Day 10/91: August 1st
Kim: MICROWAVE MASSACRE (1983)
“A movie so bad, it almost circles back around to good.”
Bob: STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3 (2019)
Netflix’s new season is ultimately greatly enjoyable, but took a while to really get some plot moving. Love the characters, old and new (Robyn!), and even if I complain about the story issues, the character dynamics are amazing with true chemistry and growth from the first season until now.
Cody: LET US PREY (2014)
“I really dug this one! Similar in kind to “Last Shift”(another police station horror I loved) this one has a stellar cast led by Pollyanna McIntosh and a very underrated director in Brian O’Malley. This film excels in fleshing out its characters to a genuinely impressive degree, does a great job playing with your expectations and has one of my favorite depictions of a mysterious possibly evil character (aka the scary bastard below). Definitely worth a watch!”
Brien Gorham: VIY (2014)
” It’s like Darby O’Gill and the Little People and Hausu had a weird Russian baby. Made in 1967, this one blends folklore with some inventive camera tricks to create a strange little ghost story.”
Robin Lindsey: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD (1989)
“Story time… When I was a child, I was terrified of Freddy Krueger. I’m talking to the point of having my parents cut the ads for Freddy’s Nightmares out of the TV Guide so I didn’t have to see them. I’d never seen any of the Nightmare movies, but we played Freddy Krueger at recess in school and I’d formed my own opinion from my friends’ stories of seeing them with older siblings.
I had vivid nightmares with Freddy that didn’t stop until I made friends with him in my dreams when I was 8 or 9. (It involved skipping along, holding hands, with him up on top of the lampposts and me down on the sidewalk. Don’t judge, I was 9.). 30 years on I can still remember a couple of the bad dreams. I never watched any of the Nightmare movies until I was probably 22 or so. I think this is the only one I’ve never gotten around to watching.
Overall, I actually really liked this entry. Fairly solid, less jokey than some of the sequels. I really liked the style of the comic book sequence. The kid that played Jacob is instantly recognizable from everything.”
Amy Herring: ALL LIGHT WILL END (2018) (Via Netflix)
“Bluh. Felt slow. Not great acting. Didn’t care about or even like most of the characters. When we got to the mystery’s solution, I was very disappointed. I would have given it one more star because at least I was interested along the way but then they ruined that. Then there was just some dumb music video wannabe (belabored slow motion, etc.) at the end to attempt to stir up drama. 2/5 stars.”
Jay Walker: TRUTH OR DARE: A CRITICAL MADNESS (1986, youtube)
“While Madonna isn’t in this Tim Ritter opus, it’s definitely my favorite of his “Jilted lover turns homicidal maniac” flicks. “Killing Spree” is also on Prime, but tbh, I thought this one was far superior.
This is definitely a low-budget winner, and is incredibly well done in terms of story, fx, and entertainment (the acting is pretty funny too). It spirals out of control pretty quick, and doesn’t let up. Strongly recommend.”
Evan Peterson: NOSFERATU THE VAMPIRE (1979)
“very atmospheric, nihilistic, slow. This is literally Werner Herzog’s Dracula, and it’s not for everyone. Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani eat the scenery effortlessly. It’s highly artistic and kinda boring. But if you’re a vampire fanatic, go for it.”
Tony Kay:PSYCHOMANIA (1973).
PSYCHOMANIA is one of those horror movies whose existence I knew well, decades before I actually saw it, thanks to Arrow Video’s impeccable restoration and blu-ray reissue. And it’s an odd one.
An entitled, rich jerk (Nicky Henson) leads his own British cycle gang, and when he decides he wants to be immortal, his mum (Beryl Reid) and their butler Shadwell (George Sanders) assist Henson in gaining that immortality, along with six other gang members. The bikers’ group moniker? Yup, The Living Dead.
On the face of it, PSYCHOMANIA likely looks like trash to most of humanity. Henson gives a great performance, all animal charisma and sneering entitlement, but he’s been on the record for decades referring to the movie as garbage (he does seem to have softened somewhat in recent years). And Sanders, a truly great character actor who appeared in classic films like REBECCA and ALL ABOUT EVE among others, committed suicide shortly after the film’s completion—It was suggested, somewhat apocryphally, that his despondency at appearing in this film helped push him over the edge. But the movie possesses a cockeyed charm that suggests it might be more aware of its absurdity than viewers gave it credit for upon release. And it’s well-directed by Don Sharp, who also helmed some great Hammer horror films like KISS OF THE VAMPIRE and RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK.
There’s a decided undercurrent of socio-political satire here too, with class entitlement literally extending beyond the grave. Felicity Huffman may have been unethical as hell for resorting to bribery to get her kid into a fancy university, but at least she never cozied up with the devil and overtly endorsed her child committing suicide to come back as a demon biker. Then again, no one’s specifically refuted that, either.
Day 9/92: July 31st
Kim: SOLACE (2015) (via Syfy)
“So forgettable I’ve already forgotten everything about it.”
Bob: SLASHER SEASON 1 (2016) (via Netflix)
Cody: VAULT OF HORROR (1972)
” this was my first experience with an Amicus film and I was blown the fuck away. If you know my horror tastes you know I love some crazy shit to happen and the more 70’s you get the better! This checked all the boxes with fancy dinner vampires, the most British man I’ve ever seen portrayed on film, evil voodoo Bob Ross and a man vs. magic rope fight. Equal parts funny, creepy and campy this one has already ascended to my DVD collection.”
Brien Gorham: CLOVEHITCH KILLER (2018)
(Hulu) “If you like slowburn suburban horror in the vein of Summer of 84 and Super Dark Times this one may be worth a watch. I don’t think this movie brings anything new to the genre story-wise, but it’s anchored by very strong performances, especially Dylan McDermott.”
Amy Herring: DARK WAS THE NIGHT (2014)
(Amazon Prime) “This was surprisingly fantastic. Good acting, good story, good pacing. My complaints are minor.”
Jay Walker: GUTTERBALLS (2008)
“I need a shower after watching this 😬
This flick intentionally pushes the boundaries, and successfully obliterates them (which apparently is Ryan Nicholson’s MO).
I don’t like the rape revenge genre (“Revenge” was awful, btw 😂) – but this one is an especially rough watch. Not just because of a scene that carries on far too long and ends deplorably, but also because the villains annoyingly dick-ish character just makes you want to Personally smash their face in the whole time (don’t worry, it happens).
If you can stomach it, it’s actually a very unique slasher. The kill scenes are wild and gory af (death by 69 lol). There’s a couple fun twists, and it’s pretty damn gruesome.
I like films that push the envelope too far and make the audience uncomfortable (Human Centipede 2 anyone???) so overall I’d check out other Nicholson films; I just hope he does the envelope-pushing without extended rape scenes and the single most annoying lead villain you’ll ever see in a film.
Also surprised this is on YouTube 🤔
Watch at your own risk. It’s a rough one. Need to watch something light hearted after this.”
Evan Peterson: THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932)
“James Whale directs another odd Gothic camp banger. The film was lost for a while, then rediscovered in the 60s. Karloff is back as a…giant disfigured mute. Well then. What really got me is how many later films clearly pull from this one. There’s direct lifting of some lines into HAUNTED HONEYMOON, and it’s clear this film influenced CLUE, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and others. I recommend!”
Tony Kay: ALWAYS SHINE
“Friends Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald) and Anna (MacKenzie Davis) are two struggling actresses. Anna is outspoken and uncompromising, and—not surprisingly—her principles and assertiveness kneecap her career. Beth, a more quiet and passive type, willingly plays the game, and her career quietly edges past Anna’s. Barely-contained jealousy winds its way to the surface, with violence and mental breakdown coming to the fore.
Director Sophia Takal’s psychological thriller telegraphs its blows a little too early, but there’s no denying her aptitude with her cast and her undeniable skill at mounting suspense setpieces. Both FitzGerald and Davis are excellent, and there’s considerable creepiness at the core of the movie’s merger of REPULSION and Donald Cammell’s PERFORMANCE. It’s a testament to the actors and Takal’s knack for subtle perception-shifting that it works as well as it does.
There’s also no denying the unflinching efficacy of Takal’s take on the power dynamics that force women to routinely degrade themselves—and turn on their own—for furtherance of their careers. It’s not exactly delivered with optimal subtlety. But Takal, a veteran actress herself, understands the makeup of both of these characters, and her ability to readily get into the heads of both of these women gives this movie a core of truth it just plain wouldn’t have if a man directed it.”
Day 8/93: July 30th
Kim: THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN BIGFOOT (2019)
“Interesting movie, and Sam Elliott is a national treasure, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to.”
Bob: DR. SEUSS’S THE CAT IN THE HAT (2003): A movie built on contempt and cocaine.
Cody: SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT’S EYE (1973)
“you know you are in for a good Giallo flick when a monkey shows up. It’s settled science that Monkey+Giallo=good shit and this film follows in grand fashion. You’ve got your circus chimp locked in the room of a mental patient, a spooky old Scottish castle, many death’s by straight razor (even if overdone a tad), vampire dreams and some good old fashioned heroic cousin fucking! Wait scratch the last part, shit gets weird quick and stays that way throughout this one. A fun watch and one I would recommend for fans of a good, weird mystery.”
Brien Gorham: DEATHHOUSE (2018)
“Oof.. I really wanted this one to be good…”
Robin Lindsey: DOWNRANGE (2017).
“This is the first one that I’ve been bored by. It really could have done with a little more get-to-know-you in the beginning so that you actually care about the characters. I liked the concept, but it wasn’t well executed.”
Amy Herring: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
Believe it or not, although I’m the right age, there are several 80’s “classics” I haven’t seen. So I am remedying that starting with this one. A nightmare, indeed.
Favorite hilarious moments: Johnny’s crop football tee and Freddy’s perfectly spaced flaming footprints.
1.(Nancy, upon seeing her face after no sleep for a night or two) “oh my god, I look 20 years old.”
2. (Mom to “scientist”) “What are dreams?” (scientist): “Mysteries. Incredible body hocus pocus.”
3. (Johnny to police officer): “We have reason to believe there’s something very strange going on.” uh, thanks for that detailed assessment, Sherlock!
In summation: 80s fun.
Jay Walker: RAMEKIN (2018, Prime)
“Don’t bother. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be horror or what, cause I got bored of groaning and turned it off mid-way through. It’s quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve seen, and I liked Rubber.”
Evan Peterson: POSSESSION (1981)
“I think Cody mentioned POSSESSION earlier. I needed to see it again after a decade. I like it more this time around, now that I can expect certain things and still be surprised by others. That suicide at the end haunted me. Tl;dr: lots of screaming, no one acts like an actual person, not much suspense, but plenty of bonkers visuals and dialogue. I recommend it to those who like experimental.”
The movie’s exactly what you’d expect from a horror movie produced by the guy who made BAD BOYS and ARMAGEDDON. It’s slick and glossy, where the original was immersive and gritty. The young protagonists are all generic and vacantly pretty, in contrast to the original’s very real-people-looking amateur cast. And this new CHAINSAW is merciless, but it’s more CEO-shitting-on-underlings merciless than the kind of go-for-broke, loose-cannon mercilessness Tobe Hooper brought to the original. There are worse horror films in the world, but few that feel so coldly, cynically transactional.
Day 7/94: July 29th
Kim: MARROWBONE (2018)
“I absolutely loved this. Exceptional acting, and pulls at the heartstrings. Surprised I haven’t heard more about it.”
Bob: HIGH LIFE (2019)
Cody: FRIGHTMARE (1974)
” Recommended last night during our podcast recording by Anthony James Kay. What an absolute treat of a movie it’s a great cannibal family drama with 70’s nastiness and vileness thrown in for good measure. Director Pete Walker does s great job showing off a non tourist look at the average English city/suburbs. Great performances across the board by a stellar cast as well. Heavily recommended!!!
Tony Kay: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING (2006). Producer Michael Bay’s second CHAINSAW movie feels an awful lot like a remake of his first one, right down to the cursory attempts at a period setting and the emphasis on R. Lee Ermey’s batshit nuts patriarch. Oh, and it’s super-slick and—like its predecessor—looks more like Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” video than a sweaty, sticky, take-no-prisoners grindhouse movie. Those weird noises you hear aren’t the movie’s sound effects: It’s the clinking and chiming bells of the cash register.
Robin Lindsey: THE HOUSE JACK BUILT (2018)
“May I please have novels written by Lars von Trier? And can Matt Dillon please do the audiobook versions? The narration is the movie here, 100%, and Dillon puts in an amazing performance. I liked it a lot.”
Brien Gorham: HOLE IN THE GROUND (2019)
“This Irish horror film centers around a single mother whose son may or may not have been replaced by a doppleganger/demon/evil faery. It feels familiar, but still manages to pull off some unsettling moments.”
Amy Herring: AYLA (2018)
“A man creates a golem and is sure it’s his dead sister come back to life.
This one was a slow build up to nothing. Pacing was slow but I wouldn’t have minded if it eventually led somewhere. The mystery element was at once both obvious and confusing. Some bizarre events don’t end up being explained further. It’s too bad because some elements, especially visually, were really great. This movie is a firework with a long wick that turns out to be a dud. 2/5 stars.”
Jay Walker: THE CARPENTER (1988)
“Wings Hauser is a badass in Art of Dying and Street Asylum (two action flicks I cannot recommend enough), so I figured I’d check this one out. It was cliche 80’s slasher, with lots of plot holes, and terribly bad acting (the foreman, specifically). Unique kills. Silly overall, but entertaining enough to keep me sitting through it. Pretty sure it’s on Prime if you wanna check it out.”
Evan Peterson: MADHOUSE (1974)
“I’m on a Vincent Price kick, but then again, when am I not? Price is with Cushing in this one, and Cushing is basically playing Gore Vidal or Quentin Crisp, ascots and purple rinsed hair and all. It’s worth a watch, but oddly edited. The finale/reveal/resolution(?) doesn’t quite make sense, nor does Adrienne Corri’s deliciously over the top performance as…whatever the hell her story is. The mad woman in the basement. Also, it’s heavy on clips from other films cobbled together as the metafictional series of films that Price’s character made prior to his mental breakdown in the film’s prologue. Confused? You’ll still be after you watch it, but give it a go.”
Day 6/95: July 28th
Kim: CRAWL (2019)
“which really hammers home the message that when they tell you to evacuate and area and don’t return to it, YOU LISTEN.
That being said, one of the few times I wasn’t rooting for the alligators in the film. Well. Not much.” (Bob and Cody’s review here)
Bob: WILLOW CREEK (2014), aka Bobcat Goldthwait’s Blair Witch Project (still loved it)
Emilie Black: FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)
Amy Herring: THE CONVENT (2000)
“An homage to bad horror movies. Quite silly and plentiful, comic gore. Stars Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, etc.). Not typically my type of movie but after watching the preview, I felt I had to watch it to say I’d watched it. So, I’ve watched it.
My favorite characters were the wannabe goth Satan worshippers. possibly the best line: “The Prince of Evil? You work at fuckin’ Dairy Queen!” ”
Cody: HATCHET (2006)
“I very much enjoyed this one, in a similar style of something like “The Burning” the real star here is the Gore effects done by legend of the business John Carl Buechler(Rest in Peace). The group of victims are your run of the mill fodder but a few prove memorable. Another film with a true love of the genre sees stars like Tony Todd and Robert Englund pop in for cameos. Horror legend Kane Hodder is main villain Victor Crowley and seems to have great love for the character. All in all a fun flick to throw on and enjoy some Gore(if that’s your thing of course).”
Brien Gorham: Vault of Horror (1973; via Shudder)
“I have a serious soft spot for these Amicus anthologies and this one is quite enjoyable – and not just because it features a pre-Doctor Who Tom Baker. Like most anthologies, it’s a little uneven, but I think it opens and finishes on strong notes.”
Jay Walker: THE GREASY STRANGLER (2016)
“hoooooly shit. Wow. Just…wow. This movie was amazing in all the worst ways! If Napoleon Dynamite was a horror movie with a casio keyboard soundtrack, lots of full frontal nudity, and a completely nonsensical ending, this would be it! I’m surprised this hasn’t won an Oscar. Riveting performances, wonderfully cheesy special fx, and more “wtf” than you can shake a stick at. I loved this so much.”
Evan Peterson: WITCHBOARD (1986)
” WITCHBOARD, which I’d always avoided for some reason. So impressed! It’s much more thoughtful than the usual 80’s satanic panic occult stuff. Actual research went into this (although the dialogue just LOVES to constantly affirm that). Tawny Kitaen is a much better actress than I’d expected, and the tenderest grief scene is between two recently warring male best friends. So there’s that.”
Day 5/96: July 27th
Kim: THE HAUNTING ON FRATERNITY ROW (2018): “The downside is, everyone in this movie is the worst. The upside is, the basically all die. Spoiler alert.”
Bob: THE RING (1995)
Theresa Cracknell: WHAT LIES BENEATH (2000)
Robin Lindsey: THE RITUAL (2018, streaming on Netflix): “This was great. I loved the production design of the whole movie, especially the reoccurring blending (trying so hard to not be spoiler-y for the two of you that haven’t seen this), and the relationships amongst the friends.”
Brien Gorham: THE BURNING (1981) Watched at Camp Fangoria when posted he said “so far, so 80s”
Cody Mascho: BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON (2006): “I absolutely loved this one, I’m of the opinion that meta horror needs to have a masterful touch to it(New Nightmare, Scream) in order for it to work or it winds up being mean spirited and painfully pretentious (Sharknado, Cabin in the Woods). This does a wonderful job blending together an absurd Man bites Dog style serial killer mockumentary Black Comedy with something akin to the last act of Scream as tropes are thrown at you left and right. The main actors do a masterful job building up surprisingly deep characters and horror vets Robert Englund, Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubenstein and Kane Hodder pepper the film masterfully with horror cred and Easter eggs galore for genre fans. Can’t recommend this enough!!!!!”
Robin Lindsey: THE HOST (2006)
“Either I wasn’t in the right mood for this one, or I waited too long to watch it, but it was just kinda meh for me. I did love the flipping, jungle gym way the creature moves under the bridge, though!”
Emilie Black: FRIDAY THE 13th Part 3 (1982)
Amy Herring: THE HAUNTING OF HELENA (2012).
“A mom and daughter are tormented by a ghost looking for her missing teeth. I had lowish expectations but actually liked this one a lot. There is a bit of oddness about this film I can’t put my finger on. Yet, good story, good twist. I wish we’d seen the ghost more but the times we did I thought she was sufficiently scary. Definitely recommend.”
Jay Walker: Invasion for Flesh & Blood (1991)
Although it kinda borders on sci-fi, sorta…not really… this movie is so good! F IMDB and their 3.8 rating.
This movie is just a full-on shitshow from start to finish. Hilariously terrible acting, nonsensical (yet highly entertaining) plot, and an overall splatterfest/action/scifi bonanza. It’s one of the best worst movies you’ll see.
I can’t find it to watch anywhere online, or I’d link it… but if you get the chance, don’t pass it up! This one is a really fun watch.
Evan Peterson: LILY C.A.T. (1987)
“This one is lighter on the horror, heavy on the sci fi. It’s an audacious anime ripoff of ALIEN and THE THING, to the point that the starship’s computer is called Mother. The writing does go so far as to try to explain the alien’s body absorption process, something glossed over in THE THING. There’s some body horror, and I’d call it a melt movie. The female lead is an unbearable damsel in distress; the film suffers from a lack of Ellen Ripley. I’m glad I watched it, but it wasn’t as entertaining as I’d hoped.”
Day 4/97: July 26th
Kim: MY MOM IS A WEREWOLF (1989): ” If I’d seen this in the 80s I probably would have found it funny. Too bad I watched it today. ”
Bob: KILL LIST (2011)
Brien Gorham: DEADTECTIVES (2019) (viaShudder) – “Really wanted to shut this one off after the first ten minutes. I thought to myself, “What a bold experiment to make a horror comedy that has neither horror nor comedy…” I did stick with it and I will say that the second half has some good gore gags and both horror and comedy. There are touches of The Frighteners in there and some very lightweight Sam Raimi-esque moments.”
Robin Lindsey: The Final Terror (1983). “How have I not seen this one before?!? I actually really enjoyed it. There were moments of “Why are they…?” like with any slasher, but nothing that can’t be explained away by the stress of the situation. Also, I always dig when a slasher features adults as the troupe instead of teens. (Ex. my favorite, My Bloody Valentine (1981)”
Cody: THE COLLECTOR (2009): “simple yet so well done. Josh Stewart is great as protagonist Arkin and Juan Fernandez is actually pretty badass as the titular villain. This is one is missed at the time and I’m very happy to have gotten the chance to see it. It’s a film that knows exactly what it needs to be and does a phenomenal job at it! Director was a writer on the Saw films and there is some obvious inspiration but it gives us exactly what we want with some great Gore and traps without the Wikipedia page required to understand the mythos of Saw. Watching the sequel tomorrow”!
Emilie Black – FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)
Amy Herring: THE GHOUL (1933) About what you’d expect from a spooky movie of that era: unscary, cheesy fun. My favorite line: “well, that’s the last time I try to make coffee in a strange house!”
Jay Walker: Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh & Blood (1985)
Remember when Charlie Sheen thought this was a legit snuff film and reported it to the authorities, then they took director Hideshi Hino in to prove it wasn’t?
It’s pretty much 45 minutes of torture porn (if you’re into August Underground type shit, this is the Japanese OG). Impressive special FX for its time, and the SOV straight-to-dismembering, coupled with a very unsettling walk through at the end, make this a gory cult classic of unparalleled proportions.
This, and Mermaid in a Manhole are my favorites of the series.
Evan Peterson: ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971)
“Okay, hear me out. I LOVE this one. It’s an Art Deco slasher pick em off, with heaps of camp yet also grotesque death traps. Vincent Price is, again, a perfect horror queen chewing up the scenery. What struck me about this one in conjunction with House of Wax is how similar they are (SPOILERS BELOW)
Both films feature a burned and heavily scarred character, seemingly back from the dead, who wears a prosthetic mask to go among average people. Both killers, played by Vincent Price, are artists. The women in each film are mostly decorative, victims, bombshells, or comic relief (unlike in the original Mystery of the Wax Museum). And, of course, each ends with a race against time to evade a slowly encroaching death trap involving burning liquid. Thoughts?”
Day 3/98: July 25th
Kim: EVERFALL (2017) A film that continues to prove that boyfriends in horror films are the absolute WORST. Unless you need reminding of that, skip it.
Bob: CURSE/NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957); Dir by Jacques Tournier (Cat People)
Tony Kay: IT CHAPTER 2 (2019, Theatrical)
Theresa Cracknell: MOM AND DAD (2018)
Cody: LITTLE DEATHS (2011): He sez: “this one was largely shit. The first segment is so cliched it’s painful. The second one has some unique ideas but somehow manages to make a magical Nazi penis that is grafted from person to person boring. Last one is basically what I would imagine a horror movie about cuckoldry written by the Alt-Right would be. 3/10 not enough Nazi dick backstory.”
Amy Herring: DISCARNATE (2018): A scientist and his team go to a “not haunted” (it’s totally haunted) house to perform a very unscientific science experiment to prove life after death. They succeed but did anyone live to write it up? I won’t give that away!
I give it a 6.5 or 7. Kept me interested, dialogue mostly naturalistic and not forced, monster decently scary and I like the twist(s).”
Brien Gorham – DEAD BIRDS (2004) (via Shudder) Civil War set story of a group of thieves who pick the wrong abandoned mansion to hole up in. Strong script and a great cast – so -so special effects.
Emilie Black: FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
Jay Walker: ABCS OF DEATH 2.5 (2016)
“If you’re not familiar, this one is an anthology series where directors film short horror stories based on a concept starting with each letter of the alphabet. 2.5 is all the overflow submissions for the letter ‘M’.
The original had some amazingly good shorts that I genuinely wished were evolved into full-length features, most notably S for Speed, V for Vagitus, and X for XXL (still won’t watch P for Pressure). There were also a lot of “Holy shit WTF WAS THAT” shorts that were highly entertaining.
I guess 2.5 just missed the mark for me. I found most of the shorts to be dull and lifeless, with minimal shock value, gore, artistic aesthetic, or even enjoyable WTFs.
More like “M is for Meh” amirite? 🤣
If you haven’t seen the first entry to this series, I’d strongly recommend it. This one… not so much.”
Evan Peterson: HOUSE OF WAX (1953)
“A much campier remake, full of tonal discomfort. It’s 3D! Throw shit at the screen! I enjoy it for sure, and Vincent Price is always, er, priceless. The tough cookie character played by Glenda Farrell is all but erased, leaving only an inquisitive female victim who needs saving. Too bad”
Matt Faure: HAUNT (2019)
Haunted attraction gone awry movies seem to be forming their own cottage industry of late. There is a lot of potential there, what with the obvious as well as the REAL horror of placing yourselves at the hands of real life maniacs like Russ McKamey. The problem with the sub-genre is that the source of the horror and the outcome of it are, with only slight variation, always the same and most of these films don’t rise to the challenge.
Haunt. Fucking. Did it.
The filmmakers know that you know the pattern they have to follow. They know that YOU know that THEY know. And they STILL pull it out. They give you a compelling lead with a very real back story which gives her a unique skill set. They have characters whose sole purpose is to die. They have characters you start off hating but transition to characters you end up liking. And what’s more they use what you already know from the beginning to develop a very sympathetic final girl.
Exceedingly well done. I know I haven’t posted much here in this month so my word doesn’t mean much but it gets my highest recommendation.”
Day 2/99: July 24th
Kim: Netflix’s SECRET OBSESSION (2019): Kim: AKA “Why Hospitals Should Check IDs and Not Accept Tattoo Descriptions as Proof of Marriage.”
Bob: VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (1970)
Tony Kay: WOLF CREEK (2005).
“This brutal Australian thriller pretty clearly falls under the torture-porn umbrella ushered in by HOSTEL. Like most of the best examples of the sub-genre, it’s incredibly well-done, but so disturbing that it’s not exactly a prime candidate for rewatchability.
Three twenty-somethings (two Brits and an Aussie) go venturing to Wolf Creek National Park, where their car and watches end up dying. They’re rescued from the middle of nowhere in the outback by jaunty rural country bumpkin Mick (John Jarratt), who pulls up in his pickup. Mick promises to fix their dead jalopy, and takes the three of them back to his remote place near a secluded mine shaft. It requires no college degree or knowledge of brain surgery to deduce what comes next.
Writer/Director Greg McLean actually fleshes out the three travelers/victims really well: When the shit (and blood) hit the fan, you’re actually rooting for these kids to come out of this nightmare intact. Jarratt is remarkable, with a chipper demeanor that shifts effortlessly (and chillingly) into willies-inducing creepiness. The desolate, remote outback locations add immeasurably to the unease. And McLean’s direction is so effective, it’s no surprise he was able to ride this movie’s coattails to a sequel feature and a spin-off TV series(!), neither of which I’ve seen.
Your mileage will vary considerably. WOLF CREEK is really good on multiple levels: It’s also harsh, gruesome, and pit-in-stomach nihilistic—a textbook torture-porn flick done to sick perfection. Ironically, the most disturbing aspect of this film is that McLean’s script was a composite of several real-life murders in the Outback in the ‘80s and ‘90s: The monstrosity of humanity once more trumps the worst imaginings of the most skilled genre filmmaker.”
Amy Herring: THE DARK WITHIN (2019). Amy says ” I enjoyed it at a 6/10 but I think overall it is probably more like a 4. It started off interesting and promising. The main actor wasn’t bad although everyone around him was. Not as bad as student film but definitely indie. I was more interested in the main character’s current experience of sorting out his delusions rather than the solving of his mysterious backstory which was the plot but was kind of a bore. They didn’t take the right things far enough and some things were too much (like a prolonged gurgling death scene). Scares were minimal, it was more about the insanity of him and some stabbiness.”
Robin Lindsey: REVENGE (2018). She says ” I never got around to seeing this one last year. Some great effects pieces (flashlight had me squirming), but a couple of the more fantastical elements made me not 100% love it. Still pretty good overall, though.”
Brien Gorham: MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) He says: Udos of Kierness to be found in this 1970s Witch-ploitation Film. (streaming on Shudder)
Cody: ALL HALLOW’S EVE: (2013). Cody’s pre-watch thoughts: “Fucking hated Terrifier so let’s dive into Art’s first appearance in cinema. I do love a good anthology but my expectations are low.”
Emilie Black: HARPOON (2019)
Jay Walker: TROMA’S MELSPLOITATION (2018)
“I absolutely love melt movies/body horror stuff, so I was excited to see this on Prime.
It’s TROMA, so you can expect the usual absurd, batshit crazy, campy, cringey B-movie doodoo they’re notorious for. Some gory shorts, and a couple melt/body horror goodies for sure.
It’s a fun watch if you’re into Troma’s “schlock” style of film. It did seem to go on a bit long though. Fun either way!”
Evan Peterson: MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933)
“Awfully naughty–outside of Hays Code reinforcement most likely. Great performances from Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, and Glenda Farrell as a scrappy alcoholic reporter. Almost noir?”
John Schuler: BLAIR WITCH (2016)
” I was expecting to be annoyed or let down by this but it was in many ways superior to the original. Anyone who saw the first knows the rough outlines of what happens.
There was a touch of racial tension that added to the conflict within the group; I thought that was well-handled. The original was long on psychological warfare but lacked a single example of something that would traditionally be considered magic (odd for a movie about a witch, I thought); this had exactly one, but it was the most powerful scene in the movie. Sympathetic magic does, in theory, work just like that. Makes me think that someone involved in the screenplay at least skimmed a book on witchcraft and the occult.
The ending once again left as many questions as it answered, in spite of giving us a few fleeting glimpses of what it was everyone was running from.
Solid movie, worth checking out…”
Gary Washington: IT CHAPTER 2 (2019, Theatrical)
“IMHO not as good as the first but entertaining none the less.
Bill Hader and professor X had notable performances as well as whoever played adult Eddie.
The CGI is a tad distracting but bearable.
Overall we dug it.”
Jessica Rose: IN THE TALL GRASS (2019, Netflix)
” I liked it. Visually pleasing. Parts acted well. Lots of action, not scary. Still enjoyed it.”
Didn’t have *too* many preconceived notions of this flick (hadn’t even seen the trailer) but enjoyed it quite a bit. For an MTV film (try not to hold that against it).
You’ll guess the ending before the filmmakers think you will (they’re not half so clever as they think they are at concealing it) but the journey getting there is still fun and it won’t ruin the experience anyway.
Sadie Sink is a delight to watch and Lili Taylor makes up for her part in the abysmal Haunting remake.
Day 1/100: July 23rd
Emilie Black: KNIVES AND SKIN (2019)
Bob, Kim, Robin Lindsey, Amy Herring Cody, Steve (of Bone Bat) and his wife Julie watched and commented on our Live Tweet of 1932’s THE OLD DARK HOUSE (streaming on Shudder). (Twitter: https://twitter.com/CityOfGeek, Kim is @SeattleScreams).
Bob’s YouTube Review:
Theresa Cracknell: Mimic (1998)
Brien Gorham: THE TRANSFIGURATION (2016)
Tony Kay: PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH (2018)
“Chance are, if you stop by this tiny corner of the Facebook universe, you probably know who S. Craig Zahler is. If not, Zahler’s one of the most capable voices doing revisionist genre films (his sorta-horror western BONE TOMAHAWK and the excellent dark prison action film RIOT ON CELL BLOCK 99 are pretty amazing). So his touch as the screenwriter on this reboot of the PUPPET MASTER franchise is part of what makes it good, grubby, disreputable fun.
I’ve never given much of a hang to the PUPPET MASTER movies, so the fact that this saga of a bunch of nazi puppets kinda plays fast and loose with the original series is okey dokey by me. It’s got a fun cast peopled with comfort-food genre actors (Udo Kier as the burn-scarred Andre Toulon, Barbara Crampton in a genuinely hysterical turn as a cop/tour guide) and has a funny, likable leading man turn by Thomas Lennon of RENO 911! fame. Plus, it delivers some truly demented gore scenes and an attitude of zero-f%@ks-given blunt humor. As anyone who voted against Donald Trump knows, it’s fun watching nazi puppets get the crap stomped out of ’em.”
Jay Walker: TERRIFER (2018, Netflix)
“I’d actually never seen this. Being fairly skeptical of new Netflix horror I never gave it much thought until I saw crowdfunding trailers for part 2 and decided to give it a go.
I enjoyed it! Agree with most reviewers that there was a definite 80s slasher vibe, which I dig. Good momentum, didn’t let up or go dull at any point. Very basic plot line.
There were a lot of times where I wanted to scream at the protagonist for not finishing off the main villain when she had the chance, but overall it was a pretty fun flick!”
Evan Peterson: LUZ (2019)
“I’m still figuring out what I think of it. I’m glad I saw it, for sure. It’s not as Cronenbergian as many reviews suggest (less body horror, more ominous non sequitors). It wasn’t what I expected, but if you dig movies like Beyond the Black Rainbow and The Void, you’ll probably like it.”
John Schuler: SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)
” A surprisingly chaste take on the camp slasher movie, with a twist that I think was pretty well telegraphed even if I wasn’t vaguely aware of what was coming from having heard about it before.
I’m not sure this movie could get made these days because of the seemingly tolerated pedophile head cook (who I was not surprised to see go first), the creepy camp manager who seemed to be carrying on with one of his barely-legal counselors (this also seemed ok with everyone), and of course the “twist” at the end.
Unexpected bonuses: hilarious early 80s men’s attire, particular those shorts. Dear God. And the setting in upstate NY brought in the regional Noo Yawk accents, lending a bit of a comic edge to some of the scenes for me at least.
The effects were uneven, but very good in spots. The cook’s death was particularly convincing and unpleasant, that one will stick with me a while and I’ll be careful around boiling pots.”
Gary Washington: THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (2019)
“Good Actors,boring framing of the story.”
Katheryn Troy: IT CHAPTER 2 (2019, Theatrical)
Jessica Rose: THE INVITATION (2017, Netflix)
“I liked the tension and different personalities. Little predictable, I knew this dinner party wasn’t going to end well. LOL. I liked the somewhat surprise at the end.”
Matt Faure: THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
I haven’t really done a very good job of posting in this group so here is my first offering. Maybe EVER. But it’s an important one I think. As a kid growing up in the 80’s this was that movie that you never remembered the name of but it came on every year about this time without fail. Until they stopped showing it altogether, which I have to imagine is largely due to all of the music they use in it (Bobby Vee, CCR, The Guess Who, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, and oddly enough The Smiths, to say nothing of Wilson Pickett whose song the film takes its name and vibe from). In fact the film has enjoyed no less maddening a life on home video, available on VHS for only marginally longer than it ever was on DVD. You can sometimes find copies of it available for exorbitant sums on eBay. And with good reason. If you were lucky enough to own it you don’t WANT to part with it.”