June 12, 2010

October 28, 2009

Disturbing Behavior (1998)

Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Watched October 25, 2009

Warning: Some spoilers follow.
"In Cradle Bay, it doesn't matter if you're not perfect. You will be."

Steve Clark (James Marsden) and his family just moved to Cradle Bay. On the first day of school, Steve notices that there is a group, the Blue Ribbons, who seem a little too perfect. Steve and his friend, Gavin, stumble upon the fact that a crazed doctor is transforming previously unruly students into completely perfect teenagers. It's up to Steve, his new girlfriend Katie Holmes, and some random janitor character to stop the Blue Ribbons and the doctor before they all fall prey to his nutso scheme.

I think the 1990s were probably the worst time for horror in recent history. Sure, there were your Screams here and there that were awesome and are classics, but for the most part, the films were just kind of "eh". Case in point: Disturbing Behavior. The film is never particularly good, but never spectacularly bad. It's merely forgettable. It's merely "eh".

But, honestly, I'm going to give the film a little slack as it is one of the many flicks over the years that was butchered to pieces by its distributor. I haven't seen a "director's cut" of the film, nor do I have the DVD, so I cannot watch the deleted scenes. Therefore, I have to judge the film on the cut that was shown on MGM-HD. It's not the theatrical release cut, as that has a "deleted love scene" with James Marsden and Katie Holmes. So, I assume it's the cut from the DVD release, which is supposed to pale in comparison to the director's cut. But, the film wasn't too good to begin with, so I'm not going to watch it again just to watch the director's real vision. I figure it's more or less the same.

Enough about theatrical release cuts and the like! I am here to tell you whether or not you should spend your precious time watching Disturbing Behavior. But, the problem is I don't really know how to answer that question. At first, I would say no. But then I would regret that decision, and say yes. But then I would say that it doesn't really deserve a full recommendation. So I'm just going to compromise, and say maybe, if the plot appeals to you.

The acting is acceptable, with the best actors in the movie being Nick Stahl as the paranoid Gavin, and William Sadler as the janitor character. Even though the janitor character is really stupid and pointless (why is he going so far out of his way to help these kids, even going as far as to kill himself to stop the doctor's plot?), I must admit Sadler did a good job portraying him. And Gavin, the best character in the movie, is greatly helped by Stahl's acting.

Speaking of Gavin, I don't think the filmmakers did the right thing converting him into a Blue Ribbon halfway through the film. The character was probably the most interesting thing about the entire movie, and after he becomes a Blue Ribbon, the movie becomes less interesting.

Overall, the movie isn't very good. But it isn't horrible. I'm going to use my favorite word again, and say it's just "eh". Eh. If you do choose to watch the film, don't expect anything great, and don't expect to remember much of it in a couple of months. If you don't watch the film, you're not really missing anything. "Disturbing Behavior" gets:

3 out of 5 chainsaws (AVERAGE)

Paranormal Activity (2009)

Paranormal Activity (2009)
Watched October 24, 2009

I've been hearing about Paranormal Activity for a while now. I think the first time I read about it was the 2007 review on Horror Movie A Day (great site, by the way). The review was very positive, and I hadn't heard anything about the movie, so I was very intrigued. Over the next couple years, I kept reading sporadic reviews about the film, and with each one, I became more and more excited. But there was still nothing about a release date for the film. Until a couple months ago. Yes, to my surprise, the film I'd been hearing about for years was getting a theatrical release! When the film finally found its way into a theater near me, I jumped at the chance. So, last weekend, after a couple years, I finally saw the movie that people were calling one of the scariest movies of all time.

Did it live up to the hype? Well, no. But was it a damn good movie? Yep.

I can really honestly say there have only been two movies that ever terrified me. And those were The Ring and The Shining. But the reason that they were so terrifying, was because they were like the first two horror movies I ever saw. Since then, I've seen both those films again. The Ring hasn't held up that well for me, and while The Shining is still a fucking amazing film (one of my favs), it doesn't scare me anymore. I don't know if I should add Paranormal Activity to that list or not. I wouldn't say it terrified me, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't lose any sleep the night after I saw it.

For those of you who do not know the plot for whatever reason, here's a quick rundown. A guy buys a video camera because his girlfriend is experiencing some odd phenomena in her life, and she thinks it's paranormal phenomena. So, his idea is to set up a video camera in the bedroom, and try to capture some paranormal activity over the night. Well, the two of them end up getting a hell of a lot more than they bargained for.

I'm willing to bet a lot of the mainstream audience will find the movie boring. The first hour or so of the movie is basically just some loud noises and footsteps here and there. Not terribly exciting for the people whose favorite movie is "Transformers". But, honestly, there's something wrong with them anyways for liking a Michael Bay movie, so let's just forget they exist for a minute.

Honestly, yes, the first hour of the movie is a little slow-moving, but I never found it truly boring. I didn't find it scary, but I was pretty intrigued in what was happening. And the whole slow build-up thing was actually a pretty good idea. Because if the entire movie was like the last 20 minutes or so (when the actual scary stuff starts to happen), I'm willing to bet the film wouldn't have had the effect that it did. The whole slow-burn strategy worked very well in the film, as it allowed for character development, plus gradually making the movie scarier and scarier as it goes on makes the scares at the end that much more effective.

But, even without the slow-burn exercise, the last twenty minutes still would have been jaw-dropping. The last third of the movie is ridiculously well-done, and the last two nights the characters film are scary as shit. I'm not going to give away what happens, but trust me, it's damn awesome.

But, I think instead of like 70 minutes of build-up for 20 minutes of awesomeness, they should have made it like 60-30. Instead of the last two nights being truly terrifying, they should have made the last three nights that way. I just feel as if there was too much build-up. But perhaps I'm just nitpicking. I'm probably just nitpicking.

It truly amazes me that a film shot in a week for $10,000 can be ten times as effective as all of the horror blockbusters made for millions and millions of dollars. It just goes to show that to truly find good horror movies, you have to look to the independent scene. Horror isn't dead, you just have to wade through a lot of mainstream shit to get to the worthwhile stuff. Paranormal Activity is the aforementioned worthwhile stuff. I don't have anything more to say, except that Paranormal Activity is a really good, if overhyped, horror flick that you should all support and see in theaters. I don't think the experience will be the same on DVD. So go now.

And as a final note, I want to thank Paramount for making the right decision and actually releasing the original film and not making a piece of shit remake. Horror fans will respect you for it, and the box office numbers are proof you made the correct decision. "Paranormal Activity" gets:

4 out of 5 chainsaws (VERY GOOD, SEE IT)

October 25, 2009

Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

Who Can Kill A Child? (1976)
Watched October 23, 2009

A man and his pregnant wife travel to an island where the children have gone crazy and killed all of the adults.

"Who Can Kill A Child?" is a creepy and disturbing Spanish film that deserves a hell of a lot more recognition than it is currently receiving.

I really dislike writing reviews for movies that I loved. It's the second worst kind of review to write, right after movies that you just thought were alright and have nothing to say about them. Because I could spend all day raving about the movie, but that wouldn't be very fun to read. I prefer to write reviews for movies I hated, or ones I liked but had numerous flaws. "Who Can Kill A Child?" is one of those movies I loved, so I'm not really going to have much to say about it, other than the fact that it's great, and you should probably get off your ass right now and see it if you haven't already.

"Who Can Kill A Child?", also known as "Quien puede matar a un nino?", "Death Is Child's Play", "Island of Death", "Island of the Damned", "Lucifer's Curse" (?), "The Killer's Playground", "Trapped", and "Would You Kill A Child?", is a killer child movie more along the lines of "Village of the Damned" than "The Omen", because instead of just one crazy-ass kid, there's a whole town full of 'em. On an off-topic note, why does every foreign horror movie of the 1970s have like 18 alternate titles? It really makes things fucking confusing.

Anyways, these kids have apparently killed every adult on the island, and now that a man and his pregnant wife are there on vacation, they're going to have to kill them too. So these tourist types are going to have to try to escape the island, but to do so may mean having to kill children. And who can kill a child?

I quite love the idea of this movie. Children are always portrayed as so innocent, and when they're batshit crazy, it's often times very disturbing. So is the case in this film. Watching a laughing young girl playfully beat an old man to death with his cane just drops your jaw. And then there's a scene afterwards that involves that same old man that is so freaky, that if you're not surprised at it, you're an android with no feelings. And I don't like androids.

So yeah, it's disturbing, it's very well-made, has very good performances by its leads (and the ninos) and it should be a hell of a lot more well-known than it is at the moment. It's one of the best, if not the best, killer kid movies ever made and needs to be seen by you. Right now. Put it on your Netflix queue. Buy it. I don't have anything else to say. I'm dragging as it is. I give "Who Can Kill A Child?":

5 out of 5 chainsaws (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

October 24, 2009

Cemetery of Terror (1985)

Cemetery of Terror (1985)
Watched October 24, 2009

Half-slasher, half-zombie-movie, this Mexican flick follows a group of teens who happen to revive a psycho killer with some sort of ability to raise the dead and throw people around with his mind.

"Cemetery of Terror" isn't bad, but it's pretty forgettable and it suffers from bad pacing.

This is my first review for I Watch Horror Movies since June. I don't really even know why I'm trying to revive the site, because I don't have enough time to do so, but I have had over 2,000 visitors in the last few months, and I figure that's pretty good. So what better movie to revive my awful site with than a forgotten Mexican slasher flick that 99.9% of people don't give a shit about? Yay!

"Cemetery of Terror", released in Mexico under the name "Cementerio del terror" in 1985, is partly a rip-off of "Halloween" and partly a rip-off of "The Evil Dead". The first half of the movie is a bunch of dumbass teens who find a black book in the attic of an abandoned house, and decide to revive a dead man with the chants hidden inside it. Of course, the dead man they steal from the morgue turns out to be a psycho killer who may just be a demon from Hell. And so the teens are hunted one-by-one.

The second half of the movie follows a bunch of kids who somehow got the bright idea to go trick-or-treating in a graveyard (?) and end up trapped in said graveyard, with revived corpses chasing them around.

And then there's a doctor who is running around, yelling about he needs the black book to somehow kill the psycho.

"Cemetery of Terror" isn't technically a bad film, it's just that it's completely underwhelming, and you've seen it all before in the films it ripped off. That being said, it's pretty solid if you forget about the fact that it presents no original ideas. It's got some pretty good gore and kills here and there, and even manages to be suspenseful for brief periods of time. The 2nd half, the half with the zombies, isn't as good as the 1st half, but that's only because the zombies seem practically incapable of doing anything of use. For God's sake, they can't manage to kill one little stupid kid, not even the 10-year-old wearing the comically large Michael Jackson jacket.

I think the main problem with the movie is the pacing. For 40 minutes, nothing really happens. There are six ridiculously underdeveloped teenagers (Horny Guy 1, Horny Guy 2, Horny Guy 3, Scared Girl 1, Scared Girl 2, Scared Girl 3) that you have to follow along for a while. The whole point of this forty minutes is to basically show you that these guys are so horny, they are willing to steal a body from the morgue and hold a black magic ceremony just so the girls will get scared and maybe possibly have sex with them. This is a lot of work just to get laid.

But after that 40 minutes of nothing, suddenly there are six kill scenes in 15 minutes. That's like a kill every two and a half minutes. What really pisses me off is that there wasn't really even any point to the six teenagers, as they just walk around for forty minutes and then get killed immediately after they revive the killer. They could have stretched this part out a little more...

The kills are pretty gory, but they're never really that interesting. Almost every kill (if not every one) in the movie is the killer dude scratching people up to death with his nails. I don't know how the hell he makes his fingernails so deadly, but they're almost as effective as Freddy's razor gloves. If you want really inventive kills, "Cemetery of Terror" isn't the place to go, but there's enough gore to make them interesting.

Then, after the teenagers are dispatched, you meet some even more ridiculously underdeveloped characters, this time in the form of kids. Since they're kids, they don't even get the adjective of "horny" to describe them, they're all just scared. Doesn't make you particularly interested in the characters if all their characterizations are exactly the same. Then, the useless zombies are revived. Even though the zombies look pretty cool, like I said, they're completely useless and never accomplish anything in their part of the movie.

I feel like I'm dragging on a bit. Basically, this is just a "Halloween" rip-off (doctor tracks down his ex-psychiatric patient who happens to be a psycho killer) with some zombies thrown in to keep things interesting. Completely underwhelming and forgettable, but I've seen a lot worse, and if you're interested to see what a Mexican slasher would be like, this is one of your best bets. I'm giving "Cemetery of Terror":

3 out of 5 chainsaws (AVERAGE)

June 5, 2009

The Mangler (1995)

The Mangler (1995)
Watched June 4, 2009

There's a laundry folding machine possessed by a demon from Hell.

Other than a few pretty cool death scenes, there's really not much to recommend about "The Mangler".

I stated way back in my "Critters IV" review that some day I would watch "The Mangler". It's been on my DVR since August of 2005, almost four years! Well, yesterday, I finally watched "The Mangler". I probably should have deleted it 2 or 3 years ago, and saved future me some of his time.

Y'know, with a plot line as stupid as a possessed laundry machine, you think the film would basically just be a comedy. But it's not... other than a delightfully over-the-top performance by Robert Englund, the subject matter is kept pretty deadly serious, and that's just dumb as hell. It's almost as if everyone involved actually thought a possessed laundry machine could be scary. Damn it, Tobe Hooper. I like you for making the first two "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movies and "Poltergeist", but if this is the best you can churn out anymore, please just retire.

The film follows around a cop, played by Ted Levine from "Monk", who is trying to find out what's going on. I think Levine is about as good as he could be in his part, but his dialogue is pretty awful most of the time and the fact that he has to keep completely serious about a possessed washing machine is ridiculous. And every other word out of his mouth is "fuck" or some other 4-letter word which is pretty unnecessary. I'm fine with bad language, but here it's just distracting and annoying.

So, basically, the only pro we're left with is you get to see an old lady devoured by a washing machine. That scene is just great. I know it's kind of in bad taste, but that was just hilarious. Oh man, I'm a bad person. Anyways, you get a couple more folding-machine-involved death scenes, but for the most part, they're just the same thing as the one with the old lady, which is disappointing. None of them hold a candle to the one with the old lady, though. Again, I'm a bad person.

Robert Englund also gives an alright performance as the owner of the laundry machine factory, and is the only one that seems to be having the least bit of fun with the premise. However, his character is more annoying than funny, so that kind of ruins it.

And that's just about all I have to say about "The Mangler". The film might have been a cult classic if Hooper realized that a possessed laundry machine wasn't scary in the least and tried to make it a campy comedy. But noooo. He has to be all serious the entire time. And what's with the film being 105 minutes long? It could have easily been ninety minutes or less. Grr. Overall, the film definitely shouldn't have spent four years on my DVR, in fact, it shouldn't have ever even been recorded. But now I know, and I'm passing on my knowledge to all you readers that don't exist. Solely because of the old lady being devoured by a laundry machine scene, the film doesn't get an abysmal 1-chainsaw rating, instead I'll give it a still pretty bad:

2 out of 5 chainsaws (PRETTY BAD, SKIP IT)

June 4, 2009

Scream and Scream Again (1970)

Scream and Scream Again (1970)
Watched June 3, 2009

There's a serial killer, some sort of master race, and a guy that can kill you by just touching your shoulder. Crazy.

"Scream and Scream Again" is quite entertaining, and it's quite cool how a bunch of seemingly unrelated subplots end up coming together in the end.

"Scream and Scream Again" is on a double-feature DVD with "The Oblong Box", which I quite disliked, which you would know if you read the review I just wrote for it. Wait, you didn't read my "Oblong Box" review? Well, go now. After you read this. Anyways, I had low expectations for this one after "Oblong Box", but "Scream and Scream Again" really delivered, and was much better than I even hoped it to be.

So, anyways, the film is kind of weird at the beginning, because there's so many different things happening. There's a jogger being captured and getting his limbs cut off, there's some sort of rapist/murderer that drains the blood of his victims, and there's Vincent Price with his vat of acid. Not to mention some military subplot with a guy that can kill by simply touching you. The film tries to be so many things at once, it's kind of an oddity at first, and you think that maybe you're watching a bunch of different films cut together into one big film. You're not. You're just watching "Scream and Scream Again".

Anyways, all these subplots eventually come together to one quite great finale, but just because the rest of the movie is kind of disjointed and strange, it doesn't mean it's not entertaining as hell, because "Scream and Scream Again" is. It's just great. The first half of the movie isn't anything amazing, but it keeps your attention. Then, there's an amazingly filmed car chase, and from there, it just gets better. It's just highly entertaining, much more so than "Oblong Box".

And, also unlike "Oblong Box", "Scream and Scream Again" uses Vincent Price to its advantage, even if Price has a pretty small role. He plays a mad scientist, and he's just great. I really do like Vincent Price.

You also may be intrigued as the poster says Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are also in the film. But their roles are pretty much just cameos, and neither of them get very much screen time at all. Oh well, it really doesn't affect the film at all.

So, it's entertaining, and it has vampire rapists and Vincent Price. Are you sold yet? What if I said there was a guy that breaks his own arm off? You're still not sold? Then you obviously shouldn't be on this site. But stay anyways. I need every viewer I can get. I'm desperate.

It's not the best film of all time by any means, but it's a highly entertaining film that I really do recommend. If you get the double-sided disc with "Oblong Box", though, just skip that other film. It's not worth your time, in my opinion. I give "Scream and Scream Again":

4 out of 5 chainsaws (VERY GOOD, SEE IT)

The Oblong Box (1969)

The Oblong Box (1969)
Watched June 2, 2009

A horribly disfigured man escapes from the house in which Vincent Price is keeping him hostage, only to murder some people for revenge.

I'll put it this way: I watched the film two days ago and I've already pretty much forgotten all about it.

Well, sorry, all nonexistent readers, but I had a packed day yesterday, and I didn't even get my review done for "The Oblong Box". I guess it almost doesn't even matter, as this review is going to be short, because I don't have anything to say about "The Oblong Box".

As stated in the short review, it's been two days since I watched this film starring Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, and honestly, I don't remember much of anything about it. I remember there's some guy with a red cloth over his head, and I remember he kills some people. I think that's pretty much the extent of the movie, honestly, but I could be wrong.

Overall, it's just not that interesting. All of the kills are just throat-slits, and, to be honest, they all look pretty damn fake. The red cloth dude just kind of takes a knife to the side of the person's neck and they just kind of choke a little and die. Not all that interesting.

Not even good ol' Vincent Price can save this stinker. His role just isn't very special and he doesn't really get the chance to do anything. He just kind of goes around, saying how his brother is horribly disfigured and he keeps him in his attic. If you're going to have Price in your film, at least let him do something.

And that's just about all I have to say about "The Oblong Box". It's not a horrible movie by any means, but it's just not very interesting, and there's nothing memorable about the film. I'm betting I will completely forget every aspect about this movie in a couple months, which is pretty sad. It just doesn't do anything special, and, therefore, isn't that good of a movie. This is probably my shortest review, yet, but I just want to end it now, because anything else I say will just be dragging on and repeating myself. I give "The Oblong Box":

2 out of 5 chainsaws (PRETTY BAD, SKIP IT)

June 2, 2009

Jason X (2001)

Jason X (2001)
Watched June 1, 2009

Three words: Jason. In. Space.

"Jason X" is among the worst entries in the "Friday the 13th" series.

Well, not only was "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" not the final chapter, "Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday" wasn't the final Friday either. Some wise guy decided to revive the series by putting Jason... in space, joining the likes of Leprechaun and other franchises desperate to make some more money. And, unfortunately, for the most part, it sucks.

So, Jason and some other girl get frozen in a cryogenic chamber, and are awakened in the year 2455 by a bunch of futuristic people, that, for the most part, look and act exactly like people in 2001 would. Yeah, there's a robot, but there's also sluts and people desperate for money, so apparently the world hasn't improved much in 450 years.

Anyways, through means unknown to the characters, the audience and presumably the filmmakers, Jason wakes up and starts to kill again. And, luckily for him, there's a bunch of dim-witted people from the future who are practically asking to die! And so it begins...

I don't know why, but I really love the 80s feel and look that the original "Friday the 13th" films have, and it's part of the reason I love them and all other slashers from that golden age. Of course, since the film was made in '01, it doesn't have that 80s feel to it. If anything else, it has the look and feel of a straight-to-video POS from the 2000s, what with the awful acting and bad CGI. If I didn't know better, I definitely would have guessed that this was DTV. I'm surprised it got a theatrical release, to be honest.

There's a couple cool kills, but overall, it's a Jason film, so they're primarily machete-based. At least for the most part, the kills are on-screen and not shyed away from. Actually, that's not necessarily true, because a good many kills are off-screen, but it's not PG-13 by any means, either.

The biggest thing wrong with "Jason X" is that it seems to lack that sense of fun that the originals had. Even if most of the sequels were awful, they were still fun. Not so for most of "Jason X". Maybe it's just because I felt obliged to hate "Jason X" and it took the fun out of it, but it just didn't have that... oomph, I guess is the way to put it. It really only gets fun in the last 15-20 minutes, after that goddamn annoying chick died (more on goddamn annoying chick later). The scene with the virtual reality Camp Crystal Lake is pretty freaking hilarious, though, and the sleeping bag scene is by far the highlight of the movie, and a great parody on the original films.

Okay, goddamn annoying chick time. As seems to be par for the course in slasher films, there's a wise guy, or wise girl in this case, in "Jason X". But the wise guy character is never so annoying as it is in "Jason X", where the wise girl will never shut her fucking mouth, and everything that comes out of it is just unfunny bullshit one-liners that aren't even "so bad they're funny" one-liners. They just make you shake your head in anger or disappointment or whatever. She finally dies, and amazingly, after she's dead, the film gets about 10 times better.

Even with the satisfaction of having that annoying-as-hell girl sucked through an air tube into oblivion, "Jason X" is really not that good. Out of the original ten entries (this doesn't count "Freddy vs. Jason" or the "FT13" remake), I'd probably have to place "Jason X" as tied with the 8th best. It's at least better than "Jason Takes Manhattan" (isn't everything?) and is about the same as "Jason Goes to Hell". I might actually place this ahead of "Jason Goes to Hell" just because at least "Jason X" didn't have some fucking worm thing that was supposed to be Jason's soul or whatever. Still, even if it's better than two entries, it still sucked. I give "Jason X":
2 out of 5 chainsaws (PRETTY BAD, SKIP IT)

P.S. And no, I don't think "A New Beginning" is the worst entry in the "FT13" series. I actually kind of liked that one.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

The Amityville Horror (1979)
Watched June 1, 2009

The Lutzes move into a house in Amityville, Long Island, only to find that the house is haunted! Ooooh!!!

"The Amityville Horror" isn't anything special.

I think it's pretty safe to say that "Amityville Horror" is probably the most famous haunted house movie ever made. I guess there's "Poltergeist", but I'm just gonna stick with "Amityville". Based off of the hit book, which was supposedly based off a true story (this has been proven false), the movie made 86 million dollars at the box office in 1979, which, by my calculations that may or may not be completely wrong, would be about 246 million nowadays. That's a lot of money.

It shouldn't be that famous. The film really is not even that good. It may just be because the film hasn't held up well over the years, but I think it's very possible that the film was never that good to begin with.

First off, nothing really even happens to the Lutzes the entire movie. Sure, the father learns he really likes wood (fireplace wood, of course) and the daughter gets an imaginary friend which may or may not be some giant blue thing with red eyes. But, doesn't that happen all the time in the world? Just because a dad has an unnatural obsession with (chopping) wood doesn't mean his house is haunted. And the walls bleeding? It was probably just red paint that was seeping out of freshly painted walls. Oh, and their toilets clog. Surefire sign that their house is haunted.

So, nothing scary happens to the Lutzes, so what happens? Well, we watch some priest guy throw up. And a nun throw up. It's quite possible that the Lutz house just smells really bad. So bad that the mere thought of the smell causes the priest to go blind. Completely logical.

And the movie is never really scary because there's no feeling of isolation or entrapment in the house. At any time, the family could just pack up and leave and the house will do little or nothing to stop them. Sure, it'll make the walls bleed, but is that really that bad? Pssh... nah. It might even make the chandelier wiggle a little, or make the door jam. So they just go through the windows. Overall, there's no real feeling of danger in the film.

So, the movie basically amounts to gratuitious wood chopping and watching a priest throw up. Not especially scary. Not especially interesting. Not especially fun to watch. Overall, there's really not much point to even watching the movie, because if you wanted to hear the completely made up story of the Amityville house, you could read the book, and if you wanted to watch a good haunted house movie, you'd watch "The Changeling". "The Amityville Horror" isn't a bad film, it's just that there's nothing even remotely special about it other than the fact that it was a haunted house movie that made a lot of money. I give "Amityville Horror":

2 out of 5 chainsaws (PRETTY BAD, SKIP IT)

Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)

Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)
Watched June 1, 2009

Six tourists are the guests of honor at Pleasant Valley's centennial, but little do they know, the guests of honor aren't going to be leaving.

The death scenes are great, and the rest isn't that great. It's better than "Blood Feast" though.

I'm still quite surprised that TCM would play "Blood Feast" and "Two Thousand Maniacs!", when they're supposed to be playing classic movies. I guess "Blood Feast" could be considered a classic, as it spawned an entire genre of splatter films, but "2000 Maniacs" was just Herschell Gordon Lewis' next film. I guess I shouldn't be complaining, though, as it gave me the opportunity to see some of the first gore films.

And "2000 Maniacs!" is much improved from Lewis' last effort. "Blood Feast" was mostly awful, and its semi-remake "Blood Diner" is leaps and bounds better in my opinion. Man, I love "Blood Diner". Anyways, back to "2000 Maniacs!".

The only reason most people are going to watch this film is to see the death scenes, I think. And for good reason, as that's the only good thing about the film. The characters aren't interesting, the plot is stupid and sometimes confusing, and there's a reason you've probably never heard of any of the actors (although the acting is much improved from "Blood Feast").

But, the gore is pretty good. Sure, it's not as professional as gore flicks these days, but what can you expect from 1964? They did the best they could and overall, the gore's pretty good. It also helps that the kills are pretty inventive. The barrel roll is just pretty freaking awesome, in my opinion. Best kill by far. You also get limbs dismembered in various ways and an especially fun but over drawn-out "lady being crushed by giant rock" scene. But, don't expect to actually see the acts happening. For the boulder scene, you basically just see the girl after she gets crushed. I was hoping for you to actually see the girl get demolished, a la "Final Destination 2" with the pigeon scene. But, nay. You just see the after-effects. But, again, it's 1964. They didn't have experience with gore gags just yet.

I'm not quite sure I understand the plot though. Apparently, every 100 years, a town just reforms itself for a couple of days so it can exact revenge on some Yankees, and then just disappears again for the next 100 years. What? Why? I'm confused. But, honestly, I just don't think plot was a huge concern to Lewis and friends.

Plus, there's this damn little kid that's pretty much the most annoying little piece of shit ever. "Darn I want candy", "I want my candy", "75 miles an hour?". I was hoping someone would crush him with a boulder so he'd shut the fuck up. The actor that played this little kid never again had an acting role, which doesn't surprise me, as he's awful.

"YEE-HAW! The south's gonna rise again!"
Man, I never again want to hear that song in my life. Even the banjo can't save that annoying-as-hell tune that they feel the need to play for about 10 minutes in the movie. Soooo fucking annoying.

Okay, I've said all I have to say about "2000 Maniacs!". If you're looking to see how the splatter genre started, by all means, go back and revisit "2000 Maniacs" and "Blood Feast", especially "Blood Feast" as that's technically the more culturally significant film. Yeah, it's awful and inept in almost every way, but it's culturally significant. If you're looking for Oscar-worthy performances and plot twists that will blow your mind, get away from "Two Thousand Maniacs!". Get as far away as you possibly can. However, if you're looking for a fun time and some early gore, than rent it or whatever. I give "2000 Maniacs":

3 out of 5 chainsaws (AVERAGE)

June 1, 2009

Buy or Bury: Horror DVD/Blu-Ray Releases for June 2, 2009

So, time for the first installment of "Buy or Bury", where I tell you whether or not you should pick up the new DVD and Blu-Ray releases in the genre of horror. Overall, this is kind of a slow week in the way of new releases, and I haven't heard of most of the movies this week. But some may be of some interest to some of you, so here they all are.

A vicious anaconda escapes into the mountains, and it's up to a bunch of scientists to kill it.

Why are they still making sequels to "Anaconda"? I didn't think anyone liked that movie enough to warrant one sequel, let alone three. This is a Sci-Fi Channel Original, so chances are it sucks. Just say no.

A private eye fights supernatural crime with a centuries-old vampire. This is the 1st season of the hit Canadian show.

I don't think the premise sounds that entertaining or original, but from reviews I've read, it's supposedly pretty damn good. I'd say try it out.

Small-town girls are disappearing, and it's up to Sarah to figure out what's happening through a cryptic message she received on her cell phone.

Sounds like a loser to me. Doesn't sound interesting at all. There aren't many reviews, but they seem mixed. I'm gonna skip it, but if you like the premise, go right ahead.

The Netflix description says this has cannibalism and soft-core erotica. So it's apparently Tales From the Crypt with extra sex.

Reviews say the series is a mixed bag, but any show that promises cannibalism and soft-core porn in the same package is just too interesting to pass up. I'd say try it out.

1973 Spanish film tells the tale of Elizabeth Bathory, who bathed in the blood of virgins to keep looking gorgeous.

Reviews say that "Legend of Blood Castle" is among the best retellings of the Bathory tale, and it looks good to me. Hopefully it becomes available on Netflix when it is released.

College students looking for extra credit are preyed upon by a giant eel.

It's generally a good idea nowadays to avoid movies with giant animals, as most of them are either crap or Sci-Fi Originals (also crap). Razortooth appears to be no exception, with a couple reviewers going so far as to say it is the worst film they've ever seen.

An evil doctor turns special ed students into zombies. Sequel to the equally well-named "Monsturd".

I saw "Monsturd". It was alright for a movie about a giant shit monster. Reviews seem generally positive. But why isn't it on Netflix? Why is everything I'm actually interested in this week not on freakin' Netflix?

It's "Snakes on a Plane", except on a submarine.

I'm sure you could have guessed, but reviews are bad. Really bad. Don't waste your time on this when you could be watching movies like "Retardead".

The synopsis includes a couple being kidnapped, fetuses being gutted from bodies, rape, torture, mutilation and backwoods hillbilly cannibals. Wow.

I'm quite intrigued by this "Stockholm Syndrome", but of course, it's not on Netflix. What the hell? Reviews look positive, and I quite want to see it.

Well, that's the end of the new releases for this week. Now it's time for my coveted Pick of the Week award, which I give to, obviously, my pick for the DVD that I want the most. And that award goes to...


Runner-ups are The Legend of Blood Castle and Stockholm Syndrome.

None of the three are on Netflix. That just puts me in a bad mood, as I'm going to have to find another way to see them. Damn!

Chopping Mall (1986)

Chopping Mall (1986)
Watched May 31, 2009

Promiscuous teens are hunted down by mall security robots malfunctioning after their computer is struck by lightning.

"Chopping Mall" is a hell of a lot of fun; nothing more, nothing less.

I've wanted to see "Chopping Mall" for a while now, solely because that title is fucking amazing. I'm putting it bluntly, but it is. Just like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", if you're not intrigued by the title "Chopping Mall", you obviously are an emotionless robot. You can still read this blog, though, I don't really care if my readers are robots, it's better than no readers at all.

Enough about robots! Now we'll set our sights on "Chopping Mall", which is conveniently also about robots. Killer robots at that. The film starts out with a company showing off their new security robots to mall employees. The maker of these robots claims "the system is foolproof" and "nothing, absolutely nothing, can go wrong" and goes on to repeat these claims multiple times. Needless to say, something goes wrong.

In this case, electricity hits the roof of the mall three times in a row, conveniently in the place that the robots' computer system is located. Why the hell would the computer system be located on the roof? Just one of many questions that are never answered in "Chopping Mall", but I couldn't care less.

Meanwhile, while the robots kill the people looking after them, who were too busy looking at porn to notice that the robots were alive when they shouldn't have been, eight teens are doing it in a mattress shop after-hours! They picked the right night to party! The teens are all complete cut-outs. We have the newly formed couple that are the two good people, who would rather watch "Attack of the Crab Monsters" than do it. Within seconds of meeting these two, you know they're going to be the only ones to survive the night. The other six have no distinguishable personality traits, and are only there to provide nudity and a higher body count. Sounds like it's gonna be a good time!

I mentioned in my "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" review that there were exploding heads in this movie. And I wasn't lying. One of the horny teens gets their head blown apart by the security robot's lasers! Why the hell would a security robot need lasers strong enough to explode someone's head? Man, that's really weird, the lyrics to the song I'm listening to were just "I don't care! I don't care!", which basically sums up my feelings to that question. If "Deadly Friend" can get away with basketballs exploding heads, "Chopping Mall" can get away with deadly lasers. By the way, the head explosion was good enough to warrant me rewinding the movie to watch it again.

Other than that head explosion, which was also pretty bloodless, there's no blood in "Chopping Mall", which you wouldn't expect from a film with that kind of title. But that's fine. The death scenes here are primarily laser-based, as that's the robots' main line of defense. I don't think the company's presentation on the robots mentioned lasers. I love how I'm pointing out how illogical a film called "Chopping Mall" is. Anyways, back to bloodletting, yeah, very little blood. But, the film is just so darned entertaining, I didn't need any.

Did I mention the film is 77 minutes long? Quick and to the point, just how I liked it. A perfect contrast with "Baby Jane". The film wastes no time getting to the action, as the first kill is like ten minutes in, then we get some quick boob shots and then we have just under an hour of teens getting thrown off of balconies and getting blown up by lasers. Exactly what everyone wants in their 80s horror. Man, I love the 80s.

The film never drags, and is entertaining from start to finish. It realizes it's nothing more than a crappy slasher with robots, and finishes off all the death scenes with the robots happily wishing the victims a nice day. How nice. I don't think I can bring myself to give this movie five chainsaws, as it's pretty much awful in every sense of the word, but I can give "Chopping Mall" a highly acceptable 4 chainsaws, and I'll throw in a slab of cheese for good measure. Go see it right now. Unless you're a robot, then you may find the film insulting to your race. But probably not.

4 out of 5 chainsaws and then a nice piece of cheese for no reason other than I've never given a film a rating made out of cheese (VERY GOOD, SEE IT)