The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Director: Terence Fisher
Main Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi, Rosalyn Landor, Leon Greene
Storyline: Two young men stumble upon a cult of devil worshipers.
Review (Spoils): Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee) and Rex Van Ryn (Leon Greene) get invited to a mansion for a party. When at the party they stumble across a pentagram on the floor and some chickens in a box. We learn that the inviter Nicholas is proficient in black magic. We learn that the guests get escorted out as the members are having a private meeting (hmmm wonder what this about). Anyways the whole rouse is controlled by a Mocata (Charles Gray) who is trying to resurrect the devil.
We have lots of camera focus on eyes, a dude with some crazy white eyes, a crossed eyed old lady, some smoke, some goats and chickens, cross throwing and of course a great costume of the great devil himself. Basically it is duel of Duc de Richleau against the cult but man the devil costume rocked! Acting was well done both by Christopher Lee and Charles Gray.
Rating: This is a classic horror film and it has a Hammer feel to it. When have clips of the devil on the rock in an Iron Maiden video you know you did something right. The movie can have some slow parts but you can see where some of the ideas of Rosemary’s Baby came from or vice versa as it was the same year. Grab some beers, raise your horns and drink to the hairy goat devil!!!!!
Return of the Living Dead 2 (1988)
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Main Stars: James Karen, Thor Van Lingen, Thom Matthews, Suzanne Snyder, Marsha Dietlein
Storyline: After the first film a radioactive container gets dropped in the sewer system causing zombies to return.
Review (Spoils): The zombies are back and they want more BRAINS! Following the idea of the first film we have a stoned driver who was not paying attention and a container of radioactive stuff gets dumped in the water system. The dead started to walk as a young group of men stealing skulls come across them, a young kid who wants to be cool and his teenage sister and hunky cable guy. The film is not to be taken serious just like the first one and there is lots of one liners, screaming, talking zombies, stupid reactions, some blood, yellow and black goo, the classic finger bite, brains being eaten, talking heads and bouncing zombie hands.
More yelling and screaming then anything but the zombies are not bad except for the odd one that is supposed to be funny. We have the annoying yet hot redhead Suzanne Snyder screaming through most of it.
Rating: Not as good as the first one we have another entry for the Return of the Living Dead series. The acting is pretty lame and to be honest if it was not for the 80s hotness (Suzanne Snyder) this film would of been pretty damn boring and annoying. The zombies are pretty decent and the make-up is good but the acting and lines are pretty hard to take.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Director: Juan Carols Fresnadillo
Main Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack, Imogen Poots
Storyline: Six months after the virus outbreak the US Army tries to secure a area in London for the survivors.
Review (Spoils): After the outbreak of the zombie like virus in England called the Rage the ones that were infected died from starvation. The US Army come in and start to rebuild a community for the non infected. The Army clean up the dead bodies of the infected while a couple decide to sneak out and investigate their old house to reclaim some items. They come across a crazy woman named Alice (Catherine McCormack) in the attic that survived. After checking Alice over the do blood tests and find out that she is in fact infected with the Rage. Well Alice kisses someone as there is love and the virus spreads yet again. This leads to the another great zombie biting Rage outbreak!
We got blood, biting and running zombies, very similar as the first film.
Rating: Personally I’m not a fast moving zombie fan. I like my zombies rotting and walking slowly with lots of moaning. The film was not a bad film at all it was nice touch to the series. Plus we have Rose Byrne that is worth a viewing outside the zombies. Now to throw on a slow zombie film and get back to the gory basics.
Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Main Stars: Richard Anderson, Elaine Edwards, Adele Mara
Storyline: A stone body is found at Pompeii, since that discovery people have been found with cursed skulls.
Review (Spoils): During an exaction of Pompeii a stone encrusted body wearing a medallion is discovered. Medical researchers believe that the body might still hold life within the stone crusted form. When the body is left alone with others, people are discovered with crushed skulls. Is it possible the faceless stone form is alive? During this Tina (Elaine Edwards), one of the medical researcher’s girlfriends has visions of life she never lived. Can this all be connected to the medallion that is on the stone body?
Basically we have a golem type film again that relates to Pompeii history. There is no blood, no real scares and it reminds me of The Mummy series. The makeup of the stone encrusted faceless man is actually done really well.
Rating: Running alone, The Mummy type feel, this film is actually not bad. It has a built in love story and yet it still has the beast. Sure the ending seemed to be rushed but overall it is not a bad 1950’s era monster film.
Mad Love (1935)
Director: Karl Freund
Main Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Storyline: An insane surgeon is in love with an actress in which he replaced her wounded pianist’s hands with that of a murder.
Review (Spoils): Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) while watching a performance falls in love with the beautiful Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake). When he finds out after obsessing about her that she is married to a pianist, his mind cracks even further. The pianist Stephen (Colin Clive) gets hurt during a train accident which crushes his hands which Yvonne then goes to Dr. Gogol for help. Dr. Gogol agrees but uses his sick mind to win her over by replacing her husband’s hands with that of a knife throwing murder. The hands have a mind of their own and this leads to some serious conflict.
Peter Lorre yet again plays the mad character to a tee. He is carries the performance of his obsession amazingly and the end when he finally snaps is classic.
Rating: This film should sit up there as a classic b/w horror, maybe not as high as Dracula or Frankenstein but it should still be recognized for a classic. Love the idea of Colin Clive who is best known for being a mad doctor (Frankenstein) is now the victim from a new mad doctor. Check this one out if you have not as Dr. Gogol is a brilliant villain.
Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)
Director: Otto Preminger
Main Stars: Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier
Storyline: A woman reports her daughter is missing but there is evidence that she ever existed
Review (Spoils): Anne Lake (Carol Lynley) moves to England with her daughter Bunny. She goes to pick her up after school and finds out nobody have seen or heard of Bunny. The police force of England cannot even find a record of the little girl and start to question Anne’s sanity. Even when the police question Anne’s brother (Keir Dullea) claims Bunny never existed but possibly was an imaginary friend when Anne was young.
This film is a great mind game, she Anne nuts or not is the question through the whole film. This leads to the twisted truth of the Lake family. This film plays the Alfred Hitchcock type feel. Not over haunting but spooky in the way the mind works.
Rating: Need a chance in your horror diet this one creepy film. Do not expect gore, monsters, ghosts or even jumps instead it leads in the mystery of the mind much like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane…?
Vacancy 2 (2008)
Director: Eric Bross
Main Stars: Agnes Bruckner, David Moscow, Scott G. Anderso, Trevor Wright
Storyline: Prequel to the first film ..how it all began with the hotel film making
Review (Spoils): Owners of the Meadow View Motel use video cameras to film guests to sell as porno tapes. During one of the tapings a stranger kills a woman, which leads to become a bigger success then the porno sells. This leads to them making snuff films but when Jessica (Agnes Bruckner) and Caleb (Trevor Wright) catch on to this, this leads to the owners tracking them down to film and kill.
This film leads onto why the people in the first film decided to kill and get into the business anyways. The film had some ok acting (not sure why the friend was three wheeling), good chases, lost of blood, gun shots, nails to the head, nasty stabbings and good old fashion film making. Nothing stands out really with the film after awhile but still it was not terrible for prequel.
Rating: I have seen a lot worse than this film so to be honest it was not bad. It explains a bit more on why the motel owners do what they do. The chase becomes a bit boring after awhile and some of characters in the films actions were kind of dumb but the nail scene was cool.