Scary Movie Challenge 2016 Part 3

The world continues to be scary, but not as scary as the past. Last October anyway when I ventured deep into the scary movie cannon and really started to binge hard. Join me, wont you?

054 10/20 Microwave Massacre (1983) Blu-ray 3/5   Call it low expectations, but this one is pretty good. Stand up legend Jackie Vernon stars as a man who’s so sick of his wife’s fancy microwave meals that he eats her. It’s played for laughs, but there’s few laughs to be found. It’s cheap, the acting is terrible, the gore is lousier than Herschel Gordon Lewis but it manages to work. This is one I would of skipped in the VHS era but it managed to surprise me.

055 10/20 Slugs (1988) Blu-ray 3/5   Another one from the VHS era I would of skipped, and another case of low expectations. Surprisingly they play this one pretty straight considering the stupid plot of slugs attacking an American small town. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to unseat Jaws or anything, more of a case of it’s not completely shit.

056 10/20 The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) Blu-ray 3/5   Pretty typical giallo that focuses more on police procedure than the actual murders. The plot is the typical convoluted “Who done it?” thing, this time trying to find the “Park Killer”. That said, it’s good enough to keep you interested.

057 10/20 Vamp (1986) Blu-ray 3/5   A couple of frat boys looking for strippers stumble upon a club full of VAMPIRES! I had forgotten all about this one having not seen it since the VHS debut. It’s not bad. Grace Jones manages to pull off a silent performance, it’s garish in the 80’s look and it’s fun despite being a bit shit.

058 10/21 Dracula Bites The Big Apple (1979) Blu-ray 3/5   Short film from the director of Vamp is basically a mini-version of “Love At First Bite.” It’s fun and at 20 minutes, better than “Love at First Bite.”

059 10/21 Dead-End Drive-In (1988) Blu-ray 3/5   This one is more of a Mad Max style Ozploitation than a proper horror. People love this one but it left me a bit flat. Youths are corralled into a Drive-In Prison camp. If it didn’t have such good action set pieces I would have given it only 2.5/5. UPDATE: The Arrow blu-ray of this one is fantastic with a couple of shorts: The Stuntmen and Hospitals Don’t Burn that are both amazing!

060 10/21 Basket Case 2 (1990) Blu-ray 2/5   Continues right where the last one left off, this one finds the brothers being cared for in a home for freaks. It’s lacking all the charm that the first one had, and the make-up is terrible for the most part. It’s played mostly for laughs, only it’s not funny.

061 10/21 Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Continues right were part two left off, and finds the gang of freaks on a road trip to visit a Doctor to help with the birth of Belial’s child. It sucked, but it’s better that the second one. Skip these and watch the original cult classic. I give that one a 4 out of 5.

062 10/21 The Vampire (1957) DVD 3/5   A Doctor accidentally takes pills derived from vampire bats and becomes a Dracula. This is a typical cheap 50’s monster film, which means I enjoyed it and am probably rating it higher than I should. It had everything I look for in a cheap 50’s monster film: terrible monster make-up, incredibly stupid scientific explanations and a plot that moves briskly.

063 10/21 Fright Night (1985) Blu-ray 4.5/5   Loved this one in 1985, still love it today. Easily one of the best films of the 80’s. I continue to have no interest in the remake.

064 10/22 In The Mouth of Madness (1995) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Revisited this one and I still find it mostly boring. Carpenter does Lovecraft to a degree, only its more silly than scary and oh so serious.

065 10/22 The Green Inferno (2013) Blu-ray 4/5   Eli Roth does his take on the cannibal picture. This one seemed to get hated on by pretty much everyone but I don’t know why. It’s as good as any other cannibal picture (so your taste may vary…) only without the gross animal cruelty. I thought this one was just fine and one of the better ones.

066 10/22 The Cat and the Canary (1939) DVR 3.5/5   A group of heirs must spend the night in a haunted house in order to see who gets the inheritance of their deceased uncle. Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard star in this horror comedy, and they are perfect in it. The film manages to balance the spooks and the laughs. I might have to check out more Bob Hope films.

067 10/22 Knock Knock (2015) Blu-ray 3.5/5   Eli Roth updates “Little Miss Innocence” (though Chris Warfield gets zero credit since they technically remade “Death Game”). Two girls show up in the rain and torture a dad who has the house to himself while his family is away. I really liked this one. Roth goes subtle (which in Roth terms means no gore) with this one and allow Keanu Reeves to do some character work. It get’s a little over the top plot wise in the third act, but not enough to ruin the film.

068 10/22 The Witch (2015) download 4/5   A pilgrim family is banished from their town and must contend with the woods. I really enjoyed this one. It plays out like a drama with a rather slow burn and skips the typical jump scares and horseshit you typically get in modern horror. It makes for a spooky film that can stick with you.

069 10/23 The Blob (1988) Blu-ray 3.5/5   This remake amps up the gore but otherwise stays pretty true to the original. As updates goes, this one is not only pretty good but might be better than the original.

070 10/23 Hardware (1990) Blu 3.5/5   In a “Mad Max “like apocalyptic future a scavenger brings his girlfriend home a robot head that ends up being a military robot that terrorizes her in her apartment. It is at it’s bone a Terminator knockoff, but it’s done with such style and flair that it mostly holds up as it’s own thing. The problem is the small scale ends up compromising it.

071 10/23 Street Trash (1987) Blu-ray 3/5

072 10/23 Street Trash (short film) Blu-ray 3/5   A liquor store owner starts selling contraband hooch to the homeless that causes them to literally melt. The only thing missing from this one is the “Troma” label in that it’s plot is just an excuse for every gross out gag in the book. Which is fine by me. I just found it a little tedious between the gross outs.

073 10/23 The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) DVR 3/5   Roman Polanski does a Hammer Horror send up that largely left me flat. I didn’t find that the gags held up and it couldn’t seem to find it’s footing between broad spoof comedy and something more subtle.

074 10/23 Possession (1981) DVR 3.5/5   This one starts off more as a drama about a marriage unraveling in one of the most brutally portrayed ways I’ve seen. Then in the second half it gets completely fucked up. To say any more is to ruin it, just trust me, this is absolutely a horror film.

075 10/24 Sugar Hill (1974) Blu-ray 3/5   A woman recruits a voodoo zombie army to get back at the gangsters that murdered her boyfriend. Probably one of the more gonzo blaxploitation epics you’ll find. I didn’t think it held up as well on this second viewing, but that may be due to my first viewing taking place in a bar full of drunken film fans. That said, the plot is irresistible.

076 10/24 Blacula (1972) Blu-ray 4/5   It’s easy to write this one off as simply a “Black Dracula” movie, but it’s actually one of the better contemporary versions of the Dracula myths that helps it to transcend its exploitation bases. It ends up being a ton of fun.

077 10/24 Tentacles (1977) Blu-ray 2/5   I’m fine with a Jaws rip-off, and I can get by with cheap effects. There is no excuse though for horrendous plotting, stunt casting – I’m sure Henry Fonda didn’t spend more than a day on set – extraneous scenes that do nothing and worst off all, setting up a joke with no punchline. I hated this one. I’m only giving it two stars out of respect for Fonda, John Huston and Shelley Winters.

078 10/24 Dark Water (2002) Blu-ray 3/5   This one arrived yesterday fresh from Arrow Video so I thought I would spin it. Everything great about J-Horror is here, stylish atmosphere, creepy sound design and a unique ghost story. It just all leaves me flat.

079 10/25 Scream Blacula Scream (1973) Blu-ray 3.5/5   The sequel sees the good count resurrected by voodoo. It was fine for what it was but I prefer the original.

79 films and still not done! It was an epic challenge for me, so there will be one more post next week provided the internet isn’t abolished.

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Movie A Day!: 377-382 – “What’s Your Favourite Grammy Memory?”

As predicted, this week was a little shorter. Evenings seemed to get away from me, both with family stuff, x-mas stuff, and my new PONO player arriving! What’s PONO? It’s a iPod basically, but designed for playing high rez music. I tested it by playing the high rez album and swapping between it and a vinyl copy. There was no difference, which means it works! So I believe in Neil Young and the PONO promise. Dumb thing though is loading music is really slow. They’re still in Beta, so hopefully that sorts itself.

Enough jibber jab about a music player you monsters don’t care about, on with the movies you will never watch!

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377 12-01 Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman (1971) 4/5

This one was another great one. Zatoichi gets mixed up with the legendary One-Armed Swordsman after unfortunately named Yu Wang kills a bunch of Shogun Samurai trying to protect some Chinese immigrants in Japan. As I said, it’s pretty great with an uneasy alliance between Zatoichi and Wang made all the worse due to them being unable to speak to each other due to the language barrier. It makes for some natural comedy and intrigue, and the movie is the typical suspenseful burn that manages to match up the typical Samurai Zatoichi stuff with the more flamboyant (and kind of corny) Kung-Fu that Yu Wang is known for. It gets a solid recommend.

378 12-03 Christmas in Rockefeller Center (2014) 2/5
12-05 A Grammy Christmas (2014) 1/5
Since dad passed away, I’m getting sucked into watching all the shitty Christmas shows. Rockefeller’s excuse was the lighting of a Christmas tree. It get’s two stars due to have Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga sing an actual Christmas song in a proper way. The rest was garbage. The Grammy one was total garbage, featuring a bunch of assholes who can only sing with autotune, and some British cunt named Sam something who flat out can not sing even with autotune, singing songs having nothing to do with Christmas. I FUCKING HATE THIS TIME OF YEAR!

379 12-05 Beat The Devil (1953) 2.5/5
Humphrey Bogart is back with John Huston with this one, and it’s simply okay. Which is a shame since the team-up has generated absolute classics like THE MALTESE FALCON, TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE and THE AFRICAN QUEEN, all films that should be seen if you want an understanding of movies, period. This one though just doesn’t work. Bogart plays a guy hired by some crooks (featuring Peter Lorre) to play as an inbetween so they can get into Africa and exploit uranium rights. It’s oddly played more for laughs, and the tone just never quite works.

380 12-06 The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) 2.5/5
Another sequel in the Universal Monster series, this one takes place thirty years after the last film, and finds the mummy Kharis being sent the states to kill the two goofs from the last movie that desecrated his tomb. It’s as corn ball as it sounds, but Lon Chaney Jr. does as good as anyone can as the Mummy. I knocked it half a star for burning ten minutes of it’s 60 minute run time with clips from the previous film. It also steals a bunch of mob shots of townsfolk with torches from BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Universal was always cheap, I guess.

381 12-06 Cathouse Fever (1984) 2/5
This is the second feature on Vinegar Syndromes PEEKARAMA disc that also featured PURELY PHYSICAL by the same director, and sadly this one was more of the same. A woman narrates her memories of working in a cathouse, and the result is a series of uninspired sex scenes and bad attempts at comedy. The best thing is the goofy song in the trailer that rips off the Ted Nugent “classic” “Cat Scratch Fever”. So this disc was one of the rare clunkers in the VS catalogue. It was bound to happen when you’re featuring on average 6-7 movies a month.

382 12-06 The Eric Andre Show Season 1 (2012) 4/5
I’ve only become aware of this one recently, and boy do I love it. It’s stupid, and a rip of the superior THE TOM GREEN show, but it’s gloriously stupid and I love this show! If you like Tim & Eric, Tom Green, Jackass and other brilliant stupidity, you should like this.

There it is, another week down. I’m nearly finished my x-mas shopping, so I should hopefully get more movies in next week. I enjoy the giving of Christmas, but man, the shopping is a total ball ache. I couldn’t imagine having to buy for kids. Actually, kids are easier since they’re monsters and will tell you what they want instead of the vague “Oh, anything is fine” that us jerk adults pull with a false modesty. Or is that a Canadian trait? I don’t know, I just find it stressful and usually give up.

“Quitting” is my new, yet old, jam.

The End