Nov 20

The Funhouse

thefunhouseGenre: Horror
Year: 1981
Country: USA

aka: Carnival of Terror, Funhouse: Carnival of Terror

Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee

 

Something is alive in the funhouse… something that, tonight, will turn the funhouse into a carnival of terror!

 

Amy Harper is a young lady going on date with Buzz. Together with another couple they decide that it’s a good idea to go to the local carnival that are only there for a few days. Amy’s little brother Joey knows that she lied to her parents when she told them they where going to the cinema instead of the carnival, so he sneaks out to follow them to the carnival to see what they are up to.

The carnival is filled with strange, sleazy and weird carnies, even more than what you would expect at a carnival. The four decides that it would be a great idea to spend the night at the carnival. They hide inside of the scary funhouse til the carnival closes, spying on the carnies when they see that one of the freaks that have been walking around in a Frankenstein mask is trying to pay a lady for sex. Before they even get undressed, he “finishes” and he wants his money back. When the lady refuses, he gets mad and kills her. The teens have seen enough and are now trying to get out of the place, but they have been spotted and will not be able to get out without a fight.

Nov 19

Frozen Scream

frozenscreamGenre: Horror
Year: 1975
Country: USA

Director: Frank Roach
Starring: Renee Harmon, Lynne Kocol, Wolf Muser, Thomas Gowan, Wayne Liebman

 

A Real Chiller!

 

Tom Girard is fearing for his life. He thinks some weirdos in black hoods are out to get him. One night they get him and kills him in front of his wife Ann. Detective McGuirre tries to figure out what has happened (while also narrating over the movie, including scenes with dialogue) and we find out that Tom’s body has been used in an experiment where an evil doctor inject people with a fluid to increase the healing process goes wrong and the subjects turn into zombielike creatures. Oh, and there’s a cult involved here somewhere aswell.

The plot is hard to follow and banal. The zombies are supposed to be soulless, but here every character seems like they have just been injected with some freezing fluid to make them look cold. The dialogue sucks and the acting is terrible. It looks like they are reading off the script while shooting, which probably also was the case. The editing, sounds, pace sucks. It’s just a terrible and amateurish film.

Nov 18

The Toolbox Murders

toolboxmurdersGenre: Horror
Year: 1978
Country: USA

Director: Dennis Donnelly
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure, Nicolas Beauvy, Tim Donnelly

 

Bit by bit… by bit he carved a nightmare!

 

A killer runs loose on an apartment complex in Southern California. The women of that resides there gets killed off one by one in gruesome ways. The body of one of the girls doesn’t show up and the police tries to find out if it’s related to the murders and if they can find her body… or what’s left of it!

The Toolbox Murders is a serial killer movie that was influenced by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and has a reputation of being very violent and brutal. It is one of the Video Nasties movies and it has also been banned in my very own Norway and refused classification in Australia.

The first thirty minutes of the movie shows the killer brutally slaying several young girls with nearly no dialogue or any character development going on. The murders are done well and the nail gun murder is especially memorable. After this the movie switches tone and focus completely and goes from being a slasher movie to becoming a psychological thriller instead.

Nov 17

Night Warning

nightwarningGenre: Horror
Year: 1982
Country: USA

aka: Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, Nightmare Maker, The Evil Protege, Thriller to Death

Director: William Asher
Starring: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson, Marcia Lewis, Julia Duffy

 

She was lonely. He was all she had. No-one would take him from her – and live...

 

Night Warning starts with a family who gets in a car accident and the only survivor is the child Billy. We then cut several years ahead and Billy is now 17 and has been raised by his aunt Cheryl ever since the accident. Billy is now a promising basketball player and is hoping to get a college scholarship. His aunt Cheryl however is not to pleased about the possibility of her only family member leaving the nest. The thought of being left alone drives her crazy and she starts to break all sorts of boundaries to keep her beloved Billy at home… forever.

Night Warning plays like a demented made for TV movie, but with a hint of slasher in the last 20 minutes. It’s character and plot driven and could also be classified as a bloody psychological thriller. Susan Tyrrell (Flesh+Blood, Rockula) does a fabulous job as the crazy aunt Cheryl. It’s a treat to see her work and she is just simply excellent in her role. Jimmy McNichol (Stranded, Smokey Bites The Dust), who portrays Billy, also delivers a good performance, making the character come across as complex and believable.

Nov 15

Axe

axeGenre: Horror
Year: 1977
Country: USA

aka: California Axe Massacre, California Axe Murders, Lisa Lisa, The Axe Murders, The Virgin Slaughter

Director: Frederick R. Friedel
Starring: Leslie Lee, Jack Canon, Ray Green, Frederick R. Friedel, Douglas Powers

 

Total terror – you’ll be scared to breathe..!

 

The three gangsters Steele, Billy and Lomax are on the run after beating a man to death. They drive out to the countryside to try to seek out a hiding place that can provide them with some food and shelter until the cops give up trying to find them.

They come across an isolated farm where they find exactly what they want. The farm is ran by a young girl named Lisa, who is also taking care of her paralyzed grandfather. The criminals quickly take charge on the farm and forces Lisa to do whatever they want. They never did expect that Lisa has a few issues herself and that the tables can turn quickly, depending on who is holding the axe.

If you think these newer neo-grindhouse films represent the old Grindhouse movies, then think again. Axe is a perfect example of how a Grindhouse film was back in the late 70’s. It’s cluttered, very low budget and almost amateurish made. Well, I guess the last part is still being kept alive in these newer so-called Grindhouse films.

Nov 11

The Burning

theburningGenre: Horror
Year: 1981
Country: USA

aka: Cropsy

Director: Tony Maylam
Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer; Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander

Don’t look, he’ll see you. Don’t breathe, he’ll hear you. Don’t move… you’re dead!

 

The Burning is loosely based on Cropsy (which was also the original title of this film), an urban legend tale that has been told around camp fires for many years. A prank goes wrong when the caretaker of Camp Blackfoot ends up being horribly burned and hospitalized for five years. When he is released back into society, he is badly disfigured by the burns and has to hide himself to avoid scaring others.

As anyone would do after five years in a hospital bed he goes down some sleazy big city streets (New York?) and finds himself a hooker. Even the hooker can’t stand the looks of him and at that point he gives up any hope of being a regular guy. He murders her in a brutal way and then heads back the Camp Stonewater (not sure why they changed the name though) to take revenge on any teens that sets their foot at the place.

Nov 10

Anthropophagus

anthropophagusGenre: Horror
Year: 1980
Country Italy

aka: Anthropophagous: The Beast, Anhropophagus: The Grim Reaper, Man Eater, The Beast, The Grim Reaper, The Zombie’s Rage

Director: Joe D’Amato
Starring: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini, Mark Bodin

 

It’s not fear that tears you apart… it’s him!

 

Anthropophagus starts with a young couple walking through a small village and going to the beach. The guy stays on the beach, listening to his high-tech Walkman while the lady tests the water. The woman is attacked in the water and the monster emerges from the water in a very Godzillaesque fashion. Whatever music the young bloke was listening to would also be his last and this opening scene sets off this notorious shocker of a movie.

We then get familiarized with a group of tourists who get stranded on an abandoned island. When one of them (a pregnant one I might add) disappears, they suspect that there might be someone else on this island. Who is it, what does it/she/he want? And is it the reason why this entire island is abandoned?

Nov 09

Mardi Gras Massacre

mardigrasmassacreGenre: Horror
Year: 1978
Country: USA

Director: Jack Weis
Starring: Curt Dawson, Gwen Arment, William Metzo, Laura Misch Owens, Cathryn Lacey

 

Nobody hears her scream

 

An older guy goes into stripclubs/whorehouses in New Orleans and seeks out the most evil prostitute he can find, takes her back home, gets her naked on a table and oils her naked body in and then sacrifices her to his Aztec god.

Now that doesn’t sound too shabby? Well… sorry to say, Mardi Gras Massacre is a terrible, terrible movie. The only addition to that plot is a love story between one of the prostitutes and a cop named Frank. They even have a dating montage, hoorah!

William Metzo plays the maniac and he is the best actor in the movie (not meant as a compliment). The way he says «eeeeeee-vil» is amusing and there could be a great drinking game made out of that. Wish I had thought about that before seeing it as this is a film that can only be tolerable with a lot of alchohol available. One of the girls that he takes home doesn’t seem to be quite so eeeeee-vil as he had wanted and he is confused on what to do for a moment before deciding that a half-eeeeeeeeeeeee-vil sacrifice is better than no sacrifice at all. Fun guy.

Nov 07

The Last House on the Left

lasthouseontheleftGenre: Horror
Year: 1972
Country: USA

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln, Jeramie Rain

 

To avoid fainting, keep repeating “It’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie…”

 

Mari Collingswood is celebrating her seventeenth birthday and is going to see a rock band called Bloodlust live in concert with her friend Phyllis. On their way to the concert, they try to score some marijuana and meet a local thug named Junior.

Junior says he has the best weed in the world and takes the two naive girls with him to an apartment where they are kept hostage by the rest of the gang that Junior is a part of. They keep them hostage and torture them for over a day before they take them with them out in the woods for some more humiliation but after the gang has had their fun, things start to turn on them.

The Last House on the Left is an infamous video nasty that also happens to be the directorial debut of the legendary horror filmmaker Wes Craven. The film was shot very cheaply with a small crew and the story, which was also written by Craven, was loosely based on the Ingmar Bergman film The Virgin Spring.

Nov 04

Deep River Savages

deepriversavagesGenre: Horror
Year: 1972
Country: Italy

original title: Il Paese del Sesso Selvaggio
aka: Sacrifice!, The Man From Deep River, Mondo Cannibale

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Ivan Rassimov, Me Me Lai, Prasitsak Signhara, Sulallewan Suxantat, Ong Ard

 

See! The torture that makes a modern man defenseless!

 

John Bradley is a british photographer which is currently working in Thailand, snapping away photos and also watching some local kickboxing. He gets in trouble at a bar and kills a local in self-defence and escapes out to the jungle of Burma. Here he is captured by a native tribe and they keep him captive in their village.

The natives start to use him for labor work and after a while he has gained their trust and is able to be a part of their society. He finds love with one of the natives and tries to teach her basic english so they can communicate better. When everything starts to go well for John, a tribe a cannibals starts to attack their village.

Deep River Savages is known as the first of the italian cannibal wave that lasted almost exactly ten years. Even though it’s the first of this infamous subgenre, it is basically a continuation of another italian dominated subgenre – the mondo movies.

Older posts «