The Fearless Vampire Killers
or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck

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Rating: **.5 (2 and a half out of five)
Year: 1967

Plot: A moribund professor takes his bumbling assistant to the frozen reaches of Transylvania in an effort to confirm some of his controversial ideas about humanoid bloodsuckers. Turns out he’s right about all of them! ‘Cept the bat thing. They don’t turn into bats. Anyway, they arrive at a claustrophobic tavern where vampirific stuff happens. They follow one of the rascals to an old gothic castle. There they meet the count, his hunchbacked servant, and his bisexual son. The assistant has the hots for the innkeeper’s daughter, who also turns up at the castle. Professor and assistant attempt a rescue of the cute red-head, and pull it off much like Scooby Doo and the gang woulda.

Review: Rosemary’s Baby is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, so I was very excited to see Roman Polanski’s stab at a Dracula movie. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the intent for this flick – it was marketed as a slapstick farce in the U.S.. So, it wasn’t very scary… but it wasn’t really funny either. Perhaps it’s just all the reminders about his pedophilia in the news lately, but I had a chill up my spine throughout most of the film. The sets are completely believable. Among them is one of the most genuine spooky old castles you’ll ever see. Although many elements of the Bram Stoker story show up here, Polanski’s version is different enough to be original, and it’s hard to tell just where the scene is going to take you. Overall, this is just a luke-warm rendition of a vampire movie, but certainly different than the rest, and definitely worth watching.

Notable scene: When the vampire Jew is arguing with quasimodo about sleeping arrangements, it seems like something right out of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Gore :             Buckets
Sex/Nudity:  Nipples
Scariness:     Screams
Campiness:  Donald Pleasances
Creepiness:  Cellar Doors
Munchy Suggestion: Steak with wine.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.


admin on October 22nd, 2008 | File Under 2 Stars, 3 Stars, Classic, Comedic, Creature, Vampires | No Comments -

The Fly II

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Rating: ***
Year: 1989

Plot: If you’re ever been to WalMart, then you are fully aware of the possibility of a hideously horrible hairy mutant managing to get it on with someone and create some brood. And, of course, a hybrid child of a fly and a human would be a super-intelligent, exponentially aging 80s star. Enter Eric Stoltz. He’ll invent new stuff. He’ll woo pretty girls. He’ll mutate just like his dad and kill bunches of folk.

Review: My girlfriend gave lent me this movie with the proviso, “this is BY FAR the worst movie I’ve ever seen!”. Oh boy, is she in for some pain during the month of October… I actually liked this one quite a bit! One of the toughest things for a movie to do (especially a horror movie) is to create a unique world, and Fly II does this quite well. While you could construct something extremely similar to this iteration without ever having seen it, the director and producer do a pretty damn good job of going just far enough past the expected to be unique. The first movie was primarily known as a special effects flick, and they do a great job of carrying the torch. Wait it out, and you’ll be treated to plenty of slimy, bloody, gory indulgence in the third act. Stoltz is really the perfect pick for Goldblum 2.0… they seem to share the same quality… some sort of narcotized condescending gallantry. ‘Course, I’m biased to 80s films, so you may think this one totally sucks.

Notable scene: I have two for you… first, notice the painfully fake beard on the only carry-over from the first movie. Second – accelerated growth + sex scene = sex with a five year old. Gross or hot? You decide.

Gore :           Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:    Screams
Campiness: Donald Pleasances
Creepiness: Cellar Doors
Munchy Suggestion: Some leftover broccoli alfredo with chicken breast cooked in uber-expensive balsamic vinaigrette.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.


admin on October 21st, 2008 | File Under 3 Stars, Creature, GoreGalore, Sci-Fi | No Comments -

Silent Hill

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Rating: ****.5 ( 4 and a half out of 5)
Year: 2006

Plot: A little girl’s somnambulistic adventures make mom (Radha Mitchell) fearful and frantic. She decides to take her daughter to the town she mentions while in her trances: Silent Hill. They do so against the advice of the locals, the commands of the police, and without the husband’s knowledge. Mom and daughter are separated upon arrival, and the rest of the movie is about her search to find her child. Is Rose (the mother) experiencing some sort of psychotic episode, or does the town of Silent Hill possess a demonic power to twists the nature of reality which it uses to force new-comers to hear it’s terrible tale? Here’s a hint, it’s the latter.

Review: Probably the best movie to come from a video game. The set design, color schemes, monster effects, pacing, sound design, and religious overtones combine for a permeating sense of creepy apprehension. The movie itself develops in much the same way that a video game would, with tasks that enable the pursuit of more advanced goals, the progressive release of background exposition, and even a cut sequence towards the end that feels very much like an end-of-the-game reward video. The movie makes use of a clever mechanism that allows the town to transition every 15 minutes or so between a simply creepy, off-putting ghost town and an out-and-out hell dimension. The protagonist’s journeys into the depths of that hell build to a panting crescendo that release the viewer at just the right moment. This is a movie I watch year after year.

Notable scene: Have you ever seen a man who wears a giant, metal, pyramidical helmet rip the skin from a human being as if it were a Little Debbie snack wrapper? Pretty wicked.
Gore :         Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:   Screams
Campiness: Donald Pleasances
Creepiness: Cellar Doors


Munchy Suggestion: Leftover cheeseburger patty and tofu scramble from The Grit in Athens, GA.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.


31Nights on October 13th, 2008 | File Under 4 Stars, 5 Stars, Biblical, Creature | 1 Comment -

Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Made For TV)

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Rating: ***.5 ( 3 and a half out of 5)
Year: 1980

Plot: Icabod Crane comes to the teensy, snowy town of Sleepy Hollow to try out the job of schoolmaster. He discovers that the last 3 or 4 schoolmasters had all ‘gone strange’, but this fact doesn’t sway his empiricist’s attitude towards the town’s odd goings-on. He fancies Katrina Van Tassel, but Brom Bones is going to do everything in his power to prevent their union.

Review: This low-budget, made-for-tv version far surpasses Burton’s blockbuster. Jeff Goldblum is perfectly cast as the gangly, eccentric Icabod. Dick Butkus hams it up as the villain; it’s bad, but works well for the part. Despite a virtually non-existent budget, the writing is decent, some scenes are rather spooky, and the viewer is treated to fuller, more complex version of the story than he or she might be accustomed to.

Notable scene: You gotta love the stills played as the station comes out of commercial break… maniacal laughs and all!
Gore:          Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:   Screams
Campiness: Donald Pleasances
Creepiness: Cellar Doors


Munchy Suggestion: A slice of Butterfinger pie dropped into a melted pint of Mayfield’s “Cupcake” ice cream.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: IMDB. (No Wiki entry)


31Nights on October 10th, 2008 | File Under 3 Stars, 4 Stars, Classic, Creature, Demonic, GoreGalore, Possession, Supernatural | No Comments -

Black Sheep

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Rating: ***** (5 out of 5)
Year: 2007

Review: Any film that insinuates a sexual relationship between a megalomaniac and an uber-sheep has to be good. And it’s likely to make you laugh… for one reason or another. Black sheep is one of the recent flock of horror movies for horror fans. Although it can be supercilious at times, director Jonathon King sells the goofy moments by going all out on plot and gore and effects. Full motion genetic monstrosities, a bitable penis, and an homage to the transformation scene from American Werewolf in Paris are all pulled off hitchlessly by WETA workshops (the same people who worked on Lord of the Rings and Revenge of the Sith). The pastoral New Zealand landscapes put a tried and true genre piece in a beautiful and new environment. And while the idea of granting innocuous creatures with the lust and capacity for brutal evil is not new, the finesse and skill with which it is executed is. I doubt I’ll watch another movie this good this year.

Notable scene: In a dress shirt, without pants, and smoking a cigarette, the evil brother laments, “You wouldn’t understand,” Then a sheep wonders through the frame. ‘nuf said.
Gore:          Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
(But probably not the kind you want to see.)
Scariness:    Screams
Campiness:  Donald Pleasances
Creepiness:  Cellar Doors


Munchy Suggestion: 1 Box Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.


31Nights on October 4th, 2008 | File Under 5 Stars, Comedic, Creature, GoreGalore | 2 Comments -

Are You Scared?

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Rating: * (generously, 1 out of 5)
Year: 2006

Review: To answer the titular question: no (unless you’re talking about the prospect of a forced second viewing). With each word that angrily dribbles out of my fingers, the portion of my life wasted on this movie painfully increases. As a derivative Saw clone with the production budget that street-sweepers would scoff at, this piece of rubbish manages to fail on every measurable facet of movie making. Piss-poor acting, laughable writing, and back-yard sets moor this junker to the dock permanently. If the B storyline of the cop were a football, then it got fumbled early on and was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in the closing minutes.

Notable scene: Ending credits.
Gore:           Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
(get with it! If you’re going to have a movie this bad, at least turn it into a soft-core porn!)
Scariness:   Screams
Campiness: Donald Pleasances
(Not even pleasantly bad.)
Creepiness: Cellar Doors

(But it’s not one cellar door – it’s just a slightly creepy door to a somewhat neglected bathroom in a mediocre McDonalds’.)

Munchy Suggestion: Leftover baklava from a recent Greek Food Festiva
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.


31Nights on October 3rd, 2008 | File Under Creature, Possession, Slasher | No Comments -

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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Rating: *** (3 out of 5)
Year: 1994

Review: Director Kenneth Branaough brings his Shakespearean flair to Mary Shelley’s classic tale. Everything about this movie is over the top. A simple kite-flying outing is set to the backdrop of some majestic Swiss Alps. The house that is one the main locations of the movie is the epitome of opulence. The acting is hammy and grandiose, and shots that call for blood have extra buckets on the ready. I think that Branough’s stage approach to the movie was one of those rare things that’s theoretically bad but works well in practice. The story is a bit stale and tried, but the gluttonous approach keeps the movie watch-able. A good way to start off the month.

Notable Scene: The monster rip’s Carter’s still beating heart out of her chest and presents it to her husband. When I think about what it would be like to see this happen to a loved one of mine, I can’t imagine a much more disturbing thing to witness.
Gore:          Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
(no Helena Bonham Carter boobs, but a full five minutes of DeNiro phallus… wtf?)
Scariness:    Screams
Campiness:  Donald Pleasances
Creepiness:  Cellar Doors
Munchy Suggestion: 2 Boxes Kroger brand spiral Mac and Cheese with fake eggs and extra cheese
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.
31Nights on October 1st, 2008 | File Under 3 Stars, Creature, GoreGalore, Sci-Fi | No Comments -