October Horrorshow: Impulse (1974)

A fun game to play when watching a William Shatner flick is to pretend that it’s not fiction, and that this is Shatner’s real life, post-Star Trek. This is helped by the fact that Shatner, not once, ever, was sublimated to the role. Like Al Pacino, Shatner is a larger than life actor whose personality dominated every part he played. That sounds like a bad thing, but so many of these duds Shatner were in would have been totally unwatchable without him. He singlehandedly saved many of the films he was in, including this one. His unique take on the craft of acting was truly special. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Impulse (1974)”

October Horrorshow: Creep (2004)

Creep (the 2004 horror flick from the UK, not the 2014 film) will probably take the crown as the most disgusting film of this year’s Horrorshow. And it’s not because there’s an impressive amount of blood and gore. There is some blood and gore to be had, but it’s not all that much for a film like this. Most of what could comprise gore shots happens just off frame. What makes Creep so disgusting, what had me gagging once or twice, are its setting and filming locations. Creep takes place almost entirely in the London Underground and in the city’s sewers, and there was a lot of location work. Nasty. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Creep (2004)”

October Horrorshow: Derelict

The abandoned South Fremantle Power Station outside of Perth, Western Australia, makes the old urbexer in me salivate. It’s a beautiful location on the outside, although inside it’s hollowed out and covered in sloppy graffiti. It was locations like this that made me get into urbex in the first place. The industrial giants of the past are true brick and stone monuments to the 20th century, and have since been subject to the ruthless cost-cutting of capitalism. It’s a set of architectural styles that will likely never appear again, as buildings and materials keep getting cheaper. Indeed, South Fremantle Power Station was closed in the 1980s, yet there it is, still standing, decades after all maintenance ceased. They built the place thirty years tougher than it needed to be, and counting. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Derelict”

October Horrorshow: Jack Frost (1997)

If a film has a decent poster, or even a passable poster, I will include it in a review. Hell, I’ve even gone lower than that, including many posters in reviews that are part of the orange/blue curse that has been infecting film worldwide for decades. How about when a poster is downright deceptive? Yes, if I think it’s cool. But, when a poster is deceptive, and what’s shown is worse than what it’s covering up for in the actual movie? No thanks. I don’t deal in that kind of propaganda. So, no film poster in this review. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Jack Frost (1997)”

October Horrorshow: Pieces

At first glance, Pieces, the 1982 slasher flick from shitty auteur Juan Piquer Simón, is just like every other bottom-feeding Italian film that flooded the American market in the 1980s. Except for one thing. Pieces is not an Italian flick. It’s from Spain. All the hallmarks of a Lucio Fulci or Enzo G. Castellari film are present. The cast is from all over the map. Many read their lines in their native tongue, everyone was dubbed in post, and there was a cavalier attitude towards making sure if any of it synced. The production is low rent, but there’s lots of blood, and it’s so bright one could use it to see by night. And, while it takes place in the United States, it was very clearly filmed in Europe. So, just why does this film have the appearance of cheap Italian cinema of the day? Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Pieces”

October Horrorshow: The Slumber Party Massacre

One part sleaze and one part slasher flick (which probably makes it all sleaze, now that I think about it), The Slumber Party Massacre works hard to tick every box when it comes to 1980s horror. Teenagers, an enraged killer, blood, etc. Instead of filling empty spots with plot, director Amy Holden Jones went with gratuitous nudity. The teenaged boy still lurking in me was thrilled. The mature, objective reviewer in me was also thrilled. When in Rome…

Released in 1982, The Slumber Party Massacre tells everything a viewer needs to know about the plot in its title. There is a slumber party, and a killer looking to massacre everyone at it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Slumber Party Massacre”

October Horrorshow: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

There’s a whole lot of plot in this shitty movie. Friday the 13th was a franchise tottering along towards its demise by the time Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday was released in 1993. The producers must have thought that expanding the lore around Jason Vorhees would make up for older plot ideas that had gone stale. It was the wrong way to go.

Directed by Adam Marcus, from a convoluted screenplay (the victim of precipitous rewrites, apparently) by Jay Huguely and Dean Lovey, Jason Goes to Hell is one gigantic mess of a movie. A viewer could be forgiven if they thought this flick was a continuation of the previous film in the series, as characters refer to previous, unseen events to which they were witness. But the flick before this was Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. None of the characters in that shitfest are in Jason Goes to Hell. Nor are any characters from Part VII, VI, V…all down the line. This movie feels like a sequel to a movie that wasn’t made, and that’s kind of weird. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”

October Horrorshow: The Prowler, aka Rosemary’s Killer

Tom Savini is a horror legend. He’s every bit as important to the history of the genre as some of its greatest auteurs. Without Savini, George Romero’s 1970s and ’80s horror work wouldn’t have the same punch. It was Savini’s expertise that allowed Joe Pilato’s torso to be pulled to pieces in Day of the Dead, and Don Keefer to be dragged into a crate and mutilated by a Tasmanian devil in Creepshow. Savini is an artist in the medium of fake blood. And while his work elevated good horror movies, it also made obscure horror flicks, like Maniac, worth watching for the effects alone. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Prowler, aka Rosemary’s Killer”

October Horrorshow: Blood Feast

Herschell Gordon Lewis was a trash filmmaker. None of his films was ever an attempt at producing art, or even quality. A Chicago ad man by trade, Lewis got into filmmaking as a way to make a quick buck. His films exploited gaps in the market to bring in high returns on a small investment. When enforcement of the Hays Code began to slacken at the start of the 1960s, Lewis filmed cheap nudie-cuties that only had the barest threads of competent filmmaking. When returns on those flicks were hurt by nudity moving into mainstream films, Lewis turned to horror. Like the good marketer he was, he found an opening in horror flicks he could exploit. That opening was gore. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Blood Feast”

October Horrorshow: The House on Sorority Row

The 1980s were THE decade for slasher flicks. The subgenre of horror really picked up steam in the ’70s, but it was in the ’80s when it matured, like a fine wine. It also, somewhat paradoxically, got less gory. But that’s a subject for another day. For now, it’s enough to know that in 1983, someone made a slasher film called The House on Sorority Row. Oh, the possibilities. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The House on Sorority Row”