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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FEAR PHARM (2020)

A gang of friends decide to have fun at their local corn maze and are unfortunately singled out by the twisted spookshow owners for their unique skin they wanna harvest for a revolutionary face cream. A missed opportunity for a Halloween themed flick, this sweet slasher behind the rows has ‘nough gold nuggets to deliver a memorable kinda kookiness I haven’t seen ‘fore but fails to stick the landin’ with any of the victims it tries so hard to make me like. These unlucky saps are entertainin’ ‘nough, sure, but sometimes have surprisin’ reactions to dire situations that completely take me out of the movie and lack any character arc that could make ’em more interestin’. The scenes of the hayseed killers mullin’ ’bout gets some genuine laughs out of me, however, with ’em bickerin’ over social labels and homemade cookies. Longwinded convincin’, cheerleader dress up, sinister ice cream men, skinned streakin’, harpooned legs, dwarf punchin’, severed arms, human roadkill, head splittin’, slasher capitalism, mad scientists, zombie paintball games, neck stabbin’, knock out needles, neck slittin’, suicides, skin peelin’, gut stabbin’, mutants, and shit house jump scares! 4/5!     
THE RESORT (2021)

A gang of semi-platonic eye candy breeze their way to an abandoned Hawaiian resort to spot ghosts for a book or somethin’ and become easy pickin’s for an infamous, tourist hatin’ ghost, the half face girl. A top shelf lookin’ flick from its competent cast to the gorgeously exotic locations they huff it through, it’s sad to watch this end up bein’ one of ’em “full of potential” movies that ultimately flops due to a poor script. The story takes its sweet time ‘fore anythin’ remotely horrific happens, the friends’ relationships could stand more definition, the lead character’s role as a writer is pretty weak, the story can’t decide how restricted this island or its resort is or not with boats and ‘copters full of folks comin’ and goin’, and the booga boo behind the scares feels absent with her hidin’ behind a buncha possessions and mind fucks. It’s an entertainin’ ‘nough watch, but could’ve been somethin’ great in the right hands. Window smashin’, whirly bird rides, exotic trespassin’, folks bein’ yanked into darkness, skinny dippin’ with male buttocks, moonin’ photo ops, car wrecks, possessed trucks, face rippin’, neck stabbin’s, psych-out endin’s, longwinded expositions, and extendo ghosts! 3/5!

BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL (2021)

When construction for a new road plows through an Irish vampire’s hidey hole, the close knit crew finds themselves fightin’ ‘gainst an ancient bloodsucker that ain’t like anythin’ they know from the movies as friends and loved ones become indestructible killin’ machines. A well balanced vampire flick with humorous characters dealin’ with an all too serious situation, I’m impressed with how the story constantly keeps me on my toes with unexpected whammies like the random bull attack, and even more impressed with the special effects used whenever the Dracula wannabe draws blood outta his victims from a distance like the openin’ scene with the geezer’s springin’ leaks from their faces. I still can’t tell if that’s all practical make-up effects or not! If there’s any sours to speak of, I feel like the vampire’s gravestones bein’ what turns folks into fangers ‘stead of him makes his role in the whole movie ‘less important, but despite this storytellin’ wedge, this is still a fun watch. Vampire themed bars, bull chargin’ deaths, contaminated rocks, funerals for friends, dead dog meals, impalements, decapitations, blood suckin’, neck bitin’, botched suicides, jumpscare pranks on tourists, reattachable heads, danglin’ hearts, partial last stands in a house, leaky victims, car wrecks, construction vehicle action, and a disappointments room! 4/5! 

SEA BEAST (2008)

It’s Predator meets Jaws as a tongue lashin’ gill-man wannabe with invisibility wastes a buncha coastal town locals with paralyzin’ spit to feed its hungry spawn, and only a bitter fisherman with a hot biologist has any prayer for stoppin’ it. An overall entertainin’ watch, this TV creature feature is better than most with a fairly engagin’ cast gettin’ chewed up by some pretty impressive CG beasts from the depths with moderate pops of excessive gore. No real sours to knock it for, but not ‘nough sweets to be a top shelf recommendation. Storms at sea, monster eggs, Predator camouflage, Quint wannabes, decapitations, eviscerations, fatal monster huntin’, flesh chewin’, MacGyver booby traps, explodin’ ships, flamin’ fish monsters, and spittin’ galore! 4/5! 

COMEDOWN (2012)

A gang of Euro punks are paid to set up a radio pirate satellite in an abandoned apartment buildin’, and after so much nothin’ happens that I start questionin’ whether or not this was mistakenly labeled horror, a scary squatter suddenly comes outta nowhere to kill ’em all for smashin’ his pet pigeons’ eggs. While this flick is well shot and sports a respectable cast of click characters, it’s meanderin’ story structure and snooze inducin’ pace leaves a lot to be desired. There’s a gory death here and there and a bit of a grande finale with the psycho killer, but nothin’ memorable much less rewatchable. Fatal freefalls, gang violence, random acts of violence on eggs, baby pigeon memorials, booby traps, pregos in cages, bit confusin’ endin’s, and power tool tauntin’! 2/5!

WITNESS INFECTION (2020)

The ridiculed son of a crime family is caught in the middle of mob drama ‘tween two mafias placed in the same town by witness protection but gets to fohgettabout it when a local food truck unknowingly slings out spoiled sausages that turn loyal customers into flesh eatin’ zombies. Arguably the best horror comedy to ever mix semi-retired gangsters with the walkin’ dead, this nicely shot flick boasts an abundance of interestin’ characters portrayed by a wonderfully engagin’ cast I’m legitimately drawn to and features some impressively wince-worthy gore that even makes me squirm on my bar stool. The only sour that taints the fun is how quickly the mobster angle is abandoned once the zombies show up, reducin’ the movie to yer run of the mill survival chase with nothin’ from the first act matterin’ anymore. Head rippin, shotguns to the chest, head bashin’, bar brawls with the dead, employee of the month rescues, bad meat, upset belly sounds galore, deer eatin’ and beheadin’, Pulp Fiction nods, pukin’, gun fightin’, and cursin’ screen appearances by such popular voice actors as Maurice LaMarche and Tara Strong! 3/5!

VIRUS SHARK (2021)

After a swimmer’s bitten by some infectious shark covered in sores, a viral epidemic sends the world to hell in a handbasket, and it’s up to an underwater lab full of horn dogs and turncoats to find the cure ‘fore their shoddy base implodes to the delight of the sickly sharks hangin’ ’round. A flick that’s filmed more on imagination than a micro-budget, viewers will either be charmed watchin’ a buncha yahoos play act their way through a college campus servin’ as their underwater facility with store bought slime kits for lab equipment or downright stupefied as alotta bad actin’ and high school level effects numb their noodles. With my level of tolerance that took me years to develop, I can overlook a lot of these filmmakers’ shortcomin’s, but not when it comes to poor storytellin’ with its lack of shark action that’s completely abandoned by the end when the movie randomly decides to be an apocalyptic survival movie with backwood mutants! Face maulin’ boogers, zombie chicks, smirkin’ galore, infected rednecks, CGI sharks, toy sharks, stock footage sharks, super imposed explosions, pop-pop gun fights, nightmare inducin’ scrapes, and kidnappin’s! 1/1! 

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)

In this latest reboot that monkeys with Kong’s origin story to add him to the newly established MonsterVerse, the United States government takes a break from ‘Nam to fly a buncha soldiers to the recently discovered Skull Island for a reconnaissance mission, but Kong kills the majority of these unlucky stiffs the second they arrive, leavin’ a few rattled survivors to fight their way off the island through nightmarish creatures. Arguably the best King Kong flick that stomps outside the usual sideshow attraction plot that ends in freefallin’ death, Skull Island‘s plot may be thin with alotta one dimensional characters runnin’ ’round, but dammit, I get my money’s worth when it comes to the abundance of brutal monster brawlin’. It’s some of the best CGI fight sequences I’ve EVER seen with clean, easy to follow blow by blows explodin’ in magnificent colors resemblin’ a Frank Frazetta piece come to life. Perfect contrast to the graphically violent situations these poor saps hike through with each fella’s pendin’ doom keepin’ me on the edge of my bar stool. Helicopter smashin’ galore, dogfightin’ in the sky, planes turned boats, explosions galore, gassy fireballs, fellas ripped apart in midair, pteradactyl lookin’ birds, big ass yaks, tribal art shows, monster mashin’ galore, man size meals, lakes of fire, Ozzy blastin’ entrances, hand cuttin’, nods to Cannibal Holocaust, big ass spiders, kitana swingin’, monkey graveyards, big ass squid lunch, log bugs, and a typical Samual Jackson death! 4/5!

DAWN OF THE BEAST (2021)

The filmmakers behind The Retreat recycle their Wendigo effects and stick him and his ghoul lookin’ lap dogs in Big Foot’s woods where they go Evil Dead on a house full of grad students hopin’ to spot the legendary squatch for a class assignment. First off, I dunno why this is called DAWN of the Beast, ’cause it’s anythin’ but an origin story. Second, if yer hopin’ for alotta Wendigo vs Big Foot action like I was, you’ll be sadly disappointed. Not only do these wilderbeasts have different plot lines that make it feel like I’m jumpin’ channels ‘tween two different movies, but when they do finally cross paths, it’s short lived and pathetically unimaginative. Arm rippin’, impaled faces, flesh eatin’, Deadite wannabes, disembowlin’, monstrous transformations, decapitations with shovels, singin’ heads, cursed necklaces, evil scribble books, and monster brawlin’! 2/5!

TRIGGERED (2020)

It’s Saw meets Battle Royale as a pissed off science teacher tricks former students he blames for his late son’s death into wearin’ TNT rigged vests on different timers that’ll only deactivate when all but one of ’em are dead. Better than I expected, this is an explosive drama with legs that impressively manages to juggle alotta backstories and conflicts ‘mong characters without boggin’ the movie down in too many details. Aside from thinkin’ the players don’t try hard ‘nough to wiggle out of their deathtrap attire, the only other sour worth mentionin’ is how laughable it is some of the characters start talkin’ like TV super villains the more they embrace the game. Explosions, gassed campers, stabbin’s, head bashin’, gunshots to the head, murder cover-ups, leg stabbin’s, bullet to the head suicides, boobs in tents, hand smashin’, time stealin’, sudden death rounds, and cheatin’ drama! 4/5!

THE DARK AND THE WICKED (2020)

Until a demonic force can claim the soul of an ol’ farmer in his death throes, it passes the time unnervin’ the geezer’s family and farmhands to some pretty grisly ends. One of ’em forebodin’ horrors stuck on low boil, this sucker looks great and features some decent actin’, but it completely loses me as far as its rinse, repeat plot’s concerned. Mainly thanks to the lack of backstory robbin’ everythin’ of meaningful context from the farmer’s bickerin’ offspring to the seemingly random demon I guess just wants to fuck with people. Possessions, chop suey fingers, suicidal hangin’s, farm animal massacres, naked floatin’ geezers, evil hallucinations, throat slittin’, eye gougin’, stabbin’s, holy rollers, and death beds! 2/5! 

GODZILLA VS KONG (2021)

It’s the CGI throwdown of the 21st century as the laws of nature compel Godzilla to beat King Kong’s hairy ass while humans use the big ape as a two-fisted compass to locate primordial energy beneath the Earth’s crust for powerin’ a secret kaiju-stompin’ weapon. Well, if ya ever bitched ’bout these monster mash flicks bein’ too heavy on human sideline drama, then this sucker is for you, Scream Freaks! The characters are as flat as they come in this emotionless world trottin’ plot, and all the focus is on computer toon clobber fests with Kong chewin’ up the majority of the runtime while Zilla hangs back ‘tween bouts. It’s still a beautifully made movie with awesome fight scenes, don’t get me wrong, but all this eye candy could have some meaningful substance if there were at least one dynamic human character with something at stake for me to connect with. Otherwise, the only nit picky sour that sticks in my crawl is how easy it suddenly is for everyone to climb out of the upside down titan world after so much time was dedicated to how complicated it was gettin’ in. Sunk battleships, underwater wrestlin’, energy suckin’ axes, head rippin’, blood drinkin’, neon buildin’ smashin’, crazy freefalls, crushin’ deaths, explosions, monsters ripped in half, mutant bats, space/time warps, cybernetic plant smashin’, robot doppelgangers, hackin’, monstrous team ups, radioactive blasts, lab smashin’, signin’ monkeys, drugged titans, airlift simians, and carryover characters from Godzilla: King of the Monsters! 4/5! 

BACKWOODS (2020)

In this frantically edited mess of a story, a high school cheerleader struggles to remember the non-sensible events that left her stranded in the sticks ‘tween a romancin’ mutant with a knack for hangin’ trespassers and a wannabe slasher. Bad but not terrible, this low budget horror has a charmin’ production value with competent camerawork and respectable make-up effects, but it’s unfortunately bound together by reel to reel sours. Every edit feels like someone with a bad case of ADD cut this time hoppin’ narrative together, the masked killer’s game plane for the cheerleader doesn’t make a lick of sense and conflicts too much with the inbred mutant’s role in the movie as the big bad, and I’m anythin’ but at the edge of my bar stool with folks trash talkin’ this mongoloid like they’re Spider-Man. Roofies, attempts at robbin’ the cradle, kidnappin’, bottle smashin’ to the face, Stockholm syndrome, face cuttin’, stabbin’s, bear traps, hangin’ corpses, super annoyin’ radio chatter, drug dealin’, bridal gravesites, explodin’ eyeballs, and folks gettin’ stabbed with a pompom of all things! 2/5! 

PHANTOM RACER (2009)

By a cosmic coinkydink, an ex-racer turned guilt-ridden trucker happens to breakdown in his home town the same time his ol’ dead rival’s racecar is rebuilt with his road ragin’ spirit behind the wheel for some supernatural payback. Above average entertainment for a Syfy flick with a compellin’ performance from B.J. of B.J. and the Bear, this horror on wheels is a nice find for fans of killer cars, but it does ultimately play like a Hallmark movie with its plot of a big fish come back to their roots where some unresolved romance might just sucker ’em into stickin’ ’round. Not to say there ain’t plenty of death and gore to tickle yer sick fancy, but that barely escalates much less move the story ‘long ’til three different show stoppin’ confrontations ‘tween B.J. and the haunted Hot Wheel are played back to back at the very end. Decapitatin’ windows, street racin’, racecar wrecks, baby daddy drama, pyro car stunts, nods to Christine, nods to Greg Evigan’s TV career, blood soakin’ paint jobs, roadkill law officials, burnin’ rubber facials, folks chewed in half by car trunks, suffocattin’ seatbelts, juvenile vandalism, flamin’ deaths, car chases, impalement, and impounded evil! 4/5! 

THE TOLL (2020)

A socially awkward driver takes a cautious passenger down a remote road in the middle of the night and ends up in some supernatural plane where a peripheral soul collector called the Toll Man manipulates ’em with mind games to kill each other. A great premise for a 22 minute episode of some creepy anthology series, but without a whole lot else goin’ on, this sucker fails at keepin’ me engaged to the end credits. Pretty disappointin’ given this flick’s production value from its compellin’ cast to its thoughtful set lightin’, but the title booga boo just ain’t front and center ‘nough to generate any kinda grippin’ danger for me to invest in. Endless loopin’ roads, breakdowns, bow and arrow defenses, window smashin’ letters, supernatural illusions, disappearin’ photos, bag masks galore, and heavy machinery ridin’ night owls with all the answers! 3/5! 

THE LEGEND OF FALL CREEK (2021) aka BLOODY BOBBY (2016)

It’s been 20 years since little Bobby was teased out of a Halloween party and accidentally turned to backwoods roadkill, and now he’s risin’ from the grave for some long overdue payback when all his tormenters finally reunite for what’s certain to be their last hootenanny. A low-budget slasher that cleverly covers its productions shortcomin’s as a nod to shoddy grindhouse flicks, Bloody Bobby’s story is what makes this a memorable Halloween horror with just ‘nough decent actin’ to help sell it. I wish the filmmakers were more creative with the kills, but there is one laugh out loud effect when a decapitated head looks like a Mr. Potato Head fallin’ into someone’s lap! Be aware this movie was first released as Bloody Bobby in 2016 and re-released as a prequel to its more successful 2018 sequel, Black Pumpkin. Who does that?!! Costume parties, longwinded backstories, supernatural nosebleeds, shower stabbin’s, wacky tobacky, modest Halloween atmosphere, internet datin’, decapitatin’, stabbin’s galore, undead young’ns, trick ‘r treatin’, lesbo kissin’, kills on the can, drunk law officials, head bashin’, bum rap murders, boobs, blurred man meat and butt crack, and a sweet but all too brief appearance by Full Moon Alum, Jessica Morris! 3/5! 

BLACK PUMPKIN (2018)

Bloody Bobby returns from the dead to pick off the remainin’ survivors from his first killin’ spree and raises even more Halloween hell ‘gainst a buncha teens who’ve been treadin’ in his neck of the woods. A superior sequel to the confusingly re-released Blood Bobby (2016) aka The Legend of Fall Creek (2021), this boasts a unique ensemble of characters and a rockin’ soundtrack while strikin’ a firm balance ‘tween serious attempts at scares with subtle humor paced throughout. The edits are wonky, and there’s a couple of rough visual effects like scenes with superimposed black pumpkins lookin’ like they’re finger painted into the movie, but these are forgivable sours that far from detract this little known treat from bein’ added to everyone’s annual must-sees for Halloween. Holy rollin’ picketeers, student film projects, razor blade treats, stereotypical fat gags, bullies on wheels, van rockin’, axes to the head, backwood roadkill, lawnmowers to the face, Halloween light hogties, stabbin’s galore, hand slicin’, trick ‘r treatin’, bon fire hook-ups, and lotta eye candy in painted on panties! 4/5!

DEEP BLOOD (1990)

A stock footage shark is chewin’ beach folk into Hawaiian Punch, and one of its meals happens to be from a gang of ceremonial blood brothers hellbent on revenge with some dynamite fishin’. As far as Jaws knock-offs are concerned, this is mildly impressive for only recyclin’ part of Spielberg’s blockbuster proven formula and changin’ up the heroes to bein’ a buncha childhood buddies sworn to protect the beach from evil by some rando Native American. There’s some sours I gotta knock it for, however, — namely its pathetic body count, weak shark scenes, and the run-on blow-by-blow of divin’ in the last 20 minutes that’s a real tolerance tester. Best bud blood oaths, tribal cyphers that surprisingly weren’t washed away with the tide all those years it was buried, bullies spontaneously turned allies, street racin’, parkin’ lot brawls, laughable flirtin’, awkward handshakes with dads, scuba divin’, spear fishin’, high flyin’ fish snipers, bum rap sharks, and underwater explosions! 3/5! 

HALLOWEEN PARTY (2019)

A Halloween meme is killin’ students’ with their own nightmares, and it’s up to a femme geek and a socially awkward nerd to save the campus as they trace the computer virus to ghosts of pissed off jelly kids. As much as I love this flick for its amazin’ cast and story, it unfortunately can’t stick the landin’ and falls apart in the last reel. All the established rules for who the meme kills are thrown out the window, our heroes make bafflin’ decisions like ditchin’ their runnin’ vehicle to hide in underground tunnels, and the money shots feel rushed with edits similar to how amateur short films are cut together. Even with these sours, however, it’s still worth checkin’ out, especially for Amy Groening and T. Thomason’s amazin’ screen chemistry alone. Pig people, mall maulin’s, It Follows nods, freak outs, entombed suicides, face gnawin’ with bile, bears on a plane, vagina spiders (kinda), the most helpful librarian EVER, bullyin’, ghosts in the plumbin’, blob boys, inside out freaks, grinnin’ ghouls, night vision POV, supernatural hacks, evil computer clubs, and comical geezer freak outs! 4/5! 

CENTIPEDE! (2004)

While a yahoo celebrates his best bud’s bachelor party with their gang of friends in a three mile deep hole in India, a cave in traps ’em with hungry mutant centipedes of the big-ass variety. More cheesy than scary, this is straight up B horror with an ensemble of mediocre actors in an ‘bove average Tom and Jerry run ’round with respectable rubber puppets that surprisingly refuse to tag out with CGI effects. A charmingly entertainin’ watch from beginnin’ to end, the only sour I really have with this sucker is the endin’ leavin’ the groom-to-be lookin’ like a total douche bag. Explosions, poisonous sprays, secret toxic waste dump sites, underwater chases, maulin’s, bad dance parties, jealous lovers, and flamin’ puppets! 3/5! 

THE VIGIL (2019)

A new Jew in town’s pickin’ up a few extra bucks on the graveyard shift watchin’ over ‘nother Jew’s corpse ’til the funeral home picks it up and is spooked by a demonic force tryin’ to snatch the poor sap’s soul before dawn. If yer into atmospheric horror that ain’t all ’bout blood, gore, and body counts, then this family safe flick’s fer you. The filmmakers do a great job developin’ the main character and buildin’ suspense with some creepy visuals, but the stakes are almost non-existent. I don’t have any reason to root for the salvation of a character I barely know, and I never believe his designated hero’s ever in mortal danger. Hit and run flashbacks with young’ns, street bullies, widowed hags, lit up demons, and memory lane with Nazis! 3/5! 

LET’S SCARE JULIE (2019)

In this meanderin’ mess of a real-time prank, a gang of bratty teens spontaneously decide to invade a neighborin’ girl’s mansion for a random scare, and the audience is stuck with the one bopper left behind to make sense of what the hell’s happenin’ when everyone doesn’t come back. While this semi-artsy blow-by-blow genuinely captures what I assume is honest teen girl antics and perfectly creates a dark and stormy night atmosphere, its story leaves a lot to be desired. The family relations are messy, all the expositions for the burn victim next door, the local ghost or whatever, and some of the girl’s own past trauma ‘long with their parents’ are too tangled to keep track of, and no one’s actions for where they end up after the prank make any since like the one sister suddenly bein’ ‘cross town to pick up her mom at the airport. This just ain’t worth wastin’ what brain cells ya got left on. Underage smokin’ and lesbo kissin’, cardiac arrestin’ home invasions, teleportin’ voodoo lookin’ trinkets, convenient number of Purge masks, sad sneakin’ ’round with bright lights, scary texts, and sudden endin’s with no real resolution! 2/5!

THE JUNGLE (2013)

A gang of do-gooders are on a mission to find and a tag an endangered leopard in the Indonesian jungle but end up in a Blair Witch situation when they cross paths with some kinda camera shy booga boo that can rip ’em and their leopard to shreds. A fairly interestin’ idea for a creature feature, the biggest sour with this found footage flick is there ain’t ‘nough goin’ on as far as the absent monster’s concerned, and the first person perspective gets old fast thanks to the settin’ bein’ dense jungle that looks the same in every direction. Nightvision jump scares, tranq guns, chewed up carcasses, severed meat mitts, dark magic tree decor, leopard poo trails, and silly video game lookin’ monster reveals at the last possible second! 3/5! 

DOLLS (2019)

A hard drinkin’ children’s author not only inherits his mama’s house after she mysteriously lands on a knife with her head, but a gang of dolls she helped exorcise ghosts and demons into, wantin’ to kill anyone associated with their predicament. An impressively entertainin’ flick on a shoestring budget, the story’s really engagin’ thanks to the compellin’ chemistry ‘mong its cast which helps me overlook all the short-cut effects for the killer dolls. Acceptin’ it for what it is with all its limitations, I think this is a solid fun time for a chilled movie night. Home Alone style impalement, trip wires, booby trap shears, flirtin’ minors, off camera exorcisms, possessed story book doodlin’ and writin’, supernatural illusions, suicidal baths, home invadin’, psycho wards, stabbin’s, and Dee Wallace as the mad Cassandra figure! 3/5!

THE MUSIC BOX (2018)

A little yard monster digs up a cursed music box at her new home and accidentally unleashes a ghost girl who upsets her aunt. There ain’t much to say ’bout this lukewarm scare. It’s decently shot, stars an okay ‘nough cast of eye candy that can act their way outta paper bag, and has a well paced, easy to follow story . . . it’s just a very forgettable flick thanks to nothin’ interestin’ happenin’. Head jerkin’, spooks on film, and supernatural house trashin’! 3/5! 

EDGE OF THE AXE (1988)

There’s a new nerd in town, and he captures a like-minded filly’s heart with an exclusive computer chat room while some local serial killin’s eventually tie back to ’em at the last possible minute. One of ’em flicks with alotta quirky elements miraculously comin’ together as oddball cinema that has to be seen to disbelieve, this obscure slasher is far from borin’ but could really stand to inject more horror that directly affects its leadin’ love interests. Decomposin’ bodies droppin’ from the ceilin’, marital affairs, car wrecks, axe murders galore, $100 whore executions, comically lazy law officials, loony bin backstories, imaginary cousins, water logged heads, and wrongful executions! 3/5!

STAY OUT OF THE F***ING ATTIC (2020)

Ex-cons turned movers are hustlin’ for a major payday to get an old man shipped outta his house by mornin’, but diggin’ through his stuff reveals he’s a Nazi fugitive from World War II with a few twisted experiments he’ll unleash to protect his secret. Top notch filmmakin’ all ’round, this is a well paced creature feature/slasher that hits all the right beats to keep it suspenseful and the right ‘mount of fun from beginnin’ to end. As engagin’ as the cast is, however, I don’t find any of the women’s performances all that convincin’ due to their lack of emotional depth which prevents their scenes from sellin’ the horror this sucker was dependent on for executin’ its most disturbin’ scenes. One of the best things watchin’ this flick is constantly guessin’ who’s gonna survive or not. Needles to the eyes, basement labs, tortured twin experiments, super mutant slaves, Neo Nazi backstories, truth tellin’ tats, flesh peelin’, gas chamber bathrooms, stabbin’s, resurrections, blood spittin’, head stompin’, and life restorin’ eye goo! 4/5! 

BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MAKER (1981)

Much to my dismay, there ain’t no butchers or bakers anywhere in this nutty borderline of a horror flick, Scream Freaks! Instead, we have a crazed picklin’ aunt sufferin’ from the worst case of empty nest syndrome we’ve ever seen committed to celluloid as she murders and poisons whoever she’s gotta to prevent her adopted nephew from skippin’ town on her with a basketball scholarship. Of course, that don’t fly with the nephew, and I surprisingly find myself rootin’ for him to escape his escalatin’ predicament as it steadily unfolds like a daytime soap drama with the seldom punctuation of gore. While this oddball flick meanders a bit in the middle and features an intolerable character or two, it certainly keeps me on my toes with some unexpected cop scenes and is worth checkin’ out for its openin’ car wreck alone that gives the openin’ pile-up from Final Destination 2 a run for its money. Poisoned milk, borderline incest, pickled heads, decapitated corpses, gut slashin’, throat slittin’, stabbin’s galore, impalement with a fire poker, cop killin’, severed hands, sexual assault, boobs ‘tween the sheets, school yard brawls with Bill Paxton, buttocks in the shower, blood smearin’, nip slips, stair fall stunts, ‘lotta ‘lotta gay hate, interrogations at gunpoint, bad haircuts, head bashin’, ridiculous wardrobes, and one of the most brutal car wrecks in cinematic history! 3/5! 

DECOYS (2004)

Cold lovin’ e.t.s disguise themselves as hot blondes with no belly buttons and jump a buncha college boners ’til they successfully learn to mate without flash freezin’ their partners from the inside out. An all ’round fun flick, this horny sci-fi romp has a lot to offer from its competent camerawork and engagin’ cast that includes a terrific performance by Corey Sevier as the paranoid hero threatenin’ to toast lovely ladies ‘less they show their navals! And be prepared for the unexpected attachment ya might feel for his virgin roommate who really thinks he can bear the responsibility of interstellar relationships. Boobs galore, ice queen pageants, flamethrowers, dinner party bon fires, e.t.s roasted to smithereens, frosty corpses, tentacle porn, peepin’ toms, dumb twist endin’s, Popsicle limb snappin’, shower cams, monstrous transformations, hot defenses, and throw-up e.t. births! 4/5!

DECOYS 2: THE SECOND SEDUCTION (2007)

The tentacle porn continues, but now, the icy killers from space are takin’ things slooow, hopin’ some fantasy foreplay will keep their victims from flash freezin’ their chances at breedin’ ‘fore Corey Sevier brings the heat down on ’em ‘gain. Just as fun and fast paced as the first Decoys, this sequel hits alotta of familiar beats that made me a fan of the series without bein’ a total copycat. There’s new twists like the Species-wannabes havin’ the power to project illusions in folks’ heads, but there ain’t too many heroes to root for given the gang leadin’ the charge this time are a buncha despicable horn dogs bettin’ who can bang the most chicks on campus. At least the filmmakers had the sense to bring Corey back who somehow managed to duck some pretty serious assault charges the last time he fricasseed e.t.s bangin’ his classmates to a chilly death. Scaredy cat virgins, MacGuyvered flamethrowers with zippos and hairspray, monster huntin’ luaus, pussy scoreboards that gotta be breakin’ some kinda laws, CGI burns, monstrous transformations, frosty corpses, monstrous matchsticks, e.t.s roasted to smithereens, flirtin’ with cops, school girl fetishes, library pick-ups, BDSM fetishes, ahead of their time cell phone tech, needles in the arm, and Tobin Bell seduced by an e.t.! 4/5!

THE DEVIL BELOW (2021)

Researchers for hire sneak past hostile mountain folk to collect samples from their abandoned coal mine, but bite off more than they can chew when they discover the backwood locals were actually fightin’ to keep the world safe from a colony of underground monsters. Kind of like Tomb Raider versus the Mole People ‘gainst Silent Hill’s firey backdrop, this creature feature hits all the appropriate story beats, but utterly fails at givin’ me anyone to care ’bout despite a few fleetin’ efforts at character development that never gain any traction with me. There’s one good scare with a fella bein’ fed to the big mama of the monsters, but the creative choices behind the camerawork at this particular moment really rob it of any genuine effectiveness. Electrified fences, self sacrifices, poor pick-me up stories, car chases, off roadin’, paralysin’ stingers, worm-headed monster suit actin’, grapple hook action, explosions, firin’ squads, and woozy-vision! 3/5!

STORAGE 24 (2012)

A lovers’ spat gets stuck in a storage facility’s lockdown after a military plane crashes next door, and things go from bad to worse when they discover an unfriendly e.t.’s trapped with ’em. Well made all ’round, my only gripe with this European horror is that it takes itself a little too seriously and never escalates in any interestin’ ways. Full of talented camerawork and actin’, the highlight of this whole shebang is the CGI booger from space who’s so effectively creepy at times, even I rear back in my seat! Face slashin’, mad squatters, heart rippin’ fatalities, head squashin’, hoes ‘fore bros, ceilin’ ambushes, mannequin hidey holes, wind-up firework dogs, explosions, e.t. invasions, impalement, face eatin’, air vent chases, hand bitin’, car crushin’, and folks ripped in half! 3/5! 

WILLY’S WONDERLAND (2021)

A grape soda guzzlin’ bad ass with a two-fisted vocabulary is swindled into spit shinin’ an abandoned pizza joint overnight for a new set of tires and effortlessly brawls with its mechanical mascots that turn out to be possessed by serial killin’ spirits. Another horror flick inspired by the Five Nights At Freddy’s video game series, this guilty pleasure doesn’t always make the most sense and relies way too much on its gimmick versus an actual story, but it’s just fun to watch Nicolas Cage beat the ever livin’ shit outta cartoon characters ‘tween games of pinball that warrants their own nomination for best love scene in a horror movie. The one story detail that sticks in my crawl is how the town can’t get rid of these stuffed nightmares with a whole arsenal at their disposal, yet Nic does it with nothin’ more than his meat mitts. It’s kinda the whole point of the humor, I know, but a little more thought could’ve been put into this stuff. Bathroom brawlin’, first aid duct tape, blow outs, explodin’ cars, weak maulin’s, lackadaisical bump ‘n grind with peepin’ toms, head rippin’, ball pit falls, double stick attacks, attempted arson, magical cleanin’ spray, slashin’, impalement, and ritualistic killin’s! 4/5! 

BODY CAM (2020)

A cop hatin’ boogey man’s prowlin’ the streets of Louisiana for blue blood, and one lone officer with a history of slappin’ has made it her mission to find out why it’s so pissed. From BET, this is top shelf filmmakin’ with alotta fine actin’ and some of the most brutal supernatural kills I’ve seen committed to celluloid. The only hitch in this flick’s giddy up is its lack of details regardin’ how this wronged boogah boo came to be and just how big a role key people play in its revenge from beyond the grave. Fatal freefalls, gory impalement, bathroom suicides, crooked law officials, busted teeth galore, free floatin’ cops, convenient store shoot outs, body cam twists, blue on blue violence, ghost kids, and black light street visions! 4/5!

THEY REACH (2020)

Set in the late ’70s, a teenage bookworm accidentally releases a demon trapped in a junked audio recorder, and she’s gotta recapture the hellion ‘fore it massacres everyone she knows. A charmin’ indie flick with genuine small town flavor, this nicely dressed period piece looks fantastic and does a great job castin’ memorable characters in its roles, but kinda falls flat in its story’s build-up. It’s obvious alotta thought went into the risin’ action, the character’s backstories, and the demon’s exposition, but it’s all lackin’ that unique X factor that effortlessly propels the movie forward to a satisfyin’ conclusion. It also mighta helped if the demon had more of a physical presence for me to feel the weight of the danger more. Bicyclin’ teens, pizza faces, cursed visions, monstrous mommies, potato powered weapons ‘gainst monsters, occultist hippie librarians, corn dog chowin’, cursed symbols, nasty lookin’ Brillo pad mustaches, goofy law officials, flesh carvin’, bloody explosions, CGI portals to hell, exorcisms, and mulligan endin’s! 3/5!

AMERICAN SCARECROW (2020)

A hard-up construction company’s clearin’ out a farmhouse their bank just possessed and are slowly attacked by its previous resident, an indestructible war vet Uncle Sam help create whose outfit barely qualifies him as a scarecrow. The story details need ironin’ out, the sound ain’t always the best, and the camerawork could be smoother, but the filmmakers exhibit ‘nough talent through these technical shortcomin’s to pull together a decently entertainin’ flick with ‘nough likable characters to keep me engage ’til the death count finally starts pickin’ toward the end. Definitely interested in seein’ what these folks behind the camera work on next. Severed hands, impalement, boobs in the bedroom, toilet bowl shoppin’, squatter orphans, super human matchsticks, a blip of the Christmas season, and underage hitchhikin’! 3/5! 

THE RETREAT (2020)

Durin’ a bachelor party hike up a remote mountain, a pair of best buds enjoy some recreational drugs from a stranger, and one of ’em starts thinkin’ a thousand yard stare wendigo’s after ’em with a litter of ghouls itchin’ to tear ’em apart. This flick looks great and sports some sweet monster make-ups, but it takes some David Lynch sorta twists and turns early on that leaves me bored and frustrated with never knowin’ what’s real or not. Is there a boogey man spirit in the woods turnin’ jerks into damned lap dogs? Is this all just a bad trip from homemade narcotics? Or were the filmmakers so indecisive what should happen in this story, they push this shit out into the world as one of ’em “Make of it what you will” salvage jobs were supposed to buy as clever filmmakin’. I just call it a waste of time that could be better spent lookin’ for potato chips shaped like world leaders! 2/5!

THEY LIVE INSIDE US (2020)

It’s a countdown to Halloween night as a screen writer hopes temporarily movin’ into a murder house will jar his writer’s block, but his brush with the supernatural’s just a buncha dull sounds and shadows that bury this flick’s head so far up it’s own psychological storytellin’ ass, I lose all interest in wastin’ any brain cells understandin’ who and what’s actually hauntin’ the house. Even worse, half the run time’s spent on a handful of throw away tales the writer halfheartedly starts, each featurin’ characters and scenarios I don’t give two shits ’bout, ’cause I know none of ’em have any skin in the game as sidebar works of fiction. Sure, they turn out to be subtle set-ups for one little reveal at the end, but it just ain’t a big ‘nough payoff. Save yer valuable time and skip this one. Killer clowns, scarecrows, street slashers, spooks in the window, missin’ daughters, drownin’s, ghost moms, and ‘lotta ‘lotta bullshit! 2/5!

SKINNER (1993)

When Ted Raimi’s not bummin’ it from town to town oglin’ over how water works, he’s busy paradin’ the streets in flesh suits he carves off his latest murder victims ’til a pathetically bumblin’ Traci Lords can stop him. A must see for fans of the Evil Dead talent pool that includes screen gore by KNB EFX, this Buffalo Bill wannabe has nuggets of good ideas, but fails at givin’ me anyone to really latch on to never mind root for. Unless of course, you count Traci Lords as this mutilated mumbler seekin’ revenge like a sad man’s Dr. Loomis. I laugh every time she drags ass into one of Ted’s murders, just to be duped and defeated with antics lifted from the Three Stooges. Affairs of the heart, pervy hotel managers, chronic dopin’, flesh peelin’, boobs for hire, deformed avengers, offscreen kills, harmed dogs, urban chases, and Ricki Lake as the last girl, all or nothin’ shotgun totin’ guards, and literal black face! 3/5!

CARNAGE PARK (2016)

A down on her luck farm girl is taken hostage durin’ a bank robbery, and her captors’ getaway takes a fatal turn through some unfriendly desert that leaves her on her own ‘gainst sharp shootin’ snipers. A kinetic love letter to gritty flicks from the ’70s, this sucker packs alotta talent from behind and in front of the camera. But despite its creative shot choices and engagin’ cast, it unfortunately suffers from a bit of a meanderin’ story that relies more on a buncha cat and mouse action than character development to carry it through to the end credits. The real highlight is Ashley Bell’s last girl performance which has me convinced she’s one of the greatest actors of our time who ain’t gettin’ the credit she deserves after seein’ her previous work in The Last Exorcism and The Day. Timeline jumpin’, fat corpse rollin’, bullets to the head and chest, kidnappin’, knock-out hankies, bear traps, explosions, crooked law officials, shoot ’em up bank robberies, and brutal executions! 3/5! 

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