Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Deadly Spawn

This is a great monster movie from the early 80's. Two campers see a meteorite fall the earth, when they go inspect, they encounter a giant alien eating machine with multiple heads and literally thousands of teeth. The creature moves into town and hides in someone's basement. People start disappearing left and right. A tea party is subsequently attacked by what look like baby spawn, which bear a striking resemblance to the "Killer Condom". Sort of like tadpoles on steroids with nothing but rows and rows of razor sharp teeth. A few teenagers figure that they better kill the parent creature before it makes enough spawn to devour the whole planet. One of the teens is really into magic and puts a huge amount of flash powder in a dummy head and dangles it in front of the creature, who is hesitant at first but finally gives in and takes a great big bite. Then suddenly... boom. The creature splatters everywhere. All seems well with world again. That is until the end, when you see a HUGE spawn emerge from a mountain and bear his uncountable teeth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Alien Dead

Even though I knew this movie was gonna be crap, the title was very catchy since I love both alien and zombie movies, I decided that it was definitely worth a try. The story begins with an alligator poacher who's wife is killed by what he claims to be "monsters". While on a late night walk, the mangled corpse of the wife is found. Even after this gruesome find, the sheriff still doesn't buy this story about monsters in the swamp. The next day, the sheriff and a reporter scouts the swamps and encounter strange human-like creatures that eat human flesh and somehow survive under the water. In total denial, they're convinced it's some kind of rabid alligator responsible for this murderous mayhem. A bounty is put on the alligator and tons of people trying to make a quick buck by catching a murderous gator, end up facing their own massacre by the "swamp zombies". Soon a story emerges, about a "falling star" that landed in the swamps. Another story emerges with a more detailed account... apparently the "falling star" is not a spaceship as one might assume from the title, but rather a meteorite that crashed into a houseboat full of people. The effects of the meteor revive the mutilated bodies that it just crashed into, turning them into blood thirsty zombies. The zombies also seem to have that cliche' "If a zombie bites you, you become a zombie yourself" motif that George Romero originally conceived. Therefore, before long (or at least an hour into the film), there's an army of zombies and like three survivors. The remaining survivors hole up in a cabin a la Night of the Living Dead. Are there any survivors? It's always mandatory that there be at least one. Nice effort, but too damn talky and hardly no blood splatter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Amityville Horror

This is a big one so hold onto your computer! There are so many facets to this story, it's ridiculous. Let's start with the 1979 movie starring Margot Kidder and James Brolin. George and Kathy Lutz think they have found the perfect home for their family, only to find out that a year earlier, a guy murdered his parents and four brothers and sisters in the house because demonic voices told him to do it. Pretty soon, the Lutz family start having some seriously creepy events happening in their newly acquired home. George starts getting sicker and meaner by the day. He also is obsessed with the fireplace and chopping wood, and develops an unnervingly affection for his ax. Their parish priest comes to bless the house and is told by "the voices" to "GET OUT!!!!". Following this event, the priest becomes violently ill and eventually goes blind. The Lutz family endures all sorts of phenomena in the house... money disappears, the toilets flood with black slime, the door gets ripped off it's hinges, a marching band that only George can hear, their daughter befriends a demonic pig named "Jody", Kathy breaks out in blisters after touching a cross, blood oozes from the walls, a swarm of flies at the wrong time of year, etc. Finally after 28 days, the Lutz family can't take anymore and run for their lives. Although, they did return the next day to have a garage sale. Now here's where it gets tricky. This movie is based on a book by Jay Anson, coauthored by the real George and Kathy Lutz. After buying the house, with a sky high mortgage, that George and Kathy cannot possibly afford, they along with author Jay Anson, concoct an "out of this world" story to justify leaving the house. They use the true story of what happened in the house prior to their purchasing it as the basis for the supposed hauntings. Like I said, there was a guy that actually did kill his whole family in the house, but it wasn't demonic voices driving him that night, it was greed and lots of drugs. Ronald "Butch" DeFeo Jr was an unhappy camper. He fought with his family a lot, mostly with his abusive father. The family had quite a bit of money and Butch needed some cash to fuel his drug habit. Killing his parents would unleash the inheritance, but he would have to share it with the four brothers and sisters... Marc, John, Allison, and Dawn. Ronnie didn't want to share, so he killed them too. All shot with a rifle in the dead of night (pardon the pun). Ronald DeFeo tried to make up a story about how he came home and they were already dead. It didn't work and Butch was put in prison for the rest of his life. Now, there are lots of rumors surrounding the house. It was supposedly built on an indian burial ground, it was also supposed to be the home of a man named John Ketchum who was expelled from Salem for being a witch. There was also a story about how the native americans used the area as an exposure pen for the diseased and insane to be left there to die. All of which are complete bullshit. Butch's lawyer was also in on the game of ghost storytelling, thinking that he might actually be able to convince the jury that Butch was innocent because he was under the influence of demonic possession... it didn't work, but gave rise to one of the best (albeit fake) ghost stories ever told. Kathy Lutz passed away some years ago, and on her death bed she admitted that the story was false and concocted over several bottles of wine. A remake of the 1979 film came out in 2005, using more of the DeFeo story than before. Only this time, "Jody" was the youngest of the DeFeo children. It might have made more sense than a demonic pig, but alas there was no Jody DeFeo. The youngest daughter was named Allison. Ever since the Lutz family left the house, they went on a huge tour promoting the book. Three different families have lived in the house since the now notorious ghost story of the Lutz family. All three families have said that it was a beautiful house with absolutely no supernatural phenomena. In fact, one of the families actually sued Jay Anson, author of "The Amityville Horror" and George and Kathy Lutz, stating that their fictitious story has caused them to have total loss of privacy because of thrill seekers, ghost hunters, and the downright curious. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Blob

This is a great stereotypical 50's cult flick. The Blob also takes the credit for having introduced Steve McQueen to the world as an actor and Burt Bacharach to the world as a composer. Even though the movie is 98% crap, we have at least those two things to be thankful for. The story is quite simple. A "falling star" crashes near a small town. When investigated by an old man, a meteor is found, which cracks open, revealing an unidentifiable blob of goo. When the old man gets too close, the blob adheres to his arm and won't let go. He goes screaming into the street, where he's almost run over by a young couple in an automobile. They take him to the doctor, where the blob finishes off the old man and moves on to the doctor and his nurse. Every time the Blob consumes something (or someone) it grows bigger and bigger. It grows huge when it ambushes a bunch of teenagers in a movie theater. The young couple from earlier in the film (Steve McQueen and his unknown female costar that hasn't done much before or since. Mostly bit parts in various sitcoms. When you see her acting, you know why) is trapped inside a diner. When blasted with fire extinguishers, the Blob retreats. They figure out that the blob hates cold. Everyone is asked to bring their fire extinguishers into town so that this gooey enemy can be subdued. Once the blob is frozen, it's shipped Federal Express to the North Pole where it will never thaw out and become a problem ever again. I guess they didn't take global warming seriously back then. This would be an ironically good time for a sequel.