Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Neon Maniacs Movie Review

A gang of monsters emerge from the Golden Gate Bridge, unleashing destruction as they carve their way through teenagers. What is the story of the monsters? Why are they here? Why do they hate teenagers? We never get the answers to these questions, though we can assume they hate teenagers for the same reasons everybody else does. The story of why we don't know their story is probably more interesting than the actual movie. Some time into the filming of this movie, production had to be shut down for a few months due to budget issues. Eventually, they got back up and running, but faced quite an issue--many of the actors portraying the monsters were not available to come back, so the characters had to be recast--yes, there are multiple actors playing the same monsters in this movie.

“O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!”

The monsters, I guess, are sort of like zombies, but posses skills--one is an archer, one is quite handy with the sword, and so on. About half way in we discover there is one thing that can stop these creatures--water, which makes you wonder why the live in the Golden Gate Bridge, but let's forget that. The acting in this movie is bad, but not unbearably so. The practical effects are actually a bit better than one would expect from this movie--unfortunately, the makeup is exactly what you would anticipate. There's a lot that screams "1980's" about this film, which is nice--one such scene is the dance/battle of the bands that appears to set up the final battle. The neon behind the bands is fantastic stuff. Speaking of this battle, the bands/music are horrible--Faith No More and Primus were both kicking around San Francisco at this time--were they not available?! Anyway, the final battle was not to be--the movie was halted again and those making the magic must have decided to call it quits and piece together something with what they had filmed. The results of this unfinished film: we have no idea what the monsters are or where they came from, there is no final battle, and the movie ends and goes into the credits so abruptly you will think you have a problem with your Roku...and we are left wondering forever what could have been with this film.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Neon Maniacs Movie Trailer

Monday, April 20, 2020


Cutting Class Movie Review

Soon after Brian Woods (Donovan Leitch, The Blob), a teen accused of killing his father, returns to school after being released from a mental institution, student bodies start turning up dead. Is this Brian's doing, or is there a second maniac on the loose? That's the premise of this comedic horror film, which was shot in 1987 but not released until 1989. If you have heard of this movie at all, it is likely because it is one of the few films Brad Pitt did prior to becoming a household name, and wow, is that ever a strange thing to see.

"THIS guy's going to be famous?"

Aside from the weirdness of seeing Pitt play a teenager, it is also bizarre watching him play an unlikable character--he's the typical high school jerk guy and boyfriend of the lead--and it's not something he pulls off well. On the flip side, Jill Schoelen (Popcorn) is as good as it gets as Paula, the lead character. Prior to starting the movie I knew Schoelen, Pitt, and Leitch (who, incidentally, is the son of singer Donovan and brother of actress Ione Skye) all starred, but was surprised when Roddy McDowall (Fright Night) appeared as Mr. Dante.

"You didn't tell him I'd be here?"

My excitement level for this movie shot up to eleven as soon as I saw McDowall, one of my all-time favorite actors, but unfortunately, he is grossly underused in this movie. There is a bit more unexpected star power in this under the radar flick, including Martin Mull (Jingle All The Way), Dirk Blocker (Night of the Scarecrow), and Brenda James (Slither). This movie is a slasher on one hand, but as I mentioned before, a comedy as well--while some of the comedic elements are dark and hit the right chord, others, particularly anything involving Mull, are just awful, which is a shame, because I typically enjoy Mull's performances. The movie works as a whodunit as well, and may have you guessing quite a bit before the reveal. Be on the lookout for continuity errors--actually, you really don't have to be paying much attention to catch most of them, but when you do see them, you will certainly be entertained. I wasn't expecting much out of Cutting Class, and it is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a really fun movie to watch. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

Cutting Class Movie Trailer

Sunday, April 19, 2020


The Borrower Movie Review

An alien must face the greatest punishment known to its species--damnation to a horrible planet known as Earth. As if that's not bad enough, it also has to take the form of a human...poor thing. After going a while without watching a horror film from the 1990's, I decided to skim through everything offered on my Roku device, landing on Vudu. While this offered well over 300 free to watch horror films, very few were from the 1990's (this movie was shot in 1989, but not released until 1991, so I consider it a 90's movie). Long-time readers will know I am not fond of this decade's horror films in general, and this lack of options pretty well defines that ten year period--while there certainly were some gems, the decade as a whole didn't have a lot to offer. Enough with the history lesson and back to our feature. This one stars Rae Dawn Chong (Tales from the Darkside: The Movie), who is best known for being the son of Tommy Chong and for being married to C. Thomas Howell. Chong was a fairly popular actress throughout the early to mid 1980's, but by the time this film came out in 1991, her stardom had all but vanished.

Or it went up in smoke, if you will

Soon after arriving, the alien's human head explodes, so it has to get a new one, which lays the groundwork of the film--the alien goes from person to person, tearing their head off to use it when its head nears expiration. This gives the movie a Jason Goes to Hell vibe, which is never a good thing, and there is something very distracting about the head-switching--when the alien switches heads, it also gets the body he just took the head from...even though we see the body is being left behind. This becomes obvious when it goes from a white guy's head to a black guy's head, and now also has the black dude's body, which becomes a white dude's body after getting the next white guy's head.

Black dude and white dude

We do see an exception to this when our alien takes the head of...a dog, at which time it keeps a human body, providing a memorable visual. From the acting to the story to the horribly unfunny comedic elements, practically everything about this movie is bad, but the cheesy alien costume and some of the special effects will provide enough to keep your attention. Aside from Chong, you may also recognize Tom Towles (Night of the Living Dead), and much like Chong, he seems uninterested in this movie. Unless you are really in the mood for a bad 90's flick, I see no reason to recommend watching this one.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

The Borrower Movie Trailer

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Nightmare Weekend Movie Review

Hmm...Umm...Bear with me while I try to collect the words to describe the plot of this movie...okay, I quit. You can't really explain that which does not exist, so I will offer to you the pieces that do exist and were (presumably) used to try to create an actual story. There is a millionaire professor, his treacherous mistress, and his daughter living in a mansion, where they have created some all-knowing, all-powerful computer. There is a balding puppet with green hair and black lipstick in the shape of a heart--he talks for the computer...and offers the daughter advice about love and life.

Because I know you want proof of this

The computer allows the people to control...I don't know...random stuff? The daughter, for example, can control cars via the computer by playing the video game Turbo. Somehow the silver balls from pinball machines come into play, and turn people into monsters. And there's naked chicks and a little gore as well. Remember when I said I will watch any horror film from the 1980's? This is one of those, having taken the world by storm in 1986. I know this will come as a shock, considering what I have said to this point, but the acting is bad in this movie and it is shot very poorly. To make matters worse, almost everything you hear is dubbed, and my God, is it ever awful. If you are familiar with Troma, you will not be surprised to hear this nonsense was distributed by them--yes, I stuck with it even after seeing the Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz graphic at the start (I actually love this graphic). Some of the settings are kind of cool (such as an arcade), and the sheer curiosity of what will happen next will keep you going--not that you expect anything to make sense at any point. It's more a thought of "Can this getting any worse?...let's see!".

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3

Nightmare Weekend Movie Trailer

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Flesh Eating Mothers Movie Review

"There's an epidemic out there! Mothers are eating their children!" This line, uttered by one of the worst actors in the movie (and that's saying something), perfectly summarizes this film--of course, so does the title, but hey, it never hurts to reinforce your point. I will admit, there are two things that combined to inspire me to watch this movie--the fantastic title, and that it is an 80's horror film (1988, to be exact). There's not an 80's horror movie I won't watch, and when I come across one I have never seen before, I get more excited about watching it than I probably should. So when I saw this one on Tubi (a fantastic source for such movies), I started watching it almost immediately. We get everything we expect from this movie--almost no budget, bad acting, a nonsensical plot, cheap get the picture.

"Yes, we see"

This one is classified as a comedic horror film, but honestly, the biggest laughs are the unintentional ones--the comedy they went for was mostly unfunny, though what the scientists see when they look into the microscope really did make me laugh out loud. There is blood fact, there are gallons of it, and the special effects are better than they should have been. The main drawback of the movie is indeed the acting--as if the general awfulness of it wasn't bad enough, practically everybody in this movie looks and sounds like the New Jersey Nightmare crew that terrorize Florida every winter and summer. That aside, Flesh Eating Mothers was much more entertaining than I expected it to be, and if you watch it, be sure to sit through the credits, as the song that plays during them is awesome.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Flesh Eating Mothers Movie Trailer

Friday, April 10, 2020


The Beyond Movie Review

Liza Merrill (Catriona MacColl) inherits an old hotel in Louisiana. She plans to restore and reopen it, but what she doesn’t realize is the building was constructed over a gate to Hell. Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci brings us this movie, which was shot in 1981, released in 1983, and re-released uncut for the first time in the United States in 1998 by Grindhouse Releasing, Cowboy Booking International, and Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures. As is the case with most of Fulci's films, this one is heavy on atmosphere and visual effects, while a bit lighter on a story that approaches comprehension. If you know this about Fulci, you accept it and enjoy what you came for, and if you are into old-school horror special effects, you will love this one.

They grab you by the throat

The gore and bloodshed are extreme in this one, from exploding heads to torn out eyeballs to a scene of several spiders eating a man's face, and the practical approach to these scenes is breathtaking--horror filmmakers of the 21st Century, put your computer down and study the techniques used in this movie...please. The acting is a bit sub-par, but there is nothing so bad it will take you out of the movie. If you try to follow any semblance of a plot, forget it. While there is a line between all the characters that creates a story, this is very loose, and as is the case with Fulci's movies, this one feels more like a dream, where things kind of make sense and follow a pattern, but not really. No matter--The Beyond combines wonderful special effects, tons of gore, and more than it's fair share of surprises, all adding up to a horror flick that is worth checking out. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

The Beyond Movie Trailer

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Night of the Living Dead 3D Movie Review

When the dead come back to life, a group of people find themselves held up in a country house as they try to survive. This is another remake of sorts of the George A Romero classic, but if you are thinking “Hey, another awesome remake, like the 1990 one”, you are oh so wrong. Not that this is a terrible movie--it's just very different. Before I get into what I mean by that, I'll start off with what will likely catch your attention when you see the cover of the movie--the legend himself, Sid Haig (House of 1,000 Corpses), does indeed star in this movie, and his performance is every bit as wonderful as you would expect.

"Thanks Josh!"

The rest of the performances are what you would expect from a movie that likely saw a majority of its budget go into the 3D presentation--I'll say nothing about that, as I didn't see the movie in that format, but in 2D, it is painfully obvious a lot of what we see was done just for the 3D effect. The film lacks any real direction, as it seemingly can't figure out where to go. We start off with a shot of the original Night of the Living Dead being shown on a television, then move to a road that looks similar to the one in the original film--much like in the Romero classic, we see siblings heading to a cemetery, so we think this will indeed be like the 1990 movie--a direct remake. When we see what unfolds in the cemetery, it becomes clear that is not the case. For the remainder of the film, we see some scenes that are similar to those in the original film, some characters with the same names and other references to the 1968 movie--we also see the people in the house watching Night of the Living Dead on television--one guy, who is already dead, by the way, points out the similarities of the movie and what is happening in real life...yes, it's a mess. The zombies look horrible, but there is something about the makeup that will make you smile. There's a bit of gore and Haig there to help you make it through this movie, but not a whole lot more. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Night of the Living Dead 3D Movie Trailer