Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Final Terror




This is a bit of a Friday the 13th knockoff, but still a good movie. It was a starting point for what was to be some very big actors on down the road, including Daryl Hannah (Splash, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill), Adrian Zmed (T.J. Hooker, Grease 2), Rachel Ward (the Thornbirds), Joe Pantoliano (The Goonies). A bunch of forest rangers take a camping trip to a remote location that is practically untouched (even though there is an outhouse conveniently nearby). Mike is the head forest ranger and is planning on bringing his girlfriend Mel along for the ride and Mel brings enough female friends to suit all the rangers. Except Eggar of course who is not only the most annoying ranger there, but is also a complete lunatic that everyone hates. He's only really coming along to drive the bus and to meet up with the rest of the group when they make it downstream. Eggar bitches constantly, mostly about the location that the group has decided to camp near. On the way to the campsite, they pass an isolated mental institution and joke that that's Eggars old home. While unloading the bus, a can of peaches falls out of the bus. Eggar acts highly suspicious about it an quickly hides it. Their first night camping, the typical camp fire stories are told. Boone (one of the rangers), tells a slightly disturbing tale about the area once being a logging camp. The owner and his family lived the and one day the father dies. An uncle comes to take his place and he was a mean son of a bitch. One day he takes the daughter on a walk in the forest and rapes her. She of course couldn't tell anyone because the uncle was supporting the family. Due to having to keep all this inside, she started going crazy so they put her in the mental institution that they passed on the way to the camp site. While there they discover that she's pregnant. After having the baby, it's deemed that she is obviously too messed up to take care of the kid so he's adopted. 19 years later a man about 19 years old storms into the institution and demands to see his mother. The guy freaks and steals her from the hospital. Of course she's still too crazy and he doesn't know what to do with her, so he put her out in these woods so she could live in peace. So the story goes... Whenever anyone camps there, she sneaks into your camp and whispers to to you "who stole my lamb?". Soon the obligatory "Boo!" comes and everyone jumps. Eggar gets totally pissed and leaves the campsite. Leaving everyone with serious hopes that he's gonna be there to pick them up the next day. That night a joke is played on one of the rangers named Marco (Zmed). Dennis and Nathaniel convince Marco to be their lookout while they steal some dope from a nearby pot crop. They tell him to howl like a wolf every 45 seconds and to stop howling if someone comes. Poor Marco is left howling all night while Dennis and Nathaniel head back to camp. The next morning Dennis and Nathaniel admit that they left Marco in the woods and since Marco hasn't returned yet, he is presumed lost. Mike is pissed and makes Dennis and Nathaniel show him where they left him. While the others look upstream, Mike searches downstream. While searching for Marco, Mike runs into his girlfriend Mel and they take a break from the search for Marco to have sex in the woods. While humping, a moss covered "thing" stabs Mike in the back and kills him. Mel is dragged away, screaming. Still searching for Marco, Dennis and Nathaniel come across a shack deep in the woods. They investigate and find a raft that belongs to their ranger station. They go inside and find the can of peaches that Eggar was so protective of, they also find Eggar's hat. Sure that Eggar is staying there, they look around for more evidence. Aside from finding and pocketing a jar of magic mushrooms, they also come across the severed head of a bear and realize that Eggar is sicker than they thought. That night withMike and Mel still missing the rest of the group are sure that something is wrong. They decide to stay an extra night there and wait for their presumed lost friends. In the middle of the night a gray haired moss covered ( person, creature, thing ?) creeps into their camp and gently strokes the hair of one of the sleeping female campers. She awakes and freaks. While recuperating from her creepy encounter, a strange figure creeps up to the camp, luckily it turns out to be Marco... with a huge pot stash, completely having the last laugh. He's made to feel like shit because Mike and Mel are still missing while out looking for him. Vanessa, one of the female campers, is completely fed up with all the games and pranks, and storms off to the outhouse. Upon reaching the outhouse, horror sets in as she is greeted with Mikes severed head (guess she doesn't need the outhouse anymore). For the rest of the film, she's never really the same. Assuming Eggar is the culprit, they camouflage themselves up and raid his shack upon dawn. He isn't home so they steal the raft and head for the river. Just as they're leaving, you can see that there is a space below the floor and that the mossy figure is holding knife to Mel's face so that she can't call to her friends for help. As the group is heading down the river, you see a rock slowly begin to move. Not only is the moss covered figure able to completely blend into the surrounding forest, but is also following them. Out of nowhere, Mel's lifeless body is thrown onto the raft, her throat slit wide open. The group bury her and keep on trucking down the river. As they finally reach the bridge, the bus is there as scheduled. Assuming it's a trap, they wait till dark to approach the bus. Eggar is suspiciously not there. All hopes of driving themselves out of there are crushed when they look under the hood and find it trashed. The bus looks like a better place to crash than the riverbank, so they do so. Dumbass Dennis decides that the magic mushrooms might make a nice snack while everyone else naps. Soon they are ambushed by someone bearing an ax. They narrowly escape out the back window. While escaping, Wendy (Hannah) gets lost and out of nowhere, someone wielding a blade, slices her face. Luckily one of the other campers knows first aid and sews her up with what looks like fishing line. Here, we see a quick shot of Eggar at the shack, mumbling to himself "I told 'em not to go.", leading us to believe that he may not be the actual killer. After Wendy's mishap, they decide mutually decide that Eggar should die because he is assumed to be the killer. Upon morning, they forge ahead with plans to trap and kill Eggar. They find a huge downed tree revealing a large open space. Soon everyone notices that Dennis is acting awfully strange, singing to himself and droning on and on about Vietnam. Nathaniel tells the others about the mushrooms and needless to say, they are really pissed. Excluding him from the plans, they rig a log with spikes between two trees and set it with a trip wire. Marco calls out to Eggar and eventually he shows. When Marco shouts "Now!", the group jumps out and beats him to death. Before dying he calls out "Ma!". Soon the mossy figure climbs out onto the fallen tree and runs toward the group. While climbing up the tree stump, she trips Dennis and he falls and breaks his neckShe hits the trip wire and the log bearing the spikes comes down and impales her. The group just stands there in total shock. Surprise, surprise, the campfire tale was true and much closer to home than previously thought. The end. O.K. So it's a pretty predictable movie but still enjoyable. Originally filmed in 1981, it wasn't released until 1983 when the careers of Daryl Hannah and Adrien Zmed began rising. I'm not sure where this was filmed but the forest scenes are truly breathtaking. The night shots are a little too dark and hard to see, mostly because the low budget couldn't allow fancy movie lighting. I checked the credits and ironically Eggar's mother is played by a man. I couldn't find a trailer so I included the entire movie, enjoy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Night of the Demons


Originally released straight to video, this little gem of a movie was actually really good and was immediately taken off the shelves and released in theaters everywhere. A perfect Halloween movie with lots of horror, action, and even a good dose of comedy. Angela, a total goth chick (who, by the way is Golden Girl Rue McClanahan's niece, who now works as a pet psychic) who decides to throw the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties. She plans not to have the party at her house but at Hull House, an enormous abandoned funeral parlor with a really horrific past. Apparently, the Hull family met a gruesome end, killed each other and now the house is supposed to be infested with demons. Even before the massacre, Mr. Hull had a penchant for "dating" his deceased clientele. A group of "teens" (I use quotes because they all look over 30) arrive at Angela's party. The friends who arrive always strikes me as weird because none of them act like they would ever be friends or even give each other the time of day. There's of course Angela, a goth chick who treats everyday as if it were Halloween. Judy, a prudent perpetual virgin. Judy's preppy date Jay, who dresses like Don Johnson and wants nothing but sex. Max and Fran, a couple that are probably the two most normal people there. Stooge, a fat foul mouthed punk rocker. Roger, the stereotypical scared black man. Suzanne, an oversexed nymphomaniac in a pink tutu that looks like she could pass for forty. Sal, a guy with the strongest New York italian accent I've ever heard in my life. And finally Helen, a totally forgettable character that you hope gets killed off as soon as possible. While playing Halloween party games (seances, bobbing for apples with razor blades in them, etc), they hear a noise coming from the basement (crematorium), then feel a strong chill and a repulsive stench. According to Angela, these are all signs of demonic infestation (told ya she was a goth chick year round). Suzanne opens her mouth to apply some lipstick and a demon takes this opportunity to infest her. Against Angela's advice to leave, the rest of the party guests decide to do some sightseeing. Before departing, Suzanne kisses Angela, infesting her with demon possession as well. Through on way or another all the other guests infest each other till everyone's possessed, Angela being their ringleader. With only Judy and Roger left unpossessed, the desperate fight to stay alive ensues. There is a brick wall surrounding this property and according to legend, the wall marks an underground stream which the demons cannot cross. Unfortunately, on Halloween night the brick wall has no gate, meaning no exit. Apparently in this movie, the legend about Halloween being the only night of the year that all demons and evil spirits are allowed to roam the earth. With all the possessed party guests chasing them, Judy and Roger have no other choice but to climb the barbed wire on the wall in order to escape. Movies almost never bother me but this was a painful scene to watch. Ironically, as soon as Judy and Roger make it over the wall, the sun comes up and all the demons turn to green smoke. Two more minutes and they could've used the gate instead of tearing their hands up on that barbed wire. Strolling home, torn clothes, cuts and bruises, and generally looking like shit... they pass an old man who complains about them obviously being out "partying" all night. By the way, this old jerk was actually giving out razor blade filled apples to kids because they are just one of his many hatreds. The movie ends with his wife serving him a homemade apple pie for breakfast. With an "oh shit!" look on his face, the razors start to slice his neck to ribbons. He dies face down in a puddle of blood and pie. His wife looks down at him and merely says... "Happy Halloween, Dear".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Initiation


This is a great little flick circa 1984, starring Daphne Zuniga when no one had any idea who the hell Daphne Zuniga was. Her first feature film actually and it isn't a bad one, all things considered. It's got a decent story with a very unexpected twist ending. Daphne plays Kelly Fairchild, the rich daughter of wealthy parents who own some of the most prestigious shopping malls in the world. Kelly has a problem though, she has a strange recurring nightmare that haunts her constantly. In the dream she awakes to the sound of her parents making love. She has the overwhelming urge to stab her father. A strange man enters and scuffles with her father. The strange man is doused in alcohol and set on fire by her father and the dream ends as she watches the stranger burn to death. While studying dreams and nightmares at the college she attends, she meets professor Peter Adams. He suspects that there is more to Kelly's dream than meets the eye. He runs all the typical tests... EEG, MRI, hypnosis, etc. While under hypnosis, her meddling mother barges in. After trying to awake her using her name (Fairchild), she doesn't respond. Mom suggests that he use the name Randall... it works and Kelly awakes. Sidetrack to a scene at an asylum where a gardener with burns over most of his body makes a slight connection to a female patient. As he digs into the ground with a spiked trowel, the female patient seems to get the idea. That night many patients manage to escape, most are caught but one remains elusive. Kelly's parents are informed of the escape and are genuinely worried beyond the general worry of an escaped mental patient. Back to Kelly's sorority life, typical college shenanigans go on. The annual prank night is based around Kelly. The prank is for Kelly and two of her sorority sisters to break into the Fairchild department store and steal the night watchman's uniform. What they don't know is that the night watchman has already been murdered by someone with a spiked gardening trowel. After Kelly and her friends are in the building, another sorority sister (a real bitch named Megan) has invited two fraternity brothers along with intentions of scaring the shit out of Kelly and her friends. At this point no one knows that they are locked in with a killer. Backtrack again to Peter Adams who is doing some major research on Kelly's family history and has found some very unsavory tidbits. It seems that Kelly's recurring nightmare is actually a suppressed memory. Turns out that Kelly walked in on her mother humping Dwight Fairchild, who was a strange man to Kelly, and certainly not her father. Her real father Jason Randall walks in and catches them, at which point Dwight pours alcohol over him and burns him almost to death. This traumatic incident gives poor Kelly amnesia, leading to the confusion of who her real father was. The reason she would see herself stabbing her "father" remains unexplained for now. Back at the department store, everyone gets killed off one by one. Kelly manages to make it up to the roof where she is approached by a man that has been severely burned. She assumes this is the killer and hits him with a pipe, knocking him over the edge to a splattery death. Oops, she just killed her own father. Another oops is that he's not the killer. Thinking she's safe, she goes back into the store to wait for help to arrive. Peter Adams arrives instead and sees Kelly and rushes over to her and they embrace. Out of nowhere she stabs him. Seconds later the "real" Kelly comes around the corner and stares in disbelief as she looks right into the face of her own twin sister that she never knew existed. Though her name is never spoken in the film, she is credited with the name Terry. Terry looks at Kelly and says "Just like looking into a mirror isn't it?" Obviously this is the girl that stabbed Mr. Fairchild, not Kelly. A chase ensues and Terry tells of her plans to kill Kelly and take her place. She raises her knife "Goodnight sister darling" and bang! Mom comes to the rescue and shoots and kills her maniacal daughter Terry. The End. Pretty good twist, but I think it would've been better if Terry actually did kill Kelly and take her place. It seems to me that a mental patient would blend right in with your typical sorority.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rec 2


Rec 2 picks up about 15 minutes after part one ended. And I must say that you have to have seen the first one to have any clue whatsoever as to what the hell is happening in part two. A SWAT team of four and a chief in charge enter the building to assess what has happened. They know there was a contagion that is not spread through the air but through the blood and saliva. They search for survivors but only come across the infected. Part one lets us know that the infection is actually a viral form of demonic possession. The mission is to find the original possessed girl that was brought to the building for testing, more or less to find a cure and an antidote. Many characters from the first film are seen (albeit for 30 seconds or less, including Jennifer, her mother Mari, Senora Izquidero and Manu the fireman). This film seems to be all about explanation. The chief in charge seems to know a bit more than he's letting on and has a rather religious way of dealing with the situation. Turns out he's a priest sent by the Vatican to rectify the damage already done by the first doctor that was to experiment on the original possessed girl (Tristana Medeiros). Apparently, only her blood holds the key to the antidote, not the people she infects. Upon searching the doctors penthouse, a sample of her blood is found. The chief who is now revealed as a priest as he tests her blood by holding a crucifix over it. The blood soon sizzles and bursts into flames, unfortunately so does the test tube containing the rest of the sample, held by one of the SWAT team members. He of course drops it, destroying the entire sample, rendering the entire mission a failure. In the first film it is revealed that there is a drain cover in the basement that connects with the sewers that leads to a way out of the building. Three kids decide to pull a prank by attaching bottle rockets to the back of an inflatable "fuck doll" and send it sailing over the crowd that has gathered around the building. The prank fails and calls police attention to these dumbass teens. They duck into a sewer drain which happens to be the drain that connects to the building. The movie bogs down here when the SWAT team and the teens fight a lot. Too occupied with fighting, they are attacked by the infected and most are killed. As the remaining SWAT team and priest make their way back to the penthouse where the infection occurred, they come across Angela Vidal, the beautiful TV reporter that first entered the building with the firemen in part one. At the end of part one, Angela is dragged away by the possessed Tristana (the end). Assuming that she is now possessed, for how could she have escaped, she shows no sign of being infected. Meanwhile, a SWAT team member that was bitten and infected, is locked in a room with a rosary attached to the door to keep him in. Later, we hear Jennifer's voice coming from the room, pleading for her father. Like idiots, they open thr door only to find the same infected SWAT team member, letting us know that the infected can disguise their voices, for they are merely Tristana's puppets. The priest, Angela, and the remaining SWAT team make it back up to the penthouse to try one last time to get a blood sample from Tristana. This proves impossible and everyone dies except for Angela and the priest. The priest has a walkie talkie that he uses to talk to the police outside. Throughout the film, The SWAT tries to get him to call off the mission and get everyone out of the building, but he refuses to call off the mission until the mission is complete (get a blood sample from Tristana). The walkie is voice specific and can only be used by the priest, anyone who tries to use it gets turned down for a non-recognized voice. At the end when it's only Angela and the priest, Angela begins to act extremely violent towards him, demanding that he give the order to evacuate. After kicking his ass, she tells him that he is not needed. Her voice changes, she grabs his talkie and gives the order to evacuate. The voice is recognized and she tells them that everyone is dead or infected, even the priest whom she is imitating. She also adds that a female has escaped unharmed and must be evacuated at once. Permission is granted, leaving a huge cliffhanger that the infection could reach the outside (can't wait for part 3). The very end shows what happened to Angela after she is dragged away at the end of part one. After dragging her into the darkness, the possessed girl forces Angela's mouth open and pukes some kind of worm into it. She gets a glazed look and there you have it, the extended ending to part one and the beginning of part two. I can't say that this sequel is better that the original, but it sure packed a hell of a punch in the scare department and explained a few questions from part one. I've heard a rumor that part one impressed the producers so much that a plan was made to finance a total of four movies, the original plus three sequels. Can't wait!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The House by the Cemetery


This is an incredibly erratic story, with a lot of unexplained content, but I'll see if I can clean it up a little so that it can be somewhat understandable. OK, the movie starts out with a couple screwing in an old abandoned house. The boyfriend goes missing (I guess he went to take a piss and never returned) and the girlfriend goes looking for him. Suddenly someone with ugly rotted hands takes a knife and stabs her in the head, then drags her into the cellar. Fast forward to a family in New York. Dr. Boyle, his wife Lucy and the their weird son Bob. By the way, Bob is a dead ringer for a "Village of the Damned" kid. Platinum hair and sky blue eyes. Anyway, the family is planning on moving to an old mansion by a cemetery, so that Dr. Boyle can continue the research of one of his colleagues that killed his wife and daughter, then committed suicide. A little girl named May keeps popping up and talking with Bob. They speak telepathically, which leads us to think that May is either psychic or dead. May constantly warns Bob about the house and not to go there. Upon cleaning the house, Lucy discovers a tombstone hidden under a rug in the hallway. After this unnerving discovery, followed by a vicious bat attack, the family has had enough and consults their real estate agent about moving. Apparently, no one stays at this house more than a few days. The agent comes by while the family is gone. She is approached by the killer, whom again we only see his rotted hands. She runs across the tombstone which splits under her feet. She falls into it and breaks her foot and can't get away... the rotted hands strike again!!! Oh yeah, the tombstone belongs to a Dr. Jacob Freudstein. Upon following Dr. Peterson's research as planned, Dr. Boyle notices that Dr. Peterson's research isn't what it's supposed to be. He was supposed to be researching old houses, but has turned his studies towards the mysterious Dr. Freudstein, who we slowly (very slowly) learn was into some bizarre and highly illegal medical experiments. Dr. Boyle finds a tape recording left by Dr. Peterson, talking about how it was Dr. Freudstein (who's supposed to be dead as of 153 years ago) who killed his wife and daughter (and eventually drove Dr. Peterson to suicide). A babysitter that was hired for Bobby wanders into the cellar and gets decapitated. Later that night, Bobby goes looking for her and gets stuck in the cellar. Mom tries a key which breaks, then tries a knife... which breaks. Soon Dad comes home and has luck with a hatchet. Upon entering the cellar, Mom Dad, and son, finally learn who those rotted hands belong to. Dr. Freudstein has been continuing his experiments, which are based on using dead body parts to keep him alive. I can't say that he's been all that successful, since he looks like a corpse and is composed of maggots and congealed blood. The "dead" doc rips the dads throat out and Mom and Bob make a run for some metal stairs in the corner of the cellar. At the top of the stairs is the tombstone (aptly placed, since the dead doc never leaves the cellar). Since the tombstone is cracked from the death of the real estate agent, Mom and Bob try to get out, but the crack is too small for the mother. Soon Dr. Freudstein grabs her by the ankles (make a wish!!) and drags her down the stairs to a gloomy death. While Bob is struggling to get through the crack, the dead doc is hot on his trail. Suddenly, a small hand grabs Bob and pulls him to safety. It's May, who basically says "I told ya so". Soon May and Bob are joined by May's mother who is a woman seen previously on a tombstone as a Mary Freudstein. Turns out that May is Dr. Freudstein's daughter. May's mother takes hold of both children and walks toward the cemetery. May and her Mom are obviously dead, but what of little Bobby's fate???????? A decently enjoyable piece of badly dubbed italian crap, circa 1983.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Legend of Hell House



This is a great haunted house story from 1973, starring Pamela Franklin as Florence Tanner, a mental medium. Roddy McDowell as Ben Fisher, a physical medium and last survivor of a previous attempt to rid the evil of Belasco House. Dr. Barrett (Clive Revill), a physicist that is determined to unravel the secrets of Belasco House under strictly scientific terms. Dr. Barrett reluctantly brings his wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt) along on this expedition. Brilliantly written in 1971 by horror master Richard Matheson, and brought to the screen by John Hough in 1973 under Richard Matheson's strictly written screenplay. Dr. Barrett (Clive Revill) is approached by a rich old eccentric who has one foot in the grave and is very adamant about learning about life after death. He recruits Dr. Barrett a physicist, Barret's wife Ann, Florence Tanner (a mental medium), and Benjamin Fisher (a physical medium). All will receive $100,000 for proof of the afterlife. The place, Belasco House, better known as Hell House, also known as "the Mt. Everest of haunted houses". Emeric Belasco was a pure deviant, who's escapades included drug addiction, beastiality, orgies, vampirism, murder, rape, cannibalism, ... among a selection of even more atrocious goodies. This ensures in everyone's mind that Emeric Belasco is the full power behind the haunting and the sole reason for the evil within. Upon entering the house, Ms. Tanner has a strong feeling that things are not what they they seem... and that the house is well aware that it's guests have arrived. Upon entering the house, they notice what appears to be a chapel, a sort of "Church in "Hell, just off the main hall. Again, ms. Tanner is repelled and cannot enter the church. (by the way, the crucifix has a devil's head). On with the tour: While the rest of the group is still touring the church. Ms. Tanner follows a sound and it is soon found the be a phonograph. Upon it is a "Welcome to my house thing, Hope you enjoy your visit, Don't get killed ... blah, blah, blah. sort of a thing" Florence does few "sittings" to try to make contact. The first on, she has spirits talk through her, the second, she emits ectoplasm, third time was all out poltergeist activity. The activity is then dubbed the physical manifestations that a mental medium usually cannot manifest. Ms Tanner was very surprised as everyone else, constantly repeating "But, Im only a mental medium". Soon after, Ms. Tanners is visited by what she feels to be Daniel Belasco. She had her linens thrown at her, by an obviously pissed off ghost, who even opened and slammed the door when he left. Ms.Tanner becomes rather fascinated with Daniel Belasco, even though everyone else in the group thinks that she's crazy and that there was no Daniel Belasco. With her mental abilities, Ms. Tanner searches the house for proof of Daniel Belasco... she finds him inside a wall, buried alive, chained to the wall, left for dead. Florence and Ben give Daniel an appropriate burial and funeral, but it doesn't seem to help. His spirit contacts Florence in a dream. The dream becomes erotic and Daniel appears to be having intercourse with her. She opens her eyes and screams. Upon responding to her scream, Ben comes to her aid and finds her hysterically laughing. At this point she is obviously possessed by "someone". Meanwhile, Ben remembers something Ms. Tanner said during a trance about "terminations and extremities" . He soon makes the connection that everyone on the group he went in with, when he was much younger.... one fell and broke both legs, one had a back injury that paralyzed him from the waist down, one lady's legs were accidentally burned near the fireplace. Fisher starts putting two and two together... "terminations and extremities"... legs. Meanwhile, Dr. Barrett is finishing a machine he arrived with called "The Reversor", that apparently has the ability to reverse any negative energy that still exists in the house. Thus, proving his theory that hauntings are just mindless energy that has yet to be expelled. Differing with Dr.Barrett's theory, Florence tries unsuccessfully to smash it. She hits the machine, Dr. Barrett hits her and knocks her out. She awakens and sneaks into the church unseen. She begs for Daniel to meet with her. She hears a creak, and turns around just in time to see the crucifix fall and crush her. Before she dies, she writes (in her own blood) the letter "B" in a circle. She whispers softly before she dies... "You tricked me.". Dr. Barrett sets up his machine and the others go outside. After the machine has performed it's capabilities, they re-enter, to find the house seemingly clear of ghosts. Dr. Barrett is overjoyed... until. Slowly, the Reversor starts to indicate negative energy and proves a failure. A failure that Dr. Barrett cannot comprehend. As the phenomena of evil swirls around him, he screams in anguish just before being crushed by a falling candelabra. This leaves only Ben and Ann. Ann is clueless, but Ben has it all figured out. He starts bitching at the church because that's where Belasco's visage remains. Ben starts making fun of Belasco's height. Extremities and terminations. Ben continues... You're mother was a bitch! You're probably not even 5 ft tall!! This causes the stained glass behind where the crucifix lay, to shatter and reveal a room. Upon entering, Belasco is right there (stuffed of course), with a glass of brandy in his hand. Ben takes his knife and stabs Belasco in the knee, finding a fake leg where a real one should be. He was so ashamed of his own shortness, he has his own legs cut off and wore fake ones instead. If thine eye offend thee... pluck it out. Just before leaving, they notice that the room in which Belasco lies is completely lined with lead, which was what rendered the Reversor ineffective. The End. Great stuff, huh?

I've read the book, simply titled "Hell House", and it's way more gruesome and sexually charged than the movie. A few examples: In the book, the crucifix doesn't have a devil's head. It looks like Jesus, but it's got a HUGE phallus. And when the crucifix falls on Ms. Tanner... it impales her right in the kootchie and sends a gush of blood down her inner thighs. When Daniel Belasco is making love to Florence, she opens her eyes and screams. She screams because when she opens her eyes, she sees a nasty corpse, dripping with maggots, having his way with her. The moat that surrounds the property is called "Bastard Bog", because so much debauchery was taking place that unwanted babies were being born on a regular basis and were constantly being thrown into the moat. When the sheets are seen moving in Ms. Tanners room, she is aroused when she sees the silhouette of a huge phallus just under the covers. After Ms. Tanner is possessed, she is found levitating with her legs wide open and dripping in maggots and blood. There's a scene where Ann (who was named Edith in the book) is forced to insert her tongue into Florence's vagina. For the movie, this obscene act was changed to a second absinthe induced seduction attempt on Ben Fisher. If you watch the timeline in the movie, it's the last week of December. The last line of the book, as Ann and Ben leave Belasco house for good is... Merry Christmas, Ann.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blood Beach


I'll say it up front... this is a really dumb movie. The overall concept isn't that bad, but the execution is ridiculous. The tag line is funny though "Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water... you can't get to it." An obvious ripoff from "Jaws". Anyway, the story is pretty simple. A lady is leisurely walking on the beach when she feels a tug at her feet, a scream ensues and before you know it, she gets sucked under the sand by... something. For the most part, she's just considered a missing person. Eventually, enough people get sucked under the sand to warrant police intervention. Unfortunately, they haven't got a clue as to what's going on and presume the disappearances are the work of a serial killer. Meanwhile, more and more people (and even a dog) get sucked under the the sand. A man attempts to rape a woman, she struggles, he fumbles and falls in the sand only to get his prick munched off. A teenager lets her friends bury her in the sand, she starts screaming, they unbury her only to find she has shredded legs. This is the funny irony of this movie... no matter how many people get eaten by the beach, there's always plenty of fun in the sun going on. No one really seems to take the killings and disappearances seriously, for why would you be afraid of the beach, even if there was something under it that likes to eat people (and dogs and penises). Eventually, the dumbass cops investigating this tripe realize that it's not a person and most likely some kind of monster under the sand. They track it down in order to blow it up and we finally get to see the monster, which sorta looks like a venus flytrap on steroids. They detonate their explosives and blow the monster into itty-bitty pieces. Unfortunately, the monster has regenerative qualities, kinda like a starfish. You cut it up into pieces and each piece becomes a separate entity, henceforth blowing the monster into separate pieces creates tons of little monsters. The end. Decently enjoyable piece of crap from the early 1980's.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet


This is a creepy ass story that exists in three forms. It was originally written as a short story by Richard Matheson ( I am Legend, What Dreams May Come, The Legend of Hell House) and this version is by far the best, granted you have a good imagination. It was used as the plot to a Twilight Zone episode starring William Shatner (pre Star Trek) in 1959. This version kinda sucks, but we'll get to that later. When the Twilight Zone Movie came out in 1983, four old Twilight Zone episodes were remade for the big screen, this time it was John Lithgow that played the part. The story is a popular one without a doubt, and truly quite frightening. Bob is a man with issues. To begin with, he's returning home from a sanitarium, due to a severe nervous breakdown. He's chooses to fly home, despite the fact that his nervous breakdown occurred on a plane. Everything seems cool at first (after like 25 cigarettes), but then the plane begins to enter a storm, sending Bob's nerves totally on edge. Having sat in a window seat, Bob peers out the window, only to a see a strange human-like figure on the wing of the plane. Attributing this apparition to his nerves, he closes the window and pretends it's not there. Eventually curiosity gets the better of him and he again looks out the window and again sees the strange creature who is closer to his window now and can make out that it's definitely there and not his imagination. Having heard stories from war pilots about so-called "gremlins" that liked to sabotage planes, he assumes that is what he's seeing. He closes the window and takes an abundance of pills, thinking this will make it go away. His curiosity finally gets the better of him and he opens the window shade and the gremlin is right there staring at him... Bob freaks. He tries to alert several people of this creature who appears to be tearing up parts of the plane. Alas, every time someone besides Bob looks out the window, there's nothing to be seen, making Bob look even crazier. Bob decides that he must take action before the gremlin causes the plane to crash. He ever so nonchalantly steals a gun from a sleeping passenger (I guess gun laws were really different in the late fifties) and shoots the window. The suction of the cabin pressure is released and shit goes flying everywhere. Bob is sucked halfway out of the window, but still manages to get a few shots at the gremlin... to no avail. The plane manages to land safely, but poor Bob is toted away in a straight jacket on his way back to the looney bin. Everyone thinks this was just a crazy way of attempting suicide, but Bob knows better. Shortly after landing, the crewmen find a patch of the airplane that has been strangely damaged by something that might have had claws, leading us to believe that the creature on the wing of the plane was not entirely a figment of Bob's lunacy. The original Twilight Zone version of this story is pretty stupid. Shatner plays the part of Bob very well, but the appearance of the the gremlin is totally ridiculous. It looks sorta like a teddy bear with a scrunched up face, or maybe a teletubbie with a severe hormone problem. And the fact that it's on the wing of an airplane doesn't seem to affect it in any way, his "fur" doesn't even bristle with the blast of the wind. Now, the remake with John Lithgow is a fantastic rendering of this story. The gremlin actually looks like, well a gremlin. Kind of slimy, with fangs and demonic eyes... and much more aerodynamic. Pretty creepy stuff. There's even a "Simpsons" Halloween episode called "Nightmare at 4 and a half Feet" where bart sees a gremlin on the side of his school bus.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poultrygeist



This is a hilarious new movie by Troma that had me in stitches throughout the entire film. A military chicken fast food restaurant called "American Chicken Bunker" is built on an ancient indian burial ground (and we all know how pissed dead indians can get). A group of non-indian (with the exception of a "Chief What's His Face") protesters surround the restaurant with signs that say things like "Chicken Killers" and "I love Cock!" Arby is a huge dork who really just wants something to eat, joins in the protest, only to find his girlfriend Wendy there making a unique protest of her own... as a lesbian, making out with her new and very butch girlfriend Mickey. Specifically involved in a protest called C.L.A.M. (college lesbians against mega-conglomerates). To get her goat, Arby goes in and gets a job, hopefully making riches and bitches part of his long term goal. Soon strange things begin to occur in the restaurant. Instead of grade-A eggs, a bunch of green slimy pulsating vein-covered eggs are being served to the hapless customers. The restaurants representative "The General" shows up to do some damage control... and some shameless promoting. Restaurant manager Denny tries to keep things under control, but fails miserably when an employee name Paco Bell gets pushed into a "beaks and claws grinder" by a possessed chicken carcass and splatters the walls with blood, which Denny tries to convince people is artistic wallpaper. Pretty soon, anyone who eats at the restaurant becomes possessed by homicidal chicken spirits. The restaurant, now under siege has only Arby and Wendy to save the world from chicken zombies. Turns out that alcohol kills them. Wendy finds a keg and only after calling her a "fucking drunk", does Arby figure out her plan. Wendy melts the hoard of chicken zombies with her beer, they escape only to flee in a stolen car, hit another car, flip over and finally crash and burn. This really is one of Troma's better movies. There's lots of great cock jokes, plenty of gore, and ridiculous circumstances. And if you haven't noticed by now, everybody's names are taken from fast food restaurants... Arby, Wendy, Mickey (McDonalds) The General (The Colonel), Denny, etc. Oh, and did I mention it's a musical. Great fun!

Rec



Rec (as in "record", because the entire film is seen through the eye of the camera man) is a total thrill ride of a movie. Made in Barcelona, it's a spanish film, hopefully with subtitles, that revolves around a local TV reporter named Angela Vidal and her camera man Pablo as they document the night shift at a local fire station. It starts out innocently enough, with interviews with the bomberos (firemen), the shift manager, and out of boredom... the reception desk occupied by the only mujeras (women) in the station. Suddenly, a call comes in about a person possibly trapped in her apartment. Since Angela and Pablo have been given permission to follow two firemen named Alex and Manu, wherever they go in order to get a good story about how firemen do their jobs, they unwittingly follow the firemen into the scariest adventure one could possibly endure. Once they reach the apartment building that the call came from, they find all the residents gathered in the atrium of the building. Accompanied by police, they investigate the source of the call, an elderly woman that has been screaming bloody murder for some time now. When they bust her door down, they find her just standing there frothing at the mouth. Suddenly she attacks one of the policemen and bites a huge chunk out of his neck. When attempting to get the policeman out of the building to a hospital they discover that the front door has been blocked off by the Center for Disease Control, and absolutely no one is allowed out of the building. Determined to show the world what is happening, Angela orders Pablo to record everything. When trying to get the injured policeman help through a back door, they are greeted with soldiers with machine guns. A loud speaker informs them that they are not to attempt to leave the building and will be shot on sight should they try. Fireman Alex, who has stayed upstairs to watch over the old lady, comes plummeting down the staircase with massive facial injuries. Both Alex and the injured policeman are moved to a back room, while there, heard again is the loud speaker that a BNC protocol (biological, nuclear, or chemical threat) has been put in place, and that a health inspector will soon be entering the building to assess the situation. While waiting for this to happen, Angela and Pablo take the opportunity to interview some of the buildings residents, which consist of an old couple that bicker a lot, a bitchy woman with a sick little girl whose father is forbidden to enter the building with the antibiotics he was out getting for his little girl (Jennifer), a suave wisecracking ladies man, an intern, and a japanese couple that constantly scream at each other. When the health inspector finally arrives, he inspects the injured, just to have the injured come back into conciousness and become as violent as the old lady. The health inspector locks the infected in the back room and is then forced by Manu to tell them what the hell is going on. He explains that a vet had a dog brought in with an unknown illness. The dog showed an extreme viciousness and attacked all the other pets at the clinic and that within minutes all the other animals showed the same king of aggression and the dogs collar led them to this building. It just so happens that the sick little girl had a dog taken to the vet a few days prior. This casts huge suspicion on the little girls illness even though her mother vehemently protests that it's only tonsillitis. Soon the girl starts puking blood and eventually becomes a screaming banshee and runs upstairs. While upstairs looking for her, they are once again attacked by the old lady who is finally taken out by the fireman's sledgehammer . Also while upstairs, the infected manage to break out of the back room and start attacking everyone. Everybody that gets attacked and bitten, becomes another bloodthirsty "infected". One of the last remaining uninfected residents explains that there might be a way out through a sewer drain in the buildings basement... all they need is the key. After scouring the concierges apartment for the keys, they soon learn that Manu is nowhere around, and without his protection, Angela and Pablo are on their own. The option to go down to the basement becomes impossible because everyone, including Manu, are all infected. They instead run upstairs to the attic apartment which we were told earlier was owned by a man from Madrid, but who hasn't been there in years. With this in mind, it's assumed that no one is in the attic. Upon looking around the apartment, it's apparent that some sort of scientific testing has been conducted, and strangely the entire place is filled with religious artifacts. Many news articles cover the walls. Upon reading these articles with such titles as "Vatican investigates the possible possession of a Portuguese girl" , "Portugal is moved by possessed girl" and "Hospital denies releasing Medeiros girl who disappeared during the night". A tape recorder is found and when Angela plays it, it turns out to be a diary left by the man from Madrid, about a possessed girl that he was testing and experimenting on. Apparently, he was trying to use here to create some sort of vaccine to combat demon possession. He goes on to say that the virus has mutated and has become contagious (explaining just what the "infected" are infected with). He also says that he must leave, and that he plans to seal the girl inside until she dies of starvation, which instantly eradicates the idea that they may not be alone in this apartment. Determined to escape, the inspect the attic space for a possible way out when something hits Pablo's camera, breaking the light. He turns the night vision on and to his horror see something moving in the darkness. It soon becomes visible as an emaciated girl carrying a hammer and clad only in the most disgusting underwear in existence. Roaming around in the dark, the girl (obviously still possessed) cannot see Angela and Pablo. That is until Pablo accidentally knocks something over making a noise. He is instantly attacked and drops his camera. When Angela finally finds his camera, she uses the night vision and sees Pablo being eaten by the possessed girl. She screams and is subsequently attacked, drops that camera and falls to the floor with the camera pointed in her direction. She slowly crawls toward the camera and just before reaching it, is dragged away by her feet, screaming. The End. It's truly a frightening movie, and about 2 years later was remade into an american version called "Quarantine" starring Jennifer Carpenter. A good remake (with a few more believable explanations) but Rec is still far superior. A sequel to Rec has just been finished and should reach american theaters in a few months. The sequel is supposed to take place a mere fifteen minutes after the first movie ends.