Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stag Night of the Dead (2010)

With a cover like this, I wasn't expected much. Then the opening scene with a girl in a vinyl outfit whipping a naked guy at a stag party seemed to confirm that this would be something I was not going to enjoy.  But oddly enough, once the bachelor party travels to where they're going to spend the night, the film  gets better.

Dean is getting married and his friends have hired a stripper to sleep with him at the bachelor party. Yeah, because all women want to marry a guy who'd cheat on them the night before their wedding.

The party consists of Dean, his future father-in-law, and four friends.  Along with the stripper, they head to an old military base where one of the guys has paid for a night of entertainment, which includes something called Zomball.

The group thinks they're in for a paintball game.  But due to a recent pandemic, people who were infected became zombies. This information was kept our of newscasts and this place is doing business on the down low.

Zomball consists of allowing the group into a fenced off area of the base. Then zombies are released, and the group can shoot them.  The weapons fire laser beams that only stun the zombies for five minutes, and the guns must be recharged.  The group are given rules to follow, but to keep things interesting, the big boss conveniently leaves out some information that will keep them safe.  As in most movies and in life, people don't follow the rules.

After they survive the time limit of the game, the zombies are herded back to their cells and the guys hang out on the base.  Seems odd they'd stay here for the night, but that's what appears to be happening.  It'd be better to go to a hotel.  When the zombies escape their cells, the group need to figure out how to survive and get out of there alive.

Although it's a low budge movie, the acting and camera work are okay. So it's not one of those bottom of the barrel homemade horror movies.  The story veers between an average zombie movie and lame comedy.  A couple of the characters are out of central casting 101, and unlike the cover implies, there's only brief nudity and it's not from the stripper.  The make up on some of the zombies is really good, but on others it's rudimentary.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)

Agent Donna and civilian Taryn are working undercover as pilots for the Molokai charter service. When they take a couple to a deserted beach for a romantic weekend, the girls accidentally intercept some diamonds intended for a drug kingpin. In another bad move, the girls are also transporting a contaminated snake that escapes when it's crate is damaged.

When the bad guys go after the girls to get their diamonds back, hunky agents Rowdy and Jade are called in to help.  Not only do they need to figure out how to protect the girls and take down the drug lord, they've got to find that snake before something horrible happens!

If you've seen one Andy Sidaris movie, then you'll know exactly what you're in for - topless scenes, guns, and ridiculous dialogue. Overall, they're pretty boring unless you want to see nudity, but this one is hilarious. It ups the ante by including death by razor blade Frisbee, a goon known as Shades because he always wears sunglasses, a snake infected with toxins from cancer infested rats (say what?), a radio controlled plane that confounds our female agents, and a guy on a skateboard holding a blow up doll who gets hit by a bazooka.


Amazingly incredible ridiculous dialogue:

"That snake they have is dangerous. It's contaminated!"

(Donna and Taryn, as a toy helicopter flies in and lands in a clearing):
What is that?
It's coming right at us!
Look out! Get out of the way!
Damn, it's landing right here!

Director - "Charlotte, Charlotte. Thank goodness you decided to come. Charlotte, I'm not just some fast talking New York television director. I care for you a great deal.  Trust me, Charlotte."
Charlotte - You practically raped me last night.
Director - That was last night, Charlotte. This is today.

"I want you to listen carefully to everything I have to say.  We had a snake delivered here for the department of health.  Now that snake has been infected by deadly toxins from cancer infested rates."

"If brains were bird shit, you'd have an empty cage."

Rowdy - Who's the girl?
Donna - She's a local. She plays Frisbee with this guy every day.
Rowdy - Hmmmm, good. I can use that.

"The guards name is Shades. We have a file on him."

Chorus of Theme song-
It's a hard ticket to Hawaii
It's not paradise all the time
It's a hard ticket to Hawaii
Although it's like a dream, it's not what it seems

Rowdy is pleased with himself and his speedo
get ready for credits on butcher paper taped to things
Our heroes are Rowdy....
....and the exotically named Jade
This is the reaction of a little girl who sees a snake fifty feet away,
not a drug dealing villain. On the plus side, he must have excellent
eyesight to be able to spot that thing at night when it's so far away.
Meet Taryn and Donna - the women, not the bazooms
The inexplicable series of events that start with a man on a
skateboard hiding behind a blow up doll as he tries to kill
Rowdy and Jade (doesn't that make him MORE noticeable?)
 and ends with Rowdy blowing up said man with a bazooka.
If you can't put your arm in your shirt, just take it off.
Step 1 - line Frisbee with razor blades.   Step 2 - get into friendly game of
Frisbee toss .   Step 3 - substitute razor blade Frisbee resulting in severed
fingers and a damaged jugular. Step 4 -celebrate success with fist pump.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Death Collector (1988)

aka Tin Star Void

In the future, the lawmen are a dying breed.  Jack followed in his fathers footsteps and is the only law in town. He's annoyed that his brother Wade doesn't want to join the family business. But Wade is happy with being incredibly bland and just wants to carry a guitar everywhere he goes.

Wade, who has shockingly sharp cheekbones, hooks up with the girlfriend of crime boss Hawk, and goons are immediately dispatched.  But the goons guns down the wrong bother when Jack is shot while trying to protect stupid grinning Wade.  This sends a bloody Wade running to Hawk's office building to seek revenge.

Since the only law in town was Jack, Hawk can do whatever he wants and has Wade sent to jail.... or their version of jail.  The prisoners outfits consist of a sleeveless t-shirt whose front has been mostly cut away.  Fashion... of the future!  They spend their time moving rocks around while their feet are shackled to make walking difficult.

When Wade is released, he heads back to the bar to continue his singing and get revenge.  Wade is helped by a barmaid who had a relationship of some sort with Jack. Jack had an insurance policy, but Hawk won't pay it since it didn't include a stipulation for murder.  Hawk's got this whole insurance racket wrapped up so that there's always a loophole.

Unfortunately none of this in interesting. I couldn't even make it through the whole movie, bowing out around the one hour mark - and believe me it wasn't easy to get to that point.  There are multiple scenes of Wade singing, and I'm not sure why.  Wade has a way of making everything bland, and his music is no exception. His music could best be described as bland 1950s country lite.  The lyrics are awkward and the music akin to something you'd hear from a vocal group.

The western theme is lost in the post apocalyptic scenery.  It's portrayed via cowboy hats on a few characters, a swinging door in the bar, old western films interspersed with the credits, and Wade's leather outfit with cowhide motif on the jacket and fringe on the leather pants. Yeehaw.

Hello, I'll be your bland singing cowboy hero.
In the future there are shirtless weightlifters who hang out
in bars wearing bandoliers and playing poker?
His cheekbones are so sharp, he could cut meat with that face
Swinging doors? Check. Must be a western.
Coil springs are fashionable earrings after the apocalypse
Prison shirts.... of the future!
This is what happens when you get put in the box.
There's so much bowling after the apocalypse.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Disturbance (1990)

Clay, who was recently released from an institution, attends regular group therapy sessions.  He's haunted by nightmares and hallucinations of demons. But on the plus side he makes a killer sand castle.

One day at the beach he meets Susan. She's playing volleyball with her friends while Clay sits awkwardly near the water building sand castles.  Susan introduces herself and a few days later they run into each other again at the beach.  The two start dating and a montage of adorable dating scenes soon follows.  But Clay's mental issues  soon cause trouble in their relationship.

Susan wonders why Clay won't tell her where he lives or anything about his life. While the viewer wonders why Susan isn't aware that those are red flags warning her to run away from this guy as fast as possible.  Clay lives with his parents, who are concerned due to his prior hospitalization, and because he won't do his chores around the house.  They ask about how his sessions are going with the doctor, but Clay just blows off the question since he's stopped going and is out of Thorazine - with a drug like that we know Clay is in serious trouble.

Clay's hallucinations and dreams start getting stranger, and Susan is alarmed by his behavior.  The last straw occurs when Susan is building a sand castle on the beach, and Clay screams  at her and then tackles her because he sees a demon hand rising up out of the ground.  Susan gets made and later dumps his ass , which causes Clay to go nutzo trying to get her back.  It doesn't seem to be going well based on the bloody hand print on the door of her apartment.

In between watching cartoons at his parents, dating Susan, and working as a dishwasher (prior to getting fired), Clay has hallucinations of killing other women..... or is actually killing other women.  It's not clear if it's his imagination or reality until the end of the film.

This is a low budget independent movie. The lead actor doesn't have any other acting jobs listed on IMDB.  It's not particularly interesting, but it's not the worst thing I've ever seen either.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Posed for Murder (1989)

Laura is a former centerfold for Thrill magazine who is trying to become an actress.  She works out at the gym and goes to auditions for low budget horror movies.  Everywhere she goes, men hit on her and recognize her from her centerfold, (even though she's sometimes wearing some pretty dumpy outfits).

When the owner of the magazine tells her she's going to be the Thrill of the Year and they need another nude layout, she balks.  She's not interested in doing nude photo shoots anymore. But his insistence that she owes him and it will help her acting career, plus her mom being out of some expensive medication, leads Laura to accept the offer. So be prepared for lots of silly expressions which betray that Laura was in fact a real Playboy Playmate.  Yup, she easily pulls out that silly face which says, "oh my, you happened to catch me naked, I'm so surprised!"

Meanwhile a heavy breathing stalker (is there any other type) is following her around killing anyone who hits on her, looks at her, or is her friend.  Who could the killer be?  The sketchy gym owner who tells everyone a Thrill girl is working out at his gym?  The creepy janitor who has a wall full of nude photos?  The tiny lunkhead weight lifter who harassed her at the gym?  The bigger lunkhead weightlifter who put the first lunkhead up to the harrassment so he could rescue her from a creep?  Her ex-boyfriend who just got out of jail after a five year stint and desperately wants to see her?  The sleazy director of the horror flick who recognizes her as a Thrill girl and insists on having her home number? The only person we know it's not is the police detective who does everything by the book.

This is a fairly lightweight movie. It's a thriller without any thrills.  Laura spends most of her time being confused and seeking comfort from a muscle bound, mulleted man who informs her he used to be a cop.  He was kicked off the police force after killing some bad guys without identify himself as a policeman.  He blames that stupid detective who is working Laura's stalker case. You know, the guy who always does stuff by the book, (and looks like a model).

Laura proves to have minimal cranium functioning when, instead of being pleased that a competent detective is running her case, she decides he's a terrible cop because he treated her boyfriend so badly.  It never occurs to her that if her boyfriend got kicked off the police force and hates the guy who follows the law, then maybe her beloved lunkhead is the real problem. Yes, Laura proves to be quite dense when she ups ante by seriously telling the horror movie director that she'll do nudity as long as it's essential to the storyline.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silent Night (2012)

The worst cop in the world - other than Don Knotts as the Shakiest Gun in the West, - bumbles around trying to catch a killer and annoys the heck out of the viewer in the progress.

Officer Aubrey's tiny town is having their annual Santa Parade - wouldn't the multitude of Santas confuse the kids? But a serial killer in a Santa suit is eliminating everyone be believes has been naughty.  The film is very heavy handed since the people killed are so awful that you really don't care they're dead.

Officer Aubrey is working the case, but she keeps coming up with wrong ideas, such as, "They opened the motel room door so they must have known the killer."  Well it's one possibility, but quite honestly they're making a film in the hotel room. So it may not be that unusual for someone to come to the door.  Maybe they were expecting an actor, crew member, or a pizza delivery.  And let's face it, some people just aren't cautious about opening their door to strangers.

The pile of corpses is growing but Sheriff Cooper doesn't want to call for help.  Due to the large herds of Santas roaming the streets, it's not going to be easy to locate a killer dressed as St. Nick.  Just look for the Santa with the flamethrower and sunglasses, and get out of his way.

While this is okay for Christmas horror, it doesn't really have any charm.  Officer Aubrey was so annoying, I just wanted to smack her.  The best part was probably Malcolm McDowell as Sheriff Cooper since McDowell is usually interesting.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Borgman (2013)

Woah, this is one strange flick. Camiel Borgman flees his underground home - which is literally a hole in the forest floor covered with wood and earth to appear as if there is nothing unusual there.  On his way out of the forest, he warns two friends in different underground locations that they need to go asap because there are some men with guns and axes heading their way.

Borgman heads to a rich neighborhood where he knocks on doors asking if he can take a bath.  Since he is a dirty, long haired stranger, no one is receptive to his odd request.  When homeowner Richard denies him access, Borgman pretends he had a previous relationship with Richards wife.  Although wife Marina says she's never met him before, Richards jealousy makes him lose control. He beats the hell out of Borgman, and when Marina goes out to see if he's okay, he's gone.

Later that night when she finds him in the backyard, Marina offers him a bath and allows him to spend the night in the tiny guest house in the back.   The next day he begs to stay longer and says he's in pain due to her husbands beating.  Marina feels guilty and relents, which allows Borgman to start insinuating himself into her families lives.  And that's not a good thing.

This is a film where there are so many unanswered questions and so many interpretations, that you'll be thinking about it long after it's over.  It's a Dutch film so there may be some mythology or cultural aspects that I'm not aware of, but it's a really interesting film.  There's some dark humor in it, and you keep waiting for something to occur that shows a motivation for what is happening.

Many odd things happen and you keep trying to figure out what Borgman is doing. But there are a bunch of twists that come when you think you may be on to something.  More than half way into the movie, another twist occurred and I thought, "what the hell is going on?!" But that was okay because unlike crappy movies where the lack of continuity leads to exasperation, this confusion caused me to become more invested in whatever the heck was going on. I was curious as to how it would play out and if motivation for everyone's actions would be provided.  It's totally open to interpretation, so if you don't like a concrete ending, then you may not like this one. But it was weird and I enjoyed it.


Monday, December 22, 2014

P2 (2007)

In a basic plot along the lines of Die Hard (trapped in a building on Christmas Eve with someone holding you captive/murdering people), Angela unexpectedly has to work late. By the time she's ready to leave, only security is left in the office building.

When her car won't start, she goes to the security office in the parking garage. and asks guard Thomas for help.  He is unsuccessful in charging her battery, so she heads upstairs to wait for a cab.  But when it arrives, she discovers the buildings doors  are locked and she can't get out.

Going back down into the garage, she is chloroformed by Thomas and awakens chained to a table and wearing a gown. Meanwhile Thomas is heating up a Christmas Eve dinner for them to share, and acts like they're on a date.  She tries to convince him to let her go because she has plans with her family. But Thomas is a creepy psycho stalker so instead of releasing her, he makes her call to let her sister know she won't be attending because she's ill.

The rest of the movie follows the standard formula - try to escape, get caught, finally escape, get caught, try again, get chased and later caught, etc.



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Don't Blink (2014)

A group of friends go to an isolated lodge for the weekend. When they arrive, there is no one there.  The door is unlocked, there is half eaten food on the tables, make up on the bathroom counter, but no one to be found. It looks like everyone must have left in a hurry.

The group splits up to search the property in the hope of finding someone who will let them know what is going on.  While looking around, they realize that it is extremely quiet even for a remote mountain.  This is because the area is void of birds, wildlife, and insects.

When members of their group start disappearing, there is a disagreement about whether to leave or stay the night.  Due to lack of gas for the return trip (well that was some crappy planning), and not wanting to leave their missing loved ones behind, the group locks themselves in the lodge and waits for morning. But this doesn't prove to be an adequate defense against whatever is happening because before they know it someone else has disappeared.

This has an interesting premise, but the film ends without any explanation, which could either be frustrating or spark a great deal of pondering what happened, depending on where your thought process lies.  I'm sure I've seen too many horror movies, but I'd have been desperately searching for the key to the gas tank at the lodge (a car was there with a hose already in his tank - wouldn't they have already had the key for the gas?). There's no way I would have stayed there because the situation is super creepy.  At the very least, let the people who want to leave go for help and the rest can stay and look for their friends.

I am not a fan of Brian Austin Green. He wasn't bad, but I just don't like him. All I can think when I see him is stupid old, annoying David Silver, the Vanilla Ice of 90210.  Nope, just can't get past it.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Shredder (2003)

A group of college kids head to the mountains for a weekend trip to a ski lodge where they plan to totally shred. Oh yeah, these kids are awesome snowboarders and they just like to have fun. They ain't hurtin' no one.

When they stop at a gas station, the girls meet Cristof.  Kimberly invites him to joint them at the lodge. Because what girl wouldn't invite a hunky European charmer she's just met to spend the weekend at an isolated mountain?  Well, usually not a girl traveling with her boyfriend.  Poor Cole is not amused at this turn of events since he expected a romantic weekend with Kimberly and he's already giving a ride to five or six other people she invited. Kimberly is a terrible girlfriend.

When they arrive at the lodge, they find that rich obnoxious Kimberly has mislead them. The lodge is abandoned and they need to break the chain on the fence in order to get in.  The shredders (as one kid refers to himself) begin shredding down the mountain, and have a great time until the Sheriff shows saying he's going to run them in for trespassing.   Not only is the place dangerous because it's been abandoned, but what with the murders it's not a good idea to stay there. Say what now?

After the girls flirt with the idiot Sheriff and Cole bribes the man to leave, Kimberly tells them the story of a little girl who was murdered at the lodge by snowboarders. Well, they didn't actually kill her, but crowded her on the slopes while taunting her, and she went off the trail.  Cristof seems to know more details than a stranger from Europe should know, and the gang wonders if they should stay at some place with a murderer on the loose.  A beer run results in all the locals giving the kids the stink eye, and the bartender warns them not to go to the mountain because everyone in town hates snowboarders. Okay gang, back to the party!

Soon a killer dressed in black is orchestrating their deaths, and a local snow bunny is skiing on the slopes and getting friendly with one of the group, much to the chagrin of her father.  Since another snowboarder that Kimberly invited for the weekend didn't show up, she's decided to pursue Cristof, and poor dumb Cole doesn't know what's going on right in front of his eyes.  Oh no, who could the killer be?

There's nothing special about this one, but it's an okay way to kill some time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Tale (2008)

It's Christmas week in 1985 and five friends find a woman in a Santa suit lying at the bottom of a hole in the woods.  After discovering she's still alive, two of the boys go to get the police while the others keep the woman company.

The policeman at the front desk tells the kids to have a seat, which turns out to be because he's on the phone talking about cooking and recipes.  While waiting for someone to listen to them, the kids discover a notice which states the woman they've seen is wanted by the police and considered dangerous. Rushing back to their friends, the group decides to give the woman some food but leave her in the hole until they figure out what to do.

Later that night, one of the kids see a TV news report about the woman, named Rebecca, who is wanted for stealing $2 million from a bank. The kids decide they won't let her out until she tells them where she hid the money. When she says no, they decide more persuasion is in order and stop giving her food.

Soon the group starts splintering into different factions. A few kids think this has gone on long enough and want to turn Rebecca over to the police.  The others want are willing to let her die, if that's what it takes to get the money. Also there is a concern that if the police are involved, Rebecca will get them in trouble for what they've done to her.

The kids like to hang out in an abandoned amusement park, and a few like to watch an old movie called Invasion Zombie.  The movie includes a scene with a voodoo ceremony, which two of the boys perform near the hole when they suspect Rebecca has died.  When she disappears from the hole, the question becomes has she escaped, or come back to life as a zombie?  Either way, there's soon a screaming, limping, bloody woman holding an ax and wearing a Santa suit trying to kill them.

This was a pretty interesting movie.  I wasn't sure what to think at first since the kids are twelve or thirteen. But it has a bit of a Stand By Me or The Goonies feel, just not as much charm. Plus a couple of the kids are far more brutal than in those movies.  The movie has several 80s references.  One of the kids has an obsession with the Karate Kid, and when the group decides they need aliases, they each take the name of an A-Team member.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Slay (2005)

When an angel beats one of Satan's minions in a curling contest, the demon is forced to be a jolly Santa for 1000 years.  Now that the bet is complete, the demon has come to Hell Township for revenge.

High school student Nicholas Yuleson works in a deli and his grandfather is the towns resident weirdo.  When Nick goes home for the night, he discovers his grandfather has a bunker in the basement and an old book which tells the story of Santa's bet with the angel.  Nick starts to think perhaps there's some truth to the rumors about his grandfathers sanity, but doesn't ponder how grandpa installed a bunker without him noticing.

Meanwhile Santa is roaming through town killing at will and Nick has decided to buy some gum.  While at the gas station, he hears the police scanner squawk that the deli has been hit by vandals.

Nick arrives before the police and discovers his boss at the point of death, who revives long enough to mutter that Santa is responsible. Nick suddenly there might be something to the stories his grandfather's been telling. But since he's found at a crime scene and has been touching everything - including the murder weapon - the police bring him to the station.

After being questioned, Mac gives Nick a ride home and the two cross paths with Santa who is looking for the damn angel who started all this crap with that stupid bet.  Now Mac, Nick, and grandpa must band together to stop the evil Santa from killing everyone in town.

I saw this movie years ago and found it annoying.  But a friend of mine swears by it and watches it every year so I decided to give it another chance.  I can see why I was annoyed by it, since it's got humor that would probably be best enjoyed by teenagers.  But the movie was okay.  Goldberg is massive and the hell deer that pulls his slay is an actual buffalo.  It's a movie in the vein of Silent Night Deadly Night 1 and 2. I prefer those over this one, but it you are in the mood for stupid jokes and a killer Santa, this might fit the bill.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

C.H.U.D. (1984)

Photographer George and his model girlfriend Lauren rent a loft space where they can live and George can have his darkroom.  George is currently photographing the homeless, but some of his subjects haven't been around lately.

AJ is a former criminal who runs a soup kitchen and has noticed that most of his regulars who live in the subway tunnels have disappeared. Due to the volume of missing people, AJ reported this to the policy, but Chief Bosch doesn't take an interest in the report until his own wife disappears from the neighborhood.

With multiple reports of missing people, Bosch tries to get support from the local government officials. But they ignore him and tell him to keep things quiet.  So Bosch and AJ track down George, and when he's not home, they end up rifling through his darkroom to find photos to support their suspicions.

It turns out there is something terribly wrong in the tunnels and the government is involved in a cover up involving C.H.U.D.s - Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.  These monsters are hungry and have discovered that there is more food to be found by coming up from the underground.

Horror movies front the 1980s tend to a have charm that recent movies lack.  C.H.U.D. is an enjoyable flick with decent actors.  It's got monsters and a simple storyline. Also it's much better than C.H.U.D. II, which veers into wacky teen comedy territory.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hack (2007)

A group of college kids looking for extra credit go on a class trip to an island.  Their professor proves to be a bad judge of character because he chooses the only island owned by serial killers.  Usually colleges are a a bit more careful about where they bring students for class sponsored activities since they don't want a lawsuit on their hands.

Whenever the plot involves a killer targeting a college class, I always have the same question.  How does the killer ever think that no one will notice when an entire class disappears?  Yet that's never addressed in any of the movies that use this plot line.

This movie seems to want to use cliches to skewer the genre, but the problem is that it becomes the very cliche it's hoping to skewer.  This isn't scary or funny, and the most interesting thing about it is that one of the stars is a grown up Winnie Cooper from Wonder Years.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

One Hell of a Christmas (2002)

Getting desperate to find Christmas horror movies I've never seen, I decided to track down One Hell of a Christmas.  The make up on the cover didn't give me much hope, but I figured what the heck.

Carlitos is released from prison after spending two years behind bars. He wants to see his son and be the best Dad ever.  His friend Mike is supposed to give him a ride, but never shows up.

Mike is a crappy friend.  He likes drugs and scamming people.  So he's not a great person to hang out with when you're an ex-con trying to get on the right path in life.  Get a clue, Carlitos.

Mike ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time when a mystery man shows up while Mike's at his drug dealers home.  The guy is there to reclaim the the magic claw stolen from him and sold to the dealer.  Everyone ends up dead, except  Mike who manages to snag the claw and run away before the killer finds him.  Yeah.... Mike's not too bright.

While hiding from another dealer whom he owes money, Mike finds out that the claw can produce a  black charcoal-like powder. Mike's such a junkie that he snorts it, which gives him a new high and powers he couldn't imagine.  Mike decides to share this gift with Carlitos, who despite his insistence that he wants to go straight, needs very little prodding to snort the charcoal and hire a hooker. This is the start of things going horribly wrong for Carlitos, and eventually results in a spirit animating a dead girl, a stuffed bear, a cowboy on a movie poster, and a windup Santa. So get ready for Carlitos to have some really stupid fights.

There's not much good you can say about this one.  It's not very good. The makeup is basically what you see on the cover, there's not a whole heck of Christmas in the movie, and the characters aren't likable. Watch this if you're trying to watch any Christmas horror themed movie that you haven't seen. Otherwise you can skip it.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is a prequel to the other two Cabin Fever movies, which tells how the flesh eating virus spread to the general population.

Mark's friends decide that it would be a great idea to have his bachelor party on a deserted island the night before his wedding.  So not only does Mark have to worry about getting up on time, and making sure he doesn't puke on his tuxedo, he also has to worry about whether the local who dropped them off on the deserted island remembers to come back and pick them up.

While they asked to be taken to an uninhabited island, the boat brings them to a beach where a large industrial type house can be seen on a bluff at the other end of the island. When they complain that the island isn't deserted as requested, the captain states the people who live in the house are away, so it's like no one lives there. I'm sure they'll be fine. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

The friends set their tents up on the beach, and start getting high while one couple goes snorkeling.  But instead of swimming through beautiful blue waters full of tropical fish, they end up swimming in what is essentially a fish graveyard, where rotting carcasses drift in the current.

The two exit the water quickly but while she's changing, the girl discovers a rash on her arm.  It starts to spread to other parts of her body. As the night progresses, she gets worse and worse.  When her blood starts flowing and her skin starts getting gooey, the guys aren't sure what to do. Their cell phones don't get reception, and the boat won't be back until morning.

Mark and his buddy decide to hike to a higher point on the island to see if they can get cell reception. When that doesn't work, they head towards the house to find a phone.  What they don't realize is that the house contains an underground research facility that is housing test subject Porter, the only survivor of a deadly virus.  He seems to be immune, and the scientists are trying to determine why. The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, and everyone other than Porter who've been exposed have become infected and died.

I liked the first Cabin Fever movie, and the second was okay. The third is pretty average and I'd pick the other two over this one.  This one starts off as a mess since we're not informed who Porter is or what's going on. Then there's a sudden jump to Mark and the pre-wedding dinner. It's an average movie with characters that you don't really care about, and you'd think the scientists would have been more careful.  One thing going for this is the special effects are pretty disgusting.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

To All A Goodnight (1980)

A prank gone wrong results in the death of a student.  Two years later, the semester is over at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls, and the girls are headed home to spend Christmas with their families.  All except five young ladies whose parents aren't around. They'll remain at school during the break.

As with all young women in horror movies, they're interested in smuggling some young men into the house for a party.  The housemother is drugged with sleeping powder in her milk, and the boys fly in on a private plane since one of the kids is rich and has a pilots license.

Nancy is the odd girl out. Unlike the other girls, she's shy, naive, and never been kissed.  While the other girls are partying  and having sex, Nancy pours herself a glass of milk and gets into her pajamas.

What the kids don't realize is there's a killer in a Santa Claus suit stalking those left on campus.  He's already killed one couple, and is getting ready to wipe out the rest of them.

The next day two couples are missing, but no one worries since they figure the couples have gone off to make out.  But when Nancy stumbles over a body on the grounds, someone finally realizes there's more going on and the police are called. The solution - everyone stay inside and they'll leave two officers there for the night. Since this is a horror film, and the officers are drooling over the barely legal teens, we know that nothing is going to be okay.

I've been wanting to see this for a long time. It's been out of print and I love a good 80s slasher. Plus it's one of the earliest killer Santa movies.  So I was glad to see it was recently released on DVD.  It's not the most exciting slasher you'll ever see.  Most of the kills are out of nowhere. So the victims aren't aware that anything is amiss, and there's no tension for the viewer since the film hasn't even let us in on the fact that the killer is near. I wasn't expecting anything brilliant, so I wasn't disappointed.

This stars Jennifer Runyon in her first movie role. I always liked her because she tended to play characters that were sweet, and this film is no exception.  There's an interview with her included as an extra, and she seems very nice in real life also.  There are also two other interviews included and all three are worth watching.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Wind Chill (2007)

After her finals, a college girl trying to get home for Christmas   miraculously finds a listing on the ride board for someone going to Delaware.  When she meets up with the driver, we discover she's a jerk with a bad attitude. She shows up two hours late, and then complains about how far away the guy parked and the guy has too much stuff in the trunk.  (Later we find out she left some of his stuff in the parking lot so she could put her suitcase in the trunk. Seriously? What kind of jerk does that? Also it was unnecessary since there was room in the backseat.)

The girl spends the first part of the journey talking on her phone, which ticks off the guy since part of the ride share experience is providing company for the driver. It's a six hour trip and the guy isn't pleased that she's being so rude.  The girl grudgingly talks to him for a short time and things get creepy since he seems to know a lot about her even though they've never met.  Even creepier, he makes a comment about how she looks good in her glasses, but she's only worn them in the her dorm.

After a stop at a gas station, they get back on the road.  The weather report warns of a storm, but that doesn't stop the guy from veering off the highway onto a snow covered road.  The girl insists he go back, but he says it's a scenic route. Then he says it's a shortcut and eventually her protests cease.  This is strange considering she's already creeped out by the guy, he knows too much about her, and he's taking her down a narrow, barely plowed road and they know there's a storm on the way.

A fair distance down the road, a car going in the opposite direction runs them off the road.  Unable to push their car out of the snow, they realize they're stuck, there's no cell reception, and it's getting dark.  Now they have to figure out how to survive subzero temperatures while trying to figure out if the people they see  walking in the woods are real.

Most of the movie is just the two leads, who are never named, trying to deal with their situation.   It relies on atmosphere rather than blood to set the tone. Whether it's effective or not would depend on what you're used to watching.  I didn't find it scary.

One thing that drove me nuts was the guy shut off the dome light to save the battery, but left the headlights on the whole night. Stupid son of a bitch.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Incubus (2006)

Hoooboy, it's a Tara Reid flick. Well, that doesn't bode well for the viewer.

After their van crashes through a guardrail, a group of friends decide to walk to the next town ...because no one got injured when they rolled their van. The group are afraid of being stuck outside in the cold at night. So I guess that means they were totally ill prepared for the camping trip they were on.

The brainiacs decide to take a short cut through the woods - a bad idea in real life, let alone in a horror movie.  They believe flailing through the brush will be quicker than walking down the road. You see, the road curves but they can go in a straight line through the woods.  Anyone who's ever tried walking a straight line through unfamiliar woods will know this is a bad idea.

Their calculations are incorrect and it gets dark while they're still traipsing through the trees. Coincidentally, just as they decide they need shelter, motion sensitive security lights blaze and they discover an old bunker to their left.

"It's not on the map," one person helpfully observes, not realizing that bunkers hidden in the middle of the woods and absent from the map are not a place you should ever visit.  After ignoring the no trespassing sign and kicking a hole in the fence, they knock on the door to ask for help.  No one answers.  So Jay (played by Tara Reid) and her brother climb onto the roof and break in through a skylight. Because if there's one thing hidden mystery bunkers are known for, it's their hospitality to people who break in.

Although they didn't think to bring appropriate clothing for their camping trip, they do have the equipment to rappel into the building.  Jay is the first down, and tells the others it's okay to come in.  One of the girls thinks this is a bad idea, and once the others are in, she jets off without telling the others she's leaving.

While the group is rappelling into the building, Jay goes exploring and trips over a tongue.  No one shall ask how a grown woman could trip over a human tongue.  What kind of messed up walk does she have?  Wouldn't the toe of her shoe just push it?  It's not like the tongue was bolted to the floor.  And how'd she miss a single object in the middle of the concrete floor?  Nothing else there, and whoops, tripped on a severed tongue.

With a couple of dead bodies and a tongue on the floor, the group decides it might be time to leave, but the front door is locked. So they do the next best thing. They explore and discover a large room with a walkway that leads to a locked glass booth with a man strapped in a chair with tubes going into him.  It's not in their best interest to interact with him since they don't know if this is a quarantine situation.  So they unlock the door and start touching him. So much for airborne disease safety. Luckily he's only a serial killer who can use his mind to possess people. Hurrah!

So there you have it.  Trapped in a bunker with a killer with a magic mind, and no way out. What to do?  Something stupid, you ask?  Yes. Yes, indeed.  The movie provides a ton of exposition through the amazing Jay who randomly picks the one room in the complex that contains the files about his mystery man.  Thankfully she is also a speed reader since she plows through all the papers within a few minutes and knows the entire history of his life and the secret government experiment taking place in the bunker.

This is a ridiculous movie full of stupid people doing stupid things.  If you came up with a plan to determine if the coma patient was possessing people, wouldn't you devise a way to counter this possession, if it in fact occurred?  You don't just let the person be possessed and then scream like a madman. Oh no! What do we do? How did that happen? Let's kill it!

Questions this movie will make you ponder include:  if you found a room in a bunker with a comatose person locked in a glass booth, would you keep hanging out there, or think it was super creepy and get the hell away from it?  Why would you use a flashlight when the overhead lights are on?  How come all the flashlights fail at the most inopportune time?  How can the killer speak so well when he's missing a tongue?  Has the writer ever heard of atrophy because that coma victim has no issues with his muscle tone.  And why does Tara Reid think that crying involves saying, "eeeeh hehehehe, ooooooohhhhhh, eeeh hehehe, oooooh, a hahahahah"?  That is some of the worst fake crying I've ever seen in a movie.

Of course no one's hurt. The van only rolled fifty feet
after it went through the guardrail.
The mystery house not on any maps looks so welcoming.
What a charming place to spend the night.
A catwalk that goes to a locked glass room that contains
a guy in a coma?  Nothing suspicious about that.
This looks perfectly safe.
Uhhhh.....weren't you in a coma?
An appropriate reaction to a creepy guy trying to kill you.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Children of the Corn (1984)

Burt, who just got his PhD, and girlfriend Vicky are on their way to his new job when they hit a kid standing in the middle of a country road.  Being a doctor, Peter quickly ascertains that the childs throat was cut prior to the accident and he decides to get the hell out of there.

Stopping at a nearby gas station to use the phone, the old man works there tells them they're out of luck. He also advises them to stay out of Gatlin, which is only three miles away, and head to the next town to find help.  But all roads seemingly lead to Gatlin, so Burt and Vicky drive into the oddly quiet town.

Unable to find anyone on the streets or any open businesses, Vicky wants to leave but Peter insists they find a phone, or locate someone in town.  This is unfortunate. Because what they don't know is three years earlier, the children massacred all the adults.

The children answer to boy preacher Isaac. He takes his instructions from the creepily named He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and enforces his will with the help of Malachi, a menacing teen who carries a sickle and dispenses punishment to children who break the rules.

On the way out of town, Burt sees the front door of a home swing shut. Upon investigation, Burt and Vicky find two children playing in an upstairs bedroom.  If only they'd just kept driving.  Malachi and his minions are heading to the farmhouse.  Soon the rest of the evil children in town are ready to murder Burt and Vicky just like they did all the other adults.

Originally I saw this in the theater and was freaked out by Isaac, Malachi, and the name He Who Walks Behind the Rows.  Watching it again, the scares didn't hold up as well, but the concept is still super creepy.  I always wonder how no one would know an entire adult population of a town has disappeared. Did no one have relatives outside the town?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Demon of the Paradise (1987)

Illegal dynamite fishing awakens a reptile monster man who begins eating people.  The local resort is afraid of losing tourist dollars and doesn't mention this potential consequence of staying at their hotel.  Typical, since we all know seaside resorts regularly risk the lives of unsuspecting patrons because it would cost money to warn tourists of the potential of impending doom.

There is a super creepy reporter who wants his story and isn't going to be scared off by any damn monster.  A herpetologist who is researching the legend of the monster and wants to discover this new species.  The hideous resort owner who promotes her business by using the creature as a tourist attraction and even has a monster egg hunt on the hotel grounds.  Superstitious natives who try to soothe the creature with their tribal dances and lei's. Needless to say it doesn't turn out well. for anyone  There's also the Sheriff and Army who run away in the face of danger.

The concept is better than the actual movie, which is slow moving and not that interesting - a lot like the creature.