood slime worshippin’ queen. The epitome of a future filtered through the hippie ideals of the 1960s, this live action adaptation of a French funny book by the same name is trippy as all get out! Bustin’ at the seams with naughty creativity, this flick consistently keeps thangs interestin’ with ever changin’ scenarios through charmingly dated campy effects, a smorgasbord of cartoon characters, and sensual situations played fer laughs while a funkadelic soundtrack of erotic lounge music plays underneath it all. You gotta see this to disbelieve it, Scream Freaks! Fatal pleasure machines, invisible keys and locks, killer parakeet torture chambers, flesh chompin’ dolls, evil young’ns, hairy brat hunters, lotta off screen love makin’, blue screen flyin’, ridiculous miniature special effects, terraformed prisoners, zero gravity stripteases, explosions, 4th dimensional death rays, labyrinth prisons, explodin’ sci-fi foot soldiers, transportation tubes, angels and bimbos dog fightin’ with flyin’ war crafts, sexual encounters of the minds, little bit o’ tasteful nudity but nothin’ gratuitous, kidnappin’, royal overthrows, and crucified angels! 4/5!

OUTLAND (1981)

With a surge of overworked space miners gettin’ high and threatenin’ the lives of their coworkers on one of Jupiter’s moons, it’s up to the new marshal in town to cut off their drug supply and sober up their operation ‘gainst their greedy employer’s wishes. A western in space with Sean Connery playin’ the passin’ through do-gooder hellbent on his own convictions of what’s morally right, Outland is a bit of a slow burn that goes overboard on tension buildin’ filler I couldn’t help but speed through but does offer alotta special effects eye candy from outer space sets inspired by Alien to a couple of head explosions that could compete with the brain basket effects from The Beast Within. A solid watch overall, but lukewarm entertainment at best. Hooker hostages, racquet ball confessionals, shotguns to the chest, tell-all blood tests, explodin’ heads, chaotic chases on foot, battle to the death in zero gravity, weightless interrogations, trigger happy yahoos sucked into space, and elevator rides that turn folks inside out! 3/5! 

SLAPFACE (2021)

A young’n from a broken home makes friends with a squatter in the woods who could very well be a dino-shriekin’ witch whose one trick is vanishin’ like Batman, and the more she sees this runt treated like a doormat by friends and family, the more violent she reacts in his defense. This is a sharp lookin’ movie, but the compliments end there. The leads have zero chemistry, every character is an intolerable shit heel with no redeemin’ qualities, and the payoff fer the whole “slapface” theme is executed ’bout as well as a shoe horned afterthought ’bout bullyin’ to give this sorry ‘cuse of a flick more merit. The worst part of this stupid story, however, is the lay the young’n’s older brother brings home from the bar. She just met these dysfunctional yahoos yesterday, yet she’s instantly invested in all their problems with no compellin’ motivation that makes any sense when anyone else would just split at the first sign of trouble. Easiest fix for everythin’ would’ve been to make her the story’s point of view as she tries to figure out the mystery of the young’n’s supposedly imaginary friend when bodies start droppin’. Face slappin’ galore, breakin’ and enterin’, pack of she-bullies, secret romances, pointless house trashin’, police station massacres, jailbreaks, dog killin’, head clobberin’ with rocks, bum murder raps, and witchy bath time! 2/5! 

ZARDOZ (1974)

In the far flung future, Sean Connery is a manipulated mutant who gets wise to his flyin’ head fer a god, Zardoz, and discovers his savage world is really at the mercy of a buncha froufrou immortals livin’ in a utopian bubble he plots to pop while they study his hard-ons. Callin’ this flick weird is an understatement, Scream Freaks! While this sucker presents a unique ‘nough idea fer a memorable sci-fi flick and cleverly casts the original James Bond to keep me invested in his character’s fate, it’s narrative’s a little all over the place and unravels into a tolerance testin’ mess by the final act that feels like three different endin’s. Aside from the everlastin’ overlords happily beggin’ for death like it’s candy and the goofy mastermind behind Zardoz hammin’ it up fer the screen, my favorite part is Connery sayin’, “Potatoes?” Boobs on horseback, gunshots to the face, geezer, time travelin’, magic crystal nonsense, hitch hikin’ in gun vomittin’ stone heads angry at evil penises, forced farmin’, psychic attacks, plant eatin’ defenses, naked folks in baggies, laboratory prisms, forehead crystals, know-it-all rings, horn dog inducin’ sweat, jump cuttin’ family portraits, garden party massacres, geezer parties, and Connery in a dress! 3/5!

THE DEVIL’S SWORD (1984)

After a gal’s fiancé is forced into a gator witch’s cuddlin’ cult of hickies, her only hope of rescuin’ him is teamin’-up with a roamin’ chop-socky hero on his own quest for a meteorite forged sword other comic book characters are after. Indonesian sword and sorcery with ol’ school martial arts, this sucker has to be seen to disbelieve, Scream Freaks! It’s pure craziness from beginnin’ to end packed with all kinda nutty practical effects, outrageous barbarian brawls, and one memorably zany moment after another. My only beef with this flick is how little the titular sword is used when it’s finally brought into play, and how disjointed its McGuffin plot is from the rest of the movie since both involve the hero’s rock flyin’ rival who works for the gator witch in exchange fer bossy lip-action. Decapitations galore, weaponized hats, curtain fightin’, fire breathin’ gator statues, human matchsticks, hand lasers, sword swingin’, underwater harems, extreme weddin’ crashin’, transportin’ gator men warriors, reaper raftin’, cyclops monster suits, booby trapped caves, hand and leg severin’, venomous snake bites, snake spears, super high kicks, sweet gator couches, kissin’ orgies, firey make-out susans, stabbin’s galore, kidnappin’, hypnotic bedroom eyes, and haggish transformations! 5/5! 

THE PREY (1983)

A gang of interchangeable yahoos hike a mountain trail fer some outdoor nookie while bein’ stalked by a disembodied heartbeat that waits ’til the last possible second to reveal itself as a half melted gypsy hellbent on senseless slaughter and non-consensual baby makin’. A lazy exploitation of the original slasher boom, this campin’ trip from hell ain’t all I hoped it would be. There’s gallons of pissin’ time with one note folks aimlessly walkin’ the woods and playin’ banjos, buncha super close-ups of critters drivin’ home the predator metaphors, blips of scenes that have to be accidental edits, unsolicited backstories, and a music budget just big ‘nough to purchase one orchestral suite to jazz up the credits. Bring a book when watchin’ this flick! Hikin’ galore, head twistin’, storytime with does, sunbathin’, flash o’ boobs in a sleepin’ bag, fatal mountain climbin’ freefalls, suffocatin’ with sleepin’ bags, throat rippin’, blood gurglin’ choke-outs, decapitations with an axe, booby trappin’, buzzard feedin’ body piles, head slammin’, and fights that resemble backyard wrasslin’! 2/5!

CANDYMAN (2021)

Inspired by the urban legends of the Candyman, a strugglin’ artist stirs up more trouble than he bargains for with his latest pieces and finds himself becomin’ the Candyman’s next incarnation fer keepin’ the fear alive. A satisfyin’ reboot that builds on the Candyman trilogy rather than ignore it with callbacks to the first flick, this entry is more ’bout mood and mystery than the gore and relegates most that to the background or offscreen. More confusin’ than who’s actually in danger when someone says Candyman five times, I can’t help but ask why the original Candyman (Tony Todd) ain’t in this more. He has one fleetin’ second of a cameo at the very end, but if we’re stickin’ with canon, why not have him overseein’ the artist’s unwillin’ transformation the whole movie ‘stead of his previous incarnation from the ’70s who ain’t really necessary? Regardless, this is a solid watch with respect fer the fans. Art gallery massacres, high school restroom massacres, hand severin’, hooks rammed into stumps, supernatural bee stingin’, crooked cop massacres, unlawful executions, possessed paintin’, freefloatin’ boogeymen, and paper theater shows! 3/5!

DITCH (2022)

Paramedics and cops find themselves in a wreck off a backroad with criminals they’re transportin’ and are systematically attacked by a group of judgmental vigilantes believin’ they all need to pay for past sins at the hands of their victims. This flick looks fantastic but unfortunately falls to the sours of a terrible script performed by very few actors with any screen presence. While I was hopin’ this wasn’t some hackneyed metaphor for a buncha dead yahoos in transition to the great beyond, I much preferred that to the bullshit it ends up bein’. If this is a straight up revenge story, plain and simple, why don’t most these terrible people recognize their victims attackin’ ’em? From brutal brain damagin’ assaults to drunk drivin’ murder charges, there’s no way in hell they’d forget the names and faces of the folks they hurt and would’ve seen in countless times in court. Stupid. Just avoid this one! Deep cuttin’ slingshots to the face, dumb amnesia plot devices, longwinded backstories, explodin’ ambulances, chainsaw vengeance, bullets to the brain, and one satisfyin’ (yet spotlessly clean) head explosion! 2/5! 

THE BEASTMASTER (1982)

After his adopted village is destroyed by a roamin’ band of savages, Dar sets out fer revenge with the power to communicate with critters willin’ to help him and is quickly sidetracked with a quest fer poontang as he attempts to rescue his kissin’ cousin from a divination obsessed tyrant coincidentally responsible fer his royal estrangement. Surprisingly directed by the creator of the Phantasm series, Don Coscarelli, this epic sword and sorcery adventure is a little longwinded with extensive backstories and meanderin’ plots, but offers ‘nough action and zanny characters to forgive it. Unless yer an animal lover, of course. Ya probably won’t shed a tear over darin’ scenes of cryin’ toddlers hurled into holy bonfires, but filmmakers be damned if ya have to see a dramatization of a dog and ferret’s death or a tiger forced to play a panther in black face. At least ya get to see Tanya Roberts topless. Bear attacks, sacrificial ferrets, dead dogs, hawk-o-vision, mutant earwigs, feral henchmen, fatal freefalls, fortress infiltrations, kingly rescues, fugly hags with amazin’ bods, sword stabbin’s, fancy throwin’ weapons, waterhole skinny dippin’ with boobs, arrows to the chest, human and inhuman matchsticks, Jedi nods, folks sucked to goo, bat mutants, flamin’ moats, random suicidal hangin’s, slave girl rescues, magic spy rings, fortune tellin’ cauldrons, thievin’ ferrets, quicksand rescues, ferret babies, unbelievably strong hawks, and throar slittin’! 3/5!

YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (1983)

A supposedly prehistoric past full of dinos unravels into an apocalyptic future with android overlords when a wigged warrior named Yor meanders from one adventure to the next with a jealous cave girl and her geezer guardian and discovers his destiny to usher his lost tribe of bomb shelter babies back into a savage world. While the hook is obviously sword and sorcery meets sci-fi, this winnin’ combo doesn’t happen ’til waaay later in the flick, makin’ me think I was suckered by false advertisin’ most the movie. Regardless, this is charmin’ cheese that moves at a fun pace with never-endin’ dangers and special effects while managin’ ‘nough drama ‘mong its characters to keep me invested in their quests. Highlight of the whole thang is the geezer guardian’s spontaneous circus performance of a special effects rescue toward the end ya gotta see to disbelieve! Slaughtered dino puppets, sand mummy cults, killer robots, tube labs, treetop getaways, village massacres, rebel uprisin’s, laser blastin’, maze of totems and mirrors, dangerous sailin’, blood drinkin’, hang glidin’ bats, bow and arrow action, axe fightin’, blue meanie plunderers, u.f.o. attacks, fatal freefalls, impalin’, explodin’ fortresses! 3/5!

SHEENA (1984)

Raised by an African tribe after she accidentally kills her parents in a cave-in, Sheena is the designated protector of a proud village that’s been targeted by a power hungry king after their land’s resources, and it’ll take every obedient jungle critter and a lustin’ journalist to elevate her from exotic tour guide to prophesized hero in the loosest sense. A love letter to the unrivaled beauty of Africa from its dreamlike plains to its lush jungles, this borderline softcore adaptation of the Sheena funny books is a sweet watch for its gorgeous visuals, hypnotic score, and scenes of Tanya Roberts in the buff, but its chase heavy plot fer a story leaves a lot to be desired. With her possessin’ powers like Aquaman over the wildlife, I’m really disappointed at Sheena’s lack of heroics with every other walk of life doin’ the heavy liftin’ and even robbin’ her of her big finale showdown as she’s reduced to a damsel in distress. Animal action with no critter deaths, vine swingin’, jungle warfare, fatal freefalls, water hole bathin’ with boobs, waterfall showers with boobs, pre-teen nudity, small horses playin’ zebras, explodin’ wrecks, spears to the throat, arrows to the chest, talkin’ to animals through headaches, horse stunts, snakes, pack of lions, safety circles, jailbreaks, shamans, elephant attacks, hippos, chargin’ rhinos, magical healin’ dirt, bum murder raps, political assassinations, and death by flamingos! 3/5!

THE TOMORROW WAR (2021)

When mankind’s ’bout to go the way of the dodo courtesy of a nasty e.t. invasion, soldiers timewarp to the past and kick-start a world wide draft that forces Chris Pratt to the future long ‘nough to make a difference, so long as he can wrap his noodle ’round fourth dimensional thinkin’ and alternate timelines. A different kinda spin on the apocalyptic movie that’s fresh and interestin’, this longwinded epic packs engagin’ ‘nough characters fightin’ their way through an impressively crafted world with special effects out the ass, but the real takeaway are the mean lookin’ space critters that’re are some of the most impressive lookin’ movie monsters I’ve seen in a long time. While this sucker starts off on a sweet note, however, its second half devolves into ridiculous physics defyin’ CGI battles and me cursin’ at how long it takes Chris to understand he doesn’t have to go back to the future to save it from the past. Rapture lookin’ time travel, arm taggin’, daddy issues, e.t. fist fightin’ in the snow, explosions, oil platform massacres, e.t. poisonin’, nest invadin’, e.t. mama huntin’, spaceship infiltratin’, lazy boot camps, fatal freefalls, extreme pool divin’, human meals galore, e.t. gore galore, cryostasis, sawed e.t.s, flyin’ e.t. battles, and volcano nerds! 4/5!

HERCULES IN NEW YORK (1970)

After naggin’ his pops Zeus fer a hall pass back to Earth, Hercules is zapped from Olympus and ends up in 20th century New York where a leech of a pretzel pusher rides his coattails as he’s swept up in awkward romances and offscreen wrasslin’ with mobster problems. A baby face Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes his actin’ chops fer the first time as this sucker’s star attraction, and after listenin’ to the original Arnie audio track, I have a much deeper appreciation for how far this action icon’s come in Hollywood. Mildly entertainin’ at best with its ’66 Batman fight scenes, corner cuttin’ copouts, and drinkin’ game potential everytime Arnold exclaims, “I’m Hercules,” or, “I have no money,” I really expected more from this cult flick I’ve heard so much ’bout, but hey — at least I get to see Arnold save Central Park from a yahoo in a sad excuse fer a bear costume! Naked men on the wing, harbor throwdowns, power sappin’ drinks, Greek gods and goddesses, all seein’ crystal balls, Donkey Kong style warehouse battles, downtown chariot chases with hot dogs, super throwin’, radio wave goodbyes, cab flippin’, deals with Hades, and a little power liftin’! 2/5!  

PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND (2021)

When a corrupt governor’s sex slave vanishes in a nuclear pocket of limbo called the Ghostland after a joyride, he forces convict Nicolas Cage to wear a suit laced with explosives and rescue her in three days ‘fore he’s blown to pieces. I watched this noise twice and still can’t quite wrap my head ’round it. I was pumped to see this after watchin’ the trailer, but what I hoped would be a wild ride of Cage ragin’ antics turns out to be nothin’ but a buncha beautiful pictures tellin’ some wonky underwhelmin’ story that meanders its way to a copout of a finale that kinda negates what I thought the bulk of the movie was gonna be. It’s like Escape From New York if all the story and action was ‘tween Snake Plissken and Hauk at the end of the movie after the Duke just lets Snake walk out unopposed. Most memorable thang is Cage’s suit blowin’ one of his balls off with him holdin’ the bloody remains. Dong sketchin’, explodin’ arms, explodin’ nads, clock tower chaos, sword play, mannequin disguises, dead young’ns offscreen, bank robbery massacres, mutant convict ghosts, and nuclear sludge origins! 2/5! 

ICE SPIDERS (2007)

Big ol’ spider pixels escape from a top secret military lab and attack a nearby skiing resort where they meet their worst nightmare – – – an ex-Olympian skier with a bum knee. More fun than yer average TV movie, this nature gone wrong flick does a great job keepin’ the action movin’ as it bounces its focus ‘mong several different gangs of skiers and soldiers fightin’ fer their lives through a nice mix of locations. While I normally call out poor CGI critters as immediate sours, I get a good laugh whenever these cartoon spiders are ridiculously animated over skiers mindin’ their own business on the slopes. Severed legs, cocooned victims, mutilated deer, impalin’ with deer antlers, ski resort massacres, half-pipe traps, explosions, lab massacres, double dare skiin’, last stand resorts, snowmobilin’, bus traps, and leg breakin’! 4/5! 

ICE ROAD TERROR (2011)

Alaskan miners unearth a giant cartoon reptile, and after it tears through their whole crew, it’s dead set on eatin’ two competin’ ice road truckers who show up at the wrong time to make a delivery. A run of the mill TV flick fer the Syfy channel with folks fightin’ a CG critter, this one’s better than most, and alotta that’s thanks to castin’ such a solid ensemble of talent from shows like Supernatural, Teen Wolf, and Blood Ties. With well paced action, characters exhibitin’ real personalities, and respectable ‘nough gore, I’d say this creature feature’s worth checkin’ out to pass a lazy afternoon. Tails through the chest, lotta trucker lingo, creeper vibes, monster-o-vision, construction site massacres, cabin massacres, flamethrowin’ gas pumps, freezin’ hikes, explodin’ trucks, and eye stabbin’s! 3/5!  

WILDER NAPALM (1993)

Things heat up as a pyrokinetic clown barges back into his equally gifted brother’s humdrum life and reignites a literal firefight ‘tween ’em with plans to go public with their powers fer fame and fortune while attemptin’ to steal his wife. A quirky little sci-fi comedy, this flick starts off like a character driven stage play, but if ya hang with this slow burn long ‘nough, it erupts into one helluva special effects spectacle I still can’t believe exists in an artsy oddball feature like this. The only thang better than Dennis Quaid’s unforgettable performance as Biff the Clown is his carny sidekick played by a filthified Jim Varney, takin’ one of his rare breaks from playin’ Ernest P. Worrell. Only sour worth mentionin’ is the occasional singin’ firemen. They’re good but sang one too many diddies fer my tolerance. Headache fire conjurin’, cigarette lightin’ tricks, house arrests, nymphomania without boobs, fly zappin’, AC meltin’, roamin’ fairs, fireballs, flammin’ crotch rockets, explodin’ amusement rides, mini-golf chaos, gimmicky costumes, tragic backstories, human matchsticks, crispy corpses, stressful mowin’, rooftop affairs, and one of the looongest kisses evert committed to celluloid! 4/5! 

PSYCHO SCARECROW (1996)

Two detectives investigate a woman’s fatal freefall from a CGI high-rise and find her taped confession revealin’ she was killed by a dead buddy of hers turned vengeful straw man after she helped ditch his corpse in a cursed cornfield for bein’ a pesty peepin’ tom. Ambitious Z grade filmmakin’ to say the least, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shot on video indie with so much CGI ‘fore from a buncha sweepin’ aerial shots and scenery fabrication to the one comic-bookish moment of the pumpkin headed killer ridin’ a bike like a bat outta hell. I can forgive this earnestly made flick fer its draggin’ story, Party City-bought slasher costume, and packin’ all the wonderfully homemade gore in the last few minutes, but tarnations — why is the background noise so LOUD and persistent in this sucker?! The non-stop chirps of birds and crickets drown everythin’ out fer most the runtime! Drinkin’ game every time someone says “cornfield”, gory head smashin’, stabbin’, Scooby-Doo monster chasin’, explosions, fatal green screen freefalls, barely qualifyin’ monstrous transformations, cursed land jibber jabber, and car battery chuckin’! 2/5!

QUEEN OF SPADES (2021)

A bait and switch rebrandin’ of the Bloody Mary legend with a pinch of The Exorcist to mix things up, a gang of ambiguously aged teens dare each other to summon a killer spook known as the Queen of Spades through a mirror for kicks, but regret that decision as they start droppin’ dead with only one of their mamas and an exorcist to save ’em from the infamous booga boo. This sucker has ’bout as much excitement as watchin’ wet concrete dry with a live fly on top. It’s long, borin’, uneventful, and most everyone in the cast acts like they downed a whole bottle of Prozac ‘fore each take. The exorcism at the end is a surprisin’ twist, but it ain’t worth watchin’ the whole movie fer. Festering wounds that’re supposed to be supernatural scratches, heart attacks, drowinin’s, possessin’, fatal freefalls, and some of the most lackadaisical actin’ I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid! 2/5!

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: NEXT OF KIN (2021)

Paranormal Activity goes Amish and bores me to tears as a gal documents her first meetin’ with a simple cousin who introduces her to the family farm she never knew she came from and its sketchy ties to a demon that could explain her mama’s absence. While the Paranormal flicks are usually engagin’ ‘nough to be mildly entertainin’, this latest entry drops the ball with lackluster characters, consistently flat tension, and muddled motives with the girl makin’ it her mission to solve the mystery of the secluded church when it doesn’t seem to have anythin’ to do with her mom’s questionable past. Biggest shock in the movie is findin’ out her Amish cousins are hidin’ Wi-Fi in their closet.  No joke! Sacrificial hidey holes, breakin’ and enterin’, Amish posers, possessin’, freezin’ young’ns, table slappin’ sing-alongs, farmland massacres, and horse violence! 2/5!

KNIFECORP (2021)

While sellin’ knife sets door-to-door, a young gang of newbie salesmen bug the wrong house and find themselves trapped with a deluded ex-cop who’ll kill anybody he thinks is comin’ ‘tween him and his shut-in of a basket case daughter. A fun flick infused with ‘nough seriousness fer me to not wanna see its likeably goofy characters get hurt, the filmmakers do a fantastic job deliverin’ a sharp lookin’ production full of wit and charm with a formidable cast of youths holdin’ their own ‘gainst one of Kane Hodder’s most memorable performances as the overprotective psycho. Only sours here are the repetitive tours through Kane’s house which makes the scenery feel old real quick, and the bafflin’ twist in the third act when the salesgirl randomly has an identity crises that results in a pretty ridiculous endin’. Fatal freefalls, throat slittin’, power tooled genitals, head stabbin’, home invasions, identity crises, chimney torture chambers, sneakin’ ’round galore, creepy dad love, and ‘lotta knife fightin’! 3/5! 

DEATHCEMBER (2019)

An Advent calendar themed anthology, this holiday horror is a smorgasbord of death and destruction told over 24 random Christmas shorts from all ’round the globe with no narrative ties. Some are nicely contained tales of festive fear. Most are underdeveloped ideas without ‘nough context to be entertainin’.  Others feel like Christmas was an afterthought the filmmakers shoehorned in to meet the theme of the movie. Surprisingly, the best and worst shorts fer me are both sci-fi. I enjoy “Cracker” for its grippin’ tension, engagin’ reveals, and quick and easy explanation fer why folks’ heads are blowin’ up at the dinner table, and hate “Aurora” fer bein’ the least Christmas of the bunch with some convoluted plot involvin’ a girl suffocatin’ in the future from spores or somethin’. Worth a see, but no chance of becomin’ a holiday tradition. Jewel heistin’ Santas, killer Santa squatters, two-fisted Santas, reindeer rescues, explodin’ heads, suffocatin’, dead girl dolls, ear bitin’, cursed reports, fatal freefalls, stabbin’s galore, retail rage, dick stabbin’s, kidnappin’s, mutant deer POVs, belly beast swappin’, and hunchbacks burned at the stake! 3/5! 

MIDNIGHT (1989)

After popular horror host Midnight falls in bed with her doof of a fan boy stalker, she’s more than distracted with some of the most absurd relationship problems I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid when the station manager threatens to pull the plug on her show ‘less she signs over the copyright to her character. A fictional horror host no doubt inspired by Vampira and Elvira, this lost flick is a pretty ridiculous watch. First off, the whole horror host theme is downplayed with little to no talk ’bout horror movies, much ‘less the use of any public domain clips from the usual go-to titles like Night of the Living Dead. Second, there’s nothin’ likeable or charmin’ ’bout Midnight. Instead of a sincere oddball with vulnerabilities, she’s a melodramatic whackadoo I can’t bring myself to root fer after all her constant crazy talk or bafflin’ tolerance fer her boy toy openly cheatin’ on her. Finally, the story feels like a padded mess some bored editor slapped together without a script, amazingly turnin’ this loosely labeled “dramedy” into a surprise murder mystery by the final act. Psych-out suicides, poisoned drinks, caged snakes, quickly decomposin’ bodies, underwater stranglin’, hangin’s, uncomfortably long spit swappin’ ‘tween the sheets, pool parties, bikinis galore, and one of the most poorly staged motorcycle wrecks EVER! 2/5!

BLACK FRIDAY (2021)

It’s Black Friday at the world’s saddest lookin’ big box toy store, and its disgruntled employees gotta come together to fight their way through a violent mob of gut hockin’ shoppers infected with some kinda e.t. germ turnin’ ’em all into wannabe creatures from The Thing. Though this decently made flick boasts a likeable cast of fan favorite actors battlin’ impressive special effects, it’s sadly underwhelmin’ thanks to its half-baked script. There needs to be a stronger centric hero or relationship to latch onto, the managers’ personalities should be bigger, more time should be spent on the misery of workin’ Black Fridays, and the employees need motives I can believe for why they throw down with the big bad from outer space at the end, ’cause yer regular Joe Schmoe ain’t stickin’ ’round fer somethin’ meant fer the National Guard to handle. Shopper slayin’, infectious meteorites, big ass monster suit actin’, mish mash monster makin’, germophobes, slingshot forklifts, explosions, gut spillin’ galore, and monstrous transformations! 3/5! 

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE (2021)

Ditchin’ the Ghostbusters decades ago, Egon passes away on a dirt farm and leaves his inheritance to his grand young’ns he haunts into continin’ his fight ‘gainst Gozer’s apocalyptic return as junior Ghostbusters. A fantastic sequel in spirit that keeps within the canon of the first two Ghostbuster flicks, this amazin’ lookin’ film boasts heartfelt actin’, stellar effects, one of the best scores since Back to the Future, and the triumphant return of the original paranormal eliminators I know and love for one brief moment. My only gripes with this sucker is I wish the filmmakers had come up with a whole new big bad to threaten the world ‘stead of recyclin’ Gozer and all his/her predictable plot points. I also didn’t like how quickly the story rushes to the final fight with Gozer as soon as the young’ns encounter their first free floatin’ booger, and the inclusion of Ivo Shandor was cool but pretty pointless overall. Spook chasin’, RC car ghost traps, spirit photography, possessions, spectral comets, ghost traps galore, CGI Egon, ghost chess, hidey hole puzzles, proton stream crossin’, slammer sequences, metal munchin’ boogers, terror dogs, mini-Marshmallow Men antics, Real Ghostbuster toy nods, soul pits, and ancient ruins! 4/5!

A HOUSE ON THE BAYOU (2021)

A cheatin’ dad hires the wrong yokels to kill his wife durin’ a family getaway to the bayou, and a simple murder scheme spirals into a silly mess of twists that decides to be supernatural at the last second with no real punchline. More lackluster thriller than paranormal killer, this decently made flick ain’t terrible by any means, but its escalation of danger involvin’ the mysterious guns-fer-hire from the swamp is terribly ineffective with ’em ridin’ the fence as common criminals or threats from beyond to the end credits. Hammered noggins, nosebleeds galore, vehicular bon fires, mystical resurrections, human matchsticks, disembowelin’, wolf attacks, and disappearin’ houses! 2/5! 

HAUNTEDWEEN (1991)

When a Kentucky frat house desperately needs some deniro to keep their college from kickin’ ’em off campus, a mysterious stranger offers his ol’ haunted attraction of a house fer a Halloween fundraiser and sabotages their lucrative night with real blood curdlin’ scenes of executions. While it takes a while fer the Halloween antics to ramp up, this charmin’ indie flick manages to keep me entertained as a time capsule of boonies pop culture at the dawn of the ’90s. When it does kick into full horror, however, it’s a pretty impressive display of grisly effects ‘fore a cluelessly cheerin’ audience that wraps up with some amazin’ heroics with a flamethrower! Batter batter decapitations, bimbo carvin’, skinny dippin’ with boobs, impalin’, body hackin’, drop dead grannies, explodin’ vans, full blown concerts, topless sunbathin’, boobs on a boat, hang ’em executions, electric chair torture, head twistin’, and machetes through the neck! 3/5! 

MADRES (2021)

A Mexican-American couple move into a new home in the 1970s, and a wronged ghost just barely drops the prego wife ‘nough clues to expose a race conspiracy to sterilize immigrant mamas ‘gainst their wills. A snooze fest of quiet moments and music box lullabies fer a soundtrack, this true crime inspired drama barely registers as a supernatural horror with the ghost bein’ nothin’ more than a periodic presence on the very fringe of the story the filmmakers could’ve removed with no consequence to the plot. This is really a flick ’bout a social injustice that needed that dependable horror label to ensure its message ’bout unlawful tube tyin’ reached folks. Nothin’ wrong with that, but I’d still like the ghost to have more of a direct role in things, and I think the overall message gets buried in too much misdirection by the end with everyone blamin’ their problems on poisonous pesticides most the movie. Fallin’ pregos, purposely botched births, shed traps, shamans, house wife sleuthin’, and magical trinkets! 2/5!

BLACK AS THE NIGHT (2021)

After her drug addicted mama becomes an explodin’ vampire, a teeny bopper with new boobs makes it her mission to kill the head bloodsucker responsible and prevent his army of fang bangers from takin’ over New Orleans. A very forgettable flick, this neither adds anythin’ new or wild to the vampire genre, and its villains leave a lot to be desired as far as character and their interaction with the slayer wannabe. And speakin’ of the heroine played by Asjha Cooper, she’s undeniably a good actor but doesn’t possess ‘nough star power to carry a movie as the lead. It especially doesn’t help she’s a woman in her late twenties playin’ a teen so young she brags about her boobs finally growin’ in which I think happens fer gals by age 13? Asjha can pass fer a high schooler, sure, but is the movie suggestin’ she’s younger than 15? Waaay too distractin’! Explodin’ fang bangers, bum feedin’, undercover hookin’, stakin’, book club experts on vampires, fang on fang violence, garlic cloud defenses, and bloodsuckin’ resurrections! 3/5!

OLD (2021)

Guests at an exotic island hotel are escorted to a secluded beach and find themselves trapped as they experience rapid agin’ that aggravates their different medical conditions. Kinda like a feature length Twilight Zone episode, director M. Night Shyamalan delivers a solid tension buildin’ flick full of intrigue and pendin’ dread but not so much on a twist endin’ folks come to expect from him. The only sour I don’t like is its shallow character development ‘mong its ensemble of victims with no particular yahoo servin’ as the story’s point of view with any meaningful arc. Human pretzels, fast healin’, emergency surgeries as easy as games of Operation, rapid growth spurts, speedy pregnancies, seizures, bloated bodies, decomposin’, rust poisonin’, fatal freefalls, blackouts, stabbin’s galore, and top secrets operations! 4/5!

GRAVE HALLOWEEN aka THE SUICIDE FOREST aka DEATHLY HALLOWEEN (2013)

A gang of student filmmakers spend Halloween in Japan’s infamous Suicide Forest and document a classmate’s search fer answers ’bout her dead birth mama while bein’ chased by Grudge ghost wannabes. A forgettable snooze of a Syfy original, the plot is interestin’ ‘nough, but the cast is miserably flat and fails to pull me into these yahoo’s haunted romp through the sticks. It’s beyond me why this is even set on Halloween given it has zero holiday vibes with it only bein’ mentioned in passin’. A fine flick fer background noise or a sleep-aid but nothin’ else. Drawn and quarterin’ by hair extensions, supernatural suckin’, Cassandra ghosts, drivin’ dead, mama drama, stabbin’s, robbin’ the dead! 3/5! 

ESCAPE ROOM 2: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS (2021)

Before the final girl of the last flick can expose the evil organization behind underground rat races set in life or death escape rooms, she’s unbelievably wrangled into a new series of fatal head scratchers with other previous winners. An okay movie overall, this sequel’s ensemble of players doesn’t have the most engagin’ chemistry, and the puzzles ‘come so convoluted, I’ve no choice but to shut my noodle off and enjoy all the expensive eye candy this flick could slap on the screen. The real sour worth knockin’ this sucker for, however, is its bum rush of an endin’ that’s just a little too confusin’ as the filmmakers attempt to reveal and explain the true mastermind behind all these wacko traps. Flesh meltin’ rain, trap cars, quicksand, electrified subway cars, games of Hangman, deadly lasers, cave-ins, smarty pants dungeons, muggin’s, electrocutions, sauna traps, and daddy daughter drama! 3/5!

HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)

An immediate follow-up to Michael Myers’ newest mulligan timeline introduced in 2018’s Halloween, the infamous bogeyman remains at large and continues ruinin’ Halloween for everyone in Haddonfield with an indifferent murder spree that gains the attention of a town wide lynch mob led by survivors of Michael’s first holiday massacre in 1978. Easily one of my least favorite sequels ‘mong the Halloween movies, Halloween Kills is just a string of ridiculous moments that feels like some teenager’s attempt at fan fiction that’s neither fun or rewatchable. The dialogue’s wildly over the top and repetitive (“Evil dies tonight!), there’s way too many folks spillin’ a buncha needless exposition, most the characters returnin’ from the ’78 flick are shoehorned in as opposed to bein’ organically introduced with an actual role to play, there’s the stupidest case of mistaken identity that drags out waaay too long in the middle, and the biggest dick slap to the mug is the anti-claimatic endin’ the movie spends its whole runnin’ time buildin’ up to. Besides an impressive stand-in for Loomis in flashbacks and the funny scenes of the couple livin’ in the Myers house, the only positive thing I can say ‘about this farce is it absolutely delivers what the title promises, and that’s a non-stop gore-fest of brutal deaths that’s perfect for background horror at Halloween parties. Stabbin’ galore, vigilante justice, street pizzas, fatal freefall suicides, head smashin’ galore, home invadin’, carjackin’, house infernos, firefighter massacres, axes to the face, saws to the fact, lotta broken windows, impaled faces, keep away, turkey baster injections of courage, gushin’ neck wounds, gunshots to the chest, and panicked mobs! 3/5!

SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (2021)

A loose remake of the 1982 classic, a gang of girlfriends sneak away to an infamous cabin to lure out a psycho killer with a mean drill and make him pay for attackin’ one of their mamas forever ago so she can lay her tragic past to rest. The Slumber Party Massacre series and its loose Cheerleader Massacre sequels ain’t Oscar worthy flicks by any means, but this sucker leaves a lot to be desired. Shakin’ things up with a self-aware cast followin’ Scream rules fer defeatin’ slashers, the biggest sour for me is how flat and underdeveloped the characters are, despite some of ’em possessin’ an undeniable screen presence like the little sister. There’s an unexpected twist here and there that’s sweet, but this is ultimately a soulless remake that fails to be as fun or funny as its source material. Nods to Slumber Party Massacre 2‘s guitar, slashers in the shower, vengeful mamas, chest and hand drillin’, eye gougin’, wacky tobacky brownies, toy penis trinkets, drugged cookies, vomitin’, fake boobs, psych-out revenge schemes, stabbin’ galore, body hackin’, homoerotic bondin’, manly butts in the shower, and makeshift weed wacked faces! 2/5!

THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE (2021)

Small town high schoolers party it up as the news reports a killer who’s out to publically expose their dirty secrets while wearin’ 3D printed masks of their mugs. A beautifully shot movie with solid actin’, this whodunnit slasher’s biggest flaw is well . . . its slasher! Relyin’ too much on ’em just being a psycho followin’ psychio logic, the victims are as random as names outta hat, and I don’t think any of their secrets are extreme ‘nough to justify the gore-tastic ends they meet, even by horror movie standards. Like who gives a flyin’ fuck that one unlucky stiff’s secret is bein’ addicted to pain killers? For a flick that openly references I Know What You Did Last Summer, I’d think the filmmakers would have done a better job buildin’ a murder mystery ’round teens with a secret. Achilles heel severin’, home invadin’, taser guns, swords through the noggin’, head impalin’, belly slicin’, stabbin’ galore, parked make-out sessions, secret partyin’, Nazi memorabilia converted to hookas, bonfire victims, white power propagandas, sleep walkin’ grannies, corn maze chaos, and lotta print-out plasterin’! 2/3!

V/H/S/94 (2021)

A ridiculous S.W.A.T. team who loves shoutin’ “Warrant!” busts in on some kinda couch potato cult and is slowly driven mad as they peek at a buncha idiot boxes playin’ extreme videos that include rat man cults, zombie wakes, killer cyborgs, and redneck militias armed with vampires. An okay V/H/S sequel at best, most these stories suffer from poor set-ups or shoddy endin’s that keep ’em from bein’ winners, but “The Subject” is a cybernetic nightmare worth checkin’ out, and “The Terror” unexpectedly explores a side of vampires I’d never seen before with weaponized blood bombs that’s pretty damn cool. The worst of the bunch that sent me into a snooze was “The Empty Wake” thanks to its lack of plot and exposition, and the wraparound story with the S.W.A.T. team was just ’bout as hard to follow. Kidnappin’, eye gougin’, head smashin’, folks ripped in half, explodin’ vampire blood, shotguns to the face galore, jailbreaks, bloodsuckin’, face meltin’ upchuck, under dweller cults, S.W.A.T. team massacres, brain squishin’, electrocutions, intestine spillin’, explodin’ rabbits, and monstrous suicides! 2/5! 

C.O.R.N.: A FIELD OF SCREAMS (2021)

While their new step dad hikes the great yander for roadside assistance, a brother and sister ditch their busted ride to celebrate Halloween with the locals for a couple of days and end up in the middle of an underground taxidermy competition ran by murderous artists. Kinda House of Wax meets a poor man’s Hostel with minimum holiday spirit, this ain’t a bad idea for a horror flick, but its loosey goosey storytellin’ makes for a meanderin’ plot with vague relations ‘mong characters and thinly drawn out tension. This could be so much better if it had a more heartless editor workin’ from a tighter script. Kidnappin’, throat slittin’, human taxidermy art, people made into scarecrows for some reason, weirdo children, back stabbin’s, macabre art shows, shit hole dungeons, leg peelin’, powerhouse nimwits, knives to the face, disfigured eyes, human dissectin’, squattin’, silo partyin’, haunted corn mazes, haunted hay rides, evil step parents, big boob bikini slow-mo, and waterhole dippin’! 2/5!

SEANCE (2021)

After boardin’ school girls playfully evoke ghosts from their dorm’s grisly past, they start dyin’ off one by one and suspect someone in their group’s usin’ the urban legend as a cover to go all slash happy. A decent flick from the studio behind my favorite remakes like House on Haunted Hill (1999) and 13 Ghosts (2001), this is a well made movie with an interestin’ ‘nough lookin’ gang of gals, but its too cool fer school last girl lacks any character buildin’ substance for me to latch onto, and it feels like the filmmakers couldn’t settle on a definitive tone with this movie ridin’ a fine line ‘tween bein’ a supernatural thriller or revenge slasher. Even worse, the kills are pretty damn basic, save the last couple of physics defyin’ fatalities that only make sense if folks were made of mashed potatoes! Best part is findin’ out this is all ’bout someone tryin’ to get away with plagiarism. Cat fights, slappin’, punchin’, stabbin’ galore, throat slittin’ with fluorescents, decapitations with bookshelves, leg breakin’, seances, automatic writin’, lesbo lip lockin’, wacky tobacky, fatal freefalls, slashers in the shower, light fixtures to the face, kidnappin’, and head conkin’! 2/5!

AQUASLASH (2019)

While a graduating class of high school horn dogs cap off their senior year with a weekend long party at their local waterpark motel, someone with an axe to grind booby traps one of the slides for a buncha wet ‘n wild deaths! A valiant effort at bein’ a memorable horror flick, this whodunnit summer slasher has all the ingredients for makin’ somethin’ special, but ultimately ends up a poorly set-up punchline that’s more recycled teen comedy antics from the ’80s than horror. This could have been a real winner if the filmmakers escalated the danger with more than one chop suey waterslide from beginnin’ to end and wrote a killer whose motives made any sense. Stabbin’s, fatal freefall, slice ‘n dice massacre slides, head smashin’ with bottles, nookie in the shower, bikini car washes, embarassin’ dance offs, sleazy affairs, graphic lobster dinin’, and concert crashin’ beat downs! 2/5! 

BAD CANDY (2021)

A mess of a Halloween decked anthology, this flick’s either ’bout a radio DJ spittin’ a buncha erratic stories over the airwaves by request or a little mutant’s killer clown drawin’ come to life who tears through a buncha loosely connected shorts full of horn dogs and killers. With reasonable actin’, decent ‘nough ideas, and impressive cinematography, the flaw that completely ruins this holiday horror is its editin’. The story’s framework is never clearly defined, set-ups are an endangered practice leavin’ stories vacant of any explanation or substance worth carin’ ’bout, everything’s jump cutty at best, and the uneventful twist with the DJs at the end don’t make a lick of sense. Best part of the movie where things finally start comin’ together for one fleetin’ moment is when some vigilantes round up a buncha panicked yahoos for their blood thirsty buddy to hunt. Acid trippin’ necrophilia, high flyin’ monsters, victims who explode like crash dummies when struck, splat fairies, imaginary critters, young’ns turned into collectables, razor blade stuffed candy, jack-o-lantern bashin’, smooshy sounds galore, gas station hookers, doodles come to life, tree house clubs, human roadkill with utter indifference, decapitations, life suckin’ ghosts, house fires, time travelin’ echoes, impalement, head crushin’ and slicin’, home invasions, and attempted rapes! 2/5! 

MALIGNANT (2021)

An abused prego loses her family overnight and starts havin’ lucid episodes of a twisted slasher workin’ his way through a hit list of doctors she wants to help the police stop. Best described as Basket Case meets The Dark Half, this flick’s feature killer comes off more like a super villain than the next great boogey man, and it doesn’t help his leadin’ lady is a lame duck who spends more time reactin’ to situations than expressin’ herself as a character with any substance worth me givin’ a damn ’bout. A sandbox kinda experiment in filmmakin’ with heavy-horror-hitter James Wan spinnin’ horror yarn with the visual energy of a comic book movie, the story’s an entertainin’ mess of set-ups and character developments with a pretty predictable endin’, but it still manages to be an attention grabbin’ watch by the final act. Weaponized awards, wife beatin’, head trauma, separation anxiety, vague electrical powers that are never really explained, radio wave yappin’, semi-possessin’, stabbin’s galore, Siamese surgeries, chasin’ through Seattle’s underground, jail cell massacres, ladies on the can, mind manipulatin’, police station massacres, and bed flippin’! 3/5! 

SUPERHOST (2021)

A romantic pair of Airbnb critics stupidly ignore every red flag their latest host at a remote cabin is a lyin’ psycho and try exploitin’ her craziness fer more subs to their channel with disastrous results. While this flick boasts decent actors and pretty locations, it completely lacks conviction on all fronts with so-so characters losin’ their shit over a pretty escapable killer who’s never as hopelessly threatenin’ as the filmmakers want her to be. The other thang that really sticks in my craw as trivial as it is, how in the world does the she-critic not know her man’s gonna propose to her when he’s constantly uploadin’ his plans to propose to her on their channel? The internet can’t keep a secret! Clogged toilets, hidey holes, Big Brother stalkin’, secret passageways, stabbin’ galore, and a terrific drop-in by scream queen Barbara Crampton for one violent death! 3/5!

BABY OOPSIE (2021)

A doll lovin’ web show host with alotta pent up rage is sent a Baby Oopsie from the Demonic Toys series in the mail, and once she restores the demon in disguise, she’s a little too eager to sic the homicidal hunk of plastic on her everyday bullies. A loose spin-off that could very well be featurin’ one of the Baby Oopsie clones mass produced in Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys given its gender swap, this first flick from the Full Moon Manor features crisp camerawork, effective pops of Tarantino gore, and a non-stereotypical cast that keep me on my tippy toes for what to expect from any of ’em. Only sours worth mentionin’ is the music being more distracting than complimentary in the first half of the movie, and I feel like the doll lover’s friendship with her tenant was underutilized for some meaningful character development. Mini chainsaw violence, devil doll worshippin’, pee-pot action, mulligan daydreamin’, stranglin’, projectile face-meltin’ vomit, rub-a-dub deaths with a microwave oven, side boobs, severed noses, body hackin’, desk jockey terminations, lotta lotta Full Moon Easter eggs, and more baby doll enthusiasts than anyone would ever suspect! 3/5! 

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