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The Black Cat






































































Haxan






































































28 Days Later






































































Day of the Dead






































































Dead Alive






































































The Wolf Man






































































Basket Case






































































Phantasm






































































Tomb of Ligeia






































































Freddy vs. Jason






































































Dracula's Daughter






































































Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man






































































House of the Dead

BY Grade

    In The As

  1. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1920)- I'm not a big silent movie buff. I like to catch the ones I read are the most influential and of those, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" seems to be the most influential. And this is a great looking film. The painted sets, the jagged malformed doors, windows, and buildings, the whole expressionist experience comes to a head in this film. It was made as an art film but with an attempt to keep the story 'mainstream' so art film buffs and the general film going public could both enjoy it. It must have worked because after almost 90 years this film's influence is still being felt. From 1932's "The Black Cat" to about anything by Tim Burton today, this movie wields its awesome influence. Though not the first expressionist film, it seems to be the best (from what I've read) and most accessible. The plot? A doctor is experimenting with mind control on a somnambulist (sleep walker). The experiment includes seeing if the somnambulist will do things while asleep he wouldn't do while awake. Like murder. The whole story was supposed to reflect the dangers of blindly following leaders, which Germans were reeling from after WWI when this movie was made. However a twist ending was added which in effect reversed the original meaning of the story to say that calm, benevolent leaders are in fact necessary to a society gone mad. So at the end of the day did I like this one or not? Well, I liked "Nosferatu" quite a bit more. This movie felt longer than its 70+ minutes. Yes it is a beautifully filmed movie and deserves the accolades it gets. It is also an interesting story, which is sadly still relevant. I give it an A+ although I found it hard to stay interested in it at times.

  2. Haxan (1922)- Haxan is a brilliant silent docu-drama about Witchcraft. It is a German film from director Benjamin Christenson (who also plays The Devil in the film) that starts as a documentary on practices and superstitions about witchcraft and includes great shots of old wood cuttings of devils, witches, and Hell; That great scary art from BACK in the day. The movie then moves into an example of how witches were accused, tortured, then they accused others and the sickness spread from village to village under the Inquisitors. Of course it is an old silent film but the images are stark and the tinting used very well. The Criterion print is pretty amazing and contains the 1968 re-release narrated by William Burroughs. (That version is slightly shorter and not tinted.) If you're into the history of horror film, witchcraft, or silent movies then this is a must see. If you're not into 1 or more of those then maybe you'll want to pass this up. A+.

  3. Nosferatu (1922)- A lot of times these old movies just get a pass simply because they're old. I tend to do that myself, just give them a higher grade because they are old than I would if they were newer movies. So much was new then and experimental. There was no blue print to go by so I give them the benefit of the doubt. 'Nosferatu' is one movie that, in my opinion, has not suffered from this. It deserves the accolades it gets. A masterpiece in horror, light, shadow, and mood this movie set a high bar very early on. It follows the Dracula story very closely, so closely that the estate of Bram Stoker sued and won. The English courts demanded all copies and negatives burned but luckily the Germans didn't care and kept their copies around. This truly is a masterpiece in cinematography and a milestone horror movie. Yes it's very old, yes it's silent but it's one of those movies that really started it all. A+.

  4. Sisters of Death (1977)- I was in the mood for the craptacular, and that’s what I got. During the initiation ceremony for some weird all girls club a pledge is shot. Somehow everyone is let go as the shooting is ruled an ‘accident’ (how could you ‘accidentally’ shoot someone point blank in the head?). Either way the father of the dead girl wants justice and invites the survivors to a reunion at his compound in the desert. What would you do if you were invited somewhere you’ve never been by someone you don’t know to a party and all was very weird and mysterious? Well, you’d party naturally. What would you do when you found out that an insane man whose daughter you ‘accidentally’ killed some years before was there and vowed revenge? We’ll you get in your nightgown and go to your room and sleep. What would you do when you realized maybe one of your ‘friends’ was actually in on it with the old man? Well you’d come up with a great plan and then tell everyone, including whoever the accomplice may be, ensuring that the plan will not work at all. These and lots of other ENORMOUS plot holes and lapses in logic await you in Sisters of Death! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  5. Equinox (1970)- Tough one to grade, it was student film (so it may have actually gotten a real grade) that Criterion did their treatment to. It is chock full of goofy dialogue and “Hey let’s explore that cave and hang around these woods despite all the signs we should really just leave” kind of disjointed horror movie logic. The acting is painful at times and the dialogue and dubbing verge on hilarious. But it tends to rise above those things (keeping in mind the budget etc) at times with an interesting plot which would be fairly closely mirrored in Raimi’s first ‘Evil Dead’, pretty good Claymation monsters (I’m not saying the FX are good, but more than passable considering), and a nice wrap around ending. The plot follows a college student who gets a weird call from one of his professors. He wants to head out to the professor’s cabin in the woods to find out what is up, but his friend wants to go on a double date/picnic so they kill two birds with one stone and head out to picnic after checking in on the professor. What they actually find is the professor’s cabin demolished and a weird old guy who has a book full of spells and incantations. The book is apparently in demand too. If you like to check out the cheap goofy horror flicks, student projects, or are curious about the plot since you like ‘Evil Dead’ (I’m not saying this is much like ‘Evil Dead’, just a similar plot), then be brave, check it out. I’m not sure what to grade it to be honest, it seems almost unfair to put it on the craptacular scale, but it would also be unfair to good movies to NOT put it there, so I will give it an A+ on the craptacular scale.

  6. Mad Love (1935)- "Masterpiece" may be an over statement but I think this comes close. First what keeps it from being a masterpiece? The dated humor. Why were directors so compelled to try and add humor to their movies back then? It just doesn't hold up. So what works? Pretty much everything else. Peter Lorre plays a genius doctor who cures people with physical ailments for little or no money. He is a compassionate doctor who rose from poverty to the heights of his profession. Yet he can't seem to find love and becomes obsessed with an actress who he later finds out is married. Her husband is a great pianist who is involved in a train derailment and must have his hands amputated, but the good doctor saves them by transplanting the hands of a murderer on him. Now maybe he can drive the actress and her husband apart. Lorre plays his part with his usual subtle flair and then slowly slips into total madness near the end. A great performance and also great use of the camera and the black and white photography. The end was somewhat of a let down though. Get passed the dated humor and the predictable ending and you have A+ material.

  7. Phantom of the Opera (1925)- You know the story. Man is horribly scared, falls for beautiful woman, must have beautiful woman. A silent classic, maybe more thriller then horror but it proved such movies could be successful on a large scale. Lon Cheney plays the part with old school gusto and his makeup during the Masque Ball and at the unmasking are maybe second only to the original Frankenstein makeup. The tinting during different scenes and the color during the ball are also great so if you can, try and catch the original tinted version. A+

  8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974)- After over 30 years this is still a very powerful movie. It hits at such a visceral level and keeps rubbing those nerves. A group of college-aged kids are traveling through Texas and a couple of them want to visit their grandparents' old house. They stop and are then hunted by 'leather face' and his psychotic family who live near the old slaughterhouse. This is a dark movie that boils over with a demented sort of atmosphere that pervades from the picked up hitchhiker to the final scenes on the highway (what ever happened to that truck driver anyway?), and has the ultimate black comedy scene as grandpa, who was a master at killing cattle in his day, tries to hammer one of the kids with poor results. By today's standards the gore is actually pretty tame but that doesn't subtract from the power of this film (if anything it adds to it). So many movies would try and go down this road and fail; this one set the standard for years to come and its influence is still evident in new movies. From the family's house to the 'trapped and hunted' feel there are few films that can measure up. A+.

  9. Burial Ground (1981)- A classic piece of Euro-Trash and a must see for Italian zombie movie fans, Hell, the bizarre man-child with the Oedipus complex is worth the price of admission alone. Plus dialogue like "Mommy, this cloth smells like death", man, what can I say? A scientist apparently raises up some zombies who then go on a rampage after some weird folks staying at a mansion in the boonies. Not sure what they are doing but it seems they may be prepping for an orgy. Some of the effects are good, some of the zombie make up is good, some of it is bad. Over all this is just a classic piece of work of total trash. I think this gets an A+ on the craptacular scale.

  10. Frankenweenie (2012)- Tim Burton returns to the puppet/animation genre with this flick that pays tribute to damn near every horror movie that came before! Some folks get tired of those nods but I like them and this is no exception. Just hunting for the references is fun for me, but this one works pretty well regardless. A geeky kid’s best friend is his dog, but when his dog is hit by a car he is devastated and decides to reanimate him. The experiment works but when his classmates find out they decide to try and reanimate dead animals, but their results are not quite as successful and havoc rains on New Holland. I liked this one quite a bit, great for kids (although maybe not little kids) and great for fans who like spotting references as mentioned, screw it, I’ll give this an A+.

  11. House on Skull Mountain (1974)- One word. Hilarious! This flick is almost custom made for some MST3K treatment; 70s Blaxploitation horror at its best. An old voodoo priestess dies but just before she does she sends for her distant great-grandchildren who didn’t know her. They get together for the reading of the will, and begin dying off. No real need for red herrings in this as everything is painfully obvious as the plot unfolds. Actually ‘unfolds’ might be too strong of a word, maybe ‘flops out’ might explain it better. Luckily Victor French who is unexplainably related to the black folks is there to run around and save the day, well, sort of save the day. He stands around watching people die until the last minute and then kind of figures everything out. Seriously, this is a must see if you like the craptacular, mainly because everyone is trying so hard to take it serious, and failing so bad. A+ on the craptacular scale.

  12. North by Northwest (1959)- Artistically this may not rank with Hitch’s best, but from a simple mystery/action/adventure standpoint it is at or near the top. Yes, it is basically just a rehash of Hitch’s older flicks ("Saboteur" etc.) but it simply works. I read somewhere that this movie has all the best elements of the old James Bond films, but this one has something those films didn’t have: Hitchcock! This film never takes itself too seriously, from some outrages plot twists to Carry Grant’s constant smart ass remarks we are reminded to just sit back and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is. Grant plays an ad executive who, by a complete quirk of fate, is mistaken for a government spy, and through error after error is forced to play out the quirk of fate until the end, being chased by assassins, the police, and eventually the feds from New York to Chicago to Indiana to South Dakota. Along the way we get to see many of Hitch’s trademarks like the ‘everyman’ in the wrong place at the wrong time, inept police work, untrustworthy authorities, and conniving women. And of course several famous scenes like the crop duster chase and the climax on Mt Rushmore. Clocking in at over 2 hours it is a tad long but if you immerse yourself in the plot you won’t notice. A+

  13. The Mummy (1932)- Karloff again becomes a monster, but this time a much less sympathetic, yet more human looking monster. Ironic. Great makeup and sets and a very well acted and directed movie. Influenced by German Expressionism the look is great and Karloff plays his character with great evil restraint. The story is basically the same one used later by Hammer and still again later by Universal in their big budget remake. An ancient Egyptian priest is busted trying to resurrect his princess lover from the dead and is cursed to spend eternity guarding her tomb. Jump ahead to the 20th Century and Egyptian exploration and oops, the Mummy is back. As luck would have it, his lover from way back in the day has been reincarnated again and he must again have her, this time for eternity. Yeah, it's basically Dracula from Egypt rather than Transylvania, but it still works really well. A+.

  14. Tale of Two Sisters, A (2003)- Masterpiece is a word thrown around a lot these days. Like ‘crises’ and ‘epidemic’ it has kind of lost its power. I throw it around a lot too so I am hesitant to use it here but this comes pretty damned close to being a masterpiece. The story is about two sisters who return home from what must have been a mental institution after their mother’s death. They find a new stepmother who seems pretty ‘evil’ and a father who just doesn’t know what to do; although he tries he is caught in the middle. Things decline rapidly as the older daughter begins to rebel, and as apparitions of what may be their mother’s ghost begin to appear. There are a quite a few movies this has a lot in common with yet it retains an intense originality and the acting and directing are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Yes it is slow paced and the haunting scenes, while effective, are few and far between, and the double twist ending is a tad hard to comprehend at first. If you are looking for fast pace horror filled Asian flicks look elsewhere, but if you are looking for an intense character study with ghostly apparitions thrown in this is a must see. A+

  15. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)- Simply put this is a classic. Bette Davis plays Baby Jane Hudson a bitter former child star that tortures her once famous movie star sister Blanch, played by Joan Crawford. Jane and Blanch live together and Jane "takes care of" Blanch as she is wheel chair bound after an accident that Jane may or may not have had something to do with. The acting is second to none in this movie as is the directing. Bette Davis plays her character with such bat shit insane intensity that you get pulled right in. And Joan Crawford is great as the tortured sister who may have caused much of her own grief to begin with. It's also fun to think that in real life the roles were more or less reversed with Joan Crawford being bat shit insane. A+.

  16. Them (2006)- A very tense and frighteningly well done suspense thriller about a couple who live in an old mansion in the hills of Romania. One night they are terrorized by a group whose motives are unclear. That’s pretty much it for the plot, but clocking in at under 80 minutes that’s all you really need. This is incredibly well directed and acted (the version I saw was in French with subtitles, but there isn’t much dialogue anyway) and the cinematography and sound both compliment the movie perfectly. I actually found myself physically tensing up at times. There is basically no gratuitous sex or gore, the whole thing basically gets straight to the point, slowly rolling up to full boil by the end. What can I say, it is short and perfectly simple. A+

  17. Poltergeist (1982)- I remember riding my bike to see this at the movies. I must have been 11 or 12 and was surprised even then at the PG rating. This is a frightening movie, although the look of it is very '80s' it holds up well. A family is living in a subdivision owned by a real estate company the father of the family is the salesman for. When they start digging for a swimming pool odd things start to happen, very odd, including the disappearance of their daughter, which brings in a team of parapsychologists. When it is decided they can do nothing they bring in a psychic played incredibly well by Zelda Rubinstein. Everything about this movie is based on childhood fears. The scary clowns, the evil looking tree, monsters in the closet and under the bed, thunder and lightning, it is all meant to bring back those old fears and it works on that level. The FX don't hold up real well anymore but Tobe Hooper did a great job of directing a great story. A+

  18. Torn Curtain (1966)- Paul Newman is a scientist pretty pissed about the funding for his missile defense shield project being cut. So he takes the drastic measure of defecting to develop the technology with the East German’s, who he knows are very close to completing the same type of project. The problem is his fiancé is suspicious and is secretly tagging along. Political intrigue and suspense ensue. This is Hitchcock at his best (no it’s not horror but...). The backdrop of the Cold War creates a perfect atmosphere for his brand of paranoid suspense. Who can you trust? How can you escape? Two of the greatest sequences are a murder scene of an East German secret police ‘body guard’ and the ‘good bus bad bus’ sequence. Even when you have a pretty good idea of what the outcome will be Hitch somehow pulls you into the action. A+.

  19. The Black Cat (1934)- This was originally supposed to be an adaptation of the Poe story "The Black Cat" but was totally rewritten save the name and ends up with next to nothing to do with Poe. I believe this is the best of the old-school Universal horror movies. Except for an occasional bit of camp this movie takes itself very seriously and it has none of the outrages characters, over the top plot lines, or over acting many of its contemporary horror movies have (not that those are bad things). The acting is brilliant and the directing is cutting edge for the times. It makes you wonder what could've been if Universal's horror hadn't fallen into B movie status with too much camp and too much fear of the censors. This was the first, and by far the best, pairing of the two greatest horror movie actors of all time. Bela Lugosi plays a doctor who has been in a Prisoner of War camp for fifteen years and is returning to the man who betrayed him during the war and then stole his wife and daughter, Boris Karloff. Karloff is apparently into taxidermy with interesting results and also a practitioner of the Black Arts. So many classic moments in this film but the best is right after Lugosi arrives and he is explaining to Karloff where he has been. Karloff sits quietly in his black robe with his white face, following Lugosi only with his darkened eyes. It's a brilliant combination of direction and acting. The Bauhaus architecture comes to life in the stark black and white film, complete with great lighting and long shadows. Lugosi is brilliant as the good doctor and Karloff plays his character with great restraint and believability. The censors were none too happy with this movie at the time and the boundaries it pushed led to problems for many years for horror movies (it was inspired by a true account of a couple's meeting famous English Satanist Aleister Crowley). My only complaint is the music which plays almost throughout the entire film is at times over-bearing and pulls the movie down. Still, this is a must see for students of horror or just film in general. A+.

  20. Shutter (2004)- Long black hair, water, and vengeful ghosts, Asian horror at its best and most copied. Nothing really new here, a couple accidentally kills a pedestrian after a night of partying; they drive on only to be haunted by the pedestrian’s ghost. Some investigating and plot twists follow and suddenly I realized, despite its unoriginal premise, I dug this flick quite a bit. The effects worked, even though I felt I had seen them before, the acting worked, despite the language barrier, the characters were good, and I dug the ending. I’m going to give this an A+ dammit, usually I knock off points for unoriginality but what can I say, I’m inconsistent sometimes.

  21. Virgin Spring (1960)- Admittedly, this ain’t for everybody. Ingmar Bergman’s flicks tend to be slowly paced, deliberate, and pretty full of symbolism and general weirdness. Still, this is an incredibly well filmed movie, with its stark black and white, dark vs light motif. Great acting from everyone, as they portray their stereotypes to a T. The doting mother and father, the tired but loyal field hands, the ‘bad girl’ and the ‘good girl’, the depraved rapists who drive the doting parents to vengeance, the young boy who is the conscience of the rapists. The tale is an old one, a young girl is raped and killed, the rapists then accidentally seek refuge in her parent’s home. In this case it is 1400s Sweden, not a great time to be alive, winter is setting in, the young girl is taking candles to church, the rapists steal her clothes and the trap is set. My only complaint is throughout it seems obvious, despite all their piety and prayers, that there is no god answering them, so the very end is confusing to me. Yes, it is basically the same plot as ‘The Last House on the Left’, but executed so much better, and although just as brutal via the subject matter, not as visually brutal, and it doesn’t need to be. A+

  22. Hour of the Wolf, The (1968)- Ingmar Bergman’s surreal exploration of isolation, guilt, and the tormented artist. Here we have the story of a semi-famous painter and his wife who move to an island to be alone so he can work and "not see another person". This doesn’t end up working out as some very bizarre locals hover around and make life almost unbearable for the painter... or do they? Are they even there at all? Is any of this happening? I have no idea, as I mentioned, this is pretty much just surrealistic symbolism and Ingmar took that storytelling style to the hilt on this one. Comparisons to later David Lynch material (like ‘Eraserhead’) are inevitable, as well as, to me at least, a comparison to ‘The Shining’. I really liked this one quite a bit, but if you dislike this type of art house film making then steer clear, it ain’t for everybody, and I only like it in small doses. A+

  23. Signs (2002)- M. Night strikes again. A lot of folks dislike this guy and blow his stuff off as bloated, over-dramatic Twilight Zone episodes. I tend to disagree, pretty strongly actually. Signs is a movie about aliens invading Earth, but the story focuses on one family in a small farming community and their reaction to the events and the idea that all things are truly interconnected somehow. I was pulled into the story almost instantly and felt it was well acted, well directed, and the payoff at the end was worth the wait, in my opinion just an over-all great sci-fi horror movie. A+

  24. Alien (1979)- This has been called a 'haunted house in space' movie and the tag line "In space no one can hear you scream" bares that out. A plot similar to Hammer's "Quartermass Xperiment" has aliens using humans as hosts for their young. The effects still hold up, as does Giger's Alien design (when I went back and looked up the year this was released I was actually surprised it came out in 1979, it holds up really well). A mining company's ship is rerouted after it receives an SOS signal, which in time turns out to actually be a warning. The ship's crew investigate and find a hive of alien eggs, eventually an alien hatches on board the ship, and what follows is sci-fi horror at its best. Many have said this movie took what was best about "Star Wars" and what was best about "Halloween" and put them together. That'd be more or less right. One of my favorites. A+.

  25. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)- I've read a lot of reviews that say this film is superior to the first. I think those reviews might be right. Great atmosphere that you expect from these old black and white Universal movies (they had a great way of lighting that took full effect of the huge sets and the dark shadows they cast), great lab scenes, and a good, well directed story. A doctor who has been doing similar experiments as Dr. Frankenstein wants to create a mate for the monster, who survived the fire at the end of the first film. Aside from some silly, dated 'scientific' mumbo-jumbo and some very silly creations made by this other scientist, the movie is very good. (The campy old maid is a little over the top though.) I think the Monster's looks might have been softened a little to make him more sympathetic, but it still works. Colin Clive gets to work in his famous "It's alive... alive!" line again too. Look for a lot of Christ-figure imagery associated with the Monster in this one, amplifying Dr. Frankenstein's roll of God. A+.

  26. Son of Frankenstein (1939)- Dr. Frankenstein's son returns to his father's old house, much to the chagrin of the local villagers. He soon finds out that his father's monster is still alive, but not doing so well. Does he destroy the monster and move on, or does he help him and make him a man? Mankind's ego and refusal to accept nature's roll and control are, as always, the theme here. Still, the atmosphere works, the sets are impressive, the acting very good (even a nice performance by the Monster's 'friend' Ygor, played with uncharacteristic restraint by Bela Lugosi). Nice revenge subplot too. Look for the police chief, which seems to me to be where Peter Sellers got his Dr. Strangelove character. Plus, they do a little play on the "It's alive" line made famous in the first two Frankenstein movies. This is the last time Boris Karloff would play the Monster he helped create. A+.

  27. Hell of the Living Dead (1980)- A classic masterpiece of total EuroTrash, I would even cal it Ed Woodian in scope. A corporation leaks a gas from one of its third world factories and soon zombies are roaming all around. A SWAT team is dispatched to clean things up (A SWAT team? That makes no sense, where did they get an idea like that... oh yeah, "Dawn of the Dead"). Throw in TONS of stock footage that doesn’t fit, totally inane dialogue, the poorest excuse for tit shots in cinema history, and bad zombie makeup and you’re in for a ride down Craptacular Lane. This flick is hilariously bad and a must see of zombie film lovers. It unapologetically rips off "Dawn of the Dead" (Argento’s cut with The Goblin soundtrack) throughout and moves steadily from one train wreck to another. Watch as a rat attacks a factory worker and his co-worker stands by and watches. Watch as terrorists kidnap folks and are then brutally murdered by the SWAT team who yell "Drop your weapons" then open fire before giving them a chance to comply. Watch as said SWAT team is dropped into the jungle (well, what passes for a jungle) and are apparently given no orders, directions, or transportation once there. Watch as a female reporter whips her tits out to prove she lived with natives, then jogs down a road with the SWAT team right behind her in a Jeep. Watch as archival footage of a tribal funeral ceremony is poorly edited into the movie, along with slo-mo shots of monkeys and birds. Watch as the SWAT team uses their guns as baseball bats rather than as, well, guns. Watch as a SWAT team member, while looking for zombies, puts on a little tutu and top hat and dances around. Watch as the SWAT team escapes in their Land Rover, but not fast enough to get away from stumbling zombies. And finally, watch as the survivors make it to the factory and then seemingly forget there are zombies everywhere. Every cliché imaginable is crammed into this one movie, and don’t let people tell you the gore is good. Oh yeah, there’s lots of it, and if quantity defines quality then they are right, but when someone gets bit on the leg, intestines don’t come poring out. A+ on the craptacular scale. They don’t get any better/worse than this.

  28. Blood Feast (1963)- Best known as the first ‘gore for gore’s sake’ splatter flick, "Blood Feast" is really a mess, no pun intended. An Egyptian priest is killing women who read his book and using their body parts as part of an Egyptian Feast he is planning for a rich lady’s daughter, of course his real motive is a feast for his goddess Ishtar... I guess. For the most part the plot makes little sense, the dialogue is senseless, and the acting is atrocious all the way around. This is a real train wreck, only a step or two above Ed Wood territory, but then there’s the gore. No the effects aren’t great but, keeping in mind it was made in 1963 you will have to admit, it was ahead of its time in that regard. We see the blood and the body parts removed and the mess left afterwards (as we deal with some hilariously bad grief stricken actors and cops who insist on rehashing the plot for us in case we missed something). Yes this movie is bad bad bad, but if you like’em bad, or if you’re interested in horror history and want to see where much of today’s over the top gore began, then this is a must see. I will give it a solid A+ on the craptacular scale.

  29. Let the Right One In (2008)- A great Swedish vampire tale about a junior high/middle school aged boy who is repeatedly picked on by the bullies. His new neighbor happens to be a 12 year old girl, who is also a vicious vampire (she’s been 12 for a really long time). She befriends him and the two carry on a bizarre friendship in the snowed in town. This is everything "Twilight" only dreamed of being. Damn near a masterpiece I think. Yeah, it is moody, slow moving, and on the surface, bland, for better lack of adjectives, so if you want to be spoon fed look elsewhere. If you like them moody, this is for you. A+

  30. War of the Worlds (1953)- 50s sci-fi classic! I really like this flick. Yeah you can mail in all the metaphors it supposedly represents, who cares, it stands up well without all that. Great visual and sound effects for the age and believable acting too. You know the plot. Meteorites crash into the earth, people check them out, and alien invading ships rise from the rubble and destroy entire cities, impervious to our attempts to stop them (even that great 50s God, the A-Bomb is useless) before (PLOT SPOILER) being killed off themselves by of all things germs! Which is a GREAT way to write and end a movie (thanks H.G. Wells!) Yeah it's a little dated but it holds up better than the remake which is all explosions and walking around. A.+

  31. Cemetery Man (1994)- This is one of those surreal movies that seems to take place in an alternate universe. The cemetery caretaker and his half wit helper always have to kill the dead folks who’ve been buried in the cemetery. They just always come back around 7 days after being buried, that’s just the way it is. He wants to complain to the government but there’s just too much paper work, and they don’t really want to hear about it anyway, especially in an election year. So the Cemetery Man and his side kick bury everyone twice, and live a lonely existence. Love interests come and go under even odder circumstances (especially for the assistant) and the line between living and dead blurs even more. This is a great camp ride, a must see for lovers of the bizarre and zombie film addicts. Well done and some great zombie effects (the Boy Scout zombies are awesome and the head zombie is classic!) too. A+

  32. Targets (1968)- Byron Orlock is retiring. He realizes his brand of horror isn't scary anymore. Why would "painted monsters" scare people in a society so full of violence? People are laughing at his old movies that were once considered the scariest movies made. He agrees to make one more appearance to promote what will be his last movie. And his 'brand' of horror comes face to face with the real thing. This is an almost forgotten classic movie. One of the first in a line of 'realistic' horror movies that directors like Wes Craven ("Last House on the Left") and Tobe Hooper ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre") would run with a few years later. Boris Karloff plays Byron Orlock, but he is really just playing himself. Old, fragile, and no longer taken seriously, let alone considered 'scary' he knows his time has come and gone, but the seeds he planted have long roots as he comes to realize. A low budget classic. A+.

  33. Omen, The (1976)- The late 60s seemed like they might just be "The End Times" and movies like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist" played on those fears. "The Omen" more or less picks up where "Rosemary's Baby" left off. A terrible secret comes back to haunt Ambassador Thorn. Apparently his son died at birth and he has been raising someone else's son, or, maybe 'something' else's son. This movie takes its subject matter very seriously and maintains a level of believability often missed in movies like this. This really is a classic that holds up well. Followed by two pale sequels. A+

  34. Night of the Hunter (1955)- Robert Mitchum went against type in this one. He plays a preacher who also happens to be a greedy murderer. He's half crazed with religious thoughts and weaknesses of the flesh and he plays the part incredibly well. During the depression a man robs a bank and hides the money. He tells his young son where the money is hidden just before the police kill him in a shoot out. Mitchum finds out the man hid some money and pretends to fall in love with the widow woman in order to score the ill-gotten gains. What follows is suspense at its best with great acting and cinematography. The kids in this are great actors as well and you get almost a German Expressionism feel with some of the stark black and white shots. Not strictly a horror film but an incredible suspense film. A+

  35. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)- Hammer's first foray into horror and already they got it right. Peter Cushing is the overly ambitious Victor Frankenstein who inherits a fortune at a young age and hires a tutor who eventually becomes his lab assistant. They dabble in resurrecting the dead and then come across a way to make it work. And of course, Frankenstein goes too far and Christopher Lee as the Monster is created. Ego, edginess, science, and insanity are explored in this effective rewrite of the story. Hammer also set the standard for use of color, great sets, costumes, directing, writing, and acting in horror movies with this flick. If you like the Frankenstein story and dig Hammer films and haven't seen this one then it is a must see. Plain great old school story telling. A+.

  36. The Haunting (1963)- A favorite from my youth. A scientist gathers some psychics into an old haunted house to investigate paranormal activity there and record his investigations. Yeah it's been done to death now ("Legend of Hell House", "Rose Red", "Haunting" remake) but it was still fresh here, and it still worked (based on Shirley Jackson's "Haunting of Hill House", this is one of those rare times when I think the movie is better than the book, which I have read). Very suspenseful and mysterious with a great atmosphere and some great dialogue and acting. It's one of those rare horror movies that just seem real. A+.

  37. Beast with A Million Eyes, The (1955)- Yeah, now this is what I’m talking about. Movies like this are why I invented the craptacular scale to begin with. So bad it’s GREAT! There’s a family, they live on some sort of ranch or orchard and they are pretty dysfunctional. The wife hates the husband and is jealous of the daughter who wants to leave, and a half-wit who really likes soft-core porn lives in the barn. Perfect set up! A UFO lands nearby and takes over the minds of the birds and animals, then of the half-wit, then begins working on everyone else, but what it didn’t take into account was love and man’s soul! Once again, aliens with piss-poor invasion plans under estimate mankind’s etc. This one is full on bad, with terrible dubbing, a hilarious plot, and basic total nonsense; although to be fair it may have been a slight influence on The Birds. If you like’em hilariously bad then I highly recommend this one, A+ on the craptacular scale!

  38. Night of the Living Dead (1968)- Another of my all time favorite flicks. The recently deceased are rising up and eating the living. Yeah they're slow and stove up with rigormortus but there's so damned many of them. Definitely influenced by "The Last Man on Earth" which was an adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend", and by "Carnival of Souls", this is still an original take on what amounts to the vampire legend. Ignore the flimsy explanation as to why this is happening. Great beginning, incredibly tense, well-directed middle, and a great non- Hollywood ending. Some great performances too. A+.

  39. The Exorcist (1973)- A little girl is possessed by the devil, or maybe she's just really pissed that her dad abandoned her and her mom is always working. One priest believes the latter but another believes the former. They perform the exorcism. In my humble opinion this is the greatest horror movie ever made and I doubt it will ever be outdone. The acting and directing make it feel almost as though you're watching a documentary and the effects, especially the sound, are second to none. There simply are no weak spots in this movie (or in the book it was based on). A+.

  40. Halloween (1978)- I caught this on Scifi awhile back so it was edited for content but I've seen both versions several times. I can't add anything that hasn't been said about this movie. Simply put it is a classic and, in my opinion, the best slasher flick I've seen. Michael kills his sister when he is very young and is put in an institution. Several years later he escapes and Dr. Loomis pursues because he knows Michael is really the embodiment of evil. Michael returns home to terrorize his old neighborhood. Everything about this movie works from the acting, to the directing, to the scares, to the music. A+.

  41. An American Werewolf in London (1981)- Another classic from my youth. American hitchhiking tourists have no respect for local custom or local's advice. One dies, one becomes a werewolf. The one that becomes a werewolf is visited by his dead friend and later by his victims, which makes for some great camp. Enter a nurse love interest and you've got a classic horror comedy. Great effects for the day and a great twist on an old tale. A+.

  42. Gas Light (1944)- Ingrid Bergman's aunt, who she lives with, is killed in a brutal murder and the killer is never found. Ingrid moves to Italy to train to become a great singer like her aunt. She meets the man of her dreams, marries him, and moves back into the house where her aunt was killed. Then she slowly begins losing her mind. Is the house haunted? Is she crazy? Is there foul play afoot? This movie is filled with great acting and great directing and is said to have been a major influence on Alfred Hitchcock. So much so he changed the entire direction of his career to make movies more in this vein (psychological thrillers). That was a good move! I would say that's reason enough to grant an A+.

  43. Sadist, The (1963)- Another 1963 watershed moment. Little known film beyond cult fans and the makers of "Kalifornia", "Badlands", and "Natural Born Killers", it deals with a halfwit couple that can only feel power and control when they make others beg for their lives. The begging doesn't pay off though as the couple kills everyone who gets in their path. Three schoolteachers on their way to a Dodgers' game have car trouble and pull into a repair shop in the middle of nowhere. Little do they know the halfwit couple is there waiting for someone to show up with a car. What follows is, at least by 1963 standards, a pretty good examination of depravity and the battle for control. Some of the acting is a little over the top but the story and the cinematography are pretty cutting edge, especially considering the budget. The payoff at the end works well too as the Dodgers' game plays in the background and life goes on, without a clue as to the darkness in some people's souls. A+

  44. Flesh and the Fiends, The (1960)- Classic black and white flick telling the mostly true story of Burke and Hare, a couple grave robbers back in the grave robber days who find a local doctor willing to pay top dollar for fresh cadavers, and what’s the best way to get a fresh cadaver? This is almost a black comedy with great performances by Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance (as well as everyone else). Although not gory by today’s standards, in 1960 this was probably a tad edgy. An all-around great British Horror from the early 60s, A+.

  45. Freaks (1932)- I can describe this movie in three words: "Strange but classic". It is the story of circus 'freaks' that seek revenge when someone tries to take advantage of one of their own. There are the 'regular folk' who laugh at the freaks and there are the 'regular folk' who are friends with the freaks, and then there are the two circus performers, the trapeze artist and the strong man, who try and take advantage of a dwarf 'freak' who actually happens to be loaded. This leads to the classic revenge scene at the end. Tod Browning directed and like his direction in "Dracula" he wavers between static staginess and cutting edge technique, the revenge ending being pretty cutting edge for 1932 with the camera stationed under wagons, and in the mud as the 'freaks' crawl through the rain and muck to exact their revenge. Yeah, it's dated and even the best prints are at times hard to hear but this is a must see for anyone interested in the history of horror and censorship. A+

  46. Final Sacrifice, The (1990)- This may have been part of some contest to see if Canadians could make a horror movie as rotten as some of the worst US horror flicks. The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. This is an utter trainwreck of fun! The plot is about a kid who is looking for clues about his father who was killed 7 years earlier. The kid has found some terribly drawn maps, a few names and random things like that and is then suddenly pursued by machete wielding, ski mask wearing men. He winds up in the woods with the map and help from a couple Canadian stereotypes as a cult looking to renew the power of an ancient civilization is on their heels, sort of. I wonder if this was meant as a kid’s movie. This is some pretty hilarious stuff and so terribly bad that it is great. Inept in every way possible, an A+ on the very craptacular scale!

  47. Crimes at the Dark House (1940)- Tod Slaughter laughs his way through quite a few murders in this adaptation of "The Lady in White". First he kills off a guy while prospecting in Australia, Tod returns to England to assume the dead guy’s identity because he is filthy rich, but, it turns out, he isn’t rich at all and now Tod has to try and marry the local rich gal who is being taken care of by her hypochondriac uncle, while he also juggles hooking up with one of the maids. Leering, maniacal laughter, dastardly deeds, and really bad plans follow. I really dug this one. It is insanely over the top moustache twirling mayhem melodrama at its best. If you like this goofy crap then this is a must see and maybe one of Tod’s best, if you hate 40s camp killers then you will REALLY hate this. I think I will give this an A+ on the craptacular scale. It really isn’t ‘so bad its good’, just so campy its good.

  48. Teenage Zombies (1959)- Jerry Warren directed this little masterpiece of horror and suspense. Jerry Warren was a director just as great, if not even better than Ed Wood, and you know how much I love Ed Wood! These teenagers live near an 800 square mile lake. One of them has a nice boat with a V-8 on it and they like skiing. There always seems to be a problem deciding if they should go skiing or horseback riding (I never got to do either when I was a teenager, the 50s must have ruled!). So one group of kids goes skiing, the other goes horseback riding. Those that go skiing wind up on a huge island in the 800 square mile lake that apparently no one knows about. They stumble across a gal in a really nice evening gown who offers them soft drinks and tells them no one ever comes to her island and when the kids go to leave their boat is missing. They are duly captured by a zombie and put in a cage and say things like "What kind of creep joint is this?" Meanwhile the kids that went horseback riding realize something is amiss when the kids that said they were going skiing but went to the island instead don’t show up later in the day. It must be about 7PM by the time the sheriff heads out in his tiny boat to look around the 800 square mile lake. He finds nothing and gives up after searching for what must have been like 10 minutes because then the kids go out and find that island. They said it was 30 or 40 miles away and I’m not sure how they got there and back in their row boat with the little trolling motor on it in the same day but apparently they did and they go and tell the sheriff about it. Then I guess it’s daytime again as the boys break the lock on their cage door and then it’s night again and they leave the girls alone while they build a raft out of an old door and door jam in what looks like broad daylight but apparently was night. Not to give away the plot but it’s a damn good thing they didn’t have to try and float 4 people on that thing as they would’ve drowned for sure (apparently it is a 10 hour swim to the main land). Anyway, they sneak back into the jail to wait until the next night to finish their incredibly incompetently built and dangerous raft but they have no idea the horrors the day holds. One thing leads to another and we find out the lady is a spy from "The East" and is planning on turning Americans into zombie-like slaves. She needs to hurry though as headquarters needs results or they’re just going to nuke us. See, they were dealing with a double agent and now the military is going to search for them state by state starting in California and working their way east, provided they can get enough helicopters and planes from the army, navy, and air force. Soon we get an ape turned into a zombie, an all out fight between spies, a zombie, and teenagers, and later on the ape, and an exciting escape in the sheriff’s tiny patrol boat. In the end the kids can’t decide if they should go horseback riding or skiing and they hope to get a medal. Shew, sorry, I just had to get all that out. You have to see it to truly appreciate it though. For MST3K treatment only. If this doesn’t get an A+ on the craptacular scale, nothing does.

  49. M (1931)- Fritz Lang classic with a young Peter Lorre as a serial killer who preys on children. Lang sets a tone that would be mirrored to this day in serial killer movies like "Se7en". The press is having a field day and the police are at a loss. Eight children have disappeared and the killer is teasing everyone with letters to the police and the press. Finally the police crack down on everyone, which begins to cut in on the profits of organized crime. The criminals decide to do something about it so they pool their resources and start tracking the killer on their own. Lang's attention to detail is amazing and his ability to invoke an emotional response with his use of camera and sound is second to none. He lets us know the horror of the crimes by showing a balloon float away and an empty spot at the dinner table. Lang was light years ahead of his contemporaries and understood that film was in fact a new media, not just a way to film a stage play. A+.

  50. Bay of Blood (1971)- After Bava tried to be hip with "Five Dolls..." he came back with this hugely influential flick about folks trying, and dying to get their hands on the real estate around a bay. Lucrative land which could easily be turned into a resort, but who really should inherit it, and do they all want to see it turned into a crass commercial tourist trap? Lots of bodies pile up and no one is really innocent in this true originator of the ‘body count slasher’ sub-genre (even I usually give credit to Clark’s "Black Christmas" for starting the trend but Bava beat Clark by 3 years!) You see Bava’s Hitchcock inspiration, and you also see where "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" et al got their inspiration as well. A must see for any fan of the slasher flicks. A+

  51. Exit Humanity (2011)- A zombie flick that aims really high and falls only a little short. It has a great look and mixes in comic book panels in place of some scenes (to save money I’m sure). It is the story of how zombies began showing up around Tennessee near the end of the Civil War. When a soldier returns his wife has become one and his son is missing. His sanity slowly slips away as he hunts for his boy, and embarks on a mission to keep a promise and maybe restore his hope along the way. Yeah, it aims to be almost ‘epic’ and it does fall a little shy of that goal, but seriously, it’s “Outlaw Josie Wales” with zombies (and without the humor!) so you really can’t go wrong. I’ll pass out an A+ on this one.

  52. Witchfinder General (1968)- Vincent Price stars as witch finder Mathew Hopkins in this account loosely based on a true story. Price is cool, cruel, and calculating as Hopkins, who travels the English countryside accusing witches and being paid by local magistrates for his services, and those of his assistant John. He is making a good living torturing and killing women (and men) and occasionally taking advantage of the women in order to ‘save’ them too. He makes a mistake however when he kills a Catholic priest who happens to be taking care of a niece, who is engaged to a soldier. Hopkins has his way with the woman, promising to save the priest in return for her favors, but decides to kill the priest after his assistant rapes the woman. The soldier returns to hear the story and tracks the pair of witch hunters down and exacts his revenge as he and his now wife slip into insanity. This is a great looking film and is brutal, especially for 1968. It is definitely one of Price’s best rolls; the mutual dislike between he and the director only making the movie more tense, obviously bringing the best out of Price who left his often campy style at home to play the part with cold brilliance. And the dark ending is perfect for the close of the film. A nice look at what a paradise we could have if we’d only let the religious run everything. A+.

  53. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)- So would Hollywood be able to make a sequel to a ‘from out of nowhere’ POV indie film like Paranormal Activity? Let’s see. No sooner does a family bring home their new baby boy their house gets ransacked, even though apparently the only thing missing was an old piece of jewelry belonging to the wife’s grandmother. They install security cameras and begin capturing some odd things here and there. The mother isn’t too happy as she has witnessed these things before, the teenage daughter is kind of stoked, the husband is a skeptic and the dog, well the dog knows something is wrong here! This unfolds as more of a prequel to ‘Paranormal Activity’ than a sequel, and it unfolds really as more of the same. Having said that, I dug it and if you allow yourself some suspension of belief and get into it, it does get pretty intense. Basically if you liked the first one you’ll like this one, if you didn’t like the first one you probably won’t like this one too much. It ties in really nice with part 1 I thought, but I’m worried they may milk this cash cow dry. This flick had me at times so I’m giving it an A+ despite the feeling that it was at times as mentioned, more of the same.

  54. Three Extremes (2004)- This is an Asian omnibus with three shorts, each one from a different director and country. Story one is ‘Dumplings’ from Hong Kong. It is the story of an aging actress who will do (or eat) anything to stay young. This one, although not overtly gory, is ‘covertly’ gory and will make you squirm with discomfort (exploitation like I guess). And the end, although a tad predictable, should really ‘put the hook in you’... sorry... I’ll give it a very strong A. Up next was ‘Cut’ from South Korea, a brutal story about a man who has gone totally insane and holds a director and his wife hostage because the director is rich and a good man, and if rich people can also be good, then what do the poor have left? Weird, dark, and brilliantly acted this is a must see for fans of movies like "Saw". I’ll give it an A+. Last was "Box" from Japan. I’m not sure what the Hell this was about. A couple of young sisters are in a small kabuki like ballet. One accidentally kills the other and has nightmares about the rest of her life, will those nightmares come true? I have no idea! This was just surreal, but I have to say, it worked for me. This definitely ain’t for everyone, but if you like ‘em artsy and weird then you’ll like this one. I am going to give it an A+ because it has stuck with me. So I’ll average this out to an A+.

  55. Evil Dead (1981)- Is it camp or is it horror? Or is it a perfect mix of both? I vote for the latter. A group of college kids set out for a vacation in a secluded cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. They find a tape with incantations on it left by a previous visitor. They play the incantations and release the evil dead. Made on a shoestring budget and ignored by mainstream Hollywood, this movie quickly became an underground hit and for good reason. It is scary, full of jolts, gore, and possessed disgusting people, and still remains campy along the way. There's a great decapitation scene borrowed from "The Plague of Zombies" too. A+.

  56. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)- Some people really hate this movie. To them I say "Screw You!" maybe the sexual angle was over played a little, or then again, maybe it wasn't. It depends on your interpretation of the Dracula story. All said and done this movie follows the book pretty closely and, in my humble opinion, works. The acting is great (except Keanu who damn near ruins it with his terrible attempt at an English accent) and the directing is brilliant. (Man, hardcore critics will hate me for this one I bet.) I love the minimalist sets and the frequent nods to the Browning/Lugosi "Dracula". It is after all, really just "Romeo and Juliet" in the horror mold. A+.

  57. District 9 (2009)- This is a Sci-Fi kind of horror flick in the vein of "Alien Nation" and "V" (surely you all remember V?) but at the end of the day, really unlike anything. A giant spaceship has parked itself over Johannesburg, South Africa. Folks are naturally a little uncomfortable with it and eventually they board it and find a million or so aliens living in squalid conditions. They set up a camp (slum) for them to live in and move them there. A whole society sprouts up around the area catering to the aliens, and to people who want to exploit the aliens. Things begin to go awry when the government decides it might be time to move the aliens to a new camp (concentration camp). And we soon find out that everything the aliens have is based on biotechnology and their DNA, making their weapons luckily inoperable in our hands but also making things like fuel for their spaceship very dangerous for humans to handle. There is plenty of social commentary to go around, racism, exploitation of the poor and working class, addictions, desire, greed, inhumane (ironic) treatment of others, but none of it is heavy handed and is more just matter-of-factly part of the plot, which makes it work very well on many levels (like Romero’s "Dawn of the Dead"). The movie itself starts and ends as a documentary, and even though much of the middle isn’t that way, it maintains that gritty feel throughout. Sprinkled with bits of humor, everything from the look, acting, and story just work really well. The end becomes pretty balls out action movie but even then it never looses itself in that, it’s a balancing act that is successful. If you are a SciFi horror fan of the original "Alien" type of film then this is for you. A+

  58. Nosferatu: The Vampyre (1979)- Remake of the classic silent flick, this is a slowly paced moody flick to be sure. If you want action, gore, and fast pace then this might not be for you, but if you are looking for a really heavy and strange atmosphere with your horror then look no further! It is a fairly straight retelling of the Dracula story and I really dug it. Yeah some of the artsy surreal shots got a little long in the tooth as it went (not sorry) but if you like weird, slowly paced, atmospheric Euro-horror then check this one out! A+.

  59. Empire of the Ants (1977)- Hilarious giant ant flick chock full of 70s fashion, over-acting, under-acting, and basic non-sense. I love these flicks and this one gives the best of the worst 50s schlock a run for its money. Joan Collins is a snippy bitch who makes a living ripping people off with bogus land deals. Her latest deal has her treating everyone like crap and asking folks to buy beach front land, beach front land near where they dumped some nuclear waste. Needless to say ants have eaten the waste and have become HUGE! Is this a sequel to ‘Them’? Anyway, there is lots of screaming (by the ants), hilariously bad effects, and geography that makes no sense at all (this is an island they had to take a boat to but they wind up in a river that apparently somehow does NOT empty back in the ocean, then they find a town with highways and everything, maybe that was part of the rip off deal Joan was running.) Anyway, this gets a solid A+ on the craptacular scale!

  60. Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)- Classic tale of a giant lizard awakened by nuclear tests. Disbelief leads to fear and military action as ships are sunk and cities are endangered. Sound familiar? After raking in the jack in Japan, Toho would make Godzilla, which was damn near a remake of this Ray Bradbury story based flick. This has it all the sci-fi 50s lovers crave (monster-movie-wise, no aliens though) so if you fall in that mold and haven’t seen this check it out, otherwise it is worth a view if only as an influential curiosity. A+

  61. Rear Window (1954)- Jimmy Stewart is a famous photographer. Not the type that takes pictures of models in a studio, the type that takes pictures of wild animals in Africa, or wars in far off lands. Too bad he’s stuck in a wheel chair with a broken leg looking out the window of his apartment, which just looks out at the back of U shaped apartment building. He watches his neighbors with idle curiosity, and then begins to wonder what happened to one particular neighbor’s wife. Did the neighbor kill her or is he looking for adventure in his boring condition? Another paranoid, trapped, Hitchcock masterpiece, setting adventure and mystery in mundane situations. This is one of my favorite Hitch flicks and that says a lot. A+.

  62. Rope (1948)- Hitch wanted to film a movie in one continuous flow, like a stage play. A camera could only hold 8 minutes of film at a time though so Hitch used 1 camera and did 8 minute ‘takes’, making the camera flow with the movement on the set, and ‘hid’ the edit points. His use of blocking and camera angles, despite this technique is amazing, as is the acting. The story? We have two obnoxious rich kids, one out going and verging on psychopathic, and one slightly more introverted, nervous, and impressionable. They decide some people don’t deserve to live so they kill one of their ‘friends’, hide him in a chest, and then invite friends and family (including the deceased’s father and girlfriend) over for dinner, which is served on the chest containing the body. The whole thing, from the directing to the acting to the story is pulled off brilliantly. Watch the sun set and the clouds move outside the window too as the whole thing was filmed on a stage. A must see for Hitch fans or film enthusiasts in general. A+.

  63. Dark Fields (2004)- This is a painfully bad, painfully unoriginal "teens stalked by a killer" flick. A group of incredibly annoying bad actors run out of gas in the middle of no where, well not really no where, they are at some old farm, they look for gas, walk around, whine and complain, and get killed off. The action packed chase scene ending is seriously just so ridiculously bad that it is hilarious. A must see for connoisseurs of the terrible, all others stay far away. A+ on the craptacular scale.

  64. A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)- Is it a Halloween Horror show or a Christmas show? It's both. Jack the Pumpkin King (and King of Halloween) is tired of celebrating Halloween year after year and nothing else. He needs something new so he kidnaps Santa and highjacks Christmas, but all he and his friends know is horror and Halloween so things don't go quite as planned. Tim Burton directed and was inspired by those old school puppet/stop-motion animation classics like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (this is one of those shows) and Danny Elfman did the music, which is perfect. A+

  65. Abstentia (2011)- This one surprised me. By reading the description and seeing the typical DVD cover I pretty much expected a generic ‘missing persons/supernatural’ tale, but instead got quite a treat. Now let me say up front if you want action, gore, etc. then this isn’t for you. This is a slow burning suspense thriller with a supernatural edge to it. So how do I give a synopsis without giving too much away? Well, a young woman’s husband disappeared 7 years earlier, so after dealing with the police, the insurance companies, and the lawyers she is finally getting a death certificate issued (and she’s pregnant…). She keeps having hallucinations that her husband is hiding in the house and is pretty angry at the current situation. Her sister, a former drug addict (or maybe current drug addict) has come to stay with her to help with the final preparations regarding the death certificate and to help her sister move to a new neighborhood. From there I’ll just say one thing leads to another and we’re taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride with some fantastic acting, directing, ambient music, atmosphere, and storytelling. The movie shows exactly what this small family has gone through and is going through, while underneath it all weaving a totally unbelievable supernatural story that feels almost like a subplot, until it becomes the plot. And even then we are given much more believable options by the skeptic investigators so we can decide for ourselves what really ‘might’ have happened. Can you tell I liked this one? I did. I stress this is a slow burner and may not be for someone looking for hardcore horror or a nice tidy plot, but I’m giving it an A+.

  66. 6th Sense, The (1999)- This kid is WEIRD! What is his problem anyway? Luckily he has a brilliant award winning child psychologist in Bruce Willis looking out for him, who soon finds out the kid's problem is he sees "dead people". They give him clues about things they want alive people to know. Problem solved, or maybe it's just beginning for Bruce. This movie is very well acted by everyone involved, there is great suspense and some genuine scares. Watch it closely; it's an M. Night (Jenny's second favorite director behind Tim Burton) movie. Speaking of Jenny, we saw this movie the same day we saw "The Blair Witch Project" in a horror movie double feature weekend. That was a fun time for several reasons the least of which isn't the fact I give both movies an A+.

  67. Zombieland (2009)- Do we really need another ‘zomedy’? Sure, what the Hell! And this one works. We pick up just after a virus-caused zombie apocalypse with a guy who has pretty much been a loner/shut in his whole life. He likes Mountain Dew and video games and has made a list of rules that help him survive life after zombies. He is sort of hitchhiking when he runs into Tallahassee, a good ol’ boy who is looking for the last Twinkie. The two of them eventually find a couple of con artist girls and, after a few cons, the four of them head off to Pacific Playland, where apparently rumor has it there are no zombies. Yeah, it is a very warped version of "National Lampoon’s Vacation" and it works really well. Great characters, all of them opposites, find a way to finally get along and make the best of a bad situation... sort of. Purists may not like the faster, smarter zombies I guess but I liked the whole damn thing myself. A+.

  68. Island of Lost Souls (1932)- A classic that pushed the boundaries for the early 30s and was banned in England and often lumped in with Brownings’ ‘Freaks’ as how depraved the movie industry was becoming (in the early 30s?!?). It’s a familiar tale from HG Wells about Dr. M, a genetics expert who is turning animals into humans, with mixed results and with little more than a scalpel, and apparently no anesthesia! A shipwrecked red blooded American winds up on the island so the good doctor wonders if his only female creation can mate so he presumes to let nature take its course, so to speak. His plan badly backfires, especially when he allows one of his mutants to break one of the laws (spill no blood). This is a great flick and an early example of how powerful a movie could really be. Dated? Very much so, but still worth a viewing, if for no other reason than to juxtapose Charles Laughton’s clean cut, and cool doctor with Bela Lugosi’s hairy maniacal mutant. Was it a metaphor for the rich vs. poor at the height of the Great Depression? A+

  69. Golem, The (1920)- An early German horror and a very influential flick (of course). It follows the Jewish legend of the Golem, a stone creature who will save the Jews when needed. He comes back, and naturally causes more damage than anticipated! An obvious influence on ‘Frankenstein’ (the movie, not so much the book); very well directed and acted, find the tinted version if you can. A+

  70. Shutter Island (2010)- OK, I know this isn’t full on horror, but it is a suspense thriller in the vein of Hitchcock so dammit I’m going to post a review on my site! Anyway a federal marshal and his new partner are sent to a maximum security prison/hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of an inmate/patient. It is fairly clear from the start all is not as it seems but exactly what is the truth? That’s really about all I can say plot-wise, you’ll just have to go along for the ride. I had the flick more or less figured out very early, however the full details would be impossible to decipher so hang in there! I really liked this one, it pulled me in pretty much from the start and the visuals are incredibly well done as is the acting and pace I think. A good A+ for a great suspense thriller!

  71. Séance (2001)- A Japanese movie reminiscent of "The 6th Sense", "The Grudge" and several others, yet despite the influences it remains very original (although it is also sort of a remake of an older British movie "Séance on a Wet Afternoon"). Here we have a sound engineer and his psychic wife. They lead painfully boring normal lives. The husband doesn’t seem to really mind, but the wife is tired of not being able to hold a job because she sees dead people, and tired of not being taken seriously by university professors or the police for her abilities (that doesn’t really sound too boringly normal to me). Anyway, a little girl is kidnapped from a local park, the wife is asked to help by the police (at the behest of a university student studying psychics) to help in the search and through a quirk of fate (and nothing psychic) the little girl ends up at her house. Rather than just do the right thing she decides she should make the police think she solved the case psychically, her husband goes along with the plan and things don’t turn out so well at all. I read where this was a film that looked at the family in modern life and the things we do to fill the time while we wait for death, and also how we choose our own fates. That seems about right. Some didn’t like the ending but I liked it quite a bit and couldn’t help but smile as I began to realize what was going to happen. Keep in mind this is a very subtle horror movie, No gore, no ‘gotcha’ jump-scares, just everyday people working their jobs, eating their meals, and finding themselves in not so ordinary circumstances. Having said that, for me personally, these are the types of movies that seem to scare me more now as I get older, despite the obvious supernatural element, this movie still feels real and believable and had that ‘sticks-with-me’ atmosphere. I’m giving it an A+, if you like the subtle, slowly paced Asian approach this is for you.

  72. I Walked With a Zombie (1943)- Very effective and atmospheric tale about a woman who is acting very strangely (actually the whole family is a little off its rocker) and may in fact have been zombified. A nurse comes to the island to help her and a love triangle starts, or is it a love square. This movie purposely avoids judging the zombie angle and the whole thing works really well in a subtle suspense horror way. It starts on a ship and a woman observing how beautiful dolphins are jumping in the ocean. A man remarks that they fear for their lives and that's why they are jumping. It's all down hill for the characters from there. Very dark and there are some creepy Voodoo ceremony scenes. Val Lewton produced and his RKO Productions would save the horror genre from inept no-budget quickies and the "Curse of the Sequels" suffered by the small indie studios and Universal respectively. A+.

  73. Rosemary's Baby (1968)- Things are going great for Rosemary. Her and her husband found the perfect apartment, they have nice and caring, albeit eccentric neighbors. Her husband has found some good work (he's an actor). And she's pregnant. Despite all this something seems terribly wrong. Could it be a hormonal imbalance caused by the pregnancy? Maybe she is just becoming a little paranoid, or worse, going crazy. Or maybe... Just maybe there is a big conspiracy with practically everyone she trusts involved and she is in fact pregnant with Satan's child. You decide. This movie is handled with seriousness and is pulled off with great direction and acting. A very paranoid, claustrophobic feeling is created and held throughout and we get the feeling, in no uncertain terms, that the late 60s marked what may just be the beginning of the end times and horror has run with that idea ever since. It's an excellent adaptation of an excellent book and a very influential movie in the horror movie pantheon. A+

  74. The Blair Witch Project (1999)- Another no-budget horror flick that seemed to come from nowhere. The most interesting thing about this movie (as I'm sure you all know) is it's filmed in the first person. You are literally watching the events as they unfold according to the tape that was 'found' in the woods. Some college kids set out to investigate the legend of the Blair Witch by taking camera equipment out into the woods. Through interviews and other parts of the documentary they are filming we get to know the basics of the Blair Witch Legend and, in essence, become part of the story. Things begin to go wrong as they become lost, one wrong move leads to another until the chilling end. There is no sex, no violence, no disturbing visuals, and no gore. This movie wants to appeal on a very visceral level and for me it worked. These people are lost, freaked out, and genuinely scared and the end has a definite impact. This is one of those movies where you either hate it or dig it and I dug it. A+.

  75. Metropolis (1927)- Fritz Lang was one of the first directors to realize film was an entirely new medium, not just something to be used to film stage plays. Metropolis is set in the future, a future not unlike that of Orwell’s "1984" or Huxley’s "Brave New World", except Metropolis predated both of those novels. Workers live under the city, manning their machines and living a meager existence, while the powerful live in penthouses built on the backs’ of the workers. When an inventor shows the leader he has made a robot that could replace all the workers, schemes follow and revolution may be at hand. This movie was so far ahead of its time that it is hard to imagine it was made in 1927 (except for the fact the film looks that old and it is silent). It is a masterpiece in every sense of the word and has been copied, imitated, and ripped off for 80 years. It is long for a silent movie and if you don’t dig them you may not dig this one, otherwise I highly recommend it. A+.

  76. War of the Gargantuas (1966)- Probably the greatest non-Godzilla Japanese monster movie of all time! Simply a masterpiece of giant monster fighting and destruction, if you like that sort of thing, yeah, it is hokey as Hell with some hilarious dialogue and crazy jumped to conclusions, but giant monsters were common place in Japan I guess. Here we have a pretty foul tempered giant green gargantuan who is wreaking havoc, eating folks etc. and just might be the little gargantuan all grown up that escaped from what must have been a VERY bizarre lab. Low and behold a brown gargantuan shows up to try and put a stop to the mayhem, more mayhem follows. If you hate these flicks, you’ll really hate this one, otherwise it is a must see for fans of the genre. A+

  77. Astro-Zombies, The (1969)- Oh my! An absolute must see for fans of the craptacular! Here we have dancing go-go girls, bubbling chemicals, save the day G-Men, scientists and their hotty assistants, mad scientist and his hunch-back assistant, solar powered remote controlled zombies (you read that right!), spies from ‘The East’, day for night shots, stock footage, etc. YES! A scientist figures out a way to control people with brain waves, the government thinks it would be a good idea to use for the space program, the scientist however experiments on military men and is fired, so he opens up his own lab where he gives long winded explanations as to exactly what he is doing to his hunchback assistant (thereby clueing us in on the plot, or what there is of one). Spies, intrigue, and painted dancing girls ensue! Toss in lots of stock footage of cops parking cars and you have suspense! Well not really but if you like ‘em bad you have GOT to catch this one. A+ on the craptacular scale, just for the rock’em, sock’em like robot intro!

  78. The Others (2001)- During the dark days of WWII in England (actually I believe it takes place on an island near England) a woman tries to raise her kids as best she can on little food and with no husband (he's gone off to war). She takes in some help and makes the best of it, but strange things are afoot as she and her kids hear sounds and rooms are rearranged etc. This show got some bad reviews but screw those guys. Good ghost stories are hard to find and even harder to pull off in a full-length movie and this time they pull it off. It's suspenseful, scary, interesting, and twisty. The acting is really good too as the over-protective mother tries to make the best of a really bad situation. I say Zombie movies are my favorite sub-genre but the old fashioned ghost story is probably my favorite, it's just that there are so few original ones that they get over looked. A+.

  79. Third Man, The (1949)- Post WWII Vienna, black market, danger, rubble, and ruins; perfect backdrop for a Hitch flick. A writer from the US shows up for a job offered by a friend, who he learns just after arriving, has been killed. He does a little digging and the details just don’t seem to add up, stories don’t mesh, and the local authorities would really like to see the writer leave, but he is insistent and accepts a job as a lecturer in order to stay on. He keeps digging and definitely does not like what he finds, and what he finds is a scary and perfectly played Orson Welles! A must see for Hitch and or suspense flicks this pretty much has it all, check out Welles’ speech in the park, and the chase scene is one of the best ever filmed. A+

  80. 28 Days Later (2002)- Do gooders want to free some chimps that are being experimented on. Someone at the lab that catches them and warns them about a virus they carry. They ignore him and release the chimps. The chimps attack everyone. Now it's 28 day later and London has been evacuated. A bike delivery rider awakens from a coma and has no idea what's going on. We find out the virus Rage has run rampant across England, turning those infected into violent maniacs. An extremely effective turn in the zombie sub-genre (though they are technically not zombies), I think this is one of the best horror movies to come along in a long time. Great sets, great acting, and a look at the problems of food, water, power, and companionship that other zombie movies have swept under the rug. Very powerful stuff. A+.

  81. Dawn of the Dead (Remake) (2004)- People hiding from zombies in a shopping mall is really about all this movie has in common with Romero's. The first 10 to 15 minutes of this movie are some of the best ever made for a horror movie. I was instantly into it. (And picking Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" as the opening song was a stroke of genius). Even after those first 15 minutes the movie really doesn't let up. It gets a tad McGuyverish/action movie near the end but not enough to lessen its impact. Great ending too. Even if you don't like Romero's version of zombies, you should see this remake. A+

  82. Mark of the Vampire (1935)- Bela Lugosi returns to play a vampire for the first time since 1931's Dracula in this classic MGM flick. Tod Browning wrote and directed this murder mystery which is basically a remake of his silent "London After Midnight". Lugosi plays Count Mora with Carroll Borland as his daughter Luna. A police inspector refuses to believe vampires are to blame for a recent murder, but a professor believes otherwise, or does he? This is a classic movie with great atmosphere from the foggy graveyard to the terrifying castle (what was it with Browning and possums as rats?) this movie works on many levels. The ending is a let down but everything else works great. A+

  83. Seven (1995)- A classic in the serial killer subgenre. An older detective on the verge of retirement is tasked with breaking in a detective who just transferred in from ‘up-state’. The young detective is hungry for some action; the old detective tries to warn him to be careful what he wishes for. And right off the bat they get assigned a killing that, according to the old detective, is obviously more than just a random happening or revenge killing. He knows it is just the beginning and warns anyone who will listen, but no one will. The bodies pile up and are all tied together by the Seven Deadly Sins. The detectives seem to get close but can never quite figure out who the killer is, other than, literally, John Doe. I assume most have seen this, or at least know what happens but I’ll stop there just in case. Needless to say it has a very powerful conclusion and is one of my favorites in its subgenre. Everything works from the rainy/sunny/gloomy city to the acting all the way around. It manages an almost Noir style, while maintaining a very modern gritty feel. A+.

  84. Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)- This is a weird one, directed by Edgar Ulmer who directed one of my favorite old school horror movies ‘The Black Cat’, here Ulmer manages to dig up a little bit of that Bauhaus style from the 30s and by a little I mean a VERY little. In the future architecture will be based on triangles, or maybe those are supposed to be upside down pyramids, either way the special effects in this one are, well, not very special and over-all from a technical perspective pretty painful. The acting is wooden and the dialogue unintentionally hilarious at times. If you’ve ever seen one of those old movie house serials edited to be a movie where they take like 50 episodes and turn them into an 85 minute flick, that’s the way this feels, even though it’s not. Now, having said all of that, I really liked this one! It has a weirdness to it, it was made in 1960 but almost feels like it was made in the 30s, that’s not usually a compliment and I doubt that was the effect they were going for but I simply dug it and to be honest I’m not 100% sure why. Anyway the plot has a test pilot going higher and faster than anyone has gone and winding up in the year 2024 after a plague has wiped out most people and turned the rest into various stages of mutant. The human race is dying out and who is the young pilot to trust? I hate to give this a craptacular grade but that’s what it deserves so it will get an A+ on that scale.

  85. Dawn of the Dead (1978)- Romero's follow up to "Night of the. Living Dead". Sometime has passed since the problems with the living dead began. Inner cities are becoming unlivable. Some members of a SWAT team, after a botched raid, decide to get out of town. They hook up with a reporter and a news helicopter pilot and fly off to safety, but little safety is to be found. They wind up barricading themselves in a shopping mail. The rest is zombie movie history. Romero likes his horror with a message, like we are a consumerist society bent on consuming everything, including each other. What better way to symbolize that than cannibal zombies at a shopping mall? This a great zombie flick and one of my favorites, some of the effects are a little dated and I don't understand why the mall never loses power but still great story with great direction and a great Romero ending. A+.

  86. Dawn of the Dead (Zombi) (1978)- Dario Argento would help finance Romero’s "Dawn of the Dead" if he could do his own European edit and keep all the European profits. A match made in horror heaven! This is the same flick as Romero’s but with a different soundtrack (provided by Argento’s favorite band The Goblins) and ‘some’ of the ‘American’ humor removed. For instance we still get the zombies tumbling down the escalator to Muzak, but we don’t get the zombies walking into the helicopter rotors. The movie has a faster paced ‘feel’ to it and in some points the new soundtrack adds to the suspense, but in some spots actually detracts from it, sounding very techno 70s dated, which of course it is. I didn’t watch the two versions back to back so it’s hard for me to say which I liked better. As it stands I’d just say this one is a little different, not really better or worse, which means it gets an A+.

  87. Shaun of the Dead (2004)- The zombie sub-genre of horror is probably my favorite and I've seen many a zombie flick so I say this with some hesitation and at times argue with myself about saying it, especially considering my tendency to think old stuff is better, never the less I may go way out on a limb here and say this is my favorite zombie flick ever. Sean's a slacker who lives with another slacker and another guy who's out to prove he's not a slacker anymore. Suddenly there are zombies about. We aren't brought down with reasons why this is, it just is. But Sean takes awhile to really notice since everyone pretty much seems the same anyway. Once he does notice and finally catches a news bulletin he decides to become decisive but he can't quite decide what to do. Finally its decided. Save his girlfriend (who's made at him for being such a slacker and hanging out with slackers), save his mother, but not his step dad, and go to the pub until the whole thing blows over. This is a hilarious, gory, horror movie with wit, gore, scares, and real characters. Great story, great acting, great directing. A+

  88. Duel (1971)- Another Matheson work. The movie description on satellite was something like "A truck driver tries to run a traveling salesman off the road." Which does pretty much sums up the movie but it is a little more exciting than that description would lead you to believe. This was released as a made for TV movie directed by Steven Spielberg (before he made a name for himself with "Jaws"). This is a tight little thriller that pulls you right in from the beginning and holds you there until the very end, despite most of the movie just being Dennis Weaver trying to out run a huge tanker truck in his little Plymouth. I remember digging this movie a lot when I was a kid and it holds up well. I can't find a specific reason to give this an A+ but I can't really find a reason not to so it may not really deserve it but I am going to give this one an A+ simply because I like it a lot.

  89. Last Broadcast, The (1998)- If you’ve read about this movie you know comparisons to "The Blair Witch" project are inevitable. They are very similar and were released very close together (this one being actually released first). This was the first film to be shot and edited entirely in the digital realm, and then also released that way as well. It is a ‘documentary’ about a cable access show and its hosts who do a live shot in the Jersey woods looking for the Jersey Devil. The hosts and the sound man are killed, but someone they took along as a psychic to help them find the Jersey Devil walks away without a scratch and is then convicted of the crime. The gist of the documentary is that this guy really couldn’t have been the murderer. This is all done in my opinion very well. It really feels like one of those low budget documentaries (which is really what it is, except it is all fake). It had me completely engrossed in it as that. Then the twist ending rolls around and I was caught completely off guard. My only complaint is at that point it leaves the point of view documentary style to show the viewer the truth and I think there may have been a better way to let us in on the secret without breaking that ‘wall’. I really liked this flick, I would say ‘Blair Witch’ was scarier and probably a little more polished, but this isn’t really meant to be that way, it is meant to feel like a documentary, and documentaries aren’t scary (plus it is a comment on the soundbite world we now live in and may be more relevent now than in '98)! If that sounds interesting, go into it with an open mind and you should dig it. A+

  90. Psycho (1960)- What can I say about this flick that hasn't already been said. It is indeed a masterpiece from the master. Hitchcock is that rare example where his popularity and accolades are more than deserved. "Psycho" follows a woman who is in the process of making some bad decisions, these bad decisions lead her to the Bates Motel where she decides to go back and face the music for her decision making, but, as we know, it is too late for that. Hitch kills off his female lead about 1/3 into the movie, so where do we go from here. Well we try and figure out just what happened to her. One of Hitch's devices was to let the audience in on most of what was going on, that way you more or less knew what to expect (or at least you thought you did) and that's one thing that leads to a lot of the suspense, the waiting, and then the twist, and this one delivers a really good twist for those that haven't seen it (if there are any out there). Of course the shower scene is one of the most famous sequences in any genre of movies, from the music to the visuals, it is known more for what it doesn't show, and the influence it would play on future 'slasher' flicks, of which this is really the first. I admit to giving too many As in my grades since I get carried away sometimes but this movie truly deserves an A+.

  91. Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962)- Oh my! What’s not to love? Spaceship with oscilloscopes and VU meters for instruments; Chauvinist tough guy astronauts, Cyclops claymated dino-rat thing, stock footage from other moves, mind reading alien, Scandinavian hotties, amazing theme song. Yup, this one has it all and then some. A UN expedition to Uranus leads some astronauts into mayhem as an alien intelligence plans on taking over their bodies to get back to earth. He begins the process by creating sort of a little paradise for the astronauts, complete with women from their past and delicious apples (which is apparently all one of the guys dreams about). Oh and dangerous creatures, and, well, lots of other stuff that really makes no sense at all with regard to the alien’s plan. How they didn’t get sued by Ray Bradbury is kind of amazing as this is basically culled from a couple of his stories. It is just full of everything bad but good and a must see for the lovers of bad 50s sci-fi. A+ on the craptacular scale for the theme song alone!

  92. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)- There is little question of what you are getting with this masterpiece. Odd reports of ‘satellites’ are popping up across the globe (satellites? Really?) and sure enough a woman witnesses one up close and personal. Since she is a raving drunk with a past history of mental breakdowns no one believes her so she sets out to prove she’s not crazy this time. Her husband has been looking for an excuse to leave her, but she’s loaded (with money in this case) so maybe this is his way out, or maybe she’ll make him pay. Insane effects, terrible dialogue, and the weirdest news reporter ever tie it all together. A MUST see for the lovers of the craptacular! A+ on that scale.

  93. Cabin in the Woods (2012)- Take every ‘slasher in the woods’ movie ever made, round up the clichés, and spin those clichés on their heads and this is what you get. How to give a brief plot description without giving too much away? Well, some college kids head off to a ‘cabin in the woods’ for a weekend party, I wonder what will happen, but more importantly, why? The blonde slut, who isn’t really blonde and isn’t really a slut, the red head who maybe is, maybe isn’t a virgin, the dumb jock who isn’t really dumb, the sensitive guy, who isn’t so sensitive, the fool, who is the only one who knows what is going on, they’re all here, and all doomed! As is every horror movie ever! A fantastic idea played very well. I’ll give it an A+

  94. Brainiac, The (1692)- Wow, it SAYS this flick was made in 1962, but it sure ‘felt’ like I was watching a movie made in 1932. From the horribly written, and even worse delivered and dubbed dialogue, to the almost continuous dated music, this terd sinks quick. It is a revenge flick very much in the vein of early Bava fare like ‘The Mask of Satan/Black Sunday’ except it sucks. A guy is tortured and eventually burned at the stake for something or other, being a sorcerer I guess. He curses the ancestors of the people who condemn him and swears to ride back in on a comet when it comes back around in 300 years. This he does in some of the worst unspecial effects I have ever seen. He goes about removing his victims’ brains with a huge forked tongue as he transfers back and forth from the brainiac to himself. He also has Dracula like hypnotic powers which lead to some hilarious ‘hypnotized’ folks. Local astronomers who saw the comet and also happen to be descended from people this warlock guy knew are looking into the comet, and the recent murders, as are a couple of detectives who carry flame throwers. Weird stuff to be sure but a must see for fans of the craptacular. A+ on that scale!

  95. Host, The (2006)- Korean horror/monster movie with lots of underlying symbolism. The destruction of and the strength of the family (the family in the film are distant in the beginning, torn further apart by the events of the film, and eventual realize they need each other to succeed), modern pressures and varying ideas of ‘success’ (the brother with the college degree is unemployed, the ‘dumb’ brother is employed at the food stand but seems happy, the sister is a bronze medalist who can not seem to reach gold), and mistrust of the government (who is really more dangerous the monster or the military and government?) are probably the main themes. And of course, all of that is played out in a movie about a monster created by Americans dumping chemicals into the river (that much of the story is true) reeking havoc. It revolves around a family that runs a food stand on the river. A man, his adult son, and his granddaughter run the stand. A huge monster emerges from the river one day and winds up taking the granddaughter away. We find out the granddaughter is still alive and being kept in a large sewer by the monster, now the man and his family must escape from the inept government facility where they are being kept and save the girl. This is a very well made movie with great acting and special effects that are very well done. It has a strange mix of very serious moments thrown in with odd, almost slapstick comedy elements (at one point the family is so distressed about loosing the little girl they become overwhelmed with emotion, slowly building from a crying to over the top wailing and rolling on the floor, only to be photographed by journalists in their moment of no self control, another comment on society). I’m going to give this one an A+, like the best of cats like Romero, this one is able to present a good, well done story, and give a snapshot of modern life at the same time, without being over bearing about it.

  96. Saw (2004)- A serial killer has stumbled on a great way to kill his victims. Give them a way out, but one that would make them do something they wouldn't want to do, or figure something out that will be hard to do. Then fashion it all in a way that symbolizes how they are wasting their lives. Put the whole movie together in a mix of flashbacks hashed out by people trapped in a filthy bathroom and soon to become the killer's next victims. Original twist on an old theme. I was very impressed with this flick and actually watched it twice before returning it to the video store. Great acting and very original directing make what could have been a train wreck work very well. Incredo ending that I have to admit I did not see coming. A+

  97. REC (2007)- This was remade in America and called "Quarantine", this is the original Spanish version. Although I saw the American version a couple years prior to seeing this one, it seems, from what I remember they are very similar. The American makers obviously knew not to mess too much with what was already a great flick! And this is a great flick. The story? A reporter and her cameraman work for a show called "While You Were Asleep" where they follow people who have night jobs. This episode they follow the night shift of a fire department/first responder crew. The first call they go on is for a lady who has been screaming in her apartment building and may be hurt. Hurt indeed, she seems to sway from semi-catatonic to very violent at the drop of a hat. She bites a policeman, attacks a fireman, and slowly the pot begins to boil over as we find out there is an infection at work in the apartment, turning folks into living very angry zombies, and bringing a quarantine from the government. This is a point of view film so I will start by saying if you hate that style then stay away. For me, I like them generally, and here it simply works very well. I really dug the American version but knocked it a partial grade (from A+ to A) because I felt the end became just a tad too chaotic. I didn’t get that vibe here (maybe because I saw this one on the small screen and maybe because reading subtitles with a POV film is trickier than a regular film since the dialogue tends to move faster and people interrupt one another more so I focused on that at times), and yeah, it is "28 Days Later" in POV, either way an A+ it is.

  98. 7th Victim, The (1943): Very interesting and very dark Val Lewton flick. A girl's sister disappears and is no longer paying her way at school, she decides to head to the big city to find her. She meets a load of strange characters that each probably represent something but I won't get into that. (Although it is interesting that Beaver's dad Ward Cleaver is in the film and his last name happens to be Ward in the film, OK, not that interesting but a nice trivia question.) Anyway, one thing leads to another and it turns out her sister ran with some... Well now, I really don't want to give too much away. Lewton flicks are deliberately paced, which is a good kind of slow if you like mystery and suspense and this one is no exception. Plus it has a pretty dark non-Hollywood ending. A+

  99. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)- Once in a great while a movie comes along that is so nearly perfect that no more movies on the subject need to be made. "The Exorcist" should have pretty much closed the book on movies about exorcism. Let's face it; they are usually silly and unbelievable hokum that pale in comparison. There are exceptions though, and this is one of them. The story revolves around a priest and his lawyer. The priest is accused of neglectful homicide for allowing a young woman to die while she was under his care. The prosecutor is a man of faith; the defendant's lawyer is agnostic and all business. In a series of flashbacks we are given the story as the priest sees it, which is then torn up by the prosecution. Maybe more court room drama than horror, but it does pack some scares at the right moments. The movie never asks you to believe; it only suggests that possession is a "possibility." It's all interestingly and effectively done and the acting carries the movie over the top. A+.

  100. Fury of the Wolfman (1972)- A great early 70s train wreck brought to us by the great Paul Naschy! Really nothing about this one makes any sense at all. A man is bit by a werewolf and carries the curse; a woman scientist wants to control him. She has a bunch of freaks chained up in the basement of her castle. She captures the werewolf guy and chains him up, he escapes, goes on a rampage, apparently changes clothes, rampages some more, changes back, fights a zombie werewolf hybrid in his wife who he killed sometime earlier, and then a twist ending I am still trying to figure out rolls around. If you like horrifyingly bad dialogue, dubbing, acting, and editing that takes something already bad and lifts it to the realm of surreal then this is a must see! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  101. Dial ‘M’ For Murder (1954)- Classic Hitchcock. Originally filmed in 3D using a prohibitively expensive and complicated process, this film is virtually never seen in that way. A former professional tennis player has become accustomed to the good life, which is now provided by his wife’s money since he no longer plays. He discovers his wife was stepping out on him and worries that he may no longer be able to live that life style, so the best thing to do would be to devise the perfect murder so he can get all of her money. The movie picks right up the night before the murder is to take place, even though we find he has been planning it for quite sometime. In typical Hitchcock fashion, we know the entire plot. There is no real mystery here; the suspense comes from not knowing whether the plan will work, seeing the plan unfold, and then sympathizing with the villain. Genius! Of course the plan goes awry, but the husband improvises a new one that just might get him that money after all. This film brilliantly uses plot devices and character’s skills (the boyfriend is a murder mystery writer) to weave us through the story. I have to give this one an A+.

  102. Psychomania (1972)- Really, the name says it all. This is more a product of its times than maybe any movie I have ever seen. Very groovy soundtrack (‘acid rock’ and even a nice folk ballad thrown in for good measure), educated bikers wearing turtleneck sweaters, amazingly fantastic wallpaper, the hippest furniture made, tons of motorcycles, and of course, the occult! What more could you ask for? How about an awesome plot that has the leader of a biker gang realize (through his devil worshipping mother) that if you want to live bad enough, you can come back to life after killing yourself. You have to want to live so bad that you want to die, kind of a Catch-22. Anyway, he pulls it off, and then convinces his gang to do the same so what we wind up with is a zombie biker gang. Brilliant!!! What you have to realize going in however is that this is done tongue in cheek as they say. Although the actors are taking their roles very seriously, everything else is played up for effect. Like a lot of the British horror movies with insane dialogue and ridiculous circumstances and Peter Cushing et al playing their roles like it is Shakespeare. This flick takes that approach to its logical conclusion, completely ridiculous, played straight as an arrow, no irony or winking at the camera so to speak. Also no sex and although there is a lot of violence, it is really bloodless and more slapstick than anything. I know some will hate this movie but I loved it for what it was. A+

  103. Uzumaki (2000)- Interesting Japanese art-house type of material. An entire town seems to be cursed by spirals, mainly the spirals found in snail shells. Slowly everyone becomes obsessed by them, until they die or become them. The story focuses on a high school couple and how they are dealing with their families slowly going insane due to the obsession. Will they be able to escape it? Yeah it’s weird, and like a lot of Japanese movies, the director is less concerned with linear storytelling and moneymaking and more concerned with atmosphere and visuals. That’s why movies like this rarely get made in the West, or if they do get made they don’t get seen too often. I really liked it, it is odd and very quirky, but never seems to loose itself in those traits the way some Japanese movies can. I haven’t awarded an A+ in a while so I am going to here.

  104. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)- The second in Herschel Gordon Lewis’ ‘Blood Trilogy’ ("Blood Feast" and "Color Me Red" being the other two), these films mark the spot where on screen gore began being part of the horror genre. This flick is about a town of 2000 people who are celebrating a centennial (they always seem a little hesitant to say exactly what it is the anniversary of). To celebrate they trick some "Yankees" into driving into town and then promise them a grand time, and instead torture and kill them in odd and brutal ways (and we find out it is the centennial of the Northern Army destroying the town in the Civil War). The film was way ahead of its time, predating similar flicks like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Last House on the Left" by 10 or so years, however, keep in mind that this is low budget drive in movie stuff. It is injected with a silly script, bad acting, and some terrible camera work. Still, it works really well on a lot of levels, a great story, and some great over the top characters (especially the mayor) and plenty of goofy black humor to go around. It is an important horror film and great for lovers of bloody cheese! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  105. Zontar: The Thing From Venus (1966)- Craptacular check list: Terrible dialogue? Check. Overacting? Check. Cardboard-like underacting? Check. Nonsensical plot? Check. Aliens with a terrible invasion plan? Check. Obvious use of stock footage? Check. Ill-fitting soundtrack? Check. Terrible effects? Check. Once again, mankind’s space efforts don’t seem to be working out too well. Could it be aliens from Venus wanting to invade earth, or stop our space-race, or something like that? Yes. And one scientist can communicate with them on his giant tube driven ‘set’. Or is that some progressive jazz he’s listening to? No it is Zontar from Venus. He wants to befriend mankind, if he exists, or maybe he wants to enslave mankind for some reason. Why is he alone? And why is his invasion plan so poorly planned and executed. Shouldn’t he have made more of those control things prior to the invasion? These and many many more questions may never be answered. A+ on the craptacular scale.

  106. Buddy Boy (1999)- An intense study of a dysfunctional family and one man’s further descent into insanity. Buddy Boy as his step mom refers to him is a lonely stuttering voyeur who has to take care of his invalid bible thumping step mother while also carrying his own load of Catholic guilt. He saves his neighbor, who he’s been spying on, from a purse snatcher and eventually winds up in bed with her, and she is falling for him. He continues to spy on her, seeing her eating meat (she claims to be a vegan), with another man, and having parties where the main course is not only obviously meat, but may in fact be human flesh! Buddy becomes increasingly unraveled, especially after his step mother’s relationship with a plumber goes terribly awry and we begin to realize all is definitely not as it seems. I was pulled into this one and liked it quite a bit, in a disturbing sort of way, and the cliffhanger ending I thought was perfect, as was the soundtrack. I’m giving this an A+ as a great study of insanity.

  107. Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)- Lon Chaney Jr’s final film, I was never a big Lon Chaney Jr. fan but still, I hate to see someone go out like this! This is a total train wreck... But to be fair it is a good train wreck. Make that a GREAT train wreck! This is one of the best worst films I’ve seen in a long time. Dracula needs a serum to make him stronger, he hunts down Dr. Frankenstein, who is hiding out and conducting his experiments under the cover of a carnival sideshow manager. His runs a pretty crummy, and tiny show, which gives him time to pump serums he derives from frightened girls who have been decapitated and reanimated into his assistant Bruno. Dracula, who in keeping with the times has grown his hair out into a nice jewfro and sports a goatee, needs some of that, but the sister of one of the doctor’s victims aims to find out what is going on. I don’t know even where to begin, the unhip hippies, the crazed bikers, Dracula’s very odd reverberating voice, his lightning shooting death ring, the soundtrack, the drug induced scenes, the parts that were obviously just spliced in here and there. If you love them bad then this is a must see! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  108. Eraserhead (1977)- Um... A guy gets a girl pregnant and goes to meet her parents who serve him these Cornish game hen type of things that wiggle their legs and eject blood from their asses. The girl then has a mutant baby and the two live in a terrible apartment where a lady lives in the radiator and sings and the baby cries all night. The guy has his head turned into pencil erasers and a guy pulls levers that control things, or maybe not. I first saw this film when I was about 13 and it left an indelible impression on me that I can't quite shake to this day. It is a masterpiece but one only to be viewed by people who appreciate edgy avante garde bizarreness. I loved it and knew if I ever made a movie it would be much like this, with no connection to reality and no cohesive plotline. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want every movie to be like this one, but when they are done this way and they work I really dig them. I read one time that if a movie could cause actual psychological damage "Eraserhead" would be the one to do it. Yeah, that's about right. It is a dark and ugly world these people live in and after watching the film I felt 'dirty'. David Lynch wrote and directed this and filmed it in black and white. Perfect in almost every way and Lynch would go on to direct critically acclaimed films such as "The Elephant Man" and big budget fair like "Dune" as well as other art house stuff. A+

  109. Carrie (1976)- Before Stephen King became cliché there was Carrie. Written by King, directed by Brian DePalma, and starring Sissy Spacek, how could you go wrong? A high school girl is an outcast at school, considered weird her peers and a sinner by her religiously psychopathic mother; Carrie's rage burns into telekinetic power. Her full power is unleashed after a terrible joke is played on her at her prom. This is a classic suspenseful movie well acted and directed and it pulls the viewer right in, whether you were the high school bully or the victim of said bully, or somewhere in between, most can relate to this movie. A+

  110. Planet of the Apes (1968)- This is a sci-fi classic that has been honored and parodied, held in esteem and laughed at over the years. Although some bits are dated and Charlton Heston is a pretty rotten actor (and also a terrible leader, how did he get chosen to be the captain of the ship?) I still say this is a great one that holds up well. You probably know the story. A three man one woman crew set off in a spaceship which travels near the speed of light. They’re trying to find new worlds and explore them, although they know they will never be able to return to Earth since time travels much slower for those going near the speed of light. They land on a planet remarkably similar to Earth and find primitive humans and soon discover the humans are hunted and experimented on by apes. The topics that are tackled next are none too subtle as we realize that the ape religion and rule of law are trying desperately hard to conceal the truth from the larger ape population. Man is simply too violent and too destructive to be trusted, but who was actually advanced first? Although I won’t bother revealing it I’m sure everyone knows the classic twist ending (the remake followed the book closer, including its twist ending). A+.

  111. Deranged (1974)- Like ‘Psycho’ before it and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ which came out the same year, this is based on the story of Ed Gein. Here we have a man who is a tad too close to his mother, and when she dies he digs her up to keep her around. He needs to learn how to preserver bodies and he also needs to find her some friends! This is a pretty gruesome flick, not so much from a gore perspective but from a subject matter perspective; He takes no qualms about having dead bodies and body parts around the house, I guess in a way this combines ‘Psycho’ (a boy and his mother...) with ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (wearing skin masks and the infamous dinner scene). But as a bonus, the director isn’t afraid to poke a little black humor in here and there as well, and it works. I am going to give this an A+ simply because, despite a low budget and dated feel, the main character (Ezra) was perfectly played. Kind of an ‘Ernest Goes Insane’ feel!

  112. Giant from the Unknown(1958)- Craptacular masterpiece about a legendary giant conquistador who led his men into North America looking for gold and was buried in an area that just might perfectly preserve bodies. I wonder what would happen if some archeologists were searching for him at the same time a series of freak thunderstorms began reanimating bodies in said area. This is some awesome 50s nonsense with plot holes the size of oceans, cardboard box acting, and stereotypes galore. SPOILER! I can’t help but mention that when the animal mutilations and first murder takes place the giant isn’t reanimated, so none of the early crimes were solved at all! Anyway, A+ on the craptacular scale.

  113. Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)- Holy...! This flick is a masterpiece of the craptacular. It would be a toss up between which is truly the worst, this or Wood’s "Plan 9...". This thing is a mind boggling must see for lovers of grade Z flicks. Tor Johnson, in his final roll, plays a Russian scientist who is defecting to the US. KGB agents chase him into the desert Southwest where he is accidentally subjected to radiation from a nuclear test. "Progress", the narrator tells us. Tor is transformed into a mindless killing machine... sort of. Or at least a big slow moving guy waving a stick. He offs a couple of people then pursues some kids who got lost in the desert. Meanwhile he’s chased by "shoot first ask questions later" (literally) cops, who shoot the lost kids dad while flying over in an airplane!?! This movie was shot without sound, unsure if that was for budget reasons or a statement by the ‘artist’. All dialogue was added later and it is painfully obvious. The narrator tells the story in what sounds like 8th grade prose and any time two characters speak to each other the director goes out of his way to not show their mouths since nothing would sync up; hilariously awesome. This one gets a strong A+ on the craptacular scale.

  114. Kwaidan (1965)- An amazing Japanese art house omnibus horror film. Let me start by saying if you don’t like Asian horror, or artsy styling with your horror, or very subtle ‘ghost’ type stories, then this is definitely not for you. This is all of those things, very Asian, artsy, and slow paced suspense over any ‘shocks’. My only real complaint would be it gets a little too slow paced at times, but for the most part that just lends to the dream-like feel of the whole thing. Story one is called "Black Hair" and revolves around a young selfish Samurai who leaves his wife and their poverty behind and marries the daughter of a wealthy man. He finds his new wife to be selfish and discovers his own selfishness in the process. He returns to his first and only true love, only to find things in his old home town a little out of sorts. I give this a strong A. Story two, "The Woman in the Snow", is about a woodcutter’s apprentice who gets caught in a blizzard with his teacher. They take refuge in the boatman’s cabin (the boatman is on the other side of the river). The apprentice awakens to see a woman breathing on his teacher, who then freezes. She moves to do the same to the apprentice but takes pity on him, telling him to never tell anyone what he has seen. The apprentice goes on to be a successful woodcutter and marries a beautiful girl, who he soon tells about the night in the cabin, which he shouldn’t be doing. This is a very dream-like piece and was my favorite, incredibly well directed and staged, A+ (also the 1990 movie "Tales From the Dark Side" had a story based on this one.) Story three is called "Hoichi the Earless" and tells the tale of a blind musician who is summoned each night to perform his rendition of a song about a great battle that took place between warring clans. What he doesn’t know, and soon finds out, is that the people who are summoning him were in the battle... And now he has to find a way to get out of the performance. This is also an amazing story, incredibly well filmed with great visuals, but I have to admit, at times it just felt like it went on and on and on and I was loosing interest quickly. I should’ve started the movie a little earlier I guess. I will give this a strong B+, over all it probably deserves better, but unless you have a great attention span you’ll see what I mean. The final story is an odd nightmare about a guard who see a reflection in his tea cup, later, while on duty, he sees the person from the reflection and attacks him, only to see him disappear. Later he is visited by three men and warned that he must pay for what he has done, a very odd story that I will give an A to. Overall I give this an A+, keeping in mind my reservations mentioned above.

  115. Sharon's Baby (1975)- I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a comedy or not, that's how awesome it is!!! Played straight as an arrow but hilarious at the same time. As you can tell by the title, Sharon just had a baby. Sharon also used to be a stripper and when she spurned the advances of a dwarf she worked with (yup) he cursed her and made her have a big devil baby. The baby looks innocent and cute as hell but goes about biting, clawing, and pushing people around. Sharon's husband's sister is a nun and knows the baby is possessed. Will she be able to save the day? A+ on the craptacular scale.

  116. Mazes and Monster (1982)- I shouldn’t really count this as a horror movie but I caught it on Chiller the other night and I remembered it from back when I was 12 or so so I caught it for old times sake, and boy am I glad I did. This movie is a must see, a must see for the lovers of the Craptacular that is. I tried D&D a time or two but never really got into it but I had some friends who were pretty hugely into it, but none of them like these people. Anyway, the plot is about 4 college kids who are rich as hell and instead of getting into murder or theft like most rich-as-hell-bored-college-kids they get into the role playing game Mazes and Monsters. One of them, Robbie, goes off the deep end and starts blurring the lines between fact and fantasy to hilarious results. The acting is terrible but I blame the writers and director for this debacle, as the actors obviously had nothing to work with. Lines like "I’m like Mr. Spock", "No you’re more like the Tin Man." I half expected the kids to say "Golly gee Beav, what’d you go and do that for?" None of what is going on really makes any sense at all, like why the cops blame the game in the first place, didn’t they think thousands of kids play the game and only one is missing, how could that lead you to conclude the game made him disappear, and why does the detective just instantly assume he’s dead? And why do the kids lie to the cops about playing the game, was it illegal? I was completely confused, and also half asleep as we spend what seemed like hours walking in the caves yelling, "Daniel, I’m lost". Jesus Christ, if you’re in the mood for total 80s misplaced fear-mongering crap then you have to catch this one! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  117. Sound of Horror, The (1964)- Main lesson to take away from this one, if your effects budget is near 0 just make the monster invisible. No budget Spanish horror flick set in Greece. Some war buddy adventurers are looking for war treasures hidden in a cave. They are warned about curses by the locals, light sticks of dynamite, find a mummy, find a petrified egg, release an invisible monster, hide out in a house that you would think would be pretty easy for the monster, with such an awesome advantage, to get into, and come up with a plan to get out of the mess they created by ignoring local folklore in the first place. Toss in a couple of scream queens and their dances and everything is complete. This one is a blast and a fun ride for anyone looking for senseless ‘horror’ to rip on. A must see for fans of the craptacular, A+.

  118. Ju-On (2003)- Remade in America as "The Grudge" I think this better translates as "The Curse", which is what this movie is about. A family dies a very violent death at the raging hands of the husband/father (he kills his wife, son, cat, and himself in the family house). Now anyone who sets foot in the house is cursed since the violent rage the family died in is left behind like a filthy residue. The movie starts with a social worker who is sent to the house to help a family with their elderly mother. The social worker finds the house a mess and the old lady in a catatonic state. She begins cleaning up and is pulled into the curse of the house. From there we are taken on a non-linear chapter like film that goes from person to person and their experience with the curse. I have to admit, that in my humble opinion this is a masterpiece. It has been years since I saw the American version and from what I remember they are very similar (I gave that an A) but something about this one just really hooked me. The use of shadow, the makeup, the sound effects, the out of focus backgrounds with the little boy, the close-ups of the murdered mother, etc. all come together for a great ‘ghost story’ flick. If you like nightmare inspiring ghost stories and you don’t mind the non-linear approach and the ‘Japanese’ ending possible SPOILER AERT (nothing is tied together too neatly, and if anything, you kind of get the feeling that maybe the curse is spreading) then this is a must see. A+

  119. Phantom Creeps, The (1939)- Oh lord, this is some craptacular stuff! Bela Lugosi plays the nefarious Dr. Zorca. He’s a wicked bad inventor with all kinds of inventions all powered by the unbelievable meteorite power source he found in Africa. He also knows he could destroy the world with his power. He kicks around selling it to the highest bidder but when he accidentally kills his wife he gets all bent out of shape and blames the government and decides to exact his revenge. He must have a really good plan cooked up because he seems to pass up every chance he has at getting his revenge. I mean with that meteorite, a giant (hilarious) evil looking robot, and the ability to make himself invisible you’d think getting back at folks really wouldn’t be too tough. (He’s also invented a machine that instantly heals gunshot wounds which in and of itself would make him a fortune.) But the bad Dr. just makes bad decision after bad decision until he just totally flies off the handle at the end. This was originally one of those serials people endured before the real movie started but the version I saw was edited down to about 80 minutes and you could tell! Pretty much everything about this is craptacular so if you like really bad effects, terrible robots, mad scientists with uselessly stupid inventions, blonde bombshell reporters, hip G-Men, and painful stock footage (including the Hindenburg crash) all rolled together in a package of hammy acting and terrible directing then this is for you. I seriously loved it! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  120. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)- Rob Zombie of White Zombie went solo, then became a movie director, usually that's not a good thing in my opinion but here? "House of 1000 Corpses" is a very well done movie with some of the best atmosphere I've seen in a newer movie. It has a very palpable sense of dread and disgust as a group of kids set out to find rural legends in the Texas countryside. They find what they are looking for in the weirdest family since Leatherface and grandpa in the Chainsaw Massacre. Which leads me to the only real problem I have with this movie. It is very unoriginal and basically a remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with a slightly over the top conclusion. Still, it works on that visceral base level like good horror movies should. I'd give it an A+ but I have to dock it a little in the originality department. A

  121. Skull, The (1965)- Classic British horror tale with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as competing collectors of occult objects. Cushing is given the opportunity to buy the cursed skull of the Marquis de Sade and asks Lee what he thinks. Lee tries to convince Cushing to never buy the skull, but Cushing can’t help it, and soon realizes his disbelief in the occult will not save him from it! A really good flick in the Hammer tradition (though not Hammer) that remains strong throughout with great performances by everyone; although the very end tries the old horror movie cliché pseudo-endings, which I hate. Chop off about the last 10 minutes and this is some great stuff! A

  122. Devil’s Backbone (2001)- This is a tale of greed, ghostly revenge, and life during wartime. A young boy in an orphanage went missing during a bombing run and a new boy at the orphanage has taken his bed, will he find out the truth about his predecessor? A dark look at civilian life during a war, there have been a lot of flicks like this, some better than this, but this works really well. Great acting from the whole cast as all are tortured by their past and their present as the war ravages on we are again reminded we are our own worst enemies (or our desires are). I’ll give this a strong A.

  123. Ringu (1998)- The original Japanese version of "The Ring". Although it has been a long time since I’ve seen the American version so a direct comparison is hard for me, these two movies seem very similar, although "Ringu" is definitely ‘Japanese’. The story is basically the same, people who see a certain video wind up dead in 1 week. A reporter and her professor ex-husband look for a reason and think they have found it, but have they? Well acted and directed, I gave the American version an A so I will give this one the same.

  124. Spider Baby (1968)- Lon Chaney in one of his last roles plays the chauffer/butler to a family of inbred maniacs. They suffer from a rare disease (so rare that it is named after this family and apparently only inflicts them) that causes them to mentally regress to dangerous adult/children who have no control over their impulses. There are the two daughters, one of which likes to pretend she is a spider and ‘stings’ people with a couple of huge knives, the son, who is further regressed to looking and acting like a giant toddler, and an aunt and uncle who live in the basement. Lon tries to make their lives happy, but when some greedy distant relatives show up with lawyer in tow, ready to take the family’s money, well, desperate measures are called for. This is an insane flick, often bordering on black comedy, but never completely falling off that cliff. It is low budget for sure and seems to be hated by many horror fans, yeah, it doesn’t make much logical sense and some parts just don’t even seem to fit (why is the greedy lady trying on her sexy lingerie in that dirty house full of freaks). I liked it though, for every silly scene there is a classic (the dinner) and it was an obvious influence on many movies to come ("The Hills Have Eyes", Texas Chainsaw Massacre", maybe to some extent "The Last House on the Left" etc). The only real problem I see are too many extended "Cat and Canary" chase scenes. This is a cult classic for a reason, but you should know what to expect when something gets the moniker ‘cult classic’. I’ll give it a hesitant A.

  125. From Beyond the Grave (1974)- British horror omnibus with Peter Cushing running an antique shop called ‘Temptations’. You will find what you want in his store, but be careful not to try and take advantage of the old man, he knows the value of his goods, and he’ll cut you a deal, but you will be the one who pays! In story one a man buys an old mirror which seems to make people want to hold séances, and, as it turns out, there’s a reason for that. Someone is trapped in the mirror and they need human blood to trade places with someone outside. Predictable but well played I’ll give it a B. Story two sees a businessman, very unhappy with his home life, befriend a beggar (he steals a war medal from the shop in the wrap around story to impress the beggar) and winds up getting on very well with the beggar’s daughter. As the businessman’s dreams of a happy life look to be coming true, we realize something isn’t quite right, but of course it’s too late. This was a strange tail very well executed; I’ll give it a strong A. In story three a man trades the tags on an expensive snuff box to get it for cheap and winds up with an elemental on his shoulder. Only an eccentric psychic can see the elemental but soon enough the man believes her and wants an exorcism. This is more a comedy relief type of story and it works really well on that level, another A I think. The final story involves a man who must have a very ornate door for his pantry. Of course once mounted the door doesn’t open to his pantry, but to a large blue room with someone who seems intent on trapping people there. While this story seemed the weakest overall to me, the tie in to the wrap around was pretty good so watch closely. I’ll give it a B. That averages to an A- actually but I liked the wrap around with Cushing so much I’ll bump it to an A even.

  126. Fly, The (1958)- Classic 50s sci-fi/horror about a scientist who ‘plays god’ by making a teleportation device. Not sure how exactly making a teleportation device is ‘playing god’ anymore than making a car or an airplane would be. Anyway, while testing the device out on himself a fly gets into the pod and his genes are fused with the flies when he is reassembled, creating a half human half fly, and a half fly half human. Without the fly-human the human-fly can’t try and undo the catastrophe. All this is told in flashback to the scientist’s brother and a police inspector by the scientist’s wife, who is being charged with murder as she admits she killed her husband by putting his head (and arm) in a machine press. Yikes! Vincent Price plays the brother-in-law in a very understated way and over all the acting is great. Yeah, there is the over-the-top ‘gee Beav’ 50s idyllic home life of the mad scientist, his wife, annoying dumbass son, and housekeeper, complete with lots of ‘ain’t life grand’ violin music, which I guess is suppose to juxtapose against the horror that is to come, and yes, the effects are dated, but this is still a better than most 50s monster movies. The colors, directing, and dialogue for the most part work really well. I’d say this is pretty much classic status, and was one more step towards Vincent Price becoming the horror cult icon he became. A.

  127. Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)- Classic sequel to Hammer’s "Curse of Frankenstein", here we find the good doctor about to be executed. Of course he has made a deal with one of the executioner and heads off to continue his work under the name Dr. Stein. He helps the poor (for spare parts of course), and takes a young eager doctor in as his assistant. The man who helped him escape needs a new body, and he gets one as the doc won’t back out of a deal, but the man’s eagerness to try out his new digs gets everyone in trouble. Peter Cushing is great again as Frankenstein, sitting somewhere between evil and sympathetic he pushes the doctor’s ambition to new lengths, and Hammer’s original take on the story works really well. The look and feel of these Hammer flicks is just great. Some of the lab scenes are goofy, like the eyes floating in the aquarium (check it out to see what I mean), but I’m pretty sure that was done tongue in cheek anyway. A

  128. Kidnapped (1974)- Bava drops the black humor goes balls out violent in this flick about a pay roll heist that goes wrong. The criminals, surrounded by the cops, kidnap a woman, after killing her friend, and escape in her car, they then carjack another car, driven by a man who is taking his son to the hospital for emergency surgery. What follows is a very tense, well directed study of depravity and criminal mayhem, all of which almost exclusively takes place in the car. Some of the tension building scenes (the woman’s escape attempt, sexual depravity, the fender bender in the traffic jam, etc.) are brilliantly directed. Almost everything works, especially the twist ending, which to be honest I had pretty much figured out. Some of the acting goes a little over the top at times but other than that this one works very well. A

  129. Following (1998)- Nice gritty flick about a guy who is obsessed with following people. He gets busted following a guy who happens to be a burglar; he goes with him on some jobs and realizes he likes the excitement, but finds out, too late I might add, that he is in over his head. This is short, grainy and gritty, low budget and not really horror but I’m going to give it a strong A, I was hooked all the way through.

  130. Shadow of Doubt (1943)- Little Charlie is tired of her boring typical life. She needs some excitement, or at least just some change. She sends a letter to her Uncle Charlie, her favorite uncle, asking him to come out for a visit; little does she know he’s already on his way for a visit, possibly because someone is after him. Uncle Charlie is a strange one and oddly uptight. Charlie’s dad and neighbor love detective stories and are always thinking of ways to pull off the perfect murder, could Charlie actually have already pulled some murders of his own? Is he in fact a serial killer? This is a great Hitch flick complete with suspense, tension, unnerving scenes, and awesome subplots and symbolism. A.

  131. Other, The (1972)- A tried and true plot in ‘The Bad Seed’ tradition about cherubic little brothers who may in fact be manipulative, murderous, monsters This particular version takes place in 1935 in what amounts to hard and dangerous farm life during the depression, but this life is harder and more dangerous than most! Luckily for Niles and his twin brother carefree and fun-filled days are still possible, but only if others PAY!!! Plot twists jump up and aren’t too surprising but watch it closely never-the-less as it makes the payoffs more interesting. I liked this and felt the acting and directing worked really well, I’ll give it an A.

  132. Bird With the Crystal Plumage, The (1970)- Argento’s debut as a director finds him copping a lot from Hitch, but not in a bad way. We have an American tourist in Rome who witnesses attempted murder, becomes a suspect, clears his name, and then becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of who was trying to kill the woman. Twists and turns abound (along with some dead ends that don’t make much sense upon reflection) and we wind up with a very satisfying murder mystery. Yeah, there are some plot holes, and some bad dubbing, to be expected really, but for the most part of you like Euro-Giallo Hitch like flicks then this is a must see. A

  133. Escape From The Planet of the Apes (1971)- The Planet of the Apes series redeems itself with this 3rd entry. Cornelius, Zira, and Dr. Milo (a filler character used to explain how the apes learned to fly the space ship) take Taylor’s ship back in time to 1973 just as the world ends (the doomsday bomb in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes") in their time. The apes become celebrities until a scientist begins putting 2 and 2 together and figures their offspring (Zira’s pregnant) could lead to man’s downfall, which is obviously part of the future if things aren’t done to stop it. It is interesting to me that it is actually a doctor that is the ‘villain’ and wanting to abort the baby chimp and sterilize the remaining advanced apes and not a military general or politician, who are the usual close minded culprits (the president actually argues that if it is man’s destiny to fall then so be it). Much of the film is a feel good story about the apes as they live the good life, but the sinister streak running just below the surface is soon exposed and we are subjected to tragedy of Shakespearian proportions. A

  134. Re-Animator (1985)- If you like campy horror al la "Evil Dead", "Return of the Living Dead" or "Dead Alive" then you’ll like this. It is almost a masterpiece in that sub-genre. There is no doubt; this flick plays by its own rules. We start out with Herbert West, a very bright and promising med student whose professor and mentor apparently has died, Herbert thinks he can bring him back from the dead. Things go slightly awry and he has to leave the country (Switzerland) and shows up at the famous Miskatonic Medical School, where he rents a room from another student who is dating the dean’s daughter (which makes for some blackmail material), and promptly clashes with the head professor there. You see Herbert has a solution that can re-animate the dead, sort of... One thing leads to another and we’re off and running down the road with insane reanimated corpses, mad scientists, a decapitated body and its love interest, and a room full of walking cadavers. The casting, especially Jeffry Combs as West, is perfect for this over-the-top, take-it-so-seriously-that-we’re-obviously-not-taking-it-seriously approach. A very strong A.

  135. Monster Walks, The (1932)- Here we have yet another take on "The Cat and the Canary". An old rich guy dies; his daughter and her fiancé come back for the reading of the will. The oddball uncle who is an invalid is there as is the housekeeper and her son. Toss in the lawyer and the daughter’s shiftless chauffer (whose ‘real’ name in the opening credits is "Sleep’n’Eat" in a hilarious racist jab at those lazy darkies... seriously man the racism in this one is inexcusable, maybe Hollywood is so full of bleeding heart lefties now because back then it was so full of racist assholes they are trying to make up for it). Anyway, fear ensues as someone is trying to kill of the daughter and red herrings flop around. This is terrible stuff but a must see for the lovers of terrible stuff because the acting and editing and directing are just so bad. This movie is only 60 minutes long but could easily be trimmed down to 30 without cutting anything out at all except people walking around. Toss in the painfully dated racism and you got total crap. An A on the craptacular scale.

  136. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990)- "Portrait" is indeed the perfect name for this one. It is a look at the world of a serial killer. There is no real plot as much as we just follow along as Henry lives his life while ending other’s lives and brings his old cell mate along. We think Henry killed his whore mother as well but he seems to always get his story mixed up so we aren’t too sure what to believe, as it should be in a film like this. We’re as subject to Henry’s whims as the other characters, Henry’s roommate and roommate’s sister are. We know Henry has no emotion, except distaste for any intimacy at all, and we know Henry isn’t really worried about getting caught. He figures if he uses a different murder weapon each time the cops will never figure out it is a serial killer, plus he moves around some. This is simply a dark and at times ferocious look at the life of a serial killer. We don’t get too much under the hood, we know a little about his past and the past of those around him but this isn’t a psychological portrait, it’s just a look at what is going on in Henry’s life at this given time. The film reminds me a lot of "Driller Killer" but without the long and pointless parts. I liked this film a lot. A.

  137. It: The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)- Classic piece of typical 50s sci-fi double feature material. A ship is sent to Mars for the first manned expedition. We know the ship has landed, however contact was lost right after the landing. Another ship is sent to look into the situation and finds one survivor, who is then charged with the murder of his crew mates. His story about a Martian life form wreaking havoc on the crew during a dust storm is all but laughed at, until, you guessed it, the life form hitches a ride on the rescue ship and is headed back to Earth, and feeding on the crew. Sound familiar, yeah it’s ‘Alien’ way before ‘Alien’. Anyway this is a pretty large and comfortable ship, complete with gravity and waitresses! Oh and hand grenades, lots of guns, a huge blood supply, and tons of giant crates of stuff; weight must not be an issue on the spaceships of the distant future world of 1973 when this takes place! It is top notch 50s schlock to be sure and a must see if you like that, but it is interesting also in that ‘Alien’ is basically (VERY basically) a remake of this. Don’t expect Gieger designs though, you know what you’re getting into with these right? I’ll give this a strong A on the craptacular scale!

  138. Reign of Fire (2002)- Another ‘end of man/apocalypse’ flick. A group of folks are holed up in an old building trying to grow crops and take care of themselves after society has completely broken down and they come to the realization that there may not be any help on the way, until a column of American soldiers turns up complete with a tank and a helicopter and a plan, but is it a good plan? So what causes the collapse of society this time? A virus? Political and economic upheaval? Changing weather patterns? Aliens? No, dragons. Yes, dragons have pretty much taken over the earth and practice a ‘scorched earth policy’ (sorry). Yeah it sounds goofy on paper but does it work? I think so, I really liked the movie, instead of zombies we have dragons, that’s really the only difference between this and flicks like ’28 Days Later’ so on that level it really does work (although I am in no way implying that I thought this was as good as '28 Days Later'), other than maybe being more far fetched than a man-made contagion. Also, ignore the questions of 'where'd they get the gasoline' and such, the movie wont hold up under scrutiny... it is about dragons after all. I’ll give it a solid A for action adventure and mayhem. Masterpiece? No, Fun entertainment? Yes.

  139. Sweeny Todd (2007)- Let me start by saying I really don’t dig musicals, still, I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this one so I gave it a try and it was worth a viewing. It is the story of a barber who is run out of town by a local power hungry judge who covets the barber’s wife. After years plotting his revenge the barber returns and takes to offing folks with his straight razor so his landlady can use them as meat for her meat pies. The scenes are violent and no holds are barred as throats are slit and bodies pile up in the oven room. The barber gets his revenge, only to find that it may not be as sweet as he thought it may be. If you can handle most scenes dropping into song at some point then this is a must see for Burton’s gothic Dickens era London look, the sets and feel carry the film (for me) through the musical numbers. A

  140. Burn Witch, Burn (1962)- Nice British horror/mystery about a college professor of Sociology who goes about debunking mythology and supernatural beliefs. As he’s climbing the ladder of success at a small university he discovers his wife has been dabbling in witchcraft (she learned all about it during field study with him). He demands she stop and she does, even though she’s very afraid of the consequences to her husband’s career. And no sooner does she stop protecting him things begin to unravel. I really like the supernatural flicks of this period simple and mysterious but done well, and this is one of the best, with strong (albeit over the top at times) acting and great writing and directing. A strong A.

  141. Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)- Argento, obviously influenced as always by Hitchcock, weaves a tale of mystery and murder. A musician feels he is being followed by someone, and when he confronts his stalker he accidentally kills him. Someone happens to photograph the killing but instead of turning him in, the photographer instead uses the incident to try and drive the musician crazy, as more people get involved, more people die until the big reveal at the end. Like Hitch, Argento throws in the element of humor amidst the mayhem and also surrounds the musician with some oddly colorful characters. This is a strong outing for Argento in my opinion. Great direction, camera use, color use, characters, the things folks like about Argento are here, but without the negatives he brings to his flicks at times (although the bit about photographing a dead person’s eye to see the last image they’ve seen seems pretty dumb and why didn’t they use that on the others who had been killed? But you can’t think too much about any Argento flick!) I’m giving this a strong A, if you like Italian Giallo this is almost a must see.

  142. Kill Baby Kill (1966)- This is a strange murder mystery with a supernatural story. It has the look and feel of a Hammer film but at the end of the day ends up a little more stylistically directed by Bava. A doctor is called into a small village to perform an autopsy on a woman who it seems committed suicide but a police inspector thinks otherwise, and the scared locals won’t talk at all because they are afraid of a curse on the village. This is a very atmospheric horror film with little or no gore, as I said, like Hammer films of the same period, but Bava kicks it all up a notch with his use of camera angles and colors. An obvious influence on flicks by directors like Dario Argento. A strong A.

  143. Birds II: Land’s End (1994)- MST3K time! Why oh why did this even get made, even just Made for TV? Anyway, the birds are rising up, this time because of an oil spill or something. You can predict as each character shows up exactly what is going to happen to them and why. There’s the crusty old guy who knows everything, the smart ass mayor who won’t believe anyone, the heroic dog, the helpless little girls and so on. Tippy Hedron makes a cameo to try and lend some validity but it is too little too late. An A on the craptacular scale only.

  144. 28 Weeks Later (2007)- "28 Days Later" was a brutal film and a nice twist on the zombie/I Am Legend/Omega Man genre. "28 Weeks Later" is even more brutal and is one of the tensest films I’ve seen in quite a while. It picks up during the initial outbreak. Several people are holed up in a cottage in the country when the inevitable attack occurs. What follows is probably the 2nd most intense intro to a horror movie since the remake of "Dawn of the Dead". 28 weeks later and England is being repopulated, with great caution, and of course, too soon as scientists still know next to nothing about the Rage virus. As it turns out, some people can be carriers without showing symptoms. And of course, all Hell soon breaks loose. One doctor thinks she has someone genetically able to carry the virus without the symptoms, but will she live long enough to get them to safety? This movie is very violent, as should be expected, and it is well acted (for the most part) and well directed. There are a couple of weak spots and one or two "That wouldn’t happens" but suspend a little belief and this is a great horror ride. Not as good as the first but pretty close. A strong A.

  145. Dead Snow (2009)- More Nazi Zombies and their gold stashes! Some med-school students head out for a ski trip in a remote cabin in the mountains in Norway. Turns out they are staying not too far from where the locals turned on and stole back the gold stash the Nazis had stolen from them during WWII. Now those Nazis are very pissed! From the very beginning we’re off on a romp that both pays homage to teen-slasher and zombie flicks that have come before, and parodies them at the same time. From the early quote about ‘how many horror movies start with college kids heading out for a weekend’ to the old guy who shows up out of nowhere and sets the story up, stuck in a remote cabin surrounded by zombies, to the chainsaw/shotgun action packed ending. Yes, equal parts ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Night of the Living Dead’, and ‘Shaun of the Dead’, with a little ‘Friday the 13th’ thrown in. Remember this is a tribute, a comedy, a parody, and a horror/zombie movie all rolled into one. If you appreciate the over the top campiness of flicks like ‘Evil Dead’ then you should like this one, I’ll give it an A, I liked the Nazi zombies a lot and there were some pretty funny and outrages moments.

  146. Eyes Without A Face (1960)- I've seen this movie on many critics' top ten horror movie lists. It's the story about a doctor whose daughter's face was mangled in a car wreck that he feels was his fault. He's an expert in transplant surgery and goes about transplanting girls' faces onto his daughter's, trying to get one that will match. And through it all his daughter is inching towards insanity. This movie sits somewhere between art house and horror. There are lots of scenes of people walking up and down stairs and driving around in hilarious French cars that look like they are made of sheet metal. Much of the soundtrack seems very inappropriate too, like circus music or something. Still, this film is ahead of its time and if it wasn't black and white it could easily pass for something made 20 years later. A.

  147. Dead of Night (1945)- An early horror omnibus film with the wrap around story being about an architect who goes to a country house to look at renovating it. Once there he gets a sense of déjà vu and claims he has dreamt of them all and has a vague idea that something bad is going to happen. A visiting psychiatrist tries to explain away the man’s feeling and other guests tell their stories of brushes with the supernatural. Story one is about a girl at a Christmas Party who, while playing hide and seek, hides in a room where a little boy is crying, she puts the boy to bed only to find out some bad news about him. A good enough simple ghost story. A. Story two is about an engaged couple. The woman buys her fiancé an antique mirror but when the man looks into the mirror he sees himself standing in a different room. Turns out the mirror’s original owner went crazy and killed his wife in front of that mirror; will the man be able to avoid that fate? A tad silly but well executed I’ll give it a B. Story three revolves around a race car driver, who after being involved in a crash has a fever dream that a hearse is waiting outside the hospital for him. When he leaves the hospital he thinks he sees the hearse driver from the dream, can the driver save him? Another well done short, A-. Story four is a campy piece about two golfers who wager a game for the hand of a girl in marriage, one man wins and the other commits suicide. The one who commits suicide finds out (on the other side) that the winner cheated so he comes back to haunt him, but has forgotten how to disappear again. This one is goofy and doesn’t seem to fit in but still isn’t horrible. C+. Finally we have a story about a ventriloquist who’s doll seems to have a mid of its own. Yeah it’s been done a lot since but was fresh here and works really well. A+ If you like these British omnibus movies you’ll like this one, which more or less kicked off the whole sub-genre. My average for the movie comes to about an A- but I’ll bump it to an A as the wrap around is really good, especially the insane ending (although the circular logic conclusion was a tad disappointing).

  148. Strangers on a Train (1951)- A forgotten Hitch ‘almost masterpiece’. Suspense and black humor permeate this tale of two men who meet on a train. One is a budding semi-pro tennis star, Guy, the other, Bruno, the son of a very wealthy man. Bruno has been reading the society pages and knows Guy wants to divorce his wife and marry the daughter of a powerful congressman. Bruno has an idea. What if he killed Guy’s wife and Guy would kill his father. It could be the perfect crime(s), no motive, no connections, no one would be the wiser and everyone would get what they want. Guy realizes Bruno is slightly off his rocker but after several drinks agrees that the idea might work, hoping Bruno will just leave him alone. Of course Bruno mistakes Guy’s agreement that the ‘idea’ might be a good one and of course implements his plan. We see Bruno edge towards insanity as he tries to get Guy to finish the plan out. Some classic scenes follow like Bruno crashing the high society party, sitting in the audience at the tennis match, and trying to get a particularly important lighter out of a storm drain. Like all Hitch films this movie appeals on many levels (is Bruno gay? Is the merry-go-round a symbol for conformity? Is Guy the ultimate conformist with Hitch actually getting us to root for his demise despite being ‘perfect’? And speaking of Guy being perfect, he obviously has it in him to become physically violent with a woman). Bruno is seen by many to be a prototype for Norman Bates too and I can see that comparison. Although the end may be a little over the top (merry-go-rounds should have governors on them!) this is some great Hitch. A very strong A.

  149. Troll Hunter (2011)- Some college students are making a documentary about poachers in Norway, they track a man they believe to be a poacher but he turns out to be working for the government. As a Troll Hunter. He’s tired of the secrecy and of what he sees as mismanagement of the troll population by the government so he agrees to allow filming of his work. The college kids think the man is nuts until they get a firsthand look at his job and troll hunting madness follows. I really liked this POV found-footage flick. It plays the whole way through with a straight face but without taking itself too seriously. Aspects of trolldom from the fairy tales, mixed with the beautiful Norwegian landscape abound and the CGI troll designs are pretty much exactly what a troll should look like (if you remember the fairy tales from when you were a kid)! I’m going to give this a strong A. It is admittedly not for everyone but if documentary on troll hunting strikes you as something fun then I recommend it.

  150. Man Who Laughs, The (1928)- A very well filmed silent flick about a rebellious nobleman’s son. The nobleman is killed by the king and his son sold to and disfigured by a band of gypsies who then leave him for dead on a harsh winter’s night. The young boy walks along and finds a baby still alive in her frozen mother’s arms and then the two find an old man willing to help. The boy grows up and his disfigurement (he has had a permanent smile carved into his face) makes him a famous clown and the baby he saved (who is blind) becomes his love interest, although he is very self-conscious and believes if she could see him she would reject him. If this isn’t bad enough when his real identity is discovered (that of nobleman’s heritage) and the queen declares he will wed a duchess all hell break loose. Strictly speaking this isn’t horror but back in the day the genre was very loosely defined (or not at all really), plus this character is where Bob Kane got the idea for the Joker in his Batman comics. I’ll give this a very strong A. I really liked the camera work and the sets and most of the acting was great. A tad too long as some scenes tended to drag but worth a viewing if you like them old and silent.

  151. Demons (1985)- A classic Argento/Lamberto Bava 80s piece of work! And that’s the best backhanded compliment I can muster. Someone in a weird Halloween mask is handing out tickets to a premier at a weird old theatre. It’s a horror movie that suddenly comes to life in the theatre with people turning into demons all over the place. Think ‘Evil Dead’ in a theatre, toss in a bunch of stereotypes (black pimp and his ‘hos’, helpless blind guy [at a movie?], introvert smart girls, coked up punks), and you have this one. It’s a fun entry with some over the top gore, bad acting, and hilarious dialogue. Worth a viewing if you like 80s insanity or want a good MST3K flick. I’ll give it an A on the craptacular scale.

  152. Super Eight (2011)- In the mood for one of those 70s/80s era mildly scary (for the kids) sci-fi type flicks like ‘ET’, ‘Poltergeist’, ‘Goonies’, or ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’? Well, this is a full on tribute to all of the above, set in 1979, with a cast that could’ve easily been mistaken for almost any of those flicks casts’. While making their own zombie movie a group of kids witness a train derailment, which was obviously an act of sabotage, but even weirder is what starts happening around town afterwards, and how nervous the Air Force is about the whole thing. Scenes judiciously picked from the above movies and made to work in this one follow. So does it work? Yeah pretty much, if you liked the above flicks and understand this is really just a tribute to that kind of filmmaking (like Abrams’ ‘Cloverfield’ was a tribute to the Japanese monster movies), then you’ll dig this. If you hated the above mentioned movies then maybe this won’t be for you anyway. I’ll give it a solid A, kept me entertained in a mindless summer fun sort of way and reminded me of riding my bike to the Hillcrest 4 Theatres back in the day.

  153. Repulsion (1965)- Polanski delves into paranoia, isolation, guilt, and sexual insecurity in this tale about a young woman’s rapid slide into insanity. Her world, at least in her eyes, is literally crumbling around her. It is, more or less, filmed from her perspective as small annoyances become large problems and those around her seem to refuse to believe that a pretty young woman could be slipping so rapidly into mental breakdown (an afternoon off of work or maybe taking in an old comedy at the movies will help). A man she has apparently dated is the only one who seems to realize something maybe a little deeper is bothering her, but he never realizes that a major part of her problem is in fact men! There is very little dialogue, very little in the way of ‘action’, we are pulled along in a downward spiral until all is lost and there is no turning back. This is a slow burner and not for everyone, but if you like movies that delve into the psychology of our existence without placing any judgment or drawing any conclusions then this is for you. I liked it quite a bit and will give it a very strong A, great directing, great acting, and a slowly paced slide.

  154. Shiver (2008)- This is a Spanish flick that combines elements of vampire and werewolf myths into a kind of teen angst type of movie. It centers on a kid who suffers from an allergy to sunlight. He is of course considered a freak at school and his life is basically a mess. His doctor suggests he and his mother move to a village that sits in a valley in the mountains that is shaded most of the day due to its position. Things start off OK there, but after a couple of murders take place the new freaky kid is the obvious one to blame. He has to find the truth and terror ensues. This is a well made well acted suspense thriller. It looks at ‘normality’ and examines what that may be and also how those that are ‘normal’ of course aren’t in the final twist (there being no normalcy). As mentioned it is full of teen angst and outcast high school kids and feels like it was maybe aimed at that crowd but it works on a lot of levels. A.

  155. Tourist Trap (1979)- Classic late 70s/early 80s horror at its finest! Recommended to me by (real) movie critic Bob Schultz as we were discussing the finer points of ‘Motel Hell’; I found this to be even better. Although it doesn’t have the black satire that ‘Motel Hell’ has it proved even creepier. A man lives in an old museum that went broke when the new highway diverted traffic away. Some ‘teenagers’ car breaks down and they wind up on the property with the man, and his crazy brother who has telekinetic powers and is a master at creating mechanical wax figures. Total insanity ensues! This pretty much pulls out all the stops, sort of ‘Carrie’ meets “Texas Chainsaw Massacre“ with maybe a small dose of ‘Phantasm’! If you like them weird and creepy then check it out. I’m giving it a very solid A.

  156. Chamber of Horrors (1966)- Wax Museum meets Sherlock Holmes. Local wax museum proprietors have become experts in crime via studying their wax depictions of crimes and criminals so when a local millionaire goes insane and kills his girlfriend, and then marries her corpse, and then goes into hiding, the local police ask them to help. They solve the crime, the man is captured, but then escapes (by cutting off his hand no less) and returns for revenge, using an assortment of prosthetic killing implements in the place of his missing hand. A well done adventure that is paced well and acted well but never takes itself too seriously. This is pretty goofy soft stuff (with ‘warning lights and horns’ before any supposedly gruesome parts) but it is well done if you want a well-paced homicidal maniac movie more or less made-for-TV. A-.

  157. Manster, The (1959)-Classic piece of low budget nonsense! Basically ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ with two heads! A reporter is on the verge of heading home to his wife. He’s been on the road covering ‘wars and revolutions’ for years and is ready to get off the beat. One last story gets him involved with a mad Japanese scientist who injects him with a formula that has something to do with evolution. Didn’t quite get the connection there but soon the guy discovers the fun-side of Japan, mainly geisha girls and Saki. He also notices his shoulder hurts and he’s given to fits of rage. Soon the shoulder gets worse, an eye grows out, and the next thing you know he has two heads and loves killing folks. What else can the scientist do but inject him with another dose and hope his two personalities split apart into two people! This thing is just insane, low budget, double feature fun. Despite some really bad effects and mail me my check acting the over all look of the flick isn’t that bad, and the title alone bumps it a grade or two on the craptacular scale! I’ll give it an A of the craptacular.

  158. The Ghost Ship (1943)- Val Lewton had a way with production and telling tales that otherwise might fall flat. This is a simple story of an old ship's captain taking on a new third mate and hoping to train him in the ways of authority. The captain is obsessed with the subject and spouts off snippets of his wisdom from years in charge of men at sea. Soon we begin to see many sides of the issue of authority, we see the pressure of constantly being 'in charge' and responsible for everything, including the men's lives, we see the effects of abuse of power and we see people acting as sheep and blindly following their leader. Pretty powerful stuff in this low budget thriller. And again, Lewton's production, despite a lower budget, looks great. Great black and white photography great acting, and great sets. A.

  159. Place of One’s Own, A (1945)- Ghost story in the vein of ‘The Uninvited’ and a little ‘The Innocents’ tossed in (although this was before either of those). It feels older than its 1945 release date, but that might just be a testament to the fact it was set 1900 and created a pretty good old school feel. A ‘new money’ couple is retiring and has always wanted to own their own house, so they buy a great one, and they get it cheap. Why? Well, it has a reputation of course. When the old lady hires a ‘companion’ the house’s history seems to be repeating itself and the young companion falls for a doctor, and slowly begins to seem a little possessed. This is a very subtle ghost story; those looking for jump scares or some type of shock definitely need to look elsewhere. But if you want a good believable and well directed old school ghost tale that won’t scare the kids (well, nowadays this might just bore the kids but I digress) then I highly recommend this one. A very strong A.

  160. Repo Man (1984)- Cult 80s sci-fi flick about... Well I’m not 100% sure what it’s about. Basically a punk becomes a repo man when he realizes it could be pretty exciting compared to his regular job. A cast of insane characters shows up and we’re off on a romp as everyone is trying to get their hands on an old Chevy Malibu that may be a radioactive spaceship that has a neutron bomb in the trunk. Insanity ensues. This one is a classic that I remember catching back in the day, I liked it then and it holds up pretty well in the ‘weird cult movie’ subgenre now, just remember that everything about this movie is over the top. Great soundtrack too with Iggy Pop, The Modern Lovers, Circle Jerks, etc. A.

  161. Coraline (2009)- Fun fantasy/horror aimed at the 12 year olds but if you like stuff like "A Nightmare Before Christmas" or "Corpse Bride" then you’ll probably like this. It was filmed in 3D and it looks really good too. It is the story of Coraline, a girl who is ignored by her parents and at that age where the whole world is against her. She finds a hidden world locked away in her new house, and it is a great place, or so it looks. She soon realizes all is not what it seems and her ‘new mom’ wants Coraline’s love... and her soul, her ‘old’ world is beginning to look better. Yeah, it’s kid’s stuff but I like breaking it up with flicks like this sometimes. A.

  162. Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960)- Pretty much just garbage, but I like garbage so what the Hell. Aliens are none too happy with humans’ advancements in the space program (of course) so they set out to sabotage our efforts, but they try and do it so we won’t notice it is sabotage for some reason. They have lots of great technology that doesn’t seem to work too well, and can readily move about in kind of an energy/light form but even that doesn’t seem to really do them much good in the end, as it never does in these movies since humans’ ambition, love, or whatever the lesson is will always prevail, even though ambition is often what gets us in trouble, but we’ll learn our lesson, until the next invasion, etc. This one is fun, and short enough to not get tedious, almost a must see for lovers of 50s craptacular fun. An A on that scale.

  163. Special Exports (2010)- I love it when flicks take an insane idea and play that idea straight as an arrow. Here we find out Santa Claus was real, but he didn’t deliver presents to good boys and girls; that part was added later to cover up the truth. What he (and his elves) did do was punish, in horrible ways, naughty boys and girls; so way back in the day he was captured, frozen, and buried. Now some Russians have found him and are digging him up, and when local kids start disappearing it is up to one young boy who has figured it all out to save everyone. Yeah, it is crazy as hell but played without a hint of irony and because of that it works. No it’s not for everyone, and really I don’t know who it is for. It ‘feels’ like a kids’ movie, but would probably scare the crap out of little kids, older kids would probably just laugh at it, not ‘getting’ it, so who knows? Bottom line I liked it, it was quirky without being “quirky” if you know what I mean. Also an odd note, there were no women in this flick at all. I’ll give it a strong A.

  164. Lost Boys, The (1987)- OK, I am biased on this one and know it is impossible for me to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. This flick came out just before my senior year of high school and I was in a professional ‘cover’ band at the time. So I was THE target audience for this campy, hip, horror movie with the rock and roll soundtrack. A lady and her two kids move to a small California coastal town to live with her dad after her divorce. Through his love of comic books the younger kid starts hanging out with the ‘Frogs’ and realizes the town is full of vampires, and his brother may be becoming one of them. It’s a goofy campy horror comedy that mostly works. It was originally meant to be targeted at younger kids like "The Goonies" but Schumaker the director wanted to aim a little higher and it worked out for him and the movie. If I was seeing this movie for the first time now would I like it? It is impossible for me to really say so keep that in mind as I give this a very strong A.

  165. Child’s Play (1988)- Classic 80s slasher with a twist. A criminal who has been studying black magic transmigrates into a doll when he’s sure the cops are closing in. The first half of the movie is about a kid who gets the doll, realizes the doll is a little more real than it should be, especially after it kills his aunt. Of course, no one believes him until they are confronted by the doll (in one of the greatest camp scenes ever filmed the lead detective meets Chuckie, the doll, while driving in his car). This movie isn’t scary in any sense of the word (but who didn’t as a child have one of those ‘creepy’ toys like Chuckie or the clown in "Poltergeist"?) but it plays well as a campy twist on the slasher genre, which was getting a little long in the tooth by ’88. Get past a little wooden acting, especially by the little kid, and you’ll like this one. A-.

  166. Frankenstein (1931)- This movie has the expected flaws for one so old. The bad old school acting, the silly 'chase scene' near the end. The story sort of follows Shelley's book, but leaves massive gaps. For instance, it seems the monster 'just happens' to find Dr. Frankenstein's fiancé's room, but we know from the book the monster was smart and planned it all along. But despite its flaws I feel it is the strongest of the original Universal monster movies. The sets are great, especially the lab scenes, which are second to none, and the makeup job on Boris Karloff is probably the best of all time. Plus, despite all the makeup, you realize what a tragedy this is for the Monster. The scenes with Fritz teasing him with the torch and the scene near the lake with the little girl were way ahead of their time, and still very effective. Dr. Frankenstein calling out "Now I know what it feels like to be God" was ahead of its time too. Though it all seems very tame now, this was a controversial flick back in the day. A.

  167. Monster House (2006)- This is a great little animated feature in the vein of "The Goonies" and "Gremlins". Yeah it's for the early teen set but that's OK. A grumpy old man is always taking everything that lands on his yard and yelling at kids to stay off his lawn. While yelling at the neighbor boy he has an apparent heart attack and is taken away by ambulance. Now the kids must face the fact that just maybe his ghost has returned to haunt them and make sure they never go on his lawn. Great animation, great plot, all around good little piece of work. A.

  168. Predator (1987)- The hunters become the hunted in this nice twist of an old plot. An alien has come to earth on a hunting trip and has chosen to hunt a team of American commandoes on a rescue mission in the jungle. This is a well-made, suspenseful sci-fi horror movie in the "Alien" vein (the two franchises would eventually be combined with mixed results). I have always liked this one and I give it a strong A.

  169. Angry Red Planet, The (1960)- Another example of "so bad it's good". I have no idea how I draw that line between bad=bad and bad=good and I'm sure most disagree with me but that's another essay. Here a rocket is sent to Mars to investigate but contact with it is lost shortly after it enters Martian orbit. Some time passes before they are able to make contact and bring it home via remote control, unsure if anyone has survived. The rocket lands and a survivor from the crew tells us what happened in flashback. Apparently Mars is covered in jungles and lakes and cities and they are all very very angry at us (yes, the lakes and jungles are angry too)! They are also all a strange tint of red. I mean everything is red. Light wavelengths must be seriously limited on Mars. The makers of this film used something I believe they called Cinemagic to create the (not) dazzling FX of The Red Planet, but they really did it so it would be harder to tell that the sets were all just paintings. Anyway, there are some GREAT 50s sci-fi moments and stereotypes along with crazy Martian Critters to enjoy. A must see for sci-fi B movie fans, everyone else stay away. I got to see it at the drive-in recently! Thanks Horseshoe Lake Drive-in! A for awful.

  170. Frenzy (1972)- A later Hitchcock vehicle about a man wrongly accused of serial rape and murder. The tale is weaved around the man, his running from the law, professed innocence, and his set up by the real killer. Like many Hitchcock films we the audience are pretty much let in on what is happening and who is to blame as the plot develops so the suspense doesn't derive from any mystery but instead from our desire to see the story through and find out just exactly what will happen to the guilty and to the innocent (if in fact there really are any innocent). This movie is full of the typical black comedy and light humor that Hitch so often put in his movies. He somehow always maintained a perfect balance of so many emotions and so many layers in his films and this is a perfect example of that. A.

  171. Children, The (1980)- All I can say is this is law enforcement at work! This flick follows the trials and tribulations of a small town sheriff as he half-heartedly tries to solve the mystery of ‘where the kids went’. Or at least where 5 or 6 of them went. What we know but he doesn’t is that their school bus drove through a radioactive cloud caused by some seriously lazy half-wit nuclear power plant workers who didn’t want overtime. Said cloud causes the kids’ fingernails to turn black and makes them want to hug folks to death. Pretty much everyone in this flick is nasty and deserves to die from the sheriff who always acts like he’s in a big hurry but winds up just standing around, to the local lady doctor who is a complete bitch, and I guess her lesbian partner who is blind and spends her days apparently looped on pain meds. Then there’s the vanity couple who don’t care about their daughter but lift weights and sunbath nude while toking up. The deputy looks to be about 21 and he is dating a gal that might be 16 and she gets pissed when he has to do his job. And don't forget the poaching drunk rednecks the sheriff chooses to man his roadblock! Then the main couple who the sheriff ends up hanging out with are just hysterical dim-wits with the pregnant wife whining and losing control and the husband barking out orders and withholding what one might consider vital information. Can you tell this is one of those train-wrecks that I really liked? They do try pretty hard and there are a couple creepy late 70s-early 80s scenes but over all this thing is a hilarious romp through the craptacular. Be warned, it gets a tad slow near the end as you can’t help but think A) I know exactly how this is going to end and B) PLEASE JUST END ALREADY! Still, if you like ‘em bad then check this one out! A on the craptacular scale.

  172. Birds, The (1963)- This is a bizarre flick! A man wants to buy some miner birds for his little sister's birthday (this guy looks like he's about 35 years old and he has a successful law firm in San Francisco and his sister is just turning 11, weird). Anyway a spoiled rich girl pretends to work at the pet store and then later delivers the miner birds to the lawyer's weekend home in Northern Cali as a practical joke. Then weird stuff starts happening. Wild birds seem to be occasionally attacking people for no reason, then they begin flocking together and attacking people, and things get progressively worse. I think the real fear in this movie is the constant feeling that it could actually happen (OK probably not but it seems more likely than an alien invasion, zombies, or other 'monsters'). The material is taken very seriously and there are no cosmic explanations thrown about, all we know is huge flocks of birds are randomly attacking people. But even in material that seems like it would be silly, Hitch is able to develop complex characters and interesting sub plots. It's another example of Hitch's ability to pull you into a movie and keep you there until the end, wasting no shots or sequences in the process, and another favorite from my youth. A.

  173. Haunted Palace, The (1963)- Corman directed Price vehicle based on Lovecraft’s "The Curious Case of Charles Dexter Ward", Corman threw in a couple of lines from a Poe poem so he could make folks think it part of his successful Poe series, but it was in fact the first film based on a Lovecraft story. If you like these type of Corman flicks then I think you will like this. I liked it a lot and felt the acting and directing were great as were the sets. Amazing what can be done on Corman budgets! Price plays both the evil Curwin, a warlock who uses a town’s young maidens to try and mate with ‘The Elders’ to create a super race and is then burned by the town’s folk, but not before he curses them all, and his great great grandson, Ward, who inherits the palace and then becomes possessed by Curwin and starts up the old practices again. Price is great in his dual role and obviously relishes the chance to switch between good and evil at the drop of a hat. This film fits right in with his "Masque of the Red Death" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" and is a must see if you liked those. A

  174. Lisa and the Devil (1973)- In the mood for EuroArt horror? Don’t care that much for story line and continuity? Then this is for you. Bava’s masterpiece of mood and color follows Lisa, a tourist who gets separated from her tour group. She winds up at an odd castle with a couple on the verge of divorce, their chauffer, and a mother and son who live in the house along with their very strange butler and his life-like mannequins. Apparently Lisa very closely resembles someone who once lived at the house as well and things start breaking down there. If you like these almost art house type of flicks then this is a must see, Bava’s use of color, and his use of set pieces and even costume (pay close attention to what everyone is wearing) is second to none. If, however you’re not a fan of this type of fair, then I would pass on it if I were you. Know what you are getting into here! I really liked this one and will give it a very strong A.

  175. Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)- That's Jeekal to you. Old school interpretation of the classic Stevenson story. Maybe a little over acted but it's still very effective. Jeckyll is played with gusto and Ivy is definitely a little slut. The obvious sexual frustration issues are dealt with right up front in this pre-code movie. Jeckyll wants to separate man's good and evil sides and then eliminate the evil side. His experiment works, sort of. There's no question of the evil almost ape-like Mr. Hyde and his masochistic desires. This is still the definitive version of the telling despite a pretty rotten make-up job. A.

  176. American Psycho (2000)- A satiric look at consumerism and ‘one-up-manship’ through the eyes of an 80s Wall Street broker, which seems more relevant today than it did in 2000 when the movie was made, or in 1987 when the movie is set. Here was have Patrick Bateman, a very successful broker who has it all, great apartment, even though he knows people who have a better one, a great office, still not as good as some, great business cards, even though some people have better ones... and so on. No matter what material goods he gets, he still cannot be satisfied, so murder and eventually torture and cannibalism seem to be the only way he can feel anything. He is a serial killer in every aspect, from the sloppiness of covering up (they always ‘want’ to get caught right?), to conflicted reasoning for why he does what he does and the superficial guilt of knowing what he does is wrong, but not being remorseful of it, and of course the fact no one would believe he was really like that. This movie is a black comedy, a sad and satiric look at crassness, shallowness, and consumerism. This isn’t new territory (Romero has been down this road quite a few times, but none better than "Dawn of the Dead") but here we are literally and figuratively beaten over the head with it. From the business card rivalry to the need for a table in the best restaurants to over analysis of goofy pop music (treating it like some philosophically deep opera) we are reminded that much of our society suffers from any real depth or true feeling, but is instead a manufactured, perfected, and fake attempt at lending meaning to the meaningless, depth to the shallow, and truth to the false. A mere carbon copy of something already suffering from imperfection, and this movie, although admittedly over the top, succeeds wholesale in this. No, you never develop any real pathos for the characters so what happens to them doesn’t really matter; you will have little or no emotional investment... and isn’t that really the whole point? PLOT SPOILER! In the end we are left to believe that Patrick must not have killed anyone at all, and just fantasized it all (even though he has totally succumbed to the fantasy and has become completely paranoid), however, keep in mind that one of the recurring themes of the movie is that no one really knows who anyone is, so maybe the lawyer didn’t have dinner with Allan. If you don’t like movies that don’t resolve you won’t like this ending. I’d like to give this an A+ but I’m going to dock it a little for being a tad too over the top, thereby losing some of its impact and becoming more of a cartoon than it needed to be at times. So a strong A will suffice.

  177. Land of the Dead (2005)- The 4th in Romero's Zombie Trilogy... um. Anyway, people have learned to live with the zombies, or at least have learned to keep the zombies outside the gates of a well-fortified city. They have to occasionally go into the surrounding towns, which are filled with zombies, and get supplies though. It's on one of these outings someone realizes the zombies are learning and evolving. It isn't long before the zombies realize where the raids are coming from and attack the city. Romero gets his war between man and zombie and gets to symbolize the plight of the lower class (Zombies), the squeeze on the middle class (regular people in the city made to do the dirty work), and the greed of the upper class (the rich who live safely in the skyscraper). Great effects compliment a good story combined with Romero's great directing and finally a budget to match the vision. And there in lies the rub. Maybe too much of a good thing. I feel the actors come off as action heroes more than the "ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances" feeling I got from the other Romero zombie flicks. Also the truck Dead Reckoning is just over done and seems dumb. Not to get too geeky but the zombie plague began in 1968 so when did they invent all that technology in that truck, like flat panel infrared monitors? They were still driving old Army Jeeps though, nice touch. Also, Dennis Hopper is great as the wealthy leader of the city. Despite the above mentioned weakness I am still compelled to give this an A because there was still so much good about it. A.

  178. Blood and Roses (1960)- Interesting Italian take on the ‘Carmilla’ story. A man is getting married and his distant cousin is devastated as she has been in love with him since they were children. She can’t take the feelings of rejection and goes a little crazy, or maybe she’s possessed by an ancestor who may have been a vampire. It leaves the conclusion a little open ended, which was kind of nice. I talked before about how my impressions going in often times influence how I feel about a movie, I went into this pretty much expecting crap and wound up really liking it, had I gone in expecting something great I may not have liked it as much. As things stand I’ll give it a generous A. Yeah it’s low budget, the acting ain’t great, and the dubbing is bad at times, but it is a good little modern take on an old story.

  179. Burnt Offerings (1976)- Another 70s classic courtesy of Dan Curtis. I loved this flick when I was a kid and re-watching it was pretty fun. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as I thought it would be still, it is a classic. A family gets to rent a great old mansion for the summer at a crazy low price, the catch? They have to look after the mother of the crazy brother and sister who own the place. At least at first that seems to be the only catch, they soon realize there is a little more to the house than they thought, and to the mother as well. A great twist on the ‘old haunted house’ tale really, executed pretty well in a 70’s made-for-TV sort of vibe, and another book/movie Stephen King stole (He called it “The Shining”). I’m giving it an A, probably because I loved it so much when I was young.

  180. Baby’s Room, The (2006)- Short Spanish horror about a young family who, after putting a monitor in their baby’s room, begin to hear, and see someone in the house. Is the house just reliving its dark past? Can it be stopped? Or is the husband just going crazy? This is a well done tense flick with a Twilight Zone ending. I thought the acting and story were really well done. A

  181. Crow, The (1994)- Although the plot of this one is very unoriginal (a man and his girlfriend are killed for trying to stop a slum lord from forcing people to move, the man comes back from the grave to exact revenge on the slum lord/gangster and his henchmen), the execution of said plot is very original and well done. This is a great, atmospheric flick about love, loss, karma, and death. I always wonder in flicks like this though why those killed by the avenging ghost don’t get any revenge; I guess that’s where the karma part comes in. Anyway, the acting, directing, and over-all look of this one are great, full of dark wet streets, tweaker criminals, and a ghost out for revenge. Sadly, Brandon Lee (The Crow) was killed while filming this one (and in what seems to me an odd bit of irony, Heath Ledger’s Joker in "The Dark Knight" is very reminiscent of Brandon Lee’s Crow character, and Ledger also died while filming "The Dark Knight", although under very different circumstances). I would give this an A+ but some of the rock guitar bits are starting to feel a little dated, still it deserves a very strong A.

  182. Coffin Joe: This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (1967)- Part two in the Coffin Joe trilogy picks right up where part one left off. Joe has been attacked, but the villagers, for some unknown reason, save him and he’s then acquitted of his crimes due to a lack of evidence. Joe quickly resumes his old ways, this time with the help of hunchback Bruno, of trying to find the perfect woman to have the perfect child with. Joe knows the only real immortality is through our offspring. So how do you go about finding the perfect mate to breed with, well, you kidnap a bunch of women and then try and scare the crap out of them with spiders and snakes, the one that doesn’t get scared is the chosen one, the ones that do get scared, well they don’t get to live. So Joe sets about kidnapping, scaring, and torturing women, but before he finds his dream girl he is cursed. Joe is Nietzschean atheist so curses don’t scare him (despite what happened the last time he was cursed) and he finds, and impregnates, his perfect mate, and soon after he is dragged away to spend a night in Hell. This has all the atmosphere of part one with a slightly higher budget (or maybe it just looked that way) and a little surrealism thrown in. Joe’s trip into Hell is in color (the rest being in B&W) and feels like it was right out of Dante and despite the budget is a pretty effective set piece. Like part one this stuff ain’t for everybody but if you appreciate low budget foreign cult films then this is a must see. Although the story actually makes less sense than part one I will give it a slightly higher grade as I liked it a little more. A

  183. Awakening, The (2011)- A well-paced ghost story centering on an author who's made a career out of debunking charlatans who are banking off of family members' grief post-WWI. She is asked to visit a boarding school as a ghost has recently been terrorizing the boys there and, naturally, things are not as easily debunked as she was hoping, and along comes a twist, and twist again as well. Very well played suspense movie using the gloomy post-WWI England as its back drop and its study of guilt and personal isolation as its fuel, this is really a ghost story in name only. You won't find a lot of true scares, but who needs them if the movie is good? A.

  184. Flight to Mars (1951)- more 50s sci-fi at its best. To be fair this one isn’t quite ‘so bad it’s great’, but it’s close. A rocket is built and sent to Mars, in what really feels like a totally haphazard way. The astronauts are kind of picked at the last minute for weird reasons and when they arrive they are greeted by a great Martian civilization that apparently discovered the mini-skirt prior to earthlings. Subterfuge ensues and we’re not sure who to trust, well, actually we’re pretty sure and the end is a rock’em sock’em smash up of low budget detail. A on the craptacular scale.

  185. Slither (2006)- This is over the top comedy horror in the vein of ’Evil Dead’, ‘Return of the Living Dead’, and ‘Dead Alive’. Although probably not as good as any of those it does hold its own as a tribute to all that have come before in the comedy horror sub-genre. Look for obvious (and not so obvious) head nods to lots of flicks. The plot? Does it matter? Anyway, an older man who is worried his younger eye candy wife may be getting tired of him wonders off into the woods and is injected by an alien ‘spore’ of some sort. He begins to change and can’t restrain the need to spread the aliens far and wide. Lots of gross out FX follow as worm progeny enter their hosts via the mouth. This flick has tongue planted firmly in cheek (sorry) and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and on that level it worked for me, I liked it quite a bit, I’ll give it an A.

  186. Company of Wolves, The (1984)- A modern retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale complete with werewolves and dangerous woods. A girl who is just hitting puberty is told tales about how men are basically animals by her grandmother. Her mother tells her otherwise so she is not sure who to believe. All she knows is she must not stray from the path. Yes, this is chock FULL of Freudian symbolism representing sex, growth, loss of innocence, etc. And it plays like a fairy tale pretty much throughout, basically being the dream of a girl who is afraid of getting older. It is probably more fantasy than horror, but the werewolf transformation scenes are some of the best and there are tense moments and a sense of dread as everyone in the village fears the wolves and the approach of winter. Some may see an ‘anti-male’ bias to the film (the book it was based on was written by a woman who rewrote fairy tales from a feminist point of view), but the father, neighbor, and neighbor’s son are good people, and it is the men who end up protecting the village. I think the gist is some men (and some women) are just bad and while all of us have animal like impulses, some control them better than others. Maybe I’m wrong. I liked this movie quite a bit. I do understand the arguments against it (senseless, too symbolic, hard to follow) but if you keep in mind it is a dream, a fantasy, and approach it as such then the surreal nature makes sense. I’ll give it an A.

  187. Vampires (1998)- John Carpenter directed this tale about a group of men who hunt vampires for the Catholic Church. The religious, sexual, and life/death symbols abound as James Woods leads the group into battle as they find and destroy ‘nests’, only making the vampire leader more and more angry until the final showdown when we see who is really pulling what strings. It is an interesting take on the vampire mythos and one I liked quite a bit. Carpenter has changed his style up so much from his early ‘Hitch/suspense’ films but it stills works with great acting, believable plot (in as much as hunting vampires is believable, it is horror after all) and some great old school gore effects too. A.

  188. Dead of Night (1977)- A Dan Curtis/Richard Matheson made for TV omnibus. I can tell you right now I’m partial to these so my judgment is skewed! Story 1, a young guy gets his hands on an old car from the 20s. The original owners were killed racing a train back when the car was new; he restores it like new and suddenly winds up in the 20s. Is the car trying to set things right, or something sinister? Goofy and predictable but well told so dammit I liked it! An A. Story 2 is about a doctor whose wife believes she is being visited by a vampire, the local villagers begin to believe it too, but her scientific husband refuses to buy it, until no other explanation seems to fit. It has a quick twist ending that would’ve worked with a little better set up, but overall really well done in an almost Hammer-esque fashion. B+. Story 3 finds a grieving woman who recently lost her son in a drowning accident, she is losing her mind and turning to the occult to bring him back, and naturally things don’t turn out well when weak minded folk turn to the occult. Predictable and the kid is pretty annoying in a 70s annoying kid way, but again well done, and the ending is worth it (keeping in mind this was made for TV). I’ll give it an A for an average of an A.

  189. Raven, The (1963)- Classic from my youth pulling together an old Boris Karloff, a young Jack Nicholson, and Vincent Price and Peter Lorre to boot. Peter Lorre is a magician who is turned into a raven by the magician Grand Master (Karloff) and goes to a reluctant magician (Price) for help. Price ends up back at the Grand Master’s castle for what winds up being an all or nothing battle of magic. Yeah, it is as goofy as it sounds and yet, unlike a similar ‘Comedy of Terrors’, works. Why did this work for me and not the other? This pretends for the most part to take itself seriously, even though it very obviously isn’t, whereas ‘Comedy of Terrors’ goes slapstick from scene one. Still, I realize many folks will hate this, but if you like the low budget Corman quickies (goofy like ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ or serious like ‘Masque of the Red Death’) then you’ll appreciate this I think. I will give it a strong A, keeping in mind it is meant to be goofy stuff.

  190. Bad Taste (1987)- This is a classic horror comedy in the vein of "Evil Dead". Over the top gore comedy rivaling that of Wile E. Coyote and the roadrunner. Yeah it's ultra low budget but still, there is a quality of film making and editing that lift it above the usual low-end fluff. It's pretty obvious that even with little to work with Peter Jackson knew how to make a movie and yes, this was his first made with friends and family on weekends. The plot? Aliens have discovered earth is covered with billions of delicious animals, humans that is and they fit nicely into shipping boxes. The aliens are half moronic zombies that seem to fall apart pretty easily into gooey messes of brains and bodily fluids. The over the top effects work really well in this one too, I was pretty impressed with some of the scenes (considering the budget) especially the fight on the side of the cliff between the geek and the alien. Perfectly filmed and paced and a classic ending! This definitely isn't for everyone but if you like low budget silly gore fest comedies then I think you'll dig this one. A.

  191. Ginger Snaps (2000)- An obvious twist on the familiar werewolf tale. Two ‘goth’ sisters who are outcasts at school and have no one but each other have their world turned upside down when one is bitten by a werewolf, and hits puberty at the same time. Her body is changing, in a lot of ways, and her sister is both left behind, and forced to protect, and ultimately try and cure, her sister. This is a quirky Canadian horror flick full of gore, surprises, and both goofy and dark humor. From the shock of growing a tail to the parents, who might be a little more tuned in than the girls think, I have to admit, I liked this one quite a bit a very strong A.

  192. Stir of Echoes (1999)- Richard Matheson strikes again. A development of his book by the same name this movie road in on "The 6th Sense's" coat tails. It works though. Kevin Bacon gets a 'door opened' in his mind while under hypnosis by a new age friend of his wife's and suddenly he is seeing a ghost in his house and can 'sort of' tell the future (his son apparently has a permanent door open and talks to ghosts quite a bit). One thing leads to another and he discovers, to his and his families' jeopardy, a secret some in the neighborhood will kill to keep. Well acted with good direction and scares. A.

  193. Foreign Correspondent (1940)- I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into the first 45 minutes or so of this flick. Some dated humor, silly ‘tough guy’ reporter bits, stuff that generally makes dated movies well, dated. A reporter is sent off to Europe to cover the gathering clouds of war in the late 30s. He’s a smartass I guess just out for a story and a good time when a Danish treaty negotiator is assassinated right in front of him. From that point on we’re back in Hitch territory, with tense chase scenes, tense scenes of people hiding and almost getting caught, more assassination attempts, and twisty murder/intrigue plot. Several scenes rank up there as classics including the chase just after the assassination in the rain, shot from above all we see are hats and umbrellas, and the scene in the windmill, with the wind blowing the mill turning and someone lurking around every corner are just two among many. Yes, this is an almost shameless propaganda film trying to convince Americans that remaining neutral was not an option as WWII was starting up, but Hitch was able to pull it off by putting together a great film that despite a few unavoidable dated elements remains strong today. A

  194. Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1939)- This remake of the silent classic has a more sympathetic cast, especially the hunchback. Chaney’s Hunchback struck me as being on the edge of rage, as well as being pretty hideous. Laughton’s Hunchback is kind of pitiful, a misunderstood simpleton who’s ugly but not really hideous (it’s no coincidence Disney’s cartoon Hunchback was based on this version’s makeup). Although neither of these is, strictly speaking, horror, of these two versions, this one is less ‘horror’ than Chaney’s. You know the story; Hunchback lives in cathedral as the bell ringer and servant to the bishop’s brother. The bishop falls for a gypsy girl, can’t have her, has the hunchback try and kidnap her, backfires, she is kind to the hunchback, hunchback saves the gypsy girl when she is framed, then saves the cathedral when it is attacked by the townsfolk. This version is more detailed than the silent version, as should be expected, and is a really good production, another big budget flick for the times. For the most part I liked it, a little slow at times, some old school over acting and too many melodramatic soliloquies, which were often par for the course in these types of flicks in that era but if you like the old school classics then this is a must see. A

  195. Insidious (2011)- Looking for a ghost story with all the goods? This is it! No, it’s not too original, you can pretty much quote where each scene was borrowed from (mostly ‘Poltergeist’, but also ‘The Innocents’, ‘The Others’, ‘The Uninvited’, and ‘The Haunting’, among others) but it is chock full of workable jump scares and ‘did I just see something’ shots (provided your viewing environment is suitable for tension releasing jump scares). Anyway, the plot is about a young family who move into a new house and after a nasty fall their boy slips into a coma, or is it a coma? Weird things commence so they move from the ‘haunted’ house only to have the problems follow them. Could it have something to do with the boy’s comatose state? And it’s about this time that the gears begin to grind a little. If you want pure scares without camp relief and don’t want a crazy ending not too seemingly far from a Coffin Joe adventure then maybe this one won’t be for you after all, sorry, but I dug the slide into over-the-top insanity and found myself actually laughing out loud at the goofiness perpetrated by the director. It just worked for me. No there isn’t deep plot development, or shocking gore, or anything very original (the main ghost/demon looks like a Star Wars character!) but I liked it as a good gotcha flick anyway. A.

  196. Happening, The (2008)- M. Night has been struggling lately. I liked "The Village" OK but the payoff at the end disappointed, and "Lady in the Water" was just a tad too egocentric for me, so is "The Happening" redemption? One day folks in Central Park stop what they are doing and commit suicide, then mass suicides all over New York follow, eventually spreading over most of New England. Marky Mark is a science teacher, having a little marital problem, who realizes, along with many others, that he’d better head out of Philly. His wife, best friend, best friend’s young daughter, and he hop a train out of town, and then get stranded in a small town as communications begin to break down. His group gets smaller and smaller until he begins to figure things out, although it may be too late. Yes, there are some obvious messages, urban sprawl is bad being the most blatantly obvious, mistreating nature is bad (mmkay) another obvious one, but this film worked for me. It is kind of an odd twist on the zombie theme. Instead of becoming zombies and killing others, folks become zombies (metaphorically speaking) and kill themselves. That in and of itself is a pretty scary idea, coupled with the isolation, struggle to survive, and struggle to understand the movie portrays and it all works for me. It may be too preachy and not ‘action packed’ enough for some horror fans’ taste so keep that in mind. Nice save M. Night. A

  197. Quarantine (2008)- Point of view movie about a reporter and cameraman riding along with a firefighter/first responder crew one night. The first call they go on turns out to be a call about a very sick woman in a small apartment complex. She is delirious and obviously sick, she also attacks them, biting a police officer on the neck and tossing one of the firefighters over a stairwell. Turns out she may be suffering from a very contagious and rapid gestating version of rabies. It seems the CDC knows about the infection outbreak and completely cuts off the apartment complex from the outside world. Naturally, other folks inside become infected and all hell breaks loose. Shot in the point of view style like "Blair Witch..." it, for me anyway, works this time. This is what Romero’s "Diary of the Dead" should’ve been. It was very well done, with believable acting and some great fast paced shots. If you dislike this style then you will probably dislike this movie though so keep that in mind. My only complaint is it gets a little long in the tooth as we near the end with a little too much running around and screaming. Although the end became tedious I did like the conclusion. A.

  198. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)- Of course the joke is "What happened to plans 1 through 8?" Who cares? Voted as the worst movie of all time (although I think "Showgirls" might have replaced it) it has that sweet "I could seriously do better than this with some crappy gear in my basement" feel to it. Simply the worst sets ever in a movie and the some of the worst acting ever. Which is why it's become such a cult favorite and a favorite of mine! Aliens have apparently been trying to invade Earth and have failed 8 times. Plan 9 has them raising the dead to use as an army of zombies. I'll give it an A for awful.

  199. The Body Snatcher (1945)- Val Lewton classic with Boris Karloff as the title character. Karloff is a "kindly" cab driver but to make extra cash he provides cadavers for a medical school. How he comes by those cadavers becomes problematic as does his black mail techniques he uses on the not so good doctor. Bela Lugosi has a small role as servant who has some black mail ideas of his own. The black and white photography is great as is the direction and acting. Some critics say Karloff's portrayal here is second only to his Frankenstein's Monster (I'd say his Mummy would be third). They're probably right. A well presented story with a nice twist ending. A.

  200. Pulse (2001)- First let me say this thing moves at a snail’s pace and the acting isn’t really all that great. Those would be the negatives, but the good I think, outweighs the bad, and what’s the good? The atmosphere; this thing creates an oppressive dark atmosphere that permeates everything on screen; it really is an amazing feat in that sense, and some of the visuals work incredibly well also. The plot involves the idea that the dead are lonely and bored as Hell, they find a way to get back into our world using technology, and in the process eliminate people who visit the Website the dead are using. It is all very surreal and obviously not meant to be taken literally (looking at how technology is actually isolating us rather than bringing us together) so if you are looking for cohesive narrative and spoon-fed plot then stay away! Other than the tedious pacing I was really into this one, it sort of reminded me of the old German Expressionist type of films, especially Dr. Mabuse. A-.

  201. In The Mouth of Madness (1994)- This is considered the last in John Carpenter’s ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’, which were 3 unrelated films "The Thing", "Prince of Darkness" and this one. Here he pays an obvious tribute to the great horror/fantasy/sci-fi writer HP Lovecraft, although the movie isn’t based on any particular Lovecraft story, just an overview of his style and ideas. In this one we have an insurance investigator who is looking into the disappearance of a famous horror writer, Sutter Cane, who has disappeared just before the release of his new book. He believes it is a just a publicity stunt and it turns out he’s half right. But the ‘half wrong’ drives him insane and may just spell the end of the world as he goes to great lengths to find the author, and may in fact actually be in one of his stories. The line between reality and fantasy is blurred to great effect and this flick just works on a lot of levels. It is far fetched in a Twilight Zone/Lovecraft sort of way and that works for me. A.

  202. Road, The (2009)- Very dark and depressing movie set in the ‘not too distant future’. Something has gone horribly wrong with the planet. We don’t know what exactly, but we do know there are pretty much no plants or animals left; an occasional dog, some insects, and people, starving, desperate people. Lightning causes the dead forests to burn, sending clouds of ash and smoke skyward, only to fall back in a muddy rain, or be blown by the winds, which also blow down the dead trees. Humans prey on humans as no other food sources are left, and life slowly flickers out for most. The plot revolves around a father and son trying to make their way to the southern coast, hoping the weather is warmer and maybe food is available from the sea. Insanity closely follows them. This is a tense and as mentioned very depressing flick. The acting is pretty good as is the overwhelming dark and foreboding ‘look’. It is a zombie movie sort of, but no zombies, just very desperate people. Are there any ‘good guys’ left? A.

  203. Ghost Town (2008)- A comedic take on the "6th Sense" idea (remember "Frighteners"?). A dentist who hates everyone and everything has a near death experience during a colonoscopy and from that point on he is harassed by dead people who want favors from him, in particular one insistent businessman who doesn’t want his wife (widow) to marry the lawyer she is engaged to. Chock full of dry British humor and subtle what I’ll call ‘word humor’, the interactions between the dentist and everyone else (living and dead) is pretty funny. The movie works on several levels (ghost story, comedy, love story) and I thought it was very well directed and acted, the comedy was funny and the relationships were well done. Simple little flick. A.

  204. Tales From The Crypt (1972)- This Amicus omnibus flick is based on the 50s comics of the same name (as is the 80s version). Story one has Joan Collins killing her husband on Christmas Eve to collect the insurance, she’s so wrapped up in the murder that she gets a little neglectful of the news report of an escaped homicidal maniac dressed as Santa Clause in her neighborhood. I give this one an A, almost an Italian Giallo. Story two has a man leaving his family to live with his mistress, during the move he dreams that they wreck the car and he becomes a corpse, or is it a dream? This one was OK, a little too circular for me, B. Story three has Peter Cushing playing a kindly old garbage collector. His neighbor would like to run him out of the neighborhood as his house is a mess, but he owns it outright so instead he plays a series of tricks on the old man, which of course backfire in a horrible way. This one is great and gets an A+. Story four has a rich businessman forced to declare bankruptcy, but just before he does he and his wife discover an old statue that has the power to make three wishes come true, of course, in Monkey’s Paw fashion, these wishes don’t turn out like they hope. I knew what was going to happen but the ‘how’ it happens is great. A. And finally story five has a miserly old military retiree taking over a home for the blind. While he lives in warmth and luxury, the home’s residence freeze and eat slop. Needless to say, he gets his in a most creative way! Good stuff but not the strongest of the stories. A-. All of the stories are very well acted, paced, and directed. Highly recommended if you like the British omnibuses of the 70s. A.

  205. Vault of Horror (1973)- Follow-up to Amicus’ "Tales From The Crypt" omnibus, and this follows more or less the same pattern. Story one has a man looking for his sister, who has been in hiding. She is apparently the sole heir of their father and he is none too happy about it, but she lives in a town with a secret, and he’s going to find out the secret the hard way. Well done. A+. Story two has an older neat freak getting married. If you’re a neat freak and have been living alone for years, maybe you shouldn’t get married, as it is possible you could drive your new spouse totally insane. Pretty good, not all that horrific though. B+. Story three has a magician looking for new tricks in India, when he finds one that will make him rich he can’t figure it out, and he’s willing to go to great lengths to do so. Pretty predictable but still well done. B-. Story four sees a man who thinks he has the perfect plan for bilking his insurance company. Allow himself to be buried alive, and then dug up and share the money with his partner. Of course things don’t go as planned, I liked the double twist ending, twist one being predictable, twist two not so much! Very similar to "The Oblong Box" in that regard. A. And story five is the story of a painter who has been getting ripped off by his agent, gallery owner, and an art credit, who have worked together to profit from the man’s work. He goes to a voodoo priest to get revenge, but revenge is never as sweet as you think it will be. A perfect ending! A+. Like "Tales..." this film is very well done with good acting and writing. It may not have been as inspired as "Tales..." but it makes up for it with a lighter approach and is a little campier than "Tales..." which in some respects makes it stronger I think. A

  206. Martin (1977)- Martin is a vampire, or a twisted serial killer from a twisted family. He has gone to stay with his cousin, who is curiously older than him (Martin looks to be around 18 or 19 but claims to be 84) and who is a very religious man who plans on saving Martin’s soul, and destroying his body constantly referring to him as "Nosferatu". From the beginning there is no doubt Martin is a killer who drinks blood, but he uses sedatives and razor blades to get his victims, no fangs, no hypnotizing eyes. He’s also frustrated at what Hollywood has done to the vampire. Garlic, crucifixes, holy water, this magic simply doesn’t work in real life according to Martin on one of his late night calls to talk radio (and he proves it to his religious cousin as well). Romero does to the vampire mythos what he did to the zombie mythos, breaks all the rules and severs all ties to the past (just as Romero’s flesh craving zombie hordes had little to nothing in common with the voodoo witchdoctor created zombies of the past, Martin is about as far from the Dracula stereotype vampire as you can get). While throwing away the past Romero examines the generation gap, old vs. new, magic vs. science, superstition vs. reality, old ideas in a new world, and tosses in objectification of women and relationships to boot. And it works pretty well. Yeah, it is very low budget and has a very 1970s look so in that regard it may not hold up well, and if you’re expecting lots of blood and guts a la his zombie films you will be disappointed. This is a subtle, slowly paced psychological thriller about a serial killer/vampire (we never truly know which it is) as he tries to deal with life and acceptance (or the lack there of). A strong A.

  207. The Seventh Seal (1957)- Ingmar Bergman's art house flick staring Max von Sydow as a knight returning home after the crusades only to find his homeland ravaged by the plague. All he wants is to get to his castle and see his wife but before he can the angel of death shows up to take him away. He challenges the angel to a game of chess; if he wins he lives, if he loses... The angel of death, being very busy at the time, accepts the challenge but can only play when he has time, which gives the knight time to travel home. He meets many characters along the way and the symbolism of it all would take many viewings by me to even begin to put together. Although not really 'horror' I put it in here because of the subject matter. I really liked this movie; it was dark, evil, and funny at times. Just a really good story. A.

  208. Howling, The (1981)- Classic werewolf flick with a nice mix of horror, gore, special effects, and some camp humor for good measure. A reporter has been contacted by a serial killer to do an interview, she agrees to his conditions, problem is he’s not a normal serial killer; he is in fact a werewolf. She is attacked, he is shot, and a psychologist suggests she go to his retreat to help her forget. Of course the psychologist knows all about werewolves and has actually been working with them to try and help them assimilate, with less than great results. This is a well done flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously (although it doesn’t go to ‘comedy’ lengths like "An American Werewolf in London") and had some cutting edge werewolf transformation scenes (yeah, a couple of them are obviously cartoons but the actual transformation scenes, for 1981, were very cutting edge, and still hold up well today). It’s an old story told in a new original way and gets a pretty strong A.

  209. Night of the Creeps (1986)- Classic stuff from the 80s with obvious (and not so obvious) hat tips to lots of great horror flicks and horror icons (I’ll let you find them). The plot mixes in pretty much every sci-fi/horror convention it can muster from the 50s on and it works pretty well. We have an alien slug that lays eggs in humans’ brains and while the eggs incubate the human becomes basically a zombie. The only known victim was cryogenically frozen in the 50s, only to be thawed in the 80s by a couple goofs trying to play a frat prank. Once the slug is loose and breeding the cop who was on the first case gets this one and slowly puts 2 and 2 together. This is full of very self-aware clichés and frankly is fun as hell. I’ll give it a strong A.

  210. Killer Shrews, The (1959)- A masterpiece of the craptacular! Here we have some researches doing their research on a ‘tropical’ island (and what a strange island, full of oak and maple trees that seem to have lost their leaves for the Fall, but not a single palm tree or the like in site). Captain Roscoe P. Coltrane is bringing them supplies but a hurricane, probably the weakest hurricane in the history of the Caribbean, is on its way so he’s going to have to anchor in their cove for the night. He has a black first mate and the researchers have a Mexican helper, if you watch this with some friends I’ll let you wager which one gets killed first. Anyway, turns out the researchers are trying to make people smaller so they’ll live longer and eat less. They experiment on shrews since they have such high metabolism and short life cycle, and it seems one of their experiments has gone terribly awry, so awry that the effects seem to be the total opposite of making them smaller, and instead they are the size of large dogs. Oddly, they are EXACTLY the size of large dogs, and they are seriously, insanely hungry. This has pretty much everything you would expect from a 50s sci-fi flick called "The Killer Shrews". It has to get a pretty strong A on the craptacular scale.

  211. Indestructible Man, The (1956)- A worn out looking Lon Chaney Jr. stumbles through this craptacular mess in a nether world between Frankenstein’s Monster and Mad Max. Lon is a bad man, or was a bad man. He stole $600,000 and hid it away, then was framed by his lawyer, but even on death row wouldn’t tell where the money was hidden, but he does promise to get revenge, and, in a quirky twist of fate, is accidentally brought back to life by a couple of scientists experimenting on his cadaver. He can’t talk, but we know he’s incredibly pissed off by the close ups of his twitching eyes... Or maybe that’s just those pesky delirium tremens. Anyway, we’re subjected to the noir voice over of the detective on the case as Lon makes his way from San Francisco to Los Angeles to exact said revenge and get his money back too. His plan isn’t all that great by the way, if he even really has one. This is pretty typical revenge flick material not unlike Chaney Sr’s. "The Unknown" and "West of Zanzibar" and very similar to Karloff's "Walking Dead" or later flicks like the aforementioned "Mad Max", except those movies were good. This is a train wreck definitely worth a viewing for the lovers of the craptacular. I’m giving this one an A on the craptacular scale, I might have given it a B+ but that back and forth between the detective and the stripper is just too good. Stripper: "Do you have a first name?" Cop: "Dick." Stripper: "Oh, then I guess it’s a date." And at the end; Cop to stripper: "I just got you fired." Check it out to see why!

  212. Testament des Dr. Mabuse, Das (1933)- A classic Fritz Lang movie about a crime boss who controls his syndicate from and insane asylum, dies, but keeps calling the shots even after death. This is an incredibly well filmed movie with that great black and white, blurry on the sides crystal clear in the center cinematography. A dark industrial mood is set at the beginning and holds throughout, the movie includes great special effects for the time too. This movie was banned in Germany for many years because of its hints at leadership perpetrating senseless violence against citizens, perpetrated by "The man behind the curtain." My only complaints are it is too long and is at times a little hard to follow. A.

  213. Paranormal Activity (2006)- Point of view flick about a couple who are experiencing weird things in their house. The ‘things’ are centered on the woman, who has had these types of experiences since she was a child. Her boyfriend wants video evidence so he films everything, she wants the problem solved so she brings in a psychic, who the boyfriend belittles and then pretty much does the opposite of what the psychic suggests, which, naturally, makes their situation much worse. This one consists of filler to get character development, followed by shots of weirdness as the couple sleeps, the events intensify until... well, I thought the end was effective but I would have changed one thing about, that’s all I’ll say. Over hyped yes, but effective still; it does contain some genuinely scary moments, the type of moments that tend to pop back in your head when you wake up at 3AM and have to get up to go to the bathroom. This works mainly because it is easy to identify with the two people, the girl who at first is fun and bubbly, but becomes increasingly afraid, and the boyfriend who doesn’t really believe what is happening until he has proof, and even then is compelled to ‘protect his turf’. If you need plot twists, character development, artsy directing, then this, like all POV movies, is not for you. If you want that real feel these movies can give you (when they work) then this is a must see. A.

  214. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1975)- Surprising little zombie flick about farmers in the English countryside using a machine to kill off the insect pests, one unfortunate side effect of this machine is it tends to reanimate the nervous systems of the recently deceased, and, as would be expected, they aren’t too happy about it. A couple, thrown together by accident, literally, wind up at the center of a murder investigation as bodies start piling up about the time they arrive, which also happens to be about the time the insect machine goes into use. There are some effective moments and nice atmosphere in this Italian, set in England, zombie movie. It feels like it could be a Hammer film at times, which is sad because by 1975 Hammer was all but finished. If you’re looking for Italian Zombie movies a la Fulci then this isn’t for you, but if you’d like a subtler well-paced zombie story then check this one out. A

  215. Ceremony, The (2008)- a great little low-budget flick that takes many ideas from other films and smashes them into one. A guy is graduating from college and heading off to South Korea for a new job. He is trying to get his roommates to clean up their apartment before they all depart the following day. As he is cleaning he finds one of his roommates has left candles burning in his room so he blows them out, which starts a chain reaction regarding swapping your soul for all of the devil’s knowledge. The rest of the night things go ‘bump’ and as it escalates the guy begins to realize it isn’t a frat joke being played on him. As mentioned, it is low budget, and frankly not much really happens other than noises and voices, but really what else do you need in a haunted house type flick? The tension is palpable and built up very well and the twist ending, while not too surprising, was well executed. I’ll give it a strong A.

  216. Horror Hotel (1960)- More or less forgotten movie that would play an influence on many movies to follow including "Psycho", "Night of the Living Dead", and "Carnival of Souls". Christopher Lee is a professor studying witchcraft. He convinces a student of his to go to an old New England village to do some research. The few inhabitants are strange and the hotel she stays at is very creepy. Some effective scenes and good acting follow as a coven of witches runs the town. This is a classic made by Hammer Studio's biggest competitor of the day Amalgamated. A.

  217. Night of the Ghouls (1958)- Wow, Ed Wood at his creative peak! Are rowdy teenagers really the biggest problem in society or are strange supernatural events the biggest problem? Footage of teens dancing and fighting and lots of cop cars flying by would have you think the former, but we soon find out it is the latter we should be more concerned with. Or maybe we should be more concerned with con artists ripping off old people by faking supernatural events... Or maybe real supernatural events are the worst, or maybe those ghosts are actually providing a service, but then again they did kill some kids. Crap I don't know. What I do know is some odd things are happening back at "that Mad Scientist's house by the lake" again. Is it just a con artist holding annoyingly bad séances or is it all real, or a combination of both? What can I say; you have to see it to believe it. I just kept thinking "If these were little kids making this movie it would add up but these are adults in their 40s and 50s, they should seriously know better, or at least try harder." If you like total senseless crap you'll like this. I love this stuff except an Ed Wood movie that's 68 minutes long feels like its 2 hours long! A.

  218. The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)- Vincent Price's dad was an inquisitor and he witnessed some heinous stuff when he was young, including the torture of his mother. Rough childhood. Luckily he's grown out of all that stuff and has a lovely and caring young wife... or has he... or is she... Nice twist on the Poe tale (which as it is wouldn't make for much of a full length movie but makes for a great read). I really liked the twist and twist again ending too. Corman was hitting his stride with these Poe/Price vehicles at this time and I think this is one of his best. Great sets, color, and acting throughout. A.

  219. Return of the Living Dead (1985)- Set up as a direct sequel of sorts to Romero’s original "Night of the Living Dead", this movie starts on the premise that those events actually happened, with some changes to the movie to keep the military from suing the writers and directors. The action starts at a medical supply company, a new hire asks the old foreman what the strangest thing he’s ever seen is. Turns out the military accidentally sent the bodies of those resurrected in 1968, and the chemical that caused the reanimation, to this particular medical supply company, and they’re still stored there in barrels. With one swift kick the chemical is released into the air, and with a series of unfortunate events, the chemical is released into the atmosphere, where it promptly returns in the form of rain and begins to reanimate a graveyard full of zombies, hungry for brains! These zombies are fast, can talk, and can think. Throw in some punk rockers partying in the graveyard, a good punk soundtrack and you have a classic zomedy, which, for the most part works really well. Sure, everything is over the top (although, compared to Eurotrash the gore isn’t as excessive as the films reputation would have you believe), especially the acting, but it works in an almost horror three stooges sort of way. The reaction of the actors to their impossible situation is perfect and gives the movie the fuel it needs to work, played straight, this would’ve probably been a forgotten installment in the zombie subgenre. A.

  220. Curse of the Werewolf (1961)- Hammer was so incredibly original in their early days and was always able to put a good spin on an old story. After success with the Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy stories they went after the werewolf and again it worked out very well for them. A beggar while in prison rapes a young woman. A local couple adopts her son and the rage left in him from his dark past has a strange way of venting itself, especially after he falls for a woman he really shouldn't be chasing. These earlier Hammer vehicles don't feel so much like "Horror Movies" as "Movies about Horror". The story always comes first, something many studios (as well as Hammer) soon forgot. This is a great period piece with an original story (based on the book "A Werewolf in Paris" but Hammer had some Spanish sets left from another movie so moved the local). A.

  221. Sentinel, The (1977)- Yes, there is evil in the world, but how much worse would it be if the Gates of Hell were opened, allowing every imaginable foul beast and murderous soul loose? Well, that’s not really the question this movie asks but the job of The Sentinel is to see that it doesn’t come to that. A young model with a history of mental problems (and a fun loving dad!) gets a perfect New York apartment for cheap. The oddball neighbors might be a bit much but it is worth it, or is it? Could it in fact be the Gateway to Hell, guarded by an old priest on the 5th floor? Well, I don’t think I’m giving too much away when I say if it wasn’t we wouldn’t have much of a movie would we? This thing is all 1970s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’/’The Exorcist’ coattail riding, but for the most part it really works. Yeah the style (and styles!) is dated and I thought the end came precariously close to going overboard, but I can overlook the weaknesses because the characters and in my opinion the acting are so great, and overall it is an interesting theme too. I think a very strong A is in order.

  222. Witchcraft (1964)- Surprising little gem in the vein of ‘Burn Witch Burn’, although the plot, a witch’s grave is disturbed by a construction crew so revenge must be had, is pretty typical, the execution of the plot just works well. It is well directed, tightly paced (for the most part) and well-acted. The sub-plot about the families involved having a very long history and the Romeo and Juliet of the youngest members of the family set us up for an ending that surprised me to be honest. If you like the British horror of this era this is a must see; a strong A.

  223. Carnival of Souls (1962)- Low budget strange flick about a woman who survives a car crash that kills two of her friends. She moves away to start a new life and soon begins to hallucinate that some strange man is following her. The people are odd and the circumstances are odd making this horror movie on the verge of being art house fare. Not that there's anything wrong with that and there isn't. Get over the oddness and almost lack of plot and you'll probably like this little movie for its creepy visuals and bizarre ending. Played an influence on Romero as he was getting ready to make "Night of the Living Dead." A.

  224. Inferno (1980)- Argento’s sort of sequel to "Suspiria". Apparently the Suspiria witch wasn’t the only one, there are two more, and this one revolves around the second... I guess. There really is no coherent plot. A woman stumbles across a book about the 3 witches, they apparently had an architect build them each a building in different countries, from which they will rule the world. This lady realizes she lives in one of the buildings, she calls her brother who is studying music in Rome, and he rushes to help her and is tossed into a bizarre nightmare world of murder and witchcraft. This is a strange one and has a lot of bad acting in it to boot, but if you like movies that ‘look’ good, well then here you go. This is a beautifully filmed movie (I think that is the first time I’ve ever used that phrase, I will try and make it the last), the color saturation, the long shots of the maze like apartments, the exteriors and the use of the moon, clouds, and rain. Everything is based on a look and atmosphere, little or no time was spent on dialogue or story, and you can tell this was done on purpose. If you don’t mind sacrificing the narrative for the look, then this is for you, if you hate that approach I recommend you stay far far away! I liked this but wouldn’t say it was the masterpiece some say it is. If Argento is such a great director how come he can’t get good performances out of his actors? I know that’s not where he focuses his attention, but if the acting was just a little more believable this could’ve been amazing. A

  225. Fido (2006)- The story of a boy and his dog...er zombie. "Is Timmy in trouble Fido?" I heard a lot of bad stuff about this one but those are probably people that expected "Shaun of the Dead" again. Sure it’s supposed to be a funny horror movie about zombies but the similarities end there. In the future (past), after the zombie wars, Zomcon has found a way to domesticate the zombie. Of course precautions have to be taken, but, for the most part, everyone is safe. When a security expert from Zomcom moves into the neighborhood, things are bound to be secure, or maybe that will end up making things worse. Since I expected nothing I was pleasantly surprised at the strange approach of this one. I thought it would be derivative in some sense but it came across as pretty original, an odd "kitchen of tomorrow’ 1950s vibe, like a weird Twilight Zone or something. There are lots of ‘hat tips’ to other zombie movies too but I’ll leave those for you to find. I’m not sure what to grade this, the writing, directing, and acting were all good, the story pretty original (yeah, it expands on the end of "Shaun of the Dead" but it does it in an offbeat way), but I’m not too sure it qualifies as horror actually. I will give it an A, that may be generous but I can’t find a reason not to give it an A.

  226. Plague of Zombies (1966)- A Hammer Classic. In the scheme of zombie flicks, zombies are still Voodoo slaves but have moved along into scary looking, evil doing folks, not just sleep walking slaves, which is a big leap forward. A man is slowly turning townsfolk into zombies to work his mines. A brilliant young doctor is out of ideas as to why people are dying so he calls in his professor to help out. Some shocking and influential scenes come from this movie including the dropped and broken coffin, mass rising of the dead in the graveyard, and the shovel decapitation. There are some nice camp moments too like the police catching the good doctors digging up graves. Well-directed, written, and acted story when Hammer was still peaking. A.

  227. Bad Seed, The (1956)- Strangely over-the-top flick about the perfect little blond mommy’s girl who also happens to be a cold blooded killer. If she doesn’t get what she wants, well, she has her ways, and she knows no one would suspect her, and if they did she can charm her way out of trouble at the drop of a hat. Drawn out hyper-emotional performances and an odd nurture vs. nature debate frame the whole flick, but if you can take the over-emoting stage performing this is a pretty good one. Kind of ‘Leave it to Beaver from Hell’. Maybe a little ahead of its time in content, but not in acting style, the ‘shocking’ ending comes in two parts, part one is pretty expected, part two, not so much! I’ll give this a strong A, I really liked the pseudo-innocence being played up, and get passed the over-acting and it works pretty well.

  228. Vanishing, The (1988)- Remade in the US with, of course, a softer ending this original plays up the obsession angles a little better. A young couple on vacation stop at a convenient store, the woman is abducted and the man spends the next several years obsessing and looking for his missing girlfriend, at the expense of his current life. The man who abducted the girl eventually contacts the boyfriend and agrees to meet him, but only if he agrees to go through exactly what his girlfriend went through. This is a pretty dark flick about obsession and the 'unhinged' alter-ego that can be hiding just below the surface of an otherwise seemingly 'normal' person, very well done. A

  229. Hell (2011)- This is a German flick and ‘hell’ means ‘bright’ in German, keep that in mind. For some reason the sun begins to burn much hotter and brighter in the not too distant future, which in turn causes most sources of fresh water to evaporate and run out, kills most vegetation, throwing the food chain into chaos, and spells doom for most; a sort of post-apocalyptic Mad Max type of scenario but more believably, water is of real value, not gasoline. We meet some survivors who are trying to find a safe haven, maybe near the ocean, but naturally there are survivors who are brutal in their attempts to stay alive, and propagate the race. This movie plays out a lot like ‘The Road’ which I really liked, but is slightly less ‘brutal’. It’s an interesting plot that may not be overly original but is executed very well. My only compliant would be the ‘action movie’ escape sequences that, while necessary, feel over played. Regardless I give this one a strong A for its depiction of that hard to conjure ‘end times’ vibe.

  230. Contagion (2011)- “Horror?” you ask. “Yes” I say, maybe the worst kind. A pretty well done, more or less fact based account of what a truly devastating lethal virus epidemic might look like. A woman returning from a business trip to Hong Kong unwittingly spreads a swine-flu type of virus across the US. Her immune husband is looking for answers as the CDC is racing for an inoculation. Early scenes of everything people touch throughout the day will make you squirm a little even if you're only slightly germophobic! Well-acted, directed, and thought provoking; I'd like to see a zombie flick done with this much detail. A

  231. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)- The good doctor keeps having his experiments messed up by people and now the police are hot on his trail again. He takes on another alias and moves in a boarding house to lay low, but ego and good fortune (or other's misfortune) get him again and open the door for more experiments. This time he must save a colleague, who was into the same experiments, from insanity and the insane asylum. He must do this by performing a brain transplant. A very original and well-acted extension of the Frankenstein story. It goes without saying that the monster is actually Frankenstein, not, well, The Monster, which isn't in this one anyway. If you like Hammer films you'll really like this one. A.

  232. Day The Earth Stood Still, The (1950)- Yeah it's more sci-fi, but again, aliens threatening to destroy the earth are scary. This movie is truly a classic that I still dig, despite it's obvious dated looks and flaws. A flying saucer lands in Washington DC and the pilot gets away, leaving a big ass robot to guard the ship. He goes around and learns about humans, war, etc. from a little kid. The irony. Anyway, eventually the military finds him and shoots him dead in the street and the big extremely slow robot wants to take revenge. Without giving too much away, it turns out alien races are pissed off at humans for using nuclear power for weapons rather than peaceful power. They want people to know they won't hesitate to destroy the earth if we threaten any of them. This movie is full of what would become 50s sci-fi clichés and some 50s silliness too, but they weren't cliches yet. I like it and feel it is a classic worth an A.

  233. Hellraiser (1987)- One of my favorites and a pretty original movie to boot. A man and his frigid wife are moving into a new house. The man’s brother is a bad seed (and he had an affair with the man’s wife back in the day) who travels around the world, basically looking for trouble. He finds it in the form of a cube, which is supposed to basically make all your dreams come true by, more or less, amplifying to extreme proportions anything that you find pleasure in. The brother’s experiments have gone badly and he’s basically all but totally physically destroyed. A little spilled blood begins the process of rebuilding him (literally) and his sister-in-law’s desire for him makes her ensure he’ll get the blood he needs to finish the process. The problem is the cynobites, who control the cube that did this to him in the first place, aren’t pleased to learn he his coming back to the physical world and the cube may be in use again. This is a very effective movie, based on a very effective book. Although the sequels do eventually stray into the ‘silly’, this one plays it straight and has you believing such things may be possible. A.

  234. Tenant, The (1976)- This is an odd one, more of a psychological thriller I guess than straight up horror but not really a thriller either, maybe a psychological mystery. Anyway, Roman Polanski stars and directs in this tale about an introvert file clerk who moves into a somewhat run down apartment where the previous tenant had committed suicide. It starts off as more humorous than anything, but an odd tension slowly builds, hardly noticeable at first, just traces of weirdness like people complaining about noise that doesn’t seem to exist, people staring off into space while standing in the only bathroom in the building. But things begin to unravel and deteriorate quickly from there as Polanski’s character is unsure of what is going on or if possibly he is loosing his grip on sanity. I was confused a good portion of the time with this one I have to admit and am unsure if I would give it the near masterpiece status many reviews I’ve read give it. Still, I have to admit, the mystery (what exactly is going on in that place), how the decline into insanity is portrayed, etc were very interesting. I would like to watch it again as I feel I missed quite bit the first time through with the odd characters and symbolism. I’ll give it a strong A, it is odd, and slowly paced at first but it held my interest.

  235. Brain That Wouldn’t Die, The (1962)- Oh my. Some of the greatest acting, editing, and dialogue ever to make it’s way onto the craptacular scale. There’s this doctor see, and he’s got these notions about transplanting human limbs and such see. His dad is old school man, and he doesn’t like the fact his son practices his experiments on humans. It just ain’t right that’s all. The son doesn’t care. He gets a call from his assistant back at the country house, which gives ol’ dad the creeps, and the son rushes off in a huge hurry with his fiancée. Ignoring the winding road signs the son takes the corners in his girlfriend’s giant 1961 convertible at breakneck speeds... and crashes in one of the most hilarious car crash scenes ever! As luck would have it his girlfriend is decapitated. He must save her head and then find a body for her. After making sure her head is fine in his lab (this lab gives Bela’s lab in Ed Wood’s "Bride of the Monster" a run for worst lab scene ever) he sets out to find a body, and where better to find the perfect body than a strip joint! What follows is some of the best late 50s early 60s horror movie sexiness ever filmed as the buxom ladies sing, dance, and catfight. After all this there’s a beauty contest, and the good doctor winds up at an old friend’s house. She has the greatest body ever, too bad her face was burned in an accident. Perfect! He gets her back to the lab, starts the operation, and... well his Frankenstein like monster that lives in the closet just may throw a monkey wrench in his plans. This one gets a strong A on the craptacular scale.

  236. Theatre of Blood (1973)- The perfect vehicle for Vincent Price to go over-the-top as an over-acting over-emotional Shakespearean actor. It has the perfect mix of camp, gore, and murder. There are no real surprises in this one but the acting and the plot are great either way. Price is a stage actor who was denied an award he believed he'd earned. He attempts suicide and everyone believes he was successful; he wasn't and returns to kill off the critics that denied him his award. One by one he kills them in creative ways all inspired by the Shakespeare plays he was in the season he was denied his award. Everything just works in this movie and I have to say I liked it a lot. A.

  237. Rebecca (1940)- While obviously not horror in the modern sense this is a classic gothic horror/suspense thriller which many consider Hitchcock’s first real masterpiece. It is dark, moody, unpredictable and well acted and paced (suffice it to say it is well directed but that goes without saying). Mr. DeWinter is filthy rich and spending some time in Monte Carlo, there he meets a snobbish rich lady’s paid companion, falls in love with her, marries her, and takes her back to his English mansion called Manderlay. There the new Mrs. DeWinter (who’s first name we never learn, which is part of the idea of her being a nameless replacement) is haunted by the memory of the first Mrs. DeWinter (the title’s Rebecca) who died in a sailing accident... or did she? Every where she turns there is a memory, or a reminder, but she is too young, too shy, and too naive to really do anything about it. She’s way out of her element and things are only made worse for her by the head house maid, who was a little too fond of Rebecca, and wants to make sure the new Mrs. DeWinter doesn’t supplant the old. I’ll give this one a very strong A, if you like Hitch’s slow paced suspense flicks you’ll like this.

  238. Zombie 4: After Death (1988)- Here we have one of those "so bad it’s good" flicks. The plot barely makes sense. We start with a group of gun totin’ doctors on a tropical island. Apparently, while researching cures for deadly diseases, they killed an islander’s daughter and now he’s pissed. He opens the gates of hell and turns the entire island into roving ninja-like zombies, including a gal who’s dancing around the cave with him. She comes back as a zombie with a serious dental problem and attacks the doctors. They shoot at her, sort of; mostly they stand around and yell. We jump to a young family trying to escape the zombie onslaught. The father is caught and the mother tells the young daughter to run, then gives her a necklace with the key to Hell attached and I wondered, "why didn’t she just use that right then to stop all of this?" but then we wouldn’t have a movie. Jump ahead to now and a group of mercenaries find themselves on the island, with the girl, now all grown up, and with another gal that is wearing a miniskirt, high heels, and a giant 80s fashion belt, not exactly tropical exploring attire. Anyway, zombies show up, bite folks, some other people show up, not sure where they came from, and zombie mayhem is in full swing. Our heroes... wait are the characters the heroes or are the zombies? Anyway, the characters end up back at the hospital and are attacked by the zombies and make one stupid move after another. Why don’t they seriously set up lines of fire and also use their grenades. These guys are terrible soldiers of fortune. Will the key to Hell be used in time? This movie is terrible in all the right ways (where can I get the soundtrack!). It is great for the MST3K treatment. Have fun. A on the craptacular scale.

  239. Madhouse (1974)- Vincent Price is an actor famous for his horror movies, in real life and in Madhouse. In Madhouse his fiancé is found decapitated and while most believe Price did it, it can't be proven, and Price's character doesn't remember the event at all and slips into insanity. Years later he is asked to make a come back playing a character from one of his movies in a TV series. He reluctantly agrees and murders again begin to follow him. This is a nicely paced piece with fine performances from Price and Peter Cushing. The murder mystery is carried off nicely and the ending is satisfying, although the murderer sure took the hard way to try and accomplish his goal. Also, just to throw this out there, the murder of Price's fiancé is actually never solved in the movie. Nice touch. A.

  240. Dark Water (2002)- The original Japanese version ‘feels’ a little better I think than the American remake. It is still pretty derivative obvious comparisons to "The Ring" (same director) aside it still feels a lot like "The Changeling" as well. Still, if you are looking for a slow paced, slow building ghost story with no gore and no ‘gotcha’ scares then this is for you, if you want some action, or a faster paced scare-fest then you will hate this. The story revolves around a young woman who is going through a divorce and a custody battle for her 6 year old daughter. Her husband is pulling out all the stops to get custody, and we find out the woman has needed psychiatric help in the past. When she moves into a run down apartment things begin to really break down for her. She has the pressure of the divorce, the custody battle, trying to find a job, taking care of a 6 year old, dealing with the run down apartment and uncaring apartment manager, all piling up on her already fragile psyche when she starts noticing things that may or may not be there. Is she loosing her mind or is this place haunted by a missing girl? Like I mentioned this is a ghost story, with all the full on slow pace and out of focus background shots that accompany a story like this. There is no ‘devouring’ room or collapsing houses a la "Poltergeist" or jump out of your seat scares like "The Grudge" or mutilated bodies etc. This one gets put in with "The Haunting" and as mentioned "The Changeling". If you like those types of movies you will like this one. A

  241. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964)- This was planned as another vehicle to get Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to work together again after the sleeper success of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane", but Joan Crawford dropped out of the project at the last minute and was replaced with Olivia DeHavilland. In the prologue we are introduced to Charlotte's father who is pretty angry about something. We soon find out Charlotte is having an affair with a married man and the two of them plan on eloping. Her father puts a stop to it and warns the man to break it off. He does so and winds up dead, his headless body found by Charlotte (or did she just 'find' him?) We jump ahead roughly 40 years and find Charlotte living alone in her mansion, only her guilt and her white trash maid to keep her company (and the fact she hasn't spent any of her sizable inheritance). She's trying to stop the great state of Louisiana from tearing down her house and dozing her property to build a road and bridge. The locals figure her father's wealth saved her from prosecution all those years ago. It's also common knowledge that she's bat shit insane... Or is she? She contacts her long lost cousin to help her stop the demolition of her house but her cousin just insists on helping her pack and accepting the inevitable. Twists and turns that would make Hitchcock proud abound in this murder mystery. The photography and acting and great as is the story. I can usually figure these movies out but every time I thought I had it figured out I turned out wrong (except one major piece of the puzzle which I did have right). Bette Davis is great but the movie itself isn't quite as good as "...Baby Jane". A

  242. Haunting of Julie, The (1977)- Slow burning ghost story. Yeah, it follows the formula: Traumatic event- move into a house-house is weird- has a past- investigate the house’s past. Here Julia’s daughter chokes to death right in front of her and she can’t face living with her cold husband afterward so she moves alone into an old house in the city, where weird things, including an unfortunate séance, occur. Julia starts looking for answers, hoping she will find her daughter’s ghost, but instead finds more than she bargained for in a twisty plot. Does it work? It did for me. The acting and sets, plus the at times bizarre plot, worked really well, moody directing and lighting too. It did move a tad too slow at times and was somewhat predictable with regards to character fates (and the dated 70s synth music didn’t help), but if you like ghost stories you should check this out. A.

  243. Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)- I liked ‘some’ of ‘Tetsuo: Iron Man’, enough to give this a chance and it was worth it I think. A man sees his son killed and, well it’s Japanese so he must get revenge. And he’s a genetic freak to boot! His anger causes him to morph into, um, bullets? Sort of. Anyway very well done (not nearly as over-the-top as Iron Man) and I’ll give it an A.

  244. Terror Within, The (1989)- One of Corman’s more hated 80s productions but really, it isn’t that bad. Mainly riding on Omega Man’s and Alien’s coattails we have a near future earth where a manmade plague has wiped out almost everyone, and turned some into horrifying super-strong gargoyles. These gargoyles are horny as hell for un-mutated human women. So some survivors at an underground lab find a woman who happens to be pregnant with a gargoyle, and in a birth scene reminiscent of It’s Alive the gargoyle is born, runs away, and rapidly grows to, well, puberty and sets about killing and breeding. OK, it’s bad, but in an 80s Roger Corman sort of way so I’ll give it an A on the craptacular scale.

  245. Shining, The (1980)- In my book Stephen King has had way more misses than hits, but I see this as one of his hits. A writer feels he has neglected his writing to make ends meet as a teacher. He gets what he hopes is the perfect job, watching The Overlook Hotel during the off season of November to May, which will allow him to write again. He and his son and wife will stay there by themselves through the blizzards and make sure the place is kept up. His weird little kid seems to have ESP though and doesn't really want to go. Something is wrong in that place. The Stephen King staples of childhood and stressed writers hadn't gotten old yet, plus the directing, sets, and cast keep it afloat even if those subjects were old. The movie maintains a creepy feeling and is fairly solid all the way through. Why they had to kill off Scatman that way is a drag and pointless and Shelly Duval running and screaming near the end starts getting a little old but weaknesses aside this remains a modern classic (stay away from the pointless miniseries remake though). A.

  246. Graveyard of Horror (1971)- The collapse of rural life, the dissolution of heritage, and the constant pull of temptation, temptation for sin and for immortal greatness are just some of the heady topics explored in this Spanish gothic horror masterpiece reminiscent of the atmosphere and look of some of Hammer’s best films. And by "Spanish gothic horror masterpiece" I mean hilariously bad piece of crap. I read a review where someone called this "Graveyard of Unintentional Humor". That sums it up! The jarring editing, bad acting, even worse dubbing, riotous soundtrack, and plot, oh the plot. At least what I could make out of a plot. It goes something like this: A man returns to his home, a castle in the boonies, his wife has recently died during a complicated pregnancy, also loosing the infant. He wants to know how she died (dying during a complicated c-section in the boonies not being a good enough explanation) so he goes to his sister, then his sister-in-laws, then his mother-in-law, then the local doctor, then the family doctor, where he finally finds the truth, his wife died during the c-section process of a complicated child birth, then he disappears, but then shows up here and there, or is that the local cop pretending to be the guy, and if so why? The family doctor is really weird though and must be a bad guy because he has huge caterpillar like eyebrows and an organ plays every time he enters a room. Something else must be a foot. I guess other folks have died, including the guy’s brother, who was a great scientist and an earl too. Also the gravedigger is selling heads from the graveyard and has something to do with this, as do all the women wearing very impractical shoes for such a snowy climate. I think the doctor has to feed a lizard man bodies each ‘cycle’ which apparently means monthly, 6 months in he gets nervous as people are starting to realize that each month someone else dies. Not a very well thought out plan I guess. Anyway, this is a total train wreck which gets a very strong A on the craptacular scale, I’d give it an A+ but at 83 minutes it is just WAY too long!!!

  247. Die! Die! My Darling! (1965)- Hammer saw the success of "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" and took the theme of old actresses playing intriguing and bat shit insane parts for this suspense thriller. This flick, obviously inspired by Hitchcock also, is the story of an American, played by Stephanie Powers, who is going to England to marry her fiancée, but first she feels obliged to meet her former fiancée’s mother who lives in what looks like it was at one time a nice house but has fallen into disrepair in the English countryside (her first fiancée has died in what we are told was a terrible manner). After arriving at the old gal’s house, and meeting her help, we learn the old gal is a tad on the religious side, putting it mildly, and a light hearted comedy about the old fashioned and the modern seems to be underway. It isn’t long until things begin to turn sinister though, as we realize that the old gal, along with her help, plan on making sure Powers stays pure for when she is reunited with Steven in the afterlife. This is a very suspenseful movie that works really well and gives great performances by all involved, but especially Tallulah Bankhead in her final role, spouting off religious quotes and talking about how corrupt the rest of the world is (a lesson in hypocritical religiosity very relevant in today’s world). Bette Davis still keeps the reward for insane old lady parts in "... Baby Jane" but Tallulah comes in second in a photo finish. A

  248. Norliss Tapes, The (1973)- A Made-for-TV Dan Curtis production?! Count me in! This was a little too early for me to remember as a kid, which is probably why I hated it! I imagine had I seen it when I was young seeing it again now would invoke some nostalgic love, having not seen it before all it invoked was laughs. A man is hired to write a book on the supernatural, he’s a skeptic so he’s the perfect man for the job, but he disappears before he gets anything turned in. His lawyer then finds the tapes he was dictating for the book, as he listens to the tapes the stories unfold. This first (and last) story is about a vampire (sigh). This was supposed to be a series, which would’ve run out of plots pretty quickly I imagine, and would’ve been basically the same as, but nowhere as good as, Kolchak/The Night Stalker anyway. If you like’em really silly check it out, A on the craptacular scale.

  249. Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)- This is a classic early noir flick with Peter Lorre as (another) batshit insane killer. A reporter is the only witness to a robbery/murder and his testimony leads to what may be an innocent man going to death row and the reporter getting a raise. When the reporters neighbor is killed he becomes the main suspect (he hated and threatened the neighbor) and he realizes the same killer may have done both murders. It is a low budget entry and makes great use of sets and lighting to achieve a higher budget feel and Lorre, though not in it much, is great as the insane an. I’ll give it an A even though some of the acting is too over the top 40s style.

  250. Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)- Ray Harryhausen’s effects are the star in this one. Sure it’s old school stop motion animation but taking everything in context the look of this one is great. The plot? The US is launching satellites into orbit and each one is failing and crashing and all evidence points to them being shot down. The flying saucers show up, destroy the launch facility (after being attacked by ‘shoot first ask questions later’ soldiers), and kidnap the general. After contacting the lead scientist (who is married to the general’s daughter), and telling him they basically mean to take over the earth, all efforts are made to develop a weapon that will interfere with the magnetic drive on the saucers. The aliens realize what is up and make an all out attack on Washington DC with some of the most famous special effects sequences ever filmed. Sure this one is a dated 50s sci-fi flick with typical ‘The Commies' are coming background, but it still has everything for the lover of such flilms. If you dig this stuff this is a must see, if you don’t you’ll be rolling your eyes throughout. I happen to dig it. A.

  251. Creepshow (1982)- A classic pairing of Stephen King and George Romero that works. King is a fan of the old horror comics from back in the day and Romero has the perfect black humor camp meets horror style to direct and it works, bringing to the screen in omnibus movie form the feel of those classic comics without going totally overboard like Tales From The Crypt was apt to do. The stories: In "Father's Day" an old man who really wanted a cake for father’s Day and got murdered instead, comes back for his cake many years later, and he gets the cake too. Although not much really happens it is good to see Romero able to kick the flick off with a zombie tale! B+. In "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" Stephen King plays a country bumpkin who finds a meteorite on his property, dreams of getting rich selling it to the university soon turn bleak as a green moss starts growing and spreading from anywhere the meteorite has been, and I mean anywhere. Great FX in this one with the day glow grassy moss growing everywhere, but King’s performance is a little too campy, but considering the material it passes. C+. In "Something to Tide You Over" a filthy rich Leslie Nielson isn’t about to let his wife leave him for Ted Danson so he buries the couple up to their necks in the sand on his beach and waits for the tide to do them in. Great suspense, acting, and directing on this one, and of course, water logged zombies soon show up. Predictable but as Hell but it is still a classic very well done. A-. In "The Crate" a janitor finds an old crate under the stairs at a university and calls the professor to check it out, one thing leads to another and it turns out there is a living monster inside the crate. Maybe the professor’s best friend could help him out, and could also use the monster to help him with his horribly obnoxious wife. A really good segment with great effects and a great mix of horror and camp to boot, kind of ‘Lovecraftian’ in feel.. A. And in "They're Creeping Up On You" an old Mr. Scrooge business man type is obsessed with cleanliness, especially when it comes to bugs, specifically roaches, and the roaches decide they don’t like him either. A classic and perfect closer to the omnibus, genuinely creepy and well done. A+. Final grade is a strong A.

  252. Crucible of Horror (1970)- Atmosphere! This has it. An almost repressive feeling of being trapped in a nightmare permeates this whole movie, and when the instigator of the trapped feeling is removed, it gets even worse. Walter is a perfect English gentleman. Outside his house; inside his house he is a sadistic obsessive compulsive who has an unhealthy like for whipping his 16 year old and feeling her bicycle seat. The darker aspects of his doing are only hinted at, but we know no matter how much he washes his hands he can’t wash those sins away. After one particularly bad beating mother and daughter decide to do away with Walter. They plan it out to look like a suicide, things seem to go as planned, but with enough guilt to go around, everyone in this flick, with maybe the exception of odd brother Rupert, who seems to enjoy the sadism from a distance, are trapped in their own shared Hell. This one verges on too artsy at times, with odd dream sequences, lightning fast flashbacks, and an ending that leaves way more questions than answers, but this time out it worked for me. Some will call this slow, yes it is slow, but in a Hitchcock suspense building way, which I like, not in a ‘let’s get on with it’ way, in my opinion. I’m going to give this a very strong A, it definitely ain’t for everybody but if you like the weird atmospheric British horror flicks of the late 60s early 70s then you will like this one.

  253. Planet of the Vampires (1965)- What’s not to love?! This flick is perfect in every way, but only if you want some tasty almost art deco 60s sci-fi pulp! And I mean that in a good way; brightly colored, imaginative sets, classic costumes, inventive plot (to be mirrored to some degree years later in ‘Alien’). Two ships land on a distant planet to answer some sort of signal they have been receiving. They find a very strange planet where they are compelled to attack one another and do things against their will. Turns out a race of beings on that planet needs the visitors’ bodies to stage an escape from their own dying world. Will it work? Double twist ending wasn’t overly satisfying but everything else was! This flick managed to work every great sci-fi ‘look’ from this era into one flick and proves Bava was one of the best 'directors on a budget'. A

  254. Cloverfield (2008)- You’ve probably heard this described as a cross between "The Blair Witch Project" and "Godzilla", and that’s not inaccurate. A couple is throwing a going way party for the guy’s brother. The first 15 minutes or so are spent getting ready for and attending the party, here we get to meet the players and develop some characters like the smartass Hud who is assigned to film the party and partygoers ‘goodbyes’. While sitting on the fire escape discussing whether or not the main character should go after the girl he loves they feel what they think is an earthquake. They flip on the news and a tanker has capsized near the Statue of Liberty, then all Hell literally breaks loose as buildings collapse, heads roll (sorry), and people run (lots of running). Turns out a giant monster is attacking Manhattan and is taking no prisoners. So we follow the small group of partygoers through Manhattan dealing with the monster, the military, and the monster's offspring as they try and make their way back to help a friend. This is one of those shaky handicam movies so if you hate that style then don’t bother, but if you can stomach that then you’re in for a ride. Great effects, pretty good acting, and just enough character development to keep it interesting. So what is this monster and where did it come from? Who cares? An angle like that would’ve never worked in a movie strictly about these folks quest to save a friend. And yeah it is short, but seriously, you wouldn’t want it to be any longer, and as for the end, I’ve read a lot of complaints, but I don’t see how it could’ve ended any better (yeah, in the end it is a love story taking place in what is probably a metaphor for a terrorist attack, take from that whatever you want as all movies like this, unless made by Ed Wood, are metaphors for something, and it’s still a great ride). I’m going to give this a very strong A.

  255. Drag Me To Hell (2009)- A lot of people were mad that this seemed to have as much comedy in it as it did horror. I guess they were fooled by the trailers showing only parts that would lead one to believe this was pure horror. Those are folks who are not familiar with Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy. This is pure Raimi, one minute you’re laughing, the next you are ‘grossed-out’ and the next you are jumping from surprise, and he makes it all work. Here we have a young gal dating a rich guy who is now a very young professor at a college. She is a bank loan officer and really wants to get promoted to VP at the bank branch to impress her boyfriend’s parents. She is ambitious and turns down a credit extension to an old gypsy lady to prove she has backbone. Big mistake, the gypsy attacks her, and then curses her, and all Hell breaks loose... literally. She visits a medium who eventually explains to her that a demon will torment her for three days and then take her straight to Hell. Of course her professor boyfriend has a little trouble buying it all. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a classic like "Evil Dead" but it definitely follows that vein. If you like the camp humor mixed with horror then this is for you. A.

  256. London After Midnight (1927)- OK, I didn't really see "London After Midnight". The last known copy of the film was destroyed in a fire in the 1960s so, unless another turns up, it will never be seen again. What I did see was a Turner Classic Movie restoration project that used stills taken during the filming and inserted dialogue cards and music attempting to give the 'feel' you were watching the movie. This was a pretty influential murder mystery that just might involve vampires. Tod Browning wrote and directed and Lon Cheney starred and again, Cheney created his own makeup and again, it works really well, the guy was a genius. It was one of 10 films the director and actor made together and it was their highest grossing. It is the reason Universal chose Browning to direct "Dracula" and Browning chose Lon Cheney to play the part. Bela Lugosi's fate, and the vampire image was set, when Lon Cheney died before filming began. (Imagine how different our image of Dracula would be now had Lon Cheney lived long enough to play the part. Everything from the movements to the accent is set in stone and is a credit to the indelible image Lugosi left us, but what would Cheney have done?) The TCM treatment was nice but for completists only. A.

  257. I Confess (1953)- Interesting (non-horror, sorry) Hitchcock flick about a priest who is confessed to by a murderer, and, as Hitchcock film luck would have it, the priest, through a series of coincidences, is accused of the murder. The plot on the surface could seem a little convoluted but Hitch breaks it down step by step as we move through the movie. As is typical of Hitch we know from the start who the murderer is, Hitch rarely did ‘mysteries’, instead suspense is built by the conclusions drawn by the detectives as they piece together the story of the murder and find an apparent motive and by the continued contact the priest has with the murderer and his wife who live and work at the rectory. The film is full of obvious symbolism and plays on the martyrdom of the priest who steadfastly sticks to his vows. Although never as popular as many of his other films, this one holds up pretty well. A.

  258. Werewolf, The (1956)- Surprisingly good Sam Katzman werewolf vehicle about a man who stumbles into a small western town with amnesia. He leaves a bar with a pocket full of money and one of the bar patrons mugs him. During the mugging the man turns into a werewolf and kills the mugger. Soon we find out the man was involved in a car wreck and was experimented on by a couple of less than scrupulous doctors. Now he becomes a werewolf at times, no full moon needed. This was an interesting take on the werewolf legend, taking all the folklore out of it and turning it into science (yet avoiding too many pseudoscientific explanations). It’s low budget and the make up and effects reflect that, but it is a good short film with an interesting spin on the werewolf subgenre. A.

  259. Hills Have Eyes, The (1977)- Wes Craven liked to explore the "Lord of the Flies" theme of normal people becoming savages in the face of impossible circumstances. He explored a normal family's reaction to the rape and killing of their daughter in "The Last House on the Left" and here he explores a normal family's reaction to being hunted by cannibals in the desert of the American Southwest. A retired cop, his wife, 2 daughters, son, son-in-law, and granddaughter are heading for California on their 25th anniversary. They want to explore an old silver mine since it is their silver anniversary. They are warned to stay out of that section of desert but they, of course, don't head the local's warning and end up wrecking the car and getting stranded. This movie has a 'real' feel to it, no action heroes, just normal people in terrible circumstances as they are hunted and killed by deformed mutants that live in a cave in the desert. We get their history from the old man who warned the family and all Hell breaks lose. This is a raw movie that plays on our base emotions of family and care for children, which the mutants don't feel, but do understand as the father of the mutants knows they are in trouble when they don't get the entire family on the first try. Well directed and acted and believable this is a cult classic for good reason (but rides a little too comfortable on Texas Chainsaw's coattails). A.

  260. Dead Next Door, The (1985)- Extremely low budget flick (although it was supposedly the most expensive ‘shot-on-video’ movie at the time) not so secretly underwritten by Sam Raimi. Despite the obvious budget constraints and amateur look and feel of the film, it works on its own level. We are some time into a zombie infestation, caused by a virus that reanimates corpses in order to feed itself. We follow along as government ‘zombie squads’ work to eliminate the zombies, scientists work to find a way to stop the zombies with a serum, protestors try and stop the government from mistreating the zombies, and a religious cult has decided that it is God’s will that the world be turned over to zombies. Yes, it is a detailed and fairly well thought out plot, executed by amateurs on a shoestring budget. Some of the effects are really good, some aren’t and some of the sight gags work too (a disembodied head bites the fingers off a person, then the fingers can be seen poking out of the neck, a zombie gets his hand caught in a car door and the car drives off, dragging the zombie along until the hand falls off). If you can handle the piss poor acting, editing, etc that comes with these types of efforts and/or you’re a zombie fanatic (look for the heavy handed references to other zombie flicks) then you will like this one, I give it a strong A for effort.

  261. Curse of the Demon (1958)- So is demonology real, or a figment of over active imaginations? And if it is real, how does it work? Skeptics run across what appears to be 'the real thing' with regards to someone who conjures demons, hexes, and magic in general. This is a gem of a little atmospheric horror tale, if you ignore the rotten demon sequences, which apparently director Jacques Tourneur didn't want to add, but the producers insisted upon adding. It was after all the monster movie rage of the 50s. Still, this is a nicely paced, well-acted little tale. A.

  262. The Changeling (1980)- George C. Scott has a good life, nice wife, smart, young daughter, and then tragedy strikes. Right before his eyes he sees them killed on a snowy highway. George tries to put it all behind him by moving to a new place in a massive old mansion that is on the local historical register. And then weird things begin to happen. Is it his deceased family? Or is there something sinister that happened in that old house? This is a really good ghost story. It's hard to come up with an original haunted house feature but it works really well here, from great acting and directing to nice twists. Always a favorite of mine. A.

  263. Apartment 143 (2011)- ‘Paranormal Activity’ meets “Poltergeist’ in this POV flick. Yeah, it is derivative but it worked for me (of course I tend to like the POV flicks). A man hires a paranormal investigative team to try and uncover why his family is being haunted. His wife, who suffered from schizophrenia, recently died in a car accident after a violent confrontation with her husband. Their daughter blames him for her mother’s death and the hauntings started soon after the accident. The family moved but the hauntings followed. The team places cameras everywhere and conducts interviews, all the while capturing the at times violent paranormal outbreaks until they finally get to the bottom of it all. The ending wasn’t too hard to predict, and of course the now obligatory ‘jump scare coda’ rolls around, someone needs to put a stop to those. Anyway, I liked this one. Yes it is POV so if you’re tiring of those you probably won’t like this because it is admittedly not real original, and yes, that coda at the end is so unnecessary (I just sit and wait for those now, like a habit, or an encore at a rock concert), and finally, it breaks the POV convention with some obvious editing at times. But despite those weaknesses I’m going to give this a strong A. I thought the acting, the visuals, and the approach worked pretty well.

  264. Day of the Dead (1985)- Many consider this the weakest of the original Romero trilogy and Romero himself was disappointed that he couldn't get the budget to make the movie he wanted (an all out war between humans and zombies). Personally though, I like this movie a lot. Another great mix of camp and horror as scientists 'protected' by soldiers, try and figure out what is causing the cannibal zombies. No one really trusts anyone and the two sides soon are at war with each other, especially when it's discovered that the lead scientist is using dead soldiers as experiments. 'Dr. Frankenstein' is one of the great horror movie characters and is one reason I like this movie so much. Another well-directed Romero movie, although the acting isn't as strong as his last two zombie films, the pacing and the story work in the cramped, paranoid, claustrophobic surroundings. A.

  265. Prince of Darkness (1987)- Underrated and almost forgotten little gem from John Carpenter about a religious order who have, for thousands of years, kept Satan locked up and away from the world, but Satan’s time is coming and he’s looking to get out. Weird stuff is happening all around the church, which sits in a run down neighborhood, as the end of times nears. A group of advanced physics students set up shop with lots of scientific gear to try and explain what is happening via science, I doubt that’ll work out so well for them. Like many Carpenter films a palpable sense of dread and suspense builds as we inch towards the conclusion. Carpenter was a student of Hitchcock’s and, while many Hitchcock fans might resent the comparison, I am a fan of both and see many similarities. The very end is a bit of a let down but what do you expect really? A.

  266. Stage Freight (1950)- The reviews I read of this flick seemed unanimous, it was a very underrated Hitchcock film. If almost everyone thought it was underrated... How could it be underrated? Anyway, if it was at anytime rated low, then yes, it was underrated. I think it is a very good flick. Is it a masterpiece? Maybe not, but it is still great. We have a man who is in love with a famous stage actress, who happens to be married. She accidentally kills her husband and turns to the man for help. He helps and then turns to a friend for help... who then turns to her dad for help... And everyone gets deeper and deeper into the events and, of course, things are not at all as they seem. I guess Hitch caught some grief for fooling his audience the way he did in this one (I don’t want to reveal too much) but I think it worked really well and helps raise it above typical 50s murder mystery fair. Plus the cast is excellent, especially Marlene Dietrich as the diva actress and Alastair Sim as the Commodore. Check this one out if you like Hicth murder mysteries. A

  267. Card Player, The (2004)- OK, this one is just plain silly. A serial killer kidnaps gals and then plays video poker with the police for the gals’ lives. The cops are dumbfounded as to how to play video poker so they go out and find a kid who is really good at it because he keeps any two-of-a-kinds he gets, genius kid! The kid tries to convince the cops that it is really just luck, that video poker requires absolutely no skill what so ever since you can’t bet and can’t bluff and in this version the killer can see what hand he needs to beat when it is his turn. The cops don’t buy it and when the kid beats the serial killer once they throw a frickin’ huge party with food and tons of champagne, I guess they thought if they beat the guy once he’d stop killing gals. I have no idea. And don’t miss the profilers for the cops, awesome, they have it narrowed down to someone 30 to 35, male or female, who likes to drag race cars and play Russian Roulette. What?!?! Then we have the ‘go it alone, don’t call for backup, and even though you have a good lead don’t tell anyone else in case you get killed’ cop which all leads to an awesome conclusion involving a speeding train and a woman tied to railroad tracks, yeah there’s more hilarity but I will leave it at that. The only shocker is that I had it figured out halfway through and I wasn’t wrong because Argento didn’t throw in his usual ‘impossible to see coming’ twist at the end. Hilarious plot, terrible dialogue, even worse dubbing, and bad acting, yeah this is Argento all right. Man, I hate to do it but I am going to give this an A. An A on the craptacular scale. Sorry Argento, I do respect your work, but this is juts so bad it’s good.

  268. Last Exorcism, The (2010)- This seems to be one of those love it or hate it flicks. Yeah it is ‘The Exorcist’ meets ‘The Blair Witch Project’ with a dash of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ thrown in for good measure. A preacher who has made a living performing exorcisms decides he has had enough and realizes he may not even believe in god anyway. He sets about making a documentary on how he has been fooling people his whole life and the film crew follows him on this one last exorcism. Of course things are not quite what they seem at the remote farm house. This is slow to start, but I think that was necessary to build the characters and explain why the documentary was being made. It was a nice believable set up, although those wanting non-stop action may get bored quickly. Once we’re at the farm house tension builds quickly until a very bizarre ending rolls up. This is a POV flick and like I always say, if you hate the jarring camera work and jumpy editing of these then stay away, otherwise I think this is worth a view late at night! A.

  269. The Ring (2002)- Another American remake of a Japanese thriller. In this one if you watch a particular video you'll be dead within several days. But how, and why? Our heroes try and find out, before it's too late for them. This movie contains some interesting visuals, genuine scares, and a nice twist at the end (although you will see it coming it still works). It's also a nicely directed tale that keeps you involved in the movie. A.

  270. The Skeleton Key (2005)- Want atmosphere? This movie recreates that deep south/New Orleans feel very well; thick, humid, stormy, swampy, and still filled with voodoo practitioners. A girl studying to be a nurse works with the terminally ill. She is dissatisfied with the treatment they are getting at professional facilities so she strikes out on her own to help those who are dying in their homes. She gets a gig helping a lady with her terminally ill husband in the back swamps of old Louisiana. Things aren't what they seem as we are clued in to the hoodoo that was practiced in the old Southern Mansion years ago... Or was it really years ago? Like most great 'ghost' stories what you don't see is more effective than what you do see. There is some great suspense and that claustrophobic feeling and the film keeps you pulled in until the very end. A well acted, well-directed effort. A.

  271. Peeping Tom (1960)- This guy is a photographer. He does work in the movies and a little soft-core porn on the side. He also has a strange fetish. He likes seeing women scared, not pretending to be scared but really scared. So, in order to really scare them he makes snuff films. He also gets a charge out of filming the cops and coroner in the aftermath. He knows he's destined to get caught so he hurries to try and get the perfect shot, who will his perfect shot be of? His neighbor who he is falling for? Her mother who is blind and has been 'watching' him? Or someone else? This is a great suspense thriller. It is low budget and the look and beatnik/hard bop soundtrack is dated sounding now, but despite those flaws this movie was way ahead of its time. There is a rawness and 'realness' to it that would become common in the 70s with movies like "Texas Chainsaw..." and "Last House on the Left". 1960 was a watershed moment in realistic modern horror/suspense with the release of "Peeping Tom", France's "Eyes Without a Face", and "Psycho". A.

  272. Sisters (1973)- Early Brian DePalma flick. A woman takes a man home after meeting him on a game show and the man winds up dead, murdered by the woman's twin sister, who it turns out was actually her separated Siamese twin sister. The woman's jealous ex-husband hangs around quite a bit too. Yeah it's a little odd. It is a very obvious Hitchcock derivative and, although plot wise is different, 'feels' quite a bit like Hitch's "Frenzy" which came out a year before. Still it is a good story that was very well directed (including DePalma's trade mark 'split screen') and acted so it works despite some plots holes and the twist ending being visible for miles. A.

  273. Planet Terror (2007)- From the Grindhouse double feature. Here we have a military experiment gone awry. Some soldiers have been exposed to a gas and now they must get an antidote, but in the process of acquiring it, it leaks and exposes a town to it’s less desirable side effect of turning them into flesh eating zombies. Soon all Hell breaks loose and we get tons of movie references, everything from "Dawn of the Dead" to "Escape from New York" (plus an awesome appearance by Tom Savini, be sure and catch his demise!). Sure it is completely over the top, but we knew that going in and it delivers the goods in the gore and camp departments very well. No, there’s nothing terribly original here, but that’s kind of the whole idea, it is literally a mishmash of all that has come before and in that it succeeds. A.

  274. Devil Doll, The (1936)- A scientist who has been locked up in the famous Devil’s Island prison escapes with the help of a banker who has also been doing time. The scientist wants to return to his work, which has been carried on by his wife. He has the idea that if he can shrink every animal on earth to 1/6 its regular size there will be no more world hunger, the problem is when he shrinks anything down it becomes a mere automaton with no will of its own, controlled only by the thoughts of others. The scientist drops dead and the banker realizes he can use these ‘devil dolls’ as a means to get revenge on his banking partners who set him up. Despite the ‘goofiness’ of the story this old school horror/sci-fi flick is actually pretty good. There is quite a bit of character development and we do become involved with the characters and wonder what will happen to the banker and his family, who have been destitute since his imprisonment. And for 1936 the effects are really good. If you like ‘em old school then this is a classic for you. A.

  275. X From Outer Space (1967)- Classic Japanese turd about an egg brought back from space that grows into a giant monster after feeding on power from power plants (of course). Everything about this movie is hilarious. If you like cheese you will love this one. From the name of the scientists' space ship, "The Astro Boat", to the character's constant need for a cocktail, to the monster costume you are in for a treat. If nothing else try and catch it for the lounge lizard jazz soundtrack. Priceless. This is so bad it's great. A.

  276. Call of Cthulhu, The (2005)- How, on a small budget, do you film a Lovecraft story? Giant monsters, ocean voyages, large cult gatherings, ships landing at uncharted islands. Impossible to pull with any believability at all... But what if the filmmakers decided to make the film look like it was filmed when Lovecraft actually wrote the story in the 1920s? What if they filmed it as a black and white silent film and used many of the same special effect techniques used then? They could pull it off on a small budget without looking like a small budget, get in the main points of the story, and look like ‘artists’ in doing it. That’s what they did, and did it work? That depends on if you like silent movies and Lovecraft’s mythos. I think the film was done really well and definitely had that old school silent film look and feel, and the effects were, well, quaint I guess, but it worked for me. The story? It follows Lovecraft’s story very closely. A man’s great-uncle dies and he inherits his work. The great-uncle was an archeologist and an expert in old languages and had been investigating a strange cult called The Cult of Cthulu and its worship of a huge ancient god-like beast. The man becomes obsessed with the research himself and uncovers a plot larger than he anticipated... Or maybe he is insane and reading too much into simple coincidences. I’m going to give this a strong A. It clocks in at about 50 minutes and is a perfect vehicle for this story.

  277. Pontypool (2008)- Do you love those gory blood feast zombie flicks; Disembowelment having gut-munching goodness? Do you like to argue about whether zombies should be fast or slow, or what would be the best weapon to carry, or exactly how a zombie creating virus would spread (or whether it would be a virus at all)? Well if you’re one of those folks you probably better stay away from this one! This entire movie takes place in a radio station as newly hired (from being freshly fired) shock jock tries to shake things up in the small Canadian town. A report comes in about a mob at the doctor’s office, and slowly but surely things go from unsure to bad to worse. But all we know (and see) is pretty much all the station workers know, and that is from people calling in and reports via the Internet and their ‘man in the field’. With the exception of some intense scenes near the end we don’t see any of what is going on in the streets, which is pretty much the way it would be in such a situation. But is it all a hoax in the vein of Welles’ “War of the Worlds”? Is the DJ actually going insane, or is something else afoot? Without giving too much away this movie takes a look at Memes, the cultural spread of ideas like a virus. It can get heavy, and some will see it as an attack on talk radio (I don’t see it so much as an attack on talk radio itself but more the ease at which people let other people do their thinking for them without even realizing it). So yeah, it explores some philosophical areas and the ending is bizarre to say the least as it explores the total breakdown of communication and the very meaning of our words. In other words (get it?), it gets like that so it ain’t for everybody that’s for sure. But if you like a little thought with your suspense (and that’s really what this amounts to) then check this out, but if you’re looking for bite-virus spreading walking dead stay away. I’ll give it an A.

  278. Mulberry Street (2006)- Part of After Dark Films 2007 HorrorFest here we have a "28 Days Later" clone, and that ain’t a bad thing. Obviously low budget and filmed on the move this is an intense ride through Manhattan as a virus spread by unusually aggressive rats turns people into murdering cannibalistic rat people. We follow the tenants of an apartment building (and one of the tenant’s daughter who is trying to get home after being wounded in Iraq) which is about to be torn down for redevelopment ("The neighborhood is changing" we’re not so subtly told) as they battle the plague and do their best to stick together and look out for each other in the face of impossible odds. Yeah, it is basically "28 Days Later" only instead of ‘later’ it follows the outbreak and spread but get past a little plot unoriginality and you get a great and intense flick. The acting is great, the look of the film is perfect (dark, grainy, and jarring, if you don’t like this sort of cinematography then stay away from this one!), and the characters are believable, well rounded and developed. Plus you kind of get the feeling that this is more or less how folks would probably actually react to such circumstances. A strong A.

  279. Exterminating Angel (1962)-Not horror strictly speaking but an almost surreal tale about a group of very wealthy folks who gather together for a party. The host’s servants aren’t in the mood to stick around for some reason and risk being fired to leave work early that night. The party drags on all night with the very wealthy, and in some case old, guests sleeping on the couches and on the floor, despite being offered rooms by their host. By the next morning they begin to realize that they in fact cannot leave the room they are in. There is no reason why they can’t leave but for the next several days their fake gentlemanly and lady-like exteriors quickly fade into an almost Lord of the Flies like existence (the director said had he made the movie later he would’ve included cannibalism). But we knew all along how fake these people really were by their talking behind one another’s backs. It’s an interesting study but don’t expect explanations and be prepared to watch the events and especially the dialogue closely as there is much repetition in odd ways. Art-house material not for everyone but if you like the surreal I recommend this one. A.

  280. Tooth and Nail (2007)- Part of After Dark Films 2007 HorrorFest this film is sort of a combination of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Dawn of the Dead" with a dash of "Mad Max". We have a post-apocalyptic world but instead of a virus, comet, nuclear war, or some other likely cause we simply ran out of gas. No oil, no gas, no gas no farms, no deliveries, no power, chaos follows and society falls apart as everyone migrates south trying to avoid the cold. A small group of people, lead by The Professor, decides to stay behind and make a go of it, holing up in an abandoned hospital. The Professor is some sort of genius, but he also doesn’t understand that there may be a need for security, and of course there is, as a group of cannibals begins to hunt the group one by one for food (they only take what they need as they like their meat fresh.) This flick simply put, works. I really dug it and was pulled in. Yeah some may think it starts a little slow but without that you’d get no character development and for a movie like this to work you have to know the characters involved. Yeah, there are some weaknesses, like the silly post-apocalyptic nicknames (Neon, Viper, Nova [which was already used in another post-apocalyptic flick "Planet of the Apes"]) , and some very predictable plot devices, etc. and how did the cannibals get to be such huge mutant looking people, they must have found quite a few folks to eat. But over scrutiny aside this is a tense ride that I liked a lot. Plus, I’m always a sucker for the "Lord of the Flies" message of "we’re all savages inside anyway". A-

  281. Vacancy (2007)- When I saw the trailer to this one I thought "great, another ‘couple in distress’ torture film" but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at this little suspense piece. It’s about a couple on the verge a divorce whose car breaks down and they wind up in a run down old motel. They find what they at first think are cheap horror films until they realize they are snuff films, made right there in the motel room, then the lights go out and we’re lead on a ride of people banging on doors, looking in windows, and underground tunnels. For the most part the movie avoids cliché, although it does stumble into a couple of doosies (like the bit with the cop), for the most part it remains a well told tale of terror. A-.

  282. Solaris (1972)- Another artsy entry from Russian great Tarkovsky. There’s a space station orbiting a nearby planet and it seems anyone who goes there winds up dead or insane. A psychologist is sent to get to the bottom of it all but as soon as he arrives he is met with both stonewalling station residents and his own persistent hallucinations. Determined to get to the bottom of it all those left at the station work towards an answer. Let me just say this ain’t for everybody. Very slow moving and very disjointed; to be honest there is a lot of moping around and talking (or reading since it’s in Russian). Still, everything about this just feels disturbing and, if you get that far, can make you question reality. If you like the artsier approach I recommend this one, if you aren’t into it stay very far away! A-

  283. I Am Legend (2007)- Yet another interpretation of Matheson’s novella joining "The Last Man On Earth", "The Omega Man", Romero’s Living Dead films (more or less), "28 Days Later", "Blade" (sort of) and probably some others I am forgetting about. It proves what a ripe idea his book was to begin with: a virus turns people into vampire like creatures and one man who is immune fights them. That is the basic gist. Here we have Will Smith as Legend, capturing the creatures by day, hoping to find a cure for them as he races around an otherwise completely empty New York City. Many of the effects are great, including the look and feel of the dead city and Smith’s acting carries the film. I was leery about him playing the part when I first heard about it but I must say he is perfect for the role, with a very believable range of emotion you can’t help but feel for him as he slips near insanity from loneliness and a feeling of responsibility for not being able to stop the virus in time (he is a military scientist assigned to find a cure). We get an overview of what happened (a genetically mutated measles virus was released as a cure for cancer), and brief glimpses of New York falling apart, but like "28 Days Later", not much time is spent in the past. This is really a very effective interpretation of the book and I liked it quite a bit. I have two complaints: The CGI vampire creatures leave quite a bit to be desired and give an otherwise intense flick an almost comic book feel when they are around. CGI works for Spider Man movies but here I think it would’ve been a lot more intense had the creatures been batshit insane humans (and I won’t even bother with the CGI vampire dogs, they almost lost me there). And second we miss the relationship between Neville and the vampires. That is part of the appeal of the book, the vampires pounding on Neville’s door, taunting him, and calling him, some of them his friends (and even his wife). The creatures are much more distant and not human enough here, even though we know his assessment of them as having lost all of their humanity is proven wrong, the reason for their attacks on him are only hinted at (he is Legend, who travels by day, killing their kind). All in all I liked this one a lot, a couple of weak spots hurt its final grade but don’t let that deter you if you like these apocalypse type flicks like me. A-.

  284. King Kong (1933)- This was one of the first "Big Monster" Monster Movies. Man against nature, beauty and the beast, don't tamper with things, etc. All those themes run deep here and the 50s radiation beasts and sci-fi movies (including the Japanese monsters in the Godzilla films) would take note. You probably know the story; filmmaker goes to uncharted island to film beauty and the beast themed film. Finds more than he bargained for then decides to do more than make a movie when he takes said find to New York City. Chaos ensues. This movie has been re-filmed, rewritten, and reworked many times and in many ways (King Kong sequels, Godzilla movies, Jurassic Park, especially the sequel which basically was King Kong with a T Rex, and on and on). All things considered it is really a variation on the Frankenstein story too. This original holds up pretty well. Yeah the acting is dated as are the effects, but for 1933 this was ahead of its time. I'll give it an A-.

  285. Monster That Challenged the World, The (1957)- That name is pretty much the definition of hyperbole. An accurate title would be “The Monsters That Killed 5 or 6 People and Were Then Blown Up in a Pond”. But that would maybe give too much away; I hope I didn’t ruin anything for you. This one follows the formula to a T: Monster kills sailors. Odd evidence is found. Researchers witness the monster. Monster kills civilians. Researchers figure out what monster is. Researchers share old school film of what the monster is. A plan to capture the monster(s) is hatched. It goes slightly awry. Plan is tweaked. Plan works. Someone messed up back at the lab and there is one more monster. That monster is killed. Throughout the whole thing the commander might be falling in love with a secretary. A- on the craptacular scale.

  286. Deadgirl (2008)- This is a movie full of contradictions and inconsistencies. For instance, some of the acting is terrible, some really good, some of the editing is great, some atrocious, some of the atmosphere is perfect, some ill fitting at best. You get the idea, inconsistent. Plot-wise this is a flick about 2 outcast 17 year olds who don’t fit in at school and whose parents really don’t care too much about where they are or what they are up to. One day while skipping school they break into an old abandoned mental hospital to drink and vandalize. While exploring the basement they stumble on what at first they think is a dead body, they soon realize she is alive, and sometime later realize she can’t actually be killed. One of the teens rather rapidly descends into depravity while the other is conflicted about whether he should care and just what he should do about it. Zombie rape scenes ensue. Weird yes, but an interesting look at another side of the zombie tale (although this was somewhat addressed in the extras on the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake DVD). Hardcore zombie fans will be disappointed in the lack of gore and action, but those not used to the zombie gore flicks might actually think there is too much gore; such is the beast when making one of these flicks! Regardless, this movie in the end I think is really a metaphor for humans’ ability to be inhumane, and how easy a slide it can actually be from bored to criminal, kind of a disturbing modern twist on ‘Lord of the Flies’. I don’t want to read too much into what the film makers were trying to accomplish here but I also think it is a metaphor for the post-Web-porn generation. A generation whose contact with others is often texts and FaceBook, and Internet porn and objectification is everywhere. The rape scenes are so detached as to be just masturbatory fantasies for porn surfing teens, the zombie woman only as real as a monitor’s 2D anonymous prostitute 1000 miles away. As a straight up horror flick this might not pass the muster, but as a look into modern depravity, regardless of intentions, it holds up very well. A-.

  287. Kiss of the Vampire (1963)- Hammer loved their vampires more than any other creature. In this one a family of vampires lives in a big ol' castle. They like to initiate pretty women into the cult they've built up in the area by having big masquerade balls and making them vampires during the party. Actually some fairly edgy stuff considering the times and pretty original script (OK, all of these were just 'damsel in distress' flicks but it was an interesting way to do it). It had an original albeit very strange ending that again showed the limits of bat special effects technology. A-.

  288. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)- Hollywood felt it was time to remake the classic tale of suspense. The original was a nice metaphor for the Red Scare, not sure about this remake. There are some obvious religious cult over tones (Born Again) and also a look into how our modern lives are becoming devoid of emotion but metaphors aside is this good? Well the plot is basically the same except now we're in San Francisco. The alien pods hatch out their clones while the real people sleep, they look like the regular folks but there's just something not quite right. A nice feeling of paranoia is built up and the acting and directing work for the most part. And this one has a pretty classic ending that I still dig. There are some weaknesses such as the dog with human head clone, seriously man, that wasn't necessary, and the silly "We've been floating in space... riding the solar winds... we survive... we adapt..." speech. Why would these aliens feel compelled to explain themselves at all, especially when said explanation is a poorly written 70s sci-fi goofy speech. Still, weaknesses aside this is a classic. A-

  289. Tales From The Dead (2008)- A Japanese omnibus that has sort of an old school feel, harkening back to the ‘morality plays’ of the original ‘Tales from the Crypt’ movie and others, including even The Twilight Zone. The wrap around involves a lady who may have killed her husband and who now has a flat tire in the middle of no where. She hitches a ride with a girl who happens to be a medium, yeah, you can see where that story is going. Story 1 involves a haunted house where a young man who is paralyzed seems tortured by the house’s ghosts, I wonder why that is. I’ll give this one an A. Story 2 involves an accountant who worked with a gang found dead, he might have hidden some evidence that the gang leader wants, chalk outlines never seemed so important; I’ll give this one a B. and finally would you sell time to the dead if you were depressed with your own life? I’ll give this one an A also. I liked this flick, nothing real special or great but a good anthology of cautionary tales presented in a classic fashion, not bad, averages to an A-.

  290. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)- A remake to a sequel? Nowadays we call’em ‘reboots’. So did it work? Yes it did! The storyline is different from any of the original movies (‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’ being the original that explained the rise of the apes) and has a researcher experimenting with a man-made virus which is supposed to rebuild synapsis in the brain as a cure for Alzheimer’s. The cure works better than expected and the baby of one of the apes that had gone through the experiment proves to be highly intelligent. But of course, things don’t go too well when he escapes and attacks someone he deemed a threat to his human family. When he sees how other apes are treated he hatches a plan to spread his intelligence. But at what cost to humans? A very open ending leaves what could be a great sequel waiting to be made (I know don’t get my sequel liking hopes up!). The effects are the best yet and avoid the often ‘cartoony’ look of a lot of CGI. The acting and writing work well too. Yeah the characters are pretty black and white, good and bad. You know who you are supposed to like and who you should hate, but the message of ‘where does our humanity lie’ is still there. No, not deep stuff, but a great summer flick, A-.

  291. Trouble With Harry, The (1955)- Hitch whips out his notorious sense of black humor in this one. There’s a dead body in the hills near a small town. A hunter accidentally killed the man. Or did he, maybe it was the dead man’s wife, or maybe someone else. Everyone seems to feel responsible so the body is secretly buried, then exhumed, then buried again. This is an interesting little movie looking at people’s relationships, sense of responsibility, and dealings with death, and also dealing with love. It is an interesting story and an interesting little black comedy and shows really well how Hitch could turn something so simple into a really good movie. Yeah, that’s a young Beaver Cleaver toting around the dead rabbit. A-.

  292. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)- Part 3, and from the monster profit this made I’m sure a part 4 is in the cards. It will begin to get tough finding an excuse for the protagonists to record everything! Anyway this picks up when the two sisters from parts 1 and 2 are young. Their mom is shacking up with a professional videographer and when strange things start to happen around the house he sets up cameras to try and capture something. He winds up getting way more than he bargained for. So does it work? Yeah, it does, if you liked the first two. These POV flicks are love’em or hate’em, not much middle ground. I like them and this one worked, although the end left a little to be desired for me, I guess it did explain what went down in the first two, sort of. I’m going to give this an A-, it was good and worked for me, but the bit is beginning to wear a little thin.

  293. Black Christmas (1974)- It's Christmas and most of the sorority girls are already gone from or leaving the sorority house for Christmas. Those that remain exchange gifts and drink a little, trying to enjoy themselves. Little do they know, a homicidal maniac has gotten into the attic and has set about killing the girls off. Sounds familiar right? It should, this Bob Clark ("Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things", "Porkey's", "A Christmas Story") plot has been worked, reworked, done and redone, however, when you remember that this film was made in 1974 then you see it's significance. It was an obvious influence on Carpenter's "Halloween" and deserves the credit, or blame, for kicking off the whole 'teens in distress/slasher' sub genre. So in context it is an important film, it is well made, well acted and suspenseful. It is a little slow moving at times though. It probably deserves an A+ because it set the standard for so many films that followed but I think I will give it an A- because it drags a little and leaves too many unanswered questions.

  294. Session 9 (2001)- An odd little flick that starts off seemingly pretty generic; Haunted hospital, scary hallways, scary rooms, guys in there alone. But there's something about this one that hooked me. The story is an old mental institution undergoing asbestos removal and what the asbestos crew finds and experiences, including some pretty weird tapes from a session between an inmate and a psychologist. For the most part this movie just works and it's mostly due to the directing, which maintains a creepy feeling, especially when listening to the tapes. There are weaknesses but for the most part I was pulled in and held there and the twist ending worked for me. A-.

  295. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)- Another allegory for the Red Scare of the 50's. Alien spores turn people into pods that spit out identical albeit alien twins of themselves. Damned Commies. Paranoia and fleeing ensues. Don't trust anyone! I love the paranoid feel movies like this invoke, when it works that is, and here is does work A-.

  296. Innkeepers, The (2011)- Let’s face it, ghost stories are hard to do. There are only so many floating apparitions, jump-scares, suicidal/homicidal/angry spirit, and hospital/asylum/old house/old hotel backstories available. This flick follows the code fairly closely. An old hotel, which is in its last month of operation, has a frightening backstory of a bride-to-be committing suicide and then people hiding her body in the basement. To that end one of the hotel workers has decided to start a website about strange things that have happened at the hotel, and has enlisted the help of his co-worker. The first three-quarters of the movie are about the ‘quirky’ relationship and general goofiness of the young slackers running the hotel while the owner is away. Cheap laughs and cheaper jump scares abound, but the music reminds us that just beneath the surface something sinister is lurking, and the last quarter of the movie shifts to meet the music. Slow moving? Yes. Occasionally frustratingly annoying? Yes. Unanswered questions? Yes. But as I’m often wont to do, despite the weaknesses, I liked it. I’ve said it before, I’m a fan first, and maybe an easy to please one at that but I got to know the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen, and that to me is the mark of a good movie. I’ll give it an A-.

  297. Time Crimes (2007)- Spanish flick about a guy who mistakenly winds up in a time machine, goes back in time a few hours, and then begins to change things in hope that he is actually making them the same. This basically causes him to get stuck in a loop and resort to some bad decisions. Interesting flick, obviously time travel flicks cause a lot of questions if you want to get too geeked out about them (like how did he wind up in the loop in the first place) but if you avoid overthinking it this is a pretty good flick. Good acting, nice twisty plot, not fantastic but well done over-all. I’ll give it an A-.

  298. Acacia (2003)- Another slow paced Asian horror flick, this time from Korea. I’ll say up front, if you like these slower paced Asian psychological kind of thrillers you will probably like this one. It is very well done, the acting and cinematography are simply great, and the over-all ‘feel’ of the movie works on that slow burn horror level. If you don’t like this type of horror flick then you will really hate this one. I liked this one quite a bit. It is the story of a couple who can’t have a child of their own so they adopt. Needless to say the kid is a tad weird and is obsessed with trees (especially the acacia tree out back) and his new grandmother is a little mad that the couple adopted instead of continuing to try to have their own baby, so that creates tension as well. But as luck would have it, not long after they adopt the wife becomes pregnant and things don’t go so well afterwards, and, as often is the case in Asian horror, we are shown the dark side of family life, modern pressures that tear families apart, and the weight of guilt. I’ll give it a strong A-. I knock it a little as the end tended to drag some after I figured it out and the flashbacks became somewhat tedious.

  299. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)- With a title like that there really is no going wrong. Bob Clark wrote and directed this and went on to make "Black Christmas", "Porkey's", and "A Christmas Story" among others. This is a low budget offering to be sure but the cast and crew made due with what little they had and like Peter Jackson's early low budget work you realize that there's quality under the hood. The story is about a smart-assed theatre troop director who takes his smart-assed actors out to a burial island to dig up a grave and try out some black magic to see if it really works. The theatre director is a pompous ass and continually holds his position as the actors' boss and how hard it is to find work as an actor over the heads of his cast. At first they are willing to go along with his insanity and view it as a great gag but then things go too far, sadly, by then it's too late as an entire cemetery's worth of zombies are on the hunt. This is a black comedy in the vain of "The Evil Dead" which I think borrowed quite a bit from this movie. It's no masterpiece but if you like the stumbling Romero zombie vision (and this was riding on "Night's..." coat tales) then you'll probably like this. There's something about this movie that I liked even though I honestly can't quite put my finger on what it is. A-.

  300. Gog (1954)- Cold War intrigue and espionage all mixed up with a heavy dose of sci-fi. Someone is obviously sabotaging the experiments at a highly top secret underground installation. But who could it be? A Super ISS/CIA/Atomic Bomb Guard is brought in to find out. And for pretty much the rest of the movie we get to see him walk around and be introduced to the scientists and the utterly useless experiments they are working on. They are wasting MASSIVE amounts of government funding, but that really isn’t in the movie, that was just my own observation. A few more scientists die, some jets are scrambled, and things seem to work out, except I was never really sure what the hell was even going on. I do know the janitors have total access to everything in this top secret facility, and I also know that despite all kinds of magnetic jamming, auto-pilot flying technology someone, or something, has found the facility and has found a perfect way to actually take over the main computer which controls everything and make it do pretty much whatever they want. Apparently what they don’t want is to steal any technology and totally destroy the facility, in that order. In fairness this one was ahead of its time, it looks good, is interesting, and fun, but still, A- and the craptacular scale.

  301. Color Me Blood Red (1965)- The third installment in Herschel Gordon Lewis’ ‘Blood Trilogy’ (Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs being the first two) finds an artist who hates being criticized and when a famous art critic tells him his use of color is lacking he goes kind of bonkers. When his girlfriend cuts herself on a nail and gets blood on his canvas he has an idea, paint with his blood, but he can only loose so much before passing out. Where to find fresh blood? Like the first two in the ‘Blood Trilogy’ (trilogy is used loosely, these movies have nothing to actually do with one another) this is LOW budget, poorly directed, and badly acted. The dialogue alone will have you wanting to punch a wall, let alone the terrible ‘water-bike’ things! But horror historians and movie buffs should see the entire blood trilogy as this is really where the gore and depravity more or less began. Yeah, there were movies which came before that had a little of one or the other but these movies tied it all together in a terrible package! This is the worst of the 3 flicks though and is really just a bad retelling of Corman’s ‘Bucket of Blood’. I’ll give it an A- on the craptacular scale.

  302. Skeptic, The (2009)- A young, successful, hardcore skeptic lawyer believes he has inherited his aunt’s house. To his dismay he finds out she left it to a sleep lab, which turns out to be a front for a parapsychology lab. But as he begins to hear and see things he begins to realize there may be something to all this ghost business after all. Or maybe it is just his insomnia. A twisty haunted house story that worked for me, what can I say, I’m a sucker for them generally. It follows the formula relatively closely rendering it somewhat predictable, but that’s OK in this case. It tends towards the quirky for the first part, which didn’t work too well in my opinion, but once it settled in and the story started falling together I liked it. Remember this is a ghost flick, which means more of a slow burn, less action. I’ll give it an A-.

  303. Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984)- SD and I snuck into the theatre to catch this one. Those were the days! Freddie is pissed; some neighborhood parents killed him for some goings on in the boiler room. He's determined to get at their kids somehow, so he invades their dreams (and pretty much everything else too), and wreaks more havoc in the neighborhood than he could have otherwise. Yeah it's more teens in trouble fluff but it is an original take on the genre and has some genuine scares. Not as good as Halloween but better than Friday the 13th. A-.

  304. Broken, The (2008)- Slow paced moody suspense thriller with an odd supernatural twist. This is a dark film with a few disturbing images and a nice sense of ‘what is going on?’. An American ambassador to England is having a birthday and retiring. His kids and their wives/boyfriends/whatever throw him a party and during the party a large mirror falls from the wall. From that point on strange things begin to happen as mirrors begin falling from walls seemingly wherever these people go and it just might be that evil doppelgangers from inside the looking glass are to blame. The story hinges on the ambassador’s daughter who sees herself driving her Jeep down the road, then gets in her Jeep and has a terrible head on collision. Has her brain been damaged from the wreck or are there in fact evil doubles of the people she knows showing up? And what happened to the double she saw driving the Jeep before the accident? If you like the slightly odd, slower paced suspense films then this one is for you, the bottom line is there really isn’t much going on but I was kept interested the whole time and I liked the twist ending. At around 90 minutes the running time was just about right, any longer and it would’ve started loosing my attention. A-

  305. Let Me In (2010)- Remake of the Swedish vampire flick ‘Let the Right One In’, this pretty much follows that story, and that style, very closely. Not sure why a remake is necessary other than some folks hate reading subtitles I guess. Sad because the original is great, but really, so is this for the most part. It is the story of a 12 year old vampire girl (she’s been 12 a really long time). Her caretaker is getting sloppy in keeping her in a blood supply as she befriends a 12 year old boy who is the subject of much abuse at school. It is a great story, and well done but just check out the original. I am docking this some for its piss poor use of CGI. Why do they have to do that? A-.

  306. The Horror of Dracula (1958)- By modern horror movie standards this is a slow mover but remove genre tags and look at this as just the telling of a story (which we should do with all movies anyway), and I think you have a really good one. Apart from the battle between Dr. Van Helsing and Dracula (good and evil) this movie follows little of Stoker's original novel. It's not a retelling but a rewriting of it and it comes across as being a very original and fresh interpretation of the story. Jonathan Harker goes to Castle Dracula as a librarian, there to sort and check Count Dracula's massive collection of books, or so we are told. We soon realize that Harker is undercover and knows who, or what, Dracula really is. When his plans go awry and Dracula begins looking for revenge, Dr. Van Helsing enters the fray. This was one of Hammer's early horror movies and it again showcases the great Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing who were both on their way to horror movie infamy. Hammer proved that you could have a great story, great direction, great sets, and great acting, all on a budget. A-.

  307. Lost Highway (1997)- David Lynch’s look at... um, schizophrenia, multiple personalities, transmigration... etc. As should be expected I’m not too sure what this one is all about or what it means. If you’re looking for logical narrative you need to look elsewhere but if you want a spellbinding flick that doesn’t make any sense then this is for you. A musician and his wife keep getting videos of someone taping their house, and they become concerned when the latest video shows them in their bedroom as they sleep. And who is Andy to the musician’s wife, and the pale guy, who is he? And did the musician kill his wife, and how did he trade bodies with the mechanic who works for the gangster and is running away with the gangster’s girlfriend who may or may not be the musician’s wife. Shew, if you’re up for a ride that basically amounts to a nightmare with no logical structure then this is great, if you don’t like these movies then stay away. I’ll give this a solid A-, too many distracting cameos and a few spots of bad acting but over all a compelling piece of work.

  308. Deathdream (1974)- Retelling of ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ story. A kid is killed in ‘The War’ (we’re never really told what war other than it is not WWII or Korea so it is a pretty safe assumption that it is Vietnam). His family is devastated when the telegram arrives, especially the mother who just refuses to accept the truth. Then suddenly late one night the kid (Andy) shows up at home (other than him hitchhiking we are never really cued in as to how he got home) and everyone is relieved and amazed at the mistake the army made. But all is not well as Andy spends his days sitting and staring into space, or rocking in his rocking chair staring at the walls. He doesn’t want a party, he doesn’t want people to know he is home, and is showing violent reactions when he doesn’t get his way. And then there is the truck driver who was killed by a hitchhiker in an army uniform the night Andy arrived. Everyone starts to notice these things except his mother who lives in denial, content that her son is home from the war. This is a product of the low budget 70s and it shows. Bad lighting, poor cinematography, etc. but it still holds up well, with some good acting and engrossing story. At the simple horror movie level it also works, a tad slow at times but there are some classic sequences (the drive-in scene among the best), but on a deeper level as a metaphor for the effect loosing a son (or daughter) in a war has on a family is pretty heavy, and maybe even heavier is the idea that some of those who do return home alive are not the same, with post traumatic stress disorder, etc. clouding them the rest of their lives. So yeah, it is OK as a horror movie, but as a study of the effects of war disguised as a horror movie it works really well, despite the few weaknesses mentioned above. A-.

  309. King Kong (2005): Wow, this flick looks great. It follows the original very closely but with much more detail. The effects are incredible but never really seem to 'steal the show'. The acting, directing, and story are all done very well. My only complaint is it is a little too insane at times, I mean come on, nobody could survive that! Still, I liked it quite a bit. A-.

  310. The Oblong Box (1969)- Vincent Price is a member of a rich family with large land holding in Africa. After a terrible accident a curse is placed on his brother and they return home to England to live in isolation. His brother is determined to get out of that attic he's locked in and comes up with a pretty desperate plan that then backfires, sort of. Christopher Lee shows up as a doctor who becomes the victim of some blackmailing. All in all this is a pretty effective movie with some cool witchdoctor/voodoo scenes and pretty effective ending, and plot twist. Interesting, original, well filmed (except the day for night scenes) and well acted. The only exception would be the weak makeup job on the cursed brother. A-.

  311. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)- Some old pretend to be pious rich guys are getting tired of the limited thrills visits to the local whore house can afford them. They want some real thrills so they enlist the help of the local disowned ex-royal brat who is known to run with some devil worshipping types. He comes up with a great plan, raise the Prince of Darkness himself, Dracula, from the dead. He knows how to do it too. With the help of some stuff from the last movie in the franchise (nice tie in). The old pretend to be pious rich guys bale before the ceremony is completed and the local disowned ex-royal brat dies. Dracula does come back though in a pretty effective scene and is pretty pissed that those guys left his servant to die. How to get back at them. Hhmmm... How about taking their eye candy daughters. That should do it. Actually I thought this was one of the more effective Dracula/Hammer films. Despite the material the participants take their parts very seriously and it all just works for me. Nice Hammer color and sets too. A-.

  312. Creeper (1977)- Although technically released prior to the slasher flick cycle this one more or less falls in that category. A group of doctors head out into the Canadian wilderness for a week long vacation, things seem to be going fine until they realize someone as stolen their boots. It’s all down hill from there as the doctors are picked off one by one in increasingly disturbing ways. Not graphic and low budget, this movie does create some great suspense and is well acted and directed. There are some plot holes but I’ll leave that to you so as not to reveal too much. A-.

  313. American Zombie (2007)- A mockumentary chronicling the plight of zombies trying to eek out a 'living' in LA. Some lower functioning zombies are taken advantage of, some higher functioning ones are trying to help the others, or just survive being dead. The film comes off as a real documentary very well, the acting is actually brilliant as you would truly believe what the subjects are saying and how the filmmakers act throughout. There is some camp and comedy relief but it isn't over the top and done to the detriment of the movie. We start out feeling sorry for the zombies but things slowly start to crumble as the veil is lifted from their world. And that is where I think the movie stumbles a bit. It seems a little too slow to start, but a little too quick to end. I didn't hate the end, but by the same token, I just felt it seemed like they just ran out of ideas. Also, I read that this was a 'gorefest', it isn't at all. Still, over all, I liked the movie. It is flawed but it still worked for me. A-.

  314. Dead and Buried (1981)- Twist on the ‘town with a secret’ flick, this town has a secret, and it’s a doozy! New folks who show up in town wind up dead, killed in some pretty heinous fashion as to mutilate their looks. But then they turn up as town residents later on. The local sheriff starts looking into the deaths, and starts to wonder just how his wife and the local weirdo mortician all fit into the mystery. Very well done by horror master Dan O’Bannon, this is a fun ride, frightening, mysterious, and campy to boot. An almost perfect mix (that Dan would perfect a little later with "Return of the Living Dead", this is kind of almost "Return of the Living Dead" light). The ending probably could have gone one of two ways; I think it went the right way over all (you knew it had to be one or the other, that’s all I’ll say.) I liked this one a lot, nothing great, but no glaring weaknesses either. A-.

  315. Lifeboat (1944)- Hitch loved to put people in tight confines and play out what that would be like and what could be worse than bobbing in a small lifeboat in the Atlantic during WWII? A mixture of crew and passengers makes for an interesting setup, toss in the captain of the German u-boat that sank the ship and you have tension galore along with a debate about humanity, trust, and revenge. There is a little too much obvious propaganda but that aside Hitch makes this one-set flick work on a lot of levels, and not many directors could! Also, props for not making the black character a stereotypical step’n’fetch-it type, an A- for this one.

  316. Needful Things (1993)- This is a great miniseries based on a Stephen King novel (did I just type that?). An old guy moves to town and opens an antique shop. By coincidence he has something almost everyone in town wants and he’ll give it to them for a price, though it’s not money he wants. Slowly the towns people are pitted against one another as the old guy exploits their weaknesses and dislikes until, literally, all Hell breaks loose. Max Von Sydow is awesome as the devil and for once we get an end worthy of the time I spent getting there. I also read the book and let me say, I’m glad the movie didn’t end like that! A-

  317. Coffin Joe: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964)- Surprisingly atmospheric little no-budget flick out of Brazil. Joe Coffin, or Ze, is the local mortician. He deliberately antagonizes the locals with his blatant disregard for their religion and traditions, eating meat on Good Friday, and forcing others to do the same, getting loaded in the local saloon, picking fights, and hitting on the ladies, he basically treats everyone like crap. He seems to have a pretty bad temper but it is never really explained if his powers are somehow supernatural, his contempt for such things makes it seem unlikely, he just must have really high blood pressure. But all he really wants is a son so his sterile wife has to be eliminated, as does his friend, if he wants his friend’s fiancé. Murder, suicide, and curses ensue until the procession of the dead shows up. This flick had to have been made for pretty much nothing yet it has a certain atmosphere and feel to it that seems to work and allows it to rise above some bad acting, terrible dubbing (the version I saw was subtitled but the voices still didn’t match up!), and insane effects at the end. If you’re not into low budget foreign efforts then steer clear, but if you like the bizarre cult horrors then this is a must see. A-

  318. Screaming Skull, The (1958)- Aahhh the 1950s. Horror became SciFi as we moved from the Jet Age to the Space Age. Aliens, atomic monsters, greedy/mad scientists etc ruled the day. Occasionally a pure 'horror' film would hit the screens but inevitably, like a Scooby Doo episode, there was the logical explanation of the supposed 'super natural' events. So which category does "The Screaming Skull" fall in? A man and his new wife move into the home where he and his former wife, who died in a tragic accident, lived. His former wife was loaded but all he got was the house, luckily his new wife is loaded too. But she's also apparently bat shit insane. Is her husband driving her there again? Is the mentally challenged gardener, who loved the man's deceased wife, to blame? Is his wife just simply nuts? Or are there really ghosts running around the grounds? This is a well filmed, albeit dated movie. It kept me interested and the acting is really good. The red herrings thrown about are never glaringly obvious so it keeps you off guard. The FX are bad and the movie shows its budget when it comes to those but other than that this one works pretty well. A-.

  319. Maze, The (1953)- Strong ghost/mystery tale about a man who suddenly inherits his uncle’s castle, moves to it and mysteriously cuts off his engagement. His bride to be won’t be left hanging high and dry and, against pretty much everyone’s wishes visits the castle with her aunt and then all but refuses to leave. Even inviting friends to come by (to see why her ex-fiancée is acting, and looking, so strange). Just as they are about to have the man committed the mystery is revealed and, well, it kind of tanks right there to put it mildly. If you like these old haunted castle type of black and white movies in the vein of ‘The Innocents’ and ‘The Haunting’ then you will probably like the first 70 minutes of this 80 minute flick, but that last 10 minutes, damn. I’ll give it a forgiving A-, I really hated that ending and it ruined it really, but until then the sets themselves bump the grade up.

  320. 4108 (2007)- Uh oh. Another movie based on a Stephen King story. In my opinion they haven’t had much luck with those lately. This one is about a writer... of course... who writes reviews of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, etc. that claim to be haunted. He basically writes tour guides to people who want to stay somewhere scary, even though he himself doesn’t buy any of it. You see his daughter recently died... of course... so he’s pretty bitter and has lost all faith. Then he gets a strange postcard... of course... warning him about room 4108 in the Dolphin Hotel. He goes, and despite the warnings, bribes, and pleadings of the hotel’s manager, he stays in room 4108, and yes, it is very haunted... of course. Despite the predictability of this it was a pretty effective movie. There are no "it was built on an Indian Burial Ground" nonsensical explanations as to why the room is bad, it is just an "evil room" and it plays on people’s biggest fears until they are forced to commit suicide. Interesting idea. And it also has a very nice twist ending that worked for me anyway. A-.

  321. Yokai Monsters Volume 1: Spook Warfare (1968)- An ancient European vampire is released from his prison and his spirit goes to Japan and possesses a wealthy landowner and begins collecting blood. Ancient Japanese folk 'monsters' then unite to rid the region of the menace. This one is weirder than it even seems from the description! Now if you don't like (VERY) quirky Japanese monster movies, complete with bad costumes, goofy dialogue, and puppets, then just stay far away from this. But if you appreciate such things and like your horror (using the term very loosely again) based on old folk legends I recommend this. I liked it quite a bit and give it an A-, too quirky at times maybe, but fun as hell.

  322. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)- Price plays Dr. Phibes, a psychopath genius that is believed dead. He blames several doctors for his wife's death and sets out getting his revenge using the seven plagues of Egypt as inspiration. Man they would come up with a lot of interesting ways to kill people in these movies (and modern movies like "Se7en" and "Saw" would pick up on that). The movie has that odd 60s psychedelia going for it, which works sometimes and gets old sometimes. Price plays the part with strange restraint (his character can't talk) and the sets are equally strange. Somehow, between the weirdness it still all works. The camp relief of the bungling police is a nice touch too. The same theme would be developed further in "Theatre of Blood" and to some extent in "Madhouse". A-

  323. Return of the Blind Dead (1973)- I read a review which stated that this was the strongest of the 4 Blind Dead movies and I agree. It isn’t really a sequel as the Templar Mythology is different (in the first one they were hung and had their eyes eaten by crows, here they have their eyes burned out before being burned at the stake). A small town in Portugal is having their big yearly celebration, it is the 500th year since they defeated the Templars and there will be drinks, fireworks, and Templars burned in effigy. But this time out the Templars decide to also attend the festivities. Using the same resurrection scenes from the first film the Templars rise, mount their horses and ride to town, offing folks along the way. Sub plots involving the mayor and his love of his assistant, his other assistant who also loves the assistant, and a fireworks expert hired to put on the fireworks show who used to love the mayor’s assistant and may still love her take up the time when the Templars aren’t on screen. Obvious ‘hat tips’ to "Night of the Living Dead" crop up, especially in the siege of the church and the attempt to get in the car by scaring the Templars away with a torch. For zombie movie fans the scene when the Templars first arrive in town is one of the greatest in zombie cinema. Bad dubbing, silly dialogue, and some bad acting don’t do much to lesson my grade this time out, I did like this one quite a bit and will give it an A-.

  324. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)- Classic flick about girl jealous of the attention her sister is getting around her sister’s first communion. The girl is obviously a little unstable to begin with and when her sister winds up dead she becomes a prime suspect and evidence begins to build against her. Suspense also builds, red herrings fall, and things eventually get straightened out, but not before more trips to hospitals and murders. This is a pretty good one, with lots of nods to Hitchcock, salutes to other flicks, and even some weird sections obviously influenced by the silent era. I’m going to give this an A-. Not quite an A because there are a couple sections that just take the drama over the top and also a couple obvious plot holes that could’ve been fixed; still, worth a view if you like the 70s murder mysteries.

  325. Dead Alive (1992)- Peter Jackson some time before he had the budget of "Lord of the Rings". Wow, this one is simply insane. There's a particular monkey that if it bites you, well, you die... sort of. Actually you become a flesh-craving zombie. Can't go wrong with that plot. A guy still lives with his overbearing mother. He'd like to get away and date some girls but his mom won't hear of it. Then the monkey bites her. Loyal son keeps her around despite her hunger and the fact she seems to be spreading the disease all over the neighborhood. Like taking the "Psycho" plot to the next level. Insanity ensues including a simply unbelievable climax that involves lawnmowers. This is probably the goriest movie I've ever seen but it's done in such a cartoon way that you really don't notice it. It's over the top in about every aspect of filmmaking. Next year I'll have a review of Jackson's "Bad Taste" which, from what I hear, is the perfect name. A-.

  326. The Corpse Bride (2005)- Animated Goth horror from Tim Burton. His "A Nightmare Before Christmas" is a masterpiece so "Corpse Bride" has a long way to go to measure up and of course it doesn't quite get there. Still, in context it is a great little flick. The story? A boy and girl are unhappy with the idea of their arranged marriage until they actually meet and then they realize they may be made for one another. The boy is too nervous at the rehearsal though and goes to practice his vows in the woods, where he accidentally marries a dead woman. She takes him 'home' and things become complicated for them both. The voices and characters are perfect for an animated feature as is the length. The songs aren't as good as "A Nightmare..." but everything can't be perfect. A-.

  327. Lady in the Water (2006)- M. Night, you realize you are asking for bad reviews don't you? This is a fantasy fairy tale come-true story about a girl who comes from the "Blue World" to inspire man to stop being so violent. She can do this just by her appearance to someone who is 'chosen', problem is she doesn't know who this person is. She shows up at an apartment complex full of colorful characters and looks for help from the helpful complex manager. Of course there are creatures that want to see her fail, otherwise we wouldn't have a movie now would we? This movie is fairy tale fantasy so you have to completely suspend belief, or maybe that's not really the point. Maybe the point is to not consciously suspend belief but instead be moved to believe the unbelievable. Anyway, M. Night steps on some land mines and opens himself up to criticisms of arrogance and of having a huge ego, and probably rightly so as his character plays a pretty major role this time out and we are also subjected to the comedy relief of a snobby film critic who doesn't seem to understand the depth of film maker's use of symbolism, so at one point we are held by the hand as symbolism is explained. Yeah, those things need to be mentioned and I see people's point when they bring them up, but at the end of the day, is this or is this not a good movie? And in my opinion, yes it is a good movie. Those issues above may warrant discussion but they have little or nothing (in my opinion) to do with whether or not this is a good story. The acting is good, the directing is good, the writing (keeping in mind the fairy tale aspect) is good and I was entertained. So I got my money's worth. Not as good as "Signs" or the 6th Sense" but better than "The Village" (Jenny disagrees with me). A-.

  328. Tales of Terror (1962)- Pretty strong entry into the Roger Corman Poe Cycle. This is a 3 tale omnibus, story one being that of ‘Morella’. She died young and blamed her infant daughter on her sickness, her husband sent the daughter away when she was young and keeps his wife’s body in the bedroom. The daughter, now 26, returns and all is far from well. It is well acted with great sets and use of color but seems to end a tad abruptly; I’ll give it a B-.Story two combines ‘The Black Cat’ with ‘The Cask of Amontillado’. A drunken wine expert embarrasses a famous wine expert in a contest. The famous wine expert then begins an affair with the drunkard’s wife and things of course do not end well for anyone involved. Peter Lorre is great as the drunkard and Price as the over the top wine taster, A+. Finally ‘The Case of M. Valdemar’ gives us a dying Price character who agrees to be hypnotized at the moment of death, against the advice of his doctor and wife, so that moment can be studied. He becomes trapped between life and death and winds up being very unhappy. I’ll give this an A+ too. These are subtle flicks that fall in line with the rest of Corman’s Poe output of this era, if you dislike them then you will dislike this, but if you dig the others then this is a must see. The 3 grades average to an A-.

  329. Zombi (1979)- Italian zombie flick that was promoted in Europe as a sequel to Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" and actually called "Zombi 2". A sailboat is found in the harbor at New York. Police board it and are killed by a messed up raving lunatic. The woman whose father owned the boat sets out with a reporter to find out what happened to her father. They set off for the Caribbean, where her father was working. There they discover a zombie plague (and some "Plague of Zombies" influences too.) Full of what would become typical Euro-trash effects and gore but here they are still fresh. The story works even though the acting and direction don't hold up incredibly well. Nice ending that would 'sort of' be repeated in the remake of "Dawn of The Dead". One influenced one that influenced another I guess. A-

  330. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)- Atmospheric but odd flick about a woman who, upon being released from a mental institution for what would seem to be a fairly severe form of schizophrenia, moves into an old mansion to run an orchard with her husband and his friend. An odd hippy chick is squatting at the old mansion when they arrive and they ask her to stay. The locals seem to really hate hippies, they may in fact all have some sort of injury caused by what might be vampires, and Jessica is hearing voices again. Is she insane? Is this actually happening? I don’t know but I think over-all this is a really well done flick. Slow at times sure but that works as a nice suspense buildup to the bizarre over-the-top ending. Not for action horror fans, but if you like them subtle and ‘mostly’ understated check this out. A-.

  331. Jeepers Creepers (2001)- This is another ‘college kids in distress slasher flick’ but most stereotypes end there. A brother and sister are driving home across country and decide to take the back highways rather than the interstates. They see what they think is someone dumping bodies into a drainpipe, they go back to investigate and seal their own fates. Cat and mouse with an old muscle car, a beat up old delivery truck, and the thing driving it ensues as does tension and suspense. A well acted well directed story kind of in the vein of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" but with a twist. It’s not all great and I got the feeling by the time we end up in the police station maybe the writers were out of ideas but it is still a strong movie and I liked it quite a bit. A-.

  332. 30 Days of Night (2007)- I’ve been saying for a while someone needs to get back to the old school Nosferatu version of the vampire. Somewhere along the line, I guess because of Bela’s version of Dracula, the vampire become all about sex and erotica. I appreciate that version but I also like the true ‘horror’ version as well, and here we have one. A group of vampires attacks Barrow, Alaska, a town so far north that it stays dark for an entire month. We start slow, with a stranger in town, steeling cell phones, killing sled dogs, doing the dirty work before it gets dark. Suspense builds as the power goes out and the sheriff finds the man that runs the power plant decapitated. Then we go from suspense to all hell breaking loose as the vampires attack the town. A small group of townsfolk, including the sheriff and his estranged wife, elude the vampires, but can they make it for 30 days? Yeah, there are some plot holes and some things that won’t hold up under too much scrutiny but come on, it’s a vampire movie. I liked this one and felt like the vampires were very effective, the suspense was good, and the acting and plot worked. A-.

  333. Juan of the Dead (2011)- A Cuban zombie flick in the vein of Shaun of the Dead? Yup. Does it work? Welp, here we have Juan and Lazero, a couple of slackers hanging out in Havana, barely making ends meet, trying to do right by their families... sound familiar? Suddenly Havana is full of zombies and the two, with the help of a few friends, start a business to rid people of their dead (and hungry) relatives! So we have capitalist Cubans listening to news reports claiming American influenced dissidents are causing the mayhem, of course we know it's zombies. Zombies, humor, a small dose of political jokes, and yes, it did work for me. I found it pretty funny, well written, well acted, the FX weren't great and if you want lots of gore you'll be disappointed. I wouldn't rank it as high as Shaun of the Dead, but I wouldn't rank too many flicks that high, I'll give this an A-.

  334. Uninvited, The (1944)- Classic little tale about a 'house with a past'. A brother and sister stumble across a big old house that they would like to buy and move into. To their luck the house is for sale, and cheap too. They soon find out there are rumors about the house being haunted but being rational folks they don't buy any of it, until odd things start happening. Is the house haunted? Is someone just trying to drive them away? This is a good movie with a good ending, especially considering how many of these older ghost stories end. I will stop at that and let you figure it out. Well directed and acted and actually believable although it never quite creates the atmosphere of say "The Haunting". A-.

  335. Gaslight (1940)- This is the original version of the hit stage play. This is an English version that had never played in the US and four years after it was made MGM bought the rights to the story and to this version to ensure it wouldn't compete with theirs. Story wise this version is very similar with a couple notable exceptions. One, it is the husband who is the nephew of the murdered woman, not the wife as the niece. Two, the person who figures out what is going on is an older retired policeman not a younger detective. This movie moves faster and has a darker feeling to it than MGM's remake (MGM's moves subtly from a bright beginning into a dark end). Much of the plot and story remain the same though. A young wife feels she is slowly going insane as things around her house disappear and she hears noises each night in the attic as the gaslight dims. This version offers no real mystery as to what is going on, although the 'why' is left until the end. It is still a very effective version although the MGM remake is actually a little better. This is basically a filmed stage play and more supsense thriller than horror. A-.

  336. Scream of Fear (1961)- Hammer, like everyone else, wanted to cash in on the success of "Psycho", and this was one of their tries. The story starts with a body being pulled from a lake and then picks up at a mansion on the French Riviera. A paralyzed girl who has been living with her mother since her parents’ divorce is going to stay with her father, who she hasn’t seen in years. She is a sensitive girl who has recently lost her mother and also her childhood companion, who was apparently the girl they were pulling from the lake at the beginning. Soon after arriving she begins to see the body of her father on the grounds, he appears dead, but she keeps getting told that he is away on business. What’s going on here? It’s actually pretty obvious what’s going on, at least at first, then twist number 2 rolls around and I was surprised. This is a very well directed and acted taut little suspense yarn. It won’t hold up under much scrutiny but I won’t get into that as it would ruin it so suffice it to say, just watch and enjoy. A-.

  337. Creepers (1984)- Let me get this plot laid out. The daughter of a famous actor transfers to an all girls' school in the Swiss Alps. Several months prior there had been a brutal unsolved murder. We learn early on that a bee has never stung her. Her first night at the school she sleepwalks and while asleep 'witnesses' another brutal murder. She winds up at the kindly old entomologists house. He's wheel chair bound but has a chimpanzee for a 'nurse'. He is amazed at the girl's odd relationship with his collection of insects and teaches her how to wake herself up while sleepwalking. The next night her roommate sneaks out (no one seems overly concerned that there is a serial killer preying on the girls). Again the main character begins sleepwalking but wakes herself up before going outside. She ends up outside though to find her roommate has been killed. A firefly (we call them lightnin'bugs in these here parts) leads her to a glove the killer wore.(?) She takes the glove to the kindly entomologist and explains how she found it. He comes to the conclusion she can communicate telepathically with insects. (?) To prove this, and to find the killer, he gives her a 'sarcophagus fly' and tells her it will lead her to the killer. Instead it leads her to the house where the killer used to live. Close but no cigar. The girl decides she wants out of this school, especially since the other girls have found out she thinks she can communicate with insects so they start ripping on her. She contacts her father's agent and begs him to get her out of there. This leads us to a pretty intense and insane conclusion where the killer is revealed, a couple times, and all Hell breaks lose. This is typical Dario Argento fair. Young girl in isolated situation, killers, odd behavior, and a need to suspend all belief and never ask 'why' or 'what', and also lots of heads going through plate glass windows in slow motion. Despite the insane plot and huge plot holes this movie is pretty good. It is well-acted and well directed, 'artsy' enough to be interesting but not so 'artsy' you lose what's going on. A-

  338. Pact, The (2012)- Haunted house flick with a twist. It starts off more or less like any other. A girl goes home for her mom’s funeral, even though she really hated her mom. When she arrives home her sister is missing and her mom’s house seems to have a ‘presence’. Some investigation, a weird psychic, and a police officer later we find what is truly haunting the house. Not overly original on the surface but really, this has a lot to offer and the twists prove to be pretty original and well executed. There are some plot holes, it’s not perfect, but the acting, directing, and plot all work well together. If you like the ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ sort of haunted house flicks check this one out. A-.

  339. Twice Told Tales (1963)- A three tale omnibus based on Nathanial Hawthorne stories. Story one involves two old friends celebrating a birthday. The old man whose birthday it is is lamenting the loss of his bride-to-be on their wedding day 38 years earlier when lightning strikes her crypt just outside the house. One thing leads to another and the old man discovers what may be the secret to eternal youth, and what may be their undoing as well, A strong story very well done by Price and the rest of the cast. A. Story two revolves around a young woman apparently held prisoner by her father, a once famous biologist who now has some very poisonous plants, among other things, a tad weaker than story one but still interesting and well done. A-. Story three, based on the famous "House of Seven Gables" is about a man trying to find a vault with the rest of his inheritance, before a family curse does him in, he finds the vault, and also its contents... This one seems rushed, it is pretty well done but they seem to cram too much in the short time these types of movies can allow. B+ This averages to an A- which might be a little bit low but I’ll go with it.

  340. Hidden (2009)- On the surface this isn’t an overly original flick. Man must face his past when he returns to his boyhood home after his mother dies, saw it. We realize early that his mother wasn’t a very good, well, mother. We get hints, quick flashbacks, and are slowly let in on the depravity. A general feeling of weirdness and doom ensues as the man debates burning the house down and deals with kids breaking into the old house, and the suspicions of some of the locals once a couple of the kids disappear. A twisty plot that isn’t overly twisty, an ending that is, to not spoil too much, ambiguously non-resolving, great use of sound (and silence), and a plot that frankly has little going on most of the time, just, when it is all said and done, worked for me. No, there is no real action (a couple kill scenes but not enough for the gore or action hound), this one teeters on that edge of too slow, but never falls into that trap in my opinion. I really liked it over all, despite the flaws mentioned above. A-.

  341. Altered (2007)- This movie starts out pretty relentlessly and manages to keep that pace more or less throughout. It starts with some good ol’ boys huntin’ in the woods, it’s quickly apparent they ain’t huntin’ for deer. They bag their prey and take it over to an acquaintance’s house that seems to know more about this particular prey than most others do. As we go along we are let in on the back story; this group of guys were abducted by aliens (what they have been hunting) and experimented on, one of their group was killed, three others released, and the last one, the one who they are taking this captured alien to, was held longer than the others, and then, when released, promptly said the others were lying about being abducted, making the disappearance of the one killed hard to explain! Did you get all that? It’s easier to follow than my wrap up I promise. Suffice it to say these guys have bit off more than they can chew and this alien isn’t going down easy. I was iffy going in and still unconvinced after the first 15 minutes or so, but I hung in there and ended up liking this one. It doesn’t have a whole lot to offer but it is a tense well acted little horror/sci-fi. A-.

  342. Crimes of Stephen Hawke, The (1936)- Good old Tod Slaughter, breaking spines with his bare hands. We start out with Tod casing a huge mansion and deciding, maybe for practice, to kill off a little boy who lives there. Shocking stuff in 1936. We then find out that by day Tod is Stephen Hawke, a nice old money lender and local business man. But he really got rich by cracking spines and stealing jewels, which he continues to do, in what seems like a really bad plan when he does it at a party he was hosting. Deaths pile up, Stephen runs away, but he must return to the scene of the crime to keep his lovely adopted daughter from being blackmailed into marriage because of who he is, an odd touch of sympathy for Mr. Slaughter. Tod was somewhat of a legend in British theatre, always playing ruthless murderers and seemingly taking maybe too much pleasure in his rolls! He solidified his film casting with his portrayal of Sweeney Todd. This one is pretty creaky and definitely shows its age, and with most Slaughter movies, is really just a filmed stage play, complete with a very bizarre radio program intro that is so dated it was actually painful for me. So, if you like over the top salty ham chucks with your ancient serial killer flicks, then this is for you, just skip the first 5 minutes! I’ll give this an A- on the craptacular scale, check out "Crimes at the Dark House" to really see Tod at his batshit best.

  343. Paranoic (1963)- A little black and white Hammer gem. Apparently some filthy rich folks were killed in an airplane crash 11 years before, their oldest son Tony, depressed with the loss of his parents killed himself 3 years later. Now the middle child, son Simon is about to inherit his share of the family fortune, and he may be getting the youngest daughter's share as well as it seems she is going down the insane path Tony went down. Is Simon driving her insane? Did Tony commit suicide? If not where has he been the last 8 years? And what is the aunt trying to hide in the chapel? Weirdness a 'plenty in this examination of bat shit insane rich folk. Yes the plot is a little convoluted and no, it wouldn't hold up to too much examination but this movie still works pretty well. It moves nicely and is very well directed (if possible catch the letter box version) with nice black and white photography, fluid camera work, and interesting use of light and focus. The acting is mostly good (with a few parts a little over the top) too. A-.

  344. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)- I dig these old fantasy flicks and while there are better ones, this one is still pretty cool. Sinbad has to save the prince, who has been turned into a baboon by a witch who wants her son to be caliphate. Sinbad is in love with the prince’s sister, has to find a Greek magician to help, then has to go to the ends of the earth to reverse the spell, with the witch in hot pursuit. Maybe not too original as fantasy adventure goes, and the acting leaves quite a bit to be desired, but really, this is about the monsters and there are some classics here, from the fire demon things to the brass Minotaur Harryhausen was having some fun and it shows through. For ‘claymation’ lovers only. A-

  345. In The Bs

  346. Dracula (1931)- Back in the day I really hated this flick. Old school acting style, very staged feeling. After another recent viewing I have to say maybe I was too quick to judge. Yeah it does suffer from some lack of creativity as far as direction goes and was based too much on the stage play which bogs it down in the middle some, but over-all it is an effective horror movie and telling of the story (Dracula wants to move to England, buys some property from Renfeld, Renfeld sees too much, Dracula moves to England, falls for Lucy, Dr. Van Helsing pursues). The opening sequences are superbly done and it's not until we're in England at Lucy's house do things start slowing down. It's a shame that the creative directing style of the intro for some reason didn't carry over to the body of the movie and we end up with just a filmed stage play. Lugosi is great at the part. People rip on him for being too hammy and staged but when you think of Dracula who comes to mind? That's right, Christopher Lee who copied Lugosi. And Dwight Frye, the ultimate horror sidekick, perfects Renfeld also. B+.

  347. Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956)- I know what you’re thinking. A movie with Doris Day is on my horror site. I’ve said it before, I know Hitch isn’t really horror but I’m a fan and it’s my site. Anyway Doris and Jimmy Stewart are on vacation with their young son in Morocco when they fall into a little political intrigue by accident. When a mysterious man whispers a secret to Jimmy their son gets kidnapped for insurance against Jimmy telling the secret. Many of Hitch’s favorite themes then play out, normal man in a bad, almost helpless situation, inept police, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And, as usual, it all works really well. Hitch was the master, and although this may not be considered one of his best, fans of his will appreciate it. B+.

  348. Terror Creature From The Grave (1965)- Another revenge tinged Italian Barbara Steele vehicle. So who’s out for the revenge? Is it Barbara, is it her creepy gardener, a villager, or could it be the ghost of her dead husband... or is he in fact actually dead? What am I talking about? A law firm receives a letter about helping a man with his will, when the lawyer arrives it turns out that the man has already been dead nearly a year, ironically the one year anniversary of his death is just two days away. Is the letter a hoax? The setting is a castle that sits where a hospital sat during the plague, many entered the hospital, none left, and those believed to be spreading the plague were tortured and killed there as well. So will this just turn out to be a Scooby Do episode or are there supernatural powers at work here? This movie succeeds in creating a great atmosphere and suspense. There is some bad acting, especially from the dead man’s daughter, silly poorly dubbed dialogue at times, and a couple of plot holes that confused me a little, and what does pure water have to do with anything? I guess they needed an ‘out’. Still, I liked this for it’s gothic sets and ghost story approach (look for the recording on the cylinder, very similar sounding to "The Evil Dead"). B+

  349. Doomsday Book (2012)- Korean omnibus with a strange mixture of camp, horror, and depth. Story one, 'A Brave New World' centers on a man who eats tainted meat and soon becomes a zombie, the disease spreads and affects different people in different ways. All in all a unique take on the zombie sub-genre but a little too campy and over-the-top for me. It seemed they were going to for that almost Japanese 'craziness' and while they got close, they just fell a tad short for me C+. Story two 'The Heavenly Creature' focuses on a robot purchased by a Buddhist monastery to do some menial tasks. Over time the robot begins to show signs of enlightenment, when the company that makes the robots is contacted they want to immediately shut the robot off, as they are aware of the threat any robot who becomes too 'human' might be. This segment gets very heavy and may not be for everyone as it focuses much more on ideas of enlightenment, life, etc. These concepts have been visited a ton of times but are done very well here and in a unique Asian way. I liked this one A+. Story three follows a young girl who, after losing her father's eight-ball, orders one off of the Internet. Little does she know it is a huge eight-ball flying in from space that may devastate the earth like a huge meteor. Um, what? This is a very bizarre segment following the family as they prepare for the Apocalypse caused by the Internet order of a pool ball!?!? Despite the oddness this wasn't a bad segment, well done and I can appreciate oddness, I'll give it a B. This averages to about a B+, which frankly seems a tad too high on second thought but let's run with it.

  350. Unknown, The (1927)- A Chaney and Browning revenge flick set in a circus. Tod Browning liked this material and seemed to be able to pull them off convincingly. This is no exception and also stars a young Joan Crawford as the love interest. Chaney plays an armless wonder, a man with no arms who throws knives with his feet as his act. What no one but Chaney’s assistant knows is that he does in fact have arms and uses them to rob people in the towns the circus visits. He is madly in love with the circus owner’s daughter and in a fit of rage kills the circus owner. Now he will need to go to great lengths to get the love of his life. A great looking film with a great twist ending (if you like these simple, short, and sweet silent films). I liked "West of Zanzibar" a little better but this one works too. B+.

  351. Hands of the Ripper (1971)- Almost forgotten hammer flick about Jack the Ripper’s daughter. Hammer was trying to reinvent itself with reworking familiar tales and this was their stab at Jack the Ripper (sorry). As a young girl Jack’s daughter sees him kill her mother, now as a used and occasionally abused 17 year old she starts stabbing people whenever she sees something that reminds her of her father. A local doctor out to try and prove some of Freud’s latest theories takes the girl in and covers up for her, despite the piling up bodies. Yeah, it gets a tad silly as she goes into murder mode at the drop of a hat and always seems to get away with it, and the good doctor just keeps going along like he can save her (but not the folks she’s offed), but I liked it well enough. The acting is strong, the period look and feel work pretty well, and while not overly original it is written fairly well. This is nothing special, but it’s far from bad. If you like the Hammer period pieces this one holds up pretty well. B+

  352. Ninth Configuration, The (1980)- William Peter Blatty actually considered this to be the sequel to 'The Exorcist'. It follows, more or less, the astronaut who Regan told “You're going to die up there” to. Soon after that meeting he is put in an insane asylum with a very colorful group of characters. This is what might be called a 'dialogue driven' movie. If you want action and pea soup spewing you're going to be disappointed. This is a cerebral flick that attempts to explore the nature of good and evil. It succeeds for the most part I think with the right measure of seriousness and camp mixed in. I'll give it a strong B+.

  353. Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007)- Low low budget flick about the death of a ghost hunter. A parapsychologist is hired by a young guy who has inherited his uncle’s house. His uncle was a preacher who had his own church and unorthodox ways of dealing with wayward youth. One night he and his entire family were murdered and the house has been haunted ever since. The nephew doesn’t really believe in such things but he has seen things in the house that bother him. The parapsychologist, a videographer, a writer, and a member of the original owner’s church all stay several nights and confront the ghosts that fill the house. You know how it ends because of the title of the movie. Despite the low budget, terrible editing (the movie jumps from point of view filming to conventional at the drop of a hat), rotten sound, silly dialogue, and bad acting this one worked for me. There were some genuinely creepy moments and when it was on it was on. It also WAY over did some effects (seriously enough backwards talking, why would ghosts talk backwards?) Even though I knew the end would be death for all, I was pulled in wanting to see how and why. The coda ending could’ve been left off though. (Weird how I kind of hated all the aspects of this one but liked the movie, compare to my review of "The Orphanage" where I liked all the aspects but didn’t like the movie, I have no idea why, just how I feel sometimes.) I’ll give this a solid B+, keeping in mind the weaknesses mentioned above.

  354. Serpent and the Rainbow, The (1988)- This ‘zombie’ flick places zombies both squarely back in the world of Voodoo and in the world of science. An investigator is sent to find the drug used to turn people into ‘zombies’ in Haiti. He meets a great amount of resistance from the locals, and risks his life in the political turmoil of Haiti. Based (very loosely!) on a true story, this movie is kind of ‘action adventure’ meets horror. There are some very effective visuals (buried alive and hallucinatory visions of hands in soup etc) but it is subdued when compared to other Wes Craven efforts so don’t go in expecting "Nightmare on Elm Street". I liked this one quite a bit, but it does go on a tad too long. B+

  355. Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960)- This is a suspense thriller in the Hitchcock vein (so no, it wouldn’t be considered horror by most but hey, it’s my page) about a couple young girls who may (or may not) have been asked to do some unseemly things for an old man. The girls are too young to really know the old man crossed a line but when one of them starts having nightmares the parents realize something needs to be done. The problem is the young girl and her family has just moved there and the old man is part of a very powerful very wealthy family in the small town so no one is all that interested in helping them. I think it works really well as the walls are built up around the family, trying to do what is right, it segues nicely into a courtroom drama, but the end becomes sort of a ‘told you so’ payoff which failed for me and the old man is portrayed as very weird, it would’ve been more sinister had he seemed ‘normal’ to begin with. Regardless I’ll give this a very strong B+ as it was pretty far ahead of its time in subject matter and works well despite the weaknesses.

  356. Moon of the Wolf (1972)- Made for TV flick from 1972, you know this is hilarious right? Well hold on a minute. A local girl is found dead near a swamp, the locals assume it was a pack of feral dogs but the doctor knows better, as does the gals half-crazy old man. Someone punched the gal before she died. Soap opera calisthenics fill in the next 30 minutes or so as we try and find out what was going on in that small town, not to mention the weird dynamics between rich and poor! And exactly how many of them are left handed, or not left handed. But in the end we wind up with a not-so-bad werewolf flick. Does it measure up to big budget big theatre fair, no, not at all. But if you remember those made for TV flicks that would show up around Halloween and want a little flash back then this is for you. It won’t scare the tykes either as even when the werewolf finally shows up at the very end, the makeup is so bad it doesn’t matter! Still, as far as this stuff goes this one is pretty good, I’ll give it a strong B+ keeping in mind what it is.

  357. Beneath the Surface (2007)- Low budget zombie flick about an ‘Emo punk’ who happens to like a cheerleader. You would think that would just lead to heartbreak but they used to be friends when they were kids and she just might be interested in him, despite her super rich football playing date rapist boyfriend. Speaking of, things go bad at her boyfriend’s party when a tad too much Ecstasy stops her heart. Her death is labeled as a suicide, end of story. Not quite. A quirky neighbor of the emo kid happens to be an archeologist who studies voodoo. Raise one dead cheerleader to prove she was murdered and we’re off. Yes this is LOW budget and the acting often leaves something to be desired, but despite those obvious flaws this isn’t a bad flick. If you want brain munching violence and gore you’ll be disappointed but as a tale of high school stereotypes and what happens to someone who breaks stereotype I think it holds up pretty well. Just be budget aware! B+

  358. Fearless Vampire Killers, The (1967)- If Benny Hill had made a vampire movie, this would’ve probably been it. Slapstick combined with innuendo, bathing women, and cleavage. A couple bumbling vampire hunters are on the trail of a count. While staying at an inn the count kidnaps the inn keeper’s daughter, makes a vampire or two and hijinks ensues. Polanski directs and stars and also, in a weird way, makes this work. It looks good from the out door shots in the Alps to the indoor sets filmed in England everything is picture perfect, and the acting, while obviously over the top in a 3 Stooges sort of way, works also. If that sounds like your bag be sure and check this one out, I’ll give it a very strong B+, could’ve used a tad faster pace at times.

  359. It's Alive (1974)- Another in the late 60s early 70s ‘We’re scared of the younger generation’ horrors. This time out we also get lessons on corporate profits, birth control, abortion, pollution, and business and family loyalty all at no added charge (oh and 70s design and fashion too, watch for these!). A woman is pregnant and in maybe the mellowest 70s labor ever gives birth to a monster that proceeds to kill everyone in the delivery room except the mother and then escapes through the skylight. Rather than figure someone snuck into the hospital, committed the crimes and stole the baby, they pretty much just assume the new born did it. Camp played straight as an arrow follows as the little baby tries to find his way home, leaving a trail of dead along the way with one of the most classic endings ever! This movie more than many, is a product of its time, it looks and feels VERY mid-70s and I’ll give it a B+ for trying to be nothing more than that, which is to say, trying to be a little bit of EVERYTHING!

  360. Marnie (1964)- This film seems too long and a little too ‘talky’ to me but then if it was reedited what part would be cut out? Hitch never wasted a shot so each scene and each conversation leads to a deeper understanding of each character as they develop. And this film has great character development and is of course incredibly well directed. Hitch’s camera angles and blocking and his ability to tell the story through these techniques is nothing short of genius. The plot? Marnie is a thief and a con artist who happens to be deathly afraid of thunderstorms and the color red. She wants nothing more than to impress her frigid mother so she steals in order to buy her things. She is finally caught by her current boss, who gives her a choice, marry him or be turned in to the law. Marnie’s clepto ways and her sordid past can’t easily be erased though and Hitch takes us along for the ride. B+.

  361. Ju-On 2 (2003)- I tossed out the ‘Masterpiece’ word for the first ‘Ju-On’, so can lightning strike twice? Here we have a similar take on the same story. A non-linear tale spun via flashbacks and tie-ins to other seemingly unrelated events centered on the house with the deadly curse. An actress best known for her horror movie roles works with a documentary team on the legend of the cursed house, and of course that’s not a very good idea! Utilizing the same techniques, visuals, and sound effects as the first this flick holds up really well, creepy, frightening, enthralling, and in the end, well, more of the same. Yeah, I really liked the first one and I liked this one, especially the bizarre ending, but in the end felt it added nothing to the story (other than maybe that ending). I want to give this a high grade but sequels are what they are (Xerox copies) so I’ll plop a B+ on it. That’s a good grade because I did like the flick but it just felt unnecessary to me.

  362. Blanchville, Monster, the (1963)- Crazy low budget flick with a twist ending you’ll see coming for miles. If you look up ‘melodrama’ in the dictionary this flick should be listed! A gal returns to her scary castle after graduating college, she’s brought some friends with her to meet her weird brother. Lot’s has changed at the castle since she’s been away, mainly her dad is dead, and then there’s that nasty little family curse that says she must die before she turns 21, and her 21st birthday is just days away, but nobody believes family curses do they? Toss in a weird housekeeper and a weirder doctor and red herrings flop all around. B+ on the craptacular scale.

  363. Castle of Blood (1964)- A skeptic reporter meets up with Edgar Allan Poe and disputes that his stories are based on fact. An acquaintance challenges the reporter to survive a night in his haunted castle, the bet is accepted, the reporter is warned that he will have to relive all the deaths that have taken place in the castle over the years, he goes anyway and of course, things don’t go as planned, or maybe they go exactly as planned depending on who’s side you’re on. Yeah, this is cheap early Euro-horror with very bad dubbing at times, but it does manage to create a really good atmosphere. If you like the haunted castle atmosphere then you’ll like this. B+

  364. Identity (2003)- This is one of those twisty turny ‘who’s the killer’ flicks. Several people are all trapped at a motel in the desert as a freak storm has washed out the road. One of them is a cop who has a convict with him, the con escapes and the murders begin, but could it actually be the convict doing it and why is there a room key at the scene of each murder? Each answer just asks another question as everything begins to spiral out of control. True, when we find out what is really happening it feels like kind of a letdown so not all the twists worked for me, but I have to admit I was into this one as it went along. Well-acted, well-paced, and well-directed so while the whole over-arching story may not have been perfect, it was executed well (no pun intended this time) so I’ll give it a B+.

  365. Mutants (2009)- Zombie movies have become a dime a dozen over the last few years, there are the balls out gory ones, the ones with a message, the ones that try to really be frightening, the comedies, and the ones that try and be a mix of all of the above. I’ve said before, I like zombie movies and give them the benefit of the doubt, having said that, this one might not be for everyone. I think this French vehicle might be more of the message kind, however there is some occasional projectile-blood-vomiting gore available. The story follows a man and his doctor/nurse wife as they travel through the French countryside in seek of refuge after a virus turns people into ravenous pissed off beasties (not technically zombies but…) bad move after bad move leads them to a huge abandoned building in the woods, and the man slowly slides into zombieness, but does his girl have an idea for a cure? It is slow moving at times, and decisions only people in movies make are made so you may be screaming at the screen at times, and if you’ve seen a lot of zombie movies you’ll catch yourself quoting where each idea came from. But, if you can allow yourself to get into the story and ignore the obvious flaws, it does tend to work. The exploration of losing a loved one to a slow, painful, and debilitating disease, the absolute fear of being alone and cut off, humanity vs. inhumanity, and in the end the need to do anything to survive are interesting and well used themes here. With all the pop culture references to ‘the zombie apocalypse’ this flick reminds us that such an event probably wouldn’t end up being all that fun. All told I would put this in the same category as ‘Deadgirl’, maybe not a great flick over-all, but interesting if you follow the theme. B+.

  366. Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)- Another early Roger Corman masterpiece. Well, maybe not a masterpiece but it’s better than the title would imply. The acting, directing, and sets for the most part work pretty well for a zero budget 50s monster movie. In the swamps of Florida a poacher disappears after having told some friends that he thought he saw some sort of monster in the swamp. Meanwhile a fat sweaty guy tries to show his eye candy wife that he loves her, but he finds her with another man and chases them out into the swamp with a shotgun, they are taken away by two monsters, right in front of his eyes. The local game warden, eye candy for the ladies, along with the local law enforcement, pretty much get everything wrong and make wrong decision after wrong decision. More folks disappear before everyone realizes that atomic waste, just enough to make leeches huge, is coming down from Cape Canaveral (?!?) The sequences in the leeches' cave are actually fairly effective (not counting the leech suits) for the time. Terrible monster suits, goofy diving sequences (are swamps really that clear), silly dialogue, and stiff as board acting by our hero only make this one more fun. B+ on the craptacular scale.

  367. Hills Have Eyes, The (2006)- Writers and directors have basically two options when they do a remake, change little or nothing ("Night of the Living Dead") or change a lot ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre"). Here very little was changed so I have to ask, "Why bother?" The plot is pretty much exactly the same with a few minor changes. For instance the family isn't warned not to go into the desert by the gas station attended and is in fact told to take the side road. The family is very dysfunctional and annoying with the right wing gun toting ex cop father, nagging uptight mother, nerdy Democrat son-in-law, and two smart assed spoiled kids. This works against the movie at first as you kind of want these people to die but, whether done on purpose I don't know, it ends up working in favor of the characters as we see that they genuinely do care for one another as the proverbial shit begins hitting the fan. So why remake this film? I guess to get in jabs at the government (nuclear experiments created the mutants, and while this is hinted at in the original, it is stated in that one that the father of the mutants was born before nuclear testing was taking place), and to kill off the anti-gun control Republican cop (who's body is found with an American flag stuck in his head while one of the mutants sings the national anthem) and to prove that gun control Democrats can fight back too, after they steal someone else's guns I guess. Still, this movie does work, it's great subject material, my only real complaints are the mutants are, of course, too far over the top, taking this out of the realm of something that you fear may actually happen and into the 'suspend belief' category, which the first one avoided in my opinion, and the never ending end. Why do modern horror movies insist on so many psuedo-endings? If I ever find myself chased by monsters when I get them down I am going to decapitate them and chop them to pieces, other wise they WILL get back up and chase you again. B+

  368. At the Earth’s Core (1976)- How did I miss this when I was a kid? I would’ve loved it! So what did my adult self think seeing this for the first time? Peter Cushing gets to really ham it up in this Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation. He’s a half-crazed and very Victorian/British professor who invents a machine that will dig straight through the planet to the other side. While doing just that the machine loses power and Cushing and his assistant, a not too bright but very loyal and bad-ass former student of the professor’s, get out to discover an entire world at the Earth’s core (hence the brilliant name). The world is full of prehistoric plants, giant dinosaur like animals, and people. People who are rounded up and made to be slaves of these birdlike creatures who have ESP. Yeah, it is weird as hell, very low budget (it was Amicus Studios’, a studio almost as famous as Hammer for their horror output, last flick), and goofy to boot. Like I said, had I caught this when I was young I would’ve really loved it, and since I’m still me I pretty much liked it still! Silly, silly stuff with the worst monster suits ever that I am going to give a B+ to.

  369. Wolfman, The (2010)- There seemed to be some mixed reviews on this one, some pretty much hated it, some liked it well enough, and I would fall into the latter. The story is similar to the original 1941 version, Lawrence Talbut returns home to help find his missing brother after living most of his life in America, but by the time he arrives, his brother has been found, not just killed but mutilated. Full moons, werewolves, and family curses follow. The main complaints, and I understand them, are that the movie moves a tad slow at times, and teeters on the melodramatic too often. Yes, this is true, by modern movie standards, but if taken into context as a sort of modern retelling of the original, complete with English fog, soft lenses, angry villagers, scapegoat gypsies, and swooning women then it does work. Sometimes the movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be an over the top modern movie with gore and lots of effects, or if it wanted to be an almost black and white period piece with tormented actors playing for the stage, but for me it worked for the most part. If you think a mixture of old and modern storytelling might work, give it a viewing, if you never really dug the old school version to begin with then it might be better to stick with ‘The Howling’. I should add the climax fight sequence verged on laughable at times, and not on purpose, but I guess they needed a ‘showdown’. Props to the effects and keeping the Wolfman looking close to the original, but better, now if they’d remake Frankenstein with that original makeup! B+ might be generous but I’m in a generous mood.

  370. Mother’s Day (1980)- Formulaic slasher/revenge flick (more revenge than slasher though as there is a low body count) about 3 women who were college roommates back in the day and now go out together once a year for an adventure. This year’s adventure has them camping near a lake in the boonies, little do they know an insanely dysfunctional and depraved family lives in those same woods. The women are kidnapped by the family (a mother and her two sons) and are brutalized by them. There is nothing original about this one, but to be fair it isn’t bad. It is campy at the right times (and also sometimes funny when I think it wasn’t supposed to be) but it also delivers some intense suspenseful scenes as well. It is well acted and directed (considering budget constraints) and even manages to pull in some social commentary along the way. (The mother is raising her sons according to what she has learned on the TV, which is on in the house continually, and they brag about being ‘citified’ with pop culture references everywhere and graffiti on the walls of the house.) An odd subplot has the mother training the boys to protect her from her (even more) insane sister who lives in the woods, which leads to an ending you can see coming for miles. Still, all things considered, this ain’t a bad entry in the 80s slasher/revenge type subgenre and if you like that era and don’t mind a low budget then... B+.

  371. Fiend Without a Face (1958)- Yeah, on the surface it seems like another goofy 50s sci-fi flick, but actually, all things considered, this one was pretty far ahead of its time. Deaths begin piling up around a military base that is using nuclear power to drive its new radar stations to monitor Soviet missile and military bases. Could it be the radiation, could it be a local scientist, could it be aliens? This flick is a little more ‘grey’ than most of this era; there really are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone is ‘sort of’ to blame in one way or another (either directly via involvement or indirectly via paranoia). In other words the tough guys are wrong sometimes, the women (woman) isn’t stupid and helpless, and the military doesn’t come off as some perfect spotless organization (although they’ll make sure everything is right by the end). Also, I guess this caused quite a stir when it was released because it didn’t hesitate to show folks being killed and also lots of blood splattering brains (albeit via some not so great Claymation and in black and white!). I’m going to give this one a pretty strong B+, give it a chance unless you absolutely hate 50s era sci-fi.

  372. Signal, The (2008)- Derivative yet effective take on the ‘people have gone crazy’ horror sub-genre. Some sort of signal is being broadcast over all televisions, radios, and phones in the city of Terminus. At first it seems to just be an annoyance, but soon people start acting on violent impulse, killing one another at the drop of a hat, and having trouble discerning reality from hallucination. Yes, you can sit and pick out the influences, ‘Crazies’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’(remake), ’28 Days Later’, ‘Mulberry Street’, etc. but this flick is still able to rise above its influences and have something to offer. It is an interesting look at madness, dependency, jealousy, rage, and to some degree society and technology and is worth a viewing in my opinion. Perfect? No. Unnecessarily weird at times? Yes (It comes in 3 ‘chapters’ each directed by a different director and it makes a strange twist from deadly serious to over the top camp and back again, while it makes for a bumpy ride I did find it an interesting approach.) I’m going to give this a pretty strong B+. Close to an A but it just slightly misses the mark in really maintaining that ‘hopeless’ feeling these flicks need to work and while I actually liked the shift in and out of camp, I also feel that maybe it was a surrender to some extent.

  373. 39 Steps, The (1935)- Twisty Hitch flick about a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, who can’t trust anyone, especially the cops! Yeah, this is Hitch’s most comfortable theme, and one of his earlier looks at the theme in the 1935 version of ’39 Steps’. Gunshots ring out at a nightclub and in the chaos outside a woman asks a man if she can come up to his apartment as she is scared. He says ‘yes’ and she tells him a story of spies, intrigue, and murder, which he doesn’t really believe, until she winds up with a knife in her back in his apartment, which he is promptly blamed for. He then must prove his innocence, but he isn’t sure who to trust, and might just make the wrong decision. His ability to escape bad situations is at times hilarious, but that was Hitch’s point, inept authorities were one of his favorite targets. A must see for Hitch fans as he develops what he would later explore more thoroughly in ‘Saboteur’ and ‘North by Northwest’. B+

  374. Rabid (1977)- AKA ‘Rage’ this is a typically bizarre little flick that further explores Cronenberg’s fear of women in general and vaginas in particular. A woman survives a pretty bad motorcycle wreck but her torso is burned pretty badly. Luckily a hospital specializing in plastic surgery is nearby and they do some experimental surgery, which seems to have worked (we see her tits quite a bit), except for the awkward side-effect of turning the woman into a blood craving vampire who uses a bizarre boney needle clitoris kind of thing in her armpit. Even worse, the folks she ‘drinks’ blood from become violent ‘zombie-like’ monsters who spread the disease far and wide. This is an interesting and early take on the ‘insanity contagion’ sub-genre. Yeah, it is basically Romero’s ‘Night...’ mixed with his ‘Crazies’, but it did beat ‘Dawn...’ by a year. I knock it some for some bad acting and goofy dialogue. B+

  375. Beyond the Door (1974)- Blatant Italian ‘The Exorcist’ meets ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ ripoff. An interesting combination yes, but… Let’s just say if you like projectile pea soup vomit, plus VERY awkward and forced references to pea soup, then this one is for you, and only you! Anyway, Jessica is pregnant, even though she and her husband already have two kids they obviously have absolutely NO idea how to raise. Nevertheless as it turns out Jessica used to date a Satanist (who didn’t in the early 70s?) and in order for him to save his soul, well, for a little while, he has to, um, get Jessica possessed so that her new baby will be Satan. I think. Really I have no idea, either way, as mentioned, it’s basically an Exorcist/Rosemary’s Baby mashup, or maybe that should read ‘mishap’. Really some of the possessed scenes work pretty well, and the director knew that as he just keeps them going and going and going. That’s about all the good I can say, but if you love a good MST3K flick check this one out. B+ on the craptacular scale for the soundtrack alone!

  376. Rammbock (2010)- A German zombie/infected flick that follows the formula pretty well. A man heads to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment to return her keys but he is really hoping to fix their relationship which hasn’t been working as a ‘long distance’ one. When he arrives at her apartment a couple of men are working on the radiator and his girlfriend has gone out. Suddenly one of the pipefitters becomes very angry and attacks the man and also his own assistant. From there we embark on the ‘virus spread by bites, stay indoors’ tip pretty much started in ‘Night of the Living Dead’. Here we’re stuck in an apartment building where others who are stuck can speak to one another via windows facing a courtyard; an interesting approach. Although never billed this way it sort of comes across as a sequel to ’28 Weeks Later’ although with a tiny budget (remember at the end of ’28 Weeks Later’ the infection had spread to mainland Europe, although the news reports in the movie have it being something new). There isn’t much gore if you’re looking for that, but the acting is pretty good and the flick is short and very fast paced so I have no real complaints. I’ll give it a B+, it could’ve used a little more zombie action and I’m not sure the additions to the mythos are great ideas (sedatives maybe, camera flashes, not so sure, although Romero tried something similar in ‘Land of the Dead’ with fireworks).

  377. Retribution (2006)- Interesting Japanese flick about a detective who is investigating the murder of an unknown woman and keeps getting the feeling he was the killer. Twist piles on top of twist including a supernatural element and it got a little hard to follow for me. Despite not being sure what was going on I still really liked the movie. It created a very heavy atmosphere playing out in a rundown section of Tokyo built on a landfill and prone to earthquakes and was able to maintain that ‘creepy’ vibe throughout. So while plot-wise I’m not exactly sure what was going on all the time, I have to say I liked the movie. B+.

  378. Q (1982)- Seems like there have been some strange (or stranger than usual) deaths in New York City. A window washer mysteriously decapitated, body parts falling from the sky, and ritual deaths as well. Could they be tied together? It turns out someone has brought the Aztec god Quetzlcoatl back to life and she’s hungry! Only one cop, the super cool David Carradine cop, has it all figured out and with the help of a two-bit criminal they may be able to defeat the beast. Campy as hell and meant to be that way this one is pretty fun, as long as you go into it knowing nobody is taking this too seriously, and neither should you. Yeah, some scenes drag and some more monster action would have been better (but I’m guessing the FX budget wasn’t going to allow that) so perfect it’s not but if you want to some goofy 80s giant monster fun then check this out. B+

  379. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)- Roger Corman produced this 80s nod to the craptacular. Take his ‘Attack of the Giant Leeches’, mix in a heaping helping of ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ and toss in tits and ass and you have Humanoids from the Deep. A town famous for its salmon fishing is slowly running out of salmon, despite that a canning company wants to open a major new cannery in town. They have a scientist who has apparently perfected making the salmon larger and more plentiful in tests and they are ready to roll it out and make the fishermen all rich, but the local American Indians are angry (cue ominous music). You know where this is going right? Oddly enough all hell is breaking loose in the town; a boat recently exploded, dead dogs everywhere, teenagers are missing. Most of this is written off to the disagreements with the American Indians, fights ensue as does the big Salmon Fest, and I’m sensing a massive finale. Anyway, we also happen to know fishlike creatures are coming ashore and killing guys and raping women (if you’re offended by the idea of man-fish raping girls steer clear, go watch some slasher flick with tons of violent deaths instead). But if you like flicks where a little spilled gas equals a giant explosion, a tossed Molotov cocktail destroys pretty much everything around, tits bounce as women are chased by a guy wearing a rubber fish-like suit, and man-fish somehow successfully attack a carnival then this is for you! Craptacular nonsense which gets a B+ on that scale.

  380. Werewolf of Washington, The (1973)- More comedy than horror we get a look at the ineptitude of the government, ignoring obvious facts (like the president’s assistant press secretary is a werewolf) and seeing only what they want to see. Dean Stockwell showing his comedy chops is sent to Hungary after having an affair with the president’s daughter, the president wants him back though, so he comes back to be the assistant press secretary but is bitten by a werewolf before leaving Hungary. Murders and hippy hatred follow. This is a light hearted low budget slam on the government; it doesn’t pretend to be anything more and is just weird enough to pull it off. Yeah, it is dated, but it is supposed to be a snapshot look at the times and at this it probably succeeds pretty well. B+

  381. Ghost, The (2004)- Korean flick that borrows heavily from "The Ring" and quite a bit from "The Grudge". Scary little girls, long black hair, weird eyes, a vengeful ghost, and lots of water all present and accounted for. A young college student has amnesia; she doesn’t remember anything prior to going to college. When two local girls die and one goes insane she finds out they were friends of hers when she was in high school and when she starts seeing very strange things she knows she has to investigate her past. Everything pretty much follows formula from then on and we get the answer we were expecting to get, until the twist ending, which pulled the old ‘I feel like I should watch this again now’ that has become pretty popular since "The Sixth Sense". This one is pretty derivative and, except for the twist, pretty predictable, but it is put together well and the acting and look work. If you can get past some of the unoriginality and like the mood set by these types of Asian horror flicks you’ll dig this, if you dislike the pace of these then better to stay away. B+.

  382. The Mummy (1999)- This Universal big budget remake has everything you'd expect from, well, a Universal big budget remake. The story, more or less follows the plot of all mummy movies, Egyptian expedition, pretty girl, reincarnated lovers, mummies, etc. I am not a fan of most mummy movies, exceptions being the first with Karloff from 1932 and this one actually. It's more goofy action adventure with lots of special effects than horror but it's fun and if you go into it with that attitude you should like it. No it's not very original but as I've said before, the whole mummy mythos isn't very original anyway. B+

  383. Beast With Five Fingers, The (1946)- One of the first 'attacking hands' films, this concept would repeat itself over and over again in horror movies, shorts, and omnibus movies. A musician who is paralyzed on one side but can still play piano with his good hand falls down the steps in his wheel chair and dies. Well, most of him dies; his good hand wants a little revenge. Or does it, maybe it's one of the leaches trying to get a hold of his estate that he has left to his friend and caretaker. This is an effective murder mystery, suspense yarn with an added element of horror. The acting is good and most of the effects work considering the age of the film. Many consider it a classic but I wouldn't quite go that far, Peter Lorre is great though, as usual! B+.

  384. Brotherhood of Satan, The (1971)- I’ve mentioned it before, folks in the late 60s/early 70s were seriously afraid of cults and Satan. Must have been the drugs. Anyway, some Satanists in a small California town seem to be stopping anyone from getting in or out of town, and also seem to be snatching up the kids for their own nefarious deeds. Dimwitted police, insane residents, and a superstitious priest fill in the gaps while Strother Martin takes the whole thing up and over the top. This is one slow moving pile, but if you’re in the mood for fun, it is great to rip on, like the extended shot of the couple driving along listening to elevator music, the dream sequences, the priest, and general over-acting galore, not to mention the hilarious dialogue. I’ll give this a B+ on the craptacular scale.

  385. Man from Earth, The (2007)- Sci-Fi flick about a university professor who is moving on. He invites his colleagues over for a going away party and acts as though he has moved on many times, although he doesn’t look old enough to have done so. As he gets to talking he opens up and tells them that he is in fact a 14,000 year old former caveman. The rest of the flick is basically him and his friends talking about it. Could it be true and if not why lie about it? What has he seen? What about religion? It is low budget (but a movie about people sitting around talking doesn’t require a huge budget), and yes, the guy was seemingly in the right place at the right time a little too often, but if you’re not hung up on the premise of him being 14,000 years old then you probably shouldn’t be hung up on the details! Anyway if you’re bored by these sci-fi dialogue driven movies then you will hate this one, but I liked it in a cerebral Twilight Zone episode sort of way (this was written by Jerome Bixby who wrote for The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, etc.), I’ll give it a B+.

  386. Satanic Rites of Dracula, The (1974)- I've read so much bad about these later Hammer flicks that my expectations were really low, so naturally I liked it. I think this is an underrated movie. Yeah, the plot is convoluted espionage 70s James Bond hokum and the terribly dated music reflects that angle but it still worked pretty well. Yeah, it is an excuse to get some damsels in distress and for another face off between Dracula and Van Helsing so at the end of the day there is nothing really new but it is an OK take on the characters. Dracula has enlisted the help of some scientists as he has decided to destroy the world with a new and more deadly strain of the black plague. But won't that kill Dracula too since there will be no food? Van Helsing thinks that just may be Dracula's plan. There are some odd senseless devil worshipping scenes complete with naked lady alter, probably to generate some controversy and free hype thrown in for good 70s measure. And another thing you really notice from these Hammer vampire stories. These vampires have a TON of weaknesses. I mean really all you have to do is pick up a couple twigs and hold them up in a cross and DON'T DROP THEM! Or have some silver, or garlic, or sunlight, or holy water, or ... A B+ may be generous but that's what I'm giving it since I expected total crap and got a decent story.

  387. Night Must Fall (1937)- This original version of "Night Must Fall" moves a little slower than the remake and doesn't quite have the sinister edge either. The plot is basically the same. A low class charmer gets a rich old gal's maid pregnant. When he comes to meet the old gal he turns the charm on and worms his way into her life. A murder has recently occurred nearby and the charmer just may know something about it. In the remake we know pretty much everything going in and Albert Finney plays his part with complete insane abandon. This version is played a little closer to the vest and is probably a little more believable because of that, but it does lose some edge. It would obviously be a matter of taste as to which version you'd like better. I think I liked this old version but Jenny liked the remake better. B+

  388. Wasp Woman, The (1959)- Oftentimes the lust after the fountain of youth can become… horrific! Not a real tagline but fitting as the owner of a cosmetics firm begins to look her age her customer base begins to disappear. Who wants to buy cosmetics from an old lady? So she begins experimenting with jelly from a wasp courtesy an almost mad scientist. As the scientist uncovers some unfortunate side effects he is knocked unconscious in a car accident and the cosmetics CEO ramps up her treatments until, well, you can figure out the rest. Pretty typical 50s Corman material, but if you love them that way then you’ll agree it gets a B+ on the craptacular scale.

  389. Curse of the Swamp Creature, The (1966)- Let me see if I can explain this one. An oil man is staying in a small southern town waiting for a geologist to show up to look for oil in the swamp. While drinking at a bar the locals try and rip him off, he gets wise and they kill him. One of the locals then poses as the dead man’s wife so she can go into the swamps looking for oil with the geologist. All the while a mad scientist is trying to create some sort of manimal that can survive in the swamp more easily… or something like that. His experiments continue to fail and he continues to feed the alligators in his swimming pool/swamp but a local cult is putting a hex on him, I think. So finally at the very end pretty much everyone that deserves it, gets theirs, and the swamp creature shows up for a minute or two. This thing is a trainwreck if there ever was one. If I made a list of absolute worst movies this would be near the top (or would that be bottom?). Which is why it gets a B+ on the craptacular scale, yes, it is hilariously bad, the mismatching stock footage alone is worth a viewing, let alone the insane plot and terrible dialogue.

  390. Incredible Shrinking Man, The (1957)- Goofy 50s sci-fi garbage? Not when Richard Matheson's writing. Yeah it has a definite 50s feel but it still works. A guy is out on his boat when it drifts through a weird fog that leaves him covered in glitter. Shortly thereafter his clothes no longer seem to fit. After awhile it becomes obvious, he's getting smaller... and smaller... and smaller. Mr. Drysdale's goofy sci-fi explanations aside, the rest of this movie is pretty good. The FX are impressive (considering the times) as the shrinking man lives in a doll house, fights his cat, a spider, cardboard boxes, and a leaky hot water heater, and the acting is believable throughout. The un50s-like psuedo-religious ending surprised me, even though it was kind of weak. Strong B+.

  391. Crazies, The (2010)- Remake of the Romero cult classic about a military plane carrying a bio-engineered virus that crashes near a small town and then leaks said virus into the local water supply. Townsfolk start acting a little strange, even violent, and the local sheriff takes it upon himself to figure things out, even after the military shows up and quarantines the whole town in a poorly executed attempt at containing the virus. This is pretty much a standard plot nowadays and this has nothing new to offer the genre at all. Pretty much stereotypical characters (hero small town sheriff, fat rich mayor who won’t listen, distant faceless government that doesn’t care about the locals, out of control rednecks who will very obviously cause problems later, people who do stupid stuff like sitting in a brightly lit truck stop when the quarantine is on and folks have all gone bananas) still, it works. If you want fresh and original then steer clear but if you don’t mind the retelling of a familiar tale then jump on in. The characters are interesting, shallow yes, smart no, but you still find yourself rooting for them. The action is well paced and there are plenty of suspenseful well filmed segments, and a fair amount of violence and gore (although not over the top) for those of you that like that tossed in for good measure. So was it better than Romero’s? Well, as seems to often be the case, Romero I think was just better at getting his point across with regard to his social agenda than the remakers tend to be, so in that vein his is better, however this has the budget to ‘feel’ more real, where Romero’s suffered a little as his vision outpaced his budget I think. Also, how come in these movies the infected never attack each other, only those not infected and how do they know? I’ll give this a strong B+, points for suspense and feel, points taken away for a total lack of originality.

  392. Horror of Frankenstein, The (1970)- Hammer was trying to restart the Frankenstein series here with a new Frankenstein, a new monster, and a new approach. The camp was quite a bit higher in this one and Frankenstein was a young rebel who liked to surround himself with pretty girls, and wasn’t above getting them ‘in trouble’. He was also a single minded brilliant sadist/scientist. His father refuses to allow him to go to university, so he kills his father and heads off to school, where he gets in some trouble, but also learns enough to move back home and continue his anatomy experiments. Paying highly for fresh body parts from the local grave robber, shacking up with the help, and trying to stay above the slowly building pile of bodies is how he fills his time until he eventually makes his monster, complete with damaged brain (remember Whale’s original?), an almost uncontrollable Hulk-like beast. This is a fun take on the story and kept me interested. It is a tad slow moving at times and we don’t really get a monster until the end and when he does arrive there’s not much development there. Still, the good acting, camp, and black humor worked for me as did the almost goofy ending. B+

  393. Black Scorpion, The (1957)- If you like the giant monster sci-fi 50s sub-genre you’ll probably like this. It has all the (by 1957) cliché elements. Trashed cars, dead bodies, odd sounds, no one knows what any of it means. They slowly piece together the puzzle and realize there are giant dinosaur era scorpions around Mexico City. And what’s more there are giant worms and spiders too as a recent volcanic eruption and earthquake released them. Most of the stop-motion animation, supervised by the guy that did the original "King Kong", works, although there are some really bad prop close up shots and some piss poor mat shots. The scorpions’ underground lair is a nice set piece but, while a classic sequence, the final battle at a soccer stadium leaves a little to be desired. This is pretty much a must for lovers of 50s stop motion monster flicks, all others may want to avoid. I’ll give it a very strong B+ all things considered.

  394. Phone (2002)- A reporter who has written a series of articles exposing some powerful men involved in a sex scandal is receiving threatening phone calls. She decides to change her number and disappear for a while. However, the new number she gets makes it very hard to disappear as she is now getting ‘bone-chilling’ calls from what just might be a ghost. As she investigates the phone number’s previous owners the ghostly presence gets closer and closer, apparently even possessing her best friend’s daughter, but, as is often the case, there’s more going on than meets the eye. All told, strictly from a plot point of view, this flick is about as original as its title, but the acting and directing saved it for me. The little possessed girl is crazy believable and over-all the strength of all the performances and the atmosphere created saved it from mediocrity. Keep in mind it is a slower paced Asian ghost flick; I ended up liking this one despite the flaws so I will give it a very strong B+

  395. Beast Within, The (1982)- Decent enough early 80s monster movie. We open in the 60s with a young couple stuck in the boonies of Mississippi, the husband heads off to get help, and the wife is brutally raped by something less than human. Jump ahead 17 years and the result of the rape, the couple’s son, is having serious medical problems (you can guess the rest). All this leads to them investigating the past and who... or what, may have raped the wife, which in turn leads to a somewhat confusing mess of a story. Yeah, this is a little hard to follow at times and doesn’t always make much sense, and as for plot holes... well, just don’t think too much about it, enjoy some fairly good 80s effects, some atmosphere, good dark camp (a girl’s dog digs up a hand and promptly drops it on her head), and some great dialogue ("...now I know what’s wrong... He has a crush!" yeah, that’s it!) Anyway, if you like the 80s flicks that aren’t slasher flicks, then you’ll dig this one; just don’t put too much thought into it! I’ll give it a fairly weak B-, you know the kind of B- that should be a C+ but I gave them an extra point for effort.

  396. West of Zanzibar (1928)- Chaney plays a great magician who finds out his wife is leaving him for an ivory trader and moving to Africa. In an fight the ivory trader pushes Chaney from a balcony and paralyzes him. Sometime later Chaney finds his wife dead with a baby. He sends the baby off to live in a brothel in Zanzibar and moves there himself, using his magic tricks to trick the cannibal natives into thinking he communicates with the spirits. He then sets about stealing the ivory trader's ivory and sets him up for the ultimate in revenge plots, which takes a total of about 19 years to actually pull off, and, after all that planning and patience, everything goes terribly awry. This is actually a really good and underrated silent flick. Chaney is great with his shaven head and evil glances. While not horror by today's standards it still holds up as a good flick if you like silent movies, which I generally don't. B+.

  397. Stendhal Syndrome, The (1996)- Here we have a young female police detective who is investigating a serial rapist who has recently moved up to murder. She also suffers from Stendhal Syndrome, a condition that causes her to be overwhelmed by works of art. She hallucinates (both auditory and visual) and even pictures herself entering the paintings, which makes her investigation a tad tougher. She eventually catches up with the rapist, or maybe it is the other way around, and is brutally raped and tortured. So do you wind up with a revenge flick in the vein of "I Spit on Your Grave"? Sort of, but in an Argento sort of way, I don’t want to give much more away. To me this felt like three flicks all rolled into one. The first is almost surreal as we explore the Stendhal Syndrome and its effects on the detective, then we shift to the sadistic middle, and finally end with a mystery which, despite a red herring or two, is very easy to figure out. I found myself loosing interest at times to be honest but for the most part this is a gripping and heinous ride. Not one for the faint of heart (despite there really being very little gore) it is brutal in its depictions of rape and violence. ‘Look-wise’ it is a very subdued film for Argento, there are the surreal painting images, and images of pills being swallowed (actually swallowed from the inside!), but there isn’t the wash of color and point of view camera work, there is the typical stilted dialogue and spots of bad acting, but for the most part this was a pretty good study of brutal misogyny and slipping into insanity. I’ll give it a B+.

  398. What Lies Beneath (2000)- Robert Zemeckis does his best Hitchcock imitation (as a director of course) in this mystery with a supernatural twist. For the most part this film works. I’m generally not too crazy about these types of movies as they almost always start out really good and interesting but then that last 10 minutes suddenly become insane as the villain survives knife wounds, gunshots, falls from several stories up, etc. all to continue their pursuit of whatever it is they are pursuing. This does happen here, to a certain extent, but not as bad as some. Harrison Ford is a successful doctor who is staying in a summer home with his wife. She keeps seeing things, thinking the neighbor has murdered his wife, seeing weird stuff in the house. Is it haunted? Yes, or is it in fact a repressed memory she has held back after a bad car accident causing her to see these things? This is a suspenseful movie that works more often than not and if you’re into these types of murder flicks you’ll probably like this one. I liked the supernatural twist too; whether it could just be seen as memories and guilt or something that actually happens, take your pick. Nice title too "What Lies Beneath" as in ‘what’s underneath’ and ‘what lies were told’. Get it? B+.

  399. Final Destination (2000)- The slasher flick with a twist. This time the slasher is in fact death itself, which has to work very hard to kill off these kids (especially in the killer clothesline/ downed power line/ spilled gas scene)! Anyway, a kid has a dream that the plane he's on is going to crash. He and a couple other passengers get off the plane, which of course does crash, and now death is pissed off that they were spared so it comes after them, slowly, but surely. While over all the film isn't too original and is just an excuse to find interesting ways to off teens, it does work on some level. It's believably acted and pretty tense at times with the knowledge death is just around the corner, as is the FBI, still trying to figure how that kid knew the plane was going to crash. B+.

  400. The Blob (1958)- This, the original Blob, was a nice entrant into the 50s ‘menace from space’ sci-fi sub-genre (or was it really a menace from space, could it be the devouring blob was yet another metaphor for "The Red Menace"?) Anyway, here we have Steve McQueen as a misunderstood rebel without a cause, some of his hot rod driving prankster friends and his date, a young Helen Crump from The Andy Griffith show. They see a meteor crash into the woods and find an old man with what appears to be some blisters on his hand. They rush the old man to the ‘doc’ and the next thing you know the blob is running around eating folks and the cops think the kids are just pulling a prank. This is chock full of 50s stereotypes but it works pretty well on the level it was intended. A little less standing around talking and blaming the 'kids’ for everything might have made it move a little better though. It is original (or maybe they had just run out of ideas for aliens so this was more or less just a surrender), low budget color flick. Like a lot of these 50s sci-fi flicks, if you dig them then this is a must see, if you hate this stuff then you may want to avoid it, unless you’re curious about this one’s cult movie status. I’ll give it a B+.

  401. Wicker Man, The (1973)- Another film that I'd heard a lot of good things about. It starts off with a very 60's vibe to it, and I don't mean that as a compliment. A policeman visits an island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He is determined to get to the bottom of what is going on, despite the strange doings of the locals who appear to be members of some old fertility cult. One twist leads to another until we meet The Wicker Man. If you can get through the terrible dated first half hour or so you're in for a pretty good ride. Well acted, well directed and believable (after those first 30 minutes or so that is). I'd give it an A but it just took too long to get started. B+

  402. Murder in the Red Barn (1935)- Tod Slaughter had been running around killing people on stage for quite a while by the time he made his film debut in this, which is little more than a filmed stage play, complete with the cast intro. Here Tod plays a rich magistrate, who has actually pretty much gambled all his dough away. He likes one of the young village girls, but has to marry a rich girl to pay off his debts. But before he gets hitched up he gets the poor village girl pregnant, blames it on a gypsy, kills her and buries her in a barn, then... well, you can guess the rest. Actually, if you are hip to Tod Slaughter movies you could’ve pretty much guessed all of the above. This is pretty good stuff if you like ‘em old and melodramatic (and this play was old even by the time it was filmed). Tod also kills a pregnant gal (pregnant with his own child) in this one. Dastardly indeed. This is just goofy fun (although it is loosely based on a true story) over the top stuff. Tod was good here but would get better working in the film medium later on. B+ on the craptacular scale.

  403. Bonnie and Clyde Vs. Dracula (2007)- Caught the premier of this at the local drive in. To be honest I didn’t expect much, but all told it wasn’t a bad film at all. Really well done despite obvious budget constraints you still get better directing and acting than many big budget flicks, and a more original story. A doctor wants to bring Dracula to America and revive him in hope of curing an ailment. Things look to be going good for the doc until Bonnie and Clyde show up. This is a campy ride and you get what you’d expect with a title like that, but in the end I like the story and the end was really good. B+

  404. Curse of the Cat People (1944): This isn't really a horror movie per se but was a sequel to "The Cat People". Val Lewton was kind of tired RKO handing him "audience tested titles" so he went off on his own with this little tale of a girl with an over active imagination... or is it just her imagination? Yeah, it probably is. It's also adults trying to crush that imagination out of her and make her like everybody else. Interesting for its themes of imagination and conformism. Nicely paced well-directed story. Not scary in the literal sense but pretty good stuff. B+.

  405. Stake Land (2010)- Surprising hybrid vampire/zombie flick. Civilization has come to an end as millions of humans became vampires, and these aren’t your suave Dracula vampires either, these are basically zombies with vampire powers and I think the movie does well at mixing the two mythos together (better than a lot of the ‘I Am Legend’ variants on which this must have been loosely based). So we follow a vampire hunter and his assistant as they travel north in hopes of finding New Eden, a haven for what’s left of humanity. Along the way they run into the best, and of course, the worst of humanity, teaching us the ever present zombie movie lesson that we are in fact our own worst enemies. A loose subplot involving some far right Christian sect falls a little flat as it enters action movie territory but that aside this flick works really well I think, maybe since I actually expected it to suck! I’ll give it a very strong B+.

  406. Alligator People, The (1959)- A scientist figures out he can cure severely injured patients by giving them alligator DNA as some reptiles have regenerative abilities. The cure works great until patients begin showing signs of actually becoming alligators. The wrap around story is about a nurse who marries an Air Force officer who survived a horrific plane crash, how do you think he managed to survive? Pretty insane 50s stuff right here, but if you like the monster madness you’ll like this low budget (are there any other kind) entry. I’ll give it a B on the craptacular scale, or maybe even a B+ when factoring a drunken Lon Chaney Jr’s drunken part!

  407. Brain Dead (1990)- A tale of paranoia and confusion as a neurologist begins to witness first-hand the paranoia in the brains he has worked on, specifically the brain of a patient who knew quite a bit about the corporation he worked for. This is one of those ‘which line of reality is the right one?’ stories and it works pretty well. Not perfect but it kept me interested to see where it would all lead. B+

  408. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)- Six strangers riding on a train. One happens to be well versed in the art of tarot reading and future predicting. So we get an Amicus omnibus, the first actually, from the Hammer copycat and it ain’t all that bad. Story one has a man return to his ancestral home to help the current owner remodel. Little does he know the current owner isn’t too happy with the previous owner’s family, and they have a history of werewolfism! Well told and well-paced, I’ll give it an A. Story two has a family returning from vacation to find a strange vine growing next to the house. They can’t seem to remove it so they call in some experts and they quickly realize that ‘a plant like that could take over the world’, especially if it figures out how not to be scared of fire. Campy but fun I’ll give it a B. Story three has a smart assed jazz musician play a gig in the West Indies. He comes back with the music he heard the voodoo practitioners play and despite being warned not to play it, he does so anyway and doesn’t get the results he’d hoped for. Not bad, played more for laughs and approached that way it works. A-. Story four involves a pretentious art critic who is always belittling an artist. The artist gets his revenge, but the critic is so humiliated he runs the artist over with his car, severing the artist’s hand. The rest is pretty easy to predict, complete with terrible FX. Christopher Lee is in this one as is Gandolf, but the FX are so bad it is distracting. C-. A young Donald Southerland winds up getting hitched to a young vampire in the fifth story and is convinced to kill her, and then, twist! I’ll give it an A-, well-acted and well-though out. So the wrap comes to a conclusion and you kind of think “Wait, so that wasn’t really anyone’s future?” Anyway, a pretty good flick if you like the Amicus omnibus approach, plus Cushing and Lee are both present! The grades average to a B+.

  409. Village, The (2004)- Too much hype raised too many expectations and M. Night took the heat. No it's not as good as "Signs" or "The Sixth Sense" but it is still much better than most 'horror' coming out now. M. Night's stuff follows the Alfred Hitchcock School of 'less is more'. If you don't like suspense with your horror and would rather have all action and blood then no, he's not for you. Anyway, some people have moved away from the cities to start their own village in the sticks, amongst some pretty heinous critters they only refer to as "Those we do not speak of". They live a peaceful self-sustaining life until "Those they do not speak of" seem to be mad for some unknown reason and begin messing with the villagers. Or is it really them? And exactly why are these people all living in this village anyway? Well acted and well directed as always. Twist ending didn't pay off as well as "Signs" or "The Sixth Sense" but it was still pretty good. B+.

  410. Mr. Sardonicus (1961)- This is a William castle movie, and the hokey beginning would lead you to think you are headed down more or less, hokey William Castle road. But that ends up being a false impression. No campy gimmicks, no false "So scary people fainted" stuff (not that those are bad things), instead we have a more or less subtle gothic horror movie about a poor man who must dig up his father’s fresh grave to get a winning lottery ticket. He becomes incredibly wealthy, but also pays the price of having his face frozen in a horrifying ‘death grin’. His new wife’s ex-boyfriend happens to be a genius surgeon who just might be able to fix up his face. Sardonicus’ butler is a sadistic nutjob channeling his best Bela Lugosi and the rest of the cast is almost perfect as well. This is a classic, slow paced and anti-climactic by today’s horror movie standards to be sure but if you like these gothic period pieces you will like this one. B+

  411. Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974)- Hammer’s last foray into the Frankenstein character and they bring it to a close on a pretty strong note. Here we find the baron living nicely in an insane asylum. There are plenty of test subjects in a place like that, and luckily, a bright new assistant too. The baron has some dirt on the asylum’s director so he pretty much has the run of the place and has been building a new man, with his usual ‘science first’ completely emotionless approach. Peter Cushing had perfected this part and plays it perfectly straight here for the last time. B+

  412. Omen, The (2006)- The new millennium seems like it might just be "The End Times" and movies like "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Megiddo" play on those fears. "The Omen" runs with that theme. A terrible secret comes back to haunt Ambassador Thorn. Apparently his son died at birth and he has been raising someone else's son, or, maybe 'something' else's son. This movie takes its subject matter very seriously and maintains a level of believability often missed in movies like this. Sound familiar? It should, this remake basically changed nothing from the original. I kept thinking, "Why did they bother to even make this?" But it all works, it should since it worked the first time too. I'll give it a B+ because the acting and directing were really good, but just watch the original if you can't decide between the two.

  413. 13 Curses (2002)- A moody Spanish piece with a mistranslated title. It should have been 13 bells, or 13 chimes or something like that. Anyway, a young boy sees his mother kill his father at straight up midnight and the local cathedral's bell tolls 13 times instead of 12. He is then haunted by that memory. When he returns home he finds is mother suffering from schizophrenia and in a mental ward. He begins to show the same symptoms. Is his dad still haunting them both? Did his mother actually kill his father? Did the bell toll 13 times? This was a pretty good and fairly original movie. The twist at the end was a little bit of a let down but not enough to ruin it. Good acting and directing keep it afloat, although it was a little slow paced in parts. I don't know if there is an English version, I watched subtitles. B+.

  414. Paranorman (2012)- An animated twist on the 'The Sixth Sense'. A young boy sees ghosts everywhere, and everyone just things he's weird. He's teased and picked on for being so 'weird', and, as it turns out, his uncle has the same 'gift' (or maybe his uncle is just nuts too). It might just be that his family is destined to save the town from a centuries old curse though. I admit, I'm kind of a sucker for these flicks so I liked it. It doesn't measure up to say 'A Nightmare Before Christmas' or 'Corpse Bride' but gets pretty close and is safe for the kids. B+

  415. Recycle (2008)- This starts out like a very typical Asian horror film. A writer who is known for her love stories decides to write a horror novel, and it seems she may be getting too involved in her work as weird sounds, images, and shadows begin to show up, effective but I was starting to think "saw it". Then all of a sudden the gal finds herself in another dimension and we’re off into a very strange fantasy/horror film in sort of almost a "Lord of the Rings" vibe; very weird as the gal tries to find her way back with the help of a little girl, dodging zombies, ghosts, and generally bad situations (all based around the idea that they are rejected ideas, left in the 'recycle bin'). It felt like one of those video game movies except better and in the end kind of had a ham fisted message that may have been over the top, depending on how you feel about such things. This is a tough one to grade, I think I’ll drop a B+ on it, I dug it for the most part, but did find it a tad over the top.

  416. White Zombie (1932)- Old school zombie flicks and love triangles. A man is marrying a woman who is loved by another man who knows a guy that makes zombies. So of course, turn her into a zombie and keep her as your slave. Lugosi is good as the zombie master filling his factory with free labor. The movie was ahead of its time in use of sound effects and also had some really great sets (especially the graveyard set). Yeah it's dated but I think this is a forgotten classic and deserves more respect. B+

  417. Dog Soldiers (2002)- Looking for an original take on horror in general and werewolves in particular? Look elsewhere. This flick is a simple mashup of horror flicks that have come before, oddly but probably most obviously being ‘Night of the Living Dead’. So what is this about? A squad of British soldiers are dropped in the Scottish boonies on a training mission, but what they encounter is more than they expected when they come across the unit of special forces they were training with, or what’s left of that unit which is some blood and guts, and their leader who is near death and petrified. With the help of a local they wind up at an old farmhouse and batten down the hatches for the eventual werewolf attack, plot hole plot twists follow. The plot is so obviously predictable, the effects so so at best and yet I dug this flick. The acting worked for me, the tension seemed real, and there was enough camp humor to keep it afloat but not too much to weigh it down, much like another flick that influenced this ‘Evil Dead’. Unoriginal, yes, but passable for me, B+.

  418. Maniac (1934)- Apparently the director of this movie was a real estate agent in Hollywood. He came upon this house that was full of movie making gear so naturally he made some movies. I don't remember his name but you'll find it in the annuls of film history along side other great directors like oh I don't know, Ed Wood. The movie is called "Maniac" but it should be called "Maniacs" because everyone in this show is insane. The mad scientist finds a way to reanimate corpses so he naturally wants to kill his assistant and then revive him. His assistant isn't too much into the idea so he kills the scientist instead and bricks him up in the wall like E Poe's "The Black Cat". Then he dresses up like him and shoots a crazy guy up with drugs that make him crazier and he goes out on a rampage (complete with a pre-code brief nude scene). Somewhere in here the neighbor explains why he breeds so many cats. It has something to do with cat fur and rats. Anyway the cops are looking for the scientist's assistant but don't realize that he is just dressed up as the scientist. They run a scheme to make him think he's inherited some money and then his wife shows up. Somewhere in there one of the neighbor's cats is killed and its eyeball popped out and eaten. Yup, it's a pre-code horror flick. If you're looking for old school insanity you're not going to get any better than this. If you're not then stay away. B+.

  419. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)- Strictly speaking this isn't horror. Strictly speaking I'm not sure what it is. Some would lump Russ Meyer in with the Ed Wood types but that wouldn't be quite fair. Meyer's stuff is much edgier and better directed, maybe not much better written, but just done better. Here we have three go-go dancers out for some fun. Their 'leader' is an anti-social verging on psychopath. She winds up killing a guy after a car race and then takes his girlfriend along since she is a witness. They come across an old cripple who lives with his sons and may have some money stashed on his ranch. The girls would like to get their hands on that money but just maybe that crippled old guy has plans of his own for the women. Chronologically and thematically it sits right between that 60s loss of innocence with Kennedy's assassination in 1963 and the hippy Summer of Love in 1967. This is an edgy, funny, and at times annoying movie that is really hard to grade. I liked it as it was original but it is not quite a masterpiece, in the 60s kitsch sense of the word. B+

  420. Gorgon, The (1964)- Strange little Hammer film which brings the Greek Gorgon/Medusa myth into more modern times, placing it in turn of the century Germany (I figure Hammer already had the sets and costumes at the ready). A town is plagued by a curse in which some people are found dead, turned to stone. The local doctor just writes the deaths off as heart failure, but that won’t due when some important people start turning up dead. Mainly, an artist whose rich influential father isn’t buying the story his son committed suicide after getting a local girl pregnant. The father shows up, and also dies a mysterious death, but not before writing a letter to his other son. The lid will soon be blown off the town’s secrets. Very little in the way of explanation is ever offered, the lines between good and evil, right and wrong are blurred and everything is played out like a Greek tragedy, which it is more or less based on, as love is what ends up getting everyone in the most trouble. Well acted and directed, the colors and sets and ‘feel’ are perfect early Hammer. This is only for those looking for the subtle atmospheric horrors, despite the subject material this is no monster movie, keeping that in mind I will give this a B+.

  421. Dead Zone, The (1983)- Cronenberg does King in this eighties flick about a guy who can see people’s pasts and futures by touching them. He gets this ability after being in a coma for five years caused by a car crash, and his life is in shambles. His girlfriend has moved on and married, he has no job, and the media finds out about his ability and hounds him. And as his visions get stronger he seems to be getting weaker. He moves to a small town to start over but his past catches up with him and his abilities force him to make a tough decision regarding a half crazed politician who may just wind up being president. This is a pretty good film, and although the payoff at end the was a little lame, I was drawn into it and it kept my interest, especially Christopher Walken’s character who is walking on the edge of sanity trying to deal with his lost 5 years and his new ‘gift’. B+

  422. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)- Of course it’s scifi but I remember seeing this at the drive-in when I was knee high to a grass hopper and it scared the crap out of me, especially the part where the kid opens the door and everything is red outside. Anyway, after many folks in Indiana see some UFOs things for several people begin to change. The movie focuses on two, Richard Dreyfuss and his family and Melinda Dillon and her young son. They become obsessed with UFOs and a particular mountain looking form they can’t quite explain. After loosing his job and his family because of his behavior, Dreyfuss realizes what he is seeing is Devils Tower in Wyoming, where the government is evacuating everyone because of a nerve gas spill... or is that really why? Throughout much of the movie we aren’t really sure if these are invading aliens or if they are benevolent aliens and we never see much more than lights in the sky and strange electromagnetic interference with everything from kids’ toys, to cars, to electric stoves. Spielberg directed and it has much the same feel as his other movies around this time including "ET" and "Poltergeist" (which he produced). It was also an obvious influence on M. Night’s "Signs". Sure the movie feels a little dated now but it still works. B+

  423. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)- A lot of reviews I've read talk about how great 'The Invisible Man' was. James Whale was a great director by that point, his exploration of megalomania was good, etc. I didn't like it though for reasons stated above. This movie more or less follows the first, but with a better storyline (the first really didn't have much of a story line). The original Invisible Man's brother gives his invisible-making serum to a friend who has been falsely accused of murder and is up for execution, he then easily escapes from prison. A young Vincent Price is the invisible man this time and plays the part with great restraint as he looks for evidence to clear his name and courts his fiancé all while invisible and trying to avoid that slipping into madness the serum eventually causes. Some of the acting is over the top and the camp works sometimes and doesn't at other times but over-all I thought this was a much more thought out story than the first one. A point to note, Price hadn't yet developed his 'horror movie persona' yet so don't expect to recognize his voice right off. B+.

  424. Tingler, The (1959)- This is, on the surface, more goofy William Castle stuff. You probably know the story about seats in the theatre being wired to produce a mild electrical shock to people at the most opportune times as they watched the movie back in the day. Yeah it's goofy and no, it doesn't actually require the warning that you may die of fright but this movie does work on many levels. It is well written (for hokey stuff anyway) and the plot is actually pretty good and tightly directed. The plot? Vincent Price is a coroner but his real interest is in the physiological changes the body experiences while frightened and exactly what triggers and releases those changes. He finds the perfect subject in a woman who is mute and therefore can't scream, which is the hypothesized release. Due to a decent enough plot twist Vincent gets to discover the creature from the title, The Tingler, which is a very silly giant centipede like thing which escapes and then triggered the electrical shocks in the theatre (It escapes in a theatre in the movie, nice touch). It is as silly as it all sounds but somehow it does work and is a pretty original plot. B+.

  425. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)- Those of you used to modern adventure/fantasy flicks like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ will likely find this ‘quaint’ at best and tedious at worst! It does run slow and features the old school stop-motion animation made famous by the original ‘King Kong’ movie. The plot? Jason’s family (including his king father) are killed by an invading, and very greedy king. 20 years later Jason is determined to get his revenge, with a little help from Hera, Queen of the Gods, he makes his way to get the Golden Fleece to restore the morale of his people and overthrow the king that killed his family. Of course getting the Golden Fleece ain’t gonna be easy! Lots of monsters, double crossings, and mayhem follow him along the way. Not my favorite amongst the Harryhausen flicks but still it stands up really well, and I love the monsters he creates from the giant bronze statue to the winged demon like things that torture the old blind man (can’t remember what they’re called) and everything in between. He obviously loved his work! Typical wooden acting bogs it down at times but like I often say, if you dig these old fantasy flicks, this is a must see, if you don’t, you will hate this! I’ll give it a B+, not quite as good as the Sinbad flicks, but getting there.

  426. Swarm, The (1978)- Disaster movies and the 70s go hand in hand like bell-bottoms and the 70s. Here we have a huge swarm of Africanized killer bees that have evolved to not only be highly aggressive but also have a more lethal sting. The military wants to just blow everything up, of course, but a few self-sacrificing scientists who are experts in everything are calling the shots, until they screw everything up and the bees get inside a nuclear reactor, blowing it up and killing almost 40,000 people (but apparently not the bees?!?). Yup, these bees are not only dangerous (in a bee suicidal sort of way) but also smart, well smart in that they know how to attack a lot of stuff but not really all that ‘self-preservation’ kind of smart. This movie, like many of its 70s counterparts, is chock full of famous and formerly famous faces who are obviously just there to collect a pay check and read through torturous dialogue. Among the names dropped are Michael Caine, Peter Fonda, Patty Duke, Richard Widmark, Slim Pickens, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia De Havilland, Fred MacMurray, and others. You pretty much know this is a train wreck (both literally and figuratively) from the start. Still, I’ll give it a very strong B+ on the craptacular scale. A must see for the ol’ MST3K treatment if you’re into crap like me. Make a night of it and double feature this with "Food of the Gods"!

  427. Dead Ringer (1964)- This falls under ‘suspense thriller’ more than horror for sure, but also was part of Bette Davis’ resurgence after "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" and "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte". Here Bette plays a dual role as twin sisters (sort of a rehash of an earlier movie she made called "Stolen Life"); one sister is rich as Hell (Maggie), the other on the verge of bankruptcy running a crummy bar on the ‘other’ side of town (Edie). We learn early on that Maggie is rich because she stole Edie’s rich boyfriend back in the day, and Edie will obviously never forgive her. So what is an identical twin to do if she is down on her luck and has a rich sister who she hates more than anything? She has to kill her sister, make it look like it is her who committed suicide, and then assume her sister’s life; much easier said than done as we find out. Here I would say PLOT SPOILER but you can probably guess that this plan isn’t going to work. But I have to admit, the plot twist that ends up fouling up the plot caught me off guard, and the end was actually very well done. The acting and directing are also really good, my only complaint would be, at almost 2 hours, there are times it seems to drag a little, but they are few and far between, and yes, the plot is very far fetched so just hold on for the ride. If you like the suspense films or Bette Davis’ output as she got older then this is recommended. A very strong B+

  428. The Wolf Man (1941)- Lon Cheney Jr. was a big ol' boy and probably the right man to play the werewolf, if only he could act. I guess acting isn't in the genes. It doesn't have the staged feeling of the earlier Universal Monster Movies so in that sense it holds up better by modern standards. Cheney returns home after his brother dies, falls for a local girl, and after a date at the carnival, battles it out when a woman is attacked by a wolf, or by Bela Lugosi. Then he either goes crazy or turns into a wolfman. (Why was Bela an actual wolf and Lon a wolfman?) Anyway, this is a good telling of the basic tale and moves along nicely despite some not so great acting. The old gypsy woman is great. B+.

  429. Paradine Case, The (1947)- Hitch flick (but not horror, sorry) about a lawyer defending a woman accused of poisoning her husband. The lawyer is smitten with the woman and soon falls for her (people fall in love at the drop of a hat in these old flicks). He’s not building a very good case because he doesn’t ever want to hear anything negative about the gal, or her relationships, I’m thinking he should drop the case, he thinks about it but his wife tells him not to. He proceeds until the interesting court room scene when all the beans are spilled. While not really on par with some of Hitch’s great stuff, this is still an interesting character study with some good acting and an interesting plot and twist at the end. If you like court room dramas you’ll probably dig this one. B+

  430. Torture Garden (1967)- Another British Amicus omnibus story featuring Burgess Meredith as a side show barker at a carnival. His bit is showing people their futures and seeing if they have the courage to change. Story one is about a man who wants his uncle’s inheritance and gets it, along with the source of the wealth, a witch in the form of a cat. Very well done and a strong start. A. Story two is about an overly ambitious young actress who will do almost anything to get a movie roll, and is shocked to find out what other actors have done to stay young. It was OK but the payoff wasn’t so good. B-. Story three is the weak point, a story about a jealous piano. C-. Story four is great and is about a man who is obsessed with buying original Edgar Allan Poe books, he meets his match in Peter Cushing. A+. Overall this flick wavers around between serious and campy, but for the most part it works pretty well and the wrap around is good too with a strong enough ending. This averages to a B+ which seems about right.

  431. Return of the Vampire (1944)- Lugosi's first part as a 'real' vampire since 1931'2 Dracula. For the most part this movie works (it was supposed to be basically a sequel to Dracula but Columbia couldn't get the rights to the name from Universal). Professor Armand Tesla who many years before studied vampirism and then became one after death. He is killed in 1918 and staked down but a German bomb during a WWII London blitz uncovers his grave and some workers remove the stake, thinking it is shrapnel, and Tesla returns to exact his revenge on the family of the woman who helped stake him years before. There is some good atmosphere created here and the plot is fairly original and I think I liked this one more than most reviews I've read. There are a few problems but it is a classic old school vampire flick. One problem, Tesla's 'familiar' is some sort of slave werewolf which is silly. I guess Columbia was chasing the success Universal had had combining there monsters in movies like "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man", which also starred Bela as The Monster. B+.

  432. Play Misty for Me (1971)- If you wonder where they came up with the idea for ‘Fatal Attraction’ here you go. Very similar flick with Clint Eastwood as a DJ who has a fling with a listener and the listener turns out to be pretty crazy! She follows him, threatens him, hurts herself, and goes generally bonkers. Pretty well played except a painfully dated sex scene. I’ll give it a B+.

  433. All My Friends are Funeral Singers (2010)- Very strange ‘artsy’ flick about a psychic whose house is full of ghosts and they help her ply her trade. Then one morning they ‘see the light’ and want to leave, but something is holding them there. They plan on making the psychic’s life a hell until she lets them go, and she must face some facts about the past in order to do so. OK, maybe it’s not as cool as that description might lead you to believe, and if you’re really looking for true ‘horror’ this wouldn’t be it. This is art house material with extended cuts of the band Califone (the director is a member and the band play some ghosts), so it sort of plays off like an extended music video, which it sort of is. Not a bad thing, but obviously not for everyone, I liked it so I’ll give it a solid B+.

  434. Flesh Eater (1988)- The guy with the bit part (and distinction) of being the first zombie seen in Romero’s "Night of the Living Dead" decided that was qualification enough for him to make his own zombie film. He was wrong. We start off with some college kids on a hay ride, zombies (this time awaken by some sort of black magic curse) attack and the kids head off to hide out in a farm house. Sound familiar? From there we just kind of travel along in a totally plotless way from person to person, none of which have anything to do with the story, as much as there is a story anyway. I think really it was an excuse for the guy to bite girls while they were topless. This is low budget crap with nothing to offer but some MST3K treatment. The writing, directing, editing, sound, and acting all suck ass but it is fun to rip on (the Halloween party scene in the barn is fertile fun-making ground indeed). B+ on the craptacular scale.

  435. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936)- This move has been made and remade and of course became a famous musical play as well. This one has good ol' Tod Slaughter taking the helm sans singing (I read where he played the part over 4000 times in plays). Although he was already known in English Theatre, this flick made him a movie star as well, or at least a dastardly maniacal menace of the horror screen. He would go on to play basically this same part over and over in lots of movies, but he perfected it here, with his rubbing hands, menacing laugh, wild eyes, and hunched walk. You know the story, Sweeney is a barber who kills his patrons as they disembark from long sea voyages, he steels their money and his neighbor bakes them into pies to get rid of the evidence. Of course they had to be careful in how they showed such brutality in 1936 so the cannibalism is only hinted at (as one of a ship’s crew munches on a huge pie and remarks that there wouldn’t be room in the cellar of the shop to bury all the bodies). The subplot of marrying a rich, but indebted shipbuilder is standard fair. Tod gets many a good line (mainly puns like "I’ll polish you off" with the patron assuming he means the beard, of course we know otherwise), and this moves along at a decent pace. Tod Slaughter had a way of making you hate him on screen but yet still root for him in a perverse sort of way, especially after seeing several of his films where you (or at least I) just start to hate the obvious goody goodies he is menacing. This is better than some, worse than others, I’ll give it a B- on the old school insane-O craptacular scale, keep in mind that this is just an old school play with tongue planted in cheek.

  436. Wolf Creek (2005)- This is a pretty disturbing and dark movie, it follows an Australian guy and too English girls as they head out into the Outback to party and visit a meteor crater. They get stranded in the middle of nowhere as the coil in their car has gone bad, luckily a hardcore old outback Aussie shows up in the middle of the night and tows them to his camp where he has the parts to fix the car. Soon after all Hell breaks lose and we're in for a nightmare of a ride as the campers are stalked, tortured, and offed. This is one of those 'realistic' horror movies that are all the rage right now. This one works really well and the acting and directing are great. Yeah, it has you screaming, "What are you doing? Get out of there" at the screen several times but that is the power of good suspense. I would love to give this movie an A but it lacks in the originality department. It really is just "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Hills Have Eyes", etc. I'll give it a B+. If you like these types of flicks you'll like this one.

  437. Cat People (1942)- Strange and original little flick. Not strictly horror I guess but not really anything else either. A man falls in love with a woman who emigrated from a country full of superstition. She is from a family with a strange curse. Kind of an odd play on the werewolf/Dr. Jeckyll Mr. Hyde theme. She wants to love him but is really too weird, or maybe it's something else. Despite its subject matter it is played out in a pretty believable way and has a modern feel to it by working in psychiatry instead of silver bullets. Great black and white cinematography too. B+.

  438. Bedlam (1946)- More a Val Lewton thriller than horror but here ya go. It's the 1760s, an age of reason, and a fat and powerful English Lord likes to laugh and likes to make fun of the "loonies" in the local asylum run by Boris Karloff. Karloff is a very wise politician and likes things to stay status quo so he uses his powers of persuasion over the none too bright Lord to get his way, like keeping the asylum just the way it is and making sure anyone who wants to make changes ends up as his guest in the asylum. The cunning work and great acting by Karloff carry this one. It's dated and slow moving at times but remains a pretty good story with a pretty good ending. B+.

  439. House of Wax (1953)- More or less a total remake of "Mystery of the Wax Museum". Vincent Price plays Atwell's part and there is no smart-assed reporter. I think this version works a little better than the original. Again the sets are great and Price plays his part incredibly well. Charles Bronson is also in it, but he's young and doesn't have that crustache yet. Plot-wise it is identical to the original and some of the scenes are even exactly the same. Also, it was originally in 3-D so there are scenes where things are thrown or fall at the camera. B+.

  440. Reeker (2005)- This one starts out as just another ‘teens in trouble‘ flick. They are going to a concert (of course), some are meeting for the first time (of course) some are smart asses (of course). Everything is just painfully unoriginal and I was thinking "seen it!" And yet, as the plot unfolded (the kids are trapped at a diner in the middle of the desert... of course... and are suddenly all alone and being chased by someone or something... of course) I found myself being pulled in. No, it never went beyond the unoriginal and the characters do the typical stupid stuff horror movie characters do but I was genuinely interested in finding out what was happening to them and the twist ending was a good enough payoff for me. Despite the negatives I have to admit I was into this one and liked the Twilight Zone ending. B+.

  441. The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)- After "Revenge of the Creature" I was ready to give up on the franchise but since there was only one more made I thought I'd give it a chance. It turned out to be much better than the sequel and maybe even better than the first. To make a long story short another Creature, or maybe it's the same immortal Creature, I don't know, is captured and experimented on. A scientist wants to make the Creature human and proves the Creature almost is human and can be changed. Silly non-scientific explanations as to why this could work are held to a minimum, and there is a little actual character development. The scientist is older than his eye candy wife and is jealous of her and over protective of her. This whole plot works nicely and kept me interested (is it actually a racist statement being made here?). In the end all Hell beaks loose. Good directing, acting, and actually well written. B+.

  442. Mysterious Island (1961)- this is a great setup for a Jules Verne ride, complete with Harryhausen effects. During the Civil War some Union POWs escape in a balloon, which is great except they really don’t know how to fly it so they fly and fly and fly and wind up crashing somewhere in the Pacific on an island inhabited by some heinous giant critters. Some women show up after a shipwreck (convenient) and we are off on an adventure complete with Captain Nemo. If you like these sci-fi flicks (like the Sinbad movies, Jason and the Argonauts etc) you’ll like this one too. I’ll give it a B+, some of the acting is over the top, but sit back and just enjoy.

  443. Prophecy, The (1995)- On the surface this seems like a fairly silly premise. Apparently there has been a war in heaven for a couple of thousand years. This is now the second war the angels have had (the first being lead by Lucifer, he was cast out you know). This one is lead by Gabriel, who is pissed that God gave humans souls. There has been a stalemate for quite some time, and now, with the death of one of the evilest humans ever, that stalemate could come to an end if the rebel angels end up with his soul. A cop, who almost became a priest but lost his faith after visions of the war, and a school teacher whose young student befriends the good angel Simon and receives an unpleasant but necessary gift from him, become caught up in the middle of the angels quest for this particular soul. It mixes Catholic mythology with screen writers’ mythology, and adds a small dash of American Indian mythology for good measure. Yeah, it is weird, but for the most part it works. The casting is great, especially Christopher Walken as Gabriel. The perfect amount of sinister darkness and humor blend to make the character a lot of fun. Of course a plot like this isn’t going to stand up to any real scrutiny, but that’s not the point of it so don’t waste your time. Just sit back and enjoy a good story with some good acting and some over the top effects at the end. B+

  444. The House on Haunted Hill (1959)- Vincent Price's wife wants a party, so he throws her one in a big ol' scary house. He's wealthy and she wants him dead. He's wealthy and he wants her dead. It's an interesting dynamic that they pull off really well. This is a great movie pulled off admirably by the great William Castle, a 50's icon of horror schlock. Are the things happening in the house because of Price or because the house is haunted, or both? Very well done, although the twist ending doesn't really hold up if you think back to everything that went down, plus the voice over at the very end by the owner of the house seems oblivious to what actually happened at the end. Get past these weaknesses and you have a great suspense yarn. B+.

  445. It (1990)- Made for TV Stephen King stuff. It was a miniseries but was later edited down to movie size. It is probably the 2nd best of the Stephen King made for TV shows ("Needful Things" being my favorite), which, in my opinion, isn't saying too much. But this one is actually really good until the very end, which is typical, and then I felt really let down. It's about, yup, people who do some stuff when they are young, memories linger, they go back home, etc. Stephen King has made a career out of 'variations on a theme'. Anyway, there was a serial killer of kids around the neighborhood when these people were young, but this killer was of the supernatural ilk. The flashbacks are very effective and a very palpable feeling of dread is created when that damn clown is around or when they kids see flashes of the supernatural like hearing the voice come from the sink. It is shot and acted really well and if it weren't for the lame ending would be a really good film. B+.

  446. 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)- Classic Harryhausen effects fill out this flick about an egg brought back from Venus by tough guy know-it-all 1950s style macho astronauts. The egg hatches and earth’s atmosphere the lizard like creature grows big rapidly. Scientists try and save the creature but in the end it becomes too big and powerful and the military shows up. Yeah, this is typical 50s sci-fi fodder but it probably one of the better films because of Harryhausen’s creature. I dug this one quite a bit for what it is. B+

  447. Exorcist III, The: Legion (1990)- Could this franchise be saved after the debacle of "The Exorcist II: The Heretic"? Yes. This is a very moody piece, which creates a great atmosphere, and despite the far-fetched plot some great veteran actors take the material very seriously. George C. Scott plays the detective who worked the Dennings case back in "The Exorcist". Apparently he became friends with the priests after the events went down and now it looks like a serial killer who was executed the same night the exorcism took place may be back. And who is that man in isolation in the criminal section of the hospital? Why it's Chucky. This movie was mostly ripped on when it came out but I feel it holds up really well and effectively creates an atmosphere of fear and suspense. It contains some great, albeit over the top dialogue too. The ending, where the priest shows up for the exorcism was tacked on as the studio said if the film was called The Exorcist then there needs to be an exorcism. You can tell it was added as an after thought and weakens the over all effect of the movie but that, and a couple scenes like old people crawling on the ceiling, aren't enough to ruin a great effort. B+.

  448. The Terror (1963)- Another beloved thriller from my youth. Roger Corman had Jack Nicholson and Boris Karloff as well as production staff and sets under contract for a couple more days after flying through one of his famous quickies. What do you do with those actors, crew, and sets for four days? You make another movie of course. "The Terror" was obviously made very quickly for no money. The lighting and sound give that much away. Get beyond the cheapness of those elements and I think you have a fairly classic little piece. Pretty well acted and directed, although it is slow moving at times, it still maintained my interest. Nicholson is a French officer separated from his regiment during the Napoleonic Wars. He stumbles across some strange folk and then stays for a while at Karloff's castle. Some strange happenings are going on at the castle as Karloff carries guilt for deeds he did years before and may be punishing himself for it, or is someone... or something... else punishing him? Nice twists at the end. B+.

  449. Descent, The (2006)- This movie is a lot like "The Cave" except it doesn't suck. We start off meeting some adventuresome female friends who like hitting river rapids and such. On the way home from one of their adventures tragedy strikes and one of them loses her husband and young daughter (just before her birthday). Jump ahead a year and add a couple more adventuresome types and it's therapy time for the one who lost her family. The therapy? Get back to some adventure by cave exploring in the Appalachians. She's not 100% sure it's a good idea but her friends think it is, and at first it seems it might just be, but then things go seriously awry. After a tunnel collapse we find out the girls are lost, and quite possibly trapped. But that's nothing compared to what's waiting for them in the cave system. Ravenous carnivorous humanoids perfectly adapted to living in the blackness of the caves. They remind me of something from a Tool video. What follows is a pretty intense game of cat and mouse in that 'trapped and hunted' horror sub genre tradition. There are some stereotypical characters and not a lot of character development, which makes it hard to care much for some of the them, and overall the plot is somewhat predictable, but still, I was pulled in and really enjoyed this flick. B+.

  450. Nightmare (1964)- Little Hammer flick in the vein of "Paranoic". A girl saw her mother kill her father when she was young. Her mother was put in an asylum as she was totally bonkers. The girl, now away at finishing school, is afraid the same thing may happen to her. She is sent home because of her nightmares and inability to fit in at the school. After she arrives home the nightmares actually intensify and just may not actually be nightmares. Is she going insane? Is someone just trying to make her believe she is going insane? A couple twists at the end that aren't really too shocking but over all this movie works pretty well as a well paced well acted suspense thriller. B+.

  451. Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (2004)- Sequel picks up where the first left off. The surviving sister has found a way to ward off the advancing werewolf changes, but then she is put in a rehab/institution where getting the medicine isn’t too easy. Visits from her sister and those pesky puberty/werewolf changes keep popping up, but maybe with help from a friend in the institution with her she can escape the werewolf curse, and also escape the male werewolf looking to mate. Yeah, it is gooffy but it works in its own way and is a good enough sequel to a good enough werewolf movie. B+.

  452. Zombie Honeymoon (2004)- A newlywed couple all stoked about the prospects their futures hold together spend their honeymoon at an uncle’s beachfront home. After surfing the husband (Danny) is attacked by what appears to be a very sick surfer who stumbles right out of the ocean. He is rushed to the hospital and, after dying on the operating table, promptly sits up and says he feels OK. The couple head home but Danny, a vegetarian, now has an insatiable hunger for raw human flesh. His wife is shocked, confused, and torn. I went into this expecting another zomedy in the vain of "Undead", which I hated. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie with quite a bit of depth, good plot, and good acting. It is a zombie love story with some campy elements but overall not a comedy at all (apparently the story is based on the director’s brother-in-law who died in a surfing accident shortly after being married). Some of the digital hand held cinematography and editing left a little to be desired, as did the zombie makeup, but overall I liked this one. B+

  453. Pet Semetary (1989)- Though I am generally not impressed with Stephen King material this is one that I always liked. The acting is really good (especially Fred Gwynne [Herman Munster] as the neighbor) and the scares are effective. A young family moves into a house on a very busy highway. After their cat is killed the neighbor tells them about a pet cemetery nearby that legend tells can bring back the dead, problem is, they are never quite the same. Of course tragedy later strikes when their young son is killed and you can guess the rest. The directing and effects work pretty well, especially the haunting visits from the wife’s deceased sister. B+.

  454. Black Sabbath (1963)- A tight little trilogy directed by Mario Bava and hosted by Boris Karloff. Story one deals with a woman who turned her boyfriend in for a crime and he has now escaped and is terrorizing her. A great little suspense piece. Story two deals with the warduluck, which is basically a vampire that preys on its own family. This is a good story but too slow moving. Karloff stars and is effective but it still drags. The third story is one of those 'put the hook in me' works. I was pretty young, 9 or 10, when I first saw this movie. The odd thing is I don't even remember the first two stories but I sure remember this one. It's the story of a woman who goes to sit with the corpse of an old woman who recently passed. She was into séances and such and tended to scare folks when she was alive. She's pretty hideous in death too. The woman decides to steal a ring from the corpse's body, bad idea. The corpse in this movie scared the crap out of me when I was young and, although now it's not really scary, it is still pretty effective. Story one gets an A, story two gets a C, and story 3 gets an A+ which averages to a B+.

  455. Genesis (1998)- This probably doesn’t really qualify as horror but there are some ‘horrific’ scenes in it. It is a short film about a sculptor who loses his girlfriend (or wife, not sure which) in a car wreck that was apparently his fault. He makes a statue of her as lifelike as he can and things start to get weird at that point. It is an interesting glimpse into love lost and guilt and was well done (there is no dialogue at all). Be warned, it does verge on the ‘artsy’ so if you don’t like that then stay away. I’ll give it a B+.

  456. Masque of the Red Death (1964)- Roger Corman took Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" and mixed it up with "Hop Frog", added in some of his own elements and ideas and wound up with this colorful movie. A very well acted and interestingly directed movie about a sadistic prince who worships Satan and hides out in his castle with a large group of invited guests while a plague ravages the countryside. Corman's interesting use of color (which comes from the name of the story and the plot but is used well visually in this adaptation) along with some great acting by everyone, especially Price who revels in the role of a terribly evil person, make this worth a view. It often mirrors in both feel and subject matter Igmar Bergman's "Seventh Seal". B+.

  457. Woman in Black, The (2012)- First the bad: No, this isn’t a very original plot, and no the execution isn’t very original. Yes it does move slow at times, with little or no dialogue, and the viewer is often left in the dark as to what is really going on, even after it is mostly explained, there are many things that don’t seem to quite add up. Now the good: If you like slow paced period ghost stories with somewhat intricate but tried and true plots, and enough questions to keep you guessing then this is for you. Notice how I did that, turned the negatives into positives? Like all opinions, it is just a matter of what your expectations are and how you view the way things are put together. So, we have an old mansion cut off from the mainland England twice a day by the tide. The locals are scared of the place as whenever someone goes there children begin to mysteriously die. A young lawyer who lost his wife some years before and is still not coping well is given the job of cleaning up the will and handling the sale of the property, the rest is predictable, but well done. Hammer returns to the gothic tale with this ghost story. I liked it quite a bit with nice atmosphere, great visuals, and good acting so I’ll give it a B+, knocking some off due to the predictability of the plot.

  458. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)- Huge disappointment on my part here as my DVD of this won't play non stop all the way through and I've been wanting to see this one for quite some time. Still I got to see most of the film (although it took awhile as it kept stopping and restarting and I had to keep going to the chapter selection and finding what I'd seen and hadn't seen). The story is about Knights Templar who return from Crusades in Egypt with pagan knowledge and practices. They torture and abuse the locals and are eventually killed by them. Now the locals avoid the castle where they lived because the Knights will return for dinner whenever someone is there. The Knights are effective (although maybe a little too much of them riding horses in slow motion is shown). I liked this film quite a bit although it is a little 'clunky' and has some plot holes. It was pretty far ahead of its time and became a huge influence on later Euro-trash. B+

  459. Zombies of Mora Tau (1957)- You know you’re in for a treat after just the first couple of minutes of this flick. A young woman is returning to Africa to stay with her grandma and on the ride to the house she sees a man standing in the road. Then ‘bump-bump’, the car drives right over him. The lady freaks out and the driver casually says, "He was one of ‘them’". This is a low budget low grade Sam Katzman production about zombie sailors guarding the diamonds they lost their lives for after their ship was sunk off the coast of Africa. Expeditions keep coming to dive on the ship and retrieve the diamonds but they always end in tragedy. Will the expedition that just arrived end that way too? Hilariously bad underwater (but not really underwater) scenes ensue as zombies attacking divers, zombies kidnap maidens, zombies stumble around, etc. Typical B grade 50s stuff but this one does have some character to it. B+ on the craptacular scale.

  460. Phantasm (1979)- Another horror flick from my youth. I remember catching this on the late show one night when I was probably about 10 or 11. The tall man really freaked me out. A kid is watching a funeral when he notices the tall man lift a coffin by himself despite it weighing well over 500 lbs. One strange event leads to another when we find out aliens are actually running the funeral home for their own nefarious purposes. There is some more detail involving gravity but let's not get into that. This is an effective horror movie with a scifi twist. It's a pretty original idea too so I give it credit in that department. The special effects are bad and the acting is terrible at times. The older brother is the worst and the younger brother needs a good beatin'. A bad 70s song and a little camp involving an ice cream truck round it all out. I still dig it. B+.

  461. Devil’s Rain, The (1975)- Holy Crap! As if a cast of Eddie Albert, John Travolta, and Tom Skerrit weren’t enough add Ernest Borgnine and William Shatner dueling it out for human souls and we have a masterpiece! I was pretty young through the 70s but what a great time that must have been. Everyone was afraid aliens were taking over, big foot was real, and of course, everyone was joining a Satanic Cult! Yup, and Shatner has inherited a book that Borgnine wants so he can get folks’ souls, can Shatner withstand the Devil’s power and keep the book? And what price will ultimately have to be paid? Typical 70s Satan vehicle, everything you’d expect from this genre in this era, I’ll give it a B+ on the craptacular scale.

  462. Saw II (2005)- Man I really dug "Saw". Yeah it had that "Se7en" serial killer feel but the twist at the end made it all worthwhile, as did the way they set up the victims. Impressive writing and directing as well as acting. So would "Saw II" be able to continue? In this one the cops capture the Jigsaw Killer, but was that skill, luck, or did he want to be caught? And what fait awaits those the good detective has busted in the past? Man, I can't give too much of a synopsis without leaking too much info so I'll stop there. This movie works really well and I liked it. No it's not as good as the first because you know what to expect. Not literally "I know what is going to happen" but more "I saw the first one and this wouldn't betray that." And it doesn't, which is good because it uses what made the first one successful in a good way. I think if you liked the first one you'll like this one. B+.

  463. I Bury The Living (1958)- This is a tight and surprisingly well done little flick about a man who discovers that by placing black pins in the map of the cemetery, whoever owns that plot will die. He goes a little crazy with that thought and people keep testing him to prove he is wrong with predictable results. The movie actually has a little 'artsy' flair to it I did not expect and the whole thing looked and felt like a good Twilight Zone episode, so if you like the old Twilight Zone you should like this. My only complaint is the twist ending didn't really add up, I wasn't really disappointed but I wasn't impressed either. B+.

  464. Butterfly Effect, The (2004): I heard a lot of bad things about this flick from pretty much all sides plus it has Ashton Kutcher in it so I never bothered seeing it but it was playing late one night on satellite so I decided to catch it. I actually liked it. It wasn't overly original (basically a long episode of "Quantum Leap") and some of the sequences were too long (like when the main character wakes up as a 'frat boy') so it wasn't perfect but I have to admit I was pulled in and it kept my interest, which is important. Basically this guy does some pretty heinous stuff with the neighborhood kids when he was young and has regrets and also tends to have blackouts. He's pretty smart too and working on becoming a psychiatrist studying memory. It turns out that he may just be able to change the present if he can change the past during one of his blackouts. Yeah it seems a little convoluted but it's not. It's nothing incredible but it is a good story done pretty well. B+.

  465. Reincarnation (2006)- Japanese horror in the vein of "The Ring" and "The Grudge". Creepy visuals and well acted story about a man who has a theory about death and fury lingering or being reincarnated so he kills his family, the staff of the hotel they are staying at, and then himself. Needless to say his theory is proven true. In a bizarre twist a director is filming a movie about the event, which seems to trigger the 'fury'. This has all the standard Japanese horror movie parts like grey faced ghosts, creepy dolls, and bloody deaths. Right now there seems to be some good horror coming out of Japan and I would put this in that category, but they need to be careful not to fall into cliché. B+.

  466. Unrest (2006)- A young med student faints when she first sees her cadaver. After waking up she is comforted by her professor who says that is normal, but she still can't quite shake the feeling that something is wrong with that corpse. Dissection ensues as does eventual death and mayhem. Our med student is an atheist and has turned to science to help her understand the world, but science can do nothing in the face of vengeful demons and spirits. This is a good black humor camp film. The acting and directing work well and the story is suspenseful. The dissection scenes are pretty well done and so are the 'gross out' scenes in the vat of formaldehyde and dead bodies, which is where this film, I believe, jumps from straight horror to camp, which isn't a bad thing. The ending was a disappointment though as it was pretty formulaic. B.

  467. Galaxy of Terror (1981)- Basically Alien which was basically Planet of the Vampires, but here we have a planet of worms, I think. Pretty much a trainwreck about a crew aboard a spaceship sent to find out what happened to a previous crew. What they find are dead folks, worms, and some sort of giant pyramid thing and a twist ending that you just frankly don’t care about once it rolls around. But look at who was involved: Erin Moran (Joanie from Happy Days), Robert Englund (Freddie Kruger), Roger Corman (of course), James Cameron (!?!?!), and a couple other folks you’d recognize. Hilarious FX, hilarious worm rape scene, and hilarious dialogue can’t quite make it craptacular enough for me, but I’ll give it a B on the craptacular sale, which if you think about it is a totally failure!

  468. Boy Eats Girl (2005)- As you can tell from the title, this isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. It is like a low budget John Hughes film with zombies; kind of "Pretty in Pink" meets "Shawn of the Dead". We have a kid who likes a girl, she’s good friends with him, he wants to date her but feels she is out of his league, but she likes him too. When she doesn’t show to hang out one night he becomes depressed, starts drinking, and accidentally commits suicide (accidentally commits suicide? Yes). His mother works at the local church and knows they keep a book of voodoo spells in the basement, she uses them to bring her son back, but a page is missing, its an important page as now her son craves human flesh and when he bites a bully classmate the disease spreads, rapidly. How will the boy and his goofy classmates get outta this one? At no point does this movie take itself too seriously. It isn’t laugh out loud funny or as witty as "Shawn of the Dead" but it is funny at spots and over all fairly well done. There are no real ‘scares’ in it, and while slow to start the gore is pretty good and the climax was obviously influenced by Peter Jackson’s "Dead Alive" lawnmower ending. Purists will hate the ‘stronger faster’ zombies but if you just want 80 minutes of goofy zombie-zaniness you could do much worse. B.

  469. To Let (2006)- Spanish flick about a couple looking to rent a new apartment. They have 2 weeks to find the right place and think they may have found it as an ad appeared in their mailbox touting the perfect apartment. When they arrive they realize they may have made a terrible mistake, and soon it becomes obvious that they may in fact never be able to leave. Short but violent flick with quite a few “people only do that in horror movies” mistakes, and some very hard to kill folks to boot; I liked it for the most part. The acting was good and the suspense was palpable, a tad too much screaming at times and the requirement of some suspension of belief in a movie that shouldn’t require that but I’ll give it a B.

  470. Abominable Snowman, The (1957)- Peter Cushing in a pretty stereotypical monster/horror flick for the era; basically a King Kong tale. Cushing is a scientist in the Himalayas studying plants, or so he told his wife; he’s actually going on an expedition to try and capture the yeti. And things go from bad to worse as loud mouthed know-it-alls show up to capture the yeti more for fun and profit than science. Lesson learned. Overall not a bad flick, a tad dated but fun none the less. I’ll give it a B.

  471. Brain Damage (1988)- First let’s get the obvious drug metaphor talk out of the way. Yes, it is a metaphor for drug addiction, although really since it almost all but comes out and says that I wouldn’t even say it’s a metaphor! Basically there’s this worm like creature that apparently has been around a long time. It picks people who it gives its ‘juice’ to and in turn they feed it. The downside is it really prefers to eat human brains. But once you get to liking the juice you’ll do pretty much anything to keep the flow coming. This follows in line with Frank Henenlotter’s other similar flick ‘Basket Case’ in that it has some pretty nasty parts and skirts that thin line between just plain tasteless and great over-the-top camp. I think it succeeds in hugging that line so I think I will give it a B. That might admittedly be generous but I knew going in it was going to be over-the-top so I wasn’t surprised.

  472. Shock Waves (1977)- Nazi Zombies! Peter Cushing and John Carradine! Awesome! Almost. Some annoying tourists get trapped on an island in the Caribbean after their boat is hit by an ancient looking freighter running at night with no lights. The captain, a pissed off Carradine, quickly winds up dead despite being an old salt full of all reason and no superstitious sailor stories. Everyone else takes the tiny dingy to the nearby island and find Peter Cushing waiting on the return of his SS squad, who he knows will be out to get him, and everyone else. When the Nazi Zombies do show up they are pretty effective and there are some pretty awesome shots and atmosphere generated here and there. Obviously shot on a budget (most of which probably went to Cushing, Caradine, and the underwater camera), this flick does muster some atmosphere and is important in the scheme of Zombie movies I think, but it does drag on with scenes of people walking around and Cushing’s part all but wasted. Too bad, this one is just full of potential and not much else, also, if you’re a gut munching gore zombie fan you’ll hate this one. More Nazi Zombie flicks followed, mostly terrible, but Carradine starred in ‘Revenge of the Zombies’ which was probably more or less the first Nazi Zombie flick in 1943. I’ll give this a B, I really dug some of the shots but felt like too much was left out for it to work well.

  473. Event Horizon (1997)- This is one of those movies that tend to inspire either love or hate, not much in between, and that’s when I generally fall ‘in-between’. Here we have an experimental space ship, the Event Horizon, which was lost on her maiden voyage; a salvage crew of crazy misfits (who, for the most part, probably wouldn’t actually be qualified for the job) are sent, along with the Event Horizon’s designer, to check the ship out. It turns out the Event Horizon had a very special engine that allowed it to traverse worm holes, so what went wrong? One part Alien (or Vampire Planet) in that a rescue ship is sent to recover a lost ship, one part Solaris in that the people who board the ‘lost’ ship begin to hallucinate and can’t discern reality from hallucination, one part Hellraiser in the ‘there are things man isn’t meant to know’ moral, and one part The Shining as people are isolated in a very negative place that is causing them to lose their minds (oh and maybe a small part of The Black Hole too). So does it work? Well opinions range from a hardy ‘Hell yes’ to a stern ‘no way’, but for me, B material. It’s not overly original but it is pretty well executed.

  474. Night Gallery (1969)- Made for TV omnibus which was supposed to be Rod Serling’s return to the Twilight Zone format. Here we have three stories: #1 is the story of a man who discovers his long lost uncle. The uncle is rich, and not in the best of shape, an ‘accidentally’ left open window finishes off the old man... Or does it? The old man’s paintings may have the last word. It’s a pretty over the top story, with a double twist ending that isn’t too surprising, but Roddy McDowall is perfect in his part as the nephew and over all it is very well done. A-. #2 has a wicked (of course) Joan Crawford who is rich as hell and has been blind her whole life. She hears about a surgery that may give her sight, although briefly and at the expense of another person’s eyes, but she is determined to blackmail her way to see, even if it is for a short time. Bad luck follows. This was one of Steven Spielberg’s first directing gigs and he holds his own. I would’ve liked to know what happened to the guy who gave his eyesight (Howie Cunningham no less). Still, this one worked, more or less. B. #3 takes us to Argentina and a Nazi war criminal who is haunted by his past and hunted by those who want him brought to justice. He prays for peace of mind, but never really for forgiveness and decides he can loose himself in art, which does indeed end up being his fate. Of the three stories this one ‘feels’ more like a Twilight Zone episode, but in a way it also fails as it never really builds the suspense it shoots for and the main character just comes off as too unsympathetic. C+. This averages to a B, which is probably about right.

  475. Possession, The (2012)- A spoiled little girl gets her dad to buy her an old box at a yard sale. What we know, but they don’t, is the box can kick the crap out of people, as it did the old lady who owned it before. Anyway, the little girl gets the box open and a demon gets out… wait, wasn’t the demon out when it was kicking that old lady’s ass? Anyway she becomes possessed, does bad things, and, instead of the Catholics getting the credit (or blame) this time it’s the Jews as it is a possessed Jewish box and a rabbi comes in to (maybe) save the day. Tried and true plot with a little twist, well actually, making it a rabbi instead of a priest probably doesn’t actually count as a twist so never mind. Bottom line, you could do worse. No it’s not very original and in fact downright goofy at times, but the acting isn’t bad and the directing and effects pan out pretty well. The whole demon thing just makes no sense to me anymore; demons have been making really bad career moves for centuries. C+

  476. Death Race 2000 (1975)- Classic Corman produced nonsense about an Orwellian future in which the citizens are more interested in reality television than what is really going on and they tend to believe whatever they are told from the manipulative news sources. Luckily that could never actually happen, oh, wait. Anyway, the great reality TV event is The Death Race, a race across the US where killing people amounts to points. The Rebels (or maybe the French) are trying to put a stop to the race, and the lies, but nothing is ever easy in the future! A classic stoic performance by David Carradine and a nice over the top exhibition by Sylvester Stallone as drivers round out the action. This is a drive-in camp classic, don’t expect anything else and you’ll be fine, if you don’t like that approach stay far away from this one! I’ll give it a B, perfect for what it was, but not as great as similar flicks like ‘Psychomania’.

  477. Berserk (1967)- Over the top circus movie with Joan Crawford as the circus owning vamp. Someone is murdering the circus folk, are they trying to shut the circus down, or are they trying to generate publicity to make more money? Red herrings swim in all directions and I can usually figure these things out but I turned out to be wrong this time, and that makes me want to "Kill, kill, kill" (you’ll have to see the movie). I won’t give too much away but suffice it to say, we get the ultimate in poetic justice at the end. This one’s campy and fun and worth a viewing if you like such 60s flair, complete with Joan Crawford saying things like "We’ve eaten caviar and we’ve eaten sawdust". Too many damned circus performance stock clips though, and the musical piece with some of the ‘freaks’ caught me off guard! Classic stuff though. B.

  478. Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)- Did something get lost in the translation of the title of this one? Luciano Fulci explores some Giallo territory in this murder mystery. A group of kids who tend to get into trouble are, one by one, winding up dead. Red herrings abound: Is it the half-wit who threatened to kill the kids when they picked on him, is it the crazy voodoo lady who also hated the kids, is it the weird rich lady who seems to have an unhealthy love for young boys, or is it some other insane person in this small Italian town with a mob mentality? I actually had it figured out fairly early, if you watch really closely you will too. Still, over all this is a stylish Italian mystery, a must see if you like these, but if you’re not a fan you will just see it as more of the same. I’ll give it a B.

  479. Tenebre (1982)- Argento returns to Giallo with this flick and fairly good results. Although not strikingly original (the plot is pretty similar to "Bird with the Crystal Plumage") the results are pretty good. A writer is on a book tour in Rome when murders that seem to resemble the ones in his books begin, and he is obviously a target as well. I was pretty sure I had it figured out half way through, obvious red herring aside, but like a lot of these films, there is really no way you could figure it out in the end, they always find a way to trick (or cheat) you. This is typical Argento, great use of the camera, interesting angles, and impossible plot developments, all to be expected. There is nothing that really stands out about this flick, suffice it to say if you like Italian murder mystery flicks you should like this one. I’ll give it a B, pretty good, but not much above average.

  480. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)- A young couple inherits an old house, moves in, and promptly starts remodeling. The old caretaker knows it’s now a good idea and warns them about removing the bolts from the door that leads downstairs and about not opening up the currently bricked up fireplace, but silly advice from creepy old guys is meant to be ignored. Then the whispers begin and the little demon things show up and, well, you can guess the rest. Like many people my age, I saw this on TV back in the day and it scared the living crap out of me. I mean I couldn’t go anywhere without a light on. Now I find that fascinating, that a movie could do that to someone, even a little kid. It would be interesting if we could hold onto that imagination as adults, or maybe not. Anyway, I recently saw this again and, although it really isn’t scary now, it does hold up fairly well. It’s hard to give this a fair grade since I remember it so well from back in the day so I’ll give it a B.

  481. Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (1974)- Hammer was looking for a way to reinvent itself so it looked for ways to basically rebuild the old mythos with ‘Dr Jekyll and Sister Hide’ and ‘Captain Kronos’, which was supposed to be a series of films and maybe a TV spin off but as it was, there simply was no budget to promote anything so this fell into obscurity until the DVD market brought back from the brink. Captain Kronos, well, hunts vampires, and in his travels he comes across a village in the thrall of a vampire, and as mentioned, much of the old vampire mythos gets thrown out the window, to good effect in my opinion. This is a really good period piece typical of post-decent-budget-Hammer, which is still better than a lot of what was being put out in the early 70s. The acting is a tad stiff compared to some of their other flicks but I’ll give this a B, with a little more effort it could’ve been great.

  482. Wind Chill (2007)- Old school ghost-isolation-people-aren’t-what-they-seem flick. There is no gore and no gratuitous sex and I give the movie props for that (don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily mind those thing but it’s nice to know a director feels he can get away without them). A girl wants to share a ride and expenses on a holiday trip back home to Delaware, as luck would have it she finds a guy heading that direction. Or is he? They take a short cut, get run off the road, and wind up stuck and being visited by the ghosts of those that had died on that stretch of road in the past. This is a slow and suspenseful film, with some good, albeit at times too dark (literally not figuratively), visuals. Although a couple of sequences slide a little over the top it does remain for the most part subtle as well, and it works as such. It gets a tad repetitive and begins to rely too much on circular logic (did that just happen?) but if you’re looking for just a decent ghost story you could do a lot worse. B.

  483. Twins of Evil (1971)- Hammer kept trying, you have to give them that much. So your flicks are falling out of favor with the public? Then add some blood and some tits and watch the profits soar. Well it didn’t quite happen that way. Here we get Peter Cushing trying like Hell to bring the subpar material up to muster, and it almost works. Cushing is an over-zealous witch hunter, who loathes the local count, who is a devil worshipper and maybe a vampire to boot, but can’t do anything about it. When his twin nieces come to live with him he realizes something has to be done as one of them becomes infatuated with the count. But which witch is which. Sorry, anyway, this isn’t a bad flick, simply because Cushing manages to be both horribly evil while wanting to only do good. You hate him, but he may be the only one who can help the village. Nothing is overly black and white in this one and Cushing is able to make that work, so for that I give it higher marks than maybe it deserves. B

  484. Motel Hell (1980)- Black comedy about a motel owner who’s motel business ain’t all that great but his smoked pork business is booming. He has super secret smoking techniques, plus a very special secret ingredient he gets from his farm. You can guess pretty quickly that the ingredient is ‘people’, but how he harvests them is the interesting part! An uncomfortable love triangle may be his undoing though. Weird, but its supposed to be weird. It is a tough one to grade, it is really just a very odd twist on ‘Sweeny Todd’, it is done well enough too. I think I’ll give it a B, worth a viewing if you like weird and dark comedy horrors.

  485. Survival of the Dead (2009)- I wanted to like this one after I felt Romero had fumbled pretty bad with the painful ‘Diary of the Dead’ so maybe I was biased going in but dammit I did like it. Some soldiers decide that they would be better off on their own (a la the SWAT team in ‘Dawn...’) so they head out on some adventures (including a forced nod to ‘Diary...’) and wind up heading for an island where they believe they will be left alone, but find a Western in waiting, with cowboys trying to tame the zombies rather than Indians. Romero really didn’t cover any new ground and didn’t manage to whip up that ‘we’re seriously screwed now’ atmosphere that made his original trilogy so raw and powerful, but this isn’t a bad entry and almost redeems him in my eyes after the ‘Diary...’ debacle. The lines between right and wrong, good and bad were blurred enough to keep me interested and the social commentary, while obvious, was relevant. B.

  486. Vampire Bat, The (1933)- Typical old school murder mystery about a village where folks are being found dead with holes in their necks and drained of their blood. It must be a vampire bat, or a person who likes killing folks like a vampire bat. The locals are all going ape-shit about it but the town’s only detective doesn’t buy any of it, he knows something is up. Red herrings flop around but it’s not too hard to realize who the culprit is. For being predictable ancient stuff this really isn’t a bad film, the actors take it seriously enough and the bad old school camp is kept to a minimum so if you like ‘em old you’ll like this one. I’ll give it a B, all things considered.

  487. Wake Wood (2011)- A variation on ‘Pet Semetery’, which was a variation on ‘Death Dream’ which was a variation on ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ etc. Here we have a young couple move to a small town to rebuild after their daughter is killed. Coincidentally this small town has a pagan ritual that will bring back the dead for 3 days, so folks can say their proper goodbyes. There are certain rules that must be followed and naturally, these rules aren’t followed, hence we get a movie. This is full of pretty obvious birth, life, and death imagery, sometimes with a little over the top gore (and sound effects that verge on camp, although I don’t think that is what they were going for). It’s not overly original and teeters on slipping into a generic ‘slasher’ type of plot at times, but contains enough weirdness to stay afloat for me. The twists, while visible for miles, were interesting, and the town and townspeople were well played. I’ll give it an even B.

  488. R-Point (2004)- Korean flick about the Vietnam War, but it’s not as confusing as it sounds, wait, yeah it is. Apparently a unit (or more) has been sent out to a place known as ‘R-Point’, several days later they radio back that they are all about to die and need reinforcements. So a unit of misfits is put together and sent to look for survivors and they slowly realize that they are treading on ground where many have died before, and their spirits are still there, I think. This was a little hard to follow for me as I tried to keep the various characters straight. It was kind of a mix and match between ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Platoon’, and ‘The Haunting’ except it’s not as good as any of those. Still, it is a strong idea and if you can get passed the overacting and the constant use of the epithet ‘asshole’ then it’s not too bad of a flick. I’ll give it a B, kept my interest, really good atmosphere, and good idea, just a tad hard to follow and ‘overacted’.

  489. Memorial Valley Massacre (1988)- Why even bother? The slasher cycle created some good flicks, and some bad ones, this is a bad one! A developer opens a ‘park’ in some pristine woods and disaster after disaster strikes, including someone killing off the campers, who for the most part deserve to die. This flick is obviously not taking itself too seriously most of the time, but it does try and convey some odd environmental message, which gets lost in the terrible subplot of the great Green Beret tracker looking for his long lost son! Still, it is pretty fun to rip on (why do they always say things like “We need to all stick together” just before someone goes off alone to do something). So I’ll give it a B on the craptacular scale.

  490. End of Days (1999)- Hilarious take on the ‘Satan Needs a Son’ sub-genre. These flicks were huge in the late 60s early 70s as the ‘cultural revolution’ started and fizzled, then kind of died out as the slasher movie took off in the mid-70s, but they popped up again there for a short while as we were all supposedly afraid of the end of the millennium (why would gods, devils, demons, etc. concern themselves with humans’ highly inaccurate Gregorian calendar?). Anyway, here we have boozin’ investigator Arnold trying to act his way out of a wet paper bag. Satan is roaming around, seemingly all powerful, yet can’t really do anything right, or should that be rite. His ineptitude pales only in comparison to the ineptitude of the people trying to stop him! I’m pretty sure if there was a Satan this is NOT how he would conduct his business. However, if you want a great ‘modern’ flick for the MST3K treatment look no further (Prior to consummating, does Satan really need a big ceremony, and if so, to who, himself? Why can’t he simply FIND the girl, he can do about everything else?) Maybe it should get a B on the Craptacular scale.

  491. Ravenous (1999)- There’s this American Indian legend that if someone consumes someone strong and brave (and by consumes I mean eats) then they will become strong and brave. Some men assigned to an outpost in the Sierra Nevada Mountains run into a man who has discovered this legend to be true, and now they must stop him, at all costs. Yeah, it is kind of an odd twist on the zombie theme, only the zombies aren’t zombies but fully alive, strong, and cunning people! It’s an interesting idea that sort of fails because I felt the director wasn’t sure if he wanted a black comedy or a truly scary movie. It winds up being OK in both respects but not too great in either. It is well acted and for the most part well directed so I have no real beef (pun intended) but at times it felt almost goofy. I liked the odd soundtrack a lot though. I’ll give it a strong B; I guess I just expected something darker.

  492. Invasion, The (2007)- We really didn’t need another take on "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers" but oh well. All in all this isn’t a bad flick, starts off suspenseful enough with the space shuttle crashing and a possible alien virus being found in the remains. People start acting weird and a psychiatrist starts to notice. Things slowly unravel, and then very quickly unravel and there are some interesting scenes. We slide into action adventure complete with car chases, explosions, and helicopters and then just like that it’s over. Yeah, it was a little anti-climactic at the end but I didn’t hate it PLOT SPOILER AHEAD! Recently a lot of these type of films have had the negative ending (the 70s version did too), this has the happy ‘Hollywood’ ending and I guess what I’m saying is that ain’t always bad. This one may be a little more realistic in its approach than the 50s version or the 70s version but over all I liked those two better, you’re best bet would be to do a Bodysnatcher weekend and catch all 3. B-

  493. Head Trauma (2006)- Odd artsy flick about a man with, you guessed it, head trauma. He’s a drifter and inherits his grandmother’s old house and plans on fixing it up, if his inability to decipher fact from fiction doesn’t get in his way. This is an interesting movie with well-conceived flashbacks/hallucinations. It verges on that pretentious edge at times and the acting for the most part is pretty bad which becomes distracting in a movie that depends on sympathy and emotion. I’ll give it a B-, interesting but it fell a little short for me.

  494. Ghost, The (1963)- A sequel of sorts to "The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock", here we have Barbara Steele, with the aid of a young doctor, plotting the death of her crippled husband, Dr. Hitchcock. Their plan works but there are consequences to all actions as they are haunted by a vengeful ghost, a guilty conscience, and a rewritten will complete with missing jewels. This is a good suspense piece, a little over acted but mostly well done. You’ll see the twist at the end a mile away, but the little double twist was nice. It feels very much like a Hammer film. Hammer should’ve hired Steele for some of their productions. B.

  495. Dead Silence (2007)- A ventriloquist doll shows up at a young couple’s apartment, it kills the girl while the guy is out picking up supper. His alibi of someone sending them a dummy and then killing his wife isn’t holding up so well so he goes back home to do a little digging into the weird legend of the old ventriloquist gal who used to do shows at the local theatre. She was apparently accused of killing a young audience member who ridiculed her act and was subsequently killed by a mob. Ever since the town has been haunted by bizarre deaths. Yeah, it’s a little far fetched and falls into some typical young people in distress cliché at times but never the less I liked it. The twist at the end was satisfactory to me and there were some genuinely creepy shots and atmosphere. No it won’t hold up under any intense scrutiny so just don’t over think it and you’ll get an OK ghost story. B.

  496. Voodoo Island (1957)- I’m a Boris Karloff fan and this one made me sad. Boris was getting pretty old and here he was stumbling around a pretend jungle uttering some of the worst dialogue ever written, not that other movies he made after this were quality but at least he was in a castle or lab or somewhere decent. I really like most of Boris’ Z grade stuff but this one was just sad. The plot? A rich man realizes he owns a small Pacific island that has a reputation as a place of voodoo (in the Pacific? Seriously?) Anyway, he sends a group of engineers there to scout locations for a resort and only one returns and he is all but comatose. Another expedition goes to find out what happened to the first. It includes a famous ‘debunker’ (Karloff), his assistant, and a couple of others, including a designer who will look for color schemes for the resort?!? Of course she’s just there to create sexual tension, as she’s obviously a lesbian who has it for Karloff’s assistant, but it is about as racy as you’d expect from 1957. Anyway, the island is full of carnivorous plants, voodoo dolls, death wish fetishes, bad radio communication, and we crawl along to a pretty terrible ending. I’ll give this a B on the craptacular scale as it is almost a must see for lovers of 50s man-eating-plant type schlock.

  497. Gorgo (1961)- Deemed the British Godzilla, this flick is a treasure trove of giant monster clichés. Giant monster upsets local fishermen, scientists find giant monster and capture it for the circus, a kid warns them not to, giant monster’s even more giant mother shows up and destroys man made landmarks while trying to save her giant baby. This is a must see for giant rubber-suit monsters fans, and fans of Brit sci-fi from this era. It is, all things considered, very well done. B.

  498. The Raven (1935)- Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff's second teaming has mixed results. Lugosi plays a plastic surgeon whose ego is second only to God's. He's a big E. Poe fan and keeps a nice collection of Poe torture implements and other macabre memorabilia on hand. A rich and powerful man's daughter is in an accident and begs Lugosi to come out of retirement to fix her face. The appeal that he is the only Dr. good enough works and, after the recovered daughter does an interpretive dance of Poe's "The Raven" (don't ask) to thank Lugosi, Lugosi falls for her and must have her. When he realizes he can't have her then everyone, including a black mailed crook played by Karloff, must pay. Lugosi gives his usual over the top performance but only later, after it is realized he has gone insane. For the first part of the movie he is very restrained yet edgy. A lot of folks hate this movie but I really liked it. Maybe it's no "Black Cat" but it still works. There are some silly plot devices (entire rooms that act as an elevators and such) and some typical rotten 30's camp but get beyond the weak points and this isn't a bad film. B.

  499. Giant Gila Monster, The (1959)- I can describe this movie in 7 words and a contraction: Deuce Coupes, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Giant Gila Monster. That’s really all you need to know but if you want more... We have ‘the gang’; a group of hot rod drag racers with their souped up ’32 Fords tear assing around the sticks near this small town. They’re actually a good bunch of kids though, led by All-American caring correspondence course taking gear head Chase. He’s a hard worker and helps folks when he can, while fixing up hot rods and writing songs on the side. Chase works at Compton’s Garage, and Compton stores nitro-glycerin in is shed out back. Cut to the giant gila monster ripping cars right off the road as they pass. The local sheriff is overwhelmed, being the only peace officer for 10,000 square miles. He asks Chase for some help, since the local rich guy’s kid is one that’s missing and he’s breathing down the sheriff’s neck pretty hard. Chase is glad to help, of course, as long as he can steal the parts off of some of the cars the giant gila monster has ripped from the road. They start to figure things out after the giant gila monster tears down a train bridge and the survivors all say they saw it, now they’ll have to believe the town drunk who bought his Ford Model A for $695 in 1932 and saw the giant gila monster too. But first all the teens will head to the barn for a party with a famous DJ and also to debut Chase’s first single, destined to be a hit. While singing what is apparently the b-side to his single the giant gila monster attacks the barn. You can pretty much guess exactly who saves the day and how (Maybe Chase, with his Deuce Coupe, and some nitro... Maybe, I’m just guessing here). I went into this looking for totally inept filmmaking and actually got just plain old inept filmmaking, not totally inept. It has a great 50s sci-fi giant monster feel to it complete with explanations like salt deposits in drinking water cause gigantism and giant animals can live and hide in the underbrush for years and dialogue like "he might have goofed the speed shifter or something" and ‘bare foot’ means bald tires, ‘sore foot’ means flat tire and records are ‘platters’ so you listen and dance to platters at a platter party. I give this a solid B on the craptacular scale.

  500. Candyman (1992)- Take a little bit of "Hell Raiser" and mix in some "Nightmare on Elm Street", add a racial element and you have "Candyman". There's this urban legend about a killer called the Candyman and how you make him appear ("Beatlejuice Beatlejuice Beatlejuice!"). He appears, writers get involved, etc. Not very original but this movie works most of the time with a few good scares, good effects, and decent enough story line. B.

  501. Diary of a Madman (1963)- Vincent Price plays a judge who visits a man condemned to death in prison. The man claims to be possessed by an evil spirit, a "Horla", he tries to kill Price but dies in the attempt and the Horla, needing a new host, enters Price (a plot that would be reworked for 1998's "The Fallen"). Price's interest in art is renewed and he hires a model to pose for him, but really it is the evil Horla who wants the model around. This flick is more than a little cheesy and the effects are bad even by 1963 standards, but Price gives his usual 110%, which brings the other actors up a notch and saves the film from being totally forgettable. A classic if you like these 60s flicks. B.

  502. From a Whisper to a Scream (1987)- Featuring a wraparound story about a female serial killer being put to death, we find a reporter asking the woman’s uncle (Vincent Price) how his niece came to be such a cold blooded killer. He proceeds to tell her it has to do with her hometown where horrible things have always happened, like: Story 1 deals with an introvert who still lives at home with his sister (and their relationship may not be overly healthy). He wants very badly to date hottie from work (who wears GIANT 80s glasses!), she accepts his offer for dinner, but steadfastly rejects his advances, which causes him to lose it, he kills her, but his love won’t die with her. Well played and an interesting, albeit goofy ending, I’ll give it a B. Story 2 finds a crook on the run. He takes a bullet and is saved by an old man who lives out in the swamp. The old man practices voodoo and it turns out he may in fact be a VERY old man. The young crook wants in on the voodoo secrets and of course, gets way more than he wished for. I liked this one and will give it an A (great soundtrack too). Story 3 finds a young woman madly in love with a circus freak who eats glass and razor blades for a living. The problem is he may have had to sell something important in order to gain that ability. A tad over the top I’ll give this one a C. And finally story 5 revolves around the end of the Civil War. Some soldiers on their way home decide to do some raping and pillaging, but things don’t go as planned when they encounter a strange house full of young kids. This one had a pretty strong ‘creepiness’ to it I liked, it wasn’t great with regard to story but it worked on an atmosphere level so I’ll give it an A. And back to the wrap around and an ending I really didn’t dig, but that’s because I’m old school I guess. This averages to about a B which seems right.

  503. Deadtime Stories II (2011)- Romero returns with 3 more tales of terror, sort of. This is pretty low brow stuff. Story 1 is called ‘The Gorge’, get it? 3 friends go cave exploring and a rock slide traps them and injures one very badly. After about a month of eating bats they decide their friend’s leg needs to be amputated, and eaten. Eventually other parts apparently need amputation. The gore is so over the top as to be camp, especially the sound effects of the tearing of bone and flesh. Oh, and now do you get the name? I’ll give it a C+, pretty obvious stuff with a goofy ending, but not all bad. Story 2 revolves around a college professor who has his life planned out perfectly. His only weakness is he likes the college girls and gets one pregnant. When she commits suicide right in class his perfect life quickly unravels. This one is pretty well done and I’ll give it an A. As you may know, these anthologies often try and save the best for last, well story 3 is about a lab worker who discovers that soil from Mars may have healing qualities. He confides in a security guard whose wife is dying of cancer. The guard steals some soil and it works. His wife is fine, and it might be noted, horny as hell. The lab worker is none too happy when he finds out and he must be killed, taken home, and hidden in the freezer, and more Martian soil procured. Pretty campy and a tad too long but done well enough, in a hokey camp sort of way. This should have been the first with The Gorge following. Anyway, I’ll give it a B- which averages to about an even B.

  504. 13 Ghosts (1959)- This is a decent enough William Castle flick. A man on the brink of bankruptcy inherits his uncle’s old mansion, tax-free no less, and moves his family in. His uncle’s lawyer warns him that his uncle found a way to capture and keep ghosts and that the house currently has 12 ghosts and is looking for a 13th. Undeterred that family moves in and deals with the ghosts and the weird maid (played by the Wicked Witch of the West). It’s also entirely possible that there is a stash of cash in the house and someone is trying to drive the family out, is that someone of this world or of the next... or both? When played at the movies this flick required viewers to use glasses in order to see the ghosts (the characters on screen also have to wear goggles to see the ghosts), which amounted to another Castle gimmick. This is typical 50s Castle material, no body is trying too hard or taking the material too seriously but it works in a fun old school way. Remade in 2001. B.

  505. Vampire Lovers, The (1970)- Hammer was looking for ways to spice up their horror lineup, which modern audiences were starting to find a bit, well, dated. Toss in some tits and lesbian kissing and wah-la, modern version of a period vampire tale. Yeah, the exploitation is obvious but really this isn’t a bad flick in a retelling of the ‘Carmilla’ story. A vampire gets herself kind of ‘injected’ into different families and starts relationships with the rich people’s daughters and or nieces. She travels around doing this until someone figures out what is up. It’s no masterpiece but the acting, directing, and over-all look do work. B

  506. Baron Blood (1972)- A great atmospheric piece by Bava about a man who returns to his roots by trying to find some of his heritage in his family’s Austrian castle. He jokingly reads an incantation ends up working and resurrects a brutal ancestor. This directing and suspense work really well (as should be expected) and this film works really well being what it should be, horror suspense. It is a great Euro-Horror and my only complaint would be a let down of an ending, pretty anti-climactic. B

  507. Countess Dracula, The (1971)- An old countess is widowed and accidentally discovers that if she gets a virgin’s blood on her she will suddenly look a lot younger. So she needs some dead virgins, of course each time the effect wears off she looks worse and needs more blood. An allegory for drug addiction anyone? Or maybe an allegory for aging gracefully, either way this is a pretty good late entry into the Hammer Horror Pantheon. B

  508. Devil’s Partner (1962)- An odd name for an odd movie. We begin with an old man killing a goat and signing a goat’s skin in goat’s blood, a hand reaches in and also signs the parchment and the old man collapses. Cut to a hip guy who doesn’t sweat no matter what the temperature who has come to town to claim his now deceased uncle’s property, his uncle being the old guy at the beginning. So, we know that the old guy sold his soul to the devil and the young may actually be the old guy, either way the young guy can make animals attack people and also make people die from drinking goat’s milk. So is the young guy the devil, or the devil’s partner, or the old guy transmigrated? Yes. And will the sheriff figure it out before the devil mates up with the local doctor’s daughter? You’ll have to find that one out on your own. Anyway, this is an odd little flick, a little slow moving at times with the feel of a long Twilight Zone episode. I read a review of it where someone said if David Lynch had directed it people would be drooling over it, not sure I’d go that far but it is a fair point. This is one of those low budget almost artsy horror flicks that were being made at that time like "Carnival of Souls" (although this isn't that weird) that are kind of hard to grade. I’m going to give it a B because I liked it and it just had an odd atmosphere about it that seemed to work for me.

  509. Dracula (1979): This film sits between Lugosi's 1932 Dracula and Oldman's 1992 Dracula both chronologically and thematically. It is a very good, albeit at times dated, variation on the theme. It follows the book closely and the acting, sets, and atmosphere work pretty well. There are some 70s effects and 70s looks here and there but over all a pretty faithful adaptation of the story. The acting from Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, and others is good and believable, Dracula's acting is good also but he had kind of a 'disco era' feel to him, which didn't help, overall a strong B.

  510. Dark Half, The (1993)- Romero directs a Stephen King novel. I’m not a big Stephen King fan, he’s hit or miss, but I do like Romero a lot and the two worked together well in “Creepshow” so what about here? It’s typical King fare, a boy has migraines, it turns out his body didn’t fully absorb what would’ve been his twin, the “tumor” is removed (a la “Basket Case”) and the boy grows up to be a not-so-famous writer, however he does become famous under a pseudonym and when he is blackmailed he decides to let everyone know that he is both writers. Naturally his ‘dark-half’ doesn’t like that plan and begins making mayhem. So does it work? For the most part, yeah; some things fell flat for me (like the sparrows), and the ending, as is often the case with King material, just took it over the top (more sparrows), but as a horror flick it was OK. I’ll give it a B.

  511. Brood, The (1976)- Cronenberg explores the demons in us all, or in this case the snowsuit wearing little devils in one particularly strange lady who had a rough childhood, and plans her revenge, via her subconscious and her psychiatrist, together the three of them birth these wicked little things. Yeah, this is a weird one and a little hard to explain really. The acting is really good, as is the directing, and the dialogue works for something so seemingly silly on the surface. No, it isn’t extremely frightening, and may even at times be almost laughable, still, I liked it, it is fairly unique and creates a good little atmosphere. B.

  512. Below (2002)- During WWII an American submarine picks up survivors of a sunken hospital ship. Soon after things start getting strange on board. We quickly find one of the survivors is German. Is he trying to sabotage the submarine? I always like claustrophobic stories, and you can't get much more claustrophobic than a sub, especially one that just may be haunted. This is a pretty effective story, well acted, tense, and paced well. B

  513. Dagon (2001)- This Lovecraft tale is about a couple who find themselves stuck on a sail boat in a storm, the boat hits rocks so they head for shore to get help. They don’t find any help on shore, instead they find some half human half fish creatures who want very badly to capture and or kill them. A local who hasn’t succumbed to the fish changing disease, but has taken to quite a bit of drinking, tells them the story of how this came to be. It was a fishing village that had fallen on bad times, when a sailor told them about worshipping the god Dagon things would get better, so they did, and things did, and now, well, I’m not sure if this is better or not. The first half of the movie is basically a long (too long) chase scene; the second half becomes kind of an insane monster riddled alternate reality, not unlike a Lovecraft story! Over-all it is pretty well done, some parts campy, some pretty atmospherically scary, and some downright gory. There was obviously not much of a budget to work with, but they are able to make due with what’s available. I’ll give it a B.

  514. It Came From Outer Space (1953)- Yes, It did. A meteor races across the desert sky and is witnessed by an amateur astronomer and his girlfriend. They go to investigate and he swears he saw a crashed ship, not a meteor, in the crater, but a landslide makes confirming his suspicion impossible and he becomes the butt of local jokes. But when some locals start acting weird, the sheriff realizes something may in fact be amiss. Although pretty weak overall this does have some strong positives. It really doesn’t follow the 50s sci-fi formula done to death by so many of those clones. The ‘law’ is often wrong, and verging on out of control, conformists are NOT rewarded (our hero is kind of an outcast geek who the sheriff believes doesn’t deserve the girlfriend he has), and the aliens in fact are not executing a poorly planned invasion. I hope that isn’t giving too much away. Anyway, a pretty good 50s sci-fi flick, which you will HATE if you hate those, but should like if you can appreciate them. I’ll give it a B on the regular scale because I’m feeling generous today and it was different enough from most of its era/genre to get a reward.

  515. Stay (2005): Artsy kind of direction help out this story that might otherwise just be a long Twilight Zone. A college kid stops by to see his psychiatrist and is introduced to a guy that is taking her caseload while she's resting. The kid eventually tells the guy he is going to kill himself in 3 days. The psychiatrist then goes about trying to stop him. Everything in his life begins to unravel as he becomes unsure what is real and what isn't. Then the twist at the end rolls up and I have to admit I didn't see it coming. Was it a good payoff? Sort of, I guess if you don't over think it. This is a weird movie and I can't quite decide whether or not I liked it. I guess the bottom line is it was interesting and kept me interested all the way through wanting to know what was going on and the end was OK so I'll give it a B.

  516. Zombie Nightmare (1986)- I will try and explain this: A kid and his mom and dad are walking home from baseball practice when they happen upon some neighborhood ‘toughs’ threatening a young immigrant girl. The dad intervenes and gives the toughs a beating, then gets stabbed and killed by one. Cut to today, the kid is grown up and still plays baseball, with full on late eighties hair in tow. Then, when in a case of serendipity he breaks up the robbery of a local deli, steps outside and gets hit by a car full of more high school ne’er-do-wells. Shew, anyway, the deli owner naturally takes the corpse to the kid’s mom who then calls up the girl who her husband (the now dead kid’s dad) saved years before. She is now a voodoo priestess and she turns the kid into a zombie to exact his revenge, and maybe get a little revenge of her own while she’s at it: horrible detective work, badly written plot twist, and oddly jumped to conclusions follow. Damn, did you get all that. Anyway, this is a classic of the craptacular so if you like bad dialogue, horrible acting, atrocious lighting and sound, ridiculous make-up and effects, and awful zombie sequences then you will love this one. I have seen much worse/better though so even on the craptacular scale this gets about a B.

  517. Monkey Shines (1988)- I should start by saying I hate monkeys. Some people hate snakes, some spiders, whatever, but I hate monkeys! Anyway, Romero and a big studio, not always a great mix! Still, this flick is pretty good, depending on how much empathy you can muster for the protagonist. A college track star is hit by a truck during an early morning workout and is paralyzed. His life begins to fall apart until a close friend of his, who is experimenting on injecting monkeys with human brain cells, gives him a monkey to do his daily basic daily tasks. The monkey is trained (under false pretenses as she doesn’t know about the brain cell injections) by a lady who winds up falling for the quadriplegic. Toss in an arrogant doctor who might have missed the actual cause of the paralysis, an ex-girlfriend who left due to the paralysis (and is now dating the doctor), an over-protective mother, an under-protective nurse, and a monkey that is capable of basic human emotion and reasoning and ESP and you have chaos! If you’re looking for raw Romero like ‘Night of the Living Dead’ or gore Romero (and Savini) like ‘Day of the Dead’ then you will be disappointed. None of that is there, and while the characters remain pretty shallow and there is nothing great about this one, I liked it OK. I’ll give it a B since I hate monkeys anyway and the monkey was a great actor!

  518. Tales from the Dark Side The Movie (1990)- Decent little omnibus flick based on the TV show. In the wrap around story Debbie Harry plays a witch who is keeping a little kid in a cell in her kitchen as she gets ready to cook him. She’s given him a book full of scary stories to keep him occupied while she preps the kitchen for her dinner. To stall her he reads 3 stories to her. The first is the story of a geeky poor kid who shares a dorm with some spoiled rich kids who have cheated him out of a foreign study trip. To exact his revenge he buys a mummy along with a scroll to raise the mummy from the dead. But in the end who will have their revenge? Story two features David Johanson (from the New York Dolls) as a hit man hired to kill an old super rich guy’s cat. The guy owned a pharmaceutical company that experimented on cats so he figures the cat has come to get, you guessed it, revenge. And in the final story a starving artist who is leaving a bar after being dumped by his agent sees the bartender killed by a hideous gargoyle creature. The gargoyle grabs the artist and makes a deal with him, if he never tells anyone the truth about what he saw he will let him live, he promises. As he heads home he runs into a girl who he takes home with him telling her the neighborhood is too bad for her to be walking in, but really afraid she will be killed by the gargoyle. The two hit it off and end up living the perfect life as the artist ends up becoming famous, their lives so perfect he decides to share his secret with his wife, that proves to be a big mistake. These are campy and the twists aren’t too surprising but they are well done if you like the omnibus structure and the offbeat camp of the TV show you should dig this. B.

  519. Food of the Gods (1976)- Wow, giant wasps, giant worms, giant chickens, and giant rats and this ain't even Japan! These creatures find The Food of the Gods, greedy folks, scientists, professional football players, a pregnant lady, a bible beater... What more could you ask for? Some football players need to get away so they cruise out to the boonies and are soon set upon by giant beasties. All Hell breaks lose and one of the football players tries to help people survive while all they do is piss and moan without offering any other solutions. This is very bad stuff! I'm going to give this a B because it is one of those train wrecks that are so much fun to watch and make fun of. Yes, MST3K away! Deserves an F but... B

  520. Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)- John Barrymore plays the title role with some silent movie over acting. Still, keeping in mind the age and style of the times, the transformation and look of Hyde or pretty effective. Over all the plot is standard: Jeckyll is a near perfect doctor, helping the poor, being nice all the time, but what of man's darker side? Everyone has a darker side, even the seemingly perfect Jeckyll. What if he could separate the two sides and eliminate the bad one. Of course he tries but then realizes the dark side knows how to have fun! But that fun leads to trouble, especially when it can no longer be controlled. This is an old one and looks and feels that way. It gets a little tedious (I'm not a big silent film fan anyway) but, all things considered it is still pretty good as far as plot and look goes. B.

  521. Halloween II (1981)- Although it doesn’t compare to the fall off between "The Exorcist" and "The Exorcist II", there is still a fairly big fall off between this and the original. Michael Myers is still an effective character and hasn’t become the cartoon he would eventually become and there are some effective moments but it all seems to be rehash of the original but without the intense suspense. Once we know a character like Michael Myers the surprise is gone and the overall effectiveness is lost, so we wind up with gore replacing suspense (despite its reputation there is virtually no gore in "Halloween"). Plot-wise we pick right up where "Halloween" left off. The bodies are discovered, Lori is whisked off to the hospital, cops quell the masses, and Michael kills more folks as he heads off to try and finish the job on Lori. There is some unintentional humor in spots like the boy being run over by the police car, which also lessons the overall horror of the movie. The subplot of Michael and Lori being brother and sister is revealed and an unnecessary and unexplored pagan element is added with Michael’s writing "Samhain" on the black board of a school he’s broken into. Not a bad effort, especially when compared to the terrible slasher flicks which followed closely on its heels, but still nowhere near as effective as the first. B.

  522. Dance of the Dead (2008)- Zomedy about a really really bad prom night. Yeah, it is as goofy as it sounds and is at times typical B-grade stuff. Having said that I liked it, I guess because I knew what to expect going in, which was nothing. The high school stereotypes are everywhere, the bully, the nerds, the comedian, the cheerleaders, the class president and vice president, the date rapist, etc.etc.et al and they are played to camp hilt. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or ‘An American Werewolf in London’ it ain’t! But a goofy high school prom flick with zombies it is. B

  523. Sleepaway Camp (1983)- At first glance this was just one of many low rent rip-offs during the slasher cycle, basically following, more or less, the same plot as "Friday the 13th". Kids go to camp, some of them are picked on, some of them start dying off, etcetc. There’s a killer amongst them. Is it the girl who is the butt of many of the camping gags? Is it her relative who has been sticking up for her? Can it be because of their dysfunctional past? If you can deal with some terrible acting, bad dialogue, and atrocious editing (seriously, they could’ve cropped it a little closer so you couldn’t tell the actors were pretty much waiting for their cues!) then you are in for a treat with the slasher ending of a lifetime. This flick ends up being more "Psycho" than "Friday the 13th", in theme only of course and for fans of the 80s slasher sub-genre is a must see. It really deserves a D but I have to give it a B just for being pretty much a forgotten classic... and that ending...

  524. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)- What the... It’s like 20 years after the ape revolution and all of a sudden the apes can talk, and are in school learning to read and write. The apes and humans are trying to live together but those gorillas just hate humans too much. Apes are so peaceful though, or are they? Caesar goes back into the city, which was destroyed by a nuclear bomb, to learn the truth about how apes destroy the world, leading to his parents escaping and traveling back in time and leading to more sequels. Once the mutants still living in the city realize apes have their own future primitive city, revenge is plotted. I think over all this is a better film than "Conquest..." It’s still cheap but good and evil aren’t so easily differentiated and the conflicts seem more real. Yeah, the time sequence doesn’t add up so don’t ask too many questions but it is a nice ending to the franchise, which ties a lot of things together and leaves you wondering if Caesar was able to change the future. B

  525. The Leopard Man (1943)- Sort of following the basic plot of "She-Wolf of London", 'is it a wild animal or is it a serial killer?' premise. Nicely paced thriller with the usual Val Lewton production values. A performer is asked to walk a black leopard out with her for her act but another jealous performer scares the leopard off and before long girls begin to die in horrible ways. The end, taking place during a procession honoring Indians who had been killed by Conquistadors, is pretty effective. I wasn't surprised by the revelations at the end but I was surprised at what happened after those revelations. Ahead of its time. B.

  526. Tormented (1960)- Low budget little thriller about a guy who kills his ex-girlfriend after she threatens to breakup his engagement to a rich girl. The guy feels guilty right off and you can tell murder isn’t something he was cut out for. Guilt turns to near hysteria as he begins hearing the ex-girlfriend, and eventually seeing her, or at least parts of her, manifesting themselves around him. One thing leads to another and the guy just gets himself in deeper and deeper until there may be no turning back. For being so low budget the acting and look of this one aren’t too bad. The effects leave quite a bit to be desired and it is a tad slow moving at times (the guy is just basically walking around seeing things no one else sees for about 1/3 of the movie), but overall it is an effective piece that evokes a little atmosphere and I liked the ending. B

  527. Beast Must Die, the (1974)- Wow, this movie is a child of the 70s in every way imaginable. The clothes, the cars, the music, even the dialogue feels 70s (with great Shakespearean delivered lines like "You... make... me... ssssiiiiick..."). Remember boys and girls, when you try to be hip all you are probably really doing is dating yourself! A super rich guy who likes going on safaris decides to hunt the ultimate prey. Man? Close. Werewolf. He outfits his huge mansion and surrounding land with cameras, microphones, and sensors and then invites several people over who may or may not be serial killers and cannibals. He knows at least one of them is a werewolf too. I have no idea quite how he knows but Peter Cushing is along for the ride as the Van Helsing of werewolves. Red herrings flop all around as the director must have realized he had no where near enough material to make a full movie so he just extended it with tedious explanations and strange chase scenes (I guess the guy has basically kidnapped these people). Anyway, the decidedly unfair hunt is on but the werewolf makes a go of it and winds up with the advantage somehow. This is fun 70s craptacular stuff, a must see for those that love the Velveeta Cheese filled classics (where can I get the soundtrack?) I’ll give it a B on the craptacular scale, it’s actually well done, just pretty goofy.

  528. Eye, The (2002)- Slowly paced Asian horror flick about a blind musician who receives a cornea transplant and can see again, problem is now she sees dead people... Yeah, it is almost as predictable as it sounds and too slow moving at times, yet in many ways it works. The acting is great, the main character is obviously terrified, yet not in a whiney annoying way , and it also works in the fact that she has been blind since the age of two and is unsure if she should be seeing what she is seeing or not. All interestingly thought out, often executed well, just not that great of a story over all.B.

  529. Wolfen (1981)- This is a slick, well made horror flick with a pretty good cast. A super rich tycoon who is developing a stretch of rundown New York City is found brutally murdered along with his wife and bodyguard. This opens up a whole can of worms about vagrants who have disappeared in that area (as well as other big cities), terrorists (before that became the buzz word it is now, especially in New York, with the Trade Towers looming in the background), and American Indian legends. The material is approached with an attempt at making it as real as possible, almost more cop drama with a horror twist, except for the goofy security agency, which is too over the top. Everything goes along nicely until we get near the end and everything kind of bogs down in a hyper serious tone as the alcoholic cop begins loosing it, torn between believing the Indian legends and thinking they are covering something up, and why does he ask the coroner to go along on his stake out? Weird but mostly effective flick, I’ll give it a B.

  530. Omega Man, The (1971)- This is a remake of "The Last Man On Earth" which it seems many people hate but I actually liked well enough. Both are of course based on Richard Matheson’s book "I Am Legend" (as, at least to some degree, is "Night of the Living Dead", "28 Days Later" and of course film of the same name) but this one adds a bigger budget and a tougher main character in Charlton Heston. Heston is apparently the last (Omega) man on earth and tools around LA in some nice rides, scavenging for whatever he needs. He’s obviously lonely as Hell and we soon learn is being hunted by some sort of zombie/vampire types, but he hunts back! It’s not long before we are then assaulted by some pretty heavy handed 70s clichés, music, slang, race relations, and clothes as Heston takes on the zombie/vampires and learns he is in fact not the last man (or person) on earth. The end is pretty predictable and that last shot of Heston is well, an interesting choice. They tried so hard to make the movie relevant to the times that they made it totally irrelevant to any time so it really doesn’t hold up too well at all but early on it almost manages to capture that elusive ‘feeling’ of desolation these movies need to succeed for me personally. Yeah, it is very dated and definitely looses steam and believability with ‘honky paradise’ type of lines and the heinous soundtrack but still, it is a classic. B.

  531. Little Shop of Horrors (1960)- Classic little horror comedy that basically follows the same story as Corman’s earlier "Bucket of Blood". A half-wit delivery boy at a florist in ‘Skid Row’ is on the verge of getting fired. He can’t allow this to happen as he has to support his hypochondriac mother so he breeds a new plant that he hopes will make the floral shop famous and him secure. The plant starts out interesting enough but soon gets sick and he accidentally realizes it really likes human blood. The plant grows very quickly on its new diet but where to get more food? A series of accidents leads to bodies which leads to food, which leads to a bigger and hungrier plant. This was remade into a successful musical play and later a remake of the movie in the guise of the musical play. A classic incredibly low budget quickie from the Corman catalogue (with an appearance by a very young and masochistic Jack Nicholson). B

  532. The Thing (1951)- Cold War paranoia turns into space ships in the Alaskan ice and a Frankenstein's Monster-like vegetable man who hates electricity. This is some effective 50's scifi horror and plays well with its paranoid trapped surroundings and monster on the lose feeling. B.

  533. One Body Too Many (1944)- The Tin man from the Wizard of Oz plays an insurance salesman who winds up protecting a dead body from family members who want to change the dead man's will. Yeah, it's a strange plot (that's been done a million times on stage and film) but it works for the most part in this murder mystery/comedy. Bela Lugosi plays the (PLOT SPOILER) butler but is just a red herring. They set him up nicely making you think he's trying to poison everyone but it's pretty obvious he's really not. This is a good old school comedy mystery that I recommend if you like that sort of thing and can find it. My only complaint is it drags as it gets near the end and should have been a little shorter. B

  534. Bucket of Blood (1959): Early Roger Corman cheapie about a halfwit outcast who buses tables at an ultra hip beatnik club called The Yellow Door. Said halfwit wants to be an artist and be accepted in someway but has no talent beyond memorizing other's poetry. Then one night he's trying to make a sculpture, and failing badly, when he accidentally kills his landlady's cat. So to hide the body he naturally encases it in clay and turns it into a statue (knife sticking out and all). His sculpture becomes a big hit with the in crowd and also draws the attention of an undercover cop who's casing the place. Halfwit then proceeds to accidentally kill the cop too. Luckily he knows just what to do with the body. Meanwhile the owner of the Yellow Door discovers halfwit's secret but knows he can make some money from him so he goes along for the ride. This is a pretty decent black comedy cult favorite about loneliness and the desire to be accepted. It is cheap of course and the copy I watched was pretty bad but that aside I liked this one. Nothing great about it just a good story and fair acting, tightly paced and played out. B.

  535. Dead Meat (2004)- In the mood for a mindless zombie flick? Looking for something in the vein of the classic Italian Zombi films of the late 70s early 80s? Don't really care about things like plot, good acting, interesting dialogue, or character development? Then "Dead Meat" is for you! This is an Irish zombie flick (?) that has no originality at all, but who needs that? A man and woman are driving across Ireland, unaware of a new strain of mad cow disease that seems to infect humans. They run over a man and kill him, the man comes back to life, bites the guy on the neck, he dies, attacks his girlfriend (or wife, whatever), she kills him (with a wicked strong vacuum cleaner), meets up with a local, and they run from hordes (and HORDES) of zombies (why are there always so damned many zombies out in the country?). Tons of zombie 'kills', low budget gore, and everything zombie aficionados love. Keeping in mind the obvious deficiencies I listed above I am going to give this a strong B. I liked it, yeah it is cheap and unoriginal, but I like zombie flicks!

  536. Creature from The Black Lagoon (1954)- Some bad acting, dated, crazy music, and silly plot lines almost doom this one. Almost. The underwater scenes are brilliantly filmed and the "Creature Suit" is very impressive considering the times. On an expedition in the Amazon Jungle an archeologist finds a fossilized hand of some sort of amphibian. With the help of a greedy scientist (which in the 50s replaced the 'Mad Scientist') the archeologist puts together an expedition into the jungle to find the rest of the fossilized remains. Of course what they find is no fossil. The female role in this one starts out like she might be as smart as the men but then winds up being eye candy that just screams a lot. Why did women scream a lot back in the day? Instead of saying "Hey look! He's over here quick!!" She'd just cover her mouth and say "AHaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" She also goes for a dip in the Amazon, you know, with the piranha, alligators, electric eels, water snakes, etc. One shot across the boat shows each man with a gun, and the physically weakest of the crew, the woman, without one. Ah sexism back in the day. It don't get no better'n that. All flaws aside this is a classic. B.

  537. The Mummy (1959)- In the late 50s Hammer was making a name for itself redoing Universal Monster movies from the 30s. They weren't just re-filming them though they were rewriting them as well. After a pretty creative take on Dracula and a very creative remake of Frankenstein they tackled The Mummy. Christopher Lee was again the monster and Peter Cushing again the hero, and despite this it didn't feel formulaic. The indoor sets and the color of these early Hammer films is second to none (the 'outdoor' sets leave a little to be desired except maybe the swamp scene) and again the story is very creative. An Egyptian priest is having an affair with a princess; when she dies during a journey he ignores protocol and has her buried where she died rather than where she reigned. He is then caught attempting to revive her and is sentenced to be buried alive with her and protect her for eternity. 4000 years later English archeologists have the unfortunate luck of finding her tomb and being the first to disturb it. Lee and Cushing always take their roles very seriously and deliver whatever dialogue is asked with them like the professionals they are. If you like Mummy movies, and I don't, you'll like this one. B.

  538. Donovan’s Brain (1953)- Lots of ‘brain in a vat’ adaptations out there, but this one stays pretty true, and is really just a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ retelling. A scientist is experimenting on keeping monkey brains alive when a plane crash happens near his ranch; an excellent time to try it on a human who is dead anyway, even though such things are illegal. It works (of course) and the scientist becomes obsessed with communicating with the brain, and when he connects, well, that’s the ‘Mr. Hyde’ part. It’s goofy with lots of “How ‘bout making us some of that fabulous stew dear” to the wife who was a nurse before giving it all up to get married! It was 1953 after all, but dated weaknesses aside this one holds up pretty well. Now make me some stew. B.

  539. Christine (1983) - You probably already know the plot to this one. Boy is a geek with pushy parents, boy sees old car, boy buys old car, restores old car, become car’s best friend, car takes to destroying boy's tormentors, boy becomes cool, car goes too far. Strange tale to be sure, I never read the book but I’ve always liked the movie. It’s no masterpiece but John Carpenter directed and made the movie believable in an odd way. The acting and effects hold up pretty well too. B.

  540. Ghost Galleon, The (1974)- If part two of the Blind Dead movies is the best, then this, part three, is the worst. A couple of fashion models take a boat out into the open ocean (a little speed boat?!?) in hopes of being rescued by a passing merchant ship and then creating lots of free publicity for the marketing firm they work for. A terrible plan that goes terribly awry when the girls wind up boarding the old apparently abandoned ship they float up to. A rescue party goes looking, but must enter another dimension to find the galleon and the girls. They do so and find the Templars and their treasure. Will dumping the Templars coffin/crates into the ocean save them? A couple of "I don’t know about you but I’m getting out of heres" later and we find out the answer to that one. This movie is ripe for the ol’ MST3K treatment. Horrible acting, hilarious dialogue, long boring sequences, no where near enough Templar zombies, and probably the worst 'ship on the ocean' effects ever filmed outside someone's bathtub. B on the craptacular scale.

  541. Nightwatch (1997)- This is a decent enough thriller about a college student who takes a job working as a night watchman in a morgue hoping he will use the time studying. His wild friend, along with his odd new job, get him tangled up in a mess as bodies from a serial killer keep coming into the morgue. Is the killer trying to frame him, is the morgue haunted? Odd and uncomfortable this is a well-directed and acted thriller with atmosphere. It gets a little blown out of proportion, as many of these films do, near the end, but it never reaches that "this is getting dumb" point. B

  542. The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)- Richard Matheson's script is pretty faithful to Poe's tale of a man held prisoner in his house and haunted by the past deeds of his nefarious family members. The house is crumbling around them and there are no heirs and he plans on keeping it that way as a suitor tries to woe away his sister, who he has also kept in his prison. Vincent Price plays Roderick Usher in a very subdued believable manner and we are never totally clued into whether or not Usher is insane or if in fact what he says is true. This is part of the power of the film along with the magnificent sets and great acting. While I liked the film quite a bit I don't feel that it is the masterpiece many reviewers set it up to be so I'll give it a strong B.

  543. Bloodlust! (1961)- Mr. Brady, before Carol and the kids, is out for an afternoon at sea with friends. They decide to visit an island. It's a strange island with a strange man living there. He's hesitant to let them leave. What's he got in mind? We know he likes to hunt. Hhhmmmmm, maybe he wants to hunt... PEOPLE?!?! Mr. Brady keeps a cool collected head just like you'd expect though. This is a cheap old school Scream Teen flick that in a cheap old school Scream Teen way works. I wonder if the producers of "House of the Dead" reviewed below saw this one. If you like goofy black and white thrillers, like me, you'll like this. B.

  544. Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)- Count Dracula in modern (well almost modern) LA. I could probably just end the review right there. Some hipsters decide to have a séance for their friend’s mother who recently passed away, things get weird and the medium, a strange Count from Bulgaria, needs a ride home in someone’s awesome VW micro-bus. After dropping the Count off the VW gets stuck in a strange patch of mud, being too heavy to push out I guess, the hipsters stay the night in the van, but hipster girl winds up with anemia and two puncture wounds. So on and so forth; seriously this is so predictable I probably don’t need to go on. Never the less, despite being more of the same it is pretty well executed, yeah it is dated and the hipsters were obviously not hip even when this was made but it is a nice snapshot of vampire horror circa early 70s (although Hammer it ain’t) and has some effective bits, I’ll give it a B.

  545. Population 436 (2006)- Typical ‘town with a secret’ movie not too far removed from ‘The Wicker Man’ or ‘Harvest Home’. Here is a small town that has had the exact same population for over 100 years. The feds send a census taker out to figure out how that could be possible, and he naturally isn’t too crazy about what he finds, at least not once he digs a little deeper. This is a good one, a slow simmer kind of flick that suddenly just goes balls out. The acting and directing for the most part are really good, the effects (what there are of them anyway) are pretty bad (digital explosions and fires just don’t work). Nothing really new but it was short enough and moved well so I’ll give it a really strong B, good, but unoriginal (and that ending was pretty predictable).

  546. House of the Devil, The (2009)- Like them 80s horrors? Not the violent slasher flicks but the more subtle ones? Then this is for you as this one looks and feels (except for a couple accidental clues) like it was actually made in the 80s (it is set in the 80s). It has an almost ‘made for TV’ feel too, for better or worse. Standard plot, a girl needs some jack to get out of her terrible dorm and into her own apartment, she takes a baby sitting job, which actually turns out to be a senior citizen sitting job, in a rich out of the way neighborhood for some eccentric folks on a night when there is going to be a lunar eclipse. This ain’t sounding good. Against her and her friend's better judgment she stays on and things rapidly go downhill, as the title of the flick implies. Not much blood, gore or violence until a quick and strange sequence near the end so if you are looking for that look elsewhere. This is no masterpiece by a long shot, and the predictable ending was a let down, but I have to say, this isn’t too bad. It held my interest and dammit I liked it well enough, I’ll give it a strong B.

  547. Perkins 14 (2009)- A cop in a small town in Alaska is having trouble coping. His son was kidnapped about 10 years ago during a rash of kidnappings (14 to be exact) and ever since he’s been losing himself in the booze while he looses his family to the alienation caused by the loss and the fact the crime was never solved. Then a break in the case... except no one really believes it is a break since he’s chased so many dead ends already. This time though it turns out to be a break when a psychiatrist is busted for running from the cops, further investigation shows he is the kidnapper of the 14 kids and kept them locked in cages and treated them brutally. What we also soon find out is the kids are still alive and have been deprived of all their humanity and are now roving cannibalistic lunatics. An interesting premise which falls a little short, I just kept thinking "I’ve seen this before", kind of "28 Days Later" meets "Assault on Precinct 13". The kids are basically made up to look like zombies, which really makes no sense, and neither does the total anarchy they are causing all over town. Still, if you suspend a little belief and forget the obvious problems this is a well made well acted horror film. It is low budget with lots of quick shaky dark shots and flashing lights so if you aren’t a fan of that type of direction you may not dig this one, but really, ignoring the flaws, I liked it. B

  548. The Premature Burial (1962)- Corman and Poe made a good team, even though Poe had been dead for many years. Ray Milland (not Vincent Price) plays the victim of paranoia who fears being buried alive so much that it affects his entire life and of course, the force of his beliefs make the nightmare come true. This is a good old school Corman production with the fog machines working over time. Not as atmospheric as some but it passes. The ending was nice but you could see the twist coming pretty far off so no real surprises. This could've probably been great with Price in the lead. B.

  549. Bride of the Monster (1956)- What can I say? This is an Ed Wood masterpiece, and those of you familiar with the great Ed Wood know what I mean. Those of you not familiar with Ed Wood, well, there's a reason for that. Anyway, this is full of the usual Ed Wood dazzling special effects (a giant octopus attacks Bela Lugosi), excellent usage of stock footage (nuclear bomb exploding), and amazing sets (Bela's lab, especially the stone masonry work on the walls). Ed Wood tried to make good movies... Well, not really but he did make movies. Anyway, Bela is a scientist who was run out of his own country and is now on the verge of doing something great with his giant octopus so his country wants him to come back. Too many people have been disappearing in the swamps around his house though so the cops and a reporter are snooping around and figure Bela has something to do with the disappearances. They're right of course. Seriously, Ed Wood flicks are great simply because they are not great at all. If you like digging the bottom of the barrel then you'll love this, if not then you'll hate it. Personally I like it but it's not as bad/good as "Plan 9 from Outer Space". B.

  550. Black Sunday (1960)- A Mario Bava classic combining legends of vampirism, witchcraft, and Satan worship. A witch and her lover are tortured and killed (by her brother no less) and forced to wear the Mask of Satan, a mask that is basically nailed to the head. The witch curses the family and 200 years later returns to exact her revenge on her look alike descendant and her look alike descendant's father. There's some silly dialogue and some old school over the top acting but I still liked this movie as a well paced witch period piece. B.

  551. Strait Jacket (1964)- After the success of "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were back in demand. Bette went on to make A movie material like "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" and Joan went on to work with... William Castle. Apparently the theatres were getting tired of Castle’s gimmicks so for his next movie his gimmick would be landing a star like Joan. Plot? She comes home early from a trip to find her husband in bed with a woman and proceeds to decapitate them, while their young daughter looks on. She’s institutionalized and the young daughter is sent to live on a farm with her aunt and uncle. 20 years later mommy dearest comes home to stay and try and reconnect after 20 years and two murders. And of course, folks wind up getting their heads chopped off. Mommy is obviously insane... Or is she? Like Bela and Boris, Joan gave 110% no matter how bad the material and she is able to lift this unoriginal and poorly written material above par. Without Joan this would’ve just been another forgotten title, with Joan it is a cult classic. Yeah it’s 60s schlock but it works on that level better than most. B.

  552. The Last Man on Earth (1964)- Another take on a Matheson novel. This is based on his "I Am Legend". A great book about a virus that turns people into vampires. Matheson hated this movie, as I believe did its star Vincent Price but I like it quite a bit. You can really see where modern zombie movies comes from, as this movie is a bridge between the old school Voodoo zombies and the cannibal zombies of Romero. Price is locked away in his house all night waiting out the vampire/zombies as they try to get in and kill him. During the day he reinforces his house and kills the sleeping vampires/zombies. There are some suspenseful moments as he is late getting home etc. and the ending, though weird, is effective. The pseudo-scientific explanations work too rather then getting in the way of the story and the flash backs to the plague sweeping Europe and coming to America work well for me. I'm not sure why this movie is looked down on most of the time; yeah it's cheap, slow at times, and the editing is pisspoor but over all it still works on a B movie level. B.

  553. Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)-The villagers still won't go to church and why? Because Dracula's Castle's shadow falls on their church in the evening. But Dracula has been killed everyone knows that. Well the monsignor will have no more of this. He forces the local village priest to go with him up to the castle to bless it and place a large cross on the door. Man does that plan backfire. As the title suggests, Dracula rises from the grave and is pretty pissed to find that big cross on his front door. The monsignor must pay for that one. And what better way to do it than take his eye candy niece? Pretty effective Dracula story and Christopher Lee hits his stride as Dracula. B.

  554. Night Must Fall (1964)- Albert Finney is an odd combination of James Dean's Rebel Without A Cause and Anthony Perkins' Psycho. He's a charmer out to play whatever role the women he decides to keep company with expect him to be. This could've been better with a little more restraint and a little more mystery, although it didn't end as I expected we did all know from the start that he was a actually a psychotic murderer. It's the Hitchcock approach, spill enough beans to clue the viewers in so they get to watch like the voyeurs we are, what happens to the people's lives that don't know the truth in the movie. I liked it, I just felt it could've been much better. B.

  555. From Beyond (1986)- Damn near made right smack in the middle of the 80s, and you would know that just by watching the first couple of minutes! Yes this flick is a product of its times, no way around it. Here we have the Lovecraft influenced theme of creatures coming from another dimension, this time because scientists have discovered the resonant frequency required to bridge the new dimension. Slimy over the top gore and lots of weird sex references follow. This is brought to you by the basically the same crew that brought us the great ‘Re-Animator’, and Jeffrey Combs again returns as a Miskatonic researcher in over his head, although this time a little more reluctantly. This has lots of over the top camp, like ‘Re-Animator’, but really doesn’t hold up nearly as well. But if you like 80s horror you should give this a viewing. B.

  556. Penny Dreadful (2006)- Another of the "Eight Movies To Die For". Penny has a phobia. She hasn't been able to ride in cars ever since she was in a bad accident and saw her mother die. Now she’s wanting to get serious about a guy and knows it’s time to over come that fear. Her therapist suggests going on the same road trip to the mountains that she was on when the accident happened. Her therapist will drive and prove nothing bad will happen. Oh but is she ever wrong. It so happens an escapee from a mental institution is roaming the hills offing folks. He discovers Penny's phobia and uses it against her to torture her. For the most part this movie is pretty effective. Some very suspenseful directing and most of the acting is good (some is fairly bad though). There were a couple of times I was thinking "alright, let’s get a move on" as neither the actress nor the director were quite capable of pulling off long scenes taking place in the confines of a car, and the predictable "She’s saved... oh wait" gets old. Still I’ll give this one a strong B.

  557. 13 Ghosts (2001)- An interesting approach to the ghost story. An eccentric rich guy captures spirits with the help of scientific gear and a guy with ESP. He stores the spirits in his all glass house's basement and can see them if he wears special glasses. So what does he have in plan for them? His nephew's family will find out the hard way I'm afraid. Yeah it's a little silly and although it never falls into camp or black comedy status, you know no one is taking this too seriously, which works in this case. The ghosts are interesting looking, albeit a little over the top at times and the acting and effects are good. This is a good flick for what it is, which is an over the top ghost story in the "House on Haunted Hill"/ "Ghost Busters" vein. B.

  558. Horror Express (1973)- Lee and Cushing together again, this time in a Spanish production set on a Russian train leaving China for France in 1909. The copy I have isn't so good. The picture is dark, the color and sound bad. Still I enjoyed the movie. Lee is a smug archeologist who believes he has found the 'missing link' between man and ape. Cushing is a somewhat jealous compatriot who wants to know what Lee is up to. Lee loads his find into a big crate and gets on the train with Cushing and several other colorful characters. Chaos ensues as the missing link turns out to be alive and thirsting for ... knowledge? Find the movie and watch it to find out what I mean. Over-all effective movie, especially the blind zombies at the end, stick some zombies in a movie and it'll almost always bump its grade a letter. Basically it's 'The Thing' on a train. Or maybe better "The Creeping Flesh" which came out the same year and also stared Cushing and Lee. Solid B.

  559. Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)- How did Corman actually pull off halfway decent flicks with absolutely no budget? This goofy little spoof plays out like one of those "Airplane!" movies with over the top comedy mixed with a subtle wit. The plot is about a gangster hired by Cuban refugees during the Cuban Revolution to get gold out of their country. He plans on killing the Cubans and blaming it on a legendary monster that lives in the ocean, and then he’ll keep the gold. Of course it turns out the monster is real. The characters are insanely over the top as is the dialogue, but it works as a complete spoof of all things monster-gangster-spy. It gets a little tedious near the halfway point and even at 75 minutes is a little too long. Despite that I’ll give it a B but keep in mind this is low budget comedy schlock.

  560. The Thing (1982)- John Carpenter's remake of the classic 50's horror scifi flick. Carpenter made a lot of changes and other then the claustrophobic Alaskan setting little remains the same. This movie works along the lines of alien mixed with a whodunit mystery. Except whodunit is possessed by an alien. I really like this movie simply because of the suspense and paranoid feelings it invoked in me when I first saw it back in the day. It's not very original but well executed. B.

  561. Book of Shadows: The Blair Witch II (2000)- How could they make a sequel to a movie that wasn't supposed to be a movie in the first place? "The Blair Witch Project" just made too much money to leave well enough alone. There's more gold in that mine. Blair II more or less picks up where the first one left off; with the exception that now we're watching a movie, not a documentary. All sorts of tourists are showing up in Blair, bothering some locals, making others rich. Enter the unstable tour guide and his unsuspecting tour guidees, and off into the woods they go. Things begin to go wrong and one wrong move leads to another (etc.) until they wind up back at the tour guides house and insanity ensues. I was very suspect about this movie going in but I think it ended up being a fairly strong. Although not brilliant and not as original as the first one, it did keep me focused and interested so what more could you really ask for. B.

  562. The Grudge (2004)- Creepy Japanese inspired piece. According to Japanese legend, if something bad happens in a house then those 'vibes' (my word) linger like a stain and rub off on anyone who stays there. This movie revolves around such a house and all those who enter. Nice twist on the old ghost story standard with room for some violent conclusions. Although slow moving at times, this is a pretty effective movie and has some genuinely strange scenes that made me uncomfortable. I've read a lot about how great some of these Japanese horror movies are but have yet to see any of the originals, only the American remakes (although this was actually remade by the same Japanese director in Japan, but for American audiences). Hopefully I'll be able to find some of the originals and catch them and review them in the near future. B.

  563. Beyond, The (1981)- Italian Zombie Master Fulci Strikes Again. Here's how I figure the planning for this movie went down. Meeting #1: "Hey I have an idea. Let's do a movie about a hotel built on top of a gateway to Hell and strange things start happening when someone decides to restore it." "Great idea!" Meeting #2: "Hey let's make this movie extremely gory with lots of slow death scenes throughout!" "Great idea when do we start?" "How about right now?" "But we don't have a script or have the plot hashed out yet." "That's OK, ACTION!" So, if you're looking for a coherent plot with good dialogue and acting look elsewhere. If you're looking for an atmospheric gory Eurotrash Zombie flick, look no further! Fulci gets in lots of eye obsessed kills which include but aren't limited to eyes gouged out, spider eating an eye, and a nail through the back of the head and popping out through the eye socket in front. Some of the dialogue is great too. At one point the lady who now owns the hotel and is trying to restore it finds out about the hotel's past (a man had found the key to Hell and was killed there as a devil worshipper) she says something to the effect "I'm not going to let a few electrical problems and a silly story scare me away." Of course she has left out the fact that her painter fell from the second story and was mumbling incoherently about 'The eyes' after the fall and then the plumber was inexplicably murdered in the basement by having his eyes gouged out and a body was discovered severely mutilated and bricked up in the wall and then the plumber's wife is killed by acid being poured on her face while at the morgue. Regardless, this lady ain't scared PERIOD! Some of the effects are really good some are really bad. The spider scene is hilarious as they very obviously only had two real spiders to use and used very poorly executed blurred camera work, quick editing, and some fake spiders pulled along on strings to make it look like more spiders. Another scene has a doctor hook a 'brain wave machine' up to a corpse that's been dead for 60 years, I'm not sure what he's expecting to see. A close up of the 'brain wave machine' reveals it is an old oscilloscope, not very impressive. Of course it eventually does kick on but seems to be showing heart rate rather than brain waves. Also look for the sign on the morgue "Do Not Entry", which the plumber's wife duly ignores as she goes in amongst the dead to put her dead husband's best suit on for his funeral. Is that a European custom? . And wow, I would love to get me one of those self loading .357s that doctor has in his desk (that must be one rough New Orleans neighborhood if the dotor keeps a handgun in his desk at the hospital)! And seriously, even if you didn't know it takes a head shot to kill a zombie wouldn't you be able to figure that out? I mean shoot on in the head it drops./ the next one you shoot in the shoulder, stomach, arm, it keeps coming then you shoot it in the head and it drops. Next one you shoot in the neck, shoulder, stomach, keeps coming. Shoot it in the head it drops. After about TEN OR TWELVE OF THOSE IT WULD STAND TO REASON TO JUST SHOOT THE DAMNED THINGS IN THE HEAD!!! Anyway...This is generally one of those love it or hate it flicks. Having said that I fall somewhere between, it is over rated stuff by many zombie fans but not as bad as the haters would have you believe. I'll give it a B for atmosphere and pure discomfort level. Fulci's "Zombi II" is better.

  564. Messengers, The (2007)- I want so bad to give this flick an A+. Great acting, great directing great story. A family with a young boy and teenage daughter move from Chicago to the sticks of North Dakota to try and save the family and grow sunflowers on a small farm. The farmhouse has a secret though, one it doesn’t intend to keep. So why not give it an A+, the story works, the effects are good, the film is suspenseful without always resorting to the "BOO!" technique? Well, I have to dock it in the originality department. You’ll sit there feeling like you’ve seen it before. Throw in equal parts "Amityville Horror", "The Shining", "Poltergeist", and "The Grudge", then throw in a small dash of "The Birds" and you pretty much have this flick. So I’d give it an A-... But... Then there’s the Lifetime Movie Network Made For TV Ending. I’m not sure how it should end but I know it shouldn’t be like this. I saw this at the theatre and as of this review the DVD is not out yet but I bet it contains alternate endings. So my final grade is a strong B.

  565. Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)- Dr. Phibes put himself in suspended animation at the end of the first film and now is back, looking for the River of Life in Egypt to resurrect his beloved Victoria, who, if you can recall, died on the operating table after an accident and the doctors who couldn't save her were killed off in the first Phibes film. When Phibes wakes up he realizes his house has been demolished and his map to the River of Life is gone. The guy who has the map has his own reason for wanting to find the River of Life so Phibes kills off anyone in his way in some interesting ways. This movie revives the very 'oddness' of the first and also the black comedy, which still holds up. It is an interesting plot but over all a weaker effort than the first. I liked the ending though, not what I expected. B.

  566. House By The Cemetery (1981)- The third in Fulci’s not-tied-together zombie trilogy. What do you get with a Luciano Fulci film? You get atmosphere, creative camera angles and shots, gore galore, and did I mention atmosphere? You also get bad acting, bad dubbing, and virtually no coherent narrative plot. So if you want storyline with your horror, leave Fulci at the door, if you want atmosphere and gore, then check this one out. A family moves into an old house by a cemetery so the father can continue the research of his predecessor who committed suicide. The couple’s incredibly annoying and poorly dubbed son keeps seeing and talking to a little girl, who may or may not be a ghost, and who warns him about moving into the house. They move to the town, a place the father may or may not have been before, and hire a babysitter who may or may not be in on some sinister plot or something like that. Then the zombified remains of the crazy doctor that lived in the house back in the day starts killing people off in gruesome and slow ways. We end with a typical Fulci circular logic ending and wonder to ourselves "What?" I’ll give this one a B because I like Fulci’s direction and vision, but don’t expect great acting, dubbing, or a story that makes much sense. This is only a step or two away from "Eraserhead".

  567. The Forgotten (2004)- This was a weird one. I was looking for one of those predictable psychological thrillers. You know the ones. A lady is in counseling because she can't get over losing her son. Then everyone begins trying to convince her she never actually had a son, she suddenly becomes an action hero, etcetc. This is more or less what happens but then all of a sudden about half way through everything suddenly takes a scifi turn. Some may think this was the easy way out but I thought it was kind of good. They took a formula movie and combined it with another formula movie and ended up with something fairly original. I guess going in it's not what I expected at all and they were able to pull it off with a straight face. B.

  568. Hell Night (1981)- The slasher genre, born in 1960 with Hitch’s "Psycho" and hitting puberty in 1974 with Clark’s "Black Christmas", graduated in 1978 with Carpenter’s "Halloween", which did for slashers what "Night of the Living Dead" did for zombies. Hell Night falls neatly into that high school/college kids in trouble slasher cliché that got so huge in the 80s. Despite the obvious comparisons to other flicks and the predictable plot and outcome, this is actually a fairly effective story. Not a lot of gore for gorehounds but there is some good suspense, atmosphere, directing, and acting (albeit a little over the top at times). 2 sorority and 2 fraternity pledges have to spend the night in an old mansion where a father reputedly killed his whole family, which apparently consisted of deformed kids, and then killed himself. When the police arrived they only found 3 of the 6 bodies, and a note detailing what had happened. Could survivors still be living in the house? Anyway, the kids get set to spend the night while other members attempt to scare them and they start dying off. Is everything that is happening practical jokes? Are any of the kids actually the murderer? Like I said, there isn’t much new here and over all it’s pretty predictable, but there is some good acting, suspense, and location. Suspend a little belief and have an 80s flashback. B.

  569. Cursed (2005)- This flick is basically just a rehash of plots, all mashed together. A heaping helping of "The Lost Boys", with a nice amount of "An American Werewolf In London", add equal parts "Silver Bullet" and "Fright Night" and you have this plot pretty much figured out. Still, I liked it. No it's far from original, and very predictable, but it just reminded me of the 80s and sneaking into the theatre to see the above mentioned horror flicks. So what's it about? A brother and sister get in an accident in the Hollywood Hills and are attacked by a 'wolf'. Now they are showing signs of becoming wolves themselves. Who's behind it all? Will the geeky brother like the effects of becoming a werewolf too much to let it go? Predictable, unoriginal, and I liked it. B.

  570. Walking Dead (1936)- Boris Karloff is a simple ex-con who is framed by the mob for killing the judge who sent him away. A medical student who is working with a doctor on reviving the dead happens to be a witness who knows Boris is innocent, but he speaks up too soon and Boris is executed. The med student and his professor bring Boris back from the dead in a lab scene very reminiscent of Frankenstein. Boris isn't quite the same though and he's on a mission to find out why he was framed but every time he gets near one of the mobsters they end up dead. This is an effective movie with good sets, pretty good acting and a decent enough plot. It's another Warner horror set in modern times with science as the co-star. Nothing special but nothing bad either. B.

  571. Girl Who Knew Too Much, the (1963) - Bava’s obvious nod to Hitchcock, a flick about a tourist from America visiting Italy who witnesses a death (from natural causes), is mugged, and then witnesses a murder... maybe. Maybe she’s just stressed out... or maybe it’s something else, stay until the end to tie it all together. I found this a little hard to follow at times and the campier edge seemed out of place too, but for the most part the directing and cinematography were incredibly well done, Bava, for the most part, borrowed the best elements from Hitchcock and then made them his own. If you’re not a big Bava or Giallo fan this may not be for you but if you like either of those I recommend this one. B.

  572. Zombie Diaries (2006)- Another ‘point-of-view’ horror movie, this time following different people during a ‘zombie Armageddon’. We begin with news reports of a virus ravaging Asia and people's reaction to it in England. A film crew heads out to interview a farmer about having to kill his livestock as a precaution against the virus and as they are leaving the virus begins to take hold in England and very rapidly spreads, turning people into stumbling mumbling flesh craving zombies. Of course the setup of these movies tends to all be the same, it’s what happens after the setup that can set them apart (or lump them together). And after that setup we jump through several film ‘diaries’ following different groups as they try and survive after modern society has broken down. One group is trying to find food, another is trying to keep a small community at a farm together long enough to survive. A thread sort of ties them all together and there is a wrap around story that if explored more deeply could have been very interesting but as it stands didn’t really seem to make sense in context (without giving too much away it follows a couple of psychopaths and how the zombie hordes have made it easier for them to plow their trade). If you dislike the jerky point of view style then you aren’t going to like this one. It is often dark, very jumpy, and the editing is disjointed, as these flicks really should be if they are to seem ‘real’ and although these films typically shouldn’t have a soundtrack at all, this one does use some ‘ominous’ keyboard pads during points of suspense. I liked this one, it was much better that Romero’s attempt at a POV zombie flick (sorry George) and it almost caught that elusive end of the world "We are truly screwed" feeling that is an important part of zombie movies for me, but as it comes damn close in every category, it never quite made it over the top for me. (One minus was some of the acting was bad, in POV movies dialogue HAS to be delivered in a believable way and there were points in this one that were pretty awkward). I’ll give this a B, file under ‘almost was’.

  573. House of the Damned (1963)- Atmospheric little quickie about an architect and his wife who are hired to look into what it would take to remodel an old castle in the Hollywood Hills once owned by an insane millionaire who still lives in a nearby asylum. As soon as the couple arrive strange things begin to happen, the house, or someone in it doesn’t want them to find the secrets the house holds. The couple, along with the attorney who hired them and his wife, search for answers and then, very suddenly, find all the answers and the movie ends. For a low budget filler this movie is very well done with some interesting cinematography and ideas and great sets in the old mansion, but the ending just rolls up and boom it’s over. I guess they ran out of money or time and just decided to end it right there. I’ll give it a B since it kept my interest until the disappointing ending.

  574. Number 23, The (2007)- I had heard quite a few negative reviews about this so I had low expectations going in, so naturally I ended up liking it. Sure it has quite a few plot holes (I love how directors fill their movies with tons of symbolism that no one will actually get but then can’t actually put together a story that holds water), but over look those and you get a good story that should draw you in. There is a debate as to whether the ending is cliché or not. I thought it was sort of a let down but not bad enough ruin the rest of the film. The plot? Jim Carrey is an animal control officer. His wife stumbles across a book she thinks he might like and that same day he is bit by a strange dog that seems to have hunted him out rather than the other way around. Fate? Anyway, the book gets into Carrey’s head as he becomes convinced it is written about his life, with some details changed. He becomes obsessed with the book, and the book’s main subject, the number 23, which seems to show up everywhere, along with that damned dog. So is Carrey really like the murdering numerology obsessed detective/writer of the book or is there more to the story. Of course there’s more but I’ll stop there. There’s nothing overly original going on here but the acting and directing work with the story. The uses of color and film noir backdrops work really well in the flashback sequences too. Overall a nice twisting story, I’ll give it a very strong B.

  575. Shock (1977)- Mario Bava’s last flick and he went out riding the wave of possession flicks of the period. A lady and her new husband and her 10 year old boy from a previous marriage move back into the house where her first husband killed himself. Her son begins to freak out and say and do some weird things, is he possessed? Did the husband kill himself? Is the lady just nuts? Does the new husband know something? Slow burn buildup winds up with a batshit insane ending that ends up feeling a tad anti-climactic for some reason, which is a shame as for a low budget, poorly dubbed, half-ass acted Italian flick, this ain’t bad. If you dig Bava and haven’t seen this then check it out, if you are new to Bava look elsewhere for an intro, this feels too much like a ripoff of Argento, which is fair as he ripped off Bava at times too. I’ll give it a B-.

  576. Wicked Little Things (2006)- One of the Eight Films to Die For Festival. The story revolves around a mother of two daughters, one a smart assed teenager who needs an ass kicking and one typical cutesy blonde girl a la "Poltergeist" etc. The mother is recently widowed and her husband’s death has left them low on money, but it did leave them a run down rat infested old house in the middle of nowhere. Feeling she has no choice they all move into the dump. Weird locals (remember, everyone who lives in the country is weird) abound, a stuttering staring, but over all friendly shopkeeper, a nut who spreads blood on everyone’s doors, a grizzled old bastard of a plumber, you get the idea. Anyway, back in the day a mining ‘accident’ killed off a group of kids who were forced to work in the mine, needless to say the kids are out for revenge, and they’re a tad hungry too. Pretty much every character we have here is the stereotype, from the above mentioned down to the descendent of the mine owner who now wants to build a ski resort on the land and gives us the ‘focus of rage’ these movies can’t go on without. There is nothing original about this one at all, it’s really basically "The Fog" with a few other plots loosely mixed in (and way too many "hey there’s someone behind you oh no there’s not" pseudo scares). Taking into account all its faults, I still didn’t hate this one. Yeah it is predictable and at times silly, but it also serves up some good enough visuals, a story that despite feeling like I’d seen it several times before kept me interested, and some nice location shooting. So if you’re in the mood for a somewhat creepy, albeit cliché ridden revenge ghost story (although they make the kids out as zombies) you’ll probably like this. If you want original truly scary material then you probably won’t dig it too much. I’m feeling generous today so I’m going to give it a B-.

  577. Splinter (2008)- There’s some sort of bacteria/mold that takes over organic material (animals, people, body parts) and then searches for blood and more organic material. Situations like that are never good, toss in a wanted man, his junky girlfriend, and their hostages, an adventurous girl and her nerdy PhD seeking boyfriend and you’ve got trouble. The lot of them get stuck at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and a variation of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ follows. Yeah, it’s not overly original, the stereotypes and clichés come by the handful, and there are some unintentionally funny scenes, but I’ve seen much worse in this category of horror flick. The acting and directing manage to keep up the tension so while far from perfect I will give it a B-, that might be generous but I’m feeling generous today.

  578. Nightmare on Elm Street II: Freddy’s Revenge, A (1985)- I went into this expecting total crap and, for the first few minutes, that’s exactly what I got. But once this one got going I was pleasantly surprised. Freddy comes off as a very serious and sinister character in this one. The refreshing original take on the slasher subgenre from the first Elm Street is gone and sure the plot, Freddy uses the new kid who just moved into ‘the house on Elm Street’ as a way to get back into the physical world and kill more kids, is fairly weak, as is some of the acting and low budget effects, but over all this isn’t a bad entry in the franchise, strange homoerotic overtones notwithstanding. B-.

  579. Crimson Cult, The (1968)- Tigon tried to clone Hammer’s formula and comes close in this groovy 60s witchcraft, psychedelic, orgy, partying piece of nostalgia. Ahh, the 60s, they must have been fun, as long as you stayed away from Satanism and witchcraft! Christopher Lee plays his part straight as an arrow as the descendent of a witch burned at the stake, when antique dealer brothers show up in town, and Lee finds out they are the descendants of the judges who burned his ancestor, pay they must. Toss in witch expert Boris Karloff, who adds a little needed camp, and this turns out to be a pretty good one, despite the weak ending. Masterpiece? Not even close! But if you like the British 60s era horror then this is a good representative. B-.

  580. Fields, The (2011)- Suspense thriller about a kid who has to stay with his grandparents while his parents go through a separation. His grandparents are colorful people from an even more colorful family (to say the least), but I’ll get back to that. The story is set in the early 70s as the Manson trial is making headlines and a group of hippies staying in the small town begin to make people wonder as bad things start to happen, especially at the farm the boy is staying at. A somewhat bizarre plot twist (well not really a ‘twist’) rolls around and we never really get to find out much more about the boy’s extremely weird cousins! Could’ve been cool; anyway this is an odd offering that is frankly kind of hard to grade. I guess the bottom line is I liked it for the most part but felt a little unsatisfied at the end. I’ll give it a B-.

  581. Dracula (Spanish Version) (1931)- I’d heard a lot of things about how much better the Spanish production of "Dracula" was supposed to be. It was filmed at the same time, on the same sets and same schedule (but at night) as the English version, using different actors and a different director. Much of the atmosphere remains in the first act, as does the ‘staginess’ of the second act. Johnathon, Mina, and Lucy’s parts are actually a little better, but I was disappointed in both Van Helsing, and Dracula, which are, needless to say, some important parts! Dracula, played by , was probably more campy and ‘staged’ than Lugosi, which is the main complaint against his performance. And Van Helsing’s cool demeanor and Dutch accent (which goes without saying) are not present in this one. I liked the English version a little better, but this is a good interpretation and actually tells the story a little more coherently. B-.

  582. Night of the Comet (1984)- It is amazing how much different horror movies made in the 80s are than pretty much any other decade. Horror movies made in the 30s and 40s are pretty similar, 50s and early 60s are almost indistinguishable, late 60s and most of the 70s seem the same, but the 80s. You can pretty much tell instantly when a movie was made in the mid-80s and this one is no exception. This flick has been called ‘quirky’, a ‘cult classic’, and ‘low-budget spoof’ etc. It is sort of those all things, but not fully any of them. It is a movie about earth going through a comet tail, a comet that hasn’t been around since when the dinosaurs became extinct. Coincidence? No. Anyone exposed instantly turns to ‘calcium dust’ (and most are as they celebrate at comet parties), those ‘kind of’ exposed turn slowly, becoming dried up angry zombies in the process, those who were in steel buildings are safe and now must learn to survive. We follow a couple of smart-ass teen sisters through LA as they dodge zombies, meet another survivor, and get rescued by scientists, are do they? 1984 was at the tail end of the Italian Zombie cycle (this isn’t Italian) but this actually predated the brief resurgence in the American Zombie cycle (beating ‘Day of the Dead’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’ by a year). I’m not saying this was overly original, and there really aren’t that many zombies anyway, but it was at least ‘slightly’ ahead of its time. This flick sways uncomfortably between comedy, action, and horror and falls a little short at all of them in the process though. Although as a tribute to all crazy zombie/sci-fi/action movies that had come before it holds up fairly well. I’ll give it a B-, a great idea, but the execution felt almost too ‘made for TV’.

  583. Grapes of Death, The (1978)- What happens when folks decide to make their own pesticide and spray it on their grape crops and then make wine with said grapes and then have a harvest bash and invite the whole village and get them loaded up on the wine made from the grapes that had the homemade pesticide sprayed on them? You get French people decaying before your eyes and going batshit insane. A girl is heading to be with her fiancé who works at a winery. At a stop a man boards the train obviously in very bad shape; he kills her companion and then chases her. She runs, and runs, and runs, meets a few more folks who seem to be decaying both physically and morally. She runs some more. She gets a gun, which she seems to have sometimes, and not have sometimes. Although she hasn’t had any of the wine, she is obviously loosing her mind. Finally she reaches the village with the help of a very bizarre and whiney blind girl. The entire village is deserted... or is it? Blood, puss, and decapitations follow. Only the French could make a zombie movie like this (though technically not zombies). It does have its moments, some genuinely creepy atmosphere, some good effects (and some bad mixed in), but also tends to drag and leaves you screaming "no one would act like that in that situation" as the girl kind of ambles around and watches as horrifying things go down. A slow mover at times to be sure but it is after all French and the French do like to show people walking around a lot in the their movies (people walking around with the intermittent tit shot). My main complaint is the atrocious editing though, the now she has it now she doesn't pistol, the blond gal's ability to change clothes at the drop of a hat (and where did those dogs come from), it is jarring at times, almost moves the movie into a surreal feel, but I don't think they really wanted it to go that way. With some judicious editing this could've been great but...If you are a ‘must see all things zombie related’ kind of fan then you should see this one, but I can’t recommend it too highly. However, keeping in mind it was made in 1978 it does hold an important spot in the pantheon of zombie horror, beating the Italian cycle by a couple of years. B-.

  584. Faust (1926)- OK I admit I was pretty tired when I was watching this so maybe that skewed my opinion, but it seemed slow. I’m not hugely into silent flicks anyway, I appreciate them for their often great visuals, and this has them, and for their influence, but for the most part I don’t look them up very often and man, I was fighting the heavy eyelids on this one. Anyway, Faust sells his soul to Mephisto for youth, he falls for a young lady and gets her pregnant, she is outcast, he leaves when Mephisto kills her fiancé, and shew, lots of florid stage acting in between! Don’t get me wrong, some of the visuals are brilliant, and the effects are great, it was just too long for me to watch a silent flick like this. Still, I’ll give it a B-.

  585. Quatermass Xperiment (1956)- Quartermass, a rocket scientist, (apparently pronounced "Quoitamus") launched a rocket with 3 astronauts on board. He had no one's permission to do this and things then go awry. The rocket crashes into a farmer's field and two of the 3 astronauts are gone and the 3rd is in shock. He is put in the hospital for observation and convinces his wife to help him escape. She does and he turns into a monster that begins killing. Meanwhile the police try and figure out what is going on while Quartmass is all cocky and kind of a dick. At the end, despite the death and destruction he has caused, Quartermass is ready to start all over. This was Hammer's first 'horror' film (although it was kind of an combo sci-fi/horror) and is an obvious influence on the plot of "Alien". It was based on a TV series and had 2 sequels ("Quatermass and the Pit" being my personal favorite as I saw it at the theatre when I was a kid during the PTA Summer Movies). There's nothing great about this one, I guess I would call it 'efficient'. B-.

  586. They Came Back (2004)- While not close to the volume of the Italians, the French have never the less put out their share of zombie flicks. And the French have never been ones to follow formula. Here we have people who have died within the last 10 years rising and coming back to their lives. How this happened (I mean how literally as in how they reanimated and how the hell they got out of the grave) is never really mentioned. The gist is the fact we have a problem. The problem isn’t flesh eating homicidal zombies, it’s the fact that all these dead people will need jobs, or pensions, places to live, and everything else people who aren’t dead need. A lot of people die in a 10 year span so you can imagine the scope of the problem, not to mention people who are, or who have gotten over, grieving for their dead relatives have some pretty mixed emotions about the whole situation. And that is pretty much what happens most of the movie. People sit around and talk about the problem, or they sit and stare at each other in silence. Definitely not an action packed, horrifying zombie cliché ridden flick, but a very heavy atmosphere exudes. If you’ve read many of my reviews you know I like that a lot of times, but here? I don’t know! I do this as a hobby, generally speaking I like horror movies so I write reviews of why I like or don’t like individual flicks, and I have no idea on this one. The whole idea was pretty interesting, maybe a metaphor for immigration, or the poor, I don’t know but I liked it. It was well done and well-acted. But damn, at times I just wanted it to end, and when it did I couldn’t help but think “What the hell?” I don’t want to be spoon fed so I don’t mind inconclusive endings but I just got more and more confused, and to be honest, started nodding off, so that’s on me! I’ll give it a B-. Sorry I can’t be more specific but if you want action you’ll hate this, if you want ‘Euro-cerebral’, check it out.

  587. Hunger, The (1983)- This story is about an ancient vampire lady who throughout history has turned people into vampires to keep as companions, at some point they begin to age rapidly and she puts them in coffins to spend the rest of eternity awake, but too feeble to do much of anything. David Bowie is her companion and he doesn’t want to give up his youth so he visits a doctor studying aging, too late for Bowie but the doctor becomes entangled in the vampire lady’s web (complete with lesbian scenes for those of you into those). This flick ‘looks’ real good. Real artsy, pretty much ahead of its time, other than some fashion it really doesn’t feel like an 80s horror flick, it holds up really well, but it also feels really slow moving at times. If you like long, slow panning camera shots and lots of chamber music mixed in with a gothic vampire tale then you will dig this, but if you prefer action over art you better skip this. I fall somewhere in the middle so I will give it a B-.

  588. Raw Meat (1972)- This one is ALMOST a classic, as it stands though I would have to label it as an interesting cult favorite. When digging out London’s underground back in the 1800s there was a cave in, the company went bankrupt before they could dig the bodies out. Little did they know that the workers survived and set up a small community of cannibals underground. The last of their descendants is now trying to feed his pregnant and very sick wife. So why a classic (or almost), well for 1972 it feels pretty far ahead of its time with violence and gore (although not excessive by today’s standards for 1972 it was pretty intense), the plot also predates flicks like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ by several years, and the bleak British humor and Donald Pleasance’s ‘ironic’ performance all raise it above mediocre. Why ‘Almost’? There are times when it is interminably slow moving; long camera shots of almost complete darkness, crying and wailing by the cannibal, lengthy conversations. Had that been edited down and more of the conflict with Christopher Lee and Pleasance (which as it stands goes nowhere) explored, more background on the cannibals, more on the virus they apparently carry, or something, I don’t know, but damn! Anyway, if you’re interested in 70s horror like ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ etc and want to see an early entry in the ‘meat-flick’ sub-genre then check this out, I’ll give it a pretty strong B- and say again it was ‘almost’ a classic.

  589. Crazies, The (1973)- Romero's 3rd film it delves a little deeper into themes he had touched on in "Night of the Living Dead". Where that is about a society of consumers and isolation, this is about mistrust in the military and the government. A government plane carrying a man made biological weapon (a virus) crashes near a small Pennsylvania town and leaks the weapon into the water supply. The town is quarantined by the military and misinformation, lack of preparation, and general disarray cause a black comedy of errors that all but ensures the spread of the virus, which effects different people in different ways, causing some to act 'high' and some to become very violent. It is a typical Romero film with a cast of no names, some of which are really good and some, well, not so good, fairly shoddy editing and camera work, which isn't a bad thing in Romero's case and makes for a better film (I think he has been a huge influence on the look and feel of horror movies today with the over exposed and shaky shots, which now often seem forced but in Romero's hands give the film an edgy documentary feel). This is a good movie with an obvious and still very relevant message but it doesn't hold up, in my opinion, to Romero's Dead films. For me it just doesn't quite capture that elusive 'atmosphere' many of his other films capture. B-

  590. Infection (2004)- A Japanese horror flick. I've been hearing a lot of good things about what's been happening in Japanese horror for the last several years so I am trying to find some of them to share reviews. This was my first 'real' Japanese horror flick (not counting Godzilla movies and American remakes). Anyway, the plot is sort of like "The Grudge". Some doctors and nurses let a patient die and then apparently become cursed, or 'infected' with guilt. It's pretty effective and builds up some nice suspense with some pretty good payoffs. The atmosphere is great too in the dark and dirty hospital as it becomes contaminated with their guilt (I guess it's how they see their environment). Anyway, I dug it for the most part but the very end didn't make a lot of sense to me, maybe I missed something. B-.

  591. Scanners (1981)- Cronenberg likes looking at the human condition, inequality, and science. And here he rolls all that into one strange sci-fi horror flick. Scanners are people with ESP and telekinetic powers. Some can just hear other’s thoughts, some are advanced enough that they can make people’s heads explode (a pretty famous head exploding scene is included). Over all the plot is at times a little hard to follow, basically the government is researching scanners, one of them rebels and kills other scanners who won’t join his movement so the government sends out their best scanner to find the evil scanner, and along the way the government may actually be double dealing with the scanners and the company that makes the drug that helps the scanners control their minds... or something like that, if you really think about it it makes no sense at all. Over-all this is a good flick though, if you like these 70s (early 80s) sci-fi horrors. It’s a little tough to take the whole thing seriously as the actors make goofy faces as they make things spontaneously combust etc. and the lead actor just seems a little too laid back for his role. Still, despite some obvious flaws and a dated feel, this is a good flick with a good enough message underneath. I’ll give it a B-.

  592. Sleepless (2001)- I’m curious how many times Argento can make the same movie. Here we have a mysterious serial killer called ‘The Dwarf’. He killed four women 17 years ago and was believed killed, but when the murders start back up again can the detective who solved the case all those years ago do it again, or did he in fact solve the case all those years ago. Argento gets some of his old school style back, and The Goblins return to provide a soundtrack that would’ve been perfect 25 years prior to 2001 and you can’t help but feel ‘I’ve seen this before’. But if you can get through the first 30 minutes of nameless hookers running around and if you can completely suspend belief when you realize who the killer is and how impossible the entire thing would be (like all Argento flicks really), then this isn’t a bad one. I damn near turned it off about 30 minutes in but I ended up getting pulled into the mystery and stuck it out. Was it worth it? Not really but just getting pulled in is more or less what it’s all about so I’ll give it a B- just for that. Plus I like Max Von Sydow, even though he’s the only one in the whole movie that can act.

  593. From Within (2008)- Town with a secret and folks (mostly teens) dying different and brutal deaths and lots of other clichés crammed into 89 minutes. Sometime in the 90s the ‘slasher’ flick became the ‘killer ghost’ flick; basically the same only with a more ‘sinister force’ at work. I’m guessing it was due to the popularity of the Asian horror flicks in that vein. Anyway, this follows that trend to some degree. People in a small town kill themselves after seeing someone else do it, like a contagious virus. Obviously the fundamental Christians in town have something to do with it, and the wiccans who live on the outskirts of town probably do too. There’s enough blame to go around but the real question here is how to stop it. This is a pretty depressing flick, not that horror movies in general are sources of positive inspiration, but this one with the teen suicide bit, was more of downer. It was well done despite the clichés and short enough to stay interesting though so I’ll give it a B-.

  594. Zombie Town (2007)- This is just another in the long line of super cheap zombie movies dating back to Romero’s ultimate indie cheapie. Some of these flicks are hit, some miss, so where does this one fall? Well the story is pretty tried and true, something is causing folks to become violent flesh eating zombies (this time it is slug like creatures that enter the body and force the host to consume). A small group of survivors (a mechanic, a snow plow driver, and a biology expert who coincidentally used to date the mechanic and looks way too young to be so full of knowledge) look for ways to stem the tide. What follows is pretty typical. I went into this one expecting nothing at all, and as is often the case, ended up liking the movie enough. Yeah it is very cheap, the acting is pretty bad, some of the effects are hilariously bad (look for the wrecked truck scene), and some of the humor is a stretch. Still, it seems they knew when to turn the humor on and when to go for more of a visceral scare, which is important (a lot of times the makers of these flicks just know they are going to suck so they simply go for all out camp and fail at both horror and comedy). If you hate cheap zombie flicks or stupid wise cracking campy humor then steer clear, if you like movies that are only a step or two away from train wrecked garbage then enjoy. I’ll give it a B- since I expected F material to begin with and ended up not hating it.

  595. A Haunting In Connecticut (2009)- Looking for an original take on the ghost story? Look elsewhere. Want a ‘greatest hits’ rehash of famous scenes from "The Legend of Hell House", "The Amityville Horror", "The Shining", "Poltergeist", "The Others", and various other ‘haunted house’ movies both old and new? Then this is for you. Painfully unoriginal in pretty much every way, this movie focuses on a family with a teenager dying of cancer. They rent a house that was at one time a mortuary, and the boy, standing so near death, contacts the spirits trapped there. Things go from bad to worse and he enlists the help of a reverend who knows all about such things (of course), the reverend helps clean the house, everything is over... or is it... of course not. Indeed, I couldn’t help but keep thinking "saw it" at every other turn in this one... still, having said that, I liked it OK. I mean, it takes the best of all those other movies and weaves them into one. I wouldn’t want all the movies to be this unoriginal but if you like those types of haunted house flicks and you can ignore the pile up of clichés then you could do much worse. I’ll give this a B-, the acting was good, the atmosphere worked, just don’t expect anything new.

  596. Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)- Lionel Atwell is an artist who creates wax figures for his wax museum. He refuses to sell out and put up displays of murderers etc. in his wax museum and he's losing money. His business partner decides to burn the museum and collect the insurance money. Atwell is left to die in the flames. Several years later he turns up in New York preparing to open his new House of Wax. He was badly injured in the fire and can no longer make the figures but his students do a fine job, maybe too fine. Maybe Atwell lost his mind after the fire. Pretty good acting and great sets, this is more mystery than horror, although there really is no mystery as to what is going on. Plenty of 30s stereotypes, smart-assed female reporter, mad artist, tough editor, smart detectives. Still this is pretty good material. B-.

  597. Tower of London, The (1939)- Not really horror material but horrible material as we watch the lengths Richard III would go to to become King of England. Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff return for Universal after making "Son of Frankenstein" with Rathbone as Richard III and Karloff as his executioner ally. Karloff and Rathbone are excellent in their sinister roles and it is one of Karloff's great moments (much of the other acting is dated though). Despite a low budget this one offers some great set pieces and is a great story (loosely based on Shakespeare). A young Vincent Price turns up in his first 'horror' role and he would go on to play Richard III in Corman's 60s remake. B-.

  598. To The Devil A Daughter (1976)- Christopher Lee gives his all in what would sadly become Hammer Studio’s final film. In the late 50s early 60s Hammer was ahead of the horror game, but by the late 60s, with the release of films like "Night of the Living Dead" and "Rosemary’s Baby" and the early 70s release of "The Exorcist", Hammer’s gothic period pieces seemed pretty out of date. They proved they could make the modern horror film with hits like this, but the writing was already on the wall. Lee plays an excommunicated priest who feels that the devil (or in this case a demon) is the true god, so he’s devoted his life to ensuring the demon a human host in the guise of an eighteen-year-old girl, whose life was signed over to him at birth by her parents. Her father now regrets the decision and enlists the help of a novelist who has written about Satanism and cults. Although dated and slow moving at times this does prove to be a tense and effective horror vehicle, until the end when we get a puppet devil baby and a thrown rock. I’ll just leave it at that but suffice it to say, the ending was a disappointment! I’m compelled to give this a B-, but that might be a little generous.

  599. Scared to Death (1947)- I’ve read a lot of reviews stating that this is you’re basic hilariously bad movie so I was expecting something in the craptacular range of an Ed Wood movie. But the movie really wasn’t that bad. Now don’t get me wrong, the plot only barely makes sense at all and the one-hour movie feels like three hours, but it still wasn’t quite as inept as some I’ve seen. The performances are passable, the dialogue terrible, and the directing staged and silly. You’ll laugh at the annoying flashback sequences too. The plot? Well it starts off at a morgue with a couple of doctors talking about how someone so young and healthy could possibly die as the corpse of a woman lies on the slab. The dead woman then proceeds to tell her story, to us the viewer, in a series of flashbacks. In more capable hands this might have been an effective device but here, holy crap it’s funny! The woman is married to a rich doctor’s son, she has a past as apparently everyone else in this movie does. It makes attempts at character development and they fail miserably. Enter Bela Lugosi as a magician who used to live in the house of the doctor when it was an insane asylum!?! He has a dwarf assistant too. Then there’s the bumbling campy cop, who is hassled by the typical 1940s smart-aleck reporter, lay over the top of all that a murder mystery plot with every character playing the part of red herring and you have a mess. A fun mess never the less, only for those seeking out the ‘so bad its good’ flicks. (BTW, this was Bela Lugosi’s only color film and the color in it was surprisingly vivid.)B- on the craptacular grade scale.

  600. Vengeance of the Zombies (1973)- Groovy baby! Someone is raising hotties from the grave to exact revenge. A gal has to visit her guru after said zombies attack her. Her guru is an Indian mystic who talks a lot about finding himself. Could he have something to do with all this? Is there actually somehow a connection between Indian mysticism and voodoo? Incredibly inappropriate acid jazz/rock soundtrack envelops everything, as should be expected. This is a classic piece of history right here and worth the price of admission for the hilarious music! From a true horror movie perspective there’s little to offer, although there does end up being a little good atmosphere and some of the effects, like the train station attendant’s suicide, are really well done. Still, this is for completists or those looking for Mystery Science Theatre laughs only. B- on the craptacular scale.

  601. Suspiria (1977)- Quite a while back I watched this movie expecting one of the greatest horror movies ever as I had read so many great reviews. I ended up all but hating it. I have been revisiting some of those types of movies recently and thought it was time to revisit "Suspiria". The plot revolves around an American girl who goes to a famous ballet school to perfect her art, the night she arrives there is a brutal double murder and it slowly becomes apparent all is not what it seems at the school which, it turns out, is run by a coven of witches. Argento often leaves behind the narrative to focus on the look and sound of his films, and in that regard this truly is a masterpiece. He use of bright Technicolor throughout is amazing, as are the set pieces and camera work. Simply put this flick ‘looks’ amazing, but the awesomeness ends there. I really love a lot of Argento’s stuff, but seriously, to be classified as a truly all around great director you really should be able to get better performances out of the actors and realize when dialogue is stilted and phony sounding, and that is where "Suspiria" gets chopped. The acting and dialogue are just piss poor. I know that isn’t the focus, but if everything in this movie would’ve been exactly the same but with good acting and dialogue then you truly have a full masterpiece. No, the story really makes no sense at all; I can ignore that easily enough since I don’t believe in witches anyway (at least not these types of witches), but for me this film just never rises above ‘great looking’. If you like really well done suspense, and great looking setup ‘parts’ and aren’t worried too much about acting and dialogue then I highly recommend this, otherwise view with caution. What would I have thought if I hadn’t read so many accolades about this movie prior to seeing it? Hard to say, for look and ‘feel’ only I would give it an A, but for acting, story and dialogue a D, so I suppose I could average it to a B-, and I feel that might be generous. I’m sorry "Suspiria" fans, I still feel this one is over rated.

  602. I Know Who Killed Me (2007)- I went into this one looking for a good laugh and maybe a chance for some of the ol’ MST3K treatment. After all, it has a dumb name ("Hey yo terminator man, meet the G that killed me") and it stars Lindsey Lohan. But in the end it really wasn’t that bad. An OK story about a serial killer who kidnaps girls and amputates their body parts, then dumps them somewhere (the police believe he dumps them when they are near death so he doesn’t actually kill them, so he’s not technically a serial killer). Lindsey is kidnapped, parts are amputated, and then she is found lying by the side of the highway... or is she. She insists that her name is Dakota and she isn’t one of the rich folks in North Salem. Is it post traumatic stress, or is something else going on? No it’s not real plausible, the twist at the end isn’t exactly hard to see coming, and the constant slow motion, color saturated photography gets old, but when it is all said and done it is a good enough story well enough done to keep your interest. B-.

  603. House of Dark Shadows (1970)- This movie was based on a horror 'soap opera' and has that 'made for TV' feel. A vampire is resurrected and comes across the reincarnation of his lost love. Not too original. Still, there are some effective moments as the vampire plays like he is his own decedent to fool his real decedents. Some nice atmosphere is created too as vampires begin appearing. Over all this isn't great but it is far from terrible. B-.

  604. The Invisible Ghost (1941)- Another Bela Lugosi vehicle. This is a cheapy with some bad acting but Bela raises it up from mere mediocrity. He is actually very good and his acting and facial expressions are great. It's a rare Bela film where we get to see him actually act. He gets blamed for being hammy and staged but it was usually the directors and producers who wanted that side of him for the trash flicks he ended up in. When he played it straight, like here, he was a very good actor. Whatever you do, don't try and make too much sense of the plot though. Back in the day they didn't pay a lot of attention to the 'whys' and 'wheres' of a movie storyline. Just watch, suspend belief, and don't ask too many questions. Bela is a rich widow whose daughter is in love and almost engaged to a young man. There have been some murders on his property lately and the young man takes the rap, and is then executed. Of course we know that it's Bela doing the murders. His wife isn't actually dead; she's just insane and living on the property somewhere. She wonders out at night and when Bela sees her he goes into a rage and kills folks. He then 'wakes up' and doesn't remember anything that happened. It may seem I'm giving too much away but it is all revealed as you watch the film, there really are no surprises or twists. Basically I think this is a well-directed but poorly written movie. There are some interesting and creepy camera angles that predate films like "Night of the Living Dead" and "Carnival of Souls" but have that same feeling; a little (OK a lot) more time on rewrites and a little more imagination and this could've been a great movie. B-.

  605. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (2005)- What happens when you take backgrounds from a classic silent flick and, using a computer and green screens, superimpose modern actors over them in order to do a remake. Well, you get hit and miss. They tried real hard on this one I think, but maybe too much went into the technical aspect of pulling it off and not enough went into the acting, dialogue, and over all ‘feel’. They remain true to the original story, a man tries to stop a somnambulist who he believes is murdering folks under the orders of his doctor, but who is really insane here? And they remain true to the look of the original; it’s that elusive ‘feel’ that’s missing. Still, I liked the effort so I’ll give it a hesitant B-, nice try, good idea, sub par execution.

  606. Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight (1995)- You pretty much know what you are getting into here. This is campy and little effort is really expended in making it very good, the effects are goofy (the gore is well done but the glow sticks in the mouth... seriously man...), the acting silly, the plot crazy, and the demons themselves are just annoying (how come demons seem to move like Solid Gold Dancers mugging for the camera?). Still, as long as you know what to expect, it ain’t a bad ride. Demons are trying to get the keys to come back into the world, they work pretty hard to get them, and chaos ensues. That’s pretty much the whole story. I’ll give it a B- on the craptacular scale.

  607. Saboteur (1942)- It’s WWII and the Nazis are looking into a little sabotage on the American home front. A worker at an airfield tries to help fight a fire, turns out there’s gasoline in that fire extinguisher and his friend has died using it. This guy takes the blame but he knows who the real culprit is, too bad the real culprit doesn’t seem to exist. Cross-country chase ensues. Hitch takes us along for the ride from ranch, to truck driver, to blind pianist, to circus freaks, to the desert, to New York City and the Statue of Liberty. This movie is very similar in theme and feel to "North by Northwest", complete with the ending on an American icon. Although a little too long, it is some great directing and black and white cinematography. B-.

  608. Night of the Seagulls (1977)- I would say this was the best of the four Blind Dead flicks, the acting was better, the plot believable (believable in the sense that cult-black magic-zombie movies are believable), the cinematography was good, pretty much everything worked, except the glaring fact that the film was pretty unoriginal. Basically Ossario took the best elements from the first 3 films and crammed them into this one, all wrapped up with a plot very similar to movies like "The Wicker Man" (small village, pagan rites, etc.) What is the plot? A new doctor and his wife move to a small village where they are greeted with the cold shoulder by the locals. They hear the ‘quaint’ nightly rites taking place but think they are innocent superstitions of the locals. Soon they find out that the locals are tying up young virgins to the rocks on the beach for the Templar zombies to come and take them away. Every seven years for seven nights seven virgins have to be sacrificed, and when the locals try and kill the village idiot and take the doctor’s little hottie house keeper, well, times must change. Really it all works pretty well (if you like Euro-trash I mean) and I liked the flick but I have to knock it a mark or two for such a lack of originality and such a lame ending. B-.

  609. Dead Man Walk (1943)- Pretty much just a retelling of the Dracula story, this time out a pair of twin brothers, one good and one evil, square off for the soul of one of the twin’s niece, I’m not sure how that works, maybe it was by marriage. Anyway, apparently the good twin, knowing the bad twin was evil, killed him, but what he didn’t bargain for was the fact the evil twin was in tight with the forces of darkness and would come back as a vampire, complete with Renfield as his assistant (although not named that, it is Dwight Frye more or less reprising that role with a little less zeal). Very familiar territory yes, but really overall it’s not that bad. Keep in mind it is very dated and very cheaply made with some piss poor sets (how come anytime anyone goes from place to place in this town they travel through the woods?), but really not bad keeping those things in mind. B-

  610. Satan Bug, The (1965)- Not really a horror flick, but, as I’ve said before, the end of the world is pretty horrifying. Scientists at a secret government installation have invented a virus for a germ warfare project; this virus has a 100% death rate and spreads extremely fast. If it is released it would end civilization in a matter of weeks. The virus is stolen, along with several vials of another deadly, but less effective virus and Cold War espionage follows. It’s a little hard to follow at times and is very dated but it still works pretty well, the end is kind of a disappointment though. B-.

  611. Last Lovecraft, The: Relic of Cthulu (2009)- Comedy/horror chock full of low brow dick jokes. It follows the hapless Jeff Phillips, long lost relative of H.P. Lovecraft and apparently the only man alive who can save the world from Cthulu and his cult, all unbeknownst to him until he is given a relic he must protect and he goes from a sales rep at SQRLY to trying to save the world with his high school buddy. It misses on so many marks but really, over-all, I didn’t hate it. It has an almost made-for-TV feel (despite the dick jokes) and if you approach it knowing it is just goof-ball buddy comedy with lots of ‘hey bro’ then you might enjoy it, although it might just annoy the piss out of you too. I fell somewhere in the middle so I will give it the benefit of the doubt and toss a B- on it.

  612. Monster Maker, The (1944)- Obviously low budget yet fairly original tale about a mad scientist who is an expert in the field of glandular disorders. He has the power to both inflict and cure a particular rare disease, and he uses this power to try and blackmail a famous pianist into making his daughter marry the scientist. We also learn that this may not be the first time he’s used the disease, and he may or may not even be who he claims to be. Yeah, it’s a little far fetched and silly at times (what is it with gorillas in some of these old school flicks?) but it still works as a low budget old school poverty row entry. All things considered I’ll give it a B-.

  613. Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors (1987)- Nightmare on Elm Street II was a pretty weak entry after the breakout of the first one, here a little redemption was shot for, and they came fairly close to the mark. We learn a little more about Freddie (the offspring of a thousand maniacs), and a little more supernatural element is added. The premise is a group of kids who are related to the parents who killed Freddie are under attack in their dreams and put in an asylum to work through their various problems since no one believes the boogeyman is out to get them. There are few if any true scares in this one, it’s basically the stuff you’d expect and as I’ve said before once a figure like Freddie becomes ‘known’ he’s just not scary anymore so instead he becomes an odd anti-hero. Still, I liked this one OK for what it is. B-

  614. Halloween (2007)- "Why oh why" comes to mind when considering a remake of one of my favorite horror films. But I gave "Dawn of the Dead" a shot and ended up really liking it so maybe that would happen again. So did it? Well, this story more or less follows Carpenter’s "Halloween" pretty closely. The body count is higher, the graphic violence more brutal, and the gore more prevalent (the original, despite its reputation contained very little gore). You should know what you’re getting at a Rob Zombie movie, and aren’t all of his movies basically remakes... or re-imaginings ("House of 1000 Corpses" is basically "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Devil’s Rejects" is basically "The Hills Have Eyes") so at least you do know this time. The movie delves much more deeply into Michael Myers’ background as a youth, how disturbed he was and what helped push him over the edge. He has an abusive step dad, abusive bully classmates, a stripper mom who loves him but who he is embarrassed of, and a sister who treats him like crap. He takes his feelings of helplessness out on animals, which triggers a red flag with his school and they call in child psychologist Dr. Loomis. Too late. Michael beats a bully classmate to death (we assume) then later that night kills his step dad (or mother’s boyfriend, whatever), sister, and sister’s boyfriend. He’s placed in the asylum under the care of Dr. Loomis, and each day gets more and more distant, until, as an adult... Well, you probably know the rest, and from here it follows Carpenter very closely. To make up for the longer act 1, act 2 is compressed, which is sad as we’re left with no character development, despite some pretty good, albeit stereotypical, character development in act 1. Sure, if you’re a fan you already know the characters, but it would be good to get to know them ‘now’. And then, by the final act everything starts to unravel as we’re thrown into "The night He came home" with little or no preparation and all the suspense that had been built up throughout the early part of the movie falls kind of flat and we’re subjected to yet another modern horror movie chase scene which seems to last way too long. So the bottom-line? Those into the Michael mythos should really like the treatment of it throughout the first 2/3rds of the movie; it worked really well for me. But maybe it should have just ended there. After we go back to Haddonfield the movie just looses steam and can’t hold up to the atmosphere and suspense that made the original so damned good. I’ll give it a B- because it was well done until the final act and the use of much of the original music was great as was the same use of old movies like "The Thing" and a little "White Zombie" being watched as well.

  615. Return, The (2006)- Up front I will warn you, this movie is not original and not scary. I will also say I liked it OK. No it is far from great but it works. Sarah Michelle Geller is a girl in trouble, of course. She has been having visions and has been cutting herself ever since she was 11 years old and was in a car accident with her father. She moved away from her Texas home and lives in St. Louis now and is very successful in sales because she likes to keep moving, as long as it's not back to Texas. Until she has the chance to make a great sale in Texas, or maybe something else is calling her back. Is it something from her past, or something from someone else's past? OK, it's been done a million times, and quite a few times better than this one but still, it is competently made and acted and held my interest so I'll give it a B-.

  616. Dead Season (2012)- ZOMBIES! Tried and true plot about survivors of a zombie creating plague trying to find someplace safe. They find a way to trek to an island that just might be a safe haven, but, as is always the case, who is really the enemy here? Nothing original but the suspense as to who are the bad guys (zombies or survivors) works; I can’t praise this one, there’s just nothing overly great about it, but I also don’t find too much fault, considering budget etc. this one works pretty well. I’ll give it a B-.

  617. Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1923)- This was one of the first ‘big budget’ flicks and you can tell, for its time, it was quite an extravaganza, with impressive sets and costumes. You know the story, hunchback lives in the church as a servant, is held in contempt by the town’s folk, is used for nefarious deeds by the brother of the deacon of the church, is punished, and treated nicely by Esmeralda, then comes to Esmeralda’s rescue when she is framed as all Hell brakes loose. I see why people rate this one really high but I have to admit I had problems getting into it. It was a little too long and tedious at times, although Chaney was brilliant as the hunchback. For completists only. B-

  618. Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1956)- This almost deserved a high grade on the craptacular scale. It pretty much offers everything lovers of the craptacular look for. Terrible dialogue, rotten acting, horrid editing, draw the guns first search with no search warrant fascist cops, and things like the fact that due to budgetary constraints they only had one small row boat to work with so commercial fishermen used it, oceanographers used it, scuba divers used it, everyone used it. And the phantom's monster suit, wow, it was worse than the worst Japanese monster flicks’ monster suits, I mean they weren’t even trying! So why do I say almost, well, despite the awesome badness, it was just too damned slow moving at times. One more thing, whenever I hear people talk about how everyone had manners in the ‘50s I’ll tell them to watch this show. Jeez, everyone basically treats everyone like crap, lying to each other, spying on each other, cops treating everyone like total crap and pushing people around, people stabbing each other in the back, screw these people! So what’s going on? People have been dying (while fishing in little row boats) so some scientists start looking into it... Or do some of them actually have something to do with? Is it caused by radiation? Could it be turned into a deadly weapon and sold? Is the ‘Phantom' actually real and does is it guarding something? I’ll give it a B- on the craptacular scale.

  619. Mirrors (2008)- This starts out as a pretty exciting and atmospheric horror flick, complete with the gore. A cop who accidentally killed another cop and is trying to get his life back together starts working as a night watchman at a burned out old department store. The mirrors in this old building start freaking him out and he puts together the story of the guy he replaced, who recently committed suicide. The effects and the suspense works really well here. We are in for a ride as everyone begins thinking that the cop my be more than just depressed, but totally insane. He’s driven to find out the truth and finds out there was an insane asylum located where the store is and all of a sudden things start to get kind of dumb. The dialogue starts breaking down and the plot just starts feeling silly as we get more and more over the top until we get to the end which makes little sense and all the more subtle suspense and scares become action adventure explosions with monsters. I’d give the first half an A and the 2nd half D which averages to about a B-, which may be kind.

  620. Brides of Dracula, The (1960)- Pretty classic Hammer material; Great sets, great acting, great use of vivid color, Hammer didn't skimp in those days. Dracula was killed... several times, and is still dead (not undead) throughout this movie (in other words Christopher Lee said "No") so the plot has Cushing's Van Helsing pursuing a vampire who has been chained up in his room by his own mother and kept alive by the blood of young traveling woman, and now has escaped thanks to one of those women. The vampire is so happy that he's asked her to marry him. It's a fairly original take on the legend and it works for the most part. The fight scenes are poorly staged and apparently flying bat special effects technology went nowhere from the 1930s to the 1960s but those are small issues. B-

  621. Topaz (1969)- Not horror, but another spy espionage flick from Hitch, based on a spy thriller novel about behind the scenes goings on around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not one of Hitch’s masterpieces but over all not a bad flick, it kept me interested despite its 2+ hour run time. A Russian defector brings news about Cuba to the US and they must depend on a French agent to get inside Cuba to confirm the information but what he finds is a leak at some of the highest levels of his own government. We jump around a lot and are introduced to a lot of characters but personally I thought Hitch pulled it off fairly well. Not great, but not bad either. B-

  622. Cadaverella (2007)- Twist on the Cinderella story. Our main character is a smart assed librarian who acts like she pretty much hates everyone. Her boyfriend is a college guy who’s always trying to get her to go to college. She’s a clepto and lifts things from his apartment all the time, including a small voodoo charm of the spirit who guards the door between the living and the dead. Her dad died soon after marrying a stripper so she was raised by her stripper step mom with her two very strange twins. Her dad was loaded and left her a nice trust fund that she’ll get when she turns 21 but, the day before her 21st birthday she decides to do a little partying with the gardener and winds up dead. A visit from the voodoo spirit from the voodoo charm gives her until midnight to avenge her death. For a no budget flick this is pretty well done. It drags at times and plays up the camp a little too much though. It feels very much like those syndicated shows "Tales From The Dark Side" from back in the day so if you liked those you’ll like this. B-

  623. Don’t Look In The Basement (1973)- Dr. Stephens runs his own sanitarium. It’s an odd place where patients are allowed to roam free, treated, and expected to treat each other, as family. To this end the sanitarium is actually just a really large house. Dr. Stephens’ methods backfire and he’s axed by one of his patients. Soon after a nurse he hired prior to his run in with the ax shows up and allowed by Dr. Stephens’ assistant to take her position. The new nurse soon realizes all is not what it seems, but did she realize it too late? The acting in this low budget indie isn’t too great and the cast of loonies aren’t overly believable, but the cinematography is good for such low budget material and the story is interestingly presented. Although a pretty nice atmosphere of trapped paranoia develops it is never really explored so it falls a little short in that department too. Still, I was pleasantly surprised. B-.

  624. Night Creatures (1962)- Hammer paired two of their favorite actors, Oliver Reed and Peter Cushing, in this tale that basically amounts to moonshiners and country legends, except they're in England back in the day running wine. There's a legend about 'marsh phantoms' that some have used to hide their activities from the revenuers but it won't last for long as the sly Captain is catching on. And why was the notorious pirate Captain Clegg buried as a hero in the church cemetery? Again, the twists at the end were seen miles away but this movie is a nice Hammer production with competent acting and directing and a good enough story. B-.

  625. She-Wolf of London (1946)- Not really a horror film, more of a "family curse" mystery. Interesting and well acted but nothing special. People are winding up dead in a Not a sequel to Werewolf of London at all. More of a strange little "Mystery Play House" type of film. People are dying at night in a London park. Is an animal attacking them? Is it an old family curse on the wealthy family that lives nearby? Nice plot twists and surprises, some of that "foggy old England" atmosphere too. Not strictly horror though, and some dated acting. Still, I'll give it a B-.

  626. Don't Look Now (1973)- Art house flick with Donald Sutherland as a restorer of old churches. During a moment of deja-vu he realizes his daughter is drowning but arrives too late to save her. He and his wife go to Italy to restore an old church. A blind psychic lady reassures Don's wife that their daughter is OK. He doesn't like blind psychic ladies. Weird stuff happens and people act real weird and then the end rolls around and I thought "What the ... ?" This is one of those movies that are filled with symbolism and stuff for people to coo over and for the director to prove how smart he is. Sometimes I like those movies, this time? Well... It did have great atmosphere and suspense and kept me interested, even though a fair amount of the time I was confused and there didn't seem to be a plot. I guess it boils down to this, I liked the movie until the very end and then I felt pretty let down. B-.

  627. Trilogy of Terror (1975)- A trilogy of terror penned by Richard Matheson. Story one is good and is about a college student seducing his timid English teacher, or is she really so timid? Story two is terrible. It's about twin sisters, one evil and one good. You'll see the ending a couple miles away. Which brings us to story three. The Zuni Fetish Doll. A woman hold back by her nagging mother buys her new boyfriend a funny little doll. The doll promptly comes to life and attacks her. Great use of sound effects and nice camera work without resorting to crappy clay-mation and the like. Classic ending too. Story one gets a B-, story two gets a D, and story three an A+, which averages to about a B-.

  628. Condemned To Live (1935)- Surprisingly decent old school "Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde mixed with a vampire" flick. A pregnant woman, hiding out in a cave from African Voodoo practitioners is bitten by a vampire bat, sealing the fate of her unborn child. Forty years on and her son has grown to be a professor and doctor and is known throughout his community as a generous and charitable man, thought of by the locals as a saint. Lately, in this community people have been getting murdered, having their throats bitten and drained of blood and their bodies deposited in a cave. It is the good doctor (we know this early on) succumbing, because of the stress of his impending marriage and his overwork, to his ‘dark side’, which is not so subtly conveyed by the fact he only turns into a vampire when he is in darkness. This one never won any awards, and it wouldn’t deserve them if it had, but it’s still a good enough hour long flick if you like ‘em old school. B-.

  629. Ghost Story (1981)- Some old guys hang out in the same town they've always lived in. Getting together, telling scary stories, drinking, and hanging out. Of course, they have a terrible secret to hide and it comes back to haunt them in the form of one of their son's fiancés. She's a weird one all right but of course, things aren't what they seem. Not the best ghost story but far from the worst this works for the most part. The acting is good but the direction could've been better. There is some good suspense but not much atmosphere is ever created. B-.

  630. Basket Case (1982)- What do you get when you combine the story of a pair of Siamese twins, one normal, one a hideous beast stuck to the side of the other's head, with a low budget and stop-motion -animation? You get insanity. Belial, the ugly twin, is removed and left for dead, but the normal twin can't leave his brother, especially since they're connected via ESP so naturally he totes him around New York in a basket (hence the name). Belial does some nasty things to the doctors who removed him, one of whom is a vet. He looks pretty cool too... Until he moves and you can tell this ain't no Harryhusen production. If you like your horror crazy, cheap, and bizarre then this is for you. I did like it because it was pretty unique, and pretty damned nasty! B-.

  631. Boogey Man (2005)- Kind of slow and predictable but in this case I think it works. A kid sees his dad killed by the bogeyman, or did he? It haunts him the rest of his life until he returns home for his mothers' funeral and decides to face his fears. It was silly and not very original but I dug it all the same. I think the acting was pretty good and the directing was real good with some scenes very well done. B-

  632. Deep Red (1975): Dario Argento's Giallo piece obviously influenced by Mario Bava and obviously influential towards Carpenter's "Halloween"; It sits squarely between those two worlds, murder mystery and slasher flick. The directing is very interesting as Argento's use of color, camera angle, and point of view is always good (and must have been a big influence on John Carpenter), but his jarring editing and often intentional slow pace and over written scenes detract from the suspense rather than add to it. The plot is flimsy at best and hard to follow at times and centers around a pianist who witnesses the murder of a psychic who, through her ESP, knew about a murderer's past and that he/she would kill again. Anyone who gets close to the truth winds up dead. The investigations take bizarre and pointless turns yet somehow I hung in there until the end. This was an influential flick that held my interest but could've been better. B-.

  633. Suspicion (1941)- Let me start by saying again that I realize this is not horror, but it is Hitch so it does get included by proxy. Here we have Johnny an apparently wealthy eligible bachelor that all the upper crust young ladies gravitate towards. His charm, his light heartedness, and his slightly dangerous ‘devil-may-care’ attitude attract them apparently. Johnnie has met Lina though. She seems to be Johnny’s opposite, with her sensible shoes, hair in a bun, and child psychology books, but the attraction is mutual, especially when she over hears her father remarking about how she will end up an ‘old maid’. So they marry and travel Europe and end up in an expensive house when Lina finds out Johnny may not actually be who he seems to be. Can he be trusted? Is he really a great con artist or just a misunderstood gambling addict? Is he capable of murder? Apparently Hitch had a pretty dark ending set up for this one but RKO and Cary Grant’s manager would have none of it so we end up with a great film with a half baked ending that doesn’t really make sense. Too bad the big wigs can’t leave well enough alone. I’ll give this one a B- for a disappointing ending and a slightly too long build up at the beginning (which would have been OK had the pay off at the end been better).

  634. Dark Water (2005)- This is a pretty effective story despite it borrowing heavily from several other movies, mainly "The Changeling", "The Grudge", and "The Ring". So there's nothing original here but the acting and deliberately slow/suspenseful pace work pretty well. A woman going through a divorce and possible custody battle for her young daughter moves into a crappy old apartment building. It's all she can afford but it is by a good school so it seems like it might work out. Of course it doesn't as strange things begin to happen. Is the lady crazy? Is it the punk thrashers that live in the building? Is it? Anyway, it's a good enough ghost story to get a passing grade but loses points in the originality department. B-

  635. Leprechaun (1993)- Like so many of these types of slasher/horror/comedies this movie about a killer leprechaun released from his crate and out to protect his gold from some half wits is very unoriginal, poorly acted, and terribly written. Yet I liked it. There are better examples in this sub-genre but this one's OK too. B-.

  636. Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968)- First Goke (pronounced Go Key) aren't really body snatchers. Second they aren't really from Hell. Maybe something is lost in translation. Either way this is a not so subtle anti war character study masked as a Japanese Horror/Sci-Fi movie. In the character study we have the corrupt politician, representing the failure of leadership and man's self-centeredness, the capitalist business man, representing greed and over ambition, succeed at any cost attitude, the business man's wife who he has whored out for the success of his business, representing the oppressed (particularly those oppressed by the greed of others), we have the psychiatrist, representing cold hard reason, the assassin, representing violence and death, the widow, representing the result of the violence and death, and the pilot and stewardess, representing leadership and man's ability for self sacrifice. They are on a plane that crashes after flying into a blood red sky and under a UFO. The survivors, listed above, argue at each decision to be made, and become paralyzed with indecision while each of them becomes the victim of the creature from the title. There are some effective scenes but we are constantly subjected to the movie's moral (the widow at one point exclaiming "War is terrible, it makes everyone miserable", maybe something is lost in that translation as well... oh wait, she speaks English). This is one of Quentin Terrentino's favorite Japanese Sci-Fi flicks and it does work much of the time despite some obvious flaws. If you like Japanese Horror/Sci-Fi you'll like this. B-.

  637. Dead of Winter (1987)- Tense little suspense thriller that is well acted and fairly well directed but winds up being pretty typically predictable material. An actress is chosen for a part but must head out to the boonies with a couple old guys to do a screen test. She is 'made up' to look like the actress she is replacing and does the screen test. Slowly she begins to realize that she is being held against her will in said boonies and the part she is to play may not be in a movie at all. What exactly is it these two old guys have in mind for her? It is a suspenseful, interesting story and technically well-done but also pretty much ends exactly the way you'd expect it to and there is some expected 'suspension of belief' required too. B-.

  638. Funeral Home (1980)- This Canadian export has that 'made for TV' feel to it. There's not much budget, but who needs that really, and there's very little originality, this movie makes no bones at all about basically being a reworking of "Psycho" (and it tips its hat at the end with a swinging light scene). The plot is pretty easy to figure out too with a not so well planted red herring. Still, this movie is a nicely paced, competently directed and acted little suspense thriller. An old lady who's husband has disappeared decides to turn his old funeral home into a bed and breakfast and with the help of her granddaughter she seems on the road to success. But those pesky guests keep disappearing too. The old gal does some great acting, as she mixes piety with insanity. The end, while maybe a tad too long, is well executed (no pun intended). B-.

  639. Severed: Forest of the Dead (2004)- I went into this one with absolutely no expectations, which may be why I ended up liking it. There are no Sears Catalogue super heroes and there's only one blatant stereotype (a corporate sheep). A logging firm has been looking into genetic engineering so they can cut more old growth forests with less damage. Problem is the sap from the genetically altered trees turns folks into flesh eating zombies if it gets into their blood streams. Throw in some nice loggers, some mean loggers, and some protestors and you have zombie movie tension. Yeah it borrows heavily from a lot of recent zombie flicks but it remained fairly original. Budget constraints were obvious during zombie attacks as the camera moved and blurred to cover up the lack of money, still, what effects there were were done really well. And I have to admit the movie didn't end as I thought it would, actually it just kind of ends sudden like. A little too much time is spent running around and whining and not enough character development takes place. Some interesting characters were never really fleshed out (who was Clark and why did everyone know him? Etc). Still, if you expect crap you'll be pleasantly surprised. B-.

  640. Nightmare Castle (1965)- Another Barbara Steele Italian horror movie about revenge from the grave, a pretty popular subject apparently. In this one Barbara’s cold scientist husband is off to a convention, she calls on the gardener to get some satisfaction, only to get busted by the husband. He catches them, ties them up and proceeds to torture them. He runs into a snag when Barbara tells him she has changed her will (she’s loaded and he needs the cash for his experiments) to her sister who is in an asylum, how will he get all her money? Hubby kills her anyway then marries up with the sister in order to continue his experiments. He plans on driving her even more insane with the help from his eternally youthful (thanks to his experiments) maid/lover. So what we end up with is a love pentagram, with two of the participants dead! Will the sister go insane? Will the dead lovers have their revenge? Does the psychiatrist love the sister making this in fact a love hexagon? This isn’t very original material and my copy is not too good, but over all it is effective enough. Some nice atmosphere is created and the story kept me interested. I’ll give it a B-.

  641. State of Emergency (2011)- An explosion at a chemical plant causes many residents of a suburb to become stumbling cannibalistic killers (not zombies per se but in the same ballpark). The story follows a few survivors as they hide out in a warehouse and scavenge for food, water, and medicine. It’s an interesting look at human interaction during a crisis with the standard themes of who to trust, will help be coming, what’s a necessary risk, etc. There’s not a lot of action and if you want something heavy on the zombie gore you’ll be disappointed. Over-all not a bad flick considering what is obviously a low budget, I’ll give it a B-.

  642. In The Cs

  643. City of the Living Dead (1980)- The first in Fulci’s loosely tied together zombie trilogy (followed by "The Beyond" and "House by the Cemetery"), these zombies are some oddly powerful supernatural zombie ghost like things. Here we have the priest of a small town parish (probably not coincidentally called "Dunwich") who, by hanging himself in the cemetery, opens the gates of Hell. He, along with his victims, walk around town killing folks, either by causing them to regurgitate their innards, bleed from their eyes, or their apparent favorite, squeezing the brains from their heads. Although there are no stabbed, removed, or poked out eyes, we do get lots of close-ups of eyes and we also get a drill through the head. Most of the effects work pretty well, and while there isn’t exactly a great narrative story going on here, we do get some good Fulci atmosphere and gore. I like "The Beyond" a little better despite its obvious flaws, and neither measure up to "Zombi 2" but this one was still pretty good. C+

  644. Haunting at Silver Falls, A (2013)- Jordan is now an orphan and has to move to Silver Falls to live with her aunt and uncle. She wants to fit in, and gets into some trouble when trying, but the upside, she found a cool ring in the woods. But it’s a haunted ring. We know this pretty quickly as cliché ghost sequences play out; really, if you’re a budding director please find some new ways to do the whole ghost bit. Anyway, the ring apparently belonged to one of two twin girls who were killed and who are angry because the wrong killer has been found guilty and is about to be executed for their deaths, or is he the wrong killer? But everyone just thinks poor Jordan is nuts (must be something in the water in this town), but if the killer is still on the loose… Predictable but not terrible entry in the trendy ghost flicks popping up everywhere. Nothing really new here, the plot twist was pretty good idea over-all and despite the unoriginality I didn’t hate this one. C+

  645. Circus of Horrors (1960)- Way over the top flick about a plastic surgeon who operates on a woman with disastrous results. He flees England for France to hide out and winds up running a circus where many performers seem to meet untimely demises! The police can’t prove anything but are watching the circus and when they tour England things go from bad to worse. Joan Crawford’s circus vehicle ‘Berserk’ is similar, and probably a little better, but this one is fun too. Insane over-acting, just watching the facial expressions is worth the price of admission alone, and a ridiculous plot make it work on that ‘just for fun’ level. If you like campy insanity this is for you, C+.

  646. Dark Ride (2006)- Here is one generic and predictable slasher flick. Was this made in the 80s or in the 2000s? A group of college kids are driving to New Orleans for Spring Break. There is some sexual tension between some of the guys and girls, and there is the nice guy, geeky guy, and annoying guy. The girls are typical but we get a hitchhiker to play the slut a little later in their trip. Anyway they stop along the way at a ‘dark ride’ that had been recently reopened (it had been closed in the 80s after a series of murders that took place in it). Take a wild guess what happens next. The twist ending actually was very predictable. Now having more or less ripped on the flick I have to tell you I really didn’t mind it that much. It was just fluff but it did have a good atmosphere in the ‘dark ride’ locals, and the killer was pretty effective. All things being equal I’ll give this a strong C+.

  647. Bowery At Midnight (1942)- Another Lugosi Poverty Row flick. Here Lugosi basically plays three characters, by day he’s the brilliant psychology professor, by night he’s the kindly soup kitchen director, by later at night he’s the criminal mastermind behind several jewel heists, using the patrons of his soup kitchen as help. Once they help him out they wind up dead, but apparently only for a short time as the junky janitor of the soup kitchen, whose nickname is "Doc" and who maybe was a doctor before becoming a junky, has found a way to reanimate the dead crooks, and you better bet there’ll be Hell to pay! The cops are already closing in when one of Lugosi’s students recognizes him while visiting the soup kitchen for a class project; the grand plan all comes crashing down, complete with angry zombies. In the end the soup kitchen assistant sets up some wedding plans with a zombie. Weird. I’ve seen better but I’ve seen much much worse. If you like the Poverty Row quickies you’ll like this. Fun dialogue and more shoot first ask questions later cops make this one complete. A strong C+ on the craptacular scale.

  648. This Island Earth (1955)- This is a classic that tries real hard and succeeds in some areas (special effects [for the times] and original plot) but fails in others (acting and dialogue). The plot? Aliens need earth scientists to help them rebuild their defenses during a war with another planet. Intrigue and suspense follow as we are slowly let in on the plot, and are never sure if we should trust the aliens or not. It’s hit and miss most of the time and never quite measures up to other classic 50s sci-fi like "War of the Worlds" or "Forbidden Planet", but it holds its own much of the time. Worth a view as long as you remember it comes across as pretty dated. C+

  649. Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child (1989)- You gotta give’em credit for trying anyway. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" was one of my favorite horror movies and it introduced such a great character in Freddie, but the sequels, while not horrible, still just don’t really hold up to the original. Freddie just kind of became a cartoon character, but all in all that’s OK I guess. This is really just more or less a remake of the original anyway, with a girl, this time with a former alcoholic for a dad, and a bunch of other dysfunctional teens, fighting Freddie. Throw in a pregnancy angle and more references to Freddie’s origins and you have the whole movie. Freddie just seems to get more and more insanely powerful in these sequels too. Anyway, I didn’t hate it, but when you see a ‘5’ in the title you pretty much know what to expect. C+.

  650. Eaten Alive (1977)- Tobe Hooper’s follow up to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" has us visit another piece of 70s dying Americana in a hotel with a ‘zoo’ sideshow. The hotel is set back in the swamps of the south and run by a muttering insane war vet who keeps a crocodile (not a little ol’ gator) in his swamp. All Hell breaks loose when he realizes one of his guests is a whore from the local brothel, and he’s having none of that in his hotel. He feeds her to the croc and then, in a black comedy of errors, continues his rampage. Filled with oddball characters and skirting that boundary between reality and nightmare, this flick is just plain odd. It follows the formula of "Texas...", with a little more oddity tossed in, for instance the characters are at times even more over the top, like Buck the local redneck, the old bat that runs the whorehouse, the oddball parents whose daughter’s dog is eaten by the croc, and of course Judd, the great character who runs the hotel, and the red tint used throughout much of the movie, but the film lacks that visceral bunch in the gut that "Texas..." provided. If you like 70s drive in insanity then you’ll want to see this, but for me, other than the character Judd, it just didn’t offer up much but lots of screaming. I’ll give it a C+ because Judd was awesome.

  651. Tokyo Zombie (2005)- What do you get when you combine "Dumb and Dumber" and "Napoleon Dynamite" with "Shawn of the Dead" and "Land of the Dead" and toss in a heapin’ helpin’ of Japanese humor? You get this very bizarre zomedy from Japan. I guess I’d describe this as the ultimate in opposites. It is both funny, and not funny. Fast paced, and tedious. Original, and derivative. And at times it seems it is all those things at once. The story centers around two buddies, one an older jujitsu expert, the other a younger half-wit who is trying to learn jujitsu from his older buddy. They work in a fire extinguisher factory, but mostly practice moves all day. They accidentally kill their boss and decide to bury him at ‘Black Fuji’, a huge mountain of trash, waste, and dead bodies in Tokyo. As luck would have it, the waste there is causing all the dead bodies to reanimate (although later we are told it is caused by a virus which spreads via bites). The zombie plague soon takes over Tokyo and we jump ahead 5 years to a "Land of the Dead" type of world where rich folks live isolated from everyone else and find entertainment in making the poor fight the zombies. Of course our younger hero, who has devoted himself to jujitsu after loosing his friend and teacher, is on his way to becoming the champion, using jujitsu to kill the zombies. Along with his whining wife and mute daughter he eeks out a living among the dead. I don’t know what grade to give this. I knew going in what to expect so I wasn’t surprised at the bad (and at times completely tasteless) humor, over animated acting, etc. The first half of the film was just bad for me, but I felt after the jump to 5 years in the future it hit its stride so I will give it a C+. Just remember this is a full on slapstick zomedy done in totally bad taste and doesn’t try too hard to ever rise above that.

  652. Return of Dracula, The (1958)- This is more or less a remake of Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of Doubt’. A somewhat bored family is excited when a cousin from the Balkans comes to stay. Little do they know that cousin was killed and his identity taken by none other than Dracula, who the authorities have been hunting for many years. This is an early attempt at putting the Dracula mythos into modern times and it sort of works. It is hokey at times and while he did a good job, I felt the guy playing Dracula wasn’t well cast. Really nothing is added to the story so we really just get a retelling of Dracula set in 1950s America. Hammer would cement Dracula back in his own times and in the process make a much better movie at about the same time. But this is short and paced pretty well so I’ll give it a C+ for being ‘quaint’ and very much a product of its times.

  653. Raven, The (2012)- Someone is using Edgar Allan Poe’s stories as inspiration for committing murders, could it be Poe himself? Poe joins with a detective to find out who the killer is. Yeah it’s an old plot, a murderer using fiction to base his real murders on, the twist this time is it’s Poe’s stories and it’s set in Poe’s time. I’m a huge Poe fan so did this work? I don’t know; another tough one to grade to be honest. It’s really not so much a horror flick as a mystery, some of the set pieces, like the pendulum, are very well done, the acting is pretty well done, it’s paced pretty well, but really in the end it’s just kind of goofy. I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it so I’ll give it a C+.

  654. Devil Inside, The (2012)- I’ve mentioned this before but convincing exorcist movies are hard to pull off. Seeing grown men yell things like ‘Be gone demon!’ at supposed possessed people is often way funnier than scary; having said that my favorite horror movie is the ‘homer’ The Exorcist so when it works it works. Does it work here? This is a POV documentary about a young woman trying to find out what happened to her mother. She knows her mother murdered 3 people and was sent to an insane asylum. What she more recently found out was the murder took place during an attempted exorcism, on her mother, and her mother was shortly thereafter sent to an asylum in Rome. Obviously she wants to get to the bottom of it all so she heads to Rome with a filmmaker to find the truth. She is befriended by two priests who are working as exorcists, often without church recognition, which jeopardizes their careers as priests. OK, the bottom line: The exorcism scenes are pretty good. Effects are done well enough to look real, without being overdone CGI. There are some genuine tense parts and a few good scares. But the surrounding plot involving the priests is just weak and there are plot holes galore. I am willing to suspend belief in a movie about exorcisms if everything else is believable and that is where this failed miserably. There have been a lot of complaints about the ending too, but I didn’t think it was all that bad really. Anyway, I’ll give it a C+, a passing grade on the exorcism pieces and the main plot line, but a failing grade on the subplots and the route taken to get there.

  655. Zombi Holocaust (1980)- Another Euro-trash Zombie flick. This time out its more about a group of cannibals than zombies though. Some folks stumble across a cult of cannibals that are munching on cadavers at the local medical school, one thing leads to another and we wind up in the South Pacific hunting cannibal cults with some adventurous types. Zombies show up along the way and the whole thing is tied together with a plot twist at the end that doesn’t really make sense if you think about the whole movie. But what did I expect? There is mucho gore in this one (do the dead people have bones?) and some good (some of the cannibal munching scenes) and some really bad FX (watch the suicide scene near the beginning closely, the guy jumps out a window and the mannequin that is supposed to be him hits the ground and the arm flies off, awesome!) The zombie makeup is terrible as the faces are mangled up but you can plainly see where the makeup ends at the neck. Still, all in all if you’re into EuroTrash zombie movies then this one is for you. It tried really hard to copy Fulci’s "Zombi 2" and although it failed at least it shot for the right target. C+

  656. Daybreakers (2009)- Kind of a flip-flop of Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ but with vampires instead of zombies. The vampires have taken over society and hunt humans for their blood supply. Supplies are running out and if the vampires don’t get a steady supply they become basically giant hideous vampire bat like things. As supplies dwindle, more and more of them turn, as a huge corporation tries, so far in vain, to get a blood substitute. Their top researcher is sympathetic to the plight of the humans and by accident runs into a group of them who think they have a cure for vampirism, but do the vampires want to be cured? It is chock full of metaphors for greed, uncontrolled capitalism, degradation of society, denigration of the poor, etc etc. It works at times on many levels, falls flat at other times, becoming unintentionally funny and pretty predictable as well. Everyone is taking the material very seriously, which is probably the best way to approach it, but at times it just doesn’t hold up so well. I can’t point the finger at anything specifically (the acting is good, the directing OK, the story is good, the feel works for the most part), I just couldn’t get into it too much. I think they allowed the good vs. bad to be so obvious and tried too hard to be both horror and action adventure and fell a little short at both. C+.

  657. Family Plot (1976)- A Hitchcock dark comedy about a fake (or is she fake?) spiritualist who is tasked with finding the rightful heir to a huge fortune. He was born out of wedlock 40 years prior to a family that didn’t want to deal with a scandal so he was adopted out. Turns out he isn’t such a great guy now and makes a good living as both a jewel salesman and crook and isn’t above murder either. This is a very well made flick and full of good plot twists and turns but I’m not sure who the intended audience is. Not one of Hitch’s better flicks and the suspense is subdued by the comedy elements, probably really only good for Hitchcock completists. I’ll give it C+.

  658. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)- For me, The Planet of the Apes franchise is a roller coaster ride. I really liked the first one, hated the second, liked the third, and well, this one isn’t as bad as the second but leaves quite a bit to be desired. Most of the problems stem from the low budget though and those are forgivable, mainly the lame battle scenes, which last forever. One of the things I liked about the first film was it avoided that ‘60’s sci-fi’ feel. The second film was nothing but ‘60’s sci-fi’ feel. The third film recovered and impressed by not going with the stereotypical characters, the fourth was nothing but stereotypical characters. The evil governor and his torture happy henchmen, the ape control officers who’s uniforms look remarkably like Nazi uniforms, the sympathetic black man who had ancestors who were slaves, the rich people who mistreat the apes. There is no doubt at all who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. And just exactly how did Caesar teach those apes how to fight so quickly? Anyway, this film picks up about 20 years after "Escape..." Caesar is visiting the city with the circus owner from the last film. He is seeing how apes are treated and not digging it. He accidentally talks and gets Ricardo in trouble but he escapes. Revolution (somehow) ensues. This isn’t a bad film, I like the idea and the writing is OK, it is just made on the cheap and paints such an obvious black and white picture. Plus, you need to do more than the usual ‘suspending of belief’. C+

  659. Last of the Living (2009)- Very low budget, and it shows, New Zealand zomedy about 3 guys living it up after the zombie apocalypse. They meet up with a woman who may have a cure and set about trying to get that cure into the right hands. There are parts that are funny, and well done, but the bad acting often stands in the way. I can over look a lot of things in a low budget movie but you have to have some folks that can act and these guys aren't too good at times. I didn't hate this but I didn't much like it either so I'll drop it a high-to-middle grade like a C+.

  660. Crypt of the Living Dead (1973)- Much maligned Spanish vampire flick about a man who goes to a small fishing village on an isolated island to recover the body of his father, who died under some mysterious circumstances. The father died while investigating vampirism as the island was once known as Vampire Island and legend has it was populated by nothing but vampires until they were killed off around the time of the crusades. The vampire queen is buried in a tomb and the man’s father is lying smashed under her incredibly heavy tomb. He convinces the locals to help him get his father out but what they don’t bargain for is the opening of the tomb itself. Of course, the queen of the vampires is perfectly preserved. The downside is we know, right form the start, that the man’s friend was to blame for his father’s death so the ending comes as no surprise at all. That pretty much sums up this one, lots of potential but little payoff. Still, I liked it and felt despite the low budget, bad sound, and dark transfer (I’ve read this one was actually filmed in color but mine is in black and white), and bad dialogue that the movie was able to create some atmosphere and had some cool images. File under damn near good. C+

  661. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003)- Remaking such a classic film is a huge risk, sometimes it pays off ("Dawn of the Dead"), and sometimes is fails ("Psycho"). This time? Well the basic plot is essentially the same (kids stop in rural Texas and are hunted by maniacs) but the similarities really end there. No one is in a wheel chair and it turns out the kids are heading back from Mexico with two pounds of pot and also heading to a Skynyrd concert. (At one point one them hopes to hear "Sweet Home Alabama" which came out on Skynyrd's second album which was released in 1974, this movie supposedly takes place in 1973, Skynyrd had only put out one album at that point. The kids also hope to hear "Free Bird" which was on Skynyrd's debut, but since they would've only had an album's worth of material it would seem a good bet they'd play it!) They pick up a hitchhiker who promptly commits suicide in their van and now they have to stop in this weird town with a dead body in the back seat. Murder and mayhem ensue. This movie is by far gorier than the original and falls into that modern trend of horror movie action adventure with over the top plot and over the top scenes and absolutely no sense of humor (black or otherwise). The house in the original was just bizarre, with furniture made of bones and lampshades made of skin, in this version the house's basement is a shop of horror that is for some reason flooded. It is full of gore and all things foul and also pretty much unbelievable as is the plot from this point on. That's what made the original work is the feeling that it could in fact happen; this one is just an action movie full of harrowing escapes and dumb luck and also full of set pieces that add nothing but length to the film (the trailer in the woods with the two women, the slaughterhouse with the beef hanging inside and the hogs outside?). If you want sadistic slow deaths and gore then this is for you, if you want sadistic atmosphere and realistically creepy visuals then the original is for you, and for me. This movie was well made, but fumbled the ball. C+.

  662. Church, The (1989)- Back in the day Teutonic Knights attack and kill everyone, men, women, children, and animals, in a village. They have reason to believe the villagers are possessed and worship Satan. They feel, after the massacre that the only way to contain the evil is to build a large cathedral over the hole containing the bodies of the villagers. Jump ahead to modern times and a new librarian at the now old gothic cathedral figures out the old church has something to hide. He wants the power or riches buried there so he removes the "Stone with 7 eyes" and unleashes the evil and everyone, from church workers to worshippers, to those touring the old cathedral, are overtaken by it. This movie moves along at a respectable pace and has some really good atmosphere, as well as some bad acting and unintentional laughs. It borrows heavily from John Carpenter’s "Prince of Darkness" and also tosses in elements of "Rosemary’s Baby" near the end. I was a little disappointed in this one as I expected a little more form it with Argento on board as producer/writer. (So were the Teutonic Knights right in killing the villagers? And exactly how does SPOILER ALERT collapsing the church contain the evil?) C+.

  663. Lady Frankenstein (1971)- Not really as bad as the title might lead you to believe. Dr. Frankenstein’s daughter returns from University, where she excelled at biology just like daddy did. She has even more far out ideas and when dad dies at the hands of his own creation, she steps in to further his experiments. She falls in love with her father’s assistant, who is older and, well, some of the pipes don’t work so well. I bet if they kill someone and transplant his brain into a younger body… all the while the first monster is killing people… toss in torch carrying villagers… you get the idea. To sum up, the way they obtain a body for the lab assistant? Well, lady Frankenstein strips down, starts riding the guy they are going to kill, and continues riding him while the assistant is killing him, and seems to pretty much dig the proceedings. Yeah, it’s typical Euro-horror, bad dubbing, terrible monster make-up, and some senseless plotlines, but really not a bad retelling of the story. C+.

  664. Long Hair of Death, The (1964)- In a plot that closely mirrors "Black Sunday", Barbara Steele's mother is executed for a murder she didn't commit (and for witchcraft), then Steele is killed for knowing the truth. Before her death her mother cursed the family that sentenced her. Barbara's sister, who was young at the time, grows up and is forced to marry the son of the man who sentenced her mother to death. Barb's family then gets their revenge. Although very slow moving and not terribly original there are still some effective scenes and atmospheric directing. By no means a masterpiece, it still is a decent enough ghost/witch story. C+.

  665. Black Sleep, The (1956)- You can't go wrong when Rathbone, Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, and Tor Johnson are all crammed in one movie. Rathbone plays a doctor who puts science before everything except curing his wife. He experiments on living people who he pays a gypsy to procure for him. He saves a brilliant doctor from the gallows by making the prison officials think he is dead and then reviving him back at the castle. His experiments continue and with each one, results a failure leaving the person totally insane and often violent. This movie, while a little goofier, managed a little of that Val Lewton atmosphere, and although it was no where near as good, it conjured up parts of "The Body Snatcher" fairly often. Not a bad movie, but no masterpiece either. C+.

  666. Reaping, The (2007)- When I first saw the previews for this I thought "That looks pretty cool, plus that gal from ‘Million Dollar Baby’ is in it and she generally makes quality flicks." And that’s more or less true. The plot, like many newer horror movies, borrows freely from plots past. Here we have a combination of "The Seventh Sign", "Rosemary’s Baby", and "The Omen". So we’re keeping pretty good company. We have a town deep in the Louisiana bayou that fears the seven plagues are coming upon them because of a family of ‘devil worshippers’ that lives nearby. The river has turned blood red, frogs, flies, sick cattle. It’s all there and it’s all to be disproved by the levelheaded scientist who has made a career out of debunking miracles. She’s got a past though and it keeps coming back to haunt her. A not real surprising twist ending and some over the top bad special effects round it all out. So my opinion? It’s a good movie that falls short on the originality scale, but, except for some bad effects, it works. Although it never becomes campy, you get the feeling that it never takes itself too seriously so, in this case, that helps too. I’ll give it a strong C+.

  667. I Sell the Dead (2008)- Comedy horror flick about grave robbers back in the day. They are plying their trade, basically being threatened and under paid by a local doctor who needs the corpses when they stumble across a way to not only get even, but a way to make more money. Rob the graves of the ‘undead’! A conflict with other grave robbers along with plenty of hijinks follow. This is all told in flash back fashion by one of the grave robbers who is to be executed at dawn, his partner having been executed earlier. File this one under ‘almost was’. There are some great bits but they seem to be strung together by a lot of nothing. Flicks like this rely on a faster pace and this one lacks that in spots (although at just under 90 minutes it isn’t that long anyway). I’ll give this a C+, the acting, directing, effects all worked but it ended up just being really good ideas floating in too much talk.

  668. Mad Monster Party (1967)- Rankin and Bass made a lot of classic Christmas stop-motion cartoons like ‘A Year Without Santa Clause’, ‘Rudolph’ etc. And here they played their hand at a feature length Halloween show with all the monsters, Frankenstein (and his monster and the bride of the monster), Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature (from the Black Lagoon), Dr. Jekyll, The Hunchback, various zombies etc. all in a cartoon about Dr. Frankenstein, who heads up the monster union, getting ready to retire and hand over the leadership role to his less than capable nephew. It’s not a bad try, some parts are good and I’m sure had I saw this when I was young I probably would’ve dug it, but seeing it for the first time now it felt kind of poorly edited (setup-bad pun- fade to next shot), the voices (other than Karloff’s of course) were bad (why does Dracula at times sound like Mel Brooks?) and the songs just didn’t seem to quite fit either. I was a little disappointed, being a fan of their Christmas shows, but I am admittedly not exactly the target audience. C+

  669. Phantom of the Opera (1962)- Hammer's take on the classic Universal Monster Movie seems to have a little too much opera and not quite enough Phantom. This is a well-directed and acted movie and seems to have had a generous budget that was well spent, great sets, great costumes, and great music (if you don't mind opera). Over all this is a good movie but definitely leans more towards the romantic side of the story rather than the horror side and the unmasking is very disappointing as the Phantom doesn't really seem all that disfigured, at least compared to Lon Chaney's makeup. Well made but disappointing for me personally. C+.

  670. Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)- Another example of pretty goofy material played straight as an arrow by Peter Cushing. Everyone involved knew this was pretty bad stuff. Frankenstein finds a way to trap the human soul and when his assistant is wrongly executed for murder, well, a perfect opportunity to try out his experiment; Couple that with his assistant’s girlfriend committing suicide when she finds out her boyfriend has been executed and you have a fresh place to put the soul. It is an insane take on ‘Romeo and Juliette’ for sure, along with the ‘Frankenstein should stop messing with Mother Nature’ lesson. It is very goofy, and a tad disappointing, but if you must see all things Hammer, then by all means, check it out! C+

  671. HG Wells’ First Men on the Moon (1964)- This is an old school sci-fi flick with some good stop motion from Ray Harryhausan. It is about a UN expedition to the moon which everyone believes to be man’s first, until the expedition discovers a letter and a British flag near the landing site, and maybe the ranting about being on the moon of a senile old man aren’t so crazy after all. His story is told in flashback and it takes awhile to get going as we head into some campy almost ‘Nutty Professor’ type of bit. Once on the moon though Ray’s insect aliens take over (most of the insect aliens are actually people in bad costumes but the animated ones are pretty cool). If you like Ray’s work or like goofy sci-fi fluff then this is probably a must see, but if you aren’t into either of those you won’t be missing much. I’ll give it a really strong C+, less nutty professor, more stop motion insect moon people would’ve been better.

  672. Zombie 3 (1988)- I’ve read so much bad about this one that I was expecting total garbage. I was pleasantly surprised to only get garbage. This is credited to Fulci but he dropped out about halfway through because he was ill, or maybe he just wanted to keep this one off his resume (which didn’t work as my DVD states boldly at the top that it is part of the Luciano Fulci Collection). Scientists at a government installation in the Philippines are experimenting on something that wasn’t real clear to me. Terrorists steal the experiment (I think it was a gas) and, due to the incredibly terrible marksmanship of the guards, get away into the jungle. It isn’t long before one of the terrorists is infected and low and behold an outbreak of zombies spreads through the area, aided by cremation (in an obvious rip off of "Return of the Living Dead") and by infected birds (?). Partiers, soldiers, and Philippinoes run from, fight, and become zombies. If you’re looking for any coherent dialogue or plot then forget it, but there are some effective zombie moments like the legless zombie girl in the pool, the zombie baby birth (which was stolen by the remake of "Dawn of the Dead"), and the insane flying head zombie which made no sense but is a must see for hardcore zombie fans. I wasn’t impressed by the zombie makeup but some of the effects were good. Yeah, there’s too much running around between these scenes and the dialogue and acting are terrible. I get the fact they are trying to show the incompetence of our leaders but holy crap, if our leaders were this incompetent we would’ve never swung down from the trees! Anyway, the bad outweighs the good here but I have to admit I kind of liked this one. C+.

  673. Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005)- Argento goes full on Hitchcock tribute mode in the made for Italian TV movie. It does have that ‘made for TV’ feel, the death scenes aren’t nearly as gory as typical Argento (or as long), although European TV is much more liberal than American. This is a flick about a film student who likes watching his neighbors (a la "Rear Window"), particularly one who prances around in her underwear. This gal is always arguing with her mother and when her mother winds up dead he figures the daughter had someone kill her (a la "Strangers on a Train"), a few plot twists later (a la "Dial M for Murder") and we find out the student was wrong... or was he? The Hitch references are literally held out there by name and that is the whole point, however, this movie never measures up to anything Hitch did! It’s OK as a made for TV tribute, but if you are expecting great Italian Giallo, or Argento atmosphere you will be disappointed. Some of the ‘suspense’ scenes just drag on forever and while Hitch may have never wasted a shot; there are plenty of wasted shots in this one. Not horrible, but nothing special either. I’ll give it a C+.

  674. Lunopolis (2009)- Documentary style flick about government conspiracies, religious cults, people living on the moon, travelling through time, building and rebuilding society, the Mayan calendar, and a few other things tossed in for good measure. Yeah, it is a tad confusing and maybe they tried to cover too much ground in 90 minutes, but parts of it work pretty well. It is low budget to be sure, which shows in the effects, but the low budget also lends itself to the documentary feel, and for the most part the acting is pretty good. There are also a lot of nice jabs at Scientology, Art Bell, conspiracy theories, etc. so I liked it in that respect, but did I like it as a movie? Well, it was OK. The elements were there but it was hard to follow and the twist ending worked, but like a lot of time travel flicks, didn’t quite add up for me. I’ll give it a C+.

  675. Shrine, The (2010)- It seems backpacking tourists have been disappearing in a certain part of Poland for some time. The authorities aren’t overly concerned but it has caught the attention of a reporter who, by the looks of her apartment, is really well paid. The paper she works for isn’t interested in the story and wants her to do a story on bees, but she bucks the system and heads to Poland with her photographer boyfriend and an intern. They find a Polish town full of folks that apparently hate tourists and they find an odd fog which houses a statue of some sort of gargoyle/demon. The acting and dialogue are painful at times as are the Sears catalogue models/actors. Everything about the buildup annoyed me and had me doing some MST3K riffing, which was fun. But when the flick hit its stride and flowed effortlessly from the ‘town with a secret’ to ‘town of possible devil worshippers’ to ‘exorcism flick’ I found myself starting to dig it. As expected it does go up and over the top at the end but as much as I hated the first two thirds, I have to admit I liked the last third. Admittedly that’s not exactly a high compliment but it raises the grade to let’s say a C+.

  676. Vampire, The (1957)- Well, at least they didn’t overthink the title! This is a ‘modern’ vampire flick that tries to basically put the vampire myth into modern science. A scientist is found dying; before he dies he gives the local town doctor the pills he has been working on. They apparently regress animal behavior, in hopes of then creating a way to advance or speed up evolution. Not sure why we have to go backwards first but anyway, we soon learn two things, read the label on your pill bottles and don’t take pills derived from vampire bat blood. All told this is pretty classic stuff. Some good 50s pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo, sexism, and ‘perfection spoiled’ 50s fear of the misuse of scientific advancement. But you know what, the thing is, goofy acting, terrible makeup, and plot aside, this probably isn’t too far removed from how people might act in this situation, and while over-all it is pretty predictable, I have to admit it didn’t end the way I thought it would. This isn’t really good enough to get a good grade but it’s really not ‘so bad it’s good’ enough for the craptacular scale; a conundrum to be sure. How about just giving it a C+, if you like the 50s sci-fi/horror then check it out, goofy fun to be sure, but not in a bad way I guess.

  677. An American Haunting (2006): Like I said before, I dig a good old ghost story and this one comes close. It starts in the present day with a girl obviously scared and running from something. She wakes up from a nightmare and her mother finds an old letter she's been reading and decides to read it. It is from 1817 and is about a haunting that took place on the land. A man (Donald Southerland) is cursed by a lady and is found guilt of usury by the church. Right after things around the house begin to get strange. Ending with windows being broken, their daughter being pulled by her hair from room to room and slapped silly. Nightmares, soars, etc. become common in their house. The acting is good, the story is good, and the effects are good. But, you kind of get the feeling that the director was done making the movie and realized it was an hour long so he went back in and added more of the same. There were parts that just didn't seem to fit in and parts where I was thinking "Didn't that happen already?" So overall I'd have to say this one was fair to middlin'. C+.

  678. Driller Killer (1979)- This is the story of a struggling artist in New York City in the late 70s. He is obviously talented and is looking for that big break and thinks he has found it with his latest masterpiece, but he’s struggling for inspiration to finish it. He knows he and his two live in girlfriends are living on the edge as they’ve missed the rent payment and can’t afford the phone bill and electric bill. He becomes obsessed with the homeless fighting, sleeping, drinking, puking, and pissing in the streets around his apartment building in the asscrack of late 70s New York; obviously afraid that may end up being his fate. His paranoia slips into schizophrenia as a local punk rock band moves into the same building and take to practicing night and day. To find inspiration, relieve stress, and fight back against what his future holds he buys a portable power pack and takes to killing the homeless with his drill. He seems surprised when his actions start making the papers. After having his latest masterpiece rejected by his agent his girlfriend leaves him and the violence becomes personal and our artist slips beyond the point of no return. This movie sits in the never land between art house and grind house. It is very low budget and the acting and dialogue are pretty bad at times, but there is something in the cinematography that works and captures that bleak urban often hopelessly trapped environment. I think this could’ve been a great film if it had been edited a little more judiciously, the camera at times lingers too long in scenes and some parts just seem to go on forever with no real connection to the rest of the film. Basically, when it works, like the suspenseful sections and the scenes of the artist’s sanity slipping away it works, but some sections, like backstage at the club with the band, do nothing but take away from the pacing and feel of the film. It also offers us a real glimpse of the dying embers of the New York punk scene, not the forced punk silliness of "Fear No Evil" or the punk camp of "Return of the Living Dead". Although not nearly as violent as its reputation would have you believe, this still ain’t for everybody. C+.

  679. Rite, The (2011)- I wanted to like this one, so my final grade is probably swayed. I’ve said it before, exorcism movies are just plain hard to make. They very easily slide into the goofy, no matter how hard I try and suspend belief. Still, my all-time favorite horror movie is ‘The Exorcist’ so when they work etc. Here we have a young seminarian full of doubt (he only went to the seminary for a free college education) who’s dean believes would make a good exorcist (?). So he agrees to take a course on exorcism in Rome no less. Here he is singled out and sent to work with an old priest who has performed tons of exorcisms over the years. Doubt continues, despite signs that are getting harder to ignore, until of course, his faith is really tested, and I’m afraid it is at that climactic point that it just gets silly for lack of a better word. Yeah, I was playing along for 90% of the flick, but damn, those last few minutes they had to take it up and over the top. Jokes about ‘spinning heads’ and ‘pea soup’ fall short when we end up with a priest screaming ‘BAAL!’ at a demon. Too bad. Anyway I’ll give this a hesitant C+ because I did like most of it, it just, in the end, fails to live up to the standard it wants to set for itself and bottom line, it’s not scary at all.

  680. Black Friday (1940): Another Lugosi Karloff vehicle, even though Lugosi is only in it briefly. Karloff is a doctor whose best friend is injured in a car accident caused by bank robbers. Karloff saves his friend by implanting part of a gangster's brain. You can guess the rest. Yeah it's silly but it is nicely paced and contains some decent enough suspenseful moments. It's a nice genre jumping gangster, horror, sci-fi piece. C+.

  681. Old Dark House, The (1932)- James Whale's character study about different people all trapped in an 'old dark house' while a storm rages outside. This movie has a lot of talk and little action, which is OK sometimes and works here sometimes, but not all the time. There was some cutting edge frank (for the times) sex talk and talk of atheism and then a lot of mumbo jumbo and by the time we rolled around to the climax I didn't care much anymore. Not a bad flick and pretty far ahead of it's time in the way it is done but not much in the 'horror' department. C+.

  682. Vampyre (1932)- I wasn't sure at first if this was a silent movie or not. Turns out it's not but it's not in English and no one says much so it didn't matter anyway. I'd heard a lot of good things about this movie. The director, Carl Dreyer wanted to create a surrealistic dreamscape of a film where reality and fantasy were indistinguishable. He achieved that goal I think. I knew going in that this movie would have little or no cohesive plotline so I was expecting lots of great artsy black and white shots and symbolic scenes. That's mostly what I got but over all I was a little disappointed. Not sure exactly why, I guess there just weren't enough of those great shots. Although some, like Allan Grey riding in his coffin, were effective, I just wanted more to make up for the lack of plot development. I recommend this for hardcore 'complete-ists' only. C+.

  683. The Devil Bat (1940)- Cheap and silly would describe a lot of Bela Lugosi's movies, including this one. Lugosi is a (sigh) mad scientist who works for a cosmetics firm. He sold the rights to his great formula years ago for $10,000 while the company's owners made millions. He's bitter about that so he creates a giant bat and then some after-shave lotion that attracts the giant bat and makes it attack. Then he hands out samples of the lotion to the family members of the company owners. Yeah, it's as bad as it sounds plot-wise but if you dig goofy mad scientist movies with smart-aleck reporters solving the case, and I do, then this is for you. If you hate this 40s trash then you'll really hate this one. C+.

  684. Two Evil Eyes (1990)- What?!? Argento and Romero both direct a short based on a Poe story?!? What’s not to love?!? Right?!? Well, not quite. This is a pretty good flick, but not nearly as good as it would seem on paper. Tale 1 by Romero has a woman who married a rich old man bilking him for his money as he dies. She is in cahoots with the old man’s doctor who uses hypnosis to make the old man basically sign everything over to the lady, things go downhill when the old man dies before everything has been transferred, but the bigger issue is the old man was hypnotized when he died, leaving him in a nether world between living and dead. Not a bad concept over-all and it was executed fairly well, just too long, you could tell it was being stretched a tad too much, I’ll give it a B-. Tale 2 is Argento’s take on The Black Cat. A crime scene photographer, who happens to also be a published art photographer (?) living with a famous violinist, is loosing his mind from all the bizarre crime scene photos he has to take. He kills his girlfriend’s cat (while taking pictures of it for a book he then publishes almost instantaneously) , she wants to leave him ,he has a very bizarre dream, and things spiral out of control. This is really typical Argento, all style, but not much substance. I’ll give it a C+, I’d grade it higher but the dream sequence was ill-conceived. Tough to average a B- and C+ so I’ll say over-all it was a strong C+ effort.

  685. Ape Man, The (1943)- No budget flick about a doctor who has been experimenting with apes and combining human and ape ‘spinal fluid’. I’m not sure what the up side would be but the down side is the scientist is turning into an ape. Lugosi is great in the role of the ape doctor and actually the makeup is impressive for such a low budget piece (in as much as there is makeup, more of a hairpiece and muttonchops), and there were enough bizarre sequences, like Lugosi getting out of the ape’s cage, to make this interesting. This is everything you’d expect from movies like this, smart-assed reporters, careless doctors, stupid ‘comedy’ relief, still, I liked this one but I only recommend for lovers of silly 40s sci-fi or Lugosi completists. C+

  686. Nightmare Man (2006)- I went into this with no expectations at all and, as is often the case in that situation, ended up liking it well enough. The acting is bad and the sexual ‘titillation’ is juvenile at best, as is the dialogue, but at the end of the day it works as kind of a cross between a slasher flick and "Evil Dead". A couple are having marital problems, the woman is having nightmares about demons and her meds don’t seem to be working as well as they were. Her husband is getting a little tired of it. He suggests she spend some time in an institution being watched by professionals, and then they can work out their problems when she gets her’s worked out. On the way to the clinic they run out of gas, naturally in the boonies, and the demon shows up and this time the meds aren’t working. Cut to some assholes spending time in a cabin in the woods and all hell soon breaks loose. Not real scary, not real original, but not real bad either. C+

  687. Isle of the Dead (1945)- I was stoked to see this Val Lewton flick, but then felt a little let down. Karloff is a general taking a break after a terrible battle has thinned his troops and weakened his lines. He heads to a small island where his wife is buried and is angered to find the tombs disturbed. He finds a cast of strange characters visiting the island for different reasons. Some live on the island and some are bound by old superstitions. When members of the group begin showing signs of a plague Karloff forbids them to leave. Science meets superstition as the debate between plague and wardaluck (vampire type creature) take front stage. Karloff is no nonsense but in the end is faced with the fact we all are powerless, even great generals, science or superstition. This was a good movie with good atmosphere and acting. It was suspenseful and moved along nicely. But in the end I just felt disappointed. I really am unsure why, I just never really got into it and the end was a little disappointing. C+.

  688. Innocents, The (1961)- This flick is based on Henry James' "Turn of the Screw" a long short story. I read "Turn of the Screw" one October and it is a pretty effective ghost story. I could see it turned into a good movie and, for the most part, that is achieved here. The story revolves around a new governess sent to care for orphans whose rich uncle has custody but really wants nothing to do with the kids and makes that very clear from the beginning. The governess begins to see and hear things in the huge mansion and on the property and it seems the kids may somehow be involved, or at least influenced by the things they saw when their previous governess was alive and having an affair with the valet (who is also dead). Simply put this is a psychological thriller set in the guise of a ghost story, however we are never really sure if the ghosts exist in reality, or only in the prudish virginal governess’ mind. There are so many undercurrents happening just below the surface you could write an entire essay on the meaning of it all. This movie predates "The Haunting" by a couple years and you can see where "The Haunting" borrowed quite a bit from a directing standpoint (camera angles, lighting, etc.) but the effect in "The Haunting" is better over-all. "The Others" was also very loosely based on "Turn of the Screw" and takes its name from a line in "The Innocents." This is a slow building unresolved ending ghost story, only those who like that approach need apply. On my second viewing of it I finally understood. A+

  689. Dementia 13 (1963)- Some people say this is an early masterpiece from Francis Ford Coppola and some say it points to the genius to come. I don't know. I think it's basically just a rip off of "Psycho" with some extra nutty family members thrown in and a dead daughter instead of mother. A woman is angry at her husband for not forcing his mother to set up a will so she kills him. She then hangs around the crazy family trying to figure their secret and probably wondering why they are Irish and living in Ireland but have no Irish accents, except for the grounds keeper who has a very fake Irish accent, but this never comes up. It's a little slow moving and you wonder why everyone is so weird but there are some very effective moments. Not great but not terrible. C+

  690. The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)- This was a favorite of Vincent Price's and many say it is one of the best of the Corman Poe adaptations. It does have great acting and great sets (including external location shots which were rare on Corman budgets) but despite all this I couldn't much into this flick. A strange widower lives in the ruins of a castle. He eventually falls for a woman and marries her. He wants to leave the old castle but is forced to remain for some unseen reason. He never sleeps with his new bride and she is beginning to hallucinate. Is the ghost of Prices' wife about? The movie was Ok and had some good suspense but the end kind of went on and on and wasn't really satisfying. C+

  691. Son of Dracula (1943)- Lon Chaney Jr. plays Dracula this time out. Lon Chaney Jr. shouldn't play Dracula. I think the director knew that because he's not in the film much at all. Dracula moves to America at the request of a woman who is into the occult. It starts out slow and then slows down more, but if you hang in there we find out why she invited the good Count to begin with and the plot turns out to be pretty good. The effects are pretty good in this one too, considering the age of course, and some scenes have that elusive atmosphere. C+.

  692. Head, The (1959)- Standard mad scientist fair about a doctor who figures out how to keep body parts alive with his serum Z, his over ambitious new assistant of course, takes the experiments too far; nurse’s head, meet stripper’s body. It sounds a lot like "The Head That Wouldn’t Die" but really, this is one is way creepier and darker. No it is no masterpiece, it is clunky, slow, and goofy at times, yet it does create a sort of weird oppressive atmosphere over and above most of this type of stuff. This is a tough one to grade because of what I mentioned above, unoriginal, goofy, yet dark and atmospheric at times. I’ll give it a C+, just be warned it is low budget 50s sci-fi stuff.

  693. Man From Planet X, The (1959)- An alien ship lands in the moors of Scotland and, through mind control, enslaves some of the locals to help prepare the earth for an alien invasion. The effects are dated but over all the plot, while not terribly original, is still good. This is over all a decent enough 50s sci-fi flick until the end which is incredibly dumb. These aliens seriously need some better plans and they need to stop underestimating us. C+

  694. Red Planet Mars (1952)- Don't worry, the makers of this film were not communist. After years of trying a scientist and his wife, who is prone to fits of irrationality, silly woman, make contact with aliens on Mars. The aliens beam back their amazement that we are still using fossil fuels, and so all around old fashioned. Of course they are also amazed that we didn't accept Jesus' message of 'Love Thy Neighbor'. Wait a minute are these really Martians talking? Cold War propaganda ensues. This movie is goofy but I have to admit it kept me interested. Not really horror, but the collapse of governments is scary. C+.

  695. Orphanage, The (2007)- A gal who used to live in an orphanage for handicapped kids returns years later to reopen it. Her husband (who is a doctor) and adopted son (who is HIV positive) come along as well. Strange things start happening almost right off the bat, but they of course blame it on their son’s over active imagination, until he disappears and then the wife is willing to pull out all the stops to find him. We have slowly building tension throughout and some effective scare scenes as well. I liked everything about this flick, the directing, the acting, the believable dialogue (it is in Spanish so I was reading subtitles), the settings, the cinematography. Yup, it was all really well done, and yet I still didn’t really like the movie overall. I’m not even sure why, it just felt there was a lot of slowly building tension but no real payoff. Not so much the ending, which was OK, just overall I felt let down. I guess I just kept thinking ‘saw it’. I think I will give this a C+, it probably deserves a higher grade but I just couldn’t quite get into it. If you like slow building ghost stories, and I do, then you should like this, even though I really didn’t.

  696. House of Dracula (1945)- Let's see. Genius doctor thinks he can help all the Monsters (Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster). He comes up with a plan, implements said plan, and things go awry. So much for Universal's continuity. I was wondering how they'd get around some of the events from "House of Frankenstein", they must have wondered too because they didn't bother trying. Having said all that, this flick was actually fairly strong. John Carradine returns as Dracula and has a good performance, Lon Chaney Jr. is again the Wolfman and is his usual 'not bad not great' self. Glenn Strange returns as the Monster. He must not have been good because the two times he plays the Monster he only shows up in the last 2 or 3 minutes to reek a little havoc. Still, over all not a bad ending for the classic Universal Monsters (although they would later appear in the lamentable "Abbott and Costello Meet..." series). C+.

  697. The Unholy Three (1925)- This is often listed as a horror movie, and I guess by 1920s standards it may have been, by today's standards it would be regarded as silly. Anyway, a great ventriloquist played by Lon Chaney, hatches a plot with some sideshow freaks, the strong man and the midget, along with a pickpocket who works the circus crowds, to case rich folks homes. How? Well, they'll open a parrot shop and Chaney will dress up as an old lady and use his ventriloquist skills to make people think the birds talk. They buy them and get them home and they don't talk, they call Lon (Grandma O'Grady) up and he (she) comes over with her great grandson (the midget) and makes the birds talk (while casing the grounds). Shew, it would be easier to just get a damned job and make money legit, but that wouldn't make for a good movie. Anyway, one night Chaney can't go on a run and the strong man winds up killing someone so the hunt is on. Problem is the pickpocket gal has fallen for the guy the Unholy Three (Four?) framed. Despite the insane plot this is actually a pretty good flick. It's too long and dwells too much when it should be moving but other than that it was decent enough. C+

  698. Zombie Farm (2009)- I read some scathingly negative reviews about this one before watching, but I watched anyway, and really, it wasn’t that bad. It is FAR from a masterpiece, but it isn’t as bad as the reviews made me think it might be and it didn’t fall into the craptacular scale either, which proves you shouldn’t trust anyone’s reviews(?!?) or when you have very low expectations they’re easy to rise above! Anyway, this is a flick about Mexican-American culture (and in that it stumbles badly I think). A documentary filmmaker sees an ad for a psychic on TV and decides to make a movie about him. But she finds out he’s actually a good guy who is trying to help people. One of the people he winds up not helping is a woman whose husband is abusing her. This woman then goes to a ‘real’ psychic who turns her husband into a zombie. The fake psychic then tries to help, as does the documentary filmmaker, get rid of the woman’s zombified husband, which leads to a “zombie farm” a la “White Zombie”, run by the real psychic. As mentioned it is no masterpiece, with some forced dialogue and less than stellar acting and cinematography, low budget and pretty much no effects. Still, it wasn’t a bad flick, a low quality made-for-TV feel basically. I’ll give it a C+.

  699. House of Frankenstein (1944)- Universal Horror was fast becoming a caricature of itself by this point. Formula plots, silly excuses to bring the monsters back, and working in characters from the other franchises. And yet, at least for fans of the studios horror films, it works on some level. Boris Karloff returns not as the Monster, but as a mad scientist bent on continuing Dr. Frankenstein's work, and of course getting in some revenge along the way. A nice idea having Karloff resurrect the monster and some nice irony at the end. The actors took the material serious enough to make it work and the plot moves along nicely. The lab scenes were a little disappointing after the great lab scene from "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman." Another thing about these Universal Monster movies is the attention to continuity they observe. All the details from the previous movies are there and worked in (except one example, at the end of "The Ghost of Frankenstein", the monster becomes blind, and he's blind in "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", however here he isn't). Other than that, for the most part each movie picks right up where the last one left off. Glenn Strange plays the Monster in this film and, although I'm not sure, it seems Herman Munster may have been fashioned from his version. It deserves a D+ but I'll give this one a C+ because I liked Karloff's character.

  700. War of the Worlds (2005)- Yeah it's more sci-fi than horror but aliens invading and destroying the human race is pretty horrific. We meet Tom Cruise's character a shallow middle class blue-collar workingman who has no time for anything but fast cars. His kids are going to stay the weekend but he doesn't care. We know this because he won't help carry his young daughter's suitcase into the house. Shallow blue-collar bastard. We then realize he has no food in the house but he does have a car engine. Worthless working minion. Anyway, his kids don't really like him because he ignores them but luckily they have a rich step dad who buys them TiVo so life ain't so bad, except of course when they have to stay at dad's with no TiVo. Times is hard. We witness the typical 'ignore news reports' bit and then it isn't long before all Hell breaks loose. The effects are pretty impressive and the action is tense. From there on we walk a tightrope between well played out tension, good acting, and people walking around a lot. Basically the movie is a longer, more detailed, more modern version of the 50s classic. I didn't hate it I didn't love it. C+.

  701. Video Dead, The (1987)- This should be renamed ‘The Video Cliché’ or maybe ‘The Straight to Video Dead’. If you thought of every possible 80s horror/zombie movie cliché and crammed them into one movie this is what you’d get. I don’t even know where to start; this flick had to have felt ‘old’ in 1987! The plot? A TV is supposed to be delivered to an occult studies program and is instead delivered to someone’s house, that someone is killed by zombies that come out of said TV, new people buy the house, the new people’s kids arrive early, zombies come back out of the TV, death follows as does bad acting, bad dialogue, bad effects, and as mentioned, worn out clichés and zombie ‘humor’. But you know what, as bad as all that sounds I really didn’t mind this. I knew going in what I was getting and got just that so there was nowhere to go but up really! So if you go into this knowing it is a goofy, cliché ridden, 80s, low budget flick then you just might enjoy the crappiness for what it is. I’m going to give this a C+, I’m getting easy to please in my old age I guess.

  702. Lake Mungo (2008)- Australian faux documentary about the lives of a family after the drowning of their 16 year daughter/sister. Through interviews, flashbacks, and ‘actual’ footage from the events we are lead through each of their own individual grieving processes and the twists and turns associated with not wanting to believe someone has died and of discovering they may not have known their own immediate family member as well as they had believed. I think it passes itself off very well as a documentary, with believable interviews, nice editing, and blurry ‘I don’t quite see it’ footage. The family is subdued and has finally accepted the truth, even if it is their version of it. I liked ‘most’ of it; it does tend to meander at points. Once a major twist is revealed I got the feeling the filmmakers just weren’t sure which way to go after that. It seems possible some, for lack of a better word, fluff was added to pad running time, until the final twist could roll around. The bottom line is this is a very subtle ‘ghost’ story that maybe isn’t really about ghosts at all, at least not in the literal sense. If you’re not looking for subtlety or want a nice plot laid out for you then stay away from this one. For me, well it felt like it meandered a tad too much, I’d say I really liked about half of it and found the rest somewhat tedious and unfocused (literally and figuratively), I’ll give it a C+.

  703. Giant Behemoth, The (1959)- Radiation leak, dead fishermen, giant prehistoric monster that sprays a radioactive fire kind of stuff, destroyed city, etc. Take The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and mix in Godzilla (which was itself influenced by The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms) and you have this very derivative flick; not a bad entry in the large lizard library just not overly original. Anyway, a fisherman dies from what must be radiation burns, evidence of a giant monster is found, the hunt is on, he makes land. You get the picture. C+.

  704. Invaders from Mars (1953)- ’53 was still fairly early in the sci-fi ‘invaders from space act as a metaphor for commies’ genre, but things must have been going downhill a tad already. This flick just doesn’t hold up so well, no I don’t expect great effects, but damn, stock footage of tanks and guys running around in ill fitting green velvet outfits over and over doesn’t really qualify as ‘effects’ does it? This one was aimed at the kiddies and in that vein it does work I guess. A little kid who is overly interested in astronomy sees a space ship land near his house and his dad, and later mom, start acting pretty weird. Since the kid isn’t taken to flights of imagination everyone just pretty much believes him and all the stops are pulled to end the invasion, and by that I mean TANKS! It is a product of its time and keeping that in mind I’ll give it a C+, the minimalist sets and art design work here and there and lend an almost surreal feel at times, despite the clunky acting and dialogue.

  705. Shuttered Room, The (1966)- This is a strange moody tale based on an HP Lovecraft story. A 4 year old girl is sent away from an island when her parents are killed in what we are told is a freak lightning strike. She returns to her home after she marries an older man and in their trip they run into a bizarre group of folks who threaten them and basically treat them like crap. They are also told about curses, the woman is basically threatened with rape, and they are repeatedly told to leave. Despite all of this they decide to stay (I guess because the husband is good at the ol’ Karate Chop). Everyone on the island is afraid of the old mill where the girl once lived and is staying again, yet everyone seems to cruise out there and hang out, sometimes even inside. What started the rumors of a curse, what is it in the attic, and what the hell is the rebel rouser gang’s problem? This is a weird one with a somewhat silly twist at the end and a sometimes fairly annoying Free Jazz soundtrack and ‘artsy’ interludes that fall flat. Some of the acting is weird as Hell too, especially Oliver Reed’s character who just runs around all the time acting all pissed off and rebellious (he thought he was going to inherit the mill). Anyway, it had good atmosphere and some parts worked so I will give it a C+, just don’t expect too much.

  706. Innocent Blood (1992)- A female vampire with a conscience uses bad guys for food. She always makes sure she finishes the job too so she's not out creating bad guy vampires. She decides to take on some mobsters but gets interrupted before she can finish the job on the mob boss, so now we have a gangster undead roaming around. She hooks up with a former undercover cop to stop what she started. This is a decent enough horror comedy, sort of a companion to "An American Werewolf in London". Some of the effects work some don't (the crazy eyes and voice changes the lady vampire go through are too over the top). It's a nice original plot. (Why didn't Hollywood think of this one back in the day? How great would Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney have been as vampire gangsters?) Don Rickles makes a great cameo as a lawyer for the mob boss. Don's great but some of the acting is terrible, sadly that of the main character almost ruins the movie. C+.

  707. Night of the Blood Beast (1958)- Zero budget Corman produced flick about an astronaut who crashes back to earth (to hide the fact that the budget was less than a fast food lunch they make this a top secret space mission, that way no helicopters or military uniform wearing extras are needed), apparently dead, but more in a comatose state. What is keeping him alive? What is that huge mud-bird-human looking monster lurking in the woods and how is it connected to the astronaut, who has now returned from the dead/coma? We will never really know because tough guys shoot first and ask questions later. This is typical late 50s horror/sci-fi fair and with a title like "Night of the Blood Beast" made in 1958 you should know exactly what you are getting. I wonder if the writers of "Alien" saw this back in the day. I’ll give it a C+, keeping in mind what it is (cheap) and what it isn’t (good).

  708. Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)- Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman? Gotta be good right? Well... Where the older version may have been over acted, this seems too subdued. Yeah, Tracy's Hyde has no make-up at all and is kind of a quiet evil, which is a nice interpretation, but this movie just doesn't work. Tracy's Hyde is restrained, Ivy is restrained, the sexual angle is restrained, and the story is restrained. I think they tried too hard to make everyone sympathetic except Hyde and it backfires. Compare the two to see how the 'codes' tamed horror back in the day. C.

  709. Darkness (2004)- A family moves to Spain (where the father lived when he was young) and moves into a weird old house. The father begins having relapses of a mental disorder he had suffered from years before. At the same time weird things begin to happen in the house. The couple's young boy begins seeing children in his room and begins having bruises show up on his face and the standard electrical and sound issues come about. Soon all Hell breaks lose and we're let in on a strange secret. The movie was OK. I kind of saw the twist coming because they drop some pretty obvious hints along the way. I don't know, the shaky camera, now it's there now it's not directing is getting a little old. Time to find a new way to film 'ghosts'. Still, there were some effective parts despite a flimsy plot and not too good acting. C.

  710. Devils of Darkness (1965)- Pedestrian effort at mimicking Hammer. Here we have a French satanic cult headed up by a vampire. I’m not 100% sure what the cult’s end game is but two friends of a British tourist are killed while vacationing in a French village. The Brit isn’t satisfied with what the local authorities tell him so he heads back to England with the idea of having a second autopsy done on the two bodies, and also carrying a strange talisman he found at the scene of one of the deaths. That vampire wants his talisman back so he takes his crew to England (and already has some cult members there anyway) where a really groovy mod scene is going down. He falls for a model he original intends on using as bait and then all of a sudden the movie just ends! Pretty anti-climactic but that’s OK, I didn’t want it to be any longer. This is goofy and at times really annoying stuff (“daahhling”) and struggles to create any real atmosphere. Just as you start to feel a little tension as to who is in the cult vs. who isn’t it’s quickly watered down by bad acting, worse dialogue, or terrible over-the-top attempts at being hip. Still, despite all those negatives I have to admit there is a certain charm about the English horror flicks of this era and it fits in well with them, although not one of the better ones it works on that level if you dig ‘em. So for that reason I’ll give it a C.

  711. Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)- Like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees of today, you can't keep a good monster down (and you get to see where many of Jason's resurrections were stolen from). Maybe they should stay down though. Not nearly as strong as the first three Frankenstein movies, Lon Chaney Jr. takes the roll of the monster, and while he's impressive, he lacks the character and tragedy Karloff was able to bring to the role. The plot? Well, Frankenstein's other son finds out that his father's monster is still alive, but not doing so well. Does he destroy the monster and move on, or does he help him and make him a man? Mankind's ego and refusal to accept nature's roll and control are, as always, the theme here. Sound familiar? Too much silly 'scientific explanations' and things like brain transplants for this to really work. Lugosi returns as Ygor though and saves the picture from being total train wreck. C.

  712. Dunwich Horror, The (1970)- This is an interesting adaptation of the Lovecraft story of the same name, it’s just that Lovecraft stuff doesn’t always translate well to film. Sometimes it is just better to imagine things than to try and actually ‘see’ what they look like. Dean Stockwell plays a very low key role as a member of one of the ‘cursed’ families Lovecraft liked writing about. Stockwell’s family was once into black magic and his grandfather was hung for it, however it seems his experiments succeeded and Stockwell is the result of those experiments, but he’s only half the result, his twin brother is stuck between our world and the world of the Elder Gods, who are trying to return to earth (as in Lovecraft’s cosmology). Stockwell will need the help of an innocent young maiden to complete the deal, bad special effects and late 60s art cinematography ensue. Over all this isn’t a bad flick, but it isn’t great, I couldn’t really tell if they were being serious or hamming it up here and there, I think it was a little of both. This doesn’t quite measure up to the American International Poe movies but if you like the Lovecraft mythos and don’t mind a little cheese smeared on top of it you’ll probably like it. I’ll give it a C.

  713. Asylum (1972)- Amicus omnibus about a doctor interviewing for a job at an asylum. To get the job he has to figure out which inmate was the doctor who previously ran the asylum. They tell him the stories that drove them insane, which are: A man is tired of his rich wife belittling him so he decides to chop her up and put her in the freezer, she was into voodoo, he should’ve looked more into that. His mistress shows up and she too pays a price. Not a bad entry, but I wasn’t expecting camp from the get go I guess? I don’t know, I’ll give it a C. Story 2 has a broke and soon to be evicted tailor making a very special and expensive suit for Peter Cushing’s son. It just may reanimate the dead, or anything that wears it. Again, well executed, but frankly, a dumb ending. I’ll give it a C+. Story 3 has a young lady seemingly suffering from schizophrenia. Her friend that she got into trouble with is still visiting her though. Again, well done, can’t complain about quality, but kind of tedious and predictable, C. And finally the wrap around comes full circle with story 4, about a former doctor who makes little dolls that he plans on using to escape, and queue predictable twist, and give this one a C+. Obviously that averages to the middle ground between C and C+ so I’ll give it a C. No benefit of the doubt today. These stories were well done but I had trouble with a little too much camp in some spots. A straighter horror approach would’ve given better justice to the stories I think.

  714. Man in the Attic, The (1953)- Here in America we’ve had so many serial killers they’re almost a dime a dozen, but the Brits really just have Jack the Ripper, or so it would seem. Here is another Jack the Ripper flick. In this one a guy without an English accent (technically English people aren’t the ones with accents) moves into a room of a family who need a little financial help. He’s a weird pathologist who does blood experiments in the attic of the house. The family’s niece happens to be a dancer bringing her dance troop back from France for some performances. The performances are horrendous but folks seem to really like them so there’s no accounting for taste and besides London is tense with the Ripper killings taking place so they need some relief no matter how crappy. But this guy staying in the attic, he sure is a strange one, could he be the Ripper? Dated feeling despite not really being that old, with performances by Jack Palance and Aunt Bee! Basically just old school 2nd feature time waster, not horribly done, nothing to write home about either, C.

  715. Gothic (1986)- This is a well-directed flick about the depravity that supposedly went down the night Mary Shelly wrote ‘Frankenstein’. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, laudanum, orgies, bondage, tits with eyes instead of nipples, etc. It is a pretty insane flick, well done at times, and annoyingly bad at times, especially Percy’s character who just whines a whole lot. If you’re in the mood for some 80s over-the-top insanity then you could do worse than this, but over-all it can get old quickly. C

  716. Blue Beard (1944)- John Carradine, though forgotten behind names like Lugosi, Karloff, and Price, is one of the great horror movie actors. He made some good flicks like "House of Dracula". Of course he made some bad ones too like "Blue Beard". A serial killer is on the loose in Paris. Carradine is a puppeteer, painter and, of course, serial killer. He paints; he kills, so he tries not to paint. His agent is pushy though and wants some more paintings to sell. Actually a nice non- Hollywood ending, but I just couldn't get into it much. C.

  717. Return of Dr. X (1939)- This movie is a sequel in name only and has nothing to do with the original, save the name. Someone is killing off folks with a rare blood type. Could it be the hematology expert Dr. Flegg? How about his freak assistant, Dr. Cane (but spelled different than that), played with a weird combination of intensity and restraint by Humphrey Bogart in his only horror role. At the opening a wise cracking reporter (sigh) finds the body of a famous actress and promptly calls his editor and states "Let the cops read about it in the paper". Yeah, that sounds about right. While this is more dated humor and wise cracking reporters it works better than the original (not much better though). C.

  718. Stand, The (1994)- This one, like a lot of these, starts off pretty strong. A super flu epidemic is wiping out mankind. A few people are immune, the rest die a miserable death. A palpable sense of dread and despair is created and we’re off to a good ‘end of times’ horror movie start. Those who are immune begin to dream. Some dream of an old lady in Nebraska, singing the blues near a corn field and calling God’s flock to her, others dream of a man in Vegas who, it seems, will answer their prayers. And so mankind is evenly divided between good and evil, although of course it ain’t going to be that easy. For the most part the first 4 or so hours of this miniseries works, great acting, great directing, great story, but then the last couple of hours just tank. Every cliché for ‘evil’ is whipped out, including the obvious extravagance of Vegas, and of course the inevitable fascist elements, and it only goes from bad to worse when we get bad 90s ‘morphing into demons’ effects. Of course all of this leaves us with no doubt who to root for until finally "The Hand Of God" shows up. I give the first half an A and the last half a D- to average to about a C.

  719. Beneath The Planet of the Apes (1970)- The first "The Planet of the Apes" tried pretty hard, and for the most part succeeded, in avoiding the 60s sci-fi clichés (except for the goofy disgruntled teenage chimpanzee near the end). "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" makes no such attempt. We are clubbed over the head with warrior class, nonviolent peace protestors, Nazi like fascism, violence solves nothing, nuclear bomb cold war era paranoia complete with bizarre pseudo-religious zeal and psychedelic effects. The entire first 2/3 of this movie are nothing more than filler for the annoying climax of fall out scared humans who worship a doomsday bomb and sing hymns to its greatness as the gorillas attack. Very little makes much sense until you plug in the ‘violence never pays’ moral of the story. I’m a fan of the "Planet of the Apes" movies and this is by far the weakest. I’ll give it a C though as some of the scenes of the gorillas training for war and the makeup jobs are still great. I was a huge fan of these flicks when I was a kid and wanted nothing more than one of those gorilla masks. C.

  720. Stigmata (1999)- New Age Gnostic material not unlike The DaVinci Code but not as in depth. An atheist woman seems to be suffering from Stigmata, or the wounds of Christ. The Church sends a priest to investigate; he believes that this time the miracles are real. One thing leads to another and a cover-up by the church is discovered, more Gnostic Gospel explanations and some stretching of truth at the end. There's some good parts in this movie, the acting and imagery are good, albeit over bearing and obvious at times. In the end it feels somewhat senseless though, like "Why did I just sit through that?" I'll give it a C.

  721. Grave Encounters (2011)- This is one where I found myself near the beginning thinking ‘I liked it better when it was called ‘The House on Haunted Hill ‘remake’, a little later I found myself thinking ‘I liked it better when it was called ‘The Blair Witch Project’’. Yeah it is obviously fairly derivative, and the sad thing is it didn’t have to be. I like these POV ‘found footage’ flicks usually and this one has a great premise. A TV show called Grave Encounters goes to supposed haunted places and tries to find evidence, and with so many of those shows littering cable right now the timing seems ripe. They are filming their 6th episode and haven’t had much luck running into any real hauntings and are becoming pretty cynical. So they lock themselves into an old empty insane asylum and film away, faking things as needed, until some unexplainable things begin to happen and it slowly becomes obvious there may be no escape. There are some obvious flaws, like the aforementioned unoriginality, but also things that jarred me out of my ‘suspension of belief’ of approaching this as ‘found footage’ At the beginning we are told the footage has only been edited for time, but then things that, had it been edited for time, wouldn’t have been included (but needed to be for the movie to flow) are shown. Then some short flashback footage showing the asylum in the 30s is used and done very poorly, again breaking the ‘suspension of belief’ aspect. And finally some of the acting isn’t too great at times and it seems even when the slightest ‘paranormal’ things begin to occur the whole crew goes kind of nuts. Isn’t that why they are there? If they can’t handle a bump, a knocked over gurney, or someone’s hair being pulled then they really are doomed! Bottom line, it was OK despite the weaknesses, I just wish they could’ve been a little more original and maybe refrained from taking it over the top as they did. I’ll give it a middle C, leaning towards a C+.

  722. Invisible Invaders (1959)- It was the 50s and if it wasn't the commies trying to take over America then it was the aliens. Luckily we can learn, as a species, to work together, and, even more luckily, all invading aliens, no matter how advanced or invisible, always have one glaring weakness that will ruin their plans of invasion. These aliens are indeed invisible, but they take over the dead bodies of humans and stumble around in Romero zombie fashion until scientists find that fatal Achilles Heal. This is great 50s schlock complete with terrible effects and hilarious 50s sci-fi props so if you like that sort of thing you'll like this but if not stay away. One think you will notice is this film almost had to have been an influence on Romero and "Night of the Living Dead" as some scenes are very similar. C

  723. Satan’s School for Girls (1973)- All these years later Satan is still bent about having his witches killed during the Salem Witch Trials, so he is working on getting some new recruits at an old all girls’ school. Will his dastardly plan work, and exactly who is in on it? Not really too many surprises in this one, I had it more or less figured out halfway through. Still for a safe made-for-TV flick it ain’t too bad, if you need something to watch while the kids are up you could do much worse, plus some great plaid jackets and giant bellbottoms and plot holes big enough to drive a ‘73 muscle car through! Also, Argento probably saw this before make 'Susperia'. Not good enough for a good grade but not really bad enough for the craptacular scale so I’ll give it a middle C.

  724. Dr. Blood’s Coffin (1961)- This movie tries pretty hard and comes close. Yeah, it is low budget schlock to be sure but it works as it is well constructed and the acting (all things considered) isn’t bad. The story revolves around a brilliant young doctor returning to his small town roots. Is he there to take over his ageing father’s practice, or is he there to experiment on raising the dead? Oddly ‘accidental’ deaths seem to follow him around and his ambition, as is so often the case, gets him in a tad too deep. This thing starts out like it is going to be a mystery, but drops all mystery pretense pretty quickly, which seemed a weird shift, still, if you find this in the 99 cent bin at Wal-Mart and like low budget insanity this ain’t too bad, as this stuff often goes, I have seen WAY worse. Not bad enough for a craptacular grade. I’ll give it a C, nice effort, oddly put together.

  725. Beneath (2007)- Moody little piece about a girl who, after the funeral of her parents, accidentally kills her sister in a car wreck. Wracked with guilt she believes her sister was actually buried alive and has hallucinations to that effect. She is put away in a mental institution and eventually gets into college as a premed student, but her erratic behavior still shows through. She eventually goes back home for the funeral of her ‘caretaker’, a nice old guy who had a heart attack. Her niece believes the ‘dark things’ killed the caretaker though and we’re off into an investigation paralleling the death of the caretaker, the grandma, and the earlier death of the sister. This is an atmospheric enough tale but it is a little hard to follow and at times just seemed too long. There’s a moody darkness to it that works but there’s also a few too many "what the..." moments too. I’ll give it a C.

  726. Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)- Hammer revisits the mummy legend, this time without Cushing or Lee. It’s basically the same story as pretty much every other mummy story, Egyptologists find a tomb, disturb it, are cursed, die at the hands of a mummy. This time out an American is funding the research. Once the tomb is found he plans on taking the artifacts out on tour with his circus, which doesn’t sit too well with the Egyptians, or the archeologists either. Of course we know that the mummy won’t be having any of that anyway. The twist at the end was a nice change in the story, even though you’ll know pretty early on who the ‘bad guy’ is. This wasn’t a bad entry in the Hammer cycle, a little slow starting and the mummy makeup was effective, but I still kept feeling like I’d seen it all before, which I more or less had since all mummy movies are more or less the same. C

  727. Subject Two(2006)- We are set up from the beginning in this variation of Frankenstein to see that some doctor's just have no understanding of medical ethics (or in this case a med student). Anyway, next up this ethically challenged med student heads to the mountains to be a doctor's assistant at a remote house/laboratory. Things seem to be going wrong right from the start, or are they actually going right? The doctor's experiments seem to be working, but at what cost (of course). This seems to me to be one of those movies that when the director was done he realized it was only about 45 minutes long so he just started adding more scenes that weren't necessary. It's not that it's a bad movie; it just seems to linger around in kind of a pointless circle with artsy directing snippets thrown in to make you feel less bored (although the twist at the end was OK). I think this is C material.

  728. These are the Dammed (1963)- Oliver Reid at his whiny best, trying (and failing) to channel some Brando circa ‘The Wild One’. Here we have a bike gang that beats and robs tourists; only the tourist they pick out happens to fall for Reid’s sister who seems to like the tourist too but it is all so odd that it is hard to tell. Somewhere in there we realize the government is doing some ‘if I told you I’d have to kill you’ experiments that involve kids. One thing leads to another and the tourist (who is old enough to know better), with Reid’s sister, followed closely by Reid end up in a cave with the kids, which may not be as wise as the now well intentioned weirdoes think. Not a bad Cold War Nuclear Paranoia entry from Hammer, but not particularly good either. It just takes a long time to get going and then once it does the payoff isn’t that great. I’ll give it a C.

  729. Friday the 13th (1980)- Move the town-with-a-secret movie to a campground and you have a whole new movie to make. Jason was a freak and the camp counselors made fun of him. Then he drowned in the lake and they closed Camp Crystal Lake. Then, some time later, they reopened Camp Crystal Lake and sure enough, revenge is exacted on kids that had nothing to do with the Camp Crystal Lake back in the day. This was an OK movie, but not very original. The twist at the end got me the first time I watched it but I was pretty young so I don't know if it would work on me now (if I hadn't seen it before). Jason is a pretty good horror movie character but (PLOT SPOILER AHEAD) he isn't actually even in this movie and I'm pretty sure this one is responsible for more terrible sequels than any horror movie franchise, but I can't blame this one movie for all those train wrecks. Aside from creating a great character this franchise has little to offer. C.

  730. Frightmare (1983)- Bizarre tale about a famous old school horror movie star who dies (in a long and bizarre way) and then has fun by staging his own funeral. (He knew he was dying so he made a film to play at his funeral.) Some of his biggest fans, who happen to also be film school students, promptly disinter the body and take it to a party (where the film goes off on a sort of a 70s psychedelic trip for a short while). Soon the crypt is found to be disturbed; a séance takes place, and the corpse of the movie star rises up to take revenge on those who disturbed him, even though they actually did it out of admiration. The plot is a lot like "Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things" except it is just one super powered zombie rather than an island full of normal zombies and the kids aren’t quite as annoying. This isn’t a bad movie, it creates OK atmosphere, but at times is terribly slow moving. The acting is OK; it just leans towards boring at times. I’ll drop a C on it.

  731. Isolation (2005)- Once you know it’s an Irish horror movie then you know at some point someone will put their arm up a cow! Anyway, genetic experiments to make cows more fertile go horribly awry and create several mutants, one of which survives to infect humans, somehow. Pretty generic storyline done in a very dark (literally), very wet atmosphere; this farm would be the most unsanitary place ever! The acting and FX are really pretty good, over-all not a bad flick but it moves pretty slowly with a pretty predictable payoff, not a good combination so I’ll slap a C on it.

  732. Tales That Witness Madness (1973)- Another English omnibus. Here Donald Pleasance leads us through his asylum showing us four patients and relating their tales of madness and murder. Or are they mad, are their stories true? Dr. Donald has a theory about it all and the obvious ending reveals that theory, sort of. Story one is about a young boy whose super rich parents are always fighting; his imaginary tiger friend doesn’t like his parents. This was painfully predictable but done well enough; I’ll give it a C. Story two revolves around an old bicycle and a portrait of ‘Uncle Albert’. The current owner is forced on the bike by an unseen force and taken back in time. When his girlfriend tries to stop him, the force gets angry. This one had me curious and I was into it wanting to know what was going on and why he was being taken back in time, but there was no real payoff at all. I’ll give it a B for being interesting but should probably give it a lower grade. Story three basically has a guy fall in love with a tree stump, predictable and goofy I’ll give it a D. Story four gives us a big party, all done up with Pacific islander tradition, which includes ritual sacrifice and cannibalism, I’ll give it a B as well. All told this was a nicely paced set of predictable stories that actually almost seemed too short (at least story 2 and 4) as too much felt left out, the same could be said for the weak wrap around. I’ll average this to a C, for the most part the stories were told well, just not overly well written.

  733. Invisible Ray, The (1936): Not bad not great early sci-fi flick about a loner scientist (Boris Karloff) who discovers how to 'view' past events by looking at 'rays' that have been traveling at light speed across space. With this evidence he pinpoints where to find a rare element from a meteorite that crashed into the earth "thousands of millions" of years ago. He finds the element but becomes contaminated. He glows in the dark and kills anything he touches. Luckily Bela Lugosi is the greatest astro chemist in the world and quickly finds an antidote. Boris must take it daily though and it may just drive him insane and make him want to kill those who stole his ideas and his wife. The acting is pretty good for such silly material. Nothing cool about the directing. It moves well for the most part but slows down during some of the 'love' sequences. Just your basic predictable old school sci-fi flick, middle C.

  734. Deadtime Stories (2009)- Omnibus hosted by George Romero doing a Cryptkeeper stale ‘keep an eye out’ type of setups between shorts. Story 1 revolves around a woman whose husband was lost in the jungle working for a pharmaceutical company. She mounts an expedition to finish his work, but is really just searching for him. She really has no idea what she’s doing and winds up pretty much getting everyone killed for what might be the fountain of youth. Terrible acting and bad effects drag down an already weak plot. F. Story 2 is about a man who sells junk. He finds something he knows is valuable but the local antique dealer doesn’t want it as he says it is dangerous and to leave these pieces alone. Instead the junk seller digs up more and of course everyone regrets the decision. Not a bad entry, a tad slow moving as suspense is reached for and missed, but it was interesting and at least somewhat original. I’ll give it a C-. Story 3 is about a boy who insists he is a vampire. His mother calls the local doctor who does some tests and recommends a psychiatrist, or does he? I liked this one a lot, well filmed (all by candle and fire light) and pretty well acted, I’ll give it a strong A. Wow! Those are some varied grades, I’ll average it to a C.

  735. Virus (1980)- Surprisingly well-made Japanese dooms day flick. During some Cold War espionage a man made virus, which has the ability to attach to common viruses like the cold, and replicate and spread at high rates, is released into the Russian backcountry. Eventually the virus spreads to Italy where it is given the name Italian Flu and where it spreads across Europe, Asia, and eventually Africa and the Americas. The Americans learn too late that it is in fact a virus their of own invention; humanity is all but whipped out, save those staying in outposts in Antarctica, where the cold weather makes the viruses spread impossible. The action switches to Antarctica where the issues of safety, infection, and horniness are addressed in a more or less believable way. It is a slow mover at times and fails at attempts of depth and introspection, instead falling victim to sappy dialogue and shallow silliness. I saw the Americanized version, which is shorter and, from what I’ve read, not as well edited as the Japanese version. Still it is competently made and acted doomsdayer. C.

  736. Freddie Vs. Jason (2003)- Plot? Freddie vs. Jason. Freddie needs Jason to scare up some victims so he gets him out of Hell. Said plan backfires. Well, what can you expect from a movie with a title like this? Very predictable, stereotypical, little effort put forth by anyone involved. Bad acting, poor writing, crappy directing, but hey, what's not to love? If you go into this with idea it's more camp then horror you probably won't be disappointed. Still, it could've been a lot better, just keep in mind this ain't the "Godfather." C.

  737. Strigio (2009)- A vampire film made and set in Romania, Strigio takes the ‘quirky village with a secret’ twist a step further. A medical student returns to his small village in Romania only to find the locals may have in fact murdered an old man. Was there a reason? Is he dead? Is he ‘undead’? Twists and turns and campy humor ensue. The good: Well acted and directed, great plot ideas, well executed comedy; the bad: too much talk and too long. A little judicious editing and I’m digging this one, but as is I’m sorry but I have to put it in the C camp. Lots of folks dig this one but I just couldn’t stay focused, blame my lack of attention if you must but a C is where I’m at.

  738. Trauma (1993)- There was a time when Dario Argento was way ahead of the curve in the horror genre. Like them or not ‘Deep Red’ and ‘Suspiria’ were at the very least ahead of their time, ‘Trauma’ feels about 15 years too late! A ‘slasher’ is out to exact revenge on folks, and as pieces of the puzzle are slowly brought together, we find out why, but by then we don’t really care all that much. The story revolves around Aura played horribly by Argento’s daughter. She’s 17 and tries to commit suicide as she’s been in some clinic for some reason. Her mom is a medium and a killer is on the loose and Aura gets protected by an artist who does caricatures for news shows, I think. Just not sure what Argento was going for here as this one really just boils down to being silly. Not poorly directed, just kind of dumb. I’ll give it a middle C. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t much like it either. Remove some of the sex and violence and it would feel like a made for TV mystery of the week.

  739. Dairy of the Dead (2008)- Romero is back with another zombie movie entry, this time taking a cue from "The Blair With Project" and "Cloverfield" by making a point-of-view film about zombies. It is sort of a retelling of "Night of the Living Dead" set today. A group of college film students/actors are making a horror film for their senior project when suddenly and for seemingly no reason the dead begin to rise up to consume the living. The student director becomes obsessed with turning his fake mummy movie into a real documentary on what is happening. So the group gets together in a Winnebago to head home. I guess they all live in the same direction and/or don’t own their own cars. Bottom line, Romero is the master, but even the master can have a bad game. Maybe Romero’s directing doesn’t lend itself to the point-of-view style, maybe the dialogue was just too clunky, maybe the acting was just too bad, maybe the plot holes were just too deep, maybe some sequences were just too unbelievable, maybe the message this time was just too heavy handed, maybe the camp parts seemed out of place, maybe it was a combination of all of the above, but I have to admit, as much as I don’t want to, I was very disappointed in this flick. It just felt like I was walking through a haunted house with a zombie theme. Here’s the outside scene, here’s the dorm scene, here’s the hospital scene, here’s the house scene, here’s the warehouse scene, here’s the panic room scene. This could’ve been so good, the idea was there, some of the parts were great (the opening with the police at the apartment complex, the team clearing out the apartment building with the old people, some parts of the hospital scene), but some were just bad (Deb’s house, the cameraman not doing anything when a zombie walks right in front of him to bite someone at the hospital, the mummy/zombie camp part). Also, from a realism point regarding the point-of-view- style, love it or hate it, the camera work and editing is supposed to feel bad and amateurish, here it was just too slick with the security camera angles edited in, the double cameras, and the soundtrack playing almost throughout. It just totally lost that ‘shot on the run vibe’. I know I know these were film students and had editing gear, they show that, still... And George, I dig my horror with a message, always respected you for your abilities in that respect, but crap man, I don’t need it hitting me like a baseball bat. Information overload indeed. I can’t believe this but I’m forced to give the Master a C-.

  740. Night of the Living Dead (1990): Tom Savini wanted to do a little more than just effects so he sat down in the director's chair for this remake. It is pretty faithful to the original with a couple notable exceptions, which you'll have to watch to find out. It was different enough to keep me interested. Plot? The same. Some people are holed up in a farmhouse as the dead are coming back to life and craving human flesh. I liked this remake OK but I realize it really didn't have to be made and that's what I kept thinking. There's a little too much screaming too. I mean, yeah, the first couple times you see a zombie trying to eat you you'd probably scream but after awhile you'd just get down to business beeyatch. Plus, if this farmhouse is 5 miles from the nearest town where the Hell are all those zombies coming from? I guess they did show how they could hear all the hammering going on but jeezate. If you want some old school Romero zombie-ism you could do worse but if you want something original you could do much better. C.

  741. Caller, The (2011)- A young divorcee moves into an older apartment in hopes of hiding from her violent ex-husband. She begins receiving phone calls she at first believes her ex is orchestrating, but soon realizes something else is going on, and the calls may in fact be from the past. Things begin to go from bad to worse as both the caller and the woman slowly become unhinged. A lot of potential here but little real payoff, I guess if you can suspend belief enough to buy the plot then you can suspend belief enough to buy the plot holes and other far-fetched coincidences and happenings (with a little thought and creativity this situation wouldn’t have been too hard to get out of). I really wanted to like this one and parts worked well for me, but some parts were really weak (the ‘sex scene’ was almost funny). I’ll give it a C I guess; I really didn’t hate it, but felt it could’ve been quite a bit better.

  742. Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane, The (1976)- This flick was often billed as a horror movie, or at best a thriller, but it falls maybe a tad short in both respects. The story is about a little girl... who lives down the lane... Sorry, anyway, we soon find out she is actually living there alone (at age 13) and she is pretty much willing to do whatever it takes to remain an independent little girl as she deals with the landlord, the bank, and the landlord’s pedophile son (with some help from her crippled magician boyfriend?!?). A tad strange, definitely far fetched, and at times pretty dated feeling too, despite the rave reviews I’ve read I just couldn’t really get into it. The acting was actually really good and it is well written and directed, and I liked the idea of the adults being suspicious but still too wrapped up in there own hang-ups to really notice anything, but still, despite all these positives, the package as a whole fell a little flat for me. C.

  743. Constantine (2005)- I had heard this movie was really bad so wasn't interested in seeing it but Jenny's uncle bought it and let us borrow it so it was a free viewing. Actually it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Keep in mind it is based on a comic book and you'll understand what I mean. It is basically "Men In Black" only with demons instead of aliens and without the Fresh Prince. It was too long and the end was a let down but I didn't hate it. C.

  744. The Invisible Man (1933)- Claude Rains rants and raves about taking over the world and such because the serum he invented that made him invisible also drives men mad. James Whale directed this old school Universal Monster movie too. The FX are impressive for the times and the direction is more fluid and less 'staged' than many of the Universal Monster movies. Never the less much of the acting is really bad and the plot mirrors Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde very closely. The characters are flat and you never find yourself sympathizing with anyone in the movie. This may have been the first movie where the makers just assumed the FX would carry the show, they were as wrong then as they are now. C-.

  745. Beast From Haunted Cave (1959)- Super cheap entry into the gangster-horror-monster-movie sub genre(?). This one is too long at a little over an hour! Still, it has a certain charm to it in that silly innocent 50s way. Some gangsters heist some gold from a small town bank in the Dakotas and hide out in a ski instructor's cabin in the boonies. It turns out the explosion they set as a diversion pissed off a giant spider like creature, which somehow hunts the group down, and they are stuck at the cabin as a blizzard approaches. Though it’s a little stiff, most of the acting is actually pretty good and the directing works. The effects are terrible even for the time but the monster isn’t in it much anyway. The end rolls up and you pretty much think "yeah, that’s what I thought would happen." Not bad enough for the craptacular scale. C-.

  746. Bell from Hell (1973)- Euro-trash goes artsy! Lots of close-ups and long shots, and long rolling shots of pretty much nothing all lead up to a pretty monotonous flick. It was tough to stay awake there for a while. The plot follows a man who has been put in an asylum, he may or may not be crazy, but it looks like his relatives have tried to keep him there in hopes of getting his money. He does kind of go bonkers working in a slaughterhouse (al la ‘Texas Chainsaw’ vibe) and winds up getting the last laugh (literally I guess). This was weird and tries to be Argento, but falls short. C-.

  747. Werewolf of London (1935)- Very dated werewolf flick. The main character is a botanist looking for a flower that only blooms at night. It so happens this rare flower is also an antidote (but not a cure) for "werewolfery, the scientific name is lycanthrophobia." Putting the good doctor in the wrong place at the wrong time. This movie has a more Jeckyll and Hyde plot than an actual were-wolf plot. At one point, when realizing he must kill his wife ("a were-wolf must always kill that which it loves the most"), the were-wolf promptly puts on his coat and hat. A far cry from the modern interpretation, but not necessarily wrong. Still, this movie was slow and the acting wasn't too good. Also, no one seemed too surprised about were-wolves being around. I can see how it was more or less 'forgotten' (other than by Warren Zevon). C-.

  748. Abandoned, The (2006)- One of the "8 Films To Die For" Horror fest, this is a very well made movie with some good scares, great atmosphere, and effective acting. The story, while not terribly original, is done in a very original way. A woman inherits her mother’s property. Her mother was killed just after her birth and she knows nothing of her biological parents other than they lived in Russia. So she heads back to the Russian boonies to check out the property and confront her destiny, which was supposed to have been fulfilled 40 years before. Yes, this was a well made, originally presented movie, but when it was all said and done, I didn’t dig it all that much. It was just a little too ‘convoluted’. There were scenes, flashbacks, events, and sounds that just didn’t really fit and I started getting that feeling the director was just trying to prove how clever he was at the expense of the movie. The suspense and scares work, the art attack directing falls a little short. C-.

  749. Mephisto Waltz, The (1971)- I really hate it when people use the word ‘boring’ to describe a movie as I’m not sure exactly what that means. Some people get easily bored if they have to sit for 90+ minutes watching a movie so are they just bored. Anyway, this movie was boring. There just didn’t seem to be much going on; a music journalist goes to interview a famous pianist. The two seem to become friends and some pretty obvious decadence comes to the surface during a New Year’s Eve Party. Are the rich freaks worshipping Satan? And what exactly do they want from this mediocre writer and his wife? The acting is good, the directing pretty dated though. It just feels like it is trying to be ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ without the pregnant lady, but it lacks the suspense to pull it off. File under ‘Typical 70s Satan-Worshipping-Hysteria’. C-.

  750. Vampire Circus (1972)- Hammer was running out of cash and out of ideas by the early 70s. Backers were getting hard to find, distribution was getting hard to get, and their gothic tales were falling out of style. Their solution? Lower budgets, more gore, and more T and A. ‘Vampire Circus’ is standard material; a local count happens to be a vampire and has been stealing the wives and children of the locals. Tired of this they storm the castle, torches in hand; stake the count and burn the castle, but not before the obligatory curse via the count. The count’s lover (who we just saw in a pretty bad early 70s semi-psychedelic love scene), who also happens to be the village teacher’s wife, gets away. Jump ahead 15 years and the village is dying off due to the plague, and is isolated from the rest of the country when a circus comes to town, you can guess the rest due to the name of the movie. As a vampire period piece this isn’t too bad, pretty predictable, some really good, mixed with some really bad acting, but as Hammer flick it falls a little short for me. The varied reviews from ‘underrated masterpiece’ to ‘worst Hammer movie’ are probably over the top too so I’ll drop it near the middle of the pack with a C-.

  751. Deathwatch (2002)- A story that focuses on the brutality of WW I. A small squad of British troops wind up behind enemy lines after a large battle. They take and secure a German trench and hold up waiting for reinforcements. Possibly surrounded, possibly lost, possibly forgotten, paranoia begins to settle in, or maybe there is something lurking in that trench that wants to turn them against one another and watch as their sanity slips away. Yeah, it’s a great idea, and in parts it executes well, but over-all I was disappointed. The WW I ‘look’ worked, but when the CGI showed up, well, I wasn’t digging it. And large swaths pretty much involve soldiers yelling and carrying lanterns… behind enemy lines. That seems like a really bad idea to me. And, the bottom line, I kind of hated most of the soldiers and didn’t really care if they died (and the ‘twist’ ending didn’t work too well for me). I think a flick like this needs some sympathy for the characters. I’m going to give it a C-, great idea that falls short.

  752. Audrey Rose (1977)- Want emotions? This flick has them. We start off with idyllic love and near perfection (represented by the family’s wonderful excursions around New York). Slide into parents’ slight fear and paranoia (somebody’s following them around), next we go to a father’s simmering rage (gritting teeth, angry eyebrows), a lawyer’s concern (we’ll catch this lunatic bastard), then a daughter’s fear (lots of screaming, running around, pounding on windows), then a mother’s extreme terror (uncontrollable sobbing and praying), and Anthony Hopkins’ understated paternal instinct (and yelling the name ‘AUDREY ROSE’). Hopkins tries his damnedest to convince the parents of an 11 year old girl that her soul is in fact the soul of his daughter, who died minutes before their daughter was born, and since the daughter has nightmares around the time of her birthday each year then he must be right. Hopkins is afraid his daughter’s soul went into the girl’s body too soon after it was released from his daughter or something or other, we end up with Hopkins charged with kidnapping and a trial where his defense includes the reincarnation story. In the end a psychiatrist is brought in to hypnotize Ivy and see if she is in fact Audrey as well and things go from bad to worse. This follows the successful ‘exorcist’ formula very closely, which makes sense since that flick made the impossible seem possible, here? Not so much. It just seemed too over-the-top emotional, not bad acting necessarily, just too much decent enough acting if that makes sense, and the plot just spirals out of control by the time we get to court. I think had they approached it more like Hopkins was insane and dangerous it might have worked, instead he comes off as probably being right all along. I remember seeing this flick when I was really young and it freaked me out pretty good, but after recently re-watching it doesn’t seem to hold up all that well, not bad, but not too good either. I’ll give it a C-.

  753. Horde, The (2009)- What happens when some rogue cops head into a really bad neighborhood to avenge the death of one of their own at the hands of some ruthless drug dealers? Well, plans go awry, zombies attack, and the cops and drug dealers need to work together to get out alive. How well do you think that will go? We don’t know why dead people are rising up and eating the living, we do know that it looks like the entire city is under attack and even if they get out of the condemned apartment building they may not have much of a city left. The movie has some very intense scenes and some very good acting (a French flick with subtitles) in the ’28 Days Later’ vein, which I dig, but then at points it goes all action packed, in the ‘Resident Evil’ vein, which I don’t care for too much; so we waiver between intense scenes of tension and fear and scenes of kung-fu fighting zombies, and in-fighting among characters who you end up not caring much for anyway. In the end it proved to be just a little too over the top for me, but if you dig that approach you might want to check this one out. As for me, I’ll give it a C-, cut back on the hand to hand zombie combat, the cartoon characters (like the Vietnam vet), and give me at least one or two characters to actually care about and it would’ve worked.

  754. Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)- Released a full 12 years after the original this sequel takes a totally different approach to the telling of the chainsaw tale. The original was actually very short on gore and aside from a very bleak sense of black humor, was a very serious look at a family of serial killers. This takes the gore and the camp over the top, putting it almost in the vain of something like "Evil Dead". A DJ plays the sound of a killing done by the famous family, so they take it upon themselves to exact some revenge. Throw in Dennis Hopper as a half crazed ex Texas Ranger and you’ve got an oddball of a movie. Although I really didn’t dig this one too much, I do appreciate how they tried to break from the standard sequel fair and from the mid-eighties slasher slump. C-.

  755. Shock (1946)- This is an early Vincent Price vehicle. Price plays a psychiatrist who accidentally kills his wife when she threatens to ruin his career by exposing his affair with a nurse. A woman in an adjoining room in the hotel where this occurs witnesses the murder and goes into 'shock'. Price then becomes her psychiatrist and has to figure out what to do with her. Price's character is supposed to be a nice guy who is a victim of circumstance but he comes across as a little more sinister than I think he's supposed to so you never really feel any sympathy for him and the woman who witnesses the murder just goes around over-acting. It's a good plot poorly executed but Price is good as the confused doctor. C-.

  756. Alien Resurrection (1997)- I saw this in the theatre when it first came out and I liked it quite a bit. When I recently caught it again on satellite I was less impressed. Ripley is cloned and brought back to life so the military scientists can get the alien queen inside her and begin breeding aliens for their own nefarious deeds. The military types are all over the top sadistic bad guys. Enter the unruly crew of a freighter, or are they pirates, either way they are a wild bunch who take no guff from anyone, and of course, they are the good guys, sort of, somehow. Anyway, the aliens are learning quickly and soon escape, wreak havoc, and breed a new odd hybrid alien. Action space adventure cliché ensues. Not terrible but it is a long fall from the original. C-.

  757. Predator 2 (1990)- Decent enough plot idea, move the hunting alien to LA where the effects of a hot summer drought and drug land war have the city on edge already. Enter over the top smart-aleck reporter a la all 40s horror movies and an assortment of heroes and villains for the drug war subplot and you wind up with a good idea gone bad. This sequel was just a little too over the top for me. C-.

  758. My Little Eye (2002)- A twist on "House on Haunted Hill" has a group of college age kids spending 6 days in a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere while being watched on the Internet via Webcams placed all over the place. If they all stay 6 days they get a million dollars, if even one leaves, no one gets anything. They debate their pasts as they realize someone is messing with them, trying to scare them and maybe stir a little controversy for the Web viewers. All may not be as it seems though as one thing leads to another and the group realizes that they may not be meant to ever leave the house. The movie is tense and interesting until roughly 2/3 of the way through and then we break down into slasher mayhem and things pretty much become very predictable and plot holes start opening up. Too bad for such a promising start. C-

  759. Slaughter of the Vampires (1970)- A newly wed couple throws a party in their new castle and a mysterious stranger shows up and begins seducing the new bride. The husband is becoming concerned at his wife’s almost comatose behavior and winds up calling in a specialist, a specialist in vampires that is! Sound familiar? Yeah, it is basically Dracula without the whole moving to England sequence. Crazy over the top soliloquies make it fun as does the Euro-Goth atmosphere. If you like these slightly weird and subtle European horror flicks from this time (although this one gives the impression of being older than 1970, more like 1960) then you’ll like this, nothing new to offer, but not horrible. If you don’t like the bad dialogue and snail’s pacing then steer clear. I’m on the fence so I’ll give it a C-.

  760. Number 17 (1932)- Early Hitch about a group of folks meeting up at an address, some by accident and some by design, after a jewel heist. A train that rides a ferry to mainland Europe runs under the house and the crooks want to be on that train. So who are the crooks and who are the cops? To tell you the truth I’m still not sure! This is old and the sound and lighting prove that and it is a very hard to follow confusing plot, made worse by the old look. There are some set pieces and some use of models (train sequence) that shows Hitch was ahead of his time even this early, but I can only recommend this for folks really interested in all things Hitch. C-.

  761. Picture of Dorian Grey (1945)- I've heard a lot of good things about this book and this movie so I checked it out from the library (the movie not the book, although I plan on reading the book when I have the time). A young man who is rich and handsome believes youth and beauty are the most important things you can possess so he wishes that a recently finished portrait of himself would bear the brunt of time while he remains the same. He gets his wish but in exchange is forced to do terrible deeds (kind of a 'sell your soul to the devil' deal). Years pass and Dorian remains the same. The movie is black and white but the portrait shots are in color. The portrait ages and becomes more hideous with each evil Dorian commits and this is an effective device. And that's about all that's effective in this movie. No one's all that amazed that Dorian hasn't changed a bit in years and Dorian just goes through the paces. We never know what the evil deeds he does are as they are really only hinted at so we never really even know what's going on. Disappointing. C-.

  762. Living Dead Girl, The (1978)- European sexploitation and horror; nothing to see here, please move along. A dead girl’s crypt is disturbed by toxic waste and general dumbassery. She gets up and craves blood, kills some naked folks, gets naked herself etc. Her former lesbian lover happens to be a real estate agent trying to sell the now living dead girl’s castle. They made a promise to stay together forever so the real estate agent works to get the living dead girl the blood she needs. Pretty standard stuff with some of the worst ‘acting’ I have ever seen. And in typical low budget Euro-trash ways people kind of stand around and let themselves get eaten; assuming screaming is a better defense than beating the crap out of somebody or just running like Hell. Anyway, there is an interesting change of positions as the living dead girl begins to feel guilty about killing folks but the living real estate agent seems to start to enjoy it, could’ve been an interesting angle to explore. I understand some cats really dig this stuff, I guess I also sort of understand why to be honest, but I just generally don’t dig it all that much. I’ll give it a C-.

  763. Cry of the Werewolf (1944)- Low budget werewolf flick about a gypsy princess who inherited her mother’s curse of turning into a werewolf. A museum curator is hot on the trail of finding her mother’s grave, whose location is apparently a local legend, and she’s willing to kill to keep it a legend. The curator is killed, his assistant driven mad, tough guy cops show up along with the curator’s son who is in love with his adopted sister (?) and secret tunnels, moving walls, and bad acting follow. Over all it isn’t a bad idea, but it just isn’t executed very well with crummy FX and cardboard acting. File under ‘almost was’. C-.

  764. It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)- Very typical entrant into the 50s giant monster sci-fi sub genre. A giant octopus is threatening ships at sea and heading toward San Francisco. The Navy and a couple of scientists are on the hunt and love triangle ensues, sort of. Not great stuff even for those that love this stuff like me, still, if you are into these flicks you need to see it for Harryhausen’s octopus (with 6 arms) destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge. C-

  765. Grave Dancers (2006)- This was part of the "Eight Films To Die For" horrorfest. This movie never takes itself too seriously and is pretty predictable from the very beginning. Some friends reunite for a friend’s funeral and afterwards they celebrate life by getting hammered and dancing in a graveyard. Turns out they were dancing in the section reserved for psychopaths, murderers and other malcontents. Now those ghosts are out to get them. Throw in some parapsychologists, a creepy old house, and over the top effects and you have horror, sort of. There were some good parts in this one and it was pretty well made, it just tended to drag on for too long and each twist just got a little more over the top until the end got totally insane, still, it kept me interested for the most part. C-.

  766. Die, Monster, Die (1965)- Based on Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space", this little American International flick moves along at a nice pace. A guy heads to not so jolly old England to visit his college sweetie and soon finds no one will help him find his way to the house. Cursed it must be. He eventually makes it to the house, after walking through some barren landscapes that is. Turns out the girl's family has a dim past of demonology and insanity. The girl's father, played by Karloff, will have none of that and looks for scientific reasons for what has happened there in the past, with typical devastating results. A great line that sums it all up "It's like a zoo from Hell... A menagerie of horrors." This is great fluff that sits somewhere between horror and sci-fi. The actors are just going through the motions (except Karloff who always took his roles seriously), most of the sets look good. If you like 60s goof then you'll like this, if not stay away. C-.

  767. The Bat (1959)- There's a serial killer on the loose, one the cops had thought was gone. What's he after, hidden money? Inheritance? Or just killing people for no reason? Is Vincent Price in fact "The Bat" or just another red herring? You'll have to watch this goofy murder mystery to get the answers; even after watching it you may not have the answers! Not a particularly good movie but not terrible. Price is good in this early vehicle, before he had really developed his horror persona he'd make famous with Roger Corman. Good enough acting and OK directing but the plot and writing leave something to be desired. C-.

  768. Evil of Frankenstein, The (1964)- Hammer did make Frankenstein out to be one evil cat except in The Evil of Frankenstein where he's suddenly a misunderstood scientist. Frankenstein is again run out of town so this time he returns to the original town he was run out of to start his experiments again in his own castle, which has been looted but good by the locals. Luckily he stumbles across his old monster (this movie has no continuity with the older Hammer Frankenstein movies). This movie has the usual good Hammer productions and Peter Cushing does his usual professional work as the Dr. but it ends up being a let down. The monster is a pale copy of Jack Pierce's Universal make up and never really produces any feelings of horror or sympathy. The Frankenstein mythos is just so much harder to work with than the Dracula/Vampire mythos. C-.

  769. Strange Invaders (1983)- This is a pretty original tribute to the 50s sci-fi flicks about alien invaders (or commies, whatever) taking over America, or small town America anyway. It’s almost a kind of "Men in Black". A professor wants to find his ex-wife and follows her to a town that seems to be full of people who think it is still 1958, all hell slowly begins to break loose. I liked this one for the most part but the flick seemed confused as to whether it was camp/comedy or a serious film and the bipolar bouncing back and forth wears thin. All said and done this was a good attempt but still missed for me, I’ll give it a C-.

  770. Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1934)- These early Hitch flicks are harder than hell to follow! This is basically the same plot as his later remake; a vacationing couple witnesses an assassination, receive some information about a possible future assassination, and have their child kidnapped because of this information. Things seem to get quickly out of hand and the main character just isn’t believable as the frightened father willing to do almost anything to save his child. There are flashes of directorial brilliance to be sure, especially as the climax builds, but unless you’re a hardcore Hitch fan, stick with the remake! C-.

  771. She Killed In Ecstasy (1970)- Jess Franco made a career out of soft-core porn horror movies with terrible soundtracks, I guess they call it 'acid rock' but it never fits the mood of what is happening visually, it just goes on and on sounding silly and dated. So what is happening visually? Mostly sex and murder. A man who is supposedly a great scientist decides on his own to experiment on human embryos, but in all the pictures they are fetuses that look nearly ready for birth, floating in formaldehyde. Anyway, he is banned from medicine and research and then goes totally insane and basically catatonic before finally killing himself. His wife then wants revenge and to get it she has sex with the doctors she blames for her husband's suicide (including a female doctor), and kills them during the act, while fantasizing that it is her husband she's having sex with but apparently not killing. For good measure she keeps her husband's body, which is remarkably well preserved, back home in bed. At the end a policeman says Mrs. Johnson was a normal woman driven to kill by her husband's mistreatment. Uh yeah, any woman who's husband commits suicide would go out and kill the people she blamed for it while having sex with them and keeping the dead body back home in bed. The best I can say is this movie is competently made in an exploitative way despite the rotten soundtrack, some bad acting, and silly dialogue. Over look those and it gets a C-.

  772. Twilight (2008)- Yeah, it’s Romeo and Juliet with vampires, but let’s remember, at its center Dracula is really a love story. Bela is the new girl; she instantly falls for Edward, the local vampire, who starts liking her because she is the only person whose mind he can’t read. He has powers like Superman, as does his whole family, who are good vampires since they don’t kill humans, just animals, despite their tendencies to really want to kill folks. Toss in a very brief fight with some not-so-good vampires and you have this movie. On a camp-comedy level this one works, but I’m not sure if the director was actually going for that feel. I was laughing quite a bit though and liked it for that; the goofy baseball game, the hilarious effects when Edward is running up the hill with Bela on his back, the goofy hint at a subplot between vampires and local American Indians. Obviously aimed at the junior high crowd and/or fans of the books I can only recommend this for the comedy aspects (or that age group). C-.

  773. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)- If you’ve read my ‘Why’ section you know the original ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ freaked me out pretty good when I was a kid. So I wanted to see what they could do with a theatrical modern retelling. They didn’t do much. In the original the wife discovers little demon things when she opens an old fireplace. The protagonist this time is a little girl rather than the wife (who is a girlfriend) and an ash pit is opened while remodeling an old mansion. Everything is frankly pretty predictable and plot holes abound (for example the caretaker is stabbed multiple times by various household tools and utensils and they chalk it up to an ‘accident’, and the creatures seem only really bothered by ‘bright’ light). There were moments of suspense, and the sets were good as was most of the acting but for the most part we’re talking paint by numbers here, I’ll give it a weak C-.

  774. Dr. X (1932)- Warner Brothers was behind the curve on the Horror Explosion of the early 30s. Universal had had great success with Dracula and Frankenstein and MGM had made Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Warner wanted something different. They wanted a tale set in modern times. Not a period piece, and they wanted it in color. Those sound like great ideas, until you remember it was 1932. So what do we get? We get terrible dated camp humor, wise cracking reporters, mad scientists, and crappy "two strip" color that looks like one of those shitty colorizing jobs they did on black and white movies in the 80s. The murder mystery angle works as "Moon Killer" is offing people whenever there's a full moon. The gumshoes know it must be a doctor from the local research facility because of the tools used and the accuracy of the cuts (it looks like the victims are being cannibalized). All of the research scientists are involved in the study of something that could be related to the kills (moon light, cannibalism, etc). So who could it be? We are subjected, along with the cast, to a series of scientific tests to determine who the killer is. Everything would work in this movie if it didn't come across as so painfully dated. What is it with damned wise cracking reporters in these old movies anyway? (Before we watched this Jenny asked why there hadn't been a million remakes of this as there had been the other early horror successes. Her question was answered while viewing.) C-.

  775. Hollow, The (2004)- I was going to start my review by saying that this wasn’t a very original flick, but any movie based on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is bound to be a little derivative! A guy moves his family to Sleepy Hollow as he’s the new football coach. His son doesn’t want to play football, instead he wants to be on the fencing team and do stuff in drama class (what a pussy!). The little cheerleader likes him anyway, and her boyfriend is the captain to the football team. Tensions mount... Sort of. The family also happens to be direct descendants of Ichabod Crane and that makes the ghost of the headless horseman pissed! He comes back to exact some revenge. Can the new kid save the day? Maybe, with the help of the nutball caretaker of the local cemetery who still talks like they did back in the day. I think this movie was aimed more at junior high kids so keeping that in mind it’s not all that bad. Over the top stereotypical characters make it easy as to whom you should sympathize with and who’s going to find redemption. It’s simple and if there’s nothing else on then you might want to catch it, otherwise forget it. C-.

  776. Colin (2008)- First off, this was done on a shoestring budget, so if you don’t like the shaky handicam, poor lighting, and often inaudible audio of these productions you might as well stop here! So, no it isn’t ‘well done’ in a big budget sense, but is it well done in a low budget sense? Sometimes. The plot here is taking a look at a zombie apocalypse from the zombie’s point of view, more or less. We follow Colin after he is bitten and becomes a zombie as he stumbles along aimlessly. Mainly what we discover right off is zombies wonder around, slowly, later we find people are idiots. Like a lot of flicks like this it is full of great ideas, shoddily executed. If you think about what is happening even a little you get confused (that is when you can see what is happening on the screen at all). Examples? Well, we get a couple thugs who are taking advantage of the zombies by stealing from them, they want Colin’s shoes. Naturally they take a blunt instrument to his head, crush his skull and steal his shoes right? No, the movie would’ve ended early. Instead they put him in a choke hold and try like mad to steal his shoes. Later we see the inside of a house completely full of zombies, I was at a loss as to what exactly was going on there but some folks were either fighting the zombies with various household utensils or they were trying to escape by hitting zombies with pots as they ran through hordes of them, after several of them are killed one of them runs upstairs, locks a bedroom door and escapes through a window, which left me wondering ‘why didn’t they all just do that right off?’ the next several minutes were too dark to quite figure out. We are cued in to the killing squads though (via newspaper clippings hung by Colin’s mother) and we hear gunfire in the distance throughout, but when a killing squad shows up they are wielding golf clubs and slingshots, poorly equipped to say the least! Had a little more thought and a little better lighting been put into this it could’ve worked really well, as it stands I’ll give it a C-, nice try, better than I could do, but that doesn’t mean it goes down all that well, pun intended.

  777. Space Children (1958)- I went in hoping for some fantastic craptacular sci-fi, what I got was a really weird moody flick, even Gilligan’s Professor is in it and he is a raging abusive drunk who gets his alright. Anyway, the gist of the whole thing is that we should make sure and not blow up the world since it really belongs to our kids. And to drive that point home an alien brain like thing comes from space, hides in a cave, and tells the kids what to do via ESP. The kids in question live on a military base that is getting ready to launch kind of a preventative doomsday machine and the brain wants it stopped, I think. For being obvious 2nd feature material at just over an hour and a near zero budget this thing really isn’t that bad. Sure there are massive plots holes and logic only 50s sci-fi is allowed to have, but I actually think this might have been too good to put on the craptacular scale. The two main kids are just weird enough, and the parents just clueless enough to create a bit of atmosphere. Maybe I’ll give it a C- on the regular grading scale. Yeah, I admit, that is probably crazy generous, but I’m feeling sci-fi nice today.

  778. Swamp Women (1955)- This isn’t really horror but it is a Corman flick included in one of my Horror Themed boxes o’ DVDs. Here we have one of those ‘women in prison’ subgenre flicks. There are 3 women who know where some stolen diamonds are and they won’t tell. So the cops plant a detective in prison with them, fake an escape, and let the crooked women lead the detective straight to the diamonds. Mayhem and curvy gals in short shorts ensues. There is some painful stock footage of Mardi Gras and of birds and alligators but mostly the flick moves along at an OK pace. The acting, dialogue, and poorly staged fight scenes between the gals offer little, but the location shooting in Louisiana is impressive at times, keeping budget constraints in mind. The end is so painfully predictable that I was bummed I spent 70 minutes watching the movie though. This is really just pure low budget fluff, if you miss this one, you ain’t missing much. Still, I didn’t hate it so I’ll give it a C-.

  779. Un Chien Andalou (1929)- This is really ‘horror’ only in the sense that sometimes surrealism is full of nightmare images, which this often is. It is basically a silent movie of thrown together imagery including someone getting their eye slit with a straight razor, someone crashing their bike, someone getting hit by a car, a severed hand sitting in the street, ants crawling out of a hole in someone’s hand, people buried up to their wastes in sand on the beach, molestation, a rape attempt, etc. And really, that pretty much sums up the movie, weirdness connected to the above scenes. Maybe it is all supposed to mean something, maybe the point is it means nothing at all, I have no idea and since it is only 15 minutes long if you’re interested in such things then what the Hell. I really didn’t dig it as much as I thought I would though. C-.

  780. Apollo 18 (2010)- Found footage flick about the Apollo 18 mission. “But there was no Apollo 18 mission”, you’re thinking to yourself. Precisely, it was a top secret mission to the moon to see if the Soviets had in fact gone to the moon and if they had what fate had befallen them. So what we get is ‘Paranormal Activity’ on the moon. An interesting idea and while for the most part the sets and ‘look’ of the movie are very well done, I just had a hard time getting into this one. I like the POV sub-genre but this one suffers from many of the things that people who don’t like POV movies complain about like too long of a setup, obvious feeble attempts at character development (they want you to care about what happens to the characters but how do you achieve that in the context of a POV movie?), and breaking the suspension of belief by having footage that probably would not have been available (saying any more than that might give too much away). Anyway, if you hate POV movies then this isn’t for you, but if you like them like me then this still might not be for you. I didn’t hate it but found myself waiting for the end to roll around, not a good sign. C-.

  781. February, 29th (2006)- Korean flick about a serial killer/ghost who apparently only murders people on or around February 29th and only people who work in highway toll booths. Pretty specific! A young girl is new to her toll booth job and is having trouble adjusting to her night shift when she thinks she sees the killer. Her friend who works with her at the toll booth and whose birthday happens to be February 29th doesn’t seem overly concerned. Is the girl’s sanity slipping away or is there really a February 29th killer? Or both? Yeah, describing it makes about as much sense as watching it! Don’t get me wrong, there are some creepy moments and the acting and sets are good, but damn, you could drive a Mac truck through those plot holes! C-.

  782. Murder Mansion (1972)- I know, with a title like that... This one was made at the height of Spanish horror films and it walks a thin line. A thin line between suspense and boredom, good acting and overacting, good cinematography and dark poorly contrasted shots, good writing and unbelievable plot, and intricate story line and confusing mess. Yes, it is all those things. Several people get lost in a thick fog in a mountain valley and all wind up staying at an old and possibly haunted mansion. Were they funneled there by death itself, or is it a more terrestrial dastardly plot? Anyway, ghosts are seen walking about the property, eventually bodies are found, and then the payoff comes. Sort of... If you put much thought into this one it makes no sense at all. What did they hitchhiker, motorcycle rider, and guy in the Mustang have to do with anything? Did they just get stuck in the web cast for the crazy lady who hated her father (we know this because of some oddly timed flashbacks). Was there a hint at a lesbian angle with the lady who owned the mansion even though PLOT SPOLIER she was out to kill the crazy lady who hated her father? And then why did the guy having the affair with the gal that pretended to own the mansion end up killing pretty much everyone? I don’t know. There was some really good atmosphere and at times I was really into this one. It built up some good suspense but in the end just didn’t hold up so well. C-.

  783. Mummy's Ghost, The (1944)- Same movie different title. Egyptian priest wants mummy, mummy rises, finds reincarnated princes, kidnaps her etc. Over, and sometimes under acted this movie pretty much sucks. These mummy movies are just plain bad. It is amazing how quickly they dropped off too. The first one is great but the rest were all bad. I will give this one a slightly higher mark as it didn't end the way I expected. C-.

  784. In The Ds

  785. Metamorphoses (1980)- Cheap ain't the word. This baby is low budget, but that's OK... Sometimes. Here? Well... A research scientist is using funds from a private university on research and no one knows what he's spending his money on. The board wants to know and wants his books. First he must finish his experiment so to hurry up the process he, naturally, experiments on himself. His experiment is on DNA and how to regenerate cells, essentially stopping the aging process and making people immortal. Said plan backfires in a terrible way. Yeah, his cells regenerate but they also mutate, problem is they mutate to a primitive life form, a monster! This movie actually predates "Altered States" and the remake of "The Fly" but the plot is essentially the same here, and many other sci-fi movies that predate this one. It's typical 80s pap complete with over indulgent sex scene. The acting isn't too good, the directing is bad, the plot doesn't make a lot of sense and the ending is hilarious. Still, having said all that I didn't actually HATE this flick. D+.

  786. Atom Age Vampire (1960)- Another film about a guy killing girls to make another girl pretty. An oft repeated theme of this era in Europe ("Eyes Without a Face", "... Dr. Orloff" etc, all of which hearken back to the Lugosi vehicle "Murders in the Rue Morgue"). Anyway, a woman is disfigured in a car wreck and in the incredibly shallow world in which she lives decides to kill herself, just then she is visited by a woman who says she knows a doctor who can help. She takes the gal up on the offer, is cured, sort of, and the doctor falls in what I call "cinema insta-love" with her. When her disfigurement comes back he has no choice but to kill young woman to make more serum. Not sure why he didn’t have to kill women to make the fist batch, that is never explained. He doesn’t have the stomach for murder though so instead he injects himself with an older serum he made that turned people into monsters instead of curing them, yeah, it was an unfortunate side effect, but, like Viagra, he found a good use for it. This would be more aptly titled "Atom Age Dr. Jekyll and My Hyde" but that doesn’t sound as cool. This is typical early Euro-trash complete with hilariously bad dubbing, way over the top acting, and terrible dialogue. There are a couple of inspired moments with some interesting and atmospheric camera work and the monster sequences might have worked if they wouldn’t have felt so 1932 Dracula. This is a tough one to grade, there were some great craptacular moments and dialogue, but it was a little too slow moving to really be too much fun in that regard. I guess maybe I’ll give it a D+, weird, it seems too good for that grade but not good enough for a C-!

  787. Demons of the Mind (1972)- Over-the-top Hammer production about a family that is believed to be cursed. A man decides he must marry a ‘peasant’ in order to make sure and end the curse. His plan backfires as his wife kills herself in front of their two kids, so he must now protect his two kids by locking them in the attic. Is he insane? Is the family insane? Is it from so much in-breeding? Are they possessed? Yeah the father is nuts but he wants to cure his kids via leeches and quack psychology, and what’s up with the villagers? This is a weird one, it does manage some good mood and atmosphere, but over acting and general strangeness doom it in my opinion (the nutty priest, the weird locals and their traditions, the ending all just make no sense with regards to the plot unless I guess you go the possession route). Anyway, I love Hammer, and I didn’t hate this, but didn’t much care for it so I’ll give it a weak C-.

  788. Silent Hill (2006)- A family’s adopted daughter has problems with sleepwalking weird dreams. She talks during the episodes and mentions a town called Silent Hill so naturally the mother takes her there despite the fact the town has burned out and is toxic because of an underground coal fire, which is still burning. The mother and daughter are separated after a strange run from a police woman/car crash and the rest of the film is the mother confronted by a surreal landscape and surreal beings while looking for her daughter, toss in the pursuing police, the woman’s husband who is looking for them both, and a police cover up and you have... Confusion. I really wanted to like this one, I’d heard pretty good things, the trailers looked cool, but at the end of the day it is just another one of those movies based on video games where I felt a little left out because I’ve never played the game. The look and the feel of this flick work and the acting is better than most of these video game adaptations, but in the end you just get the video game vibe of getting into one predicament, faced with the monster, barely escaping, only to get into another, more serious predicament later. I guess a lot of movies follow that basic formula and I tried to forget that it was a game but in the end I failed, or the movie failed, I’m really not sure which. Still, I’ll give it a D+ for atmosphere.

  789. Boo! (2005)- Halloween hijinx as kids break into an old hospital to scare their girlfriends. Bad idea as this hospital had a high security mental ward on the 3rd floor and those folks' spirits are wanting out after being trapped and killed there in a fire years before. Attempts at character development fall flat and the only character I ended up caring about was the German Shepherd dog. The acting was friggin' horrible too. And with friends like these... All in all this wasn't a terrible flick but it sure wasn't good either. D+.

  790. Poltergeist II (1986)- What happens when you take a good ghost story movie and then basically redo it but the second time out just blow everything completely out of proportion to the point where it just passes beyond any ability to suspend belief? You get this movie. The family move into a new home, grandma knows about talking to ghosts, it’s hereditary blahblahblah... Then "they’re back" and we’re off on basically the exact same story we had in part one only this time everything is, yes, blown completely out of proportion. More ghosts, more clairvoyants, more special effects, more time staying away from the light, which leads to a hilarious painfully bad ending. The only plus is the main ghost villain; his brief appearance is some classic stuff and he actually showed up in one of my nightmares once. D+.

  791. Mummy's Curse, The (1944)- OK, this movie is a direct sequel to "The Mummy Ghost" and supposedly takes place 25 years later, which I figure would put it at the very least in 1975. They didn't even bother to try and make it look like it was in the future but that's probably a good thing. They would've had people flying around with jet packs and a colony on the moon if they would've. Nope, it's 25 years after the last movie, which was a sequel to "The Mummy's Tomb" which supposedly took place 30 years after "The Mummy's Hand". Anyway, some government engineers decide to drain the swamp the mummy disappeared into at the end of the last movie and that brings around an archeologist and his Egyptian assistant. They want to find the body of the mummy, but alas, the Egyptian really wants to wake the mummy and let him wreak a little havoc while looking for his princess, who has already risen sans tana leaves. Another weak and barely coherent entry into the mummy saga, thankfully it is the last. I'll give it a D+ since I'm feeling generous today.

  792. Fury, The (1978): This starts out as an action adventure, slides into a rip off of "Carrie", eases back into spy/action/adventure mode, then ends with a terrible 70s sci fi thing. A secret agent man's son has very powerful ESP. He wants to send him to a special school to learn how to use it. Then "The Agency" kidnaps the son for some reason and proceeds to send him to the school his dad was sending him to anyway. His dad wants him back. At the same time a girl also has very powerful ESP. We know this because of experiments in her... ESP class? Anyway, kids make fun of her and she makes their nose bleed. Then she ends up in that special school, being watched by "The Agency". The agent wants her to help him find his son too. Cold War type espionage ensues. I was caught and pulled into this movie and liked about the first 2/3 but that last 1/3 was just too dumb. D+.

  793. Soul of a Monster (1944)- Preachy and pretentious little film about a woman who is so distraught that neither modern medicine, nor prayers to God will save her dying husband (who is a doctor renowned for his charity work... of course) turns to help from the devil. Satan’s little helper saves the man but he is changed, violent and moody. He hears voices, which seem to be telling him to do wrong, like kill his dog and let his patients die. None of it really makes too much sense and it seems to ride uncomfortably on Val Lewton’s coattails, especially "Cat People", which it mirrors in both direction and plot (the man feels different from everyone else etc.) It did manage to create a little atmosphere and suspense but then the ‘twist’ ending rolled up and I thought "What?" D+.

  794. Premonition (2004)- I’m on the fence with this one, it just didn’t really have much new to offer. Even the ‘scary’ intro was more or less right out of ‘The Changeling’. A guy reads the future in newspapers, tries, here and there, to change things after he reads of his daughter’s death and doesn’t stop it. He spends the rest of his time in Hell. I’m not sure how else to explain this, other than it really just fell flat for me. The suspense I feel from a lot of the J-Horror just wasn’t present in this one and the effects were bad enough to be distracting, I didn’t hate it, but didn’t much care for it either. D+

  795. Last Woman on Earth, The (1960)- It is better to aim high and miss... This flick tries pretty hard to be Hitchcock’s "Lifeboat" or an updated "Lord of the Flies", and it fails. Nice idea, but the writing just doesn't hold up. So what's going on here? A rich as Hell businessman, his wife, and his lawyer are on vacation in Puerto Rico (his wife is angry because he can never actually take a real vacation, hence the presence of the lawyer). They decide to actually take a day off and go scuba diving, when they surface it seems there is no oxygen to breath. They leave their tanks on and go ashore, soon realizing that oxygen is coming back, good for them, too late for everyone else (in the world? this we really don't know but a total lack of radio contact suggests they may in fact be the last humans). So the businessman does what businessmen do, he takes charge as the lawyer slowly begins to rebel and things sort of break down. The dialogue tries real hard to wax philosophical about humans and life and civilization but this is a cheap Corman flick so you pretty much get what you’d expect, but without the sly sense of humor present in a lot of his other work of this era. It wasn’t horrible, like I said, a good enough idea, and considering the budget it is well done, but the dialogue just wasn’t good enough to keep it moving along. D+

  796. Drive-In Massacre (1977)- Well, with a name like that… This is a pretty stupid attempt at being scary using old William Castle-like methods that went over great in the 50s when used on 12 year olds; Mid-70s on kids old enough to drive, probably not. A killer has taken to decapitating and slitting throats of couples at a particular drive-in. This drive-in used to be a carnival; does that have anything to do with it? A couple of the people working at the drive-in were carnies with jobs like sword swallower and knife-thrower; does that have anything to do with it? A guy wielding a machete takes a hostage at a warehouse; does that have anything to do with it? One guy in particular likes going to the drive-in to “beat his meat” (actual quote); does he have anything to do with it? A couple fat dim witted cops are out to find out. This flick could have easily been about 30 minutes long and nothing would’ve been missed. Needless to say it sucked, and yet there was such a crappy ‘we have no idea how to make a movie but we’re going to try anyway’ charm to it that I just can’t flunk it so I’ll give it a D+. Not worth seeing unless you are a sadist who must see every slasher-type movie ever made regardless of how crappy.

  797. Invisible Man's Revenge, The (1944)- Well now, if he wants revenge then maybe we're getting back to some edgier stuff like the "The Invisible Man" and "The Invisible Man Returns" and unlike the two pieces of crap that followed. And that's sort of what we get except the guy is crazy before becoming invisible. A guy has had amnesia for several years and when he remembers his past he realizes he was about to find a diamond mine in Africa when he became ill. He breaks out of a mental institution to get his part of the take from the diamond mine and believes that his partners at the time were responsible for his illness. They may have been and may still be willing to do what it takes to keep their money, what's left of it, or maybe not, that part of the plot is never really resolved. The effects in this movie are good for the times with the invisible man sometimes just being transparent rather than invisible and sometimes putting things like flour on his face so he can be seen. Still this movie pretty much sucks with a lame plot and it doesn't tie in with any of the other movies despite the main character's name being Griffon, but it was better than the previous two invisible movies. Now I can say I have seen all of Universal's big six monsters and the sequels too though. D+

  798. King of the Zombies (1941)- Sure this one is chock full of racial stereotypes typical of the early 40s, but the black man servant Morland made the best of his character Jeff and basically out performed everyone else in this little cheapy. A plane gets lost in a storm near an area where a naval admiral recently disappeared. Luckily there’s an island with enough area to land on and someone on the island is sending radio transmissions. The plane crashes and the 3 occupants, Bill, Mac, and Bill’s valet Jeff find a creepy old house occupied by an Austrian doctor, who claims there is no radio on the island. The plot thickens as we meet the Dr’s wife who is almost catatonic and his niece who seems very nervous for some reason. Jeff soon discovers there are zombies on the island and quite possibly some ghosts too and we’re lured into a spy comedy horror drama that only the WWII era could give us. Yeah, it’s mostly crap and if you’ve seen one of these you’ve seen them all but still, it moves along at a good pace and has a couple of effective set pieces. Yeah the racial stereotypes are played up but if you think about, Jeff the valet is really the only one that is right about everything all along. Not quite craptacular stuff so I’ll give it a D+.

  799. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)- I like a surreal student film as much as the next guy that likes surreal student films, but damn. This is crap loads of bad stop-motion animation (and I mean really bad), coupled with way over-the-top kinetic editing, combined with loads of ‘fear of industrialized society’, phallic obsession, and the Japanese fixation with revenge! A man and his girlfriend run over a guy who has a fetish for cramming metal objects under his skin, and then they undergo a pretty painful metamorphosis of their own. I think pretty much everything I love, and really hate, about Japanese film is crammed into this 64 minute flick. I didn’t dig it, but it did have some really good sequences here and there so I will give it a cautious D+ and say if you think you’d like watching a version of Eraserhead directed and edited by someone who may have been on meth then this is for you.

  800. My Bloody Valentine (1981)- Let me start by saying "Halloween" was a great movie, great directing, great story, original plot (although "Black Christmas" actually got there first) etc. The only bad thing I can say about "Halloween" is that it spun off so many 'wanna-bes'. "My Bloody Valentine" would fall in this category. Pretty blatantly ripped from the "Halloween" small-town-with-a-secret-escaped-lunatic-killer-on-a-killing-spree mold. A small mining town called Valentine has a traditional Valentine dance. Then one Valentine's Day 20 years ago there was an accident at the mine. While the rest of the town partied, miners were trapped. When they finally found the trapped miners, one had gone insane and eaten the others. Then he went on a rampage and killed the guys who left them there. The town stopped having the dances, but then, 20 years later they figured it had been enough time so they schedule a Valentine's Day Dance. And guess what... The twist at the end comes too little too late and you can see it coming from a mile away anyway. Bad acting (how old are these 'kids' supposed to be anyway), stupid dialogue, and unbelievable plot doom this one from the start. D+.

  801. Fourth Kind, The (2009)- It’s hard to write this review without spoiling at least some things, I won’t spoil the ending but I do have to say something, ready? This movie is not real at all, none of it is, the ‘real’ parts are fake too, it’s all actually pretty obvious and I doubt I really ruined anything but there it is. However going in I didn’t know this and as the movie got more and more insane (murder/suicide, levitation, paralysis, ancient alien theory, Sumerian gods) I realized it was total crap and the director was trying to dupe me! And there in lies the rub. Had they not tried to convince me something obviously not real was real and just had me go in and suspend belief like I normally do with a flick like this I probably would’ve liked it. Oh the irony, but as you can see, I didn’t like it. So what’s going on? Strange events and folks disappearing in Nome, Alaska make a local psychologist start putting 2 and 2 together and realize folks aren’t so much disappearing but are being abducted by aliens. As she, through hypnosis, has them remember the events they tend to really loose control and things go from bad to worse, and from only kind of silly to flat out crazy dumb. Still, had I not ended up feeling like they tried to fool me I might have liked this, but we’ll never know. Suffice it to say, for me it just didn’t measure up I’ll give it D+, should’ve just taken this idea and ran with it as a regular flick rather than working in fake ‘documentary’ footage.

  802. Snake People, The (1971)- Another sad entry into the final days of Boris Karloff. This low budget Spanish/Mexican zombie-voodoo-sci-fi-mad-scientist train wreck I believe was his 2nd to last film. Here Boris plays a super rich guy who lives on an island melting pot of folks, which makes sense since the island may be in the Caribbean, but when they show it on the map it is the South Pacific, but it looks more like a desert than the tropics either way. Why can’t low budget film makers set their movies in places that at least look like where there are filming? Anyway, Karloff’s niece comes to visit at the same time a police captain shows up. They are both there to clean up the island, her by trying to spread the temperance movement, him by stopping the laziness and corruption in the police force. Mexicans with French accents and Americans who are supposed to be French but have no accent abound as we find out some islanders have telekinesis, which is what Karloff is there studying. They are also into cannibalism, snakes, and bringing zombies back from the dead to work in the fields, scratch their backs, and fan them. The cult is getting ready for a major ceremony in which it must sacrifice a human in order to bring back their great deity Baron somethingorother. Will the police be able to stop them? Who is the cult’s true leader (you won’t see that one coming for miles)? This movie barely made any sense and rather than try and be scary I think the director just tried to be psychedelic and ‘sexy’ by tossing in tons of belly dancing sequencing, lots of women holding (and sucking) phallic snakes, and an odd dream sequence where the goody temperance niece unveils her penis envy and deep seated love for herself! Oh and there’s also a midget called Midget. This was pretty craptacular but by the same token it was just too tedious to really be fun, for Karloff completists only. I will give it a D+ because the plot, where it was visible at all, was pretty good and would be done with more success in "The Serpent and the Rainbow".

  803. He Knows You’re Alone (1980)- This is one of those flicks that give horror movies in general a bad name. Not because of gore and gratuitous sex, there’s really not much of that here, but because it is painfully unoriginal and the characters do incredibly stupid things. Unoriginal in that it is "Halloween" mixed with "Black Christmas" (of course those were "Psycho" inspired but there is a difference between being influenced and basically steeling camera angles, characters, and music). As far as doing stupid things? Take your pick. Why doesn’t the obsessed cop tell the local police what he thinks is going on and stake out the address he finds, thereby getting the killer before he kills again. Of course the movie would be too short then. When the killer is on the top of the car why doesn’t the driver slam on the breaks? When the girl goes to hide in the coroner’s office why doesn’t she lock any doors behind her... Why aren’t the doors locked in the first place? Why does the killer kill the guy that fits dresses? I could go on and on, suffice it to say, this isn’t very thought out. The plot? A guy is jilted at the alter and decides he will kill off brides at random, and apparently anyone else who knows the brides. Add a young bride having second thoughts, her friends, an obsessed cop, a dressmaker, a cheating professor, a goofy ex-boyfriend, Tom Hanks, 70s fashion, bad dialogue, and you have this formula. Watchable in the context of being an early "Halloween" slasher clone but don’t expect too much. D+.

  804. Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)- This movie starts off with a big nod to the original by basically (trying) to replicate the original beginning. The original had an intense almost claustrophobic feel, this one feels like it was filmed on a stage somewhere, still the thought is nice. An ex-priest current archeologist is paid to find an artifact in a church that was buried in Africa hundreds of years before Christianity had found it's way to the area. When he gets there he realizes things aren't what they seem, even though he's no longer a true believer. The acting throughout is overly melodramatic even before anything 'strange' begins to happen. The twist at the end was good but too little too late. The plot is OK but poorly executed and the actual exorcism is not staged well at all. Why does everything have to be an action movie nowadays? It was the subtle, almost documentary feel that made "The Exorcist" work so well to begin with. Material like this just ends up being silly if it's not done in the right way and that's what happens here. D+.

  805. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)- I know what you're thinking; why the Hell would I even watch a movie called "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man"? Wouldn't it be everything that I hate about modern horror movie sequels? Bad acting, bad effects, silly plot, rehashed original story in a watered down sequel? Well yes and no. I have a weakness for those old horror flicks, especially the Universal Monsters, which is what this is. This time Bela Lugosi is Frankenstein's monster (he played a were-wolf in The Wolf Man and of course Dracula so he's done the Big Three) and Lon Cheney Jr. returns as the Wolf-Man. He needs to visit Dr. Frankenstein to help him with his little full moon problem; instead of finding the Dr. he finds the castle in ruins and the monster stuck in the basement. Yeah it's silly, but it's also good stuff for those that like this sort of thing. The acting is actually pretty good (Lugosi is an over-the-top Monster, as should be expected though) and the effects, especially the lab scenes are great (of course the wolf transformation leaves a lot to be desired after seeing An American Werewolf In London and The Howling, but hey, it was the 40s). If you like the genre you'll like this, if not you probably won't. I give it a D+.

  806. Before I Hang (1940)- Here Karloff plays a kindly old doctor looking for the secret to stop aging. He promises a patient, who is suffering greatly from unspecified age related issues, that he will be able to reverse the aging process. When his serums fail the patient begs to be euthanized. Karloff does the ‘mercy killing’ and is sentenced to hang for it. He accepts his fate, hoping someone will be able to continue his work, however, as luck would have it, the prison allows him to work there, he develops his serum, and, just before he is to be hanged he tries it on himself. Just then his sentenced is commuted to life, and his serum starts to work, but with some wicked bad side effects. We’ve all seen the transplant horror movies, get a murderer’s hands, become a murderer, get a murderer’s eyes, and see murders. Here Karloff’s serum is mixed with a murderer’s blood and, well, you can guess the rest. This is pretty slow moving, even for its age. Karloff is good but not great, for Karloff completists only. D+.

  807. Voices (2007)- I generally like Asian horror flicks, even the ones that don’t make a lot of sense to me. They just have a way with creating atmosphere, and a general creepy feeling so I was pretty stoked to see this one as from what I’d seen and heard it pulled off that Asian horror ‘feeling’ really well, but alas, I have to disagree... It is the story of a girl whose aunt jumps or is pushed from a balcony at her wedding, she survives but is then killed in the hospital by her sister (the girl’s other aunt, obviously). Turns out the two had dated the guy the aunt had married. Apparently there is a curse on the family and a kid at the girl’s school is helping people try and kill the girl now, because he killed his father, who had something to do with the girl’s family, somehow. I have no idea; all that I know is everywhere this poor girl goes folks are trying to kill her, even her friends and family. There are a few scenes that work, including a pretty cool dream sequence, and I get the idea that jealousy is like a virus, but over-all I just couldn’t get into it. Too bad too as it ‘could’ve been’ good. D+.

  808. Resident Evil (2002)- I’ll just cut to the chase, everything that is wrong with modern Hollywood Horror is contained in this one movie. I guess I shouldn’t complain as this one is unapologetically aimed squarely at the pubescent video game loving crowd and in that it hits its mark. Action figure JC Penney catalogue model heroes (and villains), complete with our heroin walking around in a red miniskirt, black leather knee high boots, and a leather jacket, which makes for some wicked good kung fu clothes (apparently the only way to stop a Resident Evil zombie is a full clip from a sub machine gun to the head or a kick from those leather boots). Sure there’s lots of action, bullets firing, sometimes in slow motion, zombies popping up at the most opportune times, etc. but the whole time I just felt like I was watching someone else play a video game, which I guess in a sense I was. The characters are flat, the acting terrible (lots of monosyllable monotone tough guy lines), and the scenes pretty much all stolen from other movies (for better or worse they are stolen from the Alien movies, not zombie movies, for instance, how come this huge underground lab looks very much like the inside of one of space ships from alien?). The plot? A huge corporation (The Umbrella Corporation, seriously) with its giant underground facility (next to Raccoon City, seriously), is developing viruses, doing genetic experiments, etc.etc. When something goes wrong the facility's computer (complete with silly hologram and English accent) closes the place off, very very slowly, by gassing everyone and erasing their memories and setting a timer to close blast doors in a couple of hours, a team of superduper soldiers arrives and goes in to try and figure out what went wrong and finds zombies... Does any of this make sense? Yeah it makes sense if your playing a video game but if you’re watching a movie it’s crap. I often say a movie won't hold up to much scrutiny but this one doesn't hold up to any, like why do some of these lab techs know martial arts so well? Maybe you have to play the game, in which case, why bother evenmaking a movie? I’ll give it a D+ as on the rare occasion a zombie or two looked effective and there was a second or two I felt a little suspense.

  809. Mysterious Doctor, The (1943)- Strange British WWII propaganda/ghost flick about a headless ghost keeping people from working the English tin mines. Folks who defy the ghost’s wishes wind up with their own heads lopped off. Scientists and security look into the story and what follows is pretty much exactly what you expect to follow. This is silly stuff, even when it is trying not be, even though it holds up better than a lot of the American made flicks of the same era it is still pretty weak. D.

  810. Keep, The (1983)- It is better to aim high and miss… And that’s what seems to have happened here. A VERY 80s movie (set in the 40s) chock full of clichés. Apparently a ‘Keep’ in the Carpathian Mountains houses an evil of some sort. Nazis show up to guard the pass and some get greedy, stealing crosses from The Keep, which leads to their deaths, which leads to more Nazis showing up and it’s all downhill from there. They try to paint a grey picture, not all black and white (the Nazis aren’t all bad and the scholar brought in to translate some text might not be all good) so that’s a positive, but it might be the only positive. Everything else just has an over-the-top 80s vibe that fails. From the crazy over used effects to the scholar’s daughter’s VERY un-1940s hair to Ian McKellen’s strange voice, it’s just over done. I’ll give it a D.

  811. Messiah of Evil (1972): I read that this was a good zombie movie in the vein of "Night of the Living Dead" but more subtle. That sounds pretty awesome. Not sure who wrote that review but I have to disagree with them. The plot? A lady is worried because she hasn't heard from her dad in quite awhile so she heads to the town were he lives to investigate. She runs into weirdness from the get go and things just get weirder. Lots of talk and attempts at good writing follow. Boring stuff! Yeah, there are a couple cool shots, like near the beginning when the lady is gassing up just outside of town. The other guy gassing up obviously has something to hide! There's a cool scene in the grocery store where a pack of zombies is horded around the meat counter munching and near the end the zombies start dropping through a skylight. But those scenes are few and far between. It's all rounded out with a good dose of bad acting. D.

  812. Zombie Apocalypse (2011)- I generally hate Scy-Fy original movies. They try too hard to be dumb, and in my opinion succeed at being really dumb. But I figured one about zombies might be worth watching. So was it? Not really. Several months after a virus causes the dead to want to eat the living, society is breaking down and some survivors trek across the country to find safe haven on Catalina Island. It kind of plays out like a typical video game, each survivor has a different weapon, different strengths, etc. They walk, fight, walk, fight, and talk occasionally. The effects are bad, with really bad looking digital blood splatters (I would think buying a case of corn syrup and food coloring would be cheaper, and would look better). How is it blood is splattered everywhere but no one has any on their clothes, or even on their weapons? Things like that pop out everywhere and after a while it gets tedious making fun of it. Then the zombie dog shows up, and I won’t even get into the ending. Yeah, the Scy-Fy originals love to take things over the top; subtly is not in their vocabulary, and I realize it’s not supposed to be. There’s an audience for it, I’m just not in that audience I guess. This is good for goofy fun but I didn’t dig it too much, even on that level. D.

  813. End of the World (1977)- A year before this was made Christopher Lee's buddy Peter Cushing was in Star Wars. Christopher Lee probably thought this flick might be something like that. I bet he was pretty pissed when he realized it wasn't. This flick is about a group of aliens trapped on earth. They are able to predict natural disasters and use that ability to contact a scientist, instead of, you know, just contacting him. Anyway, they need his help to finish building their wormhole machine so they can get back home (apparently they have the power to destroy the planet but can’t get a crystal). But first, after realizing how bad humans suck, they are going to set off a chain reaction that will lead to earth's destruction. Sounds pretty exciting doesn't it? Well it's not. Sometimes slow moving movies amount to well-timed suspense; sometimes they're just slow because the director just couldn't think of any other way to stretch 45 minutes worth of material into 90 minutes. Here you have the latter of those two possibilities, rounded out with terrible dialogue, horrible acting, and horrendous effects. The first half or so is fun to rip on but after a while it just gets tedious as hell. I think I'll give it a D. Not fun enough to be craptacular, but at least Christopher Lee tries to bring the material up a notch.

  814. Devil’s Offspring (1999)- This is a weird Honk Kong film about strange occurrences at a boarding school. It is the summer and only the kids who have no parents, or whose parents don’t want them, are still at the school, waiting for the regular fall session to start. The weirdness begins when the cook’s granddaughter is killed and stuffed in a refrigerator (even though we are told later no body was found). The cook looses her mind and serves the kid’s her granddaughter’s dog in the soup and then the kids start to commit suicide. All of these events seem to coincide with the arrival of the new student who has been adopted by the school’s priest. This was obviously made on a shoe-string budget and some of the sub-titles are hilariously bad. Although for the most part this one misses the mark, it does manage to conjure up some atmosphere and kept me mostly interested. At 82 minutes it is just about right as any longer and I would’ve fallen asleep! The twist at the end really doesn’t make any sense, but then again, none of the movie really makes too much sense anyway. I’ll give it a D since I didn’t hate it and it lived up to my expectations, which were basically zero anyway.

  815. Lost Boys: The Tribe, The (2008)- "The Lost Boys" was kind of one of those lightning in a jar movies and I think that reflects in this sequel as they try, and fail, to recapture that moment. Many of the visuals are the same, more gore this time out but for the most part I think this movie was aimed at the same audience the first one was aimed at, and by the same I mean EXACTLY the same. People my age who saw the "The Lost Boys" when they were teenagers and want to relive some of that. In that respect it falls flat. The plot? A brother and sister move to the small town in Cali after the death of their parents, one is an ex-famous-surfer and the surf boys in the town want to hang out with him, and his sister. The locals are of course vampires. Enter one of the Frog brothers from part one. Pretty much the same movie and the DVD sleeve even called it a ‘reimagining’ of the original. Everything just falls flat as the director seems like he is just collecting his paycheck and riding on the original’s coat tails and the acting is terrible. I’ll give it a D because it wasn’t a total waste of time (the intro with Tom Savini was cool) but don’t expect too much.

  816. Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)- Train wreck of an Asian giant monster movie. This time South Korea is under attack, first by some sort of mobile earthquake, then by Yongary, a giant monster who is awakened by said earthquake. Yongary proceeds to wreak some havoc, sleep, dance, etc. An annoying little kid likes Yongary and inadvertently helps kill him. I guess the best way to describe it is to just say ‘nothing to see here, move along’. For hardcore Kaiju fans only. D.

  817. Deadtime Stories (1986)- El Cheapo 80's "Horror" pap. Having said that let's examine: Terrible acting, rotten lighting, bad sound, silly dialogue, forced excuse to rip off a trilogy of horror stories. Story one has a couple witches using an innocent slave boy to rope in victims for their magic. He decides he's had enough when the foul witches look to off a little hottie from the village to resurrect their sister. Story two has a guy looking to buy some strong sleeping pills as there's a full moon tonight. Hhhmmmm, werewolf? Alas, a young girl who was just almost busted masturbating is sent to get her grandma's prescription and uh oh, the sacks are crossed. She loses her virginity in a tool shed and then finds her grandma attacked and almost dead. The third story involves some escapees from a mental ward hooking up with a Carrie like killer and some mayhem ensues. TERRIBLE slapstick attempts at camp also ensue. These trilogies are usually set up to have the middlin' story first, the worst story second, and the best story last. This one didn't follow convention. Keeping terrible 80s cheapo not even exploitative material in mind I give story one a C-, story two a C+ and story three an F. That's an average of D.

  818. Evictors, The (1979)- Low budget flick with a Made for TV feel. A couple moves into an old house that apparently has a reputation for fatal accidents, or maybe they aren’t accidents, that started occurring after the owners were evicted in the 20s. Is it their ghosts? Or is someone just trying to keep folks from living in the house. This movie was about as exciting as my description and the goofy twist ending I saw coming for miles didn’t help either. Over all this is pretty tame stuff, I didn’t hate it, but I sure didn’t like it much either. D

  819. V/H/S (2012)- I had read some pretty good reviews on this one so I had high hopes going in. Did it measure up? Here we have an old-school omnibus but with a modern twist, a ‘found footage’ omnibus! Two great tastes (in my opinion), but will they taste great together? The wrap around is about a group of petty thugs who film themselves vandalizing property and grabbing women and pulling their shirts up. They then upload their handiwork to Websites (all of this seems like a bad idea to me). As they are discussing whether they should move from just pulling shirts up to pulling pants down one of them tells the others they’ve been hired to steal a VHS tape from a house. The logic there seems a tad disjointed but what the Hell? So they break in said house (with lots of flashlights and camera lights, is that a good idea? I never burglarized a house but I doubt it) and find not one, but lots of VHS tapes, and a dead body. Rather than bail they begin putting the tapes in a sack and they also watch some, which leads to: Story 1: Three serious d-bags buy a pair of glasses with a camera in them so they can bring home some drunk women and film themselves having sex (I’m not sure how that would work, I guess the one wearing the glasses would have to watch the others having sex). Anyway, it’s pretty obvious from the start that a) these guys deserve whatever obviously awaits them and b) one of the girls they choose to take back to their room is weirder than Hell. Gore and disaster ensue in an over-the-top end. This was well done, but painfully predictable (although the exact end couldn’t be predicted, you know basically what is going to happen) so I’ll give it a C. Story 2 is about a young couple taking a vacation through the desert Southwest. They pretty much film themselves driving around, kissing, arguing, etc. It seems though that on at least two occasions someone has broken into their hotel room, filmed them sleeping, stole some things, and dipped a toothbrush in the toilet. Tension does build but then another gore filled ending wraps up what, hopefully I’m not giving too much away here, could be called Fear the Gay. I’m giving this an F. Story 3 is about college age kids going swimming at a lake in the wilderness and it turns out kids have been killed at this lake before (sigh). Everything about this one sucks. F. Story 4 is about a girl who is away at college while her doctor boyfriend is doing his residency in another state. She is mentally fragile and fears her apartment is haunted. She and her boyfriend communicate via video chat and he witnesses some of the activity and a twist ending I definitely didn’t see coming rolls up. I thought this was well done and I appreciated the twist, I’ll give this an A! Finally story 5 is about some guys going to a Halloween party. They wind up at the wrong house and come across what appears to be some freaks looking to sacrifice a young girl, they quickly realize though that some true paranormal activity is going down and again, a predictable twist I called as soon as they found the girl rolls up. Predictable but well done I’ll give this one a B+. And back to the wrap around ending which makes no sense at all. To sum up, lots of shaky found footage camera work that even I, a fan of the subgenre, got tired of; tits (and more tits) and gore substituting for genuine scares or originality, and a wrap around that sucks even worse than the worst stories. I should flunk it but the stories I liked were good enough to maybe warrant a D average.

  820. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)- Um, either Leatherface keeps moving in with different psycho-families or there is basically no continuity in this series. Anyway, a couple driving cross country wind up stopping at the wrong place for gas, get in a wreck in some Texas swamp, and the rest is pretty predictable stuff. Pretty violent this one takes an approach more similar to the original, less camp than part 2, more attempts at visceral fear, but this one pretty much fails at both. It seems the idea of a psychotic family is more interesting than Leatherface himself as he never really takes a lead role in the movies, despite this one’s name. D.

  821. Revenge of the Zombies (1943)- More or less a sequel to "King of the Zombies" and more or less the exact same movie. This time. Rather than zombifying folks to get information from them, the Nazis plan on raising a zombie army to fight for them. I think I can say, without giving too much away, it totally backfires on the mad scientist, competently played by John Caradine. The idea of a zombie army is good, and was done in 1936’s "Revolt of the Zombies", and done quite a few times after this one too. Racist comedy relief keeps us all in stitches again too. Probably better made than "King..." but that doesn’t mean it’s better to watch. Not fun enough for the craptacular scale. D

  822. Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)- Bava goes artsy mod on us and it fails. Sure the film for the most part ‘looks’ good, it is Bava after all, and some of the black humor works (the bodies dangling in the walk in freezer), but Bava seems to get lost in the look and forgets the story, and I won’t even get into the acid jazz Hammond B3 drenched soundtrack! Anyway, a rich guy has some friends over to his island and hopes he will be able to buy a formula from a visiting chemistry professor. The professor won’t budge with regard to selling and the visitors start dying off. Bava was often almost as good as Hitch but he just tried to be too ‘hip’ on this one. D.

  823. Cabin Fever (2002)- Kids go camping... start dying. "Evil Dead" meets "28 Days Later" with a helping of "Deliverance" tossed in for good measure. I kept waiting for that point where what was happening would all be tied together and the movie would make sense. It never came. Lots of blood and tense scenes. Directing and acting not too bad and the plot could've been good but... Also, the "People who live in the country are either crazy or stupid or both" bit has been done already... Lots and lots of times. Of course that had nothing to do with what was taking place back at the cabin, but then again, nothing had anything to do with anything in this move. I'll give it a D because it wasn't as bad as House of the Dead.

  824. Panic in the Year Zero (1962)- I read quite a few fairly positive reviews on this one prior to watching it so I was expecting a good, although low budget, look at some realistic Cold War Nuclear paranoia. What I got was Ray Milan yelling at his nagging wife and whiny daughter after LA is hit with a nuclear attack. Luckily Frankie Avalon is his son and Frankie, while only semi-annoying, can still sling a shotgun with the best of them. Anyway Ray pretty much just yells at everyone and has a real short temper, he is after-all trying to keep his family alive (which he reminds us, and his family of several times), and doesn’t have time to worry about their concerns or explain his fantastic plans (like trying to drive back into LA, stopping at a diner for a sandwich, giving speeches about law and order while robbing a hardware store). Yeah, it is total anarchy, luckily, or maybe not so luckily really, the only real threats are some greaser hoods that only occasionally carry guns. We do find out that all out nuclear war really wouldn’t be so bad, just camp out in a cave a few days, avoid the greasers, and then everything will work itself out. I know this is low budget, I wasn’t expecting anything great, but it is just poorly executed and the stock footage is so far off from matching up with the ‘action’ that it is as distracting as Ray’s constant annoyance at his pesky family. Hey Ray, why bother even trying to keep them alive? Take the guns and head to ground zero for a real lootenanny. D.

  825. Alien Vs. Predator (2004)- I like the Alien franchise and I liked the first Predator so I really wanted to see this one. This falls in the 'could've been good' file. Hollywood is stuck in the rut with these flicks and the action star wannabes in them. Let's see we've got the crazy adventurers who don't follow rules, we've got the sensitive scientist who's never wrong but is always ignored, we've got the guide who knows better (perfect love interest for the sensitive scientist), and tying them all together is the greedy capitalist. Apparently every several thousand years or so the Predators hatch Aliens in humans and then hunt them. Never mind the plot holes, the predictable nature of the movie covers those up. People die, Aliens die, Predators die, etcetc. The queen Alien was cool though. D.

  826. Frankenstein Theory, The (2013)- A good idea executed poorly. POV flick about a descendent of Frankenstein who happens to believe Mary Shelley’s story is in fact, well, fact. He puts together a documentary crew to go with him to the Great White North to find the man/monster. Faux suspense and plot developments that lead nowhere, sequences inserted to fill time, decisions people only make in horror movies, and then a goofy ending that doesn’t really do the original book justice wrap it up. D.

  827. God Told Me To (1976)- Man, this one starts off great! Regular folks are going on rampages and killing for no other reason than "God told them to". A deeply religious detective takes up the case and a deepening mystery builds up. And then... We take a 90 degree left turn and all sense is left at the door. Suddenly we’re thrown into a story about alien abduction, virgin births, and the director’s apparent vagina obsession (it’s not a good thing either). I really dug about the first half of this, and really hated the second half. It starts off with such a mysterious, gritty, indie New York film feel, and ends up as being some goofy 70s sci-fi trash. D.

  828. Falling, The (1987)- Goofy 80s piece that can’t quite decide just how campy it wants to be. Three Americans are traveling across Spain when they stop in a village. Said village is near the spot where a satellite crashed, which in turn is causing residents to become some sort of melting zombie sort of things. Bad acting, poor effects, and the previously mentioned ‘is this horror or is this camp’ doom this one; sort of a really bad rip off of The Evil Dead. D-

  829. White Noise (2005)- This guy leads the perfect life. Then his wife disappears, finally her body is found. Then this other guy tells the first guy he can communicate with his dead wife through static on TV's and radios and such. Nicely directed, believably acted and it pulled me in. I was digging this flick....Until the end. Man, the end was so dumb it ruined everything else in the flick. I was sitting there thinking, "What, that's supposed to tie it together, what the Hell was that?" I think the DVD extras ended up being better. D.

  830. Mad Monster, The (1942)- Old school werewolf flick, tedious at best. George Zucco is a mad, and by mad I mean angry and insane, scientist who has been laughed out of the scientific community, but he’ll have his revenge, indeed he will. He has perfected a formula that turns an ordinary "Lenny" into a werewolf that looks more like an ape, and kills people at random. He then goes about exacting his revenge on those that laughed at him. This flick more or less follows the Frankenstein formula right down to the murder of a little girl. It’s slow moving, predictable, and unoriginal. Not really fun for the MST3K treatment either but I’ll give it a D because Zucco’s character is just over the top enough to make it almost fun.

  831. Spiral Staircase, The (1945)- I often give these old suspense flicks the benefit of the doubt and tend to go easy on them grade wise. Still, I didn’t dig this flick at all. The directing was good, and I dig the stark black and white look, but that was about it. A mute girl may be in danger from a serial killer on the loose. He seems to kill women with some sort of handicap so she fits the profile. The old lady of the house, who bitches and complains a lot, especially about her two sons, keeps warning the mute gal over and over, suspense is supposed to build there, and fails. Will she escape the hands of the strangler? Will the killer be someone we know? Take a wild guess. Interesting directing and if you like old school suspense yarns (and I usually do) you may like this, I really didn’t this time though. D.

  832. Incredible Melting Man, The (1977)- 70s drive-in pap! This had been done a million times and much better in the past (Quartermass Xperiment for example). Astronauts orbiting Saturn take their ship through the rings, only one astronaut survives and he begins to literally melt away, and kill folks with his super-human-melting-man-strength. The budget is so low and the acting so bad it just became painful. I was having fun ripping on it at first but after a while tediousness set in so I’ll give it a D only because the melting FX weren’t too bad all things considered.

  833. Vampire’s Night Orgy (1973)- This one isn’t nearly as provocative as the title implies! There are a few good atmospheric scenes (like a vampire mother dragging her recently deceased daughter through the cemetery), some good camp (like a guy getting his leg chopped off and then cut to a scene of folks eating a roast curiously shaped like a human leg), and also some unintentional humor (like the entire escape sequence), toss on top of that one the worst and most ill-fitting jazz soundtracks ever and you have another Spanish horror film (what is it with 70s Spanish Horror and TERRIBLE soundtracks?) Some workers are heading for a mansion in the boonies to be servants, their buss driver has a heart attack so they stop in a nearby town, the town is infested with vampires, and these are cannibalistic vampire types who swarm their intended victim. Rotten acting and general weirdness ensue. To be honest I think this was too good to make the craptacular scale (although it was really fun to rip on while watching) but not good enough to get a good grade so I’ll give it a D for OK atmosphere, actually, if the acting would’ve been better and that heinous soundtrack was different this would’ve been an OK piece of 70s trash.

  834. She-Beast, The (1966)- Is it a slapstick comedy or a horror movie. Some scenes try hard to create some good horror atmosphere, and come close, and some try pretty hard to look like something from the Keystone Cops, complete with a fast motion car chase scene and cops falling down a lot. Back in the 1700s a witch was caught kidnapping children and executed by being drowned in a lake. Before being killed she cursed the families of those present. Jump ahead to ‘now’ and a couple on their honeymoon. After some weird scenes in a run down hotel the couple wind up crashing their car into the lake and low and behold, the woman (Barbara Steele) is pulled out and she is the witch in some pretty bad witch makeup. Will the descendent of Dr. Van Helsing (?) be able to exorcise her in time? I’ll be blunt, this movie pretty much sucked. D.

  835. Dead Outside, The (2008)- Another in a line of ’28 Days Later’ coattail riders. Not a bad thing sometimes, other times? Here we have an infection that has turned people into raving schizophrenic lunatics (not technically ‘dead’ but the title may refer to the dead bodies or maybe just a jump on the zombie bandwagon, not sure). Apparently a vaccine was developed but all that did was delay, and thereby worsen, the effects. A man finds a, what else, isolated farm house to hole up in, but it isn’t empty. A teenage girl happens to live there and she might have had a pretty brutal past, possibly because she might be immune to the disease. Yeah, pretty vague and that’s how I feel about the whole movie. Everyone is a little insane, whether infected or not, I suppose you would be after living through the worst, but damn. We get some weird flashbacks, really artsy dark cinematography, infected people who seem normal then don’t and apparently don’t have enough reasoning power to climb a fence, and lots of moping, yelling, and whining in thick accents. I don’t know, I really wanted to like this but I was just a little too confused. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to be spoon fed and I don’t mind some ‘artsiness’ with my horror but it was just too hard to tell what was going on a good portion of the time, both visually and aurally. I guess for as low a budget as it had it ‘looked’ pretty good, and it created a pretty good atmosphere of hopelessness, just not quite good enough! D.

  836. Marebito (2004)- Very strange flick about a cameraman who films a man commit suicide and then becomes obsessed with finding out what caused the man so much fear that he would take his own life. He ventures into underground Tokyo (or his subconscious) to look for something that would be so terrifying and lands in a Lovecraftian realm and winds up bringing home a girl who he finds chained up. She is not human and craves blood. The man receives warnings and slowly tries to drive himself insane, or maybe he is already insane. This could’ve been a great flick but I just kept getting the ‘look how smart I am’ vibe from the directing. Just too artsy, and I like artsy sometimes, but this thing just felt like a mess to me. I wanted to like it, I really did, and I stuck through until the end as I was hoping for some twist, but nothing really happened. I hate to give this a low grade, maybe it is your thing, but I have to give this a D.

  837. Invisible Agent, The (1942)- Universal had an amazing stock of great characters, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and later The Creature from the Black Lagoon, yet, with a couple exceptions, they had no idea what to do with them and this is a perfect example, which, not coincidentally came out the same year as the first bad Frankenstein movie "The Ghost of Frankenstein" and a pretty bad Mummy movie "The Mummy's Tomb". Some German and Japanese agents ask the grandson of the inventor of the 'formula' what his price for the formula is and we're off to a really good start. He refuses to sell and then tells the US government who nicely ask him if he'd give them the formula. He says "No" he'd like to forget about it and the nice government man says "OK". Then the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and the man changes his mind, as long as he is the only one that will be made invisible. So does he get injected and slowly loose his mind? Does he become evil like his grandfather and decide to try and take over the world himself? No, he does his job, falls in love with a double agent, and PLOT SPOILER (well not really) after a very successful mission with no side effects and a bright future with the German double agent, all is well, and a German attack has been diverted (imagine if they would've had the character go insane with megalomania and try and take over the world, splitting the WWII backdrop with a crazy invisible man, that could've been great). Pretty dumb stuff. Peter Lorre was good though, but they put glasses on him and made him play a "Jap". D.

  838. Exorcismus (2010)- A young girl is pissed when her parent’s won’t let her go to a concert and she throws a fit, such a fit she has convulsions. All tests are negative, maybe she’s crazy. During her first session with a psychologist, the psychologist dies. Maybe she needs her uncle the disgraced priest; disgraced because coincidentally he screwed up an exorcism attempt some time back. Will he attempt another on a family member? What price will be paid and will he use the opportunity to clear his name? Good enough idea, well executed at times, but then, yeah, possession. If you’ve read much of my site you may know ‘The Exorcist’ is my favorite horror flick, it set the bar too high for me regarding possession movies. The possession parts are laughable. The little girl tries to look scary; the make-up guys bought the contacts, the sound guys recorded a stupid, I mean scary sounding voice. But it just comes off as very flat and forced, and almost laughable. It’s all probably an allegory for how the Catholic abuse scandal has destroyed families anyway. Nice try though I have to give it a D.

  839. Ghoul, The (1933)- I give these old school flicks the benefit of the doubt, and I’ve read a lot of good stuff about this one, still, I hated it. It is basically a mix up of "The Cat and the Canary", "The Old Dark House", and "The Mummy" but isn’t as good as any of those. An old Egyptologist dies, but believes he will return from the dead as he has been studying and practicing the ancient Egyptian religion and has the secret to immortal life. He warns that if his Egyptian artifacts are tampered with he will return for revenge. The artifacts are tampered with and then we run the gamut about heirs, scary old houses, mystery about the missing artifact and who did it and who’s trying to throw who off the trial, etc. It is well filmed and Karloff does a good job (he was so obviously far ahead of everyone else with regards to acting as he is playing his part while everyone else is just reading their lines like they were practicing for a stage play). I just lost interest in the whole mystery angle and the print I watched was dark so much of the time I couldn’t tell who was doing what. I’ll give this a D as Karloff was good.

  840. Apartment 1303 (2007)- There’s a curse on apartment 1303 that makes young Japanese girls commit suicide. The curse has them seeing a scary looking pale Japanese girl with long black hair, making very disturbing noises. Sound familiar? Not too original and the effects are pretty bad to boot so even when you have a chance at weirdness it falls a little flat. Really bad sound effects (the voice of the ghost is real bad and reminds me of the demon in ‘Evil Dead’), terrible camera work, especially on the suicide scenes (which involve the girls jumping from the 13th floor of the apartment building), and predictable ending all roll up into nothing special. I won’t flunk it as there were a couple suspenseful moments but they were few are far between. D.

  841. The Ring Two (2005)- First the good. I usually assume that a sequel will basically be a remake of the first, basically more of the same, sometimes with a twist. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This movie picked up where the last one left off and started out like it would be more of the same, but the plot then took a turn and went off into another direction. That about does it for the good. The dead little girl is annoyed by Rachel's attempts to stop her from killing people, so she decides she wants to possess Rachel's weird little kid so Rachel can be her mommy?!?! The movie was slow, the characters annoying, the plot and ending, typical Hollywood pap. It also seemed a little irresponsible in suggesting women with postpartum depression "Listen to the voices" and kill their children. Strange. Some parts were 'creepy' (the little girl is pretty effective even in part 2) others were just dumb (attack deer?). Over all I was disappointed since I liked "The Ring" quite a bit and this was a weak effort. D-.

  842. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)- I've read some good things about this movie and some bad things about it so I was stoked to finally see it to decide for myself. What did I decide? First the good: There were some nice use of camera angles and 'points of view'. That always interests me, especially in these old movies when the approach was often just filming a play because the cameras were about the size of a small car so it was hard to do much with them. The lab experiment scene was good and obviously pre-code. The use of light and shadow was also pretty effective as were the outdoor backdrop sets that were obviously influenced by German Expressionism of the silent era. Welp, that about does it for the good. The bad, Bela's character is over the top in a bad way with the crazy uni-brow and big hat. The plot? Bela is a (mad) scientist out to prove Evolution (Darwin is never mentioned but I guess the film was supposed to be taking place around the time Darwin made his discoveries or just before). How will he prove it? By mixing the blood of beautiful young women with that of his trained ape. Uh, yeah, that should do it. Too bad the women usually have impure blood and die from the experiments. Don't ask me. The acting and directing (other than the above mentioned positives) also bit. D-.

  843. Arrival, The (1996)- Plot? Aliens are terraforming the earth in order to move here (global warming?). Charlie Sheen, an astronomer, figures out what is going on. Folks think he’s crazy as ‘they’ hunt him down. Seems like a good enough plot and it’s obvious no one here is taking anything too seriously, especially Sheen who goes through the film with about the same look as the foreman from the medical supply company in "Return of the Living Dead", very over-the-top intense. It works in "Return..." but here, not so much. It is fast paced enough with a few twists and turns that kept me interested but at the end of the day it fell flat because it seemed to me it couldn’t decide if it was camp or serious so it became neither. D-

  844. Never Too Late (1937)- Hey, don’t blame me, this was called ‘horror’ before I came along. This is a silly turd that tries to pass itself off as a look at dismal prison conditions in Victorian England, but instead winds up being a vehicle for Tod Slaughter twirling his handle bar stache as he develops his dastardly plans to get a girl young enough to be his daughter. He’s the local Justice of the Peace so he tries to throw her boyfriend in jail, but as luck would have it his buddy goes in his place (that’s where we get the jail time depravity scenes), more plots ensue as Tod digs himself a deeper and deeper hole until the end when we get to see his true batshit insane self in a giggle inducing scene not quite worthy of Dwight Frye. This movie is just ancient looking and doesn’t hold up so well, with bad dialogue and even worse delivery; it feels like someone filmed a stage play put on by a small amateur theatre group. There are a few scenes that work like the tough guy being broken by prison and the kid going bonkers when he has to do more turns on the rack but you’ll have to sit through a lot of crap to get there. It’s a good candidate for the ol’ MST3K treatment but I wasn’t laughing enough to give it a craptacular grade. D-

  845. Scream and Scream Again (1969)- This is the only movie to have Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing, 3 of the greatest horror movie stars ever, in it. That's a drag. It's a drag because putting those 3 together could produce some good movies and also because this movie pretty much sucks. From the terrible 60s 'Spy Hunter' soundtrack to weird Nazi wannabe characters, to the much too long chase scene with the never-satisfactorily-explained vampire character, this movie just fails. Apparently scientists are developing super humans, kind of "bionic people". These Nazi types have a British spy plane pilot and want to see the case notes on these bionic people. Random stuff happens. The acting is pretty good, the directing is very dated as is the terrible music mentioned above. This is kind of sci-fi meets horror via James Bond. Fairly original but only because it's a bad idea, D-.

  846. Unborn, The (2009)- This movie sucked. The acting was bad, the plot, although ‘could’ve’ been good, failed, the dialogue was silly, and the ‘twist’ ending made no sense at all and didn’t fit the time frame of the movie if you thought about. There, how’s that? The plot? A gal starts getting haunted by a scary looking little kid, which we come to find out is her unborn twin brother... Or her grand uncle who died in a concentration camp in WWII, both of whom I guess were possessed by a Jewish demon. A Jewish rabbi is summoned to perform an exorcism but he doesn’t believe any of it (why did the old lady send the girl to this rabbi?), anyway, he ends up believing because of a sequence that makes no sense (why would the demon want to make the rabbi believe, wouldn’t it be better off making people think the gal was insane?), anyway the rabbi needs some help from a Christian priest who knows more about Jewish demons and exorcisms even though in the exorcism sequence it is the rabbi who does the exorcism... And then (PLOT SPOILER) we find out the whole thing started because the gal is pregnant with twins... Even though the whole thing actually started prior to her boyfriend spending the night which is the sequence we are led to believe made her pregnant. Oh and what’s with the weird neighbor kid, is he already possessed, and if so why does the demon need anyone else? Shew, what a mess. I’ll give it a D- as some of the effects were kind of cool.

  847. Dracula's Daughter (1936)- This movie picks up right where "Dracula" left off, with Dracula being killed. We then learn Dracula had a daughter and she's hoping that with the death of her father she may be free from the curse of being a vampire. She ceremonially burns Dracula's body and looks forward to being free while a love triangle (or maybe love square) develops. Plot-wise it is an interesting approach but I have to admit I hated this one. Dracula's Daughter's assistant is nice and creepy but the rest of the movie pretty much plods along in an uninteresting, slow way. D-.

  848. Invisible Woman, The (1940)- There are probably many movies on my 'Horror' list that many think don't belong. They are too Sci-Fi, too 'Suspense', or not enough 'Horror' and I will debate that. But this movie is indefensible. It simply does not belong here and I apologize. I am a completist and I decided I wanted to see all the 'Big 6' Universal monster movies from back in the day and all the sequels (the 'Big 6' being Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and The Creature From The Black Lagoon). So here it is, one of the sequels to "The Invisible Man". This movie however is a comedy. It is about a rich playboy who is now broke from chasing too many women and supporting a quack absent minded professor type. However the professor has just invented a machine that temporarily makes people invisible so everyone's money problems have been solved. But first he must test it on a volunteer. Enter a woman who is tired of her job and overbearing boss and has plans for when she becomes invisible (not really diabolical plans, just sort of Dickens "A Christmas Carol" type plans). Then mobsters find out about the machine and want to steal it. You can pretty much tell it was 1940 because the head mobster is German and has a Hitler haircut. Shemp Howard shows up as a mobster too. So we have invisible dress model, playboy, absent minded professor, playboy's slapstick butler, a Hitler mobster, and the 4th stooge. I like old school horror, gangster, drama, and suspense movies but I don't like old school comedies, unless they have Laurel and Hardy or WC Fields and this one has neither. It was watchable but barely. D-.

  849. Return To Horror High (1987)- This movie is a "comedy". The slasher movie had run its course by this time so all that was left was to turn them into comedies, with varying results. Here? Well, a movie crew moves into an old high school (literally) where a slasher killed some kids and they begin to make a movie detailing the events. The killer from the original was apparently never caught and of course, people start dying, and hilarity ensues. Well, not really. There are a couple of site gags that work but they are few and far between, but the whole approach is so self-deprecating that you really can’t fault it. They are making fun of themselves making fun of horror movies so I guess on that level it works, but it was still pretty annoying! D-.

  850. Mummy's Tomb, The (1942)- For the first ten minutes or so we are subjected to a flash back to the events from "The Mummy's Hand". I'm not sure when that movie was supposed to have taken place but this one is supposed to be 30 years later which would put it at the very least sometime in the 50s. But Universal, while trying to keep some continuity to their Monster Movies didn't care about much else. The Mummy is just too hard to come up with an original story I guess so they keep telling the same one, which is just a variant of the Dracula story, over and over. Here an Egyptian priest moves the mummy to New England to exact his revenge on those who disturbed the tomb in "The Mummy's Hand". Lon Chaney Jr. takes his turn as the mummy after playing The Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein already. He sucked as the mummy too. Still it was better than "The Mummy's Hand". D-

  851. House of Exorcism (1973)- Bava’s "Lisa and the Devil" flopped. "The Exorcist" came out and was a huge hit. What could the Italians do? They could reedit "Lisa and the Devil" into a story about a possessed tourist. So, they took the scenes from "Lisa..." and added in a new back story about the main character being possessed and telling the goings on back at the castle to a priest. Sound pretty weak? Yeah, it is pretty weak. The exorcist scenes are very lame and I felt sorry for the actors trying like hell to take it all seriously, they had to work pretty hard to keep from laughing. The, for lack of a better word, elegance of Bava’s original is totally lost in this one. Stick with "Lisa and the Devil" of you’re inclined to ‘artier’ Euro-horror and check this out only if you’re curious for a comparison. D-

  852. Paranormal Entity (2009)- Asylum Productions coattail riding at its most obvious. These guys have no shame as they pretty obviously rip off Paranormal Activity with a POV flick about a guy trying to figure out what has been haunting his mom and sister. He places cameras in both their rooms and as things get worse tries to call a psychic he’s consulted with. Lots of screaming ensues, and I mean LOTS of screaming. The effect sometimes of screaming off camera can be pretty visceral but when done to death (pun intended) it ceases to have an effect, as does walking around with a camera looking for your sister for 5 minutes, or dialogue like “it followed us to the hotel”. “What do you mean it followed you?” “It was in our room”. “What do you mean it was in your room?” “It attacked Sam”. “What do you mean it attacked Sam?” I will admit there were a couple of effective moments, but overall I’d say skip it. D-

  853. Fangs of the Living Dead (1968)- I was stoked when the wife scored this pre "Blind Dead" Ossorio flick for a buck. After seeing it I realized why it was a buck. It starts of with a woman finding out, just before her wedding, she has inherited a castle from the mother she never knew. She heads out to find out what gives and we’re off to a pretty unoriginal start. After arriving we get the typical scared villagers, cranky henchman helper, and large scary castle sitting above the village below. Turns out the women’s family are vampires created by her grandmother back in the day as she experimented with extending life, or something like that. Or maybe the whole thing is an elaborate plot to steal the gal’s inheritance. To be honest I have no idea. This is a slow mover and terrible acting, rotten dubbing, and piss poor comedy relief ruin any good atmosphere it creates. I’ll give it a D- because the locations were good.

  854. Unearthed (2007)- You never know what you’re going to get when you check out "The Eight Films to Die For", cutting edge indie films or rehashed generic pap. In this case you get the pap. How many times can this movie be made? An archeologist ‘unearths’ a monster, it kills people and cattle. Folks are pissed; the alcoholic sheriff who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (and looks to be about 25) tries to save the day along with an American Indian shaman type and a plant DNA specialist (who looks to be about 22) and works at a gas station? Throw in some young hotties, a big city black man who hates being in the country, some bad guy cattle barons, and some kind of odd rebellious archeologist who’s character makes no sense, fill everything in with action packed scenes edited so quickly you can’t tell what is going on, toss in a CGI monster which is an obvious rip off of Giger’s Alien and you have this piece of crap. I’ll give it a D- because I really did want to like it.

  855. Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1968)- A French- Italian omnibus effort based on Poe stories that, basically, to be honest right up front, I hated. Story one has a spoiled rich gal who lives in a big castle and has constant orgies and treats everyone like crap suddenly falls for her distant cousin who lives in the next castle over and hates the way she lives her life. He ignores her, she burns down his stables, he’s accidentally killed, and she goes horse back riding. I was bored to tears; F. Story two is a little better, but not by much. It is the story of another person spreading depravity from his school boy days, into college and into the military, and just as he’s about to carry out a great feat like torture or murder, he is interrupted by someone who looks just like him and has the same name, and calls him out each time. You can see the end of this one coming for miles (which is a good thing since the ending of the first story made no sense at all). I’ll give this one a D-. Story three is interesting at least and would’ve been pretty good if I hadn’t been so frustrated and tired from sitting through the first two. It is about a rich movie star who goes to Rome, is trotted about as a great celebrity and then gets in a little over his head... sorry about that reference but if you can sit through the first two you’ll understand. Anyway, it is a surreal and interesting story but I was burned out by the time it rolled around and just wanted it to end, still I’ll give it a B- for a total grade of D-.

  856. Revenge of the Creature (1955)- Some scientists hope that maybe The Creature wasn't the only Creature in the Amazon. They turn out to be right and bring a Creature back to Florida for study. Then we are subjected to the study which consists of jabbing The Creature with a cattle prod while in the water (is that a good idea?) this goes on for about 6 or 7 hours then the Creature finally breaks lose. He finds the girl he loves, who the main scientist also loves (of course) and then they follow the Creature into the Everglades (which are a lot deeper than one would think) and along the Florida coast for another 8 or 10 hours (yes, this is a 17 hour movie, or so it seemed). No cool underwater photography to look at in this one. Just greedy scientists, "Shoot first, ask questions later" cops, and eye-candy-Creature-attractors. D-.

  857. Possession of David O'Reilly, The (2010)- I Read reviews comparing this to some of my favorite POV flicks so how could I resist? Well, this isn’t really POV, although some shots are taken from that perspective, but no big deal, what does it have to offer? Well a guy finds out his girlfriend has been messing around on him so he heads over to a friend’s house where he begins to see monsters (or we find out continues to see them). The lights go out and to be honest I’m not 100% sure what the hell happened after that. Lots of screaming, running around, darkness, hyper ventilating, and some sort of monsters here and there. And then it sort of ends and we’re supposed to think we just saw some sort of open ended pixilated digital masterpiece. Sorry, didn’t work for me. A lot of reviews also said the acting was great, well, no. Sure the main character at first gives you the impression he is terrified at what he is seeing, but it just goes on and on like that, then his friends make decisions as insane as his so really I don’t think ‘normal’ people would ‘act’ like that. In other words, if at any time you find yourself with a raving paranoid schizophrenic wielding a carving knife and screaming about demons coming to get him in your living room, you should immediately call professional help. D-.

  858. Day of the Triffids (1962)- Another one of those classics from my childhood. I remember watching this on a cold winter afternoon and digging it. I found it at the library and checked it out. Most of those old flicks I dug as a kid hold up, this one didn't. Pretty rotten special effects (even for the time) and pretty rotten story (although I haven't read it I hear the book is very good). A meteor shower ends up blinding everyone except a few who for one reason or another didn't get to witness it. Then the triffids, plants from space (I guess), begin to grow like mad, move about, and become people eaters. We follow an American who teams up with a little girl and winds up in France. I think M. Night Shamalyan kind of borrowed from here and there for his great "Signs" though. Still, I was disappointed. D-.

  859. Cave, The (2005)- First take every cliché from the 'trapped and hunted' horror movie sub genre starting with 1951's "The Thing" to 2004's "Alien vs. Predator", then add a cast of Sears Catalogue models as some sort of dive team extreme sport enthusiast types and low and behold you have "The Cave". Apparently a scientist has discovered a huge cave under the Carpathian Mountains and needs help exploring. Who ya gonna call? Obviously the only people for the job are the previously mentioned American Sears Catalogue unprofessional, risk taking, extreme sport enthusiast types. Lord knows no one in Europe could possibly know what to do. Anyway, make unprofessional comments about eye candy female scientist, go down in cave and get angry and jealous about who gets to go where, get in a few alpha male fights to add tension and excitement, realize you are not alone, make references to the "top of the food chain", make bad decisions, etc. This movie has fairly good production values, the acting is OK except for a couple parts, but it is so predictable and generic that it is pretty worthless short of the ol' MST3K treatment, which it is ripe for. I'm not going to flunk it though since I did catch myself getting pulled into a couple suspenseful parts, brief though they were. D-.

  860. Moth Diaries, The (2011)- This was obviously not aimed at my age group. A flick about the goings on at a private school for girls at the beginning of a new year (so many private school flicks, I wonder if they’re mostly written by people who attended them and hated it or people who didn’t attend them and just figured lots of weird shit was going down all the time). All the students seem to have their own issues, some more than others, maybe none more than the new girl, and the fact her new friend has a jealous old friend. So is the new girl a vampire? Frankly I still don’t know. Odd lesbian overtones permeate and the wheels came off pretty early for me. D-

  861. Season of the Witch (1973)- Officially released as ‘Jack’s Wife’, this flick is about Jack’s wife. That’s pretty much it. OK, there’s a little more to it than that. Jack’s wife has a lot of bad dreams. They symbolize her isolation as her husband works constantly, and is occasionally abusive towards her. Her daughter is going to college and no longer needs her ‘stay at home mom’ and her friends are alcoholic, depressed, and shallow. Jack’s wife is looking for something, she really doesn’t know what as, one review I read stated, she’s caught between her generation’s boring shallow bourgeois society and her daughter’s superficial answerless counter culture mores. She has a couple flings with her daughter’s substitute professor, who spouts off goofy pretentious counter-culture bullshit but what really intrigues her is when she finds out a friend of a friend is a witch, not just witch who dabbles in it for fun and a but a real witch. So Jack’s wife dives into witchcraft full on, and guess what, it works! This would’ve made a great half hour Twilight Zone, or maybe even an hour long Night Gallery, but at a little over 90 minutes (full Anchor Bay addition) it is WAY too long. Lots of piss poor dialogue and too many dream sequences weigh it down, but sadly don’t really take it anywhere either. Typical early Romero bad camera and editing come at no extra charge. I found myself thinking ‘come on already, something has to happen here’. Having said that, Romero was still able to get enough tension built up to keep me watching, and although some hated the end, I have to admit, it tied it together nicely if you’re paying close attention. But bottom line is it wasn’t worth the wait. D-.

  862. Last Winter, The (2007)- I’ve said before, I like a message with my horror, but damn, could we please keep it subtle. This is one ham-fisted ‘oil company bad/environmentalist good’ baseball bat to the skull. It starts off strong as an advance crew for an oil company heads to the Arctic to look at the feasibility of drilling there, we know something bad happened to a prior crew but aren’t offered any details, and we’re off on a pretty good start, but that doesn’t last long as nothing makes much sense from there on, like exactly what is driving people crazy? Why are the head environmentalist’s notebooks full of serial killer like ranting, even though he is fine? What happened to the original crew and how does it tie in? Are those ghosts of dinosaurs or just hallucinations? What made the plane crash? Etcetc. Simply put it just fails on pretty much all levels. Obvious comparisons to Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ can be made but the cramped paranoia works on that one, here it just becomes an afterthought. Although it deserves an F, I will give it a D- since the first quarter or so worked, after that you’re on your own!

  863. Ghost Walks, The (1934)- Think of every cliché you can cram into one old school 'horror' movie from 1934 and then run that list through an amplifier and what you'll get back out is "The Ghost Walks". Wow, this is one dated sumbitch. I mean movies this old have to be forgiven as so much was still new but this is ridiculous. This is like someone doing a movie now and trying to make it LOOK like it was from 1934. From the stage acting and gesturing to the terrible camp comedy relief to horrible sound and hilarious skips in the film this baby is DATED! A playwright sets up a theater producer to come by and see his play and unknowingly be a part of the action. The play is about a killer at a dinner party. When it appears someone actually dies the actors stop the play but the producer never believes them, thinking the play is still continuing. It's an OK plot and it is done professionally, at least in a low budget crappy 1934 way. An odd thing about these old movies is they are really short but seem incredibly long, like a torture session. Not F material but pretty close. D-.

  864. Nightmare City (1980)- This zombie/cannibal/vampire/nuclear accident Eurotrash flick starts strong with an unidentified airplane landing at the airport and unloading a cache of starving zombies (actually the director insisted they weren’t zombies but people who needed human blood to replace their blood as it broke down with radiation poisoning, the fact only a head shot will kill them along with the obvious influence from Romero and Fulci tips the directors zombie filled hand). The zombie attack everyone, drinking their blood and contaminating more and more people. Sadly, the intro is as good as it gets as from there on we’re subjected to about every late 70s Eurotrash cliché. Bad music, low budget, bad acting, bad dubbing, ineffective gore, TERRIBLE makeup and lots of ‘what the’ moments like the TV station that apparently only broadcasts Solid Gold dancers, people barricading doors with barrels on the inside even though the doors open ‘out’, stopping to discuss nuclear power over a hot cup of joe while being chased by zombies, and lots of excuses to show tits, including one being cut off a Solid Gold dancer. Now I can take that if we substitute some atmosphere, gore, and over all weirdness, but here there's none of that. Anyway, the zombies pretty much take over the city and we follow a reporter and his doctor wife as they try and stay alive and end up with a disappointing twist circular logic ending. D-.

  865. Thing, The (2011)- Remake of a remake that is actually a prequel that is pretty much exactly like the first remake but not as good. So, a huge spaceship is found under the ice in Antarctica. An alien body is found, removed, and it is not dead. With the ability to actually become any organic being it wants it is pretty hard to find. Gruesome deaths and paranoia follow. Luckily the creature can’t ‘become’ inorganic things so tooth fillings for example, will be missing, as would, one would think, clothes, but that never becomes an issue. Also, when looking through a microscope at cells merging on a microscopic level, you can actually hear the cells merging, but only when looking through the microscope. So yeah, this is sort of a remake, but actually takes place at the Norwegian camp so really it is a prequel, but since it is basically the same movie, oh never mind, those crazy Hollywood studio types have me all confused. Just watch the original from the 50s, then watch John Carpenter’s remake, and skip this one. D-.

  866. Onibaba (1964)- Lots of great reviews about this Japanese feudal period piece. The story centers on a woman and her daughter-in-law who kill lost samurai in order to steal and sell their gear. The whole country has been ravaged by war and all the crops have been destroyed and it has sunken to kill or be killed, then their neighbor, who was drafted along with the old woman’s son (and young woman’s husband) returns, alone. He strikes up an affair with the young woman and things slide even further downhill from there. This flick treads all around right and wrong, good and bad, love and hate, black and white, yin and yang, etcetc. And in my opinion does so poorly. Yeah it ‘looks’ good but moves too slow and really, I just didn’t care what happened to the selfish asshole characters in it. I’m giving this a D-, I really wanted to like it but just didn’t.

  867. Wrong Turn (2003)- This movie follows in that 70s 'trapped and hunted' sub-genre with films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes". That sub-genre is making a resurgence now with films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes". Anyway some campers make... a wrong turn... They are your typical 20-something teenager Sears Catalogue models. They make one dumb decision after another. People who live in the country hunt them, and we all know how deformed and totally insane people who live in the country are. Bad things like this would never happen in a city where everyone is safe. Anyway, they are trapped in the cannibal inbreds' cabin, tortured, eaten etc. Some escape, thrills ensue, several pseudo-endings occur and the movie ends exactly the way you thought it would when it started. Other than a couple tense moments this one wasn't worth the time. Stay with the good ones of this sub-genre, like the original 'chainsaw' or the newer "Wolf Creek". D-

  868. Devil Came From Akasava, The (1971)- OK, this isn't horror, it's James Bond spy action adventure with kind of a sci-fi twist, but it was billed as horror and played on Halloween night on the Sundance Channel so if they can do it so can I. Anyway, a scientist discovers a rock that can transform other rocks into gold (were all the rocks around this rock in the mine gold? I don't think they were so it must not have worked). Anyway the downer is it kills people who see it. The scientist is then killed... or is he... spies, cops, and agents, etc. all swarm around the place. Who's on whose side? Who cares? Since this also is a Franco film the main spy doubles as a prostitute and her cover in going to Akasava is she's an exotic dancer. Her act consists of sitting in a chair and taking her clothes off. Everyone is amazed at how talented she is, if they only knew she was a spy too! How exotic! Typical Franco 70s funk acid rock Hammond B3 organ soundtrack which fires up at the standard inappropriate times. If Muzak covered James Brown you'd have a Franco Soundtrack. Priceless! Still, this movie gets a D-.

  869. Versus (2000)- This movie has it all, zombies, violence, gore, comedy, scares, so what’s not to love? All of it! I know I know, lot’s of hardcore zombie fans, of which I consider myself one, love this flick, but I just hated it. Maybe it was just too much of a good thing but the terrible over the top acting (kind of a bad combination of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and The Matrix), horrible dialogue (I watched a dubbed version which was obviously a mistake), and cheese dripping slapstick just wore me out. Basically a bunch of gangsters have been dumping dead bodies in a forest which just happens to be one of the 666 portals to ‘the other side’, the dead rise up and attack the gangsters, but the gang’s leader actually has the whole thing planned to face off against his really old nemesis, or something like that. If you like the over the top Japanese zombie flicks then by all means, indulge, but I’m giving it a D.

  870. Cathy’s Curse (1976)- Bizarre little Canadian film obviously cashing in on movies like "The Omen". One night a mother takes her son and leaves her husband, inexplicably leaving her daughter behind. When her husband gets home and finds his daughter alone in the house and his wife gone with their son he is furious. He heads out to find her, dragging his daughter along and berating women along the way. A fiery car crash kills them both. Jump ahead 20 years and the son who left with his mother is grown, with a daughter of his own, and moves back into the house where the story began. Anyway, we learn early on that his wife has suffered a nervous breakdown and is determined to give viewers one also with her terrible acting and whiny voice. Eventually their daughter finds an old doll that apparently belonged to her aunt (remember, she was killed in the car crash). She becomes possessed, I guess by her aunt or maybe by her uncle, they never really say, and more than a little pissed at women, apparently blaming her death on her mother rather than her drunk father. Rotten special effects, senseless dialogue, and terrible directing follow. I guess the mother, recovering from the nervous breakdown, is loosing touch with reality as she doesn’t seem all that surprised that her daughter can disappear and reappear and that the house itself shakes and moves, slams doors and windows, and locks and unlocks doors whenever she tries to get in or do something. The father is totally oblivious to everything that is going on. I put this in the ‘could’ve been good’ file. If they would’ve taken a more subtle approach (less telekinesis, less Casio keyboard music, less silly special effects, and more suspense, and approaching the story in a way that forced the viewer to decide whether that mother was in fact crazy or the daughter was in fact possessed), it could’ve possibly worked. Because it does, although rarely, generate some atmosphere I’ll give it a D-.

  871. Descent Part 2, The (2009)- I was leery of this one, I liked the first and figured a sequel would be pretty tough to make (especially if you’ve seen the UK edit). But my wife and I liked the first enough to give this a shot... mistake. Sarah is put through the wringer as everyone searches for her lost friends. She is forced by the local asshole sheriff to go back in the cave system to help with the search and as bodies turn up, questions get asked, and are soon answered when basically a remake of the first flick takes off. Lots of ‘that would never happen’ follows as I tried to figure out if they were going for the gross out camp/comedy with all the blood and gore spewing in everyone’s mouths, and when the bathroom humor (literally) showed up it was over for me. SPOILER ALERT, this flick ‘almost’ ends exactly like the first, but a weird tacked on twist opens the possibility for a part 3. I’ll give it a D- since being trapped in caves does freak me out and this conveyed that feeling to me at times, other than that, not much to offer.

  872. Coffin Joe: Awakening the Beast (1970)- I tried to be open minded, seriously I did, and I do like the surrealistic... usually. But this one, Christ! Here we have a group of psychiatrists talking about the negative effects of drugs, we are shown those effects in snippets of the psychedelic experiences the drug users have, which usual amount to degrading women through sex, violence, and pissing in a pot, oh and being forced to listen to some terrible music and bad philosophy 101 essays. Eventually we get to the color segment where one psychiatrist is trying to show the effect of LSD, or maybe the effect of Coffin Joe movies, I was losing interest. Anyway, we wind up with an anti-establishment, evil-begets evil type of film. The strange thing about the Coffin Joe trilogy is José Mojica Marins, the writer, director, and star always seems to undermine his own philosophical stands by proving that what he is trying to prove is right in fact wrong. Check the trilogy out to see if you agree. Anyway, I have to admit I hated this one, I’ll give it a D- as some of the color sequences were interesting.

  873. Jennifer (1953)- A new caretaker is hired to watch over a scary old mansion in the boonies. She is replacing a caretaker who mysteriously disappeared and who no one seems to remember actually seeing. Lots of potential but falls flat! Over-acting acting, followed by under-acting, plot twists that don’t twist, and an ending that makes no sense at all if you think about it; Nice atmosphere at times but too little too late. Pretty much a waste of time. D-

  874. You Flunked!

  875. Revolt of the Zombies (1936)- A better title might be revolt of the former zombies because the revolutionaries are no longer zombies. I guess this is sort of a prequel to "White Zombie" except it takes place in Cambodia where apparently there are some strong Voodoo Cults or something. Some Voodoo types try and persuade the French that using zombies in the war would be a good idea. (That's WWI by the way.) They seem to agree and then they disagree, and, although confusing, we seem to be off in a nice zombie flick. Switch to Cambodia where some people are on an expedition for something Cambodian. They sit around and talk, there's a love triangle, more talking, a party with love triangle tension and talking. Some walking around, a hilariously rotten staged swamp scene, the finding of the Voodoo formula, talking, zombie making, talking, love triangle mess, zombie making, talking and somewhere in there a revolt of former zombies. Except for the terribly great swamp scene the final grade is an F.

  876. Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)- Yeah, I was hoping for the craptacular masterpiece the name leads you believe it would be, but really, it’s not so bad it’s good, and it’s not good either. Yeah, there are moments that had me chuckling at crazy plot holes and lapses of logic, but really, it just sucked for the most part. Apparently Dr. Frankenstein’s grandkids (yes, his grandson and granddaughter, not daughter at all) move to America to continue the good doctor’s experiments. The abundance of lightning out in the plains makes all those electrical gizmos in the lab work much better. So anyway the Frankenstein’s kill off some of the locals and then Jesse James comes knocking after his half-wit side kick takes a bullet in a heist gone wrong. Lab scenes one step above cartoon, acting that makes cardboard seem interesting, and TERROR follow. Maybe my problem was I was expecting a craptacular masterpiece rather than just going in with an open mind. But that title, oh well, either way I pretty much hated this one. F.

  877. Madman (1982)- Seriously, what can I say, just watch "Friday the 13th". Bad acting, bad dialogue, rotten premise, and terrible soundtrack. If this film had been made in 1975 it might have been cutting edge, but by 1982 it was too late, and the fact that it looks (and sounds) like it was made in 1975 doesn’t help! Basically a kid at camp is missing, someone goes to look and doesn’t come back so someone else goes to look and doesn’t come back so someone else goes to look and doesn’t come back on and on it goes. Could it be the legend of Madman Martz? Who cares? F, although semi fun to rip on, not craptacular enough.

  878. Poltergeist III (1988)- What can I say? This movie is a sad piece of crap. All the originals had bailed before this turd came out of the asshole of Hollywood except that poor little girl who had to have it end up as the last movie she'd make. Apparently she's staying with her aunt and uncle who love her... Or do they? They are rich as fuck and live in a huge high rise, which is now haunted by that old guy from Poltergeist II. Seriously, there is nothing remotely scary about this movie and it's just too painful to give the ol' MST3K treatment to. I mean these people are trying really hard to be scary and failing badly. Don't waste your time. F.

  879. Birth (2004)- This movie isn't so much horror as it is "supernatural suspense thriller." Well really it's not so much "supernatural suspense thriller" as it is "slow moving pile of steaming crap." I realize suspense often equates to a slow moving movie, and when that approach works it works well, but when it fails, well, this is the result. I should have known I was in trouble when the first hour and a half of the movie was a guy jogging (or at least it seemed that long). Anyway, a lady's husband drops dead after a really long run. 10 years later a 10 year old shows up and says he's her husband reincarnated. He knows some sketchy details, I guess, of the guy's life. The lady is engaged to be married again but now wants to spend her life with this kid. Characters come and go and people eat a lot and sit and stare at each other and these people are filthy rich so it all has an air of "who cares" about it anyway. I hated this one. F.

  880. Mother of Tears (2007)- The long wait for the third in Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy finally brought us the Mother of Tears, and I can’t help but feel Argento totally sold us out on this one. The other two (Suspiria and Inferno), while not the masterpieces some would have you believe in my opinion, were at least stylish, with the use of color, camera angle, and light and dark and wild swings from over the top violence to subtle details. This one throws all that away to give us gore, tit shots, and silly plot and goofy special effects, all wrapped up with a mess of bad acting. The plot? An urn is discovered outside of Rome, it contains what will be needed to return the third mother to power, witches begin to descend on Rome and chaos ensues. A woman who’s mother fought the first mother has powers to see ghosts, but is a rationalist and must be convinced of her powers by a lesbian and some guy who is apparently an alchemist. Whatever. If you like stylish Euro- horror check out "Suspiria" and "Inferno", leave this one alone. F.

  881. House of the Dead (1978)- Another one of those movies that are really an excuse to do some film shorts and tie them all together. A mortician telling 'interesting' stories about the people in his funeral home and how they met their demise ties them together. Seriously man, if you're going to make a movie like this make sure the stories have some sort of twist to them. You can't just film lame half thought out ideas. Anyway, story one is about a grade school teacher who hates kids so kids with bad teeth kill her. Story two involves a guy that films himself killing women and then gets busted and apparently executed. Next up is a story about two great detectives competing to be the greatest detective. They wind up killing each other in their quest. Finally we get a story about a guy who's real busy and won't help bums so he is trapped in an elevator shaft by someone and given nothing but liquor to drink and then released some time later as a bum and then I guess dies and winds up in the funeral home. Of course then the final coffin is empty and that is for (GASP PLOT SPOILER) the guy the mortician is talking to. Didn't see that one coming 5 minutes into the movie. I like to give these low budget flicks the benefit of the doubt but they have to at least try and make something good. Anyway, story 1, 2, 3, 4 all get Fs which averages to F.

  882. Ghost in the Machine (1993): Ah, the 90s. Technology was taking over our lives and we were scared. OK, we really weren't scared but Hollywood thought we were scared. So they made movies about what could happen if, uh, if killers could get inside computers, move around as electricity, find address books, then kill etc. Wow, computer animation was still pretty new and in this movie it was abused quite a bit. This is some lame predictable stuff to avoid. F.

  883. Aberration (1997)- A biologist is trying to figure out what's going on to the wildlife in a mountain area. A woman has moved into a cabin to spend the winter there, does she have something to hide? And just exactly what is going on out there in the mountains? Maybe some kind of mutant is eating everything. This movie wavers between trying to be scary and trying to be funny and fails at both. Bad acting and senseless events all lead nowhere. Fun to rip on though. F

  884. The Mummy's Hand (1940)- Everything that was wrong with a lot of old horror movies is crammed into one movie. And that movie is "The Mummy's Hand". Rotten acting, rotten, 'comedy' relief, silly plot, terrible sets, and "Just mail me my paycheck" directing. Some guys need money, one likes a girl, somebody raises a mummy, attempts at people acting scared, mummy gets girl, guy saves girl, and all is well. All ain't well as Universal was in a tailspin after creating such great horror flicks in the 30s. F.

  885. Oasis of the Zombies (1981)- This movie is one big ol' turd! Let's see if I can lay it out for you. A couple whiny bitches are exploring an oasis out in the middle of the desert (I'm assuming somewhere in North Africa), one is very whiny and wants to leave and one wants to explore. They die. Cut to a meeting. A guy tells another guy where to find some treasure; it's in the oasis in the desert. The guy who told is killed, or drugged, or something. Zombies take forever to get out of the sand and the makeup job looks like something a 10 year old would do for Halloween (are these really supposed to be German WWII soldier zombies?). A story about Nazis with a load of gold being ambushed is told with a fairly well staged flashback, camera lingers on desert, people, stuff, time stands still. Man who told where gold is son and his annoying friends decide to find the gold. Camera lingers on desert, pointless stuff happens, time stands still. Camp is set up, other people want the gold, forced sex scene to ensure R rating, camera lingers on desert, I'm screaming at the TV to get this agony over with. Zombies rise from the sand again and attack, sort of, if that really passes for an attack. Some kids die, zombies are burned, really bad 'philosophical' ending finally roles around. This movie had bad lighting, camera work, direction, acting, dialogue, dubbing, and pretty much everything else you could think of. Kind of fun to rip on but it just moved so slow that I can't even recommend it for that. F

  886. Darkness Falls (2003)- The Tooth Fairy is killing kids when it's dark. Sort of. I guess. One kid survived his fate into adulthood and now might be crazy or not. I don't know. I hated this movie. What we need is a really bright light! Like a lighthouse. Yeah, that's it! Dumb stuff. F.

  887. Undead (2003)- I heard good things about this indie Aussie zombie movie. A small fishing village is rained on by meteorites that seem to be turning the villagers into murderous zombies, and things just go downhill from there for the locals... And the viewer. There are apparently more than just meteorites falling from the skies and this action/horror/comedy/sci-fi adventure is a no holds barred pile of steaming crap. The action sucks, the comedy isn't funny, the plot makes no sense, and the acting is terrible. F.

  888. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)- Halloween III was a sequel in name only. No Haddonfield, no Michael Myers, etc. Not only was this not really Halloween THREE, it wasn't a good movie. Seriously, pagans are going to take over the world by playing a commercial on TV while kids watch them with masks on that make roaches crawl out of their heads. This word says it all... "Robots". Or maybe... "Dumb". F

  889. The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)- Basically in my opinion "The Exorcist" is the greatest horror movie ever made, bar none. To rise to heights like that and then follow with CRAP like this is amazing. I mean sequels usually pale in comparison to the originals but this is CRAZY!!! "The Exorcist" had people fainting and running from the theatre in fear. "The Exorcist II" had people laughing and running from the theatre while laughing their asses off. Regan's a little older now and has some bad memories, blahblahblah. This one is only good for the ol'MST3K treatment. F

  890. Vampyros Lesbos (1970)- What can I say? The title pretty much sums it up, especially if you know it's a Franco film! Franco loves the color red! Red kites, red scarves, red posters, red sofas, red wine, red blood... ooohhhhh I get it...Anyway this one starts off at a nightclub where the stage act is a lady undressing herself and dressing a 'live' mannequin. The scene goes on forever as we are subjected to the most dated sounding music imaginable. Anyway, after that we find out the main character is having lesbian fantasy dreams every night and they are about the same lady. A lady she'd never seen until she went to the nightclub and low and behold it's the stage act lady, who happens to be a very rich countess and heir to Count Dracula (it's never explained why she works at a strip club). Anyway the lady then goes to the countess' island to help her sort out her inheritance and lesbianism ensues, sort of. It's all supposed to be kind of artsy and it fails badly. Anyway, apparently Dracula made the countess a vampire back in the day and she has gone through life hating men and making women want her (like the lesbian Renfeld character who seems to be the only patient in an insane asylum run by a guy who's coincidentally real interested in vampires) but now she wants this other woman real bad. Not much makes sense after that and the lesbian vampire SPOILER ALERT just drops dead later on. Franco films strike me as movies made today that are trying to make fun of 70s sexploitation films, that's how bad this one is. It's great for a laugh though. Soundtrack A+++, movie F.

  891. Dream Catcher- (1999) Stephen King... When will I learn? Trailers always look cool; the movies always start cool, then... It's always about kids who did something when they were young, grew up, still have memories of shit when they were kids, etcetcetc on and on ad infinitum... This movie started pretty cool then became one of the dumbest shows I've ever seen. Then the ending finally rolls around and dumb, rotten, stupid, ridiculous and other such adjectives don't do the ignorance justice. Don't even rent this for the ol'MST3K treatment. F

  892. Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon (1973)- Surreal horror based loosely on Poe and made by some of the same bizarre Mexican filmmakers that gave us ‘El Topo’. A writer visits an insane asylum where new techniques are being used to help the insane, and for some reason the writer doesn’t notice right off that something is seriously wrong here. This is a bizarre one and if you’re into the cult midnight movie like foreign flicks then this is a little gem you should check out, if you hate that stuff then stay away. It makes little sense and wavers between fairly intense (rape scenes and such) to comedy (chicken people), and covers the surreal in between those extremes. Not 100% sure why as I often like material like this, even if I find it craptacular, but this one just pissed me off. It was late and maybe I was way too tired to try and wrap my brain around it but I think I am going to just give it an F.

  893. Maximum Overdrive (1986)- I think this is simply the worst movie I've ever seen. I can't even rip on it it was so bad. "No, don't go back out there and get that "insert reason for going outside" because that truck will kill you...oops". Who's idea was this... Oh yeah, Stephen King. F

  894. Hide and Seek (2005)- De Niro in a suspense thriller, another 'Must be good", and another "nope". De Niro's wife recently committed suicide and his daughter isn't handling it so well (and neither is he really). They both need to get away for awhile, so they do. His daughter keeps talking about her imaginary friend, and when this imaginary friend starts actually doing things others can see, well then, we have a real problem. Terrible twist ending that, all things being equal, couldn't have happened to begin with. Now I don't mind twist ending that don't add up in horror that doesn't take itself too seriously but this flick takes itself very seriously, and loses. I am going to have to break down and give this an F. I hate to do that to Bobby D but this thing sucked.

  895. House of the Dead (2003)- House of the Dumb. This is one of the worst, most predictable horror movies I've seen in a long time. "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" meets "Return of the Living Dead III". Kids want to party on an island. Crusty old guys warn them to stay away from the island. Crusty old guys take them to the island. Everyone gets trapped. Death, mystery, and mayhem ensue. Some of the worst acting and writing ever and the rottenest generic action scenes on film. Not to mention terrible video game segues. The fun part? The editing. Sometimes its raining, then it's not, then it is. Sometimes a character might be carrying a pistol, then a shotgun, and then a pistol. MSTK3000 time. F-

  896. Squirm (1976)- Worms really aren't scary at all... Unless there are billions and billions of them and then, well, they still really aren't all that scary. Power lines go down, worms come up and attack, sort of. Really they just crawl around in HUGE numbers. They invade buildings, houses and such. People are scared, they scream, and run. Then a guy becomes like some worm zombie type creature. I really didn't get this movie at all and was having trouble staying awake. Anyway, so how are people going to get out of this mess? PLOT SPOILER! They won't have to. The next morning they wake up and all the worms are gone and the power is back on. Yippee! I love bad movies that are fun to make fun of but this one just sucked. (I'm not sure how I decide which movies suck but are fun and which movies just suck. I guess it's totaly subjective. I've heard MST3K actually gave this one the treatment but I haven't seen that. That would be worth it!) F.

  897. Near Dark (1987)- An obvious quick attempt at cashing in on ‘The Lost Boys’, this movie fails even at that, but we do get to see lots of ridiculous over-acting, pointless violence (pointless even for a horror flick!), and people walking around a lot. The story is about a bored good ol’ boy who lives in a small town in Oklahoma, he drives a gal home one night and she bites him, turns him into a vampire, her ‘family’ picks him up, argues, kills some folks, gets tracked down, and sometimes it’s daytime, sometimes it’s night, and it ends about as dumb as you’d think it would, ‘Twilight’ fans might like it though. F.

  898. Valley of the Zombies (1946)- Another movie title guilty of hyperbole. This is a short about a guy who got into voodoo hoping to stay young forever. He dies, but then comes back to life and needs blood to survive. Over-the-top stage acting and horribly dated ‘jokes’ follow as a young doctor is accused of murder and must clear his good name. As I’ve said before, I am often forgiving of older flicks, but not this time. F.

  899. Witch's Mountain (1972)- This movie is dark, and I don't mean atmospherically, I mean someone didn't pay the light bill (I know I have a crappy print). Anyway, the plot idea seemed good. A photographer heads out into the mountains to take pictures for a book. He has just broken up with his girlfriend who we know from the intro is capable of murder. Anyway, he heads into the mountains with his new girlfriend and comes across a coven of witches who may want to make a sacrifice and/or keep themselves a slave or two. Yeah, the idea seemed good, but the execution of said idea... not so good. The photographer was ahead of his time fashion-wise as this movie was made in 1972 and looked like he had fallen right out of some gay porn from 1976. And the 'sexy' witches do some interpretive dance that looks like something from a very bad production of Jesus Christ Superstar. This movie just plods along with no real direction, going from scene to scene and place to place with no real point and with the worst soundtrack I have ever heard. There is one part where the guy's Jeep is stolen and he wonders around looking for it. That's pretty much the way I felt through the whole movie, wondering around looking for a reason for what was going on. By the time the 'twist' ending rolled around I just didn't care enough. F.

  900. Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994)- Despite the presence of two future stars (Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey) this one is a total waste. I couldn’t figure out if they were going for camp humor and failing or actually trying to be serious, and failing. This is bad from the start but eventually becomes barely watchable. It just breaks down into lots of yelling and characters that make no sense at all. Some high school kids get in a fight at prom and somehow end up lost and hunted by the newest family of Texas nutballs. And this time out Leatherface is a tranny. OK for the MST3K treatment but not enough to make the craptacular scale. F.

  901. Black Christmas (2006)- Remake of the classic Bob Clark 1974 flick. All I can say is "Why"? The basic plot remains intact; sorority girls in a sorority house at Christmas are being killed off. But it's the new millennium so they all have cell phones. Of course the gore is over the top, often unnecessarily so, and I couldn't tell whether the film was going for camp or just gross out. At times everything was a slapstick comedy complete with 'ironic' Christmas music and then we are subjected to the ultimate in dysfunctional families complete with a mother raping her young son. Which leads to a more revealing back-story about the killer, which basically left all suspense out. This movie was so painfully unoriginal it was fun to sit and look for what movie each part was stolen from. F unless you like to rip on garbage.

  902. Man With two Lives (1942)- I liked this one better when it was called "Black Friday". A super nice guy from a super nice wealthy family works for a super nice doctor who is working on bringing people back to life. He is engaged to a super nice smart girl too. The night of the engagement party he is driving home for what seems like a long time and then crashes his car, oddly he is still right in front of the house he just left. Still, he is dead now. Can the doctor bring him back to life? Yes, of course there is the problem of soul transmigration and it so happens a ruthless gangster is being executed at the exact time the super nice doctor’s assistant is revived. Alas, he now has the ruthless gangster’s personality because apparently memories are stored in the soul not the body. This one tries pretty hard but you get the idea everyone is just going through the motions in this cheap time filler. Still, there are some interesting moments like when the detective confronts the rich guy at his own house, knowing he is the one now leading the gang. PLOT SPOILER: This has one of those ‘and then I woke up’ endings that totally ruined anything that came before anyway so even if I sort of liked the flick the end ruined it all. I’ll give it an F because of that.

  903. Antichrist, The (1974)- Yes this is a blatant rip off of "The Exorcist". Yes it is an over the top European spin on the subject of possession, and yes, it sucks. Rather than bother with any coherent plot or character development the movie just goes for the groin, literally. It’s all sex and vulgarity. Now I’m not one to put that down, but in this case, we end up with crap. The plot. A young girl is paralyzed after a car accident that also kills her mother, but it turns out her paralyses is purely mental, there is nothing physically wrong with her, even though in a flash back of the accident she is crying and screaming that she can’t feel her legs, and all this somehow triggers memories that she has of an ancestor who apparently was a member of a satanic cult that had big orgies in the woods and licked goat assholes. Years later she has lost faith in God, wants to have sex with her dad... I guess... I’m not sure what the Hell it all meant but it did seem that that gal was old enough to stop being such a whiney little bitch. Aside from a creepy and atmospheric intro this possession flick shows why possession flicks so rarely work, they wind up being funny rather than scary. Maybe I should rate this one on the craptacular scale but I was just too disappointed after thinking it would be pretty good. F.

  904. Hideous Sun Demon, The (1959)- If man is exposed to new radioactive isotopes and then exposed to sunlight will he devolve back to some sort of lizard? According to this movie, yes. He will also be all bummed and avoid people too, hanging out in bars and picking up lounge singers (being hung-over was probably why he got exposed to begin with). Anyway, he kills someone and realizes he liked it and it’s all downhill from there. This is pretty craptacular, but it is also annoyingly slow and pretty depressing actually. Screw that guy man, he deserved what he got and then refused to listen to anyone on top of that! If you like bad 50s sci-fi give it a look, I love 50s sci-fi but more or less hated this so I’m just going to flunk it.

  905. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)- It doesn’t take too long (sequel wise) for a genuinely effective character and story line to go down the tubes. Michael Myers here becomes more of a punch line than a legit horror character as he escapes, yet again, the day before Halloween, yet again, kills some folks, yet again, and heads off to Haddonfield, yet again. This time though he’s hunting a little girl who happens to be his niece. Michael hates his family! Dr. Loomis shows up talking about the embodiment of evil again, rednecks go on the hunt, kids play pranks, seen it all before. This movie fails to create any atmosphere or convincing scares and even Michael Myers comes off as kind of a cartoon character with his bright white ineffective new mask. The only thing is some of the acting actually isn’t bad. Still, I give this an F.

  906. Zombies On Broadway (1945)- A gangster is going to open a new nightclub and he wants it to have a zombie theme. He’s promised the public real zombies and a reporter is going to hold him to it. Can his idiot publicity agents get him some real zombies from Bela Lugosi’s dastardly island? Terrible 1940s zomedy not even worth the time on the craptacular scale. Did people actually ever like this crap? F.

  907. Fear No Evil (1981)- Wow. I’ll cut to the chase. This movie is total crap! Terrible! How can a movie like this be made and the director etc. not just know that it is going to suck? I guess by the time they realize that it’s too late and they have to produce a product. A priest kills the human incarnation of Lucifer; the priest is the human incarnation of an archangel (Gabriel, Raphael, or one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I can’t remember now). Of course the authorities don’t believe him and put him in jail. His sister continues to fight the good fight (she’s actually an angel too) but can’t do it alone; problem is she can’t find the third archangel. Lucifer is reborn and just after his eighteenth birthday starts getting his reign ready, well sort of, he ruins a local play which I guess marks the beginning of the end of the world. It’s a good thing too ‘cause the kids at school are picking on him. Guys making out with him in the shower, offering him free weed and such. The bullies at this school are weird. Lucifer acts odd and kills animals to drink their blood (why, if he is in fact an archangel also, just a rebellious one, would he need to do that). Anyway, he rises up some zombies who I guess are supposed to be demons like Beelzebub and such. They stumble around carrying pitchforks, axes, and gas cans (?) and promptly kill off some of the rebel rousers from Lucifer’s school. Luckily the priest’s sister has found the other archangel in time for her to stand there and do nothing at all. Hilariously bad dialogue mixed with some rotten special effects follows in the not so exciting climax. An awesome punk soundtrack can’t help this one, a plain and simple F.

  908. When A Stranger Calls (2006)- Painfully slow moving and mostly senseless plot with enough holes to make it smell like Swiss cheese. A girl’s boyfriend kissed another girl so she’s mad at him and also is grounded for using too many minutes on her cell phone so she has to baby sit the night of the big bon fire. This is the first 30 minutes of the film but it really has nothing to do with anything anyway, except she’s baby-sitting. A guy starts calling and harassing her over the phone, trying to scare her. She calls the police but they say they can’t do anything about it until it’s almost too late, then they’ll show up and maybe save the day. So who is the killer, is it her boyfriend, is it the couple she’s baby-sitting for college age son, PLOT SPOILER! No it has nothing to do with anything at all. So predictable and so painful. Forget about this one. F

  909. Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987)- "Zombie 5" really has nothing to do with "Zombie 4", which really had nothing to do with "Zombi 3", which had nothing to do with "Zombi 2", which really wasn’t actually a sequel to "Zombi", but since "Zombi" was successful the powers that be wanted to try and ride those coattails for years. I don’t think it worked. Also note "Zombie 5" was actually made before "Zombie 4". You know you’re in trouble when the ‘e’ was added back in. A Vietnam vet returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. In a fit of rage he kills both of them, kills some birds from the cages on the front porch, then kills a couple that show up in a car with a baby (this Vietnam vet can seriously hurl a knife!). Some birds peck his eyes out and then he leaves with the child the couple he killed outside had. Jump to ‘now’ and a group of college kids are getting ready for an expedition to find an endangered bird in the swamps of Louisiana. First they have to stop and talk to a bird expert, who happens to be the Vietnam vet. They get in a van they keep calling a ‘camper’ and head out and end up in the house where the murders happened in the intro. They sit around and talk for hours then zombies show up and random stuff happens like while starting a generator one of the kids gets his necklace caught and instead of ripping it off, or pulling him right in, he struggles for a couple of minutes against the generator’s gears while his ‘friend’ just stands there and doesn’t bother turning the generator off. Another guy catches on fire and runs away. Also, if you are hiding from zombies, never barricade yourself in a room if the zombies are strong enough to just bust through the walls because it will be hard to get back out. PLOT SPOILER (if that’s possible). The blind guy shows up and says "I’m glad I’m not too late", apparently not knowing all but two of the kids are dead. The gal says "You’re Steven’s father aren’t you" and I thought, "what, how did she come to that conclusion". He mumbles something about ‘them’ feeding on fear, the kids walk off, cut to stock footage of birds swarming and edit in a guy yelling, roll credits. I want so bad to find something redeeming about this one but it wasn’t even fun to rip on. You can sacrifice narative logic if you have atmosphere but if you have neither you're in trouble. F

  910. Comedy of Terrors (1963)- A very fitting name! Here we have some of the greatest horror movie actors ever (Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone), one of the great directors (Jacques Tourneur) and one of the greatest horror writers ever (Richard Matheson) all coming together for this horror/comedy about a funeral parlor owner who is falling on hard times and needs some new ‘customers’. There is plenty of scenery chewing over-the-top, 110% or nothing acting and writing going on, all of which is completely spoiled by ‘zaniness’. This falls pretty quickly into piss-poor sound effects, fast motion, and 3 Stooges slapstick (which had to even feel dated in 1963), and well, pretty much sucks because of that. Seriously, I hated this, just not my cup of tea, F.

  911. Ghost Rider (2007)- I went into this expecting nothing at all and got precisely that. Johnny Blaze is on a motorcycle stunt team with his dad, his dad is dying of cancer, Johnny makes a deal with the devil to save his dad, the deal backfires, Johnny goes on to be a famous stunt rider, and becomes the Ghost Rider, who is the devil’s bounty hunter, when the devil’s son rebels and tries to take over earth. That could’ve worked pretty well but instead we have pretty much horribly written, horribly acted, horribly directed pap and more plot holes than I29 has potholes in February. However, this one is perfect for the old MST3K treatment! Have fun! Really an F but an A on the craptacular scale.

  912. Wicker Man, The (2006)- I really liked the original (at least after it got going), it was full of subtle mystery, great acting, great writing, and everything that makes for a good horror/mystery film. This one is pretty much the polar opposite. I guess the bottom line is I just never cared what happened to the characters, never cared for what the outcome would be. Basically Cage in the lead role just never develops any pathos, I was just thinking, "hurry up and burn already". So the plot, Cage is a cop who has been through some hard times which don’t really make much sense, then he gets a letter from his former fiancé and heads off to help her find her daughter on some remote commune island. There he meets a cult dominated by women that still practice fertility rites. Then, for reasons not quite clear, Cage is lead around by the nose with false clues and strange dialogue from strange people. None of what happens really matters in the end and I was just left thinking why did they even bother. F.

  913. Curse of the Devil (1973)- Paul Naschy is at it again, this time a family curse put on his ancestors turns him into a werewolf. Apparently his ancestors killed off a coven of Satan worshipping witches so they cursed his family and their descendents (actually they only cursed one of his descendents in a somewhat random fashion), a group of foxy hot gypsies, makes sure the curse goes down. It is an extremely complicated curse that I didn’t quite get and it seemed like a very bizarre way to get back at the people who executed you but whatever. This is typical EuroTrash, completely illogical and lots of sex scenes with busty gals that strive for a little controversy, or maybe they are just there to break up the boredom. If you trimmed down the sex scenes and the scenes of people walking around and looking at each other this flick would’ve only been about 45 minutes long, throw in some sex and some walking around and you have 90 minutes of TERROR! Well, not quite. For Paul Naschy fans or Spanish werewolf film completists only. F

  914. Vampire’s Ghost, The (1945)- Piece of crap B feature from the 40s. A man commits a heinous crime and is then forced to walk the earth forever, seeking human blood. He lives in Africa and runs a night club in a seedy port town, so there is plenty of blood to have. The locals know there’s a vampire about and play their voodoo drums all night, which was apparently the CNN of the time. The weird thing is the guy is cursed but actually seems to dig being a vampire so the curse isn’t all that bad. Anyway, this is pretty silly stuff which probably deserves an F.

  915. Hideaway (1995)- I’ve read some good reviews of this movie, and I have to wonder, what the Hell were those people thinking? This movie is crap, from the cheesy 90s ‘look what we can do with computers now’ not so special effects to the tired plot of someone after medical work being able to see what a killer is going to do. In this one Jeff Goldblum is killed in a car wreck (in a hilariously staged scene where the car teeters on the edge of a hill at an exact spot where there is apparently a path wide enough for the car to not be stopped by the trees on either side, and while the hill isn’t so steep that the car will actually flip it is apparently too steep for the brakes to stop the car.) Anyway, Goldblum is dead for a couple of hours but revived by some genius doctor despite what happened ‘last time’. Now he can see what a serial killer is up to and the killer realizes what is happening so he targets Goldblum’s daughter. There’s a good plan. I guess that killer never saw any horror movies. Then the ‘twist’, which we can see for miles, finally rolls around. This is just basically senseless crap but it is fun to rip on, but not fun enough to be craptacular. F.

  916. Night of Dark Shadows (1971)- Movies like this slay me. First, the name makes no sense. This movie doesn’t take place in one night and I guess "Nights and Days of Dark Shadows" just didn’t have the appeal ( I know I know it is a sequel of sorts to "House of Dark Shadows" and also the TV show). Second, this is one of those early 70s horror flicks that went more for subtle scares, which I respect, but failed, which I don’t respect. And last, the soundtrack, good Lord!!! Lots of classical guitar and harmonica, plus some early electronica, none of which ever seems to fit what is happening on the screen. So what is happening on the screen? A newlywed couple moves into the husband’s family’s old mansion where a relative of his did some bad things. He slowly becomes possessed by that relative and someone has to pay. Of course none of it really makes any sense and it moves at a snail’s pace. And the ending you can see for miles, did they really think they were fooling people? Kind of fun to rip on but not enough so I can’t really give it a craptacular grade so I’ll give it an F. (Hardcore fans will be mad at my grade and remind me the film was edited by over 30 minutes by MGM, maybe those 30 minutes could’ve saved it, maybe they would’ve made it totally intolerable, I don’t know.)

  917. Island Monster, The (1954)- This movie has "monster" in the title so it must be horror or sci-fi right? Wrong. It is (supposedly) a suspense thriller with ‘monster’ being used as a metaphor for a horrible person. Still, watching this one I was constantly reminded of the Japanese monster movies with the cardboard acting, horrible dubbing, unimaginative and frozen cinematography, and overly dramatic musical score. In the Japanese monster movies those things actually work in creating what I guess you could call ‘charm’, here they combine to make a rotten movie that moves at a snail’s pace. Boris Karloff is a kindly old doctor who runs a clinic for children on an Italian island, but it’s really a front for his drug cartel. An Italian officer is sent to the island to help the local police uncover the drug ring and confusion, terrible acting, and annoying dubbing ensue. The officer’s little girl’s trained dog is the highlight of this one. Sorry Boris, you flunk. F.

  918. Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)- Do you think you’re funny? Do you have a soap box you’d like to stand on? Fancy yourself a filmmaker? Do you like zombie movies? Then just get together with some friends and make a preachy attempt at a funny zombie comedy. That’s what these guys did and here is their message: People who live in small towns are asshole rednecks who hate gays and anyone who might be ‘foreign’, however they aren’t really smart enough to know who’s gay and what ‘foreign’ is. That’s pretty much it, so we have a guy and his boyfriend come back to the small town from the paradise Big City to come out of the closet to his mom (which despite being petrified to do he blurts out ‘I suck dick mom’ hahaha, and the hilarity is just starting). Another portion of the multi-pronged plot has a girl of Iranian descent being called Iraqi all day (will the fun never end), and finally a mayor who is friends with a homophobic preacher and running against a woman in the next election of all the crazy things. Not sure I want to waste any more time on this flick, I’ll just give it an F for being WAY too preachy, WAY too wordy, and, well, just plain dumb.

  919. Dead Heat (1988)- I knew going in what to expect, and I got exactly what I thought I would get. A big evil corporation is reanimating folks and an evil doc is using the zombies to rob jewelry stores. Cops are confused but a couple of loose cannon types are on the case. One gets killed and reanimated and now he’s pissed. Joe Piscapo is in this so you know it is going to suck. It tries to be funny, campy, and scary and fails at all three. The people making this knew it was going to suck so they just went all out. I’m going to give this an F, I know it was supposed to be dumb, but it’s just too damned dumb, despite a great part by The Night Stalker and a cameo by an old Vincent Price.

  920. Terror Firmer (1999)- How do you review a total piece of crap like this knowing that it was always meant to be a total piece of crap? It is supposed to be a funny look at the independent film industry and based on a book about the making of Troma’s "The Toxic Avenger". So we have two ‘plots’ going at the same time, the train wreck making of that film mixed with a plot about someone killing off cast and crew members. Mix Peter Jackson’s "Bad Taste" with the Three Stooges, and then toss in a heaping helping of bad soft core porn and you have this train wreck (oh, and don’t forget lots of fart jokes, pee jokes, shit jokes, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, I like bad stuff, but this was just too much too often for too long. I frickin’ hated it, although admittedly I laughed at quite a few of the sequences. It was being played at a horror film fest at the local drive in and I was so disappointed that they picked this to open the night with that I split as soon as it was over. This is obviously low brow stuff and never pretends to be anything but that so with that in mind it should probably get an A but personally I have to give this one an F. Jackson’s "Bad Taste" and "Dead Alive" and the 3 "Evil Dead" flicks along with others just do this so much better.

  921. My Soul To Take (2010)- Time to retire Wes. Seven teens are born the night a serial killer is almost caught but disappears. On their sixteenth birthday they begin dying. Is the killer back, does he posses one of the seven, is one of them just a killer, or is it someone else. Who cares? This was non-stop cliché but without the cleverness of ‘Scream’. Waste of time, F.

  922. Scream Bloody Murder (1973)- Wow, this one is hard to describe. Horrible acting, terrible editing, lighting, sound, etcetcetc. Yeah it is cheap, but is it good? A kid kills his dad, I guess to have his mom all to himself. He is put in an asylum and when he gets out his mom has remarried, which just won’t do. The kid (now somewhere between 16 and 46) then kills his new stepdad, mom, and then goes travelling, and keeps killing his mom over and over, sort of. It could have been an interesting idea (which was done quite a bit better in a movie called ‘Psycho’) but it was just done so bad! There are ‘so bad it’s good’ parts but still, too annoying for the craptacular scale so I’m giving it an F.

  923. Daughters of Satan (1972)- In the 70s a lot of ‘middle America’ was scared senseless that their kids were in cults and sacrificing black cats at night or something or other so these Satanist/witchcraft flicks were huge for a while, and most of the them were crap, including this one which frankly doesn’t make much sense at all. An art dealer buys a painting of witches being burned at the stake on what he thinks is a whim because one of the witches looks like his wife. His wife doesn’t dig the painting, a mean Rottweiler shows up as does a housekeeper who looks like one of the other witches. One thing leads to another and everyone is the reincarnation of someone and the train veers right off the tracks! This was just bad; the story made little sense to begin with but as it progressed it just made less and less sense! Pretty fun MST3K material but I didn’t laugh enough so I’m just giving it an F.

  924. Blood Sucking Freaks (1976)- What can I say, this is just misogynistic torture exploitation at its best, which means worst. The plot follows a stage show that features naked women being tortured, the audience is amazed at how real it is; little do they know it actually is real. When a critic refuses to even write a review of the show, things go from bad to worse for everyone, if that’s possible. If you’re into this type of exploitation then A) I feel sorry for you, maybe you should move out of your mom’s basement, and B) you’ll probably like this. Lots of naked ladies screaming and crying padded with lots of terrible acting and effects. How do I grade a flick that was meant to be trash and succeeds? I’ll give it an F, even though I’m pretty sure that this is exactly what Troma had in mind when they released it.

  925. Phantom from Space (1953)- This felt quite a bit older than it actually was, and that usually isn’t a good thing. The first 5 or 10 minutes are spent tracking a UFO along the west coast, the next 50 minutes are spent driving around in cars with GIANT antennae and chasing a ‘phantom’ around. Said phantom wears a very dated looking space suit that is apparently impermeable and fire retardant. But it gets real interesting when he takes it off because he disappears all together. Why didn’t he just wear an invisible suit too? It makes no sense at all and leaves you wondering ‘who the hell thought this stuff up?’ Close to being craptacular but just too tedious, even at 70 minutes, so I’ll give it an F, although if you like the goofy 50s sci-fi it ‘might’ be worth a viewing for you just for the antennae cars and space suit.

  926. Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)- OK, I admit, maybe I graded the first 3 in the franchise too high, but I really do like the idea and if you allow yourself to get into what is happening and suspend some belief they do work. But can it work a fourth time? I’ll cut to the chase. No. Part 4 picks up where part 2 left off (part 3 was a prequel) with Katie moving into a neighborhood with her kidnapped nephew (or is it?). The nephew has to spend some time with the family across the street and the demon follows him, or possesses him, or something or other. What you really get is Part 1 (young couple realizing something is wrong) mixed with Part 2 (more or less oblivious parents), all wrapped up in a predictable ‘more of the same’ package with basically the same ending as the other 3. (Before you say ‘2 and 3 were more of the same’ I say at least they expanded the plot, this doesn’t at all). F

  927. Kill Theory (2009)- Sometimes I watch a cliché stereotype laden horror flick and am forgiving because something about it works for me, sometimes I watch one and just get pissed at the total lack of originality. This would fall in the latter category. A man is released from an institution after a mountain climbing accident had him cut the rope on his friends so he could survive, he was convicted of manslaughter, did time with therapy, and upon release has to agree to weekly therapy with his psychiatrist, who is bragging about writing a book and making money from the guy. Boy I bet he’ll be sorry. Cut to some horny drinking college kids celebrating their graduation at a rich friend’s house, soap opera histrionics and tried and true slasher plot follow. Over-acting and annoying people make this impossible to care much about, these ‘kids’ deserve to die. F.

  928. Snow Creature, The (1954)- OK, right up front, this one is bad! And not really in a fun way but in a ‘Damn this is annoying’ way. A botanist puts together an expedition to study plants in the Himalayas but just before starting out their lead Sherpa’s wife is kidnapped by a Yeti. Of course no one believes the Sherpa so he has a mutiny and forces the expedition to search for the yeti. They find it, capture it, take it to the big city, where it escapes and walks forwards, then backwards, forwards, and then backwards for the rest of the movie. I guess a couple things sum it up, the Sherpa’s ‘accent’ basically amounts to referring to himself in the 1st person and when the botanist and cop search in the sewers for the yeti they are wearing suits. More annoying than craptacular I’ll just cut to the chase and give it an F.

  929. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)- A couple and their young daughter head out on the road for a vacation. They drive, and drive, get lost, drive some more, until finally they come to a ranch in the desert. Torgo, the caretaker, answers the door and flatly denies the family the right to stay on the property. The wife agrees and tells the husband they should just move on. The husband refuses to listen to either and all but insists Torgo let them stay. Torgo relents, despite his knowing The Master will not be pleased. Torgo, totes the families bags in, despite his desire they not stay there and despite an incredibly odd deformity that causes him to walk strangely and slowly. Once inside after some talk about The Master being dead, but not dead, and seeing some Satanic looking paintings of The Master and his Doberman the couple decide maybe it would be best if they did leave, but after much deliberation they again decide to stay. Things begin to go bad when their daughter’s dog is killed by a wild animal in the desert and Torgo comes onto the wife, so the couple again decide to leave, but this time the car won’t start so they decide to stay. The husband, while looking for Torgo gets knocked unconscious and I'm getting confused. The Master, who is lying on slab in the desert and is surrounded by his many comatose wives who stand against poles, wakes from his death/sleep. He says some incantations, his wives awake and bicker about killing the child and then an all out fight between The Master’s wives breaks out and continues for roughly 15 minutes. Meanwhile the husband comes to and heads back to the house. The couple decides again to leave, this time on foot. After traveling roughly 100 yards or so the wife collapses as she is too tired so the couple decide not to leave and head back to the house. As they head back Torgo is sacrificed by The Master’s wives (they execute him by pushing him around) for letting the people stay and for making advances on them while they are comatose. Meanwhile The Master is waiting back at the house for the couple and now they must become his caretaker and wives. My oh my. I have no idea what to grade this. This could possibly the greatest worst movie ever made. I don’t doubt there are worse Camcorder Coppola productions but as far as a movie that was made for wide release and actually had a big premier party, this has to simply be the worst thing ever made. Complete and total ineptitude in every aspect of filmmaking. Directing, acting, sound, lighting, writing, cinematography, editing, you name it, they messed it up. Plus the soundtrack, Jesus, it sounds like Coltrane’s band on a very VERY off night. For reference, Manos translates as hands so the title of this movie is "Hands: Hands of Fate". I don’t know what to grade this. Is an F on the craptacular scale even possible? For completists who love terrible, terrible stuff only.

my baby likes the horror movies