Wednesday, August 29, 2018

THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE

The Slumber Party Massacre Movie Review

A killer is on the loose, and he's targeting a group of high school girls at a slumber party--yeah, the title pretty much sums it up. The story of this movie is fairly interesting--the late 1970s/early 1980s were a popular time for slasher films, and Rita Mae Brown wrote the movie as a parody of the trend, but when Hollywood got a hold of it, they decided to flip it more toward what was popular at the time, and made it, more or less, a straight horror film. Anyway, after some scenes to establish the friendship of the girls, and their general dislike of new girl Valerie (Robin Stille from the classic Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama), we end up at the party.

"Hey jerky!"

We get what you would expect out of a 1982 slasher flick--a decent body count, some gratuitous nudity, bad acting, and cool music. The movie doesn't follow a legendary killer such as Jason Vorhees, nor is it a mystery who the killer is--it's escaped killer Russ Thorn (Michael Villella), and we actually see him all throughout the movie. 

The girl he's about to kill doesn't though

As I said, the acting is pretty bad all throughout the film, and the script isn't the best, but surprisingly, this movie actually has some stuff going for it. Many of the death scenes--and their aftermath--are quite impressive; they didn't skip on the blood and gore at all. While most of the acting is awful, Stille turns in a good performance and makes a likable hero. After an impressive start that sees the bodies start to pile up, the movie does slow down a bit in the middle, and nothing even mildly entertaining happens at the party, but once Thorn arrives, we kick it into high gear again. The ending is a mixed bag of awful (the slow motion shots are dreadful and Russ loses every bit of scariness he may have built up once he starts talking) and pleasing (the blood really starts to fly here). As for the score, The Slumber Party Massacre is a little too entertaining to be a 6, but not quite good enough to earn a 7...hmmm....I'm in a good mood, so...

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


The Slumber Party Massacre Red Band Trailer (there's lots of blood, nudity, and spoilers in this trailer)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

HOUSE OF HORRORS

House Of Horrors Movie Review

Marcel De Lange (Martin Kosleck, The Mummy's Curse), a struggling sculptor, stumbles upon a disfigured man known as The Creeper (Rondo Hatton), and decides sculpting him will bring De Lange the success he desires. Once De Lange discovers The Creeper is also a killer, he uses that to his advantage as well. Probably more than anything, this movie is known for the presence of Hatton, known as "The Monster Without Makeup". Universal had the idea of creating "The Creeper" as a recurring monster, similar to Frankenstein, but sadly, Hatton died after making this and the second film in the series, The Brute Man. So you're probably wondering why they gave Hatton his nickname.

Here he is, makeupless

It's actually a pretty sad story. Hatton suffered from acromegaly, a growth disorder that makes the hands, feet, and face grow disproportionately, and also lead to his death. Over the years, Hatton has become a bit of an icon in horror, and even has horror awards named after him--nominate me! Knowing this going into the movie made it hard to dislike The Creeper, and Hatton does a fine job playing the character, as does Kosleck as the sadistic sculptor. We also have Joan Shawlee as a model.

There's no real reason to mention this

The movie's biggest weakness is in the plot and pacing. The film absolutely crawls at times, the story is a rather bland one, and the subplots, other than working Shawlee in the story, are uninteresting. The movie was, however, shot wonderfully, adding a little to the enjoyment. Knowing Universal's plans for Hatton, it makes you wonder about the ending of this film, but by the time you get there it may not bother you. Ultimately, House of Horrors is a middle of the pack type horror movie that is neither good nor bad--it's just there.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


I couldn't find a trailer for House Of Horrors, so enjoy this tribute to The Creeper

Saturday, August 18, 2018

PLANET TERROR

Planet Terror Movie Review

One-legged go-go dancer Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan, Scream) and her ex-boyfriend, pistelero El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez, Lady in the Water) lead a group of Texans in battle against mutant zombies. This movie, from director Robert Rodriguez, was one half of the Grindhouse double feature release with Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. The idea of the Grindhouse release was fantastic, and I remember being super excited when I first heard about it--one film would show, there would be several fake trailers from different directors, then the second film would show. Unfortunately, no theatre in my area showed it in this format, and, as far as I know, it has not been released on DVD in this way. Anyway, Rodriguez certainly does a wonderful job really tapping into that grindhouse feel and presentation with this gory, often disgusting, film.

Gross Bruce Willis

If you are looking for a clean, crisp film, look elsewhere--to help bring the 1970s grindhouse film effect to life, Rodriguez adds pops, buzzes, scratchy film, and more effects to make this movie appear to come from us direct from 1972, including my favorite, the missing reel gag between the second and third acts. All that awesomeness aside, we are left with a decent film. The bloodshed and violence are way over the top, which is nice in a film like this, but many of the characters are a bit too much, and far too underdeveloped to care about--the ending leaves a lot to be desired as well. The acting is hit or miss--you get what you expect out of Willis, McGowan is not great but not terrible, and Rodriguez is actually fairly impressive. While a very enjoyable movie to watch, Planet Terror had the potential to be an absolute classic, but doesn't quite make it to that level.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Planet Terror Movie Trailer

Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE MEG (From The Theatre)

The Meg Movie Review

Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), a former rescue diver, is brought back from retirement to save a group of aquatic experts trapped at the bottom of the ocean. The dangers include a lack of oxygen, a giant squid, and one of the largest predators known to man, the long-extinct megalodon shark.

He's a big fella 

There is no secret this is a big budget, summer blockbuster popcorn movie, which I am very okay with--the movie isn't trying to be anything more than that. What kind of kills this film is the lack of scares--there is little to no bloodshed (at least human bloodshed), and, with a couple exceptions, there are not many scenes to make you scared of the meg--I actually felt kind of bad for him. Those things aside, this is a really fun movie. Statham, as always, brings the awesomeness, and surprisingly, most of the rest of the cast turn in good performances as well--they even do a decent job making many of the characters likable! The meg--and other sea creatures--look impressive in this movie, and the final heroic scene is pretty cool. There's even some catchy music--the cover of the Toni Basil song Mickey, by Thai singer Pim, is fantastic (tragically, I couldn't find it anywhere, or else it would be here). The Meg is a little too much action movie and not quite enough horror movie for me, but it is a super fun film that is a lot of fun to watch, especially on the big screen.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


The Meg Movie Trailer



UPDATE

The cover of Mickey has finally landed on Youtube, and here it is!

"Hey Mickey" by Pim

Sunday, August 5, 2018

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN

Son Of Frankenstein Movie Review

Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone, The Black Cat), the son of Henry Frankenstein, discovers that the Monster his father created (the legendary Boris Karloff) is alive and in a coma--further, his father's former assistant, Ygor (another horror legend, Bela Lugosi), has been using the Monster to extract revenge on those who hung him. This 1939 film was very successful and put Universal back on the monster movie map--it also marks the final tine Karloff would play The Monster on the big screen.

"But we made so much money!"

Universal decided to bring the two legendary actors together in hopes of recovering from recent box office failures, and that plan worked--however, this movie was also the beginning of the alleged rivalry between Karloff and Lugosi. So Karloff walked away from the role that made him a legend, citing the Monster was now the butt of jokes, and you can actually see that somewhat in this film--there is WAY too much just...goofiness in this movie, not the least of which is the ridiculous arm of Inspector Krogh (Lionel Atwill, Murders In The Zoo) and the absurd performance from Rathbone. The Monster himself gets tragically little screen time, and for most of the time we see him, he's not doing anything. That aside, Karloff and Lugosi are both very impressive here, and the film is shot wonderfully. The end, while somewhat abrupt, is also memorable. Son Of Frankenstein is the final movie of the original three, and while worth watching, is not nearly as good as Frankenstein or The Bride Of Frankenstein.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Son Of Frankenstein Movie Trailer

Saturday, August 4, 2018

CHUPACABRA VS THE ALAMO

Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo Movie Review

I can't count the number of times I have sat alone, wondering to myself "What would happen if Erik Estrada of CHiPS fame lead a group of DEA agents, Mexican gang members, and his own family in a battle against an army of chupacabra...at The Alamo?" Thankfully (?), SyFy answered that question for me with the 2013 original Chupacabra vs the Alamo. We all know these SyFy originals, so we expect a certain amount of ridiculousness, but as soon as we see Estrada riding his motorcycle in front of a green screen, we know we are in for something really special here.

"Jon! Jon, can you hear me?"

Truthfully, there's not a lot going for this movie, but one thing it has in spades is bloodshed. While the violent scenes are largely laughable due to the CGI, the sheer amount of blood is impressive. Speaking of that CGI...

Woof

The chupacabra CGI is 2000 level--maybe worse--but they will keep you looking and occasionally laughing. Sadly, the enjoyment of this film ends there--the rest is unbearably bad. The dialogue may be the worst thing about this movie, and that is saying something. The writers decided to forego creativity and rely on every cliche they could find from every cop movie ever made--and not in an entertaining, Hot Fuzz way. The characters are just as cliche as the dialogue, and the acting makes this even worse. The film is shot horribly, and often out of focus. We can only hope this will all lead to a fantastic finish, which we know will take place at The Alamo, but alas, we end up with more horrible CGI and an underwhelming climax. SyFy has put out some rather horrible movie over the years, but Chupacabra Vs. the Alamo may be one of the worst.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo Movie Trailer