Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Barge People (2018)

 


The Barge People (2018)
Dir- Charlie Steeds

Two English sisters and their boyfriends take a holiday in the countryside on a river barge but discover danger lurks when they stop at a remote village. The Barge People was released in 2018 and directed by Charlie Steeds. The film follows in the footprints of rural horror films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Despite its flaws, the film does feature great creature design, gory kills, and a terrifying ending that will make you want to avoid the English countryside.    

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Ghost Beyond (2018)


The Ghost Beyond (2018)
Dir- R Michael Givens

A novelist moves his family into a new home so he can focus on his latest project. Once there, an evil spirit tries to channel itself through his son and himself. Directed by R Michael Givens, A Ghost Beyond follows the same formula seen in Stephen King's The Shining and The Amityville Horror. Unfortunately, the film does not offer anything original and is pretty derivative given its predictable plot and ending.   

The Devil's Machine


 

Monday, May 16, 2022

White Zombie (1932)


White Zombie (1932)
Dir- Victor Halperin

An engaged couple traveling to Haiti encounters a mysterious man who has the power to turn people into mindless servants. Their host takes an interest in the bride for himself but finds trouble with the same voodoo master, who has other intentions. White Zombie was directed by Victor Halperin and starred Bela Legosi as voodoo master Murder Legendre. White Zombie was the first feature-length movie to utilize the concept of a zombie. Unlike today's brain-eaters, the zombies in this film are mindless enslaved people under the control of Legosi's character. While the film was not as successful as Legosi's Dracula, White Zombie would emerge as a cult classic and the inspiration for musician Rob Zombie's band White Zombie.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Clowntown (2016)

Clowntown (2016)

Two couples traveling to a concert take a wrong turn and find themselves stranded in an abandoned town, being terrorized by a group of people dressed up as clowns. A straight-up slasher, Clowntown does play off the recent craze of evil clowns with a collection of motley-dressed maniacs. The kills are decent, but there isn't much about this movie that has not been done before, especially having a female clown playing yet another Harley Quinn-inspired psychopath. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Hearse (1980)

The Hearse (1980)

A recently divorced school teacher moves into the home of her deceased aunt for the summer and soon finds herself being plagued by mysterious events and a phantom hearse. The Hearse was directed by George Bowers and starred Trish Van Devere, Joseph Cotton, and David Gautreaux. The Hearse was released the same year as The Changeling, featuring Ms. Van Devere. While both films deal with the supernatural, The Hearse has a different plot and style from The Changeling and lacks the brutal scares of that movie. While the film does have a made-for-TV feel, the cast and setting make for a creepy story and pair well with The Changeling. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Cockneys vs. Zombies (2012)

Dir- Matthias Hoene

If Guy Ritchie had done a zombie movie, this is pretty much what one would expect from director Matthias Hoene. A group of young friends plans a bank robbery to help their grandfather but discover the city has been overrun by zombies released by work crews tearing down their grandfather's rest home. Cockneys vs. Zombies follows the style of zombie comedies Shaun of the Dead and Army of Darkness. The film features a great cast of young actors, with Alan Ford and Honor Blackman in support roles. While not as polished as Shaun of the Dead, Cockneys vs. Zombies makes a great companion film to this horror classic and should be fun for Guy Ritchie-style dialogue and action fans.   

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies (2012)


Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

Dir- Richard Schenkman

A low-budget film from The Asylum intended to cash in on the release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Abraham Lincoln has grown up knowing that zombies are real, and when Confederate soldiers arise from the grave, he selects a squad of Secret Service to assist him in putting down a rebellion of the dead. As bad as the movie looks, the Asylum team put some attention to the sets and costumes to make the film look somewhat period-appropriate. Casting Bill Oberst Jr as Abraham Lincoln is the one bright spot as he is a terrific stage actor. His Gettysburg Address reading came from his experience portraying President Lincoln in stage productions and was done mainly from memory.  

Bloody Mary (2006)

Bloody Mary (2006)

Dir- Richard Valentine

Nurses from a psychiatric hospital haze a new employee by having her summon Bloody Mary in the abandoned tunnels under the facility, but an unexpected event occurs. Her sudden disappearance and the mysterious deaths of some of the patients call into question the possibility that a dangerous and evil entity may haunt the asylum. Bloody Mary is a supernatural horror movie directed by Richard Valentine and starring Kim Tyler, Matt Borlenhi, and Cory Monteith. Bloody Mary is a decent indie horror film that does feature some unique kills and a spooky urban legend tale. While Bloody Mary does have some flaws, it is worth checking out for the creepy kills and the cameo by the late Glee actor Cory Monteith. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mr. Halloween (2007)

Mr. Halloween (2007)

Dir- Andrew Wolf

A small town haunter named Mr. Halloween fascinates the local children with his haunted house. An urban legend is told that his attraction uses genuine body parts, and when children begin to disappear, Mr. Loomis, aka Mr. Hallowen, is the main suspect. Mr. Halloween is a low-budget made for video horror movie directed by Andrew Wolf and featuring Bill Loomis in a fictionalized version of Mr. Halloween. The film has many flaws, including being overly long and poorly paced. Too little happens to make the movie worth recommending, as most viewers will likely turn the movie off or fall asleep. The film has a great-looking poster and unfortunately, this is probably the best that can be said of this bargain bin film.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Ridge (2005)

The Ridge (2005)

Dir- Brett Haley

College friends take a trip to a remote vacation home in the woods and become victims of a killer who may be based on a local urban legend. The Ridge is a low-budget home invasion horror movie directed and written by Brett Haley, who appears as Blake. The movie is a routine slasher inspired by the legend of The Ridge Runner. While the story has potential, the film spends too much time with characters talking and nothing happening until an hour into the film. In addition, many of the kills are made with poor lighting, and the killer's motives are not explained. The few interesting characters are killed too early, and we are left not caring about those toward the end. The Ridge isn't terrible, but the low-budget hampers what could have been a better movie. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Raven (2012)


The Raven (2012)
Dir- James McTeigue

The Raven is a fictionalized account of the last days of horror author Edgar Allan Poe as portrayed by John Cusack and directed by James McTeigue. As famed author Poe struggles with writer's block and debt, a series of gruesome murders occur in Baltimore, using his novels as inspiration. A police detective turns to him for help, but they both find themselves as targets for this early serial killer. Released in 2012, The Raven also stars Alice Eve, Luke Evans, and Brendan Gleeson in a film that looks great and is well cast but blurs reality with fiction. The Raven is at its best when it's a crime thriller utilizing the stories of EA Poe but sometimes gets muddled with the gothic style and attempts at making it a slasher film.  

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Nightmare Sisters (1988)


Nightmare Sisters (1988)
Dir- David DeCoteau

Three dateless nerdy sorority sisters hold a seance with a crystal ball and are turned into sexually charged she-devils who prey upon three geeky frat brothers. Nightmare Sisters is a low-budget horror comedy directed by David DeCoteau and starring Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and Michelle Bauer. Released as a direct-to-video movie, Nightmare Sisters has become a cult favorite as it is one of only two movies featuring 80s horror scream queens Quigley, Stevens, and Bauer in the same movie. While it fell into obscurity after release, the success of the three actresses would make the film a sought-after gem due to the bathtub scene featuring all three actresses in the nude. A censored version was aired on USA Up All Night that replaced the bathtub scenes with the three ladies in lingerie jumping on a bed. Both versions of the movie are available on a Blu-Ray Vinegar Syndrome release. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Killjoy (2000)


Killjoy (2000)
Dir- Craig Ross Jr

A nerdy teen named Michael is harassed and murdered by a gangster named Lorenzo when he is caught talking to the thug's girlfriend, Jada. A year later, Jada is now with another guy and is confronted by an evil clown named Killjoy, who involves her and others in a series of revenge-based tasks that may be related to the murder of her friend Michael. Killjoy is a 2000 fantasy horror movie directed by Craig Ross Jr and distributed by Full Moon Video. A low-budget affair, Killjoy, mixes Wishmaster, It, and Candyman elements in an urban setting to create a franchise involving the supernatural killer clown. While deeply flawed and derivative, Killjoy has enjoyed s cult following and is followed by five direct-to-video sequels distributed by Charles Band's Full Moon Video. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Puppet Master II (1990)

Puppet Master II (1990)

Dir- Dave Allen

A group of paranormal investigators gathers in an old house to investigate the death of a woman killed in the previous movie and soon find themselves attacked by the army of puppets created by Andre Toulon. This sequel to the 1989 Full Moon cult classic returns the killer dolls that made the first film a fan favorite and staple of video store horror shelves. Following the same formula, Puppet Master II delivers more kills and some fun stop motion puppet fun with the iconic collection that made Charles Band a favorite among horror movie watchers. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Island of the Fishmen (1979)


Island of the Fishmen (1979)
Dir- Sergio Martino

Survivors of a shipwreck discover an unknown Caribbean island populated by a scientist, his daughter, and their cruel benefactor. Unfortunately, the island hides a dark secret that will prove deadly for the survivors. Island of the Fishman is a 1979 action horror film directed by Sergio Martino that HG Wells Island of Dr. Moreau strongly influenced. The film stars Claudio Cassinelli, Joseph Cotten, and Barbara Bach for the original Italian release. When New World Pictures acquired it, the film was re-edited with a more gory opening and 30 minutes of footage removed to make the movie more horror-themed. This film would be released under the title Screamers and featured a poster that promised scenes showing a man turned inside out who was still alive. The original film would later be acquired by Full Moon Productions, who would release the film's original cut for its streaming service and BluRay DVD media.    

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019)

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019)

On a dark and stormy night, Rod, a radio DJ, spins tales of terror for his audience, but on this night, he gets a disturbing call that scares him intensely. A Night of Horror is an anthology featuring eight tales of terror, including a mother and daughter who takes photos of the dead, a woman being chased by a hunter in the woods, a prisoner facing punishment for his crimes, and a hairstylist secret for his perfect wigs. While not all the tales are perfect, they offer a great series of scary stories that are primarily original and reasonably well made as a collection. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Pentagram (2019)

 Pentagram (2019)

Dir- Steven Larson

Four teens find themselves trapped inside a pentagram painted on the floor after one of them is taken hostage by a mysterious older man. He tells them that if they leave the circle or let the candles go out, they will be killed by a mysterious dark force. Pentagram is a 2019 indie supernatural thriller directed by Steven Larson, starring Chloe Farnworth and Rachel Warren. While the premise sounds interesting, the execution is mediocre, with insufficient tension or thrills to be a compelling thriller. The special effects are okay for a low-budget movie, but the film is pretty dull and ends all too abruptly. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Midnight Devils (2019)


Midnight Devils (2019)
Dir- Abel Berry

Two women steal money from a drug dealer and hide in her grandfather's old house in the woods. It gets crazy when the drug dealer finds them along with a native American squatter who warns them that an evil creature has them trapped and wants to kill them all. Directed by Abel Berry, Midnight Devils is a home invasion-style film that plays heavily into the legend of the Wendigo. While the acting is mediocre, the creature design is pretty impressive for the Wendigo and other demons that appear. Despite being listed in the credits, Michael Berryman is only featured in a short cameo in the opening scenes.  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Getaway (2020)


Getaway (2020)
Dir- Toran Caudell

A young woman invites her two best friends on a weekend trip to a lake house looking for fun and adventures. She is kidnapped by the sons of a backwoods cult leader who wishes to punish her for her sinful activities and instead learns she may be harboring a secret. Getaway is a 2020 thriller directed by Toran Caudell and starring Jaclyn Betham, Scout Taylor Compton, and Landry Allbright. While the film looks to be another rape-revenge thriller, Getaway is an entirely different kind of movie that will surprise audiences with its twist and satisfying outcome. There isn't much in the way of blood and gore, but the real strength of this movie is the unique direction that director Caudell takes with its hunter prey theme and the performances of Ms. Betham, Allbright, and Taylor Compton. Getaway is a great horror thriller for fans looking for movies about strong and empowered women ready to fight back. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Snowbeast (1977)


Snowbeast (1977)
Dir- Joseph Stefano

A Colorado resort town celebrating a winter carnival becomes the hunting ground for a bigfoot-like monster that attacks the locals and lone skiers. The Sheriff tries to downplay the attack by claiming it's a bear attack, but the resort owner's grandson turns to his friend, a former Olympic skier, and his ex-girlfriend to help stop this creature. Snowbeast was a made-for-TV monster movie directed by Joseph Stefano and starring Bo Svenson and Yvette Mimieux. The film is one of many men vs. nature movies released in the wake of the 1975 blockbuster Jaws. Unfortunately, the film does not show much of the creature and focuses on the down on his lucky hero and his wife. While the film is certainly not a classic, it is the perfect type of movie for RiffTrax commentary and is one of many B horror movies in their catalog.   

Friday, April 22, 2022

House of Shadows (2020)

House of Shadows (2020)

Dir- Nicholas Winter

A woman inherits a house from her mother that she did not know she owned. Once she arrives, she encounters a series of ghostly events that suggest the deaths of her mother and sister may be related to a curse she fears will take her next. House of Shadows is a ghost story directed by Nicholas Winter and starring Elena Delia. While the cast and setting are acceptable, the story is slow and predictable with terrible ghost effects. Overall not much happens that hasn't been seen before in better movies.  

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Freaks (2018)

Freaks (2018)

Dir- Zach Lipovsky

A little girl who is kept inside and sheltered from the outside world wishes to be like a normal kid but soon learns there truly is something dangerous outside her door. Yet after escaping her father's control, she learns some secrets from a mysterious older man selling ice cream. Freaks is a 2018 sci-fi thriller directed by Zach Lipovsky and starring Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, and Lexy Kolker. While the film at first seems to show a disturbed and paranoid father, the viewers learn that his paranoia is genuine and that protecting his daughter is his priority. Freaks has a great cast and expand on ideas shown in the XMen franchise without ripping off the mutants in peril storyline. Lexy Kolker stands out in an important role that helps carry this compelling and tight thriller. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Carny (2009)

Carny (2009)

Dir- Sheldon Wilson

A small-town sheriff and his deputies encounter trouble when a traveling carnivals star attraction escapes and begins to kill random people in the community. Carny is directed by Sheldon Wilson and stars Lou Diamond Phillips. As one of the films of the Maneater series, Carny is a made for tv creature feature that was broadcast on the SyFy Channel. In this film, the central monster is a Jersey Devil, and as terrifying as the creature is, it suffers from the apparent low-budget CGI treatment. Despite this, the film is better than most of the other Maneater films, and Phillips performs well as the town sheriff.   

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Freaks of Nature (2015)


Freaks of Nature (2015)
Dir- Robbie Pickering

In a community where humans, vampires, and zombies coexist, their balance is threatened when aliens suddenly arrive, bringing down an apocalypse. Three teens from each group band together to find a way to save their town and get rid of the alien menace. Freaks of Nature is a sci-fi horror comedy directed by Robbie Pickering and starring Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, and Josh Fadem. The film's absurd premise is half the fun as the trio of young actors is joined by a showcase of comedy actors, including Denis Leary, Keegan Micahel Key, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Mae Whitman, and Patton Oswald. Directed in the same style as Shaun of the Dead and Cooties, Freaks of Nature is a fun and surreal comedy that throws together some crazy horror tropes for unique and out-of-this-world monster mash. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Dir- Kieran Parker

A squad of Russian soldiers ambushing German supply trucks is captured by a secret unit of Nazi troops who pit them against zombified soldiers in gladiator-style fights. In the third installment of the Outpost franchise, director Kieran Parker presents an origin story that shows the creation of the army of the dead featured in the trilogy. As with the previous movies, this Outpost entry is also a war movie with Nazi zombies fighting soldiers who wander upon their forest hideout. The action scenes are pretty intense, and the zombies are vicious as ever in this third entry that will not disappoint fans of Nazi zombie movies.