October Horrorshow: The Devil Below

We here at Missile Test love a good monster movie. The Devil Below is not a good monster movie. But, we here at Missile Test also love bad monster movies. The Devil Below is not a bad monster movie, either. However, we here at Missile Test love mediocre monster movies, and The Devil Below is a mediocre monster movie. In fact, we love just about all monster movies here at Missile Test, mostly because it’s a subgenre of horror that is almost impossible to mess up into unwatchability.

Released this year, The Devil Below comes to us via screenwriters Eric Scherbarth and Stefan Jaworksi, and director Bradley Parker. It follows a scientific expedition that is trekking to rural Kentucky to find the lost mining town of Shookum Hills. In the late 1970s, the town was abandoned after a coal seam fire was ignited at the mine, à la Centralia, Pennsylvania. Or was it really a fire? Of course it wasn’t, or we wouldn’t have a monster movie. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Devil Below”

October Horrorshow: Rawhead Rex

Some horror films live and die on spectacle. They don’t use fear of the unseen to unsettle audiences. Rather, they go all-in early. The Saw franchise went for spectacle above all else, and it worked so well for them that there are nine films in the franchise as of this writing. Aliens was another film that used spectacle. James Cameron used spectacle so well, compared to the wrought tension of Ridley Scott’s earlier film, that it’s easy to forget that an entire hour of runtime passes before audiences see the first alien. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Rawhead Rex”

October Horrorshow: Howl (2015)

When a filmmaker is given a budget of around a million pounds, certain ruthless decisions have to be made when it comes to the production. Where possible, things have to be kept to a minimum, and that can span all the way from sets, to the film’s plot.

Director Paul Hyett had only a million pounds to work with in making Howl, the 2015 werewolf flick from across the pond. Luckily, the screenplay from Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler is just as sparse as the budget (not surprising, as the two are also credited as associate producers — they were in a position to know they couldn’t write Gone with the Wind). Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Howl (2015)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom: Annihilation

The first Doom flick has the distinction of being the first film to ever carry the Shitty Movie Sundays moniker here at Missile Test. That movie was cheap as all get out, despite starring Dwayne Johnson during his first run at movie stardom, and an up-and-comer named Karl Urban. 2019’s Doom: Annihilation establishes a tradition of cheapness for the franchise. Despite that, this is a far more entertaining film than any direct-to-video sci-fi/action flick has any business being.

The first Doom film paid homage to its video game source material here and there, but it was never a faithful adaptation. That’s understandable, as that source material is kind of thin. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Doom: Annihilation”

October Horrorshow: Spawn of the Slithis

Venice Beach, California, looks like it was a rough place in the late 1970s. Urban decay and homelessness abound, and everything looks brown and grey. Such is the setting for Spawn of the Slithis, the 1978 monster flick from writer/director/producer Stephen Traxler. Part Creature from the Black Lagoon and part Jaws, Slithis follows high school teacher/wannabe journalist Wayne Connors (Alan Blanchard), as he investigates a series of brutal mutilations in the Venice Beach area. The first victims were dogs, but it’s not long before there are human victims. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Spawn of the Slithis”

October Horrorshow: The Wretched

The Wretched, the 2019 horror film from writing/directing team Brett and Drew T. Pierce (billed as The Pierce Brothers), is something of an aesthetic throwback to the horror films of the late 1990s and early 2000s, with a little Fright Night thrown into the mix. It relies heavily on the “you have to believe me!” trope, but that’s okay. It’s a great trick horror filmmakers use to make an audience root for the main characters. We see the same things the protagonists see, so it’s frustrating to us, as much as the characters, when authority figures in the movie fail to do anything about the scary stuff and save the town. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Wretched”

October Horrorshow: Boar

I love a bloody, gory horror flick. Especially one with a monster that oozes and drips foul disgustingness. Not every day, mind you, but no October is complete without a film that makes a mess out of its cast.

Boar, the 2017 horror flick from Australia, did very well scratching that bizarre itch. My biggest criticism is that, although it delivered the nasty goods, it was kind of a bummer. A film where half the cast is brutally killed, a bummer? Who would have thought, right? But, if horror flicks weren’t a good time, for the most part, they wouldn’t be so prevalent and so profitable. Maybe we viewers are just diseased. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Boar”

October Horrorshow: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

So, how does a production company follow up a financially successful creature feature that surprised audiences and critics alike with its absurd watchability? By doing it all over again, but with less than half the budget. It’s almost criminal.

Anaconda, the 1997 giant snake flick starring future superstar Jennifer Lopez, ranks very high in the Shitty Movie Sundays Watchability Index. It was shocking how so stupid a movie ended up being so entertaining. It was also something of a surprise that it took another seven years for there to be a sequel, as Hollywood is not known for passing up free money. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Devil’s Express, aka Subway to Hell, aka Gang Wars

What a strange movie. Usually, when a film tries to be too many genres at once, the result is a jumbled mess that takes too many shortcuts, and is difficult to follow. That’s a good description of Devil’s Express (released under a number of other titles), the 1976 blaxploitation/martial arts/street gang/monster flick from director Barry Rosen, and screenwriters Rosen and Niki Patton. But, we like jumbled messes here at Shitty Movie Sundays. The closer a film comes to flying apart at the seams, the better. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Devil’s Express, aka Subway to Hell, aka Gang Wars”

It Came from the ’50s: It! The Terror from Beyond Space

When is a shitty movie not a shitty movie? When it’s super cheap, but also good. Such is the case with It! The Terror from Beyond Space, released in 1958.

We wrap up It Came from the ’50s with the movie that was the supposed inspiration for Alien. The story is similar. A spaceship from Earth sets down on another planet and picks up a stowaway alien with a thirst for blood. How the human spacefarers rid themselves of the alien is also similar. How the two films differ is in the small details. Continue readingIt Came from the ’50s: It! The Terror from Beyond Space”