Wednesday, October 18, 2017

7 MORE DAYS OF HORROR!!!! (31 Days Horror Challenge.

Day 11:
 CURSE OF THE DEVIL

A Waldermar Denisky story, somewhere in the series of the cursed werewolf made famous by Spanish Horror Legend; Paul Naschy. This film follows the doomed Lord as he unknowingly becomes a werewolf by night and slaughters the innocent people of his village. The killings are blamed on an escaped axe wuelding maniac.

A fairly well done gem of 70s horror, Curse delivers gothic trashiness complete with satanic rituals, bloody murder, and a solid performance from Naschy. The film is dated, however an the pacing may be a little difficult for modern audiences.


DAY 12:
The Evil Dead

Day 13:
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

DAY 14
The People Under the Stairs

DAY 15
My Bloody Valentine (1981)

DAY 16:
The Babysitter

Directed by McG? Seriously? That's his name? Okay. Fine.

Anyway, The Babysitter is a pretty fun ride. A twelve year old boy decides to stay up late and see what his babysitter gets up to after he goes to sleep. The results aren't what he expects, and shenanigans result where the young boy is forced to fight for survival against a satanic cult. What sets this film apart from others is the character dynamic between the sitter and our male lead. There's genuine affection between the two characters and we're sort of caught hoping that things turn out. But things can't ALL turn out well... right?

6 out of 10.

DAY 17:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
 
Day 17 was pretty special for my 31 days of horror. A Nightmare On Elm Street isn't the greatest film, but it has a special place in my heart and it ran at one of our local theaters for a night. The Theater just happened to get some new recliner seats so it was pretty heavenly... not really a review of the film, but rather I enjoyed experience.

Sleeping over a friends’ house, we started to tell each other some scary stories. He suddenly hits me with this story about a man who creeps through a girl’s dream and ultimately kills her- scares the living hell out of me. His story was basically the first few minutes of Nightmare on Elm Street, as I would come to learn a few months later when my mother’s friend rented the movie for us one night. And I see the very story that kept me up late at night come to life… I forgave the plagiarism and my friend and I excitedly watched a few more movies his parents had in their collection when they weren’t home.

I have some issues with the third act of the film in that the movie starts to fall apart a little bit. It loses focus and it doesn't really have a solid ending, it sort of fizzles out with a sputter rather than a bang. But that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

31 DAYS OF HORROR!!! DAY 10 Yokai Monsters Spook Warfare

DAY 10: Yokai Monsters Spook Warfare

An odd film out of Japan featuring monsters of Folklore attempting to do battle with an invading demon Yokai named Daimon. The Samurai, Shinhachiro, tries to save the daughter of the possessed magistrate from her father's depredations.He is helped, somewhat without realizing, by a number of Yokai creatures from ancient times.

As the tenth film in my 31 Days of Horror Challenge, the film borders on being more of a kids movie but the violent bloody deaths make up for it. However, many of the children are bordering on HR Puffnstuff effects. This may be a sign of the time it was made, however... but the make-up is still endearing.

6.5 out of 10 and a definite recommend for Japanese genre film enthusiasts. 

31 Days of Horror Challenge: DAY 9: "Don't Kill It!"

31 Days of Horror: DAY 9

Wow... I went into this movie with no real expectations and came out with my mind blown. A terrifically gory little piece of cinema, Dolph Lundgren is a tired demon hunter looking for a missing spirit he and his father had exorcised once upon a time in a flashback. The demon is a mass murdering thing that leaps from one body to the next one that had killed it. The deaths are spectacularly gory and the film definitely has a darkly comic feel to it. Lundgren also shows how underrated he is as a leading man, carrying much of the film on his back.

Totally worth the watch and is currently, as of this writing, streaming on Netflix.

7.5 out of 10.

Monday, October 9, 2017

DAY 8: VICTOR CROWLEY

NO SPOILERS!!!

Victor Crowley is a splatterfest of a good time. Featuring the return of Adam Greens' misshapen ghostly beast, VC delivers the grue and viciousness of the previous installments of the series. He also manages to capture laugh out loud moments of comedy without sacrificing the brutality and scares. My wife literally threw her popcorn all over her neighbor at one point while my son fist pumped with me during the extremely graphic kills. Surprises abound and Green continues to express his love for the genre stars who make their bones in horror.

I attended the Victor Crowley Road Show in Monterey, California. It was definitely the right audience to watch the film with... we cheered, we laughed, we were in our glory, and the audience was incredibly receptive.

I've decided to not spoil anything regarding this film so forgive me if my review is lax on the details and maybe you were expecting more. But, as a fan of the film maker and the film series in general I am happy to comply with the wishes of the film's creator by not spoiling details for the fans of the series in general.

31 Days of Horror: Day 5, 6, and 7. The Wolf Man, Hatchet 3, and Sleepwalkers

Day 5: THE WOLF MAN

The Lon Chaney Jr. classic is a bit of a staple during the Halloween season and has been reviewed previously on my blog. Coinciding with October's cycle of the full moon, it was the perfect choice for Day 5 in the challenge. With that said, it continues to stand up as a true classic and delivers on the emotional pain and genuine scares.

8 out of 10

DAY 6 : HATCHET 3

The final installment of Adam Green original trilogy includes some funny moments but ultimately lacks a bit if the charm in the original 2 films. Most jarring is the change in lead character Mary Beth (Danielle Harris) who goes from heroine to bitch. From someone eager to end the curse to someone who just doesn't seem to give a damn... And the result is a bit anticlimactic. Still an enjoyable ride overall,and a few surprised along the way. Derek Mears as the lead SWAT officer leads to a memorable scene between veteran Jason performers, and Kane Hodder is as vicious as ever.

DAY 7:  SLEEPWALKERS

Middling film based on a script by Stephen King. It's kind of a fun story about Cat People (Bastets) moving to a small town and attempting to survive by sucking the life essence from teen girls. There are plenty of cameos but this is pretty much the tail end of Stephen King's first "hey day" as a name in mainstream Hollywood films.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

31 Days of Horror: Day 4 "Silver Bullet"


31 Days of Horror: DAY 4

Based on Stephen King's "Cycle of the Werewolf" ( a collaboration project with artist Bernie Wrightson), Silver Bullet features the young Corey Haim at the height of acting prowess, playing Marty Cosgrove. The story follows a wheel-chair bound young man and his older sister(Megan Follows) as they uncover the mystery behind the deaths of local townsfolk.

Gary Busey delivers a touching performance as their wild uncle, who has a special bond with Marty. He engineers a special wheelchair for the boy and eventually helps them to uncover the secret behind the Werewolf.

Top notch talent and story all around. 

7.5 out of 10

31 Days of Horror: Cult of Chucky (on Netflix)

DAY 3

Cult Of Chucky:

On the tail end of events from the previous film, Chucky is precisely where we last found him… reunited with his terrorized victim from decades earlier, a now fully adult “Andy” (Alex Vincent) and not in the position he would most like. He’s a disembodied head that Andy enjoys tormenting on a regular basis. The living doll taunts the mentally unhinged boy and things are as they should be… until we join Chucky’s most recent victim or torment, the wheelchair bound Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, daughter of “Chucky” voice Brad). She’s rotting away in an insane asylum having been framed for the doll’s murderous rampage. Things take a shocking turn when multiple “Good Guy” dolls arrive on the hospital wing, any one of which could house the spirit of Fiona’s tormenter.

This franchise long ago threw any semblance of reality out of the window, but seems intent on maintaining a strange sense of continuity as the stories become more solidly linked through much more than the simple presence of a Chucky Doll. And, insofar as the series seemed more intent on embracing it’s comedic elements, the story also takes a far more sinister turn as many previous victories are twisted to become much harsher defeats. Andy didn’t get to live “happily ever after” as we seem him facing rejection in the very first scene, characters from the previous films face ignoble ends, and Chucky’s torment of his victims reaches a fever pitch.

A word to the wise- I caught Cult of Chucky on Netflix the very same day it was released on Blu-ray and it should be noted that my version was not unrated. From all reports, it’s missing a key end-stinger that most audiences felt was far more satisfying than the end of the film I saw. I have to admit the film I saw had a great opening act, slowed down to a crawl (despite numerous violent deaths) in the middle, and then really picked up steam to a fairly flat climax at the end. It left me wanting more and I’m curious what that end stinger might be.

6.5 out of 10 and a light recommendation.