Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

I waited 5 years to see this DVD, and it didnt disappoint. All things considered, this film is better than it should be. Despite the grindhouse plot and zero budget, the production qualities are extremely high and professional. Though there are far more wheels than werewolves, the effects and makeup are reminiscent of Naschy's Hombre Lobo and done very well. This southern gothic tale follows a biker gang that is cursed by a satanic cult after dessicrating their temple, turning them into bloodthirsty biker werewolves! Only recommended if that plot sounds amazing to you.

Rating: 6/10.

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Roman (2006)

Angela Bettis and Lucky McKee swap roles in this dark character study that serves as a companion piece to the phenomenal May. Roman is a disturbed, quirky welder that envisions himself with the girl next door. When they finally hit it off, something goes terribly wrong, and Roman is sent spinning in a downward spiral within his psyche. McKee seems uncomfortable infront of the camera, but it sells the awkwardness of the character. The films strength lies in its slow and careful character development, and though there arent many scares, the film is definitely disturbing. For a small scale, artsy indie horror entry, this is a a unique and interesting viewing experience, but will not serve the tastes of anyone looking for blood and guts.

Rating: 7/10.

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Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007)

Defying all logic, this D2DVD sequel is much better than the remake, and is actually a decent watch. Loaded with gore slash hot naked zombies making out, awesome gags, and a brain amputation. Two rival groups return to the haunted hospital to recover a sacred statue that makes ghosts get naked and make out. Most of them die. The dialogue is pretty throwaway and the plot is generic, but it is visually interesting and plenty bloody. It also creates a solid bridge between the previous film and the backstory. I would actually recommend this to anyone for at least a single "turn your brain off" view!

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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Garbage Day: Howling - New Moon Rising (1995)

This is such an unbelievably terrible excuse for anything, its seriously like they went to the smallest middle American town in the US and just filmed their daily lives at the bar. You see the werewolf (thankfully) once in the closing scene, for one second, and that one second is better than the thousands preceeding it. A mysterious biker holes up in a small western town, when its inhabitants begin dying under mysterious circumstances slash animal attacks. This is bad for a Howling sequel, which in itself should tell you how bad it must be compared to the average horror film. Honestly, the coolest thing about this film was the awesome VHS cover, damn that was sweet, what a deceitful cover.

Rating: 2/10.

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The House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Over stylized garbage horror remake made for the MTV generation. Five strangers are invited to stay the night in an abandoned asylum with the prospect of winning $1M each, if they live through the night! Malone manages to offer style over substance once again, with a few interesting visuals, but no scares and dreadfully forced dialogue. The only thing going for the film are the amazing sets, which is sad considering the above average cast. To top everything off, the film closes with a confusing CG shlockfest to leave the audience dumbfounded. Big pass on this one.

Rating: 5/10.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Garbage Day: Bloodrayne (2005)

Another Uwe Boll masterpiece, with the perfect mixture of terrible unbelievable acting, horrible dialogue, and some of the worst directing and editing brought to the screen. A character that was supposedly killed literally gets up and walks off before one of the cuts. Its that bad. Theres ok blood and gore, sexcellent nude scene, but other than that this film is a travesty. Watch for a range of actors that cant decide if this was a period piece and whether or not they were supposed to have accents. Its like no one was behind the wheel, like there was no script and Boll just said 'Fuck it, there's a vampire, act scared.. And.. GO!' A dhampir (pronounced Dumb-pire) sets out to destroy her father, who raped her mother and sucks in general.

Rating: 5/10.

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Plaga Zombie: Mutant Zone (2001)

Sweet little indie zombie flick that is an absolute must-see for any Evil Dead fan. The film is much bigger in scope and production value than Automaton Transfusion, which shares similar production qualities and budget. A team of misfit heroes battle a plague of zombies after being sentenced to an infected town. Tons of splatter, gore, and humor that transcends the language barrier. Each of the heroes are unique and very funny, and director Pares shows huge potential in his framing and editing techniques. Highly recommended for any B-Movie or zombie fan!

Rating: 8/10
Gore: 10/10.

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Nomads (1986)

Im assuming there is something going on in this movie that I have been unaware of after two views, because I just dont get it. A doctor relives a another man's memories after he dies in her arms. In the visions, the professor follows a roving band of punks that he believes live outside of human comprehension, and live without rules. I cant get past the fact that the visions switch from 1st to 3rd perspective when they are supposedly memories, it destroys the illusion and doesnt make sense. The story itself is ok, but follows the mythology of the Innuat legend without giving much insight of the legend to the viewer. It is presumptuous and poorly constructed in my opinion, but the plot is new and original and does offer decent acting and several suspenseful moments. Check it out if not for a single view.

Rating: 6/10.

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Howling 6 (1991)

This is actually a decently executed carnival / werewolf tale of a man trapped into being an attraction in a traveling carnival headed by a sinister vampire. The makeup is very ambitious and original, with full haunches on the wolf and a bald, black skinned vampire unlike any other. The freaks are empathetic and equally well constructed both visually and emotionally. Though the acting may not be great, this sequel stands out in the series and is a worthwhile watch, recommended!

Rating: 7/10.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Howling 5 (1989)

A tame murder mystery set in an abandoned castle turned tourist attraction that is being visited by a group of elitists from around the world that must figure out who amongst them is a werewolf before its too late. Maybe 30s of screen time for the rug/werewolf that you see in glimpses during choppily edited death scenes and generic acting. Very little gore to make up for the standard plot and slow pacing, but the superior set design does make for decent atmosphere, and it does keep you guessing. It isnt great, but it gets a worse wrap than it deserves and probably has the biggest body count in the series.

Rating: 5/10.

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Wendigo (2001)

One of the rare occasions where the characters were overdeveloped for what little the plot finally accomplishes. A family has a run in with a hunter after hitting a deer, causing a continued strife that comes to a head with the father is mysteriously shot while sledding. The son calls upon an ancient spirit to exact revenge for his father. The characters are slowly and methodically established, presumably to create a bond between the father and audience when he is shot, but the lack of action leads to a slow build with little payoff. The reveal of the spirit in the end is pretty cool, but it is too little too late. Fessenden does show some directorial skill by adapting many interesting camera techniques (mostly stolen), but in the end this is just an ok flick.

Rating: 6/10.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Howling 4 (1988)

Though this entry comes off as a poor retread of the original with very little merit, I consider it to be the scariest of the sequels. The costume of the lead she-wolf is far superior to those of the other films, and it is the most vicious in the series outside the original. The characters and acting are expectantly bland, but if you can make it through to the horror scenes, it offers some decent atmosphere and suspense. A writer leaves for a small town after a stress-induced episode in the city, only to learn that she has taken up residence in a community of werewolves! It is an admitted guilty pleasure, but worth a watch.

Rating: 6/10.

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Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001)

Elvira is back to her kooky hijinks in her long overdue reprisal of the character, but although the film offers some excellent set design and matte paintings reminiscent of the classic Gothic films, it ultimately isnt as smart or punny as the original. Elvira is taken in by a strange family in a Carpathian castle since she resembles the fathers dead wife, when she becomes entangled in murder, lust, betrayal, and bad jokes. The murder mystery is pretty generic, and her usual wit is replaced with cartoony physical gags and cheap laughs. Fans can forgive the inherent flaws, but overall it is a lackluster followup worth a few giggles.

Rating: 5/10.

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Garbage Day: April Fools Day (2008)

Encompasses everything we have come to hate about remakes. Unwatchable. Unlike the majority of horror nazis, I am a huge fan of the original April Fools Day, which was original, smart, and funny. The remake lacks everything that made the original entertaining, with a made for tv feel perpetuated by cardboard 30yr-olds-trying-to-be-teen actors and a new twist (if you can make it to the end) that is forced and contrived. It is nostalgic of the 80s grindhouse slashers only in the sense that it is absolutely unbearable, like trashy slashers The Forest or Sorority House Massacre. Save yourself, pass on this tragedy. A bunch of rich idiots mistakingly kill one of their friends during a failed prank, they get notes that someone knows about it, people die, yatta yatta, it ends at some point, then you snap the DVD in half.

Rating: 3/10.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Howling 3 (1987)

Another genuinely awful sequel, but there is some strange charm about the terribleness that makes the film watchable. It is ripe with self-parody, but unfortunately the humor falls pretty flat and is extremely cheesy. In it, the werewolves take to the outback, and a shewolf becomes romantically entwined with a local boy, resulting in some of the strangest and most disturbing fetal werewolf scenes in history. Bad acting, bad costumes, bad dialouge, bad everything, yet infinitely superior to Howling 2. Werewolf fans, you really have no choice but to see it no matter how bad it is, what the hell else are you going to watch, American Werewolf for the 100th time?

Rating: 5/10.

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Dementia 13 (1963)

A sleek slasher owing much to the success of Psycho, but establishing itself through above average acting, atmospheric settings, and brutal violence. A woman attempts to seize her husbands inheritance by pretending he is away on business and visiting his family back in Ireland after his death. Shortly thereafter, inhabitants of the family castle begin dropping off at the hands of a deranged killer. With several vicious axe attacks both on screen and implied, this is definitely one of the harsher black and white classics, but the story does not fall secondary to the bloodshed, and Coppola delivers a stylish film with a solid foundation and a good (if not expected) ending.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Garbage Day: Anacondas - Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

Throwaway sequel to an ok killer animals flick. Abusive CG, one-sided and uninteresting characters on top of a bland script. A team sets out to find a mythical ruby called the blood orchid, but what they dont know is embedded deep within the mating grounds of giant anacondas! This flick is one step away from being a SciFi Channel original, next thing you know theyll cast David Hasselhoff in the next sequel.. I guess fans of the original might be interested, but I couldnt be bothered with rewatching this one.

Rating: 4/10.

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A Bell From Hell (1973)

A man with a weighty inheritance is released from a mental institute, only to have his aunt and family attempt to drive him mad to usurp his fortune. But they dont know that he wants revenge for them institutionalizing him.. The film crawls to the hour mark, establishing nothing but unlikeable characters and no identifiable hero, then picks up with the revenge theme in the final third. No blood, flacid revenge, and very little bell or hell action (none to be exact). This film is better left forgotten in public domain purgatory.

Rating: 4/10.

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Metamorphosis (1990)

The film makes a valid effort to be a decent zero budget take on The Fly, but it just doesnt make the mark. It enlists a professor who is working to discover the human genome and becomes the hero villain after running tests on himself as the first human subject, thereby transforming him into a scaly beast. The acting is bearable, but the lengthy exposition is inversely porportionate to the amount of action, and the plot is too derivative of Cronenberg's infinitely superior film. The final rubber monster reveal also destroys what little suspended disbelief the film developed and cheapens the effect. Almost worth watching, but not.

Rating: 4/10.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Howling 2 (1985)

Defines 'Terrible Sequel,' but even that doesn't do it justice. Howling 2 is a gem in the fact that it defies logic, mystifies the senses, and completely destroys any chance of establishing The Howling as a serious and artful horror anthology. Rather, we get a porno mocked-up as a horror film with a non-linear (if existent) plot and Christopher Lee in his worst role ever. If you can make Christopher Lee look bad, geez. Karen's brother Ben returns to the old country in an attempt to exact revenge for his sister by destroying Stirba, Queen of the Werewolves, who hosts werewolf orgies set to terrible New Wave in her castle. Despite all of this, it is a must see for all genre fans, since it is literally unbelievable after watching the original. Philippe Mora would go on to direct such classics as Howling 3.

Rating: 4/10.

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The Howling (1981)

Set in the isolated Colony in the mountains, a young newscaster leaves the city after a brush with a serial killer that has been obsessed with having a heart to heart with her. Not long after being there, she comes to find that there is more to her new neighbors than meets the eye, and finds herself trapped by a secluded community of werewolves. To add to the suspense, the killer has gone missing, and files from the retreat prove that he once lived in the same village she now finds herself in. The Howling offers a unique plot line, interesting characters, an extremely creepy atmosphere set by a foreboding forest and fog effects, ground-breaking special effects, and pissed off werewolves. This isn't your daddy's Wolfman; the creatures in this film shred their victims with razor claws and teeth on screen, rather than choking them or alluding to the action off camera. The use of bladders and an array of other brand new effects are implored to create one of the first physical on screen transformations with few cuts, lending credibility to both the makeup and the effectiveness of the creatures. From start to finish, the film is dark and pessimistic, never offering a moment of relief to any of the characters. This succeeds in maintaining the sinister mood, but also makes it more difficult to relate to the protagonists, who are constantly in a state of fear, dread, or panic. It sets itself apart from any other werewolf film before or since, and though I prefer Landis' American Werewolf in London, this is a staple genre film and a must-see for any horror fan!

Rating: 9/10.

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Garbage Day: 976-EVIL 2 (1991)

976-typical straight to VHS sequel. Whats actually amazing about this film is that it was made in the 90s, because the look and quality of the flick would make you think it was shot in the early 80s. Archetype badass motorcycle riding anti-hero (see The Blob) teams up with ditzy blonde (see every movie ever made) to fight the guy that keeps calling them and is coincidentally evil. Guy that plays the bum in every movie (see Body Bags, Wishmaster, et all) also plays a cameo. Hes a bum. But he gets liquidated by a semi, the (only) highlight of the movie. Two 'Why'd I watch this?!' thumbs down.

Rating: 4/10.

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Nightmare Detective (2006)

Visually I really enjoyed the film, with some very interesting effects and concepts playing off of the nightmare theme. The stylism implored by Tsukamoto gives it a very cinematic and finished look, and thematically he takes a bold move and uses dream logic, where anything can happen and sets / characters will randomly change like in a real nightmare. The only hindrance is that the nightmares were interspersed with drawn out detective work that killed the pacing of the film, much like in H. It is a step in the right direction for J-Horror, moving away from a strict diet of ghosts, ghosts, and ghosts. I did enjoy it more on the second watch through. A detective enlists the help of a psychic that can enter people's dreams to catch a serial killer. Worth checking out!

Rating: 8/10.

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Medusa (1973)

An endurance trial involving a brother and sister that are set to inherit a forture along with other benefitiaries, when the others begin dropping off at the hands of a mysterious killer. Throw in a mafia debt, slow pacing, and bland acting, stir, taste, then throw away. The only thing going through my mind the entire film was "At least I only paid $.16 to watch this, the electricity it cost me to run the TV and DVD player was probably more expensive." Lets go with.. Pass.

Rating: 3/10.

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I Eat Your Skin (1964)

A writer and his crew are stranded on an island inhabited by a crazed doctor and a tribe of locals that are immersed in voodoo, and it isnt long before zombies begin attacking the newcomers. Standard 60s horror with awful makeup and effects, however there is some unexpected gore (primarily a beheading via machete) and overt sexuality interspersed with drab dialogue and cheesy zombies. For B-movie fun, this will kill some time, but it is easily passable.

Rating: 4/10.
Gore: 5/10.


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Garbage Day: 666 - The Child (2006)

Terrible low-budget ripoff of The Omen and all other killer kids pics. Cheap effects, awful acting, really nothing going for it at all. The only way to make this flick any worse would be to film it on a handheld video cassette recorder with no mic in the dark. Fake Damian survives a plane wreck and is adopted by one of the newscasters at the scene. People die, no one cares, then its over. Thanks, Asylum, another loser.

Rating: 3/10.

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New Feature: "Garbage Day"

For lack of anything better to do, I will be dumping old reviews of films I have seen that should never be seen by human eyes and that have physically caused blunt trauma to my already damaged brain into the blog. Seeing as how I will never rewatch (most of these) films, there is no other way to torture yourselves through their agonizing reviews than just reposting and breaking my canon of only posting reviews on an "as-seen" basis. Live with it. This feature will be christened Garbage Day in honor of an all-time terrible film Silent Night, Deadly Night 2.

New reviews that do fall into the "as-seen" canon but also qualify as indisputable garbage will be taken out with the trash and thrown in their respective category and the Garbage Day folder so that there is no mistaking that they are terrible.

I'll also reserve this feature for poking fun at movies I just really dont like, and to have some fun with the reviews in a completely flippant manner.

I wish I could say this feature will be posted on a specific day of the week / month / day / celestial alignment, but why make it expected when surprises are so much more fun.. Needless to say, I recommend you pass on these films. Now brace yourselves, it's going to get ugly..

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The Last Man on Earth (1968)

Excellent Matheson adaptation starring Vincent Price as the last survivor of a devastating plague that must destroy the plague-ridden vampires by day. The barren city streets and locations make for excellent settings, and the nocturnal ghouls are extremely creepy, yet subtle. The reversal of the vampire mythos is also a welcome deviation. Compared to other horror entries of the time, this is a great late 60s horror entry, and though Price can be campy at times, he and each of the other actors do the story justice. This version of Matheson's timeless plot comes highly recommended for classics fans!

Rating: 8/10.



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Visiting Hours (1982)

Above average 80s slasher with Michael Ironside in one of his best performances as a deranged killer. A journalist with an anti-violence agenda is attacked by a psychopath and sent to the hospital, where he continues to stalk her down its dark halls. Ironside is revealed very early in the picture, and much of the run time is spent exploring his character. This look into the villains psyche is something new and original for the time, and works well with the film. The biggest problem is that there are three leads competing for screen time, so the audience has no one identifiable character, leaving them identifying with the killer for much of the film and forgetting about the protagonist. Very suspenseful, with several nerve-wracking chase scenes and subtle nuances by Ironside that set this film apart, recommended!

Rating: 7/10.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Children (1980)

Basically the best movie ever made, if you have a liberal interpretation of the word best that also encompasses worst. A busload of children are turned into radioactive mutants by a chemical cloud, after which they return home and burn anyone that comes in contact with them to death. Formulaic and unnecessary, with the little action peaking whenever someone hugs the jacked up kids. Somehow, Harry Manfredini got signed for the music, but every cue is stolen directly from F13th. A big pass on this one, lame killer kids flick that doesnt deliver.

Rating: 4/10.

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Death Weekend (1976)

An ok rape-revenge flick that just feels like too little too late in the wake of LHotL and Night Train Murders. The structure is most similar to I Spit on Your Grave, with a couple pissing off a group of hicks, only to have them kill the man and rape the woman, then have her escape and seek revenge. It will interest fans of the similarly themed films, but the violence, action, and gore are all much milder this time around. The characters are much less comical, but there is nothing to really set the film apart in a time when a films worth was rated on the level of sleaze. Worth checking out, but low priority.

Rating: 6/10.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Night Strangler (1973)

This made for tv sequel picks up right where The Night Stalker left us, with Kolchak in Seattle hot on a new story about a killer strangling women every 21 years to rejuvinate himself with an elixir of life. The story feels formulaic, closely following the successful structure of the original, but that doesnt necessarily hurt it. McGavin is as strong as ever, pushing the buttons of the local police and annoying Vincenzo with his sharp tongue and quick wit. The film's finale takes us into a huge underground lair beneath the city, giving the film a much larger feel and scope. Though the first film is slightly better, this is another excellent made for tv entry and highly recommended!

Rating: 7/10.

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Red Room (1999)

Purely exploitative shock that fails to impress or disgust, leaving the audience with nothing to walk away with. If youre in to people being tortured, drinking piss, and being raped with broken light bulbs, take it, its all yours, but dont expect a cohesive and interesting storyline to tie it all together. Four game show participants must command each other to do whatever it takes to have the others quit in order to win $10M yen. There is some gore, but even that is tame. Leave this to the Exploitation fans.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Uncle Sam (1997)

Fucking terrible. Bill Lustig, of Maniac and Maniac Cop fame, brings us a boring, stupid slasher about a fallen soldier returning home a zombie, only to wreak havok on unamericans at home in an Uncle Sam costume (ironically, his name was Sam, and he's an uncle). Barfy acting, contrived plot and dialogue, and terrible puns all run amok. The film makes attempts at a socio-politico agenda, but it feels entirely forced and this was definitely the wrong film to prove it. A few ok kills, but not worth the watch.

Rating: 3/10.
Gore: 6/10.

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Evilspeak (1981)

Clint Howard plays a dork in a military academy that suffers at his peers feet. He unlocks an ancient and evil book through his computer, then uses Satanic powers to exact his revenge. Howards terrible acting is only outweighed by his sheer ugliness, but outside of a few sweet sets and a bloody ending, the film is a boring drag. We get several hints of suspense that drop off immediately, leaving only the last 10m with any action and brutal gore. Excellent concept, poor execution.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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Night School (1981)

Surprising little slasher gem that has a higher cinematic style than most cheap slasher cashins of the time, along with a few creative deaths (the most memorable being the not-so-merry-go-round). Students of a night school are being stalked and decapitated by a mysterious figure clad in motocycle leathers complete with helmet. Decent pace, standard characters, but a fun watch with plenty of kills. Ranks below House on Sorority Row or Happy Birthday to Me, but it's far better than The Forest or Graduation Day.

Rating: 7/10.

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Night Warning (1983)

Billy gets caught up in a murder investigation when he is caught holding the knife his aunt killed a potential suitor with. The plot thickens when the police investigator finds out that both the victim and Billy may have been gay lovers caught in a lovers quarrel. This unique slasher breaks many taboos, involving homosexuality, incest, and homophobia. After a long but competent build, the tension breaks into a bloody finale. Good overall story and acting, with unconventional turns and a powerful finish. Recommended as an obscure slasher gem!

Rating: 7/10.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Lawnmower Man (1992)

It is a pity that this well-crafted Cyber Punk film will likely continue to lose appeal with new audiences as it ages, because it is very enjoyable and was groundbreaking at the time of its release. Even today, some of the effects like the scenes of Jobe's mental collapse visualized on screen hold up very well, but other visual effects like the polygonal hornets are extremely outdated. The underlying fears of a world controlled and dominated by a virtual takeover are even more prevalent today in a society reliant on computers and the internet, so the film does continue to work on some level. Overall, it is a very good film that may be past its prime, but is completely worth revisiting. A virtual reality developer enhances a dullards brain powers, accidentally giving him extra-sensory powers that he becomes unable to control.

Rating: 8/10.

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Support ILHM by donating DVDs!

ILHM is a labor of love, and is maintained to help provide a supplemental income to cover the costs of my fiendish horror hobby. We will only post non-intrusive advertising and NEVER accept cash donations from followers to help maintain the site, however we will begin accepting DVD, VHS, or other digital media donations from anyone that is looking to thin out their collection or feels compelled to support the site! We are also more than happy to review any and all DVD Screeners, so long as they fit into our Horror canon. If you are interested in donating, please contact us directly at:

carlmanes@yahoo.com

Thanks again to everyone that has made ILHM a growing success!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The World Gone Mad (1933)

When the DA is killed under mysterious circumstances related to massive stock fraud, it is up to a sluethful reporter to crack the case. Another misplaced entry in the Horror Classics 50-pack, which is much more a murder mystery than anything. The usual bland pulp acting, fast talkers, 30s humor.. Offers little to the average horror fan. Pass.

Rating: 4/10.



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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

This tale introduces a love triangle between the gypsie Esmerelda, an evil aristocrat, and a guardsman caught between a class struggle thats ended with the help of a disfigured hermit. The scale of this film is unbelieveable, with literally hundreds if not thousands of participants flooding the scenes in accurate period ensamble. Chaney commands yet another role as Quasimodo the Hunchback, with more impressive early makeup work. The film has been touched by time, but put into the perspective in which it was made, it is a masterwork of early film from the silent era and a solid classic!

Rating: 9/10.



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The Night Stalker (1972)

Before there were the X-Files, Carl Kolchak was on the case as a smartallicky reporter tracking the deaths of 5 girls that had been drained of blood in Las Vegas. This made for tv vampire romp offers excellent acting and smart but subtle effects, with Darren McGavin stealing the spotlight in every scene. The audience is left guessing whether the killings are supernatural up until the end, which comes all too quickly in this fast paced but short flick. Followed up by The Night Strangler and Kolchak: The Night Stalker series, each of which come highly recommended!

Rating: 9/10.

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Raw Meat (1972)

Surprisingly small in scope, but effective suspence/mystery from England. Donald Pleasence plays an eccentric police detective trying to track down a killer in the Underground. Bodies are disappearing, but what he doesnt know is that theyre being eaten! The Descent and Creep have definitely benefited from different aspects of the plot, but with dark, brooding atmosphere and lighting, awesome gory effects, and superior set design, this movie sets itself apart as something new and different for the time.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mother's Day (1980)

Another campy 80s slasher in the vein of Motel Hell. Three girls are kidnapped and tortured by the dullard sons of a deranged mother on their isolated house in the woods. Whats interesting is the familys motivation to train to hunt and kill incase the mom's (assumingly) more insane sister comes to attack them, leading to bizarre scenes and performances. Theres scattered gore, but go in expecting a trashy slasher with dark comic roots and you wont be disappointed!

Rating: 8/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.

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Innocent Blood (1992)

Unsuccessfully tries to marry the vampire film with an organized crime film. A vampiress mistakingly turns an Italian crimelord, and he uses his new powers to try to take over the city with a mob family of draculas. Landis fails to recreate the smart, dark comedy of 'Werewolf,' and we're left with an average vampire tale with one or two decent effects in an otherwise uneventful film. It isnt bad, it just isnt that good.

Rating: 6/10.

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Zombie Honeymoon (2004)

An interesting metaphor for the pain of losing someone to cancer or any other disease. A wife is caught between killing her zombified husband or condoning his cannibalistic tendencies as he continues to transgress into a mindless killer. A smart and original zombie entry, with decent effects, acting, and dialouge for an indie flick. Recommended as a refreshing change of pace that is story based and not an excuse for gore.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

Classic grindhouse fun for the whole family! A boy gives meat pies tainted with rabies to a group of satanic hippies out of revenge for his grafather. A rapid hippie murder spree ensues. Plenty of bloody gags, and an off the wall plot you could have only gotten away with in the 70s. The flick is entirely cheesy, but its the "Damn, that was fun" cheesy and not the "Holy crap, I cant believe I wasted my time with this" cheesy. Liked it much more on each consecutive watch through, definitely worth checking out!

Rating: 7/10.

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Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

More like "Some Crazy Old Bitch Kills Everyone At Her Shitty Motel, Only Its About As Bloody As Punky Brewster. It Also Takes Place On A Mountain." Stupid, boring slasher that couldnt be more conventional unless it had a holiday in the title. I wish I could give the director enough credit to say the MPAA edited the gore out, but even with some more of the red stuff this flick is still garbage. Avoid.

Rating: 4/10.

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One Dark Night (1983)

Weird little film where a girl enters a mausoleum for an initiation, when a telepathetic corpse starts trouble, causing stiff mannequins that sort of resemble corpses to akwardly float around, but not really do anything. The FX are pretty cheesy but they made a valid effort. The movie doesnt get going for about 1hr, but after that it maintains a decent pace. As the movie approaches its climax, the music, lighting, and atmosphere actually contribute to an erie mood. If you can get through the first hour, the ridiculous cheesefest makes for a little fun, but as a whole the film is entirely passable.

Rating: 5/10.

**Note: This is one of two films released in 1983 under the title Mausoleum, although this one ended up dropping the title in place of One Dark Night. The other Mausoleum is quite possibly terribler, with even WORSE effects and acting, and no Meg Tilly.



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Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

A mysterious figure kidnaps an opera singer and proposes to coach her into taking the lead role in the opera as a means of winning her love, but when she learns of his disfigurement, she attempts to escape his grasp. The production designs and makeup work are both amazing for the time, with the opera set still being one of the largest studio sets ever built. Erik is both empathetic and terrifying at the same time as the elusive phantom, and Chaney remains the definitive face of the character nearly a century later. Most of the violence is implied off camera, so dont expect a lot of action, but the film is still very good, though it may not suit the tastes of modern horror fans.

Rating: 9/10.



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