Wednesday, October 10, 2018

WNUF Halloween Special


Just like Christmas specials and Thanksgiving specials have been (and most likely still are) a thing to illicit the spirit of whatever holiday that they are coinciding with, there are also countless Halloween specials out there to get everyone in the mood for candy, costumes and Satan. Well, maybe not really the devil in his entirety, but just the small parts that have to do with having horns, a red tail and a three pronged pitch fork. Camp Motion Pictures/Alternative Cinema have been my favorite indie horror house and distribution company since terror became my hobby and my love almost nine years ago-and I firmly believe that what they have concocted here with the WNUF Halloween Special really is something special. Just automatically tossing this piece of nostalgic wonderment into the found footage folder next to the likes of The Blair Witch Project and Quarantine really would be one helluva injustice considering the finesse', dedication and genius it must have taken from the Camp crew to put this amazing piece together. It truly feels like you are watching someone else watch a random VHS tape that they found lying around (or maybe that they found at a local Goodwill for a dollar) and curiosity struck a chord for them to slide this into their VCR-and you just happen to be their best friend that was invited to check this thing out. The commercials and ads that are in between the news broadcast hosting the Halloween special really are true-to-life recreations of local businesses trying to promote their services to the community that they live in, and man did that shit bring back memories of the type of commercials like that that I used to soak in when I was little. It does know how to build up that old school tension of sitting there waiting for the main program to start, and when it does there is absolutely nothing but pure excitement. 

The rewinding of a VHS tape. Magnetic memories.

"High Pike" farms-kind of stretching it, aren't we?

Deborah, you cast that spell on me-of witchcraft.

My kids could go trick or treating with the guy that drives the ice cream truck.

A build up to the main event begins.

Witchie poo! That's classic.

It's blasphemy that you don't want kids to have a good time by dressing up and getting candy.

Yeah Mrs. Harris, I am going to laugh because of how pathetic you sound.

I'm going to Tokens to play some Gauntlet! Hell yeah!!

      1-900-Monster? Give 976-Evil a shot. Hoax is waiting.

 Damn, this Webber house story could be real.

Zits and zombies, if you were at all growing up in the 80's and remember anything from watching television during that era, the WNUF Halloween Special is an absolute blast to sit through. There really isn't much to complain about here except that maybe some of the scenes during the film get fast forwarded through that you would more than likely want to see and there are a couple of the same commercials that do repeat, but that honestly just adds more to the realism of making this feel like it was all taped off of t.v. and was lost in your friends' sock drawer for the last 30 or so years and just rediscovered it a few days ago. The actual Halloween special itself is great and really is something that would have been aired during the late 80's, complete with corny jokes, paranormal mediums and a priest that really isn't a priest. Oops. It builds itself into something sinister and somewhat obvious at the finale, but there was never anything that detracted from the fun of it all. Turn your dials to channel 28 because this it-this is the special you've all been waiting for. Anything is better than the Star Wars Christmas Special. Yeah.... let's not go there.    

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Murder Party


Sometimes going into a film you know nothing about lends itself to things like surprise and wonder. Maybe you'll see something shocking, and maybe you won't. Maybe you'll soak in a scene that will stay with you for awhile and maybe you won't. Murder Party is chock full of "maybe you won't"'s. A fucking massive disappointment is an understatement when it comes to this piece-even though I had absolutely no expectations at all, and there is relatively nothing memorable about the experience of sitting through this to the end. It opened up kind of promising with kids going trick or treating, jack-o-lanterns getting smashed because teenage boys are assholes, and some solidly dark ambient music which fills the initial frames with a hint of grandiosity and wide-eyed curiosity. I didn't like any of the characters, all of their costumes were absolutely flat, Alexander is a fucking heap of human douche-baggery and the "comedy" that gets set up and spewed during the entirety of main man Chris being tied to an office chair while a bunch of insecure losers try to figure out how to kill him for "art's sake" pretty much made me laugh... never. One of the main selling points of Murder Party is supposed to be the gore contained inside, but it wasn't even close to being enough for it to be great. Everyone really does eventually die-just dumbly and uneventfully. Probably the worst, most drawn out scene that kept going and going was a scene where Alexander gets a bunch of needles out and tells everyone that they are going to play "extreme truth or dare" and everyone proceeds to inject themselves with truth serum and starts throwing secrets around. He even puts some of the serum in a piece of pizza. It drags on and on for at least twenty or thirty minutes and felt like it was never going to end. 

How dare you destroy that jack-o-lantern.

You could never be lonely if you have a huge bowl of candy corn and are about to watch "Scarewolf" on VHS.

Where's my invite to the murder party?

Dude, you're going to a Halloween party, not LARPING.

Heading to a milk bar.

Someone died-but it wasn't the LARPING guy.

It's to late for no alcohol and no weed.

Hey Alexander-you're a douche. I hope you fucking die.

"I was just going to chop his dick off and set him on fire."

I'll take "that's fucking lame for $500, Alex".

Truth pizza. I'm not hungry.

"I'll make sex with pillow."

Okay... when is this truth or dare bullshit going to be over.  

Even though I feel like I completely destroyed any want for any of you zits and zombies towards watching Murder Party, it isn't complete trash. It has a mountain of flaws to contend with, but it does sport a layer of homage towards the horror film community what with Chris' choices in movie rentals on VHS, the Halloween season, what little gore it has (even though pretty much everyone gets killed by an axe, chainsaw or some other form of tool) and I was ecstatic when Alexander was finally snuffed out. I hated that guy. Murder Party really is a throw away flick to watch if but once during the fall or Halloween time. Horror purgatory at it's finest. Maybe not. Full circle. Time to put on my cardboard armor and watch Scarewolf.      

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Scalpel/False Face (Arrow Video blu-ray)


If I did what any other normal film/horror reviewer does by putting together a best of the year list instead of the worst, Scalpel in general would be somewhere in the top five. No joke. This is absolutely one of the best and most twisted psychological thrillers out there, and I find it somewhat of a shame that not to many of you inspirational undead out there have heard of it. There isn't much "horror" in it per se', but when everything that Dr. Reynolds has built up around him finally cultivates into a sick urge to have some rapey time with his actual daughter towards the end of this craziness-there's a pretty wrong and sick feeling that just sits there at the back of your throat wanting to expel itself. I found this film on VHS at the Gordyville flea market in the central Illinois days for fifty cents, and the cover just captivated me. It was an absolute blind buy because how messed up could a film named Scalpel be? Very. Even with this very lovingly printed on blu-ray by the God-like horror/cult distribution powerhouse Arrow Video, going back and watching this on my old and beat up copy of magnetic magic certainly has a strange, fuzzy and grainy feeling to it that is close to fever dream quality. The blu however is absolutely gorgeous and this release by Arrow gives you the option to watch it in the original Edward Lachman film grade which features the initial strong warm yellow and green tones from the master film stock and/or VHS tape along side the Arrow film grade which is presented in a more clean, natural look to the overall color levels and grain. The version I soaked in with my double vision as I threw down some notes was the Lachman grade because I am already used to seeing this film in that yellowed southern gothic style, as that is how it looks on the VHS. 

21rst century alchemists. Cool label. I dig it.

So many funerals lately. I don't need to see this.

Well, Heather is rich all of a sudden.

There's no reason to be depressed when someone passes away. You can't stop death.

Hamburger lady? If you get that reference... please let me know.

That skin extraction always gets me. Just-yuck.

Damn doc-this is one fucking elaborate plan to get your father's inheritance.

Family reunions are interesting.

Technically this isn't incest. But it's still weird.

Those catering girls look just as tasty as the food they are serving.

Sorrow is always buried in art.

 Scalpel is completely loaded with tense moments, people dying, funerals, drinking, incest, greed... the list for this film goes on longer than what I want to put in here. The basis that really works here and makes this piece really memorable is the fact that Dr. Reynolds is just bonkers and has no problem killing literally anyone in front of other people. His daughter runs away pretty much right at the beginning of the film, and he basically uses one of his patients that has the same build and stature to perform plastic surgery on her to make her identical to his own daughter. This really opens up when Heather eventually returns and cooks a pretty big meal for all three of them, leaving Jane (the fake Heather) feeling like there's no reason to even be there anymore. There are so many damn layers to this that keep piling up and piling up until Reynolds can't even tell which girl is his daughter and which one isn't and tries some horrible things on Heather that I mentioned earlier that make his darkness that much more palpable. Zits and zombies, participate in getting a copy of Scalpel for your collection. This deserves it. I just hope that if you inherit five mill, you won't have to hatch a plot for it. Enjoy it.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Teeth


Way, way back in my late teen-early twenty's years I had worked at a newspaper warehouse with a lot of really weird and idiotic people as co-workers. 2007 was one of the last years I kept this piece of shit as my place of employment before I ended up quitting to move out of state to New Mexico of all places-and one of my last memories before leaving was a conversation I had with a couple of guys that worked there that were around my age about a horror flick they had watched the weekend prior called Teeth. Yes, it really is more than likely what you think it is as it is a terror flick that revolves around a young girl by the name of Dawn that, you guessed it... has teeth in her vagina. As stupid and ridiculous as that may sound, that's what it is. And that's it. It took me more than eleven years to finally give this thing a go, and it didn't sit with me as well as I had been hoping it would have. The idea and premise behind Teeth is actually kind of original as I don't think I've ever heard of any kind of film before this one that actually took a chance at making somewhat of a strange and obvious notion a real thing in any kind of a motion picture. I think my main issue with this while I was taking my notes was that every single male that Dawn runs across is an absolute asshole-ish scumbag that wants nothing more with her than to just bang her brains out because of her very strong wills and convictions towards abstinence. They want to make her swipe her v-card, give up the ghost and pop that cherry if you can ride the wave that I'm casting, but the point is that I really had a hard time getting past the pacing and just the awkward performances that every character portrays during the course of this horror outing. I still don't really get the whole contrast between her and her step brother as she is supposed to be and angel and he's a devil or something.... I don't really know because even in the context of this mess of a film the scenes that contain Brad and his girlfriend smokin' dubs, listening to metal and fucking doggy style pretty much have nothing to do with what is going on with Dawn. It just felt unnecessary and was pretty much there as sort of comedic relief or whatever, but it never worked and drug the film down.

    Looks like the power plant that Homer works at.

Kids will be kids... I guess.

Were promise rings really that big of a thing?

Who's this asshole? Wayne Static with a shaved head?

   Damn these teens are fucking squares.

Sex and spelunking.

Radscorpion!

Masturbating is normal. I hope you know that.

Okay-that's enough man-ass in the locker room. Five seconds is long enough.

Those stalactites are cool. Look, I have a boner!

"I haven't jerked off since Easter!"

This promise/purity thing is a cult.

Lose the mullet. Then you can get a date.

After the first few guys (and a G.Y.N.O. that gets his fingers "bit" off by her vag) that she basically tears their dicks off because, well, they were dicks-Dawn starts to realize that she can actually control what her lady parts do down there during sexy time and takes some sweet revenge on her step brother for being an assclown. She seduces him (which is a really fucking weird and off-putting scene by the way) rips his wiener off, and then his dog perfectly named "mother" actually walks over to his severed helmet-in-the-bush and promptly eats it as if it were jerky or a treat or something. That shit made me laugh. HARD. Teeth by any stretch is not a good film to watch. Even by horror movie standards. There's always a cult following for pretty much anything that cultivates after long periods of time, and there is a cult grouping for this film-but they can keep it. I didn't get into it as much as I really had hoped after all of these years of putting it off because it just sounded fucking dumb. And I was kind of right in thinking that. Zits and zombies, I would recommend watching this maybe once to satiate some kind of curiosity towards a terror flick that involves a young woman that naturally has thorns in her rose, but I can assure you that this isn't a bouquet your going to have arranged for a special occasion anytime soon. Now I have to go forget about that damn Poison song for the umpteenth time.    

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wrong Turn (blu-ray)


The Wrong Turn franchise is a set of backwoods killer films that I have known about for quite some time-I've just never bothered to dive in head first. Really, the only one in this six entry long series that I've ever even seen bits from has been the original, and recently I have finally gotten around to actually watching it all the way to the end-and it actually kind of made me feel satisfied. Getting into this was sort of nagging at me to check out at least one of them, and the first one is probably going to end up being the only good one. I haven't watched any of the sequels yet, but I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that they probably suck, are lame, and will more than likely make me regret that I blind bought the blu-ray set with 1-5 contained within. I have tried finding a blu-ray box with all six of them because there is a DVD set with all six-so why not blu-ray? I don't know but I absolutely cannot find anything except the one that I purchased recently, so I'll just have to pick up the final one on it's own at some point later on. So is the first Wrong Turn any good? Yes, yes it is. It's not anywhere near the level of "horror film of the year", but it is entertaining in that shitty, overly cliched "I've seen this a thousand times before" kind of way where you know what to expect without having to put a lot of effort into being an audience member while this movie plays. The gore is well done, Eliza Dushku is top notch as always, make-up on the inbred killers is solid and the cinematography is surprisingly clean with all of the fast action. There is plenty of brutality to be had here, and I really hope that the rest of the franchise doesn't slack on the goods.

      An aerial shot of the woods is never good.

She needs help, jackass!

Inbreeding always gets a healthy two thumbs up.

I have a feeling that your job interview isn't going to be very important soon.

Pepto-Bismol has that sweet, bubble gum flavor to it. Goes down real smooth.

  Eliza Dushku and a hot redhead? Yeah... give me a minute.

"I can't hear you!"

You're not dangerous. You're a hippie.

A garage sale from hell-that's a good one.

No noise-you can't make any noise.

Damn. Even disfigured, inbred pieces of shit know how to shoot.

   Realistically, the original Wrong Turn does have some tense moments that will make you question why you are watching it in the first place. There was a little bit of a Texas Chainsaw vibe that I absorbed while taking my notes, but it still ended up being it's own thing without trying to capitalize on such a classic. The inbred cannibals that chase after them were really quick and seemed to have their thing down-pat with sawing off limbs, shooting people, bludgeoning them to death and most any other psychotic activity that would entail tenderizing innocent trespassers into red meat for dinner. This is not even close to being a backwoods killer staple by any stretch of the imagination, but if any zit or zombie is in the mood to see a babe in the woods take on some hillbilly brethren, then by all means give the very first Wrong Turn a spin. I've got five of these things left. Wilmatuckey here I come.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Suburban Gothic


I'm not even going to hide this from you zits and zombies-the one and only reason I had even a remote interest in Suburban Gothic was because of Kat Dennings. That's it. I had never seen a trailer, a poster, promos... nothing. Never even heard of this film at all until about a week or two ago when I ran across it by accident on Hulu Plus. I had no clue even what type of horror this piece could possibly contain-I just had a jonesing for something new with one of my top personal hotties, and I'm very glad to report to all of you rotting bastards that Suburban Gothic is really fun. It's an indie terror flick that is off center in many ways with Raymond being one of the quirkiest straight guys I've probably ever seen in a movie of this type (complete with ascots, wiry dispositions, a haircut that resembles something that Yahoo Serious would sport along with just being very progressive and open minded about pretty much everything) while somehow being able to hold hands with an extremely rebellious, dark, distant and sexy Kat Dennings. (Her name in the film is Becca, but whatever.) Since he was little, Raymond has been able to feel and talk to spirits that haven't quite made it past being dead yet and need help getting to the other side. The movie mainly focus' on him moving back home with his parents after being evicted from his apartment because he can't find a job after college. There's a lot going on in this film besides him channeling what the dead want help with like the typical "his mom loves him no matter what and his dad is disappointed in him because he isn't into sports" type of bullshit, but all of that non-sense in the background is actually executed pretty well and adds an extra layer of comedy in between what Ray experiences with his ghost feels. The special effects are pretty cool too considering they really aren't to technical or flashy, but the floating head of a dead girl that randomly pops up out of the grandfather clock while he is jacking it to some Latina booty porn is pretty great and hilarious at the same time.

Jesus, that scarf is purple.

Milf. Yes, Raymond's mom is hot. Get over it.

I would normally poke fun at Raymond for having such kiddish items in his room, but they are just to cool.

Hahahahhhaaaaa-his dad does dress like a drug dealer!

Drinking a lot makes a lot of people do things they don't remember.

Fatter than shit.

Hell fucking yeah-sexy ass Kat Dennings.

 Buried in the backyard.

"It's not like a mexican to run off without getting paid." What a prick.

I wish Jefferey Combs was my doctor.

Watching old, fat ladies do aerobics is just weird.

A horrible time to bop the bologna.

The friction and banter between Ray and his dad really is second to none and I honestly could see a lot of you young undead being able to relate to an overbearing parent not being able to control their offspring to get what they want out of them. Like I stated earlier, some of the structure of Suburban Gothic is a little on the cliched side-but in this particular case it's the execution of what takes place during the course of this flick that really makes it a joy to sit through. I actually tried to see if this was released on DVD or Blu-ray, and all I could really find was that it was printed on blu, but it's out of print and it's roughly $80 for a new/sealed copy if you want it physically to sit on your shelf. I'm not willing to spend that much on a minty fresh disc to take up more of my personal space, so if I want to watch it again I'm just going to go back to Hulu Plus and fire it up. Really recommend this if you have a bone-daddy for Kat Dennings, are inclined to watch terror films that involve paranormal activity, or kind of want to see what a mix of both would be like. Trust no one-well, yeah...trust no one.   

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Witches (VHS)


My fevered brain has been filled with similar ideas and notions about The Witches as it was with The Peanut Butter Solution. Anytime that I have ever ran across a review on some film critic's site or on Youtube about this picture in particular, it was always someone saying things about seeing this when they were ten and having nightmares about it for days and weeks as it burned holes into their pre-teen psyches and imaginations. Could something with Anjelica Huston really be that frightening? I mean, she has always been Morticia Adams as far as I'm concerned, but that character has never been scary in the least. Just really nonchalant about being dark and morbid. It's normal, really. I found this on tape at a garage sale a couple years back and have now only gotten around to finally absorbing what The Witches has to offer, and I have to be blunt and forward by saying that I really dug it. It kind of rides that same bizarre line between being to much for children and just kind of weird for adults-which is where the comparison to The Peanut Butter Solution comes in. It's a movie that was intended for kids, but it really shouldn't be viewed by them because there is some strong imagery here. Nowadays they don't really seem to be affected or thrown off by much of anything because they can see all the messed up shit they want on the internet at any given time, and it makes something like this come off as more silly than anything. I, however, really enjoyed the plot, characters, effects and make-up and Jim Henson's final production of puppeteer mastery is on display here to make when Luke and Bruno being turned into mice after getting tricked into ingesting some formula 86 all the more fun and realistic. 

I want to go skiing all of a sudden.

You don't know if the devil is real.

Tell me more grandma-make sure to dip those candles.

Plain, sensible shoes.

No Luke-please shower. You're already socially awkward enough.

So, did Luke's parents die or what the hell happened?

Granny loves them cigars.

Fat kids always steal food.

Grand High Witch, Evar I presume.

I'm more impressed that that looks like a kids' blue print for the game Mouse Trap than it does for a circus.

Now that's a fucking witch!

The child.... is a mouse!

It's probably the baby carriage, but the song Far Cry by Rush would be prefect right now.

I have to give it to the cinematography in particular (especially towards the final act) after Luke and Bruno change into mice, because it probably took a mountain of work to make their perspectives and what the audience sees the way that it ended up. A lot of strange angles and viewpoints that are cut together to follow them around give you a sense of being small and to the floor, and it really added some realism and creativity to the fact that they are that tiny and anything could crush them at any given moment. I admired it. The Witches is one crazy ride of people not being what they perceive themselves to be, and when the infamous scene where all of the witches take off their wigs and are all congregated in that meeting in the hotel-that's when things start getting weird and awesome at the same time. Zits and zombies, this deserves your attention if you've never seen it. Watch your back for the woman in black-she'll try to trick you with a snake and some chocolate.