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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THE BEFORE TIME (2014)

In this unusual horror, a TV producer pitches a reality show that’s treasure huntin’ meets Battle of the Network Stars and takes two competin’ news crews to the desert to look for gold the Native Americans say is protected by head choppin’ booga boos. I give the filmmakers kudos for cookin’ up such a fresh idea of a story, but it’s more internal fightin’ ‘tween the crews over diva drama and gold fever paranoia than the supernatural scares I’m hopin’ for. Notable, but nothin’ too memorable. Bitchy field reporters, hell mouths, peyote trippin’, skinwalkin’ wolves, medicine men, metal detectin’, gold huntin’, staged Cassandra figures, head poppin’ decapitations, and board room ambushes! 3/5! 

A WAKEFIELD PROJECT (2019)

When solar flares break down the barriers ‘tween the land of the livin’ and the spirit world, two best friends are haunted by the previous owner of their BnB project, a mountain of red head killin’ muscle called The Butcher. A decent little movie with charm to spare, the standouts in this flick are its leadin’ gym rat renovators who surprisingly manage to carry the first half of the runtime on their chemistry alone ’til things really start cookin’ in the second half. Their screen presence’s so likable, it’s almost ‘nough for me to forgive the story’s draggin’ developments, lack of escalatin’ dangers, and oddball expositions.  Almost. Redhead hate, cheatin’ girlfriends, drunken dad insults, besties on a meathook, bloodiest home videos, kidnappin’, torturin’, VCR hunts, ghost pickers, ear shriekin’ shrills, malfunctionin’ machines, psychic romances, and handsy bums! 2/5!

BODY COUNT (1986)

Some dirt bikers and an RV full of horn dogs converge on a cursed camp and are picked off by a slash happy shaman the campground owner’s been tryin’ to catch like a leprechaun for years, so he can finally open for business. A pretty mundane slasher as far as the premise and kills are concerned, the real sweet watchin’ this is the unpredictable buncha yahoos hangin’ out ’til the shaman gets ’em. One second they’re forcin’ strangers to hitchhike with ’em while motorboatin’ their mugs under some tight t-shirts, the next, they’re decidin’ it’s a great idea to clean the rundown bath house in the middle of the night for a little less disgustin’ showers in the mornin’. This flick’s okay at best but does have a bit of a head scratchin’ endin’ that suggests there might really be a killer shaman runnin’ ’round at some point. Stabbin’s galore, hidey holes in the bathhouse, streakin’ pranks, booby trap impalin’, near fatal freefalls off a mountain, confusin’ campground geography, hairdressin’ with boobs, dirt bikin’, affairs of the heart, obsessions with capturin’ curses, lovemakin’ in barns, topless shower preparation, strangulation, head bonkin’, boobs in the shower, outdoor aerobics for goofballs, bottled body parts, ripoff kills from Friday the 13th, and campin’! 3/5!

AFTER DUSK THEY COME aka THE FORGOTTEN ONES (2009)

A boat ride ends up strandin’ a buncha strained relationships on an uncharted island, and just when I start to care a little for ’em, a pack of lion faced Tarzan wannabes tear outta the jungle like trapeze artists for a blood feast. It’s as simple as it gets as far as plot is concerned, but the monsters in this sucker look top notch and the cinematography beautifully captures the green inferno this takes place in. Too bad the filmmakers weren’t as ept at makin’ things feel scary which robs the movie of a lot of tension coupled with some ineffectively timed deaths. Unbelievable decapitations, high flyin’ snares, ridiculous fatal freefalls through trees, blubber disembowelin’, ludicrous beliefs it’s safer in open water than on a beach where folks know where to find you, scent huntin’, cannibalism, machete fightin’, boat wrecks, proposals on the beach, secret affairs, pullin’ fangs outta legs, flare gun distractions, she-squatch wailin’, and scent coverin’ with some kinda jizz drool! 3/5!

FEVER LAKE (1997)

A gang of college yahoos spend a weekend squattin’ at what I think is an abandoned house on a cursed lake, and a Native American booga boo possesses one of ’em to be a whodunnit ax killer. A pretty forgettable slasher that even Corey Haim and Mario Lopez can’t liven up, there ain’t but one compliment I can give this sucker, and that’s for its eerie special effects scene at the end featurin’ a gnarly decomposin’ hag that’s sure to give anyone the goosebumps. Wolf attacks, possessions with green eyes, ax murders galore, two fer one impalement kills with an ax in the back, random tarantulas, squished bugs, Native American Cassandra figures, house burnin’, wife beatin’, tragic flashbacks, chewed up haircuts, and bikinis! 3/5! 

30 MILES FROM NOWHERE (2018)

In this borderline horror, a gang of college friends reunite for a funeral, and their past sins ‘gainst the corpse of the hour comes back to bite ’em in the ass as alotta unexplainable scares clue ’em in this is someone’s elaborate idea for revenge. Spoilers ahead, Scream Freaks! This flick looks great and boasts a nice ensemble of talent, but when it’s revealed these folks are duped guinea pigs for an experiment in weaponizin’ fear, the dots just don’t connect. Either the scientists responsible are too nuts to run a sensible test with a clear ‘nough goals for me to follow, or the filmmakers missed some crucial details in explainin’ why there’s blood pumpin’ plumbin’ and vanishin’ roaches, and how any of that’s supposed to scare people into bein’ fearless soldiers on the battlefield. And the twist endin’ – tarnations! I dunno if that alibi would really fly in court for the mastermind behind this mess, but kudos to the filmmakers for tryin’ to be clever. Gun slingin’, pile of chopped up dogs, doggie roadkill, rat on rat meals, crawlspace maulin’s, oddly staged suicides, pointless mentions of tainted well water I thought would play a bigger later, beds full of roaches, bloody showers no one notices, middle aged horn dogs, kidnappin’, and blood spewin’ sinks! 2/5!

BURY (2014)

Some jerk buys a box of GoPros and thinks they can bullshit their way through a horror movie ’bout a gang of panicked hipsters regrettin’ their stay at a remote Airbnb when two sound effects in the woods start makin’ ’em disappear. Save yerself the time and annoyance at these actors’ inept improv with a flimsy script and just know the movie ends with the reveal of a big ass CGI spider at the last possible second of the flick ‘fore the credits role. Trespassin’, pill poppin, unexplained live burials, random cannon balls into the lake, bike wrecks, and lotta jumps to some ridiculous conclusions when things break bad! 2/5! 

WITCHTRAP (1989)

A gang of supernatural eliminators are hired to kick a warlock’s homicidal ghost outta bed and breakfast that used to be his ol’ digs, but he ain’t leavin’ without a fight. Director Kevin Tenney basically mashes bits of story and cast together from his two best hits, Witchboard and Night of the Demons, but this ain’t nearly as fun or memorable save Scream Queen Linnea Quigley’s fatal shower scene. The effects are modest, the dialogue tries to hard, and the actin’ is unbelievably stiff with everyone deliverin’ lines like they’re repeatin’ ’em after a Speak & Spell. It’s a borderline snooze fest but still entertainin’ ‘nough to check out. Exhaustin’ blow by blow conversations, ghost driven cars, hit and runs, shower heads through the neck, boobs in the shower and bath, impalement, spirit photography, possessions, mediums, explodin’ heads, seances, peepin’ toms, groundskeeper goons, fatal freefalls out windows, midday wardrobe changes, floatin’ bullets to the head, gooey meltdown effects, bullets vs ghosts, ghost traps, flamin’ apparitions, and flyin’ axes to the face! 2/5!

BLACK ROSES (1988)

The teens of Mills Basin are pumped the hair metal band Black Roses has chosen to include their sleepy little town in their kick-off tour, but innocent fandom morphs into satanic panic as the group’s devilish frontman Damian possesses the impressionable youth to become demonic delinquents from hell with only their favorite English teacher standin’ ‘tween ’em and eternal damnation. Fist pumpin’ tunes, charmin’ special effects, and a handful of fun kills easily makes this one of my favorite heavy metal horrors of all time! The score’s comically out of place like it’s lifted from a lighthearted sitcom compared to the soundtrack’s harder hittin’ rock songs, the actin’ ain’t the best, and the monstrous fight coordinations are a joke, but all that’s easily forgiven by the filmmakers’ obvious effort to make this a head bangin’ good time with an imaginative story backed with thoughtful camerawork. Zombified audience members, fatal freefalls out window, strip gin rummy, heart attack inducin’ hard ons, off screen car explosions, throat slittin’, back overed mamas, offscreen bullets to the head, deceptive concerts, rock band monster make-ups, some of the silliest puppet monster fightin’ EVER captured on celluloid, sexual teacher/student tension, out of nowhere backstories with exes, obvious boob doubles, Lamborghini convoys, monstrous transformations, parkin’ lot brawls, possessions, possessed record players with bubblin’ discs, speaker critters from hell, monster suits, flamin’ beasts, and stakes to the chest! 5/5!

THE PALE DOOR (2020)

After a train robbery goes all kinda sideways with loot that turns out to be a gal locked in a trunk, the Dalton Gang takes her home to a more than welcomin’ brothel that turns out to be a toasty buncha ceilin’ crawlin’ witches wantin’ their most baby faced gang member for some unexplained ritual. This is essentially From Dusk Til Dawn with outlaws and witches and even follows the same mid-movie flip from crime drama to an all out monster mash. But whereas From Dusk Til Dawn’s a monstrous good time of tongue in cheek gags opposite an extravaganza of special effects, The Pale Door takes itself a little too seriously despite moments that watch like theme park stage actin’. I also think the costumes and sets looks waaay too clean for a period piece in the ol’ west, but regardless of these mildly distractin’ sours, it’s an enjoyable flick overall and does its best to deliver a well rounded story full of horrific action with some heart for good measure. Slow bleedin’ out deaths, shapeshiftin’ murder of crows, train robberies, doggy style witch bangin’, creepy bulges movin’ under gals’ skin, witch burnin’s, voodoo hair dolls, mouth mutilatin’, eye gougin’, possessions, blood vomitin’, infectious witch bites, bulgin’ wounds, throat slittin’, fatal quick draws, gamblin’, farmhouse shoot ’em ups, crispy ladies birthin’ crows, witchhunts, holy ground barriers, blood doused breasts, witchy whores, maulin’, resurrections, and a fail of a wire stunt that made me feel like I was watchin’ a high school production of Peter Pan! 4/5! 

OPEN 24 HOURS (2020)

If ya think servin’ time in the slammer for bein’ yer boyfriend’s audience to a buncha grisly murders is bad, it’s even tougher findin’ a job afterward, which Mary learns when her only option for employment is a graveyard shift at a hole in the wall truck stop. Before she can collect her first paycheck, however, she hears her psycho killin’ ex is on the loose ‘gain and has gotta separate the reality of him findin’ her from her own traumatic hallucinations. To save ya the worry of a High Tension endin’ and increase yer enjoyment of this sharply made flick without ruinin’ anythin’, yes, the barbecued boyfriend is back and droppin’ bodies everywhere. Mary’s paranoid delusions are just meant to create some tension, not serve a “is she crazy or not” plot. That said, this is a damn fine film with alotta convincin’ actors, beautifully lit sets with cinematic pops of color, and some gory moments that surprisingly make me flinch a time or two. Highly recommended for fans of the grocery store slashin’ classic Intruder. Clawed hammers to the face, gasoline showers, gunshots to the face, head bashin’ with sledgehammers, stabbin’s galore, plastic bag suffocatin’, fatal hammer blows to the back, blood floodin’ toilets, pickled pig tongue chewin’, stalkin’, blood splattered visions, kidnappin’, and shotgun blasts to the head! 4/5!

THE BARGE PEOPLE (2020)

A la-dee-da barge ride down the British canals turns into Texas Chainsaw Massacre when flesh eatin’ muties climb ‘board, and a handful of feudin’ couples gotta put aside their differences to survive the night. A lovin’ postcard to ’80s monster movies from the openin’ credit sequence to the score and practical special effects, this flick starts off well ‘nough with semi-interestin’ characters worth carin’ ’bout, but the story runs ahead of itself with an irregular pace as soon as water breathin’ inbreds from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer enter the picture, resultin’ in an erratic escalation of danger that fools me into thinkin’ the movie ends three different times! Well, least it looks amaze-balls! Toxic dumpin’ backstories, face and neck bitin’ galore, butcher knife swingin’ on a chain, home invasions on top o’ home invasions, barge feuds, spiked drinks on the house, social butterfly scientists, severed fingers, Hellraiser nods, stabbin’s galore, muties bleedin’ like punctured water beds full of milk, hackin’ galore, untrustworthy yokels, missin’ dogs, and barge massacres! 3/5!

UNDER THE BED (2012)

Two brothers are fed up livin’ in terror of a booga boo in one of their bedrooms and decide to face their fear in an all out showdown they aren’t really prepared for. This flick has so many great things goin’ for it from its hero siblin’s chemistry to the epic feelin’ score and cinematography but unfortunately suffers from a script that’s not fully realized ‘long with leap frog editin’. Nearly every scene watches like it’s been reduced to only its high light actions at the expense of story developin’ details that robs alotta characters of sensible context like the dad’s rash behavior, and even worse, the monster under the bed has no rules ‘cept whatever the script calls for at the moment. Like it can’t reach a slumberin’ brat on the bed ‘bove its head for two years but can suddenly tear through a neighbor’s house like a damn tornado on a killin’ spree? It’s been confined to one room so long, why don’t the brothers just tell pop they wanna bunk in the other bedroom together and not worry ’bout it?! Dead skin cell eatin’ monster theories, garden tools covered in flashlights, slumber party massacres, jaw rippin’, school meltdowns, weird boogedy nightmares, otherwordly rescue missions under the bed, shapeshiftin’ tricks, and mom’s ashes confusingly used as boogey man deterrent! 2/5!

THE UNFAMILIAR (2020)

A combat medical technician comes home from a tour in Afghanistan and slowly suspects her family’s bein’ possessed by Hawaiian booga-boos her husband pissed off on his travels. Best described as a Spielberg version of The Skeleton Key, this sharp lookin’ flick’s a family themed drama at its core, but offers a lot more bang for yer buck than yer average haunted house horror. My only gripe is how rough the story progresses with the G.I. mom leapfroggin’ suspicion over unnecessary scenes and transitions, and how underdeveloped the threat of the evil spirits’ ultimate goal is, which I think is just to write kids books. Magical black tar facials, chantin’, last minute heroines, demonic chases, radio chats from beyond, spirit dimensions, tiki totems, witchy women, rigged seances, possessions, bee attacks, lagoons full of bodies, drownin’s, and pill poppin’! 3/5! 

CENTRAL PARK (2017)

Some preppies’ late night shenanigans in Central Park take a fatal turn when a slasher wearin’ a magazine for a mask crashes their party in the woods and hunts ’em for revenge ‘gainst one of their dads for ruinin’ their life. The premise sounds a little weak, but there’s alotta promisin’ set-ups with characters and their situations that make me believe this gonna be a decent movie with some substance ‘fore it’s all over, but no such luck. As soon as we shift gears from high school melodrama to horror, this sucker nosedives into forgettable one-by-one kills with a buncha confusin’ side stories thrown in the mix like pointless red herrin’ hobos in the wild, and a woman who’s relation to a helpful lawman was the million dollar question for the last half of the movie. Human matchsticks, rock throwin’, hangin’s, asthma chasin’, stabbin’s, throat slittin’, ride-alongs, hobo shootin’, unnecessary cover-up discussions, games of truth or dare, and stoned phone calls! 2/5! 

QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY (1997)

Christopher Lloyd plays a travelin’ curator of macabre oddities and bends strangers’ ears to hear him spin a couple of tales ’bout chop happy hands with minds of their own, and a protective pair of wind-up chompers protectin’ its new owner from a murderous hitchhiker. For a TV movie based on shorts by horror scribes Clive Barker and Stephen King, I expected a wham-bam whopper of a horrific knock-out, but King’s lighthearted car jackin’ gone sideways watches more like an episode of Amazing Stories compared to Clive’s humorously unnervin’ yarn of rebel digits. Mainly ’cause I don’t feel like King’s story has as strong of a point or sense of irony to it, but that could very well be on purpose accordin’ to Lloyd’s closin’ comments to his last listener who experiences her own bafflin’ end I can’t dedicate ‘nough time to understandin’. Body part messiahs, pip squeak yakin’ fingers, severed hands galore, stranglin’, plastic surgeries, car wrecks, death by gag toys, roadkill grooms, wax dipped hand candles, fairgrounds, fatal freefalls, and Clive Barker cameos! 3/5!

IT WAITS (2005)

When a student field trip accidentally releases a nasty Native American legend from its wilderness hidey hole, the winged powerhouse does anythin’ but wait as it terrorizes a chesty alcoholic ranger it strands on the mountain. A good lookin’ creature feature all ’round, the only sours bringin’ this sucker down is its irregular switch-up of the usual storytellin’ formula with the secrets of the last girl’s past trauma revealed from the get go, and scene chewin’ folks with all the monster’s exposition shoehorned where it matters least. I’m also confused at how inconsistent the monster’s strength is when it can’t push a jeep to save itself from an explosive finale after flippin’ vehicles it ripped the engines out of the whole movie, but even more shocked at how it looks like a recycled Pumpkinhead suit with a new face and paint job! Fatal drunk drivin’ pasts, mutilated corpses, decapitated heads, siren crankin’ pranks, car wrecks, offscreen field trip massacres, yakin’ bird sidekicks, soup can alarm systems, sticks up the ass, books with all the answers that ‘mounts to a hill o’ beans, wordy know-it-alls that can’t give a straight answer, dead decoys, TNT explosions, ranger tower standoffs, leg carvin’, and bodies droppin’ from the sky! 4/5!

THE BUTCHERING (2015)

In this Scottish version of Scream, a small town’s masked psycho killer is supposedly back from a decade of hidin’ and is slashin’ teens in the middle of alotta cheatin’ high school romances. Spoilers ahead, Scream Freaks! While this is an entertainin’ ode to retro slashers, it runs a little long for my taste, and that’s ’cause the filmmakers try tellin’ two separate stories at the same time that ultimately have little to do with one ‘nother as it turns out the current killin’s are just copycat ripoffs of the original psycho no one knows is already dead. If it were me, I’d cut the fat and turn the runnin’ exposition into a simple word of mouth legend that gets debunked with the survivor-turned-cop revealin’ the true fate of the original killer to one of the newer teens in danger. School dance massacres, internet datin’ for serial killers, gunshots in the back, firin’ squad executions, stabbin’s galore, lotta nods to Wes Craven, under the bed ambushes, dead sleeps, crooked cops, pointless suicide backstories, and threeway slasher pacts! 3/5! 

RUMPELSTILTSKIN (1995)

A single mama learns some fairy tales are real when her tears turn a home decor eyesore into the real life Rumpelstiltskin and ends up in a feature length Road Runner cartoon with only a random Jerry Springer wannabe helpin’ her keep the squatty creature from nabbin’ her baby. An unexpectedly decent monster movie overall, Rumpelstiltskin’s perfectly presented as this magically murderous cutup who can crouch with the best of ’em, but he’s unfortunately pitted ‘gainst so-so characters save the TV show host whose out of the blue inclusion is arguably the best part of the flick. Watchin’ this with modest expectations, the only sour that makes me pause is understandin’ the rules for stoppin’ Rumpelstiltskin when the heroes attack him with everythin’ from explodin’ construction equipment to simply sayin’ his name. Severed arms, baby nabbin’, go-cart chases, 18 wheeler chases, reattached limbs, storybook roadkill, monsters on motorcycles, explosions, weird wish grantin’, eye pluckin’, cop killin’s, fatal shoot outs, mystic shops, witchy know-it-alls, questionable reunion bangin’ ‘tween the sheets, head stabbin’, neck breakin’, biker throwin’, wrecks galore, crispy creatures, monsters with guns, police station massacres, zombies with hand painted lightenin’, hibernatin’ art curses, cemetery showdowns, monstrous matchsticks, and one of the weirdest kills captured on celluloid when Rumpelstiltskin yanks his own head off his shoulder to bite a fella on the neck! 4/5!

NIGHT ANGEL (1990)

The staff of the world’s hottest fashion magazine falls under the lustful spell of their newest cover girl who’s really hell’s most infamous demoness, Lilith, and her premier issue’s gonna turn the world into obedient horndogs ‘less one office romance can stop her with the help of an elderly holy rollin’ cabbie. It’s a crime this flick’s as obscure as it is, ’cause it’s really a bizarre mix of special effects gore and nudity folks never forget after seein’ it. Lilith’s plan for world domination’s a little convoluted, and I don’t know why she’s so focused on a guy whose dumb luck dulls her charm over him, but trivial sours such as these are forgiven when I see a spring chicken Doug Jones dancin’ like a rubberband while sayin’ lines like, “I wanna tickle her tonsils with my meat puppet.” Spastic dancin’, fatal freefalls down elevators shafts, leg stabbin’, crutch fightin’, demonic transformations, bangin’ ‘tween the sheets with boobs, topless doubles, monstrous hands, lunar eclipses, office orgies, springs through chests, knee shavin’ shards of glass, heart rippin’, offscreen young’n death, offscreen massacres, throat slittin’, blood and beer bottle lickin’, photoshoots with snakes, backroom Cronenberg orgies, BDSM actions, random dwarves, fat rack with faces on each boob, blindin’ full frontal, hydra tongue nightmares. explosions, and heart groppin’ through the chest! 4/5! 

WER (2013)

A legal defense team is assembled to get a backwoods fella off the hook for a campsite massacre that looks more like an animal attack, but when he non-surprisingly wolfs out, they stick by his side for some crazy reason despite him tearin’ through entire police forces. A solid werewolf flick with kick-ass action sequences and effectively minimal make-up effects, the only real sour for me in all this is how flat and one note the characters are, regardless of any semi-meaningful backstories the filmmakers give ’em. Ultimately, it comes off more like a superhero origin than a horror movie and fails as a whodunnit mystery when the howlin’ reveal of the killer is far from shockin’. Monstrous transformations, black out seizures, airborne cops, fellas folded back in half, wolf on wolf violence, nicked eyeballs, infectious scratches from the dead, half eaten corpses, young’n deaths, superhuman leapin’, barnyard brawls, graphic jaw rippin’, super healin’, firin’ squad executions, secret rooms, cave chases, car wrecks, ambulance escapes, granny head bashin’, glass squares slid ‘cross peepers, and some bullshit ’bout wolf folk havin’ their land stolen from ’em! 3/5! 

CARNIVORE: WEREWOLF OF LONDON (2017)

A dimwit with abs and a gal who’s compelled to bend herself over everythin’ near her are tryin’ to enjoy a horndog getaway in the middle of nowhere, but a furry of a werewolf keeps bangin’ on their windows for a sorry ass game of Tom and Jerry. This British flick is the epitome of a plot that chases its own tail with a handful of characters repeatin’ the same numb nut actions over and over ‘gain while makin’ alotta dumb decisions. Biggest bein’ why our sad ‘cuse for heroes in heat keep leavin’ the safety of the house everytime the wolf shows up, ’cause it’s obvious he can’t break through the windows and too dumb to know how a door works. Not that entertaining ‘less ya need somethin’ to heckle for the hell of it. Bangin’ with and without boobs, marriage proposals, kidnappin’ at gunpoint, ambush stabbin’s, monstrous transformations, tickle fight maulin’s, window bangin’, high flyin’ window crashin’ leaps, parkin’ lot feedin’ frenzies, random torches, needless shirtless scenes, neck bitin’, and face clawin’! 2/5!

MR. BOOGEDY (1986)

In this episode of The Magical World of Disney, a gag store owner unknowingly moves his family into a fixer upper that’s full of ghosts, and his young’ns convince him the only way to free ’em is by defeatin’ the grumpy soul who cursed ’em all to begin with, a devil dealin’ pilgrim kidnapper who speaks in boogedies. A charmin’ little haunted house short that’s safe ‘nough for rugrats and silly ‘nough for adults, this ain’t a bad watch, but these Disney filmmakers coulda stepped up the threat of Mr. Boogedy a little more and a lot sooner. If the worst he can do is make Halloween decorations dance and chase ya with the vacuum cleaner, I don’t think there’s too much to worry ’bout. Just be endlessly entertained by his Smurf-like use of the word “Boogedy!” A bonus for horror fans is the cast includin’ the likes of John Astin, Richard Masur, and Kristy Swanson. Dancin’ mummies, floatin’ applause, levitatin’ young’ns, possessed vacuums, devil cloaks, pop-up book reenactments, gag flashlights, gag vacuums, ghost brats, ghost moms, kidnappin’, horrible ideas for how to get a date, joy buzzers, ghost stories, and inflatable fireplace tools! 4/5!

MONSTER ISLAND (2019)

A handful of RC miners investigate some busted underwater equipment and find a big ass starfish with magma for blood they’re determined to stop with their own monstrous mountain of might they gotta wake up with some prophesied hoodoo. This Syfy flick from the same studio that brought us Sharknado takes a ride on Godzilla’s coattails and delivers a decent clone of a kaiju king movie. Only problem is the scope of the story’s a bit too big for the budget, so the filmmakers spend the majority of the movie with a buncha so-so actors yammerin’ in closet size sets and save all the expensive lookin’ monster mashin’ ’til the very end which had me questionin’ the movie’s promise of bein’ a non-stop creature feature most the time. Magma pterodactyls with sideways skulls, monstrous eggs, fire breathin’ attacks, kaiju versus kaiju action, blood rituals, mythic prophets, fallin’ rocks, quickie DIY bows and arrows with unbelievable distance and accuracy, little subs, underwater drones, airstrikes, monstrous chases on the high seas, black box theater kinda actin’, magma tipped arrows, and Eric Roberts phones in his performance from an afternoon on a battleship! 3/5! 

CROC (2007)

A big ass croc’s eatin’ locals off the coast of Thailand and the employees of a crocodile farm take it upon themselves to stop the modern day dino with the help of a one legged hunter with a piss poor track record played by Michael Madsen. A perfectly paced flick, this creature feature is well shot with plenty of engagin’ characters swimmin’ and fightin’ for their lives ‘gainst some beautiful exotic scenery, but its killer croc footage is laughably all over the place with a rapid fire hodgepodge of deterioratin’ stock footage, taxidermy stand-ins, computer toons, and live action puppets. There’s also a subplot involvin’ realty jerks wantin’ to put the strugglin’ croc farm outta business for their own gain, but it ultimately doesn’t go anywhere with little to no impact on the overall story. Distractin’ makeout getaways, dogs in danger, young’n size croc snacks, croc stunt shows, baby elephant soccer, theme park sabotage, swimmin’ pool massacres, fatal underwater nookies, dynamite fishin’, severed arms, shot up crocs, trap jaw drownin’s, explosive stick escapes, and piles of decayin’ limbs! 4/5! 

FEAR CLINIC (2014)

Fear itself is pissed off Dr. Andover (played by Robert Englund) has cured a fraction of the world’s population of their phobias with his hallucinatory fear chamber and for payback, it sends a handful of supposedly cured survivors of a mass shootin’ runnin’ back with terrifyin’ visions that helps manifest it as walkin’ killer ooze. The feature length sequel to the short lived web series by the same name, this flick doesn’t offer quite as many recognizable horror icons goin’ head to head but is still entertainin’ with Brad Dourif’s daughter Fiona holdin’ her own ‘gainst Englund’s natural screen presence as a past patient returnin’ for help. This relationship’s a bit of a sour for me, however, ’cause she also acts like an ex-employee of the institute which gets a bit confusin’ and even brings in more characters for treatment which feels more shoe horned for the body count than a natural story development. Robert Englund in his birthday suit, masked shooters, diner massacres, bangin’ ‘tween the sheets with boobs, botched suicides, successful suicides, possessive masks, black slime creatures, stolen faces, human pretzels, crude orderlies, fear fueled fantasies, frightenin’ flashbacks, black vomitin’, scalpels in the back, bug filled cysts, skin clawin’, and pulsatin’ ball sacs of slime! 3/5!

JENIFER (2005)

Jenifer, a fugly mental case blessed with a bangin’ body, is rescued from near death by a cop and thanks him with so much sex, he risks everythin’ to cover her trail of feral kills. A rather sad tale directed by Dario Argento for the Masters of Horror series, I have to admit this flick sticks with me long after watchin’ it. While most may dismiss it as a silly story ’bout a guy followin’ his dick more than his head, Jenifer herself is a surprisingly complex character who inspires thoughtful discussions like whether she’s more manipulative than mental or if she’s actually a supernatural creature versus a disfigured loon. Mouth bitin’, cock suckin’, bangin’ in the car with boobs, bangin’ in the bed with boobs, uninvited anal with boobs, softcore dry humpin’, bullets to the head and chest, disembowelin’, young’n for monster meals, and dismembered cats! 4/5!

BLACK WATER: ABYSS (2020)

A thrill seekin’ gang of friends explore a hole in the jungle they find and end up trapped in a floodin’ underground cave with a big ass croc in the water. A sequel in theme only, this Aussie flick has the most realistic crocodile effects I’ve ever seen, not to mention some of the most brutal lookin’ kills. There’s plenty of what-would-I-do moments keepin’ me on the edge of my bar stool, lotta escalatin’ tension, all the action’s believable for the most part, and there’s even a bit of cheatin’ affair drama thrown in for some spice, but nothin’ as ruckus as say The Descent. The only thing that makes me shake my fists in the air is the last few minutes of escape when things take a ridiculous turn for the worse. Cancer survivor snacks, fatal freefalls, lost tourists, broken legs, lotta bite wounds to the abs, underwater attacks, blood filled water, torso floatin’ distractions, spastic offroad sinkin’, and guns versus crocs! 4/5! 

INOPERABLE (2017)

I have no idea what this head scratchin’ doozie of a flick’s even ’bout, Scream Freaks. The worst Groundhog Day wannabe ever committed to celluloid, Danielle Harris is stuck in some kinda time loop and keeps relivin’ the same two moments ‘tween pointless phone calls from her Corvette and runnin’ from homicidal doctors in a hospital with a hurricane barreling down outside. How or why? It’s anybody’s guess, but the filmmakers leave me thinkin’ it could be anythin’ from the time alterin’ side effect of a quantum lab accident to a buncha imaginary bullshit metaphors in a loony’s head. My biggest gripe, however, is the criminally underdeveloped characters I don’t give two shits whether they die or not thanks to ’em bein’ as flat and root worthy as chickens runnin’ ’round with their heads cut off. Danielle looks great and acts her butt off, but I’d suggest skippin’ this waste of time otherwise. Pointless phone calls, secret numbers, some kinda family drama, throat slittin’, exposed brains, impaled feet, needle yankin’, cartoony chases, bloody operations, back carvin’, and electroshock therapy! 2/5! 

THE MANGLER REBORN (2005)

The final nail in the coffin of this troubled trilogy, the series comes back to its roots with a possessed handy man rebuildin’ parts of the originally laundry machine of evil into a chop suey meat grinder he throws kidnapped ladies into for a hefty bowl of regenerative blood soup. While I appreciate this nugget of an idea to justify ‘nother Mangler sequel, that’s unfortunately all it is. A top shelf production edited like an indie film with zip substance, there’s so little happenin’ in this flick with flat characters pissin’ the time away with blow by blow meanderin’ ’round the killer’s house, I watched 2/3 of this sucker on fastforward and understood everythin’ happenin’. Well, at least we get a naked shower scene. Ripped up faces, head bashin’ with hammers, folks turned to conveyor belt mince meat, prison home remodelin’, home invasions, air duct sneakin’, possessions, long awkward scenes, long openin’ credits, kidnappin’, gore bath hidey holes, blood soup, and respawnin’ deaths! 2/5! 

INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957)

After a little green space man’s turned to roadkill by horn dog teens leavin’ their favorite makeout spot, his big headed brethren frame the cruisin’ couple for one of their backroad kills and send ’em on a wild goose chase for the evidence they need to clear their names. Solely watchin’ this black and white tickler for Paul Blaisdell’s infamously designed aliens, I’m pretty disappointed at what little footage there is of these guys the filmmakers musta been pretty embarrassed by. Why else would their minute worth of scenes be blanketed in heavy shadows with ’em hidin’ behind bushes half the time? With the burden of the runtime fallin’ on the problems of the small town yokels, they ain’t too entertainin’ (save an energetic performance by Frank “Riddler ’66” Gorshin), but do offer a nice glimpse into 1950s car culture. Drunken bulls versus e.t.s, severed needle finger hands with minds of their own, teens parkin’, angry old farmers with shotguns, explodin’ UFOs, interstellar maulin’s, little green roadkills, executions by headlights, late night weddin’ plans, sci-fi storybook credits, and balloon blowin’ breathalyzer tests! 2/5!

SHARK WEEK (2012)

After a non-stop montage of epically scored kidnappin’s, an interchangeable gang of strangers wake up on a private island where a wealthy crime lord forces ’em to fight different kinds of sharks as payback for all of ’em havin’ somethin’ to do with his son’s death. For a low budget shark flick, the filmmakers obviously tried to make this a respectable creature feature with its cast deliverin’ their most serious performances as saps ’bout to be eatin’ by modestly animated sea life in believable action sequences. Only problem is, the no name heroes don’t carry ‘nough screen presence to keep me invested, the masterminds behind their misery are pretty one note, and the fights with the sharks are a little rinse and repeat. Pup shark attacks, tiger sharks, great white sharks, injections to the neck, land mine explosions, spear stickin’, kidnappin’ galore, shark tooth pullin’, shark themed escape rooms, cat fights on the beach, and plenty of folks turned to shark chum! 3/5!

DANCE OF THE DEAD (2005)

In a dystopian future, an innocent waitress goes for a drug fueled ride on the wild side of town and is introduced to a club’s newest attraction that could tear her family apart – electrified zombie dancin’! One of Tobe Hooper’s last movies (kinda), this selection from the Masters of Horror series is an interestin’ watch, but does make me check my watch wonderin’ how much is left after awhile. The characters are engagin’, the threats of this apocalyptic world are wonderfully unpredictable, and Hooper injects it with alotta kinetic camerawork and angry tunes, it’s just that it spends most its runtime meanderin’ with weak set-ups for the semi-shockin’ twists at the end. Injections of druggie drool, headtrippin’ drugs, shotgun vappin’, aerosol inhalin’, cigarette burners to the neck, blood vomitin’, one armed waitresses, blood stealin’, bloodbag deals, dumpsters full of burnin’ bodies, girls drugged outta their minds, human traffickin’, birthday party casualties of war, skin meltin’ bio weapons, mamas on the warpath, burned beggars, and Robert Englund fondles some naked ladies! 3/5!

THE CURSE OF THE KOMODO (2004)

The US government orders a remote island lab be shut down after experiments turn the place into a sad man’s Jurassic Park with a big ass komodo dragon runnin’ ’round, but murderous thieves crash land in the middle of it and start a countdown for napalm extinction. Nicely shot with some impressive CGI effects, this respectable creature feature is fast paced and better than most TV monster movies, but does have some laughable castin’ with actors who can’t quite gel as their characters call for . The real sour I gotta grill it for, however, is the whole robbers on the run thang, ’cause they’re more of an ‘cuse to raise the body count than escalate the threats in the story. Poisonous monster spit, arm bitin’, out of nowhere zombies, lotta hard nipples, skinny dippin’ with huge tan lines, air strikes, monstrous chases, lotta ineffective shootin’, electric forcefields, folks eaten whole by CG komodos, helicopter crashes, bullets to the chest, robberies, explosive meals, and Buck Flower plays somethin’ other than a bum or hick! 3/5! 

THE LOST PLATOON (1990)

A journalist suspects a band of vampire soldiers have been fightin’ history’s most famous wars since the Northern Aggression and follows the clues to their latest fight ‘gainst a dictator in Nicaragua who’s more than what he seems. More blow ’em away action than horror, this could’ve been a cool departure from yer typical bloodsuckin’ flick of Gothic romance and routine bloodlettin’ but lacks any central character to give it any substance worth carin’ ’bout. An even bigger offense is the ridiculous lack of gore given the truckload of bodies this movie drops! Shootin’ galore, zero blood squibs, death falls galore, whiny fangers with sticks in their legs, daytime vamps, bare minimum fangs, spin cycle death scenes, impalin’ booby traps, offscreen stabbin’s, bloody knives in trees, jungle warfare, bullet catchin’ and throwin’, flesh prickin’, resurrections, and vamp on vamp violence! 2/5!

INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD (2005)

A giant albino of an eye gougin’ serial killer drags the victims of a fender bender back to his cabin of horrors but gets more than he bargained for when one of ’em turns out to be a gung-ho survivalist. One of the Masters of Horror mini-movies, this is an entertainin’ piece of work from Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli based on someone else’s short story, but it’s ’bout as predictable as an episode of Tales From the Crypt. The best part of the whole thang is watchin’ Angus Scrimm flex his actin’ chops as a doo-da singin’ yokel in the killer’s basement. Over the top torture devices for a pretty simple hank crank action, flashback rape, eye gougin’, basements full of bodies, crucified yard decorations, panties doublin’ as slingshots, eye stickin’, impaled legs, frame jobs, marital combat, car wrecks, fatal freefalls, and survival nuts! 3/5!

DEEP BLUE SEA 3 (2020)

A floatin’ village full of shark enthusiasts is under attack by a pack of big brain bull sharks who escaped the end of Deep Blue Sea 2, and in their wake is a boatload of ruthless mercs paid to cock block ’em from matin’ by any means necessary. A major improvement over the last sequel, this is a thoughtful story that acknowledges everything that’s happened ‘fore, moves the series into new territory, and ups the stakes while successfully rehashin’ ol’ gags that made Deep Blue Sea so memorable in the first place. Only sours that distract me is the exact purpose of the floatin’ village and how everyone on it, as remarkably few as there are, relate to one ‘nother. Really impressed with this creature feature’s action sequences as well as its perfect set-ups for unexpected gore. Great white shark carcasses, shark mama beacons, magnetic mines, explodin’ ships, garbage disposal traps, crushin’ deaths, explodin’ sharks galore, double kamikaze fisted blow-outs, scuba divers chomped in half, severed arms, chum spewin’ drones, street brawlin’ decapitations by shark bite, shark brain dissectin’, chest stabbin’s, and high dive deaths! 4/5!

THE POOL (2020)

While a fella takes a snooze in an abandoned 20 foot pool that’s nothin’ but deep end, nobody tells him it’s bein’ drained, and he ends up trapped at the bottom for days with his poor dog chained above, and a hungry CGI croc tryin’ to eat him and his dumb ass girlfriend who falls in later. One of ’em single location survival flicks, this is well made overall, but two sours make me absolutely hate it. One, the filmmakers never give a definitive sense of the geography, so there’s a lot of frustration over the fella not explorin’ every nook and cranny of this pool I’m thinkin’ could mean escape. Two, (spoiler here), the girlfriend makes me boilin’ mad when she first takes a plunge off the divin’ board without realizin’ how low the water is and accidentally gets the dog killed after the pup survives alotta near misses! Barbwire climbin’, broken leg falls, croc egg stealin’ and eatin’, tunnel rat action, near drownin’s, couch defenses, heads split on the divin’ board, duct tape galore, hung hounds, snatchin’ crap outta croc’s mouths, leg chompin’, impalin’, dehydration, baby daddy drama, and croc punchin’ with fists of barbwire! 3/5!

DEMON WIND (1990)

In this Evil Dead clone, a yahoo blindly leads a caravan of suckers to his grand mammy’s cabin to help him dig into his family’s satanic past but ends up endangerin’ ’em all when a dark force sicks a small army of deformed goo demons on ’em to complete a ritual for empowerin’ the Anti-Christ. This cheapo horror is charmingly cheesy fun with it’s non-stop supply of quirky victims comin’ outta the woodwork and decently executed effects from its mangled makeups to the wonderfully hand painted bolts of magic, but it falls short in the storytellin’ department with underdeveloped characters and repetitive standoffs. Biggest sour I gotta bash this flick for is introducin’ a hot shot magician but never havin’ him fight the demons with any of his parlor tricks. Monstrous transformations, topless bait, high kickin’ decapitations, impalin’, hand bitin’, satanic infections, suicidal grandpas, wrist slittin’, magically transportin’ fog, evil gas pumpers, demonic waitresses, bird shit, optical illusion cabins and barns, wall art demonoids with frog tongues, lame head crushin’, maulin’, witchy grandmas, goblin lookin’ transformations, demonic daggers that’re only good for one stab, spell books, babydoll transformations, stoic reactions, eye stabbin’, demonic psych-outs, can kickin’ magicians, monster on monster brawls, and magic symbol defenses! 3/5!

THE MANGLER 2 (2002)

When a bitter teen surfs the dark web and uploads the Mangler2.0 virus into her school’s Big Brother security system, it’s a horny race for the door as a gang of pranksters do their best to stay out of the sentient tech’s murderous reach. A sequel in name only, this flick is a major step back from the wacky big budget fun that made the first Mangler so enjoyable. While it features a likable cast and an interestin’ ‘nough premise, the filmmakers just don’t have the creative chops to pull off the scope they’re goin’ for, leavin’ us with alotta time chewin’ run ’rounds, confusin’ transitions, and super cheap effects like puppeteered wires holdin’ gardenin’ sheers. The only semi-sweet but still awful moment is Lance Henriksen’s suspended performance as the final boss, a rapey wire infused cyborg quotin’ Spice Girl lyrics. Website hackin’, email hackin’, laundry machine kills, electric fence deaths, car crashes, randomly vanishin’ characters (‘less you watch the VHS copy of the flick), hangin’s, axed cripples, handicap falls down stairs, pool parties, boilin’ room temperatures, amateur saboteurs, freezer traps, cameras galore, chefs with true survival instincts, killer viruses wantin’ to be a dad, and one bafflin’ endin’ with some unexplained tech and diesel only bags! 2/5!

THE HIDDEN (1987)

An obnoxious dick slug from outer space who loves loud music and fast cars is takin’ joyrides in folks’ bodies for killin’ sprees, and Earth’s only hope for stoppin’ him is his e.t. rival partnered with an LA cop. This fast paced flick is an awesome blend of sci-fi action dressed as a cop drama with blips of body hoppin’ horror. A lot like an early prototype of a MIB film with Kyle Maclachlan’s first stab at an FBI agent pre-Twin Peaks, the scenes of the body thievin’ alien fuckin’ shit up for the hell of it are hilarious, the soundtrack rocks as hard as Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2‘s, and the shoot ’em up action manages never gets old. Mouth to mouth parasite puppets, possessed dogs, possessed strippers, dollar bill G-strings, fatal make-out sessions, political assassinations, flamethrowers, axes to the dick, inhuman matchsticks, ray guns, car chases, car wrecks, shoot ’em up action galore, explosions, police station massacres, bank massacres, shopliftin’, coked out car sales, carjackin’, dine and dashes, gunshot wounds galore, healin’/body hoppin’ breaths of light, and some of the most covered up strippin’ I’ve ever seen! 5/5!

SHARK SEASON (2020)

One of the dumbest shark movies I’ve ever seen that doesn’t even have a gimmick to it, some folks paddle three hours off the coast of Florida to the middle of nowhere for a photo shoot on a rock, sharks attack, and two final girls gotta bitch and paddle every which way from CGI sharks while a wide eyed Michael Madsen casually phones in help from his kitchen for a quick paycheck. My biggest problem here is the script’s chunky scenes and silly logic its characters follow. There’s just blocks of awkwardly long winded conversations one after ‘nother, and why would the photographer make his model and makeup girl paddle ocean currents for three hours under the roastin’ sun ‘fore a shoot ‘stead of takin’ a damn boat?! Pointless jet ski deaths, National Geographic recitin’ boat captains on shark life, chats ’bout feelin’s, dolphin rescues, high tides, and one fella turned to chum for sharks! 2/5! 

VALERIE ON THE STAIRS (2006)

A wannabe author moves into a rundown residence for unpublished writers and becomes romantically involved with an imaginary ghost beggin’ to be freed from her bitter creators and the abusive demon they enslaved her to. From the insightful mind of Clive Barker, this kinky little meta tale starts a bit slow, but ends in full sprint with some gore-tastic demises by KNB EFX, reality warpin’ rescue missions, and fun banter among oddball characters who could have only been created by a seasoned writer. A nice entry in the Masters of Horror series, the only sour that sticks out to me is my confusion over Christopher Lloyd’s lame death by the chick who somehow ties into the lead’s head scratchin’ past. Bangin’ in the sheets with boobs, naked gals in the stairwells, creative juices, literary manifestations, surreal transformations, lesbo kisses, crawlspace dungeons, firey deaths, spines ripped out through mouths, explodin’ chests, neck bitin’, and hung hookers! 3/5!

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM (2007)

Revenge is a dish best served cold when a roadkill clown wants payback on a gang of childhood friends for accidentally killin’ him with his own ice cream truck years earlier. But ‘stead of out right stickin’ it to ’em like a slasher, he hypnotizes their young’s with his truck’s jingle tunes and makes ’em eat voodoo doll ice cream bars that melts their parents into puddles of gore. A wildly imaginative (and convoluted) premise, Buster’s a perfect addition to anyone’s collection of killer clown flicks. Top notch production, good actin’, and some wonderfully sloppy effects by the gang at KNB EFX that reminds me of The Incredible Melting Man, this is easily one of the more memorable mini-movies from the Masters of Horror series. Tubs of human ooze, streets of brainwashed young’ns, cheap magic tricks, fatal pranks, front yard showdowns, reverse non-sense magic, frozen clowns, and funerals! 4/5! 

PICK ME UP (2006)

Two different serial killers find themselves competin’ for victims on a remote stretch of highway, and it all breaks bad when they fight over who gets to kill Fairuza Balk. A great story with an excellent cast of characters from director Larry Cohen, this Masters of Horror mini-flick has it all with contrastin’ rivalries, big action sequences, and pops of gore underlined with a wicked sense of humor like a killer stranglin’ a motorist with a snake! Never seen that ‘fore. No sours spoilin’ this fun! Heads crushed in luggage compartments, gals tied to trees with barbwire, carved up ladies on vibratin’ beds, meathooked blondes, bodies ditched in ditches, medical posers, jackknifed trucks, fellas flyin’ through windshields, street brawlin’, needles full of air, law official posers, and heads bounced off dashboards! 5/5!

THE VAGRANT (1992)

After Bill Paxton buys his first fixer upper, he’s instantly at war with a disgustin’ vagrant he fears ain’t only invadin’ his new home, but settin’ him up for murders ’round the neighborhood. A wacky flick featurin’ a comical performance from Bill as the spineless analyst turned hard hittin’ survivor, this is a pretty fun watch that luckily doesn’t pull any stunts with bullshit like if the vagrant is real or not. We know he’s real early on, but there’s still plenty of guessin’ for how much Bill’s blowin’ things outta proportion and what the vagrant’s story is. I’m not the biggest fan with how the last 30 minutes feel like a completely different movie, but I guess there’s only so many ways to beat the same horse to death with the psych-out gags in the first hour. Musical hobo luggage, crapper paperbacks, impalin’ with chairs, haunted ride showdowns, gunfire executions, trailer park romances, butchered dogs, severed fingers, fridges full of body parts, horny realtors, fatal trials, decapitations, public urination charges, critter barbecues, trap doors, dead rats, domestic fortresses, swat team firin’ squads, unhinged door pranks, sleep walkin’ stranglin’, and gas station explosions! 4/5! 

THIS HOUSE POSSESSED (1981)

After a tone-deaf singer lands in the hospital from stress, he convinces his nurse to stay with him at some fancy digs she totally forgot was her childhood home that magically came alive and killed her whole family for tryin’ to leave. No, that’s not even an exaggeration, Scream Freaks! This made for TV movie is just that weird with a story full of way too many coincidences and a sentient house that makes as much sense bein’ alive as Herbie the Love Bug does! Awful rocker wannabe concerts, livin’ cables and hoses, insta-freeze AC units, home infernos, ominous TV screens, attempted makeouts, car crushin’ gates, boilin’ swimmin’ pools, homeless cart ladies with all the answers, and explodin’ vehicles! 2/5! 

BEYOND EVIL (1980)

John Saxon and Lynda Day George move into a haunted mansion ’cause it’s cheap, but soon regret that decision when John has to beg a shaman to exorcise an angry spirit possessin’ his wife. A bit of a snooze, this flick has actors I wanna see, but just doesn’t deliver ‘nough action to keep me invested. A way better flick with the same kinda story worth seekin’ out is Mausoleum. Extensive backstories, poisoned foods, crushed arms, possessions, free falling devil statues, holy healin’ in a hut, fly apart car wrecks, job site accidents, monstrous finger swellin’, black magic, fatal freefalls, ashes to ashes electrocutions, and green lights galore! 2/5! 

TO DIE FOR (1988)

In this modern revamp of the ‘ol Dracula story, Vlad the Impaler’s movin’ to the city of angels, and he’s hot to make the moves on his pretty realtor ‘fore a pissed off fanger from his past steals her from him. A well shot flick with some eye candy and a handful of special effects, this sucker has very few sours, but they deliver some deadly blows. One is the lead actor playin’ Vlad. He makes for a convincin’ romancer all night long, but when it comes to playin’ it mean, he’s got ’bout as much grit as a baby’s bottom. The other sour is the mishandlin’ of Amanda Wyss’s character who no one seemed to give a shit ’bout no matter how weird and different she was actin’. Neck drinkin’ in the parkin’ lot, booze cruise smoochin’, decapitations, ashes to ashes stakin’, fanger faces, bloodsuckin’ transformations, long lost loves, vampire on vampire violence, vamps impaled on bed posts, telekinesis, books with all the answers out in the open, and sunrise demises! 2/5!

DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980)

A bulk of a Vietnam vet is stranglin’ and rappin’ gals up and down the streets of LA, and he’s got his sites set on a radio psychologist he teases over the phone with bad accents. While this is a well thought out police drama kinda slasher, it lacks any memorable kills, musters very little tension, and completely ruins scenes with its wacky score. I gotta give props to the actin’ though, ’cause most the actors give their all, especially Nicholas Worth who burns the screen up as the killer with the intensity of wired mad man which must’ve unnerved some co-stars. Gunned down pimps, whore house raids, murder on the airwaves, payphone taunts, photoshoots gone horribly wrong, pantyhose stranglin’ with coins, psychic helpers, hooker stranglin’, fatal hitch hikin’, home invadin’, off camera rappin’, kidnappin’, unlawful stick ’em ups, handcuff rippin’, and bullets to the dick! 3/5! 

LITTLE WITCHES (1996)

In this decent ‘nough knock-off of The Craft, a gang of naughty Catholic school girls play ’round with dark magic leftover from their church’s past and are driven to resurrect a demonic force from hell for some unknown perk while huntin’ its holy adversary in hidin’ and a hunk virgin to sacrifice. Aside from the girls’ confusin’ motives for raisin’ a demon who’s defeated in an even more bafflin’ blink of an eye, this is a fairly good flick full of nudity, a big bad monster at the very end, and some iconic actors like Poltergeist‘s Zelda Rubenstein and Dream Warrior Jennifer Rubin. Stripteases, nude spell chantin’, indestructible evil books, secret tunnels, back slashin’, holy cross defenses, vicious visions, wafer defenses, big bad beasts, and kinda-sorta possessions! 3/5! 

DOLL HOUSE (2020)

A cursed dolly possesses a mute girl to kill everyone in a halfway house for troubled youths for the sheer hell of it, and despite her projectin’ her kills in folks’ heads with plenty of warnin’, only a mute celebrity’s lucky ‘nough to turn the tables on her. If the script bothered to establish and develop its characters more clearly, and the editin’ didn’t show us everythin’ that’s gonna happen twice within the first few minutes, this could’ve been a fairly decent movie. There’s one too many mutes with no real payoff, I don’t understand the supernatural link ‘tween the dollhouse and the evil doll that’s too big for it, I can’t make heads or tails what point the over the top scenes with the psychic serves, and the how/why the paranormal blogger latches onto the halfway house in the first place is lost on me. Ax whackin’, eye pokin’, impalin’, stabbin’, clubbin’, possessions, respawnin’ dollhouses, barbecued dolls, cursed yard sales, screamin’ flashbacks, post-its galore, tub drownin’, attempted suicides, and suffocations! 2/5!

BLOOD SURF (2000)

While shootin’ a documentary on shark surfin’ at a remote island, a rag tag team of filmmakers are attacked by a big ass crocodile named Salty and chased into a number of dangerous characters from pirates to revenge seekin’ tour guides. While this sea monster flick packs plenty of B movie tropes from its puppet monster effects to its cheesy green screen gore, it stands head and shoulders ‘bove yer average Syfy creature feature, ’cause it’s a top shelf production that takes its story seriously. With a fast pace story, a nice mix of conflictin’ characters, and constant change of scenery, this is a easily one of the better and more fun crocodile/alligator horrors out there. Shark infested waters, croc chompin’ action, folks bit in half, attempted rape, tripwire booby traps, bar dancin’, topless dry humpin’, exotic jungle bangin’ with boobs, surfin’ galore, bloated bodies underwater, explodin’ ships, shipwrecks, explodin’ crocs, bloody flashbacks, rubber goat head bait, and stabbin’s! 4/5! 

DEAD ALIVE aka BRAINDEAD (1992)

When a fella’s domineerin’ mama’s bitten by a stop-motion jungle critter, she becomes patient zero for the goriest zombie epidemic ever committed to celluloid, and he’s determined to keep it under wraps no matter how dismal things get. Peter Jackson’s last great hurrah into low budget horror ‘fore he went Hollywood, this is full throttle splatter at its best with an onslaught of practical effects, wacky characters, and a mean streak of slapstick humor. It’s the perfect gore-ffet to dare even the most weathered horror fan to watch while eatin’ a pizza, and keep their drink from shootin’ out their nose holes from laughter. Macheted arms, stop-motion rat monkeys, zoo animal bites, crushed critter heads, ear eatin’, dog scarfin’, zombies bumpin’ uglies, super fast zombie births, zombie babies in blenders, impalin’ galore, stabbin’ galore, monstrous transformations, kung-fu priests, roof top boss battles, light up noggins, head splittin’, lawncare defenses, bisected zombies, intestine creatures, blood sprays galore, animal tranqued dead, roadkill mamas, grave urinatin’, lip rippin’ kisses, house fires, and belly monster traps! 5/5! 

ONE DARK NIGHT (1983)

To prove she ain’t a scaredy cat, a high schooler accepts a dare to spend the night in a mausoleum, but she and her teenage tormentors have no idea they’re trapped with a psychic vampire bustin’ outta his coffin for one last feast with an army of telekinetic flyin’ corpses at his disposal. This flick has a different kinda plot for a horror movie, characters worth watchin’, and some gore bloated effects, but the middle of the story really drags with alotta rinse repeat action that almost makes me forget I’m watchin’ a scary movie ’til the last 20 minutes. Closets full of corpses, flower vase shatterin’, breakin’ and enterin’, sleepin’ hobo scares, dogpiled corpses, rubber mask scares, severed hands on fishin’ llines, psychically manipulated stiffs galore, oral fixations with toothbrushes, free floatin’ bodies, feet draggin’ dead, purple bio-energies, electrifyin’ effects, and Adam West channelin’ Bruce Wayne! 3/5! 

STEPFORD WIVES (2004)

Nicole Kidman and fam move to Stepford for a fresh start after her TV career tanks, but when her superiority complex continues to irk her weenie of a husband, he looks for fast track solutions to his marital problems with the robo wife swappin’ program offered by the town’s Men’s Association. Despite all the rocky drama this flick suffered from behind the scenes, it’s a decent entry in the Stepford series and can be accepted as either a reboot or a sequel given fans use just ‘nough imagination to fill the gaps ‘tween the movies as usual. It keeps the original concept of switcharoo spouses, mixes in details from each previous film, and keeps things from feelin’ too familiar with new kinds of scenarios and strained relationships. The only sour that burns my bacon is the confusin’ process for how the wives are turned into cyborgs which only makes a little more sense thanks to deleted scenes on the DVD. Combinin’ the robot angle with the brainwashin’ schemes from past storylines, the women are supposed to be havin’ their microchipped brains dumped into Inspector Gadget bodies. That said, why aren’t the liberated wives at the end goin’ more nuts over their husbands turnin’ ’em into walkin’ ATM sex slaves, and how does Nicole and her hubbie trick Stepford’s head honcho if they’re the brain surgeon responsible for the brain swap?! Attempted assassinations, women killin’ agendas, malfunctionin’ dosey does, square dancin’, cash spittin’ trophy wives, remote controlled boobs, CGI robo-dogs, head bustin’ twists, weird political subplots, toasty hands, confusin’ robo-reversals, attempted stabbin’s, Stepford balls, and robot labs! 3/5!

THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS (1996)

I guess the women of Stepford took advantage of the Men’s Association bein’ blown up the last TV movie, ’cause now the tables are flipped, and the new wife in town’s gotta fight to keep her schlep of a hubbie from bein’ brainwashed into her perfect companion by a clinic of righteous women preservin’ their community standards. I’m impressed how the Stepford series once ‘gain manages to straddle that fine line ‘twee keepin’ things the same while makin’ it different ‘nough to keep it fresh and interestin’. I find myself rootin’ for different sides of the couple’s rocky relationship, and Superman II‘s Sarah Douglas plays the newest scientist behind the deceptive scenes. The only sours for me is the lame endin’ and the series’ return to brainwashed lovers over robot doubles. Punch-drunk roofies, basketball antics galore, pill poppin’ galore, violent withdrawals, secret spring action liquor stations, fellas hooked up to machines by their belly button, domestic watchdogs, and needles to the arm! 3/5!

THE STEPFORD CHILDREN (1987)

I Dream of Jeannie is the newest mom in Stepford and quickly finds herself at ends with her husband who’s teamed up with other disgruntled dads lookin’ to replace their teenage dirt ridin’ punks with the same well mannered robots they switch their wives out for. My favorite ‘mong Stepford’s TV sequels, this ’80s Body Snatcher wannabe with teens brilliantly expands the Stepford universe with a look at the kids’ perspective on all these doppelganger shenanigans which helps keep its tired formula fresh. And while I’m thrilled brainwashed loved ones are dumped in favor of robot doubles ‘gain, it only makes things more confusin’. Domestic robo wives can be with their masters forever and always without raisin’ too much suspicion, but what the hell’s the long term plan for robot teens?! Motorcycle wrecks, terrible spastic dancin’, hijacked dances, abductions on the water, explodin’ labs, bike stunts, attempted assassinations, malfunctionin’ robots, paparazzi in trainin’, skinless robots, and lotta angry dads! 4/5!

REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES aka TERROR IN NEW YORK (1980)

A female reporter wants to know what makes Stepford tick, but her investigation only ticks off the local men who’ve traded their robot lovers in for brainwashed companions waitin’ on ’em hand and foot to provide a cushy life they’d kill to protect. A nice TV movie of the week follow-up to the original Stepford Wives, I’m disappointed in the lame switch from robots to drugged house wives, but this flick introduces plenty of new characters, gives a little more insight into the mysterious Men’s Association, and mixes things up with a single woman confrontin’ the town’s twisted morals ‘stead of a panicked mama. Fender benders, pill poppin’ galore, sirens galore, drug overdose, hair saloon brainwashin’, booze induced malfunctions, bar fights, lynch mobs, and Don Johnson as a rookie cop fed up with his wife’s sass! 3/5!!

INVITATION TO HELL (1984)

When Matt’s city slicker family falls prey to a soul suckin’ country club offerin’ all the wealth and power ’80s corporate America has to offer, he’s got no choice but to infiltrate the club’s Halloween ball in an experimental space suit and literally save his wife and young’ns from hell. A TV movie by Wes Craven, this sucker has to be seen to be believed from its comically face meltin’ openin’ to its dimension jumpin’ end.  A little satanic panic mixed with Stepford gaslightin’ and some Buck Rogers space action for good measure – it’s just all over the place, and we love it for that! Only sour is the devil in the details of the transaction ‘tween the club and its victims if I think too hard ’bout it. Suspicious secretaries, handheld game bashin’, stuffed bunny beat downs, piano diddies, roadkill revenge, electrocutions, trick sleeves with lasers and flamethrowers, lifeform scannin’ helmets, devilish dealin’s, Venus space missions, steamy conversion rooms, fatal finger pointin’, material greed, power trips, and interdimensional jumps into forced perspective matte paintin’s! 4/5! 

THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975)

A sexist community of robo sexuals are secretly replacin’ their sassy wives with Disney-bot duplicates for domestic bliss, but one braless ball buster gets wise to their Suzy Homemaker scheme. An obvious metaphor for the social struggle ‘tween the sexes and what’s expected of ’em on the home front, this semi-gaslightin’ flick is a fun watch that manages to keep me on my toes to the very end, but could have done a better job pacin’ the twists and tensions more effectively. It doesn’t offer any kinda Westworld special effects, and the plot’s a little convoluted when I think too hard ’bout it, but there’s plenty of discussion worthy scenes and heckle fodder. Stabbin’s, malfunctions, fender benders, sketchin’, voice recordin’, demolished tennis courts, men’s clubs, women’s clubs, creep commentary ’bout women in the kitchen, braless boobs on public display, and full frontal night gown nudity, and offscreen strangulation! 4/5!

DOCTOR SLEEP (2019)

Decades after survivin’ the events of The Shining, Danny drifts through life as a recoverin’ alcoholic who sees dead people ’til a gifted little girl needs his help fightin’ a roamin’ band of psychic parasites only the Overlook Hotel might be a match for. Stickin’ by everythin’ that happened in the original Kubrick flick, this solid continuation is a real crowd pleaser with likable characters, easy-to-follow scenarios of the supernatural, and subtle effects that don’t blow it out with the visuals like most headtrippy films. It never feels as epic or emotionally charged as I’d expect, however, the real sour in this breeze of a two and a half hour sequel is the absence of the Overlook’s most mysterious ghost – the blowjob bear/dog man! Gravity defyin’ spoons, essence suckin’ galore, kidnappin’, car wrecks, face carvin’ with knives, post hypnotic suggestions, fly covered eyeballs, Jack Nicholson impersonators, one night stands in pools of their own vomit, Jiminny Crickets from beyond the grave, death seekin’ cats, geezer passin’s, mental Dreamcatcher boxes, ghosts mobs, naked hags in the tub, ghost twins, explosions, stabbin’s, artery cuttin’, ambush assassinations with snipers, gunfights, and hotel infernos! 4/5!

BLADE: THE IRON CROSS (2020)

Followin’ the events of Puppet Master: Axis Termination, death ray zappin’ Nazis are determined to turn Americans into obedient zombies, but Dr. Ivanov’s psychic reporter of a daughter’s on the story and brings Blade outta retirement to save the day. Puppet Master’s first spin-off flick starrin’ its break-out star, I’m happy to see the continuation of Ivanov’s story (even if it’s through his headline chasin’ daughter), and even more thrilled at the Nazi’s scheme springboardin’ off events from Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge which restores a little continuity to the series’ head spinnin’ timeline. I wish Blade was more integral to the story given he’s the star, but the filmmakers almost make up for that with alotta new characters and details added to the Puppet Master lore while impressively producin’ a period piece on a tight budget. Stabbin’s, mad scientists, dissolvin’ bodies, full frontal kidnappin’s, flesh tearin’ zombies, psychic manipulatin’, injections, prop wigglin’, peepin’ toms, nods to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, topless hair washin’, decapitations, hooks in heels, impaled hands, death ray towers, zombifications, cop drama, flesh cuttin’ fetishes, saps smotherin’ in boobs, mad lab massacres, bio energy science, mechanical hands, puppet smashin’ with a sledgehammer, and a rip snortin’ chestburster of a finale never seen ‘fore in a Puppet Master flick! 3/5!         

THE BEACH HOUSE (2020)

While two couples play nice after unexpectedly findin’ themselves sharin’ the same beach house for their getaways, some geological event’s happenin’ offshore that’s either turnin’ ’em into the crawlin’ dead or a breedin’ ground for monstrous oyster boogers. This flick . . . putrid polecats. The actors are capable, the camerawork’s sharp, the effects are great, the idea’s fine, but this sucker moves at a snail’s pace with frustratingly underdeveloped characters, halfhearted tension, and an environmental threat that’s terribly undersold. Snoozefest. Girls on the can, steppin’ in jelly shellfish from who knows where, emergency foot surgery for removin’ flesh squirmin’ worms, lotta money shot pukin’, hilarious bashin’ with an air tank, rotten egg fog, pot brownies, long walks to a watery grave, and car wrecks! 2/5!

NYMPH (2020)

In this short from Ireland, it’s eye for an eye payback as a mythical force curses a love triangle’s campin’ trip after one of ’em accidentally turns an innocent critter to pavement pizza. The editin’s a little jump cutty every now and then, and I hate how the campers are pretty clueless there’s even a pissed off creature after ’em, but despite that, this is a solidly entertain’ film that manages to make 15 minutes feel like a lean mean feature with all the expected horror tropes filtered through alotta creative camerawork. Nymph feels like a classic spaghetti horror at times, utilizes film techniques reminiscent of Spielberg, George Miller, and Hitchcock, and is wonderfully elevated by an atmospheric score in the vein of It Follows. Lotta buddin’ talent I can’t wait to see more from. Graphic roadkills, mutilated dogs, peanut allergies, hit and runs, and horse stampedes! 3/5!

UNDERWATER (2020)

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

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT (2020)

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

PANDAMONIUM (2020)

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

EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET (2020)

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

THE TURNING (2020)

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

ABOMINABLE (2020)

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

DELIVERED (2020)

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

BEHIND YOU (2020)

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

TOKOLOSHE: AN AFRICAN CURSE (2020)

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

CORONA ZOMBIES (2020)

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

I AM FEAR (2020)

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

POOKA LIVES! (2020)

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

THE GRUDGE (2020)

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

THE HUNT (2020)

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

DON’T LET THEM IN (2020)

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

CRAWLERS (2020)

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

THE LODGE (2020)

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

THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

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

CLOWN FEAR aka CIRCUS ROAD (2020)

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

FANTASY ISLAND (2020)

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

CUPID (2020)

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

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