October Horror Movie Challenge 2019by cinemajunky | created - 2 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public
31 horror movies in 31 Days. Once again, no theme as my day officially starts with a toddler at 7am, but my viewing day doesn't start until 8pm.
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1. Satanic Panic (2019)
Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Horror
A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life - and her tips - when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.
Sam's first day as a pizza delivery girl isn't going so great when she lands the no tip route. After delivering pizza to a crazy huge mansion and yet again getting no tip, she decides to take matters into her own hands and enter the house only to find a hoard of Satanists!
It's crazy seeing Jerry O'Connell again, especially since he looks like he could go another round of Sliders without needing any makeup. Rebecca Romjin is still pretty hot as the Satanic mom and the costume and set designs are phenomenal. There are some really good gore and makeup effects, but, for a horror comedy, the comedy is a little lackluster. Chelsea Stardust directs and she's got a fair few horror titles under her belt so I might just look into watching some.
2. Artik (2019)
78 min | Horror, Thriller
A comic book obsessed serial killer teaches his son how to get away with a series of brutal murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man who threatens to expose everything.
A serial killer, obsessed with finding the purity of a hero, leads his son down the path of a killer until a nearby straight edge punk neighbor befriends the son and threatens to undo all his teachings.
It has the bones of a really good horror movie, but just never pushes itself to get there. The opposing characters, Artik and Holten, the serial killer and the punk respectively, spout a lot of navel gazing philosophy and there's the eventual showdown, but it's all surface when it feels like it's supposed to be deep. I'm about to spoil the movie. So, y'know, warning... Artik philosophizes to Boy Adam, his son and apprentice killer. Artik kills someone and then taunts them for being dead. Fliny, the mother character, flirts with Artik, whines about going away, rages at Boy Adam, and barely feeds a bevy of dirty barn boy farmhands. Boy Adam spends nights being talked at by Artik and his days being talked at by Holten who catches him tagging Artik's name everywhere because that's a thing he does for some reason. Holten naturally worries about the kid, but, given real evidence of child abuse and neglect, takes that evidence to a nonsense spouting Al-Anon leader, Kar, who, for no explained reason, takes it right back to Fliny and Artik. This creates a situation that obviously exposes and endangers Boy Adam and sets up Holten and Artik's showdown. That's it. That's the movie. I'm sure anyone who's seen any sort of movie can predict what happens before credits roll. It starts out with so much potential, but fizzles when absolutely nothing happens.
3. Brightburn (2019)
R | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?
Votes: 54,858 | Gross: $17.30M
Found as a baby after he crashed to Earth, a young boy grows up on a farm in a small town with the parents who adopt him. On his 12th birthday, things start to change as he feels his true nature and power calling to him.
There are a couple scenes of fantastic gore effects, but the overall story is fairly predictable. Despite being predictable, it's still really entertaining. There aren't a lot of horror movies I can watch with the Hub as it's his least favorite genre, but he enjoys the superhero genre and I can usually trick him into a horror movie if it feels more like an action movie. Brightburn works to that purpose which probably is one of the reasons it worked so well with audiences. It's not the greatest movie ever, but we enjoyed it for what it was and the car scene is going to give the Hub nightmares so yay!
4. Mermaid Down (2019)
91 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A mermaid is ripped from the Pacific, her tail is chopped off and she's thrown into a mental home where no one believes she is a mermaid.
After two fishermen capture and mutilate a mermaid by cutting off her tail, a psychiatrist swoops in and takes the now human mermaid to his home for mentally ill women (because that's totally a thing, y'all). Not content to simply languish about, the mermaid uses her limited capacity for communication and can do spirit to form bonds with the other girls, much to the chagrin of their attending physician.
Honestly, it's a terrible movie chalk full of tropes and unsurprising twists. There's a lack of depth for every character, even the mermaid and it plays much like a Lifetime movie. I guess the moral of this story would be that all male psychiatrists are poorly disguised serial killers who will abandon the security of their boat based torture room in order to abuse their facilities and torture women under the watchful and somehow completely blind eyes of their security staff and nurses. Or maybe it's that mental homes (totally a thing) have no real oversight and patients can go missing overnight and only the brass tacks doctoral nurse (totally a thing) will notice and ask questions. I don't really know what the point of this movie was outside of "ooh, look, mermaid! Half a mermaid! Mermaid cocoon! Mental home for women! Bad doctor! Mermaid!"
5. The Hoard (2018)
99 min | Comedy, Horror
THE HOARD is a comedy/horror mockumentary that chronicles the unravelling of a production team who are attempting to produce the ultimate reality TV show pilot 'Extremely Haunted Hoarders'.
A reality tv crew descends upon a small town, determined to help a man clean up his three properties before they're condemned by the local government. They also believe there's a paranormal element to his hoarding and have tied it in with their program.
I hate this. It's filmed like a reality television show, but every character is pretty awful. It takes forever for it to stop showcasing stupidity and to get to anything I'd consider horror and even those parts are ridiculous and pointless. In the end, there's zombies and demonic possessions and a junk explosion effect. It's neither funny nor scary - it's more boring than anything else. No stars.
6. State of Emergency (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Chaos consumes a small town when a chemical facility explodes releasing a deadly toxin. Moments after the leak, the town's residents show signs of mutation, causing the military to ... See full summary »
After a bomb goes off at a chemical plant, the local residents are mutated into cannibalistic zombie people. Hiding from the infected, a scrappy band of brooding 20-somethings try to survive until rescued.
I need to stop forgetting this one and the movie Here Alone. I see zombies and get all excited like I've got a shiny new toy. It's ok, but it needs more. People critiquing it have said that it's a more cerebral zombie movie, but it's not - they're just giving it a pass because they think liking it will make them look smarter. It doesn't. It's a zombie movie without very many zombies and that would be ok if the movie focused on some really good character development, but it doesn't. It's not a great movie, but it'll work in a pinch if you have nothing else. Unfortunately, I have a stack of something elses I could've watched instead, but I watched this again.
7. Suspiria (I) (2018)
R | 152 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
Votes: 47,543 | Gross: $2.47M
In post war Berlin, an American girl dances an audition at a prestigious dance school. A natural talent, she's immediately accepted and put to the test. But something's happening in the school's secret rooms and it starts to affect all the students.
I heard a lot of backlash when this first came out and I don't know why. I've seen the original several times, including on the drive-in screen; I remember bits and pieces, although the original has never been a favorite of mine. The remake, on the other hand, has its issues, but still managed to be really entertaining. The Lufthansa Flight 181 hijacking plays constantly in the background and it doesn't really make any sense - apparently it's to show the influence and effect that the struggle within the dance company has on the rest of the world? I don't know if I 100% buy that, but ok. I like how they squeezed every bit of acting they could get out of Tilda Swinton, though I'd argue maybe hiring an old German guy would've been a bit less costly than all that old age makeup. The makeup (outside of Tilda's old age doctor) was fantastic and the soundtrack really plays to the mood of the entire piece. I don't know what the hubbub was about other than being annoyed at another remake even though it turned out to be a better remake. Spoiler, the ending was sweeter than what I remember from the original - I don't always like sappy crap in my horror movies, but the idea of giving an old man the closure he's been looking for for decades is incredibly sweet.
8. Child's Play (2019)
R | 90 min | Horror
A mother gives her 13-year-old son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.
Votes: 29,760 | Gross: $29.21M
Angered with his working conditions, a sweatshop toy maker programs a Buddi doll to be a crazy ass ex-girlfriend model with a cling factor of 9000 before he offs himself (as you do). First family dumps the doll as defective and too cool for school mom takes it home to her lonely boy who promptly teaches it to murder!
From the same people who brought us the remake of IT, comes yet another remake no one asked for. However, unlike nearly every other reviewer who didn't get a paycheck or a blowie for their review, I actually kind of liked it. Take away the name and the uncanny valley hideous design, the movie has its comedic moments and there are times when you genuinely feel bad for the murderous moppet. There are continuity issues here and there, but it's a pretty solid cheesy horror movie.
It's good we don't fully trust AI yet. Anything that has that much control over our lives is not to be trusted. Now, you'll have to forgive me, I think I hear children in my yard...
9. Estranged (I) (2015)
Not Rated | 101 min | Horror, Thriller
A woman returns home to her estranged family after a near-fatal accident, but begins to suspect something is not right.
After a bad accident leaves her unsteady on her feet and with her memory, January returns home with her boyfriend Callum in tow. Red flags start popping up all over the place when she still cannot remember the family who welcomes her back so warmly.
I called the twist as soon after the boyfriend exeunt. It's not a new story at all and it plods along even after the reveal. The characters are fun and mostly believable and the small bit of backstory needed to pull it all together with a bow is presented very nicely. The set design is gorgeous and the costuming is very well done. It's a lovely bit of cinema with a well traveled idea.
Spoiler - If no one has seen the daughter in six years and none of the villagers like her dad, why didn't they pass Katherine off as January? Or just not bother with the whole charade in the first place? Seems sort of silly to be okay with one murder and then get a little squeamish with another. I get Mum's attachment to January, but she stood by and watched her husband rape her daughter and we're supposed to believe she would have a real problem if her husband was to kill January?? This is a short stretched to feature and it's been done better by other features who didn't feel compelled to add a rapey bit.
10. Crawl (2019)
R | 87 min | Action, Drama, Horror
A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.
Votes: 39,384 | Gross: $39.01M
A hurricane in Florida compels the estranged daughter of a handyman to come looking for him while everyone else evacuates. When she finds her injured father underneathe the foundation of the home she grew up in, he's injured and being stalked by a huge alligator.
I hate characters who exhibit zero survival instinct. In order to accept this movie, you need to accept that we live in a world where monstrous dinosaur sized alligators exist and do not completely devastate the ecology of whatever area they normally chill in when it's not torrential downpour or that there's a crazy ton of wildlife down in Florida to support these behemoths.
We also have to accept that kicky, stabby, girl can not only out-swim an alligator (alligators:11mph versus the fastest female swimmer on record hit ~3.5mph), but that she's far tastier than a yippy dog. Nevermind that she previously lost a swim competition right before driving two hours and also has an injured leg. So daughter shows up and finds injured dad in the crawlspace under the house. She's got his entire tool belt at her disposal, the foundation is brick and has a design that features large gaps, and she can see light between the wooden floorboards above them. Instead of working the mortar out between the bricks or prying the floorboards up, she decides to play peekaboo with the bitey evolutionary throwbacks and isn't always successful in dodging them. As soon as they make it into the house, I figured they'd go to the roof for rescue - makes sense, right? Nope! Even after the streets flood and she watches a hoard of gators attack and eat five people, she still doesn't consider swimming through gator infested waters to be that bad an idea when they eventually get free. Dear ol dad tells her she's faster than they are and off she goes!
There should be laws against encouraging your children in their suicidal endeavors. I was pretty sure this movie was going to end with both characters dead and, after all the stupid crap they get away with throughout the entire movie, I feel they earned that ending. But that's far too much to ask for and we get the ridiculous happy ending and I got schnookered into watching Alligator MEG.
11. The Dark Tower (2017)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A boy haunted by visions of a dark tower from a parallel reality teams up with the tower's disillusioned guardian to stop an evil warlock known as the Man in Black who plans to use the boy to destroy the tower and open the gates of Hell.
Votes: 116,358 | Gross: $50.70M
After his dad dies fighting a fire, Jake begins having terrible nightmares of people who wear faces and the Man in Black. When he dreams of the Gunslinger and a house he thinks is local, he earns the attention of the Man in Black's minions who want his brain to help take down the Dark Tower which is the only thing standing between good and evil.
Last night was a movie night with the Hub which means movies had to fill a couple requirements to be watched - low on the horror schlock, big budget, big names, with action sequences. The Dark Tower fills all of that with a bonus of being pretty predictable. I'm not a fan of Steven King, but I've read a few of his books and I've watched a lot of movies based on his books. I'm sure I only caught maybe 10% of the easter eggs available for fans. Unfortunately, this feels like more of a kid fantasy movie than it does a horror film. It's an okay story overall and the Idris Elba's Gunslinger parts are honestly the most entertaining, being second only to Matthew McConaughey's Man in Black scenes.
I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. It was....ok. Mediocre big box office fare with a few good scenes. I wish I could say more as this is the movie I was at least awake through. I just know I'm not really going to remember this movie after this review and that seems wrong for a movie with the sort of budget this had. The scene designs aren't interesting despite plentiful opportunities. The characters, outside of Idris and Matthew, are boring and surface. Even the monsters and bad guys are nondescript and cheap looking. Where did all the money go??
12. Nekrotronic (2018)
R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
A man who discovers that he is part of a secret sect of magical beings who hunt down and destroy demons in the internet.
Howard North is having a pretty crap day when his coworker, Rangi, downloads a phone game that's like Pokemon Go for ghosts, setting off a chain of events that leads to Howie learning he's part of a dwindling society of demon hunters who chase down demons on the internet.
The opening sequence makes this whole movie - it's hilarious and awesome. The characters are fun, the effects are over the top goofy and gory, and the story is pretty solid. Monica Bellucci plays the head demoness in charge and she is still pretty schwing-tastic at 55. Epine Bob Savea (Rangi) steals every scene he's in and it's a damn shame IMDB doesn't have more on him. Unfortunately, we started this movie pretty late and my toddler treats sleeping like a luxury only afforded to the rich. I made it to about 20 minutes before the end and konked out. I'm planning on finishing this today and revising my review, but, until then, it was still pretty good.
13. Knife + Heart (2018)
Unrated | 102 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
Paris, summer 1979. Anne is a producer of cheap gay porn. When Lois, her editor and companion, leaves her, she attempts to get her back by making a more ambitious film with the flamboyant Archibald.
Votes: 2,438 | Gross: $0.03M
AKA Un couteau dans le coeur, French with subtitles.
When her love life goes awry and a killer starts murdering her actors, a homoerotic movie director decides to change up her latest movie so that it more closely mirrors life.
This one isn't for everyone. There are a lot of nude scenes with simulated gay sex, but it is an absolutely gorgeous film with the most coherent storyline start to finish that I've ever seen in a Giallo film. The striking contrasts in color alone between the set design and the costumes is fantastic and the club scenes are absolutely intoxicating. It's a really pretty film with pretty men grinding on one another surrounding the story of a director turned detective with a little supernatural thrown in for good measure.
14. Good Manners (2017)
135 min | Fantasy, Horror, Musical
Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana as the nanny for her unborn child. The two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night changes their plans.
Votes: 1,957 | Gross: $0.03M
AKA As Boas Maneiras, Portuguese with subtitles.
Pregnant rich girl Ana hires Clara to be her nanny and ends up needing her to do most everything for her. As her due date nears, Clara finds Ana sleepwalking and behaving peculiarly. This is going to be my favorite of this challenge. This is the one I tell people to watch. This is my diamond mined from shit mountain.
The first thirty minutes are slow and awkward, but then there's a spicy little sex scene and things start getting a little crazy. There are actually two parts to this and that's all I'm going to say because anything else would spoil it. Once the surface introduction is over (slow first 30min), the tone changes a little and the characters become way more complex and interesting. The script moves quickly and is very solid. The eventual CGI is a little off putting, but the makeup effects are really good.
15. Krasue: Inhuman Kiss (2019)
122 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
In a far-away village, lived an innocent teenage girl, "Sai" who later discovered herself inheriting the curse of "Krasue". At night, her head would detach from her body and hunts for flesh... See full summary »
Thai with subtitles.
A small village is beset by a vampiric demon called a Krasue, a tentacled flying woman's head who feeds on livestock and people. When hunters appear to root out the demon, it could spell misfortune for three childhood friends caught in a love triangle.
I enjoyed this movie immensely with one issue - Asian movies like disappointing endings regardless of genre. The makeup effects are awesome, the story is solid and coherent, the characters are likeable. It's a really good movie. I just wish it had a better ending. Edit or delete this
16. Deadtectives (2018)
Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Horror
DeadTectives follows a team of hapless paranormal investigators on a reality TV series who go on a quest to Mexico's most haunted house in the pursuit of better ratings. However, when the ... See full summary »
With their schlocky ghost hunter show about to be cancelled, a reality tv crew heads to Mexico at the behest of their new producer. A house with a sordid past awaits them and their ability to oust the spirits within.
This is another movie I'm going to end up forgetting. The cast is great, the story's simple and fun, but nothing really stands out. I really thought there was going to be more to this than what I got.
I think part of my issue is that none of the characters are anything beyond their trope. They literally are just "main character", "main character's morally conflicted fiancee", "main character's over eager brother", "foil for main character's over eager brother" who is also, coincidentally, "one note joke played over and over", "hot angry goth girl" who is also "foil for morally conflicted fiancee". Even the ghosts are pretty standard surface level tropes. There's one moment where the lead reveals a bit of backstory, but it's quickly swept aside and has absolutely no effect on anyone. It's ok for a movie you can turn your brain off to as it doesn't really rock the horror genre boat, but that also means it won't be anyone's Challenge favorite.
17. The Blackcoat's Daughter (I) (2015)
R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.
Votes: 15,268 | Gross: $0.02M
Winter break sees two girls, Katherine and Rose, stuck in the school dorm of their Catholic school together with a couple of nuns. Rose occupies her time with a personal crisis while Katherine's behavior becomes increasingly disconcerting.
Holy shit. Thanks to a delightfully oppressive soundtrack that plays throughout, there's a tension that never lets up. Something bad is going to happen and we know it from the very first scene. I will be the first to admit that I didn't even notice Joan and Kat are played by different people - the hair style changes, but they look so similar that I thought it was the same girl. Holy shit. Everything is dark and washed out gray and that can be attributed to it being winter, but the bleak chill of the outside scene worms its way into the dorms where not even the girls' rooms feel comforting. Very well done, great cast, fantastic story, oppressive soundtrack - I'm very impressed and it ties for top movie of the challenge for me at this point.
18. Little Monsters (2019)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Horror
A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.
When a military outpost falls to zombies, a nearby petting zoo is overrun. Dave, a 20 something slacker pothead, lusts after his 5yr old nephew's teacher so, to get close to her, he gladly volunteers to aid the class on their outing to the same petting zoo on the day of the outbreak. Lucky for them, kidtertainment celebrity, Teddy McGiggles, also makes an appearance at the zoo!
I watched the trailers and eagerly awaited this movie. My excitement for kids and zombies and zombie kids knew no bounds. I've written this review three times and, each time, it's spiraled into a gibbering, ranting, chaotic mess of curse words and threats against Abe Forsythe's dick hole. Dave is the main character. We hate Dave. He's an irresponsible, selfish, narcissistic man child. Of course, in order to make him look good, McGiggles is even worse. Every character is a god awful trope in this predictable, unoriginal, completely unfunny dreck of a movie. The only character I even remotely liked was Felix, the 5yr old nephew, played by the adorable Diesel La Torraca. Knowing that he's the only character that audiences will give a damn about, Forsythe puts him in near constant danger in order to make up for the lack of any real tension. It falls flat on comedy and the horror is non-existent outside of zombie makeup effects. What a superb letdown.
19. The Addiction (1995)
Not Rated | 82 min | Horror
A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.
Votes: 8,227 | Gross: $0.30M
After being attacked in an alley, a philosophy doctoral candidate working on her thesis fully embraces her new role as a predator. Using philosophy to justify her addiction, she spreads the infection.
I watched this for my friend's podcast, Raiders of the Podcast, episode 124 airing 10/19/19. THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
This should have been a slam dunk for me - 90s vampire movie with Lili Taylor and a bit part for Christopher Walken?! Comeon! It's a perfect set up. Unfortunately, this movie feels like philosophy homework and I'm definitely not ready for the midterm! Taylor, Walker, and Sciorra all participate in a fair bit of navel gazing self aggrandizing philosophy, painting themselves as either amoral abject wretches, slaves to hunger and nature, or as recovering junkies living on a higher monastic plane. In any case, it's all pointless drivel justifying addiction and assault and engages in a lot of victim blaming. Kathy's attacked in an alley by Casanova (Sciorra) and given an opportunity to take charge and prevent the assault. Instead of finding her strong voice, she pleads and is thus made responsible for her attack. Later, she echoes these words at various victims, notably Kathryn Erbe's nameless anthropology student who gets taunted and chastised for not preventing the attack and accused of wanting it to happen. Later, Kathy attacks her friend who actually tells her to stop and go away and is completely ignored while Kathy continues her philosophical ravings on how she's a god. Somehow, despite all her recent erratic behavior and the fact that she ate her teacher to make him a thrall, she somehow manages to get her doctorate which sparks a bloodbath in lesser magnitude than the atrocity she studies at the beginning of the film. Once she's recreated the horrific scene in miniature, she goes for a stroll and ends up in a hospital where Sciorra rants about evil people not being evil because of their deeds, but doing evil deeds because they are evil.
I don't buy it. For one, good and evil are man-made concepts that only apply to the things we say they apply to. We see wolves attacking sheep and call it evil for what it means to us and our livelihoods, but the wolf simply attacks to survive and, if we believe in the sanctity of life, survival is of the utmost importance. We sympathize with the sheep, but, come dinner time, we aren't any better than the wolf. Being human, we have the ability to justify and rationalize our actions, but it all boils down to choice. Nature isn't the sole factor in our behavior as we have the ability to fight against our nature and overcome. Walken attributes his dietary abstinence on will alone and Tomlin repeatedly declares her will to be better than theirs despite repeatedly engaging in predatory behavior. Either she has no willpower to fight her nature or she's choosing to do evil. Ultimately, I don't like the idea of humans being all evil or all good. Mother Theresa considered the suffering of the poor to be a good thing. Hitler had a beloved dog and was nice to his friends' children. By relegating people to the black and white world of good and evil, we strip them of their humanity and create characters of them which is not only disingenuous, but it's to our detriment as a people.
20. 3 from Hell (2019)
R | 115 min | Horror
After barely surviving a brutal police shootout, the demented Firefly clan unleash a whole new wave of murder, madness and mayhem.
The three remaining members of the Firefly clan are taken to intensive care immediately following their shoot out with police. Miraculously, all survive to face trial and become media sensations.
This is a fitting end to Captain Spaulding and Sid Haig. The movie picks up right where Devil's Rejects left off with Captain Spaulding, Otis, and Baby being carted off to the hospital, recovery, and then bits of the trial. Richard Brake joins as the third titular member and gets the ball rolling. It's ok. The first movie was the best for kills and thrills, but it's mellowed out over time. Maybe I've become more desensitized to violence and nudity since the first one or maybe, by the third, Rob Zombie just doesn't have anything really twisted left in him. It's a decent slasher and it's always great seeing characters I've enjoyed in the past, but Zombie should probably move on. There's too much in the way of repeating the formula from the second movie to let this one stand on its own.
21. Children of the Night (1991)
R | 92 min | Horror
A schoolteacher teams up with with a priest to stop a town being overrun by vampires.
Second of Four Movies Reviewed on Raiders of the Podcast episode 124 airing 10/19/2019
In order to escape Allburg USA for good, teenagers who leave must swim in the crypt to wash the dirt of their hometown off lest they be doomed to return and never leave again! When Cindy and Lucy take a dip, Cindy loses her cross necklace and accidentally awakens Vlado Czayr, a vampire sleeping in the flooded crypt.
Karen Black, a genre icon with a career that spans decades, plays the lust-filled Karen, mother of Cindy, who leads Father Aldin astray as a human and feeds off poor Cindy as a vampire. She arguably has the best lines in the entire movie and her scenes are pretty much the best despite Evan MacKenzie's ridiculous overacting. The rest of the cast isn't much better with over exaggerated gestures and clearly manufactured emotional displays in even the most mundane of situations. Shirley Spiegler Jacobs as Lucy's grandma is a gem in this as she really hams it up and Lloyd J. Kalicki's Peewee Peeping Pervert is a delight for the short time he's on screen. The puns and one-liners are absolutely out of control!
It's 100% 90s vampire makeup with the crazy dental devices and far too much eye shadow - apparently these vamps suck blood right through their hilariously gigantic fangs and don't get a whole lot of sleep. The reason they have to vomit up their lungs or sleep in a fluid cocoon is never explained and just accepted as part of being a vampire. Even the soundtrack is right out of the 90s with mood music ramping up and dying down as needed so there are no awkward silences. It's schlock, but it knows it's schlock so it's fun and enjoyable :)
22. Martin (1977)
R | 95 min | Drama, Horror
A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.
Votes: 9,211 | Gross: $0.10M
Third of Four Movies Reviewed on Raiders of the Podcast episode 124 airing 10/19/2019
A self proclaimed vampire goes to live with his superstitious cousin in the city in order to be purged of his vampirism and saved. Meanwhile, he commits several rapes and murders to satisfy his blood craving.
I honestly think Martin and his cousin are both delusional and Martin's just a serial killer. He's not affected by sunlight, crosses, or garlic, doesn't have fangs, and he can freely enter any building without an invite - all of the classic signs of a vampire. He admits to his cousin's daughter, Christina, that he's eighty-four years old and this may be supported by the frequent black and white flashbacks of Martin with another young woman whose death causes him to be chased by a mob of villagers in a scene that parallels Dracula fleeing with Mina at the end of his story. However, cousin Cuda explains that Martin came from the old country so it's possible that these scenes are modern, but depicted differently due to being set apart from the Pennsylvania location. It's equally likely that Martin's a vampire, albeit a vampire that doesn't conform to any of our cultural expectations. I love the ambiguity of this movie because, vampire or no, Martin is still a bad guy who attacks, rapes, and murders women. It's technically well done with a great score and makeup and special effects right out of the 70s. I don't know if the syringe is supposed to be a comedic element, but I found it hilarious how long this sedative takes to act.
23. Bordello of Blood (1996)
R | 87 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
The Crypt Keeper returns to tell the story of a funeral parlor that moonlights as a vampire bordello.
Votes: 12,568 | Gross: $5.59M
Fourth of Four Movies Reviewed on Raiders of the Podcast episode 124 airing 10/19/2019
When her wayward brother fails to return home after a fight and the police seem uninterested in finding him, do-good Katherine hires Rafe Guttman, a smarmy PI on the job. Rafe tracks Caleb to a local bordello masquerading as a funeral home.
Since this is a Tales from the Crypt based tale, there's a considerably long opening sequence with The Crypt Keeper and William Sadler as a mummy that gets old very quick. Unfortunately, I think that can be said about most of this movie - it gets old very quick. Corey Haim is adorable here as Caleb and makes me mourn for what he used to be, especially after last seeing him in 2018's Corbin Nash. Even as a bad boy, his worst lines come after he visits the bordello and stands behind Lilith as she gropes his sister. He's goofy and my teenage self will always love him. The indomitable Chris Sarandon plays Katherine's boss, the guitar slinging Reverend Current and has a nice redemption arc which doesn't always happen for his characters. And then we have Dennis Miller and Angie Everhart. They're supposed to be the comedic element in Bordello of Blood and some jokes land, but most just fall flat. Lucky for them, most of their scenes are wrapped around a lot of gratuitous nudity so it's about the equivalent of a comedy act in a strip club - no one's watching for the jokes at that point. The effects are on par for most Tales from the Crypt features, the soundtrack is fun and lifted straight from a mid-90s top ten list.
24. Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill! (2017)
Not Rated | 86 min | Crime, Horror, Musical
Members of the all-girl punk rock band "Kill, Pussy, Kill!" must fight for their lives and attempt to outwit an unknown assailant after finding themselves trapped in a madman's maze.
An all-girl punk girl band called Kill Pussy Kill finds themselves getting detoured while on their way to their next gig. When they wake up from being gassed, they immediately find themselves in a room with a voice on a loudspeaker who informs them that they will have to survive three rooms before they are allowed to go free.
Cute girls in danger! Fun times! The movie is almost a direct rip off from Saw with a scarred bad guy with a traumatic backstory and friends forced to kill each other to survive. The acting is over the top and the setting is pretty nondescript dirty basement. Despite having some pretty interesting names on this (Dave Mustaine plays the voice of the Mastermind and Richard Grieco is Dale), there's not a ton of new or original material here. The soundtrack and costuming are honestly the best things about it.
25. End of Days (1999)
R | 122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It's up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.
Votes: 101,991 | Gross: $66.89M
As New Year's Eve 1999 approaches, a private security guard haunted by his own past has to locate and protect a girl chosen at birth to bear the Antichrist.
This was another movie with the Hub night and I realized I've never seen this as I frequently confuse it with Total Recall for some reason. Arnie has some really crazy good lines. "You're a choir boy compared to me!" says the suicidal man boohooing over his dead wife and daughter to Satan after he's literally just pissed gasoline and lit it on fire. The ending is silly and it was fun to see the same exact effect for Satan in the church as in Spiderman Far From Home for the elementals. Sweet! Gabriel Byrne can impregnate me with the Antichrist whenever he so chooses. He is straight sex as Satan and Robin Tunney just needs to chill because she's obviously still being messed with by crazy Nancy with all her weird hallucinations. Overall, I liked it, but there's unlikely to ever be a repeat viewing.
26. Errementari (2017)
TV-MA | 98 min | Fantasy, Horror
An orphaned girl discovers that the reclusive Blacksmith is keeping a demon imprisoned in order to avoid paying his debt to the Devil.
Basque with subtitles.
A small postwar village gets a visit from a government agent who leads them to believe the terrifying blacksmith on the outskirts of town hides a great deal of gold within his smithy. At the same time, a couple bullies tear the head off a doll belonging to the town's whipping girl orphan so she sneaks in to retrieve it and finds more than she bargained for.
Honestly, I don't even really like giving that much of a synopsis. It's a gorgeous movie with a fantastic story. My synopsis barely touches the opening scenes, but no one should let anyone ruin this for them any further. It's a perfect movie with a stunning setting, deeply relatable characters, and a rich mythology. The makeup effects are awesome and I really hope the company that did them gets to do a lot more. Stop what you're doing and go watch this movie now.
27. The Nanny (IV) (2018)
Not Rated | 80 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
A young girl, Noa, suspects her new nanny isn't from this world. Noa fights to reveal the nanny's identity, which is more twisted than she imagined in this dark fantasy tale.
Unable to work and care for her children, single mother Anna looks for a nanny. Thanks in part to the machinations of her willful children, Leonor, the last to interview, gets the job. While Anna reclaims a little of her personal life, Noa is determined to prove all is not what it seems with the new nanny.
It's definitely light on the horror and heavy with the fantasy. CGI is blended with makeups that don't always work - one set of wings is static and looks like it was fabric hanging off PVC piping (which is unfortunate given how long they're on screen) while another set seen only briefly are sweetly intricate and move. Most of the movie is terribly predictable, but it's ok as far as fantasies go.
28. Head Count (2018)
90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of college students on a weekend getaway accidentally summon a supernatural entity intent on using them for its deadly ritual.
On a break from school, Evan meets up with seven friends while he's supposed to be spending the weekend with his older brother, Peyton. As they tell scary stories around the campfire, Evan unwittingly summons a supernatural entity.
One of the reviews I read after watching this said it's "about an hour long setup for ten minutes of payoff". I don't mind slow burns as long as there's something clever or original about them. I don't even mind low budget slow burns as long as the story is good and the characters are well done. I can forgive quite a bit, but I can't forgive taking an interesting idea and doing absolutely nothing with it in the end.
There are some neat moments and it seems like it's really going somewhere when the panic starts to set in and then the writers make half the group leave for some ridiculous nonsense reason that just wouldn't happen after they spent the previous night freaking out. I understand that low budget limits special effects, but they should've hosted a few more bake sales or something and make the last 30 minutes into a gore fest to distract from the weak ending.
If I were to rewrite this movie, I would write the brothers with a stronger bond instead of being estranged. Instead of sending half the group away in order to stick with the arbitrary rule of five, I'd have the monster show up and start wreaking havoc a lot sooner with people having "accidents" and ramp the deja vu up with each character experiencing it and letting them influence each other's panic. Finally, after the five die in increasingly violent ways - even if done off camera, you can still pull the From Dusk Till Dawn trick and just flash the scene. The final four are left, traumatized but happy because they know they're safe since the creature already has its five victims. Wind down with the four sitting exhausted in the living room, evidence of the last 12hrs of chaos all around them, each with the look of someone who's broken and about to cry. It's over. And then the brother shows up and crosses the barrier to walk up to the door. Just as he's about to knock, Evan pops up beside him. Cut to inside with the real Evan who hears his brother say his name as they all realize they are now five and the creature has started again.
29. Treehouse (2014)
TV-MA | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A teenage boy discovers the perpetrators of several brutal kidnappings in his home town.
Votes: 1,922 | Gross: $3.25M
Crawford and Killian head into the woods to set fireworks off with some girls from school when they stumble upon a lost girl and learn there's something hunting them.
If a movie is going to try to pass adults off as teenagers, the adults should at least be some degree of attractive.
The best thing about this movie is the poster and that scene is decently creepy. But then the whole movie takes a 90 degree detour into blandsville and I'm not sure why we didn't get the reveal that matched the beginning and middle. I was tense - are they aliens or some evolutionary throwback or maybe this is another prequel for The Woman?? The truth is so less satisfying and everything just sort of fizzles. The last bit of dialogue is so flipping lame and does absolutely nothing to sell the ending. I would put money on the idea that this was written as a game. Someone pulled out a pad of paper and wrote the first few lines and then passed it to the next person who wrote a few more lines and so on and so forth. Finally, the pad came to a guy named Steve or Jeff or some boring guy name and he thought the stuff up to him was just too creepy! So he pulls out his BIC pen and writes the biggest wuss out imaginable. He writes The End in big blocky letters at the bottom and smacks his lips in self satisfaction. And then he took that pad to Hollywood and they made a shitty horror movie out off it
30. Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Not Rated | 83 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war.
Votes: 2,530 | Gross: $0.13M
A violent cartel known as the Huascas terrorize a neighborhood, leaving orphaned children in their wake. When her mom goes missing, Estrella uses her three wishes to survive and cope.
That's a shit synopsis. I've cried so much my head hurts. Needing something special for #31, I foolishly asked Dave and he kindly broke my heart.
The main cast of children are absolutely brilliant. The story is solid, blending fantasy with reality seamlessly and managing to completely sell its narrative. The special effects are so subtle that it's difficult at times to call this a horror movie, but, Jesus Christ, is it a horror movie! And I'm crying again... I hate and absolutely love this movie and I want to watch it again and never watch it again for as long as I live.
31. In Fabric (2018)
R | 118 min | Comedy, Horror
In Fabric is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences..
Three lives are connected by a killer red dress purchased from a strange boutique during sales week.
I uh... I don't know what to think about this one. There are certainly parts I enjoyed and others I didn't, but the ultimate story is just about a killer dress and that's fun any way you cut it.
32. Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)
Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Horror
Turning the zombie film on its head, this film is an oddball comedy from the perspective of the brain munching monsters themselves.
After some military grade experimental zombie juice gets mixed in with the soft serve, four friends join up with a black ops super soldier to survive when everyone else seems to have been affected by an infection that speeds up movement and speech.
It's cheesy and dumb at times, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I like the use of black and white versus color to show perspective. Its runtime is definitely padded as more could've been done, but it's ok. It's a mediocre comedy with zombies as the main premise.
33. The Hole in the Ground (2019)
R | 90 min | Horror
A young mother living in the Irish countryside with her son suspects his increasingly disturbing behavior is linked to a mysterious sinkhole in the forest, and fears he may not be her son at all.
Votes: 10,220 | Gross: $0.02M
Sarah and her son Chris move out to a house in the Irish countryside and, after a chance encounter with a neighbor, Sarah begins to suspect that the boy sleeping in her son’s room may not be her son. Is it shared psychosis or does Sarah actually have something real to fear and how does the massive sinkhole in the middle of the forest play into all of this?
Twenty eight minutes from the end, the reveal plays out. Sadly, it's all too predictable, never straying from the "that's not my son!" staple movie formula. I thought, when she got pills to help her anxiety, that maybe they were going to go the route of psychotic break, have the boy run to the neighbors, have her get hit by a car and lie in the road dying as the neighbors gather and she can't quite tell them what he is, or maybe they throw her in a padded room while he gets taken in by an unsuspecting family.... All of that's been done before too, but maybe it's a little more satisfying as a horror movie when the ending isn't so happy? Meh, it's ok if you're looking to turn your brain off and don't want any surprises.
34. Assimilate (I) (2019)
93 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Three friends making a web series about their town discover that their neighbors are being killed and replaced by creatures who are perfect copies of their victims.
Zach and Randy decide to make a podcast unveiling their sleepy town where nothing ever happens. In the process, they discover that their neighbors are being replaced by emotionless replicants.
I love Invasion of the Body Snatchers and there are very few takes on it that I don't enjoy. That being said, this version would've been enjoyable even if it hadn't been a homage. The pacing is tight enough to sustain tension throughout and gets right into it from the opening scene. I love the "twist", but I'm a sucker for those sorts of things... My only real issue is Joey, the kid brother. There are so many opportunities to grab him and run and the story has him being just out of reach for no other reason than to keep them in town. I dislike plot device characters. Other than that, it's a really good horror movie. It doesn't add anything special or unique to the genre, but it's just really well done.
35. Face of Evil (2016)
TV-MA | 90 min | Horror, Thriller
A war vet returns home, but a mysterious epidemic breaks out and infects his friends... The nightmare has just begun.
I watched this because I was exhausted and needed something I could follow with only 2% of my brain functioning. Jay walks in and is welcomed by his friends and sister who all live in this pigsty of a house. When Jay understandably asks what happened to the house, they all just shrug and claim laziness and parties. I’m going to repeat part of the earlier review so it drives home the point - none of the characters are likable and most of them are annoying cliches. His ex shows up and is immediately sexy face with no explanation and he’s down despite being dumped and he feeds her this unknown alcohol before she passes out and suddenly someone sets off a small amount of fireworks as it’s the 4th of July. From then, she pops up as a zombie infected thing who keeps killing everyone and they come back as zombies and then he hooks up with someone who’s being paid waaaaay too much to look like a knockoff Woody Harrelson. There’s a really poor attempt at a justification for the zombies and then the movie almost immediately breaks its own rules. The effects are crap, the dialogue is crap, the acting is crap, and the story is crap. Again, there’s seriously a five minute breakaway where the unnamed bar waitress played by Raven Hughes sings a song that I couldn’t make out - I don’t know why this wasn’t cut as it had literally nothing to do with the movie, but I’m assuming she’s someone’s girlfriend and this was her big break. I did call the ending when the girlfriend went zombie, but I honestly thought they were going to go the lazy route so I guess they get respect for throwing in a twist even if it was terrible and predictable and doesn’t at all mirror reality. But, yeah, it’s a movie made with a $100k budget by friends and family so props on getting something made and distributed.
36. Friends Don't Let Friends (2017)
TV-MA | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
A violent breakup leaves one man dead and a group of friends dispatched into the desert to dispose of the evidence. Friendships are tested as the group push the boundaries of what can be done in the name of being there for a friend.
Stephanie is not taking her breakup with Chad very well, especially when he gets a call from his new girlfriend right in the middle of said break up. After giving Chad his well earned due, Stephanie calls her friends Dave and Carrie to come help get rid of Chad's body. Tagging along with Carrie is her boyfriend, Jeb.
I did not like this one. From the start, none of them are smart, resourceful, moral, or even a bit likable. This is a toxic group of friends and I don't believe they'd actually ever stay friends in reality. Dave is the quintessential Nice Guy(tm) and has a thing for Stephanie despite her being cruel to him at just about every opportunity. Jeb is protective of Carrie, but just as manipulative as Stephanie, constantly referencing his feelings for Carrie to get her to do what he wants her to do. It's easy to feel sympathy for Stephanie in the first couple minutes, but she quickly shakes that off in how she immediately abuses all the friends who show up to help. The makeup effects are pretty standard fare, the creature costuming could use some better lighting and detail, and the reasoning behind the creature's transformation needs a little work, but it's a mediocre film with an inane twist at the end for shock value. I think this might have been another case of writers not knowing how to end the story so someone just brainstorms "what if we...?!" and the rest just sit around patting that guy on the back for such a clever idea.
Unfortunately for that guy, that's not how that particular malady works outside of Hollywood and fakers. And, unfortunately for this movie, misrepresenting an illness that can be very easily researched is a pet peeve of mine which turns this mediocre creature flick into an offensive piece of dreck. Friends Don't Let Friends give their standard fare movies bad endings.
37. Child Eater (2016)
82 min | Horror
A simple night of babysitting takes a horrifying turn when Helen realizes the boogeyman really is in little Lucas' closet.
Lucas and his father move into the town's creepy house on the outskirts of the forest and the town's sheriff offers his daughter, Helen, up as a babysitter. But Lucas is a genre fan and has already read up on the monster lurking in his closet.
I knew this wasn't going to be good, but it had promise to at least be different. Cait Bliss tanks this movie singlehandedly. No one else gets the amount of screen time she gets and she absolutely cannot act. She has the emotional range of a Punch and Judy puppet and can't quite get her face to display what she should be feeling. The rest of the cast manage and are decent when not forced to work off of Bliss. Erlingur Thoroddsen wrote this and he blows his load early and then keeps smacking the audience in the face with his limp backstory dick hoping something will happen. He takes a short film and, rather than add anything really new and cool, just chops up the bad guy's story so we get *creepy moment, creepy moment, creepy moment, five minutes of someone not even in the creepy scene word vomiting the bad guy's backstory*. Ugh, and it starts so good too! Those first couple minutes are absolutely brilliant and then Cait Bliss blahs all over it with her stupid constipation face.
38. Blood Punch (2014)
Not Rated | 104 min | Horror, Thriller
A young man is lured into a dangerous love triangle that begins to take a series of shocking and grisly supernatural turns.
Sprang from rehab by Skyler and Russell, Milton finds himself in a bind to produce 85lbs of high grade crystal meth in a cabin over the weekend. Throwing a wrench into the works, Russell spikes their crank with peyote for a non-stop wild ride.
In order to review Blood Punch, I'll need to spoil one key reveal that happens in the beginning. If you enjoy horror comedies that are well thought out with good acting and decent effects, then you might want to give it a watch.
After an eight movie streak of low budget duds, it's actually really refreshing to watch something with a little thought behind it. Fans of Happy Death Day will enjoy this movie which technically came first and has almost an identical feel to it - though the characters and justifications are different, it feels like both movies could exist in the same cinematic universe. There's one element that makes Blood Punch unique and it's used for the initial reveal and then played for laughs. Honestly, I think I might've enjoyed this one more.
39. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
PG-13 | 90 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they've entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.
Votes: 9,609 | Gross: $21.11M
Mia and Sasha skip out on a glass bottom great white boat tour in order to explore a Mayan temple in an underwater cave with two of Sasha's friends. It's only a matter of time before the four teenagers meet the new tenants of the temple.
The problem with huge shark movies is there's always the point where you have to stop asking questions and just go with it. If you can't turn your brain off, you get bogged down with questions like "don't sharks hunt by scent and vibration more than sight?" "Could an underwater cavern with two fish really sustain that many giant sharks?" "Don't divers usually dive in pairs and stick together?" "Why does oxygen last longer at 18% than it does at 40%?" Despite all of this, it's still a fun movie when you stop rooting for the girls and start rooting for the sharks. The near misses are good, but the deaths are even better.
40. Evil Ed (1995)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Horror
A mild-mannered film editor is assigned to cut a series of infamous slasher films and is driven murderously insane by the miles of extremely violent footage he edits.
When Ed's predecessor goes out with a bang, mild mannered Ed is then repurposed for his film production company's blood and gore division to work on a horror series called Loose Limbs.
Where's my beaver rape scene?! One potato, two potato, three potato, goodnight!
This is such a quotable movie and all the references to Evil Dead and other horror movies makes it absolutely endearing. I love this movie. It's schlocky good fun!