Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Circus_of_Fear_FilmPoster (1)First and foremost, I want to start by wishing everyone a very Happy Halloween and a safe one too. I noticed while looking at the list of all the films that I checked out for this years Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween that I didn’t watch enough classics made before the 1970’s. So, I looked to remedy that problem and I found the film that I was looking for. So, for today we are checking out the 1966 English horror film Circus Of Fear (which is also known as Psycho Circus) which was was directed by Werner Jacobs (What Is the Matter with Willi?) and John Moxey (Mission: Impossible). The film follows some English detectives who are hot on the case of a bank car heist that leads them to a nearby circus, but what they don’t realize is that it’s also a hot bed for murder on top of the stolen loot. The film stars Christopher Lee (Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf) as Gregor, Leo Genn (Ten Little Indians) as Inspector Elliot, Anthony Newlands (Walk A Crooked Mile) as Barberini,  Heinz Drache (Coffin From Hong Kong) as Carl, Eddi Arent (The Treasure Of Silver Lake) as Eddie, Klaus Kinski (For A Few Dollars More) as Manfred, Margaret Lee (Dorian Gray) as Gina,  Suzy Kendall (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage) as Natasha, Skip Martin (The Masque Of Red Death) as Mr. Big, Lawrence James (The Avengers) as Sgt. Manley, and Maurice Kaufmann (Die! Die! My Darling!) as Mario.

Circus-of-Fear-Psycho-Circus-John-Llewellyn-Moxey-Reino-Unido-1966.avi_002878292 (1)This was an OK film in my opinion that started out as a heist/suspense film and then quickly turned into a murder mystery film with little bits of comedy and blackmail thrown in for extra measure. I have to say that Klaus Kinski creeped me out every time he appeared on screen, he just has that look that just gives you Hibbie Jibbies which is probably why he made a great looking Nosferatu from what I have seen in pictures. All I am saying is that there is nothing warm and inviting about Kinski, but even then he was hardly in the film and I think they could have done more with him. Christopher Lee spends most of the film with a mask on, but when it’s revealed as to what he looks like I was kind of let down. I was hoping for a hideously deformed person, but all received was the strapping lad that Christopher Lee was in those days. Other than that, he was excellent in the film as the lion tamer and for the most part everyone in the film did a terrific job as far as the acting was concerned. One thing I had a little trouble with was that some of the characters had such thick English accents it was hared to tell what they were saying. That is why I thank technology for subtitles because they help through the way and we soldier on. This was a decent film for it’s time, but believe me there is a lot I would have changed as well. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

bad hairThere is no industry in the world that is more ruthless than show business whether it be on radio, TV, or the big screen with looks always being one of the top priorities. Sometimes looks can overshadow whether a person has real talent or not, but that is just the nature of the beast. That is a lesson that our main character of today’s film 2020’s HULU exclusive Bad Hair learns. The film stars Elle Lorraine (Dear White People) as Anna Bludso, a girl who has been dreaming of being a VJ since she was a kid, but she is always passed up. One day per advice of her new boss, Anna decides to get a weave and an impressive one to boot. What Anna doesn’t realize is that with this new found recognition comes some hefty consequences when her hair comes alive. The film also stars Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live) as Julius, James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues) as Grant Madison, Ashley Blaine Featherson (Glee) as Rosalyn, Lena Waithe (Ready Player One) as Brook-Lynn, Yaani King Mondschein (Numb3rs) as Sista Soul, Judith Scott (The Santa Clause) as Edna, Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) as Zora, Usher (Killers) as Germane, Blair Underwood (When They See Us) as Amos Bludso, Chanté Adams (The Photograph) as Linda Bludso, Michelle Hurd (Star Trek: Picard) as Maxine Bludso, Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black) as Virgie, and the film was written and directed by Justin Simien (Dear White People). 

bad-hair-movie-review-2020To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t really sure what to think when I was done watching the film because I think it just really misses it’s mark. Just the idea of killer hair that turns you in an evil witch may have sounded like a great idea, but there are just way too many questions to be asked. If this were true, wouldn’t anyone with wigs, toupees, etc. also be victim to the same thing? I think the film had a really good purpose behind why they were throwing elements of slave tales and trying to emphasize Urban culture, but they failed to hit their mark towards the end of the film because all those things just didn’t seem important towards the end of the film. One thing is for sure and that is the film isn’t very scary and in fact it seems to rely more on the comedy side of the horror comedy tag it gets while using the haunting scores at the wrong times in the film. One thing I will say is that I didn’t regret watching the film because it wasn’t that terrible and the acting was pretty good especially from some of the key veterans in the film, but it just misses it’s mark. That is why I am going to give the film an C for a final grade. 

maniac cop 3 (1)There are only three films in the Maniac Cop franchise, the Shudder app has all three of them available to watch and after watching two out of three it’s only logical to finish it. Larry Cohen (Maniac Cop 2) returned once again to helm the third and what seems to be the final film in 1992’s Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence which was once again directed by William Lustig (Maniac Cop 2). Just when New York City thought it was safe from the Maniac Cop, they are surprised once again when a voodoo priest brings back Matt Cordell (Robert Z’Dar) for him to finish what he had started, but what does Cordell want with an injured cop? The film stars Robert Davi (Maniac Cop 2) as Det. Sean McKinney, Caitlin Dulany (Project X) as Dr. Susan Fowler, Gretchen Becker (Ed Wood) as Katie Sullivan, Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) as Hank Cooney, Jackie Earle Haley (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010) as Frank Jessup, Julius Harris (Live And Let Die) as Houngan, Doug Savant (Trick or Treat) as Dr. Myerson, Robert Forster (Olympus Has Fallen) as Dr. Powell, Bobby Di Cicco (I Wanna Hold Your Hand) as Bishop, Ted Raimi (Maniac Cop 2) as News Reporter, and Frank Pesce (Beverly Hills Cop II) as Tribble.

maniaccop3badgeofsilence (1)So while I was a huge fan of the sequel and a fan of the first film, I was a little down on this one as it wasn’t nearly as good as previous films. The writing for one is where it’s gets a little lost for me even though Cohen had something to do with it. I just didn’t understand the connection between Matt Cordell and Katie Sullivan who is in a coma and Cordell is doing everything in his power to protect her to claim for himself. The only connection is that they call her Maniac Kate because she gets the job done. The scene with Jackie Earle Haley in the pharmacy is probably one of the best sequences in the whole entire film as things go down and it gets pretty intense at times. For the amount of time he is on screen, he leaves quite the impact. Robert Davi returned for a second film and he also brought the goods, but some of the actors in the film just bothered me like Savants character who is this total douche doctor that is all about himself and that’s it. One kill that bothered me was the Robert Forster kill cause it just didn’t make any sense that multiple x-rays would fry someone to death. I mean is that even possible and if it is then I’ll take it back, but it was still a lame kill for a man who can literally rip people apart. The voodoo aspect was definitely a direction they took for this film as the only way to explain how they left the second film’s ending up for a third. I just kept thinking about Charles Lee Ray and the film Child’s Play when he was resurrecting him. It was a decent film which is why I am giving the third film an C+ for a final grade.

220px-Maniacop2pos1 (1)The Shudder app is a great app especially if you are a fan of horror movies and after being impressed with yesterdays film Maniac Cop, I decided to check out the sequel since all three films in the franchise are available on the app. Larry Cohen (Maniac Cop) returned once again to pen the sequel Maniac Cop 2 which was once again directed by William Lustig (Maniac Cop). Everyone in New York City believes that Matt Cordell, the maniac cop is dead and that he drowned in the ocean after crashing in their except two cops are not buying it as people begin to die similar deaths to the original film. Now it’s all up to Det. Sean McKinney (Robert Davi) to try and get to the bottom of this and solve the case, but he’ll have his hands full especially when Cordell teams with a serial killer who attacks strippers. The film also stars Bruce Campbell (Maniac Cop) as Jack Forrest, Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop) as Teresa Mallory, Robert Z’Dar (Maniac Cop) as Matt Cordell, Claudia Christian (Babylon 5) as Susan Riley, Leo Rossi (Halloween II) as Turkel, Clarence Williams III (Deep Cover) as Blum, Charles Napier (Silence Of The Lambs) as Lew Brady, Lou Bonacki (Maniac Cop) as Detective Lovejoy, Bo Dietl (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Detective, Sam Raimi (Maniac Cop) as News Reporter, Danny Trejo (Rob Zombie’s Halloween) as Prisoner, Paula Trickey (The Christmas Trap) as Cheryl, and Robert Earl Jones (Sleepaway Camp) as Harry.

RossiMC2 (1)I was definitely a fan of the first film and usually going into a sequel you don’t say the same things, but I really enjoyed the sequel more than the first at times. The one thing that I loved about the second film was some of the characters like Leo Rossi playing Turkel, the serial killer who obviously thinks he’s a werewolf and is just over the top from beginning to end and he doesn’t disappoint at all. They made Matt Cordell look a little more messed up considering he was supposed to be dead, but they kind of changed what he stood for. In the first film, he was more interested in getting revenge on the very cops that wronged him to siding with the kind of criminals he put away in this film. The thing I did love was the use of footage from previous films to explain what had happened to him and other characters which was helped instead of trying to re-film sequences. I thought Robert Davi was a good find to play the kind of detective that Tom Atkins was in the first film and he makes you believe that he’s a New York City Detective who is jaded. One of the things that I thought was insane was the fire stunt that is performed in this film, it was just absolute craziness and it has to be a super long time. I’d be curious to see how many takes it was for the scene or if it was just one take? This was a good follow up to the first and that is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

MV5BYjNlYTVhNTUtMzBhMi00MzcxLTg4M2MtMzRhZDkwM2YwMDM3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UY1200_CR67,0,630,1200_AL_Larry Cohen was a true legend of the horror world as he not only directed classics like the It’s Alive franchise, but he lent his writing skills to so many other films like The StuffFull Moon HighBlack CaesarCaptivity, and the film that I chose for today in 1988’s Maniac Cop which was directed by William Lustig (Hit List). It’s the 1980’s and things are a little hectic in the city that never sleeps of New York, but things are about to get worse. A maniac dressed as a cop is going around the city killing people which sends the city into a craze, but a couple of cops will discover that this maniac might have been one of them at one point. The film stars Tom Atkins (Halloween III: Season Of The Witch) as Frank McCrae, Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) as Jack Forrest, Laurene Landon (Airplane II: The Sequel) as Teresa Mallory, Richard Roundtree (Shaft) as Commissioner Pike, William Smith (Any Which Way You Can) as Captain Ripley, Robert Z’Dar (Tango & Cash) as Matt Cordell, Sheree North (Cold Dog Soup) as Sally Noland, Corey Michael Eubanks (2 Fast 2 Furious) as Bremmer,  Nick Barbaro (Vigilante) as Councilman, Nina Arvesen (The Young And The Restless) as Regina Shepard, and Victoria Catlin (Ghoulies) as Ellen Forrest.

maniaccop (1)I was actually very surprised at how much I actually enjoyed watching this film because I mixed it up with another film that I was looking for which was Psycho Cop. Nonetheless, I was happy to have watched this one because Tom Atkins was great and Bruce Campbell was awesome as well. I did not know that Campbell was in the film until he showed up, but you could instantly tell what angle they were going to take with his character. You could almost sense that he was going to be accused of the crimes that the Maniac Cop was doing and sure enough they follow the angle. I wasn’t mad or disappointed by it at all because they did a great job with it. My one criticism of the film is that I wish we saw more of Matt Cordell and how messed up he looked, but I understand why they did it because they do it for every film and that is the suspense of the unknown. Overall in the film, the acting is great and I definitely liked the cinematography as they made the city seem unsafe with every shot and there is some power in that when a maniac cop is on the loose. There are a lot of characters to love and hate in this film and one of those that I disliked was played by William Smith who played Captain Ripley, a man who looked like he was one step away from being at the Blue Oyster, but in the film he was a real jerk and he did it so well that you were waiting for Maniac Cop to get him. The film is available on Shudder so check it out. I am going to give it an B+ for a final grade.

scare package (1)I was in the mood today for a certain kind of horror and so I went right over to the Shudder app to check out an anthology horror film. Anthology horror films are some of my favorites because they are a collection of short films rolled into one that usually tie in to each other somehow in the end. So for today I decided to check out the newest film Scare Package which is about a video store owner who in order to teach his new employee all the tropes of horror, he has him watch multiple horror films. The film features segments like One Time In The Woods directed by Chris McInroy (Death Metal), Cold Open directed by Emily Hagins (Grow Up, Tony Phillips), Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, Horror Hypothesis directed by Aaron B. Koontz (Camera Obscura), M.I.S.T.E.R. directed by Noah Segan (Tales Of Halloween), Girls’ Night Out Of Body directed by Hillary and Courtney Andujar (Bloodline), The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill directed by Anthony Cousins (10/31 Part 2), and So Much To Do directed by Baron Vaughn (Cloverfield). The film stars Jeremy King (The Pale Door) as Chad, Noah Segan as Husband, Dustin Rhodes as Devil’s Lake Impaler,  Toni Trucks (Grimm) as Franchesca, Chase Williamson (The Guest) as Pete, Zoe Graham (Boyhood) as Jessie, Chelsey Grant (Scavengers) as Daisy, Josephine McAdam (Tower) as Kelly, Aaron D. Alexander (Shooter) as Marked Man, Jon Michael Simpson (V/H/S) as Mike Myers, Hawn Tran (Watchmen) as Hawn, Melanie Minichino (The Sorpranos) as Ali, and Joe Bob Briggs as Himself.

scare3 (1)This was definitely an interesting movie made by obvious fans of the genre and you have to love the nods to some of the greats in this film. The writer in the beginning of the film who is pitching his script is named Mike Myers, he gets picked up by the owner of the video store who drives a car that looks like thew one from A Nightmare On Elm Street with the Kruger colored convertible top. There were obvious segments that I liked better than the others with my favorite having to be a tie between Horror Hypothesis and The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill. I just thought those two were much more up my alley and the combination of horror and comedy was almost perfect in those two. The other one that came close to those two was the M.I.S.T.E.R. segment that combined werewolves with Satanists and that was definitely fun while Cold Open was probably my least favorite out of all of them. The special effects for this film were very well done and is probably a major highlight for me as far as the film was concerned and you ave to appreciate that. They spared no expense for special effects and it paid off. The film is currently available on Shudder as we speak and I definitely think that it’s worth checking out because of all the young talent that is in this film. Not to mention former WWE/Current AEW superstar Dustin Rhodes is in this film and he does a great job as a killer. So, I am going to go ahead and give the film an B+ for a final grade.

hack o lanternI don’t know why today’s title caught my eye other than the fact that the poster caught my interest, but I was looking for something to watch on Shudder which is a great app for Horror fans. So by chance I went on the app and sure enough I saw that Shudder had the 1988 straight to video release Hack-O-Lantern which was directed by Jag Mundhra (Improper Conduct). The film stars Hy Pyke (Blade Runner) as Grandpa, who seems to be your everyday kind old Grandpa, but what no one realizes is that he is actually a Satanist who sacrifices his victims on Halloween night and now he is looking to his Grandson to take over, but it’s up to his family to stop it from happening. The film also stars Gregory Scott Cummins (The Last Of The Dogmen) as Tommy, Katina Garner (Roller Blade) as Amanda, Carla B. (Necromancer) as Vera, Jeff Brown (Mac) as Roger, Patricia Christie (Lunch Meat) as Beth, Jeanna Fine (On The Street) as Nora, Marya Gant (A Polish Vampire In Burbank) as Carrie, Diane Trimble as Party Stripper, Larry Coven (Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market) as Brian, Dave Campbell as Sarge, and appearances by the bands D.C. La Croix and Mercenaries. 

unnamed (4)Structurally this was a pretty solid film, but it’s always in the execution that is where it matters the most and I can definitely see why this was a straight to video film. One of the things that sort of bothered me that was addressed once and never again was the need for an incestuous story line. They address for a brief moment to explain the relationship between Grandpa and his daughter, but they never visit it again. The other was the decision over who they killed in the film because one of the kills made no sense. Grandpa decides to kill Tommy’s girlfriend who clearly is a follower with the pentagram on her behind which means she was marked. So that was one kill that I didn’t understand and the other is how there were no repercussions for Grandpa killing their dad who walked in on one of the ceremonies. Other than those issues, the film was pretty solid in following the horror structure with kills, nudity, and some obvious conflict. The acting was pretty decent for the most part, I just thought the music video scene was kind of cheesy even though back int he 80’s I probably would’ve thought it was bad ass. I definitely enjoyed the track because it was somewhat catchy and the soundtrack overall to the film wasn’t that bad either. If you have Shudder, I would definitely consider giving this one a shot cause why not? You can pick apart all the corny scenes that go with it. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade. 

220px-T65314u7z3wOne of my favorite traditions around this time of year was to go to the annual Rock and Shock Festival in Worcester, MA, and one of my favorite things to do was visit the Vinegar Syndrome booth to look at the latest films I hadn’t seen. Unfortunately that con is no longer happening and I have to resort to ordering online and that is where today’s film comes into play. The film that I chose for today is one that looked interesting in 1991’s Dolly Dearest which was written and directed by Maria Lease (Better Off Dead). The film stars Sam Bottoms (Apocalypse Now) as Elliot Wade, a business man who buys a doll factory in Mexico where he moves his family. The only problem is that he doesn’t realize that the spirit of Sanzia, a demon child has been unleashed and taken refuge in one of the dolls that he gives to his daughter as she tries to take over her soul. The film also stars Denise Crosby (Pet Semetary) as Marilyn Wade, Rip Torn (Freddy Got Fingered) as Karl Resnick, Chris Demetral (Journey Of The Heart) as Jimmy Wade, Candace Hutson (The Land Before Time) as Jessica Wade, Lupe Ontiveros (The Goonies) as Camilla, Enrique Renaldo (In The Morning) as Estrella, Alma Martinez (General Hospital) as Alva, Will Gotay (Stand And Deliver) as Luis, and Jaime Gomez (Karen Sisco) as Hector. 

dolly-dearest-3-1200x900Right after the release of a certain trend in horror that becomes successful, other companies will try their best to follow in the footsteps of that said film. For Dolly Dearest, they were trying to follow in the footsteps of Child’s Play and Child’s Play 2 which had proven to be successful at the time, but this one flew right under the radar. In one film, it’s a man that uses voodoo to transport his soul into a doll in hopes of transporting it back into the body of another while this film is about a demon that transports itself into the body of a doll because it can. There is however a reason why this one flew under the radar even though it was actually a pretty decent film. The acting was well done and let’s be honest in saying that no film is complete without Rip Torn playing an archaeologist. He was one of my favorite things about this film besides Denise Crosby who plays a mom in distress over her children better than anyone (e.g. Stephen King’s Pet Semetary). The one thing I will give Chucky over Dolly Dearest is that he was a lot more creepy than her, she looks like Annabelle’s less fortunate cousin and Chuck’s facial expressions were a lot better. Nonetheless, the film has a pretty good story, the acting is really good for the most part, and it’s a decent watch. I am definitely recommending this one to anyone looking for a different doll movie to watch which is why I am going give the film an B for a final grade. 

squirmI have been checking out a lot of old horror films from the 70’s and 80’s that just look fun to watch and have been recommended by my pears. The film that I chose for today I first saw on a poster that was posted on a Facebook horror group asking if anyone had seen it? Of course, I had not seen the film Squirm which was released in 1976 and was written and directed by Jeff Lieberman (Blue Sunshine). The film stars Don Scardino (Cruising) as Mick, a New York kid visit the south to see his girlfriend. What Mick doesn’t realize is that he is walking into a death trap. A storm took out a powerline which caused electricity to strike the water on the earth causing man eating worms to attack the towns folk. Now it’s up to Mick to try and save the day before his girlfriend and family are eaten alive. The film also stars Patricia Pearcy (Little House: Bless All The Dear Children) as Gerri Sanders, R.A. Dow as Roger, Jean Sullivan (Somerset) as Naomi Sanders, Fran Higgins as Alma Sanders, Peter MacLean (Angel On My Shoulders) as Sheriff Jim Reston, William Newman (Leprechaun) as Quigley, Barbara Quinn (Jaws 3-D) as Sheriff’s Girl, Carl Dagenhart as Willie Grimes, Kim Iocouvozzi as Hank, and Angel Sande as Millie. 

24-roger-biteThere are certainly some elements of the film that I did enjoy,but there are also some elements that I didn’t enjoy, but those are few and are between in my opinion. The special effects are not super amazing and out of this world, but they do one heck of a job in my opinion with Roger’s makeup as it seems he has been chosen as a minion of the worms at some point. His acting ability left much to be desired, but he sure as heck nailed the southern inbred thing down as best as he could. There were some actors in the film that you just wondered where in the hell did they find them and I would be shocked to see another credit to their name like Alma who was obviously the runt of the family compared to her attractive sister. There really wasn’t much they could do with the worms so I respect the fact that they didn’t try to create ridiculously sized worms with the exception of a few scenes here and there. For the most part, it was close up shots of actual worms and they used a ton of them. One question that was running through my mind during the film was whether or not the mom was overly attracted to Roger who by the way is the “same age” as her daughter in the film. She was just overly concerned about him at some point and seemed like she was having hot flashes when thinking about him. Nonetheless, I definitely think this is a film worth checking out at least once which is why I am going to give an B- for a final grade. 

zombie lakeSome time ago, I went on to Full Moon’s website and I decided to order some big box VHS tapes which I think are really cool. They had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and I thought what better time than Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween to finally take the time to view one and I viewed it on VHS which was pretty cool to do. The film that I chose for today is called Zombie Lake and it was released in 1981 and was directed by the legendary erotic European horror maestro Jean Rollin (The Night Of The Hunted). The film follows a town in Italy that was once occupied by Germans during the war. Unfortunately the town has a deep dark secret in it’s lake that is coming back to haunt them as they return from the dead from inside the lake. The film also stars Howard Vernon (Love and Death) as The Mayor, Pierre-Marie Escourrou (Gandahar) as German Soldier, Anouchka (White Cannibal Queen) as Helena, Antonio Mayans (Diamonds Of The Kilimanjaro) as Morane, Nadine Pascal (Fella) as Helena’s Mother, Marcia Sharif (Im Auftrag von Madame) as Katya, Bertrand Altmann (Cannibal Terror) as Villager, Gilda Arancio (Kiss Me Killer) as Blonde Swimming Girl, Youri Radionow (East Of Berlin) as Chanac, and even director Jean Rollin makes an appearance in the film as Stiltz.

image98This was an interesting film that went off in a tangent for a while just to explain the story of how the Nazis became zombie Nazis in a lake. I mean who doesn’t a love a little romance story thrown on top of their zombie films not to mention that when one of the zombies sees his daughter, he decides not to kill her, but to give her his medallion that once belonged to her mother. He also then decided to turn on one of his own just to save her from being eaten by another Nazi zombie so this is apparently them making up their own rules as to how zombies act and it’s OK because people change the game all the time. Just like any European horror film or any Jean Rollin film, you can’t have a horror film without gratuitous nudity and sexual content. It’s enough to satisfy all the hornballs out there in the world. One question I have is how do they survive under water? I mean I know their dead so we can suspend the belief that water effects them in any way, but if I were them I would have never come out because they come to you. Overall, it’s not a bad film, it has it’s moments, but the make up was just terrible. You could definitely tell at the time that they were wearing make up instead of naturally looking dead. One guy would come out of the water looking human and the next minute on land he’s greenish blue. It was fun to watch, but for a final grade it will get a C.